1 Tuesday, 25 January 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We apologise for the lateness of the start, which
6 is explained by the inclement weather conditions.
7 Mr. Nice, we are to deal with the admission of documents as
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, yes, and I wonder if I could, on this
10 occasion only, just take a couple of minutes to identify again the
11 structural issues and perhaps difficulties that we face, because I think
12 they're likely to recur, although they occurred with particular clarity in
13 the case of this witness and perhaps are best revealed in the outstanding
14 issue that there still is before the Chamber; how to deal with the extract
15 from the article published in Nacional, being an interview with Dusan
17 The paradigm problem that we face, or issue that we face is this:
18 The Prosecution presents its case, the Defence broadens it - absolutely no
19 objection to that at all. So in the Bilandzic example, we presented
20 evidence, direct evidence, of what actually happened at the meeting
21 between the accused and Tudjman. The defendant broadens it by seeing what
22 was said in the meetings that followed that meeting. There are meetings
23 between the working party, first through Smilja Avramov - we did not
24 accept her account at all - and then through the last witness, and we
25 didn't accept that at all. We then, in the broadened case, offer material
1 that would support our position, the position we do take on the broader
3 In this case it's the newspaper interview, and the issue, I
4 suppose, for the Judges -- for the Court is this: Should the document be
5 admitted; and if so, would one of the following four things perhaps
6 happen: One, in the absence of any more evidence, could the Tribunal,
7 because of there being no rule against hearsay, act on the article of
8 Bilandzic and make a finding contrary to the evidence of the two live
9 witnesses? Well, theoretically possible but inconceivable.
10 The second possibility: If other evidence emerged in line with
11 what is said by Bilandzic in the article, it's either in evidence or
12 possibly if evidence from which very strong inference is consistent with
13 what's in the newspaper article arise, might the Chamber rely on the
14 newspaper article, saying, "Well, we make this conclusion and observe that
15 there is material consistent with it from elsewhere." Possible, it would
16 seem to me.
17 Third possibility is that the Prosecution would, at the rebuttal
18 stage - and notwithstanding what His Honour Judge Kwon said about the
19 possibility of a more generous approach to rebuttal, the Prosecution has
20 in mind that in general in these courts rebuttal cases are concise and
21 there are reasons why it would be wanted to be in this case - the
22 Prosecution might seek to call Bilandzic, for example.
23 And then the fourth possibility that is having the exhibit as an
24 exhibit, the Chamber is in a position, if it decides that it wants to
25 consider calling any witnesses itself, to assess whether this witness or
1 this potential witness is one to call.
2 And that sort of issue arises particularly where the case is
3 broadened by the accused in the way that he has quite properly done. I
4 have no objection to that. On the contrary. And I suppose
5 metaphorically, it's having an exhibit and it's being on the shelf. Just
6 to go into the history for two minutes: 92 bis was generated, I think, by
7 a decision of this Chamber in respect of the signed witness statement of a
8 witness who was dead at the time, as Your Honour will recall. I think His
9 Honour Judge Robinson will recall. And the admission of the statement by
10 this Chamber, as then composed, was overruled by the Appeals Chamber, and
11 very greatly, though I respected the composition of that particular
12 Appeals Chamber, I always regretted that I wasn't able to argue because
13 the matter was dealt with on paper, that it seemed to me that the
14 admission of the document by the Chamber presided over by the late Sir
15 Richard May was really on the basis of we need this document now because
16 other material may come in for which we will assess it, and that was
17 really the way I had understood the ruling of the Court, as it were,
18 putting it on the shelf and having it available.
19 And it may be that the Court will think that that approach is
20 consistent with or more consistent with the approach of a civil system
21 Bench having material that's important to it for consideration in its
22 truth-finding function, given that it is a truth-finding Court and not a
23 proof-resolving Court. Proof there has to be but within the broader
24 function of truth.
25 So, Your Honours, that's our approach, and we would invite you,
1 with perhaps those observations in mind, to take a fairly generous
2 approach to the admission of exhibits, recognising that they can
3 metaphorically be put on the shelf for later determination.
4 The documents that have been produced, if I can list them, as I
5 understand the position by us are, first of all, Exhibit 816, which is an
6 exhibit. That's the article by the witness. Second, the extract from
7 Smilja Avramov's book, which was exhibited as 817. Then there was Exhibit
8 818, marked for identification, which was the book Kosovo -- or the
9 extract from the book Kosovo: Law and Politics, Kosovo in Normative Acts
10 Before and After 1974, and I would ask the Chamber to admit that document.
11 The Chamber will recall, as I explained at the beginning, that the
12 various laws that we looked at within that are hard to find elsewhere and
13 we haven't found them all elsewhere. In the expanded case of the accused,
14 those laws, following on the 89 amendments may be of considerable
15 significance showing what happened to Kosovo Albanians in circumstances
16 where the accused, through his witnesses, now really asserts that the
17 Albanians were victims of nothing and bringers of everything upon
18 themselves. As I explained right at the beginning, that Exhibit 818
19 contains some commentary but I haven't taken you to the commentary.
20 Indeed, insofar as I adopt the commentary I have tried to adopt it in
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, please correct me if I'm wrong: All parts
23 dealt with in that by you say enactments or laws in relation to Kosovo.
24 MR. NICE: Correct.
25 JUDGE KWON: No other parts.
1 MR. NICE: No other parts, no. And I don't desire -- yes.
2 Ms. Dicklich reminds me, in fact, you have the entire book. It's a rather
3 slender book, published by what we would hope would be characterised as an
4 independent organisation, but Your Honour is quite right, it's laws that
5 we've referred to, or extracts from laws. So there it is.
6 The next document was Exhibit 819 that I've already referred to,
7 the article from Nacional that the Chamber has yet to decide upon, and I'm
8 not pressing it to decide today.
9 Exhibit 820 was the article about Seselj's qualifications for
10 professorship, and that's been exhibited as the video clip 821 and 821.1.
11 Then 822 is the article by Kelmendi marked for identification, and
12 the Court will remember that this document gave an account of a history of
13 an application to overturn the 1989 constitutional amendments. I
14 explained to Your Honours that it was difficult to find these documents
15 that are referred to in this proposed exhibit, and I'm holding it up just
16 to remind you what it looks like.
17 The good news is that we have, through repeated efforts, located
18 at the moment only in B/C/S the application and the judgement of the
19 Constitutional Court of Kosovo, and you may remember that in the article,
20 the judgements are numbered 54/90 of the 27th of July of 1990, and the
21 documents that we have, I think, bear those -- bear those numbers. So
22 what I would ask the Chamber to do in respect of that exhibit is to allow
23 the -- allow the exhibit to be produced. I'm told the English
24 translations will be available tomorrow, and I'd ask that the actual
25 application and the judgement of the Constitutional Court could be
1 associated with that exhibit, perhaps as -- well, whatever the number is,
2 parts A and B, something to that effect.
3 The next exhibit would be the document that corrects and completes
4 the Defence Exhibit tab 47. The Chamber will recall that the witness
5 yesterday accepted that he had intentionally cut down tab 47 of his own to
6 cut off from the end of it references to the international presence and
7 human rights, and it was quite wrong that that should have happened, in
8 our submission, and we have a document published as part of The Crisis in
9 Kosovo 1989 to 1999, and if that complete version of tab 47 could go in as
10 a Prosecution Exhibit, we'd be grateful.
11 And then the next -- the only other two potential documents that
12 I'd ask the Chamber to give consideration to are documents that are built
13 on my earlier -- my opening observations, which I won't have to repeat
14 again in the trial. The Chamber will remember that at a time when time
15 was very short with this witness, I said to him that he'd been subject to
16 heavy criticism by a lawyer from his own university in an article on the
17 constitution headed the Unbearable Lightness of Constitutional Being, or
18 Unconstitutional Being, and separately that he's been heavily criticised
19 in public for his latest book, his latest constitutional law book. And
20 the question for the Chamber, if I may say so, is this: Where a witness
21 of this kind, although nominally a fact witness clearly a witness whose
22 expertise underpins or is really what he's giving evidence about, where
23 he's presented in the way he was by this accused - as it were, the
24 unimpeachable authority - it is important that the Court should know of
25 material to a contrary effect.
1 Now, I haven't actually dealt with the -- with all the exhibits
2 because there are some more that have been produced, including the ones
3 where -- the one from Slobodan Samardzic, which I must perhaps also turn
4 to, but I would invite the Chamber to consider, again addressing itself on
5 the basis that it is not unlike a civil system of Court, I would invite
6 the Chamber to consider whether it shouldn't have or have available to it
7 publicly broadcast criticisms by other academics of both the
8 constitutional position - I think The Unbearable Lightness of
9 Constitutional Being includes the reference to the constitution being
10 drafted in only five days, something that the witness dealt with in
11 evidence in a way.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, why do you say that the system here is
13 more akin to a truth-finding, proof-resolving --
14 MR. NICE: Because under the Rules and in determining how evidence
15 is to be given, the Rules make it clear - I'll have the Rule to hand in a
16 second - that it's with a view to establishing the truth. It sets out the
17 word "truth" in the Rules as opposed to just proof, which is what,
18 unspoken, underlies the ordinary adversarial process. The Rule sets out
19 specifically that the adduction of evidence is with a view to establishing
20 the truth.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And on that basis alone you come to that
23 MR. NICE: No. I think that that basis is sufficient. Of course,
24 the truth-finding function, as identified in the Rules for the Court in no
25 way, in no way changes the burden on the Prosecution on all the evidence
1 of establishing proof beyond reasonable doubt, of course. But given that
2 the argument of a prosecution is based on all the evidence ultimately
3 before the Trial Chamber, and given that the Trial Chamber's duty under
4 the Rules is so to deal with evidence in a way as to establish the truth,
5 I respectfully suggest my argument on how material should be assembled is
6 an appropriate one, namely that it should be assembled or accepted by the
7 Chamber with a view to this truth-finding function at the end of the
9 The alternative, if the issue is thrown entirely back to the
10 Prosecution, is that on issues like this, there would have to be a very
11 formalistic item-by-item application for evidence in rebuttal and I would
12 invite you to say that that's not desirable in the broader way these cases
13 have to be dealt with.
14 So I invite the Chamber - obviously it hasn't had a chance to read
15 it now and I wouldn't ask it to do so now - to look at the two public
16 criticisms of the witness by Stefan Lilic from his own university,
17 different department but the same legal faculty, I think, with a view to
18 deciding whether that material in cross-examination that was inevitably
19 cut short not least because of the way the witness -- not cut short but
20 wasn't able to cover everything because of the way -- not least because of
21 the way the witness answered questions, I'd asked you to consider in due
22 course having those.
23 And then, of course, there's the other articles we looked at
24 yesterday. There's Exhibit 823, the article dealing with whether the
25 accused had a right to a third term. That's already been exhibited. The
1 Article 824 that has already been exhibited, and then there was the
2 critical article that we looked at in part but that everybody had
3 opportunity to read over several days by Slobodan Samardzic, and I'd
4 invite the Chamber to make that available as an exhibit.
5 Your Honours, I don't know if I can help any further with that.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, thank you very much. Let us hear from
7 Ms. Higgins.
8 MS. HIGGINS: Thank you, Your Honour. Just a couple of general
9 observations in response to Mr. Nice and then I wish to take you very
10 briefly through my observations and objections to the MFI documents which
11 have been referred to.
12 Firstly, in relation to the general comments and observations by
13 Mr. Nice, he refers to a broadening of the case by the accused. It might
14 be better referred to and bracketed as an exploration of the case, which
15 is of course a perfectly legitimate exercise by an accused, and in my
16 submission, the most appropriate route for Mr. Nice in dealing with his
17 evidence is the route which is already provided for in Rule 85(A)(iii),
18 which is of course the rebuttal stage of evidence, it being, of course, a
19 matter of judgement for the Prosecutor as to how wide and which issues he
20 chooses to deal with in rebuttal.
21 Leaving those general observations aside and if I may now move
22 briefly on to the MFI documents. The first one, which is MFI 818, Kosovo:
23 Law and Politics, briefly my observations are these: As Your Honour Judge
24 Kwon has rightly observed, it is a collection of laws and decisions,
25 constitutional laws and decisions which were drawn to the attention of the
1 witness and commented on by him. They have not been exhibited to date.
2 They are general constitutional documents, and one point of view may be to
3 raise the question as to why they hadn't been produced, as arguably they
4 may have been during that case.
5 Of further concern is the political comment which was referred to
6 by Mr. Nice, which is found at page 9 of the document. Those are my
7 observations. And of course, if Your Honours were minded to admit the
8 document, I would ask and submit that only those documents which were
9 referred to should be admitted, and I do have the page references for Your
10 Honours if that would assist.
11 Moving on, if I may, to MFI 819, which was the Nacional newspaper
12 article, Your Honours will recall that during the evidence of this
13 witness, Ratko Markovic, it was not accepted by him the version that was
14 produced in relation to the working group meetings that were held. His
15 Honour Judge Robinson raised the question of the status of the newspaper
16 report earlier on, I think it was last week, which hadn't in fact been
17 confirmed by this witness, and that was followed by comments and
18 observations and concerns by His Honour Judge Bonomy, questioning the
19 timing of the presentation of this evidence during the Defence phase and
20 the fact that the document had not been accepted by the witness.
21 Your Honours may also recall that in relation to this Nacional
22 newspaper article, the Prosecution conceded last week that it may be able
23 to deal with the views of this witness in other ways. Of course, the
24 issues of provenance and reliability are also important for the Trial
25 Chamber to consider.
1 Mr. Nice has referred to it being important that the Trial Chamber
2 has this information before it. In my submission, it already does. It
3 has heard the observations, the extracts commented, and those comments by
4 the witness in response, and there is no need or in fact no basis for this
5 article to be made an exhibit in the case.
6 Dealing briefly with two other matters: MFI 822, which is the
7 Kelmendi article, in fact it's produced -- a document produced by the
8 Kosovar Information Centre and it's the Discriminatory and
9 Unconstitutional Act document.
10 Mr. Nice asked several questions on this document and asked the
11 witness to confirm what was contained within it was factually correct.
12 The witness dealt with that, and his answers, as Your Honours may recall,
13 were to the first question, "I don't know"; to the second, he didn't
14 agree. He didn't adopt anything in the document. Again, it's an article
15 by someone else who is not a witness in the case. It was not produced
16 through the Prosecution case, and in any event, I would ask Your Honours
17 to be beware of the political comment contained in the foreword, even if
18 you were minded to accept it contrary to my observations.
19 The last document I wish to refer briefly to is the article
20 referred to by Mr. Nice which has not been given an MFI number, and that's
21 the article by Slobodan Samardzic. Again, the concerns are these:
22 Firstly, document written by somebody who is not a witness in the case and
23 is not available to be cross-examined on views contained therein by the
24 accused or anyone else.
25 Secondly, it's not a Prosecution Exhibit presented in the case to
1 date, and I raise the same concern: It is a document of general nature on
2 general constitution system of the FRY, and again it's arguable that it
3 may have been able to be produced in their case.
4 Mr. Nice read the passages to the witness, and in my submission,
5 that is sufficient again. It's not necessary for this or any basis for
6 this to become an exhibit in the case.
7 As a concluding remark, Your Honours, the references by Mr. Nice
8 to the truth and the finding of truth, the difficulties which Your Honours
9 will be aware of are these: When the admission of evidence is on the
10 basis of an inquisitorial system or approach to the admission of evidence,
11 the presentation of evidence in this courtroom is still governed by an
12 accusatorial approach where the parties are under an obligation to
13 challenge evidence which is not accepted and therefore the admission of
14 reams of evidence into the case presents an onerous obligation on the
15 accused to confront and deal with that evidence which has and should have
16 been produced under the general principle that a Prosecution should
17 produce its evidence during its phase of the case, there being provision
18 for rebuttal at the end if further presentation is required.
19 Your Honours, those are my observations.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Higgins, what would you say to the admission of a
22 perfect version of Contact Group decision, and Mr. Nice also referred to a
23 Constitutional Court decision referred to by -- in relation to the recent
24 amendment of Kosovo.
25 MS. HIGGINS: Yes. Your Honour, in relation to the first document
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that you've raised, which has been produced in part, I have no
2 observations to make on that. Your Honour may direct his comments to
3 Mr. Milosevic. I have no -- no observations to make on that point, it may
4 be that he does.
5 The second issue, in fact, relates to an article which I've taken
6 issue with. So --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: That's 822.
8 MS. HIGGINS: Yes, Your Honour, that's right, the Kelmendi
9 article. So on the basis of my submissions, I would ask that none of that
10 go in. If Your Honours are minded to put in the article, then to make
11 sense of it Your Honours may require to have those documents to hand, but
12 my concern is this: Those documents were not produced during the
13 testimony of the witness, and the witness, who was a constitutional man of
14 great knowledge, was not given the opportunity to deal with them. So I
15 would urge the Trial Chamber to exercise caution in that regard even if
16 you were minded to admit the Kelmendi article.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Higgins.
18 Mr. Milosevic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Nice submitted a
20 whole package of completely useless papers. You can decide what you wish
21 about them in accordance with the previous practice, but I would like to
22 lodge an objection.
23 Mr. Nice speak about the so-called decision of the Constitutional
24 Court of Kosovo. This decision of the Constitutional Court of Kosovo was
25 never adopted. This is what we were told by the witness. What Mr. Nice
1 produced is a draft decision that was prepared by the members of that
2 Constitutional Court, just as there was a draft decision on declaring
3 Kosovo a republic, and so on. Therefore, it has no value, no worth at
4 all. However, if he continues to insist upon that, then, yes, we can
5 discuss this piece of paper as a draft that has no legal value. That is
6 completely clear based on what we heard here.
7 As for the credibility of the witness, I believe that it is not
8 proper to introduce into evidence this article which according to Mr. Nice
9 sharply criticised the witness, and that that was done by Professor Lilic,
10 also a university professor. You will remember that because of the lack
11 of time, Mr. Nice did not even give an opportunity to the witness to
12 respond to those criticisms. All he was able to say was a few words about
13 the article of Professor Samardzic and point out that he was not a lawyer,
14 but as for the article which sharply criticised the witness, he had no
15 opportunity to respond to that at all, and therefore, it should be
17 Mr. Nice explained how somebody wrote the constitution in five
18 days, and that's absurd. They're ignoring the fact that there was a
19 working group consisting of constitutional experts from Montenegro and
20 Serbia, and these people spent together a whole week shut in a room
21 working on drafting the constitution. Mr. Nice completely ignored that
22 all of these people had at least 15 years of prior experience in drafting
23 these documents. Therefore, this kind of criticism as directed by
24 Mr. Nice is completely pointless.
25 Therefore, these documents gathered together by Mr. Nice have just
1 one purpose; to add to the paperwork. Otherwise, they're completely
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Nice.
4 MR. NICE: May I make a couple of points?
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't want to prolong this.
6 MR. NICE: No, I know that, Your Honour, but just to say that the
7 relevant Rule to which I referred to is 90(F) where the exercise and
8 control "over the mode and order of interrogating witnesses and presenting
9 evidence" is to "make the interrogation and presentation effective for the
10 ascertainment of the truth; and to avoid the needless consumption of
11 time," and it would be my submission that both of those limbs support my
12 general proposition.
13 Other than that, I would simply draw to your attention -- so
14 that's the provision I rely on. I'll go back to what I said as to
15 presentation of evidence or assembly of materials for evidence, truth is
16 indeed important as is the needless consumption of -- avoiding the
17 needless consumption --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, (F)(i) is as applicable, in my view, to
19 the common law adversarial system as it is to the civil law inquisitorial
20 system. In the common law adversarial system we are also concerned with
21 making the interrogation and presentation effective for the ascertainment
22 of --
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if I may say so, defending advocates in a
24 position to take technical arguments for the exclusion of evidence would
25 not have to face a codified test of that kind in an adversarial system,
1 and I have regularly been in a position to take the advantage of not
2 having to face such a test. This is much more specific.
3 Your Honours, one other thing that I ought to draw to your
4 attention, and that is that outstanding in your consideration is whether,
5 for example, you might wish to hear again from the constitutional expert
6 who was called, Dr. Kristan.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Oh, I'm going to make a ruling on that.
8 MR. NICE: Very well.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll just tell you now, but we will require you,
10 within a week, to make a filing identifying the areas in respect of which
11 you wish to adduce evidence from Dr. Kristan should you wish to recall
12 him, and also to comment on his availability.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, well, I'm very grateful for that because I
14 was going to say that you will have appreciated from the research that
15 we've been able to make that there are indeed lawyers who may be in a
16 position apparently to assist where lawyers have been unwilling, for the
17 reasons given before, to come to this Court.
18 We do not yet know, apart from Dr. Kristan, whether such witnesses
19 may now be inclined and willing or whether their previous attitude will be
20 reinforced, but it's helpful to know that we can have the opportunity of
21 applying for Dr. Kristan and we'll deal with that immediately.
22 I'm grateful for your time.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In translation into Serbian, it was
2 stated that the -- that the "defending counsel" who did not want to
3 participate or didn't wish to come, whereas in English the word used was
4 the "lawyers," and there's a great difference. "[In English]... Lawyers
5 who may be in position apparently to assist where lawyers have been
6 unwilling to..."
7 [Interpretation] Therefore, "lawyer" and "Defence counsel" are two
8 different things. "Defence counsel" has to be a lawyer, but in Serbian
9 language, "advokat" or Defence counsel is somebody appearing in court, not
10 just lawyer as a legal expert. So I would like to draw your attention to
11 this and so that you can ensure that the translation is proper.
12 And another matter that I omitted to mention: When explaining the
13 exhibit which is actually an exhibit under tab 47 presented by myself,
14 which are the principles of the Contact Group, Mr. Nice said that it was
15 as though somebody covered up the fact that there was international
16 participation in settling the Kosovo crisis. Therefore, please take a
17 look at tab 47. You have texts both in English and in Serbian entitled
18 General Elements. And the last among those elements - it has ten bullets
19 - is: "International involvement and full cooperation by the parties
20 concerning implementation." Therefore, this is contained in the
21 principles given under tab 47. And as the witness stated, this was a
22 delegation of the government of Serbia that accepted these principles as
23 presented by the Contact Group.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll give a decision on the Prosecution
2 potential exhibits later. And in relation to Defence exhibits, I am
3 reminded that tabs 9 and 12 of Defence Exhibit 271 were actually referred
4 to but not admitted, and so we will admit those; tabs 9 and 12 of D271.
5 Mr. Milosevic, of course the time spent in this -- in discussing
6 this matter does not count in respect of time allocated to you. You will
7 now call your next witness.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I call witness Mitar Balevic.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
14 WITNESS: MITAR BALEVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you may commence.
17 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Balevic.
19 A. Good morning, Mr. Milosevic, Mr. President.
20 Q. Please tell us where you come from, where you were born, and where
21 you lived for the longest part of your life.
22 A. I was born in Montenegro in 1929. From age 4 I went to live in
23 Metohija with my parents in a village in Budisavci Municipality, Pec
24 region, the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Therefore, I spent the majority of my
25 life in Kosovo and Metohija until the expulsion in 1989.
1 Q. What is your occupation? Where did you work?
2 A. I am currently retired, a retired railroad worker, and I will read
3 relevant bits of my working biography.
4 In 1947 and up until 19 -- from 1947 to 1973, I worked in the
5 railway company. In May 1997, due to -- in May 1987, due to pressure, I
6 left the railroad company and went to work in Obud in Cetinje.
7 Q. Was it in 1987 or did you make a mistake?
8 A. It was in 1977. And in the month of May, I returned back to work
9 as a railroad worker. In the meantime, for four years, I represented
10 Yugoslav Rails in Bulgaria between 1979 and 1984. Upon my return from
11 Bulgaria, I continued working in the railroad company as an advisor to the
12 director of the company.
13 Q. Mr. Balevic, there is no need for you to make such long pauses.
14 A. I can't hear anything in my headphones.
15 Q. Well, there is nothing that you need to hear right now. As you
16 are speaking, there is no interpretation going into your language.
17 A. Then for a while I was a secretary of the traffic community
18 interest group, and then -- then I retired on the 4th of April, 1990. And
19 starting in 1994, I volunteered within the Socialist Party of Serbia in
21 Q. You were also a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia?
22 A. I became a member of the youth organisation in 1945, and then in
23 1949, I became a member of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
24 Q. You also held some party posts, as we could see from your
1 A. Yes. I held almost all party functions on a volunteer basis. I
2 was a secretary member of the Regional Committee, member of -- or
3 president of the regional conference and of the Municipal Committee.
4 Q. Mr. Balevic, in one stage of the developments in Kosovo in the
5 1980s, there was much talk about the self-organising of Serbs and
6 Montenegrins in order to resist the pressure which they were under in
7 order to move out, and it is well known that you were quite active in this
8 process of self-organising. Is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right. Due to various pressure -- pressures exerted
10 on Serbs and Montenegrins, I participated in this process of
11 self-organising. I participated in various gatherings, meetings, all
12 aimed at stopping this terror and allowing these people to remain living
13 in Kosovo.
14 Q. You lived that entire time in Pristina and Kosovo Polje; is that
16 A. From 1961 to 1980 I lived in Kosovo Polje. Then starting in 1980
17 until the 26th of July, when I was forced to leave the town, I lived in
19 Q. In view of your experience and the posts you held in Pristina and
20 Kosovo Polje, in view of all of your activities that we just mentioned,
21 could we say that you are very well-informed about all of the events from
22 that period of time?
23 A. Yes, absolutely.
24 Q. Now, please tell me, based on your knowledge -- therefore please
25 focus on what you know, not on some historical facts. Therefore, when did
1 Serbs start suffering from Albanian nationalism in Kosovo and Metohija?
2 A. The Serbs and Montenegrins started suffering from that in 1941,
3 based on my knowledge. That started during the occupation and the attack
4 on Yugoslavia. Rather, that was during the Second World War. At the
5 time, many Serbs and Montenegrins were forced to leave Kosovo and
6 Metohija. Their houses were burned. They were expelled. There were even
7 some murders. Therefore, that was the first form of pressure that I'm
8 aware of and I can tell you about.
9 Tens of thousands of Serbs and Montenegrins left Kosovo and
10 Metohija at that time. Their houses and the entire property was burned.
11 Real property was looted. Tens of thousands left Kosovo and Metohija.
12 During the war, a large number of Albanians moved in, were
13 relegated to the area. These figures could be verified, and according to
14 what I know, 200.000 Albanians were relegated to the territory of Kosovo
15 and Metohija, and they occupied the property vacated by Serbs and
17 At the time, the German forces were stationed in Kosovo and
18 Metohija, in the northern part. The part that I lived in was occupied by
19 Italian forces, who I have to say treated the local population decently,
20 whereas the other part was held by Bulgarian forces. That was the
21 military power. However, the civilian authorities were Albanian.
22 This process continued after the war in 1945. Let me tell you
23 that, according to the official facts and documents, Dzafer Deva, leader
24 of Albanians from Kosovska Mitrovica, in a gathering, stated: "The
25 freedom has come. Yugoslavia is no more. The Greater Albania has been
1 created. Serbs ought to be expelled from the Balkans or killed."
2 Between 1941 and 1944 is the period that I must say the following
3 about: At the time, Boro and Ramiz were killed in 1944 in the process of
4 this terror committed against Serbs. They were in a shelter in Djakovica.
5 And when Svetozar Vukmanovic, Tempo, called them to go to Prizren --
6 Q. Mr. Balevic, you don't need to go into that.
7 A. I'm telling you this just to illustrate the terror.
8 Q. Well, we don't need to go into those details because very few
9 people here know who Boro and Ramiz were. One was a Serb and the other
10 one was an Albanian and they worked together, and this is another example
11 of harmony that these people lived in. But tell us, what happened after
12 World War II? What can you say about the events after the Second World
14 A. The intensity of the Albanian nationalism gradually increased.
15 One of the gravest moments immediately after the war was when the state
16 leadership of Yugoslavia and its leaders adopted a law or a decision, I
17 don't know what it was called, banning the return of Serbs and
18 Montenegrins to Kosovo, those who had left Kosovo during the war. Whether
19 consciously or unconsciously, the Albanians were assisted by the leaders
20 of the Yugoslav state, and that was a terrible document to be enacted
21 which banned the Serbs and Montenegrins to return to their homeland. That
22 was one of the terrible moments.
23 Another terrible event came in 1966 for us Serbs and Montenegrins,
24 the communists, because the fourth plenary session was held, the infamous
25 one, at which Rankovic was removed from office and expelled from the
1 party. That was the crash of the security network for Serbs and
2 Montenegrins in Kosovo and Metohija.
3 Q. [No interpretation]
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: There was no translation for that. Would you try
6 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we are now hearing it, yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Balevic, I was saying, do you remember the demonstrations that
11 took place in 1968?
12 A. Yes, Mr. President, I do, but I just wanted to raise one more
13 question that I didn't do a moment ago, and that is what I wanted to say:
14 For the Serbs and Montenegrins, it was a catastrophic constitution, the
15 one enacted in 1974, when the provinces or, rather, the province of Kosovo
16 was an autonomous province and Serbia was neither a state nor a province.
17 In 1981 --
18 Q. What I'm asking you now, sir, is whether you have any
19 recollections about the 1968 demonstrations. Briefly, please.
20 A. They were the first demonstrations that were held, and the object
21 of those demonstrations was the following: Kosovo Republic, first and
22 foremost; and secondly, to be joined to Albania and secede from
24 Q. And what brought about this outflow of Albanian nationalism and
25 separatism which escalated in the 1968 events and also in the events in
1 1981 that you mentioned a moment ago?
2 A. Well, the basic aspirations of all those demonstrations was for
3 Kosovo to secede, to break away from Serbia. And the only reason -- that
4 was the only reason for the demonstrations. There was no other reason
5 except that.
6 Q. Now, tell me please, was that stated openly or was it something
7 that was hidden?
8 A. The demonstrations, especially the 1981 demonstrations that were
9 designed to topple the system, came out with public demands calling for --
10 or, rather, when I'm talking -- mentioning the Albanians here, I'm not
11 talking about all the Albanians, I'm talking about the terrorists, the
12 people that did evil to the Serb people. But the demonstrations in 1988
13 with their brutality and force, which were later on stifled by
14 intervention on the part of the army when the provisional leadership
15 called it in, they demonstrated fully what kind of demands were being
16 made; the demand for Kosovo Republic, for Kosovo to break away. And at
17 that time, the Albanians had all their rights, they enjoyed full rights,
18 and I will quote just come of those rights.
19 They enjoyed the right to their own Assembly, to their own
20 Executive Council, to their Presidency, to their own Supreme Court, to
21 their own Constitutional Court, to their Ministry of the Interior, a large
22 university, everything except an army, and they didn't need an army.
23 Q. All right. Now, tell me this: I'm just asking you about your own
24 firsthand knowledge and experience here. When did you hear about the term
25 "an ethnically pure Kosovo"?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. "An ethnically pure Kosovo" was a term that was heard at the very
2 beginning, but in 1950 -- in the 1950s, it gained particular expression.
3 And this so-called -- or not so-called but actual ethnically pure Kosovo
4 was started, and the Serbs and Montenegrins started to move out. In the
5 second half of the 1960s, this took on a massive character and this was
6 influenced by the demonstrations that took place in 1968.
7 So for an ethnically pure Kosovo and of an ethnically pure Kosovo
8 I learnt about at the beginning of the 1950s.
9 Q. Tell me, what means at that time, and please bear in mind your own
10 personal experience, what you yourself know, what method of pressure was
11 exerted against the Serbs, exerted by the Albanian nationalists against
12 the Serbs? What pressure did they exert?
13 A. Unfortunately, the Albanians resorted to all types of exertion and
14 means of exertion. They were just somewhat different from World War II.
15 I'm sure they got support from abroad, but they applied all this pressure
16 against the Serbs and Montenegrins. There was killing, rape, torching of
17 property, confiscation of property, the usurpation of property, pilfering,
18 plundering, looting, other forms of abuse and mistreatment.
19 Q. All right. So they used all the means at their disposal?
20 A. Yes, all the means at their disposal.
21 Q. Now, tell me please, do you know anything about what took place in
22 the 1980s and 1990s, certain events during that period of time or, rather,
23 personally were you aware of the torching of the patriarchy on the 16th of
24 March, 1981?
25 A. Yes, I am personally aware of that. I do know that parts of the
1 lodges of the patriarchy were torched. I was on the spot many times, and
2 it was also a question discussed at our party meetings, why this came
3 about, because people were trying to supply erroneous information, that it
4 was through intent that they were torched, and this was a sign to the
5 Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.
6 Q. It was a sign and a call to them to move out. Do you remember the
7 killing of Miodrag Saric and the Martinovic case, and Danilo Milincic and
8 so on and so forth? Much was written about those individual cases of
9 killing and abuse. Now I'm not asking about what you read about in the
10 press but were you personally an eyewitness of those events took place in
11 Kosovo at that period of time, so these several killings that gave rise to
12 public consternation?
13 A. Mr. President, the case of Djordje Matinovic [phoen] is a case
14 which was unprecedented before that and I'm sure will not happen again.
15 Harm was done to him with a broken bottle.
16 Q. Let's not go into detail.
17 A. Very well. But I am aware of that case and I happen to have been
18 in the hospital for some other reason when people came to visit him.
19 There was a Colonel Ivanovic who came to visit. Now, why I did not know
20 to begin with, but later on I learnt that he tried to convince him that it
21 was just a case of injury, but it wasn't injury, it was -- or self-injury,
22 it was a crime which was unprecedented, and I'm sure things like that will
23 never be seen again, they were so terrible.
24 Q. Now, what do you know about the killings of Miodrag Saric and
25 Danilo Milincic?
1 A. Miodrag Saric was killed on the threshold of his own house in
2 Djakovica for the fact that he was a Serb, no other reason, because he
3 didn't want to leave his village and house and move out.
4 Q. And who exerted pressure on him?
5 A. The Albanian terrorists, exclusively the Albanian terrorists
6 exerted pressure on him to leave. And the Milincic case I know about
7 more, better, because his wife Radmila worked in a school. I helped her
8 get a job as a teacher, and she took part in a rally on the 24th of April
9 in Kosovo Polje. The man was killed in front of his mother's eyes, and
10 before that, in the 1960s, the father was killed and the perpetrator was
11 never uncovered. And we heard how he was killed by Radmila and when the
12 perpetrator was sentenced, she was not even able to follow the trial in
13 the Serbian language. So that's what happened there.
14 Q. Now, I'm just skimming through these events, which of course upset
15 the public greatly at that time, the attempt to rape the head prioress of
16 the monastery in Devic in 1976, the nun in the monastery.
17 A. When Tatjana Todorovic was attacked and raped, the nun that was
18 attacked and raped, unfortunately, on the part of an Albanian, and he was
19 an Albanian policeman, a large number of Serbs and Montenegrins rallied to
20 protested. So it was an act that could not be justified by any count, and
21 I was on the spot. Now the question of the attack on Devic, I also know
22 about that.
23 THE INTERPRETER: On, rather -- interpreter's correction: On the
24 Mother Superior.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know when Samardzic went to the
1 spot and where the patron saint was Paraskeva with -- she did not have one
2 arm, and the monastery was destroyed several times. It was built in the
3 -- rebuilt in the 14th century, and at the time 90 per cent of the
4 population were Serbs, and since then the monastery has been razed to the
5 ground. This happened, actually, last year.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Very well. All these events that happened at the time were
8 generally known amongst the public, and you as an inhabitant yourself of
9 Kosovo and Metohija at that time and Kosovo Polje, more specifically, an
10 inhabitant of Kosovo Polje, know about this, but tell me this, please:
11 Did the Albanians start up these mass demonstrations in 1968 and in 1981?
12 Did they launch the demonstrations because they were disenfranchised in
13 any way or were there other reasons?
14 A. No. I said that they enjoyed every possible right, that then the
15 former Yugoslavia gave them all these rights. It was exclusively a
16 question of having the Serbs and Montenegrins move out and having an
17 ethnically pure Kosovo and then having Kosovo attached to Albania. First
18 of all to proclaim Kosovo a republic and then have it conjoined with
19 Albania. There was no disenfranchisement and as a citizen of Kosovo and
20 Metohija myself I enjoyed far less political, economic, social, material
21 and other rights than did the Albanians, for instance.
22 Q. Mr. Balevic, I'm going to read to you paragraph 75 of the Kosovo
23 indictment or a portion of that paragraph. This is what it says: "During
24 the 1980s, Serbs voiced concern about discrimination against them by the
25 Kosovo Albanian-led provincial government, led by Kosovo Albanians. While
1 the Kosovo Albanians voiced concern about economic underdevelopment and
2 called for greater political liberalisation and republican status for
3 Kosovo. From 1981 onwards, Kosovo Albanians staged demonstrations, which
4 were suppressed by the SFRY military and police forces of Serbia."
5 My first question for you linked to that quotation is the
6 following: Were the Serbs just discriminated against, as it says here, by
7 the leadership or was terror effected against them?
8 A. Not only were Serbs discriminated against, they could have
9 tolerated that some way, but there was terror launched of all kinds and
10 everything that could be used as a means of terror was used.
11 Q. All right. Let's be more specific. When you say all the means of
12 terror, let me ask you this: Did the -- was there physical survival
13 threatened through that terror?
14 A. Absolutely so, because they were killed, raped, their houses taken
15 over, and so on and so forth.
16 Q. Right. We've clarified that point already. Now, tell me this,
17 please: When it says "underdeveloped Kosovo," which is true, Kosovo was
18 indeed the most -- least developed part, what did the other parts of
19 Yugoslavia do to speed up Kosovo's development? Because you were a
20 functionary in the railways at the time, you were a party official, so you
21 were very informed about matters of this kind. But tell me first, were
22 you informed about such matters?
23 A. Yes, I was.
24 Q. And what measures were undertaken?
25 A. Let me be allowed to explain this at greater length. Financially
1 speaking, the figure, the figures, the money that was invested I cannot
2 quote, but what I can quote is this: I can tell you what was built and
3 constructed after the war that never existed before the war. I'll
4 probably leave something out, but let me just mention one of the most
5 important things that were built and constructed which shows and reflects
6 how much Yugoslavia, led by Tito, gave the Albanians all their rights, did
7 in Kosovo and Metohija.
8 In Kosovska Mitrovica, for example, there was a battery factory
9 and artificial manure factory that was built. Then we had two large
10 thermoelectric power stations, I don't know their power, but they were
11 built in Obilic. Then there was a nitrogen factory that was built, and a
12 large leather concern, leather factory; a sugar factory; a brewery; a
13 textile factory; a large factory in Urosevac, cables factory; an
14 ammunitions factory in Srbica was built. That is the Drenica
15 municipality. The food and food processing industry was built in Kosovo
16 Polje, an oil industry in Urosevac. So those are just some examples of
17 the construction that was going on and all the factories and everything
18 else that had been built and proves that Yugoslavia invested enormous
19 resources into Kosovo province and it is just not true that the Albanians
20 were economically lagging behind -- that economically they were
22 Q. What about the Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija? Were they poorer
23 than the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija? Did they have more reason to be
25 A. No. Quite the contrary. The capital in Kosovo and Metohija was
1 largely in the hands of the Albanians. The Serbs were poorer, and they
2 left Kosovo during World War II never to return because they suffered what
3 they had suffered. So they were not richer than the Albanians, they were
4 poorer, except of course there might have been some exceptions.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Balevic. Now something else in connection to what
6 I quoted a moment ago where it says the SFRY military and police forces of
7 Serbia suppressed these demonstrations staged. Tell me, please, the
8 police forces of Serbia, did they take part in suppressing the
9 demonstrations at all or could they or, rather, could they have suppressed
11 A. The army participated, but let me repeat, at the request of the
12 provincial government. Otherwise, the police forces of Serbia at that
13 time had no right to intervene in Kosovo and Metohija. And there is an
14 official statement made by Minister Lalovic that they mobilised the
15 reserve force three times and let them go three times and waited in a
16 place near Kosovo, but they didn't have the right and authority to enter
17 Kosovo, except when there was an order by the Presidency and when SFRY
18 forces were set up, then the police forces of Serbia, within the
19 composition of those other forces, just like the forces of every other
20 republic, went in to keep law and order and bring law and order back to
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Balevic, I know you must have told us:
23 During these happenings, where were you and what work were you doing in
24 the 1980s?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the 1980s, and I said this -- or,
1 rather, at the end of 1979 to the end of 1984, I was the representative in
2 Bulgaria, but every fortnight I would go back to Pristina and my family
3 continued living in Pristina during that time, if that's the period you're
4 interested in. Everything before and after that period I was in Pristina
5 all the time, in Kosovo all the time. But I had reliable information even
6 then about everything that was going on in Kosovo and Metohija.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. All right. Let's sum up and be more specific. Were you on the
10 spot when the demonstrations took place in 1981? Because this 1981 year
11 was the year you were in Bulgaria as the representative.
12 A. Mr. President, I was invited by my family, that is to say my wife
13 and my son Nebojsa, to come back urgently to Pristina because there was
14 chaos there and the danger that -- they were being jeopardised. They said
15 come back straight away, we don't know what to do. I returned the same
16 day when the demonstrations were actually taking place. I had a lot of
17 trouble getting back to my country and back to the place I lived at
18 Merdare because there was police there, and then Podujevo, and then at the
19 Devet Jugovica there was police there too, so I had a lot of trouble in
20 getting through, and I passed not through the centre of town but I passed
21 by the railway station in order to reach my own house so that I was able
22 to follow. I couldn't be in the spot where the demonstrations were, but I
23 was around that area and was able to see what was happening.
24 They were demonstrations bent on destruction, and there was a lot
25 of destruction.
1 Q. Can you tell us about some other provocations, such as people
2 feigning poisoning, for example, or the miners' strike, or when they were
3 -- the pots and pans they were bashing and banging about, and all this
4 that upset the atmosphere in Kosovo and Pristina.
5 A. Albanian separatists, helped by the Albanian leadership, thought
6 up all sorts of provocation to draw the attention of the international
7 public about their alleged disenfranchisement and thereby to also exert
8 pressure on the Serbs to flee Kosovo and Metohija. Let me mention the
9 example of the students who feigned food poisoning. This happened during
10 those days. It was ludicrous because you cannot poison anyone on a
11 national ethnic basis. Let me mention the case of the school in Pristina
12 where Milosava Miletic was the assistant headmaster when allegedly an
13 Albanian class of pupils had been poisoned. They left the classroom. She
14 stood before them and said, Don't leave, and she put in some Serb children
15 into the class where the Albanians were allegedly poisoned. So this was
16 all a ludicrous situation, a farce.
17 Q. So what was said? They were saying that gas was being introduced,
18 leaked into that classroom somehow?
19 A. Yes. But international experts visited Kosovo and established
20 that there was no such thing, no gas leaks, no poisonings, no poisonous
21 gases, and all that was a fabrication designed to attract the attention of
22 the international public to the so-called terror over Albanians.
23 Second, lighting candles is not an Albanian custom, but they
24 wished to court Catholicism and again to attract attention and support.
25 During those days, processions of people moved through the
1 streets, processions of women with children. Fadil Hoxha and other
2 Albanian leaders were with them, men who used to occupy important offices
3 on the Yugoslav level before that, and they were carrying slogans such as
4 NATO --
5 Q. What period are you talking about?
6 A. Up to 1998, because that's part of the fabrications that were
7 widely mediatised. Then there was this banging of pans.
8 Q. Let's move on. We'll come later to 1998, and we won't have to
9 come back again to this particular event that you already explained.
10 A. But let me just add one more thing in response to your question.
11 In the end of the 1980s, Albanians left their workplaces en masse to prove
12 their alleged disenfranchisement before the international community, and
13 they even demanded decisions on their dismissal on paper so that they can
14 produce them and wave them before the international public. Again I also
15 have to mention the strike of the miners in Kosovska Mitrovica, which was
16 completely stage managed, orchestrated, and that was established also
17 about the Communist Party secretary, Stipe Suvar, who went down into the
18 pits to visit the miners and said, Look, you don't look to me like poor
19 miners. And indeed, there were more civilians down there than miners.
20 Q. After those demonstrations in 1980, did the process of the Serb
21 and Montenegrin exodus from Kosovo intensify?
22 A. It did, to the maximum. After -- in the period between 1981 to
23 1989, 20.000 Serbs and Montenegrins left Kosovo.
24 Q. You were -- you had a senior position in the railway company,
25 which is a major hub of communications in Kosovo, from Pristina, for a
1 long time. What is your experience with that sort of pressure,
2 harassment, precisely in your job, in the railway company?
3 A. I held one of those leading positions, and in the railway traffic,
4 we experienced the same kind of excesses and pressure that jeopardised the
5 safety of railway transport; putting various things on the rails, throwing
6 things at the engineer, people who were driving the trains, endangering
7 the construction of bridges, rupturing of telephone lines and transmission
9 I wrote a very official brief that contains a lot more than I just
10 mentioned in passing here, and I submitted that brief to the minister of
11 the interior. It was later published because I was visited by a
12 Mr. Kordic, a very well known writer, and I told him, by the way, that he
13 has to be very careful because both he and I may end up badly if it is
14 found out where he got his information, and he wrote a book, this
15 Mr. Barjaktarevic containing all that information. I believe the book is
16 in evidence.
17 The safety of railroad traffic was in grave danger, to put it very
19 Q. On a parallel track, what was happening at the same time with the
20 desecration of cultural monuments, Serb or Christian cemeteries in the
21 broadest sense? We had the examples of Bresje, Cabas [phoen], Pod Vitija,
23 A. Bresje used to be my local area where I used to be the president
24 of the regional provincial committees. I visited the place the day after
25 the incident. The photographs on the gravestones were erased. The
1 monuments on the gravestones were toppled, desecrated. I also visited the
2 grave of recently buried babies that had been exhumed. A lot was written
3 about that in the media. I visited the place to check personally.
4 And the other incidents were also confirmed at a meeting in Kosovo
5 Polje that was held on the 24th, 25th April. You can find it in the book.
6 Q. What do you know about the forcible eviction and takeover of
8 A. I have a friend, Mr. Cubranovic, who used to work together with me
9 in the railway company. He was originally from Pec and lived in Guca Gora
10 village. Land was taken from him by force, usurped. Other people worked
11 it without his permission. He reported the incidents, and after spending
12 -- after the perpetrator was sentenced to ten days in gaol, he continued
13 doing the same thing and there was nothing else that could be done.
14 Q. You said ten days in gaol?
15 A. Yes, that was the maximum sentence for usurping land.
16 Q. What do you know about the burning of orchards and harvest?
17 A. A lot of information was available about the torching of harvests,
18 wheat and other crops. I can claim with absolute certainty that these
19 things happened.
20 Q. Do you know anything about the policy of employment in Kosovo in
21 those decades, about the so-called principle of national or ethnic
22 representation that was in force then?
23 A. The policy of the Albanian leadership in Kosovo and Metohija was
24 the principle of overwhelming majority. The presentation was at a ratio
25 of 6 to 1 or 7 to 1. In every unit there were six or seven Albanians
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 employed for every Serb that was hired. So Serbs had to wait a long time
2 to get jobs and that was one of the things made them leave.
3 Q. All right, Mr. Balevic. If I understood you correctly, it didn't
4 matter how qualified or educated you were, how well trained for the job,
5 the only thing that mattered was ethnicity in order to satisfy this
6 principle of ethnic representation, or did I misunderstand you?
7 A. No, you did not misunderstand. In many cases, moreover, the
8 Albanians who were eventually hired were much less trained and less
9 qualified than the Serb candidates. And even the football team that had
10 been branded as Serb had to hire an Albanian player just to make it
12 Q. All right. Do you have any personal knowledge about the treatment
13 of Albanian immigrants from Albania from that time?
14 A. They were welcomed. They were really cordially welcomed. I don't
15 think they were refugees, I think it was an organised movement from the
16 Albania then led by Enver Hodza. They came on their tractors with their
17 cattle, with their entire luggage, families. Land was given them, land
18 that was sometimes not available, that had to be purchased from the state
19 budget to be given to them, all to the detriment and at the expense of
20 Serbs and Montenegrins.
21 Q. In Pristina, where you used to live, there was a university where
22 Albanian immigrants from Albania were given spots. Not as students but as
23 lecturers and professors.
24 A. Yes. Many Albanians who were treated and privileged as refugees
25 whereas in fact they were not were hired by the University of Pristina.
1 Even some Albanian professors, Qosja and others, used to say that they
2 were much lower in qualification than those that had graduated from the
3 university in Pristina. They were hired, nevertheless, but not for the
4 sake of giving them employment. They were hired in order to indoctrinate
5 young Albanians against living together with Serbs and Montenegrins in
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry to interrupt you. It's time for the
8 first break. In fact, it's past time. We'll rise for 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
10 --- Upon commencing at 10.55 a.m.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, please continue.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Balevic, do you remember how population censuses were made in
14 Kosovo and Metohija, how the Roma, the Gorani, the Muslims were treated?
15 A. Mr. President Milosevic, the census of 1971 of 1991 were complete
16 forgeries. For instance, the municipality of Glina, which had 300 Roma
17 houses turned out after the census not to have any. Similar were the
18 cases of the Gorani and others during the censuses. But this is a
19 specific case that proves that censuses were made in such a way to
20 artificially increase the number of Albanians versus the number of Serbs
21 and others.
22 Q. Are you saying that the Roma, Gorani, and others were shown as
23 Albanians during the censuses?
24 A. Absolutely, in order to deteriorate the ethnic structure of Kosovo
25 and Metohija to the benefit of Albanians and to the detriment of Serbs,
1 Montenegrins, and others.
2 Q. What do you know about the pressures exerted on non-Albanians in
3 various companies and enterprises?
4 A. There was a lot of pressure of every kind in the course of
5 bilingual administration and bureaucracy. For instance, various papers
6 and decisions were written and issued to Serbs in Albanian which they
7 couldn't read. At various sessions, meetings of the electorate or their
8 working staff were held in Albanian. There was interpretation provided in
9 some cases, in others not, and the message to Serbs was, "What are you
10 looking for here? You should leave."
11 Q. Tell me, did Serbs, Montenegrins, and others -- other
12 non-Albanians have equal treatment in medical institutions? Could they
13 feel safe?
14 A. Unfortunately, not, and I'll give you an example to prove this.
15 The maternity clinic in Pristina, led at the time by Mrs. Mekuli, wife of
16 the famous Albanian writer Mr. Mekuli, where newborns of Serb and
17 Montenegrin ethnicity died en masse after delivery, because Serb and
18 Montenegrin mothers were forced to stop labour there and go to
19 neighbouring towns like Skopje, Prokuplje, Nis, and others. The head of
20 the maternity ward behaved in a way that I will try to illustrate with an
21 example, an example that shows that Serb and Montenegrin women were right
22 to doubt her ethics.
23 During the demonstrations of 1981, there were people injured, and
24 she told them, upon meeting them, "Congratulations on your wounds,
25 heroes." And since it was decided that it was dangerous to send women to
1 that clinic for delivery, it was decided further to build a maternity
2 clinic in Kosovo Polje in 1987. However, once it was built and the
3 foundations were ceremonially opened by Minister Todorovic, it was decided
4 to use it for another purpose. It never became a maternity clinic.
5 Q. Kosovo Polje is one of the few settlements that are purely Serb;
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was the percentage of Serb residents in Kosovo Polje at the
10 A. At the time, there were more than 60 per cent Serbs in Kosovo
11 Polje and in the surrounding villages Dobri Dug, Nakarade and so on,
12 Albanians lived. But over 60 per cent of residents in Kosovo Polje were
14 Q. What was the personnel policy in Kosovo Polje now that we're
15 dealing with your municipality?
16 A. Mr. President, unfortunately, the personnel policy was contrary to
17 the ethnic composition and the composition of residents in Kosovo Polje.
18 I will give you an example. The director of abattoir was Avdi Musa, an
19 Albanian from Podujevo, which is some 40 kilometres from Kosovo Polje.
20 When he was appointed to that post, he brought with him some 40 Albanian
21 workers. They came to work in the factory so as to change the ethnic
22 composition of the factory workers. The director of the cattle farm was
23 also an Albanian.
24 Another factory director was from Pec. I do not remember his
25 name. The director of Zitopromet was also an Albanian, Esmeti Fablia
1 [phoen], and the other one whose name I couldn't remember was called Feta
2 Gravci [phoen]. The director of ZTP in Kosovo Polje was first Zenun
3 Beqaj, an Albanian; and then Xheladin Sahiti, also an Albanian. So that
4 most industrial enterprises except for the pig-raising farm, which was
5 headed by a Serb because an Albanian did not want to occupy that post,
6 were led by Albanians.
7 Q. What about toponyms and place names and Cyrillic script used for
8 those place names?
9 A. Well, there were various requests lodged by Albanian nationalists
10 aimed at ensuring that the churches are marked in the same ways as
11 mosques. The names of towns were changed in the entire Kosovo and
12 Metohija. For example, Urosevac was called Ferizaj, Dzeneral Jankovic was
13 called Hani I Elezit, Dobra Voda was called Ujmiri, Kosovo Polje Fushe
14 Kosova, and what is interesting to note is that there was a debate which
15 name should be placed first, the Albanian or the Serbian one. They
16 requested that the Albanian name go first because Albanians had majority
17 in Kosovo and Metohija. However, Serbs resisted this and they applied a
18 horizontal principle which was not so easy to enforce. So it was a mixed
20 Q. Since you were an official at the time, please tell us, did the
21 authorities in Kosovo and Metohija show readiness and intention to prevent
22 terror against Serbs and Montenegrins and other non-Albanian residents?
23 Did they attempt to prevent the pressure to have these people leave?
24 A. Mr. President, had the state leadership and the party leadership
25 of Kosovo and Metohija wanted to prevent everything, had this leadership
1 wanted to prevent everything that was happening, there would not have been
2 any exodus of Serb and Montenegrin and other residents.
3 Q. Now, please tell me, did the state and party organs condemn the
4 terror that was being carried out against Serbs and Montenegrins and other
5 non-Albanians in Kosovo?
6 A. Some leaders did condemn it verbally, but just to show you how
7 strong that condemnation was, these people in fact supported the adoption
8 of the law banning the return of Serbs and Montenegrins. They allowed the
9 name of Kosovo and Metohija to be changed in Kosovo only. They also
10 supported the 1974 constitution, they supported the introduction of an
11 Albanian flag, and so on, so what kind of support they could have given to
12 the cause.
13 Q. All right. You Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija, did you bear in
14 mind that the Republic of Serbia had a constitutional obligation --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The audio feed was cut off for a
16 minute. Could Mr. Milosevic please repeat the question.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you're being asked to repeat the
18 question because the audio feed was cut off.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I see that my mike is on
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Therefore, you Serbian and Montenegrin residents of Kosovo and
23 Metohija, did you know that the Republic of Serbia was constitutionally
24 duty-bound to protect your rights and freedoms because you were Serbian
1 A. As was stated in the constitution, Serbia was supposed to
2 intervene. However, its authorities in that old constitution were
3 limited. Despite that, Serbia could have intervened with the federal
4 organs and provincial organs to prevent this. However, its constitutional
5 authorities were quite limited.
6 Q. What I'm asking you about is whether you were aware of that. Did
7 you know that Serbia had no executive or judicial authorities in Kosovo?
8 A. Yes, we knew that because -- we knew that Serbia had no
9 authorities in the province, however, Serbs and Montenegrins expected
10 Serbia to do something, to take some measures to save what was possible to
11 save in Kosovo and Metohija.
12 Q. Please explain to us, how did it come about that Serbs and
13 Montenegrins engaged in this self-organisation in Kosovo and Metohija?
14 A. Well, first we started with various gatherings in 1981 and 1983 in
15 Kosovo Polje, Prelluzhe, Vucitrn, Pec, Gnjilane, Gracanica, and so on.
16 Throughout Kosovo various gatherings were held.
17 There were many delegations which went to federal organs which
18 agreed to see them. So this was a mass movement undertaken by Serbs and
19 Montenegrins from Kosovo who sought solution for their problems and who
20 wanted Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo and Metohija to be safe.
21 Q. You told us that you went to speak with various highly placed
22 officials. Therefore, please tell us, what politicians at the federal
23 republican and provincial level, at the level of the province of Kosovo,
24 saw these delegations of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija?
25 A. I believe that the first delegation went to visit Nikola Ljubicic,
1 who at the time was the president of the Presidency. I think that we can
2 find the date if that is needed. Therefore a delegation of Serbs and
3 Montenegrins went to see him. He greeted them rather poorly. It would
4 have been better had they not gone there. He showed no understanding for
5 the problems of Serbs and Montenegrins.
6 Then the second delegation, which was not really a delegation but
7 a large assembly of people, went to see Bozo Markovic at the Assembly.
8 There they met Ilijaz Kurteshi, who was the president of the Federal
9 Assembly. They did not want to go and speak to him, and they had good
10 reasons for that, because it was precisely the Albanian leadership that
11 had expelled them from Kosovo.
12 I think that they saw Lazar Mojsov and Bogdan Trifunovic. They
13 talked to them. And Bozo Markovic said at the time, "You cannot lead
14 these people in this state. I have to lead them." And this is when that
15 famous sentence was uttered, "Your children have peaceful sleep. I want
16 my children to sleep peacefully at night as well."
17 Lazar Mojsov said to these people not a hair on your head should
18 be harmed. And when these Serbs and Montenegrins returned to Kosovo, the
19 terror continued despite of the assurances received from Lazar Mojsov.
20 Q. Well, do you have any positive examples that you can quote now?
21 A. Yes. I was just about to say that. They visited Patriarch
22 German, who showed understanding for their cause. They asked for his
23 blessing. In addition, they went to Dusan Ckrebic, and he assured them he
24 would do everything that was possible to ensure that Serbs and
25 Montenegrins remain in Kosovo and Metohija and are spared from terror.
1 A group of 16 intellectuals, including Jago Zelenovic, Odalovic,
2 Moravcic, and so on, visited Milanko Renovica, who was the president of
3 the Presidency of the Central Committee of the League of Communists for
4 Yugoslavia, to seek help to protect Serbdom, to ensure that Serbs remained
5 living in Kosovo and Metohija and are spared from terror. He did not show
6 much understanding. Therefore, Ckrebic was the only positive experience.
7 These intellectuals, upon their return to Kosovo and Metohija, had
8 a lot a problems with the security organs, such as Jago Zelenovic and so
10 Q. Who were the members of those delegations of Serbs and
11 Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija?
12 A. Apart from this group of intellectuals, everybody who was in the
13 position to join the delegation went. In some delegations there were even
14 several Albanian members. There were some Albanians in certain
15 delegations, however, they did not want to publicise their presence and
17 Q. Were you a member of any delegation?
18 A. I was in a delegation where there were about 15 members who
19 visited Dizdarevic. He was the president of the Presidency. This was a
20 delegation whose arrival was -- had been announced. There were a lot of
21 problems in arranging that meeting. We arrived at around 10.00 p.m., his
22 Chief of Staff met us, told us that Dizdarevic would see us but we needed
23 to wait. We told him we didn't want to see the Chief of Staff but wanted
24 to see Dizdarevic himself.
25 Later on he did meet with us. There were some 15 of us in that
1 delegation, 15 of us Serbs. Although he already knew a lot, we told him
2 about the sufferings and the plight of the Serbs and Montenegrins. We
3 told him that there were 15.000 people waiting for us in front of the
4 culture hall in Kosovo Polje to see what were the results of the meeting.
5 He promised that he would help us, he would undertake measures.
6 I would like to point out that one member of the delegation, Ljubo
7 Vujovic asked him then, "Comrade President, what needs to happen for the
8 army of Yugoslavia to intervene in Kosovo and Metohija to prevent what is
9 happening to the Serbs?" And he told him if the army cannot arrive at the
10 spot within half an hour, then it's too late.
11 We returned to Kosovo Polje early in the morning. We conveyed the
12 information that we heard and told them about the talks we had with
14 Q. All right. As far as I remember - and you can correct me if I'm
15 wrong - my impression was that you had a very positive assessment of the
16 treatment you received in that meeting with Raif Dizdarevic.
17 A. Yes. Our impression was just as you said; that he showed
18 understanding, that he said he would take measures, and that he had a --
19 he was -- he had a Yugoslav orientation.
20 Q. All right. There were many of these delegations, some numbering a
21 lot of members, and these delegations felt -- met with a lot of
22 politicians and there were also a lot of politicians that came to your
23 communities and spoke to the people there. Is that right or not?
24 I remember, for example, that Drnovsek, president of the
25 Presidency of Yugoslavia, came to visit you.
1 A. I probably will not be able to list those visits chronologically,
2 but I will try to remember the names who came to Pristina and Kosovo
3 Polje. President of the Presidency, Ivan Stambolic --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't think we need that level of detail. We
5 don't need that level of detail for this background matter. You may
6 consider that you can move fairly quickly through these background
7 matters, which, concededly, are referred to in the indictment.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Balevic, please tell us, the Serbs and Montenegrins held
11 protest gatherings, rallies. Could you tell us something about them.
12 A. Well, the Judge just told me not to go over these visits.
13 Q. Yes, that's right. We don't need to go into details, that is not
14 the most important information.
15 A. Would you please repeat your question?
16 Q. Serbs and Montenegrins held protest rallies, gatherings. Could
17 you tell us when and where they were held, and tell us whether these
18 protest rallies and gatherings were peaceful or violent.
19 A. Well, it depends on a case-by-case basis, depending on what
20 excesses and crimes had committed. Initially these gatherings were held
21 indoors. However, if more strong condemnation was in place, such as after
22 the events in Divaca [phoen] and so on, then rallies and gatherings were
23 held out in the open, in front of schools and large buildings and so on.
24 But I can tell you that all gatherings that were held in the area
25 where I was present, no incidents ever took place during those rallies.
1 Everything was conducted with dignity. And these rallies were a last
2 resort for the Serbs and Montenegrins fighting for their survival.
3 Q. We could say that you have a very important role because you were
4 one of the organisers, and you personally were a host at --
5 A. Could you please repeat your question, because I didn't hear you
7 Q. I was saying, we'll get to some specific questions, which are very
8 important ones in view of the fact that you were one of the organisers
9 yourself and that you were a host to the meetings and rallies held in
10 Kosovo Polje, first of all on the 20th and then on the 24th, between the
11 24th and 25th of April, 1987. So before I ask you my question with
12 respect to those meetings and rallies, I'm going to read out to you. It
13 is paragraph 76 of the Kosovo indictment, which states the following: "In
14 April 1987, Slobodan Milosevic, who had been elected as Chairman of the
15 Presidium of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Serbia
16 in 1986, travelled to Kosovo. The meetings with the local Serb leaders
17 and in a speech before a crowd of Serbs, Slobodan Milosevic endorsed a
18 Serbian nationalist agenda. In so doing, he broke with the party and
19 government policy, which had restricted nationalist expression in the SFRY
20 since the time of its founding by Josip Broz Tito after the Second World
21 War. Thereafter, Slobodan Milosevic exploited a growing wave of Serbian
22 nationalism in order to strengthen centralised rule in the SFRY."
23 Let us go back for a moment to this. What it says here is that
24 Slobodan Milosevic directly supported and endorsed the Serbian nationalist
25 programme, or agenda, as it says here.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender an exhibit
2 now. It is entitled Sleepless Nights, and it is the transcript from these
3 meetings and rallies in April, first of all on the 20th, and then between
4 the 24th and 25th of April.
5 And, Mr. Robinson, from this book there are some 37 pages that
6 have been pinpointed, and Professor Rakic sent them to be translated. The
7 translation into English is not yet available, so I shall just be quoting
8 briefly from certain passages that have not been translated. Some of them
9 have been translated, and they accompany a tape that I'm going to play.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: When did you send them in for translation,
11 Mr. Milosevic?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The translation was requested --
13 well, I can't give you an exact date, but it was sometime towards the end
14 of December. And in any case, sufficient time, sufficiently early on for
15 it to be translated prior to these proceedings here.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: The end of December. I don't think that would be
17 sufficient lead time in accordance with the administrative practice, but
18 you may put it on the -- what do you plan to do? Do you plan to read
19 these short passages?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I intend to read several passages,
21 only a few passages from what has not been translated, whereas the portion
22 relating to the rally itself at which allegedly, as it says in this
23 paragraph, in 77, I supported the nationalist agenda, you have that on the
24 tape. And there is a translation to follow the tape. So I think that's
25 all in order.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You can read some short passages. It will be
2 translated. But I don't want you to read for long periods. Read a
3 passage and then you're going to ask the witness to comment on it.
4 You didn't tell us who authored Sleepless Nights.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sleepless Nights was the book of
6 transcripts. The author of the book is Radojica Barjaktarevic, and the
7 book was published in 1995, and it contains everything that took place at
8 the rally held on the 24th and 25th of April and the previous meeting.
9 But let's take things one by one in order.
10 Before I read out any passages at all, let me ask the witness
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Balevic, I came to Kosovo Polje on the 20th of April myself;
14 is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who invited me to come to Kosovo Polje in the first place?
17 A. You were invited to come to Kosovo Polje by the Serbs and
18 Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija. We --
19 Q. All right. Fine. Now, was it envisaged, since you invited me,
20 that a meeting of some kind be held with the representatives of the Serbs
21 and Montenegrins of Kosovo Polje?
22 A. For the situation to be clearer with respect to the meeting,
23 Mr. President, may I be allowed to state this: The first meeting that was
24 held prior to the other meeting was the one held on the 16th of April,
25 1987, and it was held in front of Dr. Zoran Grujic's house. And he wrote
1 a letter to all the organs, federal organs and municipal organs, that he
2 was leaving Kosovo with his family and relations because of the terror
3 exerted against his family and the persecution. And because of the letter
4 he had sent with those contents, a large group of Serbs and Montenegrins
5 rallied together in front of his house.
6 I went to the rally as president of the regional conference,
7 because it -- the relay baton race was to be run, the traditional relay
8 baton race was to be run through those parts.
9 So I went there and I asked the people to dissemble peacefully.
10 They agreed to do so only when I had promised that we would invite the
11 president of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of
12 Yugoslavia, who was Slobodan Milosevic at the time, to come to Kosovo
13 Polje himself. And we wrote to the president of the Central Committee of
14 the League of Communists of Serbia. It could have been some other person,
15 some other Milosevic, but you were there, you happened to be there, so we
16 invited to you come. You accepted our invitation, and I promised that a
17 meeting of the Serbs - and there were too many to be held in a hall - that
18 they be held somewhere else, that is to say in front of --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you have answered the question
20 sufficiently. The point is clear. Let us move on.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Very well. So when I arrived, you had planned to have a meeting
23 and a rally to evoke the problems that you were facing and that were
24 troubling the citizens and inhabitants of Kosovo. And you first thought
25 that the meeting would be held in the hall of the railway company.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And why wasn't it held in the railway company hall?
3 A. That was impossible, because the people, the citizens, the Serbs
4 and Montenegrins, learnt of your arrival, that you would be coming,
5 although we kept it secret until the late afternoon, but people got to
6 hear about it, that you would come to the area, and then it was impossible
7 to have thousands of citizens accommodated in that hall.
8 Q. So you're saying that the hall was too small because there were
9 several thousand people that wanted to take part and the hall was too
10 small; is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. So where did we all go then? They were in front -- they had met
13 in front of the railway building, the railway station, in fact, so where
14 did you go?
15 A. We went to the Aca Marovic primary school building, where you
16 delivered a speech.
17 Q. Very well. I'm just going to read out one passage from the speech
18 I delivered on the 20 --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. It's on page 66 of the B/C/S text in the book. That is a
22 collection of all these speeches, and it comes under one heading called
23 Sleepless Nights published by the author Radojica Barjaktarevic. I'm
24 going to read the last paragraph of that speech of mine. I say:
25 "Comrades, the problems --
1 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... overhead
2 projector. I'm sorry to be so technical, but --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, let it be placed on the ELMO.
4 MR. NICE: -- who read the language to follow it.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Fine. That's a very good idea.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Balevic, would you be kind enough to turn to page 66 now,
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And could the usher place this page
10 on the overhead projector, but Mr. Balevic has the book in front of him.
11 And I can hand you a copy myself.
12 Can you find page 66 and then place it on the overhead projector.
13 It is the paragraph before the heading "The people are electing their
14 delegates." The usher will help us out and place it on the ELMO. Is that
15 it? Can we take a look? It's at the top of the page. Fine. That's the
16 paragraph I wish to quote.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. It says: "Comrades, the problems in Kosovo can be resolved only
19 if we strengthen the front of the Serbs, Montenegrins and Albanians and
20 all the other nations and nationalities living in Kosovo who are capable
21 of effecting those changes. It should be strengthened not because we wish
22 to realise a principled slogan about brotherhood and unity. The slogan of
23 brotherhood and unity in Kosovo has its foundations in the fact that it is
24 in the best interests of all the inhabitants of Kosovo to have Kosovo
25 develop speedily, successfully, regardless of whether they are a Serb, a
1 Montenegrin or Albanian or whether they belong to some other nationality
2 or ethnic group or some other ethnicity or nation. That, Comrades, is the
3 material basis upon which we must realise the programme of the League of
4 Communists pertaining to Kosovo. And, ladies and gentlemen, that is the
5 groundwork that we're going to be victorious on. Any other foundations
6 based on national intolerance and the dissemination of national hatred
7 cannot be a progressive basis for communists and the League of Communists
8 itself. Socialist Yugoslavia can solve the problem of Kosovo only on the
9 platform of brotherhood and unity and national equality. And that is how
10 it will indeed be resolved."
11 So is that then the substance of what I said when I addressed
12 those many people that had rallied in the courtyard on the 20th of April,
13 the courtyard of the Aca Marovic school in Kosovo?
14 A. Are you asking me?
15 Q. Yes, I am asking you.
16 A. Yes, that is the substance. Yes, that is the substance of it, the
17 substance of what you said in Kosovo Polje. And I think that any comment
18 here is superfluous.
19 Q. Yes. There is no need. I'm just asking you, was that authentic?
20 Is that what I said?
21 A. Yes, it is authentic. That is what you said.
22 Q. And then we decided that in the space of several days, a meeting
23 and a rally would be held where you and your delegates would be elected
24 and given the floor to present the troubles and problems they were facing.
25 Is that what we had decided at that Kosovo Polje meeting?
1 A. Yes, that's quite right.
2 Q. Thank you. Very well. Now, this brings me to another rally, the
3 meeting that was organised pursuant to that agreement, and that subsequent
4 meeting was held -- actually, it began in the late afternoon of the 24th
5 of April and ended on the 25th of April; is that right? Is that right,
6 Mr. Balevic?
7 A. Yes, that's right. It lasted for about 13 hours.
8 Q. Very well. Now, who chaired or presided over that meeting?
9 A. I as the president of the Regional Conference of the League of
10 Communists of Kosovo Polje, and my name is Mitar Balevic. I did.
11 Q. Fine. Thank you. Now, I come to another passage that has not yet
12 been translated, so I'll read just a few sentences out. It is from the
13 introductory remarks made by you as the chairman of the meeting, and this
14 is what you said --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: What page?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is page 91 and goes on to page 93
17 of the book.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do you plan to read 91 to 93?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no, no. No. A passage is
20 highlighted on page 91, and it is four lines, and then on page 93 a few
21 more lines, but they have been highlighted, and I am bearing in mind the
22 fact that in point 76, it says that I endorsed a Serbian nationalist
23 agenda at the time, and now the chairman who was there at the time put
24 forward a nationalist programme that I supported. And I'm going to quote
25 what Mr. Balevic said at that time, and you will find it on page 91.
1 This is what he says: "The political security situation in the
2 region is burdened by -- makes it difficult or is burdened by hostile
3 positions, especially Albanian nationalism and irredentism and the
4 continued exodus of Serbs and Montenegrins. The activities of the
5 bourgeois right hand movement and fanning the flames of nationalism, and
6 goes on to speak of the difficult economic situation," et cetera, et
7 cetera, and I'll leave out that next passage.
8 And now we come to page 93. There's just a portion of the
9 sentence, the first sentence on page 92. It says: "We have greater
10 knowledge and consciousness with the leading working people and citizens
11 of all the nations and nationalities as to the detriments and dangers that
12 nationalism present."
13 And then in the next paragraph we have the following: They speak
14 about the struggle against all nationalisms and then says: "Our nations
15 and nationalities' options as well as those of all the citizens of working
16 class in the region to persevere and live together in the area under the
17 skies," et cetera, et cetera. And then it says: "This was confirmed by
18 the relay baton that was -- that passed by in 1987 and it was the symbol
19 of brotherhood and unity wherein lies our strength." And then he says:
20 "I'm convinced that through the discussions we're going to have now and
21 in the future we'll continue along that road because we cannot digress
22 from Tito's road and Tito's course."
23 That is what Mr. Balevic said. He's sitting here with us now and
24 this is allegedly supposed to be some Serbian nationalist agenda which I
25 allegedly supported at that rally, whereas in actual fact what I read out
1 and what Mr. Balevic said I assume clearly denies any ideas of any kind of
2 nationalist agenda here.
3 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... reading the
4 passage but I think the comments should be reserved for another time.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you are not giving evidence. You
6 must elicit evidence from the -- from the witness. What you have done is
7 simply to read a passage and then make a comment. You must reserve that
8 for your closing address.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Fine, Mr. Robinson.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Balevic, I've read out several passages from your speech.
12 Now, what you said at the time, was it any kind of Serbian nationalist
13 programme or agenda?
14 A. Well, it is ludicrous to observe that what I said at that rally,
15 that it can be called Serbian nationalism. It seems that we have put
16 things topsy-turvy there because there's not a single word or any idea of
17 Serb nationalism at all, because I appeal to brotherhood and unity and
18 those sentiments. I even quoted President Tito. So any other comment is
19 superfluous. We're not dealing with any kind of Serbian nationalism.
20 Then if you did so, you would have to proclaim that all the Serbs that
21 were in Kosovo were in favour of Serb nationalism, which is a ludicrous
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said in fact, Mr. Milosevic, I believe there's
24 a passage in which the witness warned against the dangers of nationalism.
25 Is that so, Mr. Balevic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. I cautioned against
2 those dangers, and I warned that we would also fight against Serb
3 nationalism wherever it appears. But it cannot be interpreted as an
4 expression of Serb nationalism here.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: What prompted you to make that caution?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What prompted me was the fear that
7 some Serb nationalism -- nationalists could show up and abuse our rally
8 and endanger our brotherhood and unity in Kosovo Polje, because at that
9 time on that occasion we are condemning any attempts at expressing Serb
10 nationalism. Which doesn't mean to say that this particular speech
11 contains a single word of Serb nationalism or that there was anything of
12 that kind for Mr. Milosevic to support.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic, continue.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Balevic, now we will see on our computer screens some footage
16 that was broadcast by our television at the time. Only a part of it
17 because the TV could not broadcast everything.
18 Just one explanation you will be able to see on this film. When
19 the meeting began, do you remember some event or incident? We heard some
20 racket outside the building?
21 A. Yes. When the meeting began, I was informed that the police had
22 used truncheons against some citizens who had gathered outside and there
23 was a crowd of about 15.000. That was the estimate made then.
24 I asked you to go outside the building and to address the
25 citizens, and I asked Azem Vllasi to do the same.
1 Q. Azem Vllasi was whom?
2 A. President of the Provincial Committee of the League of Communists
3 of Kosovo and Metohija. So you went outside and I followed you but there
4 was a huge racket, cries and shouts of Yugoslavia, the singing of the
5 hymn, people shouting "We want freedom," and the first people who came up
6 to you said "We are being beaten, President." And you answered that
7 little group around you, "They must not. They must not beat you." But
8 there was a huge racket in which you couldn't hear anything, so I returned
9 inside, and I told the technician, an Albanian, to put the loudspeakers on
10 the window so you could address the citizenry from the window.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice is on his feet.
12 MR. NICE: I don't know how much of the video the accused is going
13 to play. The video itself lasts 40 minutes. I don't know if there is a
14 transcript in B/C/S that runs with the video. I don't believe one's been
15 provided to us. And if it does exist, I don't know whether it's been put
16 in for translation.
17 While I'm on my feet, I'm going to be much assisted by knowing
18 when it's likely that we're going to receive English translations of the
19 speeches of the accused and of others contained in tab 1, because in order
20 to deal with them comprehensively and properly, while of course I have
21 people who can read them, I really do need translations to deal with them.
22 JUDGE KWON: The index says it will be available on 31st January.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I think -- I think that we do
24 have a translation for this, a translation of everything that we will hear
25 on tape. We will play the tape now. It is a very important meeting
2 As you see, it demonstrates an entire paragraph of this indictment
3 which refers to this meeting as a key political event, and you can see on
4 this footage what the television broadcast on that day, or maybe the
5 following day because the meeting went on until late.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... minutes?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I want the entire 40
8 minutes played. It's not only my speech. Those are sequences of speeches
9 by other people who attended that meeting. Not only my speech. There is
10 also that incident outside the building which has been presented in a
11 distorted way very, very often.
12 I just want everybody to see what the TV broadcast then. I was
13 not able to edit the tape; that is what we received.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: You should be required to provide refreshments,
15 Mr. Milosevic. Very well.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if there is a transcript of all of it, I'm
17 not sure that we've tracked it down. No objection that I'm aware of to
18 seeing the video; indeed, it may be interesting and/or helpful, but I do
19 think that if there is a transcript available, even if it's only available
20 in B/C/S, it's going to help our dealing with it if we have it ahead of
21 the video being played.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Higgins.
23 MS. HIGGINS: Your Honour, I may be wrong but it seems to me that
24 the translation is 5.1, which includes references and speeches made by
25 other participants. I stand to be corrected by Mr. Milosevic if I am
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you check that, Mr. Milosevic. Tab 5.1, is
3 that the translation?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. It says here VHS tape,
5 Meeting of the -- Meeting in Kosovo Polje, held on April 24, 25, 1987.
6 That's tab 5. It has been translated. Everything that you will hear on
7 tape has been translated into English.
8 And as for the transcript in B/C/S, or, rather, the Serbian
9 language, it is here in the book by Barjaktarevic, because this book
10 includes the entire debate from that meeting, from the rally, including
11 what I said at the end.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Forty minutes will take us beyond the
13 break. We will break at a quarter past twelve.
14 MR. NICE: If it's part of tab 1, can we simply know, and I'm sure
15 the interpreters will find this helpful, I've seen them searching for the
16 document as well, can we be told where we start. And if there are breaks,
17 as there may be, between the text that we'll find in tab 1 and the film,
18 it may be prudent at any such break that we establish where we pick the
19 text up again. Not only in my interests but in the interests of the
20 interpreters who are much assisted in exercises like this in having a
21 written text to follow, I think. And I see some nods of assent from
22 within the booths.
23 MS. HIGGINS: Your Honours, it's 5.1, not tab 1.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: 5.1. And where does the tape begin,
25 Mr. Milosevic? Is it on page 1 or ...
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll tell you in a minute,
2 Mr. Robinson. In the book by Radojica Barjaktarevic, Exhibit -- or,
3 rather, tab 1, Sleepless Nights, the opening part of the rally, starting
4 with the speech of Mr. Balevic who presided over the rally, it starts on
5 page 89 of the book, and then the following pages record the contributions
6 of various other participants in the rally, and my own speech starts on
7 page 309 and ends on page 316. As you see, it's less than seven pages.
8 Less than seven pages of the total number is my speech. The rest are
9 contributions by other participants, however, it was not fit for broadcast
10 by television in its entirety at the time, so you will not see it all on
11 this footage, but in the book, you will find all these contributions.
12 My speech was not cut on the TV footage. It is there in the -- in
13 its entirety, what I said and what you referred to as my nationalist
15 I think we could see it all. We could perhaps move the break a
16 little, postpone the break so we can finish with the viewing and then have
17 a shorter third session. In any case, it would seem to me to be a more
18 rational use of time, if that's convenient to you.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks for taking over the proceedings,
20 Mr. Milosevic. We might consider that. Yes. We'll see it through to the
21 end, yes.
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Higgins, can you clarify one thing for me,
23 please. I think Mr. Milosevic is making the point that the whole
24 proceedings are in the book which is tab 1. But tab 5.1 is a transcript
25 of the video which we're about to see. Now, does tab 5.1 have both an
1 English and a B/C/S version of what's on the video?
2 MS. HIGGINS: Yes, Your Honour. The transcript that you see at
3 5.1, which is in English, if you follow it through, you go past a French
4 version, and then you come on to what appears to me to be the B/C/S
5 version of the English version. That's as far as I can assist.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: So that's what the interpreters should be looking
8 MS. HIGGINS: As I understand, yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
10 MR. NICE: Except that I think the accused was saying that 5.1 is
11 just his speech.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: No.
13 MS. HIGGINS: No.
14 MR. NICE: In which case if I'm wrong -- my understanding was that
15 it was going to start with the other contributions earlier, but let us
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us begin.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You should just bear in mind that
19 the tape, the sound is in Serbia. It doesn't start here. Please, this is
20 not the beginning of the tape. The tape starts much earlier. You can see
21 people coming out of the hall. It should be rewound to the beginning, not
22 started with my speech. There is something before that speech and we will
23 come to the speech later.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: The technicians are rewinding the tape, I
1 [Videotape played]
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is the beginning, but I have no
3 sound. It says: "Report from Kosovo Polje, Television Belgrade." Before
4 that, the anchorman announced that we were awaiting to be joined by other
5 TV centres; Zagreb, Sarajevo, and everywhere else because Kosovo was the
6 focus --
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] The rally scheduled for Monday was
9 supposed to include 300 people selected to attend a citizens' assembly of
10 Kosovo Polje scheduled for Monday. For the most part they were
11 representatives of the population of Kosovo Polje and the surrounding
13 "When Slobodan Milosevic, president of the Central Committee of
14 the League of Communists of Serbia, Azem Vllasi, Kolj Siroka, a member of
15 the Presidency of the Central Committee for Yugoslavia, accompanied by
16 provincial leaders arrived in Kosovo Polje at 6.00 p.m., some 15.000
17 citizens had assembled in front of the cultural hall. As soon as the
18 meeting began an incident took place when the police using truncheons
19 attempted to drive the mass away from the cultural hall. Citizens reacted
20 by throwing back stones and hard objects. The person presiding over the
21 Assembly in the hall then asked Slobodan Milosevic to step out and make an
22 appeal to the citizens in front of the cultural hall. Under such
23 conditions, no dialogue was possible. Loudspeakers were put on the window
24 and Slobodan Milosevic addressed people from the window."
25 "Mr. Milosevic: Comrades, we have to work to hear out all your
1 delegates. Under the circumstances, we will be discussing what you have
2 entrusted your people to say. Do, however, allow us to hold a meeting,
3 not a rally. There will be no use from any rallies. But we can agree
4 about a meeting.
5 "Anchorman: After an interruption of half an hour, another
6 hundred delegates entered into the hall coming mainly from other places in
7 Kosovo. The citizens from other places started to disperse whereas talks
8 in the hall continued throughout the night.
9 "Darinka Popovic: I want to live here where I was born. I want my
10 children to continue living here. I want them to visit my grave. I don't
11 want to go to Serbia. If I have to go, I'd rather die.
12 "Zivojin Ristic: I live in a village where there are only four
13 Serbian houses with a total of 13 persons. In '77, with four children and
14 my wife, I started to build a house that I inherited from my grandfather,
15 father, uncle, on the land that they left me. In '62, '63, when we
16 started building that small house, every night, every two -- every second
17 or third night our old house was stoned. This was reported to the police.
18 Nonetheless, it was repeated. It went on. One night they opened the
19 window above my head and here in the room in which we were sitting five,
20 six stones landed.
21 "Kata Komatina: All these problems are here. All has been said.
22 There is nothing else to say. We need to start doing something. We can't
23 say, come off now, we'll do something tomorrow. We need to do something
24 now, immediately. We should know or let our people know what's going to
25 happen to them, whether they are Serbs, Albanians, Turks. It doesn't
1 matter who they are. They are Yugoslav people on this territory. The
2 people know where -- need to know where they are. We don't want any more
3 drifting. Why do we have all these political structures? Why do we have
4 all these people leading us? Why do we elect incompetent good for
5 nothings while other people are forcing this mass to turn around in
6 circles? We can't allow for this any more.
7 "Milanko Buljugic: They evicted me twice from Kosovo. I returned
8 twice. When they tried to chase me away, they couldn't manage, but now,
9 using this method, I will go on my own. Comrades, Comrade Slobodan
10 Milosevic, if greater employment possibilities existed in Serbia, you
11 would then really be able to see what the situation is really like today
12 here, but naturally people don't move because where will they find work?
13 This explains why the rhythm of exodus has been slower than it could be.
14 "One of the major principled issues for us here, it is a vital
15 question, is the problem of legal equality and legal safeguards or,
16 rather, inequality and the lack of legal safeguards. The republic and the
17 federal Yugoslav leadership are -- had enough information about this.
18 They know everything. Three thick volumes exist containing the findings
19 of various working groups pertaining to illegal activities. But Comrades,
20 they can always say, well, it's all right, in other places the law is also
21 not fully observed. That is correct, Comrades, but it's like a bikini. A
22 bikini shows you a lot but it hides the most important things. What are
23 we talking about? It's true that the law is not respected in other places
24 as well but let us look into why it is being violated here.
25 "Mirko Cupic: Those who have ignited the fire cannot extinguish
1 it. You cannot let the wolf look after the sheep. People who through
2 their opportunism or their impetus or with their direct instigation of
3 ideological diversity cannot put out this fire. A number of young
4 Albanians, despite the fact that they are pro-Yugoslav, cannot raise their
5 heads because of older political officials, though they don't want to
6 admit it. Neither the Serb nor the Montenegrin people here are against
7 Albanians or the Albanian people.
8 "Voice from the public: That's true.
9 "They never have been, but the Serbian people is against the
10 separatist movement which wants to establish an ethnically pure Kosovo,
11 and by way of an ethnically pure Kosovo, to destroy this country. And
12 they will achieve this if these actions continue as they have to date.
13 "Stevan Marinkovic: The leaders of the federal autonomous
14 province of Kosovo are applying parts of the constitution of Serbia as
15 they interpret them whereas the leaders of Serbia do not apply parts of
16 the constitution of Serbia as they interpret them on the entire territory
17 of the republic. What am I then to say? To whom do I then belong? If
18 any of you should like to take part in the discussion, I should wish the
19 audience to understand this. Citizens who belong to the Serbian and
20 Montenegrin peoples are particularly affected by the different
21 interpretation of those parts of the constitution of Serbia which pertain
22 to security, defence, the legal system, et cetera. But Albanians
23 separatists see this situation as strengthening the statehood of the
24 province of Kosovo and weakening of Serbia which coincides entirely with
25 their strategy of achieving statehood for Kosovo and they know it's merely
1 a question of time. We already had the opportunity in 1991 to see this
2 with our own eyes, and ever since, it's been the same. But what comes
3 after this statehood, where are we?
4 "Boro Dzelektovic: To remain here, to live together with Albanians
5 so as to achieve this, to remain here, that which we have lost has to be
6 restituted to us. What is that? That is Comrades, Comrade President,
7 justice, freedom, script, culture and language. This should be returned
8 to us and then we will remain here. But Comrade President, I did not come
9 here neither did this honest people come here so as to seek greater rights
10 than other citizens of our country who live within the borders of our
11 homeland. Rather, we came here to become equals and to live together in
12 brotherhood and unity with all peoples and nationalities who live on the
13 territory of Kosovo. That is that.
14 "Daut Bogujevci: This evening I hear such insults directed at the
15 Albanian people, saying Albanian peasants are not dangerous. We have
16 leaders. We have educated people. Please, is it so? Are they at fault?
17 When Albanian nationalism burst forth, honest Albanian communists were the
18 first in line to repel these Albanian nationalists or condemn them.
19 Excuse me, please. I know this. I'm an activist here. I'm also here,
20 I'm an activist.
21 "Voice from the public: Time is up.
22 "No, time is not up. I'm the only Albanian to be speaking here.
23 I have the right to speak more.
24 "Voice from the public: Please have patience.
25 "I see here tonight that certain discussions in reality are
1 misplaced here and have no logic whatsoever. To tell you the truth,
2 Comrade President, many tombstones have been destroyed in my village. You
3 heard this in the press, in the village of Bresje. Please, I insist that
4 as an Albanian many times that these facts be made public and they reveal
5 who is destroying the tombstones. I want to tell you one thing: I think
6 the enemy is known. Only those tombstones belonging to the poor have been
7 destroyed whereas the colossal ones have not been touched. Here things
8 are reported. Everybody in this country has a last name and a first name.
9 I want it to be said that Daut Bogujevci is such and such person, he
10 committed this particular crime. I don't think that peoples' reputation
11 should be sullied in such a general way. Today every word has a certain
12 weight. Everybody knows where it is headed, what it is aimed at. Today
13 nobody's stupid. Please. We were very poor. We were all poor. I want
14 to tell you that here, in my village, Bresje, we from the Bogujevci
15 family have 16 unemployed members whereas in the entire village there are
16 just three or four unemployed. Everybody else is employed and they were
17 never richer.
18 "Radomir Kapetanovic: To tell you the truth, when I decided to
19 come here I intended to remain silent for 15 minutes so that my silence be
20 a speech to you because sometimes silence speaks volumes. I've been
21 speaking up in my working organisation, in my basic organisation, in the
22 League of Communists for ten years, and the effect is the same; as though
23 I've been talking to the walls. I wanted and asked to be held responsible
24 if the facts I brought up were inaccurate without verifying my facts. I,
25 together with my words, was placed ad acta. To this day, I'm a member of
1 the League of Communists. I hope I shall so remain despite the fact that
2 certain high officials who are present have for years been forcing me out
3 to the sidelines and have been doing all they can so as to discredit me by
4 removing me from the League of Communists. Not because I'm wrong, not
5 because I'm a nationalist, Comrades, only because I'm a thorn in the side
6 in the department of chemistry and the faculty for Albanian separatists,
7 who unfortunately are very numerous. This meeting must be perceived as a
8 cry for help. I reiterate, a cry for help for the elementary rights to
9 life and to work. Those to whom this cry is directed at must not remain
10 deaf. We all came here, something I can guarantee you for myself, for the
11 good of Yugoslavia, and it has occurred to no one to attain a higher
12 position by depriving others of their rights. I desire no rights at the
13 cost of injustice towards others. I shall be ashamed of all those who
14 desire positions in order to deprive others of their rights. The League
15 of Communists must - the verb 'must' is a strong one - but it must value
16 the fact that the people are making an appeal to it. This is the proof
17 that the people believe in the party. This is the proof that the people
18 believe in the party and we are turning to you, Comrade President, to you
19 in the first place as a member of the League of Communists, as the
20 president of the Central Committee of Serbia.
21 "Miroslav Solevic: Well, we shall stop this. Either it will
22 start going, flowing back so that the people may return to their hearths
23 or we shall collectively depart. There is no dilemma. We ask you,
24 Comrade President, to tell to the leaders of Serbia that the leaders of
25 Serbia tell the Yugoslav leadership that they need to give us a clear
1 answer. This is what we are requesting.
2 We want to live here. This is our basic wish, but not in this
3 way, no. We want to live here. We want to respect order and work both in
4 this country and in this province. All residents of this province have
5 to, irrespective of their nationality, live from their work and not from
6 the help received from the federation. We are not blind people. The
7 province not poor. It's not true.
8 "Milica Aleksic: In the Podujevo Municipal Assembly discussions
9 have taken place about the moving out of Serbs and Montenegrins. In the
10 documents which were submitted to the delegates and the vice-president of
11 the Municipal Assembly in charge of preparing the documents, wrote that a
12 perfidious moving out of Serbs and Montenegrins had taken place in the
13 Podujevo municipality. I opened up the encyclopedia to see -- to see what
14 that term "perfidiousness" meant. It said that it meant cunning, malice.
15 I met with the vice-president of the municipality and asked him, please,
16 Comrade Serif, tell me why have 33 Serbian families moved out of your
17 village? Was it done in order to arm the honest Albanians, to say, look,
18 they evicted Serbs and Montenegrins?
19 "Jovanka Vukovic: Comrade Milosevic, I would only like to ask
20 you whether somebody will be held responsible for the Serbian children in
21 this province for the dirty acts that have been committed? Will anybody
22 be held responsible for that? And the comrades who they are referred to
23 me as a sword in somebody else's hands, I would like to say that, no, I'm
24 just a woman with her own sufferings. I have survived tragic events which
25 few mothers could live through. This is why I attempted to remove my one
1 child from here. These are difficult moments because of what I said,
2 because I expressed my honest opinion, my right and truthful words, by
3 which I still stand. I was called a sword in somebody's hands. In whose
4 hands? Had I known at the time, believe me, I would have irrespective of
5 whose hands were in question been only there where I can have rights. I
6 have no rights in this province, and I'm not going to take up any more
7 time, but just will say to you give us freedom here or send us to Serbia
8 to get freedom there.
9 "Dusica Zoric: Comrades, I beg you, you who are in the first row,
10 to put yourselves in the position of those who have come here in order to
11 express their problems. Why don't you take the floor and speak of your
12 problems and let the people who have voiced their problems be in your
13 seats? Would you have asked for a concrete responsibility? I think that
14 you would have. Therefore, under the circumstances, I ask that you
15 understand us. We are people facing problems. During the previous
16 mandate, I was a representative in the federal parliament, in the federal
17 council. As a representative, as a delegate, I did my best to express
18 what problems we had, to speak of these people. I understand that every
19 problem, whether it involves the Serbs, the Montenegrins, the Albanians,
20 Turks, the Gorani, or members of another nation or nationality is
21 particularly difficult and requires full attention. But Comrades, if we
22 demand that every problem be analysed separately, that is too vast a task
23 even for the courts. At meetings such as this one, we should focus
24 concretely on those problems which led to such massive violations of the
25 constitution and the laws, the problems which will lead to, which have
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 already led to the situations where we have many problems in Yugoslavia.
2 We have Kosovo. We have an economic situation which is difficult. We
3 have an inflation, ramping inflation. We have many problems, and it is
4 high time that we had some unity.
5 "Anchor: After 13 hours of uninterrupted talks, this morning
6 around 7.00 Slobodan Milosevic took the floor.
7 "Slobodan Milosevic: Comrades, before I say a few words about the
8 substance of our today's discussions, I would like to say that there is no
9 need for us to trade places as the lady said just a moment ago in order to
10 ask for accountability. It is our duty.
11 "And as for the unfortunate incident that happened here today and
12 the police intervention that ensued, the responsibility for this
13 intervention for which there was no reason will be established. This is
14 completely clear.
15 "Comrade Mitar, our chairman today, informed us about what was
16 happening in front of the building, and you know quite well that within
17 one minute we agreed that it is not -- that it should not be the police
18 maintaining order but that you should undertake that yourselves in the
19 interests of the safety of citizens and children who were there. The
20 proof that it was the right decision was the fact that order was
21 maintained quite well and that people behaved with dignity.
22 "Now, finally, I would like to say something about the substance
23 of our talks. I would like to say something about how such gatherings are
24 evaluated, qualified. To put it briefly, these gatherings are not the
25 gatherings of nationalists. They are not the gatherings of enemies
1 either. And precisely because of that, Comrades, and I know that the vast
2 majority of those who are present here and those outside of it will side
3 with me on this, that we must not allow such gatherings of citizens to be
4 abused by nationalists. All honest people have to stand up against this,
5 because we must guard our brotherhood and unity like the apple of our eye.
6 This is the only way. Especially nowadays when the brotherhood and unity
7 are threatened. We must and we can win.
8 "We neither wish nor we can classify people into Serbs and
9 Albanians, but we should distinguish among the honest and progressive
10 people fighting for brotherhood and unity and national equality on the one
11 hand and nationalists and counter-revolutionaries on the other hand. If
12 we do not create and strengthen that front, Comrades, then there will be
13 no Kosovo, no Serbia, and no Yugoslavia either.
14 "Another issue that I would like to bring up is this: I want to
15 assure you that all the problems that you have discussed here, literally
16 every word will be conveyed to the members of the Central Committee of the
17 Communist League of Serbia. They will be told about it not just for the
18 purpose of informing them but in order to solve the problems within the
19 institutional framework of our system. I had to say this in the beginning
20 since it is physically impossible to discuss all of the questions that
21 have been brought up here.
22 "Comrades, everybody in entire Yugoslavia is aware of the fact
23 that Kosovo is a great problem of our society, which is being resolved
24 very slowly. However, I have to say that if Kosovo had been the only
25 problem, or at least the only major problem of the Yugoslavia society, the
1 issues would have been solved faster and better. However, the problem in
2 Kosovo occurred at the same time as the great economic crisis when the
3 standard of living drastically deteriorated, when prices went up and the
4 rate of unemployment grew. There are also political problems. You are
5 aware of the fact that our country has been shaken by separatism and
6 nationalism in many parts although not to such an extent as here in
8 "And finally, there have been increasingly present aggressive
9 anti-Yugoslav and anti-communist forces. Thus at the same time when there
10 were many serious problems, our society and the League of Communists have
11 a lot of problems they are dealing with, and this is why the solution is
12 difficult to find.
13 "The League of Communists has not always been united in solving
14 all of these problems. Therefore, they could not be sufficiently
15 efficient. I do not bring this up as a justification since I'm not
16 entitled to but as a statement. The request for unity is the most
17 important task facing the party today. This request that there be unity
18 was mentioned in every speech at the session of the Serbian Central
19 Committee recently held. I'm convinced that we have made a large step
20 forward, moving into the direction of the unity of both the Serbian
21 Central Committee and the Yugoslav League of Communists. Only united can
22 we solve many problems, and if we're not united we can solve none of them.
23 "Despite many of the measures some of which you have mentioned as
24 having been taken particularly in the past year, the situation in Kosovo,
25 both the economic and political situation, continues to be
1 dissatisfactory. Kosovo continues to be underdeveloped. There is a lot
2 of unemployment. We have a lot of foreign debts. Exports are not
3 satisfactory. We have a lot of buildings that have -- where construction
4 hasn't been finished and there is great abuse of work and the function of
5 administration in various services, and this includes the realm of
6 politics as well.
7 "We discussed this problems today both at the Presidency meeting,
8 and I can tell you that that was yesterday at the Presidency meeting of
9 the Provincial Committee, these problems were raised. It was held
10 yesterday at noon. We discussed these issues, and we also discussed the
11 question of education and upbringing, cadres policy, and that that --
12 there was still a spirit of separatism and very often
13 counter-revolutionary spirit prevailing there too. The fact that the
14 Serbs and Montenegrins are leaving the area under economic, political and
15 physical pressure, this, too, represents the last tragic exodus of the
16 population in Europe, and the last time such processions of desperate
17 people were seen was in the Middle Ages.
18 "I know full well that you need not listen to stories of what
19 happened in the past or just to have an analysis of the present situation.
20 Nobody is interested in that any more. And that is quite logical, because
21 you and all of us are interested and should be interested only in those
22 agreements who -- which will be able to change things for the better,
23 which can resolve the situation we are all in, all of us together, you and
24 then all of us together. But I do, nonetheless, wish to assure you that
25 many measures have been taken in the field of financial/political
1 relations, personnel policies, and that they are changing daily and that
2 those changes will be even faster in the months to come.
3 "The material development of Kosovo is something that is
4 constantly being invested in. Separatism and nationalism have been
5 treated as a counter-revolution, and there are substantial changes in
6 personnel, policies, legal, administrative, ideological, and political
7 measures are being put forward, but nobody is satisfied at the rate at
8 which this is going, this process, neither in the Provincial Committee or
9 in the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Serbia or
10 Yugoslavia. And we observed that yesterday at the meeting of the
11 Presidency that was held. However, the process is gaining acceleration,
12 and I am convinced that it will be even faster in the times to come, and
13 that is something that I wish to assure you of.
14 "However, we must understand from this, and I don't want to imply
15 or suggest a solution and say that we have any reason to be satisfied.
16 Quite the contrary. Kosovo is still today the poorest part of our country
17 and the Albanian separatists and nationalists seem to have calmed down
18 somewhat. They think time is on their side. And of course circumstances
19 are in their favour, too, but let them know this: They should know that
20 on this territory, there will be no tyranny. The progressive people of
21 Kosovo will not allow it. Neither will Serbia or Yugoslavia allow it.
22 "As for politics, in the political view, we still have the idea
23 that the request for an ethnically pure Kosovo is justified and possible,
24 and that's where the crux of the matter lies, because it is from this kind
25 of attitude whereby the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo is
1 considered to be a socio-political community of the Albanian nationality
2 in Kosovo launched by the counter-revolution, we come to the logical
3 continuation that in that sense the province should de facto and legally
4 be transformed into a republic. So this is the first but not
5 insignificant steps towards breaking up the territorial integrity of
6 Serbia and Yugoslavia. And, Comrades, we have begun to tackle that. We
7 have come to grips with that both in Kosovo and in Serbia and in
8 Yugoslavia. Among all progressive people.
9 "Bearing in mind all the achievements so far, everything that
10 remains to be done, and much more remains to be done than has been
11 achieved already, we are facing not tasks and obligations but a great
12 party offensive, the goal of which should be the material and cultural
13 development of Kosovo and a free life of dignity for each of its
14 inhabitants. However, we must first of all clarify some
15 misunderstandings. The inhabitants -- when we say 'inhabitants,' we mean
16 all the people living in the province of Kosovo and who are not singled
17 out daily on the basis of their nationality or ethnic affiliation, just as
18 we don't call them out as -- on the basis of their sex or marital status.
19 So we cannot speak either of a minority nation or a majority nation in
20 Kosovo. It is the Serbs and Montenegrins. The Serbs and Montenegrins are
21 not national minorities in relation to the Albanians in Kosovo, just as
22 Albanians are not a national minority in Yugoslavia, but they live
23 together on a footing of equality with all our other nations and
24 nationalities within our three socialist republics. The stand for an
25 ethnically pure Kosovo and economically and politically autonomous one is
1 not possible ideologically, politically or ethnically either, and in the
2 long-run, it is not in the interests of the Albanian people themselves.
3 "Nationalism of this kind would exclude it from its environment
4 and would not only slow it down but would put a stop to its development
5 altogether, both in the economic sense and in a general sense, in a
6 spiritual sense.
7 "Enver Hoxha, through his policy, excluded the Albanian people as
8 an underdeveloped society from Europe and thereby deprived them of taking
9 part in the dynamic life of the present-day world, and this portion of the
10 Albanian people, here and now, are aspiring towards Europe and a modern
11 society and they should not be stopped along that path. Nationalism
12 always means isolation from others, closing in upon oneself within one's
13 own framework. It means lagging behind in development, because without
14 progress and cooperation on an all Yugoslav level and broader afield,
15 there can be no progress. Every nation and nationality which isolates
16 itself is behaving irresponsibly towards its own development. That is why
17 it is we communists in the first place who must do everything to eliminate
18 the consequences of a nationalist and separatist behaviour on the part of
19 the counter-revolutionary forces in Kosovo and also elsewhere in the
21 "It is our goal here to emerge from this state of hatred,
22 intolerance, and distrust. It is our goal that all the people of Kosovo
23 should live well, should have a good life, and it is with respect to that
24 goal that I wish to tell you first and foremost, Comrades, that it is your
25 duty to remain here, to stay here. This is your country. These are our
1 homes. These are your cultivated fields and gardens, and your memories
2 lie here.
3 "You're not going to leave your country, are you, just because
4 you live hard there or because you have been weighed down by the
5 injustices and humiliation? It has never been typical of the Serbian
6 Montenegrin people to yield before obstacles and to become demoralised
7 when facing a problem.
8 "As I was saying, to become demoralised when facing a problem,
9 when coming upon hard times. You must stay here because of your ancestors
10 and because of your descendants. Otherwise, your ancestors would be
11 disgraced and your descendants disappointed.
12 "I do not suggest to you, Comrades, that in staying you put up
13 with the suffering and the situation that you're not satisfied with.
14 Quite the contrary. You must change the situation together with all other
15 progressive people here in Serbia and Yugoslavia. Do not say to
16 yourselves that you cannot stand alone. Of course you cannot stand alone,
17 and we shall do it together. We in Serbia and everybody else in
18 Yugoslavia will strive to change the situation. We cannot return the
19 national structure of the Kosovo population, but we can stop further --
20 the further exodus and provide conditions conducive to a good life to all
21 people in Kosovo, living together and sharing their destiny and the
22 economic opportunities that Kosovo has to offer and every other
24 "For some citizens in Europe, this demand seems to be absurd. It
25 seems to be ridiculous to have to voice that demand in the present day
1 world, and they rightly ask themselves about the life and work of the
2 citizens, their security and equality, their rights and duties, because
3 are they not regulated by the constitution and the law? Yes, they are if
4 those laws are applied. When those laws are not applied, then they are
5 not well regulated and that is when all these state authorities and
6 administrative bodies must warn the political platform to do their duty.
7 Their duty to consistently enforce the constitutional laws in Kosovo is a
8 duty that is up to us all; Serbs, Montenegrins, and Albanians as well,
9 Comrades, because if we legalised this state of lawlessness, then all
10 those who are exposed to lawlessness are endangered.
11 "Today it is the Serbs and Montenegrins that suffer most from
12 that, but tomorrow this could be the Albanians, too, and that is why,
13 unless law and order is introduced and respected in the broader social and
14 historical sense, this will be the interest of all of the inhabitants of
15 Kosovo. It is a very urgent matter which we must see to together in
17 "And the second thing is this: We must talk about the return of
18 people to Kosovo, especially experts, professionals. I firmly believe
19 that you cannot stop the process of exodus until people are allowed and
20 able to return to Kosovo. The return of the Serbs and Montenegrins to
21 Kosovo is a process. It cannot be done by decree. People cannot be
22 forced to go where they do not wish to live but we can launch a political
23 campaign in order to provide material, economic, work and cultural
24 conditions conducive to their return to Kosovo so that people who left
25 Kosovo because of injustice and discontent can return. We must provide
1 apartments for them and jobs for them and generally conditions for this to
2 come about.
3 "By creating all these -- in order to create all these
4 conditions, we must harness the strengths of all progressive people,
5 communists, young people, and all honest and progressive people in Serbia.
6 No price is too high to achieve this.
7 "And in -- we usually say in our political language that we're
8 not in favour of campaigns but in favour of permanent lasting processes.
9 In this case, the situation is urgent. It is alarming. We must launch a
10 campaign, a real campaign to ensure that 50, 100, 200 professors, doctors,
11 experts, professionals, skilled workers come back and then others will
12 follow. This campaign must then become a process. Only then can we have
13 any hopes of stopping the exodus of Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo.
14 And the spirit of law and justice and progress must be embodied in the
15 working class of Kosovo, because it has identical interests and least
16 interest in becoming divided on a national basis. It is the working class
17 that have always fought successfully against greater injustices. We
18 cannot place our trust in any other people, ladies and gentlemen,
19 Comrades, but in us ourselves.
20 "That is what I wanted to tell you on this occasion, Comrades,
21 with respect to this discussion of ours here today, and I would also like
22 to convince you that every member of the leadership of the Socialist
23 Republic of Serbia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia will
24 always be ready for discussions of this kind and for a permanent presence
25 in our joint activities, the joint endeavours discussed here by us today.
1 Rest assured those are the sentiments which prevail throughout Yugoslavia.
2 The whole of Yugoslavia is with you. We are not -- we are conscious of
3 the fact that this is not a problem of Yugoslavia alone. Yugoslavia
4 cannot exist without Kosovo. Yugoslavia will become disintegrated without
5 Kosovo. Yugoslavia and Serbia will not give up Kosovo."
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, before you put any questions on
7 that, I think we -- we will take the break for 20 minutes.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before the break, I'm sorry if His Honour
9 Judge Kwon and His Honour Judge Bonomy must wonder what I was doing trying
10 to find a transcript. It was indeed in 5.1 but it hadn't been provided to
11 us. It's often a problem that the files coming to the Court have later
12 translations than the translations that are provided to us when we get the
13 files a little earlier. So I took time simply because they hadn't yet
14 been provided to us, and I'm sorry about that. I've now found them.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We will rise for 20 minutes.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.37 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you're now to formulate questions
19 for the witness, not to make general comments on the strength of the video
20 which we just saw.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will do my best, Mr. Robinson, but
22 before I continue with my questioning of the witness, I'm afraid you might
23 cut me off at a quarter to two, and I want one thing to have been said, a
24 technical observation. Namely, the next witness, due to health
25 considerations, he is supposed to have surgery soon, would need to testify
1 tomorrow morning, so that he would need to be interposed in the testimony
2 of Mr. Balevic. The next witness has very serious medical reasons for
3 this urgency and I hope you will acknowledge and take this into account.
4 The next witness would start tomorrow and finish within one or one and a
5 half sessions and then Mr. Balevic could continue. I hope that you have
6 already been notified.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we have been notified, and we are in
8 agreement with that.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Balevic, I will read out to you paragraph 76 of the Kosovo
12 indictment, which relates to those events in April, which we have just
13 seen on the TV footage, to follow up on our questions from before. So
14 paragraph 76 reads -- I don't have to read it all because it has been
15 quoted from before. "In meetings with local Serb leaders and in a speech
16 before a crowd of Serbs -" so that is the speech we've just seen -
17 "Slobodan Milosevic endorsed the Serbian nationalist agenda."
18 Sir, my question is: You as the chairman of that meeting, did you
19 or any of your fellow citizens, in view of everything that had happened,
20 have the impression at any point that there was anything in my speech
21 directed against the Albanians?
22 A. I kindly ask you not to interrupt me, and I want to round off one
23 answer that I didn't complete.
24 When we addressed that invitation to Mr. Milosevic or somebody in
25 that position but to our great fortune it was Mr. Milosevic who came, that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 rally in Kosovo Polje had already been banned by the Provisional Committee
2 of the League of Communists and the Municipal Committee of the League of
3 Communists and the decision had already been made to hold a gathering of
4 the League of Communists with the representation of Serbs and Albanians in
5 a ratio of 3 to 1, 3 Albanians per 1 Serb. And they had already prepared
6 20 passes for people whom they had selected for that meeting. So that
7 meeting was supposed to be held instead of the rally, with the prevalence
8 of Albanians.
9 Whatever is written in the indictment, and I don't know who wrote
10 it and I don't know what they were guided by writing something like this,
11 but your speech and my own speech, which this indictment calls
12 nationalist, those allegations have nothing to do with the truth. All the
13 contributions at that rally were permeated by the idea that we can live
14 together with Albanians, that whatever we were saying was not directed
15 against Albanians as such but against extremists and nationalists.
16 Anybody could have written in the indictment that you could have come to
17 Kosovo without anybody's invitation. So the allegation about your
18 endorsement of nationalist agenda is absolutely pointless, groundless.
19 Q. Mr. Balevic, during this rally or meeting, you followed all the
20 contributions, everything that was said. Was it the leitmotif that the
21 position of Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo was tragic? What was the
22 focus of that meeting?
23 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... about it coming up
24 and no objection to being questioned about the film, but something that
25 starts off in that way looks like a leading question.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is leading, Mr. Milosevic. I think you have
2 to ask a question about what was the essence of the position of Serbs and
3 Montenegrins in Kosovo, but you cannot ask a question in which you
4 virtually tell the witness the answer. We have been through this before.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The essence of that meeting was the
7 drama of the Serbian and Montenegrin peoples in Kosovo and Metohija whose
8 survival was made impossible, and that is why we demanded that you come
9 and talk to us, because Serbs and Montenegrins from Kosovo and Metohija
10 had knocked on every door in the federation, went to see all the leaders
11 but were not met with any understanding, did not receive any promises that
12 they would be protected and defended, and that's why this meeting took
13 place, the meeting to which we had invited you.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I mentioned in my speech one campaign, albeit a modest campaign
16 because I say let us have 100 or 200 professors or doctors come back. By
17 the standards of that time, by the standards of Serbs and Montenegrins at
18 the time, would it have been a demonstration of support to have 100 or 200
19 professors, doctors, teachers come back? Looking from the present point
20 of view, it may seem a very modest number, but what was the objective at
21 that time in terms of providing support and expressing solidarity with the
22 people endangered in Kosovo?
23 A. For the Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo and Metohija, even the
24 return of one single Serb, one single family meant a lot. And especially
25 the return of a professional or an expert or a highly skilled person, let
1 alone two or three, because that would have meant something that may have
2 prevented others from fleeing.
3 Q. Was there a single speaker who did not speak about the exodus,
4 about the moving out?
5 A. It's a great shame that we couldn't hear all of the 76 speakers
6 that contributed to that meeting. We saw Goran Milic, who was the
7 editor-in-chief of the Croatian television at the time, I recollect. And
8 with the exception of one or two speeches, all contributions spoke about
9 the terror against the Serbs, the need for each people to return, the
10 despair and the wretchedness, because in Serb villages you could hear no
11 more crying or singing because there were no Serbs left. Kosovo remains
12 ethnically pure now.
13 If all the speeches had been shown, the picture would have been
14 much clearer, but I can tell you that with the exception of one or two
15 speeches, everybody spoke about the exodus and about the need to return,
16 and not against Albanians but only against Albanian nationalism and
17 extremism and terrorism.
18 Q. Since you presided over that meeting and you watched over
19 everybody in that hall, can you remember any officials who were guests at
20 that meeting? I don't think you will be able to recall all of them, but
21 please tell us the names of those you can remember.
22 A. I will try. There was the president of the provincial committee,
23 Azem Vllasi, president of the Municipal Committee Radic Halili, there was
24 Kolj Siroka, a member of some sort of leadership at the time, I don't
25 remember his exact position. There was the president of the municipality.
1 I think that was the representation of the Albanian leadership. However,
2 the top leadership of the Provincial Committee was represented.
3 Q. We saw at the beginning what the situation was like outside the
4 building when the police intervened. Was order restored very quickly?
5 A. Absolutely. The moment when you addressed people from the window,
6 the order had been restored already, and there were no further incidents.
7 And anyway, the one and only incident had been caused by the police.
8 Q. Tell me, did it transpire later that this police intervention had
9 been absolutely unnecessary?
10 A. It was unnecessary, and the situation had been abused in order to
12 Q. In this book Sleepless Nights, on page 334, although there is a
13 number of pages devoted to the report of the Federal Secretariat for the
14 Interior, and I underline not the Republican Serbian Secretariat but the
15 Federal Secretariat of the Interior, on page 320, you even have a
16 photocopy of the document itself where it says that it's a joint working
17 group of the Federal Secretariat of the Interior, addressed to Serbia, and
18 on page 334, I shall quote from only one passage from this report, where
19 it says: "Using rubber truncheons against citizens by employees of the
20 police is not in keeping with provisions of the Articles 100 and 101 of
21 the rules of procedure for conducting the work of law enforcement.
22 According to statements of citizens who have been interviewed by the
23 committee and statements of the policemen, it has been established that
24 coercion measures had been used against 25 citizens. However, based on
25 these statements and reports and other sources of information, one can
1 assume with a great degree of certainty that coercion measures have been
2 used against other citizens as well. However, their number could not be
3 established. It is indubitable -- it is established beyond doubt that
4 coercion measures were used by 14 members of the police force. It can
5 further be assumed that coercion measures were used also by some other
6 policemen, however, their names could not be identified."
7 Another passage reads: "Overall, the total conduct of the
8 citizenry in the mass rally before the cultural hall in Kosovo Polje
9 cannot be assessed as negative or extremist. There was no significant
10 violation of law and order."
11 Can you tell us anything further about the reasons for this
12 intervention by the police and why the joint working group of the Federal
13 Secretariat for the Interior assessed it as unjustified?
14 A. When this report was published, it was taboo. It was very
15 confidential, but I was aware of it even then, and I was invited by the
16 Provincial Secretariat in Pristina to give my statement, and when I came
17 there I asked if I was being interviewed as a witness or as a suspect.
18 However, I found out from those present that the intervention by the
19 police was not -- had not been necessary. There was no definitive
20 conclusion who gave the orders. It was said that it was Destan Daci,
21 chief of the police administration, but whether he had received orders
22 from above was not clear. The commission included republican, federal and
23 provincial organs. But before that, I had already learned that rubber
24 truncheons had been used without any necessity.
25 Q. Mr. Balevic, you were next to me when we were leaving the cultural
1 hall and when this unrest was happening, and you can see in this TV
2 footage when I said nobody must beat people. What was that a reference
3 to? You were next to me.
4 A. I was next to you. That was the answer to the people standing
5 immediately before you. Nobody else could even hear you because it was a
6 huge mass of people.
7 Q. But what were they saying to me?
8 A. "We are being beaten, President. The police is beating us."
9 Q. So is that how the event transpired; they told me they were
10 beating us -- they were beating them?
11 A. Yes, and you said nobody must beat you but nobody else could hear
12 you apart from those few people standing around you.
13 Q. It doesn't matter.
14 A. Yes, but the truth is that you said, "Nobody must beat you," in
15 response to their complaints.
16 Q. Very well. Let's go on. Do you know anything about the
17 following: Were proceedings instituted against any members of the police
18 force to establish if they had overstepped their authority?
19 A. No, nothing was done apart from what is written in the report, and
20 I don't know if any measures -- if any other measures had been taken.
21 Q. When Mr. Vukasin Jokanovic was testifying here, Mr. Nice suggested
22 that the entire event had been stage managed and that the citizenry had
23 been provoked by the police so that the police could then intervene. What
24 do you say about that?
25 A. That allegation is absolutely incorrect. There was absolutely no
1 reason for the citizens to provoke the police and they did not do anything
2 of the kind. I can say that most emphatically. All the police had to do
3 was to maintain law and order after the incident.
4 Q. Very well. What was exactly the duration of that meeting in the
5 cultural hall, and how many speakers in total were there?
6 A. It lasted for about 13 hours, and there were about -- there was a
7 total of 76 speakers, 76 live witnesses who testified to the drama of the
8 Serbian and Montenegrin people in Kosovo and Metohija at the time.
9 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Balevic, that on that day, the 25th of April,
10 that meeting was ended in the early hours of the 25th of April, after
11 having lasted all night, are you aware that after I left Kosovo Polje on
12 that day, which is populated mainly by Serbs, I went to another area
13 populated mainly by Albanians where there is a Savnik pipe factory in
15 A. Yes, I know that, and I heard your speech that you delivered there
16 at the factory Savnik, where most of the staff are Albanians, over
17 90 per cent, I believe. And I listened to your speech on the radio and on
18 television. And that, again, was a speech of peace, a message of peace.
19 Q. All right. All right. I held a very brief speech there among
20 those Albanians.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's at, gentlemen, tab 3.2, you
22 have an English translation, and I will quote the greatest part of it.
23 It's less than a page long anyway. I will skip the first paragraph.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So I am addressing Albanians. Mr. Balevic, is it contested that I
1 was addressing Albanians?
2 A. You were, because 90 per cent of the staff in that pipe factory
3 were Albanians.
4 Q. This was published in my book in 1989. "Over these past years,
5 things have been happening here which have not occurred in civilised
6 countries of the world for centuries. Women and children are being raped,
7 people are being humiliated, physically mistreated."
8 JUDGE KWON: For the record, the tab number is 5.2. Yes,
9 proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Kwon.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. "... Serbs and Montenegrins, are unable to fight against such
13 disgraceful acts. Irrespective of the type and degree of support which
14 the Republic and Federal leaderships may provide, the position of the
15 Serbian and Montenegrin people in Kosovo must be changed by the Albanians
16 in Kosovo to a large degree.
17 'Progressive, honest people, young people, and above all,
18 understandably, Albanian communists, must be the first, the most decisive
19 and successful fighters against their own nationalism.
20 "This applies not only to the Albanian people; but also to the
21 Serbian and Montenegrin peoples as well as to all other nations in the
23 "It is rightful and moral that the most progressive members
24 themselves among each nation be the first to fight against their own
25 nationalism - against all those ugly and inhuman acts, which insult and
1 humiliate other nations. Such ugly and inhuman acts also insult and
2 humiliate the very people whose members committed them.
3 "Albanian citizens must protect not only Serbs and Montenegrins
4 from the disgrace caused by their nationalists but themselves as well.
5 "With each and every rape of a Serbian child, all Albanians are
6 stained if they do not stop such disgraceful acts.
7 "The security of Serbian and Montenegrin children here in Kosovo
8 should be the worry of the Albanian mothers and fathers, and police to a
9 lesser extent. For when the police and army start taking things into
10 their hands, freedom ceases for the guilty and the innocent alike.
11 "Defend justice and preserve the voice of those who can do so."
12 Do you know what was the reaction of the Albanian leadership and
13 Albanians in general to what I said then at the time?
14 A. Mr. President, I didn't really follow the comments because I had
15 many other problems myself, so I really didn't follow their reaction to
16 this. But I also didn't read anywhere that there was a negative reaction
17 to this speech.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I should tell you that today I'm
19 stopping at 1.44, 16 minutes to two. Yesterday, as a result of
20 overstaying by five minutes, the afternoon trial started ten to 15 minutes
21 late, and I don't want to develop that kind of reputation.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson. I
23 understand that fully. I will try to limit myself to the time available
24 to us.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Balevic, as in those weeks and in those months you had
2 contacts with many people throughout Yugoslavia, do you know whether the
3 drama of the Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo was a topic that was quite
4 present, widely publicised in the Yugoslavia society?
5 A. Yes, that's right, but nobody reacted to that topic.
6 Q. Since in the parlance used at the time, which can be seen -- which
7 can be seen based on all the speeches and discussions and so on, the term
8 used frequently was "counter-revolution." So was this the qualification
9 given by the Presidency of the SFRY which just had one Serb member?
10 A. I couldn't claim with any certainty regarding that qualification.
11 However, as far as I remember, it was said that there was a
12 counter-revolution going on in Kosovo and Metohija at the time.
13 Q. In the parlance of the time, was that the gravest qualification
14 that Yugoslav leadership could give?
15 A. Yes, absolutely.
16 Q. So is it clear, then, that the Yugoslav political leadership was
17 aware of the tragical position of the Serbs and Montenegrins in Kosovo and
19 A. Yes, that's right. Yugoslav political leadership was fully aware
20 of that. They received information through all of their channels. And in
21 addition to that, they also heard what the delegations and various
22 representatives of the people informed them about. Therefore, they knew
23 fully well what was going on in Kosovo and Metohija.
24 Q. Mr. Balevic, now please tell me whether, after my visits to Kosovo
25 Polje in April, the 24th and the 25th of April, the Serbs received any
1 kind of advantageous -- did they have any kind of an advantageous position
2 in relation to Albanians?
3 A. No, absolutely. They were fully equal to Albanians. They had no
4 special rights over and above what the Albanians had. A municipality was
5 established after your visit. The president of the municipality was an
6 Albanian. President of the trade union was an Albanian. The secretary of
7 the party was also an Albanian. This shows that in the personnel policy
8 there was no discrimination against the Albanians. All nations had equal
9 rights, and the Serbs asked for nothing else. They simply wanted to have
10 equal rights with Albanians in order to ensure the survival of Serbs and
11 Montenegrins in Kosovo and Metohija.
12 Q. Do you remember whether at the time when this drama was unfolding
13 and when the Yugoslav leadership qualified in gravest terms what was going
14 on in Kosovo and Metohija who were the members of the Yugoslav leadership?
15 A. At the time, the president of the Presidency was Sinan Hasani, who
16 on one occasion as the president of Presidency visited a Serbian village
17 called Prelluzhe just to talk to the residents. He was president of the
18 Presidency, and then Fadil Hodza was also one of the top leaders. If I
19 remember, Kadijevic was also up there. But Sinan Hasani was the president
20 of the Presidency, which is the supreme body in the country.
21 Q. Please explain who Sinan Hasani is.
22 A. Sinan Hasani is an Albanian from a village near Gnjilane. So
23 there was an Albanian in the highest post in the country; president of the
25 Q. Was Sinan Hasani in that office when the amendments to the
1 constitution were passed in 1989?
2 A. I believe he was.
3 Q. Do you just believe that he was? Because if you're not sure, you
4 better not claim this with certainty. It is easy to verify this, at any
6 Now I'm going to put a question to you which pertains directly to
7 you. We had a JNA officer testify here. He was a member of the
8 intelligence service, and he claimed that you conveyed to your
9 daughter-in-law, Ljiljana Balevic, my words to the effect that Romanians
10 would be moved and relegated to Kosovo and Metohija. What can you say
11 concerning that?
12 A. Mr. Milosevic, I've been following this trial. I don't remember
13 the name of that Muslim officer - I'm not interested in his name at all -
14 but this is a flagrant lie. It is such a blatant lie that there is no
15 word in the Serbian vocabulary to describe this. I have never said
16 anything similar to my daughter-in-law. She had no contact with that
17 person whatsoever.
18 It would be similar to a statement to the effect that we are going
19 to relocate and settle Albanians in Bulgaria, someplace like that, because
20 we could not even bring back Serbs who had left Kosovo and gone to live in
21 Nis. So what this gentleman was saying is completely outrageous.
22 Q. Mr. Balevic, I don't know whether you were at the head or you were
23 just a member of the body which took care of the refugees coming in from
24 Croatia and Bosnia.
25 A. Yes, that's right. I was the president of the city staff in
1 charge of welcoming the refugees arriving from Croatia and Bosnia.
2 Q. You probably heard that it was stated here that the authorities in
3 Serbia, led by me, wanted to change the national composition of Kosovo and
4 Metohija by populating it with refugees from Croatia and Bosnia. What can
5 you say to that?
6 A. As the president of the city staff, I used to greet refugees
7 arriving in Kosovo Polje railway station. Therefore, I know very well the
8 figures of refugees. I think that the figure is between 2 and 3.000. A
9 lot of them later went abroad.
10 So this is a pure fabrication, an unprecedented lie which cannot
11 be corroborated at all. Nobody knows this better than Bane Ivkovic who
12 was the president of the republican staff for refugees. We took in
13 refugees, and as far as Bane told me, it was your position as well, but
14 only those refugees who wished and wanted to come there. These people
15 arrived from the Republic of Serbia and were told by their authorities
16 that they shouldn't go to Kosovo unless they really want to because there
17 is terror there.
18 Therefore, this statement is a pure fabrication.
19 Q. All right. Let us stick to the facts. You told us that you were
20 the president of the staff welcoming refugees in Pristina, so you know the
21 facts very well. Now, please listen to me carefully.
22 In Kosovo and Metohija, in percentages, were there more refugees
23 from Bosnia and Croatia than other parts of Serbia or not?
24 A. Absolutely not. I don't know how many refugees there were in
25 Serbia, but we had 3 to 4.000 of refugees, no more than that. And there
1 were around 100.000 refugees in Serbia.
2 JUDGE KWON: Before going forward, can I clarify this. One
3 witness -- it is about -- you said it is his daughter-in-law, but if my
4 memory is correct, the witness who was referred to by you as that -- it
5 was your sister-in-law, Ljilja Balevic, who had told you -- who had told
6 him something.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Kwon, in Serbian language, the
8 word "snaha" can refer both to your brother's wife and to your son's wife.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this witness can refer to this
10 person as my mother or as my sister, but in fact this person is --
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's note: Either daughter-in-law
12 or sister-in-law.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And that can be established,
15 JUDGE KWON: Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Kwon, I don't know if my words
17 were translated to you, but the same term is used both for the brother's
18 wife and the son's wife in Serbian language.
19 JUDGE KWON: It's clear, yes. I understand. Please proceed.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Please tell me, in view of your entire experience, and you
22 actively participated in the social and political life of Kosovo and
23 Metohija for several decades, therefore, please tell me, throughout that
24 period of time, was it reasonable, were there any grounds for Albanians to
25 complain about the personnel policy in Kosovo and Metohija or any other
1 injustice done to them?
2 A. No, absolutely not. I've already said several times this was
3 absolutely groundless for them to complain about personnel policy or any
4 other kind of policy.
5 Q. Please, I'm not going to quote any documents that were presented
6 here, but can you tell us about this claim that the Albanians were
7 expelled from their jobs, dismissed, that they were prevented from finding
8 employment in Kosovo and Metohija after 1989?
9 A. In late 1980s, another phenomenon emerged. Many of them, many
10 Albanians left their jobs en masse in order to depict that they were
11 allegedly disenfranchised and persecuted by Serbian officials. There were
12 even Albanians who requested that they be issued a decision dismissing
13 them from their jobs so that they could wave it in the faces of officials.
14 I can claim this with certainty. There might have been some
15 exceptions, but I can claim with certainty that the official policy was as
16 I described it.
17 Q. All right. So what is it that prompted Albanians to protest?
18 What made them do that?
19 A. Nothing. I told you what institutions they held, what national
20 ethnic key policy was applied, what rights they had. All they wanted was
21 for Kosovo to become a republic. They wanted to secede from Serbia and be
22 annexed to Albania. This is the essence of what they wanted.
23 Q. Among the Albanian officials in Kosovo and Metohija, Rrahman
24 Morina was especially prominent and you knew him. Please tell us, what
25 was his position in relation to the crisis in Kosovo and Metohija? Tell
1 us something about him and about his views.
2 A. Rrahman Morina is an Albanian originally from a village some five
3 to six kilometres from Pec, married to a Serb woman. He's one of the
4 Albanians who had a pro-Yugoslav orientation, but however, he was under
5 sever pressure. He was pressured by his compatriots and he was committed
6 to putting an end to this terror against Serbs, to ensuring conditions for
7 the return of everyone and to ensuring equal rights for everyone.
8 Therefore, he was between the rock and the hard place. On one side
9 pressured by his compatriots; on the other side pressured by the Serbs.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, as I indicated, we have to
12 Mr. Balevic, your evidence is not concluded. You will return --
13 you will return tomorrow because your evidence may be completed tomorrow.
14 We are adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00 a.m.
15 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, just for his own arrangements, his
16 evidence in chief may be completed tomorrow. He is inevitably now going
17 to go into next week. If this witness -- if the other witness is
18 interposed to take one or two sessions, that's inevitable.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. You should appreciate that you may have to
20 be here next week for cross-examination. I imagine Mr. Milosevic and his
21 associates will have explained that to you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, nobody explained that to me.
23 This is the first time that I heard about this, but that's fine. I will
24 stay as long as you want me to stay.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes. You will be required to stay.
1 We are adjourned until tomorrow morning.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of
4 January, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.