1 Tuesday, 18 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1524 [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1524, first of all, I wish to ascertain your
11 profession. In the introduction to your statement which you gave on the
12 11th of November and 5th of December, you said you work as an isolation
13 mechanic for isolation devices -- insulation. And then you say you went
14 to a higher pedagogical school, is that right, at Dula?
15 A. No. The highest school for defectology in Belgrade.
16 Q. And then you say in Belgrade you attended a course for work with
17 handicapped children, especially with minors who are delinquents; is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Afterwards, as you say in paragraph 4, you worked in the financial
21 and personnel department. I don't want to give the name of the factory,
22 but it was in Zvornik, not to disclose your identity, but that is by and
23 large what you did professionally speaking; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I assume that there's been some misunderstanding here in the
1 translation because mention is made of the military academy here and I
2 assume that you didn't mean the military academy but school for reserve
3 officers. Is that right?
4 A. Yes, that is right.
5 Q. And you did that during your regular military service; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But I understood it that you were very active in the organisation
9 for reserve officers. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Those are the questions you dealt with, and defence matters; is
12 that right?
13 Now let's clear up one more point in this regard: You never worked
14 in the JNA. That's right, isn't it?
15 A. Not actively, no, but as a reserve officer, until I became a
16 member of the Territorial Defence, that was the operative unit within the
17 composition of -- or, rather, one-third were active soldiers, active-duty
18 soldiers, and the rest were reservists.
19 Q. But as a reserve officer you were involved and engaged like any
20 other men. You didn't have any special activities or assignments, did
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you. In paragraph 7 you say that in 1991, a
24 lieutenant colonel called you, approached you, and he said that he was in
25 charge of morale and political matters and moral guidance in the garrison
1 and asked you whether you wanted to be a volunteer in Croatia. Is that
2 how it was?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Now, when was that exactly? Do you happen to remember?
5 A. I think it was sometime in the summer of 1991, but I can't give
6 you an exact date, I'm afraid.
7 Q. And then you go on to say that he called you individually so that
8 the JNA would cover up its true reasons for its involvement in Croatia.
9 Is that something that you were able to deduce in talking to him?
10 A. No. I did manage to conclude some things from talking to him, but
11 I think that the things he asked me, the kinds of things he asked me was
12 what he asked other reserve officers too. They were asked the same kinds
13 of questions, whether they would like to take part as volunteers.
14 Q. All right. But nothing was secret or clandestine in any way,
15 because I assume that you know that the JNA never covered up its
16 involvement in Croatia in any way. It was present there, it was active
17 there as the legitimate armed force in conformity with the Yugoslav
18 constitution; right?
19 A. Yes. That's what I said. I didn't say it was covering up
20 anything, but the talks that were conducted did have a certain level of
21 confidentiality to them.
22 Q. Well, where do you get the idea that talks like that were
24 A. Because I was never called up officially. I never was officially
25 invited to attend the meeting. It went through the TO headquarters. And
1 it is common knowledge how army officers and reserve officers are called
2 up. There is an official written invitation unless it is a mobilisation,
3 and then calls up for the mobilisation take place, and they're not done in
4 the way this was done, not how they approached me to come in and have a
6 Q. All right. Now, as the majority, as you say, talked about these
7 things, do you know that the mobilisation of the reserve officers corps
8 was conducted in June, as early on as June 1991 and that this related to
9 everyone, not especially to you?
10 A. You mean the mobilisation? The mobilisation was never put into
11 effect in Zvornik.
12 Q. Well, can you remember the name of that lieutenant colonel from
13 the barracks, from the Tuzla barracks who talked to you?
14 A. No, I didn't really make an effort to learn his name. Perhaps I
15 did know it at the time, but a lot of time has gone by since then and I
16 wouldn't be able to tell you. I don't know.
17 Q. Now, in paragraph 7 you also say that you knew that the JNA did
18 not contact the members of other ethnic groups. "I was aware no other
19 nationalities were approached in the same way, and if they had, I'm sure I
20 would have found out about it." That's what you say.
21 A. Well, what I heard about was that they were all Serbs, and on the
22 other hand, during that period of time the Muslims did not wish to respond
23 at all.
24 Q. Well, that's the point, isn't it? What I'm asking you is do you
25 know how many official invitations went out and were tried to -- people
1 tried to send out to members of other ethnic groups, other nationalities?
2 A. Probably a larger number.
3 Q. Well, then, on the basis of political instructions, I assume you
4 know, the majority of Muslims refused to respond to the military
5 obligations they were invited to assume.
6 A. Yes, I do know about that.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now, going on to paragraph 8, you say that
8 at that time there was a growing tension between Muslims and Serbs in the
9 Zvornik area, and you say that everybody knew that there would be a war,
10 but nobody knew exactly when it would break out.
11 A. Yes. That's precisely how it was.
12 Q. Does that in fact mean, and I deduce this from what you say, that
13 war in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina was unavoidable, and that was
14 common knowledge both to the Muslims and the Serbs?
15 A. Now, whether it was unavoidable, that would be a debatable point,
16 because whenever a war -- if a war hasn't broken out yet it can be stopped
17 if there is goodwill on all sides, and there was no goodwill on either
19 Q. Could you describe to us what you mean when you say there was no
20 goodwill on either side? What -- how did the Serbs behave and how did the
21 Muslims behave?
22 A. Well, the two sides were afraid of each other. And in the winter
23 of 1992 when the Ramadan festivities were being -- were taking place, the
24 Muslims would frequent their mosques, but individuals were already armed
25 at that time, individuals of the Muslim population. They would stand
1 guard around the mosques. Of course they were armed. They had pistols,
2 automatic weapons, or whatever they had, and there was sporadic shooting
3 around town frequently, in the centre of town especially from that ethnic
4 group, and also around Zvornik as well. There was retaliation and fire on
5 both sides from the places where Serbs lived. So fear was growing from
6 one day to the next. People were becoming afraid, those of them who
7 weren't armed. And I assume that the city population wasn't keen to have
8 a war at all.
9 Q. All right. Now, tell me, from what you've been saying, in the
10 town of Zvornik itself, what could be seen out on the streets was in fact
11 armed Muslims, and they gathered mostly around the mosques; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Were there any armed Serbs there?
14 A. Not around the mosques, no, but as -- I've already told you where
15 they were. They were in the suburbs or settlements several hundred metres
16 away, in those districts and the slopes around Zvornik, in fact, where
17 these settlements were. So from time to time there would be bursts of
18 gunfire from that area.
19 Q. But as far as the town itself is concerned, there were just the
20 Muslim forces in town. That's right, isn't it? According to what you
21 yourself were able to see.
22 A. Well, not Muslim forces, just Muslim individuals who were armed in
24 Q. Tell me, please, from what point in time, roughly speaking, would
25 you say that you saw these armed Muslims standing round the mosques and
1 generally speaking an atmosphere of that kind where it became clear to the
2 inhabitants of the Zvornik municipality that something was about to
3 happen, or happening?
4 A. Well, that was at the beginning of the month of Ramadan, when the
5 fast began, and when they were quite open, standing guard in front of the
6 mosques because they said they were afraid that some Serbs might throw a
7 bomb into the mosques. That was the justification and explanation they
9 Q. Well, was there any incidents that occurred prior to that which
10 gave rise to the sentiments and this justification for what was going on?
11 A. Well, no direct incidents, no, but there were some things like
12 when a taxi driver went missing and small incidents that took place on a
13 daily basis without necessarily being ethnically based or provoked on
14 ethnic grounds, but not direct ones, no, just indirect.
15 Q. So this arming and deployment of Muslims around certain points in
16 town was not caused by any particular incident that the Serbs had caused
17 vis-a-vis the Muslims?
18 A. As far as I know, no. Now, whether they had been deployed or
19 whether these people on their own initiative individually took up their
20 positions where they happened to be, where these people were standing who
21 were armed, as I say, they were individuals. There was no kind of unit at
22 all, numerous unit.
23 Q. All right. I can see from your statement that you spent a large
24 part of your time socialising both with the Muslims and the Serbs, and
25 there was no - how shall I put this? - in this socialising and social
1 contacts around town, there were no divisions along those lines. People
2 socialised normally, lived together normally; is that right?
3 A. Yes, absolutely. Until the war actually broke out - even the
4 night before the war - we were on watches together around buildings.
5 People who weren't armed did their best to protect their thresholds, their
6 families and children, so we would stay up all night, standing watch in
7 front of the buildings, both sides, the Muslims and the Serbs, because we
8 didn't know who would be attacking or why or anything like that.
9 Q. All right. Now, what you did standing guard and standing watch in
10 front of your buildings, as you say, there were Serbs and Muslims there or
11 mostly Muslims?
12 A. Everybody, all sorts, both. However, during that period of time,
13 rather just two or three days prior to the war, just before the war broke
14 out, most of the population, if they had anywhere to go to leave Zvornik,
15 they did so.
16 Q. And the people that you at that time when all this tension started
17 were with, they were mostly Muslims; is that right?
18 A. No, they were both Muslims and Serbs.
19 Q. Do you know anything about the preparations that were under way
20 within this Muslim community or, rather, the Party of Democratic Action
21 and the Patriotic League, any preparations that were going on linked to
22 the conflicts, anything as a forerunner to what was going to happen?
23 A. All I do know is by talking to people. I had a lot of friends on
24 both sides, so I talked to them. I know that both sides were arming
25 themselves and preparing themselves and that that started straight after
1 the New Year. Anybody who could get weapons got them, whether legally or
2 illegally or however the weapons were procured, but both sides were busy
3 arming themselves as far as they were able to.
4 Q. Did you know anything about the activities of the Party of
5 Democratic Action and the Patriotic League, for instance?
6 A. Well, I was friends with a narrow circle of people who were in the
7 SDA party, and there wasn't any national division, ethnic division. And
8 by -- from talking to them during the conversations we had, we were sort
9 of speculating what could happen. They said, "Well, we're armed and
10 you're armed." That was common knowledge. So it wasn't any secret.
11 Everybody was wondering what was going to happen.
12 Q. Did you know Abdulah Music, vice-president of the SDA in Zvornik?
13 A. Yes, of course I knew him. We even visited each other at home.
14 Q. And he was trying to talk you into joining the SDS?
15 A. Well, it's not that he was trying to talk me into it. It was sort
16 of a friendly conversation.
17 Q. Why wouldn't you join in on that side; more or less along those
19 A. At that time, the SDS or the SDA did not have a right-wing
20 orientation. Quite simply, they represented two political communities,
21 and they were supposed to give people who could do so.
22 Q. It was my understanding that this Abdulah Music - how should I put
23 this? - suggested to you that you should join the SDS because, as you say
24 yourself, he considered you to be a respectable man, an honest man, and
25 that would have contributed to better cooperation.
1 A. That's what he was too.
2 Q. That's what you stated?
3 A. Yes. That is exactly what I think about him, too. We were
4 friends. We visited each other at home, and we even trusted each other
5 with our children. So it was a mutual thing.
6 Q. Do you know that at that time precisely Abdulah Music, together
7 with another friend and neighbour of yours, Dr. Asim Juzbasic, Tica,
8 actively worked on the arming of the Muslim population of the Zvornik
10 A. Well, not at that time. You're asking me about a particular time
11 when I joined in. But this was almost a year before that. But at the
12 time when they were being armed, both sides were being armed in the same
14 Q. I'm asking you specifically now when you say they were arming
15 themselves at a particular point at time. Do you know that this Music
16 together with this Juzbasic actively worked on the arming of the Muslim
17 population of the Zvornik municipality?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. And do you know that it is precisely Asim
20 Juzbasic and Izet Mehinagic, an activist of the SDP and director of the
21 Paruga company, Tuzla, Zvornik, on the 10th of April, 1992 - this was
22 carried by the Sarajevo newspaper Oslobodjenje - they said they were
23 coming from Zvornik right then and the Serb forces had a quite a few
24 casualties and quite a few wounded men and that the Muslim forces had 15
25 wounded and one casualty.
1 A. Unfortunately, that could not have been clear to me because by
2 then I was already in prison.
3 Q. All right. All of this that was carried by Oslobodjenje, is it in
4 accordance with the facts that you had at your disposal at the time? They
5 say the Serb forces had quite a few persons killed and wounded; the
6 Muslims have one casualty. This conflict had broken out; right?
7 A. The conflict had broken out, but I think that was a lie.
8 Q. What do you mean "lie"?
9 A. Well, not that many. Not that many Serbs were killed. Perhaps
10 they were just alluding to something that they wanted to become part of
11 the propaganda with which they would go into the rest of the world.
12 Q. What do you think? How many Serbs were killed in the conflict
13 then, in this conflict that was started by the Muslims?
14 A. Well, who started the conflict I don't know, but I know that in
15 town two persons were killed, two Serbs who were at home, and Luka Radovic
16 was killed who did take part in the fighting. I don't know about the
17 others because I was arrested in the meantime.
18 Q. All right. The two Serbs who were at home, I assume they did not
19 attack anyone; right?
20 A. No. But they were killed by Arkan's people.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the question, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Latus [phoen] was quite simply
23 found in his apartment when they were searching all the apartments in
24 Zvornik and looting them. He was my next-door neighbour. And beforehand,
25 he had had open-heart surgery, I think it was in the States or somewhere.
1 The man was ill, he could not leave his home.
2 And as for Madam Nada, he wanted to protect two neighbours of
3 hers, Futovic Taib and his son. They were killed on that day. She
4 thought that through her own authority she could prove that they were
5 honest men, but these people did not listen to anyone so she was killed in
6 front of her house too. That's the only thing that I heard and that I
7 know. That's all. I don't know about any other cases.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You don't know about any other cases? Then we're going to move on
10 to a different topic.
11 Is it correct, Mr. 1524, that at the first multi-party elections
12 held in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the area of municipality of Zvornik the SDS
14 A. That's correct. The SDS. And the next party in line was the SDA,
15 so they shared power in town.
16 Q. Tell me, then, because the Serbs won in the multi-party elections,
17 the first multi-party elections that were held in Bosnia-Herzegovina, why
18 would the Serbs forcibly take over power in Zvornik when they had one
19 power through the elections? As a person from Zvornik, although you were
20 not born there but you lived there for decades, I believe that you could
21 assist with that matter, in explaining this matter.
22 A. Immediately after the elections, power was shared on a reciprocal
23 basis, depending on the number of votes won. This was quite all right.
24 It was legal. What was not right was the way in which they shared power,
25 both sides, the first few days. They simply barged into the committee
1 building or, rather, the social political organisation's building, and
2 they simply threw everyone out, not asking who were mere employees, staff
3 members, and who were politicians. But in the time that preceded the war,
4 there was a sharing of power, and during the last few months, it was said
5 and it was somehow agreed quite simply that Zvornik, the town itself with
6 the majority Muslim population should belong to the Muslims or, rather,
7 that they would not cede it without a war most probably.
8 On the other hand, the Serbs already had a vision that perhaps in
9 the area of Celopek they could build some institutions of their own, a
10 municipality, a bank for starters, where they could live and work.
11 So what was being worked for was a division, a peaceful division,
12 but that's not what happened.
13 Q. Why were they working for that, on this division? Do you have an
14 explanation for that?
15 A. Well, they were probably receiving instructions from higher
17 Q. If I simplify matters, did I understand you correctly, when they
18 won the elections, both the SDS and the SDA together, first threw out the
19 communists; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. They considered them to be the common political enemy?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Irrespective of ethnicity?
24 A. Precisely.
25 Q. And then they fought between themselves.
1 A. No, they did not fight. For about a year or so, they co-existed
2 on the basis of tolerance. They even shared the communal buildings. The
3 president of the municipality was a Muslim, the deputy was a Serb. The
4 head of the SUP was a Muslim, the commander of the police was a Serb.
5 What I'm saying is that it was quite normal. It was a tolerable
6 political situation. However, on the other hand, the people who came in
7 were not that capable. They were less capable from a political point of
8 view, if I can put it that way, and in every other way. So they were not
9 really up to the offices they held. Quite simply, it was the party
10 leaders who were giving jobs in high places to people around them, their
12 Q. So it is your assessment that these people in high places were for
13 the most part not capable of performing these jobs.
14 A. Yes, because the people who left were people who were working for
15 years, perhaps even decades, on their jobs very professionally.
16 Q. I believe this is an important point by way of explanation.
17 Now, let's move on to something else. You say that in June 1991,
18 at the invitation of Grujic -- and it says here that he was president of
19 the SDS. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. You say that you went to a meeting so that you could explain your
22 position there; is that right?
23 A. No, it's not how I could explain my position, it was how -- for
24 Grujic to explain what they wanted.
25 Q. Oh, I'm sorry, you're talking about June 1991.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. This had to do with party affiliation. I wanted to leave the
3 party because of some of the things that had happened previously within
4 the party itself.
5 Q. All right. You were elected to a high office in the party in
6 Zvornik; is that right?
7 A. Well, one of the leading positions.
8 Q. And then in the month of June 1991, you went to explain your
9 position to them. You wanted to explain that you were no longer willing
10 to carry on.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell me, what were the reasons? What motivated you to act that
14 A. Well, first of all, my very own position. Politically speaking,
15 it differed from the position espoused by the leading people at the SDS at
16 the time. Can I explain this in a bit more detail?
17 Our offices were right opposite each other. There was only a wall
18 between us, the SDA and the SDS. There were rumours, there was whispering
19 at meetings so that the other side could not hear what was being said at
20 meetings and what was being agreed upon, especially when the war broke out
21 in Croatia. So this atmosphere at the meetings and outside the meetings
22 was quite unbearable. And also apart from that, Grujic had already risen
23 to the ranks of a leader who was deciding on everything. He is the one
24 who made decisions. He's the one who went to meetings with the
25 authorities of the SDS at republican level, and he also went elsewhere.
1 He only gave others the information he was willing to share, but what he
2 was not willing to share he did not share, and it was as simple as that.
3 He was not really up to the high office he held.
4 Q. On the basis of what you've been saying just now, I assume that
5 you felt manipulated. He reported to you what he wanted to report about,
6 and he presented pictures the way he wanted to present them, and he was
7 the only one who was in touch with the higher leadership; is that right?
8 A. Well, it's -- that's right.
9 Q. You did not consider that to be fair?
10 A. I didn't.
11 Q. So you went to explain your position. You wanted to say that you
12 no longer wished to hold this position.
13 A. Yes, I and another friend of mine.
14 Q. And this friend, did he also hold a high position?
15 A. Yes. He was on the Executive Committee of the party.
16 Q. You say that you went to this meeting armed with a pistol because,
17 as you say, you were afraid that somebody might attack you and even kill
19 A. Before that there were certain telephone calls that I received
20 that could lead me to think that, that all sorts of things could happen.
21 Already by then Brano Grujic and a few other persons had declared
22 themselves as people who could do anything and who could allow themselves
23 to do all sorts of things.
24 Q. Was somebody killed? Before that and by then was somebody killed?
25 How did this kind of thought cross your mind?
1 A. A few people were, and I didn't really want to give anyone the
2 opportunity to do that to me too. At least I wanted to try to defend
4 Q. Was anybody else armed at that meeting?
5 A. Probably everybody.
6 Q. Did anybody attack you in any conceivable way, physically
7 speaking? I'm going to explain why I'm putting this question to you.
8 According to your statement, you said at that meeting that you did not
9 want anything to do with thieves, and you left the meeting; is that right?
10 A. Precisely.
11 Q. Did they give you some kind of an explanation? Were they really
13 A. Not all of them, but those who I meant were aware of it.
14 Q. Tell me so that I could at least get an impression as to what was
15 going on. Since you called them thieves, does that mean that before that
16 they had stolen something, or perhaps did they mobilise into the party
17 leadership some persons who had had a criminal record or something?
18 A. Some persons had had criminal records, and also some of them were
19 involved in embezzlement.
20 Q. So some of them who were there had embezzled some money; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Who was it who had embezzled some money, and whose money was it in
24 the first place?
25 A. Government money. The best thing for you would be to ask Brano
2 Q. I do not have the opportunity of asking Brano Grujic because you
3 are the person who is testifying here, not him. So that's why I'm asking
5 Did he embezzle any money?
6 A. Before, he did, and even much more later on.
7 Q. He in particular?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So which office did he hold when he embezzled the money?
10 A. At that time, he did not hold any particular office. At that
11 time, he worked in a shop.
12 Q. Oh. So he embezzled money in a shop that he worked in.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what happened after that when you said you wouldn't have
15 anything to do with thieves and you left? Nobody invited you to attend
16 meetings any more, but nobody mistreated you in any way either.
17 A. I wasn't invited to attend meetings, but they did call me up
18 frequently on the phone at home.
19 Q. They telephoned you using your home telephone number?
20 A. Yes, and they would make threats. And I reported this on one
21 occasion to the post office. It wasn't out of fear, because they couldn't
22 have protected me anyway, but I wanted to find out the numbers they were
23 calling from.
24 Q. So they rang you up and made anonymous phone calls and threats and
25 things of that kind?
1 A. They insulted me.
2 Q. Right, they insulted you.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But there were no consequences of that, as far as I understand.
5 A. The consequences came later on.
6 Q. In paragraph 11 of your statement you say that sometime in 1992,
7 before the attack on Bijeljina - and you say you think it was the end of
8 February as you say in your statement - you attended a meeting where a
9 certain major was present by the name of Major Zoran Jovanovic, and as you
10 say, he was the commander of the Zvornik Brigade, along with two other
11 officers from the Tuzla Corps. One of them was a captain by rank, and the
12 other man was Lieutenant Sekanic; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was that after this meeting or before?
15 A. Ah, it was seven or eight months after the previous meeting.
16 Q. So they did invite you to attend meetings.
17 A. Yes, at that time, but not before that.
18 Q. So how come you were invited to attend that particular meeting at
19 that time?
20 A. That's how it turned out. That's what happened. I don't know how
21 it happened and who decided to make the move, but Zoran Jovanovic phoned
22 me personally and invited me to come to the meeting. And prior to that, I
23 had met him in a coffee bar, and he said that preparations were under way,
24 as he said at the time, that both sides were preparing themselves for a
25 defence, to defend themselves from the other side and that all the
1 officers would be necessary, reserve officers, that they should all take
2 part and that it would be a good thing if I attended the meeting.
3 Q. All right. So he explained to you that they were preparing to set
4 up a defence because they assumed they would be attacked. You yourself
5 were a reserve officer, and he was inviting you to attend the meeting in
6 your capacity of reserve officer; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You say that before the attack on Bijeljina took place, sometime
9 before the end of February, what kind of attack on Bijeljina are you
10 referring to? What attack?
11 A. I'm talking about the time when Arkan's men, Arkan and his guys
12 stormed into town and when the incidents that both I and I assume you
13 remember very well.
14 Q. Well, all right, you remember these incidents. I assume you
15 remember them because you lived there. But tell me this: How did the
16 first clashes and conflicts come about in the Bijeljina municipality?
17 Because you remember them whereas I don't.
18 A. As far as I what I know is concerned, I learned it from state
19 television, the state television programmes and their broadcasts, and all
20 of us know about that. I remember it very well myself. Now, I don't know
21 the particulars and what led up to the conflict.
22 Q. Well, is it true that the conflicts took place at the end of March
23 and beginning of April 1992? Which means quite some time after that
24 meeting of yours took place where you were invited to attend as a reserve
25 officer, according to my information.
1 A. I know when they called me up. Now, whether that was before or
2 afterwards, I really don't know, and I don't think it's got anything to do
3 with the events that took place in Bijeljina, because two or three months
4 prior to the main conflict, both sides began to prepare themselves for
5 war, to arm themselves and to establish some sort of -- well, not some
6 sort of, but units in fact, made up of their own ethnic group.
7 Q. And in that same paragraph, paragraph 11, you go on to say that
8 the Muslims, when they saw that there was -- that war was imminent, they
9 began preparing themselves too, to arm themselves and so on, but all that
10 had taken place much earlier, according to your descriptions.
11 A. Yes. Everybody knew about that in Bosnia-Herzegovina when the
12 preparations started and when people began to arm themselves secretly,
13 when the truckloads of ammunition were being driven in and weapons and so
14 on, in some sort of illegal clandestine way. Both sides were busy arming
16 Q. Now, tell me, who up until the beginning of the conflicts was the
17 president of the municipal Assembly in Zvornik?
18 A. It was Abdulah Pasic.
19 Q. He was president of the municipality?
20 A. Yes. He was an engineer by profession.
21 Q. Who was the chief of police in Zvornik?
22 A. It was also a Muslim.
23 Q. Was it Osman Mustafic?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Who was the commander of the Territorial Defence in Zvornik?
1 A. I can't really say with any certainty.
2 Q. Was he a Muslim too?
3 A. I don't remember. Probably that kind of information can be found.
4 Maybe it was, by I know the other two for sure.
5 Q. Do you know that through the mobilisation of the Muslim militia in
6 Zvornik they ordered the president of the municipality and Abdulah Pasic,
7 the deputy, and Nedzad Pasic, commander of the brigade of the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that that's who was involved? Is that right?
9 A. Probably it is right. Now, as to the order itself, I don't know
10 anything about that order. I didn't know then and I don't know now.
11 Q. Do you know who Sead Hadziavdic is?
12 A. The name seems familiar, but I can't seem to remember.
13 Q. He was the proprietor of the Rojal coffee bar from Drinjaca, and
14 according to my reports and police reports dating from the autumn of 1991,
15 he was engaged in clandestinely arming the Muslims of the area. Do you
16 know about that?
17 A. Well, I do know that they were arming themselves. Now, during
18 what period and when exactly and the details of that, I don't know, but I
19 do know that they were armed, as I say, at the beginning of the year and
20 that they did possess weapons. Not only pistols which were sort of
21 sidearms but automatic weapons as well, which meant that somebody was
22 supplying them with arms.
23 Q. Now, do you know what this man Hadziavdic was doing, that the same
24 thing was going on in Kamenica by Saban Desic [phoen] and Nedzad Haskic?
25 Do their names seem familiar and do you know anything about their
2 A. Of course I do. Saban is now the president of the municipality of
3 Zvornik. At the time he was an inspector, a trade inspector in Zvornik.
4 So yes, people were arming themselves in all the villages, but who was
5 personally responsible I really can't say.
6 Q. But do you at least know the role played in this arming and
7 military organisation of the Zvornik Muslims by Captain Hajrudin Mesic,
8 for instance, who was the former commander of the police station in
10 A. I hadn't heard of that name, but quite possibly it was, although I
11 don't know about him.
12 Q. Now, tell me, please, since you yourself were probably very
13 well-informed with what was going on in the area, from what you say, that
14 one of the reasons for the evacuation of the Serbs from town - and you
15 mentioned that many people did leave town - that this took place in
16 January 1992 because a paramilitary unit named the Mosque Doves was formed
17 led by a Zvornik criminal by the name of Mithad Grahic. Is that true? Is
18 that the reason they were leaving?
19 A. Now, whether that particular unit was established then or not, I
20 really can't say. I have heard about certain groups. I did hear of the
21 various groups, but what they were called I really don't know. I do know
22 this man Midhat.
23 Q. He was a criminal, wasn't he?
24 A. Well, he was in prison. Why he was in prison, I really can't say.
25 He didn't belong to the circle of people I socialised with.
1 Q. Well, you didn't socialise with criminals, I assume, so you
2 wouldn't know. But do you know during that during that period time in the
3 wider region around Zvornik another Muslim paramilitary unit was set up
4 called the Kobras, and the commander was a certain man called Suljo who
5 before the war worked as a teacher in the village of Sapna, and it is
6 assumed that it was actually Sulejman Terzic? Do you know anything about
8 A. Well, if that was in the area of Sapna, that's quite a long way
9 away, some 20 kilometres away. But as I say, there were rumours that a
10 unit was being established and that people were standing guard. Even one
11 of their men, a Muslim man, was killed, who had worked in Belgrade. He
12 was coming back at night from Belgrade. He was going home. He didn't
13 know about these watches that were being set up, and he was killed. And
14 that was along that axis in that general direction of Grbavica in fact.
15 Q. Killed by the Muslim guards and watches?
16 A. Yes. So there were watches, there were guards set up, they were
17 armed, and everybody will tell you the same thing.
18 Q. Now, do you know anything about this unit called Kobra? Because
19 later on it was commanded by Semsudin Mumerovic [phoen] whose nickname was
20 Kobra who was later commander of the Zvornik Brigade of the BH army.
21 A. At that time, I was already in Holland.
22 Q. All right. So I'm not going to ask you any more about that.
23 Now, have you heard of the events of March 1992 which caused a
24 great deal of unrest amongst the Serbs when without any cause an ambush
25 was set up and five people were arrested, five young Serb men, and they
1 were interrogated by a man called Avdija Omerovic? And this took place in
2 March 1992.
3 A. Well, probably it did, but as I say, information was coming in
4 less frequently because everybody was doing their best to save their own
5 skin and save their own lives at the time. So maybe that's quite true,
6 but it just passed me by and perhaps I didn't pay much attention to it or
7 perhaps I didn't hear about it.
8 Q. All right. But at any rate, you can't remember so I don't want to
9 pursue that point any further.
10 But in paragraph 11, you say that it was precisely this man
11 Abdulah Music who showed you a box of automatic and semi-automatic rifles
12 which the Muslim side had procured; is that right?
13 A. Yes. That was on the eve of Bajram, the Bajram festival on the
14 5th of April.
15 Q. You say that he told you that he had bought it from some Serbs; is
16 that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So you claim that the Serbs were preparing to attack the Muslims,
19 whereas at the same time they were actually selling them rifles, automatic
21 A. Everything is possible. If those same people could have sold
22 flour when there was a ban on flour -- they did this from Serbia and
23 trucks would bring the flour in and reload it onto other trucks going to
24 Tuzla and so on -- if this could be procured by the Serbs and sold to the
25 Muslims, then why shouldn't the same people sell weapons and arms?
1 Nothing strange there.
2 Q. Well, I assume there's some difference between flour and weapons.
3 I understand that people are bringing in flour on the black market and
4 selling it, but I'm asking you about arms, weapons. How is it possible
5 that if the Serbs were preparing themselves for an armed conflict, that
6 they would at the same time be selling arms to the side that they were
7 allegedly to go into conflict with?
8 A. Those same people sold arms to the Serbs as well. One automatic
9 rifle would cost you 1.200 German marks, for instance.
10 Q. I see. So these were black marketeers selling weapons to anybody,
11 anybody they could sell them too; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So it wasn't anybody doing this in an organised fashion or
14 organised arming or an organised Serb formation collecting weapons.
15 A. No, far from it. Individuals engaged in that kind of thing. You
16 can't speak of the entire population or any legal units, lawful units
17 doing that.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. That's a very essential point.
19 Now, you also said that at the meeting held with respect to the
20 Zvornik unit, that Grujic, Dragan Spasojevic, and Sveto Popovic had the
21 main say. They were the main speakers at the meeting; is that right?
22 A. Well, you could put it that way, yes, those three.
23 Q. So all three men were people who were from Zvornik themselves, and
24 they held posts and positions in Zvornik and had done so for many years;
1 A. Well, not for many years. They were -- nobody had ever heard of
2 them. They were anonymous citizens before that.
3 Q. No, what I meant was that they were from Zvornik and had lived in
4 Zvornik for many years.
5 A. Yes. They lived in Zvornik for a long time, many years, except
6 this man Sveto Popovic, Sveto Popovic. The others were from a village
7 from the Zvornik municipality. Grujic himself was born in Montenegro.
8 Q. Yes, but he lived in Zvornik for a long time, didn't he?
9 A. Well, for 20 years.
10 Q. Which means that all three men were inhabitants and residents of
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And they had been that for at least 20 years.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Which means that they hadn't come in from anywhere, from Serbia or
16 from where else. They hadn't come in to Zvornik during that period of
17 time; they'd been living there as residents for 20-odd years; is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You also say that Major Zoran Jovanovic was commander of the
21 Zvornik Brigade.
22 A. He was appointed to that position before the war broke out.
23 That's what he said. He would say he was commander for the Zvornik
24 municipality. Now, what he actually was and what that was at that time
25 establishment-wise, I can't say. Whether it was a brigade or a form of
1 Territorial Defence or something else, I really can't say, but they were
2 people who at all events were members of something above a battalion. So
3 if they were commanders of battalions or companies or something specific,
4 and he was their commander, then the next step up the ladder in that kind
5 of hierarchy was a brigade commander, going up the chain of command that
7 Q. I've forgotten your number, Witness. Yes, Mr. 1524. That's all I
8 wanted to establish. What it was was a meeting where these units were
9 being formed, the inception of those units was discussed at the meeting.
10 Because you yourself said that you were making the logical conclusion that
11 if battalions had been formed that it should have been a brigade. But it
12 was a meeting, and the brigade hadn't actually been established yet. It
13 was in the process of being established through that meeting.
14 A. Well, if they had appointed commanders and if they had lists, each
15 commander had lists of his members belonging to his unit, and this was
16 uni-ethnic, uni-national, then the unit was being established although not
18 Q. I understand that, but as I say, it was the local Territorial
19 Defence and your joint organisation and deployment and distribution of the
20 members of that local Territorial Defence into those units of the
21 Territorial Defence; is that right?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. So when you say major, commander of the brigade --
24 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you for one minute to tell you that
25 you have five minutes left.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm very sorry to hear that,
2 Mr. May. I wasn't watching the clock. This witness is providing some
3 very interesting testimony, so could you at least give me a little more
4 time and I'll do my best to skip over some of my questions.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MAY: You will have ten minutes from now.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. All right. Let me skip over this part. That is to say, you had
9 this particular office; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It is written here, and I'm not going to refer to it specifically
12 so that you won't be identified, and then you say the unit consisted of
13 local volunteers, members of the TO; is that right?
14 A. Some had voluntarily joined up by then. They asked to be armed.
15 They asked to be among the ranks of the volunteers.
16 Q. All right. So this was the local Territorial Defence; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And in paragraph 14, you say that the Zvornik Brigade, that
20 Zvornik Brigade, your unit of Territorial Defence that you established
21 from the ranks of the local population in Zvornik. It's your brigade; is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And it had a total of 3 to 4.000 members, as it says here. Let's
25 not go into all of that. Was that approximately the manpower involved?
1 A. Perhaps even a bit more. Not straight away, but as the war went
2 on, certainly it involved a lot more people.
3 Q. You even had some tanks, and the tank crews were made up of
4 reservists from Zvornik as well; isn't that right?
5 A. It wasn't some tanks. It was a tank company from Celopek.
6 Q. But the crews were made up of volunteers from Zvornik; is that
7 right? That is what it says here.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So now you say, in paragraph 15, that Serbs would go to various
10 weekend cottages over the weekend, as people usually do, and some went
11 across the Drina to Serbia, to Mali Zvornik.
12 A. Well, that's where the weekend cottages were for the most part
13 because the area was more conducive to that.
14 Q. So in the former Yugoslavia people did not pay attention to
15 republican boundaries. People from Zvornik, that was a biggish town, had
16 weekend cottages on the other side of the Drina River in the area of
17 Serbia; is that right?
18 A. Yes, precisely. And most of them were Muslims, the people who had
19 weekend cottages there.
20 Q. And then you say since they had a premonition that something bad
21 could happen over the weekend, then they sought shelter in these weekend
22 cottages of theirs in Serbia; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's right. Some even took their furniture from their
24 apartments there so that it would not be destroyed once the war broke out.
25 Q. Do you know that Kozluk, villages around Zvornik, were visited by
1 Grujic, Pasovic, and Muhamed Jelkic, a Muslim, just before the war?
2 A. Yes. He was director of the hospital. But I'm not aware of this
3 visit and these meetings, no -- this visit.
4 Q. And do you know that these three men, together with hodza Muhamed
5 Efendi Ilugavica [phoen] and a Serb priest, Vasilije Kacavenda, went to
6 see the people from Sepak and Kotici and asked them not to allow a
7 conflict to break out and not to resort to force? You say they were
8 asking them not to tear down barricades. Is that what you said?
9 A. I don't know about that. Kacavenda is the Bishop of Zvornik and
10 Tuzla. I really don't know that anyone went there. And just before the
11 conflict at that. Movement was already restricted for Serbs in Serb
12 villages and for Muslims in Muslim villages. I doubt it. I don't think
13 that on the very eve of the war anybody would have gone.
14 The commander of the police went, though. He went towards Kula.
15 He was a Serb. And he was killed. So I doubt it. I doubt the
16 possibility of this kind of walking around villages and trying to talk
17 people into doing this or that. It would have been very easy for them to
18 get killed.
19 Q. I wrote this down here and I found it in your statement, but I
20 don't have time to look through the statement now, but that can readily be
22 You say in paragraph 16 that from people from the newly
23 established brigade you found out that there would be attack on Zvornik.
24 Is that what you stated?
25 A. Yes. This was a week earlier.
1 Q. And you say in paragraph 18 that the Serbs on the 5th or 6th of
2 April started bringing up barricades on Vidakovoj Njivi.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But if people are putting up barricades on a field, and this is
5 Vidak's field, Vidakovoj Njivi, does it mean that they were defending
7 A. This is not a real field. This is just a place called Vidakovoj
8 Njivi and this is on the outskirts of town.
9 Q. Nevertheless, isn't that something that is done by way of defence
10 rather than by way of attacking a town?
11 A. It can be used for both, depending on which side of the barricade
12 you're on.
13 Q. All right. In the same paragraph, you say that that night, with
14 people of both ethnic groups, you organised within your own building some
15 kind of a watch, and you were trying to follow everything that was going
16 on, everything that was happening to Serbs and Muslims.
17 A. Everybody was together in the town until the shooting broke out,
18 and then when the shooting broke out, a minority went towards Kula Grad
19 and the majority, Muslims and Serbs, crossed over to Mali Zvornik in
21 Q. All right. You say that you wanted to cross over the bridge to
22 Mali Zvornik but it was held by Muslim forces. They held it under their
23 control and they did not allow anyone to cross the bridge. That's what
24 you say in paragraph 23; isn't that right?
25 A. That was just before the attack, just before the attack. It was
1 Wednesday morning. They did not allow people to get out of buildings, and
2 they used a bus and also a truck to set up a roadblock not allowing people
3 to leave, because they were afraid that if Serbs left town, they would be
4 left as the only target, but this way they were both there and then God
5 would allow things to happen one way or the other.
6 Q. Could you please be brief. They did not allow you to cross the
7 bridge, the Muslim forces did?
8 A. Yes. On the Serb side it was the Serbs, and on the Muslim side it
9 was the Muslims.
10 Q. I assume that on the side of the Republic of Serbia there was only
11 the police. Nobody else could have been there.
12 Tell me you recognised an Albanian, Dzavid Behljuji, and a certain
13 Ibrahimovic and some other people there; is that right?
14 A. Yes, the three of them.
15 Q. And all three were armed?
16 A. Yes, they were.
17 Q. This was a conflict, so it was not an attack of the Serbs on the
18 town of Zvornik.
19 A. Nothing had happened by then. Nothing had broken out. There were
20 only watches and guards.
21 Q. You say that in the evening of the 8th of April, as the conflicts
22 were abating, a large number of people, 10.000 people, left Zvornik and
23 went to Serbia via Mali Zvornik; is that right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And among those 10.000 who fled from Zvornik, they fled because
1 the conflict had broken out in Zvornik. 10.000 people fled to Serbia.
2 They were Muslims and Serbs; is that right?
3 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, more of them were Muslims because there
4 were more Muslims among the population of the town.
5 Q. Oh, so more of them were going to Serbia because they wanted to
6 seek shelter there as they knew that it was safe in Serbia; isn't that
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. So the conflict broke out in Zvornik and the Muslims, as you said
10 just now, were fleeing to Serbia, seeking shelter there. It was quite
11 clear to them this was not a conflict that came from Serbia, this was a
12 local conflict between the Serbs and Muslims in Zvornik; isn't that right?
13 And they were going to Serbia where it was safe, to seek shelter there; is
14 that right?
15 A. Well, yes, of course. 99.9 per cent of the people who went to
16 Serbia were saved persons. This .01 [as interpreted] per cent were
17 arrested in Serbia and returned. That would be about it.
18 JUDGE MAY: This must be your last question.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right if it's my last question. This 0.01 [as interpreted]
21 per cent that were arrested somewhere in Serbia, it was your forces in
22 Mali Zvornik who arrested them; right? They were not arrested by the
23 forces of the Serb police or anybody else. It was your forces.
24 A. I was arrested by the Serb police, I for one.
25 Q. You?
1 A. Yes. And without any kind of procedure, any kind of preliminary
2 procedure that is customary in the civilised world, they simply sent me
3 back to the camp in Alhos.
4 Q. Tell me, did they arrest you at the request of the Zvornik
6 A. I never saw any kind of request. They had no request. They
7 simply arrested me in the street as if I were a criminal, with three or
8 four cars, police cars. They surrounded me, arrested me, threw me into
9 the car and handed me over in Bosnia, in Zvornik, to Brane Grujic.
10 JUDGE MAY: The time now is more than up. You've had more than
11 sufficient time, Mr. Milosevic.
12 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
13 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we just finish
15 the subject that was just started? I would like to deal with that only.
16 Q. Mr. Witness, out of these 10.000 people who decided to go to
17 Serbia, among them were there people from Zvornik? And Zvornik is in
18 Bosnia, and Mali Zvornik is in Serbia.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So these 10.000 people, they went to Serbia, didn't they?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And were there people who went towards the central part of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina during those days or was it for the most part this wave
24 that went to Serbia?
25 A. I think that perhaps 2 or 3.000 went towards Bosnia, towards Kula
1 Grad. It's also there on the border, the Zvornik municipality, but from
2 there people could go to Central Bosnia, but most of the inhabitants of
3 Zvornik, the town of Zvornik which had a population that was about 80 per
4 cent Muslim, went to Mali Zvornik, to Serbia.
5 Q. All right, thank you. However, when you arrived in Banja
6 Koviljaca, as you said in paragraph 47, that is far into Serbia, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you say that there you saw about 1.000 Muslims. Were they
9 taken care of in Banja Koviljaca or not?
10 A. More than a thousand. They went individually to the houses of
11 their friends. People socialised even before the war. All the hotels
12 were full. They took rooms in hotels legally. Nobody prevented them from
13 doing that. They paid for it. It was full. The town of Loznica was
14 full. The park was full. It wasn't a thousand, it was several thousand
15 Muslims who were there.
16 Q. Did any Muslims go voluntarily to other countries in Europe on the
17 basis of an organisation that was provided by the international community
18 like it was made possible for you to go to another country?
19 A. It was not made possible for me. I went to another country in
20 another way, but I heard here, because I do socialise with people, that it
21 was made possible for them to move on. I was even present in Belgrade
22 when two families were given passports. They had not had passports, and
23 they were given passports at the Belgrade SUP so they could travel
25 Q. Could you just give me an answer to one more question so that the
1 Judges would be aware of that. You mentioned black uniforms yesterday.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Before all of these things that happened, or perhaps after all of
4 these things that happened, did you ever see a single soldier of the
5 Yugoslav army or of the army of Yugoslavia in a black uniform?
6 A. No, never.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. AGHA: Your Honour, if I may with your permission, just ask
9 Witness B-1524 a couple of questions in re-examination.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Agha:
11 Q. Witness B-1524, you mention that before the attack on Zvornik the
12 SDA and SDS were trying to negotiate things peacefully. Can you tell me,
13 please, which body or which group actually attacked Zvornik.
14 A. Sometimes I said this by way of a joke, but that is indeed true,
15 as Mr. Milosevic noted. I always say that some people talk about the
16 defence of Zvornik and others talk about the attack on Zvornik. So
17 regardless of terminology, I know that on the previous day Arkan's
18 soldiers and Arkan himself were already in Karakaj, and on that previous
19 day, four or five of them were arrested in Zvornik in a Mercedes that was
20 full of weapons.
21 In addition to these local people who took part in the attack, it
22 was Arkan's units that participated in the attack. These were the men who
23 were in black uniforms. These were the men who looted the town, who
24 committed a series of crimes, murders within the town itself. These were
25 not JNA units. These were no legal units. These were paramilitary units.
1 Q. Thank you. And, Witness, could you please tell the Court where
2 Arkan and his units came from, from which republic.
3 A. Arkan has a house in Belgrade. He had one before the war. He was
4 a Belgrader. These people who were questioning me after my arrest, who
5 were down there in Alhos, spoke with a Belgrade accent. It's no secret.
6 People know that, and people know where Arkan recruited his men, from the
7 urban population, and there were a number of Belgraders within his ranks.
8 Q. Thank you. And just one final question: You mentioned that when
9 you were in Mali Zvornik after the attack or the defence, however you call
10 it, there was shelling coming from Mali Zvornik in Serbia. Can you kindly
11 tell the Chamber who was carrying out this shelling of Zvornik.
12 A. I did not see this, but they told me that this was coming from an
13 elevation above Mali Zvornik. A mortar unit was there, and it consisted
14 of men from Zvornik, members of the Territorial Defence of Zvornik only.
15 They were up there at that elevation so that they could have a good view
16 and that they could carry out their task properly. They were perhaps a
17 kilometre away from the Drina as the crow flies, on the Serbian side.
18 Q. So actually, Witness, one lead-on question from that: If that
19 mortar battery was placed about one kilometre on the Serbian side, would
20 it be your impression that it was a pre-arranged attack or defence?
21 JUDGE MAY: I don't think the witness can really answer that. He
22 can -- all he can say is this: Did you see any signs of an arrangement
23 before any attack as to arrangements being made for it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if at the very moment when
25 they were shooting -- I mean, the units would have had to have been
1 deployed there for a day or two before that. They would have had to have
2 positioned themselves in order to be able to target various areas. So
3 that unit must have been there at that elevation a day or two before the
4 shooting actually took place.
5 It's not only this mortar unit. They were shooting above our
6 heads. We were in Mali Zvornik, and sub-machine-guns were used for that.
7 And also there were these other hills in the area, and the Bosnian side
8 was targeted from those hills too.
9 MR. AGHA:
10 Q. Thank you, Witness.
11 MR. AGHA: And that completes my re-examination.
12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Witness B-1524, that concludes your
13 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it.
14 You are free to go. Would you just wait while the blinds are pulled down.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 MR. NICE: Just before the next witness is --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: -- mention a couple of administrative matters
20 concerning his evidence. I trust the Chamber will have received the
21 replacement and final signed version of his statement. There were some
22 variations as I set out in a memorandum. Inevitably, as I forecast, there
23 were amendments. I hope they haven't been inconvenient for the Chamber.
24 Our interpretation of the ruling as to which passages should be given live
25 and in full is set out in the memorandum, and I hope that we've got the
1 paragraph numbers correct. We've tended not to do so.
2 JUDGE MAY: It inevitably causes inconvenience when there are
3 last-minute changes to statements, that must be said, and it is a practice
4 which should be avoided, clearly, as far as possible. Not only is the
5 Chamber inconvenienced but also, of course, all those others working on
6 the case.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I have to say that from the beginning I
8 explained that this was a draft and why it could only be a draft, the
9 witness coming here in the circumstances he was and so on, and indeed I
10 raised the matter on a couple of subsequent occasions thinking it clear
11 that there would inevitably be changes in the manner in which his evidence
12 could be given.
13 In any event, my calculation is that the passages that the Chamber
14 wishes to be given live and in full are paragraphs 98 to 109, 119 and 120,
15 and 124 to the end, and I hope that's correct.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. One thing I note is that most of the changes are
17 in fact favourable to the cross-examiner, putting it neutrally.
18 MR. NICE: Exactly.
19 JUDGE MAY: Such clarifications as there have been have helped the
20 Defence. But looking to the future -- we obviously have to consider this
21 position, but looking to the future, we must try and work out a way in
22 which this matter can be dealt with in a way which is more expeditious and
23 fairer for all concerned.
24 MR. NICE: This is a particular type of witness, as I've explained
25 for several months, and as you know, perhaps -- perhaps can we just have a
1 short private session, please.
2 [Private session]
8 Yes. We'll go back into open session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have received this, Mr. May. As a
11 matter of fact, I received it last night.
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This version that Mr. Nice referred
14 to, I received it last night. That was the first time I could receive it,
15 because my associate and I had a meeting that was planned for 6:00 p.m.
16 That's when I got it. As for this practice that Mr. Nice has of providing
17 me with material at the very last moment, I asked you on several occasions
18 to do away with this kind of practice.
19 There was this rule that material should be provided a month in
20 advance, and you shortened it to ten days, but Mr. Nice has not even
21 honoured that decision that I be provided with material ten days in
22 advance. Sometimes he provides me with certain papers only ten minutes in
23 advance. So I don't want to deal with anything specific in relation to
24 this witness - I'm going to question every witness - but I ask that out of
25 sheer decency I get all these materials at least ten days in advance, as
1 you had prescribed. I'm saying this for the sake of the future. I don't
2 want to interrupt your plan in any way now.
3 JUDGE MAY: We make it plain that it is not the Court's plan that
4 these statements should arrive at the last moment, and it's a matter of
5 concern to the Trial Chamber that you should have adequate time.
6 We, too, received that new version at 5.00 last night, and as
7 you've heard me raise with the Prosecution, that in the normal course of
8 events is going to be insufficient time. However, we've looked at these
9 particular amendments. They are all, as far as I can see, favourable to
10 you, and therefore, we don't think it right -- or I don't think it right
11 to keep them out. But I suggest that we use the new version for that
13 However, in the future, we will most certainly have in mind this
14 question of time, because plainly you must have the time in order to
15 prepare your cross-examination, and that's a matter we're conscious of.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: And may I say that any time that you need to
17 have, as a result of the late arrival of the documents from the
18 Prosecution, should be taken from the Prosecution's overall time.
19 I'd just like to endorse what the Presiding Judge has said. The
20 practice is quite unacceptable.
21 MR. NICE: Can I, because I think it's appropriate and indeed
22 necessary that I should do so, explain the practical difficulties which
23 I'm sure are not always immediately apparent. If you have a witness like
24 this coming to court in the circumstances he does, and the Court knows
25 about that, we can only deal with him when he's here.
1 Preparing these documents, especially to prepare them in two
2 languages, is an enormously difficult exercise involving a large number of
3 people. The material from which this statement was taken has of course
4 been available to the accused for years. He's been notified of the
5 calling of this witness for a considerable period of time, and the books
6 have all been available to him, and it is from the books, and to a limited
7 degree from the witness -- from the interview of the witness, that the
8 material has been drawn.
9 The only way that we could avoid it with this type of witness this
10 type of situation is by calling him here a fortnight or a month before and
11 keeping him here. We couldn't do that. It's not possible. So sorry.
12 As to the particular statements, the position is that I provided
13 you with a draft at the earliest conceivable moment, a draft that had been
14 prepared in forecast of what we would want from the witness, knowing of
15 the books that he'd written, alerting everyone to the fact that it was a
16 draft on a couple of occasions last week, and I have the references that I
17 made to that.
18 The Prosecution worked from last Tuesday through to last Sunday
19 afternoon and the version was signed by the witness Sunday afternoon, he
20 then being content with it. It was made available to the Chamber first
21 thing on Monday morning but a red-line version was wanted and Ms. Dicklich
22 worked on that all day and it was provided later in the afternoon.
23 JUDGE MAY: And very helpful it was too, but Mr. Nice, you have to
24 appreciate that there are others in this trial besides the Prosecution
25 whose interests have to be taken account of. That includes the Trial
1 Chamber. And if documents arrive at the last moment, we may have to
2 simply adjourn as being the only way that we can deal with it, and the
3 accused by -- in fairness to him, can deal with it too, and that would be
4 time which will have to be taken off your budget.
5 But in any event, the matter does not arise now but let us hope
6 that it doesn't arise in future. Let me just confer.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go ahead on the new version. If you want
9 more time, of course you can have it, but it will come off the rest of the
10 week, that's the problem.
11 MR. NICE: Well, the Chamber will not be surprised to know that
12 the six hours allocated for cross-examination, given the inclusion of
13 favourable parts within the statement served, is a matter we have very
14 much in mind. I'm simply going to do my best in the circumstances, but I
15 am very anxious, and I know we've exhausted the topic and I'll -- but I'm
16 very anxious that the Chamber should appreciate that I'm doing everything
17 I can to bring material before this Chamber that is helpful and is timely,
18 and there are simply circumstances which are beyond better organisation
19 save by quite exponential enlargement of costs and labour, which we can't
20 afford. We simply cannot have witnesses here for months or have people
21 away from the office proofing them for weeks on end. It isn't possible.
22 We'll do our best.
23 JUDGE KWON: Let me check one thing further.
24 MR. NICE: Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: Was this translated, the last version of the
2 MR. NICE: Yes. I've introduced the following system. You might
3 like to know the practicalities of how we do this. If you have a witness
4 who is giving a statement, typically it's given in one language and then
5 the thing is translated by the Language Services, and that takes weeks to
6 do it typically, because there is no overnight facility for translation of
7 any substantial document, and there couldn't be for us or for the Chamber
8 or the Registry without huge expense. So what we now do is we have two
9 interpreters or language assistants working with any witness so that as a
10 document is being drawn or amended in the language of the interview, which
11 will be typically English, there's somebody working in parallel preparing
12 or amending the document so that it's available pretty well
13 instantaneously in B/C/S, and that's the way we are able now to serve the
14 rule change under 89 to provide documents in both languages. But it has
15 represented a substantial increase in resource allocation which we've
16 negotiated with Registry.
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, we will continue after the adjournment with the
18 witness on the new version.
19 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the witness would take the declaration,
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat.
2 WITNESS: BORISAV JOVIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
5 Examined by Mr. Nice:
6 Q. Your full name, please, sir.
7 A. Borisav Jovic.
8 Q. Mr. Jovic, I'm going to summarise your dealings with the Office of
9 the Prosecutor in order to identify the materials with which we are
10 working. But first by way of background, born in October 1928, holding
11 various offices, government offices in your career, mostly in social and
12 economic development, and being ambassador to Italy in the mid to late
13 1970s. Were you, in March 1989, elected as Serbia's representative to the
14 SFRY Presidency, the vice-president of that Presidency from the 15th of
15 May, 1989 to the 15th of May, 1990, president from the 15th of May 1990 to
16 the 15th of May, 1991? Following that were you president of the Socialist
17 Party of Serbia from the 24th of May of 1991 until the 24th of October,
18 1992, taking over from the accused who had at that time had to step down.
19 When he returned to the leadership of the party, did you become
20 vice-president of the party again, holding that position until November of
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. With that much background, is the position that you have written
24 two books, one called "The Last Days of the SFRY, A Diary," and the second
25 book, the Book on Milosevic? Have you also been interviewed as a suspect
1 by officers of the OTP on three occasions, in September 2002 and in April
2 and September of 2003? Did you thereafter come to The Hague pursuant to a
3 subpoena and have you engaged in what are called proofing sessions with
4 the Office of the Prosecutor from last Tuesday or Wednesday and until the
5 end of this weekend?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. As a result of those proofing sessions, which themselves drew on
8 the books and the interview but particularly on the books, were you in a
9 position to sign a statement yesterday afternoon of 40 pages in English
10 and a slightly different number in B/C/S, and was that statement an
11 accurate statement of events?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you indeed have a copy of the B/C/S version of that statement
14 for reference purposes if appropriate and if required?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. So far as your diary is concerned, and you understand that it was
17 for the production of your diary that the Office of the Prosecutor sought
18 your assistance, so far as the diary is concerned, is that a document that
19 the book called The Diary, is that a document prepared on contemporaneous
21 A. Yes. They are notes which have not been edited or redacted. They
22 have been printed as they were taken down in note form.
23 Q. And does your diary, paragraph 5 of the statement, set out
24 something in excess of a hundred meetings or conversations you had with
25 the accused between May 1989 and July 1992, frequently being meetings you
1 attended with five other people, or up to five other people, the overall
2 group being described by you as the six and the composition of that group
3 being the accused, Kadijevic, Adzic, Kostic, and Bulatovic and yourself?
4 A. In addition to the other conversations these two were recorded,
5 and that group of people I entitled the group of six, the six, for it --
6 to facilitate matters in my diary so that I needn't go through all the six
7 names. But it never had the formal title of "the six."
8 Q. Going back to your offices, you stood down as president to be
9 replaced by Stipe Mesic in 1990 -- 1991. The Rump Presidency with which
10 we are familiar, did you remain a member of the Rump Presidency?
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. Until when?
13 A. Until the creation of the new Yugoslavia, which was sometime
14 around the 15th of May, 1992, however, in formal terms we worked a little
15 longer, until the new president of the state was elected.
16 Q. Your diary as a book was published in 1995, and you were
17 immediately dismissed by the accused. He demanded your resignation from
18 office of member of parliament which you then held. You complied
19 immediately with his request. Can you tell us why?
20 A. As far as this replacement was concerned in the party leadership,
21 I never received an explanation of the reasons why that came about, but
22 indirectly, I was told that it was because of the book.
23 Now, as far as the position held in the Federal Assembly of the
24 deputy mandate there, I was asked to tender my resignation, and I accepted
25 that because I knew that it would be put into practice even if I didn't
1 want it to be. So to avoid any unnecessary complication, it was far
2 simpler for me to do that myself. And the procedure was fairly simple,
3 according to the rules and procedure --
4 Q. Very well. Who would have put it into practice had you declined
5 to comply with the accused's request?
6 A. It would have been put into practice by the party itself. It
7 would have excluded me from the party membership, the leadership of the
8 party, I mean, and this would lead to a situation in which I had no right
9 to be on the list of the Socialist Party and then the Socialist Party
10 would report to the national Assembly who the next man on the electoral
11 list was who had not become a deputy yet but who would be a replacement
12 for me.
13 Q. And as you say in paragraph 6 of your statement in respect of
14 resigning as a member of parliament: "I agreed to do it immediately,
15 because I knew that if I did not agree, he would arrange for it to be
16 done." Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct. I was convinced that that was how things
18 would turn out. And I'm sure they would have.
19 Q. Your second book, the Book on Milosevic published some five years
20 later, focuses on the accused as an individual. You say in paragraph 7 of
21 your statement -- perhaps I ought to deal with exhibiting the statement
22 and all the other documents in a second but if I can deal with this first
23 question and then get on with that. You say that the accused was the key
24 figure and the main actor in the Serbian tragedy that you describe. Is
25 that your opinion still?
1 A. Of course, for more than a decade, Milosevic was the main
2 political figure in Serbia. He held absolute authority within the people
3 and within the party, and he had the possibility of having a decisive role
4 on all decisions made. And by the same token, he was in a way the main
5 actor of everything that came to pass during that period of time.
6 MR. NICE: May the statement of the witness, under 89(F), be
7 exhibited, and may the file of exhibits be comprehensively linked with it
8 so that the statement becomes the first tab.
9 JUDGE MAY: We've got three binders here. Let's get them right.
10 I have got exhibits, and then there is at the beginning of that page a
11 list of contents.
12 MR. NICE: The second binder and third binder are simply tabs 2
13 and 3, which are the books.
14 JUDGE MAY: Tab 2 and 3. So the statement and the exhibits can
15 all have a single exhibit number then. We'll have the next number,
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the exhibit number is 596.
18 MR. NICE: The statement to which I have been referring is 596,
19 tab 1.
20 Q. Mr. Jovic, you make the point in respect of both your books, at
21 paragraph 8, that you completely stand by what is written in them and you
22 believe them to be an accurate source of historical material for the ICTY
23 but you accept that so far as personal views and judgements are concerned
24 they are entirely that, personal views, and they may, of course, be open
25 to question.
1 A. Yes. As far as the facts are concerned, the ones presented in the
2 books, they were recorded exactly as I saw them. So I consider them to be
3 historical facts.
4 Now, as far as my assessments go, and judgements, they can always
5 be questioned because that is my personal assessment.
6 Q. Before we move on to evidence in some detail and just to complete
7 the picture of your dealings with the Office of the Prosecutor, in the
8 course of your time here last week, have you been shown and have you had a
9 chance to review several exhibits which are now contained in the binder
10 before the learned Judges?
11 A. Exhibits I have looked through, yes.
12 Q. And indeed one or two exhibits were even shown to you this
13 morning, they coming to attention late?
14 A. Yes, I have seen those.
15 Q. Have you been notified in general terms of some other
16 supplementary questions that you may be asked in respect of topics covered
17 in the statement, those matters being raised at a late stage and too late
18 for inclusion in the statement?
19 A. Yes, there was that too.
20 Q. And you understand, Mr. Jovic, that whereas much of your evidence
21 will be taken in chief from the witness statement itself, there are
22 passages that we must deal with in detail and I now turn to those,
23 although they will be slightly out of order chronologically but to ensure
24 that they are covered in the detail the Chamber requires.
25 So in the English version of the statement, I go to page 27, and
1 for you, Mr. Jovic, if you want to find it, and with the Chamber's leave,
2 if you could have it open, we're dealing at paragraph 97 and thereabouts.
3 Before I come to the paragraphs that we have to deal with
4 specifically but in order to give chronological context -- and this is a
5 document, Your Honour, we may not need to look at, but I can refer to --
6 tab 19, on the 7th of October, 1991, was there a decision to promote
7 Mladic from colonel to general of which you are aware, Mr. Jovic? A
8 decision made by the Presidency of the SFRY?
9 A. I was shown the text of those minutes from the Presidency meeting,
10 and I said during the proofing sessions, and I state again, that I don't
11 remember that, although quite obviously I did attend that meeting. And
12 that is for the simple reason that we had a series of other important
13 questions on the agenda. And the last points of the agenda usually are
14 prepared at a cadre's personnel commission or the commission for promotion
15 and decorations and we never discussed these matters much at Presidency
16 sessions. So I can't say that I remember the event taking place, but most
17 probably what it says in the document is correct.
18 Q. Again a document we needn't review save to the extent it's
19 necessary for you to authenticate it; did you listen yesterday to an
20 intercept, tab 17, said to have been the intercept of a telephone
21 conversation between you and Karadzic on the 15th of October, 1991? Did
22 you recognise the voices and do you accept that this is a telephone
23 conversation between the two of you?
24 A. Yes, I did listen to that, and I do. Confirmed it.
25 Q. Two days later, on the 17th of October, at a conference here in
1 The Hague, were you present?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. And we need this from you in some detail. What did Kostic tell
4 you about Montenegro's attitude towards Lord Carrington's plan?
5 A. On that day, we received, with great delay, a document which was
6 supposed to have been considered here in The Hague in the coming days, and
7 we did our best to study it and to assume positions. It was common
8 knowledge that there was a difference between the proposal put forward by
9 Lord Carrington and the positions assumed by us.
10 The crux of those differences was that Lord Carrington's plan
11 provided for the disbanding of Yugoslavia, whereby each republic could
12 become independent on the basis of a referendum. We, however, considered
13 that it was better and the right thing to do to write down that each
14 republic may do so on the basis of a referendum by the people, a popular
15 referendum of the people and nations, because in certain republics, there
16 are many nationalities living there, and those who do not wish to step
17 down from Yugoslavia can enjoy the right of staying within Yugoslavia.
18 So we expected Montenegro to accept this too, the position that we
19 held. However, Branko Kostic, when he just looked through the documents,
20 said Montenegro will accept the proposal made by Lord Carrington. I
21 didn't believe him. I thought that he was joking. And so once again, I
22 asked him and cautioned him and said that this would be catastrophic for
23 our overall policy, both Serbia and the Serbian people. And he said that
24 he was informed that that would be done. And I then informed Milosevic
25 about that, because I was going to see him anyway for us to have a look at
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 29135 to 29139.
1 the document, to go through it and see what we were to do.
2 And first of all, he didn't believe it. Then he tried to get hold
3 of Bulatovic over the phone to talk to him, and it was not customary not
4 to be able to reach Bulatovic, because they said he was otherwise engaged.
5 That was unusual. Later on, we received a telefax from Montenegro saying
6 precisely what Kostic had told me, and that's how that matter ended.
7 Montenegro, at that point in time, had decided to accept the Carrington
9 Q. At the next Presidency session of the PSFRY, you took the floor,
10 and you dealt with the fact that Montenegro had taken this position, and
11 your attitude was to do and to say what?
12 A. Well, I took the floor and then I turned towards Kostic and
13 said, "We're going to outvote you here today because there are more of us
14 in favour of the position backed by Serbia." However, it turned out that
15 Kostic thought the same. And although he was president in the Presidency,
16 he did not accept Montenegro's position but, rather, accepted the position
17 taken by the Yugoslav state Presidency.
18 Q. There are then a couple of exhibits I want you to deal with,
19 because although we're taking this passage of your evidence slightly out
20 of sequence, I want the exhibits to be dealt with within this passage of
21 evidence chronologically.
22 Tab 15, please. And if this could be simply laid on the overhead
23 projector and I'll summarise its effect because the witness has seen it.
24 Do you recall, Mr. Jovic, receiving on the 25th -- a document
25 dated the 25th of October of 1991 from UNESCO, Frederico Mayor, setting
1 out their interest in world heritage and natural heritage sites, and in
2 particular in the city of Dubrovnik, proposing that a mission should be
3 sent to your country in view of what was happening and to recommend
4 measures to be taken to ensure the protection of, amongst other things,
6 A. I didn't remember the document previously, but I see that it is
7 indeed true, and I responded and said that they could come and that we
8 would allow them to conduct an on-site investigation. So I think that the
9 document is authentic and that we did let them go ahead with what they
11 Q. We come back in the bundle of exhibits to tab 5, and there are two
12 versions of this document. Was there something called a Supreme Command
13 meeting held on the 26th of October of 1991?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If we could lay the English version of this - and the witness has
16 reviewed it - on the overhead projector, please, starting with the first
17 page which sets out those who were present.
18 We can see that yourself, you rather, Branko Kostic,
19 Bajramovic, Jovo Kostic, Kadijevic and other Supreme Command Staff members
20 were present.
21 And if we turn then to the second page, at the foot of the page we
22 see Mr. Kostic concluding that there should be the mobilisation of 220.000
23 additional conscripts.
24 We go to the next page, please. We see your contribution as
25 recorded in this minute. Next page, please. Thank you very much. No,
1 sorry. The page before. My mistake.
2 And where -- I can't see it on this. Sorry. There it is. That's
3 it. Your contribution is as follows: "We have experience from previous
4 mobilisations and the problem of not understanding the situation. The
5 question is if we can allow our activities to depend on the success of
6 mobilisation. I am very afraid that wanting too much may lead to a
7 boomerang effect with catastrophic consequences. Do not think that it is
8 up to one man, a politician. Thus the army must not observe just the
9 numbers of this and that, but what it should do. I am afraid of mass
10 resistance because the situation is not the same everywhere. Perhaps the
11 best situation is in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Unfortunately, it is hard to
12 bring back the refugees, and another question is how things will proceed
13 in Montenegro.
14 "The people do not know if a new state with a new army will be
15 created: Making a decision is an immense question. Much has occurred,
16 from Slovenia to Croatia, problems have appeared, major goals and
17 aspirations, which could not be achieved. There is much disparity between
18 plans for mobilisation and what can actually be done. This is because
19 mobilisation 2.5 times as extensive should be carried out."
20 And then if we go over to SSNO Kadijevic: "I want to ensure that
21 nobody among us wants to impose a political solution, but rather support
22 and secure them militarily."
23 Followed by Adzic saying, second line: "... regarding the Serb
24 leadership's orientation for all Serbs to live in one state, or the
25 orientation for any nation to live in Yugoslavia if it wants to."
1 And I think if we go over, perhaps Kostic further down the page,
2 saying: "I believe that the Montenegrin people are not in favour of the
3 current decision of the Montenegrin Assembly. If the people, the Serbs in
4 the Krajinas, are in favour of fighting for Yugoslavia, then it's very
5 important that we know what we're going to fight for."
6 And then finally over the page, please, Usher, to the foot of the
7 next page where you, Mr. Jovic, are recorded as agreeing with Veljko
8 Kadijevic. "Concerning the political situation, we need to know the
9 following regarding the situation in Montenegro: Are we going to defend
10 even those who do not want to go with us? We cannot change a concept
11 building a state and army if Montenegro is against it. There will be a
12 new international circumstance because Serbia would remain alone. I
13 believe that the Montenegrin leadership doesn't understand that situation,
14 because the following are the concepts: Either six states signing a
15 cooperation agreements or two to three states in one. Our problem," you
16 said, "currently is how to estimate the real prospect creating a bigger
17 force, what we need to do is create such a force, within its
18 possibilities. Thus it's very important to entrench unity on the
19 political level and make it operational. That's why we need to clear this
20 and confirm the level ..."
21 There are two notes of this meeting but that's the one I've read
22 from. Do you accept that this reflects your contribution to the meeting
23 of the Supreme Command?
24 A. This is a note. They are minutes which -- it is not a stenogram
25 nor is it a verified minutes. It is the personal note-taking of somebody
1 sitting in the room making notes for somebody else. And what I can do is
2 to clarify the substance of the discussion. I cannot say that all this is
3 correct as it happened, but there are certain elements there, yes. I
4 don't think that this person recording these notes understood what was
5 going on, but I was fully conscious of what was taking place.
6 At that point in time, a problem had arisen between Serbia and
7 Montenegro with respect to Carrington's plan, and also a sort of
8 divergence of views came about between the leadership of Serbia and
9 Montenegro with respect to their relationship towards the Serb question
10 and towards Serbs living outside Serbia and outside Montenegro in general.
11 And therefore, there was a problem of a lack of clarity, in what way
12 Montenegro would behave toward the Yugoslav army and whether the Yugoslav
13 army could exist until the problem had been resolved. So that was one
14 aspect of the problem.
15 The second aspect was this: The army demanded additional
16 mobilisation of 220.000 or 250.000 men, conscripts, because all the fronts
17 that it held allegedly it said it was not able to hold with the number of
18 men it had at its disposal, and especially it was not able to withdraw and
19 free people from the barracks that had been blocked in Croatia. And there
20 were many barracks with very few men in them, but it was both a military
21 and a political problem.
22 Now, as far as the first question is concerned, the political
23 relationship between Serbia and Montenegro, that was not able to be
24 resolved at that meeting. It was a problem which would affect the further
25 fate of the army and how -- what our attitude towards the army would be.
1 So we expected this to be cleared up between Serbia and Montenegro, which
2 was recorded in the notes later on and in my diary.
3 Now, the call for mobilisation seems to be reflected here but not
4 in precise terms. I said that we cannot accept, as the army seems to
5 feel, that one politician, Milosevic or myself or both of us, could take a
6 public stance and demand that the people respond to the mobilisation and
7 that the mobilisation would succeed in rallying several thousand men.
8 That is not something we can be expected to do or asked of us.
9 And secondly, this requirement for over 200.000 men was a
10 megalomaniac one and if we did ask for that many men it would have a
11 boomerang effect and the citizens would quite simply not respond to the
12 call-up for mobilisation and that we ought to be more realistic and to
13 look at it in the lights of the realistic situation.
14 And the conclusion was that nothing in fact could have -- be
15 concluded but we ought to weigh up the questions with the republics first
16 and see whether Serbia and Montenegro were prepared to live life together,
17 to have that common concept and their relationship to the army and what
18 the republics felt with respect to the proposed mobilisation.
19 So that would be the substance of that conversation and meeting.
20 And as I say, the notes and records and minutes are more of an
21 aide-memoire. They're not very detailed and specific, and I cannot accept
22 it as being a document or, rather, it can be a document to the effect that
23 it says that the meeting did take place and the people who attended and a
24 sort of indication of the general discussion held at the meeting.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. We're pressed for time, but thank you for that detail on this
4 On the 30th of October, was a text drawn up for Montenegro to send
5 to The Hague? If so, by whom, and in very short order, what happened to
7 A. In the meantime, we had talks with the Montenegrin leadership.
8 They promised that they would think about it a bit more. They returned
9 home, and basically they agreed to change their position. Then there was
10 a bit of a dispute in terms of whether this position would be proposed by
11 Serbia and that they second it or whether it should be the other way
13 Mr. Milosevic drafted the text. Basically it is one sentence.
14 And he insisted that they should be the ones putting forth the proposal.
15 Ultimately, they agreed to it, and they proposed the text, and Serbia
16 accepted that.
17 Q. Paragraph 103. Milosevic and Kadijevic, how did they get on at
18 this time and in relation to this topic? Was there a meeting of the six
19 at which Kadijevic and Adzic expressed a view contrary to the position you
20 and Milosevic were taking? Paragraph 103.
21 A. Just a moment, please. As for Adzic and Kadijevic, we did not
22 discuss this with them as far as I can remember. We talked to the
23 Montenegrins regarding the Carrington Plan. And then, after having
24 finished the discussion with them, then we asked Kadijevic and Adzic to
25 join in so that we discuss the questions of the military, the joint army,
1 mobilisation, and other such issues.
2 Of course they were kept abreast of what was going on, but this
3 was not discussed with them. Now, if we're looking at The Diary, that's
4 the way things were. So that's what happened at that point in time.
5 Q. You make a point, I think, in The Diary about Milosevic saying
6 something about helping them abundantly. Do you remember that in the
8 A. Which part of The Diary is this? Oh, I see. Well, look, this is
9 an episode. It wasn't on that day. It wasn't at that time either. Just
10 a moment, please.
11 There was this one episode when they had objected to us, to
12 Milosevic, that we no longer cared about the Serb people outside Serbia.
13 Milosevic told them that that is not correct, that we always helped them
14 and that we will continue to help them.
15 Q. We're now coming to the period of November/December 1991. I want
16 to put a few things in chronological order. First of all, at tab 18, not
17 for detailed review for want of time, but have you reviewed another
18 telephone intercept of a conversation between you and Karadzic said to
19 have taken place on the 18th of November, tab 18?
20 A. Yes. They showed this to me and I listened to it.
21 Q. And are you satisfied that the voices are yours and Karadzic's?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And indeed that the conversation took place?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm -- depending on time, I may come back
2 to that.
3 Q. On the 23rd of November, there was a document that you've had a
4 chance to consider, the Geneva Accord. It's already been produced. It's
5 Exhibit 396, tab 6. So if we can just lay that on the overhead projector
6 as appropriate.
7 And as you appreciate, Mr. Jovic, my questions are directed,
8 amongst other things, at the issue of the control by the Rump Presidency
9 of the influence over, as might describe it, the army. And this is the
10 Geneva Accord, introduced through the evidence of Mr. -- Ambassador, I beg
11 your pardon, Okun. It's dated the 23rd of November, 1991. It's a
12 document with which I think you are familiar, and we can see on the
13 overhead projector that the accused, with Kadijevic and Vance perhaps as
14 witness, agreed that Croatia would lift its blockade of barracks; B, that
15 the JNA with immediate effect would begin with the withdrawal from Croatia
16 of the personnel, weapons, and military equipment in those barracks
17 installations, and complete this process in accordance with schedules; C,
18 that they will instruct all units under their command, control, or
19 political influence to observe an unconditional cease-fire with effect
20 from the 24th of November; and D, they will facilitate the delivery of
21 humanitarian assistance.
22 Now, the document as signed has boxes to the right which contain
23 the following passage for your comment, please: "President Slobodan
24 Milosevic committed the SFRY Rump Presidency to directing the JNA to
25 withdraw from Croatia." And, "General Kadijevic committed the JNA's
1 withdrawal from Croatia."
2 And then the next box, second bullet point: "President Milosevic
3 committed paramilitary and irregular forces under his formal and informal
4 authority to observing the cease-fire. Kadijevic committed the JNA to the
5 same regarding paramilitary troops fighting in conjunction with the JNA."
6 Your comment, please, on the role of the Rump Presidency directing
7 the JNA's withdrawal.
8 A. I don't know what this is in these boxes. Is that an integral
9 part of the document or is it someone's interpretation of it?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, the interpreters cannot hear
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I object, because Mr. Nice is
14 confusing the witness on purpose. The text of the Geneva document does
15 exist. It's legible, and it's clear. And in the boxes are the
16 explanations that they provided here, and they do not coincide with the
18 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm going to stop you. Let us discover what the
19 meaning of these various boxes is. Where does that come from, Mr. Nice?
20 MR. NICE: It comes from the exhibit, as I understand it, but if
21 I'm wrong I will be corrected and perhaps you'd better get the original
22 exhibit that's gone in. They're Okun's comments, as exhibited on that
24 JUDGE MAY: They're Ambassador Okun's comments.
25 MR. NICE: They are indeed and the Court will remember that he
1 provided a number of comments in this form on documents that he produced.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, this witness should ignore the comments except
3 insofar as he regards them as helpful and he can be asked for his
4 interpretation of it.
5 MR. NICE: Yes.
6 Q. This is evidence we've heard, you understand, Mr. Jovic, that from
7 -- from Ambassador Okun with whom you're familiar, I think -- that the
8 accused committed the SFRY Rump Presidency to direct the JNA's withdrawal.
9 What do you say to that?
10 A. I say that Okun can say whatever he wants to say, because
11 Milosevic cannot bind the Rump Presidency in any way. The Rump Presidency
12 sent General Kadijevic on behalf of the organs of the federation and
13 stated that he could sign this kind of document on our behalf, because we
14 wanted the army to withdraw from the barracks in Croatia. Milosevic did
15 not even have to attend the meeting at all. So Kadijevic signed this on
16 behalf of the federation, and that was the position of the Presidency.
17 Q. What about the references that Ambassador Okun made on his
18 understanding about paramilitaries under the control or direction of
19 either the accused or Kadijevic?
20 A. Paramilitary units from Serbia, if one means by that the volunteer
21 units of Serbia, according to the decision of the Presidency, always had
22 to be under the control of the Yugoslav People's Army. There were
23 problems that some were trying to get out of control and not abide by
24 military discipline, but they were duty-bound to be under the control of
25 the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 This here can only be a warning that it should not be permitted
2 for them to remain outside that control.
3 Q. One other document at about the same time to be just briefly
4 looked at. It's tab 16 of our Exhibit 596, and it's another UNESCO letter
5 to you thanking you -- lay it on the overhead projector -- for the
6 opportunity to meet and to hear your explanations of events taking place
7 in your country, and explaining that he, the author Daniel Janicot,
8 returned to his director general announcing an intention to send -- and
9 his director general announced an intention to send a permanent UNESCO
10 observer to Dubrovnik.
11 Tab 16, and I'd like now to have your observations, if I can have
12 them, on Dubrovnik, and I'm going to show a couple of videos or short
13 clips of videos to remind the Chamber of evidence that we've seen.
14 Do you accept, Mr. Jovic, that Dubrovnik was shelled by the JNA in
16 A. No. No, I do not accept it. What I accept is that there were
17 warnings on the part of the world public, especially the Croatian public,
18 that Dubrovnik had been shelled. Of course we were violently opposed to
20 We called the military leadership, and we asked for all the
21 circumstances to be investigated. We received detailed information that
22 the army had strict orders that the old part of Dubrovnik cannot be
23 shelled and that they cannot enter it, and that no one indeed did enter
24 the old city or shell it.
25 There were only two shells that came to the old town by accident,
1 but measures were taken against the persons who had fired those shells.
2 However, it's not that anybody ordered that, it's not that the Yugoslav
3 People's Army did that, and the General Staff had never been informed of
4 any such thing.
5 We accepted this information as correct and we believed them.
6 Q. I'll show you a few short excerpts from evidence that the Chamber
7 has seen to remind the Chamber and give you an opportunity to comment.
8 The first one is Exhibit 395 or part of it, the ITN report relating to
9 mid-November 1991, produced by Paul Davies. Thank you.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. And if we can now show a small extract from another one, 372,
13 which relates to the 8th of December, and on the evidence we've had,
14 Mr. Jovic, it's filming damage which was its -- filming a film crew that
15 was filming damage on behalf of General Kadijevic. That's what the
16 evidence amounts to.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. The people filming seen on that video were said to have been, on
20 the evidence, filming on behalf of Kadijevic. Now, you were a member of
21 what was the Commander-in-Chief of the army at that time, effectively.
22 Can you help us, please, with whether you were informed about these events
23 or whether you accepted these events occurred even?
24 A. We accepted that two shells strayed into Dubrovnik, and the army
25 established that. What can be seen here is the main street of Dubrovnik.
1 It can be seen that it wasn't damaged at all except for this one building
2 on this street of Stradun. A hole can be seen in front of one particular
3 building, and perhaps a shell fell there. And also there is some rubble.
4 Perhaps that is a consequence of that in one of the smaller streets there.
5 Whether there was more of it and whether there were more shells involved
6 than what Kadijevic had informed us about is something I cannot say on the
7 basis of this film either.
8 I can claim -- I cannot claim that there were more than two shells
9 that the General Staff had told us about or that there were indeed only
10 two shells as they had told us.
11 I have seen this film, but I cannot be certain of anything on the
12 basis of this brief video footage of two minutes. So I'm not in a
13 position to change my attitude towards what the General Staff told us.
14 If the Court has firm evidence that it was otherwise, then they
15 are going to decide accordingly. What I can say is what we had been
16 informed about, and we were staunchly opposed to anyone touching Dubrovnik
17 at all.
18 Q. Moving on to paragraph 104. I may come back to Dubrovnik a little
20 In early December of 1991, did you have a conversation with the
21 accused about the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, about how easy or
22 difficult the problem would be there?
23 A. Of course. We had many discussions. This discussion that is
24 recorded is quite important, because we made an assessment during this
25 discussion that most probably Europe and the international community would
1 soon recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent state, that we, since
2 we are constantly being criticised by the international community,
3 although we thought that this criticism was exaggerated, should not allow
4 ourselves to have the Yugoslav People's Army found there because they
5 would be treated as an occupying army, and we don't want that to happen
6 and that we should take measures in order to avoid that.
7 The measures that were assessed to be preventive measures were the
8 following: That citizens of the Yugoslav -- of the Socialist Federal
9 Republic of Yugoslavia who were born in Serbia and Montenegro should be
10 sent to Serbia and Montenegro, and the other way round. That was the way
11 in which our citizens would not be in the army once Bosnia-Herzegovina was
13 Q. Paragraph 105. Did you call up Kadijevic and ask him to join your
15 A. Yes. We called him because it was impossible to have this carried
16 out without the military. Mr. Milosevic presented this to him, that it
17 was necessary to redeploy the troops. Kadijevic, whose orientation was a
18 traditional one, that is to say in favour of Yugoslavia and having a mixed
19 ethnic composition in the army throughout the territory, he said that he
20 simply would not accept that and that the General Staff would not accept
21 that. But then it seems that he understood what this was all about. He
22 left, and as The Diary shows, he had this carried out rather quickly with
23 very few exceptions, say 10 or 15 per cent of soldiers from Serbia and
24 Montenegro were still in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the moment when its
25 independence was recognised.
1 Q. Paragraph 107. Paramilitaries and your discussion with the
2 accused about Arkan in particular, please. To what extent did the
3 Presidency hear of -- the Rump Presidency hear of paramilitary activity?
4 A. Well, you see, we did not treat that as paramilitary units but as
5 volunteer units. According to our regulations, it was allowed that
6 volunteers join the army or that volunteer units be placed under army
7 command at the front line where the war is actually being waged.
8 There was a decision of the Presidency that volunteer units cannot
9 act arbitrarily. They have to be subordinated to the army command. That
10 had to be done within the orders issued by the army.
11 From time to time when the army reported to us about what was
12 going on, they also submitted partial reports, in a few sentences only,
13 about the problems they were encountering with paramilitary units. These
14 were not very long texts, but they boiled down to a few sentences, namely
15 that the paramilitary units were not fully subordinated to the military
16 command and that from time to time they tried to act beyond military
17 discipline. There was never any specific mention of any particular unit,
18 but this phenomenon was referred to in universal terms, as it were.
19 As for my conversation with Mr. Milosevic, I spoke to him once
20 about something that happened very often in public. Arkan, on the one
21 hand, was a dubious person, considered a criminal, and that on the other
22 hand, it was being rumoured that he was in touch with the state organs of
23 Serbia, especially because at that time he started forming paramilitary
24 units or, rather, volunteer units.
25 I asked Mr. Milosevic who this Arkan was and whether he was indeed
1 an extended arm or a close associate of the police of Serbia or other Serb
2 authorities. Mr. Milosevic told me quite directly and without any second
3 thoughts that these were criminals and that we have nothing to do with
4 them. Then I replied to him that this should definitely be cleared up and
5 that we should not lose our good name over that.
6 Later on, it turned out that Arkan had these units of his but that
7 he still maintained some contacts and some connections with the army in
8 the field too, of course, because according to these relations that I
9 already referred to, he had to be in touch with them. The extent to which
10 he had other contacts apart from these within Serbia itself is something I
11 don't know.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovic, it's not entirely clear to me what you
13 have said about the relationship between the paramilitaries and the army.
14 On one occasion you said the army reported to you that the
15 paramilitaries were not subordinated to them. What do you mean by that?
16 Do you mean that the paramilitaries did not take orders from them or that
17 they were not subject to military discipline?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I spoke about paramilitary
19 units, I always talked about volunteer units from Serbia that went to the
20 front line of their own free will. When I spoke about the army reporting
21 to us that the paramilitary units were not abiding by military discipline
22 and that they had problems with them, I said that in the sense that it was
23 their duty to observe military discipline and to be subordinated to the
24 commander in the field, and that they, the paramilitary units, from time
25 to time tried to evade that.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: What made it their duty to be so subordinated?
2 What was the basis of that duty?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of a decision of the
4 Presidency of the SFRY in order to prevent chaos in the field. These
5 individual military units could otherwise operate outside the concept of
6 the defence of the area. They might clash with what the Yugoslav army
7 wanted to do.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Your conversation with the accused had him saying that something
11 was going to be done. In the event, was anything ever done by the accused
12 to bring Arkan to heel or to control?
13 A. Well, I don't think I can answer that question because I don't
14 know. But it is true that Arkan set up his volunteer unit just like other
15 people set up their own volunteer units.
16 Now, whether that started independently and a possible cessation
17 of relations with Arkan had they existed or perhaps those relations didn't
18 exist or they were interrupted and re-established perhaps, that would be
19 conjecture and surmise and I can't really say.
20 Q. Following on from His Honour Judge Robinson's concerns, we can all
21 note that the phrase "state within a state" has been used by you. Can you
22 just explain that.
23 A. As far as Arkan is concerned, Arkan, in the midst of Belgrade, had
24 his guards, and they stood guard around his own house. They wore
25 uniforms, they had weapons. So it was something that wasn't a volunteer
1 unit in the field, it was something that was taking place in the heart of
2 Belgrade. I don't think that was normal, and I think that that was
3 something that irritated the citizens.
4 Q. Paragraph 108. Did you ever --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, before you go on.
6 Mr. Jovic, you also said that Mr. Milosevic said that Arkan was a
7 criminal and that it was unthinkable that official organs would cooperate
8 with someone like Arkan. What did you understand that to mean then?
9 Because on the one hand you have told us that the army felt that the
10 paramilitaries were not subordinated to them. On the other hand,
11 Mr. Milosevic is expressing a view that it was almost unthinkable -- it
12 was unthinkable for official organs to cooperate with someone like Arkan.
13 What in fact was the reality?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say that the volunteer
15 units were not subordinated to the army. What I said was that they tried
16 at times not to adhere to military discipline imposed by the army.
17 And secondly, as far as Arkan himself is concerned, I told you how
18 things stood. I asked Mr. Milosevic, in view of the great criticisms that
19 the public was making with regard to Arkan and the suspicions that he was
20 the extended arm of the police in a way and the fact that people thought
21 he might be a criminal, whether that was true, and whether it was true
22 that Arkan, in one way or another, was linked to the police and was
23 working in cahoots with it. He told me that that was not true, that Arkan
24 was an ordinary criminal, and that he's a common criminal. And I said,
25 well, if they did have some relationships, that they should be stopped so
1 we shouldn't be criticised for things like that. That's what we talked
3 Now, what happened next, I really don't know.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, 108 and 109 are not included in the
6 paragraphs we ordered to be given live.
7 MR. NICE: Thank you, Your Honour, for this relief. Much thanks,
8 and I'll turn on to page, in the English, 32, paragraph 119.
9 Q. We're moving on again still out of sequence. I'll come back to
10 everything else insofar as I have time later. But we're now up in April
11 of 1992, and I'm wondering if it may not make sense, actually, to --
12 perhaps if I can just go back and summarise some of the material that's in
13 your statement and, therefore, can be taken as read, starting at paragraph
14 116 with signing of the Vance Plan, which would be -- was a good thing,
15 you judge, because it would be implemented at a time when all the
16 territory inhabited by the majority Serb population had been liberated.
17 Perhaps you would just help us, please, Mr. Jovic with the term
18 "liberated." You apply "liberated" to the change of control of what type
19 of population and in what setting?
20 A. Well, that's not perhaps the best expression, I must admit, but
21 what I had in mind was the fact that for the most part at that point in
22 time in all parts of Croatia populated by a majority Serb population, the
23 Croatian paramilitary units did not succeed in taking over control. So
24 that would be the essence of what I meant. So still or, rather, again if
25 it hadn't been the case previously, power and authority was in the hands
1 of the local regular organs of the Serbian people, and the Yugoslav
2 People's Army was still located there. So that is the sense of it.
3 Now, the term "liberated" was perhaps not the best choice because
4 I was tired and didn't realise that I had used it, but that is the
5 explanation that I'm giving now.
6 Q. I'm grateful for that. I think we may find the term elsewhere in
7 your diary and I'm wondering if you could help us with what it reflects as
8 a mind-set, as it's called, or the thinking of the leadership.
9 This is for Serb majority areas where -- in Croatia, where they
10 come under Serb control. How would you describe for us, please, the
11 position of the minority residents in those areas? What happens to them
12 at the time that, although it may be an unhappy word, the Serbs are
13 liberated? Can you help us?
14 A. First of all, I have cleared up the point that the territories
15 were still free territories. Not liberated but free. Now, if a certain
16 territory on which the majority population were the Serbs had been taken
17 control of by Croatian paramilitary units and then was retaken control of
18 by the Serb army or Yugoslav army, only in that case can we say that the
19 territory was liberated once again. So that the explanation is a relative
20 one because you can't liberate yourself, of course, unless somebody has
21 occupied you in the first place.
22 So let's leave it at that, but I do accept that I perhaps used
23 that term erroneously and what I've just explained is the substance of the
25 Now, the question as to what to do with others, never did anybody
1 in the Yugoslav state Presidency and, as far as I know, in the politics
2 and policies pursued by Serbia either, never advocated the position or
3 strove in favour of not having in those territories other people living
4 there too, that other nations should live there too, not only the Serbs,
5 just as it was always our policy to see that in Serbia, which was a
6 multi-nationality or multi-ethnic environment, that all three
7 nationalities should live on a footing of equality. That was never called
8 into question. The only thing was that the territory on which the
9 population was a majority Serb population were still under the power and
10 authority of the Serbs as citizens exercising their power in the local
11 government organs and they did not agree in the decision taken by the
12 Sabor Croatian Assembly by which the Serbs would no longer be a
13 constituent nation, which they had been, and the constitution had been
14 amended contrary to their will, and they did not agree that Croatia secede
15 from Yugoslavia without their will and without solving the Serb question.
16 Otherwise, of course they -- all the other people should remain living
17 where they had lived until then.
18 Q. As paragraph 116 makes clear, in your judgement, you were quick to
19 accept the deployment of UN forces because this would have guaranteed the
20 securing of military gains; is that correct, your view?
21 A. Well, this is how it was. You can interpret things with a certain
22 goal in mind. What was going on there was a war, a civil war, and Serb
23 territories were protected by force from the paramilitary Croatian units.
24 It would have made no sense to wage war constantly and to have to defend
25 oneself from those Croatian paramilitary units all the time. What should
1 have been done was to put a stop to it and seek a political solution. That
2 was the opportune thing to do at that point in time when the Croats were
3 on Croatian territory and the Serbs on Serbian territory. And some sort
4 of political settlement was called for to stop going to war. And what we
5 proposed was to have the UN troops come in until a political settlement be
7 So that was the meaning and sense of it, not that they had assumed
8 control of the territory but because it was predominantly a Serb authority
9 on those Serb territories or where the majority population were the Serbs,
10 and that was advantageous to the Serbian people and that they would accept
11 it then.
12 Q. Very well. Paragraph 117 records acting Secretary of State
13 Eagleburger telling you that the American people will take a long time to
14 forget Vukovar, to which we will return later in your evidence, and also
15 that he couldn't understand why Dubrovnik had been shelled. But over the
16 page in the English version and at the end of this paragraph, you deal
17 with the postulated meeting of the accused and Tudjman at Karadjordjevo.
18 You say you were not present. You declined to discuss it with
19 Eagleburger, and you said at the time that you didn't know what had
20 happened there; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you make comment elsewhere in your statement about your views
23 on the accused if in fact there was an agreement at Karadjordjevo where
24 the accused and Tudjman discussed the division of Bosnia if there was such
25 a meeting to such an effect. What's your view on the accused as a result
1 of it?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a remark to make, Mr. May, an
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It says here in paragraph 117, which
6 Mr. Nice is quoting from, and in fact the witness says quite clearly: "I
7 told him that Serbia was decisively against the break-up of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it is a pure lie that there were negotiations
9 between Serbia and Croatia on the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina." And
10 then he goes on to say: "It is possible that Milosevic and Tudjman did
11 talk at the meeting in Karadjordjevo but as I wasn't there I didn't want
12 to discuss that with Eagleburger." And Nice is now saying that if an
13 agreement was reached, as if the witness said an agreement was reached.
14 He never makes any mention of an agreement, and had there been anything,
15 he must have known about it, whereas he presents the view that we were
16 opposed to the division of.
17 JUDGE MAY: We will come back to that after the adjournment.
18 Perhaps, Mr. Nice, you could rephrase it in a way which is as neutral as
20 MR. NICE: Certainly.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Jovic, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.
22 This is the first adjournment during your evidence, and I must warn you,
23 as we warn all witnesses, not to speak to anybody, please, about your
24 evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of the
25 Prosecution team.
1 MR. NICE: I understand the witness wants to ask you something
2 about contact with his lawyer.
3 JUDGE MAY: You can talk about that, of course. Yes. We will
4 adjourn for 20 minutes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 MR. NICE: We were --
10 JUDGE KWON: Before we begin, during the adjournment, I checked
11 the tab 6 of Prosecution's Exhibit 396. It was an annex of secret council
12 letter, and there were no boxes in there. The comments which is alleged
13 -- asserted as Ambassador Okun's comments, I say that it is an
14 interpretation of the OTP as his comments. So if you -- I don't think we
15 have to put to the witness what other witnesses had stated, but if you'd
16 like to do that, you have to do it very clearly.
17 MR. NICE: I'm sorry that that error crept in. The document came
18 to me and I understood it to be what it was, but we have the witness's
19 answers, but of course the observations upon which they were founded lose
20 the force of a quotation in the form of a document.
21 JUDGE KWON: Okay.
22 MR. NICE: As to the question we were asking before the
23 adjournment, we were at, the Chamber will recall, page 32 in the English,
24 paragraph 117. If the Chamber would be good enough to come back, keeping
25 a finger there, to paragraph 71, and if the witness would look at
1 paragraph --
2 A. Just a moment, please. May I ask the volume to be put down. It's
3 too loud. That's better now.
4 MR. NICE: Although paragraph 71 is one I can take from the
5 witness statement, I was hoping for the witness to give a fresh answer to
6 the proposition so the Chamber could hear it fresh, but the question is
7 here in the text of his statement.
8 Q. And from paragraph 71, tell the Judges, please, Mr. Jovic, if it
9 were shown that the accused indeed had had a discussion with Tudjman on
10 the partition of Bosnia, would that show that he had withheld that from
11 you; and if so, what would that do to your opinion of the accused?
12 A. Well, first of all, I should like to say that everything written
13 in that paragraph, and the first thing is this, that I was never informed
14 by Mr. Milosevic that at a possible meeting of that kind they discussed --
15 he discussed -- possibly discussed with Mr. Tudjman the partition of
16 Bosnia. That's the first point.
17 The second point is that when I heard from Mr. Mesic, when I was
18 given information of this kind which he conveyed to the public, that he
19 was saying what he was saying in order to inflict damage on Tudjman
20 because he had come to a political clash with him. And all the
21 circumstances pointed to the fact that it was highly unlikely that
22 Mr. Milosevic could have discussed anything like that.
23 Now, the third point that I wanted to make is this: Why did I
24 believe Mesic not to be telling the truth? Because --
25 Q. I'm going to interrupt you, Mr. Jovic, because we're very pressed
1 for time and the Judges have heard a lot of other evidence about this,
2 including from Mr. Markovic to whom I want to turn. If the Judges in due
3 course decide that such a meeting occurred and it was kept from you, what
4 does that tell you about the accused? That's the only question,
5 hypothetical, that I want you to deal with.
6 A. Well, it's very simple: That means that in that case, Milosevic
7 didn't want to inform me about that. But that was highly unlikely, as far
8 as I was concerned, and I should now like to say that that would be
9 another blot in our relationship which otherwise was one of trust and
11 Q. Back to paragraph 117 of -- yes, 117. The end of that we have
12 four exhibits, tabs 6, 7, 8, and 9. Have you reviewed from the 21st of
13 February - and we needn't look at any except one of these documents - an
14 invitation for a session of the PSFRY to be held on the 27th of February,
15 exhibit -- tab 7, the minutes in shorthand of the session actually held on
16 the 2nd of March; tab 8, the minutes of the 89th -- 189th session held on
17 that day; and then Exhibit 9, the shorthand notes of the session with
18 representatives of Bosnia-Herzegovina held on the 2nd of March, item 9.
19 You reviewed all those documents?
20 A. Yes, I have reviewed them.
21 Q. And they appear to be genuine?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. NICE: From tab 7, Your Honours, I want to just look at one
24 passage, which I'm going to place on the overhead projector in English,
25 and I'm going to ask the witness to read a passage for us from the
2 We can see, if the usher would be good enough, that Mr. Zecevic
3 speaks following Kostic but before Kostic - on the previous page, please -
4 we will see that Mr. Jovic was speaking.
5 Q. So, Mr. Jovic, the document shows that Zecevic spoke just shortly
6 after you did, and can you please now in the original find the passage
7 Zecevic's noted contribution, which begins, "This is a very complex
9 It's further down the page, please. It's on the next page. It
10 must be. Yes. It's the fourth line on the page at the moment and it
11 begins: "This is a very complex issue." Zecevic is speaking, and he says
12 -- do you find this in the original text, please, Mr. Jovic. "This is a
13 very complex issue. Instinctively, everything Croatian was destroyed and
14 burned there in order to prevent them from returning. It is the truth
15 that we cannot live together. We do not want it, and we will not."
16 Now, you were at that meeting in March of 1992, page 78 and 79 of
17 tab 7 in B/C/S, for the accused. Can you explain how something like that
18 could be said in your presence at that meeting, please?
19 A. Well, I can't seem to find that sentence, but from the contents I
20 see that it is there somewhere. It's like this: This is -- these are
21 large stenographic notes numbering some 100 pages, and this can be
22 understood only if one understands the conclusions that were made, and
23 especially if one reads through everything that was stated on the
25 The substance of the meeting was this: Preparation for the
1 arrival of the UN peacekeepers into the territory of Republika Srpska
2 Krajina and also the tasks and assignments of what should be done when
3 this happens.
4 One of the tasks that we discussed was to ensure all citizens who
5 were persecuted or had to leave their homes for whatever reason to return
6 to their homes and that conditions be provided that they can live and work
7 there normally and that life can continue there normally. And that is
8 stated in the Yugoslav state Presidency conclusions.
9 One of the episodes here was that Mr. Zecevic said, "But we have a
10 village," he said, "in which the Croats live, and they were instinctively
11 expelled." So it wasn't pursuant to a plan or an order, it was that the
12 citizens expelled each other, and in this case it was this group that was
13 expelled. And he was wondering what could be done. He was complaining
14 and wanted to see what could be done. And unfortunately, their property
15 was burnt. And he said that he was afraid that if they come back, it will
16 be very difficult because it was -- inter-nationality relations were such
17 that they would have found it difficult to co-exist together.
18 So the conclusions we made was that everybody was to return to
19 where they had originally lived and that conditions should be provided for
20 them to live and work normally. And if anything -- any property was
21 burnt, it would have to be rebuilt again. That was the conclusion that
22 the Presidency made. And the man said what he said. The conclusion was
23 along the lines of the sole political option possible.
24 Q. And just so that I can understand it and then we'll move on,
25 that's your explanation of the phrase "Destroyed and burned there in order
1 to prevent them from returning"; is that right?
2 A. Instinctively. And I insist upon the word. He said
3 instinctively, not that it was planned by the authorities or ordered by
4 anyone, but instinctively, which means the revolt of the Serb people
5 towards them because they had come to loggerheads between themselves.
6 JUDGE MAY: Which page is that, please?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is page 79 in that particular
9 MR. NICE: In the English version, I think it is page 84 of 149.
10 No. Ms. Dicklich tells me I'm wrong.
11 JUDGE KWON: If you can find the number ending with ET number
13 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
14 Can I move on to four exhibits that Your Honours will want to know
15 are late provided, although they have been viewed with the witness,
16 because they were, until I think yesterday, under the grip of Rule 70.
17 They're tabs 10, 11, 12, and 13. I can summarise them because the witness
18 has reviewed them.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, what is it, Mr. Milosevic?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On most of the pages that I was
22 provided in English, there is no ERN number or any other number or the
23 page number either. So probably this was done in haste and omitted in
24 haste. But it is very difficult to find my way around if you don't read
25 through the whole text. I can show you the pages, and where I show you
1 this document there's Gligorovic, Kostic, Grigorijevic, Kostic, and so on,
2 but nowhere do I see a single reference, and you can take a look at my
3 copy in the English version to the page number, or ERN number, or anything
5 JUDGE MAY: It's unpaginated. It's unpaginated. Perhaps you
6 could have a look at that over the adjournment so we can make sure we can
7 follow it.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. As to tabs 10 to -- 10, 11, 12, and 13, is it right, Mr. Jovic,
10 that you've reviewed a letter Mendiluce UNHCR dated the 19th of March,
11 1992, drawing to your attention a number of recent incidents? To that,
12 did you reply -- no. Is there another letter that you've reviewed of
13 yours dated April the 28th of 1992 to General Nambiar referring to a
14 letter of his from April the 24th in which he draws to your attention
15 cases of violent expulsion of citizens of Croatian nationality from their
16 homes and refers to a letter of Mr. Thornberry, and you express your
17 resolve to prevent all forms of forcible eviction. You then reviewed
18 another letter from Mr. Thornberry of the 25th of June of 1992, where he
19 deals with 232 people of Croatian origin, including 160 wounded taken
20 prisoner during Vukovar and for whom news was sought. And have you then
21 reviewed a letter not by you but by Mile Pesut to Mr. Thornberry dealing
22 with those concerns?
23 A. Yes, I have seen those letters.
24 Q. And so by those letters and your replies which can be studied in
25 full if appropriate, you were put on notice about international concern
1 about forcible eviction and, in particular, about people missing from
3 A. We reacted to every letter we received, and what we did was we
4 took steps with the relevant organs for them to look into the matter and
5 to prepare responses to the UN organs and measures to be taken to prevent
6 what was going on and what our attention was being drawn to in the
7 letters. And we informed Mr. Thornberry and Mr. Nambiar immediately about
8 that and those letters speak about that and speak about those matters at
9 greater length, because they mention several hundred people, without
10 saying who they were, just the numbers from Vukovar, and in our reply we
11 said that all the people that came into the hands of our army, we told
12 them where they were, where those people were transported to, how many of
13 them were cared for, received treatment, how many exchanged, and so on.
14 So detailed information and reports were sent out.
15 Q. Just help me with this, please, Mr. Jovic, before we move on. You
16 know the nature of the allegations about Vukovar generally. Do you accept
17 now that this massacre occurred, and if it did, of course it occurred at a
18 time when you were part of the Commander-in-Chief of the army. Do you
19 accept that it occurred?
20 A. I was never informed about that while I occupied my post. Much
21 later, I learnt about this from the information media or, rather, from the
22 work of this Tribunal.
23 Q. And can you offer any explanation, just to help us, with how, if
24 the JNA were involved and you were the Commander-in-Chief, that this never
25 came to your attention at all? Can you help us?
1 A. Well, this conditional "if the army were involved," that is a
2 hypothetical, and to the best of our knowledge, what we -- according to
3 what we did, the army did not have orders to do anything like that. On
4 the contrary, it had a strict ban on doing anything like that. And we
5 don't know that anybody from the army ordered that or that anybody from
6 the army carried it out. That's what I can say, and it is up to the Court
7 to establish the truth.
8 Q. Did you or your successors, to your knowledge, order an inquiry
9 into the circumstances of the Vukovar massacre that led to a report?
10 A. We were not informed about that, about any massacre, so we could
11 not have given any orders under those circumstances. What happened
12 subsequently, I don't know.
13 Q. Paragraph 119, which has to be given in full, and 120, I think.
14 30th of April, 1992, was there a conversation involving Kostic, the
15 accused, Bulatovic, Zivota Panic who now replaced Adzic, and including
16 Karadzic, Krajisnik, and Koljevic?
17 A. Yes, such a meeting was held, such a conversation did take place.
18 It took place, and basically this was a discussion during which agreement
19 was supposed to be reached as to what should be done with the Yugoslav
20 People's Army in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the situation when the
21 international community recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent
22 state. We already said that we in Serbia, Mr. Milosevic and I, thought
23 that we should not allow by any means for there to be a procrastination in
24 this respect, because we would have been attacked for that, and we were
25 under attack anyway with reason and without reason, so we held this
1 meeting in order to see how we would withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina all
2 citizens of Serbia and Montenegro.
3 Let me clarify this. The army of Yugoslavia consists of the
4 citizens of all republics. As Yugoslavia fell apart, in terms of
5 facilities, equipment, and personnel, they belonged to the appropriate
6 republics. So the -- so Serbia and Montenegro were only entitled to their
7 own citizens, to the facilities and equipment that were located in Serbia.
8 Of course in that situation, our only obligation was vis-a-vis all
9 the citizens of Serb and Montenegrin ethnicity, to get them out of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and to return them home. This decision was passed, and
11 the deadline involved was 15 days.
12 As for the people in Bosnia, they were supposed to decide about
13 their own citizens, their own facilities, their own equipment, their own
14 army, because that is what the international community decided, that they
15 were, an independent state. Of course --
16 Q. Very well. Was the question of the wages and pensions and so on
17 for the military raised; and if so, with what resolution?
18 A. Yes. All the expenses of the military until then were financed
19 from the federal budget. So the army did belong to the federal budget,
20 and all the officers and soldiers were paid out of that budget and
21 everything else was paid out of the federal budget because the army was a
22 common army. Of course, then people from Bosnia raised the question of
23 how they would act then. We realised that there was a problem, but we did
24 not discuss it then. We only discussed the return of Serbs and
25 Montenegrins to their homes from Bosnia.
1 Q. Was General Mladic moved as a result of this meeting?
2 A. Yes. In the following way: It was established that General
3 Vukovic, who was the military commander in the area, was a Serb and
4 therefore he had to be withdrawn. Then they said, Mr. Karadzic and Mr.
5 Krajisnik, that they would then appoint Mr. Mladic as commander. And we
6 consider that to be their decision and we did not make any comments to
7 that effect.
8 Q. With what frequency did the accused have contact with Karadzic?
9 A. Well, that is what he and Karadzic would have to be asked, because
10 I haven't got any records of this nature. I can assume, though, that
11 their contacts had to exist in relation to humanitarian aid that Bosnia
12 had constantly expected from Serbia because it was a country in war and
13 under a blockade. And also, there were peace initiatives, and the
14 international community always asked for Milosevic to take part in this.
15 It was also natural for him to take part in this because Serbia
16 was under sanctions before the war in Bosnia was brought to an end. And
17 those are probably the reasons that made it necessary for them to be in
18 contact often. That is a general answer, but I really do not know with
19 what exact frequency they met.
20 Q. Paragraph 124 and following. On the nature of the accused,
21 substantially drawn from your second book, the Book on Milosevic. The
22 Court will see here many pages to get through. I'm going to ask the
23 witness to deal with these issues very briefly.
24 Paragraph 124, the accused as a democrat or an autocrat, please;
25 your comments.
1 A. These are very unpleasant questions for me here before this Court.
2 In the book, I struck a balance in terms of his own traits, if that is
3 what this is about -- this is a personal opinion of mine and they cannot
4 and should not serve as a basis for anybody's judgement. The entire book
5 as a whole can be used by someone to see what my opinion of Milosevic is,
6 except for the facts that I refer to in the book as well.
7 As for my assessment of Mr. Milosevic, he was an undisputed
8 leader. He was recognised by the citizens, by the population, and he was
9 elected with a vast majority in the elections. He was very intelligent, a
10 very capable statesman, but in my opinion, he was inclined towards
11 reaching even major decisions without consulting even the organs that are
12 in charge of that. So many decision were passed on the basis of his
13 authority and some were wrong.
14 That is what my assessment would be. Of course, my assessment is
15 my assessment, but it is up to others to accept this or not accept it.
16 Q. And I think you regard yourself as a close if not his closest
17 associate for many years; correct?
18 A. Absolutely.
19 Q. Still on paragraph 124. To what degree was the accused able to
20 dispose of people once he'd finished using them for a particular purpose?
21 A. Regrettably, this is what was done often in the leaderships of our
22 party and our governments and our Assemblies. A great many people went
23 through them, and they are no longer present in politics, not in traces,
24 and quite a few people who were involved in politics were dismissed by
1 Q. To what degree did retention of power personally drive him?
2 A. I did not quite understand the question. Could you please clarify
3 it a bit.
4 Q. To what degree was his retaining power, his remaining in power, a
5 goal of his?
6 A. Well, it is the objective of any politician to retain power. But
7 if this is viewed in the context of achieving programme objectives or
8 perhaps sacrificing some programme objectives in order to retain power, I
9 think that in that case, advantage would be given to retaining power
10 rather than abiding by programme objectives and goals. I think that that
11 assessment would be correct.
12 Q. Paragraph 125, last sentence. To what extent did he find himself
13 surrounded by people who would not only obey but also perhaps glorify him?
14 A. Well, that is a natural consequence. If a person that has a very
15 strong personality is convinced that he can reach decisions on his own,
16 conceive of them on his own and defend them - if we were to go into great
17 detail, perhaps it would be a bit labourious - then it would only be
18 natural for such a person to focus on persons who would simply be carrying
19 out his decisions.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. Those who would not change the decisions in any way. That is the
22 kind of selection that would be made, people who would be willing to carry
23 out these decisions and, finally, to be part of a team that is working
24 towards the attainment of those objectives.
25 Therefore, in my opinion, this selection was based on taking
1 trustworthy people who would carry out the decisions made.
2 Q. There was a personality cult at some stage with, I think, people
3 carrying photographs of you. How did the personality cult develop for the
5 A. Well, this was sometime in 1988 and 1989 when there were big
6 rallies held in Serbia demanding the persecutions of Serbs to be stopped
7 in Kosovo, and perhaps this was the biggest exodus that ever took place in
8 Europe, the Serbs leaving Kosovo, but Europe was unwilling to see it or
9 unwilling to say or do anything about it. Milosevic was practically the
10 first one to start dealing with that problem and to try to stop this. And
11 he enjoyed the massive support of citizens. At these rallies they carried
12 photographs, big photographs of Milosevic and of a few other prominent
14 On one occasion, I asked Milosevic for have this -- to have this
15 brought to an end, because we had had enough of a personality cult with
16 Stalin, with Tito, and we were not supposed to repeat this choreography,
17 so -- Milosevic did not really say anything about it. I saw that
18 something was done about it, though. All the other pictures were removed,
19 and his stayed on. And the personality cult in -- was, therefore, even
21 Q. Paragraph 128. Communist, socialist, and to what degree did he
22 care about the principles of social justice?
23 A. We had a programme of the Socialist Party, and Mr. Milosevic was
24 the president of the party. The main objective of this programme was the
25 idea of social justice. Regrettably, in the period that we are talking
1 about, those ten years or so, especially over the last five or six years,
2 there were grave sanctions that were imposed on the country, and all of
3 the people became impoverished, but a very narrow circle got very rich.
4 So the divide between the very few very rich people and the vast majority
5 of the poor people grew further. And I characterise this as a failure in
6 terms of the programme that we had established. And in some way, the
7 party that was in power had to be held responsible for that.
8 Q. Paragraph 129. To what degree was he a nationalist; and then at
9 the end of that paragraph, if you can deal with this issue for the learned
10 Judges, how did he deal with state controlled businesses and why?
11 A. As regards nationalism, Mr. Milosevic quite certainly, and I'm
12 saying this not by way of a personal assessment, but I am really convinced
13 of this, that he always advocated and pursued in practice the position
14 that nobody should be handicapped or persecuted because he's a Serb.
15 Everybody had to be equal. He was not a chauvinist, never. You can be
16 sure of that. He was decidedly against separatism. Not because somebody
17 is of a different ethnic background but because they wanted to secede.
18 I'm talking about Serbia proper now.
19 The secession of Slovenia, Croatia, et cetera, is a completely
20 different matter.
21 So he was not a nationalist, he was not a chauvinist. He never
22 agreed with anything being done against someone because he's not a Serb or
23 that he should not be equal because of that, that's for sure.
24 As for his attitude towards socially owned property, our
25 factories, for the most part, practically all of them, were socially owned
1 property, as it was called. In a way, it was state owned but the form was
2 slightly different, and the state had a dominant influence in terms of
3 appointing directors, managers, and regulating the conditions for economic
4 performance. However, by virtue of the fact that the state was
5 influential in terms of personnel decisions, it could also use its
6 influence in terms of the allocations made in the area. So this was the
7 material base of power. The Socialist Party of Serbia did not have its
8 own companies, it did not have its own property or its own capital from
9 which it would be financed. And it is only natural that members of the
10 Socialist Party who were in high positions in these factories were an
11 important factor in terms of its importance. They could decide who they
12 would assist, et cetera. But this economy was getting weaker and weaker
13 by the day, due to sanctions but also due to the very concept underlying
14 the economy. It did not have the strength to move on as a private economy
16 I think I cannot make any claims to this effect, but I think that
17 Mr. Milosevic felt this. On the other hand, there were new privately
18 owned enterprises held by the so-called nouveau riche. And again, this is
19 my very own opinion: Mr. Milosevic I think believed that it would be very
20 dangerous for our policies if this new economy were to get a political
21 representative of their own, their own political parties that could
22 suppress us with the material strength that they would have, because one
23 always needed resources. He pursued a policy of having these owners get
24 closer to him and thereby be under his control as well.
25 Q. Paragraph 132, control of mass media, television, radio,
1 newspapers. You refer earlier in your statement to writing articles about
2 Markovic, I think it is. Tell us about the accused's influence over or
3 control over media.
4 A. Please, let it be clear: The most important media in our country,
5 in Serbia - because I'm talking about Serbia - those that have a crucial
6 impact on citizens were TV Belgrade, Radio Belgrade, and up to a degree,
7 the Politika daily, which is the major newspaper in the country.
8 It is true that we had hundreds of other media that were not under
9 government control and under Milosevic's influence. They were opposition
10 media. But they were not that far-reaching as far as radio and television
11 was concerned. Their broadcasts were not that extensive, and the
12 circulation of these newspapers was negligible. So the most important
13 reason was that TV Serbia reached every home, whereas local stations only
14 reached very limited local areas.
15 As for the influence of Mr. Milosevic over state television and
16 state radio and the Politika daily, it was a major influence, a decisive
17 influence. That is true, and that is what was predominant in terms of how
18 people were informed.
19 Q. Did he use the media to elevate or undermine his fellow Serb
20 leaders - just yes or no - and if so, have you in your book given examples
21 of how he did that?
22 A. To the extent to which this was necessary in terms of pursuing
23 policy, the media were used, of course. There were situations, there were
24 times when Mr. Milan Babic was so obstinate that did he not want to accept
25 the Vance Plan, and of course the media had to be involved in persuading
1 the people that Babic had to be replaced because this was against the
2 interest of the Serb people. Then there would come another time when
3 somebody else was supposed to be chosen, and it was assessed that
4 Mr. Martic could be the person, and then of course the media perhaps
5 promoted Martic to a greater extent perhaps than he had actually deserved
6 by way of his activity until then. And so on and so forth. This was
7 referred to in the book and explained in the book. Of course the media
8 were always used in the interest of the policy that was being pursued.
9 Q. As you know, we are concerned here, Mr. Jovic, and we discussed
10 this the last few days, with, if the Prosecution case is right, the most
11 terrible crimes being committed by people over a short period of time, and
12 it may or may not be that there will be evidence about how that mechanism
13 operates. Just for this purpose, was the accused aware of the power of
14 media on the people he led?
15 A. Well, of course he was aware of it. Mr. Milosevic, by virtue of
16 the fact that he attempted and succeeded in influencing to a great degree
17 the orientation of the media that I refer to, TV, radio, and the Politika
18 daily, he did understand what the mood of the people was. I don't know in
19 which context grave crimes are exactly being referred to now, but this is
20 information and political activity directed at the citizens, at the
21 general public. We're talking about media in Serbia. We -- this did not
22 go beyond Serbia except marginally, perhaps.
23 Q. You refer to the phrase "What is not published does not happen at
24 all." Can you amplify that for us, please? Paragraph 134.
25 A. That is a - how should I put this? - a slogan, a phrase that
1 Mr. Milosevic espoused. He thought that if citizens were informed about
2 something, then they knew that it happened, and if they were not informed,
3 then simply they did not deal with such issues, and he simply thought that
4 it was very important for state television and radio to report primarily
5 in the interest of current politics.
6 So if something is not in the interest of current politics, it
7 doesn't have to be published.
8 Q. Paragraphs 135, 136 and following, to what degree did the accused
9 regard the party, the SPS, as his property? To what degree did party
10 activity cease to be, at some stage, real activity, or real democratic
12 A. Well, this has to do with what I spoke of earlier, the method that
13 Mr. Milosevic applied basically in decision-making. Of course, according
14 to the statute of the Socialist Party, it was envisaged that decisions,
15 main decisions, should be reached by the Congress and then by the Main
16 Committee between two Congresses. Then there is also an Executive
17 Committee that is in charge of carrying these decisions out in practice.
18 The problem was that in a way from the 3rd Congress onwards, and
19 especially at the 3rd Congress, in my opinion, the democratic way of
20 choosing people into the leadership was abandoned. Lists of candidates
21 for the Main Committee were under strict control according to the
22 characteristics of people who would be eligible. Others simply could not
23 be elected. And then after that, it would be very easy at the meeting of
24 the Main Committee, and that is the committee that operated between two
25 Congresses, that any meeting of the Main Committee, any decision that was
1 proposed would be accepted even without a debate, or if there were a
2 debate, there weren't any dissenting voices.
3 This happened because, in my opinion, candidates for the Main
4 Committee were only people who would act in that way, who would not create
5 any problems in terms of what was being proposed originally. However,
6 unfortunately, a single person cannot be infallible under such
7 circumstances, no matter how intelligent and how capable, as was the case
8 of Mr. Milosevic, and it was proven that there were many mistakes that
9 were made in this policy. It is for such mistakes that people lose power,
10 and ultimately he did lose power. Of course this doesn't have anything to
11 do with other matters, but it does have to do with confidence and the loss
12 of power.
13 Q. The last sentence of paragraph 136 is your language. Can you
14 review it and tell us if you adopt it.
15 A. Yes. That's precisely what I was talking about. I do agree.
16 That is the essence of the matter.
17 Q. "Party activity turned into a farce" is the phrase. Then if we
18 can move on. I think you by implication already dealt with the power of
19 the Presidency of the SPS. You held that position for a time when the
20 accused wasn't able to hold it for constitutional reasons. The rest of
21 the time he held it, or part of the rest of the time. And you contrast
22 the power that he had when president of the party with the power you had.
23 In a sentence or so, could you just explain that?
24 A. It was like this: Mr. Milosevic was the absolute authority
25 regardless of whether he was party president or not. Not a single
1 important decision in Serbia was taken without him nor could it have been
2 made without him, either when I was president or when I wasn't president.
3 Therefore, we always respected his opinions as the number one man,
4 regardless of the fact that he wasn't president of the party at that time.
5 And he personally was very interested in everything, and he didn't agree
6 that decisions be made without his taking part. And of course, that
7 problem never arose. We didn't put things that way at all.
8 Q. Paragraph 139. You say -- you deal with his monopoly on personal
9 politics in all institutions. Is there anything you want to add about
10 that, please?
11 A. That was the way he functioned and ruled, and in view of the fact
12 that the method of ruling, or power and authority was, in fact, a way not
13 of selecting people who would debate subject matter from different aspects
14 and bring in the best decisions but people who would be obedient. And if
15 you have a situation of that kind, then you need people you can trust. So
16 he had to have people who he could trust to accept the decisions he made.
17 So cadres policy for this method of work was necessary, and Mr. Milosevic
18 understood that very well. And he paid strict attention to who was on the
19 list for the main party board and who the candidates were for the popular
20 deputies and the list of candidates for the government of the Republic of
21 Serbia and the list of candidates for federal deputy, and so on and so
22 forth, all positions where decisions were made. He took care of all that
23 because he didn't want to clash with anybody with respect to the policies
24 he wished to wage.
25 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 143. His control over Montenegrin leaders,
2 A. Well, I think that the leaders from Montenegro were relatively
3 independent in Montenegro. They were autonomous, but they had a proper
4 form of cooperation with Serbia over the long run, and with Mr. Milosevic
5 himself. That was looking at it in general terms. That would be
6 generally correct. Because they had come to power on the wave of changes
7 that took place in Serbia at the end of the 1980s, for instance, and
8 Mr. Milosevic headed those changes. So in a way, they were in Montenegro
9 what we ourselves were in Serbia, and from that, the nature of the
10 cooperation emerged and was based on those grounds. Of course, they were
11 from similar kindred parties, that is to say the League of Communists of
12 Serbia and the League of Communists of Montenegro, and that was quite
14 Now, somewhat later on some conflicts did arise, and I mention the
15 fact that there was not complete agreement on all matters. For example,
16 when the federal constitution of Yugoslavia was being drawn up, the
17 leaders of Montenegro aspired towards great autonomy for the republics.
18 They wanted to see the republics have at least as much power and
19 independence as they had in the SFRY, whereas Mr. Milosevic and I myself,
20 I agreed with him there, we worked together, we thought that we ought to
21 strengthen the federation because the federation up until that time, the
22 SFRY, had some serious weaknesses in its power and competence. So it
23 wasn't able to function properly at all times.
24 A compromise was found, but what I want to say is that there was
25 not an identity of opinions on all matters. And a similar situation arose
1 when I mentioned the Carrington Plan, for example.
2 Q. Paragraph 144. You deal with the ability of republican bodies, of
3 federal bodies -- of the employees of federal bodies to be dismissed. Can
4 you just deal with that, please. Perhaps I should say the vulnerability
5 of the --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection to make,
7 Mr. May.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not believe that the witness
10 could have said that they had -- I had the power and authority to dismiss
11 functionaries in federal organs.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, let the witness give his evidence.
13 Yes. What was the question you wanted?
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. I want to know from the witness the circumstances in which federal
16 employees could be dismissed if they didn't act on the decisions of their
17 respective republics.
18 A. Well, probably it wasn't federal employees. It was functionaries
19 from the republics in the federation. So if that's what that is about,
20 then I shall be happy to explain.
21 The members of the Yugoslav state Presidency were elected by the
22 Assembly of Serbia, so it is the Assembly of Serbia electing that body and
23 dismissing it. The Federal Assembly just takes note of those elections
24 and they become members of the SFRY. That's the first point.
25 The second point is that the members of the Yugoslav state
1 Presidency are duty-bound to coordinate relations within the federation by
2 means of the fact that the positions taken by their republics would be
3 advocated in the federation and a compromise solution sought which would
4 be in the interests of one and all. In that way, the members of the
5 Yugoslav state Presidency can only function successfully if what they
6 advocate there is advocated and promoted by their own republic.
7 Otherwise, to the contrary, we'd have an impossible situation in which the
8 Yugoslav state Presidency makes a decision on a matter, whereas the
9 republic that one of the Presidency members represents says, "That's not
10 our view. That's not what we want and what we advocate." So that is not
11 possible on a legal basis.
12 So under those conditions, each republic has the right to dismiss
13 the Presidency representative if he deviates from the interests of that
14 particular republic. And this is precisely what happened when Croatia
15 replaced Stipe Suvar, for example, who was an elected Yugoslav state
16 Presidency member, and he was in office for approximately a year, and then
17 sent Stipe Mesic to replace him, who was better able and they considered
18 that he would be better capable of representing their interests. So
19 representing the interests of a republic is a constitutional duty, and the
20 republic does have the right to replace its own representative. Now, who
21 it's going to put forward is another matter.
22 Q. And just dealing with Mr. Mesic, he says how it was that you would
23 refer, apparently in the course of meetings, back to Belgrade and to the
24 accused, and I think you accept in your statement you would have done so;
25 is that right?
1 A. I'm not sure I understood your question.
2 Q. In meetings we've heard how you would leave meetings in order to
3 be able to make phone calls and then come back.
4 A. Ah, yes.
5 Q. And you accept that you did that because you had to refer to the
6 accused for instructions or advice?
7 A. No. I never said that, and that's not true. I was in constant
8 communication with Mr. Milosevic in building up our policies and
9 positions. I would never leave Presidency meetings to go and telephone to
10 Mr. Milosevic to ask him whether I was allowed to act in one way or
11 another. That's just insinuation on somebody's part.
12 Q. Paragraph 145, please. You deal with the promotion of the
13 obedient by the accused. You may have touched already on this, but you
14 used the phrase "political purges" in your book, so perhaps you'd just
15 help us with that.
16 A. Well, I explained that in my book. There were several cases to
17 the effect that people were dismissed, replaced if they were no longer
18 needed or what they said or the things they did did not suit or they had
19 accomplished what they were expected to do and were no longer elected.
20 And there were cases of direct replacement without any explanations given.
21 But mostly a method was applied by which people were used while they had a
22 use and while they were willing not to make any complications, and they
23 were done away with when that was no longer the case.
24 Q. And in the national parliament, paragraph 146, how did the accused
25 deal with those who thought differently from the thinking of his
2 A. We're not talking about the Federal Assembly, we're talking about
3 the republican Assembly. Mr. Milosevic couldn't do anything along those
4 lines in the Federal Assembly. Of course, he could withdraw his own
5 deputies but he couldn't change the composition of the entire Assembly.
6 What we're talking about here is his right as president of the republic to
7 disband the Assembly, the parliament, which he used at the time. And what
8 happened was that there was an organised, heated debate in the Assembly of
9 the Republic of Serbia about the work of the government, and there was
10 endless criticism which went on for several days or weeks. And Mr.
11 Milosevic decided to disband the Assembly or parliament and to elect a new
12 one, and this state of affairs was cut short with that act. That's one
14 Q. Dealing with some of the things comparatively briefly: The
15 history of the appointment or selection of Milan Panic and his removal
16 from office, he being somebody from America, otherwise unknown in former
17 Yugoslavia. Is that an example of the accused's control of individuals?
18 It's dealt with between paragraphs 147 and 149.
19 A. Well, that was a drastic example, if you will. Mr. Milosevic
20 enjoyed great authority within the party and he wielded that authority and
21 the decisions were taken which were not sometimes checked out fully. One
22 of those decisions was the proposal for us to elect Milan Panic as Prime
23 Minister of the federal government. The procedure was such that our
24 Executive Board in the party should okay that, and then our deputy group,
25 which enjoyed the majority in parliament, together I think with another
1 party, should have accepted that. There were quite a lot of difficulties
2 at the Executive Board to have this explained to the members, because
3 nobody knew who the man was. And I found myself explaining something I
4 didn't know about. I told them what Milosevic had told me. And this went
5 through. In the deputy's club it was very difficult to pull that through,
6 and we did vote on it, but there was a great deal of criticism, and the
7 whole thing went through respecting and in fact using Mr. Milosevic's
8 authority or that authority being wielded.
9 Q. I'm going to try to get through the end of this section -- I don't
10 know how -- to what hour we're going to be able to sit today?
11 JUDGE MAY: I think there may be another hearing in, so as quickly
12 as you can, please, Mr. Nice.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I think I'm going to trespass into
14 tomorrow but I hope not by much.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. NICE: There is simply a limit to the degree to which I can
17 require the witness to go too fast over this material if it has to be
18 given in the ordinary way.
19 Q. But can you just help us with a tiny detail at the end of
20 paragraph 150. You explained about your being dismissed and therefore
21 barred festivities and so on. Something happened actually to a tape.
22 Your image was removed from a tape. Can you just explain that and what
23 that was all about.
24 A. Well, as to festivities and tapes, those are all marginal issues.
25 The fact of the matter is that I was replaced, like many others, without
1 any explanation given and without any voting taken and without the right
2 to appeal and without a written decision. Therefore, in a non-democratic
3 way in the party. And I was forced to tender my resignation to the post
4 of popular deputy. Of course the repercussions went further because I was
5 isolated in all kinds of ways from society, and that is one detail. For
6 example, I was never invited to attend state festivities although I was
7 president of the Assembly of Serbia and of Yugoslavia and I held a series
8 of other positions. And if you will, it went so far that when an official
9 holiday was proclaimed, the day we amended the constitution, and I was
10 president of the Assembly and constitutional committee and proclaimed the
11 amendments to the constitution, and I myself was not invited to that
12 national holiday let alone anything else.
13 Q. Your image was erased from some tapes you're saying here. I just
14 want you to explain that.
15 A. Well, it was a tape on the proclamation of the constitution. That
16 is to say the date when a national holiday was proclaimed. And each year
17 when footage was shown of that session, it was shown without my image,
18 without me being there, although I delivered the speech and I was up at
19 the rostrum. So what the footage showed was all the people applauding but
20 not the person actually delivering the speech.
21 Q. Finally on this point, although you have been very robust about
22 being excluded from national events, so that the Judges, who may have no
23 experience of this type of state can understand things, was there an
24 incident involving a local school that was being opened where you were --
25 where your presence was restricted?
1 A. First let's clarify one thing: I never protested for not having
2 been invited.
3 Q. No, no. I said -- you were being robust.
4 A. What?
5 Q. I said you were being robust about it, you put up with it. Just
6 tell us about --
7 A. Yes, I did accept it as a fact that I didn't have any influence
8 on. I didn't feel happy about it, but I didn't protest at all. And as
9 far as the local school is concerned, I mentioned that during the
10 discussion, during our conversation as one example. At that time, what
11 was being celebrated was the end of construction on a primary school in my
12 local village, town, and the people in charge of the organisation came in
13 from town and from the republic and from the municipality to attend the
14 celebration, and they came and told me that I shouldn't be angry, but they
15 just couldn't invite me to attend the celebration because they were told,
16 "If you invite Boro Jovic to attend the celebration, there will be no
17 celebration." So this was a method they used, a sort retaliation. I
18 don't consider it to be a crime of any kind, just a method of work which
19 was not acceptable.
20 Q. Thank you very much. It just paints the picture for us, you see.
21 MR. NICE: I don't know if the Chamber is looking for a time.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I think we must come to it now, in fact.
23 MR. NICE: I will finish this passage in, I think, a short period
24 of time tomorrow. I will review the extent, if any, to which I will seek
25 to go over earlier ground but there are one or two topics and just one or
1 two exhibits I haven't covered.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn until tomorrow. Mr. Jovic,
3 could you be back, please, at 9.00 tomorrow morning to continue your
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
8 November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.