1 Friday, 13 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: WITNESS MM-117
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may be seated, sir.
12 Mr. Milovancevic?
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
15 Q. Good morning, sir. At the very outset, I will inform you briefly
16 of the proceedings we will implement during your testimony. You asked for
17 protective measures, which were approved by the Trial Chamber: image
18 distortion, voice distortion and a pseudonym. During these proceedings, I
19 will address you as Mr. MM-117 or Witness. Is that all right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Sir, I will now show you a document containing your
22 personal details, your pseudonym and the fact that you are a witness.
23 Please read it silently to yourself and just tell us whether the details
24 on this document correspond to your personal details. Don't read it out
25 loud. Thank you.
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We have a copy for our learned
3 friends and I do apologise for not providing it immediately.
4 Your Honours, I tender this document with the witness's pseudonym
5 under seal. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. The
7 document is admitted under seal. May it please be given an exhibit
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number 964,
10 under seal.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. Witness, please, please let us both bear in mind that we have to
14 make a pause between my question and your answer so that the interpreters
15 can do their job, and I would also like to ask you to give me direct
16 answers to my questions. If there is any need to explain things, I will
17 put another question to you. Also, please speak slowly and bear in mind
18 that when you mention the offices you held or the jobs you held, not to
19 describe this in detail, just mention, "My job" for example without
20 specifying it. If there is any need to specify any of these details which
21 might identify you, the Defence will ask for us to pass into private
22 session and then we will be able to talk about this. Do you understand
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you very much. Did you go to primary and secondary school
1 in your place of birth?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Can you tell us where you went to university and what you studied?
4 A. The faculty of political sciences in Zagreb.
5 Q. After graduating from the faculty of political sciences, what job
6 did you do? You don't have to mention the institution where you worked.
7 A. I was an assistant lecturer in a school and at the university.
8 Q. It seems my microphone was not switched on. I don't know if my
9 question was heard. Oh, yes. It's all right. Thank you.
10 What year did you graduate in?
11 A. 1979.
12 Q. So from the time you graduated from university to 1991, you were a
13 lecturer, is this correct, a university lecturer and a lecturer at
14 institutions of higher education?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think we should
17 move into private session to avoid identifying the witness.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session?
19 [Private session]
11 Pages 9321-9323 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Milovancevic?
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Q. At one point you said that in 1991 you left Zagreb. Did you have
11 problems? What was the main reason you left Zagreb? Can we clarify that?
12 A. The main reason was my feeling of being physically imperilled and
13 my inability to find work.
14 Q. Thank you. When you say you felt physically under threat, are you
15 speaking of personal danger?
16 A. Yes, precisely so.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to us how this feeling of personal
18 danger arose?
19 A. Well, I would have to explain at length by your leave.
20 Q. Go ahead.
21 A. After the elections held in May 1990 in the former Yugoslavia,
22 there was change of government in most republics and the political climate
23 in Croatia and in Zagreb where I was living changed. My predominant
24 feeling was the following. I had been living in Zagreb for a full 15
25 years up to that point. I had lived well. I was a citizen like every
1 other citizen in Zagreb and Croatia.
2 Q. Witness, please excuse me for interrupting you but I will ask
3 you -- I'm sorry for interrupting your natural rhythm. If you can slow
4 down for the sake of the interpreters, they haven't complained, but if you
5 can speak a little slower it will be easier for them.
6 A. I will try. I do tend to speak fast and I too apologise.
7 Up to 1990, when elections were held in Croatia, I was a citizen
8 like any other, but a little before that date, and after that date, during
9 the pre-election campaign, the situation changed, and I no longer felt as
10 simply a citizen but I felt that society and the new state were
11 identifying me as a Serb not simply a citizen. So that although up to
12 that point, I hardly was aware that I was a Serb because of the way I was
13 raised in my family, I came to understand through the attitude of the
14 Croatian government that I was a Serb. These are hard words but they are
15 true. I still have many friends in Zagreb and Croatia but the state
16 system was carrying out repression in politics and in the media and for
17 this reason, most of the people accepted this logic. Specifically, in
18 mid-1991 or rather in early 1991, in February or March, I was approached
19 by a man in Frankopanska street in Zagreb. I was just about to board a
20 tram. And he told me that my neck was good for hanging from a lamp post.
21 Q. I apologise, Witness. Did you know this person?
22 A. No, I didn't. I don't know the reason for which he established
23 that I was a Serb but he approached me and that's what he said and then he
24 entered the tram with me. I was going to the republic square which is now
25 called the Ban Jelacic square. There were a lot of passengers in the
1 tram. He wouldn't stop shouting at me. No one paid any attention or no
2 one had the strength to say anything against him.
3 Q. That was in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening? When
4 was it?
5 A. It was in the afternoon, I would say.
6 Q. This was taking place in the centre of the town?
7 A. Yes, in the very centre.
8 Q. You said that after what he had said in the street, this man
9 entered the tram with you and he shouted at you. What was it that he was
10 saying to you when you said no one opposed him?
11 A. Well, he said I was a member of the military, that Zagreb wasn't a
12 place for me to live in, I should move, I'd be swallowed up by the night.
13 I would just disappear. I can't remember everything else he said but it
14 went on.
15 Q. How did this meeting end in the tram?
16 A. At the next stop, I got out, at trg Republika, at the public
17 square. But that was just one event among many such events in that
18 nightmare situation.
19 Q. Witness are you saying there were similar events? You said that
20 was just one event. What does that mean?
21 A. Well, I had other unpleasant experiences. I was threatened on
22 other occasions in this way. In my flat in Zagreb, I have two-room flat
23 in Zagreb, fully furnished. Eggs were thrown at the door on a number of
24 occasions. I received messages saying that I had to move out, and
25 similarly, on two occasions, sometime in August or September, 1991, my
1 wheel, my car wheel was unscrewed. This was done to Serbs quite
2 frequently at the time. I tried to check this every morning. And this
3 was a sign telling me that I had to leave Zagreb, although at that time I
4 was in an organisation with other prominent individuals and we tried to
5 resolve the Serbian issue in Croatia in a peaceful way but I wouldn't
6 speak about this now.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we just
9 briefly move into private session, into closed session, so that the
10 witness can tell us which organisation he was a member of?
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session?
12 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Witness, you mentioned those unpleasant experiences that you had
17 had. You said that there were a number of such experiences that you had
18 and you described them. Do you know who the perpetrators were, who was
19 throwing these eggs at your door, who unscrewed your car wheel? Do you
20 know these people? Personally, did you ever find out about their
22 A. No, I didn't. I couldn't carry out such an investigation either
23 but as an analyst, what I did know was that the system was behind all of
24 this and I can confirm this claim by providing you with the following
25 examples. The well known poet and philosopher Goethe said on one occasion
1 that if you treat the people as if they were stupid, they really will act
2 stupidly. He said that stupidity is a disease against which one has to
3 fight. The authorities in Croatia treated the people as if they were
4 stupid and this was a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'll provide you with two
5 or three obvious examples. Mr. Sime Djodan, deputy of Mr. Tudjman's, a
6 deputy of the president of Croatia, at the Alka in Sinj, the games in Sinj
7 in August 1991 said in public and on television, and he was addressing the
8 Serbs in a threatening manner, he said that the Serbs should take care
9 because on average they were 15 centimetres shorter than the Croats and
10 they had cone-like heads. He also said that their brains were probably
11 smaller than Croatian brains. This was said on television. This was at a
12 public meeting, at an assembly. And naturally, this involved racial
14 This also confirms the scenario that as early as 1990 at a meeting
15 of the HDZ, the president of the HDZ, Mr. Tudjman, later to become the
16 president, said that NDH, the Independent State of Croatia which was based
17 on a fascist ideology, was the historical objective of the Croatian
18 people. Then there are these personal experiences of mine. Well you've
19 asked me whether I knew the identities of the individuals who created
20 certain acts. I'm saying the system was behind it and this is also
21 obvious because on the 2nd of May 1991, in Zadar, over 120 Serbian
22 catering establishments were damaged and in a period of about a month
23 about a thousand buildings were destroyed in that area. This was
24 called -- so-called crystal night.
25 Q. When these unpleasant events happened, were you involved in
1 politics or were you publicly engaged? Were you a well known individual
2 for the public?
3 A. No. I wasn't involved in politics apart from the fact that I was
4 a member of the organisation that I have already mentioned.
5 Q. Was there a reason for anyone to treat you in this way, to
6 persecute you in this way?
7 A. I'm certain that given that I was brought up to believe in the
8 idea of Yugoslavia, given the way I acted, there was no one who would want
9 to harm me, but I was someone from a people who was treated by the
10 Croatian authorities as a negative element. And that's why I was treated
11 the way I was treated.
12 Q. Witness, you mentioned your experiences. Those are the
13 experiences of one individual. Were there other individuals of Serbian
14 nationality in Croatia who had similar experiences at the time? Do you
15 know anything about that?
16 A. Well, it's a well known fact, and naturally I'm familiar with
17 quite a few examples. I should point out that in 1993, Mr. Akashi stated
18 in one of his documents that in 1990 and 1991, over 250.000 inhabitants
19 had been driven out of towns in Croatia. That number of individuals
20 couldn't have had enemies, or rather, they were treated as enemies only by
21 the system.
22 Q. I apologise for interrupting you. You said 250.000 people were
23 expelled from towns or urban areas in Croatia. What was their
25 A. Serbs. I'm talking about Serbs alone.
1 Q. Thank you. You've been explaining your position in Zagreb, the
2 position that others were in, and you said, to paraphrase you, that the
3 Croatian state was behind this. How did you arrive at this conclusion?
4 What was happening in 1990 and 1991? What led you to believe that this
5 was the case? What led you to this conclusion? What sort of political
6 processes were involved? That's what I'm asking you about.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Hasn't he answered that question, Mr. Milovancevic?
8 I thought he said to us that he concluded that because of what was said by
9 some Croatian leader in -- on television on a public platform, that Serbs
10 have on average 15 centimetres shorter than Croats and that they've got
11 smaller brains. That's how he explained that. Or do you want something
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think the
14 witness mentioned an example that is perhaps an extreme example. I'm
15 interested in the policies and the general situation.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: But he was answering specifically that question,
17 how do you conclude that the state of Croatia was behind the personal
18 experiences that you went through? And that's how he explained it. I'm
19 trying to get us moving so that we don't repeat the same thing over and
20 over again.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm bearing that in mind.
24 Q. You mentioned your personal experience and your own attitude. You
25 told us about what these acts meant to you. What sort of conclusions
1 could the Serbian population draw on the basis of political meetings,
2 pre-electoral campaigns and on the basis of acts committed after the
3 elections? Could you provide us with some brief explanations?
4 A. Well, one would want to provide very lengthy explanations about
5 these things. I'll say that given the Croatian constitution, at the end
6 of 1990, the position of the Serbian people changed. They were no longer
7 a constituent people, they were a national minority, and if you have a
8 look at this within the historical context of the Second World War, this
9 was a sort of warning issued to the Serbs. Representatives of political
10 power adopted such a position. If representatives of a political power is
11 speaking that means the state is speaking. I listened to what the state
12 said. I tried to remain in Zagreb and I remained there until September of
13 1991. But as my security really was at risk I decided to leave Zagreb.
14 That became obvious.
15 And there is one other issue that is of great importance. I
16 believe the Chamber will be interested in this too. It was the end of
17 1991, Croatia passed a law on distributing flats abandoned by Serbs.
18 These flats were distributed to members of Croatian military formations.
19 I think they were even distributed to the Ministry of Defence. This
20 decision was taken not because there were very few flats but because many
21 Serbs had previously left the area and thus it was necessary for the
22 Croatian state to regulate the issue in their own way. And they wanted to
23 distribute the flats abandoned by Serbs, including myself, to others. A
24 tragical consequence of that law is that certain processes had been
25 rendered legal. Many people were allowed to exert pressure on other Serbs
1 so that they could enter into their flats in this way because if you pass
2 a law that makes it possible to temporarily distribute flats, well, that
3 means that you're issuing a signal for others to exert pressure on other
4 Serbs so that they could move into their flats.
5 Q. Thank you. Witness, you said that you had a fully furnished flat
6 and that you had to leave Zagreb because your life was at threat. What
7 happened to your flat?
8 A. It is still in Croatia. I don't know what happened to it. I
9 never had the possibility of getting it back because the Croatian state
10 passed a law according to which over 20.000 socially-owned flats couldn't
11 be returned to those who had lived in them. So I could not get my flat
13 Q. Thank you.
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I get to that question. You said you had a
15 fully-furnished flat. You said, Mr. Witness, you also said, I had -- or I
16 have - it says in the transcript - "two rooms flat in Zagreb." What do
17 you mean by "have"? Is this private ownership or is it a rented flat?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the property of the company
19 that I worked for. It was given to me and my family and although we were
20 not de facto the owners of the flat, the flat in a certain sense belonged
21 to the person it had been allocated to. That's how things functioned in a
22 socialist society. I don't know how necessary it is to go into
23 explanations. I had furnished the flat. I don't believe it's necessary
24 to give you a list of the furniture. The property was my own property
25 or -- in the flat, when I left Zagreb, in September I drove through
1 Hungary and I was only able to take my personal affairs with me, the bed,
2 the television, the fridge and other items remained in the flat.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. And you didn't get any compensation
4 for what you left there?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never.
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. You may proceed, please.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. In connection with the rally mentioned by His Honour Judge
9 Hoepfel, could you explain this in a different way? How were the housing
10 problems of citizens in the Republic of Croatia resolved before 1991? I'm
11 speaking of all citizens, and was the situation the same in all republics,
12 when it comes to ownership of flats? Can you tell us this? Were citizens
13 owners of their flats? Was there another way this was done?
14 A. Citizens were not owners of flats in the land registers but every
15 citizen was allocated a flat and it was considered to be that person's
16 flat until the end of his life and his family had the right to inherit the
17 flat. So de facto, legally, it wasn't one won proper ownership but the
18 flats in fact belonged to the people living in them. The reason for this
19 was that all the citizens of the former Yugoslavia, not Croatia,
20 contributed the money for the building of those flats. They were not
21 bought by individuals, they were bought by society. But de facto a flat
22 belonged to the person it was allocated to and no one could confiscate it,
23 neither the company nor the state that had given the person the flat.
24 Q. You said you left Zagreb because you felt physically at threat,
25 and that you went to Knin. Where did you live in Knin? You don't have to
1 tell us the address. Where did you live before you got the job there?
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you want to go into private session?
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that the
4 witness could answer this question without identifying his identity very
5 briefly, thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I returned to Knin because I was
7 born in Knin. My parents were there. We had property there. And that
8 was the only reason I returned to Knin. I engaged in farming activities
9 and tried to find a place for myself in my new environment.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we now move
13 into private session so key can be more specific?
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session?
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 9336-9339 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
10 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Witness, you explained that you accepted this new job. Can you
13 tell us briefly what your task was? You don't have to mention the name of
14 the institution, if possible, of course. If you need to mention it, we
15 will move back into private session.
16 A. In the first period, as is normal, I tried to gain an insight into
17 the situation in the organisation I was now working in, and then I took
18 measures to improve the personnel structure of the organisation I was in.
19 This was done in the following way. I tried to get as many professionals
20 who had been properly trained in internal affairs in the former Yugoslavia
21 and in Croatia to take over responsible positions. My primary motive was
22 to have professionals doing these jobs, and to remove those who had been
23 appointed to their jobs for "their merit", which wasn't really
24 professional. That was why people in Knin referred to me as an HDZ staff
25 member who was working not in the interests of the Serb people but in the
1 interests of the Croatian state. For this reason, some groups planned my
2 liquidation. However, I saw in this confirmation that the policy of
3 creating an efficient organisation, which I was trying to create with the
4 support of Minister Martic, was something I should adhere to and insist
6 Q. Do you want to tell us that carrying out what you had agreed with
7 Mr. Martic came up against resistance? Did I understand you correctly?
8 A. Yes. There was a lot of resistance.
9 Q. While doing that job, did you have the support of Mr. Martic?
10 A. Absolutely. I had his absolute support in being persistent in
11 cleansing the personnel within the organisation.
12 Q. Can you tell us briefly how the organisation of the Secretariat of
13 the Interior on the territory of the Republic of Krajina was organised?
14 There was the SUP in Knin?
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry to do this to you but can I just ask a
16 question before he deals with this one? Related to what he has just
17 said. I just want to find out from whom you experienced this resistance.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] History shows that in all turbulent
19 times - just one minute, please, Your Honours, one sentence - in all times
20 of upheaval, very often people of poor moral quality come to the surface,
21 people protecting a certain nation, in this case the Serb nation, and they
22 are not recognised as such at the outset, and yet they feel they have
23 certain rights. It was very difficult to get rid of these bad people who
24 thought they had an eternal right to remain where they were, so that in
25 the initial phase, and even later, it's difficult to recognise who is good
1 and who is bad. I recognised certain people as not being able to carry
2 out their jobs professionally, in a professional manner, but they
3 interpreted it as my protecting the interests of Croatia rather than the
4 interests of the Serbian Krajina.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, you have told us about people who were
6 not professional. I just want to know, when I say from whom, was it from
7 the general public in Knin, was it from the people -- the staff that was
8 working under you? Was it a trade union? That's all I want to know. Who
9 resisted you?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand the question, Your
11 Honours. I only worked in that organisation, and I'm referring to people
12 who worked in that organisation, people who were below me and who felt
13 their positions were at threat and that's why certain actions were taken.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: These were people of Serb extraction?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, exclusively Serb.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Q. Witness, in addition to the Knin SUP, Secretariat of the Interior,
18 which other organisational units were in existence, where and where, which
19 were covered by the Knin SUP?
20 A. The SUP was responsible for southern Dalmatia. They had public
21 security stations or police stations in Benkovac, Drnis, in Knin, that's
22 where the headquarters of the SUP were located, but there was a particular
23 public security station Benkovac, Drnis, Knin and Obrovac, as I have said.
24 Q. Do you know who the commander of the police station in Benkovac
25 was and were any changes made there?
1 A. Yes. But perhaps we should deal with this in private session.
2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you for saying that.
3 Your Honours, could we move into private session, please?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session?
5 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
16 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Please continue, Witness.
19 A. In the Benkovac area, there were certain negative phenomena, some
20 groups appeared, and they wanted to decide about how people were to live
21 in that area. There were some groups of people who wanted to spread fear
22 and insecurity for all citizens who lived in that area. The leaders of
23 the public security station in existence at the time couldn't resolve the
24 problem, which is why it was necessary to appoint an individual who would
25 be able to deal with the matter. At that time, the Croatian population
1 was also maltreated to a certain extent and since an order had been issued
2 according to which any violations of public law and order, and in
3 particular, putting members of others ethnic groups at threat, had to be
4 punished, measures were taken to prevent such acts.
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have to move
8 back into private session. Or perhaps the beginning of my sentence could
9 be redacted and I will rephrase the question. We can remain in open
10 session but I suggest this be redacted.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, may the sentence -- is that the sentence at
12 page 28, line 7 to 8, that you want to redact?
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, that's
14 correct. The beginning of my question.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. May that sentence then be redacted and may
16 the Chamber please move into private session?
17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. If
18 we redact the beginning of this sentence, it's not necessary to move into
19 private session. We can remain in open session. By redacting the
20 sentence I have referred to we will protect the witness and when
21 rephrasing my question I will make sure that I don't reveal the witness's
22 identity, if you agree to such a procedure.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm in your hands, sir. Thank you very much.
24 Well, we don't have to -- may we stay in open session. Thank you very
25 much, Mr. Milovancevic. You may proceed.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Vujko understood the task he had and the
3 problems that existed, such as you described them?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. With regard to the objections to Mr. Vujko and dealing with those
6 problems, do you know whether Mr. Martic was aware of those problems and
7 what was his attitude towards the situation?
8 A. Mr. Martic wanted to be in control of everything that was taking
9 place in the field, and as a result, he knew what the specific tasks of
10 Mr. Vujko were.
11 Q. Can you tell us what your opinion is? Did Mr. Martic support the
12 steps taken by Mr. Vujko?
13 A. Yes. Mr. Martic really insisted that all citizens in Krajina
14 should be treated on an equal basis. I have said this on a number of
15 occasions. I'll have to repeat this in the future because that is what I
16 believe was the case. In 1992 there was the family Cengic. This happened
17 in the vicinity of Knin. They were victims and everything was done to
18 discover who the perpetrators of the crime were and they wanted to issue a
19 sign to show that such acts could not be committed. The perpetrators were
20 discovered, and criminal reports were filed against them. This is the
21 best example as to how one should proceed if such situations occur.
22 Q. To avoid any confusion, I just have one brief question. You said
23 that the Cengic family was killed. There were four members of that
24 family. What was their nationality, and who were the perpetrators, who
25 discovered them?
1 A. Well, they were Croats, the perpetrators were identified. They
2 were discovered. They were handed over to the district Prosecutor's
3 Office and they were processed by the Knin authorities.
4 Q. Thank you. I think it's a good time for a break now, Your
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic, you are
8 Court will adjourn and come back at quarter to 11.00. Court
10 --- Recess taken at 10.14 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Q. Witness, before the break you mentioned the Cengic family, the
15 Croatian family, there were four family members. They were killed and the
16 perpetrators were identified by the Knin SUP. I want to know whether
17 there was a public reaction to that event, to the discovery of the
18 murderers. How did the public react?
19 A. Well, first of all, I should say that before that event, the
20 Ministry of the Interior made an announcement and said that the Croats had
21 probably committed the act. Their intention was to accuse the Serbian
22 authorities of treating the Croats in Krajina in a certain way. This was
23 the Ministry of Interior's initial approach because such information came
24 from the field. However, having carried out certain investigations,
25 having tried to discover the identity of the perpetrators, they proved
1 that this was not the case, that the initial hypothesis was not valid.
2 They discovered the Serbian perpetrators of the crime, they were arrested,
3 the SUP filed a criminal report, they were handed over to the district
4 court. I think they went to the military court, they were sent to the
5 military court in Banja Luka. As to what happened after that, I don't
7 The public was revolted by this murder, and they were relieved
8 when the perpetrators were discovered. As far as I can remember, the main
9 reason for killing the members of that family was looting, they wanted to
10 steal their property, appropriate their property, and as a result they
11 were probably killed. The crime was detected and this demonstrates that
12 the authorities in Krajina acted on the basis of principles and treated
13 all citizens in Krajina in an equal way.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Was there any reason why they were sent to a
15 military court?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the justice system
17 was like at the time. The Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia was
18 still in existence then. What's important to me was that the crime was
19 detected, we took all the necessary steps. And I'll emphasise this once
20 more, an announcement was initially made according to which the Croats
21 were the perpetrators, but when we discovered that this was not the case,
22 we --
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You told us that. I thought you knew the reason
24 for sending them to a military court. I didn't -- these were not
25 prisoners of war, were they?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. In 1992, while you occupied the position you held, as far as you
5 know, were the Secretariats of the Interior -- did the Secretariats of the
6 Interior compile reports? I apologise, my microphone was not on. I'm not
7 sure whether what I said was heard.
8 A. I heard what you said.
9 Q. The interpreters have heard me. I'm grateful. Were reports filed
10 on their work?
11 A. Well, the rules were such that reports had to be sent on a daily
12 basis, public security stations had to issue reports on crime to higher
13 level bodies, and they -- and the Secretariats of the Interior would send
14 reports to the Ministry of the Interior, reports that concerned all issues
15 from the field.
16 Q. Given the position you held from 1992 to 1994, do you have any
17 information according to which the Ministry of the Interior of Republika
18 Srpska and Krajina assessed the security situation, the criminal
19 situation, the situation as far as law and order was concerned? Was this
20 common practice? Did it take any steps with regard to the situation it
21 came across?
22 A. Well, that's an integral part of the work. At the beginning of
23 each year the Ministry of the Interior would draft a working plan for that
24 year, and at the end of the year, they would draft annual reports. This
25 was not just the case for the Ministry of the Interior. All the
1 Secretariats and all public security stations acted in this way.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I ask you to please ask questions, Mr.
4 Milovancevic, don't suggest the answer. That last question suggested the
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: For clarification, please, may I ask you, the
7 witness mentioned reports to the Ministry of the Interior. Of what state
8 do you mean? What Ministry of the Interior was it?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the Republic of Serb Krajina.
10 I'm talking about the period after the Republic of Serb Krajina was
12 JUDGE HOEPFEL: When you told us about killing of the Cengic
13 family, you mentioned some announcement of the Ministry of the Interior
14 that it were probably Croat perpetrators. You remember? What Ministry of
15 the Interior was that? Who gave the announcement?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Ministry of the Interior of the
17 Republic of Serb Krajina, because the first operative information
18 indicated that, but after this information was checked, this was proved to
19 be false, and then the right information was given out and detection
20 proceeded, and this indicates the principled work of the ministry, because
21 they denied the first false information that it was Croats who had
22 perpetrated the crime.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you. And now, just sorry for the long
24 interruption now, but I got a little lost when you then said their
25 intention was to accuse the Serbian authority of treating the Croats in
1 Krajina in a certain way. Who is "they, their intention was to accuse the
2 Serbian authorities of treating the Croats in Krajina in a certain way"?
3 Whose intention?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The communique -- this referred to
5 the Croatian authorities, because the first information was that the
6 Croatian authorities had infiltrated a group on to the territory of the
7 Krajina which had perpetrated this crime.
8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay. That was part of the announcement, not
9 intention of the author of the announcement? Thank you. Then I
10 understand. And you may continue, please.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. In connection with this last answer, it might be interesting to
13 ask you the following: You said that the Cengic family was killed. These
14 were Croats. Do you remember how many people were killed?
15 A. This was a horrific crime, so I remember it. It was a husband, a
16 wife and two children.
17 Q. In connection with the solving of this crime, do you know what Mr.
18 Martic's attitude was?
19 A. Mr. Martic was the first or among the first to doubt the reality
20 of the report that this could have been done by Croatian forces, because
21 the area where this happened is deep in the territory near Knin, and for
22 this reason, he insisted that everything be done, that no stone be left
23 unturned, to arrive at the information as to who could have perpetrated
24 this crime. And this was the duty of the Secretariat. The job was
25 completed in a truly professional manner. And the case was solved.
1 Q. Thank you. In the period between 1992 and 1994, and also later
2 on, up to Operation Storm, can you tell us whether you can assess what the
3 circumstances were in which the MUP was active? I'm referring to the
4 policemen tasked with maintaining law and order, traffic control and all
5 other regular police work.
6 A. The situation was extremely difficult because there was a war
7 going on throughout this time. There were quite a large number of Serb
8 members killed. And during the aggression on the Krajina, there was
9 pressure from the general public who wanted the police to make
10 distinctions between crimes perpetrated by Serbs and crimes perpetrated
11 against Serbs. For this reason, it was really difficult for a policeman
12 to do his job, and it was also made more difficult by the fact that people
13 who had military assignments thought that the police was privileged
14 because they didn't have to go to the trenches. This was additional
15 pressure on policemen but they managed to withstand all this pressure.
16 Another problem was the insufficient number of professional staff.
17 This is something we constantly came up against. And for this reason,
18 special plans were drawn up to strengthen the MUP with properly trained
19 professional staff. Assistance was sought from neighbouring countries,
20 from Serbia, but unfortunately, the information was not forthcoming. Some
21 of our staff, however, were trained in Banja Luka, some in Golubic, in the
22 training centre there, and some citizens from the Krajina who had been
23 trained in Belgrade were sought. They were asked to return to the Krajina
24 and work there. So there were many problems which had to be withstood and
25 it was very difficult to work in those circumstances.
1 Q. Thank you very much for your response. In 1992, the UN became
2 involved in solving the Yugoslav crisis. Do you know anything about this?
3 A. Of course, because it also impacted on the work of the
4 organisation I belonged to. The Vance Plan was drawn up in early 1992.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, Witness, very briefly, what the main
6 provisions of the Vance-Owen plan were with reference to the Republic of
7 Serb Krajina? What had to be done?
8 A. Well, the main thing was that the JNA was to withdraw from the
9 territory of Croatia and Krajina, and four sectors were to be set up,
10 north, south, east and west, and on the territory of the Republic of Serb
11 Krajina, public law and order was to be maintained by the local organs,
12 whereas the CIVPOL forces, which were part of UNPROFOR, would have a
13 monitoring role. They would monitor the work of the local police
15 Q. Thank you. May I interrupt you here? As the question referred to
16 the territory of the Republic of Serb Krajina, can you tell us what was to
17 happen to the Territorial Defence according to the provisions of the
18 Vance-Owen plan, of the Republic of Serb Krajina?
19 A. The units were --
20 MR. BLACK: Objection. I apologise for the interruption. I've
21 been sort of debating on this as we go along. This is one topic that's as
22 far as I can see and unless I've missed something, is clearly not in the
23 65 ter summary. As I understand the Rules as of yesterday, I feel
24 obligated to object. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic, any response?
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I accept the
2 objection. I was only trying to get an answer to the whole issue, but we
3 have dealt with it sufficiently here, and I will withdraw my question if
4 the Chamber so rules.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Well, you have offered to withdraw. There is no
6 need for a ruling. It stays withdrawn. Thank you very much, Mr.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your
10 Q. You mentioned the civilian police. Do you know what the attitude
11 of the ministry, or rather, the relationship was between the Ministry of
12 the Interior of the Republic of Serb Krajina and the United Nations?
13 A. I think that in May or June - I'm not sure of the exact date, but
14 in mid-1992 - the Ministry of the Interior issued written instructions on
15 the relationship between the organs of the Interior of the Republic of
16 Serb Krajina and the CIVPOL.
17 Q. Thank you. Thank you. And what was the most important part of
18 those instructions?
19 A. That the organs of the Interior should do their job independently
20 and fully, that CIVPOL had a monitoring role, that the organs of the
21 Interior should offer their full cooperation to the CIVPOL forces, that
22 the CIVPOL forces had the right to be in the public security stations and
23 monitor the work of the organs, that they had the right to receive
24 complaints from citizens, and that any complaints passed on by the CIVPOL
25 should be received and acted upon, and that cooperation should be as good
1 as possible, and that the work of CIVPOL should not be hindered in any
3 Q. Thank you. From the view point of the post you held until the end
4 of the existence of the Republic of Serb Krajina, to the best of your
5 knowledge, were these instructions implemented as regards the attitude
6 towards UNCIVPOL?
7 A. From my point of view, objectively, the instructions were
8 implemented as much as possible. Specifically, once a month we held
9 meetings at sector level attended by the secretaries of the Interior, all
10 the chiefs of the public security stations. These were on the side of the
11 Republic of Serb Krajina. As well as the chief of the civilian police for
12 that sector and all the heads of the monitoring offices. The meetings
13 were held once a month in different locations and at these meetings
14 specific problems were raised which had occurred on the ground. The
15 meetings had two aims. One was mutual respect and the other was to
16 discuss specific issues. And the cooperation was truly successful.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether you had occasion to attend any
18 of those meetings?
19 A. I attended all of these meetings.
20 Q. Judging from what was said, or rather, let me put another question
21 first. What representatives of the UNCIVPOL did you personally have
22 occasion to meet at these meetings?
23 A. It's hard to remember all their names. Alo Alfie [phoen], I
24 think, was the first head of CIVPOL for Sector South. After that, we had
25 very cordial relations with Mr. Bob Munroe [phoen] from Canada, who was at
1 the head of the civilian police. The relations were not only
2 professional, but in many cases we became very friendly, truly friendly.
3 I feel that this was possible only because they were satisfied with what
4 we were doing.
5 Q. You said that you felt they were satisfied with what you were
6 doing. What did they tell you about what you were doing?
7 A. Well, of course, at these meetings, they gave us their views and
8 observations. They said that there had been certain attacks on citizens
9 of the Krajina. And what bothered us a little bit was that it was always
10 Croats they mentioned, and they did not mention crimes against Serbs,
11 which were far more numerous. They drew attention to omissions and
12 failures, and asked that these be corrected in our work, but they also
13 said that they were very satisfied with our work in these difficult
14 circumstances and with the kind of personnel we had at our disposal.
15 Q. Based on the content of these meetings with the high
16 representatives of the UNCIVPOL, can you tell us, were any objections
17 raised at these meetings with respect to discrimination or criminal
18 attitude toward the Croatian population, for example, intentional neglect
19 to solve these cases?
20 A. Well, there is a saying among our people that each person has a
21 different personality and view point. We tried to tell them that every
22 crime was the same, as far as we were concerned, regardless of whether it
23 had been perpetrated against the Serbs or Croats, and that they should
24 view these crimes in the same way, and that if there were failures in the
25 work of the Ministry of the Interior, these were not due to discrimination
1 against the Croatian population but were simply a result of the lack of
2 resources which would enable the immediate detection of the perpetrators
3 of a crime.
4 Q. With respect to the issues you discussed with the representatives
5 of the UNCIVPOL, what do you know about the efforts to solve these crimes
6 and misdemeanours? Did the police do its job properly? Did it try to do
7 its job properly?
8 A. Well, that's what I've been trying to say all this time. I am
9 proud to say that the police did its very best to do its job properly and
10 correctly, and I can say that we were quite efficient in crime prevention.
11 This is also evident from the number of criminal reports and misdemeanour
12 reports issued by the ministry in the course of a year. I know, for
13 example, with regard to 1992, the Ministry of Justice received over 7.000
14 criminal reports from the Ministry of the Interior, and many more
15 misdemeanour reports. This indicates the professional work of the police.
16 But whether it's possible to discover all perpetrators, well, I think
17 that's an illusion. It's impossible even today. Here, every day, I hear
18 sirens in The Hague, and in wartime circumstances, everybody tried to go
19 their own way.
20 JUDGE HOEPFEL: May I just --
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I just apologise, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: This was a little foggy comment on crime
23 prevention and on criminal justice, on criminal police having problems in
24 every country and so on. But were you speaking here of partly very
25 serious incidents, like murder, murder being one of the crimes in general
1 in the world, which is -- which often has a high rate of investigation,
2 finding the perpetrators. So maybe you can give a more specific answer to
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I assume that this is
5 what you have in mind. The police in the Republic of Serbian Krajina
6 treated all crimes as crimes. They tried to discover the perpetrators of
7 the crimes, to solve these crimes. What is disputed and often before this
8 Tribunal is the assessment of some individuals that members of one ethnic
9 group were discriminated against. However, that was not the case.
10 Let me be specific. From the 1st of January 1992 up until about
11 the end of August 1994, I will try to provide a concrete answer to your
12 question. During this period, in the area of Krajina, according to
13 reports from the organs of the Interior, about 570 murders were recorded.
14 That was from the 1st of January 1992 until the end of August 1994. So we
15 are talking about a three-year period. So over 500 murders, of which 60
16 per cent of those murders were Serbs. The others were members of other
17 peoples, most of whom were Croats. In fact, there were some of them who
18 had remained in the area of Eastern Slavonia. Most of those crimes were
19 solved. When the crimes, when the murders were committed, well, at that
20 time, we knew who the perpetrators were to a significant extent, that
21 about 70 or 80 murders or 60 murders, the perpetrators of which were not
22 known. About 30 per cent of them were discovered when Serbs had been
23 killed and about 30 per cent when Croats were killed. This should
24 demonstrate that the Krajina Police treated all murders in an equal
25 manner, and they acted professionally.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Could we have a look at a document on the screen? It's an
3 UNCIVPOL document. 726 is the Exhibit number. Before it appears on the
4 screen, and to save time, I'll say that this is a document from the
5 civilian police of the UN. It concerns a certain period of time. You'll
6 see which period is concerned when you see the document.
7 You have before you a document, it says the United Nations, John
8 McElligott is the sender, the commissioner's deputy. It was drafted on
9 the 27th of July, 1993. The subject crimes committed against Croats in
10 Sector South. Can you see this document?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In the first paragraph of the document, it says that they are
13 attaching a report received from UNCIVPOL, Sector South, in which the type
14 and number of crimes committed against the Croats living in Sector South
15 are listed during the period August 1992 until the 31st of May 1993. Men
16 in military or police uniforms are suspected of having committed 120 out
17 of 497 crimes. Can you see the text?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you held the position you occupied, did you ever have the
20 opportunity of examining such a document, of seeing such a document?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did UNCIVPOL have the duty of informing the Ministry of the
23 Interior of the situation in the ground -- on the ground and was it their
24 duty to request that certain steps be taken?
25 A. That's why we had meetings. That was their function. So the
1 answer is yes. But I have never seen such a report. If I can comment on
2 it, I would be glad to do so.
3 Q. What did you want to say? Is there anything you could say on the
4 basis of such report?
5 A. As far as I can see, this is a report that concerns alleged crimes
6 committed against Croats, against one ethnic group. I'm not sure which
7 number is concerned. But from 1992 to 1994, as I have said, over 7.000
8 criminal reports were filed, and here they have referred to 497 crimes
9 that were committed. I don't know what they had in mind, what sort of
10 crimes they were concerned with. So this doesn't even represent one per
11 cent of what the MUP in Krajina processed.
12 Q. Thank you. In the second paragraph of this page, it says -- I
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: He said MUP in Krajina but this document refers to
15 Sector South. Yeah? Is that the same region? You're speaking of Sector
16 South only? Where the 7.000 criminal proceedings or criminal reports.
17 You were comparing two different things, aren't you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what you have said is
19 quite correct. About 7.000 criminal reports were filed at the level of
20 the MUP, but I think about 2.000 criminal reports were filed in Sector
21 South, but even when we compare this number to the number in the report,
22 well, we can see that that only includes some of the crimes, but I don't
23 know what that's crimes here refer to, whether it concerns looted property
24 or something else.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] May I continue, Your Honour?
2 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Please.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. The second sentence says -- second paragraph says, "The report
5 might help to demonstrate the fear that exists of how the Knin authorities
6 might act. The contents of the report might also be of interest to the
7 commission for human rights." Given this sentence, what sort of fear is
8 at stake? Why was there fear of what the Knin authorities might do?
9 A. Well, it's difficult to know why such a report was drafted. It's
10 difficult to know the reasons. But given the title, "crimes committed
11 against Croats in Sector South", I assume that the gentleman who is
12 sending the report, the deputy commissioner, was making an allusion to the
13 fact that the Knin authorities weren't doing everything they could to
14 protect the Croatian population.
15 Q. Witness, given that this report concerns the period August 1992 to
16 May 1993, given the position you held, perhaps you could answer question
17 as to whether such an illusion is correct?
18 A. From my view point, from the viewpoint of the position I held,
19 this illusion is not correct. It's not correct in terms of politics
20 either but I will leave this for others to judge. But given the work that
21 I was involved in, these allegations are not correct. Crimes were
22 detected or solved, perpetrators were identified regardless of whether
23 they were Croats or Serbs. Far more crimes committed by Serbs were in
24 fact detected. And I'd also like to point out something else that is of
25 importance. In fact that's quite enough. Please go ahead.
1 Q. Thank you. This is a report from the civilian police of the UN,
2 and you don't agree with it. You're saying that it's incorrect. Did you
3 ever have the opportunity of examining other reports, public reports or
4 UNPROFOR reports, which also alluded to problems on the Serbian side or,
5 rather, accused the Serbian side of having acted in this way?
6 A. In the contact that we had, yes, reference was made to the
7 problems that Croats encountered, and on our side we would mention the
8 steps we took. So that was quite sufficient, when it comes to this
9 problem. We have to see which criminal reports were filed and see that
10 the organs of the Interior carried out their duties to the extent that
11 that was possible.
12 Q. Thank you. In August 1992 to May 1993, when this report was
13 compiled, Mr. Martic was the Minister of the Interior of the Republic of
14 Serbian Krajina; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know whether UNCIVPOL representatives had any contact with
17 Mr. Martic and were such issues raised with him?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you know what the discussions were about, what was Mr. Martic's
20 position when it came to resolving crime, whatever the nature of the crime
21 was? And I'm referring to the contact he had with UNCIVPOL.
22 A. Well, I do know what was discussed. I do know what his position
23 was because Mr. Martic addressed the issue at meetings and when he
24 addressed the public. But I also know this from the contact I had with
25 UNCIVPOL representatives. They said that Mr. Martic insisted on resolving
1 all crimes, especially crimes committed against Croats, and I also know
2 that at one meeting with Mr. Thornberry in 1993, in May or June, this
3 issue was also discussed and Mr. Martic said that everything was being
4 done to resolve all crimes, and in particular, crimes committed against
5 Croats. Many citizens in Krajina were disturbed by this because they
6 said, you're interested in crimes committed against Croats and not crimes
7 committed against Serbs, who were in the majority.
8 Q. You've provided us with two important pieces of information.
9 Firstly, you said that UNCIVPOL representatives informed you personally of
10 Mr. Martic's position; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the second important piece of information is that the local
13 Serbian population even objected to the fact that he was more interested
14 in solving crimes committed against Croats, whereas there were Serbs who
15 were victims too?
16 A. Yes. They didn't just object to him. They objected to us when we
17 performed our duties, too.
18 Q. And these objections raised by the civilian population, did they
19 obstruct you? Did they make you cease your activities?
20 A. No.
21 Q. We no longer need this document on the screen. Could the usher
22 please distribute a document to my colleagues from the Prosecution and to
23 the Chamber as well as to the witness? We have a sufficient number of
25 MR. BLACK: If I might inquire, Your Honours, if this was on the
1 list of documents that we received from Defence counsel or if it -- if it
2 has a 65 ter number or an exhibit number or some other thing or is this
3 the first time right now that I see this document?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this document
6 isn't on the Prosecution's list, it doesn't have a 65 ter number. This
7 document -- well, this is the first time the document has been seen in the
8 proceedings. This is a Defence document.
9 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, we got no notice that this was going to
10 be used. It's the first time I lay eyes on this document. Until I have a
11 chance to review it, I guess I don't know if I object to it but I object
12 to the procedure by which during the course of examination I receive a
13 document for the first time.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated]
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am sorry that I
16 have just heard this. I informed my Defence team that they should inform
17 my colleagues from the Prosecution about the document. They should
18 provide them with the document. We translated it or had it translated and
19 we've made a certain number of copies, not to hide the document. But to
20 be able to district copies to everyone. I'm surprised by the fact that my
21 colleagues haven't been provided with copies. Perhaps I can check and see
22 what has actually happened at the next session, but I really don't have
23 all the information right now.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: We understand that but then what do we do at this
25 stage? Obviously you can't use the document if you didn't give an advance
1 copy to your opposite number. That's the problem. You can check during
2 the break, but what do we do now?
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in that case, we
4 won't use the document right now. I'm taken by surprise too. I have to
5 check and see what happened. There was some sort of misunderstanding in
6 the Defence team, I assume.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I wouldn't want to cause any
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. Then we may
11 proceed on the next point.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, a minute ago you said that you had direct contact with
14 UNCIVPOL representatives, and they even told you about Mr. Martic's
15 position to how one should act. Do you remember that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could one say, given your experience, given the knowledge that you
18 have, that in the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, the
19 authorities, and that includes the MUP of the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
20 systematically and deliberately terrorised and persecuted the Croatian
21 population because they were Croatian. Was there such a systematic
22 campaign of terror in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, given the
23 experience you had and the position you held, can you answer that
25 A. That certainly is not the case. Had that been the case, I
1 wouldn't have performed the duties that I performed. And what was done in
2 the field confirms what I am saying, what was done in the field during
3 that period of time. What is important to underline is the fact that most
4 of the murders, and there were more Serbs who were murdered than Croats,
5 but most of the murders of Croats took place at the demarcation line,
6 which in 1992 was under the JNA. That's an area where the organs of the
7 Interior were not able to perform their duties. We are talking about
8 villages at the very demarcation line, and for certain reasons, or rather,
9 because of the wartime situation, such situations did occur. It's
10 important to establish that in the interior of Krajina, where I worked,
11 apart from the murder that I have mentioned in 1992, in Knin, there was no
12 other murder of Croats. And this should also demonstrate how all the
13 citizens of the Republic of Serbian Krajina were treated.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, from the standpoint of your work
15 experience, who was part of the MUP of the Republic of Serb Krajina? I'm
16 referring to the kinds of -- I'm trying to avoid putting a leading
17 question so let me stop there. Who made up the MUP? What forces
18 conditionally speaking? What people? What employees made up the MUP?
19 A. If you're talking about 1992 --
20 Q. Yes, I am.
21 A. In 1992, in accordance with the Vance Plan, from early 1992 and in
22 mid-1992, the MUP of the Republic of Serb Krajina was composed of the
23 public security administration and the state security administration, as
24 well as special purpose police units.
25 Q. Thank you. With respect to these special purpose police units
1 that were mentioned, do you know when and where they were established?
2 A. The special purpose police units were established in accordance
3 with Vance Plan, because according to that plan, the JNA was to withdraw
4 and the separation lines or the demarcation lines with Croatia were to be
5 secured by the police. Pursuant to, I think, a decision issued by the
6 Federal Secretariat of National Defence of the Yugoslav Secretariat,
7 special purpose units were established in the Krajina.
8 Q. Did I understand you correctly, if I say that according to you,
9 the special purpose units were in fact the border police?
10 A. Yes. They had the competence to secure the borders, and make sure
11 there were no terrorist incursions, and therefore, they were armed
12 pursuant to the Vance-Owen plan. I'm not a military expert but I think it
13 was up to 12.7 calibre, other weapons, heavy weapons, were stored in
14 depots under the double control of the UN, the UNPROFOR and the local
16 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us or did I understand you correctly,
17 which organ issued the decision on establishing these special purpose
18 units? Did you mention that a while ago? I missed it, I'm sorry.
19 A. I'm certain that the decision was made pursuant to a decision of
20 the Federal Secretariat of National Defence of the Socialist Republic of
21 Yugoslavia, with the purpose of filling the void created by the departure
22 of the JNA and for purposes of implementing the Vance Plan.
23 Q. In accordance with what you said I'm interested in another thing.
24 Do you know whether according to the Vance Plan, UNPROFOR had the duty of
25 securing the demarcation line between the Republic of Croatia and the
2 A. No. It didn't.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I think the question before was not answered.
4 Wasn't it a question, Mr. Milovancevic, by whom the decision was made to
5 establish the special purpose units?
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it seemed to me
7 that I understood the answer, but I will put the question to the witness.
8 Thank you.
9 Q. Once again, Witness, please, do you know who or what organ, what
10 institution, issued the decision on establishing the special purpose
11 police units?
12 A. What I know for certain is that the Socialist Federal Republic of
13 Yugoslavia was a signatory and guarantor of the Vance Plan, and that
14 pursuant to the withdrawal of the forces of the JNA, which according to
15 that plan were to withdraw from the Croatian Krajina, it issued a
16 decision. I don't know what organ exactly issued this decision, but these
17 decisions were then to be deployed within the Ministry of the Interior of
18 the Krajina.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm getting confused now when the witness says he
20 doesn't know who issued the decision because he told us at page 50, lines
21 22 to 25, that I'm certain that the decision was made pursuant to a
22 decision of the Federal Secretariat of National Defence of the Socialist
23 Republic of Yugoslavia with the purpose of filling the void created by the
24 departure of the JNA and for purposes of implementing the Vance Plan.
25 JUDGE HOEPFEL: So it wasn't said by whom but just pursuant to a
1 federal decision, but then we would like to know how it happened, what was
2 going on then, in the Krajina itself, and here you don't know.
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I continue
4 with my questions and I believe that Your Honours will get the answer. We
5 will take a look at a document and things will become much clearer.
6 Your Honour, are you -- do you agree with what I have just
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Could we please take a look at document -- the 65 ter document
11 1334? It's dated the 28th of April 1992.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. -- oh, --
13 MR. BLACK: I apologise, Your Honour. Unless I'm getting my
14 signals crossed with Defence counsel, this also is not on the list of
15 documents that I was provided. It's 65 ter number 1334? Am I correct? I
16 don't want to make a mistake about this and press an issue that's not
17 actually there, but otherwise yet again it's a document that I wasn't
18 notified about.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it should be,
21 because there are two or three documents which are very important to us.
22 I even know the number off by heart, 1334 and 1367. These are documents
23 we must have informed our learned friends about. These are documents that
24 have already been used.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Check if you have proof of delivery to them because
1 it doesn't help to say "we must have." Just say we did on such and such a
2 date. Here is proof.
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Maybe the number is just wrong.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: And while you're dealing with that, may I just
5 remind you, Mr. Milovancevic, when you check the previous document, you
6 will find that the English translation of the previous document is only
7 three pages, whereas the Serb document is nine pages, and has a conclusion
8 by way of date and signature. And the English translation seems to be
9 just stopping in the middle. In addition, the English translation seems
10 to be having things that are skipped because you keep getting three dots
11 in a bracket which you don't get in the Serb, B/C/S original. Just check
12 all those things so that when you do come back to that document, if you
13 intend to do so, you give -- you make sure that you give us a complete
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in connection with
16 the document that, the translation of which you mentioned last, the
17 document has nine pages. We don't need all nine pages. We only need the
18 parts we translated and marked. And this will be adduced in evidence when
19 the time comes. That's why only part of the document was translated. But
20 of course, the entire nine-page document in B/C/S was provided. If our
21 learned friends need to use the whole document of course they can do that,
22 but we are using only parts of it.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: They may very well want to use that, Mr.
24 Milovancevic, for them to get the context of the three pages maybe they
25 need to get the nine pages. If you can just give a full document, please,
1 without skipping some paragraphs. But that's not for discussion now.
2 I've asked you what to do with that. Let's deal with this one. This one
3 on the screen, again, there is an objection that the Prosecution haven't
4 received it. Are you finding your proof of delivery to the Prosecution?
5 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if this document
6 on the monitor is marked 1334, then I mistook the number. It's not the
7 document I was intending to show. This is something entirely different
8 and my learned friend is quite right. I must have made a mistake in the
9 number. It's the SSNO order.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just get the correct one, Mr. Milovancevic. That's
11 fine. Thank you. Let's go to the correct document.
12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one more
13 question for the Registry. Is this document 1334, the one on the screen?
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Yes, this seems so.
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will deal with
16 this document after the break, the document I was intending to show. And
17 now I will ask to see another document, in order not to waste time. It's
18 1367 from the Prosecutor's list.
19 Q. Do you see before you on the monitor this document, witness?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you read the heading to us and what it says in the corner?
22 A. "Republic of Serbian Krajina, Main Staff of the Serb army, date
23 and number 947, 23/1, the title is the reforming of the Territorial
24 Defence and the special purpose units of the police into the Serb army of
25 the Republic of Serb Krajina."
1 Q. Thank you. Before we proceed, I'll ask you the following: Do you
2 know what forces made up the special police units? You said that they
3 were established pursuant to a decision made by the authorities in
4 Belgrade. We'll look at that document later. But what was the strength
5 of these units?
6 A. To the best of my knowledge, there were supposed to be eight
7 brigades and about 16.000 men, but I also know that not all these brigades
8 were formed, and that about four units received flags, but the units for
9 Eastern Slavonia, Western Slavonia and I don't know what others were not
10 actually established. So only four came into existence. The others were
11 formed only when the Serb army of the Republic of Serb Krajina was formed,
12 and I also know that these special police units were under the
13 administration of the Ministry of the Interior.
14 Q. Can you tell us in what period the special police units existed?
15 A. As of April 1992, until this date, the 27th of November 1992,
16 when, pursuant to agreement with international community, they were
17 reformed to make up the Serb army of the Republic of Serb Krajina.
18 Q. Go ahead.
19 A. If I may only add, as regards dates, I ask Their Honours to bear
20 in mind that it's very hard to remember some things. It's very hard to be
21 like a robot and simply remember things that happened so long ago.
22 Q. Of course, Witness. I didn't mean you would be able to provide us
23 with precise dates. I was referring to time periods, months, seasons of
24 the year and so on.
25 Could we please look at points 10 and 11 of this document? That
1 should be on page 4 in B/C/S.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: And in English?
3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just a moment.
4 Let me find the page. This would -- has numbers. Could we look at pages
5 7 and 8, please?
6 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Actually, there is no number 10 and 11, as to my
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I wasn't referring to pages but
9 to points, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Yes. I also was referring to points.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance,
12 Your Honours. We have before us the last page of this document.
13 Q. Do you see who signed it? Do you see who the person is who issued
14 this document?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you read his first and last name?
17 A. Major General Mile Novakovic.
18 Q. Please let's look at points 5 and 6 or items 5 and 6 on this page.
19 Could we scroll up a little bit? Will you read the provisions of items 5
20 and 6, please?
21 A. Item 5: "The Serb army of the Republic of Serb Krajina, during a
22 truce, is organised -- shall be organised, function and carry out tasks as
23 the regional police, in brackets, United Nations plan for the peacekeeping
24 operation in Yugoslavia, the Vance Plan, of the 23rd of November 1991,
25 item 19, second paragraph."
1 6, the Serb army of the Republic of Serb Krajina shall keep and
2 maintain its weapons and equipment in warehouses or depots with the
3 presence of representatives of UNPROFOR, in brackets UN plan for the peace
4 keeping operation in Yugoslavia, Vance Plan, of the 23rd of November 1991,
5 item 15(C) in the alternative."
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, all that you are reading, I don't see at
7 item 5. Can you direct us in the English, please?
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as it is time for
9 a break, can we deal with the translation after the break and I will be
10 more precise? Thank you.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a break and come
12 back at half past 12.00. As we do so, Mr. Milovancevic, may I just
13 mention that this witness is scheduled for six hours, and we are going
14 into the third hour when we come back.
15 --- Recess taken at 11.59 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic, are we now at item 5 and are
18 we at the correct item 5?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you. The
20 document we've been looking at, which is on the screen now, is Exhibit
21 576. The title is, "Transforming the Territorial Defence and the special
22 police units into the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina." A minute
23 ago I wasn't able to tell you the page number in the English version. I
24 apologise for that misunderstanding. The English page number is 13 and
25 14, items 2 and 3 are included on those pages. Items 5 and 6 are on page
1 14. If you have found the sections, I will now go on to put my question
2 to the witness.
3 Q. We saw items 5 and 6 on the transformation of the Territorial
4 Defence and the special police units into the army of the Republic of
5 Serbian Krajina. You read out the provisions that in peacetime the army
6 of the Republic of Serbian Krajina should be treated as the regular
7 police. Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In this order --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, wait a minute. You say we saw
11 items 5 and 6. When we went for the break I said I'm lost, I'm not -- my
12 item 5 didn't say what you were saying. So I would like to see that
13 before you go to --
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I
15 didn't realise that that was in fact a problem. I'll repeat this. On
16 page 17 in the B/C/S version, in fact pages 61 and 62, it's on the screen,
17 it's page 14 in the English version and we should see items 5 and 6 there.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm with you. Not 1 and 2.
19 JUDGE HOEPFEL: It's not Roman five and Roman six, is it?
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] 5 and 6, Arabic numerals, Your
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: It says, "during the truce". It starts, "during
23 the truth".
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, that's correct.
25 Q. To avoid any confusion, we'll have a look at these two paragraphs
1 again. The Serbian army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, in peacetime
2 shall be organised and perform its duties as a regular police force, in
3 brackets, in accordance with the Vance Plan." Can you see that, Witness?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did the Serbian army -- did the army of the Republic of Serbian
6 Krajina act in this way?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did the Serbian army --
9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Should that have been regional or regular police
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, under item 5 in
12 this order it says in capital letters, the regional police force.
13 Regional police. That's what it says in this order. In brackets it then
14 says, the plan, the UN plan for peace time operations, et cetera.
15 Q. According to your information, did the Serbian army keep its heavy
16 weapons under UN protection? Was it locked up by the UN?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Let's have a look at page 16 of the document, in B/C/S, it's -- we
19 can see the number 62, 60. In the English version, it's page 13, Roman 2.
20 Let's have a look at the last sentence. Could we scroll down? That's
21 enough. Thank you. Under Roman 2, it reads as follows: "The formations
22 of all -- the formations of staffs in the units of the Territorial Defence
23 shall be disbanded as well as the special police units of the Republic of
24 Serbian Krajina." Can you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. As far as you know, were the staffs and special police units
2 transformed, or rather, disbanded after this?
3 A. Yes, absolutely.
4 Q. Thank you. We no longer need this document on the screen. In one
5 of your answers you mentioned agreement with the UN on resolving the
6 problem of the special police units. Do you remember that, Witness?
7 A. You probably have in mind the fact that the Vance Plan included
8 the idea that the JNA forces should withdraw and CIVPOL didn't have the
9 mandate to separate the warring factions, and as a result, there was an
10 agreement to establish special police units. This was to be in accordance
11 with the implementation of the Vance-Owen plan.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether Mr. Goulding was one of those
13 involved in the issue of special police units? Was he acting on behalf of
14 the UN Secretary-General?
15 A. Yes. I think so. And he had an agreement with Minister Martic
16 that concerned those issues, but I'm sure that he was involved in those
17 matters and that an agreement had been reached, according to which units
18 should be founded. Their primary task was to provide security along the
19 demarcation line and it was on that basis that the units were armed. They
20 only had side arms.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I need clarification. I'm sorry to do this to you,
23 Mr. Milovancevic. The witness just says you probably have in mind the
24 fact that the Vance Plan included the idea that the JNA forces should
25 withdraw and CIVPOL didn't have the mandate to separate the warring
1 factions, and as a result, there was an agreement to establish special
2 police units. I thought you -- we have just seen on this Exhibit 576 that
3 the special police units were being disbanded. Now, if it was being
4 disbanded, unless I'm missing something, I don't understand how we now
5 form them so as to do the task for which CIVPOL has no mandate. Or am I
6 reading with a jaundiced eye?
7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] You have understood everything
8 correctly, Your Honour. With your leave, I'll deal with the issue with
9 the witness or through the witness.
10 Q. Can you tell us what the UN approach was, the approach of the
11 civilian police and of UNPROFOR with regard to the special police units?
12 A. Well, it was correct because they didn't obstruct their work.
13 That's why I draw this conclusion.
14 Q. Have you heard of a UN report in which those units were given a
15 negative assessment?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Can you tell us why these special police units were disbanded? I
18 minute ago you saw the document. On the 27th of November 1992, these
19 units were disbanded. What is the reason for this, as far as you know?
20 A. I didn't go into the details. This was a matter of an agreement
21 between the leadership in Krajina and representatives of the international
23 Q. Could you please tell me whether you know whether Mr. Martic
24 personally ordered that special police units be founded or not?
25 A. No, he didn't issue an order to found special police units.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, you -- I'm not quite sure whether you attended
3 to my confusion. Now, what I do want to establish is whether -- what I do
4 want to establish, Mr. Milovancevic, is whether, is it the evidence
5 therefore of the witness that notwithstanding Exhibit 576, disbanding the
6 special police units, they continued to exist in order to separate the
7 warring factions because CIVPOL didn't have that mandate? Is that the
8 evidence of the Defence?
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the following
10 document that I'll be showing will be an answer, or one of the answers to
11 that question. I just asked the witness whether Mr. Martic had ordered
12 that special police units be established. We'll now have a look at the
13 next document and that will perhaps clarify the situation for you.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: But -- just a second. But I asked -- I raised a
15 few minutes earlier my confusion. You asked a number of questions. I
16 didn't see how they addressed my question and I'm getting concerned, and
17 my concentration on the next document is going to be very low because my
18 mind is going bang, bang, bang, what's happening to that question that I
19 raised? I would like that to be addressed.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, you've heard the issue raised by Judge Moloto. Can you
22 provide any explanations?
23 A. Your Honours, I believe that it's just a matter of the dates that
24 are not quite correct. The document we are referring to was issued in
25 November 1992, and these units were formed at the beginning of 1992. When
1 I referred to the establishing units on the basis of the Vance-Owen plan,
2 I was referring to the period February March 1992. And when I spoke about
3 their disbanding, that was on the basis of other agreements and that was
4 in November 1992. There is no contradiction. One event --
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: There may be no contradiction, but if you see if
6 you tell your story starting from the end going backwards you confuse us.
7 We expect you to start from the beginning and go to the end. You can't
8 start with November and then go to February. You've got to start with
9 February and go to November.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE HOEPFEL: I have the same problem being confused and one
12 thing about the confusion is you're also speaking about the Vance-Owen
13 plan; is that right? Did you say that? Didn't the Vance-Owen plan refer
14 to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Your Honour, I don't
16 remember mentioning the Vance-Owen plan. I just mentioned the Vance Plan.
17 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's page 63, line 6.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. He misheard the
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Okay. This is what Judge Moloto raised already.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any way, I hope you're going to clear this because
24 otherwise it stands here that the evidence of the Defence is that after
25 the 27th of November 1992, when the special purpose units were disbanded,
1 they continued to separate the warring factions because CIVPOL didn't have
2 that mandate. In other words, the order says disband, but the disbanding
3 didn't take place.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you for that
5 explanation. It's only now that I have understood your concern. I
6 apologise. I wasn't sufficiently focused on what you were saying.
7 Q. Witness, you said that at the beginning of 1992, special police
8 units were formed. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was the reason for establishing these special police units?
11 Could you repeat your answer once again very briefly?
12 A. It was necessary to secure the demarcation line separating the
13 Republic of Serbian Krajina and Croatia. The regular forces of the
14 Interior that were involved in public law and order were not to be engaged
15 in that -- in those duties. As a result, there was an agreement according
16 to which special police units should be established. Their main task and
17 this was part of MUP's duties, was to prevent terrorist groups from being
19 Q. Thank you. I'll interrupt you there. You mentioned how many
20 brigades were formed. And for how long did those special police units
21 exist and for how long did they secure the demarcation line?
22 A. Well, they were involved in performing those duties until the 29th
23 of November when the Serbian army of the Serbian Republic of Krajina was
24 established. As of that date, they ceased to exist. They couldn't have
25 carried out tasks of any kind because they had been disbanded at that
2 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Now I'm getting lost. You're saying the Serbian
3 army of the Serbian Republic of Krajina was established on 29th of
4 November. That can be related to the document we saw, but before we heard
5 that these -- that the Vance Plan didn't allow that, and that it was
6 organised the other way around, into the police, so that the army didn't
7 exist any more, formally at least.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave,
9 if I may continue examining the witness, we will address that issue. I
10 understand your question. Yes, thank you. Right now we have been dealing
11 with the time at which the special police units were established, and the
12 time at which they ceased to exist. The witness said that this was from
13 April 1992 to the end of November 1992.
14 Q. Witness, have I understood your testimony correctly?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. A minute ago you said in that decision dated the end of November
17 1992, the Serbian army of Krajina was established; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. The question then is why was the Serbian army of Krajina
20 established, in view of the existence of the Vance Plan? You said the
21 Vance Plan provided for demobilisation of the Territorial Defence and for
22 the withdrawal of the JNA. It provided for the existence of the local
23 police alone. Do you know the main reason for which the army was
25 A. Well, the main reason is -- well, there were decisions taken by
1 the authorities in the Republic of Serbian Krajina but the actual reason,
2 well, I really don't know what I could say about that. But what I am
3 certain about is that the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina wouldn't
4 have been established had this not been done in agreement with UNPROFOR
5 representatives, but I wasn't competent for that area so there is nothing
6 I could say about it.
7 Q. Thank you. With regard to what I have just asked you about, does
8 the Miljevac plateau mean anything to you?
9 A. Yes, it does.
10 Q. What do you associate with that location?
11 A. Well, the Miljevac plateau is an area where the Croatian forces
12 launched an aggression in June. It was under UNPROFOR protection. And
13 this was contrary to the provisions of the Vance Plan, and 40 or 42
14 Serbian soldiers, members of the Territorial Defence, were killed on that
15 occasion. They were elderly people. I think they were all thrown into
16 the Mratovac pit. Later, 20 or 25 individuals were identified. The
17 others couldn't be identified and given the wounds they had sustained or
18 they had also been wounded with blunt objects, some of them were buried in
19 Knin and then they had names, but others were buried in a common grave.
20 Q. Thank you. I'm interested in the attitude of the authorities in
21 the Republic of Serbian Krajina at that time. Did UNPROFOR have the duty
22 to protect the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina from such
23 attacks? What was the attitude of the authorities in the Republic of
24 Serbian Krajina?
25 A. Well, their attitude, not just of the authorities but of the
1 people too, was that they were really revolted by UNPROFOR members. They
2 hadn't performed their duties. They were to keep the warring factions
3 apart and implement the agreement in a peaceful way. Croatia violated all
4 of these agreements and launched an attack and carried out such a
5 revolting act and that is certainly one of the reasons for which the
6 Serbian people felt the need of having a more efficient defence system in
7 their territory.
8 Q. Thank you. When referring to the activity of the Ministry of the
9 Interior and the special police units, you drew a distinction between the
10 jobs done by the regular police and those done by the special police. So
11 I will put a specific question to you. While the special units of the
12 police still existed, were they in charge of maintaining law and order?
13 A. No.
14 Q. With reference to maintaining law and order, public law and order,
15 could you tell us briefly once again what was the attitude of UNCIVPOL and
16 UNPROFOR officials in contacts with the Ministry of the Interior
17 concerning these issues? Were they satisfied or not?
18 A. According to what they said in our contacts for the most part they
19 were satisfied.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at the last
22 session, we provided some minutes to the Defence [as interpreted] for the
23 first time. These are minutes from a meeting of the Ministry of the
24 Interior of the Republic of Serb Krajina, with Mr. Cedric Thornberry, the
25 deputy UN commander. We informed our learned friends during the break
1 that there had been a misunderstanding in communication between the
2 different members of the Defence team and this is the only reason why we
3 did not supply this document before. Would my learned friend please tell
4 us now whether he agrees to our using the document today? We can also use
5 it later, but as we have this witness here now, I think it would be in the
6 interests of the proceedings to look at this document today. If my
7 learned friend opposes this, we will leave the document for another
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black?
10 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I don't do this just to be
11 obstructive. I accept that perhaps this was a miscommunication, but I
12 still have the problem that Your Honour referred to earlier. I can't read
13 the original language document. I can only see what -- and I have tried
14 to look at during the last break what's been translated into English. But
15 our position would be that this should not be used today. If the witness
16 is still here on Monday and the examination is continuing by that time
17 I'll have had a chance to review it but not today.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're referring to the issues that were raised by
19 the Chamber. You don't seem to include them as part of the cure for you
20 to be able to read that and be ready by Monday. One of the issues that
21 the Bench raised is that the translation seems incomplete. And it may
22 very well be that either the Prosecution or even the Bench want to ask
23 questions on the parts that are not mentioned in the translation. Now, do
24 you have the fully translated document?
25 MR. BLACK: I don't, Your Honour. And I agree with you. My plan
1 was to try to find someone who could sit down with me and help me and read
2 through it, but I think a better solution is that we have a full
3 translation before we proceed with the document. I agree.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think you can help us with that, Mr.
5 Milovancevic, can't you? It's not a very long document.
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I agree with
7 this. We will have the document translated today, and we will submit the
8 translation to our learned friends so that we have the document ready for
9 Monday, both for the Trial Chamber and for the Prosecution. Hitherto when
10 we were dealing with long documents, we did not translate the entire
11 documents, but we do not object, of course, to having the entire document
12 translated. We were only trying to gain time, but we promise and
13 undertake to have this document translated and we will submit copies to
14 our learned friends and to Your Honours. In this case, we will not use
15 the document today.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic. And as I
17 say, I don't think -- I think this one is an exception from -- I beg your
18 pardon, exception to long documents. I think it is short enough to be
19 translated entirely. Thank you very much. You may proceed with the rest
20 of the examination, noting, however, that your three hours are over.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Counsel mentioned the
25 office held by the witness which should be redacted from the recording.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, Mr. Milovancevic. The interpreters note
2 that you mentioned the office held by the witness which may have to be
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I mentioned
5 offices. I tried to be vague. I didn't say what offices. If you think
6 it should be redacted, I agree. Perhaps it should be redacted, Your
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: You've got to decide. Where is that? What line?
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not interpret this so it is
10 not in the transcript.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: It was not interpreted, so it's not in the
12 transcript, so there is nothing to redact?
13 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE HOEPFEL: But in the film, the transmission in B/C/S will
15 contain it.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The transmission in B/C/S must be redacted. Thank
17 you very much. Sorry, we don't know these things. So can we redact that
18 part in the B/C/S where it refers to the office of the witness, please,
19 before 30 minutes are over?
20 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Q. Witness, did you have occasion to participate in some
23 international negotiations conducted in the presence of representatives of
24 the UN with representatives of the Republic of Serb Krajina?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. To the best of your knowledge, can you tell us what the attitude
2 of the representatives of the Republic of Serb Krajina was in these
3 negotiations? What was their standpoint? Were they in favour of war or
5 A. They were always in favour of peace, and settling the dispute in a
6 peaceful manner. They were in favour of the international community
7 carrying out its obligations and really protected the protected areas.
8 Q. When you say that the representatives of the Republic of Serb
9 Krajina wanted UNPROFOR to carry out its obligations, was there a reason
10 why this request was made and what facts did you have in mind then?
11 A. Many times Croatia perpetrated aggression on the territory of the
12 Republic of Serb Krajina, not just the Miljevac plateau but also the Medak
13 pocket which in 1992, where several villages, Citluk, Medak, Pocitelj, not
14 Citluk, but Medak and Pocitelj were burned and the people killed and then
15 in 1993, in January, the 23rd of January, an attack or an aggression by
16 Croatia was carried out in the areas of Islam Grcki, Kasici, Benkovac and
17 Dalmatia and it spread to some other areas.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether these areas which came under
19 attack were under UN protection at the time when they were attacked by the
20 Croatian forces?
21 A. Yes. They were under UNPROFOR protection. They were protected
23 Q. Thank you. What was the behaviour of the population of Serb
24 ethnicity in these imperilled areas? What was their attitude toward their
25 compatriots? I'm referring to people of Croatian ethnicity. People, for
1 example, from the Maslenica area?
2 A. To the best of my knowledge, as everywhere, most people lived
3 normally with their neighbours, although of course, there were extremists
4 among them, among people, but coexistence was possible. I can give you a
5 personal example, if need be, from the standpoint of the duty I was
7 Q. If you think that example would be important, tell us briefly.
8 A. But could we do that in private session, please?
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may we go into
11 private session, please?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session?
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 9390-9391 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, we are in open session.
9 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. Witness, if people coming from the Serb population suffered due to
13 attacks by Croatian armed forces, could this have caused the population to
14 have feelings of vengefulness and to seek revenge against the Croatian
16 A. Yes, in 1993, many Serbs suffered. I can give you a personal
17 example. A father from Strmica lost his son, who had been a soldier, and
18 in view of my job, he threatened me, saying that it was my fault because I
19 was defending all citizens, including Croats, and I should be defending
20 only Serbs. It was a wartime situation. It was extremely difficult to do
21 our job, but we did it honourably.
22 Q. What does it mean in this specific instance when you say that you
23 carried out your job in an honourable manner?
24 A. Well, that means in compliance with the law, and under the law,
25 all citizens were fully equal. After the aggression on the Krajina in
1 1991, President Hadzic, as far as I can remember, because of an attempt in
2 February to maltreat the Croatian population, issued an order -- I can't
3 remember the exact wording of the order, but it was to the effect that we
4 should persist in protecting the entire population, especially Croats, and
5 this was simply to confirm our practice up to that point.
6 Q. Thank you. Any troubles there might have been, or even any
7 victimisation of the Croatian population, can the authorities and the MUP
8 of the Republic of Serb Krajina be blamed for any of that? Can it be said
9 that they instigated or participated in any way or even failed to act?
10 A. No. They were trying to protect the entire population, doing
11 their best, and because of this they even had problems with the Serb
12 population. In 1993, after the Croatian aggression on the area of
13 Benkovac, there were several incidents, even murders, which may have been
14 motivated by revenge because of the suffering of the Serbs, and the organs
15 of the Ministry of the Interior responded. We identified several
16 perpetrators and handed them over. We wrote criminal reports against them
17 and handed them over to the judicial authorities for further proceedings.
18 Q. Thank you. We have now completed this topic and we will move on
19 to another topic. We will now move to the year 1995?
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we close this topic, are you able to tell us
21 about the incidents in which the Serb people revenged their suffering?
22 The ones that you have just referred to, in which the Ministry of the
23 Interior responded -- to which the Minister of the Interior responded?
24 Can you tell us the victims, who were the victims, where it took place,
25 what happened?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Given all the time that's passed
2 it's difficult to remember all the events. What I know for certain is
3 that in the area of Benkovac, I'm not sure which villages were concerned,
4 but in that area, five or six murders had been committed. The result
5 of --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: What was the ethnicity of the murdered people --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm now talking about Croats. The
9 Croats were victims. I can't say that the Serbian people committed these
10 acts. I can't say that they didn't. They were individuals who were
11 responsible for these acts, and since their family members had been killed
12 or for some other reason this is why they acted in this way.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: These were individual Serb people?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We are talking about
15 individual Serbs.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Any other incident?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In relation to that incident, we
18 identified two or three perpetrators, I don't know the exact number, and
19 they were processed and put on trial.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you give the date, if you remember, of this
21 incident, the one in the area of Benkovac?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that was in January or
23 February 1993. That was the period concerned. February.
24 I know there were someone called Grga Sante who survived one such
25 incident. He had been taken to the hospital in Knin for treatment. We
1 processed him and at our request, he identified some of the possible
2 perpetrators of the crime and it was on the basis of his testimony that
3 criminal reports were filed against those individuals. After that event,
4 he was exchanged and went to Croatia.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that the only incident you can remember?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this point in time, yes.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr. Milovancevic, I'm
8 sorry I interrupted you.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
10 Perhaps we could briefly have a look at a document from the Prosecution
11 list. It's a 65 ter document, 347. It's a -- it's dated the 22nd of
12 February 1993, UNCIVPOL Sector South.
13 JUDGE HOEPFEL: While we wait to get this document on the screen,
14 may we clarify the last sentence of the last answer of the witness
15 mentioning something like "this Croat who had survived this attack having
16 then after that event been exchanged and gone to Croatia"? What does that
17 mean? Was he a prisoner or a prisoner of war or what do you mean by that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Your Honours, quite the
19 reverse. He was someone the Serbian authorities took care of. They
20 treated him. They called him as a witness. And then at his request and
21 with UNPROFOR's agreement, he went to the territory of Zadar, I think, but
22 in any event, he wasn't a prisoner of war.
23 JUDGE HOEPFEL: No. The transcript says after that event he was
24 exchanged and went to Croatia. Did you say that or not?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I made a mistake. It was a slip of
1 the tongue. He wasn't exchanged. He went to the territory of Croatia at
2 his request. I think that CIVPOL also made such a request, but in any
3 event, he wasn't a prisoner of war. Quite the contrary. He was a victim.
4 And the Serbian authorities treated him in this way.
5 JUDGE HOEPFEL: That made me wonder why you said he was exchanged.
6 You understand?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I do apologise.
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Could
9 we have a look at the top of the document, scroll up a bit? It's an
10 UNCIVPOL document. We've gone too far now.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your learned friend is on his feet.
12 MR. BLACK: Again, I apologise for the interruption. This is a
13 document that I'm familiar with but yet again it's not on the list that I
14 was provided with. And the way it works is we have a good system. I get
15 an e-mail with the document that is counsel intends to use, and this I
16 believe is Exhibit 729 in evidence and it's not on the list as either an
17 admitted evidence -- admitted Exhibit nor a 65 ter exhibit, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic?
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned
20 colleague is quite right. Your questions made me have a look at this
21 document, but I'll withdraw that suggestion. The document has already
22 been admitted into evidence and it has been dealt with on a number of
23 occasions and, as a result, I just wanted to use it to refresh the
24 Chamber's memory.
25 Q. Witness, do you know that at the time of the Maslenica
1 operation --
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Wait a minute, wait a minute. We haven't sort of
3 agreed that you can use the document because there is an objection
4 standing. Now I'm not quite sure whether you want to refresh the
5 Chamber's memory or you want to refresh the witness's memory. Which
6 memory do you want to really refresh? The Chamber hasn't asked -- hasn't
7 indicated that it's lost its memory and that it needs to be refreshed on
8 this document -- by this document.
9 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I won't use this
10 document. I withdraw that suggestion. I apologise. I didn't inform my
11 colleagues that I'd be using it. I regret having called it up on the
12 screen. I have wasted sometime now.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before you withdraw it, in all fairness to the
14 Defence, I want to ask a question. If this document is indeed already in
15 evidence, why can it not be used?
16 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I was just about to stand up. If this is
17 something that actually arose during the course of the examination, I
18 actually don't object to him raising it. It would seem to me to be a
19 courtesy that counsel might mention this is something that has come up and
20 explain why he is using a document that wasn't on the list, but since it's
21 in evidence, I don't object to him using it.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may proceed, Mr.
23 Milovancevic, and use the document. You may use the document.
24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise to my colleague
25 once again. He's quite right. I didn't inform him of the fact that I was
1 going to use the document. Thank you, Your Honours. Here we can see that
2 it's an UNCIVPOL document dated the 22nd of February, 1993.
3 Q. Can you see that?
4 A. I can't see the heading. Oh, yes, I can. The 22nd of February,
5 1993, yes.
6 Q. Can we now scroll up a bit, please? Thank you. Under the title
7 general situation, it says that the situation continues to be tense, since
8 there are continuing skirmishes along the line. In most of the areas
9 inside the sector, the movement of troops has been noticed. Can you see
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can this situation referred to in the document be linked to the
13 time of the Maslenica operation, as far as you know?
14 A. Yes, it can.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not how to ask questions, Mr. Milovancevic.
16 You should say, "Can you link this document to any incident that you
17 know?" And then he must tell us the Maslenica incident. You don't give
18 the answer in your question. And let me tell you, I warn you again, you
19 are yourself diminishing the probative value of your own witness's
20 testimony if you keep on putting words into their mouths.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I agree. But I'd
22 like to point out that the witness did mention the Maslenica operation and
23 an individual who was wounded during that period.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... not in relation
25 to this document.
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree. Thank you.
2 Q. Have you heard about a school in Vrpolje and about part of the
3 Croatian population being put up in that building during the Maslenica
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know whether the Croatian population were taken there by
7 force, by the Krajina Police or did this happen under other circumstances?
8 A. Well, this was the desire of the authorities of Republika Srpska,
9 and it was at the request of the Croats. They wanted them to be protected
10 from possible attacks launched by the Serbs who had suffered an extremely
11 violent attack at the -- in the Benkovac hinterland.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once again, Mr. Milovancevic, I'm not trying to be
13 obstructionist here, but again, you say, "Do you know whether the Croatian
14 population were taken there by force by the Krajina Police or did this
15 happen under other circumstances?" The question should be, "How did the
16 Croatian population get to that school?" Don't suggest the answer. It
17 just so happens that the answer differs from what you were suggesting but
18 it's still a leading question. Try to -- please, I'm asking you.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'll do my best, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. What did the MUP of the Republic of Serbian Krajina do in such a
23 situation when the Croatian population asked them for protection?
24 A. Well, it wasn't just the Croatian population. Your Honours, thank
25 you for your words. Usually I don't allow anyone to influence me. I
1 stand by what I know. And that was the case when I was in office in the
2 HDZ, et cetera.
3 It's not just that the Krajina MUP wanted to protect the Croats.
4 Representatives of the -- of UNPROFOR civilian police asked us to do this.
5 They wanted our police to go to villages and appoint as many men as was
6 necessary to protect the population from attempts to take revenge. We
7 said we didn't have enough police for that work, and it would be best for
8 them to be temporarily accommodated in certain buildings. There were
9 two -- there was one or two buildings, one of which was in Vrpolje. They
10 were there for a day or two, and this was just for their protection. I
11 remember this very well. It was at the request of CIVPOL.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: I hope you do understand that the Bench is not
13 suggesting that you don't stand on your own feet and you're easily
14 affected by people, by suggestions from other people. Indeed I did say
15 that your answer was given different from what was being suggested, but
16 note that it is procedure in this kind of forum that the questions be put
17 the way I suggested to your counsel. Irrespective of whether the witness
18 is vulnerable or easily influenced or not. Okay? You may proceed, Mr.
20 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you for that answer, Witness. The Honourable Judge is quite
23 Let's look at item 5 of the report. It's on the next page.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Roman numeral 5?
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Roman 5.
6 A. Yes.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter would like --
8 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have to redact
9 what I have just said, I mentioned the witness's name.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter did not
11 interpret the name.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness's name please be redacted. I
13 suppose that will be on the B/C/S version.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I said.
16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] We will no longer deal with
17 this document. I thank the Chamber for allowing me to use this document.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Does the name "operation lightning" mean anything to you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. "Operation Flash".
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you tell me what "Operation Flash" means?
25 A. Well, I don't like using the terms flash or storm because they
1 have certain negative connotations, they are insulting. You can't talk
2 about something called flash if there are lots of victims and if a lot of
3 people are killed. This is what I am persuaded of, and I have to express
4 this publicly here. That Croatian army operation was directed at the
5 territory of Western Slavonia, territory under the protection of the UN,
6 territory in the west was attacked, and in the course of several days,
7 almost the entire Serbian population was expelled and fled and according
8 to the information that I have, about 2.000 Serbs were killed on that
9 occasion. I don't know whether that information is fully reliable but as
10 far as I know that would be the figure.
11 Q. Thank you. Do you know the date of the operation?
12 A. The operation started on the 1st of May 1995.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE HOEPFEL: The witness answered only it started on the first
16 of May. How long did it last, please?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it lasted for a lengthy period
18 of time. That's certain. But it should have ended when an agreement on
19 the cessation of facilities was concluded, which was signed in the evening
20 on the 3rd of May, but that's the date on which this agreement was
21 signed. But the actions carried out by the Croatian army and police
22 continued and combat activity continued for another 15 or 20 days for
23 sure. And after the agreement had been signed, under the auspices of the
24 UN, or rather, the UNPROFOR, or UNCRO, I don't know what the term was, but
25 during that period of time, the other remaining Serbs in the area were
1 expelled. It's important to point out that when Mr. Akashi spoke to Mr.
2 Martic --
3 JUDGE HOEPFEL: You may continue.
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. You said there was some talks. With whom did Mr. Akashi hold
6 talks and when?
7 A. The talks with Mr. Akashi were held both before the operation and
8 in the course of the operation. It was around the 5th of May, I think,
9 that one of the meetings was held. Before the operation itself, there
10 were talks with Mr. Akashi and Mr. Stoltenberg, and other UN envoys, where
11 there was discussion of how to solve the problem in a peaceful manner,
12 primarily about economic issues.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us -- you say a cease-fire agreement was
14 signed on the 3rd of May 1995. When did the negotiations begin and did
15 you participate in them?
16 A. On the 1st of May, in the early morning hours, the Croatian
17 aggression began. At the request of the UNPROFOR representative, the Serb
18 delegation, comprising the Prime Minister, Mikelic, General Loncar and
19 myself, as a representative from Mr. Martic's office, we went to Pleso
20 airport in Zagreb for talks with the Croatian delegation. This was on the
21 1st and we arrived at Pleso at 1600 hours.
22 Q. What was the topic discussed? Can you tell us?
23 A. It was the international community that initiated the talks, and
24 the topic was a cease-fire, cessation of hostilities, and after that the
25 solution of other problems.
1 Q. And was a cessation of hostilities agreed at that point?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What happened after that, on the 2nd of May, 1995? Did the
4 fighting go on?
5 A. Yes, the fighting continued, but learned counsel, let me say that
6 on the 1st of May, no agreement was reached on the cessation of
7 hostilities, although both Mr. Mikelic on our side, and Mr. Akashi
8 proposed a specific agreement on the cessation of hostilities. This was
9 not accepted by the Croatian side, and their negotiator was Mr. Sarinic.
10 Q. Thank you. What happened on the 2nd of May, 1995?
11 A. The Croatian aggression on the Krajina continued, that is, on
12 Western Slavonia. There were reports that a large numbers of Serb
13 civilians had been killed. There was also verified information that a
14 column of Serb refugees had been killed on the road and that tankers had
15 been brought to wash the blood away.
16 Q. Thank you. What civilians were killed on the highway and who
17 killed them?
18 A. It was Serbs who were killed by the Croatian army, or the Croatian
20 Q. And when did you receive this information? When did all this take
21 place? What time of day was it?
22 A. It was in the morning.
23 Q. Can you tell us whether, on that day, the 2nd of May --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is that the morning of the 2nd of May?
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The morning
1 of the 2nd of May, 1995.
2 Q. On that day, the 2nd of May, 1995, were there negotiations again?
3 A. There were contacts. Prime Minister Mikelic had contacts, and as
4 far as I know -- well, I know precisely, in fact, at 1900 hours, in the
5 late afternoon, a proposal on the cessation of hostilities was forwarded
6 to us, either by Mr. Stoltenberg or Mr. Akashi. I think it was Mr.
7 Stoltenberg, but that's immaterial. It arrived in Knin at 1900 hours on
8 the 2nd of May, this proposal.
9 Q. Can you tell us, you said it was signed on the 3rd. Where was it
10 signed and by whom and what were its provisions?
11 A. On the 3rd, representatives of the international community arrived
12 in Knin for talks, Colonel Peters and I don't know who else. Mr. Mikelic
13 attended the meeting. The agreement was accepted by the Serb side. It
14 was signed separately by the Serb side, and after that it was also signed
15 by the Croatian side. And as for the second part of your question, the
16 main characteristic of this agreement was that there would be an instant
17 cessation of hostilities and that the Croatian forces would withdraw to
18 their starting positions and that the Serb population of the territory of
19 Western Slavonia would be guaranteed protection, that their lives would
20 not be in danger.
21 Q. Tell us again, what was the date when that agreement was signed?
22 Excuse me, Your Honours. Tell us once more the date.
23 A. The 3rd, in the afternoon. Separately by first the Serb side and
24 then the Croatian side.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just ask a question? Earlier the witness
1 indicated that or gave -- I got the impression that the witness was saying
2 the negotiations took place at the Pleso airport in Zagreb. Now I'm
3 hearing him talk of Knin. Did the negotiations move from Zagreb to Knin?
4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. Witness, you said on the 1st of May there were negotiations at
6 Pleso airport in Zagreb; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. When were they interrupted and when did you return to Knin and
9 when did the negotiations resume and where?
10 A. The Serb delegation asked for a cessation of hostilities to become
11 effective immediately at midnight on the 1st of May, but the Croatian side
12 rejected this. Then --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: When -- did the negotiations move to Knin and if
14 so, when?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the negotiations were
16 continued in Knin. There were contacts in the meantime with premier
17 Mikelic but I wasn't there so I don't know where. On the 3rd of May the
18 negotiations moved to Knin without the Croatian side.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: How did the negotiations go on without the other
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the representatives of the
22 international community should be asked that question.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: But, no, no, no. I'm just asking -- okay.
24 JUDGE HOEPFEL: He spoke of a draft having been concluded on the
25 2nd at 19.00, and then on the third it was apparently the signature
1 question, not so much the negotiations themselves any more. So can you
2 help us.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that's how it was. The
4 draft reached us through the representatives of the international
5 community, as you said, Your Honour. On the 3rd, we signed it and later
6 on it was signed by the Croatian side.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I go back to my question? My question was,
8 okay, why did the Serb delegation move back to Knin on the 3rd if the
9 negotiations were still going on? Now, I don't have to ask the
10 representatives of the international community about that. You told us
11 that the negotiations were taking place at the Pleso airport and when you
12 suddenly mentioned Knin, and you don't give us a proper transition, we've
13 got to ask you questions. And can you explain that, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do apologise. I was
15 not specific enough.
16 On the 1st, the negotiations were at Pleso airport. The arbiters
17 were representatives of the international community. These negotiations
18 yielded no result. We had agreed with the international community that
19 there should be an immediate cessation of hostilities at 2300 hours, but
20 these negotiations were interrupted and the UNPROFOR forces took us back
21 to Knin early in the morning of the 2nd by helicopter.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: So you went to Knin early in the morning on the
23 2nd. It's not on the 3rd, as you said earlier.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think I said
25 we left on the 3rd. I don't think I said that. I apologise, if I did.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: You did. I'll show you. At page 90, line 4, on
2 3rd of May the negotiations moved to Knin without the Croatian side.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I said that on the
4 3rd, the negotiations continued, and that the representatives of the
5 international community arrived, but it was on the 2nd that we returned to
6 Knin in the early morning hours because the negotiations were interrupted
7 on the 1st. Mr. Akashi was chairing but as no agreement was reached on
8 cessation of hostilities because the Croatian side did not accept that --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I stop you? I'm trying to clear what appears
10 to be a confusion. Are you saying that it is a mistake what I see on the
11 screen in the English version that it is alleged that you said on the 3rd
12 of May, the negotiations moved to Knin without the Croatian side? Is that
13 statement wrong? It should be, you left Zagreb on the early morning of
14 the 2nd by helicopter. Is that how you want it to --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you. So no negotiations took place in
17 Knin. It's just the Serb delegation returned to Knin on the 2nd of May.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Milovancevic, you may
21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have already
22 overstepped our time but, by your leave, as we are now dealing with this,
23 I would like to put one more question.
24 Q. On the 2nd you returned to Knin and you said that you received a
25 new offer; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who brought this offer to Knin? Did someone bring it or how did
3 you receive it?
4 A. I'm not aware of the details but it arrived in Knin at 1900 hours
5 in the evening.
6 Q. On what date?
7 A. On the 2nd of May, 1995. So that was at 1900 hours. It was sent
8 to the Serb side for consideration and members of the international
9 community were to arrive in Knin on the 3rd to agree on the text of the
11 Q. And did the representatives of the international community arrive
12 on the 3rd and was a text agreed on?
13 A. Yes, they did arrive and the text was agreed on and signed.
14 Q. Where was this?
15 A. It was in Knin. Mr. Mikelic was the person who actually conducted
16 the negotiations, and in the afternoon of the 3rd, the Serb side certainly
17 accepted the agreement.
18 Q. Did the Croatian side accept the agreement on that day?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us, if you know, why the Croats agreed on the 3rd
21 when they had refused on the 1st?
22 A. Well, it's a simple reason. They wanted to complete their
23 military incursion. They were trying to complete their successful
24 incursion, which is why they did not agree to that proposal.
25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is no point
1 in continuing today. We have only a few questions left and I think we can
2 continue on the next working day.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. The matter stands adjourned to Monday
4 the 16th of October at quarter past 2.00 in the afternoon, in this
5 courtroom. Court adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of
8 October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.