1 Monday, 25 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: We'll deal with some administrative matters first.
7 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we've had notice that the plenary will now
8 take place on the 12th and the 13th of December, two of the original days
9 which were fixed. It will not take place on the 11th, and therefore we
10 shall sit that day, having in mind the time that's been lost. We will
11 sit, of course, on the 18th, where we said we would have administrative
12 matters. It may be that, if we get that far, there may be some evidence
13 to be finished up, and closer to the time, we'll decide whether we'll sit
14 that afternoon or not, but the parties should have that time available for
15 sitting, if necessary.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS MILAN BABIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: [Continued]
21 Q. Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
22 A. Good morning. Yes.
23 Q. Witness, you have already described the pattern of attacks that
24 you saw occurring, and you have described the military formation present
25 in particular regions, and I would like to discuss with you now what you
1 can tell us about crimes occurring in particular places named in the
3 The first place I would like to turn to is the Kostajnica region,
4 in particular, the regions Dubica, Cerovljani, and Bacin. On Friday you
5 testified that fighting took place in this region until September 1991,
6 and you also testified at an earlier point in time that you observed the
7 fighting personally from the Bosnia side of the river.
8 You also mentioned already that you travelled through the region
9 in November 1991, on your way to Petrinja, and that you saw the Croatian
10 villages or parts of villages where Croats had lived, that they were
11 destroyed and the population gone.
12 You also already mentioned a military headquarters in Samarica,
13 and my question to you is: What kind of a facility was it? Was it -- of
14 what structure was it the headquarters?
15 A. At Samarica was the headquarters of the operative group for the
16 JNA for Banija and Kordun, and this headquarters was the military command
17 for the area. The 7th Banija Division had its headquarters up there as
18 well, as did the special police units, or rather -- well, that's it.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, we actually had managed to
20 produce charts of the military formations on the ground at that time, and
21 with the help of the usher, I would like to put to the witness these
22 charts now. And it has three pages: one showing the TO structure, one
23 showing the JNA operational group that the witness just mentioned, and the
24 third is actually a map that is just showing you where the various places
25 are located.
1 Q. First of all, Witness, if you look at the first chart. And I have
2 to read it to you because it's in English language. It says: "Croatian
3 operative zones of the TO SAO Krajina," and it simply shows the command
4 structure, with the Prime Minister on top; the Main Staff of the TO, with
5 first General Djujic, and then, of course, you have already said that
6 changed; and then you have here the three operational zones: the first one
7 for Dalmatia and Lika, the second one Slunj, and the third one Kostajnica,
8 Petrinja, Sisak.
9 Is that correct? Is the chart correct in relation to the TO?
10 A. Underneath Slunj you should add Vojnic and Vrginmost. And
11 underneath Petrinja, what should be added is Glina and Dvor na Uni.
12 Otherwise, the rest is as it was here, was as it was in the chart.
13 Q. Yes. Thank you. And if you look at the second page, you have the
14 JNA Operation Group Banija-Kordun-Lika after October 1991, and it shows
15 here already the headquarters Samarica and its commander Jasan Maric.
16 Then you have the various sections, that is the 2nd and 3rd Operative Zone
17 of the TO with Colonel Vujaklija, JNA 5th Military District Units, then
18 the 6th Lika Division, the Loznica Brigade from Serbia
19 and the Special Police Units Krajina, and then you also have here the
20 Banija Division attached to the TO, and the unspecified JNA units attached
21 to the 5th Military District.
22 Would that be correct?
23 A. It says "Operative Group Banija Kordun" here and "Lika." The
24 commander was General Spiro Nikovic in the month of November. I don't
25 know the dates, from when until when.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. And then I'm not sure whether Lika was under this Operative Group
3 or whether it had its own command, the 6th Lika Division. But anyway, so
4 there, that's what it was like. This is what it was like.
5 And underneath the Loznica Brigade you should add the Sabac
6 Brigade from Serbia and the Vojvodina Brigade from Serbia as well, and a
7 paratrooper unit from Nis.
8 Q. The paratroop from Nis, did it have a particular -- did it have a
9 particular name?
10 A. It was a special paratroop unit. I don't know what the name was
11 exactly, whether that was its name or whether it had another one.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we put it on the overhead projector?
13 Yes. Yes. Thank you. And the third, the third page. Can you please
14 turn it around to the map. The third page. Can you please put the third
15 page on the ELMO.
16 Q. It's actually a map showing the 5th Military District region, the
17 Naval Military District region, and the places that we actually spoke
18 about so far. Looking at it, is it correct?
19 A. The border between the Naval Military District and the
20 5th Military District was here, this line. Lika belonged to the
21 5th Military District, and Northern Dalmatia
23 Q. Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Witness.
24 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, it's described as tab 120, this
25 exhibit. Which exhibit is that in?
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Tab 120 was actually the creation of the
2 Operational Zones and their composition with the three military
3 districts. But this would now, of course, need to have a different
4 exhibit number because it's an entirely new exhibit. It's just a
5 reference to the document that was discussed.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Give it a new number, please, the next number.
7 It's being suggested that we have tab 171 of 352. It probably makes very
8 little difference.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
12 Q. Witness, you had mentioned the 7th Banija Division and that
13 Mr. Bogdan Vajagic commanded it up to September 1991. Do you know who
14 commanded it in October, November 1991?
15 A. Bogdan Vajagic was his name, and the division was reformed,
16 restructured as a formation of the Territorial Defence, but it remained
17 the same in content.
18 Q. And you also mentioned that Special Police Units were also there,
19 so the units attached to the parallel structure. In -- in October, end of
20 October, and November 1991, who in person was there from the parallel
21 structure? Which commanding person?
22 A. His name was Borojevic, and he was the commander of that Special
23 Police Unit. His name was Borojevic.
24 Q. Were volunteer units or paramilitary units as well in that region
25 in Kostajnica attached to the Samarica headquarters?
1 A. I don't know.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, please.
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
6 Q. Did you visit the headquarters in Samarica personally, and if so,
7 when and why?
8 A. In mid-November 1991, while I was in Petrinja, I was invited by
9 General Spiro Nikovic to go to Samarica to visit him, but I never went
10 there, for security reasons. I wasn't quite sure what was happening up
11 there and what existed up there, because people had been telling me that
12 there were different units stationed there, that there were killings that
13 had taken place and similar things.
14 Q. Did you fear for your own safety?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. These units that you mentioned, these people that were stationed
17 there, were they opposing your politics, or why would you fear for your
18 own safety?
19 A. There was a constant conflict between the parallel structures
20 there: the state security, the DB, and the police force, and part of the
21 SDS, the regional board of the SDS. So there was a political conflict.
22 But the SDS, the regional board of the SDS, supported me and criticised
23 those parallel structures, especially the police force of Krajina and
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Open session.
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, if the witness could point the
3 location of Samarica in this third tab in this map.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
5 Q. Witness, you heard Their Honours asking.
6 A. Yes, I can. Samarica is a hill which is located where the
7 Bosanski Novi -- or rather, Dvor na Uni, Kostajnica, and Petrinja
8 municipalities meet, which means here.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The witness is pointing, actually, at the
10 word "Banija," in the region of the word "Banija." This map is not
11 specific enough to show the place itself. Thank you.
12 JUDGE KWON: Is it near from Petrinja?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's between Kostajnica and
14 Petrinja, yes.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
17 Q. Witness, when you were in the region in November, did you see the
18 villages Dubica, Cerovljani, and Bacin; and if so, what did they look like
19 in relation to the destruction that ...
20 A. Those villages were destroyed.
21 Q. Were there churches in these villages and were they destroyed as
23 A. I don't know exactly. I arrived in Kostajnica from the Petrinja
24 direction, and I saw those villages afterwards, later on, and they had
25 been completely destroyed and without any inhabitants.
1 Q. The villagers, or the people living, the Croat people living in
2 these villages, had they posed a threat to the Serbs in the region in
3 October/November 1991?
4 A. No, they had not. The fighting was over by mid-September.
5 Q. You mentioned already you heard of killings. Did you get
6 information that 120 Croatian villagers from these three villages had been
7 killed in October 1991?
8 A. I didn't receive information to that effect. My information was
9 different, in 1994/1995.
10 Q. What was your information?
11 A. I heard from people from Dubica that they had taken revenge in
12 Bacin for what had happened in 1941.
13 Q. I would like to now move on to the region Korenica, Ogulin, and in
14 particular, the villages Saborsko, Poljanak, and Lipovanic. You have
15 already mentioned the training ground in Slunj and the officer Cedomir
16 Bulat being in charge there. Do you know which JNA corps were active in
17 this region end of November until mid - sorry - end of October until
18 mid-November 1991?
19 A. The command was active there, the command from Plitvice, that is,
20 Mukinje, and from the training ground. I had information that this was
21 the operative zone of the 6th Lika Division and units within it, or in
22 coordination -- acting in coordination with it or subordinated to it. I
23 also heard that there was an advance command position of the Rijeka Corps,
24 and that the Vojvodina Brigade was active there for a while, as well as
25 members of the paratroop units from Nis, and the Territorial Defence from
1 the area. Who was exactly the highest commanding officer or command, I
2 don't know. According to establishment, if there was a forward command
3 post the Rijeka Corps, then they must have had the highest-ranking officer
4 within it.
5 Q. Witness, was there also the 1st Partisan Light Brigade in this
7 A. The 1st Partisan Light Brigade was within the territory of the
8 municipality of Gracac and a part of the municipality of Gospic, in the
9 southern part of Lika, not around Plitvice. Up there, I think it was the
10 5th Brigade that was active.
11 Q. Yes. I would briefly talk -- I would like to briefly talk to you
12 about this 1st Partisan Light Brigade. Who was its commander?
13 A. Colonel Petar Trbojevic.
14 Q. Was he a JNA officer?
15 A. Yes, a JNA officer, dispatched from the General Staff in September
16 1991 to form the 1st Light Partisan Brigade.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the -- I would like to have closed
18 session very briefly, for two questions.
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
22 Q. Did you actually meet Colonel Trbojevic, and what dealings did you
23 have with him?
24 A. At least on two occasions. The first time, when he came from
25 Belgrade, I was called to the command of the Knin Corps by General
1 Vukovic, and he introduced me to Colonel Trbojevic. And he said that
2 Colonel Trbojevic was going to be the commander of the 1st Light Partisan
3 Brigade and that men would not respond to the mobilisation because of its
4 name, so that I should appeal to them to sign up, and that was the reason
5 why I met with Colonel Trbojevic. I said to General Vukovic that I would
6 do that if it was going to be called a brigade of the Territorial Defence,
7 and he said, "Okay, then." And indeed, later on, in communication with
8 us, it was referred to as the 1st TO Brigade, but in reality it was known
9 as the 1st Partisan Brigade.
10 Q. Does that mean this brigade cooperated with the Knin Corps?
11 Because you mentioned Colonel Vukovic.
12 A. That's right.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
14 put to the witness the tab 161 and 162 of Exhibit 352.
15 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, do we need to be in closed
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. Thank you.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
21 Q. Witness, looking at the two documents, are they related to the
22 mobilisation that you just mentioned to us, that is, a mobilisation order
23 of the 26th of October, 1991, and the other one also a mobilisation order
24 of that same day?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. In the first document, there is a reference made to a mobilisation
2 issued by the SFRY Presidency of the 4th of October, 1991
3 reason why this mobilisation was actually ordered?
4 A. Yes. This document refers to that, and this other one as well.
5 Q. Thank you. That should be enough. We don't need to discuss more
6 details on this matter.
7 In relation to the region of Plitvice and the villages Saborsko,
8 Poljanak, and Lipovanic, did the Korenica municipal TO staff cover that
9 same region, and if so, who was the commander there in October, November,
11 A. The Municipal Staff of the TO Korenica did cover it, but the
12 surrounding Serbian areas had been linked to the Korenica municipality.
13 And the commander of the Municipal Staff was Colonel Milos Cvijeticanin,
14 or Lieutenant Colonel.
15 Q. Was he an active JNA officer; do you know?
16 A. He had been an active officer in Zadar prior to that, and he
17 probably continued to be that.
18 Q. Was personnel of the DB Serbia in that region active in this
19 region; do you know?
20 A. Yes. After August 1991, a base of the DB of Serbia was in
21 Korenica or, rather, Frenki's base was there.
22 Q. Does that mean that Frenki himself was there, or who was there in
23 charge of this section?
24 A. I was told that those men from the DB were there. And I
25 personally had met Frenki there earlier, on earlier occasions.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. You already mentioned the parachute units from Nis
2 they have special uniforms?
3 A. They wore red berets.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would like to go into closed session for
5 two questions.
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
9 Q. Witness, you said they were also there in October/November 1991.
10 How do you know that?
11 A. They were there until February 1992. From when exactly, I can't
12 say, but they were there during combat activities. I know because I was
13 in the SIT factory near Udbina in 1992 when the municipality of Udbina was
14 being established, and Colonel Milivojevic was in the staff, and he was in
15 command in the area. A member of the parachute unit came to the
16 headquarters wearing combat gear with gloves without fingers. He shook
17 hands with me, and he gave me as a gift a red beret, his red beret, the
18 kind that he wore. But he told me not to put it on my head because it was
19 worn only by men who had sworn to fight to the death. I took the beret
20 and I hid it in the corner of my cupboard so the children wouldn't play
21 with it because I thought it was damned.
22 Q. This person that spoke to you from the parachute unit, did he tell
23 you where he had been fighting? Did he mention anything?
24 A. They were in the region around Vrhovine. I don't know exactly
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Open session, please.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
5 Q. In October/November 1991, were the villages Saborsko, Poljanak,
6 and Lipovanic surrounded by Serb villages?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did these villages at that time pose a threat to the Serbs in the
10 A. No.
11 Q. When -- do you know when these villages were attacked?
12 A. There was fighting there around the 17th of November or
13 mid-November in 1991. So mid-November there was combat around Slunj, and
14 that is the region.
15 Q. Did you get the information that end of October until the 12th of
16 November, Croat civilians were killed in these three villages? Do you
17 know anything of that?
18 A. No, I didn't.
19 Q. I would like -- did you hear it later on? Did you get any
20 information later on about this?
21 A. Later on I saw - that is in 1994 - that the villages had been
22 destroyed and that they were abandoned, that there were no inhabitants in
24 Q. I would like now to move to the third region, that is Northern
25 Dalmatia with Skabrnje, Nadin, and Bruska, and particularly the time
1 period November 1991 to February 1992. These villages that I just
2 mentioned, are they all in the Benkovac municipality or the Serbian -- the
3 so-called Serbian Zadar region?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Who was the president of the Benkovac municipality at that time,
6 November 1991 to February 1992?
7 A. Zdravko Zecevic.
8 Q. Was he related to Frenki, Martic, and the others of the parallel
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was there a Crisis Staff in Benkovac? Do you know?
12 A. There was a Crisis Staff in Benkovac which was a body that was not
13 envisaged by the documents of the municipality but was formed on the
14 initiative of the local authorities in Benkovac itself.
15 Q. Was the Martic police involved in the Crisis Staff?
16 A. Yes, there were representatives, that is of the civilian
17 authorities, the police, the TO; therefore, all the structures that
18 existed within the municipality of Benkovac.
19 Q. Was the JNA involved in this Crisis Staff?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. You have already mentioned that Captain Dragan had a training
22 facility in the Benkovac region. Was he there in November 1991? Do you
24 A. He would come in November 1991.
25 Q. And Frenki, was he also in this region in November 1991?
1 A. I don't know where Frenki was at that time.
2 Q. In relation to the Martic police in the region in November 1991,
3 do you know who was in charge of them there in this particular region of
5 A. There was the regular police and the special police. The head of
6 the special police was Goran Opacic.
7 Q. Are you aware that Skabrnja and Nadin were attacked in November
9 A. There was some fighting there, but I don't know exactly the
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
12 put to the witness two exhibits. The first is tab 164 of Exhibit 352, and
13 the other one is tab 75 of that same exhibit.
14 Q. And looking at the first one, it is actually a note about fighting
15 concerning the Yugoslav army and Martic in the villages -- in the Croatian
16 villages in Benkovac municipality of September 1991.
17 Witness, this is a document compiled by the Croatian authorities,
18 and looking -- looking at it, on the second page there is a quote, and I
19 quote on the second page:
20 "In accordance with Colonel Mladic's orders, Martic's terrorists,
21 together with military reservists, are entering all houses by force,
22 robbing and taking everything they need and destroying the rest."
23 And my question is: Did that happen in that region as indicated
24 here in this note? Do you know?
25 A. Yes, that is how it was.
1 Q. And I have here the second document. It is a report of the SAO
2 Krajina headquarters of the 17th of September, 1991
3 JUDGE MAY: Let's go back to the previous one,
4 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
6 JUDGE KWON: Which is the first document? Is it tab 165? 164.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: 164.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let's get this right. It's 164, is it?
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And it is actually a document provided by the
11 Croatian authorities, and I just wanted to address the contents of this
12 document with the witness, whether such attacks as described here, with
13 robbing and destroying, took place in the region. That was the purpose of
14 putting it to the witness. Yes.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we have that.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The next document, tab 75.
17 Q. Witness, it's a report of the SAO Krajina headquarters of the 17th
18 of September, 1991. And if you look at the seal and the header, is that
19 a -- are they authentic?
20 A. They are.
21 Q. And what position did this person Maglov, Petar have? Do you know
23 A. I can't remember exactly.
24 Q. In this document, there is the mentioning of the TO Benkovac staff
25 on the first page and an order given by Milan Martic. And as point 2,
1 there is mentioned: "Have an armoured train go from Kosovo station to
2 near Tepljuh and open heavy fire on the region of Siveric." What kind of
3 an armoured train was it?
4 A. It was an armoured train that Frenki made in Strmica, a combat
5 armoured train.
6 Q. And who was in charge of this train? Do you know who commanded
7 the conduct of this train?
8 A. Guska was his name.
9 Q. To whom was he related? Was he part of this parallel structure?
10 Who was he subordinated to?
11 A. Frenki and Martic.
12 Q. In relation to the villages Skabrnja and Nadin, did they pose a
13 threat to the Serbs in the region, or the JNA, in November 1991?
14 A. To the Serbs, no; but in a sense, they jeopardised the flank of
15 the JNA forces in the region of Zemunik.
16 Q. In which way did they jeopardise the flank of the JNA units? Was
17 the Croatian army in these villages in November 1991?
18 A. I don't know exactly. I just know that General Vukovic said that
19 before the winter he had to level the lines where his units had been
20 deployed in that region, to even them out. I said General Vukovic.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, please, for one question.
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
25 Q. Witness, to whom did General Vukovic say that, and why?
1 A. He told me that in his office, at the headquarters of the 9th
2 Corps in Knin. Actually, he invited me and asked me to point to the
3 Northern Dalmatian region on the map and indicate the Serbian settlements
4 in that area, that is, from Sibenik towards Zadar, the municipalities of
5 Knin, Sibenik, Benkovac. And I pointed them out to him. In the area of
6 Benkovac, it's not really possible to indicate with precision because the
7 population is mixed to quite a considerable degree. And such compact
8 areas of Serbian and Croatian settlements are distributed in the form of a
9 curve, so that as I pointed them out, this was in a curving position. And
10 then he waved his head and said, "I can't leave it like that until the
11 winter. I have to make the lines straight." That's what he said, that he
12 had to deploy his unit in a straight line.
13 Q. Were the villages Skabrnja and Nadin disturbing the straight
15 A. Yes, in a sense. In relation to that line, they were indented.
16 The area of Zemunik and towards Zadar, where the 9th Corps units were
17 deployed, they formed a kind of wedge, and Skabrnja was inside it.
18 Q. Witness --
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go to open session again.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
23 Q. Do you know when these villages, Skabrnja and Nadin, were attacked
24 and which -- in which way, which forces took part in it?
25 A. I learnt later -- I wasn't fully informed at the time. I was
1 later informed that these were Skabrnja and Nadin, in November 1991. JNA
2 units took part, as well as units that were coordinated by the Crisis
3 Staff in Benkovac, which means the TO and the police and all armed
4 formations that were in the area of Benkovac.
5 Q. Did you get information that Croatian civilians were murdered
6 during the attack?
7 A. I learnt later that they had been.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
12 Q. Who informed you, and what did this person tell you?
13 A. I was informed by [redacted]
15 [redacted]. He
16 said that they went there to straighten out the region, to straighten out
17 the lines in Skabrnja. And he said that Goran Opacic had also taken part
18 in the attack, or rather, at the beginning of the attack, but afterwards
19 that he had left. He told me that for personal reasons, because Goran
20 Opacic, in June 1992, mistreated me in person, and that is probably what
21 prompted [redacted]to mention him specifically to me.
22 Q. Does that mean Goran Opacic mistreated you in person, or this
24 A. No. Goran Opacic mistreated me. He mistreated me and some other
25 people from the Regional Board of the SDS
1 Q. Why did he -- what was the occasion that he mistreated you, and
2 what did he actually do to you?
3 A. On the 13th of June, 1992, after, in Djevrske -- no, in
4 Bratiskovci. I beg your pardon. That's a village which was joined from
5 the Sibenik municipality to the Knin municipality. And he said that
6 Slobodan Milosevic was not to be trusted, believed. And when at that
7 meeting I tried to prove to the people what he wanted to give to Croatia
8 in March 1991, that means when I was talking about Bihac and the road from
9 Benkovac to Drnis, so two days after that, or three days later, Goran
10 Opacic and his men waited for me in Benkovac and wanted to liquidate me
12 Q. Witness, let me clarify something. Who said that Slobodan
13 Milosevic was not to be trusted?
14 A. I did. I said that to the people at the meeting in Bratiskovci.
15 Q. Witness --
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go back into open session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
20 Q. This person Goran Opacic that you mentioned, did he have a
22 A. Klempo was what they called him.
23 Q. Was he close to Milan Martic?
24 A. Yes, close, intimate.
25 Q. I would like now to move on to Bruska. You have already mentioned
1 Bruska and how you visited it. In December 1991, was there any fighting
2 in or around the village?
3 A. I don't remember.
4 Q. Are you aware that ten civilians were killed in the village of
5 Bruska on the 21st of December, 1991, and how it came about?
6 A. I did hear about that, later on. And how it came about was that
7 Goran Opacic, with a few of his men, threw a bomb into the house where the
8 inhabitants were sitting. And Croats were killed, the Croats who were
9 there, and a Serb postman who was sitting there with them.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Closed session, please, for one question.
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
14 Q. Who informed you about that?
15 A. [redacted]
16 Q. And when did he inform you?
17 A. Two years ago, a year and a half ago.
18 Q. Did the Croatian villagers return to the region of Skabrnja or
19 Bruska before Operation Storm? Do you know?
20 A. No.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go back into open session.
22 [Open session]
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
24 Q. Witness, with the help of the usher, I would like to put to you
25 Exhibit -- tab 166 of Exhibit 352. And there is a document of the
1 Ministry of Internal Affairs dated the 28th of September, 1992
2 stamped. Can you first of all comment on the header and the stamp and the
4 A. This is a document which corresponds to the contents, but the
5 signature is not that of Martic. Somebody signed for him, probably
6 someone from the command of the special police units.
7 Q. And the stamp, is it the stamp that was used at that time?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. In this document, there is a reference made to -- I quote: "We
10 have the --" I can't read that word. Sorry. Mine was not readable. "We
11 have the surely information that during the 29/30-1992 by force
12 immigration of the population is planned for Skabrnja, Novigrad, and
13 Pridraga." And a little bit further down: "... we inform you that we
14 will be forced to prevent by force arrival of -- on the territory of
16 Do you know that anything happened at that time, in September
17 1992, in relation to the return of the population?
18 A. I know that people talked about it and that it was the position by
19 the people in the government that the Croats should not be allowed to
20 return. I don't know exactly, in any precise terms.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's enough for the document.
23 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, who interpreted, translated this
24 document? I'm interested in the form of the document. Was it faxed?
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It is actually a UN -- we received this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 document from the UN.
2 JUDGE KWON: UNPROFOR.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: UNPROFOR. And I'm actually -- I'm not sure
4 who translated it. I assume they, not us.
5 JUDGE KWON: And if you could tell us what the previous documents,
6 the handwritten documents, are which were put before this document under
7 the same tab number.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, this is just a memo from
9 UNPROFOR related to the situation at that time, and attached was this
10 statement from Martic, Martic's ministry. The other questions I can't
11 actually answer. It is a letter written to UNPROFOR and the State
12 Committee for Cooperation.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I think it says that.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Witness, we have -- you have already mentioned Dubrovnik
16 fighting in Dubrovnik and what the goal was in relation to this region.
17 Did the Bosnian Serbs have a particular goal for the region around
18 Dubrovnik? Did you ever have a conversation related to this?
19 A. Yes, they did. It was their target that the Republika Srpska
20 should come out onto the sea to the south of Dubrovnik
21 Q. How do you know that? Did you have conversation of that kind or
22 did you hear them quote such things?
23 A. I heard this from Biljana Plavsic, that Republika Srpska should be
24 given an outlet to the sea at the rocks of Konavle.
25 Q. When did she say that? Did she say that publicly and when?
1 A. Yes, she said that publicly in 1994 or 1995. I'm not quite sure
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I -- when we spoke about the
4 intercepts in relation to the Martic arrest, there was actually one
5 intercept that I did not put to the witness, and I would like to do that
6 just now, and it is -- it's tab 37 of the intercept binder 353.
7 Q. Witness, did you listen to an intercepted conversation between
8 Radovan Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik? Do you recall that?
9 A. I do recall it, yes.
10 Q. How familiar are you with Mr. Krajisnik's voice?
11 A. I know the voice well. I heard him on several occasions. He uses
12 the Sarajevo dialect with his own personal type of intonation.
13 Q. Yes. I do not like to go into any details. It's not necessity
14 point in time. Thank you.
15 Witness, we have seen from several documents that you had actually
16 put -- discussed and explained to us that civilian and military courts
17 were established in the SAO Krajina and the RSK, and we also have seen the
18 request of the RSK to the VJ to transfer staff for military courts. Does
19 that mean that civil and military courts did function in the years 1991 to
20 1995 in the Krajina?
21 A. Yes, they did.
22 Q. Are you aware whether any war crimes committed against the
23 non-Serbs, the non-Serbs in the region, were investigated by the judiciary
24 and led to a result such as a conviction?
25 A. No, except for one group from Drvenik for a crime in Rupe or
1 thereabouts. In 1993, I think it was.
2 Q. What kind of group -- what kind of group was it? Who was
3 convicted of what?
4 A. A group belonging to the army of the Srpska Krajina from Drvenik
5 where it had killed some civilians. This was around the village of Rupe
6 or around that area, and they were arrested and taken to trial. I don't
7 know what the outcome of the trial was.
8 Q. The victims of these crimes, what ethnicity did they have?
9 A. They were Croats.
10 Q. You have already described the looting that took place after
11 attacks on --
12 A. I beg your pardon. I do apologise. Or one of them was perhaps
13 killed at Rupe, and they killed some Croats from their own village.
14 Perhaps that was it. Perhaps that was what happened.
15 Q. Witness, you have already described the looting that took place
16 after attacks on Croatian villages, and I would like to ask you a question
17 now in private session.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
22 Q. Did you ever have -- did you ever speak or have a conversation
23 with Branko Kostic, the member of the SFRY Presidency, concerning
25 A. Yes, I did. On the 31st of December, 1991
1 Presidency of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.
2 Q. What did you talk?
3 A. Well, while we were waiting for Borisav Jovic to arrive, he was
4 saying -- he was telling us a joke, and he asked me whether I knew what a
5 Montenegrin flak jacket was. And then he explained to me that actually
6 they were prosciutto hams placed one in front and one behind. And he
7 showed his chest and his back and said that the Montenegrins wore these
8 prosciutto hams as flak jackets. And then he went on to comment and said
9 that the Montenegrin reservists in the Konavle region liked shooting
10 prosciutto hams mostly.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go back into open session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
15 Q. Witness, you have already described the two detention facilities
16 in Knin, and I just need a few more details on this. Were Croats detained
17 in a part of the old Knin hospital?
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. This old Knin hospital, where was it situated in Knin in relation
20 to the government buildings and the JNA barracks?
21 A. Between the headquarters of the 9th Corps and the government
23 Q. Does that mean they were close?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who ran the detention facility, and in which time period did it
1 function as a detention facility?
2 A. The police were at the head, and it functioned as a prison for a
3 long time. I don't know when it started being used in that way, but
4 sometime in the middle of the summer of 1991 until the end of 1992. And
5 later on, when the prison was taken over by the Ministry of Justice and
6 when Ilija Tauz came and brought in professional prison guards, it was
7 moved to the other wing of the old hospital, and that's where the prison
8 was later on.
9 Q. How many -- what kind of people were kept there; civilians,
10 combatants, men, women? Can you tell us?
11 A. Members of the Croatian police force and army who had been taken
12 prisoner. And later on, I heard that there were some civilians too,
14 Q. And how many Croats were detained there at a given time? What was
15 the capacity?
16 A. I don't know exactly what the capacity was. Well, tens, dozens.
17 Q. Do you know how long the detainees were kept there? I mean, over
18 which time period were they kept there?
19 A. I don't know exactly, but it was in 1991 at any rate. The autumn
20 of 1991.
21 Q. I mean the individual detainees, how were they kept there, the
22 time period; just for a few days or months? The individual detainees, how
23 long would they be detained there?
24 A. Well, I can't say exactly. There were some exchanges that took
25 place. Some of them were exchanged and, therefore, released.
1 Q. You said that detainees -- it was known that detainees were
2 mistreated there. Who mistreated them and in which way?
3 A. The guards who were policemen. I heard later on that they even
4 brought in citizens from the streets to mistreat them.
5 Q. And when you say "citizens from the streets," which ethnicity had
6 the victims?
7 A. Croats.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Closed session, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
12 Q. Witness, you mentioned that some were exchanged, and my question
13 is: Were you actually involved in some of these exchanges?
14 A. At the beginning of September 1991, when Ambassador Wijnaendts
15 arrived after the signing of my statement and the accepting observers from
16 the European Community, he suggested that as an act of good faith and
17 goodwill that he could take off a group of Croats, prisoners, with him in
18 the helicopters. And I called upon Nikola Amanovic from the police force
19 and asked him whether we could meet that request made by
20 Ambassador Wijnaendts. And Amanovic arrived and he brought a list of
21 prisoners with him, detainees who were in prison, and I handed the list
22 over to Ambassador Wijnaendts. This was in front of the Knin Assembly
23 building. So it was all standing on our feet outside. The Ambassador
24 took a pen and drew some circles round some names on the list, as many as
25 he could take with him. And that's what happened on that occasion. That
1 was my participation.
2 Q. And how many people were listed on the list, and what kind of
3 people were they?
4 A. I don't know. I think that they were Croatian policemen or
5 guardsmen who were the prisoners.
6 And there was another instance, one or two cases, in fact, in
7 July, August - I don't remember exactly when - but on that occasion,
8 General Niko Spirovic -- I beg your pardon, Spiro Nikovic is his name, he
9 called me to ask Martic to let a Croatian policeman out of prison, to
10 release him, because the Croatian police force from Sibenik had requested
12 And also on another occasion received another message from Zadar
13 via the head of -- from a doctor in Sibenik and a relation of mine whether
14 I could do anything to ensure the release of a policeman from Zadar who
15 was being held in a prison in Knin. So those were the cases that I
16 personally know about.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
18 put to the witness tab 168 of Exhibit 352.
19 Q. And my question to you is: Is this related to one of the releases
20 that you just mentioned? It's an order dated the 25th of July, 1991, in
21 relation to the release of Osman Vikic from Zadar.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Looking at the name, is that a Croat?
24 A. Looking at the name, I would say he was a Muslim.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Witness, do you need [Realtime transcript read in
1 error: "do you know"] a Prime Minister's signature in order to release a
2 prisoner? Was it common at that time?
3 I said "do you need" not "do you know."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. But for some reason the Prime
5 Minister was asked to sign as justification to have this person released.
6 I don't know why. But it was Minister Martic, in public, once who made a
7 comment that this was a mistake that had been done through the Prime
8 Minister and General Nikovic and that he was sorry that this had actually
9 taken place, and this was published in the press.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We have to stay in private session.
13 Q. During the events in 1991, you were in a leading political
14 position in the SAO Krajina, and you were also the head of the TO, and you
15 told us --
16 JUDGE MAY: The senior legal officer, please. Just a moment.
17 Just go on. It's totally different.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you.
19 Q. You said from 1991 onwards when the JNA was involved, you saw what
20 was happening to the Croatian population. How did this make you feel at
21 that time? How did you feel about what was going on?
22 A. Well, I felt that this didn't bode well for the Serbs either, that
23 it was bad and that it compromised all the political principles for which
24 the Serbs in Krajina had fought for until that time.
25 Q. You said that you were a kind of a spokesman of the Krajina, and
1 we even saw you mentioned in one article as the chancellor of Krajina.
2 And you also said that you were backed, and the people listened to you.
3 Why did you not oppose more vehemently what was going on, and why did you
4 continue to have the functions that you had?
5 A. Well, I became exclusively interested in the fate of my people. I
6 became an ethnoegotist, if I can put it that way - selfish - and I took
7 care of only my own people and forgot the others. And I sort of saw my
8 political role in that light. I liked performing this role, and I would
9 tell the public what people expected me to say. So I had entered this
10 vicious circle from which it was difficult to extricate myself. And I did
11 think that ultimately, after the war, a solution would be found and that
12 things could be settled politically.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, these are actually the
14 questions that the Prosecution has to this witness. I'm actually
15 finished, faster than I expected it myself.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go into open session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you repeat the final comment in open
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Which one?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Which one do you mean? Oh, you mean that we
25 are finished with our questions. Yes. The Prosecution has now finished
1 its questions that we're to put to the witness, and faster as expected.
2 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient time. We'll go to
3 cross-examination, Mr. Milosevic, after the break. Twenty minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, before you begin, there's one
7 procedural matter which we must deal with in private session.
8 . We'll go into private session
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE MAY: The point is this, which the registrar has mentioned
12 to us, that because the witness has to -- has voice distortion on his
13 microphone, it's necessary for the registrar to switch off your
14 microphone, Mr. Milosevic, after you've finished your questions and before
15 you -- before the witness answers. So it will be necessary to pause
16 between question and answer. Would you, therefore, keep your questions as
17 short as possible.
18 And would the witness bear in mind to leave a break after the
19 accused has asked his question, to leave a break for the registrar to
20 switch off the microphone. Now, that doesn't sound difficult, it doesn't
21 sound difficult, but in fact it will be, because you'll understand the
22 question and you'll be anxious to answer it, since you both speak the same
23 language. But could you bear that in mind, that there should be a pause.
24 Yes. We'll go back into open session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, would you, of course, bear in mind that
3 any matters, as you know now, which may disclose the identity of this
4 witness must be dealt with in private session, and you should err on the
5 side of caution in that respect. Yes.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have been given the
8 testimony of this witness on tapes, and I would like at the beginning to
9 play one of those many videotapes, the first one. The first one will
11 JUDGE MAY: Just let us see what -- let us just see what this is.
12 This is tapes of his interview, is that it?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. A part of the first tape of
14 his conversations with the lady opposite and with the investigator, upon
15 which I could put some questions to the witness and ask him to comment.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the track has been identified. It will have
17 to be in private session, as the registrar points out, because of the
18 facial distortion.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the video be played.
22 [Videotape played]
23 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] ... the year 1991, and in
24 connection with that, I would like to say the following. You see it was
25 really that I was reacting on a daily basis, day in and day out I reacted
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 every day to events, external events and in order to represent the
2 interests of the Serbs in Krajina, the people I represented. And in all
3 my interventions, what I wished was really one thing. That where Serbs in
4 Croatia and primarily in Krajina, that I ensure a just, a harmonious
5 relationship in Croatia, relations in Croatia. And in no way wore murder
6 and suffering. In that sense, I also issued some statements. One was,
7 for example, also taken up and published in the press, it was a statement
8 of the 21st of August, 1991. And it referred to the attempt to preserve
9 peace in the area of Kijevo. I already talked about that. And another
10 statement, which I made, I gave on the 29th of August, 1991, that was also
11 published by the press. And in this statement I said that we do not wish
12 bloodshed between Serbs, Serbian and Croat population. And that we
13 wouldn't wish to take over, to subjugate a single village, Croatian
14 village, and not to occupy a single particle of Croatian territory, nor to
15 do any harm to the Croatian nation. And then at the end something that I
16 believe I already mentioned earlier with the international representative
17 Mr. Galbraith, I agreed with this international proposal which was
18 submitted for the status of Krajina within Croatia
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It goes on. These are just excerpts
21 from the tape and it's longer than this, and I would like to ask my
22 questions once we've seen all of it. So please continue.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
24 [Videotape played]
1 another two sentences to devote it to another topic, to devote them to
2 another topic. And it concerns that document which was already on this
3 table, which has been on this table. It is the official document number
4 63. It is a document of an audit to the third operation cell, to the
5 command of the third operation cell. I already talked that, and in
6 connection with that, I would like to in this context, I would like to add
7 the following --
8 "MR. HARDIN: Just let me just interrupt, for reference purposes,
9 that's the document that is marked MBW863. Yes now, just one second, yes,
10 it's all right now. The ERN number is 0207 -- 7 -- 794 – 948/unclear
11 just made a copy/unclear.
13 following, concerning that document. It is certain that I signed that
14 document, but it is also certain that if I hadn't signed it, somebody else
15 would have signed it. Well, I have been asking myself and I wonder why
16 that has been slipped to me and that I then signed it. I'd like to be
17 clear about that. It is again the work of that Milosevic parallel
18 structure operating in Krajina. In that way, they certainly wanted to
19 compromise me. To compromise me vis-a-vis the legitimate representatives
20 of the Croatian authorities, in the attempt to resolve the open issues in
21 a peaceful manner. To present me as a liar and to present me as somebody
22 who is for war and not for peace. And in that situation at the time, it
23 was the work for compromising me, it was done in order to compromise me
24 and to present me as a person who is not for peace and not for the Vance's
25 plan. And it seems to me that this document is still carrying, is still
1 having this function of compromising me, even today at this very moment.
2 And I feel that it is compromising me even today. It is placing me in a
3 different light, and also me, and the intentions, and my real intentions,
4 what they were. And that was to resolve the political problems without
5 violence, and to enable and ensure the coexistence of the Serbian and
6 Croatian people without a conflict. And this is what --"
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Let us proceed.
8 [Videotape played]
9 "MR. HARDIN: OK. Mr. Babic, let me just ask you a question in
10 point about what you just said a few minutes ago. You said that on the
11 29th of August 1991, in essence you didn't wish bloodshed, and I don't
12 recall what else you said, but it was that/unclear. And I have a
13 representation of what is an article from Politika, dated 29th of August
14 1991. I think that this is just a summary of the article, but what I have
15 written here is: 'Milan Babic states that the southern parts of the SAO
16 Krajina are almost entirely under control of armed people, after the SAO
17 Krajina forces liberated Kijevo, Vrliku, Otisic, and other areas. He adds
18 that no forces from the Republic of Serbia participated in the operation
19 and that the Serbs shall shrink from no means to defend their right to
20 independence.' And then it goes on to state: 'Krajina,' he states:
21 'cannot remain within Croatia, even if Croatia remained in Yugoslavia.'
22 Do you recall that interview?
24 statement went that we have no claims towards Croatia
1 "MR. HARDIN: In the press summary that you mentioned when you
2 were talking, is this the one, the same interview that we're talking
5 from a friend of mine. He reminded me of this. But we can check with the
6 press and check it then.
7 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Do you want to give this to us, what you
8 have there?
9 "MR. MUELLER: Is this the article or is it not?
10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No it is not the article."
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: Continue, please.
12 [Videotape played]
13 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, I did not understand actually
14 what you meant when you said that my plan was, as a regional politician,
15 was to come to an agreement with the Croatians within the framework of
16 Croatia. From when onwards did you have this plan?
18 or my intention to do it, it was from the beginning of September 1990. It
19 was when, with Jerko, Jerko Vukas, the mayor of Sinj, when we agreed for a
20 meeting with the representatives of the Croatian government and of the
21 Croatian parliament. On the 10th of September, we signed an agreement.
22 In the documents, I submitted a copy of this agreement where we stated we
23 agreed that all open questions will be resolved through the institution.
24 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yeah, let's not go into details, and get
25 not let -- let's not get distracted by details. You say since September
1 1990 you wanted to solve the problem with Croatia
2 pass so many decisions annexing the SAO Krajina to Serbia
4 day-to-day reactions to these external events. Concerning some of these
5 events have already been discussed here. I also mentioned a number of
6 times that this parallel structure was being set up in Krajina, which had
7 an impact on the external events. They took over, they had the monopoly
8 over the organs of force, through the institution of the police, the state
9 security. And then also the -- the public was being threatened. They
10 were -- I mentioned a number of times also this film which was being shown
11 on television concerning Martin Spegelj and the purported attack on Knin.
12 And we -- we were -- this -- we considered that we were being publicly --
13 it was a kind of a public threat to us, and this -- us, as well as the
14 public at large. And we also -- we wanted to get Milosevic to take a
15 clear stand; namely, we wanted to provoke him and not to manipulate the
16 public with false hopes, through false hopes. And that is why I mentioned
17 that these reactions, we had these reactions to these day-to-day events.
18 And after this atmosphere of fear was created, and after the armed
19 conflicts were being -- occurred, the next opportunity for resolving our
20 status came at the international conference. And then again similar means
21 were used by Milosevic and his people.
22 "In front of the apartment of Borivoj Rasuo at the beginning --
23 at the beginning of The Hague conference there was a big -- in big letters
24 what I read, big, it was written in red, `Babic, traitor.' And Rasuo --
25 Rasuo said that this was written by a policeman who lived next to him.
1 "I already mentioned how Frenki in the police station in Knin,
2 before I went to the first preparatory meeting in Paris
3 Conference, that he was inciting people against me by saying that I was a
4 traitor and so. Then at the time, Slobodan Milosevic; then Simovic;
5 Petrovic, who was the vice-president of the Assembly of Serbia, I won't
6 list all the others, but however, many people from Serbia
7 among -- from the ranks of the authorities were -- were creating this
8 climate among the population and generating thus expectations among the
9 people living in Krajina and that it is their natural right to remain in
10 Yugoslavia and that they will have to make another -- choose an option.
11 "I mentioned to you that this -- at a certain point I couldn't
12 take this atmosphere, this pressure, any more, and I didn't go to Paris to
13 this preparatory meeting. I was really pressed on the one side by the
14 public opinion and authorities in Serbia
15 pressure that I'm a traitor of the Serbian nation."
16 JUDGE MAY: Any more, Mr. Milosevic?
17 THE ACCUSED: Yes, yes.
18 [Videotape played]
20 this atmosphere which prevailed at the time, and how -- how we acted as
21 rational politicians.
22 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, I still don't understand your
23 position in relation to what your plans were. You say in September 1990,
24 your plan was actually -- or you intended to solve the problems internally
25 in Croatia.
1 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Please. And then comes this period
3 where clashes occur and when conflict comes up, and then you -- do I
4 understand that you still continued to have this plan or did you give it
5 up for a while?
7 heart, but not always in my mouth.
8 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And in autumn 1991, you again wanted
9 to discuss and negotiate with the Croats. Is that what you say?
11 that. It was with -- through the mediation of the international
12 community. I already mentioned what these relations were, how they -- how
13 they progressed, and maybe it was my mistake not to have sufficient
14 courage to take this step publicly.
15 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But did you --
17 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But no, let's not speak about your
18 weaknesses now. Did you --"
19 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are talking about 1991 now."
20 [Videotape played]
22 Tudjman did not want to have a public meeting, a meeting that would be
23 public, made public. You see, he offered that this meeting take place. I
24 accepted but that it had to be made known public. But I received no
25 feedback on this. So we then also proposed this constitutional solution
1 where the Krajina would be within the framework of Croatia
2 Krajina region, district. And that's why they called me the district
3 leader, the head, the `Zupan.' Even Biljana Plavsic called me leader of
4 the district, namely, the person who wants the Krajina to be a district, a
5 region of Croatia.
6 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But, Mr. Babic, it's very difficult when you
7 jump between the years. If I understand you now correctly, it's in 1990
8 you were strongly moving to having an Autonomous Region Krajina within
11 the end of May 1991.
12 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But then you gave it up and never pursued
13 it. Isn't that -- isn't that the fact?
14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, you see, there was no
15 possibility for pursuing, for opening this matter. I was really limited
16 by the circumstances which were being created around us, and Croatia
17 publicly saying that Serbia is abusing of Krajina for its public purposes,
19 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yeah. Isn't that --"
20 THE ACCUSED: Go on, please.
21 [Videotape played]
22 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But you, at the moment, you've just said he
23 created parallel structure in the Krajina. He undermined my plan. That
24 is what you said, but you did not explain what you mean.
1 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But I don't really understand that.
2 How could -- how could he do that?
3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] How could he?
4 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yeah."
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Just suspend matters for a moment, please.
6 Thank you. Yes.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I was just able to find the --
8 the script, the script from the interview, and I just noticed that in this
9 tape that is just now played to us, two sentences are actually dropped.
10 They are cut out. And I think it, in a certain way, changes what the
11 witness says.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. What are the two sentences?
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: After: "And Croatia
14 that Serbia is abusing of Krajina for its public purposes, ends." And
15 then I asked the witness: "Yes. Isn't that the truth?" And the witness
16 answered: "Yes, but what I want to say is how Milosevic and others abused
17 Krajina, individual persons and its institutions."
18 This is what the witness said, and this is actually left out, this
19 short quote. From the rest -- before is played and the after is played,
20 but this is not.
21 JUDGE MAY: In due course this extract will have to be exhibited.
22 You will have, of course, the opportunity to check that it's correct and
23 it has been exhibited.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: There were also other breaks, and I have only
25 now found it in this huge transcript, and we'll check it.
1 JUDGE MAY: Of course. Yes. Let's go on with the playing,
3 One at a time. One at a time.
4 Now, Mr. Tapuskovic. Yes. What is it, Mr. Tapuskovic?
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to
6 draw your attention simply to one matter. I agree that we should assess
7 everything when we see it in full context, but for several days, we've
8 been listening to the intercepts, and excerpts taken from those, just two
9 sentences. So if this principle refers to the substance, that is to say
10 that every document and every transcript should be viewed in its entirety,
11 I agree that it be so. However, the remark I have to make -- the remark
12 made by the Prosecution about the two sentences I think is not justified,
13 because when we listen to the intercepts, quite a different method was
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
17 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. We will have the full extracts
18 exhibited. Then we shall be able to see for ourselves what it in fact
19 says. Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These shortenings were for the
21 economy of time, because the points upon which the lady opposite is
22 insisting upon isn't lost. He did say it. But it was cut out -- what she
23 was saying is cut out, which is not as essential for the witness
24 statement. But the shortenings and abridging that was made was because
25 they were your tapes and not my own. So there was no intention to skip
1 over anything, just to see the manner in which this witness testifies.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So it was to save time.
4 JUDGE MAY: When the extracts are finished, the tape as it has
5 been played will be exhibited. No doubt it will have to be done under
6 seal. And then we will exhibit also the transcript. But this whole
7 matter must be kept within bounds.
8 Yes, Mr. Mueller. Then we really must get on with the playing.
9 MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Just for the
10 sake of fairness and safeguarding the rights of my client as a witness who
11 is supposed to tell here the truth, if anything else then the truth, I
12 consider that he should at least be given a notice that he is now
13 listening to excerpts of a tape, which was not done. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, he's just heard it.
15 MR. MUELLER: He heard it after. He heard it after.
16 JUDGE MAY: Let us not waste further time. There is no unfairness
17 so far.
18 Yes. One other matter. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, can you tell us
19 which -- the document that was referred to, an order of the -- to the
20 3rd Operative Zone signed by the witness. Is that an exhibit of ours or
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: There -- the first document was actually a --
23 tab 143 of Exhibit 352, and it refers to this command structure in the
24 3rd Operational Zone. But the very first document that Mr. Milosevic
25 actually -- that is mentioned in the interview is a document not exhibited
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 by us, and if Mr. Milosevic wants to refer to it, it would have to become
2 a new exhibit.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. But it was the order which I specifically
4 asked about. That's tab 142, Exhibit 352.
5 Yes. Now, let's go back to the playing, if we may, of the tape.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understood that I was mentioning
7 something. I am not mentioning anything. I'm just showing what the
8 witness was saying. I have not said anything so far.
9 JUDGE MAY: What counsel said was that if you want the statement
10 exhibited - it was referred to in the tape - if you want it exhibited, you
11 can ask and it can be a new exhibit number.
12 Let us go on with the playing, please.
13 [Videotape played]
14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] ... September 1990. And we
15 stabilised the situation in the area of Knin, and after a period of lack
16 of stability, and when we also made these also statements concerning
17 peace, pacifying, and undertook certain activities, two things emerged.
18 "At first what emerged was this Council of National Resistance
19 against the subjugation of Serbs. It had a very long title, and in brief
20 it was known as the Council of National Resistance, an illegal
21 organisation, and which I later recognised in the DB, namely the people
22 from there were the people in the DB. So even a journalist noted that as
23 the people from Knin are not -- a -- are -- now this void has been
24 occupied by the people from the Council of National Resistance.
25 "And the second element was that the unrest and conflicts began in
1 Banija. I don't know who or what caused these conflicts. So the Serbs
2 were accusing the Croatian government, and the Croatian -- the ah --
3 "THE INTERPRETER: Could you ask him to repeat that?
4 "MR. HARDIN: Could you repeat that?
6 accusing the rebellious Serbs, and Serbia
7 accusing the Croatian government."
8 [Videotape played]
10 supported me. He said, `That's the right thing.' And he added: `There
11 is a third element, wishing of the conflict.' So the first two factors,
12 elements, were we and the Croatian government, and he mentioned this third
13 factor, the third element, wishing a conflict. He at that point must have
14 known something more than I did.
15 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But you said the illegal organisation, this
16 Council of National Resistance, were people of -- from the DB. You mean
17 from the DB Serbia or the local DB?
19 were living in Knin: Dule Orlovic, then Vitas, and others who were
20 there. At a certain point, Dusan Orlovic was the head of DB of Krajina.
21 But I recounted -- I described to you how I've seen that his boss was
22 Jovica Stanisic. It was on the basis of the talk, on that discussion in
23 August 1991.
24 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But, Mr. Babic, let's not get distracted
25 again. You say while you were pursuing peace, other forces were -- other
1 sides were pursuing war. And you mentioned this Council of National
2 Resistance, you mentioned some elements in Banija, and you mentioned a
3 third party whom you -- who Raskovic mentioned. Why can you then say it's
4 Milosevic? How does Milosevic fit into this picture?
6 fit in this picture? At the beginning, I didn't know how he fit, but
7 later I was -- it became clear to me that there is a hierarchy and that
8 there's a system: Vitas, Orlovic, Martic, Stanisic. They certainly lead
9 to Milosevic. I think that Stanisic leads to Milosevic, that he wasn't
10 there independently. That's how I see the structure."
11 [Videotape played]
13 our acceptance of the Cyrus Vance plan and the acceptance of the UN
14 forces. In this discussion, Radovan Karadzic aggressively supported
15 Milosevic and he acted aggressively towards me. And Nikola Koljevic, it
16 was a non-aggressive attitude, but also expressing his support for the
17 position stated by Milosevic. And then Milosevic gave me a sheet of
18 paper, and then I went to another room to write down this statement. And
19 I wrote this statement, approximately on one page. He took, I believe, a
20 pencil, and he said the following --
21 "MR. HARDIN: `He' meaning who, Milosevic?
23 following. He said: `I won't cross it out, but I shall underline what I
24 believe you should leave out.' And then he underlined practically the
25 entire text. What remained was that we -- was the sentence that we accept
1 the peace plan. Well, I, you know, in a subdued tone, I protested. I
2 didn't agree with that. And he responded. He reacted to this by saying,
3 `You're stubborn, stubborn.' He often would say that to me, that I'm
4 stubborn, and he used the English term that I'm a troublemaker. And he
5 launched this expression `troublemaker' in May 1991, and it was then that
6 he said that I ought to be killed. Namely, he said that -- he
7 stated, `Some academicians said that you ought to be killed.'
8 "MR. HARDIN: In May 1991?
10 ought to be killed. But on this occasion, he didn't say it.
11 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But was that a joke? Did he mean it as a
12 joke or did you understand it as a threat?
14 wanted to conceal it a bit, that it's not his direct threat. You know, he
15 didn't even offer coffee. It was a hostile attitude.
16 "MR. HARDIN: /unclear/in May?"
17 [Videotape played]
19 there and while we were waiting for Jovic to arrive, Branko Kostic was
20 talking to General Krstic over the phone. In fact, Kostic was asking, `Is
21 there anything which has to -- ought to be signed?' I do not remember -- I
22 cannot recollect if there were any other Presidency members present. I
23 remember that he was there because of this scene with the telephone, but
24 the talk, I had the talk with Jovic.
25 "MR. HARDIN: Yes. Now, when you describe the talk with Jovic, I
1 would like you to tell me, as best as you can recall, what he said and
2 what you said. Not necessarily what you thought, but what you and he
5 the text.
6 "MR. HARDIN: `He' meaning Jovic?
9 "MR. HARDIN: And `the text' means the Vance Plan?
10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 "MR. HARDIN: Okay.
13 in this.' That is what I said. And he answered. He was arrogant,
14 uppity. He said, `And is there anything new with you?' I said, `No.'
15 And, you know, this is the key impression of that meeting. I don't
16 recollect other things being said. This arrogance and this attitude of
17 him -- of his, this is what remains with me.
18 "MR. HARDIN: So at the time you had this meeting with him, he
19 was already -- it was very -- it was well known by him that you opposed
20 the Vance Plan; is that correct?
22 said, `Is there anything new with you?' He meant: Are there any changes
23 in your attitude? I wasn't generally opposed. Generally, I was for, I
24 was accepting the plan.
25 "MR. HARDIN: Yes, just what was said.
2 comments, some observations. It was in this sense that he said, `What's
3 new with you?' I remain behind these comments of mine. So I retain and I
4 stand by these comments of mine.
5 "MR. HARDIN: And what did he reply?"
6 [Videotape played]
7 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. Well, let me just ask a question regarding
8 that and then I'll go back and qualify it. Okay. With that statement I
9 just read, is that true, that that was one of the aspects of contention
10 between what you wanted and what Mr. Milosevic et al. wanted?
11 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't about this.
12 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. Hang on just a
13 minute. Hang on. Hang on just now. I'm going to qualify this. What I'm
14 looking at and what I'm reading from is -- I already read the ERN number.
15 No. I'll repeat it for the record. It's 00543360. Okay. And this is an
16 unofficial translation, and it says it's a text of Mr. Milan Babic's
17 response to Slobodan Milosevic, as reproduced in Politika, 12 January
18 1992. Now, did you write a letter to Slobodan Milosevic on or about that
21 drafted by Boro Rasuo, and I did sign a text, and well, he elaborated and
22 put in -- filled it in with different things.
23 "MR. HARDIN: Well, this letter that was written by whoever
24 segment, went out with your signature, did it not?
25 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 "MR. HARDIN: Was that an accurate representation of what you
3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No.
4 "MR. HARDIN: Why did you sign it?
6 public opinion -- namely, that Slobodan Milosevic created this public
7 opinion. It was -- this was the suggestion by the person who drafted the
8 text, to formulate it in this way for the public.
9 "MR. HARDIN: Yes. Yes. But what do you differ with in this
10 letter? What -- do you recall the letter? I don't have a copy in B/C/S.
11 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] The Vance Plan was not a
12 political plan; it was a security arrangement.
13 "MR. HARDIN: Yes.
15 did not incorporate about a quarter of the territory of Krajina in which
16 Serbs lived. And the main opposition and our disagreement was concerning
17 the territory, the size of the territory which should be covered by the
18 peace forces. And I did show to Jovic, to Milosevic, what was not being
19 protected, and they didn't want to talk about it. And then I insisted --
20 my attitude, I was inflexible on that, on this green line which would
21 divide the forces, separate the forces, and in this way, then it would be
22 possible to protect the entire territory in which Serbs lived.
23 "You know, I couldn't face a situation where a big part of the
24 people would be lacking protection and that I would be then the culprit
25 for this position.
1 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. So let me ask you the question then: When
2 you wrote this letter, is this a political letter or is this how you
4 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Political.
5 "MR. HARDIN: I don't see it here, and I just scanned it -- I
6 don't see it, anything here about the part of the territory of Serbian
7 Krajina which would not be covered under this plan.
8 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] It speaks of this line of
9 separation, speaking of the line of separation and the deployment of the
10 forces which would, in practice, mean the protection of our entire
12 [Videotape played]
13 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]...
14 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, when I read this letter, there is
15 rhetoric in that which is extremely radical, especially in relation to the
16 Croats that are mentioned here as the `Croatian neo-Nazi aggressors.' And
17 you also speak here of the Vance Plan being realised as the plan, actually
18 allowing the plan of genocide of the Serbs, that you contest that the
19 Krajina is part of Croatia, that you do not want to be disarmed. It
20 sounds from this letter that you are much more radical than Mr. Milosevic
23 feelings nor my thoughts.
24 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But you signed it.
1 matters, about the security aspects. Well, the tension and the pressure,
2 a moment of lack of attention. I wasn't more radical. I wasn't more
3 radical than Milosevic, because Milosevic, on the 26th of February, by the
4 Assembly in Borovo Selo, introduced the constitution and the laws of
5 Yugoslavia on the territory of Krajina. There are documents existing
6 about that. And at the time when this letter was published, neither the
7 constitution of Yugoslavia nor the laws of Yugoslavia were in force in
9 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, you gave us, last time, a lot of
10 documents, and in some of the documents were just that ...
11 [Videotape played]
13 occupied on behalf of Yugoslavia, politically, Krajina. Until then, he
14 had the control over the militia, the army. He influenced the economic
15 system via the economy. And on the 26th of February, he also occupied
16 Krajina politically. He took over the power, took over the power.
17 "MR. HARDIN: Yes.
19 pull our attention from what is essential, and it shows me more radical
20 than I was. But in reality, it was different.
21 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. But we've we covered this a little bit some
22 time ago with the October meetings. Is what you just -- I'm sorry. Just
23 please allow me for a couple minutes to see what I'm missing. At the time
24 when you said that he acquired Yugoslav laws into the Krajina in, what,
25 February --
1 "THE INTERPRETER: 26th.
2 "MR. HARDIN: -- 26th, 1992; correct?
3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 "MR. HARDIN: Now, at that point, did Croatia
5 Croatia, have any control over this area in the Krajina? Yes or no.
6 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No, they didn't.
7 "MR. HARDIN: So the area of the Krajina now became a part of
8 Yugoslavia, as I understand. Is that correct?
9 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Not quite.
10 "MR. HARDIN: What was it then? What was it?
11 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Formally it was a separate
13 "MR. HARDIN: Was it part --
14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] In reality, a part of
16 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. Now, what did he want?
17 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] On the 9 -- on the 19th of
18 December, we separated from Yugoslavia.
19 "MR. HARDIN: Hang on. Just a minute. We'll talk physical
20 dynamics, geography. On this 26th of February, 1992, according to what
21 you said, what Milosevic caused to happen was that the Serbian Krajina now
22 became part of Yugoslavia.
23 "Now, understanding that politics changed during this period and
24 going all the way back to 1990 and moving up to that date, isn't that the
25 same thing, that the Serbs, represented by you, as the president, wanted
1 was a part of Croatia, being the Serbian part of Croatia, to be divorced
2 from Croatia and then to become part of Yugoslavia or Serbia
3 upon what time period we're speaking about?
4 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Not everybody.
5 "MR. HARDIN: Did the government -- the government of the SAO
6 Krajina --
7 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Let me ask you -- Mr. Babic, let me ask
8 you. On the 19th -- you said on the 19th December, you decided in the
9 Krajina that you did not want to be part of the Yugoslavia
11 ourselves independent, and we stopped being a part of Yugoslavia
12 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But at the same time, according to
13 this letter that Mr. Rasuo wrote, you also said, `We don't want to be part
14 of Croatia.' Did you want to be absolutely independent like Monaco sort
15 of? What did you want?
17 situation became clear. You know, Croatia
18 independent state by a number of -- it was from the 23rd of December she
19 was recognised as an independent country by Germany
20 others. The position then of the international community at the
21 conference on Yugoslavia was -- was clear from the 18th of October, 1990,
22 that there can be no changes of the borders of the former republics of
23 Yugoslavia. So it was clear to everyone that Krajina will have to find
24 its position within Croatia.
25 "Now, in this conflict, which was also an armed conflict and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 conflict on an institutional level, there was this radical column, and
2 although the international community had this clear position -- so we had
3 to move gradually. Not Monaco. So we created -- this was created and
4 what we called the Republika Srpska Krajina. It was an institution by
5 which it was possible then with other involved factors, Croatia
6 international community, to solve this problem and to solve -- to
7 determine its future position. So -- and it was my conviction and my
8 feeling that this would have to be in a political and territorial
9 community with -- in Croatia.
10 "So from the 18th of October, the second session of that
11 conference when this position was clearly stated, the realistic prospects
12 were these. But you see, we also have to move gradually and also within
13 the public opinion. We had a lot of faith and confidence in these options
14 which were proposed by Milosevic. So we were somewhere in a position in
15 between, between Yugoslavia and Croatia, which became independent.
16 "MR. HARDIN: So you're -- so you're -- okay."
17 JUDGE MAY: If we're moving on -- not very long.
18 [Videotape played]
19 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] So irrespective of what was
20 written in the press, my proposal was that the UN takeover also the
21 civilian administration of Krajina, and that in this way then the
22 international community could slowly, gradually, find this kind of
23 solution. So it was -- but it ought to have been done without big shifts,
24 without great fear in the public, and without vengeance coming from
25 Milosevic. So it was a more muted way of finding a solution within the
1 boundaries of Croatia.
2 "But I already talked about this, that from the moment of the
3 Vance Plan and my proposal for the civilian administration, international
4 civilian administration, an UN protectorate for the Krajina, there was an
5 evil campaign being launched, and it was -- it involved also my aides who
6 were considered to be my close aides, and they diverted the attention from
7 these matters and creating an image of us as radicals and that there was
8 nor strength neither in me personally nor in the institutions of Krajina
9 to come out of this situation more peacefully. So I was really suppressed
10 by this pressure, this atmosphere, this choking atmosphere.
11 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic --
13 municipality of Knin accepted the deployment of the peace forces. It was
14 the first time that the shooting took place in my apartment. I'd like
15 just to depict for you what was the general environment, the general
16 prevailing climate.
17 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, I mean, what you tell us now is
18 in absolute contrast to what is written here in this letter. How can you
19 explain that?
21 strength, the power. I had no other support than these people whom I
22 considered to be the closest to me. I told you that this idea of a UN
23 protectorate for Krajina, these same people didn't want to support it, to
24 back it up.
25 "MR. HARDIN: Mr. Babic -- Mr. Babic, with all due respect, when
1 you say you don't have the power for /unclear/, you have stood three days
2 in the Presidency speaking about the Vance Plan in front of the most
3 powerful people in Yugoslavia. You didn't -- you didn't represent
4 yourself to be a man not afraid to say things or afraid to do things.
6 than of the angry people, of the angry rank and file.
7 "MR. HARDIN: Yes, but --
9 know, if somebody said, `Yes, he protected Knin but he didn't protect us,'
10 then you would have revenge. There was the responsibility towards these
11 people whom I represented. I -- I said that this was -- I already
12 mentioned to Madam Hildegard that once, that this was really an
13 existential fear of my very survival."
14 JUDGE MAY: That's finished, then, is it, Mr. Milosevic?
15 THE ACCUSED: I think there is one small piece.
16 [Videotape played]
17 "MR. HARDIN: Frankly, some of the answers you're giving us,
18 especially when it comes to this letter, for example, are in contrast to a
19 lot of things that we have.
20 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'm talking candidly,
21 sincerely from my heart and from my mind. From the mind and the heart.
22 "MR. HARDIN: Do you have any more you want to ask? Okay. We'll
23 move into a whole different [indiscernible].
25 to that?
1 "MR. HARDIN: No. No, you don't have to add anything to that. I
2 just want to advise you, because I have -- I have the feeling, and I don't
3 have to -- and I don't have to be right, nor do I have to be wrong, that
4 you're slanting some of your answers. And like I said, the question is
5 that you have to ask yourself when you decide whether you're going to
6 answer it, just that, whether you have to answer it or not. And when you
7 do, just like what I said, you want to make sure it's as honest as you can
8 make it and as best that your memory can recall.
10 that to the best of my abilities, but I have to also tell you what was in
11 my heart, what was in my mind, and what was on my lips."
12 THE ACCUSED: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now. We will deal in
14 private session when we come back with what should happen to the exhibits
15 and the like, the Politika decision and the rest of it. Twenty minutes.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
18 JUDGE MAY: Private session to deal with these administrative
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MAY: The tape itself should have an exhibit number, and
23 attached to it we should obviously have a transcript, when that could be
24 made available, of the relevant section. I think normally we give a
25 Defence number to these documents. Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the next Defence exhibit number is
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
4 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, perhaps you could help us: When are we likely
5 to be able to have a transcript of this?
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can provide you with a transcript of this
7 section played tomorrow, but if you like, we can also provide you with the
8 entire transcript, in particular, a CD-ROM.
9 JUDGE MAY: Let us stick with the extract for the moment.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. We will get it tomorrow.
11 JUDGE MAY: And if the rest becomes necessary, we'll --
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And it would be helpful, if Mr. Milosevic
13 plans to play more of the interview, if he could tell the court deputy, or
14 us, one day in advance, which day and approximate hour he will be playing,
15 and then we could provide you with the transcript of this section in
16 advance. And it would be also easier for you then to follow which
17 sections are left out.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
19 The other matters we need to deal with are: The tab number of the
20 order is, I understand, 143 - the Registry have it - not 142. The
21 Politika article, I seem to remember that as being exhibited, but perhaps
22 you could remind me of what the number is.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The Politika article with the two letters is
24 tab 79 from Exhibit 352.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
1 Unless there are any other matters relating to that tape, I think
2 we can go into open session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back into open session.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, to assist you in preparation of your
6 cross-examination, we've decided you can have up to 20 hours
7 cross-examination. We don't encourage you to take that long, but you can
8 if you want. You've had an hour and a half, of course, this morning,
9 playing that tape. We will today sit until 2.00, so you have until then
10 to continue your cross-examination. And would you remember, please, both
11 the accused and the witness, to leave a pause between question and answer,
12 for the interpreters. Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, it is my impression that
14 the time that you are giving me is somewhat shorter than the
15 examination-in-chief took, and as you're indicating the need for making
16 pauses between question and answer, and other forms in which time is
17 wasted, I don't think that you ought to abridge the time.
18 JUDGE MAY: The time is not abridged. But go on. Let us make a
19 start. We've a lot to cover.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 Q. Now, I have played some tapes here, just half, actually, of a
22 large number of tapes that we have from your interviews, Mr. Croatia
23 I could have taken any other tape, but I selected the first tape.
24 Now, did it remind you -- we saw the tape played and we saw on the
25 tape that the lady opposite said to you that what you were saying was in
1 complete contrast with what they had, and you were able to see that; isn't
2 that right?
3 A. I don't understand your question.
4 Q. I was saying -- let me remind you. Did you see that a moment ago
5 that even the lady who interviewed you and held the examination-in-chief
6 said that what you were saying was in complete contrast with what they
7 had? I hope you were able to see that.
8 A. Would you please be more specific.
9 Q. Well, for me to be more specific, I would have to go back into a
10 closed session, and I don't wish to do that. So I'm asking you in open
11 session: Did you remember what you saw a moment ago?
12 A. During the interview, I told the truth to the best of my
14 Q. All right. Did you notice that the interviewers, the investigator
15 himself - and this was at the very end of this excerpt from the tape that
16 I played to you - that he presented his impressions that this was in
17 contradiction with what they had, the material they had, and that he had
18 the impression that you were distorting your answers, that they were
19 distorted, slanting your answers?
20 A. If I can remember, the investigator reminded me that I should
21 speak about the facts that I had seen and heard, and not talk about my
22 feelings and sentiments in my heart and in my mind.
23 Q. All right. Tell me, then, please, this: In view of the fact that
24 the person who was putting the questions to you, and the investigator, was
25 cautioning you about the contrasts that you -- and what you were saying,
1 as opposed to what they had, the material they had, how come that you
2 agreed in the examination-in-chief with everything they said over the past
3 five and a half days?
4 JUDGE MAY: That's not a matter for the witness to answer. He
5 gave his answers. It will be for us to judge the way in which he gave
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 Q. You say that you had made attempts to secure a peaceful and
9 harmonious life for the population of the Krajina with the other
10 inhabitants of Croatia, within the framework of the Republic of Croatia.
11 Is that correct? Is that what you endeavoured to achieve? That's what
12 you say. Isn't it so?
13 A. I am saying that in 1990, the political option in favour of the
14 SAO Krajina was one thing; in 1991, it was something else; and in 1995,
15 again it resembled the option of 1991 [as interpreted].
16 Q. Tell me --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises: 1990.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We have seen on this tape, and I think at the
20 examination-in-chief, that in the beginning -- and as we have seen when
21 they are putting questions to you - they keep repeating this, and it's in
22 the transcript - that is, that you, as of 1990, attempted to secure a
23 harmonious life within the framework of the Republic of Croatia; is that
25 A. In 1990, we wanted the community of municipalities, that is, the
1 SAO Krajina, to achieve political and territorial autonomy within Croatia,
2 and depending on the position of Croatia
3 a federation, the content of this territorial autonomy would be on a lower
4 level, it would resemble a cultural autonomy; and if Croatia
5 confederal republic within Yugoslavia
6 higher. That was -- those were the options in 1990.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.
8 JUDGE MAY: Microphone. Microphone.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. But we all heard you explaining that from the very beginning, from
11 1990 onwards, you endeavoured to solve the question or the issue of a
12 harmonious life within the Republic of Croatia. And as far as I was able
13 to see and hear on the tape, your explanations were that what was in your
14 heart and in your mind - you even gestured and pointed to your heart and
15 your head - that this was not what was on your lips, this was not what you
16 were saying. Is that correct?
17 A. In 1990 -- I explained in great detail how it came about that the
18 SAO Krajina opted for Yugoslavia in 1991. In 1991, I agreed with your
19 conception that the SAO Krajina and the Serbs had the right to remain
20 within Yugoslavia.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, in order to avoid
22 identifying the witness, I will not be more specific here, but I can refer
23 to an article in Politika.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you explain how it came about that this article was
1 published? You marked it with number 63. It follows that your statement
2 was not actually yours, that somebody else had made it and that it was
3 published as yours. Is this your explanation?
4 A. What article are you referring to specifically?
5 Q. The document you marked number 63.
6 A. May I see the document?
7 JUDGE MAY: Now, 63, Mr. Milosevic, is a decree to do with
8 insignia. Is that what you had in mind?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was referring to what the witness
10 said when interviewed by the investigator and a representative of the
11 other side --
12 JUDGE MAY: I think that's --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- what he himself mentioned as 63.
14 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. No, I don't think it is 63. I think
15 it's 79. Let the witness see 79. Don't put it on the ELMO.
16 Yes. Now the witness has it. What was the question,
17 Mr. Milosevic?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand how -- what he
19 meant when he said someone else would have signed it, he had not signed
20 it. I don't understand his explanation.
21 JUDGE MAY: I think we better go into private session to deal with
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE KWON: I think that Mr. Milosevic is referring to tab 130.
1 Is that right? If I'm right.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I think he's referring to tab 143. That's
3 the order.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, I have got the Politika article, which I thought
5 the matter was being referred to, at 79.
6 Mr. Milosevic, could you give us -- tell us again what it is that
7 you're referring to, and we'll find it and make sure that we've all got
8 the same document.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Milosevic, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are we in private session now?
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we're in private session. We need to identify
12 this document that you want.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to see the document which
14 on the tape we have just seen the witness referred to when he said
15 somebody else would have signed it had he not signed it, and the
16 investigator said this was number 63. I wanted to see this document
18 JUDGE MAY: But first of all, what the investigator said is in
19 reference to some other documentation. The document which the Prosecution
20 said was referred to was tab 79, which was a Politika article referring to
21 a reply from the witness to Mr. Milosevic, dated the 12th of January. The
22 original may be somewhere else.
23 JUDGE KWON: If I can assist the parties here, the document
24 Mr. Milosevic is referring to is the document of -- ordering the
25 establishment of the 3rd Operational Zone and signed by this witness. And
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I remember that this witness had said that if he hadn't signed this
2 document, somebody else would have signed this document. Is that right?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I can recall,
4 all the documents concerning the constitution of the Operative Zones were
5 signed by me. This was the idea of setting up a Territorial Defence of
6 the SAO Krajina.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well. But since we are in private session, I can put this
9 question to you now. It is not clear to me whether you, as president,
10 were also the commander of the Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina.
11 Just answer yes or no.
12 A. On the basis of the decision on the implementation of the law on
13 the defence of the republic of August 1991, the president of the
14 government or the Prime Minister of the SAO Krajina was to be the civil
15 commander, and the military commander was to have been the commander of
16 the Main Staff of the SAO Krajina.
17 Q. Tell me precisely. Were you the commander of the Territorial
18 Defence of the Krajina, and as such did you sign a number of documents?
19 Is that correct or not?
20 A. In actual fact, no. Formally and legally, on the basis of the
21 decision on the implementation on the law on the defence of the Krajina,
22 the Prime Minister was to exercise his duties as prescribed by that law.
23 Q. And did you do that?
24 A. In the normative part. That is, I signed the formal, legal
25 documents for the constitution of this body.
1 Q. So you did not really actually perform your duties. You only did
2 so in a formal and legal sense. Is that what you're saying?
3 A. I should have exercised my duties, but you prevented this.
4 Q. Very well. One thing is not clear to me, then, as we are now
5 discussing the law on Territorial Defence. You explained here that you
6 implemented the law on defence on the territory of the Krajina in such a
7 way that you received the law from my office by fax. Is that correct?
8 A. The way we implemented this law was that on the basis of the law
9 on the implementation of the legislation of Serbia
10 Serbia, the government decided that the law of the Republic of Serbia on
11 defence should be implemented on the territory of the SAO Krajina, and I
12 asked for the text to be sent to me from your office, and I received it in
13 the way I have described.
14 Q. Very well. Judge Kwon then asked you whether you had any other
15 means of obtaining the law, and you explained that the law had been sent
16 to me for my signature, and to expedite matters, you asked for it to be
17 faxed to you so that you wouldn't have to wait for the Official Gazette to
18 come out. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it's correct. And also let me add: So that you would be
20 informed of this.
21 Q. Very well. If the law had been submitted to me for my signature,
22 it could not have been published yet. That's why you received it from my
23 office by fax.
24 A. I received information that the Assembly had passed the law and
25 that you had signed it, that the text of the law was in your office.
1 Q. Very well. Let's establish some facts, then. The decision passed
2 by the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina on the implementation
3 of the law of defence of Serbia on the territory of the Autonomous
4 Province of Krajina
5 This decision was adopted on the 1st of August, 1991
6 dispute. The date is on the document.
7 A. Would you repeat this, please?
8 Q. The decision on the implementation of the law on defence of the
9 Republic of Serbia
10 1st of August, 1991, and the date is on the document.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And your letter in -- containing the information on the
13 implementation of this law on the territory of the SAO Krajina was written
14 on the 2nd of August following the decision of the 1st of August. And in
15 it, you say that on the basis of the law -- "pursuant to the law on the
16 implementation of the laws of the Republic of Serbia on the territory of
17 the SAO Krajina..." and so on and so forth. So these are incontestable
18 facts. We are talking about the 1st and 2nd of August.
19 Now if you please, look at your exhibit which begins on page
20 02162249. This is a photocopy of the Official Gazette of the Republic of
22 JUDGE MAY: We'll get the exhibit number.
23 JUDGE KWON: Tab 24.
24 JUDGE MAY: 352.
25 JUDGE KWON: 352. Please confirm whether I'm right.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it's tab 23 of Exhibit 352. The
2 Gazette. The decision -- the decision of the 1st of August, 1991
3 JUDGE KWON: The Official Gazette should be tab 24.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. It's actually two
5 documents together.
6 JUDGE KWON: So, Mr. Milosevic, that's why the Chamber is
7 recommending you to have your associates in the courtroom, to conduct your
8 cross-examination in a better mode. You have to present the exact
9 document to the witness. So consider the matter later on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Kwon, I think it's sufficient
11 for a document to be recognised if I quote the page number, your page
12 number, which is printed on it, and that it isn't hard to find. It's much
13 easier for you than it is for me with all these papers in front of me.
14 But in order to avoid wasting time --
15 JUDGE MAY: Let's move on. Have you -- is it the Gazette you want
16 or the decision? Is it the Gazette you want the witness to look at or a
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness can look at it, and you
19 can look at it, because you don't need anyone to translate the date for
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's see how we go, see if we've got the right
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please, in order not to stray from the main point, we concluded
25 that the law of the SAO of Krajina was passed on the 1st of August. I am
1 now drawing your attention to the fact that this Official Gazette of the
2 Republic of Serbia
3 that is. And at the beginning, in the decree on the promulgation of the
4 law on defence, it can be seen that I signed the decree on the 18th of
5 July. If I signed the decree on the 18th of July and the law was
6 published on the 27th of July, is it sufficiently clear that the witness
7 could have had no need to get this paper, which every lawyer's office in
8 the country sees routinely, to get this through my fax machine?
9 A. May I explain?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, the document, the
12 Official Gazette in which the law on defence of the Republic of Serbia was
13 published, I obtained last year and gave it to representatives of the OTP
14 and the investigators to show them what this decision of the 1st of August
15 relates to. So as I have already said during my testimony, I obtained the
16 law by fax, and it is identical with this text, the text that was
17 published in the Official Gazette. So I wanted to show them the Official
18 Gazette to show them the law that we officially implemented in SAO Krajina
19 on the 1st of August, 1991. I didn't know at the time when exactly the
20 Official Gazette had been published, but I learnt that the document was in
21 your office for your signature, and I asked that it be sent to me by fax
22 from your office, as I have already testified.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I wish to remind you that in answer to a question from Judge Kwon
25 as to whether you had some other way of obtaining the law, you answered
1 that the law was in my office awaiting my signature and that is why you
2 looked for it. However, it is evident that I signed it on the 18th of
3 July, which means that that was not true. And the Official Gazette was in
4 the shops already on the 27th of July, five days before you issued your
5 own law, which is undisputable.
6 So you have said this merely in order to point out that you
7 received such instructions from me, that is, instructions to implement
8 this law. And you know very well that you implemented all the laws of
9 Serbia in those cases when you had no opportunity to write your own. Is
10 that right or not?
11 A. All that is right is that I wanted to get that law in the way I
12 got it because I had been informed that it was in your office. Secondly,
13 I wanted you to be informed about it.
14 Q. Very well. Did I caution you, as early as January 1992, that you
15 shouldn't create the impression that you were coordinating your decisions
16 and positions with the leadership of Serbia
17 of Krajina that they should know that that was not true?
18 A. You wrote something to that effect in your letter. As for the
19 laws, your recommendation was as follows: that it was better for the laws
20 to be copied by us, that is, the laws of Serbia
21 our own, than to simply proclaim them as being the laws of Serbia
22 territory of SAO Krajina.
23 Q. And does that mean, then, that our position was that you should
24 not implement the laws of Serbia in the territory of Krajina?
25 A. No. That we should only proclaim them as being our own, that we
1 should simply copy them, and this is what we mostly did later on.
2 Q. And is it true that when you didn't have time to write out your
3 own, you simply copied the laws of Serbia
4 A. The law on the implementation of legal regulations of the Republic
5 of Serbia and SAO Krajina was adopted on the 29th of May, 1991, because in
6 Krajina, the legislation of Croatia had been annulled, with the exception
7 of those laws that were not in contradiction with the regulations of
8 Krajina and the regulations of SFRY. That is why we needed amended laws.
9 We discussed this, and I informed you about this in May, and you said that
10 it was better for us to copy out the laws of Serbia
11 our own than to simply proclaim them, because it wasn't convenient for
12 people to see that these were the laws of Serbia
13 Q. Very well. That has nothing to do with reality. My question
14 was: Is it true that I warned the citizens of Krajina that you were not
15 telling the truth when you were saying that you were coordinating your
16 positions with those of the leadership of Serbia
17 A. I have already spoken in this Tribunal about the things we had
18 coordinated our views on and things which we held opposite views. I said
19 what I insisted upon and what you insisted upon, and I think that much of
20 my testimony was devoted to that matter.
21 Q. Very well. Tell me, then: Does it follow from your testimony
22 that I decided about everything? Is that what you are saying? Is that
23 right, Witness?
24 A. What is your specific question?
25 Q. Are you claiming in your testimony that I made all the decisions?
1 A. I testified that you were at the top of the command structures of
2 both the JNA and the parallel structure in Krajina. I testified that your
3 political objective was for all Serbs to live in one state, that the JNA
4 would protect us, that we had the right to remain in Yugoslavia
5 Q. I'm not asking you that. From your testimony, it follows that
6 everybody listened to what I said except you; is that right?
7 A. I spoke about things and time periods and facts when we listened
8 to you and when we didn't.
9 Q. I see. Everybody except you obeyed me. And our conflict was - I
10 don't know how to put it - a minor clash, because I had insisted that a
11 peaceful solution should be adopted, that the Vance plan be adopted,
12 whereas you insisted that the plan be rejected. Is that what we disagreed
14 A. I listened to you with respect to many things, which things I've
15 already said here.
16 Q. Very well. We'll come back to those matters later on. But tell
17 me, please: Is it true that I had warned you that rejecting the
18 protection of the peacekeeping forces of the UN would call in question the
19 most substantive interests of the Serbian people? Did I warn you of that?
20 A. You wrote along those lines in the letter published, and a copy of
21 which you sent to me personally.
22 Q. Did I warn you that rejecting that plan would mean rejecting the
23 possibility to stop further unnecessary loss of human life?
24 A. I think that says in your letter too.
25 Q. Did I tell you that the presence of the United Nations has the
1 sole purpose of preserving peace?
2 A. That is stated in your letter too, I think.
3 Q. And did I say to you that your negative position was an extremely
4 irresponsible act?
5 A. I think that is stated in your letter as well.
6 Q. And did I tell you that people should not suffer sacrifices out of
7 conceit of politicians?
8 A. I think that is stated in your letter too.
9 Q. Now, tell me, please: You were explaining, towards the end of
10 this tape - and that also coincides with the final part of your
11 examination-in-chief - that you were doing what you did not intend to do,
12 out of fear for your personal existence. Actually, let me remind you. At
13 the end of the tape that we all viewed, you say that there was a terrible,
14 stifling atmosphere around you, that your associates had different
15 opinions, that the people had different opinions, and that you had to say
16 what you did because you were afraid for your own existence. Is that
18 A. We feared that we would be left without protection and that
19 Croatia would take revenge on us for the war that you waged, that you
20 would get out of the war and that we would pay the price.
21 Q. Very well. We'll come to that later too. Can we agree that you
22 explained why you said what you didn't have in mind, that your motive for
23 doing that was fear?
24 A. I don't understand exactly what you mean.
25 Q. As far as I understand the explanation you gave for saying what
1 you didn't mean, what you didn't want, because you were motivated by fear
2 for your personal existence.
3 A. I spoke about that with precision. I don't understand your
4 generalised statement.
5 Q. But the investigator asked you why you said what you didn't mean,
6 and you said that this was out of fear for your personal existence.
7 A. As far as I remember, the investigator told me to speak only about
8 the facts and not about my feelings and my thoughts.
9 Q. Very well. We heard that here what you said, so please answer my
10 question. If then you were saying what you didn't mean, and the motive
11 for that was fear, today what you are saying, is that also prompted by the
12 same motive, that of fear?
13 A. I took an oath before this Tribunal that I would tell the truth,
14 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and I think, and I claim, that
15 the truth is won, and I am still ready to tell the whole truth about
16 everything I need to say before this Tribunal, and not just what were
17 parts of political reactions or partial views. I am ready to tell the
18 whole truth here, about facts, about views, about feelings as well, about
20 Q. Very well. And judging by what you are saying: In an endeavour
21 to have the Vance plan accepted, I favoured war, whereas you, by rejecting
22 the Vance plan, were for peace. Is that what you wanted to explain here?
23 A. When I was speaking to the investigators, I was speaking
24 retrospectively about an observation of the overall events. You misled
25 the people of Krajina and the international community that you favoured
1 peace. You imposed the Vance plan on the people of Krajina. You adopted
2 it. You accepted that plan and imposed it on the people of Krajina. But
3 in fact, you also violated it. You did not comply with it.
4 Q. Very well. We'll come to that. That is not true.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I think, Mr. May, that there's
6 no need for us to continue in private session.
7 JUDGE MAY: Open session.
8 [Open session]
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Very well. Can we agree --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think, Mr. May, that we should at
13 least make an effort to work in open session as much as we can.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can we agree that it follows from what you are saying that you
16 enjoyed your political role? You say that you knew that you could survive
17 politically only if you said what your surroundings expected of you. Is
18 that right?
19 A. I liked my political role, in a sense, and I had to respect public
20 opinion in my political actions.
21 Q. So you were working because of the attraction of the political
22 role, and you were doing things that you did not agree with because of the
23 attraction of your political role; is that what you are saying?
24 A. No. Occasionally those were the motives, yes.
25 Q. Yes or no.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Generally, no, but there was such a motive too, in certain periods
2 of time and for certain reasons.
3 Q. Does that mean that you played your political part only because of
4 the power that it implied? For what other motive, if you were doing
5 things you did not agree with?
6 A. No. I played my political role because I believed that it could
7 contribute to a better future for the people, for the public good.
8 Q. Was that for the public good, for the benefit of the public, for
9 you to speak contrary to your convictions, which you are now presenting to
10 us here?
11 A. I didn't speak or act in contradiction with my convictions but in
12 line with political pragmatism as to how those convictions could be turned
13 into reality, in what way.
14 Q. But as far as I was able to see, in your explanation you mention
15 that you may have got some things confused, you may have forgotten
16 things. But anyway, on the last tape you even apologise because of such a
17 possibility, don't you?
18 A. In the interviews conducted with me, I said that I said what I
19 could remember but that I had more to say, and at the end of that
20 interview was my statement that I had things to add, things I hadn't said.
21 Q. Very well, then. Tell me, what was the motive of your
22 endeavours? Was it political pragmatism, as you put it, to create the
23 image among the citizens of Krajina that you were coordinating your views
24 with the leadership of Serbia when it comes it your decisions and
1 A. Those were not my words.
2 Q. Well, let us assume that -- the fact that I sought to explain to
3 the citizens of Krajina that that was not true. That must have had some
4 reason, or maybe it had no reason or no motive.
5 A. You sought to cheat, to trick the peoples of Krajina, to play
6 around with their destiny.
7 Q. I wanted to play with the citizens of Krajina why?
8 A. To achieve your plans. And in 1991 they were maximalistic, and
9 later on you revised them. And for the revision of your political plans,
10 you manipulated with public opinion and the people, and the people of
11 Krajina as well.
12 Q. Perhaps that may be a projection of precisely what you were doing
13 with public opinion in Krajina all this time, especially when it is placed
14 in the context of your current explanations of your intentions, as long
15 ago as 1990, to resolve all problems within the framework of the Republic
16 of Croatia. Is that so or not?
17 A. In 1991, we accepted your concept for the solution to the crisis
18 on the territory of the former Yugoslavia
19 Serbs to remain in one state.
21 mention this, I assume that you know that with the existence of Yugoslavia
22 since 1918, in fact, and that Yugoslavia
23 the South Slav peoples, that the Serbs did in fact live in a single
24 state. Not in 1991 or 1992 but since 1918. That is to say since the end
25 of World War I. Is that something you are aware of?
1 A. Could you ask the question again, please?
2 Q. Do you know that all the Serbs lived in the one state since the
3 end of the First World War in 1918?
4 A. I am aware of the historical facts and that in 1918 a state was
5 set up of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in such a way that Serbia
6 Montenegro united and the provisional state of the Slovenes, Croats, and
7 Serbs, which was later on proclaimed to be the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In
8 1939, within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
9 established, and through the decisions of the National Liberation
10 Movement, the Communist Party, in 1945 the federation was set up of the
11 Yugoslav republics.
12 Q. Do you remember that even in the declaration which you drew up, or
13 whatever the document was called, on unification of Republika Srpska and
14 Republika Srpska Krajina, that it was precisely in that document that you
15 describe the historical course of life in common in a single state, which
16 dates back to 1918 and not 1990 or 1991? Aren't these historical facts
17 that cannot be refuted?
18 A. The concept that you advocated and that we accepted in 1990 and
19 1991 during the disintegration of Yugoslavia
20 which the peoples of Yugoslavia had the right to self-determination up
21 until the point of secession, and you prepared a law along those lines.
22 Q. Sir, you are referring to --
23 MR. MUELLER: I'm sorry.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. I do apologise. I did
25 not do that intentionally.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go on.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mueller is on his feet.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mueller.
4 MR. MUELLER: Your Honours, would you mind me asking for a short
5 break now to have a word with my client?
6 JUDGE MAY: We're just about to break anyway. Let me just see
7 what the question was. Is there a matter -- we'll go into private session
8 if we're not in private session.
9 MR. MUELLER: We are not.
10 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of the Chamber]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
12 JUDGE MAY: We're now in private session. Mr. Mueller, is there a
13 matter you want to raise with us?
14 MR. MUELLER: Not with you, with the client. Not with you, Your
15 Honours; with the client, please.
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, why don't you just go and have a quick word with
17 him here since we've got only five minutes.
18 MR. MUELLER: I would very much like to, but I think what I have
19 to discuss with him under these auspices is not for the public nor for
20 anybody else in this room.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 MR. MUELLER: Two minutes will be absolutely sufficient, Your
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But the point is we're just going out, and we
25 don't want to waste further time. Is it impossible for you to go up to
1 him and say whatever you want to say?
2 MR. MUELLER: This is quite restricted because I don't speak
3 Serbian. May I make a suggestion, Your Honours, please?
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 MR. MUELLER: Let's put it that way: If the client prefers to
6 continue to the termination of today's session, I would agree to that, of
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. C-061, are you happy to go on for another ten
9 minutes or so?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.
11 MR. MUELLER: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I do not ask for a break
12 any longer.
13 JUDGE MAY: We're still in private session. Mr. Milosevic, you
14 must take care.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, while we're in private
16 session, Mr. May, while we're in private session, let me ask some more
17 questions which I'm sure you would instruct me to go into private session
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I should like to remind you, in view of the fact that quite
22 obviously you presented yourself falsely and hid behind my name during all
23 those years that, as opposed to you, I don't claim that now. I claim what
24 I claimed then. The intercepted conversation, for example, which through
25 you the opposite side is introducing as evidence between me and Radovan
1 Karadzic, for example, dated the 1st of November, 1991
2 it was noted there --
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. It was noted there that I say to Radovan Karadzic, speaking about
6 you yourself, "What Babic did is dishonourable. It is dishonourable that
7 he said that the Serb government was -- he is lying that Serbia
8 convince him."
9 Is it true that everything you said here you're saying in order to
10 rid yourself of your responsibility and accountability for the serious
11 fate of the Serb people precisely from the Krajina territory?
12 A. As to what I said at the press conference in concrete terms on the
13 30th -- 31st of October, 1991, was that I said that the top echelons of
14 power exerted pressure for us to accept The Hague
15 mention the government, nor did I mention you personally. One of the
16 journalists asked me which top echelons when we know that there is only
17 one top echelon, and I kept quiet. I didn't dare mention your name, of
19 As far as my responsibility and accountability is concerned, I am
20 ready to be subjected to sanctions for my responsibilities. It is not
21 true that I have come here to cast the blame off myself.
22 Q. All right. But through your statements, you consciously have
23 accused all Serb leaders in the Republic of Srpska Krajina, to all intents
24 and purposes, and to put the blame on them and rid yourself of the
1 A. I did not accuse anybody. I have just told the truth, the whole
2 truth as far as I know it. I did not wish to shift the blame. I merely
3 presented the facts that I know about. It is not up to me to accuse or to
4 make a judgement.
5 Q. Does it not seem to you to be a little grotesque, Mr. Croatia
6 that a man who was in the post of the president of republic and the Prime
7 Minister of the government should describe the events as being -- as an
8 observer, watching through the looking-glass, and not as a participant, as
9 somebody who issued orders and the principal political leader in the
10 territory for a series of years, especially in the critical period that
11 we're talking about?
12 A. What is your question? You're making observations, but what's the
14 JUDGE MAY: Let me put it. You may wish to hear the answer to
15 it. The question is this: You have given your evidence as though you
16 were not a participant but as merely an observer of these events. Now, if
17 that were put to you, if that suggestion were made to you, what would your
18 answer be to that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have made my observations as a
20 participant of the events and as an eyewitness to the events.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. All right. Tell me this first: When did we meet for the first
23 time? When did we first meet?
24 A. Sometime in October. I don't know the exact date, but it was
25 autumn 1990.
1 Q. All right. October 1990. And what was the reason for our
2 meeting? Why did you come to see me?
3 A. I apologise, but are we in an open session or private session?
4 Q. No, this is a private session.
5 A. The president of the SDS, Jovan Raskovic, sent me to speak to you
6 or, rather, to sound out the possibility of having the Serbian Democratic
7 Party, whose headquarters were in Knin and of which he was a president,
8 should take part at elections in Serbia
9 been sounded yet.
10 Q. Was there any other subject that we discussed apart from that?
11 A. On that occasion you mean?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I don't remember.
14 Q. There wasn't. Right. So in October, you asked me what I thought,
15 whether you should take part in the elections or not. And when did we
16 next meet?
17 A. Yes. And you also said on that occasion, "Where am I?" That is
18 to say, why didn't I come before that?
19 Q. All right. Let's not go into whether I said, "Here's some
20 coffee," or, "no coffee," or whatever, but if there was nothing else under
21 discussion, when was the next time we met?
22 A. The next time was when Jovan Raskovic returned from America
23 that was in November, I think.
24 Q. And what was the subject of discussion then?
25 A. The subject discussed was for the most part a discussion between
1 you and Mr. Raskovic about assessments of the elections, the electoral
2 results and the concepts for the establishment of the state and society.
3 Q. All right. So we discussed the elections. And when did we next
5 A. And political concepts.
6 Q. When did we next meet?
7 A. The next occasion we met was in December.
8 Q. 1990.
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. All right. Let's not go further than that. Let's stick to that.
11 We met for the first time and you asked me about the elections in October,
12 and then you say November we discussed the same thing, and then it was
14 Now, tell me, is it true that you, on the 17th of February, 1990,
15 that is to say eight months before we ever happened to meet, that you, at
16 the founding Assembly of the SDS held before a rally of 5.000 people in
17 front of the railway station in Knin, that you were elected to the very
18 small leadership, together with the late Raskovic, Opacic and all the
19 rest, Dzakula, Cvijeticanin, Stikovac, and the others; isn't that right?
20 A. To your previous question, I didn't give a full answer. We met
21 not personally, but we had a contact in August through mediation, and that
22 was in fact our first meeting but not face-to-face. We did this through a
23 mediator, Slobodan Vucetic.
24 Q. What do you mean through a mediator? I learnt that you called for
25 me when I was at a meeting, that you had some problems to lay before me,
1 and once again through an intermediary, I said that you should contact the
2 organs of Yugoslavia because Serbia had nothing to do with what you were
4 A. I was told that you and the president of the Yugoslav state
5 Presidency and the federal secretary for National Defence were there
6 together at a meeting, which meant that it was a common position and that
7 it should be solved by us going to the president of the Presidency,
8 Borisav Jovic, for him to inform us how we would be protected.
10 Kupari, and I spent ten summers spending my holidays in Kupari, and that
11 particular summer as well?
12 A. I know about that year. I don't know about all the other years.
13 Q. All right. Let's go back to what you were saying. Is it true
14 that on the 27th of May of that year, that is to say five months before
15 you met me, you were elected as president of the Municipal Assembly of
17 A. It was the 23rd of May.
18 Q. All right. Very well. And one month later, on the 27th of June
19 of that same year, were you elected president of the communities of
20 Northern Dalmatia and Lika?
21 A. Not on the 27th of July. It was June. It was two days later.
22 Q. Right. Two days later. Now, is it true that on the 31st of July
23 you were elected president of the Serbian National Council?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And it was at the Assembly in Srb where there were 100.000 Serbs
1 from all over Croatia?
2 A. It wasn't at the Assembly, or Sabor, in Srb. It was at a meeting
3 in Knin.
4 Q. And when was the Sabor Assembly? It was on the 25th of July,
5 1990; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. All right. And so that was before we met. So tell me, please, at
8 that particular rally, the rally of the SDS
9 the sovereignty and autonomy of the Serb people in Croatia
10 isn't it?
11 A. It was the Sabor or Assembly in Srb where the declaration on
12 autonomy was adopted.
13 Q. All right. And what about the leadership of your party? Could it
14 link that autonomy to the option of staying within the SFRY or stepping
15 out from it?
16 A. In the declaration it was stated what this kind of autonomy
17 implied, and amongst others, it was precisely defined.
18 Q. All right. And is it true that at that time it was asserted that
19 if Croatia remained in the SFRY and the Federation, that for the area of
20 Krajina, cultural autonomy would be requested, with the use of the Serb
21 language and Cyrillic script, as well as cultural institutions, the press,
22 radio, television, and so on and so forth?
23 A. And the community of municipalities, regional and local
24 self-government. That was the option for the Federation.
25 Q. And is it true that you envisaged, should the new powers in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Croatia insist on a confederal system, that you strove for higher forms of
2 autonomy, political and territorial?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And is it also true that on the 21st of December you accepted the
5 executive president of SAO Krajina?
6 A. As the president of the Presidency, or rather, the Provisional
7 Presidency of the community of municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and
8 Lika, I also became the provisional president of the Executive Council of
9 the SAO Krajina, because that Presidency played the role of the Executive
10 Council of SAO Krajina itself.
11 Q. All right. Now, for those who do not know this, is it true that
12 the Executive Council in fact means the government, and that it meant in
13 all the republics and at the level of Yugoslavia
14 Executive Council, the Federal Executive Council of the republics, they
15 were the governments of the republics and the government of the Federation
16 itself; isn't that right?
17 A. Well, according to the concepts of the former Yugoslavia
18 Executive Council is an executive organ of the Assembly, which implies
19 strict divisions of power in legislation, et cetera. Partially it is a
20 linguistic quirk, but also one of substance. So the government has more
21 power as the executive organ than the Executive Council has.
22 Q. All right. Now, this changed in Yugoslavia
23 called the Executive Council. On the 29th of May, did you in fact become
24 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska Krajina?
25 A. It is true that by constitutional law, the statute of SAO Krajina
1 was proclaimed a constitutional law, the Executive Council became the
2 government, and, by the same token, as president of the Executive Council,
3 I became Prime Minister of the government.
4 Q. All your explanations seem to be that everything that happened,
5 happened alongside your will, by some sort of automation. Do you gain
6 this impression, as the one you're giving me?
7 A. We're dealing with legal procedure, but a political decision to go
8 ahead with anything was needed beforehand.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's 2.00 and it's time for us to
10 adjourn. We'll go on tomorrow.
11 There's something I want to deal with in open session.
12 [Open session]
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I just ask one thing of the Chamber as
14 well? It will be of great assistance to us if the accused is able to
15 indicate to the Chamber how much of the remaining --
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
17 MR. NICE: -- 17 1/2 hours of indicated cross-examination time
18 he's likely to use. That time would take us to the end of the three days
19 sitting, roughly, of next week, when there's another five-day break. If
20 he's going to be substantially less than that amount of time, we'd have to
21 get a witness in for next week. If he's likely to want and to use all of
22 that amount of time, then it will not be necessary to get a witness until
23 five days later, for the following week. I suspect there's going to be a
24 change of witness ordering in any event because of the time that's been
25 used, but if the accused - and I recognise it's not an easy exercise - if
1 he could indicate to you, by tomorrow, whether he's likely to use the full
2 time allowed, that would help us in our planning.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've heard the request. Perhaps
4 you'd like to think about it.
5 Let me say to the --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have already stated my views,
7 Mr. May. It is my impression -- and I asked you to reassess the time that
8 I will have. Of course I intend to use up all the time that you allot me.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We won't go into the matter any further.
10 The Prosecution will have heard that.
11 I say this to the public: that of course this witness is
12 protected, and nothing is to be reported which indicates his identity.
13 We'll adjourn now. 9.00 tomorrow morning.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
16 November, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.