1 Friday, 17 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 WITNESS: MILAN BABIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Babic, once again I remind you that you are
9 still bound by the declaration you took, you made.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting?
12 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Examination by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Babic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. As always, please tell me if you're unable to understand me or if
17 you don't understand one of my questions.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Yesterday when we finished --
20 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm just noticing that we
21 are not getting the transcript on the e-court which will cause a problem.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: On e-court?
23 MR. WHITING: Right, on our monitors. We are not --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: On our monitors.
25 MR. WHITING: -- we are not getting the transcript and that will
1 eventually cause a problem.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I agree with you.
3 MR. WHITING: It will catch up?
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The report we get is that somebody is coming to try
6 and fix this problem, a technician, but it doesn't -- we don't know how
7 long it will take. Mr. Whiting, you say there will be problems if we
8 continue without the LiveNote?
9 MR. WHITING: Well, I think I can do it. It's just I keep track
10 of the transcript on this monitor and the exhibits on this monitor but
11 I'll manage. It's fine. We can -- it's being transcribed, it's being
12 recorded. We have a record. It will just be a minor inconvenience for me
13 but that's fine. I can manage. We can proceed. I don't want to delay
14 the proceedings.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: But if you then should have video showing here or
16 video recording what are you going to do? Then you won't be having any
17 transcript on the monitor, if you want to show something on the other
19 MR. WHITING: That's all right. That's fine. That will be fine.
20 I'll manage, Your Honour. I'll just be able to switch back and forth and
21 it will be fine.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Very well then. We may proceed.
23 MR. WHITING: Should I proceed, your honour?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, sir.
25 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. Mr. Babic, when we finished yesterday, we had listened to two
4 intercepts. I'd like to listen to one more at the moment. And if we
5 could look at number 93, which I believe is the third one in the packet,
6 do you see that one, Mr. Babic, 93?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. On the declaration that you signed, you identified the voices in
9 this intercept as being Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. You've
10 told us already about your interactions with Radovan Karadzic, and to a
11 large extent also with Slobodan Milosevic, but could you just remind us
12 again approximately how many times did you meet with Slobodan Milosevic?
13 A. More than 20 times, about 20 times, until the end of 1991, and
14 then a couple of other times afterwards, about five to six meetings and
15 contacts up until 1995.
16 Q. Did you have occasion to speak with him on the telephone?
17 A. Yes. On a number of occasions.
18 Q. Did you have occasion to hear his voice also in the media?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, could you take a moment to look at this conversation and are
21 you able to tell us generally what this conversation is about, to your
23 A. This is about the events which took place after the Croatian
24 parliament as well as the Republic of Slovenia declared the independence
25 of those two states after the referenda, and after the point in time when
1 the European Union got involved in the conflict solving. As of then, the
2 EU took on an active role in the search for solutions and tried to solve
3 the problems arising from the former Yugoslavia, and the rest of the
4 conversation refers to a meeting between Milosevic and Mikelis [phoen].
5 It was on that occasion that this conversation took place.
6 Q. I'm going to try to play a clip and hopefully it will work. We
7 tested it again last night and it worked when we tested it but we will see
8 if it will work here in the courtroom. And the clip that I want to play,
9 it starts on -- on the English it starts on the bottom of page 1 where
10 Radovan Karadzic says, "Yes, yes." And on the B/C/S, Mr. Babic, it's on
11 page 2. You'll see about a third of the way down, Mr. Radovan Karadzic
12 says, "Yes, yes, what can make additional problems?" Do you see that?
13 A. I do.
14 MR. WHITING: I wonder if the AV booth needs to switch us over to
15 Sanction so that we can hear the sound.
16 [Intercept played]
17 MR. WHITING:
18 Q. Mr. Babic, in that clip, Slobodan Milosevic says, "That's clear
19 and they should be allowed to separate." And then he says, "now there is
20 only one question left, to have disintegration in the line with our
21 inclinations." What do you understand him to be talking about in that
23 A. I've already mentioned that Croatia and Slovenia arrived at the
24 decision to secede. In this particular case, the discussion is about
25 Croatia. The European Union suggested for that secession or rather the
1 decision on that secession to be postponed by three months and that was
2 agreed. And the conversation is about this three-month period which is
3 supposed to run. At that point in time, Mr. Izetbegovic and Gligorov were
4 putting forward solutions referring to federations -- confederations, an
5 asymmetrical confederation -- compromise solutions for this crisis. And
6 as to this attitude on the part of Milosevic, that they should be allowed
7 to secede, in other words it was that Croatia should be allowed to go
8 independent, to secede, and then he goes on to say that this secession
9 line, line of secession, needs to be the one that suits us. What he means
10 to say is that they can go but are not allowed to take those territories
11 that he himself and Serbs in general considered should remain within this
12 new state in which Serbs would live.
13 So basically, it meant that they would not have been allowed to
14 take Krajina, that SAO Krajina and other parts of Croatian territory would
15 be kept and would be kept separate from Croatia.
16 Q. Now, you mentioned Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Gligorov. Could you
17 tell us who those two people were at that time?
18 A. Izetbegovic was the president of the Presidency of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kiro Gligorov was the president of Macedonia.
20 Q. Is having read through this transcript and listened to it, Mr.
21 Babic, is it consistent with the views that you, as you knew them, of
22 Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Milosevic at the time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And based on your knowledge and understanding of the time, is
25 there anything that causes you in looking at this transcript and intercept
1 to question its authenticity?
2 A. No.
3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would ask that this exhibit, which is
4 93, be marked for identification, please.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: By the way, that's a 65 ter 93?
6 MR. WHITING: That is, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Exhibit 65 ter 93 is admitted into evidence, may it
8 please be given an exhibit number?
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification, 202,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MR. WHITING: And we can put the bundle, the intercept bundle away
13 for now. I won't be using it until later. I'm also happy to report that
14 the transcript is now working.
15 Q. Mr. Babic, I'd like to talk to you about a different subject now.
16 I'd like to talk to you about the JNA and the control over the JNA.
17 During 1991, who commanded the JNA?
18 A. A civilian command was in the hands of the Presidency of the
19 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and when there was imminent
20 danger of war or a state of war, the command would come from the Supreme
21 Command Staff, the General Staff of the armed forces of Yugoslavia and the
22 federal Secretary for Defence. And the actual control as far as I know
23 over the JNA I mean, since July, was in the hands of Slobodan Milosevic.
24 Q. July of what year -- of which year?
25 A. 1991.
1 Q. And how did he do that? How did Slobodan Milosevic control the
2 JNA after July of 1991?
3 A. In my view, in two ways. First of all he had a part of the
4 presidency under his control, the so-called rump Presidency of the SFRJ
5 which formally represented the Supreme Command and he had direct influence
6 over the General Command Staff, that is to say the generals and the
7 federal secretary, Veljko Kadijevic and Blagoje Adzic.
8 Q. Okay. Let's take those two one at a time and I'm going to take it
9 step by step. And some of these questions may seem a bit basic to you but
10 they will be of assistance to us. The Presidency of the SFRY, how was
11 that composed?
12 A. Each republic and Autonomous Region of the Socialist Federative
13 Republic of Yugoslavia had a member, had a seat on the Presidency. One of
14 the members of the Presidency would be president for a year, according to
15 a preordained order. So there was a rotation every year and there was a
16 new president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia every year.
17 Q. And am I correct that there were six republics and two autonomous
18 regions and therefore eight positions on the Presidency? Is that correct?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. And during 1990 and 1991, who was the president of the Presidency?
21 A. Since May 1990, until December -- or rather the 12th of May 1991,
22 it was Borisav Jovic, who was a member of the Presidency representing
23 Serbia. And between May 1991 until October, the 3rd of October, 1991,
24 formally speaking it was Stipe Mesic or rather for a while he did not
25 carry out those duties. For a while he did. It was a Presidency crisis,
1 in fact. As of October 1991, up until the setting up of the federal
2 Republic of Serbia in April 1992, the so-called rump Presidency was in
3 operation. It had four members, and it was presided by the deputy
4 president, Branko Kostic who represented Montenegro.
5 Q. And earlier in response to one of my questions, you said that
6 Slobodan Milosevic had a part of the Presidency under his control. Which
7 part of the Presidency specifically?
8 A. There was Jovic, who was the representative of Serbia, Branko
9 Kostic from Montenegro, and the representatives of the autonomous regions,
10 Mr. Bajramovic from Kosovo and the Vojvodina representative I can't recall
11 his name right now. I'll try and remember it. So it was since spring
12 basically that those changes started being made. So I think that this
13 reflected the situation as of May 1991.
14 Q. And the rump Presidency that you referred to, was that comprised
15 of those four members that you've just identified?
16 A. Yes. Jugoslav Kostic from Vojvodina, in fact.
17 Q. And what happened to the other four members of the Presidency?
18 A. Since October, they no longer participated in the work of the
19 Presidency. Stipe Mesic declared that Yugoslavia no longer existed and
20 that there was no place for him there, and I think that the representative
21 of Macedonia attended one meeting in the beginning of October and none
22 later, and as of October no other representatives participated, no other
23 representatives of any other republics.
24 Q. Now, you also said when you were explaining how Milosevic had
25 control over the JNA, that he had control over the generals or influence
1 over the generals. Can you explain that, please?
2 A. Well, he boasted himself in the beginning of July that he had
3 control over the JNA, and also in the beginning of July, I met two
4 generals at his cabinet, Kadijevic and Adzic, in particular, who came to
5 talk to him.
6 Q. This is July of what year?
7 A. 1991.
8 Q. Tell us please about how he boasted in the beginning of July that
9 he had control over the JNA.
10 A. Well, I was invited to his cabinet for an interview, for a talk,
11 and Radovan Karadzic was there, and we were supposed to work on the
12 solution of the problem created by the declaration which referred to the
13 unification of SAO Krajina and Bosanska Krajina, and at the end of that
14 conversation, as we were leaving, Milosevic said wait a second and he went
15 to an adjoining room and he came back and he was carrying a piece of
16 paper, he didn't tell us what it was but standing at the door, he looked
17 at us in a very self-assured way, and he said, "Where should I deploy the
18 armed forces?" And he looked at me and I said, "along the Krajina
19 borders." And then he looked at Karadzic and he said, "Along the borders
20 to Croatia and then we'll sort things out with them afterwards." And that
21 was the end of the conversation. And then he nodded. He didn't actually
22 say anything. He just nodded. That was his farewell. I think he wanted
23 to make us aware of the fact that he had control over the armed forces
24 rather than ask us where to deploy them because he must have had his own
25 plans by then. Immediately after that, or at the next meeting, we found
1 the generals there at his cabinet.
2 Q. Tell us about that, please.
3 A. Well, Milosevic invited me to Belgrade, to his cabinet, and I did,
4 and his secretary said, "The Presidency -- the president is in a meeting
5 with the generals. He won't be able to see you. Just wait here." And it
6 was the adjoining room, next to his office, and she opened the door and
7 President Milosevic came out and he said to me, well, there were two
8 generals sitting there and I knew their faces from the media and he said
9 to me that he was in a meeting with them and that he wasn't able to see
10 me. And so I went back.
11 Q. Which generals were there?
12 A. Kadijevic and Adzic.
13 Q. And tell us again what their positions were at the time.
14 A. Kadijevic was the federal Secretary for People's Defence, and
15 General Blagoje Adzic was the chief of the General Staff of the armed
16 forces of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Or rather, if
17 there was imminent danger of war or a state of war it was the staff of the
18 Supreme Command of the armed forces of the SFRJ. They were the top guys.
19 Q. Thank you. You told us earlier in your testimony that frequently
20 when you visited Mr. Milosevic, he would talk to you about what the army
21 would do for the Serbs in Krajina. Could you remind us again what it is
22 he said on those occasions?
23 A. He said, "Don't worry, the JNA will protect you." That was his
24 slogan, that he kept repeating almost every time, except for a period of
25 time in March and April 1991. That was when there was a different turn of
1 events. But throughout the rest of the time, ever since I first met him,
2 up until July and even later, he kept convincing us that we, the Serbs in
3 Croatia, and since I was from the SAO Krajina, so that included us as
4 well, that we would be protected by the JNA, from Croatia.
5 Q. I want to talk now about some events during the spring and summer
6 of 1991. Were there armed clashes between the police of the SAO Krajina
7 and Croatian police?
8 A. The conflicts started on the 31st of March 1991, at Plitvice.
9 That was a big conflict. And it continued up until open war in August or
10 rather war actually started in June, by the end of June.
11 Q. Did the JNA respond to these clashes?
12 A. The JNA according to plan was deployed between the warring
13 factions. They were holding the so-called buffer zone between the warring
14 parties of Krajina and Croatia, in the periods of time between April or
15 perhaps as early as March and that's the bit I'm not all that familiar
16 with but at any rate between April 1991 and August 1991. In that period
17 of time, the JNA was in charge of the so-called buffer zone between the
18 warring parties.
19 Q. You said that this was done according to plan. What do you mean
20 by that?
21 A. According to plan, in the same way. Simply according to plan.
22 I'm not saying that I saw a layout or an actual plan of deployment, but
23 the JNA always deployed itself in the same way after incidents and
24 provocations. Staged by the police of Krajina, the JNA would always come
25 out or rather first the Croatian police would respond and then the JNA
1 would deploy itself in a buffer zone. That was the pattern from Plitvice
2 on to Zadar all the way up to Vukovar, as far as I heard, in the entire
3 territory of Croatia, wherever conflicts happened.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, let me just get clear on the pattern that you've
5 described. Provocations would be staged by the police of Krajina, the
6 Croatian police would respond, and then the JNA would deploy as a buffer.
7 Is that the pattern?
8 A. Yes, yes, that's the pattern.
9 Q. Now, you referred to -- you've already referred to something that
10 happened at Plitvice on the 31st of March 1991, and for the benefit of the
11 Chamber, Plitvice appears on page 19 of the atlas, on the right side,
12 about two-thirds of the way down. Before we talk about that event I want
13 to show you a document, and if we could look at 65 ter Exhibit 244, and
14 specifically 02170646, because there are several documents that are
15 contained within 244. That's 0644. Could we have 0646?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are still trying to find Plitvice.
17 MR. WHITING: It's at approximately E3 on the map, just above E3.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it the same thing as Plitvice? Okay. Plitvice
19 above that.
20 MR. WHITING: That's right. Thank you. Apparently there is some
21 difficulty pulling up the B/C/S version so I have a -- always prepared, I
22 have a hard copy of it. Is the English version up?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Forget about the English version. We just can't
24 get anything on the main monitor. There we go.
25 MR. WHITING: There it is.
1 Q. Mr. Babic, do you see that document? Are you able -- it's a
2 little small. Are you able to read it?
3 A. If you raise it a bit.
4 MR. WHITING: Could it be made a little larger for the witness?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it now.
6 MR. WHITING:
7 Q. Okay. What's the date of this document?
8 A. 15th February 1991.
9 Q. And who is it from?
10 A. It's from the Secretariat of the Interior of Knin, the Serbian
11 Autonomous District of Krajina. It is addressed to the Presidency of the
12 SFRY in Belgrade, federal Secretariat for the Interior in Belgrade,
13 federal Secretariat of Defence in Belgrade, the Ministry of the Interior
14 of the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb and the republic Secretariat of the
15 Interior of the socialist Republic of Serbia in Belgrade.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: It looks like we are looking at something
17 completely different the we are looking at a document dated the 3rd of
18 March 1991 and it is not addressed to all of those people.
19 MR. WHITING: Well, on the B/C/S, that is the document. But they
20 have put the wrong translation up.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, okay. Because as he speaks we try -- we can't
22 read B/C/S so we try to check what he says by looking at the English
23 version so if we are getting a wrong document on the English version, we
24 are not able to follow.
25 MR. WHITING: Could we put -- is possible to put the correct
1 translation, 0646, on the English?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. WHITING: Okay, that's it now. Yeah.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's better. Now we are with you.
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, you said the Secretariat -- it was from the
7 Secretariat of the Interior of Knin. Just to be clear, who was that?
8 A. That was an organ of the Serb Autonomous District of Krajina, the
9 police led by Mr. Martic.
10 Q. Thank you. I was looking for who led it. That's all.
11 And do you know -- are you familiar with what this document is
12 about, what it's talking about?
13 A. Yes. I remember that incident and it's described here as well.
14 Q. Can you explain it to us, what this is about?
15 A. We have a precise description here. In the area of Plitvice
16 lakes, Titova Korenica, there was a special unit of the MUP of Croatia of
17 about 150 men.
18 Q. Do you know what happened to that special unit? Did it stay there
19 in Plitvice?
20 A. They withdrew after a while.
21 Q. You've already referred to an event that occurred on the 31st of
22 March 1991. Did they withdraw before the 31st of March 1991?
23 A. Before.
24 MR. WHITING: Could this document be admitted into evidence,
25 please, Your Honour? I'm sorry, I've just been signalled it's already in,
1 as Exhibit 105.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. Now, could you tell us what happened on the 31st of March in
6 A. It was the first major armed conflict between the police of
7 Krajina and the police of Croatia, with casualties. Men were killed.
8 Q. And how did it come about? Do you remember what happened, that
9 brought it about? Step by step?
10 A. Prior to that, the government of Croatia had announced that in the
11 area of Plitvice lakes, a special separate municipality would be
12 organised. They would excise the Plitvice lakes from the Titova Korenica
13 municipality, which was in SAO Krajina. We in SAO Krajina thought about
14 that and we agreed that the best thing to do would be to show the formal
15 presence of SAO Krajina in Plitvice lakes to demonstrate that Plitvice
16 lakes were part of SAO Krajina, by opening a regular police station at
17 Plitvice lakes to maintain public law and order. I discussed the matter
18 with Mr. Martic, with Dusan Orlovic who was assistant for state security,
19 and I informed them of that position of the political leadership of
20 Krajina and they did promise that they would open a regular police station
21 there. However, that did not happen. Instead, the police of Krajina were
22 sent there and they were deployed in a combat disposition, facing Croat
23 territory along the bridge and facing the woods near Slunj. The Croatian
24 government responded by sending in special police units whose task was to
25 occupy the area of Plitvice by force, and that's what happened. A
1 skirmish occurred between the police of Krajina and the Croat special
2 police. There was a great upheaval, rallying of volunteers, panic, and
3 distress among the Serbs because it looked like Croatia was launching a
4 major offensive to take over the territory of Krajina. Five hours from
5 the start of this skirmish, around 5 p.m., it was actually more than five
6 hours later, in the areas of Jezera village and Plitvice lakes, an
7 armoured mechanised unit of the JNA appeared. I think they came from the
8 drill grounds of Slunj. They belonged originally to the Zagreb army
9 district, and they deployed themselves there. In the days that followed,
10 the political leadership of Krajina responded with a political provocation
11 aimed at Serbia and Milosevic, demanding that he protect the Krajina
12 population. This provocation took the shape of a decision by the
13 political leadership of Krajina to officially join Serbia and to demand
14 assistance from Serbia.
15 Q. Mr. Babic, I'm going to ask you about that last part of your
16 answer in a moment but first I want to ask you about something you said
17 earlier which is that men were killed. Do you know how many men were
18 killed in this event?
19 A. There were two dead. One Croat policeman and one Serb policeman.
20 In fact, what was being said was that the Serb person was a civilian. I'm
21 not sure. I know that there was one dead on each side. However, the
22 reports from Korenica spoke about a large number of dead, captured,
23 wounded, and that caused a lot of panic.
24 Q. So these reports from Korenica that spoke about a large number of
25 dead and captured and wounded, were they inaccurate?
1 A. Yes. They were inaccurate.
2 Q. You said that the JNA intervened. Did the JNA act as a buffer
4 A. Yes. From the 31st of March until end August or maybe early
5 September. I'm not quite sure. It acted as a separation force, as a
6 buffer zone.
7 Q. And what happened at the end of August or early September? Did
8 something change?
9 A. Yes. The JNA moved into an offensive against the Croatian side.
10 Q. What was the result of that offensive, if you know, at Plitvice?
11 A. Well, they put under the control -- under control the area of
12 Plitvice lakes, resulting in the flight or expulsion of Croat population.
13 It was a military takeover of that area, and its annexation to Krajina.
14 Q. Mr. Babic, was there also an event that occurred at Pakrac around
15 this time, that is in the spring of 1991?
16 A. The events in Pakrac took place around the 31st of March 1991. At
17 the time I was in Belgrade, I had just come back from an international
18 conference in Geneva. I was holding a press conference, and I had to stay
19 in Belgrade for a while. So I heard about this incident from reports,
20 from the press, and a bit from Slobodan Milosevic as well.
21 Q. What was the date again that it took place?
22 A. Around the 1st of March 1991.
23 Q. Okay. So approximately a month before Plitvice?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what happened, to your knowledge, at Pakrac?
1 A. Well, as far as I know, Serb armed units took over the municipal
2 assembly by force, and they took over the entire town of Pakrac and its
3 environs. I don't know what the scale of this was. There was a response
4 from the Croatian police and authorities. The press reported a large
5 number of dead and wounded. The reports in the Belgrade press, TV, and
6 other media were very dramatic. The Yugoslav People's Army got involved
7 in these events. They deployed themselves in the area of Pakrac. I don't
8 know exactly in which positions. Hearing about this, I called up Mr.
9 Milosevic on the phone asking him what was going on, and telling him I was
10 upset. He said, "Don't worry, everything is fine. You can go to Knin."
11 Later, I heard that the press had exaggerated. I heard that the press --
12 I remember the press wrote about Savo Bosanac being there as one of the
13 major figures and I later heard that it was untrue.
14 Q. Did you later learn if anybody had been killed?
15 A. No.
16 Q. No, you didn't learn, or, no, nobody was killed?
17 A. I suppose nobody was killed.
18 Q. Why do you suppose that?
19 A. Well, I didn't get any verified information about anybody getting
20 killed. In fact, I'm not familiar with the precise details.
21 Q. Now, you made reference going back to the events that occurred at
22 the end of March.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Excuse me, may I ask something? You were speaking
24 of the press. What newspapers or what kind of media was that? The press
25 in Krajina or in Serbia? What are you referring to? If you could give a
1 little detailed information, thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Belgrade newspapers and television.
3 Krajina did not have its own press. At that time I was in Belgrade myself
4 and I was reading Belgrade newspapers.
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
6 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to go back to the events in Plitvice on the 31st
8 of March. You said when you were describing them that you afterwards
9 caused a political provocation with Serbia and you described the decision
10 to annex to Serbia -- I think we have evidence about that.
11 MR. WHITING: I'd like, if we could, to look at 65 ter Exhibit 57.
12 Q. Do you recognise this document?
13 A. Yes. That's a document we sent to the addresses indicated above.
14 The Presidency of the SFRY, the staff of the JNA command, the federal
15 Secretariat of the Interior and other federal authorities.
16 Q. And why did you send this document?
17 A. Well, concerning the events in Plitvice and based on the
18 information I had about that.
19 Q. In point 1, it says that you urge the addressees to urgently and
20 entirely implement the decision of the Presidency of Yugoslavia on
21 complete withdrawal of aggressor and terrorist forces of MUP, of so-called
22 Republic of Croatia, from the territory of SAO Krajina. What decision are
23 you referring to there?
24 A. Well, there was a prior decision of the Presidency, I'm not sure
25 if it was a decision of the Presidency or the president of the Presidency
1 for the warring parties to withdraw.
2 Q. At the time you sent this, had the JNA already deployed in
4 A. Yes. The day before.
5 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
6 Your Honour?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.. May it please be given an exhibit
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 203, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Babic, after the events in Plitvice, during April, May and
14 June, and even into July of 1991, were there continued clashes between the
15 police of the SAO Krajina and the police of Croatia?
16 A. Yes. There were constant skirmishes on the contact lines.
17 Q. And did these skirmishes follow the pattern that you described
19 A. Well, from what I know, yes. The police and the armed units from
20 Krajina staged provocations against police stations of Croatia and
21 populated areas with Croat population. There were skirmishes. Policemen
22 were arrested. The conflicts intensified and then the JNA intervened to
23 separate the parties. That occurred in the area of Krajina and on the
24 territory of Croatia.
25 Q. Mr. Babic, yesterday you said that in the spring of 1991,
1 Mr. Martic made a number of statements in the media about the security
2 situation in the SAO Krajina and about arrests. And I'd like to show you
3 a few articles and see if you could comment on them. For this I'm going
4 to need the assistance of the usher and we'll do it on the ELMO. They are
5 not in e-court; I have them in hard copy and I also have them only in
6 English but I'll read portions for the witness.
7 The first article is from the BBC summary and it's dated April 4th
8 of 1991. And I'll just read you two portions of it, Mr. Babic. In the
9 second line it says, "According to him," Milan Martic, "the Krajina Police
10 have arrested six Croatian constables. Four were arrested on 31 March
11 near Plaski, municipality of Otocac and two on the 1st, 2nd April near
12 Civljane." Then at the end of the article it says, "Martic also said that
13 citizens are already bringing into the police station in Knin lists of
14 those capable of bearing arms, that about 10.000 people from Krajina are
15 on these lists, so far, and that further lists are still arriving. At the
16 protest meeting in Knin late on 1st April, Martic said that the president
17 of Serbia has promised that he would send arms to Krajina."
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Whiting, what are you reading? We
19 have -- what we have on our screen here is this thing titled, copyright
20 1991, the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC summary of world
21 broadcasts for April 14, 1991, Thursday. From then on whatever you have
22 read we don't see.
23 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I read the second line of
24 the text and then the last line of the text. The last two lines of the
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The second line of the text would be --
2 MR. WHITING: Starting as "according to him the Krajina Police" --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, okay.
4 MR. WHITING: And then the last two lines at the bottom. I'm
5 sorry I wasn't clear about that, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The last two lines at the bottom, if you can go up
7 so that we can see the last two lines at the bottom?
8 MR. WHITING: Could the usher just push the document a little bit
9 up on the ELMO? It's the last two lines of that second paragraph,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Babic, did you hear what I read out from this article?
14 A. Yes, I have.
15 Q. Can you -- it refers to constables who were arrested near Plaski
16 and two near Civljane. Can you tell us where those places are?
17 A. Plaski is in Lika, between Lika and Kordun. Whereas Civljane is a
18 place in the area of the municipality of Knin.
19 Q. And is this article consistent with the reporting, the reporting
20 in the media and statements of Mr. Martic, that you heard at the time,
21 that you described earlier in your testimony?
22 A. Yes. That was the news and the communiques issued at Mr. Martic's
23 press conferences.
24 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
1 please be given an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 204, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
4 MR. WHITING: I have a second article to show, with the assistance
5 of the usher. The ERN of this article is R 0297428 to 7429. This is an
6 article from Belgrade Tanjug dated the 26th of July 1991.
7 Q. First of all, can you tell us, Mr. Babic, what is Tanjug?
8 A. It was the state news agency of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. In the third paragraph of the text, and I'll just read it, it
10 says, "Police chief in the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina, Milan
11 Martic, said today in Knin that his militia would not withdraw from the
12 Sibenik area." And then the skipping one paragraph, it says, "Martic said
13 that 'fierce conflicts were expected over the next few days.' And that in
14 battles near Glina, three Krajina Militiamen were slightly wounded
15 and'another 20 Croatian policemen had been arrested in the Banija and
16 Kordun area.'"
17 Mr. Babic, first of all, where is the -- can you describe for us
18 where the Sibenik area is?
19 A. Sibenik is the adjacent municipality of the municipality of Knin
20 and it lies along the coast.
21 Q. And is this article consistent with the reporting and statements
22 of Mr. Martic that you described in your evidence?
23 A. Yes, with his statements and with the events that occurred.
24 MR. WHITING: Could this article be given a number, please?
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: A number?
1 MR. WHITING: Could it be admitted into evidence, please?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The document is admitted into
3 evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 205, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 MR. WHITING: Could we look, please, at 65 ter Exhibit 109? Which
7 is Exhibit 31 in evidence. Sorry, yes, it's Exhibit 38. My apologies.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, is there a document on the screen in front of you?
9 Because our screen is -- there is nothing on our screen.
10 A. I can see the letterhead, the upper part.
11 MR. WHITING: Could we scroll down on this document so that we can
12 see the top of it, please, I'm sorry, see the top of the document? There.
13 Q. Do you recognise this document or do you need to see more of it?
14 A. Yes, I do. This is a report sent by the TO staff, addressed to
15 the Supreme Commander SAO Krajina TO, Secretary SAO Krajina SUP, state
16 security department, TO Commander, and Frenki, dated the 5th and the 6th
17 of August 1991.
18 Q. Did you receive this report at the time?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. In the -- if we could scroll down, in the second paragraph, it
21 says, "There was an armed clash between our forces and the Ustashas in the
22 village of Lovinac in Gracac. Some tanks left Gospic for Gracac to create
23 a buffer zone. During the morning, our forces opened fire on the Ustasha
24 positions at Otocac, Saborsko, and Sinac and according to our information
25 heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy."
1 Then down a little further, it says, "According to information
2 from the DB, 11 people were killed and 25 wounded during fighting in the
3 Velika Glava and Bratiskovci area and several buildings were destroyed."
4 Do you remember hearing about those events?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. The reference to the DB is to which DB, if you know?
7 A. That is state security, a part of the Ministry of the Interior of
8 the SAO Krajina. That is the unified DB, including the Serb one.
9 Q. Now, if we could go to the top of the document, there, that first
10 paragraph, it says underneath the date which is 5th, 6th August 1991, "Due
11 to the visit of the SFRY vice-president, Branko Kostic, and the peace
12 delegation, Milan Martic has issued an order for a cease-fire except in
13 the event of a direct attack." Why is Milan Martic issuing an order for a
14 cease-fire at this time?
15 A. First of all, he commanded the armed forces or as it was referred
16 to among the Serb public, the armed resistance of the Serb people against
17 the newly appointed Croatian fascist authorities. And the delegation of
18 the federal authorities was supposed to come in, in order to establish
19 some sort of truce. The delegation was headed by a member of the
20 Presidency, Mr. Branko Kostic.
21 MR. WHITING: This is already in evidence so I won't move it in,
22 and I'm done with this document so it can be taken off the screen.
23 Q. By the way, the document, one of the addressees of the document
24 was Frenki, and who did you understand that to be, Frenki?
25 A. Franko Simatovic, aka, Frenki, an employee with the DB of Serbia.
1 I spoke about him yesterday.
2 Q. You did. What was the result of that delegation coming to the SAO
3 Krajina? Was there a truce?
4 A. Well, for a brief period, I believe so, perhaps up until the
5 18th -- excuse me, for two or three weeks in August, until the 25th or the
6 26th of August. I'm certain about the area of Knin, not equally certain
7 about some other parts.
8 Q. Okay. You testified yesterday about -- and the day before, about
9 the parallel structure and about the relationship between Milan Martic and
10 the Ministry of the Interior in the SAO Krajina and the Ministry of the
11 Interior in Serbia and you've also referred to Jovica Stanisic and you
12 told us what positions he held. Did you see Jovica Stanisic in the SAO
14 A. Yes, on several occasions.
15 Q. On what occasions?
16 A. The first time was in August 1990.
17 Q. And where did you see him?
18 A. In a restaurant called Vrelo as one enters the village of Golubic.
19 He was there with Mr. Martic or to be more precise, Mr. Martic invited
20 me to come and meet someone from the SUP of Serbia. It was still the time
21 when the barricade staff at Golubic was functioning.
22 Q. Did he tell you why he wanted you to meet someone from the SUP of
24 A. He said something to the effect that it was a friend, someone who
25 could help. At first I was a bit taken aback. I didn't trust him
1 completely and I remained rather cool, and soon I forgot all about that
2 event until January 1991, when Stanisic actually reminded me in Belgrade
3 that he was the person I met in August, and who was with Martic at Vrelo
5 Q. How did you meet Mr. Stanisic in Belgrade in January of 1991? How
6 did that come about?
7 A. I received information prior to that that a military coup was to
8 be staged in Croatia and that the political leadership of Croatia was to
9 be removed and a military regime established. After that, I was invited
10 by Milosevic, who told me that he will arrest Martin Spegelj and some
11 Croatian ministers in Zagreb and that I was under threat in Knin and that
12 I should stay in Belgrade under their protection and control. He told me
13 to go and see the minister or rather the Secretariat of the Interior,
14 Mr. Radmilo Bogdanovic and that I should seek protection with him and that
15 I should remain in Belgrade.
16 After that I went to see Mr. Radmilo Bogdanovic to the Ministry of
17 the Interior in Serbia and he asked me where I lived, where I was it stay,
18 and I cited my cousin's address. He told me to go and see Jovica
19 Stanisic, who was an employee with the state security in the old building
20 that was just adjacent to the ministry building. They took me through
21 some corridors between the two buildings and I finally met Jovica Stanisic
22 who then said that he would provide me with an escort from the state
23 security. And I remained a fortnight in Belgrade protected by the state
24 security of Serbia. At a certain point I decided to leave because there
25 were rumours in Knin that I had fled. Spegelj in the end was not
1 arrested. Nothing was done, and Radmilo Bogdanovic told me "It is best if
2 you return to your own people." And that's how my stay in Belgrade
4 Q. Mr. Babic, after the break I'm going to ask you about other
5 meetings that you had with Jovica Stanisic, both in -- at the SAO Krajina
6 and in Belgrade but we have reached the time for the break?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a break and come
8 back at quarter to 11. Court adjourned.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting.
12 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Babic, before the break, we were talking about occasions when
14 you saw Jovica Stanisic. And I'd like to focus first on occasions when
15 you saw him in the SAO Krajina. You told us about the first time in
16 August of 1990. When is the next time you saw him in the SAO Krajina?
17 A. In April 1991.
18 Q. And where did you see him?
19 A. In my apartment in Knin.
20 Q. What happened? Can you describe the meeting?
21 A. He arrived with another person. He introduced him as Frenki. He
22 said that Frenki was an electronics expert, something of such nature, and
23 he said that they were there to check my apartment to see whether it was
24 being tapped by the army. That was the event. After that, Frenki arrived
25 with a group of people and they searched the apartment.
1 Q. Is that Frenki Simatovic?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. And why would your apartment have been tapped by the army, do you
5 A. I presume that that was one of their routine tasks. The KOS, the
6 counterintelligence department was in charge of that and I could have been
7 of some interest to them.
8 Q. Did you see Jovica Stanisic in the SAO Krajina on any other
10 A. In the SAO Krajina, I saw him two more times, in early August
11 1991, at least that was the second time I saw him, as far as I can
12 remember, in Knin.
13 Q. And what was the occasion of that meeting or seeing him?
14 A. The first time we met was by chance, on the 1st or the 2nd of
15 August. That is immediately after my proposal and after the government of
16 the SAO Krajina disbanded the state security service. The next time was
17 after Captain Dragan left, so it may have been a couple of days after
18 that. In any case, both events took place in a relatively short time. It
19 was the meeting held at the same cafe, at the Vrelo cafe at Golubic where
20 we met the first time and, apart from himself, Mr. Dusan Orlovic was
21 present as well.
22 Q. You described earlier in your testimony?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: And Mr. Martic as
25 MR. WHITING:
1 Q. I'm sorry, who was present there? Was it Mr. Orlovic or
2 Mr. Martic or both?
3 A. Both.
4 Q. And were they present for the second meeting in August?
5 A. That was the second and only meeting in August. The first one was
6 by chance when I met Stanisic in the street and he was by himself.
7 Q. You described earlier in your testimony a conversation that you
8 had with Jovica Stanisic about your decision of August 1st 1991 to disband
9 the DB in the SAO Krajina. Did that occur when you met him by chance in
10 the street or did that conversation occur at the cafe?
11 A. We met by chance in the street, or at least it seemed so. He may
12 have been there waiting for me to see me, but we didn't discuss that at
13 the cafe.
14 Q. Now, you described -- well, let me ask you this first. Do you
15 know what the relationship was between Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Martic? What
16 kind of relationship did they have?
17 A. Quite friendly, they cooperated closely, and Martic listened
18 carefully to what Stanisic had to say. It wasn't any sort of formal
19 subordination but rather taking advice from a senior colleague. It didn't
20 involve any sort of obedience.
21 Q. And what relationship did Mr. Stanisic have with Mr. Milosevic, if
22 you know?
23 A. He was his subordinate.
24 Q. Now, you described a meeting that occurred with Mr. Stanisic in
25 January of 1991. Did you see -- did you have occasion to see Mr. Stanisic
1 again in Belgrade, later that year?
2 A. Yes. I saw him in March 1991.
3 Q. Can you describe the circumstances of that meeting? What happened
4 then? Why were you in Belgrade? What was happening?
5 A. It was end March 1991. Before that, there was the crisis with the
6 Yugoslav Presidency and they didn't pass the decision on the introduction
7 of state of emergency and the deployment of the JNA, and Borisav Jovic
8 resigned temporarily with the Presidency and then he was returned and
9 re-established, when it became clear that there was a serious crisis in
10 the functioning of the state leadership and the JNA, Mr. David Rastovic
11 came to see me. He was the president of the Donji Lapac municipality. He
12 said that we were urgently to go and see Mr. Milosevic, to ask him what
13 his ideas were as concerns our protection under such circumstances and
14 that was the reason for the meeting, and we asked to see Milosevic. He
15 received us in Belgrade in his cabinet office, and we asked him what we
16 should do, and that we felt unsafe.
17 Q. What did he say?
18 A. He said it was the first time he mentioned any sort of JNA
19 protection, and he also said, "I purchased 20.000 pieces of weapons in
20 Hungary for you". And we just looked at each other, and we said "We have
21 no idea what you're talking about." And then David Rastovic left the room
22 to look for someone else. I forgot this person's name. He was a retiree
23 who lived in Belgrade but originated from Krajina. He was a civilian with
24 some function, I can't actually recall, and he wanted to ask him whether
25 he knew anything of what Milosevic was saying because I presumed he had a
1 role to play in the purchase of weapons. He also came to Milosevic's
2 office and he said that nothing was done. Then Milosevic uttered some
3 rather strong words and he said they cheated him. He left the room and
4 invited someone. Shortly after, Radmilo Bogdanovic came to the office.
5 He was about to resign his ministerial position and Mr. Jovica Stanisic of
6 the DB. That was the meeting when I saw Stanisic again in Belgrade.
7 Q. What happened when they arrived to the meeting?
8 A. Milosevic asked them what happened to the weapons. And Radmilo
9 Bogdanovic said they had sent 500 pieces to Banija. I said I had no
10 knowledge of that. Radmilo Bogdanovic said, "Well, you're not supposed to
11 know everything." After that, I turned to Milosevic and I told him that
12 there were problems in the functioning of the SUP, that there are
13 insufficient numbers of qualified people, and it was short of people
14 capable of organising internal affairs in Krajina as the competent
15 Secretariat and that we needed criminal scientists, attorneys, those
16 versed in internal affairs so that we could establish the ministry -- that
17 is the secretary of the Interior in a proper way, and he promised to help,
18 and that was the end of the meeting.
19 Q. We'll come back to that point that you've just made later in your
20 testimony. But I want to ask you some more questions about the weapons
21 that you learned about at that meeting. After that meeting, at any point,
22 did you learn anything else about those weapons?
23 A. I learned that those weapons did not originate from Hungary at all
24 but rather from a warehouse of the TO, and that it was being transported
25 to Krajina under the auspices of Mihalj Kertes and the Ministry of the
1 Interior of Krajina as well as some people in Bosnia.
2 Q. You say that they came from a warehouse of the TO. Which TO?
3 A. The Serbian TO.
4 Q. And how did you learn this information?
5 A. I believe it was in May or June 1991, the then police commander in
6 Knin, who was Martic's aide, and another person from the police station in
7 Knin, I can't remember his name, in any case they take me to the village
8 of Raducic. The other person's name was Milenko Zelenbaba that was the
9 commander of the police station. And Jovo -- I can't remember the last
10 name. They took me to Raducic, close to Knin, and they showed me some
11 weapons in a warehouse. There were rifles, mortars there. They told me
12 those pieces came from Serbia and basically that Braco was kicking his way
13 in to the TO warehouses. When he said "Braco" he had Mihalj Kertes in
14 mind. Later on I heard from Mile Grbic from Bosanski Novi that the
15 weapons that they were carrying over from Serbia was being brought in
16 across Una to Banija and I suppose the sources of the weapons were the
18 Q. Okay. Let me ask you a few questions about what you've told us.
19 First of all, Milenko Zelenbaba, he was the commander of which police
21 A. Knin.
22 Q. And was he a subordinate of Milan Martic?
23 A. Yes. And a friend of his as well.
24 Q. You mentioned the name Mihajl Kertes. Who was he?
25 A. Mihalj Kertes, that's his name. He was up until 1990 and in the
1 course of that year, until the presidential elections in Serbia a member
2 of the Presidency of the Republic of Serbia, and in 1991, I can't remember
3 what his actual role was but he was a close friends and associate of Jovic
4 and Milosevic and his office was at the Presidency building in Serbia,
5 above Milosevic's office.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Instead of Jovic,
7 it's Stanisic, Jovica Stanisic, and not Jovic.
8 MR. WHITING: Okay.
9 Q. Then you mentioned that you learned something from Mil Grbic. Can
10 you tell us again what it is that you learned from him? Mile Grbic, I
11 think it is.
12 A. Well, I used to know Mile Grbic from before, from 1990. He's a
13 man who back in 1990 used to get the weapons from the museum of the
14 memorial park Samarica to Martic in Knin when the barricades were put up
15 in 1990. And that's when he came to see me and that's when I met him.
16 And later on, I met him in Bosanski Novi.
17 Q. Let me interrupt you there. How do you know that from 1990, that
18 he was doing that in 1990?
19 A. He told me himself. He came to Knin and on the occasion of that
20 visit when he was going back, he came to see me. A man brought him along,
21 and he said, "Okay, there are two people here who wish to meet you. Mile
22 Grbic and Zika Rakic were their names and that's how we met. And they
23 said to me that they were in Knin and that the weapons from the museum at
24 the memorial centre Samarica were given to them by the manager of that
25 memorial centre and that they had given all that to Martic and since they
1 were in Knin they took the opportunity to meet me as well.
2 Q. Where is that memorial centre in Samarica? Where is that?
3 A. It is at the meeting point between Dvor Na Uni, Petrinja, and
4 Kostajnica, the three municipalities, across the river Una, as you go from
5 Bosanski Novi where Grbic used to live.
6 Q. And do you know anything about what kinds of weapons these were?
7 A. No. I just know that the weapons had come from the museum at
8 Samarica. It was the Second World War weapons.
9 Q. I see. And then moving forward into 1991, did you learn something
10 else from Mile Grbic in 1991 with respect to weapons?
11 A. Well, first of all, that's how we became friends. He had a
12 friendly attitude to me because he was the first person who gave me the
13 information which supposedly he received from the Zagreb army zone, that
14 the army was preparing for some events in Croatia and that it would have
15 been a good idea for me to investigate that a little bit. So it was by
16 the end of December or January 1991 he was the first person who told me
17 about that and since he had a cafe in Bosanski Novi, whenever I travelled
18 through, I used to go and see him and take a little break. And in 1991,
19 in August I believe, July perhaps, he told me that weapons were being
20 brought in from Serbia with the assistance of Jovica Stanisic and I asked
21 him what route they took, and he said the motorway. Now, the motorway was
22 going through Croatia, so it was a kind of a riddle from where I stood how
23 they managed to do that or maybe they had another route that he didn't
24 want to reveal to me.
25 Q. Do you know where these weapons were going to?
1 A. Across Una to Banija and Kordun.
2 Q. And what was their end destination? Who was receiving these
3 weapons in Banija and Kordun?
4 A. He didn't tell me but at the time the so-called volunteer units,
5 the 7th Banija division and some other volunteer groups were already in
7 Q. We will talk about those volunteer groups later in your
9 Yesterday you mentioned the name of Dusan Smiljanic in connection
10 with the arrest of Milan Martic or arrest or detention or -- in September
11 of 1991. Did you know the name Dusan Smiljanic before that event in
12 September of 1991?
13 A. I did.
14 Q. And how did you know it?
15 A. Well, I met him at some point by the end of July, the beginning of
16 August, 1991.
17 Q. Who was he?
18 A. He was the chief of security of the 10th Zagreb Corps and he came
19 to Korenica together with the corps commander, Nikola Uzelac, at the time
20 when I met him.
21 Q. And when you met him, did you learn about anything that he was
23 A. Well, at the time, he offered his services in as far as weapons
24 were concerned.
25 Q. What did he say?
1 A. Well, that's what he said, he said in case you need any weapons
2 just get in touch with me, and I'll make sure you get it.
3 Q. Do you know if he provided any weapons to Serbs in the Krajina?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How do you know that?
6 A. Because I sent some people to him, to Zelava [phoen] which is a
7 place not far from Bihac airport, which is partly on the territory of
8 Croatia and partly on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 Q. Why did you send people to him, for that purpose, of obtaining
11 A. Yes. They didn't have any weapons, they stayed everybody else was
12 fully armed and they had nothing and they asked me if I could help them
13 and I remembered him and so I referred them to him in Korenica.
14 Q. Who were these people that you sent?
15 A. They were councillors from the municipality of Knin, presidents of
16 local communities in Knin.
17 Q. And did they get weapons from Dusan Smiljanic?
18 A. They did.
19 MR. WHITING: Could we look please at 65 ter Exhibit 1452?
20 Q. This appears to be a document from Dusan Smiljanic, a colonel. Is
21 this the same Dusan Smiljanic that we've been speaking about?
22 A. It is.
23 Q. It's addressed to General Ratko Mladic on the 15th of October
24 1994. I'd like to look at a paragraph. If we could turn to page -- go to
25 page 2 of the B/C/S and it's on page 2 of the English as well at the top.
1 In that paragraph, there, and I think it's easier if I read it for the
2 interpreters, it says, "I illegally established links with leading figures
3 in the SDS in the Lika, Banija Kordun and Banja Luka area and with a group
4 of OB," meaning security organs, or at least identified that way, "and
5 VP," military police, 16, "at the end of April and the beginning of May I
6 began the illegal distribution of arms to Serbian people from what were
7 then our depots and are now the Ustashas'," and various places are
8 identified, "recruiting our Serbian handlers in these depots. This action
9 continued until the beginning of June 1991 by which time about 15.000
10 assorted infantry weapons, MB, 20 MM PA weapons, and a large quantity of
11 ammunition had been distributed which we judged was decisive in the
12 defence of Lika, Kordun, and Banija, bearing in mind the situation of the
13 operational units which were in the Lika, Kordun and Banija area."
14 Is that consistent with what you've just been telling us about
15 Dusan Smiljanic's role in supplying weapons?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. Now, if we could turn to page 3 of both the English and the B/C/S,
18 about halfway down the page, in the English and about a third of the way
19 down the page in the B/C/S, it's right -- I think that's it. It
20 says, "Given the great opposition and problems in forming the brigade,
21 especially in the Lika area and part of Banija in September 1991, I
22 organised meetings of the most advanced reserve officers and the then
23 representatives of the authorities in Gracac and Vrhovine at which the
24 current president of the RSK, Milan Martic, was present. Following these
25 meetings, a brigade was formed in Gracac, Udpina [phoen], Vrhovine, and
1 Plaski. On the afternoon of the same day I travelled to Novi Grad with
2 Milan Martic intending to resolve some questions about the final capture
3 of Kostajnica. On returning from Novi Grad we were arrested in Otaka
4 village, as you are aware."
5 What do you understand him to be talking about in that paragraph?
6 A. He's talking about two things basically. First of all, problems
7 having to do with mobilisation of people from the so-called Partizan
8 units, the so-called brigades in September 1991. And secondly, he also
9 talks about the departure for the area of Kostajnica and Novi Grad and his
10 own and Mr. Martic's arrests in Otaka in September 1991 as well.
11 Q. Do you know what the problems were having to do with the
12 mobilisation of people in September of 1991?
13 A. There were two problems there. First of all -- well, let me first
14 say that those were JNA units, which used to call themselves Partizan
15 brigades, which in military speech or jargon means light brigades. The
16 first problem was that Croats did not respond to mobilisation and did not
17 wish to join those brigades and the problem with Serbs had to do with the
18 fact that talking about Partizans for them smacked of the Partizans in the
19 Second World War and that's why Serbs didn't want to answer the call for
20 mobilisation, and therefore, political action was organised in
21 municipalities amongst the population, and attempts were made to complete
22 this mobilisation. And he mentions that he was working on that together
23 with Mr. Martic in this area.
24 MR. WHITING: Could this document be received into evidence,
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
2 please be given an exhibit number.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 206, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
5 MR. WHITING: With the assistance of the usher I'd like to show
6 the witness two more articles. This one I actually have a translation.
7 If the English could be put on the ELMO and the translation given to the
9 Q. This is an article from the 3rd of April 1991, from Tanjug.
10 You've already told us what Tanjug is. And I'm just going to read the
11 last paragraph and you can read it, Mr. Babic, in the translation that you
12 have in front of you. "Martic expressed his conviction that Slobodan
13 Milosevic will arm the Serbs in Croatia. In view of the fact that the
14 Croatian state has armed the Croats, it is normal for the Serbian state to
15 arm its people to establish a balance. Martic said that 30.000 people
16 from Krajina have volunteered so far to defend Krajina and Knin."
17 Was that consistent with some of the statements that you were
18 reading in the media at that time, Mr. Babic?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. And for the record, this is ERN R0293885. And if this could be
21 given -- be admitted into evidence, please?
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
23 please be given an exhibit number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 207, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
1 MR. WHITING: And again with the assistance of the usher if I
2 could show one more article. I don't have a translation of this one but
3 if it could just be put on the ELMO. Could it be pushed up just so that
4 it could be read, all -- perfect.
5 Q. This is an article from the Toronto Star on May 11th 1991, it's
6 ERN number 04675487. And I'll just read about halfway down. It
7 says, "leaders of Croatia's rebellious Serbian minority also welcomed the
8 agreement." There is discussion about an agreement at that time. "But
9 police chief Milan Martic said that rebel Serbs would not bow to the
10 Presidency's command to hand in weapons until Croats did so."
11 Mr. Babic, what do you understand that to mean?
12 A. I am not getting any translation, I'm afraid.
13 Now I do hear it in my own language but could you please repeat
14 because all I could hear was you reading it out in English.
15 Q. Of course I'll repeat it. It says, this is from May 11, 1991,
16 from the Toronto Star, and it's an article in reference to a peace pact or
17 peace agreement at that time and it says "leaders of Croatia's rebellious
18 Serbian minority also welcomed the agreement but police chief Milan Martic
19 said that rebel Serbs would not bow to the Presidency's command to hand in
20 weapons until Croats did so."
21 What do you understand that to be about? You got the translation?
22 A. Yes, I did. This follows the events, the escalation of events on
23 the 2nd of May and the beginning of May 1991 in general, when there were
24 major incidents and conflicts and bloodshed in the area of Borovo Selo,
25 the surroundings of Knin, Zadar, a large area of Krajina, and the
1 Presidency of Yugoslavia intervened and organised a cease-fire and the
2 start of a political dialogue. This is the period of time that this
3 information refers to. And this is Mr. Martic's stance in relation to
4 those events.
5 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, 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 208, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Babic, you've testified a number of times, you've spoken a
12 number of times in your testimony, about a camp that was set up in Golubic
13 in March or April of 1991. You also testified in -- you also testified
14 about your meeting in March of 1991 with Mr. Milosevic where you asked for
15 assistance for the Ministry of the -- or rather the Secretariat of the
16 Interior, as it was called at that time, in the SAO Krajina and asked for
17 professionals and he said he would give you assistance. After that
18 meeting, what kind of assistance did you get?
19 A. We didn't get the kind of assistance that I expected in terms of
20 expert assistance in setting up the Secretariat of the Interior. People
21 came along who basically pursued the militarisation of the police force in
22 Krajina and that was the kind of assistance provided by Milosevic.
23 Q. What do you mean when you say the militarisation of the police
24 force in Krajina?
25 A. Well, the police force was turned into a paramilitary force or a
1 military organisation following that.
2 Q. Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 56, which is in evidence as
3 Exhibit 29.
4 Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
5 A. Yes, I do. It's the order of the executive council of the SAO
6 Krajina dated the 1st of April 1991, and it was issued by myself.
7 Q. And again that's the day after the events in Plitvice?
8 A. It is.
9 Q. This document has two parts to it, an order and a conclusion or a
10 request. The order is for mobilisation of the Territorial Defence of the
11 SAO Krajina. Why did you order that and did it have any effect?
12 A. It was in response to the events at Plitvice and following our
13 impression that Croatia was -- that the Croatian armed forces were
14 involved in an attempt to occupy Krajina. It was a call for an uprising
15 rather than a real mobilisation because we didn't have the actual
16 preconditions for a true mobilisation.
17 Q. Did it have any effect? Did it result in anything?
18 A. No.
19 Q. The second part is a request to the government of Serbia that the
20 forces of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia provide
21 technical and personnel support to the SUP of the Serbian Autonomous
22 Region of Krajina. Why did you make that request?
23 A. In order to honour the terms of our agreement with Milosevic, in
24 order for him to live up to his promise.
25 Q. Does this refer to the promise that he made to you in -- when you
1 met with him in March of 1991?
2 A. Yes. That's what it refers to.
3 Q. Now, you told us a moment ago that the -- what happened after
4 these requests for assistance is in fact the militarisation of the police
5 in the Krajina. Can you explain how that occurred? What happened
6 specifically, concretely?
7 A. In April, a training camp for Special Forces of -- for special
8 police forces was set up, and it remained in operation throughout the
9 spring and the summer of 1991, and that's where special units used to
10 train, and those were special units from the Krajina Police force, and
11 they would go to various parts of Krajina, various municipalities, when --
12 and they were deployed there and they increased their numbers. There was
13 a camp in that youth centre and camp at Golubic. Afterwards, near
14 Benkovac, and a similar sort of thing at Samarica, but I don't have any
15 specific information about that.
16 Q. Just for the assistance of the Chamber, the Golubic can be found
17 on page 25 of the atlas. And I believe the witness has already testified
18 that it's a few kilometres from Knin, just north of Knin.
19 Mr. Babic, I want to talk about the Golubic camp. Who set up that
20 camp, if you know?
21 A. That camp was set up by the secretary of the Secretariat of the
22 Interior of Krajina, Martic, with the assistance of the state security of
23 Serbia, Captain Dragan, and Franko Simatovic.
24 Q. How do you know that?
25 A. Well, I was there, and they told me as much. In fact, I visited
1 and they reported to me to that effect.
2 Q. How many times did you visit the camp in Golubic?
3 A. Twice.
4 Q. Tell us about the first time that you visited. When was it? And
5 who did you see there?
6 A. My first visit was in April 1991, middle of the year maybe, I
7 don't know the exact date. I was actually going to visit Belgrade and
8 somebody from the police station told me to stop by Golubic, and on the
9 way --
10 Q. I'm sorry, I have just have to interrupt you because there may
11 have been a slight misunderstanding with the translation. When did that
12 visit occur?
13 A. In the first half of April, maybe mid-April, not later, 1991.
14 Q. Okay. I'm sorry to interrupt. So somebody from the police
15 station told you to stop by Golubic and so what happened?
16 A. So I stopped by and went there in a small cabin called commander's
17 lodge because it used to be the place where the commander of the labour
18 action was housed, I met the then secretary of the SUP of SAO Krajina, and
19 some men I didn't know who were with him. And then Martic told me the man
20 next to him was Captain Dragan, that he had come to help train the special
21 police forces, and he told me a rather long story about who Captain Dragan
22 was, how he had come to be there, and it was rather bizarre so I didn't
23 really understand. I understood that he had come from somewhere abroad,
24 Martic was mentioning Obrovac, some political parties. It was not a very
25 consistent story but the bottom line was that it was some sort of
1 specialist and that he would be engaged in the training and that that
2 place was going to be the special training centre. I wasn't particularly
3 impressed by the whole thing. They were just sitting around a table in
4 that small lodge.
5 Q. On that occasion, did you see any training? Did you see anybody
6 being trained?
7 A. No, nothing was going on there. They were the only ones who were
8 there, sitting in the commander's lodge.
9 Q. And did you learn anything more on that occasion in terms of what
10 the purpose of the training was going to be, who was going to be trained
11 there, and so forth?
12 A. Well, they said that special police units would be trained there.
13 They called them specialists, in shorthand.
14 Q. Now, what was the second occasion for you to go to Golubic? When
15 did that happen?
16 A. The second time was in May 1991.
17 Q. What happened on that occasion?
18 A. I came there and in that little cabin or lodge where the
19 headquarters of the camp was located, I found Franko Simatovic, Nikola
20 Amanovic and some other men. Nikola Amanovic was Martic's assistant at
21 the Secretariat for internal affairs. On the training ground that was
22 just further away from those cabins, there were men involved in drills,
23 policemen, men in camouflage uniforms undergoing training exercises. And
24 they explained to me what the training consisted of and who was being
1 Q. What did they tell you about that, about what the training
2 consisted of and who was being trained?
3 A. Well, Nikola Amanovic told me that groups were all municipalities
4 were coming in, a certain number of people from each municipality, either
5 from the police force or from outside the police force, and underwent
6 training from some -- for some time. They acquired military skills,
7 obtained weapons, and underwent ideological training in some way, and
8 after that they returned to their localities in Krajina. They also showed
9 me a file system containing lists of people for each municipalities and
10 the dossiers on each person undergoing train there, since I was president
11 of the Knin municipality, I asked, "By the way, is there anybody from Knin
12 here?" He said, "Yes, we do have some men." He opened the Knin file and
13 showed me a list of names. The names were not familiar. I don't remember
14 them. That's what I learned at that office on the training ground there
15 was Captain Dragan or one of his assistants maybe, I couldn't see very
16 well, and there were men on the training ground.
17 Q. Let me just interrupt you for a moment. I want to ask you a few
18 questions of the first of all, is the name Nikola Manovic or Nikola
20 A. It's actually Amanovic, A-manovic.
21 Q. Okay. And you mentioned that part of the training was ideological
22 training. Do you know what that consisted of? What did you mean by that?
23 A. Well, people were taught not to be too strongly attached to
24 political parties because they would be working for the state involved in
25 defence. Their primary loyalty should be to the state. It was some sort
1 of military police drill. I don't know what else to call it.
2 Q. Did you understand what Captain Dragan's role was going to be at
3 the camp?
4 A. He was an instructor, a specialist for training, drills, exercises
5 and formation of units. He even formed a standing unit that he was in
6 command of himself. It's the unit called Knindzas. We have already
7 referred to it, and at that time he was its commander.
8 Q. Right. You told us about the Knindzas yesterday in your
9 testimony. What did you understand Frenki Simatovic's role to be at the
11 A. Well, he acted as some sort of host there, maybe supervisor, a
12 senior person there.
13 Q. And what did you understand to be Milan Martic's role at the camp,
14 if any?
15 A. Well, he was the secretary in the Secretariat of internal affairs.
16 That was his job. He led the administration of the camp or rather his
17 assistant was in charge of the administration of the camp and he was
18 overseeing the whole camp.
19 Q. Do you know what happened to people once -- after they were
20 trained at the camp? Where did they go? What became of them?
21 A. They would go back to municipalities to form special police units.
22 Q. How do you know that?
23 A. Well, I was kept informed and I saw one inspection of a unit that
24 took place near Vrhovine. Martic inspected the unit. It was in July,
25 maybe, 1991.
1 Q. Now, you were telling us about the second visit to Golubic. What
2 happened when you left the camp? Did you go somewhere?
3 A. Frenki took me to show me the target range on the camp-ground, a
4 depression between Udalic [phoen] -- it was actually a target range where
5 trainees at the camp had target practice and he showed me the targets.
6 Q. I'm just going to interrupt me for a moment. You have to slow
7 down a little bit because the interpreter is having a little trouble
8 keeping up with you. Where was this target range located?
9 A. On the right-hand side of the road between Golubic and Strmica
11 MR. WHITING: For the benefit of the Chamber, that Golubic Strmica
12 road is evident in the atlas on page 25.
13 Q. So did you go to the target range with Frenki Simatovic?
14 A. Yes. And towards the end of that valley there were targets
15 standing and somewhere in the middle of that meadow, there was a
16 multi-barrel anti-aircraft gun. There were no men on the range at that
17 moment. Frenki just showed me that anti-aircraft gun. It was either with
18 two or three barrels. And he told me that his men used that gun to shoot
19 at Croatian policemen on the 2nd May in Borovo Selo. It was later built
20 on to the armoured train that Frenki manufactured in Strmica. It was
21 mounted on it.
22 Q. Can you tell us about that armoured train?
23 A. It was a short train consisting of a diesel locomotive and several
24 cars, two or three maybe. It was reinforced with metal plates and some
25 other types of reinforcement, sandbags. It was provided with an
1 anti-aircraft gun, and it was used as a combat weapon. On the railway
2 between Drnis and Knin and towards Zadar. It was a combat, armoured
3 train. It was not built to perfection. It was not very sophisticated,
4 not the kind you see in movies.
5 Q. How do you know that Frenki manufactured that train?
6 A. Well, he showed me that they were doing it, and he asked me to
7 write a letter to the factory producing screws in Knin, to enable him to
8 get metal plates and some other material for building their train.
9 That's the same factory that Milosevic had earlier saved from
10 bankruptcy, that he was financing, and they were kind of indebted to him
11 and had to return the favour.
12 Q. Do you know who paid for the camp at Golubic?
13 A. Jovica Stanisic.
14 Q. How do you know that?
15 A. He told me that much himself in August 1991, in Belgrade.
16 Q. I think you've spoken about this but could you remind us again
17 about that conversation?
18 A. Well, I talked to Stanisic in Belgrade after Captain Dragan and
19 Frenki were withdrawn from Knin. He invited me to have coffee with him at
20 a restaurant. Maybe he wanted to patch things up a bit, to justify
21 himself. I don't know. He even took his wife along because she was
22 originally from Knin and I suppose he wanted to create a more intimate
23 atmosphere, a friendlier atmosphere. So we met in that restaurant called
24 Seher in Belgrade and on that occasion he was full of criticism for
25 Captain Dragan. He didn't even mention Frenki. So I thought that they
1 wanted to make Captain Dragan a scapegoat for all the resistance they
2 offered to me earlier. And he told me that they had given a large amount
3 of money to Captain Dragan for the funding of the Golubic camp. However,
4 after he had been withdrawn, he had taken the money with him, and from
5 that time on, they were chasing him.
6 Q. How long did the camp exist at Golubic? You said it was
7 established in April 1991. How long was it in existence?
8 A. From what I know, until August 1991. I don't know exactly when.
9 But in August 1991, there was no training, only depots or maybe there was
10 still some training but to a lesser extent.
11 Q. You also spoke about some other camps. Where were they located,
12 to your knowledge?
13 A. One of them was in Brgud village on the outskirts of Benkovac.
14 Q. And do you know of any others?
15 A. I heard of another training centre on Samarica hill but I don't
16 know its exact structure or how it operated. Later on, it became the
17 command post for various agencies or units, or maybe it was already a
18 command post at that time. Samarica is in Banija.
19 Q. The training camp in Benkovac, did you -- do you know anything
20 more about that? Did you go there or did you just hear about it?
21 A. I passed by on one occasion, and I stopped in Benkovac. It could
22 have been July 1991. Captain Dragan was in charge of training there. It
23 was a similar camp to Golubic near Knin. There were some installations
24 and training grounds. In the woods, overlooking the village. I don't
25 know exactly where but it's on the outskirts of Benkovac. Maybe the name
1 of the village is Bukovic.
2 Q. Mr. Babic, yesterday you testified, either yesterday or the day
3 before, you testified that you promoted Milan Martic to be the Minister of
4 Defence in May of 1991 because he was neglecting some of the basic tasks
5 and duties of the secretary, that is to protect public order. I want to
6 show you another article and ask you to comment on it, please. Again,
7 I'll need the assistance of the usher, if it could be placed on the ELMO?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, is this document that's on the
9 screen, executive board of the Serb Autonomous Region of April 1991, is it
10 already in evidence?
11 MR. WHITING: It is, Your Honour. It's Exhibit number 29.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
13 MR. WHITING: If the usher could just push it up a little more, a
14 little bit more, right there, per affect. Leave the date on, please.
15 Just pull it down now, just a bit so that we can see the date. There,
16 that's perfect.
17 Q. This is an article from the BBC and the source is the Yugoslav
18 news agency. The date on the top is April 10th, 1991 though the report
19 appears to be from April 8 of 1991.
20 The article concerns bomb attacks on a restaurant in the village
21 of Relo Koleniko [phoen] owned by a Croatian couple. And it talks about a
22 statement made by Milan Martic to the Tanjug journalist, and in the second
23 paragraph it says that Mr. Martic is quoted as saying, "The Knin police
24 force is so busy with the Defence of the Krajina borders and the
25 protection of the Serbian people from the Croatian Ministry of -- for
1 internal affairs that it simply cannot spend more time solving this type
2 of criminal activity. But it is working on it and more will be revealed
4 Is this consistent with what you told us in your -- earlier in
5 your testimony about your view that Mr. Martic was neglecting some of his
6 duties as secretary of the Interior?
7 A. Yes. That's precisely what I was talking about.
8 MR. WHITING: Could this document be admitted into evidence,
9 please, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
11 please be given an exhibit number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 209, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
14 MR. WHITING:
15 Q. Mr. Babic, yesterday you stated that starting in the spring of
16 1991, when Martic was promoted in the press and started making more
17 statements in the press, that one of the things he talked about was
18 prisoners who were taken and I believe you said Croatian police who were
19 taken prisoner. Do you know where these prisoners were held?
20 A. Yes, I know. Those policemen were held first at the police
21 station in Knin and later in the building of the old hospital in Knin as
23 Q. With the assistance of the usher I'm going to show you two more
24 articles. And for the record this is ERN 04675490 to 5491. This is an
25 article from the Toronto Star, June 26, 1991. If we could put the second
1 page on, please, of the article? I'll read the second and third paragraph
2 on that page. "Militant Serbs in Knin, capital of the Krajina region, are
3 holding another 120 Croatian police officers in jail as hostages. They
4 want the government in Zagreb to free Serbs held in March after rioting in
5 a national park. Milan Martic, Serbian chief of police in Knin, said more
6 Croatians would be abducted, 'We are enlarging the prison for future
7 inhabitants,' he said."
8 Do you recall statements like that being made which Mr. Martic in
9 the media at that time?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. WHITING: Could this document be admitted into evidence,
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
14 please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 210, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 MR. WHITING: I have one more article with the assistance of the
18 usher. This is ERN for the record 04675492. This is an article dated
19 July 5th, 1991. It's a report in the BBC but it -- the headline is
20 Belgrade Radio reports Martic's claim of 30 killed in Ljubovo. I'm just
21 going to read the last two sentences of the article. "According to Milan
22 Martic eight Croatian policemen were captured in Dvor Na Uni and sent to
23 the Knin prison from Dvor Na Uni. The prison now contains 42 members of
24 the MUP of Croatia."
25 Is that consistent with the reporting that you were hearing at the
2 A. Yes. I knew about captured policemen. I don't remember the exact
3 number. But yes, I knew about that.
4 MR. WHITING: Could this document 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 211, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm about to move into a new topic
11 which is the attack on Kijevo on the 26th of August 1991, and so perhaps
12 it's a convenient time for the break.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you for the extra minutes that you gave us.
14 We will adjourn and come back at half past 12.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.58 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you start, Mr. Whiting, the Chamber just
18 wants to indicate that it received the Defence's response to the
19 Prosecution's motion on cross-examination yesterday. We are aware that we
20 are moving fast towards cross-examining the witness, and yet we are
21 unfortunately not in a position just to give the decision just now or
22 today. We will do it first thing on Monday. Will that be okay?
23 MR. WHITING: That's fine, Your Honour. I actually anticipate
24 that we will file a brief - very brief, maybe one page - reply to the
25 Defence response with leave of the court and that will be done today. It
1 will be no more than a page, Your Honour, and -- but the Monday is fine
2 for us.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: So I can withdraw the apology from the Bench
4 because you're still going to come up with a response?
5 MR. WHITING: That's correct, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Thank you very much, you may proceed.
7 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, as I indicated before the break, I want to ask you some
9 questions about Kijevo. You've told us earlier in your testimony that
10 there it was an attack on Kijevo on the 26th of August 1991 and that this
11 marked a change in the strategy of the JNA. Before we talk about that I
12 want to go back in time a little bit to talk about events that occurred in
13 Kijevo earlier.
14 MR. WHITING: And I'd like to look, please, at 65 ter 244 and
15 specifically 020 -- I'm sorry, 02170644. Could we scroll down a little
16 bit more just so that's -- perfect.
17 Q. Mr. Babic, do you see the document in front of you?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. It appears to be a document from the 3rd of March 1991, from Milan
20 Martic to the Presidency of the SFRY and to the federal SUP and the MUP of
21 Zagreb. Talking about some events in Kijevo at that time. And
22 specifically, it refers to a blockade or a barricade that was set up by
23 armed inhabitants, civilians, from the same village, an event that
24 occurred at the blockade. Do you know anything about what's being talked
25 about in this document?
1 A. Yes, I know of those events.
2 Q. Before I ask you about them, I would just -- for the benefit of
3 the Chamber, the -- this village, Kijevo, is visible on page 25 of the
4 atlas. It's to the south of Knin.
5 What was going on at this time? What is being talked about in
6 this document?
7 A. This was a response by the Kijevo residents to the events prior to
8 that day in the environs of Kijevo. Since August 1991, August 1990,
9 Kijevo being a Croatian village in the municipality of Knin, there were
10 barricades set up between Kijevo and other areas. And it was difficult
11 for the local residents of Kijevo to travel elsewhere. At a certain
12 point, they did the same. That is, they blocked the roads, and these
13 events are a direct result of the events prior to that date.
14 MR. WHITING: Could this document be admitted into evidence,
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
17 please be given an exhibit number.
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm advised that the document has already been
20 admitted as Exhibit number 105. The question is do you want the English
21 version or --
22 MR. WHITING: There is a little -- this is -- there is -- a little
23 bit of confusion create because there are three documents that are in this
24 number and they've -- it appears that they've all been admitted under --
25 as Exhibit 105. I thought only one of the three but that's fine. If it's
1 in evidence, it's in evidence. I don't need to press that further.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 MR. WHITING: The next document is also from 65 ter Exhibit 244,
4 and it's ERN 02170645 and this may also be part of Exhibit 105. And I'm
5 sure I'll get a nod if that is -- yes, it is.
6 Q. Mr. Babic --.
7 MR. WHITING: We are going to have to scroll down because he can
8 only see the heading.
9 Q. This is a press release from Milan Martic on the 25th of April
10 1991. It's already in evidence. I'm just going to read the beginning of
11 it. "After the battalion of hats of MUP RH, ordered by the leadership,
12 tried armed aggression on Plitvice and was defeated, the MUP of Republic
13 of Croatia has insisted on making excess situations by directing incidents
14 in the villages inhabited by Croatian people on the region of SAO Krajina.
15 It has been done to convince Yugoslavian and international subjects that
16 the police and repressive action is needed and justified in order to
17 pacify Serb people on Serb ethnical territory of Krajina".
18 Were -- Mr. Babic, if you know, were the Croatian authorities
19 provoking conflict at that time, in that area?
20 A. No. After the events mentioned in the previous document, Croatia
21 established a police station in the village of Kijevo. There was no
22 battalion defeated at Plitvice. This is perhaps pictured as an image that
23 is not completely realistic but I believe that the underlying issue was
24 actually the problem posed by the formation of the police station in
1 Q. And you told us that Kijevo was a Croat village; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, let's move ahead in time now to August of 1991. Before the
4 attack on Kijevo, was there an ultimatum?
5 A. Yes. There was. That was Mr. Martic's ultimatum issued at the
6 administration of the police, and the inhabitants of the local commune,
7 that they should leave, otherwise they would get hurt.
8 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit 115, please.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say this was already in evidence.
10 MR. WHITING: Yes, it is, Your Honour, it's already part of
11 Exhibit 105.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. What is it?
16 A. It is a document, rather a statement I heard for the first time
17 given via the media in Knin on the 18th of August 1991. This is
18 Mr. Martic's ultimatum issued to the police administration of Split and
19 the local commune of Kijevo as well as the police station in Kijevo.
20 Q. Now if we could just scroll down a little bit on the document,
21 there, there, I think that will show it, I'm going to read just from the
22 middle of the page of the English and it's the middle of the page also of
23 the B/C/S. The ultimatum reads, "You have a police station in the village
24 of Kijevo in Knin municipality. This ultimatum is to warn you that our
25 forces will attack this police station at a time we find appropriate if
1 your police forces do not withdraw from this village within 48 hours from
2 the moment of receipt of this ultimatum." And it goes on, "We also want
3 to advise the population of Kijevo to find safe shelters on time so there
4 should be no casualties among them."
5 How did you understand this ultimatum at the time?
6 A. I took it quite seriously as a warning to the residents of Kijevo
7 to leave, together with the police, and those are actually the opening
8 remarks of the communique mentioning the increased tension between the
9 Serbs and Croats. At the beginning of the communique, Mr. Martic states
10 that the relations between Serbs and Croats have reached such a level that
11 the two people can no longer live together in the territory. Therefore,
12 this was an ultimatum issued not only to the police station but to the
13 residents of Kijevo as well. That's how I understood that and that's why
14 I publicly reacted concerning the communique.
15 Q. How did you publicly react? What did you do?
16 A. Via the media, I stated that the armed forces of Krajina will not
17 break the truce that was in place at the time, and that was accepted.
18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into
19 evidence, please?
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 212, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for the sake of clarification to me, can I ask
24 one or two questions on this document?
25 You said, Mr. Babic, that the village of Kijevo was a Croat
1 village; is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Were there any Serbs living in Kijevo, to your
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think there was a single
6 Serb house or maybe one at the most. In short, my answer would be no.
7 There were no Serbs in Kijevo.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Babic.
9 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Mr. Babic, how did you first hear about an attack on Kijevo?
11 A. I heard about it for the first time because I was told by a driver
12 or somebody who was in my entourage in Belgrade on that day, in the
13 afternoon, when the attack was carried out.
14 Q. Before you learned about the attack, did you have a meeting with
15 Slobodan Milosevic?
16 A. Yes. That was the same day, after the attack.
17 Q. What happened in that meeting?
18 A. Slobodan Milosevic asked me to come to Belgrade, to come and see
19 him. So I did. And during the meeting, he said that Frenki should go
20 back to Krajina, that he was a good man and he praised him. I already
21 explained that the other day. And that's when I learned from him that
22 Franko Simatovic was the head of the second department of the State
23 Security Service. If need be, I can go through the entire meeting again.
24 Q. No. Was there any conversation that related to this -- to the
25 attack on Kijevo in any way?
1 A. After that part of the conversation, I asked questions about the
2 protection of the Serb village Otisic between Vrlika and Sinj. It was a
3 Serb village and there were certain incidents, provocations, as the story
4 was among the Serb, and those incidents were created by the Croatian
5 police searching Serb houses and looking for weapons amongst the Serb
6 population of the village. That was an issue that irked the Serbs there.
7 I expressed those concerns to Milosevic and I asked him to do something to
8 protect the population. I supposed it could have been done the way it had
9 been done before that, that is to deploy the JNA in the buffer zone
10 surrounding Otisic, between Vrlika and Otisic on one side and on the other
11 between Vrlika -- Sinj and Otisic. After my explanation, Milosevic said,
12 "Has that not been dealt with by now?" And I said, "I don't know." And
13 that was the end of it. When I left, I was told by someone there that
14 early that morning, the army attacked Kijevo.
15 Q. After you learned that the army had attacked Kijevo, did that give
16 you any understanding about what the remark from Mr. Milosevic might have
18 A. The next day, I was back in Knin, and I went through the area
19 because that's where my house is, where my parents and grandparents lived,
20 as well as the parents of my wife, and I went there to see what was
21 happening. Therefore, I'd been to the area a day after the attack. I
22 reached Vrlika and I passed through Kijevo.
23 Q. I think you may have misunderstood my question. After you learned
24 about the attack on Kijevo, by the army, did that affect in any way your
25 understanding of what Mr. Milosevic had said in the meeting with you, when
1 he said, "Hasn't that problem been taken care of? Or dealt with by now?"
2 A. It had been dealt with the way that wasn't the ordinary way used
3 until that time. Therefore, my understanding of how the situation was
4 dealt with was different from what it may have been in the past.
5 Q. Now, you said that your family lived in the area. Can you tell us
6 more specifically where in the area?
7 A. My mother and grandmother lived in my native village of Kukar on
8 the outskirts of Vrlika and my parents -- my wife's parents lived in
9 Vrlika which is a place between Civljane and Otisic in the territory of
10 the municipality of Sinj. That is the territory controlled by the
11 Croatian government.
12 Q. Now, who -- do you know who participated in the attack on Kijevo
13 on the 26th of August?
14 A. The 9th Knin corps units as well as the JNA units, the police of
15 Krajina and the local TO.
16 Q. Just so there is no confusion on the record, I think I can clarify
17 the answer. The 9th Knin Corps, they are JNA units, are they not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So the attack was done by the 9th Knin corps, the police of the
20 Krajina and the local TO, am I understanding your answer correctly?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You said that you went -- you passed through Kijevo on the
23 following day. What did you see?
24 A. I saw that the village was destroyed, and some units of the Knin
25 corps deployed along the road. From the point when one enters Kijevo up
1 to Vrlika next to the road there were units of the police battalion of the
2 Knin corps of the JNA, and in Civljane, there was a column of armoured
3 vehicles of the JNA.
4 Q. You said that the village was destroyed. Can you be more
5 specific, please?
6 A. One could see damaged houses, houses damaged by shells, either
7 from guns or tanks, that is artillery.
8 Q. How did the damage to the houses compare to the damage to the
9 police station in Kijevo?
10 A. It seemed to me that the surrounding houses sustained more damage
11 than the station itself.
12 Q. Do you know if anything happened to the houses in Kijevo in the
13 days following the attack?
14 A. They were being plundered and torched.
15 Q. Who was doing that, if you know?
16 A. The residents of the neighbouring villages and some uniformed
17 people. The village was unprotected, and the plundering was done by
18 whoever was there.
19 Q. Was this -- when you refer to the residents of neighbouring
20 villages and uniformed people, can you identify the ethnicity of these
21 people who were engaging in the plundering?
22 A. Serbs.
23 Q. Did something happen to --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt? When you say "uniformed people,"
25 what do you mean, Mr. Babic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Reservists from JNA units or the TO.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you. I'm sorry to interrupt.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. What about police? Do you know if police engaged in that activity
5 as well?
6 A. What activity?
7 Q. You said that uniformed people engaged in plundering and
8 His Honour Judge Moloto asked you which uniformed people and you said
9 reservists from the JNA units or the TO, and my question is what about the
10 police? Do you know if the police engaged in plundering as well?
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. Did something happen to your house and your family during this
14 A. Members of the Croatian police and armed forces were issued an
15 order to kill the members of my family, and they also torched my native
16 house in the village. My mother and grandmother fled, and they killed my
17 father-in-law in his house in Vrlika. My mother-in-law managed to escape.
18 Q. Mr. Babic, how do you know that there was an issue ordered?
19 A. I was told that by a JNA officer who was in Civljane, in the JNA
20 unit there. He said that they intercepted a radio communication between
21 the armed forces, between the Croatian national corps guard and the
22 police, and that they overheard that an order was issued for them to kill
23 members of my family.
24 Q. Why, if you know, would such an order be issued, with respect to
25 your family?
1 A. I suppose out of vengeance with regard to myself. I was a Serb
2 politician in Krajina and everybody knew me, and my family lived on the
3 Croatian territory, on the territory under the control of the Croatian
4 government. Probably they took the opportunity when the war started to
5 take revenge.
6 Q. Do you know why the JNA and TO and police forces attacked Kijevo?
7 What was the reason for attacking Kijevo?
8 A. At that time, the so-called deblocking action for barracks and
9 military facilities in Croatia had already started, and it was the
10 Croatian forces that were involved in that, following orders from the
11 Croatian government, and it was a process that regarded all of Croatia.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I follow something here? Are you saying,
13 Mr. Babic, that there is no connection between this attack and this
14 warning that was sent to the Split police administration, Kijevo police
15 station, and Kijevo local commune? Is that attack not a follow-up on this
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I would like to say, in reply
18 to your question, that this ultimatum and this provocation that followed
19 from the local TO militia afterwards was an agreed trigger for the JNA to
20 start their own offensive. So it had been a concerted effort which
21 started with this ultimatum and then went on to develop into this
22 offensive by the JNA.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: There is something that I would like to clear up
25 as well at this stage. Mr. Babic, you had said earlier that there was not
1 a single Serb family in Kijevo; is that correct?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is.
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: But your family lived in Kijevo?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they didn't.
5 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Oh, I stand corrected, then. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They lived at a distance of about 10
7 kilometres in another village. There were two villages in between, in
8 fact, so it is further away from Kijevo.
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Babic, you've explained that the -- that the relationship
12 between the ultimatum and the attack on Kijevo, but in response to my
13 question about why was there an interest in attacking Kijevo, what was the
14 goal, you responded -- you gave us a response which I've now lost on my
15 screen but I'll get back, concerning deblocking and I'm not quite clear on
16 what your response was, what you were trying to explain there. You talked
17 about deblocking action for barracks. What does that have to do with
19 A. After the attack on Kijevo.
20 Q. So this is something that followed the attack on Kijevo, the
21 deblocking action?
22 A. Yes. The explanation as to why the JNA started the offensive.
23 Q. And can you explain a little bit further what this deblocking was
24 about? What was that?
25 A. The Croatian government at some point during the summer 1991
1 ordered the blockade of the military facilities in Croatia in order to
2 immobilise the JNA and defuse their power and prevent them from
3 intervening and interfering in the political conflict that was in the
4 making on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, especially since Croatia
5 had declared independence and they were waiting for the expiry of this
6 three month moratorium, as it were, for that decision to come into effect
7 and these three months represented a preventive measure, and they
8 department want their decision to be interfered with by the JNA. And
9 therefore the government of Croatia started a blockade, a siege, of the
10 army facilities throughout Croatia. This was done by the citizens of
11 Croatia and the ZNG forces and police. The ZNG forces are the Home-Guard
12 Corps. And they basically organised a siege of the JNA barracks and
13 warehouses and any other military facilities throughout Croatia.
14 Q. And after the attack on Kijevo, did the JNA start an effort to
15 deblock some of these barracks?
16 A. Yes. And after that, a more broad-based action of JNA was
17 organised in different places, Sinj, Sibenik, Zadar, and also regarding
18 some military warehouses near the Petrinja garrison in Banija, as far as
19 I've heard. So that was what was happening in the area in and around
20 Krajina, the things I know about.
21 Q. Let me return to Kijevo. Do you know if Milan Martic was involved
22 in the attack on Kijevo?
23 A. Yes, I do. I heard that he participated, and I saw a clip on
24 television. I saw him there.
25 Q. What did you see on the clip on television?
1 A. I saw that when Kijevo was taken, together with the police chief
2 from Knin, Milenko Zelenbaba, he removed the Croatian flag from the police
3 station at Kijevo and he trampled on it.
4 Q. Did you see -- I'm sorry.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm only doing it because I still haven't mastered
6 the art of bringing back information that has gone out of the screen.
7 I would like to understand what Mr. Babic means by "broad-based
8 action of the JNA." He says -- he said to an answer, "and after that
9 attack on Kijevo did the JNA start an effort to deblock some of these
10 barracks?" Answer: "Yes. And after that, a more broad-based action of
11 JNA was organised in different places, Sinj, Sibenik, Zadar and also
12 regarding some military warehouses."
13 I don't understand what is meant by this broad-based action.
14 MR. WHITING:
15 Q. Mr. Babic, if you heard the question from His Honour, could you
16 explain what is meant by -- what did you mean by a more broad-based
18 A. Yes, what I meant by saying broad-based was in terms of the area,
19 the space, and the lifting of the siege was done through the deployment of
20 the JNA units along different axes and with as much military power as
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: So the action is the lifting of the siege, is that
23 what you mean?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Lifting of the siege.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
1 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Going back to Kijevo, I just told us about seeing a clip on
3 television with Milan Martic and Milenko Zelenbaba. Did you see any other
4 media reporting of the attack on Kijevo?
5 A. There was a report -- I remember an interview with a reserve
6 officer of the JNA who talked to a Croat inhabitant of Kijevo who remained
8 Q. And what do you remember about that interview?
9 A. I remember that the soldier asked this old man, "Did you kill my
10 grandfather in 1941?" And the old man tried to defend himself and he
11 said, "No, no, I didn't." And, well, that was the gist of the
13 Q. Did that have any effect on you? Did you have any reaction to
14 seeing that interaction?
15 A. It was extremely sad. I myself was horrified. This is the most
16 horrific way of bringing the past and the present together.
17 Q. You referred to a Croat inhabitant who remained there. What did
18 you observe when you went to Kijevo the day after the attack, about --
19 what did you observe in terms of Croats? What happened to the Croat
20 population in Kijevo?
21 A. The village was deserted. There was nobody in the vicinity. And
22 I heard from the people who were there, the soldiers, I mean, what
23 happened, and they said everybody fled in two directions, either across
24 Kozjak or Dinara. So they took to the mountains and then across these
25 mountains they crossed over to the territory under the Croatian control.
1 Q. And did they ever return to Kijevo?
2 A. Not for as long as the SAO Krajina existed. They didn't until
3 August 1995.
4 Q. And you referred to some Croat residents who -- inhabitants who
5 remained. What happened to them?
6 A. Some left over the coming years. There were also some murders,
7 some people were killed in precisely that village, some unclarified and
8 unsolved murders. It was never discovered who actually killed those
9 people. Very few people remained, just a couple of old men, that was all.
10 Q. Mr. Babic, the day that you went through Kijevo, the day after
11 that you've already spoken about, did you see any commanders?
12 A. On that day, I saw the commander of the brigade of the 9th Corps,
13 Lieutenant or Lieutenant Colonel Djukic, who was the commander of mixed
14 armoured mechanised unit, and he gave me two vehicles in order for me to
15 be able to collect my father-in-law's body, since he had been killed, and
16 he told me that Lieutenant -- that Colonel Mladic had gone on ahead with a
17 unit through Vrlika from the other side of Otasic in the direction of
19 Q. Did you return to Kijevo or the area in the days that followed?
20 A. Yes, I did, because on the first day, I simply went as far as my
21 late father-in-law's house and on the next day I went to see my own family
22 home and my mother and grandmother, and that was in a village behind
23 Vrlika, and I came across Ratko Mladic as I was on my way, and he was
24 leading a group of observers, and I think that there was a representative
25 of Croatian parliament there and a Croatian delegation from Sinj, and he
1 was going to show Vrlika to them once it had been taken by the JNA.
2 Q. And was Vrlika a Serb village, a Croat village, or a -- mixed?
3 A. Mixed.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, after these events in Kijevo, and you've already
5 testified about how this represented a change in the approach of the JNA
6 and you've started to talk about events that occurred afterwards, but I
7 want to ask you about chain of command over armed groups in -- armed Serb
8 groups in Croatia, in the Krajina, and we've heard about a number of
9 different groups, the JNA, the police, the TO. After August of 1991, can
10 you explain what the command structure was over these groups? How did it
12 A. Well, there were two chains of command with regard to these armed
13 groups on the territory of Krajina. One line of command went from the
14 General Staff of the armed forces of the SFRJ, that is to say the General
15 Staff command from Belgrade, through the JNA units, and down to the TO.
16 That was one line of command. And the other line of command was the
17 police, the parallel structure in Krajina, the way I called it. There was
18 the state security service of Serbia, the MUP of Serbia, that is, and then
19 the police forces, the militia, in Krajina, the volunteer units, the DB
20 units. That was the second line of command. And at the top of both was
21 Slobodan Milosevic.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Below Slobodan Milosevic, on the police side, who
23 was the next in line?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jovica Stanisic.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Below him?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Below him in Krajina, Milan Martic.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. What was the relationship between the police forces, Serb police
5 forces on the ground in the SAO Krajina and the JNA?
6 A. They cooperated closely in combat activity.
7 Q. Were the police, to your knowledge, resubordinated to the JNA
8 during fighting after August 1991, through the fall?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And what's the basis for that answer? Why do you say that?
11 A. On the basis of my general knowledge, police and -- was never
12 subordinated to either the JNA or the armed forces in Krajina.
13 Q. How about the TO and the JNA? What was the relationship between
14 the TO and the JNA?
15 A. There was the Main Staff of the TO and the zone or area staffs of
16 the TO and the municipal staffs and units. The Main Staff on the TO was
17 in charge of the areas in Northern Dalmatia and Lika and it was under the
18 command of the 9th Corps. And the zone staff of Kordun and Banija was
19 subordinated to the command of the 2nd Operative Group of the JNA at
21 Q. So just to be clear about your answer, the TO -- and I'll ask you
22 more about how it was organised in a moment, but the TO in the SAO Krajina
23 was subordinated to the JNA?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. With the assistance of the usher, I just want to show you three
1 more articles, please.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are we done with this one document? The document
3 of the 18th of August 1991?
4 MR. WHITING: Yes, we are, Your Honour, and I believe I moved it
5 into evidence but if I haven't, then --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have?
7 MR. WHITING: I'm -- yes. I have, yes, thank you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 MR. WHITING: I have a translation of this document. If the
10 English could be put on the ELMO and the translation given to the witness,
12 Q. Yesterday, you testified that Milan Martic talked to the press
13 about assistance that was being received from the JNA. This is an article
14 from the 7th of July 1991. It's an article in Tanjug. And I'll just read
15 the fourth paragraph. "As regards the aid to Krajina Police, Martic said
16 that the 'most significant aid came from the government of Serbia in
17 nearly all forms,' and that relations with the Yugoslav People's Army were
18 'very correct' and that coordination with it 'already existed.' It
19 turned out that 'We and the Yugoslav People's Army have a common enemy,'
20 he stressed."
21 And then later a little further down the page a few paragraphs
22 down, it says, "Milan Martic the Krajina Police commander said in another
23 interview to the Titograd daily Pobjeda that the armed group under his
24 command and the army 'are assisting each other.'".
25 And then a little further down it says, "The hardware, arms, and
1 equipment of the army and the Krajina Police 'become common at a given
2 time' because we know who our common enemy is," said Martic. "Martic
3 pointed at the current Croatian authorities as their common enemy,
4 describing them as an 'Ustasha state' which 'does not wish well either to
5 us or the Yugoslav army.'"
6 Now, just so we are clear because we are using different
7 terminology, is the Yugoslav People's Army the JNA?
8 A. Yes. JNA stands for the Yugoslav People's Army.
9 Q. Thank you. Is -- are the statements made in this article
10 consistent with media that you recall from the time?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
13 Your Honour?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
15 please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 213, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 MR. WHITING: If I could again have the assistance of the usher,
19 if it could be placed on the ELMO. This is an article from July 14th 1991
20 from the Los Angeles Times, and if we could put the third page, make the
21 third page visible, and about halfway down the page, it says -- is it
22 visible to the Chamber?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Not right now. It was a couple of seconds ago. It
24 will come. It's there now.
25 MR. WHITING: Okay.
1 Q. In the middle there it says -- it's disappeared again. I think if
2 you press the button on again it will come up again. But it keeps going
3 out. Okay. It's up now?
4 Q. It says in an interview, "Knin's police chief Milan Martic said
5 the Krajina had 7.000 police regulars, a reserve force of 20.000 armed
6 with rifles and artillery and what he called 'perfect relations' with the
7 federal army there. 'We have a common enemy in the fascist Croatian
8 forces,' Martic said. 'There have already been many battles.'" .
9 Is this also consistent with statements that you heard at the time
10 in the media?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. WHITING: Could that be admitted into evidence, please,
13 Your Honour?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
15 please be given an exhibit number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 214, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 MR. WHITING: One more article to show with the assistance of the
20 Q. This is an article dated the 19th of August 1991, in Tanjug. We
21 can never really rely on technology. It says in the first paragraph, "We
22 will also bring" -- it's a quote, "'We will also bring Petrinja, Karlovac,
23 Zadar under our control because both we and the army apparently share the
24 same interest. We need one major port,' Minister of Defence of the
25 Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina Milan Martic has told Borba in an
1 exclusive interview." And then later, in the end of the second paragraph,
2 it says, "Martic says that 'last year's raid by the people on the arms
3 depots belonging to police had not been pre-planned.' He believes that
4 the truce has no chance 'because we are also carrying out re-groupings and
5 receiving new supplies of arms in reply to their moves. We have also
6 artillery, our air force, and an army that is on our side and there is
7 nothing to hide about this fact.' Martic also says that he did not even
8 dream he was going to have such military might at his disposal."
9 Now there is an a reference to the truce. Is that the truce that
10 you testified about earlier that was in place in August of 1991?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And is this -- are these statements consistent with what you were
13 hearing in the media at that time?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. WHITING: Could this document be admitted into evidence,
16 please, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
18 please be given an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 215, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. WHITING:
22 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, you've testified a number of times about a pattern
23 that was occurring in 1990 and particularly in 1991 with respect to
24 provocations and attempting to draw the JNA into the conflict. I want to
25 focus now on events after August 1991. After August of 1991, were there
1 attacks by Serb forces on Croat villages in the SAO Krajina or around the
2 SAO Krajina?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you observe a pattern to how these attacks were carried out?
5 A. Well, the forces of the police would usually stage a provocation
6 against Croatian-populated areas or the police force on the other side.
7 The Croatian side would respond, after which JNA units would get involved
8 with artillery and they would move into an offensive and advance towards
9 Croatian-populated areas to reach certain positions.
10 Q. And what would then happen in those villages? What would be the
11 result of the attacks?
12 A. Well, the same thing that happened in Kijevo. The residents would
13 flee or would be expelled. The houses would be damaged in combat and
14 later looted and torched.
15 Q. Did any individual -- would any Croat civilians remain, and if so,
16 what would happen to them?
17 A. Few Croat civilians stayed to live there. There was overwhelming
18 uncertainty. People were killed and their murders were not investigated.
19 Civilians were forced to move out of their homes, to Croatian territory.
20 There were mass expulsions of population in some areas such as Kostajnica.
21 Q. Do you know, after the attack occurred, what the roles of the
22 different forces involved would be in this pattern?
23 A. Well, I've already tried to describe it. The police forces or the
24 parallel structures, as we called them, would stage provocations. JNA
25 units would move in with artillery and launch an attack, and advance.
1 They would be followed by TO militias, volunteer units who would loot and
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: And torch what?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Croatian houses.
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. Where did this occur? Where did you see this pattern occurring?
7 A. That happened in the broad area of Krajina. I would continue to
8 see the consequences for months later. Not long after the incidents in
9 Kijevo, a month or maybe two later, I would see the consequences
10 throughout Krajina.
11 Q. Mr. Babic, you made a reference in your answer, you spoke about
12 volunteers. Can you tell us how volunteers fit into this picture? How
13 were they organised and what relationship did they have with the other
15 A. There existed two types of volunteers. First there were so-called
16 volunteer groups and units formed from the Serb residents of Krajina, or
17 they would form a parallel structure from the DB, the state security
18 service in Banija and in Kordun, the most famous was the 7th Banija
19 division. In August and September 1991, these units reorganised
20 themselves into Territorial Defence units. Another type of volunteers
21 were individual volunteers or volunteer units coming from Serbia.
22 Individual volunteers would join JNA units, and volunteer units acted
23 independently, although I must say there was only one of these in SAO
24 Krajina, whereas in other territories, such as Eastern Slavonia there also
25 existed such units, as units.
1 Q. The one volunteer unit that acted independently, that existed in
2 the SAO Krajina, what was it called, if you know, and where did it
3 function, if you know? Where did it operate?
4 A. That is the largest and the best known, 7th Banija division. It
5 was called. It was active in Banija. That is Dvor Na Uni, Kostajnica,
6 Petrinja, and Samarica. That is the area where weapons were first brought
7 in by Radmilo Bogdanovic, where arms shipments came through Bosanski Novi.
8 That unit resisted for a long time efforts to join the -- to integrate
9 them with the Territorial Defence, once it was formed for the area of
10 Banija, and the unit refused for a long time to subordinate itself to that
11 staff. And its transformation into the TO of Dvor and Kostajnica finally
12 happened after Mr. Martic took over authority over the Territorial
13 Defence. So that this unit became part of the Territorial Defence by end
14 September 1991.
15 Q. Okay. But you also spoke, as I understood it, about individual
16 volunteers or volunteer units coming from Serbia and you said, and I
17 understood this but correct me if I'm wrong, to be different from the 7th
18 Banija division, you said "Individual volunteers would join JNA units and
19 volunteer units acted independently, although I must say there was only
20 one of these in SAO Krajina whereas in other territories such as Eastern
21 Slavonia there also existed other units, as units."
22 What were you referring to when you spoke about one of these in
23 SAO Krajina?
24 A. In SAO Krajina, that was a unit that had been established by one
25 political party in Serbia, the Serbian renewal movement, and it was active
1 in the area around Gospic in Lika. That was for a while, in September
2 1991. Whereas in Eastern Slavonia, there was also one volunteer unit
3 called the Serb volunteer guard, under the command of Zeljko Raznjatovic,
4 Arkan. It belonged or rather it had a different structure than the former
6 Q. And the Serbian renewal movement unit that you said was active in
7 the area around Gospic and Lika, do you know if that unit was involved in
8 any fighting?
9 A. It took part in fighting around Gospic.
10 Q. Do you know when?
11 A. I think September 1991, or perhaps October. I can't tell you
12 exactly now.
13 Q. Aside from the -- that unit, the Serbian renewal movement unit,
14 were all of the other volunteers that you described subordinated in some
15 way to the JNA by September of 1991?
16 A. Yes. Other volunteers, other individual volunteers, were within
17 JNA units.
18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, it's a few minutes early but I'm about
19 to move into another big topic so if it's a convenient time -- or else I
20 can --
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you going to a new topic?
22 MR. WHITING: I am going into a new topic.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you think it would be a convenient time?
24 MR. WHITING: I think it would be a convenient time. I think we
25 are back together on Monday morning in Courtroom I, so in the morning.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's according to my schedule. Is that how you
2 understand it, Mr. Milovancevic? Courtroom I, Monday morning at 9.00?
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Court will adjourn and
5 reconvene on Monday morning at 9.00 in Courtroom I.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Monday, the 20th day of
8 February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.