1 Monday, 13 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, good morning. We shall go into closed
6 session while the witness enters the courtroom.
7 [Closed session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Good morning, Mr. Tanic. I have a number of matters to deal with
15 before your evidence recommences, and I'll deal with these now.
16 Mr. Visnjic, the United Kingdom have applied again for an
17 extension of time to respond to your 54 bis motion. Are you content that
18 they have more time to respond?
19 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] We are content, Your Honour. We
20 were going through the documentation received, and it may be that our
21 request has been met in full. But at this moment, I cannot say that for
22 certain, since we are still studying.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: It may be then that we will extend the time
24 indefinitely and leave it to you to draw it to our attention if the motion
25 is to proceed. But there will be a written order to a that if that's what
1 we decide.
2 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: The second matter is that an application has been
4 made for protective measures in relation to K56. In view of the date
5 proposed for the witness to give evidence, the Defence should respond to
6 that by Friday of this week, that's the 17th.
7 And the final matter relates to the evidence we were considering
8 at the close of business on Friday; the question of the admissibility of
9 the hearsay evidence relating to what was said by others about the accused
10 Mr. Sainovic. The Trial Chamber has found this an extremely difficult
11 matter to resolve, and we'll ultimately decided that this evidence is
12 admissible. But the weight to be given to evidence of this nature,
13 touching as it does on an important element, which could contribute to the
14 evidence of individual criminal responsibility of this accused, is quite
15 another matter. And it will give us further considerable food for thought
16 in due course, but for the moment the decision is to hear this evidence.
17 Now, Mr. Tanic, your evidence will continue. Mr. Hannis will
18 continue with his examination. The solemn declaration to speak the truth
19 which you made at the beginning of your evidence continues to apply to
20 that evidence today and throughout if you should return tomorrow to
21 continue, then the solemn declaration will also continue to apply.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
24 WITNESS: RATOMIR TANIC [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Examination by Mr. Hannis: [Continued]
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tanic. When we finished on Friday, I think we
3 had just talked about a fact-finding mission to Kosova that was undertaken
4 by General Perisic and Jovica Stanisic. Do you recall approximately when
5 that mission occurred?
6 A. As far as I can remember, in early 1998, but I believe you can
7 find the exact period in my statement.
8 Q. Do you recall if it occurred before the attack on the Adem Jashari
9 family compound?
10 A. As far as I recall, yes. But you should check that against my
11 statement; I don't have any dates which I could consult here before me.
12 Q. And you indicated that Mr. Sainovic went on that trip. Before he
13 joined them, do you know from General Perisic or Mr. Stanisic if they had
14 previously planned to ask some other representative of the government to
15 accompany them on that trip?
16 A. As far as I know, having heard that from General Perisic, they
17 planned to bring along Mr. Zoran Lilic. They wanted his participation in
18 the effort so as to strengthen it, to strengthen the efforts to try and
19 avoid the war in Kosovo.
20 Q. And do you know why they had a preference for Mr. Lilic over Mr.
22 A. Mr. Lilic is an honest person who enjoy the reputation of one of
23 the top political officials who was advocating for a political solution
24 which would avoid the war, which couldn't be said for Mr. Sainovic. This
25 is what I was told by Mr. Perisic, of course.
1 Q. After that fact-finding mission, did you know if Perisic and/or
2 Stanisic made any recommendations to Slobodan Milosevic about Kosovo?
3 First of all, just yes or no?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And how do you know that? What was your source?
6 A. I did not hear that only from Perisic, but I knew that at the time
7 through various channels, through my party's leadership, and other
8 sources. I had known about their recommendations before I spoke about the
9 mission with Perisic. The recommendations were public.
10 Q. Can you recall for the Court now what some of those
11 recommendations were?
12 A. The first and basic one was for the KLA to be declared officially
13 a terrorist organisation, because up until then the KLA was referred to as
14 a terrorist organisation only per se or colloquially; so it differs, the
15 unofficial and the official qualification. Another recommendation,
16 including the entire territory of Kosovo, was to introduce the state of
17 emergency, which would enable legitimate use of the army and of the
18 special police units which were capable to separate the terrorists from
19 the civilian population. The third recommendation was to implement, as
20 quickly as possible, the already existing political situation resolution
21 for Kosovo.
22 That was for Milosevic to sign and everyone knew in Belgrade that
23 in existence, which included the basic autonomy for Kosovo, and holding of
24 elections, and building up of confidence. Those measures were supposed to
25 be put in a package and it was believed that that would have sufficed to
1 deal with the problem of terrorism; that is to separate it from the
2 political issues situation in Kosovo and to try and deal with these two
3 situations in parallel; to try at the same time to avoid the war with
4 Kosovo Albanians and with the international community, and to minimise
5 casualties on both sides. This was in keeping with some recommendations
6 made previously by the leadership of my party and Mihajlovic.
7 Q. Do you know if any of those recommendations were followed by Mr.
9 A. No, no. Neither he nor his associates. The KLA was never
10 officially declared a terrorist organisation at that time. The state of
11 emergency was never introduced, which would have enabled the legitimate
12 use of the army and the police. And some decisions were made subsequently
13 within the commission for Kosovo as regards the use of the special police
14 forces, but this went through a -- sort of a private chain of command so
15 to say. As far as the political solution of the problem, well, neither
16 Milosevic nor the people around him wanted to hear anything about the
17 agreement, and in this way they simply provided for a radicalisation of
18 the Albanian popular opinion.
19 Q. Thank you. In the answer you just gave you said that one of the
20 goals of those recommendations was to minimise casualties on both sides in
21 Kosovo. What was happening in Kosovo that was resulting in casualties in
23 A. Well, to my knowledge, first and foremost, there was an
24 unprofessional use of police units in place, which were used to combat
25 terrorism. Albanian terrorists had this habit of mingling with civilians,
1 which is the strategy used by terrorists all over the world. But that is
2 why you have special police measures in place, which enable for the
3 distinction between the civilians and the terrorists.
4 Instead of that, unfortunately, our units often undertook measures
5 and carried out actions, trying to eliminate or remove terrorists. But
6 they would do that en masse with many civilian casualties, although the
7 police had known that there would be civilian casualties. Of course there
8 were casualties on our side as well, within our police, but there was a
9 private chain of command going from Milosevic through his channels, which
10 resulted in an informational chaos and, of course, the increasing number
11 of casualties on both side.
12 It wasn't known exactly how the army could have been used since
13 there was no state of emergency. And they were used here and there, and
14 that was contrary to the constitution. This led the country to an even a
15 graver situation and at the same time feeding the Albanian extremism. I
16 didn't participate in any combat down there; therefore, I cannot speak of
17 any specific crimes. But this impression was not shared by me but by some
18 other people as well. And I'm pretty sure that the chiefs of the armed
19 forces and the security forces shared that view. The greatest problem was
20 that parallel chain of command.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Fila.
22 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] With all due respect for the Chamber, I
23 don't know where this line of questioning is taking us. Again, we have
24 impressions, opinions; we are not given a source. I've never seen such a
25 testimony up until now, and I don't know where this will take us. Just to
1 remind you, Judge May shared my views during the last testimony of this
2 witness. Please take a look at the words he uses. I really don't know
3 where this is taking us, and this is what I object to.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, I had sources of
5 information --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, please be quiet while we deal with this
7 matter. You'll get your opportunity to speak further when questioned
9 Anything else, Mr. Fila?
10 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] No. Thank you. I just wanted to point
11 out what bothered me at this moment.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I can ask a couple of questions to --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you deal with the objection that suggests that
15 this is rambling recollections of the witness that aren't really focused
16 on the issues that we're dealing with in this trial.
17 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, this particular question had to
18 deal with the issue of civilian casualties in Kosovo in 1998.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it didn't give us very much information about
20 it, did it? The other thing it's raised is what's described as a parallel
21 command structure, which has just appeared out of the blue.
22 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that's non-responsive to my question.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, it's of -- and it's gone forever, the answer,
24 without really taking -- advancing the case. So we need a much more
25 focussed examination, Mr. Hannis.
1 MR. HANNIS: I'll make my best efforts, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Tanic, with regard to the question of civilian casualties
3 among the Kosovo Albanians in 1998, was that a state secret?
4 A. For the better part, yes.
5 Q. Wasn't it also well publicised in the media?
6 A. Some cases were published in the media.
7 Q. Was the issue of the casualties to Kosovo Albanian civilians
8 brought to Mr. Milosevic's attention? First of all, just yes or no.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And how was that done? If you could tell us by whom, and how did
11 they bring it to his attention.
12 A. It was first done by us, the leadership of our party, but as far
13 as I know General Perisic and Mr. Stanisic pointed it out on behalf of
14 their official services within their capacity.
15 Q. And how did you, in New Democracy, bring it to his attention?
16 A. In written form, but there must have been conversations as well.
17 Q. Did you personally ever have a conversation with Mr. Milosevic
18 about this matter?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I must join with Mr. Fila about these
23 answers. The answer 8, line 14 "There must have been conversations as
24 well." That's not at all helpful, and is --
25 JUDGE BONOMY: That's obviously the case, Mr. Ackerman, but Mr.
1 Hannis appreciates that, too. And it's plain from his next question that
2 he's dealing with the issue. It may not advance any further, but he has
3 chosen to spend his Prosecution time on endeavouring to get evidence from
4 this witness. And he now realises he has to focus on particular points,
5 and I think he's trying to do that at the moment. How we assess evidence
6 later is another a matter. And if he fails and tries to remain satisfied
7 with the vague answer you've referred to, of course we'll address the
8 matter further.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I just think his impressions and must haves and
10 must have beens --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed, I think Mr. Hannis realises that, Mr.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: -- are just useful.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
16 Q. Mr. Tanic, you said you did have a conversation with Mr. Milosevic
17 about that. Can you tell us approximately when that occurred and where it
19 A. It was before 1998 --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, don't go any further than that answer because
21 Mr. Hannis is asking you about 1998. So he'll want to address a different
22 question to you.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. You say you had a conversation before 1998. Was that conversation
25 about the issue of Kosovo Albanian civilians in police operations?
1 A. No. It concerned the way for resolving the problem. Since
2 terrorism in the second half of 1997 began its growth, it became stronger.
3 And already there was discussion in place how to distinguish or to
4 separate civilians from the rest. It is very difficult for me to speak
5 without my notes. I would like to check some dates, and I don't even have
6 my statement in front of me; therefore, I'm asked to recall things that
7 took place a decade ago and then the Defence can abuse that. Therefore,
8 without my own statement, it's difficult for me to recall the dates.
9 Q. Set aside the date for a moment. Would you tell us what the
10 substance of that conversation was regarding separating terrorists from
11 civilians and how to distinguish them.
12 A. Everything I said, the whole story has been repeating -- had been
13 repeating itself for months and years, the political solution, the
14 declaring of the KLA a terrorist organisation, the dispatch of special
15 forces, the proclamation of the state of emergency. These things in
16 Serbian political life --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, please listen to the question you're
18 being asked and answer the question you are being asked. Do not go over
19 matters you've already told us about in very general terms, because Mr.
20 Hannis is trying to pin down specific facts for our consideration. So
21 please assist him.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
24 Q. Mr. Tanic, you answered earlier that -- I think it was in the
25 second half of 1997, that there was already discussion in place how to
1 distinguish or separate civilians from the rest. Did you have a
2 conversation with Mr. Milosevic about that problem?
3 A. Yes, a brief one.
4 Q. Can you tell us what he said about that.
5 A. He simply said that the Albanian population supports the
6 terrorists and that the problem is in the numbers of Albanians; and that
7 that should be brought down to a reasonable figure, but we are not
8 discussing Milosevic here I believe.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, we've reached a stage where I think I
10 have to talk to you more seriously about the purpose of bringing you here.
11 It's to hear your evidence in answer to questions that counsel choose to
12 ask you. It's not to hear what you wish to tell us. And it's not for you
13 to decide whether questions relating to Milosevic are relevant to this
14 trial or not. Please confine yourself to answering the questions that are
15 asked of you, then we'll make some progress.
16 Because you ought to also bear in mind that the Prosecution have a
17 limited amount of time available to them in the big wide world to present
18 this case, and there's great international concern about how long these
19 trials take. So we are endeavouring to make progress, focusing on the
20 facts that will assist us to resolve the issues presented by the
21 indictment. Please assist the Trial Chamber in doing that.
22 Mr. Hannis.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Mr. Tanic, did you have any conversations with General Perisic
25 about the recommendations he had made, Slobodan Milosevic, about the
1 problem in Kosovo province?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you recall approximately when and where you had those
4 conversations with him?
5 A. It was in the spring of 1999.
6 Q. Do you recall where?
7 A. In his house.
8 Q. During that conversation, did he show you a letter he had written
9 to Mr. Milosevic setting forth his complaints and suggested
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. HANNIS: Could we bring up Exhibit P17, please -- I'm sorry,
13 it should be 717. I think I misspoke, 717.
14 Q. And in discussing that letter with him, did he tell you whether or
15 not Mr. Milosevic had acted favourably on any of his recommendations?
16 A. Yes. He conveyed to me Milosevic's comment, which however was not
17 a positive one.
18 MR. HANNIS: If we could have the English on the screen for us,
19 and the B/C/S for the witness. And if we can go to page 2 of the B/C/S
20 for the witness -- I'm sorry, page 3 of the B/C/S.
21 Q. Do you have that on the screen, Mr. Tanic?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Do you recognise that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What is it?
1 A. It's General Perisic's warning letter at the time he was the Chief
2 of Staff of the Army of Yugoslav. It is addressed to Milosevic, informing
3 him on what is really happening and what problems there are in connection
4 with the Kosovo conflict. It's identical to other letters sent by us and
5 the security services, which I have already referred to.
6 Q. If you could look at the first -- on the first page, items listed
7 1 through 6 which were described by Mr. Perisic's certain negative facts,
8 including the tendency to use the VJ outside institutions of the system,
9 separating VJ units from the army, attempt to command VJ units by
10 unauthorised persons. Did you discuss each of these with General Perisic?
11 A. Yes. Yes, it's very exhaustive.
12 MR. HANNIS: If we can go to the next page of the B/C/S and keep
13 that same English page.
14 Q. Mr. Tanic, perhaps you can help us with what I think is an error
15 in translation on the English version or a missing word. On the B/C/S
16 version at the top under number 1(A), can you read us that first line.
17 A. "The situation in Kosovo and Metohija could have been resolved."
18 First it says: "1, tendency of the use of the army outside the
19 institutions of the system" --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness read more slowly, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The situation in Kosovo and
22 Metohija" --
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, please read more slowly because with
24 something in front of you the tendency is to speed up your speech.
25 Read from A again, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The situation in Kosovo and
2 Metohija could have been resolved by introducing a state of emergency on
3 time on the 20th of April, 1998, when I sent you a written proposal
4 attachment number 1. As you did not take this into account" --
5 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I think the word "emergency" is missing
6 from the English translation.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. HANNIS:
9 Q. Mr. Tanic, in item (b) there is a reference that's translated in
10 the English as a session of the "BSO," can you tell us what the BSO is.
11 There is an explanation in the English translation, but I want to be sure
12 that's correct.
13 A. Supreme Defence Council.
14 Q. I see on the transcript, it appears I spoke B-, as in boy, S-O,
15 but it's V-, as in Victor, S-O. And at the bottom of that paragraph (b)
16 General Perisic explains three reasons why the use of the VJ in this way
17 is untenable. His proposed resolution, can you read that for us?
18 A. "Such further use of the Army of Yugoslavia - VJ is Army of
19 Yugoslavia - is untenable for at least three reasons. First" --
20 Q. Sorry. I'll stop you there. Can you go below that and read what
21 the proposed resolution General Perisic made was.
22 A. No. I don't see it, so I can't. Sorry.
23 Q. I'm sorry. We have to scroll down on the B/C/S for you.
24 A. "Proposal of solution: Use the Army of Yugoslavia legally to
25 defend the border belt, military facilities, and units; do not use it for
1 other tasks or declare one of the situations provided for by the
2 constitution and use it in its full force. The position is clear to us,
3 but we have to have a legal political decision. Because if the Federal
4 Assembly or the cabinet of the Republic of Yugoslavia does not want to or
5 is not capable of reaching it, who has the right to take on such
7 "2, separating units from the VJ" --
8 Q. With regard to point 2, he does complain about the Guards Brigade
9 having been separated by Mr. Milosevic's decision. Do you know anything
10 about that? What was the Guards Brigade?
11 A. Unfortunately, I'm not competent to respond to that question.
12 Q. Okay. Let me ask you a question then.
13 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to the next page then of the B/C/S and
14 stay on the current page of the English.
15 Q. Item number 3 is a complaint about the attempt to command the VJ
16 by unauthorised persons. And in paragraph 3(a), he gives an example or
17 refers to the example of Decani and Orahovac. Do you have any information
18 or knowledge about what happened in Decani or Orahovac related to this
19 attempt to command by unauthorised persons? He's describing the desire by
20 members of the MUP to subordinate a VJ unit.
21 A. Yes. Through this private chain of command, through this
22 Commission For Kosovo, which later renamed its into the Commission for the
23 Fight Against Terrorism; so through this parallel chain of command,
24 instructions arrived from Belgrade saying that the army should give the
25 police mortars, 120-millimetres, rocket-launchers, and other equipment
1 which under our laws, let alone the Geneva Convention, are banned.
2 They're prohibited for use against civilians unless there is a
3 state of emergency. General Perisic, as he told me, as he was facing
4 problems of this kind, more than once he prohibited this. And also an
5 operative of the security service told me that the MUP had asked for the
6 army to intervene, and the army had done so in a manner that was of no use
7 in the struggle against terrorism but produced civilian casualties.
8 Q. Let me go to the next paragraph, 3(b) --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, are we to hear more about the
10 Commission for Kosovo and the Commission for the Fight Against Terrorism?
11 MR. HANNIS: We will, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Thanks.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. Paragraph 3(b) speaks about the attempt by the civilian part of
15 staff to command the corps, and he states that the responsibility of the
16 corps commander is to evaluate the situation, plan operations for the VJ
17 and the MUP in cooperation with civilian members of the staff and the MUP,
18 and report to Sainovic and Minic.
19 First of all, can you tell us who Minic was. Milomir Minic was
20 also one of Milosevic's closest collaborators, just like Mr. Sainovic?
21 Q. And did Mr. Minic have a position in the government?
22 A. It's difficult to recall now. I'm sure he did, but it's hard to
23 recall precisely what it was. Mr. Perisic was referring to the two of
24 them as members of this commission.
25 Q. And what did you know about this commission? Was your source of
1 information about the commission from General Perisic?
2 A. Oh, no. I knew about the commission previously when it was
4 Q. Do you recall now approximately when it was established, and how
5 you first learned about it?
6 A. I learned about its existence at the time it was established, as
7 far as I can recall. I don't have my notes before me so it's difficult to
8 recall the time. I think it was in late 1997 or early 1998. In any case,
9 it was at the time when Milosevic with his collaborators rejected a
10 political solution for Kosovo, as he was unable to ensure implementation
11 of his policy through legal channels because there was resistance to that,
12 as people knew that a political solution existed.
13 So as he could not gain through the legal political institutions,
14 he established this parallel institution, the Commission for Kosovo, the
15 members of which were Sainovic, Minic, and others.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, where in the statement is this referred
18 MR. HANNIS: The commission, Your Honour?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
20 MR. HANNIS: It is -- let me check my note. Just a minute. In
21 paragraphs, I think, somewhere between 81 and 85. I think beginning at 82
22 describes the creation of the commission.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. So this is under a different name, but
24 nevertheless it's a commission.
25 MR. HANNIS: Yes. I think if you recall in our opening statement,
1 we mention there was a body referred to by two or three names, which we
2 believe the evidence will show is the same body.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Give the Trial Chamber a moment, please.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, on a number of occasions you've referred
6 to not having access here to your notes. Did you actually have
7 handwritten notes you made at the time of these events?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm referring to my statement
9 of 1999 and early 2000.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
11 Now, Mr. O'Sullivan, the Chamber is tentatively of the view that
12 dealing -- where we're dealing with so many issues over a long period of
13 time so long after the events, that it may be appropriate for the witness
14 to have the statement there, so that we can be fully informed of these
15 events; bearing in mind, of course, that he would be assisted to some
16 extent by a statement made on an earlier occasion. But it may be contrary
17 to the interests of justice to prevent that clarification that could be
18 obtained from reference to the statement. Would you wish to comment on
19 that before we make a final decision?
20 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour. This witness was originally
21 scheduled to be a live witness, in which case there would have been no
22 statement before him. He was then made a 92 ter/live, and your ruling was
23 he could have the statement for the first 45 paragraphs. We say that, in
24 the interests of justice, one of the things you must be able to evaluate
25 is this man's credibility, honesty, and trustworthiness.
1 And he was scheduled to be a live witness; you've ruled he is to
2 be a live witness for this portion of his testimony. And we say a
3 fundamental part of the evaluation of the evidence will go to the weight
4 you will give it, based on his credibility, ability to recollect, and be
5 truthful. So we say his statement should not be put in front of him.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: On the other hand, we are requiring of people
7 recollection of events, which in the case of the evidence we are
8 at the moment are over eight years ago. And recollection, as
9 know, does fade with the passage of time. And there is an intervening
10 period at which he has required to concentrate on his recollection of
11 events and record matters, which might assist him to give us a more
12 accurate, full account at this stage.
13 Now, this is different -- this is quite different from the
14 decision we made earlier, which was that as a substitute for his evidence
15 we would not be -- his oral evidence, we would not be prepared to consider
16 the bulk of the statement. So there is an issue here over whether, in
17 fact, preventing reference to something that is his own document would act
18 contrary to the interests of justice.
19 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Well, I won't repeat the point I made. But of
20 course he was proofed by the Prosecutor on the 4th and 5th of November
21 with that document. He came to court on Friday with that document. He
22 may in fact have re-read his full statement over the weekend; you can ask
23 him that.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, I'm being invited by counsel to ask you
25 whether in fact you read your statement again over the weekend.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But I made no effort to
2 memorise the dates. I was looking at the processes and events. I do not
3 want the Defence to challenge me because I may mistake a date. I am
4 talking about political events, but I cannot commit to memory all those
5 dates and times. They will then stand up and say, no, the commission was
6 not established in late 1997 but in early 1998; so you, Tanic, know
7 nothing about this. However, I did not try to memorise the dates because
8 I did not think I would be able to consult my own statement.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 Mr. Fila.
11 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honours, I have
12 two grounds. First, in paragraph 53, the state commission is mentioned
13 for the first time. But it seems that Mr. Hannis doesn't like this
14 because it is linked to certain events. So let's take a good look at
15 paragraph 53, and what he says there about when it was established.
16 Secondly, the witness was able to see his statement over the
17 weekend. And as Mr. Hannis kept adding on to what the witness was to
18 testify to, we have two additional requests or motions for alterations
19 even to 65 ter. And let's be thorough. And if the witness makes a
20 mistake of a few months, we will accept that, and nobody is expecting him
21 to give the precise date. Of course, such small discrepancies can be
22 tolerated. But he keeps putting forward new information, and we want to
23 check his credibility. Inter alia, look at paragraph 53 and you will see
24 when the commission was established. And Mr. Hannis is reading another
25 paragraph which fits in with what the witness is saying. I am opposed to
1 the witness having the statement before him.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
3 Mr. Visnjic.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me just add what we
5 are trying to assess here is the witness's ability to transmit faithfully
6 what he heard from others. I think we have the problem right now that he
7 cannot even faithfully convey what he himself produced. Just to add to
8 what Mr. O'Sullivan and Mr. Fila has said.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, this is an insult. I
10 know that as a witness I don't have the right to speak out, but this is an
11 insult that I'm unable to convey what I did myself. It's a serious
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, just please bear with us while we
14 consider these issues. Counsel have duties to explain to me fully the
15 basis on which they wish to oppose the matter that we are considering.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, do you want to say something?
18 MR. HANNIS: I did, Your Honour, if I may. This general issue is
19 one that's very near to my head and heart. I used to have an excellent
20 memory, I'm told. I don't have a personal recollection of that anymore.
21 Sometimes I don't remember what I had for supper last night or whether I
22 showered under my arms, but this is a problem for all Courts and all
23 Tribunals dealing with witnesses, particularly witnesses talking about
24 events that happened long ago. In my jurisdiction there are a couple of
25 ways of dealing with that. One talks about remembrance refreshed, in
1 which case if a witness has made.
2 A statement on a prior occasion closer in time to the events, he's
3 given the opportunity to look at it. He's asked if having looked at it
4 refreshes his memory. If it does, he sets it aside and he describes what
5 he remembers now having been refreshed. On the other hand, he may look at
6 it and say: "Well, I know I gave a statement five, six, eight years ago,
7 and at the time the events were fresh in my memory. But reading it now,
8 it doesn't refresh my memory. But I know at the time, it was fresh in my
9 mind, and I gave a true account at that time."
10 In that event, the actual statement itself is permitted as his
11 evidence, as opposed to his testimony. But in either situation, Your
12 Honour, I think in the interests of justice in this Tribunal's effort to
13 search for the truth, it would not be unfair to the Defence or to the of
14 this Tribunal to allow the witness to refer to his statement and see if it
15 does refresh his recollection.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 JUDGE BONOMY: We propose to give a ruling on this in the absence
19 of the witness. So we'll need to go into closed session while he leaves
20 the court until we make our ruling.
21 [Closed session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, we consider that giving the witness the
6 statement for the purpose of referring generally to its contents to
7 refresh his memory would not advance the interests of justice here and
8 essentially would be contrary to the decision we made earlier in relation
9 to the statement. However, it's plain that there will be occasions - and
10 there may already have been occasions - where for the sake of accuracy in
11 the sequence of events and the exact content of discussions, it would be
12 helpful for the statement to be available to refresh his recollection. So
13 we will be sympathetic to the suggestion that he should be directed to
14 particular passages in the sort of situation you've identified, but we're
15 not satisfied that he could -- simply where he claimed a general lack of
16 recollection of an event or a -- or a sequence of events under a topic be
17 allowed to do so. It would be allowed for specific purposes as we go
19 Therefore, we feel that his evidence will be enhanced by hearing
20 it live without that assistance so far as possible. So please bear these
21 thoughts in mind. Direct our attention to occasions where you feel it
22 would assist. We may even identify them ourselves, but we do not think
23 the witness should at any stage be given the impression that general
24 reference to the statement will be permitted.
25 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. I understand.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll go back into closed session now while the
2 witness is brought back into court.
3 [Closed session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, we've made a ruling and we'll proceed on
14 the basis of that ruling.
15 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 On the exhibit presently now on the screen, if we could go to the
17 next page of the English and scroll up a bit on the current page of B/C/S.
18 Q. Mr. Tanic, before we digress for a bit, we were talking about
19 General Perisic's letter and paragraph 3, where he was complaining about
20 the attempts by some civilian parties to command the VJ. And in paragraph
21 3, he had talked about -- that in practice, the commander of the Pristina
22 Corps plans what he's ordered to do, which is at the request of Sainovic,
23 Minic, and the MUP, and it is then turned into the service for planning
24 and realisation. Did General Perisic tell you anything about problems
25 resulting from that practice?
1 A. He told me what he had written down. He said the result is that
2 the Army of Yugoslavia is used inefficiently and that there are many
3 casualties and that there were poor results. As for Sainovic and Minic,
4 they conveyed orders to the MUP as well, and I knew that before Perisic
5 told me. Those two men truly transmitted Milosevic's messages so as to be
6 able to make decisions within the army and the police. I had known that
7 previously, whereas Mr. Perisic has confirmed this to me.
8 Q. Let me ask you, what was the source of your information about this
9 before you heard it from General Perisic?
10 A. The State Security Service and some well-meaning Milosevic's
11 collaborators, the head of my party as well. There were three or four
12 different sources of different levels, but they all confirmed the same
13 thing, including the international participation factor, but I guess this
14 is not the time to respond to that.
15 Q. Let me then go to paragraph 4, which regarded bypassing levels of
16 command in conducting official talks and distributing assignments.
17 General Perisic complained that Mr. Milosevic sometimes had -- even though
18 as commander in certain states, he had the right to speak to anybody in
19 the VJ. General Perisic complained that this was done without the
20 knowledge of the Chief of Staff of the army. And who was the Chief of
21 Staff of the army at that time?
22 A. General Perisic.
23 Q. Now, related to this problem, did General Perisic tell you
24 anything about steps that he personally had taken in 1998 to keep control
25 and know what the VJ units in Kosovo were doing?
1 A. Yes. He ordered a written order, stating that not a single piece
2 of equipment by the army, especially heavy artillery and heavy equipment,
3 cannot be moved an inch on anyone's request, be it Sainovic, Minic, or the
4 MUP, without his consent. Since many tricks were used. People would say,
5 Move your tank by one metre. And by having done that the tank could
6 target a civilian house, whereas the army personnel would be ignorant to
7 that. Therefore, he prohibited this in writing such use of army units.
8 Q. Did General Perisic tell you whether or not that step had been
9 effective in eliminating the problem?
10 A. He said that it was efficient for a short while, but then General
11 Perisic was replaced; and at that same time Mr. Stanisic left his
12 position, as well as his deputy Mijatovic. This is all to do with similar
13 problems, and this all tallies with what I discussed with Mijatovic as
14 regards the State Security Service. Their view was identical to the view
15 of the Army of Yugoslavia, the opinion of how Milosevic was trying to
16 provoke a war down there. And in their views, Sainovic and Minic figured
17 as well.
18 Q. You spoke in one of your earlier answers about the -- I forget the
19 term you used, but it had to do with going outside the chain of command or
20 an illegal chain of command. Do you recall -- do you recall that?
21 A. In Serbia, colloquially, we call it the private chain of command.
22 Of course, it is illegal. We just refer to it as private. All of us who
23 knew about its existence, we called it the private Sloba's chain of
25 Q. What can you tell the Court about the private chain of command.
1 Can you give us an example of how that worked and who was involved?
2 A. As regards civilian figures, there was Sainovic and Minic for
3 internal affairs; Milutinovic in his relation with the community, with the
4 international community, but this is another side of the matter. Since
5 Milosevic could not procure institutional support for the war in Kosovo,
6 since there was political solution in existence, he assembled a group of
7 his friends. And then they issued directives to the police; they would
8 provide false information. They would say there are few terrorists there,
9 go intervene and arrest them. And as it turns out, there were far more
10 terrorists and our policemen would get killed. This is the traitor policy
11 mentioned by Perisic.
12 And then some casualties were used by Milosevic so as to create
13 the spiral of violence. This was initiated by the Jashari incident in
14 Prekaz, and then it continued in several other instances. I didn't
15 participate in any of these cases, but the information I have is credible.
16 This was done in that way. First, there would be Serbian casualties which
17 were planned, so as to provoke a mass response, and then we would have a
18 slaughterhouse. The spiral of violence evolved and the Albanian
19 terrorists could hardly wait for it. They would say, "Yes. You see, we
20 have to fight for freedom." That's how Milosevic turned Albanian
21 terrorists into freedom fighters together with his friends.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Hannis, a journalist could have been
23 written that, and it would have got the same value from us as any piece of
24 journalistic nature. If that's to come of any value, there's going to
25 need to be meat put on the skeleton.
1 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour.
2 Q. Mr. Tanic, did Mr. Perisic give you any examples of how this
3 private chain of command had worked with regard to the VJ, if indeed there
4 had had been any instances of that?
5 A. The way I described. Sainovic would pick up a phone. He would
6 say, "Move your tank by two metres." This was exactly as I described. As
7 His Honour said, a journalist could write that, but my information was far
8 more credible. And an operative from the security service specified the
9 very similar example in Decani.
10 Q. Let me stop you there. Did General Perisic become aware of anyone
11 under his command who was operating in response to that private chain of
12 command without his knowledge?
13 A. Yes. He said that it was Mr. Pavkovic.
14 Q. And did he tell you -- did General Perisic tell you whether he had
15 taken any steps to try and discipline Pavkovic for that?
16 A. Yes. He didn't specify the steps; and shortly afterwards, he was
17 from his position.
18 Q. Who was removed? Pavkovic or Perisic?
19 A. Perisic.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, were there any specific examples given
21 to you of General Pavkovic responding to this informal chain of command or
22 unofficial chain of command?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he told me that he reacted by
24 way of several oral warnings to Milosevic; and when that heeded no result
25 he put it in writing, which at that time was proclaimed a state secret,
1 and it was never published anywhere as far as I know. And then we know
2 what followed, he lost his job. For a while, his written orders were in
3 place prohibiting the use of army pieces; but after he was removed, it all
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Unless you've misunderstood me, it must be that you
6 don't have any such information. I was anxious to know if you could give
7 examples of conduct of General Pavkovic that was in response to something
8 ordered by the unofficial chain of command.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. The fault is mine. I
10 misunderstood. You were referring to Pavkovic rather than Perisic. I
11 apologise to the Bench. As far as General Perisic told me, Pavkovic had
12 an inclination to take Sainovic's orders and to engage military units to
13 assist the MUP and to give them to use mortars and tanks within a limited
14 scope, but nevertheless contrary to constitutional provisions.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: But you don't have any specific examples?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. He wasn't specific. Our
17 conversation was just to exchange information, and I knew about that from
18 other sources. I know of an example in Decani, for example.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. In -- during 1998 or 1999, did you, in your dealings with the SDB,
22 come across information about something called Operation Horseshoe; yes or
24 A. Not from the SDB, but from Perisic.
25 Q. At the same time you were having this discussion with him, when he
1 showed you the letter?
2 A. Yes. These were three long conversations, five to six hours each.
3 Q. Very briefly, what did he tell you about Operation Horseshoe?
4 What was it?
5 A. Well, he said what I knew, that our military had plans for
6 exercises simulating various situations. And it was a nickname for the
7 plan, the horseshoe. It wasn't its official name; it was a contingency
8 plan of the former JNA from the times of Tito. And it's possible for such
9 contingencies as an attack from the south-east. And provided the Albanian
10 population sided with the aggressor, there were six or seven axes to be
11 used to eliminate potential Albanian strongholds, which were used by an
12 outside enemy. This is a regular contingency plan that any army has, and
13 it foresaw seven directions which would form a horseshoe; hence the
14 nickname of the plan, although, I repeat, it wasn't its official title.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you know its official title?
16 A. No. We didn't go into such detail.
17 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you about in, approximately, October of
18 1998, do you recall attending a reception at the German embassy?
19 A. If it is in my statement, then I did attend.
20 Q. Well, let me ask you this: Do you know a Vladimir Stambuk?
21 A. Yes. You refreshed my recollection now. I know the gentleman and
22 I know what you're referring to. It was a reception --
23 Q. Before you tell us about that. Tell the Judges who he was and
24 what his position was.
25 A. Vladimir Stambuk holds a Ph.D. He was the main ideologist of the
1 United Yugoslav Left, the so-called JUL, led by Milosevic's spouse, Mira
2 Markovic. He was one of her closest collaborators, and he was part of his
3 inner circle. When I say his "inner circle," I mean his immediate circle
4 of contacts.
5 Q. And do you recall what position he held in the government, if any?
6 A. It's difficult for me to recall. I used to know several hundred
7 people. I think he had a position. I believe he was one of the deputies
8 of the government. But if I am mistaken, I'm asking not to be abused on
9 this piece of information by the Defence, so that this information is not
10 abused. In any case, he was a influential person among the so-called
11 Hawks in Serbia.
12 Q. Do you recall any unusual comment or remark he made at that
13 reception in your presence?
14 A. Yes, yes. It was very unusual; therefore, I had to try and
15 intervene, to try and stop him.
16 Q. Tell us who else was present when he made this remark.
17 A. The British ambassador, Donnelly, and the German ambassador,
19 Q. What did he say?
20 A. There were four of us; Stambuk, the two aforementioned
21 ambassadors, and I. And I did my best to carry a conversation with the
22 ambassadors to try and convince them not to bomb Yugoslavia. And Stambuk
23 appeared and said literally, "Well, we wouldn't mind a few bombs by NATO."
24 And the two ambassadors were astounded, jaws aslaver. They were surprised
25 to hear a leader of a political elite saying he had nothing against that.
1 He said that our authorities wouldn't object against some bombing, a
2 little bit of it. It was almost unbelievable.
3 Q. Did you subsequently have a one-on-one conversation that same
4 evening with Mr. Stambuk about that remark?
5 A. Yes. I took him to the side as far as I could. I asked Gruber
6 and Donnelly to dismiss that remark. They looked at me in surprise,
7 because this was something punishable by jail sentence according to our
8 law. I asked Stambuk what came to him, what he meant by saying that we
9 wouldn't mind having a bit of war. Since we were on good terms, he
10 explained to me the doctrine. He said that I was stupid, together with
11 the president of my party, Mihajlovic, for having left the government. He
12 said that a few bombs by the NATO pact could be a very good excuse to
13 eliminate our position, to cleanse the Albanians.
14 And since our factories were not operational, we could use that as
15 the excuse as well. It was a doctrine. He tried to put forth the
16 advantages we could gain by some bombing our country. I was amazed, since
17 I never heard any such thing in my career, not in such clear terms and so
18 specifically. Therefore, I asked him, "Did you ever discuss this with
19 anyone or is this your private position?" And he said it was the family
20 position. And he mention Milosevic and Mira and a few friends of theirs,
21 and he said again that Dusan and I shouldn't be dumb, that we should
22 return to the government, and that there will be some war, and that we can
23 use it to our advantage. It was an unbelievable conversation. I put
24 together a document on the conversation and sent it to the state security,
25 since this was treason.
1 Q. Did anything happen as a result of that report you sent to the
3 A. Nothing. The operative told me they have knowledge of certain
4 statements of that nature from Milosevic's collaborators, that there were
5 people going around saying, "Well, a bit of war couldn't do any harm."
6 They were quite astounded, too. But I believe at that time Stanisic was
7 no longer the head of the service; I believe it was Markovic. And their
8 hands were tied. Many people were afraid for their positions. Nothing
9 came of it. But they did confirm that they received such information from
10 various sources; therefore, this was no news to them. We were sort of
11 completely taken aback.
12 Q. At the end of October 1998, there was an agreement reached between
13 Mr. Milosevic and Holbrooke and some related agreements that established
14 the Kosovo Verification Mission. Around that time, do you recall any
15 changes in the top personnel in Mr. Milosevic's regime?
16 A. I didn't understand the question, and I don't have my notes. Can
17 you rephrase, please.
18 Q. You've already mentioned a couple of people being replaced. And I
19 guess my question is: Did this happen at that time? You mentioned
20 General Perisic being replaced and Mr. Stanisic. Do you recall
21 approximately when that occurred?
22 A. Yes, I understand now. It was shortly after the
23 Holbrooke-Milosevic agreement.
24 Q. And who was selected to replace General Perisic as the Chief of
25 Staff for the VJ?
1 A. Pavkovic, General Pavkovic.
2 Q. Are you certain about that, Chief of Staff?
3 A. No, I apologise. You're right. Pavkovic was commander of the
4 Pristina Corps. It is Dragoljub Ojdanic; he was to replace Pavkovic --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Before going any further on that, can I have a date
6 roughly for the reception where this conversation took place, Mr. Tanic,
7 that's the conversation with Stambuk.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is in my statement, I believe.
9 It can be checked. Would you be so kind as to remind me again, refresh my
10 memory. I remember processes, sequences of events.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: You -- the conversation included reference to some
12 bombing would not be unwelcome. When was it in relation to the start of
13 the NATO bombing?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know now. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 It was at the time when desperate attempts were made so as to avoid the
16 bombing; therefore, it was one to two months before the conflict with
17 NATO; at the most, one or two months prior to the war.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, it's time for our first break. So you --
19 well, first of all we'll go into closed session before you leave the
20 courtroom, Mr. Tanic.
21 [Closed session]
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Your Honour, in light of the last question that you put to the
13 witness concerning the timing of that event at the German embassy
14 reception, I would, with your permission, like to be able to show the
15 witness his statement and refer him to paragraph 94 and ask him if that
16 refreshes his memory about the timing.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the thing to do is to put the specific point
18 to the witness from the statement, Mr. Hannis.
19 MR. HANNIS: All right, Your Honour.
20 Q. Mr. Tanic, at the time you made your statement, I would indicate
21 to you that in paragraph 94 you date the embassy event as October of 1998.
22 You answered Judge Bonomy earlier that you thought it was maybe no more
23 than one or two months before the bombing which started in March. Now,
24 after having heard what you reported in your statement, how do you resolve
25 that difference? Which one do you think is more correct, and why?
1 A. Well, I thought about it during the break, and I'm sure that the
2 one from October 1998 is more correct. I placed this within the
3 time-frame of two months before the bombing; whereas, in fact it was three
4 or four months before the bombing. I do apologise, but there were
5 hundreds and hundreds of meetings and conversations. October 1998 is
6 correct to the best of my recollection, but it can be checked, of course.
7 Q. As early as October 1998, were people in Serbia talking about the
8 possibility of NATO bombing?
9 A. I got this information from the most credible western sources
10 seven months before the bombing, and I conveyed it to the security
11 service. They took it seriously; and later on, it transpired that there
12 was more such information. So that the inner circle, the political elite,
13 in Serbia, to which I belonged, knew that if no political solution was
14 found for Kosovo, most likely there would be an intervention by NATO.
15 It wasn't the general public in Serbia who discussed this, but
16 only a certain inner circle of politicians, intelligence agents, and so
17 on. The general public were afraid that the conflict might break out, but
18 they didn't have this information. I apologise for mistaking the time,
19 but that's due to the large number of events taking place at the time.
20 Q. Thank you. Let me now go to --
21 MR. HANNIS: For Defence counsel and the Court, I'm going to
22 paragraph 86 of the statement.
23 Q. Mr. Tanic, do you have any personal knowledge about the
24 involvement of any of the accused in events related to an incident that
25 occurred in mid-January 1999 in Racak?
1 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Objection, Your Honour. This matter is no longer
2 part of our indictment, and evidence should not be led in relation to it.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
4 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'm not offering this for the purposes
5 of showing the killing incident, but rather we argue it goes --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: You need go no further. I mean, I've read this
7 before, considered the point already. I hear what Mr. O'Sullivan has to
8 say, but this evidence is relevant to the issue of individual criminal
9 responsibility. And I note your assurance that you're not going into the
10 episode itself.
11 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Tanic, do you recall my question?
13 A. Yes. With respect to this unfortunate incident, I discussed it
14 with the State Security Service and also with the president of my party,
15 Mihajlovic, as we knew that this was a direct escalation of the conflict.
16 I was informed by the service that, according to the scenario I have
17 already described, there was simply confusing information reaching the
18 ground for Mr. Sainovic; that the Jashari brothers, who were criminals and
19 smugglers, could have been arrested by our units previously, but they were
20 not allowed to do so --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I think from -- I think if you just stop
22 there you may be talking about -- you may be talking at cross-purposes
23 with Mr. Hannis.
24 MR. HANNIS: I understand Your Honour's intervention. Maybe I
25 need to ask another question here. I think I also understand what the
1 answer was trying to do.
2 Q. Mr. Tanic, the event regarding the Jashari brothers occurred much
3 earlier than this Racak event; correct?
4 A. Yes, yes. My mistake because of the large number of events.
5 Racak, yes, there is a tape originating from Serb sources, the State
6 Security Service sources. It was acquired through operations of
7 interception of communications. And one can hear on that tape that Mr.
8 Sainovic is exchanging opinions and giving certain instructions to Mr.
9 Lukic in connection with combat operations in this village, and later on
10 the removal of traces.
11 I was able to listen to this tape; and later on through Serb
12 sources, it was partly made public, to point out what problems were
13 arising from the parallel chain of command. Later on I received
14 confirmation from western sources that they also had tapes showing that
15 Mr. Sainovic was conveying information to Mr. Lukic, which he should not
16 have conveyed, nor should Mr. Lukic have listened to him. Mr. Lukic may
17 have been labouring under an illusion, thinking it really was the case,
18 but Mr. Sainovic was not labouring under any illusion. It all started
19 with Prekaz and Jashari; and of course, yes, Racak took place much later.
20 Q. Let me ask you: Was the security service monitoring the phones of
21 Mr. Sainovic?
22 A. The security service was monitoring all communications to the
23 extent it was able to technically; as far as I know, Mr. Sainovic and Mr.
24 Minic because they were prone to conveying Milosevic's private orders even
25 when it was against the interests of Serbia, were subject to operative
1 surveillance to the extent this was possible.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I have a whole number of questions arising
3 out of this, but maybe you're still exploring it.
4 MR. HANNIS: No, Your Honour, I would welcome --
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, some of them are for you. Have efforts been
6 made to find this tape? Can you help me on that?
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, efforts have been made to find a tape of
8 that conversation from a different source, and we have not been able to
9 obtain it. A different source, I mean -- a different source of the
10 intercept, not the SDB.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: But has an attempt been made to obtain it from the
12 Republic of Serbia?
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I don't know that there'd been an effort
14 to obtain this specific tape, because it was only in proofing the witness
15 this last weekend that it was indicated to us that he had listened to a
16 copy of the tape that was made by the SDB, as opposed to one that we
17 believed existed from another intercepter.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It may follow from what you've said that it's also
19 recent news to you that western sources have tapes showing instructions
20 being given by Mr. Sainovic to Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. HANNIS: That specific part of it regarding instructions to
22 Mr. Lukic?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
24 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, if there are such tapes, then clearly some
1 effort ought to have been made to recover these.
2 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, we were aware of a story in the New York
3 newspaper in January of 1999 about an intercepted conversation involving
4 Mr. Sainovic and at least one of the other accused but not Mr. Lukic.
5 Efforts have been made to determine whether indeed that newspaper account
6 was accurate, whether such a tape had existed, and whether we can get it.
7 We have not been able to get it.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: And you seem to have answered at least -- in fact,
9 the main question I had for Mr. Tanic, which I will ask him nevertheless.
10 Where was it you had access to this recording?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In one of the official offices of
12 the State Security Service. We were discussing the problem and they said,
13 "Well, you can hear for yourself what kind of chaos there is down there."
14 I heard parts of the tape, not the entire tape. They have quite a few
15 tapes. To assist the Court and the Prosecutor, I believe they published
16 parts of those tapes on Radio B92 . I know that a few months later I
17 suddenly heard something that sounded familiar, and I thought to myself,
18 "Oh, this is what I heard." And I knew that all the problems originated
19 from this parallel chain of command, and they wanted to draw public
20 attention to it.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Try to confine yourself to the questions I'm asking
22 you because it does lead on to -- that does lead on to other matters, and
23 I will take them up if Mr. Hannis has exhausted in topic. He seems to
24 have assumed in what he said to me that this was a recording of a
25 telephone conversation. Do you know the nature of this recording?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's the usual kind of
2 recording when communications are being intercepted or tapped into. I'm
3 not an expert on the technical issues, and I'm sure I didn't hear the
4 entire tape. I'm sure there is much more material there. This was only
5 to illustrate a point.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. But conversations can be recorded in
7 different circumstances. Do you know whether it was a telephone
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, yes. Yes, it was a telephone
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you be any more specific about the content of
12 the conversation?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's difficult because, initially,
14 it was a general conversation, and then they probably didn't play the
15 whole tape to me. But from the nature of the conversation, it became
16 clear to Sainovic was giving certain instructions to Mr. Lukic about
17 removing corpses, and before that in connection with certain combat
18 activities. I was informed by the service that it was Sainovic and Lukic
19 who were talking. I didn't know Mr. Lukic at the time, so I cannot say
20 from my own knowledge who the voices belonged to.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: But does that apply to both voices?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Because I have only a
23 superficial private knowledge of Sainovic, so to be fair I do have to say
24 that this applies to both voices. However, it's crucial that parts of the
25 tape were later on broadcast in public.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: What made you conclude that the conversation
2 related to Racak?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Racak was mentioned in the
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
6 Mr. Hannis.
7 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm about to move on to
8 another topic.
9 Q. Paragraphs 54 through 69. In March of 1999, Mr. Tanic,
10 specifically the 22nd and 23rd, one and two days before the NATO bombing
11 started, were you aware of some efforts by Vuk Draskovic to try and come
12 up with a way to prevent the impending NATO air-strikes?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And, first of all, for the Judges, would you tell us who Vuk
15 Draskovic is and what position he had at the time.
16 A. At the time, he was the deputy prime minister of the Federal
17 Republic of Yugoslavia. And he is a well-known personality, so there's no
18 need to go into it. He's a well-known public figure. At the time, his
19 official position was that of deputy prime minister.
20 Q. And what was he --
21 A. This --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The Interpreter's Correction: He was the
23 vice-president; he was the vice-president of Yugoslavia.
24 MR. HANNIS:
25 Q. And what was he trying to do? What proposal did he have to try
1 and prevent the NATO bombing from beginning?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Zecevic.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Your Honour. Maybe the
4 interpreters can correct that, because the transcript shows that he was
5 the vice-president of Yugoslavia. Actually, the witness was saying the
6 vice-president of the government of Yugoslavia. And in my understanding,
7 that's a deputy prime minister. But -- so in my opinion the first
8 translation was okay. Now we are having a problem in the transcript
9 because --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm grateful for the intervention, but I'm
11 sure it can be clarified on another occasion.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: And we have a note of it in the transcript that
14 will allow us to make sure that we get the facts on that.
15 Mr. Hannis.
16 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Tanic, can you tell us what proposal he had in mind, or what
18 was he trying to do to prevent the NATO bombing.
19 A. He had the same proposal in mind that Mihajlovic and I had, but we
20 were not in the government. So Mihajlovic asked him to become involved in
21 the whole problem, but Vuk Draskovic would have done so in any case. The
22 essence of the effort was that as we knew that NATO was ready to set foot
23 in Yugoslavia under the auspices of the UN and the Security Council, not
24 as the NATO -- as NATO, but as Milosevic was trying to delude the Yugoslav
25 public, saying that NATO wanted to intervene in Yugoslavia under its own
1 flag, Vuk Draskovic discussed this with Mihajlovic and myself.
2 And he drew up a proposal, which his group of MPs tabled, and that
3 was to accept the presence of NATO units, but under the flag of the UN and
4 with a UN mandate; and to sign the political solution that I've mentioned
5 so many times, which had existed for many years and which ultimately
6 Milosevic agreed on with Holbrooke, and to put this forward at the
7 Assembly session, which was the decisive session before the NATO
8 intervention was to take place or not to take place. There was a whole
9 series of meetings, a number of meetings, with Vuk Draskovic, involving
10 some other people as well. And he discussed this with Milosevic, and
11 Milosevic added on his own initiative only that the sovereignty of the
12 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should be respected. And there was some
13 mention of secession. So this was supposed to be adopted by the Assembly.
14 Holbrooke was waiting in Belgrade for the Assembly decision, to see
15 whether he would return to Washington with Serbia's decision for peace or
16 the decision of the Milosevic regime in favour of war. Vuk Draskovic made
17 enormous efforts to prevent the conflict, but I'm not testifying on his
18 behalf. Anyway, that was the essence of the whole matter.
19 Q. And you indicated that Mr. Milosevic had made one change to the
20 proposal by Mr. Draskovic, having a phrase about respecting the
21 sovereignty of Yugoslavia and Serbia. Was that the only change he had
22 with it at that time?
23 A. Yes, the only change. Milosevic pretended that it was all all
24 right and even promised to issue instructions to have this adopted at the
25 Assembly session. We all went home happily, expecting that there would be
1 no war, but the next day things turned out differently.
2 Q. The proposal suggested by Mr. Draskovic allowed for the
3 possibility in the presence of UN troops to monitor the situation. Is
4 that correct?
5 A. Yes. Yes, under the flag of the UN and with mandate from the
6 Security Council to act as separation forces and even to coordinate with
7 the Pristina Corps, so to keep the Pristina Corps there. That was it.
8 MR. HANNIS: Could we put up Exhibit P2483, please, and the
9 side-by-side version if possible. That's very helpful.
10 Q. Did you actually see this document at the time, Mr. Tanic?
11 A. Of course. I participated in drawing it up, but of course I don't
12 want to take the main credit for it. It's Mihajlovic and Draskovic who
13 should take most of the credit.
14 MR. HANNIS: Could we go to the second page of the B/C/S, please.
15 Q. This is a -- this is a copy that was typed up from the original
16 which had the handwritten change. Is that correct?
17 A. Can I also see the first page, please?
18 Yes, yes. This has refreshed my memory now, and I can clarify
19 what Milosevic added in his own hand.
20 Q. Yes. Actually, in fairness to you I think we should show you
21 another exhibit. This would be P710. Because as I understand from your
22 statement, there was a typed version made from the original fax because
23 the fax was somewhat illegible.
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And if --
1 A. That is the proposal from Rambouillet with certain corrections,
2 and Milosevic added, with respect for the sovereignty and territorial
3 integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, foreign troops would have
4 to be under the UN flag. Milosevic adopted this because we were also part
5 of the UN troops, I mean, the Yugoslav army. So there would be no
6 obstacle to their arriving under that flag on the territory of the FRY.
7 MR. HANNIS: If we could go to --
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that mean this is a different document now?
9 When you say this is the proposal from Rambouillet.
10 MR. HANNIS:
11 Q. Could you explain that, Mr. Tanic.
12 A. No. It's not a different document. I have just remembered all
13 the points of the document; but in essence, it's advocates signing the
14 Rambouillet agreement, and the presence of foreign troops under the UN
15 flag and with a mandate from the Security Council. It was the presence of
16 foreign troops that was the problem. The political agreement was a
17 problem, to be sure, but not a major problem.
18 It was the modality that was the problem. And later on this
19 formulation was arrived at that had to do with the UN, but as far as I
20 know it was agreed on orally. It's not put down on paper here. There is
21 only a proposal that the Rambouillet agreement be signed and to remove
22 provisions infringing on the sovereignty of the FRY, that is, that foreign
23 troops should arrive under the UN flag.
24 MR. HANNIS: If we could scroll to the bottom of both pages,
1 Q. And paragraph 6 makes reference to that in this draft agreement
2 that was proposed by Mr. Draskovic on the 22nd of March, indicating the
3 Serbs' willingness to sign the agreement or proposed agreement that had
4 been worked out in Rambouillet but never signed. Is that correct?
5 A. First of all, this was not Vuk Draskovic's proposal; this was a
6 proposal of all those political leaders in Serbia who were in favour of
7 peace. And Vuk Draskovic, as the deputy prime minister of the FRY, had
8 the strength to put this in the form of a -- an official proposal, rather
9 than private proposal, private suggestion. Many people stand behind this
10 proposal; and as regards the other part of the question, yes, the
11 intention was that the Rambouillet agreement should be signed, provided
12 the provisions concerning the third republic be removed. And this was not
13 one of the original requests made at Rambouillet. The apple of discord
14 was actually the arrival of troops which were to be in the peace
16 MR. HANNIS: Can we go to page 2 of both the English and B/C/S,
18 Q. And on page 2 of the B/C/S --
19 MR. HANNIS: If we could scroll to the top of each page.
20 Q. Can you indicate to us where Mr. Milosevic had made his
21 handwritten amendment, and what it says?
22 A. It follows the part of the sentence where the Security Council is
23 mentioned and the framework of the political agreement, including the
24 guarantee of-- for the agreement. It says with respect for sovereignty
25 and constitution of the FRY, this is Milosevic's handwriting.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, what happened the next day? Was the proposal
3 A. As you can see, this was a draft of conclusions. Milosevic
4 promised that it would be accepted, but the next day things turned out
5 completely different. Mr. Milutinovic was trying to convince the
6 Assembly, or rather, he consented at the Assembly that the political
7 agreement was not a problem, that we could have had the political
8 agreement. And for the first time after so many years, we were able to
9 hear that this was possible, to reach a favourable political agreement on
10 Kosovo --
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: What is said in the Assembly of Republic of
12 Serbia is a matter of public record. It is a political speech and the
13 words speak for themselves. We don't need a fact witness trying to
14 decipher and put an interpretation on them. It's a public record. It's a
15 public speech. Your Honours can read it as well as anyone else. You
16 don't need this witness, who's not qualified to give opinion on anyone's
17 words, to do this in this courtroom.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do you think that he has tried to give an
19 opinion about his words? I thought he had departed from that initial
20 indication, and it's equally true, Mr. O'Sullivan, that you can draw his
21 attention to the exact words if you feel that he hasn't accurately
22 reflected them in his evidence. So while noting that you may be right in
23 principle, should an effort be made to put a gloss on words without
24 foundation. So far, I don't see that happening in this evidence and,
25 therefore, that objection is repelled.
1 MR. HANNIS:
2 Q. Mr. Tanic, had you completed your answer?
3 A. No. Just to remind myself what I had already said. After
4 acknowledging that the political agreement was not an issue, Milutinovic
5 stated that NATO troops insist and wish to enter the territory of Serbia
6 and Kosovo, exclusively under the auspices or at part of the mandate of
7 the UN forces, but this was simply incorrect. Mr. Milutinovic was simply
8 not saying the truth. For the first time, he acknowledged that the
9 political agreement was not a problem, and Milosevic was quite upset with
10 him afterwards, but then he resumed with the latter part, trying to
11 dispatch wrong information. He mentioned the ultimatum, but he didn't
12 mention the possibility that the Pristina Corps might be allowed to stay
13 and to cooperate with the UN troops in peace implementation.
14 Since he presented this as a military ultimatum, the proposal was
15 rejected, and Holbrooke went home with Serbia's decision to go into war.
16 It was made based on wrong interpretation and wrong information, and Mr.
17 Milutinovic participated in that because it was not correct that NATO
18 insisted on its own flag and its own mandate. It was always under the
19 mandate of the Security Council and the UN flag, plus the Pristina Corps
20 which were allowed to stay in Kosovo, in the field.
21 Q. Let me stop you there and move on to after the NATO bombing
22 started. After that commenced, did you personally get involved or engage
23 in any efforts to reach a peace accord and stop the bombing; yes or no?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Tell the Court what you did in connection with that. Did you --
1 were you allowed to travel outside of Serbia to try and engage in that
3 A. Having in mind my previous numerous contacts I had with them, the
4 State Security Service and Mr. Mihajlovic were most interested to try to
5 come up with a peaceful solution and to bring an end to the war. And they
6 made it possible for me to leave the country, although it was prohibited
7 at the time. I was taken out by one of their employees, and I was given
8 mandate by the security service to try to do something via my personal
9 contacts in the west to try and put an end to the tragedy of our people.
10 Later, I learned that there was another person who was dispatched
11 with the same mission. If you want me to say what exactly I did, then it
12 would require a rather long answer. Of course the security service gave
13 me that mandate with Milosevic's consent, otherwise it would have been out
14 of the question.
15 Q. Let me ask you this: You started your answer by saying because
16 your previous numerous contacts, you're referring to contacts with western
17 governments or western security services?
18 A. Western governments and a western security service, and I was
19 actively working on the Kosovo issue for five years. Everyone knew that I
20 was a credible figure in the discussions, both at home and abroad. To be
21 precise, three western governments were in question and one western
22 security service -- intelligence security.
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this relates to paragraphs 121 to 127 of
24 his statement.
25 Q. And as a result of your going out to engage in this process, did
1 you -- were you able to receive any sort of proposals or offers which you
2 took back to Serbia and delivered to Mr. Milosevic?
3 A. Yes. I received confirmation from two very credible western
4 sources. I was given a precisely defined proposal for a short end to the
5 war, although it was highly secretive. Later on Mr. Lilic received the
6 same, and both plans tally. And I can describe their proposal in detail.
7 It was a western proposal. It stated that NATO would not cease its
8 attacks, but they suggested a gradual suspension of attacks. It also
9 foresaw the simultaneous withdrawal of our forces from Kosovo; and at that
10 time, it was no longer for the Pristina Corps to remain, the Assembly
11 being the last chance for it to remain in Kosovo. Therefore, our troops
12 were to withdraw from Kosovo simultaneously with the NATO bombing
14 The initial period was for 24 hours and, provided the withdrawal
15 continued, it would be prolonged for another 24 hours, then 48, and then
16 until complete cessation. So what was discussed was a gradual decrease in
17 the frequency of bombing and not its complete stop. And now we have the
18 Holbrooke agreement that everyone can recall, which came into place
19 immediately as soon as bombs started showering the country. And it
20 included various countries like the US, Italy, Germany, and so on and so
21 forth, especially the G8 was involved; and that would have meant the end
22 of the war. That was in March -- well, late March/early April. I know it
23 for a fact, since my birthday is in early April.
24 Q. When -- you say this was conveyed to Mr. Milosevic. How was that
25 conveyed to him? Did you do that personally or through a third party?
1 A. This came from the highest western source, or rather, two highest
2 western sources, and through official state security channels I forwarded
3 that information, and then it was forwarded to Milosevic. Later I found
4 out that at the same time, he offered the same proposal via Lilic through
5 the German and Austrian channels; and of course in the meantime, I
6 informed Mihajlovic, who also conveyed that to Milosevic. I for my part
7 conveyed that Mr. Milutinovic, and so on and so forth.
8 In any case, Milosevic knew right away and he knew what my mission
9 was, otherwise they wouldn't have let me leave the country and talk to
10 foreign players. These foreign people would not have talked to me without
11 Milosevic's consent. At the time it was ultra secret and it was nowhere
12 to be found in the public domain. It was also secret when I explained
13 that to the ICTY; therefore, in late March 1999, NATO was willing to cease
14 its attacks.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: In the transcript you've been translated as saying
16 that you forwarded it through official state security channels to
17 Milosevic. "Later I found out that at the same time he offered the same
18 proposal via Lilic through the German and Austrian channels." Now, did
19 you say that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He didn't offer, but he received the
21 same proposal at the time.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
23 MR. HANNIS:
24 Q. Do you know what Mr. Milosevic's response was to this offer that
25 you had forwarded through state security channels, and the similar or same
1 offer that had been received by him from Mr. Lilic. Do you know what he
3 A. Yes, certainly. In my case he said, "Delay, delay, go again.
4 Check. See if they're lying." It was completely irrational. Later I
5 learned that Lilic went through the same thing, although he was much
6 closer to him. Again, I went abroad at a later stage, and the response
7 was in any case negative. Milosevic did not accept the proposal, but
8 rather, he opted for the prolongation of the war.
9 Q. In that regard, did you have - now I'm talking to paragraphs 108
10 and 117 and 118 - during the course of the NATO bombing, did you
11 personally have any conversation with Mr. Milosevic about the bombing and
12 about civilian casualties, Serb civilian casualties?
13 A. It was a brief conversation. I cannot be specific as to its
14 detail, but I remember him saying that we needed civilian casualties to
15 justify everything. He's dead now, but there were some other people who
16 were present. It is a state secret, and it is up to this Tribunal to
17 assess the truthfulness of everything I say. Milosevic, in any case,
18 simply said that there had to be civilian casualties among the Serbs to
19 justify the whole thing.
20 He simply was unable to accept NATO's peace proposal or truce, and
21 NATO was offered to extend their hand to him. It was during the war and
22 after the war as well, and it's a terrible tragedy for the people which
23 took place because Milosevic and his friends, and it was certainly a
24 terrible tragedy for the Kosovar Albanians. Both parties will suffer for
25 a long time to come.
1 Q. Let me follow up on that. You say he said there had to be
2 civilian casualties among the Serbs to justify the whole thing. Can you
3 explain what he meant about that, if you know; or did he explain? I don't
4 understand the sense of that. How would that justify the whole thing?
5 A. Well, to show that the NATO pact are criminals, animals. He had a
6 whole list of NATO targets, and he could have evacuated the civilians and,
7 nonetheless, he didn't. He knew about the RTS, the radio-television
8 Serbia, for three or four days before it was bombed. I told him that, as
9 well as some other people, but he didn't evacuate the personnel, rather,
10 he evacuated or took out all the furniture from the building owned by his
11 daughter. He simply allowed to Serb casualties happen, and he wanted to
12 picture to show that NATO was the aggressor.
13 MR. HANNIS: [Previous translation continues]...
14 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] The same thing I've been saying all
15 day: What is this? Talk, talk, one story, another story. I don't
16 understand. What furniture? That was not a response to the question. I
17 don't think this should go on.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was by way of illustration.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, there's a decision to be made on an
20 objection taken. I think part of the problem here is there's a part
21 omitted from that last answer, and it was, to my mind, if I heard it
22 properly the most directly relevant part of it.
23 You said, Mr. Tanic, he knew -- it says he knew from the RTS, the
24 Radio Television Serbia, three or four days before it was bombed. I think
25 you were saying that he knew that it was going to be bombed. Is that
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, four days before.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You then went on to say something about your own
4 involvement. Could you repeat that, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Four days before the RTS building
6 was to be bombed, I was abroad and I was told by our friends - we had a
7 lot of friends abroad who could distinguish between Serbia and Milosevic's
8 regime - via secure telephone communication -- well, first I was told that
9 this was going to happen; and then via secure telephone conversation, I
10 conveyed this to Belgrade. Later on I learned that there was such
11 information coming from other sources as well. The RTS was not
12 evacuated --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Stop there, please.
14 Mr. Fila, that's a statement that a witness of direct involvement
15 in a chain of events which he claims might have led to the building being
16 evacuated before it was bombed. That seems, to me, to be relevant and to
17 be a matter also of which he has some personal knowledge and not simply
18 material similar to that to which you have objected earlier.
19 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not trying to
20 distinguish between the important and unimportant parts. I'm trying to
21 say this: The witness is to answer Mr. Hannis's question. And Mr. Hannis
22 surely would have eventually come up with this question, but the witness
23 just goes on and on. And then we have the issue of the transcript,
24 something is military secret, something is state secret, someone told him
25 something, we don't know who. What's he got to do with any state secrets?
1 It is something for civil servants. And if something was a state secret,
2 why couldn't he reveal the source. So my objection is in principle to the
3 way he provides his answers.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we note your comments. Mr. Hannis knows
5 perfectly well that unattributed information is unlikely to be of any
6 significance to the mind of the Trial Chamber and has been asking for
7 further details where things are said that seem to him to be of some
9 Mr. Tanic, it is -- it will remain helpful to us if you can try to
10 confine the answers you give to the particular question that's asked. The
11 more specifically answered, the more valuable for our purposes.
12 Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS:
14 Q. In addition to the RTS event that you told us about, did the SDB,
15 security service, also receive information about other future targets of
16 NATO bombing? Just yes or no, if you know.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And did they pass that information on to Mr. Milosevic?
19 A. It is difficult for me to imagine that they didn't. I didn't see
20 anything -- any information being directly given or passed on to
21 Milosevic, but it is difficult for me to imagine that they wouldn't do
22 such a thing.
23 Q. That would have been their obligation, wouldn't it?
24 A. Of course it was their obligation, and many honest people still
25 work there after -- particularly after Stanisic's removal; the same goes
1 for the army as well.
2 Q. Let me move on to paragraph 123 of your statement. Were you aware
3 of an effort in late March or early April 1999 by the Vatican to try and
4 help settle the hostilities?
5 A. Yes, certainly. I was involved in discussions with them as well
6 as the Vatican Foreign Minister, Angelo Sodano, who came with the same
7 peace message to Milosevic.
8 Q. And did that proposal incountenance a cease-fire or a temporary
10 A. Yes. A unilateral cease-fire and the beginning of withdrawal of
11 our forces. On the other hand, the frequency of bombing was supposed to
12 decrease. The unilateral cease-fire was to happen during the Catholic
14 Q. And when you say "unilateral cease-fire," which side was supposed
15 to cease-fire?
16 A. Our side, the Yugoslav side. That was stop with any combat
17 activities and was supposed to start withdrawing. At the same time NATO
18 was supposed to suspend bombing, so as to create the preconditions for
19 KFOR insertion and their troops were already at the borders. I wish to
20 point out that I wasn't able to read any of that prior to my conveying
21 them to The Hague Tribunal; therefore, I couldn't have known in any other
22 way, apart from being included in the whole story. And I would kindly ask
23 the Defence counsel not to insult me any further by saying that I learned
24 something from the media.
25 Q. Mr. Tanic, let me ask you: You say this was supposed to happen
1 during the Catholic Easter. Do you know, had Mr. Milosevic initially
2 accepted this proposal and agreed to implement a cease-fire starting on
3 Catholic Easter?
4 A. Yes. He pretended he was overwhelmed. He would promise anything
5 but never did anything.
6 Q. So did the cease-fire happen on Catholic Easter, yes or no?
7 A. No.
8 Q. When it failed to happen, did you do anything to try to find out
9 about why it had not been implemented on that day?
10 A. Certainly, and the president of my party, Mihajlovic, as well as
11 some other people. Just to say something regarding the last answer, there
12 were also offers made to release the captured soldiers as part of that
13 proposal. We took everything -- we made every effort we could, including
14 Draskovic and Lilic and many others.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Which captured soldiers are you referring to?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I guess there were two or three
17 captured American pilots at the time. I just wanted to clarify things
18 further because this could appear tomorrow in some text, and then they
19 will say, "Well, you see Mr. Tanic has got no clue."
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis.
21 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
22 Q. Who did you contact to try and find out why the cease-fire had not
23 gone through on Catholic Easter, as you thought it was going to?
24 A. The security service, Milosevic himself; Mihajlovic contacted
25 Milutinovic, and I suppose Milosevic as well. Perhaps we could refresh my
1 memory, because it was at the time when I was trying to save my own head,
2 my own hide. It was a risky game for me to play, as well as for some
3 other people. Perhaps I could be allowed to consult my statement.
4 Q. Well, before we resort to that, let me ask you: Did you, with Mr.
5 Mihajlovic, participate in a conversation with anyone about why it had not
6 gone through as proposed?
7 A. Well, we found Milutinovic from the cabinet at one of the command
8 posts. Of course, it wasn't easy, one couldn't talk normally, and then
9 there was this conversation with Milutinovic as to why this had not been
10 implemented. Milutinovic replied that there was still some unfinished
11 business down there, and that it would happen on Orthodox Easter. In my
12 opinion, we had no business down there, except for more crimes to be
13 committed, traces to be removed, and our people to be killed for no
14 reason, because there was intensive bombing at the time and nothing could
15 be done in the military sense, of course.
16 Q. Was this a face-to-face conversation or a phone conversation?
17 A. It was through means of communication. I told you that
18 Milutinovic was at a command post. I don't know whether Mihajlovic and
19 Milutinovic met up later on. As far as Mihajlovic told me, he did have
20 more meetings, including face-to-face meetings, but I did not attend
21 these. Mihajlovic confirmed to me, of course, that he had more meetings,
22 but I don't want to engage in conveying hearsay. There was a telephone
23 conversation. Mr. Milutinovic was at one of the secret command posts, and
24 we from the cabinet had a hard time finding him. Draskovic was looking
25 for Bulatovic. Well, the situation was quite chaotic, as you can imagine.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: That raises a number of questions as well for me.
2 MR. HANNIS: I'm not sure --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: If you're pursuing it, then please do so.
4 MR. HANNIS:
5 Q. I'm not sure I understood your answer. You mentioned Milutinovic
6 replying that there was still some unfinished business down there. This
7 was a conversation with Milutinovic. Who -- first of all, who
8 participated in that conversation with Milutinovic?
9 A. Mihajlovic, and I was able to listen in through the means of
11 Q. And can you tell us what the means of communication was, was it a
12 telephone or a radio?
13 A. It was a special telephone, as far as I can remember. I'm no
14 technology expert.
15 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that was the only part I wanted to
16 follow-on. Was there other parts you wanted to address.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: There was a reference there to the cabinet. You
18 said that, "we from the cabinet had a hard time finding him." What do you
19 mean by the reference there to the cabinet?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, Mihajlovic's office.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Note: That it's the same word in
22 B/C/S: "Cabinet" can also mean office.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of his office and --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. It was just the impression could have
25 been created that this was -- he was still holding a government position,
1 but by this time Mihajlovic is not part of the government. Thank you.
2 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
3 Now I'm going to paragraphs 143 and following.
4 Q. Mr. Tanic, as a result of your relationship with the SDB, did you
5 have any knowledge about Mr. Milosevic's control, if any, over the State
6 Security Service?
7 A. He had complete control, both in Mr. Stanisic's time and later in
8 Mr. Rade Markovic's time, but they were two different services. When Rade
9 Markovic became the chief, it was no longer the same security service as
10 it had been in Mr. Stanisic's time. But in both cases, Mr. Milosevic had
11 complete control.
12 Q. And how do you know that?
13 A. Excuse me, now I don't understand your question. We knew each
14 other for so many years. Are you looking for a specific piece of
16 Q. Well, I guess I'll start with a question about the chain of
17 command within the State Security Service. Who was the head of the State
18 Security Service in 1998? You've told us before.
19 A. Yes. Yes, I have. After Mr. Stanisic was replaced, Radomir
20 Markovic was placed at its head. He was a man from the public security
21 who had never worked in intelligence before; then Uros Suvakovic, one of
22 the ideologues of the SBS, who knew nothing about intelligence work, and
23 he was the main controllers of the service. Uros Suvakovic was his name.
24 Q. Who was the immediate superior or boss of Mr. Stanisic and then
25 later Markovic, would that be the Minister of the Interior?
1 A. In theory, yes. But in Serbia in practice, this was never
2 respected. Formally and legally, yes, Vlajko Stojiljkovic was his
3 superior, but you can't imagine Stanisic or Rade Markovic respecting what
4 he had to say. De facto, Milosevic was the superior; de jure, it was the
5 Minister of Police or the Minister of the Interior.
6 Q. Do you know what position Mr. Stojiljkovic held before he became
7 Minister of the Interior?
8 A. Well, I knew him quite well. He had been the president of the
9 chamber of economy; and in that capacity, we had discussed certain
10 business ventures. He was a businessman, in fact.
11 Q. Thank you. In the organisational structure or the Government of
12 Serbia and Yugoslavia, what -- who was the boss of the Minister of the
13 Interior? Who selected the Minister of the Interior, if you know?
14 A. The Minister of the Interior is appointed, not elected. I know
15 that there's a difference between the English and the Serbian here. And
16 it should be the Serbian government, as far as I am familiar with the law,
17 but this was never respected and nobody paid much attention to it down
19 Q. Mr. Tanic, I want to move forward to the time when you left
20 Serbia. Can you briefly tell the Judges how it came about that you left
21 Serbia and became a protected witness living in another country.
22 A. Well, around the middle or right after the capitulation of
23 Kumanovo, as it was clear to me, I started preparing a book about the
24 conflicts in Kosovo entitled, "The Kosovo Inflict: A Fabricated War." I
25 said it was a fabricated war because I was sure that Milosevic and his
1 associates had fabricated it. But to check what I wanted to write about
2 and the book was to include the things we've discussed and some other
3 things, in order to verify all this because these are all serious
4 accusations and parts of those accusations might look like science
5 fiction, I as an educated man and an intellectual was aware of that, I
6 started talking to relevant people in order to double-check my
7 conclusions, to make sure that I was not mistaken about something, and to
8 make sure that I had not been so hard hit by the tragedy that I was unable
9 to see clearly.
10 So I started talking to the State Security Service, asking to gain
11 access to the documentation, the archives on victims on both sides. I
12 asked to talk to Perisic, to check his military viewpoints, to see whether
13 they coincided with my political and intelligence information. I went to
14 Rome to meet with Monsignor Paglia, who spoke on behalf of the contact
15 group. I wanted to double-check to hear again what Milosevic had said to
16 him. In the meantime, he had become a bishop. I told him what I wanted
17 to check, and we talked. I talked to a number of ambassadors and so on.
18 And just before my last conversation with Perisic, the day before the
19 attempted assassination of Vuk Draskovic on the Ibarska main road, I was
20 kidnapped in the street, I was abducted. Of course, I saw that the road
21 was blocked, but by the time I saw that it was too late. They attacked
22 me. They grabbed me. They pushed me into a van. They injected me with
23 something to make me go to sleep; then my wife was kidnapped.
24 Later on we found out these were JSO units, units for special
25 operations, and we were tortured in a private prison for a day and a half.
1 It was not a legal prison. We were interrogated. I was asked why I was
2 preparing material for this book? Did I know what this meant? What did
3 the British have to do with it, as if they had heard about it for the
4 first time, although they had had contacts with them through me. Then
5 whether Perisic wanted to conduct a coup d'etat with Stanisic. It was
6 kind of a Latin American [Realtime transcript read in error "Latin"]
7 Torture that I was subjected to. They tried to make me confess so that
8 Perisic and Stanisic had wanted to implement a coup d'etat against
9 Milosevic; and various other matters.
10 And I was quite certain that they were getting ready to murder me
11 because Curuvija had been liquidated in a similar way, and I knew how this
12 unit operated. Suddenly, they released is, both my wife and me. She had
13 been kidnapped two hours lather than after me. And later on I learned
14 that this had taken place a few hours after the unsuccessful attempt to
15 assassinate Vuk Draskovic on the Ibarska main road. So seeing that they
16 were murdering people - and this is a very important matter - I must
17 explain the reasons why I left the country.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the witness is speaking way too
21 rapidly for the translators to keep up, I'm convinced. If you look at
22 lines 64 -- page 64, line 3, what he said was not that it was a Latin
23 torture but that it was an American torture --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: A Latin American torture.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Oh, a Latin American. In any event, I think he
1 needs to slow down rapidly, because we're not getting a transcript as to
2 what he is saying.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, normally we get a message to that effect,
4 but, in case you are right, I will ask Mr. Tanic to slow down.
5 MR. HANNIS:
6 Q. Mr. Tanic, if you could continue, and I understand this was
7 important and significant in your life, but can you be as concise as
8 possible and tell me how you came to leave after being kidnapped and
9 tortured, and what happened after you were released.
10 A. Well, after I was released, I came to understand that this had
11 been done by a JSO unit, and that our release was a pure stroke of luck,
12 because the attempt on Vuk Draskovic's life had not been successful and
13 they wanted to play a game of theirs. I won't go into details. And a few
14 days later, I realised my wife and I had been put into what is
15 colloquially referred to as a cage. That means round-the-clock
16 surveillance. My wife, for example, travelled to Bar, which is a town on
17 the Montenegrin coast, to sell a piece of property there.
18 They followed her. She was able to see that. We couldn't drink a
19 coke together in peace. This is what they referred to as a cage.
20 Something like that had been done in the case of Mr. Curuvija, who was
21 already unfortunately deceased. And I came to understand that my life was
22 under a serious threat. They knew about the book, about the information I
23 was gathering, and I had already been cooperating with The Hague Tribunal.
24 Maybe they had information about that, although they never asked me about
25 that, I have to say. They never mentioned it. So I simply left the
1 country in order to save my life. I used the pretext which sounded
2 acceptable. I took just two suitcases and 200 German marks, which amounts
3 to a hundred euros in today's money, because anything else would have been
5 I want to say I'm referring to the torture in colloquial terms
6 because I don't want to evince pity from you, but my wife and I were
7 beaten, throttled, she was stripped naked. They threatened to rape her.
8 They made me listen to her scream; then they could come to me and
9 say: "We are going to rape your wife. We're going to kill her, unless
10 you admit that Perisic and Stanisic, together with Jovic, wanted to
11 implement a coup d'etat. Why are you writing this book? What gives you
12 the right to say these things? Milosevic is not a traitor." So there was
13 total chaos and I saw that Mr. Milosevic, through his channels, had given
14 them some misinformation, but this was certainly a JSO unit. My
15 kidnapping by the JSO is confirmed in a book written by Mr. Mijatovic, the
16 deputy chief of the State Security Service.
17 He described the circumstances differently, but he did admit that
18 my wife and I were kidnapped by the JSO. And under Rade Markovic, it was
19 a death squad. Later on, it liquidated many people or attempted to
20 liquidate them, as you may know. And because I knew this and because for
21 many years I what had been close, not to that unit, but closely involved
22 with those problems, I left the country in order to save my life;
23 otherwise, I would have been killed, as some people were later on, or I
24 would have ended up in prison, although I was innocent.
25 Q. And after leaving the country, without going into details, is it
1 fair to say that you received some assistance from some of the western
2 security services that you had dealt with, you eventually testified in the
3 Milosevic case, and you were relocated to a third country. Is that
5 A. Yes. I was immediately received by the Hungarian government and
6 by western intelligence agency, which unfortunately has already been
7 mentioned -- well, with the agreement of that agency, I was received and
8 it was made possible for us to recover physically. We were in a terrible
9 state. These people knew me from before. They knew I was telling the
10 truth. I was not received in order for me to testify, but in order for my
11 and my wife's lives to be saved. But I testified because I am convinced
12 that everything I have to say is true and that Milosevic's regime, a
13 handful of people, created a tragedy, both for the Serbs and for the
14 Albanians in Kosovo. And that this amounted to treachery, to betrayal of
15 their own country. They knew, because I did not conceal my standpoint in
16 Belgrade. I spoke out about this. I spoke in public.
17 Q. I think you've answered my question. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I have just clarification of one expression
19 you used at the very beginning of this passage of evidence, "the
20 capitulation of Kumanova."
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Please go ahead. What kind of
22 clarification, Your Honours?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Explain what you mean by that.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After he rejected all the peace
25 proposals, he signed the capitulation of Kumanovo; because in the
1 meantime, the Hague Tribunal had brought an indictment against him, and he
2 knew the NATO troops would be coming to get him. He signed the Kumanovo
3 capitulation; it was not peace. It was a capitulation compared to the
4 solutions we have had before. Any expert can show this. It is called the
5 Kumanovo agreement, which put an end to the bombing of the Federal
6 Republic of Yugoslavia by NATO.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Tanic, two final matters I wanted to deal with. Once -- when
10 you testified during Milosevic, Mr. Milosevic made suggestions that you
11 were a political nobody and that you couldn't have possibly been in the
12 position you claim to be in, to have seen and done the things you claimed.
13 I would like to show you Exhibit P522 at this time. There are some
14 photographs I would like you to take a look at, and if you could help us
15 tell the Court who is in these photographs. In the top photograph, can
16 you tell us who's there, the ones that you recognise. And if you could
17 point or indicate whether you're starting on the left or the right or
19 A. Well, first this is Mr. Milosevic's office when he was still the
20 president of Serbia. This was a regular annual meeting between the
21 coalition parties. Mr. Milosevic is in the middle, to the far right is
22 myself --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak into the microphone,
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's quite clear this is an official
1 meeting of the delegation of New Democracy --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Hold on a second, please, Mr. Tanic. There was
3 just an issue of directing your voice into the microphone, please, Mr.
4 Tanic. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am on the far right wearing
6 glasses. I see now that I'm the only one wearing glasses in the picture.
7 Next to me is one of Mr. Mihajlovic's advisors, Mr. Goran Karadjole; and
8 then the deputy prime minister, Ceda Mirkovic, from the party of New
9 Democracy; and then Mr. Mihajlovic standing next to Mr. Milosevic, the
10 late Mr. Milosevic; behind him is Radulovic; and then behind is the chef
11 de cabinet of Mr. Mihajlovic, Ivan Djordjevic; then two ladies. I have
12 forgotten their names, unfortunately, as I did not use politics to deepen
13 personal friendships. Then there is also Zagorac on the far left. So
14 this is the Executive Committee of New Democracy and two advisors of Mr.
16 MR. HANNIS:
17 Q. Do you recall --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Hannis, before we go any further with this,
19 bear in mind that these may be visible at the moment, are they?
20 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour, but these have been published
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Not outside -- only in the courtroom. Yes. I was
23 just concerned that they were visible outside.
24 MR. HANNIS: I had discussed this with the witness before.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: All right.
1 MR. HANNIS: He felt comfortable with that. But if they're not
2 going outside the courtroom, that's even better.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: So this exhibit would be admitted under seal then?
4 MR. HANNIS: That would be our request, Your Honour.
5 Can we scroll down to the bottom photograph on the left.
6 Q. First, that photograph on the left, can you tell us who's in that
7 from left to right.
8 A. This is Mr. Milutinovic's cabinet, when he was the Minister of
9 Foreign Affairs. I am to the far left. Then behind, Mr. Goran Karadjole;
10 then Mr. Mihajlovic; Mr. Milutinovic in the middle; and Cedo Mirkovic.
11 This was a working meeting. You can see that we are in quite a good mood,
12 not because we'd had a drink but because we'd exchanged opinions.
13 Q. And approximately when was that picture taken, if you know?
14 A. Well, I can't recall precisely, really, but you have photo
15 documentation about New Democracy, as much as you like. I think this was
16 when we had our first official meeting with Mr. Milutinovic.
17 Mr. Mihajlovic held him in high regard, as did I, because he was an
18 experienced diplomat. We were trying to have serious working contacts
19 with Mr. Milutinovic, who was working on similar issues as Mr. Mihajlovic
20 and I, simply to join forces for the benefit of the country, because we
21 knew that Mr. Milutinovic knew all those things, and the fact that he
22 followed Milosevic doesn't mean that he was not an experienced and clever
23 man. I hold him in high regard.
24 To the right, you can see me with the Italian ambassador,
25 Mr. Ricardo Sosa. This photograph is important because Mr. Sosa, at that
1 time, was the only remaining ambassador from the NATO countries while NATO
2 was bombing. He stayed in Belgrade, and as such was one of the channels
3 for secret negotiations. He held meetings with Draskovic, with me,
4 certainly with Milutinovic, and others. He can also confirm certain
5 things that have to do with the peace proposals of NATO, problems in
6 connection with the Rambouillet political agreement. He was one of the
7 people who was very actively involved in solving the problem. He's an
8 important person, and Milutinovic had a very good opinion of him. He was
9 very pleased that Italian diplomacy had appointed Ricardo Sosa as the
10 ambassador to Belgrade.
11 Q. Thank you. That's the last question I have about the
13 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I only have one other question I want to
14 cover with the witness, but I would like to go into private session for a
15 minute to discuss something related to that. I don't know if you want to
16 do that right now or when we come back from the break, because we go into
17 closed session to take him in and out of the room anyway.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: No, let's do it now and that will bring your
19 examination to an end.
20 MR. HANNIS: Okay. Thank you.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 6417 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
13 Mr. Hannis.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Tanic, is it correct that in 1977 you were convicted of a
16 crime in the district court in Belgrade, for which you received a term of
17 imprisonment or incarceration for a year and two months, which, on appeal,
18 was reduced to seven months and for which you actually served six months
19 of time?
20 A. Yes, I was convicted to serve seven months. The first judgement
21 was irrelevant because it was quashed by the supreme court. I was to
22 serve seven months in prison, with the recommendation that I be released
23 after five or six, because it was an offence which had not been committed
24 but there was suspicion that I may have committed. It refers to something
25 which took place in 1976, that is, 30 years ago.
1 MR. HANNIS: And, Your Honour, this document has been identified
2 as 1D030565, I believe. In the English, it describes the crime as
3 looting, but I know in informal discussions with one of my language
4 assistants, I'm told it could be robbery or it could be burglary, so I'm
5 not clear on what the exact offence.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: In referring to this as 1D, are you saying that it
7 is an exhibit for the first accused?
8 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: The number can't possibly be 30.565, at least I
10 hope it's not.
11 MR. HANNIS: Well, Your Honour, I'm reading the number on the
12 bottom of the page --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan --
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: It's --
15 MR. HANNIS: Oh, I'm sorry.
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN: 1D34.
17 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, it's our ERN equivalent, Your Honour, page
18 number as opposed to document number.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: We'll settle for 1D34.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. I have no further questions of this
21 witness, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, we'll go into closed session -- sorry, yes,
23 we will go into closed session just now while the witness leaves, and
24 we'll remain that way until he returns.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 [Closed session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
14 Mr. O'Sullivan.
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Yes, Your Honour, we have the order. I'll be
16 first, then Mr. Sainovic, General Pavkovic, General Ojdanic, General
17 Lukic, and General Lazarevic.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you. Please continue.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan:
20 Q. Mr. Tanic, you know Veton Surroi, don't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that he's a respected newspaper editor and an
24 A. Yes, and also a political figure.
25 Q. In the statement you gave to the Prosecution, you state that you
1 met Mr. Surroi in 1989, you met him many times, and you are his friend.
2 And my question is: What's your impression of him? Is he a decent man,
3 an honest man? What can you say?
4 A. At the time I knew him, he was an intelligent and honest person,
5 but of course he represented the Albanian position. I cannot tell you
6 what he's like today, because I haven't seen him for at least seven years.
7 Q. [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: P2361 is the OTP interview with Veton Surroi, and
10 it's admitted into evidence, and I'm quoting from page 9.
11 Q. Mr. Surroi, on page 9 of his statement is talking about the
12 Bertelsmann Foundation meeting in Rhodos in September 1996, which both you
13 and Mr. Surroi attended. Now, Mr. Tanic, Mr. Surroi testified in this
14 trial and his evidence is the following:
15 "Ratomir Tanic, an advisor to Mihajlovic, was also involved.
16 Tanic said that he had direct contact to Milosevic, but I didn't believe
17 him. I have a personal history of mistrust with Tanic."
18 Q. Now, why do you think Mr. Surroi said that about you?
19 A. I think that question should be posed to Mr. Surroi and not to me.
20 I don't know what's in his mind.
21 Q. Didn't he say that because you have a history of not telling the
22 truth and being dishonest?
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, that calls for him to speculate what was
24 in Mr. Surroi's mind.
25 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No. I'm asking Mr. Tanic whether he has a
1 history of being dishonest and untrustworthy.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. O'Sullivan, the question is admissible,
3 but the answer is unlikely to assist us.
4 However, please answer the question, Mr. Tanic. Put in a slightly
5 different form. The question is: Do you have a history of being
6 dishonest and untrustworthy?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you were it listen to gossip,
8 then yes; but if you were to go by facts, then no.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
10 Q. Sir, you were born on the 6th of April, 1966, and you're the son
11 of Lazar, correct?
12 A. In translation, or rather, in the transcript, I see 1966; whereas,
13 it should be 1956.
14 Q. Perhaps, I misspoke. It should have been 1956. And did you live
15 in Belgrade all your adult life until you left in 1999?
16 A. Yes, for the most part.
17 Q. I have a question about your education, and I'm talking about the
18 period when you were still living in Serbia until 1999. When you
19 testified in the Milosevic trial, you said that you had completed
20 elementary school and that you were literate. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. Since he kept insisting on my educational background;
22 however, I did not feel to -- obliged to illustrate by educational
23 background since I wasn't there as an expert.
24 Q. So it's correct that you have elementary school and you're
25 literate. Is that right?
1 A. That is right, but I've also completed another couple of things.
2 Q. Well, again in the Milosevic trial, and this is Exhibit 1D27, the
3 15th of May, 2002, page 5027, you were asked this question: "Right. So
4 what you're saying is your education level is a secondary education level.
5 Is that it? A gymnasium?"
6 "A. No. I did not complete a gymnasium, a secondary school.
7 "Q. What school do you have then?
8 "A. Secondary economic school.
9 "Q. All right. So secondary economics. School of economics. Is
10 that it?
11 "A. No, that's not what I said. We would have to call in experts
12 here to ascertain the level of education. I don't wish to answer
13 questions that have nothing to do with this trial."
14 All you admitted to, sir, is that you have an elementary school
15 education. Isn't that the case?
16 A. It is. And later I stated that I have a high school degree in
17 economics, a diploma.
18 Q. Last week when you testified, you said that in the mid-1970s to
19 early 1990s, by occupation you worked as a tradesman in some sort of
20 federal institution. Do you recall saying that?
21 A. Yes, of course.
22 Q. What was your trade?
23 A. You mean by profession or by education? By education, I'm a
24 master of political science; as regards profession, I cannot tell you.
25 Because as part of the witness protection programme, I was forced to do
1 some common jobs. I studied several -- at several schools. I have
2 university degrees.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: You are being asked about the situation prior to
4 your involvement in that scheme.
5 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
6 Q. In the mid-1970s to the early 1990s. Maybe I can help focus you.
7 That's the period I'm interested in. You told the Prosecutor that between
8 the mid-1970s to the early 1990s you worked as a tradesman in some federal
9 institution. And I'm asking as a tradesman, what was your trade?
10 A. At that time I had a high school degree as a -- as technical staff
11 for economics, and I had begun studying other courses. At the time, when
12 I was examined by Milosevic, I wasn't willing to discuss that with him.
13 But I will answer any of your questions, if you wish me to.
14 Q. Please answer. What was your trade?
15 A. I think I replied. A technical assistant or technical staff in
16 economics; that's what we called it in Serbia. Any person having a high
17 school diploma in Serbia, in economics, carried that title.
18 Q. And which federal institution did you work in?
19 A. It was a business association of the dairy factories in
21 Q. So if you were a technician, why in the Milosevic trial did you
22 introduce yourself as a businessman?
23 A. After that, I became a businessman, since I started producing
24 goods abroad. After that, I was a small-scale industrialist, and I didn't
25 work with that institution in early 1980s, but rather until the end of the
1 1980s. That's why I introduced myself as a businessman.
2 Q. Did you have a company?
3 A. Yes, certainly.
4 Q. One company or more?
5 A. Well, it's not a matter for this Court, because, first and
6 foremost, we were producing goods. At first, we produced goods as part of
7 a foreign company, and later my partner and myself established some other
8 companies as well.
9 Q. Let me ask you: Did you have one or more companies? What's the
11 A. I believe that during my business career there were two companies,
12 of which I was either one of the owners or a full owner. I didn't pay
13 much attention to that because I conducted business to provide for my
14 family. I didn't see that as a career.
15 Q. So your testimony is you had two companies; is that right?
16 A. Yes, one may say so.
17 Q. Exhibit 1D2 --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, this must be a matter that is simple to
19 answer in a straightforward way. The answers you've given so far leave me
20 very confused about what your activities were. Please bear in mind that
21 the reliability of the material you've given to the Tribunal is a big
22 issue in the case and therefore your general reliability as a witness is
23 something that will be exposed to scrutiny. So it's important to answer
24 the questions in as straightforward a manner as possible; that's the way
25 to assist us to the fullest advantage.
1 Mr. O'Sullivan.
2 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
3 Q. Exhibit 1D27 is the Milosevic transcript of 15 May 2002, and on
4 page 5028, Mr. Tanic, you said you had three companies. Why did you say
5 you had three if you only had two?
6 A. Because one of the companies was labelled by Milosevic as a
7 publishing house; in fact, it wasn't, and I was one of the owners only.
8 And I can't say I owned or had that company.
9 Q. All right. So you owned two companies and you had association
10 with a third; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Well, you choose one of the three. You tell me the name of one of
13 those companies.
14 A. One was called Evropa Press. That was the one that Milosevic
15 labelled a publishing house. Another company --
16 Q. No, that's fine -- [Microphone not activated].
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. O'Sullivan.
18 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
19 Q. I have another question about Evropa Press. When was it
20 established? What year?
21 A. I can't say. I think in 1996/1997. I think 1997 or maybe even
22 somewhat later; however, in that period. It wasn't in 1996, that's for
24 Q. And what was the official seat of that company? What's the street
25 address and number?
1 A. It was in the centre of town. I forget the name of the street.
2 It was a very steep street, close to Zeleni Venac, on the third floor.
3 Q. You're telling me you don't know the street where this company was
4 located in the city in which you grew up?
5 A. Yes, I forgot the name of the street. I haven't been living in
6 that city for eight years now; however, that street takes you from
7 Terazije downhill to the Zeleni Venac market.
8 Q. Was that company dissolved; and if so, when?
9 A. It was dissolved after some three to four months -- no, six months
10 at the most.
11 Q. Now, you say you had two companies. Give me the name of one of
12 the companies that you owned.
13 A. One company was called Djils [phoen]. It was a branch of a
14 foreign company. We produced cosmetics with the assistance of a company
15 in Italy, and then the Djils company began producing in Belgrade.
16 Q. And you were the owner of that company?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And where was it located in Belgrade? What street? Which number?
19 A. As far as I remember, it was at the same address where Evropa
20 Press was -- well, we had some partner arrangements concerning rent, and I
21 wanted to assist the other company, Evropa Press, as regards the rent they
22 had to pay for the office.
23 Q. Was this company dissolved; and if so, when?
24 A. Yes, after some theft and some outside problems, it simply ceased
25 to exist. And by that time, I was no longer interested in it anyhow.
1 Therefore, yes, it was dissolved.
2 Q. When?
3 A. I don't remember. I simply can't recall. I'm not trying to avoid
4 your answer. It was a short-lived company of a year or a year and a
5 half. I think it was -- well, I can't remember the date.
6 Q. And the second company you owned, what was it called?
7 A. No, in that other company, I wasn't the owner. I was one of the
8 founders, and it was called Finestetik.
9 Q. And when was it founded?
10 A. 1988 or so.
11 Q. Has it been dissolved; and if, so when?
12 A. Yes, after one of the employees engaged in stealing and after a
13 criminal report was submitted, by founders' decision, the company ceased
14 to exist and its property was handed over to the principal founder.
15 Q. What year was that?
16 A. 1998, I believe.
17 Q. And where was its seat? Which street address did it have?
18 A. It is what used to be the 7th of July Street. It's close to a
19 pizzeria. I don't know its current name.
20 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, I'd ask the usher to distribute
21 materials to the Chamber, the Prosecution, and to Mr. Tanic. The names
22 appear on the front.
23 Q. Mr. Tanic, you talked about your -- Mr. Tanic, you talked about
24 your --
25 A. Yes, go ahead.
1 Q. -- your criminal conviction in 1977.
2 A. Yes, correct.
3 Q. What was that conviction for?
4 A. It was interpreted as an attempt to commit an offence, since it
5 never actually was. As far as I can recall, it was an attempted theft, as
6 they termed it. It was quashed 25 years ago, and I believe you should
7 know that it carries no weight anymore.
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Exhibit 1D40 is in hard copy at tab 10.
9 Q. Turn to tab 10, Mr. Tanic. Under tab 10 there are two documents,
10 one in English, one in B/C/S. It's the SFRY Criminal Code of 1973. Mr.
11 Tanic, if you prefer to follow in your language, it's the second page in
12 the B/C/S document, and you see article 16. Do you see that, at tab 10?
13 In front of you, you have documents.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you turn to tab 10.
16 A. Yes,, go ahead, please.
17 Q. And you see the -- the second page of the Serbian, which is
18 actually page 7 of -- in the bottom right-hand corner. You see that?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you see Article 16, Sanctions of Attempting Crimes. Do you
21 see that?
22 A. Yes. This confirms that the crime was attempted, not committed.
23 Q. And turn the page, please, and look at Article 255. Do you see
24 Article 255?
25 A. Yes, I see it. It's a grave offence; it's theft.
1 Q. Right. Of an amount of over 30.000 dinars, correct, shall be
2 punished by a minimum of five years in prison. Do you see that? Article
3 255 (1)?
4 A. Yes. I see it, but I was punished to serve seven months. It was
5 quashed, annulled, 25 years ago. You are talking about a non-existing
6 judgement, and you know what you are trying to do here is a criminal
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Listen to the request questions and answer them.
9 Please treat us as having a modicum of intelligence and an ability to sort
10 out what's valuable and what's invaluable in the criticisms that may be
11 made of your position.
12 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
13 Q. And can you turn the page once more and see Article 258, it
14 says "fraud."
15 A. Yes. Theft, fraud, and the rest, but you don't get seven months
16 in Serbia for that. It says here, I should have been given five years. I
17 received seven months, sir. I certainly did not commit theft which
18 foresees the prison sentence of five years, and I was given seven months.
19 This confirms I didn't commit it.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, you're clearly not reading the whole
21 thing. It's not for you to interpret this to us at the moment. It does
22 not say for the charge for attempting to commit theft you get five years,
23 if you will read the thing properly.
24 Now, let's move on, Mr. O'Sullivan.
25 And let's keep your comments to the questions you're being asked,
1 Mr. Tanic.
2 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
3 Q. One last thing, turn to the next page, please. Article 306, do
4 you see that? It says, "Falsifying Official Documents."
5 A. Yes, I see it.
6 Q. Now, let's go back. Go to tab 1, please.
7 MR. O'SULLIVAN: And in e-court that is 1D34.
8 Q. It's the certificate that Mr. Hannis showed you, and you should
9 have both the Serbian and English under tab 1. You'll see that the crime
10 described in the Serbian is "pljacke," which is spelled p-l-j-a-c-k-e with
11 the proper declension. And "pljacke" is theft, isn't it?
12 A. Well, no. Theft and robbery shouldn't be the same thing. Robbery
13 is worse than theft. "Pljacke" is robbery.
14 Q. Well, if you look at the certificate - and I won't ask you to
15 comment on it - but you see that you were convicted under the articles we
16 looked at together, 255, 258, 306. Do you see that?
17 A. Yes. I see it perfectly well.
18 Q. Exhibit 1D31, that's at tab 2 of your hard copy. There is an
19 English and a Serbian document. What you have there, Mr. Tanic, is the
20 record sheet from your political party, New Democracy. At page 5126 of
21 the Milosevic transcript you said: "This is a photocopy of my admission
22 paper. The signature corresponds to mine, but not -- but the status not."
23 Now, with Mr. Milosevic, you contested the fact that you were
24 simply a supporter of New Democracy. Is that right? Do you recall saying
25 that to Mr. Milosevic? You challenged the status. You said you were not
1 simply a supporter. That's what you said. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, of course. This sheet is counterfeit.
3 Q. Well, you adopted it in the Milosevic case. You recognised it.
4 And my question is: Why did you put down that you had a university degree
5 when you didn't?
6 A. No, I didn't put that there. I said that the document is a
7 forgery. My signature -- well, the signature looks like mine, but simply
8 the whole document is a forgery. I did not adopt this document. I asked
9 the Defence not to put words into my mouth, which I never uttered.
10 Besides, everybody knows I was not a sympathiser of New Democracy but a
11 member of the inner leadership, and that I collaborated closely with Mr.
12 Mihajlovic. Newspapers reported on it.
13 I was not a sympathiser. I gave interviews about New Democracy on
14 television; and in the media, I was an advisor. I never wrote that I had
15 graduated from university, although of course my education was very broad.
16 At that time I had a very broad university education.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, did you or did you not put on the form that
18 you had a university degree?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. I don't use block
20 capitals to make these entries. I hardly ever use capitals like that. I
21 even have difficulty in writing capital letters.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: So are you also saying that the name you put on the
23 form was not -- the name that appears on the form was not written by you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. The name and the telephone
25 number, it's just routine, but then things have been added. Pale, I was
1 never registered in that municipality; I never lived there. Later on
2 there's a circle put around sympathiser; things have been added, such as
3 the university. That's why it's a forgery. It says I was registered in
4 Pale municipality, and I never lived there. I did put down my name,
5 address, and telephone number, because those are just routine matters.
6 You put those down so people will know your address.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And it is also your signature?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably it looks very much
9 like my signature, so I could accept that it's mine.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. O'Sullivan.
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We may need the assistance of the usher here to
12 have a copy of Mr. Tanic's witness statement in both English and B/C/S put
13 in front of him.
14 Q. We may refer to those documents in due course, sir. Last week,
15 when you testified, you were asked in relation to that statement, which is
16 P2480, about paragraphs 4 and 5, and I will read those to you very quickly
17 and then ask you questions about that. Paragraph 4 - that's on page 2,
18 for your reference - says:
19 "As a member of the ND party and Special Advisor to Dusan
20 Mihajlovic, the President of ND, on international relations in Kosovo, I
21 was chosen to conduct discreet negotiations with the Kosovo Albanians. I
22 received this authorisation directly from Milosevic, in a meeting that I
23 and Dusan Mihajlovic held with him in approximately 1995. I believe I was
24 selected for this position because I had good contacts and relationships
25 with Kosovo Albanian representatives ..."
1 A. Excuse me, what page is this on in the Serbian version?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Are the Serbian paragraphs numbered the same way,
3 Mr. O'Sullivan? Because if they are, it's paragraph 4.
4 MR. O'SULLIVAN: It's not -- Mr. Tanic does not have the numbered
5 paragraphs, but it's page 3 in Serbian, the first paragraph.
6 MR. HANNIS: I have a numbered version in B/C/S.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you, Mr. Hannis. That would assist.
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: My apologies.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I see it now. Thank you.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: It will help you, though, to also have beside you
11 the copy that the usher has, because it has paragraph numbers, in case any
12 further paragraphs are referred to.
13 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
14 Q. I'll just finish this paragraph. You say:
15 "I believe I was selected for this position because I had good
16 contacts and relationships with Kosovo Albanian representatives and with
17 international representatives, and was accepted by the SDB from the
18 security perspective. In summary, my political authorisation to conduct
19 these negotiations came from three sources: Milosevic, the SDB, and my
20 party, because it was officially part of the government. The Republic of
21 Serbia government was never consulted on these negotiations."
22 And the first sentence of the next paragraph is: "I was the
23 principal negotiator in these discreet negotiations."
24 Now, I've given you the B/C/S version. Do you have paragraph 5 in
25 front of you?
1 A. Yes, yes, I've seen this statement. The part where it describes
2 why I was selected is quite correct.
3 Q. I'm referring you to paragraph 5. Do you see paragraph 5, yes or
4 no, in Serbian?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you slowly read the first sentence outloud in Serbian.
7 A. "I was the chief negotiator in these discreet negotiations." Am I
8 to be held responsible for translation problems? I explained this
9 formulation in great detail during my testimony. Together with the
10 president of my party, I was the most successful negotiator --
11 Q. Let me re-read the sentence.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, you obviously want to swap seats with
13 me. Well, that's not going to happen. Just please answer the questions.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
15 Q. Now, last week --
16 A. The translation is incorrect. That's my response. The
17 translation does not correspond to the spirit of the Serbian language. It
18 appears that I said I was the chief negotiator and that I'm lying. I'm
19 not responsible for mistranslations which change the meaning of the text.
20 Q. But your explanation last --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, just a moment. Just a moment,
22 Mr. O'Sullivan.
23 I don't understand that comment. You've read it -- this is the
24 reason why you were asked to read it in your own language, so that it
25 would be translated precisely as you read it here, to remove any problems
1 about translation. But the way you read it was identical to what is
2 translated into English in the written version that we have. So what is
3 the point you're trying to make?
4 MR. HANNIS: There is one slight difference, Your Honour. I think
5 it's been translated here as "chief negotiator" and in the written English
6 it's "principal."
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And do you say there's a difference?
8 MR. HANNIS: Well, they aren't precisely the same words. I don't
9 think there's a difference in --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But this happens constantly in translation.
11 There's more than one word in different languages for a concept or an
12 expression, and you inevitably get a different one when it's read. But
13 the meaning, the literal meaning, of that translation -- of the two
14 translations is identical.
15 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
16 Q. Mr. Tanic, perhaps if you focused on the document I want you to
17 look at --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I would like an answer to my question before
19 you get involved again, Mr. O'Sullivan. I would like to know what it is
20 the witness is saying is misleading about the translation.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said that I was the chief
22 negotiator in a formal sense; that would have been fantasy on my part.
23 And it can be checked in a matter of minutes. I never said that formally
24 I was the chief negotiator. I said I was the best negotiator who achieved
25 the most results, which is true. I never said that I was the main or
1 chief negotiator; that would have been a fantasy on my part. And the
2 Defence is constantly trying to impute various fantasies to me. Everybody
3 knows that the chief negotiator was Slobodan Milosevic and Ratko Markovic
4 on his behalf. I'm not a crazy person.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Tanic, you signed the statement in a pseudonym
6 thus, on the face of it, approving the way in which it was recorded, and
7 we now know that the English language used expresses accurately the term
8 used in the Serb language for the same point. You've already explained to
9 us that you regarded yourself as the most successful of the negotiators,
10 along with Mihajlovic. You acknowledge that there were five or six others
11 involved. We've heard all this evidence already. You've had a full
12 opportunity to explain.
13 In cross-examination, it's open to counsel to ask you questions
14 following their approach, and it would serve you well to concentrate on
15 these questions and answer them, to the best of your ability. What you
16 did in the approach you've just taken has caused confusion by suggesting
17 there was a mistranslation into English, when, in fact, what you're saying
18 is that you approved an inaccurate expression of what you meant to say in
19 your own language.
20 Now, Mr. O'Sullivan, please proceed.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN:
22 Q. Well, let's look a little more closely at the situation,
23 Mr. Tanic. The statement, the statement that you signed with the
24 pseudonym, that statement was given by you in English, wasn't it? Look at
25 the cover page. "Language used in interview: English." Correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And on the 4th and 5th of November of this year, you sat down with
3 the Prosecutor here in The Hague and you reviewed this statement, with the
4 addition of a Serbian translation of it, and you made no additions or
5 corrections to the sentence: "I was the principal negotiator in these
6 discreet negotiations." You made no changes, did you?
7 A. Excuse me, I did draw the Prosecutor's attention to this and the
8 Prosecutor can confirm that.
9 Q. Who did you tell that to?
10 A. I drew Mr. Hannis's attention to the fact that there might be some
11 confusion about who was the principal one and who was not, and that in the
12 Serbian language you can say that someone is the principal person if they
13 are the ones achieving the best results. We did deal with this topic.
14 Q. You told all that to Mr. Hannis; is that your position?
15 A. No, we talked about the problem, and it was quite clear from my
16 statement that I named Ratko Markovic as the chief negotiator in a formal
18 Q. No, sir,. Please listen to my question. You say that on the 4th
19 and 5th of November when you met with Mr. Hannis, you told him this was an
20 incorrect phraseology and use of the word "principal negotiator." Is that
21 what you're saying? That's what I heard you say.
22 A. Yes. Mr. Hannis himself initiated the issue, and I was quite
23 willing to have it clarified. And Mr. Hannis had this information that I
24 felt that there was a difference in the genius of the language.
25 Q. Well, you know, Mr. Tanic, we received a document. The document
1 I'm holding in my hand right here, please look at it. I'm holding it in
2 my hand up here, to your left. Sir, I'm standing to your left. Look at
3 me, please.
4 A. I have to sit like this.
5 Q. Well, sir, I'm just saying -- I'm asking you to look at me. I'm
6 holding a document in my hand, and it's a supplemental information sheet
7 that the Prosecutor gave us, after his meeting with you on the 4th and 5th
8 of November this year. And nowhere in this statement is there any
9 reference to a correction or addition in relation to the words we're
10 talking about. Now, you didn't -- either Mr. Hannis has misled us or
11 you're not telling the truth right now. Isn't that the case?
12 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I'll stipulate that that's not in the
13 supplemental information, but it doesn't necessarily follow that I misled
14 him or the witness is lying. There's another possibility. Mr. Hannis was
16 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Well, let's go one step further.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, let's --
18 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Let's break.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Yeah. Well, it will also give you one opportunity
20 or avenue, at least, of clarifying some part of this before you proceed
21 further on it.
22 Mr. Tanic, that completes our session for today. Regrettably, we
23 have not time to continue. Another case will be in this courtroom in the
24 afternoon, so you will have to return to continue your evidence tomorrow
25 at 9.00 in the morning. Please remember what I said to you on Friday.
1 It's vital not to have any discussion about the evidence with anyone at
3 Now, could you please leave the courtroom with the -- oh, sorry,
4 we'll go into closed session before we invite you to leave.
5 MR. O'SULLIVAN: Your Honour, I request that we retrieve the
6 bundle of documents from the witness and statement.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: When you leave the courtroom, Mr. Tanic, just leave
8 everything that was provided in the court on the table, and it will be
9 dealt with once you've left.
10 [Closed session]
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day of
18 November, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.