Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12855

1 Monday, 18 November 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honours.

8 WITNESS: WITNESS C-061

9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:

11 Q. Good morning, Witness.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the witness has not yet taken

13 the oath.

14 JUDGE MAY: That's quite right. Let the witness take the

15 declaration. He's having trouble hearing.

16 Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

19 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

22 Q. Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?

23 A. Good morning. Yes, I can hear you.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, the witness needs

25 to be shown the witness identification sheet that we had prepared, and it

Page 12856

1 should be in front of everyone here.

2 No, not -- it has to be shown to the witness only.

3 Q. Sir, looking at the sheet, is there your name on the sheet, your

4 birthday, and your place of birth?

5 A. Yes, that's right.

6 Q. Your ethnicity, your family status, and your profession?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. On the sheet, is there also the position that you had before the

9 war?

10 A. That's right, yes.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, this sheet needs to become an

12 exhibit, and it has to be under seal.

13 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 354, to be kept under seal.

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

15 Q. Witness, in these proceedings you will be referred to by the code

16 number C-061.

17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we would need to go into private

18 session for a period of approximately 15 minutes.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Private session.

20 [Private session]

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5 [Open session]

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you. With the help of the usher,

7 I would like to show the witness a map. It's Exhibit 326, tab 11.

8 Q. Witness, the map has the title "The Republic of Serbian Krajina."

9 Are you familiar with this map?

10 A. Yes, I am.

11 JUDGE MAY: Is this a map which has been exhibited,

12 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, or not? I don't recollect it.

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's a new map.

14 JUDGE MAY: Let's have a copy, please. We seem only to have got

15 one copy.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We turned them all over to the registrar.

17 There should be one for each of Your Honours.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We have it now.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

20 Q. Witness, do you have the original -- do you have the original map

21 with you, by chance?

22 A. Yes, I do.

23 Q. Did you provide this map to the Prosecution?

24 A. Yes.

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the original map is of a better

Page 12867

1 quality and would be more useful on the ELMO. I suggest that you allow

2 the witness to use his map. It's exactly the same map.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if it goes onto the overhead projector.

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.

5 Q. You can use the map, sir, your map. Thank you.

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the original map is actually

7 two-sided, printed two-sided. On one side is the map as such, and on the

8 back side are photos and a lot of text, describing what is to be seen on

9 the map. And the translation of the map, you have -- you should have with

10 you together with the map. And the translation goes on the map, on the

11 first side from the left to the right, and the same for the back side.

12 Q. Witness, can we have the page with the landscape -- with the map,

13 yes. Thank you. Witness, who produced this map? Do you know that? Does

14 it say?

15 A. It says on the back. I can't see very well. It was published by

16 the military publishing, the military publishing company in Belgrade.

17 Q. Was that the military publishing company from the RSK or from the

18 VJ, or another one?

19 A. It was the VJ, the Army of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.

20 Q. And when was it produced? Does it say?

21 A. In 1994. I can't see very clearly. Just a moment. I noticed

22 somewhere in the text that it said 1994, after the elections in the

23 Krajina, the elections of 1993.

24 Q. Witness, on the page with the map, you -- can you again turn to

25 the page with the map? You have there a map. Can we turn it so that the

Page 12868

1 blue map in the middle is to be seen. Yes. Witness, in the middle of

2 this map, there is the territorial distribution of Serbs by towns in

3 Croatia according to the census of the 31st of March 1981, and the blue

4 colour represents the Serbs. Is that what we see on this map, the

5 percentage of Serbs in the region?

6 A. That's correct.

7 Q. Was it similar in 1990?

8 A. Yes, it was.

9 Q. Again on this page with the maps, in the right corner there is a

10 map of Ustasha genocide against Serbian population in the territory of the

11 Independent State of Croatia. That's in the right-hand corner. Why is it

12 on this map? Can you explain?

13 A. This falls within a context in which mention of the genocide of

14 the Serbian people during the Independent State of Croatia in World War II

15 was mentioned. The context -- or rather, the message was that Serbs had

16 to bear in mind what the Croatian Ustasha had done to them during World

17 War II in order to avoid this being repeated in the armed conflicts that

18 took place between 1990 and 1995 on the territory of Croatia and,

19 according to this map, also on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

20 Q. Witness, below this green map there is a blue box, and it gives

21 certain data on the ethnic composition of Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem,

22 and Baranja. Could you show us --

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: First of all, can the map be folded

24 differently, please. The map needs to show now -- yes. The map has to be

25 opened.

Page 12869

1 Q. First of all, Witness, can you show us this region, the region of

2 Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja? You have to move the map --

3 you have to move the map so that it can be seen.

4 A. It's this area here.

5 Q. And it says in the text, in the blue box, it says "Population:

6 135.800," and it says "95 per cent Serbs, 4 per cent Croats, and 1 per

7 cent others." Do you know what these figures are, from which time?

8 A. This was the assessment of the army in 1993 and 1994.

9 JUDGE KWON: I think it's at the right bottom side of the map.

10 Yes.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. But it's actually not

12 necessary to put it on the ELMO. We want to look at the regions.

13 Q. How was it in 1990 and 1991? Do you know?

14 A. Just a question, if I may: Are you referring to the data in this

15 table here or this table here?

16 Q. I'm referring to the table in the right-hand corner of the map.

17 The right-hand corner. Right. This blue box in the right-hand corner of

18 the map, it says, for Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem and Baranja, it says

19 95 per cent Serbs, 4 per cent Croats, 1 per cent others. And my question

20 was: How was it in 1991 -- in 1990 and 1991? Do you know that?

21 A. I haven't found the information you're referring to, madam. Are

22 you referring to Eastern Slavonia?

23 Q. Yes. I'm going down, actually, through the blue box from the

24 left-hand side down, and the first one is Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem,

25 and Baranja. Do you have it now?

Page 12870

1 A. Yes. I understand now. Would you please repeat your question.

2 Q. My question was: How was the ethnic composition in 1990 and 1991

3 for that region? Do you know that? Approximately, not --

4 A. In the territory of Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja,

5 the ethnic breakdown of the population was approximately half/half. Half

6 Serbs, half Croats, and there were others as well.

7 Q. And now going down, Baranja -- Banija, sorry -- Banija, it says

8 here --

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, it's not very clear to me

10 because the box to which you refer on the map is not in English, so I

11 expect we are to follow it from this document.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. We have it only in this

13 format. It's --

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: So the data which was just given comes under the

15 heading "Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja."

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Yes, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: It doesn't seem to coincide with what is here, or

18 is that for a different year? 1990 --

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are actually now comparing the situation

20 in 1993, which is the situation marked on the map, and I'm asking the

21 witness how it was in 1990, 1991, and he is giving these figures. It's

22 not on the map. It's from his knowledge.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

25 Q. We go now down to Banija, and on the map it says for 1993, the

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Page 12872

1 population is 82.406, and the ethnic make-up is 97 per cent Serbs, 2 per

2 cent Croats, and 1 per cent Others. And my question to you first is to

3 show Banija on the map on the ELMO so that the Judges can see where it is,

4 and then the ethnic composition in 1990 and 1991, if you know.

5 The witness is pointing out the Banija region.

6 A. This is the area of Banija.

7 Q. Yes. And can you tell us what the ethnic composition was in 1990,

8 1991?

9 THE INTERPRETER: Would the witness please be asked to speak into

10 the microphone.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 75 per cent was Serbs and the

12 rest was other ethnic groups.

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

14 Q. And do you recall how many Croats lived there in 1990?

15 Approximately.

16 A. Up to a third, or 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

17 Q. We go now further down to Kordun. Can you, first of all, show

18 Kordun on the map, where it is situated?

19 A. This is the area of Kordun.

20 Q. And on the map for Kordun for 1993, it says 98 per cent Serbs, 2

21 per cent Croats. Do you know how it was in 1990?

22 A. About 75 to 80 per cent were Serbs and 20 per cent or so were

23 Croats.

24 Q. And now going to Lika, can you show us where Lika is on the map?

25 A. This is the area of Lika.

Page 12873

1 Q. In the map, it says for Lika 48.389 inhabitants and 90 per cent --

2 93 per cent Serbs, 5 per cent Croats, 2 per cent Others. And can you tell

3 us how it was in 1990?

4 A. 1990, two-thirds or three-quarters were Serbs or, rather, 75 to 80

5 per cent were Serbs and 20 to 25 per cent were Croats and Others.

6 Q. Going further down, Northern Dalmatia. Can you show us Northern

7 Dalmatia?

8 A. This is the area of Northern Dalmatia.

9 Q. It says on the map population 87.000, and ethnic make-up 90 per

10 cent of Serbs and 10 per cent of Others. Can you tell us how it was in

11 1990?

12 A. Approximately 80 per cent were Serbs and 20 per cent Croats.

13 Q. When it says in the -- in the map it says 10 per cent of Others

14 for Northern Dalmatia, does that mean Croats or who?

15 A. Well, the ethnic make-up of the population during the census in

16 the area had Croats, Serbs, and those who declared themselves as

17 Yugoslavs. And there was a smaller percentage of other ethnic groups.

18 Less than 1 per cent.

19 Q. Witness, the last region is Western Slavonia, but we have already

20 had a lot of evidence on Western Slavonia, so we do not need to talk about

21 it now. Thank you.

22 Would you now please turn around the map, because I would like to

23 ask a few questions from the back side of this map.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: On the map, Your Honours, when you go to the

25 translation, page 3, there is a list of municipalities of the RSK, and

Page 12874

1 it's actually 28 municipalities.

2 Q. Do you find the list of municipalities? Do you have it, sir? I

3 would like to know just two questions. There is the municipality, under

4 number 23, of Plaski.

5 A. I don't know whether I can see the numbers here.

6 Q. Witness, there is actually the photo -- there is the photo. The

7 photo is Knin, and below -- yes.

8 A. I found it. I found it. I found it now.

9 Q. I just have a question in relation to number 23, Plaski. Plaski,

10 when did it become a municipality?

11 A. Recognised as a municipality and their representatives made part

12 of the Assembly of Republika Srpska Krajina in December 1991. Before that

13 time -- well, they became a municipality because first they were part of

14 the municipality of Korenica, and they separated themselves from the

15 municipality of Korenica in the autumn of 1991, and their delegation was

16 part of the Assembly of the SAO Krajina in December 1991. So the exact

17 time when they constituted themselves as a municipality and declared

18 themselves a municipality I couldn't say, but it was before December or in

19 late November 1991.

20 Q. And the town of Plaski, was it before then a part of the Ogulin

21 municipality that was in Croatia?

22 A. The town of Plaski and several surrounding villages were, in 1990,

23 part of the municipality of Ogulin, but in early 1991 they held a

24 referendum, and the town of Plaski and several villages around it with

25 Serbian population joined the municipality of Korenica.

Page 12875

1 Q. And my other question relates to number 26, the Serbian

2 municipality of Zadar. The Serbia municipality of Zadar, when was it

3 introduced and which villages belonged -- or towns belonged to it?

4 A. The former municipality of Zadar, which was a municipality in

5 1990, two Serbian towns, Donji Zemunik and Smokovic, held a referendum in

6 early 1991 and joined the municipality of Benkovac. That was the

7 situation in 1991. And then in 1992 or 1993, I'm not sure exactly when,

8 the Serbian municipality of Zadar was constituted, but it was defined at

9 the elections held in the Republic of Serbian Krajina in late 1991 as the

10 Serbian municipality of Zadar, with one delegate in the Assembly of the

11 Republic of Srpska Krajina.

12 What the Serbian municipality of Zadar encompassed, what territory

13 it covered, well, we could say part of the territory of the former

14 municipality of Zadar which was under the control of Yugoslavia up to May

15 1992.

16 Q. And did it include the villages Skabrnja and Nadin? Do you know

17 that?

18 A. In terms of territory, yes.

19 Q. And --

20 A. In 1993 and 1994 and 1995.

21 Q. And there is another text on this back side of the map. It's

22 headed with the words "Republic of Serbian Krajina." And it actually

23 gives a few features in relation to the regions we just talked about, and

24 I have only a few questions related to that. For Northern Dalmatia, it

25 says that Knin was the administrative centre. Was it so?

Page 12876

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And it also says for Northern Dalmatia that it was relatively

3 undeveloped?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Was it like this all the time?

6 A. Excuse me. I apologise. In answer to your previous question,

7 Knin was not formerly the administrative centre of Northern Dalmatia but

8 it was the main town. It was the centre of Northern Dalmatia in that

9 sense.

10 And in answer to your second question, yes, it was an

11 underdeveloped area, as were the other parts of the Republic of Serbian

12 Krajina.

13 Q. And I have a question in relation to Banija. In Banija, there is

14 mentioned the five municipalities: Petrinja, Glina, Kostajnica, Dvor na

15 Uni and Caprag. The villages Dubica, Cerovljani, and Bacin, are they part

16 of Kostajnica?

17 A. Yes, they are.

18 Q. There is another article on the back side of the map, and it has

19 the headline "How Republic of Serbian Krajina Emerged," and would you

20 please find this. And as we are going through the details later on, I

21 just have one question and it relates to the first paragraph.

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it's on page 9 of the English.

23 Q. It says here: "In 1989, the Serbian people responded to

24 increasingly aggressive Croatian chauvinism by establishing the Serbian

25 Cultural Society 'Zora' in Kistanje, as well as by presenting a united

Page 12877

1 front regarding national symbols and myths."

2 When was this society established and what was the purpose?

3 A. This society was first established in early July 1989, but it was

4 formally recognised, legalised as the Serbian cultural association Zora in

5 the autumn of 1990.

6 Q. Who established this society?

7 A. It was established by people who were of Serb ethnicity from the

8 area of Knin, Benkovac, or, rather, Dalmatia and Lika. Jovan Opacic, from

9 Knin, was the president of the society.

10 Q. We can now turn aside the exhibit. Witness, while you were still

11 a member of the League of Communists of Croatia, did the Knin region have

12 a particular reputation in the League of Communists?

13 A. Well, starting in February 1989 and July 1989 the League of

14 Communists of Croatia, the then ruling party, was labelled as a centre of

15 Serb nationalism because of the events that took place in February and

16 June and July in the area of Knin.

17 Q. What events had taken place?

18 A. In February 1989, during the strike of Albanian miners in the

19 Trepca mine in Kosovo, there was political division around this event

20 throughout Yugoslavia. The Croatian association of trade unions supported

21 the miners' strike in Trepca, while at the same time a large rally was

22 held in Belgrade in support of the policy of the Republic of Serbia in

23 connection with the events in Trepca.

24 In Knin, this gave rise to solidarity in the trade unions, in the

25 large companies such as the nut and bolt factory. They supported the

Page 12878

1 policy of Belgrade and they protested against the standpoint taken by the

2 trade union centre in Zagreb which had expressed solidarity with the

3 miners in Trepca.

4 Q. Thank you. We do not need to have all the details, sir.

5 Did anything happen in Kosovo Polje near Knin?

6 A. The celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo was

7 held in that year in Kosovo Polje near Knin several days after the large

8 celebration that was held in Kosovo Polje near Pristina. This was a

9 ceremony in which many bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church took part.

10 It was a religious and cultural event, but at the end of the ceremony a

11 political incident took place when Jovan --

12 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-061, as you'll appreciate, we've heard

13 evidence about this from other witnesses. The significance, if I may say,

14 as far as your evidence is concerned is any effect that it might have had

15 in your region that you can speak of.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

17 Q. Was what happened in Kosovo Polje near Knin understood in the

18 Croatian society as a nationalist event?

19 A. The representatives of the ruling party, the League of Communists

20 of Croatia, and of the Croatian people, described this as a nationalist

21 event.

22 Q. Why did you join the SDS party? Can you explain that?

23 A. Well, in view of the fact that I was following events surrounding

24 the political position of the then ruling party in Croatia, that is the

25 League of Communists of Croatia and its attitude towards Knin and the Knin

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Page 12880

1 region, I was beginning to understand that a new party was needed to

2 represent the special interests, the particular interests of that region.

3 That is one of the reasons why I joined the SDS as a party which, in

4 addition to the general democratic programme and reform of the society,

5 had a special part of its platform related to improving the economic

6 status of that region.

7 Q. Were the Serbs in Croatia in an unfavourable position in Croatia

8 at that time?

9 A. It is a fact that the municipalities with the majority Serb

10 population in Croatia fell within the category of underdeveloped,

11 economically underdeveloped regions. On the other hand, many Serbs

12 realised that the former communist regime displayed a certain

13 discrimination and suppressed the Serbs' linguistic identity in those

14 areas of Croatia.

15 Furthermore, at that time there was a media campaign to shed light

16 on the position of the Serb people in Croatia which depicted their status

17 as inferior and worse than the position of the majority Croat population.

18 Q. This media campaign, who conducted this campaign? Can you tell

19 us?

20 A. That campaign was conducted by the state-owned media from Serbia,

21 especially from Belgrade.

22 Q. Did you attend the founding rally of the SDS in Knin?

23 A. I did.

24 Q. When was it held and where was it held?

25 A. On the 17th of February, 1990, on the square just above the

Page 12881

1 railway station in Knin.

2 Q. How many people attended and who was the president of the new

3 party?

4 A. It was attended by 5.000 to 10.000 people, and a member of the

5 Academy of Sciences, Dr. Jovan Raskovic, from Sibenik become president of

6 the party.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, for two questions I would like

8 to go now into private session because it's the position of the witness in

9 relation to this rally.

10 [Private session]

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Page 12882

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19 [Open session]

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

21 Q. You mentioned you and Opacic. What position did he have at that

22 time?

23 A. He was president of the Serbian Cultural Society, named Zora, and

24 one of the political leaders in the SDS, although he was not formally

25 vice-president or anything of the kind.

Page 12883

1 Q. Did representatives from parties from Serbia attend the rally?

2 A. There were many party representatives, and the main one among them

3 was Kosta Cavoski, president of the Democratic Party.

4 Q. Were any members of Mr. Milosevic's party present?

5 A. I don't know. I wasn't familiar enough with those people.

6 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic support Jovan Raskovic politically? Do you know

7 that?

8 A. Well, my impression then was that after the establishment of the

9 SDS, and some time later perhaps, until the beginning of the war, the SDS

10 did not enjoy the support of Belgrade, or rather, Mr. Milosevic. But

11 after the beginning of the summer 1990, you could feel, at least in media

12 coverage, that this support is there. Whether he supported Jovan Raskovic

13 personally, I cannot say with any certainty, but I -- Jovan Raskovic did

14 maintain contacts with then president of Serbia, Mr. Milosevic.

15 Q. While the SDS party was forming in Croatia, was there also a party

16 led by Borislav Mikelic?

17 A. There existed a wing in the League of Communists of Croatia led by

18 Borislav Mikelic, and from that faction, Mikelic created the League of

19 Communists of Croatia, which was pro-Yugoslav. That was in 1990, in the

20 summer of 1990. It later sided with the group of leftist parties in

21 Belgrade.

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

23 show the witness now the SDS platform. It's the Exhibit 353, tab 1.

24 Q. Witness, is this the SDS platform from the 17th of February, 1990?

25 A. Yes.

Page 12884

1 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I've misspoken. It's Exhibit

3 351, not 353, and it's tab 1.

4 Q. Witness, looking at the first five pages of this document, does it

5 refer to the opposition of the SDS party to the communist system?

6 A. Yes, certainly. This is the basic party platform at the time of

7 the monopoly of the one ruling party, and speaks about the need for a

8 multiparty system and a new economic system, on the basis of a multiparty

9 system, and pluralism of ownership.

10 Q. Yes. I would like to --

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, how does it reflect

12 opposition of the SDS party to the communist system?

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, there are a lot of quotes in

14 this platform, and I can read a few.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: It would be better if the witness gave that.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Okay.

17 Q. Can you refer us to the parts in this platform where it says that

18 the SDS is in opposition to the Communist Party and wants democratic

19 changes?

20 A. Well, on page 1 -- it is leitmotif throughout the text, but you

21 can see on page 1 the communist movement was historically defeated, and I

22 quote: "Regardless of its sometime high rate of success, this movement

23 suffered a historical debacle." And then it goes on to say:

24 "This movement becomes the main obstacle for establishing

25 political democratisation in our country. We believe that the way out of

Page 12885

1 the crisis is not only economic and political, but also ethical, and lies

2 in the creation of new parties and new movements. This is an idea that

3 permeates the whole programme."

4 Q. There is one other --

5 A. So we could look through the entire text, if you think that is

6 necessary.

7 Q. Just one more quote in relation to that. It's actually -- in the

8 English it's on page 4, in the second paragraph; in the B/C/S it's in a

9 paragraph which starts with: "We are ready to cooperate with any party

10 seeking a democratic way out of this situation. We are an opposition

11 party, which is naturally inclined to other opposition parties, but we

12 shall not accept to cooperate with any aggressive or repressive parties,

13 especially not with those that advocate national egocentrism, hatred, and

14 ethnic paranoia."

15 Do you have this?

16 A. I remember this. I remember this part very well. I just have to

17 find it. You said page 4?

18 Q. It's in the English page 4, but it's actually two paragraphs after

19 the last quote that you read, two paragraphs after the last quote that you

20 actually read a minute ago.

21 A. Yes, I found it.

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. That is page 2 in my text.

24 Q. Yes. And I would like you now to move on to a paragraph that

25 starts with the headline "System of government and the ethnic question."

Page 12886

1 It is on page 4 in your text; and in the English, it's on page 8 and 9.

2 Witness, it says in the first paragraph: "For the Serbian

3 Democratic Party, the ethnic question is primarily a democratic

4 question." And a few lines down it also refers to the unresolved ethnic

5 question. What is meant with these references?

6 A. As for the ethnic question in Croatia, it was believed that it was

7 not resolved in a satisfactory manner as far as the Serb people are

8 concerned, because the territories populated by Serbs were rearranged in

9 the administrative division of Croatia. They were turned into parts of

10 other municipalities and they became peripheral. It was further believed

11 that this was the reason why these areas continued to be underdeveloped,

12 were suffering from depopulation. And as a result, the Serb people were

13 in an inferior position. They were linguistically neglected. Their

14 media, education, and other areas of life and progress were not supported.

15 Q. Now I would like to refer you to page 6 in the B/C/S, and in

16 English it's page 11. The headline "Democratic Federalism." It says

17 here:

18 "We believe that the fate of the Serbian people in Croatia

19 depends on democratic federalism, hence we make our choice for a

20 federative domestic organisation of Yugoslavia, under the conditions that

21 it is accepted by all the constituent people of Yugoslavia."

22 Does it mean in this chapter, "Democratic Federalism," does this

23 chapter already refer to territorial autonomy within the federal units?

24 A. Not in this paragraph perhaps, but it is mentioned in other

25 paragraphs in other parts of the text. We see here there is an emphasis

Page 12887

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Page 12888

1 on the option for a model for organising Yugoslavia as a democratic

2 federal state.

3 Q. Does that mean Serb autonomy within Croatia? Did the SDS see Serb

4 autonomy within the Croatian framework?

5 A. In other parts of this document, there are specific references to

6 that. The Serb Democratic Party advocated a new administrative division

7 of Croatia. It advocated territorial autonomy in those places where

8 geographically, historically, economically, and for ethnic reasons, this

9 was possible and even necessary.

10 Q. It's actually in this paragraph. I refer you a little bit further

11 down, where it says: "It is necessary to ensure constitutional

12 possibilities to create territorial autonomies within individual federal

13 units should the population in the territories with the special ethnic

14 composition or cultural and historical identity so decide in a

15 referendum."

16 It's in that same paragraph. It's actually the last paragraph in

17 this chapter.

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And Your Honour, it's on page 12, on the

19 bottom, and in the beginning of page 13 in the English.

20 Q. Did you find it, sir? It's page 7. It's the last paragraph

21 before the next headline, Roman IV.

22 A. Which number is that?

23 Q. It's page 7, the last chapter before the next headline. It's

24 before this headline Roman IV, "Market economy."

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can assist with another copy here.

Page 12889

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you've got it marked on a copy.

2 Witness C-061, just look at that marked copy. Yes.

3 Now perhaps you'd like to ask the question again,

4 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

6 Q. Witness, I just --

7 A. Yes, yes. I found it. Thank you.

8 Q. And I had asked you whether at that time you already had

9 considered Serb autonomy within Croatia in certain regions.

10 A. Only in principle, nothing specific.

11 Q. Did it mean cultural autonomy, more or less?

12 A. You could say that precisely it involved regional and local

13 self-management, meaning territorial self-management, territorial

14 autonomy, with local self-government.

15 Q. Yes. And if you move forward in the text, there is a -- there are

16 listed the objectives of the Serbian Democratic Party.

17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And Your Honours, it's on page 13 of this

18 document. And we have marked it here. If the usher would just get it.

19 Q. Witness, there is the objective 8: "Yugoslav democratic

20 federalism must ensure constitutional possibilities within individual

21 federal units so that territorial autonomies can be established should the

22 population in the territories with specific ethnic composition or a

23 special cultural and historical identity decide so in a referendum." Is

24 that what you had in mind?

25 A. Yes.

Page 12890

1 Q. There is also the goal number 15, the objective number 15.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's on page 17 in the English, Your

3 Honours.

4 Q. Do you have this? Witness, do you have it, or we have --

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Yes. Okay. It says in this goal: "The recent one party politics

7 brought us into an unacceptable situation. Certain parts of Croatia in

8 which Serbs make up the majority of the population are economically

9 backward and underdeveloped." And it continues a little bit further down:

10 "The economic status of Serbs in those areas weakens, becoming even more

11 unfavourable."

12 That is what you actually have already mentioned, the

13 dissatisfaction of the Serbs with their economic situation.

14 A. That is correct.

15 Q. And in goal number 16, there is a reference to the regional

16 division of Croatia. It says: "The regional division of Croatia is out

17 of date and does not correspond to the modern principle of coexistence,

18 and it particularly does not correspond with the historical interest of

19 the Serbian people."

20 Can you explain this? What is meant by this? Why was the

21 regional division of Croatia against the historic interest of the Serbian

22 people?

23 A. This is supposed to mean that the areas populated by Serbs,

24 historically populated by Serbs as residents, found themselves on the

25 periphery of administrative units, and that was the reason for their

Page 12891

1 lagging behind in economic terms and for depopulation of these areas.

2 Q. Was this --

3 JUDGE MAY: It's now half past 10.00. We should come to -- is

4 that a convenient moment?

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour, because we would stay with

6 this document another five minutes, I suppose.

7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now.

8 Witness C-061, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. Could

9 you remember in this and any other adjournments that there may be not to

10 speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and that does

11 include the members of the Prosecution team.

12 Very well. 20 minutes.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.

14 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.

15 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.

16 JUDGE MAY: The witness needs his microphone adjusted. Yes. Can

17 you hear us all right?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. Thank you.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I forgot when we discussed the

20 map that the witness had, I forgot to mention that this is a new exhibit.

21 It was -- it gets now included into the exhibit binder, the Exhibit 326,

22 the map binder. It's a new exhibit, and I have to tender it officially.

23 Q. Witness, while talking about the goal number 16, you mentioned the

24 dissatisfaction with the regional division of Croatia and the disadvantage

25 of the Serbian people. Was -- the regional division of Croatia, was that

Page 12892

1 something that the new government, the Croatian government, had created or

2 was it something that was in existence for quite some time before 1990?

3 A. It existed before 1990.

4 Q. So it was nothing new.

5 A. No, it wasn't.

6 Q. A little bit further down in the document, there is the statute of

7 the Serbian Democratic Party, and it starts in the English on page 20.

8 And it's on page 12. It starts on page 12, sir, in the B/C/S. And there

9 are just a few matters.

10 It says in Article 6 that the Serbian Democratic Party is based in

11 Knin. Was that decided?

12 A. Yes, it was.

13 Q. And in Article 7, the party bodies are the Assembly, the Main

14 Board, the regional boards, municipal and local boards, and party

15 activists. Was that practised in this way?

16 A. That's how it was, yes.

17 Q. And there is an attachment to the platform, and it is the Serbian

18 Democratic Party Resolution on Kosovo. It's the last two pages in the

19 English, and it should also be the last page in the B/C/S. Why was this

20 attached to the platform? What does Kosovo have to do with it, with the

21 situation in Knin?

22 A. Well, Kosovo has to do with the overall political events on the

23 territory of the former Yugoslavia, especially among the Serb people. In

24 fact, the position of the Serbs in Kosovo as the public perceived it and

25 learnt about it gave rise to national solidarity with their position, and

Page 12893

1 of course the party saw the need to determine its own position therein.

2 Q. Thank you. That's enough for this exhibit.

3 Witness, was the SDS then officially registered in Croatia and on

4 the federal level?

5 A. Yes, it was. It was officially registered both in Croatia and in

6 the organs of the Croatian federation and in the Ministry of Justice of

7 the SFRY.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

9 put to the witness just briefly the Exhibit 351, tab 2. And it is just to

10 confirm the registration of the SDS party by the Croatian register of

11 public organisations of -- as of 6 March 1990.

12 Q. Do you recognise the document?

13 A. Yes, that's right. That is the document.

14 Q. Thank you. There's no need to discuss it.

15 Did the SDS party take part in elections in Croatia, in the first

16 election after the founding?

17 A. Yes, it did. The SDS did take part in the elections of the Sabor

18 or the Assembly of the Republic of Croatia and the elections for the

19 Municipal Assemblies in the area of the Republic of Croatia.

20 Q. Did the SDS win a majority in some municipalities?

21 A. In four of them, in fact, yes. Four municipalities.

22 Q. Which?

23 A. In Knin, Donji Lapac, Gracac, and Benkovac. In Benkovac there

24 were additional elections, and it won those too.

25 Q. In August 1990, was Jovan Raskovic opposed in the SDS after secret

Page 12894

1 negotiations with President Tudjman?

2 A. I don't understand the question. Could you repeat it, please.

3 Q. In August 1990, was Jovan Raskovic opposed in the SDS party after

4 secret negotiations with President Tudjman; and if so, who opposed him?

5 A. Yes. At that time in the Main Board, a faction was formed against

6 the president of the party, that is to say Dr. Raskovic, and this faction

7 was led by Jovan Opacic, Dusan Zelenbaba, Branko Peric, and some other

8 people as well.

9 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Milosevic influenced this opposition? Did

10 he have anything to do with this opposition against Raskovic and

11 negotiations with the Croats?

12 A. I don't know whether Mr. Milosevic personally did take part, but

13 the Belgrade press, at any rate, fanned the flames and instigated this

14 lack of tolerance, especially towards Jovan Raskovic after his talks with

15 Mr. Tudjman. And a journalist of Television Belgrade, on the eve of the

16 SDS Main Committee meeting which was to have discussed some of these

17 events, prepared a report in advance to the effect that the president of

18 the party, the president of SDS, Jovan Raskovic, Dr. Jovan Raskovic, had

19 already been replaced.

20 Q. But was he replaced?

21 A. No, he wasn't. He hadn't yet been replaced. The group was a

22 minority in the committee and later on, after one or two months, they

23 stepped down from the party.

24 Q. Did Mr. Raskovic eventually leave the region of Krajina; and where

25 did he go, if so?

Page 12895

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Page 12896

1 A. Dr. Raskovic left Sibenik for Belgrade upon the advice of

2 academician Dobrica Cosic.

3 Q. Was the SDS party meant to be restricted to the Krajina only or

4 was it supposed to cover the whole of Yugoslavia?

5 A. The Serbian Democratic Party was founded with the object of

6 covering the whole area of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

7 That is why it was formed in the first place and registered with the

8 competent state authorities in Zagreb and with the organs in Belgrade as

9 well.

10 Q. Was a party with that same name, SDS, founded in Bosnia in July

11 1990, and if so, who was the lead figure there?

12 A. Yes, that's right. The name was similar. It was the Serbian

13 Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the president was Dr. Radovan

14 Karadzic.

15 Q. Did Raskovic support Mr. Karadzic, and did they even campaign

16 together?

17 A. Yes, Raskovic did support Karadzic, and I heard from him that the

18 election of Karadzic to a great extent took place because of the support

19 lent him by Jovan Raskovic. So together they waged an electoral

20 campaign. And Dr. Raskovic was very active in creating the Serbian

21 Democratic Party in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 Q. Was there any dispute between Knin or Raskovic and the SDS of

23 Bosnia and Herzegovina whether local SDS committees in the Bosanska

24 Krajina around Banja Luka would associate with the SDS in Knin or the SDS

25 in Sarajevo? Do you know that?

Page 12897

1 A. There were such disputes and discussions about that between

2 Raskovic and Karadzic or, rather, that was a conflict in the committees of

3 the SDS in the area of Bosanska Krajina as to which party they would

4 belong to, the SDS in Knin or the SDS of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 Q. And how were these conflicts solved? To which SDS party did

6 those -- did this region then belong?

7 A. It was solved in the following manner: All these committees

8 belonged to the SDS of Bosnia-Herzegovina with its seat in Sarajevo.

9 Q. Did Jovan Raskovic form regional SDS committees in Novi Sad and

10 Belgrade; and if so, when?

11 A. Yes. Committees were formed or, rather, Dr. Raskovic formed them

12 at the beginning of the summer of 1990. He formed these committees in

13 Belgrade and Novi Sad.

14 Q. Did they take part in election in Serbia?

15 A. Those committees, in the autumn of 1990, after the elections were

16 called in Serbia, scheduled, these committees set themselves apart into a

17 separate party, the Serbian Democratic Party of Serbia, and they did take

18 part in the elections in Serbia.

19 Q. Were attempts made to join the parties of Croatia and Bosnia and

20 Herzegovina at different times?

21 A. Which parties are you referring to?

22 Q. I was referring to the -- to the SDS parties in Croatia and

23 Bosnia. And to assist you, I would like to put to you the Exhibit 351,

24 tab 4. It is a public announcement by Krajina Serb Democratic Party

25 regarding the talks with Republika Srpska SDS delegation of the 21st of

Page 12898

1 July, 1993. And it refers in the text, in the first paragraph, to a visit

2 of the RSK capital by the representatives of the state and party

3 leadership of Republika Srpska, headed by President Radovan Karadzic, on

4 the 19th of July.

5 Do you recall, was there an attempt to join the parties or an

6 initiative to join the parties?

7 A. Let me say beforehand that while Dr. Raskovic was alive, these --

8 this type of disintegration was taking place within the frameworks of the

9 Serbian democratic parties, which means that independent autonomous SDS

10 parties were set up in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. After

11 his death in August 1992, the Serbian democratic party of Krajina, of the

12 Krajina, was set up. From the end of 1992 or, rather, the beginning of

13 1993, Radovan Karadzic led the initiative to have all these parties

14 conjoined under his own leadership in Neum, or, rather, a party which

15 would be called the Serbian Democratic Party of Serb Lands, of which he

16 would be the president.

17 Q. In this document, in the last paragraph, it says: "It has been

18 concluded that the basis of the programme orientation must be the unity in

19 achieving the Serb national interest."

20 What does that mean?

21 A. Unity in uniting the Serb peoples from the territory of the former

22 Yugoslavia into one state.

23 Q. And it continues then in the document: "With the final

24 achievement of that interest, the reasons for the existence of the Serb

25 democratic parties in the republics would disappear, but, at the present

Page 12899

1 stage of the fight for the preservation of the state sovereignty of both

2 Republika Srpska Krajina and Republika Srpska, the existence of the

3 parties on this level is unavoidable."

4 Was that your position at that time, that you wanted to be

5 separate?

6 A. That was our position, yes, while Dr. Karadzic's position was that

7 the parties should unite.

8 Q. We will now leave the parties and go to the Association of

9 Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika. And I have a series of

10 documents from Exhibit 351, and the first document is tab 5, and it's the

11 stamped decision of the Knin Municipal Assembly dated 6 June 1990,

12 approving an initiative to link the municipalities of Northern Dalmatia

13 and Lika. And the next document is the same exhibit, tab 6, and it is a

14 draft statute of the Association of Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia

15 and Lika.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, in the English translation, at

17 least the version that I have, there is a mistake. It says "South

18 Dalmatia," and it has to be "Northern Dalmatia." That's a mistake.

19 Q. Is this the statute, sir?

20 A. This is a document that came into being several months after the

21 Association of the Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika came into

22 being. This is a draft statute. And before this document, there were two

23 other documents compiled. The first is the one we have here, the

24 conclusion on the initiative to link up the municipalities of Northern

25 Dalmatia and Lika. And the second document is the document relating to

Page 12900

1 the constitution of this association, dated the 27th of June, 1990.

2 Q. Yes.

3 A. And this one here, as I've already said, is a draft statute, which

4 makes it the third document in line related to that particular topic.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Then we have to put now to the witness the

6 Exhibit 351, tab 8.

7 Q. That's actually the document that you just mentioned, the Decision

8 on Establishment and Constitution of the Regional Association of

9 Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika from the 27th of June 1990.

10 That's what you mean?

11 A. That's right, yes.

12 Q. And it says here in Article 1, it says: "The regional association

13 of municipalities of Northern Dalmacija and Lika also includes the

14 municipalities of Knin, Benkovac, Gracac, Donji Lapac, Obrovac and Titova

15 Korenica." Were these the municipalities that joined?

16 A. Yes. First of all, the municipalities of Knin, Donji Lapac, and

17 Gracac, and later on the rest.

18 Q. Yes. And coming back to this document, the draft statute, I would

19 like to ask you something in relation to the introduction to the statute.

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's on page 2 in the English, Your Honour,

21 and this is the document tab 6 that we just briefly addressed.

22 Q. It says here in this introduction:

23 "The aim of this Statute is to legally sanction the current

24 situation, that is, the established Association of the Municipalities of

25 Northern Dalmacija [as read] and Lika, and the wish of the Serbian

Page 12901

1 population in this area to introduce Serbian autonomy in Croatia."

2 What was the reason to establish this association?

3 A. The first reason to establish this association at the end of May

4 and the beginning of June 1990 was to improve the economic position of the

5 people to which this initiative referred in those municipalities, and the

6 assertion of Knin as the headquarters and seat of this regional

7 association, community; later on, once the Croatian Sabor, or parliament,

8 or rather, the Presidency of the Republic of Croatia, launched the

9 initiative for an amendment to the constitution of the Republic of Croatia

10 and doing away with the possibility of creating an association of

11 municipalities. The third reason and main political initiative taken to

12 preserve this community and association was the one which had to do with

13 preservation of national equality for the Serb people living in Croatia.

14 Q. In chapter 2 in this document - it's on page 3, Your Honours, in

15 the English - and you can see the Roman chapter II here. And I quote

16 here:

17 "Regulatory competencies shall be listed by name. It is vital

18 that they include rights and institutions connected with the use of the

19 alphabet and the name of the language, schools and other educational and

20 cultural institutions, reporting, religious freedom, and the appropriate

21 institutions, as well as other concerns linked to the specific ethnic,

22 historical, and cultural traits of the Serbian people."

23 This association, did it basically refer to cultural autonomy and

24 a certain regional autonomy within the framework of Croatia?

25 A. That's right, yes.

Page 12902

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like now

2 to show the witness the Exhibit 351, tab 9.

3 Q. It is a letter dated 3rd July, 1990, from the Association of

4 Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika, to 17 municipalities,

5 proposing a meeting on 6 July 1990, in Knin, of all municipalities with a

6 significant number of Serbs, to adopt a unified position with regard to

7 proposed amendments to the Croatian constitution. And my question to you

8 is: Did such a meeting take place, and did you actually make proposals

9 for the amendments to the Croatian constitution?

10 A. The meeting did take place and a large number of people took part,

11 representatives of the municipalities and deputies in the Croatian Sabor

12 of Serb ethnicity and other public figures, and views were put forward as

13 to the proposed amendments, those proposed by the Presidency of the

14 Republic of Croatia.

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And now I would like to show you another

16 exhibit, and this is Exhibit 351, tab 10.

17 Q. And it refers -- it is, actually, the declaration on the

18 sovereignty and autonomy of the Serbian people, dated the 25th of July,

19 1990, and I would like to know from you who initiated the declaration on

20 autonomy.

21 A. The initiator to call this meeting and proclaim autonomy was Jovan

22 Opacic, one of the leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party, and this

23 initiative of his was taken up by the president of the party,

24 Dr. Raskovic, and the others from the -- other members of the SDS. The

25 declaration is the product of that initiative.

Page 12903

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Page 12904

1 Q. Was there a particular reason to do that at this point in time,

2 that is, the 25th of July, 1990?

3 A. Yes, there was a specific reason. The Sabor parliament of the

4 Republic of Croatia was in session; it was meeting. And on the agenda of

5 the parliamentary meeting was the adoption of the new amendments to the

6 constitution of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. And by those

7 amendments, the possibility was wiped out for the existence of the

8 association of municipalities. And the amendments introduced new symbols,

9 state symbols for Croatia, a change in the name itself and the language.

10 And the object of this was to hold the Sabor in Srb, with the appointed

11 representatives of the Serb people in Croatia, elected ones, who would

12 question the validity of the adoption of constitutional amendments along

13 these lines, which would be taken by sidestepping the right to decide on

14 the part of the Croatian people on a footing of equality with the -- the

15 Serb Croat people on a footing of equality with the Croatian people. So

16 these amendments would be brought into question and the majority vote

17 would be taken by the Croatian people in the Croatian parliament, or

18 Sabor.

19 Q. Who took part in the meeting in Srb?

20 A. At the meeting in Srb were the chosen representatives of the

21 Municipal Assemblies, representatives in the parliament of the Republic of

22 Croatia, representatives of political parties, representatives of the

23 Serbian Orthodox Church, and about 100.000 citizens as well, from all

24 parts of Croatia.

25 Q. Did political officials from Serbia attend the meeting?

Page 12905

1 A. No, they did not.

2 Q. Looking at the declaration in paragraph 1, in chapter 1 - it's on

3 page 1 in the English, and it should also be the first page in the B/C/S -

4 it says here:

5 "In the process of establishing new relations in Yugoslavia, the

6 Serbian nation in the Republic of Croatia is fully entitled to opt for a

7 federate or confederate system of state government, either jointly with

8 the Croatian nation or independently."

9 What were the options that you had -- that you discussed at that

10 time?

11 A. Well, the dominant options on the territory of the former

12 Yugoslavia, as far as options to restructure Yugoslavia, were federal

13 ones, the federal option, first and foremost, and the confederal option as

14 well, for the new set-up of Yugoslavia.

15 Q. It continues in this paragraph 1:

16 "The Serbian nation claims a right to determine, on the historic

17 territories united within the existing borders of Croatia, with whom it

18 will co-exist, in what kind of regime it will live, and how it will relate

19 to the other nations in Yugoslavia."

20 And then it continues in paragraph 2:

21 "Based on its sovereignty, the Serbian nation in Croatia has a

22 right to autonomy. The scope of autonomy will depend on whether

23 Yugoslavia has a federate or a confederate system of government."

24 It then says:

25 "In a federate system of government, the Serbian nation is

Page 12906

1 entitled to unimpeded and unlimited usage, both of official and private

2 purposes, of the Serbian literary language and the Cyrillic script to

3 Serbian schools and programmes, Serbian cultural and political

4 institutions, companies, newspapers, and Serbian radio and television."

5 This first option, does that mean cultural, basically cultural

6 autonomy within the Croatian framework, within a Croatian republic?

7 A. As far as I understand it, it represents regional self-government

8 within the Republic of Croatia.

9 Q. And what was the option in relation to the confederate system of

10 Yugoslavia?

11 A. This kind of autonomy would be at a higher level. Its contents

12 would be at a higher level. So in legal terms and political terms, it

13 would be political and territorial autonomy, which means autonomy for the

14 region, territorial autonomy, with a higher degree of decision-making,

15 also within the frameworks of the Republic of Croatia.

16 Q. Did that mean secession from Croatia? Was that included?

17 A. Political territorial integrity did not mean secession from

18 Croatia. What it meant was only a higher degree, a higher level of

19 political self-government within Croatia.

20 Q. In paragraph 3 in this document, it says: "The Serbian Sabor,

21 with its seat in Srb, shall be formed as the political representative of

22 the Serbian nation in Croatia." Does that mean that it was a Serbian

23 assembly as a parallel organ to the Croatian assembly, or what?

24 A. In a political explanation dating back to those times, this was to

25 have been the second part of the Croatian Sabor, because with the majority

Page 12907

1 Croatian people and national political parties of the Croatian people who

2 had the majority in the parliament, or Sabor, this was representing the

3 interests of the second constituent people and that that people had the

4 right to take part in the government of Croatia, and this was one form it

5 took. So in political parlance, this is what was said. It is the second

6 half of the Croatian Sabor, or parliament. So not parallel, not a

7 parallel organ, but one that participates within the same system; a

8 co-parliament, terminologically speaking.

9 Q. In paragraph 4, there is a reference that:

10 "The Serbian National Council has a right to hold a referendum of

11 Serbian people on all issues relevant for the status of the Serbian people

12 in Croatia and Yugoslavia, and other issues relating to the establishment

13 of Serbian sovereignty and autonomy."

14 So does it mean you had already the plan to conduct a referendum?

15 A. As far as I can recall, there was no plan. The referendum,

16 however, was the highest form of expression of one's democratic rights,

17 and that's how it was defined. I mean, at the moment this draft

18 declaration was drawn up, it had not been determined that the referendum

19 would be held; it was only an option that was open.

20 Q. In this document there is mentioned the Serbian National Council.

21 Was it established on that same day in Srb?

22 A. On that day, the members of the council were elected, and it was

23 constituted a few days later, on the 31st of July.

24 Q. And whose initiative was this? Was this also the initiative of

25 Mr. Opacic that you mentioned?

Page 12908

1 A. No. The initiative to establish an executive organ arose when the

2 text of the declaration was being drawn up, or rather, it was accepted by

3 everyone who looked at this text and considered it: the representatives of

4 the Serb Democratic Party, the representatives of the municipalities and

5 of the church. So before it was made public and acclaimed by the citizens

6 present, it was reviewed at the level I have just described.

7 Q. Did the Serb National Council then prepare the conduct of the

8 referendum in August 1990?

9 A. The 31st of July, 1990, at the first session of the Serb National

10 Council, it was decided to hold a referendum on Serb autonomy in Croatia

11 and that the Serb National Council should be the body that would organise

12 the referendum in the local communes.

13 Q. Was there a particular point -- a particular reason why the

14 referendum was then scheduled for August 1990?

15 A. This happened only because of the course of events. The

16 acclamation of the autonomy had to be confirmed. It was adopted at the

17 assembly. This was the final step in the political developments that

18 started on the 25th of July at the Srb assembly.

19 Q. What was the question put to the voters who could vote in the

20 referendum?

21 A. On the ballot paper they could vote for autonomy, which implied

22 expressing an opinion about the text of the declaration adopted at the

23 Sabor, or assembly, in Srb.

24 Q. Did the voters have the possibility to choose between the two

25 options that we just discussed, in case of federation and confederation?

Page 12909

1 A. The voters could choose in favour of the text of the declaration

2 or against it. Those who voted in favour voted for both options.

3 Q. Who was allowed to vote? Just the Serbian people or all people

4 living in a certain region?

5 A. Members of the Serb nation in Croatia were invited to vote because

6 they were a constitutional category. The Serb people in Croatia were a

7 constitutional category, and their rights had been impinged upon by the

8 constitutional changes. They were called upon to defend their

9 constitutional position. But others were not prohibited from voting.

10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

11 show the witness now the Exhibit 351, tab 11.

12 Q. It is a report on the results of the referendum held between the

13 9th of August and the 2nd of September, 1990, and it's dated the 30th of

14 September, 1990. And in paragraph 3, you see here the results. What was

15 the result?

16 A. The results that the commission conducting the referendum

17 presented to the Serb National Council and the general public were the

18 ones mentioned here: 567.127 in favour, 144 against, and 46 invalid ballot

19 papers. These were the results presented by the Commission.

20 Q. What position did the Croatian authorities take regarding the

21 referendum?

22 A. I have to say, before I reply to that, that the referendum was

23 scheduled and the citizens were invited to vote on the 31st of July

24 because the plebiscite - that's what it was called - was to be held then.

25 But on the 16th of August, 1990, the Serb National Council decided that

Page 12910

1 the citizens' vote should not constitute a referendum but that it should

2 be a vote, simply a vote which had special -- which was under special

3 provisions of the legislation.

4 Would you please repeat your question now?

5 Q. My question was: What position did the Croatian authorities take

6 regarding the plebiscite? Were they -- did they support it, did they work

7 against it, or just nothing?

8 A. The Croatian authorities actively worked against the plebiscite.

9 The president of the republic, Tudjman, publicly stated that there would

10 be no referendum. The Minister of Justice sent a letter to all

11 municipalities prohibiting the referendum. The Minister of the Interior,

12 Bojlkovac, threatened to prevent the referendum by force.

13 Q. What was the attitude of the Serbs towards the Croatian

14 authorities at that time?

15 A. Do you mean the Serb people to the Croatian government? Is that

16 your question?

17 Q. Yes.

18 A. The Serb people in Croatia, for the most part, as they showed at

19 the Sabor in Srb, disagreed with the political decisions made by the

20 Croatian government at the time.

21 Q. Did the Serb population start to set up armed guards in the

22 regions where they lived, and if so, who organised it?

23 A. This sort of political conflict gave rise to fears and anxieties

24 among the Serb people, and the Serbs began to arm themselves, first with

25 hunting rifles, and then they obtained other weapons.

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Page 12912

1 Q. And who organised this?

2 A. The first organised distribution of weapons was performed by a

3 group of policemen from the Knin police station, and then this was done in

4 several other police stations.

5 Q. And how early did they start?

6 A. The 17th of August, 1990, in the afternoon.

7 Q. Were Serbs from outside Krajina involved in this early stage?

8 A. As far as I know, some Serbs from Bosnia brought weapons to Knin.

9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would like to go now into

10 private session because I would have to ask the witness about some details

11 that are very particular for him.

12 [Private session]

13 [redacted]

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23 [Open session]

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

25 Q. Witness, you have now mentioned several times David Rastovic.

Page 12918

1 During the events, what was his role, if any?

2 A. David Raskovic was the president of the Municipal Assembly of

3 Donja Lapac and the president of the Association of Municipalities of

4 Northern Dalmatia and Lika and a member of the Serb Democratic Party.

5 Q. Did he have any functions during the war or after the war?

6 A. He kept the function of the president of the Municipal

7 Assemblies. In 1993, he was a minister in the government of the Republic

8 of Serbian Krajina. In that year, he was also a member of the Commission

9 for the Reorganisation of the Serbian Army of the Republic of Serbian

10 Krajina. He was one of the members of the Presidency of the Regional

11 Board of the SDS for the Krajina. And in my estimation, he belonged to

12 the so-called parallel structure in the Krajina.

13 Q. What do you mean when you say "so-called parallel structure in the

14 Krajina"?

15 A. I mean by this a group of people which consisted of members of the

16 Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, the public security service of Serbia,

17 people from the police in the Serbian municipalities in Croatia, and other

18 people who were in close contact with them and which had not been

19 established by the legal authorities in Krajina or Croatia or Serbia and

20 which played a special role in all the events starting from August 1990

21 and in the following years.

22 Q. Who was in this -- in the centre from the personality? Who was in

23 the centre of this parallel structure?

24 A. The central figure was the chief of the State Security Service of

25 Serbia, Jovica Stanisic, followed by his assistant, Franko Simatovic, then

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Page 12920

1 Captain Dragan "Rasko" Vasiljkovic, and other people from the State

2 Security Service Serbia. Also Milan Martic from the police force in Knin,

3 several other people from the police force, and many other people later.

4 In fact, later, it was the entire police force in Serbian

5 municipalities Orlovic, Vitas; and presidents of the municipalities who

6 were closely related to them, Bozovic, Rastovic, Benkovac, Zecevic, and

7 other people.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, we will go into more details on

9 this so-called parallel structure in the course of the testimony.

10 Q. And you mentioned that David Rastovic was within this structure

11 already. What about Bogoljub Popovic that you mentioned? Where did he

12 belong?

13 A. Well, he was close to those people. I don't know how integrated

14 he was into that structure formally and directly, but he was related to

15 them.

16 Q. Was he a police person or a military person? I mean Bogoljub

17 Popovic.

18 A. He was a retired colonel of the JNA.

19 Q. Which role, if any, did he play during the events?

20 A. Not an important role. He had an advisory role in the area of

21 Benkovac in 1991. In the year 1990, he was president of the Committee for

22 Security of the SDS, and a little unusually, he made a speech. He made

23 speeches at rallies, talking about the procurement of weapons, and he

24 referred to them as planks, meaning rifles. But I don't know to what

25 extent he was really directly involved.

Page 12921

1 Q. When did he make these speeches and refer to rifles as planks?

2 A. That began in the summer of 1990 and continued into the autumn of

3 1990. That was the time when rallies were frequent and were held all over

4 the place, and there were also founding rallies of the SDS at the time.

5 Q. Having met Mr. Jovic, were you able to make any observations as to

6 the independence of Mr. Jovic in his political views and actions?

7 A. As far as I could judge and from what I heard from other people,

8 he was the second man in the party led by Mr. Milosevic. My conclusion

9 was that on that ladder, he was below President Milosevic, President of

10 Serbia.

11 Q. You mentioned that the issue of self-determination was discussed

12 and that a law or -- a law was in preparation. Mr. Jovic mentioned that a

13 law was in preparation on the issue of Serbs' self-determination. Did he

14 actually proceed on this, pursue it?

15 A. If you want me to be precise --

16 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- he spoke about the right of

18 people to self-determination. He wasn't speaking about the Serb people's

19 right to self-determination. He only referred to a new law that would

20 regulate the right of nations to self-determination up to secession. That

21 was one of the draft laws in the process of preparation.

22 And he spoke on television on one occasion that I heard when he

23 was explaining how that would actually be put into practice, referring to

24 nations which are not in favour of preserving the Yugoslav federation and

25 how other nations that were in favour could react to it.

Page 12922

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The lady on the opposite side is

3 asking improper questions, because she says that Jovic had said that a law

4 was being in preparation regarding the right of the Serbian people to

5 self-determination, and the witness now corrected her. But that kind of

6 question is improper, I find.

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

9 show the witness Exhibit 352, tab 1. And it is an exhibit referring to

10 the session of the Serbian National Council held in Dvor na Uni on the

11 16th of August, 1990.

12 Q. Witness, you have already mentioned this session. And it refers

13 here in the first point of the agenda to talks between the Serbian

14 representatives and the president of the Presidency, Mr. Jovic. Did you

15 discuss this agenda point?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Did the discussion with Mr. Jovic have an impact on the decision

18 of the Serb National Council to go forward with the referendum?

19 A. Yes. It had an impact in the sense that the term for

20 self-determination was changed. It was no longer called referendum, it

21 was called political declaration of one's will. Jovic, namely, suggested

22 that the political declaration of Serbs in Croatia should be put into a

23 legal framework, made consistent with the legislation, and that's what one

24 of his assistants explained when he said that certain provisions of the

25 constitution applied to this.

Page 12923

1 Q. And --

2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the last part of the

3 answer because of the shuffling of papers. We apologise.

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

5 Q. Can you repeat the last part of your answer, because the

6 interpreters did not hear you.

7 A. Then I would like to ask you to repeat your question as well.

8 Q. I can actually read to you what has been translated so far, and it

9 says: "... made consistent with the legislation, that's what one of his

10 assistants explained when he said that certain provisions of the

11 constitution applied to this."

12 I just see that actually it's not -- it didn't miss something what

13 you said, they actually missed my question.

14 I would like to ask you in relation to the minutes on -- under

15 point 1, there is a remark in this document saying: "Rastovic, the army

16 is a guarantee for our declaring." Does that refer to what Mr. Jovic had

17 meant and had said?

18 A. Yes. This is in fact a report by Rastovic on what Jovic had

19 said.

20 Q. The term "log revolution," to which incident does that refer?

21 A. This is a name given by the Croatian media to the events that

22 happened on the 17th August and later in Knin and around Knin.

23 Q. What did happen on the 17th of August in Knin?

24 A. On the 17th of August, several events took place. The first one

25 was the announcement made by some people from Knin and Obrovac that the

Page 12924

1 Croatian government or, rather, the police, special police and armed

2 personnel carriers are moving towards Knin to prevent the referendum. On

3 the same day, the media announced that the president of the Assembly had

4 declared a state of war that day, that the police from the Knin police

5 station distributed weapons to citizens. And the same evening, the

6 president of the municipality denied that he had declared a state of war,

7 and it turned out as well that Croatian police and armoured personnel

8 carriers were not moving towards Knin. And it was later that evening also

9 announced that JNA helicopters had prevented the Croatian APCs from

10 entering Knin.

11 Q. Were barricades erected, and if so, by whom?

12 A. Yes, they were. Barricades were starting to be erected on a large

13 scale by members of the SDS, villagers who did it of their own free will,

14 and they were helped by the police force in Knin. The same happened in

15 other municipalities such as Obrovac and Gracac.

16 Q. You said that the -- it was announced that the Croatian police

17 would approach Knin. Did they come or was it a misinformation?

18 A. It was a piece of disinformation by Dusan Orlovic and also

19 president of the Obrovac municipality, Sergej Veselinovic.

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we need to go into private

21 session previously.

22 JUDGE MAY: With regard to the clock, that would be a convenient

23 time to adjourn. We'll adjourn now. Twenty minutes.

24 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

25 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.

Page 12925

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Are we in private session?

3 [Private session]

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11 [Open session]

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The people who are listening outside

14 complain that they can't hear anything. This witness is speaking in a

15 very low voice, and combined with voice distortion, it is completely

16 inaudible. You should either turn up the volume or have him speak more

17 distinctly and loudly.

18 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-061, could you speak up, please, so that

19 everyone can hear you.

20 Yes.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

22 Q. Witness, you have mentioned Dusan Orlovic, who was one of the

23 sources for the misinformation about the Croatian police, and earlier on

24 you mentioned that he was part of the parallel structure. What position

25 did he have during the events?

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Page 12928

1 A. In the summer of 1990, he was being seen all over the place, and I

2 didn't know exactly what his position was. I apologise for clearing my

3 throat.

4 From the end of September and the beginning of October, formally,

5 and in real terms, he belonged to a structure that was called the People's

6 Council Against the Oppression of Serbs. So it was a formal structure

7 that he publicly belonged to. After January 1991, when the secretariat

8 for the interior was established, the secretary, Milan Martic, appointed

9 him chief of security for Krajina.

10 In my personal view, he was a man from the State Security Service

11 in Serbia that is answerable to Jovica Stanisic. He was appointed after

12 1990, and he was later transferred to Serbia. I heard from other people

13 that after 1995 he continued to work in the State Security Service of

14 Serbia on the territory of Serbia. I don't know whether this is true.

15 He -- my source told me that he worked somewhere around Smederevo.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I don't know whether it can be

17 fixed, but now I hear the voice of the witness in the Serbian language

18 very loudly, and I almost cannot hear the interpreter any more. I don't

19 know -- okay. Thank you. That was obviously my personal problem with the

20 equipment. Thank you.

21 Q. You mentioned the village -- a village, and you mentioned Golubic.

22 What did you see? Did you see any armed formations in Golubic, or in the

23 village that you mentioned?

24 A. On the 17th of August, 1990, in the afternoon - it was perhaps

25 5.00 - I saw policemen from the police station of Knin distributing

Page 12929

1 weapons to citizens. After that, for a week or two, there was a

2 headquarters in Golubic - that's what it was called - whose task was to

3 erect and maintain barricades around Knin during the time it took to

4 conduct the referendum.

5 In the beginning of September this headquarters was disbanded,

6 because in this area of Golubic an armed formation was set up that

7 organised village guards, and around this settlement. Thus, something

8 like a military camp sprung up. That is why the Executive Council of the

9 SDS formally disbanded the headquarters, because this military camp

10 existed formally, based on the basis of a decision by the Serbian Radical

11 Party of the 18th of August, 1990.

12 Q. You mentioned that the Executive Council requested that it be

13 disbanded. Were the armed formations then actually disbanded in the

14 region or did they continue to exist?

15 A. The SDS, that is, its Executive Council, adopted the decision to

16 disband this headquarters in Golubic. It was formally disbanded and

17 evacuated from Golubic. But armed formations continued to exist and were

18 later coordinated by the so-called Council of Popular Resistance, and this

19 council was not formed by the SDS or any other political authority in the

20 area of Knin.

21 Q. Who was in charge of these armed formations and this Council of

22 Resistance?

23 A. From what I saw in Knin, it was a group consisting of Milan

24 Martic, Dusan Orlovic, Nebojsa Mladinic, Jovo Vitas, and other people. It

25 also included some people who were not from Knin. One journalist, named

Page 12930

1 Cvele Cvetkovic, said that he was sending information directly by fax to

2 the cabinet of the president of Serbia, Mr. Milosevic, informing about

3 events in Knin. There was one man who was hiding from me, whom I didn't

4 know, who controlled the encrypting room in the centre for information in

5 Knin, and some other people as well.

6 Q. Did this journalist explain to you why information was being sent

7 to Mr. Milosevic's cabinet? And when did you have this discussion with

8 the journalist Cvetkovic?

9 A. Until August or September, I continued to meet with him and talk

10 to him. It sounded as if he was boasting of having direct access to the

11 cabinet of the president, that he was transmitting directly to the cabinet

12 and to the media and various agencies in Belgrade. However, I heard from

13 certain circles of journalists that his information was always subjected

14 to thorough vetting.

15 There was another man, though, who was transmitting information to

16 someone outside Knin, and that was the man who was controlling the

17 encrypting room. I know that Jovica Stanisic also visited Knin in August

18 1990, together with Martic. I met him on that occasion. I later came to

19 the conclusion that the information was sent to him.

20 Q. Witness, returning to the 17th of August, 1990, you mentioned that

21 weapons were distributed. Were these weapons returned later on or did the

22 people keep them?

23 A. The people kept the weapons. On the 10th of September, they were

24 asked to return the weapons, but the weapons were not returned. And on

25 the 10th of September, after talks between the president of the

Page 12931

1 municipality of Knin, Lapac, and Gracac with the Minister of the Interior

2 of Croatia, and in the Croatian Sabor, people did not return the weapons.

3 The weapons were returned in January 1991, when the Presidency of

4 Yugoslavia issued orders that the paramilitaries be disarmed on the

5 territory of Croatia, and that was when a portion of the weapons were

6 returned to the Yugoslav People's Army.

7 Q. Were the barricades removed after it was found out that the Croats

8 were not approaching?

9 A. The barricades were set up to ensure that the referendum went

10 through, but they weren't disbanded afterwards, because at the beginning

11 of August, the end of September, there was an escalation, and a series of

12 events took place in and around Knin and the adjoining municipalities. So

13 that the state of affairs, to all intents and purposes, had escalated

14 after the 10th of September, 1990, instead of things calming down. So the

15 barricades were not disbanded until April 1991, when the police

16 established permanent control and set up its people in the area. From

17 April 1991, the police, in terms of --

18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Witness C-061, we have to get through

19 a great deal of information in this case, and therefore, it would be

20 helpful if you would just concentrate on the question and just answer that

21 as shortly as you can, and then wait for the next question, and that way

22 maybe we can get through this evidence as expeditiously as we can.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

24 Q. Did the Croatian police ever take control of Knin again before

25 1995?

Page 12932

1 A. No.

2 Q. And when you mentioned the police that established control in

3 April 1991, is that the -- what police is it?

4 A. The police, or milicija of Krajina, which cooperated with

5 instructors from Serbia and was under the control of instructors belonging

6 to the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we need to go into private

8 session briefly.

9 [Private session]

10 [redacted]

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4 [Open session]

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

6 Q. Did the SDS politicians --

7 A. I understand, and I'll do my best.

8 Q. Did the SDS politicians at that time, the Executive Council,

9 pursue a peaceful solution, trying to make negotiations with the Croats in

10 summer 1990?

11 A. Yes. On the 10th of September, a meeting took place between the

12 president of the municipalities of Knin, Lapac and Gracac, with

13 representatives of the Croatian government, and it was decided at the

14 meeting that all outstanding issues be solved through the institutions of

15 the Republic of Croatia and that weapons begin to be returned to the

16 police stations in Knin and other places, and that in the government of

17 Croatia, the initiative should be taken to set up a Secretariat of the

18 Interior in Knin.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

20 show the witness the Exhibit 352, tab 2. And it's a declaration of the

21 10th of the September, 1990 to settle disputes with the Croats by

22 negotiations.

23 Q. Does that refer to what you just mentioned, these attempts to

24 reach a peaceful solution?

25 A. That's right. That's it.

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Page 12936

1 Q. Was it -- referring to this, was it actually planned that the

2 Croatian police would return to Knin?

3 A. The Croatian police never left the Knin area, which means that the

4 plan was, organisationally speaking, that the Minister of the Interior of

5 the Republic of Croatia should be organised in the Knin area and that it

6 should rank at the level of a Ministry of the Interior, not just a police

7 station which would be subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior in

8 Sibenik.

9 Q. This attempt to negotiate a peaceful solution, was it opposed in

10 Knin by what you call the parallel structure?

11 A. That's right. Very energetically. There were even threats for

12 the physical liquidation of one of the signatories of the agreement on the

13 Serb side.

14 Q. And who made these threats? Can you name any particular person?

15 A. Jovo Vitas.

16 Q. And who is he?

17 A. He was the man close to Martic and Dusan Orlovic, or rather, a

18 member of the parallel structure, as I saw it.

19 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic have a position relative to negotiations between

20 the local Serbs and the Croatian authorities? Do you know?

21 A. I don't know about that.

22 Q. You mentioned these armed groups, and you already mentioned that

23 they continued to exist. Did anything happen in October 1990 in Banija

24 and Kordun related to this?

25 A. An escalation took place. There were more and more incidents that

Page 12937

1 took place in and around Knin, and especially great conflicts between the

2 Serb population and the non-armed Serb groups and the Croatian police in

3 the area of Banija and Kordun. So October was characteristic of this

4 escalation. The intensity of the incidents was stronger, and figuratively

5 speaking, it moved from the Knin area to the Banija region.

6 Q. And when you speak of incidents, what do you mean by this? What

7 happened? Who did what?

8 A. In the area around Knin, I know that the railway line was mined,

9 blown up, and shops owned by people around Knin were -- newspaper kiosks,

10 other facilities near Sibenik, and many provocations of that nature. And

11 in the Banija area, and this was covered by the media, were conflicts with

12 the Croatian special police with the armed Serbs from the region.

13 Q. When you speak about shops and kiosks, to whom did they belong and

14 who caused these provocations?

15 A. The proprietors were social companies, socially-owned companies

16 from Zagreb, such as the Vjesnik publishing house or members of the ethnic

17 -- Albanian ethnic group or Croats.

18 Q. And who -- who committed these provocations?

19 A. People from the group that was called the National Resistance

20 Alliance.

21 Q. Did these activities cause any reactions of the Croatian police?

22 A. Reactions on the part of the Croatian police had been manifest

23 before that as well in the sense of taking control of Knin. At that time

24 in October, it was a process of keeping people informed, the police force

25 informed about what was going on, not reactions in the field on the

Page 12938

1 ground. The Croatian police force didn't have access to that area. So

2 the police force under the authorities of the Croatian government. And

3 the police stations themselves in that particular area, I didn't hear of

4 them completing the investigations and uncovering the perpetrators. At

5 least, they didn't put this forward publicly.

6 Q. If I understand you correctly, you said that the persons who

7 committed those provocations were in this council of resistance, or did I

8 misunderstand that?

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. Why did they do that?

11 A. Well, in my opinion, they wanted to cause provocations and

12 incidents. And the basic reason for this was, to my mind, the fact that

13 the social crisis in that part of Croatia should be raised to such a

14 level, should be escalated so that Yugoslavia could then step in and

15 introduce a state of emergency in the whole area, a state of emergency

16 which would suspend the powers that be in the area, the Croatian

17 authorities, in fact.

18 JUDGE MAY: Which ethnic group were the National Resistance

19 Alliance from?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serbs. They were Serbs.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

22 Q. And if I have understood you correctly, it was Serbs around Milan

23 Martic.

24 A. That's right.

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.

Page 12939

1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to

2 make a request. I don't understand anything at all of what the witness is

3 saying. He's speaking very softly, and I can't understand what he's

4 saying. So could I please ask the witness to speak up and speak into the

5 microphone, closer to the microphone, and louder, please. Thank you.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Witness C-061, you heard that request.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

8 Q. Could the Serb politicians in Knin, of the SDS and the Executive

9 Council, could they not stop these armed groups from creating such

10 provocations?

11 A. No. And Vasil Tupurkovski, member of the Yugoslav state

12 Presidency, was informed about it when he came to Knin at the beginning of

13 October. They were not under the control of the local authorities or the

14 SDS, for that matter, although in the group there were members of the SDS

15 who were active as well.

16 Q. And Vasil Tupurkovski, are you aware if he took any actions on

17 what he heard from the people in Knin?

18 A. The member of the Yugoslav state Presidency or, rather, the

19 members of the Presidency and the federal government did send observers

20 from, I think it was, the Federal Ministry of the Interior. They sent

21 people to the area. And I think the result of their activities there was

22 the fact that the situation had calmed down somewhat in October 1990.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

24 show the witness now the Exhibit 351, tab 14. It is the statute of the

25 Serb Autonomous District of Krajina, and a decision of the Assembly of the

Page 12940

1 municipality of Knin, dated the 20th of December, 1990, on the

2 implementation of the statute of the SAO Krajina.

3 Q. Witness, why was this step taken in December 1990? Why was the

4 SAO Krajina formed?

5 A. It was formed so that the setting up of the municipality of

6 Northern Dalmatia and Lika should be completed in the sense of forming the

7 Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina, a district of that kind, and on

8 the basis of the provisions of the constitution that was in force up until

9 then of the Republic of Croatia, leaving aside the amendments which on the

10 25th of July were attached to the constitution. So the Serbian Autonomous

11 District of Krajina was constituted at that time for the -- for this to

12 take place before the 23rd of December when the new constitution of

13 Croatia was to be enacted. And the proposal was in that constitution that

14 the Serb people be wiped out as a constituent ethnic group, as a

15 constituent nation of the Republic of Croatia.

16 Q. Witness, referring to Article 1 of this statute, there -- it says

17 here: "The Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina should be the form of

18 territorial autonomy within the composition of the Republic of Croatia."

19 What sort of autonomy was --

20 A. That's right.

21 Q. Which form of autonomy did this statute include?

22 A. Regional autonomy within Croatia.

23 Q. And in Article 4, you -- there are listed the territories

24 including -- included in the SAO Krajina, and it says here: "Comprised of

25 territories of the present union of municipalities of Northern Dalmatia

Page 12941

1 and Lika, territories of municipalities with majority Serbian population

2 which adopt decisions to join the SAO of Krajina, and settlements in which

3 Serbian people comprise the majority of the population and which have

4 voted at a referendum in favour of joining one of the existing or newly

5 established municipalities with a majority Serbian population."

6 Which municipalities did actually join in addition to those who

7 were already in the union of municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and

8 Lika?

9 A. In addition to the six municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and

10 Lika, there were also the municipalities successively - not all at once -

11 Dvor na Uni, Glina, Kostajnica, Vrginmost, Vojnic, and Pakrac.

12 Q. In Article 5 there is the capital mentioned of the SAO, and it's

13 Knin. And throughout this document, there are references to the legal

14 framework in which the SAO would be operating, and as an example, it's in

15 Article 6.7: "Implement laws, other regulations, and general enactments

16 of the Republic of Croatia and the federation whose implementation is

17 entrusted to district organs."

18 Did this -- was this SAO planned to operate within the Republic of

19 Croatia and the federation of Yugoslavia?

20 A. It was to function within the Republic of Croatia, which was a

21 member of the Yugoslav federation itself.

22 Q. And in Article 8, we have the organs of the -- of the SAO

23 described as the Assembly, the Executive Council, and the president of the

24 Executive Council. Was that done in this way?

25 A. From the 21st of December, 1990, up until the 30th of April, 1991,

Page 12942

1 they existed as provisional organs. So the presidents of the

2 municipalities performed these functions as provisional organs, which

3 means yes, in this way, as I have described it.

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, for two questions we would need

5 to go into private session.

6 [Private session]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [Open session]

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

13 Q. Who was Ratko Markovic, Professor Ratko Markovic? Who was that?

14 A. He was a professor of the Faculty of Law in Belgrade and a member

15 of the leadership of the Socialist Party of Serbia.

16 Q. The Socialist Party of Serbia, that [microphone not activated].

17 A. That's correct.

18 Q. Who was Mr. Borivoj Rasuo?

19 A. Borivoj Rasuo was an associate of the Marxist Centre of the

20 Central Committee of the Communist Party of Serbia. Later, he was a

21 member of the Yugoslav Institute for Journalism, a man who was close to

22 the political circles in Belgrade.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

24 show the witness now the Exhibit 351, tab 15, and it is a draft decision

25 dated on the 19th of December, 1990, on The Implementation of the Statute

Page 12943

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Page 12944

1 of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina.

2 Q. You recognise this?

3 A. Yes. This was a proposal which was adopted at the same time as

4 the statute, on the 21st of December.

5 Q. And again with the help of the usher, I would like to show the

6 witness now the Exhibit 351, tab 19, and it is the decision on The

7 Implementation of the Statue of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina,

8 and it says here the date is the 26th of December, 1990. Is that correct?

9 A. This is not correct. It's been altered. This is on the 20th of

10 December. Somebody later changed this and corrected it.

11 Q. And the correct date is the 20th?

12 A. That's correct, yes.

13 Q. According to the statute, municipalities could join the SAO. I

14 would just like to discuss with you an example for such an act, and it's

15 Exhibit 352, tab 3. Can you please have a look at it? It is a decision

16 on adopting the Statute of Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina, and it's

17 in this case the Knin municipality who joins; is that correct?

18 A. That's correct.

19 Q. You've already mentioned those municipalities who joined, and you

20 also mentioned that Pakrac, the municipality of Pakrac, joined. Did they

21 actually get involved in the work of the SAO organs, this municipality of

22 Pakrac?

23 A. No. I think the municipality of Pakrac adopted a decision on the

24 20th of February, 1991, on joining the SAO Krajina, but this was never

25 implemented. The Pakrac municipality never actually joined in the work of

Page 12945

1 the institutions of the SAO Krajina.

2 Q. You also mentioned -- thank you. We don't need to discuss the

3 documents any more.

4 In addition to the municipalities who joined the SAO, did local

5 communes join the SAO, and if so, how was it done?

6 A. Municipalities did join in. First of all, they had to hold a

7 referendum in order to join one of the municipalities in the SAO Krajina,

8 and then, as part of that municipality, they were able to become part of

9 the SAO Krajina. And many local communes adopted this method from

10 neighbouring municipalities which had not previously been in the SAO

11 Krajina. And perhaps one-fourth of the territory of the SAO Krajina

12 joined it in this manner.

13 Q. And you have already mentioned, actually, in the beginning, when

14 we looked at the map, you mentioned Plaski, and you also mentioned the

15 parts of Zadar municipality. Which other local communes joined, in

16 particular in the region of Knin? Which communes joined?

17 A. In the area of Knin, it was local communes from the Sinj

18 municipality, that is, Otisic, Koljane, Laktas, and parts of some other

19 municipality. Then from Drnis municipality, it was Bobota, Debu [phoen],

20 Mircic [phoen], Bircic [phoen], Tanjane, Stikovo, later on Baljci.

21 From the area of the Sibenik municipality, it was quite a few

22 local communes, such as Bratiskovci, Bribir, and there are more. I won't

23 enumerate them all. These were all local communes that joined the

24 municipality of Knin from the areas of other municipalities.

25 Q. And were they all municipalities with Serb majority? Sorry,

Page 12946

1 communes with a Serb majority?

2 A. Yes. Yes.

3 Q. How were the municipalities financed before the formation of the

4 SAO?

5 A. They were financed from the revenue provided for by law as

6 belonging to the municipalities and from the so-called additional funds

7 allotted from the republican budget.

8 Q. That means from the Croatian budget.

9 A. The budget of the Republic of Croatia.

10 Q. Did that eventually stop; and if so, when?

11 A. Starting in October 1990, when what the Croats refer to as the log

12 revolution took place in Knin and its surroundings, the government of

13 Croatia halted the payments coming from the Croatian budget in the case of

14 municipalities which they considered did not respect the decisions made by

15 the government of the Republic of Croatia. And this happened especially

16 in late 1990 and early 1991 in all the municipalities that made part of

17 the SAO Krajina. So the funds were not paid.

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

19 show the witness the Exhibit 352, tab 8.

20 Q. It says here in the conclusions that the: "Executive councils of

21 the aforementioned municipal assemblies are required to submit to the

22 municipal assembly a draft decision on blocking the payment of funds into

23 the budget of the Republic of Croatia in the amount of additional funds

24 for municipal budgets that have been blocked."

25 Was that the reaction of the SAO municipalities to this blocking

Page 12947

1 of the funds?

2 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.

3 Q. What local resources did the municipalities have that they then

4 kept instead of transferring to the Croatian government?

5 A. The system of payments of taxes was such that in a certain branch

6 of the state accountancy service, these funds were distributed so that the

7 part of the revenue that belonged to the municipalities was set apart

8 right away, and the rest was paid into the budget of the republic, in this

9 case Croatia; and as we have just explained, then some of these funds were

10 returned to the municipality. It was the municipality, in fact, that made

11 a decision, and the funds that belonged to the taxes belonging to Croatia

12 but which were supposed to be paid back to the municipalities were

13 actually held back and given to the municipalities directly so that the

14 municipalities had their own revenue and also revenue from taxes.

15 Q. Did -- were the local resources that were earned in the

16 municipalities, were they sufficient to support the entire work of the

17 municipalities, or did you need help from outside?

18 A. It is evident from this that the municipalities in the SAO Krajina

19 belonged to the underdeveloped part of the Republic of Croatia and did not

20 have sufficient revenue within the municipality to finance the municipal

21 administration, which is why some of the taxes of the Republic of Croatia

22 from the republican budget were used to finance the municipalities. When

23 Croatia stopped sending these funds, the municipalities had to turn for

24 help to whoever could assist them.

25 Q. To whom did you turn for help? I mean not you personally but the

Page 12948

1 municipalities.

2 A. We turned for help -- well, every municipality addressed a

3 friendly municipality in Serbia or representatives of the government of

4 Serbia.

5 Q. How was that done in Knin? In practical terms, what did you do in

6 Knin to get the money needed, for instance, for the health sector or for

7 pensions?

8 A. Knin was a more developed centre in the Krajina, and it was able

9 to fund part of its needs from its own revenue, but it needed more funds

10 for health care, for education later on, and for these it had to apply for

11 help elsewhere. Textbooks were donated from Montenegro. Health

12 institutions in Serbia gave assistance, and then some of the debt of the

13 nut and bolt factory in Knin was resolved with the support of the

14 president of the Republic of Serbia.

15 Q. Before we come to this latter remark of you, you mentioned that

16 the municipalities were part of the SDK system in Croatia. Did that

17 change? Did you turn to another accountancy service?

18 A. Well, at first we turned to another SDK service because the

19 government of Croatia instructed the Croatian SDK to block the accounts of

20 institutions and companies in the Krajina. So in order to function

21 normally, they had to rely on another service. First of all, institutions

22 and companies from the Krajina opened their additional accounts or extra

23 accounts in the SDK in Serbia. It was with Branch 6 in New Belgrade that

24 they opened these accounts. They were so-called non-residential accounts.

25 Later on in 1991, the SDK service in the Krajina was unified and

Page 12949

1 linked up directly with the SDK of Serbia through Branch 6 in New

2 Belgrade.

3 Q. When this contact with the SDK branch in New Belgrade was

4 established, who actually negotiated this on the SAO side and on the

5 Belgrade side of matters?

6 A. As far as I know, the Minister for Serbs outside Serbia, Slavko

7 Cvijan was involved in this and so was the deputy director of the New

8 Belgrade branch. From the Krajina, it was presidents of the

9 municipalities and the directors of companies and institutions.

10 Q. The deputy director of the SDK in New Belgrade, who was he?

11 A. Mirko Konjikusic.

12 Q. Was he affiliated with Slobodan Milosevic?

13 A. He could have been, through the State Security Service, because I

14 heard that he worked for that service and he had connections with Jovica

15 Stanisic while the director of the service had connections with the

16 Minister of the Interior of Serbia, Radmilo Bogdanovic. That is the

17 former minister. He was a minister in 1990, and after that, he was the

18 former minister. That's what I heard from them.

19 Q. When did you hear about Mr. Mirko Konjikusic being a member of the

20 State Security Service? Who told you that and when?

21 A. He told me this in the second half of January 1991 on an occasion

22 when he was observing employees of the State Security Service escorting

23 someone, and he made a comment to the effect that he would take a wheel

24 off their car, and he -- because he knew how this was done, and he

25 described the men. He knew what they were like. It was on this occasion

Page 12950

1 that he referred to himself.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

3 show the witness now the Exhibit 352, tab 9. It is a decision on the

4 temporary mode of financing the Municipalities in Serb Autonomous Region

5 of Krajina of the 19th of January, 1991. And in Article 2, it says,

6 referring to the mode of payments: "The payment of the basic sales tax is

7 discontinued, and it will, after the agreement with the Federal Organs has

8 been reached, be calculated and paid into the Federation account."

9 Does that refer to what you just told us about the SDK Serbia, New

10 Belgrade, or what does it mean?

11 A. This is a step further from halting payments of additional funds

12 from the budget of the Republic of Croatia. So this meant halting the

13 entire tax collected by the government of Croatia from the territory of

14 the SAO Krajina. So this was a step further as far as financing went, and

15 this tax would be paid to the account of the federation, and it was from

16 there that the needs of the SAO Krajina would be financed.

17 As for the SDK, this would be a legal way for the job to be done,

18 for transactions to be conducted and payments made and registered.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And again with the help of the usher, I would

20 like to show the witness now Exhibit 352, tab 10, and it's referring to

21 the session held on the 19th of January, 1991, in Knin, and there is again

22 the references here on the agenda in relation to the financing of the

23 municipalities.

24 Q. Was that the session in -- during which those decisions were made?

25 A. Yes. It refers to what we have just been talking about.

Page 12951

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Page 12952

1 Q. In practical terms, how was the SDK Serbia branch New Belgrade

2 integrated into the financial transaction? Can you explain how that was

3 done in practical terms?

4 A. As I said to begin with, everyone participating in payments, that

5 is, all public institutions, companies, municipalities, everyone who had a

6 giro account, opened this account in Branch 6 in Belgrade and used it to

7 make all their payments. From mid-1990, the SDK system on the territory

8 of the Krajina was unified, and through the centre of the SDK in Krajina,

9 it was linked up to Branch 6 in New Belgrade, and in this way it was

10 joined to the SDK system of the territory of Yugoslavia.

11 Q. Does that mean the SDK in the SAO Krajina was a part of the SDK

12 Serbia then when it was established?

13 A. Factually, yes. De facto, it was.

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, with the help of the usher, I

15 would like to show the witness now two exhibits relating to this issue,

16 and it's Exhibit 352, tab 11, and the other one is tab 12.

17 Q. Tab 11 is the decision of the 16th of May, 1991, On The Public

18 Auditing Service of the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina. And,

19 Witness, if you look at Article 5, it says here: "In the performance of

20 its duties, the Service shall cooperate with organs of the Krajina and the

21 Republic of Serbia."

22 And the other document is of that same date, a decision on the

23 appointment of the director of the public auditing service. Yes. Thank

24 you. That's -- we don't need to discuss details of these documents.

25 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we'll sit until five to two - so

Page 12953

1 an additional ten minutes - and we'll start the next hearing ten minutes

2 later as a result.

3 I'm not sure we've ever had a translation of SDK. Perhaps you can

4 help us with that.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: This is actually used -- several English

6 expressions are use. That is the public auditing service. It's also

7 called public -- the other term now I just -- sorry. Public accountancy

8 service is another expression. But Mr. -- the expert that the Prosecution

9 will present, Mr. Morten Torkildsen, will actually address the issues and

10 the functioning of this SDK service. It's more -- it's actually a sort of

11 controlling system of transfers of money.

12 Q. Witness, you -- in which period did this system operate, this

13 public accountancy service through Serbia, or this cooperation between the

14 two SDK services? Did this continue until Operation Storm?

15 A. That's correct; from May 1991 until August 1995.

16 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic know about this system of cooperation?

17 JUDGE MAY: Well, I don't know the witness can answer that.

18 Is there anything you know which could help you as to what

19 Mr. Milosevic may have known or not known?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only say that he could have

21 known through the government of Serbia, which controlled the system.

22 Whether he knew, I can't say, but I believe that he did.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I have another exhibit to put to the witness,

24 and it's Exhibit 352, tab 14, and it is a letter dated the 12th of May,

25 1992, to the Government of Serbia, to the Prime Minister; to the

Page 12954

1 Government of the Republic of Montenegro; and to the Governor of the

2 Yugoslav National Bank. And it is referring to the regulations in

3 relation to the National Bank, and you find here the sentence: "With the

4 creation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, the legal regulations of the

5 Republic of Croatia ceased to be valid, and the law and legal regulations

6 of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia continued to be

7 applicable..."

8 It says: "Among other laws that continued to be valid in the

9 Republic of Serbian Krajina, and which are still valid today, are the Law

10 on the Yugoslav National Bank and the Single System of Monetary

11 Transactions of National Banks of Republics and National Banks of

12 Autonomous Provinces..."

13 And it further says: "Since the first day of the state of war in

14 the Republic of Serbian Krajina, bank transactions and the transfers of

15 payments are conducted through commercial banks and branches of the Public

16 Auditing Service from the Republic of Serbia."

17 Q. So does that mean, when the RSK was in existence, it continued to

18 be like this, and the constitution, the new constitution of the FRY in

19 1991 did not change that either, or did it have an effect?

20 A. I apologise. What year did you say? The constitution of what

21 year?

22 Q. 1992.

23 A. I don't know what the constitutional provisions were, but nothing

24 changed. The cooperation even became stronger and better

25 institutionalised, including the National Bank of Yugoslavia.

Page 12955

1 Q. Did the SAO Krajina have at some point in time a budget?

2 A. Yes. The budget came into existence when the government was set

3 up in late May 1991.

4 Q. How was the budget financed?

5 A. From taxes collected on the territory of Krajina.

6 Q. Was that sufficient or did you get support from outside of

7 Krajina?

8 A. No, it was not sufficient, not even for the functioning of the

9 administration which was set up. We received assistance from Serbia.

10 Q. Who -- in which way was that done?

11 A. Some ministers in the government, for their needs, or directors of

12 companies or institutions, for their needs, or presidents of

13 municipalities or communes would go to Serbia to representatives of

14 companies or municipalities or institutions there, and they would receive

15 assistance.

16 Q. Was the finance -- how was the financing of the police done?

17 A. The police was not financed from the budget of the Krajina except

18 for a small part of it in the summer of 1991. The police was financed

19 from Serbia through the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.

20 Q. How was that done in practical terms? Did they get cash or did

21 they have an account with the SDK? Do you know that?

22 A. To begin with, they got cash. I know that they got cash and

23 technical equipment. Later on, they opened accounts. Later on, the

24 Ministry of the Interior of Krajina had an account.

25 Q. Why was the financing of the police not included in the SAO

Page 12956

1 budget?

2 A. In 1991, there were no planned revenues and expenditures for the

3 budget, but this was not the main reason. The main reason was the lack of

4 funds. The SAO Krajina was only just being established. It consisted of

5 an association of self-governing municipalities, and its revenue as very

6 small. There was not enough.

7 Q. How was the TO financed at that time, Serbian TO?

8 A. Until August 1991, employees in the municipal staffs of the

9 Territorial Defence who had permanent jobs were paid by the

10 municipalities. After the war broke out, the JNA entered the war and the

11 TO joined in with the JNA, it was financed by the JNA. Later on, plans

12 were made for the TO to have separate funding, but that was only from 1992

13 onwards. However, in 1991, for the most part, it was in the way I have

14 just described.

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

16 show the witness the Exhibit 352, tab 76. It is a specified request by

17 Milan Martic to the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Defence Belgrade,

18 dated the 18th of September, 1991.

19 Q. Witness, when you look at the header and the signature and the

20 stamp, is that a genuine document? Can you comment on this?

21 A. Yes, it is an authentic document. But I wish to mention that the

22 stamp is not that of the TO Main Staff. It's that of the TO of the

23 municipality of Knin. The other one is, I think --

24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the

25 microphone.

Page 12957

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:

2 Q. Witness, we couldn't hear the last half sentence that you spoke.

3 It was too low in the tone.

4 A. The document is authentic, but the stamps used were those of the

5 Territorial Defence Staff of the municipality of Knin.

6 Q. Do you recognise the signature of Mr. Martic?

7 A. That is his usual signature, the signature I've seen on documents

8 signed by him.

9 Q. And the other person, Savo Radulovic, who is he?

10 A. The commander of the Municipal Staff of the TO in Knin at the

11 time.

12 Q. Witness, without going into specifics, it's a request for several

13 TOs such as Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, Gracac, Vrginmost, Vojnic, in

14 particular about -- at war Glina, in particular about ammunition and -- I

15 think it's basically ammunition and equipment and weapons; is that

16 correct?

17 A. That's correct.

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, this is --

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will adjourn now.

20 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we are concerned about the time, as we

21 mentioned before. I don't think you're anything like a quarter of the way

22 through. We have got constraints of time, as you know, upon us, and

23 therefore, the conclusion we come to is that the original estimate for

24 this witness was, I think, 14 hours. We will give you a total of 16,

25 which is four days. We said three, but we'll give you four, and could you

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Page 12959

1 please be through by then.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour. Much appreciated,

3 and I'll do my best. I think it's going, actually, rather fast.

4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Witness C-061, will you be back tomorrow

5 at 9.00, please, to continue your evidence.

6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,

7 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day of

8 November, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.

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