Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 20848

1 Wednesday, 21 May 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

6 MR. NICE: May I raise something in private session for a couple

7 of minutes.

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10 [Open session]

11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

12 MR. NICE: I trust the Chamber has a summary of this morning's

13 date.

14 JUDGE MAY: We have.

15 [The witness entered court]

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

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

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

19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. If you would like to take a

20 seat, Mr. Kucan.

21 WITNESS: MILAN KUCAN

22 [Witness answered through interpreter]

23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before we start the testimony, the witness

24 is -- before we start the testimony, may the witness's exhibits be given a

25 general number.

Page 20853

1 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 447, Your Honours.

2 Examined by Mr. Nice:

3 Q. Mr. Kucan, you are Milan Kucan, president of Slovenia between

4 April/May of 1990 and the year 2002, having been elected three times to

5 that office?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Other matters of your history, of course, well-known as a matter

8 of public record and are contained, for the assistance of the Chamber, in

9 summary at Exhibit 447, tab 1.

10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, of course this witness could deal with

11 enormous numbers of background matters. We don't propose to do anything

12 except take him through the critical and significant events, in light both

13 of pressure of court and his time and also because the Chamber is already

14 very well-informed from other evidence on many matters of background.

15 Q. I turn first, Mr. Kucan, to the Central Committee meeting of the

16 30th of January of 1989, the Central Committee of the League of Communists

17 that was held in Belgrade.

18 MR. NICE: Your Honours will find that we have for this a

19 translation of a speech made by the accused. It's at tab 2.

20 Q. Before we come to look at that speech, Mr. Kucan, can you just

21 give us the setting for what was happening there. What were the issues

22 being focused on at that committee meeting?

23 A. Your Honours, this was a period when the crisis in Yugoslavia

24 reached its culmination. It was a crisis which was multi-faceted. It was

25 not just a political, economic crisis or a crisis between the relations of

Page 20854

1 nations and ethnicities but also a crisis of social values.

2 By then, the recognition became obvious that changes are indeed

3 needed in Yugoslavia. The Slovenian political leadership conceived and

4 understood these changes as a new agreement about a common life within

5 Yugoslavia. And then within the direction of a new definition of the

6 common interests and the common life. The then Serbian political

7 leadership was thinking along a different line, which is that changes are

8 indeed necessary, that changes in terms of persons and personalities

9 should be made in the first place to thus achieve support for the changes

10 that the Serbian political leadership had been advocating.

11 Changes in persons and personalities, in fact, were made also

12 through the organisation of large mass meetings and rallies through which

13 first the leadership of Vojvodina was replaced, then the leadership of

14 Montenegro. And at this session of the Central Committee we initially

15 discussed the issue whether we should talk about the political

16 circumstances and constitutional changes and amendments with the new

17 leadership which brought about a new relation of power within the Central

18 Committee or with the former leadership that had represented their League

19 of Communists on the Central Committee. It is within this context that

20 the discussion went on which the Prosecutor has referred to.

21 Q. Was the accused the keynote speaker at this event?

22 A. No. He was one of the speakers. The keynote speaker was the then

23 president of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of

24 Yugoslavia, Stipe Suvar.

25 MR. NICE: Nevertheless, the accused made a significant speech,

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Page 20856

1 which we have in B/C/S for the witness and which we can, I hope, put up in

2 English. We can't put it up in English. We have it only in English at

3 tab 2 of Exhibit -- I've forgotten the number already -- 447. And if Your

4 Honours would be good enough to go with me through certain highlighted

5 passages, Ms. Wee will, on the B/C/S version, take the witness, if he's

6 able to see it on the screen at this stage, to the same passages and I'll

7 ask his comments on those passages later.

8 Within tab 2, if the Chamber would be good enough, please, to go

9 to page 2, a third of the way down, there is a passage reading as follows:

10 "Things that cannot be changed institutionally, and they must be changed

11 because people don't like them or they lasted for too long, will be

12 changed uninstitutionally. It's always been like that in any society."

13 If the Chamber would then turn on to page 4, and the middle

14 paragraph: "Therefore, I would like to say to all those who obviously

15 cannot easily get rid of their habits to judge Serbia, that Serbia is

16 equal and united and that they should not get excited about that. Once

17 this becomes clear to them, we should all solve the difficult problems of

18 the Yugoslav crisis together more easily and equally."

19 Over the page, please, in the English, to page 5, the second

20 paragraph: "I have to say that if Yugoslavia were to be conceived as a

21 community in which Serbia is divided into three parts and on its knees,

22 then Serbia would be against such a community, against such a Yugoslavia.

23 Then we would be for a different Yugoslavia. In other words, for the only

24 possible Yugoslavia, for Yugoslavia in which everyone would be equal and,

25 therefore, Serbia as well. In that process, we would not care at all

Page 20857

1 whether somebody would call it the third, fifth, or tenth Yugoslavia."

2 And finally, if the Chamber would turn to page 7 and the paragraph

3 starting at the foot of the page and going over, did the speech of the

4 accused end in this way: "This session was expected to be a session of

5 conflicts and differences, and we shouldn't be afraid of them. They're

6 unavoidable in order to remove obstacles and to find solutions, but

7 procedure will not bring that solution that's big and small traps, small

8 and big artifices, intrigues and frameups. A politics chosen by people

9 institutionally and non-institutionally, statutory, and non-statutory, on

10 the streets and inside, populist and elitist, with or without arguments

11 can only reach the solution. But in any case, it is clear that it is

12 politics for socialists non-aligned and democratic Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia

13 where people will live unitary, equally, richer, and more cultured but

14 above all where they will live unanimously. Thank you."

15 Q. Mr. Kucan, with a reminder of the speech by those extracts, what

16 was the message you perceived the accused to be giving?

17 A. The message, to put it in very simple terms, was the following:

18 Changes such as they had been advocated by the Serbian leadership will

19 take place whether the institutional or non-institutional approach will be

20 used to achieve them; i.e., whether constitutional provisions will be

21 respected or not. And this is where we differed essentially. The

22 dilemmas were known to one and all, but as far as these dilemmas that

23 Yugoslavia faced at that time is concerned, we applied for different

24 answers. We opted for different answers. Where these answers brought us

25 is apparently very well illustrated by the current status of Slovenia,

Page 20858

1 which opted for the institutional, legal, and constitutional approach, and

2 the status and situation in other parts of the former Yugoslavia that have

3 also become independent states by now.

4 Q. One matter of precision. We see from the text that the accused

5 used the words "institutionally or uninstitutionally." In your answer,

6 you have referred to "constitutionally." In the setting in which he

7 spoke, is there an identity or proximity between something that is

8 non-institutional and something that is non-constitutional? If not, can

9 you explain why you used the word "constitutional."

10 A. In terms of its substance, this syntax "institutional" or

11 "non-institutional" in fact implies the respect of institutional, i.e.,

12 constitutional paths and non-constitutional paths if non-institutional

13 approaches are opted for. This was a period of mass rallies and meetings

14 which insisted upon and achieved replacement of leaderships through the

15 demand of the populace on the street whereby none of us believed that the

16 people at large should be deprived of their right to voice their

17 dissatisfaction with the circumstances. My view at that time was that of

18 course you can go and rally on the streets to voice your dissatisfaction,

19 but you cannot go to the streets to devise a new concept to find a way out

20 of the situation. In other words, for legitimate political objectives to

21 be reached, not every means can be used.

22 Q. Are you able to express a view on the accused's attitude to the

23 use of people demonstrating on the streets?

24 A. Well, at that time in Slovenia, there was no one who would believe

25 that these mass meetings and rallies that were given different names, the

Page 20859

1 Meeting of the Truth about Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo, whose

2 situation was difficult indeed and full of trials and tribulations, or

3 they would be called the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution. So other names

4 were given to this. So none of us believed in Slovenia that these were

5 spontaneous meetings and rallies.

6 One of the meetings that was to spread the truth throughout

7 Yugoslavia was an announced meeting on the 1st of December, 1989, to be

8 held in Ljubljana. The leadership, the then leadership of Slovenia, the

9 then Executive Council of the Republic of Slovenia and the Ministry for

10 the Interior banned this meeting through the use of a provision of our law

11 since the meeting could escalate into very serious clashes and

12 inter-ethnic conflicts on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. So

13 this is the continuation of that discussion and the discussions we had had

14 on the 20th, a session of the Central Committee of the League of

15 Communists of Yugoslavia which the Prosecutor referred to.

16 Before that, we had the 17th and 18th session where we also

17 discussed changes, including constitutional changes. My view at that time

18 was the following: We need to reach a consensus about these issues and

19 such very significant changes cannot be made given that tense situation in

20 Kosovo.

21 The answer to our reservations was the following: Consensus

22 cannot be reached. Socialism wasn't introduced through a consensus

23 either, and that these changes will take place even if a state of

24 emergency would have to be declared for that to take place.

25 Q. Two supplementary questions --

Page 20860

1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

2 MR. NICE:

3 Q. Two supplementary questions on the speech of the accused to which

4 we've been referring. First, we know that the accused made a speech in

5 June of 1989, the 28th, I think, the Battle of Kosovo speech. Did that

6 connect back to or resonate with this earlier speech?

7 A. In my view, this speech had been a logic continuation of the

8 former discussions and views that changes will take place regardless the

9 means. In fact, this speech was held to commemorate the 500th anniversary

10 of the Kosovo Battle, which was an important battle in the history of

11 Europe and the Serb people. At that time it was said that through

12 these --

13 Q. Forgive my interrupting you. On this matter the Chamber has heard

14 a lot of evidence already and is familiar with the speech, so if you could

15 simply answer briefly whether there is a connection between the two, and

16 effectively you've already done so. That's all I want from you at the

17 moment.

18 A. So my answer will be very brief, but let me just finish my

19 thought. At that time, it was said that the Serbian people are entering

20 again battles, as it was said, not armed battles as yet; however, this is

21 what one could not exclude. One could anticipate that there would be

22 armed battles to follow and that changes will take place regardless the

23 means to be used.

24 Q. And the final question is: Did you at some stage - paragraph 9 of

25 the summary - reply to the speech that the accused had made? If so, when

Page 20861

1 and to what effect? In absolute summary form, please.

2 A. On the basis of an agreement reached by the Slovene delegates at

3 this session of the Central Committee, Mr. Boris Muzic took the floor the

4 next day to respond to these assumptions.

5 Q. At this time, then, 1989, insofar as one can crystallise states of

6 thinking, do you take the view that there were two concepts by which

7 Yugoslavia was being approached, one of which was that it was a vehicle

8 for many people to live under a single roof and the other of which was

9 different? If so, please explain, but very briefly.

10 A. In fact, what you have just described is true. However, this

11 difference in terms of Yugoslavia was born when Yugoslavia was born

12 itself. For some politicians in Serbia, Yugoslavia was always conceived

13 to be the state within which a single state all Serbs could live together.

14 Others, such as the Slovenians, the Croats, the Macedonians, and I'm now

15 speaking particularly on behalf of the Slovenes, never understood

16 Yugoslavia in such a sense. In fact, we conceived Yugoslavia to be a

17 state which provides for a peaceful life, development, and well-being as

18 well as prosperity for all peoples that live within it, on an equal

19 footing. And throughout all the crisis situations, this difference was

20 important, even in the period of the dictatorship which was announced in

21 1929 in the former Kingdom of Yugoslavia when the occupation of Yugoslavia

22 eventually took place by the Nazis. And in fact this is what was

23 emphasised in 1945 and after the war as well as in 1974 when the last

24 constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was adopted.

25 Q. The Chamber has already heard much evidence about steps taken by

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Page 20863

1 Serbia in relation to the two autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and

2 Kosovo, and this as well, very briefly - perhaps even in a sentence - can

3 you just remind us or explain to us whether taking steps in relation to

4 those autonomous provinces had an effect on Yugoslavia as a whole

5 structurally?

6 A. Yes, it did have an influence. This constitutional structure of

7 the Yugoslav constitution and of the Socialist Republic of Serbia was

8 based on the basis that in the autonomous province of Vojvodina as well as

9 Autonomous Province of Kosovo, minorities lived. The bigger minority in

10 Vojvodina was the Hungarian one, and in the Kosovo province the big and

11 later prevailing minority Albanian. And in that sense, both autonomous

12 provinces functioned as a constituent element of the Yugoslav federation.

13 With the change of the position of these two provinces in the

14 constitutional setup of Serbia also the constitutional make-up of the

15 federal republic changed. With the changes of the Serbian constitution in

16 spring 1998, the constitution was changed, amended, and essentially this

17 was an announcement of how the changes should be attained also in

18 Yugoslavia. Because when you reduced the importance of the provinces in

19 the constitutional setup of Yugoslavia, the -- this is what the political

20 leadership insisted on, and this is what was done, that on matters of

21 Yugoslav matters, the vote remains to the two provinces. So Serbia had in

22 fact three votes on federal matters.

23 As I said, first the changes were introduced through mass rallies.

24 Personnel changes took place with introduction of persons who were

25 dedicated and devoted to the goals of the Serb leadership.

Page 20864

1 Q. Two topics about the army, reversed in order from in the summary

2 to take them chronologically, but to give us context, what was the

3 Slovenian expectation, or indeed what promises had been made to generate

4 expectations in Slovenia about its army after the Second World War?

5 A. Well, Slovenes during the course of the Second World War, after

6 the -- through the occupation of fascist Italy and Germany, we formed our

7 rebel army, and it never abandoned the territory of the Republic of

8 Slovenia. This decision was based on our conviction that this partisan

9 army cannot be separated from its nation, which would remain totally

10 without defence.

11 In 1990 -- in 1943, when the highest body of Yugoslavia met, the

12 anti-fascist council Ovnoy [phoen], the Slovene delegation, and there it

13 was promised to also our delegation and to General Jaka Avsic, that our

14 army would become a part of the Yugoslav party -- army and that Slovene

15 would remain also the language of command.

16 The Slovene army was in fact disbanded. This promise was broken.

17 The army was disbanded, it became a part of the Yugoslav army where in

18 communication you had the equality of languages, but the command language

19 was the Serbian language and the principle of equality of languages as a

20 communication -- languages of communications of use was also flagrantly

21 clear in the trial against the four in Ljubljana, trial of the four, and

22 formally there the trial was carried on in the Serbian language.

23 Q. Before I turn to my second point on the army generally, just help

24 us so that we can understand it. A Serbian foot soldier stationed in

25 Slovenia, would he typically be in a position to understand and

Page 20865

1 communicate with ordinary Slovenians in their language or not?

2 A. Well, with a bit of an effort, he could communicate, but logically

3 it was -- it was expected that everybody speaks in the Serbian. Not only

4 in the army but also at the federal level, at the Constitutional Court,

5 the Serbo-Croatian, respectively Serbian language be used.

6 Q. Paragraph 15, second topic on the army of general nature.

7 In your judgement, did the JNA in the time of Tito have, as you

8 described it, two homes? If so, what were they?

9 A. In a certain way, yes. This army became an ideological and a

10 political army, and in the central parts of Yugoslavia it became as the

11 armed force of the Communist Party which was leading the resistance. A

12 specific situation existed in Slovenia, but it's not important for this

13 debate. But in fact, it did have two homes. The ideological home was the

14 -- one was Yugoslavia. That was the political home of JNA, and it was

15 always convinced that it is a factor of unity and of the very existence of

16 Yugoslavia. This army was absolutely dedicated to President Tito, who was

17 both the president of the state of Yugoslavia and the president of the

18 League of Communists of Yugoslavia.

19 At his death in 1990, the -- it remained without its father, the

20 Supreme Commander, and then the Presidency of the state which replaced

21 Tito, it didn't recognise this Supreme Commander, and this led to the --

22 this meeting between the Presidency, the formal Supreme Commander, and the

23 leadership of the army in March 1990 where the conflicts, well-known

24 conflicts arose concerning who is in command and who is commanding the

25 JNA, the Yugoslav army.

Page 20866

1 Q. Thank you. Moving so far as is possible chronologically through

2 matters that are relevant, I want to take you next to a passage from the

3 diary of Borisav Jovic. Before we consider, if we do, extracts from that

4 diary, is this a book you've read and are you in a position to say whether

5 so far as factual matters related in it, they are or are not accurate?

6 Mr. Kucan, have you -- did you hear the question or --

7 A. No.

8 Q. I'm so sorry. Have you read Borisav Jovic's book, and insofar as

9 it contains matters of fact of which you are aware, are you able to say

10 whether it is accurate or inaccurate?

11 A. The description of events which the president of Presidency

12 participated as well as myself are pretty precise and correct, but for

13 other events, his description of them I cannot ascertain whether they are

14 exactly precise.

15 MR. NICE: Your Honours, we have extracted from that book some

16 passages which we would like exhibited separately, if they may be, to be

17 commented on by this witness, the issue of the admissibility of the book

18 as a whole falling for later determination, if that's convenient.

19 JUDGE MAY: That's correct. We have in fact, already, I think,

20 said we would do that in due course.

21 MR. NICE: Yes.

22 JUDGE MAY: But the passages about which the witness can speak, of

23 course can be admitted once he identifies and asserts they're accurate.

24 MR. NICE: May this clip of exhibits then be given a separate

25 exhibit number.

Page 20867

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Prosecutor's Exhibit 448.

2 MR. NICE: The Court will see the preface to the book. I needn't

3 take you through that. If you'd turn on, at the bottom page numbering, to

4 what is page 44 as it reads, we see a long extract for the 21st of

5 September, 1989. I'm not going to go into it in full because it would

6 take too long. I'm going to ask the witness to make some comments upon

7 it, but I'll get the flavour of the entry before asking him those

8 questions, and I hope that the witness has the original before him.

9 If this is acceptable to the Chamber, he has with him a volume of

10 the book in Slovenian, as I understand it, but unless it's essential, we

11 prefer not to relieve him of it so he can take it back with him.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

13 MR. NICE:

14 Q. So, Mr. Kucan, we're looking here at an extract for the 21st of

15 September. And if the Chamber will follow to the second paragraph, this

16 is at a meeting that was held with Drnovsek. "He also wants to consult

17 with me in connection with yesterday's report in Trieste's Il Piccolo that

18 Yugoslavia is preparing for military intervention in Slovenia."

19 If we go further down, we see that, in the middle of the page:

20 "The Slovenes have agreed to come in the evening at 1900: Stanovik,

21 Kucan, Potrc, and Sinogoj."

22 If we look a little further down, we see a passage that says --

23 sorry, much further down. Towards the foot of the page: "Potrc briefly

24 explains for each controversial amendment what has been changed on the

25 basis of our objections. In essence, everything has remained the same,

Page 20868

1 nothing substantive has been approved aside from a few cosmetic changes,

2 but he stubbornly explains that absolutely everything is in keeping with

3 the SFRY constitution. In his opinion, what we are doing is

4 unconstitutional. He asks that we leave them alone to responsibly

5 complete the constitutional changes, and then let the Constitutional Court

6 react if there is reason to do so. Unfortunately, according to the

7 Yugoslav constitution, the Constitutional Court can conclude that a

8 republic's constitution is not in agreement with the federal constitution

9 and call on the republic to bring it into line ..."

10 We turn over the page to the first fresh paragraph: "Next, I took

11 the floor. I said very clearly that in the Presidency's assessment, the

12 adoption of the amendments in the proposed form would constitute a direct

13 threat to the integrity of the country and the disruption of the

14 constitutionally established order ..."

15 And if we go on a little bit further, we'll find just a little

16 over halfway down the page a reference to Ante: "Ante distances himself by

17 saying he is not familiar with all the details but he feels a timeout is

18 necessary until the issues are fully discussed. After our mostly uniform

19 remarks, Kucan, who is visibly agitated, asks me to explain what 'other

20 measures at the disposal of the Presidency' means. Veljko and I explain:

21 'What is provided for by the constitution and by the law, nothing beyond

22 that.' 'No, no,' he insists further, 'Just tell me exactly what you

23 mean.'"

24 Foot of the page, the last two lines: "We have lost our thanks --"

25 "Kucan turns to me and says, 'How do you explain that?' Of course I do.

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Page 20870

1 'We have lost our thanks to your (meaning the Serbian) two-year public

2 offensive against our leadership, and especially because of the letter in

3 which you invited us to come to talk to you as long as we first accept all

4 of your assessments and positions...'" and so on.

5 Mr. Kucan, reminding you briefly of those -- of that meeting, in a

6 couple of sentences can you explain to the Chamber, please, what was

7 happening here and what you were concerned about.

8 A. Distinguished Honours, this meeting was held on the 21st of

9 September. On the 26th of September, a session was foreseen of the

10 government -- of the Assembly of Slovenia which would adopt amendments to

11 the constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, and with these amendments,

12 Slovenia wished to ensure a legal path in order of asserting its interest

13 in the Yugoslav federation; namely, if it were -- that were not possible,

14 in order to ensure its legal and moral right to self-determination.

15 The adoption of these constitutional amendments, the intention was

16 to stop that in any way possible. On the eve of the 26th of September, a

17 session of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia

18 was convened, and they asked us to suppress both that meeting and the

19 amendments. And this meeting also concerns that. Dr. Drnovsek was the

20 president of the Yugoslav Presidency, and representing Slovenia and our

21 interlocutors. The entire leadership of Slovenia was there, not only the

22 president of the federal government but also the Minister of Defence.

23 After requesting that we do not adopt these amendments, and as the

24 Prosecutor has quoted, it was said that all other means would be used at

25 their disposal.

Page 20871

1 Now, my question: "What does it mean all other means will be

2 used?" It remained unanswered. But we all knew what it implied: The

3 state of emergency and the possible use of the army in order to ensure

4 the -- and secure order in Slovenia.

5 So this was how we lived in Yugoslavia the last few years. It was

6 either accusations of counter-revolutions, anti-Yugoslav activities, and

7 then proclaim a state of emergency and then give the authorisation to the

8 army to suspend the legal authorities and to operate in line with the

9 interests of those who wished to have this state of emergency introduced.

10 And this is how we understood this meeting and the discussion we had.

11 Q. Thank you. I'm going to pass over the 22nd of September entry

12 because of time and move to the next -- at least I am at the moment -- and

13 move to the next topic, which is this: On the -- in January of 1990, was

14 there the 14th Congress of the League of Communists? It was on the -- the

15 appropriate four yearly interval but it was accelerated, so to that extent

16 an Extraordinary Congress, and at the end of it, did your delegation walk

17 out? Just confirm that, if you will, because I'm going to play a tape

18 first and ask for your comments later.

19 A. This was the 14th Congress of the League of Communists of

20 Yugoslavia. Indeed they were usually typically held every four years, and

21 in 1990, it was a Congress year. However, in the atmosphere that existed,

22 the atmosphere of emergency that was in the air and of extraordinary

23 situation in Yugoslavia, this Congress that was to be an ordinary Congress

24 was requalified into an Extraordinary Congress.

25 And at the 18th session of the League of Communists, this proposal

Page 20872

1 was turned down. Then the 20th session, upon the demand of the provincial

2 conference of Vojvodina which called for an Extraordinary Congress, which

3 again was refuted, and then the 22nd session which was -- which approved

4 this being an Extraordinary Congress. And in my own -- in my own

5 contribution, I had pointed out that this was an Extraordinary Congress

6 against the will and stand of the Slovene delegation.

7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we will now play an extract from the film

8 Death of Yugoslavia made by the BBC. May it become, I think, tab 7 of

9 Exhibit 447.

10 JUDGE MAY: This is the extract.

11 MR. NICE: It is the extract. It includes not only the footage of

12 the Congress itself but observations by others. Those are available for

13 the witness to comment on. There's not a transcript available yet - I

14 apologise for that - it will be provided in due course, but it is in

15 English so I hope it will not inconvenience the Chamber.

16 [Videotape played]

17 "The instrument Milosevic chose was the Yugoslav Communist Party.

18 He called an Extraordinary Congress. As the delegates stood for their

19 hymn to brotherhood and unity, they all knew that this Congress had been

20 summoned to crush the defiant Slovenes.

21 "[No interpretation]

22 "Kucan had only one hope. Yugoslavia's second largest republic,

23 Croatia.

24 "[No interpretation]

25 "Milosevic selected as chairman one of the leaders who owed him

Page 20873

1 his career. It was the first party Congress the president of Montenegro

2 had ever attended.

3 "[No interpretation]

4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Well, it was thought that the

5 Slovenes were not brave enough to take this crucial step.

6 "[No interpretation]

7 "This latest example of the Serb's domineering behaviour shook the

8 delegates from other republics.

9 "[No interpretation]

10 "The Serb bloc showed no mercy. In the break, the Slovenes held a

11 crisis meeting. Kucan knew if they walked out he would be blamed for the

12 chaos that could consume Yugoslavia. He offered a deal.

13 "[No interpretation]

14 "The second before the final vote was announced, I was still at

15 the speaking podium when Ribicic requested the floor. Nobody gave him the

16 floor. He simply walked up.

17 "[No interpretation]

18 "Ribicic, one of the Slovene delegates, had been primed to give

19 them their signal.

20 "[No interpretation]

21 "He said, unfortunately, the Slovene delegation could not accept

22 the Krynots [phoen] in the Central Committee.

23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "That, unfortunately, the situation

24 is such that we have to walk out.

25 "[Previous translation continues]... from the presiding head

Page 20874

1 table, and they started leaving the plenary session from one single door."

2 MR. NICE:

3 Q. Mr. Kucan, does the footage we've looked at, together with the

4 observations made, reflect the tension and difficulties of that Congress?

5 A. Yes, they do reflect it very faithfully, especially the round of

6 applause that we were given when we were walking out of the room.

7 Q. We saw the card voting. Did you observe something about the

8 actions of the accused at the time of card voting?

9 A. Your Honours, I should say a few sentences before I answer this

10 question. At this Congress, what was discussed were most crucial

11 political questions in Yugoslavia, and what we proposed is that the

12 discussion at the Congress should concern a concept of future living

13 together in Yugoslavia, whether there is an interest of such living

14 together, under what circumstances, what is this interest, and also, under

15 what conditions to remain members of the same organisation, and that in

16 this way political life in Yugoslavia be democratised. And the contents

17 of the amendment that we proposed for this reason was the following: To

18 first to endorse political pluralism that has already become a reality in

19 Yugoslavia, then the parliamentary elections had been held in Slovenia at

20 the time of the Congress, that political processes start evolving in

21 Yugoslavia, then also an article of the law sanctioning the so-called

22 verbal offence was also proposed, that all political prisoners be

23 released, that torture be also forbidden in proceedings, and so forth.

24 And also what we demanded is that we should go through with the logic

25 whereby in fact communists within their individual leagues be autonomous

Page 20875

1 and that it was not possible to outvote the stance or positions of any one

2 of these organisations.

3 There was an atmosphere in which the Slovene communists and their

4 positions at this Congress be in fact isolated and should not receive any

5 support from delegates from other republics and provinces. And this had

6 happened already during the debates within the commissions or committees

7 and also at the Congress session, and thus our amendments were largely

8 refuted and rejected. And Milosevic, who was -- and Ribicic then said

9 that we -- the Slovene communists could no longer see a place within such

10 an organisation and that we were going to decide on these issues at home.

11 So this is to briefly describe the situation once it has already

12 culminated.

13 I would also say the following: There were voting cards, and the

14 accused was the first or among the first to lift it, and then this was

15 followed by the majority at the Congress who showed the corresponding

16 colour of their cards, and that meant rejecting the Slovene amendments.

17 Q. You already volunteered the observation that the applause at the

18 end of the Congress, as you left, was significant. And if you want to add

19 just a word or so about that, do, before we move on to the next topic.

20 A. Yes. Perhaps what needs to be said is that all those who

21 applauded us when we walked out did not really thought that this was and

22 spelled the true dissolution of Yugoslavia or the end of it. And Ivica

23 Racan, who was heading the Croatian Communist delegation proposed that the

24 Congress should interrupt the session so that the necessary consultations

25 may be carried out and that the Congress may then resume its session. And

Page 20876

1 while the accused said that there should be no interruption in the

2 deliberations of the Congress, that a new quorum should be established, a

3 new majority whereby the Congress would adopt decisions, because if Ivica

4 Racan's proposal were to be accepted, that would mean beheading and

5 disbanding the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. And this is what

6 happened. The Congress indeed had been interrupted, but it had never been

7 resumed again. And it had also announced the end of Yugoslavia as a

8 state.

9 Q. Thank you. We turn in the summary to paragraph 26, to May of 1990

10 and to the disarming of the Slovenian Territorial Defence.

11 For speed, can I ask you, please, Mr. Kucan, to look at Exhibit

12 447, tab 3, the English version of which can, if possible, be shown on the

13 overhead projector.

14 To save time, we'll abbreviate our description of this document

15 dated the 14th of May, coming from the Secretariat for National Defence,

16 strictly confidential, headed "The safekeeping of weapons" and ordering,

17 under number 1, that: "The military district commands, together with TO

18 staffs, shall organise the takeover, storage, and safekeeping of the

19 complete stock of Territorial Defence weapons and ammunition in the JNA

20 supply dumps and depots. Within the scope of further organisational and

21 establishment improvements, Territorial Defence commanders shall consider

22 the possibility of abolishing certain smaller Territorial Defence

23 units ..."

24 Perhaps we should look at number 2 as well further down the page.

25 "Exceptionally, where facilities are very far away and where conditions

Page 20877

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13 English transcripts.

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Page 20878

1 are not conducive to it or it is impossible to find a place for

2 Territorial Defence weapons and ammunition ... they should be stored and

3 safeguarded in Territorial Defence depots guarded by JNA units."

4 And we see that this comes from General Adzic, the order to be

5 completed by the 21st of May.

6 If we then turn to the Jovic diary extracts, Exhibit 448, and

7 using the page numbers at the foot, page 131 for the 17th of May, is there

8 an entry: "We take measures to ensure that weapons are taken from

9 civilian Territorial Defence depots in Slovenia and Croatia and

10 transferred to military depots. We will not permit Territorial Defence

11 weapons to be misused in any conflicts or for forcible secession.

12 "Practically speaking, we have disarmed them. Formally, this was

13 done by the head of the General Staff, but it was actually under our

14 order. Extreme reaction by the Slovenes and Croatians, but they have no

15 recourse."

16 18th of May: "I am at my weekend house in Niksic. In the evening

17 Milan Kucan calls me. He complains about the seizure of weapons. He says

18 that the people are opposed to this move, that there could be casualties.

19 He's called a session of the Slovene Presidency over the question and he

20 asks whether we can meet to discuss the matter.

21 "Sure, I tell him. He should contact me Monday morning so that we

22 can set up a meeting. By the way, I tell him, I have heard about this

23 campaign on the radio. I do not know what is going on, but I advise him

24 not to get into conflict with the army, to surrender the weapons and on

25 Monday we will clear up everything, if necessary.

Page 20879

1 "A rough start. They immediately summon Stipe Suvar to Zagreb to

2 report on what we have concluded in connection with the speech before the

3 Yugoslav Assembly."

4 I don't think I need to finish that. We go to the 21st of May,

5 the same page, 131.

6 "Kucan and Drnovsek came to discuss the seizure of Slovene

7 Territorial Defence weapons based on the Presidency decision that the

8 weapons be seized from all republican Territorial Defences and placed

9 under JNA control. On our side, Vjelko Kadijevic and Anton Stari beside

10 me.

11 "Kucan spoke at length: 'We were not notified by anyone.' The

12 weapons were first transferred and then they learned of the action. They

13 do not know the essence, the reasons, and the goal. They regard this as

14 disarmament. They feel that this threatens the republic's sovereignty.

15 He asks that they be showed the order, how it reads, and who issued it. He

16 regards the General Staff's explanation as inadequate. He thinks that

17 there is no basis in the constitution for such a measure. They brought

18 the weapons, they are responsible for directing the Territorial Defence,

19 and now they are being treated this way, without being told, and the

20 weapons are seized. He believes this is a case of political intervention

21 and that is a threat to their sovereign rights. Perhaps the direct cause

22 of this is the climate that has emerged in Slovenia after my inaugural

23 speech and the criticism of that speech in Slovenia and Croatia. The

24 political situation in Slovenia is very serious because of the weapon

25 seizures --

Page 20880

1 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, please.

2 MR. NICE: Yes. And I'm very sorry. "He is not sure how it can

3 be remedied.

4 "He asks that they be accurately informed about what is going on.

5 "That the weapons be returned to them and they will look after

6 their storage conditions;

7 "That the commander of the Territorial Defence for Slovenia be

8 replaced;

9 "That we take a look at how to reduce political tensions.

10 "Veljko explains that the measures were taken throughout the

11 country, not only in Slovenia, because the depots were poorly secured and

12 the inter-ethnic and general political situation is rapidly worsening;

13 that this is exclusively the military's jurisdiction --" I go over the

14 brackets -- "that this is not the republic's concern, and that they, the

15 republics, want to interfere with military questions and have no right to

16 do so. If they provide good conditions for protecting the weapons,

17 returning them might be considered, but that presupposes at least one

18 armed unit and not one sentry, which in the event of an attack will

19 repulse the seizure of weapons. All of their authorities remain,

20 including using the weapons from the military depots for training

21 exercise.

22 "Naturally, Kucan was not satisfied."

23 And then on the 21st of May:

24 "Veljko informs me of a conversation with Ante Markovic. Spoke

25 with him for three hours. Seems to have persuaded him to accept our plan

Page 20881

1 for trying to impose legal and constitutional order. He has serious

2 doubts about Ante Markovic's real intentions but will monitor that

3 closely."

4 And so on, and I think, for reasons of time, I'm going cut to my

5 questions to you with those materials in mind.

6 Were you aware in advance of this disarmament of you?

7 A. No. Nobody notified us about these plans.

8 Q. The order that we looked at first, did you discover whether it was

9 an order that applied to the federal Yugoslavia as a whole or not?

10 A. Well, this order, such as it is, is something that I have in front

11 of my eyes for the first time. I had an opportunity to see an order which

12 was issued on the basis of this order by the commander of the 5th Military

13 District in Zagreb, and that order also had to do with the withdrawal of

14 the arms of the Territorial Defence in Slovenia.

15 This order was issued on the 15th of May, which is the very day on

16 which the term of office expired of the president of the Presidency of the

17 SFRY, Dr. Drnovsek, who represented Slovenia, and when Dr. Jovic took

18 office as president of the Presidency on behalf of Serbia.

19 This happened after a situation in which, through the first

20 democratic elections held in April, we had already had elected a new

21 Assembly, new parliament in Slovenia, and the Zagreb order entered into

22 force on the day when our parliament sat for the first time, when our new

23 government was elected, and when the new Presidency took oath. And I was

24 elected during the general elections the president of the Presidency.

25 So as far as this order is concerned, when people called in from

Page 20882

1 the municipalities, telling us about this order, telling us that the army

2 came in with the demand that they hand over the weapons, so we were -- we

3 received this information from the people in the municipalities, and we

4 considered this order to be an order to disarm the Slovene Territorial

5 Defence.

6 At a later stage, in the course of our conversations and

7 discussions, it turned out that the argument they used was to prevent the

8 new authorities in Slovenia to use these weapons.

9 Let me draw your attention to the fact that this is May 1990. In

10 formal terms, Slovenia decided and discussed its independence, its

11 autonomy, its dissociation from Yugoslavia only when we launched

12 preparations for the referendum of independence which was held in December

13 1990. So reasons to think and to believe that Slovenia could use these

14 weapons to dissolve, by use of force, Yugoslavia were not there. And in

15 fact, there was no theft of the weapons no Slovenia because the Slovene

16 Territorial Defence very carefully guarded and protected its own weapons.

17 Q. Everything else that I want you to help us with in relation to the

18 disarming has been covered by the documents we've looked at, I think, save

19 for this: Did you have -- paragraph 27 of the summary. Did you contact

20 General Hocevar and did he explain to you what was happening?

21 A. Yes, indeed, this did take place. I tried to establish contact

22 with General Hocevar. However, Your Honours, may I be allowed to say a

23 few statements before. The Territorial Defence of Yugoslavia was part and

24 parcel of the armed forces of Yugoslavia. It was established in 1968

25 after the attack of the Warsaw Pact forces upon the Czechoslovak republic.

Page 20883

1 In peacetimes, it was under the competency and authority of the republics

2 which from their own national budgets funded the procurement of the

3 weapons and other capabilities required by the Territorial Defence should

4 a state of war be imposed upon Yugoslavia.

5 The Territorial Defence commander was appointed by the Presidency

6 of Yugoslavia but always on the basis of consultation with the republic's

7 authorities.

8 General Hocevar was appointed in -- was appointed

9 Commander-in-Chief of the Territorial Defence, however, without any

10 approval of the Republic of Slovenia which otherwise was provided for by

11 law. When I was informed from the municipalities that the Territorial

12 Defence's weapons were withdrawn from them, I asked General Hocevar to

13 explain the situation. He said, "We are in fact replacing the old trophy

14 weapons with state-of-the-art weaponry." Since this went on, I insisted

15 on meeting with him, and what he said was the following: "In fact, I have

16 received, he said, instructions that neither you nor anyone else from the

17 leadership of Slovenia were to be informed about this activity, and that

18 he has -- he found himself in a situation in which he's not quite clear

19 whose orders to follow and that he will simply follow this order because

20 he's supposed to.

21 Q. Thank you. May we now turn to tab 2 of Exhibit 447.

22 MR. NICE: The Chamber has a translation, or a transcript and

23 translation of this speech, but there is a difference between that

24 improved version and the version that may be shown up on the screen. It's

25 -- beg your pardon, it's tab 6.

Page 20884

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Page 20885

1 JUDGE MAY: Tab 6?

2 MR. NICE: Yes, tab 6. Before we play this, this, I think, is an

3 address in or about June 1990 of the accused at the Serbian parliament.

4 [Videotape played]

5 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The president of the Presidency of

6 Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, addressed the deputies of the parliament of

7 Serbia with these words, explaining the draft version of the most

8 important republican document. According to the new constitution, a

9 unified Serbia was to be established as a sovereign state."

10 The interpreters apologise but the tone is incomprehensible of the

11 tape.

12 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in those circumstances, the transcript

13 that you have being available, I think the best course is for me to read

14 out from the English, and the witness has heard the tape played yesterday

15 in circumstances where it could be listened to and I think he recollected

16 it.

17 JUDGE MAY: Since we have it in front of us and time is short, if

18 you would take the matters you rely on particularly.

19 MR. NICE: Yes, of course.

20 If we go down from where we are, the summarising passage by the

21 journalist says that: "... the new constitution, the unique Serbia is to

22 be established as a sovereign state..." Next sentence: "Stressing that

23 the federal Yugoslavia is the main political choice for Serbia but with

24 regard to strongly expressed disintegration and confederation tendencies

25 in some parts of the country, Milosevic said: This is why this draft

Page 20886

1 constitution of Serbia has been prepared respecting other possible options

2 of Serbia as an independent state; passing the new constitution, among

3 other things, should prevent every attempt of silent conversion of federal

4 Yugoslavia into confederation, i.e., it represent a moment when Serbia is

5 to clearly and on time say that the Serbia's administrative borders are

6 linked only with the federal system in Yugoslavia because, should the

7 system in Yugoslavia change, i.e., should there be a confederalisation,

8 all the constitutional issues would be opened. A confederation is not a

9 state but a union of independent states. Therefore, there is no

10 confederation even if all the political subjects of Yugoslavia want it

11 within the existing administratively set borders among the republics. In

12 that case, in the case that they do not want the federal Yugoslavia, the

13 issues of borders of Serbia is an open political issue."

14 Further comments by the journalist, and then the accused speaks on

15 the second page: "Therefore, because of the significance and because of

16 the far-reaching consequences of fulfilment of the projects of political

17 reform in Serbia and in interest in stable political conditions in Serbia,

18 I suggest that the citizens express their views about the draft of the

19 Presidency of Serbia through a referendum first. In that way, we would

20 simply eliminate unnecessary conflicts and deprive the coalition, which

21 acts against Serbia, from any basis for accusations that we want to impose

22 the new constitution in a non-democratic way. Today especially when

23 anti-Serb coalition leads to an unprecedented campaign against Serbia in

24 the country and abroad and when in Kosovo yet another pitiful show is

25 taking place whose playscript gets even the parliament of the region

Page 20887

1 involved. Pulling in the highest organs of the government in the region

2 in a non-constitutional and illegal way in the fight for Albanian

3 separatists' causes in the name of democracy is the best proof that

4 so-called Albanian Democratic Alternative is nothing else but nationalist

5 movement for the separation of Kosovo and Metohija, i.e., a movement

6 against the Serbian state and its integrity. Therefore, from this place I

7 would like to say that the Serbian state will consider every attempt of

8 seizing its territory to be an act against the state and the people and

9 will act accordingly."

10 Mr. Kucan, you saw this tape yesterday in circumstances where the

11 sound was audible. We see what is said by the accused there about the

12 borders being potentially an open issue. Remembering, please, that we are

13 very pressed for time and if you could put it very summarily, what was the

14 meaning, as you understood it, of this speech and what was its effect on

15 you and others?

16 A. Well, this is footage from a meeting of the Presidency of the

17 Assembly of the Republic of Serbia where they discuss the proposal of the

18 Presidency of Serbia for a new constitution of the Republic of Serbia.

19 This took place at a time in which in Yugoslavia we all sought for ways

20 and means to resolve the crisis. At that time, different concepts were in

21 the offing. We in Slovenia, throughout this period, advocated either a

22 new agreement concerning the concept of the future state of Yugoslavia on

23 the basis on establishing the interest to live in a single state, what are

24 the interests and how to put them into practice.

25 Once we noted that there is no such interest, we offered a variety

Page 20888

1 of options. One of them was the possibility to establish a confederation

2 comprising the republics of the former Yugoslavia. This proposal or draft

3 Serbian constitution, which I think was adopted in the fall of 1990, in

4 fact speaks about the understanding of a confederation by the political

5 leadership in Serbia. It states that a confederation is not a state, and

6 it also emphasises that they could not adopt this option since the

7 political issue and question of the borders between the republics could

8 arise.

9 The point of departure in this matter was the following: The

10 borders between -- of the republics in Yugoslavia are supposed to be

11 administrative borders, which is contrary to facts. The first

12 constitution after the Second World War outlined the borders. The borders

13 were drawn on the basis of a consensus, and from that point onward, all

14 Yugoslav constitutions included a provision that the borders between the

15 republics cannot be changed without consensus of all the republics.

16 Now, how I understand this message, as you've asked me, sir, let

17 me answer in the following way: The message was that should Yugoslavia

18 fall apart and should other forms be opted for, such as a confrontation,

19 Serbia will never agree to a situation in which parts of the Serbian

20 people living outside the territory of the Republic of Serbia be left

21 beyond the Serb republic.

22 This is the difference in concepts that I referred to in my

23 introductory statements. Our understanding of the Yugoslav state

24 differed, on our decisions consequently differed. However, let me

25 emphasise that this is an approach through which Serbia, given the

Page 20889

1 circumstances such as they were, tried to resolve the Serbian national

2 question. This is, of course, a very difficult question to resolve. The

3 alternative would have been to use the European standards and criteria, to

4 use the international standards and criteria to safeguard and protect the

5 rights of ethnic Serbs living as minorities in other republics throughout

6 Yugoslavia, particularly in the Republic of Croatia as well as in the

7 republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the latter, the Serbs were one of the

8 three constitutive peoples in the republic.

9 As the Serb political doctrine emphasised throughout this period

10 that Serbs cannot live as an ethnic minority in any part of Yugoslavia,

11 this approach was a sort of a logical philosophical continuation of this

12 doctrine. But it may also have implied that borders might be redrawn by

13 use of force.

14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, that's a convenient time.

15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, may it be acceptable if I take another

16 half an hour, and I hope no more with this witness. That will mean that I

17 will have taken something in the region of two hours and I hope leave

18 enough time in the remainder of the morning for cross-examination.

19 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider that.

20 Mr. Kucan, I should say we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.

21 Could you remember, please, during the adjournment not to speak to anyone

22 about your evidence until it's over. That's a direction we give to all

23 witnesses. Could you be back in 20 minutes, please.

24 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.

25 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.

Page 20890

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, you can have the extra half an hour now. We

2 may, as a result, have to sit rather longer into the adjournment period,

3 but we can do that, I'm told.

4 MR. NICE: I'm grateful.

5 Q. Mr. Kucan, I'll deal with some matters in brief because there's no

6 need for us to deal with them extensively. Paragraph 36 of the court

7 summary. The plebiscite you've already referred to in December with very

8 large figures in favour of having an independent state, that decision to

9 take place six months later, as I think you've already told us. Just yes

10 or no to that.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Paragraph 39 and 40 of the court summary. You're aware from

13 passages in Jovic's published diary of the possibility of meetings between

14 Kadijevic and Milosevic, closed meetings between Kadijevic, Milosevic, and

15 Jovic dealing with military matters. Were you aware - just yes or no

16 again - of those meetings at the time or did it only come to light when

17 you read the book or learnt about it afterwards?

18 A. No, I did not know about them then.

19 Q. Paragraph 41. Did Slovenia and Croatia at this time or about this

20 time favour the notion of a confederation of states, something that was

21 rejected at a Presidency meeting in January 1991 which was attended by

22 republican authorities?

23 A. Yes. In summer of 1990 at the Presidency of Yugoslavia, a

24 decision was made that Slovenia and Croatia should elaborate such a draft

25 contract and the rest of the four republics a modern confederation

Page 20891

1 concept. However, this concept, this idea was rejected at the following

2 session of the Presidency in January.

3 Q. Paragraph 42. Were there talks between Serb and Slovenian

4 delegations in January of 1991 where you headed the Slovenian delegation

5 and the accused headed the Serbian delegation where this confederation was

6 discussed; and then in February were there meetings of the republican

7 presidents in Belgrade, again consideration of confederation, confederal

8 system, again rejected by Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

9 Macedonia; and as a result of that, did you come to the view that the

10 notion of a confederal model was not going to be accepted?

11 A. On the plebiscite on Slovenia's independence was adopted on

12 December 23rd in 1990, and the results were proclaimed on the 26th of

13 December, when the documents were also made public. And there are two

14 characteristics to these documents that I wish to underscore. First, that

15 Slovenia wishes to settle all relations with other republics once its

16 independent, wishes to do so by consensus and wishes also to establish

17 what the possibilities are for the future institutional cooperation with

18 the republics of Yugoslavia.

19 And a second feature of the documents then published after the

20 plebiscite and around the plebiscite was the following; namely, that it

21 will be the Assembly and the -- the Assembly and the government that will

22 have to carry out all the necessary acts and measures necessary for

23 Slovenia to become an independent state and basing this decision of theirs

24 on the constitution and other legal documents of the Republic of Slovenia.

25 And the Slovene political leadership then also decided as regards their

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Page 20893

1 intentions about the mode of independence and ways of regulating relations

2 with other republics to do so in direct contact and talks with the

3 leaderships of other republics and do so also at the meeting of federal

4 bodies that we only saw as mediators between the republics and provinces.

5 Our stand was that the constituent parts of Yugoslavia are the republics

6 of the federation. Hence, the meeting that I had already mentioned, the

7 10th of January, 1991, when this bilateral meeting was held between the

8 leadership of Slovenia and the leadership of Serbia. And the delegations

9 at this meeting -- well, I was present there as well as the accused, and

10 we could establish there that this was the end of this concept of

11 transforming Yugoslavia into a confederation.

12 Q. As we move towards the time when independence of Slovenia was to

13 be --

14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would kindly request you to

15 slow the witness down, please.

16 THE WITNESS: I got no translation.

17 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked to slow down a bit, Mr. Kucan.

18 MR. NICE:

19 Q. As we approach the time when independence of Slovenia was

20 declared, we note that Croatia had announced an intention to declare

21 independence at the same time and that there was then a meeting in Brdo on

22 the 11th of April of 1991, in the process of continuing discussions and

23 negotiations. Paragraph 45 of the summary.

24 In the course of that meeting and during a break, did you go for a

25 walk alone with the accused, talking about the difficulties and

Page 20894

1 frustrations of that meeting, and can you tell us, please, in summary,

2 what it was the accused said?

3 A. Yes. This meeting did take place, and it was one of the meetings

4 that were regularly held. After January 1991, regular -- regular meetings

5 of presidents of Yugoslav republics to discuss, in fact, just one topic,

6 what a possible way out of the crisis is and also how to reshape living in

7 Yugoslavia and the co-existing in Yugoslavia and whether a formula could

8 be found for the future.

9 And this particular meeting that was held at Brdo near Ljubljana

10 was one such meeting, and at this meeting this is indeed also one of the

11 questions that was discussed. And I did say that 26 months between the

12 decision at the plebiscite and before independence was running out and

13 that this discussion should become much more concrete.

14 President Tudjman also said at the meeting that should Slovenia do

15 so, the very same day Croatia was going to act accordingly and do the

16 same. And we did discuss this with the accused at the -- when we took

17 this walk together, and also after that, the accused said to me, "Well, if

18 the Slovenes really want to leave the federation, well, in that case it

19 will not be possible for us to be opposed to it," he said. "However, the

20 conditions will have to be met before Slovenia can leave Yugoslavia.

21 However, the same could not go for Croatia in view of the fact that a good

22 portion -- number of Serbs were living on the territory of Croatia and in

23 this way they are -- they really have this blood link, blood ties with

24 Croatia."

25 And when we heard this proposal about the Serb constitution in the

Page 20895

1 tape and when it was said that it was not possible to accept any other

2 form of relations between the republics in Yugoslavia than the federation,

3 because otherwise all different questions are open, including also the

4 borders of Yugoslavia.

5 Q. Paragraph 49 in the summary. Slovenia's independence was declared

6 publicly on the 25th of June of 1991. I think you made the point that all

7 documents were published and open for consideration, and I think there was

8 inevitably some celebration on the day or the night of independence;

9 correct?

10 A. Yes. On the 25th of June, the Slovene Assembly adopted the

11 documents, the fundamental charter on Slovenia's independence, then also a

12 constitutional law to implement it as well as the independence declaration

13 stating again what I have been trying to say all along, namely that

14 Slovenia took this decision to exercise its right to self-determination

15 but does not wish to do so at the detriment or against the right of any

16 other nation in Yugoslavia, that it also wishes to settle all relations

17 from the past and for the future as well as agree on forms of cooperation

18 in the future. And these documents were published the following day, on

19 the 26th of June, and it is then on that evening that this was celebrated

20 and this was the sanctioned decision taken by the citizens of Slovenia

21 concerning the autonomy and the independence of the Slovene state.

22 Q. Very well. We know of the short conflict, military conflict,

23 between Slovenia and the JNA. Tell us when that started and when it

24 finished, please.

25 A. Well, the JNA carried out this aggression immediately in the

Page 20896

1 course of or after the celebration of independence. If my memory serves

2 me right, that was 2.30 or 2:00 p.m. that night with the tanks that came

3 out of the barracks on the way to the external borders of the republic of

4 Slovenia. And this decision, so it seems, although we knew nothing about

5 it, was adopted at a meeting of the federal government, but we considered

6 it illegal and unconstitutional because only the Presidency of Yugoslavia

7 could actually take such decisions, and this conflict or aggression or war

8 on Slovenia then was first of all interrupted and then came to an end on

9 the 7th of July with -- talks then were organised on the Brioni islands

10 upon the proposal of the ministerial Troika of the European Union, and

11 during the period of the 27th of June to the 7th of July made

12 interventions within the framework of these armed conflict, and it is

13 Hans van den Broek, the then Foreign Minister of the Netherlands that led

14 the talks.

15 Q. The withdrawal of the JNA from Slovenia, please. When it

16 happened, what did you notice about where the JNA withdrew to?

17 A. The decision on the JNA's or the rest of the army's withdrawal,

18 there were no longer Slovenes or Croats in JNA or members of other

19 nations. This decision was adopted at the federal Presidency's meeting on

20 the 18th of July, the first ten days after the Brioni meeting, that is.

21 And the Presidency decided to ensure this withdrawal within a period of

22 three months, and the last soldier left the Slovene territory on the 26th

23 of October the same year.

24 Now, among the documents that were adopted by the Assembly of

25 Slovenia on the 26th of June, well, the period that was decided upon was

Page 20897

1 five years to start with. However, then the Presidency decided that it

2 would just be three months.

3 The JNA did not withdraw to elsewhere in Slovenia or Croatia but

4 mainly to Bosnia-Herzegovina and especially the territories with the

5 majority -- which was majority -- with a Serb majority.

6 Q. Thank you very much. In Exhibit 448, the extracts from Jovic's

7 diary, there are entries that you have reviewed on page numbered 311 at

8 the foot for the 5th of July, and I'm going to just touch them rather than

9 go through them because of the time.

10 The 5th of July which begins with Jovic saying, "Slobodan and I

11 scheduled a meeting with Kadijevic which we regard as critical. The

12 situation in the country is almost tragic. The JNA has been defeated and

13 routed in Slovenia. Army morale has hit rock bottom." Matters of that

14 sort.

15 We go over the page, in fact over two pages to the 15th of July on

16 page 326: "We finally adopted a decision on withdrawing the JNA from

17 Slovenia. Formally the decision states the JNA units from Slovenia will

18 be redeployed to new positions," and so on.

19 And then the 30th of July: "Veljko, Slobodan and I are sitting in

20 my office before the Presidency with the presidents of the republics and

21 the future of Yugoslavia." Next paragraph: "The JNA should be

22 transformed into a military force of those who want to remain in

23 Yugoslavia."

24 We are very pressed for time now, Mr. Kucan. You've reviewed

25 those entries. Anything you particularly want to refer to in them? Do

Page 20898

1 they reflect, although you may not have known it at times, what you

2 understand was going on?

3 A. Except for the meeting of the Presidency that I mentioned, I said

4 the 17th of July, it was the 15th of July. We did not have information

5 about this meeting, but withdrawal to the positions to which the JNA

6 withdrew from Slovenia confirms actually what we find in these notes as to

7 the reasons why they go there and what their tasks is.

8 Q. Have you also reviewed passages in a book by Kadijevic, which we

9 haven't yet exhibited but will become a separate exhibit, if it may,

10 please. The same terms.

11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's Prosecution Exhibit 449.

12 MR. NICE:

13 Q. Without looking at the extracts, in order to save time, if you can

14 deal with this, Mr. Kucan, what's your view on how Kadijevic describes the

15 process of nationalisation of the army following its withdrawal from

16 Slovenia?

17 A. Which extract is this, please? If you're referring to the book --

18 Q. Yes.

19 A. The book. When the book was published, I read it, so what would

20 you like to know exactly in connection with this book?

21 Q. Do you have any immediate recollection of any particular passage

22 dealing with the withdrawal of the army? I'll withdraw that question for

23 the time being. It can possibly be raised in cross-examination.

24 A. Well, if you are referring to those excerpts and their description

25 and his thoughts as to where the army should withdraw and what it should

Page 20899

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Page 20900

1 be done, obviously this is true, because it was part of the recognition

2 that Yugoslavia no longer can be kept together. The army had been an

3 integrating factor. Now with the withdrawal from Slovenia, its strategic

4 mission changed. Not to protect and safeguard Yugoslavia but, rather, to

5 protect the smaller Yugoslav borders, particularly the parts inhabited by

6 ethnic Serbs.

7 In fact, how I understand it is that apparently they do not want,

8 or he doesn't want to, agree to parts of ethnic Serbs living outside a

9 single state.

10 MR. NICE: Your Honours may want to have an eye on this extract on

11 page 73 at the foot in particular and towards the foot, and the witness

12 may wish to recall that there's reference in the book by Kadijevic to the

13 Karlobag-Virovitica lines and thereabouts.

14 Q. Do you have any comment to make on what has been said about those

15 lines?

16 A. Yes. Now, as to where would be the borders of the limited

17 Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia without Slovenia and parts of Croatia inhabited

18 predominantly by ethnic Serbs, well, these do coincide with this line

19 Virovitica-Karlovac further down to the south of Herzegovina and

20 Montenegro. This had been spoken about in Yugoslavia quite often before

21 and afterwards, and in fact, this book by Kadijevic simply confirms the

22 reasoning that we had known from before.

23 Q. One other matter of fact, two other matters of commentary before I

24 finish.

25 The matter of fact I didn't deal with, it's at paragraph 14 of the

Page 20901

1 summary. It goes back in time. In the build-up to the decision to secede

2 or to have independence, did you have limitations on the information you

3 received from the army? Did Slovenia suffer limitations in what it was

4 told by the army?

5 A. As far as the relationship between Slovenia and the JNA goes, this

6 was characterised by a series of conflicts from 1988 onwards. The events

7 that I'm sure the Chamber is fully familiar with. Therefore, it is quite

8 understandable that we either had received no information from the JNA or

9 we received very scattered information, particularly as far as their

10 position and plans for Slovenia.

11 We did know, however, that a special staff had been established to

12 regulate the situation in Slovenia. This is what we have been told by the

13 Slovene generals. However, we had no possibility whatsoever to verify

14 this and check this at a later point in time.

15 MR. NICE: Your Honours, there are two exhibits I haven't touched,

16 tabs 4 and 5, being articles where this witness was interviewed in 1992

17 and 1993. The purpose of them, and they can be seen from the extracts

18 included, that the phrase "Greater Serbia" was in use at the time even if

19 not used by the accused. It was used as reflecting the ideas that were

20 going on so far as Serbia was concerned.

21 Q. My two conceptual questions that I want you to deal with in about

22 one minute or two minutes each. As the -- paragraph 61.

23 You take the view, I think, Mr. Kucan, that there were different

24 values of what Yugoslavia should become after its break-up, and you take a

25 view as to how it was that nationalism came to play a part. Could you

Page 20902

1 express that, but really, I'm afraid, very shortly.

2 A. In my introduction, I emphasised that one of the typical features

3 of the crisis in Yugoslavia was also a crisis of values, ethical and

4 others, and that in fact Yugoslavia as a non-aligned state and such as it

5 had been had performed its role. Once the values, the system of values

6 fell apart, it was the nationalist concept that had become the single

7 criterion of any action and activity which by itself and in itself is not

8 a tragic development.

9 The desire and aspiration for freedom and independence by a people

10 is a legitimate right. However, the question is whether this right can be

11 exercised at the detriment of other people's rights, and this is where one

12 of the major conceptual differences lies.

13 Q. Yes. Do you take any view about how there was an absence of

14 values, or a vacuum, indeed, that needed to be filled?

15 A. Yes. In fact, our proposals made at the 14th Congress of the

16 League of Communists of Yugoslavia, i.e., the proposals made by the

17 Slovene delegation, in fact were emphasising the need to fill this vacuum

18 out with a new system of values and standards which Yugoslavia or, rather,

19 Europe had been promoting since the Second World War, and I'm referring to

20 Europe that had -- stood for the values such as democracy, open market

21 economy, openness towards the world, and the need to safeguard the image

22 that Yugoslavia had had internationally.

23 I should also like to emphasise the following: Officially,

24 "Greater Serbia" is not a term that had been used by the Serbian

25 leadership, but the Republic of Serbia per se and the Republic of Serbia

Page 20903

1 including all ethnic Serbians of course makes a big difference.

2 Q. You spoke earlier of the two concepts of Yugoslavia, one as the

3 vehicle where all Serbs lived under one roof, the other as a community --

4 as nations in a community.

5 The break-up, did it reflect one or other of those concepts, in

6 your view?

7 A. The manner in which the concepts were implemented as well as the

8 facts that took place in fact speak for themselves, and they are now shown

9 today very vividly in the concepts that have been pursued by the current

10 parts of the former Yugoslavia, and it is now obvious which parts are

11 living under circumstances and values and standards that are

12 characteristic of modern Europe, of today.

13 Q. And finally, at paragraph 62, do you feel it important to compare

14 the break-up of the former Yugoslavia with the break-up of other

15 territories into constituent parts at the same time or similar time?

16 A. By all means. This is very important for at least two reasons.

17 Number one, our proposal also to the international community as well as to

18 the European Union to realise and recognise that Yugoslavia's days were

19 over and that their intervention is needed for this break-up to be

20 controlled and free of violence.

21 The second reason is closely associated with the first one. The

22 response to our requests and proposals always was: Yugoslavia cannot be

23 broken up because this would be a very bad model for the Soviet Union, and

24 the Soviet Union is a much more complex case than Yugoslavia.

25 In these changes and restructuring after the fall of the Berlin

Page 20904

1 Wall, when the former Czechoslovakia fell apart, the Soviet Union fell

2 apart and both these states fell apart on the basis of an agreement,

3 peacefully, without the use of violence and without bloodshed. In a

4 tragic and bloody manner, it was only Yugoslavia that broke up. The

5 question, the crucial question, is why this took place and why did it

6 happen in Yugoslavia alone?

7 Q. Thank you very much. There will be further questions from the

8 accused.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm not quite sure how much

11 time you're going to give me for the cross-examination of this witness,

12 because I can see that it's already after half past eleven.

13 JUDGE MAY: We're going to give you the same as the Prosecution.

14 That will be one hour, 50 minutes. We might extend that, if you don't

15 waste time, to two hours.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that that's too short a

17 time, but that is your -- the practice you have applied here.

18 JUDGE MAY: The witness is only available today. We must get

19 through his evidence and we must do so as equitably as we can.

20 Mr. Tapuskovic.

21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to

22 ask your indulgence for a minute of explanation by me. As the amicus

23 throughout all this time, I have truly endeavoured to save as much time as

24 possible. I think that I can say on behalf of the amicus that to bring in

25 a key witness of this nature for only one day is not sufficient. I don't

Page 20905

1 think it is enough time for us to get through everything that is

2 necessary.

3 I shall abide and respect your decision with regard to the time

4 allotted for cross-examination, but I fear that we're going to find

5 ourselves in a situation in which I will have no time to ask the witness

6 anything, whereas I have very many key questions and issues to raise.

7 So I should like to know how much time I can count on, as the

8 amicus, for my questioning. Thank you.

9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, we have in this trial, as in any

10 trial, to balance the need for evidence with the availability of

11 witnesses, and in that availability we have to consider the convenience

12 and the possibility of witnesses coming. That's one thing to bear in

13 mind.

14 Secondly, with respect to the amicus, of course you have an

15 important role to fulfil, but it's more important that the time is taken

16 up with cross-examination by the accused, and he should have his allotted

17 time.

18 As you've heard, there may be extra time this afternoon, and we'll

19 consider whether it would be possible to fit as much as possible of your

20 cross-examination in.

21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] May I just be allowed to add, I

22 don't understand, although I do respect the work obligations of Mr. Kucan,

23 however, witnesses of this kind, key witnesses, might I say, are brought

24 into the courtroom for only one day, and I think that we ought to extend a

25 caution to the Prosecution to ask them to find enough time, and I think

Page 20906

1 every man in his life has enough time to spare, so that people can come in

2 and have longer time with the witnesses. So that is the objection and

3 remark I have to make on behalf of the amicus. That's something we'll

4 have to weigh up and assess. Thank you.

5 JUDGE MAY: We must get on now with the examination and not take

6 up further time.

7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As we were saying, it's 25 minutes

9 to 12:00 now.

10 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

11 Q. [Interpretation] Let me ask a preliminary question first. You

12 mentioned the war in Slovenia. You used three expressions; "conflict,"

13 "aggression," and "war." Did Serbia have anything at all to do with that

14 war in Slovenia which, as you said, went on for ten days?

15 A. Well, I used the expression "the war in Slovenia." I apologise.

16 A war against Slovenia. Slovenia was confronted with JNA. Who influenced

17 the acts of the JNA can be judged today on the basis of the documents

18 which are at the disposal of this Court.

19 Q. Very well. At that time, and I hope you also know today, that we

20 in Serbia didn't know about that intervention at all when it began. We

21 had no idea, and we couldn't have known in advance when we didn't know

22 when it actually began.

23 A. Distinguished Your Honours, we in Slovenia turned to the federal

24 bodies, believing that the federal bodies were controlling the JNA, and

25 the federation was the sole other party in this dialogue between the two.

Page 20907

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Page 20908

1 Q. Well, all right. But that -- does that then mean that Serbia has

2 nothing to do with the war?

3 A. I do not know. Documents speak about that, as well as books which

4 had been written later. My conclusions today on the basis of facts that I

5 know today I didn't -- and which I didn't know at the time they were

6 happening.

7 Q. What was the conclusion?

8 JUDGE MAY: Well, you know, it would be much easier and much more

9 productive to deal with what the witness himself knew and what he dealt

10 with, and what he said about this is that he doesn't know at the time

11 whether Serbia was involved. He dealt with the federal authorities.

12 Now, what I caution you against, Mr. Milosevic, because it wastes

13 time, is getting into arguments with witnesses, dealing with things which

14 they haven't come to give evidence about.

15 His conclusions are not relevant what -- unless they affected what

16 happened at the time. His conclusions about the evidence are subject to

17 what this Trial Chamber is going to find. We're going to make conclusions

18 about what the evidence is insofar as it's relevant to this indictment.

19 So there's not much point asking him about his conclusions.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not asking him about his

21 conclusions. What I'm asking him is about his knowledge.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. I have the transcript from the meeting of the 21st of August, and

24 I'm going to read out the first sentence and one sentence later on. "'I

25 am not going to be responsible,' says Milan Kucan: 'I'm not going to be

Page 20909

1 responsible to the Prime Minister who quite obviously, now that he has

2 lost the war, wants to win everything else,'" and so on and so forth.

3 And then there's another sentence. In speaking about the fact

4 that the two members of the federal government who had left would not be

5 returning, you go on to say: "I don't have to convince you that you're

6 not going to find a man in Slovenia, including these two men, who will

7 return to the federal government and work in it. That is the SIV, the

8 federal government for which we know in Slovenia started the war in

9 Slovenia." And those are your very words.

10 Have I quoted you correctly?

11 A. Yes, and it's clear that Slovenia acted in this way, and that was

12 also my stand in connection with that.

13 JUDGE MAY: Which year are we talking about and what were the

14 circumstances of the meeting? Which meeting was it?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was a meeting of the Presidency

16 of the SFRY in extended composition, as was the term used at the time,

17 which meant that those present -- we were present, the presidents of the

18 Presidencies or the presidents of the republics, the individual Yugoslav

19 republics. I attended the meeting and so did the witness.

20 JUDGE MAY: And which year?

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The -- it was on the 21st of August,

22 1991, after the conflict in Slovenia. And therefore this observation made

23 by the witness, which quite clearly speaks about who did what at the time.

24 Q. But let's dwell for a moment on some more serious matters because

25 these are things you have talked about. I think they're essential.

Page 20910

1 Was it clear that the federal organs, as you yourself state,

2 undertook individual measures and took steps to make it impossible to

3 infringe upon the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the SFRY? Was

4 that the explanation that was given at the time?

5 A. Your Honours, Slovenia was not infringing upon the territorial

6 integrity of SFR Yugoslavia. It was -- in a legitimate way it was

7 availing itself of its right to self-determination.

8 Q. Is it true that the very next day, that is to say after the

9 proclamation of the independence of Slovenia on the 25th of June, already

10 on the 26th of June, the day after, you took control of the borders, took

11 down all the plaques which said "Yugoslavia" on it at the border

12 crossings, that you took over the customs control, customs offices and so

13 on and so forth?

14 A. In line with the decisions of the republican Assembly, after

15 proclaiming its independence, it effectively took over the authority on

16 the border and carried out these operations mentioned by the accused and

17 put up the border plaques with the name of Republic of Slovenia.

18 Q. So the activities that were taken by the federal government were

19 reactions to what had in fact taken place. That's right, isn't it?

20 A. Well, six months after the plebiscite and the announcement that

21 the decision of the plebiscite would be implemented in six months, there

22 were no other reactions with which we would resolve the situation after

23 the independence of Slovenia.

24 Q. Do you happen to remember the statements made by the US State

25 Secretary, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs, on the 12th of January,

Page 20911

1 1995, in the American Senate, that the war was started by Slovenia? Do

2 you know about that statement?

3 A. I know also of similar statements, and I don't deny the right of

4 anyone to have his own opinion on what has been happening in Yugoslavia,

5 but of course I have a right to my own opinion, which I have also stated

6 in this court.

7 Q. I'm not talking about an opinion. I'm talking about facts. And

8 do you happen to remember, Warren Zimmermann wrote this, the last American

9 ambassador to the SFRY, in a journal called Foreign Affairs, the

10 March/April issue 1991, the title is "Remembering the Catastrophe in

11 Yugoslavia," and he writes the following: "Contrary to generally held

12 opinions, the Slovenes were the ones who started the war. Their

13 declaration of independence, which was not preceded by any efforts to

14 negotiate, really did place under their control all border crossings

15 between Slovenia and its two neighbours Italy and Austria. This meant

16 that Slovenia was the sole international passage between the Western

17 Yugoslavia and that it appropriated the right and goods intended for other

18 countries and the revenues from customs taxes which amounted to 75 per

19 cent of the national budget. Even a less primitive army than the JNA

20 would have reacted. The worst thing of all was the understandable wish of

21 the Slovenes to be independent, however, condemned the rest of Yugoslavia

22 for war."

23 And that was verbatim a quotation by him.

24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- just a moment. You read that out.

25 The witness should have a chance to comment on it, part by part.

Page 20912

1 Mr. Kucan, you've dealt with the point about whether the Slovenes

2 started the war. What's said is there was no effort to negotiate

3 beforehand, and the effect was that Slovenia was the international

4 passage, as it's put, between Yugoslavia and that you appropriated various

5 rights in connection with customs and the like, so the JNA was bound to

6 react.

7 You've probably heard this, these sort of comments before, but

8 obviously you should have the chance of responding to them since the

9 accused has put them to you.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is the position of the former

11 Ambassador Zimmerman of the United States. I am acquainted with that.

12 There are also other and different opinions from that.

13 Of course the assertion doesn't stand that Slovenia did not -- did

14 nothing in order to assure that this would take place in a peaceful and

15 orderly manner.

16 Already at the meeting in January, in January 1991, after the

17 meetings when it turned out that no agreement could be achieved about the

18 reorganisation of Yugoslavia, our Assembly, the Assembly in February 1991

19 adopted a declaration on an agreed upon disassociation with a proposal,

20 which contained a proposal how to ensure Slovene self-determination where

21 it was also stated that it doesn't want it any other way than through an

22 agreement with other republics.

23 This declaration had been then sent to all the Assemblies of other

24 republics and provinces. The only answer and positive answer we received

25 was from the Assembly of Croatia. No other answer received.

Page 20913

1 So this was just one of the examples what Slovenia did in order to

2 assure that this would happen in agreement and in a peaceful way.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Mr. Kucan, I hope we're not challenging the fact that nobody in

5 Yugoslavia disputed the right of Slovenia to self-determination, the right

6 of the Slovenian people to self-determination.

7 A. No, that is not true.

8 Q. Well, who, then, did challenge the right to self-determination?

9 A. There is -- was a difference between the principled view, stand,

10 and the practical stand, namely that this right can be implemented up to

11 the right of secession or that the federal bodies determined that.

12 While in the federal bodies you had a majority decision-making.

13 We know what that looked like at the Congress, the 14th Congress in

14 January, 1991, when Slovenia came with its legitimate and rightful

15 proposals and through which it was brutally outvoted.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you comment on the passage that

17 Mr. Milosevic quoted to the effect that one result of your declaration of

18 independence was that you had the right to impose customs duties on goods

19 coming into Western Yugoslavia. I'm not sure I quite understand that.

20 Was that a consequence?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the decisions of the Slovene

22 Assemblies was to take over the customs duties, customs duties which were

23 taxed on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. It would have been

24 paid into a special fund and then the decision concerning this fund would

25 be taken during the talks on the future.

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Page 20915

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You mean the decision as to how the funds would

2 be distributed among the other republics. I see. Thanks.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This was also specified in the

4 Brioni accord Annex 1. It was July 1991.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. July 1991. The Brioni agreement was after the war and here we're

7 talking about the war.

8 So tell me, as you did have the possibility of stepping down from

9 Yugoslavia in the way Slovakia did, for example, and you opted for

10 violence and you played the decisive role, and of course Germany, Austria,

11 the politicians that you discussed this issue with, why then did you opt

12 for war when you could have stepped down peacefully? Why did you attack

13 the JNA in Slovenia?

14 A. The decision concerning the customs and the fate of the customs

15 was a decision adopted by the Slovene Assembly on the 25th of June. And

16 as far as other countries and politicians from other countries, I cannot

17 involve them concerning the Slovene decision. The decision was taken by

18 us. We weren't influenced by anybody else. The risk we took upon

19 ourselves.

20 As far as Slovakia is concerned, nobody set any conditions. It

21 was an agreement which was reached by the two presidents of the Czech and

22 the Slovak government.

23 Q. You just mentioned the fact that you weren't able to go to the

24 federal organs not to be outvoted, to avoid being outvoted. I think you

25 know that in the Federal Assembly, according to the constitution, nobody

Page 20916

1 could be outvoted and that the federal council and the council of chambers

2 and provinces existed at the time, so Slovenia could not have been

3 outvoted on an issue of this kind. A consensus was being offered.

4 So bearing this in mind, why, then, did you attack the JNA on your

5 territory, the JNA which went there to --

6 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer one question at a time.

7 The question was that you were being offered, it's said, a

8 consensus. Would that be true or not?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The law on secession as was proposed

10 would have been adopted in the federal chamber, not in the chamber of

11 republics and provinces where consensus was needed. It was the federal

12 chamber where the majority vote prevailed. And also, the Serbian

13 leadership, when speaking of greater efficiency of the federal bodies,

14 they also insisted one man, one vote, and it meant that for the smaller

15 nations within the federation, we'd be outvoted. So this assertion

16 doesn't stand.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Well, it is precisely the fact that this law was not adopted

19 because of a lack of consensus confirms that the assertion does stand,

20 because the law was not adopted because they could not agree on the basis

21 of a consensus. Isn't that so, Mr. Kucan? Why wasn't the law adopted,

22 then, if we had the majority in the Assembly, and those four other

23 republics, and were able in the federal chamber to adopt it by a majority

24 a vote? It wasn't adopted, wasn't passed because there was no consensus.

25 You did not allow it to be adopted, in fact, and to step down peacefully

Page 20917

1 as a result.

2 A. Your Honours, it would be difficult for me -- as a member of a

3 small nation, it would be difficult for me to dictate to the majority. It

4 was another matter was at stake. Was it a decision, Slovene decision of

5 secession or issue of disassociation from Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia wouldn't

6 exist without Slovenia. We were a constitutive element of Yugoslavia.

7 And this has roots in 1918 when the country was founded and what it is.

8 That is why we proposed this concept of disassociation and the declaration

9 of the Republican Assembly in February 1991, it proposed it to the

10 assemblies of the other republics to reflect and reconsider it.

11 I know also of many other proposals concerning -- and drafts of

12 this law on secession, and there were two lines of thinking, the

13 indissolubility of the republics concerning all the debts of all the

14 individual republics, so how much each and every republic borrowed abroad

15 for its development, and it would be requested that the -- it would also

16 request that its workers be employed also in all other republics. So

17 these were the thinkings along the lines concerning this draft law.

18 Q. Well, that's precisely why I'm asking you this, because you

19 yourself said a moment ago the right to self-determination, which is the

20 right enjoyed by all nations, all ethnic groups, and that that could not

21 be realised at the expense of the same rights enjoyed by others. So is

22 that clear? Do we agree on that point at least?

23 A. As far as the fact that each nation has the right to

24 self-determination, yes, they all. But it's not an abstract category. It

25 lives in a reality, and it is linked to the republic in the context of the

Page 20918

1 border, because the borders between the republics were borders and borders

2 that cannot be changed without the agreement of the affected republic.

3 Therefore, the decision of self-determination was fixed on the territory

4 and not the changes of territories.

5 We have not tried to infringe upon the territories either of the

6 other republics of Yugoslavia or of other neighbouring countries.

7 Q. And the intervention of the federal government wasn't on

8 inter-republican borders but on the external borders of Yugoslavia which

9 it was its constitutional right to do, wasn't it? And you attacked the

10 army on your territory. The Yugoslav People's Army, the only legitimate

11 army in Yugoslavia at that time, and you attacked it on your territory,

12 which took up positions on the external borders of Yugoslavia. Isn't that

13 right?

14 A. For many years, Your Honours, I had this unpleasant duty to carry

15 on the political debates on what Yugoslavia is. The external borders of

16 Yugoslavia were also Slovene borders. And when Slovenia decided to go

17 independent legally, all Slovene borders became external borders. And as

18 I said before, there can be no Yugoslavia without Slovenia, so there was

19 no need to defend the Yugoslav borders, at least not there where Slovenia

20 was.

21 Q. Very well. Obviously this is changing the subject, because I

22 quoted Zimmerman who is giving the exact reasons why you did that. But to

23 be practical, let us move on.

24 Do you please remember your involvement on NTV television, one of

25 those private TV stations in 1995, in November, together with Mesic,

Page 20919

1 Tomac, Spegelj in a live programme? Do you remember that programme that

2 you were a participant of?

3 A. I would have to look at the footage. I would have to look at the

4 footage; we had many such programmes, I don't know exactly which you're

5 thinking about.

6 Q. Very well. Do you remember, I'm referring to the programme aired

7 on the 8th of November, on the NTV private TV station in which you

8 participated together with Stipe Mesic who at the time headed the party of

9 Croatian Independent Democrats, and also participating were Spegelj, Tomac

10 and others. It was a Kontakt programme. Spectators called in and you had

11 a lot of discussion. I'm sure you didn't have many programmes with the

12 same participants, especially on that date and that year, so surely you

13 remember that programme.

14 A. Your Honours, I do remember the programme but I don't remember the

15 date, and of course I don't have such a memory to recollect both the

16 programmes and the dates, but I do remember participating in the

17 programme.

18 Q. Very well. That's fine. Now, do you remember that in that

19 programme Mesic - you were present - declared, Mesic declared, that the

20 former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Hans Dietrich Genscher, and

21 the Pope John Paul II, by the direct agreement and support designed to

22 break up the former Yugoslavia had practically contributed most to that

23 actually happening? Do you remember the positions he took and the

24 explanations he gave along those lines?

25 A. Those were the stance of Mr. Mesic. I already mentioned before

Page 20920

1 that foreign statesmen will not be involved in this story of the

2 independence of Slovenia. Also, in connection with the concrete name --

3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kucan, let us just stick to whatever it is the

4 accused wants to put. That is what Mr. Mesic said, something along those

5 lines; is that right?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But my experience with these

7 people is different. That is what I wanted to state.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. You mean with reference to Genscher and the Pope?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Yes. But I'm asking you whether Mesic said what I said.

12 JUDGE MAY: He has agreed.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, I see. Fine.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what you exactly want

15 from me.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. I'm asking you, Mr. Kucan. You are testifying here. Among other

18 things, half of your testimony referred to the book by Borisav Jovic. So

19 I'm now asking you, for instance, about a statement by Stipe Mesic in

20 front of you in a Kontakt programme in which you took part together. You

21 said here that you could confirm here what Jovic said at meetings that you

22 attended. Now I'm asking you whether you could confirm what Mesic said in

23 a Kontakt programme you were in.

24 JUDGE MAY: Let's move on, Mr. Milosevic. The witness has agreed

25 with that.

Page 20921

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Page 20922

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's fine.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Let us just specify something else, please. Do you remember that

4 at the time Mesic said that he came to Belgrade, to the highest position

5 in the federation in order to, through the mediation of the Yugoslav

6 diplomacy at the time, to get in touch with the most influential factors

7 and to persuade them that the survival of Yugoslavia was nonsense? And I

8 have a quotation: "I wanted to convey that the idea of the break-up of

9 Yugoslavia to those who had the greatest influence on its fate, to

10 Genscher and the Pope. In fact, I had three meetings with Genscher. He

11 enabled a contact with the Holy See. The Pope and Genscher agreed with

12 the total break-up of SFRY." Was that what he said?

13 A. Your Honours, this programme which I participated together with

14 Mr. Mesic, I can confirm that. But to be able to confirm each and every

15 word, I'd need either a transcript or a video in order to be able to

16 confirm it. These are very weighty words, and to testify like this

17 wouldn't -- just wouldn't do.

18 JUDGE MAY: Were these put to Mr. Mesic? I don't remember. Just

19 a moment. Just a moment.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's not waste time.

21 MR. NICE: I do not recall these passages being put, no.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, they were not put because when I

23 was cross-examining Mesic, I didn't have this information about that

24 particular programme. Otherwise, I would have surely. But since Mr.

25 Kucan was a participant, I think it is quite relevant to establish that.

Page 20923

1 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't remember the particular detail, and

2 he's dealt with it generally. Now, let's move on.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Do you remember that Tomac at the time recalled that Slovenia and

6 Croatia, as long as 1990, had formed a strong partnership in favour of the

7 break-up of Yugoslavia? He was, according to his criteria, was favourable

8 for you, and this tandem, this couple, consisted of Franjo Tudjman and

9 yourself; is that right?

10 A. Your Honours, I and nobody else from the leadership of Slovenia

11 worked on the concept of the break-up of Yugoslavia. We only worked

12 together on the reorganisation, restructuring of Yugoslavia.

13 I mentioned the session of the Presidency in the summer of 1990

14 when it was agreed that Slovenia and Croatia prepare a concept of a

15 federation, and also a confederal agreement was drawn up but which wasn't

16 accepted by the other republics.

17 Q. Yes, yes. Four republics, as you yourself said, did not agree to

18 it. But then let us go back since I asked you why you attacked the

19 Yugoslav People's Army when it wasn't jeopardising anyone over there. I'm

20 asking you now, is it true that during the conflict in Slovenia 44 members

21 of the JNA were killed, 184 seriously wounded?

22 A. Your Honours, I must refute the assertion that -- the assertion

23 that Slovenia attacked the JNA. It wasn't the Slovene army that went out

24 of the barracks to attack the JNA, but it was the JNA, according to our

25 judgement, on the basis of an illegal, unconstitutional decision of the

Page 20924

1 federal government, moved out of the barracks not only in Slovenia but

2 also those located on the territory of the Republic of Croatia. And that

3 is a fact, and it's an unavoidable fact.

4 In this war, in fact, regrettably, people died. According to our

5 data, 37 members of the JNA, eight members of the Slovene TO, four

6 policemen, six civilians, citizens of Slovenia, and six foreigners who

7 were at the time on the territory -- our territory of the Republic of

8 Slovenia.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have here a list of the

10 killed and wounded members of the JNA in Slovenia, and as I'm saying that

11 this was an attack on the JNA, I should like to tender it into evidence.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Do you remember the worst kind of crimes that you committed

14 against --

15 JUDGE MAY: Before we get there, let's deal with this. Where does

16 the list come from which you want to tender into evidence?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is an official book, "Killed

18 and died members of the JNA," those who died from the consequences of

19 their injuries, with their names, date of birth, garrison they belonged

20 to. It's easily verifiable and is not at issue.

21 JUDGE MAY: Just hand it in and we'll have a look at it.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. You can do that later on, just

23 to save time. Please.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Do you remember the worst kind of crimes you committed --

Page 20925

1 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Nice has a point.

2 MR. NICE: If this extract is admissible, then the whole book

3 should be admitted, in our respectful submission.

4 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure about that.

5 MR. NICE: It would be more valuable. There may be issues as to

6 whether it's admissible in any event because it may lack relevance, simply

7 to put a list of names in light of the answer given by the witness. But

8 if it is relevant, we would invite the accused to provide the whole book.

9 JUDGE MAY: What we might do is this, we will hand you it to look

10 at during the adjournment, which is just coming up. You can have a look

11 at it, but what we might simply do is mark it for identification and it

12 may become relevant in due course. But hand this, if you would, to the

13 Prosecution and we'll consider it after the adjournment.

14 We're going to adjourn now. We will adjourn now for 20 minutes.

15 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

16 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.

17 JUDGE MAY: Exhibit number first.

18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Defence Exhibit 135, marked for

19 identification.

20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we've reviewed it. We would not object to

21 its being marked for identification. Obviously, we need to see the book

22 in due course.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue, Mr. May?

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 20926

1 Q. Will you please give me brief answers because our time is limited.

2 Do you remember that at five crossing points you brought minor children of

3 officers and, under threat of death, you forced them to call on their

4 fathers to surrender? Right or not?

5 A. No, we didn't do that.

6 Q. Do you remember that armed civilians arrested JNA members in the

7 streets of towns and then in prisons they were subjected to various kinds

8 of torture, such as scheduling their execution and things like that? Do

9 you remember that? Yes or no.

10 A. No.

11 Q. And do you remember that you expelled or evicted from their

12 apartments the families of officers, threatening to liquidate them unless

13 they left Slovenia within a certain time period, by a certain deadline?

14 A. No.

15 Q. And is it true that the Territorial Defence of Slovenia, with

16 so-called units of national protection, set up barricades to prevent the

17 passage of the JNA? Yes or no.

18 A. Your Honours, the barricades were first put up by the citizens of

19 Slovenia. The Territorial Defence wasn't organised yet. It was on the

20 night from the 26th/27th of June when we -- the citizens were celebrating

21 their independence, and when going home, they saw the tanks coming, and

22 they put up -- they used their cars, the buses to place in front of these

23 vehicles.

24 Q. Very well. I have documentation in support of all this, so I

25 won't dwell on it. You certainly remember that passenger vehicles with

Page 20927

1 licence plates from Serbia, ordinary passengers, civilians, who happened

2 to be on the territory of Slovenia had their cars seized from them.

3 THE INTERPRETER: No microphone. I'm sorry, the interpreter can't

4 hear the speaker.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. You certainly remember that passenger vehicles with licence plates

7 from Serbia, various civilians who were travelling on business or

8 otherwise, that their vehicles were seized and the passengers were held as

9 hostages and used as human shields? Yes or no.

10 A. Your Honours, as I took the oath to speak the truth, nothing but

11 the truth, it's not possible to answer these questions. In Slovenia, due

12 to the aggression of the JNA, some trucks were stopped and the drivers and

13 passengers were warned that they could be attacked and were asked to

14 withdraw. I allow that maybe in these columns of vehicles there could be

15 some vehicles with Serbian licence plates.

16 Q. And do you remember that the military hospital, the military

17 hospital in Ljubljana and the rehabilitation centre in Rimska Toplica were

18 blocked and electricity and water were cut off, as well as food supplies,

19 and there were vehicles placed in front of them filled with gas and petrol

20 cans? Yes or no.

21 A. In order that they were brought trucks with gas cylinders, I don't

22 know, but I know that civilians were also injured concerning civilian

23 hospitals.

24 Q. And do you remember that these institutions, that is the military

25 hospital and the military rehabilitation centre, were told that they would

Page 20928

1 be destroyed, together with their patients, if the JNA undertakes any

2 military actions in the Republic of Slovenia?

3 A. I do not know that, but I know that the JNA used helicopters to

4 transport the injured and that they wore the sign of the Red Cross.

5 Q. And do you know that extending aid to wounded soldiers was

6 prevented and that there were even attacks on ambulances, streets were

7 blocked, the civilian medical service refused to extend first aid to

8 officers and soldiers of the JNA due to which some very young soldiers

9 died of wounds that were not lethal.

10 A. From as far as I know, our civilian hospitals and first aid had

11 the task to help each and every one who was injured, be it the JNA --

12 members of the JNA, the police, the TO, or civilians.

13 Q. Since that is not true, but I have documents in support of this --

14 JUDGE MAY: The witness asserts that it is, so there's no point

15 arguing about it.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I will not argue, Mr. May. I

17 don't want to waste time.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Do you remember injuries of civilians which shows that there was

20 violence against the lives and health of individuals, that hostages were

21 taken, that there was terrorism, that there were impermissible threats

22 made? I have information. I'll just read out the title: "Violations of

23 the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by Members of the Armed Forces

24 of Slovenia."

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is also from this white book.

Page 20929

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Page 20930

1 Could this be also exhibited and then you will consider it, because I

2 don't have time to read it.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. And do you remember violations of international law with respect

5 to civilians, the injured, and patients and the dead?

6 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time. This is another entry from the

7 same book; is that right?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.

9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, let us have it now.

10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, different considerations might apply to

11 this extract, seeing the way the title's been read, because if it's going

12 to go in in any way as evidence of what it says, it's probably something

13 we would object to, but we'll see.

14 JUDGE MAY: The list can be marked for identification. It's no

15 more than that. It appears to be an extract from the book. The

16 Prosecution can make objections in due course.

17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Defence Exhibit 136, marked for

18 identification.

19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Do you remember violations of international law with respect to

22 the civilian population, the wounded, the sick, dead persons, medical

23 staff? I have here 19 such cases of failure to respect those rules,

24 failure to respect medical staff, impermissible attacks on Red Cross

25 marked vehicles and ambulances. This is violations of the rules regarding

Page 20931

1 the sick, the wounded, the dead, et cetera. There are 19 different

2 entries, and I would like to tender it.

3 JUDGE MAY: No. This is merely some allegations which are made by

4 somebody in a book, no doubt. You can call evidence about it in due

5 course, but first of all, the witness should have the opportunity to deal

6 with these allegations and suggestions.

7 Mr. Kucan, it's alleged, as you've heard, that there were various

8 violations of international law with respect to medical staff, attacks on

9 Red Cross vehicles, and other violations about the sick and the wounded.

10 Normally, I would have the accused go through these 19 allegations one by

11 one, but in the interests of saving time, I'm not going to do that.

12 But you should have the opportunity of answering. Is it true that

13 there were violations on the Slovene side, of these rules?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, these allegations,

15 these types of allegations put forward by the accused I refute and in the

16 most decided manner. This is a propaganda brochure which was published

17 and printed by Narodna Armija. Slovenia, in connection with these cases

18 mentioned by the accused, this has been investigated by the investigative

19 judge, by a forensic expert, and we have documents on this which are

20 preserved in the Ministry of Defence. And if the Court wishes so, it will

21 be able to receive it.

22 I assert that this was not -- was not happening in Slovenia. And

23 even if something like this did happen, it would be an extreme, excessive

24 situation. The TO members, the JNA, and also the civilians were here.

25 But later, what was happening in Srebrenica, Vukovar, Dubrovnik, and the

Page 20932

1 concentration camps, this was a system, and I don't believe that there the

2 investigations have been completed as they have been in Slovenia.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. May, so you won't

4 accept this; is that right?

5 JUDGE MAY: No.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These injuries, violations of the

7 rules?

8 JUDGE MAY: No.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These 19 points? Very well.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. And do you remember violations of the rules with respect to people

12 in custody? I have 17 different entries proving that the wounded and the

13 sick were not given appropriate aid but they were threatened, their lives

14 were threatened, their human dignity violated, and so on. Is that

15 incorrect too, Mr. Kucan?

16 A. Your Honours, I've already answered to that. I said that we also

17 offered assistance, and after the Brioni accord, it was also agreed that

18 the exchange would take place of the POWs as well as of the injured, and

19 so they could go wherever they wished to go.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So you won't accept this either as

21 an exhibit, Mr. May? Very well. I have here some documents which say,

22 for instance, Vednost [phoen], which means for information of the

23 president of Slovenia, Mr. Milan Kucan. These are documents of the

24 District Court in Kopar [phoen] of the Helsinki Monitor of Slovenia, et

25 cetera, signed the president, Neva Miklavcic Predan, the president of the

Page 20933

1 Helsinki board of Slovenia. I have documents of the state Prosecutor's

2 office in Maribor, et cetera, also forwarded to you for your attention.

3 And the question is: Are you informed about the well-known case when three

4 captured members of the JNA were executed? Three captured members of the

5 JNA executed by Slovenian policemen at the Holmec crossing on the 28th of

6 June, 1991. Do you remember that?

7 A. The Holmec case and all the other cases mentioned in the white

8 book have been investigated. As I said, a report exists of the findings,

9 and the Court may also request it and receive it. But that there was no

10 say of this that civilians or that POWs would be executed.

11 Q. I didn't get the Serbian interpretation. I just heard you

12 speaking, Mr. Kucan, but I think you said that they were not executed. Is

13 that right?

14 A. If I understood you correctly that as POWs, that they had been

15 shot, then my answer is no.

16 Q. So these three JNA members were not executed?

17 JUDGE MAY: That's what he said.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. I even have here the notes of the post-mortems, the reports on the

21 post-mortems of these three JNA members who were executed. I have the

22 letters of the Helsinki committee, and other documents. So would at least

23 these documents be admitted into evidence?

24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- let the witness see them first of

25 all. He may have a comment on them.

Page 20934

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He can see all of them. But let me

2 just first find something else. Yes, the Prosecutor's office. This whole

3 set of documents as an exhibit, I would like the witness to look at it.

4 I also have information that the opposite side has received such

5 documents, Mr. May.

6 JUDGE MAY: Can you help us with those, Mr. Kucan, what they are?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What does this prove? That --

8 it just goes to prove that Slovenia also in the case of war acted as a

9 state with a rule of law, that the prosecution came in, carried out their

10 investigation and made its findings. The Helsinki Monitor also was

11 involved.

12 I asserted that these soldiers were not killed and executed as

13 prisoners of war, but unfortunately, they were executed.

14 JUDGE MAY: This is the, according to the accused, a file or part

15 of a file which the Prosecutor's office had. Is that a correct way to

16 describe it?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the Prosecution

18 has at its disposal, but these are authentic documents referring to the

19 work of the judicial bodies of Slovenia.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. All right. Tell me this then, please; were these people executed

22 or were they not?

23 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal with it first of all by way of deciding

24 whether to admit it or not. Yes.

25 MR. NICE: All I would add for your deliberations is this: There

Page 20935

1 is a threshold of relevance for consideration when we're looking at events

2 in Slovenia. For Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo, of course there's a

3 conflict, and therefore, what's done by the other side is raised as

4 relevant by the accused. I'm not going to try and hold out any documents

5 that may be helpful, but if we consider receiving the white book and then

6 in consequence the whole report in answer to the white book which will add

7 to the materials before the Chamber, we may have gone too far in

8 broadening the admissibility of evidence, but it's a matter for the

9 Chamber.

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll admit these documents. We bear in mind

11 what the Prosecution say about relevance, but meanwhile, de bene esse,

12 we'll admit these and allow the accused to cross-examine on these matters

13 of detail. In due course we'll have to decide how relevant the matter is.

14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Defence Exhibit 137.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. I presented just a few examples from all that which show that in

18 that alleged attack by the JNA and the aggression against Slovenia, the

19 casualties were several times greater, several times more soldiers with

20 the JNA, just eight members, in fact, of the Territorial Defence of

21 Slovenia among them were killed, and this was exclusively self-defence

22 from an attack, an attack which was not caused or --

23 JUDGE MAY: We have been over all this. The witness has given his

24 evidence. Let's move on to something else.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please. In the statement -- in his

Page 20936

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Page 20937

1 statement, actually, the witness in point 75 quotes Kostic and Jovic at

2 Brioni Island, as it says here, and they say: "A few Slovenians hate

3 Yugoslavia so much and wish to leave Yugoslavia, then okay, leave this

4 country but don't kill our sons, because their mothers did not bear them

5 to be killed and die on Slovenian territory." That is your own quotation.

6 Now, why did you need this war at all?

7 A. Your Honours, the -- Slovenia didn't want this war. It didn't

8 need this war, and it didn't initiate it. The sons of Serb -- of

9 Montenegrin mothers died, but so did of Slovenian mothers, but certainly

10 we did not, Slovenia did not instigate this war.

11 Q. All right. Let's now take a look at something. I presented some

12 assertions. I don't think by mutual people, but those who weren't well

13 disposed to Yugoslavia when the war began, actually. So is it true that

14 you could have left Yugoslavia without a war and that you started a war in

15 order to destroy the whole of Yugoslavia? That that was in fact your

16 role?

17 JUDGE MAY: Listen, the witness has said many times that they did

18 not start the war. So any question which is based on that is irrelevant.

19 Any question based on that sort of assertion. You've heard his answer.

20 Now, let's move on to something else, some of the detail of his evidence

21 which he actually gave.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, his statement is a very

23 lengthy one, Mr. May. It comprises 27 pages. We have different

24 observations made throughout, and we have some short explanations too. So

25 I have a great deal of questions to ask this witness.

Page 20938

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. You speak about the following: In point 6, paragraph 6, you say

3 that the Serbs insisted upon the fact that Yugoslavia continued into

4 existence due to an annexation of the other kingdom, which is correct, and

5 why the Serbs said that Slovenia was seceding from Yugoslavia, and we

6 insisted that it was dissociation.

7 Do you agree, Mr. Kucan, quite a construed construction, because

8 the Serbs considered that the Slovenes could, according to their own free

9 will, decide about their own fate and destiny, but they cannot impose

10 their will on others, by the same token, those who wish to remain living

11 in Yugoslavia? Isn't that right?

12 A. Your Honours, I wouldn't like to reopen all the discussions

13 concerning different views on the break-up of Yugoslavia and the role of

14 Yugoslavia in the lives of these nations. It didn't come through

15 annexation, it was the free will of everyone who united into Yugoslavia.

16 I'm looking back at the year 1918. It's true that on our own free will we

17 left. We didn't want to impose this on anyone. We took many actions - I

18 won't list them all - to ensure that it would be done in a peaceful way

19 and a way that we could all agree upon.

20 Q. Let's clear up a few points first, please. I'm sure you know

21 enough to be able to do so and that you're competent to do so.

22 You said that the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina were one of the

23 three constituent peoples, did you not?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Do you consider that the referendum on the secession of

Page 20939

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina without one of the three constituent peoples, in this

2 case the Serb people, could have been legitimate or not, was legitimate or

3 not, judging by the criteria, principles, provisions of the Yugoslav

4 constitution, general norms, and a question of principle as well?

5 JUDGE MAY: The witness isn't here as a constitutional expert, and

6 the secession of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as you call it, has not been put into

7 issue by his evidence. So his opinion as to that will not assist us.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not a question of me asking him

9 as a constitutional expert. I'm asking him with respect to his statement

10 when he said that the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina were one of the three

11 constituent peoples, and that isn't something that is challenged.

12 JUDGE MAY: Let me explain one thing: What's in his statement is

13 not evidence. He's not given evidence about that. It's what he says here

14 which is evidence.

15 Now, as I say, time is short, and we're not going to be assisted

16 by his views, with respect to him, on this matter.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Very well, Mr. May. I

18 won't take everything he said into consideration, just in part, because I

19 assume that the statement is a basis for asking legitimate questions, or a

20 legitimate basis for questions.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. You said today here and now something about a meeting you had with

23 the Presidency, the Yugoslavia state Presidency and the president of the

24 Federal Executive Council, the SIV, and as you've said, and I made a note

25 of that, you asked to complete the constitutional changes, amendments,

Page 20940

1 that they be completed, that they should not insist that this process be

2 stopped, and that your answer was that the Constitutional Court was in

3 existence and that it there up to determine whether something was

4 unconstitutional or not; is that right? Is that what you said?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Very well. You indicated the authority of the Constitutional

7 Court as a form of guarantor, that the constitutional order would not be

8 upset, infringed upon. However, as you speak about Slovenia's attachment

9 to legality and democracy, is it true and correct that, in opposition to

10 this, Slovenia, through unilateral decisions made by its state organs in

11 fact was aiming at destroying the legal order by its representatives in

12 the Yugoslav Assembly and made decisions which were not in conformity with

13 the constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia itself? Is that

14 true or not?

15 A. This is not accurate, because before the Constitutional Court

16 there were four amendments, one speaking of the rights of religious

17 communities to establish schools, then another one speaking of the fact

18 that a state of emergency could not be declared without the agreement of

19 the republic authorities, a third amendment speaking of linking up large

20 technological systems, the post, the railway, and thirdly the exercise of

21 this right to self-determination. Two constitutional judges in

22 Yugoslavia, because each republic had two judges in the federal -- in the

23 federal bodies, had each separate view on this.

24 Q. I'm not talking about anybody's opinion during a meeting of the

25 Constitutional Court, because everybody's entitled to their own opinion

Page 20941

1 but it is the court that makes a ruling. You said today, and just

2 confirm, that as a guarantee that everything would proceed in a

3 constitutional manner, you mentioned the existence of the Constitutional

4 Court which would act and assess whether something was constitutional or

5 not, whereas in fact you were dealing with the toppling, you wanted to

6 topple the constitutional order of Yugoslavia.

7 And in connection with the witness's assertion along those lines,

8 that he offered the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia as a guarantor, I

9 have the authentic decisions by the Constitutional Court, which of course

10 I won't have time to read through here and now because I would need

11 several days to read through them, but they are authentic decisions, and

12 we have here the opinions of the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia with

13 respect to amendments 9 to 90, amendments to the constitution and the

14 constitution of Slovenia aligned with that of Yugoslavia. Furthermore,

15 they're opinions that the amendments were contrary to the constitution in

16 the field of national defence, another decision and ruling made by the

17 Constitutional Court which the witness referred to in his talks and

18 confirmed again today.

19 Then furthermore, the Constitutional Court observes that the -- an

20 amendment to the constitution of Slovenia was not in order, re paragraph

21 99 and Article 1, paragraph 1.2 on the law of putting a stop to certain

22 crimes and offences, and the declaration on the sovereignty of the

23 Republic of Slovenia. This was something that was annulled by the

24 Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia and its decision with respect to

25 articles 4 and 10 of the plebiscite law.

Page 20942

1 Yes. I have been cautioned to speak more slowly for the

2 interpreters.

3 And then Article 4 and 10 of the law on plebiscite, as I said, the

4 independence and autonomy of the Republic of Slovenia. This was also

5 overruled by the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia. Then there was

6 another decision, the constitutionality and a proposal for disassociation

7 of the socialist -- from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

8 That was overruled by the Constitutional Court. And then there was

9 another decision overruling your proposals referring to defence and

10 protection. That was overruled too. Then the decision to assess the

11 military responsibilities, which also overruled, and articles 2, paragraph

12 2 of Article 3 and 4, and Articles 6, 7, and 8 of the law on amendments to

13 the Safety on the Roads Act and the decision to determine the

14 constitutionality of the constitutional charter referring to the

15 independence and autonomy of the Republic of Slovenia.

16 So these were Constitutional Court decisions and rulings. We have

17 another one; the law to implement the basic constitutional charter on the

18 independence and autonomy of the Republic of Slovenia. Another decision

19 assessing the constitutionality of the declaration with respect to

20 independence. The decision to assess the customs services and how far

21 they were constitutional. And this was something that you brought up.

22 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you because you've read out a

23 great long list and the witness should have the opportunity of commenting,

24 and indeed of answering, if necessary, individual decisions.

25 Mr. Kucan, you've heard the accused refer to a number of decisions

Page 20943

1 of the -- just a moment. Just a moment. -- of the Yugoslav

2 Constitutional Court. If you want to look at any of them or you want to

3 comment on any individually or as a whole, this will be your opportunity

4 to do so, if you wish.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These decisions, I'm aware of them.

6 And the accused is saying that the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia

7 quashed these acts, and the Constitutional Court did not have such an

8 authority but could establish whether this was not in conformity and what

9 the state of compliance with the constitution of Yugoslavia was.

10 I wish to assert that this is very important, because just as all

11 other cases of voting occurred in Yugoslavia, the same method was used in

12 the Constitutional Court, and both judges, constitutional judges from

13 Slovenia, in the case of these documents, had a view differing from those

14 of the majority of other judges on this point.

15 JUDGE MAY: When you say the same method of voting, Mr. Kucan,

16 what was that method of voting?

17 A. Well, the one that was evident at the 14th session and that would

18 also happen in the Federal Assembly, for instance; laws would be adopted

19 if a decision was to be made on disassociation from Yugoslavia.

20 JUDGE MAY: And if we look at these decisions, we'll find the

21 Slovene judges will be in a minority; is that right?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a rule, yes, they were on their

23 own.

24 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you can tell us, we'll no doubt be able to

25 find out, but can you tell us, did any other judges side with them or not?

Page 20944

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Page 20945

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would have to see it on the basis

2 of concrete judgements or concrete rulings of the Constitutional Court,

3 and I think that now just guessing this could mislead the Court, the

4 Tribunal.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Mr. Kucan, I don't know where the sense of this is, comparing

8 voting at party Congresses which, according to the rules of procedure as

9 to who votes and that there should be a majority vote on the part of those

10 present and Constitutional Court decisions which, according to its rules

11 of procedure, at the level of laws makes decisions which cannot be adopted

12 unless they have a qualified majority to do so. And any court in the

13 world - supreme, constitutional, whatever - makes rulings on the basis of

14 a majority vote.

15 So are you saying -- let me be more precise and specific in

16 answering -- asking my question: That the Constitutional Court overruling

17 these acts of Slovenia, documents of Slovenia, or, rather, in which they

18 express their view that they are unconstitutional and not in conformity

19 with the constitution of Yugoslavia, were made -- decisions were made by

20 violating the work of the Constitutional Court, or did the Constitutional

21 Court work in keeping with its code of conduct and rules of procedure?

22 A. Your Honours, you see the accused is saying that it is really

23 irrelevant to present the mode of voting used. I think it is very

24 important to point the voting out, because this was showing the majority

25 of views, of stands of one republic through the voting mechanism and

Page 20946

1 putting this minority or, concretely, the Republic of Slovenia in a

2 position where it can never really assert its views and make them

3 accepted. And this was one man, one vote, which obviously is a democratic

4 principle.

5 In a multinational country, there is this principle of one man,

6 one voice, which would be replaced by one man, one republic, one vote and

7 where no outvoting is possible but where consensus or agreement is the

8 basis for decisions.

9 In 1989, at the meeting that has already been referred to, I did

10 point out this necessity for consensus, for agreement, and the answer that

11 was given to me is that changes could not be achieved on this basis on the

12 basis of consensus, and this is this logic which differs from the one that

13 I was aware of.

14 Q. Mr. Kucan, let's not put things upside down like this and reverse

15 the thesis. What I'm talking about is legal decisions on the part of the

16 Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia and not about one man, one vote, that

17 system.

18 You said yourself that you asked the Yugoslav state Presidency and

19 the federal government at a meeting that you talked about this morning to

20 complete your constitutional changes and that guarantees -- that you gave

21 guarantees that this would not sidestep the constitution of Yugoslavia.

22 And a Constitutional Court exists to rule if something is not in

23 conformity with constitution. And once the Constitutional Court made its

24 decisions, you say that this was to the detriment of your republic because

25 the Constitutional Court ruled that you were unconstitutional in toppling

Page 20947

1 the legal system of Yugoslavia. Is that what you're in fact saying, Mr.

2 Kucan?

3 A. [Previous translation continues]... the federal Constitutional

4 Court did not say that Slovenia toppled the constitutional order of

5 Yugoslavia. What I am saying is what would be the meaning of a

6 constitutional decision that there be judges, an equal number of judges

7 coming from each individual Yugoslav republic? And if I went -- if I had

8 to conclude on this basis, I could say that both constitutional --

9 constitutional judges from Slovenia therefore could be considered as being

10 incompetent and without having authority to participate in this

11 decision-making if I were to say this.

12 Q. Well, they did participate in the decision-making process, but if

13 they are left in the minority, as you know, and the Constitutional Court

14 meets in full composition in plenary session and therefore takes decisions

15 on that basis --

16 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Milosevic, we've taken this point as far

17 as we can. Let's move on to something else.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think we have too. So look at

19 those 27 decisions of the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia. And as the

20 witness spoke about them, you can take them over, and I should like to

21 have them exhibited as a unified exhibit. There are 27 decisions although

22 there are, of course, more than that.

23 JUDGE MAY: We will exhibit them for identification. They will be

24 admitted for identification until they're translated and shown to be what

25 they claim to be.

Page 20948

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Defence Exhibit 138 marked for

2 identification.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Let's move on, because my time is short. Let's look at some

5 important issues.

6 Is it true that at the beginning of the October 1990, activities

7 began to intensify illegal arming of Croatia in collaboration with

8 Slovenia? I'm sure you'll remember that during that period of time, the

9 JNA uncovered nine illegal channels for smuggling weapons, et cetera. Is

10 that true?

11 A. Not that I know of. And that the JNA uncovered any such illegal

12 channels, but I do know that the army disarmed the Slovene Territorial

13 Defence in May that year, and this was already referred to. This is when

14 the democratically elected authorities were put in power.

15 Q. I'm not taking this as cause and effect of any kind. I have here,

16 for example, a certificate. It says the Republic of Slovenia, the

17 Ministry of the Interior, confirming that a transport of weapons and

18 ammunition passing through the Republic of Serbia is exclusively intended

19 for the Defence Ministry of Croatia and contains the following, and then

20 we have an enumeration of what it contains: 10.000 mines, 9.757.000

21 bullets, and so on and so forth.

22 The Minister -- let me just read his name, what his name was.

23 Jarnjak, and the stamp -- actually, his name is under the stamp so it's

24 not very legible. Anyway, it's addressed to the Republic of Slovenia and

25 the Ministry of the Interior.

Page 20949

1 Is it true and correct that you participated in the arming of

2 Croatia?

3 JUDGE MAY: If you want the witness to comment on the document, he

4 must see it. Let the witness see the document and comment on it.

5 Mr. Kucan, would you look at that document, please, and if you

6 can, identify it, confirm it is what the accused said it is, perhaps you

7 could give us a date for it, and then went on it as you wish.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date is the 7th of December,

9 1992. But of course, it is the first time I see this document, however, I

10 do not see really anything questionable here on this document because the

11 accused in his previous questions said that there were illegal channels

12 for acquiring weapons for -- well, I do not know about illegal channels.

13 There was a legal channel, and for this procurement it is the authorities

14 of republics that had the responsibility, and otherwise, there was really

15 no need for republics to purchase arms.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. And do you know that at that time too there was an embargo imposed

18 by the international community on any kind of import of arms into

19 Yugoslavia?

20 A. This was before the international recognition of Slovenia and

21 Croatia, as we can conclude from the date indicated, and therefore, this

22 embargo did not concern us. This was after the withdrawal of the JNA from

23 -- excuse me, that was at the time of recognition, recognition of both

24 states which then individually, as individual states, took measures to be

25 able to safeguard and protect their sovereignty.

Page 20950

1 Q. And did the embargo apply to Bosnia and Herzegovina?

2 A. The embargo concerned the sales of arms and was valid for the

3 sales of arms.

4 Q. I'd like you to hear this. My question was whether the embargo

5 applied to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and your answer was that the embargo

6 was only on the sale of weapons. Is that right?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. I have here a document of the Presidency of Bosnia and

9 Herzegovina, signed by Azim Karamehmedovic, a certificate by authority of

10 the president of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

11 Alija Izetbegovic, I declare that I, born on such-and-such a date, member

12 of the Crisis Staff, et cetera, that equipment amounting to the 1.850.000

13 --

14 JUDGE MAY: This sounds very much like a statement by somebody.

15 What you could put to the witness, if you wish, if he can deal with it, if

16 it's anything to do with him, you can put what it has in it, but you can't

17 exhibit a statement by somebody.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is not a statement. It is a

19 certificate by authority of the president of the republic, Alija

20 Izetbegovic, and it says: "1.850.000 German marks, equipment obtained

21 from the Republic of Slovenia, that it will be paid for within the

22 shortest delay, and until the date of payment we provide as guarantees to

23 the Republic of Slovenia our helicopter which is on the territory of

24 Slovenia. If the BH fails to pay this amount, this helicopter will remain

25 permanently in the possession of Slovenia."

Page 20951

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Page 20952

1 JUDGE MAY: What is the date? What is the date of this document?

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 29th of May, 1992, which means

3 during the period when the embargo was in force. And as the witness

4 himself said, related to the sale of weapons, and this document talks

5 about the sale of weapons.

6 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness see it.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To save time. Yes, I will. I'll

8 show it to him, Mr. May, and I would like to tender it into evidence. But

9 before I show it to him, I have something else I wish to show him. A

10 specification of needs for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is addressed --

11 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time. We cannot deal with a whole

12 plethora of documents. Show the witness the certificate and let the

13 witness comment on it. Do one at a time.

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. But my time is short,

15 otherwise, I'd be glad to do that.

16 Attached to the certificate is this document from the Ministry of

17 Defence of the Republic of Slovenia, addressed to the Republic of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, indicating which weapons were involved. Here you are.

19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kucan, could you look, please, at this document

20 and confirm, please, if it is what the accused says it is, and if you have

21 any comments to make about them, please do.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all about embargo. It is

23 not forbidden that states purchase weapons for their defence. And the

24 question this document concerns was carried out by our Minister of Defence

25 and the responsible body of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are documents

Page 20953

1 to this effect in the archives of the Republic of Slovenia, in the

2 Ministry of Defence, and should the Prosecution wish so, they can obtain

3 this exhibit in Slovenia.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Can you see the specification signed by Alija Izetbegovic, how

6 many million rounds, how many rifles, et cetera? Written by hand and

7 signed by Alija Izetbegovic. You're familiar with his signature, just as

8 I am.

9 A. As far as thousands of rifles are concerned, 1.000 rifles and not

10 several thousand rifles. And as mentioned before, there were competent

11 bodies in Slovenia dealing with this, and it is these bodies that can

12 provide accurate answers. The fact is, however, that in January 1993, a

13 decision was adopted to the effect of which Slovenia is no longer to take

14 part in aid or help, be it with weapons or, for instance, in terms of

15 transport across its territory, either to Croatia or to Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will have these documents exhibited, marked

18 for identification. The relevance of them we will deal with in due

19 course. The Croatian one first, please, and then the BiH one.

20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the certificate dated the 7th of

21 December, 1992, is Defence Exhibit 139, marked for identification.

22 And the certificate signed by Alija Izetbegovic is Defence Exhibit

23 140, marked for identification.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Very well. So you did participate in arming Bosnia and

Page 20954

1 Herzegovina; isn't that right? That is not at issue, is it?

2 A. It is difficult for me to accept such an assertion, because first

3 of all, we should establish where the weapons that the Yugoslav army took

4 with it upon withdrawal was headed for, and then also once it established

5 that they no longer needed weapons for the military service for reserve

6 forces, and then only can we see whether Bosnia and Herzegovina was

7 capable of organising its own defence or not under the circumstances.

8 Q. I'm just asking you whether it is challenged that you participated

9 in arming Bosnia and Herzegovina.

10 A. And my answer is: Why was it necessary?

11 Q. That's a very good answer. Is it true, please, that the president

12 of your commission for establishing Slovenia's involvement in arming

13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, called Rudolf Odbor, requested that the commission

14 be disbanded? You had a commission to establish the involvement of

15 Slovenia in the arming of Bosnia and Herzegovina, didn't you?

16 A. I do not know this name. Can you repeat this person's name,

17 please?

18 Q. I have it noted here. Rudolf Mofe, according to my notes.

19 A. Well, probably a deputy of the Slovene -- Slovene Assembly Rudolf

20 Moge, who headed this committee. It was one of the committees that was

21 there to establish the facts in connection with the weapons in Slovenia

22 beginning with the disarmament of the Territorial Defence forces. And

23 these reports can be found in the archives and records in Slovenia, and

24 actually, this is something that is not yet concluded in Slovenia.

25 Q. It hasn't been completed yet. So let us move on, please.

Page 20955

1 In paragraph 7 of your statement, you say that the Serbs looked

2 upon Yugoslavia as a country enabling all Serbs to live in one state,

3 which is a fact; all the Serbs lived in Yugoslavia. But then you go on to

4 say that non-Serb nations saw Yugoslavia as protecting groups, which I --

5 as I find this quite unbelievable, I'm asking you now, surely you know

6 that the constitution of Yugoslavia guaranteed to all citizens, regardless

7 of their nationality or faith, equal civil rights, judicial and every

8 other protection up to the level of the federal state. The constitution

9 didn't protect any groups but the citizens who, therefore, logically

10 believed that they were living in one state. It applied to everyone,

11 without any discrimination.

12 A. Such a statement certainly is unbelievable, but I didn't make such

13 a statement.

14 Q. I said it was unbelievable, and it is paragraph 7 of your

15 statement. But if you say it's unbelievable, then I won't read it out to

16 you.

17 A. I say it is. I assert it's unbelievable, by I also insist I

18 didn't state that.

19 Q. Here it says, "Non-Serb nations saw Yugoslavia as protecting the

20 groups while as the Serbs viewed it as a country that allowed all Serbs to

21 live in the same state." I read this from your statement, but I'm glad

22 that you also consider it to be unbelievable.

23 Let us move on then. You claim that the JNA did not recognise the

24 collective Supreme Command after Tito. Did you assert that or is this

25 again an unbelievable fabrication?

Page 20956

1 A. Your Honours, concerning the previous assertion, I'm sure it must

2 have been an erroneous interpretation. Yugoslavia didn't protect groups,

3 and the Slovenian nation is not a group. I spoke about that.

4 As far as the JNA is concerned, it is true it did not recognise

5 the Supreme Command. And in the sessions held in March 1991, after --

6 concerning which a lot has been written about, it was -- became clear that

7 the JNA, its leadership, wanted to place itself above the Supreme

8 Commander, i.e., the Presidency of the SFRY.

9 And let me make it clear already at the 13th Congress of the

10 League of Communists in 1986, there was quite a heated debate which was

11 stated there, and the -- concerning the fact that if the League of

12 Communists is not capable of resolving the situation, then the JNA will

13 step in and attempt to resolve it. Transcripts of that exist, and you can

14 find it.

15 Q. Wait a minute, please. This is in paragraph 27 -- 26, rather,

16 that it didn't recognise the Presidency. The example you use is

17 incorrect. You say the army did not want a state of emergency. On the

18 contrary, it proposed such a state of emergency but the Presidency did not

19 accept that proposal. It did not adopt it. There was such a proposal.

20 So your example is incorrect too.

21 A. Your Honours, it would be needed to have a close look of what had

22 -- what's happening there and the time. The books of Borisav Jovic and

23 Vjelko Kadijevic speak clear what was the nature of the JNA leadership and

24 how it responded to the dilemmas faced by Yugoslavia. In order to have a

25 better understanding of this, let me mention a detail.

Page 20957

1 One of the greatest opponents at the 14th Congress of the League

2 of Communists was the proposal to have a civilian control over the JNA and

3 also to accept the civilian serving of the military service as well as

4 also not serving due to reasons of conscience, as conscientious objectors.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we move on, Mr. May?

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. At the beginning of today's testimony, Mr. Nice produced a

9 transcript of one of my speeches from a Central Committee meeting at which

10 there was quite a bit of manipulation, as I can see, with words.

11 Institutional, and non-institutional, but in the interest of Yugoslavia,

12 and so on.

13 Do you recollect that this institutional and non-institutional

14 related to rallies that were being held at which the citizens expressed

15 their political dissatisfaction or their political options, which were

16 widely reported on, saying not a single flower had been stamped upon, not

17 a single windowpane broken, but on the contrary, people were carrying

18 flowers and singing. And in the leadership of Yugoslavia at the time

19 spoke about such rallies as being non-institutional and said that problems

20 could not be resolved non-institutionally.

21 Therefore, this term related to those mass rallies, and what you

22 did is to equate non-institutional with non-constitutional. Why would

23 public rallies be non-constitutional or illegal if freedom of assembly was

24 guaranteed by the constitution?

25 A. Well, this interpretation is not correct. At that meeting, we

Page 20958

1 discussed changes, and it was said that if changes do not occur

2 institutionally, they will occur uninstitutionally, and it won't be

3 according to the procedures, but it will be introduced by the will of the

4 people, will of the nation, be it by the people of the nation or of the

5 street.

6 We asserted that on the street it is possible to express the

7 dissatisfaction but that the street cannot bring changes and that it

8 cannot formulate a positive programme.

9 These rallies were not such an innocent matter. There was, for

10 example, the Vojvodina leadership which did not accept the decisions of

11 the Belgrade government. And after two rallies, they were replaced.

12 Later, it was the turn of Montenegro.

13 So it's not a question of a right to assembly and rally and

14 expressing of dissatisfaction, and it all ended with a ban on that rally

15 which was planned for the 1st of December, 1989, in Ljubljana.

16 Q. Did the citizens of Montenegro rally? Oh, I see. It ended with

17 the prohibition of the rally planned for Ljubljana.

18 A. Who planned it? Slovenes did not.

19 Q. We'll come to that too. Now, in this speech of mine that was

20 quoted from by Mr. Nice, I say that jeopardy for the system reached its

21 climax in Kosovo in the physical, political, and cultural violence against

22 Serbs and Montenegrins.

23 Are you denying that in those days there was a lot of violence

24 against Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo?

25 A. I know that there was violence, also mutual violence. I also

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Page 20960

1 presented to the Court my position. I said that the Serb national issue

2 is very complex, that the complexity is reflected also through the tense

3 relations, particularly in Kosovo. And in 1985, I was at the head of a

4 group which was to study the constitutional relationship in the Socialist

5 Republic of Serbia, the two autonomous provinces and the republic within

6 the federal structure, in order to introduce some improvement for the

7 improvement of the entire situation in the Republic of Serbia and within

8 the federation.

9 Q. Very well. But I say here, since I was quoted out of context,

10 that the threats reached a climax in violence. And then the next

11 sentence: "In environments or in connection with problems that were not

12 heeded and which could not be addressed by institutional means, as a

13 result, there were large-scale and public protests by the citizens at

14 public rallies."

15 Therefore, I am saying that the institutions did not react, the

16 citizens protest at rallies and bring pressure to bear on institutions.

17 And then I go on to say that is how it always was in human society. But

18 true, with the development of society and its greater organisation and

19 greater democratisation, man's ability to effect changes in society by

20 institutional means increase and that the requests for a pro-Yugoslav

21 orientation are directed to activate the system of elected institutions.

22 That is what I spoke about. And I defend the right of citizens to express

23 their views at rallies which, as I hope you too will admit, were not

24 violent. Is that right or not, Mr. Kucan?

25 A. I don't know what you're really asking me on the basis of this

Page 20961

1 very long explanation.

2 Q. I'm asking whether those rallies why were violent in any sense of

3 the word.

4 A. This would be best answered by those who had to resign but were --

5 although elected to their posts, and resigned on the basis of these

6 rallies.

7 As I remember from 1981 onwards, in Kosovo three times state of

8 emergency was introduced. But let me say, state of emergency and violence

9 couldn't stop violence in general. It just bred additional violence and

10 new political solutions had to be found and by strengthening institutions

11 and not by making, creating difficulties in the work of these

12 institutions.

13 JUDGE MAY: You have five minutes left, Mr. Milosevic. Five

14 minutes.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I simply cannot

16 cross-examine the witness fully in five minutes. Mr. Nice spent at least

17 ten minutes on this one speech of mine, and I have to ask the witness

18 certain things about Kosovo as well, which are very important.

19 JUDGE MAY: You must move on to that then. You were given two

20 hours, and in five minutes -- five minutes the two hours -- don't

21 interrupt. Five minutes' time, the two hours will be up. So move on.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's why I'm asking you to give me

23 a little more time, because my time is expiring in five minutes.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 MR. KAY: Could I raise a matter, and that is that this witness be

Page 20962

1 recalled to continue his evidence on another occasion? It's often used

2 that important people are too busy to give up their time when the

3 experience might be that important people are more able to create space in

4 their diaries to give up time, and it's harder for those less elevated to

5 provide time to come to these institutions.

6 [Trial Chamber confers]

7 JUDGE MAY: You can have a quarter of an hour more.

8 Mr. Kay, we hear what you say, and no doubt the Prosecution has

9 heard it too.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. So I was saying, as they're selectively quoting things out of

12 context, that is Mr. Nice quoting certain things from my speech, and the

13 witness also speaks about Serbia's pro-centralist position and Slovenia's

14 more liberal attitude, I say, for instance, in that very speech for which

15 I'm grateful to the opposite for making it available to me as I have great

16 difficulty getting hold of documents, I say that an important fact is

17 being neglected and that is we are a federation. Yugoslavia is a federal

18 community, all nations and nationalities living in it, which means they

19 are all equal amongst themselves or, rather, that they have an equal

20 position in the economic, political, and cultural life of the country in

21 which they live. This undisputed assertion must, for all these reasons,

22 be made clear that a collection of votes can resolve the situation whereas

23 inequality can upset the federation.

24 So I am speaking in favour of the equality of nations and

25 republics, and that is my position.

Page 20963

1 JUDGE MAY: Let us save time by saying that we have this speech,

2 and we have that passage or the passage you referred to about Yugoslavia

3 being a federal community. Yes. Anything else you want to refer to and

4 any question you want to ask the witness, do it quickly.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have questions, and I'm going

6 to have to ask them quickly. That seems to be quite clear.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. But have I understood you correctly and it is not a typing error

9 once again; you were aware of the fact that in Kosovo the strike, the

10 famous strike, hunger strike by the miners on the old square was rigged

11 and in fact that the miners did receive food? Was that how it was?

12 A. No. I didn't know that, and I think it's irrelevant. It's

13 irrelevant whether they received the food or not. It's a fact that they

14 were on strike, that they were in the pit against -- in full or greater

15 awareness concerning the changing of the status of the Kosovo province.

16 Q. All right. You claim that Kosovo and Vojvodina, that their

17 autonomy was rescinded. Is that what you state?

18 A. I think I was quite precise when there was the officially -- the

19 autonomy was officially rescinded. As I understood it, the then-policy of

20 Serbia and the position of the Serbian leadership, it was essential to

21 preserve the three votes together -- the three votes, the two votes coming

22 from the two provinces. And therefore, the changes in the Serbian

23 constitution significantly reduced the autonomy of the two provinces.

24 Q. All right. And do you know that it says in the constitution that

25 two autonomous provinces exist, those of Kosovo and Vojvodina and that

Page 20964

1 they enjoy autonomy, that that is what it says in the constitution or,

2 rather, the constitution of Serbia?

3 A. Well, that was written, also put down in the Yugoslav

4 constitution.

5 Q. Yes, but it also says so in the constitution of Serbia, doesn't

6 it? So neither -- the constitution of Serbia did not abolish the autonomy

7 of Kosovo and Metohija and Vojvodina. And second, is it also true there

8 was an error made here when you had said that the members of the SFRY

9 Presidency from the provinces were replaced? You know that the Presidency

10 member by the name of Zelenovic was elected as Prime Minister of the

11 government of Serbia and before that he was a member of the Yugoslavia

12 state Presidency for Vojvodina province, and as he took up his new duties,

13 the Assembly of Vojvodina elected a new Presidency member. Isn't that how

14 it was?

15 Serbia did not replace him. On the contrary, he was the Prime

16 Minister designate asked to set up a government and there was a seat left

17 empty for the Vojvodina Presidency because he couldn't keep two posts. So

18 the Vojvodina Assembly elected a new member to the Yugoslav state

19 Presidency. Wasn't that how it was, Mr. Kucan, or is what you say

20 correct?

21 A. Formally it is so, but de facto, the events evolved under pressure

22 of those rallies which we've already discussed.

23 Q. Mr. Kucan, well, you don't really assume that somebody was

24 designated Prime Minister of Serbia formally, officially, elected in the

25 Assembly in order to de facto be replaced in his post as Yugoslav

Page 20965

1 Presidency member? I'm sure you're not going to say anything nonsensical

2 as that.

3 A. I am not saying that this is nonsensical or that it happened due

4 to the nonsense, but I'm just saying these replacements occurred due to

5 certain facts, and if it's relevant, then we have to go back into those

6 documents which exist of the time and which are in the files. But I'm not

7 an historian which would follow these events, and I don't think that this

8 court is writing a history -- the history either.

9 Q. No. This court is endeavouring to recut history, to tailor

10 history, in fact.

11 As you denied what I claimed a moment ago, I'm going to read out

12 your own paragraph, and it is paragraph 57, where you say the following:

13 "Linked to paragraph as to how Milosevic used the army, deployed the

14 army," and it says in brackets, "Kucan's comments on the Death of

15 Yugoslavia, linked to the events in the mines at the Stari Trg old square,

16 this took place at the regular Presidency meeting. We did not receive

17 information of this kind. The protest was organised by the Slovenian

18 opposition and the party. I was supposed to speak there. It was going to

19 be a staged strike, in fact, that the miners were not on a hunger strike,

20 that they were getting food into the mine, since it was uncertain how long

21 the session would last," and so on and so forth.

22 Now, what does all this mean? I have several questions, specific

23 ones. First: This took place during the period of time when I myself was

24 the party president and not the President of Serbia, this strike in the

25 old square. And we were there at the Presidency meeting together on Stari

Page 20966

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Page 20967

1 Trg, the party Presidency. So what use of the army could there have been

2 on our side or on the part of any republic, because Janez Drnovsek was

3 president of the Yugoslav state Presidency during that period of time. So

4 was the decisions which you mention --

5 JUDGE MAY: We must have a question in this. I'm just trying to

6 understand what you're asking.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm asking something with respect to

9 paragraph 57.

10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. How could I have used --

13 JUDGE MAY: Just ask a specific question and the witness can

14 answer it.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Did I use the army?

17 A. Is that the question? The army could be used on the basis of the

18 decision of the Presidency, and that is what I insisted upon also when the

19 army was used in Slovenia. The Presidency didn't issue such an order

20 then, but it did decide on the use of the army in Kosovo.

21 Q. So the Presidency of Yugoslavia, wasn't it, made the decision with

22 respect to any army activities in Kosovo. The Yugoslav state Presidency

23 made decisions of that kind, didn't it?

24 A. Yes. The Presidency of Yugoslavia, which had always decided on

25 the basis of a proposal. And I don't know who submitted such a proposal

Page 20968

1 on the basis of which then they decided on this matter.

2 Q. I don't know either, to tell you the truth. But the Presidency of

3 Yugoslavia made the decision, so I assume that it's common knowledge to

4 both of us, you and I, that none of the presidents of the republics could

5 have wielded an influence on the army and we could have just been received

6 by the top military echelons, we were not able to give them orders of any

7 kind. Isn't that so?

8 A. I never asserted anything else. I don't know from where this idea

9 that I asserted that you were the ones who were issuing orders.

10 Q. Well, that's precisely what I wanted to hear, because, Mr. Kucan,

11 it was precisely because of the manipulations of the opposite side over

12 there that here in this summary for which they say you did not authorise

13 it, that they are their notes and so on, says regarding the paragraph on

14 Milosevic using the army with respect to the events that took place at

15 Stari Trg, and so on. I couldn't believe that you yourself said something

16 like that. So I would like to have this manipulation eliminated, and I'm

17 happy to see that you have confirmed this in this way.

18 Now, let me ask you something with respect to Kosovo, one more

19 thing relating to Kosovo. Is it true that you supported the separatists,

20 separatism and terrorism in Kosovo which -- and the separatists being

21 intensively armed via Slovenia and in the centres of Territorial Defence

22 of Slovenia they were being trained, that is to say the members of --

23 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. One thing at a time. Let me say this,

24 that we have received information that we can in fact have this courtroom

25 for an extra half hour to try and accommodate all those who want to ask

Page 20969

1 questions. So we will break in a few minutes for ten minutes and then we

2 will consider how long anybody else should have.

3 Now, Mr. Kucan, it's put that you were supporting two things in

4 Kosovo. It's put first of all you were supporting separatism, and then

5 it's suggested you were also supporting terrorism - and I should say three

6 things - and then that the separatists in Kosovo were being armed via

7 Slovenia and being trained by the Territorial Defence.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, most energetically I refute

9 these allegations. Let me say that nobody from the leadership, Slovenian

10 leadership supported their separatism. We never trained on our territory.

11 We always insisted on a political solution of the Kosovo problem, and when

12 there was a widespread outbreak of violence in Kosovo with the exodus of

13 Albanians, and when the violence turned the other way, and let me say that

14 will not prevent one violence with other sources of violence. And I can

15 accept no accusations of this type for myself or anybody in the leadership

16 of Slovenia.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will break now for ten minutes, for the

18 interpreters. We will come back and decide how long anybody should have

19 from now on.

20 Any re-examination I anticipate?

21 MR. NICE: A few questions but I can deal with them in a compact

22 way, I'm sure.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.

24 --- Recess taken at 2.13 p.m.

25 --- On resuming at 2.24 p.m.

Page 20970

1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you can have another ten minutes, if

2 you want, to ask the witness any questions.

3 Mr. Tapuskovic, 20 minutes thereafter.

4 And, Mr. Nice, you've got five minutes.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Strove for separatism in Kosovo, I have Agim Zogaj book here, "A

8 Dialogue with Naim Maljoku," and he says to him -- first of all he tells

9 him about the meeting in Cankarjev Dom which was held and it was support

10 to them. Then he goes on to speak about close cooperation with Janez

11 Jansa, and then we have information about the training of their members

12 who later took part in the KLA. And I'm going to read out on page 43,

13 this is what he says with respect to the rally that you forbid, and the

14 Serbs came from Kosovo expecting to find solidarity on the part of the

15 Slovenian people for the sufferings they experienced over there, he says:

16 "I and Fadilj Demiri one evening were watching the news bulletin, and when

17 the bulletin began with 500.000 armed Serbs coming to Ljubljana --"

18 that's how the news bulletin started.

19 So you -- this initiative of the Serbs from Kosovo who were the

20 victims of Albanian terrorism, when they turned up, you -- to tell the

21 citizens of Slovenia, as they had done in other localities, there was no

22 violence anywhere, you forbid them to come and to state the truth about

23 their sufferings and even on your television news bulletin you say that

24 500.000 armed Serbs are on their way to Ljubljana.

25 Now, during those years and when the meeting took place, was there

Page 20971

1 any arming at all and shooting at those rallies or was there testimony

2 about the truly difficult situation that the Serbs were facing at that

3 time?

4 A. So there is a number of questions raised by the accused and also

5 assessment. First of all, I don't know -- I know neither the book nor the

6 authors of the book quoted by the accused.

7 I refute, and I will refute also in the future that we supported

8 any type of Albanian separatism in Kosovo. The accused knows full well my

9 position -- what my position is, that Kosovo is a part of the territory of

10 Serbia and that it was a part, as such, of SFRY, and that is why also at

11 the meeting in Ljubljana, which was a meeting of support to the miners in

12 Stari Trg in Kosovo, there there was -- no word was said that we support

13 any separatism, secession. We opted for a political solution because it's

14 not possible to achieve any other type of solution for this problem.

15 Why did we ban that rally of truth? Because the bodies of

16 internal order evaluated that there would be -- conflicts would break out

17 and unrest. And Slovenes didn't want people who -- Slovenes didn't want

18 people attending rallies to come to tell them the truth about Kosovo.

19 They believed their other channels for that. And we didn't have

20 propaganda which would speak unilaterally of the situation in Kosovo. We

21 knew it enough to know that it was a complex solution and that a solution

22 cannot be imposed, neither to Serbs, Montenegrins or Albanians, that they

23 must find a modus vivendi for this life together and also a rationale for

24 that.

25 We never considered that it would be irrational to keep Kosovo in

Page 20972

1 Yugoslavia, but the Serbs sometimes asserted that that was our line. And

2 Borisav Jovic wrote something along these lines in his book, and I will --

3 I don't know whether it is authentic or not.

4 Q. All right. But I hope that you will remember the demonstrations

5 held in 1980, as far as back as that, organised by the separatists where

6 the main slogan was "Kosovo Republic" and that the main goal was the

7 independence of Kosovo and conjunction with Albania. There was no

8 Milosevic on the political scene of the day. There was nothing about what

9 we're talking and testifying about here in quite a distorted fashion. But

10 do you remember that? Do you consider that this support lent to this kind

11 of policy served the purpose of stability for Serbian Yugoslavia or served

12 the purpose of destabilising it.

13 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance of this?

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The relevance is that the witness is

15 talking about this support lent to the miners, the alleged hunger strike

16 which was staged, rigged, without entering into what was called for. And

17 what was called for was that the goals be fulfilled, which were voiced in

18 1980 and proclaimed, and that was Kosovo Republic, and so on and so forth.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Isn't that so, Mr. Kucan?

21 JUDGE MAY: He said that there was no support for Kosovo

22 separatism. He didn't support that. The Slovenes didn't. That's what he

23 said.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that he personally did not

25 support it, but I think that Janez Jansa, for example, and the whole

Page 20973

1 camaderia around him did indeed support this. And you can find

2 that in this book here, and I would like to have the book exhibited --

3 JUDGE MAY: You know quite well we don't exhibit books unless

4 there is some extract that the witness can personally vouch for, which we

5 did this morning, and that was the only exception. But you're putting

6 that Janez Jansa and what you describe as the camaderia around him did

7 support it.

8 Mr. Kucan, can you help us with that or not?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Janez Jansa was the minister in the

10 first government after the first free democratic elections. I cooperated

11 with him throughout his occupying this post of minister. And never in my

12 formal and informal contacts with him could I have an indication that

13 anybody was supporting separatism of Albanians in Kosovo or Kosovo

14 Republic, and I will not reiterate what I already stated. We could do

15 only that if we hated Serbs.

16 But I insist: We were not in conflict with the Serbian nation.

17 We always understood how difficult it was to resolve the Serb national

18 issue. And certainly in the Balkans, it's one of the most difficult.

19 Where we differed was how this problem could be solved and that it

20 wouldn't be at the expense of other nations and nationalities. And that

21 is why recriminations concerning the support of Slovenes for Albanian

22 separatism is not founded, and you will not find it in no documents of the

23 government or other bodies of Slovenia.

24 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question, Mr. Milosevic.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would need at least two questions,

Page 20974

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.

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Page 20975

1 please, Mr. May. One -- this one now and one more.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Kucan, I'm sure you will remember that in Ljubljana in

4 November 1985, a discussion was held between Slovenian and Serbian

5 intellectuals to discuss the situation in the then-Yugoslavia. It was a

6 group around the Nova Revija, journal, with some theoreticians, Paca

7 [phoen], Ljubancic [phoen], Hribar, Apic, Hermaun [phoen], and others, and

8 it was incontestable at the time that Slovenian nationalism and the

9 anti-Yugoslav sentiments had been undisguised at a time when Milosevic

10 wasn't on the political arena, when there was no Serbian Academy of Arts

11 and Sciences in the sense that you mention later on. Is that right or

12 not? We're talking about 1985, and I'm sure you know full well what I'm

13 talking about.

14 A. This meeting did take place, a meeting between some Serbian and

15 Slovenian intellectuals. That is a fact that is universally known.

16 However, I have no knowledge whether at that time Slovene nationalism

17 broke out or not.

18 JUDGE MAY: One last but quick question.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Then just one more

21 question.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Mr. Point 11, paragraph 11 of your statement, you say the Kingdom

24 of Yugoslavia lived with very different internal differences. I don't

25 think that sentence has been translated very well, but anyway, I'm

Page 20976

1 interested in the second sentence: "The occupation in 1941, shortened the

2 agony; Slovenia capitulated basically because it did not see itself

3 fighting to save a country that was not really their own."

4 Did you really say that, that Slovenia capitulated because it saw

5 no reason to preserve a country which was not its own? Please. And

6 within this context, the context of this question, tell me, where was your

7 family during World War II and how come you have the name -- your first

8 name is Milan?

9 JUDGE MAY: You need not answer either of those last questions.

10 The question about what happened in 1941, if you want to answer it, Mr.

11 Kucan, you can. If you don't, there's no need.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will answer this question, because

13 there has been a lot of speculation in the Serbian press about it, and

14 there seems to be continuing.

15 My family lived in Prekmurje in Krizurci [phoen], which is a part

16 of Slovenia close to the Hungarian border. This was the part of Slovenia

17 that was occupied by the Hungarians. My mother, who was a teacher, was

18 arrested and was imprisoned for shorter periods of time. My father, who

19 returned after the capitulation of the Yugoslav Royal Army, was drafted by

20 the Germans, sent to the Russian front. He there decided, with some other

21 combatants, to join voluntarily the POWs and when in the Soviet Union the

22 Yugoslav brigade was established, he joined it, and together with the

23 brigade he returned to Yugoslavia and he was killed in the battle for

24 Cacak, a city in Serbia. He was in fact wounded there, and then he was

25 taken to a hospital but he died because of bleeding, and he was buried

Page 20977

1 there, and in 1954, when we brought his remains to Slovenia.

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic.

3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I

4 really don't know how I will be able to do my job today.

5 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

6 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please, Mr. Kucan, tell me first

7 whether Kristan Milan -- Ivan is one of the constitutional judges in the

8 Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia who passed rulings in connection with

9 these decision and these amendments?

10 A. Yes. Dr. Ivan Kristan was one of the two constitutional judges

11 from Slovenia serving on the court at that time.

12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to draw the

13 attention of the Court right now that an expert witness in this case in

14 connection with constitutional matters is a Slovene who was a judge in the

15 Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia, and this is something that we shall

16 have to bear in mind. So Ivan Kristan is an expert witness in this case

17 and he was a judge in the Constitutional Court.

18 Q. So my first question now is, Mr. Kucan, did you ever hear of the

19 existence, before 1991, or before August 1991, to be more precise, any

20 kind of criminal plan in connection with the commission of crimes ethnic

21 cleansing, or genocide?

22 A. Excuse me. Where should such a plan have been drawn up and

23 existed?

24 Q. Such a plan, according to the indictment, should have existed in

25 the first place in Serbia, that there should have -- that there was

Page 20978

1 allegedly a plan to commit the crime of ethnic cleansing and eventually

2 the crime of genocide. Did you hear from anyone that any such thing had

3 been prepared in 1991?

4 A. No, I never heard of it, and I never said anything to that effect.

5 Q. Thank you. And now as you have the book -- this book in front of

6 you, the book by General Kadijevic, will you please look at a chapter

7 headed by the more important events in the final stages of the break-up of

8 Yugoslavia and the attacks on the JNA in Slovenia. This is page 99 of the

9 B/C/S version.

10 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... book.

11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Could you please find the chapter, the important events from the

13 final stages --

14 JUDGE MAY: He doesn't have the book. It was merely an extract

15 which was admitted and was put in front of him.

16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Could I ask you something? A moment ago, you said that in

18 Slovenia it was not accepted for commands in the army to be spoken in

19 Serbian. Is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Wasn't the dominant language in Yugoslavia Serbo-Croatian, and

22 throughout the history after the Second World War, we never spoke of

23 Serbian or Croatian but only about the Serbo-Croatian language, and orders

24 were expressed in the Serbo-Croatian language. Isn't that right?

25 A. Now, you see, you are talking about a dominant language. I have

Page 20979

1 no knowledge of a dominant language. All languages of nations were equal

2 in the territories in which they lived, including the languages of the

3 ethnicities. We never said anything to that effect, that we're against

4 the language of commands, although we had certain reservations.

5 What I said is the following: The official language in the JNA

6 was the language of all nations and ethnicities and that the Slovene

7 language had not been used on the Slovene territory in the armed forces at

8 any time.

9 Q. But it was necessary to have commands in the JNA in a language

10 that would be understandable for all the nations and nationalities. I

11 think that the Slovenes understood both Serbian and Croatian very well.

12 A. They understood it relatively well. However, the opposite never

13 was the case. The Serbs, the Croats, and the Macedonians never made the

14 effort to understand the Slovene language. But this seems to be quite

15 irrelevant to me.

16 Q. I wasted time on this that I shouldn't have. Is it true that in

17 Kadijevic's book it says that, by significance and time, there was the

18 attack on the JNA in Yugoslavia stemmed from the 1974 constitution. Then

19 and later, acts were taken through the JNA against the Yugoslav state.

20 What would be your comments?

21 A. This is a very severe political condemnation for which I see

22 absolutely no political argument.

23 Q. Thank you. Is it true that in October 1984, there was a meeting

24 of the then-leaders of Slovenia and a decision taken to engage in an open

25 political conflict and attack against the JNA through the youth and to

Page 20980

1 declare the JNA already then as an occupying army? Is that true?

2 A. No. This is an army construct that I'm quite familiar with. I

3 met it occasionally. And it's quite interesting that -- Your Honours,

4 this is a sort of construct that I was faced with during the party

5 sessions. Let me emphasise that the League of Communists of Yugoslavia

6 comprised the parties that had existed in the individual republics and

7 Autonomous Provinces. However, the army had its own party organisation as

8 well. And this organisation had the same weight and the same rights as

9 were the rights and weight of the republic's communist party

10 organisations. This is what I'm emphasising to show to you that the army

11 had a very strong ideological and political stamp and that its ideological

12 homeland was the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.

13 Q. And is it true that those attacks were particularly fierce between

14 1984 and 1988 prior to the adoption of the constitutional amendments in

15 1988 when JNA soldiers who came from all over Yugoslavia were humiliated,

16 spat upon, and even beaten in some cases? Is that true or not? This is

17 something that Mr. Kadijevic speaks about in his book.

18 A. You are using "attacked by." This is the terminology of the JNA

19 and the political leaders in the JNA. The question was the following:

20 Can the army, the privileges of the army, the procedures and actions, the

21 plans of the army, large projects such as the manufacturing of a Yugoslav

22 tank, a Yugoslav supersonic aircraft, can this sort of issues and

23 questions be described and written about in the press? Since the tank

24 project did go through, the aircraft project did not, it had been obvious

25 that the JNA was launching these projects not only to cover its own

Page 20981

1 capability requirements but also to export them.

2 An article entitled "Mamula Go Home" - Mamula was the then

3 Minister of Defence - and this article described the selling of weapons to

4 Ethiopia, a very poor country at that time. These articles and others

5 were qualified as attacks on the JNA.

6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... relevant.

7 A. It is relevant because you are talking about the attacks on the

8 JNA.

9 Q. On the 12th of August, 1988, was there a meeting of the Presidency

10 of the SFRY at which these problems were discussed? And the

11 representative of Slovenia rejected all the proposals made to prevent such

12 things occurring again. Do you know anything about that meeting?

13 A. I apologise. I -- because the speaker is speaking very fast, I

14 couldn't get either the date or the event in question.

15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I could speak very

16 slowly, but really, under these circumstances, I wonder whether I'm able

17 to perform my duties at all. I really find myself in a very difficult

18 situation because there are many things that I would like to draw your

19 attention to.

20 JUDGE MAY: I'm sure there are. If you want to put them into

21 writing, you can, and we'll deal with them. But you know, this witness

22 has been cross-examined for two and a half hours already.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to appeal to you.

24 I've already discussed this with Mr. Kay and will make something in

25 writing, but under these circumstances, it is absolutely impossible for me

Page 20982

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Page 20983

1 to cross-examine in 20 minutes, and there are many issues which I really

2 think would be interesting for you. It is only now that I come to my main

3 point.

4 JUDGE MAY: Put your main point now. If you want to put them to

5 the witness, do. Otherwise, we'll just go on to the re-examination.

6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. So I must come to the most important thing which is also contained

8 in Mr. Kadijevic's book. With the collapse of the USSR, the possibility

9 of military intervention from the West became quite clear and obvious. Is

10 that clear, Mr. Kucan? Is that true, Mr. Kucan?

11 A. I do not really know what sort of military interventions you're

12 referring to and what you have in mind by putting this question to me.

13 Q. I didn't speak of any military intervention. I referred to the

14 collapse of the Soviet Union, the toppling of the Berlin Wall, and all the

15 other events that occurred at that time. And according to the notes that

16 were made on the 5th/6th of November, 2002, you said that Slovenia's path

17 towards independence could not have taken place without the collapse of

18 the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany; is that correct? That

19 you realised what the problems would be even before Gorbachev, and that

20 you spoke to Gorbachev about this. This is contained in the notes of your

21 interview.

22 A. My testimonies, if they're authentic, you can read the following:

23 I understand that the Yugoslav crisis was a part of the wider crisis of

24 the socialist world that had compromised itself and that it culminated

25 through the toppling of the Berlin Wall and through the disintegration of

Page 20984

1 the Soviet Union. This is true and this is also what the facts of history

2 have confirmed.

3 Q. And is it true what General Kadijevic says in his book, that there

4 were certain influences from abroad and that to justify the aggression

5 there were two variants; the first, if the defenders of the unity of

6 Yugoslavia resort to force first, they have justification because, in

7 quotation marks, unitary Greater Serbian forces are trying to topple

8 democratically regimes all over Yugoslavia. And the second variant, if

9 that does not happen, then Slovenia and Croatia would be forced to use

10 force to impose their will, and through the media war the world would be

11 convinced that they are the victims of gross aggression. And what

12 happened was this second option, second variant. Is that true or not?

13 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure if we're very assisted. These are the

14 opinions of General Kadijevic. Now, I'm not sure that it's of great

15 assistance putting them to the witness. We've heard his evidence about

16 it.

17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge May, was there

18 any external influence over Slovenia so that it should attack the JNA

19 first to provoke what happened in Yugoslavia? Was there any such

20 influence?

21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll let the witness answer that

22 question.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With his ideas, concerns, and fears

24 that he harboured, I had never been informed by Mr. Kadijevic. Now, I

25 emphasised it before that no external influences, no external interests,

Page 20985

1 and no external incentives that would run our activities had existed. We

2 never followed anybody's instructions, we're not doing it at this point in

3 time. We are trying to live within a democratic community of nations, and

4 we are trying to do it to the best of our abilities.

5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. You stated here that all you wanted was independence and to

7 prevent violence; isn't that right?

8 A. I said that we wanted to achieve independence and that we wanted

9 to achieve it on the basis of an agreement without the use of force. We

10 wanted, on the basis of a consensus, to regulate our past and to discuss

11 how we can continue to live together with those who had, until then, lived

12 on the territory of the SFRY. This is what is also written down in all of

13 the relevant documents.

14 Q. Have you seen, and it was shown in Slovenia quite recently, a film

15 by an Austrian TV station at the Holmec frontier crossing, a group of JNA

16 soldiers were shown with their hands raised in a token of surrender,

17 coming out of a trench, on whom Slovenian TO members opened fire, upon

18 which they all fell back into the trenches. Have you seen that film and

19 did this take place or not?

20 A. A TV coverage of an event already mentioned here before. I

21 emphasised before that a special committee was established in Slovenia to

22 investigate this event. It did not establish that --

23 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we need to trouble you to go over that

24 again. This is the Holmec incident which has been referred to.

25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm repeating this

Page 20986

1 only because on this clip it is visible to see the men with their hands

2 raised, upon which they were shot at. That's why I'm repeating. They

3 were surrendering whereas they were shot at. Fire was opened at them.

4 Q. Is that right?

5 JUDGE MAY: We've already dealt with this. He said there was an

6 investigation. Now, we must ask you to come to an end, please.

7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it really is

8 difficult. I'll put my last question.

9 Q. I received from the Prosecution an interview of Kucan on the 21st

10 of December, 1993 to the Mladina newspaper in Slovenia. When the war

11 broke out in Croatia, the position of the Defence Ministry was adopted,

12 and that is to help Croatia with weapons and that that would be the best

13 defence for Slovenia. Is that right or not? This is what you stated on

14 21st of December, 1993, and this was published in the Mladina newspaper --

15 magazine. If you were against violence, why did you assist Croatia with

16 weapons and, after that, Bosnia as well? Though according to your

17 original assessments, you considered that to have been a civil war in

18 Bosnia.

19 A. I do not know what is the question. Are you asking me about the

20 civil war or about something else?

21 JUDGE MAY: Let's try and deal with it this way: What is alleged

22 is that in an interview in a newspaper in 1993, you said the position was

23 to help Croatia with weapons when the war broke out there, and that would

24 be the defence for Slovenia. Did you say that?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did say that in this

Page 20987

1 particular interview, and I am convinced that this was a justified act.

2 At that time, there was only a cease-fire in Slovenia. The war went on to

3 Croatia, and since Croatia was attacked, helping Croatia, we indeed

4 believed that that would be a defence for Slovenia as well.

5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. So Croatia was attacked or were all the barracks in Croatia

7 surrounded and the soldiers left without bread, water, electricity?

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, that's something about which we've

9 heard a lot of evidence. We will have to decide about it. I don't think

10 we need trouble the witness with it.

11 Do you want us to have the interview?

12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecution has it. I can

13 give you the number. It is R0336514, disclosed on the 12th of May.

14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.

15 Yes, Mr. Nice. I'm afraid two minutes.

16 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:

17 Q. Mr. Kucan, single word answers, if you please, without being

18 offensive, just to save time. We've heard of customs money. At the

19 declaration of independence, did Slovenia have entitlement to monies at

20 the central bank? If so, did it get them?

21 A. The customs monies is a special example. It was collected by

22 Slovenia, placed on a special account, and this account would be also

23 decided upon on the basis of the final solution for the former Yugoslavia.

24 However, the Republic of Serbia intervened, intervened in the monetary

25 system January 1991.

Page 20988

1 Q. You still have substantial claims outstanding as a result? Yes or

2 no.

3 A. Where the foreign currency reserves have been placed, we don't

4 know the amounts and that is why we're asking also for the financial

5 statements of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, because this could be an

6 item in the secession negotiations which have not been completed yet.

7 Q. Mass demonstrations spoken of by the accused, for example in

8 Vojvodina, arising spontaneously or, as you understand it, stimulated from

9 elsewhere?

10 A. As far as the conditions of life of Serbs and Montenegrins living

11 in Kosovo, there was a lot of anguish, a lot of difficulties between

12 Serbs, Montenegrins, and Albanians. And if mass demonstrations -- a rally

13 didn't take place in 1987 where the accused stated nobody has a right to

14 beat you, this referred to Serbs and Montenegrins, one would think that

15 these meetings were really spontaneous. But in fact, if he said nobody

16 has a right to beat anybody in Kosovo, I would have -- hold my beliefs

17 even today.

18 Q. The weapons paid for by Slovenia held at its Territorial Defence

19 bases, did it retain those weapons or did it lose them?

20 A. The weapons which were taken away, the JNA then, when withdrawing,

21 it took with them.

22 MR. NICE: I am not going to stretch my time limit. Your Honour,

23 I would ask, there was one exercise we could have done with the Jovic

24 diary on the allegations of the Slovenia starting the war. I'd ask you to

25 consider the Jovic extracts, to which I'm adding one, for the relevant

Page 20989

1 period to see how consistent they are with that as an allegation.

2 Providing you've got the documents, there's nothing more I need deal with.

3 Then there's the constitutional decisions that were placed in

4 evidence. There is another one that we have which relates to or comes

5 from February 1990, but we can deal with those through the expert witness

6 Dr. Kristan when he comes, and I hope I haven't gone beyond my two

7 minutes.

8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Kucan, thank you for coming to the

9 Tribunal to give your evidence. It is concluded and you are free to go.

10 We will adjourn. 9:00 tomorrow morning.

11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there is a short administrative matter, if

12 it's possible to deal with now about the next witness.

13 JUDGE MAY: The problem is that we must be out of here because

14 there is another hearing due. We'll deal with it in writing, if we can.

15 If you put something in writing, we'll consider it.

16 [The witness withdrew]

17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.04 p.m.,

18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of May,

19 2003, at 9.00 a.m.

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