1 Wednesday, 22 August 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 WITNESS: MILAN JOVANOVIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Good morning, Mr. Jovanovic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: The examination by Mr. Fila will now continue.
11 Please bear in mind that the solemn declaration which you made at the
12 beginning of your evidence to tell the truth will continue to apply to
13 your evidence today.
14 Mr. Fila.
15 Examination by Mr. Fila: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jovanovic, yesterday, we spoke about the SPS
17 Working Group in Kosovo, and you said that, after the completion of the
18 anti-terrorist operation, they returned to Belgrade. I was just about to
19 ask you this question. I'm afraid I may have forgotten it. I know now.
20 Did any of the team members remain in Kosovo and Metohija? Did any of
21 them stay back: Minic, Matkovic, and Andjelkovic?
22 A. Yes, I know about that. Zoran Andjelkovic stayed back in Kosovo
23 and Metohija. He did not remain in Kosmet in his capacity as a member of
24 that team but as the president of the Provisional Executive Board for
25 Kosovo and Metohija. He had been appointed to this post by the national
1 assembly of the Republic of Serbia. While he performed this function, he
2 was not in his capacity as a member of the SPS team.
3 Q. There are people here who don't come from our country. Could you
4 explain this term "Provisional Executive Board" or "Provisional Executive
6 A. The Provisional Executive Council is an executive body of the
7 autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija. It was established in order
8 to help normalise relations in Kosovo and Metohija. Its mandate was a
9 restricted one. It was about achieving a political solution. It was
10 about holding a democratic election which was to take place under the
11 supervision of the OSCE.
12 After the election, all the bodies of self-government in Kosovo
13 and Metohija were to be constituted; the executive bodies, the judicial
14 bodies, and a whole series of political institutions, the kind normally
15 envisaged by any form of self-government.
16 Q. Let's go back to the SPS team. Speaking of that team, the three
17 persons, Minic, Matkovic, and Andjelkovic, could you tell us how the team
18 was organised?
19 A. The team was organised in the same way as various other teams that
20 the SPS would sometimes organise. Milomir Minic was formally in charge of
21 the team. He was, in formal terms, the head of the team. His job was to
22 coordinate any actions taken by the team and to keep in touch with the
23 party headquarters of the SPS. However, his position can only be defined
24 in conditional terms. There was no practical chain of command within that
25 team. Milomir was "primus inter pares."
1 Although the team acted jointly, there were spheres of activity
2 that individual members of that team were more or less in charge of.
3 Milomir Minic, for example, was in charge of contact with the various
4 party bodies in Kosovo and Metohija and also in charge of maintaining
5 relations with the Main Board of the party back in Belgrade.
6 The job of the other member of the team, Zoran Andjelkovic, had to
7 do with daily contact with the citizens, meaning not just people working
8 for the SPS, but, rather, citizens throughout Kosovo and Metohija. His
9 role was it to encourage dialogue among them, to encourage them to talk to
10 one another, to point out the need for a political solution through talks
11 at all levels. His role was also to explain that this was not only in the
12 realm of political talks in Pristina and Belgrade but had to occur further
13 afield as well.
14 The third member of the team, Dusan Matkovic, was in charge of
15 dealing with people from the local economy. The objective of these
16 activities was to start up production in some of the companies and to
17 generally improve the functioning of the economy in Kosmet throughout.
18 This would be, in very rough terms, how work was organised within
19 this team of three.
20 Q. In your opinion - and you did hold a post that you held in
21 Belgrade, after all - how did this team keep in touch with the party
22 headquarters in Belgrade in order to keep them up-to-date?
23 A. It was the responsibility of this team, and this is something that
24 had been decided by the Main Board. I know that the team was permanently
25 in touch with the Main Board and the Executive Board. The head of the
1 team, Milomir Minic, entertained daily contact by phone with the secretary
2 of the Executive Board. They even spoke several times a day sometimes.
3 He would convey to him all kinds of information from Kosovo and
4 Metohija regarding the situation on the ground, as it were. He told him
5 about the expectations and requests of the citizens and party activists.
6 He would also convey information about any current action being taken by
7 the team in various places in Kosovo and Metohija.
8 Another thing I know is that the remaining two members of the
9 team, Andjelkovic and Matkovic, were permanently in touch with the
10 Executive Board of the Socialist Party of Serbia in Belgrade, and they
11 also kept them up-to-date with everything that their jobs comprised.
12 Q. I forgot to ask you about this earlier. We know that Slobodan
13 Milosevic was the President of the SPS, but you keep mentioning the
14 Secretary-General. We haven't mentioned this person's name yet, have we?
15 A. The name is Gorica Gajevic.
16 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Could we please set matters right on
17 the transcript. It should read Gorica Gajevic.
18 Q. Could you now please open the binder that's in front of you, sir.
19 This is tab 2, Defence Exhibit 2D53.
20 Mr. Jovanovic, these are minutes from a meeting of the SPS
21 Executive Board. The date is the 11th of September, 1998. Could you
22 please, first of all, confirm if that is true? Is that the record? Are
23 these the minutes?
24 A. Yes, these are minutes. I recognise the form. I recognise the
25 stamp. I recognise the signature of the Secretary-General. These are
1 minutes taken at a meeting of the Executive Board of the SPS.
2 Q. Can you please have a close look now, and then go to page 2. Very
3 carefully look at III, paragraph one. Have a close look, please, and
4 please explain. Please explain, first of all, what this is all about.
5 Don't read back. We're all perfectly able to read. Please just comment.
6 A. This meeting of the Executive Board took place on the 11th of
7 September, 1998. It was devoted to a range of different subjects. As for
8 the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, issues to do with humanitarian aid
9 were reviewed at the meeting, aid for the citizens living in this
11 It was quite clear that the objective of ongoing terrorist
12 activity was to make life impossible for citizens in as many different
13 municipalities as possible throughout Kosovo and Metohija. The terrorists
14 laid siege to roads in order to cut the supply lines through most of the
15 province, expelling many of the citizens from their homes; therefore,
16 these people that had been expelled needed practically everything they
17 could get.
18 The objective of the terrorists was to cause chaos and to prevent
19 people from remaining in their homes or habitats so that they themselves
20 might be able to exercise better control over the territory. It was for
21 this reason that the SPS established a special fund for providing
22 humanitarian aid to people in this part of our republic.
23 Secretary-General Gorica Gajevic was the president of this fund.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, was the aid provided to members of
25 the SPS in Kosovo?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can explain that. Aid was
2 provided to all those who were in need, regardless of their party
3 affiliation; that is, them being or not being members of the SPS. That
4 wasn't taken into account, and also regardless of their ethnicity. The
5 SPS, in terms of its political platform, was a party of Serbia citizens.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered my question. What proportion of
7 the population, the adult population, of Kosovo were members of the SPS?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If my recollection is accurate, we
9 had about 35.000 members in Kosovo and Metohija.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: And what was the amount of the fund for
11 humanitarian aid?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The entire party organisation was
13 involved in collecting humanitarian aid. All of our municipal boards
14 across Serbia were involved.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: What was the total amount of money raised and
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We're looking at something to the
18 tune of several tens of millions of dinars.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you not have an accurate figure?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last figure that I remember is
21 168 million dinars, but not all of the assistance was money. There was
22 aid in kind; namely, clothes, footwear, food, and so on.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: And over what period of time was this aid provided?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This aid was provided most
25 intensively during the month of September.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, please continue.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then it continued during the months
5 after of that. What I wanted to say was, actually, that we coordinated
6 this humanitarian activity with other organisations, like the Red Cross
7 and many other non-governmental humanitarian organisations, both from home
8 and abroad, that were active in Kosmet.
9 Furthermore, if I may proceed, this aid was distributed through
10 about ten outposts in Kosovo and Metohija, and it constituted significant
11 support for the citizens, not only in terms of normalising life itself,
12 but also as a clear expression of the fact that state and political
13 structures would not leave them on their own and forget about their
14 suffering that was caused by the terrorists with a view to attaining their
15 separatist objectives.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I understood everything until the very last part of
17 your answer. I thought the point you were making was that the SPS
18 humanitarian aid was not part of the state structure.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You are right, sir.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: So how did that demonstrate that the state
21 structure would not abandon the people?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I wanted to say was that when
23 giving humanitarian aid, we cooperated with all other organisations. In
24 addition to the state structures, there were political structures in
25 Kosovo that were also active. This kind of an expression of support for
1 the citizens was supposed to mean that the entire republic was standing by
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
4 Mr. Fila.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In order to fully clarify this matter, in paragraph 2 of what you
7 have in front of you, there is a particular person who is mentioned,
8 Vojislav Zivkovic, and he seems to be saying something there. Would you
9 give us, roughly, a comment in terms of where humanitarian aid was being
10 distributed and to who and how and so on?
11 A. Vojislav Zivkovic was president of the Provincial Board of the
12 Socialist Party of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija. Here, at this
13 particular session, he informed this detail about the types of assistance
14 provided, how it was distributed, to who, and through 12 different
15 localities at that; that is to say, that humanitarian aid did not only
16 flow into the centre of the province, it was equally distributed to the
17 areas where it was needed the most.
18 The organisation of providing humanitarian aid was set up along
19 the lines of providing what was really needed. Our Provincial Board
20 contacted with other boards throughout Serbia and sent lists in terms of
21 what was needed the most.
22 I have to say that the documentation about the work of the fund
23 was destroyed, unfortunately, during the rocket attacks aimed at the
24 headquarters of the Main Board of the Socialist Party of Serbia during the
25 NATO aggression, so I'm not in a position to provide precise information.
1 Q. Let us just deal with something that is going to be important
2 later. You have just given a name, Vojislav Zivkovic. Is that the same
3 person who was in Rambouillet who signed the documents that we will be
4 discussing later on?
5 A. Yes, it's one and the same person. In Rambouillet -- he was in
7 Q. What was his position there?
8 A. As the representative of the ethnic community of the Serbs from
9 Kosovo and Metohija.
10 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you to look at tab 3. The
11 number is 2D56. That is the minutes of the Executive Board meeting of the
12 SPS held on the 22nd of September, 1998. Could you please first confirm
13 to me that this document is authentic?
14 A. Judging by its form, the signature, and the stamp, the signature
15 of Gorica Gajevic, Secretary-General, this is an authentic document,
16 minutes from a session of the Executive Board.
17 Q. Please look at page 2, paragraph 1 now. Please take a careful
18 look. Use all the time you need. That's no problem. Tell us when you're
20 A. It's all right.
21 Q. My question is: Who made the introductory statement, and what was
22 discussed there? Please don't read anything to us, just tell us in your
23 own words.
24 A. The introductory statement was made by Milomir Minic as head of
25 the team for Kosovo and Metohija. The essence of his statement was,
1 actually, a report on the activities of the team and the implementation of
2 the conclusions reached by the Main Board at its session of the 10th of
4 He talks about the current security situation and the tasks that
5 the Socialist Party of Serbia and the state organs face in the process of
6 the further improvement of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
7 In the debate --
8 Q. Just a moment. Before that, in paragraph 2, does he not say that
9 that anti-terrorist action is over?
10 A. Yes. It is his assessment that the established tasks were carried
11 through, that the most important terrorist strongholds were successfully
12 eliminated, and that the situation in Kosmet was getting back to normal at
13 an accelerated pace. That practically means that the citizens were
14 returning to their places of residence and that there were examples of
15 massive surrender of weapons.
16 Q. Who was surrendering weapons?
17 A. Citizens who were either forced by the terrorists to join them or
18 in their activities. The conclusion was --
19 Q. Just another thing before the conclusion. Please look at
20 paragraph 4 of what he was saying. It says: "He pointed out..." What
21 was it that he pointed out?
22 A. What is referred to here is the successful implementation of
23 humanitarian activities in terms of dealing with the consequences of the
24 activity of Albanian terrorist gangs. What is highlighted it the enormous
25 importance of humanitarian aid for the normalisation of the situation,
1 particularly due to the fact that it was distributed to all the citizens
2 who needed it, irrespective of their religious, ethnic, political, or any
3 other affiliation.
4 Q. Finally --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, where is the reference to the examples of
6 massive surrender of weapons.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Well, no. The witness said that
8 himself. These are the minutes, but it's abbreviated. It's not really
9 stenographic notes. It is paragraph 3 -- no, 4. Surrender of weapons.
10 It is paragraph 4. You see, it says "the Executive Committee has," and
11 then - one, two, three, four - in the fourth paragraph there, it says:
12 "Hand-over of arms."
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, who were these citizens who were
14 handing over arms?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were Albanians who had joined
16 the terrorist groups either because they had been forced to or because
17 they wanted to participate in terrorist activities of their own accord.
18 Otherwise, it was clear from this document that, at that point in time,
19 the terrorists had suffered a defeat and that their activity had been
20 rejected by the members of their very own ethnic community, and that that
21 meant a rejection of a policy of violence, isolation, and secession that
22 the terrorists had advocated.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know how this surrender of weapons was done?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This was the job of the
25 competent organs. I know that the organs of the Ministry of the Interior
1 called upon citizens through the media to surrender their weapons.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: You've answered my question by saying you don't
3 know how this was done. Thank you.
4 Mr. Fila.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Finally, in the last paragraph in Milomir Minic's statement, there
7 is a reference to the objectives of the Socialist Party of Serbia. Could
8 you tell us something about that? It says: "Once again," and so on. It
9 says: "He repeated." It's on page 2 at the very end.
10 A. Yes. What is reiterated here is the firm commitment of the
11 Socialist Party of Serbia to have all problems in Kosmet resolved by
12 political means, peacefully, without any pre-conditions, through a direct
13 dialogue between the representatives of the Albanians and all other ethnic
14 groups living in the province.
15 An invitation is being proffered to have these talks start as soon
16 as possible and to find a solution that would ensure full respect for
17 human and civic rights and the rights of all ethnic communities.
18 At the same time, they insisted in their views on stepping up
19 activities for revitalising economic activities, rebuilding the
20 infrastructure, and a very active involvement of state organs in
21 normalisation of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
22 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, could it be said that this session was held in
23 relation to the session of the Main Board of the Socialist Party of Serbia
24 on the 10th of June, 1998? Are they related? Is there any link there?
25 A. Yes. Practically, this session represented a report and a summary
1 of what was done pursuant to the conclusions of -- reached at the session
2 of the Main Board on the 10th of June, 1998. At the same time, the speech
3 by Milomir Minic was also a report of our team on the accomplishment of
4 those tasks.
5 Q. Did this mean that the mission of the team was accomplished?
6 A. From that time on, the team diminished its activities in Kosmet,
7 and I think that, as a team, they attended a couple of more meetings of
8 the party organs.
9 Q. Very well.
10 A. However, they did not spend time in Kosmet on a daily basis after
11 that, because members of the team had other engagements to attend. They
12 would travel there sporadically, but they would not stay in Kosovo
13 permanently any longer after that.
14 Q. Thank you. Would you please now turn to tab 4. This is Exhibit
15 2D77, and that, Mr. Jovanovic, is minutes of the session of the SPS
16 Executive Board held on the 14th of October, 1998. We're speaking of the
17 Socialist Party of Serbia naturally. Would you please confirm the
18 authenticity of the document, and then I will put some further questions
19 to you.
20 A. Based on the seal and the signature of the executive secretary,
21 this is a document that represents the minutes of the Executive Board of
22 the SPS.
23 Q. Please take a good look. Therefore, what was achieved by this
25 A. At this session, the Socialist Party of Serbia supported the
1 agreement reached between the President of the FRY, Slobodan Milosevic,
2 and special envoy of the United States, Richard Holbrooke, concerning a
3 solution to the problems in Kosovo and Metohija by way of political means.
4 The SPS supported this document because it confirmed the validity of our
5 political views that problems in Kosovo could only be resolved via
6 peaceful means without the use of force and in a way that would ensure
7 full equality of all ethnic communities.
8 At the same time, the SPS believed that the arrival of the OSCE
9 mission meant that the position on resolving the problems in Kosovo
10 through political means has won the day, and that at the same time the
11 threat of use of force was removed for good, as well as the threat of a
12 military intervention, which would only serve to encourage the terrorists.
13 The SPS saw a large number of observers who were experienced and
14 who had come from a number of countries as a possibility to send to the
15 world a message on the numbers, activities, and intentions of terrorists,
16 a true message, and a possibility to deny the lies that had been published
17 by some prominent international media outlets about Serbia being some sort
18 of an aggressor in its own territory and that there was some sort of
19 humanitarian catastrophe and the like.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Did you learn the terms of the Milosevic-Holbrooke
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: How did you learn them?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We learned of the terms in the
25 speech of Milan Milutinovic.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at the second bullet on page 3
4 of this document. Let me know when you're ready.
5 A. I'm ready.
6 Q. Once again, this deals with the Working Group that was designated
7 at the 16th session of the Executive -- Main Board, comprising Minic,
8 Andjelkovic, and Matkovic. What was their mission?
9 A. Their mission was to continue their work with the provincial
10 council of -- or rather, Provincial Board of the SPS for Kosovo and
11 Metohija, to get involved in explaining the agreement and its importance
12 for preserving peace and improving the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.
13 Q. So this is the session of the board that you spoke of yesterday
14 that they attended?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know when it was held?
17 A. It was held at the end of the month, and I think that, practically
18 speaking, that was the last time they stayed there as a team. As a team,
19 as individuals, they had a task to give statements to the media later on
20 about the agreement, to talk of its importance, to explain to the public
21 and to the citizens the terms of the agreement and its importance for
22 implementing our political views.
23 Q. So that was the end of the work of this group in Kosovo?
24 A. Yes. This is when their activities in Kosovo and Metohija ceased.
25 Q. Now, would you please turn to tab 5. This is Defence Exhibit
1 2D88. Once again, these are minutes dated the 27th of October, 1998, the
2 minutes of the session of the Executive Board of the SPS. Would you
3 please confirm the authenticity of the document?
4 A. Judging by the signature of the main secretary and -- or rather,
5 General-Secretary and the seal, these are authentic minutes.
6 Q. Now would you please turn to page 3, item 2, and let me know when
7 you're ready.
8 A. I'm ready.
9 Q. What can we see in item 2 here?
10 A. At this session, they analysed the implementation of the said
11 agreement. In essence, they insisted on having all state organs take a
12 very serious and active attitude towards implementation of the tasks
13 within their competence, which would mean -- or rather, which would amount
14 to meeting all of the obligations as established by the agreement.
15 It is important to point out that here, we can see that the party
16 in its position insisted that its members in the state organs commence a
17 serious and responsible implementation of the tasks immediately, so that
18 our side would meet all of its obligations pursuant to the agreement.
19 This position that I just described is not contained in the
20 communique that is part of this agreement. Based on that, you can see
21 that this was no method of pleasing the media; rather, this is a
22 well-formulated position of the SPS that the entire agreement had to be
23 implemented, and that our members who held senior posts in state organs
24 needed not to wait for any additional instructions but, rather, needed to
25 proceed with implementation of the agreement in its entirety within their
1 sphere of competence.
2 Q. Was there any mention of members of the Albanian ethnic minority
3 and the need to have them involved in all activities?
4 A. Yes. There is mention of that, and that was a well-known position
5 of the party that was formulated in all of our documents. Here they
6 additionally insisted on using the improved situation in Kosovo to involve
7 all citizens, especially members of ethnic minorities in all political
8 activities, to step up efforts to achieve political dialogue in order to
9 find a solution that would satisfy everybody, and to make sure that this
10 process is accelerated.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Where do we see that in the minute, Mr. Fila?
12 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This is item 3, item 3 on page 3.
13 Let's me see the translation. In the English translation on page 3,
14 somewhere in the middle of that page, it says that he pointed out, or
15 rather, emphasised -- stressed the importance of increasing and
16 strengthening of the Serbian national body and so on.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: What does that mean, Mr. Jovanovic, "stressed
18 importance of increasing and strengthening the Serbian national body in
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This means encouraging citizens who
21 are ethnic Serbs to not leave their villages, their homes, and their land
22 in Kosovo and Metohija. This means encouraging them to establish some
23 form of dialogue with their neighbours. What this also means is providing
24 them with a reply to their great concern caused by the terrorist threats
25 of making Kosovo and Metohija secede.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 Mr. Fila.
3 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please go to page 3, under (B). We spoke about this a
5 while ago, but could you please explain, again, what this is about. There
6 are some tasks mentioned there.
7 A. In practical terms, what we see here is this team appointed at the
8 16th session of the Main Board, and they are told to take part in the work
9 of the Municipal Board of the SPS in Kosovo and Metohija. The board will
10 review the situation in the province, and these people are to report back
11 to the Executive Board of the SPS.
12 As far as I know, the team attended that particular session, and
13 their mission was over.
14 Q. Could you please now go to tab 6, Defence Exhibit 2D206. Again,
15 minutes from the 95th session of the Executive Board of the SPS held on
16 the 3rd of February, 1999. Could you please confirm the authenticity of
17 this document, sir, and then have a closer look. Tell us when you're
19 A. There is no stamp on this document, but the signature looks
20 authentic, Gorica Gajevic's signature; therefore, I do believe that these
21 are indeed minutes of the Executive Board. It's probably just a poor
23 JUDGE BONOMY: The copy we have looks as though it's had an
24 illegible stamp on it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps the original stamp was not
1 particularly legible. These are minutes of this session of the Main
2 Board. This was a particularly important session of the Main Board -- of
3 the Executive Board.
4 I'm ready.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You said it yourself, didn't you, this was a very important
7 session of the Executive Board. I would like to ask you to explain
8 briefly and comment on the subject matter being discussed here. We see
9 that this deals with Rambouillet. So what is the position taken by the
10 Executive Board in relation to that?
11 A. This session is devoted to briefing a delegate group from the
12 Socialist Party of Serbia for an extraordinary session of the Socialist
13 Party of Serbia at which they were supposed to discuss preparations for
14 the Rambouillet talks.
15 Q. What was the position taken by the Executive Board of the SPS,
17 A. At this session of the Executive Board, there was intense, ongoing
18 consultations with representatives of parliamentary political parties in
19 their delegates clubs aimed at formulating a joint political position.
20 Our own position, the position espoused by the SPS, was that one had to go
21 to Rambouillet.
22 There was no choice but to go and participate in the talks since
23 this was another opportunity for us to defend our political positions
24 internationally and, yet again, try to advocate a peaceful political
25 solution for Kosovo to be achieved by political means, by direct dialogue
1 between the parties involved. All of this done in a way that would make
2 sure human rights were secured for everyone, as well as equal rights for
3 all the ethnic communities there.
4 This position was adopted despite fact that the invitation to
5 Rambouillet in terms of the way it was sent, in terms of how the meeting
6 was organised, in terms of the 15-day deadline given for a resolution to
7 this age-old problem, and, eventually, in terms of the threat being made
8 in the eventuality there was no agreement, the threat of aggression
9 against our country. This was, in actual fact, an ultimatum.
10 The SPS understood full well that all they were looking for was a
11 "casus belli," a good reason to go to war, to launch an intervention in
12 Kosovo and Metohija, and that is why our commitment was to go to
13 Rambouillet to do the talks, and meanwhile to try to achieve a full
14 political consensus and unity in the Assembly, in order to build a joint
15 platform for the formulation of our policies during the talks.
16 Q. About the objective --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: One things needs clarified. In page 19, line 13,
18 this is said to be "a session devoted to briefing a delegate group from
19 the Socialist Party of Serbia for an extraordinary session of the
20 Socialist Party of Serbia." Now, I think it's "extraordinary session of
21 the national assembly," but I think we should get from the interpreters in
22 due course, whenever they get a chance to listen to the tape again, what
23 exactly was said.
24 Can I ask you, Mr. Jovanovic, this was a fairly brief meeting; is
25 that right?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The meeting didn't take long,
2 given the fact that political contacts with other political parties were
3 fairly intense at the time, in terms of preparing the national assembly.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Was it more or less a formality?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was far from being a formality.
6 This was an exceptionally important session. Our political position was
7 crystal clear and had been adopted at previous sessions; therefore, we
8 didn't run ourselves ragged just talking. We simply tried as hard as we
9 could to prepare the session of the national assembly in the best possible
11 The Executive Board is an operative body for the implementation of
12 policies. Sometimes long meetings are not required, although politicians
13 seem to have a knack to hold long meetings and talk at great length.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
16 Q. As far as I understand you, sir, the aim was to avoid the pretext
17 for war and also to put our case to the world; is that right?
18 A. By all means. If I may, we had every confidence that the Contact
19 Group would mean a step forward, and that, in Rambouillet, we would be
20 facing directly the representatives of the Albanian community which had
21 thus far not been the case. We believed that, through a direct dialogue,
22 we could get things started and start looking for solutions that would
23 suit both sides equally.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know if the tape recording of this meeting
25 is available?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, Your Honour, just a brief
2 explanation. Each session of the Executive Board and each session of the
3 Main Board were tape recorded. There were tapes --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Not according to the earlier minutes that we've
5 been looking at. It specifically says in them that they were not
6 recorded, so I simply wondered if the tape of this one was available.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It only happened very rarely that a
8 meeting was not recorded, and, normally, this occurred for technical
9 reasons. If anything was recorded, the tapes should be there. However,
10 the tapes were kept in a building that was, unfortunately, bombed during
11 the NATO aggression, but we can still go back to the headquarters of the
12 SPS and make requests to see if any of these tapes have been preserved. I
13 was not a member of the Main Board of the SPS after 2000; therefore, I'm
14 not in a position to say.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So all tapes were lost, were they?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When this happened, I was still
17 working as a secretary to the Technical Services unit. Not only were the
18 tapes destroyed, but also the best part of all other documents, documents
19 of various kinds. Most of the archives belonging to the Main Board of the
20 SPS were destroyed on two separate occasions when the building was bombed.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Were all the financial records destroyed?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some of the records were moved at
23 the beginning of the aggression to the headquarters of the town board, the
24 city board of the Socialist Party of Serbia, and this batch included
25 financial records. However, on the 5th of October, the demonstrators
1 twice broke into the building of the Main Board, looted the building, and
2 threw out the window whatever they could, including the cash desk that
3 weighed several hundreds kilogrammes.
4 Twice they set fire to the building, and the fire brigade had to
5 step in. There is a police record what was drawn up about this and about
6 the fact that financial records and other documents belonging to the SPS
7 that were kept in the building were destroyed on this occasion.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And that would be the 5th of October, 2000?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 7th, the 8th, it was at that
10 time, roughly speaking.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: The minutes, though, have survived in their
12 entirety, have they?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The minutes and the tapes were not
14 kept in the same place. Apart from that, the minutes were distributed to
15 all members of the Executive Board. It was very easy to obtain copies of
16 these documents because everybody kept it in their own personal archives,
17 but not everybody preserved the minutes from these sessions. The minutes
18 were used only if there were objections to be raised about the minutes
19 themselves so that the tapes might then be consulted.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you know the source of the ones we've been
21 referring to today?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know where these minutes
23 came from. I suppose they were obtained from the Main Board and the
24 Executive Board of the Socialist Party of Serbia when this trial first
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] If I can be of assistance, I'm the one
2 who obtain the minutes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you wish to tell me from where you obtained
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] From the now president of the SPS,
6 Ivica Dacic. I phoned him and I went there to get the minutes.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You went to the office.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Petrovic, you had a point to make?
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 23, 23, lines 15
11 through 21, the minutes are mentioned there and the witness is talking
12 about the tapes; therefore, I think the witness should be asked to explain
13 the distinction between the minutes and the tapes. I don't think the
14 distinction is clear in these lines, and I think this is essential for the
15 understanding of what the witness is talking about.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the distinction, as I see it, is that what we
17 have are minutes. That's a typewritten record in abbreviated form of what
18 transpired at the meeting, and the tape will be a verbatim record of all
19 that happened at the meeting, and I think the distinction's clear there.
20 Please continue, Mr. Fila.
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Could you now please go to tab 10, sir. This is Defence Exhibit,
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you tell us what the Official Gazette is, and then we can take
1 it from there.
2 A. The Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia is a printed media
3 belonging to the state. Under our constitution, all enactments by state
4 bodies must be published in the Official Gazette; all of the government
5 enactments, all of the judicial enactments, and such like. This is a
6 publication in which original laws and regulations published by -- adopted
7 by state organs are published.
8 Q. So what is the distinction between the Official Gazette Sluzbeni
9 List and Sluzbeni Glasnik.
10 A. Sluzbeni List is the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia,
11 and Sluzbeni Glasnik is the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of
13 Q. All right. So this one is the Official Gazette of the Republic of
14 is Serbia. There are some conclusions there. Could you please not read
15 them out loud. We might be dead by the time you finish. Just comment
17 A. Briefly, this document is a political platform and a mandate for
18 the delegation of the Republic of Serbia at the Rambouillet talks. In the
19 introductory part, the Assembly condemns all threats of NATO aggression.
20 They reiterate the principles that we see as a potential solution: For
21 the umpteenth time, peace, political means, direct dialogue averting any
22 threats of force and insistence on human and civil rights as defined by
23 international standards, as well as equal rights for all ethnic
24 communities in Kosovo and Metohija.
25 Q. Does this give a mandate to our delegation that went there; and if
1 so, what is the mandate?
2 A. Our delegation -- our delegation had a mandate to achieve a
3 political solution within the principles established by the National
4 Assembly of Serbia. It is with that mandate that the delegation was sent
5 to the Rambouillet talks. The conclusions contained general principles.
6 So the delegation, on the one hand, had a clear mandate, and, on the other
7 hand, sufficient manoeuvering space for seeking institutional solutions in
8 direct dialogue that would move within the framework of the principles set
9 by the national assembly.
10 Q. Now I would like to ask you to look at tab 7, Defence Exhibit
11 number 2D218. You have to go back a bit, one back.
12 A. Did you say tab 7?
13 Q. Tab 7. This is the minutes of the 96th session of the SPS
14 Executive Board held on the 17th of February, 1999. I would like to ask
15 you first to confirm the authenticity of this document. It bears a
16 signature and a stamp. And could you have a look at it; and when you're
17 ready, I'd like to put some questions to you.
18 A. Yes. These are authentic minutes of a meeting of the Executive
19 Board. It's all right now.
20 Q. If I see correctly, on the first page, it says that Nikola
21 Sainovic is not present; is that right?
22 A. Yes. Nikola Sainovic did not attend.
23 Q. Now I would like to ask you something more important than that.
24 Could you tell us something in relation to these minutes. What was the
25 subject that was discussed at this meeting of the Executive Board, and
1 what was the position taken by the Executive Board?
2 A. At this session, the Executive Board was informed about how the
3 talks in Rambouillet were proceeding, aimed at resolving the problems in
4 Kosovo and Metohija. The essence of this information pertains to
5 rendering support to our delegation that was at the Rambouillet talks, so
6 that they would persevere along the principles established by the national
7 assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
8 This position is not merely a confirmation of policy, but it is
9 being repeated because of the awareness that our delegation was exposed to
10 pressures to accept solutions that were not an integral part of the plan
11 when the talks in Rambouillet were originally scheduled.
12 It is precisely for that reason that, on page 4, the Executive
13 Board assesses that constant threats of a NATO aggression, especially
14 issued by the United States of America, actually instigate terrorists in
15 the field and, on the other hand, keep the Albanian side even farther away
16 from discussing a political solution, and that is what the conference had
17 been called for in Rambouillet.
18 At that point in time, our political positions are actually being
19 re-interpreted, and a willingness is being achieved in Rambouillet itself
20 and to have talks started practically through direct dialogue with the
21 expectation that the negotiators would indeed abide by that.
22 Q. Was the position regarding equality of rights repeated as well,
23 the equality of rights of all ethnic communities, autonomy, and so on?
24 A. Of course. That is a constant feature of our policy and,
25 therefore, it is contained in this document.
1 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that this would
2 be an appropriate moment to take the break, because I think that our work
3 schedule is shorter today, isn't it? Yet another day when you did not
4 keep your promise that you would give me more time.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: You leave me at a loss for words, Mr. Fila.
6 Someone, some day will tell you the efforts that have been made.
7 Mr. Jovanovic, we have to have a break at this stage. It will be
8 for 20 minutes. The usher will take you from the court now and show you
9 where you can wait, and we will resume at 10.50.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 10.51 a.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, we went through quite a few documents of the
17 Executive Board. So far it has become obvious that you repeated several
18 times that what is discussed is a political solution, that that is what
19 the Executive Board is advocating, a political solution on the basis of
20 the equality of rights of all ethnic communities and highest standards for
22 All these positions that you talked about this morning, were they
23 also turned into documents; and if so, were they presented to the
24 representatives of the Kosovo Albanians and the international community?
25 A. The answer to your question is yes. They were turned into two
1 concrete documents. The first one is called the "Joint Agreement on
2 Political Frameworks for Self-government in Kosovo and Metohija" from
3 November 1998, and the second one is entitled the "Agreement on
4 Self-government in Kosmet," dated the 15th of March, the year after that,
5 that is.
6 Q. Thank you. Pause briefly, please, and let us have a look at these
7 documents. Please look at tab 12. That is 1D91. Please look at it
8 carefully; and when you're ready, signal me so I can put my questions.
9 A. It's all right.
10 Q. So what kind of a document of is this? Tell us a bit about that,
12 A. This is a document that was drafted through broad consultations
13 with the representatives of ethnic communities of the Turks, the Gorani,
14 the Muslims, the Roma, Egyptians, Serbs; then, with the participation of
15 parliamentary political parties, the Socialist Party of Serbia, the Serb
16 Radical Party, the Serbian Renewal Movement, New Democracy, the alliance
17 of the Vojvodina Hungarians, and the Yugoslav Left.
18 Q. Just a moment, please.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] In relation to the transcript, Your
20 Honours, all of this is being recorded as my question, but it is actually
21 from line 13 onwards the witness's answer. So could that please be
22 corrected. All of it is registered as my question.
23 Q. Well, please go on now.
24 A. As for all the participants in the drafting and consultations
25 related to this paper, generally speaking, you can see that it was broadly
1 supported by the opposition parties in Serbia as well. At the same time,
2 this document was supported by the People's Party of Kosovo and the Kosovo
3 Democratic Initiative, two smaller parties from Kosmet.
4 In actual fact, this is a paper that very specifically elaborates
5 the principles involved, not only of guaranteeing and exercising human and
6 civil rights in terms of self-government in Kosovo, but also additional
7 rights for members of ethnic communities in Kosmet.
8 The document went beyond repeating principles; namely, it
9 established what the rights involved were in -- namely, how organs would
10 be constituted, how they would function. And at the same time, it was not
11 a self-contained paper; it was an offer to the Albanian side.
12 Q. What did it actually envisage? Could you please tell us in
13 greater detail, because this is a very important document regarding the
14 position of Serbia at that point in time.
15 A. The essence of this paper is to establish full equality of rights
16 of all ethnic communities in a way which would prevent the possibility of
17 having any ethnic community being out-voted in relation to some other
18 ethnic community or another group of ethnic communities. It was done in
19 the following way: A special procedure of decision-making was envisaged
20 for the Assembly that would protect the rights of ethnic communities if
21 they would believe that their right was being threatened.
22 Q. In what way?
23 A. This was elaborated in greater detail in other document but in a
24 way that envisages a special decision-making process in such cases, not
25 allowing for majority votes in the Assembly with regard to such issues.
1 Q. We'll get to that later.
2 A. It also refers to the rights of citizens in terms of local
3 government in municipalities that are the basic units of local
4 self-government. What is particularly emphasised is the representation of
5 citizens of Kosovo and Metohija in federal and republican organs, which
6 shows that we always built a political platform so that the citizens of
7 Kosovo would take part in the republican and federal authorities by
8 ensuring their proper representation in the legislation, in the executive,
9 and in the top organs of the judiciary: The Federal Court, for instance;
10 three judges on the Supreme Court; in the Chamber of Citizens of the
11 then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, there were supposed to be at least
12 ten seats for MPs; and in the national assembly, 20 seats for MPs from the
13 territory of this autonomous province of ours.
14 On the other hand, this paper also meant the elaboration of the
15 funds needed to ensure self-government or self-role. It also established
16 new responsibilities for organs, and it provided possibilities for the
17 republic and the federal state to provide additional funds for the
18 functioning of provincial organs.
19 So it also contained measures forbidding confidence among citizens
20 and ethnic communities, and those were very specific measures aimed at
21 overcoming any separation and creation of parallel institutions that would
22 not be condusant [as interpreted] to the entire idea. We wanted to
23 prevent the creation of apartheid, and we wanted to encourage the ethnic
24 communities to resolve jointly all of the problems they had in Kosovo.
25 This paper also specified that no one would be subject to criminal
1 Prosecution for their activities in Kosovo and Metohija and also measures
2 for the implementation of the agreement. So this was a joint platform,
3 joint position of the signatories, and it was not accepted only by the
4 representatives of ethnic Albanians; rather, it was not supported by the
5 major political parties. It was supported by two minor Albanian political
7 Q. If I understood you well, other ethnic minorities such as
8 Hungarians and others throughout Serbia supported this agreement.
9 A. See here, we had a very strong opposition in the National Assembly
10 of Serbia at that time. It was personified in the then most influential
11 political party, which was the Serbian Renewal Movement. That party fully
12 approved of this document and provided very firm support to it by way of
13 various official statements, official announcements, and speeches given by
14 their chairman, Vuk Draskovic, through various interviews and so on.
15 They explained that the majority of the people in Kosovo and
16 Metohija supported this agreement, because representatives of various
17 ethnic communities, together with a number of Albanians who supported this
18 document, did represent the majority. Other parties such as the New
19 Democracy and the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians also participated in
20 elaboration of these solutions, and they supported this approach and this
21 method of finding a solution.
22 Q. Thank you. Now let us turn to tab 13. This is 2D384, Defence
23 exhibit. This is this other document.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This document, unfortunately, has no
25 translation, because we obtained it in our additional interview with the
1 witness. The Prosecution has been notified. They raised no objections in
2 relation to using this document. We sent this document to the Translation
3 Unit. This witness took part in drafting this document -- this document.
4 And I would like you to mark it for identification later on, and for the
5 time being I'll just ask the witness to comment on the document. And
6 could it be marked for identification, please?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: We can decide that once we've completed the
8 questions on that, on the document.
9 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Please look at 2D384, tab 13. Since we don't have it in English,
11 Mr. Jovanovic, I will put questions to you and then you can either point
12 to various portions of the text or read them out, the portions that
13 corroborate your answers.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How does this agreement ensure equality of ethnic communities that
16 you spoke of? And before that, let me ask you what document is this, and
17 tell us something about how it was created, when, and so on, and then
18 proceed to the question that I put to you.
19 A. This document is entitled "Agreement on Self-government in
20 Kosmet." It was signed in Paris on the 15th of March by the delegation of
21 the Republic of Serbia, headed by Professor Ratko Markovic and
22 representatives of ethnic communities, Albanians -- ethnic communities of
23 Albanians, Roma, Serbs, and Montenegrins, Turks, Muslims, and Egyptians.
24 The delegation signed this document in Paris, and it was submitted
25 to the negotiators and to the Albanian side, which refused to sign it.
1 The document itself was also distributed to the assemblymen of the
2 National Assembly of Serbia, and they accepted it and supported our
4 Unlike previous documents which elaborated principles for the
5 solution, this document was quite specific about a number of institutional
6 modalities, ensuring the equality of ethnic communities.
7 Q. Before you proceed, I'd like to know whether you were present in
8 Paris when this was drafted, and how did you contribute to the drafting of
9 the document, if at all?
10 A. I was present in Paris when this document was signed in the
11 capacity of an advisor to some of the ethnic communities. In addition to
12 that, I was also consulted when the document was drafted concerning the
13 portions about the election system and the National Assembly.
14 Q. Thank you. You can proceed now.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Can we be more specific, Mr. Fila, or do you just
16 want the witness to ramble through the document and select what he wants
17 to tell us about, or are you going to focus the questions on what really
18 matters here?
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, I will. I just wanted to
20 establish that he was present and that he was there when the document was
21 signed, just to confirm that the document is authentic.
22 Q. What is important here is the question that I have already put to
23 you; namely, how does this document ensure the equality of ethnic
24 communities that you spoke of?
25 A. The most prominent aspect of ensuring equality of ethnic
1 communities is a right that can be found in item 6 of Article 1 of the
2 Principles of the Self-government in Kosovo.
3 Q. Could you please read it out since we don't have the text in
5 A. Yes, I will. "Every ethnic community, in order to protect
6 national or ethnic features, and based on the approval of its members, can
7 specify special rules such as in the area of marriage, family, adoption,
8 guardianship, and probate."
9 Q. This is chapter 1 of the main document; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what does this actually mean for the Muslims in practical
13 A. For Muslims, specifically, this means that in these areas, such as
14 family relations, marriage relations, probate and so on, that all of these
15 areas could be regulated in accordance with the Sharia [Realtime
16 transcript read in error "Saraja"] law; and if members of that community
17 accepted that, then these relations would be regulated in accordance with
18 the laws established by the ethnic community.
19 The scope of the areas that could be regulated by provisions of
20 ethnic communities was broader than just those enumerated here, because
21 each ethnic community could specify that the number of these areas would
22 be greater than those mentioned in the law regulating this area.
23 This is quite a unique approach, unique in the world. This is the
24 greatest amount of freedom given to ethnic minorities, national
25 minorities, that was ever proposed, and it illustrates just how far we
1 were prepared to go to ensure equality of ethnic communities in Kosovo.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: In line 14 of the transcript, the reference is
3 there is "Sharia" law. That's S-h-a-r-i-a.
4 Please continue, Mr. Fila.
5 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I apologise. You can see that we have
6 consultations here at the Defence table. It seems that we have this
7 document in English, and we're now trying to locate it.
8 Q. Would you now just look at Article II of this document, which
9 speaks about the organisation of the Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija. How
10 was this Assembly supposed to function?
11 A. II, Article II, Roman II. Here we can see what was done in order
12 to ensure ethnic equality by means of institutions. First of all, the
13 Assembly of Kosmet was supposed to have 130 members. Out of that number,
14 95 members were supposed to be elected by way of a proportional voting
15 system in Kosmet being considered one electoral unit in accordance with
16 all the standards normally governing democratic elections. Thirty-five
17 members were supposed to be elected by ethnic communities. Each was
18 accorded five seats.
19 The Assembly was supposed to vote by majority on the greatest
20 number of issues. However, when it came to issues which, in view of
21 certain ethnic communities, could threaten their national identity, a
22 special decision-making system was envisaged. This system amounted to the
23 following: At least three members of a particular ethnic community could
24 ask that a special procedure be applied to adopt certain decisions, if
25 they believed that their ethnic interest was at stake. In order to
1 prevent abuse of this right, the document was very clear about the
2 specific cases where such special decision-making system could be
4 Q. And those were?
5 A. Those were election of organs of Kosmet to equal national
6 representation in all organs when it came to displacement of citizens if
7 their security was threatened and if it involved, say, a budget.
8 Q. What were the responsibilities of the Assembly?
9 A. They were quite broad; but, in this case, the president of the
10 Assembly would institute a special decision-making system where a
11 consensus of all sides was required. The substance of this particular
12 approach was to prevent any out-voting of any ethnic community by another
13 ethnic community.
14 See here, the Assembly was supposed to vote decisions by majority
15 on the greatest number of questions; and only when it came to questions
16 that dealt with preserving national identity, there was a special system
17 where voting was by consensus on a very limited number of issues.
18 The Albanian community was against this system of voting by
19 majority in Serbia. But when it came to themselves in Kosmet, they wanted
20 this particular system to be applied; namely, voting by majority. All
21 other ethnic communities were worried that this decision-making system
22 would condemn them to assimilation, to being constantly out-voted, and to
23 have their rights threatened as well as their national identity. This is
24 exactly why we came up with this solution when it came to the work of the
25 Assembly, of course.
1 Q. Could you please go to Article V, item 2, paragraph 1. This is
2 about courts in Kosovo. How were these to be organised?
3 A. In the judicial system, this principle of protecting ethnic
4 minorities was brought to its ultimate conclusion. We would have Serbian
5 courts in Kosovo and Metohija, courts set up by Kosovo's self-government,
6 as well as courts established by the ethnic minorities.
7 Paragraph 2 says that: "Citizens and all other legal subjects in
8 Kosovo would have the right to be tried by a court of their own choosing.
9 Each citizen or legal person in their capacity as prosecutor, proposer, or
10 accused have the right to choose whether he would be tried by a Serbian
12 Q. On account of your speed, I don't think this was properly
13 recorded. Perhaps you should start over.
14 A. All right. I'll try to speak slowly.
15 Paragraph 2 of Article V says that: "Citizens and legal persons
16 have the right to choose before which court they want to be tried or start
17 any proceedings within civil law -- in civil cases and criminal cases."
18 What this means is that the citizens of a particular ethnic community
19 could choose to be tried by a court established by their own ethnic
20 community, by judges from the ranks of their ethnicity, and by prosecutors
21 belonging to their own ethnic community.
22 It was in this way that one tried to prevent the possibility of
23 the judicial system being used by one ethnic community for its own
24 purposes, or the possibility of legal proceedings being used in favour of
25 a specific ethnic community. Needless to say, this procedure would be
1 used quite liberally. It was not a compulsory procedure.
2 Parties to a proceedings had a choice between three different
3 courts as a potential venue for their legal actions. One of these
4 options was the court set up by the Republic of Serbia, then the
5 self-government in Kosovo, or, thirdly, their own ethnic community. This
6 is an extremely democratic and functional solution, and all of the other
7 national ethnic communities accepted this solution and backed it.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: What would happen, Mr. Jovanovic, if a Kosovo
9 Albanian murdered a Serb? Where would that person be tried?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the parties fail to reach an
11 agreement as to which court would be their venue of choice, then the
12 document said nothing about that. However, this is just a framework
13 document. It was not a take it or leave it document.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: There's only one party in that situation, the
15 alleged killer who can be choose to be tried by a Kosovo Albanian court
16 according to your evidence so far. Is that realistic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is realistic, because there's
18 always the other side, the prosecutor. What I said is this: This paper,
19 this document, is not self-contained. It's not a cut-and-dried solution.
20 It offers a variety of solutions to these questions.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment. You've told us also that the person
22 accused can choose his own prosecutor, if I have understood you properly.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The document says that the
24 person can choose his own prosecutor as being a prosecutor nominated by
25 the republic, Kosovo's self-government, or the person's own ethnic
2 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you.
3 Mr. Fila.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
5 Q. In our system, is there just the accused or is there also the
6 damaged party and the prosecutor?
7 A. Of course, the other side in our system is the prosecutor, the
8 prosecutor who ex officio prosecutes potential criminals. However, even
9 this shows to what degree we were ready to push this just to ensure equal
10 rights for all ethnic communities. And one thing that one must bear in
11 mind is that the citizens in Kosmet and the ethnic minorities did not
12 trust the bodies of the province. The bodies of the province, the
13 legislative bodies and the judicial bodies, had no credibility among the
14 population and no authority.
15 Q. Was this an attempt to deal with that situation?
16 A. It certainly was. What we wanted to do, in actual fact, was to
17 start at the general legal principles and work from there in order to find
18 political and institutional models that would be operational in practice.
19 His Honour Judge Bonomy is entirely right when he claims that these models
20 are complex and that it would be difficult to get them up and running and
21 for them to start functioning properly, but it's better to have complex
22 and expensive models than to create dissatisfaction among the ethnic
23 communities, because it was the divisions between the ethnic communities
24 that led to the sort of intolerance that in its turn was to lead to open
1 We were convinced that by offering solutions of this nature we
2 were building bridges between the different ethnic communities.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, what were the legislative bodies
4 that the citizens did not trust?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The citizens did not trust bodies
6 that were established in line with the majority principle, because in that
7 case, at the level of the province itself, the Albanians would be
8 majority, and they were afraid that in this way they would end up being
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But my question is: What are the legislative
11 bodies to which you are referring?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, above all, the Assembly of the
13 autonomous province of Kosovo, which because of its illegal and
14 unconstitutional actions was finally dissolved.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: So you're talking about the lack of trust by
16 non-Albanian ethnic minorities and Serbs in the previous Kosovo Assembly.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
19 Mr. Fila.
20 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Could you please open tab 11 now, sir. Defence document 1D114.
22 While you're looking for it - that's the one - are you familiar with this
23 letter by representatives of the ethnic communities in Kosovo, the letter
24 that they sent to those holding talks in Paris?
25 A. Yes, I'm aware of this letter. This is the letter that
1 representatives of the ethnic communities sent to the co-chairmen of the
2 Rambouillet conference, Mr. Vedrine and Mr. Cook.
3 In this letter, they draw the co-chairmen's attention to the fact
4 that the negotiating troika of Hill, Petritsch, and Mayorski did not show
5 enough understanding for their suggestions, suggestions which they
6 believed should be part of the final document. They also admonish the
7 negotiators, the co-chairmen, that during the Rambouillet talks, the
8 Rambouillet conference, what was practically abandoned was exactly what
9 had been agreed in the principles of the Contact Group on the 29th of
10 January, 1999.
11 At the same time, they draw attention to the fact that the
12 proposed document favoured the Albanian ethnic community because of the
13 introduction of the majority principle in establishing the various
14 institutions, and that the rights and the position of all the remaining
15 ethnic communities were being entirely neglected, and these numbered at
16 least 600.000.
17 They also underline the fact that there is a number of different
18 ethnic communities living in Kosovo and Metohija, and that merely invoking
19 civil and human rights without offering additional instruments to protect
20 the rights of ethnic minorities in practical terms leaves them with no
21 choice but to leave Kosovo and Metohija.
22 Q. Fair enough.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This brings us to the end of this
24 particular subject. I would like to tender this document, although it was
25 not translated, 2D384. I would like to tender that to be marked for
1 identification until we have received final translation.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Has the investigation into the idea that there's an
3 English version somewhere been completed?
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, but it resulted in
5 nothing at all.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. This document will be marked for
7 identification. That's 2D384.
8 MR. FILA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm now moving on to my last subject. Could you go to tab 9, sir,
10 please. I'm taking you back now. Professor, we shall discuss Mr. Nikola
11 Sainovic, who is my client before this Tribunal.
12 Could you look at tab 9, please. What does this document show?
13 What is this?
14 A. These are the results of the elections at the Congress of the
15 Socialist Party of Serbia. At this Congress, Mr. Nikola Sainovic was
16 appointed deputy president.
17 Q. The document number is P2875. It's an OTP document.
18 A. This is a document showing exactly which bodies were elected at
19 this Congress. Among them, we see Mr. Nikola Sainovic being elected
20 vice-president. He's followed by members of the Main Board and those of
21 the Executive Board.
22 Q. When was the Congress held?
23 A. In March 1996.
24 Q. Fine. Can you now please go back to tab 1. The document is 2D25.
25 It's a Defence exhibit. Have a close look, sir, please, and tell us when
1 you're ready.
2 May I ask my question first?
3 A. Please go ahead.
4 Q. Are these minutes, minutes of what exactly, and what is the date?
5 A. These are minutes from the 10th session of the Main Board of the
6 Socialist Party of Serbia, held on the 24th of April, 1997.
7 Q. So what was the fate of Mr. Nikola Sainovic, the party's
8 vice-president, at least based on these minutes at page 3?
9 A. At this session, he was replaced and dismissed from his post as
10 vice-president of the SPS.
11 Q. At whose proposal? Does the record show that?
12 A. One can see here that this was done at the proposal of President
13 Slobodan Milosevic. Formerly, the decision is taken by the Main Board,
14 which is perfectly in keeping with the statute. The president had the
15 sole right of making proposals for the post of the vice-president to the
16 Main Board. It follows that he also had the right to make proposals
17 regarding their dismissal from that post.
18 Q. If I understand you correctly, Mr. Nikola Sainovic was dismissed
19 at the proposal of Slobodan Milosevic; right?
20 A. Yes. You understood me well.
21 Q. Why was Nikola Sainovic replaced?
22 A. Obviously, he had not met expectations in carrying out the work
23 assigned to him by the president of the SPS. I am not familiar with the
25 Q. After this dismissal from the post of vice-president of the party,
1 did Nikola Sainovic, nevertheless, keep some position in party, and why
2 was that the case? I would like you to explain to me why he was not
3 completely expelled.
4 A. After that, he remained a member of the Executive Board of the
5 Main Board of the Socialist Party, and that was a degradation de facto
6 from a high office held by an individual. He was relegated to a
7 collective organ. He did remain in the executive organ, I think, because
8 he had good results in the elections.
9 For the party, this regional influence is important for their own
10 rating in the elections. As far as I can remember, in the last elections,
11 in the year 2000 that had been lost by President Milosevic, Nikola
12 Sainovic in his district won half of the mandate for SPS. Four seats --
13 four seats were provided by that district, and he won two for his party.
14 Q. Now that we've gone into the field of politics.
15 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The entire transcript from the break
16 onwards contains many imprecisions. I don't really want to take all of
17 this back. Could it please be listened to, the audio recording, because
18 there are many things here that are not right. We cannot intervene each
19 and every time. There is quite a bit of confusion.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Just a moment, Mr. Fila.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE BONOMY: I think what I'd like you to do, Mr. Fila, before
23 deciding how to tackle this, is identify some examples. Now, that can be
24 done at the break. I am concerned, obviously, about what you say, but it
25 would help, I think, if some examples could be given to us and perhaps
1 that would be a starting point.
2 Anyway, we could leave it for the moment, and please proceed and
3 continue to be vigilant for us on the transcript. Thank you.
4 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I am drawing this to a close anyway.
5 Q. So, Mr. Jovanovic, since we are now dealing with the person of
6 Nikola Sainovic, what can you tell us about Nikola Sainovic's political
8 A. I am aware that he was one of the top managers in the biggest
9 metallurgy complex in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia;
10 that he was president of a municipality; that he held many party functions
11 in the one-party system; that he was elected in that system as a federal
12 deputy, federal MP; that he was Minister for Energy in the republican
13 government, I think; then the prime minister of the Republic of Serbia;
14 the deputy federal prime minister; and, from 1996, he was elected
15 president -- vice-president of the SPS at the 3rd Congress.
16 It is believed that at that Congress a so-called softer line of
17 politicians was elected.
18 Q. But this softer line was there for a short period of time it
19 seems. What is your assessment? Do you know what he was in charge of as
20 deputy federal prime minister?
21 A. I know he was in charge of international cooperation as deputy
22 federal prime minister.
23 Q. Last question, and I'll stop torturing you. Mr. Stamp will
24 continue. What is your assess many of the political decisions held by
25 Mr. Sainovic, his political views?
1 A. In the period in which we cooperated most directly, I knew
2 Mr. Sainovic to be a man of dialogue, prepared to listen to arguments and
3 accept them, a tolerant person, and prepared to build compromise and
4 skilful at bringing compromise, if I can put it that way.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] This would conclude my
7 examination-in-chief. Your witness, Counsellor.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Does any Defence counsel wish to cross-examine?
9 Mr. Stamp.
10 MR. STAMP: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Stamp:
12 Q. Good morning, Mr. Jovanovic. Do you know any other senior member
13 of the SPS by the name Milan Jovanovic, who shares your name?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. The last document you were shown is 2D25. That's tab what?
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Should be tab 1.
17 MR. STAMP:
18 Q. Tab 1. And you see a list a list of the persons who are present
19 at the session of the party. Among them, just around the middle of the
20 list, you'll see one Mihalj Kertes. Do you see that?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. He was in charge of the customs organisation in Serbia at the
23 time, was he not?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did he or did he not hand over to you any money from custom
1 revenues in cash?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did he deliver to you any money at all in cash?
4 A. Yes. He handed over to me some money in cash for financing the
5 Socialist Party of Serbia, but not customs money but money that he had
6 collected from different donors.
7 Q. How much?
8 A. It was seven years ago. I cannot remember exactly.
9 Q. Give us an approximation, if you can.
10 A. About two million marks at the time.
11 Q. Was this one delivery or more than one delivery?
12 A. You are asking me about something that happened seven years ago.
13 I do not remember, and I don't see why that matters for proceedings like
14 these, when Mihalj Kertes will be tried before a court in Serbia as of
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, it's not for you to decide what
17 questions should or should not be answered in this court. Please answer
18 the question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat your
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Where did you receive this money, in one transaction or more than
23 one transaction?
24 A. I do not recall.
25 Q. You mean you don't remember if you received two million marks in
1 cash on one occasion?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So was it one occasion or more than one occasion?
4 A. I do not recall on how many occasions I received it. Was it one
5 occasion or was it more than one? I do not remember.
6 Q. I'm not sure if I understand that answer.
7 A. Please repeat your question.
8 Q. Are you saying that you might have received two million marks in
9 cash on one single occasion, but you don't recall whether you did?
10 A. I want to say to you that I do not remember whether I got it on
11 one occasion or on several occasions the amount that you referred to.
12 Q. Okay. Can you recall, approximately, when you got the amount?
13 A. I cannot.
14 Q. Well, was it in 1999, 1998, 1997, 2000? Do you remember the year?
15 A. I think it was in 2000.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: In what capacity did you receive this money?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As secretary of the Technical
18 Services of the Main Board of the SPS.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
20 MR. STAMP:
21 Q. You referred to 2D384, a document that we don't have translations
22 for, but I'm just going off your description of what this agreement meant.
23 You were asked a question by Judge Bonomy. I just want to get what you're
24 saying is clear. You're saying that this agreement meant that parties to
25 civil suits could choose the ethnicity of the tribunal that they would
1 bring the suit before? Is that what is written in the document? May I
2 ask you that question first? Is that what is written in the document?
3 A. I will have to have a look at the document.
4 Q. And that's tab 13.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: In that regard, you were previously directed to
6 Article V, 2.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In order for it to be precise, I'm
8 going to read out to you paragraph 2.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: We do not have the text.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Citizens and legal persons in
11 Kosovo will be ensured the right to select the court that will try them.
12 Every citizen and legal person in Kosmet, at the beginning of court
13 proceedings, civil, non-contentious, and criminal, as the prosecutor, the
14 proposer, or the accused may choose whether he will be tried by the court
15 of the Republic of Serbia or the Kosmet court."
16 MR. STAMP:
17 Q. Now, are you saying that this was something that was agreed upon
18 sincerely as a policy that could work in Kosovo where there were ethnic
19 tensions? Is that what you're telling us?
20 A. Naturally. Had this not been sincere, it would not have been
21 proposed; and had they seen it in a different light, the representatives
22 of ethnic communities comprising almost half of the population in Kosovo
23 would not have signed it.
24 The problem of Kosmet arose because such institutions had not been
25 put in place, institutions that would ensure full national equality. I
1 firmly believe that, had there been a chance for such institutions to be
2 established, they would have been successful. I'm not saying that there
3 would have been no problems and difficulties.
4 Q. I was going to get to this later, but before I forget let me ask
5 you this, and this question is in the context of what you just said:
6 "Representatives of ethnic communities comprising almost half of the
7 population would have signed it." What was the population of Kosovo at
8 the time?
9 A. I don't remember the exact figures; but according to the census,
10 those who declared themselves as Albanians represented the dominant group.
11 However, I know for a fact that there were more than 350.000 Serbs.
12 Q. But you're saying that representatives comprising almost half of
13 the population would not have signed it. What proportion of the
14 population did those representatives amount to? What do you mean by
15 "almost half"?
16 A. I'm referring to 47, 48 per cent of the population.
17 Q. This would be the non-Albanian population in Kosovo?
18 A. But I also believe that this paper, had a proper chance been
19 given, would also have been supported by at least one-third of the
20 Albanians, and that would constitute a good majority.
21 Q. Yes. But let us just focus on those that you referred to that
22 signed it; 47 to 48 per cent of the population, you said, and that would
23 be the non-Albanian population of Kosovo. Is that what you're saying?
24 A. Precisely that: Serbs, Montenegrins, Muslims, Turks, Egyptians,
25 Roma; that is to say, ethnic communities which existed and functioning in
1 Kosmet. It wasn't just Albanians living in Kosmet.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I would like there to be no
3 speculation. Are there any signatures of Albanians there?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely. Sokol Cuse,
5 democratic --
6 MR. STAMP: No, no, no. This is not proper.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, you'll get a chance to re-examine. That
8 was an inappropriate interruption. It is not for you to ask questions at
9 this stage. You can clarify later.
10 Please continue, Mr. Stamp.
11 MR. STAMP:
12 Q. When you say 40 per cent -- 47, 48 per cent of the population of
13 Kosovo who were non-Albanian, is that your personal position or was it the
14 position of your party?
15 A. This is a statistical fact. As for the status and the rights of
16 ethnic communities, it is well known that it is not just a matter of
17 figures. Regardless of how many members of an ethnic group there are in
18 any particular state, each state is duty-bound to ensure that their rights
19 are guaranteed and implemented, regardless of their numbers, in order to
20 prevent assimilation, in order for them to preserve their national
21 identity. This is something that has been proclaimed by --
22 Q. We'll get to that, but I asked a simple question. Do you recall
23 the question I asked you?
24 A. Would you please repeat it?
25 JUDGE BONOMY: The answer was that it was a statistical fact.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. Well, is this a statistical fact that is accepted by you
3 personally, or was this statistical fact, as you call it, the position
4 accepted by your party, that 47 to 48 per cent of the Kosovo Albanian
5 population -- of the population in Kosovo were not Albanian? That is what
6 I'm asking you.
7 A. I don't understand the question.
8 Q. Was that the position of your party?
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Nor do I. You must know the Serbian approach to
10 things in general by now well enough, Mr. Stamp, to know that if it's a
11 statistical fact then they accept it.
12 MR. STAMP: That is, the party accepts it.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: It's not a matter of opinion. It's a fact
14 according to the witness. Let's move on. This is not producing anything.
15 MR. STAMP: I'm prepared to accept the Court's position as a whole
16 that the cross-examination should proceed, but I would just like to know
17 before I proceed if I can accept that his answer is that the party that he
18 has been speaking about, that he's a member of, accepts this as a
19 statistical fact, if that is what his answer means.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, you may ask him again if you wish.
21 MR. STAMP:
22 Q. Just one time, Mr. Jovanovic. Did the SPS accept as a statistical
23 that 48 per cent or 47 percent of the people who lived in Kosovo were not
25 A. I truly don't know how to answer that question. You're asking me
1 to tell you that the party assembled a meeting and said, "We support the
2 Republican Bureau for Statistics, which in 1991 carried out a census
3 saying there were so many Serbs, so many Albanians, and so on. No
4 political party does this. However, I have full confidence in official
5 organs. It would be the same as asking: Do you believe today is the 22nd
6 of August. I don't know how to answer that question.
7 Q. Very well.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Is your answer, giving these figures, based on a
9 census in 1991?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Partially on the basis of the census
11 and partially based on some other facts. When I told you about the number
12 of Serbs, I can also tell you that today in Serbia the international
13 organisations have about 235.000 citizens registered who had been
14 displaced from Kosovo after NATO aggression. Also, pursuant to the
15 records of international organisations --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, just concentrate on the question
17 I've asked you. It's a very simple question, and you say now that it's
18 partially based on that census and partially based on some other facts.
19 Now, is your impression or understanding that that census was carried out?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was, yes.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: So there are figures available from that census
22 telling us how many Albanians there are in Kosovo?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, and those figures are
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
1 MR. STAMP:
2 Q. In 1D114, that's tab -- the last tab, I think. Tab 11. You will
3 see that the representatives of the non-Albanian community in that letter
4 gave their number as 600.000.
5 A. Would you be so kind as to tell me which tab this is so I could
6 take a look?
7 JUDGE BONOMY: It is tab 11, I think.
8 MR. STAMP:
9 Q. It is.
10 A. I have found it. Yes, it's all right.
11 Q. And, in that letter, they represented their number to be 600.000.
12 A. To be more precise, they say over 600.000.
13 Q. Indeed. Did you -- were you aware of a report by Helge Brunborg
14 of the 14th of August, 2002, in respect to the ethnic composition of the
15 population of Kosovo?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Very well. If you look at D114 and look at the signatories of
18 D114, can you tell me how many of those persons who signed that document
19 were not members of either the TEC or the Socialist Party?
20 A. Seven.
21 Q. Do you understand the question? You are saying that there were
22 seven persons that signed who were not members of either TEC or the
23 Socialist Party?
24 A. Would you please explain this acronym "TEC"?
25 Q. The acronym is for the Provisional Executive Council for Kosovo
1 and Metohija that was headed by Mr. Zoran Andjelkovic that you spoke
2 about. So I'll ask again. How many persons there do you know had who
3 have signed this document who are not members of that board or the
4 Socialist Party? If you don't know, you can say you don't know.
5 A. I don't know the figures for the provisional Executive Council.
6 As for the Socialist Party of Serbia, I already gave you an answer.
7 Q. Well, I'm not sure. Well, let's look at it. Sokol Cuse. Do you
8 know if he was a member of the TEC or the Provisional Executive Council?
9 A. I don't know the composition of the Provisional Executive Council,
10 so I cannot give an answer to that portion of that question. I don't know
11 who comprised that counsel.
12 Q. Okay. So, therefore, you're not able to say whether Faik Jashari,
13 Zeynelabidin Kyreys, Guljbehar Sabovic, Ibro Vait, Ljuan Koka, Cerim Abazi
14 were members of the TEC, would you?
15 JUDGE BONOMY: That questions been answered, Mr. Stamp.
16 MR. STAMP: Very well. I'm press on.
17 Q. The members of the TEC were appointed by Zoran Andjelkovic. Do
18 you know that or not?
19 A. I don't know that. I think that the composition of the
20 Provisional Executive Council was up to some other organ. Some other
21 organ appointed them. I don't think that it was only within the
22 competence of the president. However, I'm not certain, and I cannot
23 answer that question with full certainty. If he did that, then he
24 probably was authorised to do that.
25 Q. Similarly, Mr. Jovanovic, I suggest to you that the signatories in
1 2D384, at least seven of the ten signatories - and that is the agreement
2 for self-government of Kosovo of the 15th of March, which gave persons the
3 right to choose their own judges or judges from their own ethnicity -
4 seven of the ten persons who signed this document were either members of
5 the TEC or the SPS. I represent that to you; do you agree or do you know?
6 A. I do not agree with that statement. This was a state delegation,
7 and party affiliation is not important at all. It was the Assembly and
8 the government who approved them, and the fact that they were members of
9 some political parties should not constitute a problem in my mind. The
10 Socialist Party of Serbia was the most prominent one.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, that's not the point that's being
12 put to you. It would appear that you do not know the answer to the
13 question, and the question is whether seven of the ten persons who signed
14 the document were either members of the Executive Council or of the SPS.
15 And we all know people can have two positions. They can be one thing in
16 respect of one matter, and they can be a party member in respect of
17 another matter.
18 So is your answer, again, that you don't know, or can you clarify
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have just put two questions to
21 me. I don't know which of these people who signed the agreement were also
22 on the Provisional Executive Council, but I know for a fact that seven of
23 them were not members of the SPS, or at least not all seven.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Seven were not members of the SPS; is that what
25 you're saying?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what I said.
2 MR. STAMP:
3 Q. Who presented this document to the Kosovo Albanians in Paris?
4 A. As you're well aware, the discussions in Paris were organised in
5 such a way that the delegations never met directly; that is to say, that
6 our document was submitted via the negotiating troika.
7 MR. STAMP: I --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, we are past the time for a break. Can
9 you find a suitable time to interrupt?
10 MR. STAMP: This is a convenient time.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Mr. Jovanovic, we have to have another
12 break at this stage. Would you again please go with the usher.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE BONOMY: And we will resume at five to 1.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila, do you have any examples of this, and do
19 you want to tender them in writing before we finish today and just give a
20 list of examples, the page references, to the clerk?
21 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] We have decided to do exactly that.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: But it has to be today before we finish.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] They will type it up now, and you will
25 have it in five minutes, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, please continue.
2 MR. STAMP: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. When we left off, you were saying, Mr. Jovanovic, that the
4 document, this agreement, was submitted to the Kosovo Albanians via the
5 negotiating troika. Now, the negotiating troika would be the ambassadors
6 of the Contact Group?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So they were given this document in Paris on the 15th of March or
9 thereabouts, and asked to ask the Albanian delegation to sign it?
10 A. This document was offered prior to this date to the Albanian
11 delegation, several days prior.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: How do you know that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I attended the talks held by our
14 delegation in Paris.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: The question is: How do you know the document was
16 handed to the Albanian delegation? It's a simple question. Are you
17 assuming it, or do you know it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: How do you know?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I have said, I was there with the
21 delegation during the negotiations in Paris, and I know --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: But your evidence, so far, is that it was handed to
23 the negotiators, not directly by your delegation to the Albanian
24 delegation. Are you now saying it was handed directly by your delegation
25 to the Albanian delegation? Because we understood they never met each
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you're quite right.
3 We submitted this document to the negotiating troika, and we were sure
4 that they handed it over to the Albanian delegation. We were there to
5 negotiate, and we thought that the same applied, just as they provided
6 documents to our delegation.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: So you assume the document was handed to the
8 Albanian delegation; is that correct?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I'm not assuming. There's no
10 reason for me to doubt that the negotiators did not give the document to
11 the Albanian delegation.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And what is your positive basis for saying that
13 they did actually give it to them?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The main role of the negotiators was
15 to pass the proposals from one side to the other. If they gave us the
16 proposals of the Albanian side, then I think it was quite reasonable to
17 believe that they also passed our proposals to the other side.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
19 MR. STAMP:
20 Q. If I may move to a different area, sir. You said, in discussing
21 some of these minutes of Executive Council meetings, that there were
22 occasions or there was a situation sometime in the autumn of 1998 where
23 Kosovo Albanians were handing in arms. That's correct? You said that;
24 do you remember that?
25 A. As far as I remember, these weren't meetings of the Executive
1 Council, but meetings of the Main Board. I think it was in September. If
2 you can give me the tab number, sir, I think the meeting you're referring
3 to was on the 27th of September.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's recorded, I think, in tab 3 on the 22nd
5 of September as an Executive Board meeting.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. This is the meeting
7 that took place on the 22nd, and it is the Executive Board and not the
8 Main Board.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. Was it ever discussed at any SPS meeting, in your presence, that
11 the Kosovo Albanian population should be disarmed? I'm not talking about
12 persons who might have been members of the KLA or any other, what you
13 describe as, separatist organisation, but the population in general should
14 be disarmed?
15 A. I don't remember specifically any discussions from the Main and
16 Executive Boards. There was quite a large number of meetings.
17 Essentially, whatever was discussed was recorded in the conclusions;
18 therefore, I can't be more specific than this in answer to your question,
19 and I certainly do not wish to speculate.
20 Q. Do you know of discussions within any of those organs of the
21 party, among senior members of the party, in regard to the idea that Serbs
22 in Kosovo should be armed; that is, Serb civilians in Kosovo should be
24 A. I do not have any direct information that would allow me to answer
25 your question.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand that answer. It was an
2 answer -- a question that required a yes or no answer. Do you know of any
3 discussions about arming the Serb civilians in Kosovo, yes or no?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer is no.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: And you attended all the Main Board meetings and
6 all the Executive Board meetings?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For the most part, yes.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
9 MR. STAMP:
10 Q. And persons, for example, Vojislav Zivkovic, also attended these
11 Main Board meetings?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. What was his role and function in 1998?
14 A. I think he was the president of the Provincial Board of the SPS;
15 I mean, for Kosovo and Metohija.
16 Q. In other words, he was the president of the board for the party in
17 that very pressing and dominant issue that the party was facing in this
18 period of time. Can I ask you this: Do you know not know whether or not
19 he raised the issue of arming Serbs in Kosovo? Was that issue ever raised
20 by him?
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. Could we have a look at Exhibit P2828. Could we go to page 2.
23 Can you see, sir, that this is a letter from Mr. Zivkovic, dated
24 19 June, 1998, to President Milutinovic? Do you see that?
25 A. The image on the screen is poor. Could I have a hard copy of this
1 document, please?
2 Q. Okay. If you look at the top of the document, you can see it's
3 dated the 19th of June, 1998, and it's addressed to President Milutinovic.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And if you look at the bottom of the document, the foot of the
6 document, you'll see that it's signed by president of the Provincial Board
7 of the SPS of Kosovo and Metohija.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Sealed also.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It says, in the last paragraph, that: "Able-bodied Serbs in
12 Kosovo and Metohija should be organised into formations, armed, and used
13 to defend and protect our country in the area." I think that's "our
14 country in the area." Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I see that.
16 Q. Were you -- having seen that, would -- do you recall whether or
17 not there was this discussion amongst senior members of the SPS in any
18 forum; that is, the arming of Serbs in Kosovo?
19 A. This is the first time I set eyes on this letter. At the meetings
20 of the Main and Executive Boards of the Socialist Party of Serbia or any
21 other of its working bodies - and I mean any of the meetings that I
22 attended - there were no ideas, requests, or proposals to arm the local
23 Serbs; quite the contrary, in fact. The party line was clear.
24 Sovereignty was what was at stake in Kosovo, and sovereignty could
25 not be defended individually or through some sort of a private war;
1 rather, the defence of territorial integrity and sovereignty should be
2 left to bodies whose job it is to do just that, the police and the army.
3 If I may, just to add something. I do not challenge the
4 authenticity of this letter. However, if you look at the previous
5 positions, you see that the direct reason for this letter was the murder
6 of a 70-year-old elderly person who was brutally taken off a bus and shot.
7 There were probably a lot of heated passions. There was probably
8 a lot of stuff being said that was too heated, and there were incidents
9 occurring that led to this. However, if I talk about the official
10 meetings of the boards which I attended, there was no mention of the Serbs
11 being armed, and there were no hints, indeed, that the Serbs should be
13 Q. It stands to reason, then, that it is possible, indeed likely,
14 that these discussions could have occurred between senior members of the
15 party outside of those meetings that you attended, those official party
17 A. Could you please rephrase your question in a clearer way, because
18 I'm not here to answer any assumptions.
19 Q. All right. I'll ask another question. Do you know whether on the
20 ground in Kosovo, in 1999, armed Serbs who were not members of the
21 security forces were used in operations by the security forces? Do you
22 know that?
23 A. I have no direct information about military operations in Kosmet;
24 therefore, I'm unable to answer your question.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Would it surprise you if that was the case?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not have a position on that.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I find that a little strange, in view of what you
3 said a moment ago about the party's position: "It was clear that
4 sovereignty could not be defended with private armies and the matter
5 should be left to bodies whose job it is to do just that, the police and
6 the army."
7 So you wouldn't be surprised if the army arranged for the
8 arming -- or used the civilian Serb population, duly armed, in operations
9 in Kosovo?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply cannot say whether I'd be
11 surprised or not based on an assumption alone. I simply have no facts
12 indicating anything about that; therefore, I believe that the state organs
13 acted in keeping with the military regulations that applied at the time.
14 I can't just take an assumption and express a surprise or indeed
16 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't understand that answer. That's precisely
17 what it is appropriate to invite you to do in relation to speculation,
18 express whether it would be a surprise to you or not. If, as a matter of
19 fact, it were proved in this court that Serb civilians were used in this
20 way, you must know whether that would surprise you or not.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If this were an official fact backed
22 by evidence, that could indicate my surprise.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp.
24 MR. STAMP:
25 Q. The group of three that was delegated to go to Kosovo, that is,
1 Mr. Andjelkovic, Mr. Matkovic, and Mr. Minic, when were they disbanded, or
2 should I ask, were they officially disbanded?
3 A. I can't remember an official decision to disband that group;
4 however, I do know that, as early as late September, they reduced the
5 amount of their activities. After attending a session of the Provincial
6 Board of the SPS in late October, their activity, as team, practically
8 Q. Well, if you look at D88 - and I think that's tab 5 - that's a
9 meeting of the 28th of October. And you'll see immediately before III -
10 that's on the third page in English, but if you look for the III on your
11 copy - that even on the 28th of April [sic], they were still functioning
12 and were still mandated to do work and submit reports thereafter.
13 What I want to ask you is: Having read to that, do you -- have
14 you seen any document at all dealing with the disbanding of this group?
15 A. You mention April. At tab 5, I see the 27th of October.
16 Q. October, right. I really meant October, because you had said that
17 they stopped working in October, and that is why I'm asking you. You were
18 saying they stopped working in October, and we see here, on the 28th of
19 October, they were obviously working, and they had been tasked to do other
21 So, having regard to that, which is on the document, can you say
22 whether or not you have seen any document which terminated this group,
23 this executive group?
24 A. That is not the established practice in the Socialist Party of
25 Serbia to adopt official documents on determination of any group. Quite
1 simply, their activity ceases as soon as the reasons for which it is
2 originally established are no longer there.
3 If you look at item (B) of the minutes dated the 27th of October,
4 1998, what we see there is that they would attend the next meeting of the
5 Provincial Board, which was due to be held in a matter of days; therefore,
6 they attended that meeting, and that was when their activity ceased.
7 Q. You told us about the organisation of the government in 1998, that
8 there was a coalition, and who were the members of that coalition in the
9 latter part of 1998 and the beginning of 1999? Which parties?
10 A. The coalition in the Republic of Serbia was made up of the
11 following parties: The Socialist Party of Serbia, the Serbian Radical
12 Party, and the Yugoslav Left. As for the federal level, as for the
13 government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the People's Socialist
14 Party of Montenegro was involved, and later also the Serbian Renewal
16 Q. Among those groups that you mention, would it be correct to say
17 that the two strongest elements of that coalition would be the Socialist
18 Party and the Serbian Radical Party?
19 A. In coalition governments, there is no stronger or weaker partner.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. Sometimes --
22 Q. Okay. Go ahead. Go ahead, go ahead.
23 A. What I wanted to say is this: Sometimes a minor party or the
24 lesser partner, in a manner of speaking, can have more pull in the
25 government because its potential to blackmail the other party might be
1 greater; however, it is true that the SPS and the Serb Radical Party, in
2 terms of the numbers of their delegates, were the majority parties, the
3 two major parties.
4 Q. Well, before we talk about that, let me ask you another question
5 in reference to 1D443. And that is a political -- that is at tab 10. You
6 don't need to look at it. I'm just reminding you what it is. It's a
7 political -- that's a gazette of Serbia of the 4th of February, 1999, a
8 political platform for mandate for delegates of the Republic of Serbia.
9 It was adopted by the Federal Assembly or by the Republican Assembly;
10 which one is it? Remind me, please.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: It says clearly it's the Republic of Serbia.
12 MR. STAMP:
13 Q. And what were the parties involved in adopting that mandate?
14 A. As for these conclusions, we enjoyed the support, not just of the
15 Socialist Party of Serbia but also of the Serbian Radical Party and the
16 Yugoslav Left and the Serbian Renewal Movement.
17 Q. Were they the only parties in the Assembly?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did the other parties in the Assembly also endorse that mandate,
20 as you call it.
21 A. I don't remember exactly. I think that the democratic party was
22 the only one not to lend their support. That's as far as I remember about
23 the democratic party, and I can't speak about any other parties.
24 Q. The Serbian Radical Party was headed by whom?
25 A. Mr. Vojislav Seselj.
1 Q. Are you aware that for -- let me put it this way: Are you aware
2 that Mr. Seselj had proposed the expulsion of some Albanians from Kosovo?
3 A. I'm not aware of that.
4 Q. You are not aware, I take it, that Mr. Seselj had for many years
5 claimed that hundreds of thousands of Albanians had crossed into Kosovo,
6 and that they were not truly members of the population of Kosovo and,
7 therefore, they should be expelled? You are not aware that the leader of
8 the party that was in partnership with you propounded that policy?
9 A. What matters in coalitions is what is translated into official
10 state documents.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Please answer the question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor put two questions to
13 me. Could he repeat them one by one.
14 MR. STAMP:
15 Q. Are you not aware that Mr. Seselj claimed that there were hundreds
16 of thousands of Albanians living in Kosovo who were not from Kosovo?
17 A. I am aware of that claim, and that is a true fact.
18 Q. Very well. Are you aware that he proposed that they should be
19 expelled from Kosovo?
20 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
21 Q. You are a political scientist, so I'll ask you this question: Are
22 you aware of a political movement in Kosovo, in Serbia, that sought to
23 understate the number of Albanians that lived in Kosovo? Did you know
24 that many political leaders and intellectuals in Serbia sought to
25 understate the number of Albanians that live in Kosovo?
1 A. I would like to ask you that you put questions to me one by one,
2 but I am going to answer these simultaneously. This is the first time I
3 of the existence of some kind of movement; or to put it more specifically,
4 there was no such movement.
5 Q. Very well. Let's talk about yourself, then. You, sir, today, in
6 answer to questions from the President of this Panel, said that 47 to 48
7 per cent of the population of Kosovo that were not Albanians. You said
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And twice, in answer to his question, said it was a statistical
11 fact based on the 1991 census. You recall saying that? Twice.
12 A. I said, I said, in the census of 1991 and other censuses.
13 Q. But when you were asked after that about precisely what you meant,
14 and it is a matter of the record, you agreed that you're basing the
15 statistical fact on the census of 1991; is that correct?
16 A. It is correct, but it also has to do with the other facts that I
17 talked about, the number of refugees and displaced persons from Kosmet
18 living in Serbia.
19 Q. Which is what I was about to ask you about. Remember, we are
20 speaking about 1999, March, the early part of 1999, before the NATO
21 intervention. What are the other factors, apart from the 1991 census,
22 that you base this estimate of the proportion of non-Albanians and
23 Albanians in Kosovo on? What are the other factors?
24 A. As for the census in 1991, from then until the other date, ten
25 years elapsed. Fluctuations of the population in Kosovo and Metohija were
1 very pronounced throughout that period of time. A large number of
2 Albanians came from Macedonia and went to Macedonia and other places. So
3 that structure that was established by the consensus and that we can
4 simply get from any web site of the republic -- republican statistics
5 office, for instance, that structure was changed.
6 In the letter of the ethnic communities, you saw that they claimed
7 that there were more than 600.000 of them.
8 Q. Let me get back to the question, and I'll ask it a different way.
9 I'll ask you the question. You twice told His Honour that you were basing
10 your estimate on the 1991 census. You also say other factors. I'm asking
11 you what are the other factors that you base your numbers on?
12 A. I told you, population movements: People moving in, people moving
13 abroad. After all, there were many articles in newspapers and in
14 professional periodicals that refer to changed structures in Kosovo and
16 Will you allow me just one more sentence?
17 Q. Sure, go ahead.
18 A. For seven years, the international community has been in Kosovo
19 and Metohija. Can we get official data from the international community
20 regarding the situation in Kosovo and Metohija? No, we cannot. A census
21 was not carried out.
22 Q. Well, I'm asking you. You are saying, sir, I take it from what
23 you're saying -- all right. Let me just ask this. Are you saying that
24 you don't rely on the 1991 census? I understood you to be saying twice
25 that you relied on the 1991 census to make your estimation, and now it
1 seems as if you're saying that events following 1991 that were reported in
2 the press cause you to change. Are you relying on the 1991 census?
3 A. I am not relying on it fully. I am not only relying on what the
4 press wrote about this, but also the writing of professional periodicals.
5 I am not denying the fact that the Albanians constituted a majority of the
6 population in Kosovo if. That is the point of your question.
7 I'm just trying to say that the members of other ethnic
8 communities constituted a significant group, not a small group in Kosovo
9 and Metohija. I assume that you certainly have the census from 1991, and
10 perhaps you could tell us, so that we don't use this much time for this
11 subject which is quite accessible to all because there is a proper
12 statistics census from 1991.
13 Q. Very well.
14 MR. STAMP: This is P1960, and I don't know if it needs to be
15 raised in e-court. I'm going to refer to page 8. I'm sure my learned
16 friend on the other side are aware of -- sorry, page 9. I think, it's
17 page 8 in the B/C/S copy.
18 Q. The 1991 census was boycotted by the majority of the Kosovo
19 Albanian population. Do you agree with that?
20 A. I would kindly ask that I be presented the document in the Serbian
22 Q. I'm not asking about the document as yet, sir. I'm asking you if
23 you know whether or not the 1991 population census was boycotted by the
24 majority of the Kosovo Albanian population. Do you know that?
25 A. Yes, I know that.
1 Q. Now, I represent to you that the census was nonetheless conducted
2 by the federal statistical office and they made a statistical estimate,
3 and they found that the total population of Kosovo in 1991 was 1.96
4 million, of which 9.9 per cent were Serbs and 8.5 per cent were in the
5 category other, while 81.6 per cent were Albanians. Do you dispute that?
6 A. These data of the statistics office are problematic for several
7 reasons, because --
8 Q. Well, before we speak about the problem, sir, I'll be thankful if
9 you'll just answer my question. Do you dispute that these were the
10 findings of the federal statistics office of the government?
11 A. I haven't received this document. I would like you to show it to
12 me in the Serbian language and a hard copy if possible.
13 Q. Before we get to the document, I remind you, sir, that you told
14 the Court twice that your assessment was based on the 1991 census, and
15 that is your assessment as to the relative proportion of various
16 ethnicities living in Kosovo.
17 Do you know not know that the federal statistics office estimate
18 in the 1991 census was that 81.6 per cent of the population in Kosovo were
19 Albanians? Do you dispute that?
20 A. A large number of citizens who declared themselves as Albanians
21 were actually members of other ethnic communities who could not freely
22 state their --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Stop there. Just answer this question, please:
24 Are you aware that these were the findings of the federal statistics
25 office? You'll get your chance to say what you want in due course. Let's
1 get over this hurdle first of all.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask to be shown that
4 JUDGE BONOMY: You're being asked on the basis of your own
5 personal recollection. Did you know that these were the findings?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I do not know that the federal
7 statistics office estimated; that is to say, that it wasn't a matter of
8 registering, but of estimating such a number of Albanians.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Stamp, do you wish to continue with this at
10 this stage to complete the point, or do you wish to interrupt? It's a
11 matter for you.
12 MR. STAMP: May I just ask a couple of questions.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
14 MR. STAMP: Well, having regard to the answers I've been getting,
15 it's probably pointless. We could perhaps proceed tomorrow.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Very well. Mr. Jovanovic, we have to vacate this
17 courtroom now because another case sits here in the afternoon. We shall
18 have to resume your evidence tomorrow morning at 9.00.
19 It's very important - I can't stress how important - that between
20 now and then, you have absolutely no discussion whatsoever with anyone at
21 all about the evidence in this case.
22 You can talk to whomsoever you wish about whatever you wish as
23 long as there is absolutely no discussion of the evidence.
24 So please leave the courtroom with the usher and we'll see you
25 tomorrow again at 9.00.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
4 August, 2007, at 9:00 a.m.