1 Thursday, 1 June 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting?
7 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, if I may very briefly, not to use up
8 any unnecessary time, we have been informed that the witness, if possible,
9 needs to leave The Hague tomorrow for his own ongoing business, which is
10 important and critical.
11 Therefore, in order to make -- try to make that possible we would
12 ask if we could sit today with shorter breaks, 20 minute breaks, and if we
13 could sit for a longer period till -- perhaps till 7.30. By our
14 calculation we have used approximately 237 minutes with this witness. We
15 anticipate using another ten minutes. If we sit the extra time as we've
16 proposed, that will be 275 minutes which leaves -- which means in that
17 time we could -- the Defence could have as long as the Prosecution had for
18 its cross and that would leave approximately 20 to 30 minutes for
19 questions from the Bench and any redirect examination. I understand that
20 it may not work but if we could try to make it happen, we would be
21 grateful and I'm sure Mr. Kirudja will be grateful.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: When were you told that the witness has to leave
23 tomorrow morning?
24 MR. WHITING: This morning, Your Honour. We have been under
25 the -- I had had the understanding and Ms. Richterova had the
1 understanding that he could stay until Saturday, and it's my understanding
2 that the witness is here, he can speak to it if necessary, my
3 understanding that if it's absolutely -- if he has to be here tomorrow,
4 then he'll be here tomorrow.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Okay. Mr. Milovancevic, very briefly,
6 do you have anything to say to that?
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We are quite
8 taken aback by this proposal. There were no indications that we would
9 have to face such a situation. The OTP foresaw the conclusion of their
10 cross-examination during that second session. Therefore, they
11 miscalculated. What is of essence for us is that this is an exceptionally
12 important witness for us. This witness was there in the material time and
13 in the area discussed in the indictment, and we haven't had a witness who
14 was in position of such great knowledge about the relevant events. This
15 request to sit longer today would mean that our breaks are shortened in
16 between sessions, and this is no longer on the basis of equal footing as
17 regards this question -- this witness's examination. The conditions that
18 the OTP enjoyed are not the same when it came to the Defence, then.
19 They had a lot of time at their disposal.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I don't understand how shorter breaks make it
21 not -- make the footing unequal. However, and I do take your point that,
22 yes, the Prosecution took longer than they said they were going to take
23 with this witness. But the Prosecution is not alone in this mistake. The
24 Defence is also partly to blame. You'll remember that at the beginning of
25 the testimony of this witness, and I know I was not here but
1 I read the record, Ms. Richterova did apologise to the witness for having
2 kept him waiting for so long. And that was because of the
3 cross-examination that took place of the previous witness, and I did talk
4 about it when that cross-examination was taking place, Mr. Milovancevic.
5 It is of the utmost important that we complete with this witness and I do
6 not want to us waste more time debating this issue. I would like us to
7 get to the solution of the problem as soon as we possibly can.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the examination is
9 always conducted in the presence of the entire Chamber. In this situation
10 we cannot be held accountable for anything that has occurred. It is
11 non-existence when it comes to our guilt. We don't need additional 20
12 minutes at the expense of our breaks. I would like to thank you for
13 having granted that, but we will just do with whatever time we have on our
14 hands. But I just wanted to have it for the record that just before we
15 are supposed to start a cross-examination, conditions change.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. Okay. Then the
17 Chamber is going to rule as follows: That we will try to accommodate the
18 witness as much as we possibly can today. And this is dependent on
19 whether everybody else is available. When I say everybody else I'm
20 talking about the technicians, I'm talking about the interpreters, and
21 everybody else.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Assuming that everybody -- before I make. Let me
24 not make an assumption. Let me just check with everybody, the people from
25 registry, people from interpretation, people from the technicians and the
1 AVS, if we try to sit longer, would that be okay? Interpreters? I'm
2 being advised that's okay.
3 Okay, then we are going to sit like this, then. We will sit up to
4 1545 today and at 1545 we will take a break up to 1605. That will be a 20
5 minute break. We will reconvene at 1605 and sit until 1735. We will then
6 break at 1735 until 1755, and at 1755 we will sit up until 1925 or 1930,
7 no longer than that. Okay. Thank you very much.
8 Mr. Kirudja, you may very well remember but notwithstanding that,
9 it is still my duty to remind you that you are still bound by the
10 declaration you made at the beginning of your testimony to tell the truth,
11 the whole truth and nothing else but the truth.
12 WITNESS: CHARLES KIRUDJA [Resumed]
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Richterova?
14 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour. Before I start, I want
15 to move into evidence 65 ter Exhibit 887, which we discussed before the
16 break yesterday and I didn't manage to move it officially into evidence.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Exhibit 65 ter 887 is admitted into evidence. May
18 it please be given an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 764, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. Ms. Richterova.
21 Examination by Ms. Richterova: [Continued]
22 Q. Mr. Kirudja, yesterday we moved into the year 1994. I would like
23 to ask you, during 1993, 1994, did you participate or observe any
24 negotiations between Croatia and Republika Srpska Krajina?
25 A. Yes. It was a lengthy process that we participated in, from the
1 ground in the Krajina, and to outside the country where the negotiations
2 took us, into Geneva and Vienna and back. I participated in that entire
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt you at this stage? I think in the
5 interests of time, I'll ask you, Mr. Kirudja, to please listen carefully
6 to the questions and answer -- sufficiently to answer the questions.
7 THE WITNESS: Noted.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't give long explanations that are not
10 Control your witness, Ms. Richterova.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you for reminding me. Thank you.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA:
14 Q. Without going into too many details based on your observations,
15 what was Mr. Martic's attitude towards these negotiations?
16 A. He was not involved directly in the negotiations.
17 Q. And was all these negotiations without his participations?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Do you know whether he was able, out of his position as
20 president, involved the results of any negotiations?
21 A. Towards the end the negotiations were structured in such a way
22 that towards the end, the leaders in Knin were being brought into the
24 Q. And towards the end, what was their attitude towards these
25 negotiations? Were any agreements successful?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Successfully reached? And what was the reason why not?
3 A. It's difficult to put the exact wording to it but from one side,
4 they looked like they were going to be successful, and from the Serb side,
5 they looked like they were not successful.
6 Q. What do you mean?
7 A. My understanding was this -- I'm bearing in mind the comment of
8 Their Honours not to go into long explanation. I don't know how to make
9 you understand that we -- the negotiations were structured in a certain
10 way to reach a certain conclusion, and when that conclusion seemed to be
11 achieved, then once -- Serb side seems to be kind of getting cold feet,
12 and not wishing to proceed further.
13 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to show the witness document -- it's
14 not 65 ter, it's ERN number is R 00311012. Before this document is
15 displayed, you already told us that at certain point of time in 1994, you
16 were assigned to a certain position in Belgrade; is it correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What was the position you were in?
19 A. I had two titles, which were -- the first title was the delegate
20 of the special representative of the Secretary-General where I had
21 political responsibilities, reporting directly to the SRSG in Belgrade and
22 in Montenegro; Podgorica, responsibilities there. The second title I kept
23 from the field, I was also the coordinator of civil affairs, CAC. I had
24 those two titles.
25 Q. I think we do not have exactly the page. It should be -- the last
1 four digits would be 1012. Ah, wonderful.
2 Did this position bring you to attend certain meetings in which
3 Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Martic would be present?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please have a look at this document? It's dated 24 of
6 November, and it says meeting in Belgrade with president Milosevic and Mr.
7 Martic. Were you present during this meeting?
8 A. What's the date on the meeting?
9 Q. The date of the meeting was from the text of paragraph 1, it says
10 yesterday, and because this document is dated 24th of November, it was
11 23rd of November.
12 A. Yes. The document itself also indicates I was in that meeting.
13 Q. Do you remember whether you were -- were you able to go through
14 this document?
15 A. Can I see the entirety of this document? Can you scroll down on
16 it, please?
17 Q. Can we please scroll down? And we can also move to other pages.
18 A. Yes. I am familiar with this meeting.
19 Q. When you reviewed this document, is this an accurate record of the
20 meeting in which you participated?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Can you tell us, what did you observe, if anything, during this
23 meeting, about the relationship between Mr. Martic and Mr. Milosevic?
24 A. The contents of this document centre around air strikes in an
25 airport called Udbina. NATO had struck that airport. There were a lot of
1 intense feelings about this action of NATO from the Serb side. There was,
2 of course, high concern about the actions of the Serbs that led to NATO
3 taking this action, and the force commander at that time, Delaprel, was
4 also concerned about those incidents. The discussion, therefore, was kind
5 of tense on that regard, with Mr. Akashi trying to get certain
6 clarifications about the events leading to the air strikes, and the
7 consequences of that air strike. Mr. Milosevic, trying also to provide
8 some understanding between what happened and what the UN, led by
9 Mr. Akashi, was saying, that was basically the situation where
10 Mr. Milosevic was trying to iron out what seemed to be lack of
11 understanding of events leading to the strike and after the strike,
12 between the UN on the one side and Mr. Martic on the other side, who was
13 responsible for those forces.
14 Q. Mr. Kirudja, can we now focus on relationship between Mr.
15 Milosevic and Mr. Martic, as you observed either during this meeting or
16 any time before or any time after? What was the evolution of their
17 relationship, as you observed?
18 A. Based on the number of meetings I had with Mr. Milosevic, not all
19 of which Mr. Martic was in - some he was not - and also where he was, the
20 relationship at the early part was Milosevic trying to achieve a certain
21 end, a certain outcome, with regard to this area that was called Republic
22 of Serbian Krajina. Specifically and in very short description, it was
23 his vision that it could be negotiated into an autonomous region within
24 Croatia. He seemed very carefully to guide this outcome and each time
25 something that happened from the ground, that seemed not consistent with
1 that view, he would try to guide Mr. Martic towards that goal. This
2 worked for some time, until a certain point, they parted company because
3 Mr. Milosevic and -- would expect certain results, actions would be taken
4 on the ground which negated those results, and at a certain point they
5 parted company.
6 Q. Thank you. I would like to move this document into evidence.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it
8 please be given an exhibit number.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit number 765, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once again, Mr. Kirudja, please listen carefully
11 what the question is asking for and answer what the question says.
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honours, that concluded my
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
15 Mr. Milovancevic?
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: I remind you also, Mr. Milovancevic, to control
18 your witness, to ask very concise questions and just elicit answers
19 without giving speeches before you ask questions.
20 We are going to watch the time. It is now 1438, I think. And you
21 are warned, Mr. Milovancevic, that you will be kept strictly to the time
22 that the Prosecution took to examine this witness. You may proceed.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for the warning,
24 Your Honour. I have understood this but I would like to note that a
25 witness who was at such a position and who is so educated, we have not had
1 so far, and there is no other on the Prosecutor's list. What the witness
2 can tell us about the Vance Plan and what happened on the ground during
3 that period is so significant that I might even want to go beyond the
4 allocated time, but I hope it will be justified.
5 Q. Mr. Kirudja, good afternoon. I'm Predrag Milovancevic, Defence
6 counsel for Mr. Martic. You are probably aware that we are about to start
7 your cross-examination. Given your educational background, given you're
8 long experience in the United Nations, and your long presence in the
9 entire territory that is covered by the indictment, I'm going to ask you a
10 number of questions. I am grateful for your patience and I would like to
11 thank you in advance for your cooperation. I would also like to draw your
12 attention to the honourable Judge Moloto's words about the efficiency of
13 our work.
14 The basis of your arrival in the territory of the former
15 Yugoslavia, Mr. Kirudja, was the so-called Vance Plan. You've explained
16 to the Honourable Judges that the plan envisaged a peacekeeping operation
17 in Yugoslavia. Am I right in saying that this plan envisaged two
18 components, a military component and a civilian component. The military
19 component was to be composed of the 10.000 UNPROFOR soldiers who had
20 infantry weaponry, armoured vehicles, helicopters and a civilian police,
21 some 500 monitors in all, and the total of these men was around 10.000?
22 Am I right in thinking that and in saying that?
23 A. Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. Yes. The mission was composed of
24 the elements you have named. The numbers are not readily clear -- I can't
25 remember readily whether there were 10.000 or below 10.000 but the
1 components are as you have mentioned.
2 Q. Thank you. When we are talking about the Vance Plan, this has
3 already been admitted into evidence by the Prosecutor during your
4 examination-in-chief, its basic principles, and especially its general
5 principles, did they envisage for the peacekeeping operation of the United
6 Nations in Yugoslavia should provide for the conditions of peace and
7 security that would be conducive to the negotiations leading to the
8 solution of the Yugoslav crisis, without any prejudice to the possible
9 outcome of these negotiations?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Thank you. And this commitment on the part of the peacekeeping
12 operation, not to prejudice the possible outcome of these negotiations,
13 did it exclude the possibility for certain members of the UNPROFOR or
14 UNCIVPOL expect a certain outcome or even participate in the actions that
15 would lead to a certain outcome? When I say that, I would also like to
16 say that I condemn any such behaviour, of course, if we start from the
17 assumption that such behaviour was indeed present.
18 A. Mr. Milovancevic, your question is a bit difficult for me to
19 extricate. I don't know what you mean, exclude certain members of
20 UNPROFOR and UNCIVPOL from certain outcome. I don't understand that
21 aspect of your question.
22 Q. I apologise, Mr. Kirudja, if the question was not clear. This is
23 what I meant. Such a mission of the United Nations peacekeeping mission,
24 did it call for a complete neutrality of the personnel, and did it call
25 only for one thing, and that was restoring and keeping peace and creating
1 such conditions that would be conducive to negotiations with a view to
2 resolving the crises in Yugoslavia?
3 A. Yes. With one more condition you have left out. Not only the
4 conditions conducive to restoring peace, but also conducive for the people
5 who were either internally displaced or forced out of that region to
6 return voluntarily into the area. That was a written condition of the
7 Vance Plan, too.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. I completely agree with what you have
9 just said and this is exactly what I myself know about the Vance Plan. Is
10 it correct that the provision of the Vance Plan on the deployment and
11 functions of the peacekeeping forces of the United Nations envisaged a
12 function of the protection of all the inhabitants of UNPA areas from
13 attack and that -- and that was the role of the military component? On
14 the other hand the role of the civilian component was to control the
15 civilian police, the local police, that is, and making sure that they
16 behaved in the same manner towards all the inhabitants of the area across
17 the board?
18 A. Thank you. There are two parts of your question I shall respond
19 to. The first one, that is peacekeeping forces of the UN being expected
20 to protect all the inhabitants of the UNPA areas from attack. That is not
21 quite what you may have implied. It was meant that all the armed elements
22 in the sector would lay down their arms; therefore there would be no need
23 for a fighting force of the UN or otherwise to achieve that protection.
24 The burden of that protection was in all the combatants laying down their
1 Secondly on the question of that the UN behaved in certain manner,
2 yes, the UN personnel, whether they are military or civil police, are
3 indeed required to uphold a certain conduct, among which neutrality is
4 that. But neutrality in certain meaning only, not an absolute neutrality.
5 Q. Thank you. All the components of the peacekeeping operation of
6 the United Nations, both the civilian and the military one, in keeping
7 with the Vance Plan were supposed to be deployed in those areas in Croatia
8 for which the Secretary-General deemed that they required special
9 conditions in order to provide for a permanent cease-fire and for such a
10 cease-fire with respect to all human rights and the control of the
11 situation on the ground, to be conducive to negotiations that would lead
12 towards a peaceful solution of the crisis. Would that be correct, sir?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When we are talking about these special areas which were to become
15 areas under the UN protection, are we talking about those areas in which
16 the Serbs were either a majority or a significant minority, and where
17 tensions eventually resulted in armed conflict in the recent past?
18 A. We had named areas where the conflict had already taken place by
19 the time we arrived. Your question has an implication of things before we
20 arrived. No, the areas where we were to be deployed were where the
21 conflict had already taken place.
22 Secondly, the Serbs were not -- there was no concept of minority
23 or majority, because, as you yourself have explained earlier, the
24 objective was to return the situation into a normal situation while a
25 political solution is being negotiated elsewhere. Included in that
1 expectation is the return of those people who already had been expelled by
2 the time we arrived.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. In answering my learned friend's
4 questions, you explained what the three United Nations areas were. You
5 also gave us a list of the municipalities so we will not dwell upon that.
6 However, with regard to the structure of the United Nations forces, can
7 you confirm that in addition to the military forces and the civilian
8 observers, the United Nations forces also included a group of military
9 observers who were not armed and who were supposed to monitor the
10 demilitarisation of these areas?
11 A. Yes, correct and I regret that yesterday I forgot to mention
12 them. Yes, the military observers.
13 Q. The Vance Plan. As a plan that was drafted by the late Cyrus
14 Vance, was the Vance Plan something that envisaged for the military and
15 civilian members of the United Nations would be deployed when the Security
16 Council decided to send its forces to the three areas of the former
17 Yugoslavia? In order to avoid any confusion, in other words, when the
18 Security Council deemed that the conditions were put in place for the
19 personnel to be deployed, i.e., when there was a cease-fire?
20 A. I want to assure you that all the personnel, military, formed
21 contingents, military observers, and civil police are authorised by the
22 Security Council before they can be deployed.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. When the Security Council of the United
24 Nations passed the decision for the United Nations troops to be sent on a
25 mission in the former Yugoslavia, was the process of the deployment of
1 those forces and the taking over of the three areas under the protection
2 of the United Nations in order to protect those areas? Was it
3 synchronised and coordinated with the commanders of the forces of those
4 JNA units which were on the ground at the time of the deployment?
5 A. The forces that were deployed in the areas, all areas specifically
6 areas in Sector North, were of course synchronised in terms of where they
7 were to be deployed with the JNA forces, but not all the forces arrived at
8 the same time. Some arrived at different times. So the synchronisation
9 had a time line to it.
10 Q. This is absolutely clear. Thank you very much. My question was,
11 relative to General Spiro Nikovic whom you mentioned in the best of light
12 as the commander of the 10th Corps of the JNA, based in Bihac, outside of
13 your sector, that is, and who had a number of meetings with yourself,
14 negotiating the surrender of the area that was supposed to be taken over
15 by the United Nations troops. In connection with this general, and I
16 suppose the situation was the same or similar elsewhere, my question is as
17 follows: Do you remember that the Vance Plan comprised a provision
18 stipulating that the schedule for the deployment -- for the dislocation of
19 the JNA troops would be agreed between the secretary of Defence of
20 Yugoslavia and the -- you, the United Nations mission? Do you remember
21 such a provision in the Vance Plan?
22 A. The provision in the Vance Plan for the deployment, yes. The part
23 about an agreement between the secretary of Defence of Yugoslavia and the
24 UN mission, I wouldn't have a reason to be part of that because that was
25 the force commander and the department at much higher level than I was.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. I just quoted the provision of Article 18
2 of the basic principles under the title, "The dislocation of the JNA." We
3 could open the document but I would rather not waste the Honourable
4 Chamber's time. With regard to your last question, you've explained and
5 you also stated in your statement to the OTP, that General Spiro Nikovic
6 as commander of the JNA forces in the area explained that he had maps with
7 the exact deployment of units and when they are supposed to withdraw, and
8 that he was awaiting instructions from Belgrade. What General Nikovic
9 did, does it seem to you like an action of an officer who is acting on the
10 order of a higher authority or an action of a general who is acting
11 independently of his own will?
12 A. Remember that General Nikovic was a three-star general. He
13 himself was a high authority in the military structure. They don't come
14 higher except when you go to the fourth star general. Secondly,
15 General Nikovic was reasonably familiar with the Vance Plan. When a
16 general is given a task, he is given the results and it is left to him to
17 achieve those results. He struck me as a person who was exactly doing
18 that and also with a lot of discretion about the tactical way he goes
19 about getting the results.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. I suppose that you remember the statement
21 that you provided to my learned friends from the OTP and the part in which
22 you described that at one of the first meetings that you had with General
23 Nikovic, the JNA general, he told you that he wanted to hand over the area
24 to which the UN, United Nations, troops were to be deployed, to hand it
25 over in a good order, militarily and administratively. Do you remember
2 A. Very clearly. He called it, I want a clean situation when I hand
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. As regards the obligation of the
5 demilitarisation of these three areas where the UN troops were to be
6 deployed, it was envisaged that the JNA, once the UN troops were deployed,
7 should withdraw from the entire area. Not only from the three protected
8 areas but from the entire territory of the former Republic of Croatia.
9 There is a report to the Security Council of the United Nations by the
10 Secretary-General that confirmed that this had indeed taken place. Do you
11 agree with that?
12 A. I can't speak to the Security Council report you have mentioned.
13 I am sure it may say what you have said. I don't recall reading it. But
14 the gist of what you have said I recall, because Mr. -- General Spiro
15 Nikovic explained it that the troops, JNA troops, would withdraw from the
16 entire area. That much I remember.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Also, you explained yesterday that an
18 agreement had been reached to observe the provision of the Vance Plan
19 according to which the Territorial Defence would hand over its heavy
20 artillery into the depots under the control of the UNPROFOR and that this
21 indeed took place. Is that what happened?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. As regards the objectives of the Vance
24 Plan, and in keeping with the general principles according to which the
25 UNPROFOR mission was supposed to keep peace on the ground, to provide for
1 the negotiations that would lead to the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis
2 and to provide for the return of the displaced persons, with regard to
3 this provision, are you familiar with the fact that in mid-December 1991,
4 the Secretary-General of the United Nations informed the Security Council
5 that he was very concerned about the possibility of a premature
6 recognition of some of the former Yugoslav republics and that he informed
7 about that not only the Security Council but that his envoy also informed
8 about that possibility the members of the European Community? Are you
9 aware of that fact?
10 A. I note the date is mid-December 1991, the relationship to that
11 part of your question where the Secretary-General is informing the United
12 Nations. My answer to you is that -- at that time, I had not joined the
13 mission and wouldn't be in a position to speak to events prior to my
14 joining the mission.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. The timing is clear to me but I put the
16 question to you for a reason that will become clear in due time. With
17 this regard, I would like the Registry to display on the screen Exhibit
18 number 104. This is the report to the Security Council of the United
19 Nations, S 23, 280, dated 11 December 1991. That is the report that I
20 mentioned in my previous question.
21 The reason why I would like to have this document displayed,
22 Mr. Kirudja, is the fact that this report of the Secretary-General
23 considered the conditions for the implementation of the peacekeeping
24 operation in the former Yugoslavia, amongst other things.
25 Have we got the document on the monitor? On the screen?
2 While this is being displayed, Mr. Kirudja, I would like to tell
3 you this: And now on the monitor before you is the report of the
4 Secretary-General of the United Nations. Can we please display the entire
5 first page? Can you scroll up a little, please? In paragraphs 1, 2, 3
6 and 4, every of these sentences contains in it a provision on the
7 peacekeeping operation in Yugoslavia, and now we are going to go to
8 another paragraph that I'm interested in. Can we go to page 8 of the
9 document? And can we zoom in on paragraph 25? In this paragraph,
10 paragraph 25, the Secretary-General of the United Nations informs the
11 Security Council that by the declaration of the European Community from
12 November 1991, a position was put forth that the recognition of individual
13 republics of the former Yugoslavia can be considered only within the
14 overall solution for the former Yugoslavia, and the Secretary-General
15 supports that position. However, in the second third of that paragraph,
16 the Secretary-General put forth his opinion and that was that the proposal
17 for the recognition of those Yugoslav republics that wanted to be
18 recognised contrary to the position that this should be considered within
19 the overall solution of the Yugoslav crisis, might jeopardise the
20 situation, and add fuel to the fire, not only in the former Yugoslavia but
21 in the general area thereof.
22 And in that paragraph, paragraph 25, the Secretary-General informs
23 that on the 10th December 1991, he had sent a letter to the president of
24 the council of ministers of the European Community containing this
25 warning. Can we please go to paragraph 25, to the end of paragraph 25,
1 where this paragraph finishes?
2 Mr. Kirudja, have you been able to follow this paragraph on the
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: What is your question, Mr. Milovancevic? You have
5 written -- you have spoken lines that are almost as long as paragraph 25.
6 We still don't know what your question is.
7 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I fully endorse the observation of the learned
8 presiding Judge.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, first of all I
10 would like to hear whether Mr. Kirudja has seen the text, has he
11 familiarised himself with the text, and my question is as follows: Does
12 Mr. Kirudja believe that the premature recognition of Croatia and Slovenia
13 that followed this warning indeed worsened the situation in the region and
14 whether the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina created a disaster in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of the day? That's my question to Mr.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your learned friend is on her feet but before I let
18 her speak I just want to deal with what I was telling you about. If you
19 want the witness to familiarise himself with the paragraph, stop talking,
20 give him a chance to read. If you are talking, he's listening to what you
21 are saying, he's not reading the paragraph. That's first point. Second
22 point, when you do put a question to him, put one question at a time.
23 Don't put two questions.
24 Ms. Richterova?
25 MS. RICHTEROVA: My objection was Mr. Kirudja already answered
1 that he was not there in 1991, he is not familiar with these resolutions
2 which precede his arrival to the area. So I object to this question.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the essence of my
5 question was as follows: Some states during the preparations for the
6 peacekeeping operation in Yugoslavia actually undermined that operation in
7 the face of the Secretary-General's warning, despite his letter, and
8 actually involved in seeking solution to the Yugoslav crisis outside the
9 framework of the Security Council decision.
10 Mr. Kirudja said that he came in April, that the situation in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina was peaceful. This question was to be an
12 introduction to my question about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
13 and this is the explanation for my question put to Mr. Kirudja,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: You don't have to explain your questions. Put your
16 question to the witness.
17 Mr. Kirudja, are you aware of some states undermining the warning
18 of the Secretary-General not to take independence at that particular time?
19 THE WITNESS: I became aware of that when I arrived.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You don't need to lay a foundation to that
21 question. Just put the question straight to the witness and the witness
22 will answer it.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Kirudja, having in mind the fact that you are well familiar
25 with the Vance Plan, you said that upon your arrival you'd heard of the
1 problem of some states being recognised too early. Having had that
2 experience, did you believe it to be so, whether this was only -- the only
3 result was that the situation grew worse in Croatia and in Bosnia?
4 A. I can testify that the situation in Bosnia soon after our arrival
5 deteriorated in a very rapid manner. I can also answer your question:
6 Yes, we heard all those views inside from mostly Serbs that some states
7 had done what you say they had done. I was in no position, of course, to
8 verify or know what the states did or why.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Could we now please have annex 4 put on
10 the screen, of this document, page 21?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm being warned
12 by my colleague that this document was only scanned in nine pages. I
13 didn't know this before. So perhaps we could move on so as not to lose
14 time. With your leave I would move on to another question.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
17 Q. As regards your latest answer, Mr. Kirudja, I wanted to hear of
18 your opinion as someone who has worked in international relations for a
19 long time. If the essence of the Vance Plan was to deploy UN troops to
20 secure peace and to find a general solution for the situation, were you
21 able to see for yourself that immediately, after the 6th of April, when
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina was recognised, the situation drastically worsened in
23 the republic? I believe you also testified during your
24 examination-in-chief about that.
25 A. On 6th of April, I was still in New York. I didn't -- thereabouts
1 or planning to leave New York. We are talking about the situation in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I understand that, Mr. Milovancevic. It is
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina you're referring to when you say the situation
4 deteriorated, correct?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is the 6th of April of which year?
6 THE WITNESS: 1992, at least.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. That is correct, Mr. Kirudja.
10 A. It wasn't really that way when we arrived, at least in the first
11 week of my arrival. Bosnia and Herzegovina was relatively calm, but it
12 might have simply been the calm in the eye of a storm but we wouldn't see
13 it. As a matter of fact we had located our headquarters in Sarajevo to
14 take advantage of the calmness. We didn't see any of the rapid
15 deterioration you are talking about until towards the end of April, when
16 we began to see check-points develop as we travelled in various parts of
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. As regards this answer of yours, you
19 mentioned something that was laid out in the basic principles of the Vance
20 Plan, and that was that the headquarters of the United Nations troops was
21 supposed to have been in Banja Luka in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that two
22 departments were supposed to have been located in Belgrade and Zagreb
23 respectively. Do you remember that part of the Vance Plan?
24 A. Yes. With a correction to your statement. The headquarters were
25 supposed to be in three places, Sarajevo for the overall headquarters, and
1 liaison kind of headquarters, one in Belgrade and one in Zagreb. There
2 was not to be a headquarters in Banja Luka. There was supposed to be a
3 logistics base, a military logistics base in Banja Luka.
4 Q. Thank you. And the last question on this topic of the recognition
5 of individual republics, the Vance Plan contained a provision that the UN
6 troops -- sorry, the JNA troops that were deployed in Croatia, be
7 withdrawn from that territory upon the arrival of the UN troops. Did it
8 seem logical to you, and do you think that the signatories of the Vance
9 Plan, presupposed that those troops of the Croatian territory were simply
10 to cross the republican border to find themselves in their own Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, being able to intervene rapidly from that territory in
12 order to protect the Serbs? Does that strike you as logical?
13 A. Difficult question. And I think it makes its point. Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, at the time of deployment, was supposed to be a peaceful --
15 there was no issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Consequently, there was no
16 issue of Croatian troops going into Bosnia and crossing to attack the
17 Serbs, I assume in the UNPA. The deployment was to be in that part of
18 Croatia where all the four sectors were located, and the achievement
19 implied in your question of protection was to be accomplished by the
20 parties laying down their arms, not the UN coming to fight these people
21 who were armed. The implication was, you lay down your arms, you don't
22 need somebody else from outside to protect you because there is nobody to
23 protect you from if they are not armed.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Your answer is logical, but I had another
25 situation in mind, legally speaking, and factually speaking, in December,
1 January and February of 1992, Bosnia-Herzegovina was still a Yugoslav
2 republic. The fact that it was a Yugoslav republic, did it make it easier
3 for the Yugoslav authorities to accept the Vance Plan, because the logic
4 was, as I put it, yes, we will withdraw our troops, they will be in our
5 territory in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Does that make sense?
6 A. It wasn't clear to me that the Vance Plan said where they should
7 go after they have been withdrawn. The JNA was to withdraw all those
8 elements from the areas in Croatia. Maybe I didn't read every line in the
9 plan. I don't think it said where they should go after their withdrawal.
10 Q. The last question on this topic: Was it possible to withdraw the
11 JNA troops to the then-Yugoslav Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in your
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. As regards the acceptance of the Vance Plan, you've
15 already touched upon that. You stated that Mr. Milosevic supported the
16 plan. The UN plan. You also stated that Mr. Babic was against the plan,
17 and that he resisted it. Instead of Mr. Babic it was accepted by the
18 assembly president, Mr. Mile Paspalj. Having those facts in mind, did you
19 know that the Yugoslav authorities and the leadership, including the
20 president of Yugoslavia as well as all the other dignitaries, invested a
21 lot of effort to secure the acceptance of the Vance Plan so as to enable
22 the deployment of the UN troops?
23 A. Clarification for me. When you say president of Yugoslavia, who
24 do you have in mind? It's not Milosevic?
25 Q. I had in mind the president of the Presidency. I don't know who
1 it was at the time. I meant the function, not the person. Milosevic was
2 the president of Serbia, one of the people who were important, but I had
3 the entire Yugoslav leadership in mind, when they were accepting the plan.
4 A. Wouldn't know about the entire Presidency, because you couldn't
5 have the entire Presidency sign an agreement. You can only have
6 particular individuals sign an agreement. You yourself mentioned Mr.
7 Milosevic supported it, and in some subsequent talking with him directly,
8 he seemed to be very active in what happened during that time.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Could we have 65 ter document 227 on the
10 screen? This is a report by Mr. Goulding who was the undersecretary of
11 the SG, dated the 4th?
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters failed to catch the date.
13 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Can you repeat the date, please?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The date was the 4th of
15 February 1992.
16 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
18 Q. Since we are waiting for the report, I wanted to go on with the
19 questions, Mr. Kirudja, so as to save time. It contains the notification
20 on Babic's statement, a statement given by the president of the Republika
21 Srpska Krajina, Mr. Milan Babic. This is the document. Could we please
22 go to page 3 of the document? On page 3, you have the translation of
23 Mr. Babic's statement, in which he is communicating to the public and to
24 the UN that the government of Republika Srpska Krajina has not accepted
25 the then plan, on the engagement of UN troops in the Krajina territory,
1 and that the president of the assembly of Republika Srpska Krajina,
2 Mr. Paspalj, did not have the powers to accept such a plan. Can you see
3 that in the text, Mr. Kirudja?
4 A. Mr. Milovancevic, I'm sure you have the same copy I have. Mine is
5 in Cyrillic, and I unfortunately don't read Cyrillic.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The Court is in the same kind of misfortune,
7 Mr. Milovancevic, if you can help us out.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I had the English
9 version before me. Pardon me. I wasn't aware that you had the Cyrillic
10 version in front of you.
11 JUDGE HOEPFEL: English version is on the first two pages. The
12 Cyrillic starts at page 3.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That is right. Thank you,
14 Your Honour. The sequence seems to have been mixed up, from where I'm
15 standing. This is a fax message. Could we please scroll down to the
17 Q. In this text, Mr. Zoran Djordjevic, as a certified translator
18 translated Mr. Babic's position that the government of the SAO Krajina and
19 its assembly were not authorised to accept the plan. Does that tally with
20 the information you had as regards Mr. Babic's conduct at the time,
21 Mr. Kirudja?
22 A. The date I note is February 1992 on this document. Again, it
23 precedes my presence, but all I can say about the document is consistent
24 with my understanding that Mr. Babic opposed this agreement. That was the
25 basis of the Security Council resolution authorising the mission to go on,
1 on the strength of the Vance Plan.
2 Q. You saw the first page of the document. That was the fax message
3 sent by Mr. Goulding on the 4th of February and he reported on Mr. Babic's
4 position to the UN. I would like to tender this document, Your Honour, as
5 a Defence Exhibit.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence as an
7 exhibit, Defence Exhibit. May it please be given an exhibit number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit number 766, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now
11 please see 65 ter document number 231? That is Mr. Babic's letter to His
12 Excellency Mr. Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the UN in York on the
13 9th of February 1992 by which Mr. Babic notifies Secretary-General that
14 the assembly in Glina that had accepted the Vance Plan did not have the
15 authority to do so, and that the plan consequently is being rejected. I
16 hope that we will have that on the screens soon.
17 The text I have is in English, hence I don't expect any problems.
18 Could we please zoom in?
19 Q. You can see on the top that this is the Office of the President of
20 the SAO Krajina. The letter was sent to the UNSG. At the end of the
21 letter, we see that it was signed by president of the SAO Krajina,
22 Dr. Milan Babic.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Republika Srpska
24 Serbian Krajina, not the SAO Krajina.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
1 Q. Could we please scroll down to see the bottom of the page? Thank
3 Mr. Kirudja, could you please read the middle part, the paragraph
4 that you see beginning on the top of the screen, at the top of the screen?
5 A. We would like to inform you that the illegal attempt to --
6 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Kirudja, the next paragraph. It is much shorter.
7 I apologise.
8 A. I apologise too. "Less than one-third of the delegates showed up
9 for the meeting in Glina, which was also attended by General Adzic, acting
10 Minister of Defence, and Mr. Branko Kostic vice-president of the Yugoslav
11 Presidency. According to the constitution of Serbian Krajina, no decision
12 adopted on this meeting has legal power."
13 Q. Could we please scroll down to the bottom to see the signature
14 block? Drafted and signed by Mr. Milan Babic; is that correct,
15 Mr. Kirudja?
16 A. So I note.
17 Q. Thank you. Regarding the paragraph you've read out, did you know
18 that Mr. Branko Kostic was the deputy president of the Yugoslav Presidency
19 that Mr. Blagoje Adzic was acting Minister of Defence and Chief of General
20 Staff? Do you remember those names? Do they ring a bell?
21 A. No, because when I first learned of even the existence of Serbian
22 Krajina republic was in April 1992, when I arrived in Sector North. Prior
23 to that, these documents are all prior to that event of my arrival. But I
24 did know, of course, certain names or hear of certain names like Adzic.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just for our clarification, Mr. Milovancevic, you
1 characterise Brigade Adzic as acting Minister of Defence and chief of
2 General Staff. Minister of Defence of what? Federal Yugoslav Republic or
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 General Adzic was chief of the General Staff of the JNA and acting
6 minister, once General Kadijevic had resigned, and that of Yugoslavia.
7 Mr. Adzic and Mr. Kostic were present at the assembly in Glina, trying to
8 assist the acceptance of the Vance Plan, and in that capacity, they were
9 accused as members of the joint criminal enterprise in their respective
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja, we will now move on to another document.
12 Could we now have the document or rather Exhibit 104? We had it a minute
13 ago on the screens, I believe, the report of the UN Secretary-General,
14 S/23/280. Just before that, Your Honour, I would like to tender this
15 document, the letter by Mr. Babic?
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The letter by Mr. Babic is admitted into evidence
17 as Defence exhibit. May it please be given an exhibit number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 767, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Could we go to page 5, please,
21 to paragraphs 13 and 14?
22 Q. In paragraph 13, it says that Mr. Goulding informs that at least
23 one of the leaders of the Serbian community does not accept the Vance
24 Plan. And in paragraph 14 at the end of it, in the last sentence -- could
25 you please read it, Mr. Kirudja? The last sentence of paragraph 14.
1 A. "For the reason described in the preceding paragraph, the
2 assurance sought -- the assurances sought from President Milosevic would
3 be especially important in this regard."
4 Q. Thank you. With regard to the assurances by President Milosevic,
5 are you aware of the fact that Mr. Milosevic supported the United Nations
6 plan on the deployment of the peacekeeping forces of the United Nations in
7 the former Yugoslavia? Did you know that or did you gain an impression to
8 that effect?
9 A. I know that, and I know also directly from him, in discussions I
10 had on the matter with him.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. As regards the functions that the United
12 Nations troops had in the protected areas, there were three such
13 functions, and in answering the Prosecutor's questions on day 1, you said
14 that there were four war conflicts, and I believe this is the term that
15 you used, but I'm not trying to put words into your mouth. Could you
16 please tell us what conflicts did you have in mind? What attacks were you
17 talking about that were launched against the United Nations protected
18 areas during the UN mandate? I am talking about the three UNPA areas. If
19 I may make things easier for you, on the 21st of June 1992, there was an
20 attack on the Miljevac plateau which was condemned by the Security Council
21 in its resolution 762. Was there also an attack during the Maslenica
22 operation on the 22nd January 1993, which was also condemned by the
23 Security Council in its resolution 802, and was it also the attack on the
24 Medak pocket that was also condemned and you've already spoken about it,
25 and were those attacks on the Western Slavonia, the Operation Flash on the
1 1st of May 1995, and the attack on Krajina, the Operation Storm, on the
2 4th of August 1995? Would this be in keeping what you knew at the time?
3 A. Thank you. You made my answer a little easier by naming the
4 operations themselves. I only make this observation: Yes, I had in mind
5 precisely the first three that you have so correctly listed. There may
6 have been one more that may have been after Medak, but the last two, the
7 ones you are calling operation -- the ones known as Operation Flash and
8 the last one that took over the entire sector, those are not the ones I
9 had in mind because I had by then been reassigned to Belgrade.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. In any case, I suppose that you're aware
11 of the fact that the last two operations also took place?
12 A. Yes, I'm aware.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. In connection to what you have just told
14 us, am I right in saying that the United Nations troops did not fulfil the
15 mission that they were given according to the Vance Plan, which was to
16 prevent any attacks on the territory and protect the population from
17 intimidation? Let me rephrase that and say: Did the United Nations
18 troops, in all of these situations, protect the entire population that
19 still resided in the territories under the UN protection or did they fail
20 to do that?
21 A. I would like to answer your question and I would like to avoid
22 getting into a debate with you, because the -- I repeat, the UN was not
23 supposed to fight the -- either side, neither the Croats nor the Serbs.
24 In these incidents that you have mentioned, if you go into the details,
25 you will find one or the other or both of the parties in violation of the
1 terms of the Vance Plan, and the resumption of the conflict between the
2 two. In that sense you may be technically correct to say that the UN did
3 not stop the conflict from happening but that would also not be correct to
4 say that the UN was supposed to stop the parties when they violate their
5 terms of the agreement.
6 Q. Thank you for this answer, Mr. Kirudja.
7 As regards the five attacks that I have just mentioned, are you
8 aware of the fact that in all the five attacks in these areas under the UN
9 protection, the aggression was launched by the Croatian armed forces?
10 Would that be an indisputable fact in your mind?
11 A. Yes. It would be a disputable fact.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. As regards operation Medak pocket, you
13 provided a supplement to your statement to the OTP, in which you described
14 the behaviour of the Croatian military and political leadership. Do you
15 remember that you said that in your meetings with General Bobetko, the
16 commander of the Croatian army told you, "Tell the Serbs that the long
17 Croatian arm will grab them eventually"? Do you remember that? Do you
18 remember that he told you that even before you sat down and started
19 talking officially?
20 A. Your Honour, that testimony is elsewhere. It wasn't obviously
21 adduced in this court but it's also correct that -- what he says, but it
22 wasn't said in this Court.
23 Q. Mr. Kirudja, thank you. I may have not been precise. I did not
24 mean to say that you stated that in the courtroom. I was referring to
25 your statement provided to the OTP. In any case, thank you for the
2 In connection with that answer, in view of the information that
3 you have, would you confirm the position of General Jean Cot who inspected
4 the area of Medak and said that in the villages of Citluk, Pocitelj, and
5 he had not found any human or animal life, that destruction was complete,
6 intentional and systematic? Is that correct or not?
7 A. I characterised that attack in Medak as having been very brutal
8 and shocking to all of us. That much I can say precisely because it
9 occurred in Sector South, where somebody else was performing my functions.
10 And therefore, I couldn't really speak too much to what is -- General Jean
11 Cot had said on Medak. It might very well be correct, what you said, but
12 I can't speak to it.
13 Q. In other words, the long Croatian arm did get to the Serbs in the
14 Medak area. In connection with this, this intolerant position of
15 Mr. Bobetko, was it only against the Serbs or also against the armed units
16 of the UNPROFOR, for example the Kenyan battalion?
17 A. That meeting with Mr. Bobetko -- with General Bobetko was about
18 events occurring in Sector North. Yes, you're correct, he just -- what
19 you quoted is what he said, "Go tell them, the long arm of Croatia will
20 reach them." He also confused a number of things, when he was discussing
21 with me, some of which were -- didn't sit very well with me because he
22 made quite a number of accusations about Kenyan troops, not because I'm
23 Kenyan, I'm from Kenya, which I am, it's because the Kenyan troops didn't
24 exist where he thought they existed, and the accusations he made didn't --
25 were all an imagination, and it wasn't something I took well.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would this be a convenient time, Mr. Milovancevic?
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, before the break,
3 just one more very brief question. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Did you accuse him of being a racist on that occasion? Do you
5 remember that? Mr. Bobetko, that is.
6 A. His assistants prevented me from telling him what I thought, in
7 the meeting.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kirudja.
9 Your Honour, I believe this is the convenient time.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
11 We are going to take a break. We will come back at five past
12 4.00. Court adjourned.
13 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, if I --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Milovancevic.
18 MR. WHITING: If I might just briefly, during the break we got
19 some information which bears to some extent on the -- our scheduling issue
20 which I just wanted to share with the court so the Court has all the
21 information; also Defence counsel. The flight that the witness had been
22 scheduled to go on tomorrow is at 10 in the morning which is why we were
23 trying to finish today. We learned during the break that there is another
24 flight in the evening at 2100 hours, and so that information may be of
25 relevance. I don't know how -- I, of course, have not spoken to the
1 witness. I don't know what his reaction to that, but I thought I should
2 share that with the Court and Defence counsel so that you have all the
3 information. Perhaps that takes off some of the pressure to finish by
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would that be okay with you, Mr. Kirudja?
6 THE WITNESS: Your Honour I'm trying to cooperate with the Court
7 as much as I can. It does put a slight strain but I think it doesn't do
8 too much violence in my plans.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Given that answer, then, I suggest -- I suppose
10 what you are saying is that you must still stick to the schedule as we
11 have arranged it and try to see how far we can go and only keep you here
12 as long as it is absolutely necessary tomorrow.
13 THE WITNESS: That would be appreciated and if we must do it that
14 way, then so be it.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I can tell you if we don't finish with you today
16 you'll have missed the 10.00 flight because we are sitting at quart ore
17 past 2 tomorrow.
18 THE WITNESS: Correct. Understood.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, without wasting any time, carry
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. At the
22 very beginning I have already stated my reasons for considering Mr.
23 Kirudja a very valuable witness in these proceedings but we will try to
24 honour Mr. Kirudja's commitments and schedule. Let me proceed.
25 Q. Before the break, Mr. Kirudja, in commenting Mr. Bobetko's
1 behaviour you said that my -- that your assistants prevented you from
2 telling him "my thoughts." This was what you said. Could you please
3 share with us your thoughts? What would you have said to Mr. Bobetko if
4 you had been given the chance to do so?
5 A. Without going into the details of what he said I would have told
6 him that if we have meetings like this, we are all bound to stick to the
7 facts and it's bad to speak -- to use non-existent facts to make
8 accusations which were basically a slur to a whole group of people, in an
9 official UN meeting.
10 Q. Thank you. So Mr. Bobetko not only displayed an obvious
11 intolerance towards the Serbian side and the Serbs, if somebody says you
12 are going to get caught by long Croatian arms, and asking you to convey
13 that message, he also bragged about the Operation Storm as being his
14 symphony. Are you aware of that? Are you aware of this statement of his?
15 A. Counselor, Operation Storm took place long after the meeting you
16 are discussing. If he had that in his -- in his mind or up his sleeve, we
17 wouldn't have known it, because at that time he was only talking about
18 implementing the Vance Plan in Sector North and vehemently complaining
19 that it wasn't being done according to the Vance Plan, and because he was
20 by implication, taking us to task for not doing it, therefore he
21 said, "Because you are not doing it the long arm of Croatia will be
22 reaching them."
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja.
24 Just a brief explanation. I believe that you inadvertently you
25 mentioned the Vance-Owen plan and the Vance-Owen plan applied to Bosnia.
1 We are talking only about the Vance Plan. I apologise. This was an
2 interpreters mistake and the interpreter has just corrected herself. You
3 meant the Vance Plan when you were answering my question. I just wanted
4 to avoid that misunderstanding.
5 In regard the operation Medak pocket, do you remember that you
6 carried out a political analysis of the conditions under which it took
7 place? And that your finding was that it took place on the 9 September
8 1993 and on 12 September 1993 there should have been the signing on the
9 British frigate Avenger on the general cease-fire; is that correct?
10 A. You just supplied me the point I made yesterday. I wish -- I said
11 yesterday I wished I remembered the date on when the Medak took place and
12 thank you for reminding me it took place in September 1993. Yes. It's --
13 it was in the context at that time 1993, there were many things going on,
14 including what you mention about the cease-fire signing, which I don't
15 quite recall right now.
16 Q. In one of the reports, the political circumstances surrounding the
17 attack on Medak pocket was mentioned. It was a UN protected area and the
18 Croatian side attacked it. Political reasons were mentioned and one of
19 the things that was mentioned was the pressure that was put at that time
20 on the UNPROFOR, that the Croatian side demanded radical things. They
21 wanted the Serbs to lay down their weapons, that the Croatian authorities
22 should be restored in the pink zones, and that the mission of the United
23 Nations should be altered. Instead of applying to the entire territory of
24 Yugoslavia, it should have split into the Croatian, Bosnian and Muslim
1 A. Is there a question?
2 Q. The question is whether this was the case, and whether you
3 remember that.
4 A. Part of what you said wasn't even specific to Medak. The Croats
5 had persistently took us to task for implementing both the Vance Plan,
6 with respect to the UNPA, and resolution 762 about pink zones and the
7 restoration of their authority. So you're mentioning that they did demand
8 it was true but it was a constant request from the Croatian side that
9 these things be accomplished. The last part, which is the United Nations
10 mission being altered, I don't recall that it was particularly at this
11 time of Medak but eventually the Croatian side did demand an alteration of
12 the mission, but I'm not sure it was precisely following Medak or a little
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Can 65 ter document 124 be
15 displayed. I have to apologise to my learned friends. I did not expect
16 to use this document but given the witness's answer, I would like to use
17 this 65 ter document. This is a United Nations document, which is
18 relative to the topic that we are discussing at the moment. Can this be
19 displayed? And I hope that it will not be a problem that I have not
20 informed my learned friends about my intention to use the document prior
21 to the cross-examination.
22 Q. There is a report by Mr. Stoltenberg, sent to Mr. Annan. The date
23 is 17 September 1993. The report was from Sector North, the seat in
24 Topusko and the subject is the political aspects of the Medak conflict. I
25 have just been warned that I may have quoted a wrong number when asking
1 for the document to be displayed. Can -- you may be try and trace the
2 document or maybe we can do it later, in order to avoid wasting time. In
3 any case, Mr. Kirudja, do you remember that at the time of the Medak
4 pocket, there was mention of the agreement between the Croatian and the
5 Serbian side on a cease-fire which was about to be signed on the Adriatic
6 Sea on the British frigate called Avenger? Do you remember that? Can you
7 confirm that that is indeed the fact?
8 A. Your Honour, this whole Medak pocket conflict, whatever answers I
9 give you, I would like to underscore it took place in Sector South. I
10 wouldn't have followed the details as much as if it had taken place in
11 Sector North where it would be my responsibility to carry both the content
12 of the report and its implications.
13 So I'm surprised that the report you are talking about, about
14 Medak, is from Sector North. Medak was in Sector South. So I wouldn't
15 know all the details you want to talk to me as much as if it had taken
16 place in Sector North. Lastly, of course, I followed the implication of
17 that, and the solution and the -- in broad terms, but I did this not
18 directly, as one responsible.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. I know that you were not directly in
20 charge of the Medak pocket area but I put the question to you, what is
21 something else. The report which I'm not able to locate at the moment. I
22 believe that the number of the document is 886 from the 65 ter list. This
23 report speaks about the political implications of the Medak pocket,
24 arriving at the conclusion that by that operation, the Croatian side
25 prevented any political or military agreements, and in that sense, my
1 question was whether you were aware of that, whether you were aware of
2 that political assessment or not. Maybe you can answer by yes or no, and
3 I apologise once again for tackling a subject that is out of the scope of
4 your sector.
5 A. Thank you, and I will say you're correct. Strange, this report
6 that you are showing me, I note the first line, a reference to an analysis
7 from me, and I see that the sender of this document, you said, is Mr.
8 Stoltenberg. Actually if you look carefully, it is for Stoltenberg by
9 Cedrik Thornberry, that is in handwriting. Cedrik Thornberry was my
10 direct reporting officer and he would be in a position to receive lots of
11 reports from me, and sometimes you put together an analysis and send it
12 onward to the headquarters. It didn't follow he would refer to me about
13 the analyses themselves, and such was the case with the Medak pocket. He
14 did this. I can honestly say this particular report was never even copied
15 to me.
16 Q. Can we please look at page 8, the last page of this document? It
17 says here that you initialed this document. I'm sure that you were in
18 position to sign quite a lot of documents. In order to avoid any dilemma
19 about the document itself, I'm not checking what you've just told us,
20 Mr. Kirudja, I'm interested in the end of the document. Can you scroll
21 down to paragraph 18, please? Can we go on to the next page? Thank you.
22 Is this your signature, Mr. Kirudja, on this document, or is this your
24 A. That's correct. This document is written and authored by me. I'm
25 sorry if I -- if my earlier comment gave you the opposite understanding.
1 No, the -- I was only talking about the cover of the document. The
2 document itself, I recognise it comes from me. Its content, it's
3 something I'm familiar with.
4 Q. In connection with this document I would kindly ask you,
5 Mr. Kirudja, to read paragraph 13, on page 6 of this document. Paragraph
6 13, sir. Would you be so kind, Mr. Kirudja, to read paragraph 13 for us?
7 A. You want it to be out loud?
8 Q. Yes, please.
9 A. Okay. "The CA action," CA standing for Croatian army, "the
10 Croatian army action from Gospic into the three villages was preceded by a
11 renewed and virulent attack on UNPROFOR in the Croatian media. Croatian
12 reporters appear to have embarked on a witch hunt for all objectionable
13 things UNPROFOR did or failed to do. The apparent motive was to prop the
14 official demand that UNPROFOR's mandate needed to be fundamentally changed
15 and its command or organisational structure broken up into three High
16 Separate Mission for Croatian, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the former
17 Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In other words, the Croats seem to have
18 embarked in a rather successful media campaign to vilify UNPROFOR and its
19 personnel in the eyes of their own public in an ironic attempt to coerce
20 the mission to act more in line with the official policy for reintegrating
21 the UNPAs back into the rest of Croatia on a fast track. The events that
22 happened in the recent fighting seem to have dealt a severe blow to
23 Croatian official aspirations in this respect."
24 Q. Mr. Kirudja, does this report conform with what you knew at the
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I apologise for making you read from the screen, which is not
3 always easy. I would kindly ask you to read the next paragraph. It is
4 very brief, and it refers to the British frigate that I have already
6 A. "The Croatian incursion from Gospic into the Medak pocket also
7 happened at the time when both sides were reported to be not too far apart
8 in reaching an accord for a general cease-fire. The negotiating parties
9 were scheduled to meet aboard a British war ship on the Adriatic on 12
10 September to finalise the agreement. The attack by the Croatian army
11 seems to have pushed the negotiating track to the back burner, if not
12 straight into the ice box. For how long will depend. Perhaps on how the
13 Serbs interpret the positions coming out of the recent fighting. It may
14 be significant that the process to note" -- I'm sorry, "it may be
15 significant in that process to note that the Croatian army in general and
16 Bobetko in particular may have acted in the conviction that the Croatian
17 army action in the Medak pocket would be viewed by the Serbs as an
18 isolated but a potent indicator of Croatian military might to which they
19 could be compelled to respond with a frontal counterattack where the
20 happened. In retrospect, the Croatian army chief of General Staff appears
21 not to have been persuaded that the Serbs --"
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we finish the sentence, please, Mr. Kirudja?
23 THE WITNESS: "In retrospect, the Croatian army Chief of General
24 Staff appears not to have persuaded -- been persuaded that the Serbs were
25 poised to respond in full, in total, and everywhere along the
1 confrontation line. Two days ago, he stated to the Croatian press that
2 now the Serbs have felt the long arm of Croatia. It was the same message
3 he had asked us on 7 September to convey to the Serbs. We did."
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. As regards this paragraph, Mr. Kirudja, I wanted to go back to one
6 of the answers you provided to the Prosecutor, when you said that the
7 negotiations were on going but they never put into force because they were
8 constantly being obstructed by the Serbs. Does that correspond completely
9 with this, which testifies to the opposite, and that was that the Croatian
10 side interrupted such negotiations, even with such incursions as this one?
11 A. Counselor, what's the date on this report, my report? Can you
12 please scroll to see the date on it?
13 Q. I believe it was on the 17th of September 1993, Mr. Kirudja.
15 A. Thank you, counselor. My answer is not contradicted in any way by
16 what I read in that paragraph. I mean, my testimony in chief about
17 negotiations being interrupted, because these were many things happening
18 in parallel track. I didn't go into the detail of how those negotiations
19 were conducted, partly in a wish to speed up what the Honourable Judge
20 requested. But if you permit me a second to say what those negotiations
21 were, they were negotiations under Security Council resolution which were
22 characterised as improving economic conditions within the sector and
23 through those economic restoration of relations between the Serbs inside
24 the sector and the Croats, the political process would proceed. But the
25 Croats had put a very strict and significant condition related to the
1 question you ask. They had said, if we had to negotiate about improving
2 economic conditions, we will not negotiate anything that is covered under
3 the Vance Plans and particularly we will not negotiate with anyone in the
4 so-called Serbian Krajina who has a title, meaning government minister.
5 Anyone with an official title and directly related to that government, we
6 will not negotiate. That way, the Serbs in Krajina were forced or asked
7 to name people in their personal capacity who had no titles to continue
8 the negotiations. Those are the negotiations I said the progress in those
9 negotiations was constantly hampered. The people who were involved in
10 that negotiations are almost unheard of here. They had no titles. They
11 were individuals.
12 In this particular instance that we are talking about, this is a
13 breakout of -- or rather an attack conducted by the Croatian army from
14 Gospic into Medak pocket, and this produced very, very significant results
15 of -- in the direction that we have talked about. It changed the
16 demobilisation, the weapons storage. Everything changed. This was a
17 military issue, one parallel issue. The other one was a civilian
18 negotiation on a parallel track. What I said is not contradicted,
19 therefore, because of this.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja for your detailed answer. I wanted to ask
21 you something else as regards those agreements. Did you know that on the
22 29th of March 1994, the so-called Zagreb agreement was signed, foreseeing
23 the separation of the warring parties and also containing the obligation
24 for the warring parties to withdraw one kilometre away from the line, and
25 that the mortars and tanks be withdrawn ten kilometres in depth, whereas
1 heavy artillery was supposed to have been withdrawn by some 20 kilometres?
2 Have you heard of that agreement?
3 A. I recall that.
4 Q. Thank you. Have you also heard of another agreement that was
5 concluded by the Serb and the Croatian side, much like the first one, with
6 the mediation of the international community in December 1994, concerning
7 economic cooperation; that is, the opening up of a highways, the oil
8 pipelines, and such agreement concerned itself with the stabilisation of
9 the economic situation and cooperation? Do you remember that?
10 A. That is precisely what I was explaining earlier, and there is a
11 relationship between the two agreements that you just cited. I believe
12 there is a relationship between the two.
13 Q. Mr. Kirudja, could we say then that these two important agreements
14 were such in which the Serb party has -- had shown goodwill to cooperate?
15 And here I mean to say that it wasn't only the Serb who is have exerted
16 some goodwill but that they were actually one of the parties that
17 contributed to the signing of the agreements?
18 A. Yes, I'm aware those private individuals that I mentioned did
19 carry this agreement to that kind of conclusion you just mentioned.
20 Q. Thank you. To move on to another topic, Mr. Kirudja, it concerns
21 the first Croatian attack operation against an UNPA zone, the operation of
22 the Miljevac plateau in June 1992. It was at the time when the UN troops
23 were still being deployed in their respective areas. The Croatian army
24 attacked that area, killed 40 Serb TO members and threw their bodies in a
25 pit and after that, the Security Council put a resolution into force
1 ordering the Croatian side to withdraw its forces from the area. That
2 resolution, 762, and that's why I'm asking you this, concerns another
3 Security Council decision regarding the restoration of the Croatian
4 authority in the so-called pink areas. I believe you would remember that
5 resolution, wouldn't you?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. If I understood your answer given to the Prosecutor, those zones
8 were between the UNPA areas where there were Serbs with their own police,
9 and the cease-fire line. In those areas, there were no Serb policemen.
10 There were supposed to have been no Serb policemen and the Croatian police
11 was supposed to take over those areas. Have I understood you correctly?
12 A. The pink zones?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could we have a 65 ter document number 1360 on the screen? It is
16 a report by the Security Council, or rather to the Security Council.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, what do you want to do with this
18 one that's on the screen, Mr. Milovancevic?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I wish
20 to tender that.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The document is then admitted
22 into evidence as a Defence Exhibit. May it please be given an exhibit
24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 768, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. While we are waiting for the document and to gain some time, I
3 wanted to say the following, Mr. Kirudja. It seems we have the document
4 before us now. It is number S 24/600.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not get the date.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The 28th of September 1992. It concerns the implementation of the
8 Vance-Owen plan in Yugoslavia. Since we mentioned the pink zones, could
9 we go to paragraph 25 of the document? Page 8 of the document. I
10 apologise, Your Honours.
11 This paragraph mentions the joint commissions inside the pink
12 zones. According to this paragraph, they were put in place by resolution
13 number 762 from 1992. Such a regime that was foreseen for the pink zones,
14 as foreseen by resolution 762, the implementation of that, did that go
15 without any problems or were there any obstacles to it?
16 A. There were many obstacles to that implementation of that
18 Q. In view of your answer, yesterday during your testimony in chief,
19 you explained that Mr. Martic agreed with a UN representative on the
20 disbanding of the special police and that the disbanding was resisted by
21 local commanders. Mr. Martic asked that that issue be implemented as
22 agreed with the force commander. Do you remember having given that
24 A. Yes, I do, but that was not implementation of the pink zones. It
25 was implementation of the demobilisation under the Vance Plan.
1 Q. Thank you. As regards the pink zones, there is a report
2 by Mr. Viktor Andreev, being one of the UN civilian police officers, in
3 which there is a mention, and I'm interpreting, paraphrasing, that the
4 announcement of the re-establishment of Croatian authority in the pink
5 zones will or may become a trigger with the Serb population, causing their
6 reaction. They now want to take the situation in their own hands to do
7 their utmost to make the return of non-Serb populations impossible. This
8 piece of information, does that correspond to what you knew about the
10 A. Yes, it does.
11 Q. With the view of this answer of yours, could we please have
12 another document put on the screen? We no longer need this document for
13 the time being, although I may yet come back to it. I apologise,
14 Your Honour, I'm thinking on my feet. Could we please see 65 ter document
16 While we are waiting for it, can you recognise the document in
17 front of you, Mr. Kirudja? Could we please scroll down a bit so that we
18 see the entire page?
19 This is a document pertaining to Sector South, not the sector in
20 which you performed your duties, Mr. Kirudja. Why is this document
21 interesting to me and why I wanted to put it to you? It is a report on
22 crimes committed against Croats. Could we please go to the next page?
23 The next page, the third page. I apologise. I was interested in this
24 table. Could we perhaps zoom in or rather see the entire text up to item
25 29? Thank you. This is a UN civilian police Sector South document. It
1 is a report on crimes committed over a period of time. The first column
2 contains possible crimes, according to their title or name, from one down
3 to 29. In the first line, there is P1, P2, up to P8, and then S 2, 3, 4
4 and so on and so forth. In order for you to understand what I'm getting
5 at, it is important to note that these markings, P1, P2, and so on are the
6 UN civilian police stations in the pink zone. That's why we have the
7 letter P, and the S 1, 2, 3, et cetera, are the stations in the UNPA
8 zones. In the last column, at the bottom, is there or can you see number
9 497 of the crimes committed? If we stay with this last digit or figure,
10 and if you go up back to P1, P2, P3, all the way up to S, that is with P8
11 being the last one I'm interested in, at the bottom we have the total for
12 each of the stations of UN civilian police in the pink zones.
13 Why am I interested in this? The sum total on the crimes
14 committed against the Croats in the pink zones testify to the number of
15 497, out of which 360 were in the pink zones. When we add up the police
16 stations from 1 to 8, two-thirds of the crimes committed in that period
17 was committed against the Croats, being people or property, in the pink
18 zones. And that figure far exceeds the number of crimes committed in the
19 areas under UN civilian police stations in UNPA zones, from S 1 onwards.
20 This piece of information, that the total number of crimes in the
21 pink zones, that number far exceeds the number of crimes occurring in the
22 same period in the UNPA zones, does that confirm what you've stated just a
23 minute ago, that the inhabitants in those areas, having heard that the
24 Croatian authorities were to be reinstalled, took things in their own
25 hands, trying to prevent or make difficult the return of Croatian
1 population and the re-establishment of Croatian authorities? Does that
2 correspond to what you've just stated? I know my question was a rather
3 long one, but could you conclude that looking at this table?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you just look at the screen, that entire screen
5 is covered by the question and beyond. Some of your question has
6 disappeared, Mr. Milovancevic. I don't know how you expect any witness to
7 respond to that kind of statement. You're not asking questions. You're
8 testifying. Why don't you ask questions? Work up to where you want to go
9 by way of questions, Mr. Milovancevic.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you. I
11 understand your comment. It seemed to me to be the shortest route,
12 whereas it appeared to be quite the contrary. I didn't want to put each
13 figure, each line and each column to Mr. Kirudja separately but it turned
14 out to be more complicated.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just put one question at a time and build up to
16 where you want to go. You don't expect anybody to answer to all that
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Kirudja, let's look at station P1. What was the number of
20 crimes there?
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is there. Just tell him. It is 12. Or 222, if
22 that's what you want. Ask -- ask questions to explain this --
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't ask him things that are there already,
25 Mr. Milovancevic, please.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. Mr. Kirudja, if we look at P1, and if we go down to the bottom,
3 the total sum of crimes, is that figure 222? Can you see it there? At
4 the bottom of the table, the first figure to the left, is that 222? And
5 can you see it?
6 A. I can see it. Your Honour, I have a more fundamental problem with
7 this question. This is John McElligott in Sector South, talking about
8 things that happened in Sector South. I was responsible for Sector North.
9 This document is no way shape or form related to anything that came to my
10 office. I can look at a column and quickly add and get 222, if that's
11 what you want.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. I apologise for my previous question and
13 I would like to withdraw it. Let us move on, Your Honours. I understand
14 the gist of your answer, and I believe I have again gone outside the scope
15 of your duties and your sector, of course.
16 A. Thank you.
17 Q. We have mentioned the issue of the special police a few questions
18 back, and the issue of the presence of armed people in the field. In one
19 of the answers during your testimony in chief you stated that the Serb TO
20 arms, after the UN troops were deployed, were stored and that after the
21 incursions of the Croatian army, the Serbs took those weapons from the
22 storage and could we relate that to the -- to the Maslenica operation?
23 A. Yes. It began with that Maslenica operation, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. In your testimony, you also stated that conditionally
25 put the Serb side, with which you discussed the problem of policemen
1 wearing rifles, carrying rifles, that they were complaining about the need
2 that the police or whatever they were called, and those people carried
3 rifles, had to deal with both crime in general and with the incursions on
4 the part of the Croatian armed forces. Is that correct?
5 A. There were no incursions of Croatian armed forces into Sector
6 North. The attack in Maslenica that you referred to is far south into
7 Sector South, and way out of the ordinary conflict zone. Maslenica is a
8 bridge. So the thesis you are building doesn't relate directly to
10 Q. Thank you. My intention was not to link this up with Maslenica or
11 with any specific event for that matter. It was a general question. In
12 your discussions with the Serb representatives, when the issue of
13 disarming of the police or the special police was discussed, was the
14 standing answer that the Serbs felt endangered and they needed those
15 weapons and those people to defend themselves? And I have the general
16 situation in mind.
17 A. Yes. You're correct. They did -- they did.
18 Q. Thank you. Could we again see 65 ter document 1360 on the screen?
19 And this Security Council document, an incursion is mentioned of some 500
20 to 600 armed Muslims who went through Sector North to reach Bosnia. They
21 were intercepted by the Serb police. Some were killed, some taken
22 prisoner. You mentioned the Muslim prisoners that were detained in the
23 prison in Glina. Do you remember that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Can we go to page 2 of this document, please? Under item D on
1 this page as you're looking from the top of the page, this is it, thank
2 you very much, can you stop there? It says that the prisoners who were
3 interviewed by UNPROFOR said that they had been mobilised and trained by
4 the Croatian army in certain areas in Croatia and were being sent to
5 infiltrate in small groups into Bosnia and Herzegovina, to join in the
6 fighting there. Also, it says that this matter was raised with
7 President Tudjman of Croatia who promised that such practices would no
8 longer be permitted. This created high tensions in the area. Is this
9 information that corresponds to what you know about this incident?
10 A. No. Because the group of -- that infiltrated through Sector
11 North, the direction was from the Muslim enclave itself. Outside of the
12 enclave, through Plaski, into Sector North. You're talking about small
13 groups going into Bosnia-Herzegovina, the direction is in reverse. The
14 two issues are not linked in that sense.
15 Q. Mr. Kirudja, does this mean that in addition to this 600-strong
16 group who came from Croatia via Sector North and went to Bosnia, there was
17 another group of Muslims from Bosnia who were trying to pass through
18 Sector North and get to the other side, to Croatia? Is this what you were
19 saying? Did I understand you well? I understand you're talking about two
20 different incidents, two different events?
21 A. Yes. Let's clarify. The group that is referred in paragraph D,
22 the one you have on the screen, stating a large group of armed personnel
23 who were attempting to infiltrate through Sector North into the Bihac
24 Cazin area in Bosnia and Herzegovina were engaged actually even the
25 document in front of you is not accurate. I know the area, I saw that, I
1 went there. They were coming out. They were not going into Bihac. They
2 were coming out of it. They crossed through Plaski. A couple of them
3 were killed and the rest got into Sector North and they were held into
4 Glina prison. I hope that much we are clear.
5 Q. You also mentioned that Mr. Martic reached agreement with the
6 UNPROFOR commander on dismantling the special police forces and in your
7 statement to the OTP you explained that General Dukic, but it should be
8 Djukic, came to you, told you that, and that there were local commanders
9 who opposed that but that he had insisted that the agreement signed by
10 Martic should be implemented. Was this agreement actually implemented?
11 A. Eventually it was.
12 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to a different topic, Mr. Kirudja.
13 When you talked about your arrival in the area of Sector North,
14 where you were to work, you mentioned who you had met with. You told us
15 that one of your first meetings was with Mr. Lazarevic, a certain
16 Mr. Lazarevic. In connection with that person, I would like to put
17 several questions to you.
18 In your statement given to the OTP, when you mention his name for
19 the first time, you say that you met with Slobodan Lazarevic, the liaison
20 officer of the local Serb government with the UNPROFOR. Later on, when
21 you mention your subsequent meetings with Mr. Lazarevic you say that he
22 was the one who explained to you who was who in the local government and
23 who you should talk to. Your first meeting with Mr. Lazarevic, was it a
24 meeting with a civilian or with somebody wearing a military uniform?
25 A. The very first meeting with Lazarevic was in hotel -- in the
1 hotel, the one in Topusko, its name, whatever the hotel, its name is. He
2 was dressed as a civilian, more or less like the attire you find somebody
3 dressed in civilian clothes.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. At your subsequent meetings with this
5 person, you also mentioned General Spiro Nikovic, the commander of 10th
6 Corps, and you said that you complained to the general about Mr. Lazarevic
7 as the person obstructing the work of the United Nations, and on that
8 occasion, Mr. Nikovic told you that Lazarevic is not in a position to have
9 a say as to who you should employ. Is that correct?
10 A. Partly correct. I wasn't complaining about Mr. Lazarevic because,
11 as yourself observed, if he was a civilian; how come whatever he thought
12 was acted upon? I was complaining about Serb authorities, specifically
13 the police and the police acted in unison, putting this staff member into
14 jeopardy and making demands that the UN staff must be vetted generally, as
15 a general policy, must be vetted by the authorities. Lazarevic was just
16 reporting about that attempt. So the complaint wasn't about Lazarevic,
17 the civilian.
18 Q. Thank you for the explanation, Mr. Kirudja. Talking about this
19 Mr. Lazarevic, would this be the person of whom you said that he had sent
20 a message to General Nikovic not to turn up in the territory, Kordun, in
21 the territory of Kordun, because he would be killed and he sent them that
22 message after he was retired? Is that the same person?
23 A. The same, but it wasn't him sending the message. It is again
24 Lazarevic relying to me, he spoke very good English and partly French,
25 that the authorities are saying, "Tell General Spiro Nikovic, now that
1 he's retired, if he sets foot into our territory, he would be arrested"
2 not killed, arrested.
3 Q. Did Mr. Lazarevic mention the specific authorities that said
4 that, or he just conveyed the crude message the way you relayed it to us?
5 A. He conveyed the message, and it wasn't he himself making the
6 threat. He was making it known to me what the authorities thought.
7 Q. Thank you. Was this Mr. Lazarevic involved in the arrest of
8 Mrs. Indira Kulenovic, the lady that you testified about and that you
9 mentioned in your statement to the OTP?
10 A. The actual arrest of Indira Kulenovic was effected by the police
11 chief in Vrginmost, Djuro Skaljac.
12 Q. Did Mr. Lazarevic have anything to do with the arrest? What could
13 you conclude? Did he play a role in that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In your statement, you also spoke about the meeting that you had
16 with a sector commander, or rather the sector commanders and yourself met
17 with Colonel Cedomir Bulat, in a house that was in the vicinity of your
18 base in Topusko. You also said that there were attempts on the part of
19 some RSK officials, together with the Lazarevic as mediator to compromise
20 the first sector commander, and that those attempts were rather obvious.
21 Did Mr. Lazarevic play a role in that as well, Mr. Kirudja?
22 A. He did. Again, this is testimony elsewhere, not adduced in this
23 Court, but also correct.
24 Q. Thank you. In the statement that you provided to the OTP, did you
25 also explain that this person, Lazarevic, apparently introduced himself to
1 Colonel Bulat with somebody who had a good relationship with
2 representatives of the international community and having represented
3 himself in such a light, he served as an interpreter for Colonel Bulat as
5 A. Yes, he did.
6 Q. Thank you. Are we referring to the same Mr. Lazarevic,
7 Mr. Kirudja, when you say in your statement that Mr. Lazarevic interpreted
8 in such a way that you had learned from other interpreters that his
9 interpretation was not correct and that this became obvious during the
10 meeting with Mr. Spanovic, when the subject of Medak pocket was on the
11 agenda and that the commander of the sector listened to you and stopped
12 the meeting and disallowed Lazarevic from continuing his interpretation?
13 Is that the Lazarevic that we are talking about?
14 A. It's the same Lazarevic.
15 Q. I have another question for you in connection with this
16 Mr. Lazarevic. You describe him in great detail. You say that he was
17 well-groomed, in civilian clothes, that he looked as if he had just
18 stepped out from the step -- from the set of the Great Gatsby. He spoke
19 English very well, he also spoke French, he wore camouflage uniform, and
20 he carried a -- different types of pistol. My impression was that he's
21 the kind of man who could be a very good mercenary. Is that the Lazarevic
22 also known as the Great Gatsby?
23 A. I'm sorry for the light comment I made but you put them in such a
24 way they are not correct. Individually you may be correct.
25 I met Lazarevic as a civilian very early. Actually he was at the
1 very early meeting saying he was a liaison for European Commission
2 monitors. Progressively he became Mr. -- Colonel Cedo Bulat liaison after
3 the JNA was demobilised. He shifted from wearing these flashy clothes
4 into wearing military fatigues and packing a gun. So the sequence is
5 there but not quite the way -- and I just described the earliest meeting
6 to him because of that flashiness as if in a light comment he would have
7 been in a movie set, and I used the Great Gatsby.
8 Q. Mr. Kirudja, I apologise for having put this question to you. I
9 did not mean to put you in an awkward position. You're a decent person.
10 My questions were put in order to get an opinion from you.
11 My question to you is this: You were under the impression that he
12 could have been a good mercenary and that his ideals and life goals
13 changed very quickly and very often. Do you still hold the same view of
14 this person?
15 A. Yes, I do. Thank you for your kind words.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja.
17 In answering the Prosecutor's questions, you looked at a document
18 from the 65 ter list, the number is 887. Can we see that document again,
19 please? This is a document dated 10 February 1994, a document which
20 concerns several issues which were topical at the moment. Before we see
21 the document, I would like to ask you something that I forgot to ask you
22 earlier on when we were talking about the acceptance of the Vance Plan. I
23 know that this was before your tour of duty and I apologise for asking you
24 this; however, I would like to know whether you are maybe aware of the
25 following fact. At the assembly in Glina at the beginning of February in
1 1992, at which the Vance Plan was accepted, Mr. Martic attended and
2 participated very actively in favour of the Vance Plan and in favour of
3 the deployment of the UN troops? Are you aware of that?
4 A. Not that specific meeting that you mention in Glina, though I
5 don't doubt that it took place as you might have -- as you have said.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Could you please display document 887
7 from the 65 ter list? This is Exhibit 674, if that may be of assistance.
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: It's Exhibit 764, court Exhibit 764, not 674.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you, 764.
10 It was a slip of the tongue on my part. I apologise.
11 Q. This document, Mr. Kirudja, is dated 10 February 1994. The
12 document that we should see on the screen any moment now, this is Exhibit
13 764. I apologise to the Registry for the misinformation.
14 In this document, there is a mention of the topics that were of
15 some interest for you at the time, namely the existence or the
16 introduction of the command for Croatia, General Major Tajide [phoen]. I
17 don't know how to pronounce the name. Do you recognise this document,
18 Mr. Kirudja?
19 A. Could you please scroll it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Immediately under the title, this document reads, "Message, your
22 liaison officer of the Kordun Corps informed of the position and off the
23 Republic of Serbian Krajina, and under item AAA, can we please scroll down
24 to the bottom of the document to see that item, AAA, and under BBB, there
25 is a mention of the restriction of the movement of CIVPOL, humanitarian
1 organisations, and ECMM, and it says that these restrictions apply to the
2 main roads, that they have to ask permission from the Milicija in advance,
3 and that military conveys are not restrict the. I'm interested in what
4 you say under item BBB of your analysis. Could we please go to page 2 of
5 this document, bearing the marking 732 at the top? I am interested in the
6 middle paragraph, the entire paragraph. In this middle paragraph, you say
7 that with regard the issue of the restrictions on the movement of CIVPOL
8 and the monitoring mission, the authorities in Krajina are divided. In
9 this regard, before I confront you with the entire text, there is mention
10 of the election of Martic as the president of the Republic of Serbian
11 Krajina. In your response to the Prosecutor's question, you spoke about
12 some ballots and polling stations. You emphasised that you only heard
13 rumours and that you base your statement on rumours. I don't see any link
14 between the ballots and the polling stations and the subject of these
15 proceedings. However, since this question was raised, do you know whether
16 Mr. Martic was elected as president of the republic of Serbian Krajina in
17 the second round of elections? Are you aware of that fact? I apologise,
18 Mr. Kirudja.
19 A. Thank you. Yes. I was aware that Mr. Martic was elected
20 president. A correction in what I said yesterday. It wasn't rumours. We
21 followed -- I said that we followed the happenings into the sector as they
22 were happening, but on the matter of elections, we had no role in it. It
23 doesn't make it a rumour. It's just that we had no role in it but we
24 followed that an election that was conducted also in Sector North took
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I just wanted to see one thing.
2 If you look at the screen, you'll realise that from the top of the screen
3 to just about two-thirds down, you were speaking and your question really
4 came out of the last three sentences after that speech. I just want to
5 you bear in mind, please, just ask your questions, don't give a
6 dissertation before you ask the question.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank
8 you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'll bear that in mind as much
11 as I possibly can. Sometimes I get carried away by the topic.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Carry on.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
14 Q. When you say that Mr. Martic was elected in the second round of
15 elections are you aware of the fact that in the first round there were
16 seven candidates that in addition to Martic and Babic, there were five
17 more candidates running for president and that none of them gained a
18 majority and that the -- in the second ruined there were Mr. Babic and
19 Mr. Martic the two candidates with the highest vote count in the first
20 round? Are you aware of that?
21 A. Not the details. Our focus was the last two candidates, which is
22 what the paragraph is speaking about, the last two candidates.
23 Q. In response to the Prosecutor's question about this paragraph BBB,
24 your attention was drawn to the last two lines, which say that Martic
25 gained support of Milosevic against Babic and won, and now the question
1 was raised whether he could actually rule or not. My question is as
2 follows: Does it transpire from the text in the paragraph under BBB that
3 Martic was elected as president with Milosevic's support on account of the
4 fact that Milan Babic, as the SDS president, together with the radicals in
5 the Republic of Serbian Krajina, had the majority in the assembly and
6 because they were planning to accuse the UNPROFOR of the lack of
7 efficiency, and based on these false accusations, they were trying to
8 achieve the withdrawal of the UNPROFOR from the Republic of Serbian
9 Krajina? My question is, did Martic support -- did Mr. Milosevic support
10 Martic in order to prevent such a scenario? Is this what this paragraph
11 is about?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Again, look at what you have said before you put
13 the question.
14 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: And there are two questions, at least more than
15 one question.
16 THE WITNESS: Shall I --
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may, if you understand the question.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 The last sentence in this paragraph stems from the fact that he
20 is -- Mr. Martic is elected president with two parties that have an
21 absolute majority of 48 against 34 in the assembly. Secondly, the leader
22 of that group opposing him is Babic, and Babic was always opposed to this
23 mission. The question then, can he govern if he's facing this man with
24 this majority in parliament, that's all the sentence is saying.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
1 Q. In your view, and in your opinion, did Mr. Milosevic support
2 Mr. Milan Martic, the accused, in order to prevent Milan Babic from
3 realising his goals and the goal was to chase the UNPROFOR out of the
4 Republic of Serbian Krajina? Is that why Mr. Martic gained Milosevic's
5 support, in your view?
6 A. More or less, yes, but I explain it slightly differently.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you please explain it?
8 THE WITNESS: I explain that many times I know directly from
9 Mr. Milosevic's view later on. Now, when I was in Belgrade, that this is
10 what he wanted. He wanted an outcome that would be consistent with the
11 election of Martic, not consistent with the election -- with Babic. It's
12 that simple. If Babic was elected, then what Milosevic wanted wouldn't
13 have gone through, which is why it says the same thing more or less.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know what Milosevic wanted generally?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes. He had always -- now I have the benefit of him
16 explaining it to us -- that he always thought that this area should be an
17 autonomous part of Croatia, run by the Serbs, but as an autonomous area,
18 and he was absolutely convinced that President Tudjman may not be able to
19 force a military solution on that part of Krajina. And he said so in many
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could
23 we please see a 65 ter document, number 888?
24 Q. While we are waiting for the document, I wanted to say that it
25 deals with two topics: Your conversations in Belgrade with Mr. Milosevic
1 regarding Tudjman's refusal to extend the UNPROFOR mandate after the 31st
2 of March 1995, and the other concerning the non-acceptance or the refusal
3 of the Vance Plan.
4 Do you recognise this document, Mr. Kirudja?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Under the underlined text concerning the subject, there is one
7 sentence and then an entire paragraph. Does one read from that paragraph
8 that the issues discussed are precisely the ones that I just presented to
10 A. I'm sorry, what paragraph do you want me attention focused on?
11 Q. The first paragraph after the introductory sentence, the first
12 large paragraph, beginning with, "Yesterday's conference."
13 A. Yes. And what's the question, sir?
14 Q. In the rest of the text, we see that there is a mention of a
15 conclusion, that being that the Croatian Serbs are following Belgrade's
16 instructions. We will go through the report. Do you remember having
17 mentioned there that Mr. Milosevic was accepting or not accepting the Z-4
18 plan? On the second page, could we please go to paragraph 3? That is
19 page 2, paragraph 3, after the first sentence, we can read -- or rather I
20 wanted to ask you to read it out for us.
21 A. It's the paragraph with "we assess?"
22 Q. Yes, that's the one. And after the first sentence.
23 A. "We assess that the possibility of Milosevic and Tudjman cutting a
24 deal directly with each other to be more than conjecture. In this light
25 it is perhaps a serious mistake to interpret Milosevic's refusal to meet
1 with the Contact Group as a rejection of the contents of the proposal. It
2 would be more appropriate to see it as Belgrade's tactical move to force
3 the Z-4 group, the legitimacy of which they hardly accepted, to involve
4 Belgrade only in a broader and more decisive forum. A more appropriate
5 forum would allow Milosevic to extract concessions important to the
6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as the price for getting Knin to enter into
7 negotiations on the basis of the Z-4 plan. The question is, therefore,
8 how to serve the peace proposal to the Knin Serbs in a process and form
9 acceptable to Belgrade."
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: At that point, would it be convenient? Then you
11 can take up after that.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a short break.
14 We'll come back at five minutes before 6.00. Court adjourned.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Kirudja, regarding the passage you read out before the break,
20 my question is the following: Do you believe that it was wrong to think
21 that Milosevic was going to refuse the ZG [as interpreted] plan for the
22 very reason you've stated, that being that from the start, Milosevic
23 wanted to see the Serbs in Croatia in an autonomous part or state within
24 the framework of Croatia?
25 A. Mr. Milovancevic, I don't understand that premise. Please restate
1 your question.
2 Q. I will rephrase, Mr. Kirudja.
3 The portion of the document you've read out before the break, does
4 that indicate that Milosevic did not oppose the Z-4 plan but, rather, he
5 was trying to come up with a way to involve Yugoslavia as well and to open
6 or get some manoeuvring space with the Croatian Serbs, all that with a
7 view of accepting the Z-4 plan?
8 A. Yes. That's what the paragraph actually conveys.
9 Q. Thank you. In your statement given to the OTP, mentioning
10 Mr. Milosevic, you stated that his position was that no military solution
11 was acceptable, neither for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, nor for
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, nor for Republika Srpska Krajina. Was that an
13 indication of Milosevic's efforts to deal with the situation in the former
14 Yugoslavia in a peaceful way, through agreement?
15 A. That was his most recurrent theme, in almost all the meetings that
16 I had with him.
17 Q. You also stated, in your statement, that Milosevic's position was
18 that if one wants Republika Srpska Krajina to accept the agreement, in
19 order to come up with a peaceful solution, the following things needed to
20 happen. First, the implementation of the cease-fire of March 1992 had to
21 be seen through and respected by both sides; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic insist on the implementation of the economic
24 agreement as well, on the opening up of the highway and other issues that
25 were meant to improve the political and economic solution, that in turn
1 being conducive to the final, peaceful solution?
2 A. Not implementation but conclusion of the economic agreement. Not
3 implementation, conclusion of that agreement.
4 Q. Thank you. In your statement you also said that you attended many
5 meetings with Mr. Milosevic, and that the circumstances were such that you
6 sat next to him as opposed to Mr. Akashi who was the head of the
7 delegation, who sat opposite to Mr. Milosevic. You also mentioned a
8 question you put to Mr. Milosevic concerning the Serbian constitution,
9 that is the Yugoslav constitution, whether Serbia was the state of the
10 Serbian people. Do you remember having put that question and do you
11 remember the answer given by Mr. Milosevic in turn?
12 A. Yes. And the reason I mentioned the sitting authorities because
13 we were talking informally and because of that accident why I was always
14 asked to sit next and then he would face Mr. Akashi, when the official
15 discussions were over, I would take the opportunity to chat with him about
16 things of interest, and one of them was that question. And I put it to
17 him informally.
18 Q. Was that an opportunity for you to ask Milosevic something
19 concerning Tudjman's statement that the Croatians had the Croatian state,
20 in which the Serb population complained that they were only a minority and
21 that they were always going to be considered second-rate citizens? Was
22 that a good chance to put that question to Mr. Milosevic?
23 A. Precisely, and it is the question that I put to him, but I also
24 asked him, "Is that the same -- is Serbia a state of Serbs, according to
25 your interpretation of your own Serbian constitution?" That was the
1 question I put to him.
2 Q. Did Milosevic answer to your question and, if so, what?
3 A. He answered it, not only at the time I asked the question but he
4 also answered it for the trial records when I was here and I said,
5 myself, "What did you answer yourself in" and he gave on record the same
6 answer that he gave me the time I first posed the question. And the
7 answer was: This is not the same. Serbian constitution is a secular
8 constitution that was open to all peoples in Serbia. But the rest of what
9 he exactly said I'm sure the counselor can find it on the record.
10 Q. Can we sum up his question as -- his position being that of
11 condemning such a state as was founded in Croatia and that the Serbian
12 state was the state of all of its citizens and that he was actually proud
13 of his state and Belgrade being the capital of such a state?
14 A. That was my impression. He took delight in answering that
15 question in the manner you have answered it. He also gave some more
16 details about it.
17 Q. As regards this topic, I have another question to ask you,
18 Mr. Kirudja. Mr. Milosevic is no longer among the living. Therefore he
19 cannot confirm or deny any interpretation of yours but I'm interested in
20 your impression, since you were familiar with the events and you knew
21 Mr. Milosevic. Did he ever show any chauvinism or expansionist attitude
22 that would go at the expense of any of the other peoples in the former
23 Yugoslavia? Did you ever hear him say anything of that nature, and if so,
25 A. Obviously, I can't speak to his relationship with others. I can
1 only speak on my impression of his relations to me, and it was one of
2 courtesy and one of complete ease. When I was with -- around him, he was
3 always courteous and he was also kind of respectful and treated me very
4 correctly in a manner that I remember positively.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Without interfering with your cross-examination,
6 Mr. Milovancevic, I just want to say for quite sometime you've been asking
7 about Mr. Milosevic, as if he is the one accused, and I'm not quite sure
8 whether -- or how relevant all these questions are to the case. I just
9 want to remind you that we are dealing here with Mr. Martic's case.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] It is very relevant, Your
11 Honour, because the indictment accuses Mr. Martic of being one of the
12 creation of the plan on joint criminal enterprise, together with Mr.
13 Milosevic and others, in order to expel all non-Serbs -- non-Serb
14 populations from large territories in Croatia and Bosnia, in order to
15 create a unified Serb state. That is what the relevance of my previous
16 question was, and with your leave, I wanted to continue.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Kirudja, did he ever, in your presence, Mr. Milosevic, I mean,
20 as the alleged leader of the plan, did he ever mention or even gave or
21 hinted at his intent or wish to expel or kill members of other peoples in
22 order to create a unified state?
23 A. There was no context for that to come up, or even be discussed, so
24 my merely saying no, it also says we discussed something like that. No,
25 there was no context for that kind of question to come up.
1 Q. With a view of your last answer, when you met Mr. Martic, were you
2 given the impression that Mr. Martic wanted to expel or destroy any other
3 peoples or to mistreat them in any way?
4 A. No. The few times Mr. Martic and I met, I never heard anything
5 like that, but then again, we didn't talk a lot with Mr. Martic.
6 Mr. Martic always struck me as the quiet type in these meetings. He
7 didn't speak too much, at least in the meetings that I met him with --
8 in -- met with him.
9 Q. Thank you. With that in mind I wanted to remind you of a portion
10 of your statement pertaining to the Bihac pocket situation and your
11 conversations with Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Martic on the need to let the
12 humanitarian assistance go through. Did Mr. Martic support the intention
13 of yourself and Mr. Akashi to send that aid to the Bihac pocket?
14 A. Unfortunately, not at first. He had to be talked into that by
15 Mr. Milosevic himself. As I recall, Mr. Martic himself, on one of the
16 few occasions when I saw him worked up he was quite worked up about that
17 and at first he didn't even want humanitarian assistance to go into that
19 Q. Perhaps my question was somewhat unclear. Actually I wanted to
20 know whether Mr. Milosevic supported your position and that of Mr. Akashi.
21 Maybe I misspoke. Your plans concerning the sending of the humanitarian
22 aid and did he offer his assistance?
23 A. Yes, he did.
24 Q. Thank you. That humanitarian aid was supposed to have been
25 received by the Muslim population, if I understood that correctly. It was
1 going to Bosnia?
2 A. Bihac pocket.
3 Q. In your view, such an attitude by Mr. Milosevic, did that testify
4 as to his attitude towards the Muslim population?
5 A. Mr. Milosevic's attitude? Or Mr. Martic's attitude?
6 Q. Mr. Milosevic. I have Mr. Milosevic in mind.
7 A. Mr. Milosevic spoke on that issue from his full understanding of
8 the international requirement and specifically international humanitarian
9 law, not to use humanitarian assistance against any group of people, and
10 he spoke from that context to say to Mr. Martic, "You can not impede the
11 humanitarian assistance into this pocket." That's the context he spoke.
12 Q. Thank you. Concerning the Bihac pocket, and the so-called Cazin
13 region, I have several questions. The Bihac pocket or the Cazin Krajina,
14 adjacent to Sector North, was that in between the Serb areas where UN
15 troops were deployed as well as some other Serb-held territories in the
16 rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the pocket comprises several
17 municipalities; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was the leader, so to say, of the Cazina region or the Bihac
20 pocket a person by the name of Fikret Abdic? He was a Muslim leader.
21 A. Well, leader? Rather it's more correct to say that he was an
22 extremely influential person based in that pocket.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. When I used the term "leader," I had the
24 status such as you described in mind. Is it correct that Mr. Fikret
25 Abdic, being a Muslim, was for the way to resolve the situation between
1 the ethnicities in Bosnia-Herzegovina in a peaceful way as opposed to
2 Alija Izetbegovic?
3 A. Yes. And I met with him also many times both in his own private
4 house as well as his house. I have heard his views and he also expressed
5 that a peaceful solution in Bihac -- Bosnia-Herzegovina was the way to go,
6 and he thought he knew the answer.
7 Q. Is it correct that his views clashed with those of
8 Mr. Izetbegovic? And could you tell us what it was that Mr. Izetbegovic
9 wanted as opposed to Mr. Abdic's attitude?
10 A. Counselor, perhaps you should go the other way. I know what
11 Mr. Abdic wanted but not what Izetbegovic wanted since I never met with
12 Izetbegovic. But I have met with Mr. Abdic. Abdic had gone to the extent
13 of creating what he called Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia, meaning
14 creating a prototype in that pocket area of a regime, a state like you
15 wanted to see happen everywhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that agreement
16 he had co-signed by Mr. Milosevic himself, Mr. Tudjman, and himself, and
17 that was what he wanted to model the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina to look
18 like. It didn't fit with what they were thinking in Sarajevo and not long
19 after, he, Mr. Fikret Abdic, ended up being in a conflict between one
20 portion of that pocket, which he controlled from his base in Velika
21 Kladusa, and the military command controlled by Sarajevo, which was based
22 in Bihac. And he lost that conflict.
23 Q. Thank you. The agreement signed by Abdic with Milosevic on the
24 22nd of October 1993, did it also foresee the mutual recognition of the
25 western Bosnian region and the Serbian Krajina? Was it also supposed to
1 put peace into force between the western Bosnia area and the rest of the
2 Serb-held territories in Bosnia?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: And Republika Srpska.
4 THE WITNESS: That was the intention. Fikret Abdic wasn't too
5 sure that he can bring together both the Serbs, Muslims and Croats, and he
6 was going to use Western Bosnia, what we are calling Bihac pocket, as a
7 prototype to show that.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you. In connection with one of our earlier answers, let me
10 ask you this: Such a behaviour by Abdic, who was in favour of peaceful
11 solutions, did this result in the attack of the 5th Corps of the army
12 under the command of Dudak against Western Bosnia and the defeat of
13 Western Bosnia? Was this the reason for the attack of Dudakovic's corps
14 against this Krajina?
15 A. I don't recall Dudakovic attacking Krajina. As I recall, it was
16 the opposite. It is Abdic using his forces, enlisting the forces in the
17 Serbian Krajina to join with him to attack the rest of Bihac pocket. It's
18 the other way around.
19 Q. Are you saying that Fikret Abdic sought assistance from the Serbs
20 from the Republic of Serbian Krajina and that they extended that
21 assistance? In other words, they responded to his application? Is that
22 what you're saying? Was that the case?
23 A. Yes. That's what I'm saying.
24 Q. Are you aware of the fact that at the end, the 5th corps of Alija
25 Izetbegovic's army defeated Abdic's forces?
1 A. I just said that earlier. He was defeated and he was defeated by
2 the 5th Corps.
3 Q. The 5th Corps of the BiH army, did it also attack the Serb side?
4 Did it cross over to the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina? Do
5 you know anything of that?
6 A. When the Serb forces from Sector North started shelling into the
7 Bihac pocket, they responded, yes.
8 Q. When you are talking about the Serbian shelling, this was at the
9 request of Abdic's side; is that correct or not?
10 A. It is correct.
11 Q. Thank you. With regard to this situation in the Bihac pocket, you
12 mentioned a meeting in Belgrade with Milosevic and Martic. This was
13 during the shelling of the Udbina airport by NATO, and you also told us
14 that at the time, Martic at one point opposed to the delivery of the
15 humanitarian aid, although Milosevic had pressured him into accepting that
16 and not be opposed to that; is that correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to another topic.
19 Mr. Kirudja, you've mentioned the year 1992 and the murder of
20 Mr. Obradovic, one of the mayors in your sector. Was it ever established
21 who the perpetrator of that murder was, who killed this man?
22 A. To my knowledge, and I had more reason to find out whether it was
23 solved, it wasn't until the time I left my posting in Belgrade. And even
24 when I was in Belgrade, I was in touch with some of my previous colleagues
25 and counterparts and had occasion to ask if the murder had been solved.
1 It was -- nobody would even dare to talk about it. Many -- about two or
2 three years, not two or three years, about a year or so after the fact. I
3 said I had a reason to do that because I had known Obradovic and I had
4 known his family and from that point, and I knew them well, humanly
5 speaking I wanted to know if they had got his killers. And I never got to
6 know that.
7 Q. Thank you. You said that as soon as the killing of Mr. Obradovic
8 became known, the president of the assembly of the Serbian Krajina, Mr.
9 Mile Paspalj came to the scene. He belonged to the government in where
10 Martic was also won of the ministers; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. You also told us that -- actually you provided us with a possible
13 conclusion, that the initiative or a suspicion was cast also on the
14 government in Knin, as a result of the pressure on those measures. My
15 question to you is this: Are you aware of the fact that the indictment
16 charges Mr. Martic with the participation in corridor when Mr. Obradovic
17 was killed? According to the indictment, Mr. Martic was on the corridor.
18 Are you aware of this detail?
19 A. Excuse me, what do you mean in the corridor?
20 Q. I mean the operation that was conducted in July 1992 in order to
21 liberate the road that had been intercepted or blocked by the Croatians in
22 the northern part of Bosnia. That's what I mean.
23 A. Yes. I had heard about that.
24 Q. Now that we are talking about Mr. Obradovic, does the fact that a
25 high official of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Mile Paspalj, the
1 president of the assembly, came to the scene after the killing of
2 Mr. Obradovic in a state of shock and, under the arms, like everybody
3 else, does this fact point to the fact that the Knin government did not
4 have anything to do with the killing or else, the way you put it? And
5 you're an experienced person, able of assessing the situation properly.
6 What is your view of that?
7 A. No, I couldn't conclude that. Mr. Paspalj was obviously, along
8 with others, quite, not just shocked. There it was an element of fear
9 around. That's why he carried a gun, I mentioned. I had never seen him
10 carry a gun before. And it wasn't the scene that he came to. He came to
11 the hospital, where they were trying to save Mr. Obradovic. The surgery
12 was going on. The conversation that took place at that point indicated
13 that apprehension and fear of not knowing who was responsible and whether
14 it could happen to anybody else. That was the point. Secondly, a major--
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Anybody else, including himself?
16 THE WITNESS: Yes. When you don't know, you don't know. So I
17 took it that's the reason he's carrying a gun, to protect himself. Then
18 there was the situation of where it happened. As I said, in a small
19 place, two kilometres, forest, at the corner there it was the headquarters
20 of Cedo Bulat, a military headquarters n front of the road there is a
21 check-point of military. There was no way a stranger even would get away
22 with that kind of a crime, in my view, in such open way, in the morning,
23 around 9.00. So whoever committed this crime, the very least is somebody
24 in authorities let him get away with it.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Why would somebody let the perpetrator get away
1 with it? Serbian authority.
2 THE WITNESS: That's my question that I wanted to know. Why?
3 Because he's a mayor, he's an authority like everybody else. This route
4 was a regular route. His house was not very far from there. And at that
5 time, I also recall there was this understanding that some mayors had
6 certain views. I spoke about it yesterday. And he was one of those who
7 kept to himself and did things according to the Vance way, not the current
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: And these police who were guarding that road around
10 there belonged to?
11 THE WITNESS: The Serbian Krajina. Armed, fully.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: And he was shot.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, in broad daylight. 9.00 in the morning,
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. In connection with this answer, I have two more questions.
17 Mr. Mile Paspalj, on the day when this happened, was the president of the
18 assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and there is no dispute
19 about that; is that correct?
20 A. No dispute.
21 Q. And since Mile Paspalj signed the acceptance of the Vance Plan on
22 behalf of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which was actively supported by
23 Mr. Martic, could you exclude the possibility that, for example, Mr. Babic
24 had some interest in committing an act of that sort or some of his
25 sympathisers, who were against the Vance Plan? Could you exclude that
2 A. Seems to me far-fetched. Babic was in Knin. Babic himself at
3 times was a victim of attacks. At one time he was hospitalised, had
4 occasion to talk to Babic many times. Babic himself had an element of
5 fear going around. He was not part of the authorities himself.
6 Q. In connection with your last answer, are you aware of the fact
7 that there was an order for Mr. Babic and his family to be executed and
8 this order was issued by the Croatian authorities? Are you aware of that?
9 A. I'm not aware. I just said that I'm aware he was attacked and
11 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to another topic, Mr. Kirudja.
12 Let's talk about the transport of the Muslim population from
13 Bosanski Novi, and you spoke about the obvious cooperation between the
14 mayor of Dvor and the mayor of Bosanski Novi. Do you remember that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. The period is June and July 1992. Was that the time when, in that
17 area, or at least in the territory of Sector North and on the entire
18 territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, there were a lot of problems
19 with supplies, with food stuff, with electricity, water and the likes? Do
20 you remember that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Do you remember, or do you know, better say, that the Operation
23 Corridor took place after the Croatian side had cut that corridor in two
24 and when the situation for the Serb population had become even worse? Do
25 you remember that, there was no way of delivering anything by air or by
2 A. Which Serbian population do you have in mind? Both in Serbian
3 Krajina or in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in both?
4 Q. I apologise. I meant -- I meant the Serbian population in the
5 Republic of Serbian Krajina, in UNPA zones?
6 A. That was not the only supply route for those Serbs who were in the
7 UNPA. There was also a supply route coming from Karlovac to the crossing
8 point in Turanj and there was much less used supply route through Sisak.
9 We had a lot of supplies coming in, either as humanitarian assistance, and
10 Fikret Abdic of which we spoke about just a few minutes ago, had a whole
11 convoy of trucks that he would arrange coming in through Karlovac into the
12 pocket with the full arrangement of the Krajina Serbs themselves. So the
13 corridor you're talking about which goes through Bosnia-Herzegovina to
14 Belgrade was not the only one that would have supplied the Serbs in the
16 Q. Karlovac, which is to the north of Sector North, was a town under
17 the Croatian control, wasn't it?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. During the Operation Corridor, did you hear of the death of 12
20 babies in the hospital in Banja Luka due to a lack of oxygen which could
21 not have been transported from Belgrade, all that as a result of the
22 problems that I have just spoken about?
23 A. I didn't, but I also conceded to you that the Serbs in Bihac
24 needed the corridor. I was only specifically talking about the Serbs in
25 the UNPA.
1 Q. In light of all the economic hardship, do you think that the
2 interest of the authorities, for example, in Dvor, which is across from
3 Bosanski Novi, not to keep four, five or 6.000 refugees in their territory
4 is the result of nationalism or that it may have had something to do with
5 the problems in the supply and the way these people could have been
6 provided for?
7 A. Question to you: 6.000 refugees, are you -- in Bosanski Novi, is
8 that what you mean?
9 Q. Yes, yes.
10 A. There were no 6.000 refugees in Bosanski Novi. People are not
11 refugees when they are in their own houses. Even if they be Muslims,
12 which they were. They were in their own homes. They can't be refugees.
13 Q. In connection with this answer, let me ask you this: Do you
14 remember a conversation with Mr. Martic which took place on the 10th of
15 May 1995, in Belgrade, the conversation between Martic and Mr. Akashi
16 after the Operation Flash, Mr. Akashi was in favour of the position that
17 the Serbian population should leave Sector West. In your view, was that a
18 voluntary departure or was that a necessity and in view of helping these
19 people save themselves?
20 A. Sector West, the Serbs who were there after Operation Flash, I
21 assume you mean after the Croats took the action they took, correct?
22 Q. Yes?
23 A. And if your question is, was it a voluntary move, I don't think
24 so, that the Serbs didn't wish to be in that place when the Croats came
25 in. Now, that is important because the Serbs and the Croats had engaged
1 in a conflict that even preceded our arrival. The Croats, a lot of people
2 were -- who were Croats were pushed out of Sector West, which you are
3 describing, and I started there in Daruvar. I went to Pakrac and I went
4 to other areas. Therefore, this fear of the Serbs was of retaliation if
5 the Croats came in, and that is understandable, that they wouldn't want to
6 be there for fear of retaliation.
7 Now back to Bosanski Novi, if that's the analogy you're trying to
8 draw, there was no such cycle of these people you're calling 6.000
9 refugees. These were people in their own houses. The Serbs declare: We
10 have a new Srpska republic and you have to swear allegiance to it. Those
11 are two different scenarios.
12 Q. Thank you. In connection with your last answer, Mr. Kirudja, do
13 you remember that you had conversations with the Muslim representatives of
14 the municipalities and towns who wanted to leave and that an explanation
15 was provided that people had relatives abroad, that they wanted to escape
16 the situation at hand? Was that the case?
17 A. Yes. Two representatives of the Muslims who were brought by a
18 group of Serbs so that they can explain to me how come the people wanted
19 to leave, yes. To leave Bosanski Novi. We are talking about Bosanski
20 Novi now.
21 Q. In those conversations that you had, Mr. Kirudja, the Serbian
22 representatives told you, is it correct or not, that the Muslims did not
23 want to go to the territory under the control of Alija Izetbegovic because
24 they would be mobilised, they didn't want to fight, they wanted to go
25 abroad; is that correct?
1 A. That's what the Serbian representative said.
2 Q. Thank you. Can my last document of the day be shown? That is a
3 document from the 65 ter list, 1829.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, the previous document, is it
5 already in evidence or you don't need it in evidence?
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I
7 would apply for the admission of this document as a Defence Exhibit. If
8 my learned friend from the Prosecution has used this document, then it
9 will soon be known, I suppose.
10 MS. RICHTEROVA: No. I didn't use it so it is your turn.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] In that case, can this be
12 admitted as a Defence Exhibit, please?
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is then admitted as a Defence Exhibit.
14 May it please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit number 769, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
17 All right. Now, what document did you want called,
18 Mr. Milovancevic?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The last document that I'm
20 going to show, Your Honour, and I'm drawing my cross-examination to an
21 end. This is document 1825, 65 ter list document 1829.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's apology, 1829.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. Mr. Kirudja, this is a Prosecutor's document speaking about the
25 first carriages of Bosnian refugees to Germany. The date is 26 July 1992.
1 Can you see that on your screen? Can you please read out the first line
2 below the word "body"?
3 A. Yes. And the line reads, "Three trains carrying some 2.600
4 distraught and exhausted Bosnian refugees fanned out across Germany on
5 Sunday, as Bonn put on an emergency relief drive for civil war victims
6 into action."
7 Q. Thank you. Can we go to the next page of the same document,
8 bearing the digits 259? Below the page number 36, the Reuters library
9 report July 26, 1992, could you please read out the three last sentences
10 on that page? Can we please scroll up to display the bottom of the page?
11 Not the last page but the three -- not the last sentence but the three
12 sentences but last and I promise you this is the last thing that you're
13 going to be asked to read out today.
14 A. I'm confused. The last -- beginning with Plaski.
15 Q. The refugees, starting with the refugees. The fourth paragraph
16 from the bottom would be the beginning of what I'm asking you to read.
17 Starting with the words, "The refugees came."
18 A. All right. "'The refugees came mostly in families, many with
19 children, and the first train also had a surprisingly high number of young
20 men on board,' Red Cross Dr. Hans Plasche [phoen] said."
21 Q. Can you please read the next two paragraphs as well, and my
22 question will be forthcoming after that.
23 A. "Plasche said a colleague had reported Croatia was letting
24 Bosnian men leave rather than force them to return to fight.
25 Most refugees seemed in good health, although several children
1 were sunburned and many were dehydrated after waiting hours in the sun for
2 evacuation from Karlovac."
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja. Karlovac is a place in Croatia, and the
4 Croatian government had agreed that it should be used as a starting point
5 for the transportation of this Muslim population; is that correct?
6 A. Can you pull up this -- the date on this report, please? I don't
7 see the date on it. July 26, sorry. Thank you. This must only have a
8 reference, if the reporting is correct, to the number -- the first time we
9 evacuated the 4.000 from Bosanski Novi, or it -- if it doesn't refer to
10 that group, it could only refer to smaller groups we spoke yesterday that
11 came and went past the -- past the sector. In most cases, one of the
12 biggest headaches I had was if a convoy of Muslims contained men, if there
13 were men in the convoy, the Serbian police and military went into high
14 gear, demanding that they should be pulled out and therefore I can't
15 relate over this issue about them refusing to go back and fight, because
16 the reality was most of the people who passed through that sector, around
17 26 of July, as this document is dated, were mostly women and children. If
18 there were men, we had a lot of trouble with the Serbian people letting
19 them across the sector.
20 Q. The three paragraphs that you have just read out, do they speak
21 about a surprising number of young men among the refugees? Does the
22 report say that the Croatian side had allowed Bosniak males to leave
23 rather than to return them in to fight? Is this what it says in this
25 A. Your Honour, I'm having a lot of trouble commenting on a
1 journalist's story. Often journalists are not the kind of places you go
2 for accuracy in everything. This is a Reuters story. I explained to you
3 about the daily events in the sector. It's hard for me to believe that
4 they were talking about a lot of men coming from Bihac pocket through the
5 sector into Karlovac. On the other hand, I knew for a fact there were a
6 lot of men already prepositioned in Karlovac that I had met at their
7 request because they wanted to talk to me about it and they were already
8 there in Karlovac. So this story about men, unless you knew the genesis
9 of it, you don't know whether they were already in Karlovac, you don't
10 know whether they transitioned through the sector. It's difficult to
11 comment on it.
12 Q. And one more question about the convoy carrying 4.000 Muslim
13 refugees from Bosanski Novi: Was this convoy organised by the UNPROFOR
14 and the UNHCR? Did it enjoy all the logistical support by these two
16 A. It was not correct that it was organised by UNPROFOR and UNHCR.
17 It was organised by the Serbs centred around Bosanski Novi, in the mayor's
18 office, Pasic, and Dvor's office, over there. But because they were going
19 to transition through the sector, then obviously we were involved, if only
20 for humanitarian reasons, in helping them out to complete this transition.
21 I testified yesterday the police -- the Serbian police were out in force
22 managing it. We read a memorandum yesterday showing the buses were all
23 provided for by the Serbs. It was not organised by UNPROFOR or UNHCR in
24 that sense.
25 Q. Thank you. One more thing about your observations: There is a
1 report of yours, an UNHCR report talking about the vicious circle in the
2 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in which the Serbs wage war against the
3 Muslims, the Muslims against the Serbs, the Croats against both, and so on
4 and so on, and all this is an endless cycle of crimes committed against
5 the innocent population. Was that the case, sir?
6 A. An UNHCR report is not technically my report in the first place,
7 and I am not sure exactly the specific one that you are referring to.
8 That's one point. And as to a vicious cycle in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there
9 is truth to that in the very broad sense. One act begot another, and in
10 the very broadest of sense, yes, there was a vicious cycle.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: But is it true that in any case, even if the report
12 had been yours, at the time of writing it, you would have believed it to
13 be true?
14 THE WITNESS: That there was a cycle?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Whatever you wrote in the report you believed that
16 to be true?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
20 Q. Mr. Kirudja, I would like to thank you for all your answers. We
21 don't have any more questions for you. The cross-examination lasted as
22 long as it did because of the coverage, both in terms of time and space.
23 I hope that my cross-examination was not too tiring, given my attempt to
24 provide a somewhat lengthy introduction into every topic that we
25 discussed. Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
2 Ms. Richterova?
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour. There won't be any
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Ms. Richterova.
7 Questioned by the Court:
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Yes, Mr. Kirudja, may I ask you some questions?
9 First, we saw a report of Mr. McElligott about crime figures in Sector
10 South. It brings me to the general question, how your position related to
11 Mr. McElligott's. How can this be compared with your function with regard
12 to UNPROFOR?
13 A. Thank you, Your Honour. I believe the exact title of John
14 McElligott was Deputy Commissioner of Police, in the report that you cite.
15 Each -- we were organised with that respect along the following lines.
16 The civilian -- the United Nations civil poll, civil police, were deployed
17 in each sector. Every opstina reasonably close to the Serbian police and
18 sometimes other places, we had a deployment of civilian police in the
19 sector. Those civilian police reported to a chief of police who was in my
20 office. In Zagreb, there was a commissioner of police who coordinated all
21 that work, because there were similar arrangements in the other three
22 sectors. John McElligott was in Zagreb later, and I believe he might have
23 been also in Knin for a short time in Sector South but he would have been
24 the person in Zagreb who would be at the receiving end of the reports
25 coming from all sectors on behalf of his boss, the commissioner, but in my
1 sector, there was somebody else, he was in directly linking called the
2 chief of police. Not McElligott, there was a chief of police in each of
3 the four sectors.
4 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. And how about three other UN persons,
5 and their technical relationship to your function. Mr. Thornberry first.
6 A. Mr. Thornberry was the head of civil affairs. This was very
7 carefully calculated role that Mr. Goulding had created, Marek Goulding
8 being at that time the Undersecretary General for the entire peacekeeping.
9 It was consistent with something we have discussed here at length, that
10 UNPROFOR did not have a mandate to sort out political problems.
11 Therefore, the United Nations had appointed as head of the mission rather
12 unusually a soldier, the force commander. Force commander at the
13 beginning was the head of the mission. But because he was a
14 soldier, he couldn't be expected to deal with other non-military matters.
15 That responsibility was placed under the head of civil affairs, and that
16 was the role Cedric Thornberry played.
17 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And finally two persons, Mr. Akashi, the
18 Secretary-General's special representative to the former Yugoslavia, how
19 did he relate to UNPROFOR? And to you?
20 A. What I just described, that setup lasted only for one year,
21 because it became clear, as the deterioration of events that we spoke of
22 in Bosnia-Herzegovina became evident, the United Nations management
23 Secretary-General decided to return to the normal structure of a UN
24 mission. It wouldn't be headed by a soldier. It has to be headed by a
25 civilian. And the first civilian that headed UNPROFOR was Stoltenberg.
1 Mr. Stoltenberg also had the other responsibility of being a
2 co-chairperson of the international conference in the former Yugoslavia
3 for the UN. Lord Owen for the European Union. Mr. Stoltenberg didn't
4 want to keep that role for long. He lasted almost another year. And by
5 the end of 1993, that is when Akashi replaced Mr. Stoltenberg in the title
6 role of special representative of the Secretary-General. In that case, he
7 took over the leadership of the mission and the force commander reported
8 to him.
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: And what was then the function of Mr. de Mello who
10 also appeared in one report together with the name Akashi? Can you give
11 me a just short --
12 THE WITNESS: A short one. When Cedric Thornberry ended his tour
13 in his role, because he continued to be head of civil affairs, he was
14 replaced by de Mello.
15 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you very much.
16 Now, after these technical questions, as to the implementation of
17 the Vance Plan, you said, Mr. Kirudja, the Vance Plan included that all
18 armed elements would lay down their arms. Yesterday you explained us a
19 document containing a list. This is court Exhibit 748 -- of, first, it
20 was said, JNA units stationed in Sector North, and below, the second list,
21 weapons left behind by JNA. From infantry weapons to tanks. Acknowledge
22 you explained to us that they were taken into custody of UNPROFOR with
23 this two-key system. This process took place at the end of May 1992. But
24 how complete was, this in your view today, this demilitarisation, beside
25 the issue you discussed yesterday, the turning back of certain arms to
1 Serbs, in order to counterbalance for a possible Croat attack? You
2 pointed out that not all arms had been turned in for storage. But you
3 then left from that issue of arms remaining in Serb hands in the sector by
4 pointing to the easy possibility to import arms from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Now, what to your impression, was the amount of arms which had remained in
6 the sector but not were turned in at all?
7 A. Thank you, Your Honour. The last question quite simply I couldn't
8 quantify them and tell you so many. I also have to clarify that my
9 impression is that at the end of May, when we took possession of those
10 arms listed in the exhibit, my impression of that, we took pretty much all
11 of them that were of -- turned in, because it was a voluntary exercise.
12 Troubled and difficult but nevertheless the voluntary exercise where the
13 Serbs turned these weapons. By that I mean they didn't have a lot of
14 reason to hide lots of them from us. I also testified that by the end of
15 the year, when the Maslenica operation took place, they went and demanded
16 and took out those weapons, fearing further attack by the Croats. The
17 implication was that those weapons were never returned, ever after.
18 JUDGE HOEPFEL: You said that.
19 A. Yes. And thirdly, in between the time when they were in storage
20 and when the operation took place and they reclaimed the weapons, there
21 was a progression where they built up a parallel force with long weapons.
22 We also talked about that. And those had weapons. And when you ask me
23 where did they get them from I can't say we gave them from the storage,
24 because we didn't. So I assume they got them from elsewhere. And it
25 wouldn't have been difficult for that.
1 JUDGE HOEPFEL: But they more or less were apparently imported
2 brought from somewhere.
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you for clarifications. I have no further
5 questions. Thank you, Mr. Mr. Kirudja.
6 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I have just one question now. Actually two by
7 reason of the fact that Judge Hoepfel has covered some of what I had to
8 ask you in his first three or so questions. But what I want to ask you
9 touches and concerns the Vance Plan and the implementation of it. Did the
10 plan as agreed encompass any direction to your mission UNPROFOR as to how
11 to deal with violations by any of the parties of the terms of the plan?
12 And if yes, were these terms implemented? For example, when there was a
13 violation, what would happen on your side? How would it be dealt with?
14 A. Times have changed since the UN was doing that mission. The
15 practice then was, if the Security Council issued you with a mandate as
16 UN, and any part of that mandate was violated, you reported it to the
17 Security Council as a violation of a Security Council mandate and it was
18 up to the Security Council to take whatever action that was necessary.
19 And in answer to your question, there were many violations, and some of
20 the reports reported back to the Security Council that there were
22 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. No further questions.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have cancelled quite a number of my questions
24 because the Judges have already asked them. You testified today sometime
25 that the Serb side showed cold feet towards a certain agreement. My
1 question to you is: How did they demonstrate the cold feet? What made
2 you say this is now cold feet?
3 A. It was a very protracted process, Your Honour, involving these
4 private individuals I explained today where we would sit down and talk
5 about various aspects of bringing economic normalisation, and at the
6 beginning, you didn't know whether you reach a conclusion or not, but you
7 went on. We knew at certain point we were reaching a consensus because we
8 are in the room, we are talking to different parties the parties were
9 negotiating in my presence and I know how far progress they have made.
10 Until when we knew that certain progress was coming, the Croats now were
11 interested in changing the formula slightly to allow those who were in
12 authority in Knin to come in at that point when agreement was coming
13 together. It stands to reason, private individuals couldn't sign an
14 agreement, so when the Knin authorities were approached in one case to go
15 into a meeting where we knew the offer was to be put on the table and we
16 knew they knew them, they cancelled. They cancelled the meeting in media.
17 At that time, the plane was in the air when we were told they are not
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: You've already answered the next question I was
20 going to ask. Thank you so much.
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: You also testified today about this testimony that
23 the long arm of Croatian -- the long Croatian arm will grab them
24 eventually and you said that testimony was not given in this court, it was
25 given elsewhere. Where was it given?
1 A. It has to be in the trial of Milosevic himself. I'm not quite
2 sure, because the document that counsel was quoting has that testimony and
3 it is the document that was submitted in full and in extenso in the
4 Milosevic trial.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Relating to the killing of Mayor
6 Obradovic, now, I know very little about investigations and I'm just
7 asking you here. You said he was shot at. There could have been
8 cartridges left on the scene. It would have been the simplest thing to
9 pick them up for forensic tests and find out from which guns they came.
10 Sorry I see you keep nodding. I would like you to speak because we won't
11 see your nod on the transcript.
12 A. I was waiting for you to finish and I'll take the questions.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. The question really is that way the
14 perpetrator could have been easily identified.
15 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, when the assassination occurred and I
16 was notified about it, I went past where the vehicle was. I saw it in
17 that position, still shot, and all the scene of the crime was there.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fresh with all the --
19 A. Fresh.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: With the cartridges.
21 A. It was there violent as it was but I had much more important thing
22 to get to the hospital where he was being operated because the issue of
23 evacuation, medical evacuation was prominent. And as I said, there were
24 police everywhere, Serbian police. To today's date I never heard that
25 they apprehended anybody.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That's the last of my
3 Ms. Richterova, any questions arising from the questions of the
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Milovancevic?
8 Further cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 Q. Concerning Judge Hoepfel's question concerning the weapons in the
11 territory, Mr. Kirudja, did you know that at the time there was a
12 resolution of the Security Council in place on the prohibition of
13 importing of weapons in the territory of Yugoslavia?
14 A. I'm not sure the resolution was in the entire Yugoslavia. There
15 was a resolution restricting weapons in Bosnia-Herzegovina and there was
16 a -- sanctioned in Serbia and Montenegro. I don't think it was overall
17 but I could be wrong on that. I don't recall an overall for the entire
18 territory of the former Yugoslavia, primarily because it wouldn't have
19 applied to Slovenia, it wouldn't have applied to the rest of Croatia.
20 Q. Therefore, the remaining part of Croatia could arm themselves any
21 which way they wanted and they were indeed quite well armed, is that
22 correct, Mr. Kirudja?
23 A. Yes, Croatia was quite well armed and continued to build their
25 Q. Thank you. Another question concerning Mr. Obradovic. You said
1 that he was assassinated on a forest road, some two kilometres into the
2 forest, if I understood properly. Can you assess --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say assassinated or killed?
4 A. I'm not sure whether I have not used those two terms
5 intermittently, yeah.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is the same
7 thing in my view he was ambushed, his vehicle was riddled with bullets.
8 He was killed, assassinated. In any case the man was dead. That was in
9 the forest or rather on a forest road some two kilometres into the forest
10 self f I understood you correctly.
11 A. Not two kilometres into the forest but two kilometres from my
12 office, almost, but in a wooded area that you passed through to get in and
13 out of Topusko itself.
14 Q. One last question: This forested area, since it was wartime, was
15 it simple or difficult to control such an area?
16 A. Counselor, don't get the idea that it was a forbidding forest
17 area, it's particularly wooded, there are settlements in there the
18 command of Cedo Bulat was in behind the forest and we were just in
19 front where you come tout of the forest, that's where our head quarters
20 was -- there was a hotel there. It is into the foreboding a forest. But
21 it was a very convenient place to lay an ambush for such an ambush is what
22 it was.
23 Q. The last question: If you know, what was the percentage of all
24 crimes and perpetrators of -- thereof that are discovered in the world --
25 in countries of the civilised world, in particular the western world? Are
1 you familiar with such figures?
2 A. No.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Does it come from the questions from the Bench?
4 Any way, you have been answered.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, no
6 further questions. Thank you, Mr. Kirudja.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. Mr. Kirudja, thank
8 you so much. This brings us to the end of your testimony. You will catch
9 your 10.00 flight tomorrow. We thank you very much for accommodating the
10 Chamber and also for the testimony you gave. You are now excused. You
11 may stand down.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Travel well back home.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, on behalf the Prosecution if I could
17 just express my thanks to Your Honours and to Defence counsel and most
18 particularly to all of the staff, the interpreters, the Court reporter,
19 the AV people for sitting the extra time today. We are extremely
20 grateful. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting. You just took the words
22 out of my mouth. I was waiting for the witness to get out of the
23 courtroom before I thanked everybody for their accommodation and their
24 enthusiasm with which you really helped us. It's not only helping the
25 Prosecution, it's helping the entire process, and the Chamber does
1 appreciate your help in that regard. I'm not singling anybody out.
2 Everybody, Defence, technical staff, the witness, the interpreters,
3 everybody, including registry and the other judges. Thank you so much.
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: We thank you also.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a piece of
6 information. I still owe you an answer. You asked the witness where the
7 statement was from. Perhaps it is somewhat late but I wanted to state it
8 nevertheless. The statement you mentioned was the statement provided by
9 Mr. Kirudja to the OTP in September 2001. You asked him what the
10 statement was from which he referred to the incident with Mr. Bobetko. I
11 didn't have the time to share that with Mr. Kirudja but I wanted to share
12 it with you having received that piece of information at this moment,
13 somewhat belatedly, and I apologise for that but I thought it might be
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. I'm actually a bit lost. I'm not quite
16 sure I understand what you're talking about but that's fine. Thanks for
17 all the help.
18 It is late in the day. We will adjourn and convene tomorrow again
19 at quarter past 2.00. Court adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.21 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Friday, the 2nd day of June,
22 2006, at 2.15 p.m.