1 Monday, 20 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, Mr. Babic.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once again, you are being reminded that you are
9 bound by the declaration you took to tell the truth, nothing else but the
10 truth. Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
12 MR. WHITING: Good morning, Your Honours. Before I resume my
13 questions, and I think today will be my last day of questions for
14 Mr. Babic, the issue with respect to the 89(F) statement has been
15 resolved. It can be admitted into evidence as it was submitted to the
16 court and I believe the Registrar has set aside numbers for it.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. May the 89(F) notice please
18 be admitted into evidence, and may it please be given exhibit numbers.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibits 135 through Exhibit 172,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Maybe before we begin can I
22 just sort of hand down the decision on cross-examination.
23 The Trial Chamber is seized of the Prosecution motion for an order
24 regarding cross-examination filed on the 2nd of February in which the
25 Prosecution requested that the Trial Chamber rule on three matters as
1 follows. One, that the cross-examining party should provide to the
2 opposing party no later than the commencement of the cross-examination, a
3 list of those documents or exhibits which it intends to use during the
4 cross-examination of a witness. Two, that the cross-examining party
5 should not, however, generally be prohibited from using other documents
6 not provided or included in the list. And three, that if it appears that
7 the cross-examining party has omitted a document for the sole purpose of
8 obtaining unfair surprise or for another improper purpose the Trial
9 Chamber may grant an opposing party a recess for adjournment or it may
10 preclude the use of the document during the cross-examination.
11 The Trial Chamber notes that the Defence in its response filed on
12 the 15th of February 2006 has agreed with points 1 and 2 of the proposed
13 procedure but disputes point 3. The Prosecution in its reply on the 17th
14 of February 2006 is prepared to abandon point 3, to be considered in the
15 future as and when the need arises.
16 Considering the above positions of the parties, the Trial Chamber
17 grants the motion only with respect to points 1 and 2, and point 3 is
19 Thank you.
20 MR. WHITING: May I proceed? Thank you, Your Honour.
21 WITNESS: MILAN BABIC [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Examination by Mr. Whiting: [Continued]
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Babic. Are you able to understand me clearly in
25 your language?
1 A. Good morning. I do.
2 Q. As always, if you cannot understand me in your language or you
3 don't understand my question, please tell me. Do you understand?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'd like to talk to you now about -- we are up to the fall of
6 1991, August/September 1991 and I would like to talk to you now about
7 various armed forces that were operating in different areas of the SAO
8 Krajina during the fall of 1991, to your knowledge.
9 MR. WHITING: And for the assistance of the Trial Chamber it might
10 be useful to have at the ready map 3 of Exhibit 22, because there will be
11 a number of references to municipalities, and just for ease of following
12 the evidence, that might be useful.
13 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to focus first on the northern part of the SAO
14 Krajina. That is from, say, Korenica to Kostajnica. And I want to focus
15 first on which JNA units were operating in that area during the fall of
16 1991. And that area is basically Kordun and Banija and Korenica is
17 obviously in Lika. So could you tell us first what you know about which
18 JNA units were operating in that northern part of the SAO Krajina during
19 the fall of 1991?
20 A. That area fell under the 5th army district of the JNA, that had
21 its command in Zagreb. In that area, there was the Zagreb corps, and the
22 Rijeka corps, as well as the units that operated in the area of Krajina,
23 beginning with the JNA garrison of Petrinja, the artillery drill ground in
24 Slunj, the JNA division command in Gospic, and parts of the air corps,
25 together with the airfield in Bihac, covering parts of the territory that
1 included Korenica in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Do you know who was the commander of the 5th army district of the
4 A. General Andrija Raseta. I'm not sure whether he was the actual
5 commander or deputy commander of the 5th army district, that is the Zagreb
6 army district, but I know he was the most superior officer in that area.
7 Q. You referred to the Zagreb corps and the Rijeka corps. Do you
8 know who the commander of those -- who the commanders of those corps were?
9 A. General Nikola Uzelac was commander of the Zagreb corps but I
10 don't know who was the commander of the Rijeka corps.
11 Q. And Nikola Uzelac was from where, if you know?
12 A. Nikola Uzelac was a native of Lika. He was from Donji Lapac.
13 Q. By the way, do you know what -- what happened, if anything, to
14 non-Serb generals who were in the JNA during 1991?
15 A. Well, during the war in 1991, lots of generals and high-ranking
16 officers of non-Serb ethnicity were replaced. What I know about is the
17 Rijeka corps, and its territory, and I also heard about what happened in
18 other areas but my specific knowledge is about that particular territory.
19 Q. And what do you know about that?
20 A. JNA unit commanders, including the corps commander, Chief of
21 Staff, chief of artillery in the Knin corps who were Macedonians,
22 Slovenes, et cetera, were replaced by Serbs.
23 Q. Okay. Just to be clear on the record here because initially what
24 we got in your answer was that you knew about the Rijeka corps and its
25 territory, and then in answer to my last question you spoke about the Knin
1 corps. So was it the Knin corps or the Rijeka corps that you knew about?
2 A. Knin corps.
3 Q. Now, just going back to the JNA formations that were in the
4 northern part of the SAO Krajina, you referred to garrisons at Petrinja
5 and Slunj. Was there a garrison also in Karlovac?
6 A. There was one in Karlovac, and also one in an area called
7 encampment, where armoured artillery units were based, but that is just on
8 the border of the area of SAO Krajina, around Karlovac.
9 Q. What is that area called again?
10 A. They referred to it as Logoriste, which means encampment. Whether
11 it's an official name or whether it was a local name given it by the
12 people, but those were the barracks and facilities of the JNA south of
14 Q. Do you know who the commander of the garrison at Slunj was?
15 A. No. All I know is that later on, when fighting had already
16 started to liberate Slunj, Colonel Cedo Bulat appeared. I don't know
17 whether he had been in the area of Slunj before or not. He commanded the
18 5th Partizan Brigade in the fighting around Slunj and Plitvice.
19 Q. And when was that?
20 A. It was November 1991.
21 Q. And what was the result of that fighting?
22 A. The result was the conquest of the area north of Plitvice, around
23 the drill ground, Slunj municipality, together with the expulsion of the
24 Croat civilians from that area and Serb takeover.
25 Q. Mr. Babic, you also mentioned garrisons at Petrinja. Do you know
1 who the commander there was?
2 A. Colonel Slobodan Tarbuk.
3 Q. And was there anything -- any unit or command located in Plitvice?
4 A. In Plitvice, there was the outpost of the command of the Rijeka
5 corps, the command of the 6th Lika division, during the fighting, at
6 least. There were also some units from other parts of Yugoslavia and
7 Serbia including the special airborne unit from Nis in the area between
8 Plitvice and Korenica whereas in the north towards Banija and Kordun,
9 there were units from Serbia called the Sabac Brigade, the Vojvodina
10 Brigade, the Loznica Brigade. Those were at least the popular names for
11 those units that had been mobilised in Serbia and brought over to that
13 Q. Let's talk now about the southern part of the SAO Krajina,
14 essentially what you've identified as Northern Dalmatia. Which units of
15 the JNA operated there? Starting at the corps level.
16 A. The 9th Knin corps of the JNA.
17 Q. And do you know which -- Mr. Babic, do you know which army or
18 military district the 9th Corps fell under? Or do you not know?
19 A. It belonged to the military naval district that had its command in
21 Q. Do you know who the commander of the naval military district was
22 at that time, in the fall of 1991?
23 A. Admiral Mile Klandic -- Kandic, sorry.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, you've spoken earlier in your testimony about the
25 9th Knin corps but could you tell us again who the commanders of the 9th
1 Corps were in the spring of -- spring, summer, fall of 1991?
2 A. In May the corps commander was General Trajcevski, an ethnic
3 Macedonian. In the summer, General Trajcevski was replaced by General
4 Spiro Nikovic. In September, General Nikovic was replaced as commander of
5 the 9th Corps by General Vlado Vukovic, and he remained in that command
6 post until the end of the autumn, maybe November or December, 1990, when
7 he was replaced by General Ratko Mladic as commander of the 9th Corps.
8 Q. The translation that we got said that General Ratko Mladic became
9 the commander of the 9th Corps in November or December of 1990. Is it
10 1990 or 1991?
11 A. 1991. It was 1991.
12 Q. Okay. Do you know what happened to General Spiro Nikovic after he
13 left the command in September of 1991? Where did he go, if you know?
14 A. I know. He went for a while for two or three weeks maybe, to the
15 General Staff of the JNA in Belgrade, and after that, he got a transfer in
16 early December 1991, and became commander of the 2nd Operational Zone of
17 the JNA in Samarica.
18 Q. And that was in December of 1991?
19 A. Early October 1991.
20 Q. I'll ask you some questions about the 2nd Operational Zone of the
21 JNA in a moment. But I want to ask is you some questions now about
22 General Vukovic. Do you know, once he became commander of the 9th Knin
23 corps, do you know who he reported to?
24 A. He became commander in mid-September 1991, and he was answerable
25 to the General Staff of the JNA, to the chief of the General Staff
2 Q. How do you know that?
3 A. I know that from three different sources. First of all, when he
4 arrived, he said he had received command duty at the General Staff from
5 the federal secretary for National Defence, General Kadijevic, and this
6 transition of duty was done so urgently he hadn't even had time to put on
7 his ceremonial uniform for the occasion. Second, I had information from
8 the chief of the TO, General Kasum that operations in the zone of the 2nd
9 Corps were being conducted from the General Staff in Belgrade, when Chief
10 of the General Staff was General Batic [phoen], and my third source of
11 that information was General Ratko Mladic. He played to me a tape of his
12 conversation with General Adzic which means that he received orders and
13 had direct communication with the General Staff in Belgrade.
14 Q. Mr. Babic, I'm going to ask you some questions about that third
15 point in a moment, about the tape played for you by General Mladic but
16 first I just want to clear something up here. General Kasum told you that
17 operations in which zone were being conducted from the General Staff in
18 Belgrade? What did he tell you?
19 A. It was on the front line, on the battlefield. He was Chief of
20 Staff for the SAO Krajina and he said literally that not a single tank
21 could be moved on the battlefield unless its position had prior to that
22 been established at the operations centre of the General Staff in
23 Belgrade, as far as the Croatian theatre of war was concerned.
24 Q. Okay. Now, can you tell us now what were the circumstances of
25 General Ratko Mladic playing a tape for you of a conversation that he had
1 with General Adzic?
2 A. Well, General Mladic invited me to the office of the 9th Corps
3 commander in Knin, and he told me that he, together with a group of
4 officers, had taken the Maslenica bridge without the knowledge of the
5 commanders, the chief of the General Staff and General Spiro Nikovic. He
6 said he had received a call from chief of the General Staff,
7 General Adzic, directly, to criticise him for taking that action without
8 consulting the command. And Mladic said that this operation, the takeover
9 of the Maslenica bridge, was actually done without the knowledge of
10 General Nikovic but they had informed the General Staff otherwise. After
11 that, Adzic talked to Mladic on the phone and Mladic recorded that
12 conversation and played the tape for me. In that telephone call,
13 General Adzic reprimanded Mladic for doing that, and he said that their
14 comrades were under siege in JNA garrisons and barracks in various places.
15 Mladic played this tape for me and asked me if I had any information about
16 this from my political sources, political channels, and that's the reason
17 why he played the tape for me.
18 Q. And did you have any information about it?
19 A. No, no, I did not.
20 Q. Did this episode that you've just described have any consequence
21 for General Nikovic?
22 A. When I learned that from Mladic, or as I learned it from Mladic,
23 the General Staff punished General Nikovic in a way by transferring him to
24 the General Staff in Belgrade, placing him in one of the administrations,
25 and after that, the commander of the Knin corps was replaced and
1 General Vukovic was appointed instead. There was a period of about
2 several days during this transition when General Mladic had actual command
3 over the corps.
4 Q. Now, you made reference earlier to the 6th Lika Division which was
5 operating in Plitvice. Did that -- do you know if that came under the
6 command of the 9th Corps? Or was that under a different command? Or do
7 you not know?
8 A. It did not fall under the command of the 9th Corps. It belonged
9 to the group of units whose command was located at Plitvice lakes.
10 Q. Now, I would like to ask you about different TO units operating in
11 various areas of the SAO Krajina during the fall of 1991. And you've --
12 you told us earlier that you issued some orders regarding the structuring
13 of the TO at that time. If we could look at 65 ter Exhibit 122, please.
14 Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
15 A. Yes. It is a document prescribing the formations of the
16 Territorial Defence Staffs of the municipalities of the SAO Krajina. I
17 signed it.
18 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
19 Your Honour? And just for the record the date of the document is June
20 21st, 1991.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
22 please be given an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 216, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
25 MR. WHITING: Could we look now please at 65 ter Exhibit 117?
1 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document? And if the usher could
2 scroll down, please?
3 A. Yes. Yes. This is the order to establish the operative zones of
4 the TO. I signed it.
5 Q. And the date of the document is 20th of August 1991.
6 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 217, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. WHITING:
12 Q. Now, if the usher could just scroll down just a bit, sorry, scroll
13 up so that point 1 is there, perfect. Now, in point 1 there is reference
14 to the 1st operative zone which includes Dalmatia and Lika and it lists
15 various municipalities. Who commanded this zone of the TO?
16 A. The Main Staff in Knin, the commander of the staff in Knin or,
17 rather, General Ilija Djuic from the moment when the staff was formed,
18 from the 30th of September.
19 Q. Now, point -- section 2 and 3 of this document talk about the 2nd
20 Operative Zone in Kordun and lists the municipalities and point 3 is the
21 3rd Operative Zone in Banija and lists the municipalities. Who commanded
22 these zones?
23 A. For a while the commander of the 2nd zone for Kordun was Mile
24 Dakic, commander of the 3rd zone was Dr. Jovic. Those zones were later on
25 turned into a single zone that was commanded by Colonel Vujaklija, from
1 the 30th of September 1991.
2 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 157, please?
3 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
4 A. Yes. This is the order for the 2nd and 3rd zone of the
5 Territorial Defence SAO Krajina, Kordun and Banija, a single Territorial
6 Defence Staff is being established. And I signed this.
7 Q. And the date of this document is?
8 A. The 30th of September 1991.
9 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
10 Your Honour?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
12 please be given an exhibit number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 218, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit number 157 -- 58,
17 Q. Do you recognise this document, Mr. Babic?
18 A. Yes. This is the appointment of Rade Vujaklija, Colonel
19 Vujaklija, as commander of the 2nd and 3rd Operational Zones for Kordun
20 and Banija dated the 30th of September 1991. This is a document that I
22 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,
23 Your Honour?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
25 please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will two -- Exhibit number 219, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
3 MR. WHITING:
4 Q. Mr. Babic, was the appointment of Colonel Vujaklija on your
5 initiative or on the initiative of the JNA?
6 A. On the initiative of the JNA, it was sent from the General Staff
7 to Kordun. He was there for a while and then he came to see me so that I
8 would write out his appointment on the basis of the regulations of
10 Q. And when he assumed command of the 2nd and 3rd zones, which have
11 been merged, of the TO, who was he subordinated to?
12 A. He was subordinated to General Spiro Nikovic, commander of the 2nd
13 Operational Group of the JNA at Samarica.
14 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 164, please? And
15 could we scroll down so the witness can read some of the document, please?
17 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
18 A. Yes. This is a piece of information sent to the Territorial
19 Defence Staffs and municipal Secretariats for National Defence of Gracac,
20 Donji Lapac, and Korenica from the month of October, the 10th of October
21 1991. I issued this.
22 Q. Could we just scroll up to the top of the document?
23 A. I beg your pardon. The 5th of October 1991.
24 Q. And then could we scroll down so the first paragraph is visible it
25 says at the beginning of first paragraph, "According to our information,
1 in your municipalities, there exists a manifest initiative to form
2 separate operation zones of the Territorial Defence for your three
4 Can you explain the circumstances of why you issued this document?
5 A. There were two types of information that I received from these
6 municipalities or rather two pieces of information that I received from
7 these municipalities, that there were tendencies for this zone to separate
8 itself from Dalmatia and Lika, that zone, and to establish itself as a
9 zone in its own right. A group of generals called for this, JNA generals,
10 who hailed from Lika and who were in Belgrade and people from the 6th Lika
11 Division, and they wanted to have control over all the armed forces in
12 Lika, including the Territorial Defence. That's what it was all about.
13 That's what General Simovic said to me and he gave me some other
14 information too. The second request was from the municipalities,
15 especially Korenica and Lapac. The leaderships of the municipalities that
16 were under the influence of the police or rather the paramilitary
17 structures, and they didn't want to subordinate themselves to Knin. It
18 was their initiative, the reason for the establishment of the zone. That
19 is why this instruction was sent to the municipalities by myself, that the
20 zone remain one, the Dalmatia-Lika zone.
21 Q. Mr. Babic, just so we are clear on this issue, who, if you know,
22 was trying to establish a separate zone in this area, in Donja Lapac,
23 Korenica and Gracac?
24 A. First of all, I spoke about the generals from Lika who lived in
25 Belgrade, and who had this initiative to establish the 6th Lika Division
1 of the JNA and to send to this division volunteers from Serbia. So they
2 were its proponents. They were retired generals and general who is were
3 still in active service in the JNA. I don't know exactly. They were the
4 participants in this endeavour. That was one line. The second line was
5 protests in the municipalities of Lapac and Korenica. They somehow always
6 believed that the headquarters in Knin or rather the political leadership
7 of these municipalities Rastelica [phoen] and Bozenica [phoen] and the
8 people around them, that the staff in Knin was not under their influence
9 and they always tried to get away from that influence, to get out of the
10 command of that staff.
11 Q. With respect to that second point, tell me precisely who is "they"
12 that was trying to get away from the staff of Knin? You mentioned a
13 couple of names but could you elaborate on that a little bit?
14 A. Yes. It was the president of the municipality of Donji Lapac and
15 there was Bosko Bozanic too. On the 29th of May, after the government was
16 established, they belonged to a group, a political organisational military
17 group in Martic's environment. They were Martic's group that was in
18 opposition to the government at that time. That was their position, and
19 that is the reason why they had this kind of initiatives.
20 Q. Were they part of the parallel structure that you have described
21 earlier in your testimony?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, what was the --
24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm not sure if I put this document
25 into evidence.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: The 5th of October?
2 MR. WHITING: For the 5th of October.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't remember you doing it.
4 MR. WHITING: The Registrar will -- if I haven't done it, could it
5 be admitted into evidence?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is then admitted into evidence. May
7 it please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 220, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Babic, what was the first TO Brigade?
14 A. The 1st TO Brigade was the 1st Partizan Brigade of the JNA that
15 had a dual name. It was the 1st Partizan Brigade of the JNA, that is to
16 say the first light brigade that was established in the territory of the
17 municipality of Gracac but at the same time, it was referred to as the 1st
18 Brigade of the Territorial Defence because that was the way in which the
19 mobilisation of the 1st Partizan Brigade could be carried out.
20 Q. And this brigade was subordinated to whom? Or to which structure?
21 A. The command of the 9th Corps in Knin, the JNA Corps.
22 Q. Who commanded it, if you know?
23 A. Colonel Petar Trbovic.
24 Q. You testified a few moments ago that General Spiro Nikovic became
25 commander of the 2nd Operational Group of the JNA. Can you tell me what
1 that was and what area it covered?
2 A. The 2nd Operational Group of the JNA was the operational group of
3 JNA units and Territorial Defence units that covered the area of Kordun
4 and Banija, and part of Lika, around lake Plitvice.
5 Q. Which --
6 A. Or, rather, the municipality of Korenica.
7 Q. Which units of the JNA and the Territorial Defence were included
8 within this operational group?
9 A. The units of the Petrinja garrison of the JNA, units that came
10 from Serbia, units that were in the territory of the municipality of
11 Slunj, that is to say a group of units in the area of Plitvice.
12 Q. Are those units that -- are those TO units or JNA units at the end
13 of your answer there, that were from the territory of Slunj and the units
14 from the area of Plitvice?
15 A. TO units from the area of Slunj belonged to the command of the 2nd
16 Operational Group, that is to say TO units from the entire area of Kordun
17 and Banija and JNA units from the area of Plitvice.
18 Q. Were there any police units, to your knowledge, that worked with
19 this structure, the 2nd Operational Group?
20 A. In that area, there were police units but they were not
21 subordinated to that group.
22 Q. Where were the police units from?
23 A. These were regular police from the municipalities and there were
24 special units of the police of Krajina stationed in that area.
25 Q. And do you know who commanded those police units in that area?
1 A. I know part of it. Commander of the special police was Stevo
2 Borojevic in the area of Kostajnica and Samarica. And I don't know
3 exactly who it was in Korenica. I know that Frenki had his headquarters
4 in Korenica at the time, but they had separate units any way. There was
5 the unit of Captain Dragan, the former Knindza that was subordinated to
6 Frenki. I don't know exactly in which area that unit operate.
7 Q. Where was the headquarters of this operational group?
8 A. At the hill of Samarica, between Kostajnica and Dvor Na Uni and
10 Q. What was the 7th Banija Division?
11 A. The 7th Banija Division was a volunteer structure that was
12 established by the parallel government structure in the beginning of the
13 summer of 1991. It was the biggest volunteer unit formed in the territory
14 of the SAO Krajina under the control of the parallel structures. I
15 already spoke about that. This is the unit that was armed by Radmilo
16 Bogdanovic and they were organised in that area. That structure waged war
17 in Dvor Na Uni and Kostajnica, and then under the influence of Mr. Martic,
18 while he was in charge of the Territorial Defence, it was transformed into
19 the Territorial Defence units of Dvor Na Uni and Kostajnica. For a long
20 time, this unit was not subordinated to the command of the operational
21 zone or rather the commander of the operational zone of Territorial
22 Defence for Banija. It was subordinated only from the month of October
23 1991, as units of Territorial Defence of Dvor and Kostajnica.
24 Q. And from October of 1991, when it was -- became units of the
25 Territorial Defence of Dvor and Kostajnica, did it have any relation to
1 the 2nd Operative Group or 2nd Operations Group that you've been talking
3 A. They were subordinated to the command of the 2nd Operations Group.
4 Q. And who was the commander, if you know, of the 7th Banija
6 A. Bogdan Vajagic was.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who was this division subordinated to before
8 October 1991, when it was running as a parallel structure?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milan Martic.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Proceed, Mr. Whiting.
11 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. During the summer or fall of 1991, did Vojislav Seselj come to the
13 SAO Krajina?
14 A. The end of 1991, he was there in May as well, May 1991.
15 Q. And for what purpose, if you know, did he come to the SAO Krajina
16 on those occasions?
17 A. At the end of 1991, he came to visit his volunteers, who were on
18 the front line.
19 Q. Did his volunteers have a name?
20 A. They were individuals in JNA units at that time.
21 Q. And how did he -- how did he get to his volunteers? Was his trip
22 facilitated by anybody?
23 A. He came with a support of the JNA and the Minister of Defence of
24 Serbia, the minister who replaced General Simovic. I cannot remember his
25 name right now. This was in 1991, Marko Negovanovic was the name.
1 Q. And how do you know that?
2 A. Seselj told me, Seselj himself told me.
3 Q. You've made reference to the 6th Lika Division but I don't think I
4 asked you who commanded that division, if you know.
5 A. As far as I heard, Savo Jurasovic. I don't know anything else.
6 Q. And it was headquartered where?
7 A. In Plitvice.
8 Q. I want to talk to you now, Mr. Babic, about fighting that occurred
9 in various areas in the SAO Krajina during the fall of 1991. And I want
10 to start first with the Kostajnica region, specifically Dubica, Civljani,
11 and Bacin.
12 MR. WHITING: And Your Honours that area in addition to being on
13 map 3 in the Kostajnica area, it's also on page 21 of the atlas that is in
15 Q. Mr. Babic, do you know when fighting started in that area?
16 A. It started in the summer of 1991, towards the end of the month of
17 June 1991. That's when fighting started in the area of Banija. In the
18 area of Kostajnica, there was intensive fighting during August and
19 September 1991.
20 Q. Do you know which units were involved in the fighting in that
22 A. As I already mentioned, first of all it was the units of the 7th
23 Banija Division, later the units of the Territorial Defence of the police
24 of Krajina, and units of the Yugoslav People's Army.
25 Q. Do you know how long the fighting lasted in this area, until when?
1 A. For a long time, for a few months, until the beginning of October
3 Q. In 1991, did you have occasion to go through Kostajnica,
4 Mr. Babic?
5 A. Yes. In November 1991.
6 Q. What did you see?
7 A. Areas that were populated by Croats were destroyed, and there were
8 no Croats left there. They had either fled or were expelled or moved out
9 after the fighting.
10 Q. Did you have occasion to go specifically through Dubica during
11 1993? Or around then?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember which year it was?
14 A. Well, I passed there in 1993, towards the end of 1993, during the
15 election campaign in Krajina.
16 Q. What did you see in Dubica?
17 A. Well, many of the settlements where Croats lived were destroyed
18 and there were no Croats left there.
19 Q. Were there any Serbs there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you later hear anything about what had happened in Dubica?
22 A. I heard in 1994 and 1995, I'm not sure, at a patron saint's day in
23 Dubica where there were quite a few people they said that they had taken
24 their revenge on the Croats from that area for what happened in 1941.
25 Q. Who did you hear that from?
1 A. The local Serbs, who were at this gathering. That is what they
2 were saying.
3 Q. So am I to understand from the way you've answered that question
4 that you heard that from more than one person?
5 A. Yes. Several people talked about that.
6 Q. Did you hear from any other source at any other time anything
7 about what had happened at Dubica?
8 A. I heard it I think it was in around year 2000 when the ICTY made
9 it known that crimes around Dubica were being investigated and that's when
10 I heard from Savo Strbac that a mass crime committed against Croats in
11 1991 was under investigation.
12 Q. Did he tell you anything about what had happened there or did he
13 just tell you that it was under investigation?
14 A. He told me that an investigation was underway but he told me more
15 about his area, Benkovac, which he knew more about.
16 Q. Okay. I'll get to that in a moment. Let's talk now about the
17 area of Korenica and Ogulin, specifically about Saborsko, Poljanak, and
19 MR. WHITING: And Your Honours, Korenica and Ogulin are visible on
20 map 3 of the map book but it's also on page 19 of the atlas in the lower
21 right part of the page.
22 Q. Can you tell us again which units were operating in this area
23 during the fighting, Mr. Babic?
24 A. Yes. I've already mentioned that those were units from the
25 training ground in Slunj. There was a command or rather parts of the
1 Rijeka Corps. There was a special airborne unit from Nis. Then the 5th
2 Partizan Brigade of the JNA, the Territorial Defence of Korenica
3 municipality, and Plaski municipality. There were police units, and the
4 base of the state security service had some units, I don't know which.
5 Q. And is that the state security service of the SAO Krajina or of
7 A. Frenki's units, Frenki had its base there, Franko Simatovic from
8 the State Security Service of Serbia.
9 Q. Saborsko, Poljanak, and Lipovanic, do you know if those were Croat
10 villages, Serb villages, or mixed?
11 A. I think Saborsko was a Croat village, and the other one was mostly
12 Croat but I'm not quite sure.
13 Q. Do you know if there were Serb villages nearby?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know when there was fighting there?
16 A. The conflicts there started on the 31st March 1991. There was a
17 skirmish with the police which I talked about. However, the attack by the
18 JNA began in end August, maybe early September 1991.
19 Q. With respect to Saborsko, do you know specifically which units
20 participated in the fighting in and around Saborsko?
21 A. I know only that the 5th Partizan Brigade commanded by Cedo Bulat
22 was involved in that northern area around Slunj and Plitvice lakes. I
23 don't know any more about that.
24 Q. Did you have occasion to pass through these villages at a later
25 date, the ones we've just been talking about?
1 A. Yes, in 1993, I passed through.
2 Q. And what did you see?
3 A. Well, villages that used to be populated by Croats and Croat
4 houses were devastated and there were no Croat residents any more.
5 Q. Let's talk now about Northern Dalmatia and specifically about
6 Skabrnja, Nadin and Bruska.
7 MR. WHITING: It's at page 25 of the atlas, Your Honours.
8 Q. Remind us again which units were operating there in that area.
9 A. Units of the 9th JNA Knin Corps were active there. Units of the
10 TO from the area of Benkovac, and the units of the Krajina Police.
11 Q. The units of the Krajina Police in that area, do you know who
12 commanded them?
13 A. The special unit was commanded by Goran Opacic. The regular
14 police was under the command of Drazic, I think. I think Drazic was the
15 commander then. I'm not quite sure about that, about the regular police.
16 Q. Do you know what the relationship was between Goran Opacic and
17 Milan Martic?
18 A. Goran Opacic was both subordinated to and close to Milan Martic.
19 They were friends.
20 Q. Who was the president of the Benkovac municipality at that time?
21 A. Zdravko Zecevic.
22 Q. Did he have any relationship that you know of to Milan Martic?
23 A. Yes. In 1991, until November, he was deputy president of the
24 assembly of Krajina, but he was also part of the parallel government,
25 together with Martic, and in February 1992, he became Prime Minister of
1 the government of the Serbian Krajina, when I was replaced.
2 Q. Was there a different kind of an organisational structure in
3 Benkovac at that time?
4 A. Benkovac had a peculiar structure, different from other parts of
5 Krajina. They had a sort of Crisis Staff. It was called Crisis Staff of
7 Q. Who was represented on the Crisis Staff?
8 A. The leadership of the Benkovac municipality, the police, and the
9 Territorial Defence.
10 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 124, please?
11 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
12 A. Yes. It has been shown to me.
13 Q. What is it?
14 A. It's a report from the Crisis Staff of the north, Dalmatia. It's
15 the Crisis Staff of Zagreb, and that's a report that the government of
16 Croatia had at the time.
17 Q. So just to be clear because just a moment ago we were talking
18 about the Crisis Staff of Benkovac, this is a different Crisis Staff?
19 A. We spoke earlier about the Serbian Crisis Staff in Benkovac, and
20 this is the Croatian Crisis Staff from the same area, Benkovac.
21 Q. This document describes various events that occurred at that time.
22 In the first paragraph it talks about mortar shells, second paragraph
23 about an artillery attack, talks about private homes being targeted in the
24 third paragraph, and so forth. Have you had an opportunity to read this
25 entire document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is the report in this document about what happened in these areas
3 accurate, to your knowledge?
4 A. It reflects faithfully the situation as it was in that area.
5 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into
6 evidence, please?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 221, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit number 144, which is
12 in evidence as Exhibit 40?
13 Q. Do you recognise this document?
14 A. Yes. It's a report from the Krajina TO dated 16-17 September
16 Q. If we could scroll down a little bit, it says there that "at 1750
17 hours, Secretary Milan Martic issued the following order." And then in
18 point 2 there is a reference to the "armoured train." Is that the
19 armoured train that you spoke about earlier in your testimony?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, if we could scroll down a little bit further, just below
22 point 4, it says, "At David Rastovic's request to organise the mopping up
23 of Lovinac and Sveti Rok overnight using the Gracac forces." And it goes
24 on. Can you remind us again who David Rastovic was at that time?
25 A. The president of the municipality of Donji Lapac was a member of
1 this parallel government that I talked about, a close associate of Milan
3 Q. Is it strange that in this report he's described as giving a
4 request to mop up various areas?
5 A. He was involved in those fights, with Franko Simatovic and Martic.
6 Q. You described for us earlier remarks that Frenki Simatovic had
7 about an attack on Lovinac. Is this related to that attack?
8 A. Yes. It happened after these events. I heard it from Simatovic
9 after these events.
10 Q. In October of 1991, did you have a conversation with General
11 Vukovic of the 9th Corps relating to the area that included Skabrnja?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell us about that conversation? How it came about and
14 what occurred in the conversation.
15 A. After the signing of the agreement with representatives in Zadar,
16 that is the agreement between the JNA command and the city of Zadar, about
17 a cease-fire and the pullout of JNA units from Zadar, around that time, I
18 was invited by General Vukovic to see him at his office, at the command of
19 the 9th Corps in Knin. So I came, and he had in front of him a map of
20 north Dalmatia, which was the area where the units of the 9th Corps of the
21 JNA were deployed. He asked me to point out Serb-populated areas in that
22 territory, Serb settlements. And he told me to pay special attention to
23 the edge of that zone where his units were deployed. I enumerated all I
24 knew and showed him all the Serb villages. He kept looking at the map and
25 shaking his head, and then he said, "I can't wait for winter this way. I
1 have to level it." He meant that he had to narrow down defence lines and
2 regroup his forces and shorten the front line in order to have a better
3 situation for the winter. That was the reason.
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour I have just one last question on this
5 topic and then it would be a convenient time for the break.
6 Q. What -- what did you understand him to mean that he had to shorten
7 the front line and did this have any consequence for Skabrnja?
8 A. That area, especially the area of Benkovac and the environs of
9 Zadar, was such that the contact line between Serb and Croat settlements
10 was a curved line. I already explained how I understood Vukovic's
11 comment, that he had to level it out and shorten the front line. If he
12 deployed his units only across Serb settlements, he would get a very long
13 line of deployment, and if he shortened it and made it a straight line, it
14 would be a smaller area to defend, a shorter contact line with the
15 opposite side. That's how I understood it.
16 Of course, he didn't give me any details, but from what happened
17 later on, I understood what happened. Skabrnja and Nagin [as interpreted]
18 were deeper into the territory surrounded by Serbs and JNA and other
19 forces, including the TO leveled that line in the military sense, and
20 occupied the area of Skabrnja. Savo Strbac told me that expressly when I
21 asked him why that had happened in Skabrnja and he said as much. He said
22 they were deep into our territory and we had to take control. So my
23 understanding of Vukovic's comment turned out to be correct. Of course, I
24 couldn't know then what consequences that takeover would have and the
25 consequences for the local population were terrible.
1 Q. Mr. Babic, I'll ask you some more questions about your
2 conversation with Savo Strbac about this after the break but we are now
3 overdue and I apologise for going over.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Court adjourned. We will come back at quarter to.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting.
8 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Babic in the answer that you gave before the break, there was
10 a reference as translated to us to Skabrnja and Nagin. Is it Nagin or
12 A. Nadin. But I would like to say one more thing, if you allow me.
13 Maybe I wasn't precise enough about the names of two people in Benkovac.
14 Q. Please do. Please explain.
15 A. Concerning Drazic, I think he was for a while commander of the
16 municipal TO Staff, whereas I had spoken earlier about the regular police.
17 I wasn't sure. For a while, it was Vujko who commanded the regular
18 police. That was perhaps the inaccuracy.
19 Q. Thank you for that clarification.
20 Before the break, you started to tell us about a conversation that
21 you had with Savo Srbac about what had happened at Skabrnja. When did you
22 have that conversation?
23 A. That conversation was in year 2000, around that time, in Belgrade.
24 Q. What did he tell you about Skabrnja?
25 A. He said that at the time, he headed the commission in charge of
1 exchanging bodies of the dead between Benkovac and Zadar, that is between
2 the Serb and Croat sides. He was on the Serb panel in Benkovac in charge
3 of exchanging bodies. He spoke about events in Skabrnja because the Croat
4 press reported it, and I don't know what the reports of the ICTY
5 investigators were, but he commented on the press coverage. He said there
6 had been no mass killings of civilians in Skabrnja and there had been no
7 mass burials without marking the graves. He said that people were killed
8 individually in fighting and everybody was buried in an individual grave
9 that was marked, and the bodies were later delivered to the Croat side.
10 That was his comment, and he also added that it wasn't true that Goran
11 Opacic who was also known as Klempo had been involved in the fighting all
12 the time. He said Goran Opacic had been there at the outset but later
13 left. And that was his comment on those events, that I heard.
14 And I did ask him, "Why did you do this over there? Why did this
15 fighting occur at all?" And he said, "They were deep in our territory."
16 And I said, "Who was involved?" And he answered, "Well, everybody, the
17 police and the army."
18 Q. Did you also have a conversation with him about what happened at
20 A. Yes. He said Klempo, that is Goran Opacic, chief of the special
21 police from Benkovac had thrown a hand grenade into a house in Bruska
22 where there were Croats gathered and a Serb postman, killing everybody,
23 and he said the man was mad. He said it was absolute madness, a folly,
24 what he had done.
25 Q. Did Savo Strbac have any connection to your making contact with
1 the Office of the Prosecutor after you saw the Milosevic indictment?
2 A. Yes. He put me in touch with the office of the Tribunal in
3 Belgrade. In fact, he transmitted to them my message that I wanted
4 contact with the Tribunal, and they informed the investigations here in
5 The Hague, after which I got in touch with the investigators and the OTP.
6 Even before that, he talked to me about cooperating with the Tribunal but
7 concerning the investigation of the Croat Operation Storm in Krajina.
8 Q. Is that why he put you in touch with the OTP?
9 A. Yes. In fact, he is leading a non-governmental organisation that
10 investigates crimes against Serbs committed by Croats, members of the
11 Croat armed forces, in 1995.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, do you know if Savo Strbac made any statements
13 concerning you at the time you pled guilty at the Tribunal?
14 A. Yes. At the moment when he put me in touch with the Tribunal, he
15 was convinced that I would deny everything that was being said about me
16 and about the Serbs in Krajina. After I started cooperating with the
17 Tribunal, however, and after I testified in the Milosevic case, and
18 especially after I pleaded guilty, he stated, before the press, that I
19 used to be a firm man, and I had become a walkover, a rag.
20 Q. Mr. Babic, in the fall of 1991 or after, did you hear of any
21 investigations or punishment of any Serbs in the SAO Krajina for having
22 committed crimes during the war or during fighting?
23 A. In the course of 1991, I don't remember. Later on, there were
25 Q. What did you learn later on about investigations?
1 A. There was one case in the area of Knin where members of the Serb
2 army of the SAO Krajina had suffered some losses fighting with Croats and
3 after that they killed Croat civilians in their own village, out of
4 revenge, and then they were arrested either by the police or the military
5 police and they were put in prison but I seem to have heard they had
7 Q. Do you know when that occurred?
8 A. 1993.
9 Q. Did you hear about any other investigations for -- related to
10 crimes committed against Croat civilians in 1991?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, you spoke earlier in your testimony about prisons in
13 Knin. Can you tell us, were there in the -- in the summer or fall of
14 1991, were there any prisoner exchanges between the Croat side and the
15 Serb side?
16 A. Yes. Prisoners and detainees, yes.
17 Q. What do you know about that?
18 A. The police of the Krajina, or rather Mr. Martic, exchanged
19 Croatian policemen that had been taken prisoners for Serb policemen who
20 had been taken prisoner.
21 Q. Do you recall any specific occasions when that occurred, that you
22 could describe for us?
23 A. Well, I recall three situations that I was involved in.
24 Q. Tell us about them, please.
25 A. I remember something that happened during the summer, perhaps it
1 was the month of June, beginning of August, when the commander of the Knin
2 Corps, General Nikovic, called me into his office and said to me that
3 Martic has a prisoner from Sibenik, a policeman, and that he talked to
4 representatives of the Sibenik police in terms of whether Martic could
5 release him, and then he wanted the two of us to reach agreement. He
6 said, "Let's you and me ask Martic together to release him." I think the
7 policeman was released. But Mr. Martic, I guess, did not get any one in
8 return in this exchange and then he said, in the newspapers later on, that
9 he regretted having done it. That was one situation.
10 Another situation was when I also received a message from some
11 doctor from Zadar who is from the same area that I'm from, that Martic has
12 a policeman who was taken prisoner and he asked me whether I could do
13 something to have him set free. Then I called some of Martic's people, I
14 think it was Amanovic, and asked whether they would release the man. They
15 said they would. But since there was no exchange in return, then I would
16 have to sign the document. I think that this man was also released.
17 The third case was around the 10th or 12th of September 1991,
18 during the visit of Ambassador Wijnaendts after the statement was signed
19 in terms of accepting the European proposal on a cease-fire in Croatia.
20 Ambassador Wijnaendts asked whether he could take some Croat prisoners
21 along with him. I conveyed this information to Nikola Amanovic, Martic's
22 assistant, to brought a list of prisoners that the Krajina Police held,
23 and we handed this list over to Ambassador Wijnaendts who circled a group
24 of people on this list that he took along with him. Those are the cases
25 that I'm aware of.
1 Q. You said with respect to the second case, the one -- when you
2 received a message from a doctor in Zadar, that they told you that you
3 would have to sign a document. Did you sign a document?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit 99, please?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, is this document, this one of
7 16-17 September 1991 in evidence?
8 MR. WHITING: No, it isn't. Could it be put into evidence,
9 please? Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. The document is admitted into evidence.
11 May it please be given an exhibit number.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I see my notes and perhaps you're being
14 told this as well by the Registrar, that it's already in evidence as
15 Exhibit 40.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. I apologise for the
18 MR. WHITING: Well, thank you. I could very easily have missed
20 Q. Mr. Babic, could we scroll down on the document, please? So we
21 could read the text? Is -- do you recognise this document, Mr. Babic?
22 A. Yes. This is the document that I was asked to sign in order to
23 release the policeman from Zadar who was taken prisoner by the Krajina
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, that document is not coming on my screen.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. WHITING:
3 Q. Mr. Babic, aside from signing that document, did you do anything
4 to release this person?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know who released him?
7 A. Mr. Martic.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, did you hear anything during 1991 about how prisoners
9 were treated in the prisons in Knin?
10 A. I heard towards the end of 1991, in the autumn, or at the end of
11 1991, from the justice minister in the Krajina government, Risto Matkovic
12 that prisoners in jail were being mistreated by the police, who were
13 detaining them there.
14 Q. Why did Risto Matkovic tell you that, if you know?
15 A. He said to me that we could, if I agree, have him talk to
16 Mr. Martic, Minister of the Interior; if I agree, that he take measures
17 and bring in professional prison guards so that this mistreatment would
18 stop and that order would be imposed.
19 Q. Did that happen?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. When did it happen?
22 A. Towards the end of 1991. I cannot remember exactly now.
23 Q. Did somebody take charge of the prisons?
24 A. Professional prison guards, under the administration of Tauz. I
25 think that was the name of the man who brought in this group of
1 professional prison guards.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt? Why did Mr. Matkovic ask you if
3 he may speak to Mr. Martic? Why didn't he just speak to Mr. Martic
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Matkovic was Minister of Justice and
6 administration in the government of the Krajina, and I was Prime Minister,
7 so he was my minister for justice.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was Mr. Martic not his colleague in the cabinet?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Martic was formally a colleague in
10 the cabinet, but Martic for the most part did not honour decisions made by
11 the government and his colleagues. Martic was only formally a member of
12 the government.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Had Martic been aware of this mistreatment of
14 prisoners in jail before Mr. Matkovic spoke to you?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He knew. He was the boss of those
16 people who held the prison. It was his police that held the prison. He
17 arrested people, imprisoned people, sent them to jail. Later on, I heard
18 the citizens of Knin talking about this a great deal. So it was rather
19 a -- well-known what was being done in that prison, that is. Martic's
20 people were in charge of the prison. He had to know what went on there.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say Mr. Martic was just a formal member of the
22 cabinet but of -- of the government and didn't cooperate with the
23 government. Why, then, did he agree to the release of these prisoners
24 after Mr. Matkovic had spoken to him?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume that that was the time when
1 negotiations started on engaging UN peacekeeping forces, and that that was
2 the political moment when he became more amenable.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: But Mr. Martic would have been aware of these
4 negotiations himself without Mr. Matkovic speaking to him, and he would
5 have released them of his own volition if he wanted to use that as a chip
6 in the negotiations.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot say exactly what the
8 reasons were, why he relented at that time.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Mr. Babic, with respect to Mr. Matkovic, after 1992, what did he
12 do, if you know?
13 A. Mr. Matkovic became president Martic's adviser. For a while he
14 was a judge and later on, because the assembly did not confirm him as a
15 judge in Krajina, he became a member of President Martic's office and his
17 Q. You spoke about Mr. Wijnaendts the ambassador, coming to the
18 Krajina and that he -- you met with him and he had a list of prisoners
19 which then you provided to Mr. Amanovic. First of all, Mr. Wijnaendts, do
20 you know his first name?
21 A. Sorry, could you please repeat your question? I think --
22 Q. Mr. Wijnaendts, the ambassador you spoke about, that came in
23 September of 1991, the ambassador, do you know his first name?
24 A. I've forgotten. Henry.
25 Q. He was an ambassador of which country, if you know?
1 A. He was an ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He was
2 the ambassador of the Netherlands to Paris but at that time the
3 Netherlands was the presiding country or the coordinating country of the
4 European Community. Van den Broek, the foreign minister, was superior to
5 him, and I think that that is the reason why Mr. Henry Wijnaendts, the
6 ambassador in Paris, became this coordinator or, rather in charge of a
7 particular sector within the international conference on the former
8 Yugoslavia that was being held in The Hague at that time, that autumn.
9 Q. Ambassador Wijnaendts, did you meet with him? You've already said
10 you met with him. How many times did you meet with him in September of
12 A. Twice.
13 Q. And what was the purpose of meeting with him? What was your
15 A. Well, one had to agree to the accord made between the European
16 Community and the representatives of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Croatia, on a
17 cease-fire in the territory of Croatia, so that the conference that was
18 being prepared could actually start, so that the peace talks could start
19 on a final resolution to the Yugoslav crisis.
20 Q. Did Mr. Martic meet with him?
21 A. I don't know. I don't think so. I don't think so.
22 Q. And was this preparation for what was called later the Carrington
23 plan? Did this lead up to the Carrington plan?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Okay. We'll talk about that in a moment. I want to go back to
1 the prisons. At that time, in the fall of 1991 -- I've been saying
2 prisons. Was there one prison or was there more than one prison in Knin
3 in the fall of 1991?
4 A. There were two prisons. One was held by the police of Krajina,
5 and the other one was held by the JNA.
6 Q. And the information that Mr. Matkovic gave you at the end of 1991
7 related to which prison, the JNA prison or the police prison?
8 A. Police.
9 Q. Do you know if civilians were held in either of these prisons
10 during 1991?
11 A. I heard that they were kept in the police prison.
12 Q. When did you hear that?
13 A. After 1995, in Belgrade.
14 Q. Do you recall who told you that or how you heard it?
15 A. From a relative of my wife, Jasminka, who told me that her mother
16 who was a Croat was held in that prison.
17 Q. Now, you testified earlier in your testimony about Mr. Martic
18 being arrested in Bosnia-Herzegovina in September of 1991 with Dusan
19 Smiljanic. Now, I appreciate that you said in your answer earlier that
20 you didn't know if he was arrested or detained or what the circumstances
21 exactly were of him being held. Just for purposes of these questions I'll
22 just the word arrest because it just is an easier word to use.
23 What happened with him? How long was he held and how was he
24 released, to your knowledge?
25 A. This happened within a series of events that occurred between two
1 visits paid by Ambassador Wijnaendts to Knin. That's how I know the date
2 roughly, between the 8th and the 10th or 12th of September 1991. So this
3 happened during the course of two or perhaps three days. There was one
4 particular event that preceded Martic's detention in Otoka. Then the
5 event that was related to his arrest or detention in Otoka and then his
6 release from Otoka.
7 Q. What was the event that preceded the detention in Otoka of Martic?
8 A. The event that preceded it caused a great deal of anxiety among
9 the villagers of Otoka and Bosanska Krupa. This is the territory of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and they are ethnic Muslims, namely around the 8th of
11 September, a group of Martic's men went through that village and they were
12 being held there. It was also said that a journalist from Belgrade was
13 being kept there. Then a group of their colleagues came and set them
14 free. At any rate, at that time the population in Otoka was very upset.
15 Mr. Martic was returning at the time from Kostajnica with Colonel or
16 Major Smiljanic. I don't know what he was at that time. And the locals
17 recognised him on the bridge on the Una, and they set up a blockade. The
18 police took them to -- to the police station in Otoka and I think that the
19 local people actually threw his car into the water. I'm not sure about
20 that. What followed were events that I was involved in too, and that had
21 to do with his release from Otoka. Or, rather, communications, talks, and
22 finally getting Martic out of Otoka by a helicopter of the Yugoslav
23 People's Army.
24 MR. WHITING: Could we look, please, at intercept -- in the
25 intercept bundle and if the witness could be provided with a bundle, and
1 if we could look at intercept number 129 or that's the 65 ter number but
2 that's how it's tabbed in the bundle.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: This time I didn't hear this document being put
4 into evidence.
5 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, you're --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The order on Visi Kostman [phoen].
7 MR. WHITING: You're absolutely correct, Your Honour. Could that
8 be moved into evidence, please, thank you.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
10 please be given an exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 222, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. WHITING:
14 Q. Mr. Babic, have you found intercept number 129?
15 A. I'm still looking for it.
16 MR. WHITING: Maybe the usher could assist.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it. I found it. Thank you.
18 MR. WHITING:
19 Q. If you could just take a moment to look at that transcript, Mr.
20 Babic? When you've had an opportunity to review it, could you just tell
21 us generally what the conversation is about, as you understand it?
22 A. This conversation has to do with the first event in Otoka that I
23 spoke of a few moments ago. That is to say, the event that preceded
24 Martic's arrest in Otoka.
25 Q. Mr. Babic, on the declaration and spreadsheet that was put into
1 evidence, you identified -- you indicated or you said that you recognised
2 the voices of Radovan Karadzic and Jovica Stanisic in this intercept. Can
3 you tell us approximately how many times you have met face to face with
4 Jovica Stanisic?
5 A. About ten times perhaps, perhaps a bit more than that.
6 Q. Have you had occasion to speak with him on the telephone?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm not going to play any clips from
9 this intercept. Could it be marked for identification, please?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The intercept is marked for identification. May it
11 please be given an exhibit number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification number 223,
13 Your Honours.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. WHITING: Could we look now at transcript number 131?
16 Q. Mr. Babic, in this conversation, you have identified and that --
17 your declaration that the participants in the conversation are Radovan
18 Karadzic and yourself. Can you tell us what this conversation is about?
19 A. Well, it was about what happened in Otoka, the second event that
20 I've already spoken about. Martic's arrest. And his being held in Otoka.
21 Q. Did this conversation occur as it has been transcribed and
22 recorded? Did it in fact occur?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'm going to play one clip from this conversation. It starts on
25 the first page of the English and the first page also of the B/C/S, and it
1 starts where Radovan Karadzic says, "Yes, then let them approach from the
2 Novi Sad." From the top of the transcript it's indicated Radovan Karadzic
3 is the second male voice and Milan Babic is the first voice?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Radovan Karadzic is the first.
5 MR. WHITING: The second male voice is Radovan Karadzic.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And the witness is the first one?
7 MR. WHITING: Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Babic, if you could just listen to the transcript -- and I
9 think we have to switch -- if the AV booth could switch us over to
10 Sanction for this playing? I've gotten the nod. See if this works.
11 [Intercept played]
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Babic, in that little segment that we just heard, Radovan
14 Karadzic says that Milosevic will inform Kadijevic and the army will get
15 fully involved. What is that a reference to, as you understand it?
16 A. The freeing of Martic from Otoka.
17 Q. He also says, "We'll bring this bloody mess with our partners to
18 an end. We'll never forget what they did, and they will lose a state for
19 what they have done tonight." How did you understand that statement from
20 Radovan Karadzic?
21 A. His partners were partners in the government of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Muslims from the SDA.
23 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would move this intercept into
24 evidence. Not marked for identification but into evidence. This is on a
25 different footing than the other intercepts because Mr. Babic is a
1 participant and he confirms that the conversation actually occurred.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The intercept is -- intercept number 131 is
3 admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 224, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
6 MR. WHITING: Could we look now, please, at intercept number 474?
7 Q. If you could just take a moment, Mr. Babic, to look over that
8 intercept, the transcript.
9 Mr. Babic, have you familiarised yourself with this transcript?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In your declaration, you indicated that you recognised the voice
12 of Radovan Karadzic in this conversation. Now, at the beginning of the
13 transcript, the other participant says, "It's Muhamed Cengic speaking."
14 Do you know who Muhamed Cengic was at that time?
15 A. He was a member of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from the
16 SDA. I don't know whether he was a minister or Prime Minister or Deputy
17 Prime Minister, I don't know exactly.
18 Q. Could you remind us again what the SDA was?
19 A. It was the Party of Democratic Action, whose president was Alija
20 Izetbegovic. It was the party of the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. Now, can you tell us generally what this conversation is about?
22 A. They are talking about the arrest and detention of Martic in
23 Otoka, and the consequences that was having and the consequences it can
25 Q. I'm going to play a clip that starts on page 1 of the English and
1 page 1 of the B/C/S, and it starts with Muhamed Cengic saying, "Yes, well,
2 they've caught Martic. They are near Krupa."
3 [Audiotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover].
5 "Cengic: Yes, well, they've caught Martic there near Krupa.
6 "Karadzic: Yes.
7 "Cengic: With some of his mates and officers and some weapons."
8 MR. WHITING: Excuse me, if we could just listen to the original
9 and we can follow the transcript on the screen and also on the page,
10 rather than having -- the interpreters don't need to read the --
11 THE INTERPRETER: It's absolutely essential that the interpreters
12 read the text. Otherwise it cannot be translated into French. We need to
13 hear an original reading of the text rather than seeing the text on the
14 screen. The French booth can only work on the basis of sound.
15 MR. WHITING: I understand. An unanticipated problem. Well, then
16 what I propose is that we -- that we play it twice because I would like
17 to, for the witness and for the Chamber and the parties to hear the
18 original, so why don't we play it twice through. So the first time, I'll
19 just play it and listen to the original and the second time the
20 interpreters can read along with the text and it can be translated into
21 the French.
22 [Intercept played]
23 MR. WHITING: We'll play it again now, and the interpreters can
24 read this time the text.
25 [Intercept played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] .
2 "Cengic: Yes, well, they've caught Martic there near Krupa.
3 "Karadzic: Yes.
4 "Cengic: With some of his mates and officers and some weapons.
5 "Karadzic: Uh-huh.
6 "Cengic: I think that they should still do it somehow. There's a
7 number of people gathering there. It could be a mess. I think I'd
8 recommend I'd call Alija Delimustafic to see if he can resolve this
9 through the Ministry of the Interior because I think it would be better
10 for him to be released.
11 "Karadzic: I don't know if it's Martic or some others dressed
12 like Martic's men.
13 "Cengic: No, no it's him. It's been checked.
14 "Karadzic: It's been checked?
15 "Cengic: Yes, it's checked.
16 "Karadzic: And how did he come to be there?
17 "Cengic: He was going from Bosanski Novi and said that he got
19 "Karadzic: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
20 "Cengic: And then they surrounded and shot that MUP chief.
21 "Karadzic: Uh-huh.
22 "Cengic: So it's Milan Martic with a driver?
23 "Karadzic: Uh-huh. How many of them are there?
24 "Cengic: They've also got two officers.
25 "Karadzic: JNA.
1 "Cengic: Yes.
2 "Karadzic: Uh-huh.
3 "Cengic: Two officers from Zagreb.
4 "Karadzic: Uh-huh.
5 "Cengic: So it's --
6 "Karadzic: Okay you're right, then. That's the best.
7 "Cengic: Well, I think it would be better not to make too much
8 fuss about this. The guys on the other side are going to criticise us a
9 lot for this.
10 "Karadzic: Well, okay, but they weren't doing anything, planning
11 anything. They were just passing through so.
12 "Cengic: Smiljanic, Dusan Smiljanic and Milan Bozic had already
13 attacked and surround the police station.
14 "Karadzic: Uh-huh.
15 "Cengic: And Milan Boric, one is a regular major and one is a
16 staff sergeant."
17 MR. WHITING:
18 Q. Mr. Babic, in that clip, Cengic says, well, I think it would be
19 better not to make too much of this. The guys on the other side are going
20 to criticise us a lot for this."
21 How do you understand that statement?
22 A. Well, at that time, Croatia was demanding, I don't know if there
23 was a trial of Martic or a judgement, so Cengic means the Croatian
24 government when he says those were the other side will criticise us a
25 lot, meaning if he is released.
1 MR. WHITING: I'd like to play a second clip which starts on page
2 3 of the English and page 3 of B/C/S. It starts with Muhamed Cengic
3 saying, "To tell you the truth, I've just been wondering."
4 [Intercept played]
5 MR. WHITING: And we have to play it again so it can be put in the
7 [Intercept played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover].
9 "Cengic: To tell you the truth, I've just been wondering what we
10 should do and how we should do it, because there's a great danger that
11 tomorrow Krupa and Bihac and Bosanski Novi will gather there end.
12 "Karadzic: To raise the temperature in this?
13 "Cengic: Yes, you bet, because it's already -- particularly since
14 there's talk today already about this mobilisation of the Serbian people
15 in Krajina and then there would really be a conflict between the Muslims
16 and Serbs.
17 "Karadzic: Yes, yes, yes.
18 "Cengic: Right, we don't need that.
19 "Karadzic: We really don't need that.
20 "Cengic: It really shouldn't happen and, in any event, we should
21 calm this down. I at least many starting from the idea that we should
22 talk and negotiate as much as possible so as not to make these --
23 "Karadzic: I completely agree, I completely agree. I'll call
24 now. You call Delimustafic. Get them to put this in place and I'll see
25 what happened and how they --"
1 MR. WHITING:
2 Q. Mr. Babic, in that clip, Mr. Cengic says, "In any event we should
3 calm this down, I at least am starting from the idea we should talk and
4 negotiate as much as possible so as not to make these." And then Karadzic
5 says, "I completely agree. I completely agree."
6 To your knowledge, did Radovan Karadzic seek to calm the
8 A. No. My impression from that time is that he was doing two things.
9 He and Stanisic and Milosevic were dining two things about it. I think
10 they were raising the heat around Martic himself. And the second thing
11 was that there was a campaign among the Serbs to mobilise them, to get
12 Martic released. The intention was to raise the tensions among the Serbs,
13 to show them what danger they were facing from Muslims and Croats, to
14 promote mobilisation into the Banja Luka Corps which had already been
15 active at that time in Croatia around Okucani and Pakrac.
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this exhibit be marked for
17 identification, please?
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: This exhibit is marked for identification. May it
19 please be given an exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification number 225,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 MR. WHITING: Could we look now at intercept number 134?
24 Q. Mr. Babic, in this intercept, you identified the voices of Radovan
25 Karadzic and -- maybe if the Registrar could turn off the microphone --
1 you identified the voices of Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. Can
2 you tell us what, generally, is this conversation about?
3 A. Well, it's about the situation surrounding Martic's release from
4 Otoka, so I think the date above is wrong. It should have been the 8th or
5 maybe the 9th September 1991, instead of 20 December.
6 Q. I'm going to play a clip which starts on page 2 of the English but
7 on page 1 of the B/C/S. The clip starts with Slobodan Milosevic
8 saying, "Where is this exactly?" And Karadzic saying, "It's in Otoka."
9 [Intercept played]
10 MR. WHITING: And we'll play this again.
11 [Intercept played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
13 "M: Where is this exactly?
14 "R: It's in Otoka, Bosanska Krupa. Otoka is on the border
15 towards Bosanski Novi, and now the Serbian voices in Dvor On Uni and in
16 Knin have been aroused and they want to set off from two directions below.
17 "M: How far is it from here?
18 "R: I don't know. I can't see. I don't have it hear on the map,
19 and they'll be there in three or four hours. The aircraft can't take off
20 now, helicopters can't get through, and they will -- 10, 15 are 20
21 policemen will come from Bihac, maybe, but that's nothing. Nothing. The
22 army must get involved.
23 "M: It must. How long until dawn, two hours at least? There is
24 no --
25 "R: Yes.
1 "M: No helicopter can leave earlier.
2 "R: Yes, it's not possible before dawn, and in the dark it's very
3 risky, isn't it, for both the aircraft and the pilot. But they have to
4 know about this. They know about this in the General Staff but they don't
5 have the initiative.
6 "M: So what are they waiting for, God's blessing?
7 "R: Yes."
8 MR. WHITING:
9 Q. Mr. Babic, at the end of that clip Radovan Karadzic says they know
10 about this in the General Staff but they don't have the initiative. And
11 Mr. Milosevic says, "So what are they waiting for, God's blessing?" How
12 do you understand that exchange?
13 A. Well, at the General Staff, they were waiting for his decision to
14 take the action about liberating him, Milosevic's decision.
15 Q. After the clip on page 2 of the English, and page 2 of the B/C/S,
16 Mr. Milosevic says, "I'll try now to get hold of Veljko." Who do you
17 understand that to be a reference to?
18 A. Veljko Kadijevic, federal secretary for national defence.
19 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be marked for
20 identification? And this intercept needs to be placed under seal because
21 the B/C/S transcript contains a signature of a protected witness in this
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: This intercept is marked for identification and may
24 it please be given an exhibit number?
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification number 226,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. And may it also be put under
4 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
6 MR. WHITING: Could we look now at intercept number 135, please?
7 Q. Mr. Babic, on this intercept, you indicated that you recognised
8 the names of Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic. Can you tell us
9 generally what this conversation is about?
10 A. Yes. It's still about liberating Martic and the events that were
11 going on after that and concerning Mr. Wijnaendts.
12 MR. WHITING: I'm going to play a clip that starts at the
13 beginning, so beginning at page 1 on the B/C/S and the English.
14 [Intercept played].
15 MR. WHITING: And if we could play it again.
16 [Intercept played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
18 "Doctor, he'll be right with you.
19 "Karadzic: Yes, thank you.
20 "Milosevic: Hello.
21 "Karadzic: Good afternoon.
22 "Milosevic: Hello.
23 Radovan Karadzic. I'm sorry I woke you up this morning, but I had
25 "Milosevic: That's all right. I got in contact with Adzic.
1 "Karadzic: What did he say?
2 "Milosevic: He didn't know anything. He was asleep. What you
3 told me must have been received by one of his men in the General Staff. I
4 told him we had this information and I presented it seriously. He took
5 some measures immediately and said the closest place was Banja Luka.
6 "Karadzic: Yes.
7 "Milosevic: Where substantial forces are, so this situation is
8 resolved immediately. It's night-time and helicopters can't be used but
9 we'll see how to take care of this at dawn. Jovica just told me a
10 helicopter had been sent to pick this guy up.
11 "Karadzic: Nothing's been sent. That is the problem. I'm afraid
12 that the MUP, this Muslim part of the MUP will turn had him over to the
13 Croatian MUP and that would mean war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. No one could
14 stop it then.
15 "Milosevic: No one could stop it then?
16 "Karadzic: No one would be able to stop it then, but I'm not sure
17 if war suits Alija because he wants to --.
18 "Milosevic: Wijnaendts was here for about 15 minutes.
19 "Karadzic: Yeah?
20 "Milosevic: So I told Jovica as he was in contact with Milan to
21 say that Martic should sign this technical protocol.
22 "Karadzic: Yes.
23 "Milosevic: And the control and implementation of a cease-fire so
24 no one opens fire. Babic agreed with all this.
25 "Karadzic: Yes, yes.
1 "Milosevic: But he didn't sign it because they wouldn't let him
2 sign it as Krajina Prime Minister but as a representatives -- but as a
3 representative of the Serbs in Croatia.
4 "Karadzic: Yes, yes.
5 "Milosevic: I've told Jovica to tell Martic to sign it and this
6 will be an additional reason why he must be free so that this should
8 "Karadzic: Yes. We will use that for political purposes here.
9 Today I'm meeting with Izetbegovic again. They are simply going for a
10 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina and we are going to implement the
11 regionalisation and introduce our MUP wherever we are in power because
12 what they've done is unacceptable. We don't believe these people gathered
13 spontaneously. The SDA has both power and influence there. However, if
14 the military didn't send a helicopter or an APC there as soon as possible
15 to pull the men out, then there is a great danger because this Milan
16 Brezik person is in constant contact with the BH MUP, the part we don't
18 "Milosevic: Yes, yes.
19 "Karadzic: That is a great danger and that would be -- I mean, it
20 would be a catastrophe if it happened.
21 "Milosevic: I've told Kadijevic to calm this down.
22 "Karadzic: Yes. Can we check with Adzic what they've done?
23 "Milosevic: I've spoken with Kadijevic and he said he was going
24 to check it out. I haven't talked to Adzic again this morning but I'll
25 call him now.
1 "Karadzic: Yes. Do you want me to call him or would it be better
2 if you called?
3 "Milosevic: It would be better if I did it but you can call him
4 too. One phone call doesn't exclude the other."
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. Mr. Babic, I have a few questions about this intercept but we've
7 reached the hour -- I believe we've reached the time of the next break.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have two minutes.
9 MR. WHITING: I think I can do it in two minutes.
10 Q. Mr. Babic, he says, Milosevic says, "Never mind, a minute later I
11 got hold of Kadi," and then he says "Adzic." Who is he referring to
13 A. General Blagoje Adzic, chief of General Staff of the armed forces
14 of the SFRY.
15 Q. Slobodan Milosevic says, "I told Jovica to say that Martic should
16 sign and that would be an additional reason for which he would have to be
17 free, for this to work." How do you understand that remark?
18 A. Milosevic said to Jovica Stanisic that Martic should sign a
19 protocol on a cease-fire that was proposed by the European Community. And
20 that that's the reason to have Martic released, one of the reasons, so
21 that the cease-fire could be materialised.
22 Q. Finally, Radovan Karadzic says, "No. We'll take political
23 advantage of this." How do you understand that remark?
24 A. Well, politically he describes what it means. He would carry out
25 a regionalisation of the MUP and prepare a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 That's what he said. However, in this conversation, he accuses for these
2 actions of his Alija Izetbegovic and the Muslim side or rather what he was
3 preparing and what he wanted to do, he is in advance accusing the Muslims
4 of that. Although, in his conversation with Cengic it is quite clear that
5 the Muslim side does not want to see any worsening of the situation.
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be marked for identification
7 and placed under seal as with the previous --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: This intercept is marked for identification. May
9 it be given an exhibit number, please?
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit marked for identification
11 number 227, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 THE REGISTRAR: And it will be under seal.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: It should be under seal?
15 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour, this one as well.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let it be. Thank you very much.
17 Court adjourned. We'll come back at half past 12.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.36 p.m.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry about the delay. It was something beyond our
22 Before you begin or continue, Mr. Whiting, just one little point
23 on housekeeping. There is a confidential motion by the Prosecution for
24 testimony to be heard by videolink. It seems as if last Friday was the
25 last day on which a response should have come from the Defence, but also,
1 the last time we talked about this, we asked for the -- the Chamber asked
2 for medical certificates. They have also not been filed yet. What is to
4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, we've been working hard at trying to
5 obtain the medical certificates. You can appreciate perhaps the
6 difficulty in trying to get that documentation from the region. It's a
7 little bit complicated, but I thought they were going to arrive on Friday.
8 They didn't. We are hoping that we will have them today and we will be
9 able to file them promptly.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much. So we just keep
12 MR. WHITING: That's correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you.
14 You may proceed, then, Mr. Whiting.
15 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Mr. Babic, earlier in your testimony, you spoke about negotiations
17 that occurred in the fall of 1991, and about Ambassador Wijnaendts and
18 that ultimately led to the Carrington Plan or proposal. What was the
19 Carrington Plan?
20 A. The final document, there were a few variants but the last one was
21 that all republics of the former SFRY or rather all the republics of the
22 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that so wish can opt for
23 independence, that is to say become independent states. Also, it was
24 possible to have different degrees of relationships or rather integration
25 between and among republics. Actually, there can be confederations as
1 well between those republics that so wish. Also, it was envisaged that in
2 the territory of those republics where compact ethnic groups live, ethnic
3 minorities, regions can be created with a special status.
4 Q. Was the plan agreed to?
5 A. The plan was accepted by all the republics except for Serbia or
6 rather President Milosevic.
7 Q. And what happened to the plan?
8 A. Well, the plan was not materialised or, rather, the conference
9 went on later. It went on as the London Conference, and then some
10 republics opted for independence, became independent states, were admitted
11 into the UN. After that, yet another crisis emerged, the crisis in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was being resolved in a different situation. As
13 for the Republic of Croatia and Krajina, after that, what happened was
14 that a representative of the United States, Cyrus Vance, was engaged and
15 also the UN, and a UN peace plan was worked out for a UN protective force
16 in Krajina, Western Slavonia, Eastern Slavonia, this was the plan called
17 the Vance Plan.
18 Q. We will talk about the Vance Plan in just a moment. Before we do
19 that you've already testified about some meetings that you had with
20 Ambassador Wijnaendts in September of 1991. I just want to look at two
21 more intercepts. First one is intercept 141, and if you could look at
22 that, please. Now, Mr. Babic, on your declaration, you stated that on
23 this transcript you recognised -- or with this intercept you recognised --
24 you recognised the voices of Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you tell us what this is about, this conversation, as you
2 understand it?
3 A. This has to do with what happened when Ambassador Wijnaendts
4 visited Belgrade and Knin in September, on the 10th or 12th of September
6 Q. And what do you understand Mr. Milosevic to be telling Radovan
7 Karadzic in this conversation?
8 A. Well, he informed Karadzic that Wijnaendts had come to see him and
9 that on that day, Ambassador Wijnaendts was supposed to meet with me.
10 Also, Milosevic informed Karadzic that Wijnaendts conveyed what he knew to
11 him or rather that he complained about what was going on around Gospic,
12 the destruction inflicted by the Serb forces on the Croatian side. In
13 return, or that is to say after this information that he received and the
14 complaint that he received from Wijnaendts, Milosevic called Karadzic so
15 that Karadzic would establish contact with me. Not to tell me about all
16 those circumstances that he is aware of in relation to Gospic but that he
17 should suggest to me that during Ambassador Wijnaendts' visit, I show to
18 him a situation that would improve his impression, that is
19 Mr. Wijnaendts's impression, or rather show him the destruction on the
20 Serb side that was inflicted by the Croats, or rather the Croatian forces.
21 Q. I'm going to play a clip that starts at the beginning of the
22 transcript both in the B/C/S and the English.
23 I think we are probably still switched to Sanction. I've worked
24 it out that we only have to play it once now because we've provided the
25 French booth with additional transcripts. So as I understand the way this
1 will work, it will be played on the English channel. The interpreters do
2 not have to read. We'll just listen to the conversation in the original
3 and the French booth will be able to translate using the transcripts that
4 we've provided. So we'll see if that works.
5 [Intercept played]
6 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be marked for
7 identification, please?
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document will be marked for identification and
9 may it please be given an exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification number 228,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MR. WHITING: Could we look now at intercept number 143?
14 Q. Mr. Babic, in this -- in your declaration you indicated that you
15 recognised the voices of Radovan Karadzic and yourself in this
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What is this conversation about?
19 A. Well, this is a sequel to what Milosevic and Karadzic were talking
20 about previously. Karadzic is talking to me now. Actually, he is
21 suggesting to me that during Mr. Wijnaendts' visit I should show him the
22 effects of the destruction inflicted by the Croatian forces on the Serb
23 side, so that I would paint a picture for him that it was the Croats who
24 were aggressors against the Serb side, the Serb territory, and that they
25 were the ones that were inflicting destruction.
1 Q. Was that a true picture?
2 A. No.
3 MR. WHITING: I'm going to play a clip that starts on page 1 of
4 the English and page 1 of the B/C/S. It starts with Radovan Karadzic
5 saying, "That guy is coming to your place at 12.00."
6 [Intercept played]
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Mr. Babic, in that clip that I played, you talk about your house
9 that was burned down and you've already testified --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- about that. And you say --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You say, well, it is not far but I won't.
14 What did you mean by that?
15 A. Well, I wanted to say that that wasn't characteristic for what
16 happened there. As I stated earlier on, this was the personal revenge of
17 the Croatian police and army against me, as a Serb politician from
18 Krajina. It was not characteristic of the conflict, the military conflict
19 in the area.
20 Q. Then towards the end of the clip, Radovan Karadzic says, "Whatever
21 they show, we should show as well because they devastate more than we do."
22 And you say, "The hell they did more." And then you say, "When we" and
23 it's not clear. What did you mean by that, by "the hell they did more"?
24 A. Well, the Serb forces were then on the offensive, and they were
25 affecting the Croatian side. It wasn't the other way around.
1 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this intercept be put into
2 evidence, please? Not marked nor identification but put into evidence?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The intercept is admitted into evidence. May it
4 please be given an exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 229, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
7 MR. WHITING:
8 Q. Mr. Babic, you made reference to the Vance Plan. Who negotiated
9 the Vance Plan on behalf of the Serbs?
10 A. Slobodan Milosevic and Veljko Kadijevic, together with Franjo
11 Tudjman, in the organisation of Mr. Cyrus Vance they signed the agreement
12 on the 23rd of November 1991.
13 Q. Were you against the Vance Plan?
14 A. I was in favour of a modification of the plan as signed by
15 Milosevic and Tudjman.
16 Q. How did you want to modify the plan?
17 A. I was in favour of the Yugoslav People's Army remaining in the
18 Krajina as a military force that would protect the Krajina until a
19 political solution is found for the status. A political solution for the
20 Krajina. Whereas the peace forces of the UN should be deployed between
21 the two parties in the conflict according to the principles of a green
22 line, as in Cyprus, the Cyprus model.
23 Q. And why did you advocate that position?
24 A. Well, because the plan envisaged the demilitarisation of the
25 Krajina for six months initially that would be extended as well but not
1 necessarily. At the same time, it did not offer a political solution for
2 the position of Krajina. So I felt that the Serbs in Krajina had not been
3 provided for sufficiently. The plan envisaged the demilitarisation of
4 Krajina and the deployment of peace forces in the entire territory. That
5 is to say, the disarmament or rather the withdrawal of all units from
6 the -- JNA from the Krajina, the disarmament of the territorial defence
7 and keeping only local police forces and police units that would get a
8 national structure, as the population had before the conflict. The plan
9 also envisaged the return of refugees to the area.
10 Q. How did Slobodan Milosevic respond to your proposed
12 A. Well, he started a public campaign against me, that I was against
13 the plan and that I was in favour of war rather than peace and that I
14 represented the war option whereas he represented the peace option.
15 Q. Was that true?
16 A. No.
17 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 220, please?
18 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?
19 A. Yes. That's the letter of Slobodan Milosevic, President of
20 Serbia, addressed to me on the 8th of January 1992.
21 Q. Was this letter public or private?
22 A. First, it was publicised on TV. Then in the newspapers. And then
23 I received it by mail.
24 MR. WHITING: Could we go to page 4 of the exhibit, please?
25 Q. Do you recognise this, Mr. Babic?
1 A. This is my answer to President Milosevic's letter.
2 Q. Was this public?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. WHITING: Could this be entered into evidence, please?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
6 please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 230, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I ask you, you showed two different letters,
10 one of Mr. Milosevic and one of Mr. Babic.
11 MR. WHITING: Yes.
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And both were now admitted into evidence.
13 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour, they are together. They're put
14 together in the exhibit and so they are both -- I'd like them both to be
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 MR. WHITING:
19 Q. Mr. Babic, what was Milan Martic's position on the Vance Plan?
20 A. At the beginning of the discussion, before Milosevic signed the
21 plan on the 23rd of November, Martic spoke in favour of the green line
22 concept, and the deployment of forces in between. However, after
23 Milosevic signed the plan, and started the campaign against me, Martic
24 accepted Milosevic's position, and he did not say very much during the
1 MR. WHITING: Could we look at intercept 215, please?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have two, 215s, one red, another blue.
3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, the -- it appears that what we have is
4 two different translations of the same intercept. The one I will rely on
5 is 02066127 in the B/C/S, and the accompanying English with that.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The ones I have are both in English and neither has
7 the number you've just mentioned.
8 MR. WHITING: Could I inquire, does Your Honour have anything in
9 B/C/S with respect to this 215?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't think so.
11 MR. WHITING: Okay. Well the English then that I'm going to be
12 relying on should have the number on the top 03086790 and the other one
13 can be set aside.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 MR. WHITING: I don't believe that there are material differences
16 between the interpretations but if there are, we can deal with it.
17 Q. Mr. Babic, the version that you have, could you look at the front
18 page of it? And is the number at the top 02066127?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. Thank you.
21 MR. WHITING: Then we are all more or less on the same page.
22 Q. Mr. Babic, on your declaration you indicate that with respect to
23 this conversation you recognise the voices of Radovan Karadzic and Vojo
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who is Vojo Kupresanin?
2 A. He was president of the assembly first of the community of
3 municipalities of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- Bosnian Krajina or rather the
4 Autonomous Region of the Bosnian Krajina, Bosanska Krajina, 1991.
5 Q. How many times did you have occasion to speak with him?
6 A. Several times.
7 Q. Face to face or on the telephone?
8 A. Face to face.
9 Q. Did you also speak to him on the telephone?
10 A. I do not recall. Possibly.
11 Q. What is this conversation about, as you understand it?
12 A. Well, there are two things involved here. The first is the
13 conversation that Vojo Kupresanin has with Karadzic in relation to the
14 situation at the front in Akotoni [phoen], Western Slavonia, the situation
15 in the theatre of war, and relations with the Banja Luka Corps and the
16 corps commander, General Uzelac. The second part of the conversation has
17 to do with the Krajina or rather my position vis-a-vis the Vance Plan.
18 Q. With respect to the second part of the conversation I'm just going
19 to play one short clip, and it is on page 4 of the English and page 5 of
20 the B/C/S, and it starts with Mr. Kupresanin saying, "Why doesn't he
21 defend the territory he declared to be the SAO Krajina?" It's just
22 towards the top of the page.
23 [Intercept played]
24 MR. WHITING:
25 Q. Mr. Babic, how do you understand what Mr. Karadzic says in that
1 clip that's been played?
2 A. He was expressing himself in a picturesque way to the effect that
3 I do not have armed forces with which I'm going to defend the Krajina,
4 that I don't have any armed forces under my control, and that I don't have
5 anything to defend Krajina with.
6 MR. WHITING: Could this be marked for identification, please?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document be marked for identification and
8 then may it please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: That will be marked for identification number 231,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
12 MR. WHITING:
13 Q. Mr. Babic, why did you cease being the president of the RSK in
14 February of 1992?
15 A. I was replaced by part of the assembly of the Republic of Serb
16 Krajina. I was removed from that office.
17 Q. Why?
18 A. Because of my opposition to Milosevic.
19 Q. With respect to the Vance Plan?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who became president of the RSK?
22 A. Goran Hadzic.
23 Q. Now, you told us that -- before that the main -- or that the main
24 points of the Vance Plan were demilitarisation and return of refugees.
25 Did -- after 1992, after the beginning of 1992, into 1992, did Milan
1 Martic support those points?
2 A. No. As I've said before, he publicly supported and agreed with
3 the Vance Plan, and a campaign of replacing leading people in Krajina
4 related to it, but he also implemented Milosevic's plan not to
5 demilitarise Krajina.
6 Q. How did he do that?
7 A. Well, first of all, he kept some of the resources and equipment of
8 the JNA that was withdrawing to Bosnia, he kept the weapons, and then he
9 regrouped police forces, turning them into an armed force in SAO Krajina,
10 admitting JNA generals into the police, and on the 18th of May,
11 officially, at the assembly of SAO Krajina, he proposed the creation of a
12 Krajina army so that there was no demilitarisation of Krajina. Instead,
13 Krajina remained militarised in a slightly changed environment.
14 Q. That was the 18th of May of what year?
15 A. 1992, the 18th, I think it was.
16 Q. Was that the assembly of the SAO Krajina or the assembly of the
17 Republika Srpska Krajina?
18 A. It was the assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina which at
19 the time included SAO Krajina, Western Slavonia, the Serb areas of Eastern
20 Slavonia, Srem, and Baranja.
21 Q. What was Milan Martic's position with respect to the other part of
22 the Vance Plan, the return of refugees?
23 A. Well, he was against the return of refugees.
24 Q. How did he demonstrate that?
25 A. He was Minister of the Interior in the government. He was the one
1 who implemented policy. In fact, he was the strongest man in the cabinet
2 from the area of SAO Krajina, and he obstructed from that job the
3 implementation of the plan for the return of refugees.
4 Q. What was the situation for Croat civilians who remained in the RSK
5 after 1992?
6 A. Well, the situation deteriorated, especially in 1993, after the
7 clashes between Serb and Croat forces in the territory of Zadar, near
8 Zadar. They were moved out for the most part, or had fled.
9 Q. What was the attitude of the police within the RSK towards the
10 deterioration of the situation?
11 A. Well, the police influenced this change in the population. It
12 directed refugees towards Croat-populated centres on the sly, whereas in
13 public they --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part of
15 the answer?
16 MR. WHITING:
17 Q. Mr. Babic, the interpreter missed the last part of your answer.
18 You said that the police directed refugees toward Croat-populated centres
19 on the sly, whereas in public -- and what was the end of the answer?
20 A. In public, they assisted the moving out of Croats to
21 Croat-controlled areas. That is, areas under the control of the Croatian
23 Q. And how -- what happened to houses that Croats moved out of it,
24 within the RSK, during this time period, 1992-1993?
25 A. Serb refugees from the area of Benkovac were moved in to those
2 Q. Did the police have any role in that?
3 A. Well, as far as I was informed, they acted in the way I described.
4 Q. And how were you informed? How did you know about this?
5 A. Well, people told me that refugees are being directed towards
6 Croatian settlements near Knin, Vrpolje, in Kninsko Polje, and as for the
7 role of the police, Nikola Amanovic told me that they had prepared some
8 buses, that they had organised transportation for Croats from Vrpolje via
9 Zitnic towards Sibenik.
10 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 246, please? Could
11 we look at page 3 of the B/C/S version? And for English, I think it's
12 also page 3. Let me check. Yes, page 3 on the English as well.
13 Q. Do you recognise this, Mr. Babic?
14 A. Yes. This has been shown to me before.
15 Q. What is it?
16 A. It's a report addressed to the UNPROFOR command in Zagreb
17 concerning the situation in Krajina.
18 Q. Mr. Babic, is the version that you have on your screen in English
19 or in B/C/S?
20 A. English.
21 Q. The problem here is that the original is an English document so
22 the translation is in B/C/S so they appear to have gotten reversed.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
24 MR. WHITING: If we could go to page 3 for each one? It's still
25 the next page on the version that's before -- in front of the witness, on
1 the B/C/S channel. It's not -- it's still next page.
2 Let's do this, this way. Could I have -- I have a B/C/S hard copy
3 version of that page, page 3, if it could be shown to the witness. And,
4 Your Honours, on one of your screens, is there an English version of page
5 3, a letter from Milan Martic?
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: No. Not on mine. I have got two different
7 documents on the screens.
8 MR. WHITING: I see that. I'm looking now. On the monitor -- on
9 the monitor there should be or rather it should say at the top, "Republic
10 Serbian Krajina, Ministry of Internal Affairs." Is that visible to the
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: That is.
13 MR. WHITING: Okay. That is the English version of the letter.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right.
15 MR. WHITING: And if the usher could scroll down on that copy so
16 the Court can see it. There we go.
17 Well, now -- now -- okay of the now it's on the other screen. It
18 should be on your other screen, the English version. And the B/C/S
19 version is on the screen that's in front of the witness. He also has a
20 hard copy of it.
21 Q. Mr. Babic, this appears to be a letter from Milan Martic dated the
22 28th of September 1992. Now that you've had a chance to read the letter,
23 are you familiar with what is being talked about in the letter?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What is it?
1 A. Well, the way it reads. Mr. Martic had information that it had
2 been planned to move in Croatian population into Skabrnja, Novi Grad and
3 Pridraga. That's on the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. The
5 witness is interpreting a text, and missing out the word "forced". The
6 text speaks of "forced" moving in of Croat population.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Babic, are you reading or are you
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wanted to interpret it briefly.
10 If necessary, I can read exactly what is written or maybe I can describe
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe you can read what is written and then you can
13 tell us what you make of it.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The heading
15 says, "Republic Serbian Krajina, Ministry of the Interior, reference
16 number, Knin 28 September 1992, designated as very urgent. And the
17 subject is, Preparations of the Red Cross for the Forcible Moving in of
18 Population into a UNPA, UN protected area. It was sent to the UNPROFOR
19 command in Zagreb, the sector south command and the state committee in the
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for cooperation with UNPROFOR. And it
21 reads, "We have reliable information that for the 29th, 30th September
22 1992, it has been planned to move in population by force (Skabrnja, Novi
23 Grad, and Pridraga) bearing in mind that this has to be approved by a
24 special committee of the Serbian government, if the conditions are
25 created, we --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Can the interpreters have the text on the
2 screen, please?
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Babic. Take -- can you just wait for
4 the interpreter?
5 MR. WHITING:
6 Q. The interpreters have asked that the text be put on the screen.
7 And I think rather than try to switch it around because they have -- all
8 they have is the monitor and now on the monitors, the B/C/S version and
9 what they want is the English version.
10 THE INTERPRETER: We just wanted the text on the screen, at least,
11 because Mr. Babic is reading it too fast and we are not following.
12 MR. WHITING: The English version or the B/C/S version?
13 THE INTERPRETER: The B/C/S.
14 MR. WHITING: Then we could just put it on the ELMO.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: They see it on the screen. It's just that I think
16 Mr. Babic was moving a little too fast for them. I guess the interpreters
17 can see it now on the screen.
18 THE INTERPRETER: We can, Your Honour, thank you.
19 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Babic, and just take it slow
21 so that you don't leave them behind.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Let me see where I
23 left off. "Bearing in mind that the Croatian side is very well aware of
24 our position, namely that this immigration has to be confirmed by a
25 special commission of the government of the RSK, if the right conditions
1 for that exist, we hereby inform you that we will be forced to prevent
2 this forcible entry into the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
3 We believe that the Croatian side will use this prevention of entry into
4 RSK as a motive for offensive action and aggression against the RSK and
5 that is where the main task of the Red Cross lies. Similarly, action is
6 being taken and tensions are being created in the area of Baranja. We
7 hereby request from the UNPROFOR command to intervene and take the
8 necessary measures to prevent any act of violence with unforeseeable
9 consequences. Yours faithfully, Minister Milan Martic".
10 MR. WHITING:
11 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, now that you've read the text, can you explain to
12 us how you understand the text?
13 A. Well, I started to explain. In fact, the mission of the Red Cross
14 was to assist in the return of civilian population of Croat ethnicity that
15 had been driven out or had moved out from Skabrnja, Novi Grad, Pridraga
16 and the area of Baranja is also mentioned here so that these people can
17 return to their homes. And Mr. Martic, as Minister of the Interior, is
18 warning that this must not happen. In fact, he says, "We will be forced
19 or we will have no choice but to prevent this forced entry into the
20 territory of Republic of Serbian Krajina" and when he says "forced," he
21 means without his approval.
22 Q. Mr. Babic in the text it states that the immigration has to be
23 confirmed by a special commission of the government of the RSK, if the
24 right conditions for that exist. Did there ever come a time when
25 Mr. Martic thought that the right conditions existed for refugees to
1 return to the RSK?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. I have
3 to object because this is a leading question by the Prosecutor and my
4 learned friend does not ask whether that commission had ever established
5 something or not. That is maybe a way of putting that question properly.
6 I believe the way it was put right now suggests an answer.
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honour -- I respectfully disagree. I asked if
8 there ever came a time when Mr. Martic thought that the right
9 conditions -- I don't think that's -- that that is a susceptible to either
10 a yes or no answer. I don't think it suggests the answer. I would also
11 say that with respect to the commission, if Mr. Milovancevic wants to ask
12 about that on cross-examination, he may. I'm interested in what
13 Mr. Martic's position is.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I'm finding difficulty finding
15 how you say the question is leading. I will tell you, however, what I
16 thought was wrong with the question. I thought what was wrong with your
17 question was the question how the witness is supposed to determine what
18 Mr. Martic thought. However, if the question was put differently, I would
19 have accepted it.
20 MR. WHITING: I understand, Your Honour. I hadn't seen that. And
21 I will rephrase the question with that in mind.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 MR. WHITING:
24 Q. Mr. Babic, did there ever come a time when Mr. Martic stated to
25 your knowledge that the right conditions existed for refugees to return to
1 the RSK?
2 A. No, not that I know.
3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into
4 evidence, please?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
6 please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 232, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 MR. WHITING:
10 Q. Mr. Babic, who was Veljko Dzakula?
11 A. Veljko Dzakula was the president of the regional board of the SDS
12 for Western Slavonia. From 1990, he was on the government of the Republic
13 of Serbian Krajina. During 1992, 1993, he was Deputy Prime Minister from
14 Western Slavonia.
15 Q. Do you know what the Daruvar agreement was?
16 A. The Daruvar agreement was an agreement between Serbian
17 representatives from UN protected areas, that is from Western Slavonia,
18 and the representatives of the Croatian government, concerning the
19 implementation of the plan for Western Slavonia. In other words, for the
20 sector west UNPA. That was to facilitate life, to ensure the return of
21 refugees, et cetera.
22 Q. Do you know who from Western Slavonia, on behalf of the Serbs,
23 negotiated the Daruvar agreement?
24 A. Dzakula, Dusan Ecimovic, and another person. I can't recall all
25 the names any more. There were several of them.
1 Q. Do you know what happened to Veljko Dzakula after the Daruvar
2 agreement was negotiated and announced?
3 A. He was charged with treason and arrested by the MUP of Krajina,
4 and he was kept in jail. I also heard that he had been beaten up in
5 Belgrade after giving an interview in the studio B radio.
6 Q. What was the Z-4 plan?
7 A. The plan Z-4 was a political solution for Krajina. It envisaged
8 autonomy for the area, that encompassed the Serbian Autonomous District of
9 Krajina, and it envisaged the integration of that area into Croatia with
10 that status. It also envisaged the integration of Western Slavonia into
11 Croatia without any special status. Immediately, as soon as it was
12 proposed in 1995, and probably the integration of Eastern Slavonia, Srem,
13 and Baranja within a certain period.
14 Q. Did you have any role in the negotiations or meetings with respect
15 to the Z-4 plan?
16 A. Yes. From the beginning of 1995, from January until August 1995,
17 I had several meetings with the main proponents of the plan, primarily the
18 American ambassador in Zagreb, Mr. Peter Galbraith, and I also attended
19 meetings of political representatives and the leadership of the Republic
20 of Serbian Krajina when that plan was proposed by the Z-4 group to the
21 president of the RSK and that was Mr. Martic at the time.
22 Q. What was Martic's position with respect to the Z-4 plan?
23 A. He did not wish to even consider it.
24 Q. How do you know that?
25 A. I was there at the meeting.
1 Q. Can you describe this meeting to the Chamber, please? When did it
2 occur, how did it occur?
3 A. That meeting was held in early February, I believe, end of January
4 or early February 1995, in Knin. I was invited by Martic, together with
5 Prime Minister Mikelic, with the speaker of the assembly, Rajko Lezajic,
6 representatives of the police and the army of the Republic of Serbian
7 Krajina. A large group of people in fact. Martic called us into his
8 office, perhaps half an hour before he was to meet the ambassadors from
9 Zagreb. He said the ambassadors were about to bring a plan, that it
10 contained nothing he wasn't aware of. He knew all that was in the plan.
11 And then he took out a piece of paper from his drawer and he said, "They
12 will be bringing nothing new. And President Milosevic says that we should
13 not accept even to consider it." After that we went to meet the
14 ambassadors. There, at that meeting, on behalf of the group of
15 ambassadors who had arrived from Zagreb, Ambassador Kerestedzijanec
16 proffered a plan to Mr. Martic, but Martic refused even to touch it. He
17 said, "No. We won't even consider it before the Vance Plan is
18 implemented." The Vance Plan, however, had already been cancelled by
20 Q. Was Ambassador Galbraith present at that meeting?
21 A. Yes. As I said, Ambassador Galbraith was the architect of the
22 whole plan, and its main proponent, but I understood that out of the
23 respect that Mr. Martic had for the Russian ambassador personally, the
24 Russian ambassador was chosen to officially hand in the plan.
25 Q. Did you have any conversation with Ambassador Galbraith?
1 A. I just told him one single sentence in English, a very short one,
2 and that I said, "I'm sorry," after the talks failed.
3 Q. Why did you say, "I'm sorry"?
4 A. Because I was in favour of that plan, and because I had met him
5 several times before that and discussed it.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before I forget, Mr. Babic, did you get to
7 know the content of this piece of document that Mr. Martic pulled out of a
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. At my previous meeting with
10 Mr. Galbraith, Mr. Galbraith explained the contents of the plan to me. He
11 didn't --
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt? I'm not talking about the plan.
13 I'm talking about the document that you say, when you met Mr. Martic.
14 Before the ambassadors arrived, he told you he was not interested in the
15 Z-4 plan and he pulled a document from his drawer. But you never said
16 anything about that document. I just want to know what is the
17 significance of this document.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That document was in fact the Z-4
19 plan. Maybe a shorter version of it, but it contained the essence of the
20 Z-4 plan. Martic already had it in his drawer.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you come to know the contents of the Z-4 plan?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the same as what had been
23 described to me by Mr. -- or, rather, Ambassador Galbraith. What I said
24 already about the contends of the Z-4 in my evidence. It referred to the
25 SAO Krajina, the Western Slavonia and the Eastern Slavonia, and it would
1 have given status of high autonomy to the SAO Krajina within Croatia.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Babic. You can proceed,
3 Mr. Whiting.
4 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Mr. Babic, was the Z-4 plan successful?
6 A. The Z-4 plan was not successful because the day after I accepted
7 it as Prime Minister, the Croatian armed intervention against Krajina
8 followed. It was known as the Operation Storm, and in the beginning of
9 August 1995, Krajina was retaken by Croatian forces.
10 Q. When you accepted the Z-4 plan on the day before the Operation
11 Storm in August of 1995, who did you communicate that to?
12 A. Actually, I accepted it two days before that. I said that to
13 Ambassador Galbraith at the talks that were held in Belgrade, at the
14 American embassy there, and the following day I made a public statement
15 about that. I also informed the delegation of the Republic of the Serb
16 Krajina about that. On that day they were engaged in talks with the Croat
17 side in Geneva.
18 Q. Did Mr. Martic accept the Z-4 plan?
19 A. As far as I know, no.
20 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I had hoped to finish today. I would
21 say I have about ten minutes, maybe 12, 13 minutes, left. And so I think
22 since we have reached the hour, I will have to finish it tomorrow.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You'll have to finish tomorrow. Thank you very
24 much, Mr. Whiting.
25 Court adjourned, to be reconvened tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the
1 same court.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of
4 February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.