1 Thursday, 19 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NICE: On the question of Mr. Lilic's return, his lawyer would
8 like to address Your Honours.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. SAPONJIC [Realtime transcript read in error "PANCESKI"]:
11 [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be allowed to say a few words,
12 with respect to the end of Mr. Lilic's testimony, Mr. Lilic responded to
13 the Court order for the first time last year. However, the conditions
14 weren't ripe for testimony then. He has been informed that -- he was now
15 informed he is invited to testify next June, on the 16th of June, and on
16 Thursday, the 19th of June. Bearing in mind the fact that the Prosecution
17 completed its examination-in-chief on time, and that the cross-examination
18 of the accused is under the supervision and control of the Trial Chamber,
19 in keeping with Rule 90(F) and (H) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence,
20 and as by having a schedule for today, and by disposing of our time today,
21 we are able to ensure a footing of equality for both parties and
22 additional cross-examination. We should like to ask, with the Court's
23 indulgence and all due respect, that the testimony of Mr. Lilic be
24 completed by the end of today.
25 Mr. Lilic has kindly requested that you take into consideration
1 the facts presented by him as well as his business engagements and others,
2 personal reasons included, and unfortunately, this makes it impossible for
3 him to come back to the Tribunal to testify at a later date. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
5 MR. KAY: May I address the Court on this matter. I think this is
6 really an unwarranted interference in the conduct of the court business.
7 It's a matter for this Court to decide how appropriate it is for a witness
8 to give evidence, and the length of time, balancing the interests of the
9 need for expedition and the need for a fair trial. The Court knows that
10 Mr. Milosevic is very concerned to put his case in full to this witness.
11 He's an important witness. He has been mentioned continuously throughout
12 various significant events in relation to the trial. The Prosecutor has
13 an advantage in being able to get his information and facts quickly and
14 directly before the Court through expeditious rules of procedure. But for
15 Mr. Milosevic, it is a harder task in cross-examining and asking questions
16 that require more time for a witness of this nature.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We are very concerned. We have to tell you
20 about interference in the way that we run this trial. But of course,
21 we'll hear what you've got to say.
22 MR. PANCESKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should just like to
23 make a technical remark and correction. I see that in the transcript it
24 states that when Counsel Saponjic addressed the Trial Chamber, it also
25 says that I addressed you because it says "Mr. Panceski". That's my name,
1 so I'd just like to make that clear and correct that for the transcript.
2 The name, actually.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That's a perfectly proper intervention.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MAY: There should be proper time for cross-examination of a
7 witness of this importance, and we, for that reason, will permit the
8 accused the extra session this afternoon in order for him to conclude his
9 cross-examination. It is, of course, a matter for the Trial Chamber
10 whether the witness comes back or not. We bear in mind, though, his
11 difficulties, the fact that he has made himself available to give evidence
12 here, and that shouldn't be to the exclusion of any other considerations.
13 However, it will be a matter essentially for the Prosecution whether they
14 wish this witness to return or not. It's a matter whether they insist
15 upon, or think, that re-examination is a worthwhile exercise.
16 So we will lead the matter in that way. We are not fully
17 constituted at the moment, so we cannot give a full ruling. When we are
18 fully constituted, if there is an application made to us in respect of the
19 witness, we'll consider it. Meanwhile, Mr. Milosevic, you've got today to
20 conclude your cross-examination.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 WITNESS: ZORAN LILIC [Resumed]
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
25 Q. We were talking about events of 1995, and you explained certain
1 aspects of those events. Do you happen to remember that there was a whole
2 brigade of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, Izetbegovic's,
3 asked by mediators for my agreement and permission, for them to cross the
4 Drina River and find their salvation in Serbia, and there were 840 men,
5 that's what the brigade numbered, a whole brigade. And they asked simply
6 refuge in the onslaught that was -- to destroy them. Do you remember
8 A. Yes, I do remember that event. I don't recall the details, but I
9 do remember the event.
10 Q. And do you remember that we gave permission for them to cross over
11 the river, the only condition stipulated was that they should cross
12 without bearing arms, and we put them up in a police camp, they had
13 physicians to attend to them. They were given food, et cetera. And the
14 same day, or rather the next day, we sent representatives of diplomatic
15 missions to visit them, the Red Cross and so on, for them to see who these
16 people were. And for them to see that they were being well cared for.
17 A. Yes. And I think there was a general sentiment that we were all
18 very satisfied with this humane gesture on our part towards the Muslim
20 Q. All right. Now, I have a report from the Politika paper about
21 that event, so I don't want to waste any time on that now, as you agree.
22 And I'm sure you'll remember that at that time, both sides asked that we
23 return them, send them back. When I say "both sides," I mean the
24 leadership of Republika Srpska wanted us to hand them over to them for
25 them to be exchanged later on, and via international intermediaries, the
1 leadership led by Alija Izetbegovic wanted us to return these men to him.
2 But I refused to grant my permission to both sides, and the explanation I
3 gave was that I didn't want to send them back because they were under my
5 And as far as the army was concerned, the Bosnia-Herzegovina army,
6 from where they had come, I did not have any evidence showing that they
7 were volunteers in that army and so I didn't want to send the men back to
8 them either. I wanted to ensure that, as they were well taken care of,
9 had recuperated, were clothed, fed, and sent to some neutral country from
10 whence each of them could decide of their own free will whether they would
11 go back, return there, or whether they would go to cousins in Australia,
12 America, Germany or anywhere else in the world. Wasn't that how it was?
13 A. Yes, that was your position which was publicly declared.
14 Q. And then after a fairly lengthy period of time, and they weren't
15 treated as prisoners of war at all, they were treated as refugees, we
16 transferred them to Hungary where they were taken over by the
17 International High Commission for Refugees, and then they enabled them to
18 go off to different parts of the world if they so desired. So was it
19 quite clear, then, that when the soldiers of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army
20 are seeking refuge in Serbia, that there can be no mention of the fact
21 that they were seeking refuge with an aggressor side, as they wanted to
22 ascribe this to us on a political level?
23 A. Yes, that is correct. And I can freely add that Serbia, as to its
24 ethnic composition, was almost the same as the former Socialist Federal
25 Republic of Yugoslavia was, ethnically speaking, and that during the war
1 in Bosnia and Croatia, there were all kinds of ethnic groups living in
2 Yugoslavia, or rather, Serbia.
3 Q. You mentioned, or rather, you were asked by Mr. Nice something
4 with respect to Abdic. He asked you whether you had seen Abdic in
5 Belgrade, I think. Now, do you remember that the visit was broadcast on
7 A. Well, I said in response to that question that the media covered
8 the visit, and it was covered by the information media as a whole, in
10 Q. And is it true that Abdic at that time set up an autonomous
11 province of Western Bosnia and concluded a peace agreement both with
12 Republika Srpska and with Croatia, that is to say, he wanted to have this
13 enclave and preserve it and pull it out of all kinds of war activities and
14 to continue to cooperate normally. Is that clear?
15 A. I think that Abdic did make a statement to that effect, or a
16 similar one. I can't say precisely what he said, but I think he told
17 the information media in Belgrade the same thing, words to that effect.
18 Q. And do you recall that an agreement was even signed between them
19 that took place in the Presidency of Serbia building, and I signed the
20 agreement as a witness? I witnessed the agreement as it was signed.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So as far as that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina is concerned, for the
23 time being, the war stopped there in those parts, and the relationships
24 between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, but unfortunately, the 5th Corps
25 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, under the command of Atif Dudakovic,
1 continued the war. Now, do you remember there were many events, many
2 atrocities carried out by the members of that corps against the Muslims
3 precisely, those who were advocates of peace, who supported peace in the
4 autonomous province of Western Bosnia?
5 A. According to the information we received, it was not only the 5th
6 Corps but the Muslim leadership from Sarajevo, too, which was highly
7 dissatisfied with Mr. Fikret Abdic's position, the position he had taken,
8 and it was precisely against that Muslim population that the repressions
9 were most severe, after the proclamation of the autonomy of Western
10 Bosnia, in fact.
11 Q. Now, do you remember that in fact it was at those first elections
12 for the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina prior to the war that Fikret
13 Abdic was a personality who won the majority of votes, more than Alija
14 Izetbegovic, and he was to have been the president of the Presidency of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina by rights?
16 A. Yes, that could be seen from the official reports and from the
17 information media.
18 Q. However, he ceded that right to Izetbegovic, and the supremacy.
19 He said he was a businessman and not a politician, and that he didn't want
20 to delve in political matters and he just stayed on as a member of the
21 Presidency. That's right, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Later on, this led to fatal consequences, and you will remember,
24 I'm sure, the extent to which the Islamic declaration was made use of and
25 generally the extent to which the doors were opened to Islamic
1 fundamentalism at that time in Bosnia-Herzegovina when Izetbegovic came to
2 head the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
3 A. Yes, I personally think that that was one of the greatest evils
4 that engulfed Bosnia-Herzegovina, the presence of the Muslamic [sic] or --
5 rather, Muslim or Islamic fundamentalism and the enormous resources that
6 flowed in as assistance, monetary assistance to Alija Izetbegovic.
7 Q. We had a witness here testifying several days before you here, and
8 among other things he said that we extended aid and assistance to
9 Republika Srpska and Srpska Krajina, and we discussed that subject
10 yesterday in this courtroom, too. I asked the witness: "All right, what
11 do you find strange in that, that the Serbs should help --"
12 JUDGE MAY: He can't comment on what some other witness said.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let's move on, then, to another area. But I think I can ask the
16 witness whether he knows and whether it was challenged at all that the
17 Muslim side in the war received aid and assistance from a whole series of
18 countries and states, including a large group of the Mujahedin volunteers
19 and so on who took part in the atrocities perpetrated against both the
20 Serbs and Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that the witness is well
21 placed to answer this, in view of the post he occupied. He received
22 information of that kind.
23 A. No, that is not challenged or contested as is not the presence of
24 certain fundamentalists and their identification on the territory of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina itself. Even in the combat units of Alija Izetbegovic.
1 I think there are very valid and strong arguments in the army of
2 Yugoslavia pointing to that.
3 Q. Very well. Is it true and correct -- now we're talking about
4 Kosovo -- that in our leadership, it was common knowledge amongst our
5 leaders that America was publicly advocating an agreement between Serbia
6 and the Kosovo Albanians, whereas through its secret diplomacy and
7 intelligence work, it was delving intensively in the reorganisation of the
8 KLA, which already in September and October of 1998 had been thwarted.
9 A. According to the intelligence information that we received, and
10 information from the centres where Albanian terrorists were being trained,
11 there was a great role there by them on that territory.
12 Q. Did you consider at the time that they were preparing the KLA for
13 the spring onslaught?
14 JUDGE MAY: That's not a matter for the witness. Maybe some
15 evidence about it in due course which we can consider, but the opinion of
16 the witness on that is not relevant.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I think that it is a proper
18 question for the witness because we have his vision of the situation here,
19 and it is a document which relates to -- actually, it's a letter in which
20 he presents all these aspects, and the number 04449622, the Federal
21 Republic of Yugoslavia, the federal government, the signatory is
22 Zoran Lilic. And in that letter, he puts views forward that he talked
23 about. He was --
24 JUDGE MAY: Put the letter to him if you've got a copy of it, so
25 much the better.
1 MR. NICE: Tab 31.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, they do have a copy.
3 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have his copy.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Lilic, let's just clear one point up first, please. Is it
6 true that you endeavoured to give an overall picture, a comprehensive
7 picture here on the basis of all the information you had at your disposal,
8 the military services, the security services, the public security
9 services, information provided to you from the foreign affairs department,
10 the service for information of the foreign affairs department, or rather
11 the centre for the collection of information? So all the information that
12 was made available to you, you studied all of that and endeavoured to make
13 a summary and precis of it and condense it into a review and report of the
14 basic assessments, positions, et cetera. That's right, isn't it?
15 A. The letter that I addressed to you round about the 20th of
16 November was compiled on the basis of all the knowledge that I had,
17 intelligence information, information provided from different services,
18 intelligence from abroad and all the sources that you mentioned, but also
19 on the basis of an insight of what was happening on the ground. And I
20 think that it is very easy to document all this with JNA documents, SID
21 documents, and calling in other witnesses if need be and if the Court so
22 desires to present and document these views.
23 Q. Yes, I omitted to state that, and you're quite right partially
24 when you say that apart from all the information that was coming in on
25 that basis, this was also the result of your own visits to Kosovo in
1 agreement with me, with the corresponding representatives of the police,
2 army, local organisations and bodies and so on and so forth. That's
3 right, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, at the time, was the assessment that was made this: That
6 they would be preparing a terrorist organisation called the KLA for its
7 spring operations?
8 A. Yes, on the basis of the knowledge we had, that was quite obvious.
9 Q. And is it true and correct that it was our conviction and belief
10 that they would use their -- they would wield influence on Albanian
11 leaders, and you mentioned Rugova by name here, but I'm sure you had
12 others in mind as well, that they would procrastinate in their
13 negotiations, take one step forward, one step back and to try and buy time
14 because the KLA was in a very poor state at the time?
15 A. Well, yes, that was precisely the time when the terrorist army of
16 Kosovo, the KLA or UCK, whatever you like to call it, I don't want to say
17 that it had been destroyed, but it was in a general state of disarray, and
18 facing ultimate -- an ultimate breakdown, so that the assessment here is
19 quite correct, not only by Mr. Rugova, but by most of the Albanian
20 leaders, and they tried to unite them around one goal because they were
21 disunited to a certain extent, even the Albanian leaders at that time and
22 they were trying to rally them around one goal.
23 Q. Is it true that the assessment made and the evaluation given of
24 the ultimate goal of the Clinton administration was to bring in the NATO
25 forces to Kosovo and Metohija? Is that right? Would that be right?
1 A. Yes, that was my impression on the basis on all the intelligence I
2 had and that is what I set out in my letter to you.
3 Q. Yes, that's right. Tell me this please: Is it correct that Hill,
4 then, and Christopher Hill at that time was the US ambassador to Macedonia
5 and in charge of these direct contacts in Kosovo, is it true that he made
6 offers to the KLA by way of various modified solutions that go outside the
7 framework of the agreement reached between Holbrooke and myself?
8 A. If I'm not mistaken, at that time it was Mr. Sainovic who
9 negotiated or talked to Mr. Hill at that time. This information is what I
10 received from people from the actual area, even people who were involved
11 with the KLA.
12 Q. Is it correct, then, that the main goal of the administration was
13 to make an external ring around Kosovo?
14 A. In this letter, I tried to answer that question in particular. As
15 I provided information about the number of soldiers in Macedonia and also,
16 according to this source that was highly relevant, what the number of
17 personnel that would come in would be. And if this is placed on a map,
18 then one can see that this actually closes the ring.
19 Q. Is it true that the buildup of foreign troops in Albania was not
20 aimed at stopping incursions by terrorists, but to manipulate refugees,
21 and once there's a conflict they would cross over to Albania and in this
22 way create conditions for portraying some kind of a humanitarian
24 A. At the time when I wrote this letter or this report or this piece
25 of information for you, this seemed to be a sound assumption. But later
1 on, it proved to be true.
2 Q. Are you aware of the orders, instructions, and activities that
3 took place during the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia in terms of the
4 KLA, what the KLA said to the population, instructing them to leave the
5 territory of Kosovo en masse and go to Albania, Macedonia, and Montenegro?
6 A. At that time, I was not in a position to be in Kosovo and
7 Metohija, but I was aware of such orders that were issued. The
8 information I have shows that this is a fact. Actually, before the NATO
9 bombing began, the number of refugees in Macedonia and in Albania
10 altogether did not exceed the number of 35.000. After the NATO bombing
11 started, according to UNHCR figures, so these are not figures that come
12 from our sources but from UN sources, this number went up. And if
13 I -- if my memory still serves me well, it went up to about 780.000.
14 Q. Is it quite clear that at that time, they were not fleeing before
15 any kind of Serb operations, or that some kind of process of their
16 deportation had been organised by --
17 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure this witness can answer that. He wasn't
18 there at the time. It is a crucial issue which the Trial Chamber will
19 have to determine. And his opinion on it may not assist.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not asking the witness for his
21 opinion, Mr. May, I'm asking him about the facts that he was aware of at
22 the time. At that time, he was Deputy Prime Minister.
23 JUDGE MAY: He can't say as to the facts. He cannot say as to
24 what happened. He can merely tell us, and he has been allowed so far, but
25 this is a crucial issue, to say what reports he had on your side. Now, he
1 can't say of his own knowledge what caused the Albanians to become
2 refugees. And as I say, that's a matter we're going to have to decide.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. All right, Mr. Lilic, do you know why the Albanians became
6 JUDGE MAY: No, I'm not going to allow that question.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, it seems that questions are
8 allowed when a witness is brought in who heard and saw something in a
9 village in Bosnia, and it's not allowed to put questions to the former
10 president and Deputy Prime Minister of Yugoslavia who was indeed competent
11 to give answers.
12 JUDGE MAY: Were you in Kosovo at the time?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. May.
14 JUDGE MAY: Do you have any direct evidence yourself which you can
15 give on this particular issue?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I have the knowledge that I
17 obtained from others.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, from second-hand sources. Is that right?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, Mr. Milosevic, what he obtained from some
21 other source isn't going to assist us. If you want to call evidence as to
22 what happened in Kosovo, of course, you're able to do that. But for this
23 witness to say "we received these reports" doesn't seem to me to add
25 Well, I'm going to allow this question. Did you talk to any of
1 these refugees yourself?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. May. At that time, I was
3 not in Kosovo and Metohija.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we proceed, Mr. May?
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. Is it correct that at that time, Albania, and I'm referring to the
8 end of 1998, became the logistic base for terrorists and that it was used
9 for opening channels from Albania in order to bring in terrorists and
11 A. Yes, that is correct, and we received daily reports about the
12 quantities of weapons seized. There were increasingly frequent clashes at
13 the border towards Albania. Quite a few people got killed, terrorists,
14 and also there was shooting against members of the Yugoslav army. We also
15 were aware of camps on the other side of the border where terrorists were
16 trained. According to our intelligence reports, that's the way it was,
17 and this information can be verified. In those bases, there were about
18 5.000 terrorists.
19 Q. As for verifiers, it correct that then the British and the
20 Americans were covering the border and creating a linkup with Macedonia
21 and Albania where there were NATO forces as well?
22 A. Our border units, I think, reported every day about the presence
23 of the verifiers that you've just referred to.
24 Q. Similar information, that is to say, from similar sources that are
25 reliable enough, is the kind of information that you received in respect
1 to the first question that has to do with refugees, the one that Mr. May
2 will not let you answer. Is that right?
3 A. Yes. But I respect the position taken by Mr. May.
4 Q. Very well. I'm just bearing in mind the fact that the Deputy
5 Prime Minister does not go to actual places where things happen and to
6 talk to each and every verifier. A Deputy Prime Minister has reliable
7 information from the appropriate services and agencies.
8 Is it true that it was agreed in Germany that Bukoshi would buy
9 weapons amounting to 12 million deutschmarks?
10 A. Yes, this is a well-known fact, and later through a mistake made
11 by the Albanian side this appeared in the local media. This is an
12 intelligence report of ours, though, and these weapons were in Kosovo. I
13 do not want to prejudge anything. I don't want to say where the weapons
14 came from, but the weapons were there, and they belonged to East Germany
15 before the reunification of Germany.
16 Q. Is it true that Berisha, the former president of Albania,
17 controlled the north of Albania, took it upon himself to organise
18 terrorists and to send them in from Albania?
19 A. According to our information, and I think the army of Yugoslavia
20 does have these intercepts of conversation. Berisha did hold this part of
21 Albania, and even after all the unrest in Albania, I think that he was
22 actually in charge of all the weapons reserves that happened to be in
23 Albania at the time.
24 Q. According to all the information that was made accessible to you,
25 were some sophisticated weapons supposed to be brought in by the
1 verifiers, too? Is that right or is that not right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was it clear that the verification mission of the OSCE was being
4 abused for reanimating --
5 JUDGE MAY: This is only your opinion, and this is no doubt the
6 intelligence which your side had and the reports which your side had. It
7 really is of no great assistance for us to have this retold. You've put
8 it to the verifiers and they have denied it. We'll have to tell what the
9 truth was. If you've got some direct evidence about it, of course, you
10 can call it.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Is it correct that the new channel for bringing in terrorists was
13 via Sarajevo and then via Macedonia?
14 A. Yes, that is correct. And what was most interesting was, and it
15 can be seen from this letter that was underlined, that regular buses were
16 used for this. And they went through Belgrade in groups numbering from
17 three to five men. That's really interesting, and that's how they went
18 from Kosovo, and that's how they came from the airport in Macedonia.
19 Q. They came in groups of two or three men just as passengers on
20 regular bus lines, and then they were transferred as civilians and then
21 they were equipped and armed down there; is that right?
22 A. And through Macedonia, Skopje, they also went into Kosovo. So
23 that is the information we have.
24 Q. Is it correct that already then, in 1998, they were armed and they
25 even had Hamber stingers and other weapons with 2.000 metre ranges,
1 weapons that could only be obtained with the assistance of certain
2 services of other countries?
3 A. I can talk about the first fact, and that is that they did have
4 such snipers. And that was seen on the casualties on our side, that is to
5 say, that they did have these weapons which in some situations and in some
6 of the operations carried out by our anti-terrorist units, such weapons
7 were actually seized.
8 Q. Was the estimate made then that it was -- the Albanian leadership
9 was buying time so that NATO could build up its forces in Macedonia and
10 Albania and so that they could get enough weapons to the terrorists and
11 that they could link up the territories under their control?
12 A. As for such activities, and the objectives of such efforts made by
13 them, this was something that was pointed to by all the information that I
14 had the possibility to see, and this coincides with what I said here, with
15 everything that happened in March when the NATO aggression started.
16 Q. Was it clear on the basis of all these facts that the
17 international community would not react in order to stop the activities of
18 terrorists? Is that right?
19 A. It was evident in the field itself. The terrorists behaved as if
20 they were on their own territory and as if the Serb side were the
22 Q. As far as I can remember, you then proposed that a special staff
23 be set up for organising special armed forces apart from the MUP and the
24 army, however, is it correct that the MUP and the army had their own
25 chains of command and that a third chain of command could not be
2 A. Within the army of Yugoslavia, there were special units which
3 could carry out the task that I had proposed. And within the police,
4 there were special units that were very well equipped. My proposal was to
5 set up a third special unit that would only deal with anti-terrorist
6 activities. Of course, obviously your assessment was different. But the
7 fact remains that units from the MUP and the army of Yugoslavia did have
8 their chain of command. Of course, this unit could have been set up
9 within one of these groups, either the army of Yugoslavia or the MUP. My
10 assessment was that at all costs, the terrorists should be broken up by
11 the month of March. And if this fails, then an ultimatum should be
12 delivered to them, quite literally they should be surrounded and then
13 operations should be launched against them, and of course the
14 international community would have to be notified thereof. So that we
15 would avoid subsequent problems.
16 Q. At that time, the international community had its own verification
17 mission in Kosovo. Isn't that right?
18 A. Yes, but my idea was that we should inform them about all
19 activities taking place against the terrorists so that we would avoid any
20 kind of speculations. Another thing that I consider to be particularly
21 important was to provide additional security for the border in order to
22 stop arms smuggling, infiltration of weapons, and as you know, with your
23 consent, I travelled to some countries to talk about possible electronic
24 surveillance and security for the border.
25 Q. Yes, I remember that very well. We tried to secure the border as
1 best we could. Now, let us briefly move on to this document that was
2 presented here, Perisic's letter.
3 JUDGE MAY: Do you have the tab number for that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I please have a copy myself,
6 MR. NICE: Tab 23.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, let's have a look now. Since you provided some explanations
9 in relation to this letter of his, I noticed during the
10 examination-in-chief that you first said that you did not wish to comment
11 upon Perisic's letter because it was his letter. But Mr. Nice insisted
12 that you do comment upon certain matters. So now, I would like to deal
13 with some questions related to that. First of all, is it quite clear that
14 this is a mere smokescreen in order to dodge responsibility for what was
15 supposed to be done in line with the duties that the army has in Kosovo
16 and Metohija?
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm hesitating to object to any of these
18 questions for obvious reasons, because if the accused thinks he's getting
19 favourable answers from the witness, I don't want to be standing in the
20 way. But I wonder about the formation of that last question.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's an interpretation of the letter. Can the
22 witness not put an interpretation on it?
23 MR. NICE: It's a matter for the Chamber.
24 JUDGE MAY: For what it's worth.
25 MR. NICE: For what it's worth.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lilic, you're being asked about this letter. If
2 you can give your own view of it, if you consider it worth giving, of
3 course, you may, if you agree with the accused's interpretation. But if
4 not, just say so. Or if, indeed, you think you can't give a useful
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hardly agree with what
7 Mr. Milosevic said, that this is a smokescreen.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. Well, let us examine it and each of the allegations it contains.
10 Is it true that Perisic was advocating -- we'll come to those marginal
11 matters later. But he was advocating basically for the introduction of a
12 state of emergency?
13 A. Yes, that is what I said. There was another letter accompanying
14 this letter. I don't know whether it is included in these documents. And
15 from which it can be seen that Perisic was insisting on the introduction
16 of a state of emergency in a part of the territory of the Federal Republic
17 of Yugoslavia, or better still, Republic of Serbia, to acquire legitimacy
18 for the use of the army of Yugoslavia.
19 Q. And is it true, and I think that you're quite qualified to answer
20 this question in view of the position you held, that no state of emergency
21 is required for the army to react to terrorist attacks, which we had
22 established, were being resorted against members of the army?
23 A. General Perisic insisted that the army react in that way in the
24 area of responsibility of the army, that is, in the border belt which was
25 relatively narrow, depth-wise, and I think by decision of the federal
1 government, it was later extended to 5 kilometres. But that the use of
2 the army, together with the anti-terrorist units that were in Kosovo,
3 should be given appropriate orders through the institution of a state of
4 emergency. However, objectively, in view of the reports that I had
5 occasion to see in writing given by him, realising that his insistence
6 with you and your approval for me to visit Kosovo and Metohija on two
7 occasions to examine the situation there was really to confirm that most
8 roads had been blocked by the terrorists and could not be used.
9 Q. And do you know that on the basis of the relevant regulations, the
10 army even in peacetime, may be used to secure communication lines, in the
11 case of natural disasters, to respond to the struggle against terrorism,
12 et cetera?
13 A. In the peacetime conditions that you refer to, absolutely, yes.
14 Q. So to respond to terrorism, no state of emergency was needed. And
15 do you remember, according to the information which I hope you had access
16 to at the time, that in Kosovo and Metohija, the security was jeopardised
17 of the citizens by terrorist activities in a total of 213 inhabited
18 places, out of a total of 1.413 inhabited places in Kosovo, which means
19 1/6th roughly. Is that right?
20 A. I don't know the exact number, but it is a fact that there were
21 very many places where this was true. And in fact, most of the villages
22 were left without any Serbs under pressure of Albanian terrorists, and
23 even the Albanians themselves who had lived there for centuries moved from
24 the Metohija area of Kosovo and Metohija.
25 Q. There were 1.200 places in which there were no terrorist attacks,
1 and that the introduction of a state of emergency was not necessary in
2 order to respond to terrorism as we have noted, and such a state of
3 emergency would have been a blow to civil rights and freedoms in 6/7ths of
4 the territory in relation to 1/7th that was exposed to terrorist attacks.
5 Is that right or not?
6 A. That was your judgement, and you had the right to have such a
7 judgement at the time. And the Supreme Defence Council of the Federal
8 Republic of Yugoslavia had the right to say that. But it is a fact that
9 the army would have provided more logistics and be able to activate larger
10 units, to move artillery units and to act together with the police. For
11 all that to be possible, a state of emergency was necessary.
12 Q. Isn't the best evidence the fact that without a state of
13 emergency, the KLA had actually been broken up, and that the verification
14 mission arrived by agreement, and the presence of the army was reduced to
15 three main strategic crossroads at the level of a company with the
16 exception of the army and the barracks?
17 A. But we're talking here about General Perisic's letter and the
18 reasons for that letter.
19 Q. The reasons are obvious, to justify himself to his external tutors
20 recording the instructions he received as confirmed by subsequent course
21 of events when he was arrested for espionage?
22 A. I do not know, Mr. Milosevic, that Perisic, while I was president,
23 was working for any foreign service because I personally would have
24 arrested him if I had known. If something happened later on, I cannot
1 Q. Very well. Have we cleared up the point that it is the duty of
2 the army, even in peacetime conditions, when it comes to lines of
3 communication - when I say that, I mean roads, main roads, traffic
4 communications, the struggle against terrorism, et cetera - that this is
5 covered by the regulations?
6 A. Yes, securing the territory beyond the border area is the duty of
7 the Ministry of the Interior. Certainly the army should react if any
8 member of the army is in jeopardy, but those are individual cases. It
9 could not entail any kind of frontal engagement of the army without that
10 state of emergency.
11 Q. And do you know that in the constitution of Yugoslavia, it says in
12 Article 133 -- I don't wish to offend you by asking you whether you know
13 it; I just wish to refresh your memory. It says the Federal Republic of
14 Yugoslavia has an army which defends the sovereignty, territory,
15 independence, and constitutional order. Therefore, the army is there to
16 defend the territory, sovereignty, independence, and constitutional order
17 were the territory, or at least one of these elements, and I believe all
18 of them were actually in jeopardy due to terrorist activities in that time
19 in Kosovo and Metohija.
20 A. That is absolutely not at issue. I'm not offended at all. I'm
21 very familiar with this article of the constitution. May I finish. I
22 know this article very well. But also, there is the law on defence and
23 the law of the army of Yugoslavia which clearly defines when and how units
24 of the army are to be used. Of course, the engagement of the army in
25 accordance with the decision of the Supreme Defence Council may be ordered
1 by the president of the Federal Republic without a state of emergency.
2 And that is not in dispute.
3 Q. And why, then, was it necessary for Perisic to write a letter
4 explaining that what can be done without a state of emergency can only be
5 done with a state of emergency? Have we agreed that this could be done
6 without a state of emergency and that this allegation that it can only be
7 done with a state of emergency is not right?
8 A. I do not wish to interpret Perisic. If he had an adequate order,
9 he should have used the army of Yugoslavia.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we have here a discussion about what
11 the army can do in peacetime and in a state of emergency. These are
12 constitutional issues and the Chamber has already said that the witness
13 may answer to the extent that he can on these issues. But to my mind, it
14 raises again the question of the need for a constitutional expert. You
15 did produce one and the Chamber did not allow him to give evidence, but
16 in the Chamber's view, it is clearly necessary for the Prosecution to
17 provide evidence on constitutional matters in this case.
18 MR. NICE: Yes. Well, the Chamber ruled out the constitutional
19 expert at that stage on certain topics. I'm not sure whether it
20 particularly ruled it out on --
21 JUDGE MAY: Not on all topics.
22 MR. NICE: Not on all topics.
23 JUDGE MAY: On the Kosovo-related topics.
24 MR. NICE: The way it was expressed, I have to go back and look at
25 it. I'm not sure this is expressly ruled out. I can simply remind the
1 Chamber that, for whatever reason, finding somebody at the time who was
2 prepared to give evidence in this trial, with the appropriate
3 constitutional law credentials, was not easy. People were, frankly, on
4 several occasions, afraid to do so.
5 Now, we made available to you a constitutional expert, and I was,
6 of course, amused -- not amused. I permitted myself a wry smile at a
7 later occasion when there was a discussion in relation to Mr. Babovic
8 about who was to be preferred as to the legal matters on which he was
9 speaking as between the Judge of the Court and him. Never mind. It was a
10 wry smile.
11 We may be able to find another constitutional law expert with
12 suitable credentials, but the one we have been in a position to offer is
13 Mr. Kristan. He may be able to deal with this topic, because I think it
14 was revocation of Kosovo's autonomy that was the only topic expressly
15 ruled out.
16 And of course, if the accused wishes to raise constitutional
17 matters with a qualified Prosecution witness, then although we may have
18 been denied the opportunity to raise those issues with the witness, it is
19 open to the accused to raise them with him himself, especially since he
20 knows what his answers will be.
21 JUDGE MAY: What it amounts to is this: That the original expert
22 was permitted to give evidence on constitutional issues, apart from the
23 matter in which it was deemed that he might be said to have had an
24 interest and there was a ruling. But that was a fairly narrow issue, and
25 the rest of his report, as I recollect, dealt with broader issues, and
1 that was not excluded.
2 MR. NICE: Correct. And indeed, it's our intention to call him
3 back, as I made clear at the time, but it will probably be in the autumn.
4 Now, what I can attempt to do - and I will discuss this with the
5 team later to see when we can timetable his return - is to have him back
6 as soon as may be so that we can see how much of his report we can make
7 available to you, and discover from the accused how much in addition he
8 may put in himself. Then if there is a margin not covered, it will give
9 us a couple of months to go and find somebody else who may be able to
10 help. And of course, things may be a little different in the light of the
11 regime change that's happened, but we had very considerable difficulties
12 in finding somebody to come and assist you with the appropriate
13 credentials on the first occasion.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: We encourage you in those efforts, Mr. Nice.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I think we've exhausted this topic as
16 to the state of emergency as far as this witness is concerned. Now, if
17 you've got any other questions about the letter, the Perisic letter, you
18 can, of course, ask them.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since you allowed Mr. Nice to smile,
20 allow me to smile too, wryly. I didn't object that Mr. Nice's witness for
21 constitutional matters testifies about Kosovo whatever he wants to. In
22 fact, it suits me even better to refute such testimony. It gives me
23 greater satisfaction to refute the evidence of witnesses brought here by
24 Mr. Nice than to try and prove this through my own witnesses, which I will
25 certainly not fail to do. You yourself ruled that this witness should not
1 testify about constitutional matters linked to Kosovo, and I wish to
2 remind you that I did not object at all. On the contrary, it would be a
3 pleasure for me to confront my arguments with his.
4 But let us move on.
5 MR. NICE: I wonder, may I try and save time, invite the Chamber
6 to reconsider its ruling in light of the express indication of the
7 accused. When fully constituted, the Chamber might decide that
8 constitutes a new fact upon which, unusually, it could reconsider matters.
9 But nevertheless, I will have the topic in mind.
10 JUDGE MAY: I very much doubt it. Of course, we will have a look
11 at it again. I very much doubt it. There was a particular reason why
12 that evidence was excluded, and it had to do with the witness's
13 involvement in the very activity in which he was going to give evidence
14 about as an expert. And it was from that point of view that the Chamber
15 excluded the evidence as not properly that of an expert.
16 MR. NICE: I quite understand that.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let's go on.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Mr. Lilic, did you have occasion to look at this reminder for the
20 members of the army of Yugoslavia engaged in the area swept by sabotage
21 and terrorist activities, this was the whole area which was swept by
22 sabotage and terrorist activities, passed in June 1998 by the general
23 staff of the army of Yugoslavia? I will give you a copy to look at. And
24 my question is whether you had occasion to see it. And it says here --
25 A. May I get a copy. May I have the document to look at it.
1 Q. It is 02093686. It is page 1. I received it in this set of
2 documents which the opposite side is providing.
3 JUDGE MAY: Let us find that. Is it in the binder, first of all?
4 The reference to June 1998.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The title page, 020936865, and it
6 has the coat of arms of Yugoslavia. I see they received this from the
7 general staff. It says: "Military secret, for internal use, reminder for
8 members of the army."
9 JUDGE MAY: What is it? What is the document?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a document of the general
11 staff. Maybe the witness can explain it for you. He's quite qualified to
13 JUDGE MAY: If we can find it.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a reminder.
15 JUDGE MAY: Let us find it, a reminder, yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Until they find it, I can read some
17 excerpts. Signed by the general staff, so it is a kind of order.
18 MR. NICE: It's not in the binder, I don't think.
19 JUDGE MAY: Let us see if we can find it first of all.
20 MR. NICE: The numbers given are not in the binder. The only
21 June -- was it 19th of June? I can't remember. Document of 1968...
22 There are a couple of documents, 25 and -- I don't think it's
23 those. We are looking through for other documents disclosed to the
24 accused. If he tells us what it is --
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well, while it's being looked for, you can read
1 it, Mr. Milosevic, and we'll see if we can get on in that way.
2 Mr. Lilic, we don't seem to have the document at the moment. The
3 accused can read what parts he wants to you, and then you can have a look
4 at it before you have to answer.
5 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. Well, I'll let him have a look at it. Of course I will, yes. So
8 the title page, the first page, I've already indicated the general staff
9 of the army, military secret, internal. It's an aide memoire. I assume
10 they could have tabled this on the basis of a government order, and they
11 did so here, for members of the army engaged in the area engulfed by
12 sabotage and terrorist operations and activities. And then they go on to
13 say in point 1, the conduct of the members of the Yugoslav army and the
14 units from jeopardising people, materiel, resources and facilities in the
15 areas taken over by sabotage operations, so there's nothing else that is
16 endangered but people, materiel, goods, facilities, and so on. And then
17 it says should rebel terrorists sabotage and other armed units launch an
18 attack, I don't want to enumerate it all, use all available men and
19 materiel according to the principles of combat in order to defend
20 yourselves successfully to thwart and rout the enemy. I apologise to the
21 interpreters for reading so fast. I'll do my best to read slower. That
22 means to use all available human resources and materiel resources based on
23 the principles of units deployment in order to put up a successful defence
24 and thwart and destroy the groups mentioned.
25 In refuting an attack, ensure law and order, law and order should
1 prevail. Unconditional implementation and execution of orders, and a
2 responsible conduct. And preventing all unlawful conduct on the part of
3 members of units and commands. Then it goes on to speak of the sabotage
4 units to prevent their reconnaissance, abilities to effect reconnaissance,
5 and so on and so forth. And then it goes on to say that in the struggle
6 against the rebel terrorist sabotage units and other hostile armed groups,
7 in addition to other things, the following principles should be adhered to
8 in order to search these groups, attack them, destroy sabotage units, do
9 not use smaller units than companies. And it says company/battery. That
10 is, in two branches of the army.
11 And that means not to use and deploy small units such as platoons,
12 but that the units deployed should number at least one company. And from
13 enemy groups, built up areas and so on, after cautioning them, use
14 artillery for the selective destruction of enemy and facilities from which
15 fire has already come. In deploying the units of the artillery and tank
16 units, and then it says a tank company in brackets, strengthen them and
17 reinforce them by infantry units, engineers units and other units in
18 conformity with the tasks undertaken. Used to encircle and block built-up
19 areas and settlements, do not enter built-up areas with the units of the
20 Yugoslav army in order to control communications and territory jeopardised
21 through terrorist activity, use armoured mechanised units and necessary
22 reinforcements if these are required. There is a grammatical error here
23 but I'm reading out the way it says. [Indiscernible] are not allowed to
24 enter into operation if the unit is not fully prepared to do so.
25 Of course, the army acted upon these rules of procedure and
1 principles in keeping with the provisions stipulated. All I'm saying is
2 this has nothing to do with the state of emergency. Point 2 is to how the
3 men should act if the diversionary and sabotage groups should attack
4 because there was kidnapping of soldiers, ambushes, and so on. And then
5 number 3, how to behave towards sabotage units when they are taken into
6 custody and captured. Conduct therein. And it says that if sabotage
7 units use weapons to defend themselves, then act in conformity with the
8 rules and regulations. Once the sabotage units surrender their arms,
9 conduct should be as follows: Anything involving terrorist acts should be
10 confiscated, any weapons they might have, and the commanders of units have
11 the right to interrogate individuals on military matters. Intelligence
12 reports are filed as to the crimes committed, and they can be held in
13 custody for three days, for a maximum of three days, after which they will
14 have to be prosecuted and taken to court, et cetera. And particular
15 stress is laid on the fact that nobody can kill any POWs or inflict
16 physical attempts on them. Respect should be shown towards women and
17 children of the terrorist group members as required by their sex and age,
18 et cetera.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise, but the text was very
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'd like to say that you need to re-examine your
23 approach to cross-examination. I have been looking at the screen, and the
24 full-length of the screen has been gone through at least two times without
25 a question coming from you. This is not -- it's not practical. We have
1 limited time, and we take account of the fact that you are conducting your
2 own defence. But I think you have to make a very serious effort to
3 summarise matters and to put questions to the witness. After speaking for
4 four, five, six minutes, the witness has probably forgotten what you
5 started out with. I certainly have. And I have to follow it.
6 As a rule of thumb, I would suggest that when you have spoken for
7 about a minute, no longer than a minute, you should put a question. Look
8 at the screen, if you see that you have -- there are two or three
9 sentences that you have completed, the time has come for you to put a
10 question because we have to follow the cross-examination. Please bear
11 that in mind.
12 MR. NICE: We've located the document. I don't know how long it
13 will be before it's with us.
14 JUDGE MAY: You've located it.
15 MR. NICE: Yes.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, yes, Mr. Milosevic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, it seems that good
18 intentions can be understood wrongly. I quoted all this in view of the
19 witness's competence and in order to save time, so I wanted to put it all
20 to him at once, and then ask him the question. And I'll just end by
21 saying that of course, special emphasis was laid on the fact that it was
22 forbidden to act against anybody's human dignity for the POWs, the persons
23 taken into custody and captured. But the title of this document, the
24 date, in fact, is June 1998. There's no other date. It just says "June
25 1998" at the bottom. But that is sufficient. That is on the title page
1 because President Perisic's letter is dated the 23rd of July, 1998.
2 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness see it.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So that was at least one month
4 before he wrote his -- well, I don't want to say what it was, given the
5 qualifications. But with respect to this emergency situation, he is
6 behaving totally in keeping with the provisions and rules stipulating the
7 conduct of individuals on -- in the territory. So that is the document.
8 I don't believe that Mr. Lilic doubts that I quoted verbatim from the
9 text. That would be absurd.
10 JUDGE MAY: Let him look at it, and look through it, and ensure
11 that that is as you said it is.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. My question is as follows --
14 JUDGE MAY: No, first of all let the witness confirm that that is
15 the document which is referred to.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I really don't need to read
17 through the document. The document does seem to be authentic. I think it
18 is the original used by the army of Yugoslavia as a sort of aide memoire.
19 I don't know of this -- of the fact that this document was published. I
20 assume that there was an order from the general staff prior to this
21 document. Otherwise it couldn't have been issued. But we're not
22 contesting the fact that a code of conduct does exist, the Supreme Defence
23 Council does compile documents of this kind. And it does state that the
24 army can be deployed and engaged under these stipulations and conditions.
25 Of course, if there's not a state of emergency that has been proclaimed.
1 So that is why this sort of reminder was compiled.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Well, I quoted Article 133 of the constitution according to the
4 fact that FRY has an army and the constitutional provision for it to
5 protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity and constitutional order
6 of the country, therefore the country is duty-bound to act along those
7 lines. And now a word of explanation with respect to the conduct of an
8 army on a territory where there is sabotage activity. The army directly
9 implements its constitutional obligations, so we can agree on that point
10 and then move forward.
11 So we can't speak of the unlawful and illegal deployment of the
12 army in that area, can we?
13 A. Well, the army can't decide on itself, regardless of Article 133.
14 But as we're discussing experts in constitutional matters and issues, we
15 can leave that to them, perhaps. It would be a good idea to have somebody
16 who is an expert in military law. But it's not up to me to say so. I
17 don't want to influence you one way or the other or make any proposals.
18 It is quite certain that the army can be engaged, along with the
19 corresponding orders and position taken by the Supreme Defence Council.
20 That competence under Article 133 is not being challenged. But let me say
21 that I never saw this document before. I'm seeing it for the first time
22 now, and its contents apply to conduct, application, and all the other
23 things that have been set out in detail. And it says June 1998. So those
24 two documents speak for themselves.
25 On the one hand, we're saying that these orders did not exist;
1 this testifies to the reverse.
2 Q. Well, I'm not claiming one or the other. That is what is stated.
3 So if the fact that people say that something is unlawful if a state of
4 emergency is not in existence, this proves the opposite. Now, it says in
5 rather pathetical terms, or rather Mr. Perisic has written this in rather
6 pathetical terms --
7 A. I apologise, Mr. Milosevic, but I just handed the letter back.
8 May I be asked to be given the letter again, Mr. Perisic's letter, please.
9 May I have it?
10 JUDGE MAY: Before we go on to that, I've got here the letter
11 produced by the accused -- any objection to this being exhibited? The
12 letter produced by the accused. It's in B/C/S, I know, but presumably
13 something disclosed by you.
14 MR. NICE: Yes --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
16 JUDGE MAY: Give it the next exhibit number.
17 Yes, if you've got a translation, so much the better.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, Defence Exhibit 146.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Otherwise, Mr. May, as you said a
20 moment ago that this was disclosed by Mr. Nice, I should like to take
21 advantage of this occasion to say that, as we can see, Mr. Nice can have
22 access to documents, and does, from the archives of the Yugoslav
23 government and the army of Yugoslavia, whereas my associates cannot. They
24 do not have access to a single one and can't come by them, so I have to
25 use only the documents that Mr. Nice's associates are able to come by,
1 which is untenable, an untenable sort of relationship.
2 JUDGE MAY: No. That's according to the rules. They're under an
3 obligation, the Prosecution, to disclose to you any assistance, any matter
4 which may assist you, anything which is exculpatory. They do.
5 Yes, now let us go on with the Perisic letter, tab 23.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Therefore, a state of emergency, we've clarified that point up.
8 He says that under these conditions, as professionals who have preserved
9 the army and FRY, under these conditions, he considers it -- his merit for
10 having done so. Now doesn't that sound - how shall I put this? - a little
12 A. I really can't comment on that.
13 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to add, it's not a proper question.
14 Yes, anything else you want to ask about the letter?
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, let's take it in order, one by one. He says "constant
17 tendency to use the army outside the institutions of the system," and then
18 he links this up to the state of the emergency. We cleared that point up.
19 Otherwise, I'm sure you know - I hope you know, at least - and we
20 have the law here, the law on defence, in fact, the competency and
21 authority for a state of emergency, imminent war, war, and that is vested
22 in the Assembly of Yugoslavia; isn't that right, Mr. Lilic?
23 A. Yes, at the proposal of the government.
24 Q. Right, at the proposal of the government. And he says that he did
25 contact the government, that the government did not respond to his
1 requests, and I asked the Defence Minister something with respect to that,
2 and the answer I was given is that there was no need for that because,
3 according to the rules, and he indicated what was stated in the document
4 itself, they could act along those lines. And he goes on to say:
5 "Separation of units of the Yugoslav army outside the army of Yugoslavia,"
6 and then he goes on to say, or rather, to explain: "The Guards Brigade
7 was separated from the army of Yugoslavia by your decision."
8 Tell me, please, Mr. Lilic, who was in command of the Guards
9 Brigade before this occurred by my decision, as General Perisic puts it?
10 A. The Guards Brigade was within the corps of the special units. It
11 was subordinated to the special units corps directly.
12 Q. So what was the task of the Guards Brigade?
13 A. It was more of a protocol nature, its tasks and assignments.
14 Ceremonial, I would say.
15 Q. I assume you know that the Guards Brigade also provides security
16 for the Supreme Command?
17 A. Yes; I didn't finish what I was saying.
18 Q. That means to provide security for the residence of the president
19 of the republic, his offices, the office of the president of the republic,
20 and security for the Supreme Command. Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, does the president of the republic, is he in command of the
23 army both in peace and war pursuant to the Yugoslav constitution? Is he
24 the Supreme Commander?
25 A. Yes, pursuant to the constitution of Yugoslavia and Article 135 on
1 the law of the army, Article 4 there, in that law.
2 Q. So is it considered that if the Guards Brigade, which otherwise
3 provides security for the head of state and is used for ceremonial matters
4 is subordinated to the military cabinet of the president of the republic
5 and is separated from the army of Yugoslavia, or is it within the
6 composition of the army of Yugoslavia? Or is it perhaps the president of
7 the republic which by virtue of the constitution commands the army and is
8 this not considered part of the Yugoslav army?
9 A. It's very difficult for me to have to interpret General Perisic.
10 That is a thankless task. He would be best placed to say what he meant.
11 May I finish what I was saying, Mr. Milosevic, please. Just a
12 minute, please, may I take a minute.
13 Q. Yes, go ahead, please.
14 A. If I'm not mistaken, we're talking about the disbanding of the
15 special corps unit here, and placing it under the direct command of the
16 Guards Brigade. Whether that was how it was when talking about the Guards
17 Brigade, I really can't say. I don't know. However, we must respect the
18 principle of subordination and singleness of command. You can't command
19 the Guards Brigade.
20 Q. And nor did I command it. But are you aware of the fact that
21 never did the Guards Brigade at that material time that was attached or
22 resubordinated to the military cabinet of the president of the republic
23 and was not deployed for anything else except to provide security for the
24 Supreme Command and the president of the republic and the ceremonial
25 business that it engaged in. Are you aware of that?
1 A. I can't say because I wasn't in a position to attend the Supreme
2 Defence Council meetings. So I don't think -- although I just don't know.
3 I don't believe that it was that way.
4 JUDGE MAY: The time has come for us to adjourn.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just have one question to ask with
6 respect to the Guards Brigade, not to separate this issue from the rest.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You can see that on page 2 of his letter, he says that unless you
9 do not have confidence in the chief of the general staff, unless you have
10 no faith in the NGS, chief the general staff. That's what it says, that's
11 what he says. Is that what Perisic wrote?
12 A. Yes, that's what it says in that letter. But I was commenting on
13 the letter believing in the authenticity of what was stated here. Any
14 other interpretation on my part would be quite improper.
15 Q. All right.
16 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to adjourn now.
17 Twenty minutes. Mr. Lilic, could you be back then, please.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
21 MR. NICE: I'm sorry to interrupt. May I make three points very
22 briefly. One, the document that the accused was referring to as showing
23 that we had access to a particular archives came from an individual, it
24 didn't come from an archive.
25 Two, and -- four points then. The second point is that the last
1 document produced has already been tendered as Exhibit 94, tab 72.
2 JUDGE MAY: In those circumstances, it may be convenient to delete
3 it as a Defence exhibit. Tab 72; is that right?
4 MR. NICE: Yes, tab 72; 94, tab 72.
5 JUDGE MAY: Otherwise there's going to be confusion. So we'll
6 delete it -- this is 146, I think was the last number.
7 MR. NICE: Yes.
8 JUDGE MAY: Delete that. Exhibit 94, tab 72. Yes.
9 MR. NICE: Third point, we've considered the position: We will
10 require to re-examine this witness. We falls into a particular category
11 of witness of a kind we've had before where re-examination is really
12 essential. No doubt the Chamber will -- perhaps I can invite the Chamber
13 to make the position clear to the witness, particularly in light of the
14 circumstances in which he is here, of which the Chamber is aware. Of
15 course, we will accommodate with our other witnesses his convenience.
16 Indeed, it is possible, I think, for a witness, if they catch the early
17 flight from Belgrade, to be in and out in a day, surprisingly enough. And
18 on that same topic, I can tell you that on the very early flight, or the
19 early flight today, we are receiving from the authorities, as we
20 understand it, the full records of the documents referred to on page 16 of
21 the summary, the records of the state Council for Coordination, positions
22 on state policy. Very important documents indeed.
23 Now, they're coming up, having been provided. The Chamber will
24 remember that the witness was able to identify them because he saw some
25 left over from the period of Cosic's Presidency. We would be grateful,
1 though there will be no re-examination, simply for an opportunity, once
2 the documents arrive, for him to look at them and to confirm that they are
3 in line with the documents that he saw, so then that the process of
4 identification is complete and the documents can be processed in the usual
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. To make it plain, we will sit until 1.45, the
7 usual time, today. We will deal with any future hearings for the witness
8 in due course.
9 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 MR. PANCESKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Your Honour, I do beg
11 your pardon for interrupting. Just another brief correction. The
12 documents that Mr. Nice referred to have been handed over by the national
13 council, although these are documents that are part of the request for
14 cooperation and on which the Trial Chamber ruled on the 12th of June, and
15 it was rejected as too broad. The position of the National Council for
16 Cooperation with The Hague Tribunal is that these documents should be
17 handed over as an act of courtesy. Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Lilic, do you remember that the commander of the Guards
21 Brigade in 1997, and that was General Bojovic, was appointed at the
22 proposal of General Perisic to be ADC to the president of the republic?
23 A. I do remember, because at that time, it was General Susic who was
24 in charge of both duties. He was head of the military office of the
25 president, and when necessary he was also ADC to the president. So at the
1 proposal of the senior staff of the chief of general staff, General
2 Bojovic was appointed ADC.
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. At the end of Perisic's letter, it says in relation to the Guards
7 Brigade, "unless you do not trust the chief of general staff." So what if
8 I do not trust the chief of general staff?
9 A. I really don't know how to answer this question. It was the right
10 of the Supreme Defence Council to appoint a new chief of staff, to keep
11 the old one, to transfer him somewhere else. I don't think that this is a
12 right that should be denied in any way.
13 Q. And it is also not to be denied that General Perisic was dismissed
14 according to legal procedure and in accordance with the law.
15 A. Yes, I had the opportunity of reading the minutes from the SDC,
16 although he was not relieved of his duty by consensus. If I'm not
17 mistaken, Mr. Djukanovic was against this, but this does not alter the
18 legitimacy of the decision.
19 Q. I just asked whether it was a legitimate decision, and that is not
20 being denied. Right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So what is strange about the fact that the Guards Brigade, whose
23 commander is my aide-de-camp, should be subordinated to the military
24 office of the president of the republic. And I assume --
25 JUDGE MAY: I don't think the witness can speculate about this.
1 This is General Perisic's letter. You can ask him to interpret it if he
2 can, but this is going to be pure speculation on his part.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If so, then there was no
4 need for him to comment upon the letter during the examination-in-chief
6 JUDGE MAY: He can comment on it, but to ask him speculative
7 questions isn't going to assist anybody.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In relation to that, in relation to General Perisic's allegation
10 that officers were being appointed or rather generals were being appointed
11 and promoted, apart from the general staff, I would like to ask you to
12 take a look at the minutes from the fifth session of the Supreme Defence
13 Council, so that was the 9th of June, 1998. This was just a month before
14 his letter.
15 A. I had the opportunity of seeing these minutes.
16 Q. Yes. Point 2, personnel matters, the minutes. And I am quoting
17 from the minutes: "General Perisic informed the participants in the
18 session that the senior staff discussed this issue."
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is it all right now? Have you got
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't.
22 MR. NICE: Tab 9.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. It says here that what the chief of general staff said is
25 approved, and so on and so forth. And it says that if the activities of
1 the Albanian --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please be asked to read
4 JUDGE MAY: Read more slowly, would you. Read more slowly. The
5 interpreters are asking.
6 And where are you -- identify where you are reading from, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I am reading the minutes
8 from the fifth session of the Supreme Defence Council, from the 17th of
9 June, 1998.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, whereabouts?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll tell you straight away.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, it's the 9th of June.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. No, it's the 17th of June.
15 A. But the meeting was held on the 9th. And it was just registered
17 Q. Oh, yes, yes, that's right. But I'm just looking at the date on
18 the document when it was entered into the records, but it's true that the
19 session was actually held on the 9th of June, 1998. That's right. And
20 this is where the chief of general staff spoke about the situation in
21 Kosovo, and then on page 3, it says that "if terrorist activities
22 escalate," so these are the conclusions that were adopted unanimously by
23 the SDC, it says, number 2, "that if the terrorist activities of the
24 Albanian separatist movement escalate, the Yugoslav army will intervene
25 appropriately." So in relation to the instructions that you read out a
1 moment ago, is it clear that there is full legality in terms of using the
2 army there in order to combat terrorism in Kosovo?
3 A. If these instructions are based on this decision, then absolutely
5 Q. Please tell me now, item 2, personnel issues, it's on the same
6 page, the text continues right after the conclusions related to item 1.
7 It says: "General Perisic informed the persons attending the session that
8 with regard to that issue - and this is in reference to personnel issues,
9 is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's what's written here.
11 Q. It was the senior staff of the general staff that discussed this
12 and it was approved by the Ministry of Defence according to the law of the
13 Yugoslav army, and thereupon he made the following proposal to the Supreme
14 Council of Defence. And then under number 1, it says: "On reaching a
15 decision on the cessation of professional military service," and then it
16 is mentioned according to the assessment of a medical military commission,
17 then by force of law, and then according to the needs of the service and
18 promotion to a higher rank in appropriate order, and then promotion to the
19 rank of major general, and then regulating the situation, the service of
20 general personnel, and then who was appointed where to command which
21 particular unit and so on and so forth. There are several pages that go
22 on. And ultimately, it says: "The Supreme Defence Council has fully
23 adopted the proposal of the chief of general staff of the Yugoslav army,
24 Colonel-General Momcilo Perisic on personnel issues in the army." So that
25 is written on the minutes of the session of the 9th of June. And a month
1 after that, Perisic writes in this letter of his that promotions take
2 place without consulting the general staff. Do you know what this
3 actually referred to? Because even in these minutes a month before that,
4 it is obvious that there were consultations and all his proposals were
5 unanimously accepted by the Supreme Defence Council. So what did these
6 writings of his refer to?
7 A. When I read this letter that Mr. Perisic wrote to you in the month
8 of July, precisely this item 5, that is to say, conducting personnel
9 policies without legal basis and without criteria or decree, I imagine
10 that this pertained to promotions and transfers. That is to say, without
11 the general staff and the senior staff of the general staff knowing about
12 this. Then also what it says here in the minutes from the session of the
13 SDC held on the 9th of June, 1998, this is not binding upon the SDC.
14 During the four years of my term of office, practically the senior staff
15 of the chief of general staff made proposals, and the assumption was that
16 they knew best what the quality of the generals was, and I see that it was
17 done in this case, too. And the Ministry was consulted as far as I can
18 see according to the names of the persons, the generals who are retired.
19 These were generals who were in the Ministry of Defence, and I imagine
20 that's why the Ministry was consulted. And the conclusion itself shows
21 that the Supreme Defence Council accepted all the proposals of the chief
22 of general staff. So I believe that this paper is self-explanatory, at
23 least the one from the Supreme Defence Council.
24 Q. So there is no denying that all of this went through the general
25 staff. Was anybody promoted without the knowledge of the chief of general
1 staff, or the general staff as such?
2 A. During my term of office, no one was. I don't know about your
3 term. But even Article 136 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of
4 Yugoslavia provides for this possibility. Only to notify the chief of
5 general staff that the president has the right to -- this kind of
7 Q. Of course.
8 A. But it's a good thing for him to be notified.
9 Q. Well, he certainly was notified. But he points out here that he
10 has some right that is not based on the constitution or the law on the
11 army that this has to be his proposal. That would practically mean that
12 he were usurping the right that is only vested in the president of the
13 FRY. Is that right or not right?
14 A. It is only the right of the president of the FRY to promote
15 generals and appoint them.
16 Q. That will do. Thank you, Mr. Lilic. And then it says "material
17 allocations outside the framework of regulations." Now, I would like to
18 remind you of what you said. Materiel resources. You said during your
19 testimony that this was done through the Ministry of the Interior
20 according to a decision reached by the government of the FRY. Is that
21 what you said?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, he says: "You frequently order me to provide immoveable and
24 moveable property for the needs of the MUP." Since you were in Kosovo at
25 the time as well, and since you were very well informed by the -- about
1 the entire situation, I assume that you will remember that there were many
2 ambushes that were organised by Albanian terrorists. They shot at police
3 vehicles, they killed policemen who were moving along roads in order to
4 change shifts at checkpoints or people who were simply patrolling roads in
5 regular police vehicles. Do you recall that there was casualties, there
6 were deaths of policemen?
7 A. I said that the communication routes were in a way under the
8 control of terrorists from Kosovo and Metohija and that police checkpoints
9 were often exposed to their attacks. And also, the fact that I travelled
10 to Kosovo and Metohija was highly risky. We had to use different means of
11 transportation therefore.
12 Q. Very well. Now, since you were the person who commanded the army
13 in war and peace over four years of time, and then as Deputy Prime
14 Minister, you were there and you testified about these attacks against the
15 police, was it logical for the army to make available a few APCs to the
16 police so that they could safely communicate when they were going to
17 change shifts? They were not supposed to be sitting pigeons that would be
18 killed by Albanian terrorists and ambushed by them.
19 A. May I just correct you. There was no need for me to command the
20 army during a war. I was not its commander in chief in war. As for the
21 status of president in peacetime, that is clearly defined. But this was
22 an explanation.
23 As for whether it was necessary to give a few carriers or several,
24 I believe that it was not only necessary but it was absolutely
25 indispensable to protect the lives of these people who were exposed to
1 terrorist attacks every day. But of course, this could have been
2 regulated through all the necessary documentation. And I don't believe
3 that anybody is denying that, that it should be transferred to the police
4 in that way.
5 Q. Well, it was not a question of transferring resources; this was
6 simply in order to protect the lives of policemen who were unprotected in
7 Kosovo. And therefore, it was logical to make available to them some of
8 these technical resources that the army did not really need. The army,
9 therefore, did not remain without the technical equipment they needed; on
10 the other hand, the lives of policemen were protected. Isn't that
12 A. Well, yes, I think that the lives of these men were supposed to be
13 protected, by all means.
14 Q. Of course. And then it says "immovable property." No immovable
15 property was given to the police. It was simply requested in order to
16 economise, if I can put it that way. Some groups of special police units
17 were supposed to be staying at military barracks so that they would not
18 have to have special people who would be guarding them, having some of
19 their members stand guard. Over there, they could stay and they could get
20 their meals, et cetera, and then go on carrying out their regular
21 assignments. So that is nothing -- it's not that anything was done
22 without regard to regulations. And couldn't General Perisic take care of
23 this with the government and the Ministry without any problem? Would
24 anybody have raised the issue?
25 A. That is the duty of the Ministry of Defence, and it is quite
1 certain that everything you said is not being contested.
2 Q. So that is a misplaced, totally misplaced commentary, prompted
3 merely by an effort to stretch certain arguments to the extreme,
4 especially skipping over the lines of command for members of the army of
6 JUDGE MAY: What's the question?
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. For instance, when certain levels of command are being skipped
9 over, do you believe that if an army commander asked to be received by the
10 president of the republic to brief him on the situation in his
11 jurisdiction, that the president of the republic may not do so if that man
12 addresses the military office of the president which is also headed by a
13 colonel-general, the same rank as General Perisic? Should the president
14 of the republic ask General Perisic whether he be allowed to receive him
15 or not?
16 A. I don't know which general you're referring to, but it isn't
17 important. It's just an infringement of the singleness of command, and
18 certainly the president of the republic doesn't have to ask. But
19 respecting that principle of subordination, General Perisic should have
20 been informed. He need not have been present.
21 Q. But the fact that he is objecting that I was receiving someone
22 means that he was informed. If he hadn't been informed, he couldn't
23 object to it. Is that clear, Mr. Lilic, or not?
24 A. I can't comment on that, Mr. Milosevic. I mean, this conclusion
25 of yours is something I cannot comment on.
1 Q. Very well. I don't think that the rest of the letter deserves any
2 further comment. In fact, the letter as a whole is a waste of time,
3 considering it.
4 JUDGE MAY: That's pure comment, a matter for us to consider. If
5 you've got any questions, ask them.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do have questions.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. It's difficult to find just now, the decision on the formation of
9 the staff. I think you have it, and you know what I'm referring to. You
10 said that --
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's find it. Just, let's find it so the
12 witness has got the copy. The decision on the formation of the staff, do
13 we have it?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are two decisions, if you're
15 referring to the staff for Kosovo.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Yes, yes.
18 A. There are two decisions. I don't know which one you're referring
20 Q. Both decisions, as I wanted to clear up one particular point only.
21 You --
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We're going to find it, first of all.
23 Are these documents which the accused introduced?
24 MR. NICE: We're simply not sure, in the way it's described in the
25 moment. It's not in the binder, otherwise the accused no doubt would have
1 told us that.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. May, if I may be of assistance,
3 these are two documents, one I assume was signed by Mr. Djordjevic, police
4 general, in mid-May. And another by the Minister of the Police,
5 Mr. Stojiljkovic.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. That's right.
8 A. I think those are the two documents you're referring to.
9 Q. Yes, precisely so.
10 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if we can find them. There's certainly a
11 decision in tab 25, to establish a ministerial staff. That's dated the
12 16th of June. And there are two others that I recollect, but I don't know
13 that I can --
14 MR. NICE: Yes, but the document at tab 25... Yes, that's
15 probably one of them. And that one is signed by Stojiljkovic, yes. We
16 start off with tab 25, and we'll try and track the other one down.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Stojiljkovic.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness have the documents.
19 MR. NICE: The other one - Ms. Anoya very helpfully identified it
20 - is 319, tab 9.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I will be very brief in my questions regarding these documents.
23 On the basis of your own direct insight, you stated that there were
24 objections to the effect that the work of the security organs, public and
25 state security, were not coordinated fully in Kosovo and Metohija, which
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 22827 to 22834.
1 is always quite possible, of course. I'm not doubting such a conclusion.
2 But is it quite clear that this solution to find ministerial staff in
3 Pristina, signed by Colonel-General Vlastimir Stojiljkovic, assistant
4 minister and head of the public security service, and the solution to form
5 a staff, signed by the Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic, are documents whereby
6 this problem was intended to be overcome, the problem of the lack of
7 sufficient coordination. Is that right, Mr. Lilic?
8 A. I would agree with that with respect to the document signed by
9 Minister Vlajko Stojiljkovic. As for the previous one, as far as I know,
10 at least, at direct briefings on the ground, it related only, I think, to
11 the public security service. When I said that the coordination was not
12 sufficient, it is not an assumption of mine. It was the conclusion
13 reached at that information meeting in Djakovica where state security
14 organs, or to be more precise Mr. Jovica Stanisic as head of that service,
15 reported on the need to form such a unified staff with a unity of command
16 because on the previous day, because of lack of synchronisation, during a
17 clash with the terrorists, several people from the state security, if I
18 recollect well, were killed. So this is the result of the information
19 that I received and that I had with you, and the meetings with Milan
20 Milutinovic. I think this staff was intended to overcome this lack of
21 coordination. And I see by the list of names in the decision signed by
22 Minister Stojiljkovic, that this was a mixed body of members from the
23 state and public security headed by Major-General Sreten Lukic.
24 Q. So a unified staff was formed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs,
25 consisting of people from both the Public and the State Security Services,
1 and even including heads of internal affairs secretariats in the territory
2 of Kosovo and Metohija. So this was a unification of the activities of
3 the police through this staff that was formed by his decision by the
4 Minister of the Interior.
5 A. Yes, that is true. I see that the commanders of special units
6 were there; one that was within the State Security Service and another one
7 that was within the public security department. So everything that
8 existed on the ground from both departments were unified.
9 Q. Was this a move made in accordance with the suggestions and
10 assessments that you yourself had made?
11 A. Yes. This staff was formed after that.
12 Q. And what was the date?
13 A. The 16th of June, and the meeting with Milutinovic was held on the
14 13th of June. As far as I know after that big meeting in terms of the
15 number of participants, another smaller meeting was held, and I think that
16 was when the composition of this staff was decided on.
17 Q. Can we then conclude that after that visit for which I gave my
18 approval and expressed the necessity to make it, after hearing the
19 information and comments and the meetings that you had on the 13th, as
20 early as the 16th, this staff was formed and problems overcome that were
21 highlighted at the time. Is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You said that you informed about all this at a meeting of the
24 staff coordinated by Milutinovic. Wasn't that his job, being the
25 president of Serbia and Kosovo being a part of Serbia?
1 A. I would be even more specific than you. I think that that should
2 have been his most important task at that point in time.
3 Q. In any event, that is what was done, and there were no
4 disagreements with respect to your assessments and the solution that was
5 subsequently adopted. You said that efforts were made to revive economic
6 activities, and that this task was assigned to Dusko Matkovic who was
7 general manager of Sartid, the Smederevo ironworks which had some units
8 even outside Smederevo. Do you know that certain efforts were invested
9 that resulted in the revival of economic activities in some companies in
10 Kosovo and Metohija?
11 A. Yes, I was convinced that we would not solve the problem in Kosovo
12 and Metohija, but we could at least activate some potentials which would
13 demonstrate Serbia's interest in the overall development of that part of
14 the country as well. And I think that Dusko Matkovic was a perfectly
15 qualified person for doing that. I think it's a good thing that the
16 initiative was taken. Unfortunately, the results were not such to
17 contribute to full stabilisation of the area.
18 Q. In addition to what you mentioned on page 9 of your statement,
19 when you say that Milutinovic headed this working group dealing with the
20 crisis in Kosovo, and you say that that should have been his main task,
21 which obviously it was at that time, you explain that senior
22 representatives of Albanian and Serb communities should have cooperated.
23 But that your proposals did not meet with understanding as far as I gather
24 from your statement. Perhaps this is some kind of misunderstanding
25 because I assume you know full well how many times a delegation of the
1 government of Serbia went for meetings in Kosovo to meet with a delegation
2 of the Kosovo Albanians. Do you know that?
3 A. There is no dispute regarding the activities of the government of
4 Serbia and the delegations led by Mr. Ratko Markovic, I believe, who was
5 vice-premier at the time. And the quotation that you refer to relates to
6 direct contacts with Albanians who were not in the top leadership or
7 high-level representatives of Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija. It
8 relates to the actual inhabitants of the crisis areas, and I think that
9 you remember that there were some such meetings in the area of Batusa,
10 Junicko Polje. And even General Samardzic had concrete discussions with
11 several families who accepted the protection of the army of Yugoslavia.
12 Unfortunately, this was not developed any further, and I don't know what
13 happened afterwards. I was not involved in those activities in Kosovo and
15 I think a dozen of them came to the barracks in Djakovica asking
16 for the protection of the army of Yugoslavia. They were given that
17 protection and were taken by military buses back to their homes. After
18 that, I lost all touch, so I don't know why this method of communicating
19 with the population was interrupted because I'm convinced that dialogues
20 with prominent Albanians and Serbs were just as necessary as those at the
21 level of the top leadership of the Republic of Serbia and the Kosovo
23 Q. I quoted to you yesterday what I said at a meeting of the main
24 board of the party when I insisted on this dialogue. Emphasising that it
25 was not reserved only for government representatives and leaders of
1 Albanian political parties but that it should be conducted at all levels
2 from the level of villages, local communes, towns, formal and informal
3 occasions, and every other occasions so as to reduce tensions and to
4 achieve understanding. Isn't that so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In this connection, that is, the coming of Albanians seeking
7 protection, is it clear that they were seeking protection in order to be
8 safe from Albanian terrorists and other groups? Is that right?
9 A. Yes, that is so, but as far as my competence is allowed, I did
10 make an appeal to General Samardzic as well that they should equally
11 protect them from Albanian extremists, but also from Serb extremists.
12 Q. That was, in fact, their assignment.
13 Yesterday, we discussed this, and the position of the leadership
14 was that all citizens had to be protected, and that every perpetrator of
15 any crime had to be arrested and handed over to the judiciary. Is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I wish to save time. You mentioned some training centres, and a
19 decision was produced here. Is it true that the state leadership, our
20 state leadership, was opposed to any training centres being organised,
21 especially not for people who were not citizens of the Federal Republic of
23 A. I assume you're moving from Kosovo and Metohija now to the
24 situation in Bosnia, if I'm not mistaken. If you're referring to the
25 centre from 1995 that I refer to.
1 Q. I'm just asking you whether that is correct. I didn't wish to
2 leave out that question.
3 A. As a general position taken by the leadership, yes.
4 Q. I'm not quite clear on one point, an explanation you gave, in
5 fact. And it's on page 16 of the shorter statement that you gave, that
6 during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina, that two different
7 Territorial Defences existed, one legal one, pursuant to the constitution,
8 the other one set up and composed of volunteers. Whose Territorial
9 Defence do you mean?
10 A. Well, perhaps this wasn't quite the right translation of it
11 because the first statement was not authorised. I assume that I did
12 authorise the second one. But when we speak of the principle of
13 Territorial Defence, then it was pursuant to the constitution of the state
14 at the time, the legitimate armed force which, under given conditions,
15 acted together with the JNA. And these sorts of Territorial Defences were
16 republican, and they later formed the armies of the former Yugoslav
17 republics. And to use the term that is used here, unlawful or illegal,
18 this refers to volunteer units who were based on the principle of homeland
19 units, and the area in which its members lived. If that's what you mean,
20 the volunteer units made up of men from different parts of the regions,
21 the home guard sort of system, so not the complex organisation that these
22 generally imply.
23 Q. All right, fine. Now, as we're talking about these units, is it
24 common knowledge that, for the most part, the volunteer units of some
25 paramilitary formations were set up by some political parties, in fact?
1 That's right, isn't it?
2 A. I think that I mentioned that in the course of my testimony during
3 these two days.
4 Q. The Socialist Party of Serbia, did it ever set up any paramilitary
5 formation at all?
6 A. No, absolutely not. That went against the grain of our programme
8 Q. Let's go back to Kosovo for a moment. Do you know that all the
9 officers had detailed knowledge of international law?
10 A. Of international war law.
11 Q. Yes, that's what I meant.
12 A. That was the duty of all officers, not only in Kosovo and Metohija
13 but in any other unit too, in any other part of the FRY.
14 Q. And there was even an order issued during the aggression in Kosovo
15 in 1999 according to which all the soldiers had copies of the Geneva
16 Conventions on them.
17 A. Yes, and as far as I know, they did have copies of the Geneva
18 Conventions, yes.
19 Q. In view of the fact that an army acts according to orders, and the
20 police are given -- also issued orders to catch criminals, if somebody
21 heard of a crime being committed, were they duty-bound to apprehend the
22 perpetrators and file a criminal report with the court authorities?
23 A. Yes, that was their professional duty, and their duties as human
24 beings. And I don't think anybody abused those.
25 THE INTERPRETER: On condition that they did not abuse those
1 authorisations, correction.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now, to go back to your letter, I'm not going to dwell on it for
4 any length of time.
5 A. Which letter are you referring to?
6 Q. The letter to me concerning the talks. You said they met Kohl and
7 so on. And then we come to the letter.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have a copy, if he doesn't already.
9 Remind us of the tab number. We have had it.
10 MR. NICE: 27 and 28, I think.
11 JUDGE MAY: These are the 5th of May and the 17th of May, 1999.
12 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, what is the question?
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Well, looking through this letter, and I should like to focus on
15 page 2.
16 JUDGE MAY: Which one is this?
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. It is a quotation which reads as follows: "The law --"
19 JUDGE MAY: Which letter?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is the letter of the 5th of May,
21 addressed to me by Mr. Lilic.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Tab 27, yes, we have it.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. Actually, on page 1, you say that the essence of the talks and the
25 possible initiative on our part consists in the following: "All
1 activities must be directed towards the United Nations," et cetera. The
2 principles on which a decision in our favour may be reached, the return of
3 refugees, guarantees from the FRY, the OSCE, and the UN, and so on and so
5 Now, you say on page 2, in the middle of the page 2, that is why
6 after detailed talks with Dr. Helmut Kohl, the former chancellor of the
7 Federal Republic of Germany, and talks with Dr. R. Vranitsky, the former
8 chancellor of Austria, the most rational solution is as follows... That's
9 right, isn't it? That's what you say?
10 A. Yes. And it was Dr. F. Vranitsky, that was his initial.
11 Q. Accept a UN mission. That comes under -- well, it's not under a
12 number of any kind but it comes first, that's the first point. And then
13 it says as well as the presence of Russia, proposed the presence of one
14 more permanent member, England or France from Europe, which will, as you
15 say, attract the approval of the USA because this is a guarantee from my
16 interlocutors and with China create the conditions for the adoption of
17 such a resolution. And then you go on to state: My personal opinion is
18 that it is necessary to propose Italy, Greece, Poland, Slovakia,
19 Belorussia, the Ukraine, and especially Austria as a neutral country, and
20 of course, the presence of countries that are friendly towards us, and you
21 mention Libya as a case in point. And then you go on to say what the FRY
22 would obtain from all this, would gain from it all, in fact.
23 Everything that you put forward in this letter of yours which
24 emerges from the discussions you had with Kohl refers exclusively to this
25 brief quotation in the middle of page 2, that is to say, to accept a UN
1 mission, and as well as the presence of Russia, to propose two other
2 permanent members of the UN Security Council to create the necessary
3 conditions. And then you present your own personal views about that and
4 say what would be gained by behaving in that way. So the entire proposal
5 is -- consists, in fact, of this basic point: The acceptance of a UN
6 mission and who was supposed to be in it. Is that right, Mr. Lilic?
7 A. That is not correct, Mr. Milosevic.
8 Q. Well, all right, then. Explain to me what else this says because
9 the latter part of your letter goes on to explain what we would gain, and
10 you say accept a UN mission and who should be present. So what else is
11 there, in your view, which was Kohl's proposal, the gist of Kohl's
13 A. That so on condition had the two of us not had a conversation two
14 days prior to that where I told you in great detail, and if you want me
15 to, I'll repeat what was said.
16 Q. We don't need to hear that again, we have the letter before us,
17 and the letter states to accept a UN mission, accepting a UN mission.
18 That is what it says in your letter. Now, I'm asking you this --
19 A. May I continue my answer, if I may. I'll try and explain to you
20 what I mean, if you will allow me to do so. The first and most important
21 principle was why the talks were held at all. The talks were held because
22 the NATO bombing lasted much longer than Belgrade thought it would go on
23 for. And it was my idea to try and make use of something that was
24 possible at the time. And so several meetings were held, and this is just
25 one segment from a meeting dated the 3rd of May from Bonn, and I don't
1 want to elaborate upon that meeting because you know the details of that
2 meeting very well. But all we had to do was to respond and it was to stop
3 the bombing, stop the air strikes, and what would happen after the air
4 strikes had stopped. So you extracted this from the contents of the first
5 page. And then it goes on to state what would happen after the bombing,
6 after the air strikes, the activities ranging from a political agreement
7 with the Albanians, the conference in Vienna, the withdrawal of the JNA
8 and special MUP units at the level before the NATO pact aggression. And
9 I'm sure you'll remember the meeting at the end of October at your office
10 with Mr. Solana and Mr. Holbrooke present, and I received information as
11 to what was proposed. If you would like me to do so, I will be happy to
12 repeat it but I don't think there's any need for me to do that.
13 And then there were talks to revive the microstructure after the
14 NATO aggression, the FRY's integration into the international and European
15 courses, and specific international institutions. And then afterwards, if
16 we act upon these modalities and solutions, it says what I think we would
17 gain. So the last four points are what I think would be gained. And I
18 think today, from this distance of time, I am far more convinced of this,
19 in fact, that we should have attempted to do so. Of course, you could
20 have had different information yourself, information and intelligence I
21 didn't know about. But we should have acted along those lines because it
22 was in everybody's interest to have the NATO bombing stopped. Of course,
23 we had the greatest interest in doing so with all the casualties and
24 destruction this caused, but I don't have to tell you of other people's
25 interest of those who were included in this project. I don't want to
1 mention their names, but if we want to open that chapter of the book, we
2 can do so. I think that this was a very good opportunity to attempt to
3 stop the bombings. And in Mr. Kohl's conviction, this was very possible.
4 And several days afterwards, the G7 plus one, or G8, meeting was
5 held in Berlin where it was possible to hold negotiations of this type,
6 and if I can say in invert the commas, as a service to our side, all that
7 was required was that you should accept this because you were the person
8 that made the decisions as president of the Federal Republic of
9 Yugoslavia. And it was up to you to state publicly that you accept this
10 or give an initiative for this plan to go forward. And I considered at
11 that time and still consider this today that it wouldn't have cost you
12 anything to discuss it.
13 Q. Well, of course it didn't cost anything to discuss these issues,
14 but we didn't need so many words, and we don't need so many words because
15 this proposal was -- in fact, boiled down to this: To accept the UN
16 mission. That is the crux and substance of the proposal. Is that right?
17 A. The substance of the proposal was a condition for everything that
18 I go on to enumerate. And the condition -- there were two things; first
19 of all, to accept a UN mission, and secondly, in view of the generally
20 accepted position, your position first and foremost that was generally
21 accepted in our country, that we could not accept NATO pact troops at any
22 cost. And the second point was a modality, ways and means to resolve and
23 implement this decision, and it is stated that this was a component part
24 for the condition of everything that was to follow.
25 So we had to have a majority in the permanent UN -- of the
1 permanent UN Security Council members. And I don't want to mention names
2 but we would not accept the USA at the time, Great Britain either, but
3 France was possible and logical. So that is the third member, along with
4 China and Russia, although you did have promises from Russia that it would
5 voice its veto, although I don't think they ever fulfilled that promise.
6 Q. Please, not to waste more time, because my time is very limited.
7 Do you happen to remember telling me that I should write with my own hand,
8 in my own hand and state that this kind of solution should be accepted,
9 that is to say, acceptance of a UN mission for our part. Is that right,
10 that is what Kohl asked of you?
11 A. I said that you ought to make a public offer via the information
12 media to that effect, and you wrote to me, and I still have that piece of
13 paper. I hold it very dear for everything else that happened in the
14 negative sense, of course, that's what I mean. And it says there that you
15 should reply with useful unclarity, a lack of clarity, and I knew what
16 that meant, ambiguous.
17 Q. Yes, I do have a concrete question, because the letter was made
18 public. Everybody can read it. And the proposal was to accept the UN
19 mission. And in my own hand, I did write this piece of paper, I haven't
20 got it, you've got it. You took it. But I do have a copy from this book.
21 It is called "Water and Flood" -- "Water and Fire." And the book
22 publishes this text of the piece of paper that I wrote. Can we place that
23 on the ELMO, from the "Fire and Flood" book, there is something written in
24 my hand there and your hand. And everyone can read it if it is put on the
25 overhead projector. Put it on the ELMO, and then I think that you'll
1 agree that what I wrote there is what I indeed did write. I haven't got
2 an extra copy, but I can read my own handwriting. And I see that you have
3 framed it, framed this portion. What I wrote was: "The UN mission. We
4 will accept the UN mission and we are ready and prepared to discuss all
5 aspects of the mission and negotiate about it (The term of office,
6 structure, duration, and et cetera, and all other questions)." So this
7 was in response to your own letter.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May this be placed on the overhead
9 projector, please.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. You can see this written out in my own handwriting. There is no
12 handy ambiguity in any of that. It states clearly that we shall accept
13 the UN mission and are ready to negotiate as to the details. And one and
14 all can read this.
15 JUDGE MAY: Before you answer the question, could you first of all
16 identify the document and state whether it is an authentic document or
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And in the lower corner, there's a
21 comment by me.
22 JUDGE MAY: Which was, since it's not in English?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Does not accept a proposal for a
24 possible plan and puts forward an idea," and in inverted commas, "useful
25 ambiguity." I can send you this piece of paper. I don't think it's
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. It is completely irrelevant.
4 THE ACCUSED [Interpretation] Let's see my handwriting put on the
5 ELMO, please. So that people can see my handwriting, what I wrote up at
6 the top.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I said that that is quite
8 correct. There is nothing that is disputed there.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Lilic, I'm not saying this for your benefit, but I'd like to
11 it to be placed on the ELMO, on the overhead projector so that others can
12 see what I wrote in my own handwriting.
13 JUDGE MAY: Doesn't matter. We're not wasting time with your
14 displaying documents. The Court has seen the document. It's not for
15 anybody else.
16 What is it you want the witness to deal with? He has agreed that
17 it's authentic. I'll also note that it has been exhibited already as part
18 of Exhibit 152. And it pertains to the book and the appendices from it.
19 What do you want the witness to answer about this?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted it to be placed on the
21 overhead projector for us, Mr. May, to be able to comment on it together
22 so we have this all of us together on the overhead projector. And I don't
23 see why that is not possible for us to comment.
24 JUDGE MAY: We've got it now. Now, what is the question you want
25 to ask about it?
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. Well, does it state loud and clear there in my own handwriting,
3 and I'm reading here from the screen: "We are going to accept the UN
4 mission and we are ready to discuss all aspects of the mission (mandate,
5 structure, duration and other issues)." So that's what it says there in
6 my own handwriting. So tell me, please, what ambiguity is there, or what
7 lack of clarity is there there? Because in your letter it says, "accept a
8 UN mission," and my response says, "we are going to accept the UN
9 mission." We are now ready to discuss all the details, mandate,
10 structure, duration, and other issues.
11 A. May I answer that?
12 Q. Of course, please go ahead. That's why I'm asking you.
13 A. In my letter, it says "accept UN mission" without any
14 reservations, that's number one. And number two is accept one of the NATO
15 members, one of the permanent members of the Security Council of the UN.
16 And this is what you gave me as a possible answer to Mr. Kohl. And I said
17 that this kind of answer will not be accepted. And the -- it was
18 explicitly said that you should make a statement through the media that
19 these two positions are being accepted. And then everything would have
20 happened as it should have happened. Of course, there were journalists of
21 some international TV stations that were engaged. I don't know, until the
22 present day. And if ever I manage to find out, I will appreciate it, why
23 were they expelled from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
24 Q. I don't know either.
25 A. But they worked in our interest as a matter of fact. And then I
1 asked you, at the personal request of Mr. Kohl, to have the journalist of
2 one of the German agencies released. He was arrested and he was in our
3 prison. And you accepted that, but this was done regrettably ten or 15
4 days later, after Zivadin Jovanovic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
5 Germany met. So this was portrayed in a completely different way. This
6 letter is preceded by some other things as well. My letter is yet another
7 attempt for you to look at things that we discussed, not through letters
8 but in a personal meeting and for a long time. And again, I'm referring
9 to my meeting with Mr. Vranitsky before that. And then a meeting with the
10 leader of the Libyan Jamahiriya, Mr. Ghadhafi. It was devoted to the same
11 topic. And as a matter of fact, if I can put it mildly, we were very
12 unfair towards him who asked to talk to Mr. Rugova, but he was told that
13 he would have to be in Pristina so he could go to Italy the same day.
14 Perhaps this didn't have anything to do with you but some people did not
15 have the right feeling for what we needed at that point in time. And I
16 don't think anything was more important or urgent at that point than the
17 cessation of bombing.
18 Q. Probably there's not a single citizen of the Federal Republic of
19 Yugoslavia who wouldn't share that opinion that nothing was more urgent
20 than that.
21 JUDGE MAY: Let the usher come back, instead of having to stand
22 there. Yes.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right.
25 A. Mr. Milosevic, if I can clarify this further, if you wish to, I
2 Q. Yes?
3 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute, for the Court you can clarify it. It's
4 not just a matter of answering him. It's to the Court you're giving
5 evidence. Mr. Lilic, you clarify it, clarify the position so we can
6 understand it.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not a simple letter at all
8 and presented in such simple terms, it may look as a matter of
9 circumstances, something that will be used against President Milosevic
10 then specifically. That was not my ambition. This was simply a wish to
11 make an effort to start talks with Mr. Kohl. And that this is correct is
12 proved by the meeting. After that, I could not see you. I could not
13 reach you by telephone. I could not get in touch with you at all for
14 days, for about 13 days, I believe. I can't even remember exactly any
15 more. On the 17th of May, a meeting was held and it was only dedicated to
16 this letter. It was at the Presidency of Serbia, and it was chaired by
17 the then president of Serbia, Mr. Milutinovic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Mr. Lilic, you explained that during the examination-in-chief.
20 Why are we using time now for you to explain it yet again. If you have
21 something to add --
22 JUDGE MAY: Don't you criticise him for wasting time. Most of
23 it's taken up with you. Let's move on to something else.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. Page 23 of your shorter statement, you say yourself "after meeting
1 with Helmut Kohl in May 1999, conveyed his proposal," and you say that my
2 reaction was a positive one. Is that right?
3 A. Yes, that was your first impression, that's the point.
4 Q. And I wrote that we accept UN presence. And what was given as a
5 thought as to who would take part in this, well, isn't that a question
6 that should be negotiated? The status, structure, and so on, the mandate,
7 and everything else. Isn't that customary? So the proposal for the UN
8 presence to be accepted was approved, and the structure, the mandate, and
9 everything else are questions that have to be negotiated. Isn't that
10 something that is a plain fact?
11 A. That is not being contested, but the strategic point of that talk
12 was not accepted, and I could not accept it because you didn't want to
13 authorise me to discuss that subject, although I had asked for that. The
14 strategic point of accepting some of the NATO members who are UN Security
15 Council permanent members, they should be accepted, too. Those who did
16 not take part in the campaign or aggression against Yugoslavia.
17 Q. That means that that is part of my answer, too, that we are
18 prepared to discuss the structure. So it implies that the approach to the
19 entire proposal is a positive one, but that we are prepared to discuss the
21 A. I beg your pardon, but I do have to respond to this statement you
22 just made. We did not have the right to negotiate the structure, and this
23 right was not exercised later on when this was accepted by way of
24 ultimatum, that this kind of plan would be carried through.
25 Q. We are going to return to this ultimatum plan of Ahtisaari and
1 Chernomyrdin as you had put it, but the explanation that you gave and that
2 is in this book, as well, which was made on the basis of your statements,
3 Kohl explained that he could exercise influence over Yeltsin because he
4 had given his regime hundreds of -- thousands of billions of deutschmark.
5 Do you know that Russia was the only member of the Security Council that
6 quite openly made efforts to help stop the bombing, that Yevgeny Primakov
7 came to Belgrade, and then after that, Chernomyrdin came, so both Primakov
8 and Chernomyrdin, depending on the role that was entrusted to them by then
9 President Yeltsin, and that Russia quite simply was the only member of the
10 Security Council that publicly and openly made efforts to have the bombing
11 stopped and to find some kind of a compromise solution.
12 A. With all due respect to Mr. Primakov and Mr. Chernomyrdin, their
13 help was really more than marginal, according to what I know. And you
14 probably know that even better. Mr. Chernomyrdin directly took part in
15 the preparation of the Ahtisaari plan, and later on, this is my
16 conviction, it was signed after 37 days of incessant bombing from this
17 point in time. Of course, I didn't have to be aware of all the
18 negotiations that were going on, that's true.
19 Q. Well, there were things that were going on and this was, at any
20 rate, in our interest. But now that we are talking about Ahtisaari and
21 Chernomyrdin, isn't this plan actually contained in Resolution 1244 of the
22 Security Council of the UN?
23 A. It is contained in Resolution 1244. I'm not talking about its
24 legitimacy, of course. It was signed, and the Kumanovo agreement was
25 signed on military matters, and it is very reminiscent of the Rambouillet
1 plan. And it caused great, great harm to the Federal Republic of
2 Yugoslavia. Of course, this is just my opinion, Mr. Milosevic.
3 Q. Mr. Lilic, we all wanted the war to end. We all cared about that.
4 Do you remember well what is written in the Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin plan
5 and in Resolution 1244? What is written there is that the sovereignty and
6 territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are
7 guaranteed. Is that right?
8 A. That's what's written.
9 JUDGE MAY: I have to interrupt. An assertion there that in the
10 light of the witness's earlier evidence I would like him to clarify. It's
11 put to you "we all wanted the war to end." Was that the true situation at
12 the time or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe, Mr. May, that everybody
14 in Yugoslavia could hardly wait for the war to end. But it is my
15 conviction that it could have ended earlier than it actually did. So that
16 is the only difference.
17 JUDGE MAY: You referred earlier to people who wanted to break
18 NATO or used some expression such as that. At what time were those sort
19 of sentiments being expressed? At this time?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I spoke about such feelings among
21 some of the activists of the Yugoslav Left who said that NATO's backbone
22 would break in the case of Yugoslavia. Perhaps somebody really did think
23 along these lines, that a new world would be established, a different
24 kind. I don't think these were very reasonable ideas but that was talked
25 about in Belgrade.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
2 Q. Do you think there was a single citizen of Yugoslavia who did not
3 want the war to end as soon as possible?
4 A. I just said Mr. Milosevic that I am convinced that everybody
5 wanted it to end as soon as possible.
6 Q. And now, when this unofficial communication of yours was
7 favourably received, and it was said and written in my hand "we accept
8 this" --
9 A. May I just interrupt you for a second. I beg your pardon.
10 Q. Go ahead. Interrupt me.
11 A. The last question was gone on for a long time, and then I lose
12 sight of some of the things that you have been saying. So this was not an
13 unofficial communication. It was very official, with your blessing, with
14 your approval. And going out of the country several times, under bombs,
15 during the bombing, cannot be unofficial. This was done with the
16 knowledge of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and he refused to allow the
17 ambassador to be present with me because he said there was no need, and
18 afterwards he said that he did not remember that. So it could not be an
19 unofficial meeting with Mr. Kohl or with any other officials with whom I
20 had intensive talks over those several weeks. And you know that talks to
21 foreign dignitaries at very high level started even before the bombing.
22 Q. Mr. Lilic, I did not want to diminish the fact that you left with
23 my approval, that you went with my approval, and with my knowledge. And
24 from that point of view, certainly, in an official capacity. But when I
25 say "unofficial," I mean that Kohl at that time was no longer in an
1 official office. He was an influential person, but he was not the
2 chancellor of Germany, who we were negotiating with. However, a former
3 chancellor of Germany who could exercise his personal influence, but not
4 the office of chancellor, which he no longer held. So in that sense, I
5 said unofficial.
6 And now, whether during the official office held by Mr. Kohl,
7 Germany actively took part in the breakup of Yugoslavia, that's a question
8 that I'm putting now.
9 A. That is not being challenged, their influence. May I finish.
10 Q. Please go ahead.
11 A. This is not being contested, the frequent visits of Mr. Genscher
12 and their influence over what happened in Slovenia and in Croatia if you
13 wish. But I thought personally that this was -- this was even more of a
14 reason for Mr. Kohl to be the right kind of interlocutor, primarily
15 bearing in mind the facts that you just referred to. At that time,
16 Germany was divided. There are a lot of protests, and that I think
17 Mr. Fischer's government was already -- Mr. Genscher's government was
18 already facing a great deal of problems, and also Mr. Fischer who was
19 heading the Green Party at the time. And it is precisely for all these
20 reasons that he was a good person to talk to at the time.
21 Q. He was a good person to talk at the time no doubt, and there was
22 this wish to talk to everyone, especially those who could be good
23 interlocutors and that was an expression of our efforts to avail ourselves
24 of every opportunity to stop the war.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But in view of his unofficial position, do you think that the
2 unofficial position of Helmut Kohl could carry more weight? He did not
3 really show much friendship towards Serbia, especially not at the time of
4 the breakup of Yugoslavia, or in terms of the official initiative and
5 efforts made by Russia and their official representatives to help stop
6 the bombing?
7 A. You should be aware of what I'm going to say by way of an answer.
8 I think that the overall reputation enjoyed by Mr. Kohl, and I'm talking
9 about that time and his preparations for a comeback on the political scene
10 of Germany and also his campaign for the European parliament gave him such
11 great importance that I'm quite certain from this distance that we had a
12 good chance.
13 Q. Well, it's precisely this chance that we wanted to use, and that
14 is why we favourably responded to his proposal.
15 A. We did not favourably respond.
16 Q. Well, we just showed my very own handwriting a few minutes ago,
17 and I say that we accept the presence of the UN.
18 On page 23, in the shorter statement, you say that I did not
19 refuse you a single time, that I supported you all the time, that I said
20 that he should be given a decent answer, that a favourable answer should
21 be given and so on. And of course, to spell this out very specifically,
22 the mandate of the mission, the structure of the mission, and so on. Is
23 that right, is that what you wrote?
24 A. That was the way things went during the first day we met,
25 Mr. Milosevic. The second day, we did not send an answer.
1 Q. I did not say that an answer should not be sent. I meant that
2 this answer, because you insisted upon my own handwriting, and you
3 insisted that I write this in my own hand, and you said that this would be
4 sent to Kohl.
5 A. You don't really think that I wanted to fax this handwriting to
6 Mr. Kohl. I believe that this dialogue of ours is pointless.
7 Q. I think it's pointless, too.
8 A. I said, and I claim that you should have spoken out in favour of
9 accepting these two minor conditions, as you put it, so that we would get
10 to the big issue on page 3. And after that, Mr. Kohl travelled to the
11 United States, but I think it would really be impolite of me to speak here
12 about all the things that were discussed with Mr. Kohl then because he's
13 not being discussed here now. Quite simply an attempt was being made to
14 stop the bombing already in the beginning of May 1999. Why? I never got
15 that answer. But I did get quite an answer as concerns myself personally,
16 and all the things that happened to me, but I don't wish to speak about
18 Q. Nothing happened to you from my side --
19 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt now so the witness can clarify.
20 We've seen this document in the accused's handwriting. What happened
21 then, after that document was written?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That document was written as soon as
23 I got back, so I think this was on the 4th, and my comment was written on
24 the 5th. President Milosevic was supposed to appear in public before our
25 media and say that he accepts a UN mission and that he agrees that among
1 them, there should be some of the members of NATO, and this was defined in
2 the second line here where it says that "one of the three permanent
3 members of the Security Council should be accepted, either the USA or
4 Great Britain or France."
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Mr. Lilic.
7 A. Since I did not get this kind of response from Mr. Milosevic, I
8 did not send an answer to Mr. Kohl, that the facts I'm presenting are
9 correct is testified to by our activity after the end of the bottoming
10 when you asked to have contacts and communication with these people
11 re-established, that I should do that. And then it was far more
13 JUDGE MAY: It's 12.15, time to adjourn. We can continue with
14 this afterwards. 20 minutes.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Lilic, you had a talk about this letter of yours with the most
20 responsible leaders of Yugoslavia. Is that right? Of Yugoslavia and
22 A. Yes, on the 17th of May in the Presidency of Serbia.
23 Q. I see. The Presidency of Serbia. Who were the people who were
24 present on that occasion? By name and position they held.
25 A. The chairman, who was to chair the meeting, was Mr. Milan
1 Milutinovic, who was at the time president of the Republic of Serbia.
2 Then there was Gorica Gajevic, on his left, if I remember well, who was
3 the Secretary-General of the Socialist Party of Serbia; Miomir Minic, a
4 senior SPS official, and I think he was at the time president of the
5 Chamber of Citizens in the Assembly; Zivadin Jovanovic, the official
6 Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mirko Marjanovic, who was at the time
7 president of the Assembly of Republic of Serbia -- no, sorry, president of
8 the government, Prime Minister. And Dragan Tomic, president of the
9 National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.
10 Q. So the president of the Republic of Serbia, the Prime Minister of
11 the Republic of Serbia, the president of the Assembly of the Republic of
12 Serbia, the president of the Federal Assembly, or rather, of the Chamber
13 of Citizens of the Federal Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
14 Yugoslavia, and the Secretary-General of the party.
15 Do you consider, in view of the significance for the country, for
16 the people, for all of us, when such a cardinal question was being
17 discussed at the height of the war, that is, the possibility of an
18 initiative to accept the presence of the United Nations, which I had
19 already accepted and given you a note to that effect, that such a subject
20 needed to be reviewed and examined by the most responsible representatives
21 of the authorities who were, furthermore, in the top leadership of the
22 Socialist Party of Serbia, as you were as well at the time?
23 A. Mr. Milosevic, will you please not repeat saying that you had
24 agreed to what I suggested after the preliminary talk with Mr. Kohl. And
25 here's another reason in support of that: In a letter of the 30th, which
1 is not contained in this binder, addressed to you personally when I
2 present to you a plan indicating certain names that I do not wish to
3 mention now, and at the bottom of the letter, it says, it is implied that
4 you should take a decision to appoint me as a special envoy to establish
5 the principles with representatives of the international community for the
6 establishment of peace in the territory of the Federal Republic of
7 Yugoslavia, a special envoy as a former president. Among the first
8 questions that Mr. Kohl asked me was whether I had the authority to agree
9 on anything, so it wasn't sufficient for you just to put on a piece of
10 paper that you agreed to a discussion regarding the mandate of the UN
12 What -- as I explained a moment ago, as regards the meeting of the
13 17th of May, it was everything but certainly not a meeting discussing the
14 contents of the letter as it was my personal letter addressed to you. And
15 it was addressed out of the best of intentions, and not for any other
16 reasons, as some of your associates may have thought. And if you wish, I
17 can repeat what they said. This meeting, to my astonishment, revealed
18 that all of them had a copy of the letter I had sent to you -- I apologise
19 to the interpreters -- and it was used -- simply I must use a rather nasty
20 word, a meeting at which I was exposed to terrible criticism. I think
21 that was not the time and place, at the height of the bombing campaign, to
22 discuss my intentions behind my writing that letter to you and any
23 responsibility that I may have for that. I don't wish to reveal the
24 extent to which they were not informed about the matters they discussed.
25 So the meeting on the 17th had nothing to do with consultations
1 about such a serious issue as the one we discussed. And I must add that
2 Mr. Milutinovic was informed about all those talks before the meeting, as
3 was Mr. Zivadin Jovanovic, who forgot about that at this meeting, because
4 he forgot that I went to see him the day before I left on my trip, in
5 agreement with you, and asked for Mr. Jeremic to accompany me, because he
6 had been an ambassador to Germany and he spoke German, which I do not.
7 And I also asked to be briefed as far as possible and provided with
8 information about talks that you and Mr. Chernomyrdin had had.
9 Mr. Jovanovic forgot about that, and his greatest criticism of me was for
10 interfering in his affairs. So this was not a consultation, it was simply
11 a party tribunal at a time and place that was inappropriate.
12 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I notice the witness is referring to a
13 letter that doesn't appear to be amongst our binders. It would be
14 appropriate if the accused was given a copy of that letter for him to
16 JUDGE MAY: I don't know what paper -- I don't know what papers
17 the witness has. They may be private papers. He could either be told to
18 put them away, if that's what concerns you, or if he has no objection,
19 they could be produced.
20 MR. KAY: Perhaps it would be appropriate for him to be asked
22 MR. NICE: As for this letter, I think we actually probably have a
23 copy somewhere, and we can get it copied if the witness wants us to.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we have the date of it, do we? Mr. Lilic, you've
25 heard what I said. Is there any objection, any personal objection, to
1 that letter being produced?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a letter written just before
3 all of these events, and it consists of a little plan that I presented
4 Mr. Milosevic with. It contains names of people that I didn't wish to be
5 made public. But of course, I have no objection for this letter to be
6 shown. I hope that Mr. Milosevic has it. It's not one letter, it's three
7 letters, including one that came from the Libyan embassy in Belgrade. But
8 I really do not think that it is of relevance for all the things we're
9 talking about, except if Mr. Milosevic insists on having it, I'll be glad
10 to provide him with it.
11 JUDGE MAY: It's not a question for you, it's a question for the
12 Court whether it's relevant or not. Perhaps the Prosecution can look for
13 it. Since the witness is going to have to come back at some stage to give
14 his evidence, no doubt this can be part of documents which are disclosed.
15 Rather than waste time further on it now, let us move on.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. May, just a second, if I may. I
17 have that letter here with me. I can provide it immediately to be copied,
18 so there's no problem.
19 JUDGE MAY: It may be the Prosecution have the originals, and also
20 translations, so they could be shown it. Otherwise, it can be copied.
21 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to see this, because I
23 don't have any other documentation except for that that I have been
24 provided with. I don't know what the witness has in mind.
25 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't now just off the cuff --
2 JUDGE MAY: Let me have it.
3 Mr. Lilic, we have the document here. You've heard the accused
4 ask for it. I gather you've no objection to his having a look at it. Are
5 you concerned that he doesn't mention the names which are in here, or is
6 he free to ask you any questions about it, as far as you're concerned?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would ask you kindly that he not
8 mention those names. Mr. Milosevic knows these people, and I think there
9 is no need for him to refer to them specifically, unless you want us to go
10 into closed session, and then we can go into far greater detail if Mr.
11 Milosevic finds it necessary.
12 JUDGE MAY: Now, you can have these, have a look at these letters.
13 You can ask questions about them, but if you want to go into any of the
14 names that are there, you must go into private session.
15 Are the Prosecution having a look for them?
16 MR. NICE: We have an English version. We are getting it at the
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, I am not going to put any
19 questions related to the names of these persons. For the most part, this
20 has to do with something that I wish to ask Mr. Lilic about. On the
21 whole, this has to do with using informal ties that existed between Mr.
22 Lilic and certain persons in order to establish contact with, perhaps,
23 some significant factors that could speed up solutions. This name can be
24 mentioned in open session, the most important person of this kind is
25 former German chancellor Kohl.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, Mr. Lilic, let's go back to what we were discussing. This
3 was a letter of yours that contains this proposal, and you claim that I
4 did not give you an answer to that, although you have it in writing. This
5 looked into many aspects, and you say that these people had the letter.
6 Of course; I gave it to them, and I said, Please, sit down and have a
7 meeting with Zoran Lilic, who had conducted these talks, and have
8 consultations about this in order to assess the extent to which - how can
9 I put this? - there are grounds for some kind of a belief that also in
10 this way some progress can be made. Is that right or is that not right?
11 A. At least according to the practice that existed in terms of our
12 contacts and the coordination meetings you had that I did not attend, I
13 think it was only natural that if what you said just now is correct, that
14 this coordination meeting, this very small meeting, because
15 Mr. Milutinovic did know about these activities, Mr. Zivadin Jovanovic
16 knew about this, the others were not involved from any point of view in
17 all of this in 1998, and also during all the months of the war. If it is
18 correct, then it would only have been natural to have this meeting in your
19 office. But their questions did not have to do with the essence of the
20 letter itself; they had to do with why the letter had been written in the
21 first place. As a matter of fact, some of them said that they had no idea
22 what this was all about, but it should not have been written nevertheless.
23 Q. I'm not going to go into --
24 A. As for your agreement to this, I'm going to repeat for the fifth
25 time that you did not give your agreement. It cannot be on a mere piece
1 of paper. And it's not that I needed this consent; Mr. Kohl needed your
2 personal consent, either by way of a public statement or in any other way
3 that you should be quite aware of. I think that today we would have had a
4 completely different situation; maybe it would have been different, maybe
5 it would have been the same, I don't know, but on the basis of what I know
6 concerning the proposal that was given to you towards the end of October
7 by Mr. Solana in the presence of Mr. Holbrooke, all of this could have had
8 a different dimension altogether. And the meeting you're referring to on
9 the 17th of May, quite frankly, Mr. Milosevic, it had nothing to do
10 whatsoever with consultations regarding to what I had written to you. It
11 only had to do with the fact why I had written this to you.
12 Q. I don't want to go into a debate here in terms of what was
13 discussed at the meeting that you had and that I did not attend. I just
14 wanted to say that these were the top state officials. I just wanted to
15 say that this was an issue of crucial importance and it was only natural
16 that the top state leaders should be informed of this paramount question,
17 and they received first-hand information from you since you took part in
18 these communications. So that is something that I assume you're not
19 denying, and I'm not denying it either.
20 A. I'd really be most pleased if the meeting evolved that way and
21 according to that logic that you refer to just now and with that kind of
22 intensity. But never mind, it had its consequences and today it doesn't
23 really matter any longer.
24 Q. Let's go back to the very core of the matter. On the one hand, we
25 had the official initiative of Russia, a public initiative, well-known to
1 the entire world; on the other hand, we had an informal initiative. Does
2 it stand to reason, is it logical that moving from a very formal
3 communication and well-intentioned communication that Russia had, moving
4 on to some informal communication would actually mean closing the door to
5 the only official support at that time that we enjoyed, and it was from
6 Russia? In terms of mediation and efforts made to obtain acceptable
7 conditions for bringing the war to an end.
8 A. Can I answer?
9 Q. Go ahead. That's what I'm asking you about.
10 A. According to my information, and you can rest assured that it is
11 quite correct and it can easily be proven correct, this is an initiative
12 that was conveyed by Mr. Strobe Talbot to Mr. Ahtisaari, and Mr.
13 Chernomyrdin only got into it later on at the proposal of Mr. Ahtisaari.
14 And the most important thing is that it was not moving along parallel
15 lines with the initiative that you call informal. It started after that.
16 It was only after the 5th of May.
17 My proposal to you was -- I mean, I'm really trying not to say
18 anything here that would harm anyone who negotiated with you or who I
19 talked to. These initiatives were supposed to evolve along parallel
20 lines, and I think that's what the letter says. But of course, it was
21 your right to go for the formal initiative, as you put it.
22 Q. And this initiative, if we can call it that, the one you're
23 referring to, was it perhaps a calculation that we lose even this one and
24 only support we had at that point from a formal aspect, in terms of
25 Russia's efforts?
1 A. You can interpret it that way nowadays because nothing was done
2 even to try to talk about this other initiative and its substance. I
3 don't see any good that would come out of the other initiative. According
4 to the first proposal and the proposal that was given to you by Mr. Solana
5 towards the end of October in Kosovo, according to your agreement with
6 Holbrooke, there were supposed to be 12.000 troops, army troops, and
7 10.000 policemen. If the information given to me by my interlocutors is
8 correct, Mr. Solana even offered logistic support by way of 10.000 army
9 troops of NATO in order to disarm the KLA. Today, there is practically
10 not a single soldier in Kosovo or a single policeman in Kosovo. As a
11 matter of fact, there are less Serbs there than here in the prisons in the
12 Hague. I'm one of those people, and I think that you know that full well,
13 who wants to be proud of belonging to that people, and I want my son to be
14 proud of the fact that he is a Serb. And I think that this is not useful
15 for anyone.
16 You know full well that my position regarding the military part of
17 the agreement, the Kumanovo agreement is capitulation, and this is not a
18 war that was won and it is not a agreement that was signed by somebody who
19 had won the war, as there were some interpretations in Serbia.
20 Q. I really find it convenient that you said this, what you said just
21 now. We really have to clarify these facts. Let's leave aside the letter
22 now and the informal initiative which in my assessment and in the
23 assessment of other officials --
24 JUDGE MAY: We have been over this point and you've made it
25 several times. There's no need to repeat it, whatever your view of this
2 Now, if you're going on to another topic, go on to it.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
4 Q. In relation to what you referred to just now, during the
5 examination-in-chief, you mentioned General Marjanovic, who on behalf of
6 Yugoslavia signed the Kumanovo agreement. I consider him to be a very
7 able general, and a very honourable man. Do you know that in the Kumanovo
8 agreement, there is no reference to NATO? It is the security forces of
9 the international community that are referred to.
10 A. I know, Mr. Milosevic, how this particular noun, NATO, was left
11 out. What you're saying is correct, but I think that you will also agree
12 with me that today in Kosovo and Metohija, there are only NATO troops.
13 There are no other forces of the international community.
14 Q. Well, that is the greatest defeat and shame of the United Nations.
15 The UN was used in order to do indescribable harm to our country after the
16 NATO aggression. That's precisely what this is about.
17 JUDGE MAY: Let's stop there if you're making these sort of
18 assertions. Mr. Lilic, you've heard what the accused has asserted. You
19 can comment on it if you wish; if you agree with it, you may say so. It
20 may not be of any assistance at all to this trial. But I'm not going to
21 stop the accused from making it. Do you want to say anything about it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can say is that it is really
23 terrible that at least that resolution, 1244, has not been implemented.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Well, that is the whole point.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope, Mr. May, you will not
2 interrupt me. But to speed things up, since this is a document disclosed
3 by Mr. Nice, it is my speech at the 4th congress of the Socialist Party of
4 Serbia on the 17th of February, 2000, 02163379.
5 JUDGE MAY: Tab 7.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There will be an opportunity to use
7 much of it, but before I move on to that, is it well known that the
8 Resolution 1244 and the proposal of the G8 made by Chernomyrdin and
9 Ahtisaari announcing at the airport already that they were bringing peace,
10 and the whole of Yugoslavia expected peace finally to come, did it not
11 envisage very strict terms for the stoppage of the war?
12 Is it true, Mr. Lilic, that the most important was guarantees of
13 the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia by the United
14 Nations? Is that right.
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Is it true that the aggression on Yugoslavia was carried out
17 without the permission of the United Nations?
18 A. Yes, that was a precedent.
19 Q. Is it true that precisely because NATO never managed to set foot
20 on the soil of Yugoslavia, that our resistance pushed Clinton back to the
21 UN to use the United Nations to make this agreement on the cessation of
23 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues] ... points. The
24 witness really can't give evidence for [Realtime transcript read in error
25 "about"] Mr. Clinton. Now, let's move on. You want to ask about this
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do wish to ask the witness whether
3 what I said at the time was true. But before I do that, in addition to
4 guaranteeing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country
5 without NATO managing to set foot on the soil of Yugoslavia, because we
6 stopped it, that there were also guarantees that international forces
7 would guarantee the security of all inhabitants in Kosovo.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
9 Q. Is that right?
10 A. I did not participate in those negotiations. I know what it is
11 written, and the resolution we referred to implies that.
12 Q. Now, look at page 02163382, the fourth page of the speech. I
13 would like to quote much more, but because of my restricted time, I will
14 quote just a limited amount. And please comment on it.
15 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, I want to correct the transcript. My
16 intervention, ten or so lines up, what I said was the witness can't give
17 evidence for Mr. Clinton, not about Mr. Clinton, as it says. It was for
18 Mr. Clinton, that's the point.
19 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope, Mr. May, that you will issue
21 instructions to Mr. Clinton to come and testify when the time comes for
22 that. And I do not think that this witness should testify for him.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. So paragraph 4 from the top, I refer to the following: "The
25 bombing of Serbia was ended by agreement between the Yugoslav state and
1 representatives of the international community that representatives of the
2 United Nations come to Kosovo with a view to establishing peace, order,
3 and normal life for all those living there." Is that true?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was this written in the resolution? Was this stated in the
6 Ahtisaari-Chernomyrdin agreement, coupled with guarantees for the
7 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the territory of Yugoslavia?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Then I go on to say that "Serbia accepted the agreement with
10 confidence, as well as the guarantees of the United Nations." So NATO,
11 without the United Nations, committed aggression, and the United Nations
12 acted in relation to Serbia, and Serbia accepted with trust the agreement
13 and the guarantees of the United Nations. Is that right? Is that right,
14 Mr. Lilic?
15 A. That is what was stated, and that is what is written. You are
16 familiar with my positions regarding that plan.
17 Q. Very well. But then I go to say: "But nothing came of the
18 peace." Because it says here "that they came to establish peace, a normal
19 life for all those living there" but nothing came of the peace and still
20 less of order, and no trace of normal life. "Albanian terrorism has been
21 legalised and monitored by the United Nations representatives. Most Serbs
22 have left Kosovo, and only a few remain there as living monuments
23 reminding the world that it idly watches by the extermination of a people,
24 a people which is at the present moment the most courageous in the world,
25 despite a pile of statements, protests, outrage and disapproval coming
1 from north and south, from east, and even from the west, the children of
2 Kosovska Mitrovica have no guarantees for life. For the time being, their
3 guarantees for life remain only their country and the people living in
5 Mr. Lilic, is it true that despite these guarantees, that UN
6 forces will protect all the citizens of Kosovo, introduce order, et
7 cetera, that they have allowed several hundred thousand Albanians --
8 MR. NICE: I wonder what the relevance of all this is to this
9 indictment. And the problem is that the time is very limited and if the
10 accused simply uses opportunities here to repeat speeches for a different
11 audience, it is wasting valuable time.
12 JUDGE MAY: The answer may be that you put the document in.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, that doesn't make the whole document
14 admissible, and I put it in for a passage that comes earlier and tracks
15 back to the relevant time with which we are concerned, and I'll come to
16 that in re-examination. But this passage is of no relevance.
17 JUDGE MAY: What's the relevance for this?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The relevance is, Mr. May, the
19 response of the witness that in spite of the guarantees of the United
20 Nations, what happened happened. I'm now asking him what it is that
21 happened and to what extent what happened was an abuse of the United
22 Nations. So I'm asking the witness, is it true --
23 JUDGE MAY: But it's after the indictment period. It's after the
24 period with which we are concerned. So the point is, is there any
25 relevance as far as the indictment is concerned? I don't think there is.
1 In any event, there are others who could deal with this if it does
2 become relevant, I should have thought, besides this witness.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, Mr. May; these are very
4 substantive issues.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Is it true that these forces that came to Kosovo made it possible
7 for several hundred thousand Albanians from Northern Albania to enter
8 Kosovo without any control?
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I think you have to satisfy us as
11 to what is it about the presence of NATO forces in Kosovo after the
12 indictment period that makes it relevant to this case.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is relevant for the case,
14 Mr. Robinson, because this conduct in fact proves the prolongation of the
15 crime committed against the Serb people, against Serbia, against
16 Yugoslavia, as a result of the NATO aggression during which I was indicted
17 for alleged war crimes. Therefore, the presence -- you put it very well;
18 the presence of the NATO forces, though they were not NATO forces
19 literally, but forces of the United Nations.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Lilic, that the first forces that arrived in
22 Kosovo --
23 JUDGE MAY: No, no. We haven't yet ruled on this. It's still not
24 clear as to why you say the presence of those troops has anything to do
25 with the indictment. What is the connection?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The connection is the crime that the
2 Clinton administration and NATO committed against Yugoslavia during the
3 period when this so-called indictment was issued. And I wish the relevant
4 facts linked to that to be established here. And I think the relevance of
5 these questions cannot be challenged.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE MAY: No, you've not established any relevance at all.
8 Go on to the next topic.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Please, Mr. Lilic, do you remember that the first forces that
11 arrived in Kosovo were Russian forces?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you remember that in the resolution, in addition to the matters
14 that I have quoted, that is, guarantees for sovereignty, territorial
15 integrity, and security for all, there was a provision regarding the
16 return of a contingent of the army of the police of Yugoslavia to Kosovo?
17 A. If I'm not mistaken, 1.500 military men, and I don't remember how
18 many policemen, but that is right.
19 Q. So not one of those elements, that is, the guarantee of
20 territorial integrity, guarantees of security, guarantees for the return
21 of our contingent, were not respected because the rights of the United
22 Nations were usurped by NATO.
23 A. That situation is quite evident. There is no return of our units
24 there. There's no protection of borders on our part. The border
25 crossings are absolutely out of control, so it is absolutely as you say.
1 JUDGE MAY: You've gone outside the ruling already. Now go back
2 to something that's relevant. So anything during the war, certainly;
3 during the conflict, certainly. But not after it.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, during the war, many things
5 happened that we have referred to. Unheard of crimes were committed
6 against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And do you know, Mr. Lilic, that under the auspices of the forces
9 that were called the UN forces, tens of thousands of Serb houses have been
10 burnt down?
11 JUDGE MAY: I think we're going to have to bring this to an end.
12 We may have to bring your cross-examination to an end if you've got no
13 more relevant questions. Do you understand that? Now, you heard the
14 ruling: Nothing afterwards.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. If you do not
16 allow me to put such questions to the witness, for the record, I wish to
17 say that this prolongation of the war by the usurpation of the United
18 Nations is the greatest disgrace for the UN --
19 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to hear any speeches either.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I say this because this
21 illegal court is also --
22 JUDGE MAY: If you want to have this matter adjourned now, you're
23 going the right way about it, making speeches of this sort. Now, have you
24 got any more relevant questions for this witness, in which case you can
25 ask them; otherwise, we'll bring the examination to an end. You've got
1 about a quarter of an hour more.
2 And while I am dealing with matters, we'll exhibit the handwritten
3 note about which there was so much evidence, in the accused's handwriting,
4 the appendix to the book "Fire and Flood" with the next Exhibit number,
5 D146. Yes.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Lilic, you occupied the top positions in Yugoslavia in the
8 Socialist Party of Serbia, and you rank among the best-informed people -
9 and those could be counted on the fingers of one hand - in the Federal
10 Republic of Yugoslavia, informed on all events that took place. Do you
11 have any information whatsoever about the fact that any organ whatsoever
12 of the Republic of Serbia or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia organised
13 or planned - I'm using words -- the words used in this false indictment,
14 so it is relevant - whether you have any knowledge that any organ in an
15 organised fashion or in a planned fashion committed any kind of crime, or
16 ordered, or you can use whichever word you like here, from any aspect? Do
17 you have any knowledge to that effect at all?
18 A. Mr. Milosevic, in the statement that I gave, you said that I never
19 heard or was present when anybody issued an order or planned any kind of
20 crime from the political or military leadership of the Federal Republic of
21 Yugoslavia. That means that I've already said that.
22 Q. Do you have any knowledge, even outside the military and political
23 leadership of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is to say, lower
24 down, at lower levels, that any commander of the police forces, or even
25 leader, not only commander, or leader, komandant, and komandir is the
1 terms we use in our language - komandirs are leaders or commanders of
2 lower-ranking units - that they planned, ordered or instigated any kind of
3 crime? Did you arrive at knowledge of that kind at all? Did any
4 information reach you about that?
5 A. No, no knowledge of that kind reached me. I have no knowledge of
6 that taking place, and I can say that all the members of the army of
7 Yugoslavia are very well-known, and I assume the members of the police as
8 well are very well aware of what should be done, and even if a crime were
9 to be committed they know what they should do with the perpetrators.
10 Which means I have no knowledge to that effect.
11 Q. Do you know that there were strict orders precisely to the
12 reverse, to protect the civilian population and to investigate any
13 offences and crimes and to take the perpetrators into custody and take
14 them to court?
15 A. Yes, I said that a moment ago in my response. I forgot to mention
16 the protection of the civilian population which was always the primary
17 concern of all our security forces especially when it came to issuing
19 Q. Now, were you present at least at one of the meetings on any
20 occasion, in fact, when the leaders, and in this case, I mean generals,
21 the generals of the police and other people reporting, when they said that
22 a lot of terrorists were managing to escape precisely because they were
23 intermingling with the civilian population and the police had strict
24 orders not to open fire if the danger existed that by doing so they would
25 harm civilians?
1 A. Yes, I do know about that. I even had occasion to see a written
2 document to that effect. And I think that it's very easy and simple to
3 find documents to that effect in the archives of the army of Yugoslavia.
4 With respect to certain larger movements, I remember a figure of over
5 3.000 Albanians, for example, who were moving towards the Albanian border,
6 and that assistance and reinforcement was sought from the police of
7 Montenegro as the MUP of Serb did not wish to intervene precisely for the
8 reasons you've just mentioned. Because amongst them it was assumed that
9 there were quite a lot of terrorists who were leaving together with the
10 civilian population. And as far as I remember, it said in that report -
11 and as I say, we can find the report - that the MUP of Montenegro enabled
12 them to pass through safely and securely without fire being opened,
13 despite the fact that there were terrorists among them.
14 Q. All right. Now, as Mr. May will not let me ask you the questions
15 that I had intended to ask you, I should like to take advantage of the
16 time that I have left for my cross-examination to ask you something with
17 regard to the documents pointed out to us by Mr. Nice, referred to by
18 Mr. Nice, and it is the minutes of the Supreme Defence Council meetings
19 when the president of Yugoslavia was Dobrica Cosic.
20 I shall try to pass over it quickly. I'm going to use a different
21 order, perhaps, but we have the Supreme Defence Council meeting of the 8th
22 and 10th of July, 1992, that was one instance. And we can see that the
23 presiding officer was Dobrica Cosic, then that I was present as well as
24 Momir Bulatovic as members of the Supreme Defence Council, the chief of
25 the general staff attended, and so on and so forth. Borislav Jovic, the
1 president of the state committee for cooperation with the UN, who had been
2 previously been a member of the Yugoslavia Presidency.
3 JUDGE MAY: This is tab 12. The witness should have a copy.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Can it be seen from this, Mr. Lilic, does this show already on
6 page 1, before we go over to the agenda, Dr. Borislav Jovic, the president
7 of the federal committee, state committee, for cooperation with the UN
8 forces, then there was Gavro Perazic informing the Supreme Defence Council
9 with the requirements of the UNPROFOR commander forces, General Satish
10 Nambiar, and the basic premises of international law?
11 A. Well, this is a rather bad copy, but I can just make that out,
13 Q. Is the conclusion clear, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia fully
14 accepts point 18 of the UN peace operations in Yugoslavia, the deployment
15 of the units of the Yugoslav People's Army outside the area of Croatia
16 after being taken over by UNPROFOR in the zones under the protection of
17 the United Nations. That is to say, it completely accepts this.
18 A. Yes, it was the yellow and blue zone, if I remember correctly.
19 Q. In point 2, it says: "The withdrawal of the Yugoslavia army will
20 be carried out in accordance with that plan pursuant to the concrete
21 agreement between the Yugoslav army general staff and the UNPROFOR
22 command" that's right, isn't it, there's absolutely no restrictions there
23 and it is being adopted wholly?
24 A. Yes, that's what it says.
25 Q. Then we come to point 3 where it says that: "The Federal Republic
1 of Yugoslavia deems that it is in the interests of peace to secure through
2 that agreement that the Croatian forces may not bring heavy armament in to
3 the vicinity of the Yugoslav borders, thus jeopardising its safety or
4 security." And then, as this was a very vital question, when it comes to
5 the Prevlaka, it says: "Given that the area of Prevlaka (the Ostra cape)
6 stretches only for 93 acres, that is to say, less than 1 hectare, and that
7 it is unclear, or rather that it was always an exclusively military zone,
8 that is to say, without any inhabitants. It was uninhabited, an
9 exclusively military zone, and that by its position, it controls the whole
10 of the Bay of Kotor, Boka-Kotorska," and as we know, that belongs to
11 Montenegro, or rather the FRY, that is to say "controls the whole of the
12 bay of Kotor, or rather 30 per cent of the coastline of Yugoslavia, and
13 there are ongoing political negotiations about the rightful demarcation of
14 the economic, sea and epicontinental border between the Socialist Republic
15 of Yugoslavia and Croatia. The Yugoslav army may abandon Prevlaka on
16 condition that that territory be placed under the provisional control of
17 the United Nations."
18 That's right, isn't it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was that the agreement that was reached and it was at that time
21 that the yellow zones and the blue zones came into being? That's right,
22 isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will expect" - and this is
25 a very poor copy, so I can hardly read it - "the outcome of political
1 negotiations, and the appropriate decision of the International Court of
2 Justice, as the final solution." And then it goes on to say that an
3 appropriate memorandum be compiled.
4 Now, does this meeting show that the Federal Republic of
5 Yugoslavia, judging by the Supreme Defence Council meeting, as a whole,
6 adheres to the agreements reached and abides by them fully, with UNPROFOR
7 or rather the representatives of the United Nations, and fully fulfills
8 its obligation?
9 A. Yes, and not only these minutes, but I can safely say that was the
10 policy pursued by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in general terms.
11 Q. I'm not going to comment on the second minutes of the 7th of
12 August, because I did not attend that meeting myself. I think there was
13 some discussion about the situation in Plevlja, which is a town in
14 Montenegro, on the territory of Montenegro. However, it is emphasised in
15 this regard, and it's the last paragraph relating to point 1, rather, a
16 decision through energetic activities to end private support by certain
17 Yugoslav army and MUP officers and prevent all threats to property and the
18 personal security of citizens and the encouragement of interethnic
19 intolerance, to prevent all that. "Faithful implementation and positive
20 results will have a far greater impact," it says. And what is referred to
21 is the territory of Montenegro and the problems at the state borders
22 towards Bosnia-Herzegovina and the broader territory in the Plevlja
24 Now, can we see from this and say quite clearly that Yugoslavia
25 wishes to see the problem solved by peaceful means? Was that the policy
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then we have the 6th session of the 9th of December, 1992. And
4 the first point refers to the threats of military intervention in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, possible aggression by Croatia against the Republic of
6 Serbian Krajina, and the possible secessionist Albanian uprising in
7 Kosovo. The situation in the Defence Ministry. "Point 1, introductory
8 report by the president of the FR of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic, drew
9 attention to the current international political situation which threatens
10 a further intensification and deepening of the crisis within the area of
11 the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which could have
12 serious consequences for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia." And then it
13 mentions a meeting to be held with representatives of the
14 representatives -- leaders of the Srpska Krajina. But I'd like to draw
15 your attention to an important provision. It is to be found in point 2.
16 It is point 1 of point 2. That the army of Yugoslavia is a nonpolitical
17 organisation, and in accordance with its constitutional role, may not
18 become involved in current political activities. It must be over and
19 above political manipulations and may not be subordinated to any party,
20 political platform, or political figures.
21 And then it goes on to say under number 2, the Supreme Defence
22 Council condemns all attempts to introduce a pre-election party political
23 orientation to the Yugoslav army as well as immoderate and tendentious
24 statements by various state officials and party leaders regarding the
25 Yugoslav army. Do you remember that there are many attacks launched
1 against the army and that insistence was made and that there were various
2 party paramilitary formations that were established and that all that, in
3 a way, was a factor of destabilisation? It destabilised the situation,
4 and the Supreme Defence Council was energetic in standing up to that. Do
5 you remember that?
6 A. Yes, it was a decision dating back to 1992. I haven't got the
7 minutes of the meeting in front of me but I can comment on it because I
8 did see the minutes and remember the minutes and it was a time when the
9 parties entered into competition to see which would be able to attack the
10 Yugoslav army more and others to become infiltrated in the Yugoslav army.
11 And I think this conclusion was respected later on with respect to the
12 paramilitary units. I think, or rather, I'm certain that immediately
13 after I came to the Supreme Defence Council and guided by this conclusion,
14 that an order was issued that all paramilitary units should be disbanded,
15 which were identified as having been in existence at that time. And a
16 decision of that kind by the Supreme Defence Council does exist, and we
17 can always see it if The Hague Tribunal wishes to find it and take a look
18 at it.
19 Q. So from all this and from subsequent practice, from the time when
20 you were the president of the FRY yourself, the president of the National
21 Assembly of Serbia, holding the top posts in Yugoslavia and in Serbia, do
22 you know of a single example in which in any way whatsoever anybody
23 whatsoever of the leadership of the official organs strove and advocated
24 the protection of paramilitary formations or anything like that? Or
25 rather, was it quite -- was the policy of Serbia and Yugoslavia quite
1 clear, and that was that under no circumstances should the formation of
2 paramilitaries be allowed?
3 A. Well, I've answered that question a moment ago when I said that
4 there is an official decision by the Supreme Defence Council to prohibit
5 and destroy and eliminate any paramilitary formations. And this is borne
6 out and evidenced by these minutes from the Supreme Defence Council
7 meeting that was chaired by Mr. Dobrica Cosic.
8 JUDGE MAY: We're going to have to bring this session to a close.
9 Mr. Lilic, I'm afraid we're going to have to ask you to come back,
10 require you to do so. We'll try and find a date which is convenient to
11 you, if you could make yourself available. Thank you.
12 Mr. Milosevic, we'll give you another half hour to conclude your
13 cross-examination. You will have had substantially more than the
14 Prosecution. There will be then time for the amicus and for
16 MR. NICE: And Your Honour, you'll remember I was asking that the
17 witness could be shown some documents, just to produce them. They've come
18 up today from Belgrade. Is that possible, that we can just lay them
19 before him now?
20 JUDGE MAY: I'm afraid not today. We have to adjourn.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the amicus have
22 some questions to ask the witness.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I said the amicus. If I didn't, I meant to.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the question of how much time to make
25 available, because time is very short and we are having to fit this
1 witness in with other witnesses, my original plan had been to have him
2 come for, I thought it was just going effectively to be a re-examination
3 session, so to come first thing in the morning and to come in 11, 11.30
4 and to be finished that day. We would much prefer that because we have a
5 great deal of evidence to get through. A lot of witnesses are going to
6 be, as it were, interesting in the way this witness is, but that evidence
7 will have to be focussed by us, and we would ask by the accused. We would
8 prefer -- obviously it would help us if we can know how much time the
9 court was going to allow the amicus because otherwise we're in a slightly
10 open-ended position and don't know what to do.
11 JUDGE MAY: Half an hour, Mr. Tapuskovic; would that be sufficient
12 for you?
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, what can I say? It
14 would be sufficient.
15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
16 MR. NICE: In which case, Your Honour, I'll work on the same basis
17 because I'm sure I can conclude what I have to say in 45 minutes or
19 JUDGE MAY: Effectively, it would be one session. But there is
20 the question of new documents.
21 MR. NICE: Yes, Your Honour, the new documents, the documents we
22 have, I'm not going to deal with extensively or anything like that.
23 You'll remember that the witness has provided one quotation from a
24 document he saw. That's one of the passages I'll deal with through these
25 documents, and there may be one other. That will be it, probably, because
1 it's my view that these extensive documents - and there are going to be
2 many more of them - are simply going to have to, as it were, speak for
3 themselves for the most part unless there's a particular point because
4 otherwise we will be so long with any documents of this sort.
5 JUDGE MAY: Would it not be convenient to finish the
6 cross-examination of this witness without interruption, to have the
7 examination by the amicus and you re-examine, and if there are any
8 relevant documents, you can put them in then, such documents as you think
10 MR. NICE: There's one tiny matter I would like to deal with in
11 private session, with Mr. Lilic's lawyer's agreement. He knows what it
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll go into private session.
14 [Private session]
13 Page 22889 – redacted – private session
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
6 at 1.49 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
7 the 24th day of June, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.