1 Wednesday, 4 April 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, please call the
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al. Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. On
11 Wednesday, 4th of April, I would like to greet the representatives of the
12 OTP, the Defence counsel, the accused, and the witness, the Ambassador. I
13 don't want to forget everybody else who is helping us with our task.
14 The cross-examination is about to proceed. I understand that
15 Mr. Karnavas needs about three more hours, more or less, for his
17 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I have received some
19 time from the other teams. I believe I have three hours plus 20 minutes
20 in total. Hopefully some may be generous to give me some time as well.
21 WITNESS: HERBERT OKUN [Resumed]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas: [Continued]
23 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
24 A. Good afternoon.
25 Q. I trust you had a wonderful evening yesterday?
1 A. It was satisfactory.
2 Q. Yesterday we left off while we were speaking about Cutileiro, so
3 I'm going to continue with that until we finish and then we'll move on.
4 A. Excuse me, Mr. Karnavas. The screen where the printing comes up
5 is blank for me.
6 Q. Okay. Well, thank you for pointing that out.
7 A. Sorry.
8 Q. That's all right.
9 A. Thank you.
10 Q. All right. Good enough. All right. And let's pick up where we
11 left off, the Cutileiro Plan. Now, I want to show you or share with you a
12 document, 1D 00525. This is a letter dated April 26, 1992. And you have
13 the translated version. It's a letter from Mate Boban. If I could just
14 focus your attention on the third and four paragraph, and I'll just read
15 while you're looking at it. It says: "Still convinced that the
16 principles of the negotiations under the patronage of the European
17 Community are the only the possible way for the establishing of the
18 government of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina that the war still can
19 be stopped, it is necessary to apply at once some of the agreed principles
20 of the future constitutional arrangements of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
21 Then Mr. Boban goes on to say: "Therefore, we suggest that
22 instead of disintegrated and illegal authorities immediately a ministry
23 council of Bosnia and Herzegovina should be mandated consisting of nine
24 members, a party of the three people, as the European Community has
25 proposed being the only authority of temporary governing Bosnia and
2 Now, were you aware of this letter, Mr. Ambassador?
3 A. I was not involved in April 1992.
4 Q. Okay. Now, if we could just fast forward just for a little bit.
5 We'll ahead of ourselves, in other words. At some other point there were
6 some discussions while you were involved of having an interim or a
7 temporary arrangement government where there would be nine, nine folks,
8 three from each constituent peoples; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. The Vance-Owen Peace Plan, as we mentioned earlier,
10 consisted of three main parts, and then after January 1993 the section for
11 the interim government was incorporated into the plan. It's printed in
12 the UN documents, and it was to be interim between the definitive
13 acceptance of the Plan and the first elections of the new government. So
14 that's why it was an interim government or sometimes called a provisional
15 government. But, yes, there was -- there were provisions for an interim
16 government under the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and you're correct, it
17 envisaged a nine-member Presidency.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, there's been a lot of talk about
19 Cutileiro, and we were able to dig up a letter to the editor in the
20 Economist, and this is 1D 01315. And I thought I'd share this with you.
21 This is a letter written by Mr. Cutileiro himself.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: We don't have the exact date because of the way
23 it's copied, but we'll -- we hope to get the original one for you,
24 Your Honours, at some point, but if I could get the assistance of the
1 Q. And we're going to be moving rather quickly, sir, so we're going
2 to need you on the double. Thank you.
3 I think from the first couple of lines we could tell about what
4 period of time this letter was written. It says: "Sir, in your article
5 on Bosnia, November 25th, you say -- you say that in February 1992, before
6 the war had started, Lord Carrington and I 'drafted a constitution that
7 would have turned the country into a confederation of Swiss-style cantons.
8 The Muslims refused to accept what they considered to be the
9 disintegration of Bosnia.' Not quite. After several rounds of talks our
10 'principles for future constitutional arrangements for Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina' were agreed by the three parties (Muslims, Serbs and Croats)
12 in Sarajevo on March 18th as the basis for future negotiations. These
13 continued, maps and all, until the summer when the Muslims reneged on the
14 agreement. Had they not done so, the Bosnian question might have been
15 settled earlier with less loss of (mainly Muslim) life and land. To be
16 fair, Mr. Izetbegovic and his aides were encouraged to," looks like
17 "scupper," "scupper that deal and to fight for unitary Bosnian state by
18 well-meaning outsiders who thought they knew better." And it's signed
19 Jose Cutileiro, Secretary-General, Western European Union, Brussels.
20 Now, in looking at this letter to the editor, it would appear that
21 he's correct as far as his interpretation of what the Cutileiro Plan
22 envisaged, is he not?
23 A. He doesn't say what they were. He just says the future
24 constitutional arrangements were agreed. He does not say what those
25 constitutional arrangements were. We looked at them yesterday.
1 Q. But he does say what it isn't, what the Cutileiro Plan is not.
2 When he says not quite in the first paragraph.
3 A. He says not quite.
4 Q. Not quite. Okay. In any event, let's look at again the map, and
5 what we've done last night in light of your testimony, we -- we thought
6 we'd -- do you have it? You have it? We went out and we looked at -- we
7 got the map and we have an overlay here of the Banovina of 1939 in light
8 of the question that I posed to you, and you seemed to equivocate that,
9 well, it did look like the Banovina and with this overlay it would appear,
10 would it not, that the Cutileiro Plan does not look anything like the
12 A. As I told you yesterday, Mr. Karnavas, there was no definitive
13 map. Therefore, the question really has no meaning, and I draw to your
14 attention Ambassador Cutileiro's confirmation in the letter you just read
15 where he talks of maps in the plural, because each side were giving maps
16 and they were being developed, and they were of there were many maps as
17 Ambassador Cutileiro said. There was no one map. So therefore, I can't
18 answer a question that has no basis in reality.
19 Q. But as far as I understand, and it might be wrong and I'll being
20 corrected if I am wrong, that the Croats did in fact sign this particular
21 map, and as you indicated, you called them free-riders that willing to
22 sign anything because they had nothing to lose, but as far as I understand
23 they did in fact sign this map, and this map, along with the Cutileiro
24 Plan, was presented prior to the referendum, was it not?
25 A. No, they did not sign this map with us. They signed the map of
1 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. The map you're showing is what you call the
2 Cutileiro Plan, March 1991. That was never at issue in Vance-Owen.
3 Q. I'm not speaking about Vance-Owen. The reason I'm mentioning
4 this, sir, is because you seem -- with all due respect, you characterise
5 the Croats as these free-riders that were very similar to the Serbs with
6 one an aim in mind, to ethnically cleanse the Muslims so they could carve
7 out Bosnia so at some point they could have either an entity within the
8 state or for that entity could be annexed to Croatia. That's your thesis.
9 And what I'm suggesting here is, if we look at this proposed map and we
10 put it over the Banovina, it don't like anything like the Banovina, and,
11 two, if we look at it closely we even see that Mostar, that Mostar is not
12 even given to the Croats at this particular time in this particular map.
13 That's my thesis.
14 A. This map has no standing, had no standing, never really existed.
15 Q. Okay. But nonetheless, it was the -- it was the Croats that did
16 in fact sign Cutileiro. The Muslims did sign it but then reneged;
18 A. They did not sign a map. They signed the constitutional
20 Q. Constitution principles.
21 A. I think we must keep that distinction, Mr. Karnavas.
22 Q. Well, that's what I meant, but thank you for clarifying that.
23 A. And may I recall as we read -- you read yesterday for us that the
24 constitutional principles of the Cutileiro Plan called for three states
25 within one state. It said that. Three -- three separate units based on
1 the national principle, which meant ethnically pure.
2 Q. Well, wait a minute. That's your interpretation now.
3 A. That would have -- that was the Croat interpretation of -- of the
4 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and it surely would have been the Croat
5 interpretation of -- of the Cutileiro Plan.
6 Q. Well, now you seem to be speculating. As I recall yesterday, I
7 asked you a question and you said to me, "that would be speculating." So
8 we shouldn't go into that. So now you seem to be speculating as to what
9 the Croats' intentions were. Here I've showed you a letter from Boban
10 back in 1992 that he's saying, Let's get on with the Cutileiro. Let's go
11 on with the European Community programme to avoid bloodshed, to avoid war.
12 And this is -- it seems -- I don't see how you make that leap, but we'll
13 go step-by-step.
14 Now, speaking of borders, it wasn't that the Croats were the ones
15 that were initiating the discussion on changing the borders. It seems to
16 me if we look at David Owen's book, and just an excerpt of it, 1D 00894.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: And my point here is, for Your Honours, is here the
18 European interlocutors are also the ones talking about the borders not
19 being sacrosanct, which begs the question: Who is initiating or who is
20 raising this issue, is it Tudjman the historian turned president or is it
21 the Europeans who are trying to find a pragmatic solution.
22 If we look at this paragraph, chapter 2, if you look down to the
23 first -- second paragraph it says: "The Netherlands have held the EC
24 Presidency from the outbreak of the war," and then it goes on -- I don't
25 want -- I'll skip to where it says: "The Dutch government had suggested
1 to the other EC Member States that the option of agreed change to some of
2 the internal borders between the Yugoslav republics might be explored."
3 And then to save time, if you look to the next page, well, the
4 very same page but it's -- it will be 33 on his book, to bullet point 4,
5 it says: "The foregoing seems to point to the direction of a voluntary
6 redrawing of internal borders as a possible solution."
7 And we don't have time, but it would seem to me if we were to read
8 the rest of the -- rest of the chapter, especially focusing on page
9 number -- page 36 of this particular chapter, it would appear that the
10 Europeans themselves, the negotiators, are talking about that perhaps the
11 borders could be changed although it was recognised that that might be
12 opening a Pandora's box and best to let it be as it is.
13 A. I should clarify your comments, Counsel, by noting that the
14 borders that were being discussed here were the republic borders, not
15 borders within the republics.
16 Q. I understand that. I understand that. But what I'm saying --
17 your thesis, sir, has been that Tudjman, who was the highest Croat
18 controlling all of those Croats was intent on carving up Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, which would have been one of the republics. And what I'm
20 pointing out to you, sir, is that the Europeans themselves had talked
21 about perhaps we should tinker around with the borders within the
22 republics. This is as Yugoslavia is breaking up.
23 A. Excuse me. You said they were talking of tinkering with the
24 borders within the republics. That is incorrect. They were talking about
25 the borders between the republics, not within the republics, as you
1 stated. That is simply not correct.
2 Q. All right.
3 A. You understand the difference, of course.
4 Q. I understand the difference. At some point Croatia becomes an
5 independent country, does it not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It ceases to be a republic at that point, a republic within
10 Yugoslavia; right?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Okay. Bosnia and Herzegovina also becomes an independent country;
14 A. Declares itself to be independent, yes.
15 Q. And so -- now, prior to that there's a whole discussion going on
16 about the break-up of Yugoslavia; right? Which is composed of - what is
17 it? - five different republics?
18 A. Six.
19 Q. Okay. And it's within this context that the republican borders
20 might be changed. I mean, it calls for a yes or no.
21 A. The discussion never advanced very far. Lord Owen was somebody
22 who thought about it, but there were never ever even borders changes
23 physically proposed.
24 Q. I agree.
25 A. It was an idea, a loose idea that diplomats and negotiators think
1 of as they think of all options when they look at a problem.
2 Q. Exactly. And that's my whole --
3 A. But in no case were they ever talking about redrawing of borders
4 within any of the republics.
5 Q. I'm not saying within any of the republics. Sir, don't steer the
6 conversation away. What I'm trying to suggest to the Trial Chamber here
7 is that there seems to be from the Prosecution and from you a thesis that
8 it was Tudjman that is -- can't wait along with Milosevic to carve up
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and what I'm suggesting to you as -- as Yugoslavia is
10 breaking up, some folks are thinking outside the box, and those folks
11 happen to be the Europeans, you know. And this is 13 July 1991 now. And
12 while you might say, well, this is just a bunch of discussions, that we
13 were just thinking about it as we would normally do, what I'm trying to
14 demonstrate to the Trial Chamber is, this is not something that Tudjman
15 was initiating or even Milosevic but even the Europeans are thinking that
16 perhaps one way to resolve the break-up of Yugoslavia is to see whether
17 the republican borders can be changed, and it was decided that best to
18 leave them as they are because that would open up a Pandora's box.
19 A. The European Community decided to retain the borders of the
20 republics. They decided that early on, already in 1991, and they decided
21 it on the basis of the Helsinki agreement of 1975, which called for the
22 non-alteration, the non-alteration, of borders in Europe.
23 Q. Okay.
24 A. Of course there were individuals who toyed with all kinds of
25 ideas, but the idea of changing the borders never had any official
1 standing at any time, as you have said.
2 Q. As I have said. Okay. Very well. Let's move on. Now, yesterday
3 we talked a little bit about the Muslim government even at that particular
4 time, that is in 1992, was -- or the government in Bosnia-Herzegovina was
5 being perceived as a Muslim-dominated government or a Muslim government,
6 and I want to share with you 1D 00814. This is a speech by Lord Owen.
7 It's -- it's dated 16 December 1992. 16 December, 1992.
8 And if we look at the third paragraph from the top it says: "One
9 of our concerns is that the -- is that the Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 government is sadly increasingly becoming representative only of a Muslim
11 population. We are travelling tomorrow to Zagreb to meet with President
12 Tudjman and President Izetbegovic in an attempt to bring together the
13 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats into a more representative Presidency.
14 We will try, though we know it will be very difficult to persuade both
15 sides to come to some measure of agreement on a provisional map for
17 Now, did you share at that point in time, in history, that is 16
18 December 1992, Lord Owen's impression? After all he is giving a speech
19 now and delivering it, concerning his observations. And this would be at
20 the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia. Did you share his
21 impressions that the Bosnia-Herzegovina government was increasingly
22 becoming representative only of the Muslim population?
23 A. Yes, that's correct, and I so stated that in my witness statement.
24 May I call your attention very briefly to paragraph 11 where I say in
25 the -- in my witness statement that the powers, as well as the activities
1 of the government are severely limited. It was clear to the negotiators
2 during the lengthy negotiations that President Izetbegovic, Silajdzic, and
3 Akmadzic were representing the government officially while Izetbegovic and
4 Silajdzic were mainly representing Bosnian Muslim interests, and Akmadzic
5 was mainly representing Bosnian Croat interests.
6 That is in my witness statement of March. You have that. So
7 that's what I agree. And Lord Owen is correct, and my witness statement
8 is correct.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. And I appreciate the confirmation you provide by quoting Lord
12 Q. Thank you. Okay. Now, there were others also that thought that
13 this was -- this government, the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was for
14 all intents and purposes representing only, if not exclusively, the Muslim
16 A. I would say not exclusively but mainly. Surely mainly the Muslim
18 Q. So during these negotiations when Izetbegovic would show up with
19 Silajdzic, with Ganic and others, he -- he is more concerned about his
20 agenda as the leader of the SDA and the leader of the Muslim people as
21 opposed to the well-being of all citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Would
22 you say that is correct?
23 A. Excuse me, could you restate the question? I didn't hear it well.
25 Q. When Mr. Izetbegovic is -- is attending these meetings and is
1 negotiating, he is negotiating primarily, if not exclusively, for the
2 Muslim interests and not for the well-being of every citizen living in
4 A. Well, the first part of your statement is correct, but the second
5 part is incorrect.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. He was representing mainly the Muslim interests because, again,
8 they were being attack. Sarajevo was being shelled. The Serbs had
9 grabbed 70 per cent of the country. We must remember that, and I know you
10 do, but this was wartime. But it's incorrect to say that he wasn't
11 concerned about the well-being of others.
12 Q. Okay. All right. There were some that were even questioning the
13 legality of this -- of this government as being a government that
14 represented, you know, the country itself. Would you -- would that be a
15 correct statement?
16 A. That people challenged the legality?
17 Q. Yeah.
18 A. Yes, the Bosnian Serbs did, and the Bosnian Croats did.
19 Q. And did you feel that this was the government for Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina representing the interests of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well?
21 A. As I said, we were very well aware of all of the problems inside
22 the Bosnian government, and we knew when to distinguish between
23 nation-wide desiderata and Muslim, Croat, and Serb desiderata.
24 Q. Okay. Now, normally I would go through your diary step-by-step
25 but we don't have the time, so instead we will look at it some time later.
1 We will focus on January and then we're going to move to April and I want
2 to go through some -- some various documents, some you might have seen and
3 some maybe you haven't, but we can move it -- move through them rather
5 First, if we could look at 1158. This would be P, P I guess
6 01158. It's a Prosecutor document. If you could assist the Ambassador,
7 please. 1158. This is the minutes from January 15, 1993. This is the
8 presidential transcript.
9 And if you could refresh my memory. Were you there at that
10 particular meeting, sir?
11 A. I was probably in Geneva chairing the conference, but you could
12 consult my diary and that would be -- the answer there would be. They
13 took Ahtisaari with them so I probably was chairing the conference in
15 Q. Just very briefly we're going to touch on a few things to
16 highlight, and of course the Trial Chamber will have -- will be able to
17 read this at its leisure.
18 If we look at page 4. You have Dr. Franjo Tudjman saying: "I
19 agree that Posavina is more important than this, but how can we achieve
20 peace? That's the problem. So we must compromise when the warring sides
21 are concerned. All of them must compromise if we want peace."
22 A. I don't see that on --
23 Q. This is on page 4, and it's the -- you'll see at the bottom of the
24 page in the middle, they have numbers. Do you see that?
25 A. I'm afraid I don't see it.
1 Q. I'm going to help you out here.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We are not seeing it either on the page 4 of
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, there must be a technical problem or maybe
5 there's a -- this is a Prosecution document. Is that right, Mr.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The document we have under that number are
8 minutes from the talks between the president of the republic, Dr. Franjo
9 Tudjman, et cetera, Cyrus Vance, Lord Owen, Alija Izetbegovic.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Right. That's the one.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And on page 4, on the top we have Ahtisaari and
12 he seems to be speaking on that page alone.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. There's page 2, page 3, page -- if you put
14 it on the ELMO that might assist but there's a page in the middle of the
15 page it says, Your Honour, Alija Izetbegovic, Franjo Tudjman, and then
16 again Alija Izetbegovic. It's four pages into the text.
17 Have you found it, Your Honour? Well, we have it on the ELMO.
18 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think it is page 11 on our document.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Page 11. It can't be. Well --
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It starts with, "Mr. Tudjman reported as saying,
21 'I agree that Posavina is more important than this.'"
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Obviously my pages are wrong. I don't know what
23 the problem is, and we may have some problems with this document. But,
24 okay. But thank you for pointing that out, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: No problem.
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. So, here we see that Mr. Tudjman is concerned about the warring
3 sides and he's urging them to compromise; correct?
4 A. He states that.
5 Q. Okay. And so -- and you think that he wasn't earnest when he was
6 stating that?
7 A. He was always concerned about Croatian interests and Croat
8 interests. That was no surprise. He would have wished, of course, to
9 achieve his goals by peace. Everybody does. Every political leader wants
10 to achieve his goals peacefully. There were many goals needless to say
11 that President Tudjman didn't care about, you know, areas that were Serb
12 or Serb-Muslim areas. For example, Sarajevo. You know, less than 10 per
13 cent of the population of Sarajevo were Bosnian Croats.
14 Q. Sir, sir, sir.
15 A. So he just -- he didn't -- wasn't concerned. But naturally
16 they're all going to say they want peace, Mr. Karnavas.
17 Q. Right. So everybody is lying at this table.
18 A. I didn't -- I didn't say that.
19 Q. No, but if I get your impression, and I don't mean to be
20 confrontational, but with all due respect, Mr. Ambassador, you are
21 painting a picture that everyone, with the exclusion of maybe Alija
22 Izetbegovic, and you and Vance and Owen, all of them are liars?
23 A. I never said that.
24 Q. That none of them are there with goodwill. None of them are there
25 trying to solve of problems.
1 A. They all had interests and they were trying to advance their
2 interests. It is your statement that they were lying, not mine.
3 Q. Would peace be -- would -- well, you've indicated in your diary
4 who's lying and who's not, at times, or at least who is being
5 characterised as liar, but would you agree that at this point in time, in
6 January, it was also in the interests of Croatia to -- to stop the war are
7 in Bosnia because it was draining their resources as well. They were
8 having to -- to house all these refugees. You had Croatians getting
9 killed in -- in Bosnia. You had the international community screaming up
10 and down. So wouldn't it be natural for him to want peace at that point
11 in time?
12 A. They, the Bosnian Croats, as we all know in this courtroom, had
13 signed all the sections of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan on January 2. I've
14 already stated that. And that, of course, was welcomed by us and the
16 Q. I don't think it's necessary for us to go any more into this
17 January 15th since you weren't there, but you seem to indicate that
18 perhaps Mr. Tudjman did not have good intentions. At least that's what
19 I'm reading from your statement -- from your testimony here today.
20 A. I did not say that. That is your extrapolation, and it is
22 Q. Okay. Thank you for pointing that out. If we could look at 1D
23 01312. This is a Security Council report, and this is -- I'm going to go
24 through -- go back in history and then go forward. This is 11 November
25 1992. I hope I get the page right this time.
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, if you look at -- on the left-hand
2 side of the page, upper part, page 6.
3 Q. Towards the bottom of the page you'll see "Diplomatic activities,"
4 paragraph 14. I hope I have it right this time.
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. And here it says: "The co-chairmen have engaged in extensive
7 diplomatic activities ..." And then I'm going to skip to the very last
8 words of the paragraph on this page. It says going to the next page:
9 "They have been in steady contact with the principal leaders in the former
10 Yugoslavia as well as the leaders of the neighbouring countries. They
11 have contacted governments in a position to assist the peace process and
12 have been -- and have brought together at Geneva Presidents Cosic and
13 Tudjman on one hand, and Presidents Cosic and Izetbegovic on the other.
14 They have also sought to deal with the central relation ship between
15 Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in light of last year's
16 bitter conflict between Croats and Serbs, whose aftermath is still felt.
17 The co-chairmen have also given close attention to the potentially
18 explosive situation in the Serbian province of Kosovo, and Macedonia."
19 So the only point I wish to make here is that it would appear that
20 the co-chairmen, at least if we are to believe them in this report to the
21 Security Council are saying that they are contacting leaders of
22 neighbouring countries for their assistance. They have contacted
23 governments in a position to assist the peace process. Would that be
25 A. It is so stated and it is correct.
1 Q. Okay. And one of the neighbouring countries in this conflict at
2 the time would have been Croatia, would it not have been?
3 A. They would not have considered Croatia a neighbouring country
4 because Croatia was part of ex-Yugoslavia. When they are talking about
5 neighbouring countries here, and I made missions to the countries. I'm
6 personally familiar with what they're talking about, they meant Italy,
7 Vienna, Austria. Those were the neighbouring countries.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. They were in constant contact, of course, with President Tudjman.
10 Q. If we could go on to the next document, and this is P -- I guess
11 it would be 00752, or 752. This is a Security Council Resolution 787,
12 dated 16 November 1992. We'll go through it very quickly. 752, that is.
13 That's the Exhibit number.
14 On the very first page, in the middle, I'll just -- I'm just going
15 to go through a couple of sections of this document. In the middle it
16 says: "We are confirming it's firm support for the International
17 Conference on the Former Yugoslavia as the framework within the overall
18 political settlement of the crisis in the former Yugoslavia may be
19 achieved. And for work of the co-chairmen of the steering committee ..."
20 then it goes on. We'll go on to the next page. Well, starting the bottom
21 of the first page it says "noting," and then the very last sentence where
22 it says bullet point number 4, "the establishment of a Mixed Military
23 Working Group in the province of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the production of
24 a draft outline constitution for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
25 Then if you go further down where it says: "Calls upon the
1 parties in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to consider the draft
2 outline constitution as a basis for negotiating a political settlement of
3 the conflict in that country, and to continue negotiations for
4 constitutional arrangements on the basis of the draft outline," and it
5 goes -- and so on.
6 Next page, bullet number 3: "Strongly reaffirms," and then it
7 goes on, "to respect strictly the territorial integrity of the Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina." Then we skip number 4, we go to number 5. "Demands,"
9 sort of the last sentence. It talks about -- and this might be
10 interesting here, including the last three lines I'm going to read,
11 "including the requirement that all forces, in particular elements of the
12 Croatian army be withdrawn or be subject to the authority of the
13 government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina or shall disbanded or
15 And then it goes on to talk about welcoming the report.
16 At this point in time, sir, was the HVO one of the recognised
17 armies in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. Recognised army?
19 Q. Yeah?
20 A. Well, it was -- we knew of its existence.
21 Q. Right.
22 A. But it's recognised in the sense of officially sanctioned, no.
23 Q. Okay. Was it ever sanctioned as far as you know?
24 A. Not to the best of my knowledge.
25 Q. Okay. So --
1 A. Could -- excuse me. My I comment re: Something that you've drawn
2 to the attention of the Court and I want the president and the Judges --
3 Q. Certainly.
4 A. I refer back to paragraph 3 that you started reading but you
5 didn't finish it.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. It reads in its entirety: "Strongly reaffirms its call on all
8 parties and others concerned to respect strictly the territorial integrity
9 of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." That's where you ended so I
10 will continue.
11 Q. Right.
12 A. "And affirms that any entities unilaterally declared or
13 arrangements imposed in contravention thereof will not be accepted," and
14 that is a specific reference to Republika Srpska and to the community of
15 Herceg-Bosna, because they were precisely the units that were declared.
16 So here you have already in November, and I'm pleased that you draw this
17 to our attention, that already at the highest international level in a
18 Resolution of the Security Council the very existence of these
19 self-declared entities, Herceg-Bosna, Bosnian Croats, Republika Srpska for
20 the Serbs, was in contravention, was condemned, in effect.
21 Q. And as far as you're concerned it was an entity. It was an entity
22 like Republika Srpska?
23 A. Oh, yes, indeed it was.
24 Q. It had the same attributes?
25 A. Well, it had a president. It had officers. They issued
2 Q. Were you aware at all whether -- under the constitution, whether
3 the municipalities could -- could join together to form and community, for
4 instance, in -- in time of need? Were you aware of that?
5 A. I'm not aware of that.
6 Q. Were you aware at all of the All People's Defence, by any chance?
7 A. Excuse me?
8 Q. The All People's Defence.
9 A. The old people's?
10 Q. All, A-l-l, All People's Defence?
11 A. The All People's Defence. Well --
12 Q. Were you aware? It calls for a yes or no, and if you are, tell
13 us; if not, we'll move on.
14 A. There were all kind of units sometimes 8 or 10 people in the town,
15 Mr. Karnavas, so there were lots of things like that.
16 Q. Well -- so in other words you're not aware that built into the
17 constitutional framework of the former Yugoslavia and then down to the
18 republics there was a concept of All People's Defence?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Which also included the Territorial Defences?
21 A. Yes. There were Territorial Defence units in the former
22 Yugoslavia and All People's Defence surely referred to combatting a
23 foreign invasion.
24 Q. Okay. All right.
25 A. I think we're pretty safe in -- in coming to that conclusion.
1 Q. Now, it would appear that from these resolutions they're asking
2 the parties to cooperate; correct? And we're going to read some more, but
3 it would appear that they're asking the parties to cooperate.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right. Now, if Croatia cooperates, it seems to me they're
6 damned because they're free-riders. At least that's what you want us to
7 conclude that no matter what the Croats do, if they're positive and
8 they're being urged to cooperate, they're free-riders, but then if they
9 had, if they did not cooperate, I'm sure you would be saying they were
10 obstructing just as the Serbs were.
11 A. What is your question?
12 Q. Well, my question is don't you find that rather cynical to say
13 that they're free-riders when at the same time you're asking them to
14 cooperate and they're cooperating?
15 A. No, I don't find it cynical in the least, because the fact is,
16 Mr. Karnavas, that the document you've introduced here we're reading is
17 November, already just a month earlier, three weeks, actually, towards the
18 end of October, the Croats -- Bosnian Croat forces had carried out a very
19 heavy ethnic cleansing operation around Prozor. So I'm just describing
20 the -- their actions, which were not in conformity with their words.
21 Sometimes there were. Very often there were not.
22 Q. If we could go on to 932, document P 00932. And this is a
23 document of the general -- from the General Assembly. It's dated 17
24 December 1992.
25 A. Excuse me, sir, what is the number? Sorry.
1 Q. 932. 932. This would be a Prosecution document. Okay.
2 A. Yes. Thank you, I have it.
3 Q. Yes. And I'm just going to -- if we just look at the bottom of
4 the page it says, "taking note," and I'm going to skip and go into the
5 next page to the one, two, three, the fourth paragraph: "Recalling that
6 the government of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina has accepted the
7 constitutional principles proposed by the co-chairmen of the International
8 Conference on the Former Yugoslavia." Okay? Was that correct, that the
9 government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had -- had accepted
10 the constitutional principles proposed by the co-chairmen? This is now 18
11 December 1992.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. Okay. And then if we go further down in the page we'll see a
14 number 1: "Reaffirms its support for the government and people of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina." Then number 4 it says: "Demands --" we can step --
16 next page I'm sorry go to the next page to number 5: "Demands also that
17 in accordance with the Security Council Resolution 752 all elements of the
18 Croatian army that may be in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that
19 are already not operating in accords with the authority of the government
20 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina must be withdrawn immediately or be
21 subject to the authority of the government or be disbanded."
22 Again, we -- I asked you earlier whether the HVO was ever
23 recognised as legitimate armed force within Bosnia-Herzegovina. I believe
24 you said that you were not aware of that.
25 A. They weren't. They're talking about the army of the republic of
1 the Croatia. They're not talking about the HVO here. This is clearly a
2 reference to the army of the Republic of Croatia.
3 Q. I'm asking you, sir, if the HVO, as far as you understand, the HVO
4 was never part -- was never recognised as a legitimate force in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as you know, being a negotiator at that period
6 of time?
7 A. Well, we dealt with it. We knew the people who were in charge of
9 Q. That wasn't my question sir.
10 A. But that's the answer to your question.
11 Q. No, that isn't the answer to my question, and you know very well.
12 I'm asking: Was it ever recognised as a legitimate force? It calls for a
13 yes or a no. You could have been negotiating with an illegitimate force
14 because those were the only people that you could negotiate with. But I'm
15 asking you: Were you aware yes, or no, whether the HVO was ever
16 recognised as a legitimate force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that would
17 have been recognised by Alija Izetbegovic.
18 A. It might have been at one time.
19 Q. Sorry, the answer is: I don't know.
20 A. The answer is the answer I gave you.
21 Q. The answer is, "it might have been." "It might have been" means
22 to me that I'm taking a wild guess.
23 A. No, I don't take wild guesses.
24 Q. Okay. Now I think we can skip the rest in that document, save
25 some time. We can go on to the next document and this would be 1D 01313,
1 1313. That's 1D 01313 this is to the Security Council. Now we're up to
2 December 24, 1992, and if I could focus everyone's attention it would be
3 on page 8, that is the page 8 as is designated so on the upper left-hand
4 side of the page. And I'll be referring to primarily paragraph 29. This
5 section deals with maps and I just wanted to draw to everyone's attention
6 paragraph 29 it says: "The Bosnian Croat delegation submitted a map
7 merely indicating those territories, consisting of one large, one
8 medium-sized and four small ones, within the Croat allegedly constituted a
9 majority of 60 per cent or more. No indication was given as to how
10 provincial boundaries might be drawn in that light, although in
11 accompanying oral explanations it was stated that the Croats would expect
12 to end up with two provinces and that other concentrations of Croat
13 populations would necessarily be assigned to provinces with other
15 Was that the case, sir?
16 A. Yes indeed.
17 Q. So?
18 A. We wrote it I myself contributed to the drafting of this document,
19 and I recall it.
20 Q. Okay. So in other words what the Croats were proposing was that
21 some portion of its population within Bosnia-Herzegovina would be residing
22 in provinces that were controlled by or governed by either the Muslims or
23 the Serbs?
24 A. No, that's not quite right. They were not --
25 Q. That's --
1 A. Let me finish.
2 Q. All right go ahead.
3 A. They were not proposing. We were proposing and they were
4 acceding, as it states. You see, it says as it was stated that the Croats
5 would expect to end up. Indeed, they were very, very decently treated by
6 the Vance-Owen map. So as we all know, they signed it immediately.
7 Q. Right. But -- did you what I --
8 A. And as I have pointed out to you yesterday, that as a result of
9 the multi-ethnicity aspect of the Vance-Owen map, 36 per cent of the
10 Bosnian Serb population resided in non-Bosnian Serb majority provinces, 30
11 per cent of the Bosnian Muslims resided in non-Bosnian Muslim populous,
12 and 29 per cent of the Serbs. So that all of the parties had to accept,
13 not just the Bosnian Croats as an act of goodwill. All of the parties --
14 Q. Sir?
15 A. Had to accept --
16 Q. I understand?
17 A. The situation.
18 Q. I understood that yesterday and I understand it today, and if you
19 look at paragraphs 27 and 28, we're talking about the various delegations
20 submitting maps.
21 A. Mm-hmm.
22 Q. We're not talking about the Vance-Owen map that you were
23 proposing. And what I'm suggesting here, what I hope the Trial Chamber
24 will understand, is that here are the Croats making their proposal, and in
25 their proposal it is understood by them that, you know, a certain amount
1 of Croats within Bosnia and Herzegovina will be residing in provinces that
2 are controlled or governed by the Serbs -- the Serbs or the Muslims based
3 on what we read on paragraph 29.
4 A. Not -- you said not controlled and then you corrected yourself to
5 say governed by.
6 Q. Well.
7 A. That's also incorrect, because all of the -- all of the 10
8 provinces in the Vance-Owen Plan and they knew this at the time because we
9 were discussing it with them were to be democratically organised. So one
10 really can't speak and --
11 Q. Thank you for correcting me.
12 A. -- and the Muslims talked that way also and, of course, the Serbs
13 did. So it wasn't just the Bosnian Croats. There was a tendency to say,
14 This is our province.
15 Q. Right, but -- and that's -- thank you for correcting me, and I --
16 A. But I don't mean to correct you because --
17 Q. No, that's --
18 A. -- it's -- it's very easily -- one can very easily slip into that
19 kind of locution, but if we're talking about the plan, then we have to
20 recognise that the plan envisaged a thoroughly democratic situation.
21 Q. Right. But some provinces would be allocated to the Serbs. Some
22 provinces would be allocated to the Croats or would be designated as
23 Croat-dominated. However you wish to point it out.
24 A. Yes, they would have a majority, yes.
25 Q. Right, exactly.
1 A. There were ten provinces. Four had no majority whatsoever. Six
2 had a majority of one of the three ethnic groups.
3 Q. All right. Okay.
4 A. So you're correct when you say they would have a majority, but
5 it's just unfair to the plan to talk of control.
6 Q. And -- and I --
7 A. I know you don't mean it, so I'm just trying to correct it --
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. -- for the -- so that we all -- the Court and all of us have a
10 correct understanding of the plan. I don't mean to be --
11 Q. No, no, that's fine.
12 A. -- contentious at all.
13 Q. You're not. Trust me. 1D 01314. That's our next document. 1D
14 01314. This is dated 6 January 1993. And again I just want to point a
15 couple of things out.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: And I'm doing this for the Trial Chamber's benefit
17 because we don't have a whole lot of time to go -- to have these lengthy
18 discussions but merely to show that there is some continuity in what is
19 happening on the ground. Now, if we could focus on page number 2, Your
20 Honours. That would be paragraph 10. Just -- I'm going to read just a
21 portion that is relevant, I think. In their opening address to the talks
22 on 2 January, the co-chairmen, Cyrus Vance and Lord Owen, appealed to the
23 participants that "This is an historic meeting. It is our best chance for
24 peace and we must ensure that it succeeds."
25 I think that's a -- everybody wanted that and that's a pretty
1 accurate statement. Then if we go on to page 4, paragraph 18, this is
2 about the Plenary Session at 4 January, 1993. At a Plenary Session of the
3 talks on 4 January, the co-chairmen reminded the participants that the
4 success or failure of the talks depend primarily on them. The ultimate
5 choice was theirs, peace or war." And it goes on. Again I think that's
6 more or less an accurate statement. Basically it's up to them.
7 And then if we go on to paragraph 22, which would be on page 5, it
8 says: "All the delegations participating in the talks pledged their
9 cooperation with the co-chairmen and search for peaceful solutions. The
10 peace process has thus taken -- taken on a qualitatively new dimension.
11 Henceforth it should be easier to establish clearly who is cooperating and
12 who is not. I believe that the Security Council should let it be known
13 clearly to all sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina that it is their duty to
14 cooperate with the co-chairmen in bringing the conflict in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina to it and end swiftly and that there would be penalties
16 for obstruction."
17 Now, I raise this because, again, at least based on Mate Boban's
18 attitude, it would appear -- and we'll go through your diary at some
19 point, but it would appear that he's the one that's always at the
20 meetings, ready, willing, and indeed able to sign the peace proposals.
21 A. We've discussed this extensively yesterday so I can summarise it
22 very briefly. In January, I helped draft this statement. I'm very
23 familiar with it. I was there, and I can -- I know what was in
24 Mr. Vance's mind, but I know better still the facts on the grounds. In
25 January, yes, the Bosnian Croats had signed the agreement and, yes, they
1 were conducting ethnic cleansing operations in Herzegovina and Central
2 Bosnia. They were doing both.
3 Q. All right. Did you ever visit Bosnia and Herzegovina during that
4 period of time?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you go to Mostar, for instance? Go to Central Bosnia?
7 A. I don't think I was in Mostar and rarely -- rarely in Central
9 Q. Okay. All right. One second here. Do you know by chance how
10 many Muslim refugees there were in Mostar?
11 A. In Mostar itself?
12 Q. In January, yeah.
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. What about Herzegovina?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. You mean Herzegovina alone?
18 Q. No.
19 A. Not particularly; no, I don't know. I could make a guess but it
20 would only be a questions, and I would not wish to have you remonstrate.
21 Q. Okay. Well, thank you. All right. If we can go on - I'm moving
22 rather quickly - to the transcript of January 20, 1993. This is 1D 01311.
23 I believe it's an entire transcript, and I don't recall, but I'm sure
24 you'll remind us, whether you were there at the time. This would be
25 January 20, 1993. Do you recall whether you were there?
1 A. I was there, I believe. It's in -- we can check my diary, but I'm
2 pretty sure I was there.
3 Q. Okay. Now --
4 A. This was the day, incidentally, that.
5 Q. Right?
6 A. -- began in Zagreb and ended in Sarajevo, I think.
7 Q. Right. Okay. And that was the day that Clinton was sworn in?
8 A. Was being sworn in, precisely.
9 Q. Right. And you were warning him to be careful because it would
10 appear that based on the presidential elections they seemed to be at least
11 their campaigning going on that they had some ideas as to how they might
12 be able to deal with the Balkans.
13 A. Yes, that's correct. During the campaign, the Clinton campaign
14 took a very -- took a much more aggressive position on the conflict in the
15 former Yugoslavia and accused the outgoing republican administration of
16 negligence, cowardice.
17 Q. Right.
18 A. That sort of thing. They said they would be much more ...
19 Q. Robust?
20 A. Robust in their policy, yes.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. That's why I wrote, "Clinton, be careful." And I think you would
23 even agree with that actually but I'm not asking you.
24 Q. Okay. Now if we could -- if we look at page 2. It's number 2,
25 page number 2 at the top -- at the top page, Your Honours, and I'm going
1 to go through it very quickly.
2 Here there seems -- from the previous page we know that it's --
3 that it's -- President Tudjman is speaking, and he's -- and he's bringing
4 up an issue which is an accusation that is being lodged against Croatia by
5 Izetbegovic. I just want to point this out because it appears that later
6 on if we go into page 8, he is asking -- he's asking the -- I believe
7 Mr. Vance and Mr. Owen, he's asking them how he should respond, and that's
8 on the -- on page 8 where it says: "If I may, I would suggest we hear
9 your opinion from BiH. What do you think how should Croatia react to
10 these accusations? And I would especially request the opinion of the
11 gentlemen, co-chairmen, because this is tied to a general consideration on
12 the crisis of Bosnia-Herzegovina," and he goes on. In essence he's asking
13 them, how -- how should he as president of the Republic of Croatia respond
14 to these public accusations by -- by Alija Izetbegovic. And this concerns
15 Alija Izetbegovic's accusations that the HV, that is the Croatian army,
16 was involved or responsible for Gornji Vakuf.
17 And if we go to page 9, I just want to draw this out to the Trial
18 Chamber's attention, Lord Owen says in response: "Mr. President -- Mr.
19 President, you asked me how the Croatian government should react. I think
20 that your response should be guided by the principle you yourself have
21 formulated and expressed more than once and that is that peace is of the
22 highest interest to the -- to the Republic of Croatia and therefore I
23 think that regardless of today's or rather the latest news the tensions
24 and the heat created in the public should be reduced. I of course have no
25 desire to tell you, "and then it goes on and on and on. And I -- so it
1 appears that Lord Owen is counselling the president to react the way he
2 has in the past.
3 Now, was Lord Owen being cynical at this point or was he being
5 A. He was being a -- first if I may say this: I misspoke when I said
6 we were in Zagreb first on the 20th and then Sarajevo. It was the
7 reverse. It was the meeting in Sarajevo and then on to Zagreb to see
8 President Tudjman to give him a precise of the meeting. You will recall
9 very briefly from yesterday's discussion that this was the meeting where
10 there was a heated discussion between Izetbegovic, really an argument,
11 almost a shouting match, although he did not shout, but pretty close,
12 between Izetbegovic and Mile Akmadzic, and it's the meeting at which he
13 started by reading from prepared notes. He had a prepared statement and
14 the argument was basically about Gornji Vakuf. That's correct. And Lord
15 Owen here is appealing to the senior Croatian authority, we've already
16 discussed whether President Tudjman was the senior authority in -- for the
17 Bosnian Croats, and he was, and I've elucidated on that and explained it
18 to you, and here Lord Owen, of course, confirms it, and basically he's
19 saying please, you know, issue another statement, and we will try and
20 bring you together with Izetbegovic and see if we can't work this out, and
21 we did. That's -- if you consult my diary, you'll see that a few days
22 later we had Izetbegovic and President Tudjman together, and of course we
23 also brought in, when it was necessary, Slobodan Milosevic, because he was
24 the boss of Radovan Karadzic. But I should say that the -- and this is an
25 important point, so please allow me just half a minute.
1 On the question of command and control, we went into this quite a
2 bit over the last few days, there's no doubt that Milosevic was in charge
3 of the Bosnian Croat [sic] operation, but he was not in complete charge.
4 Even those who --
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Sorry, you do not want to say that Milosevic was
6 in charge of the Croat operations.
7 THE WITNESS: Oh, excuse me. Yes, Judge, I meant Bosnian Serb.
8 Thank you very much. Oh, dear.
9 He wasn't in complete charge even though Serbia armed the Bosnian
10 Serb army, paid them, sent them their gasoline and supplies. They were --
11 they had individual responsibilities and they were on the ground, so they
12 had a measure of freedom of movement.
13 So, too, President Tudjman was the boss, but that did not mean
14 that he wrote every detail of Mate Boban's operation, and so Mate did have
15 a freedom of movement on -- you know, on many points. They knew each
16 other. They trusted each other. Gojko Susak and Mate were both from --
17 knew each other from Grude, and so it's important to understand that when
18 we talk about President Tudjman being the very important person that he
19 was, that he still wasn't responsible for everything. Excuse me. Thank
20 you for allowing me to explain that.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. I'm pressed for time but again as I pointed out yesterday I don't
23 see anything in your notes, your 2.000-page diary anything of that nature
24 but --
25 A. The diary is full of it. There I must -- I must be categorical
1 and I have to disagree with you, counsel. I'm very sorry. The diary
2 indicates that clearly. I know what's in my diary. I wrote it.
3 Q. During the break I urge you to go through your diary and point out
4 concretely where you say that Tudjman is controlling Boban, where Tudjman
5 is in charge of the HVO. Try to find something, because as I said, in
6 your previous three testimonies you've never raised that, and I dare say
7 it appears that you've come here with a brief, a brief to sort of carry,
8 and that's -- and that's why it appears that you're volunteering all this
9 information that's nowhere anywhere in your notes.
10 A. It's all over my notes.
11 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, excuse me. Excuse me. I have been quiet
12 today, but I'm going to have to object to that last comment. That goes
13 way too far. He's just very explicitly accused the witness of having been
14 scripted and coming here, without a basis, to give the answers that he's
15 given. Secondly, I think -- I submit that the Ambassador yesterday very
16 thoroughly and very clearly answered the question that is -- when he
17 testified in other cases, and I think that -- I think it can resonate with
18 the Chamber, when he testified in other cases, in the Milosevic case,
19 there was no point for him to come in here and start talking about his
20 dealings and his views about Tudjman. It was irrelevant in those case, as
21 if I had gone into one of those other cases - if I had gone into one of
22 those other cases -- if I'd gone into the Milosevic case and started
23 talking about Dario Kordic. It made no difference. So this is a
24 completely -- number one, it's a false issue, and, number two, and more
25 importantly, I object to attacking this man for having come here and
1 giving supposedly scripted evidence. That's beyond the pale.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Nobody said he was giving scripted evidence, but
3 it's obvious, it's obvious from his testimony that it's not included in
4 the notes or his prior testimony that for the first time we hear various
5 new things. That's all I'm saying. So.
6 THE WITNESS: I have to tell you again it's in my notes. May I
7 cite examples? I don't want to take your time but I can give examples
8 right now.
9 MR. KARNAVAS:
10 Q. Sir, sir --
11 A. Okay you don't want to hear it. I accept the fact that you do not
12 want to hear what I have to say.
13 Q. Let's move on.
14 A. Yes, indeed. Let's move on.
15 Q. And during the break if you can find concretely in your notebook
16 where you say that Boban is being instructed by -- by Tudjman or where
17 Tudjman is controlling the HVO in the manner in which you state over here
18 today, I would like to see that. Also, I would like to see where -- where
19 there are reports, where you're concrete -- you, yourself are concretely
20 making those allegations?
21 A. They are not allegations. They are facts. May I just point out,
22 why do you think Lord Owen, Secretary Vance, and I were in
23 President Tudjman's office that evening of January 20th after Akmadzic and
24 Izetbegovic had exchanged those vehement words? It was precisely because
25 he was the boss and he -- we felt, even though it was pretty close to
1 midnight, it was the end of a very long day, that it was important to
2 inform him of what happened. Nothing could be clearer. What were we
3 doing in President Tudjman's office? We didn't go there for any other
4 reason except to assure him of what had happened, of our interpretation of
5 that shouting match, I said, of the behaviour of Akmadzic, behaviour of
7 Q. I heard that, sir. We heard that.
8 A. Well, you hear it, but then you don't draw the conclusions,
9 Mr. Karnavas. You keep saying, I've read your thousands of pages and it
10 doesn't have a sentence that says Tudjman is the boss, but reality is
11 reality, Mr. Karnavas. We were in his office on the night of January 20th
12 because he was the boss.
13 Q. Okay. And again, as I say, where in your diary do you say that
14 you and Vance and Owen went to visit --
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I think -- I'm sorry, Mr. Karnavas.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll move on.
17 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have invited the witness to look it up during
18 the break. I think it's a good idea.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And we're losing your time when you nevertheless
21 go on.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Now, the last thing that I wanted to point out on January 20th is
24 on page 20th -- on page 20 it's David Lord Owen is suggesting that it's
25 time to think about or to talk about the transitional government or
1 temporary government. Do you recall that part of the discussion?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this was the principle of 3, 3, 3; right?
4 A. Yes. And we did indeed.
5 Q. Right?
6 A. Create as I've discussed earlier, we did set up a transitional --
7 an interim government.
8 Q. Right. And this is the 3, 3 principle basically or this concept
9 as we indicated was mentioned much earlier by Mate Boban -- Mate Boban
10 when he was asking Cutileiro to come up with a solution. And this was
11 back in, I believe, it was 19 --
12 A. No, it wasn't the same. It was not Mate's concept because what
13 you question implies -- I don't mean you're saying it in bad faith at all,
14 but what it replies is that the interim government would replace the
15 current Bosnian government headed by Alija Izetbegovic during the interim
16 period, and that's not correct. The -- the government was to retain
17 overall control.
18 Q. Well, I mean, we'll get to it later on, but -- but this interim
19 government, one -- one of the sticking points was that Alija was insisting
20 on being -- again, retaining that position; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. He didn't want to give up.
23 A. Well, he felt that --
24 Q. The answer is, no, he didn't want to give up?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. He wanted -- he wanted to stay in power throughout this entire
2 time when, in fact, months -- months leading up to this point everybody
3 recognised that this government was not representative of all of the
4 people but it was representative only of one constituent person --
6 A. That's correct. During -- because of the war. But if the
7 Vance-Owen Peace Plan had been accepted by the Serbs, if it had come into
8 effect, then even with the -- President Izetbegovic remaining in power, of
9 course the government would have been more representative.
10 Q. All right. Fair enough.
11 A. I mean, wartime does make a difference. So I've just tried to
12 explain --
13 Q. I understand?
14 A. -- that situation.
15 Q. I understand. Now, if I could -- and I have to apologise here if
16 we could go back to January 15, 1993, the presidential transcript, because
17 there is an interesting exchange there with Gojko Susak. And this is --
18 I'm sorry, the ERN number is -- I guess it would be P 01158. P 01158, and
19 in my pages, Your Honour, at the bottom it says 19. It's at the -- it's
20 towards the end of -- it's three pages from -- from the last page. I
21 apologise for having skipped over this point, but we might -- we might be
22 able to cover it very quickly here before the break.
23 In this exchange, while you're looking for it --
24 A. Excuse me, what page is it, sir?
25 Q. This is on page 19. It's -- I don't know if the pages are
1 correct, but --
2 A. I'm almost.
3 Q. But here, I -- we'll find it right here --
4 A. Bear with me.
5 Q. -- copy.
6 A. Thank you.
7 Q. It's at the bottom of the page. You'll see Gojko Susak is
8 speaking, and he says, "I would just once again ask a purely practical
9 question, and I thought we understood a long time ago. I spoke with you,
10 President Izetbegovic here in Zagreb, and we spoke into front of the
11 co-chairmen in Geneva too, and for the sake of efficiency in war, and we
12 are in an unfavourable position anyway in an area with predominantly
13 Muslim troops, and it has now been divided in provinces 2, the command
14 over the army should be by BH and in areas with predominantly HVO forces
15 the command should be by the HVO.
16 "I cannot understand what's now contentious in this, to have a
17 common interest to defend ourselves against our common enemy. Isn't that
18 the part we have achieved? I sat with you in the room, in the hotel here
19 at the Esplanade, when we made a gentlemen's agreement that you would work
20 on this. I don't see what's contentious if in Gornji Vakuf, no matter if
21 there are more Muslims or fewer Croats there, but it is in the territory
22 controlled by the HVO, if orders now coming from Sarajevo are
23 contradictory to orders from Mostar. Well, you're killing yourselves.
24 Then the Serbs do not need to fight you any longer."
25 Now, based on this passage, sir, it would appear at least that
1 there seems to be some sort of gentlemen's agreement where Izetbegovic has
2 agreed or it has been talked about for -- at least at the operational
3 level, for one army to be subordinate to the others depending on who is in
4 control of the territory.
5 A. That's what Susak says.
6 Q. That's what Susak says?
7 A. He's dead. Izetbegovic is dead. You weren't there. I wasn't
8 there, so all we have is Gojko Susak's words on the paper.
9 Q. Okay. But at this meeting on the 20th -- on the 15th, we have --
10 Mr. Cyrus Vance is there, at least it says -- I don't know if Mr. Owen was
11 there. Mr. Owen was there as well?
12 A. But you'll notice counsel that Gojko talks about this fighting in
13 Gornji Vakuf this is what this argument was all about.
14 Q. Okay, work with me. Work with me, Ambassador.
15 A. Okay.
16 Q. I know you want to go to Gornji Vakuf. We've heard a lost
17 evidence about that so you're not here to inform us or elucidate on that.
18 A. But the statement of Gojko Susak says, I don't see what is
19 contentious if in Gornji Vakuf no matter if there are more Muslims or
20 fewer Croats. So that's exactly what the discussion was about. That's
21 what Susak's talking about, that in a non-Croat majority area, that the
22 Croats were cleaning out the and ethnically cleansing the Bosnian Muslims.
23 That's what the argument was about.
24 Q. Sir, sir, I don't mean to be rude?
25 A. Okay. Be rude.
1 Q. But if you read it, if you read it carefully it looks like there
2 is an agreement. There's an agreement that in certain areas the HVO, the
3 HVO would subordinate -- would subordinate itself to the ABiH and, in
4 fact -- let me finish. And, in fact, yesterday I noticed when the
5 Prosecution showed you this -- this document dated January 15th, what was
6 not mentioned, what was not drawn tower attention and what you failed to
7 volunteer was the fact that in that very same document HVO forces were
8 being asked to subordinate themselves severs in ABiH in certain areas.
9 Did you happen to notice that?
10 A. I don't recall it but I'm sure if you say it, it is true.
11 Q. Okay. Well, it's -- the document was P 01155. We can bring it up
12 real quickly. But in essence that document not only asked for the ABiH to
13 subordinate itself to the HVO in certain areas, but also vice versa, that
14 the -- that the -- the HVO would subordinate itself to the ABiH?
15 A. Mm-hmm.
16 Q. And it would appear at least that this sort of validates what the
17 discussion is, that there is -- there seems to be some sort of a
18 gentlemen's agreement but Izetbegovic seems to be reneging on this
19 agreement, this gentlemen's agreement?
20 A. That's very possible.
21 Q. Okay. All right. Now, just one last document and then we're
22 going to have to have the break, but just very quickly sticking with this
23 point, and again P -- the one document that was brought to your attention
24 now, which is P 01155, we've seen many, many times so I don't think there
25 is a dispute. And I can be corrected by my colleague here if I misstated
1 that in certain provinces the HVO was to subordinate itself to the ABiH.
2 But let's look at a document 1D 00820. 1D 00820. And I --
3 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour while that's being done I would
4 like to correct the transcript to be pointed out and for it to be properly
5 stated at one point in reference back -- it's left the main screen now but
6 on page -- excuse me, Your Honour, one moment. On page 41, that was
7 earlier on line 5, the language that Mr. Karnavas keeps referring to about
8 a gentlemen's agreement, the exact language is, "a gentlemen agreement
9 that you would work on this." It doesn't say anything about what the
10 agreement was or whether there was such an agree -- something -- a
11 gentlemen agreement to work on this.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, Your Honour, he could do this on
14 MR. SCOTT: Well, this the --
15 THE INTERPRETER: If you would kindly avoid overlapping, please.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, he can do this on redirect and he
17 knows the rules. He knows the rules and he doesn't have to eat up my
19 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, this is exactly the same kind of
20 interruptions I get on direct, and when it's coming from the Defence,
21 apparently it's okay. But when I do it on the other side.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, Your Honours, you have the documents.
23 You have the documents. We're not in front of a jury. Nobody's trying to
24 misrepresent anything. The gentleman was shown the document. There's no
25 need to grandstand.
1 Q. If we could look at this, 1D 00820. This is dated 20 January 193
2 We've received this. What we've -- we've seen this once before. Were you
3 aware of this at all this document that comes from Mate Boban and it seems
4 to be faxed. There's -- we have the original. It's handwritten from the
5 Intercontinental Zagreb. I assume that you've stayed there or are
6 familiar with that particular hotel in Zagreb.
7 A. I normally stayed at the Esplanade but I'm -- you asked me the
8 question. But I also stayed in the Intercontinental.
9 Q. All right. Okay. Now, here it appears that Mr. Boban is
10 instructing the Croatian Defence Council that in reference to a decision
11 01132/93, and after the discussion with the co-chairmen of the Geneva
12 conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Vance and Lord Owen, "I am ordering
13 you to convene a special meeting of the HVO HZ HB during the day and
14 change item 5 in a way to set up a deadline for the implementation of the
15 decision." And then so --
16 A. I don't know what that could possibly be referring to since we
17 have gone extensively over, and I certainly won't review it, the events of
18 January 20th, Clinton's inauguration, the shouting match, the arguments
19 back and forth. You have it in great detail in my diary, the January 20.
20 I just can't tell you -- I cannot help you out on this.
21 Q. Well, thank you very much. I believe --
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps in honesty, I just have to say that to me
23 it is not clear what item 5 mentioned here refers to.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Well, that's why I was -- thank you. I
25 thought -- I guess -- I'm assuming that everybody sort of knows where I'm
1 going at but that's the wrong assumption on my part. I apologise. If we
2 look at P 0115 -- 58, in the e-court.
3 I'm sorry the document we need to be looking at is 1155. 1155.
4 That was the decision of January 15th, 1993, and item 5, I believe, is
5 where it talks about the various units subordinating in the various
6 regions, and that's what it's referring to, Your Honour. And I believe we
7 did discuss this on one previous occasion with the previous witness. I
8 can't remember exactly off the top of my head with whom, but -- so when we
9 look at 1155, I also think that at least down the road we should keep in
10 mind 1D 00820. That's all I wanted to draw to the gentleman's attention.
11 I note the time, Your Honour. Perhaps now would be a good time to
12 take a break.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm waiting for the
14 interpretation into French to be over. It has been taking quite a long
16 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since the two of you are
18 speaking very fast, the interpreters are finding it very hard to follow,
19 and that was the reason for the delay.
20 We are going to take a 20-minute break.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume.
24 Mr. Karnavas, you have the floor.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
1 Q. I want to fast forward now, if I can, to -- to April, April 1993,
2 and the first document we're going to look at, this covers, I believe,
3 January, February, and March 1993. It's document P 1398, 1398. This is
4 the Security Council official records, 48th year, supplement for January,
5 February, and March. I know we touched on this a little bit but I'm
6 focusing your attention again.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: On page 242, Your Honours. That would be --
8 looking at particularly paragraph 29, which is on page 242 of this
9 particular document. The numbers are at the bottom. And here it's
10 talking about the interim government that we previously touched upon
12 Q. In light of the ideas of intergovernmental arrangements put to the
13 three sides by the co-chairmen, "President Izetbegovic, Minister for
14 Foreign Affairs Silajdzic, Mr. Boban, and Prime Minister Akmadzic signed
15 an agreement on 3 March 1993 which contained the following relevant
16 provisions," and then it lists them. Is that correct? Was an agreement
17 signed on March 3, 1993, for an interim government?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Now, I also here that it only has the Croats and the
20 Muslims signing, but the Serbs did not sign; correct?
21 A. That is correct. The Serbs never signed anything.
22 Q. Was it envisaged that irrespective of what the Serbs were going to
23 do or not do that the -- the Croats and the Muslims would go ahead and
24 form an interim government?
25 A. No, it was not. There was --
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. The whole premise was -- of the peace plan was agreement by the
3 three parties, the Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Muslims, and Bosnian Serbs.
4 Q. Okay. So basically Alija Izetbegovic didn't have to worry about
5 moving along on the peace process, because I think it would be safe to say
6 that everybody knew that the Serbs weren't going to agree to this interim
8 A. Well, to the degree that Izetbegovic knew and Boban knew and
9 Tudjman knew and Vance knew and, you know, it was common knowledge that
10 the Bosnian Serbs were recalcitrant and were not willing to sign.
11 Q. Right.
12 A. So we all knew that.
13 Q. Okay. Now, if we could go to document D -- P, I'm sorry, P 1924.
14 This is a Security Council Resolution, 820, dated 17 April 1993. And I'll
15 start with page 2. Under 1 it says it commends the peace plan. Number 2,
16 welcomes the fact that the plan has now been accepted in full by two of
17 the Bosnian parties. Do you have it, sir?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Okay. We'll wait. I apologise for the pace, but it's just -- I
20 don't want to go into one of my lectures about the lack of time, but ...
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Karnavas, I think we do not have it. But I
22 suggest that you go along so we do not disrupt your work.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I apologise for that, but maybe on the e-court they
24 could locate it. It would be D -- P, P, P as in Paul, P as in Prosecutor.
1 THE REGISTRAR: It's already on the screen.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Thank you.
3 Q. 1 it commends the peace plan 2 welcomes the fact that the peace
4 plan has been accepted in full by two of the Bosnian parties. I'm going
5 to skip down to number 7. "Reaffirms its endorsement of the principles
6 that all statements or commitments made under duress, particularly those
7 relating to land and property, are wholly null and void and that all
8 displaced persons have the right to return in peace to their former homes
9 and should be assisted to do so."
10 Then we go to 8: "Declares its readiness to take all the
11 necessary measures to assist the parties in the effective implementation
12 of the peace plan once it has been agreed in full by the parties and
13 requests the Security Council to submit to the council," going into the
14 next page, "at the earliest possible date, and if possible not later than
15 nine days after the adoption of the present resolution, a report
16 containing an account of the preparatory work for the implementation of
17 the proposal referred to in paragraph 28 of the Secretary-General's report
18 26 March 1993 (S/25479) and detail proposals for the implementation of the
19 peace plan, including arrangements for the effective international control
20 of the heavy weapons, based inter alia on consultations with Member States
21 acting nationally or through regional organisations or arrangements."
22 So here in this Resolution it is encouraging the implementation
23 process once all parties have signed. Is that -- is that our
25 A. Mm-hmm. Yes.
1 Q. And again the Croats have already signed, as have the Muslims;
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Okay. Now, again I want to go back. The fact that they have
5 signed onto this Vance-Owen Peace Plan, might -- might an alternative
6 plausible explanation to the ones that you have given us be that they --
7 that they have signed in earnest and in good faith?
8 A. No, because that was belied by what was happening on the ground.
9 In fact, mid-April was the period of perhaps the heaviest ethnic cleansing
10 by the Bosnian Croats in Central Bosnia. It even reached television.
11 Pictures of activities, British troops, and UNPROFOR reported on it
12 privately and publicly.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. So all one can say here, Mr. Karnavas, is that actions speak
15 louder than words. We have that proverb in English. Actions speak louder
16 than words.
17 Q. What were -- were the Muslims fighting at all?
18 A. Well, they were defending themselves, an and in certain -- in
19 certain areas they were taking -- yes, they even took aggressive action.
20 Those areas were mostly along the Drina.
21 Q. Okay. Might -- might some of that action be against the Croats?
22 A. Very rarely. It was mostly against the Serbs.
23 Q. Okay. Do you know where it might have been against the Croats and
24 at what period? Do you have any idea?
25 A. Well, it would have been in Central Bosnia.
1 Q. Were there any Croat refugees as a result of Muslim fighting?
2 A. I -- I'm -- quite certainly there must have been.
3 Q. Okay, but you don't know. I mean, must have been, and, of course,
4 there was a war going on, but you seem to be telling us that you know of
5 all the things that the Croats were doing and I'm asking you very simple:
6 Do you know what the Muslims were during in this period of time?
7 A. Well, the reason, Mr. Karnavas, that we know is we saw it on
9 Q. I see, okay.
10 A. We saw the HVO it was shown widely, internationally, the events in
11 Ahmici. I don't know if that's come up in this court but that's one town
12 I remember seeing on the television. There was a town called Stupni Do
13 where we -- with the television we saw it. So, yes, we know. Unless
14 you're accusing the television networks of staging these events. You
15 know, I wasn't -- I mean, I wasn't there.
16 Q. Nobody's being that cynical. All I'm asking you, sir, because
17 you're the ambassador at the time, you're going around, I'm asking you
18 concretely: Can you tell us, do you know whether any Muslim forces were
19 attacking Croats and whether there were any Croat refugees as a result of
20 actions taken by the ABiH against the Croatian people?
21 A. I suggest you consult the reports that you have here of the
22 European Community Monitoring Mission and UNPROFOR. My job was to
23 negotiate, and I think you can understand I spent most of my time with the
24 parties at the table.
25 Q. I understand.
1 A. I was not a military observer. That was not my function.
2 Q. I understand. Okay.
3 A. We receive the reports from the European Community Monitoring
4 Mission, and that's UNPROFOR, but I don't think there's any surprise in
5 what I'm telling you.
6 Q. Thank you. If we could go on to the next document, and that's
7 another presidential transcript. It's a P 2059. This is dated 24 April
8 1993. It seems that we have president -- President Tudjman, Lord Owen.
9 There's Izetbegovic. There's Boban. And very -- were you there by any
10 chance? You don't have it?
11 A. I don't have it.
12 Q. Okay. All right. And I'm going to be directing everybody's
13 attention to page 30. You will find the pages, they are on the right-hand
14 bottom of the page. There are lots of things to cite in this document,
15 but we don't have time, and -- but I just want to mention one point. Page
16 30, David -- Lord David Owen, it says here, he is speaking: "Rarely in my
17 life have I hesitated more to say something than I do now. I've asked to
18 mediate in this tragic episode but nobody obviously listens to my advice."
19 And then it goes on. Again, for the sake of time, I don't want to
20 waste it.
21 Now, it goes on towards the bottom of the page, it says: "But --
22 but you can show that you want to plan and you can, if you want, to take
23 the opportunity to change some of its parts before it is sign. This would
24 be my best piece of advice."
25 And then it goes on last paragraph: "As for a Joint Command, I
1 think that more political common sense is needed here. It seems to me
2 that there has been more constructiveness and a better tone at the
3 military level than at the political one. This is an objective fact. I
4 think that the problem lies with the Presidency and the structure of the
5 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and these problems are extended
6 further down.
7 "If you don't solve it, you'll continue to have difficulties. If
8 you don't address the problem seriously, it can cause great damage."
9 And I think we can leave it at that. I don't want to go any
10 further, take up more time, but it seems that at least Lord Owen is saying
11 that the problem lies with the Presidency and the structure of the
12 government. That's his interpretation. Do you share that?
13 A. Yes, we've discussed this, that the government, that Izetbegovic
14 and Silajdzic, as I stated in my witness statement, acted on behalf of the
15 Muslims, and Akmadzic on the Croats, the government, and I think you cited
16 it yesterday, I believe, or maybe the Prosecutor did, but there was a
17 comment of mine, my own comment in one of my official diaries that the
18 government was fictional. Do you recall that?
19 Q. Fig leaf, yes.
20 A. So, yes, I agree with it. And, you know, there were no angels in
21 this process. Nobody has ever maintained that they were -- that the
22 Muslim government or the Muslims were angels.
23 Q. If you look at -- if you also look at some of your notes, it
24 appears that Silajdzic at times was playing games. And I'm being kind of
25 kind to the gentleman.
1 A. Yes. I was just trying to flesh out your comment. I don't know
2 that I call it playing games. He was highly emotional, highly
3 intelligent, certainly knew where he was going. So there were times when
4 he dissembled for sure.
5 Q. Well, there were times when -- excuse me.
6 I apologise for that. Well, there were times also where
7 Izetbegovic was vacillating back and forth; correct?
8 A. No question.
9 Q. He would agree to something and then later on disagree?
10 A. Yes, we've already seen his reneging on the Cutileiro Plan in
11 March 1992.
12 Q. Okay. All right. But -- and there was sort of exasperating at
13 times was it not?
14 A. The entire process was exasperating.
15 Q. Well, it would appear, at least to the other sides, that they were
16 not acting in good faith. That's one plausible conclusion that one could
18 A. I think that's correct.
19 Q. Okay. And incidentally, I just want to go back to this document
20 of April 24, 1993. I want to thank my colleague for pointing this out.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: If we go to page 3, Your Honours, and going on to
22 page 4, again it's Lord Owen, he has started speaking on page 2, but if we
23 go to page 3 he -- I'll just read it very quickly.
24 "I don't think that it would be wrong to say that I have the best
25 access to objective information in view of what was behind this episode
1 and all those present in the room."
2 These are the events dealing in Central Bosnia in April.
3 He goes on to say - this is page 4, Your Honours - I'll skip the
4 first paragraph: "If I thought that only one side was guilty, I would say
5 so without hesitation. However, I'd like to say that in my opinion
6 everybody has contributed to what has happened."
7 So it would appear, would it not, that at least Lord Owen is
8 saying based on objective information that he has access to, that the
9 events in Central Bosnia in April can be attributed to both sides and not
10 one. At least that's what he's saying. You don't have to agree or
11 disagree, but ...
12 A. It's not clear to me actually whether he's talking about the
13 physical events or the -- in Central Bosnia here, or the --
14 Q. Okay but let's go --
15 A. -- or the disagreement on command and control structure that we've
16 discussed. I was at this meeting. I made extensive notes in my diaries.
17 I would -- I would consult my diaries if I were you to find out the
19 Q. Okay. We may -- we may get to that, pending time. But if we go
20 on to the next paragraph he says: "However, I'd like to propose that we
21 ensure that the meeting does not come down to pointing fingers at one
22 another but, rather, in the first place that we look at each other and
23 deal with the future."
24 And then he goes on to say: "Generals Petkovic and Halilovic have
25 spent several hours together this evening along with three objective,
1 impartial advisors, more precisely two UNPROFOR generals and my personal
2 military advisor, and as far as I know they have honestly and really
3 conscientiously discussed this -- the issue."
4 But needless to say, at least whatever it is that they're
5 discussing, Lord Owen is blaming both sides.
6 A. I would agree with that.
7 Q. Okay. And we'll leave it at that. And it was it, I believe
8 during this period, this particular event, where there was a break and the
9 parties ended up drafting a -- a joint statement that we saw yesterday.
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. That was a very long meeting.
12 A. Yes. They were all long meetings.
13 Q. I can imagine. Okay. I'm going to switch to another topic, and
14 we're going -- I'm going to go to a set of documents that are in Lord
15 Owen's book Balkan Odyssey. These books are accompanying -- there was a
16 CD apparently with one of the books when the book was originally
18 MR. KARNAVAS: And I'm referring to a packet of documents Your
19 Honours. It's 1D 01318. 1318. There are several documents. We don't
20 have time to go through all of them. We'll go through some of them.
21 Perhaps you might give us your impressions.
22 If we look at page 264, which is page 2, actually, in the bundle
23 that you have. We'll wait for Judge Trechsel. I believe he's searching
24 to locate this. Do you have them, Your Honour? They would have been
25 provided to you today. Yesterday, sorry. Yesterday. Do you have the
1 documents, Your Honours? It's 1318. 1D 01318.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Yes.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: You have it? I have an extra copy just in case.
4 You have it. Okay. Good.
5 Q. Now, if we turn the first page you'll see the next page is 264,
6 and we look at the top. It's from Lord Owen's party, a private secretary
7 to UK EC Presidency, 9 November 1992. And if we just look at the -- it's
8 at the top of the page of the I just want to look at a couple of things.
9 It says: "Bosnian Foreign Minister Silajdzic called Vance on 18 November
10 to say Izetbegovic and the Bosnian government were outrage at the French
11 proposal. They would certainly have expected to be consulted on an idea
12 such as this. The French were in league with the Serbs who since they did
13 not like the constitutional proposals now wanted to topple the Geneva
14 conference. Suggestion was an attempt to do just that and represented a
15 threat to the authority of the co-chairmen."
16 Question: Were you aware of this communication?
17 A. I don't think I ever saw the communication. I was aware of the
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. That led to this communication.
21 Q. Okay. And what was the French proposal that so irritated
22 Mr. Silajdzic?
23 A. Well, you'll recall that on the 27th of October, 1992, just 10
24 days before this cable was drafted, that on 27 October 1992 the
25 co-chairmen presented the constitutional principles for the first time to
1 the three parties, and the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims agreed and
2 the Serb did not, and this was the first, if we might say, dramatic,
3 visible sign of Serb non-cooperation with the International Conference on
4 the Former Yugoslavia. And a few days later, the French, in what may or
5 may not have been a good faith proposal suggested things to the
6 effect, "Well, since you can't get agreement, you know, let's have another
7 ministerial conference." In other words, kick the problem upstairs to the
8 level of the foreign ministers and we'll see what happens.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. And the -- Silajdzic, the Bosnian Muslim and Foreign Minister of
11 the government, reacted very negatively to that.
12 Q. Okay. Now, was this -- if you recall in history, because I recall
13 reading about -- I might even remember actually seeing it at some point in
14 time President Mitterrand had gone to Sarajevo, had he not?
15 A. Yes, and Mrs. Mitterrand was with him.
16 Q. That was -- and he got as far as, I believe, the airport and then
17 there was -- but in any event, was this before or after?
18 A. This was well after.
19 Q. Well after that. And could we not say that the fact that you have
20 the president of France coming over there at that period of time was an
21 act of good while of the French trying, you know, to assist the government
22 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. Well, it was President Mitterrand. I assume he wanted to see for
24 himself the situation.
25 Q. Okay. All right.
1 A. The Serbs were shelling Sarajevo, so the presence of senior
2 western people, Mr. Vance, Lord Owen, Mitterrand, Mrs. Ogata of the UNHCR,
3 that was a sign of solidarity with the Bosnian government.
4 Q. Right. And I guess the reason I mention it is now we have
5 Silajdzic not too long later accusing the French of being in the pockets
6 of the -- of the Serbs or the Serbs being in the pockets of the French,
7 whichever way you want to put it?
8 A. That's generally true. The French tended to be more pro-Serb than
9 other countries. That's no secret.
10 Q. All right. All right. Now, if you go to --
11 A. So were the Greeks, for example.
12 Q. So were the Greeks.
13 A. Nothing personal.
14 Q. That's all right. And if you haven't gathered by my last name,
15 I'm Greek.
16 A. I assumed as much.
17 Q. Okay. I assume as much as well. Okay. If we could go to 296,
18 which would have been the next page. 31 December 1992. Just very
19 quickly. In the first paragraph. This is with respect to Susak. This is
20 from David Owen to Cyrus Vance -- or from David Owen, copied to Cyrus
21 Vance, and it says here that there was a conversation with Mr. Susak, and
22 he says: "He told me that he met or spoke, I wasn't sure which, to
23 Izetbegovic after we left on Wednesday, and Izetbegovic was mainly
24 concerned about how he could sell to the Muslim population sharing
25 provinces with Croats, and he suggested," he suggested, that is Susak
1 suggested, "that Boban and Izetbegovic should go on a joint speaking tour
2 explaining that there would be a total educational freedom for Muslim
3 schools for Muslim classes within schools which is something that he had
4 experienced in Canada."
5 And it goes on a little bit more. Were you aware of this
6 intervention or this conversation between Mr. Susak?
7 A. Well, I would have read this memo, yes. It's copied to us.
8 Q. Okay. Now, it seems here that Susak is -- is recommending that
9 Boban and Izetbegovic go together because Izetbegovic is having concerns
10 about selling the programme to his own people.
11 A. Mm-hmm.
12 Q. Okay. Would it be fair to say that -- that he did have a problem
13 at times convincing his own people what he -- he was trying to achieve?
14 A. President Izetbegovic?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. Yes. You'll recall that when the map was presented to the three
17 warring parties at Geneva on January 2nd, we've already reviewed that, it
18 was accepted by the Bosnian Croats and not accepted by the Bosnian Serbs
19 or by the Bosnian Muslims.
20 Q. All right. If we go to page 300. That's a couple of pages down,
21 and I will be referencing on this page just so we know what we're looking
22 at. At the very end of the page you'll say it says "Notes ICFY: Lord
23 Owen's meeting with President Mitterrand - 14 January 1993. Also sent to
24 Danish EC Presidency."
25 Now, we're not going to read page 301. There's no need for that.
1 The Court can read it at some point. But if we could go to the following
2 page, page 302, paragraph 5, I thought that this may be of some interest.
3 "Lord Owen informed Mitterrand that he and Vance intended to
4 travel to Zagreb on 15 January to meet Izetbegovic and Boban with Tudjman.
5 It was important to try to get a common --"
6 A. Excuse me. What page are you on? Sorry.
7 Q. 302. 302. It should be --
8 A. Yes, I've got it. Thank you. Excuse me for interrupting.
9 Q. No problem. And it's paragraph number 5. You will see it --
10 A. Yes, I see it.
11 Q. And I'm keep reading. It says: "It was important to get a common
12 Muslim/Croat position on the map, and on an interim government. The need
13 for this had become all the more urgent as a result of the increased
14 tension and fighting between the Muslims and the Croats. Lord Owen asked
15 Mitterrand to emphasise these issues during his meeting with Tudjman,
16 which Mitterrand agreed to do so."
17 Is that consistent with your memory, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. All right. Now, if we turned -- if we could turn to the
20 next page. This would be 307. And now we've up to 29 January 1993. This
21 is Lord Owen's personal telegram to Sir Robin Renwick. You must have
22 known who Sir Robin Renwick is or was?
23 A. I'm sure I was but I don't recall now.
24 Q. He was the UK Ambassador to the United States, I believe. And
25 we'll skip the first paragraph. The second paragraph we'll just look at
1 very briefly. It says: "Even though Croatia has now moved to the top of
2 the agenda, all of these issues are linked. We have to have a
3 decentralised provincial government in Bosnia-Herzegovina to cope with the
4 Serb and Croat special national needs: For exactly the same reason,
5 Tudjman has to give special status, autonomy, to the Serbs in Croatia, and
6 we must now for him to act."
7 If we can pause there for a second. Obviously you know exactly
8 what he's talking about, the Serbs in Croatia.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. They were not a constituent peoples. They were a national
11 minority but they --
12 A. No, they were always a constituent people.
13 Q. In Croatia.
14 A. Yes. That's the -- the concepts -- sorry, the woman nods but
15 she's probably Croat. The concept of constituent people covered all of
16 Yugoslavia. That's one of the reasons that Milosevic would be -- for
17 example, when one would say to Milosevic about Kosovo, you know, you
18 shouldn't lord it over the Muslims because the ethnic Albanian Muslims in
19 Kosovo are 85, 90 per cent, and you're a minority. Would say, no, no, no,
20 the Serbs can never be a minority. We are a constituent people, et
21 cetera, et cetera, he went on. All the three sides were very conscious of
22 their -- of -- I see one of -- there's a lot of heads shaking no, so
23 perhaps they should speak.
24 Q. Okay. Well, they don't need to speak because I can speak for
25 them. I think that --
1 A. Okay.
2 Q. -- under the contusion they did make a distinction between
3 constituent peoples within the republics and a national minority, and as
4 far as I understand, and we don't have to debate the point, but the Serbs
5 in Croatia, even though there was a large number of them, were considered
6 a national minority. Nonetheless very important, but somewhat different
7 than a constituent peoples because obviously that was one of the reasons
8 in Bosnia-Herzegovina the three constituent peoples were concerned and as
9 a result had a whole war over it. Anyway, let's leave that aside.
10 Let's move on to the next paragraph. Here he's talking about --
11 I'll just read part it of. He says: "As you will have gathered at the
12 Prime Minister's seminar, I am, to put it mildly, not happy with thee
13 administration's conduct." The administration he's talking about,
14 probably the US administration?
15 A. Yes, that is no question. He means the new Clinton
17 Q. And they'd been in for seven days now?
18 A. Well, nine.
19 Q. Well, yeah, nine days, exactly.
20 A. In any case, a week.
21 Q. Okay. "First we had Eagleburger, and that must have been Lawrence
23 A. Mm-hmm.
24 Q. "Demob," I don't know what that means, "happy grandstanding his
25 way around Europe."
1 A. Excuse me, "demob" stands for demobilisation and demob happy is a
2 rather informal way of saying Eagleburger strongly supported
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. And Lord Owen believed and thought -- believed strongly that that
6 was an unviable proposal so that he criticised Eagleburger for making it.
7 And that's what he's doing here.
8 Q. Eagleburger was, in all fairness to Eagleburger he had been an old
9 Balkan hand himself. He had spent some time in Yugoslavia as an
10 ambassador, I believe, at one point?
11 A. That's correct. He was a former American Ambassador to
13 Q. All right. And it goes on: "Now we have this administration
14 briefing the press in a way that could not -- that could not but stiffen
15 those Muslims who want to continue the war. We have Sacirbey telling
16 everyone that the US administration has said that they should not feel any
17 need to sign the map. We know that Tudjman had formal representations
18 from the United States, or from the US against the Croats putting any
19 pressure on the Muslims to sign up -- to sign up for our package. A
20 continuation of these actions threatens to undermine our whole approach."
21 And then it goes on to see: "See UKMIS Geneva Tel 84 and fax of document
22 on interim agreements -- arrangements." I'm sorry.
23 Q. Let's park here. Sacirbey, you know who he was?
24 A. Yes. Quite well.
25 Q. I believe he's still in the US?
1 A. I believe he's in gaol.
2 Q. Well, he made bail. He's on provisional release pending
3 extradition to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Well, I'm pleased to hear that for his sake.
5 Q. I think it was a 1 million dollar bail, so obviously somebody came
6 up with it.
7 A. Yes, he was for the benefit of the court, the Bosnian government
8 ambassador to the United Nations.
9 Q. Right. Now, it seems to me that at this point in time, at least
10 if we look into this, that this new administration is -- sort of is
11 encouraging or is sort of giving the nod to the Muslims to sort of
12 jettison or not go along with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan because perhaps
13 the US administration has different -- has a different approach. Would
14 that be a fair characterisation?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. Okay. And at some point in fact Lord Owen describes a meeting
17 between Mr. Vance and Warren Christopher, and as I understand Warren
18 Christopher at one point worked for Mr. Vance when Mr. Vance was Secretary
19 of State under the Carter administration; correct?
20 A. Warren Christopher, Secretary Christopher, was Cyrus Vance's
21 deputy when he was Secretary of State, yes.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. He was Vance's number two.
24 Q. Right?
25 A. The way I was Vance's number two in Yugoslavia.
1 Q. Right. And at least the exchange, it would appear, we might get
2 to something in here --
3 A. I was at that meeting. There were only four people. If you were
4 interested, I can tell you about. There were only four people at the
5 meeting, Vance, myself, Christopher, and an assistant named Johnson.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. I'm happy to --
8 Q. All right. All right let me --
9 A. -- tell the Court about that meeting if you wish.
10 Q. We may get to that at some point, but needless to say, as I
11 understand it, at least Mr. -- Lord Owen felt or believed that this
12 administration was either misinformed or uninformed.
13 A. Yes. That's a very good characterisation of Lord Owen's view.
14 Q. Okay. Now, would you share that view?
15 A. That the US administration --
16 Q. At that time with respect to what was happening was misinformed or
18 A. I might not go as far as Lord Owen, but, yes, basically I share
19 that view.
20 Q. Okay. Would also share his view that Mr. Vance was rather
21 agitated, angry, maybe angry is too harsh of a word, but certainly
22 irritated with the way the administration was treating him or behaving
23 towards him?
24 A. No. Their treatment of him was -- he's a great figure. Their
25 treatment of his was gracious and respectful at all times, but he
1 naturally did not appreciate their less than whole hearted support of the
2 peace plan.
3 Q. Okay. In all due -- in all fairness, at that point he's not
4 working for the US administration. He's working for the UN?
5 A. Absolutely.
6 Q. And we can even see that little cryptic note you make when
7 Eagleburger tells you, you don't have to put down your pen. You're not
8 with the Americans; right?
9 A. Well, Secretary Vance and I were representatives of the
10 Secretary-General, yes.
11 Q. And you certainly weren't carrying water for the State Department
12 while you were working for the Secretary-General?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay, that's what I wanted to make sure, that. And I have the
15 highest respect for the late Cyrus Vance. He was a terrific, a terrific
16 diplomat and lawyer.
17 If we go on to the next paragraph, in the middle of it, it says --
18 maybe we could read the whole paragraph. "You are not -- you are free to
19 say in whatever way you think best that if they do not extend to us even
20 that courtesy that I will take up the cudgels in every form available to
21 me, the secretary counsel, Congress --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, could you please
23 slow down.
24 MR. KARNAVAS:
25 Q. "The Congress and every TV studio that asks me in. Incidentally,
1 you can book me in for any interviews you think appropriate. I would
2 expect to fly to the US on Monday and be there for at least a week. In
3 short, they will not just be dealing with Vance on this issue, and I will
4 not mince words. Nor will I hesitate if we are being belonged by
5 Izetbegovic to reveal some of Ganic and Silajdzic's tactics - the latest
6 example we have is of Muslim fighters firing mortars at Serbs from within
7 the grounds of the main hospital in Sarajevo. The American public has
8 been given a completely one-sided view of what is happening in the former
9 Yugoslavia. I have not spent five months sweating my guts out for this
10 settlement package to see it blocked by a new American Administration,
11 particularly when all the signs are that it will have the support of the
12 European Community and the Russian Federation. If the Administration has
13 objections to our plan, then let them express them in the consultations
14 that will have to take place around a Security Council Resolution."
15 Now, let me go on to the next page. If we go towards the middle
16 of the page, it would be the fourth paragraph, it starts with: "The
17 Muslims also have a strategic agenda. The Serbs recently put down a
18 suggestion for dealing with the eastern borders with Serbia effectively
19 bisecting the whole eastern strip of Bosnia-Herzegovina, (see sketch map
20 faxed through separately). Their suggested province 4 would be Muslim and
21 province 6, Serb. Yet the Muslims turned this down, even though it is a
22 far better ethnic balance. Why? Because they want Tuzla province, which
23 they control, to cut the Serb horseshoe around their central areas, and
24 they want to be able to control at least part of the border with Serbia
25 themselves. It was because we knew that this was their strategic demand
1 that we had to play around with the rather absurd enclave of Sekovici and
2 the odd tail up from the Eastern Herzegovina province to include Rudo and
3 Cajnice," sorry about the name, "which from the Serbs means they partially
4 block the Bosnian Muslims from the Muslims in the Sandzak area."
5 And then he goes on to says you noted here today at one point:
6 "There are no innocents in this business, least of all the Muslims. The
7 Muslims have been given the main industrial areas and most of the natural
8 resources. We were amazed how foolishly the Serbs clung to their
9 obsession with ethnic villages and virtually ignored industrial and
10 economic factors."
11 All right. From -- from here it would -- do you agree with Lord
12 Owen when he's -- with what he's saying to the UK Ambassador, Sir Robin
13 Renwick, on 29 January, 1993?
14 A. Do I agree with what? You --
15 Q. All of that?
16 A. I would have to go through it and I don't think we have time, but
17 I will summarise for the sake of the Court very briefly.
18 This 29 January was the very eve of our move of the conference
19 from Geneva to New York, as I noted in my witness statement, we
20 recommenced on 1 February. The early Clinton administration reaction was
21 in the extreme pro-Muslim and that you see Lord Owen was objecting to
22 that, and he cited as an example, a well-known example that we reported at
23 the time, I did so myself, that some Muslims fired mortars at the Serb
24 gunners in the hills around Sarajevo, and they fired them from the grounds
25 of the main Sarajevo hospital knowing or knowing almost certainly that the
1 Serbs would respond by attacking the mortars. Then they could call the
2 international press and say, "See? The Serbs are bombing the hospital,"
3 which they did. So there were no angels, there were no innocents in this
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. With respect to what Lord Owen says, the Muslims also have a
7 strategic agenda, he is of course correct. That's why the map was so
8 argued, because all three sides, and I noted that in my witness statement,
9 sought to gain advantages on the ground.
10 Q. All right. Okay. I just wanted to point that out, and the Judges
11 will have the rest of the text and we will help them with what we believe
12 what conclusion should be reached.
13 If we could -- I'm running out of time, unfortunately, but if we
14 could just go to --
15 A. I should say that when we got to America, Lord Owen was frequently
16 on television and made these views known to -- to the public at large.
17 Q. Right. If we could look at next just very quickly the following
18 document, which is dated 1 February 1993, and that's on page 311. Just --
19 just very briefly, paragraph 1 it says: "Owen seriously dismayed by
20 performance of Secretary Christopher." Were you there -- were you there
21 when --
22 A. Yes, I've already reported to you that I was at the meeting on
23 February 1 at the US mission to the United Nations between Christopher,
24 Lord Owen, Secretary Vance, myself, and the note-taker Christopher had.
25 Q. Okay. All right. I don't want to go into any more of that --
1 that into that document. I mean, I do, but I don't have the time. But if
2 we go into the following document, that would be on page 312, 5 February
4 A. May I comment for the benefit of the Court, very briefly, on the
5 meeting of February 1, since you've raised it twice?
6 Q. Go ahead. Go ahead, sir, but --
7 A. Secretary --
8 Q. Go ahead. Go ahead. I wish you had independent time for this but
9 go ahead. No, no, go ahead, please.
10 A. Secretary Vance explained the plan. I have with me in my hotel
11 room, whose speaking points that I drafted for him, and I would be happy
12 to submit them to the Court that's what Secretary Vance said. Nobody has
13 seen them but Secretary Vance and me. And I have brought hem with me if
14 the Court would wish to see them, but I don't they add anything, frankly.
15 Warren Christopher was not so much misinformed or ignorant as very
16 strongly advocating the Muslim line, and at one point in the conversation,
17 Lord Owen was talking about the JNA and the Bosnian Serb army, and he said
18 and all he meant to say was that they were a uniformed military with a
19 long history, the JNA, and -- and they were highly disciplined, and
20 secretary Christopher took umbrage at that remark because -- and said
21 something to the effect that, yes, highly disciplined for ethnic
22 cleansing. He thought -- Christopher thought that Lord Owen was
23 complimenting the Serb army, and of course he wasn't, but these are the
24 kinds of things that happen when people who hold differing views speak
25 across the table.
1 Q. All right.
2 A. In the main, I have to say, it was not a satisfactory meeting for
3 that reason.
4 Q. Right. Okay. And I think there's some notes to that, but let's
5 go to the next document --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. KARNAVAS:
8 Q. The next document which is on page 312. At the very last
9 paragraph of this page, I'm going to just read in the middle of the
10 paragraph it says: "It is astonishing how little the new administration
11 has learned about Bosnia during the two and a half month transition." And
12 I guess they're talking about this transitional period from winning the
13 election to --
14 A. Between -- from November to beginning of January.
15 Q. I don't want to dwell on this too much but if you go on to the
16 next page, 313, very briefly because again I'm running out of time, it
17 just says here on one, two, three -- the fourth paragraph, second
18 sentence, it says here: "But it was important to recognise that the
19 Bosnian government did not really exist as a functioning government. The
20 Prime Minister, Akmadzic, would be in the Croat delegation. He would be
21 able to testify that the Bosnian Presidency has never discussed who should
22 lead the Bosnian delegation to the talks, nor what their negotiating
23 position would be. Silajdzic would come to New York and say that the
24 government was not prepared to negotiate unless arrangements were agreed
25 first for the control of heavy weapons and a complete opening of --
1 opening up of humanitarian corridors. The government had first accepted
2 the cessation of hostility -- hostilities paper, but then refused to sign
3 it on the bogus pretext that Nambiar had made amendments that they needed
4 time to consider." Nambiar, of course, is a general, as I understand.
5 A. General Satish Nambiar, an Indian general, was the principal
6 military officer. He was in charge of UNPROFOR.
7 Q. Right. Then it goes on: "They were now demanding that there
8 should be a National Army - a position which I had myself originally
9 supported in Geneva but which all three factions had hereto refused to
10 accept. None of these 'government"" positions had been discussed by the
11 Bosnian Presidency. The minister of defence had not been consulted nor
12 the leaders in Bihac and Tuzla."
13 Now, do you share this observation by Lord Owen?
14 A. Well, there were several times when the Bosnian government was
15 obstructive, no question.
16 Q. Okay. Well, it also seems to indicate that the so-called
17 government is Alija Izetbegovic and maybe Silajdzic and Ganic, but he's
18 not consulting the Presidency keeping in mind he that has one vote among
19 all the others?
20 A. Well, I've already stated and we've discussed and I so stated in
21 paragraph 11 of my witness statement.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. That I said -- where I said that Izetbegovic and Silajdzic
24 represented Muslim interests.
25 Q. Right. All right. I have one last document. I have about an
1 hour's worth of cross-examination on your notes, but I don't have the
2 time. But if I could just go to the very last document, 1D 01316. And
3 just so you know, I think I read parts of your diary six or seven times.
4 A. Six or seven times?
5 Q. Yes?
6 A. 2.000 pages --
7 Q. Not all of it.
8 A. Ah, not all of it.
9 Q. Unfortunately. But I mean, I --
10 A. I was going to say, that's 14.000 pages. I commend you. My
11 handwriting isn't that terrific.
12 Q. But I went and I analysed it by chapters, but unfortunately we
13 don't have time. But I will be pointing this out to the Chamber at some
15 A. Well, if I can provide any further assistance to you or to the
16 Trial Chamber on the matter of my diaries, I'm not joking here,
17 Mr. Karnavas, I'm at your disposal. So if there are any further
18 questions. I have the originals, by the way, with me at my home in New
19 York. I had given them to the Trial Chamber and they were here for a
20 couple of years and that's why you have the copies, but the Tribunal
21 returned them to me, but if you ever wanted to see the originals, I would
22 make them available to you, Mr. President. I'm not suggesting you need to
23 see them, but if the question arose as to their authenticity or whether
24 there were later changes made, and there were none, but I would be happy
25 to cooperate with the -- with the Chamber.
1 Q. And we're not suggesting any changes were being made, just so you
2 know, but I just found there were some interesting aspects in your diary
3 which unfortunately I would need an hour or so to discuss with you. But
4 if we could look at this last document, 1D 01316.
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. And I pulled this off the internet.
7 A. Mm-hmm.
8 Q. I don't know whether it is or is not authentic, and that's why I'm
9 putting it to you. It looks like an interview that claims you had in
10 April 15, 2006.
11 A. Yes, I'm quite familiar with it. It is authentic. Some of the
12 translation is a bit shaky, but it's authentic, yes.
13 Q. Okay. So you did in fact have this interview in -- in your
14 comments regarding Tudjman, for instance, you say at the bottom of the
15 page, for instance, the page -- the first page, it says: "I can say
16 openly that I liked Tudjman because he was a serious politician who kept
17 his word. True, he had a rigid style of behaviour which many falsely
18 interpreted, especially Western journalists, but all my experience with
19 Tudjman are positive. After all, Tudjman, who led his country in war,
20 with an imposed arms embargo, could not act like Gandhi. He was
21 cooperative, wanted peace, and actively participated in negotiations in
22 The Hague, Geneva and Zagreb. They resented that he changed street names
23 from the communist times, and while he was doing that Milosevic was
24 killing Croats in Eastern Slavonia."
25 I won't go on because I think it's -- the document speaks for
1 itself, but is that -- is that your recollection of how you describe
3 A. Yes, that's exactly how I described him. It's a direct quote.
4 And when I'm talking about the desire for peace, I'm talking specifically
5 about the fighting in Croatia. You can see I talk about The Hague, the
6 conference in The Hague. There was never a conference in The Hague about
7 Bosnia, so I'm talking here about Bosnia. And the changing of the street
8 names was Croatia, so this is directed -- and Eastern Slavonia is Croatia,
9 so I'm talking here about the Serb attack on Croatia and President
10 Tudjman's response to that.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you. So I take it we -- did you want to make any
12 particular corrections to the text or do you stand by the text --
13 A. Just what I've told you that where -- when I say, "Tudjman, who
14 led his country in war," that's the fighting in Croatia --
15 Q. Right?
16 A. -- "with an imposed arms embargo from 1991, Security Council
17 Resolution 713," you may check that if you wish, Security Council
18 Resolution 713, "with an imposed arms embargo could not act like Gandhi.
19 He was cooperative, wanted peace, and actively participated." This is all
20 concerning the Serb incursions, the Serb aggression in Croatia. This is
21 not referring to Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when I say they resented that he
22 changed the street names, "they," of course, are the Serbs. So, yes, I
23 stand by it.
24 Q. Okay. But if we go into the next paragraph, and I just want to --
25 just want to read it to make sure that it also -- you stand by this one,
1 this statement as well. It says: "I was with Tudjman -- I was with
2 Tudjman when the exodus of Croatians from --
3 A. Ilok.
4 Q. "Ilok began. He said to me Mr. Ambassador do something. It is
5 terrible what my people are experiencing. Then Vance called Milosevic but
6 he answered that he does not know what he's talking that he has nothing to
7 do with Ilok. That man never spoke the truth. Tudjman was intelligent.
8 He knew history, and speaking openly with his leadership Croatians through
9 Operation Storm and other military actions saved Bosnia-Herzegovina. At a
10 meeting in Sarajevo in 1991, Izetbegovic told me that he will demand of
11 the JNA to leave BiH, and I asked him: 'Where is your army? Who will
12 defend you if the JNA does not comply?' I quickly realised that in Bosnia
13 only the Croats offered organised defence and saved it from downfall,
14 something often kept quietly by the media as well as politicians."
15 Now, earlier you indicated that you stood by your interview. I
16 take it you stand by this -- this paragraph as well?
17 A. Indeed I do.
18 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much. I apologise for the pace. I
19 apologise if I was disputatious or even rude at times, but it was not my
20 intention, sir. Thank you for coming to The Hague to give your testimony,
21 and I thank you on behalf of Dr. Prlic.
22 A. And I thank a you. You were entirely gracious and at no time did
23 I feel that you were speaking rudely.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is quarter past
1 5.00. Maybe this a good moment to take our next break in order to allow
2 for the next Defence team to prepare themselves. Who will be the next?
3 Mr. Praljak, you? Very well.
4 It is quarter past 5.00, and we're going to take a 20-minute
5 break, everybody. Thank you.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 5.41 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume, and before
9 I give the floor to Mr. Praljak, the Chamber has deliberated, on we would
10 like to inform you of the time that the two parties have spent so far.
11 Mr. Karnavas has used three hours and 25 minutes -- 28 minutes, almost
12 three hours. Mr. Kovacic and Mr. Praljak, how much time would you need?
13 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon,
14 Your Honours. I have my time, which is one hour and 20 minutes, and half
15 of Mr. Pusic's time, and I will see how far that will get me, and maybe
16 later Mrs. Alaburic will also want to give me some of her time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 Mrs. Nozica.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. We plan to
20 use our own one hour and 20 minutes that we have been allocated for our
21 cross-examination. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 Ms. Alaburic.
24 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are planning to use
25 our own time unless we reach an agreement with General Praljak on giving
1 him some of our time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But you have not
3 informed me exactly. Ms. Alaburic, approximately how much time, how many
4 minutes, how many hours, weeks, I don't know. Give us an estimate of the
5 time that you might need.
6 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that for
7 this calculation the best thing would be for you to calculate that I will
8 use my time, an hour and 20 minutes, in case Mr. Praljak will need some
9 time, we will give him some time, but the total time will be the same.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomic.
11 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] We have given our time to
12 the Defence of Dr. Prlic, and we will not have any questions for this
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, according to our
16 previous agreement, we have also given our time to be shared between Mr.
17 Prlic and General Praljak.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have to take into
19 account two factors for tomorrow. First of all, there might be some
20 questions from the Judges, additional re-examination by the Prosecution,
21 and we also have to dedicate time to Mr. Prlic and the others who will
22 wish to intervene on the issues of the procedure.
23 Very well, then. Mr. Praljak, you have the floor.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you may begin.
1 Cross-examination by the Accused Praljak:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Ambassador.
3 A. Dobra Dan.
4 Q. At the beginning of my cross-examination, I would like to agree a
5 certain procedure. Actually, I have a request upon you given the little
6 time that I have. You are a very experienced diplomat. You're a
7 professor. You will have a lot to tell us about what happened in the
8 former Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, I have worded my questions based on
9 some data, some facts and documents, but I would kindly ask you to answer
10 my questions as precisely as possible by using the words to the
11 effect, "Yes, I know," or, "I don't know." And then when I put to you
12 some conclusions or a thesis that will arise from that you will be kindly
13 asked to say, "I agree," or "I don't agree with your thesis." I'm asking
14 you this only because of the time limitations. I would very gladly listen
15 to all your explanations but I don't have the time. So I kindly ask you
16 to cooperate and I thank you in advance for that.
17 Can we have on e-court 3D 00871, please. While this is done --
18 while this is being done, Ambassador, you've been looking at the map which
19 is next to you. On that map there are two things that I am interested in
20 and that I'm going to be asking you about. Do you know that from the
21 beginning of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina a certain number of HVO
22 brigades were under the command of the BiH army?
23 A. May I answer?
24 Q. Please.
25 A. I don't recall being aware of that fact. I just don't recall.
1 Q. Thank you. In other words, you cannot either confirm or deny the
2 fact that is depicted on the map, and that is that towards the end of
3 1992, when Vance-Owen Plan was completed, 11 brigades of the HVO and a
4 battalion in Bihac were under the command of the BiH army? You are not
5 aware of that? You cannot confirm that because you are not aware of that?
6 A. Excuse me. I was aware that in the Bihac pocket, as it was
7 called, Cazinska Krajina, called it the Bihac pocket, that the BiH army
8 was in there.
9 Q. Ambassador, please. Did you know that towards the end of 1992, 11
10 HVO brigades and an HVO battalion, which was in Bihac, were all under the
11 command of the BiH army? Did you know it or did you not know that?
12 A. I don't think I knew that. I'm not sure, but, you know, it was 15
13 years ago, but I don't --
14 Q. Thank you. If you look at the map, you will see some of the axes
15 of attack by the JNA and the army of Republika Srpska, which took place
16 during the conflict with the HVO after something that is known as the
17 agreement in Graz between Boban and Karadzic. According to some
18 statements, an agreement was signed there between Croats and Serbs.
19 On this map you can see what happened after that date. One of the
20 things was an attack by the JNA from Livno to Split, also Jajce, also
21 Posavina. Sir, you're looking at the wrong map. Not the one on e-court.
22 Not the one on the screen but the big map next to you.
23 In other words, after the so-called agreement that I have just
24 mentioned, there were major fights in the Neretva valley between the
25 Croatian Defence Council and the JNA. The JNA wanted to break through to
1 Split via Livno. They attacked Jajce in order to cut Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina in half. They proceeded along the Lasva Valley towards
3 Sarajevo, and there were also major attacks on Posavina in order to expand
4 the Serb corridor.
5 Were you aware of those conflicts between the JNA and the army of
6 Republika Srpska on the one side and the HVO on the other side, which took
7 place after something that Boban allegedly signed in Graz together with
8 Karadzic? Did you know or did you not know? Please answer that, and then
9 we will proceed after your answer.
10 A. We knew of the -- of the JNA and VRS attacks in the Posavina.
11 Q. Can we now go back to the map which is now on e-court, on the
12 screen, please?
13 Do you know that in 1985 the JNA had the following deployment of
14 corps and armies such as depicted on the map in front of you?
15 A. No, I'm not familiar with the JNA of deployment of 1985.
16 Q. Thank you. Can we see the next page of the same document? The
17 document with the same number but the next page, please. That's it.
18 Do you know that in 1987 the JNA was reorganised and that it
19 reorganised the territory of Yugoslavia, which was in keeping with the
20 proclaimed political goals by the policies in Belgrade according to which
21 everything that was east of the Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag line should
22 be placed under Yugoslavia, and the assumption was that Slovenia would
23 leave that state? In other words, that would mean the Greater Serbia.
24 Are you familiar with this territorial organisation, and would you say
25 that this corresponded with what you know -- what you knew at the time
1 about the goals of the Serbian politics?
2 A. In 1987, General, I was not involved with Yugoslavia except that
3 Yugoslavia was somewhere in that period a member of the Security Council,
4 and I was an American Ambassador to the United Nations and represented my
5 country on the Security Council. But these specific military dispositions
6 were not brought to my attention in New York in 1987.
7 Q. Thank you. Let's move on. I still would like you to answer as
8 short as possible.
9 Can we have the next page of this same document? The next page of
10 the same document, please.
11 I'm now going to ask you -- this is the document that I wanted.
12 You were in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Is it true that at
13 the request of the international community the Geneva agreement was signed
14 on the 23rd of November, 1991? According to that agreement, Croatia
15 lifted the blockade of all the barracks of the JNA in Croatia. Do you
16 know that at the request of the international community, Croatia lifted
17 blockade from the barracks, and it had already been under attack at the
18 time? Are you aware of all that?
19 A. I was present in Geneva with Secretary Vance and Lord Carrington
20 and November 23rd, 1991, when in the Palais des Nations that agreement was
21 signed between the Croatians and the Serbs and the agreement was that
22 they, Croatian government, would lift the blockade of the JNA barracks.
23 They had them all over the country. And the hope was that the blockades
24 wrote be lifted by the end of the year, and indeed it happened at the very
25 end of the year. The last blockade that was lifted was actually at the
1 aircraft repair facility at the Zagreb airport, which you're undoubtedly
2 familiar with. And since the blockade was lifted, we gathered a few days
3 later, January 2, 1992, and that agreement was signed between Defence
4 Minister Gojko Susak and a JNA general establishing a complete cessation
5 of hostilities in Croatia, and the agreement stayed in force and that's
6 the origin --
7 Q. Please. I apologise, sir. I apologise once again. At the
8 beginning we said that you know a lot and that to my one question you
9 could provide us with a lot of information over the next hour. However, I
10 kindly ask you, Ambassador, if my question is, "Are you aware of an
11 agreement?", I would be quite happy if your answer was, "Yes, I do," or,
12 "No, I don't," so I could move on. I would very much like to spend five
13 days talking to you, but I don't have the time.
14 Is it true that the forces that left Croatia according to that
15 agreement went to Bosnia and Herzegovina and were deployed in the way
16 depicted in the map that you have in front of you now?
17 A. Do you mean JNA forces or Croatian forces?
18 Q. JNA forces. There were no Croatian forces at the time. JNA
19 forces that left Croatia ended up being deployed in the area of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, and this is depicted in the map. Are you aware of that?
21 A. Yes, we were aware of the redeployment of the JNA --
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. -- into Bosnia.
24 Q. Thank you very much. If these are the starting points, would you
25 then agree that the Geneva agreement allowed for the deployment of the JNA
1 from the barracks in Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina and that this
2 contributed to the peace in that republic in the best possible way? And I
3 repeat my question. Would you agree that the Geneva agreement was a real,
4 true contribution to the peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina? In other words,
5 whether the deployment of these forces was really beneficial for the peace
6 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Would you agree with me?
7 A. It made no difference. No, I don't agree with you.
8 Q. Very well. Can we now move on and show the next map. Please skip
9 the next one, actually, and display the map that shows the aggression
10 against Croatia that originated from the territory of the Republic of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 Ambassador, on this map you will see how Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 had become the main polygon for the attack on continuation of aggression
14 against the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I will remind you of
15 Dubrovnik, Ploce, Split, Zadar, Sibenik, Sisak, Slavonski Brod, and partly
16 the territory towards Eastern Slavonia, i.e., towards Vukovar.
17 A. The events you're talking about took place between June 1991 and
18 January 2, 1992. That's the period we're talking about, because they
19 stopped with the agreement reached, as I mentioned, on 2 January between
20 the Croatian government and the JNA, and the JNA was required by that
21 agreement to --
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. -- withdraw its forces from the Republic of Croatia, which it did
24 eventually but not immediately.
25 Q. Do you know what sort of transformation of the JNA in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina took place into the army of Republika Srpska, and do
2 you know how many attacks were mounted after the reaching of the agreement
3 against Slavonski Brod and other towns in Croatia despite the cease-fire
4 achieved? Were you aware of the fact that Bosnia-Herzegovina continued
5 serving not only as the place where Posavina Serbs were trying to gain
6 ground but also as the area from where attacks were launched into Croatia
7 on the town such as Slavonski Brod, Sisak, and so on and so forth?
8 A. The ECMM monitors did not report such attacks.
9 Q. Thank you. Did the president of the Presidency of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, was he able in any way to prevent the
11 Yugoslav People's Army and the army of the Republika Srpska to use the BiH
12 as the basis from where they were launching their aggression on Croatia?
13 A. No, he did not have physical control of most of the country, so he
14 could not prevent the JNA, which later, as you know, General, and as you
15 were leading me to say, became --
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. -- the VRS. Yes, you're quite right that he would not have had
18 the capacity to stop the Serb army.
19 Q. Thank you, Ambassador. Is it logical that the president, Tudjman,
20 should be interested in the military and political situation in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina in view of all these events and that he should be
22 playing an active role in the entire game? Is it only logical on the
23 basis of the military and political developments in Bosnia and
25 A. Yes. As you heard, Mr. Karnavas and I discussed that at length.
1 Yes, he was interested, and it was logical that he should be interested.
2 Q. Thank you. Could we have 3D 00869. 3D 00869.
3 Ambassador, are you aware of the fact that in 1988 the Yugoslav
4 Presidency, together with the army and the police, mounted a police and
5 military coup in Kosovo imprisoning thousands of Kosovo Albanians in the
6 process? Were you aware of this?
7 A. Yes. The world press covered the fighting and the attacks, mutual
8 attacks in Kosovo. The ethnic Albanians went after the Serb. The Serbs
9 went after the Albanians. And, of course, in 1989 Mr. Milosevic made his
10 very important speech about those attacks and the fighting.
11 Q. Thank you. Could we now have the next map in the same bundle.
12 There, Ambassador, you will be able to see Yugoslavia and the two
13 autonomous provinces that were the component parts of the Yugoslav
14 federation, namely Kosovo and Vojvodina.
15 This is my question: Are you aware that by a unilateral act of
16 the Serbian leadership led by Slobodan Milosevic the autonomy of Vojvodina
17 and Kosovo was abolished, which meant that the constitution of the SFRY
18 had been infringed? It was in that same year after Gazimestan. Are you
19 aware of this?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Could we have 3D 00870, please. 3D 00870.
22 This map dated 17 August 1990, on that particular date the
23 helicopters of the Croatian ministry of the interior headed towards Knin
24 together with the police forces in an attempt to lift the blockade of the
25 roads that had been blocked. Are you aware of the fact that these
1 helicopters were prevented from carrying out their duties pursuant -- or,
2 rather, by the JNA, which sent out aircraft to intercept these helicopters
3 on the 17th of August, 1990, requesting that they return back to Zagreb,
4 thus siding with the rebels and aiding to the infringement and dissolution
5 of the Croatian constitution?
6 A. I was not involved with Yugoslavia in 1990. As I've reported to
7 the Court, Mr. Vance and I became involved at the beginning of October,
9 Q. Thank you. Ambassador, were you aware from any sources that the
10 JNA had more than 2.000 tanks, several hundred aircraft, more than 10.000
11 artillery pieces, two destroyers, more than 100 combat helicopters, and so
12 on and so forth? Were you aware of the fact that it was a very powerful
13 military force?
14 A. Yes. The international institute of strategic studies published
15 annually - it still does - what they call the Military Balance, and in
16 that publication they give the facts and figures for all the world's major
17 armies, and the JNA, which then was the Yugoslav national army, was
18 covered. I'm trying to answer your question, General.
19 Q. Thank you. Could we have 3D 00872, please. 3D 00872. All of
20 this is leading to a logical inference.
21 Am I right in saying that the Yugoslav People's Army, as powerful
22 as it have, collected all of its -- all of the weaponry of the Territorial
23 Defence both in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina before launching an
24 aggression against these two countries? Were you aware of the fact that
25 the Territorial Defence forces in the republics had their own weapons that
1 had been purchased from the funds from within the republic and that all of
2 that weaponry had been forcibly seized by the Yugoslav People's Army in
3 the wake of the aggression?
4 A. Yes. We were aware that the JNA, either subvert the Territorial
5 Defence units under their control or gave weapons to the Serbs to work in
6 conjunction with the JNA.
7 Q. Thank you. I should like to read an excerpt from an interview of
8 yours where you say: "My experience told me that this wasn't true,
9 rather, that it's not true what the ordinary people thought, that there
10 was not going to be any war, and that a war will most certainly break out
11 because I distrusted Milosevic."
12 My question is: Do you agree based on what you knew that the JNA
13 had been preparing for an aggression for years in order to preserve
14 Yugoslavia without Slovenia as some sort of an extended Serbia within
15 their political programmes, the SANU memoranda; were you aware of this?
16 A. I was not aware of specific JNA planning, but the memoranda you
17 read -- I don't know where it came from, by the way but you say it's mine
18 so I believe you. The reaction -- my reaction to Milosevic was accurately
19 portrayed there. From the first day I met him, which was in December 1990
20 in Belgrade, I mistrusted him.
21 Q. Thank you. I read this excerpt from the interview that
22 Mr. Karnavas used as well.
23 Within the diplomatic circles you were part of, the fact that the
24 JNA would launch an aggression against anyone who would oppose the
25 preservation of Yugoslavia, was it known to even the most simplest of
1 political analysts? It was known to you, but was it not known also to
2 even the most simplest of political analysts that the JNA would go against
3 anyone and would go against people's right to self-determination?
4 A. Well, it was not a major issue, I can assure you, as far as the
5 American public were concerned, but in a general way one expects a country
6 to defend its -- its territorial integrity. The United States, after all,
7 had a terrible four-year civil war when part of the country seceded and
8 declared itself independent. So that sort of thing happens. There have
9 been wars and civil wars in Nigeria, and they go on even now.
10 So the general principle that -- that an army defends its country
11 is -- is understood and correct, but the JNA activities were -- were
12 beyond that and were already violations of international humanitarian law
13 when they attacked Slovenia - and that was very brief, as you know - but
14 particularly their attacks against Croatia.
15 Q. Thank you very much. We have a press article here talking about
16 what most of the international community, namely the US of A, the UK and
17 France, what their reaction was to the fact that some of the republics
18 wanted to leave the federal state. They wanted to exercise their
19 constitutional -- constitutional right to self-determination, which could
20 go as far as secession. Would you agree with me that by visiting Belgrade
21 or when visiting Belgrade Baker said that the desire was to preserve
22 Yugoslavia, and I can see here that De Michelis and others confirmed this.
23 Could it be said in diplomatic terms that a green light had been given to
24 the Yugoslav People's Army to forcibly prevent the peoples in Yugoslavia
25 from exercising their constitutional possibilities?
1 A. No, no green light was given to the JNA by former Secretary of
2 State James A. Baker, III.
3 Q. Mr. Ambassador, sir, I did not say that the then Secretary of
4 State of the USA, Mr. Baker, gave a green light to the JNA. My question
5 was quite specific.
6 When one such force, complete with all the other aspects entailed
7 in a political programme by Milosevic cannot preserve its country in any
8 way other than by force, my question is when you promise someone that
9 Yugoslavia has to be preserved, what follows necessarily, in diplomatic
10 terms, that whatever cannot be achieved by peaceful means shall be
11 achieved by military means, military and police means. This is the way it
13 Anyway, can you tell it us whether there was a climate in favour
14 of preserving Yugoslavia? The international climate was in favour of
15 preserving Yugoslavia and preventing Slovenia, Croatia, and others from
16 freeing themselves by exercising their constitutional right from the
17 chains of that state, as we saw it.
18 A. Do you want me to answer?
19 Q. [In English] Yes.
20 A. Because you did not ask a question. You were making a statement.
21 Q. [Interpretation] My question is --
22 A. I -- I inferred the question from your rather lengthy statement.
23 Yes. And the answer, and I'll be brief, is that in accordance with
24 centuries of international practice, at the beginning, at the very
25 beginning there was sympathy for the desire to maintain the territorial
1 integrity and the sovereignty of the Socialist Federative Republic of
2 Yugoslavia. That changed very, very quickly. And I called to your
3 attention as proof of my statement that the conflict in Croatia, the Serb
4 aggression, began in June 1991. As early as July 1991, the very next
5 month, the EC convened the conference on Yugoslavia, headed by
6 Lord Carrington, and the purpose of that conference, which they tried to
7 do, was to develop a -- an agreement for all of Yugoslavia, which I could
8 characterise as a peaceful divorce.
9 So while you're correct to say there was sympathy in the abstract,
10 sympathy in the abstract for the preservation of territorial integrity of
11 a state, that sympathy evaporated. It disappeared once the JNA activities
13 Q. Thank you very much. Can we now look at 3D 00859.
14 Let us see what happened next. The JNA and the Serbian leadership
15 interpreted the inclination the way they did. The Judges saw how
16 one-third of Croatia was ablaze, how one-third of its territory was
17 occupied, how many casualties this country had, how many of the buildings
18 and roads were destroyed. This is the text of the Resolution 713 of the
19 Security Council, dated 25 September 1991, which introduced a complete
20 embargo for the entire territory of the former state of Yugoslavia. This
21 was an arms embargo that applied to all the countries which were in the
22 territory of the former state of Yugoslavia. Is this correct?
23 A. Yes, that's correct. I've already mentioned Resolution 713.
24 Q. I'm going to ask you this: Would you agree with me if I put it to
25 you that after the aggression, such as it was, the introduction of this
1 arms embargo for all the sides in this conflict in Yugoslavia was the
2 lowest point of the legal and moral thought of the contemporary Western
4 Let me explain, sir. When I say "moral," I am referring to what
5 the things looked like, and when I say "legal," I mean that this was the
6 denial of the natural right of every individual and every people to
7 self-defence. Would it be correct that this was the peak of the moral,
8 political, and legal thought of the Western thought to such an arms
10 A. Well, I would not call it either the peak, the apogee, nor the low
11 point, the perigee. It was a well-meant attempt to halt the spread of the
12 fighting because the concern of the council was that the more arms went
13 into the area the more -- the more the fighting would spread, and their
14 hope was that the problem could be solved peacefully.
15 It did not ensue. It could not be solved peacefully, and
16 therefore the embargo, as you say, worked against the interests of the
17 Croatian people.
18 Q. But also of Bosniak Muslim people, and so on and so forth.
19 Please --
20 A. Yes. It also worked against the interests of the Muslim people in
22 Q. Would it be fair to say that it was necessary that there should
23 have been a threat on the part of the NATO against Serbia, i.e., the JNA,
24 when this arms embargo was introduced? In other words, that they should
25 have been prevented from firing a single bullet, a single cannon shell
1 after the arms embargo was introduced? Would you say it would be fair
2 that if you deny the right to one people to defend itself, then the other
3 side should be forcibly prevented from torching, killing, and doing
4 everything else they did after the arms embargo was imposed?
5 A. What you proposed, General, was proposed in reality by the US
6 administration, Secretary of State Warren Christopher - his name has been
7 mentioned here before - travelled to Europe in March, April, around that
8 period, to speak this kind of proposal. The Americans called their
9 proposals, "lift and strike," and what they meant was lift the arms
10 embargo, that is abolish the arms embargo, and strike and bomb the Serbs
11 by air. That was the proposal of the American administration in
12 conformity, basically what you've just said, and all of the European NATO
13 countries rejected it, basically.
14 Q. It was rejected for some higher, absolutely unknown political
16 Ambassador, you have studied the effects of destruction and this
17 on an entire society. Could you assume what the effect was of the embargo
18 not only on the number of people who died, who were expelled, but also on
19 the society as a whole in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, given the fact
20 that both the states and the individuals started engaging in smuggling and
21 trading in arms and food on the black market in order to be able to feed
22 themselves and defend themselves? Can you suppose what kind of chaos
23 reigned if people had to purchase their weapons on the black market?
24 Thousands upon thousands of people were engaged in that. Can you then
25 assume how much moral destruction such a situation brought upon these two
1 societies, both in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Can you just
2 answer me briefly and then I'll move on to something else.
3 A. Yes, there was a great deal of what you call moral destruction. I
4 was in Vukovar the day after it fell, November 19th, 1991, and saw the --
5 and tried to help the weeping Croatian civilians, and I was there
6 specifically to try to prevent the situation in the hospital that you know
7 from worsening, and Mr. Vance and I were physically prevented by the JNA
8 from reaching the hospital, and the next day they took the people out to
9 Ovcara and killed over 200. I have testified in the Mrksic case on
10 precisely that Serb war crime against Sljivancanin and the others.
11 So yes, indeed --
12 Q. Yes, I know, sir.
13 A. -- I am aware. I have to correct one thing. This will only take
14 a moment. When I mentioned the Christopher trip I see on the monitor it
15 has March and April. That's correct. It should be March and April 1993.
16 That was the Christopher trip, March, April 1993 when the Americans
17 suggested lifting the embargo and bombing the Serbs but got no response.
18 Q. Ambassador, I know that you were in Vukovar. I know that together
19 with Vance you tried to protect the wounded civilians and soldiers in the
20 Vukovar Hospital, and I thank you for that. Unfortunately, this ended in
21 the way that it usually ends when an armed -- a group of unarmed people is
22 facing a brutal force.
23 I will now move on to a series of questions aimed at showing how
24 Croats behaved towards every peace initiative that came from the
25 international community. Again, I am asking for your brief answers.
1 Is it true that Bosnia-Herzegovina in a referendum for the
2 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, voted in favour of the independence?
3 They wanted Bosnia and Herzegovina to be independent, and we Croats in
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina also voted in favour of that independence. Are you
5 aware of that fact?
6 A. Yes, I'm very aware of that fact. I have testified to that fact,
7 and I make a point of mentioning --
8 Q. Yes, thank you.
9 A. -- this in my witness statement.
10 Q. Yes, we know that, Ambassador. My next question is this: Is it
11 true that the success of the referendum, the positive result of the
12 referendum was always in favour of the positive position of Badinter's
13 commission, which led to the international recognition of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina? In other words, was the referendum a condition for the
15 recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina as an internationally recognised state?
16 A. General, it's impossible for me to answer that question briefly.
17 If you want an answer, I will give it. But it will take some time. I'm
18 fully aware of Badinter's a decision. I know what it said. I know what
19 the referendum was. There is a big dispute as to whether the referendum
20 fulfilled Badinter's condition. So if you want to go down this road it's
21 up to you, but it's a disputed issue. That's the fact.
22 Q. Believe me, sir, I'm sure that all of us, including the Trial
23 Chamber, would love to listen to that, but I have the clock in front of
24 me, and it is ticking away. So shall we then agree that this was a
25 condition, irrespective of what you might be able to say to that?
1 Are you also aware that Franjo Tudjman, who enjoyed authority
2 among the Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, lobbied even through the priests
3 of the Catholic church in Bosnia-Herzegovina, through the Croatian
4 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, I'm repeating, he was
5 strongly in favour of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina voting in the
6 referendum and voting in favour of the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 Are you aware of his positive influence upon the Croats in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina in that referendum?
9 A. Of course I'm aware.
10 Q. Thank you. And now I'm going to ask you something that will look
11 absurd on the face of it.
12 Would you agree with me, then, that the best and the easiest thing
13 to do is to chop off a part of the territory of the -- of a state, of
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina in this case, by firstly doing everything possible
15 to achieve its international recognition, and once it is international
16 recognised you can chop that part off more easily? Would you agree with
17 me? Is what I'm saying correct?
18 A. I refer you to paragraph 6 of my witness statement, which answers
19 that question thoroughly. We don't have the time. I can read paragraph 6
20 to you, but in the interests of brevity, I leave it to you, General,
21 whether you want me to read it. Paragraph 6 specifically answers that
22 question. Shall I read it?
23 Q. No, no. I'd love to move on. The Trial Chamber will have your
24 statement before them and will be able to draw conclusions based on it.
25 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. I am going to ask him to read it, because
1 otherwise it's not in the record. And if the Ambassador says that's his
2 answer and it's not in the trial transcript, then there is no record of
3 his answer. So Mr. Praljak's asked the question and, yes, I want the
4 answer to be in the trial record.
5 So, Ambassador, would you please read paragraph 6 out loud,
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I wonder how my respected colleague the
8 Prosecution knows that we will not ask a statement to be introduced in
10 MR. SCOTT: Well, it hasn't been so far.
11 MR. KOVACIC: It hasn't been so far because the proceedings is
12 that we are doing that after the hearing of the witness. So it's up to me
13 to decide on Monday, next Monday.
14 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I ask that the witness be allowed to read
15 the statement. If Mr. Praljak's going to ask questions, and he's spent
16 about an hour wasting our time, and now we get to one question and I want
17 the witness to able to answer it on the record. And that's what we should
18 do. Right now.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Paragraph -- I don't
20 have the paragraph in front of my eyes, but if it will not take more than
21 a couple of minutes, I would kindly ask the Ambassador to read paragraph 6
22 to us, if it's not going to be more than two minutes.
23 THE WITNESS: I'll be brief, General. I quote from my witness
24 statement paragraph 6: "The Bosnian Croat war aims were: To resist Serb
25 and Bosnian Serb incursions, alone or in cooperation with the Bosnian
1 Muslim forces (from March 1992 to 1995 Bosnian Muslim military forces were
2 considerably weaker than either the Bosnian Serbs or the Bosnian Croats);
3 to control militarily, to the maximum number degree possible, certain
4 areas along the Sava River and the Dinaric Alps, that is the
5 south/south-west border between Bosnia Herzegovina and Croat (these areas
6 corresponded to the Banovina of the Cvetkovic-Macek Agreement of August
7 1939); to erect and maintain a separate Bosnian Croat political entity
8 (Herceg-Bosna), which could eventually unite with the Republic of Croatia,
9 formally or informally. These war aims were made clear to the
10 international negotiators throughout the 1992-1993 period by the Bosnian
11 Croat leadership, Mate Boban and his associates. President Tudjman,
12 privately, gave the negotiators to understand that he fully supported
13 these aims." That is the answer.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak, you may go on.
15 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Of course, Mr. Ambassador, this is your statement and it will be
17 admitted into evidence. The strength of the different forces on the
18 different sides if I had time enough I would actually go through the
19 various maps with you and we would look at the balance of forces and how
20 it all developed. But let me ask you this: Is it true that Croatia, the
21 Croatian parliament, and the head of state recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 on the 7th of April, 1992? They recognised a sovereign
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country with territorial integrity? Are you aware
24 of this?
25 A. Yes. The day before the European Community had recognised and --
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. -- the United States recognised the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 also on April 7, 1992.
4 Q. Once again, I urge you, Ambassador. I'm not interested in hearing
5 when the United States recognised that country or not.
6 A. Excuse me, General, I have to say something and I'm sorry to have
7 to say it. My answers are relevant and designed to help the Court. The
8 fact that the United States of America recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina was
9 intrinsic to the Croatian recognition. My answer was designed to give the
10 complete picture. I don't waste time. I hope you understand that.
11 Q. Yes, Mr. Ambassador. But if one small figure such as Franjo
12 Tudjman recognising Bosnia-Herzegovina because the grand United States
13 have recognised it, then how can a fool like that believe that once this
14 country is recognised he would be allowed to chop a part of it away
15 against the will of the United States?
16 So your thesis is: When there is a small country involved, it
17 will follow the position of the United States. But it at the same time,
18 it is a cunning person who would go against such a great power such as the
19 United States and chop off part of that country. Would you then infer
20 that this small person, as it is, is also a fool at the same time?
21 A. I had and retain the highest regard for President Tudjman. You
22 heard Mr. Karnavas read accurately the interview I gave in which I
23 expressed that regard in the year 2006. So I frankly do not agree with
24 you, nor do I appreciate your calling him a fool.
25 Q. I don't know how I was interpreted. At any rate, I was merely
1 making an inference. I did not mean to call the president that -- under
2 whom I served a fool. I merely said that it was inconceivable that
3 someone should be insisting on the referendum for the independence of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina for simply wanting that or
5 for fearing the United States, and then having done all that, that that
6 same person should believe that he would be allowed to chop a part of that
7 country off. Such a person could only be styled a fool.
8 Now, I agree you with that this man was a courageous man, a
9 passionate statesman. Let me ask you this --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment.
11 Ambassador, the question that has just been put to you by
12 Mr. Praljak, I would like to hear your answer in a finer manner.
13 THE WITNESS: I take it from the general's exposition that his
14 question is: If President Tudjman recognised the state on April 7, 1992,
15 did he do it in good faith or somewhat less than good faith, and my -- if
16 that's the question, and I hope I've interpreted it correctly -- I
17 haven't. Then I'm sorry, I haven't answered the General as I -- the
18 General just said that I did not understand his question. So could you --
19 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
20 Q. But please refer to the referendum as well. Wasn't it -- wasn't
21 the referendum the easiest way from preventing Bosnia-Herzegovina -- to
22 prevent Bosnia-Herzegovina from becoming independent? Wasn't the easiest
23 way in fact to instruct the Bosnian Croats to not show up at the
24 referendum? Why would he take the trouble of supporting the referendum,
25 recognising the country, and so on and so forth?
1 A. General, that's completely wrong. If we talk about the
2 referendum, you have to recall that on February 29 and March 1, 1992,
3 Slovenia and Croatia had already left the Federative Republic of
4 Yugoslavia, what we called in those days the rump Yugoslavia. Therefore,
5 the Croatians knew certainly well - everybody knew - that this rump
6 Yugoslavia was dominated by the Serbs. After all, it consisted at that
7 time of Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, so -- and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which
8 clearly dominated by the Serbs. So therefore it was in the direct
9 interest, I repeat, the direct interest not only of the Bosnian Muslims to
10 get out from under the Serb-dominated rump Yugoslavia, but it was also in
11 the Croatian interest to get out of the Serb-dominated rump Yugoslavia.
12 That's really quite self-evident, General.
13 When it comes to the -- your next question, would a -- and I've
14 checked the text, and you called him a fool, I disagree with that. Would
15 President Tudjman recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina on April 7, 1992, and not
16 recognise its complete territorial integrity, the answer is yes, and I've
17 had that discussion quite a lot over the last few days, President
18 Tudjman's attitude towards an independent Croat state, substate, statelet,
19 you may call it what you will, an independent unit, and President Tudjman
20 supported an independent unit, and it was called Herceg-Bosna. You know
21 that; I know that.
22 Q. We'll get to that?
23 MR. STEWART: Might we just clear up because we think there was
24 quite a bad misinterpretation there. I've discussed it with Ms. Alaburic
25 because we do have the two languages between us. Where -- Ms. Alaburic
1 has both, of course.
2 Where General Praljak said, this is around lines 7, 8, and 9 at
3 page 99 -- now, I have's just lost it. Yes, how then -- it's line 3,
4 "then how can a fool like that believe that once his country is
5 recognised," which is what Mr. Okun has railed at once or twice, we
6 understood Mr. Praljak to have said, "how could anybody be so foolish as
7 to believe that once his country is recognised," that was the sense in
8 which we understood it. That will probably allay Mr. Okun's concerns, and
9 I hope that satisfies Mr. Praljak as to what his question was in his own
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. Stewart. That certainly does allay
12 my concerns. I can't imagine that anybody would call President Tudjman a
13 fool. But how -- the formulation you read is quite -- quite all right.
14 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you very much. I should like to move on. We have to finish
16 by 7.00. I apologise again, but I have to appeal to you to give me brief
18 Do you know that Franjo Tudjman, immediately after the recognition
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, appointed Dr. Zdravko Sancevic ambassador of the
20 Republic of Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you know or not?
21 A. Yes, Dr. Sancevic played a non-role and was a complete non-entity.
22 Q. Thank you very much. Did you know that Mr. Alija Izetbegovic did
23 not want to receive credentials from Dr. Sancevic for as long as he
24 himself did not appoint himself the president of the Presidency for the
25 third time, and this was direct infringement of the constitution of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina, because he could not do that in keeping with your
2 constitution. He would not receive Mr. Zdravko Sancevic until he
3 appointed himself for the third time as the president of the Presidency.
4 I'm almost certain that you're not aware of that.
5 A. Excuse me, General, but what you're saying is that -- if I
6 understand you correctly, what you're saying is that Izetbegovic expected
7 to appoint the ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Bosnia? I mean,
8 that --
9 Q. No, no, no.
10 A. I don't --
11 Q. Again, I do not know how this was interpreted. I will repeat.
12 Do you know that the president of the Presidency of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, Dr. Alija Izetbegovic, did not want to receive credentials,
14 diplomatic papers, from Dr. Sancevic in order for him to become the
15 ambassador of Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina until the moment he
16 appointed himself for the third time as the president -- president of the
17 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina? And here I'm talking about Alija
18 Izetbegovic who did the latter. And only when he did that, when he
19 appointed himself for the third time did he receive credentials from the
20 Ambassador of Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Are you aware of all that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. I have five or six very brief things to ask you. Is it true that
23 the Republic of Croatia under Dr. Franjo Tudjman's leadership received and
24 looked after over 300.000 Muslim refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. Yes, more than 300.000. It approached a higher number.
1 Q. B, it received and treated 10.000 fighters of the BiH army. Are
2 you aware of that or not?
3 A. Not of the exact number, but I'm aware that they gave treatment to
4 members of the Bosnian army.
5 Q. C, introduced special school curricula for Muslim refugee children
6 in over 35 Croatian schools where they were accommodated.
7 A. Is that a question?
8 Q. Yes. Are you aware of that?
9 A. I am not aware of that.
10 Q. D, is it true that Croatia helped with medicines and hospital
11 materials to some dozen of places where Muslim population was
12 accommodated? Are you aware of that?
13 A. Most of the medicines and hospital materials were delivered by the
14 non-governmental organisations, the International Committee of the Red
15 Cross and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. There might have been
16 other deliveries from Croatia. That's possible.
17 Q. Is it true that the Republic of Croatia equipped and armed through
18 the HVO and through the HZ HB, that it provided arms, ammunition, and that
19 it trained the entire brigades of BiH army in its own territory? Are you
20 aware of the fact that the Republic of Croatia in its own territory had
21 training centres for the brigades of the BiH army and that the Republic of
22 Croatia -- are you aware of this, first of all?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it true that almost 90 per cent of the weapons that the BiH
25 army received and had at its disposal either arrived through the Republic
1 of Croatia and the Croatian Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina or was a
2 direct gift from the Croatian army to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are
3 you aware of that?
4 A. I'm not -- I'm not certain that anybody knows the percentage,
5 whether it was 90 per cent or 80 per cent, but I've testified previously,
6 General, that Bosnia-Herzegovina was resupplied via Croatia. That's on
7 the record.
8 Q. Is it correct that the Croatian government and the Olympic
9 committee of Croatia enabled Bosnia and Herzegovinian athletes to
10 participate in the Olympic Games in 1992 and also covered the cost of
11 their travel and accommodation there. They also enabled them to the
12 Mediterranean Games and the European basketball championship; are you
13 aware of all that?
14 A. I knew they went to the games. I was not aware that the Croatian
15 government paid for their travel.
16 Q. Do you know that the entire humanitarian aid for the Muslims, who
17 were entitled to that according to various conventions, but also for the
18 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina once Croats and Muslims had already been in
19 conflict had arrived through the Croatian harbours, that everything
20 arrived through those harbours, food, ammunition, weapons, fuel for the
21 tanks, everything? Are you aware of that?
22 A. We've already established that repeatedly, General.
23 Q. Very well. And my final question today, which will bring me to an
24 end: Can you agree with, Mr. Ambassador, that Franjo Tudjman and all of
25 us together, dead and alive, who are now accused, will chop the part of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina if we helped the Bosnian army to become strong, if
2 we looked after the refugees, if we provided the army with fuel? Isn't
3 this what I was talking about? The way the Croatian state - Franjo
4 Tudjman and us accused - behaved, wasn't that the best way for us to chop
5 off part of Bosnia and Herzegovina that used to be part of the Banovina in
6 the past and join that with Croatia? Or alternately, wouldn't it be an
7 absurd statement, wouldn't it be true that all this would be let -- lead
8 absolutely to the contrary to what the Prosecutor is trying to prove here?
9 A. The short answer is no, I don't agree with that. I think what you
10 said is not true.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused.
12 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. What I'm saying is that it is precisely these actions that prove
14 that nobody wanted to chop off part of Croatia. Would you say that these
15 actions served to that end or that they did not serve to that end? What
16 would be your opinion?
17 A. They do not prove what you're claiming they prove, General. I can
18 give you a very brief, very brief telling example. Between August 1939,
19 and I'm not going to talk about the Cvetkovic-Macek Agreement, I'm going
20 to talk about the Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement. Between August 1939 and
21 June 1941, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were de facto allies. They
22 traded with each other. They sent food, supplies, et cetera, et cetera,
23 much cooperation. The Germans did a lot for the Soviets; the Soviets did
24 some things for the Germans, and on June 22, 1941, Germany invaded the
25 Soviet Union.
1 Q. Mr. Ambassador, I'm familiar with the history of the Second World
2 War; I will come back to that tomorrow. I will talk about what Germany
3 gave to the Soviet Union and vice versa, and my question to you will be
4 this: If the United States were to help that force in the same way,
5 helping them to get stronger against the other army, the HVO, which was
6 also part of the same people. We will come back to that tomorrow, and I
7 will ask you to give me a -- just one example from the history of the
8 world proving that similar things happened as they were happening here.
9 And what I'm asking for is for you to give me an example of one country
10 doing everything possible in order to make a country independent and
11 strong, provide it with weapons, fuel, arm its 220.000 soldiers, all that
12 with the goal of chopping a part of its territory at the end of all that.
13 And I'm going to ask you to answer that question tomorrow, not today.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just briefly, Mr. Ambassador,
15 you can answer now if your answer is short. You may answer the question
16 that has just been put to you now and we can continue tomorrow with
17 something else. If the answer is short.
18 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, I can be brief.
19 General, you said, "there was not one example of the point you
20 made." Well, I could think: History is replete with examples of the
21 point I made. I'll just mention one very briefly, very briefly: The
22 Chinese war. Japan invaded China in 1936. A civil war was on in China at
23 the time between the communists and the nationalists. Both the
24 communists, Chinese communists, and the Chinese national forces fought the
25 invading Japanese, and they also fought each other and tried to take --
1 don't interrupt me, please, General, I'm -- and they had joint commands
2 and they issued statements. In fact, even after the war our great
3 General, George Marshall, went there to broker a cease-fire and a peace
4 agreement between them and he failed to do so.
5 So in one word, General, history does not support your contention
6 that a country may help and at the same time hurt another country.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The time has come for us to
8 finish today. Tomorrow we shall begin at 10.00 in the morning. Thank you
9 very much.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day
12 of April, 2007, at 10.00 a.m.