1 Wednesday, 12 July 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, everybody. Mr. -- Beg your pardon.
6 We were busy with housekeeping.
7 MR. WHITING: Yes, we were, Your Honour. Thank you.
8 The first thing, Your Honour, is that -- sorry. We have still not
9 received the list of exhibits that are going to be used with the first
10 witness. This was ordered to be provided -- ordered by the Trial Chamber
11 to be provided to us on Monday, was not provided on Monday. It was
12 promised that -- by the Defence that we would receive it first thing
13 yesterday. We did not receive it first thing yesterday. It was raised
14 yesterday in court, and I think the indication from the Defence counsel is
15 they did not want to be fixed to a time but it would be as soon as
16 possible. I certainly thought it would be by now. I certainly thought it
17 would be by yesterday. We still have not received it. So that's the
18 first issue. And that, of course, is kind of urgent since it pertains to
19 the first witness, who I think is going to start today.
20 The second issue is I think Defence counsel was going to inquire
21 with his team to find out when translations of exhibits could be provided.
22 And then the third issue, which I don't know if it requires
23 further discussion, but we interrupted it, had to do with the length of
24 time that the witness after the break, Momir Bulatovic, will take. The
25 Defence had originally indicated 10 hours, and now, as I understand it,
1 they've now, a few days after filing that 65 ter summary, they've now
2 doubled the time that he will take and have indicated that he'll take
3 twice that amount of time, that he'll take 10 hours just for direct. And
4 so they've effectively doubled the time because originally they had
5 indicated that the time estimates were for direct, cross-examination, and
6 Judges' questions. So originally the estimate had been 10 hours and now
7 we've doubled that.
8 That, of course, causes some concern about how -- what these
9 estimates mean in the 65 ter summaries. Now, I appreciate that -- and we
10 had the same difficulty. It's very hard to estimate the length of time a
11 witness will take and sometimes our estimates were too high or too low. I
12 do appreciate that. However, this is a change that occurred within a few
13 days. So I just raise that.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic. Can we start with the exhibits
15 for today's witness.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We will not be introducing any
17 exhibits through today's witness. He will just be heard. That's one.
18 Second, as regards the time required to translate these documents,
19 it's difficult to estimate how much time is needed. It's an acute problem
20 that we are solving as we go along at a rate at which it is possible to
21 translate such a number of pages. It's not prompt, Your Honour. It's
22 difficult for me to provide any other information. I think from the
23 amount of the material to be translated you will be able to decide whether
24 we have done it in a timely manner or not.
25 As for Witness Bulatovic, the Defence will review the issue
1 carefully and if we arrive at the conclusion that there will be time
2 enough in that week to hear another witness, we will prepare that witness
3 or, rather, we will secure another witness first and prepare him and
4 inform you in good time.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I just want to note that your
6 answers are not satisfactory. You can't keep us on a thread and keep on
7 saying you're not able to estimate when the translations will take, you
8 will keep track of the length of time that the witness is going to take
9 and, if there is time, you'll introduce another witness. You've got to
10 give realistic estimates. You've got to tell us exactly how long do you
11 think it will take you to do the translations, how long do you think it
12 will take you to lead your witness in the first week and have him
13 cross-examined and questioned by the Court.
14 We know it's not easy, but you've got to give us some estimate.
15 Just don't say, "We will see what happens. We will keep the thing under
16 control to the best of our ability." It just doesn't say much.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry that
18 things appear in this way, and it is not my intention to keep the
19 Prosecution and the Chamber on such a short leash. We are ourselves on a
20 short leash, and in giving the answers I'm giving, I'm only trying to
21 avoid unrealistic estimates or estimates that are not grounded in
22 anything. And when I say that I promise to do the best I can, I am bound
23 by my word. I'm just coping with the present situation as best I can, and
24 I hope the Trial Chamber will appreciate that. That is the only reason
25 why we are giving the answer we are giving. There's no other reason.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: As regards the length of time it will take the
2 witness, I want to -- because you're not able to give us any realistic
3 estimate, the Chamber is going to pin you down to your 10-hour estimate
4 and nothing more than that, which 10-hour estimate is still subject to a
5 73 ter determination by the Chamber on the 14th of August, let me just
6 remind you. So that 10-hour estimate that you made is not the last word
7 on the issue. It may very well change depending on the determination in
8 terms of Rule 73 ter.
9 I'm not sure what to say to you on the other point of
10 translations, Mr. Whiting.
11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think we'll just -- we'll just see
12 how it goes. And I mean, obviously if -- the most important thing is that
13 we have the exhibits as soon as possible and we're able to -- and we'll
14 just do the best we can under the circumstances. If -- if I think that
15 we've been somehow prejudiced in some way, I'll raise it with the Trial
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. That then disposes of the
18 outstanding housekeeping issues.
19 Mr. Milovancevic, you may proceed with your opening.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 The last topic dealt with by the Defence yesterday related to
22 allegations in the indictment that concerned the alleged activity of the
23 accused in the Operation Corridor and his activities, his alleged
24 activities in the then Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 The Defence will bring witnesses and present written material to
1 refute allegations in the indictment that the Operation Corridor was aimed
2 at creating Greater Serbia, linking Krajina in territorial terms with
3 Serbia, and show that this allegation in the indictment is completely
4 untenable. We will also present documents to show that on the 26th
5 November the agreement was concluded between General Tus of the Croatian
6 army and the JNA, that the 110th and 120th Brigade be withdrawn from
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So we will deny, refute the allegations that
8 Operation Corridor --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just interrupt you a little bit. Can I
10 remind you of what was mentioned to you yesterday, Mr. Milovancevic:
11 Don't give us the full evidence. We understand that you are going to
12 refute what is alleged to have been the intention behind Operation
13 Corridor. We understand that. The details -- let the detail come through
14 the witness, not through you.
15 Okay. I would suggest that you move on to the next point that you
16 are going to deal with, if there is any, and remember that your opening
17 statement is really a roadmap. It's not the journey itself.
18 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour, but
19 I must say that the Defence believes that it is in our interest to show
20 the main thrusts of our case. At this stage we are starting to present
21 our own case, and we find it very important for the Trial Chamber to
22 understand what kind of information we have in our possession or, in other
23 words, which key elements we will use to refute the case of the
24 Prosecution. However, thank you for your remarks, Your Honour.
25 In refuting this Prosecution case about the joint criminal
1 enterprise in Croatia and Bosnia, we will use written evidence to show
2 that even in January, 1993, the American state secretary, former State
3 Secretary Lawrence Eagleburger unilateral -- sorry, American State
4 Secretary Lawrence Eagleburger presented in the American Congress the
5 unilateral recognition of independence of Bosnia as the main reason for
6 the ensuing war. We will demonstrate that the existing evidence points to
7 something entirely different than the Prosecution case.
8 The Defence will also challenge the allegations in the indictment
9 that Mr. Martic illegally, in the ways described in the indictment,
10 equipped, armed, instigated, organised police and other units in order to
11 allegedly expel Croat population. We will prove that this theory's in
12 complete contradiction with evidence which is completely public and is
13 even contained in UN Security Council Resolutions such as the one that
14 condemns the Maslenica operation. The Defence will prove that the
15 engagement of all forces in the territory of the Republic of Serbian
16 Krajina had one objective and one objective only, and that is defence from
17 armed action of Croat armed forces in those cases when UN troops were
18 unable to prevent such action.
19 Through our witnesses and written evidence, we will show and prove
20 that the conduct of the participants in these events in the territory of
21 Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Croat side and the side of Bosnian
22 Muslim authorities was accompanied by great lies and an enormous amount of
23 deceit targeted -- targeting the international public opinion aimed at
24 completely misrepresenting what was actually going on on the ground.
25 The Defence will point to a document from March, 1993, from which
1 we will be able to see that one of the most experienced American
2 diplomats, Mr. Henry Kissinger, estimated that the international community
3 had committed a grave error in recognising Bosnia and Herzegovina in order
4 to show that the allegations in the indictment related to the grave
5 suffering of civilian population are worded in such a way that they
6 absolutely do not correspond to reality, that such suffering was caused by
7 entirely different reasons. We will show that individual people,
8 individual locations, and individual events have acted in a completely --
9 have been used by the Prosecutor to establish non-existing links and to
10 arrive at completely erroneous conclusions. In our case, we will use a
11 whole series of documents from 1993 to show the relationship between the
12 forces of Republika Srpska and the Croatian population to challenge the
13 theory of the Prosecution that the objective of the Serb forces was to
14 expel Croats, because on four occasions, or even more often, the army of
15 Republika Srpska accepted and received thousands and thousands of Croat
16 civilians who were fleeing from the activities of Muslim forces. There is
17 written and oral evidence that the Defence will present to the Trial
18 Chamber to prove this. This completely refutes the theory that there was
19 an intent to erase one ethnic group or even more ethnic groups from the
20 face of the earth.
21 We will use documents to show to the Trial Chamber that in the
22 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the fact that a whole series
23 of agreements had been concluded between Croat and Serb and Muslim forces,
24 a great number of armed conflicts occurred between Croat and Muslim forces
25 with which the Serb side had nothing to do, and that in the same period,
1 in the same area, between the same protagonists, Serbs, Croats and Muslims
2 as the local population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, throughout the period
3 there were fierce and recurring conflicts caused by the premature
4 recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an independent state at a moment
5 when the Yugoslav crisis should have been dealt with in a political
7 We will show that far from being a part of a plan to expel the
8 local population, this was a case when three ethnic communities armed
9 themselves and go for each other's throats in a civil war, which makes it
10 very difficult to understand this theory about the joint criminal
11 enterprise implemented by the Serb side.
12 The Prosecutor himself mentioned that there were various
13 indictments for the same period of time against Croat forces in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Muslim forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the
15 very existence of these indictments goes to show that what happened in
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina was a horrible civil war and that in each location
17 it is necessary to establish the real motivation, the real protagonists,
18 and the real culprits. The Prosecutor does not do that. Instead, he
19 isolates several locations from this all-out civil war in order to derive
20 a theory that this was some kind of unilateral joint criminal enterprise.
21 The Defence will show that this theory is complete fiction.
22 We will show through witnesses and documents that throughout --
23 for the duration -- the entire duration of these events in Krajina, in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in Croatia there were several thousand
25 representatives of United Nations on the ground. All key decisions from
1 agreements on cease-fire, cessation of hostilities, to agreements
2 concerning future organisation of these territories, the highest officials
3 of both the international community and the United Nations were involved
4 all the time, and we will show that many such agreements were travestied
5 in order to achieve war aims, military aims, even when it was absolutely
6 possible to implement such agreements. We will show that there was
7 support from key international factors to attain precisely those wartime
8 goals, both in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia, by use of weapons. We
9 will show that the Serbian side in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which
10 according to the 1991 census had 581.000 population, was by far weaker.
11 And the same was the case in Bosnia. The Serb side was much weaker than
12 the other conflicting parties, and it was absolutely in its objective
13 interest to have things resolved by agreement. However, every such
14 agreement was travestied.
15 We will show that there was an agreement reached just before the
16 Operation Corridor on board the aircraft carrier Invincible. However, it
17 was always the objective of the other conflicting parties to involve the
18 international community in a military intervention.
19 The Prosecution is saying that the accused was not cooperative,
20 was leading his own people in a suicidal mission. The Defence will show
21 through documents that in the beginning of February, 1994, after the
22 report submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the effect that Croat
23 troops are located in the neighbouring state of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
24 Croatia publicly admitted this.
25 Through this evidence, we will again challenge and refute the
1 Prosecution case, which basically says that what happened in Bosnia
2 happened because of the joint criminal enterprise implemented and pursued
3 by the Serb side. We have already seen how that Serb side fared.
4 The Defence will use written evidence and call witnesses to show
5 that things were completely different to what we may conclude from the
6 testimony of some Prosecution witnesses who said that the Serb side and
7 this accused obstructed the implementation of all agreements. Our first
8 witness will in fact tell us what kind of talks were held and what they
9 focused on and point to all the concessions that the Serb side made in
10 order to avoid what ultimately happened to them. The Defence will again
11 present the text of the Zagreb agreement on the cessation of hostilities
12 or, rather, cease-fire and separation of the warring sides that was
13 concluded at the time when Mr. Martic was the president of the Republic of
14 Serbian Krajina. Through written evidence and oral evidence, we will show
15 what other talks were held in 1994, what happened to economic agreements
16 [French on English channel] with his, Martic's support [French on English
18 The Defence will show that the allegations of the Prosecution
19 concerning the Z-4 plan as a wonderful offer that would have rescued the
20 Serbs were completely contrary to reality. It was an enormous deception
21 led by representatives of the Croat authorities in the interests of
22 Croatia. We will show that all the provisions of the Z-4 plan had been
23 offered to the Serb side two years previously by Croatia, and it was only
24 revamped by Ambassador Galbraith in January, 1995.
25 We will show through witnesses and evidence that Mr. Martic did
1 not refuse the plan Z-4 because he is a thug who hates his own people and
2 does not respect the international community, as the Prosecution would
3 have it. He was depicted as almost retarded by Prosecution witnesses.
4 The Defence will, however, show the real reasons why negotiations on the
5 plan Z-4 were only put on hold until Croatia accepts an extension for the
6 deployment of UN troops.
7 So it was not the case that the Z-4 plan was meant to save the
8 Serbian people and guarantee them the protection of the UNPROFOR. The
9 UNPROFOR at that moment to longer existed. Mr. Martic was insisting on
10 securing the new mandate or an extension of the mandate of the UN forces
11 because he thought it was the minimum protection for his people.
12 We will show that in March, 1995, Croatia was finally forced to
13 accept an extension of the mandate for the UN forces. However, the plan
14 Z-4 was never offered again and everything ended in two operations, Flash
15 and Storm, that constituted aggression.
16 The Defence will show that all the international obligations
17 undertaken when the UN Resolution, the Vance Plan, and the Zagreb
18 agreement were accepted, and also all the obligations stemming from a
19 number of negotiations were broken by Croatia. The Defence will show that
20 the rejection of an agreement with the Serbs had only one purpose. That
21 purpose was to implement the HDZ plan, to make Croatia a state of the
22 Croatian people. Every agreement had to be avoided so that the issue
23 could be settled by military means. Colonel Grujic and other Prosecution
24 witnesses have testified to how this ended: Between 250 and 350.000
25 people fled from Croatia ultimately.
1 The Defence will also point to the report to the Security Council
2 of May, 1993, submitted by Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali showing that 251.000
3 people had been expelled by that date alone. The Defence will also
4 confirm Mr. Grujic's report which says that in August, 1995, out of 50.000
5 Serbs who resided in Croatia at the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis,
6 according to the official census, only 581.000 remained.
7 The Defence will point to the real reasons why the Serbs had to
9 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Excuse me, Mr. Milovancevic. Maybe there is a
10 translation problem. You told us some figures about the Serbs who resided
11 in Croatia at the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis, and this is 50.000 --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter apologises for the error.
13 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Can you clarify?
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I was
15 pointing out two figures. One was from the census of 1991, according to
16 which there were 581.000 Serbs residing in Croatia before the crisis, and
17 the data provided by a witness, an expert witness, who said that only
18 50.000 Serbs remained in Croatia after Operations Flash and Storm. Only
19 50.000 remained. So the Serb population was expelled from Croatia during
20 Operations Flash and Storm. When the number of Yugoslavs and ethnically
21 undeclared are also added, this will further clarify issues, but the
22 Defence is now pointing to a situation quite different from the one
23 represented by the Prosecutor.
24 The Defence will, through its witnesses, show that the attitude of
25 the authorities of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was well-intentioned.
1 It was cooperative, that the Serbs fulfilled all their obligations, that
2 there are UN documents showing that heavy weapons were put under a double
3 lock -- a double key. And there were five major offensives launched while
4 the UN was in place as well as daily lesser incursions by the Croatian
5 forces. We shall also provide evidence as to number of those attacks
6 against the Serbs on the territory of the Republic of Serb Krajina.
7 The Defence will show through its witnesses that the allegations
8 in the indictment that Operation Flash took place on the 1st of May is
9 untrue. It only started on the 1st of May, but it ended some seven or
10 eight days later. In our deep conviction, the Prosecution is overlooking
11 this because they wish to separate in an artificial way the targeting of
12 Zagreb from the attacks in Western Slavonia.
13 The Defence will bring witnesses and present written evidence to
14 show that the United Nations were informed on the 1st of May of the
15 forthcoming offensive, that a Croatian armed force invited UN members to
16 seek shelter, and then set out to massacre the population of Western
17 Slavonia. The massacre went on for days.
18 The Defence will bring witnesses and present written evidence to
19 show that the firing of artillery projectiles from the Orkan system on
20 targets in Zagreb was a legitimate attempt to deter and stop the
21 aggression. The United Nations recognised the right to self-defence to
22 anyone who is under attack or under threat. In Western Slavonia, it was
23 not only Serb forces and the Serb population that were under attack; it
24 was also the United Nations. This was an area under UN protection, and it
25 was run over by Croatian armed forces. It was in these circumstances that
1 the firing on Zagreb took place.
2 The Defence will show that there are a number of written reports,
3 written by UN officials, about the suffering of the population; that there
4 are documents of the Croatian army showing that on the 4th of May heavy
5 artillery fire was directed at a number of villages populated by
6 civilians; that there was a massacre ongoing; and that the UN was doing
7 nothing to stop this. It went on until the territory of Western Slavonia
8 had been cleansed.
9 The Defence will also present to the Chamber a written document
10 from Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the UN High Representative of Human Rights who
11 confirmed that the forces of the Croatian police and army killed Serb
12 civilians and targeted civilian targets and facilities. Through witnesses
13 and documents, the Defence will prove that what happened during Operation
14 Flash and Storm on the 4th of August, 1995, and subsequently over the next
15 few months when the entire population of the Republic of Serb Krajina was
16 expelled and 22.000 buildings destroyed in Sector South, 22.000 Serb
17 buildings were razed to the ground with a view of making it impossible for
18 the Serbs ever to return. The Defence will show that this was all part of
19 a systematic and organised joint enterprise by the Croatian military and
20 political state leadership to eliminate the Serbs from a territory on
21 which they had lived as citizens of Croatia and a nation within Croatia.
22 The Defence will also submit a document showing what the attitude
23 of the Croatian authorities was to these crimes. It will show that the
24 president of the Republic of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, on the 4th of June,
25 1995, on Croatian statehood day, decorated one of the murderers of the Zec
1 family in Zagreb. This was an eminent Serb family, and they were murdered
2 in 1991. Four known perpetrators arrived, took away the mother and the
3 daughter, killed the father, raped the mother and the daughter, and threw
4 them onto a rubbish dump. The court proceedings have still not been
5 completed, yet Mr. Tudjman decorated one of these perpetrators, whose
6 first and last name we will reveal to the Chamber, on the 4th of June,
7 1995. He also decorated the terrorist Miro Baresic who long ago murdered
8 the Yugoslav ambassador in Sweden.
9 By pointing to these facts, the Defence is not attempting to
10 testify but simply to explain what material it has at its disposal and
11 what material it will present to disprove the Prosecution thesis that the
12 fear of the Serbs was unjustified and exaggerated. On the contrary, this
13 fear because justified, and everything that had Serbs had been afraid of,
14 unfortunately, happened.
15 The Defence will show documents showing that there is a number of
16 decisions issued by the Security Council in June, 1995, after Operation
17 Flash on -- about the activity of the Croatian forces on the territory of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It will show that Croatia failed to respect all
19 warnings, that by taking Glamoc and Grahovo, which are right behind Knin
20 but on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were preparing for the
21 final blow against Knin and the Krajina in Operation Storm.
22 The Defence will show that none of the reasons presented by
23 Prosecution witnesses for Operation Storm, the alleged events in the Bihac
24 pocket, are true and correct, because Janko Bobetko, the general of the
25 Croatian army, on the 26th of June, 1995, signed a directive for the
1 implementation of Operation Storm which began on the 4th of August, 1995.
2 On the 5th of December, 1994 [Realtime transcript read in error
3 "2004"], five months before Operation Flash, he also signed a directive
4 on the implementation of Operation Flash. We will present this document
5 to the Chamber also and show that the excuses --
6 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry to interrupt, but is it the 5th of
7 December, 1994, or 2004, as the record shows 2004.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. It's
9 probably a slip I made. I was speaking of 1994. Flash was on the 1st of
10 May, 1995, and I am pointing to evidence at the disposal of the Defence
11 that General Bobetko on the 5th of December, 1994 - not 2004, thank you
12 for correcting me - issued an order for the carrying out of this
13 operation. The Defence will also present documents showing that these
14 directives for Operation Flash also meant that the Croatian forces were at
15 the starting positions three months prior to the operation, waiting for
16 the signal to begin, and yet the Prosecution is presenting this all as
17 Martic's stubbornness, the stubbornness of Martic who refused to cooperate
18 with the UN. The only thing Martic was afraid of, however, was that what
19 happened would actually happen, and he was trying to prevent it by doing
20 everything he possibly could in line with all moral and ethical norms.
21 The Defence will also show through documents that on the 30th of
22 July, 1995, Mr. Akashi and Mr. Martic, in the presence of UNPROFOR
23 Commander Janvier, signed an agreement regulating the issue of Bihac and
24 the behaviour of the Serb side. From this it will become clear that Bihac
25 was not a reason for Operation Storm as -- as Ambassador Galbraith
2 The Defence will present documents and call witnesses to show that
3 Operation Storm began in the early morning hours with all-out artillery
4 fire and that NATO provided air support from the Aviano, from the Aviano
5 base and that the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt soon disabled the
6 communications of the Republic of Serb Krajina, which had a direct
7 influence on the development of military operations and the possibilities
8 of the Republic of Serb Krajina to defend itself, and it was under UN
10 The Defence will present a document, written evidence, that
11 Mr. Mato Granic, who was one of the highest ranking officials of the
12 Republic of Croatia, explained as early as on the 6th of August, 1995,
13 that the USA advised the Croats as to how to carry out an attack on the
14 Krajina Serbs and gave the go-ahead. We shall see whether there is any
15 causal link between this and Ambassador Galbraith's testimony who said
16 that he saw Mr. Tudjman several times a day.
17 After Operation Storm in 1995, the entire Serb population was
18 expelled from the territory of the Republic of Serb Krajina, which was
19 under UN protection, through the activities of the Croatian army. Milan
20 Martic, who was the president of the Republic of Serb Krajina, became a
21 refugee to avoid being killed. That was the reason the Serbs fled. The
22 Prosecutor claims in his indictment that Martic continued carrying out the
23 joint criminal enterprise even as a refugee. In another indictment
24 against Markac, Gotovina and Cermak, as the Defence will show, the
25 Prosecutor indicts the Croatian top military and political leadership,
1 saying that from the 4th of August, when "Oluja" began, once Operation
2 Storm began and all the Serbs were expelled from Croatia, there was also
3 armed activity in November, 1995, and systematic and total destruction of
4 the conditions for life of Serbs in that area. On the other hand, the
5 Prosecutor in these proceedings accuses Martic that, even as a refugee, he
6 was involved in a joint criminal enterprise.
7 The Defence will also present evidence to show that during
8 Operation Flash several hundred Serbs were killed, and they were all
9 expelled. Only 800 remained on the territory of Western Slavonia, whereas
10 there had been some 15.000 before that.
11 The Defence will show that in Operation Storm on the 4th of
12 August, 1995, 1.791 persons of Serb ethnicity were killed or went missing.
13 This is not in dispute today. 1.791 people. The rest were expelled.
14 Among these 1.791 there were 996 civilians; 449 of them women, and 11
16 The Defence will show that, contrary to the Prosecutor's claim
17 that Martic was involved in a joint criminal enterprise even in 1995 when
18 he was already a refugee, there was horrendous fighting on the territory
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the one side were joint Croatian and Muslim
20 forces, and there are documents, witnesses, and other evidence showing
21 that it was not only Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who were participating
22 in the fighting but also regular Croatian troops on the territory of
23 another state, and the military offensive was supported by NATO forces
24 with bombing which lasted from end August until almost the end of
25 September, 1995.
1 The aim of the airstrikes was to ensure that the Croatian and
2 Muslim forces gain the territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina which the Serb
3 side in Bosnia and Herzegovina had agreed to hand over to them as early as
4 1992 in the Cutileiro Plan which we have mentioned. The Defence will show
5 that somebody wanted war and that the activities of Mr. Martic and the
6 activities of the Yugoslav military and the political leadership had
7 nothing to do with this.
8 The remaining Serb population signed an agreement on the 12th of
9 November, 1995, about peaceful reintegration into Croatia. This was the
10 Erdut agreement. And we will show that the Serb delegation was headed by
11 Slobodan Milosevic in Dayton, and he is allegedly the leader of the joint
12 criminal enterprise, but in Dayton he signed the Dayton Accord on the 21st
13 of November, 1995, which meant the end of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 The US president, Bill Clinton, said about Slobodan Milosevic that he
15 played a key role in Dayton. The Prosecutor claims, however, that at that
16 time Martic was engaged in a joint criminal enterprise with him which went
17 on until the end of 1995.
18 The Defence will also present UN documents showing that in Geneva
19 on the 28th of December, 1995, it was shown that cease-fire agreements
20 were not being respected and that Serbs were being fired on and the
21 intention was to make it impossible for the Serb population to lead a
22 normal life.
23 And the Defence now comes back to what it said at the beginning of
24 this opening statement: Written evidence will be presented to show that
25 Mr. Stjepan Mesic, who in 1991, on the 1st of July, 1991, was elected
1 president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia when Croatia had already
2 declared secession, gave an interview to MTB on the 7th of November, 1991
3 - that's a Slovenian television station - and he is the current president
4 of Croatia, he said that he had taken up the highest office in Belgrade as
5 president of Yugoslavia and through the mediation of the then Yugoslav
6 diplomacy headed by Mr. Loncar, who is a Croat, he had contacted the most
7 influential international factors to convince them that the existence of
8 Yugoslavia was pointless.
9 Mr. Mesic said he wanted to convey the idea of the break-up of
10 Yugoslavia to those who had the strongest influence on its fate; Genscher
11 and the Pope, and that the Pope and Genscher agreed to the total break-up
12 of the SFRY.
13 The Prosecutor, through the conference chaired by Carrington,
14 talks about some sort of dissolution of the state. This is not a legal
15 term, and it does not exist in the legal vocabulary of the world. Mesic
16 explained that the Pope and Genscher agreed to the total break-up of the
17 SFRY, and the Defence will show documents, notes made by the American
18 ambassador to the Holy See who testified that the Holy See took
19 unprecedented steps to recognise Croatia and Slovenia, that it exerted
20 pressure on a number of countries, and that visits of representatives of
21 the Holy See in mid-1991, resulted in the conclusion that it was the Serbs
22 who were the aggressors.
23 The Defence wishes to show by the evidence mentioned yesterday and
24 today that in 1990, 1991, and 1992 there was only one sovereign state,
25 Yugoslavia, that this state was broken up by armed secession and
1 rebellion, and that matters were quite different from what the Prosecutor
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just remind you, Mr. Milovancevic, no
4 evidence has been led yesterday and today at all. Just remember that.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 In the Defence case, the Defence will attempt to prove this case,
7 to prove this theory. That is the Defence intention. We wish to show
8 that the theory of a joint criminal enterprise is untenable, and once this
9 theory is disproved. The entire indictment falls.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that, but I just want you to
11 understand that an opening statement has no evidential value. Evidence is
12 tendered through witnesses and not through counsel. This is what we have
13 been trying to say the whole week. You don't prove your case by -- by
14 standing up there as counsel and talk. If you do want to take the witness
15 stand, you take this witness stand there, make the oath, and testify. So
16 what you have been saying over the last two days is not evidence.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. The
18 opening statement is not the stage of the proceedings where evidence is
19 led. I'm just pointing to the arguments on which the Defence will insist,
20 the thrust that our case will take so that the Trial Chamber should be
21 able to decide if certain witnesses were relevant or not. And in the
22 opening statement, we choose which things we will emphasise. It was our
23 belief that the Trial Chamber should understand the direction of our case.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: I was commenting on your statement at line 21, page
25 20, where you say: "The Defence wishes to show by the evidence mentioned
1 yesterday and today ..." I'm just saying what you are saying has no
2 evidential value.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's quite clear, Your
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Unless it is confirmed by a witness, understand.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I meant
7 to say. Maybe I did not choose my words properly. I was trying to say
8 that through the evidence we lead, we will try to prove our case. Of
9 course this is not evidence that I have been presenting so far. That's
10 not the way I wanted to be understood.
11 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Mr. Milovancevic, may I add some other issue. I
12 think you cannot take it for granted that -- that what you are showing to
13 us, this thrust of your case, as you said, will then make clear what is
14 being relevant or not. Then during the evidence you are then tendering,
15 we will then still be in a position to decide about relevance. It's
16 independent, I think, from your own --
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree completely. I agree
18 completely, Your Honour. And I appreciate what you said. The Defence
19 will try to show through evidence that certain things are the way we think
20 they are and it is up to the Trial Chamber to accept or refuse such
22 To gain time, we will not go into details now in the opening
23 statement as to how we will deal with specific charges, specific counts in
24 the indictment, with specific dates and specific locations, because that
25 will be the subject of our examination of every particular witness. That
1 will follow.
2 I would conclude my opening statement by reiterating the position
3 of the Defence; namely, that we expect we will be able to demonstrate that
4 the conduct of Mr. Martic had absolutely nothing to do with any joint
5 criminal enterprise, that the joint criminal enterprise itself is a
6 fiction that the Prosecutor has not been able to prove, that all this is
7 about something entirely different.
8 I have concluded my opening statement, and our first witness will
9 be Mr. Slobodan Jarcevic, and by your leave, maybe we could take a break
10 now, or do you prefer to bring the witness in first?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic. Call the witness.
12 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I crave your indulgence, Mr. Milovancevic.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Call your witness, Mr. Milovancevic.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I remember
17 correctly, I believe the Trial Chamber should first remind the witness of
18 his obligations, or maybe you prefer to do that after hearing his personal
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sir, may you please make the declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 WITNESS: SLOBODAN JARCEVIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jarcevic, good morning.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. The Defence will now begin your examination-in-chief. Before we
6 start, I have a request to make of you. Since we both speak the same
7 language and do not need the services of interpreters, I would appreciate
8 it if you would make a very slight pause before answering my questions so
9 that the interpreters are able to follow.
10 A. I will abide by that.
11 Q. So will I. And I have one more thing to ask you. If you can, try
12 to avoid overlapping in conversation so that things are clear on the
14 A. All right.
15 Q. Can you tell us your name and surname.
16 A. Slobodan Jarcevic, born in 1942 in Gornja Ravno village in Bosnia.
17 I was born during the Second World War, and maybe it is curious to mention
18 that I am one of the few surviving babies from my area. The Croatian army
19 killed many --
20 Q. I am sorry, I have to interrupt you but it was important to get
21 the personal details. First, you were born in 1942. You were born in
23 A. Gornja Ravno.
24 Q. Is that Kupres municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. What is your ethnicity and religion, Mr. Jarcevic?
2 A. I'm a Serb of the Christian Orthodox faith.
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Before you proceed, I seem to be experiencing
4 problems with my audio system on the volume. It seems to have a slight
5 glitch on it where the voice is breaking up in the translation. It
6 doesn't normally happen. I don't quite know what it is. Thank you,
7 Mr. Milovancevic. Your patience, please. Thank you.
8 Thank you. Yes. This seems to be much better. Thank you.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Is it necessary to come back to
10 one of the questions or can we just continue?
11 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Please continue. Thank you.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. Can you tell us about your education and your career.
14 A. I completed the secondary school of economics in Kikinda, the
15 political sciences school of the University of Belgrade, and I worked as a
16 diplomat in Yugoslavia from 1970 until 2002. I am also a member of the
17 Association of Authors in Serbia, and I authored a number of articles
18 about the history of Balkans and the situation of our peoples between
19 great powers.
20 Q. Thank you. You told us that you worked in the Foreign Ministry.
21 Can you enumerate some countries where you served as a diplomat.
22 A. I served for a longer or shorter time in Zambia, Romania, Kuwait,
23 Greece, India, and my last posting was in Belorussia.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe it is
1 now a convenient time for a break, a quarter past 10.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: It is indeed. Thank you very much. We will take a
3 short break and come back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, we will now continue our examination-in-chief.
9 Before the break, you mentioned several countries in which you served as a
10 diplomat, and you said the last one was Belorussia. When did you serve in
12 THE INTERPRETER: There is no microphone for the witness.
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I will repeat my question. Sorry about this. Your last posting
15 as a diplomat of Yugoslavia was Belorussia. When did you return from
17 A. In 2001.
18 Q. Did I understand you correctly? 2001 or a bit earlier?
19 A. You heard me well.
20 Q. How did you come to be engaged as the foreign minister of the
21 Republic of Serbian Krajina? In fact, were you a foreign minister of
23 A. Yes. I was the foreign minister of the Republic of Serbian
24 Krajina from -- from October, 1990 --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear which year. Could
1 the witness please repeat.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could the witness please repeat the year. The
3 interpreter didn't hear.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was the foreign minister of the
5 Republic of Serbian Krajina from October, 1992, to April, 1994.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. While we are talking about the posts you occupied, after April,
8 1994, did you occupy any other post in the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
9 A. I was replaced as foreign minister by Dr. Milan Babic, and then
10 the president of the RSK, Mr. Milan Martic, asked me to stay on in his
11 cabinet and to assist him with foreign affairs, to handle the contacts
12 with the corps diplomatic in Belgrade, with representatives of Member
13 States of the United Nations, with the European Community, and other
14 international organisations. I accepted that, and I remained as assistant
15 for foreign affairs to President Martic until the 26th of February, 1996.
16 Q. Thank you. Since you've mentioned that from October, 1992, you
17 were the foreign minister of RSK, can you tell us where you were just
18 before you became foreign minister and how did it come about that you were
19 appointed as foreign minister?
20 A. If the Trial Chamber wishes me to, I can explain the circumstances
21 under which I went to the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
22 In 1992, I was employed in the Federal Secretariat for Foreign
23 Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In other words, the
24 Foreign Ministry. In the meantime, the unfortunate propaganda against
25 Serbs was organised in a campaign, and I realised as a native of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina that we were facing the same danger as in 1941, and I
2 joined the Association of Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina in Serbia.
3 Years 1991 and 1992 brought with them precisely the things that I
4 feared. When I went to Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was with a group of my
5 countrymen who had survived the massacres that took place in the vicinity
6 of Livno -- Lim and Duvno in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I called up the
7 ambassador, and I told him that I have information that the Muslims were
8 preparing a massacre by biological weapons of Bosnian Serbs. And let me
9 remind the Trial Chamber that 70 per cent and 80 per cent of Serbs were
10 killed in those towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He promised that he
11 would call up the minister of foreign affairs of Portugal and that through
12 their ambassador in Zagreb they would contact the Croatian president,
13 Tudjman. And there are many witnesses who can testify that people in
14 Duvno were lined up for execution and the knife was at the ready, just as
15 in 1941. Then a jeep of the Croatian army rushed in --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness mentioned he called up the ambassador.
19 Ambassador of which country, to which country, and what was his name?
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Jarcevic --
22 A. I heard the question.
23 Q. Could you please explain. You said you heard -- in fact,
24 according to your information, Serbs in that area were in danger, and you
25 called the ambassador of which country and where did he intercede? First
1 of all, tell me, in which period of time did this happen?
2 A. It was 1992, the beginning of 1992. I was in Belgrade. As I
3 said, there was an Association of Bosnian Serbs in Serbia, and I called up
4 the ambassador of Portugal because that year Portugal was chairman of the
5 European Community. It's a very important function in the European
6 Community to this day. And I am sorry that I forgot the name of the
7 ambassador, but it's easy to find out. It is verifiable who represented
9 Q. I'm sorry, in which country?
10 A. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or the Socialist Federal
11 Republic of Yugoslavia, which was then in the process of breaking up.
12 Q. What happened then?
13 A. The Portuguese ambassador managed in Livno, which had a large Serb
14 population, to bring a delegation of the Red Cross from Switzerland, and
15 they made sure that nothing happened to the Serbs, and Serbs managed to
16 leave the town in peace.
17 The third action that I initiated in the Association of Bosnian
18 Serbs in Serbia was linked to the town of Kupres, where I was born. We
19 transferred the majority of civilians from Kupres to Belgrade and
20 Vojvodina because we had information that Croatian units would attack that
21 municipality because the Serb party had won the multi-party elections in
22 that municipality and Serbs were in power there.
23 This is a plateau whose lowest point is 1.200 metres, and it was a
24 dominant feature in that area, and we knew that the Croats would certainly
25 like to take over that town. It is very fortunate that we pulled the
1 civilians out so that the losses were much lower when the regular Croatian
2 army from Croatia attacked this territory. This territory was attacked
3 when it was still part of Yugoslavia, on the 3rd of April, 1992.
4 These were three actions that I handled. And my friends told
5 about it. Mr. Zecevic, the Prime Minister of Krajina. At the time I
6 didn't know this Mr. Zecevic, I didn't know Mr. Martic, and I didn't know
7 anybody in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. I was nominated for that job
8 because of my contribution to saving the Serbs from those three
9 municipalities. This is how it came about that I became the foreign
10 minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
11 Q. You gave us a very long answer about how you became the foreign
12 minister. To make the record perfectly clear, can you tell us very
13 briefly - in one sentence - who invited you to the post of minister and
15 A. In mid-October, 1992, I got a telephone call from the Prime
16 Minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Zdravko Zecevic, and he asked
17 me to meet him in Belgrade. I accepted that and I suggested that he
18 should not engage me because I had no official position in the party, I
19 never occupied a single high position, and I told him that I was afraid to
20 assume the responsibility involved in the post of foreign minister. He
21 said we would talk again. He asked me to go home and think it over and
22 meet him again the next day.
23 Since I come from an area that suffered a lot throughout our
24 history, I finally accepted his proposition to become the foreign minister
25 of RSK.
1 Q. Can you explain to us, Mr. Jarcevic, since you came to that post
2 in October, 1992, were you until then employed in the Foreign Ministry,
3 the federal Foreign Ministry in Belgrade, and how was your employment then
5 A. There was an agreement according to which Yugoslavia was able to
6 provide technical, scientific, cultural, and other assistance to other
7 countries through an appropriate institute. I talked to my minister and
8 asked him to use this practice which applied to mainly to non-aligned
9 countries, when Yugoslavia assisted those countries, and it was paid for
10 either by Yugoslavia or by the host country or by international
11 organisations. I asked my minister that I continued to work in the
12 Republic of Serbian Krajina and continued to be paid from Belgrade.
13 Maybe you will find that letter that I wrote on that occasion in
14 which I did not dare to say that I'm going to be the foreign minister. I
15 just wrote that I was going to work in the Foreign Ministry of the RSK.
16 When that was approved, I sent another letter, saying that in the
17 meantime it was decided by the government of the RSK that instead of a
18 regular civil servant I was going to be the foreign minister of the
19 Republic of Serbian Krajina.
20 Q. After this you assumed the office of minister of foreign affairs.
21 Can you explain, when you were appointed to that post, did you
22 automatically become a member of the cabinet of the Republic of Serb
24 A. Yes. That's quite usual everywhere.
25 Q. Can you tell us where your office was and if you attended cabinet
1 meetings; and if so, how often?
2 A. I reported then in Knin --
3 Q. Excuse me. When?
4 A. When I was appointed foreign minister in the first days of
5 November, I attended a government or cabinet session in Knin, and I
6 submitted a report proposing that the offices of the Ministry of Foreign
7 Affairs remain in Belgrade. I said that the Federal Republic of
8 Yugoslavia would not object to this. I explained this by putting forward
9 the fact that no United Nations member country wanted to open a
10 representative office in Knin, not even the Red Cross or UNICEF. They
11 didn't want to open representative offices in the Republic of Serb
12 Krajina. I said that in Belgrade we can maintain contacts with
13 ambassadors and other diplomatic representatives coming from 70 or 80
14 countries which had their offices in Belgrade.
15 My proposal was accepted, and therefore my office remained in
16 Belgrade whereas my deputy had an office in Knin.
17 Q. Mr. Jarcevic --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you continue to be paid from Belgrade as
19 minister of the RSK, as foreign minister of RSK?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
21 As I said, there were three ways that such cadres could be paid. I was
22 paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yugoslavia, and I was paid a
23 little extra by the government of the RSK, up to the level of assistant
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, could you please, if possible, speak a little slower
2 so that the interpreters can do their job.
3 A. I do apologise to the interpreters. I have the impression that
4 I'm speaking slowly.
5 Q. In connection with the last question put by His Honour Judge
6 Moloto, you explained that you had submitted a request pursuant to legal
7 provisions regulating technical assistance which provided for employees in
8 state organs to go elsewhere and this was how you regulated your legal
9 status. What about your employment in Belgrade in the Ministry of Foreign
10 Affairs when you were appointed minister of foreign affairs of the RSK?
11 A. In my response to His Honour's question, I tried to explain. This
12 was called simply suspension or the -- my job was still in place, but I
13 was temporarily absent from it because of technical assistant.
14 Q. Was this possibility available to everyone or just you?
15 A. It was available to all those who were employed, not just as civil
16 servants but also in commercial enterprises, scholarly and scientific
17 institutes, libraries, and so on. People working in these institutions
18 were sometimes sent to third countries.
19 Q. Does that mean when you were appointed minister of foreign affairs
20 you stopped being a civil servant in the Foreign Ministry of Yugoslavia,
21 your job there was in suspension while you were foreign minister of the
23 A. Yes. That's what was provided for by law.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, Mr. Jarcevic, whether you attended
25 cabinet sessions; and if so, how frequently these were held. When I say
1 "cabinet sessions," I'm referring to the Republic of Serb Krajina. And
2 who attended those sessions and participated in their work?
3 A. I regularly attended these sessions. They were frequently held
4 either once a week or once a fortnight. I didn't attend if there was a
5 delegation in Belgrade. I had to meet -- if I had to meet someone from
6 Greece or Russia or Hungary, we had meetings with the diplomatic corps,
7 they did meet with us, but they were very careful to leave no traces in
8 writing of any meetings with us.
9 You asked me, Mr. Milovancevic, who attended the cabinet sessions.
10 Well, it was only members of the cabinet and some persons who were
11 invited, either from the economic field or local government organs or
12 officers who had to provide briefings on the situation along the border
13 and the threats from the Croatian army and so on.
14 Q. In late October, 1992, when you became foreign minister of RSK,
15 did Mr. Martic hold any office in the government of the RSK?
16 A. Yes. That was the first time I met and got to know Mr. Martic.
17 He was minister of the interior, and the first time we both met
18 representatives of the United Nations was in November when Cyrus Vance and
19 David Owen arrived in Knin. I can tell you some of what was discussed,
20 and this refers to Mr. Martic, if necessary.
21 Q. In connection with this meeting, we'll come back to it later on,
22 but now I'd like to know the following: In what capacity did Mr. Martic
23 attend cabinet sessions, and did he take an active part?
24 A. Well, he was minister of the interior. That's a very important
25 ministry in any government.
1 Q. Did Mr. Martic also brief the cabinet on the situation, as you
3 A. Yes. Ministers participating according to the agenda. It would
4 all depend on the agenda.
5 Q. Thank you. That's sufficient. Mr. Jarcevic, you mentioned your
6 first meeting as foreign minister with representatives of the
7 international community. You mentioned Mr. Owen and Mr. Vance. What was
8 the topic discussed at that meeting? What do you recall of what was said
9 that had to do with Mr. Martic?
10 A. They arrived, as they did subsequently, to ask about some
11 particulars. Sometimes they would discuss rent payments or power cuts.
12 However, on that occasion Mr. Vance raised the issue of the Vance Plan,
13 his plan, which envisaged the disarming of the Serb army and police. With
14 respect to the disarming of the Serb army, he had no objections because
15 heavy weapons were kept under lock and key by UNPROFOR and our own
16 officers. This was the double-key system. And then he turned to
17 Mr. Martic and said, "Why is your police force still carrying long barrels
18 when they should only be carrying sidearms?" Minister Martic took the
19 floor and said more or less the following: He told Mr. Vance that the
20 police of the RSK was carrying weapons to 7 per cent and that these were
21 standards applicable everywhere in the world and that we had not broken
22 any rules or imperiled anyone. Then Mr. Martic reported to Vance and Owen
23 that the Croatian army was frequently crossing the border and that every
24 time they did that, they killed some civilians. He said that we could
25 only fend off such criminal attacks with long weapons, long barrels. He
1 told Mr. Vance that the police of the RSK would give up even sidearms if
2 the United Nations could guarantee that the population of the RSK would
3 not be imperiled by the Croatian army. Of course --
4 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: One moment, please. Could the witness slow his
5 pace just a little, please.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
7 Mr. Vance laughed. He said nothing, and that was the end of the
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In connection with this conversation and your participation in the
11 work of the cabinet, what information did you as the new foreign minister
12 of the RSK gain at these meetings about the situation in the RSK and the
13 UN protected areas as regards security, conditions of life, war and peace,
14 and so on?
15 A. Yes. I was able to gain an impression in a very brief time
16 period. What was astonishing was the fact that the people we met did not
17 -- or did not want to have any idea about what was happening in
18 Yugoslavia and the former federal unit of Croatia. I found it odd that UN
19 documents - first of all the Vance Plan and then Resolution 762 - only
20 noted the fact that displaced persons should come back, persons displaced
21 from the RSK, and that nothing was said about the Serbs expelled from
22 Croatian towns, and there were many more of these than there had been
23 Croats in the Krajina. So I took it upon myself to inform the United
24 Nations, its Member States, and international organisations that all the
25 evil began when the Croatian parliament and the Croatian government put
1 the Serbs outside the law. Slovenia had done this before. And I was very
2 surprised that the world knew nothing about this. It was identical to
3 what the Nazis had done to the Jews and the Gypsies, the Roma.
4 If you're interested, I can give you two or three examples of the
5 way that Serbs were put outside the law.
6 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, you mentioned the problem of the return of displaced
7 persons and refugees. You also mentioned the Vance Plan. In view of the
8 provision of the Vance Plan envisaging the return of displaced persons and
9 refugees, did you discuss this with anyone from the international
10 community? Can you tell us when and where this happened?
11 A. I often met with representatives of the UN, especially the chief
12 of the civilian service, Mr. Thornberry, who is an Irishman from Great
13 Britain, and who always avoided mentioning the fact that the largest
14 number of expelled persons came from Croatian towns. When I asked General
15 Nambiar, who came from India, just before his return to his homeland, he
16 was very uncomfortable. He was silent. And as I testified in
17 Mr. Milosevic's trial, he said the most detailed facts about expulsions of
18 Serbs are with the Security Council but, until further notice, they have
19 been filed away and are not to be used in operations and the work of UN
20 civil servants.
21 I was surprised by this, and to this very day we still don't know
22 the reasons for this course of action.
23 Q. With respect to the expelled Serbs you are mentioning and the
24 obligation to bring back the displaced Croats, did you point to any
1 A. The most interesting conversation I had about this was with
2 General Wahlgren. I've forgotten his first name. He was a Norwegian
3 general, and with him I raised this issue in March, 1993, when we were in
4 Geneva to negotiate with the Croats. He was surprised by my question and
5 said, "Mr. Jarcevic, it's impossible that UN documents do not mention the
6 expulsion of Serbs from Croatian towns." He asked his assistant to bring
7 him the Vance Plan, Resolution 762, and some internal documents, and I
8 didn't know what these are, and he looked at them for a long time and
9 said, "You are quite right. There is no mention of Croats expelling Serbs
10 from the towns. I will raise this issue."
11 I don't know what he did, but on the 15th of May, 1993, at the
12 Security Council, Boutros Boutros-Ghali submitted a report and said that
13 Serbs had been expelled from the towns outside the territory of the RSK
14 only to Yugoslavia and only to the Krajina and that there were 251.000 of
15 these. This is a horrendous figure because there had been 179.000 Croats
16 living in the Krajina, but this expulsion of Serbs referred only to those
17 who had found refuge in the Krajina and Yugoslavia. 150.000 Serbs were
18 not mentioned. Those had fled overseas and abroad.
19 As foreign minister, I immediately took measures to establish with
20 the immigration authorities of these countries where there were Serbs from
21 Croatia, but none of the UN Member States wanted to cooperate with us.
22 The Security Council did not want to respond to my letter, and the
23 Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, did not want to respond.
24 Now, let me tell you how we got this information that 400.000
25 Serbs had been expelled. In 1993, the Croatian ambassador in New York,
1 Mario Nobilo, informed the Security Council that in 1991, outside the
2 Krajina there had been 470.000 Serbs living in Croatia. We counted on the
3 fact that the Croats had expelled 80 per cent, which means that 400.000
4 were expelled. Only Germany spoke up, and Chancellor Kohl stated that all
5 the Serbs would be sent back to Croatia who had taken refuge in Germany.
6 We protested. The Germans gave us no written response, and we said if
7 they had been expelled once, their property looted, their flats and houses
8 taken away, what are they to do in Croatia now? Then Gert Ahrends came to
9 see us. He was the vice-president of the International Conference on the
10 former Yugoslavia, a German who spoke excellent Serbian, and he said that
11 the German government would not send the Serbs back, as had been
12 announced, but Germany bears the greatest costs in Europe for Serb
14 Q. In addition to the fact that on the territory of Croatia there
15 were many Serbs who had been expelled, as you said, the government of the
16 Republic of Serbian Krajina, and especially Mr. Martic, did they in any
17 way obstruct the return of displaced Croats to the territory of the RSK?
18 A. As the foreign minister, I conveyed the conclusions and decisions
19 of our government to international mediators, and we emphasised that all
20 Croats were free to come back to Krajina but on the condition that Serbs
21 were free to come back to Croatian towns. However, not a single employee
22 of the United Nations agreed to talk to us about that.
23 Q. As regards your diplomatic activities, can you tell us whether
24 during your term of office as foreign minister of the RSK there were any
25 talks about the peaceful solution to the Serb-Croat conflict, that is the
1 crisis between the RSK and Croatia?
2 A. Mr. Milovancevic, the position of the government of the RSK was to
3 negotiate and to arrive at a solution by peaceful means, in the spirit of
4 the Vance Plan, and with respect for the rights of Serbs in the RSK. We
5 proceeded from the assumption that the statehood of Serbs in the RSK is
6 the oldest in the Balkans. We had state attributes in the current meaning
7 of the word in Austria from 1936. That is, under Austria from 1936. And
8 Yugoslavia used to be a bi-national country to begin with, like Belgium is
9 today. And we often said to international representatives, would you
10 agree if Wallonians deprived the Flemish of their state rights and
11 expelled them?
12 I would like to present you with a document from the Vienna
13 archives. It's a document in Latin about the Serbian constitution in
14 Krajina from --
15 Q. Excuse me, Witness, but there is a certain procedure for
16 presenting evidence before this Tribunal, and that procedure has to be
17 observed by both the Prosecution and the Defence. Since we did not
18 envisage to tender this document at this moment, I would be grateful if
19 you would refrain from asking that of the Trial Chamber and to continue
20 answering my questioning.
21 Regarding the position of the Serbian Krajina, am I correct in
22 understanding that you in the government proceeded from the fact that
23 Serbs used to be a nation-forming, state-forming people until the new
24 constitution enacted in 1991?
25 A. Yes, they were equal to Croats, and I was just mentioning that
1 Serbs in Croatia had statehood before Serbia and before Montenegro. And I
2 was just going to say that by the decision of the Croatian Assembly, 1990,
3 Serbs who had had statehood for such a long time and had their own courts
4 under Austria --
5 Q. I'm sorry I interrupted you, Witness, but we have to worry about
6 time as well. Time is limited, and we have many other topics to cover.
7 You mentioned that the government tried to negotiate. With whom?
8 Can you tell us something about that? With whom, how, and on what
10 A. The government did not reject a single proposal made by
11 international mediators. We accepted all their proposals and negotiated
12 with the Croats. I can talk about this with full knowledge, because I was
13 mainly the person who prepared platforms for negotiations, and
14 negotiations took place in Krajina, in Geneva, in New York for three
15 months, then in Belgrade, and then in a place in Norway near Oslo and in
16 Erdut in the eastern part of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. I can also
17 talk about every particular round of those negotiations if you want me to.
18 Q. You mentioned Erdut. Can we start with that?
19 A. I don't know if I am entitled to suggest anything to you, but
20 Erdut is just the fourth or the fifth meeting between delegations of the
21 RSK and Croatia.
22 Q. Let's take it in order, then.
23 A. I'm sorry that I start answering too quickly. I apologise to the
25 When I became minister of foreign affairs, I heard that Thornberry
1 - Cedric Thornberry - had proposed negotiations on a paper that the
2 Croatian government passed in Zagreb. This document contained a proposal
3 whereby Croatia was offering autonomy to Serbs in districts of Knin and
4 Glina. All the other municipalities would become part of the Croatian
5 state, only those two districts would have some sort of self-management,
6 self-government. Of course these two districts formed one-third of RSK
7 only and less than one-third of the population.
8 The government of the RSK rejected that proposal even before I
9 became foreign minister. It was impossible to accept that.
10 After I became foreign minister, Thornberry said that the
11 negotiations between delegations of RSK and the Croatian state would take
12 place in February in New York. That was just after the aggression against
13 Ravni Kotari, Peruca, and Maslenica on the 22nd of January, 1993, when
14 Croat soldiers killed, if I'm not mistaken, around 700 men; some soldiers,
15 some policemen, but mainly civilians.
16 So we went to New York. The Croatian delegation arrived there
17 headed by Slavko Degoricija.
18 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, can you tell us who organised this trip to New York?
19 Was it Mr. Thornberry? And who was in the delegation of the RSK?
20 A. Thornberry was in Belgrade, and he invited us, and we were met in
21 New York by David Owen and Cyrus Vance. The latter two chaired the
22 negotiations, but they were assisted also by the foreign minister of
23 Russia, Vitaly Churkin.
24 Q. Who was on the delegation of the RSK in New York?
25 A. The delegation of the RSK was led by its president, Goran Hadzic.
1 There was also the Speaker of the Assembly -- help me with the name.
2 Q. Mile Paspalj?
3 A. Yes, Mile Paspalj, and myself. The three of us led the delegation
4 of the RSK.
5 Q. To avoid any ambiguity in the record, you mentioned President
6 Goran Hadzic.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You mean the president of the republic, Goran Hadzic.
9 A. Yes, president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Goran Hadzic.
10 Q. So what transpired in New York?
11 A. That, too, is very curious, but very little known even among
12 circles that normally follow political events inside and outside the
13 country. The Croats offered autonomy only for two districts, and of
14 course we couldn't accept that. That's why our negotiating positions were
15 too far apart, which is why David Owen realised that there would be no
16 agreement as they had conceived it, and he said that the two delegations
17 would continue in Geneva in March, and we came back from New York without
18 having accomplished anything.
19 Q. Did I understand you correctly as saying that nothing was
20 accomplished because the Croatian side offered autonomy to Serbs only in
21 two districts, Knin and Glina?
22 A. That's correct. These two districts comprise 11 municipalities.
23 Q. And all that happened in February, 1993. When did the
24 negotiations continue, if they continued?
25 A. We continued in Geneva in March. The Croats again come up with
1 the same proposal and suggest that negotiations take place within the
2 framework of a committee for national minorities, which is to say that
3 they wanted to show to their own domestic public and the international
4 community that we were just a national minority, not a nation on an equal
5 footing with the Croats. And the negotiations passed in discussions
6 whether we were a minority or not.
7 And finally, we concluded together with the vice-chairman of the
8 conference on Yugoslavia, Gert Ahrends, that we should not continue
9 talking to the Croats as representatives of the Serb national minority.
10 And I hope this document will be presented here when the time comes.
11 We continued to talk as a state-forming nation in the former
12 Croatia, we said good-bye, and met again in April and May. However, no
13 agreement was reached on either occasion.
14 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, you mentioned Geneva and the month of March. March
15 of which year? And who was on the delegation of the RSK in Geneva?
16 A. I said that the delegation went to New York in February, and in
17 March we moved to Geneva.
18 Q. Which year?
19 A. 1993. And the delegation always consisted of the president of the
20 republic of RSK, Goran Hadzic; president of the Assembly, Paspalj; and
21 myself. And occasionally we would be accompanied by another minister from
22 the government of the RSK.
23 Q. You explained that the basic obstacle to any real talks was your
24 different understanding of the status of the Serb population in Croatia,
25 different between the Croatian authorities and you, of course. Did it
1 continue to be an obstacle? Did you ever refuse invitations from
2 international representatives to negotiate?
3 A. No, we never rejected any such proposal or invitation. But it's
4 very important to say that we always invoked the decision of Serbs from
5 1945 when the Congress of Serbs in Zagreb -- and that was the subject of
6 the thesis of a professor of political science in Zagreb in 1989, two
7 years before the war started, and the Serbs decided then, and it became
8 part of the Croatian constitution, that Serbs would hold their territories
9 in Croatia until Croatia continues to be a part of Yugoslavia, and when
10 Croatia decides to leave Yugoslavia, it cannot take with it the ethnic
11 Serb territories, that is, the territory of the RSK.
12 And even people who worked in UN agencies realised this. That is
13 why, after Geneva, they proceeded with a completely different kind of
14 discussion. They pressured the Croatian side to take into account these
15 historical facts and to recognise Serbs as a state-forming nation.
16 So on the 15th of July, 1993, in the town of Erdut, in the
17 Republic of Serbian Krajina, there was a new round of negotiations.
18 Reinforcements came in the form of the deputy state secretary of the US,
19 Charles Redman, and deputy foreign minister of the Russian Federation,
20 Vitaly Churkin.
21 Q. You said reinforcement came in the persons of these high
22 officials. Could you tell us who was on the Serbian delegation and who
23 was on the Croat delegation?
24 A. The meeting was convened as usual from organise -- by organisers
25 of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia, and I believe by
1 that time Mr. Stoltenberg had already replaced Mr. Cyrus Vance, and the
2 authority of the two superpowers was supposed to be a guarantee that these
3 negotiations would bring a step forward.
4 Q. Excuse me. Who was on the delegation of the RSK and who was on
5 the delegation of Croatia?
6 A. Deputy foreign ministers of Croatia and Russia said that there
7 would be no direct talks between the two delegations but that they would
8 attend the signing of the agreement in Erdut, and they would take it to
9 the Croatian delegation to sign it in Zagreb. Before that, the two
10 delegations would have to agree on the text proposed by the International
11 Conference on the former Yugoslavia.
12 The head of our delegation was the Prime Minister of RSK, Djordje
13 Bjegovic, and I was his deputy.
14 Q. Can you tell us whether some text was agreed upon, and what did it
15 say if agreed?
16 A. The text was agreed by both sides. The only condition put by the
17 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was that the Croatian
18 signatory would be of the same rank as the signatory on our side. Since I
19 was foreign minister and signatory of this agreement, the Croats accepted
20 the proposal of the US deputy state secretary, and the agreement was
21 signed by the minister for commerce of Croatia, and that was the first
22 time the Croats made that concession.
23 The contents of the agreement was as follows: Its main feature
24 was that after the agreement was signed, both governments would set up
25 commissions for cooperation in all areas. Those commissions were supposed
1 to bring both sides to a state of two cantons, like the one that would
2 begin to exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Dayton Accords, but
3 first commissions were to work on reuniting transport, trade, economy,
4 culture, education, et cetera. We agreed to that and we signed that
5 agreement, and about 20 days after the signing - you can get hold of that
6 document - Boutros Boutros-Ghali reported to the UN Security Council,
7 saying that the Erdut agreement would lead to peace between the Serb and
8 the Croat ethnic communities in Croatia and that we are looking to a
9 peaceful solution to the war in Yugoslavia.
10 Q. You have explained this agreement in great detail and also
11 explained how it came about. Was it ever implemented? What was its fate?
12 A. After this meeting, the Prime Minister of the RSK, Mr. Bjegovic,
13 organised commissions which were supposed to implement the agreement.
14 After Boutros-Ghali's report, however, out of the blue news reached us
15 from Zagreb that Tudjman had stated in public that he did not accept the
16 Erdut agreement and that he considered it null and void.
17 If I may add, the United Nations criticised neither Tudjman nor
18 the Croatian government.
19 Q. At this meeting in Erdut, did the representatives of Russia and
20 America give any guarantees that the agreement would be implemented?
21 A. Mr. Milovancevic, when I was signing this agreement, Churkin and
22 Redman were standing behind me. The American said to me, "Mr. Jarcevic,
23 the USA and Russia guarantee this agreement." What greater guarantee
24 could you require?
25 He also said to me and the Prime Minister, but as I was signing,
1 he made this comment immediately after I signed: "If Croatia were to
2 betray this agreement, as they often do, Russia and America will force
3 them to carry it out." Churkin said, "If this happens, I will come first
4 to Knin and then to Zagreb. The agreement will have to be implemented."
5 When the president of Croatia, Tudjman, made this statement I sent a fax
6 to Churkin and to the Russian embassy in Belgrade. They did not respond.
7 I sent a fax saying I was on my way to Moscow to discuss this agreement.
8 I did fly to Moscow, but when I entered the Ministry of Foreign
9 Affairs of Russia, I was told that on that day Churkin had left for
10 Brussels on business. I was received by Ivanov, the former minister of
11 foreign affairs. I entered his office and asked what steps Russia was
12 going to take against Croatia which had refused to comply with the
14 Just imagine. Ivanov gave me a very short reply. He said he
15 would not say a single word about the agreement and that he would not
16 explain Russia's standpoint, and he gave me a dressing down, saying that
17 the Serbs, they don't know how to live together with the Croats and the
18 Muslims. He gave me the Russian example. He said there were 30 million
19 Muslims living there and that they got on very well and that they also got
20 on very well with the Chechens. All I could say was, Mr. Ivanov, you will
21 have problems with the Chechnya. He didn't want to discuss anything else.
22 Q. Am I right in my understanding of your response that this
23 agreement was never implemented because Tudjman rejected it?
24 A. Excuse me for starting too soon. In such a situation, the
25 representatives of the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia
1 turned up again, Stoltenberg, his deputy Knut Vollebaek, who was the
2 foreign minister of Norway, and they proposed secret talks to us. They
3 said, "These public negotiations have not led to any result. The
4 Norwegian government guarantees secrecy. We will travel to Norway, the
5 Croatian delegation will arrive there, and the Croats guarantee that an
6 agreement similar to the one in Erdut will be signed."
7 Q. May I interrupt you for a moment, Mr. Jarcevic. The Erdut
8 agreement that you signed was signed on the 15th of July, 1993. You are
9 now talking about Mr. Knut Vollebaek's initiative. When did it take place
10 and who was in the RSK delegation?
11 A. This was in August and September. Knut Vollebaek turned up.
12 Before the proposal for secret negotiations in Norway was made, I was in
13 Belgrade on that day, he said that on the 7th of September, 1993, he would
14 bring the Croatian proposal for a peaceful solution to Knin, and he was
15 asking the Krajina government to accept it. Djordje Bjegovic responded,
16 saying he would be waiting for him in Knin.
17 On the 9th of March, Knut Vollebaek --
18 Q. Excuse me --
19 A. I do apologise. On the 9th of September -- no, I apologise. On
20 the 8th of September. That's correct.
21 Q. Which year?
22 A. 1993. Knut Vollebaek arrived from Zagreb, opened a file and
23 started reading out the Croatian proposal of the text of the agreement.
24 At that point in time, a Krajina officer came in and said, "An hour ago
25 the Croatian army attacked the Medak pocket."
1 Q. What was the reaction of the Serbian delegation and what happened
3 A. Prime Minister Djordje Bjegovic asked Knut Vollebaek what was
4 going on. The Croats were sending us a proposal and yet they had carried
5 out an aggression on our territory. Of course Knut Vollebaek packed up
6 his things, went back to Zagreb, and as a UN representative he did not
7 accuse Croatia of anything. And you know what happened in the Medak
9 Q. Can you tell us, what do you know about it?
10 A. I know, based on a report from the French General Jean Cot, who
11 sent a copy of his report to the government of the RSK which I copied and
12 used in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said that 11 villages in Lika
13 had been razed to the ground. All the civilians were captured and killed.
14 All the animals were killed. He said that not even dogs or cats were left
15 alive. Cats and dogs were hung from large trees or nailed to trees with
16 large nails.
17 I think that Agim Ceku who is now the so-called Prime Minister of
18 Kosovo and a Croatian general, General Norac, if I'm correct, were in
19 charge of that operation.
20 Q. Do you know anything about the casualties among the Serb
22 A. You know, my documentation was taken by the Serbian police from
23 the ministry in 1996. I did have this information. I think over 80 Serbs
24 were killed in those 11 villages. Of course, those who fled survived only
25 owing to the fact that the Croatian troops did not find them in the woods.
1 Q. Thank you. On that occasion when Mr. Knut Vollebaek brought the
2 Croatian offer from Zagreb, were you informed of the content of that
3 proposal or did this happen before that?
4 A. I never learned the contents of that proposal because
5 Mr. Vollebaek closed the file and went back to Zagreb.
6 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, even after this, did negotiations continue? Were
7 there other attempts to resolve matters peacefully?
8 A. Yes. Again, Knut Vollebaek offered us secret negotiations in
9 Norway, as I mentioned, and we accepted.
10 Q. When you say "we accepted," Mr. Jarcevic, who accepted?
11 A. I'm speaking on behalf of the government of the RSK.
12 Q. When were these negotiations held and who was in the RSK
14 A. The leader of the delegation was the president of the Republic of
15 Serb Krajina, Goran Hadzic. I was the second-ranking member of the
16 delegation, and there was also the defence minister, Admiral Rakic, the
17 justice minister, Radomir Kuzet. That was the RSK delegation. And the
18 interpreter was Bore Bozic, although one witness in the Milosevic trial
19 testified about somebody quite different. It was Bore Bozic who was the
20 interpreter, if that's important for the Court.
21 The leader of the Croatian delegation was Hrvoje Sarinic, who was
22 Franjo Tudjman's chef de cabinet, and he was also the chief of the state
23 security of Croatia. This second title is important because of what was
24 to follow during the two days of negotiations.
25 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, can you tell us when these negotiations were held in
2 A. On the 2nd of November, 1993, in a place 60 kilometres away from
3 Oslo. I apologise for forgetting the name of that place, but it's in the
5 Q. Were these negotiations public or completely secret?
6 A. They were strictly confidential and not a single journalist either
7 in Belgrade or in Krajina or in Zagreb or in Norway ever got hold of any
8 information that negotiations were underway.
9 Q. Can you tell us what the proposals were and whether any agreement
10 was reached?
11 A. Yes. Knut Vollebaek chaired, and he proposed a draft agreement.
12 Both we and the Croats accepted it. And I think on the 3rd of November,
13 at about 10.00 at night, about 2200 hours, we agreed to sign at 8.00 on
14 the following morning. Vollebaek said on that occasion he would bring in
15 all the foreign and local journalists from Oslo to attend the ceremony.
16 He also said that the Norway state television would send a crew.
17 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, before you describe what happened next - I apologise
18 for interrupting you - can you tell us what the essence of the agreement
20 A. It was similar to the agreement signed in Erdut. There was
21 supposed to be commissions pursuant to the agreement to agree on all areas
22 such as traffic, the economy, education, and so on and so forth. They
23 were supposed to create a two-canton system in Croatia, as happened
24 afterwards in Bosnia. Of course, in Dayton they had these intentions in
25 mind with regard to Croatia, but these were not successful. They were
1 successful only later in Bosnia.
2 Q. When you say a two-canton system, was the agreement that was
3 reached that the RSK or, rather, its territory should be a canton within
4 Croatia and that it should be one state?
5 A. Yes. It would have been one state with two cantons had these
6 agreements been respected and had the commissions finished their work.
7 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, one question, please. This proposal was made and you
8 say that on behalf of the Serbian delegation you accepted it, and that the
9 Croatian side also agreed; is that correct?
10 A. In Oslo we accepted it and agreed that it should be signed on the
11 4th of November at 8.00 in the morning in the presence of all journalists
13 Q. Before the break, will you just tell us the precise date?
14 A. It was the 4th of November.
15 Q. What year?
16 A. 1993.
17 Q. So the 4th of November, 1993, in Oslo.
18 A. Next to Oslo. Some dozen kilometres away --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Some 60 kilometres away, interpreter's
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've forgotten the name of the
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this might be the
24 convenient time for a break.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Court adjourned. We will
1 come back at half past 12.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic, you may proceed.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, before the break we discussed talks in a place near
7 Oslo in November, 1993. You explained that both the delegations of the
8 RSK and the delegation of Croatia headed by Mr. Sarinic accepted the
9 agreement on the cantonal structure of Croatia. Was that agreement signed
10 at the press conference the next day, as scheduled?
11 A. I would just like to add that the word "cantonal" was used nowhere
12 in the agreement. However, in keeping with the agreement on a European
13 level, it was the commissions that were supposed to bring about that state
14 of affairs in which the canton of Serbs would be equal to the canton of
15 Croats in Croatia. It was nowhere explicitly said. The commissions were
16 supposed to do that work, and it was natural to expect that that would
17 indeed be the outcome once the commerce, trade, and all the other areas
18 were merged.
19 However, what happened. Our people from Zagreb delivered to us a
20 letter from the president of Croatia, Tudjman, at 10.30, and that letter
21 was addressed to all heads of state of the world where he emphasises that
22 Croats would not sign any agreements with insurgent Serbs, which meant
23 that the draft agreement that we were supposed to sign the next day was
24 made null and void. At the moment when we received the letter from the
25 president of Croatia, the Croatian delegation had not received it yet, and
1 I was in a very embarrassing situation because we were always the ones who
2 were accused of being uncooperative, and we understood immediately that
3 the press conference the next day would send out the news that it was the
4 Serbs who wouldn't sign the agreement.
5 So I had this letter in my hands that Knut Vollebaek didn't know
6 anything about yet, and I called my office in Belgrade - it was open 24
7 hours a day - and I dictated to an associate of mine what to tell the news
8 agencies. And I informed Mr. Knut Vollebaek that the agreement that the
9 two delegations were supposed to sign the next day fell through. Of
10 course, the Croats eventually received the letter too. I don't know if
11 they informed Vollebaek or not, but the journalists who accompanied us on
12 our way back did inform their public that the president of Croatia,
13 Tudjman, cancelled the agreement.
14 The next day, when we were supposed to sign the agreement, the
15 head of the Croatian delegation took out of his file the letter and
16 started reading it. Our minister of justice interrupted him and said,
17 "Mr. Sarinic, don't read it. We have that letter." And he pulled out of
18 his file the copy of the same letter. Sarinic was taken aback, and he
19 said, "Where did you get that?" And our minister of justice said, "We
20 have friends in Zagreb and we received it." It was all very astonishing.
21 Even Knut Vollebaek was taken aback. And that morning, Mr. Vollebaek
22 found out that news leaked from the Serbian side that everything would end
23 exactly as Sarinic was about to announce.
24 Sarinic then said, of course Mr. Tudjman is the president of
25 Croatia, I can neither continue negotiations now nor can I sign the
1 agreement. I don't know what the Croatian head of delegation said to the
2 journalists because by that time we were already on our way to the
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just interrupt? Mr. Jarcevic, you indicated
5 that their commissions were supposed to implement the agreement but that
6 the word "canton" was not mentioned anywhere in the agreement. What was
7 the actual content of the agreement?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You can find that agreement -- you
9 can get it from both the Prosecution and the Defence, although I have it
10 in my archives.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Jarcevic, I'm just asking you to testify.
12 Don't refer me to the Prosecution. What, to your knowledge, was the
13 content of the agreement?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm sorry about this
15 misunderstanding. The agreement said that peace was to be restored
16 between two sides. Neither the RSK nor Croatia was mentioned, because
17 they didn't want to offend the pride of Croatia because it never wanted to
18 recognise the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
19 Among other things, the Erdut agreement envisaged that heavy
20 weaponry would be under lock and key held by the United Nations force, and
21 it already was by that time, but the Croatian heavy weaponry was also to
22 be withdrawn to a distance of 10 kilometres away from the border of the
23 RSK. Those were the main features of the agreement.
24 Under that agreement, it was not possible to renew military
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may proceed,
2 Mr. Milovancevic.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. This press conference that you mentioned, was it an end to
5 attempts to reach an agreement? There were no new talks after that?
6 A. I told you the reason: The president of Croatia forbade his
7 delegation to sign that agreement.
8 Q. After this, were there new subsequent attempts to reach a peaceful
9 solution to the crisis in that area through agreement?
10 A. Thank you. Maybe it's noteworthy that after this failure,
11 Mr. Knut Vollebaek got angry with me and he said, "You ruined my career
12 because you informed all the media." And I replied, "Why aren't you angry
13 at Croatia? They refused to sign the agreement." He didn't say anything
14 to that, but he later was the one who proposed a new round of talks, and
15 our government again accepted his proposal, and his proposal was that the
16 new round of talks be held in Belgrade in one of the villas owned by the
17 government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, at the proposal of
18 Mr. Milosevic. It was in Dobanovci village, not far from Belgrade.
19 We met there in December, but this would not be the last attempt
20 to reach an agreement between Croatia and the RSK. I can tell you about
21 the other attempts if you are interested.
22 Q. You said that after this last failure in Oslo, Mr. Knut Vollebaek
23 suggested new talks. To whom? Was it the government of the RSK, and who
24 took part in those talks in Dobanovci in 1993 in December? Who was on the
25 Croat delegation, and who was on your delegation?
1 A. December, 1993, is interesting, because elections were planned in
2 the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Those were the penultimate talks where
3 that particular government of the RSK would be involved. Our head of
4 delegation was again Goran Hadzic, and the head of the Croatian delegation
5 was Hrvoje Sarinic, like in Norway. It was in December. I cannot recall
6 the exact date, but it was just before the parliamentary and presidential
7 elections in the RSK.
8 Q. Can you tell us, what was the subject of those talks? Was any
9 agreement reached, and did you attend?
10 A. Yes. I attended those talks, and I was accompanied again by the
11 minister of justice, Radomir Kuzet. The head of our delegation was Goran
12 Hadzic, president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
13 Again the draft agreement was proposed by Knut Vollebaek. We
14 accepted his wording. We had no major objections, with the proviso that
15 we insisted that our side not be qualified as a national minority in that
16 text, although the Croats insisted otherwise. However, the Croats gave in
17 and, just before the signing, the head of the Croatian delegation took the
18 floor, Mr. Sarinic, and he used that opportunity to talk about the clear
19 demarcation line between the RSK and Croatia. Some areas that Croats
20 considered their territory were included in the pink zone of RSK, and the
21 Croats originally agreed with that.
22 On the 8th of September, 1993, and 22nd January, 1993, they agreed
23 that this area would be patrolled by RSK police and UN police in a limited
24 number. However, now in this speech Mr. Sarinic said, "I don't agree with
25 this demarcation line in Ravni Kotari because one orchard and one big
1 agricultural compound cannot be in the territory of Krajina." Then
2 somebody in our delegation said this was -- this is state owned now, but
3 before the war it used to be the private property of Serbs. Sarinic
4 replied, "Yes, but I did not receive authorisation from my government to
5 cede this area to Krajina, and I have to consult my government again on
6 this." That's how this round of talks ended.
7 Q. Mr. Sarinic [as interpreted], can you tell us as briefly as
8 possible, what was the main thrust of that agreement? What was it that
9 you were supposed to sign? What did you agree on in December, 1993, with
10 the other side?
11 A. As I said in response to a question from the Trial Chamber, the
12 main point was to make it impossible to renew military conflict,
13 demarcation, withdrawal of heavy weaponry to a distance of 10 kilometres
14 from our border, and the provision that even Croatian weaponry would be
15 under the control of the United Nations. It was our major objective, and
16 we managed to include it in all agreements, all the draft agreements up to
17 that point. And each of those agreements envisaged that commissions would
18 work to reunite activities in all areas in both states. Although, if I
19 may add, this was not an end to negotiations. There followed another
20 three meetings that took place or were avoided, if you want to put it that
22 Q. After these failed negotiations in December, when did the next
23 round take place?
24 A. The next round was again suggested by Knut Vollebaek, and he added
25 some new attributes. He said we would hold talks at the embassy of the
1 Russian Federation in Zagreb. "Do you agree?" And we said we agreed to
2 this proposal, like we always did before. And then on the 22nd, I think
3 -- no, the 22nd of March, we travelled to Zagreb and we were about to
4 sign that agreement at the Russian embassy in Zagreb when there was some
5 disagreement about demarcation. We suspended talks and scheduled a new
6 round for the 28th of March, again at the Russian embassy in Zagreb.
7 Again Charles Redman and Vitaly Churkin were present, and as they put it,
8 their presence was to put pressure on the Croatian side to finally sign
9 the agreement and not cancel it again. That's how they explained it to
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just find out. This was now the 22nd and
12 28th of March, 1994? We're in the year 1994? Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exactly. Those were my last days in
14 the post of foreign minister. The head of delegation there was Admiral
15 Rakic. I was the second highest ranking member of the delegation, and
16 General Mile Novakovic was the third highest ranking.
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So it was the 22nd and the 23rd and then the 28th of March, 1993.
19 Are you now talking about the well-known Zagreb --
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Milovancevic. The witness has not
21 mentioned the 23rd. He mentioned 22nd and 28th, not the 23rd. 22nd and
22 28th of March, 1994.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Right.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Sorry, Your Honour. It was my
25 error. I didn't mean to create confusion. We are operating with many
1 dates as it is.
2 Q. So it was at the end of March, 1994. The year is important to me.
3 A. Yes. And the agreement was signed on the 29th.
4 Q. I'd like to know one more thing. At that particular time, were
5 presidential elections and parliamentary elections in the RSK already
6 over, and who was the president of the RSK at that time?
7 A. The president who won in the second round and defeated his rival
8 Mr. Milan Babic was Mr. Martic. He accepted to go to Zagreb, although it
9 was not simple for us to travel to other parts of the state that had
10 expelled 400.000 Serbs by that time.
11 Q. Can you tell us, what was the purpose of that Zagreb agreement?
12 What were its most important parts? You mentioned separation of forces.
13 A. The greatest achievement of this agreement -- I don't understand.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just wanted to say in particular if you can
15 mention the new attributes that you said Mr. Knut Vollebaek added to that
16 contract, to that agreement.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This agreement is the first one that
18 was signed with the Croats and that was not reneged on or rendered null
19 and void after being signed. Practically, it lasted until the Croatian
20 occupation of the Republic of Serb Krajina. The most important provision
21 was putting Croatian weapons 10 kilometres away from the border between
22 the Krajina and Croatia, but these weapons, like Serb weapons, were to be
23 under UN control.
24 It also envisaged the continuation of negotiations between the two
25 sides, which implied the work of commissions on setting up traffic, then
1 trade, the economy, and so on. It was meant to be the final stage of what
2 had begun in Erdut on the 15th of July, 1993. This idea of creating a
3 state with two cantons, conditionally speaking, or two state-building
4 ethnic communities.
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, do we need to have
6 a short break? If -- we may proceed, then. Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, on the 29th of March, 1994, delegations of the
8 Republic of Serb Krajina and the Republic of Croatia met in the embassy of
9 the Russian Federation in Zagreb and signed the agreement called the
10 Zagreb agreement. Is that the one we're talking about?
11 A. Yes. And if this interests you, we managed to delete something
12 from the text that had been inserted. That's why it was signed not on the
13 28th but on the 29th, because it said that it would operate based on UN
14 Resolutions. However, through Churkin and Redman, we managed to get this
15 sentence deleted because these Resolutions were contrary to the spirit of
16 the Vance Plan. The Vance Plan said that there would be no pre-judging or
17 pre-empting of a political solution, whereas many Resolutions treated
18 Krajina as an integral part of Croatia. Therefore, the reference to the
19 Resolutions was deleted at the insistence of Redman and Churkin, who
20 listened to our proposal.
21 Q. Thank you. In connection with the implementation of the Zagreb
22 agreement, was it envisioned that both sides should set up commissions at
23 various levels to implement the Zagreb agreement? Were such commissions
25 A. Yes. And they started to work, but I was no longer the minister
1 of foreign affairs then and did not participate in their work. However,
2 they achieved visible results, and it was thought that everything would be
3 in good order without any use of weapons.
4 If you recall, the road through Western Slavonia was opened up on
5 the territory of RSK connecting the Croatian capital of Zagreb with
6 eastern parts of the Croatian state.
7 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, do you know whether the authorities of the RSK acted
8 according to the Zagreb agreement and whether their units, artillery
9 weapons, tank, and infantry weapons were withdrawn to a distance as
10 envisaged by the agreement?
11 A. Yes. This was actually implemented, and I know that UNPROFOR
12 officers said that they had forced the Croatian side to do the same.
13 Q. Thank you. You mentioned just a while ago that you were not
14 involved in the work of these commissions because you were no longer the
15 foreign minister. Can you tell us when you stopped holding the office of
16 foreign minister and what post you were appointed to subsequently.
17 A. I'm not wrong, it was in late April, 1994, when I left the
18 Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I stayed a few days to hand over to my
19 successor, Dr. Milan Babic.
20 When I wanted to return to my job in Yugoslavia, Milan Martic, the
21 president, asked me to stay in his cabinet to take care of foreign
22 affairs, to help him in his contacts with the United Nations and Member
23 States of the UN. I informed the ministry of Yugoslavia about this by
24 letter, and they approved my -- extending my work in the RSK, and so I was
25 transferred to Mr. Martic's cabinet in another part of Belgrade, not where
1 the premises of the Foreign Ministry were.
2 Q. In connection with your last reply, Mr. Jarcevic, you said that
3 you informed the authorities of Yugoslavia and that they approved you
4 should continue working in the Krajina, but when you started your
5 testimony today, you explained that you were simply regulating your legal
6 status in terms of employment. So what does this permission mean, as you
7 say? I'll put the question to you directly: Did it mean that your
8 employment in Yugoslavia was still in suspension while you were carrying
9 out this new duty?
10 A. Yes, under the same conditions as before.
11 Q. Thank you. You agreed to become Mr. Milan Martic's advisor. You
12 say you didn't know him before you became foreign minister of RSK. You
13 got to know him during the cabinet sessions and in the course of your
14 activities as foreign minister. What was your attitude toward him as a
15 person, and what led you to accept his invitation?
16 A. Mr. Milan Martic is an unusually honourable man. He never used
17 his office to get rich, to gain privileges, and he never expressed hatred
18 towards any ethnic or religious group. And those were my own personal
19 standpoints as well, so we got on really well.
20 Q. Was this what led you to accept the post of his advisor for
21 foreign affairs?
22 A. I had the opportunity to be put in charge of one of the embassies
23 of the FRY, but the situation in which part of the Serb people found
24 themselves in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina did not permit me to put my
25 own personal career ahead of the needs of my imperiled people. I know
1 that I may not be the most capable person, but I knew that I had contacts
2 in all countries of the world which I had acquired as foreign minister,
3 and someone else would have required at least six months to establish
4 these contacts and cooperation.
5 To clarify, let me tell you that as foreign minister I had about
6 70 volunteers, both Serbs and foreigners, distributing our documents from
7 America to Russia; in France, England, the Netherlands, Australia, almost
8 all important countries of the world. In such circumstances, I could not
9 reject the president's invitation.
10 Q. Thank you. The last date we mentioned, Mr. Jarcevic, was the 29th
11 of April, 1994, when the Zagreb agreement was signed. However, life had
12 to go on. What were your further activities? Did you have any problems
13 in your new position as advisor to the president of the republic in
14 connection with Bosnia and Bihac?
15 A. In 1994, and this is symptomatic for the Balkans, one ethnic group
16 easily falls out with another, or one religious group with another, or one
17 political party with another political party, and of course this always
18 had something to do with the interests of the great powers in Europe and
19 neighbouring Asia. Something that had never happened before happened now.
20 The Muslim community divided into two political camps and fell out with
21 each other. This happened in the so-called Bihac area where the Chamber
22 should know in 1941 the Croatian army slaughtered or threw into pits 16
23 and a half thousand Orthodox Serbs. So that this territory in the most
24 recent war was mainly inhabited by Muslims, with some Catholics and
25 Orthodox there.
1 About 45.000 people were expelled from their homes by Alija
2 Izetbegovic's army. He was the president of the Croatian Muslim
3 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 It was then that Mr. Martic - President Martic - demonstrated the
5 nobility of his character, because these Muslims wanted to go to Croatia
6 across the territory of the RSK, thinking that Croatia was their ally.
7 However, the Croatian army brought heavy weapons, pointed their
8 machine-guns, and did not let them leave Krajina and go to Croatia. In
9 this difficult situation where the RSK was isolated and where the Republic
10 of Yugoslavia was undergoing sanctions, we had to look after 45.000 people
11 in the RSK. They had to be clothed, fed, provided with heating.
12 President Martic issued the order that all reserves of the RSK be directed
13 to the Kordun area in the RSK where these people were now arriving. And
14 if any aid should arrive, if Hungarians and others should let some aid
15 through our borders, the aid should be sent to the Muslims.
16 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, you mentioned 45.000 Muslims from the so-called
17 Bihac pocket. Is this area also referred to as the Cazin Krajina? Is
18 that the area you mean?
19 A. Yes. That's the Cazin Krajina, because this Muslim political
20 group refused to be part of the Muslim and Croatian Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 headed by Alija Izetbegovic. They declared their own republic under the
22 name you have mentioned, the Cazinska Krajina.
23 Q. Can you explain to us whether Alija Izetbegovic's army, the army
24 of the Muslim president of the Bosnian Croatian confederation, expelled
25 their own Muslim population because they were disobedient? Is this what
1 it was about?
2 A. Well, yes. That's what we've said, you in your question and I in
3 my answer.
4 Q. Was it under orders of Mr. Martic that these people received
5 assistance? Did they actually receive assistance?
6 A. Yes. Yes. His orders were fully complied with, and thanks to
7 that, those people survived. They were even given every kind of medical
8 assistance. We have doctors who came from France or England, and they can
9 testify to the care with which the medical staff of the Krajina did
10 everything in their power to prevent an epidemic and to treat every ill to
11 the best of their ability.
12 Q. Can you tell us whether, after the Zagreb agreement, which
13 envisaged the separation of military forces at a safe distance, did the
14 political negotiations continue about a solution to the political
15 situation, and when?
16 A. Yes. In June, 1994, a representative of Great Britain turned up.
17 Now the British proposed that they would provide us with peace if we
18 agreed to have secret negotiations with the Croats in London or near
19 London. The proposal was made by a humanitarian organisation. The man at
20 its head was called Smith. I can't recall his first name. He was in
21 charge of a school at a humanitarian organisation in Britain and the
22 message was passed on to us through some Serbs who were citizens of Great
23 Britain, and we were told that this was done in agreement with the Foreign
24 Ministry of Great Britain.
25 As the proposal landed on my desk, I informed the president,
1 Mr. Milan Martic, about it. He approved immediately and said that I
2 should go to attend the negotiations with Croatia and he would inform the
3 cabinet and the cabinet would agree that I go to London for these
5 I consulted the ambassador of Great Britain in Belgrade. He
6 consulted his ministry, and he said he would give me a visa to travel to
7 Great Britain, and informed me that the Croatian delegation would also
8 travel there.
9 Just before I left, the British told me that the Croats were
10 hesitating but that the Foreign Ministry of Her Majesty would do
11 everything in their power to encourage the Croats to send their
13 So it came about that I went to London, and I was accommodated in
14 a castle called Cromwell's castle, about 60 miles away from London. I
15 can't recall the name of the place now, but probably there's someone from
16 Britain here who would know. Something like Hupton [phoen]. Anyway, I
17 waited there for five days for the Croatian delegation to arrive and it
18 failed to turn up. I was received in the British Foreign Ministry. In my
19 book there is a letter which I sent, thanking them for their hospitality,
20 and I asked whether they would do anything to at least reprimand the
21 government and president of Croatia, but they didn't answer my question.
22 They said they were sorry that on this occasion the attempt to have two
23 delegations meet secretly in Great Britain had failed.
24 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, the so-called Zagreb agreement of the 29th of March,
25 1994, was an agreement on cessation of hostilities and separation of
1 military forces. Therefore, it was a military agreement.
2 Now, after June, 1994, were there any more attempts to normalise
3 relations and to avoid war?
4 A. Thank you for this question. It is curious that in this agreement
5 that we were supposed to talk about in the UK the British were very
6 specific. It was no longer so generally worded as previous ones, leaving
7 it to commissions to do all the work later. In this agreement formulated
8 by the British, it was exactly formulated who would have which ministry,
9 how they would function together, et cetera. I published all these
10 documents in my book.
11 So maybe, maybe if the Croats had agreed to it - and maybe that's
12 the reason why they didn't agree to it - this agreement would have been
13 binding because it envisaged in detail the steps that were to be taken by
14 the Croat side and the Serb side, and the departments were strictly
15 divided between the two.
16 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, there is written evidence that in November and early
17 December, 1994, some economic agreements were reached. Do you know
18 anything about that?
19 A. I did not participate in those talks. They were handled by the
20 government of Mr. Mikulic. The minister of foreign affairs was then
21 Dr. Milan Babic, and the third minister in line was Mr. Vojinovic. But I
22 know that this motorway between Krajina and Croatia was very pompously
23 opened and Mr. Rade Tanjga, who was the minister on the Croatian side, and
24 he was also the rector of the university, in Krajina he used that motorway
25 to travel to Okucani.
1 Q. Are you now talking about the implementation of the agreement to
2 normalise economic relations in 1994?
3 A. Well, yes. Every new agreement relied on the previous one that
4 was signed, and this one relied on the Zagreb agreement which was supposed
5 to be the starting point for all future agreements.
6 Q. In the beginning of January, 1995, a plan called Z-4 was referred
7 to. Do you know anything about that?
8 A. Our intelligence service was efficient, just as it was in Norway
9 earlier. From New York we received a draft of the agreement that was to
10 be brought later by the American ambassador, Mr. Galbraith, and I sent it
11 to Mr. Martic before the American ambassador brought it to Knin. I was
12 astonished to see that it was the same plan that the Croats had offered us
13 several times in 1992 before I became member of the cabinet. Then they
14 offered it again in January in New York, and then again in March, April,
15 May in Geneva, and after Erdut they stopped putting it on the table. That
16 was followed by the attempt in London and the Zagreb agreement. And it
17 came up again through the American ambassador, the only difference from
18 the previous ones being that it was now mysteriously named Z-4.
19 Q. What was Z-4 supposed to mean?
20 A. Well, it meant Zagreb. One of the honest British diplomats, whose
21 name eludes me at the moment, frequently warned us of what was being
22 prepared in resolutions against Krajina, and he warned us on this occasion
23 that a plan would be proposed, a very unfavourable plan for Serbs in
24 Krajina, but he advised us to negotiate nevertheless because we would find
25 ourselves in the limelight, and that would give us an opportunity to show
1 who we really are and say the things we wanted to say. He told us, "You
2 will have the opportunity to say that you had statehood back under Austria
3 and that you decided to join the state of Yugoslavia of your own will."
4 Q. What did this plan offer?
5 A. I told you. We received it from New York. One of the Americans
6 gave it to one of our men, and it was passed on to us. I told you I was
7 astonished because I saw it was the same plan that the Croats had offered
8 us four times; autonomy only in Knin in Glina districts. All the other
9 areas, that is two-thirds of the territory of Croatia, would be
10 automatically included in Croatia without any particular rights for the
12 Q. Regarding that Knin and Glina districts that you mention, this Z-4
13 plan, what did the plan envisage for these districts? Did it offer any
14 advantages, any privileges?
15 A. Thank you for this question. This was one of the major attempts
16 to trip up the Serbs in Krajina, one of the greatest deceptions. It was
17 wrapped very nicely. It said that Krajina would have its ministries, its
18 president, its money, its customs, its coat of arms and representatives in
19 the bodies of Croatia. It was very enticing, and it is mainly these
20 features that papers in Serbia and Montenegro wrote about. And because of
21 this deception, everybody blamed Krajina Serbs, saying that despite all
22 these good conditions, they didn't want to sign it. However, nobody said
23 that all these things applied only to two districts.
24 Q. When you say they applied to only two districts, can you tell us
25 how many municipalities they encompassed, what part of Krajina's
1 territory; do you know?
2 A. It was one-third of the territory. I've already mentioned this
3 today. One-third of the territory but less than one-third of the
4 population, because the eastern part, that was supposed to be
5 automatically included in Croatia, namely Western Slavonia, was the most
6 densely populated. So it was 11 municipalities around those two towns,
7 whereas Croat municipalities, after 1991, were much smaller than Croat
8 municipalities in the common state of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Let me ask you this question without leading to any conclusions:
10 Did you find this plan extremely unfavourable to you?
11 A. It was not only unfavourable. It was the insolence of offering
12 this plan for the fourth or the fifth time with such awful conditions and
13 presenting it as the salvation of Serbian people. I still wonder at the
14 United Nations and how they dared to offer this plan to the Serb people.
15 Q. Was Mr. Martic's approach to the plan the same as yours?
16 A. He was much more torn than even I was, and I could only guess, as
17 somebody who knew the situation of our state and our people, but
18 Mr. Martic was in a very difficult situation in those days because
19 President Tudjman was at that time threatening to deny the United Nations
20 force the right to remain in the territory of Croatia, and Mr.
21 Stoltenberg, one of the chairmen of the Conference on Yugoslavia, told
22 Mr. Martic and me in Belgrade that the status of the UN force in Krajina
23 would change and it would no longer be a protection force. And suddenly
24 the president was facing the fact that Croatia would longer treat Krajina
25 even formally as a territory enjoying the protection of an international
2 Q. In these proceedings so far we have heard witnesses who spoke --
3 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Milovancevic, I'm sorry. Before you go on,
4 I would like to deal with an area.
5 You have said that Mr. Martic was more torn than you were. You
6 did not speak specifically as to being torn. You said how you felt in
7 relation to the rehash plan, but what is it that Mr. Martic did or said at
8 the time concerning the relevant plan, why you speak of him having been
9 torn? I'm not understanding you here. Please explain further.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understand that you
11 did not understand me because very few people understand the situation as
12 it was at that time. Mr. Martic was the head of a state, a state that had
13 suffered for a very long time, that had lost its population because it
14 wasn't possible to live under the sanctions, and most families were only
15 looking for a way to save their own lives. Many had moved to Serbia.
16 Many had left for third countries. Compared to 1991, I think the
17 population of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was halved. It was unable
18 to resist Croatia, either militarily or economically.
19 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but the specific
20 question that learned counsel Mr. Milovancevic had asked you was how
21 Mr. Martic approached the plan. So what he was trying to elicit from you
22 is from your understanding, observing Mr. Martic at the time, how did he
23 respond to the plan? How did he approach it? And I think you could get
24 to the meat of the question in a more direct way. If you could try for
25 us, because this is important. So please try to get it on the transcript
1 and give the evidence accordingly.
2 We're dealing with Mr. Martic and his approach to the plan. You
3 have mentioned the fact that he was torn. That is a starting point, but
4 you need to tell us how he related to the plan, how he perceived it, how
5 he reacted to it, and the evidence concerning him beyond you and beyond
6 the historic circumstances. We understand that. Please do continue to
7 give us what we need.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very simple. Mr. Martic or,
9 rather, President Martic was facing the fact that UN troops would no
10 longer be a protection force. He begged the American ambassador that the
11 plan be placed on the agenda only after the Security Council extends the
12 mandate of the UN Protection Force as envisaged by the Vance Plan. He
13 begged him not to negotiate before that but only after the United Nations
14 confirm what the Vance Plan envisaged, and that's where a clash occurred.
15 This proposal of President Martic was interpreted maliciously and
17 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Why do you say that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I say that because this plan should
19 not have been proposed in the first place, because it had been proposed
20 four times before that; in 1992 in Knin, in New York in February 1993, on
21 three subsequent occasions over three months in Geneva. So it was the
22 fifth time now that the American ambassador was proposing it, and it
23 included very humiliating conditions.
24 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much. Thank you,
25 Mr. Milovancevic.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, you have explained right now in response to a
3 question from the Judge that the United Nations Protection Force was
4 running out of time because its mandate was expiring. Was it ever
6 A. First of all, I have to say that this was at the request of the
7 Croatian authorities. The term of deployment of the UNPROFOR was always
8 for six months renewable, and after each six months, the Croatian
9 authorities exerted pressure that the UN troops should leave. It was
10 maybe at the insistence of Croatia or maybe because it was in the interest
11 of some Member States, around that time, the mandate of the UN troops was
12 changed and they were no longer a protection force. They became UNCRO,
13 U-N-C-R-O, instead of UNPROFOR, some sort of confidence restoration force,
14 or something like that.
15 Q. You just told us that Mr. Martic asked the American ambassador
16 Mr. Galbraith not to discussion the plan until the term of the UN force
17 was extended, and you said his request was later maliciously and wrongly
18 interpreted. By whom, can you tell me?
19 A. All media, both in Yugoslavia and abroad, qualified this as the
20 pigheadedness of Krajina Serbs, and nobody ever mentioned that all these
21 negotiations that we had had previously to which Krajina Serbs had readily
22 agreed had ended in failure because the Croat side never wanted to sign
23 anything. It was interpreted all over the world in that way, and heads of
24 state and journalists alike write to this day that it was Krajina Serbs
25 who didn't want peace.
1 Q. And did they want peace?
2 A. Mr. Milovancevic, I believe I have already explained that while
3 answering your previous questions. Can you imagine what it was like when
4 the Croats turned a deaf ear to an invitation from the Foreign Ministry of
5 a country like Great Britain while I waited for them five days over there?
6 Q. So your answer is yes. Martic's rejection to consider the plan
7 before the UN force's mandate was extended, was it a final rejection or
8 was it just pending the resolution of that other issue? I think you've
9 already answered part of that question.
10 A. Martic was only asking that the mandate of the UN force not be
11 changed. Three sides had already signed the plan, including Krajina, and
12 the president of the Assembly signed on behalf of the Krajina. It was
13 also signed by Yugoslavia. It was quite normal that all three sides had
14 to support the plan.
15 Q. In March 1995, the UN Security Council issued a new Resolution
16 changing the mandate of the peacekeeping force, but it still stayed. This
17 peacekeeping force still remain in the territory of Krajina.
18 A. Yes, but Croats told their collocutors in other countries and
19 their own public that this was no longer a force protecting the Serb
20 people, and judging by their name, it really wasn't, which meant that that
21 territory was no longer under the protection of the United Nations. And
22 as I said at the beginning, Croats had placed Serbs outside of the law and
23 now Serbs were outside even of the international law.
24 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, when this new name, UNCRO, was applied to the UN
25 mission and it took on a new role on the territory of the former protected
1 areas, was the Z-4 plan resurrected? Because now the condition that
2 Mr. Martic had asked for had been fulfilled. So was the plan Z-4 again
3 offered to the Croatian side for evaluation?
4 A. Mr. Milovancevic, I think you have made a slip. Mr. Martic's
5 request had not been granted. The forces were given a different role.
6 They were no longer protection forces.
7 Q. Thank you. In spite of this, was the plan again on offer or not?
8 A. I really don't know whether the Z-4 plan was ever offered again,
9 but it was used for propaganda purposes against the government and
10 president of the RSK. And the Serbian newspapers were especially
11 prominent in this respect.
12 Q. In mid-March, 1995, when the Zagreb agreement on the separation of
13 forces and cessation of hostilities was in force, the Security Council
14 issued a Resolution -- or decision, rather, on the new name of the forces,
15 the UN forces. Did Croatia then attack this territory, and do you
16 remember when this was in 1995?
17 A. The signal for the Croats was there now. They no longer had a UN
18 protected area there, and brazenly, on behalf of their embassy in New York
19 and other government bodies, also called the Vance Plan the so-called
20 Vance Plan. We asked UN officers and the Security Council to defend their
21 document from such Croatian attacks, but there was never any response.
22 Q. We will now move on -- or, rather, go back to 1992. You spoke
23 about the activity of the Croatian armed forces in the Kupres area. The
24 armed forces of Croatia were active in the Kupres area on the territory of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You explained this was in April, 1992.
1 A. The 3rd of April.
2 Q. Were Croatian forces active in other places in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
3 A. This is a precedent nowhere to be found. The armed forces of
4 Croatia, which had formally been recognised first by the Vatican and then
5 by Germany, made an incursion onto the territory of the Socialist Federal
6 Republic of Yugoslavia, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, from the north near
7 Bosanski Brod and, from the south-west, towards Kupres municipality, where
8 I was born. These were regular Croatian forces with tanks, artillery, and
9 all kinds of weapons. As I said at the outset, we who had worked actively
10 on looking after the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina had foreseen this
11 attack, and we had managed to get many Serbs away from the area. However,
12 Serb civilians suffered greatly. For example, the Croatian forces raped
13 Serb girls before the eyes of their parents, and then slaughtered them.
14 This was once shown on Belgrade television and then never again. There
15 was a well-known massacre in the village of Sijekovac and other places,
16 and then the Croatian forces cut off the road to Posavina so that parts of
17 Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina were left isolated and
18 desperate. They were isolated by Croatian aggressive forces.
19 Q. When you speak about the cutting off of communications in Bosanska
20 Posavina, are you referring to the area commonly referred to as the
21 so-called corridor?
22 A. Yes. I don't know. This term "corridor" has come into use as if
23 it was on somebody else's territory, but Posavina is inhabited by Serbs,
24 and they are in the majority there, although they suffered in greatly in
25 World War II, and the Serbs from that area and from Mount Kozara, on the
1 border of Posavina, were killed in the concentration death camp of
2 Jasenovac established pursuant to Croatian laws from 1941 when Serbs,
3 Roma, and Gypsies were placed outside the law.
4 Q. Does this mean that Croatian regular units crossed over,
5 abandoning the territory of Croatia which had already been recognised by
6 some countries, and entered the territory of Bosnia and took an area
7 inhabited by a majority Serb population? Is that what you're saying?
8 A. Yes. And it's surprising to note that the United Nations and its
9 members did not condemn Croatia for this aggression. And this was the
10 flywheel of later massacres. It was not the Serbs who caused the war in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina, just as they did not cause it in Croatia either.
12 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, you became the foreign minister of the RSK in late
13 October, 1992. This indictment mentions the operation called "corridor,"
14 and we've already mentioned this area in Northern Bosnia along the border
15 with Croatia. In this area did Croatian forces later conduct operations?
16 And I'm not asking you about someone who only heard about this through the
17 media, but did you have any information about this from the cabinet
18 sessions of Republika Srpska Krajina when you became a member of the
20 A. When I became a member of the cabinet, I reviewed the
21 documentation referring to events from 1990 when Croatia was preparing for
22 secession from Yugoslavia and did not want to use the constitutional
23 provisions according to which every republic could leave Yugoslavia. It
24 was a communist constitution. But in no constitution of any democratic
25 country is there such a specific provision for an area to secede from the
1 country. This was made possible for the republics of Yugoslavia. But the
2 Croatian government, because the Serbs were a state-building nation within
3 Croatia, knew they would not get the agreement of the Serb community as
4 provided for by an article in the constitution, because it was required to
5 get the consent of both nations. So the Croats could not get Serbian
6 lands out of Yugoslavia by peaceful means, which is why they started the
7 war and why they started the persecution of Serbs in 1990.
8 As for the corridor in Kupres that you're asking me about, this
9 was only part of this forcible secession from Yugoslavia, taking Serb
10 lands and expelling the Serb population.
11 Q. In the transcript - and I think this is what you actually said -
12 it says that Croatia could not leave Yugoslavia because they could not get
13 the consent of the Croatian side. Did you mean the Serb side?
14 A. The Serb side, because Croatia was a state with two nations.
15 Q. Are you trying to say that, in order to leave Yugoslavia, Croatia,
16 under the then-valid constitution of Croatia, needed the consent of both
17 the Serbian people and the Croatian people in Croatia?
18 A. Yes, precisely so, as well as the agreement of the remaining five
20 Q. Well, my question was much narrower, so before we break for the
21 day, I wanted to ask you from the materials which, as the new foreign
22 minister, you reviewed, and from your participation in cabinet sessions,
23 did you learn what had been happening in the corridor and why the Serb
24 forces were fighting there?
25 A. Mr. Milovancevic, there were horrendous incidents. In Banja Luka
1 13 babies were born prematurely. Serb women were giving birth prematurely
2 because they were traumatised. These women had been expelled either from
3 Central Bosnia or from Croatian towns, and these 13 babies could not
4 survive unless they were provided with oxygen. And imagine now the
5 Security Council received a request to make possible a plane -- to make it
6 possible for a plane to help those babies, and this was rejected. All the
7 babies but one died then, however, one of those children died this year
8 because its organism was very weak.
9 A friend of mine in Knin had had a kidney transplant. The kidney
10 was donated by his own brother. He had to go to Belgrade to receive
11 medical assistance for this kidney, and he could not go through the
12 corridor, and this kidney rotted and he has now been dependent on dialysis
13 for 15 years.
14 As a minister of foreign affairs, I sent a letter to the Security
15 Council, asking that in front of the UN palace a monument be erected.
16 This would consist of a picture created by one of our artists who painted
17 an angel with the 12 dead babies. And I asked that such tragedies should
18 never happen again. And these were the consequences of the closing of
19 that corridor.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I feel now is a
21 good time to break for the day.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Court adjourned. We will
23 come back tomorrow at 9.00 in the morning. I beg your pardon, 9.20.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day
1 of July, 2006, at 9.20 a.m.