1 Thursday, 20 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, towards the end of the hearing today, at a
7 convenient moment we need to discuss the week of Monday the 8th of
8 December and the hearings that week. We'll do that a little later in the
9 day, but if everybody would have that in mind, please.
10 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 WITNESS: BORISAV JOVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I shall try, but really I
14 can do no more than try, because I'm not sure I'll be able to, to work for
15 only two sessions so that we don't have to work tomorrow, because anyway,
16 the time envisaged for rest is reduced by half. But if I don't manage, I
17 don't manage, but I'll do my best. In that case, we'll have no choice and
18 we'll have to work tomorrow.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
20 Q. A moment ago by the registrar I received a document, and in that
21 connection I should like to ask the witness a question. It is a brief
22 message. [Previous translation continues]... [In English] "received the
23 following information from Zivota Panic. During the period of the Rump
24 Presidency, Milosevic had control over Jovic. Milosevic probably had
25 control over the Rump Presidency through his followers, including Jovic
1 and Kostic."
2 [Interpretation] That is all that is written on this piece of
3 paper. So I'd like to ask you, Boro, to comment on what this means. Did
4 I control you and the Rump Presidency through my followers, including you
5 and Kostic, as the paper reads?
6 A. I explained yesterday what the law and the constitution provided
7 for regarding the method of work or, rather, the obligatory form of
8 cooperation that existed between members of the Presidency and their
9 republics, and in that respect, as far as I am concerned, I have nothing
10 more to add.
11 Now, whether that is considered to be a decisive influence or is
12 considered to be something else, I am not denying that in the Presidency
13 of Yugoslavia I upheld the positions of my republic and that, regarding
14 those positions, I cooperated with President Milosevic. I was never in a
15 situation to get any orders from him with which I did not agree. I repeat
16 again, in that case I would certainly have withdrawn or he would have had
17 me replaced.
18 As regards other members of the Presidency, they need to be asked
19 about that. I can't say anything except that I don't believe it, but they
20 should be asked.
21 Q. Let us continue. Since we mentioned the relationship between
22 Alija Izetbegovic's attitude towards the peace plans, do you remember that
23 Ambassador Cutileiro himself, who led those negotiations, was surprised by
24 Alija Izetbegovic's decision to abandon the negotiations, and in a
25 statement he made after the talks adjourned, I quote, he said: "They,
1 meaning the Muslims, have obviously opted for the option of war and that
2 is why they must assume great responsibility." Do you remember that?
3 A. I don't remember that statement, but I do remember Alija
4 Izetbegovic's statement that we referred to yesterday to the effect that
5 he would sacrifice peace for a unitary Bosnia, which more or less confirms
7 Q. And is it true that the first peace initiative of the European
8 Community, on the 27th of August, 1991, which included sending
9 international observers to Croatia and convening a peace conference on
10 Yugoslavia, was immediately given full support both by me and the
11 government of Serbia and by you and the Presidency of the SFRY?
12 A. Yes. Yes, it was supported.
13 Q. Is it true that I expressed that support talking to French
14 President Mitterrand on the 29th of August, which means only two days
15 later, when agreement was reached that the Yugoslav crisis should be
16 resolved by peaceful and democratic means? That was the wording.
17 A. I don't know what the discussion was with Mitterrand, but I assume
18 that that was logical as our position was firm and known to the public.
19 Q. The government of Serbia confirmed that position by issuing an
20 official statement on the 30th of August, that is the next day, and the
21 French government and the Dutch government, as the chair of the European
22 Community, in their statement on the 31st of August expressed satisfaction
23 and welcomed such a position by Slobodan Milosevic and the government of
24 Serbia. Do you remember that?
25 A. I can't remember everything, but I don't know what the problem is.
1 I haven't heard anyone challenging these things. These are historical
2 facts which can always be verified.
3 Q. Can there be any dispute that the gist of our position was to
4 advocate equal rights for all peoples? In The Hague, on the 7th of
5 September, 1991, I said, and that has been recorded, among other things.
6 I quote: "The Yugoslav crisis was provoked by the unilateral secessionist
7 policy of Slovenia followed by Croatia whereby the legal constitutional
8 order of Yugoslavia has been violated. Serbia expects the peace
9 conference to establish and assert the principles on the basis of which
10 the crisis in Yugoslavia would be resolved by peaceful, democratic and
11 legal means. The right of peoples to leave Yugoslavia cannot be stronger
12 than the right of people to remain in Yugoslavia."
13 So only the equality of peoples. That was the basis of our
14 policies throughout; is that right?
15 A. I spoke about that yesterday, that that was our approach but that
16 Europe acted differently, giving the republics -- recognising the
17 republics' right to break off.
18 Q. Do you agree that the events themselves indicate that our
19 intention was not to occupy - a term frequently used here - any
20 territories, because the fact that we supported the Vance Plan, which
21 implied the withdrawal of the JNA and the protection of those territories
22 was to be placed in the hands of neutral forces, that is the United
23 Nations, speaks for itself and indicates that there were no aspirations to
24 keep hold of those territories by force but to seek a political settlement
25 while, in the meantime, the territory should be controlled by the United
1 Nations; is that right?
2 A. Yes. In this connection, I should like to highlight an extremely
3 important fact which perhaps might clarify for Their Honours our positions
4 more clearly, and that is that outside Serbia there are more than 2
5 million people living in other republics, that is Serbs, and if their
6 status were not to be resolved in a politically satisfactory manner, then
7 because of fear for their fate in view of history, they would have tended
8 to flee to Serbia, and our country was already extremely impoverished. We
9 had $3.000 per capita. The income dropped below $1.000 because of the
10 break-up of the country and the sanctions. And any situation in which the
11 Serbian issue outside Serbia were not to be resolved in a satisfactory
12 manner for them to be able to live there freely and equally would be a
13 terrible blow for Serbia, because 2 million people might have fled to
14 Serbia, which is something that we couldn't deal with. And that was a
15 major reason why we were vitally interested in them staying there and a
16 political solution being found for them in accordance with international
17 norms, of course.
18 So our position was always that they should stay there and that a
19 political solution be found ensuring their equality.
20 Q. And do you remember that practice itself confirmed that that is
21 the road we took, namely we always urged that matters be dealt with
22 between the leadership in Knin and the leadership in Zagreb. As an
23 example, as I have a chronology of events here, I shall mention that on
24 the 16th of July, 1993, "The government of the Republic of Croatia and of
25 the Serbian Krajina in Erdut signed an agreement according to which
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13 English transcripts.
1 Croatia pledged that by the 31st of July, it would withdraw its troops
2 from occupied territories of Krajina (Ravni Kotor, Maslenica, Miljevacki
3 plateau, Zemunik)," et cetera, "in exchange for opening the bridge across
4 the Maslenica canal and the Zemunik airport. So the UN, with our support
5 and with the leadership of Krajina and the leadership of Croatia, placed
6 those territories under their control and negotiations were ongoing
7 between the leadership of Krajina and Croatia on the political issues and
8 a political settlement." And that was the practice which confirms that
9 our approach was not dead letter on paper; isn't that right?
10 A. From my book "The Last Days of the SFRY," it is possible to see
11 virtually in every paragraph referring to the Republic of Serbian Krajina
12 that it says in the end, "with a view to finding a political solution that
13 would be acceptable for both parties." Everything that was done,
14 including our proposal for the UN peace forces to come there and for our
15 army to withdraw, was to end the hostilities and to find a political
16 solution for those people to stay there, to stay in their homes, for them
17 not to flee to Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, that did not come about, but
18 that was our goal.
19 Q. Does this also confirm the fact that a normalisation of relations
20 had started? Because there was a joint statement by me and Tudjman after
21 a meeting held in the organisation of the co-chairmen of the Conference on
22 Yugoslavia, Mr. Stoltenberg and Lord David Owen - I won't read it in its
23 entirety - but this was also July 1993, and it says, as it was a joint
24 statement by Tudjman and myself, I quote: "Expressing satisfaction with
25 the solution found to the problems of Maslenica Bridge, Zemunik and
1 Perucac," and I mentioned that a moment ago, it was a solution reached
2 between the Republic of Croatia and Krajina, "the presidents welcome the
3 agreement reached on the cessation of hostilities and believe that any
4 individual or group violating that agreement must bear full
5 responsibility. The presidents indicate the significance of the agreement
6 as an example of resolving matters by peaceful means, considering it to be
7 a significant step along the road to normalisation of Serbian creation
8 relations as a whole."
9 A. Certainly that was so, that was written. But later on, events
10 would show that none of these -- that none of this was sincere, that a
11 policy of fait accompli was pursued; Croatia seceded by force, and there
12 was no respect for the interests of the Serbian people.
13 Q. Due to circumstances in that statement in paragraph 1, Tudjman and
14 I say: "Speculations are quite unfounded regarding the division of Bosnia
15 and Herzegovina between Croatia and Serbia. The only way to achieve a
16 lasting peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina is by asserting the interests of all
17 three constituent peoples and achieving agreement on the establishment of
18 three republics within a confederation."
19 In those days, that is July 1993, this was the proposal that was
20 on the table and put there by Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg. In this
21 chronology I have the 6th of July, 1993, that means several days prior to
22 that statement, the co-chairman of the Conference on the former
23 Yugoslavia, Lord David Owen, asked the Bosnian Muslims to immediately
24 start negotiations with the Serbs and Croats. Owen said in Dublin that
25 the Serbian-Croatian confederal plan on the division of Bosnia into three
1 ethnic mini states was the only programme ready for debate, and he
2 requires that this be discussed.
3 Do you remember that?
4 A. I don't remember those particular details. I just know, generally
5 speaking, that it is true that Croatia was far more flexible in talking to
6 us about Bosnia and in seeking solutions for Bosnia than it was with
7 regard to the Serbian people in Croatia, and that corresponds to what you
8 have just read out.
9 Q. Do you remember that immediately after agreement was reached at
10 the Geneva conference between the 10th and 13th of January, the conference
11 on Bosnia and Herzegovina lasted three days, and principles of a
12 constitutional order of Bosnia and Herzegovina were adopted as proposed by
13 Vance and Owen.
14 So immediately after this, and that was between the 10th and 13th
15 of January, the conference in Geneva, shortly after this agreement was
16 reached, the Muslim forces on the 16th of January that same year, that is
17 only three days afterwards, in the Serbian municipality of Bratunac
18 launched an all-out offensive and massacred the Serb population in a
19 number of villages. More than 50 people were killed on that occasion, and
20 dozens wounded. Do you remember that? The conference was being held in
21 Geneva. They were agreeing to these constitutional principles and a
22 peaceful settlement, and three days after that round of talks ended, they
23 attacked Bratunac and committed this massacre.
24 A. I'm afraid I don't have those details in my memory just now, but
25 that is probably true, because I was not a participant at that conference
1 and, therefore, I cannot really comment on it.
2 Q. It is a historical fact, so there's no need for me to ask you.
3 That is, do you agree that the Council of Ministers of the European
4 Community on the 6th of April recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. In 1992.
6 Q. Yes, the 6th of April, 1992.
7 A. Yes. That is common knowledge.
8 Q. Do you recollect the reaction? 6th of April was the date when
9 Hitler attacked Yugoslavia.
10 A. Many unfavourable events for Serbia and the Serbian people in this
11 most unfortunate ten-year period occurred on dates of historical
12 significance for Serbia and Yugoslavia in the past. So this is one of
13 those examples.
14 Q. Is it true that despite the failure of the Cutileiro plan caused
15 by the conduct of Izetbegovic's government, both Serbia and I personally,
16 and the Presidency of the SFRY to the extent to which it was able,
17 continued with its efforts for the conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina to
18 continue. I had a meeting with Carrington in Strasbourg on the 25th of
19 June, 1992, and our position was that hostilities must cease immediately
20 and the conference be resumed immediately on the basis of the previously
21 adopted principle of trilateral consensus among the three constituent
22 peoples. Was that our position which I personally advocated?
23 A. The presidents of Yugoslavia, as is known, was excluded from these
24 talks. And in contacts with you I was aware of these positions, and I
25 supported them, that is true.
1 Q. I don't really have full access to documents. My associates
2 managed to find some here and there, but actually, they found this in the
3 newspapers: "Milosevic strongly supported the idea of the
4 demilitarisation of the airport in Sarajevo and said repeatedly that he
5 most emphatically condemned the shelling of Sarajevo, which is outside any
6 normal logic."
7 This quotation is from Strasbourg, the 25th of June, 1992, though
8 the reason why the talks were broken off was the position of Izetbegovic's
9 government. We urged that the talks be resumed, and we expressed our
10 opposition to the bombing of Sarajevo. And the government of Serbia had
11 on several occasions condemned this officially. Do you remember that?
12 A. I don't have to remember that specific date or event or that
13 report, but I can absolutely confirm that we opposed the bombing of
14 Sarajevo and urged an urgent peaceful settlement of the problem in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the principles of equality. That was our continuing
16 obsession and policy.
17 Q. On the 17th of July, these three warring parties in Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina reached an agreement in London on the cessation of
20 Q. And we welcomed and applauded that agreement, and Douglas Hurd
21 came to Belgrade the next day. Serbia gave its wholehearted support to
22 the London agreement, however, it was not of long duration because of the
23 unwillingness of the Bosnian leadership to renounce a unitary concept and
24 the war option. And about the 20th of July, 1992, UN officials received a
25 report to that effect. Do you know that?
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13 English transcripts.
1 A. I just know that such an agreement was reached and I know that it
2 was not complied with. As for the details, if there are any such
3 documents, I confirm it, but I haven't seen them.
4 Q. Very well, but I'm sure you will remember the positions we assumed
5 and the position I personally took, and this was publicly announced, for
6 example, to this effect: With Hurd in Belgrade, with the support of the
7 peace conference in Yugoslavia, which implies the political involvement of
8 the United Nations, the strictest condemnation of ethnic cleansing in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I voiced this position and that of the Republic
10 of Serbia quite publicly in that regard. Do you remember that?
11 A. Yes. All I can confirm is that you and our entire leadership were
12 opposed to any kind of ethnic cleansing and that we always considered that
13 everybody should remain living where they had always lived and that a
14 political solution should be found.
15 And with respect to that particular statement, you needn't ask me
16 but should substantiate it with documents because I can't know all of
17 that. But I do know that just as our position was that nobody could be
18 handicapped in Serbia or put at a disadvantage because they weren't a
19 Serb, everybody could escape to Serbia, and thousands of Muslims did
20 escape from Bosnia into Serbia.
21 Q. Let me correct you there; tens of thousands of Muslims.
22 A. Yes. Tens of thousands of Muslims were fled to Serbia and were
23 taken in there just like anybody else. So that it would be quite
24 impossible to envisage one position in Serbia and another position in
25 Bosnia taken by us. That, of course, doesn't mean that there was no
1 ethnic cleansing there. I can't either confirm or deny that. I've
2 listened and heard a lot about it, and I've heard a lot about what has
3 been said in this Tribunal as well, but that we were fervently opposed to
4 that, that is quite certain.
5 Q. I wish to quote verbatim what I said. "Serbia is energetically
6 condemning all appearances of ethnic cleansing and considers them to be
7 the most flagrant acts of violation of human rights." That was our
9 A. Yes, it was. That was our position always and in every situation.
10 Now, why this had to be stated loud and clear from time to time is
11 because quite obviously something was happening in the field that didn't
12 correspond to that position of ours. So our statements were a revolt and
13 reaction to what was going on. That's how I understand things.
14 Q. Yes. And in the diary here, as far as I was able to see, of
15 course you did make a note of some conversations, there were hundreds of
16 conversations and debates that took place and nobody expects you to make a
17 note of all of them, but let me ask you this: In any conversation or
18 between two of us whatsoever or within the leadership of Serbia any talks
19 conducted, was there ever any proposal put forward which would be to the
20 disadvantage or detriment of one of the Yugoslav nationalities or ethnic
21 minorities in Yugoslavia, including the Albanian national minority?
22 A. No. No, that was never the case. A position of that kind was
23 never voiced nor was a policy of that kind put forward. What we did was
24 quite the opposite. We had enormous difficulties with the Albanian
25 national minority not because they were not given rights. They had the
1 right to have everything in their own language, for example. Schools
2 functioning in their own language, state institutions, the law courts, the
3 information media. They enjoyed equal rights that all national minorities
4 should have in the world in general, and even more than that. But the
5 problem over there was, were the aspirations on the part of the Albanian
6 population for greater autonomy or, rather, for a republic of their own.
7 So that conflict was quite a specific one.
8 Now, as for the others, we actually didn't have any
9 inter-nationality or inter-ethnic problems because there were no
10 repressions, there was absolute and complete equality throughout the
11 country for them.
12 Q. And all the rights enjoyed by other citizens of Serbia were
13 enjoyed by the Albanians themselves too; is that right?
14 A. Yes, they did enjoy the same rights but they refused to avail
15 themselves of them because they said that it wasn't their state and they
16 wanted a state of their own.
17 Q. Do you know my position taken after the end of the Conference on
18 Yugoslavia in London? "The conference represents at this time the most
19 important step towards a final settlement of the Yugoslav crisis," is what
20 I said.
21 A. No, I don't remember that in particular, but I assume that that is
22 along the lines and spirit of what we did.
23 Q. I called upon all parties to accept the presence of UN soldiers in
24 their units there because talk was at the time that they should come in
25 everywhere, and it would have been a good thing had the UN units come as
1 observers, because had they done so, nothing would have escaped their
2 control. So I then went on to say that in Bosnia at that point in time,
3 there are over 50.000 Croatian soldiers and not a single one from
5 A. As far as the army is concerned, that was true.
6 Q. And then I went on to repeat the following, and I quote: "Ethnic
7 cleansing, we in Serbia consider to be a criminal act and we officially
8 let it be known and clearly stated that nothing of the kind must ever take
9 place, and anybody engaged in work of that kind must be held criminally
11 So that was the position taken by Serbia which we voiced and
12 expressed; isn't that right? That was my position and I declared it
14 A. Yes, that was the position of the Socialist Party of Serbia, your
15 own and the whole Serb leadership, and it was practically applied in
17 Q. On the 6th of January, 1993, Cyrus Vance and David Owen were in
18 Belgrade, and my position that the papers wrote about was the following:
19 "I am convinced that there can be no way out of the crisis without
20 equality for all three nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is why I
21 believe that the sole way out is a cease-fire and cease to hostilities
22 immediately in order to be able to negotiate the principles for an
23 agreement with respect for the rights of all three ethnic groups. That is
24 the only which in way lasting peace can be established."
25 Do you remember that?
1 A. Yes, I do remember that and those problems were linked to the
2 situation on the front. Somebody didn't wish to accept an agreement if
3 their position at the front was poor. They wanted to wait for a better
4 position to be gained on the front and then agree to a settlement. So
5 these were the objective circumstances that prevailed in the field. But
6 yes, it is true that you did offer that solution at that time and offer
7 negotiations and a truce and cease-fire to the -- and end to the
9 Q. Do you remember that at the Geneva negotiations on the 19th of
10 August, 1993, for example, Izetbegovic refused to accept an all-embracing
11 plan put forward by the international mediators? And this was accepted by
12 the representatives of the Croats and the Serbs.
13 A. Yes. There were many plans like that. Possibly I remember that
14 one too. What I do remember, however, was that there were at least six
15 plans put forward by the international community up until the Dayton
16 Accords, and unfortunately, there was always somebody who didn't agree
17 with them. And it was only at Dayton that everybody accepted.
18 As far as we were concerned, we accepted all the individual plans
19 put forward for the reasons I have already stated.
20 Q. Well, there were different pretexts that were given. For example,
21 do you remember that one of the pretexts, the tragic events were used that
22 took place on the 5th of February, 1994 when there was an explosion at the
23 Markale marketplace where many people were killed and when the Serbs were
24 blamed straight away, although they denied having anything to do with that
25 and nobody was able to prove it or confirm it either. And what was stated
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13 English transcripts.
1 -- many sources stated that the contrary had happened.
2 A. There were several cases. There was the Markale case and other
3 cases in which different incidents were staged, tragic events were staged
4 which were to justify the steps taken by one or the other side in the near
5 future. So this should be investigated fully. I cannot give -- make any
6 judgement as to what actually happened, but I do believe that things like
7 that happened in order to -- as a pretext for some other action. Now, on
8 what side that is to be remains to be established.
9 Q. At the time, and I don't think you can deny that, the general
10 conviction that prevailed was, and based on the information coming in to
11 us, that those incidents were staged. We didn't take them at face value.
12 We didn't take what the people from the leadership of Republika Srpska
13 told us at face value. We had different information and intelligence
14 coming in to us from UN representatives and others. And the foreign press
15 wrote about this too in sources -- relying on sources close to the UN.
16 A. Yes, it is true that the UN sources at one point in time did say
17 that it was quite certain that the Serbs didn't provoke this. Then it was
18 said that the Muslims must have done that. Then later on, after further
19 investigation, the representatives of the peace forces or the UN there
20 turned it around and denied it, and there was talk that the report that
21 was sent to the UN Secretary-General was hidden, that it wasn't made
22 public and that the contents of the information was that it wasn't the
23 Serbs who had perpetrated that but the Muslims.
24 Now, what I can say is this: There was a report to the effect
25 that the Serb side proposed a joint committee to be established to
1 establish what had actually happened in an unbiased fashion, made up of
2 Muslims and Serbs. That was not found acceptable. So lots of things were
3 going on there. So in that general confusion, I can't say anything
4 definite, but there were all sorts of information coming in.
5 Q. A major step that was taken was the meeting of the foreign
6 ministers of the USA, Russia, Great Britain, France and the Troika of the
7 European Union at the time, Belgium, Greece, and Germany, in Geneva in May
8 1994 when a joint strategy was established for resolving the crisis.
9 Do you remember, and at the time I gave a statement to the paper
10 Politika in July 1994, when the plan was finally given shape to, I sent an
11 invitation out to have the plan accepted. I invested maximum political
12 effort to have the plan adopted, and I'm sure you will remember, among
13 other things, I said that the ministerial meeting in Geneva showed the
14 full seriousness and weight of the decision taken by the international
15 community. And I left the door open to a road to peace.
16 That plan, although it contained many solutions which Republika
17 Srpska can be dissatisfied with is not an anti-Serb plan in essence. Do
18 you remember that? Because people said that it was an anti-Serb plan and
19 that it should be rejected on those grounds. However, I tried to explain
20 that it wasn't an anti-Serb plan, and I said that without doubt a
21 compromise was necessary, that peace was more justified than war, and that
22 we had to have life and not death and destruction, and that it was in the
23 interests of the entire Serb people to opt for peace, which means to
24 accept the proposal made by the international community and to enable the
25 continuation of the peace process. End of quotation.
1 A. Well, quotations can always be checked out, and so I suppose it is
3 Q. Do you remember that, at my proposal, the government of the
4 Republic of Serbia, on the 2nd of August, 1994, sent a letter to the
5 leadership of the Assembly and Government of Republika Srpska in which it
6 also presents the view -- so it is the government sending out a letter
7 energetically demanding that the plan be adopted as soon as possible
8 without having a referendum about it, because the Vance-Owen Plan was
9 rejected, and then at a referendum -- actually a referendum was held and
10 it was rejected, so we wanted this plan to be adopted as a means to put a
11 stop to the war.
12 And in that government letter, it is stated that should they not
13 take this chance of peace, they will betray the national interests. This
14 will be the greatest betrayal of national interests ever. So that was a
15 very sharply worded demand.
16 Could we have done anything more to find a peaceful solution than
17 we did do? And it was considered that we were able to wield political
18 influence in that respect.
19 A. I personally consider that it was a dramatic time generally in
20 relations between the Republic of Serbia and Republika Srpska, that it was
21 the point at which the two sides had the greatest difference and hurled
22 accusations at each other most. And unfortunately, a peace agreement was
23 not adopted.
24 Q. And do you remember that the London Guardian, on the 25th of
25 February, 1995, calling on UN observers in Bosnia, confirmed that the
1 Muslims were arming themselves through the Tuzla airport clandestinely
2 with NATO support. What did we know about that?
3 A. There was frequent intelligence and information coming in to that
4 effect. Bosnia is something which in the world people find difficult to
5 understand. You have to be in Bosnia to understand Bosnia. Many people
6 began arming themselves from their local communities, from their religious
7 mentors, from their mother states. Many received arms from arms dealers,
8 international ones, in secret. But I can also say that the two sides sold
9 each other arms and ammunition, and there was general speculation amongst
10 themselves. So that this idea of somebody being able to stop weapons
11 coming in from one side without stopping all the other channels, putting a
12 stop to all the other channels, that would be impossible. So it was
13 impossible to stop weapons coming in because it was taking place at
14 different levels and from different sides.
15 Q. It is impossible to set out everything, all our efforts towards
16 peace here and now, but the Contact Group plan, which in 1995, for
17 example, was topical, served as a grounds for the beginning of the Dayton
18 negotiations. You remember that, don't you?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. We lent our support to it and insisted that it be adopted. And in
21 mid-1995 - I have a note here - it says: "We must radicalise --" or,
22 rather: "Before the military option is radicalised, we must radicalise
23 the policy of peace in the interests of all nations and nationalities in
24 the countries of the region." Those are my very words and that is what we
25 insisted upon, our insistence upon peace at that time. Do you remember
2 A. As I say, quotations can be provided as documents. A lot of
3 things were said, so I can't confirm actual quotations. But along the
4 general lines, yes, I can.
5 Q. Well, was that our position throughout?
6 A. Our position throughout was that peace should be reached as soon
7 as possible for the two reasons I gave, because any kind of peace was
8 better than people being killed, and we wanted to have the sanctions
9 lifted from Serbia because we couldn't survive otherwise.
10 Q. Do you remember that in mid-1995 somewhere there was a whole
11 brigade, an army of -- of the BH army, a brigade of the BH army which
12 crossed the Drina River from the fighting coming from -- taking place in
13 Eastern Bosnia to find their salvation there?
14 A. Yes. That was a brigade of the Muslim army, in fact.
15 Q. Yes, that's right. 840 men in all, I think, at the time, and we
16 put them up in a centre at Mount Tara, we took care of them, and I called
17 the ambassadors of all the countries in Belgrade - a large number had left
18 - but I invited them to go visit them to establish their state of
19 affairs. I sent a letter to Alija Izetbegovic as well in which I say the
20 following: "Your soldiers were not greeted here as enemies but as human
21 beings, as neighbours who, through force of circumstance, were pushed into
22 a war against their own will." And so on and so forth.
23 And then I go on to say that more courage is needed for a peace
24 agreement to be signed rather than it takes to launch a war, and I urge
25 upon you to make that decision. I also entreat General Ratko Mladic and
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13 English transcripts.
1 the leadership of Republika Srpska to put an end to the war and to effect
2 a truce and cease-fire with the BH army.
3 I assume you remember that because we commented a great deal on
4 those events and the efforts being made at the time and to work towards --
5 we energetically worked towards having a cease-fire put in place and an
6 end to the conflicts.
7 A. Yes. That can be confirmed by the other side too. I believe that
8 they could not say that it is not true that that many soldiers did not
9 cross over to the other side, and I assume that all the ambassadors who
10 went to see the soldiers there could confirm this.
11 Q. And yet again when these intensive efforts were made to renew the
12 peace process, on the 28th of August, in the centre of Sarajevo - I assume
13 that you remember that - near the Markale market yet another explosion
14 took place. My information says that there were 37 people killed. UN
15 experts could not establish who the perpetrators were, but although they
16 could not establish who the perpetrators were, yet again the Serbs were
17 blamed and that was used as a pretext for the NATO Air Force to start
18 already on the next day an intensive bombing of the Serb positions, around
19 Sarajevo, Gorazde, Tuzla and other towns throughout Republika Srpska. Do
20 you remember that?
21 A. I remember that this explosion took place, and I remember that the
22 bombing started, but it is up to analysts and others to establish whether
23 that was a pretext or not or whether it was staged for that purpose or
24 not. I cannot make any assertions to that effect, I can only make
1 Q. Over a thousand bombs and missiles were launched against Serb
2 positions only on the basis of what happened there. Do you remember those
4 A. This was practically the final operation for establishing a new
5 balance of force in the area the way the Western powers viewed it, and
6 they had obviously helped the Muslim side. And they believed that it was
7 easier this way, to force an agreement upon everyone that would not be to
8 the detriment of the Muslims. That was my understanding at the time.
9 At any rate, the great powers of the West interfered in the war in
10 order to change the balance of power in the area. And it is a well-known
11 thing that judging on the balance of power in the area when peace is
12 negotiated under such circumstances, the outcome turns out to be different
14 Q. Did this show how right we were in insisting on the acceptance of
15 the peace plan a year before that, two years before that, three years
16 before that? And the Serbs accepted the Cutileiro plan three years before
17 that; wasn't that right?
18 A. I repeated that several times, and I repeat it yet again, that as
19 far as Serbia is concerned --
20 Q. I'm not talking about Serbia. I'm talking about the Serbs in
21 Bosnia. They accepted the Cutileiro plan. We did not even take part in
22 this or in the negotiations.
23 A. Well, the Cutileiro plan was a very exclusive matter. The war
24 could have been prevented before it ever started in this way. This was
25 something that happened when there was no balance of power in the actual
1 area involved. It was there to dictate the situation, who was weaker, who
2 was stronger, et cetera. And that was probably the greatest political
3 mistake made, not accepting that plan.
4 As for all the other plans that came later, we supported all of
5 them for the reasons I already mentioned. As far as I can remember, the
6 Bosnian Serbs supported all the plans except for the Vance-Owen Plan. I
7 would not wish to comment upon their reasons, whether they were justified
8 or not. We thought at the time that warfare as such could no longer be
9 tolerated, that a peace agreement had to be signed and that the possible
10 problems involved would be resolved later. But they did not accept that,
11 and that is the only plan that they rejected as far as I know.
12 Q. All right. Let's go back to some parts of your statement. In
13 paragraph 12, there are some sections of your diary where you refer to
14 your vacation in Kupari in 1989.
15 First and foremost, you and I never went on vacation together. We
16 never went to New Year's Eve parties together or any such thing. This in
17 Kupari was an accidental meeting. It just happened to take place, because
18 I had spent my summers in Kupari for years, for ten years.
19 A. We were at the same place at the same time during our vacation.
20 You were staying at one place, I was staying at another place, different
21 buildings, that is, but we would meet up at the beach. And I'm not trying
22 to say that we lived in the same building there, but I'm saying that we
23 were in the resort of Kupari at the same time, we were there on vacation,
24 and we were at the beach together, and this was a separate beach for these
25 military facilities.
1 Q. Our families were there, and we would meet up at the beach; is
2 that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And we went together when we were invited by Kadijevic. We went
5 on a short trip, excursion to Mijet [phoen]; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, I can't remember this but you referred to some kind of
8 meetings. I usually spent my vacations with my family. We chatted at the
9 beach. I don't know what this important thing that you and I discussed
10 was at our vacation.
11 A. Nothing else but what is written down here.
12 Q. Well, I don't know what was recorded there in terms of any
13 conversations with me. As far as I understand it, you had some kind of a
14 conversation with Kadijevic, and I don't know what this has to do with me.
15 A. It's written down. It can be read. There's no need for me to
16 read it out now.
17 The only thing written down there is your warning that I should
18 pay attention to Kadijevic, that I should not let him persuade me to give
19 my unreserved support to Ante Markovic because that would be wrong. More
20 or less along those lines.
21 Q. Is that the only political issues you and I discussed?
22 A. What is written down there is what we discussed. The only thing I
23 can do now is open the book and read it out, but you have the book too.
24 You have the date, from the 1st to the 12th of August, 1989.
25 Q. 1989.
1 A. And nothing is written there that was not actually said. And as a
2 matter of fact, none of these are crucial matters.
3 Q. You are saying I am on vacation in Kupari with Kadijevic,
4 Milosevic, and Bogdan Trifunovic and their families.
5 JUDGE MAY: We really have spent a lot of time on this point and I
6 don't think we need to. The witness has given his answer.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Now that we've mentioned Ante Markovic, you say on this particular
10 page, I think it is page 148 of your diary, you say: "Ante Markovic came
11 to see me at 1800 hours. I drew his attention to the fact that I do not
12 agree that he set up a separate political party as the president of the
13 Federal Executive Council. The two are incompatible. If he wants to do
14 that, then he has to resign and that would not be a good thing. He did
15 not agree with that."
16 JUDGE KWON: What's the date, please?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the 25th of May, 1990. And
18 then: "Ante Markovic stated to a British newspaper that he intends to
19 establish the party of the federal government."
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And you say that you invited him to explain this at the next
23 And then further on, because all of this is the same date, I mean
24 the same date of your diary entry when all of this was going on. You talk
25 in the Presidency about the behaviour of Ante Markovic who, holding the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 office of Prime Minister, establishes his own party. Then there are
2 polemics. Then he quotes himself, where he said what. "We received his
3 information with a caution that the government cannot establish a party.
4 Individuals can do whatever they want, but they cannot abuse their
6 So this was your warning that he should not abuse his position; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes. Quite naturally. No one can establish the party of the
9 federal government. That is nonsensical. The federal government is based
10 on the victory of political parties that took part in the elections. Now,
11 he came there and if he wants to establish a new party, he can leave the
12 government and he can establish then a new party. But he cannot establish
13 a party that will be called the Party of the Federal Government.
14 The Presidency drew his attention to that fact, and that was quite
16 Q. On page -- well, never mind the page. It's the 10th of August,
17 1990. And then: "The general conclusion is that Ante Markovic is no
18 longer acceptable or reliable to us. No one has any doubts in their mind
19 any longer that he's the extended arm of the United States in terms of
20 overthrowing anyone who ever thinks of socialism, and it is through our
21 votes that we appointed him Prime Minister in the Assembly. He is playing
22 the most dangerous game of treason."
23 Was that your assessment?
24 A. Yes, that's my assessment, and that's what I wrote there.
25 Q. Since he testified here, I would like to say something.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this witness Mr. Borisav
2 Jovic wrote yet another book, and that is called "The Dismemberment of
3 Yugoslavia." "The Dismemberment of Yugoslavia" is the name of the book.
4 I just want to quote this.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You say on page 18 of this book: "The republics --" So you're
7 talking about the republics. You're not only talking about Serbia. "The
8 republics defended themselves in all conceivable ways from the abuse of
9 the Prime Minister in terms of the economic power he wielded. And the
10 outcome was increased isolation, lack of respect for federal laws, and the
11 disintegration of the system. I cautioned the government about the
12 catastrophic consequences of its policy and the entire Presidency joined
13 me in that."
14 So you were supported by the entire Presidency in criticising this
15 economic policy that he said was one of salvation?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. "I said openly and in public this policy is in the interest of
18 foreign powers that want their companies to buy our firms cheaply, and
19 they want us to topple the governments in different parts of the country
20 that were not convenient for them. Markovic threatened to take me to
21 court because of this, and I suggested to him that he start a debate in
22 the Assembly of Yugoslavia in this regard, but he did neither. Now, why
23 this was so is not difficult to ascertain."
24 I'm going to skip a paragraph that has to do with the sending of
25 conscripts in concrete situations, he did not react in accordance with his
1 constitutional authority, and so on. And then on page 19, the first
2 paragraph, you say: "He was no doubt the most active creator of the
3 destruction of our economy, and to a large extent a significant
4 participant in the break-up of Yugoslavia. Others, when boasted of having
5 broken up Yugoslavia wanted to take this infamous role upon themselves but
6 in all these respects they never came close to what Markovic did, who had
7 declared himself as the protagonist of Yugoslavia's survival."
8 I would like to ask you to give your comment with regard to that,
9 along with yet another very brief quotation, page 17 of this book: "Among
10 the members of the federal leadership, there was major disagreement
11 regarding the programme of economic reforms that the government was
12 carrying out. From the very outset, I was convinced that the government
13 wanted to destroy socially owned companies and in a highly unacceptable
14 manner at that, saying that they would turn them into beggars and so on
15 and so forth, and the comment was that the foreign exchange reserves of
16 the country were ruined."
17 You refer to that in your diary as well. And then also citizens
18 who invested their money in banks could not take their money out of the
19 bank because he had sold the foreign exchange reserves of the country.
20 Could you briefly comment upon that, because you spent many years
21 of your life dealing in economic matters and you were certainly a
22 competent person in that field.
23 A. Yes, please, I would like to highlight a particular fact. As is
24 well known, Mr. Milosevic did not know about my writing this book, "The
25 Last Days of the SFRY." He did not know about the existence of this kind
1 of diary, and he did not know that I would publish it. On the contrary, I
2 suffered the consequences of having published it. Mr. Milosevic did not
3 know that I was writing any book, any one of the books that I published,
4 and I never consulted him about the texts that I wrote, and I never
5 consulted him as to whether I would or would not publish any particular
7 Well, no, I am saying this now for a very justified reason. There
8 seems to be some preconception in terms of me having done everything in
9 accordance to what Mr. Milosevic told me to do. That could have had to do
10 with the firm cooperation we had in terms of the positions expounded in
11 the Presidency of Yugoslavia where I was the representative of Serbia. In
12 all other cases, these are my own things, my own books, my own
13 observations, and I am responsible for that. What Mr. Milosevic quoted
14 now is something I fully stand behind. Of course, that was my conviction
15 at the time, and I never assumed, ever, that this would be used before a
16 court of this nature, but I absolutely stand behind everything that was
17 written there and that is what I wish to point out.
18 Q. I just asked you to be kind enough to comment on this economic
19 policy that Ante Markovic said was a saviour kind of policy.
20 A. I don't know whether we have time for that.
21 Q. But as briefly as possible, please.
22 A. My assessment was that this would not lead to a way out. I
23 considered it to be manipulations for a redistribution of national income
24 among the republics, and that is why it was, for me, absolutely
25 unacceptable, especially as the measures were selected that would suit his
1 republic and measures which would damage other republics. So this was a
2 siphoning off of income which, for me, was unacceptable.
3 I said something along those lines yesterday, but I could mention
4 several illustrations which do not affect the stability of the economy but
5 the shifting of income from one part of the country to another. This was
6 quite unacceptable. It was unacceptable from the standpoint of ethics and
7 justice but also unacceptable from the standpoint of politics, because it
8 was designed, measured to impoverish the people Serbia so that they would
9 rebel and topple the leadership of Serbia.
10 In my deep conviction, that was obvious and that was why I took
11 such an attitude towards him.
12 Q. Just in one sentence, how did he destroy the foreign exchange
13 reserves of the country?
14 A. I'm not able to answer in a single sentence, but a part of the
15 foreign exchange reserves were used to pay off Croatia's debts. And
16 secondly, I don't know exactly what is referred to there. As far as I
17 know, Ante Markovic created fictitious foreign exchange reserves which in
18 actual fact did not exist though he boasted about them, saying that there
19 were 10 or 11 billion foreign exchange reserves. He introduced a new rate
20 of exchange for the dinar; seven dinars for one German mark. I think that
21 is how it was. The same as in Austria, seven shillings for one German
22 mark. And he proclaimed the convertibility of the dinar without any
23 proper foundation, and he said whoever wanted to could invest dinars and
24 receive a foreign exchange savings booklet in German marks. So the people
25 rushed to the banks, invested their dinars, received bank booklets in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 German marks, and this grew up to the figures he said, but then this could
2 never be paid to the people. So in fact, it was turned into a foreign
3 exchange debt towards the population though it wasn't a foreign exchange
4 debt but a dinar debt.
5 So this was one move. The foreign exchange reserve, during my
6 term of office, increased by so-and-so, but in fact, that was a trick.
7 They could have increased only if our exports were higher than our imports
8 and that was never the case. The deficit was about 1, 2, or even 3
9 billion, and the difference was covered with revenues from services,
10 tourism, or remittances by our workers working abroad.
11 So these hallucinations of his about large foreign exchange
12 reserves are simply hallucinations and not reality. But the country was
13 left in debt because he said that those were foreign exchange -- that that
14 was in foreign exchange.
15 Q. Yes, but those who had savings in foreign exchange were also
16 damaged because he said people could buy foreign exchange with dinars and
17 take them out of the country.
18 A. The foreign exchange -- people with foreign exchange reserves were
19 damaged because the debt of the country was increased many-fold in foreign
20 exchange than the real debt was. So then everybody was equal and no one
21 could get their money back. And then the government has rescheduled it to
22 return that debt over a period of ten or so years.
23 Q. Very well. We may come back to him briefly again, but yesterday
24 we were talking about the role of the external factor, and I would like
25 from this book, though I myself hadn't read it until I received
1 notification that you would testify, so I wanted to compare the books and
2 see what you wrote, because I know that I never proposed anything
3 dishonourable nor anything that would damage anyone, and I would like the
4 truth to be established regarding political facts. What individuals
5 think, that is another matter.
6 On page 13, paragraph 1, which is actually carried over --
7 A. Of the book? Of the book?
8 Q. Yes. The book "Dismemberment of Yugoslavia."
9 A. I don't have it on me.
10 Q. If necessary, I can ask it to be copied. I will quote it
12 A. No problem. I know what I wrote.
13 Q. You say -- you talk about the Slovenes, and you say: "We believe
14 the Slovenes --" this is a paragraph on page 12 -- "that they are
15 introducing the term of disassociation to avoid difficulties with the
16 international community."
17 Yes, I'll slow down. "Regarding the international recognition of
18 their state, et cetera." This is what I wish to quote: "We were
19 surprised why they wanted to have their fate dealt in a package --" and
20 this is in quotation marks -- "with Croatia when they know that Croatia's
21 case is far more sensitive because of the difficulty in separating or
22 delineating the territories in which the Serbs are majority. Later on, it
23 emerged that their decision was not an independent one. Namely, the
24 foreign boss would not have been satisfied if Yugoslavia were to be left
25 without Slovenia only. And this could have happened if Slovenia had
1 resolved its matters on its own in a constitutional legal manner. Linking
2 itself to Croatia and with the demand for disintegration, foreign
3 interests and foreign interference was unmasked."
4 I hope I have correctly quoted. I read out each and every word
5 from this passage. Is that right, Boro?
6 A. Yes, that was very strange. Slovenia was first to come out with
7 the request for disintegration or disassociation. They made up this term
8 which means the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, in actual fact.
9 We were surprised why they were so concerned about this. They
10 wanted to leave Yugoslavia, and there were no problems. No one was
11 preventing them from doing that. Theirs was a one-ethnic state, and it
12 was easy to settle accounts with them.
13 No. At each session of the Yugoslav Presidency, Mr. Kucan
14 repeated, "We do not want secession. We want disassociation." And he
15 bothered us for months and years with this disassociation that no one
16 wanted. Finally, Croatia joined him with the position that if Slovenia is
17 leaving, we will leave too. And the Slovenes said, "Yes, we are leaving,
18 but we want everyone to break up." And then everything happened. That is
19 common knowledge.
20 And it was our conviction that Slovenia on its own absolutely had
21 no reason to get involved with the dismemberment of Yugoslavia but that it
22 was instigated to do so by someone or, rather, that it was conditioned to
23 do so by someone, that it would be recognised if it contributed to the
24 dismemberment of Yugoslavia as a whole.
25 Q. Another quotation on page 15. It is the first full paragraph
1 which I'm going to read, and a part of the following one, as it has to do
2 with this package together with Croatia.
3 "It is clear that Germany was not satisfied with the secession of
4 Slovenia only. Its coast is significant for Germany's reaching the
5 Adriatic coast. This appetite could be satisfied only by Croatia, and
6 that is why the secession of Slovenia and Croatia had to be addressed in a
8 So I have read the whole paragraph, which is brief. And then in
9 the next one: "Revanchism for defeats in two World Wars and the break-up
10 of the Serbian people among several states was possible only by imposing
11 the formula of disassociation. The break-up of Yugoslavia into six
12 statelets with international recognition has no economic or political
13 sense nor can it be understood reasonably except if the aim of it is to
14 separate the Serb people into several states and turn them into a national
16 I, of course, agree with these assessments of yours although there
17 were many other reasons as well, because the policy towards Central Europe
18 pursued by Germany was based on the fragmentation of the area into small
19 statelets which would then be under their domination.
20 So does that explain the role and decisive influence and the
21 motives of that decisive influence of Germany over the break-up of
22 Yugoslavia or, rather, its war against Yugoslavia?
23 A. In this book of mine, what is written was my assessment at the
24 time, and I stand by it. Of course there are other paragraphs. It is not
25 as simple as that, and I agree with you, but in this book, "The Last Days
1 of SFRY," in several places there are texts based on confidential
2 information which I as the president of Yugoslavia or member of the
3 Presidency of Yugoslavia received from our people in the European
4 Community, as it was called, from Brussels, from NATO and from other
5 quarters from which it could clearly be seen, and which I trust because
6 these are intelligence officers who have their connections in those
7 environment, which indicate what was going on within the European
8 Community at meetings of ministers when the question of recognition came
9 up. With the exception of Germany, they were all against this. They felt
10 it was premature, that a political settlement should be found first and
11 then recognition be given.
12 To put it briefly, the German foreign minister threatened that
13 Germany would recognise Slovenia and Croatia on its own and that it would
14 separate from the agreement on a joint European policy. This shocked the
15 other participants at the meeting, and then they came to the conclusion
16 that it would be more harmful for them to allow Germany to separate from
17 the common European foreign policy than for them to agree with the
19 America reacted to such a decision with disapproval, feeling it
20 was premature.
21 So these are some things that are noted in my book, not once but
22 several times, viewing the matters from various aspects, but I have told
23 you about one of them. And after all, this confirms this repeated
24 emphasis by Mr. Milosevic on Germany's responsibility. I think it cannot
25 be avoided, but let me say, Germany is a major power in Europe which has
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 its own interests, and this is something we cannot neglect. I noted this
2 down as a fact. We're a small country which, unfortunately, through
3 history was a bargaining chip, and that is what happened once again on
4 this occasion.
5 Q. Very well. I wish to remind you of the 6th of August, 1990, in
6 your diary page 174, in which you speak of a video cassette of Franc
7 Bavcar before the elections, currently president of the Assembly of
8 Slovenia, with a well-known intelligence officer of Germany and
9 Switzerland. "There are operational information that Jansa and Bavcar
10 were working in accordance with the German intelligence service on a study
11 -- a project: How to Provoke a Civil War in Yugoslavia."
12 A. This is intelligence information that I noted down.
13 Q. And Veljko reminded you on that same day that Kucan was, in his
14 time, an intelligence officer, and he brought misfortune to many people.
15 A. Yes, that is what Veljko said.
16 Q. And then you say: "There is more and more evidence that the HDZ
17 police and the Croatian National Guard forces are training in Germany."
18 A. Whatever is written down there is intelligence information on the
19 basis of which we shaped our conduct.
20 Let me make myself clear: There's nothing here that I could have
21 made up in my head except for some reasoning or conclusions at the end of
22 these texts. This is a collection of all the information that reached me
23 as the responsible official, and they were coming from all over the world
24 and through our agents on the basis of which we assessed the situation and
25 shaped our policies.
1 Q. Let us look at just one more thing. I was unable to find it, so
2 could you help me, because in paragraph 17 of your statement, you
3 allegedly say: "Milosevic and I were isolated," and they say in the
4 prepared statement -- they refer to your diary, 30th of January, 1990.
5 However, on that day you said something else, commenting on a session of
6 the Presidency of the SFRY, and you say in your diary: "We were alone,
7 Zelenovic, Bucin, and myself." You don't mention me, so I can't find it.
8 Of course, I didn't attend Presidency meetings, so I couldn't have been
10 So why do we find in paragraph 17, "Milosevic and I were
12 A. I can check it out. Maybe I was drowsy when I edited this text.
13 I must say that the text is extremely summarised in relation to the book.
14 It was prepared by the Prosecution. I edited it and authorised it, but
15 it's quite possible that I made an omission. I didn't go into each and
16 every word, but I'll look at it now.
17 Q. Please do that. Where is it that you and I were isolated? That
18 is the reference contained in this paragraph. It says: "Milosevic and I
19 found ourselves isolated," and I'm quoting from that passage, the
20 reference being the diary, 30th of January, 1990.
21 Maybe you said that on some other date, but I couldn't find it.
22 A. It's quite a lengthy text, of three pages. I could look for it
23 but it will take time.
24 Q. Perhaps you could find the passage during the break.
25 A. Yes, I'll explain it after the break. I will try and find it.
1 Q. Of course, in the previous versions of your statement that I
2 received before this one, there were many other completely incorrectly
3 quoted parts of your diary, so I assume you yourself deleted them. What
4 I'm trying to indicate is the attempt of the side opposite to distort
6 A. I'll do my best to find it.
7 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues]... sort of remark by
8 the accused. There is no attempt to distort. This witness was given
9 every opportunity carefully to review, and took every opportunity
10 carefully to review the material.
11 Although I'm very easygoing with the accused's quite improper
12 interventions, from time to time I take exception; today I do.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, it may be convenient now to adjourn and the
14 witness can perhaps have a look at this diary and see if he can find the
15 reference and what it's based on.
16 We'll adjourn now for 20 minutes.
17 One other matter, though, we need this week would be the witnesses
18 for next week.
19 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes. The original schedule we provided you
20 is, I think, continuing for next week. We've simply had to abandon the
21 witnesses listed for this week or alternatively move them back and
22 reschedule them, but I'll be in a position to give you a detailed account
23 by the next break.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just be allowed to clarify
3 something with respect to the question raised by Mr. Milosevic?
4 JUDGE MAY: Certainly.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everything I wrote in my statement
6 and signed stands. I have no criticisms to make of that. Regardless of
7 whether I put something different in my oral testimony - you can never
8 write and say the same thing - but I stand by what I wrote and I stand by
9 what I said.
10 Now, with respect to this particular case and the sentence
11 highlighted by Mr. Milosevic that we were isolated, the remark I made
12 holds true. Everything that is written down here can be well interpreted
13 and understood if it is taken within the context it was written in the
14 book. And if you take everything else into consideration as well. And in
15 this particular regard, I would like to place that in context and say why
16 we were isolated.
17 Of course we added something to what it says in the book because
18 it was impossible just to quote from the book.
19 Now, what happened was this: During those days, Mr. Milosevic and
20 the Yugoslav state Presidency - and it is under point or paragraph 11 of
21 my statement - had talks with the president of the Presidency,
22 Mr. Drnovsek, and I attended that talk. And what was asked -- can you
23 hear me? Yes, we can hear you. What was demanded was that, in view of
24 the large-scale demonstrations and unrest taking place in Kosovo that
25 Serbia wasn't able to deal with because it didn't have its police force
1 over there, that the army should intervene. The army said it couldn't do
2 so without a Presidency decision and that Drnovsek said he didn't agree
3 with it, and I don't want to carry on reading from that paragraph.
4 One or two days later, however, or several days later, Milosevic,
5 through me, asked me into intervene and prevail upon Ante Markovic so that
6 the federal police should do its job, do its work as a decision had been
7 taken that all the republics should send a police contingent to help out
8 the situation in Kosovo, establish law and order. And Slovenia and
9 Croatia refused to do so, and Ante Markovic refused to wield his influence
10 in that respect.
11 There was a Presidency meeting, we discussed the issue at length,
12 and we compiled a statement which called for a quell to the situation, but
13 it wasn't actually settled. So from that I was able to draw my
14 conclusions. Not because Mr. Milosevic attended the meeting or not but
15 because he took part in seeking a solution which was in the best interests
16 of Serbia. And that's why I say we were isolated, because he and I were
17 in favour of the same thing.
18 So if you take the whole book as the context and everything that
19 was written, then I think we can see that this was accurately written.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Well, this was written as a quotation from the diary. That is why
22 I asked you where this is in the diary. So it's not actually contained in
23 the diary; is that right?
24 A. Well, I've just explained. None of these excerpts correspond
25 exactly word-for-word to what I say in my diary. Sometimes it is written
1 out word-for-word, at other times it links up parts of the diary and is a
2 sort of summary because it would be difficult to write out at length the
3 whole excerpt.
4 Q. All right. Let's try and be as expedient as possible.
5 Now, on page 117 of your diary, you speak about certain matters
6 which linked the events to the outside factor. The nucleus of Albanian
7 separatism in Kosovo at the time was made up of Fadil Hodza, Dzavid
8 Nimani, Adem Demaci, Veli Deva; is that right?
9 A. Yes. Yes, that is right.
10 Q. Is it also right --
11 JUDGE KWON: Could you give us the date, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date is the 20th of February,
13 and there are several matters.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. The 20th of February, 1990. Is it true that Demaci, from prison
16 in Croatia where he happened to be at the time, with the help of the
17 Croatian authorities, led the mass demonstrations and terrorist activities
18 from the prison, using their channels? Is that right?
19 A. Well, that's the intelligence we received. And most probably that
20 was how things stood.
21 Q. Well, was that schematic for the structure of Albanian leadership
22 that the JNA arrived at?
23 A. How do you mean the schematic, the scheme?
24 Q. Well, in the sense it says. And I quote from your diary: "Veljko
25 in my office showed me a plan for the structure of Albanian separatist
1 leadership, and the centre is outside the official institutions and Fadil
2 Hodza, Dzavid Nimani, Adem Demaci, Imer Pulja, Mahmut Bakalli make up the
3 centre." And he was the first witness here, Mahmut Bakalli.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That's what you mean. "The main figure is Demaci, who is
6 directing things from prison in Croatia. It is very likely that the
7 authorities there are allowing him to do so. It would be a good thing to
8 transfer him from there to Serbia.
9 "And the second and third echelons are in the state and party
10 structures and in other legal institutions and enterprises for the most
11 part. Political parties and their leaders are also the second echelon,
12 thus those who carry things out. Although their actions are the most
14 Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So that, then, was a realistic representation of the situation; is
17 that right?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Now, let's go on to point 24 of your statement. You say that with
20 respect to coordination in the republics - and coordination means all the
21 leading officials from the republics --
22 A. Yes. I explain all that when writing this text, that coordination
23 or the coordinating committee was a form of cooperation on the part of the
24 leaders from all the republican institutions, not a separate body as such.
25 Q. All right. And the new constitution was the subject discussed,
1 and as you say, to cover the new independent Serbian state.
2 "A new constitution that will cover the new independent Serbian
3 state." That is part of your sentence. And on the 26th of March, 1990,
4 in your diary, you say the following: "We assess that the process of
5 disintegration of Yugoslavia is taking place just as happened with the
6 League of Communists of Yugoslavia and we don't seem to be able to stop
8 And then it goes on to say: "Serbia will wage a sincere policy
9 for the preservation of a federal Yugoslavia but will prepare to live
10 without Yugoslavia at the same time."
11 So it is true that we were in favour of Yugoslavia's preservation,
12 however, we had to look into the possibility of living independently, an
13 independent Serbian state, should the process go in the way the others
14 wanted it to go.
15 A. It says if Yugoslavia -- if the disintegration of Yugoslavia comes
16 about. So if it is unavoidable, not through any fault of our own.
17 Q. Now, is it true that you say: "Serbia will wage a sincere policy
18 for the preservation of a federal Yugoslavia." "Aimed at the survival of
19 a federal Yugoslavia." That was our sincere policy; is that right?
20 A. Yes it is.
21 Q. And is it true that in the new 1990 constitution of Serbia we
22 incorporated an article that I quoted here, although you're not duty-bound
23 to look at what is happening, but you're aware of Article 135 of the
24 constitution where it says: "The rights and duties enjoyed by the
25 Republic of Serbia within the composition of the Socialist Federal
1 Republic of Yugoslavia enjoys pursuant to this constitution which,
2 according to the federal constitution is realised within the federation
3 will be realised in conformity with the federal constitution."
4 That is a constitutional article of the Republic of Serbia, the
5 new constitution, which means that all rights and duties shall be realised
6 in conformity with the federal constitution, because Serbia is a part of
7 the SFRY.
8 So we didn't want to cover any kind of new independence on the
9 part of states, but we wanted to see Serbia within Yugoslavia. Isn't at
10 that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Very well. Now I'm going to do my best to abbreviate what I have
13 to ask you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I should just like to ask you,
15 Mr. May, that this other book be tendered into evidence, because I quoted
16 several passages from it, and it is a question of crisis and the author
17 witness to that crisis.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. What was it called, "The Dismemberment of
19 Yugoslavia" was it called?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, "The Dismemberment of
22 JUDGE MAY: And could you give us the date and the place of
23 publication, please.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was published in Belgrade, and
25 I'll find the date in just a moment. 1992.
1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Just a moment. Any objection, Mr. Nice,
2 to that?
3 MR. NICE: We don't have any advance notice of the book. He gets
4 the whole book in by reference to one quotation is something that I think
5 has typically been denied us. I simply leave it to the Chamber, but once
6 the book is in, we hope to find the resources to examine it in detail and
7 see what points there are. I find myself in this somewhat difficult
9 I don't wish to -- I don't wish to --
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
12 JUDGE MAY: Let Mr. Nice finish.
13 MR. NICE: I don't wish to block the accused putting in evidence
14 that is valuable to you, of course, in any way, but I really can't assess
15 the potential value of a document like this if it's produced today from
16 one quotation and then as a whole book. Where we've been attempting to
17 put books before you, and we have from time to time, we've always given
18 adequate notice of the whole document. I don't think I can help further.
19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't insist that the whole
21 book be tendered into evidence. You can accept just the excerpts and
22 quotations I used here. There is no need to burden yourselves with the
23 entire book, but if you wish to do so, you can. I have nothing against
24 that, of course. But I have already told the registrar that I will
25 provide both books for them to be photocopied so there is no problem in
1 having them made available to you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I help you? The parts that
3 Mr. Milosevic quoted are taken from an integral introductory part which
4 numbers 40 pages, and in a way, that is the summary and a precis of the
5 book, and I think that's where the solution could be found; that integral
6 part, numbering, as I say, about 40 pages, be tendered. All the rest does
7 have something to do with it but isn't necessary to understand the
8 quotations, and you can look at it from that aspect perhaps.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will admit the introductory part, as
10 suggested by the witness, and we'll ask for the next exhibit number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the number is D218.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. In the diary, the 16th of February being the date, 1990, it says
15 the following: "Franjo Tudjman, the leader of the Croatian Democratic
16 Community, presented the following positions of his party in Cleveland."
17 And then he goes on to say: "The basic goal of the HDZ is to separate
18 Croatia from Yugoslavia, which is certainly not simple, and we must be
19 patient, using various methods but without publicly emphasising
20 separatism. The separation must be effected through parliamentary means
21 because all the conditions are in place for that. The communists are weak
22 and disunited. The Croatian communists will follow in the footsteps of
23 the Slovenes and essentially realise the goals of the HDZ. In connection
24 with this, he personally has good ties in the top ranks of the official
25 authorities in Croatia who will help the HDZ to carry out the purge,
1 change of personnel of all anti-Croat elements in the SDB, the military,
2 government, Diplomatic Corps, et cetera, among those who represent the
3 Socialist Republic of Croatia. If we come to power, then in the first 48
4 hours, while there is still euphoria, it is indispensable that we settle
5 scores with all those who are against Croatia which will open the door to
6 democracy. Lists of such persons have already been drawn up. One of the
7 most important tasks is to win over the Muslims or, rather, to capture
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina where the HDZ does not have the position that it
9 should, because Serbia has a great deal of sympathy there. Serbs in
10 Croatia should be declared citizens of Croatia and called Orthodox Croats.
11 The name 'Orthodox Serb' will be banned. The Serbian Orthodox Church
12 will be abolished in Croatia and it will be declared Croatian for those
13 who do not move to Serbia."
14 Is that, in general terms, the policy that was implemented later
16 A. First of all, let me say that this is an authentic document. It
17 is the notes from the Cleveland meeting by the man who -- by a man who was
18 present. So we can trust it.
19 Now, how far Croatia later on worked towards this or perfected
20 some of this, I think it kept its course from start to finish, although
21 not everything happened exactly as they were said. With respect to the
22 banning of the Serbian Orthodox Church, that was not done, nor were the
23 Serbs proclaimed to be Orthodox Croats. But the general policy lines did
24 follow that direction.
25 Q. But is it true and correct that the greatest blow inflicted when
1 it came to the Serbs in Croatia was to abolish the status of them being a
2 constituent nation, because Croatia, up until then, according to its
3 constitution, was defined as a state of the Croatian people, the Serb
4 people, and the rest living within it. And I assume you remember that
5 very well.
6 A. Yes. That covers many things from his statement. Let me just
7 mention for the benefit of the Trial Chamber that this statement was made
8 before the HDZ won power and authority. So those who were in power at the
9 time, the communists, he says, will help him to implement that. And when
10 he comes to power, accounts should be settled with them immediately
11 according to the lists that they had. And this is something that did
12 actually take place.
13 Q. And now pay attention to page 140 of your diary, and you present
14 the views of the United States of America here, and you say the following
15 in paragraph 3 on that page --
16 JUDGE MAY: Date, please. We don't have the same pagination as
17 you do, so when you refer to the diary, the date --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Right, right. I
19 understand, Mr. May. The 26th of April, 1990. The 26th of April, 1990.
20 As a matter of fact, this was before the elections in Croatia.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. "The United States of America opted for definitely destroying
23 communism in Yugoslavia at the cost of its disintegration and separation.
24 Two major things happened as of recently. First of all, they were fully
25 involved in Slovenia and Croatia in the elections that were held there.
1 By sending numerous observers, actually controllers, they exercised direct
2 influence over the mood of the electorate. It is no coincidence the ships
3 of the 6th fleet were in Trieste. In previous years, years they came only
4 as far as Venice.
5 "Secondly, the US consul in Zagreb, at a meeting with the heads of
6 Croatian anti-communist parties said that the United States definitely
7 opted for destroying communism in Yugoslavia at the price of breaking up
8 the country. Tudjman is acceptable to them for now because he promotes
9 that goal, and later they will see what to do with him. The SSNO, that is
10 to say the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, has the statement
11 from a reliable source but, unfortunately, it cannot communicate it to the
12 leadership because that is the job of the Federal Secretariat of the
14 And then in the next paragraph he says: "The British feel that
15 civil war is inevitable in Yugoslavia. They would rather have a unified
16 Yugoslavia, but their priority is nevertheless to bring down communism,
17 and they expressing their solidarity with the Americans although not that
19 And then on the next page, towards the end: "There is a great
20 deal of concern among Serbs and other non-Croats. As a matter of fact,
21 the republics have some powers in the field of national defence, and the
22 army has to place this under their control."
23 Does this show that there is a strong external influence in terms
24 of breaking up Yugoslavia under the pretext of destroying communism?
25 A. There is no doubt that the aim of American foreign policy was the
1 toppling of communism in all Eastern European countries. As a matter of
2 fact, we were not that type of communism that was referred to as far as
3 the Eastern European countries are concerned, because we had changed our
4 economic system to a great degree, but we had not changed our political
5 system. It did not include free multi-party elections.
6 It says here in the book, it is written here in the book, that
7 with regard to this matter, we had different views and certain fears. In
8 my opinion, we were late in terms of moving on to multi-party elections,
9 and this perhaps irritated America. But the fact was that the US was
10 prepared to move for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, if necessary part by
11 part, in order to introduce a multi-party system if it could not be done
12 all at once in all of the republics.
13 Q. All right. But wasn't a multi-party system introduced in Serbia
14 and weren't multi-party elections even held in 1990?
15 A. Yes, but we were the last ones, and we could have been the first
16 ones to do so in view of the fact that our party, in view of the
17 reputation it enjoyed, was the only one that was certain to win the
18 multi-party elections. And indeed it did, whereas in all other republics
19 the parties that were formerly in power had lost the elections by and
20 large except for Montenegro.
21 So we had no reason to put this off. And in the book, I explain
22 why our views differed, yours and mine. But to this day, I believe that
23 we should have been the first ones if we were to follow the sequence of
24 events in Europe.
25 Q. All right. But it is beyond dispute that in 1990 when the
1 multi-party system was introduced, as you recall, this was not regulated
2 in the constitution. We said let's pass a constitution that would
3 envisage a multi-party system, and then let's have elections. So let's
4 work legia artis, not in a last-moment fashion. So we changed the system
5 in favour of a multi-party system. We had opted for a market economy a
6 lot earlier. Isn't that right, Boro?
7 A. Yes. As far as the market economy is concerned, Serbia was a
8 forerunner in Yugoslavia, although some did oppose it a bit. But I think
9 that in this particular matter, we were a bit late. There was quite a
10 degree of inertia, but I'm not sure. Even if we had introduced a
11 multi-party system in good time, beforehand, and we certainly would have
12 won the election in view of the reputation that we had, I'm not sure that
13 America would have been satisfied with that, and I'm not sure that they
14 would not continue regarding us as some kind of a communist leadership.
15 I'm not sure. Most probably that would have happened too.
16 Q. We founded the Socialist Party of Serbia. In France there is a
17 Socialist Party of France which has been in power for many years. Was
18 there a real reason for this or was this just used as a pretext in order
19 to do away with communism in Serbia?
20 A. Well, it's hard to ask me to deal with that. I can have an
21 opinion, but for me to give a reliable assessment as to what the objective
22 of the Americans were, I cannot take upon myself that kind of great
23 responsibility. Well, I can, but it wouldn't mean much; it is simply an
25 It is my conviction that the Americans had embarked upon a
1 transformation of all of Eastern Europe, introducing democratic
2 institutions as those that exist in the West. And they thought that since
3 that had been done everywhere except for Yugoslavia, this was initiated in
4 some republics but not everywhere and that they were supposed to do
5 everything in order to have this done, even at the cost of dismembering
6 Yugoslavia and dealing with this in piecemeal fashion.
7 That was my assessment. Now, whether their objective was the
8 dismemberment and toppling of communism, well, I think that the toppling
9 of communism was their objective, and the dismemberment was just a method.
10 In some other European countries, there was -- as far as some other
11 European countries were concerned, the aim was disintegration first and
12 foremost too.
13 Q. You say that we advocated a market economy for many years. You
14 and I held different offices at the time, and we were involved in what was
15 called the Kreigher commission. Kreigher was the president of the
16 Presidency of Yugoslavia, an ethnic Slovene, and he was president of this
17 commission for economic reform, and in it we strove for market reforms.
18 Isn't that right, Boro?
19 A. Yes, it is correct. I have written yet another book and it would
20 be quite ridiculous for me to propose to the Court to deal with this book
21 as well because this would encumber them no end, but at any rate, this
22 book includes many of my articles, speeches, everything I did in order to
23 advocate that. If one were to read this book nowadays it would be obvious
24 how incredibly progressive Serbia was in this respect and how brave it was
25 in proposing certain things that later became instated but they were
1 opposed by others. These things were opposed by others, say, Slovenia who
2 were in favour of some kind of agreement-based economy, and later on
3 Yugoslavia fell apart.
4 Q. So as far as a market economy is concerned and all these policies,
5 can one say at all, since you used this expression "Western democracy,"
6 that's the term you used, was there anything in that respect in Slovenia
7 and in Croatia that could really be called something of a better quality
8 than what existed in Serbia? I think it was the other way around, wasn't
10 A. Well, as far as the prevailing system was concerned, it was the
11 same throughout the country. As far as one's views as to how the system
12 should be changed, it was the way you put it: In Serbia, people were
13 advocating to a large degree the introduction of economic laws in a market
14 economy and from Slovenia there were positions, and not only positions but
15 even a practice was opposed, of a directed economy where the
16 state has a predominant role.
17 Q. All right. I will try to deal with these matters as efficiently
18 as possible. So it is not contested that in 1990 these processes of
19 disintegration were quite pronounced, instigated from the outside but
20 that's not the subject now.
21 On the 16th of May, 1990, when you came to head the Presidency,
22 you say quite clearly here: "For the first time I said that, clearly and
23 in public, whoever wanted to could walk out of Yugoslavia peacefully, that
24 we were supposed to enact a law on secession and that no one was required
25 to stay in Yugoslavia by force if they did not wish to do so, but that
1 unconstitutional and illegal self-will cannot be tolerated." Is that
3 A. Yes. That was a basic position. Everyone has the right, just as
4 they decided to join the community of Yugoslavia, they had the right to
5 walk out of the community of Yugoslavia. However, in view of the
6 complicated relations that came into being over the 70-odd years of living
7 together, it was necessary to pass a law to see how this would be dealt
8 with and how this could be carried out by peaceful means. This was a
9 political position that we kept advocating all the time, but regrettably
10 this was rejected throughout and what was pursued was a fait accompli
11 policy reaching decisions that were contrary to the constitution of
12 Yugoslavia, refusal to pay into the federal budget, to pay taxes to the
13 federal budget, a tax on the army of Yugoslavia, all these other
14 constitutional things that are well known.
15 Q. All right. Was it clear that there was a peaceful, legal and
16 constitutional way to carry out changes, that no one wanted to keep anyone
17 in Yugoslavia by force if they did not wish to remain there themselves?
18 A. Nobody had the right to keep anyone there, and of course everybody
19 had the right to leave, but on certain terms.
20 Q. So in your opinion, what led to the use of force and to resorting
21 to bloodshed and a civil war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. In Croatia, the situation is somewhat different, because I think
23 that Croatia opted for a fait accompli policy because it was convinced
24 that if things were to be moved along according to legal procedure, they
25 would have problems with the views that would be expressed by the Serb
1 population in Croatia. They would request something that the others would
2 not be willing to give them. So then they thought that a fait accompli
3 policy would be better. "Let us secede and then we're going to deal with
4 our own matters." That is my opinion as far as Croatia is concerned.
5 Now, as far as Bosnia is concerned, why did the war break out?
6 In my opinion, and everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion, I
7 cannot make any assertions or anything, I think that the European
8 Community passed a decision that was all wrong, to have a unilateral
9 referendum of citizens held in Bosnia-Herzegovina without taking into due
10 account the fact that there are three different nations living there and
11 they should all express their views and then they should reach agreement
12 amongst themselves. In my opinion, that was the key reason why the
13 conflict broke out in Bosnia.
14 Q. All right. We don't have time to dwell on this much longer. As
15 far as this premature recognition is concerned and the role of the
16 European Community and the great -- the role of the great powers in the
17 break-up of Yugoslavia, there are many statements, those made by
18 Carrington and Vance and Mitterrand and many respectable politicians.
19 There is no need to go into all of that here now.
20 But as for what you said here just now, how the violence started,
21 is there an illustration for that, what you wrote on the 13th of July,
22 1990, where you talk about policies vis-a-vis the JNA? This is a very
23 lengthy entry. It refers to provocations, assaults, insults of the Serbs,
24 of the JNA, attacks on the JNA, and so on and so forth. That was the
25 scenario that actually reflected what happened afterwards and was
1 escalated further.
2 A. This entry is something that has to do with the scenario of
3 Croatia's struggle to attain independence. It is authentic. It was
4 obtained in its authentic form, and it includes examples of many instances
5 of brutal behaviour towards all who were opposed to it. It indicates an
6 impermissible struggle for the objectives that they had set for
8 Q. Now let's just clarify one thing. It has to do with the actual
9 sequence of events, the 17th of August, 1990, at the beginning of the
10 third third of this entry: "Tudjman sent a telegram to my address that
11 begins by saying that the rebellion in the Serb municipalities in Croatia
12 began after I received a delegation of Serbs from Croatia several days
13 ago. Between the lines he says that I encouraged them to rebel. He has
14 forgotten that the Serb rebellion began after he came to power, or he was
15 pretending not to know."
16 At that time you were president of the Presidency; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You were receiving delegations from Croatia, Macedonia,
19 Montenegro, Serbia, all parts of the country; isn't that right?
20 A. Well, of course. That was the prevalent practice. Everybody had
21 the right to make an appointment to have a meeting. And it is the legal
22 representatives of the Serbs from Croatia who came, who had their cultural
23 and other organisations there. There were even representatives of the
24 Serb Orthodox Church.
25 Q. So in no way you or anybody else in Belgrade took part in
1 instigating anyone to rebel, as it is put here.
2 A. No. What they presented were the political problems they had in
3 Croatia, starting with the change of the constitution that they disagreed
4 with, all the way up to abolishing the Cyrillic alphabet, which is their
5 alphabet, and everything else that we have already referred to here, not
6 to repeat all of it yet again, and they appealed for assistance to them so
7 that they could have this changed so that the situation would be reverted
8 to the way it was before so they could live normally.
9 Of course I said that we acknowledged this, and that we are going
10 to work with the Croatian authorities and try to resolve this. There were
11 two sessions of the Presidency that dealt with similar matters. One was
12 in September 1990, and the other one in May 1991. And at the previous
13 session, I think we talked about that, the 8th and 9th of May, I believe.
14 And at both sessions, the Presidency stated that those were the reasons
15 for the conflicts in Croatia. That is to say, the Serb rights that were
16 threatened. And at both sessions the Presidency insisted that these
17 questions be discussed between the Croatian authorities and the Serb
18 representatives there.
19 There was nothing dramatic there at that meeting; this was
20 presented at the session of the Presidency. And as for what Tudjman said,
21 well, that's the style of shifting responsibility to someone else for what
22 was going on over there, because of what they had done, nothing else.
23 Q. Very well. Let us just summarise this part. A delegation comes
24 to see you, you listen to what they have to say, you pass on the
25 information to the Presidency meeting, meetings of the Presidency that you
1 quote from confirm that those complaints are based on real facts.
2 A. Yes, and they appealed that these matters be addressed and
3 resolved in Croatia between the Croatian authorities and Serb
4 representatives. That was a permanent approach we took, that it should be
5 resolved between them.
6 Q. So one cannot under any circumstances infer that Belgrade
7 encouraged any conflicts over there.
8 A. This sentence may have been lightly put as my personal response to
9 Tudjman - he probably didn't read this diary - that he said that the
10 rebellion had started after they had come to see me, and I said no. The
11 rebellion started after he came into power. And that was a fact. How
12 could have I provoked a rebellion in Croatia? They were rebelling against
13 his behaviour, not mine.
14 Q. Just one more matter from the diary. The 27th of August, 1990,
15 August 1990 now we're talking about, the end of August. We had a
16 tripartite meeting, Slobodan Milosevic, Kajdomcaj and myself. Kajdomcaj
17 in those days was president of the Presidency of Kosovo, wasn't he?
18 A. Yes, that's right. On the 27th of August this is.
19 Q. And Kajdomcaj actually was asking the Presidency to protect Kosovo
20 from Serbia, and you say that, "Both Slobodan and I told him that that was
21 neither necessary nor possible. Kosovo must solve its problems in Serbia
22 and with Serbia. It is not possible to bypass Serbia. We suggested to
23 him that he activate his Presidency on a policy of the unity of Serbia.
24 Kosovo in Serbia and with it in Yugoslavia, that that was his job and his
25 responsibility and that we would whole-heartedly support him in that."
1 He refused allegedly not because he did not agree with such
2 positions, because according to what I remember too, he agreed with our
3 positions but he didn't want to make such a statement. Isn't that right,
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then you say: "After the meeting with Kajdomcaj, Slobodan
7 informs me that Jusuf Zejnulahu, the former president of the Executive
8 Council of Kosovo, is directly cooperating with the SUP of Croatia and
9 Slovenia, that is the Ministry of the Interior, and with Ante Markovic
10 with a view to toppling the Serbian leadership. They have footage of
11 actual conversations clearly showing that Ante Markovic criticised
12 Zejnulahu for having adopted the declaration on Kosovo, because he, Ante,
13 had allegedly made all the preparations and practically speaking was going
14 to bring down Slobodan Milosevic with his programme and activities. After
15 this mistake of his, Slobodan succeeded in rehabilitating himself
16 politically. He advised him to listen to him and everything would be
17 according to plan and all right."
18 This link between Ante Markovic, the Ministry of Interior of
19 Slovenia and Croatia, and Zejnulahu in Kosovo, was it then revealed?
20 A. This intercepted conversation, just as the Tribunal has in its
21 possession many intercepted conversations, was an authentic document that
22 our intelligence service had in its possession, and it speaks for itself.
23 What I said about Ante Markovic as the federal Prime Minister, that by his
24 programmes and reforms which might have had some logic in the context of a
25 market economy was run in such a way as to impoverish Serbia to such an
1 extent that a rebellion would be staged which would bring down our
2 government. That was his plan. And the people in Kosovo felt that they
3 should proclaim their own republic and act independently regardless of
4 what Markovic thought, and that is why he criticised them. So they didn't
5 act according to his instructions?
6 A. Yes. He felt that that was a secure path that he was taking and
7 that it couldn't be uncovered. However, they acted contrary to those
8 instructions and this did not suit him.
9 Q. I'd like to clear up a few more points, though we've covered many
10 of them. Just a few little things having to do with what you've said at
11 the end of your testimony regarding my political characteristics, that I
12 am an autocrat, and you say that though I did consult people around me, I
13 was always the one making the decisions. Was that quite like that, Boro,
14 as you put it?
15 A. Whatever I wrote down in the book called Book on Milosevic and
16 what I said here is my personal view and my personal conviction. Of
17 course it need not necessarily be correct. There are other people who can
18 have their own opinions. But the facts presented and the basis on which I
19 reached that conviction are accurate.
20 Q. That I made my own decisions is something I have no dispute with.
21 I certainly didn't make other people's decisions, I made my own decisions.
22 Surely a president of a republic is expected to make his own decisions,
23 not someone else's. But does that imply that I did not respect other
24 people's opinions? Does one exclude the other?
25 A. I think it was very clearly stated and that it doesn't require any
1 lengthy explanations. You respected other people's opinions if they did
2 not clash with yours as a rule.
3 Q. Very well. You met with me at least hundreds of times; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And I consulted you on as many occasions, not counting the
7 numerous telephone conversations we had, et cetera. If that were correct,
8 that I didn't respect anybody's opinion, why would I waste time having so
9 many consultations, meetings, conversations, et cetera?
10 A. It has been written in the book that that was not always so, that
11 things evolved, that in the initial period things were quite different and
12 that later on, with the strengthening of the position and prestige and
13 conviction of one's strength and abilities, that a different course of
14 action was taken, one that was the way I described it.
15 I think we understand one another very well. What we are dealing
16 with here is the marginalisation of official bodies which need to have a
17 thorough discussion before making any decisions. What happened in actual
18 fact was that, for instance, the Main Board of the party or the party
19 Congress, et cetera, would be presented with positions about which they
20 hardly had any discussion. And if they did, it was only in the spirit of
21 support which would automatically be adopted.
22 I not saying that in the course of adopting a position that was to
23 be adopted there that you did not consult anyone. I'm not saying that,
24 but I think that your word was decisive. As for me, I consider myself to
25 have been privileged. I said that I always had access to you, I was
1 always able to say what I thought, I was always able to disagree and that
2 I suffered no consequences for a long period of time, but I could never
3 decide differently from what you said. And of course I didn't have the
4 power to do that either, but this was a long time ago. Up until 1992.
5 After that, we didn't have any serious contacts, and since 1995 none at
6 all. And the turning point was the 3rd Congress of the Socialist Party of
8 Q. This turning point, when I was allegedly an autocrat, you say
9 started when we ceased having any contacts, whereas in the previous period
10 when we did have contacts, we respected one another, we had contacts, and
11 you yourself said that you never acted contrary to your convictions nor
12 could anyone make you do, that including myself.
13 A. The book shows the examples of what was done in which periods of
14 time and what this conclusion is based on, and I think this kind of a
15 debate will not clear things up unless the book is read.
16 Q. Very well, Boro. Let's not waste any more time. Since this
17 question of power was in the focus of things, surely you know how many
18 parliamentary and presidential elections were called prematurely
19 throughout that period in Serbia. How many extraordinary early elections
20 were called, parliamentary and presidential ones?
21 A. I never disputed that. In the book, I explained how many
22 unnecessary debates there were over recognition of election results, but I
23 also said that the decisive word for what would be adopted in the
24 Assemblies which were elected by the people came from you. You can deny
25 that as much as you wish. I don't consider this to be anything unnatural,
1 but I do believe that you had such great prestige and authority and power
2 that your positions were decisive.
3 In my view, sometimes those positions were formed, more recently
4 more frequently, without sufficient previous debate, and there were some
5 political errors, which I indicated in the book.
6 Q. I'm not denying at all that I was the leading figure in Serbia,
7 that I enjoyed the greatest authority, and that from the position of my
8 post and political authority I made decisions. But what I am denying is
9 that I did not respect other people's views, that I didn't take them into
10 account, that I didn't have an ear for them. That is something I do deny,
11 and that is not true.
12 A. No, no. We have to make things clear between us. Will you please
13 explain to me, tell me of a single meeting of the Main Board of the party
14 from the 3rd Congress onwards at which there was a debate, a discussion, a
15 confrontation of different views about something that was proposed? Just
16 give me one. There wasn't a single one.
17 Q. There were many sessions. I wasn't very active in the party. And
18 over the last few years, I chaired meetings of the Main Board, but the
19 rest of the time I was involved with my state duties, and everyone knows
21 A. Yes, but the decisions that were taken by the party were your
22 positions, and these were not discussed, they were just adopted as such.
23 You can say what you like about that.
24 Q. I think that we worked in a comradely and democratic manner. For
25 instance, you say up until the 3rd Congress it was democratic and since
1 the 3rd Congress it was undemocratic.
2 A. I said more democratic.
3 Q. But you were replaced in the democratic period, prior to the 3rd
4 Congress, which was held in 1996.
5 A. Well, let's go back to that, then. That session of the Main Board
6 at which I was replaced lasted 12 minutes. At that meeting, you came --
7 you came to that meeting and said, "I propose that we adopt decisions
8 regarding preparations for the 3rd Congress. For that purpose, I propose
9 the following committees," and you proposed several committees and several
10 names of people who had had those committees. There was no debate about
11 that at all. And then you said, "Also, I propose that we relieve of duty
12 Jovic, Mihajlo Markovic, Milorad Vucelic, Slobodan Jovanovic, and Pavko,"
13 without any explanations, without any debate, without a vote being taken.
14 And you said, "If you agree, let us finish and then at the next meeting we
15 will receive from these people that we have appointed as head of
16 committees, what will be discussed at the Congress, what the text will be
17 like, what the composition of the groups will be, and so on."
18 Is it true that that is how that meeting adjourned? There was no
19 debate, no questions, no proposals from the floor, nor was a proposal for
20 the Congress taken then.
21 Q. Boro, I really can't remember the details, but probably you're
22 interpreting the course of the meeting well, but really there's no sense
23 in wasting time on any such things. I would just like to remind you,
24 surely a fundamental thing is that those committees and people entrusted
25 for preparing the Congress had previously, in certain executive bodies of
1 the party, been prepared for this and proposed. Surely I didn't make them
2 up off the bat. They were all from the Main Board membership.
3 A. No. No. You came from Dayton two days before, and you
4 immediately scheduled the meeting virtually coming off the plane. There
5 were no preparations in the party. I'm vice-president of the party. We
6 didn't know that meeting would be held nor did we know that any decision
7 would be taken to prepare a Congress, nor did we discuss who would be the
8 leaders of those groups nor what kind of groups we would have. And
9 especially we didn't know that anybody would be replaced.
10 Q. Did you have any objections about those groups and the people
11 appointed to those groups? Were they inappropriate?
12 A. Now we come to the main point: Everything that you proposed had
13 no objections. I didn't attend. I was replaced in my absence. I was not
14 even informed that my question would be on the agenda. But that is not
15 important. This only illustrates the method of work. The party is the
16 central place where everything was decided; who would be a deputy, what
17 the positions those deputies would take in the Assembly, et cetera, et
18 cetera; how the government would work. So it was very important. And you
19 cannot deny what I wrote down in the best of intentions, not to
20 discriminate against you but to make sure that in the future no such
21 things would be done.
22 Q. Very well, Boro. Surely you are aware that the Main Board of the
23 party - and it had some 300 members, I'm sure more than 300, in fact -
24 that they were elected from all the municipalities across Serbia and that
25 these were people many of whom I didn't even know personally? There must
1 have been a party structure, a party procedure with proposals coming from
2 the grassroots and going up to the Main Boards of the party. Is that so
3 or not?
4 A. You're talking about something else now. I'm saying here how the
5 people were proposed to prepare the Congress and how people who were going
6 to be dismissed were identified. That's one thing. Now, if we go on from
7 there, how a list of members for the Main Board was proposed, people who
8 were to be elected at the 3rd Congress of the SPS.
9 Q. Surely they were proposed in party organs, local boards, district
10 boards, et cetera. This whole party apparatus would deal with those
11 things and not me. Surely you know that.
12 A. I know that that is how it should have been and that proposals did
13 come from the grassroots. I wasn't involved because I had already been
14 excluded, but I do know that there were proposals made and that they were
15 edited in your office. Of course you were the party president, you were
16 entitled to do that. But the lists were reduced. Earlier on, we had more
17 names proposed than we were to elect.
18 Q. Boro, let us not waste time. Was I always in favour of a secret
20 A. Yes. That is valid if people are proposed as candidates
21 democratically, if there are more candidates than seats. Secret -- a
22 secret ballot doesn't mean anything if I decide who the candidates will be
23 and nobody else can be elected.
24 Q. For example, how would you explain that in a secret ballot I get
25 all the votes and this is publicly announced? Surely if there had been
1 one vote against me it would have been clear that something was not in
2 order. Without any exception. How do you explain that? Did I perhaps
3 tell them, "Look here, you must all vote for me in a secret ballot"?
4 A. Well, we're now moving on to a different topic. I never
5 questioned your absolute authority. What I did question was the
6 democratic method of work. Now, they accepted that and that's their
8 Q. All right. Fine. Fine. So when I win all the votes through a
9 secret ballot you're saying that's not democratic?
10 A. No, that's not what I said. I said it wasn't democratic to make
11 decisions later on and not through your choice and your election. That's
12 a different question.
13 Q. Yes. My election is a different question, but let's just move on
14 to one more topic briefly.
15 You say that I held the monopoly over the media. However, you
16 know full well that you mentioned the daily Politika and Radio-Television
17 Serbia. So there was no monopoly, but there was influence that was
18 wielded by the party, I myself, the government, and so on, on media like
19 the daily Politika.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But are we disputing that a vast number of newspapers - and I
22 think that in Yugoslavia at that time there were 2.500 registered media, I
23 don't have time to enumerate them all - but in addition to the daily
24 Politika, you had other daily newspapers, such as Blic, Glas Javnosti,
25 Borba, Nasa Borba, Telegraf, Nedeljne Novosti, Nin, Vreme, Studio B, B92,
1 then the various agencies, Beta, Fonet, the television networks; and all
2 that was in the hands of the opposition; isn't that right?
3 A. It is right that you did not wield influence on those particular
4 papers or local television stations for the most part where our party
5 wasn't in power. There were a lot of municipalities where our party was
6 not in power.
7 Q. All right. So we're not disputing the fact that a large number of
8 newspapers existed which we were not able to influence, and I wasn't able
9 to influence either myself; isn't that right?
10 A. Yes, that is right.
11 Q. Well, there you go then. Now, do you remember that in the 11
12 years from 1989 to the year 2000 a single newspaper was banned and
13 prohibited from being published?
14 A. No, I don't remember that.
15 Q. And do you remember that in Kosovo, for example, there were about
16 20-odd papers coming out in Albanian? They were all opposition and
17 separatist oriented.
18 A. Yes, that is true. They had their television channels and their
19 radio stations too.
20 Q. Yes, they did. And were they extremely impudent towards me and
21 towards the authorities and towards Serbia? Was any of their -- were any
22 of their issues ever banned?
23 A. No, but we're dealing with other matters here.
24 Q. All right. Now, you were talking about a non-democratic regime.
25 Did we have any political prisoners in prison at the time?
1 A. As far as I know, we didn't.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 A. I apologise, but I have to explain what I've just said and
4 expound. When it came to state television and state radio stations and
5 state-run newspapers that wielded the greatest influence over the
6 populace, because you could -- there was a television station, a radio in
7 every home, whereas papers have a more limited scope, of course the
8 greatest influence on the people was the one wielded by state television
10 And the second point is yes, there were a lot of newspapers,
11 because our people in general, except in the large centres, usually don't
12 read newspapers. They became impoverished and didn't have the money to
13 buy the various newspapers. So the main information they received was
14 from channel 1 of Radio-Television Serbia.
15 Q. All right, all right.
16 A. If I say they had the main impact, then 100 others weren't the
17 same as this one, so that's one question, and of course there were
18 hundreds of others. So your influence on the selection and election of
19 cadres in these organs was decisive, and you can't question that, you
20 can't dispute that at all.
21 Q. Boro, I am not quarreling with you here. I have enumerated some
22 highly respected newspapers, not only small local papers. I quoted the
23 major media, and you yourself said we didn't wield influence on them. So
24 we cannot speak of a closed media space, therefore, let alone the
25 possibility of the fact that all -- you could buy any newspapers and all
1 kinds of newspapers in Yugoslavia. But let's deal with just two more
2 questions, two more issues, and I think I will succeed in concluding my
3 cross-examination, or how shall I put it, to realise my wish to end within
4 these two sessions.
5 And I would just like to ask you to answer two more questions for
6 me, please. You said by way of illustration to illustrate - how shall I
7 put this? - my authoritarian conduct, that I made the decision to disband
8 the Assembly of Serbia; is that right?
9 A. That's what is written, yes. That's what it says, yes.
10 Q. I did? Was that my constitutional right as president of the
11 Assembly of Serbia? And in the constitution, it says, doesn't it, Boro,
12 that the president of the republic pursuant to a government proposal,
13 which is not negligible, can take a decision to disband the Assembly?
14 Isn't that right?
15 A. Now, why would we quarrel and dispute something that is quite
16 clear? You couldn't have disbanded it had you not had the right to do so.
17 Of course you could have disbanded it or not disbanded it, that's another
18 matter. But my observation, the one I make, should be interpreted as one
19 of a series of observations which speak of the global characteristics and
20 traits, and it is true, you did have the right following the proposal by
21 the Prime Minister --
22 Q. No, the government.
23 A. Yes, the government. And you disbanded the Assembly on that
24 grounds. But let's understand each other: The government was ours, it
25 was our government.
1 Q. Where --
2 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. We can only deal with this
3 one at a time.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it was. And of course you
5 could influence the government to make a proposal of that kind. Let's not
6 go into those waters now. So everything was according to the constitution
7 but it was nevertheless done. It was the step you took.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right, Boro, in any country in the West, for example, the
10 person who has influence on the government and who holds the government --
11 or let's take Greece, the closest country, for example, decides to curtail
12 the term of office and mandate and post the elections when they see fit.
13 Is that non-democratic? Or, for example, any other Western country. Take
14 whichever one you like, where the person in power can call premature
15 elections and disband the Assembly and hold a round of elections. And
16 elections were automatically called once I had disbanded the Assembly.
17 Isn't that so?
18 A. Yes, it is. We're not discussing and debating the point of
19 whether it was pursuant to the constitution or not. The observation made
20 here is that you had such great authority and such great power that you
21 were able to do that too. Of course, you couldn't have done it without
22 the constitution, but under other circumstances, had you not had this
23 great authority, there could have been a great deal of opposition,
24 rallies, manifestations of different kinds. In this case, you didn't have
25 that because you had that enormous authority.
1 Q. Yes. And I disbanded the Assembly and what happened at the
2 elections that were automatically called immediately afterwards? We won
3 the majority of deputy votes in the Assembly of Serbia; right? Which
4 meant that the reaction on the part of the citizens was not a negative
5 reaction, it was a positive reaction, in fact showed that I was justified
6 in disbanding the Assembly. Isn't that so?
7 A. Yes. Probably we did win more seats, that is probably correct,
8 but everybody interprets it the way they like. But the sense of what I
9 say in my book was not that I contested it, whether you had the right or
10 not, whether it was customary or not, the sense of it was to show just how
11 much respect and authority and power you did wield to do what you set your
12 mind to do.
13 Q. Yes. And I disbanded the Assembly and I would disband it once
14 again faced with a similar situation. And now they have disbanded the
15 Assembly who did not have -- have not had a president for a month, for a
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, we needn't go into that. We're not going into
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Just one more question. As Mr. Nice asked you something about a
22 personality cult for me, and you went on to explain that my photographs
23 were carried around. Well, I saw on television they're still being
24 carried around, I see, at different meetings although I've been in prison
25 for three years already.
1 Now do you know, Boro -- just answer me this one more question,
2 please: Do you know of any other example of a politician -- or, rather,
3 do you know that I on two occasions precisely in that same newspaper
4 Politika, which is read mostly in Serbia and is the number one paper in
5 Serbia, that I myself asked -- I addressed the citizens and asked them not
6 to carry around my photographs and pictures. Do you remember that?
7 A. No, I don't. You probably did do so if you say so.
8 Q. All right, I'll ask my associates to find those issues of Politika
9 so that we can have that black on white. But don't you remember that?
10 A. Well, I don't remember noticing it, but I believe it if you say
12 Q. All right, Boro.
13 A. Will you just -- will the Court allow me to say one more sentence?
14 The personality cult did not reflect itself only in this carrying around
15 of photographs and pictures. Almost all your - how shall I say it? -
16 close associates, the ones you chose to support your policy, especially in
17 the latter half of the period and which -- who automatically accepted
18 proposals, the good ones and the bad ones, wherever they spoke publicly,
19 and this was something I noticed very markedly, ascribed to you all the
20 good things whereas all the bad things they blamed others for. So nobody
21 was able to make a speech without emphasising your personality. And then
22 on television they could say, "full support from all sides." Perhaps you
23 didn't notice that, but ordinary citizens, and I was an ordinary citizen
24 myself from 1995 onwards, it was just a little too much, a drop too much
25 under the difficult conditions that we lived in.
1 Q. All right, Boro. Now, my associates know very well that the main
2 criticisms I made was to say that people always would refer to me and say
3 they relied on me and that many didn't do that because of me but for
5 A. Possibly. I can't say. I don't know. If that was how it was,
6 then you should have been a little more persistent towards that stance and
7 not otherwise.
8 Q. All right, Boro. I have to intervene here and just say several
9 minor points that I don't think are suitable and adequate, and I think are
10 far from any kind of morals. I don't want to criticise you for that, but
11 I think there were some abuses made.
12 It was stated here that somebody wiped out from a film tape some
13 images. This happened in certain regimes that footage was remounted and
14 certain images deleted and edited and wiped out. Do you really say that
15 somebody wiped your image of a tape, off some footage?
16 A. From 1995 onwards, since I was replaced, for the 28th of March
17 celebrations, in all the previous years --
18 Q. You've already explained that to us. So don't repeat what you've
19 already explained.
20 A. But you've asked me and you don't want to hear the answer.
21 Q. Answer me yes or no: Did somebody wipe your image and face off
22 some tape, off some footage?
23 A. If you're not going to let me answer you're not going to let me
24 answer; I'm going to answer but not the way you want to hear.
25 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Mr. Jovic may have the time that he
1 requires to answer the question. You raised it, Mr. Milosevic, and
2 therefore the witness should have the chance to answer.
3 Yes, Mr. Jovic.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The official session, ceremonial
5 session of the Assembly held in 1989, on the 28th of March and the 28th of
6 March is in fact the date that was taken as a national holiday. That date
7 is observed every year, and it is evoked on television Serbia when they
8 show the event that took place.
9 Right up until 1995, this event showed the Presidency of the
10 Assembly, the president of the Assembly delivering the speech and the
11 people invited.
12 After 1995, you could see the people applauding, led by Slobodan
13 Milosevic, but you no longer saw the face of the president proclaiming the
14 constitution. So I don't say that I was wiped out from the tape, but that
15 part of the tape was no longer televised. It was no longer shown, and
16 that's a fact.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. Now, as you've had a lot of time to get to know me in
19 all the years that we spent together, do you really think that I had
20 anything to do with it what part of the tape would be shown, what footage
21 would be shown to commemorate this ceremony and this event? And those
22 instructions could have come from me?
23 A. You wield a great deal of influence on the people doing the job
24 and they know full well that if they were to act differently, they could
25 be replaced.
1 Q. So do you want to ascribe to me the fact that you weren't shown on
2 that footage?
3 A. I'm just taking note of what happened and that was the result of
4 the mechanism working under your leadership, I never said that you
5 personally ordered it, but that you did have a decisive say and decisive
6 influence and you could bring them to task, that is certainly true.
7 Q. All right. Very well, Boro. But since you quoted the example of
8 not being invited, that they didn't invite you to your native village to
9 celebrate the primary school festivities, do you really think that
10 somebody from Belgrade intervened to have you not put on the invitation
12 A. The president of the party told me that and so did the local
13 mayor. They came and said, "Please show a little understanding. We have
14 been told by Belgrade, because they are the organisers of the
15 celebration," now whether it actually came from Belgrade or whether they
16 were just afraid of Belgrade or you or something like that, but they told
17 us, "If we invite you to the ceremony, the ceremony will quite simply not
18 take place." And I said, "Hold the ceremony without me. I don't have to
20 Q. Boro, please. You were asked different questions here in the
21 conditional tense. Can you really believe that that could have actually
22 come from me, those instructions that you should not be invited to attend
23 the school ceremony in your native town?
24 A. I firmly believe that everybody was prohibited from contacting me
25 and inviting me to attend anywhere, because if they had to do so anywhere,
1 then a national holiday was the right occasion to invite me as the former
2 president, et cetera. But that was never done, as parliamentary
3 president. That was not done and that could only have been -- I could
4 only have been wiped out following instructions for -- by someone or that
5 people thought you probably wanted it that way and then acted accordingly.
6 Q. All right. Now, whether it was the former or the latter, you know
7 me very well so I'm sure you don't believe that I said don't invite Boro
8 Jovic to attend the Niksic school ceremony.
9 A. Not for Niksic but for state holidays I'm sure you did. And in
10 Niksic there are people who like to cater to your opinion so they followed
11 those guidelines.
12 Q. Well, thank you very much. And I said I'd complete my
13 cross-examination within two sessions, I have succeeded in doing so,
14 although I do have a few more questions but I'm going to give you one
15 whole session to get through what you have to get through. Thank you very
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, might it be convenient to deal with the
19 witness timetabling issues at this stage, if there's time?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness can withdraw and have a longer
21 break. It has nothing to do with him, it's just for the future, with the
22 Court's leave. It's not for me to say such things.
23 JUDGE MAY: I think let's just deal with it now quickly.
24 MR. NICE: Yes.
25 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with one matter. Witness B-1684 was
1 mentioned yesterday. We will, Judge Robinson dissenting, admit the
2 transcript of that witness under Rule 92 bis without cross-examination,
3 and reasons will be given in due course in writing.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we published a list. We were just going
5 to live with the chart but we actually published a list in the traditional
6 format today of witnesses coming because it's judged at this particular
7 stage it would be more useful, and I think that the Court wanted to raise
8 the question of the week of the 8th of December.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The week of the 8th, and I notice from this
10 chart the week of the 15th of December. Now, the week of the 15th of
11 December has been announced for a sitting day to hear that witness.
12 MR. NICE: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: 15th, 16th --
14 MR. NICE: We're sitting, as I understand it, just 15th, 16th and
15 17th and we're not sitting on the 18th. That will be amended.
16 JUDGE MAY: 15th, 16th, and 17th we'll sit. Yes.
17 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I think the court wanted to raise
18 something about the 8th.
19 JUDGE MAY: That's right, the next week. The position on that
20 week is as follows: As you know, Judge Robinson is away for medical
21 reasons until Wednesday, the 10th of December. I had hoped that we would
22 be able to sit instead on Thursday, the 11th in the morning. However, no
23 court is apparently available. So at the moment we're left with Wednesday
24 the 10th. Having discussed the matter with Judge Robinson, he has been
25 good enough to suggest that if it's possible and he were available on the
1 9th and fit enough to sit, we would sit that day. So if this is a
2 possible route as far as witnesses are concerned, the 9th of December
3 would be a day which we could sit. It will be kept open. But at the
4 moment, it can't be certain whether we'd sit or not. It depends on the
5 Judge's medical condition.
6 We will not sit on the 8th in any event, but if possible, on the
7 8th if the Judge is fit enough we will sit on the 9th.
8 Mr. Nice, I hope that will be a possibility for the Prosecution.
9 MR. NICE: We will take, of course, any time that is available and
10 we will be flexible.
11 Can I say without naming the witness that the witness presently
12 listed on the 8th -- and I realise that that block will have to be
13 deleted --
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. NICE: -- was one who it was important really to call roughly
16 then, important to call before the witness who is identified in the next
17 block second down, but is a witness in respect of whom we will call
18 evidence on limited numbers of topics and will only -- the Court will
19 remember an earlier occasion when I said I mustn't seek to put pressure on
20 the Chamber and Your Honour was good enough to be understanding of our
21 predicament, a predicament perhaps revealed by the timetabling of this
22 witness that we're dealing with now, the witness on the 8th is a witness
23 who could be as long or as short as one pleases. He is a witness who I
24 may have to reconsider if there's a risk of the timetable being extended.
25 He's a witness who I would very much like to call for limited purposes
1 that I will identify in an abbreviated draft statement which will be
2 available to the Court as soon as possible, and it is going to be a
3 witness who is going to be difficult, I think, for us to take in the
4 previous week. So there are a number of problems with not sitting on the
5 8th. I hope I've outlined them not too elliptically.
6 And the position about that witness, that is, the need for us to
7 have some certainty as to how long overall the witness will take, because
8 if it's uncertain we simply may have to do without that witness in favour
9 of other witnesses, in my calculation is going to apply to at least
10 another four or five significant witnesses, looking at the programme
11 between now and the end of February, and I'll give the Chamber notice of
12 who those witnesses are.
13 The Chamber has asked, I think, informally -- not informally, has
14 indicated to us that written applications for 89(F) statements to be
15 admitted should be made. We will make an application in respect of all
16 witnesses who aren't the subject of separate 92 bis rulings. That will be
17 with you as soon as it can be for good order, and in that notice I'll
18 identify the witnesses for whom we have real timetable concerns.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you. If the legal officer would
20 come up, please.
21 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
24 JUDGE MAY: We can sit now until 2.00 sharp, and half each, I
25 would think, Mr. Tapuskovic and Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: I would protest that, if I may respectfully be a little
2 more assertive than is my wont. The amici throughout this case are, of
3 course, arguing on behalf of the accused. The accused has had a great
4 deal of time with the witness who is disposed to be favourable towards
5 him, in our respectful submission, and I would ask you to make the
6 allocation of time more to us than to the amici.
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, let's see how we get on, shall we,
8 with that in mind. If you can finish in half an hour, we'll obviously be
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I shall really make
11 an effort, but it will be for you to judge. I do not want to be
12 pretentious in any way, but I think that what I will bring up will be
13 indeed of importance for your deliberations.
14 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jovic, I'm not going to be dealing with your
16 book in any major way, but I would insist primarily in the interest of
17 putting the right questions that would benefit the Trial Chamber in their
18 decision-making. I would like to deal only with that vital period of time
19 when you were adopting the constitution, and bearing in mind the time you
20 spent as member of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of
22 I'm really not interested, and I believe that is not relevant at
23 all, as to what happened within your party as what the interrelationships
24 were like. I would just like to quote one single sentence that you wrote
25 in your book on page 114 of your book. You will remember this, you don't
1 have to look at the book.
2 A. Which book?
3 Q. The Book on Milosevic.
4 A. Oh, I see.
5 Q. One single sentence, because I believe this is essential. It's
6 page 120, the last paragraph in the English version. You said in the
7 middle of that paragraph, having given certain characteristics in relation
8 to Slobodan Milosevic, you said: "I believed that I had to act as my
9 conscience guided me."
10 Was that the main thing that guided you while you were a member of
11 the Presidency?
12 A. Then and now, always.
13 Q. Please, if necessary, you can give all the explanations that are
14 needed, but if it is possible for you to give yes or no answers, I would
15 really appreciate it in view of the time we have available.
16 You described in your book your work as member of that commission.
17 You were actually president of that commission for constitutional changes,
18 and at the same time, you were president of the republican parliament; is
19 that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. In the period while the constitution was being prepared, you
22 worked on the drafting of the constitution permanently, as far as I
23 understood your book. You worked in accordance with your own conscience
24 and independently.
25 A. Well, independently is a relative thing, because you cannot do
1 much independently when drafting a constitution. You had to cooperate
2 with others all the time, but I was the one who had the position of
3 greatest responsibility.
4 Q. Thank you. But in your book, you explain that Slobodan Milosevic
5 was under considerable pressure from Kosovo coming from the Albanians.
6 A. Not coming from the Albanians.
7 Q. All right. Well, what was requested was that amendment 47 be
8 given up on completely.
9 A. The Serbs from Kosovo were confident that the constitutional
10 changes and amendments would be rejected unless we gave up on that
11 amendment, and they persuaded Milosevic that that was the case.
12 Q. All right. And you said, and you wrote on page 45 of the Serbian
13 version, and this is page 51, paragraph 1, of the English version, you
14 say: "It would have been a tragic mistake had Milosevic conceded. Nobody
15 would have understood it in Serbia regardless of how genuine the risk was
16 to lose even that which was unmistakably achieved." Is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then, two paragraphs further down, page 46 or page 51,
19 paragraph 3, in the English version: "After a dramatic debate and many
20 interruptions during the Kosovo Assembly session, the constitutional
21 changes were voted for in their entirety, including amendment 47." Is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was there also some trouble in terms of the language? The
25 official language at that time was not Serbian or, rather, it was Serbian
1 but it wasn't the Cyrillic alphabet. And is it correct that the main
2 influence exercised over you in favour of introducing the Cyrillic
3 alphabet - and there was quite a bit of a problem in this respect in
4 Kosovo - that this influence came from the most popular member of the
5 Academy at the time, Professor Lukic, a professor of law? Was it under
6 his influence that you strove for the Cyrillic alphabet receiving the
7 status that was he envisaged by the constitution?
8 A. You got things a bit confused. I would like to explain this in a
9 few sentences without taking up too much time. This doesn't have to do
10 with Kosovo at all. The Albanians had the right to their own language and
11 their own alphabet and that was not disputed. What this was about was
12 that according to the Serbian constitution, both the Cyrillic and the
13 Roman alphabets were the official alphabets of the Serbian language. And
14 in the Yugoslav constitution it also said the Cyrillic and Roman alphabets
15 equally. Traditionally, the Serb alphabet was the Cyrillic alphabet. We,
16 however, espoused the Roman alphabet in the meantime but in the other
17 parts of the country they did not use the Cyrillic alphabet so the
18 Cyrillic alphabet started disappearing even within Serbia itself. So
19 Professor Lukic made this proposal and we accepted that it should be
20 written that the Cyrillic alphabet is the official Serbian alphabet but of
21 course, the Latin alphabet could be used as well and everybody can write
22 in the Latin alphabet, but in schools the Cyrillic alphabet had to be
23 studied and in state institutions the Cyrillic alphabet had to be used.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Another question in relation to this:
25 Mr. Slobodan Milosevic did not make an effort to try to persuade you of
1 these things here so that it went the way it went. In relation to Mesic's
2 election, you were opposed to it and you even thought that it would be a
3 reason for you to give up on working in the Presidency altogether, if I
4 understood your texts correctly. But Slobodan Milosevic was in favour of
5 electing Mesic to that position; is that right?
6 A. No. That's not correct. There is an episode. He said at one
7 point, "Let's elect him and we're going to outsmart him later." I didn't
8 even understand what this was all about. But Slobodan Milosevic agreed
9 that we should elect Mesic after great pressure was exerted by the
10 ministerial Troika of the European Union. And then I agreed as well
11 because there is no point in quarreling with the entire world over
12 something that is of that nature. And as for this, I used these two
13 examples to show that Milosevic agreed to some things that he did not
14 agree with in one case, and in the other case he was not even abreast of
15 what was going on. So I described the period in which it was possible to
16 discuss things normally with Milosevic and when people could tell him
17 things cannot be the way you want them to be and he would even agree to
19 Q. Thank you, you've explained that. Just a few more questions in
20 relation to this particular work, the work of this group that is called
21 "the six" in your texts. Could you please explain to the Judges what the
22 function of the six was. Was this a group where views were exchanged and
23 nothing else, that no decisions were made there, especially not decisions
24 related to matters included in the indictment if my understanding is
25 correct. These were discussions where there were even squabbles, like
1 between you and Mr. Kadijevic when you discussed certain matters. Is that
2 right or is that not right?
3 A. I wrote in my statement quite clearly what this was all about,
4 that this was not any kind of a formal group that could pass any kind of
5 decisions. This was a consultative group which, after this discussion,
6 had the ability in a way, the moral obligation, to carry out in a
7 synchronised manner what we had agreed upon within the authorities where
8 they worked.
9 Q. Of course, after that, when you would go back to your own line of
10 work, everybody decided according to his own conscience and according to
11 his own convictions.
12 A. At that meeting we would also speak in accordance with our own
13 conscience and our own convictions.
14 Q. Thank you. I understand what you said just now. That is quite
15 justified. However, as far as your work in the Presidency of the SFRY is
16 concerned, again you had your very own position that depended on you
17 alone, on your conscience alone, just like everybody else who was a member
18 of the Presidency of Yugoslavia did.
19 A. I explained that. I had no conflicts with the leadership of
20 Serbia or with Mr. Milosevic in relation to the positions I represented in
21 the Presidency of Yugoslavia. I consider them to be my own, although with
22 regard to major issues, I consulted him from time to time or in concrete
23 cases with regard to concrete matters.
24 Q. But you had this one single vote of yours that could never be
25 dominant. You had to act within the rules, as you already explained.
1 A. Well, we discussed things at the level of the Presidency. People
2 tried to persuade each other but nobody could issue orders to each other.
3 Q. Thank you. But let me just deal with a few facts now. Is that
4 how it was on the 6th of March, 1991, when the use of the army was
5 ordered, as explained in paragraph 60? Is that the way it was on the 9th
6 of March, as explained in paragraph 61 of your statement? Is that the way
7 it was on the 13th of March, 1991? Was that the way it was on the 12th of
8 June, 1991 when the paramilitaries were discussed? And I will try to
9 elaborate on this subject, if I can here before the Trial Chamber, and of
10 course on the 1st of October when you were deciding about this in the
11 presence of Tupurkovski and Bogicevic that powers should be taken in the
12 spirit of the constitution of Yugoslavia by the Rump Presidency of the
13 SFRY. And finally, I don't know if I will be able to deal with this,
14 everything that was included in tab 7, 8, 9 and has to do with the session
15 of the Presidency of the SFRY from the 2nd of March, 1992, that you always
16 decided the way you thought you should, that you acted in accordance with
17 your own conscience, responsibility?
18 A. Well, there is no need for me to repeat the same thing time and
19 again. I think things stand the way I put it a few minutes ago.
20 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 107. This first sentence of that statement
21 of yours that you signed in the OTP. You said there, and that's the first
22 sentence: "During 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army occasionally informed
23 the Presidency of the SFRY about the paramilitary units that were obliged
24 to be placed under their control." Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you now please have a look at the book "The Last Days of the
2 SFRY," page 365, the 12th of July. That's the entry. And it says there,
3 quite literally -- this is 1991, by the way: At the session of the
4 Presidency, Veljko practically asked for the disarming of paramilitary
5 organisations, 4. giving the army the authority to do that. They do not
6 accept his item number 4.
7 Was that the way it was?
8 A. Yes, but I have to explain this.
9 Q. Believe me, I'm going to ask you a great many things about this
10 meeting because I think it's important.
11 A. However, without my explanation here it would be confusing.
12 Q. Believe me, there's going to be no confusion. I have the
14 A. Well, you may have the stenogram but I'm addressing the Trial
16 Veljko asked for the disbanding of paramilitary forces in Croatia.
17 This has nothing to do with paramilitary formations that are mentioned in
18 my statement here where the army was duty-bound or, rather, where they
19 were duty bound to be subordinated to the army. These are paramilitary
20 units in the sense of volunteer units from Serbia, and this has to do with
21 the disarming of paramilitary units in Croatia.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: Your Honours, until now, I have not received a
23 single document from the OTP in accordance with Rule 68 that is this
24 important for your deliberations and your decision-making like this
25 document, the stenogram that I got along with another witness. This is a
1 document which says something which is quite to the contrary of what Mr.
2 Jovic has been saying now. The 12th of July, 1991, chaired by Stipe
3 Mesic. When Stipe Mesic was here we did not have this document. And the
4 members of all the -- the representatives of all the other republics in
5 the Presidency were there, only Drnovsek was absent, and Ante Markovic was
6 present, who was a just bit late. This was only 12 days after Mesic was
7 appointed president of the Presidency and only a few days after the events
8 that took place in Slovenia, and I believe that this explains many of the
9 circumstances involved, and you should be made aware of them.
10 This is a document that incorporates words that were uttered by
11 Mesic, Ante Markovic, Jovic, and Kadijevic. There are such things that I
12 think I can deal with this topic very quickly, but nevertheless, I think
13 it's so important that I have to deal with it. I believe that this
14 document should be tendered into evidence. It was translated. The OTP
15 has this on their own CD, it exists in the English language.
16 And what I would like to ask about is the following: This is a
17 stenogram, and it is strictly prohibited to have them copied, so I did
18 what is strictly prohibited. I photocopied them, these stenographic
19 notes, I have to admit that. And I would like to put this document before
20 Mr. Jovic to remind him about certain things, and I can do this within
21 about 15 minutes.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well, yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What's this all about? What am I
24 supposed to look at?
25 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Jovic, I'm going to explain all of this very nicely to you and
2 then you're going to deal with it.
3 Page 85. Please take a look at page 85 of the stenographic notes.
4 A. Just a minute, please.
5 Q. I got this from the OTP. This is a state secret. It was treated
6 as a state secret.
7 MR. NICE: You were, if we'd been given advance notice by --
8 A. I've found it, please go ahead.
9 MR. NICE: If we had been given advance notice of the intent to
10 produce this document we could have had it available here and been able to
11 help you, but I'm afraid that it didn't happen and I can't. I'd also like
12 to have an indication of what it is so I can call for my own copy.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] ERN 03046346-0346597. I never
14 know, Your Honours, what is going to reach me without having been
15 clarified by the time my turn comes, especially all this that has to do
16 with Rule 68. And the only effort I make here before you is to provide
17 you with the documents you haven't got before you so you can learn about
18 these things that are contained in these documents that are related to
19 Rule 68.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: The point made by Mr. Nice, though, is that had
21 you given advance notice, then Mr. Nice would have been able to get copies
22 so that we all could have had copies of it. Proceed.
23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I said page 75?
25 A. I found it.
1 Q. Please look at the end, Ante Markovic: "Absolutely, the
2 Presidency must be in session continuously, just like the Federal
3 Executive Council. There is not a single day that we don't get together
4 because every day something new happens."
5 MR. NICE: May interrupt to help? It appears that this may
6 actually be already an exhibit in the case, Exhibit 32 -- is that -- 328,
7 tab 16. It's possibly the exhibit that Mr. Tapuskovic is referring to.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's go on. Yes.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I think only parts of it, not the
10 whole document.
11 Q. So I was saying: "Something new happens every day. We need to
12 come to an agreement. We can't enter into correspondence with you since
13 the time you were constituted nor in the period from the 15th of May until
14 the 1st of July. You were not present at the constituent session."
15 Does that mean, Mr. Jovic, that you were unable to work in the
16 Presidency from the 15th of May until the 1st of July, which means for
17 almost a month and a half?
18 A. First of all, I'm having a great deal of difficulty in fully
19 understanding and being able to comment properly on one paragraph from an
20 enormous document. I need to grasp the meaning of the whole session and
21 what it was all about.
22 Q. I'll explain to the Judges. I need to explain the relevance. The
23 main topic of discussion here was that everything should be done to stop
24 the activities of paramilitary units. That was your subject of debate,
25 and you didn't manage to come to a decision because Stipe Mesic refused to
1 sign it. That is what happened, and that's what I want to discuss,
2 because Kadijevic requested that he disarm paramilitary formations within
3 four days, and these were not under any kind of army control in those
4 days, in which case the Yugoslav crisis would have unraveled, and this was
5 not adopted.
6 A. No, no.
7 Q. Kadijevic. I misspoke. Kadijevic.
8 A. Yes, but you just quoted what Ante Markovic had said. What you
9 took out from the shorthand notes. As for the session itself, I will
10 explain it, held on the 21st of July.
11 Q. I'll explain why I'm quoting this, because you, on page 344 of
12 what -- of this book on the break-up of Yugoslavia, that's why I'm quoting
13 you, otherwise I probably wouldn't.
14 A. Go ahead.
15 Q. On the 30th of June, 1991, at a closed session of the Council for
16 the Protection of the constitutional Order, you said, the one but last
17 paragraph in that entry of the 30th of June: "I also wish to say that any
18 decision on the use of the army on action of any kind needs to be adopted
19 by the Yugoslav Presidency and not by the Federal Executive Council
20 because it does not have the authority to do so. The Presidency exists
21 and has existed regardless of whether or not it has a president."
22 Will you please tell me how it came about that on the 25th of
23 June, 1991, a decision was taken to engage the police and the army to take
24 control of the borders, a decision that was signed by Ante Markovic? That
25 is the purpose of my question.
1 A. Well, then you should make yourself clear. The answer to that
2 question is that the Presidency had a break in its work because of
3 resignations by certain members of the Presidency, including myself, which
4 came about after the failed session of the 12th to the 15th of March.
5 That is, that the proposed decisions to disband paramilitary units were
6 not adopted. In that inter regnum, the Slovenes took advantage, not to
7 say abused the situation, to take control of the borders, including
8 customs and collection of customs duties for goods for the whole of
9 Yugoslavia and also of everything that the army guarded, not just the
10 customs officials. And in that interim period, Ante Markovic started
11 giving instructions to Kadijevic, and he did not have the right to do so,
12 according to the constitution, nor did Kadijevic have the right to follow
13 those instructions. So the mistake was on both sides. And when the
14 Presidency got together, it assessed the situation as being such that the
15 Federal Executive Council should not have given such instructions nor
16 should have the army obeyed.
17 Q. This decision was signed by Ante Markovic, wasn't it?
18 A. We did not give any such instructions. On what grounds the army
19 acted, I didn't see. The army explained that it had to obey someone. As
20 there was no Presidency, it had to listen to the government. But that is
21 not what the constitution stipulates.
22 If the Presidency can't meet and the army needs to do something,
23 then it is the army leadership that is responsible and that should take
25 Q. On the 12th, you held a session chaired by Mesic; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Bogicevic as an envoy of the Presidency returns from a trip, and
3 he says: "On the 9th of July we visited the command of the 5th Military
4 District." Do you remember that? I don't need to look for the quotation.
5 "Fire is being opened against JNA units. The Slovenes refuse to guarantee
6 safety of military men."
7 A. Reports to that effect were coming in, that the Slovenes would not
8 accept anything, they were acting arbitrarily, though they had no reason
9 to do so.
10 Does Kadijevic go on to say, and you can find this on page 31, 32,
11 33, 34 --
12 Q. I'm talking about the document, not the book.
13 A. But you have to tell me what you're referring to, because you're
14 sometimes referring to the book and sometimes to the document.
15 Q. No, the document that I've given to you. Do you remember that
16 Kadijevic said that the leadership of Slovenia -- I keep watching the
17 time, that's why I'm speaking so quickly.
18 "The leadership of Slovenia will not restore the situation along
19 the borders towards Italy, Austria, Hungary. They have been turned into
20 Slovenian borders with these states. Slovenia has control over 58 border
21 posts and the others under JNA control are completely blocked and in
22 isolation. Across these borders there will be very intensive shipments of
23 weapons." Do you remember that?
24 A. I can't remember exactly, but that was the situation generally
1 Q. Then he goes on to say: "Throughout Slovenia, around all
2 barracks, firing systems, mine poles and hedgehogs have been positioned.
3 Even frontier markings towards the border with Albania are being changed.
4 They're already 30.000 refugees." Not Albania. Sorry. That must be a
5 mistake in the minutes. Towards Austria, surely.
6 A. Yes, that must be a mistake.
7 Q. Now look at page 35, please, of the shorthand minutes.
8 A. I've found it.
9 Q. Here he says, in the middle of the page: "In the course of this
10 year, there were 108 inter-ethnic conflicts registered though there were
11 more. About 380 people killed and more than 400 were wounded. In
12 Slovenia, 44 killed and 184 wounded."
13 You remember that? I've read it out verbatim.
14 A. Yes, that's what it said in the minutes. This is stated by
15 Kadijevic. I believe that that is true if the minutes are reliable, and I
16 think they are.
17 Q. Look at the next page now perhaps. Perhaps this is the most
18 important of all with respect to paramilitary units, and I quote: "Armed
19 units outside the armed forces and only those that we were able to reach
20 in Croatia number about 100.000 men, including police, militia, reserve
21 forces, the guards, et cetera. In Slovenia, 55.000. In Krajina, 20.000.
22 Others, 20.000." Which makes a total of 195.000 men.
23 "In addition, the TO in all parts of the country is about to be
24 placed under the command of the republics as has been done fully in
25 Slovenia and partially also in Croatia. Therefore, the republican armies
1 at this point in time number about 200.000 men, organised and armed."
2 Then on the next page, it says the following: "Dear comrades,
3 That is the picture that the Supreme Command Staff indicated to the
4 president of SFRY, that this would happen. It's a reality now, and it
5 will get worse. Therefore, with able-bodied and mobilised men, the army
6 has about 140.000 men."
7 Therefore according to Kadijevic, the army had about 140.000 men
8 at that point in time, whereas the paramilitaries amount to 200.000 men.
9 Is that true?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is it also true that it was stated that JNA soldiers in Slovenia
12 amount to only 6.000?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it true that he also said, as noted in the minutes, that the
15 army wants to leave Slovenia as soon as possible primarily not to get
17 A. That's what we wanted too, and the army agreed. But the army
18 couldn't come out because they were shot at without any reason. They
19 killed 24 young men who never fired at the Slovenes nor did they have any
20 assignment to conquer or attack anyone. But Slovenia, the Slovenes needed
21 this argument that they had won their freedom by force of arms.
22 Q. Furthermore, he proposes, and this is what you were supposed to
23 decide upon under agenda item 1 on that day: The substance is that
24 immediately all armed conflicts throughout the territory should stop and
25 within four days all armed forces on the territory of SFRY be demobilised.
1 Therefore, under JNA control there wasn't a single paramilitary
2 volunteer unit at that time, but Kadijevic asked the Presidency to allow
3 him to disarm 200.000 members of paramilitary units; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now look at page 151. Kadijevic says, according to these minutes,
6 first paragraph: "And we had indicated that the example of Slovenia would
7 be copied throughout the country." Is that so? And did indeed the same
8 occur throughout the country as happened in Slovenia? Now look at the
9 paragraph of your statement and it says, "On the 20th of September 1991,
10 talks are resumed. Hadzic informed us about a fierce defensive -- Adzic
11 informed us about the fierce offensive of Croatia against the JNA, all
12 minor and some large garrisons have been captured, warehouses and in
13 Gospic the barracks were surrendered. Korenica is in jeopardy. There was
14 a grave massacre of Serbian soldiers and citizens in Gospic who had
15 sheltered in the garrison. The Virovitica garrison has fallen. The
16 Jakovo garrison, without a fight. About 60 minor facilities with 10 to 20
17 people in each have been occupied. The forces, at Varasdin [phoen] and
18 Bjelovar are at the end of their rope." Et cetera, et cetera. So all the
19 barracks were surrounded in Croatia and then later on a similar situation
20 would arise in Bosnia. Is that right?
21 A. Let us make things clear: Neither in Slovenia nor in Croatia was
22 the army deployed on front lines to wage war. It was in barracks, and it
23 was training at training grounds. Those were no wartime units they were
24 minor units. And when the Slovenes organised their paramilitary, their
25 main aim was to block those small JNA units, and they did so very easily
1 with the assistance of the civilian authorities that cut off water,
2 electricity, telephone lines, and everything else. So this wasn't any
3 kind of war between the army and Croatian units but simply a paralysis
4 established in relation to the military units.
5 Q. Does that correspond to the forecasts of Kadijevic when he said if
6 you didn't disarm the paramilitary the same would happen in Croatia and
7 Bosnia and it did indeed right up until the time the JNA left in May from
9 A. He didn't need to forecast that. We all realised that that would
11 Q. But could you also explain from the TO of Slovenia and former JNA
12 soldiers and officers and volunteers, did they constitute the army of
13 Slovenia using the weapons they seized and weapons that were imported?
14 A. I can't tell you exactly how they were composed but they were
15 formed out of Slovenes using these sources and maybe some others. In my
16 opinion, their main source were the weapons of the Territorial Defence,
17 then seizure of weapons from our army, and purchases abroad.
18 Q. Mr. Jovic, I am asking whether the TO and the army of Slovenia
19 later consisted mostly of soldiers and particularly officers who had
20 belonged to the JNA?
21 A. In the TO of each republic were the citizens of that republic. So
22 their TO consisted of Slovenes. And in the Yugoslav People's Army, there
23 were citizens of the whole of Yugoslavia.
24 JUDGE MAY: Two more minutes, please, Mr. Tapuskovic, if you
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Did this continue to happen in Krajina using JNA weapons,
3 volunteers, the people from Krajina, former officers? Did they also form
4 military units? And then in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we had three armies in
5 fact formed in the same way; the Bosnian Muslim army, the Croatian forces,
6 and the Serbian army, and then the JNA. One could say there were seven
7 different armies then. And the JNA had nowhere else to go but towards
8 Serbia. And someone said something at one of your meetings that the only
9 solution -- other solution would have been to go across Albania as it did
10 in the First World War.
11 A. It was clear the army had no permission to wage war. It didn't
12 have authority to do that. All it could do was to withdraw to territories
13 where the people supported them, where the people were not opposed to it.
14 And those were territories inhabited by Serbs in Croatia, inhabited by
15 Serbs in Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia. Those were
16 territories in which they were not under attack. So it was quite natural
17 that they should withdraw to places where they were not attacked, because
18 they didn't have the authority of the Presidency to wage war.
19 Q. Did Stipe Mesic demand that the army go back to the barracks? Was
20 that the reason that he refused to sign that document as requested by
21 Kadijevic? And I am asking you whether it was at all possible to go back
22 to the border if the army were to go back to the barracks, and was it
23 really necessary to do that and to allow itself to be occupied, to be kept
24 in an encirclement and killed?
25 A. This expression for the army go back to the barracks meant go back
1 so we can lock you up and withhold food and water. That was an obvious
2 goal. The army was in principle in the barracks during the night, but it
3 had exercise grounds where it was active, where it was working. So we
4 can't allow the troops not to come out of the barracks, because that would
5 be wrong.
6 Q. As my time is really running out, these are your words on page 123
7 of the minutes. Will you please have a look.
8 JUDGE MAY: One last question.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I can't find that
10 page. I don't have page 123. I have 99 and then 127. But read it out.
11 I'll probably remember.
12 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You say: "The president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, Stipe
14 Mesic, accused 12 days after being elected to his position in an exclusive
15 interview to The European of London, he said that Slobodan Milosevic was
16 behaving like Hitler prior to the Second World War. Assessing Milosevic's
17 attack as astonishing, The European quotes Mesic as saying that Milosevic
18 has great claims and that he was only pretending to be interested in the
19 destiny of the Serbs living in Croatia and elsewhere. Mesic said that the
20 disintegration of Yugoslavia was unavoidable and it could not be stopped,
21 and he openly said he wasn't neutral."
22 And Mesic said that the gist of this was correct. So was it in
23 this way: Could anything like this have been said on the 12th of July
24 when everything was being done to halt the paramilitaries, place them
25 under the control of the JNA?
1 A. I really don't know how to comment on this. This is a point in a
2 process, and this is quite correct and what Mr. Mesic said was a component
3 part of their policies which were pursued before that and after that.
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. As I have no time,
5 that will be all. Thank you, Your Honours. Could, please, Your Honours,
6 this document be admitted? It's been translated, it is ready, and I
7 believe it should be admitted into evidence. When it is thoroughly
8 examined, you will see what was dominant and decisive.
9 JUDGE MAY: We will see if it already has been admitted, in which
10 case there will be no need to do it again. If not, we will consider
11 admitting it.
12 Mr. Nice, perhaps you would check that out before the break.
13 MR. NICE: Certainly we'll investigate it.
14 JUDGE KWON: I think I better ask this question before you examine
15 the witness.
16 Mr. Jovic, did you happen to have a chance to see a BBC programme
17 called Death of Yugoslavia?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did see that programme and I
19 took part in it myself.
20 JUDGE KWON: Since the Prosecution is planning to introduce it
21 into evidence in one way or another in due course, I have to ask this: Do
22 you stand by your statements you said in that programme? Or if you have
23 any comments.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me put it this way: I was
25 afraid that my statement might be incorporated into something that does
1 not correspond to the substance of what I actually said. I previously
2 reached an agreement with the people from the BBC to provide me with the
3 authentic tape and recording of the whole conversation, which lasted 12
4 hours, and I have that entire tape.
5 Some of the sentences that were used there are correct. However,
6 the context in which they are placed is not a good -- the proper context,
7 and I'll give you a general comment or criticism.
8 I told the people from BBC television, I explained the Serb issue
9 to them, I explained the problems that took place in Kosovo between 1980
10 and 1990, the exodus of the Serb people, the demands made by the Serb
11 population to have the situation solved, the constitutional amendments,
12 and everything else that took place during that period of time as
13 something of extreme importance for events as they followed on later.
14 Of course they didn't use any of that. They started the programme
15 off in the following way: When Milosevic with his nationalistic rallies
16 came to power and took control of Serbia, he occupied Vojvodina and Kosovo
17 and then you see on the map Serbia becomes red and then Kosovo and
18 Vojvodina are painted in red, as if they had not been provinces of Serbia
19 before that. And then afterwards they go on to say that he took control
20 of Montenegro too. And when something similar began to happen in the
21 Serbian Krajinas in Croatia and Bosnia and elsewhere, and when it became
22 clear that Milosevic would not stop with Serbia and Kosovo, Vojvodina,
23 Montenegro but he would go on further, then what happened was the
24 aspiration of breaking up Yugoslavia.
25 So this general approach was a construed, contrived, and incorrect
1 approach which devalues everything stated in the programme otherwise,
2 although the actual statements I made myself were given correctly. So
3 that's my explanation of it.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MR. NICE: I think Your Honour and the witness may be consoled to
6 know that if we produce the records of interviews, we are producing them
7 in their entirety, not in any cut form.
8 Before I ask the limited number of questions I will be able to ask
9 in re-examination, can I just return to the procedural issues because
10 people are working on problems as we speak. I take it from what the Court
11 said, and if I've been told this before, it's my error for having
12 overlooked it: There is no chance of a two-Judge court on the 8th of
13 December? That's not a possibility?
14 JUDGE MAY: The difficulty is the Rules don't seem to permit that.
15 We've got five days which we can sit, and that's as we interpret the
17 MR. NICE: I'm sorry to have asked that.
18 JUDGE MAY: No.
19 MR. NICE: And I will come back to you on Monday with where we are
20 with on the position of witnesses.
21 JUDGE MAY: We can consider that. It may be that if everybody
22 consented it might be a role which we could consider, or I would consider
24 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
25 Q. Mr. Jovic, I'm not going to be able to ask you very many questions
1 of those that arise from your evidence, but I want to help the Chamber
2 with a few matters, please. But before I do, just one quotation dealing
3 with the accused's style of control. You were asked a number of questions
4 by him about that.
5 It's at paragraph 125 of your statement to the Prosecution culled
6 from your Book on Milosevic. You said, and it's the last five lines:
7 "Those who did not approve with him would even be dismissed as guilty for
8 something they had not decided upon if something in practice did not turn
9 out to be successful. As far as he was concerned, it seems that he was
10 predisposed to such a way of working. As for the people he chose to work
11 with him, gradually he would turn them into people who would obey,
12 glorify, and extol him."
13 Does that remain your view? I realise you say the books have to
14 be read in full and I know the Chamber will take that into account, but
15 does that passage still reflect your view of this accused?
16 A. It does reflect it along with the proviso that the facts should be
17 taken into consideration as well as the arguments in the book that
18 documents all this.
19 Q. Very well. Let's deal with secession. You've given the
20 explanation of succession that you advance, recognising of course, as you
21 do in your statement, that opinions may differ. Can the Chamber be helped
22 in this way: Was the issue of whether its nations or republics that could
23 secede a controversial one?
24 A. It is possible that it was controversial in the sense that
25 everybody wished to interpret it as it pleased them. However, you will
1 probably have people brought in here who are better versed in
2 constitutional matters than I. Although I worked on constitutional issues
3 for a long time, as you heard, I was president of the constitutional
4 commission as well. And throughout my lifetime, I have followed this
5 question of the equality of nations and peoples and the rights of peoples
6 to self-determination, and I have to say that the definition -- well, it's
7 controversial because everybody interprets it as they see fit. But the
8 constitutional Court of Yugoslavia was always in charge of matters of that
9 kind, and it has decided that the manner in which decisions are made --
10 were made in Slovenia and Croatia were contrary to the constitution, and
11 there are arguments and documents to bear that out.
12 Q. If you make long answers I won't be able to ask you very many
13 questions, and I shan't complain, but I just want to know for the time
14 being if it's controversial, and you've confirmed that it is.
15 The next thing I want you to help me with is this --
16 A. Well, you know I did not confirm it. I said under the proviso and
17 said that everybody interpreted it as they saw fit and the constitutional
18 court overruled the decisions made by Slovenia and Croatia, and they did
19 what they considered was the right course. That would be more precise.
20 Q. But on a practical matter, can you explain how you subscribe to
21 the it's only nations that secede, on a practical basis can you explain to
22 the Court how a nation in your understanding, when it's comprised of one
23 family of Serbs in a Croatian majority village or a minority of Serbs in a
24 Bosnian majority town, can you explain how secession could possibly take
25 effect on the basis of nations and not of republics? Because it was
1 obviously part of your and the accused's planning. Can you tell us,
2 please, how that was to take effect?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
4 JUDGE MAY: No. What is it, very quickly.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have an objection to make
6 because the question contains an accusation to the effect that I and the
7 witness planned something which Mr. Nice is claiming.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will leave that out as controversial but the
9 rest of the question can be dealt with.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the matter is simple: If in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia a referendum is called of nations, there
12 are three ballot boxes. The Serbs would place the votes in one, the
13 Croats in another, the Slovenes in a third. It's not the -- the Serbs
14 won't be wrote voting in the Croatian ballot, et cetera. Then we would
15 have the results of what people actually think regardless of where they
16 live, and this would be summed up for the entire republic.
17 Now, as far as Croatia is concerned, the United Nations over there
18 did delineate 24, I believe it was, municipalities which were populated by
19 a Serb majority. Regardless of the fact that there were some Croats
20 living there or not, they were majority Serb places and they enjoyed the
21 protection of the United Nations, so there weren't any problems in that
23 Now, as far as Bosnia-Herzegovina is concerned, the Dayton Accords
24 delineated the Serb territories. So it wasn't a problem to the effect
25 that it couldn't be done.
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. But dealing with that answer and your proposition that secession
3 is for nations, in a variegated or a multi-ethnic community, did your view
4 mean that secession was effectively impossible, be impossible for Bosnia
5 given that it was multi-ethnic? Is that your position?
6 A. Well, let's understand each other. We're not talking about
7 secession. We're talking about self-determination, and self-determination
8 implies the decision of these people to remain living together under
9 certain agreed upon conditions. We never advocated the fact that the
10 Serbs in Bosnia should join up with Yugoslavia or the Serbs from Croatia
11 should join up with Yugoslavia but that they enjoyed the right of being on
12 a footing of equality pursuant to the right of self-determination to
13 accept one or another constitutional concept in which they would enjoy all
14 their rights, and that is very much different from the thesis that we
15 advocated secession. That's absolutely not true.
16 Self-determination implies secession, but in view of the practical
17 -- practicalities of the matter, the whole thing boils down to
18 establishing equality on the basis of self-determination, to accept that
19 self-determination and equality and not to have outvoting in any shape or
21 Q. Let's see how you put it, because it's at paragraph 44 of your
22 statement, and it meets the accused's interjection. What you said on the
23 5th of January of 1991 was that before the PSFRY meeting with the
24 presidents of the republics on the political future to be held on the 10th
25 of January, the accused and you agreed that he should appear on behalf of
1 the Serb nation, you should appear on behalf of Yugoslavia, the accused
2 should say that every nation had the right to self-determination. "The
3 Serb's starting point was that it has its own unified federal state today
4 and that it wants to decide as a nation on its own future based on that
5 position. The Serb nation wants to live in one state with equal civil
6 rights, with one internationally recognised border, one military,
7 currency, and market. Anyone who wants to live with them on equal footing
8 is welcome to do so. For us, the state must be unitary or federal. A
9 confederation is not a state and as a nation we refuse to consider that."
10 Now, how were -- how was the nation state, or the state of the
11 nation of Serbs to have this self determination other than by joining up
12 with Serbs from other republics? Can you help us with that?
13 A. Yes, I can, of course. This was a period of time during which the
14 preservation of Yugoslavia was discussed and not its disintegration,
15 because that came about much later. And it was a period of time also in
16 which there was discussion and talk of the fact that Slovenia and Croatia
17 might secede from Yugoslavia. The right of nations to self-determination
18 at that point time, as we understood it, implied the fact that if Croatia
19 was stepping down from Yugoslavia, then the Serb people would have the
20 right to stay with Yugoslavia, if it should so decide, or the right to
21 step down with Croatia and leave if it should so decide once again, but it
22 would have the right as a nation, a constituent nation, to decide one way
23 or another.
24 At that point in time, there was absolutely no envisaged map in
25 which -- with a different kind of Yugoslavia except the one with
1 Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and possibly that portion of the
2 Serb people who could decide not to leave the state they were already in.
3 So that's it.
4 Q. Again, this is a practical problem and we want your help, coming
5 from the Presidency and so on: How could the Serb people living in
6 Croatia elect to stay with Yugoslavia if the rest of Croatia was going off
7 on its own? How could it do it other than by cutting off bits of Croatia
8 and joining them onto Serbia?
9 A. Not to take parts of Croatia from Croatia. They lived there as
10 the majority populace. On 30 per cent of Croatian territory and 23
11 municipalities which bordered on the rest of Yugoslavia and which were --
12 they were a constituent nation, just as the Croats were, and they had the
13 right to decide their own destiny and fate themselves. And once they
14 decided to remain living in Yugoslavia -- to live in Yugoslavia all
15 together, they were of one accord. Now, if somebody didn't want to live
16 in Yugoslavia, they couldn't force somebody else to step down too. That's
17 the logics of it. So they're not taking over anybody's territory, they're
18 talking about the territory on which they were already living.
19 Croatia was a state of both the Croats and the Serbs, so they are
20 referring to the territory they were living on.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, in the time available I can't, I think,
22 seek more elucidation than that.
23 Q. But you made a couple of points about the accused's political
24 position generally, how he was a modern -- modernising man, and I thought
25 I'd like your help with that, please.
1 Can we look at paragraph 129 first. This is a passage we've
2 looked at briefly already, and where you're dealing with free market and
3 so on, you made the point at the end of paragraph 129: "There was nothing
4 stronger for Milosevic than the urge to stay in power. Principles didn't
5 matter to him as much as political success. That had priority over
6 everything else. He was aware that the state-controlled businesses that
7 he was depending on were getting weaker by the day and that they were
8 destined to disappear from the market. He feared that with this his
9 political power might lose its material basis."
10 And then if we come back, please, to paragraph 113, we can see the
11 business about multi-party systems against the evidence you've given and
12 the answers you've given to the accused about his modern approach. The
13 third line of paragraph 13 says: "I told him that paradoxically the
14 Communist Party of Serbia is the one in Yugoslavia that fears the most the
15 changes whereas it is actually the one that would not lose power under a
16 multi-party system. Milosevic agreed with my assessment but cautioned me
17 that should we accept a multi-party system, an Albanian party would be
18 formed in Serbia. There are nearly 2 million of them. No matter what
19 they call this party of theirs, they would take over power in their local
20 settings and we would lose Kosovo. Thus there is a --" and you put it in
21 quotation marks -- "'state reason' that does not allow us to introduce a
22 multi-party system in Serbia. As far as Serbia proper and Vojvodina are
23 concerned, no one there could do anything to us regardless of multiple
24 parties because of the ethnic composition."
25 Well, now, do you stick by both those passages in your books; and
1 if so, what do these show about the accused as a man interested in
2 modernising his country and being ahead of the game, please?
3 A. Well, I can just repeat what I said about those paragraphs, and
4 that is that they must be understood within the context of the arguments
5 and facts put forward in my book and that they hold true completely only
6 if everything else is taken into consideration. So I have no changes of
7 stance in that regard.
8 As to the comment and my comment to it, it would mean further
9 abridging and simplifying what I have said already. So it is very
10 difficult for me to go into so much simplification and to give you an
11 answer that would be satisfactory to you. So could you be more specific
12 and precise in asking your questions and perhaps I could give you a
13 broader answer?
14 Q. You've given, on this particular topic, and I've asked you to look
15 at passages that show that he was against the multi-party system for, some
16 might think, very narrow or even cynical reasons. You've accepted --
17 you've accepted a great deal of what the accused has put to you. You've
18 accepted that far from being old fashioned he was really modern and so on.
19 How do you marry the two up? Here is somebody objecting to a multi-party
20 system in order to stay in power and keep a particular province within his
21 control. How do you marry those two up, please?
22 A. Well, some of what you've just said isn't appropriate. I didn't
23 agree with him that there was the danger from that party in Kosovo to
24 Serbia, and I said - I don't know whether I've written it down in the
25 book, I think I have - I told him that in the best of cases, they could
1 have 30 deputies in the republican parliament which has 250 seats and that
2 they couldn't outvote anything, but they could fight for their interests.
3 I also told him that they could not, by having a majority in this possible
4 parliament in Kosovo, they couldn't take any decisions that would be
5 contrary to the Serbian constitution and could not succeed, as he thought,
6 by the very fact that they had the majority because it was counter to the
7 constitution. And they tried that even without a multi-party system. So
8 they tried to do that without the multi-party system, and it's not true
9 that I agreed with him on that score. That's the first question.
10 The second question is that that is how Milosevic thought at the
11 time. So this is a diary recording a particular date. Not too long after
12 that he changed his opinion and we did move to a multi-party system. So I
13 cannot say anything in absolute terms, either one or other aspect.
14 Q. Just the Chamber may care to note, and perhaps you'd just like to
15 cast your eyes over it again, Mr. Jovic, that in the immediate following
16 paragraph, 14, dealing with the law on restricted personal incomes, which
17 we've heard about from Mr. Markovic and I don't want to go into again, the
18 accused simply said he would not obey a law, and he then for Serbia went
19 on and didn't obey it; correct? Just refused to obey a law. Correct?
20 A. Yes, he did say that, but they didn't apply it. However, the
21 revolt was, if you will allow me to explain it to you in a sentence, the
22 revolt was because Markovic undertook measures which diminished the
23 resources of firms and prevented their financing from credits and to
24 receive salaries until they had sold their goods and earned the money that
1 Q. I don't want to cut you short. We've heard your account and we've
2 heard Mr. Markovic's already.
3 A. Very well.
4 Q. And I'm going to have to deal with a couple of matters very
5 briefly. You've said to the Judges that really the Presidency had no
6 control over military matters from May 1991 until December 1991. We've
7 added up to the number of contacts you had with Kadijevic in that time,
8 27, many of them dealing with matters of detail. If you have no interest
9 in or control over the military, can you explain what you were doing have
10 27 contacts with Kadijevic over that period of time?
11 A. No, that's not the right interpretation, that we didn't do
12 anything with respect to the army in the Presidency. All I said was that
13 from the 9th of May when the decision was taken that the army could take
14 up positions between Serb and Croatian units to separate them and to
15 prevent a conflict from breaking out, the Presidency did not make any
16 decision as to the deployment of the army except the decision to have the
17 army withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina and except the decision to
18 demobilise generals on two occasions. The other sessions that we held
19 were of an informative character. They were monitoring the situation and
20 the difficulties with respect to mobilisation, and we discussed that here,
21 I believe. There was a Supreme Command session, with all the generals
22 present, to discuss that issue, and there were permanent contacts but not
23 new decisions. So the sense of what I said is that the last decision on
24 the basis of which the army received authorisation to work in the field
25 was the 9th of May decision, the 8th and 9th of May decision 1991, and all
1 the members of the Presidency of Yugoslavia took part in that, not only
2 the Rump Presidency.
3 Q. And these 27 encounters or contacts with Kadijevic, they kept you
4 informed, did they, military activities?
5 A. Of course I was informed, and the Presidency was also informed.
6 Q. And on that topic and very generally, the accused asked you
7 questions about the whole period of the Bosnian war, and you've accepted
8 much of what he said to you in general terms. What was your source of
9 information for what was happening in Bosnia, what the Bosnian Serbs were
10 up to, what offences, if any, were being committed on the territory of
11 Bosnia, please?
12 A. I did not have any information with respect to the offensives
13 implemented or the actions being taken, but I did have information with
14 respect to the positions assumed by Mr. Milosevic at the meetings he
15 mentioned, because as party president, he informed us of that.
16 Q. Very well. And going back to Croatia, you've acquitted everyone
17 of responsibility for Croatia except the Croatian leaders, effectively, in
18 your answers to the accused. He hasn't dealt in detail with Vukovar, and
19 he hasn't challenged, as he did to Ambassador Okun, that it must be a
20 misprint in your book where you said the Vukovar garrison was relieved on
21 the 20th of September, but help us with this in light of how you've
22 generally answered the accused in relation to Croatia: Do you know
23 Admiral Jokic?
24 A. I never met him personally, but I have heard of him.
25 Q. Have you heard of his pleas of guilty here before this Tribunal?
1 A. I have heard about that. I read about it in the newspapers.
2 Q. Are you in a position now to accept that crimes were committed at
3 Dubrovnik of the kind generally alleged?
4 MR. KAY: This witness can't deal with these questions like this,
5 Your Honour, it's --
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We're getting too close to cross-examination
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I respectfully disagree, but I will press
9 on with other matters.
10 Q. You've been asked questions generally about the purpose of Serb
11 policy and the Serb view. Would you be good enough, please, to go to your
12 paragraph 38.
13 Now, this is as early as September 1990, we can see, and this is
14 in a conversation with Cosic, but the last lines refer to this: "The plan
15 was that the Serbs should cut through Sandzak along the Drina so that the
16 Muslims cannot unite."
17 Was that a view that you were able to adopt and agree with at that
19 A. First of all, it's written quite clearly in the book and here that
20 that is what Cosic thinks. And it was stated quite clearly in the book
21 that we did not comment upon this statement of his at all. And I did not
22 say a single word in respect of what he said. The conversation went on
23 for two hours. For two hours he spoke to me, and it was agreed that we
24 would continue this talk.
25 In respect of everything that we did, what our official policy
1 did, it can be concluded quite clearly that for the most part, we did not
2 agree with what Cosic had said.
3 One cannot talk about a conversation at all in this context. One
4 can only talk about what Cosic said to me. There was nothing said from
5 the other side. No comments were made from the other side.
6 I've explained this. I just have to add this one more sentence,
7 that these parties that Cosic referred to from these other republics are
8 all parties that were opposition parties as compared to our party. In
9 Serbia, they had their fraternal parties with which they cooperated. Our
10 fraternal parties there were the Socialist and Communist parties that were
11 in favour of Yugoslavia. So we were not in contact with these parties,
12 and we could not have made such plans with these parties. And I could not
13 say to Cosic that he was right in any of this that he had said. These
14 were parties that they cooperated with in Serbia.
15 Q. One matter of detail: The October 1991 Presidency meeting, you
16 said, I think was fully composed. The minutes might suggest - it's an
17 exhibit in the case, I think - that there were only four members present.
18 Would you accept you may be wrong about that, Mr. Jovic, or not? Can you
19 help us?
20 A. If it is the session where the decision was reached to work in a
21 situation of imminent threat of war, six members of the Presidency were
22 present. I don't know, perhaps on the following day there was yet another
23 session or perhaps there was yet another session on the same day, but if
24 we are talking about this particular session, then six members were
25 present. After all, this is Tupurkovski's statement that he was very
1 sorry to have agreed at that session to have an imminent threat of war
3 Q. Exhibit 328, tab 13 refers to that. You say that, to your
4 knowledge, there were no political prisoners in Serbia. When you were
5 sacked for writing the book, as you perceive it, and asked to resign from
6 being a member of parliament, what was the thing you considered could
7 happen to you, please, if you didn't do as you were asked?
8 A. I would have been dismissed regardless of what I wanted.
9 Q. Had you any other fears, please, Mr. Jovic?
10 A. I thought about other things too, but nothing happened.
11 Q. Very well.
12 A. Well, some kind of retaliation. I really could have thought about
13 all sorts of things, but the retaliation ended by me being ostracised from
14 society in every conceivable way.
15 MR. NICE: Very well. Your Honour, I don't think there is any
16 point in using the last second of the last minute in circumstances like
17 these. The Chamber will appreciate and I'm sure be understanding of the
18 very wide-ranging issues I would have raised with the witness if time was
19 limitless, but time isn't limitless in this case and we have to make our
20 best arrangements accordingly.
21 I am asked by your staff to ensure that I draw to your attention
22 that the Exhibit 296 now contains 21 tabs, not 20, because we added the
23 film clip yesterday.
24 JUDGE KWON: And, Mr. Nice, if you can give me the page number
25 where this witness wrote in his book that Vukovar garrison was freed or
2 MR. NICE: It -- yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Or the date.
4 MR. NICE: There are two places you can find it. In tab 20 you
5 can where the --
6 JUDGE KWON: I know that, just Okun's --
7 MR. NICE: And in the book, it's September the 20th.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it's the entry for September 20th.
9 JUDGE KWON: 1991.
10 MR. NICE: 1991. And it's on page 24 of the summary, paragraph
12 JUDGE MAY: And the other matter outstanding on documents is that
13 I'm told that the document which Mr. Tapuskovic sought to have admitted is
14 Exhibit 328, tab 16, admitted on the first of -- the 10th of January of
15 this year, or it may be the 1st of October, I'm not sure. It depends
16 whether you use the American or the English form of month.
17 MR. NICE: 1st of October.
18 JUDGE MAY: 1st of October last year. Yes, that would explain it.
19 Mr. Jovic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you for coming to
20 the Tribunal to give it. You want to add something? Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to say that until the date of
22 the 20th of September, 1991, I did not find this, that I said that the
23 barracks was relieved until that day. Vinkovci and Nasice were dealt with
24 but in Vukovar it was deblocked. That's probably what it means, but it's
25 all right. Thank you.
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one matter. I think that
4 this document was not tendered in its entirety. The entire document was
5 introduced within Rule 68, but only sections of it were tendered into
6 evidence. However, this is a document which should be tendered in its
7 entirety. It was translated into English now, and it certainly would have
8 been used had this been the case earlier.
9 JUDGE MAY: Let's have that looked at over the adjournment.
10 Now, Mr. Jovic, I think that really must bring your evidence to a
11 close. Thank you very much for coming to give it. You are, of course,
12 free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now until Monday morning, 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.05 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 24th day of
18 November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.