1 Thursday, 22 January 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we were following the summary, not the
8 statement. There comes a passage which we must seek to deal with in
9 private session. For those viewing, it won't last very long.
10 WITNESS: HRVOJE SARINIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 [Private session]
12 Pages 31289 to 31295 redacted, private session
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, tab 4 in the Exhibit 641 is the second
2 statement of the witness admitted under 89(F) dealing with intercepts so
3 far as he was able to, and documents produced relating to the existence of
4 the State of Croatia. If I could invite your attention to tab 5. It's a
5 table where the witness sets out comments on various intercepts. The
6 typical course would be for these documents to be produced for
7 identification purposes only at this stage.
8 The Court will recall that in respect of counter-intelligence
9 intercepts, we are still awaiting the possibility of a witness being in
10 the hands of others. We would particularly invite your attention to the
11 comments of the witness which he adopts in respect of transcript number 4
12 where he says that he recognises the voice and that this was the type of
13 tape he received contemporaneously from Tudjman.
14 We would invite your attention to transcript 9 where he says that
15 he recognises the intercept as one of those given by Tudjman a day or two
16 after it was taken.
17 To number 11, where he says the same thing, one of the ones he was
18 given by Tudjman at the time. And number 14 where at the end of the entry
19 he says: This is one of the intercepts that I would have received at the
20 time from Tudjman or from the intelligence services directly because I am
21 name. And invite the Court's consideration in the possibility in respect
22 of those four, not of admitting them for identification purposes only, but
23 of admitting them because of the additional evidence that he can give to
24 the effect I've summarised.
25 Your Honour, I don't desire to delay proceedings for that
1 purpose. Having made the application, perhaps the exhibits generally can
2 be reviewed at the end of the cross-examination.
3 That, therefore, produces all the material before you, subject to
4 the decision of the Court, because at tab 20 you will find the documents,
5 his second 89(F) statement produces in respect of the existence of Croatia
6 as a separate state, and those documents then go from tab 20 through to
7 tab 35, I think. Sorry -- yes, 35. And the only other document that's
8 here is a document that you can see at tab 36, which is in a sense a
9 formal document. It deals with how intercepts came with transcripts but
10 that those transcripts needed reviewing and correcting, and this is the
11 declaration of the person who dealt with it.
12 Your Honour, that's -- and again, it may be that it will be
13 preferable and appropriate to deal with the formal position of all the
14 exhibits at the end of the evidence. If so, I have nothing further to ask
15 of this witness.
16 JUDGE MAY: It will be necessary to go through these documents
17 again in order to ensure that all the proper documents have been added. It
18 will be necessary to, I suspect at some stage, for the whole lot to be
19 considered, say in this case in particular, as to which should be admitted
20 and which should not. Thank you.
21 MR. NICE: Thank you.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. You've got an hour now to
23 cross-examine. You will have some longer time after the adjournment.
24 Make sure that the witness can understand what it is that you're putting.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume that the witness will
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 understand what I'm saying to him, but what I'm interested in is how much
2 time I'll have for this witness. As you can see, in the
3 examination-in-chief he had a whole session and another half hour now. So
4 as you're introducing pursuant to 89(F) a series of written materials, I
5 consider that I ought to be given more time than you said yesterday.
6 Yesterday you mentioned two hours and 15 minutes, which is almost the same
7 as what you're giving me now.
8 JUDGE MAY: That is the time which is available. That was the
9 ruling which we're going to follow on that, so you should follow that.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I'm asking you for more time.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, if you do not waste your time and you are making
12 useful time, we might consider a short addition, but at the moment, that
13 is the current amount that you must follow.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, you can switch my microphone
15 off any time you like, and it wouldn't be the first time either.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sarinic, as the closest associate of Tudjman,
18 his advisor for a time, the Prime Minister for a time, the head of the
19 service, the intelligence service for a time and so on and so forth, you
20 participated in decision-making?
21 A. I occupied various posts, including the ones you mentioned. As
22 for decision-making, my part in that was limited to a certain number of
23 decisions and players in the decision-making process. So I wasn't the one
24 who took part in all the decisions that were made, nor was I always
25 present. However, on those occasions where I was present, I do agree with
1 what you said, yes.
2 Q. Many of those decisions had an influence on the activities of the
3 Croatian leadership and the development of events in the region.
4 A. Do you mean the decisions that were made by President Tudjman?
5 Q. I mean the decisions made by the leadership of the Republic of
6 Croatia and in which process you took part when you held all these high
8 A. Well, yes, as I said, I was one of the people who talked to the
9 president, and I attended various meetings at which decisions were made.
10 Q. Very well. Now, is it true that for you and the leadership, from
11 the very outset there was never the possibility of having Croatia remain
12 in Yugoslavia? That was never a possibility or, rather, the preservation
13 of Yugoslavia.
14 A. No, that is not how it was. You know full well yourself that the
15 Croatian leadership, when it saw what was happening and the turn of events
16 and that the 1974 constitution was being obstructed and that Yugoslavia,
17 to all intents and purposes, was disintegrating, then President Tudjman,
18 in the name of Croatia, proposed a sort of flexible confederation which on
19 your part -- loose federation which you rejected for your part.
20 Q. Well, Mr. Sarinic, you know full well that even before the
21 elections at the founding Assembly of the HDZ party one of the goals was
22 an Independent State of Croatia.
23 A. Well, I'm talking about the facts, the proposals that were made at
24 the time, and in many of the pre-electoral campaigns, as you yourself are
25 aware of, many things are said. All sorts of things are said. But let's
1 stick to the facts and discuss those.
2 Q. Yes, I am going to talk about the facts, Mr. Sarinic, and I'm
3 going to ask you questions about those facts. But what I've just asked
4 you is a fact itself as well. I don't suppose you said all sorts of
5 things in the pre-election campaign, things you didn't actually believe in
6 or think.
7 A. What I told you was that Croatia had proposed a confederative
8 set-up for Yugoslavia which was not accepted, and that is a fact.
9 Q. Along with the explanation that it was a provisional stage for the
10 independence of states on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
11 A. That is your interpretation. I would like to stop where I stopped
12 when I gave you an answer, and that was that during those critical
13 moments, in order to avoid the atrocities of war and the disintegration of
14 Yugoslavia, this was a proposal that President Tudjman made. Now, what
15 happened after that we would see. But let me repeat that a confederation
16 was the proposal put forward.
17 Q. Well, I'm not challenging that that was one of the episodes, but
18 this entire process that was waged by the leadership of Croatia was very
19 clear cut. It was geared towards an independent Croatia and breaking away
20 from Yugoslavia. Wasn't that right?
21 A. Now, if we're talking about that, then, let me say that the first
22 people to topple Yugoslavia by changing unilaterally the constitution was
23 the Serb leadership headed by you yourself.
24 Q. Well, I don't know how it is that we toppled Yugoslavia, but let's
25 move on.
1 Tell me, please, all the events that came to pass as the result of
2 cooperation between your leadership and those elements in European
3 politics, I have in mind Germany first and foremost who stood behind the
4 toppling of Yugoslavia and incited it.
5 A. We, like you, had contacts with the international community, and
6 the international community, seeing what was going on and realising what
7 was happening, came to see you. It came to see us in Croatia and so on
8 and so forth. However, the internationality community did not at the very
9 beginning support the disintegration of Yugoslavia, which would be
10 Pandora's box as they called it, for many other problems, unleashing many
11 other problems. And let me just remind you that the man, the person, the
12 politician who was considered to be a great friend of Croatia,
13 Mr. Genscher, that is to say he was the Foreign Minister of Germany at the
14 time, was opposed to that. And then he was proclaimed to be -- and you
15 yourself proclaimed him to be -- a friend of Croatia and the man in favour
16 of toppling Yugoslavia and giving Croatia its independence.
17 Q. Well, let's make a slight digression here with respect to that.
18 On the 2nd of July, 1991, that is to say a long time before the
19 recognition of Croatia, et cetera, and the events that happened at the
20 time and afterwards, the French paper, the Paris paper Liberation wrote,
21 and I have a chronology of events down here, an official chronology of
22 events, the Paris Liberation said that the international plot -- an
23 international plot was behind the Croatian secession, that Austria was
24 behind it and so was Germany, and according to the Liberation, the latest
25 step by Bonn and Vienna is explained by the idea to create a German zone
1 of influence in central Europe once again in which, as the fulcrum, we
2 could see Germany, Austria and Slovenia. And it says that it is a
3 nostalgia for the Austro-Hungarian Empire dating back to before the First
4 World War. I'm sure you'll remember that.
5 A. No, I don't remember that, but the papers at that time wrote many
6 things and that was probably an analysis by a journalist who was probably
7 subjective in writing that analysis, and I can't take that to be fact
8 because you can find many similar articles and lines of thought in other
9 papers and not only along the lines you're talking about but to bring out
10 the opposite thesis as well.
11 Q. I'm sure you'll remember, Mr. Sarinic, that for example, when the
12 president of Slovenia, Mr. Kucan, testified in this courtroom, he
13 confirmed a conversation he had with Mesic, which was televised where
14 Mesic explained that with Genscher and the Pope he had agreed to the
15 disintegration of Yugoslavia and that they helped out most. This was
16 publicly broadcast and televised at the time. This took place in 1995
17 when they explained how much -- who had made a contribution to the fact
18 that Yugoslavia ceased to exist and its break-up. So it wasn't a
19 speculation on the part of the newspapers and journalists. It was
21 A. I must say that I don't know about those statements made by
22 Mr. Mesic. That's the first point. And the second point is that the
23 truth is that the Vatican and Germany were the first to recognise Croatia
24 and that after that the entire European Community, and there were 12
25 members at that time, also recognised Croatia, I think less than a month
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 later. That is a fact. However, I assume that they realised that
2 Yugoslavia as such could not survive, exist in that way. They realised
3 that before anyone else did, and I suppose that the whole problem of a
4 Greater Serbia and the creation of a Greater Serbia had advanced so far
5 that nobody could believe that Yugoslavia could be preserved.
6 However, as I said at the beginning, President Tudjman, despite
7 this, and not wanting to have war and casualties of war, did put forward a
8 confederative solution to the problem.
9 Q. All right. Mr. Sarinic, you quoted this a moment ago, and you
10 said that they were labelling us as to a Greater Serbia, which was never
11 our policy, and you have that in the documents. So where do you get this
12 idea? Where do you get the idea that this was about the creation of a
13 Greater Serbia.
14 A. Well, the creation of Greater Serbia, and I'm very surprised that
15 you bring that up in this way and that you are denying that and
16 challenging that because this is -- it will be well known as they say, as
17 the saying goes, that's one side of the question, and the other side of
18 the question is that it was a historical process which dates back to the
19 Nachertaniye of 1884, and then the declaration of the Sanu [phoen],
20 Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences. So that when you have people in a
21 country like Serbia with those ideas, that is to say intellectuals
22 speaking and planning something of the kind, then it seems to me very
23 strange that you are surprised by it.
24 Q. Well, I don't suppose you've read the Nachertaniye or the Sanu
25 document. Or, rather, the memorandum.
1 A. Well, let me tell you, I recently read a book by General Milisav
2 Sekulic entitled Knin Fell in Belgrade where in the first part of the book
3 he speaks about those relationships and writes about precisely that, what
4 was going on, and he mentions the problem of a Greater Serbia as well. So
5 I don't know whether you've read that book.
6 Q. No, I haven't read that book, books written by individual
7 generals, but I don't think that's the point here.
8 To be more efficient, let's -- let me more forward with specific
9 questions. I'm sure you will remember the 40th session of the Supreme
10 State Council of the Republic of Croatia held on the 21st of November,
11 1991. The chairman was Tudjman and in addition to him there, there was
12 you yourself, Mesic, Manolic, Palovic, Susak and the rest. That's right,
13 isn't it?
14 A. Well, since you have information about that, it was probably like
15 that. If you have an original document. But of course there were many
16 meetings, and I can't quite focus on this particular meeting. It doesn't
17 come to mind straight away so would you be so kind as to tell me the
18 contents of the meeting?
19 Q. Well, you sent out the documents from the meetings with Tudjman.
20 When I say "you," I mean you personally as well as Mesic and the rest.
21 Isn't that right?
22 A. No, I didn't send out those documents.
23 Q. Well, I received them. I was disclosed them by the opposite side.
24 So I suppose Mesic provided them with those documents?
25 A. You'll have to ask him that.
1 Q. All right. Now, do you remember that on that occasion you
2 discussed terminological issues, the terminology to be used in the final
3 realisation of the project to topple Yugoslavia so that the JNA and the
4 Serb leadership should be pinpointed as the main culprits? Is that right?
5 A. That was probably, if that was the way it was worded, that was
6 probably what it was, but at that time we were faced with a situation in
7 which that could have been concluded, that conclusion could have been
8 drawn, because there was an invasion, if I can put it that way, against
9 Slovenia, and the situation which existed at that time in the Yugoslav
10 state Presidency was such that it wasn't difficult to draw that
11 conclusion, and -- what you're saying now, and it wasn't difficult to
12 conclude who stood behind it.
13 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to -- I'm going to stop this for a moment to
14 be fair for the witness and indeed for the accused to have the opportunity
15 of any documents which are relevant. It may be that the simplest course
16 is for the Prosecution to assist if documents are referred to, so that the
17 witness can follow anything which is brought and used by the witness
18 when -- the accused, I mean, which the witness would find it difficult to
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we'll do what we can.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. As the accused goes through this, there should
22 be the opportunity for witnesses and others to answer.
23 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Sarinic, do you remember that Mesic at the time proposed that
1 after his resignation he should address the United Nations, that it should
2 be made public, that Yugoslavia is ceasing to exist, its Presidency, its
3 parliament, its institutions, et cetera? Surely you remember that.
4 A. I don't remember it being referred to in that document, but that
5 was the policy of Croatia. Once we had exhausted all possibilities, then
6 in the Croatian parliament, or Sabor, it was stated that Croatia was going
7 forward with its independence. And this was an act which had its
8 theoretical and formal effect.
9 Q. Mr. Sarinic, I'm talking about your activities to break up
10 Yugoslavia. Is it true that at the time there was a discussion between
11 Mesic and Tudjman regarding the terms to be used? Would it be sufficient
12 to say Yugoslavia no longer exists, for it simply to have become an
13 illegal organisation as Mesic advocated but -- or, rather, to say that it
14 continued to exist but not in the form it existed but that it should be
15 identified with the Putschist Serbian Montenegrin leadership?
16 A. I do not remember that kind of terminology. I described the
17 general climate that existed, but if you are asking me to comment on
18 individual words and phrases, I can't say that I can remember, because I
19 would need to look at the document and tell you -- to be able to tell you
20 whether I agree with what you say or not.
21 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. It is the minutes from the 40th session
22 of the Supreme State Council of the Republic of Croatia, and I'm reading
23 from it as it says here. It was held on the 21st of November, 1991.
24 JUDGE MAY: You can't refer to things without others being able to
25 refer to them too. Now, what is the date? 21st of November, 1995. Have
1 we got that?
2 MR. NICE: 1991, we haven't got it yet. We are trying to track it
3 down. If the accused can identify it in some more particular way, that
4 would assist.
5 JUDGE MAY: Which page is it? Which page are you referring to?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the front is our 01510131,
7 and I am quoting from 436, being the last three digits. I received all
8 these documents from them. I didn't procure them myself. It was the
9 Croatian leadership that provided them to you, and it was your obligation
10 to give me copies. And I'm reading now from the page ending with 436.
11 "With my resignation, the Presidency ceases to exist," says Mesic.
12 JUDGE MAY: There is a fair way to deal with this. The
13 Prosecution must try and find this document, if you please.
14 MR. NICE: We're certain trying to find it. But there is a great
15 deal of material and we don't bring it all to court. If the accused is
16 able over the break to tell Ms. Dicklich documents he may be referring to,
17 we may be able to assist in relation to the second session more than at
18 the moment.
19 JUDGE MAY: We shall not cease any longer for the moment. The
20 accused may ask his questions. If the witness can't answer them without
21 being able to read the document then, of course, he's unable to do that
22 and won't be obliged to do so.
23 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Fairly shortly so that we can all follow what
24 it is that you're putting and we'll try and deal with it. Meanwhile,
25 efforts will be made to find it.
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13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, surely it is clear to
2 everyone that in this quantity of material that I receive, it is far more
3 difficult for me to find documents and quote from them than it is for the
4 gentlemen on the other side who have a whole apparatus behind them. And
5 if it is not sufficient for me to indicate the document, the page, and
6 everything else to be able to refer to it, I don't know what you expect me
7 to do.
8 JUDGE MAY: Look, you are being given this documentation, and you
9 are being treated very fairly, and quite rightly, in dealing with these
10 matters and the difficulty in your case is acknowledged. You're being
11 given the opportunity which you are doing by yourself with such assistance
12 you get to do it.
13 But witnesses cannot be expected -- without any reference to the
14 document be expected to answer without any reference to events to ten
15 years ago.
16 Now, we're going to allow you to put something. You can put
17 something to the witness and we'll see how we get on, but do so fairly --
18 not too quickly, and the witness will try and follow. Meanwhile, somebody
19 will try and find this document, if they can find it.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume, Mr. May, it is the duty of
21 the side calling the witness to provide him with the documents that are
22 being produced through him.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. So Mesic says: "All federal institutions are ceasing to exist,
25 the parliament, the government, et cetera. I thought I should inform the
1 United Nations that Yugoslavia has lost its legitimacy with my departure,
2 that the army is becoming the largest paramilitary organisation without a
3 Supreme Command, and that in the UN Yugoslavia's place be abolished, that
4 the new realities be recognised," et cetera. This is what Mesic says.
5 You surely remember that.
6 A. Whether I remember it or not, the situation was such that it was
7 quite possible that such statements were made, for you shouldn't forget
8 that in the rotating Presidency that the -- that for six months you, in
9 fact, and your men, Mr. Jovic and others, would not allow Mesic to take
10 over the position of president, which was absolutely illegal. So once he
11 did take over that position, nothing could be done in that Presidency, as
12 there was outvoting, and then Mesic left the Presidency, and in Croatia a
13 decision was made for Croatia to secede from Yugoslavia, which Slovenia
14 did as well on the same day.
15 Q. You know that members of the Presidency or some who didn't vote
16 for Mesic being president of the Presidency did so giving the explanation
17 that before being a candidate, Mesic had declared that he wanted to be the
18 last president of Yugoslavia. Do you remember that? It was in the
20 A. Yes, but there you're attaching significance to words. Mesic said
21 that because Yugoslavia was falling apart, and it was clear to everyone.
22 And he said that figuratively. But I really don't think that that is
23 important. What is important was the situation that prevailed in
24 Yugoslavia and not what somebody may have said, even if it was Mr. Mesic,
25 to the effect that he was the last president of Yugoslavia.
1 Q. All right. Fine. So it's unimportant that the future president
2 of the Presidency started his candidacy with such a statement.
3 On page 049, Stipe Mesic says, "Yugoslavia no longer exists." And
4 President Tudjman says, "No, it doesn't." And Stipe Mesic says, "We'll
5 fix that," meaning the kind of attitude that would be taken towards
7 A. Your Honours, I must address you now. Mr. Mesic, the president of
8 Croatia, Mr. Mesic, was here in court. So questions of this kind should
9 have been addressed to him. And after all, I'm not here as an advocate of
10 President Mesic but as a witness. So I'm surprised that Mesic should be
11 quoted repeatedly as well as his statements and that I am expected to give
12 an opinion about it.
13 Q. But, Mr. Sarinic, you were present. I'm talking about the
14 attitude of the Croatian leadership at that same meeting. Josip
15 Manolic --
16 A. Did you ask Mesic about that when he testified?
17 Q. I didn't ask him about these minutes because I didn't have them.
18 When Mesic testified, I was not provided with any of these stenographic
19 notes. And you were a participant in that meeting?
20 JUDGE MAY: Let us not waste further time. Let us not waste any
21 more. Let's move on.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. At that same meeting, Josip Manolic, who was then the Prime
24 Minister, wasn't he?
25 A. This was in 1991?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Yes, he was the Prime Minister at the time.
3 Q. He says on page 052 now at that same meeting: "Last night I had a
4 talk with the vice-president of the -- our government of Kosovo. They
5 visited Tirana," et cetera.
6 A. I can't understand that he could have said "our government".
7 Q. That is what it says here in these minutes.
8 A. This must be a typing error or something like that. How can it be
9 our government in Kosovo?
10 Q. That is what I wanted to ask you, because it refers to this
11 cooperation and it says: "I think they nevertheless agreed, and they
12 toured Tirana -- Tirana, and they agreed that Kosovo needed to be
13 assistant -- assisted, and now those parties are being radicalised to see
14 which would be more -- most radical in protecting Kosovo."
15 A. I will answer this question by reminding you of a meeting between
16 you and me, and this was in 1998. So I'm intentionally skipping over
17 seven years. And I told you then that we would not interfere with your
18 relations with Kosovo, and your response was, "It is our internal problem,
19 and I'm grateful to you for it."
20 Q. That is our internal problem. That is true. But secondly,
21 yesterday you said that I told you that the idea was to have a bicameral
22 parliament and in one Chamber representatives of all ethnicities living in
23 Kosovo would be represented on an equal footing, Serbs, Montenegrins,
24 Albanians, Turks, Romanies and Muslims or, rather, the Goranci, which
25 means all ethnic groups living in Kosovo in one of the chambers where they
1 would be equal. That was our formula to regulate in a democratic manner
2 relations and the functioning of the authorities in Kosovo, if you
3 remember that.
4 But you mentioned that yesterday, a parliament with two Chambers,
5 et cetera?
6 A. Yes, but not in the sense you're saying now. But allow me, since
7 you have raised the issue, I want to comment. You didn't mention Turks,
8 et cetera, in those days, but you were talking about a bicameral
9 parliament consisting of Albanians and Serbs, and my response was that
10 that was less than they were entitled to, according to the 1974
11 constitution, and your response was, "Yes, that is so, but that was a
12 mistake which we will not allow, whatever the price may be." And I remind
13 you know that better than I do, that there were 200.000 Serbs and
14 2 million Albanians. So this bicameral parliament in which there would be
15 no outvoting would of course be to the benefit to the Serbs who were ten
16 times less numerous.
17 Q. First of all, your figures are not correct. Secondly, that was
18 not the way we spoke about it. But what you're saying regarding my
19 position that 1974 was a mistake, that is quite true because that was my
20 position. As for a bicameral parliament, there are documents about this
21 which were proposed at the time, and it is quite clear how that bicameral
22 parliament would look like. There would be one person, one vote in one
23 Chamber. So there would be absolutely no doubt there would necessarily be
24 more Albanians. And the second Chamber would be a Chamber of ethnic
25 communities in which all ethnic communities would be represented, Turks
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13 English transcripts.
1 and Romanies and Egyptians and all the others would be represented
3 JUDGE MAY: I'm bringing this to a close. You're speaking for too
4 long, and it's not fair on the witness. If the witness wishes to add
5 anything at all in response to what this accused is putting forward.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't doubt that there are written
7 documents about it if you say so, but at the time that we met and when you
8 spoke about it, you did not elaborate this idea in that way.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. Let us go back to your own activities
11 from those times. I'm still on the same meeting. I am now on page 54.
12 The Prime Minister Manolic says: "I think it is possible to start an
13 attack in the whole area of Western Slavonia which we should clear up and
14 fortify ourselves towards the east."
15 So you're talking about clearing or cleaning at that meeting?
16 A. I don't know what the terminology was used.
17 Q. But I quoted exactly word by word from the document.
18 A. If that is so, then obviously you're alluding to cleansing in the
19 sense of genocide, which is absolutely unacceptable, because you know full
20 well that Croatia, during those dramatic times, did not seek to have the
21 Serbs leave. You must know that the plans for the evacuation of Serbs, be
22 it in Western Slavonia or in the Sector South, were devised at the
23 beginning of 1993, which means two and a half years prior to the Storm
25 Q. What plans?
1 A. Plans on the evacuation of the population. These were designed by
2 the Serb side.
3 Q. When did they make those plans?
4 A. At the beginning of 1993.
5 Q. 1993? Wait a moment, please, Mr. Sarinic. I'm asking you
6 questions about your meeting in 1991 at which your Prime Minister says
7 that attacks should be launched, that the area should be cleansed, that
8 Western Slavonia should be cleansed. This was 1991, mid-1991 that you
9 were discussing this at this council meeting, Supreme Council of Croatia.
10 That's what I'm asking you about. We'll come to the Flash and Storm
11 operations. I'm talking about 1991.
12 A. Very well. If that term was used, "cleansing", I don't think it
13 was used in that sense.
14 Q. Well, you will be able to look at it when the document is found
15 for you, and then we'll easily -- you didn't answer my question with
16 respect to Kosovo. We spoke to our government, with the vice-president of
17 our government in Kosovo, the radicalisation. What kind of your Kosovo
18 government is Manolic referring to?
19 A. I'm simply unable to answer that. I know that we did not have any
20 relations of a political or strategic nature in Kosovo, and I simply don't
21 understand that sentence, that phrase, because our activities in those
22 days did not exist, in fact, in Kosovo, so that we didn't have any phantom
23 government of our own that would have been appointed in Kosovo by Croatia,
24 and I'm quite resolute about that.
25 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. Now, tell me, as we are going back to
1 Croatia, to what extent the Serbs as a constituent nation that you threw
2 out of the constitution had any chance of participating as full-fledged
4 A. Mr. Milosevic, what you're saying now you've said many times, and
5 I have to elaborate on that, that is that we threw the Serbs out of the
6 constitution. I shall try to pick my memory and tell you how this reads
7 in the Croatian constitution. I will try to be precise, but we can check
9 Croatia is a national state of the Croatian people and a state of
10 all other nations and minorities who are citizens of the Republic of
11 Croatia. And then they are listed. First the Serbs, Slovenes, Muslims,
12 Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks, and Jews. I may have omitted to mention
13 someone. Who will be completely equal with members of the Croatian nation
14 in the realisation of their national aspirations according to the highest
15 standards of the United Nations and the free world.
16 So they were absolutely not thrown out. I know the wording of
17 your constitution, and it's simply a different wording, but the content is
18 quite the same.
19 Q. The content is not the same, but we will not engage in a
20 constitutional discussion now, because at least constitutions are public
21 documents which can easily be read. In the previous constitution, it was
22 defined that the Republic of Croatia was a state of the Croatian people,
23 the Serb people, and other nations living in it. And then you left the
24 Serbs out and said that it was a national state of Croats and that all
25 other citizens were equal.
1 A. No, but of all nations and minorities.
2 Q. Very well. In Article 1 of the constitution of Serbia, it states
3 that Serbia is a state of all its citizens. That's what Article 1 of the
4 constitution says, that Serbia is a state of all its citizens.
5 A. You've just abridged that. With the elaboration I have given, it
6 comes to the same thing ultimately.
7 Q. I wouldn't put it that way. Now, do you remember that at that
8 particular meeting, and I'm still dwelling on that, Slavko Degoricija at
9 that same session said that: "We have the force to engage in cleaning up
10 operations"? Do you remember that or not? That is on page 072 of the
11 original text.
12 A. I should like to ask Your Honours before I answer these questions
13 to be provided with the document so that I can see it. Otherwise, I shall
14 be speaking off the bat and from my memory, and there's no sense in having
15 a debate like that.
16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment.
17 MR. NICE: We're on the same document. It's been found. It's
18 being printed. It's quite a substantial document, and we're doing our
19 very best and hope to have it down soon but I can't be any clearer than
20 that at the moment.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. As far as the witness is concerned, you're
22 dealing with events, as you said, a long time ago. If you can assist by
23 answering, of course we would be grateful for that. But if you can't
24 answer to that question, of course you have a right to be able to do so
25 fully, given the length of time and the amount that's involved. So if
1 you're unable to get, to answer the question fairly in the circumstances
2 and you don't think you can answer, then it's open to you to do so and
3 we'll try and find it.
4 Yes. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Take a look at what it says, what Mr. Tudjman says at the session.
8 And it is entitled the 25th of November, 1993, 01 -- 136 are the last
9 digits. 01865136 is the number.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have them, and
11 it's in the B/C/S. Perhaps we could show it to the witness.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we could try that, see how we get on. Thank you.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I'm just going to take an excerpt from what he says. He says:
15 "Not only" -- and that is on page 136, being the last digits.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's try and find the number.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes. I'm now speaking -- referring to what it says here in the
19 minutes of the 25th of November, 1993. And I'm reading from page
20 01865136. It says: "Not only do the Serbs from Knin to Baranja
21 manipulate with that, but there are reasons that Croatia is preparing for
22 a military settling of accounts and a complete ethnic cleansing like the
23 Maslenica operation and the Gospic operation which proved this out. They
24 manipulate with this and wave it in front of their own population and the
25 world too. And then it is very difficult to override these arguments of
1 theirs when it comes to Maslenica, the entire area, we cleansed the
2 high -- the whole area up to Maceta not because we gave directives to that
3 effect but because it was not only a military operation but turned into
4 what it turned into as happened with the Gospic operation. And this
5 proved our military preparedness, but it also brought political damage to
7 So he himself says that the entire area was cleansed up to Maceta.
8 Do you remember that, Mr. Sarinic?
9 A. I don't remember those words, but --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The term "Maceta" is not clear to the
11 interpreter the witness says that:
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Maceta" is not a word that would be
13 used in Croatian.
14 Now, as far as this is concerned, if this is an authentic
15 transcript, then that stands. However, I'll just tell you one thing.
16 Let's not turn things upside down. Because it was the log revolution, 30
17 per cent of Croatia was occupied, terrible things happened, terrible
18 misfortunes. Just remember Skabrnja and all the rest of it. So that in
19 that context, that's how we ought to view it. 30 per cent of Croatia was
20 occupied, and you knew that very well.
21 Q. Mr. Sarinic, in that area that you say was 30 per cent Croatia,
22 the Serbs had lived there for centuries, and those territories were placed
23 under the protection of the United Nations until a political settlement
24 could be found. Therefore, you know all that full well.
25 A. So you accept that that was legal, the log revolution, was it? And
1 then after that, you said that it was never Serbian and that they were
2 madmen and so on and so forth.
3 Q. Mr. Sarinic, that is not so. You said that already at the meeting
4 at Karadjordjevo, to the best of your recollections as you presented them
5 here, Tudjman mentioned the log revolution and that the Serbs were behind
6 it, and that is something that I refuted, because Serbia was not behind
7 that. When I was -- when it happened, I was holidaying in Dubrovnik, and
8 nobody from Serbia knew that that was happening. And you yourself stood
9 behind that, not Serbia?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's collection: Not Serbs, Serbia.
11 JUDGE MAY: You're supposed to be asking questions here, not
12 making speeches. Now, what is it you want the witness to answer?
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Well, was it clear, Mr. Sarinic, that what happened in Knin was a
15 reaction to reprisals which your government undertook against the Serbs?
16 A. No. That is absolutely not correct. The log revolution was
17 intended to occupy a portion of Croatia, 30 per cent of Croatia, and the
18 entire international community stood up in opposition to that. And you,
19 Mr. Milosevic, in the 14 meetings and conversations we had, also told me
20 that you were not in favour of that and that Knin could never be a Serbian
22 Q. You tend to distort matters, Mr. Sarinic. What I said to you was
23 that Serbia had no territorial pretensions.
24 Now, as far as the relationship between Knin and Zagreb goes, the
25 whole time, Mr. Sarinic, if you remember full well in our conversations
1 with Tudjman and when you came to see me to convey Tudjman's messages, you
2 insisted upon the fact that a political settlement should be found in
3 direct negotiations between Knin and Zagreb. Well, wasn't that - how
4 shall I say? - the thread that was weaved through all these activities,
5 normalising relations and affecting a lull in the situation?
6 A. You know full well we insisted on that. However between Zagreb
7 and Knin, that was just not possible. It was possible between Zagreb and
9 Q. Quite the contrary.
10 A. Yes, and you participated in it all actively. Let us not forget
11 the problem of opening up the motorway, and in your office we had agreed
12 upon everything. We had agreed to open the motorway. But you forced the
13 people, and I recognised your action in this, but that you were involved
14 up to your neck in that, that is absolutely certain and that the
15 leadership in Knin could do nothing without having been given the green
16 light by you.
17 Q. First of all, Mr. Sarinic, that's not true. And that I was
18 involved up to my neck in efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement, that
19 is true, to normalise relations between Serbia and Croatia, to encourage
20 negotiations between Knin and Zagreb. Of course I was an advocate of
21 that. And I'll read out to you something. And this is not a document
22 provided by the opposite side. It is a public document of the 16th of
23 July, 1993, and I'm reading from my chronology here "The government of the
24 Republic of Croatia and the Serb Krajina --"
25 JUDGE MAY: Before the witness can have a chance to deal with it,
1 what is the document that you are claiming it to be?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, this is a book, a
3 chronology, chronology taken from the papers, from the press, covering
4 those days. And Mr. Sarinic will, I'm sure, remember this. "The
5 governments of the Republic of Croatia and Serbian Krajina and Erdut
6 signed an agreement according to which Croatia is duty-bound by the 31st
7 of June to" --
8 JUDGE MAY: I don't know what you're talking about. What is the
9 book that you say you are going to read for the witness so that he can
10 answer? What is the document which you allege?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, what I'm reading out was
12 something that appeared in all the papers at the time, and I'm talking
13 about events now, the events that took place at the time, wishing to
14 confirm my own assertions that we invested all our efforts to undertake to
15 find political solutions through peaceful negotiation.
16 JUDGE MAY: These are your newspapers; is that right? And which
17 date -- which date is it that you want?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the 16th of July,
19 1993, and the event when the government of the republic --
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Sarinic, I'm sure you will remember that on the 16th of July,
22 1993, between Knin and Zagreb, because it says the government of Croatia
23 and the Serbian Krajina in Erdut signed an agreement according to which
24 Croatia would endeavour by the 31st of July to withdraw its troops from
25 occupied territories in Krajina, Ravni Kotor and Maslenica, the Miljevac
1 Plateau, the Peruca hydroelectric power station Zemunik airport in
2 exchange for having the bridge opened across the Maslenica canal and the
3 Zemunik airport. That was the Erdut agreement and its provisions, and
4 that is common knowledge and it took place on the 16th of July, 1993, and
5 the very next day --
6 JUDGE MAY: You cannot read on for this length of time and not
7 allowing anybody to deal with this. The witness should have the
8 opportunity to answer, and it's his duty to give the evidence, not for
10 Do you know anything about what the accused is talking about?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say two things? The accused
12 at one point said that he took all steps to normalise relations between
13 Croatia and Serbia, because peace in the region depended on those
14 relations, relations between Croatia and Serbia, that is. However, I have
15 to say that the accused personally refused all possibilities of having a
16 normalisation of relations and the recognition of Croatia or the mutual
17 recognition of Croatia and Serbia.
18 From 1991 up till the end, every time we insisted on this, and the
19 accused always found some reason for not having this realised, because the
20 public wouldn't like the sound of it.
21 Then we decided on another formula and incorporated it into
22 recognition of all states which stepped out of Yugoslavia which had
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I'm asking you about this specific agreement. We encouraged
1 agreement between Knin and Zagreb, and you in Erdut drew up this agreement
2 on the 16th of July, 1993. Do you remember that or do you not?
3 A. I do remember that, but I also remember what stood behind it.
4 Q. All right. Since you say you remember it, let's see what stood
5 behind it. One day later, on the 17th of July, it says that we had a
6 meeting, that is to say Tudjman and myself, and there is a report about
7 that. It says: The president of the Republic of Serbia, Slobodan
8 Milosevic and the president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, after the meeting
9 held in the organised cessation of the co-president of the conference at
10 Stoltenberg and David Owen gave a joint statement.
11 I'm not going to read the joint communique, but it happened one
12 day after the agreement was signed between your government and the
13 representatives of Krajina in Erdut and point 3 of that joint statement,
14 Tudjman's and my own, and you were there with Tudjman and I'm sure you
15 will remember that, and it was published in the papers, it says the
16 following: Expressing satisfaction over the solution achieved to the
17 problem Maslenica and Peruca, the presidents welcome the agreement reached
18 on cessation to the hostilities and consider that each individual or group
19 violating the agreement must bear the consequences of that. The
20 presidents indicate the importance of the agreement reached as an example
21 of how problems should be settled peacefully and considered to be an
22 important step towards normalising Serbo-Croatian relations as a whole.
23 That's what it says in our joint communique, and it is a statement
24 we gave one day after the Erdut agreement of yours on the withdrawal of
25 your army from those territories which were under UN protection and which
1 were in the region of Krajina itself.
2 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... All these
3 speeches. Now, the witness -- the witness must have a chance to answer,
4 not you speaking all the time. Yes. Let the witness answer.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This agreement, the one you
6 signed together with President Tudjman on the 17th of July, 1993, and I'm
7 quoting you because I think that's the date, it was a purely diplomatic
8 document which, of course, was geared at establishing an agreement which
9 we signed on concrete, specific issues. However, I can tell you this:
10 That particular agreement was not respected, and what happened after it
11 was also worthless. Quite simply, we were always -- we -- you always got
12 the better of us in all our agreements. And I even had your support,
13 Mr. Milosevic. But we were let down. And you would often say those
14 madmen over there, but in Lillehamer I was with Hadzic [As interpreted].
15 I was in Dobranovci. I travelled the world. I came to see you, but every
16 time we were let down when an agreement was reached.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. How agreements were let down by which side, we'll come to that,
19 but they put you on ice and froze relations with you when you exerted
20 armed attacks on them, whereas they never attacked you in any armed
22 Take a look, please -- when we're talking about endeavours to
23 normalise relations, I'm sure you will remember that in January 1994, at
24 the Palais de Nation in Geneva, Vladislav Jovanovic, who was the Foreign
25 Minister of Yugoslavia at the time, and Mate Granic, your own Foreign
1 Minister, his opposite number. Gave a joint statement on the gradual
2 normalisation of relations between Yugoslavia and Croatia and that
3 representative officers by the governments in Belgrade and Croatia were to
4 be opened to facilitate interstate relations --
5 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to let you go on at this great length.
6 One of the matters the accused suggests at the beginning if you
7 want to say anything about is -- allow the witness to answer is about the
8 phrase "relations" and exerting, it seemed, armed attacks at the
9 beginning. I don't know if you want to say that or indeed anything which
10 he's responded so far.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to say that
12 everything the accused is now saying must be placed within the context of
13 the entire situation and not extract two or three examples out of the
14 general context which can then indicate one thing or another, that we were
15 the bad guys and they were the good guys. Let us not forget that it was
16 an aggression against Croatia. Let us not forget that everything was
17 taking place on Croatian territory and that never a single square meeting
18 of Serbia was ever included into those military actions, but they were
19 included into diplomatic and strategic decisions which led to situations
20 that were terrible and which happened in those territories. That's all I
21 would like to say in response to what the accused just asked me.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. It's in fact time for the
23 adjournment for quarter of an hour. Before we do, we will consider how
24 long the accused should have left, considering he has available an hour
25 and a quarter.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MAY: What we're prepared to do, Mr. Milosevic, in this
3 particular case is to give you an additional 20 minutes, which we've
4 already decide, so you have one hour and a quarter and an additional 20
6 We will adjourn now.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we found I think one of the transcripts in
8 B/C/S. We are trying to mark it up with the page references. If the
9 witness prefers to look at that rather than to rest over the 20-minute
10 period, may the document be made available to him.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, for the record, I think
16 that the time you have assigned to me is absolutely insufficient, because
17 for such a witness and in view of the amount of documents that have been
18 provided through him, I would need at least two days for
19 cross-examination, and you have given me a total of two hours and 50
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. One wonders what is the purpose of such a cross-examination at all
25 in that case.
1 Mr. Sarinic, do you remember that in this joint statement that
2 Tudjman and I made in Geneva on the 17th of July, 1993, that in point 1 it
3 says that speculations on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina between
4 Serbia and Croatia are absolutely unfounded. 2, the only way of achieving
5 a lasting peace is through the assertion of the interests of all three
6 constituent nations and agreement being reached on three republics within
7 the framework of a confederation.
8 That was our position, and that corresponded to the Owen and
9 Stoltenberg plan which addressed the possibility of having
10 Republika Srpska, Herceg-Bosna, and a Muslim federation as it was called
11 then. Is that right? Do you remember that?
12 A. I remember. I do remember that, but I also remember what happened
13 after that.
14 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. I'm just asking you whether you remember
15 that. I am glad that you do.
16 Let us now quickly go through the meetings that you attended with
17 me and you're endeavouring to distort many things from those meetings.
18 Namely at the beginning --
19 JUDGE MAY: If you make that sort of an allegation, the witness
20 has a right to answer. You can't not give the witness an opportunity to
22 The allegation is that the accused has suggested that you have
23 been changing or distorting the evidence about what occurred. What is the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my ability and
1 recollection, I presented what I saw and experienced in meetings with
2 Mr. Milosevic. Of course, as these were 14 encounters, and I worked it
3 out to be just under 40 hours of tete-a-tete meetings that we had, in my
4 book I also wrote down that 90 per cent of it is based on notes which I
5 made in the plane taking me back to Zagreb, and 10 per cent relied on my
6 memory. But those 10 per cent relied on memories of events two hours
7 prior to that, so that I absolutely do not accept the thesis of the
8 accused that I distorted things.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Fine. Your conclusions, I would say, are questionable, because
11 when you talk about the first meeting at Karadjordjevo, you quote me. I
12 assume that is correct, because I did advocate that relations should be as
13 good as possible between Croatia and Serbia, because you yourself said, in
14 fact, that relations between Serbs and Croats and Serbia and Croatia were
15 the key issues. And then you quoted me and said, "We can resolve all
16 problems." Isn't that right? You said that yesterday.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then you explained that that sentence was significant for you
19 because it probably related to Bosnia.
20 Now, tell me, on what basis did you draw the conclusion that when
21 we are saying that we can resolve all problems because I was advocating a
22 peaceful solution to all problems that this related to Bosnia when there
23 was no mention of Bosnia? And you yourself said that Tudjman mentioned
24 the log revolution, which was in fact the product of your reprisals
25 against the Serbs and not something directed from Serbia, and then I said
1 that we could resolve all problems between Serbia and Croatia that may
2 exist. Where did you come to that conclusion that it related to Bosnia?
3 A. These were my reflections and my conclusions based on what I heard
4 over there and what happened afterwards. But since during the first ten
5 minutes or so President Tudjman adopted a very firm stand and in fact
6 attacked you about the log revolution, saying that you stood behind it,
7 you denied that, saying that it was actually a problem between us and
8 Knin, et cetera, and then you said, "But we can find a solution to that, a
9 solution for those problems."
10 Now, there's a logic of drawing conclusions. If you're excluded
11 from this process and you say that we can resolve them, then obviously you
12 have something else in mind.
13 Q. Mr. Sarinic, I don't think your logic has a very firm basis.
14 Bosnia was never mentioned. You never heard the word "Bosnia"; is that
16 A. I heard the word Bosnia later on talking to the president, and the
17 president never lied to me.
18 Q. Did he perhaps tell you that we had agreed to divide Bosnia?
19 A. No. But he told me that you had talked about Bosnia.
20 Q. Fine. We had talked about Islamic fundamentalism, and I gave him
21 some information that I had received in longhand. I don't even know who
22 drafted it; I can't remember. But I gave him this -- I gave him this
23 piece of information which proved to be true. And Tudjman agreed with
24 that. Is that so?
25 A. Yes, that is so, but that was in Tikves, not in Karadjordjevo.
1 Q. Fine.
2 A. Yes. And you gave him that, and I inferred from that that you
3 actually wanted to hook Tudjman onto the question of Bosnia and
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. After that meeting in Karadjordjevo,
6 which had to do with our relationships, on the 5th of April, several days
7 later, there was a meeting in Split attended by all the presidents of the
8 republics, six of us, at which we said that Tudjman and I had discussed
9 our mutual relationships in Karadjordjevo. This was no secret to the
10 other presidents of the republics; isn't that so?
11 A. The fact that you met was no secret but what you discussed was a
13 Q. But you were present at this meeting and we said that we had
14 discussed our mutual relationship and how to promote them, improve them,
15 et cetera. That is what we said.
16 A. That is using diplomatic language. Now, what is hidden behind it
17 is another matter.
18 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. You mentioned, and I noted it down
19 yesterday when you were speaking, that you mentioned Arkan to me, and then
20 I responded something jokingly.
21 First of all, Mr. Sarinic, that is absolutely incorrect. And
22 secondly --
23 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have the chance to deal with both.
24 The accused denies anything like this was said. Would you like to answer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat that that is the absolute
1 truth, that the accused laughingly said, "Well, someone has to do part of
2 the work for me too." These are the words still ringing in my ears. But
3 this was stated in a semi-humourous tone, but it was stated. And as the
4 saying goes, in every joke there is some truth. So that is my conclusion.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Yes, but you said yesterday that without support, such an army of
7 5.000 men could not function, et cetera, et cetera. You said that
8 yesterday, didn't you?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. And do you know that the Serb Volunteer Guard of Zeljko
11 Raznjatovic Arkan never exceeded the size of a company? What 5.000 men
12 are you talking about? Where did you get such fantastic figures from that
13 you have uttered?
14 A. From our services we received those figures. That is one thing.
15 And secondly, clearly you -- if you were not involved in that, you
16 wouldn't know the size, whether it was a company or not. So it means you
17 knew very well.
18 Q. I'm telling you about the data available, because the Serbian
19 Volunteer Guard really did go there as a volunteer force and was always
20 either under the command of the army of Republika Srpska when it was in
21 Bosnia or under the command of the Serbian army of Krajina when it was in
23 A. That is not correct. You have confiscated documents on the one
24 hand, and there are also reports and intercepts saying that they were in
25 the RSK and that they behaved as if they were above all the commands of
1 the army of RSK, that they were issued weapons which they never returned,
2 that they were hated in the army of RSK.
3 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. I personally met Arkan once in my life,
4 and that was when he was an Assembly deputy, and I met him just like I met
5 all the other deputies when I visited the Assembly. You have no document,
6 no conversation which could link me to any of the activities of the Serb
7 Volunteer Guards. Have you perhaps come across a document like that? Do
8 you have it in your possession?
9 A. No, but you have the reputation of leaving few traces behind you.
10 Q. Yes, but you could have come across an intercept and you haven't
11 even got that. Not even you could produce something like that.
12 Mr. Sarinic, do you remember, since without a doubt you came to
13 see me on behalf of your president, President Tudjman, to convey his
14 messages to me and convey my messages to him.
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And this was always geared towards mending relations, normalising
17 relations and our joint activities to establish peace. Wasn't that how it
19 A. That is how it was in the details.
20 Q. Fine. Now, Tudjman and I would meet in Geneva, and we travelled
21 there, invited by Owen and Stoltenberg, and we attended the meetings of
22 the three delegations there from Bosnia-Herzegovina, et cetera. Is that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And we did our best to work constructively on both sides to ensure
1 that they reached an agreement on peace; isn't that right?
2 A. Well, probably, about I wasn't always at those meetings.
3 Q. All right. Fine.
4 A. Your Honours, may I be allowed to respond?
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What happened was this: An hour ago
7 I said that in certain operations you acted positively, that you took
8 positive action. But let us not forget that with your knowledge and with
9 your assistance, a situation was created whereby and within that terrible
10 situation you played the peacemaker. So that's where the problem was.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Well, there was a problem because your activities led to those
13 conflicts and not the activities of Serbia. Serbia didn't attack Croatia.
14 You attacked the Serbs in Croatia.
15 A. No, we didn't attack the Serbs in Croatia. The Serbs in Croatia
16 rose up like a Trojan horse following your policies.
17 Q. Well, then my policies several centuries previously had thrown in
18 those Serbs as a Trojan horse into Croatia.
19 A. It wasn't only the Serbs. There were Croats and others too, and
20 we had to take in those refugees, both from the Republika Srpska and the
21 RSK, and they amounted to about 600.000 people. There were about 600.000
22 refugees in Croatia, because the whole of the Republika Srpska had been
23 cleaned up, and the Croats in the RSK. So those are the facts. And you
24 cannot say that it was only the Serbs who lived there.
25 Q. Mr. Sarinic, Serbia had close to 1 million refugees from
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia at the time.
2 A. And they were organised by the RSK forces. I've already said that
3 I have seen documents in which Mrksic is talking to Babic, and Mrksic says
4 over Radio Belgrade that a plan to evacuate the people existed. So that
5 these are two different matters entirely.
6 Q. All right, Mr. Sarinic. Let's go back to our basic thesis and
7 premise that endeavours existed along those lines and you came from
8 Tudjman in that name, and I sent messages to him, and I also met Tudjman
9 in Geneva in an effort to normalise the situation. I'm sure you will
10 remember your own Assembly of the 13th of May, 1993, in Zagreb. You
11 attended the meeting in addition to Tudjman, and Tudjman said at that
12 meeting, and I'm quoting him: "It is interesting to note that in addition
13 to the contacts that we have had with Belgrade where they proposed a
14 normalisation to the situation because they posed that a long-distance
15 communications line to normalise the situation in Dalmatia was proposed,
16 and we were not duped when the proposal was made."
17 That's what Tudjman said. And then added: "Hrvoje talked about
18 this and steps were taken vis-a-vis the Bosnian leadership because there
19 is no full coordination between Belgrade and Bosnia and Belgrade and Knin,
20 and they wanted our man to come tomorrow."
21 So, Mr. Sarinic, we, that is to say Belgrade, did our best to
22 normalise the situation and electric power supplies were mentioned, as I
23 said, for a political -- a political solution as well was envisaged and so
25 A. I have to say, Mr. Milosevic, that I'm very surprised that you've
1 just asked me that, and here's why. The realistic situation, as it stood
2 in the field, was that all the agreements were outmanoeuvred. We were let
3 down on all agreements. And when I say all of them, I mean all of them.
4 And you know full well the efforts you yourself made with the plus 3,
5 plus 4 --
6 Q. You mean to set up joint patrols?
7 A. Yes. I'm referring to the joint patrols. We let you have your
8 way and said, "Let UNPROFOR drive around." And then you insisted that
9 some of the Serbs be in those jeeps. So I agreed to that, just to have
10 some steps taken. But that fell through as well. And then what happened
11 was Operation Flash. So in the formal sense you were allegedly a
12 peacemaker, in inverted commas. But let's look at the situation. You
13 brought about the situation to begin with and then any agreements that
14 were reached, which I signed and managed to reach, they always fell
16 Q. Well, matters are not quite as you depict them, but I don't have
17 the time here and now to go into that because you see that my time is
19 Anyway, in this connection you held talks constantly. In the
20 meantime, you sent your troops to Bosnia for operations there. Isn't that
21 right, Mr. Sarinic?
22 A. No, it isn't.
23 Q. Well, you say no it isn't. That's an answer. Now, I'm sure you
24 will recall a meeting of the 12th of June, 1995 attended by Tudjman, Janko
25 Bobetko, Gojko Susak, and I'm sure you will remember that at that meeting
1 you -- and when I say you, I mean all those present -- prevailed on
2 Bobetko to retire peacefully for health reasons because he wasn't able to
3 keep up his job as the head of the Main Staff of the Croatian army, and he
4 resisted that proposal to retire peacefully. I'm sure you will remember
6 A. Well, if it was a meeting that was held in the cabinet or offices
7 of President Tudjman, then I do remember that.
8 Q. And then I'm sure you will remember that Bobetko threatened to go
9 public in order to defend his military honour and honour as a man, and
10 Tudjman saw this as a threat to the Croatian authorities on his part. Do
11 you remember that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. Well, Bobetko goes on to say, "Gojko is alive and well. I've
14 spent hundreds of nights in Herzegovina. I fought like a lion for
15 everything there. The president is aware of that too. Nothing was too
16 difficult for me."
17 So is it quite clear then that your forces were fighting on the
18 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, according to that?
19 A. First of all, General Bobetko has also written a book, and in that
20 book there is a portion referring to what you were saying a moment ago.
21 However, Croatia was never at war with Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'm going
22 to provide you with facts to bear that out.
23 First of all, the constitution of the Republic of Croatia provides
24 for the fact that all citizens in other countries who are Croatian, of
25 Croatian ethnicity should be protected. That's the first point. And
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina never declared war on Croatia. There are -- is not a
2 single document that was sent out either by the president or the
3 parliament or the government to the effect that the Croatian army should
4 go to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Yes, but it was there.
6 A. Wait a minute. Let me finish. Now, after that, we had 600.000
7 refugees, mostly Muslims, let me add, whom we took care of as we did their
8 wounded. We gave them weapons, and we gave them equipment. And you must
9 admit that it would be paradoxical to supply somebody with arms if you're
10 at war with that same party. So that these are all arguments that I know
12 As to the rest, I leave that to Mr. Bobetko's recollections.
13 Q. All right. He said, "We work together." And I went with the
14 army, when they sabotaged something, we prevented that. The president
15 sitting at this table asking about Roso, he means Ante Roso. When he
16 asked him how many specials there were, he said 460, whereas he had
17 720-odd escaped.
18 A. I know there was the Split declaration signed between Izetbegovic
19 and Tudjman and the famous 60 kilometres on each side of the border were
20 referred to. So that's where our forces were on the basis of those
21 requirements and that declaration and requests from the Bosnian side.
22 Q. That means that you in fact were not warring in Bosnia. Is that
23 what you're saying?
24 A. I am saying --
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: I could probably assist the witness in relation to a
2 record. The records themselves are subject to the usual restriction.
3 They're supposed to be dealt with in private session. But on this
4 occasion I do have a document that I could make available to him to assist
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let him have it.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. Now, on that occasion at that infamous
9 meeting when you wanted to make him retire, did Mr. Bobetko show you a
10 written order for the Flash operation issued on the 5th of December, 1994?
11 A. I don't know. I don't remember that.
12 Q. Very well. Fine. Now, as this exists on page 0134946, they are
13 the minutes from that meeting, 01324916 is the number, we will be able to
14 establish that and I should like to tender that, those minutes into
15 evidence. So that the order came five months before you cleaned up
16 Western Slavonia; is that right?
17 A. We didn't clean it up. It came after Operation Flash. It wasn't
18 the cleansing of Western Slavonia at all. That is your own
19 interpretation. And I've already said the manner in which the plan to
20 evacuate the Serb population was compiled by the leadership, in fact, the
21 leadership of the Serbs in those territories.
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. If -- if the witness wants to add
23 anything in light of the document which was put in front of him, he's open
24 to do so if he wishes.
25 Is there anything you'd like to add?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very difficult for me to do
2 that, because this is a lengthy document. It has 30 or 40 pages. So I
3 can read diagonally down the page, flash read, but it's impossible for me
4 to go through it in its entirety. And I told Mr. Milosevic that I do
5 remember the meeting with Bobetko. As to the details, I really can't say.
6 I can't remember them all. I know that there was this problem of him
7 retiring, et cetera.
8 Now, as to the operations and actions themselves, I don't know
9 anything about that. I would have to read it through.
10 JUDGE MAY: Just before you finish -- just before you finish, it
11 will be open to the Prosecution to clarify any of these matters which they
12 wish rather than asking the witness to try and do all this amount of work
13 very quickly. But if the Prosecution want to raise it, it's a matter for
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. It seems that
17 you just expect me to get through an enormous amount of work in a short
18 space of time.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. But anyway, at the time Bobetko wasn't happy about all this, and
21 when he brought out the order issued on the 5th of December, 1994 for the
22 Operation Flash, Tudjman said to him, and I quote from the
23 transcript: "Wait a minute. Now that you have mentioned this, we are
24 convincing the world that we were provoked by the extremists who cut
25 across our motorway and killed the people and that we were going to launch
1 the action that we have done."
2 And then you say: "What kind of -- prepared this?" So you are
3 inflicting political harm. In the interests of what?
4 A. Well, I don't remember those words, but it is difficult for me to
5 speak about Janko Bobetko, who is not here, and to put in his mouth
6 something that -- but I know that he was a very sensitive man and that he
7 found his retirement very difficult to accept, and so perhaps he was a
8 little overemphatic in his words and said what he wouldn't have said
10 Q. All right, Mr. Sarinic. Is there clear that there was no
11 spontaneous Operation Flash? It wasn't a spontaneous operation. There
12 wasn't an incident that broke out. It was a scenario designed by the
13 leadership of the Republic of Croatia which was supposed to justify this,
14 not to deblock the motorway but ethnic cleansing of Western Slavonia and
15 the expulsion of thousands of Serb.
16 A. Mr. Milosevic, what are you talking about, that there was no
17 pretext? Wasn't it enough that we spend three months negotiating about
18 this -- these jeeps and establishing communication along those roads? And
19 you were there, and this was impossible to put into practice. We talked
20 about the pipeline, the oil pipeline, too. We insisted upon that and were
21 able to get nowhere. We made no headway with that either. You told me,
22 "Use Boro Mikelic's trump card. He is a strong man. The rest are
23 madmen." That's what you said to me.
24 Q. Boro Mikelic was nominated to negotiate with you for Krajina, and
25 you were the Croatian representative that talked to him. You discussed
1 normalisation, and I strove for a normalisation in relations and wanted
2 you to negotiate. And then the other questions that were discussed were
3 the motorway, the oil pipeline, repairs to the railroad, motorways,
4 et cetera. Isn't that so, Mr. Sarinic?
5 A. Yes, that is right.
6 Q. It is true then that I was naive enough to believe that an
7 incident had actually occurred at the time. However, from the stenogram
8 that I received from the opposite side while spending my time here, we can
9 see quite clearly that it wasn't the case of an incident but an intention
10 prepared in advance on the part of the leadership of Croatia.
11 A. Well, that's your own tendentious interpretation. What I can tell
12 you is this: I can give you a fact, and I'm sure you will remember this
13 very well. What happened was this: There was an incident that broke out
14 one evening in a coffee bar on the motorway. Somebody had a fight, a
15 Croat entered into a brawl with a Serb. And on the occasion I think seven
16 Croats were killed over there. So I had an information from our services
17 about that. Then you talked to Boro Mikelic and you said, "Well, have you
18 spoken to Sarinic?" And he said, "Yes, I have." Well, they were very
19 cultivated in their response and conduct, whereas our men, our people,
20 they should all be arrested. They were terrible. So what more do you
21 want? What other incident do you need?
22 Q. Is it true from what you say the only thing that is true is that I
23 believed that it was indeed an incident and that I endeavoured to bring
24 things back to normal. And here is your report on the conversation you're
25 referring to. It says a report, Milosevic-Mikelic. This is 02909453 --
1 453 are the last digits where he tells me what's going on, and I say to
2 him that a formula should be proposed for everyone to be released because
3 some Croats had been arrested, that he -- that those who fired will be
4 arrested. You should say that. You have no other way. But for both
5 sides, and then there are dots here, and then I say to him, "All Croats
6 are not responsible for somebody being a murderer, and not all Serbs are
7 responsible for that idiot going out and shooting at the highway. We
8 shoot people for killing other people out of revenge and not --
9 furthermore, you don't go around the highway killing people because your
10 brother has been killed. He must be an idiot. He's an believable idiot."
11 A. Go on and read what Boro Mikelic says.
12 JUDGE MAY: Just a minute. One at a time.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. "Well, there's no problem. You have to arrest those people.
15 There's no other way. Let us men go that you have detained and all those
16 who have opened fire. They should arrest their man who did it and that's
17 it. Let things be normalised." So what we are suggesting is they arrest
18 their men, you arrest yours, they should turn their men over to you and
19 you would take the culprits to court. In other words, I'm endeavouring to
20 normalise things.
21 JUDGE MAY: One at a time.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you please read
23 the -- Boro Mikelic's response in that same document?
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I will try to do that, Mr. Sarinic, because I wish to draw your
1 attention to this, Mr. May, Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Kwon, that I received
2 the transcript of this conversation in at least three different versions
3 which only adds to my suspicions that there are certain corrections made,
4 because from the transcript that I'm reading from, I have nothing more to
5 read about Boro Mikelic, but there's another transcript --
6 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment. The matter should be dealt with
8 Mr. Nice, again perhaps you would check this. It seems strange
9 that three separate copies have been handed to him. That's what he says
10 at the moment. That doesn't sound at all satisfactory. But no need to
11 stop for that at the moment.
12 But there is another part which the witness wishes to deal with,
13 and you will have the opportunity to deal with that. So perhaps you would
14 note that so he has the chance.
15 MR. NICE: Yes. Certainly.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. This transcript that I quoted from a moment ago has 02294543, and
18 this transcript relating to the same talk, 03416240. I can't find the
19 third version now, but it's more or less the same thing. Mikelic says to
20 me: "President, last night around 2100 hours, and what happened, then
21 they killed three of their citizens. Six are wounded. Twelve of are
22 slightly wounded. They have taken things to Okucani, the highway at 12.00
23 until 4.00 the highway was in communication." I don't understand this.
24 "Then they came over the flyover. They were burning fires there, and
25 then this happened. Now, whether they will detain some of our own who had
1 set off from Belgrade in a vehicle not knowing what was happening on the
2 highway because the highway was open and people were travelling. I don't
3 know that. For the moment I will be -- I will be away for an hour, and
4 I'll -- I'll call you."
5 Then I ask him: "Can you contact Sarinic?"
6 Mikelic: "I have already spoken to Sarinic because I was the
7 first to inform him last night. After that, this morning I spoke to their
8 Minister of Internal Affairs, and after that I will speak to Sarinic in
9 the next ten minutes or so. As far as they are concerned, they arrested
10 this man, of course. They say they would take him to court, but they
11 didn't retaliate in any other way. They behaved in a civilised manner,
12 whereas amongst our people, you see what happens."
13 And then I say to him: "But Perisic told me that they took
14 measures over there that all the citizens will now," and then these are
15 dots, it doesn't make sense --
16 JUDGE MAY: We cannot go on, cannot go on in this way. It's
17 impossible for anybody to remember anything realistic and it's possible
18 for anyone to say anything, which is not fair on anybody. But we will
19 allow the witness if there is anything you want to add to what's been
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Namely, I
22 remember that transcript, and I wanted Mr. Milosevic to read it through to
23 the end because there are two things that I wish to comment on. The first
24 is that Mr. Milosevic said that we started the Operation Flash without any
25 provocation, and I wanted to add this provocation as this incident. And
1 also, Boro Mikelic said that they behaved in a civilised manner, whereas
2 our men behaved in the way I've told you. That is one thing.
3 And secondly, mention is made here of General Perisic. As far as
4 I know, Mr. Perisic in those days was the Chief of Staff of the Army of
5 Serbia. What has he got to do with it if the Serbian army was not
6 involved there?
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. He was just passing on information and that's all. He was sitting
9 in Belgrade. He received information through his channels, and then he
10 forwarded that information to me as to what was happening, because all of
11 us were extremely irritated by any incident occurring on the highway.
12 Now we'll come back to what you're saying, that it had not been
13 planned in advance, and I would say that that is evident to everyone,
14 because you have the meeting on the 30th of April.
15 THE ACCUSED: And let me mention for your benefit, Mr. May, that
16 pursuant to your request I have provided the assistant of the opposing
17 side, during the break I have told her I will be using this transcript so
18 they have been able to get hold of it. So I will read a part of the
19 discussion from this meeting which preceded Flash and the ethnic cleansing
20 of Western Slavonia, and I have a couple of questions about it.
21 First of all, you have the 30th of April, 1995.
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. If you have a copy for the witness.
23 Do you have that?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is page -- I'll leave out a part
25 that I wanted to quote, but I'll reduce it to only a few essential
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I have announced that I will use this transcript, although it is
4 not my duty to do so because it was provided through this witness or maybe
5 Mesic. I don't know.
6 It says: "The president" -- so it means Tudjman is speaking. It
7 is on page 01325696. "It has been agreed with the soldiers that the
8 undertaking should start tomorrow at 5.00 a.m., that it should be finished
9 within a few hours, not later than the end of the day. We have come to
10 the conclusion it would be a good idea for UNPROFOR to open the highway
11 today, to open the highway and then, not giving a few hours in advance to
12 UNCRO, giving them any information, but rather for some kind of incident
13 to be provoked an hour prior to this. If the highway is open, then let
14 two or three of our cars pass through and let them be exposed to some sort
15 of fire. So this would be an incident one hour prior to the beginning.
16 And you two should agree on that. MUP probably, the MUP."
17 Cervenko: "We've agreed about that in the eastern sector."
18 The president: "We agreed on the highway. If it were not to be
19 open then in the eastern sector so that formally we should have ... It is
20 very important that this should be accompanied with appropriate
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. First of all, the witness should have
23 an opportunity to deal with this part.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm just quoting from the
25 stenographic notes, Mr. May.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I must observe that
2 the accused is saying that this was part of an attack for the purpose of
3 ethnic cleansing. I reject that absolutely, because there was no ethnic
4 cleansing. It was an organised evacuation, organised by the Serb
5 authorities. To corroborate that, I have provided this honourable
6 Tribunal with a tape and newspaper clippings and on the electronic media
7 every two hours we were calling on the Serbs to stay in their homes.
8 However, things happened as they did. That is one point.
9 The second is that I personally, in the morning, on the 1st of
10 May, was instructed to inform General Crabbe, he's a Canadian that was
11 there on behalf of the UNPROFOR, to inform him and tell him that the
12 Croatian army is about to cleanse Western Slavonia in order to restore
13 Croatian control over it. So I don't understand what country which was
14 occupied or, rather, of which 30 per cent of the territory would be
15 occupied would not agree -- accept that and would fail to do anything
16 about it once all peaceful attempts and negotiations failed. There's no
17 country that wouldn't engage in a military action to liberate its
18 territory. For heaven's sake, I think that is the legitimate right of
19 everyone. They -- they were armed systematically, and there are hundreds
20 of documents to prove that.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Sarinic, I'm asking you about this meeting, so there's really
23 no need for you to go on. I am quoting from what you said on page
24 702. "After you gave me instructions, president, I wanted to contact
25 Akashi. He's in Sarajevo. It's not certain whether he will come this
1 evening. Probably tomorrow. Then I immediately contacted General Crabbe,
2 and I spoke to him. I told him that we agreed that the highway should be
3 opened and he welcomed that. He said he would call me between 1200 and
4 1300 hours to tell me that he had been in touch with Mikelic."
5 So this is what you're referring to, isn't it?
6 A. Not quite. This is my second or maybe the first conversation with
7 this general. The second was in the early morning at 5.00 to tell him to
8 remove his soldiers because there would be a military campaign. But I'm
9 once again underlining the legitimacy of that operation, because everyone
10 is entitled to liberate a part of its territory that has been occupied.
11 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. As I have to skip over things, let me
12 find the passage. On page 711, the president says: "Listen. We'll see
13 in the morning. If things went smoothly within a few hours, the MUP will
14 do, but probably in the morning we will have to see the following. Since
15 the police came up against resistance, then armed military forces were
16 sent there, local military forces, and then you act together. So first
17 you are preparing an incident. Then you would say that police forces came
18 up against resistance, and then the army was included. Isn't that so,
19 Mr. Sarinic?
20 A. Listen, you're simply formalising things. It doesn't matter
21 whether these were police forces or the army. Western Slavonia was
22 occupied, and it is an integral part of the territory of Croatia and,
23 therefore, Croatia was entitled to use its forces to liberate its
24 territory, and that's as simple as that.
25 Q. Mr. Sarinic, there was an agreement UNPROFOR and with Mikelic that
1 you agreed with for the highway to be opened, and now you're now planning
2 an incident, for the army to intervene, and for everything under
3 Operation Flash that occurred. On page 714, you president says --
4 JUDGE MAY: No. Let the witness answer if he wants. If he wants
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do wish to answer, Your Honour,
7 because these are flagrant untruths by the accused. This incident
8 was -- didn't need to be provoked. I personally drove in a car with my
9 bodyguards two days prior to this along the highway. They wouldn't let me
10 pass. There were soldiers of the so-called RSK there. They wouldn't let
11 me pass. They used derogatory terms in addressing me, et cetera. I don't
12 want to repeat them. It is not true that the highway was open. Some
13 people passed at their own risk, but I claim formally that the highway was
14 not functioning. So no incident was necessary, because there were
15 incidents every day, every hour. And on the other hand, now, whether it
16 was the MUP, that is the police forces or the army, I think that is quite
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You are turning things upside down. I am saying that you rigged
20 the incident to have an alibi for such an extensive operation. On page
21 714, the president says: "At 6:00, once they start, the following should
22 be done - the Serb forces have again provoked an incident, and I told the
23 ministers two or three cars should go there and then let them shoot at
25 And then Susak says: "We will do everything in our power."
1 The president says: "That means a new incident and that the
2 forces of law and order were going to establish control on the motorway."
3 Then Susak speaks: "President, Mr. President, the worst option
4 would be for us to go with two cars, two vans, to leave them there, to
5 riddle them with bullets, to film this for television if there is no other
7 A. Now, as that is in the transcript, I cannot deny the authenticity
8 of it. However, I should like to repeat that I am very astonished that
9 any incident was needed, because it was quite legitimate to free part of
10 the country that had been occupied.
11 Q. Now, Jarnjak, was that the Minister of the Interior?
12 A. Yes, he was.
13 Q. He says, "Mr. President, the provoking of this incident, Gojko,
14 let's agree upon this and Gojko was the Defence Minister of course. I'm
15 going to agree with the police Cis leadership and they'll do what's
16 necessary. And it will be so -- it will seem to be the real thing, that
17 nobody will be able to doubt it."
18 The president says: "So on the motorway. Now, if the motorway
19 does not work, then at the entrance."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Hrvoje Sarinic goes on to say, this is what you say:
22 "Mr. President, we oughtn't to be surprised by one thing. I think all of
23 them will insist upon it, even UNCRO, that the motorway be opened from
24 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening. We want it to be opened all
25 the time. If that is not sufficient, then the incident should be provoked
2 So you say that this incident should be provoked. And the
3 president said at the entrance to it. And Susak says: "Mr. President,
4 what Nikica is a warning us of, we should like to tell him we are in
5 favour of having the motorway open, but the complete motorway opening so
6 we can not be accused of not want to go open it."
7 So you are discussing the incident?
8 A. Yes, we're still discussing the incident, but let me say once
9 again that I don't want it to end there, and I repeat the legitimacy of
10 our defence there to liberate the occupied territories. So we did this on
11 time, regardless of the incident, and -- or, rather, we informed UNCRO on
12 time, and General Crabbe that the Croatian forces were moving to liberate
13 Western Slavonia.
14 Q. And this is what Jarnjak says. I haven't got time, I have to get
15 through this quickly. He says: "I think that two matters are concerned
16 here. If they leave it open" - and he's referring to the motorway - "we
17 will cause an incident. If they don't open the motorway then that will be
18 the reason. The reason that it isn't open means you will have to
20 The president says: "However, with an incident again to provoke
21 an incident. And I said that Croatia as we were not satisfied," et
22 cetera, et cetera. He is encouraging the local Serbs at this point, et
23 cetera. I'll skip over that section. It's not an important passage. But
24 he is encouraging the local Serbs to create, to provoke an incident. "And
25 I said we are dissatisfied and asking our friends the Americans to see
1 that the agreement in Copenhagen and Washington and the United Nations is
3 And then Jarnjak says: "I should like to receive maps to show me
4 where that incident is going -- is happening. You will receive
5 information on that, and the government is going to meet for 45 minutes to
6 have a brief report presented." So you're already preparing a statement
7 for the incident that you are supposed to rig, and stage there.
8 A. I don't know what the accused means by what he's saying. Now, I'd
9 like to focus on the important points. The incident is not the important
10 point. We were the victims on our own territory, and I think that that
11 was military tactics along those lines. However, the essential thing is
12 something that the accused omitted to mention. There was no genocide, but
13 that what there was, was the legitimate desire to control and liberate the
14 territory, which undoubtedly belong to the Republic of Croatia.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I should like -- these are
16 stenographic notes, or rather the transcript of a recording of the
17 meeting. In view of the shortness of time I have at my disposal, I can't
18 quote it as much as I would like to and from the quotations you can
19 clearly say -- see that an incident was planned as a pretext, an alibi for
20 the famous Operation Flash and I would like to tender this transcript from
21 the security council meeting held at the president -- at the presidential
22 palace on the 30th of April, 1995. I should like it to be exhibited and
23 admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll exhibit that.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I think we have an English language
1 version of that available. It should be under seal in light of the order
2 that the Chamber has sought about this category of document but we can do
3 that later.
4 JUDGE MAY: We need to keep it as short as possible. We do not
5 want a huge amount of detail. We will put in what the accused has said
6 rather than a great length of material.
7 Yes. Has the witness got it? No. Where have we got the
8 document, please? Have you handed the document in, Mr. Milosevic?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I haven't handed it in. I
10 would like to keep it, because I was provided it by the opposite side.
11 And it is.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused repeat the ERN number, please.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And you have the document. ERN
14 01324 -- 01325695 is the ERN number on the title page and it is dated the
15 30th of April, 1995. So it is an agreement to stage the incident in
16 question in order to go ahead with the Operation Flash and the
17 consequences of that were well known. Several hundred Serbs killed and
18 tens of thousands expelled from the area.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have an objection to make which I
20 have repeated, and I would like it to be entered into the records that it
21 was a legitimate operation on the part of the Croatian forces to liberate
22 that part of Croatian occupied territory. Now, as to the hundreds of
23 casualties, let me say there were casualties on the Croatian side, too,
24 that was defending itself, but those casualties were trying to liberate
25 and assume control of territories which without a doubt belong to the
1 territory of the Republic of Croatia which had been occupied by the Serbs
2 living there, and they were the Trojan horse for Serbia's policies in the
3 struggle for a Greater Serbia there.
4 JUDGE MAY: Before we do anything else, we will have the document
5 introduced into the exhibits.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 237, Your Honours, under seal.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Sarinic, how can you say that when I've just quoted your
9 foreign -- your Defence Minister who says, and let me just repeat one of
10 his sentences: Mr. President, in the worst case we will take two
11 vehicles, two vans, leave them there, riddle them with bullets and film it
12 for television if we have no other choice, no other options. And then you
13 have an explanation as to how the government need not be informed until
14 this actually happens and then that you yourself will inform them once the
15 incident that you have planned actually takes place. You will then inform
16 the government subsequently, because only those three Ministers who were
17 present knew about it and of course nobody else knew about it. So your
18 citizens didn't know about it, neither did your government. So what we're
19 dealing with here is not a military operation, because somebody had done
20 some shooting somewhere, it is a military operation to take control of the
21 motorway which pursuant to agreement between you and Mikelic was supposed
22 to be open to traffic normally.
23 So are you challenging that, Mr. Sarinic?
24 A. Yes, I am. I'm challenging it because the agreement between
25 Mikelic and me never bore fruit. It bore a lot of paper, bulky paper. And
1 afterwards, things were written in rifles and shooting and not written
2 down in pen and ink. The motorway was never opened, and in his office and
3 in your own office we spent hours discussing this problem. And anyway,
4 Mr. Milosevic, I'm wondering why you're insisting on this so much, because
5 you said your hands were clean and that you never meddled in any of this,
6 that you never interfered, that it was a problem between Knin and Zagreb?
7 Isn't that what you said.
8 Q. Of course it was, yes.
9 A. And now are you the advocate of Knin.
10 Q. I am an advocate of the truth. They were the victims of this
11 trick which had as a result the death of several hundred people and tens
12 of thousands of people expelled. Therefore, of course I am an advocate of
13 their rights, and we're talking about a trick which is so obvious that
14 nobody can challenge it.
15 A. It's not a trick. It was military tactics.
16 Q. Oh, I see, military tactics. Yes, absolutely.
17 JUDGE MAY: I'm stopping you. You must allow the witness to
18 respond. You cannot interrupt. If he wants to add anything, he can do
19 so. And I then suggest we find some other point to move on to.
20 Do you want to add anything?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. It would
22 be better to move on to another topic, otherwise there will be more
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I think that would be a better idea too because things are very
1 clear as they stand. Otherwise, Mr. Sarinic, with respect to your
2 testimony yesterday, the statement you made in connection with Mikelic, I
3 received through my associates a letter from him, his letter, and the --
4 it has yesterday's date, and he denies the false assessments made by
5 Hrvoje Sarinic on Wednesday the 21st on television. "I followed the
6 testimony of Hrvoje Sarinic on television." And then he says who you
7 were, et cetera, and I'll skip that part. And he goes on to say: "Since
8 Mr. Sarinic in public presented flagrant lies and false evaluations linked
9 to my own name and linked to me personally, I should like this to be
10 known. My only meeting with Hrvoje Sarinic in the cabinet of the former
11 President of Serbia Slobodan Milosevic took place at the end of February
12 1995. On that day" --
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's deal with this. Pause. Who are you
14 saying -- who are you saying met Mr. Milosevic in February 1995, so it's
15 plain. Who are you suggesting met him?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Are you asking me,
17 Your Honours?
18 JUDGE MAY: No, I was asking him.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Sarinic mentioned Boro Mikelic.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So Borislav Mikelic, who was his collocutor on behalf of the
22 Republic of Serbian Krajina during negotiations on the opening of the
23 highway. All supplies, repairs of railway lines, normalisation of
24 relations, et cetera, et cetera.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If there's anything you want to add, let
1 the witness, if he wants to add anything to date.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the contents of the
3 letter, because the accused just started reading it. And he said that
4 they were lies, that what I said were lies. But I don't know what
5 specific lies he's referring to.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let us go on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So he says that, "My secretary called him and asked him whether he
9 could come to a meeting in the office of President Milosevic, that he was
10 in the office of the republic of the Serbian Krajina in Belgrade, street
11 Terazia [phoen], number 3 or 13, I can't read it because it is his
12 handwriting. It is five minutes on foot from my offer -- my office. I
13 said I would come, and 20 minutes later I arrived in President Milosevic's
14 office where I found Mr. Sarinic. After exchanging greetings, I asked
15 Sarinic, how come you are here, because all my previous meetings with
16 Sarinic were organised through the UNPROFOR staff in Zagreb. Milosevic
17 said to me then that the conversation took place after they had agreed
18 amongst themselves, that is that you and I wanted to review with him the
19 newly created situation following the decision of the Assembly of the
20 Serbian Republic of Krajina on the freezing of an economic agreement with
21 Croatia after UNPROFOR was interrupted at the end of December. There were
22 no differences between me and President Milosevic on that occasion, and
23 especially not any kind of master-servant relationship, because
24 relationships between the two of us were relations of full respect.
25 Mr. Nice asked you, and you said it was a relationship as between
1 a master and a servant.
2 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Again, let the witness have the chance
3 to answer if he wishes to.
4 Is there anything you'd like to add?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I repeat what I have
6 already said. When Mr. Boro Mikelic walked into the office, he was
7 surprised at seeing me there, and this is -- he confirms that in this
8 letter. And then he asks me how come I was there. And then the accused
9 said, "What do you care? Just sit down and listen." And I repeat that.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now he's denying that. He's telling you what it was about, that
12 the idea was to overcome the problem of the freezing of relations linked
13 to your refusal to extend the mandate of UNPROFOR, but I won't repeat
15 And then under 2 it says: "The conversation with Mr. Sarinic in
16 the presence of Mr. Milosevic lasted about 30 minutes. And the topic was
17 not the functioning of the highway, as Sarinic said in the Tribunal, but
18 he asked me to find a way of normalising traffic along four kilometres of
19 the railway line through Western Slavonia from Novska and that Croatian
20 experts with the assistance of the Polish battalion would carry out the
22 A. Your Honours, I have to deny that absolutely. The main subject,
23 and I hope Mr. Milosevic will confirm that because he was present, he's a
24 witness of that conversation, the main topic were the jeeps for the
25 opening of the highway. And who would be in those jeeps? First the
1 suggestion was two from Croatia, two from the RSK. Then the people from
2 RSK would not agree. Then I gave way and said that they should all be
3 from UNPROFOR. No, they said. We must add one more because, "Otherwise I
4 will not be able to sell it to my men," said Boro Mikelic. And he said
5 let there just be at least one of our -- the people from RSK there. And
6 then I gave into that as well. That was the conversation, no mention of
7 Novska or the railway line or anything like that.
8 Q. Very well. He's denying everything that you said in connection
9 with him, as I am denying your distorted presentation of conversations
10 when you were simply conveying Tudjman's messages.
11 He says, "I assert with full responsibility that never and nowhere
12 did I engage in any kind of conversation with Hrvoje Sarinic related to my
13 comment on relations between Ratko Mladic and Slobodan Milosevic, and
14 especially I never had any such conversation with Sarinic personally."
15 A. You must also remember that you left your office for a moment and
16 you left Boro Mikelic and me alone in a room next to your secretary's
17 office and that it was then that we discussed all kinds of things. And
18 then I asked Boro Mikelic, what is the relationship with Mladic? Is
19 Mladic more inclined towards Karadzic or has he remained loyal to
20 Milosevic? And he says he's 200 per cent Milosevic's man. "I brought him
21 here by car two days ago."
22 Q. But he's denying that. He says that the last time he saw Mladic
23 was the beginning of September, 1994. Therefore, what you just said he is
24 denying. He says that none of that happened.
25 A. I'm --
1 Q. Especially for him and Mladic to be in the same vehicle. Would
2 you consider that normal, Mikelic driving Mladic to come and see me?
3 A. It doesn't seem normal to me, but nor is it normal for my driver
4 from Dobranovci to Lipovac to be the President of the Republic of Serbia
5 and Krajina, Hadzija [phoen], and yet he was my driver. So these things
6 may happen. And I stand behind what I said.
7 Q. And he adds that he considers you the creator of the military
8 operation Flash, not only of the Flash operation but also of the Operation
9 Storm in which 250.000 people were expelled from their homes. And I can't
10 read exactly how many were liquidated. It's in handwriting.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wish to tender this into evidence.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see from what follows how
13 trustworthy what Mikelic says is. Everyone knows what my functions were.
14 I couldn't have been a creator of that. So this whole writing or this
15 whole letter I don't see has any point.
16 JUDGE MAY: This is a letter of yesterday of your friend; is that
17 right, one of your friends; is that right, who has written about what this
18 witness has said, is that right, and denies what he said.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a letter of the then-Prime
20 Minister of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yesterday, that is right?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yesterday, who was the main
23 negotiator on behalf of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
24 JUDGE MAY: He can give his evidence in due course. As we've said
25 before, if he wants to come and give evidence he can come and tell us what
1 he says about that, but no more than that when it comes to try and put it
2 to this witness. You're entitled to do that but no more. You're not
3 entitled to admit it.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I can't exhibit it.
5 JUDGE MAY: You can call him to give evidence in due course.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. Let's me try
7 and make the best of the time left to me. So I shall leave out some
9 JUDGE MAY: You have 25 minutes left, and we shall adjourn in five
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another 25 minutes; is that
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will simply not be able to
15 cross-examine this witness in those 25 minutes, Mr. May. There's no doubt
16 about that.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Just now, you turned things absolutely upside down, and I shall be
19 as rational as I can with the time.
20 Tell me, did I say to you as well that according to information I
21 received, the Muslims had shelled Markale in Sarajevo?
22 A. Yes. That's what he told me. You say, "You see how much one can
23 trust them. They shot at themselves. But what do they care? Twenty-five
24 dead for them is not important, but it brings them points with the
25 international community." However, later on I saw that you said quite the
1 opposite when you put the blame for this on Karadzic.
2 Q. That is absolutely not true. In your paragraph 49, you say that I
3 said that the Muslims shelled Markale, and I continue to claim that.
4 Markale 1 and Markale 2, and through the witnesses I will call, I will
5 prove that.
6 Now, tell me please, this is paragraph 49 of your statement, did
7 the French analyse this and their experts reconstructed the trajectory of
8 the projectile and the possible source of fire?
9 A. Yes, that is true. Former Colonel De Boer, who is now a general,
10 who told me that, because a team under his leadership made these analyses.
11 Q. And is it true that that position was under Muslim control?
12 A. That is what I was told.
13 Q. By the French, of course.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And this French colonel, later General De Boer, did he also tell
16 you that the Muslims had done it?
17 A. Namely he was an analyst. He said judging by everything we know,
18 it is clear that the projectile came from territory under Muslim control.
19 Q. Fine. So let's leave that. Now Dubrovnik. They produced here I
20 don't know how many witnesses, ten or 15, in connection with Dubrovnik.
21 You had all the relevant information in front of you. Did I keep saying
22 to you that no one from Belgrade had anything to do with the shelling of
23 Dubrovnik and that it was absolutely crazy to do that?
24 A. Yes, you did tell me that.
25 Q. Now, tell me quite sincerely, Mr. Sarinic, do you believe -- did
1 you believe then and do you believe now that what I'm saying is true?
2 A. I said that. I said that I didn't believe that you organised it,
3 but you certainly knew about it. I don't believe, however, that you
4 personally organised it.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. Half black, half white. Now, is it your
6 conviction or have you established that not even Veljko Kadijevic, who at
7 the time was the minister of defence, had ordered anything like that, that
8 this was not done with his knowledge?
9 A. Listen, I had said that too. I have to be quite frank about it.
10 I did say that, and I said that Veljko Kadijevic, who came from a mixed
11 marriage, his mother or father were Croats and who was in love with the
12 Adriatic coast and sea, that it would really surprise me for him to have
13 ordered that. But I also said that I was quite sure that it was directed
14 by Hadzic, and he came from Eastern Herzegovina, from the coast down
15 there, and who was a man who orchestrated this operation and had was the
16 initiator of it. But I also have here some seized documents that we had
17 insight into, including an order by Admiral Mile Kandic from 1991 in which
18 he says: "In connection with the activities of forces against vital
19 facilities in Zadar, Sibenik, Split, and Ploce, and cutting off Dubrovnik
20 from the rest the territory of the Republic of Croatia." This was in
21 1991, stated by Mile Kandic.
22 JUDGE MAY: The time has come. The time has come to adjourn this.
23 Is it anticipated that the amici will be very long on this occasion?
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if possible,
25 between 15 and 20 minutes.
1 JUDGE MAY: We will think about that. Thank you.
2 We will adjourn. Fifteen minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: We're going to give the times available as followed,
6 having regard to the amount which is available. There will be half an
7 hour -- you can have half an hour as to the accused, 15 minutes for
8 Mr. Tapuskovic. The Prosecutor, if they require it, 20 minutes.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Sarinic, let's just round off the topic of Dubrovnik. Is it
12 true that Bobetko wanted to win over the region of Trebinje and that
13 everything began there, all this whole Dubrovnik unfortunate operation
14 around Dubrovnik?
15 A. Well, that was discussed, but the Croatian leadership was
16 absolutely opposed to that because it would lead to an international
17 conflict, and that same leadership or, rather, President Tudjman didn't
18 want to accept that at all.
19 Q. I believe what you've just said. I believe you, but you haven't
20 answered my question. Bobetko did go to the operation in the hinterland
21 of Dubrovnik, and then Tudjman stopped him afterwards?
22 A. Well, it was a little different. From the hinterland of Dubrovnik
23 there was firing coming at Dubrovnik, the same Dubrovnik that you said you
24 spent the loveliest moments of your life there and you gave me a lot of
25 compliments with respect to Dubrovnik.
1 Q. Yes, me and my family. That's quite true.
2 A. So that's where the shooting at Dubrovnik was coming from. So it
3 was a legitimate operation to take out the snipers' nests, the nests from
4 which this shooting at Dubrovnik was coming from. And I have no words to
5 express the kind of people who were able to shoot at a town like
6 Dubrovnik. So we did want to neutralise them. That is true.
7 Q. All right. So it wasn't Bobetko's offensive that came first. It
8 was that his military activity was the result of what you have just told
9 us about.
10 A. Absolutely correct.
11 Q. So that is what you're saying, is it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now to go back to point 9 of your statement, you say that the
14 international community supported me, and the Croats and Slovenes were
15 treated as secessionists.
16 A. Yes, for a time. At first that's how it was, in the initial
17 stages. And as I've already said, until the international community saw
18 through you.
19 Q. All right. Saw through me. Wasn't that before Clinton and the
20 rest bombed Yugoslavia and then to cover that up, to cover those crimes
21 up, this is what happened?
22 A. Well, I don't want to go into all that. You would have to ask
23 President Clinton that and not me.
24 Q. Well, I hope to have the opportunity of asking him that in due
25 course, but let me --
1 JUDGE MAY: No. Let's move on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Let me just remind you of the stenographic notes of the 18th of
5 August, 1995 meeting, just briefly. You attended the meeting, and it says
6 the following, and Galbraith is speaking, the US ambassador of the day in
7 Zagreb: "Since --" it says: "We have shown great sympathies in
8 President Clinton came into office with respect to the importance of
9 solving the question of the independence of Croatia. You were able to see
10 that see that through our policy and the way in which it was expanded by
11 the -- from the Bush government which wavered over recognition to Croatia.
12 It did not agree with its present borders. Thanks to us, the UN
13 recognised you at the beginning of 1993 and you were able to see what I
14 myself did on the basis of instructions given to me by President Clinton
15 and asserted that quite publicly." Therefore, Galbraith here is
16 criticising the Bush administration and singing praises of
17 President Clinton for participation in what you did at the time,
18 Mr. Sarinic; is that right?
19 A. Peter Galbraith was a witness here. He testified. So I hope you
20 asked him that question and that he gave you an answer to your question.
21 It's not up to me to answer that question. You should have asked him
23 Q. Tudjman then goes on to say the following: He said -- he pointed
24 out yesterday if it was accepted - and he's speaking about Bosnia - that
25 the Serb part has the right to rely on Serbia, then there's no difference.
1 And there's no idea through which Croatia could be returned to the
2 Yugoslav framework.
3 And then Holbrooke says, "No, of course not."
4 And once again Granic says, "There are no great differences in
5 viewpoint ...."
6 And then Holbrooke says "Mate" - referring to Granic - "this
7 government never nurtured any wild ideas about the resuscitation of
9 And then the president goes on to say: "Mr. Eagleburger wasn't
10 the only man to attempt."
11 And then Susak interrupts, and says: "That was the former
13 And then Holbrooke again, he says: "That's precisely what I
14 wanted to say myself, so I'm very happy that you mentioned Eagleburger.
15 The former government had that amazing idea, Baker's speech in Belgrade,
16 Eagleburger, Skolcruk [phoen] that is all in the past."
17 So they are explaining to you that the Bush administration had the
18 idea of preserving the idea of Yugoslavia, that the idea was a completely
19 mad one, that it belonged to the past and that they were supporting you.
20 Isn't that right, Mr. Sarinic?
21 A. It wasn't stated as clearly as that. You are extrapolating that
22 from what was said. I do remember that in 1990, or rather, towards the
23 under of 1990 we were in Belgrade when James Baker was there, and it was a
24 little strange to see the gentleman, behave because he was giving
25 everybody lessons and instructions and saying we'll help you if you are
1 reasonable, we'll help you financially. If not, you needn't count on us
2 any more. So that was like talking to children -- small children at
3 school. But with the arrival -- with the advent of Clinton, when Clinton
4 came to power a balance was struck. That is quite certain, just as a
5 balance was struck in relations with France when Mitterrand after -- when
6 Mitterrand was replaced by Chirac.
7 Q. All right. Fine, Mr. Sarinic. Now, Holbrooke goes on to say
8 here: "You had just justification for a military operation in Western
9 Slavonia, and I kept defending it in Washington. You will recall that the
10 two of us met in London immediately afterwards, and then we went to the US
11 embassy to meet Gore. It was a very dramatic exchange of views. Some
12 people wanted Gore to tell you -- tell us that you would be withdrawing
13 from Western Slavonia and we said absolutely not. You have to stay there.
14 You've closed the back door, that is to say, your country, and then we
15 discussed your activities in Livanjsko Polje, and then we stated the
16 following: Continue, carry on."
17 And then it says on to say that: "We publicly said that we were
18 concerned. However, privately, you knew what we wanted."
19 Therefore, they gave you the green light to go ahead with your
20 military operations. Isn't that so, Mr. Sarinic?
21 A. Well, first of all they saw that the negotiations were leading
22 nowhere. They were sterile and quite simply they changed their tactics.
23 They never said to us openly, not even with a non-paper or non-document
24 did they state that we could launch an action. They stopped the operation
25 when it was moving towards Banja Luka. That's the truth of it.
1 As to the rest of it, Western Slavonia, et cetera, that was along
2 the lines of their understanding of that operation. And Holbrooke on that
3 score was an absolutely pragmatic, normal politician.
4 Q. And do you know how they stopped that action when it moved towards
5 Prijedor and Banja Luka? They stopped it by me telling Holbrooke that as
6 far as Serbia was concerned, and I personally was concerned, we
7 were -- would stop negotiating if they failed to stop it. And he said:
8 "I'm going to board an aeroplane straight away. I'm going to see
9 Tudjman, tell him to stop the operation straight away," and that's how the
10 operation was stopped.
11 A. Well, you seemed to have turned into a witness so there's nothing
12 left for me to say, no comment that I can make.
13 Q. All right, Mr. Sarinic. Now, you say that Vance and Owen went to
14 Belgrade repeatedly and you criticised them. And I refer to paragraph 35.
15 So what do you think happened? Several year -- for several years,
16 international representatives gave full support to Serbia, and to me,
17 myself to help peace be established and to stop the war. And then after
18 the NATO aggression in 1999, he explains that what we did previously was
19 not in fact efforts towards peace but that they were activities linked to
20 war. Is that right, Mr. Sarinic? Was that how it was?
21 A. Well, with the change in the situation on the ground, the approach
22 taken by the international community also underwent change, their attitude
23 to those problem. And I know and we know that especially Lord Owen was
24 very drawn to your policy and that you had good personal relations with
25 him. I'm not criticising you for that. It's just an observation that I'm
1 making of the situation as it was. And you yourself said that he was a
2 family friend of yours, et cetera.
3 However, what we do know is certain things that he stated, and I
4 personally was astounded when he said, "Don't imagine that you're going to
5 get at the negotiating table what you did not succeed in defending on the
6 ground." So that was encouragement for aggression. He incited aggression
7 in that way.
8 Q. Well, this is the first time that I've heard someone say that Lord
9 Owen was inciting aggression. As you know, all his endeavours were along
10 the lines of peace, and his activities were obstructed by the people in
11 Washington who didn't want to support him, so the war went on for two more
12 years. Is that right or not, Mr. Sarinic?
13 A. I don't think I can agree with that, but the sentence that I've
14 just uttered you did not comment purposely when I said don't think that at
15 the Green Berets' table you will get what you didn't get -- manage to win
16 over in the field. He said that in Dobranovci. And we sat there for a
17 long time holding meetings and negotiating.
18 Q. Mr. Sarinic, I really don't remember Lord Owen ever having said
19 that, but you can claim whatever you like. This seems to me to digress
20 from his efforts and diverge from his actual efforts towards peace. But
21 let's clear up a few other matters. Is it true that Tudjman publicly
22 stated that Bosnia, as he said, was a historical absurdity, in his words?
23 A. That's not all he said, but I make a great distinction between
24 Tudjman the historian and Tudjman the politician and statesman. But that
25 is indeed what he said. He said it publicly. He didn't hide it. He even
1 said that Bosnia was the result of Turkish invasions in the 15th century,
2 and he was drawn to the 1939 Banovina set-up and Cvetkovic-Macek agreement
3 and so on and forth. But when this came to be put into practice, then he
4 was quite a different man, and he realised that the division of Bosnia was
5 something which the international community would absolutely condemn, and
6 then we were the first to recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina and the first
7 ambassador over there helped in the referendum on independence and was --
8 the Split declaration came to be signed and so on and so forth. All the
9 concrete steps were taken and made, whereas you, Mr. Milosevic, did not
10 wish to sign -- wish to recognise Bosnia regardless of how much we tried
11 to prevail upon you to do so. When we asked you why you wouldn't
12 recognise Bosnia, you said, "Which Bosnia? Whose Bosnia?" As if Bosnia
13 never existed.
14 Q. Well, Mr. Sarinic I assume a peaceful settlement had to be found
15 first. So after Dayton when the new constitutional system was established
16 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we recognised that and recognised it. But we did
17 so when the main goal had been scored, that all three peoples should be
18 equal in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all three ethnic groups, and that was our
19 thesis from the very outset.
20 A. Only until Dayton. You know what happened in Bosnia.
21 Republika Srpska happened with 49 per cent of the territory, and something
22 else that happened was ethnic cleansing and that which was your strategy,
23 that is to say that Republika Srpska sooner or later should become part
24 and parcel of Serbia.
25 Q. Please. When Republika Srpska occurred, Herceg-Bosna occurred
1 too. But later on, Tudjman, under pressure, accepted to establish a
2 federation. Is that how it was or not? Tudjman had the idea and
3 supported the idea of Republika Srpska and Herceg-Bosna and the
4 and Muslim federation as well, or rather the Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina as it was called by the Muslims. But later on under
6 pressure he agreed to a bilateral agreement organised by the Americans.
7 Wasn't that how it was?
8 A. Well, not really. That wasn't exactly how it was and I have my
9 own personal notes here, the ones I made at the meeting that took place in
10 Geneva, and that meeting was attended by President Tudjman, Alija
11 Izetbegovic, Haris Silajdzic, and myself. And at one point Alija
12 Izetbegovic says, "Did you think about joining Herceg-Bosna to the
13 Republic of Croatia ever? We would have nothing against that, because
14 then the Muslim state, although small, would be independent and autonomous
15 and had external borders guaranteed by the international community. Of
16 course, economically speaking it would rely on Croatia."
17 So Alija Izetbegovic was offering Herzegovina to Croatia. Tudjman
18 did not accept his offer. He didn't accept it because he knew this
19 changing of the borders -- well, he didn't accept it for two reasons in
20 actual fact. A, he knew that any changing of borders would cause great
21 revolt from the international opportunity and wouldn't be recognised; and
22 on the other hand, you had the Croats in Central Bosnia which in that way
23 would be definitively left to themselves.
24 Q. Now, having mentioned Central Bosnia, do you consider that the
25 Muslims performed ethnic cleansing and did a great deal of evil against
1 the Croats in Central Bosnia? Do you consider that?
2 A. There was certainly that too. However, I cannot speak in general
3 terms. I think that these were groups who perpetrated this. I don't
4 believe that it was the official policy that was pursued by the Bosnian
5 leadership or by Alija Izetbegovic himself.
6 Q. Very well. And do you remember that at a meeting in Geneva, in
7 your presence, in fact, I remember well that only you and Tudjman were
8 present, and Owen and Stoltenberg. And Tudjman said that he never heard
9 of such atrocities as has been committed by the Muslim forces against the
10 Croats in Central Bosnia. Do you remember this statement by Tudjman at
11 the time? It wasn't made in public, but it was at this meeting attended
12 by both Lord Owen and Stoltenberg, and you were present.
13 A. I don't remember those very words, but I do know that President
14 Tudjman was critical of such acts on the one hand, and on the other, these
15 were unfortunate times during which many things happened, and probably in
16 Bosnia no one is innocent.
17 Q. I'm very glad to hear that from you, at least once from somebody.
18 Tell me, please, do you know that a large number of inhabitants but also
19 of soldiers of the Bosnian Croats, when the Croatian offensive was
20 launched, withdrew across Serb positions and across Serb-held territory?
21 A. When I said that no one was innocent, I also had in mind those
22 things, because everyone was fighting everyone else over there. And as
23 days and months went by, thus alliances were formed and broken so that we
24 do know that for a while the Croats collaborated with the Serbs. After
25 all, there was that meeting in Graz between Karadzic and Boban, which is
1 no secret either, at which they talked but came to no conclusions. So
2 there were things along the lines you're referring to.
3 Q. In connection with point 65, is it true that Croatia, for six
4 months, had secretly by night given weapons by helicopters to the Bosnian
6 A. I can't say whether this went on for six months, but it did supply
7 them and assist them. That is quite sure. But that was in the Bihac
8 pocket, because a specific situation developed there. We had to, let us
9 say for humane reasons, but also for tactical and strategic reasons, we
10 had to defend Bihac from the Serb aggression. Because otherwise if Bihac
11 had fell -- fallen, there would have been a second Srebrenica. And
12 secondly, the RSK and the RS would have united, and this would have
13 resulted in an all-out war. So this would no longer be within one
14 country, but it would be a piece of Croatia taken away to another state,
15 which is something that Croatia could not tolerate.
16 Q. Well, wasn't the situation quite the opposite? The Bihac pocket
17 was under the control of Muslims but Muslims who wanted peace except for
18 Atif Dudagovic's 5th Corps. It was under the control of the Muslims
19 headed by Fikret Abdic whom both you and we supported and assisted. You
20 mentioned yesterday that I told you that we had sent him 12.000 blankets.
21 He was in an extremely difficult situation. He was a man who favoured
22 peace, who didn't want to wage war against either side. He simply wanted
23 to organise economic life so that the people there would have enough to
25 A. Well, I agree with you there. It was very difficult for him to
1 survive, so he had to enter into alliances on all sides. But you proposed
2 to us that we form a confederation with this SAO Western Bosnia. However,
3 we didn't accept that, because that would be a precedent. And then the
4 same could have been asked for the Republic of Serbian Krajina. But the
5 balance of forces was such over there that Fikret Abdic, nor the Bosniak
6 army simply were not able to defend themselves from Karadzic and the army
7 of the Republic of Srpska Krajina and the Republika Srpska.
8 Q. Surely the army of RS and the RSK did not attack Abdic. It was
9 not SAO. It was the autonomous province of Western Bosnia, the president
10 of which was Fikret Abdic. And the population there was predominantly
11 Muslim by a vast majority.
12 A. The Serb army was attacking the Bosnian army over there, and they
13 appealed to us for help. And that is why we gave them help, first in
14 equipment and supplies. And when we saw that it would fall, this was a
15 matter of days. Had we not intervened, Bihac would have fell in a single
17 Q. Is it true that there were instructions for them to take Sanski
18 Most and go as far as Banja Luka?
19 A. They did ask for that, that is true, and I remember your comments
20 as well in that regard. You said, "Sanski Most? They can't conquer a
21 single village alone." You probably remember that.
22 Q. So they asked you to attack Serb territories. Izetbegovic asked
23 you to do that?
24 A. They considered Sanski Most to be historically territory belonging
25 to the Muslims, Muslim territory.
1 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. Let's go back to Croatia. Is it true
2 that during the war in Croatia Spegelj wanted to attack JNA barracks in
3 Croatia? You speak about that in paragraph 16 of your statement.
4 A. That is something that is well known. Of course in view of the
5 way the JNA behaved, it's no wonder that such ideas should have cropped
6 up, that is to attack the barracks. You know that we negotiated with
7 them. Even I personally negotiated with Raseta, Invrasin Trifunovic
8 [phoen] surrendered his weapons, whereas everything else were taken away
9 by them first from Slovenia in 1991 to arm the Serbs in the RSK and the
10 RS, and then they simply pulled out the ships from the sea and everything
11 else so that what was left, and furthermore, the weapons of the
12 Territorial Defence were taken away from us, which normally should have
13 been under the control of the republics. They didn't do this in Slovenia,
14 for instance. So that it was almost logical and legitimate that Spegelj
15 should have the idea to attack and to try and pull out the weapons from
16 the barracks. But Tudjman didn't want it because in those days Croatia
17 was unarmed, and this could have had tragic consequences.
18 Q. Will you please answer as briefly as possible, because judging by
19 the clock, I have less than 20 minutes, under 20 minutes.
20 JUDGE MAY: Much less than that.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How much do I have?
22 JUDGE MAY: Four minutes.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Four?
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Get on with it.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You said I had half an hour. We
1 didn't start at 25 to 12.00, did we?
2 JUDGE MAY: We certainly did. You have had the time. Now, you've
3 got an another four minutes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, then. Let me just raise
5 a few more questions.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Did you visit the Dretelj camp?
8 A. Never. I heard of it, but much later. However, I inquired before
9 coming here about that camp, and I know that Mate Granic went to that
10 camp, and that at the time these camps were discussed, Izetbegovic and
11 Tudjman met, and they sent Mate Granic to Dretelj, and Haris Silajdzic to
12 Konjic. And --
13 Q. Please be brief.
14 A. So my answer is I was never in Dretelj.
15 Q. Here on 03-8262, this is a marking of the opposite side. In the
16 last paragraph. It is a document, and I can't decipher it because I got
17 page 2 it of. It says: "In September 1993, escorted by the Prime
18 Minister Jadranko Prlic, the Dretelj camp was visited by senior officials
19 of the Republic of Croatia, Granic Mate, Sarinic Hrvoje. And upon their
20 departure, the camps management encouraged the release of the detainees
21 from mass going to third countries which was a form of forcible
22 deportation of the Bosniak people to our states.
23 Is that an untruth?
24 A. That I was there is absolutely not true.
25 Q. Very well, Mr. Sarinic. Yesterday, you mentioned the elections in
1 the RSK, when Babic won, and then this was annulled, and then Martic won.
2 First of all, do you remember that that is not true? In the first round,
3 Babic was in the lead, and in the second round Martic won. So it wasn't
4 Babic who won in the first round. He had a lead, but as he didn't win,
5 according to the law there's a second round, and in the second round
6 Martic won a majority and he was legally elected.
7 A. I remember teasing you a little bit about this because you were
8 saying that Martic would certainly win. And in the first round, Babic was
9 in the lead. And then I said to you, "Well, President, your follower
10 appears not to be winning." And then you answered there was some
11 irregularities. And then suddenly Martic won.
12 Q. He won legally in the second round. And what is true is that as
13 far as my opinion is concerned about Babic and Martic, I thought that
14 Babic was a dishonest man and that Martic was a honest one.
15 A. Yes. Martic proved that by shelling Zagreb how honest he is, but
16 that's another story.
17 Q. That is another story. This is a shelling that we condemned. He
18 did that as an act of warning, because of your attacks over there, though
19 we never justified it, and we considered it to be absolutely impermissible
20 to shell Zagreb.
21 Now, tell me, please, where did you get the idea of saying that in
22 connection with missing Croats, nothing had been done when you know full
23 well that in Yugoslavia and in Croatia a joint commission for missing
24 persons was formed, that it met, alternatively in Belgrade and Zagreb on
25 several occasions, and that an institutional framework was said to assist
1 the families of missing persons on both sides? How can you say that
2 nothing was done when all this was done? And those in those commissions,
3 they were very prominent officials of both Serbia and Croatia.
4 A. Mr. Milosevic, I am a pragmatic person, and I am talking about the
5 results of it. I discussed this with you. I was personally under
6 pressure of the relatives of the missing persons, and I begged you to have
7 something done. You said that you would do something immediately, but for
8 the following several months not a single name came up, was discovered.
9 But it could have been, because among the 1.800 men missing in those days,
10 if I remember well, at least five could have been traced. So to -- as to
11 appease the public. What happened later is another story.
12 JUDGE MAY: Your time is up. You have more than enough time.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one more question, please.
14 JUDGE MAY: No, you've not going to have another question this
15 time. Yes, we need to finish this. Yes. Quarter of an hour, please,
16 Mr. Tapuskovic.
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll just use the
18 words that the witness Mr. Sarinic used in certain places and which he
19 heard himself, and I will draw his attention to things found in the
20 documents. I asked the Prosecution to prepare for Mr. Sarinic his
21 statement on the 24th, 25th, 26th of February and the 14th and 15th of
22 May, 2003. I have a copy here. I can give it to the witness straight
23 away to save time. I can give a copy to Mr. Sarinic in the -- in the
24 B/C/S language.
25 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] You spoke about the Yugoslav People's Army and a
2 meeting in your examination-in-chief in paragraphs, 15, 16, 17, and 18,
3 and in paragraph 18 it says here: "Kadijevic said that the JNA would not
4 fire a single round." That is what it says here. Was that so?
5 A. Yes. Kadijevic did say that for sure.
6 Q. But please look at page 6 of this statement that you made earlier
7 on, and you say the following, that Kadijevic spoke about this, and your
8 third sentence says: "The JNA is in favour of securing the agreed peace
9 and then simultaneously to discuss the political future." Do you remember
10 that that was said too?
11 A. Yes, I do remember, but you see, that was verba volant as one
12 might put it. That was Kadijevic's position in words, but what actually
13 happened on the ground is another matter.
14 Q. You went on to say: "Kadijevic said the JNA will not fire a
15 single round if it is not attacked." Did he say that too?
16 A. Yes, he did.
17 Q. Fine. Later on: "We believe that if the JNA leaves, there would
18 be even more bloodshed," and you think the opposite. And later on
19 Kadijevic said he felt that Yugoslavia should be preserved.
20 A. He was absolutely Tito's man, and that was his aim. But when he
21 said that the bloodshed would be greater, you know well that the JNA,
22 until it was transformed into a pure Serbian army, an army of Serbia, that
23 it protected the backs of the Serbs and that it was absolutely
25 Q. Now, please look at page 10 when you talk about Spegelj, and you
1 say that: "At the beginning of the year, Spegelj had proposed to Tudjman
2 that barracks should be attacked and that Tudjman said that this should
3 not be done and that that would be suicide." Was it so?
4 A. Yes. I just said that in answer to the accused.
5 Q. And were barracks indeed surrounded sometime in August or
6 September 1991?
7 A. Not all of them, but some. I know that our men tried to negotiate
8 with each of the barracks commands and so on, and in some places let us
9 say that this was settled in a civilised manner. Take the example of
10 Rijeka. But of course they took with them all the weapons and equipment.
11 But there were no bullets fired. Trifunovic in Varazdin, he left the
12 weapons behind, and then he was put on trial in Belgrade on that score.
13 Q. Thank you. Now look at page 20, please. You spoke about Bihac a
14 moment ago and what Milosevic's position was in relation to Abdic. A
15 moment ago you say -- you said that you don't remember, but when you were
16 examined and when you were interviewed, rather, for this statement you
17 said explicitly fourth sentence, Bihac: "For six months, the Croats
18 secretly at night delivered to the BH army food, goods, supplies, and
19 weapons by helicopters.
20 A. Yes. Yes. I said I had didn't remember whether it was six
21 months, but for a while, yes. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And then you go on to say: "The Bosnians could not liberate
23 Bihac. The United States helped the Croats, but then they stopped us
24 before we reached Banja Luka." Is that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Before that, there was a talk in Split, and you referred to it.
2 You say: "Then there was the meeting in Split when the Croats asked
3 whether they could secure the border of the Serbs, and Izetbegovic
4 agreed." Does that mean that Izetbegovic agreed with your request to
5 secure the border?
6 A. One could read it like that, but this situation was slightly
7 different. When Izetbegovic or, rather, the Bosniaks asked Croatia to
8 help then militarily, Croatia said fine, ask that of us. Then they
9 weren't want to go such an official request. And then the Croatian
10 leadership said, "We won't do that. We can't do that on our own because
11 then it will look as if it was an aggression against the neighbouring
13 Q. But that did happen.
14 A. No, it didn't happen. But after that, the Split declaration was
16 Q. Fine. And then it was agreed that the Croatian army can act in
17 the border belt some 60 kilometres from the border the Croats formed what
18 the international community should have done. Does that mean that you
19 with the Croatian army were acting within the territory of another state
20 almost 60 kilometres within its borders?
21 A. No. When an agreement was signed to that effect about those 60
23 Q. And do you consider that that was legitimate, that this should be
24 undertaken, and that you should work across the territory of another
25 person's state and that this was later taken over in the Storm operation?
1 A. Had that not happened, Bihac would have fallen and Srebrenica and
2 the rest of it. That's one thing. And the other thing that -- is that
3 the neighbouring country, if you're on good terms with it and it asks you
4 for assistance, then you cannot interpret this as aggression. All you can
5 interpret it is as responding to the request for aid. So this was
6 something that was known before the 12th of July.
7 Q. That Srebrenica would happen?
8 A. Well, Srebrenica would have happened had Bihac fallen.
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I asked
10 Peter Galbraith when he was a witness here, and it was Exhibit 11, a
11 document that was tendered. I have a copy of the transcript, and I should
12 like to show Mr. Sarinic several things from that transcript now.
13 Q. You didn't attend the Brioni meeting when it was decided to take
14 action --
15 A. Which action?
16 Q. Operation Storm?
17 A. No, I was not.
18 Q. Right. So I won't ask you what I asked Mr. Galbraith and
19 Mr. Agotic, but on page 3, this is what President Tudjman says. It is the
20 penultimate paragraph which is in front of you. He made an ultimatum.
21 "However, this morning Stoltenberg came to see Sarinic and told him that
22 this could be put right along the lines of what the president was asking
23 for and that they proposed that between the Knin Serbs and us, a meeting
24 be held in Geneva to discuss the matter."
25 A. Now, who said what, I really can't follow this. I wasn't there,
1 so I can't either confirm or deny whether the president said that or not.
2 Q. Well, didn't Stoltenberg come to see you?
3 A. Stoltenberg came to see me a hundred times.
4 Q. So is what the next paragraph says correct: "I told Sarinic that
5 in principle he can say that we're in favour of negotiations. However,
6 that he will not lead the delegation if the meeting takes place so
7 that" --
8 A. Just a minute, please. I can't find it.
9 Q. It's the last sentence on that page.
10 A. "I told Sarinic that in principle he can say that we are in favour
11 of negotiations, if they accept my conditions, the conditions I laid down
12 in my response to Akashi. However, that he would not be leading the
13 delegation if the meeting actually take place."
14 Q. And that you would negotiate but that an agreement would not be
15 reached and that an attack would be launched regardless of the
17 A. I don't remember that.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. You're welcome.
20 Q. Today another exhibit was tendered. It was a document in tab 39,
21 and I should like to ask Mr. Sarinic several questions with respect to
22 those minutes. During the examination-in-chief here, you said that
23 Slobodan Milosevic always considered that Knin was Croatian, that it
24 belonged to Croatia.
25 A. That was how it was, yes. However, I also said that I didn't
1 believe him, that that was a tactical game Milosevic was playing, because
2 he was the master of those territories, that is to say 30 per cent of
3 Croatia and 72 per cent of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So they were two irons in
4 the fire. And he used them very well as levers in the negotiation. And
5 don't forget one other thing, that sanctions were enforced against Serbia
6 and that it needed a lost argumentation to have those sanctions lifted and
7 that was leitmotif of all the actions undertaken by Slobodan Milosevic
8 with the aim to having the sanctions lifted.
9 Q. Take a look at page 15, please.
10 A. Wait for me to find it. Yes, I have page 15.
11 Q. The last paragraph there, during the examination-in-chief, you
12 said that his position with respect to the eastern part of Croatia was
13 different. But this is your answer in a conversation you had with a
14 gentleman mentioned here. You said the following, these are your words:
15 "He never denied the fact that the eastern sector was part of Croatia,
16 even when he proposed a referendum. I asked him -- I pressured him to
17 give me an answer. I said, what will the referendum will refer to? What
18 will it be a referendum on? And he said the referendum would be on the
19 status of the eastern sector within Croatia." Is that right?
20 A. Yes, it is, except this status -- rather, we were against a
21 referendum because that was an integral part of Croatia. Now, the
22 referendum itself, upon which Mr. Milosevic insisted, was very
23 questionable, and we couldn't agree to it. So these are the words which
24 were uttered and which I quoted. However, the referendum would have been
25 something that was not acceptable as an idea.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. You're welcome.
3 Q. On page 23, and it is page 18 of the English version. 18 in
4 English of that same document. In the examination-in-chief you said
5 Mr. Milosevic talked about his people that he could order one thing or
6 another and this is what it says here: "Tudjman said here," and it is on
7 page 23 towards the end, you say: "The president says he cannot do that
8 again and again, I say." And Richard Holbrooke says, "That's the whole
10 A. Can't do what?
11 Q. Can't order whatever it is.
12 A. Well, I don't really believe that, because remember Dayton. At
13 Dayton, the accused telephoned from Dayton to his people on the ground in
14 Bosnia and in Croatia, he telephoned them and asked them to sign the Erdut
15 agreement which I signed on behalf of Croatia. And they would never have
16 signed had there not been that telephone conversation, which means that
17 his forces were influenced by him. He was very important to them.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tapuskovic, given the time, could you just quickly
19 wind up, please.
20 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Of course. Yes, Your Honour. I
21 have a document here and I'll be finishing with that. It is the 31st of
22 August. That is the date. The 31st of August, 1995. It is a document
23 which I showed during a closed session so if necessary we can go into
24 private session. I showed it to General Clark. So may we go into private
1 [Private session]
12 Pages 31393 redacted, private session
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone Mr. Nice, please
5 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
6 Q. Mr. Sarinic you have been asked many questions about documents,
7 not all of which have been produced or reviewed by you. We have no desire
8 to add to the burden of material in the court, but just as a preliminary,
9 are there any particular documents that you've been asked questions about
10 that you want an opportunity to review or you want us to dig up, if we
11 haven't dug up already and make available to the Chamber? If not, I'll
12 move on to about half a dozen very short questions.
13 A. Mr. Nice, there have been so many documents mentioned during the
14 cross-examination that I just can't single out any one specific document.
15 So you can go ahead with your questions.
16 Q. Mr. Prelec observed that I think there is an error in the
17 transcript at page 73, the last page before the last break. Mr. Sarinic,
18 when you were speaking of responsibility for the Dubrovnik shelling, you
19 said what you said about the accused, and you then said who you thought
20 was responsible. It's recorded on the transcript as being Hadzic,
21 starting with a H. Is that what you intended to be recorded?
22 A. No. No. Adzic with an A.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. Without the H.
25 JUDGE KWON: That was the misinterpretation.
1 MR. NICE: Yes, I think so.
2 Q. Your observation about the reaction of Mikelic to the accused in
3 his master-servant or servant-master relationship, was that something you
4 noted at the time or was that something that you simply recall, and if so,
6 A. Well, that's something that I noticed at the time, and I say that
7 in my book. The book is dated 1998. Now, this other thing was in 1995, I
8 believe. I saw that. But I didn't wish to emphasise that as being a
9 relationship between two people. All I wanted to say is to see the power
10 and force involved and where -- that the power was in Mr. Milosevic's
12 JUDGE MAY: The accused had a question. Let him raise it.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It wasn't the wrong interpretation.
15 I heard it too. I used the microphone, otherwise I find it difficult with
16 the witness. I didn't hear the name Adzic. If it was Adzic, then it was
17 the Chief of Staff, the Chief of the General Staff. Had I heard it here I
18 would have reacted. I presented the order by the General Staff that
19 Dubrovnik must not be bombed either from the land or from the sea or from
20 the air. So Adzic could not have been responsible for that.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's move on.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. Mr. Sarinic, in light of that observation by the accused, is there
24 anything you want to add to your answer about Adzic?
25 A. Well, with General Adzic, I was with him in 1991 at Brioni
1 Islands, a meeting there, and I think I spoke about that during my
2 testimony. He was a man who, especially when Kadijevic's power was
3 waning, he was the one who took over the power within the JNA army and led
4 the battle to all intents and purposes. Everybody said to me that he was
5 from Eastern Herzegovina, from that region down there, much closer to
6 Dubrovnik, and that he was the initiator and perpetrator of the orders to
7 bomb Dubrovnik.
8 Q. Very well. A short question about your evidence of what the
9 accused said about Arkan. Was this something you recorded, you wrote down
10 contemporaneously, or was it something you remembered and subsequently set
11 out in writing?
12 A. No. This is how it was. I think I told you that once. I
13 couldn't, while talking to the accused, keep a diary, because that was
14 impossible. I just jotted down a couple of words. And then on the plane,
15 while it was still fresh in my memory, I took notes.
16 I know that on a piece of paper I just wrote down the
17 word "Arkan," but this was perhaps two hours after that I wrote the note
18 in my diary.
19 Q. Do you have any doubts now about what was said and the manner in
20 which it was said, the evidence you've given to this Court?
21 A. No. No, I don't.
22 Q. Two more questions. You've been asked a few questions by the
23 accused about the Karadjordjevo meeting and the issue is whether there was
24 any discussion about the division of Bosnia. From the material coming to
25 you, do you have a view on what was discussed? If so, please tell the
1 Chamber about it.
2 A. Well, you see, first I said what I had heard during the ten
3 minutes that I was with the two presidents. Everything else are my own
4 reflections, because I would form a kind of puzzle, a mosaic, from
5 everything I heard and saw and learnt about, and all the indications that
6 I had collected. You are lawyers, so you know very well that there are
7 many clues pointing to the same direction which constitute proof.
8 As regards Bosnia and the division of Bosnia, there was a lot of
9 speculation about it, but no one else except the two presidents, one of
10 whom is here and the other in the other world, could know what they
11 actually said. I spoke to you about that piece of paper that was in
12 Tikves and not in Karadjordjevo, but this had to do with Bosnia.
13 Furthermore --
14 Q. Was what you saw and heard at the time and subsequently consistent
15 with or inconsistent with the discussion about the division?
16 A. The division of Bosnia -- I have to tell you, I'm sorry, I may not
17 be quite explicit in answering your question, but there's no other way I
18 can do it. I told you how each person behaved after that with regard to
19 Bosnia. On the one hand, there was Republika Srpska, ethnically cleansed
20 and prepared for annexation, which was virtually half of Bosnia,
21 annexation with Serbia. On the other hand, Croatia recognised Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, et cetera, sent its ambassador there and everything else that
23 I've told you about.
24 Therefore, as a pragmatic person, I cannot speculate here. I must
25 tell you about the facts that I am aware of it, but that Bosnia was
1 discussed and that there were reflections on those lines on both sides,
2 only one side put that into effect and the other didn't.
3 Q. Finally, you made an observation about Mesic speaking of the JNA
4 becoming a large -- the largest -- the world's largest paramilitary
5 organisation. In a sentence, explain why that phrase, if it makes sense
6 to you, makes sense. Why paramilitary?
7 A. Well, you see, an organisation that doesn't have its command,
8 anyone can command it. And since the Presidency, according to the
9 constitution of Yugoslavia, was the Supreme Commander of the JNA, that
10 Supreme Commander no longer existed, and the question then was who was in
11 command of it. And if you have several masters, then it could be called a
12 paramilitary organisation.
13 MR. NICE: No further questions. The Chamber wanted an
14 explanation for the accused having been provided with three translations
15 of a transcript. The explanation is as follows: As the document I drew
16 to your attention earlier reveals, I've forgotten the tab number now, but
17 all the intercepts were provided with transcripts that were not accurate
18 or fully accurate, and they were retranscribed. Thus that gives rise to
19 two transcripts. In addition, the provider had provided on an earlier
20 occasion extracts from some of these transcripts. The very fact that they
21 were extracts meant that they had to be provided under Rule 68, in case
22 there was the possibility that the editing or the selection was itself
23 significant, thus the third version.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let us thank the witness, first of all,
25 for his coming here and giving his testimony. The evidence is now
1 finished. We thank you for your assistance, Mr. Sarinic. You are now
2 free to go.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE MAY: While we are in the final days -- minutes, rather, I
6 think can be considered, we have another four or five weeks, may less.
7 MR. NICE: We have a very limited number of days left. I think
8 there is now available for you a witness schedule. It is now down to one
10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We now have that. What is the position as
11 far as Monday is concerned?
12 MR. NICE: The position for Monday is perhaps a little uncertain,
13 because if we look at the current list, I'd hoped to start with
14 Mr. Manning today. As he hasn't started and as he's an in-house witness,
15 it's better to take him off the list for the time being and use him to
16 fill any gaps that may arise. Therefore, we can temporarily strike him
17 from the list.
18 B-235 will only, of course, be heard on Monday if the Chamber so
19 orders. If he doesn't, then I will accelerate B-1804 into Monday. If the
20 Chamber announces its ruling on B-235 tomorrow, obviously the accused will
21 be in a position to know whether it's B-235 or B-1804 first.
22 The current plan is that Mr. Theunens and General Vegh should
23 follow not necessarily in that order, although that would be the logical
24 order, Thuenens first and General Vegh second. General Vegh would require
25 the organisation -- first of all, the approval of and application for
1 videolink testimony and then its organisation, so there may be some
2 difficulties or certainty about that. That, I think, will fill next week,
3 and any gap can be filled by Mr. Manning.
4 And then on the 3rd and 4th we come to Witness B-248, although the
5 name on the 4th of February is still there. There is an outstanding
6 application in respect of him, and he might have to be shifted even if
7 allowed in.
8 Also, I'm reminded by Ms. Pack that -- before we depart from it,
9 that there is the question of the status of the Sarinic exhibits.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will now adjourn until next Monday when
11 we'll continue with the hearing. We will adjourn.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Monday, the 26th day of January,
14 2004, at 9.00 a.m.