1 Tuesday, 1 October 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: May the witness please come in.
7 JUDGE MAY: Before we get to the witness, let's look at the
8 exhibits if we can.
9 MR. NICE:. Yes. Can I explain the position about the exhibits.
10 The Chamber has, I think, four binders. They're in two categories. I
11 will only be asking the witness to deal with the first category of
12 exhibits in two binders and the two binders rather overstate the volume of
13 material that he will be dealing with because, as you will see, there is
14 one exhibit which is particularly large and we had to decide as to
15 producing it in part or in whole, and it seemed that it would run the risk
16 of unfairness to produce it only in part, although we'll only be looking
17 at it in part. That's tab 16, document C2954.
18 So in reality, the first two volumes or the two volumes of
19 category A materials are not as daunting as they look, and they are the
20 documents I will be asking the witness to deal with.
21 The second category of material comes in two binders and is
22 material I shall not be asking him to look at all but are exhibits that I
23 will be asking him simply to authenticate. They're documents we forecast
24 that it may be necessary for other witnesses to deal with, and although of
25 course authentication is not something we typically go through in a very
1 formal way dealing with document's authenticity only when they're
2 challenged, it seemed desirable given his ability to authenticate so many
3 documents that a simple exercise of authentication should be gone through.
4 So they will be dealt with by a single question, "Have you gone through
5 exhibits in those other volumes? Are they what they purport to be?" And
6 then they can be put on one side.
7 JUDGE MAY: Now, those documents include the ones which we've
8 already been handed in a small binder, small folder, rather, which were
9 the exhibits from, I think, the transcript, attached to the transcript.
10 MR. NICE: Yes. Your Honour, I was simply proposing to go through
11 the exhibits the binders that's we have, noting for cross-referral
12 purposes, where necessary, that they've been also produced in the
13 Dokmanovic case and transcript.
14 JUDGE MAY: As I said yesterday, we have read the transcript which
15 we've had, so there's no need to go over that in any great detail.
16 MR. NICE: I will be as sparing as I can. There are a few
17 background details, although some context is probably desirable. And the
18 witness will be dealing with matters here in more detail and with a
19 different focus than the way he was dealing with them in that case.
20 JUDGE MAY: And dealing with the timing issue, he will be here
21 tomorrow too. He's available tomorrow.
22 MR. NICE: Certainly today and tomorrow.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. There was one other matter. Yesterday I
24 asked for a map. We were discussing it. In Kosovo we had a very useful
25 atlas. It may not be possible to replicate that, but it would be helpful
1 to have a map of the entire area with the municipalities marked on.
2 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, I've put out a request several weeks
3 or months ago for similar maps or atlases. If all else fails, I'll simply
4 go and buy or have bought a series of road atlases because they will have
5 a road index and village names won't have changed and town names won't
6 have changed. But I know that the teams engaged on trying to see if we
7 can find something more like the Kosovo atlases to help you and I'll
8 report back as soon as I can.
9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
10 MR. NICE: May the witness come in, please.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] According to the programme that I
13 have received, this witness, that is to say the witness who was examined
14 yesterday, the planned time for his examination-in-chief by the other side
15 was recorded as 6 hours but he was examined for almost eight hours. This
16 present witness, Stjepan Mesic the time plan for him was 10 hours. That's
17 was what was written down. And now I can see that suddenly, quite
18 precipitously this time has been shortened down to four hours, four and a
19 half hours for the examination in chief, at most, which introduces a
20 certain amount of chaos with regard to all this material and my
21 cross-examination in view of the time that I was first to have been
22 allotted, and I consider that practice of this kind is untenable. These
23 four large binders were something that I received last night or, rather,
24 at the close of business yesterday so that was the chance I had to look
25 into all the documents, but I hear now all the documents were disclosed in
1 advance. But I don't think that this is the proper way in which I should
2 be expected to work.
3 Of course I don't think that this is a big handicap for me in lieu
4 of the fact that this next witness in all respects is a problematic one in
5 view of his personal criminal control in the breakdown of Yugoslavia. But
7 JUDGE MAY: We're not hear to listen to your comments on the
8 witness. Now, in relation to your comments about the procedure, let me
9 deal with it in this way: First of all, as a matter of accuracy, the
10 first witness was six hours, ten minutes by my note, in
11 examination-in-chief, so that should be recorded.
12 Secondly, if this witness can be taken more shortly in
13 examination-in-chief, that is to be welcomed.
14 Thirdly, these documents had been disclosed before, so you have
15 had them before. You will also have the opportunity overnight looking at
16 them again to see if there are any of them you want to ask any questions
17 about. You will have the opportunity tomorrow of examining him.
18 We've dealt earlier with the procedure whereby this witness has
19 been interposed, so we have nothing to add to our rulings on those
21 Yes. Let us have the witness.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I have another question. It has
24 nothing to do with this witness, Mr. May. May I please? Yesterday I
25 received a new list and order, and although I understood that you would be
1 providing these new lists with a time schedule as well, for example, after
2 this witness Stjepan Mesic, somebody else was introduced last night, his
3 name is Djuro Matovina, and he was on the list of witnesses in the 40th or
4 41st place, and you can check that out in that list, the list of witnesses
5 for this year. And then right after the next two witnesses, Slavko Kucuk
6 who was not on the list for this year nor was he in the list of witnesses
7 provided in the course of the year.
8 So with both these individuals, I would need to have the 125.000
9 pages available to me and for me to look through them all to find out
10 about witness under number 40 and 41, and I'm sure you don't expect me to
11 be able to get through all that material by the end of the year. I think
12 that this kind of procedure and practice, and we've already discussed
13 this, must be left behind once and for all.
14 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider the future witnesses in due course.
15 Let's hear this witness now.
16 WITNESS: STJEPAN MESIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE MAY: If you'd take a seat. If you'd like to take a seat.
22 Examined by Mr. Nice:
23 Q. Your full name, please.
24 A. I don't hear anything.
25 Q. Your full name, please.
1 A. Stjepan Mesic.
2 Q. Mr. Mesic, are you presently the president of the Republic of
3 Croatia? Does your history which is a matter of public record reveal that
4 you were Prime Minister of Croatia in 1990, a member of the HDZ party,
5 first vice-president and then president of the SFRY's Presidency during
6 the events we are concerned with, and speaker of the parliament between
7 1992 and 1994, leaving the HDZ party in 1994? Is that correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. The reason for leaving the HDZ party in 1994, in a sentence, was
10 what, please, Mr. Mesic?
11 A. Yes. You said quite rightly that after I had left the HDZ, I
12 formed another party, the Croatian Independent Democrats.
13 Q. And what was it about the HDZ that led you to your leaving it? In
14 a sentence.
15 A. I did not agree with the policies that were being waged with
16 respect to the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I did not agree with the
17 policy which had the wrong model of privatisation in view, and I asked for
18 the functioning of a legal state on the rule of law.
19 Q. I turn to the topic of the change in status of the provinces of
20 Kosovo and Vojvodina that happened in 1989 and thereafter, and we can deal
21 with this, I think, quite shortly.
22 The change in autonomous status of those two provinces, how was
23 that achieved and in what way was that connected to this accused, please?
24 A. Vojvodina and Kosovo were autonomous provinces and they were
25 constituent elements of the Federation, just like the six republics.
1 Serbia for a long time was not satisfied with the status of the provinces.
2 And after Slobodan Milosevic came to power, they started to breakdown the
3 status of Vojvodina and Kosovo, and this was done. They went ahead with
4 that, and the leadership was replaced in Vojvodina and Kosovo, and its
5 status was changed as well. For both of them, that is. So except
6 formally, they ceased to be constituent elements of the Federation.
7 Q. You say that the leadership of Vojvodina and Kosovo was changed,
8 was that changed, and we can have the names if necessary, but was it
9 changed by people more favourable towards the accused, less favourable
10 towards the accused or independent of the accused?
11 A. The job was done in such a way that meetings and rallies were
12 organised, and this was called the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution. That's
13 what it was referred to as. So large rallies were held in Kosovo and in
14 Serbian Vojvodina, later on in Montenegro as well, and they led up towards
15 the change in the leadership which was in favour of autonomy. And then
16 we -- this was replaced and the leadership that came out in favour of the
17 constitution in 1974. A new leadership was brought in, and it was one
18 that Slobodan Milosevic liked.
19 Q. We've heard already of the accused's rise to office and power at
20 about this time. Can you just help us, though, with one matter? The
21 speech at Gazimestan, what effect, if any, did that have on people like
22 yourself and those to whom you were in contact?
23 A. After the speech at Gazimestan which Slobodan Milosevic delivered,
24 it was quite clear what the new leadership of Serbia wanted, and the
25 possibility of an armed struggle was intimated as well. What was said was
1 that everybody should prepare and make ready for waging a struggle, but he
2 said that armed struggles were not excluded. And that was the first time
3 that anybody in Yugoslavia had ever mentioned the possibility of a war
4 option, that is to say, the possibility of actually going to war.
5 And like many others, I came to realise that a restructuring of
6 Yugoslavia was being prepared which would no longer be a federal one and
7 which would no longer be the one prescribed by the 1974 constitution.
8 Q. And in the setting of the times, that single phrase "That armed
9 struggles were not to be excluded" did that have an effect on people's
10 understanding of what lay ahead?
11 A. That sentence actually mobilised the masses, the masses who
12 supported the policy waged in this way towards the disappearance of
13 Yugoslavia, because Yugoslavia, as a federation, can be envisaged and
14 thought of as a chain, a chain in which the republics and provinces were
15 the links linking up the chain.
16 Now, if you do away with one of the links, the chain is no longer
17 able to function. In other words, the Federation ceases to function. And
18 this meant that they were moving towards the end of the kind of Yugoslavia
19 that we had had up until then.
20 Yugoslavia, and I have to explain this, had three integral factors
21 or integrating factors. One was Tito. The second factor was the League
22 of Communists of Yugoslavia, and the third factor was the army. Tito had
23 disappeared, the party had disappeared, and all that remained to be done
24 was for the army to fall. So all this indicated the breakdown of the kind
25 of Yugoslavia that had been established in 1974, that is to say, by the
1 constitution of 1974.
2 Q. I turn from your observations about those events to your first
3 encounter with the accused. In what year did that happen?
4 A. Well, I followed the development of the accused in his rise to
5 power, which is to say from the eighth meeting of the Serbian Central
6 Committee and then via the destruction of the Vojvodina and Kosovo and
7 Montenegrin leadership. I followed his ascent right up to the time when I
8 met him personally, which was when I personally arrived in Belgrade when I
9 was elected to the Croatian Sabor Assembly as member of the Presidency of
11 Q. And your first face-to-face meeting with him was where? Was it in
12 the parliament? And if so, can you tell us -- wherever it was, can you
13 tell us what was said?
14 A. After I was elected, after great pressure being exerted on
15 Slobodan Milosevic to acquiesce and to agree with respect to me and
16 Croatia taking its rightful place in the Presidency of Yugoslavia, let me
17 say there was great pressure being exerted from the Serbian bloc in the
18 Presidency by which Milosevic worked. The pressure was to exclude me,
19 although the Croatian Sabor or Assembly had elected me, but they wanted to
20 exclude me from the Presidency saying the Croatian Assembly could bring
21 anybody else though chose to bring. Of course this was impossible because
22 there were rules and regulations, rules of procedure and laws according to
23 which this could not be changed. And there was great pressure from the
24 international community which led to the fact that I was indeed elected.
25 And then Milosevic called me up, called me into his cabinet together with
1 President Tudjman, and that was where we had our first meeting and talks.
2 Q. What do you remember of what he said on that occasion, Mr. Mesic?
3 A. Well, there are two topics of discussion. One was Kosovo, the
4 Kosovo issue, because we wondered how this problem was going to be solved
5 because it was one that was a burden to the whole of Yugoslavia. Were we
6 looking for a political solution?
7 Milosevic said that we don't know the Albanians. We don't know
8 what they're like. And he said, "When you give them a good slap on the
9 face, then they'll be obedient, and that's how we'll solve that point."
10 The second topic was that if Yugoslavia were to disappear, this
11 would mean the return of the Muslims who had left and gone to Turkey and
12 other countries, and that on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, about
13 500.000 people of this kind would return, and they would change the
14 national composition, the ethnic composition of the country, and this, in
15 his opinion, would be a great problem for all the countries of the then --
16 or the regions of the then-Yugoslavia. And to support this view, he
17 provided a document, documents and reports, which were elaborated and
18 compiled by the greatest demographic experts. I took a look at those
19 documents, but my only comment to them was that I think that Turkey -- I
20 said that Turkey has a sufficiently high growth rate, and it seemed to me
21 improbable that 500.000 Turks and Muslims would return. But President
22 Tudjman took all these documents with him and took them back to Zagreb.
23 Q. Did President Tudjman appear to have approve of the contents of
24 these reports or not?
25 A. He didn't comment much. He read some passages out loud, read
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 through some others and took the documents to Zagreb. And when we met in
2 Zagreb, when the leaders met in Zagreb, he took out all these documents
3 and all he said was, "Here you have world experts and their views, and
4 they stress that if Yugoslavia were to disappear, 500.000 Muslims who had
5 previously left Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, et cetera, and
6 Sandzak, the Sandzak area, the part of the Sandzak which is in Serbia,
7 that they would return." He did not give the document to anybody else to
8 read. He did not say that this was compiled by the people who lived in
9 Belgrade or, rather, that they were Serb experts. He said that they were
10 world experts. So he lent that material a bit more importance by doing
12 Q. I turn now to the establishment of the SDS party in Croatia and
13 the establishment of the Serbian autonomous districts. Can you please in
14 a very short time, summarising as far as you can, how it was that those
15 Serbian autonomous districts developed and the influence, if any, of the
16 accused over the SDS party in Croatia.
17 A. Well, I'm quite certain that Milosevic didn't favour any kind of
18 Yugoslavia that would be either federal or confederal. That was not what
19 he wanted. What he was interested in was a Greater Serbia which would be
20 created upon the ruins of the former Yugoslavia. And in that case, the
21 Serbian national minority in Croatia was to play a role, and that is why
22 rallies were held there as in Serbia. They were held in the
23 municipalities where the majority of the population were Serbs.
24 Let me just say at this juncture that as Prime Minister of the
25 government of Croatia, when the first clashes arose with some of the
1 leaders of those municipalities that I asked to have talks with all the
2 presidents of the municipalities. It was six or seven municipalities, and
3 I wanted to speak to all of them to clear up these misunderstandings.
4 They agreed to meet me and to see what issues had to be solved, what the
5 problems were that could be solved round the table, round the negotiating
6 table, and not rallies, because you know, no problems can be solved out in
7 the streets.
8 All of them agreed to meet me except Milan Babic, who was the
9 president of the municipality or, rather, the mayor of Knin. He was not
10 present. And his secretary, the secretary of the municipality, I think
11 his name was Knezevic, told me that Babic was in Belgrade, that he was
12 seeing Milosevic, and that until Babic returned, he couldn't tell me
13 anything. He couldn't say yes or no. But regardless of whether the
14 meeting would be held in Plitvice, Zagreb, or anywhere else, he would
16 Now, as the secretary did not phone me back for a few days, I
17 called up the municipality of Knin once again. That same secretary
18 answered the phone and he said that President Babic had arrived back from
19 Belgrade, that he had forbade all municipality presidents to have any
20 contacts or anything to do with me or the government, the Croatian
21 government, and that a meeting was out of the question. I didn't talk to
22 Babic personally, but that is what the secretary conveyed to me. So this
23 was an overture, an introduction to rendering the decision on territorial
24 autonomy for that part of the country with a predominantly Serb
1 Q. Babic's position following his visit to Belgrade, was it ever
2 explained one way or another who, if anybody else, lay behind his
4 A. Well, when on the 17th of August the so-called log revolution took
5 place and the access roads were shut off in many municipalities, that is
6 to say roads leading through Knin, it was quite clear that this was an
7 attempt at secession, to break off a part of Croatia. The army lent its
8 support to this attempt, and the attempt to do away with the logs by using
9 the police force and to open up the communications and roads going through
10 this vital region of Croatia was not successful because the army prevented
12 However, when I went to Belgrade myself, that is to say when I was
13 no longer Prime Minister, when that term of office ceased, I went to
14 Belgrade to be vice-president of the Federal Presidency, I received
15 information there from my staff, those who were loyal to me, otherwise
16 they're all from Belgrade, but they told me that Babic and others were
17 coming from Knin and that they would be having a meeting with Milosevic
18 and Boro Jovic, members of the Presidency of Yugoslavia from Serbia.
19 I told Boro Jovic that if the Croats from Serbia were to come, I
20 would call him because he was their representative in the Presidency. But
21 when somebody was coming from Croatia, I kindly asked him that he inform
22 me because they were citizens of the Republic of Croatia. He agreed to do
23 this, and that's how Babic and I found ourselves in the cabinet of Boro
24 Jovic, in his office, and he just said that the two were tricking him and
25 that there was no question of autonomy and that there was no question of
1 the kind of republic that they wanted to see and that they had deceived
2 him, that Milosevic and Boro Jovic had deceived him and that we could
3 decide all these issues in Zagreb, that we could quite easily sit down to
4 the negotiating table and see what the outstanding issues were. He
5 laughed and said that he would have a state sooner or later. And I said
6 to him -- my response was, "You're going to lose everything, and you're
7 not even going to have an office of any kind, a surgery, let alone
8 anything else."
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we're now going to turn to the one exhibit
10 that's substantial and slightly difficult to handle. It's the only time I
11 think we're going to turn to it in detail. It's at the end of volume one
12 of your materials, and in the new tab formulation, which I hope you find
13 helpful and which we're indebted to Ms. Dicklich and Mr. Reid, I think.
14 It's tab 16, C294. What I ask is that the usher takes the Croatian
15 version of that which she has already. Page numbers don't entirely match.
16 The page numbers that the usher can find are at the top of the bundle, and
17 so I'm going to ask her in due course to be making those pages available
18 to the witness to look at.
19 In fact, what I think I'll do is the following: If the usher
20 could be good enough, first of all, to take that exhibit and lay it on the
21 overhead projector, page 1 of it. Yes. Take the whole exhibit with you,
22 I think.
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, the exhibit should be given a number at this
25 MR. NICE: If the entire bundle could be given its own number with
1 tab numbers for identification of the individual exhibits, that might be
2 helpful, and any tabs that aren't produced can be removed.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 328.
4 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. If we look at, then, tab 16,
5 because that is what this exhibit is, of Exhibit 328, and we can look at
6 the overhead projector, we don't need a translation for the time being, we
7 can see, Mr. Mesic, that this was a meeting on the 12th of July of the
8 Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and these, as
9 we'll see when we look at the English translation, are its official
11 Just looking at this part of the document, we can see the names of
12 those attending and their positions at the time. Included were yourself
13 as President, and then Vice-President Branko Kostic, and members of the
14 Presidency and I use their surnames for speed, Tupurkovski, Jovic,
15 Bogicevic, another Kostic, Jugoslav Kostic, and Bajramovic. And in
16 addition to those people present, there was also the President of the
17 Federal Parliament, Slobodan Gligorijevic; the Prime Minister, Ante
18 Markovic; and the Federal Defence Minister, General Veljko Kadijevic;
19 Foreign Minister, Budimir Loncar; Federal Ministry of the Interior, Petar
20 Gracanin; assistant to the Federal Defence Minister, Admiral Brovet;
21 Ambassador in the Federal Foreign Ministry, Zivojin Jazic; and General
22 Secretary of the Presidency, whose name you'll see later, Anton Stari and
24 That's the meeting for which these extensive minutes are a record;
25 is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And I hope this isn't a change of plans that would inconvenience
3 the usher. I think if the witness now has the entire stack of the
4 Croatian version of this document, which would mean getting the balance
5 from your desk, we can then display to those looking at the proceedings
6 the English version, because I think Mr. Mesic will be able to find the
7 appropriate pages in the Croatian version. So if you give him the balance
8 of that and he can just have those. Just give him that underneath the
9 pile he's got there already.
10 Mr. Mesic, if you could just allow the usher to reconstitute the
11 exhibit. If you could just hand those papers to the usher, please, just
12 for a second. I think I'd better have a look at them just before we go on
13 and make sure that -- can you bring me all of the papers, please. My
14 mistake. Thank you. Thank you very much. Give those to him.
15 If you've not got an English version -- right. Thank you very
17 We now hand an English version to the usher, please. And if the
18 usher would be good enough to put on the overhead projector pages -- page
19 69 in the English version.
20 And Mr. Mesic, if you would be good enough, please, to go to page
21 82. We're going to see through these notes, amongst other things, how you
22 were recording the history and position at that time.
23 With RI on page 82 of this meeting and RI on page 68 and more
24 particularly 69, did you speak at that meeting about the log revolution
25 that had begun in Knin, and did you go on -- and we can see this really in
1 the middle of the page on the screen: "I think it is perfectly obvious
2 what was intended. Then in order to prevent inter-ethnic clashes, the
3 army comes to separate the two sides." You were speaking here of
4 Plitvice, I think. "Gentlemen," you said, "there are no two sides in
5 Croatia. There is Croatian government and those who oppose that
6 government. If we accept this basic fact, then we can resolve the problem
7 on a principled basis. Let me say quite openly that we are witnessing
8 Serbian imperialism, whose aim is to create a Greater Serbia on the rubble
9 of this Yugoslavia. For this reason, Greater Serbian circles have no
10 interest in protecting the Serbian people living in either Croatia or
11 Bosnia or anywhere else. If that were the case, then we could look and
12 see what it is in the Croatian constitution, see what is in the
13 declaration on minorities, on the Serbs in Croatia and on minorities,
14 because the Serbs are treated separately there."
15 You went on to say: "Let us see if the Serbs have less rights
16 than the Croats in Croatia. That would be protecting the Serbs in
17 Croatia. But that is not what is sought. Gentlemen, what they want is
18 territory. They want to grab Croatian territory and they to trick the
19 army into doing it for them. This explains the mobilisations in Serbia
20 and Montenegro and the deployment of tanks on the border. Serbian
21 reservists come to garrisons in Croatia and tanks come to Beli Manastir
22 and other borders and now they want to trick the army into doing the job.
23 So we shall withdraw from Slovenia, but we will not allow observers in
24 Croatia, and we will force Croatia to its knees. Gentlemen, this can be
25 done, but only with a terrible war and rivers of blood. Croatia will
1 never give a millimetre to Serbia. That should be clear, once and for
2 all, and there can be no Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina.
3 "Communication," you said, "is possible between the Serbs and Croats in
4 Croatia, with observers if necessary, either international or Yugoslav."
5 To save time I pass on the next page to the concluding paragraph
6 of what you then said, at the top of the page. Just a little higher up.
7 Thank you very much.
8 "Here, it is stated," you said, "that the Serbian people are
9 constantly terrorised." Speaking of what allegations were made. You went
10 on to say, "Not a single example is given where the police have done
11 anything to anyone because of their ethnicity." Dealing with Knin you
12 said, "The police intervened in Knin, Obrovac and Benkovac only after
13 armed groups of citizens occupied police stations and took away weapons.
14 In Pakrac, a group of armed men captured 10 policemen, occupied the police
15 station and declared it part of the SAO Krajina."
16 Mr. Mesic, those were your words at this meeting. Were they a
17 honest and contemporaneous account of what had been happening?
18 A. Yes. This is what happened, and this is what I said at the
19 meeting of the Presidency.
20 Q. Can we turn in the English version to page 74. And, Mr. Mesic,
21 can you turn in the B/C/S version to page 88.
22 Did you shortly after say this: "Well, in the crisis spots the
23 JNA will continue to play its role by separating the warring sides and
24 preventing the spread of inter-ethnic clashes. In other words, White
25 Eagles, Dusan Silni and Bozur, you can all continue to come to Croatia
1 because the army will protect you, because you are a warring partner, and
2 so we are again to invade the Krajina."
3 You concluded after those observations about the White Eagles and
4 the others: "The army must withdraw to barracks and defend only the
5 international borders of the state."
6 Can you perhaps, Mr. Mesic, explain those words to us in just a
7 little more detail?
8 A. In the Presidency of Yugoslavia, I insisted that the army should
9 return to the barracks and that it should not play a political role, that
10 it should not be a political arbiter. Serbia, that is Slobodan Milosevic,
11 however, wanted the army to ostensibly divide the two sides, but there
12 were no two sides. It was those who were attacking and taking police
13 stations who, as later became quite evident, were trying to establish the
14 borders of a Greater Serbia running from Virovitica through Karlovac to
15 Karlobag. If you look at all the acts of provocation that took place,
16 they were actually setting up the borders of a Greater Serbia. This was
17 obvious, but it was also obvious to the army what sort of job it was
18 performing, because Milosevic said, "Let Slovenia go." We know why he
19 said that, because there were no indigenous Serbs in Slovenia. He said,
20 "Let Croatia also leave Yugoslavia but not those Serbs who want to remain
21 in Croatia." The territory on which the Serbs lived was, according to
22 him, to remain in Yugoslavia. So the Croats could leave but without the
23 territory inhabited by Serbs. This territory was not inhabited only by
24 Serbs, but they were the majority in those areas.
25 This was a trick. This was meant to deceive international public
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 opinion, Yugoslav public opinion, but it was also meant to deceive the
2 Serbs in Croatia. The Serbs in Croatia were needed only to ignite the
3 fuse in order for the war to be transferred to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 And with regard to Croatia, whatever territory could be wrested
5 from it would be joined to a Greater Serbia. The Serbs in Croatia were
6 tricked because Milosevic had told them that all the Serbs would live
7 together in a single state and that this was their right because they had
8 the right to self-determination. He was deceiving the world because he
9 was saying that he was fighting for Yugoslavia. However, he was doing
10 everything to destroy it.
11 The constitution of 1974 said that the republics were states, and
12 it was republics that had the right to self-determination; that is, they
13 had the right to stay in the Federation or to secede from if. This could
14 not be resolved by force. The deception was that he promised the Serbs
15 they would remain in a single state because, as he said, they had been
16 living in a single state up to that point. However, this was a community
17 on a confederal model where the republics were actually states.
18 Q. Can we turn over now to page 89 in the English, pages 107 to 108,
19 Mr. Mesic, in the Croatian version to where you turn again - and we can
20 look at it shortly - to the withdrawal of the army and connection of that
21 to those coming from else where in armed state.
22 In the middle of the page and this is you still speaking, you said
23 this: "I assure you that if the army withdraws to barracks, and if all
24 those who came from else where return with their weapons to wherever they
25 came from, if the Croatian authorities grant amnesty to all those who took
1 part, there would be no problems and no crisis spots. If we continue like
2 this, separating the warring sides as if there were two states in Croatia,
3 one being the SAO Krajina, let me paraphrase," you said, "because I have
4 it written down somewhere what Martic and Babic said." And then you
5 quoted, "We have the full support of the Yugoslav People's Army, and we
6 are both doing the same thing as it is defending Yugoslavia."
7 You went on: "They were defending Yugoslavia, but they did not
8 mention that they were destroying Croatia. Furthermore, they say that
9 Serbia, that is, the authorities in Serbia, support Krajina with all their
11 Was that quotation attributed to Martic and Babic a correct
12 attribution, please?
13 A. This is correct. What they wanted was to provoke a conflict, then
14 bring in the army which would separate the warring sides ostensibly, and
15 then to set up a new border. This was their interest, and this is what
16 was done. That is why at this meeting I said that if a republic asks for
17 help, the other republics or the federal bodies should provide it. But no
18 one could impose on Croatia solutions which would have to be solved by the
19 police. The army cannot be used to solve these problems.
20 Q. Thank you. If we can look at the foot of the English page, page
21 89, we come to the next passage of yours, Mr. Mesic, and it may be that we
22 will ask you -- I will in fact, ask you to read the last sentence yourself
23 and ask the court interpreters to translate it for us.
24 If you'd follow me, please, however, until the last sentence. You
25 said this: "Support --" I'll give the context.
1 Kadijevic had asked: "When did Babic say that?" You said:
2 "Support SAO Krajina with all their means," in quotation marks, saying,
3 "These are their words, not mine. They also say that the authorities in
4 Serbia support them financially and by all other means. The authorities
5 in Serbia should say, 'We have nothing to do with you. You have to solve
6 the problems here, which is the only place where you can resolve them.'"
7 And could you, please, Mr. Mesic, just read in Croatian the last
8 sentence of that passage in order that any error of translation in the
9 English transcript can be corrected. Could you read the last phrase,
10 please, on page 108.
11 A. "Therefore, Serbia --
12 Q. My mistake.
13 A. "Official Serbia is supporting SAO Krajina by all measures." Then
14 Veljko Kadijevic --
15 Q. Simply the last sentence beginning "Ali, Ali mislim." Just read
16 that sentence, please.
17 A. "But I think that this is like speaking to a deaf person. It was
18 falling on deaf ears, because these arguments meant nothing to them
19 because Milosevic was carrying out his plan.
20 Q. Your Honours will notice the different emphasis in that phrase
21 than the phrase that is in the translation. Thank you.
22 Can we turn from page 89 in the English right onto page 205, and
23 could you, Mr. Mesic, be good enough to go to page 226.
24 And here I'm going to ask you to comment on not just what you said
25 but also on what Veljko Kadijevic said in this passage. He says: "That
1 is a question that needs to be resolved now. It is a big question.
2 "You are seriously wrong if you think that the matter will be
3 resolved if the army is withdrawn now, and you can embark on 'settling'
4 matters there. Then there would be a real bloodbath. Why do that? This
5 way we will be able to find a solution by peaceful means."
6 To which you responded: "Croatian territory is being seized."
7 Kadijevic said: "It will not be seized."
8 And there's a handwritten note in the margin saying: "What have
9 you done to sort out Knin?"
10 And then you said this: "It has already been seized and is being
11 seized. Croatian villages are being burnt and cleansed. Territory is
12 being seized."
13 Kadijevic said: "Stipe, do you want war?"
14 You said: "I am trying to prevent war."
15 He said: "If you are so keen to prevent war, why do you not
16 accept the decisions?"
17 You replied: "I would have to give up part of Croatia."
18 Do you have any comment on that beyond perhaps acknowledging that
19 it sets the scene for the positions being taken?
20 A. Yes. This is quite clear. The army came in after acts of
21 provocation had been committed. The army took territory, and it was quite
22 clear that official Serbia was paying those who went into action
23 because -- well, this was done either by Serbia itself or through the
24 army, because you could not imagine a terrorist group getting hold of
25 tanks, getting hold of weapons that only the army had. So they were
1 acting in concert, the army, Serbia, and the so-called Krajina, which was
2 to perform that part of the job in establishing the borders -- the new
3 borders of a Greater Serbia.
4 Q. Thank you. Before we turn from this topic in general, just a
5 reminder. If we can show it on -- thank you to the usher for dealing with
6 those papers. That's the end of that exercise
7 Your Honours, that's the only exhibit exercise that's to be
8 time-consuming. We can just remind ourselves by looking at document C341,
9 which is tab 4 in the map binder.
10 Notwithstanding your efforts, Mr. Mesic, does this map reveal the
11 SAOs that were indeed declared by the Serbs even though they weren't able
12 to take territory exactly identical to that of the areas they declared?
13 A. Yes. This is the area that they controlled. This was not all
14 they wanted. They wanted more. But at that time, this was under the
15 control of the Krajina.
16 Q. Thank you very much. The next topic, and briefly. The role of
17 the SDS party in Croatia. What role did the party take in general terms?
18 What effects did its actions have on Serbs in Croatia, both radical and
19 less radical Serb inhabitants?
20 A. At the beginning when the SDS was being set up, it did not appear
21 that that party would become too radical. It was to struggle for cultural
22 autonomy. But as time went on, it became evident that this party was
23 being manipulated by Belgrade, which means the regime of Slobodan
24 Milosevic and he himself, and that they were doing only things that would
25 lead to the creation of a Greater Serbia, an ethnically pure territory
1 cleansed of the non-Serbian population.
2 In areas where the SDS took power, the population was completely
3 cleansed, that is, is the non-Serbian population. This was an
4 organisation that was to bring a dowry to Greater Serbia in the form of
5 new territories.
6 Q. Thank you. I'm going to turn now to look in a little more detail
7 at the Presidency of the Federal Republic, the SFRY. You've already told
8 us in general terms about the change in composition that led to a Serbian
10 MR. NICE: Your Honours, the names in paragraph 8 have, I think
11 but I'm afraid I haven't checked, been given else where. They are in any
12 event a matter of public record and I don't propose to take time by simply
13 reading them into the record at the moment. They're there for
14 consideration if necessary.
15 Q. Can we go to paragraph 9? In accordance with the constitutional
16 system of a rotating Presidency where the President of the Presidency held
17 office for one year, did Borisav Jovic take that office on the 15th of
18 March of 1990 with you as vice-president?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. He did take over that office. But I did
20 not take over the office of vice-president immediately because the Federal
21 Assembly kept putting it off for a few months. They did not meet for a
22 few months so that I would assume that office as late as possible.
23 Q. So far as Borisav Jovic is concerned, to what degree could you
24 assess did he act independently of anybody else or in cooperation with
25 anybody else?
1 A. Borisav Jovic did not have any independence whatsoever.
2 Everything he did was done in agreement with Slobodan Milosevic. So even
3 at the sessions of the Presidency I would often joke when a decision would
4 have to be passed. Borisav Jovic would leave the session. He would
5 excuse himself, and he would walk out of the room. I would always say,
6 "Say hello to Milosevic." And when he came back, when he returned with
7 his instructions as to how he should act, when he would take a certain
8 position, then the members of the Serbian bloc would act accordingly.
9 When he would return to the room, I would again say to him, "Did you say
10 hello to Milosevic?" He did get a bit upset by it, but that's the way it
12 Q. Did he ever challenge the suggestion that you were making that he
13 was acting at the accused's instructions?
14 A. No, he didn't. But my staff members told me that whenever he went
15 out, he always called Milosevic.
16 Q. Can we move forward in time to the 12th of March of 1991, coming
17 to the end of what would have been Jovic's year in office, and the
18 consideration of the declaration of the state of emergency. What was the
19 attitude of the Presidency members to this and of Kadijevic?
20 A. It was quite clear that the top echelons of the army together with
21 the Secretary for Defence, Veljko Kadijevic, had reached agreement with
22 Milosevic or, rather, the Serbian leadership to go for a state of
23 emergency. That meant that the army would be given the right to decide
24 freely and that the army would decide where it would operate.
25 At the session of the Presidency, this was not approved. The
1 Serbian bloc got all worked up. Some of them resigned, Borisav Jovic
2 among them, and the representative of Montenegro, Nenad Bucin.
3 Milosevic sent a message via television that Yugoslavia ceased to
4 function in this way, that they did not recognise any decisions made by
5 the Presidency and that Serbia was to establish its own armed forces.
6 That meant that Milosevic had announced a coup, that he announced that
7 Serbia would no longer be loyal to the legally elected Presidency. That
8 practically meant that they had opted for finally destroying Yugoslavia.
9 Why this action was given up on is something that I cannot figure
10 out until the present day.
11 After this announcement, I spoke on television myself immediately,
12 and I said that nothing special happened. Some members of the Presidency
13 resigned. The republics whose representatives had left would simply have
14 new candidates and would elect new members. As vice-president, I would
15 assume my role and the Presidency would go on functioning.
16 A few days later, Borisav Jovic came back as if nothing had
17 happened, because the parliament purportedly did not accept his
18 resignation, so we went on functioning.
19 Q. Just a couple of things we can do to flesh out this story,
20 Mr. Mesic. First of all, so far as Jovic's resignation is concerned and
21 the resignation of others, is there anything leading to you believe that
22 this was a spontaneous and genuine action or a planned action or are you
23 unable to express a view?
24 A. This could not have been a spontaneous act on his part at all. It
25 could not have involved any kind of moral approach. He had simply carried
1 out a task. It was obvious. When a state of emergency was not imposed,
2 Milosevic said that there was no Yugoslavia and that Serbia had to take
3 care of itself. So it was a scenario.
4 Q. The second thing we can do is to look at the statement that the
5 accused made on the 16th of March. This is the only other exhibit, as I
6 say, Your Honour, that will take some time, but I think it's worth looking
7 at in full. We have transcripts available of it. The witness has viewed
8 it recently. Tab 29 in volume 2. And if the booth would be good enough,
9 please, when we've all found our papers, to play the video.
10 I'm grateful to the usher. That's -- tab 29, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: In volume 2 of category 1?
12 MR. NICE: Yes. It's right at the end, Your Honour. Absolutely
13 the last document. There might have been an easier way to help you find
15 [Videotape played]
16 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The last stage of its agony. The
17 Presidency of the SFRY has not been functioning for a long time now and
18 the illusion of the efforts made by the Presidency of Yugoslavia that are
19 actually not to be is one that has been dead as of last night. This is
20 not a step backwards. It's a step forwards because the truth is better
21 than illusions and deceits. Yugoslavia lost its Presidency but it did not
22 loose its workers, farmers, millions of its citizens, hard and honest
23 workers who worked hard and to took care of their families. Millions of
24 these honest and normal people will never give their country away.
25 "As far as Serbia is concerned, it has always been in favour of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Yugoslavia, and it never concealed that. Absolutely convinced and proud
2 Serbia publicly states this now as well. The blockade of the functions of
3 the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia by those
4 who are disintegrating the country had brought this plan into its final
5 stage. This plan is being carried out to the detriment of the vital
6 interests of the Serb people both in Serbia and in Yugoslavia instead of a
7 democratic federation which is supposed to make it possible for the Serb
8 people together with the other people to live on a footing of equality and
9 together in one state. The forces of the anti-Serb coalition have formed
10 and are now making every effort to disintegrate Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia
11 does exist and it cannot be abolished by a one-sided act and a fait
12 accompli policy because realistic interests, achieved freedoms, democratic
13 institutions and the power of the people who live in it are guarantees of
14 its survival and successful development. By directly sabotaging its own
15 order on disarming paramilitary formations, the Presidency of the SFRY
16 enabled the creation of republican armies that pose an immediate threat to
17 the security of the country, all its citizens and especially the Republic
18 of Serbia and the Serb people outside of Serbia.
19 "The Presidency of Yugoslavia which is also the Supreme Command of
20 the armed forces of Yugoslavia, all the time since this order was passed,
21 there was blockade of functions of the Yugoslav People's Army which is
22 duty-bound and capable of protecting the people from war, regardless of
23 whether it's a civil war or a war of conquest. The Presidency of the SFRY
24 did everything in its power so that its own order would not be carried out
25 and so the secession of certain republics and parts of Yugoslavia would be
1 carried out by combining political manoeuvres, obstructions and armed
2 conflicts instead of in a peaceful way by respecting the rights of all
3 people to self-determination.
4 "By resigning from the Presidency of Yugoslavia and the Supreme
5 Command of the armed forces of Yugoslavia, Dr. Borisav Jovic refused to
6 accept the blockade and obstruction of the state leadership at a moment
7 that was crucial for the country. I believe that the resignation of
8 Borisav Jovic under the given circumstances represents an act of
9 responsibility of a responsible man who does not wish to take part in the
10 break-up of his country and it is an act of rebellion against obstruction
11 in the state leadership.
12 "In view of this situation, I wish to announce that the Republic
13 of Serbia will not recognise a single decision reached by the SFRY
14 Presidency because under existing circumstances, any such decision would
15 be illegitimate. As for the operation of such a Presidency that opted for
16 the disintegration of Yugoslavia, I personally will not accept any
17 participation in terms of authority that would be conducive from the
18 resignation of Borisav Jovic and would be vested in me personally. I
19 expect that the Yugoslav and international public will understand that not
20 a single patriot can accept the legitimacy of a collective head of state
21 operating against his country and the valid constitution. I demand that
22 the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, in accordance with the acts of the
23 takeover of authority from the Kosovo Assembly reach a decision at its
24 first session on the release of Riza Sapundziju from the office of member
25 of the SFRY Presidency. Under existing circumstances attempts to set off
1 violence in Sandzak, Kosovo and Metohija, I have ordered a mobilisation of
2 reserve forces of the Republic of Serbia, MUP security forces and urgent
3 establishment of additional police forces of the Republic of Serbia. I
4 ask the government of the Republic of Serbia to carry out all preparations
5 for the establishment of additional forces in a size that would guarantee
6 the protection of the interests of the Republic of Serbia and the Serb
7 people. I call upon all political parties in this difficult situation to
8 establish full cooperation and also to disregard all their differences and
9 mutual disputes in the interest of Serbia. I think that despite the newly
10 created situation in Yugoslavia, there is no need to introduce a state of
11 emergency. All institutions of the system and the life in the Republic of
12 Serbia should continue normally. The citizens of Serbia should know that
13 the Republic of Serbia is able to provide full protection of the interests
14 of the Republic, all its citizens and the Serb people.
15 "The Republic of Serbia, the citizens of Serbia and the Serb
16 people will oppose all acts of disintegration of our country. Today we
17 need to be strong and determined to defend our country as we have done so
18 many times before. I'm convinced that the great freedom-loving spirit of
19 the Serb people will triumph over forces of the anti-Serb coalition
20 looming over Serbia and Yugoslavia that is our duty. Wisdom, courage and,
21 above all, patriotism of the citizens of the Republic of Serbia and
22 Yugoslavia are being tested now. As of this moment, we are taking that
23 test. I believe in the victory of peace in Yugoslavia. I believe in the
24 triumph of unity in Serbia and in the triumph of forces that will serenity
25 to people, notably to mothers and to our children.
1 "The Presidency --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that the speed was
4 MR. NICE: I'm grateful to the interpreters for dealing with that,
5 and I will --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
7 MR. NICE: I'm grateful for the interpreters for being able to
8 deal with that, and I will make sure that I move slowly over the next few
10 Q. Mr. Mesic, there is a lot one could ask about that speech, but
11 just a few questions to you about it. The setting is, as you've explained
12 to us, that the Presidency had declined to declare a state of emergency
13 which would have justified, in position of a state of war or something
14 like that, had been the resignations and then this speech on television.
15 I think you yourself spoke on television later although at the
16 moment we haven't been able to retrieve the footage. Is that correct, you
17 did speak?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. We can see that the speech starts off by talking about the Federal
20 Republic and the decisions that had been made or not made and about
21 Jovic's resignation being justified, and then it turns to Serbia and deals
22 specifically with Serbia and the Serbs. What is your comment on this
23 speech? Was it a straightforward speech? Did it have any subtext that
24 you could discern?
25 A. It is quite clear that this did not mean saving Yugoslavia. It
1 meant making operational the final dismemberment of Yugoslavia.
2 In his speech, Milosevic says that Serbia no longer accepts the
3 decisions of the Presidency. That is to say, that it does not accept the
4 constitution of Yugoslavia, the SFRY.
5 Also, he says that he would not accept the -- to be present in the
6 Presidency of Yugoslavia, to act ex officio there, although he is
7 duty-bound to do so if the members of the Presidency of Yugoslavia leaves.
8 That means that when Borisav Jovic left, before a new member is elected by
9 the Republic of Serbia, the president of the Republic of Serbia, according
10 to regulations, has to be a member of the Presidency. He has to attend
11 members -- meetings of the Presidency. But here he says that he is not
12 going to carry out the constitution, the constitution of the SFRY and all
13 the rest that he mentions, that forces would be mobilised. A threat was
14 made to the rest of the Yugoslavia.
15 In other words, he announced the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
16 And what was this all about? I shall present it quite briefly.
17 Slovenia and Croatia, assisted by Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia, we
18 proposed to have a confederal system because the model of a federation as
19 the one that existed was could not be sustained. That is what I always
20 emphasised. The three cohesive factors were no longer there. And the
21 only possible thing was a confederacy. However, until the present day,
22 Serbia did not respond to our proposal to opt for a confederal solution,
23 to reach an agreement on this, to come to a consensus and not act through
24 the army and have solutions imposed on us. We could not accept Croatia,
25 Slovenia and other republics to be treated the way Milosevic treated
1 Vojvodina, Montenegro, and Kosovo. We could not accept that kind of
2 federation, and that is precisely what he wanted, a firm federation.
3 That is what I wish to say by way of an explanation. What was
4 said was that confederations could not exist. They even said there was a
5 confederacy in the United States of America. Well, true, but it did not
6 fall apart. But it did function, and it -- and there is proof of that.
7 It waged war for three years.
8 Q. One other detail I haven't covered so far within paragraph 10 of
9 the summary. When the Presidency declined to declare a state of
10 emergency, what, if anything, did Kadijevic say about what the Serbs would
12 A. Well, at the session and what happened after that was that there
13 were grave tensions. Objections were being made to Bogic Bogicevic, that
14 he as a Serb, although he did not represent Serbia but Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 that he was not voting as a Serb and he answered that he was a Serb but
16 that he was first and foremost a Bosnian and that he voted in the interest
17 of his republic. So the situation was really difficult. And I expected
18 Serbia or, rather, Milosevic, to make some even more heavy handed stepped,
19 and indeed he did.
20 Q. But in particular, did Kadijevic say anything material to the
21 Serbs' plans and anything about a Serb army?
22 A. Right at this moment, I cannot recall his words, but they were
23 quite in accordance with what Borisav Jovic had been saying.
24 Q. Can we look now, then, at an exhibit from the same period of
25 time. It's in volume I of part 1 and indeed all the references are to
1 part 1 of the document, Your Honour?
2 JUDGE MAY: Exhibit 328 for the record.
3 MR. NICE: Yes. 328. And it's tab 15, Exhibit number 2935. And
4 if we look at this, if you'd have the Croatian or B/C/S version,
5 Mr. Mesic, and if the usher could on this occasion put the front page on
6 the overhead projector.
7 You will see that this is a document from March 1991 coming from
8 the Secretary Anton Stari at the bottom, coming to you in your position
9 still as Vice-President of the Presidency. Just you in that position.
10 Enclosing a text of a statement by the Supreme Command Staff of the armed
11 forces for your information.
12 And then the next page, please, comes from or purports to come
13 from the Supreme Command Staff and says: "Enclosed find a statement by
14 the Supreme Command Staff," which is the result, and I'm going to skim
15 read it, "Result of a comprehensive evaluation of the situation arising
16 from the decision of the SFRJ Presidency not to accept the measures
17 proposed." It goes on to suggest those measures would prevent interethnic
18 armed conflicts.
19 Next paragraph. "When opting for the conditions measures
20 presented in the statement, it was borne in mind that the non-acceptance
21 of the proposal does not absolve the armed forces and Supreme Command
22 Staff, as an expert and professional body in the area of command and
23 control, of responsibility for the country's survival and security, which
24 are their constitutional duties and responsibilities and must be carried
25 out unconditionally."
1 Then says: "The Supreme Command Staff maintains that this should
2 be pointed out publicly." It says: "The combat readiness of some of the
3 People's Army units will be raised only depending on how the situation
5 And over the page, please, just the second paragraph of the
6 statement itself. It says: "The Yugoslav People's Army will steadfastly
7 guard the borders from all danger and will not allow them to be changed
8 until an agreement is reached and implemented in accordance with the
10 First of all, your comment on this body, the Supreme Command
11 Staff, and then secondly your comment on the document itself, Mr. Mesic.
12 A. The Supreme Command Staff is actually an illegal institution
13 because the Supreme Command Staff could only be established in times of
14 war or in a situation of an immediate threat of war. Since neither was
15 the case in Yugoslavia, the Supreme Command Staff could not be activated.
16 Throughout my work in the Presidency, I never managed to find out
17 who the members of this Supreme Command Staff were, but it is obvious that
18 the army says that it's going to raise combat readiness on the part of the
19 units and that this will be done exclusively in accordance with the
20 development of the situation. That is to say that they are going to
21 decide on their own where the army is going to act. According to the
22 constitution, they had no right to do so. So this is actually a military
23 coup, not work on the basis of the Yugoslav constitution that was still in
25 JUDGE MAY: That's a convenient moment. Mr. Nice, you're on
1 course, I take it, to finish at least this morning.
2 MR. NICE: Certainly --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
4 MR. NICE: The balance of the evidence will move more swiftly
5 because the exhibits will not take so long.
6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
7 Mr. Mesic, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. Could you
8 please remember, and I must warn you as I warn all witnesses, not to speak
9 to anybody about your evidence until it's over and that does include the
10 members, of course, of the Prosecution team. Could you be back, please,
11 in 20 minutes.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Mr. Mesic, following the resignation and reinstatement, as it
17 were, of Mr. Jovic, you say there were two members of the Presidency who
18 were replaced. Were the two who were replaced those who had been
19 supportive of Jovic or against him?
20 A. Unfortunately, I didn't hear your entire question.
21 Q. My apologies. Following the resignation and return of Jovic, you
22 tell us that two members of the Presidency were replaced. Were those who
23 were replaced or had those who were replaced been supportive of Jovic or
24 against him?
25 A. One was replaced, and that was Riza Sapunzhiu, the representative
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of Kosovo. And Nenad Bucin tendered his resignation. He was the
2 representative of Montenegro. Riza Sapunzhiu thought he wouldn't be able
3 to be replaced by anybody because he was the Kosovo representative, and
4 the Kosovo Assembly was the one which Milosevic had disbanded. So he
5 counted on being able to vote according to his conscience. However,
6 Milosevic ordered, as could be seen from the excerpts shown, ordered the
7 Serb Assembly to replace Riza Sapunzhiu and this was carried out.
8 In the Yugoslav Presidency, Sejdo Bajramovic was sent there,
9 somebody whom nobody had elected in Kosovo.
10 Q. At about this time in 1991, just really yes or no if you can to
11 save time to this, about this time were some organs of the Presidency,
12 such bodies as the military department or the council for the protection
13 of constitutional order, functioning normally?
14 A. Yes, they were functioning normally as far as was possible,
15 because the Presidency was under a blockade and so were the bodies and
16 organs elected by that same Presidency.
17 Q. Did there come a time when they ceased to function normally or at
19 A. Yes. We would receive minutes from the meetings of those bodies,
20 but if there was no quorum, then this would come in as merely an
21 expression of their views and opinions. But in the Presidency, we did
22 receive reports from them when there were enough members to ensure that a
23 meeting could be held.
24 Q. I move on to mid-July. Exhibit 328, volume 1, tab 2, Exhibit 152.
25 The B/C/S version for Mr. Mesic. The first page of the English version on
1 the overhead projector, please.
2 Two questions. The first relating to this document which we can
3 deal with shortly.
4 This is a document, as we can see at the bottom, signed by
5 yourself now in your position as president. You had been able to take up
6 the Presidency. We'll come to that perhaps in a little bit, but it's
7 signed by you in the position of president. And the decision we can see
8 further up the page, thank you very much, says in paragraph 1: "All armed
9 units in the SFRY territory, except JNA and regular peacetime police
10 units, that is the police, shall be demobilised by midnight of the 18th of
12 And in the margin it says: "Mesic disagrees."
13 Can you just explain in a couple of sentences what was going on
15 A. Well, here with this decision and request was to disarm the
16 National Guard, which was a regular composition of the Croatian police.
17 According to legal procedure and in a legal way, this portion of the
18 police force, like the Carabinieri, for instance, in Italy, that would be
19 comparable, was set up, this body, this organ. It was an executive organ
20 and it was called the Desbodna Nigarda [phoen] the National Guard Corps.
21 And by this decision they were supposed to be disarmed, because I asked
22 that illegal paramilitary formations be disarmed. Illegal ones, not the
23 legal ones.
24 I should just like to add that Croatia, for the legal organs and
25 the National Guard Corps asked for the purchase of weapons because what
1 they had were out-of-date. They came from a factory in Serbia, a factory
2 that manufactured these weapons via the Federal Secretariat for the
3 Interior. However, Croatia did not receive the okay for this. So it did
4 legally have the right to procure weapons elsewhere if these sorts of
5 weapons didn't exist in Yugoslavia. It was free to purchase them else
7 Q. At about this time, was a decision made in relation to Slovenia
8 and the pulling out of the JNA from Slovenia?
9 A. Yes, that's right. That's what it was about. There was a
10 military action to establish a regime along the borders of Yugoslavia and
11 Austria, which meant that this was to be done in part of Slovenia.
12 Slovenia had established control at certain checkpoints, border
13 checkpoints, and in Belgrade a decision was taken to send a military
14 contingent to set up military control along the borders. That is not
15 something that the army -- comes under the army's competence, and the army
16 should not have entered into this action. It was pure provocation that
17 caused the 2.000 soldiers that had set out to establish control over the
18 borders was not able to do anything because the Territorial Defence of
19 Slovenia offered resistance. And I would say that this triggered off the
20 fact that the army withdrew from Slovenia later on. And I was at the sole
21 person at the meeting to vote against the proposal that the army withdraw
22 from Slovenia, because I lay down conditions and said that if the Yugoslav
23 People's Army were to withdraw both from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 and other republics, then I would agree, but I would not agree that it
25 pull out of Slovenia alone. And of course the army and Milosevic had no
1 intention of following that proposal.
2 Q. And how do you regard or how did you regard that withdrawal of
3 troops from Slovenia in connection with the disintegration of Yugoslavia
4 more generally?
5 A. It was quite clear to me that the withdrawal of the army from
6 Slovenia meant the disappearance of Yugoslavia itself. And this was the
7 further opralisation [as interpreted] of the creation of a Greater Serbia.
8 This was repeated again and again. The people who wanted Yugoslavia to
9 remain were in favour of this, and the Yugoslav army supported it.
10 Q. Thank you. In summary, paragraph 13 but briefly. We are still
11 looking at particular acts and characteristics of the Presidency really
13 There came a time when the phrase "Rump Presidency" came to be
14 used. When did that first come to be used?
15 A. The Yugoslav army had blocked the roads in Croatia. It had
16 blocked the airports, and I was not able to reach Belgrade. However, I
17 was ready to convene a Presidency meeting at some other spot, some other
18 venue, which was accessible to all the other Presidency members. And I
19 considered that the best possible venue for that would be Brioni, the
20 Brioni islands. And I convened a meeting on Brioni. However, the Serbian
21 bloc resisted the idea and did not turn up. Nobody from that bloc came.
22 And that is when we came to use a constitutional option whereby the
23 president is not able to convene a Presidency meeting. This is then done
24 by the vice-president. However, the Presidency could have convened a
25 meeting, that is to say I myself could have convened a meeting but not in
1 Belgrade as the venue.
2 So this was an attempt to implement and affect a state coup, one
3 which had already been carried out, in fact. But now what they were
4 trying to do was to finish it off and that this Rump Presidency would be
5 composed of the Serb block where Branko Kostic represented Montenegro and
6 took over the functions of the vice-president, acting as the presiding
7 officer and rendered decisions that which completely illegal and
8 illegitimate. In other words, what they were introducing at that point
9 was a state of emergency, in fact.
10 Q. And roughly when did the Rump Presidency take hold? Again we'll
11 look at this a little bit more when we look at what happened to your
12 Presidency in detail, but when did the Rump Presidency take hold?
13 A. It took hold approximately a month after the fact that nobody had
14 responded to my invitation to attend the Brioni Presidency meeting.
15 Q. Along the way, because this is all in 1991 and we're passing
16 through the summer of 1991, did the Croatian government express any views
17 about the activation of the Supreme Command headquarters, the body you
18 referred to not so very long ago?
19 A. Yes. Both the government and the president of Croatia,
20 Dr. Tudjman, reacted, and they did not accept the realisation of that
21 particular plan, that is to say that the Supreme Command Headquarters be
22 legalised because the institution itself was illegal, unlawful.
23 Q. Were protests or records of their position made in some way?
24 A. Yes, that's right. It was recorded, and I think that those
25 documents can be accessed.
1 Q. Still in the summer of 1991, did you have an exchange with
2 Kadijevic about his attitude towards the accused?
3 A. It is interesting to note that I as the President of the
4 Presidency of the SFRY was never able to get General Kadijevic as the
5 Defence Minister to come to my cabinet, to my office, and have talks with
6 me. The only time we met would be at Presidency meetings. However, I did
7 wish the problems to be solved in a political fashion and wanted to
8 exclude the army from the political resolution and denouement of the
9 crisis that Yugoslavia was faced with. And so I said that I would be
10 coming to the cabinet of the Ministry of Defence, that is to say General
11 Kadijevic, and he did receive me on several occasions in his cabinet.
12 When I asked him why he was doing what he was doing to the
13 advantage of Milosevic and his plans, why he was furthering them, he said
14 that he cannot discuss this with anyone else in Serbia because all of them
15 were worse than Milosevic. And what I in fact said to him then was that
16 the army was working to promote Slobodan Milosevic's plans, that is, to
17 plot the borders of a greater Serbia. And he said expressly, "While I am
18 alive, the Yugoslav army will protect Yugoslavia." And I said to him,
19 "Who knows whether you will be alive because a Greater Serbia is being
20 formed and a Greater Serbia does not need the Yugoslav army. It is being
21 Serbicised, and it will soon be the Serb army and you won't represent one
22 single thing in that army. You will represent nothing. "
23 Q. Did he challenge your characterisation of what was being done at
24 that time?
25 A. No. He was persistent in wishing to convince me that the army was
1 in fact separating the warring parties. That quite simply was not true.
2 What the army was doing was supplying, arming, and paying all those who
3 were attacking the institutions of Croatian power and authority.
4 Q. You were now president. We'll catch the -- we'll get the times of
5 your Presidency shortly, but you were now president of the Presidency.
6 Who or what was Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces under the
8 A. Under the constitution, the Supreme Commander of the armed forces
9 was the Presidency of Yugoslavia, and the president of the Presidency was
10 the personification of that office.
11 Q. How did Kadijevic react to any attempts that you made as president
12 of that Presidency to intervene in the activities of the JNA?
13 A. Well, when I persistently called for the withdrawal of the army to
14 barracks, General Adzic as the head of the General Staff of the Yugoslav
15 army, as well as Minister Kadijevic, did not accept this, nor did they
16 take it into account, take much account of it. What they were doing was
17 working along Slobodan Milosevic's arms, because the army kept becoming
18 the Serbian army more and more. The Slovenians had stepped down, the
19 Albanians had stepped down, the Bosniaks had stepped down. They had left.
20 So at all practical intents and purposes it was a Serbian army under the
21 name and guise of the Yugoslav army, whereas it was an army that was loyal
22 exclusively to Slobodan Milosevic until the very end.
23 Q. Let's now turn to paragraph 18 to a particular incident which
24 happened a little earlier. The meeting at Karadjordjevo. You weren't
25 present at that meeting. Did you have any knowledge of its being about to
1 happen before it happened?
2 A. Well, yes. As the organs of the Krajina, as it was called,
3 continued their provocations and the representatives of the Yugoslav army,
4 those from the KOS, the counter intelligence service, took part in all
5 these provocations and in fact prepared, laid the ground for the army's
6 arrival. I told Borislav Jovic, I said to him, "Why are they doing this?
7 Why are they arming the Serbs? Because there'll be an immanent
8 catastrophe. And if a real full-fledged war breaks out, then the 10 per
9 cent of Serbs cannot stand up to the rest of Croatia."
10 So what I said to him was you were cutting your nose to spite your
11 face and working towards the disadvantage of your compatriots in Croatia.
12 Borislav Jovic said to me, "We're not interested in Croatia.
13 We're not interested in the Serbs in Croatia. What we are interested in
14 is Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say the 66 per cent of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina which was Serb land. It was Serb land and it will
16 remain Serb land."
17 Now, I said, "If you're not interested in Croatian territory or
18 the Serbs in Croatia as Croatian citizens, then let's sit down to the
19 negotiating table and identify the problems and solve them politically.
20 Are you in favour," I said, "That you, Tudjman, and Slobodan Milosevic sit
21 down to the negotiating table to see what we're up against and let the
22 problem of Bosnia be solved in the United Nations? Because Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina is part, a constitutive element of the federation. " He said,
24 "I agree, but I have to ask Milosevic."
25 Some time passed and he informed me that Milosevic agreed to this
1 but he added that anywhere in the country or outside the country that we
2 decide to hold this meeting he would come there. I went to Zagreb,
3 conveyed this message to President Tudjman, and he too agreed that the
4 four of us meet.
5 Now, as the meeting did not actually take place because Tudjman
6 said to me, "I'll tell you when a good time for that is so you can relay
7 this to the two in Belgrade," but Tudjman never called me and the meeting
8 never came about, never materialised. But when I visited Zagreb, we did
9 have a meeting in the members of the top political echelon and Tudjman
10 said he was going to a meeting in Karadjordjevo because he wished to have
11 a tete-a-tete meeting with Milosevic to hear what the other side wanted.
12 So Tudjman didn't take me there, and Milosevic didn't take Borislav Jovic
13 there. So the two of them met. Now, what they caused there is something
14 that I cannot say with any degree of certainty, but I can say with
15 certainty what Tudjman conveyed to us when he came back from
16 Karadjordjevo, because we were waiting for him the entire day.
17 Let me also emphasise one more point. Up until Karadjordjevo,
18 Tudjman had always been in favour of Bosnia and Herzegovina remaining one
19 entity. That was his involvement. That was his position. That was what
20 he wanted to do for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those were his views beforehand.
21 But after that particular meeting, he changed his opinion. He had a whole
22 about turn in his opinion. And quite obviously Milosevic convinced him
23 that Bosnia could be divided up. And Tudjman told us we would be getting
24 Cazin Kladusa or, rather, the Banovina borders dating back to 1938, plus
25 Cazin, Kladusa, and Bihac. And he said Milosevic had hold him, "Franjo,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you take Cazin, Kladusa and Bihac. That is what is called the Turkish
2 Croatia. I don't need that. So you can have that." And then the -- this
3 was put into practice. Fikret Abdic then proclaimed Western Bosnia as an
4 autonomous region. We saw that on that level something was quite
5 obviously being done.
6 Q. Before I move from Karadjordjevo, how soon in the press and the
7 media was there ever any discussion of what may have happened there?
8 A. Well, for quite some time the public did not know what was
9 discussed in Karadjordjevo, but it is quite clear -- it was quite clear
10 from what was happening in the field, on the ground, in Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 later on the Republika Srpska was proclaimed et cetera, and on the other
12 side the Croats proclaimed Herceg-Bosna. So that allowed one to conclude
13 that what was in fact in play was the carving up of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Yes. But --
15 A. Although at the beginning --
16 Q. I just wanted to check with you really. When, a date will do
17 roughly, when was the meeting at Karadjordjevo and what may have been
18 discussed there first in the public domain, in newspapers or discussed on
19 television, something of that sort? How long afterwards?
20 A. The meeting was held at the end of March 1991, and people began to
21 talk about this quite some time later, perhaps one or one and a half years
23 Q. Right. And then it was talked about publicly. Was there ever any
24 challenge or denial by the accused at that sort of time to the suggestion
25 that there had been this sort of discussion at Karadjordjevo?
1 A. Well, he always denied, at least as far as I was able to read,
2 that any talks had taken place in Karadjordjevo with respect to the
3 division of Bosnia, the carving up of Bosnia. However, the situation on
4 the ground was quite different. It indicated that the talks were held.
5 And proof of this, evidence of this, is that the commission dealing with
6 borders and new maps and plotting the new architecture of the entire
7 region of the former Yugoslavia, which means Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
8 that they were elaborated because Smilja Abromov on behalf of Milosevic,
9 came to Zagreb during the war and the representatives of Croatia would go
10 to Belgrade. So that was covert meetings, secret meetings, but it did
11 leak out into the public that these commissions were in fact functioning
12 and that these discussions were being held both in Belgrade and Zagreb.
13 Some members of that commission tendered their resignations who did not
14 agree to what was being said at these negotiations, et cetera.
15 Q. You've covered, therefore, the Presidency and some of its actions.
16 We'll look in due course at the Rump Presidency. We will now look just in
17 a little more detail at your Presidency of that Presidency, your role as
18 president. Much of this we've covered already.
19 You were entitled to take office on what date in 1991, if you can
21 A. On the 15th of May, 1991.
22 Q. In fact, as a result of things that were done, you were only able
23 to take up office when?
24 A. Only two months later, because the Serbian bloc prevented my
25 election. That is to say in the rules of procedure, it was stipulated
1 that the president should be elected, but the entire mechanism was
2 established in such a way as to render this mere form. However, the
3 mechanism was such that nobody else could have been elected apart from the
4 person designated by the Republic and the persons whose term it was to be
5 both president and vice-president. So this was an automatic procedure.
6 But despite that, the Serbian bloc blocked it.
7 Q. You eventually took up office. You stayed as president - this is
8 a matter of public record, I think - until the 5th of December, 1991,
9 office which would have you much of your time in Belgrade. In fact, you
10 left Belgrade part way through this term of office on what date, please,
11 Mr. Mesic?
12 A. It was in the middle of September, because there was no
13 possibility for the normal functioning -- for me to function normally in
14 Belgrade after that.
15 Q. Did you have any security concerns for yourself at that stage or
17 A. Yes. I was afraid for my own safety. But I must say that there
18 were professionals working in the security service in Belgrade, and the
19 ones who came from Zagreb too. So that I was relatively safe and secure.
20 But I was also sure that they wouldn't kill me because then they would
21 have to recognise that they had effected a coup, coup d'etat so that was
22 the one of the reasons why I felt safe as well.
23 Q. You've already told us a little of your efforts to hold active
24 meetings of the Presidency away from Belgrade. Can we just look at a
25 couple of documents which may exemplify what was happening. In Exhibit
1 328, volume 2, tab 20, document 3001, and if the usher would -- thank you
2 very much -- distribute and just place the English version on the overhead
3 projector to save time.
4 By -- this is a document of October 1991, and we can see at its
5 foot that it comes from that man Anton Stari who I said we'd refer to
6 again, the General secretary. And it comes from the Presidency. And the
7 document is to this effect, that there was a session on the 1st of
8 October, and it then says: "We hereby inform you that, pursuant to
9 Articles 3 and 25 of the rules of procedure of the Presidency of the SFRY,
10 the Vice-President Dr. Kostic has called the 144th session for the 2nd of
11 October." The agenda is said to be certain issues for the domain of
12 national defence. It then says, "Members of the Supreme Command Staff,"
13 that body again, "will participate in the session," and so on.
14 Your comments on this document, please, which was forwarded to you
15 I think by Anton Stari.
16 A. I received this invitation to this session only so that it would
17 appear to be legitimate and legal. In fact, what they were doing was what
18 I explained before. They had performed a coup d'etat, and it was the
19 Serbian bloc that was in control of the situation. I received this
20 invitation only for form's sake. It is stated here that the staff of the
21 Supreme Command would be present. This was an illegal institution, and
22 they were not supposed to attend a session of this kind.
23 Q. So is this now, then, the Rump Presidency in operation or not?
24 A. Yes. This is the Rump Presidency. And their decisions could not
25 be binding upon anyone, because the Rump Presidency did not have a quorum.
1 So any decision made by them could not be binding upon anyone, either in
2 Croatia or in the whole of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. The next exhibit, please.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mesic, if you could note the handwritten margin
5 on the top left side. Can you tell us whose handwriting this is?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The session was concluded at 17
7 hours, sent later. I think this is the handwriting of Anton Stari, but I
8 can't be certain.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. But the handwritten margin that we saw
10 before, you disagreed to some decision. Was that yours? It was tab -- I
11 don't remember the tab. In the document.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I apologise. This could also
15 be a note made by my advisor, or it could have been made by Anton Stari.
16 Very often I had a separate and dissenting opinion to some conclusions.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Thank you.
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. The next exhibit then, Exhibit 328, tab 23, documents C3204. A
20 couple of days later, the 3rd of October. I beg your pardon. Not a
21 couple of days later.
22 The document actually reads 1993, but I think that must be an
23 error. It's 1991. And we can see there from the body of the document.
24 So perhaps our page could be amended.
25 This again comes from Anton Stari to yourself as president of the
1 Presidency. It deals with the session held on the 3rd of October of 1991
2 where the Presidency adopted the decision on work and method of making
3 decisions of the Presidency at the time of an immediate threat of war.
4 It goes on to say: "With regard to the implementation of this
5 decision, it was concluded that all members of the Presidency should be
6 informed that the Presidency will be in continuous session in Belgrade for
7 the period of the immediate threat of war. As a result, it is imperative
8 that members of the Presidency be present in Belgrade if possible or at a
9 distance which would enable work to commence within two hours of convening
10 the session.
11 "Given the above, it's necessary to take measures through your
12 office and the head of Protocol for you to come to -- come or be taken to
14 The next sentence: "It was also concluded at the session that
15 those Presidency members who are absent should be informed of this
16 decision upon their arrival in Belgrade as the decision cannot be sent by
17 fax owing to its level of secrecy."
18 You received this at some stage from Anton Stari. Your other
19 comments on this document, please, Mr. Mesic.
20 A. This is only proof that the whole decision was made in order to
21 exclude representatives of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
22 Macedonia from the work of this body. The representative of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina happened to be in Belgrade at the time, so he was able to
24 attend. But Slovenia and Croatia could not be represented. There was no
25 way they could be represented. And this was in fact the intention.
1 The Rump Presidency could not make decisions that would be binding
2 upon anyone.
3 Q. You've already explained your efforts to convene meetings else
4 where. Do you say that it would have been possible for the whole
5 Presidency to meet in other places such as the islands of -- or the island
6 of Brioni?
7 A. Everybody could have come to Brioni.
8 Q. Let's go back just a few days and back in the bundle to Exhibit
9 328, tab 19, document C2998. See how you were at the time approaching
10 this problem.
11 In this communication of the 30th of September signed by yourself
12 to Mr. Anton Stari, that General Secretary who was communicating with you
13 from time to time, you said as follows: "In connection with the unlawful
14 and illegal convening of a session of the Presidency of the SFRY, I ask
15 you to inform all those summoned of my opposition.
16 "I am prepared to call a session of the Presidency in any place on
17 condition that it is reachable by transport.
18 "Please inform the members of the Presidency that the president is
19 not prevented from performing his duties for a long time if the JNA
20 prevents his coming to Belgrade.
21 "Participation in the unlawful session of the Presidency shall be
22 considered adherence to a military putsch."
23 What impediments were there in the way of your travelling to
24 Belgrade or elsewhere in Serbia?
25 A. The Yugoslav army had blocked all roads and all airports so that I
1 was unable to go from Zagreb to Belgrade. I could, however, have gone to
2 Brioni because Brioni was accessible to me. These islands were also
3 accessible to everyone else.
4 Q. Did you ever get any reaction from the Rump Presidency, as they
5 were to be described, to the suggestion that these sessions of the
6 Presidency were joining or belonging to a military putsch?
7 A. I did not hear their comments, but it was quite obvious that the
8 Rump Presidency was implementing the decisions of Slobodan Milosevic and
9 Slobodan Milosevic only.
10 Q. In which case at paragraph 22 of the summary, let's look at just a
11 little bit more about the Rump Presidency.
12 Did you learn -- did you learn of changes in the Presidency rules
13 and procedures purported to be made by this Serbian bloc or Rump
15 A. Yes, I did, because my advisor was in Belgrade, and he kept me
16 informed of all developments and everything that was done by the Rump
17 Presidency including the rules of procedure. This was simply a
18 continuation of what the army had started in agreement with Slobodan
19 Milosevic, that is, the implementation of a coup d'etat.
20 Q. Can we now turn to Exhibit 328, volume 1, tab 12, Exhibit C2911.
21 I'm sorry. Not Exhibit C2911, document C2911.
22 This is a document that you saw at the time, which you've been
23 shown again recently in preparation for giving evidence here, being a
24 proposal, I think undated, for amendments of the rules of procedure of the
25 Presidency of the SFRY.
1 A. Yes. This is correct. As can be seen from this, all this was
2 done in order to exclude the president from the work of the Presidency.
3 Q. Just dealing with the document itself and looking at the version
4 you have in your hands and seeing that it has some lines on it and the
5 word STR 22 or the letters STR 22, meaning page, I think, is that writing
6 you recognise or not?
7 A. It is the same handwriting, page 22. This is part of a larger
9 Q. Thank you. This text or this part of the larger text suggests
10 that after paragraph 2 of Article 25 a new paragraph should be added to
11 the effect that if the President of the Presidency does not call a session
12 within a required or proposed period, the vice-president shall convene a
14 The next paragraph says: If even the vice-president doesn't
15 convene a session, then the member of the Presidency who requested it may
16 consult other members about the holding of a session, and if there's a
17 majority of members of the Presidency agree, then he shall convene a
18 session of the Presidency at which he shall preside.
19 Do you have any comments on those changes or proposed changes in
20 the constitution and what they were designed to achieve?
21 A. These are changes in the rules of procedure of the Presidency of
22 the SFRY, and obviously the only intention was to have the first part
23 implemented. The rest is simply there for show, to make it appear that
24 somebody else could also convene a session of the Presidency. However,
25 this never happened, nor did they ever really consider it happening.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Staying with the period of time, the autumn and coming winter of
2 1991 but now dealing with matters more generally of finance, can you help
3 us, please, with what you knew of the financing of the JNA? From what
4 budget did it come, and who had control over that budget?
5 First of all, how was it financed, the JNA?
6 A. The JNA was financed from the federal budget. This was from the
7 revenue of the federation. The original revenue of the federation.
8 Croatia and other republics were against this because they wanted to keep
9 the original revenue within the republics.
10 The other part of the financing of the JNA came from contributions
11 by the republics while the third part came from an economic system that
12 was owned by the army. The army had its own companies and farms, and
13 these were located on territories all over the former Yugoslavia.
14 Q. Had there been a time when Croatia's contributions to the
15 republican budget for the purposes of the JNA ceased?
16 A. Croatia made this decision at a point in time when the army was in
17 the service of the aggressors, when it was working on creating a Greater
18 Serbia, and so Croatia could no longer continue paying this army to its
19 own detriment.
20 Q. Did that lead to the need for loans for financing the army, and if
21 so, where did those loans come from?
22 A. The army was certainly in a difficult financial situation. It
23 favoured Slobodan Milosevic and Greater Serbia because it expected to find
24 in them a sponsor that would make the continued existence of the army
25 possible, because the republics would no longer finance such a large and
1 unwieldy army. They wanted to create a situation in which they could
2 obtain loans, and this was in fact done. They -- it was financed from the
3 primary issue of money and also from loans abroad and with the national
5 Q. So far the National Bank of Yugoslavia is concerned, who had to
6 approve loans for the purposes of the JNA?
7 A. The counsel of governors of the national bank had to do that.
8 Q. By the time that we are dealing with, the middle of 1991 or late
9 in 1991, were Croatian representatives still on the board of governors or
11 A. No. Croatia no longer had its representative there.
12 Q. Who had control over that board of governors whose approval was
13 required to lend money for the purposes of the JNA?
14 A. It was Slobodan Milosevic who controlled the national bank and its
15 functioning, just as he had control over the JNA.
16 Q. Can you help us, Mr. Mesic, with what in mid-1991 were the
17 currency -- the foreign currency reserves in the national bank? What
18 order were they?
19 A. I have two different pieces of information. One was that there
20 were $8 billion of currency reserves. The other was that there were $12
21 billion of foreign currency reserves. And then I received yet another
22 piece of information that this amount was $10 billion. So the truth might
23 be somewhere in the middle, in between.
24 Q. By whom had that money been provided?
25 A. The foreign currency reserves were abroad. They were in the
1 national bank, and it was the Federation or the Federal Executive Council
2 and the Ministry of Finance that had access to these funds. Part of these
3 funds were being spent in such a way that we in the Presidency had no
4 control over this. I have to say that these were not simply funds from
5 the budget, funds belonging to the state but also parastate institutions
6 such as the Chamber of Commerce and other institutions.
7 Q. Who'd actually provided the money? And where did it come from?
8 Was it a taxation, federal taxation? Or had it come the states or the
9 autonomous regions or where?
10 A. The largest part of these funds came from Croatia, because this
11 was hard currency, and from tourism. And Croatia was the republic that
12 had the most tourism.
13 Q. And for what was that money used in the war or after the war?
14 A. It could only have been used to wage the war and to support the
15 regime of Slobodan Milosevic.
16 Q. And do you know, just dealing with one particular item of
17 expenditure, how the salaries of armies of the Republika Srpska Krajina or
18 the Republika Srpska were paid?
19 A. In view of the fact that the officers, the non-commissioned
20 officers and many of the soldiers came from the JNA, it was the JNA that
21 paid them. They continued to pay them even after the army of the
22 so-called Krajina no longer existed, because these people went to the
23 territory of Serbia and they were supported later on also. It was
24 official Serbia that gave its blessing to all this.
25 Q. We now look at one contemporaneous document dealing with money,
1 Exhibit 328, volume 1, tab 1, document C78. This is dated, as we can see,
2 the end of September 1991. So you've gone to Zagreb, are no longer in a
3 position to go to Belgrade. It comes again from Stari. It goes to
4 yourself and to other members of the Presidency and sets out item 3 of the
5 order of business for the session to be called on the 1st of October. It
6 deals with the proposal of the Federal Executive Council, that the
7 Presidency proposed to the Assembly the law on the sources of funds for
8 financing certain national defence requirements.
9 "Further to this, the Federal Secretariat for National Defence has
10 proposed a new paragraph or law," and then this quotation, the proposed
12 "Until the determination of funds within the meaning of paragraph
13 2 of this Article, the National Bank of Yugoslavia may make an advance
14 payment to the Federation to finance the Yugoslav People's Army."
15 So that's the bank, that you say, was in the control of the
16 accused. Is that right, Mr. Mesic?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. We can now go to volume 2 of Exhibit 328, tab 28. At the same
19 time, now a document of the 1st of October. I shan't go through all of
20 this document to save time. And you can see at its end that this is
21 signed by the Vice-President, Dr. Kostic, and is the draft minutes of a
22 meeting -- of the meeting that was held.
23 If the usher would be good enough -- I'm sorry not to have
24 provided, having more preparation, I think it's as to page -- well, the
25 page numbers are on the bottom. Page 7, please.
1 Which in the original, Mr. Mesic, is page 5 for yourself. This
2 record of the meeting records as follows, item 3, just a little higher up.
3 Thank you. "At the proposal of the Federal Executive Council, the
4 Presidency discussed the draft law on sources of funds for financing
5 certain national defence needs in 1991."
6 And then we see that the Presidency endorsed the draft law with a
7 proviso to the effect that until funds are approved in the manner
8 described in paragraph 2 of this Article, the national bank may make
9 advance payments to the Federation.
10 And then it's reported that the Presidency members Tupurkovski and
11 Bogicevic asked to delay their positions on the draft law until the next
12 day pending consultation was their republics. Presidency member
13 Dr. Tupurkovski reported he was in agreement while Presidency member
14 Bogicevic still not reported his position.
15 Does it appear that the change, Mr. Mesic, was indeed effected or
16 purported to be effected?
17 A. This is in fact proof that the war was financed through the
18 national bank. I'm referring to the war waged by the Yugoslav army in
19 order to create a Greater Serbia.
20 Q. Very well. Now, with these activities going on, can we look,
21 please, at what reaction there was? Can we come back, please, I'm afraid
22 to volume 1, tab 6. That's volume 1 of Exhibit 328, tab 6, document C251.
23 This is -- although the date is illegible, a press communique that
24 may relate. Just see what it says in the first two paragraphs.
25 It sets out at a session of the Presidency chaired by Kostic,
1 while setting the agenda it was noted that, and then there's some
2 illegible words, the situation in the country to be discussed in its
3 entirety with emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina between the -- because
4 the top representatives of this republic were absent due to their
5 expectations that the Presidency would accept their proposal to hold the
6 session on this matter in Sarajevo. Member of the Presidency, Bogicevic,
7 proposed that the session of the Presidency on the situation in this
8 republic be held in Sarajevo which was not accepted. It was concluded
9 that the political and security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina should
10 be discussed in conjunction with the leadership of this republic as soon
11 as possible.
12 And then this: "The Presidency was informed by the relevant
13 federal departments that the political and security situation in the
14 country was extremely difficult and dramatic and there was a danger of
15 full-scale civil war."
16 If we can go to the next page just for one paragraph, please. In
17 the middle of the page.
18 "Additionally the Presidency has established that the work of
19 almost all federal agencies is blocked as well. The work of the Assembly
20 has been rendered impossible." And then this says this: "The Presidency
21 has decided to initiate the holding of expanded sessions with the most
22 responsible federal and republican leaders to discuss the conditions for a
23 cease-fire agreement, the functioning of federal agencies, initiatives
24 taken to date on the future of Yugoslavia, and the results to date of the
25 work on the international conference."
1 Can you help us at all with the probable date of this communique,
2 which I think itself is not dated, and then give us your comments on the
3 passages I've just read out?
4 A. I believe that this was also held in October, the month of
5 October, judging by the contents.
6 Q. Your observations, if any, on the passages that I've read insofar
7 as they don't simply speak for themselves?
8 A. Oh, they do speak for themselves. There is no need to make any
10 Q. Then can we move to the next document which is at tab 7 in part 1
11 of Exhibit 328, document C253. The same approximate time but this one
12 dated the 1st of October.
13 Now, is this a document you've seen before coming to look at
14 documents before giving evidence or not?
15 A. Yes, I did see it.
16 Q. We can see it's a report by the armed forces of the high command
17 staff, Belgrade, the 1st of October, where the report is issued to
18 yourself. No, I beg your pardon. To the president of the Republic of
19 Croatia and to various others.
20 It suggests that authorities and armed formations of the Republic
21 of Croatia are completely ignoring all accomplished cease-fire agreements,
22 truces and so on.
23 Next paragraph: "Instead of being cancelled, blockade of military
24 units is getting stronger. The army is being deprived of food and water."
25 Asserts that cold-blooded crimes are being committed on JNA members of
1 which domestic and world public were acquainted, there being maltreatment
2 and harassment which could not be tolerated.
3 There is then a warning. And we can see on the signature block it
4 comes from the armed forces high command staff. But the warning is to
5 this effect: "For every attacked and posed facility owned by the Yugoslav
6 People's Army, we will immediately destroy one facility that has vital
7 importance for the Republic of Croatia.
8 "For every attacked and possessed garrison, we will destroy vital
9 facility in the town where the garrison is located. At the same time,
10 this is a warning to civilians to retreat from these places."
11 That's all I need read. The rest can be read. What do you say on
12 this document, its purpose and effect on the 1st of October of 1991,
13 Mr. Mesic?
14 A. At any rate, this is not a warning. This is an ultimatum. It
15 calls for retaliation for every destroyed facility, facility -- or,
16 rather, for every destroyed or taken over facility of the Yugoslav
17 People's Army, a facility that is of vital importance of Croatia or for
18 the town where the mentioned garrison is will be destroyed. That is quite
19 clear. It is an ultimatum and the realisation of the military coup that
20 was under way.
21 Q. We see that it's addressed to the president of Croatia, President
22 Tudjman as it then was, and of course we know and are going to hear
23 elsewhere of what happened on the State of Croatia. Did President Tudjman
24 complain about what was happening on his territory or on your territory at
25 that time?
1 A. The Croatian government and the president of Croatia took every
2 measure to make all parties concerned aware of what is going on and where
3 the Yugoslav army is involved. We see this ultimatum, and we see that it
4 was put forth by the Supreme Command Staff. I emphasise yet again that
5 this is an illegal institution and that this was part of the plan and
6 scenario that came from the staff of Slobodan Milosevic.
7 Q. Can we now turn, and I'm sorry, it involves changing to volume 2
8 of 328, to your own reaction. And it's tab 21. The document C3009, which
9 was exhibited as Exhibit 106 in Dokmanovic.
10 I'd ask the witness to look at it, notwithstanding that, today.
11 This is a document signed by yourself to the Presidency in Belgrade
12 recording that you've been given an invitation to the 144th session of the
13 Presidency called illegally, as you set out or assert. And you then set
14 out the vice-president with members of the Serbian bloc is involved in a
15 military putsch and is trying to obtain intentionally by unlawful
16 manipulation to get the Presidency to pass a decision legalising unlawful
17 and unconstitutional decisions.
18 You expressed surprise that Bogicevic and Tupurkovski have joined
19 the putsch, but you end your letter in this way: "I must once more that
20 the JNA which seeks to have its financing put on the agenda is preventing
21 by means of tanks on the highway and a blockade of air traffic, the legal
22 and legitimate Presidency of the Presidency," and that is yourself, "from
23 attending the sessions."
24 Did you sent that protest or that complaint?
25 A. That is correct. I emphasised in this letter what this was all
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 about but I also received a telephone call from Bogic Bogicevic who said
2 me that he decided not to go along with the military coup, that he only
3 attended a session of the Presidency once to see what it was all about,
4 but he did not vote.
5 As for Vasil Tupurkovski, I wrote a letter to Gligorov, President
6 of Macedonia asking him whether the fact that Vasil Tupurkovski came meant
7 that he was joining in the military coup. And Kira informed me that Vasil
8 Tupurkovski would no longer take part in the Presidency meetings.
9 Q. Now, you've been telling us what your views were, what your
10 current understanding of the role of the accused is. Let's now look at
11 the next document which is tab 22 of volume 2 of Exhibit 328, document
12 C3017 for your contemporaneous expressions of opinion, this document being
13 108 in Dokmanovic.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we must get this in some sort of regular
15 fashion. Are you asking for the Dokmanovic package to be also exhibited?
16 MR. NICE: I think it's better to do that in case there are some
17 additional exhibits that we haven't looked at here, yes, please. Perhaps
18 it could be given a separate exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit 329.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. This document, then, tab 22 of our Exhibit 328, is a letter dated
22 the 2nd of October to Mr. Perez de Cuellar, the then Secretary General of
23 the United Nations, and you say that you're forwarding the ultimatum to
24 the Republic of Croatia, proof that the army is operating autonomously and
25 outside the framework of the existing institutions.
1 Is this the document that we've been looking at a little earlier,
2 Mr. Mesic?
3 A. Yes. This is an authentic document.
4 Q. And you go on to say: "The army is, by the tank blockade of the
5 highway and by closing all the airports in the country, making it
6 impossible for me as the legal and legitimate president of the Presidency
7 of the SFRY to come to Belgrade.
8 "The aggression of Serbia and the Yugoslav army, which has become
9 only Serbian, can be stopped only by recognising the new reality, because
10 it is evident that Yugoslavia as it used to be does not exist any more.
11 "The Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic has torn down the
12 Yugoslav federation.
13 "The only way out now is the recognition of the new subjects
14 within their borders, because otherwise the war, crimes and destruction
15 will go on, and the flames of war that have already been started by the
16 last Bolshevik bastion, Slobodan Milosevic's Serbia, will be spread to the
17 wider European area.
18 "Do something to stop the war in Yugoslavia, because you are the
19 one who can do it."
20 So we see here contemporaneously your expression of view that the
21 army has become only Serbian and that it was the accused who had torn down
22 the Yugoslav Federation.
23 A. Yes, that's what I pointed out here. But I also pointed out that
24 the flames of war could spread to the entire region and to other parts
25 too, because if Milosevic were to attain his war objective that all Serbs
1 live in the same state, namely that he take over the territories of
2 others, then others in Europe could also try to accomplish that and that
3 would be a war conflagration that would encompass all of Europe.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Robinson, please.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Secretary General must have been grateful for
6 the confidence you expressed in him. Did you get a reply to this letter?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but I called on the Secretary
8 General myself, and I said to him that international forces should be sent
9 in, which indeed was done later. However, I believe that had
10 international forces been brought in then when it became clear that
11 Milosevic had decided on the war option, had the international forces come
12 to the boundary between Serbia and Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and
13 Serbia, there would have been no war. However, regrettably the
14 intervention of the international community came rather late.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. We've seen in one of the -- sorry.
17 MR. NICE: Is Your Honour finished?
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Go ahead.
19 MR. NICE: Thank you.
20 Q. We've seen in one of the earlier documents that there was a
21 suggestion that the Rump Presidency as you've described or as it's
22 described would hold enlarged conferences. Did it in fact do that? Did
23 it incorporate other members or purported members in its meetings?
24 A. A few times meetings were held, meetings of the Presidency that
25 were attended by Bogic Bogicevic, and Vasil Tupurkovski. However, after
1 my intervention, they did not come. They no longer took part in the work
2 of the Rump Presidency. That made it clear that they did not accept the
3 military coup that Milosevic had effected through the army and the
5 Q. We look at -- I'm sorry, we're changing volumes again.
6 JUDGE MAY: Before we do, it's quarter past. It may be a
7 convenient time. We'll adjourn now, 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. We're on paragraph 28 of the summary. And, Mr. Mesic, can we
13 look, please, together at tab 13 in volume 1 of Exhibit 328, document
14 C2916, which are the minutes of the 144th, as described, sitting of the
15 Presidency, or draft minutes, to be precise.
16 We can put the first -- not the first page, the first substantial
17 page on the overhead projector. It's actually page 2. Thank you very
19 We see, Mr. Mesic, that Branko Kostic chaired the meeting. We can
20 pick up who was present, including Jovic. Under the agenda we see that
21 item 1 is an agreement on ensuring continuity of the work of the
22 Presidency based on conclusions adopted at its 143rd session regarding the
23 state of imminent threat of war."
24 Just one detail before we move on. Redrafting of rules and
25 procedure and the like, can you help us at all with, from your experience
1 or knowledge, who did the drafting or who really did the drafting of these
2 changes to procedure and rules?
3 A. This was done by the staff of the Presidency, and Anton Stari was
4 head of the staff of the Presidency.
5 Q. Where was the driving force or impulse for those changes? Where
6 did it come from? Do you know?
7 A. This came from Branko Kostic, and Branko Kostic carried out what
8 Slobodan Milosevic told him to do.
9 Q. Under item -- under the agenda then, we have that part. If we go
10 on then to item 2, some current issues from the domain of all People's
11 Defence it says this: "The Presidency noted that it had analysed the
12 domestic, political and security situation at its 143rd session on the 1st
13 of October and unanimously concluded that we were facing an all out civil
14 war and the country was in a state of imminent threat of war."
15 Underneath, "Proceeding from the above conclusion, the Presidency
16 noted that the requirements had been met for the Presidency to start
17 working and functioning as envisaged by the constitution in a state of
18 imminent threat o war." And over the page. It sets out various matters.
19 We can perhaps come to item 2 to save time, although I should perhaps
20 observe at the top of the page that the Slovene members were excluded from
21 the right to command the armed forces and that the Presidency would
22 continue to meet in Belgrade.
23 Then we see the next bit, item 2, "The Presidency listened to and
24 adopted the report by the Federal Secretary Kadijevic on the situation in
25 crisis." And a couple of paragraphs after that: "In this connection the
1 Presidency concluded that the specialist services of the Presidency would
2 analyse decrees or laws adopted and recommend to the Presidency possible
3 amendments to them ...."
4 Well, this declaration of the threat of war. Your general
5 observations, please, Mr. Mesic, on this document. If any. I mean, if
6 the document speaks for itself and there's nothing more you want to add,
7 we'll leave it there.
8 A. Well, I think that the document is self-evident, that this is only
9 a continuation of the coup that had been -- that had been effected and
10 that is now being completed.
11 Q. Then let us turn to a statement made by that same General
12 Kadijevic on the 3rd of October. It's tab 14 of Exhibit 328, document
13 C2918. It's a statement by the Secretary for National Defence. We shan't
14 read all of it to save time.
15 You can see some of the ways in which he expressed himself. First
16 of all, the one, two, three, four -- the fifth paragraph on the first page
17 says this: "The fascist regime in Croatia claims that we have occupied a
18 third of the Croatian territory on behalf of Serbia while individuals and
19 groups in other parts of the country, blinded by nationalism and their
20 lust for power under any cost, call us traitors."
21 This use of the word "fascist" in relation to Croatia, what effect
22 did that have or what did that reflect in the approach of the writer,
24 A. They wished to compromise the authorities in Croatia, but of
25 course quite certainly there were phenomena of this type in Croatia that
1 did not -- were not suited to Croatian interests. However, these
2 phenomena could not be eliminated by the use of the army and the
3 destruction of towns and killing of people.
4 Q. Let's read on with what he said, at the foot of the document --
5 the foot of the first page and over to the second. "Acting in accordance
6 with the decision of the Presidency, we had only one goal, to prevent the
7 bloody ethnic clashes and hinder the repetition of a genocide of the
8 Serbian people. To this end, we have engaged our main forces in the
9 crisis areas. To these areas we've also sent some of our forces from
10 other garrisons in Croatia and from other parts of the country which was
11 used by the local Ustasha authorities as a process for a general blockade
12 of the garrisons in other parts of Croatia as well, which lasted a couple
13 of days. Some of the garrisons were forcefully occupied with methods that
14 we have -- that have all the characteristics of genocide.
15 "What we have in the Republic of Croatia is neo-Naziism. It
16 presents at the moment the greatest threat to the Serbs in Croatia, but it
17 is also in direct opposition with the vital interest of the Croatian
18 people and all other peoples on the soil of Yugoslavia.
19 "At this moment, the army desires nothing else but to establish
20 control in the crisis areas, protects the Serbian population from
21 prosecution and extermination and to liberate the members of the Yugoslav
22 People's Army and their families. A precondition for this is the defeat
23 of the Ustasha forces. We still maintain our often repeated position that
24 all political questions must be resolved by dialogue ...."
25 Here he's using Second World War terminology and imagery. He's
1 referring to Serbian genocide and maintaining that they wanted to resolve
2 everything by dialogue. What is your view or what's your experience as to
3 whether they were attempting to resolving everything by dialogue,
4 Mr. Mesic?
5 A. If the use of tanks, the VBRs, helicopters and other equipment is
6 considered to be a dialogue, then that dialogue was highly effective.
7 Q. Do you have any comment to make on the use of this language
8 harking back to the Second World War?
9 A. I should just like to emphasise that this was an attempt to
10 compromise Croatia. Because from this text it is evident that not a
11 single stroke of the pen does General Kadijevic mention a single Croat
12 jeopardised. Towns were destroyed, villages were. The population was
13 expelled from its homes and houses, but General Kadijevic only protects
14 the Serb population, and this is proof and evidence that he is in fact
15 establishing Serb power and authority, because he makes no mention of
16 protecting the Croatian citizens or citizens of Croatia that are ethnic
17 Croats or belong to any other ethnic group except that he says in fact
18 that he has placed himself at the disposal of Slobodan Milosevic and the
19 creation of the boundaries of a Greater Serbia.
20 Let's move on one day to the 4th of October in volume 1, tab 11 of
21 Exhibit 328, document C2905, the minutes of the 145th sitting, said to be.
22 JUDGE MAY: Is there any reason, Mr. Nice, for the slightly
23 eccentric order in which these documents appear?
24 MR. NICE: The reason is, if I may say so, an absolutely sensible
25 one on the part of those who put these bundles together. The documents
1 are findable by the fact that the document numbers are sequential. Now,
2 you might say, but if we know that we're going to put documents in a
3 different order they could have all been done differently. The staff who
4 have to look after those, and those of us who call the witnesses know with
5 absolute certainty that whatever the order is on the night before we call
6 the witness we will probably have changed it the following morning and,
7 therefore, the certainty of being able to find documents, it's better to
8 put them in this order. We will, of course, wherever possible put
9 documents in an order that entirely tracks forecast evidence and normally
10 you'll only have one binder, but otherwise, I'm afraid it's down to our
11 unpredictability that the staff have done it this way to help you.
12 Q. This document, the draft minutes of the 145th sitting, Mr. Mesic.
13 You don't have to look at all of it, but we can see the composition of the
14 Presidency, and then perhaps we'll look at item 1, 2, and a little bit of
16 Item 1 says this: "Following a proposal by the Federal
17 Secretariat for National Defence, and pursuant to Article 316, the
18 Presidency adopted an order for the partial mobilisation to bring up to
19 strength commands, staffs, units, and institutions of the armed forces to
20 ensure combat readiness for the implementation of tasks and duties
21 stipulated." The order to take effect on the day of publication. And in
22 light of the above concluded that the Federal Secretariat for National
23 Defence would prepare a record for mobilisation and forward it to the
25 Over to item 2. I'm just going to read 2, as I say, and a little
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 bit of 4.
2 "The vice-president briefed the Presidency on documents relating
3 to control and command of the SFRY armed forces that he signed in the
4 absence of the president of the Presidency. In this connection, it was
5 concluded that the vice-president of the Presidency would continue to sign
6 documents from this domain in the absence of the president and inform the
7 Presidency later.
8 "Also, the Presidency was informed that in the absence of the
9 president, the vice-president signed decrees on awarding decorations to
10 active-duty personnel," and so on. "And in this connection, the
11 Presidency concluded that the vice-president would continue to sign
12 decrees on the award of decorations."
13 And then it deals with a similar power to execute the punishment
14 of stripping active-duty military personnel of rank.
15 Under item 4 but over at page at (C) and (D), the General
16 Secretary of the Presidency informed the Presidency that the president,
17 Stjepan Mesic, had convened a session on the 4th of October on Brioni. The
18 members of the Presidency who attended the session asked the secretary,
19 General Secretary, to inform the president that pursuant to the decision,
20 sessions would continue to be held in Belgrade. And then under (D) the
21 president was briefed on the contents of the note from the Presidency
22 Protocol office, including a request by the office to the president to
23 provide a plane from the federal government air service that would take
24 the president, that would be Mr. Mesic, to Strasbourg. The Presidency
25 pointed out that the visit and appearance of the president before the
1 European parliament in Strasbourg first needed to be approved at the
2 session of the Presidency, which would establish a platform and discuss a
3 possible speech that he could make on behalf of the Presidency.
4 Mr. Mesic, all this was happening at the time that you were in
5 Zagreb, but as we know, we can see, willing to travel to places accessible
6 to all members of the Presidency. Were you being genuinely afforded and
7 accorded the rights of president or not?
8 A. From all this it is quite clear to me that one could not attend
9 the Presidency meetings in Belgrade and that all this was done in order to
10 implement the war goals of Slobodan Milosevic. That is why the Rump
11 Presidency was set up to begin with, to pass all the decisions that came
12 from Milosevic. And this is common knowledge, and I have already spoken
13 about that and what was actually called for.
14 Q. Thank you. In the summary, we can turn over now to the role of
15 the JNA. Some of this has been dealt with already.
16 Mr. Mesic, you told us that the JNA favoured the accused, and you
17 spoke of the three limbs of the former Yugoslavia, describing how only the
18 JNA was left. Are you able to help us a little more with why it may have
19 been that the JNA favoured the accused and what they felt about their
20 future as you understood it on the disintegration of Yugoslavia?
21 A. First of all, Tito had left the arena, both bodily and otherwise,
22 and so that factor disappeared. And it was certainly a factor of
23 cohesion, because Tito with his charisma was a factor of cohesion. The
24 second factor was the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the party that
25 was multi-ethnic in composition and which was broken up by Slobodan
1 Milosevic in order to be able to realise his war goals. For this, he
2 needed the army, but the army was no longer able to be the integrational
3 factor, and that's why he did everything he could to have the people step
4 down from the army who were not willing to work towards Milosevic's goals,
5 which means that the Slovenians were thrown out, the Bosniaks, the
6 Albanians, the Macedonians, the Croats, and to all intents and purposes
7 the army became a Serbian army which in disciplined fashion put into
8 practice everything that the Supreme Command asked it to do and the
9 Supreme Command listened to the Supreme Commander, that is to say,
10 exclusively Slobodan Milosevic.
11 Q. In the -- in an earlier period, this is paragraph 30, if you can
12 help us, Mr. Mesic, in an earlier period, in the late 1980s and before we
13 come to the 1990s, did you have any sense of how the JNA felt generally
14 about coming change, whether it found that something with which it was
15 comfortable or not?
16 A. In the proposal for a federal agreement Croatia and Slovenia
17 started out from the fact that the republics themselves should be
18 proclaimed independent and autonomous; that is, to say to be proclaimed
19 internationally recognised subjects and that then a confederal agreement
20 should be signed. This agreement had to settle which jobs would be joint
21 ones, how much that would cost, and who would pay what. What was the key
22 to be applied and the rule of thumb to be applied for paying the joint
23 costs involved? We never got an answer to that. The army was interested
24 in finding a sponsor - and I've already spoken about this in my testimony
25 - and they saw it in Slobodan Milosevic, because they considered that he
1 would take over the greatest portion of the Yugoslav territory and that
2 that would be sufficient to maintain the army and military mechanism. And
3 that is why the army, from the very outset, took Milosevic's side and
4 executed all his tasks.
5 Q. And then coming particularly to events on Croatia's soil, and
6 we'll hear of course of this much more from direct witnesses or witnesses
7 observing things directly, but to your knowledge did it become involved in
8 incidents where non-Serbs suffered on Croatian soil?
9 A. The Yugoslav army took part in everything or, rather, that portion
10 of the army which was organised to do so, which meant the KOS. Wherever
11 there was an incident, before that the representatives of KOS or, rather,
12 General Vasiljevic, were in the field on the ground. They provoked
13 clashes and conflicts, which was the point at which the army was to step
14 in to allegedly separate the warring sides. This was quite transparent.
15 But the peaks of power in the army, and Milosevic with them, was convinced
16 that this could be put into practice and that they would be able to
17 deceive and trick both the international community and the Yugoslav public
18 at large and that they would throw Croatia down to its knees.
19 This was the thought prevailing in all the provocations, as was
20 particularly transparent in the provocation that took place in Pakrac.
21 Q. To which I turn, paragraph 32. In a sentence, because we've heard
22 about this already from elsewhere, Pakrac and Plitvice were examples of
23 what you've already described, I think.
24 A. In concrete terms, this is what happened in Pakrac: Part of the
25 police force rebelled, and they disarmed the other portion, other members
1 of the police force that remained loyal to the Ministry of the Interior of
2 Croatia. The Ministry of the Interior sent aid and assistance, and they
3 managed to disarm the ones that had rebelled and re-establish the work of
4 the police station and law and order prevailed. That's what happened.
5 Just like in any other legally organised state, the police force must be
6 there to enforce law and order. Nobody was wounded; nobody was killed.
7 And then for reasons that are not know to me, not clear to me, the
8 army went out on the spot, took out 20 tanks, brought out its troops who
9 were allegedly there to separate the warring parties. But there were no
10 conflicting parties. They said it was an internationality conflict.
11 There's no inter-ethnic conflict when the loyal policemen were mostly
12 Serbs and those who attacked the police station on the other side. What
13 it was was a clash between several groups of policemen. But as I say,
14 everything was solved above ground, lege artis. The army appeared, the
15 troops appeared and established control, and that was the
16 Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag boundary.
17 Q. And just yes or no to this: To your knowledge did the JNA have
18 any role in the arming of the SDS and Serb radicals as they may be, Serb
19 radicals? Just yes or no if you know if you know about that.
20 A. All the weapons came from the garrisons of the Yugoslav People's
22 Q. Thank you. In volume 2, a very quick look at a contemporaneous
23 statement of yours at tab 17 of Exhibit 328, document 2965. We see how
24 you were describing things yourself at the time.
25 In the English version-- well, in both versions it's simply the
1 last paragraph on the second page, the first page revealing that it's a
2 statement that you made in a hall in Belgrade on the 4th of August 1991.
3 And this is what you said on that occasion:
4 "Peace is not desired. Those who mention it most, really do not
5 want it. This war was announced three years ago, and now that
6 announcement is being realised. The parole is all Serbs in one country.
7 It is not about the rights of Serbs in Croatia but to join territories
8 with Serbia. Various groups in Croatia are being armed which are
9 attacking the Croatian authorities; they are financed and armed from
10 different sides, villages with about fifty houses have about 20-30
11 automatic guns, mortars, various weapons. The problem is more serious
12 than it seems at first. Many groups that are trained and armed have come
13 to Croatia. They are burning entire villages and killing. They are
14 attacking traffic patrols of the militia. The town of Brinje has just
15 been bombarded. They want the exiled from the towns so the territory of
16 Serbia can be expanded. The conflicted sides would have to accept the
17 agreement that there will be no expanding of the territory. The army
18 cannot solve a single problem by being present."
19 Mr. Mesic, was that a statement you made in August of 1991 and was
20 it true?
21 A. Yes, it's true. Those are my exact words. That is what the
22 situation was and that is what I said.
23 Q. Thank you. In order to move very swiftly, can we have a quick
24 look on the overhead projector at C340, which is tab 3 in the map book,
25 Exhibit 326, a map of the territory with the Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica
1 line on it.
2 MR. NICE: Further up, please. Further. With the black line.
3 Thank you very much.
4 Q. The significance of this line, Mr. Mesic, please?
5 A. Yes. That was the envisaged line or border, boundary of Greater
6 Serbia, Virovitica, Karlovac, Karlobag. It was an attempt to put it into
7 practice. And so we see that all the incidents took place in that area
8 precisely to achieve that border.
9 Q. Thank you. Let's turn is to some questions of notice, notice
10 given with an eye to what Generals Kadijevic and Adzic knew. In volume 2,
11 tab 27 of Exhibit 328, document C4278.
12 This, Mr. Mesic, is a document of yours of some significance in
13 the overall history. I will avoid reading all of it because I have an eye
14 on the clock. It can be read at leisure.
15 You send this to -- or sent this to the Federal Secretariat for
16 National Defence in Belgrade, and in the middle of the first page you deal
17 with the destruction of towns and villages being burnt on a daily basis.
18 You deal with the army functioning in an extra-institutional way, which
19 virtually means that there has been a military coup.
20 Six lines further on you speak of the army arming all renegade
21 groups and providing them with protection, mobilising the Serbs or
22 tolerating such mobilisation to the Territorial Defence, those units
23 functioning under JNA command.
24 Over the page just to pick up one example. Thank you.
25 You deal with Major General Vasiljevic transporting Milan Martic
1 who was captured in the -- in BH and for whom a warrant has been issued
2 for crimes he committed to Knin like a hero.
3 And we move to the last page to see what you ordered as president
4 of the Presidency.
5 MR. NICE: On the third sheet. Thank you very much.
6 Q. You ordered all units to withdraw to their barracks within 48
7 hours and particular units to withdraw from an area within 72 hours. You
8 went on to order that all military commanders who ignored or didn't abide
9 by the decision put themselves outside the law.
10 The effect of this order, please? Mr. Mesic, was this order
11 effective? What was its consequences, if any?
12 A. My order emanated from the agreement, and I quote that agreement.
13 It was the agreement on the cease-fire. The army had to follow my orders
14 because the agreement was a full-fledged one. It was in force. However,
15 the army did not state its views on this. All they did was issue
16 statements saying that they were implementing the constitution directly.
17 All they were in fact doing were listening to Slobodan Milosevic, and I
18 have already emphasised that several times.
19 Q. But we see from this particular order that you put them on notice
20 as to what you said was happening on the State of Croatia.
21 A. Yes. That's quite right, although they knew that full well
23 Q. And if we go to another document, again to look at it briefly,
24 tab 18 in Exhibit 328, document C2990. The same date. This time to the
25 Presidency itself, coming from Kadijevic, seeing what he has to say.
1 We can see that over at the second page, perhaps just paragraph 2,
2 is how he met the accusations that he plainly knew were being made.
3 MR. NICE: Second page, please, paragraph 2.
4 Q. "The accusation that the JNA is waging an undeclared war again the
5 Republic of Croatia is insulting. The JNA is acting in accordance with
7 And then paragraph 3: "The JNA does not bear responsibility for
8 human victims," and so on.
9 Paragraph 6: "There is not a single proof of the claim by the
10 president of the Presidency that many army commanders are not under the
11 control of higher commands," and so on.
12 But this document shows that he was aware of the complaints made,
13 does it not, Mr. Mesic?
14 A. Yes, of course he knew. And it was all part of a scenario.
15 Q. Thank you. Another topic briefly. Paramilitary groupings
16 operating in Croatian -- on Croatian territory. Were you aware at the
17 time of such groupings and did you have the names for any of them?
18 A. Certainly we knew that these groups were gathering, arming, and
19 obtaining logistical support from Serbia. They gathered together in
20 Serbia, some of them in Croatia, but many of them in Serbia. They arrived
21 bearing arms, and Serbia did nothing to stop those who were on their way
22 to Croatia to kill people and to destroy Croatian towns.
23 Q. On the territory of Croatia, did they act independently or were
24 they subordinated in any way to any other grouping? If so, to what?
25 A. It was quite evident that they were subordinated to the commands
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the Yugoslav army, because they carried out their tasks jointly, or,
2 rather, the ones went before and the other side followed them.
3 Q. Can you give us the names of any of the paramilitary groups of
4 which you were aware at the time? And if you can't it doesn't matter, but
5 if you can, please do so.
6 A. They were called the Serbian Guard, Dusan the Great, the Bozur or
7 Pianiz [phoen]. They arrived bearing different names, and they arrived as
8 military units. So it could cannot be said that Serbia did not know that
9 the army was mobilising and that well-armed and well-prepared, it was
10 crossing the Croatian border and destroying Croatian towns.
11 Q. Next topic, Dubrovnik. The attack on Dubrovnik in the autumn of
12 1991 occurred while you were still president of the Presidency although
13 not in a position to go to Belgrade. Did you find yourself on a relief
14 convoy of vessels, humanitarian convoy known as the Relief Convoy or
15 sometimes the Libertas Convoy?
16 A. That is correct. I took part in the convoy which consisted of a
17 large ferry called Slavija and 40 to 50 smaller vessels. Its task was to
18 bring humanitarian aid to Dubrovnik because Dubrovnik was surrounded on
19 all sides, from the sea and from land. The only way help could come was
20 by sea if the Yugoslav army removed the blockade.
21 I negotiated for three days in order to enter Dubrovnik and bring
22 aid to Dubrovnik. The world saw what the aggressors were doing and how
23 they were destroying Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik had never been attacked in its
24 history. Its walls had never been attacked until this war waged by
25 Slobodan Milosevic.
1 Q. Your efforts to gain access to Dubrovnik, you say, took a long
2 time., How did you eventually manage to achieve that? Were you able speak
3 as the president to the person in charge or not?
4 A. I talked to Admiral Brovet from the ship. I talked to General
5 Zec. Well, he's an admiral too. I talked to several other commanders,
6 and I told them that they had to let the convoy through because it was
7 carrying humanitarian aid. However, both Brovet and Zec asked that we
8 take the convoy to Zelenika, to Montenegro, where the vessels would be
9 searched. They said that we could return to Dubrovnik only after that had
10 been done. This would have required a long time and a large and could not
11 be done. So I exerted pressure to have the convoy allowed to pass.
12 Admiral Brovet told me there were guns on the vessels. I said to him,
13 "Admiral, the guns are in your minds, in your heads. Let us go to
14 Dubrovnik and take the aid there." In the end they gave in and we took
15 the aid to Dubrovnik. However, before that, the army searched the vessels
16 and established that there were no weapons on them.
17 Q. Before the admiral granted you permission to dock in Dubrovnik,
18 did he take time away from the telephone or radio on which you were
19 speaking to enable him to speak to others or not or can't you remember?
20 A. I spoke to General Brovet by radio, and before giving me an
21 answer, he always went off, evidently to talk to General Kadijevic with
22 whom he had a link established, and Slobodan Milosevic. He was the only
23 person that he could have consulted. All this was part of Milosevic's war
25 Q. You spent, I think, a day or thereabouts at most on Dubrovnik; is
1 that correct? In Dubrovnik.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. What, if any, signs of defence did you see at the time you went
4 there? And we'd better just get it a little more accurately the date on
5 which you actually landed.
6 A. Croatia had a very poor defence. We had infantry weapons, and it
7 was difficult to defend Dubrovnik. It was quite irrational to accuse the
8 citizens of Dubrovnik of wanting to attack anyone, let alone Montenegro,
9 which would have been idiotic on their part.
10 Q. We look briefly at two documents in volume 2 of Exhibit 328, first
11 tab 24, document C3025, which is 109 as an exhibit in Dokmanovic.
12 And this is a letter of yours of the 3rd of October to Perez de
13 Cuellar, the Secretary General of the United Nations who you address on
14 behalf of -- can you place the English version, I'm so sorry, on the
15 overhead projector. Thank you very much.
16 You address him on behalf of the democratic forces in Yugoslavia,
17 as president of the country. You set out what you say is the aggressive
18 policy of the Republic of Serbia destroying constitutional order.
19 Next paragraph. You've been informed by the mayor of Dubrovnik,
20 as you describe it, it has become a victim of barbarism and a new symbol
21 of the inability of the international community to prevent aggressive and
22 totalitarian forces from attacking democratic societies.
23 You pleaded with him that the United Nations not repeat the tragic
24 history of its organisations between the two world wars and that the
25 international organisation resolve to immediate and efficient measures to
1 stop further war.
2 Did you get a response to this letter from Perez de Cuellar or was
3 it covered in the same visit you made to him that you spoke of when
4 answering, His Honour, Judge Robinson's question earlier?
5 A. Well, it was -- the answer is the same.
6 Q. The last three exhibits the Chamber will be perhaps pleased to
7 know are all short and all in volume 1. Exhibit 328. The first being tab
8 8, document C280, again relating to Dubrovnik, being an appeal from the
9 anti-war campaign centre Dubrovnik group. A little later. This time the
10 5th of November. But addressed to the Presidency, all members personally.
11 General Kadijevic, President Tudjman, the accused, Alija Izetbegovic, and
12 the presidents of Montenegro, and coming from the rally of the Belgrade
13 for Dubrovnik anti-war marathon held in Belgrade on the 30th of October.
14 And the appeal draws to the attention the fact that the population of
15 Dubrovnik is treated contrary to international conventions, sets out the
16 grounds for that assertion under the Geneva Conventions and Additional
17 Protocol, saying that all norms have been transgressed and that the
18 citizens of Dubrovnik have without a trace of guilt become collective
19 hostages for a legal and unjust goal, setting out how Dubrovnik and other
20 areas are occupied territories. And over the page, demanding peace and
21 respect for basic human rights and a halt to the further spread of
23 Now, I'm concerned with simply where this document went. Did you
24 receive a copy of this document then or were you aware of its being sent
25 at the time, Mr. Mesic? You were still technically a member of the
1 Presidency. Indeed you were still technically its president for another
3 A. I received this document. I knew about it. And I was happy when
4 I saw it, because I thought, well, at least part of the people in Belgrade
5 are against the war option of Slobodan Milosevic.
6 Q. You told us much earlier this morning of your first encounter with
7 the accused. How many face-to-face meetings did you have with him
8 altogether, approximately, in 1991?
9 A. It's hard to say how many face-to-face meetings there were.
10 Whenever there was a session of the Presidency and whenever the presidents
11 of the republics came together. There was also some socialising. There
12 were informal meetings, dinners or lunches, and then we could chat
13 informally for a while.
14 So it's very hard to say how many times I encountered him, but I
15 was able to form an opinion about the character and the goals of Slobodan
17 Q. Let's Deal with a couple of matters of detail first before we come
18 to those views you formed. Did he ever say anything particularly about
19 his attitude towards the Serbs who lived outside Serbia?
20 A. Yes. He always said that he could not leave more than two and a
21 half million Serbs outside Serbia were Yugoslavia were to collapse. And
22 this meant precisely what I have been saying here, that is that he would
23 allow Slovenia and part of Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia, but he would
24 insist on the part inhabited by Serbs remaining in Yugoslavia. He was
25 interpreting the provisions of the Yugoslav constitution in an erroneous
1 manner, because it was actually the republics that had the right to
2 secede. But he always refused to understand this. He either didn't want
3 to understand it or he really didn't.
4 Q. In the course of the time in which you saw him, had there been
5 suffering by individuals in different ethnic groups for him to react to?
6 A. He could have desisted from the war option because he knew what
7 was going on on the ground and he was well-informed about it. But he
8 never took any action to stop it. He subordinated everything to his war
9 goals. And he used his associates as a dispensable. When they performed
10 what he wanted them to perform, he would get rid of them. He was always
11 working for the war option.
12 Q. Did he express, state, or reveal concern about the individual
13 sufferings of individuals in your presence ever?
14 A. No. I never saw any sign of feelings in him ever. All he had
15 were goals that he was implementing.
16 Q. Can we look now at two external views that fit within this overall
17 period, the last two exhibits. First of all, C240, tab 4. It is a
18 Resolution passed in the Senate of the United States of America and
19 prepared by Robert Dole, leader of the Republican minority, and Mr. Pell,
20 President of the Committee for Foreign Political Affairs, and this is
21 dated the 12th of September of 1991, and it condemned, as you can see, the
22 politics of armed aggression in Yugoslavia led by the accused, authors
23 giving full credit to the EC for its intermediary role, requesting the
24 government to put the issue on the agenda of the Committee for Security
25 and Cooperation in Europe having a conference in Moscow. And then we see
1 at the end there's a condemnation of the JNA.
2 As to this particular Resolution, had you been in any way involved
3 in its preparation or did it come independently of anything that you did?
4 A. The Resolution itself was passed without any participation on my
5 part unless by "participation" you mean my informing international
6 institutions of what was going on in Croatia. I was very happy when this
7 Resolution was passed, because I understood that international players had
8 finally understood that what was happening on the territory of the former
9 Yugoslavia was not a war to preserve Yugoslavia but, rather, an aggression
10 conducted by Milosevic against others for the purpose of creating a
11 Greater Serbia.
12 Q. Similarly can we look, please, at tab 5, the text of a speech by
13 James Baker on the 25th of September in the Security Council, which as we
14 see from the text gathered: "... because of the crisis in Yugoslavia
15 having escalated into open war, to all nations of Yugoslavia violent
16 conflicts is threatening with dreadful economic and social discord." He
17 went on to say: "... equally concerned about the dangerous effect on
18 neighbouring countries."
19 Next paragraph: "Many sides in Yugoslavia have contributed to the
20 tragedy that happened in this country. We've been warning about it in
21 June, many months before all this happened. One-sided act, including acts
22 undertaken by the republics, have not made it easier, but on the contrary,
23 they terminated options regarding peaceful negotiations and made it
24 difficult to solve the tragic situation in Yugoslavia, making it even more
1 He went on to say that even though a lot of blood had been
2 shelled, it is time type for all sides to obligate themselves to solve
3 interpersonal differences in a peaceful manner and that all sides must stop
4 confrontations and cease-fire must be respected.
5 He then went on to say this: "However the Government of Serbia
6 and the Yugoslav federal army are the bearers of a special and, by all
7 means, bigger responsibility for the dark future that is facing the people
8 of Yugoslavia unless they stop the bloodshed and redirect the violent
9 course in which they're heading at the moment.
10 "It is clear that the federal Yugoslavian army does not serve as a
11 neutral guarantee for the cease-fire in Croatia."
12 Next page: "On the contrary, it actively supports local Serb
13 forces in the violation of cease-fire, causing deaths of citizens...," and
14 so on.
15 Next paragraph: "It is equally clear that the Serb leadership is
16 actively supporting and encouraging the use of force in Croatia."
17 Next paragraph: Obvious goal of the Serb leadership and
18 Yugoslav army, if you're working as a team, is the creation of smaller
19 Yugoslavia or Greater Serbia, and so on.
20 Did you take any part in formulating this opinion of Mr. Baker or
21 was this his own judgement formed at the time we see independently?
22 A. Mr. Baker was able to see for himself what was happening on the
23 territory of the former Yugoslavia, and I was in no way able to influence
24 his opinions.
25 Q. One other -- two other questions of you, please, Mr. Mesic, both
1 of them technical.
2 Have you, in the course of preparing yourself to come and give
3 evidence here, been shown other volumes of exhibits simply for the purpose
4 of authenticating them in case they are documents to be used by other
5 exhibits in due course -- by other witnesses in due course?
6 A. Yes. I have seen these documents. I looked through them. I
7 determined that they were authentic and I have no objection to them.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, may the other volumes of exhibits be
9 marked for identification? I don't wish to obviously burden the Chamber
10 with exhibits, but they are marked for identification and subject to those
11 authenticating remarks.
12 Q. Second technical --
13 JUDGE MAY: Let that be done.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 330 marked for identification.
15 MR. NICE: For the record, that also comes in two volumes. Two
16 binders, rather.
17 Q. Second technical matter or semi-technical matter, Mr. Mesic.
18 You've made a number of observations and judgements in the course of your
19 testimony. Did you in fact in 1991 make similar judgements, publishing
20 them or -- not publishing, allowing them to be published in newspapers or
21 broadcasts on television and radio?
22 A. My interviews and all my public speeches were available to the
23 media and all the members of the Presidency, and Yugoslav public opinion
24 were all aware of my opinions.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I mention that only for this reason: I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 have, in the event, a small clip of some of the newspaper reports of
2 observations by Mr. Mesic. One could imagine circumstances in which they
3 might become relevant in re-examination. I wouldn't want to be thought in
4 any sense taking advantage of the accused by doing that. I'm not going to
5 seek to add contemporaneous newspaper reports to the bundle of exhibits,
6 but I'll simply serve him with a clip of the newspaper reports for use and
7 to avoid his taking bad points about things not having been said in 1991
8 when they were, in fact, said by this accused.
9 I make that point as well as reminding the Chamber, in light of
10 accused's observations this morning that of course we served on him last
11 week lists of the various documents in the various categories, those that
12 would be relied upon, those that would be produced, and a third category
13 of documents where the witness could deal with the documents if asked in
14 order to assist him.
15 That's all I ask of this witness.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Cross-examination tomorrow.
17 One matter. Mr. Kay, we haven't dealt with Mr. Wladimiroff's
18 matter today. We now have the Bulgarian translation, and I hope he has it
19 too. We will deal with that matter at a convenient time on Thursday. If
20 you would pass that message on.
21 MR. KAY: Certainly.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
23 Mr. Mesic, would you be back, please, at 9.00 tomorrow morning to
24 continue your evidence.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 2nd day
3 of October, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.