Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 23339

1 Monday, 30 June 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

7 WITNESS: IMRA AGOTIC [Resumed]

8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

10 Q. [Interpretation] General, you were saying that the time you're

11 testifying about, that at that time there was no Albanian nationalism. Is

12 that what you said?

13 A. Perhaps there was, but not in the extent to which certain

14 information media depicted it, and public information system.

15 Q. Do you know how many tens of thousands of Serbs and Montenegrins,

16 under pressure, had to leave Kosovo in precisely that period of time,

17 from, say, 1980 to 1990, following the demonstrations after Tito's death

18 in 1980 and onwards up to 1990?

19 A. Well, yes, I do know that people were leaving. Now, whether all

20 that was due to pressure, I would say that a very small portion was due to

21 that compared to what the information media would have us believe.

22 Q. You know nothing about the killings, the torchings, the

23 destruction of churches and cemeteries, things of that kind, all forms of

24 looting, pressure, violence, due to which tens of thousands of Serbs left

25 Kosovo at that time?

Page 23340

1 A. As to specific cases, I really don't know except for the ones that

2 were highlighted by the media. I was only in Kosovo officially once.

3 Otherwise, I didn't travel there. So I can't really testify and say how

4 far that is true. But based on the talks and conversations I had with a

5 certain number of people from Kosovo, both Serbs and Montenegrins who were

6 members of the JNA units there, and on the basis of the conversations I

7 had with many Albanians too, I arrived at the conclusion that, as my own

8 assessment, that this problem was far exaggerated to the advantage of the

9 Serbs; that is to say it was shown that pressure was brought to bear on

10 them and that that was the reason for which they left.

11 Q. All right. But you're talking about -- actually, you say that you

12 don't know much about it, but nonetheless, you say on page 4, paragraph 3

13 of your statement, that there was an expansion of Serb nationalism and as

14 an example you quote the relics of St. Sava that were shown publicly; is

15 that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Do you know who St. Sava was, in fact?

18 A. Yes, I do know who Sveti Sava, St. Sava was.

19 Q. Rastko Nemanjic; is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. He was the founder of the Serb church and Serb schools.

22 A. Yes. And the highest Serb saint.

23 Q. Well, tell me, please, do you think he might have been a Serb

24 nationalist, for example?

25 A. Well, I don't know whether nationalism existed in its present

Page 23341

1 format in his time but I knew that his bones and relics were used, were

2 made use of during those years in order to significantly revive Serb

3 nationalism on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. More in the

4 eastern reaches.

5 Q. All right. Now, was that nationalism, this particular activity on

6 the part of the church, would you say, or was it the nurturing and

7 fostering of national cultural traditions?

8 A. I would say that it was nationalism taking the form of nurturing

9 traditions and reviving memories and recollections of those first days of

10 the first Serbian state during the days of St. Sava himself.

11 Q. Ah, fine, General. Very well. Now, as you quote this particular

12 example with Sveti Sava, do you have any other nationalist ideas or ideals

13 that were used which you as an intelligence officer of the JNA became

14 aware of?

15 A. Yes, I do. And I wasn't an intelligence officer; I was a security

16 officer, or as it was called at the time, officer for security. Those are

17 two essentially different functions within the JNA.

18 Q. All right. Tell me this, please, very briefly: How did you as a

19 Yugoslav officer see the victory of the HDZ at the elections in Croatia?

20 A. I saw it as the victory of a party that put forward its programme

21 and platform and for which most of the citizens of the Republic of Croatia

22 opted for in democratic fashion at the democratic elections.

23 Q. Well, do you know which ideals the HDZ put forward at the time,

24 what were the ideas it advocated?

25 A. Yes, I do know that. First of all, it strove for a greater degree

Page 23342

1 or, rather, the reconstitution of the SFRY. That means for different

2 relations within the SFRY.

3 Q. And did Croatia in any way, in your opinion, at that time, was it

4 degraded within the SFRY in any way?

5 A. Yes, correct, it was.

6 Q. In what way?

7 A. They were different times compared to when the SFRY under a

8 different name in -- in 1945 was constituted. And the international

9 circumstances and situation was different too. Everything was different.

10 The entire socio-political development at the time was different, and some

11 constituent elements of that SFRY left the political arena, and it was

12 normal for the country to be reconstructed and reconstituted.

13 Q. All right. And are you aware of the positions taken in 1989 by

14 the HDZ even before the elections with respect to the Independent State of

15 Croatia and so on, things along that line?

16 A. Perhaps there were things of that kind just as they were in every

17 movement. There must -- there were probably individuals who had

18 unacceptable positions for a bourgeois supervision and constitution of a

19 sovereign and democratic state, but these are my phenomena with respect to

20 the overall desire on the part of the Croatian people and the people who

21 opted for the HDZ party at that time.

22 Q. As head of security of the 5th Air Force Corps yourself, did you

23 know that in September 1990, in Petrijevci, in the old house of artist

24 Mestrovic, that during the night weapons were being handed out to HDZ

25 members secretly, clandestinely, and part of them were handed over to

Page 23343

1 Mercep for Vukovar, another part went to Orahovac and Baranja?

2 A. I didn't know about that. It wasn't the area of responsibility of

3 the 5th Corps.

4 Q. So you didn't communicate amongst themselves, and you didn't

5 receive feedback information as to what was happening on the territory of

6 Yugoslavia as a whole.

7 A. We did exchange a certain amount of information, but again others

8 not. In this particular case and cases of this kind, the security service

9 of the JNA was not in charge of supervising the civil institutions but

10 only dealt with state security organs and institutions.

11 Q. All right. If you talk about the military as an officer for

12 security yourself, do you know that in Slovenia at that time, in order to

13 secede, for the purposes of secession, a large quantity of weapons were

14 imported illegally and that formations were set up and that when the

15 attack on the JNA was launched, 40 innocent young men were killed.

16 JUDGE MAY: Let's -- rather than have this recital, let's see

17 whether the witness knows anything about this. You've asked other

18 witnesses about it, it's constant repetition.

19 General, can you help? Do you know anything about Slovenia? Was

20 that part of your area of responsibility?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you can see, Mr. May, this does

24 come under the responsibility and competence of Mr. Agotic.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 23344

1 Q. Now, do you know about the death of these completely innocent

2 young men who had come to do their military service in Slovenia?

3 A. Yes. I read about that in the media.

4 Q. You know nothing more than that?

5 A. Nothing more than that. And at that time, I was suspended from

6 duty before that.

7 Q. Tell me, did the JNA wish to preserve Yugoslavia?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. And was the preservation of Yugoslavia a responsibility and

10 obligation pursuant to the constitution of Yugoslavia?

11 A. According to the constitution that was in force at the time, that

12 was the JNA's duties and that was one of its tasks.

13 Q. On page 4, you go on to say that the JNA considered the election

14 of new nationalist authorities in Slovenia and Croatia, that this led to

15 the -- would lead to the break-up of Yugoslavia; is that right?

16 A. I don't know whether I say nationalist authorities, but I say the

17 new power and authority that be in the republics of Slovenia and Croatia.

18 Q. Well, all right. Do we not doubt that the JNA made a correct

19 assessment of what would happen when these parties came into power,

20 looking at Slovenia and Croatia?

21 A. Basically when you look at it from this point in time, then the

22 introduction of a multi-party system into the SFRY without adaptation on

23 the part of the socio-political system of the day, without its adapting to

24 the new system, that is true. But who failed to allow this adaptation to

25 take place in line with the new conditions that were created?

Page 23345

1 Q. Well, let's leave that question for another opportunity, but you

2 go on to say that in that sense the SSNO issued orders that instructed

3 that Yugoslavia must survive at all costs, must be preserved.

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. And you say that the Slovenian and Croatian leadership --

6 JUDGE MAY: Have you got a copy of your statement, General?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

8 JUDGE MAY: Don't refer to it unless you want to, but if you do,

9 it may assist in following the questions and deal with any discrepancies

10 there may be.

11 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. You say that the Slovenian and Croatian leadership, knowing about

14 the Secretariat of Defence order, began to prepare for what they felt

15 would be an attempt, et cetera. That's what you say in that paragraph; is

16 that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What were they preparing for, in fact?

19 A. As soon as they -- as soon as the JNA quite obviously had turned

20 towards one side, favoured one side in the conflict on the territory of

21 the former Yugoslavia, that is to say the Serb side and the Montenegrin

22 side, at that point in time the logics of the whole situation was that the

23 other ethnic groups that were jeopardised and did not have the JNA behind

24 them to support them had to prepare for their self-defence.

25 Q. Wasn't it quite the reverse? Wasn't it acts of violence that were

Page 23346

1 started and launched precisely against the JNA and against the Serb

2 population in Croatia? If we take it in chronological order.

3 A. When we take it in chronological order, then the first rallies and

4 the first demonstrations and intimidation started out from Serbia and

5 Montenegro, and then the logics of the situation was that the other

6 republics - Croatia, et cetera - were in a situation to begin to prepare

7 themselves, to prepare their own interests.

8 Q. Wasn't the -- weren't the rallies in Serbia and Montenegro held

9 for Serbian and Montenegrin issues, without mentioning any other republics

10 or problems outside Serbia and Montenegro? Isn't that how it was?

11 A. That is partially correct, because the rallies flew over -- flowed

12 over into other areas of the former Yugoslavia. They spilled over into

13 Croatia, as you well know, and the desire for rallies, which were known as

14 rallies of truth, were to have been organised on the territory of Croatia

15 and Slovenia. So what is this other than an export of one nationalism to

16 other areas, territories?

17 Q. When you say the rally of truth, that was the intention of the

18 Serbs from Kosovo, to go to Ljubljana and familiarise the Slovenes with

19 their sufferings and the pressures they were exposed to. Why do you

20 consider that to be nationalism?

21 A. Those were just the vehicles. Only some were individuals from

22 Kosovo. However, in addition to them, there were tens of thousands of

23 other nationalist-minded people who came with them, so that these were not

24 people from Kosovo only. Kosovo was just used -- utilised for that

25 purpose. That is how this was seen in the territories of Croatia and

Page 23347

1 Slovenia.

2 Q. Tell me, General, are you aware as to what happened with the

3 adoption of the constitution of Croatia when the Serbs were thrown out of

4 the constitution as a constituent people and that many were fired from the

5 public service, from the police, even the health service, and there were

6 protests against this in the first place?

7 A. That is partially so. There were individual cases along those

8 lines, but this was not a generalised phenomenon. I can guarantee that

9 with me in the Croatian army there were a large numbers of Serbs and

10 Montenegrins who, from the very outset until the very end fought within

11 the ranks of the Croatian army.

12 Q. And do you know what was happening not only on the political arena

13 but also when we're talking about violence, do you know anything about the

14 activities of Branimir Glavas, Mercep, and the others who created a

15 climate and an atmosphere that was based on brutal violence towards

16 individuals and groups of other ethnicities? Isn't that so, General?

17 A. No, it isn't. That is partially true. But the violence started

18 out already in the physical sense in the areas in Croatia which were

19 predominantly populated by Serbs. To be specific, in August 1990, the

20 first barricades were set up in those areas and not in areas which were

21 predominantly populated by Croats.

22 Q. Is a barricade an offensive means of combat?

23 A. A barricade is just the beginning leading up to offensive

24 activities. And this proved to be true because they were followed by

25 offensive activities.

Page 23348

1 Now, if I set up a barricade and do not allow the legally elected

2 authorities to exercise their functions in that area, so surely that is

3 offensive.

4 Q. But, General, tell me, do you consider Branimir Glavas to be an

5 extremist or not?

6 A. I would rather not comment on Mr. Glavas.

7 Q. Is it true that in Croatia, towards the end of 1990 and the

8 beginning of 1991, paramilitary formations were set up by parties and that

9 there was large-scale illegal arming? Is that true or not?

10 A. That is partially true. That is, Croatia was preparing itself for

11 defence but not for attack.

12 Q. Was anyone threatening to attack Croatia?

13 A. The threats came from the rallies that were spilling over into

14 Croatia, and the demands coming from Serbia in relation to Croatia, that

15 is, for a part of its territory to be seceded from it whereby the

16 territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia was in jeopardy.

17 Q. Do you have a single such demand from Serbia? Are you aware of a

18 single such demand from Serbia?

19 A. Yes, I'm aware of 101, only at this moment I'm just mentioning the

20 demand of General Dusan Pekic and the people holding rallies in Petrova

21 Gora and all over Croatia.

22 Q. You're referring to General Dusan Pekic who comes from that area

23 and who was a retired general at the time.

24 A. Yes, and who has been living in Belgrade for the last 50 years.

25 Q. Many generals have been living in Belgrade. But he was a retiree,

Page 23349

1 and he came from that area; isn't that right?

2 A. I know also of the case of Seselj who held rallies in Eastern

3 Slavonia and Baranja - probably elsewhere too, just now I can't remember -

4 and he was not born in the territory of Croatia.

5 Q. No, he was born in the territory of Bosnia, that is true.

6 And do you know everything about these illegal channels of arming

7 organised by Spegelj, and do you know anything about the Kikas affair?

8 A. Regarding the so-called illegal channels used by Spegelj, I don't

9 know everything about them. As for Kikas, I know as much as appeared in

10 the mass media regarding his plane, what he brought with it, and when.

11 Q. When?

12 A. Sometime in September 1991. To be more specific, in

13 mid-September. But this was the period when war was already raging in the

14 territory of Croatia.

15 Q. And do you know that these weapons that were illegally imported in

16 those days were used only in 1991 to kill or to cause the disappearance of

17 600 Serbs from Sisak, hundreds from Split, Sibenik, Zadar, Gospic,

18 Karlovac and even Zagreb itself? I'm just listing the towns in which --

19 JUDGE MAY: We'll just go through this with a bit of care. You

20 put these allegations, very serious ones indeed, to question whether there

21 is any truth in them, and the witness should have a chance to answer.

22 It's alleged that 600 Serbs -- just a moment. 600 Serbs, it's

23 said, disappeared from Sisak. Is there any truth in that?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about that,

25 Your Honour, Mr. President.

Page 23350

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Page 23351

1 JUDGE MAY: It may be untrue and propaganda. Hundreds are

2 described as disappearing from Split. Is there any truth in that?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That area was not within my area of

4 work, so I cannot testify about that.

5 JUDGE MAY: We're going to make sure that these matters are

6 properly dealt with instead of general allegations being put out without

7 the witness having a chance to answer.

8 The other areas are Gospic and Karlovac. Can you help as to them?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same applies, Mr. President; I

10 don't know about that area.

11 JUDGE MAY: And Zagreb.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a military commander, and I am

13 not aware of any possible activities that may have been engaged in by

14 someone else, but I do know that after the war, data were presented which

15 were significantly exaggerated. There were individual cases of

16 persecution, there is no doubt about that. There's the well-known case of

17 the Zec family in Zagreb, which is being tried before Croatian courts to

18 this day, but the number that is referred to here I'm convinced is

19 over -- is exaggerated, though I don't know about it.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. You don't have the information but you're sure that it is not

22 true. But can we agree, General, these places like Sisak, Split, Sibenik,

23 Zadar, Karlovac, Zagreb are not places in which Serbs held any rallies or

24 set up any roadblocks or barricades, but all these towns were under the

25 control of the Croatian authorities, weren't they?

Page 23352

1 A. Yes. Those towns were under the control of the Croatian

2 authorities, and in those towns there were no rallies.

3 Q. How, then, do you explain these rather large-scale killings in

4 those towns from that period?

5 JUDGE MAY: If true. He doesn't accept it, so you can't put it as

6 though it's true.

7 There's no need to answer that question. It's not accepted.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. Very well, General. Are you claiming that all that I have said is

10 not true?

11 A. I'm claiming that I'm not familiar with those data and that I

12 learnt about them from subsequent reports in the mass media.

13 Q. If you're talking about the mass media, do you know that the

14 Zagreb Novosti, a newspaper, on the 15th of March, 2002, which means last

15 year - it's a Zagreb newspaper - published data about a collection centre

16 at the Zagreb Velesajam, or fairgrounds, and facts related to this? Do

17 you know about that? Do you know about it contemporaneously or did you

18 learn about it from the newspapers?

19 A. I read about it in the papers. I didn't know about it at the

20 time.

21 Q. So at the time, you knew nothing about a camp at the Zagreb

22 fairgrounds.

23 A. Nothing.

24 Q. Do you know now that such a camp existed and that many people

25 disappeared in it?

Page 23353

1 JUDGE MAY: He said he read it in the paper. There's no point

2 asking him about it. You might as well call anybody to say they read it

3 in the paper. Let's move on.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have to respond to your

5 observation that I could ask anyone about the papers. Mr. Agotic held a

6 very senior position, and he must have known these facts.

7 JUDGE MAY: He told you he didn't. He read about it in the paper

8 is the answer. When he says that, there's no point arguing with him.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. And do you remember that a newspaper called Hrvatska Ljevica

12 published the list of 107 killed Serbs in Sisak? The names. Not just the

13 number but the names of 107 killed Serbs in Sisak.

14 A. I never read that newspaper.

15 Q. On page 5, paragraph 2 of your statement, you say that I kept

16 saying that Yugoslavia should be preserved. Is that what you said?

17 A. More or less, yes. I can't find the exact quotation that you have

18 read out.

19 Q. Well, I'm quoting the second paragraph on page 5 of your own

20 statement.

21 A. Correct. That is what I stated as is written there.

22 Q. Very well. Your president, Stjepan Mesic, when he was sitting

23 where you are sitting now, said that I wanted to destroy Yugoslavia. Now,

24 tell me, please, what is your opinion, what you said in your statement or

25 what your current boss now says, Mr. Mesic?

Page 23354

1 JUDGE MAY: He cannot comment, even if that's right, and I don't

2 recollect that part of the evidence, but even if it's right, the witness

3 can't comment on what some other witness said.

4 Now, you've seen what you've written in your statement, General.

5 Is that right or not, as far as you're concerned?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is right, but if we take into

7 consideration the whole sentence, that is from the comma to the full stop.

8 JUDGE MAY: Just finish. You were going to add something.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant was the rest of the

10 sentence reads, "... and also that all Serbs must live in one state."

11 That gives a completely different aspect to the previous part of this same

12 sentence.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Well, please read out the whole sentence so we understand exactly

15 what it says here.

16 A. "Vasiljevic was operating in accordance with Milosevic's options

17 because Milosevic kept saying that Yugoslavia must be preserved, and also

18 that all Serbs must live in one unified state."

19 Q. Weren't all Serbs living in the SFRY?

20 A. Yes, they were. All were living in the SFRY.

21 Q. And all the Muslims and all the Croats and all the other South

22 Slavs were living in the SFRY.

23 A. Let me correct myself. The vast majority of Serbs, Muslims, and

24 all others lived in SFRY. We all have our own national minorities coming

25 from other parts of Yugoslavia.

Page 23355

1 Q. Yes, that's quite correct. That applies to Serbs, Croats, and

2 everyone else. And quite a number abroad as part of the diaspora. That

3 is not at issue. But the assessment of the JNA that the Croatian and

4 Slovenian leadership - this is on page 5, paragraph 3 - would use force,

5 was that assessment by the JNA correct?

6 A. No, it wasn't.

7 Q. How do you mean?

8 A. The assessment that they would use force, which was an erroneous

9 assessment, in the period from 1990 until the first half of 1991 in order

10 to secede, this led to the position that the republic leadership in the

11 SFRY, in this case the Serbian leadership, should be supported because it

12 was in favour of preserving Yugoslavia, even in a smaller -- of a smaller

13 size.

14 Q. I'm asking you something else. Let me reword that question,

15 because you say here that their assessment was that they would use force.

16 In view of this assessment, was the order to transfer weapons of the TO to

17 JNA warehouses a logical one? Was this done in all the republics?

18 A. It was logical from the standpoint of the leadership that had

19 sided with one party in the conflict, but it was illogical and

20 unconstitutional to disarm one or two of the constituent nations of the

21 former SFRY.

22 Q. General, you know very well that the weapons of the TO in all the

23 republics were placed in JNA warehouses in Serbia as well and in Macedonia

24 and in Montenegro. There were even deputy questions addressed in the

25 parliament of Serbia as to why this was being done. Are you aware of

Page 23356

1 that?

2 A. Yes, I do know that the weapons of the Territorial Defence in all

3 the republics were fully at the disposal of the leadership of the

4 Territorial Defence. In Croatia and Slovenia, from May 1992, this was not

5 the case. As for the other republics, I cannot say for sure.

6 Q. So you do not know that this was carried out in all the republics

7 without any discrimination whatsoever?

8 A. At that point in time when this order was issued, I didn't know

9 that. That is how this was done in the former SFRY outside Croatia and

10 Slovenia. However, from what I learnt later on, I see that that was not

11 so. In Bosnia, the weapons were not seized from the Territorial Defence.

12 Now, whether they were in Serbia and Montenegro, I don't know.

13 Q. Did any of the representatives of the Serbs anywhere in the former

14 Yugoslavia threaten that the JNA would be the target of Serb attacks?

15 A. I don't know that.

16 Q. But you say on page 5, paragraph 5 of your statement, that the

17 main task of the second department of the counter-intelligence service of

18 the air force in Zagreb was to arm the Serbs in Croatia. Is that what you

19 claim?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. You say that you received information from a JNA member who was

22 leaving, or some members who were leaving the JNA; is that right?

23 A. I got this information from them, and I also got the information

24 from the person who was at the head of that particular detachment, the KOG

25 detachment that I mentioned previously.

Page 23357

1 Q. All right. Tell me, did you see these instructions to the effect

2 that these Serbs should be armed and you say that they -- reports of that

3 kind came into the security department?

4 A. I didn't say they came into the department, but they came from the

5 security department.

6 Q. I see. I put my -- I misspoke then. From the department.

7 A. But those instructions or, rather, oral orders were conveyed

8 orally, verbally, as far as I was informed, from people -- the people that

9 I mentioned earlier on.

10 Q. All right. Now, take a look at page 8 of your statement,

11 paragraph 1, because it follows on from what we were discussing and the

12 order of the SSNO and the Chief of the General Staff that all weapons of

13 the Territorial Defence be transferred to JNA depots. Were both Serbs and

14 Croats disarmed on a footing of equality on that basis? And take a look

15 at page 8, paragraph 1, of what you say there. Were they equally

16 disarmed?

17 A. I'm not quite clear on what you mean.

18 JUDGE MAY: Would the legal officer just approach the bench,

19 please.

20 Yes. We've found it.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. In the units, you say there were mostly young officers from the

23 5th Corps, and more than 70 per cent of them were Serbs. That's what you

24 say.

25 A. Correct.

Page 23358

1 Q. So on the basis of these decisions to disarm, were the Serbs and

2 Croats equally disarmed, to equal measure? What was the object of the

3 order to take the weapons out of the hands of civilians which could have

4 come into conflict amongst themselves? What was the intention? Was it a

5 good intention on the part of the army to prevent a conflict or not?

6 A. That is just one-sided. Who was disarmed were the legal organs of

7 Croatia. That's who was disarmed. But other weapons from JNA depots were

8 distributed, on the other hand, among Serb villages. So that is the sense

9 of what was going on at that time.

10 Q. Well, did you see anybody's order to the effect that this weaponry

11 should be distributed among the villages?

12 A. I said that the man who received that order, that's who I heard it

13 from, and he was very worried and so was I at that time. So that is where

14 I got the information from, and those orders were conveyed orally, by word

15 of mouth.

16 And a second thing that was common knowledge is that at that time

17 in the Croatian press, the Croatian papers wrote about this and it was

18 never denied by the JNA, that two members of the JNA had been arrested

19 carrying full truckloads of weapons in Eastern Slavonia, and they were

20 distributing the weapons among the Serb villages.

21 Q. All right. Tell me who arrested them.

22 A. They were arrested by members of the MUP of the Republic of

23 Croatia.

24 Q. Do you know that when Candic testified here he said that they were

25 individual actions on the part of police or military commanders taking

Page 23359

1 things into their own hands? You never saw an order coming from the SSNO

2 or the General Staff or anybody else; isn't that right?

3 A. No, I did not see an order. I've already explained why.

4 Q. All right. Tell me this: In the other department, were there

5 officers who were ethnic Croats?

6 A. Yes, there were two of which one left the JNA and moved to

7 Belgrade. Later on, he was put on trial in Belgrade, and he was given a

8 prison sentence of three and a half years. The second one stepped down

9 from the JNA in the autumn of 1991.

10 Q. All right. Tell me this, please: Did the authorities in Croatia,

11 were they at the time -- did they have a friendly relationship and

12 attitude towards your units?

13 A. You mean the JNA units?

14 Q. Yes, the JNA units, because you were a JNA colonel at that time.

15 A. Yes, they were well disposed towards us.

16 Q. Did you have any tasks, assignments of any kind as a security

17 officer with respect to protecting your units and everything that went on,

18 everything that came under your duties and tasks?

19 A. Yes. I had the classical type of duty to protect units.

20 Q. All right, then. Officers who left the JNA, because as you said,

21 the structure underwent change, did anybody throw them out of the JNA or

22 did they leave of their own free will and thereby change the structure of

23 the JNA itself?

24 A. There were two processes. Up until the time I left on the 2nd of

25 July, 1991, a part of the so-called unreliables, unreliable officers were

Page 23360

1 replaced from their posts, and after that, people followed suit and tabled

2 their own requests to leave the JNA and they were granted.

3 Q. So independently, they would ask to leave the JNA and did so; is

4 that it?

5 A. At the beginning of the Slovenian war and in the course of it,

6 people would make these requests themselves and they would receive

7 positive answers quickly. They would be allowed to leave.

8 Q. But they tabled their resignation of their own free will; is that

9 right?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. You say that it was just thanks to General Tus who was at that

12 time the chief of the air force that you were able to retain your post in

13 the 5th Corps; is that right?

14 A. Yes, that's right.

15 Q. And then you say that your superior, Colonel Rakocevic, did his

16 best to have you replaced from that post because, as you say, he wanted in

17 key positions to have people who were, in his opinion, reliable; is that

18 right?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. Does that mean that he didn't trust you?

21 A. Well, I would say that that is so, yes. He never told me as much,

22 but judging by his actions, I came to the conclusion that that was so.

23 Q. And was that because -- actually, in view of the fact that as you

24 say he was bent on the idea of preserving Yugoslavia, that he knew full

25 well that you yourself weren't? Was that the reason?

Page 23361

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Page 23362

1 A. That is not true. It's not true that he was in favour of

2 Yugoslavia and I wasn't. Both of us were in favour of Yugoslavia,

3 however, a different variant of Yugoslavia and with different options for

4 it.

5 Q. Tell me, please, General - we have to try and save time - did you

6 directly or indirectly participate in the blockade of your barracks and

7 your soldiers? What were your barracks and soldiers until a little while

8 ago? Or, rather, did you know that all the barracks had been blocked in

9 Croatia?

10 A. Yes, I am aware of that.

11 Q. Well, did you take part in it?

12 A. I did not take part directly, but indirectly as a commander of the

13 National Guards Corps at the time, yes.

14 Q. And was it under your immediate command that the JNA barracks in

15 Bjelovar were blocked, and the ammunitions depot in Bjelovar as well as

16 the barracks in Gospic, the barracks in other places as well?

17 A. Both these blockades were effected while I was the commander of

18 the National Guards.

19 Q. That means that that was under your command, General, that this

20 was conducted.

21 A. You could put it that way, yes.

22 Q. Do you know that during these blockades and attacks on the

23 barracks 36 soldiers and officers of the JNA were killed? Are you aware

24 of that?

25 A. I don't know the exact figure of persons killed but I do know that

Page 23363

1 there were casualties on both sides, killed and wounded.

2 Q. And do you recall that it was precisely those men under your

3 command, up in front a line of officers detained -- soldiers detained; in

4 addition to the four officers, the brigade commander was also killed?

5 A. I know that the brigade commander lost his life, but in what way,

6 I don't know.

7 Q. Do you know an event that took place on the Koranski bridge when

8 13 TO members were slaughtered and massacred, Serbs?

9 A. I do know of that particular case. I got to know about it later

10 on from the information media and the trial that was held of the suspects

11 considered to have been the perpetrators and involved in the case.

12 Q. Do you yourself have anything to do with that case at all?

13 A. No, I don't.

14 Q. And tell me, please, what duties did you perform as an officer of

15 the National Guards Corps? You were at the head of the National Guards

16 Corps, were you not, General?

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. Is it true that within the composition of the National Guards

19 Corps already in the first half of 1991, there were about 500 different

20 foreign members, foreigners from different countries making up the

21 composition?

22 A. I took over my duties on the 10th of August, 1991, and I do not

23 know which men were taken into membership by that time.

24 Q. But do you know that they were there?

25 A. I do know that there were some people from the diaspora, Croats.

Page 23364

1 I also know that there were a large number of foreign nationals in the

2 National Guards Corps units later on during the war.

3 Q. All right, and how come you as a -- how did you react as a former

4 JNA officer when you got to learn of the fact that foreigners took part in

5 the barracks, JNA barracks and the killings that went on of the soldiers?

6 A. I didn't feel this to be at all illogical because they were under

7 the command of Croatian officers, junior and senior, and they had placed

8 themselves in the formations which were in charge of defending the

9 Republic of Croatia.

10 Q. Do you know that within Paraga's HOS units, a certain Scott

11 [phoen] and Major Raj, Captain John Thomson, Lieutenant Dave Hoskins, they

12 were -- gave interviews to Anthony Rogers, a journalist, about the

13 atrocities carried out by HOS. Do you remember that?

14 A. No, I did not read those articles.

15 Q. As a National Guards Corps officer or, rather, the head of the

16 National Guards Corps, the chief, were you acquainted with the activities

17 of the paramilitary formations in the area of Vukovar, for example, in

18 1991? Let's take that area.

19 A. I was partially informed that there were certain attempts at

20 organisation, and some were successful outside the National Guards Corps

21 but that was the beginning of the war and that was the logics of the

22 formation of an army. Relatively very quickly all these units were placed

23 under a united, unified command of the Croatian army.

24 Q. And do you know, in connection with the activities of these

25 paramilitary formations, happened in Vukovar in July 1991 before the

Page 23365

1 conflict escalated?

2 A. No. I'm not aware of that.

3 Q. Do you know at all any of Paraga's activities in Vukovar? Are you

4 aware of them?

5 A. I don't know that Paraga was in Vukovar at all.

6 Q. I'm talking about his members, the members of his units.

7 A. No, I don't know about that.

8 Q. I see. You don't know about that. Fine. And did you have any

9 contacts with the representatives of paramilitary formations from the

10 area?

11 A. Yes. Some parents contacted me whose sons had been killed in the

12 area, and they asked me to help in finding the dead bodies. As to other

13 contacts with these units in the Vukovar area, I did not have any.

14 Q. And do you know who Marin Vidic is, nicknamed Billy?

15 A. Yes, I do.

16 Q. Do you know who Ferdinand Jukic, nicknamed Yea, was?

17 A. I do know him, yes.

18 Q. Did you ever meet these two men?

19 A. I met both of them. With Jukic, before the fall of Vukovar, and I

20 met Billy, or Vidic Billy, after returning from captivity.

21 Q. And do you know Vidic's statement about the atrocities that were

22 carried out precisely in Vukovar by those who had been appointed by the

23 Defence Ministry of Croatia to take care of the defence of Vukovar?

24 A. I read about that in his interviews later on. Actually, it was

25 quite recently that I read about that.

Page 23366

1 Q. And is it true that when you had your meetings with Vidic and

2 Jukic in Zagreb with respect to their requests made to the Defence

3 Ministry that officers be placed at their disposal to command the

4 operations against the JNA -- that's right, isn't it? That's what

5 happened?

6 A. As to Vidic Billy, I did not meet him in Zagreb on that occasion,

7 but a large number of representatives from Vukovar came, and they asked

8 aid and assistance both in manpower and materiel and equipment. They came

9 to the headquarters of the National Guards Corps to ask for that.

10 Q. All right. And is it true that you gave an assignment to Mile

11 Dedakovic, nicknamed Jastreb, and Branko Borkovic too, that you gave them

12 assignments?

13 A. As far as I recall, on the 28th or 29th of August, 1991, I issued

14 an order dispatching Mile Dedakovic, Branko Borkovic, and another man,

15 another young lieutenant who was in the engineers corps, to assist in

16 Vukovar defence.

17 Q. All right, and do you know that this particular Mile Dedakovic,

18 nicknamed Jastreb, whom you sent yourself to lead the operations in

19 Vukovar, is directly responsible for the killing of several hundred Serb

20 civilians but also soldiers too?

21 A. No, I'm not aware of that.

22 JUDGE MAY: Well, is there any truth in that sort allegation, as

23 far as you know, Mr. Agotic? It's put by this accused in his usual way.

24 No evidence of it, as far as I know. Do you know anything? Do you know

25 of any evidence of this? If you had heard of it, would you have done

Page 23367

1 something about it?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, when I took over as

3 commander of the Guards Corps, from Vukovar many envoys were coming with

4 the request, as I have already said, for assistance. At the time, they

5 told me about the highly complicated situation in Vukovar, saying that

6 they were poorly organised, poorly armed, while being surrounded on all

7 sides by JNA units and that from the barracks compound that was situated

8 in Vukovar there was frequent or daily shelling of Vukovar suburbs or,

9 rather, the town of Vukovar.

10 On that occasion, there were expressions of dissatisfaction with

11 the leadership of the Secretariat of National Defence of Vukovar, which

12 was headed at the time by Mercep, the criticism being that he had badly

13 organised things.

14 As for any other knowledge regarding large-scale suffering of any

15 kind is something that I was not aware of at the time, but it should be

16 known that up to 1.200, 1.300 poorly armed men were defending Vukovar, and

17 it would not be logical to assume that they would be able to commit

18 large-scale massacres in relation to the opposing side.

19 Finally, I know that a large number of people of other ethnicities

20 participated in the defence of Vukovar; not just Croats but also Serbs,

21 Hungarians, Slovaks and Czechs. Therefore, it doesn't appear to me to be

22 logical that they could have organised in this way, committed any

23 large-scale massacres. Whether there were individual incidents, that is

24 up to the individuals who have the specific information; I do not.

25 JUDGE MAY: I want to clarify the situation. Were there reports

Page 23368

1 of casualties at all that were being inflicted on the people of Vukovar?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were. Reports were arriving

3 daily about dead and a large number of wounded that were filling the

4 Vukovar Hospital, and that was the gravest problem, a shortage of

5 medicines and the hospital beds that were overflowing with patients.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. General, I appreciate that you were not on the spot at the time

8 and you couldn't know from your own direct knowledge, but are you claiming

9 that you know nothing about the killing of several hundred Serb civilians

10 in Vukovar? Is that what you're claiming? Just say yes or no, please.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Is it true that the barracks in Vukovar was blocked? Just say yes

13 or no, please.

14 A. No.

15 Q. So it wasn't under blockade. Very well. Tell me then, please --

16 I should like to move on to a different topic now. Is it true that from

17 the first half of 1992, a large contingent of armed forces from Croatia

18 was situated in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

19 A. No.

20 Q. Do you know how many Croatian troops there were in the territory

21 of Odzak municipality in mid-1992? And this is in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 A. I don't know. I can only comment on the situation regarding the

23 Croatian air force because I was its commander at the time and I know

24 about that.

25 Q. Very well. We'll come to that too. And are you familiar with a

Page 23369

1 document of the 14th of June, 1992, in the command of the 2nd HVO Brigade

2 of Odzak municipality to the effect that Serb prisoners from the military

3 prison in Odzak, which was, I assume, under your command, be used to clean

4 minefields, clear minefields, upon which they should be returned to the

5 prison? Did you have occasion to see such an order?

6 A. I don't know about that.

7 Q. So you don't know anything about that, that afterwards they didn't

8 return and so on, so I won't ask you about that.

9 And do you know that according to data of the Yugoslav federal

10 commission for collecting information on war crimes, in Posavina alone in

11 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina there were 17 camps in which Serbs

12 were detained and that they were under the direct control of the HVO?

13 A. No, I don't know.

14 Q. So you don't know anything about the presence of the Croatian army

15 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina as of 1992?

16 A. No, I don't know anything about that.

17 Q. Tell me, General, as the commander of the air defences, you were

18 actively involved in the Operation Storm?

19 A. Yes, I was.

20 Q. Is it true that your activities in connection with Storm were not

21 completed when Knin fell?

22 A. The activities ended when the Storm operation ended, and it lasted

23 -- as far as I can remember, it lasted 72 hours.

24 Q. And is it true that you monitored the movement of refugee columns

25 containing thousands and thousands of Serbs during that operation, and are

Page 23370

1 you aware of shelling by your air force of those refugee columns?

2 A. No. I do not know that the Croatian air force shelled refugee

3 columns.

4 Q. But you lost an officer, a pilot, above the territory of Bosnia

5 and Herzegovina in those operations against refugee columns. Do you

6 remember that?

7 A. That is not true. During Operation Storm, the Croatian air force

8 did not have a single casualty. It had one plane damaged, which landed at

9 Pleso airport, but not a single human casualty.

10 Q. And do you know that for this crime, that is the attack on refugee

11 columns, your former colleague, Croatian Colonel Janko Bobetko, accused

12 you of that?

13 A. I'm familiar with Janko Bobetko's interview, but as far as I know,

14 he cannot accuse anyone. He can present his position, that is his right,

15 and his opinion. But in those days he was excluded from running the

16 operation, so that he wasn't well-informed.

17 Q. So what Bobetko said is not true; is that right?

18 A. With regard to me, it is not.

19 Q. But you do agree that these are very serious accusations, aren't

20 they?

21 A. If they were to be true, yes, I agree, they were serious.

22 Q. And tell me, please, I assume that all your military archives in

23 Croatia are accessible to you and that as a high-ranking military

24 official, it is easy for you to familiarise yourself with the contents in

25 those archives.

Page 23371

1 A. I didn't hear a question. You were just making a statement.

2 Q. My question is, is that true?

3 A. In principle, I can have access to any document that I ask for.

4 Q. And in that context, has anyone from here asked for documents

5 about such serious accusations as those made by Bobetko?

6 A. I don't know that.

7 Q. In view of the fact that you have the position that you have now,

8 do you believe that there is no problem -- there would be no problems to

9 obtain information from the archives which would disown these accusations

10 of Bobetko's against you, General Tus, Stipetic, and the others? You know

11 that there were various accusations there.

12 A. Croatia has committed itself to supply The Hague Tribunal all the

13 documents required by it.

14 Q. And do you know that the Association of Refugees from the Republic

15 of Srpska Krajina, based in Banja Luka, because of these activities,

16 placed you on the list of war crimes responsible for Serb victims in the

17 Storm operation in August 1995?

18 A. I'm not aware of that, but according to the guesswork in some

19 yellow press, I have read that. But officially, I was never informed of

20 any such thing.

21 Q. As we don't have enough time, I would just like us briefly to

22 cover - very briefly - a few statements contained in the transcript, or

23 the minutes, of the meeting. It says here in the presidential palace on

24 the 23rd of August, 1995, minutes from a conversation between the

25 president, Franjo Tudjman, with military leaders of the Republic of

Page 23372

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Page 23373

1 Croatia, held on the 23rd of August in the presidential palace.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This would be, Mr. May, your

3 01325991. This is quite a lengthy document, quite lengthy minutes, and I

4 will quote only a couple of passages.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. On page 3, it is stated and I quote: "The area of Petrova Gora

7 and around it, in that area before the war, those three municipalities, as

8 seen on this map highlighted in red, was inhabited by 4.259 [as

9 interpreted] Croats, only 4.529 [as interpreted]." I'm quoting this.

10 "And 26.298 Serbs, which means almost virtually vacant area and our

11 national priority number one is to inhabit the area with Croats and to

12 achieve a balance as far as possible." Do you remember that? You

13 attended that meeting, as far as I can see from these minutes.

14 A. I don't remember that.

15 Q. You don't remember attending that meeting?

16 JUDGE MAY: General, when the accused has asked his next question

17 about the next passage, you can look at the minutes. You can then tell us

18 about it.

19 Yes, what's your next question?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have those minutes,

21 Mr. President.

22 JUDGE MAY: I know. We'll get them for you.

23 What's the next point, Mr. Milosevic?

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am just referring here, Mr. May,

25 to a few facts which show that this is actually ethnic cleansing.

Page 23374

1 JUDGE MAY: I know. You've made your point. Now, what's the next

2 question? And then the witness can see the document.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. The next question refers to Dr. Jure Radic, who says - this is

5 page 01035995 - in Knin there were 1.600 Croats, in Srb 29, in Doljani not

6 a single one, in Donji Lapac, 14. So these were purely Serb settlements,

7 and this applies in particular to Srb, where there were 29 Croats, in

8 Doljani not a single one, and in Donji Lapac 14. Isn't that right, Mr.

9 Agotic?

10 A. Yes. These were predominantly Serb settlements, but I don't know

11 why I need to comment on that in that connection. I did not attend the

12 meeting at which the ethnic composition was analysed.

13 Q. This was at the meeting that you were present at. I'm only

14 reading from that report, from those minutes.

15 JUDGE MAY: Have a look at the document. Let the witness look at

16 the document.

17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters don't have the document. Could

18 Mr. Milosevic be asked --

19 JUDGE MAY: No. No one has the document.

20 Yes. Now, you say he was present at the meeting; is that right?

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.

22 JUDGE MAY: Now, General, can you tell us if you agree with that

23 or not? Do the minutes show that you were present at the meeting?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I have found,

25 Mr. President, I was present. I don't know the details, but judging from

Page 23375

1 what I have found about my own reporting, I stand by what I said today.

2 This is obviously a discussion about the way that Operation Storm should

3 be implemented, which in fact started ten days later.

4 JUDGE MAY: And was it -- what was the nature of the meeting?

5 Could you remind us?

6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think there's a

7 misunderstanding here. We're talking about a meeting which, as far as I

8 can understand, was held, as Mr. Milosevic said, on the 23rd of August and

9 not before Storm.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Would you give the witness your copy to

11 make sure we're talking about the same document.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I said what it was, but I can't give

13 him a copy. I can give him one later on. All I wish to do is to discuss

14 certain elements from the minutes, nothing more than that.

15 JUDGE MAY: Let him look at the document which you have.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here's the first part of the

17 document.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let him look at it and make sure we're talking

19 about the same document.

20 Now, General, is that the same document as the one you've been

21 looking at?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Judging by the first page, it is,

23 because I've compared the first page. We can compare the third, page 3.

24 Yes, that's page 3. It's the same document.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 23376

1 Q. Not to lose more time, Mr. May, if possible.

2 General, take a look at page -- page 01326006. Just a small

3 quotation from that. "I agree that this should be used --" 006, yes, the

4 last digits. That's their number, the one they give us here for the pages

5 to a document. What it says: "I agree that that should be made use of

6 and that in that way we should make Knin Croatian as fast as possible."

7 So this discusses the structure of the population. And then page 00316026

8 where it says: "Vojnic had 76 Croats and 7.300 Serbs." And then the

9 answer is: "All right. It will be different now."

10 I'm going to skip over the next portion. And here we have

11 something that I've marked to remind you that you were actually there at

12 the meeting. It is page --

13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please read the numbers out

14 more slowly.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. It says Colonel General Migogulz [phoen], these are the two best

17 places for sailing.

18 JUDGE MAY: What is the page number? Would you read it slowly for

19 the record.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 01326032. And I'm taking this as

21 evidence of the fact that the witness did indeed attend the meeting. It

22 doesn't matter otherwise, he's talking about his own opinions with respect

23 to the airport. But he did attend the meeting, and that's not in

24 dispute.

25 JUDGE MAY: Do you remember the meeting, General?

Page 23377

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do remember it. It was obviously

2 a meeting that discussed where and how the Croatian army would be deployed

3 on the territory of Croatia.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. I'm going to skip over a lot of this material now. Take a look at

6 page 01326073. Tudjman is speaking, and he says, among other things, the

7 middle paragraph on that page: "And then what you said is clear, that we

8 should not be shallow in our thinking. Perhaps somebody saw me and when I

9 said during my last election speech in 1990, I was a little undiplomatic

10 and said that the borders of the -- of Croatian pretzels are untenable, of

11 the Croatian bun are untenable, which means that we did not -- was not by

12 chance that we created the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna and the HVO

13 and we would have applied these operations there to now. But it means it

14 is true that never in Croatian history did a Croatian soldier control more

15 territory than has been the case hitherto, but it is still clear that in

16 the formal and administrative sense, we cannot have a different

17 organisation than the one we proposed."

18 Therefore, is it possible, General, for you -- that you claim that

19 the Croatian army was not on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it

20 did not take control of the entire area that is being spoken here and the

21 fact that the Croatian soldier never in his entire history held that much

22 territory under his control? And you know that under the NDH there was

23 the whole the Bosnia-Herzegovina that was included --

24 JUDGE MAY: I've stopped -- I've stopped you. You're making a

25 speech.

Page 23378

1 Now, you've read a large section -- you've read a large section of

2 the minutes. Let us begin by saying that.

3 Did President Tudjman, do you remember him saying what he's

4 recorded as saying there? Can you remember that, General?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember all the details,

6 but there is high probability that the quotation is correct and that that

7 was what was said at the time.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. All right. I won't go on with that. All I want to do is, in view

10 of the fact that you yourself said that these transcripts -- these minutes

11 are available to you because you are advisor to the present president, so

12 you do have access to them, and so all I wanted to do was to take a look

13 at one of the minutes which related to -- let me just find it, find the

14 portion I'm looking for. And amongst your collaborators and associates

15 or, rather, his, President Tudjman denies stories going round about some

16 sort of meetings that I had. This is on page 01515277 of these minutes.

17 JUDGE MAY: Now, is this the same meeting?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. No, it's not. But this is your

19 number. It took place on the 7th of May in the presidential palace,

20 and --

21 JUDGE MAY: 7th of May of which year, so we have it recorded.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1997. 1997.

23 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment while the witness finds it.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, just an information. We have

25 these presidential notes, we have then in-house, but we have only

Page 23379

1 translation of parts that actually related to the witness, and those

2 sections that are now quoted from Mr. Milosevic we have not translated

3 here, at least not here in the courtroom, but it's --

4 JUDGE MAY: Have you got a copy? We will adjourn so this can be

5 sorted out, but have you got a copy of the 7th of May, 1997?

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I assume so but we have not yet found it.

7 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think the sensible thing would be to adjourn

8 now, it can be found, and we will resume with questioning on it after the

9 adjournment. We'll adjourn now. Twenty minutes

10 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

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

12 JUDGE MAY: We've now got copies, as I hope the witness has, of

13 the meeting of the 7th of May in the presidential palace.

14 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think you ought to bear in mind

16 that we're progressing fairly slowly, that is to say we're getting through

17 these minutes slowly, so I assume you're going to give me a little more

18 time.

19 JUDGE MAY: We'll see how we get on. Let's get on with it.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. General, first, is it clear what the reason for holding this

22 meeting was? Or, rather, let's put it in a different way: Is it true

23 that with respect to this information meeting which was supplied by, as

24 they say Counsel Nobilo, on the testimony of Stjepan Mesic, that this

25 should remain confidential because they did not want it discovered that

Page 23380

1 this was disclosed about the confidential testimony of Mesic here with

2 respect to something else, another trial.

3 A. Mr. Milosevic, I'm looking at this -- these minutes of the 7th of

4 May. First of all, I never attended that meeting. It was with Nenad

5 Ivankovic, Marko Rebic, according to what it says here, the names I can

6 see, Branko Tudjen too, so that I can't tell you any more about that. I

7 would have to read it, study it, and then give you my opinions.

8 Q. All right. I understand that. But would you please bear in mind

9 the fact, in view of what you yourself confirmed, that these minutes are

10 available to you, the transcripts of the meetings held by President

11 Tudjman and his associates. Page 015177 [as interpreted], that page, this

12 is what it says, and please listen to this carefully. He says of himself

13 that Tudjman manipulated the situation and used it to his advantage and

14 made decisions which the Sabor or parliament should decide whether the

15 Croatian army should be engaged in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

16 JUDGE MAY: Which page is this? Can you help us, please?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 277 [as interpreted]. Page 11 on

18 the minutes themselves page 11. Last digits 277.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. "But the essential point is that certain discussions we had are

21 falsely being interpreted. Everything boils down to the fact, and you'll

22 see that I had a meeting with Milosevic 48 times to discuss the division

23 of Bosnia." That's what Tudjman says. And he later on acknowledges that

24 I had a meeting at his proposal for the first time. "I had a meeting with

25 Milosevic twice bilaterally and one together with Alija Izetbegovic,

Page 23381

1 Milosevic and myself, and we even, and you can tell them that --"

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: [Previous translation continues]...

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, page 11 and then page 12.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Somewhere in Geneva, he goes on to say. We were together. These

6 things repeated themselves and at the meeting we divided Bosnia and we

7 said that there was never any discussion about the division of Bosnia, the

8 carving up in Bosnia. But with Alija in the spring of 1992, we did

9 discuss this. Alija -- the war was stopped, but Alija wanted to remain in

10 Yugoslavia. And then he goes on to say that a solution was that a

11 Serbo-Croatian meeting was reached to put an end to the war.

12 Now, is it clear, according to all this, that your former boss

13 Mesic testified falsely about --

14 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm not going to admit this. The witness was not

15 there. It's quite impossible for him to comment on something else when he

16 wasn't present. Now, there's no point asking him, particularly asking him

17 to comment on some other witness's testimony. You can ask him, of course,

18 about meetings at which he was present, but the status of these minutes of

19 meetings at which he was not present is something we'll have to consider,

20 and certainly that question is one which he cannot possibly answer.

21 Yes. Have you any more questions?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I bore in mind, Mr. May, the

23 fact that the general does have access to all these minutes and that he

24 was able to establish what President Tudjman is saying here, to establish

25 the correctness of it.

Page 23382

1 JUDGE MAY: No. The fact that he's got access to the minutes does

2 not mean that he can give evidence about them. Of course if he's present

3 that's one thing, but if not, it's quite impossible for him to comment.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. May. I take it I can't

5 ask him anything about the minutes. But I assume that we can observe that

6 this is the original document, the original minutes.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Isn't that right, General?

9 JUDGE MAY: Does it look authentic to you?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It does look authentic. And if the

11 Croatian side disclosed it officially, then there's no reason to doubt it,

12 in my opinion.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Tell me, please, General, your former superior, General Anton Tus,

15 was the head of the standing mission of -- to NATO; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Tell me, please, General, the Croatian air force under your

18 command was not only active during Operation Storm but previously as well;

19 is that right?

20 A. Correct.

21 Q. And is it also true that the Croatian air force, following orders

22 from you, became involved in the airspace above Bosnia-Herzegovina and

23 took part there together with the Muslim forces in an operation against

24 the Bosnian Serbs?

25 A. In what sense do you mean acted and took part in together with?

Page 23383

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Page 23384

1 Q. Well, in the form of combat activities.

2 A. It is not true that it participated in combat activities together

3 with the others.

4 Q. So it didn't bomb and shell the columns of Bosnian Serbs or their

5 positions. It did not bomb this -- the forces of the Bosnian Serbs for

6 the Muslim side?

7 A. No, it did not bomb on the side of the Muslim side, nor did it

8 engage in any combat activity in the territory of Bosnia except for 1992,

9 I believe, or perhaps 1993, I don't remember exactly. To the south of the

10 Sava River, towards the artillery positions there, from which the

11 settlements were being targeted on the left bank of the Sava River on

12 Croatian territory, in fact. So on that occasion, one MiG 21 plane was

13 shot down and the pilot killed.

14 Q. What was the pilot's name?

15 A. The pilot's name was Anton Rados.

16 Q. Did you use a pilot by the name of Perisin or something similar?

17 A. Correct.

18 Q. And when did you lose this other pilot in the airspace above

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

20 A. Perisin was shot down on the territory of the Republic of Croatia

21 in the course of the -- of Operation Flash, on the 2nd of May, 1995. And

22 his plane to this day lies on the territory of the Republic of Croatia.

23 It was not pulled out of the area, it lies there still, and that is

24 material proof that he was knocked down over Croatian airspace.

25 Q. A part of the plane fell on the territory of Croatia and another

Page 23385

1 part on Republika Srpska. And did you find Perisin there?

2 A. As far as I know -- as far as we know as to the spot the plane

3 fell on, and he fell on actually because he was catapulted out of the

4 plane, it was on the south bank of the Sava River. That means in Bosnia.

5 He was catapulted from Bosnia but the plane actually crashed down on the

6 left bank of the Sava River, which means on Croatian territory.

7 Q. I see, so the plane fell on Croatia and he fell in Bosnia; is that

8 right?

9 A. He fell on the bent embankment. He was captured or, rather,

10 killed, or perhaps he had already been killed as he was falling to the

11 ground.

12 Q. So you don't know any precise details about that but it was in

13 operations against the Serb forces, without a doubt?

14 A. Yes, that's right. Against the forces not of Republika Srpska but

15 against the forces of the so-called army of SAO Krajina, on the left bank

16 of the Sava River before you get to the bridge at Stare Gradiska. He was

17 given an assignment to hit the artillery positions which were defending

18 the bridge and targeting Croatian forces.

19 Q. All right, General. Now, tell me this, please: Do you know the

20 contents of the piece of information by the security department of the

21 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna dated the 14th of September, 1993, that

22 is to say, the time when the Croatian forces could not have been present

23 on the territory at all?

24 A. No, I don't know about that.

25 Q. Well, I'm going to read something out to you - I have the document

Page 23386

1 in front of me - and then I'm going to let you have a look at it. And

2 from the document you can see it says: "As from Vitez an appeal was

3 launched about the critical situation with regard to ammunition, we

4 undertook to realise the -- to take steps in this matter." And then it

5 says that a helicopter at Lovric from the headquarters of the HVO was

6 asked to table a request for Divulje, that is to say for your own base

7 there, that it has three seriously wounded men in Vitez and that they had

8 to ensure helicopter transport to evacuate them. This was after the talk

9 with Mr. Agotic, and he said let the wounded people go to Kiseljak, be

10 taken to Kiseljak, like the other ones from Nova Bila, which means this

11 was a code name, there were no wounded and injured persons, what you were

12 actually doing was transporting ammunition, and that can be seen from this

13 letter. Do you remember that?

14 A. During the war in Bosnia, Croatia used a transport helicopter to

15 perform more than 100 flights with the aim of evacuating the wounded and

16 injured from the Nova Bila area as well as Kiseljak, Vares and Travnik.

17 Q. Yes, I understand all that, General, but here it says quite openly

18 that Kiseljak, Medjugorje, that an operation was there, and General Agotic

19 took advantage of the occasion to give us this explanation as if he didn't

20 know the background of activities of that kind. And then it goes on to

21 state we flew at an altitude of such-and-such. We landed successfully at

22 the exit to Busovaca, and without switching off our engines, we started

23 unloading the ammunition. So there's no question of any wounded persons.

24 The unloading lasted about eight minutes after which we flew off again and

25 successfully arrived at Firule and after at Divulje. As the place of

Page 23387

1 unloading in Busovaca, there was no -- there were no wounded persons

2 there, we didn't take anybody with us, and we explained to the EEC

3 monitors that we were targeted while we were landing and so we gave up the

4 idea, and they accepted that explanation with all seriousness.

5 So there's no evacuation of wounded here. What this was about was

6 an ammunitions transport. You can take a look at the document yourself.

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness see the document. Just a

8 moment. Let him have it.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Have a look at the document -- community of Herceg-Bosna, the

11 Croatian Defence Council, the HVO.

12 JUDGE MAY: General, would you first of all tell us what the date

13 of the document is, please, if you can see one.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 14th of September, 1993. They

15 are the same documents, both.

16 Mr. President, I see this document for the first time. I don't

17 know whether it is authentic. I cannot vouch for that. And it is

18 difficult for me, therefore, to comment all that it contains. But at

19 Firule if the helicopter landed at Firule, then it brought the wounded.

20 Otherwise, there was no need for it to land at Firule. So there must have

21 been wounded, because he's reporting that he landed at Firule in Split.

22 Now, whether in the course of these sorties which were engaged in

23 in order to evacuate the wounded and the injured and the delivery of

24 medicines to the hospital in Nova Bila where there was a hospital all the

25 time throughout the war and took some other type of aid, I don't know.

Page 23388

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. But General --

3 JUDGE MAY: Let me clarify this. Nova Bila, remind me, is that

4 near Vitez, or where is it?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. Nova Bila is in

6 Vitez municipality. It was a wartime hospital there.

7 JUDGE MAY: So it's accepted that there were helicopter flights in

8 order to evacuate the wounded from there; is that right?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There were more than a hundred

10 flights to evacuate the wounded and injured.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes.

12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may be of

13 assistance. This document was translated by the OTP. We have it in

14 English too. I received it the other day from the OTP. So I would like

15 to ask them to supply you with a copy. It is in English, the whole

16 document.

17 JUDGE MAY: We will have it. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. I'm claiming quite the opposite; that this was not evacuation of

20 wounded, as you explained the second paragraph of this report: "It should

21 be noted that the Kiseljak Medjugorje operation was ongoing which General

22 Agotic took advantage of to provide such an explanation as if he was

23 unaware of the background of these activities."

24 A. Mr. President, I repeat that I do not know whether the document is

25 authentic. I'm just claiming that transport unarmed helicopters were used

Page 23389

1 to evacuate more than a thousand wounded and injured from the territory of

2 Bosnia and Herzegovina, all parts of it.

3 Q. Very well, General. So you're claiming that you did not deliver

4 ammunition to your forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina in this way. Is that what

5 you're claiming?

6 A. That was not my responsibility nor did I have any control over the

7 ammunition, and that is what I'm claiming.

8 Q. So you're claiming that helicopters under your command were not

9 used to transport ammunition.

10 A. Yes. I am claiming that they were not used under my command for

11 the transport of ammunition.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. May, I should like

13 to tender this into evidence. Now, whether it is authentic or not is easy

14 to establish. Also, I would like to tender the first minutes of the

15 meeting that was attended by General Agotic. The first minutes, not the

16 second one which you say he is unable to comment on but the first one at

17 which he did attend.

18 JUDGE MAY: He's unable to comment on it, but on the other hand,

19 he recognised it as authentic and therefore we may well be able to exhibit

20 it.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours --

23 JUDGE MAY: The --

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, the first document that

25 Mr. Milosevic wants to be exhibited is the one from the 23rd of August,

Page 23390

1 1995, and Mr. Agotic was present during these -- this meeting.

2 JUDGE MAY: The first set of minutes, which is the 23rd of August,

3 1995, will be given the first Defence Exhibit number.

4 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 153, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE MAY: The next minutes, those of the 7th of May, although

6 it's right the witness wasn't present, nonetheless, he has stated its

7 authenticity and we admit such documents, can be given the next exhibit

8 number.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 154, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: And finally, the Herceg-Bosna document of the 14th of

11 September, 1993, that can have the final Exhibit number.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 155.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Have you had occasion, Mr. Agotic, to see a statement? I have

16 only received it only in English, by Arif Pasalic, a statement he made

17 here which is very lengthy, and almost entirely it is devoted to the

18 involvement of Croatian forces in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

19 A. No, I did not have occasion to see his statement.

20 Q. Would you like to have a look at it now?

21 JUDGE MAY: Now, it's what somebody else said, and it's totally

22 irrelevant as far as this witness is concerned. If you want to put

23 something from it to the witness, you can, but there's no point the

24 witness looking at it, and it's not admissible.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I could present the whole

Page 23391

1 statement to him, but, for instance, on page 7 of that statement it says:

2 "On the 26th of October, 1992, I arrived in Prozor [In English] and

3 General Slobodan Praljak who was a general of the Croatian army, but he

4 was in the HVO HQ - HVO headquarters - and also with us was Pero Zelenika

5 of the HVO and Srecko Vucina of the HVO headquarters main staff Mostar.

6 The units of HVO, some of whom had the insignia of the Croatian army and

7 the commander of the unit Siljeg, who I think at the time had the rank of

8 major now controlled Prozor."

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. So this is the 26th of October, 1992. Was General Slobodan

11 Praljak a general of the Croatian army?

12 A. As far as I can remember, by then he was already a general of the

13 Croatian army.

14 Q. What was a Croatian general doing in Prozor if you say that the

15 Croatian army was not in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina during those

16 operations?

17 A. I was not in command of General Praljak. He was in the Defence

18 Ministry, assistant minister for political work?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this statement be -- Mr. May?

20 JUDGE MAY: We were discussing, Mr. Milosevic, how much longer you

21 should have, and we've decided that you should have an extra 15 minutes.

22 That gives you 20 minutes in all.

23 Now, yes. No. If you want the statement exhibited, you know the

24 answer is no. You've applied often enough before. Statements of

25 witnesses are not admissible unless there are exceptional circumstances,

Page 23392

1 which don't apply here. You can always call this witness, if you want.

2 Yes.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. And this particular detail that I quoted from the statement, would

6 you like to comment on it or not? Do you believe it to be incorrect?

7 A. I can't comment on that.

8 Q. But let us conclude on this point. You said very clearly that the

9 Croatian army, during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was not in

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?

11 A. Yes, that's right.

12 Q. Very well. That's fine. Allow me now to go back to a matter,

13 because you said that while Vasiljevic was head of security in the JNA or,

14 rather, the security administration of the JNA, there were no members of

15 other ethnicities, is it true that the security administration always had

16 two generals, and as a rule they were Croats? There was Miskovic,

17 Domankusic, who is Mrs. Florence Hartmann's father-in-law. Grubisic,

18 Paricevic, Pavicic. Were they all in the security administration and were

19 they all Croats?

20 A. As far as I know, they were generals in the security

21 administration. I don't know the ethnicity of all of them. This was a

22 long time ago, and in those days I didn't give that any thought.

23 JUDGE MAY: It is alleged that one of them is Mrs. Florence

24 Hartmann's father-in-law. Do you know if that's so or not? You may not

25 know who Mrs. Florence Hartmann is.

Page 23393

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see Mrs. Florence Hartmann when

2 she's making statements on Croatian television. Now, whether she's

3 married and what her family background is, I really have no idea.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Very well. When General Vasiljevic was head of the

6 administration, his deputy was General Tumanov, who was a Macedonian; is

7 that right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Head of the first department, a Slovene, a colonel, Maks Pen; is

10 that right?

11 A. I don't know whether he was head of the first department at that

12 time, but I do know that Maks Pen is a Slovene and that for a time he was

13 in the security service. Now, what position he held after 1989, I don't

14 know.

15 Q. Then a Croat, Lorenzini, do you know him?

16 A. Yes, I do. I know him while he was serving in the 5th Military

17 District. Now, what position he held after that, I don't know.

18 Q. And is it true that while -- at the time that you were suspended,

19 you were suspected of having connections with the foreign intelligence

20 service, and there was a danger of you being taken to court; is that

21 right?

22 A. I hear that for the first time.

23 Q. Very well, General. In your examination-in-chief, you referred to

24 certain events, and tab 34 was used as an example, a report by a major. I

25 haven't noted his name properly, I think it's Riksic or something like

Page 23394

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Page 23395

1 that, about the suffering of civilians in Skabrnja. And this was

2 addressed to the 9th Corps, as you explained it; is that right?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Then in tab 35, the report of the commander of the military police

5 platoon, also from Skabrnja; is that right?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Is it clear from this that -- that there was an investigation with

8 respect to the activities engaged in by representatives of the JNA?

9 A. Yes. That is my assessment, that security organs of the military

10 police conducted an investigation into the situation in Skabrnja.

11 Q. You heard, and I think you used an example, tab 5, for the events

12 in Fruska. The explanation given was that an Ustasha sabotage terrorist

13 group was involved. You heard and you claim that this was attributed to

14 Croats but that the JNA had a different position than the one presented by

15 the police in Benkovac. Is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Does it mean, according to tab 6, that the JNA conducted its

18 investigation in an unbiased manner, according to what you say?

19 A. According to that report, that is the right conclusion.

20 Q. Then you went on to speak about - and this is in tab 7 - about the

21 arrival of 24 people from Knin. And from what you commented on

22 professionally, you said they were people from SAO Krajina and not the

23 JNA; is that right?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. You said that you had urged that the newly elected leaderships of

Page 23396

1 Slovenia and Croatia needed to be recognised. I have to tell you,

2 General, that I hear from you for the first time that the leaderships of

3 Slovenia and Croatia were not recognised, that they were unrecognised. Do

4 you remember that those leaderships participated in regular political life

5 of Yugoslavia, that the president attended meetings of the Presidency of

6 the SFRY when presidents of the republics were invited? I personally

7 attended many sessions together with Tudjman and the others, other members

8 of the Presidency of the SFRY, and he attended as president of Croatia and

9 I as president of Serbia. So what kind of lack of recognition are you

10 referring to regarding the leaderships of Slovenia and Croatia? Janez

11 Stanovnik from Slovenia was also present.

12 A. My statement, Mr. Milosevic, related to recognition of the top of

13 the JNA leadership of the new leaderships.

14 Q. So you're talking about the JNA attitudes.

15 A. Yes, and I gave an example to illustrate this.

16 Q. Very well, General. Let us clear up just one more detail. You

17 said that you were the authorised negotiator with the JNA, that on behalf

18 of the JNA there was General Raseta, who most frequently consulted with

19 Admiral Brovet. That's what you said, isn't it?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Is it true that Admiral Brovet at the time was Deputy Federal

22 Secretary for National Defence?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Is it true that Admiral Brovet is a Slovene?

25 A. It is generally thought that he was a Slovenian. Now, whether he

Page 23397

1 considers himself that, I don't know.

2 Q. His name is Stane Brovet, so I think that is quite clearly a

3 Slovenian first and last name. But no one ever doubted that he was a

4 Slovene?

5 A. That's what I think too, but it's his right to declare himself as

6 he will, so I haven't seen his declaration of ethnicity.

7 Q. You were asked something with respect to these negotiations with

8 Raseta, whether people were leaving of their own free will, and your

9 response to that was that there was general practice in those parts that

10 they would come individually or in groups and cross over into the

11 territory under the control of the Croatian authorities. Is that right,

12 General?

13 A. Mostly they were driven into the separation line by the

14 authorities of the SAO Krajina of the day. Yes, it's true. They came as

15 individuals and in groups too, they would come to the separation line.

16 Q. All right. And you explained that people fled in the face of

17 combat operations too, in the face of the fighting, that they left the

18 area, as you yourself said, faced with the front. Is that right?

19 A. Yes, that's right.

20 Q. So was that a form of ethnic cleansing then or was it just fleeing

21 from the fighting?

22 A. Before the occupation of the territory, we can say the people fled

23 in the face of the fighting, but a planned intimidation through artillery

24 shelling also took place.

25 Q. So this was -- they planned to instil fear into the people so that

Page 23398

1 they should leave; is that right?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And does that apply to Operation Storm when Knin was shelled and

4 when the citizens left the area en masse?

5 A. As to the Storm operation, it was military targets that were

6 targeted and shelled. And as far as I know, this is always done in order

7 to diminish the army's ability to defend itself and not to have the

8 population leave.

9 Q. But the people that stayed on were later on slaughtered and

10 killed. That's right, isn't it?

11 A. I don't know about data of that kind, but I assume there were

12 cases of retaliation and revenge.

13 Q. All right. Now, tell me about this: You mentioned Saborsko and

14 November 1991. Is it, however, true that it was following your orders

15 that an attack had been launched previously on the strategic ammunitions

16 depot belonging to the JNA which was located near Saborsko and in Licka

17 Jesenica? Is that right?

18 A. I don't remember that there was a depot there or that I issued

19 orders to that effect, along those lines.

20 Q. All right. You don't remember. But can I jog your memory that

21 Colonel Bulat, via a mediator in the European Union, sent you an appeal to

22 stop the attack but that you intensified the attack after that and that

23 the attack on the depot reached a crux on the 12th of November, 1991, that

24 it culminated on that date?

25 A. It is possible that that's how it was, but I don't remember those

Page 23399

1 details. And as regards Saborsko, I just commented on the map that was

2 shown to me and gave my opinions about the map.

3 Q. So you gave your opinions as to the map. I see. From your

4 professional viewpoint. You didn't present the data that you knew about.

5 You were just commenting on the map, were you?

6 A. I was commenting on the map and also I said that Saborsko was

7 cleansed and what partially led up to that from talks with the mayor or

8 head of the municipality before that.

9 Q. Well, you said, actually, that the president of the local

10 community of Saborsko reported and asked you to arm them. Is that right?

11 A. Yes. And his name was Luka Hodak.

12 Q. And then later on you went on to say that the citizens fled prior

13 to the conflict and that the defenders, as you called them, withdrew in

14 the face of a stronger force. Is that right?

15 A. Yes, that's right.

16 Q. So were there any crimes that were committed against the

17 population at the time or was it a purely military operation?

18 A. It was quite obviously a military operation. Now, whether in the

19 course of that military operation any crimes took place as well, I don't

20 know. But a crime is a crime if you want to leave the village empty of

21 its inhabitants so that you could go ahead and destroy the village after

22 that. So that is, for me, a crime and the inordinate use of force along

23 with it.

24 Q. Now, tell me this: As there was fighting that culminated on the

25 12th of November, 1991, fighting around this depot, do you remember that

Page 23400

1 it was under your command that some foreign mercenaries fought? There

2 were Scandinavians, for example, and among the dead on your side there

3 were several people who quite obviously were not from the Yugoslav parts.

4 The colour of their skin was different and they were also foreign

5 mercenaries. Do you remember that?

6 A. In the Croatian army there were dozens of nationalities and

7 foreign nationals, in fact. I don't know the exact figure, and I don't

8 know who they were and who died where, but many of them were killed, that

9 is true. They were not foreign mercenaries who were engaged in the

10 pejorative sense, they were volunteers who had come up to join the ranks

11 of the regular Croatian army of their own free will.

12 Q. All right, General. Now, as you say you commented on the map and

13 the 5th Partisan Brigade was mentioned, do you happen to know that in

14 Saborsko and the surrounding parts, at least according to the information

15 that I have been given, collected by my associates, that there was no 5th

16 Partisan Brigade of any kind? It was the 9th Light Brigade from Licka

17 Jesenica, in fact, which was there and which, in fact, deblocked the

18 kerosine and ammunitions depot there.

19 A. There is the possibility that the 9th Light Brigade was used to

20 that effect because there were quite a number of units in the area.

21 However, it was the Partisan -- whether it was the 5th Partisan or some

22 other title, some other name, it was responsible for that territory. Now,

23 what the make-up was in the former JNA and how it became part of the SAO

24 Krajina army...

25 Q. Otherwise, let's just go back for a moment to a question we were

Page 23401

1 discussing, and we cleared it up. It wasn't that there was no recognition

2 of Croatia and Slovenia because they took part normally and then you

3 reduced this to meaning the JNA, to refer to the JNA alone. Now, my

4 information tells me that there is television footage from the first Sabor

5 of the newly elected leadership with the presence of representatives of

6 the JNA there as guests. They were guests invited. They were

7 representatives of the JNA, the command in charge of Croatia, and so on.

8 A. I don't know of this footage, so I can't comment. But what I do

9 know is that JNA representatives from the corresponding commands and

10 headquarters did attend the constituting of the first Sabor parliament of

11 the Republic of Croatia once the new authorities had come into power.

12 Q. They were present. That's right, isn't it?

13 A. Yes, when the Croatian Assembly was constituted, known as the

14 Sabor.

15 Q. And when the newly elected president was promoted, President

16 Tudjman.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. So the JNA didn't boycott the new authorities, did it?

19 A. I don't remember whether it was the JNA, but what I do know is

20 that there was a commander there of the Territorial Defence of the

21 Republic of Croatia. He was present. And there is a picture of him in

22 the Croatian parliament to this day. But I don't remember who was present

23 on the JNA side.

24 Q. You said that a company of the Territorial Defence from Plasko was

25 at Saborsko; right?

Page 23402

1 A. In Plasko, yes, there was one. And it took some sort of part in

2 the operation on Saborsko.

3 Q. But you emphasise that it wasn't an operation launched by the

4 Territorial Defence but the lawful and -- of the lawful and legitimate JNA

5 units; right? That's what you said.

6 A. It was an operation both on the part of the Serbian Territorial

7 Defence along with participation of JNA units.

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, your time is now up. You can ask one

9 more question, though, of this witness.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Well, as you said, General, that a part of the weaponry was

12 destroyed, could you please comment on these facts and figures that I have

13 been given. We refer to Delnice and Grobnicko Polje and the warehouse or

14 depot in Sapijane, if I've got the name right. Is it true and correct

15 that the attack by the ZNG on the 11th of October, 1991, the Croatian

16 National Guard Corps was launched against the warehouse of the 5th

17 Military District, its depot, and that the defence was put up by a unit of

18 the Delnice Brigade, commander of the Viljeka Corps, under the command of

19 Colonel Dzuro Vitanovic, and that the fighting went on until the 15th of

20 October to secure control and that finally the depot was taken over on the

21 17th of October and that the JNA did not set fire to anything, that you

22 were able to take on the entire contents, although prior to that an

23 agreement had been reached with you about a non-attack, a non-attack

24 agreement. And at the head of the Croatian National Guard Corps was

25 Colonel Jokovic who was expelled from the JNA, and then later on, you

Page 23403

1 expelled him too, after an abortive attack on a village in Lika.

2 JUDGE MAY: Let us restrict this to one question. The question

3 that you can ask is this: General, would you deal with the allegation

4 concerning an attack in October on the warehouse of the 5th Military

5 District. Is the account which the accused has given of that correct or

6 not?

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just finish my sentence?

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. It was a warehouse that was guarded by 70 soldiers and the attack

10 was launched by 2.000 members of the Croatian National Guards Corps.

11 A. That was the ratio -- I can't say what the ratio of forces was but

12 that we had 2.000 members of the ZNGs in the Delnice region, had we had

13 that number, then we would have done the job far quicker. So I doubt as

14 to the correctness of those figures. However, taking control of the

15 warehouse in Delnice did take place, perhaps on the date that Mr.

16 Milosevic states, and after that, and that was customary generally

17 speaking, two days later in fact, the warehouse was bombed by the JNA air

18 force and everything destroyed, everything that was not pulled out was

19 destroyed, and that was the principle followed in all the activities when

20 warehouses were taken over by the JNA.

21 JUDGE MAY: No, you've had your time.

22 Mr. Tapuskovic.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

24 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Agotic, yesterday during the

Page 23404

1 examination-in-chief you spoke about some documents which are contained in

2 the list of exhibits that attended your testimony, and you mentioned some

3 of them in the various tabs. And for Sabici and some other documents,

4 when you looked at them in view of their contents, formed the way in which

5 they were compiled, you said that they were authentic documents. That's

6 right, isn't it?

7 A. Could you repeat what you said about Sabici? Which Sabic?

8 Q. There were several documents whose authenticity you confirmed.

9 A. That's correct.

10 Q. Even some documents that weren't signed you said you thought were

11 authentic ones.

12 A. Yes, that's right, because that's how they were written during my

13 time in the JNA. They didn't need to contain signatures and they were

14 considered authentic.

15 Q. All right. Now, this document, the one that was shown to you a

16 moment ago, dated the 14th of September, 1993, when you yourself were

17 already a member of the Croatian army. I should like to ask you now to

18 take a look at that document. I have a copy here. I don't know if it's

19 been given back to you. Do you have a copy? No? Here it is, then.

20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the document has

21 been translated into English.

22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that's Defence Exhibit 155.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. If you look at the document, you'll be able to see that it has a

25 number and a date. It says "Memorandum" and it has a stamp in the upper

Page 23405

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Page 23406

1 right-hand corner, and it even has some initials at the bottom. That's

2 right, isn't it?

3 A. The stamp is illegible so I can't guarantee that.

4 Q. Yes, but everything else, judging by the form, how it was

5 compiled, was compiled in the way that these things were done when you

6 were commander of the ZNG.

7 A. No, we didn't have any rules as to how documents should be written

8 in the intelligence service and security administration.

9 Q. All right. I understand that. But I'd like to ask you whether

10 you know what this at the bottom might mean, the initials BA. Who could

11 that be?

12 A. Usually they are the initials of the man who compiled the

13 document.

14 Q. Now, I'd like to ask you to focus on the contents, and they

15 mention these flights and that President Tudjman was consulted with

16 respect to those flights. Is that right? Do you know that President

17 Tudjman was consulted with respect to those flights?

18 A. He wasn't consulted for each individual flight.

19 Q. All right. Fine. Now, can you tell me who Colonel Ticinovic is?

20 A. Colonel Ticinovic was the commander of the air force base of

21 Divulje.

22 Q. And he was under your command?

23 A. Yes, he was under my command.

24 Q. Well, in paragraph 5 -- one, two, three, four -- paragraph 4,

25 several hours -- after several hours of indecision, General Pupotic

Page 23407

1 [phoen], Nagotic [phoen] gave their permission for the flight, a flight

2 that transported 190.000 pieces of ammunition, 7.62 calibre. Do you know

3 anything about that?

4 A. That is the customary procedure for giving the okay for the

5 flights. Now, what the contents were, what the cargo was, I can't say for

6 sure, whether the planes contained what you say they did.

7 Q. But take a look at the document. We see that permission was asked

8 by the ECMMs, that first of all they did not give their permission for the

9 flight and then after Bagaric's report was received that they were dealing

10 with three soldiers who were in a coma, that permission was given for the

11 flight. Do you know about that?

12 A. That was customary. Dr. Bagaric was the head of the medical corps

13 of the Croatian Defence Council, as far as I remember, or rather, the head

14 of the hospital in Novo Bila and Kiseljak, thereabouts, in those parts.

15 Q. All right, fine. Now take a look at paragraph 2 on page 2, and it

16 says the following -- is it true? That the European Community was

17 explained that we were targeted in our attempts to land and that we gave

18 up the idea; that is to say that we never went through with it. They

19 never went through with it; is that right?

20 A. I don't see anything that can be brought into dispute there. They

21 accepted that with all seriousness.

22 Q. Yes, I understand. And finally, it says this flight caused a wave

23 of enthusiasm once again in the population and the soldiers and as is

24 characteristic after flights of this kind, an operation is launched to

25 cleanse part of the territory taken control of. For example, Grbavica was

Page 23408

1 cleansed. Do you know anything about that?

2 A. No, I don't.

3 Q. All right. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask you something else,

4 something about the minutes. One of the minutes was presented here to

5 this Trial Chamber a few days ago, and it has to do with the meeting on

6 the 31st of July held on Brioni islands in 1995. Did you attend that

7 meeting?

8 A. I did attend one meeting. Now, whether that was that particular

9 meeting I can't say.

10 Q. All right. I'll ask you something about that later on. And the

11 other was held on the 23rd of August, 1995, and you've already said that

12 you did attend that particular meeting. Will you now take a look, please,

13 at page 21 on the B/C/S version or, rather, it is the -- the number is --

14 the ERN number is 26011. I have it here. I have a copy here, in fact.

15 Could you have a look at page 26011. And what Major General Vinko

16 Vrbanjac says. Have you got it in front of you?

17 A. Yes, I have.

18 Q. This is what he says: "Mr. President, by liberating the third

19 part of the occupied territory, the Republic of Croatia has created the

20 conditions for what you said in your introduction to in a military fashion

21 in fact arrive at a change in the population." Is that what he said? Did

22 he say that?

23 A. Yes, he did.

24 Q. And then afterwards, the president says the following: "It is by

25 a lucky chance that this liberation in view of the strategic position in

Page 23409

1 fact requires a deployment of our military units which would solve to a

2 great extent the demographic setup."

3 Did you hear that? Did you hear him say that? Was it what he

4 said and can you comment, please.

5 A. These matters were discussed probably at that meeting as well, but

6 this has to do with something quite different, Mr. Tapuskovic; namely,

7 after the war, it was felt that Croatia should devote more attention to

8 certain neglected areas by refreshing them demographically by stationing

9 the army in those areas, and the discussion was to that effect rather than

10 the army going there and chasing out a population of a different ethnicity

11 from that area.

12 Q. I understand. Now, look at page 26067, I think it's towards the

13 end in the B/C/S version, where President Tudjman is speaking. The same

14 document. The number is 01326067. Have you found it?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. I have to quote just a part of it. You can comment on it, but I'm

17 only interested in this point. He started in this way wait: "Wait, wait,

18 let us be realistic now," and then look at the end. True, this is

19 reference to Vitalina and Molunat - two letters are missing - but it

20 says: "We had half a million Serbs there and where are they now?"

21 Do you remember this being said? We had half a million Serbs, and

22 where are they now?

23 A. The reference is probably to the entire territory of Croatia.

24 Q. Very well. And now, are you familiar with a report, because you

25 say that the whole Operation Storm was completed 72 -- after 72 hours, and

Page 23410

1 after that there was no threat to the safety of people, to their property

2 and their lives. Is that right?

3 A. I said that the operation was completed in that time and that the

4 Croatian army had completed its part of the work. It had liberated the

5 area. As for the establishment of authorities, that is up to someone

6 else, not the army.

7 Q. I have a document which I received from the OTP. Their Honours

8 can look at it. I have sufficient number of copies. This is document

9 Weekly Assessment of the Command of the ECMM in Zagreb of the 14th of

10 August, 1995, number 2668536858. And it says on page 3: "Five weeks

11 after Operation Storm, harassment continued and in some cases killing of

12 Serb inhabitants, which means several weeks after the Croatian forces had

13 been deployed in the area. So killings continued as well as constant

14 looting, which is contrary to official reports according to which law and

15 order had been established. In fact, this is continuing because of lack

16 of interest on the part of the Croatian government to put an end to it."

17 Are you familiar with this report of the ECMM?

18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, I must ask you how you see your role.

19 I mean, this seems to be just repeating what the accused is saying.

20 You're not here to represent Serbia, you're here to assist the Court. The

21 accused is putting forward a defence, and there's no reason for you to add

22 to it.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really am not at

24 all trying to be a Defence counsel for Mr. Slobodan Milosevic. I am

25 trying to act in accordance with your instructions, to draw your attention

Page 23411

1 to every matter which I consider to be important for you. I am focusing

2 only on documents. I haven't tendered a single document myself. I am

3 only focusing on the documents I received from the OTP and drawing your

4 attention to them. I'm not trying to defend anyone, I'm just highlighting

5 matters about which it is up to you to rule. We have a witness here that

6 you will believe or you will not believe, that is absolutely up to you.

7 But it is my duty to draw your attention to documents that I believe you

8 need to devote your attention to, and that is all I am doing. I think

9 they are important, and I think that when you have to determine -- make

10 your determinations, that you need to bear them in mind.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Is there anything you want to say about it,

12 General?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Tapuskovic, would you please

14 repeat to me what is the date of that ECMM report.

15 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. It is a report of the ECMM of the 14th of August, 1995.

17 A. How then --

18 Q. This was ten days after the operation.

19 A. You said five weeks after the Operation Storm that massacres

20 continued, and on the 14th of August, that was only nine days after the

21 beginning of the operation.

22 Q. But you said that everything was over in 72 hours.

23 A. I am claiming that the military part of the operation was

24 completed in 72 hours.

25 Q. Very well. I won't go back to that again, but let me also draw

Page 23412

1 the attention of Their Honours to one further point.

2 Do you remember attending a meeting on the 31st of July, 1995,

3 when the last words by President Tudjman were the following: "Wait. I'm

4 going to Geneva in order to conceal this and not to discuss things there.

5 I will not send a minister, I will send the Assistant Minister of Internal

6 Affairs to conceal what we are preparing for the day after so that we

7 eliminate all arguments to the world that we didn't wish to negotiate but

8 we wished only," et cetera. Do you remember President Tudjman saying

9 that?

10 A. I attended the meeting at Brioni just prior to Operation Storm. I

11 do not recollect that particular detail. But do you think that someone

12 would publish, would announce to the whole world that they were engaging

13 in an operation, about to engage in an operation?

14 Q. I'm not claiming anything, Mr. Agotic, I'm just drawing attention

15 to what was said. And here are some more words by the president: "But I

16 am mentioning this because we must conceive our operations and implement

17 them in such a way not to give cause to Yugoslavia, Milosevic, and their

18 friends in the West to accept the intervention of Yugoslavia on Croatian

19 soil." End of quote.

20 Do you remember that that was what was said? And then he repeated

21 again, "I'm saying again, we must not left ourselves be provoked so as to

22 give Yugoslavia a cause to go to war." Do you remember that?

23 A. It was probably like that.

24 Q. Finally, on that same page, it says: "Next year we will have

25 Croatia and tourism, and also we will be shaping the borders of Croatia in

Page 23413

1 Bosnia." This was stated in 1995. Do you remember that?

2 A. I don't remember that particular detail regarding Bosnia but that

3 we had extra forces that could be reduced, that is true.

4 Q. Now we have the minutes from the 23rd of August that you attended.

5 Do you remember that the president said the following on that occasion:

6 "If international circumstances were such, and if we had had the wisdom,

7 and if I had been told that the Yugoslav air force, assisted with Russian

8 rockets, would be engaged in this war, then today we would have had

9 borders that would have suited not only Croatia but the whole world"?

10 A. I said that probably the entire minutes are authentic, but that

11 particular detail, in view of the time distance and the length of the

12 meeting, I don't recollect.

13 Q. Can you answer my question if there was fear that the Yugoslav

14 army would get involved? That means that in the Serbian Krajina, where

15 the operation was conducted -- not Serbian Krajina, in the Krajina

16 inhabited by Serbs, there was no Yugoslav army at the time.

17 A. That was 1995.

18 Q. Very well. But then in Croatia, there were no Yugoslav army

19 forces.

20 A. It was no longer called the Yugoslav army, it was called the army

21 of SAO Krajina.

22 Q. And let me complete this questioning with the minutes. If you

23 could please look at the last page or, rather, I'll read it out to you,

24 the last page of this report of the 23rd of August, 1995, in which it says

25 as follows, the very end: "Then it's not a tactical matter. It is a

Page 23414

1 matter for state policies, and does my word mean anything?" And then what

2 I think to be particularly important: "For me to be able to rely on

3 allies and friends who, as you can see, are such that they are not

4 pursuing our policies but their own policies." End of quote.

5 Does that really mean that the friends he's referring to here were

6 more concerned about their own strategic and political goals than the

7 interests of Croatia, as President Tudjman put it?

8 A. It is only logical that everyone should give priority to one's own

9 interest.

10 Q. As I don't have much time, finally let me ask you one more thing.

11 Since between 1971 and 1974, you were in Bihac working in security

12 affairs; is that right?

13 A. Yes, that's right.

14 Q. Do you remember events linked to the Croatian spring?

15 A. Yes, I do.

16 Q. The mass movement.

17 A. Yes, I remember.

18 Q. It is true that that was the first major separatist, nationalist

19 action designed to achieve Croatia's independence?

20 A. It is not right. It was a movement in Croatia which set out

21 requests for redefining internal relationships within the former

22 Yugoslavia, which was a perfectly legal requirement of one of the members

23 of the federation.

24 Q. But wasn't that movement halted precisely because the JNA, under

25 the leadership of Josip Broz Tito, was still very powerful?

Page 23415

1 A. Correct. And the international circumstances were such that it

2 was halted.

3 Q. I probably wouldn't have asked you this had you not worked in the

4 area. Bugojno was within your area of responsibility, wasn't it?

5 A. Not quite. I didn't have a particular territory. There our

6 ground forces held the territory, not the air force.

7 Q. And do you know that a very large terrorist group was infiltrated

8 at the time whose aim was to start an uprising, and there was a serious

9 conflict between the JNA and that group?

10 A. Yes. I am familiar with that case and the operation.

11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, do I have a few

12 more minutes?

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, just a few.

14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. The ideas of the Croatian spring, were they reflected when the

16 constitution was adopted in 1974 when eight states were formed and the JNA

17 was broken up as a basis for some future activities?

18 A. Yes. That was one of the victories of the so-called Croatian

19 spring.

20 Q. Now, tell me now, when President Mesic testified here - and it can

21 also be found in Kucan's statement, although I didn't have time to

22 question him about it - that there were three integrating factors of the

23 unity of Yugoslavia: First, the authority of Josip Broz Tito; secondly,

24 the League of Communists; and thirdly, the powerful Yugoslav People's

25 Army.

Page 23416

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Page 23417

1 A. I have heard of that statement, and I agree with it.

2 Q. With the death of Josip Broz Tito, the first condition was

3 available for achieving disintegration, and were certain activities

4 engaged in already in 1980 after his death? And I'm sure that you had

5 intelligence information already then that could be used for the break-up

6 of Yugoslavia.

7 A. Probably there were individuals who wanted the break-up of

8 Yugoslavia, but when I speak about the disappearance of three integrating

9 factors for Yugoslavia, I am thinking of the Yugoslavia that we had up

10 until then. It needed to be redefined, and this required the political

11 will of all parties. Yes. Tito had physically gone, but his authority

12 still lasted.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And then that authority had to be undermined too.

15 A. Some people wanted to achieve that.

16 Q. And wasn't that done when his birthday ceased to be celebrated,

17 then abolishing the relay baton race that existed regularly for his

18 birthday, and finally, the military parade on the 9th of May in

19 observation of Victory Day was no longer held. Is that true?

20 A. Yes, that's true.

21 Q. And did the League of Communists need to be broken up?

22 A. If was one of the integrating factors. It needed to be redefined.

23 That's how I see the 14th Congress.

24 Q. And was the main principle of the League of Communists democratic

25 centralism, which meant that until a decision is taken, everyone can have

Page 23418

1 his own opinion, but afterwards, the majority opinion should prevail?

2 A. Yes, but not non-democratic centralism, which would mean

3 outvoting.

4 JUDGE MAY: I think we've really heard this, thank you very much.

5 Anything more you want to ask the witness?

6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll go directly to a question

7 and the point of this.

8 Q. As you worked in the intelligence and security service, did you

9 know, and we heard from somebody who was your superior, Mr. Vasiljevic,

10 but had you heard of the existence of two plans, that first every attempt

11 be made either to provoke the JNA so that it should started acting first,

12 or to attack the JNA? Provoke it or attack it?

13 A. Who had such plans?

14 Q. Had you heard of any such plans from within certain circles?

15 JUDGE MAY: This is the point: You're now putting forward a

16 positive Defence case, and it's not your role, in my judgement, to do

17 that. The accused does that. Now, unless there's anything more, I think

18 we need to go on to the re-examination in order to finish by quarter past.

19 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'll finish my examination.

20 Q. When you were speaking about the capture of barracks, did this

21 occur in the second half of August before any conflict of any scale had

22 started?

23 A. It was in the second half of August when the main operation

24 started to capture barracks and block them.

25 Q. On the 2nd of July, you virtually stopped working in the JNA, and

Page 23419

1 is it true that on the 1st of July, Mr. Mesic became president of the

2 Presidency?

3 A. I don't remember the exact date when he became president.

4 Q. Could you please explain to the Trial Chamber the following: When

5 what happened happened, you said that the Yugoslav army became a Serbian

6 army. Roughly, something to that effect; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And all officers and soldiers who were Croats, did they all remain

9 in the Croatian army, the others in the Bosnian army or in the Macedonian

10 army? Virtually when the Yugoslav People's Army broke up, several new

11 armies were formed, and they inherited a certain portion of the weaponry

12 of the JNA?

13 A. That is partially true.

14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tapuskovic. Mr. Tapuskovic, because since you

16 are a legal expert, being different from the accused, I'd like to ask this

17 question. You dealt with some -- Operation Storm and some later events

18 afterwards which took place much after the events which -- which is

19 included in the indictment against the accused. What I would like to ask

20 you is this: What relevance does it have in relation to the indictment?

21 Could you explain it in legal terms? Is it a self-defence or are you

22 triggering a tu quoque theory, or what else?

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you will be ruling

24 about that. It is my duty to address all matters which might be of

25 significance for your determination. In my judgement as an amicus, it is

Page 23420

1 my opinion that all the circumstances that preceded all these events need

2 to be studied carefully. This is a rare case in the history of

3 civilisation that an army within a territory on one day -- these are

4 people who served in the army from Serbia, in Slovenia, people from

5 Montenegro and Kosovo. This was all a mixture, a melting pot. In a

6 single day, this ceased to be the Yugoslav People's Army, and you need to

7 examine the circumstances in which that Yugoslav People's Army broke up,

8 disappeared from the stage, and how all this affected the behaviour of the

9 people who constituted that state. It is very difficult to determine the

10 actual turning point when this happened, and this state of mind among the

11 people when a state disappeared in one moment. Therefore, you need to

12 establish that there were plans for criminal action. It is up to you to

13 determine this, of course.

14 I am confident, and that is why I am addressing these matters,

15 that at that point in time there were no plans to engage in crime, that

16 this was initially a civil war and that mostly it was a civil war, and as

17 amicus curiae, we have presented our views in our submissions prior to

18 Croatia, the Croatian case, and I think it is up to you in the first place

19 to decide whether a civil war broke out first and then was followed by all

20 these events that you have to adjudicate.

21 JUDGE KWON: What I asked about is the Operation Storm. I think

22 there's a point in what you are saying, but what significance does it have

23 in relation to legal terms? Because you are a friend of the court and a

24 legal expert - we are not in a history class - what does it have to do

25 with the indictment? Could you spell it out specifically.

Page 23421

1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honours. It is

2 up to you to rule on the legal matters, whether this was the right to

3 self-defence in all the areas in which this happened.

4 Storm is a consequence of what the Serb population in Krajina

5 feared. It is what caused the things we are talking about. So this

6 problem, this right to self-determination, is another important issue that

7 you will have to rule on. But of course, I believe that in that context,

8 you will need to bear in mind certain historical facts, because unless you

9 as Judges do not delve into those historical circumstances to some extent,

10 I fear that you would be seriously amiss. Not going back I don't know how

11 long into history but at least covering the Second World War period. And

12 unless those things are taken into consideration, I think that would be a

13 very serious omission.

14 JUDGE KWON: I think that's all. I can get as much as I can now.

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Two quick questions. The first relates to

16 the Vukovar barracks.

17 Re-examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:

18 Q. Mr. Milosevic put to you whether these barracks were blocked, and

19 your answer to this was no. And I would like to clarify about which time

20 period you were actually speaking. Were the Vukovar barracks ever blocked

21 by the Croats, and if so, was it deblockaded at some point in time?

22 A. The barracks at Vukovar were never under the blockade of the

23 Croatian forces, and on a regular basis, people could go in and out of it

24 onto the side controlled by the Territorial Defence of the day, of Serbia,

25 or, rather, the Serb part of the population south of Vukovar.

Page 23422

1 Q. And the second question I have relates to the Operation Storm.

2 General, did the Croatian army have any intelligence on the possible

3 reactions of the FRY or the VJ before launching the operation?

4 A. I didn't have intelligence data available to me of that kind which

5 would indicate the reactions of Yugoslavia and what it would be. They

6 were just assessments, that the possibility existed, et cetera, et cetera,

7 that from the area of Serbia, from Yugoslavia, actually, that there would

8 be reactions in a certain way through some breakthroughs onto the

9 territory of the Republic of Croatia from the eastern sector, Sector East,

10 that is to say the eastern zone which was occupied at the time. I'm

11 referring to the territory of Croatia.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: That's all, Your Honours.

13 JUDGE MAY: General Agotic, that concludes your evidence. Thank

14 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now free to go.

15 One matter was raised. It doesn't concern the witness at all,

16 it's to do with the exhibits, so you don't have to be concerned.

17 I'm told there's no difficulty about the exhibits, in fact. But

18 there is one matter I want to raise.

19 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, you had put in a motion for four Croatian 92

20 bis witnesses to be introduced. I guess you're dealing with it?

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

22 JUDGE MAY: It may be convenient if we hear briefly about it

23 tomorrow before the adjournment, so at about half past one tomorrow, if

24 you'd like to be in then.

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour

Page 23423

1 [The witness withdrew]

2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We will adjourn. Twenty minutes.

3 --- Recess taken at 12.19 p.m.

4 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.

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

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

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

8 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.

9 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1244

10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome.

12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the Prosecution will be tendering a

13 binder of 16 exhibits. Could I ask that that binder be assigned a number

14 at this stage.

15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that's Prosecution Exhibit 476.

16 MR. GROOME: And if we could begin the examination with the

17 witness being shown Prosecution Exhibit 476, tab 1.

18 Examined by Mr. Groome:

19 Q. Sir, I will ask you to look at the top line of this exhibit and

20 ask you if that's your name contained therein.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. For the purposes of protecting your identity, you will be referred

23 to as B-1244.

24 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I would tender that under seal and ask

25 that we go into closed session briefly for a related matter.

Page 23424

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

2 [Private session]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [Open session]

16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we're in open session.

17 MR. GROOME:

18 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to begin your testimony by identifying,

19 with a sentence or two, several people. I'm also going to display on the

20 television screen before you a chart, and I would ask you, have you seen

21 this chart that's displayed on the television screen before today?

22 JUDGE MAY: We ought to have his pseudonym for the record.

23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the witness will be testifying under the

24 pseudonym B-1244.

25 Q. Displayed on the screen is Prosecution Exhibit 476, tab 4. Have

Page 23425

1 you seen this exhibit before today?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I will not ask you to describe in any great detail the exhibit at

4 this juncture. I will ask you at the conclusion of your testimony to

5 describe what the different boxes and lines indicate, but I will ask that

6 it be displayed while I ask you to give us some information about

7 particular individuals.

8 The first person I would ask you to tell us in a sentence or two

9 who he was is a person by the name of Dragan Djordjevic, also known as

10 Crni.

11 A. Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, was a member of the Serbian Radical Party

12 and also a member of the special units of the DB, the state security, and

13 for a time he was a brigade commander as well in my area.

14 Q. The next person is Srecko Radanovic, also known as Debeli.

15 A. He was also a member of the Radical Party. He was in a group

16 which arrived to the area, and for a time he acted as Chief of Staff of

17 the brigade.

18 Q. Now, just going to Crni for a second, you've testified that he was

19 a member of the special units of the DB of the state security. Can you be

20 more specific about which state security service he was a member of.

21 A. Well, the State Security Service of Serbia.

22 Q. Now, with respect to Debeli, what was his command relationship

23 with respect to Mr. Crni?

24 A. Well, at the beginning, he occupied a lower post, a lower-ranking

25 post than this man Djordjevic. He was below him.

Page 23426

1 Q. Now, if I can ask you to tell us in a sentence or two who was

2 Slobodan Miljkovic, also known as Lugar?

3 A. He was also a member of the Radical Party, and he arrived in the

4 unit. He was a member of that special unit and the leader of a group

5 within the special unit.

6 Q. When you say "special unit," can you tell us precisely what you're

7 referring to.

8 A. I'm referring to the special unit of the state security of Serbia.

9 Q. Again, Mr. Frenki Simatovic, can you tell us who he was in a

10 sentence or two.

11 A. He was the assistant to the chief of the state security department

12 and commander of that special unit.

13 Q. Mr. Jovica Stanisic.

14 A. Jovica Stanisic was the chief of the state security service of the

15 MUP of Serbia.

16 Q. Mr. Milos Bogdanovic.

17 A. Milos Bogdanovic was the head of the municipal Secretariat of the

18 National Defence.

19 Q. And for which area was he the Secretariat of National Defence?

20 A. For the area of -- actually, for mobilisation and sending recruits

21 to do their military service. I think that was his job.

22 Q. How large was his area of responsibility? Was it a single

23 municipality or was it larger than that?

24 A. Well, before 1992, he was just there for one municipality.

25 However, at the beginning of 1992, he was also in charge of the newly

Page 23427

1 established Serbian municipality. He was the head there, and that

2 incorporated parts of the other three municipalities.

3 Q. The Chamber has heard quite a bit of evidence about a Radmilo

4 Bogdanovic. These two Bogdanovics are not related, according to

5 information you have, are they?

6 A. As far as I know, no, they're not related.

7 Q. Can you describe for us who a person by the name of Blagoje Simic

8 is.

9 A. Blagoje Simic was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly,

10 and during the war he was the head or, rather, president of the Crisis

11 Staff of that same municipality.

12 Q. Can you tell us who Simo Zaric was.

13 A. Simo Zaric had a number of functions. Before the war, he was head

14 of the state security department for the region. At the beginning of

15 1992, he was the assistant commander for a security detachment, and later

16 on, he worked as a crime inspector in the police station, after which he

17 was head for national security, and later on again, he was in charge of

18 another municipality, and later, assistant commander of the brigade for

19 moral guidance, religious issues, information, propaganda, et cetera.

20 Q. Simo Zaric, in what municipality --

21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

22 MR. GROOME:

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 23428

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Page 23429

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 A. Well, also for municipality number 3.

12 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'd ask that we go briefly into closed

13 session just to deal with some characteristics of this municipality.

14 [Private session]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 23430

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

14 MR. GROOME:

15 Q. Sir, I want to draw your attention to the period of the late 1991

16 and early of 1992. Were there four military detachments formed in your

17 municipality?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Can you describe the different -- the responsibilities generally

20 of these four military detachments.

21 A. Well, the responsibilities of these four military detachments were

22 to preserve the territory, safeguard the territory.

23 Q. And where did the men staffing these four detachments come from?

24 A. The members of those four detachments were the local population

25 from these three municipalities.

Page 23431

1 Q. And where did the equipment and arms used by these detachments

2 come from?

3 A. They came from the warehouse of the Yugoslav People's Army which

4 was located in the vicinity.

5 Q. I want to now draw your attention to late February, early March of

6 1992. Did you have occasion to make a business trip on private business

7 to Belgrade during that time period?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Did somebody ask to accompany you on that trip?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And who was that?

12 A. The person under number 13.

13 Q. And while on that trip, did you meet some other people in the

14 company of number 13?

15 A. After I had completed my meeting, I met for a short -- a brief

16 period two other men.

17 Q. And who were they?

18 A. They were the gentlemen -- they were the gentleman under number 24

19 and the gentleman Milan Prodanic.

20 Q. Now, Milan Prodanic, what governmental organisation did he belong

21 to?

22 A. He belonged to the state security of the MUP of Serbia.

23 Q. And the person you've described as number 24 from tab 3, what

24 governmental organisation did he belong to?

25 A. He belonged to the Military Intelligence Service in the Federal

Page 23432

1 Secretariat for National Defence in Belgrade.

2 Q. How did you know that Mr. Prodanic worked for the State Security

3 Service of Serbia?

4 A. When I first met him personally, he just introduced himself by

5 giving his name. However, upon my return, this other gentleman, the

6 gentleman under number 13, told me where he worked and what his job was.

7 Q. On the way back from Belgrade, back to your municipality, did the

8 person you've identified as number 13, did he have a conversation with you

9 about a decision that was taken with those other men?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. What did he tell you?

12 A. He said that he would be sending some 20 men for training and

13 asked me if I knew some young men who were willing to undergo such

14 training, and if so, could I help him in that respect.

15 Q. When he used the word "training," what was your understanding of

16 who was conducting the training and what was the training for?

17 A. Well, I understood later on that this was - how shall I put this?

18 - military training, and it was conducted in an improvised camp, and

19 later on I learned that that particular camp was organised by the MUP of

20 Serbia.

21 Q. And did you know at that time where the camp was to be set up?

22 A. I didn't know at that time, but I learnt later on.

23 Q. And where did you learn that the camp was located?

24 A. I don't know where it was supposed to have been located, but I

25 learnt later on where it was located in actual fact.

Page 23433

1 Q. Please tell us where that was.

2 A. It was in the surroundings of Ilok, Eastern Slavonia.

3 Q. Now, after returning to your municipality, were men in fact

4 selected and sent for training at this camp?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Can you identify the process that was used to identify the men

7 sent for training at this camp.

8 A. Well, first of all, these people had to want to go on a voluntary

9 basis. The second requirement was that they were under 30 years of age,

10 and thirdly, that they were Serbs.

11 Q. And approximately when did these men leave your municipality and

12 go to Ilok for this training?

13 A. Well, they left sometime towards the end of March 1992.

14 Q. Now, did there come a time when you had a second contact with

15 members of the MUP of Serbia regarding the training of men from your

16 municipality?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Can you describe for us the circumstances under which you had this

19 second contact.

20 A. Well, sometime towards the end of March or in early April, the

21 gentleman under number 13, as he heard that I was going to Belgrade, asked

22 me to visit those young men that were doing their training and to try and

23 make it to the training session, which I did.

24 Q. And how were you -- or who were you to see in order to be given

25 access to this training facility?

Page 23434

1 A. Number 13 told me to get into contact with Mr. Milan Prodanic.

2 Q. And did you do that?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Where did you go to see Mr. Prodanic for the purpose of going to

5 the training camp?

6 A. I went to the building of the MUP of Serbia. Actually, the

7 information desk, reception area.

8 Q. Did you ask for him by name and where did he come to meet you at

9 that building?

10 A. Yes. At the reception desk I introduced myself and asked to see

11 the gentleman, and after some time had gone by, he came down to the ground

12 floor. We went into a room that was opposite the reception desk, and I

13 told him why I had come, what my business was. And later on, he sent me

14 to visit those men that were doing their training.

15 Q. Did he describe to you how you were to get to Ilok?

16 A. Well, at first I didn't know where they actually were, but he said

17 a car of ours and some people are going there he said. So he introduced

18 me to a man who was going there and he said, "They're going there, so you

19 can follow their car, and you'll arrive at the place where the training

20 was being conducted."

21 Q. Who of note was in that car?

22 A. In the car was Frenki Simatovic.

23 Q. Had you met Frenki Simatovic prior to this day?

24 A. Well, I'd met him for the first time that day.

25 Q. Can you describe how he was dressed.

Page 23435

1 A. As far as I remember, I think that at the time, he was wearing

2 civilian clothes, but the people who were with him were wearing

3 camouflage, NATO uniforms and red berets on their heads, or, rather, on

4 their shoulders, underneath the epaulette.

5 Q. And the vehicle that Frenki Simatovic was driving in, do you

6 recall anything about the licence plate on that car?

7 A. The car had police licence plates, and it was a jeep. I think it

8 was a Puch-type jeep.

9 Q. Now, after you left Belgrade, did there come a time when you

10 arrived at a checkpoint before you arrived at the training camp?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Where was this checkpoint?

13 A. The checkpoint was somewhere just before you get to Ilok, on the

14 road before Ilok.

15 Q. And how many men were at the checkpoint?

16 A. I noticed, I think, two men. Whether there were any others

17 inside, I don't know, but I did see two armed men.

18 Q. And were those men wearing uniforms?

19 A. Yes, they were wearing uniforms, and they had automatic rifles

20 too.

21 Q. How many cars in total, or how many vehicles in total travelled

22 from Belgrade towards the training camp?

23 A. Well, the vehicle in front of me, and I was in the second car.

24 Q. Did the vehicle stop at the checkpoint?

25 A. Yes.

Page 23436

1 Q. Can you describe what happened at the checkpoint.

2 A. One of those two armed men came up to the jeep. I didn't hear

3 what they said, but he said hello, and he saluted the people in the jeep.

4 He greeted them, I'm sorry, and he just gave me a sign with his hand

5 meaning go through.

6 Q. So were you checked with -- did you have to produce any

7 documentation or were you stopped or prevented from going through that

8 checkpoint on that day?

9 A. Well, I did stop, and it would have been logical for me to show my

10 IDs, but as I was moving along behind the car in front, I was told that as

11 you're going together with them, you can pass through.

12 Q. Now, can you describe what happened when the two vehicles arrived

13 in the area of the training camp?

14 A. Well, the two cars didn't arrive at the training camp. We stopped

15 first in front of a house, and there were soldiers there too. But it

16 didn't look like a camp to me. And Mr. Frenki got out there, and so did

17 the people who were with him, and I got up for a short time, and the

18 people who were in uniforms and were armed, standing in front of that

19 house, greeted Frenki, and he told one of them or, rather, he said to me

20 that he would find somebody to take me around, to show me where the men

21 were being trained. And several minutes later, a man in uniform, a young

22 man, took me off a kilometre or so, which is where I visited the people

23 from my town who were attending training there.

24 Q. How many armed men were in the vicinity of that house?

25 A. I don't know exactly, but there might have been four or five men,

Page 23437

1 certainly.

2 Q. And do you recall how they were dressed?

3 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms, and they had those red

4 berets.

5 Q. Did any of those men salute Frenki when he got out of his car or

6 his jeep?

7 A. Yes. The ones who were at the door in front of the house. They

8 did.

9 Q. You were saying that Frenki Simatovic said he would arrange for

10 somebody to take you to the camp. Did there come a time when you actually

11 were taken into the training camp at Ilok?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Can you please describe what you saw at the training camp.

14 A. At the very entrance to the training camp there was a ramp, and

15 when they lifted the ramp, I went in, and I was told that it used to be a

16 villa of Tito's and that it was now a makeshift training area. It didn't

17 look like a barracks or a military facility of any kind. And I saw these

18 20 people from my town. We said hello, we talked for a while. That's

19 all.

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 Q. Did you learn anything about the identity of any of the

Page 23438

1 instructors present at the camp or who the instructors were?

2 A. I learned later on that the instructors were members of this

3 special unit of the state security of the MUP of Serbia.

4 Q. Did you learn the identity of any of the instructors present at

5 the camp at that time?

6 A. One of the instructors was this gentleman under number 16.

7 Q. Did you learn the identity of any of the other instructors?

8 A. I learnt about another one, but he's not on this list here.

9 Q. Are you able to say his name without compromising your identity?

10 A. No.

11 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I'd ask that we go briefly into private

12 session.

13 [Private session]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [Open session]

23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

24 MR. GROOME:

25 Q. How long had you spent at the camp?

Page 23439

1 A. About an hour, perhaps a little longer.

2 Q. And what, if anything, do you recall about the uniforms that the

3 people in the camp were wearing?

4 A. I remember that these men from my town who were training there

5 were wearing camouflage uniforms with red berets.

6 Q. Did you see any patches on the uniforms that the men from your

7 town had or on the uniforms of any of the men you saw at the training

8 camp?

9 A. I don't know whether I saw it just then, but later on they wore on

10 those uniforms the patches of the Grey Wolf, the emblem of the Grey Wolf.

11 Q. When you say "later on," can you be more precise about when it was

12 you saw this Grey Wolf's patch?

13 A. Upon returning to my town, it was then that I would see those

14 patches on the same uniforms that I saw during that visit.

15 MR. GROOME: I'd ask the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit 349,

16 tab 12.

17 Q. It is being displayed on the Sanction system on the TV screen

18 before you. I'd ask you to look at that. Do you recognise what's

19 depicted in Prosecution Exhibit 349, tab 12?

20 A. Yes. That is the emblem I was referring to.

21 Q. Now, when you left the camp, did you travel back from the camp

22 alone or once again following Frenki Simatovic's jeep?

23 A. I returned alone. I went alone.

24 Q. Did you pass through the same checkpoint that you passed coming to

25 the camp?

Page 23440

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Page 23441

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Can you describe what happened this time you tried to go through

3 the checkpoint?

4 A. They asked me to show my documents.

5 Q. And after showing your documents, did you also have a conversation

6 with them regarding what you were doing in that area?

7 A. We didn't talk. They just looked at my documents and told me that

8 I could move on.

9 Q. Did there come a time when members of the special unit of the

10 Serbian state security came to the municipality that you're testifying

11 about?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. When was that?

14 A. That was on the 11th of April, 1992.

15 Q. How did you learn about their arrival?

16 A. This gentleman under number 13 informed me that on that day, those

17 men were due to arrive, that we should prepare lunch and accommodation for

18 them.

19 Q. Did number 13 tell you how many men were arriving?

20 A. He said that, in addition to the local men who had gone there for

21 training, that another 30 new men would arrive.

22 Q. Did he say what the purpose of them, of these 30 men coming to the

23 municipality, what the purpose of their arrival was?

24 A. At that point in time, he didn't say why. He just said that they

25 were coming and that they should be provided with lunch and accommodation.

Page 23442

1 Q. At the time of their arrival, had there been any hostilities in

2 this municipality up until this point?

3 A. Not any significant conflicts, but there was some minor acts of

4 sabotage in the town and in the immediate vicinity.

5 Q. How did these men arrive?

6 A. These men arrived in two helicopters.

7 Q. And were these police helicopters or military helicopters or

8 civilian helicopters?

9 A. I think they were military helicopters.

10 Q. This group of 50 men, what were they wearing, if you recall?

11 A. They were wearing those camouflage uniforms. On one arm they had

12 the emblem that we just saw of the Grey Wolf, and they wore red berets.

13 Q. This group of men, did one of them appear to be in charge of the

14 others?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And which one was that?

17 A. The gentleman under number 16.

18 Q. Now, when they arrived, who was present to greet them?

19 A. Apart from me, there was the local commander of this detachment in

20 that place and two men from the brigade command.

21 Q. When you say "brigade command," are you referring to the Yugoslav

22 People's Army?

23 A. The brigade that was stationed in the area, and at the time it was

24 part of the JNA.

25 Q. Would I be correct in saying that these men were accommodated at a

Page 23443

1 local school before moving to another area still within the municipality

2 you are testifying about?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Prior to the takeover of the municipality, were these men ever

5 seen publicly in the centre of the town?

6 A. In the centre of town, as far as I know, they were not, but in the

7 area in which they were put up, in a couple of those villages they did

8 move around openly and they were seen there.

9 Q. I'm going to ask you to identify the names of any of the members

10 of this unit that you can recall.

11 MR. GROOME: To do that, I would ask that we go into private

12 session.

13 [Private session]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 23444

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [Open session]

6 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

7 MR. GROOME:

8 Q. You testified before about being asked to arrange lunch for these

9 men. Did you arrange such a lunch?

10 A. Yes, I did, and others from that town organised lunch for them

11 when they arrived.

12 Q. During the course of that lunch, did one of the men indicate his

13 purpose for being there and on behalf of what organisation he was in this

14 municipality?

15 A. One of them said that they had come on behalf of the Serbian

16 Radical Party, for patriotic reasons, to assist the Serbian people in that

17 area.

18 Q. Did he or any of the others indicate other areas in which they had

19 previously fought?

20 A. I don't know whether it was at that very luncheon, but later on

21 some of them mentioned that they had been in some other areas where there

22 was combat.

23 Q. And do you recall the locations where they said there had been

24 combat?

25 A. They mentioned Eastern Slavonia, around Vukovar?

Page 23445

1 MR. GROOME: I'm going to ask that the witness now be shown

2 Prosecution Exhibit 476, tab 5, and if I might address the Court on this

3 and a series of related exhibits. Your Honours, tabs 5, 6, 12, 14, and 16

4 are steno notes taken contemporaneously of the interview of five different

5 individuals. These steno notes were taken during questioning by an

6 investigative judge. In the fall of 1992, some of the crimes from this --

7 or in this municipality were investigated by a military court in Banja

8 Luka, and a number of people were interviewed.

9 The Prosecution is tendering these steno notes based upon several

10 indications of their reliability. First, that the interviews were taken

11 shortly after the events described therein; secondly, the declarations in

12 these interviews are declarations against the self-interest of the

13 respective people who made them. They were recorded stenographically.

14 The witness before the Court has checked and will -- I'm sorry. The

15 stenographic notes were then presented to the declarants and they were

16 given an opportunity to review them and sign them as to their accuracy.

17 And lastly, the details or the substance of these interviews will be

18 corroborated by the witness before the Court who has personal knowledge by

19 -- of these events.

20 The last document from this package of documents related to this

21 investigation is an indictment, and it is tab 10, dated the 5th of

22 January, 1993. Now, as indictments themselves are not evidence, the

23 Prosecution is tendering this particular document for simply two reasons:

24 One, to corroborate biographical information of the first three people who

25 are listed on the indictment; and secondly, as evidence that during this

Page 23446

1 time period, an investigation and the bringing of criminal charges was a

2 possibility at least in one particular instance.

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. They will be admitted on that basis.

4 MR. GROOME:

5 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to take a look at the last page of Prosecution

6 Exhibit 476, tab 5, and my question to you is do you recognise the

7 signature of this person?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And whose signature do you recognise that to be?

10 A. It is the signature of number 16.

11 Q. And have you had a chance to review the statement of this person

12 identified as 16 from tab 3? Have you had a chance to review this

13 statement and is it accurate as far as you are able to tell from your

14 personal knowledge?

15 A. Yes, I have reviewed this statement several times, and it's mostly

16 accurate.

17 Q. Are there any material inaccuracies that you wish to bring to the

18 Court's attention?

19 A. I don't see anything of significance that I would need to pinpoint

20 for the Court. I think that it is mostly correct.

21 Q. The statement makes reference to - and I ask you, do you know from

22 your personal knowledge whether this person identified as number 16 - 16

23 received two vehicles for his participation in the events of this

24 municipality.

25 A. The question is whether that is true? Is that the question?

Page 23447

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. Yes, it is true that this person under this number received those

3 two vehicles.

4 Q. And what types of vehicles did this person receive?

5 A. A passenger vehicle, a Mercedes, and a Golf passenger vehicle.

6 Q. And was his receipt of -- I'm sorry. Do you know generally from

7 where these two vehicles came? Not so much the particular identity of the

8 individual owners, but do you know what the source was of these two

9 vehicles?

10 A. The owners were Croats or Muslims, and this was considered to be

11 war booty.

12 Q. And was the Crisis Staff, the Serbian Crisis Staff, aware of

13 number 16 receiving these two vehicles?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did they give official permission to him for having these

16 vehicles?

17 A. As far as I know, there was no official document, but orally he

18 was given permission to drive those two vehicles away.

19 Q. Were there any other members of the group that arrived from Serbia

20 that also were given permission to take vehicles that you've described as

21 coming from war booty?

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection. Mr. Groome is

25 referring to this number 16 as being a person from Serbia, and from the

Page 23448

1 court documents it is clear that the person was treated as a citizen of

2 Republika Srpska, that is, of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, the question

3 is put in a way as to distort the facts.

4 JUDGE MAY: We will be able to consider where it was that he

5 really came from. Yes.

6 MR. GROOME:

7 Q. Sir, to the best of your knowledge, where was this person

8 identified as number 16, where was he from?

9 A. That person is from Serbia.

10 Q. Do you know the particular town in Serbia he was from?

11 A. I do know from which town he was.

12 Q. Prior to --

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Groome, could you get him to explain what he

14 means by "war booty."

15 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour. If I may just clear up this

16 particular point first, Your Honour.

17 Q. Prior to number 16 being involved in the events you're describing

18 now with the war booty, had he had any other contacts or any other

19 presence in the municipality you're testifying about?

20 A. Until the 11th of April, 1992, as far as I know, he hadn't been in

21 that area. I think he didn't even come to visit that area.

22 Q. Judge Robinson is asking you to describe in greater detail, what

23 do you mean when you use the term "war booty"?

24 A. After combat operations which were conducted in this particular

25 case if we're talking about these two vehicles, those vehicles stayed

Page 23449

1 behind in the area after combat operations and then the soldiers who were

2 in the area picked up the vehicles and brought them to the territory of

3 the municipality and then a record was made of these vehicles coming from

4 different -- from another area, including other property of any value that

5 was found in the area that had been liberated.

6 Q. Would it be fair to say that this property, including the cars,

7 was property that was left by either people that were killed during the

8 takeover of the municipality or by people that fled the municipality and

9 left their property behind?

10 A. I don't know. I think specifically regarding these two vehicles,

11 the people were not there. They simply withdrew after the operations in

12 that village. This wasn't in a town. It was in a village.

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, could I ask we go into closed session

17 for a moment?

18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I'm sorry about that.

19 [Private session]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

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6 [Open session]

7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

8 MR. GROOME:

9 Q. I want to now draw your attention to the 15th of April, 1992. Did

10 you attend a meeting on that day?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you tell us who else was present at that meeting.

13 A. At that meeting number 9 was present, number 10, number 13.

14 Later, number 16 arrived too, and perhaps a couple of other men.

15 Q. Aside from number 16, were there any other representatives of the

16 Serbian DB present at the meeting?

17 A. I think not.

18 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, before going into the substance of the

19 meeting, is this a convenient place for the court to adjourn?

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now. Two matters: For the press,

21 I'm asked to remind you not to refer to the municipality, anything which

22 might identify the municipality in this case.

23 Secondly, Witness B-1244, we're going to adjourn for the night.

24 Could you be back, please, tomorrow at 9.00 to continue your evidence.

25 Could you remember during it not to speak to anybody about it until it's

Page 23453

1 over, and that does include the members of the Prosecution team.

2 Very well. We'll adjourn now until tomorrow morning.

3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,

4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 1st day of July,

5 2003, at 9.00 a.m.

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