1 Tuesday, 7 September 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: This morning we begin the hearing of witnesses in
6 the Defence case.
7 Mr. Kay, in your new role as the court-assigned counsel, you will
8 lead the witnesses.
9 MR. KAY: My Lord, thank you. The first issue I want to deal with
10 is the first witness, concerning Professor Avramov.
11 Professor Avramov is here and present at court today and indeed
12 was good enough to give me the opportunity to speak to her for several
13 hours last night and to discuss the terms of her involvement in this case
14 and evidence that she could give in the interests of the accused.
15 I know, although I've had no direct communication from the accused
16 himself - I went to the Detention Unit yesterday to see if he would see me
17 at a pre-arranged time, but that was not so, and this morning he did not
18 want to see me either - but I happen to know from other sources that he
19 would like me to make an application in relation to the modalities
20 concerning, as far as I know, certainly this witness, but modality 2 which
21 deals with the examination of witnesses: "The accused may, with the leave
22 of the Trial Chamber, continue to participate actively in the conduct of
23 his case including, where appropriate, examining witnesses following
24 examination by court-assigned counsel."
25 And from the information that I have received indirectly from the
1 accused, he would like me to apply to the Court that he could take
2 certainly this witness first, and probably - I don't know whether this is
3 the case because I haven't been spoken to directly by him - all witnesses,
4 but certainly I can make the application for this witness.
5 So that's my first application this morning in relation to this
6 witness before she's called into court.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, let me just understand what you have
8 said. You have tried to communicate with the accused, and you said you
9 were not successful.
10 MR. KAY: Yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Be plain as to why you were not successful.
12 MR. KAY: He declined to see us, and there is a channel through
13 which we can obviously communicate, through the Registry of the court,
14 that enables appointments to be made. So I went to the Detention Unit
15 yesterday at a pre-arranged time in the hope that he would see us so that
16 we could discuss issues, but that was not fruitful, and likewise this
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: In doing that, you're of course acting pursuant
19 to the Chamber's order that you endeavour to obtain instructions from the
20 accused. But I understand you to say that the accused refused to see you.
21 MR. KAY: Yes. So I wasn't able to fulfil that aspect.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me turn to the application that you have made
23 on his behalf. You rightly adverted to paragraph 2 of the Chamber's
25 The main rationale for the Chamber assigning you as counsel for
1 the accused is that the accused, on medical grounds, medical advice, is
2 not fit to represent himself, and it would contradict the logic of that
3 order were the Chamber, at any rate in this first phase of the Defence
4 case, to allow the accused to commence examination-in-chief.
5 The Chamber's order does make it clear that, where appropriate,
6 the accused will be allowed to ask questions following your
7 examination-in-chief. We do not -- we do not rule it out, but certainly
8 we would not consider allowing the accused to commence
9 examination-in-chief of -- of these witnesses. We may consider, in an
10 appropriate case, the accused asking questions following your
11 examination-in-chief. That is a matter which the Chamber will take up on
12 a case-by-case basis.
13 MR. KAY: Very well. I've made my application. I can't take that
14 matter any further.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Call your first witness.
16 MR. KAY: Professor Avramov, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I wish to say that you
20 took away my right to Defence and put it in the hands of Mr. Kay, who does
21 not represent me. He represents you. With Mr. Kay --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we will not rehearse ground that
23 we have already covered. I don't like that. I will not allow it. If you
24 have a new point to make, then make it, but I don't want to hear the same
25 tired refrain. If you have a new point to make, make it and make it
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Defence through an
3 imposed lawyer is simple legal fiction. I insist that you give me back my
4 right to Defence.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm stopping you. You have already indicated
6 that you will appeal the decision. That's -- you're perfectly entitled to
7 do that.
8 Mr. Kay, your first witness.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not hearing you any more on that issue.
11 MR. KAY: In those circumstances, Your Honour, I'll call Professor
13 [The witness entered court]
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
16 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
18 WITNESS: SMILJA AVRAMOV
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. Kay:
21 Q. Professor Avramov, thank you for coming to court this morning, and
22 I know you speak English as well as, obviously, B/C/S, and we'll conduct
23 this examination, you can give your evidence in either language, as you
25 A. I prefer to talk English -- I'm sorry, Serbian.
1 Q. Serbian?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. You'll forgive me for addressing you in English, but I appreciate
4 the fact that you prefer to speak in your native language.
5 A. It's okay.
6 Q. Professor Avramov, if you could tell the Court, first of all,
7 about your background. You are a university professor in law; is that
9 A. [Interpretation] Yes. For 40 years I was a professor at the
10 Faculty of Law in Belgrade. I'm retired now, but still from time to time
11 I teach postgraduate courses and graduate courses, in Belgrade, of course.
12 I don't know exactly what you're interested in from my curriculum vitae.
13 I studied a long time ago, before the Second World War. I studied at
14 the great universities of Europe. I had the honour of having exceptional
15 professors as Hans Kelsen, Schutzenberger, who was my mentor when I did my
16 master's degree in London, and I got my Ph.D. I also have a Doctor Iuris,
17 but I got my Ph.D. at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade. I defended a
18 dissertation from the field of legal philosophy. Rebus Sic Standibus.
19 I worked as a professor, and during my career I became head of the
20 department for international law and international relations at the
21 Faculty of Law in Belgrade. I was there until my retirement. Also, for
22 almost 20 years, I was director for the -- of the Institute for
23 International Law, also at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade. I was very
24 active in legal associations -- law associations in Belgrade and in
25 international law associations.
1 I was president of the Yugoslav Association for International Law,
2 and in 1980, I was elected president of the International Law Association.
3 In 1968, I was elected co-chairman of the International Conference
4 for Peace and Disarmament, also with its seat in London, and I was also on
5 the executive board of the World Association for Struggling Against
6 Nuclear War and Nuclear Armament. I participated in many international
7 conferences and gatherings. Let me mention The Hague here and also New
8 York, Japan, Tokyo, New Delhi, and so on and so forth.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Professor.
10 Mr. Kay, there is a point I want to raise with you. It is clear
11 that the professor is well qualified but I observe she's not giving
12 evidence as an expert.
13 MR. KAY: Yes. She had a particular role in events which Your
14 Honours will hear about as we move past her background and deal with her
15 involvement. Perhaps if I can take that up now.
16 Q. Also, Professor, you were a legal advisor for the Ministry of
17 Foreign Affairs in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
18 A. For many years I was a member of the legal council of the Ministry
19 of Foreign Affairs, yes, that is correct, in my capacity as head of
20 department for international law. It was customary for the head of the
21 department to be a member of the legal council of the Ministry for Foreign
22 Affairs, yes. I think I was there for perhaps over 15 years, perhaps even
23 some 20 years or so.
24 Q. And just again as background, in fact, one of your law students
25 was -- was Mr. Milosevic. He studied under you some years ago.
1 A. Correct. Yes, Mr. Milosevic got his degree from the Faculty of
2 Law. And as professor, I did have contact with him. He was an excellent
3 student. He displayed a great degree of interest, especially in
4 international economic law. He had a particular characteristic. He had
5 intellectual curiosity, if I can say it in English. After my lectures, he
6 always put questions. He always sought additional explanations.
7 Q. Once Mr. Milosevic had finished studying under you, how did you
8 next come across him in your professional life? At what sort of period?
9 A. It is very hard to do this, but I'll try to remember.
10 Mr. Milosevic came to the university. He came to the library. He
11 took books from the library even after he got his degree. We would meet
12 each other, and our encounters were always on a friendly note, cordial,
13 the proper kind of encounter between a professor and his or her former
14 students. After that, I had no further contact with him up to the moment
15 when Mr. Milosevic - this was the end of March, 1991 - he called me and
16 invited me to take part in preliminary negotiations on a very high
17 intellectual level with colleagues from Croatia in order to view the
18 backdrop, actually, or perhaps to put it better, the consequences of the
19 crisis that had already engulfed Yugoslavia to a considerable extent.
20 If you're interested, perhaps that would be of significance, of --
21 Q. Have you ever been a member of any of his political parties?
22 A. No. For a brief period of time I was a member of the Communist
23 Party, then I was excluded from the party, expelled, and after that I
24 never joined any other political party. That was in the 1970s when I left
25 the party, and after that I never joined any political party.
1 When Mr. Milosevic called me, invited me, I said that to him. I
2 said that I was not a member of any political party, and he said, "Does
3 that matter?" Those were his words. I said, "You see, we need to clarify
4 certain matters. I have no intention of going into political life,
5 particularly because I never held political office ever in my life," and
6 he repeated that to me. "I did not invite you in that capacity. I am
7 interested in your expert knowledge, and I believe that at this critical
8 point in time in our country your help could be useful."
9 When we discussed the ways in which I could be useful, he said to
10 me, "Isn't it clear to you that we are in a serious crisis, that the
11 country is in a serious crisis?" And I said, "Yes, of course. You know
12 that I published some very, very critical articles, and not only that, in
13 1987 I published a book entitled the Control Over Foreign Policy." I was
14 highly irritated as a member of the legal council of the Ministry for
15 Foreign Affairs.
16 There were representatives there of all the federal units, and I
17 don't know how familiar you are with this or actually with our
18 constitution, the constitution that was in force then, as a matter of
19 fact --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Permit me --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I stop you. May I ask that you just answer
23 the questions put to you by counsel. And there is a question that I would
24 like to ask you. You mentioned that you were expelled from the Communist
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why was that so?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I was not
4 disciplined. They were quite right when they expelled me. I voted
5 against decisions that were being passed. Any party calls for party
6 discipline and I am a very undisciplined person, perhaps a bit of an
7 individualist, and that was the reason.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
9 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. You had done some research before 1991 on the republics of
11 Yugoslavia in which you had observed issues within those republics
12 concerning their foreign policies; is that right?
13 A. Yes, precisely. That's what I wanted to point out. Of course, as
14 a member of the legal council, I received many documents because we
15 discussed different aspects of foreign policy. I then came to the
16 conclusion that every republic had a foreign policy of its own and that
17 we're moving towards a disintegration. I drew the attention of the
18 council to that itself, and then I wrote about it because I was highly
19 irritated by it. So I wrote this book entitled Control Over Foreign
20 Policy in which I underlined that we do not have any control over foreign
21 policy, that we no longer have a single foreign policy, that foreign
22 policy is being branched off into six federal units. That was the main
23 point. And that was not the only thing I pointed out.
24 I pointed out that some federal units had already abused certain
25 things because the constitution made it possible for federal units to have
1 something at local level. I mean, they could not conclude contracts, no,
2 but compacts - that's the English word - they could conclude compacts.
3 However, particularly in the case of Croatia, and Slovenia for that
4 matter, there were major deviations, and that is what I dealt with in that
5 particular book.
6 It was criticised, the book was. They thought that I went too
7 far. Our foreign policy at the time criticised it, too, but that was it.
8 Q. In March 1991, at that period, Yugoslavia was in crisis because
9 the issue of the secession of Slovenia and Croatia was forefront of the
10 politics of the time.
11 A. The secession hadn't taken place at the time. The crisis
12 demonstrated itself in the fact that Slovenia and Croatia simply refused
13 to respect federal laws and didn't want to do that. That's where it
14 started from. Other than that, certain illegal organisations -- I showed
15 you a document. It was the title page of an illegal magazine.
16 I have to say that Yugoslavia was in a crisis in a certain way
17 ever since 1945 until 1990. In a certain way, Yugoslavia was often on the
18 brink of civil war. The cause of that was the resistance or the protest
19 that was there.
20 There was a very specific situation that played itself out, as you
21 know. In the territory of Yugoslavia we had a liberation war, and after
22 the war there was the Independent State of Croatia that was formed during
23 the war which was under the protectorate of the Nazi Germany, and a large
24 number of Nazi-leaning Croats emigrated. From 1945 they immediately
25 organised their illegal groups, and later these illegal groups were turned
1 into terrorist organisations.
2 I must say that from 1945 to 1980, this terrorist organisation of
3 Croatia, which later in 1991 entered Croatia and had the main word there,
4 there were 430 terrorist acts committed against Yugoslavia in that period.
5 Perhaps somebody recalls the murder of our ambassadors; for example,
6 Ambassador Rolovic in Stockholm. I don't know if you recall the hijacking
7 of the Yugoslav aeroplane which was downed over Czechoslovakia and
8 everyone was killed in that incident.
9 There was a lot about the terrorist acts. Actually, they were not
10 -- Lockerbie was very much talked about but the terrorist acts against
11 Yugoslavia were not discussed.
12 Q. If I can just ask you about the context of 1991 and the role that
13 President Milosevic invited you to undertake pre- the secession of
14 Slovenia. What was the purpose of your role?
15 A. What I have just told you. I have told you in order for you to be
16 able to look at a certain continuity that exists, because without this
17 continuity, you cannot understand everything that was happening from 1991
18 onwards. But I want to come back to what you asked me.
19 Mr. Milosevic told me the following: "We are in a very serious
20 crisis. I have come to the idea that it would be very good that
21 independent intellectuals from Croatia -- from Serbia, together with the
22 independent intellectuals from Croatia, because the central question was
23 the relationship between Serbia and Croatia, between Zagreb and Belgrade.
24 This is something that has been a thread throughout the history of
25 Yugoslavia. So these intellectuals should review possible - I emphasise
1 possible - consequences of the destruction of Yugoslavia.
2 I told him then, because I was doing some research before that
3 period, between 1980 and 1985 but also earlier, at the Rome military
4 archives, also military archives in Freiburg, in Germany, the state
5 archives in Bonn, and also in the public record office in London. Also I
6 did some research in Washington. I was working on this research for a
7 book which I published which should not have been published. It was
8 banned and then it was finally published in 1989. It's called Genocide in
9 Yugoslavia in the Light of International Law. This book was translated
10 into English. I hope that you have it.
11 Because I was working in these archives, I said to Mr. Milosevic
12 in our conversation at the time, I told him two things. I must admit that
13 today I regret it. One of my views has been completely confirmed, but the
14 other opinion that I had has not been confirmed. It was quite the
15 opposite, actually. But I told him that I had been following from the
16 beginning the illegal movement of the so-called Croatian liberation
17 movement from 1945 onwards, and all the transformations of that movement,
18 that they had gone very far, that they had very deep roots in the country.
19 They had roots in the party itself, the Communist Party and the Communist
20 Party leadership. This illegal movement had very deep roots in Germany
21 and in the United States, but their situation was that they had
22 infiltrated various services as an anti-communist movement. However, this
23 was a deception, because that movement at the same time worked along two
24 lines; along the line of Moscow and the line of Washington, and their
25 thesis was to achieve independence regardless of the means, with or
1 without the assistance of the communists. Yugoslavia must die.
2 Yugoslavia must disappear, either with the help of the Bolsheviks or the
3 capitalists, we don't care. That was their main idea. And I told
4 Mr. Milosevic this, and I also told him that it seemed to me --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I just ask you, your book Genocide In Yugoslavia,
6 which I have not had the good fortune of reading, what period did it
7 cover? The genocidal acts to which you must have referred in that book,
8 related to what period?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It refers to the period 1941 to
10 1945, but the monitoring of the illegal movement continued later than
11 that. Only in 1989 I had the opportunity to actually publish in book, but
12 I had finished it for publication much earlier, because genocide was a
13 taboo and it was something that it was not possible to discuss. I will be
14 happy to send you the English translation of that book.
15 When I had the opportunity, when there was a considerable degree
16 of liberalisation in the regime and when it was possible to publish this,
17 I revised the book a little bit and added something so that I included the
18 illegal movements in the period also up to the outbreak of the crisis. So
19 that is the period that it covers.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see this witness as --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, just for a moment.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see this witness largely as setting the legal
23 and historical background to the events, and that is why I am allowing
24 some latitude in the examination-in-chief.
25 MR. KAY: I appreciate that, Your Honour, and there are specifics
1 as well which start from 1991 onwards, and the professor has been keen to
2 put that information before the Court, and in many respects it adds skin
3 and muscle to what the bones of her evidence is and how she became to be
4 involved in the events that took place.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kay, that answer deviated completely from the
7 question you asked. The question you asked was about communications
8 between Mr. Milosevic and the professor, a very pertinent question in view
9 of the start of the answer. Now, I would be very grateful if that issue
10 were followed up, because it goes to the attitude of the accused at a
11 particular relevant time in the events that we're considering.
12 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a moment, Professor.
15 Mr. Nice.
16 MR. NICE: A very short point. Evidence of background has come
17 from the Prosecution typically via expert witnesses. We were concerned
18 that this witness might be giving expert evidence but received
19 confirmation from the accused's associates that she was going to be purely
21 I'm entirely content, of course, to listen to the evidence without
22 any further comment or interruption, but if matters of expertise are dealt
23 with, I may not be able to deal with them comprehensively in
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, bear that in mind. I did raise that
1 earlier with you, that she's not giving evidence as an expert. Were she
2 giving evidence as an expert, then a report would have had to be presented
3 to the Prosecution and to the Chamber as a whole, and the Prosecution
4 would have had the benefit of reading the report and preparing for
6 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. I appreciate that, but obviously how
7 this witness arrived in 1991 to be contacted by President Milosevic is of
8 relevance, and that's really how this background comes in. It carries
9 with it other elements, but as far as her particular role was concerned
10 and her standing, that that's how it comes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Direct her now to the specific question raised by
12 Judge Bonomy.
13 MR. KAY: Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: And endeavour to, as we say in the common law, to
15 control the witness.
16 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. I'm giving some latitude here for the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me --
19 MR. KAY:
20 Q. Excuse me --
21 A. -- these are quite specific facts which I would like to state, and
22 they are of key importance and in the context of what I talked about with
23 Mr. Milosevic. And this part of my testimony -- actually, this part of
24 what I told him came true afterwards. The things that did not come true
25 out of the things that I told Mr. Milosevic at the time was that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 regardless of all the negative circumstances that we might encounter as a
2 result of that -- the activities of the subversive terrorist movements
3 that we were faced with for which the General Staff in March, already,
4 said that we are faced with the same enemies that we faced in 1941,
5 therefore, this is something that we have to pay attention to.
6 What did I say that did not come true? I tried to convince
7 Mr. Milosevic that the United Nations, under any conditions, will not
8 recognise secession.
9 Q. Professor, if you could just answer my questions on this issue as
10 we will actually lead into those -- those areas through the questions,
11 because it's very important, as you will appreciate, on the issue of
12 individual criminal responsibility of Mr. Milosevic, that we also deal
13 with matters involving him and the generality of the issues will come with
15 In March 1991, when you were asked to take part in negotiations
16 with other intellectuals from the republics, was -- what was the purpose
17 of those negotiations?
18 A. Just from Croatia.
19 Q. Just from Croatia. Not from Slovenia in March 1991? Right.
20 A. No. No. Only from Croatia.
21 Q. And what was the purpose of those negotiations from President
22 Milosevic's conversation with you?
23 A. I have just told you. Mr. Milosevic wanted to let the other side
24 know, as well as the public, about the terrible consequences of the
25 destruction of Yugoslavia, and that is why the composition from our side
1 and from the Croats' side was such that it was to cover four important
2 spheres from our political life. I was in charge of international law,
3 there was an economist who covered economic relations and the economic
4 consequences in case this happened, then political consequences and
5 constitutional consequences. So that both from the Croat and the Serbian
6 side we had experts from different fields.
7 The reaction of Mr. Milosevic is extremely important. Because my
8 reaction was quite dramatic - maybe I had overdone it but maybe not, I
9 know that I was very irritated with all the things that were going on in
10 Yugoslavia, and at one point I told Mr. Milosevic, "I'm afraid that it is
11 all in vain. Don't you see how things are going, which direction the
12 policies of the country's leadership are going to?" And to that he
13 replied calmly, "I call on you to stay calm and to take part in this
14 discussion, and then when these gentlemen -" or comrades, as he called
15 them - "find out how serious the consequences would be, they will come to
16 themselves and they will stop with all this fanaticism and this
17 independence. They will come to their senses."
18 As I said, in a way he was obsessed with this idea that Yugoslavia
19 had to be preserved, and that was the topic of our conversation and his
20 appeal for maximum tolerance. And I must tell you that maximum tolerance,
21 this is -- we approached these negotiations in a very friendly and very
22 ethical way.
23 I have to say one thing: Mr. Mesic testified before this
24 Tribunal, and he mentioned me twice. What he said were pure lies. I
25 listened to that on television. He implied that we, at those meetings
1 under the directive of Mr. Milosevic or Mr. Tudjman, drew the lines, the
2 borders of Bosnia the way they should look in future. This is notoriously
3 untrue. This is a lie.
4 Yes, we did discuss borders. I had this task, but you know in
5 which way: In the event of secession, what would be the situation of the
6 federal units? Would the basis of future borders be the revolutionary
7 outcome or the decisions of the anti-fascist council of Yugoslavia or the
8 organs of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia which decided in the course of
9 the revolution to form six republics and that they should be formed -- or
10 that the borders of these republics should correspond to the divisions and
11 the construction of the Communist Party? That was one of the things that
12 was discussed. Could this be the basis for future borders, which I
13 disputed and said there are just one set of borders which are
14 internationally recognised under multi-lateral contracts concluded after
15 World War I, between 1919 and 1923. The delimitation was finally carried
16 out or effective in 1926 in relation to Albania, but this is not important
17 at the moment. My position was that only these international treaties
18 could be the basis for future borders with which the Croatian side did not
20 My position was that Europe and the world had embarked in a new
21 direction in which the main principle was status quo ante, meaning
22 establishing the situation before the revolution and cancelling out all
23 the things that arisen as a result of the revolution. But these states
24 only had revolutionary legitimacy. They didn't have legal legitimacy
25 because they were not recognised, these borders were not recognised under
1 any international treaties; these are internal borders. So this is a
2 specific position. And this position was regulated in non-legal forms,
3 extra-legal forms.
4 So this is the gist of our discussion during the sessions that we
5 had always in a different location; namely, what would be the basis of
6 future borders? At the time, I referred to the decision of the Supreme
7 Court of Canada, which -- in relation to Quebec, which said that, first of
8 all, Quebec cannot secede unilaterally without the agreement of the rest.
9 Secondly, the borders remain open. So that was the starting position for
10 our negotiations. If --
11 Q. Can I just stop you there, because this takes in account another
12 matter that's included within the allegations against Mr. Milosevic. It's
13 been alleged that he was attempting to carve out a Greater Serbia, that
14 his whole policy and strategy was to create this Greater Serbia within the
15 region. Did that accord with any of your instructions with him,
16 discussion was him, or any members of his team? Was that any of your
17 purpose at all?
18 A. No, never. Never. That was not our purpose.
19 I would advise you, gentlemen, there is something that has more
20 weight than what I say and that has more weight than what all of the
21 witnesses say. There are three books. One was written by Mr. Alija
22 Izetbegovic. It's called The Islamic Declaration. The second book was
23 written by Mr. Tudjman, where he presented in 500 pages his ideological
24 views and his vision of the future. There is the book of Mr. Milosevic,
25 which was published in 1989, which was translated into French, if I
1 remember. The title of the book is Les Annees Decisives. I think that
2 was the title. Or The Years Of Crisis, in which he presented -- you
3 cannot imagine Mr. Milosevic and his entire framework of ideas unless you
4 place him in the context of that Yugoslavia in which he studied, occupied
5 certain posts, and fervently he -- actually, as far as he was concerned,
6 there was nothing outside of Yugoslavia. In Serbia, even, he was accused
7 of taking too much to heart the slogan introduced after the war,
8 "brotherhood and unity," and he was accused that he was still on that
9 slogan in relation to other nations and nationalities in the country,
10 whereas these people were showing militarist ambitions and aspirations and
11 were in favour of the destruction of the country.
12 Other than that, there is another thing, Mr. Milosevic always
13 cautioned us. And finally, I think, one more thing. I think that is the
14 most important thing: When the terrorist acts, the individual terrorists
15 acts began, I can tell you -- I can describe one which I witnessed. I was
17 Following the announcement of the secession by Slovenia, the
18 Slovenian guard killed all the border guards who were on duty at the
19 border. In Yugoslavia, Serb recruits served their military term in
20 Slovenia, Slovenians served their military term in Bosnia; they were all
21 mixed up. When this started to happen, when these first atrocities
22 occurred, Mr. Milosevic was the one who stressed that we had to pacify the
23 public. This was something that was done by individuals. Let us not
24 accuse Slovenia and Slovenes as a whole. Let us not disrupt the relations
25 in Yugoslavia. We must maintain good relations with the other republics.
1 Mr. Milosevic never -- I mean, we cannot even talk about Greater Serbia.
2 You know, for us who lived there, who witnessed all of that, this is
3 something that is ridiculous, to put it mildly.
4 Q. When the conflict started in Slovenia, were you present and
5 discussed what was happening with him and General Kadijevic?
6 A. As I said, the negotiations which were conducted based on -- with
7 this -- this group of Croat intellectuals, we established a very good
8 working relationship. We had meetings in certain places, and then
9 suddenly we -- we were just getting ready. We had been to see
10 Mr. Milosevic when his secretary entered to tell us, no, you are not going
11 - we were getting ready to catch our plane, we were getting ready to go
12 to the airport - Mr. Tudjman has announced that he's suspending all
13 negotiations. That is how it happened. Only later was this commission
14 for negotiations formed, the commission for negotiations with the European
15 Union. And at the invitation of President Milosevic, I was a member of
16 that negotiation team right from the beginning.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, Professor, just concentrate on
18 answering the question asked by counsel, which was: Were you present and
19 did you discuss what was happening with Mr. Milosevic and General
20 Kadijevic? Just give short answers.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is exactly what I was
22 going to talk about, but I wanted to explain in which way it happened that
23 I happened to be there.
24 This was a continuing contact that we had, and of course I
25 discussed a lot with Mr. Milosevic, unofficially and officially about
1 these topics. Yes, I did.
2 MR. KAY:
3 Q. And --
4 A. If you allow me. I talked with Mr. Kadijevic only when he just
5 happened to come and to report back on certain things or when there was a
6 particular meeting that had to be reported on, but I didn't have
7 independent or direct contacts with Mr. Kadijevic. But he was a member of
8 the delegation, and we always would travel together to The Hague in 1991.
9 Q. But that -- that sets the background, but the issue is really what
10 President Milosevic's attitude was when the conflict in Slovenia started.
11 How did he express his position?
12 A. Mr. Milosevic continued to seek contacts and wanted to continue in
13 any event the negotiations with the Slovenes; namely, when they announced
14 their secession, the Supreme Court of Yugoslavia, the Federal Assembly
15 annulled those contracts or treaties as illegal.
16 However, after Slovenia turned to armed actions against the
17 Yugoslav People's Army, the position of Mr. Milosevic was that we had to
18 negotiate but we have to see, because in my opinion, the borders remain an
19 open question. That was his position. But in any case, to prevent at any
20 cost -- to prevent bloodshed at any cost. That was a very firm position
21 of his. Never -- please. The military or the war option was something
22 that was not considered at that time.
23 If you allow me just one thing: Mr. Milosevic found himself
24 between a rock and a hard place. In Croatia, after these atrocities,
25 because this is something that was not dwelt upon, there were serious
1 atrocities committed against the army in Slovenia, and the extent of that
2 was as follows: There was a series of suicides by high officials because
3 they did not agree with this, and they could not support this. And this
4 is something that is supported by documents.
5 When the instructions -- just one more thing. You overlook the
6 role of Mr. Milosevic. At the time, Mr. Mesic was at the head of the
7 state, and the Prime Minister was Mr. Markovic, also a Croat. So the
8 federal authority was completely in the hands of the Croats.
9 Mr. Milosevic was only in Serbia, in the territory of Serbia, and of
10 course he did have influence to the extent that when they met, the
11 leadership met, he could present the position of Serbia, but he didn't
12 have any decision-making powers. The order to send the army to Slovenia
13 or to send reinforcements to Slovenia was issued by Mr. Markovic as the
14 Prime Minister, but what was tragic was that young people were sent, young
15 recruits who had not had sufficient training, and they did not have any
16 weapons so they were exposed to ruthless destruction in Slovenia.
17 I have a lot of examples. I do not want to burden you with that.
18 Q. I want to ask you now about the JNA. You've brought that into
19 focus. Because during your discussions with Croatia, had the position and
20 the future of the JNA been a matter for discussion; and what was the
21 position expressed to you and others on your committee of Mr. Milosevic
22 concerning the JNA? What was the policy as expressed to you?
23 A. Well, it was like this: The position of Mr. Milosevic with
24 respect to the JNA was no different than the position nurtured by each and
25 every Serb, and that was that the army enjoyed enormous authority. That
1 was a tradition. It was the Serb tradition dating back to Turkish times,
2 and the army did enjoy not only authority and respect, deep respect, but
3 Mr. Milosevic had this position and attitude to the army in principle, but
4 of course he was not in command of the army. But, yes, that was the
5 position, it was a position of respect towards it. And even to the
6 present day in Serbia you will come across this attitude on the part of
7 the average Serb citizen. The army, in a way, was untouchable, and thanks
8 to the role that it had during the Balkan wars, the First World War, the
9 Second World War, and so on and so forth, you had this attitude towards
10 it, and that's what the situation was.
11 Q. When discussing with the Croatian delegation what was happening,
12 you've told us that the future was even discussed over territorial
13 borders, was the position of the JNA discussed between your delegation and
14 their delegation as to what was to become of it? It was the fourth
15 largest army in Europe at the time.
16 A. Yes, you're quite right, but that's not what we discussed and I'll
17 tell you why straight away, but in order to do so I have to go back once
18 again to our social system. The army was, in a certain sense,
19 decentralised because each federal unit had its own command area, if I can
20 put it that way. And apart from that, along the lines of this ideology of
21 self-management that prevailed, we developed what was called the
22 Territorial Defence, which functioned along the lines of the following
23 slogan: We're all soldiers, we're all there to defend the homeland.
24 That's what was believed. So right down to the local organs, to the grass
25 roots of power and authority, you had territorial units which at any given
1 moment were placed under the command, if the need arose, of the Supreme
2 Command of the army. But we didn't discuss that question at all. We
3 didn't discuss the issue of the army.
4 Q. We're actually aware of all that background in this courtroom
5 during the last sort of 300 days of evidence. It's the kind of material
6 we've covered, Professor. My question was aimed at whether there was any
7 specific policy put to you by President Milosevic that you were aware of
8 as to what would happen to the JNA.
9 A. No. No.
10 Q. We get to the stage, then, on the 25th of June of 1991, when
11 Croatia and Slovenia declared independence and what had been anticipated
12 as a crisis became a reality. Were you in contact with President
13 Milosevic at that time, and if so, are you able to express what his
14 attitude or policy was when that first happened? I'm not dealing in the
15 future now, but at that time when that first happened, were you aware,
16 from discussions with him, as to what his intention was?
17 A. I have already said -- or, rather, I can speak about my
18 impressions and the talks I had, the discussions I had. Mr. Milosevic
19 found himself under pressure from two sides. First of all, the mass wave
20 of refugees from Croatia were arriving in Belgrade already at the
21 beginning of July, and the first individual terrorist acts took place in
22 1990, as early as that. But after the proclamation of the secession,
23 terrorism moved to group terrorism. The reasons for this were multiple:
24 Emigres organisations had moved into Croatia, which were military
25 organisations trained on the territory of, for example, Germany,
1 Australia, and some other countries, and it was common knowledge that the
2 Yugoslavia of the day lodged a series of protests with those countries for
3 having trained and organised terrorist organisations, especially on the
4 territory of Germany, for example, the United States, Canada, and
6 Germany, for instance, at one point in time, because relations had
7 become tense, really did ban this and disbanded the terrorist camps,
8 training camps that existed at the time. And with the arrival --
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Professor, may I interrupt you. The question was a
10 very simple one when you were asked what attitude and intention
11 Mr. Milosevic expressed following on the declarations of independence by
12 Croatia and Slovenia. Now, there must be a simple answer to that
13 question, and if it requires further explanation, no doubt you will give
14 it or Mr. Kay will ask for it, but it would help me greatly if I got an
15 answer to the question first of all before the history that might have led
16 to that answer, because otherwise it's pretty meaningless.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I don't think it is meaningless
18 for the simple reason that you wouldn't be able to understand anything if
19 I gave a yes or no answer, because the situation that existed, that was
20 anarchic, extreme anarchy in the country under the pressure of terrorist
21 acts, you would not be able to understand Mr. Milosevic's attitude and
22 position in a single sentence, but it was we had to negotiate. That is it
23 in a nutshell: We have to negotiate, we have to find a way out of the
24 present situation.
25 Mr. Milosevic at that time addressed the intellectual elite of
1 Serbia, launching appeal and saying that there was a crisis in the
2 country, how can we find a way out of that crisis? We held a series of
3 meetings during that period of time with the aim of finding alternative
4 solutions, and I have here some material which I typed out myself in
5 actual fact on the basis of the conclusions reached at the meetings we
6 held, which were also attended by Mr. Milosevic. Half the Serbian Academy
7 of Arts and Sciences, university professors, we all attended those
8 meetings. We all rallied together. And none of the people who negotiated
9 at the time with Mr. Milosevic -- actually, he expected much more from us.
10 He expected us to tell him how to find a way out of the situation rather
11 than him telling us.
12 So it's quite an erroneous position if you say that there was just
13 this one personage, this one individual, Mr. Slobodan Milosevic in this
14 case, who made all the decisions. That's not how it was. And I can tell
15 you quite frankly that it was not. You can ask hundreds -- I can assure
16 you that that was the case, and I presented my views, although I
17 never had any political functions, and that's what I told Mr. Milosevic.
18 So I asked him, can I take it upon myself, the responsibility upon
19 myself --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, next question.
21 MR. KAY:
22 Q. So -- so we've moved now to when there is a situation in the
23 former Yugoslavia of Serbian people who are refugees leaving the Croatian
24 republic, as it formerly was, and moving into Serbia, and there are the
25 terrorist acts that you've told us of. Were you thereafter involved as a
1 member in negotiations between the various sides of the territories of the
2 former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1993?
3 A. No. If you mean in the sense of what we negotiated prior to that
4 on that intellectual level amongst the intellectuals of Serbia and
5 Croatia, then no. But after the secession there was a radical cut,
6 severance, a radical line drawn between the contacts; they were
7 interrupted. So that in Serbia we had the influx of refugees coming in
8 from all sides, and part of the Croatian officials, for example, although
9 many Croats remained in Belgrade - you have 150.000 Croats living in
10 Belgrade and working in different institutions to the present day - but,
11 yes, some white collar workers, officials, did leave Belgrade, those who
12 wished to do so, of course. And on the other hand, you had this terrible
13 pressure from the masses and masses of refugees flowing in, and it became
14 a social problem, how to solve this question of refugees. And
15 Mr. Milosevic was very much involved in these discussions and in finding a
16 solution to the problem.
17 And then you asked me about the contacts. Yes. Up until the
18 formation of the group which was to head the negotiations in The Hague,
19 that is to say here in this city in September, as you well know, 1991,
20 until the end of December, we were here in The Hague, and on the 1st of
21 January, 1992, we relocated to Brussels. Then there was London, and you
22 know the course that these negotiations took afterwards.
23 So up until the formation of that commission we did have contacts
24 which were far more - how should I put this? - on a patriotic basis, that
25 is to say, how to help. My own position, for instance, at the time - and
1 you interrupted me at that point when I was going to tell you this - was
2 the same position taken as many other leading intellectuals regardless of
3 the fact that I wasn't a member of any party. In times of crisis, nobody
4 has the right to remain neutral.
5 Q. In The Hague on the 7th of September, 1991, when we have the peace
6 conference here, you were a member of the delegation; is that right?
7 A. I wasn't in The Hague on that first day for separate reasons, but
8 I did come later on and came regularly after that. I attended all the
9 meetings after that regularly, but I wasn't there on the 7th of September
10 in The Hague for my own personal reasons.
11 Q. When you were participating, presumably that was as a result of an
12 appointment by President Milosevic or someone else within the Foreign
13 Ministry; is that right?
14 A. No. As far as I remember - and Mr. Milosevic will correct me if
15 I'm wrong - it was at the proposal of Mr. Milosevic that the negotiating
16 team was set up and confirmed by the National Assembly, by the parliament.
17 Q. And what was the brief you had? What were your instructions as to
18 what you were to seek at the peace conference in The Hague?
19 A. Once again, you will say that I'm going back in time, but you
20 won't be able to understand The Hague without reverting to the Brioni
21 declaration first.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just briefly. Just briefly, Professor. You may
23 go back, but just briefly.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very briefly, but as I say, you
25 won't be able to understand The Hague without Brioni. The Brioni
1 declaration, first and foremost, the foreign minister, Mr. Loncar at the
2 time, without consulting parliament or the government, invited
3 representatives from the European Union. They did not come to Belgrade,
4 but they did go to Brioni, the Brioni islands. They were invited to come
5 to Brioni, the representatives of all the republics, with the exception of
6 Serbia. Serbia was not present at the Brioni meeting, but there were
7 representatives of the federation present. So in addition to the
8 representatives of the federation, you had the representatives of all the
9 republics except Serbia.
10 Now, when Mr. Jovic who at the time was a member of the Yugoslav
11 state Presidency, so he was there on behalf of the SFRY, representing the
12 SFRY at the Brioni meeting, and he went back to Belgrade, the foreign
13 press wrote about it, the Croatian and Slovenian press wrote about the
14 agreement reached in which the European Union was given the role of
15 mediator. Serbia had absolutely no idea about any of this, and it was
16 faced with a fait accompli, because, first of all, an act of this kind
17 would have to have been ratified by the country's parliament. However, it
18 wasn't brought before parliament at all, and the possibility was that
19 Serbia could revoke this, but it did not do so. And Mr. Jovic made a
20 statement for the press in which he said - and you can find this in his
21 book - no declaration was adopted. They were just talks. That's what he
22 says. It was not ratified at all. However, this draft was conceived as
23 being a definitive solution.
24 And Mr. Milosevic played a key role there at that time. I
25 remember it well. He said, yes, this is contrary to the constitution, but
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 we shall cooperate, and we must place our trust in the European Union or,
2 rather, the European Community, I apologise. It was the European
3 Community at the time. We will accept it regardless of the unlawfulness
4 of the act. We will accept negotiations because there can be no moves
5 forward without negotiations.
6 And I'm now going to state criticism, the criticism I made at the
7 time. I said you're too much of an optimist, and you believe Western
8 diplomacy too much. And those were my words, sir. They were not
9 Mr. Milosevic's words, they were my own words. I said, how can we go
10 forward without any document? And he said, well, we have this one.
11 We analyse the Brioni declaration, and the Brioni declaration, it
12 permits the European Community to find a peaceful solution to the Yugoslav
13 crisis, but with respect for the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. So
14 it was given the mandate by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
15 the SFRY, and it was on this basis that we proceeded to negotiate. That
16 is to say we prepared ourselves for the talks, for the negotiations, and I
17 think that the speeches delivered by Mr. Milosevic, which you have before
18 you - I don't want to recount them here and I'm a little taken aback by
19 coming here --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tell us now the instructions that you were given
21 as to the line you were to follow at the talks in The Hague, which was the
22 question asked by Mr. Kay.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had a platform that we had
24 established, which was adopted unanimously by the Assembly of Serbia. And
25 may I be allowed to remind you that that was a multi-party Assembly at the
1 time. We had already moved to the multi-party system in our political
2 life, and in the Assembly we had seven or eight, I think, parties
4 So this platform was the following: We will go to the
5 negotiations. The borders remain open. If Croatia and Slovenia insist
6 upon seceding, then there is the possibility that Serbia would accept
7 this, but under one condition: That we use peaceful means to decide upon
8 the question of borders, to solve economic problems, and to see about the
9 problem of dual citizenship, because the population was a mixed population
10 and it was no simple matter, and they aspired toward ethnically pure
12 So that, then, was the basic premise, and I think perhaps from
13 Mr. Milosevic's speech at the time you will be able to glean that platform
14 of ours as presented by him at the first and second meeting held here in
15 The Hague.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. Was there any issue that territory would be acquired by military
19 force, that there would be force used to aid --
20 A. No.
21 Q. -- Serbia? You've given evidence about the problem of a large
22 Serbian population being in Croatia, and other republics also had a mix,
23 as we know, and we've had evidence about the figures, of the dispersal of
24 different ethnic groups throughout the territories of the former
25 Yugoslavia. Did Mr. Milosevic express any policy to you in relation to
1 such issues, how those Serbs who were outside the territories of the
2 Republic of Serbia, as it had been, were to be protected or their rights
4 A. There was a great deal of speculation with the statements made,
5 which, yes, Mr. Milosevic did make I think on two occasions, to the effect
6 that the Serbs should remain and live in one single state. Now,
7 gentlemen, that sentence was pulled out of context. Mr. Milosevic did
8 actually say that, but he also emphasised that, as our constitution speaks
9 about self-determination, including the right to secession under certain
10 conditions, in conformity with all the republics, and so on and so forth,
11 and as self-determination was not a territorial principle in itself, it
12 was the subjective right of peoples as such, not the territorial
13 principle. So it was impossible to have self-determination of the federal
14 units. Where would the logic of that be? There is no link between the
15 substance of self-determination, especially as defined by the General
16 Assembly. And you know full well, or let me remind you - I don't think I
17 have to do so, though - of the Resolutions of the General Assembly which
18 clearly state that self-determination and secession are two separate legal
19 acts. And this was confirmed by the International Court of Law, for
20 example, that secession was not linked or need not necessarily be linked
21 to self determination as a legal principle and secession as a political
22 one, and the International Court of Justice ruled that way with respect to
23 Sahara. So we were of that view. It was not a territorial principle, it
24 was the subjective principle of a people. So the Serbs as a core, as a
25 constituent nation, had the right to self-determination.
1 Now, what logic would you apply if you had to divide up this
2 Serbian entity? There would be no logic either to be found in law or as a
3 precedent at all. So it was along those lines and in that sense that
4 Mr. Milosevic and not only Mr. Milosevic but the Presidency, the federal
5 Yugoslav state Presidency itself expressed and told the Serbs that they
6 would have protection, enjoy protection. And the president of the
7 Yugoslav state Presidency himself - and we had the principle of rotation
8 for the Presidency president, at the time it was Mr. Kostic who was
9 present - and I remember this well and I quote him in my books, he said
10 the following, because you know Mr. Milosevic strove and accepted the
11 arrival of the international forces. The Serbs in Croatia did not accept
12 that for the simple reason that they said, well, we don't need any foreign
13 troops. We had what you said a moment ago, one of the strongest armies.
14 So why should not our army protect the people and introduce law and order
15 into the country? Why would we need international forces to do that?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Professor. Next question.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. Moving on to other issues here, and I want to try to keep it in a
19 chronology, we've mentioned the Hague in September --
20 A. Please. It is not -- it was not clearly -- stated clearly enough,
21 that is to say the grounds upon which Mr. Milosevic wanted to assure the
23 I have a document here. I hope it's been translated, but these
24 are the variations, that is to say the different ways and means in which
25 the Serb question in Croatia could be solved.
1 Now, these variants were compiled on the basis of broad
2 consultations held among intellectuals, professionals of all profiles. So
3 the war option was excluded. Without too much modesty I will have to say
4 that I am the author. I wrote this for the most part, but it was compiled
5 on the basis of the discussions held in Mr. Milosevic's offices, in his
6 cabinet. And I can tell you who was present, all the academicians, the
7 professors who attended that meeting, if you wish.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
9 MR. KAY:
10 Q. If I could see that document and see whether there is a copy
11 before us.
12 A. Yes, certainly.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. Here it is.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. This is the original typed out by me personally. I didn't have a
17 computer, so I had to type it out on an ordinary typewriter.
18 Q. If I could just retain this and in the break have a look at it and
19 maybe --
20 A. [In English] Yes.
21 Q. -- seek to get it copied, that meeting be of assistance.
22 JUDGE KWON: For the benefit of transcript, the Presiding Judge
23 asked who was the author. It should be at line 38.
24 Yes, please go on.
25 MR. KAY: Thank you. Well, we're reaching a convenient moment
1 here, Your Honour, before I move on to the declaration of independence.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Kay. The Professor, in my estimation,
3 has evidence to give relevant to the issues in this case, but it would be
4 more profitable, I think, if the questioning were more direct and the
5 answers much shorter.
6 Professor, I appreciate that you want to provide a background to
7 the answers and that, in your view, would better enable us to understand
8 the issues, but you must try as best as you can to answer the questions
10 There is within this Tribunal, I think, two ways of giving
11 evidence. One is the narrative approach, which is more common in the
12 inquisitorial system, and in the common law tradition from which I come
13 questions are put directly and answers given. We have to strike a balance
14 in relation to this witness.
15 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will take the adjournment now. Professor, in
17 the adjournment, which will be for 20 minutes, you are not to discuss your
18 evidence with anybody.
19 We are adjourned.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Kay.
23 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. In the adjournment, copies have been produced of the document,
25 Professor Avramov, that you showed us.
1 MR. KAY: The Prosecution already have copies of these, Your
2 Honour, and so does Mr. Milosevic.
3 If you could hand that back to the witness and then those are for
4 the Registry.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the position about this exhibit, as with
6 the small clutch of exhibits provided a few days ago in respect of this
7 witness, is that none of the B/C/S versions has been translated, and I
8 have not in the event been in a position to deal with this document in any
9 detail at all.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: It seems to be a very short document.
11 MR. NICE: Yes, fairly short.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: What do you intend to do with it?
13 MR. KAY: I was going to get the witness to identify the document,
14 tell us in summary form what it says and how it is relevant rather than
15 read it all out, and the translation then can be produced if that is
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Go ahead.
18 MR. KAY:
19 Q. Professor Avramov, this is the document you referred to just
20 before the break when you gave evidence, and you told us that you typed
21 this document in 1991; is that right? And was that June?
22 A. Yes, yes, yes.
23 Q. June 1991; is that right?
24 A. I think so, yes. June or July. I can't remember exactly now.
25 Perhaps I put the date somewhere. No. No, I didn't. I didn't put the
1 date anywhere.
2 But you see, I would like to point something out to you once
3 again, that this was the result of our discussions with -- with the
4 representatives, with the representatives of the Serbs from Croatia and
5 this circle of intellectuals gathered around Mr. Milosevic in order to
6 assist him at that moment. And --
7 Q. Is this a summary of the negotiations between your committee and
8 the committee that was representing Croatia in that period from March
9 until the summer of 1991?
10 A. Yes. Representatives from Croatia did take part in this. That
11 explains the context, I repeat. For example, Variant 1: Croats totally
12 leave Yugoslavia with part of the territory of present-day Croatia. Serb
13 areas in Croatia remain in Yugoslavia on the basis of the right of people
14 to self-determination. All questions related to the Croats leaving
15 Yugoslavia shall be regulated by way of agreement between the Croatian
16 authorities and the organs of Yugoslavia.
17 Variant number 2: Croats gradually and within a certain
18 transition period leave Yugoslavia, however remaining a certain
19 relationship with Yugoslavia whose substance level of links and dynamics
20 shall be established by way of agreement between Croatian organs and the
21 organs of Yugoslavia.
22 And also another very important one: Serb territories shall
23 determine their status through a constitutional document during the
24 transition period with the agreement of the Croatian authorities and the
25 organs of Yugoslavia, and the implementation of this enactment shall be
1 guaranteed by the international community through an international
3 On the territories of the Serb territories, there cannot be any
4 armed forces of the Republic of Croatia or of Yugoslavia, and the
5 territory can have its own police forces needed for the protection of
6 citizens from crime and in order to maintain public law and order.
7 And this enactment would probably relate only to the economy in
8 order to divide the jurisdiction involved. Where the regulations of the
9 republics of Croatia and Yugoslavia will be implemented, the regulations
10 of the organs of Yugoslavia will be implemented. So it's a kind of
12 Authority in all regulations and all fields in the first degree
13 shall be carried out by the organs of the independent territory and in the
14 second degree in the areas in which the Republic of Croatia maintains
15 relations with Yugoslavia shall be resolved by the organs of Croatia,
16 rather, the organs of Yugoslavia, depending on the agreement on mutual
18 Representatives of the independent territories shall be present in
19 an appropriate manner in the organs of the Republic of Croatia and in the
20 organs of Yugoslavia as well, in accordance with the areas in which there
21 are mutual relations.
22 All controversial questions in the implementation of mutual
23 relations in the territory of the independent territory shall be resolved
24 by a commission consisting of representatives of the organs of the
25 independent territories of the organ of Croatia, the organ of Yugoslavia,
1 and the international community.
2 MR. KAY: Your Honour, it's sometimes difficult for me to cut off
3 the witness because I have to let the translation go on and I don't come
4 over that, so it does make it difficult controlling in those
5 circumstances. I hope the Court understands that.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
7 MR. KAY: And I'm doing my best in relation to it.
8 Q. This document, then, was drafted by you at a stage when you were
9 thinking of the future and that if Croatia did secede that what would be
10 remaining would still be a Yugoslavia but without Croatia; is that right?
11 A. That's right. That's right.
12 Q. And --
13 A. That was the basic problem in our negotiations here in The Hague
14 on the 18th of October, 1991. And if you permit me to say so, that is
15 precisely where we broke off. The Brioni declaration gives the
16 representatives of the European Community the mandate to negotiate and
17 mediate, however maintaining the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia.
18 However, on the 18th of October, without any preparations, without any
19 previous information, I was informed 24 hours beforehand. We received the
20 so-called Carrington paper which puts to us the disintegration of
21 Yugoslavia without any alternatives. There would be no negotiations.
22 What we expected on the Brioni declaration was not to be. This is an
23 ultimatum. There are no negotiations to accept or reject. There is no
24 third option. And to everyone's astonishment, they accepted revolutionary
25 principles, you see. They accepted states within the borders that were
1 established during the revolution, the AVNOJ borders, which was
2 unacceptable for us.
3 I have to remind you that the borders of Yugoslavia after the
4 Second World War were regulated by many-fold treaties concluded then by
5 Yugoslavia or, rather, Serbia. Serbia was the only state that was
6 entitled to negotiate after the First World War. This was the First World
7 War. So all of this came into force after the Second World War to --
8 Q. If I can just stop you there, with my apologies. The position
9 then with the Carrington Plan had not been what your delegation had had in
10 mind for what it saw then as the future of Yugoslavia; is that right?
11 A. No. At that time, after having come to the conclusion that
12 Croatia and Slovenia were categorically in favour of leaving Yugoslavia,
13 that was the idea of President Milosevic, and he presented that idea.
14 There was a big discussion in Belgrade when he presented that concept of
15 his: All right, we are not going to oppose this. Let us not allow a war
16 to take place in the territory. Croatia and Slovenia will go their own
17 way whereas those peoples who wish to remain within Yugoslavia will remain
18 within this future smaller Yugoslavia.
19 The point was in the following, in what Mr. Milosevic said, that
20 is: There cannot be a right -- the right to secession cannot be stronger,
21 cannot supersede the right to the integrity of the state. This was my
22 reaction or, rather, President Milosevic's reaction after we read the
23 paper, the Carrington paper; that this was a pure deception, because it
24 deviated from the Brioni declaration. He had received his mandate from
25 Yugoslavia, not the republics, and this is what President Milosevic said
1 in his speech on the 18th of October, 1991. That's what he highlighted:
2 We are not opposed to them going their own way, but the final say has to
3 be that of the people themselves. A representative or an envoy who got a
4 certain mandate, a restricted mandate, cannot decide on the dissolution --
5 dissolution of Yugoslavia, as he called it.
6 It is not a dissolution. Even Lord Carrington himself and others
7 later realised that this led to bloodshed and also an aggravation of the
9 Q. At this time in 1991, was it any part of President Milosevic's
10 policy to expel any of those of different ethnic groups from the Serbs
11 from the territories of Yugoslavia as he envisaged it as being, or from
12 the territories of Serbia, for that matter? Was there any question of the
13 expulsion of people that you know of within his policy?
14 A. Never. Gentlemen, it is not only that Serbs were the refugees who
15 were coming in. Do you want me to give you the names of famous Croatian
16 writers who found refuge in Serbia in 1991? Also, thousands of Albanians
17 fled from Kosovo under the terror there, from the terror there, and came
18 to Serbia. There were federal officials who voluntarily left with their
19 own belongings on trucks. However, we had officers who were coming back
20 to Belgrade or, rather, I'm sorry, families of officers who were expelled
21 from their own apartments and they were not allowed to take along even
22 their personal belongings. So this caused revolt in Serbia, because it
23 was obvious, as it was shown on television, when Slovenian recruits were
24 leaving, they were --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, you have answered the question.
1 MR. KAY:
2 Q. You've told us that President Milosevic, on the 18th of October,
3 recognised, after Croatia on the 8th of October had declared independence,
4 that they were going their own way. Was his view supported politically
5 within Yugoslavia or were there others in opposition to his view of
6 acceptance of what had happened with Slovenia and Croatia?
7 A. Of course there were very many. You have to realise that we had
8 tens of thousands of mixed marriages. There were people who were truly
9 oriented towards a feeling of Yugoslavia. They are living harbouring
10 these ideas until the present day. They cannot think otherwise. They
11 even write books. They are called -- it is called Yugo-nostalgia. That's
12 what the feeling is called.
13 On our way back from here, on the plane at that time, we had
14 representatives of the military there, and there was Mr. Milosevic, and
15 Mr. Bulatovic and all of us who took part in the conference at that time,
16 and we call came to the conclusion that the Carrington paper was a
17 watershed, that it was a turning point in the negotiations, and that our
18 refusal to accept the Carrington paper -- because we resolutely refused to
19 accept it and that is what Mr. Milosevic said, it is only the people who
20 can reach this kind of a decision, not the mediator himself. This is in
21 accordance with national and international law. We talked on the plane,
22 and we came to the conclusion - I think this was the initiative of
23 Mr. Milosevic himself - to convene an extraordinary session of the
24 parliament where the Carrington paper would be presented and --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor. Professor --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Federal Assembly, as the highest
2 organ of the people, should express its views on whether they are in
3 favour of President Milosevic's position or not.
4 That night an extraordinary session of the parliament was held,
5 and this expression expounded by Mr. Milosevic in The Hague was adopted
6 unanimously by parliament. It was even the opposition parties that voted
7 in favour of that, and the representative of the strongest opposition
8 party, who is today the foreign minister of Yugoslavia, said quite
9 literally, "Mr. President, had you acted otherwise, I would have accused
10 you as a traitor today."
11 MR. KAY:
12 Q. From what you're saying, Mr. Milosevic had to consider the other
13 issues within Serbia, the other republics, as to their interests, what was
14 in the best interests of what remained of Yugoslavia with those two
15 republics having seceded. Was there any policy that you were aware of
16 that he wanted to use force whilst negotiations were continuing, whilst
17 peace plans were being discussed, as a way of imposing pressure on the
18 newly declared State of Croatia?
19 A. No. Gentlemen, I have this here --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have the documents here.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, just a minute.
23 Mr. Milosevic, yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, all these questions
25 that have been put so far by Mr. Kay are absolutely out of line in terms
1 of the concept of my defence, and they are, as a matter of fact, in total
2 contrast to the line of defence that I had prepared. I believe that this
3 is due to his lack of knowledge. And also, I think that this is done in
4 order to dilute the statement of the witness.
5 You turned off my microphone, I did not manage to switch off my
6 microphone. It is not true what Mr. Kay said, that through someone I
7 asked him to say here -- or, rather, request that I question the witness
8 first. I actually have no intention of exercising any rights as Mr. Kay's
9 assistant. I'm not going to accept that, exercising my right to defence
10 in that way, that is to say depending on your mercy, that you are just
11 giving me crumbs of that right and in that way I am going to exercise my
12 right to defence. So I ask you that you return my right of defence to me
13 because it is quite clear to everyone that what Mr. Kay is doing here does
14 not constitute my defence and does not constitute the exercise of my right
15 to defence.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I say something?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: No.
18 Mr. Milosevic, let me say firstly that the questions asked by
19 Mr. Kay are, in the view of the Chamber, relevant to the issues in this
20 case. They go to your state of mind, to the question of individual
21 criminal responsibility.
22 Let me say secondly that in line with the order made by the
23 Chamber, you may be allowed to ask additional questions. That's a matter
24 that the Chamber will consider on a case-by-case basis.
25 Mr. Kay, proceed with the examination.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that note, may I say something in
2 relation to what Mr. Milosevic raised just now?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Briefly.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very briefly. Mr. President, I
5 accepted to be a witness in this trial, although I had left the
6 negotiating team due to certain differences and divergences, but I believe
7 that giving evidence, giving testimony is an ethical category. I was
8 motivated only by a wish to contribute to an extremely complicated case,
9 as is the case of the destruction of Yugoslavia and the role of
10 Mr. Milosevic in this entire case.
11 But much more than that, this is not only in the interest of
12 Mr. Milosevic. It is in the interest of the country. It is in the
13 interest of the people that I belong to. But I may I say at this point in
14 time that this is primarily in the interest of the science of law, which
15 is facing one of the gravest crises in its history.
16 I started studying law in 1936 in Vienna, and those were the years
17 of a grave crisis, and this crisis is far graver than that one as far as
18 law is concerned. So I thought that in this way there would be a
19 rehabilitation, so to speak, by way of presenting the proof -- the truth,
20 that is, there would be a rehabilitation of legal order and the rule of
22 According to your rules, a witness has to be prepared and has to
23 have contact with the Defence, in this specific case it was Mr. Milosevic.
24 Thanks to your approval and permission, I had meetings with him and we
25 chronologically went from one stage to another, how things developed for
1 as long as I was on the negotiating team. I happened to meet Mr. Kay only
2 yesterday, so I did not have contact with him before, only with Milosevic.
3 Allow me to speak as a lawyer now with 60 years of professional experience
4 in the legal profession. I have devoted my entire life to that profession
5 and my entire career.
6 The right to defence belongs to the category of ius cogens --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to stop you on that. I'm stopping you
8 on that, Professor. I'm stopping you on that. That's not a matter for
9 you to discuss now.
10 Mr. Kay, you may proceed with your examination.
11 And please answer the questions that are asked as directly as
13 MR. KAY:
14 Q. The question I asked, Professor Avramov, was this: Was there any
15 policy, after Croatia had declared independence on the 8th of October,
16 1991, that Mr. Milosevic had directed the JNA or paramilitaries to use
17 force against the declared territory of Croatia?
18 A. Sir, I used to spend the entire day at the Presidency at that
19 time. Mr. Milosevic did not have any influence over the JNA. You have to
20 be aware of the way in which paramilitary forces were being established,
21 the way in which the Serb people spontaneously rose against violence.
22 Please. I gave you this order as an example, and there were so
23 many. This is a photocopy of the original poster that will be shown at
24 the military museum in Belgrade. It will be an exhibit there. This is
25 the order of the Crisis Staff of Croatia that within 48 hours, 25 big Serb
1 settlements in Slavonia should be emptied. They were ordered where they
2 were supposed to gather collectively. If they do not do so, they will be
3 severely punished.
4 Bearing in mind that the genocide in 1941 started in those same
5 areas in a very similar way, this is the most densely populated Serb area,
6 these 25 villages, and this was carried by the newspapers. There were
7 posters all over with this order. And Serbs boarded their tractors, their
8 wagons, and 30.000 or 40.000 of them left and arrived in Belgrade. Others
9 who did not want to leave their houses were killed and --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, I'm stopping you.
11 Mr. Kay, next question.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But how was this established, sir?
13 How was this established, this third part that did not wish to flee, that
14 did not wish to surrender? They went into the woods. They rebelled. And
15 those were the first groups of resistance against violence, against
16 violence, which irritated the population everywhere. And there were even
17 volunteers in Serbia who made themselves available to the Yugoslav
18 People's Army.
19 What you have to know in addition to that is that --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: We've had your explanation. Next question.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: May I ask the professor a question at this stage?
22 Professor, Professor Avramov --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Why will you not answer the question you've just
25 been asked which was about the attitude, intention of Mr. Milosevic at
1 that time? Why do you have to tell us about what the attitude of
2 Croatians were at that time? Can you not please direct your mind to the
3 questions you're being asked, which are plainly in the interests of Mr.
4 Milosevic and which you plainly are apparently not willing to answer
5 directly. Please do so.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot respond more directly than
7 I did. Mr. Milosevic did not have a position at the time about what to do
8 with the mass of refugees and with the organised group in Croatia over
9 which he had no influence. And these groups of Serbs had formed on their
10 own initiative in self-defence. Mr. Milosevic had nothing to do with
12 I perhaps had more contact with them because I was a member of
13 humanitarian organisations, so I knew much more than Mr. Milosevic did
14 about that. He just was caught in the situation.
15 At that point, he did not have any influence in that area.
16 Mr. Mesic and Mr. Markovic had influence instead of him.
17 MR. KAY:
18 Q. Professor, you referred to a document there which I've got copies
19 of. It's a number DPH 984, and it's got the figure 1 on it that has been
20 supplied to the Court.
21 MR. KAY: If I could just hand this document around. The
22 Prosecution already have it already at DPH 984. There are copies here.
23 MR. NICE: This document, it's a document we've seen, we haven't
24 had a translation, but it may be appropriate to get from the witness more
25 evidence of its provenance before it's admitted into evidence. I don't
1 know what she's saying about it. It's clearly a document that could be
2 typed by anyone in any circumstances, and we need to know what she's
3 saying about whether and where she found it.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, please.
5 MR. KAY: I will obviously be doing that.
6 Q. We're looking at this document now. We've all got it, Professor.
7 First of all, can you tell us where the document came from. How have you
8 got this document? Where did you obtain it from?
9 A. The document which the refugees brought with them, the ones who
10 arrived, you can see these lines here. When I got this original, the
11 document was crumpled up because it was in the pocket of one of the
12 refugees. We straightened it and made a copy, and then you can see what
13 kind of a copy it is.
14 The document was published in the Croatian press, in the
15 Slavonski Glasnik, a local Pozega paper. This document was posted on all
16 corners, on all notice boards in these villages which were supposed to be
18 Q. When did you get a copy of this document?
19 A. In September 1991.
20 Q. And were you in Belgrade at that time?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I was.
22 Q. And the document, you said, was with a refugee. Can you tell us
23 what it actually says on it in summary form. What does it declare?
24 A. The citizens will move out to the populated area of the Slavonska
25 Pozega municipality according to their free choice. Those who have no
1 place to shelter themselves are obliged to contact the relief teams of the
2 civilian protection for evacuation in the areas in the collection areas of
3 Ivandol, Dezevci, Perenci, Toranj, and Biskupci. This order goes into
4 effect on the 29th of October, 1991, at 12.00, and the decision will be in
5 force depending on when the situation in the area calms down. When the
6 deadline for the -- for the population to remove them -- to leave, any
7 movement of civilians in the cited area will be banned.
8 Q. And who is this document aimed at? Who is it telling to evacuate?
9 A. You can see what the introductory part says. I just read the body
10 of the message. I quote: "Recently the Chetnik terrorist forces and
11 units of the JNA have been threatening with their activities the civilian
12 population in the western part of Slavonska Pozega, so for the purpose of
13 protecting their lives and making it possible for our defence forces in
14 that area to conduct a defence, the Crisis Staff of the municipality of
15 Slavonska Pozega announces that all citizens should evacuate with their
16 personal property, food articles, clothing, footwear, sheets, personnel
17 hygiene items," and so on, and then they mention the names of the villages
18 or the places that are to be evacuated - I don't need to read all of them
19 - "within 48 hours from the time when this order goes into effect." That
20 means that they had to leave their houses within 48 hours and report to
21 the collection sites.
22 Q. And the citizen that you obtained this from, what ethnic group was
24 A. Serbs. Serb refugees who came.
25 Q. And the villages that are named here, were they villages
1 containing mainly Serb people?
2 A. Exclusively Serbs. These were Serb villages.
3 Q. So I go back to the main issue here which we're dealing with in
4 October 1991, because there are allegations concerning the bombardment of
5 Dubrovnik, the area around Dubrovnik, conflict in the Krajina, whether as
6 far as you knew that was the policy and declared intent of Mr. Milosevic,
7 that there should be attacks on Croatia as a way of forcing pressure on
9 A. No. Again you will say that I'm going back, but it is impossible
10 to respond with a yes or no. But if you want me to respond with a yes or
11 no, then I say no, that was not his order. But I have to say when the
12 secession happened, representatives of the Serbian people came to Belgrade
13 and demanded forcefully to be protected by Yugoslavia, the only legitimate
14 representative in the international community, the only subject in the
15 international community. They expressed the desire to be protected and to
16 remain within Yugoslavia.
17 Mr. Milosevic and the Serbian government provided assurances to
18 them that they would do everything to protect them. You have the daily
19 newspapers' reports, you have the daily government statements and
20 statements of President Milosevic to this effect. However, since the
21 terrorist acts which had grown into mass crimes continued, Serbs in
22 Croatia charged or accused Belgrade of not providing adequate protection
23 to them and that they would be forced to defend themselves. So when it
24 was suggested to them that President Milosevic launches an initiative for
25 the Assembly to declare that those areas never seceded, namely that they
1 remained, which is a fact, the sovereignty of Croatia in that area was not
2 established until 1995, until the well-known Storm offensive, because the
3 Territorial Defence was in the hands of the Serbs in that area. They were
4 armed through the Territorial Defence. So they organised self-defence.
5 In their deep disappointment - I repeat deeply disappointed - with the
6 position of Belgrade and us who were there because we had not offered them
7 adequate protection. And in that period, these clashes confirmed --
9 As far as July, don't forget that in July there was a proposal,
10 and later this became an order, that members of the JNA should withdraw to
11 their barracks, which they did. They obeyed that order. And the army
12 found itself closed in its own barracks, which were then surrounded by
13 paramilitary forces. This happened in Slovenia and in Croatia. Their
14 electricity and water were cut off, and there was mass -- there were mass
15 deaths within the barracks as well as mass rebellions there. I cited
16 several examples of this in my book, and I also have many documents from
17 that period.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Kay, next question.
19 MR. KAY:
20 Q. From 1991, we move to 1992, and on the 15th of January, 1992, the
21 European Community recognised Croatia as an independent state. Did you
22 have any discussions with President Milosevic as to the effect of that
23 recognition by the European Community in January 1992?
24 A. The recognition was heralded in the international press already as
25 early as June 1991. There's an interview by Mr. Genscher from that period
1 in which he said --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I have to stop you. Just answer the question.
3 The question is: Did you have any discussions with President Milosevic as
4 to the effect of that recognition by the European Community?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We talked before that also because
6 the National Assembly, following the announcement of the recognition, the
7 Federal Assembly sent a protest to the United Nations and to the European
8 Union that --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm stopping you there. The answer is yes.
10 Mr. Kay, do you want to follow up on that?
11 MR. KAY: Yes.
12 Q. Had there been any discussions as to the effect, politically, of
13 what was now taking place upon Bosnia?
14 A. Yes, of course. I will tell you. Mr. Milosevic asked me a
15 specific question when we were talking about this, and he asked me, from
16 an international standpoint, how can you qualify recognition today? My
17 answer was based on the discussion of the General Assembly of the United
18 Nations when the Resolution was adopted in which the term of aggression
19 was defined, is that recognition is an indirect form aggression against
20 the SFRY. That was my response to Mr. Milosevic and to the whole group of
21 negotiators who participated in that. The effect was horrible, the effect
22 of that move, because all the masks were dropped, all pretense was dropped
23 on behalf of the -- on the part of the negotiating team and the
24 international community.
25 You know, that's a euphemism, the international community. We did
1 not deal with the international community but the representatives of the
2 international community and the representatives of the United States. The
3 "international community" is a wider, broader term.
4 So this recognition was a -- caused a considerable amount of
5 shock, this recognition did. And there was -- if you allow me. You asked
6 me whether I talked with him. Yes, I did, before that. But on the 15th
7 of January, I happened to be in Brussels together with a group which was
8 supposed to take part in different -- in work of different expert teams,
9 and because we flew in, you know that Serbia was isolated and we could not
10 have any contacts, we were consulting each other about what to do next.
11 With the recognition, the European Union lost its right to mediate. So
12 without the knowledge of Mr. Milosevic, on our own initiative, again I
13 would like to show you an act which I wrote in the hotel room. It's
14 written in English. Perhaps the English is not that good, but --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 MR. KAY:
17 Q. I'm actually interested here in Mr. Milosevic's reaction as you
18 were to see it. What policy were you aware of that he was in mind as a
19 result of the Bosnian fear that they would form a separate republic as
21 A. This was the Carrington paper already. It was an ultimatum. All
22 the republics would acquire independence, and they would have the right to
23 request recognition from the international community, as they called it.
24 There was no alternative to that. We gave several amendments to that
25 paper which were not accepted.
1 We had a central idea in all of these amendments. We thought, all
2 right, very well, secession of Slovenia and Croatia, but you cannot
3 dispute that those who wished to remain within Yugoslavia remain there.
4 At that time, the war did not break out, so those who wished to remain in
5 Yugoslavia could do so. That was our amendment. However, Lord Carrington
6 and the others who were there were categorical in their answer: No, they
7 wanted the break-up, total fragmentation of Yugoslavia, which was
8 something we could not accept.
9 So then when this was being discussed, because the Yugoslav army
10 was closed off in its barracks and the paramilitary forces of Slovenia and
11 Croatia had full freedom of movement, they had surrounded the barracks,
12 they were attacking and killing, then an order was issued, not by
13 President Milosevic but by -- not by Mr. Milosevic but by the Supreme
14 Command that these barracks should be set free, they should be deblocked.
15 And this is where a broader clash occurred between the JNA and the
16 paramilitary forces of Slovenia and Croatia, and even Bosnia, because
17 under the order of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo, even though the war
18 had not broken out there, the barracks were blockaded there as well.
19 There were military schools there, and these military schools were
20 surrounded. These schools were attended by young men who were not of age
21 yet, so these places were attacked then. The army went into action in
22 order to free those barracks, and that is when these conflicts occurred.
23 Q. Were you aware of any policy by President Milosevic of cleansing
24 areas of people so that they would only have Serbs residing in them, such
25 as in the Krajina or in Bosnia? Was that -- did that form any part of the
1 policy or planning in your daily meetings with him?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: And just a simple, direct answer to that.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. Absolutely there were no such
4 ideas at all. I don't know how you came to that. I was present. I
5 participated in that. What I can reproach him with is that Mr. Milosevic
6 was obsessed with the slogan "brotherhood and unity," and let's preserve
7 what can be preserved.
8 Please. Not a single Croat was harmed. Not a hair on their head
9 was harmed in Serbia. They are still living there today. Serbia remains
10 to be a multi-ethnic unit out of all the other republics in Yugoslavia,
11 the only one such unit.
12 But I could reproach Mr. Milosevic in this aspect, and he was
13 quite strongly criticised for this position in Serbia also.
14 MR. KAY:
15 Q. The JNA that we've discussed earlier, at that time in 1992, after
16 European Community recognition of Croatia, are you able to tell us what
17 policy President Milosevic had in relation to that?
18 A. I told you that there was resistance primarily on the part of the
19 Federal Assembly, then the Assembly of Serbia. They lodged a protest
20 against recognition in the belief that this was direct interference in the
21 internal affairs of Yugoslavia, that this was an act of indirect
22 aggression against Yugoslavia.
23 The reaction of Mr. Milosevic and, I would say, the entire Serbian
24 public was negative, which was later affirmed, because as you know, and
25 everyone confirmed that later in their memoirs that this was the biggest
1 mistake that was made in the process of dealing with Yugoslavia, this
2 recognition that this caused, and this is, amongst other things, something
3 that I think Lord Owen said. He devoted a few -- several pages to this
4 topic in his book. You can also take the views of general -- the UNPROFOR
5 generals in Croatia or of Mr. Stoltenberg. I have many of these
6 statements where it is said that they thought this was a catastrophic
7 mistake and that everybody was horrified because of this move.
8 But if you allow me just one explanation now.
9 Q. If you can deal with this issue, which is that in March 1992, we
10 have the conflict starting in Bosnia, and it's -- it is the role that
11 paramilitaries or JNA forces were to have in that conflict as a matter of
12 policy. Do you know what President Milosevic was planning, what he was
13 doing? What was his policy? What did he talk to you about?
14 A. Mr. Milosevic accepted the order of the Supreme Command, the
15 withdrawal of the JNA to Serbia. However, during the withdrawal - you
16 know the massacres that occurred in Tuzla, in Sarajevo, and so on and so
17 forth - but in this withdrawal, in view of the fact that the JNA comprised
18 officers from various parts of the country because a lot of attention was
19 paid to keep a balance or an equilibrium in the military units, so that
20 those who were from Serbia or soldiers or officers who were from Croatia
21 simply did not wish to withdraw. They stayed in their homes. The same
22 thing happened in Bosnia. They stayed in their homes.
23 So those who wanted to, withdrew to Serbia, and these were mostly
24 people who were born in Serbia, who lived there and had their families
25 there and belonged there. As far as the others were concerned, the
1 majority of them stayed where they were.
2 Mr. Milosevic, or President Milosevic at the time, was following
3 and accepting the decisions of the Supreme Command. He didn't command.
4 The Command issued the order to withdraw following the deblocking of the
6 Q. Was there any policy that he had that you were aware of that he --
7 that supported the use of force from Serbia, either by paramilitaries or
8 the JNA, to take control of territory in Bosnia or Croatia?
9 A. No. I state categorically no. You can see this best through the
10 correspondence of Mr. Milosevic with representatives of the government of
11 the Serbian Krajina or Republika Srpska, so with Mr. Martic, Karadzic,
12 with all of these members of that government, and I took part in that as
13 well. There was a constant clash taking place in these contacts because
14 he continually wanted to increase the engagement of Serbia.
15 Mr. Milosevic said, "Well, wait. We have to coordinate things
16 with the international community." He was trying to persuade or convince
17 the Serbs and was trying to calm down the situation in a way.
18 On one occasion I was listening to Mr. Babic when he was
19 testifying, yes, but I happened to be present during the same events, and
20 it is not true what he testified. I was present at a meeting when
21 Mr. President -- when Mr. Milosevic asked me -- let me just tell you,
22 representatives of Republika Srpska and the Serbian Krajina did not take
23 part in the negotiations until the beginning of 1992. We were the ones
24 who were representing their interests. But at the same time, we fought
25 and strived to enable the representatives of the Krajina and the
1 representatives of Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina to defend their own
2 interests there. And that is how it came about that they were included in
3 the negotiating teams.
4 So Mr. Milosevic, at that meeting, asked me to tell the gentleman
5 from Knin how far we had gotten in the negotiations to date, how we felt
6 we should proceed further and what was the European Union's vision of the
7 development of the situation. After two sentences of mine, Mr. Martic --
8 no, Mr. Babic, excuse me -- interrupted me and he said to Mr. Milosevic,
9 "We did not come here to listen to you, to see what you did and what you
10 did not do. We came here to tell you what we want, and we will not accept
11 any of your decisions if they are adopted against our will." That was
12 their position.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Professor.
14 MR. KAY:
15 Q. As you told us, in January of 1992 there was the Brussels
16 conference, and then in August of 1992 there is the conference at London.
17 Again, you're still part of the negotiating team?
18 A. Yes, I was.
19 Q. Was the object of your negotiations, from instructions by
20 Mr. Milosevic, to achieve peace or to stall and obstruct and cause
21 problems? What was it?
22 A. No. He insisted upon the speediest possible solution by peaceful
23 means. And you have the minutes, you have the records that were kept by
24 the European Community, or the records and minutes that were kept in
25 London. And I recorded the meetings for myself, for my own purposes, on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 that occasion. So you have the minutes. You have their records on the
2 position taken by Mr. Milosevic, and that is much more authentic than
3 anything I can tell you here.
4 No, he had no ideas of any violent solutions. He was fully
5 conscious, fully aware of the situation that he faced and was looking for
6 assistance, help in saving what could be saved, salvaging what there was
7 to salvage.
8 Q. Did he ever express to you how the international community could
9 have supported him to achieve peace, how their policy could have helped
10 him more? Did he ever express to you?
11 A. Well, it's like this: Our views diverged there, and that was the
12 reason why we parted ways. Mr. Milosevic kept insisting, regardless of
13 what we had experienced from the so-called international community, that
14 we had to pursue the negotiations, to continue them because they were our
15 former allies, he said, and we will, I'm sure, arrive at a point upon
16 which we agree. There is no other way out for us except to negotiate and
17 negotiate with the West until a solution is found.
18 My position was that we must draw a line somewhere and say,
19 gentlemen, that's as far as we'll go. And that's what I wrote down. We
20 were duped by the European Union, we are going to interrupt negotiations
21 with you, and we're going to step down from the United Nations. I said
22 that to Mr. Milosevic once in 1992, and he didn't accept it.
23 So he was highly cooperative, in fact, during those negotiations,
24 cooperative in the sense that he was always interested in the intentions
25 of the European Community representatives, but we criticised him at home
1 because we thought that he was going too far in relaxing before the
2 international community, to the detriment of the interests of Serbia.
3 Q. It was felt that there were nations within Europe who had actively
4 worked for the break-up of Yugoslavia; isn't that right?
5 A. That was not an assumption. Those were facts, gentlemen. We had
6 the numbers of accounts in Swiss banks that our services, our security
7 service or whatever supplied us with, and the firms, the companies through
8 which arms reached the paramilitaries in Croatia, Slovenia,
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, for instance. Those are the facts. That is one
11 Now, secondly, you also have statements by --
12 Q. If I can stop you there. There was a body of evidence that you
13 and others had seen, and that no doubt President Milosevic had seen,
14 concerning activities of European states in relation to acknowledging
15 Croatia, supporting Croatia, Slovenia. Was his position on this viewed by
16 the rest of you as being strong or weak, or was he taking a position of
17 negotiation that many others did not support?
18 A. In Serbia, many did not support him because he thought -- they
19 thought he was yielding too much and accommodating, being accommodating.
20 They considered that President Milosevic was going too far in this
21 accommodation, because any -- all the demands he met didn't have the
22 desired result. It didn't lead to an end to the problem but new
23 ultimatums, new requests, and that's how it went to the present day,
24 further and further.
25 Q. Were you also involved in the Cutileiro plan, which came about
1 after Lord Carrington's plan?
2 A. I understand. Well, I was kept abreast, but I wasn't actually
3 involved. There was another team that went and attended those
4 negotiations. After they were given the status of negotiator, a team from
5 Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina went and set up their own
6 teams that went, so that in actual fact I was not among them. They were
7 the representatives or, rather, I know that President Karadzic led a
8 delegation of Republika Srpska, and with him he had a team. I think
9 they're on the list of -- the witness list, those people who went and who
10 were members. I wasn't there, but I was, of course, kept abreast, and I
11 received all the material facts to Belgrade on developments at the
12 negotiations, how Cutileiro's plan was evolving, and I had all the
13 documents with me, yes, I did, in my hands.
14 Q. You told us that in 1993, you actually ceased your involvement for
15 President Milosevic and the government in relation to the --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- negotiations and peace processes. And what was the reason for
18 you ceasing to be involved, and what date was that when you stopped your
19 active participation?
20 A. I couldn't actually give you an exact date, but yes, it was the
21 beginning of April 1993. And the reasons are readily understandable. I
22 have made them public.
23 We had our position of principle, and that was that the borders
24 remained an open problem. We did not recognise the AVNOJ anti-fascist
25 borders known as the AVNOJ, but President Milosevic considered that the
1 negotiations should be continued and this should be accepted as a sort of
2 fait accompli. So he did continue the negotiations, and this was one of
3 the reasons for which we did not see -- on which we did not see
4 eye-to-eye. And a moment ago, as I told you, I myself considered that we
5 had experienced the greatest deception on the part of the international
6 community. And I told Mr. Milosevic that as a legal person myself I did
7 not want to bear the historical responsibility for that nor did I want to
8 be a member of the team who took that upon itself.
9 Q. And what was his commitment still then in 1993 when you withdrew?
10 A. Always the same position, always the same commitment: Let us
11 continue the negotiations with the West. We have no alternative. They
12 are our historical allies.
13 Q. Just on other matters now. You've mentioned Babic. You've
14 mentioned -- I don't think you've mentioned Martic yet, but what I want to
15 ask you questions about now is Mr. Milosevic's influence over others who
16 are involved in events that took place.
17 Were you able to see, for instance, what influence, what sort of
18 relationship he had with Babic?
19 A. Babic was an individual, a personage who was a little extravagant,
20 very convinced of his own potential, very self-confident and self-assured
21 and saw himself as a statesman and leader, and as such he did not allow
22 anybody to wield any influence on him. He would always reject all
23 proposals very radically. So those links, those ties, were never
24 coordinated or harmonised, and it wasn't the kind of cooperation that one
25 should feel should have been present between individuals negotiating
1 within a circle of people and upon whom the fate of the nation rested.
2 And Mr. Martic was far more cooperative, quite a different
3 personage, had quite a different character to Mr. Babic. But the
4 Republika Srpska Krajina had its own parliament, as you know, its own
5 government, and you couldn't wield any influence outside the decisions
6 taken by that very same government.
7 So during the war, I myself on several occasions went to Pale and
8 to Knin, and I attended one occasion when there was a meeting held in
9 Knin. This is how it was: You know, those people there felt themselves
10 to be under jeopardy. They thought that they had been played out by the
11 party and army and government, and they felt that they had to rely on
12 their own forces alone, and this added to their sense of -- can I say
13 sense of pride or whatever. I can't find the right terms to express the
15 Q. This can be looked at in two ways. Firstly, did they think that
16 Mr. Milosevic was doing enough to support them? Did they think he should
17 be doing more? Did they think that he was giving sufficient support?
18 A. No. They considered that not only Mr. Milosevic but, generally
19 speaking, that Serbia hadn't done enough for them. And that's what they
20 told me. They told me that just as they told other people. I was not an
21 important member of the team, but they told me nevertheless.
22 Q. The other side of looking at it is the impact on the peace
23 negotiations, conferences that you were involved with for Mr. Milosevic.
24 How easy was it for him and for you and others to negotiate and deal in
25 relation to the set-up in the RSK?
1 A. It was extremely difficult, extremely difficult. It's a subject
2 that I have engaged in scientific research in for a long time and am still
3 doing now, what the background was and what the reasons were and why our
4 former allies took this position, this hostile position, to Serbia and did
5 not show understanding for the tragic position in which the Serb people
6 found themselves.
7 This is something that for me personally still remains unclear. I
8 am not sufficiently cognisant of the reasons, although in looking through
9 documents that have come my way I have gleaned the reasons, but we were in
10 a very unfavourable situation. We did not have any support. We were
11 faced from the very beginning, from Carrington's document, with an
12 ultimatum, one ultimatum after another. There were no alternatives. Take
13 it or leave it; that was the principle that prevailed.
14 Q. Politically, were you able to see if that caused President
15 Milosevic difficulties in dealing with the politicians back in Serbia?
16 What effect did that have?
17 A. Yes, it did have an effect, an enormous effect, and it made it
18 much more difficult. And Mr. Milosevic found himself between a rock and a
19 hard place, in between political parties, one that had a weaker position
20 or one that had a stronger position vis-a-vis the situation. So, yes, it
21 did make it significantly more difficult. Mr. Milosevic's position was
22 made significantly more difficult, yes.
23 Q. I want to now turn that issue to look at Bosnia and Radovan
24 Karadzic, who was the leader of the Bosnian Serbs. Are you able to say
25 from what you were able to see and observe what influence Mr. Milosevic
1 had over Radovan Karadzic?
2 A. Well, you know, Mr. Karadzic, and unfortunately those of them who
3 have died in the meantime, they were all intellectuals with high moral
4 integrity, and they always posed themselves on a horizontal plane and not
5 on a vertical plane.
6 Mr. Karadzic was highly respected as an individual, not only as an
7 exceptional neuropsychiatrist, a very well known professional who had
8 published many works in the field, and the fact that he took the side of
9 his people in the most difficult times, which shot up his rating in those
10 circles. He was a very forceful personality, a strong character who, as
11 I've already said, put himself on a footing of equality when discussing
12 with -- when discussing with -- matters with others, with Mr. Milosevic.
13 Only it was with a heavy heart that he gave up directly negotiating at
14 Dayton and leaving that role of negotiator up to Mr. Milosevic. But that
15 was the requirement that had been made by the European Community, as you
16 know full well. And Mr. Milosevic there played a very -- the role of a
17 virtuoso. He had to convince him and them to be the representative, the
18 sole representative, in actual fact, of all the parties in the conflict.
19 Those were some exceptionally difficult times. If you were to look at the
20 press in our country dating back to those times, which was full of
21 criticisms, attacks, acquiescence and criticism. It was a highly tense
22 situation. Some people approved, others didn't. That was what it was
24 However, I have to say, and you know full well, how Cutileiro's
25 plan came about in the first place, and that is --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, I'm stopping you.
2 Next question, Mr. Kay.
3 MR. KAY: It actually probably comes to that issue anyway,
4 Q. But it was how Radovan Karadzic was able to influence policy over
5 the Bosnian Serbs, whether Mr. Milosevic had more influence than he or
6 whether Radovan Karadzic was the more influential over the Bosnian Serbs?
7 A. Absolutely my answer would be Mr. Karadzic. Mr. Milosevic was
8 respected in certain circles in Bosnia, of course, but as I said, they
9 considered that he was too weak and that he should have been more
10 energetic in protecting the Serbs. And they criticised him for that.
11 They reproached him for that. Mr. Karadzic was the be-all, end-all
12 authority in Bosnia. And it was thanks to his positions but also he was a
13 very well educated, broadly educated man, a scientist. He delved in
14 literature and poetry so he enjoyed enormous respect in all circles.
15 Q. Are you able to put a date to that, when his influence over the
16 Bosnian Serbs came about?
17 A. You mean Mr. Karadzic. Well, I think that that was from the very
18 beginning or, rather, first of all, in Bosnia, on a strictly national and
19 religious basis, you had the formation of the SDA party, that is to say
20 the Democratic Party of the Muslims under the Presidency of Mr. Alija
21 Izetbegovic. The second party to be formed was the Croatian party. The
22 Serbs were not organised. And then the initiative came that a Serbian
23 Democratic Party should be formed too. And it was the last party to be
24 formed in that chain. And that raised Mr. Karadzic's rating because he
25 was the initiator, and he was elected as the first president of that
1 party. He was -- he conducted himself very wisely and skilfully. If you
2 look at his speeches, they were the speeches of a very highly intellectual
4 Q. We know that Radovan Karadzic and President Milosevic were in fact
5 not, in terms of politics, of the same parties, nor had they the same
6 political beliefs.
7 A. No.
8 Q. Was there a strong -- or how would you describe the political link
9 between President Milosevic and Radovan Karadzic in Bosnia?
10 A. When your house is burning, your house on is fire, all the
11 inmates, everybody in the house tries to save what can be salvaged, even
12 when they are in a confrontation themselves. And I think that's how the
13 Serb people felt at that time. Their house was burning, but let's bridge
14 the differences dividing us, the ideological ones, political ones. It's a
15 to-be-or-not-to-be moment. A Shakespeare moment in fact. That's what it
16 was for the Serbs then. That's where the link arose from and how they
17 were linked. Unfortunately, this level of linkage was not maintained.
18 After President Milosevic accepted the suggestions made by the West and
19 established a border or, rather, sanctions vis-a-vis Republika Srpska,
20 that's where the unbalance occurred and where Mrs. Milosevic's influence
21 dropped and continued to decline and where Mr. Karadzic's influence was on
22 the rise. It was the sanctions. The sanctions were a terrible blow to
23 the Serb people, of course under pressure from the European Community.
24 Q. And we've heard evidence that President Milosevic had to deal with
25 the sanctions against his country. We know evidence and we've had
1 evidence about that.
2 As far as the dealings you had with President Milosevic, which, as
3 you've told us, were on a daily -- daily basis, was there any question,
4 from what you could see, as to whether he was operating a parallel policy,
5 saying to you one thing but doing something else? Is there any question
6 of that at all?
7 A. Well, it's difficult to say. After Carrington's paper fell
8 through and Serbia rejected the document, President Milosevic later on
9 tried to maintain those contacts. And I have to say that while we still
10 had negotiations here and in Brussels, the European Community continuously
11 insisted upon some sort of conspiratorial attitude. They would always say
12 no records to be kept, no minutes to be kept, no notes to be kept, no
13 statements to be given; what we are discussing is strictly confidential.
14 Now, I was never quite clear on that, why that was, and I
15 personally raised the question on many occasions but this was not
16 respected and not much attention was paid to that, to the strictly
17 confidential, because politicians would give statements for the press
18 after the meetings.
19 So after that, I myself began to withdraw. I drew further away
20 from Mr. Milosevic because he continued to negotiate and -- but there were
21 changes in Serbia that had taken place. Governments were changed. We had
22 new elections every two years. We had six governments, I believe. We got
23 through six governments in the space of nine years. So that was the
24 situation. And we had a very turbulent political scene in Serbia during
25 that period. And I was not a personage myself to be in a position to be
1 told all these matters and confided in. I was, in a way, always an expert
2 participant. That was the capacity I was in. So that later on --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Professor. Thank you, Professor.
4 MR. KAY: Thank you for answering my questions, Professor Avramov.
5 There will be some more questions.
6 Before I sit down, Your Honours, there were two documents produced
7 during the course of the examination-in-chief, the one marked DPH 990. If
8 that could be made a Defence Exhibit. We now have a translation here --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
10 MR. KAY: -- so people are obviously listening to us.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That will be Defence Exhibit.
12 THE REGISTRAR: 243.
13 MR. KAY: D243.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: D243, yes.
15 MR. KAY: And the other document, which is headed Order, Naredbu,
16 DPH 984, if that could be given the next exhibit number of D244.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MR. KAY: And I also have a translation here of that, and I dare
19 say it will be made available to the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution at
20 the same time.
21 JUDGE KWON: I think what we got is a translation of D244, which
22 says "Order."
23 MR. KAY: Yes.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we still have to get the translation of the
25 first --
1 MR. KAY: That's been done as well. D243 has a translation as
3 JUDGE KWON: And the Court Deputy can check during the adjournment
4 whether it should start from 242 rather than 243.
5 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We are going to break for 20 minutes.
7 We are adjourned.
8 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Chamber has considered the
11 exercise of its discretion under paragraph 2 of its order, and we will
12 allow you, if you wish, to ask additional questions. If you wish to ask
13 additional questions, you should indicate the areas that you propose to
15 Do you wish to ask any additional questions; and if so, what are
16 the areas?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, you are suggesting to
18 me that within something that is supposed to be considered my Defence I
19 put additional questions. In what is considered to be my Defence, that I
20 put additional questions, that is just cynical and nothing else.
21 Secondly, everything that Mr. Kay has put only dilutes --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: I am stopping you. I take it your answer is no.
23 Professor. Professor. Professor, before you are asked questions
24 by the Prosecutor, the Chamber would like to ask whether there is any
25 other matter on which -- on which you would wish to express yourself
1 briefly. Is there any other matter relevant to the -- to the issues that
2 we are discussing on which you would wish to say anything? Briefly.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, this case that you are
4 examining is so complicated, and it consists of several different strata,
5 so there would be a host of issues that could be raised. However, there
6 is one thing that I wish to note. I think that you have reduced the
7 entire case to a closed circle.
8 The problem of Yugoslavia, or as it is called the territorial
9 transformation thereof, is one that Newsweek devoted an entire issue to in
10 1990. An entire issue. I beg your pardon, just a moment, please.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, may I just remind you -- no. Let
12 me --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you permit me --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: What we are inviting you to do, what we would
15 like you to do, since we believe it might be helpful, is for you to
16 express your views on any matter that is relevant to the issues. We don't
17 want to have a general discussion.
18 If you can't identify any particular matter, then so be it.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. This is very concrete. This
20 discusses the problem of the Balkans and how the Balkan issue will be
21 resolved. This says that there will be a war in the Balkans. This speaks
22 of alternatives in the way in which things will be rearranged and how the
23 right to intervention, the right to interfere in the affairs of other
24 states prohibited by the UN Charter is going to be changed altogether.
25 So the entire question of the break-up of Yugoslavia has to be
1 viewed in the broader context of previous preparations in terms of what
2 would happen in Yugoslavia, and that came from outside.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Nice.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
5 Q. I'm not going to go back into history very much, but I think it's
6 right, is it, that the late President Tito held the view that a weakened
7 Serbia made for a stronger Yugoslavia? Is that correct?
8 A. Yes. Yes. Those are his words.
9 Q. And that that was one of the reasons why Vojvodina and Kosovo had
10 the high level of autonomy that they did have.
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. In due course, a very famous memorandum was published which we'll
13 deal with, probably not particularly with you, the SANU memorandum, at the
14 end, or the middle, the end of the 1980s. Did that memorandum take the
15 view that this approach of weakening Serbia was wrong?
16 A. You see, I wouldn't want to go into that because I think that
17 there are people who are far more competent in giving their opinions on
18 the memorandum. I read it. I have it. After all, it's been translated
19 into English so you can see it.
20 As far as I understood the memorandum, the point of the memorandum
21 was the unsatisfactory position, the unsatisfactory economic position of
22 Serbia which, in a way, was used as a source of raw materials for other
23 republics. And then there was another paradox. Absolutely. You're a
24 legal man yourself, and you have the constitution that was translated into
1 Our provinces actually had para-statal status. And not only that.
2 Look at the following position: The two provinces had to give their
3 approval when the constitution of Serbia was to be amended, but Serbia did
4 not have the right to veto the amendment of the constitutions of the
5 provinces. So that's a paradox, and --
6 Q. I'm going to interrupt you, I hope not rudely, but to try and
7 bring you back to the question that I asked. And just generally, is it
8 right that the thinking of the intellectuals who contributed to the SANU
9 memorandum concluded that this weakening of Serbia by the autonomy of
10 Kosovo and Vojvodina was a bad thing? Just yes or no and a few words of
11 qualification at the most.
12 A. My impression is, but also my profound conviction, I have to tell
13 you that, is that is correct, you see, because you should not lose sight
14 of the fact that people constantly keep forgetting, that the autonomy of
15 Kosovo was abused. You see --
16 Q. I'm going to interrupt you so we can move forward. So, yes, that
17 was the view of the intellectuals contributing to the memorandum. From
18 you, because it's the first time you've dealt with this in this way, those
19 who come from countries other than the former Yugoslavia, perhaps who come
20 from countries with a long tradition of effective multi-party democratic
21 government, may find it difficult to understand the significance of
22 something like a memorandum coming from the Society of Arts and Sciences.
23 This memorandum, even if we get others to deal with it in due
24 course, was a seminal work for what was to follow, wasn't it?
25 A. No, not quite. I wouldn't put it that way. Absolutely not.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 There is another matter, you see. The memorandum, in a way, was turned
2 into a myth. Perhaps I can put it that way. Saying the memorandum of the
3 Serb Academy meant the gravest condemnation of Serbia.
4 I think that this was done intentionally. I repeat to you once
5 again, I'm not competent for dealing with this matter. I believe that far
6 more competent people than me will be dealing with the subject of the
7 memorandum. But I would tell you that my impression is the following: In
8 a situation when secessionist and terrorist movements developed in Croatia
9 and in Slovenia, a balance had to be struck in order to accuse Serbia,
10 too, and then some kind of Serb nationalism was invented. I assure you
11 that it did not exist in Serbia.
12 The memorandum is not a nationalist act at all. It is, if I can
13 put it that way, a professional assessment of the economic status of
14 Serbia, which is sliding towards being a Third World country and the
15 situation as it was in the Third World at the time. So there was
16 dissatisfaction in Serbia.
17 Q. Now --
18 A. Another thing too. Please. This memorandum was the draft of a
19 draft. It was not a document that had been adopted by anyone. It was a
20 preliminary draft that was drafted by three men only, members of the
21 academy. Then the document was supposed to be taken to the committee --
22 Q. I'm going to interrupt you.
23 A. -- for the humanities and then further on to the Assembly and
24 then --
25 Q. If I don't, we might get criticism of either you or me, and that
1 would not be a good thing. I'll ask you to keep the answers short-ish.
2 My point, and I think you've not necessarily rejected it, is that
3 the opinions of something like the Society of Arts and Sciences was
4 potentially - let's put it like that - was potentially very important in
5 the former Yugoslavia where there was more limited opportunities for
6 opposition and political groups to express their views. Would that just
7 be roughly right? And then we can move on.
8 A. No. It cannot be put that way because a vast majority of the
9 academy members had no idea of any memorandum because it had not gone
10 through all these instances. It was only a preliminary draft. I
11 personally can tell you that very good friends of mine, members of the
12 academy, had no idea about this.
13 Q. I was actually asking you about the academy itself rather than the
14 memorandum, and I asked it for this reason, you see: One of your answers
15 where you were dealing with, I think, June of 1991, was to the effect that
16 it wasn't just the accused who made decisions but that the conclusions
17 that were reached were the conclusions of intellectuals, and you then said
18 half of the SANU were involved in the decision. So I want to see how
19 important this body is and then we'll move on from that. Can you help me?
20 You -- yes.
21 A. This is it precisely. May I? Sir, this is my summary of the
22 things that we discussed but not the memorandum. There was not a single
23 reference to the memorandum in our discussions, no. I have to tell you
24 that, regrettably, two distinguished members of the academy, Mr. Ivic and
25 Mr. Samardzic, especially Mr. Samardzic who was a very active historian,
1 an exceptional scholar, you see. But this was the result, sir, not the
3 Q. Thank you very much. So we're beginning to get an impression of
4 how the SANU and its intellectuals may fit into the fabric of the former
5 Yugoslavia when they contribute to this important document and you're able
6 to make this document a central point of political discussion.
7 You also said that it was not just the accused himself who made
8 decisions. Can you just amplify that just a little bit for us? If he
9 wasn't making decisions, who was? This is at the end of the period that
10 you're telling us about; 1991. Who was making the decisions if not him?
11 A. Sir, in 1991 and even before that, a political game started
12 outside the logic of the time that we lived in, outside all the rules of
13 international law. In this political game, one of the protagonists was
14 Mr. Milosevic, too. The central persons in this political game, which in
15 my profound conviction was anti-legal, contradictory, because as Europe
16 was uniting we had a fragmentation of Yugoslavia. We should have been
17 talking about the need to democratise the company, not the need to
18 establish ethnically pure states. So this was highly illogical. But
19 allow me to say that the central issue was the following. Allow me to
20 answer. Eleven countries of the European Union were against recognition.
21 Only Germany was in favour of it, and the members of the EU yielded in
22 Maastricht and let them have their way. Secondly --
23 Q. Forgive me. Maybe I simply misunderstood your answer when you
24 said that half of the SANU were involved and it wasn't just one person who
25 made the decisions, because I thought you were referring to the fact that
1 people other than the accused made decisions in and for Serbia. I wasn't
2 talking about countries of the international community.
3 Who -- who, other than the accused, made decisions for Serbia in
5 A. Sir, I talked to you about the situation, the general situation,
6 the discussion that took place and the quest for an answer to a crisis
7 that the Serb people faced. I did not talk to you about passing
9 Regrettably, from 1991 onwards all decisions depended on foreign
10 factors, not on Serbia itself.
11 Q. But in Serbia, madam, someone was making the decisions. That was
12 this accused, wasn't it?
13 A. No. Please. After all, at that time we had a multi-party system.
14 We had a government. We had a parliament. So within that framework,
15 there may have been things that came up this way or that way, but do not
16 forget that we had nine elections during those ten years. It even annoyed
17 all of us because there were so frequent changes of government.
18 As I said, the situation was a very difficult one. I can assert
19 absolutely that Mr. Milosevic always sought support in the Assembly, the
21 Q. And then made the final decisions himself.
22 A. I repeat to you yet again: He had certain powers as president to
23 make certain decisions or to persuade people of the indispensability of
24 certain decisions. But you have to bear in mind the fact that we were
25 faced with ultimatums. We were under sanctions. We were isolated.
1 Serbia was on the very brink of its existence.
2 Q. We'll go back a little in time from 1991. Mr. Kay's questions
3 premised on the basis that the crisis starts with the secession of
4 Slovenia and Croatia. Is that your position or do you think the crisis
5 started earlier than that?
6 A. The crisis started earlier on, that's for sure, but in 1991,
7 terrorist attacks were intensified, and then it started ascending.
8 Q. If it started earlier, when did it start?
9 A. You see, regrettably, as I've already said to you, what I'm saying
10 to you is my own free assessment. I'm a professor who dealt in foreign
11 policy -- foreign policy more than domestic policy, but you know what
12 Klausewitz said, that foreign policy is only an extension of domestic
13 policy. So I was interested, in a way, in these developments, and my
14 impression is that Yugoslavia went from one crisis to another.
15 With your permission, I would like to mention to you only a few
16 central points. The year of 1945. During the war we had had a liberation
17 war, but the revolutionary changes, the change of the system,
18 nationalisation, expropriation and so on, all of that happened only later,
19 only then in 1945. Then in 1948, the break-up with the Soviet Union.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I was only asking for dates
21 and for your opinion about when it started and then we'll look at the
22 event maybe --
23 A. But I'm telling you.
24 Q. You think it started in --
25 A. Allow me to continue. No. Then there was this economic crisis.
1 We kept having constant changes in the economic system, which led to major
2 earthquakes. Kardelj, a Slovenian who was the ideologue who geared our
3 post-war development. Every change that took place led to an earthquake
4 within the country. Not only that, certain politicians were eliminated.
5 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... next -- next?
6 A. Yes, and then Goli Otok, and then do you want me to tell you
7 another thing? We were the only ones in Europe who had a concentration
8 camp with 5.000 dead in it. Then the second stage in the 1960s. We moved
9 on to a system of national economies, so there was further
10 decentralisation. Yet again there were certain changes.
11 Also, we had a system that was neither fish nor fowl. We had a
12 market economy system which was completely different from the system that
13 prevailed in the socialist countries, but then especially when this move
14 to national economies was made in a situation when there is a process of
15 economic integration in Europe, then this led to a disruption and to a
16 severance of these ties. So that is how the crisis --
17 The next, the hardest of all, was the constitution of 1974. We at
18 my faculty were opposed to that constitution. People were expelled from
19 university, university teachers, and they were even taken to court and
20 sentenced, but they believed that it was deeply geared against Serbia.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
22 A. Since 1974.
23 Q. May I interrupt your account of dates just for this purpose: You
24 were dismissed from the Communist Party in 1970, I think. Is that right?
25 A. No, 1951, 1952. That's when I was expelled. But then I was
1 admitted yet again. And then in 1970 I left of my own free will.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
3 A. I was expelled in January 1952, and then -- and then after a
4 certain amount of time, this decision was annulled, and if you're
5 interested in this specifically, I voted against decisions of the party
6 organisation, and I was expelled immediately afterwards, and I was
7 admitted into the party only a short time before that. And perhaps I can
8 tell you that I was expelled the first time in 1946 after only a few
9 months of being in the party. So I had this very tumultuous party life.
10 And then again of my own free will I left the party in 1970. That's my
11 party history.
12 Let me tell you one more thing lest you have the wrong idea, sir:
13 I did take part in the war. I belonged to the illegal movement --
14 Q. We've heard about your book Genocide Against The Serbs 1941 to
15 1945 and then 1991 --
16 A. [In English] No. Genocide in Yugoslavia in the Light of
17 International Law. That was -- [Interpretation] I'm sorry. It was not
18 only a genocide against the Serbs, nor did I describe only the genocide
19 against the Serbs. This was a genocide against the Serbs, the Jews and
20 the Roma. The Serb victims were the most numerous. Various theoreticians
21 differ in their views. I relied on information from the Freiburg German
22 archives. Croats are challenging the figures, saying that there weren't
23 that many victims, but let's leave that aside. The largest number of
24 victims were Serb, and then there were Jews --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us have the correct title of the book.
1 MR. NICE: Yes. I understood one of the books had been entitled
2 Genocide Against the Serbs 1941 to 1945 and 1991 to 1992, but they -- the
3 witness says otherwise. I'll check it overnight. But no doubt she's
4 right. She may have got it with her.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I will give you a copy of
6 the book, if I'm permitted to do that. When you asked me -- when Judge
7 Robinson asked me, What does your book deal with, was that the question,
8 your book on genocide, what period does it cover, I said it covered the
9 period from 1941 to 1945 of the genocide against the Serbs, but I
10 continued with my research on illegal movements. However, my book has
11 been called [In English] Genocide of Yugoslavia in the Light of
12 International law.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Very well, but I-
15 A. [Interpretation] That is the translation of the title into
17 Q. We know that it was an absolute imperative of the late Marsal Tito
18 that there should be no embracing of nationalism in the Yugoslavia he led,
19 and I'm just inquiring: Was your departure from the Communist Party in
20 any way a reflection of your holding nationalist views?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Very well.
23 A. No. No. I --
24 Q. That's all I need to know.
25 A. No.
1 Q. Continuing on from the 1974 constitution, what do you say is the
2 next event that really constitutes the beginning of the crisis into which
3 this Court is inquiring?
4 A. The death of Josip Broz caused a crisis of political authority
5 because he was the undisputed dictator. By transferring power to a
6 collective organ, a collective Supreme Commander comprising of
7 representatives caused the crisis because conflicts between certain
8 republics were so obvious that this collective body was not able to
9 function, and that is where we had constant problems cropping up. The
10 press wrote about that a lot, and --
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... death of Tito in 1980 --
12 A. 1980.
13 Q. 1980. The next event?
14 A. In 1981, there was the rebellion of the Siptar minority in Kosovo,
15 and this was a very strong and very militant rebellion with serious
16 clashes in which many police officers were killed. This was in 1981. And
17 then this continued until 1990.
18 Negotiations were held at the time between the republics. It was
19 not a very pleasant situation, and it finally ended with the crash, namely
20 the secession.
21 Q. I mean, I've given you a chance to list the causative events, and
22 I notice you haven't dealt with the revocation of Kosovo's autonomy.
23 Looking back, was that revocation instrumental in bringing the crisis on?
24 A. You are deluded, sir, if you believe that autonomy was abolished
25 in 1989 with the amendments to the Serbian constitution. Only some
1 elements were abolished which had given Kosovo the status of a
2 para-state. Autonomy remained. Actually, in a way, the status was
3 restored which was in force before the constitution of 1974. However, the
4 autonomy of Kosovo and Vojvodina remained untouched. The only things that
5 were abolished were the elements which gave the provinces the status, as I
6 said, the elements of statehood, the elements of statehood, which they --
7 which actually in Kosovo was abused, which was not the case in Vojvodina.
8 In Kosovo, there was a mass populating that occurred, by
9 Albanians, in Kosovo, and autonomy was abused to such an extent that the
10 Albanians did not provide any elements to prove their nationality or
11 citizenship. They were issued identity cards without any such proof.
12 Q. You know that there is a debate about Kosovo, and let's put that
13 on one side. What about Vojvodina? Do you think that the reduction or
14 removal of Vojvodina's autonomy, of which we've had evidence, may have
15 contributed to this unfolding of events? Because of course, along with
16 Kosovo, Vojvodina was brought in and Serbia became more coherent and
17 larger. Do you think that that's significant in this course of events?
18 Why not?
19 A. Not greater. No, I don't believe that that was the case. It was
20 used, you know. After the Carrington paper, everybody got wings.
21 Everybody wanted to have some sort of independence. Everybody was in
22 favour of further fragmentation. That is where the problem lies, not in
23 the constitution.
24 Q. We're well before Carrington. I wanted you to help the Judges, if
25 you'd be so good, with what part you thought the yogurt revolution, which
1 on the material included Serbs from Kosovo being drafted in to create
2 demonstrations in Novi Sad. What part do you think that may have played
3 in these events?
4 A. That the army demonstrated in Novi Sad, I have -- I don't know
5 anything about that. That is first information that I have about that. I
6 went there quite frequently. My husband comes from that part of the
7 country, but this is the first time that I'm hearing that the army was
8 there. I don't know anything about that.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. There were demonstrations, demonstrations of citizens, yes, but
11 not -- not demonstrations, but, if you allow, manifestations in favour of
12 amendments or rallies in favour of amendments from 1990 -- 1989, because
13 the Serbs wanted to have amendments which refer to their status.
14 The question was why the autonomies on which Tito insisted in
15 order to break up a balance and to reduce Serbia and in order to introduce
16 some kind of balance amongst the republics because there were imbalances
17 between certain republics. So the Serbs posed the question as follows:
18 Why does a Krajina not have autonomy where there is a compact Serbian
19 community? And also Slavonia. Why does that not have autonomy? Because
20 that was never part of Croatia during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
21 Perhaps historians will explain this much better. But the Serbs put the
22 question in this way: Why autonomy only in Serbia and not in Croatia?
23 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Vojvodina, just for a minute?
24 You tell us you know the accused well from your dealings with him at the
25 time, and you've explained what you believe to be the scope of the range
1 of his influence and power to some degree. Do you accept that he would
2 have had the ability to mobilise Serbs from Kosovo to go and demonstrate
3 in Vojvodina? Do you accept that he would have had that ability?
4 A. No. That's out of the question. Allow me, please. That is
5 absolutely incorrect.
6 Q. If -- let's just assume for the purposes of this argument,
7 discussion, if that at time then it wasn't the accused who would be
8 mobilising people to go and demonstrate in masses to achieve certain
9 political objectives in Vojvodina, who would have been mobilising them for
10 that purpose? Can you help us with a name?
11 A. Vojvodina has an absolute majority of Serbs. There was a census
12 in Vojvodina recently. I don't want to mention any figures because I
13 don't want to make a mistake, but 80 per cent of the population in
14 Vojvodina are Serbs. You have a very small number of Slovaks, Romanians,
15 Rusines, and there's also a Hungarian minority, about 300.000 out of two
16 point something million. I don't have the figures here. If you're
17 interested in the statistical figures, I could provide those for you.
18 The citizens of Vojvodina protested. These were not
19 demonstrations, sir. These were rallies, manifestations in support of
20 amendments from 1989, not demonstrations.
21 The demonstrations were held in Pristina against the amendments.
22 That's the difference.
23 Q. Let's move on with this last question. We know that in Kosovo
24 there was all sorts of other issues arising from the KLA and terrorism.
25 Just tell us, with all your knowledge and learning and experience, what
1 was the real reason for reducing or eliminating Vojvodina's autonomy? Was
2 there one?
3 A. There was, because they had identical status, both provinces. So
4 you cannot change the status of one and not change the status of the
5 other. That is the problem.
6 The point of the amendments was to deprive the provinces of the
7 right of veto through which they were influencing the policy of Serbia.
8 That was the only right we had. Serbia simply with these amendments
9 became a unified state with two provinces, autonomous provinces which
10 maintained and kept their parliament, their government, and other organs.
11 Q. By the reduction or elimination of autonomy, Serbia became united
12 again, became the size of state that Tito had feared. He was right to
13 have fear for that size of Serbia, wasn't he, madam? Because at that size
14 it went on, as we can see, to serve its interests at the expense of
16 A. Sir, that logic could be applied to Germany, to France, to Great
17 Britain, and so on and so forth. Each country has its minorities. So why
18 should -- for example, let's take the example of Great Britain and
19 Northern Ireland. Why do that? It's logical that each country would like
20 to maintain its unity. I am an expert on international law and I don't
21 want to use that word, but a state has an active duty to preserve the
22 system on its territory or the order on its territory. That is its
23 international obligation. Therefore, each state must have the capacity to
24 control and maintain a given order on its territory. Serbia did not have
25 that, did not have that ability and that -- and it was something that it
1 implemented through those amendments.
2 Why were they so much against the autonomy of Krajina when the
3 Serbian people enjoyed that right during the Austro-Hungarian Empire but
4 not during the era of Yugoslavia?
5 Q. Before I come to the next event in the extract of chronological
6 events I'm asking you about, you said at one stage in your evidence that
7 the accused used the phrase -- some phrase similar to "All Serbs living in
8 the same state." What were the two occasions when you heard him use that
10 A. First time he said that -- and this is according to the press. I
11 wasn't present but I got that information from the press, I took that
12 information from the press; at a meeting of the Central Committee. I
13 cannot recall the exact date. I didn't think that that was so important
14 so that I would look up the date again. When the party fell apart, the
15 announced break-up of the party, it didn't fall apart completely, that
16 will come later, but it broke apart into national Communist Parties which
17 was in contradiction with what was stated under international principles.
18 So then I don't know who it was of those present who mentioned or who said
19 that Serbia cannot permit the break-up of a state -- of a state in which
20 the Serbian people would be fragmented.
21 After that, when these first terrorist attacks against Serbs
22 occurred, these were group acts and there was a mass expulsion of Serbs,
23 because at the end of 1991, we had over 200.000 Serb refugees arriving
24 from Croatia. Then addressing the Serbs, he said, "We will use all
25 possible means to protect you and to implement your wish that we all
1 remain in one state," because this was also the request of Pale, of
2 Bosnia, and the Republic of Srpska Krajina. Even before, you know, they
3 outvoted the Republic of Serbia and Krajina, and Republika Srpska when
4 they saw that Serbia would not declare a united integrated territory.
5 This was an act of self-defence.
6 Q. The phrase "Greater Serbia" has its own history and sometimes
7 emotional consequences so let's not use that today, but it's clear that
8 the idea of all Serbs living in one state is an idea that was around, that
9 did exist and can even find expression in the accused in the way you've
10 described; correct?
11 A. I don't know. I was following that, but I cannot say that I
12 followed the entire process. I followed some of it and some of it not, so
13 I cannot recall in which context Mr. Milosevic used that. I'm using it in
14 terms of what I know, what I experienced and the things that I
15 participated in.
16 Yes, you are absolutely right. He -- he does have -- or it has an
17 emotional connotation, but it can also be a pejorative idea promoted by
18 the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1914.
19 Any time that Serbia was to have been described as aggressive in a
20 way, this phrase was resorted to. Serbia had two opportunities, really,
21 to achieve greatness; in 1916 when the allies asked it to give up the idea
22 of Yugoslavia and to receive borders including Palanka, the whole of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina and a part of Slavonia. Serbia rejected that in
24 favour of the unification of the Southern Slavs in order to encompass and
25 fulfil the requests of a part of the Croatian and Dalmatian intelligence
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 so that they would overthrow the Austro-Hungarian burden or rule.
2 Q. I'll go back to the chronology in a minute, but before I do,
3 something that may help us all is this: You've used -- made reference to
4 Ireland and Great Britain. Lots of Irish live in England. Come to that,
5 they live in America. And in every country there are residents in the
6 country -- or nearly every country there are residents from neighbouring
7 states, and it may be that there are some 5.000 identifiable groups in the
8 world living in 200 states. I don't know.
9 What we need to know - and I don't mean this offensively,
10 Professor Avramov - is what's so special about the Serbs that they are
11 entitled to pursue, at the interests of others, the notion that they can
12 all live in one state? Can you help us?
13 A. Serbs never neglected the interests of other states, but this is a
14 natural right of every people. Just look at what a greater Germany did.
15 Why would the unification of Germany -- it would be the correction of a
16 historical mistake, because Germany was defeated in two world wars. And
17 why would it be such a terrible sin from Serbia, which fought for this new
18 Europe in two world wars, sacrifice one-third of its population for a
19 European order which it fought for. Why would this be such a large sin?
20 Well, perhaps we could say well, all right, let them live. Please. Even
21 the Chinese would like to have Taiwan as part of their country. So there
22 are many other such examples.
23 Q. The question is: What's so special about Serbia or Serbs? You
24 give the example of Germany, and I must ask you this question: Did the
25 unification of Germany involve massive ethnic movements and ethnic
1 cleansing of minorities who happened not to be Germans found in one part
2 of the united Germany or the other? Did it?
3 A. Well, actually there was, but it wasn't really talked about very
4 much. But at the same time, I will tell you that there were no movements
5 of population from Serbia.
6 If I can give you an example. In Hungary in 1918, 250.000 Serbs
7 lived, and today there are only 5.000 of them there. They have been
8 partly assimilated, partly they have been relocated, and so on and so
9 forth. Serbia is the only country in Europe, I would say, in which the
10 minorities were allowed to flourish, and they did not lessen in numbers
11 but their numbers increased. That is one thing.
12 Now, why did the Serbs wish one state? The continuity of the
13 suffering of the Serbian people going back for a hundred years is one of
14 the elements because of which the Serbs believed that they did have a
15 legal right and that this was the only way to protect themselves. Sir,
16 the Serbs have suffered terribly.
17 Q. Is there any other reason, apart from Serbs as historical victims,
18 that justified their pursuit of the notion that they should all live in
19 one state at whatever cost to others?
20 A. I don't see any reason. If in 1915 the forces of -- of the
21 Entente accepted the unification of the Serbian people as their objective,
22 they accepted this, the forces of Entente, and that was their guiding idea
23 and the guiding idea of the Serbian people in the heroic fight that they
24 endured. So I do not see the danger. I do not see any people. Who are
25 the people who suffered under the Serbian boot? I can't think of any. I
2 Q. Of course, determining the issues of what happened and whether
3 they were crimes and so on and who is responsible is entirely a matter for
4 the Judges. You've expressed some views, and I want to ask you one thing
5 about them, and it's this: In your view, is protection of the Serbs from
6 suffering a matter of such priority as it would justify killing and moving
7 people from territories that Serbs wished to assume and control as their
8 own? Is that your position?
9 A. I don't know. Please. During the existence of the Republic of
10 Serbian Krajina, very many Croats remained to live in Knin even though
11 Knin was always a majority Serb town. A lot of Croats remained, though,
12 and nothing -- they came to no harm. Nothing happened to them. So I
13 don't see what is the fault of the Serbs.
14 The other side -- please. Once a war starts, I am of deeply
15 anti-war conviction, and I have participated in the work of many peace
16 organisations, but once this tragedy, the most serious tragedy does occur
17 and when our crisis grew into this tragic war, then you know war has its
18 own logic; kill or be killed. That is one thing. The psychology of
19 people changes. You as a lawyer, and myself also as a legal person, read
20 a lot. Especially read a lot when I was writing the book on genocide.
21 This collective spirit which takes over the threatened nation, then when
22 you look at the killing of your -- when you see how your own family is
23 killed, the only thing that remains is bitter revenge, and this is
24 something that happened. You understand, terrible crimes, sir. I never
25 claimed that there were no crimes. Quite the reverse, sir; there were
1 crimes committed.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... please.
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the presentation of exhibits in the course
4 of the Defence case is something we are working on as to the best and most
5 economic procedure, but for the time being today, can we hand them in
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes. Go ahead.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. This is an article, Professor, of yours. If it can be
10 distributed. It's called Models of Serbhood and you must obviously have a
11 second or so, or a minute or so to remind yourself that it's written by
12 you and when. You will see, I think, that this is dated the 23rd of
13 August, 1996, in Belgrade. Do you remember writing this article?
14 A. I never wrote an article under such a title, never. I would have
15 to read it to see. As far as I can see, the first sentences are not mine.
16 Q. I will come back to this article, if necessary, tomorrow.
17 A. I would like to know where this was published.
18 Q. Absolutely. We'll deal with that tomorrow. But --
19 A. As I say --
20 Q. Would you be good enough, for the time being, to save time, we're
21 coming towards what the court may decide is the end of the day but if not
22 for us... If you come down one, two, three, four, five paragraphs, to the
23 end the paragraph on the first page, and you'll --
24 A. Not an article under that title, no.
25 Q. But we then come to this paragraph which reflects partly your
1 views on this court and partly your views under -- about two other
2 individuals, and it says the following and I'll read it: "I have been
3 following the work of this institution since the beginning. I shun the
4 use of the term 'court' since the judiciary is a high-minded institution
5 to every lawyer. I have been shocked by the fact that since its inception
6 to this date its activity has been of a markedly anti-Serb orientation."
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, giving some thought to this, I mean the
8 witness has said it's not her article.
9 MR. NICE: She has not said it's not her article.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to say something
11 now at this point? I never wrote an article under that heading, under
12 that title. This particular paragraph seems to me to be a paragraph taken
13 from one of my articles, yes, that is true, and that is what I said.
14 So let me tell you at the outset: I was present -- if you will
15 allow me to finish. May I please be allowed to continue and explain to
16 you. Yes, I was highly critical and am highly critical towards this
17 Tribunal; however, I considered that it was my duty to come here to
18 testify so that we can arrive at the truth. I have expressed my views
19 and, sir, I attended the preliminary conference for the establishment of
20 this particular Tribunal, which was organised by the United Nations, and
21 that meeting was held in Vancouver on the basis of expert opinion and --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
23 A. -- there were 87 experts present --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. -- I was among them and I took the floor.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, please answer the questions asked by
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. I've taken you to this paragraph not particularly to turn to the
5 issue of your attitude to the Tribunal but simply to establish that this
6 is indeed your work.
7 I'm more interested in the following paragraph, which reads as
8 follows -- or the following sentence, I beg your pardon: "The primary and
9 the most serious crime, the one committed by the Croats and Muslims
10 resulting in bloodshed, has been disregarded. I was shocked also as a
11 member of the Serbian people, especially when an indictment was issued
12 against President Karadzic and General Mladic, the two greatest figures in
13 recent Serbian history."
14 You've told us your very favourable views of Radovan Karadzic.
15 This article, written a year and a month after Srebrenica, expresses your
16 views of General Mladic. Do you still hold those views?
17 A. As for General Mladic, a man I met several times, I have a very
18 high opinion of him as a soldier. I know some heroic feats of his in
19 which he saved civilians, both Muslim and Serb civilians. I also know of
20 him from the times when he was - and that was the turning point in his
21 life - when he was in Republika Srpska Krajina as the commander. He was
22 later moved to Republika Srpska. But I also know that at the military
23 academy, he slept in the bed next to a Croat, a cadet attending the
24 military academy, and learning about this colleague of his, and they were
25 very close during their studies at the academy, he moved to -- into the
1 Croatian army subsequently and committed serious crimes in Ogulin. I know
2 about that.
3 I also know that that was a turning point in his life with respect
4 to his attitude towards brotherhood and unity, as it was. And I also know
5 that this made his mind up. He decided to move to the Serb army and to
6 place himself at the head of the Serb army. That's what I know about
7 General Mladic.
8 Q. I asked you these questions because I want to come back to the
9 question I asked you at the beginning of this short passage. Is it your
10 view that the crimes committed or that the killings committed in the Serb
11 interest were in fact all justified for the reason that you've identified,
12 that is, the fear of Serbs of being yet again victims?
13 A. The fear that the Serbs felt was enormous, to the effect that the
14 1941 genocide would be repeated, and that fear quite certainly caused or
15 led to a series of crimes or retaliation or acts of revenge. I condemn
16 all crime. There is no justification for a single crime committed in
17 anybody's name, on anybody's behalf. But I would like to repeat that
18 crimes, too, and I have studied them on a parallel basis from the
19 conflicts in Asia, in America, various wars throughout the world to the
20 present day, that every war, each and every war and each and every crime
21 must be placed in a given historical context, and only once you have done
22 that can you understand what actually took place, and only then on the
23 basis of that can you give your own judgement about it.
24 I would like to repeat that as to your Tribunal, I held a report,
25 I delivered a report at the preliminary meeting. None of the experts
1 wanted the Tribunal, that court, to be set up. I was against its
2 inception, and I wrote in that light.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I was saying that we don't need all of that
5 And we can work until 2.00 p.m.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Then let me move on from those questions and answers to the next
8 event that I wanted to ask you about and I will ask you about, and it's
9 this: You will remember how following the miners' strike in Kosovo there
10 were enormous demonstrations on the streets of Belgrade.
11 A. I can't quite -- or, rather, I'm not quite sure that I was in
12 Belgrade at the time. Perhaps I was. I can't remember for sure. I can't
13 remember those exact demonstrations, but, yes, there were demonstrations
14 in Belgrade. As to the exact date and the exact demonstrations you
15 referred to, I don't know which they are. There were many demonstrations.
16 There were casualties, dead people in the demonstrations, especially the
17 9th of March demonstrations. Yes, there were. But as I say, I don't know
18 the specific demonstrations you're referring to. Let me say straight away
19 that I myself was not somebody who took part in demonstrations ever so I
20 can't really speak about that. I didn't take part in any demonstrations
21 because of my age. I did take part in demonstrations as a student prior
22 to the Second World War when I was that age.
23 Q. At the time of these demonstrations, the then-President Dizdarevic
24 was unable to calm the crowd despite his calls for brotherhood and unity,
25 and eventually the accused had his way and emergency powers were issued,
1 and this was the first time that he was able to have control or to have
2 the army, the JNA, working in his interest on the territory of Serbia.
3 You remember that, do you?
4 A. I did not take part in that so I really can't say whether
5 Mr. Milosevic ordered that or anything else. I can't testify about
6 something I don't know about first hand, where I was not present. Perhaps
7 he did, perhaps he didn't. I don't know. He'll be best able to tell you,
8 because I am not informed about that.
9 Q. Two things, madam, just two things, because we have to look at
10 quite particularly how these events have a sequence to them. Do you think
11 that the accused at the time of the miner's strike and the grant of
12 special powers to bring the army to Kosovo, do you think that at that time
13 the accused had the ability to get the people onto the street to work for
14 him and to support his objectives? Do you?
15 A. Mr. Milosevic had no reason to do that, bring the people out,
16 because there was such a great deal of revolt in Serbia that he didn't
17 need to do that. That's the first point.
18 And secondly, the main demonstrations were launched by the
19 opposition parties, as far as I remember, not the ruling party. And as
20 far as I remember, but let me repeat, that I travelled quite a bit and
21 spent quite a lot of time abroad so that I cannot recall, and as I say I
22 don't think I was in Belgrade at the time, so I can't remember that, but
23 as I say, your question is a very generalised one or, rather, the
24 observation you make is rather generalised.
25 Q. The second question about the same demonstration, and subject to
1 translation that I'll deal with overnight, but if part of the accused's
2 address to that mass gathering was to the effect, "No price and no force
3 on earth can stop the Serbian people," did that accord with your
4 understanding of how he thought at that time?
5 A. I can't say. I can't confirm or assert. I didn't hear it. I
6 didn't hear him say that.
7 Q. To say such a thing, and we'll look at it, I hope, tomorrow -- of
8 course, I'll withdraw the question completely if we don't, but to say such
9 a thing is a call to nationalism, madam, isn't it?
10 A. I don't know what context that was stated in. I don't know when
11 it was stated. And as far as the demonstrations or, rather, the miner's
12 strike is concerned, do you mean the strike in Kolubara, Kolubara mine, or
13 do you mean the strike in Kosovo? Which strike did you mean? Which
14 miner's strike were you referring to?
15 Q. In Kosovo.
16 A. Ah, in Kosovo. The strike in Kosovo. That was staged. It was a
17 theatre production which was to demonstrate the grave situation that the
18 miners live in. And this was all for the benefit of the European Union or
19 whatever, the European Community or whoever it was who came, I can't
20 remember. But I know for a fact that it was all staged in order to
21 demonstrate the suffering of the Albanians.
22 Certainly there were Albanian casualties, Albanian victims, but
23 you know there were atrocious crimes committed. Let me remind you the
24 atrocity of Martinovic when he was impaled upon a bottle. Danilo
25 Malilovic was killed in front of his mother's eyes. So there were
1 atrocious crimes, and I condemn all crimes, whether they be Serb crimes or
2 Albanian crimes or anybody else's crimes. There were crimes, yes, sir,
3 that is true.
4 Q. I'll start another topic. I may not be able to finish it this
5 morning. I'll do my best.
6 There was a magazine called Epoka, published for a couple of years
7 in about 1991 and revived later. Was effectively the magazine of the
8 accused's SPS party; correct?
9 A. I wasn't kept abreast of all the magazines for the simple reason
10 that I wasn't technically able to read them all. I never belonged to the
11 SPS myself, so I wasn't kept abreast of their activities. I was able to
12 follow many other magazines and I subscribed to many magazines,
13 professional and otherwise.
14 Q. Is what I have said about Epoka correct, it was the SPS magazine?
15 Yes or no. We will have the original here tomorrow, you see. I haven't
16 got --
17 A. Probably he was -- it was, but I really don't know. I can't say.
18 I simply don't know. Let me repeat. I didn't buy the Epoka magazine, for
19 instance. I didn't read it. I wasn't a subscriber, just as I didn't read
20 Vreme. There are a hundred or so periodicals that are published in
21 Belgrade, you know.
22 Q. Can you tell us, please, about the Belgrade initiative. You know
23 about that. What did that plan?
24 A. It was a plan which I showed you the variants of. That was the
25 Belgrade initiative, the two or three points as variations. It was a
1 meeting with the representatives of the Krajina, of Republika Srpska or,
2 rather, they hadn't been proclaimed as such yet, so find a peaceful
3 settlement to the Serb question in Croatia and Bosnia, because the Serb
4 question was put on the agenda automatically, spontaneously, when
5 ethnically pure states were being set up with the acquiescence of the
6 European Community.
7 Q. Your Variant 1 and Variant 2 document, the exhibit number for
8 which I'm afraid I've forgotten, just one thing because I didn't
9 understand it as you read it over to me and I've only just looked at a
10 translation, did that inevitably involve large transfers of population?
11 A. No, not at all. Without any transference of the population. It
12 just referred to the ways and means of solving problems where the majority
13 population was Serb, and that is why the proposal was put forward in that
14 way. And we hitched onto that idea of creating a sort of condominium, in
15 fact, so that we would have equidistance both with respect to the Serbs
16 vis-a-vis Croatia and vis-a-vis Serbia, that that was the most suitable
17 variant in view of all the mixed marriages. And don't forget, with all
18 the decentralisation and all the economies, all the economies were linked
19 in one way or another, and the quakes that happened happened in the
20 economy, the reverberations were felt throughout Yugoslavia, and that is
21 what we were geared towards.
22 MR. NICE: The next exercise involves some exhibits. Might it
23 be easier - I see I've probably got two minutes - to wait until I have the
24 original magazine tomorrow?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes, Mr. Nice.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 In that case, we'll adjourn for today.
2 Before we adjourn, Mr. Milosevic, I take this opportunity to
3 remind you that the Chamber's order envisages the Court-assigned counsel
4 approaching you for instructions. I encourage you to take advantage of
5 that opportunity and to communicate with him.
6 Professor, we are going to adjourn for the evening.
7 Mr. Milosevic, yes?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have already said
9 that this is a question of principle and that I do not accept you to
10 rescind my right to my own Defence or to diminish that right in any way.
11 I have nothing to do with your counsel. He does not represent me. He
12 represents you. What he is doing here is not my Defence. Mr. Kay
13 could --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. We have heard that.
15 Professor, we're going to take the adjournment for the afternoon.
16 You will return tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether you're aware of
18 the fact that I'm due to leave tomorrow. I don't know the exact time.
19 Sometime in the afternoon, anyway. I have a flight, whether it's 2.00 or
20 3.00 p.m.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: I believe we'll be finished with you in time.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Therefore, according to my flight,
23 which is, I think, at 2.00 or 3.00 in the afternoon, I think that I would
24 have to leave The Hague at about 1.00 to give me enough time to reach the
25 airport and catch my flight.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I would be available if we begin
3 at 9.30. Is that when we begin?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, we begin at 9.00.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. 9.00. Then I would be
6 available until 11.30, perhaps.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 8th day of
10 September, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.