1 Monday, 14 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please sit.
10 WITNESS: VLADISLAV JOVANOVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I understand that there is an exhibit from the
13 previous witness, Mr. Balevic, which, for the purposes of the record,
14 should be number D274. Is that it? D274.
15 Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I ask you to admit
17 into evidence the document proffered by Mr. Nice about what happened in
18 Kosovo Polje. Generally speaking, everything that happened when there was
19 a clash between the police and the demonstrators. I would like this to be
20 in evidence so that it would be obvious how facts are being manipulated
21 and how they are being presented upside down.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us deal with those documents presented by the
23 Prosecution during cross-examination, at a later time. Please begin your
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Examined by Mr. Milosevic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Jovanovic.
3 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
4 Q. At the very beginning could you just say very briefly a few words
5 about your career.
6 A. I was born in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia 71 years ago. I have a
7 degree in law. I was in the diplomatic service for 43 years. Four of
8 those years I was the minister of foreign affairs of Serbia and then the
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I served in several different countries;
10 in Belgium, Turkey, London, and I was ambassador to Turkey and the Head of
11 Mission of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in the United Nations. In
12 the beginning of 2001, I retired.
13 Q. You mentioned now, inter alia, that you were minister of foreign
14 affairs of Serbia. I'm going to deal with that briefly. The Ministry of
15 Foreign Affairs of Serbia, did it in any way take over any of the powers
16 vested in Yugoslavia?
17 A. No. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia just took care of
18 the interests of Serbia in the field of foreign relations, those that it
19 could develop but only within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
20 Everything else was done by the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
21 Q. At that time, you were, for example, at a meeting that took place
22 in Prague in August 1991. You attended a meeting of the Conference on
23 Security and Cooperation in Europe. Could you tell me what your position
24 was there and who you represented.
25 A. This was a high officials meeting of the CSE, and the delegation
1 of Yugoslavia consisted of members of the Federal Ministry for Foreign
2 Affairs. As minister of foreign affairs of Serbia, I was attached to that
3 delegation, but I did not take part in its work, and I was not present in
4 the conference hall itself. I spent time in front of the conference hall,
5 together with journalists.
6 Q. So in a way you accompanied the delegation of the SFRY at that
7 meeting; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes. I was there in that capacity at our request but the CSE rule
9 was observed, namely that only members of the CSE could attend, and Serbia
10 was not a member, and that is why the delegation consisted only of
11 representatives of the Federal Foreign Ministry.
12 Q. Did you have the same position in Helsinki in autumn of 1991 when
13 the federal delegation went?
14 A. It was the same. This was a meeting that was at a somewhat lower
15 level. This was a meeting devoted to the so-called humanitarian dimension
16 of the CSE. I was in the conference hall at that time, but I did not have
17 the right to speak. Instead of me, it was Dr. Vladimir Pavicevic, head of
18 the delegation, who spoke.
19 Q. Vladimir Pavicevic represented Yugoslavia?
20 A. Yes. He was an ambassador, a high official of the Federal Foreign
22 Q. On the basis of everything you know, were there any collisions
23 anywhere between the functions that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had
24 or, rather, its Foreign Ministry and on the other hand the functions that
25 you exercised in Serbia?
1 A. Practically, we did not have a very notable cooperation except
2 that from time to time some documents were sent to me, but not all
3 documents, not all the time, and not the most sensitive documents. So the
4 foreign policy of Yugoslavia was exclusively pursued by the Federal
5 Foreign Ministry. Serbia was on the sidelines to a large extent.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, I'd like to get the year during which
7 Mr. Jovanovic was minister of foreign affairs for Serbia and for the
8 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and I would find it very helpful if you
9 would include a CV of the witness, in the future, for this purpose.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Kwon. The CV of
11 witnesses is usually provided, but there will be no problems with the CV
12 of this witness. Mr. Jovanovic was in 1991 the minister of foreign
13 affairs of Serbia, and practically, he worked within the foreign policy
14 activities of Yugoslavia, but it's best to ask him.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. When did you become foreign minister of Yugoslavia?
17 A. On the 1st and 2nd of August, 1991. And I held that position all
18 the way up to July 1992, when I was appointed minister of foreign affairs
19 of Yugoslavia in the government of Mr. Milan Panic, and I remained in that
20 position until mid-September the same year, when I resigned as foreign
21 minister in the federal government, and I again became the foreign
22 minister of Serbia. I remained there all the way up to the summer of
23 1993, when I became minister of foreign affairs of the Federal Republic of
24 Yugoslavia in the government of Mr. Radoje Kontic. I held that position
25 until I went to New York to head the permanent mission of the Federal
1 Republic of Yugoslavia to the UN.
2 Q. When was that?
3 A. That was at the end of September. To be more precise, on the 19th
4 of September, 1995.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovanovic, you said you were in the
6 diplomatic service for 43 years. When did you join the diplomatic
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I joined the diplomatic service as
9 soon as I graduated from university and did -- as soon as I did my
10 military service. That was in March 1957.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would it be correct, then, to say that you were a
12 career civil servant in the diplomatic service of your country?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Milosevic.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, in order to look at the broader context of events
17 that you're going to be testifying about, tell us, please, what do you
18 know about the following: How was it that the International Peace
19 Conference on Yugoslavia was held?
20 A. The International Peace Conference on Yugoslavia came as a
21 consequence of the position taken by the European Union on the 27th of
22 August, 1991, to have this kind of conference held because the European
23 Community could help the quarreling republics of the Socialist Federal
24 Republic of Yugoslavia and could assist them in finding a political
25 solution. It is from that point of view that the European Community
1 decided to send special envoys to the representatives of all the republics
2 and to the top federal authorities.
3 As far as Serbia is concerned, this task was given to President
4 Mitterrand. He invited President Milosevic to come to Paris on the 29th
5 of August. Of course I accompanied President Milosevic, and President
6 Mitterrand represented this conference to us in a very likable way, in a
7 very benevolent way, so from his words we got the impression that this
8 conference was really supposed to give its good offices and with the best
9 of intentions, and that was all. He told us that the European Community
10 wished to offer these good offices without any ulterior motive, that
11 they wanted to bring together to the same table the representatives of all
12 the quarreling republics and to help them find a common tongue. It this
13 were to be a success, the European Community would be pleased. And if
14 not, nothing would happen. Everybody would go home as if nothing
15 happened, as if the conference never took place. At the same time, he
16 said that the conference would have an arbitration commission as an
17 auxiliary advisory body which could consist of the presidents of five
18 constitutional courts of five member states. Their opinions would not be
19 compulsory in any way or binding. They would only be of an advisory
21 He was trying to tell us that Serbia had nothing to fear at this
22 conference, and he pointed out that the president of that commission would
23 be Mr. Robert Badinter, who was his personal friend, and he particularly
24 pointed out, "If he is my personal friend, then --"
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Jovanovic.
1 Mr. Milosevic, as you know that I do not have a predilection for
2 very long narratives, so try to ask questions and elicit shorter answers.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, could you help me with one thing:
4 You said that you became the foreign minister of the Federal Republic of
5 Yugoslavia at the beginning of August 1991. This meeting was in -- on the
6 27th of August, 1991; is that correct?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 29th of August. This meeting
8 took place at President Mitterand's.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Just one correction --
11 JUDGE BONOMY: But you went as a representative of Serbia,
12 although by this time you were the foreign minister of Yugoslavia. Have I
13 got the picture correct?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You didn't.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was foreign minister of
16 Serbia from the 1st or 2nd of August, 1991, and the minister of the
17 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is what I became only the following year,
18 in July 1992. So I was in Paris only in my capacity of foreign minister
19 of Serbia.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, the transcript certainly doesn't reflect that
21 and no doubt will be corrected.
22 JUDGE KWON: So you were appointed as minister of Serbia two
23 times; in 1991 and 1993?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once, but my position of foreign
25 minister of Serbia was not extinguished when I became federal minister --
1 federal foreign minister. So then I simply resumed my former duties
2 afterwards as foreign minister of Serbia.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: So you held the two posts at the same time?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In a way, but effectively I worked
6 in the first position, and the second one was in a state of freeze.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. In relation to this question put by Mr. Robinson, did you take any
9 activities while you were foreign minister of Yugoslavia? Did you take
10 any activities in Serbia?
11 A. In the initial period, that is to say between the summer of 1992
12 and September 1992, formally I was foreign minister of Serbia, too, but at
13 that time I was not exercising that function at all because, quite simply,
14 I could not attend two different government sessions, I could attend the
15 sessions of only one government. So this position of mine as foreign
16 minister of Serbia was practically in a state of freeze.
17 Q. I hope we can go on. Tell us, Mr. Jovanovic, is there anything
18 characteristic or special that you remember from that meeting with
19 President Mitterand, who advocated this conference on Yugoslavia?
20 A. President Mitterand, in addition to saying that Badinter was his
21 friend and, therefore, our friend, too, he assured us that the members of
22 that commission would be the presidents of the constitutional courts of
23 Greece, France, Britain, and Germany; that is to say that there would be
24 at least three who would be sympathetic to our cause. And he pointed out
25 that Serbia has such strong political and historical arguments that there
1 was absolutely no reason for fear that they not be upheld at the
2 conference itself. On the other hand, he pointed out that the conference
3 would only offer good offices and there would be no danger of it growing
4 into anything else.
5 Q. All right. Tell me, please, how did this develop further? As the
6 conference evolved, did it result in good offices only or something that
7 could not be called that?
8 A. Regrettably, from the very first days it abandoned that approach
9 of offering good offices only. It started behaving in an engaged manner,
10 and it was engaged at that on one side; the republics that had proclaimed
11 independence or those who were prepared to follow the secessionism of
12 Slovenia and Croatia. It is for that reason that from a conference
13 offering good offices this conference very soon started openly interfering
14 in the internal affairs of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
15 and giving open support to the secessionist republics.
16 Finally, the conference ended in a dictate, in a
17 take-it-or-leave-it form. The federal units, the republics that did not
18 accept this dictate, those that wanted to preserve the Socialist Federal
19 Republic of Yugoslavia were punished. Sanctions were imposed against
20 Yugoslavia, and that was the beginning of a long path that Serbia and
21 Montenegro -- rather, Yugoslavia had to take over the next ten years. It
22 was constant isolation and ultimately bombs.
23 Q. Let's just go back to one thing, Mr. Jovanovic. What about the
24 meetings of the expert groups that were established then, especially where
25 you took part in this directly? What do you know about this?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. At first we had meetings of ministers of foreign affairs. First
2 two groups were formed and later on a third one. They dealt with
3 constitutional matters, economic matters, and human rights issues. As for
4 foreign ministers' meetings --
5 Q. Can you tell us specifically which two groups and which three
7 A. The third -- the first one was foreign ministers. This was a
8 plenary meeting. And after that there was a group for constitutional
9 matters and a group for economic matters. A few weeks before that, a
10 group for economic questions was set up. These were expert groups, and
11 foreign ministers meetings were of a political nature. I attended only
12 meetings of foreign ministers. And in the work of these groups, it was
13 obvious that there was a total divergence between the republics that
14 wanted to preserve Yugoslavia and that wanted to resolve the crisis in
15 Yugoslavia peacefully and, on the other hand, the republics that rejected
16 this legalist approach and insisted on the right to secession. It was
17 Slovenia and Croatia that figured most prominently in this effort, whereas
18 Bosnia and Macedonia for a while had an ambivalent position. But as the
19 conference progressed, they became closer and closer to the positions
20 upheld by Croatia and Slovenia.
21 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Jovanovic. Now, do you happen to
22 remember the first meeting, the first plenary session in The Hague, on the
23 7th of September, 1991?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At that meeting, if I may be allowed to explain, the heads of
1 delegations presented their platforms, their positions and views about the
2 work of the conference, and you, in your capacity as President of Serbia,
3 presented your own views in a speech that was not a very lengthy one but
4 which contained the principled stands and positions and legalistic
5 positions necessary and indispensable for resolving the Yugoslavia crisis.
6 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, in your binder, tab 3, you have my speech there,
7 the one that I delivered at The Hague Conference on the 7th of September,
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, I have provided it in
10 both the English and the Serbian versions.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And in view of the fact that you yourself were fully informed of
13 the problems at hand --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, where are we to find it in the --
15 tab 3?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, it is tab 3. And you have
17 exhibit description here, tab 3, Statement by the President of the
18 Republic of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, the Conference on Yugoslavia.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Well, let me ask you questions and then you can answer, several
22 questions with regard to the positions and stands taken. And I should
23 like to ask you to comment and respond.
24 At the very beginning, I am going to quote, actually, the first
25 paragraph. It says: "The Yugoslav crisis, which is the reason for the
1 convening of this Conference, is the result of a unilateral secessionist
2 policy, first of Slovenia and then of Croatia. By so doing, they have
3 jeopardised the Yugoslav constitutional order."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, please, was that absolutely clear or can you confirm that or
6 challenge it as a fact?
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is he being asked; whether it was a fact
8 that you made that statement, or whether it was a fact that the Yugoslav
9 crisis, which is the reason for the conference, was the result of a
10 unilateral secessionist policy of Slovenia and Croatia?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Precisely that, Mr. Robinson. I
12 assume we're not challenging that I --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you're also asking him to say whether -- why
14 that secessionist policy of the Yugoslav constitutional order was
15 jeopardised. I wouldn't allow the latter question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, how did the Yugoslav crisis come about?
19 A. The Yugoslav crisis was caused by the gradual, slow, and then
20 measures which came to a head taken by Slovenia and Croatia to secede, to
21 break away from Yugoslavia on one side, and in a violent manner. They did
22 this, especially Slovenia, over longer period of time. It lasted some
23 five years before the Conference on Yugoslavia was actually held. And the
24 upshot of it was, came in 1991 - 1990 and 1991 - when successively measure
25 were made for unilateral secession by amendments of the constitution,
1 illegal arming, and the proclamation of sovereignty first and independence
2 second. And it was these measures that rocked Yugoslavia and brought into
3 question its constitutional order, because Yugoslavia never prevented the
4 right to self-determination and secession for anyone but this was always
5 linked with the rights and interests of the other republics making up
6 Yugoslavia and general stability and peace in the country. So these
7 republics could have succeeded through a constitutional channel and
8 peaceful channels but they did not want to do that because that would have
9 then constituted secession, whereas they wanted to break away in the form
10 of disassociation and the disbanding of Yugoslavia. Now, unfortunately,
11 they have an enormous support from certain members of the European
12 Community, particularly Germany and Austria on one hand and on the other
13 side the Vatican too.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, bear in mind we already have
15 evidence on this question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am bearing that in mind,
17 Mr. Robinson, but Mr. Jovanovic was a direct participant in the events and
18 knows the facts very well, the facts that relate to the development of the
19 Yugoslav crisis.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And in September, that is to say the beginning of September 1991,
22 was it contentional at all that secession had already at the time led to a
23 conflict and bloodshed?
24 A. Unfortunately, that's what happened, yes. First in Slovenia and
25 then in Croatia where the new authorities in Croatia immediately
1 proclaimed a political war against the Serb people in Croatia, provoking
2 the Serb people, dismissing people from their jobs, engaging in selective
3 killing and selective storming of the police force in areas that were
4 populated by a Serb majority, and that led the Serb people in Croatia --
5 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... very much or at
6 all, I hope, with this witness's evidence. I've been provided with a 65
7 ter summary that is so general I have no real idea of the detail of what
8 he's going to be speaking about, but for the avoidance of any doubt or
9 uncertainty, I don't expect to be cross-examining on generalities of the
10 kind he's just given, speaking of crimes and dismissing people from their
11 jobs, unless he's going to give direct evidence about it himself, which I
12 rather doubt. It's a matter for the accused if he wants to spend his time
13 eliciting evidence of this kind, but it doesn't seem to me that it's very
14 helpful to the Chamber.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, I certainly for one am increasingly
16 concerned about the way in which the accused is utilising the time
17 available to him to deal with matters which don't have a direct - direct -
18 bearing on whether he was criminally responsible in any way for the crimes
19 that may or may not have been committed during the period that we're
20 concerned about, and this sort of tit-for-tat exchange about who started
21 it all seems to me to take us nowhere in answering the question that we
22 really have to answer at the end of the day.
23 MR. NICE: And Your Honour, obviously I echo that, but more
24 materially, I think this witness's experience does cover the time and does
25 cover events and meetings which may be material in due course in
1 cross-examination, and that's what I'll be focusing on --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Indeed.
3 MR. NICE: -- but I can't deal with this sort of material.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you have heard the observations of
5 Mr. Nice, also the remarks of my brother Judge Bonomy. Much of this
6 evidence is repetitive and may not be directly relevant to the charges. I
7 have no doubt that the witness can give evidence that is vital and
8 important to the matters at hand, so you must move to an area of the
9 information available to him which is more directly relevant. But I will
10 not allow any further questions on these matters that you have -- that
11 have been raised. They are not sufficiently relevant.
12 JUDGE KWON: And before going further, in tab 3, we have two
13 versions of your statement, one being with some editorial notes, taking
14 out only phrases or inserting some phrases, the other one being a clean
15 version which seems to be a translation of the Serb version. How are they
16 different and who was it that put some English editorial notes?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I shall have to take a look
19 JUDGE KWON: If the witness can help us.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These changes in the English text
21 were done by me. That is my handwriting. And the following version is
22 the version in Serbian compiled by Mr. Milosevic. So this was done for my
23 own needs, for me to be able to know exactly what was uttered, and what
24 was uttered is what you have in the Serbian version, the Serbian language.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honours may want to know, if it's not apparent
1 already, that what appears in my tab is the second version, with ERN
2 number ending 5341, is the document already produced as 776. Your Honour
3 is obviously ahead of me on that.
4 JUDGE KWON: As noted here.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you.
6 Mr. Milosevic, move to another subject area within the witness's
7 knowledge and that is directly relevant to the charges in the indictment.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, this witness is
9 testifying about what actually happened, and as far as the indictment is
10 concerned, everything there is completely unfounded. Now, I can ask the
11 witness a question and say what he knows about it all and move on, so he
12 needn't testify at all. But I would like us to clear matters up here so
13 that you can see the truth about what actually took place.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, in paragraph 3 of this speech of mine, I quote
16 here: "No one is challenging the right of the Croatian people to
17 self-determination." Is that what it says? So was that the position
18 taken by Serbia at the time in 1991, September, in The Hague, that nobody
19 questions or challenges the right of the Croatian people to? It says:
20 "This policy culminated in unilateral proclamation of Croatian
21 independence, which thus the right of the Croatian people to
22 self-determination, which no one challenges or denies, has been abused in
23 the legal acts of the Croatian government to the detriment of that same
24 right of the Serbian people to self-determination."
25 So was that the key problem, the crux of the matter that was
1 raised, and it was clear -- clearly presented to the conference in The
2 Hague on Serbia's part?
3 A. Yes. That was the key problem in the Yugoslav crisis, because the
4 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia guaranteed equal rights
5 to self-determination to all the constituent nations of Yugoslavia, and
6 this position was expressed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of
7 Croatia and the new authorities in Croatia amended the constitution
8 hastily and deprived the people in Croatia the rights of a constituent
9 peoples and reduced them to the status of a minority. Therefore, this
10 position taken in the speech is a position of great importance because it
11 emphasised and reiterated once again the fact that the proper approach to
12 the right or equal right of all the constituent peoples in Yugoslavia, the
13 right to self-determination, would enable us to solve the Yugoslav crisis
14 in a legal, democratic manner. The new Croatian authorities abused the
15 right to self-determination that they had, and nobody challenges that
16 right, as was set out here, and at the same time it challenged the right
17 of the Serb people.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovanovic, I'm stopping you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I think you have scheduled six
21 hours for this witness. At the rate that you're going and on the basis of
22 the kind of questions that you're asking and the subject areas of the
23 question, I think you will take 12 hours to conclude.
24 This particular matter that he's dealing with, secession and so
25 on, while not irrelevant is a matter on which we already have evidence.
1 At this stage I would almost say it is close to being peripheral to the
2 central issues in this case. So deal with the matter quickly. You're
3 going round and round and round in circles, and you're consuming a lot of
4 time. Get to the point very quickly and bear in mind, as I said, we
5 already have evidence on this matter.
6 You have a specific in number of days in which to present your
7 case, and you must utilise your time more prudently. It is not the most
8 efficient use of the Court's time, and that is the point.
9 We have heard evidence from several witnesses on this question,
10 and I never thought this witness was coming here to give more evidence on
11 this issue. So if you have to deal with it, if you want to deal with it,
12 since it is your case, then deal with it, but deal with it very shortly,
13 very quickly and move on to something that is more central and more
14 directly relevant to the issues that we face on the basis of the
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson. Let me
17 just finish what I was saying.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I'm just going to quote a portion and then ask you a question, ask
20 you why I quoted that. The question I wish to ask you, in fact, is this:
21 Was it Serbia -- was Serbia a participant in the conflict? And before you
22 answer, I'm going to read what I said on the occasion, and then you'll be
23 able to correct me or agree or explain what this was all about, because
24 this is what it says here, that: "The authorities were demonstrating by
25 armed attacks, demonstrating sovereignty and independence by constant
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 armed attacks on the territories inhabited by Serbs. Over 100.000
2 refugees from Croatia to Serbia are a direct effect of this policy. On
3 the other hand, there is no single Croat who fled from Serbia to Croatia
4 because of national discrimination. Evidently, it is the actual Croatian
5 government which has forced the Serbs in the Republic of Croatia to
6 organise and defend themselves in order to prevent the repetition of
7 genocide performed by the former Independent State of Croatia during the
8 Second World War.
9 "Since the Serbs in the Serbian Autonomous Province of Krajina
10 and Slavonia and Baranja and Western Srem, being one part in the armed
11 conflicts in Croatia, and according to the documents signed in Belgrade, a
12 participant on equal footing in cease-fire monitoring, I deem the presence
13 of their legitimate representatives in the procedure initiated today not
14 only necessary but actually indispensable."
15 So let me repeat my question to you now: Was Serbia a participant
16 in the conflict, and what was the essence of the strivings made for the
17 representatives of SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, SAO Krajina, to
18 become included into the work of the conference?
19 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I just make my position clear on this before
20 it's answered: I regard any answer that's given to this question as
21 valueless because it's the most leading question, I think, that's ever
22 been addressed in the course of this trial; an absolutely pointless way of
23 conducting this examination.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, please answer my question, which was: What was the
1 role of Serbia in that conflict? The most general question that I can put
2 to you.
3 A. Serbia was not involved in any way in armed conflicts in Croatia,
4 for two reasons. The first reason is a factual one: Serbia did not have
5 its own army. The only armed force in Yugoslavia was the Yugoslav
6 People's Army.
7 The second reason is that the federal organs had competencies over
8 the federal army, and Serbia could only have the political influence to
9 the extent that it participated in the federal government and it
10 represented only one-sixth of the federal government. The parties in the
11 conflict were Croatian paramilitary units and the military formations of
12 Serbs in Croatia. This can be seen in the various agreements and appeals
13 where precisely these parties are called upon to implement cease-fire.
14 There was one agreement between President Tudjman and General Kadijevic
15 dated 22nd September, 1991, if I remember correctly, and such an agreement
16 is a direct result of the understanding of the situation, namely, that the
17 parties to this conflict are Croatian paramilitary formations and Yugoslav
18 People's Army, and the military formations of Serbs in Croatia also figure
19 in that context.
20 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me. Mr. Jovanovic, take your case, for
21 example. You are the minister of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia retaining
22 the status as a minister of Serbia. Can you not say that Republic of
23 Serbia has a say in relation to the matter of Federal Republic of
24 Yugoslavia in one way or another, given your situation?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me make a
1 clarification. At the time, I was only foreign minister of Serbia. It
2 wasn't until one year later that I became foreign minister of Yugoslavia.
3 The events in Croatia unfolded only in 1991 because the Vance-Owen Plan
4 came into being in 1992 -- or, rather, the Vance Plan.
5 As I said, Serbia could have a political say in the same share
6 that was allotted to other federal units, not more and not less. Even in
7 the Main Staff of the Yugoslav army, Serbia was the least represented
8 republic. It had only a few generals out of a total of 16 generals. So
9 we cannot, based on this, draw a conclusion that Serbia had an influence
10 that was at all relevant in what was going, especially in what was going
11 on in Croatia.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Now that we're dealing with this topic, Mr. Jovanovic, you
14 participated in the meeting which took place in Igalo on the 17th of
15 September, 1991. We can see that in tab 2, Statement by Lord Carrington,
16 The Presidents of the Republic of Croatia and Serbia, and The Minister of
17 National Defence at Igalo, Yugoslavia, on 17 Sep 91."
18 Please be so kind and explain to us the following -- we have this
19 document in Serbian here as well. Please explain to us what was the
20 course of that conversation, that discussion, and what was the role of the
21 president of Serbia within that conversation and within this agreement as
22 a whole? You were a direct participant.
23 A. Lord Carrington called that meeting because he was concerned,
24 seeing that the conflict in Croatia was intensifying. Therefore, a text
25 was drafted which was supposed to be signed by warring parties, namely
1 President Tudjman and General Kadijevic. When he asked President
2 Milosevic to sign it as well in view of his political standing and
3 influence that he had, he later on agreed to insert into text "under
4 political and not only military influence." Therefore, at the request,
5 special request of Lord Carrington and after the insertion of this text,
6 President Milosevic agreed to sign this as a sign of support to peace and
7 cease-fire in Croatia. He did not do that representing any warring side
8 but as a political personality who wanted to add his weight to
9 establishing peace.
10 Q. All right. Let us take a look at tab 5, which is a report of the
11 Conference on Yugoslavia. This is a foreign document.
12 Could you please explain to us, what is this document about?
13 This is a document I received from the other side. Therefore, the
14 document provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I suppose of the
15 Netherlands, which at the time was the country presiding the European
17 A. I first have to take a look at this, because this must be a
18 document from The Hague Conference on Yugoslavia, but there were a number
19 of such documents. Therefore, I need to take a very brief look at this,
20 with the Court's indulgence.
21 As far as I can see, this is an appeal sent by the Presidency of
22 the SFRY to reach cease-fire agreement in Croatia.
23 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, is this a document coming from one of the European
24 ministries of foreign affairs, informing about the Conference on
1 A. Yes. This seems to be a document of the foreign affairs of the
2 Netherlands, which produced this document to be used by the chairman,
3 Mr. Van den Broek.
4 Q. Very well. In relation to what you just explained about the
5 agreement in Igalo, please take a look at the bottom of the first page of
6 this dispatch. I will quote just three lines: "[In English] The
7 collective Presidency of SFRY and President Tudjman, in the presence of
8 President Milosevic, agree to give the following instructions to their
9 respective forces immediately."
10 [Interpretation] Therefore, the collective Presidency of
11 Yugoslavia and President Tudjman. And then it says, "in the presence of
12 President Milosevic..." So who agreed here to issue instructions to their
14 A. What is repeated here are precisely the words uttered in Igalo.
15 So this document repeats what was stated in Igalo and later implemented in
16 the agreement between Tudjman and General Kadijevic as representatives of
17 the warring sides in the cease-fire agreement. Just like at Igalo,
18 they're counting on the presence of President Milosevic. At Igalo they
19 did that for his political influence. And based on this, we can see who
20 the warring sides are, and also see that the presence of President
21 Milosevic was needed in order to show his support for peace and in order
22 to make it more binding on the warring sides. So I don't see any
23 difference between this text here and the text from Igalo.
24 Q. It says here "collective Presidency of Yugoslavia and President
25 Tudjman..." Therefore, they agreed to issue instructions to their forces.
1 Are there any forces of Serbia that need to be given instructions? Which
2 are the warring sides here?
3 A. No. There are no military forces in Serbia. Serbia did not have
4 any military forces. But as is known, what we are dealing with here are
5 the Croatian forces, the JNA, and the Serbs in Croatia who organised
6 themselves in order to defend themselves. And those were ad hoc
7 established units.
8 Q. Very well. Please take a look at the following page, which deals
9 with the plenary session. This is the well-known session at which Serbia
10 did not accept the Carrington document. This document here explains it
11 very briefly, although we have my speech from that session.
12 It says here: "President Milosevic made a formal reserve [In
13 English] on the first chapter of the proposed text of the Chair since the
14 paper started from the premise that an internationally recognised state
15 should be abolished."
16 [Interpretation] Therefore, what was this all about,
17 Mr. Jovanovic? This is a question that has been put here frequently. You
18 were present at this occasion, so you have everything you need to have in
19 order to explain this.
20 A. The conference was called in order to preserve Yugoslavia, as the
21 European Community in its declaration dated the 8th of August, 1991,
22 stated that precisely. So this was not a conference that was supposed to
23 be fatal to Yugoslavia. This is why this is the cornerstone for
24 everything else that was to happen afterwards. They are starting from the
25 premise that Yugoslavia must disappear, and instead of Yugoslavia, there
1 should be new republics constituted. This was a way to avoid calling
2 secession a secession. They opted for calling this process a
3 disintegration of Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, this political position was
4 later implemented through the opinion of Badinter's commission, veiled
5 under the legal veil.
6 President Milosevic insisted on this position here because he
7 believed that they needed to discuss everything else contained in this
8 paper. Without that, there was nothing else to discuss.
9 We kept insisting on the position that, yes, some republics can
10 avail themselves of their right to self-determination. However, what was
11 a problem, that that same right to self-determination was denied to Serbia
12 and Montenegro and to Serbs living in Croatia. So that was the key issue.
13 And this was the key reason for what happened afterwards, namely the
14 intensification of Yugoslav crisis and conflict in Croatia. It introduced
15 Yugoslav people to new conflicts.
16 We insisted on the position that those republics who wished to do
17 so could leave Yugoslavia as a joint state. However, there had to be a
18 proviso; namely, that those republics and nations which wished to stay in
19 Yugoslavia as their state, which would be a legal successor and which
20 would be -- which would have international -- status of an international
21 subject, should be allowed to do so.
22 So this initiative started by Lord Carrington was not seen through
23 its end, no. An end was put to it, an end that was to the detriment of
24 those republics and nations who wished to stay in Yugoslavia. As a result
25 of that, consequences ensued which can be felt to this day.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Jovanovic, what do you mean when you say that
2 the same right to self-determination was denied to Serbia and Montenegro?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that because the right to
4 self-determination does not contain only the right to secession. It has
5 its internal and external aspect. Therefore, it contains also the right
6 to remain in the common joint state. As the survival of Yugoslavia --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: You're distinguishing Serbia and the position of
8 Serbia and Montenegro and its rights from those of any other republic.
9 Now, what was the difference? I quite accept that you take the view that
10 Croatia had no right to secede. Does it follow that Serbia and Montenegro
11 would have no right to secede either? So what is the difference you're
12 trying to make or identify between the positions of these two republics --
13 or indeed three republics, rather?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because Serbia and Montenegro
15 proposed a joint amendment, specifying that those republics who wished
16 could remain in Yugoslavia as a joint state.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: You either don't understand the question or you're
18 not answering it.
19 You seem to be suggesting there's some difference in the status of
20 Serbia and the status of Montenegro from that of Croatia that was
21 prejudicial to these two republics, and I may have misunderstood you, but
22 I was trying to clarify the point.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it -- Mr. Jovanovic, before you answer, is it
24 that you're saying that Serbia and Montenegro wanted the right to remain
25 as the FRY, as the legal successor, and that right was denied, was being
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely that. That was a
3 legitimate right that they had. Lord Carrington kept challenging that and
4 denying that to the very end. He used to say, "You, Serbia and
5 Montenegro, can create a new statement. You can call it Yugoslavia, even,
6 but it has to be a new state."
7 With your indulgence, Your Honours, I would like to remind you of
8 a meeting that took place between Prime Minister Panic and Prime Minister
9 Major and Junior Minister Hurd in London. I was present there as well.
10 We explained the same issue to them. We insisted on legal succession and
11 the status of international subject that was to be granted to FRY, and
12 Mr. Douglas Hurd stated the following: "You can have your arguments, but
13 you must, you must accept our position." And this was the verdict that
14 was taken with respect to the existence of Yugoslavia and legal secession.
15 Unfortunately, this position was taken by other members of the EU and then
16 adopted by the Security Council, and this explains precisely the suffering
17 that we had to endure for the following ten years within the UN and within
18 the international community as a whole.
19 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm not sure if it explains that. That may be an
20 overstatement. But continue, Mr. Milosevic.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. The next paragraph in this same telegram says - I quoted the
23 preceding one to you before - I am saying that this abolishes Yugoslavia,
24 and they explain it very briefly here. "[In English] President Milosevic
25 indicated that a final decision on the future arrangements between the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Yugoslav components could only be taken by the Yugoslav peoples..."
2 [Interpretation] Was that something special?
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, do we need to go over this again?
4 Aren't you beating this point to death?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson. If that is
6 sufficient -- well, I wanted to go through these dispatches because they
7 confirm the truthfulness of that which I'm saying.
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, for the sake of time, can I remind you
9 that we have -- we dealt with exactly the same tab when Professor Avramov
10 was here. This exhibit was admitted into evidence already. Its number is
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have that in mind, but I also have
13 in mind that Mr. Jovanovic was present and that he can give truly
14 authentic explanations.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
16 Q. Please, Mr. Jovanovic, could we now have a look at tab 6. That is
17 also a report from the seventh plenary session.
18 JUDGE KWON: Which is Prosecution Exhibit 779.
19 MR. NICE: I believe so, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: As usual, Judge Kwon is ahead.
21 MR. NICE: On this occasion it was because we were temporarily --
22 we had temporarily surrendered our binder with the record. We've now got
23 it back.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. On the first page, where it says that the meeting is attended by
1 the presidents of all the republics and by Mr. Mesic and Mr. Tupurkovski
2 from the Federal Presidency; and Ante Markovic, Prime Minister; and
3 Loncar, foreign minister, also attended on behalf of the federal
5 Now, towards the end of this last paragraph on this page, it says
6 -- or, rather, Lord Carrington explains that he condemns the attacks on
7 Vukovar and Dubrovnik, and then he says -- he said, Lord Carrington, "[In
8 English] ... President Tudjman had given assurances that the blockade on
9 the JNA barracks would be lifted as undertaken on October 18th."
10 [Interpretation] So as Carrington says here, Tudjman promises to
11 lift the blockade of the barracks.
12 Do you know what the main problem was at that time in the conflict
13 between the JNA and the Croatian forces?
14 A. The main problem in the conflicts throughout Croatia was the
15 decision of the new Croatian government to place military facilities, that
16 is to say barracks, under full blockade, to deny them water and food and
17 other assistance, and to compel them in this way to surrender or, rather,
18 to render them incapable of carrying out their duties. That is something
19 that not a single army in the world would allow itself to do, but
20 President Tudjman precisely did that in order to provoke the JNA and, as
21 he explained later, to have a war and in this way attain the independence
22 of Croatia. Regrettably, that was the case in Vukovar and in other towns,
23 and various agreements concluded between President Tudjman and General
24 Kadijevic in relation to cease-fires and lifting the blockade of these
25 military barracks were not observed because that did not suit President
1 Tudjman. He knew that only by extending the conflict it would be easier
2 and faster for him to attain independence. After all, Chancellor Kohl and
3 Minister Genscher persuaded him of this through their own statements that
4 the continuation of hostilities would speed up the recognition of Croatia
5 as an independent state.
6 Q. This entire conflict in Croatia between the JNA and the Croatian
7 forces, is there any mention of Serbia at all? Does Serbia figure in this
8 at all?
9 A. It cannot be seen anywhere and it is not mentioned anywhere except
10 in the words of condemnation uttered by President Tudjman. Of course and
11 it is in his interest to portray things differently.
12 Q. All right. Now that we're dealing with this document, that is to
13 say tab 6, that is a very long dispatch, it has to do with many issues,
14 and I cannot really deal with all of that, but I would like to draw your
15 attention to page 4. All these events were mentioned here. This is
16 paragraph 2.3: "[In English] President Milosevic (Serbia).
17 "President Milosevic indicated that he had asked -- that he had
18 asked General Kadijevic and Vice-president Kostic if it was true that JNA
19 was shelling the city of Dubrovnik. They said that this was untrue.
20 Whatever the situation was, he, Milosevic could not accept the shelling of
21 Dubrovnik, which could not be justified."
22 [Interpretation] Do you remember all of this that had to do with
23 Dubrovnik, generally speaking, and my position and the position of Serbia
24 in relation to what was going on there?
25 A. I remember that this was discussed and that you made this
1 statement or, rather, the assurance -- that you gave these assurances that
2 Serbia had nothing to do with Dubrovnik and that it cannot condone its
4 In addition to that, there were several statements made by Serbia
5 condemning the shelling of Dubrovnik. For example, the Serbian government
6 made a statement. The Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia
7 also condemned that action. I think that I had also made a statement to
8 that effect.
9 So as far as Serbia is concerned, there were no indications
10 whatsoever that Serbia was behind that or that it could have any interest
11 in it.
12 Q. All right, Mr. Jovanovic.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I again just clarify something. If you were
14 being assured that there was no attack or bombing by the JNA of Dubrovnik,
15 what was it you were condemning?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] President Milosevic says in this
17 statement, "And if there is indeed shelling of Dubrovnik, he wishes to
18 point out that Serbia does not condone that and does not stand behind it."
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, I'm going to quote this once again so that it would
21 not be unclear. The second part only. I asked whether it was correct,
22 and the answer was no, that it was not correct. "[In English] Whatever
23 the situation was, he, Milosevic, could not accept the shelling of
24 Dubrovnik, which could not be justified."
25 [Interpretation] Our attitude towards that was totally clear, not
1 ambivalent at all, and it says so here. That is what is written here.
2 After all, Dubrovnik is --
3 MR. NICE: I hesitate to --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a comment that you're making,
5 Mr. Milosevic. I imagine that you adduced this evidence saying that it
6 goes to your state of mind, that you had a state of mind, but that's for
7 us to evaluate.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. NICE: Your Honours. Your Honours, while I'm on my feet,
10 having risen to object to the last question, I just draw to your attention
11 something that I had in mind to mention to you a few minutes back where
12 the witness made very sweeping observations about Chancellor Kohl and
13 Minister Genscher and about how they persuaded Tudjman to continue
14 hostilities. It's not likely to be something I'm going to have the time
15 or inclination to deal with myself, and I'm not here to defend politicians
16 or government ministers of any country, nevertheless it may be that in
17 material that is largely, in my submission irrelevant, if a statement like
18 that is going to be made, it ought to be supported by detail.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we hear the submission.
20 Continue, Mr. Milosevic.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, you heard Mr. Nice. What do you know about the
23 then-activities and the relations that were established between the new
24 Croatian authorities and Germany and other political factors in Europe?
25 A. The new Croatian authorities had very close contacts, and they
1 enjoyed very strong support in their policy of secession from several
2 politicians from different countries. I mention two politicians from
3 Germany but Austria was there, especially its minister Alois Mock. Then
4 Cardinal Sodano of the Vatican, and the Pope himself. I think that this
5 was on the 17th of August that in Pecs in Hungary he stated that the
6 aspirations of Croatia for independence are legitimate. This was before
7 the beginning of the Conference on Yugoslavia. So this was the Conference
8 on Yugoslavia, not against Yugoslavia.
9 As for the relationship between Germany and Croatia, they were the
10 closest possible along all lines; not only political, also in terms of
12 As for what Mr. Nice said, that is not something that is unknown
13 because these are statements that were made in public. I can also add
14 that two days before Croatia was declared independent country, the 25th of
15 June, 1991, that Minister Genscher asked the members of the European
16 Community to recognise a Croatia that will soon declare its independence.
17 So even before its declaration of independence, he was advocating its
18 independence. And Chancellor Kohl, about 10 days later, at a meeting of
19 the European Community, I think it was in Strasbourg, he raised the issue
20 of recognising the independence of Slovenia and Croatia. So that was in
21 July. And the Conference on Yugoslavia started on the 7th of September.
22 If there was goodwill to have this conference held in order to preserve
23 Yugoslavia, then these statements favouring the independence of Croatia
24 and Slovenia should not have been made. As a matter of fact, the CSE in
25 its declaration from August the same year, 1991, asked for the
1 preservation of Yugoslavia and for meeting all legitimate interests and
2 requests of all the peoples of Yugoslavia, not only some of them.
3 There are also other confirmations to that effect, that the
4 aspirations of Slovenia and Croatia for independence were strongly
5 supported even before the conference. For example, Cardinal Sodano --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you have answered the question. What is
7 the CSE? What is the CSE in your reference to a declaration from August
8 of the same year?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] CSE is the Conference on Security
10 and Cooperation in Europe. It is nowadays calls the OSCE. Then it was
11 called the CSCE. It became an organisation, OSCE, and it worked
12 hand-in-hand with the European Community at the time. Together they
13 expressed their interest in resolving the Yugoslav crisis --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: May I observe that I don't think you did answer the
15 question. The question was about persuading Croatia to continue
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have now come to the time for the break. We
18 will break for 20 minutes.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Milosevic.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, take a look at tab 41 now, please, and look at what
24 it says there. It says "JNA-Croatia Cease-fire Agreement of September the
1 We're not going to go into all the details but it says: "Federal
2 Defence Ministry Announcement," and then it goes on to say: "Pursuant to
3 the statements signed at Igalo on 17 September [In English] 1991, an
4 arrangement was made with the leadership of the Republic of Croatia at
5 1150 hours today to adopt and proclaim mutual orders for an absolute
6 cessation of fire --"
7 JUDGE KWON: I wonder where we -- what tab?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's tab 41.
9 JUDGE KWON: It's in binder 1.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: And, Mr. Milosevic, proper decorum requires that
11 you don't proceed with the question until you are sure the Judges have
12 found the section in the document in the particular exhibit, because we
13 have to follow it.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honour, while that's being done, I observe without
15 making a position one way or the other that we had pursued a policy of
16 producing exhibits as they're dealt with. I have no objection to the
17 existing exhibits -- sorry, the exhibits that have already been referred
18 to being produced but it looks as though if we're going to be jumping
19 about the binder it might be prudent to deal with them one by one.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thanks for reminding. I think we had
21 actually determined that we would proceed to admit the exhibits on an
22 individual basis.
23 Those that have already been referred to, does the court registrar
24 have a record of them?
25 JUDGE KWON: We can give a separate exhibit number to the whole
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, a number for the entire binder.
3 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D275.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we have that exhibit number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: D275 for four binders.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: For the four binders.
7 THE REGISTRAR: And I will keep a record of each tab.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
9 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the accused.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Microphone, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
13 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, at the beginning, it says this: "The Federal
14 Secretariat for National Defence," and it says: "Pursuant to the
15 statement signed at Igalo on [In English] 17 September 1991, an
16 arrangement was made with the leadership of the Republic of Croatia," et
17 cetera. [Interpretation] And then it says that there should be an
18 absolute cessation of fire. Then the Croatian representative Tudjman
19 orders that all attacks should be suspended, National Guard Corps and MUP,
20 and that they would establish normal supplies of water, electricity, food,
21 et cetera.
22 And then he goes on to say, in the Croatian part: "[In English]
23 After the implementation of this agreement on a genuine cease-fire,
24 negotiations will be commenced on the discharge of all the obligations
25 stemming from the agreement signed in Igalo on 17 September 1991 and on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the disengagement of the armed forces of SFRY and the Republic of
3 [Interpretation] So who are the parties? Then we have the
4 implementation of the Igalo agreement. Who are the parties in the
5 conflict according to agreement? What can you see on the basis of this
7 A. We can see that the parties in conflict, on the one hand you have
8 the JNA, and on the other the military formations of the Republic of
9 Croatia. But I think this can be seen in all the other agreements on
10 cease-fire and cessation of hostilities because they were the ones to
11 conclude such agreements. And this is the realisation of a previous
12 agreement that was reached and signed in Igalo upon which Lord Carrington
13 insisted. And I've already explained that at the time President
14 Milosevic, at his insistence, signed the agreement and gave his support to
15 peace in view of the political influence he wielded as president of one of
16 the republics.
17 Q. To the best of your knowledge, was this agreement ever implemented
18 or not?
19 A. Unfortunately, it was not realised because the JNA was truly
20 interested in saving its military personnel, to pull them out of the war
21 danger, whereas that was not in the interests of the other side. And I've
22 already explained that it was their interest to prolong the hostilities in
23 expectation of speeding up the process of recognition for Croatia on the
24 part of other states, third countries.
25 And if the Honourable Trial Chamber will allow me to answer Judge
1 Bonomy's question, it was erroneously understood that I said that German
2 politicians asked for the promulgation of hostilities. All I wanted to
3 say was what was said by Chancellor Kohl, for example, when he threatened
4 to recognise Croatia if the hostilities persisted, and that is the message
5 that can be understood as a message to the JNA and a message to President
6 Tudjman as well. Minister Genscher, in the course of that summer, made
7 public statements to the effect that a single day of promulgation of armed
8 conflicts in Croatia would make Croatian independence come closer. That
9 was also a message to the JNA but it was also encouragement to the
10 Croatian side, that they could expect speedy recognition if the
11 hostilities went on for any length of time.
12 Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now, since this follows on
14 from what we were discussing, see a videotape, a tape between Tudjman and
15 Kadijevic. It's an intercept, actually, in tab 35. Intercept between
16 General Kadijevic and Tudjman. I don't know whether it has been
17 translated properly. We interviewed a witness - I don't want to mention
18 his name now - however, in view of the fact that Mr. Jovanovic was at
19 Igalo himself and contacted President Tudjman and General Kadijevic, he
20 will be able to tell us that the tape is authentic and the event.
21 May we have the tape played, please. It is an audiotape of a
22 conversation between President Tudjman and General Kadijevic.
23 [Audiotape played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Hello, good morning.
25 "Is the general there?
1 "Yes, he is.
2 "Would you put him through, please."
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're not seeing it on the video. It's a tape?
4 It's audio.
5 MR. NICE: What we don't have, at least what I haven't yet located
6 is the -- well, tab 35 --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tab 35 is headed "... Cross-examination of Milan
9 MR. NICE: I think we're probably going to find a form of
10 transcript in what was read into evidence.
11 JUDGE KWON: From some eighth or ninth lines, "Intercept played"
12 and we have the transcript.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note that the transcript states
14 that the interpreters said on the occasion they did not have the text and
15 that the sound was very bad. And we say that again today.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, can the text be passed on to the
18 THE INTERPRETER: We do have a text, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Well, let it be played.
20 [Audiotape played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Hello. Good morning.
22 "Good morning.
23 "The president is here.
24 "Put him through, please.
25 "Is the general there?
1 "Yes, he is.
2 "Would you put us through, please.
3 "Yes, go ahead.
6 "Hello. Yes.
9 "Good morning.
11 "What's the result?
12 "Well, I don't really know. I don't know what was definitely
14 "I can't hear you very well. Can you speak up, please.
15 "Listen, as I was saying, I don't know what is definitive.
16 "Hello? Yes.
17 "They said that peace would be established there.
18 "Where? Hello?
19 "They were discussing Sibenik, but then news came that the planes
20 were bombing again during the night.
21 "THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters seek the Court's instructions.
22 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] What?
23 "They asked for his -- tendering his resignation, but he said he
24 -- you had agreed to that.
25 "No, I didn't talk to him at all. Leave Markovic alone.
1 "Well, do what you like.
2 "Fire was opened at Sibenik once again this morning, and in other
3 places there was sporadic gunfire, but it was very intensive in Sibenik,
4 and I don't want to beat about the bush any more or the underhand role
5 played by anybody, including Markovic. He says that you and I and
6 Milosevic, as he put it, the hooligans or something to that effect, that
7 they should be hanged, and they shouldn't be the ones to create peace,
8 that he would create peace, because he blames everybody else for the fact
9 that his policy fell through. So I'm not talking about that. That's got
10 nothing to do with it. If you did anything along those lines, then you
11 did so wrongly.
12 "I didn't know anything about that. And Markovic was defeated
13 because he's a charlatan. He doesn't know anything about anything. He's
14 an ignoramus and he failed all the tests and always sought to blame
15 somebody else for his wrongdoings. But let's get back to what we were
16 discussing. Can peace be established or not? I don't have time to wait.
17 I can't wait any longer. If you can stop the firing, the firing that's
18 still going on in Sibenik. And secondly, can you deblock the barracks,
19 the military barracks? If you can, do so by 12.00. If that is done,
20 Franjo, than after that, tomorrow, we can agree to carry on the process we
21 started at Igalo. If you cannot do that, then the two of us will not talk
22 to each other any more. So that's quite clear.
23 "Yes. You know what? Maybe we should try to -- or, rather,
24 before we meet we could do this by fax, confirm this both because of
25 Croatia, to confirm a written truce, which means an agreement that would
1 deal with the army in the way that suits sovereign Croatian authorities.
2 And it's also in the interests the army, to protect the interests of the
3 army, to protect the lives of the members of the army.
4 "So does that mean, Franjo, that you place the second point first
5 and the first second or vice versa?
6 "No. We have agreed with the wise old man Carrington as to the
7 order of how things should be done. So if we continue along those lines,
8 we can continue to negotiate. If not, then we can break off all contacts.
9 "What are we going to do if we can't achieve that?
10 "Well, if things get worse in Sibenik -- well, I can guarantee
11 that not a single bullet will be fired, but let them cease their fire. We
12 have a deadline up until 1000 hours. So let the fire stop. Let there be
13 the deblocking by 12.00 noon and we'll continue the conversation tomorrow.
14 A solution must be found. If you agree to that. If you're not capable of
15 doing that, then say so. If you don't want to do it, then that's it.
16 We'll each go our own ways and see what happens. Then there will be a
18 "Of course there will.
19 "I'm doing this for the last time. This is my last effort, and I
20 state with great responsibility, a responsibility that I bear, and you
21 also bear a great responsibility. We must try to avoid the worst. You
22 can avoid it by fulfilling each of these points, freeing each of the
23 barracks because the army will not fall. Today is a turning point, and
24 Veljko, I'll do what I can to stop this, to effect a cease-fire in Sibenik
25 by 12.00 noon. And let them provide us with food, water, and free passage
1 by 12.00 noon and then we can sit down to the negotiating table tomorrow,
2 and all possibilities are open. Now, if we can't find a solution, then
3 we'll go back to war, and you know what that means.
4 "Well, I think it will be terrible. This would be disastrous, and
5 I think we will be able to find a solution at the negotiating table. If I
6 didn't believe that, then I wouldn't have talked to you three times. And
7 I do believe that we'll be able to find a solution.
8 "Let's try, and let's try and avoid the worst, because it would be
9 a catastrophe, great destruction. So let's have a cease-fire. Stop the
10 firing in Sibenik, Franjo. Order a cease-fire, Franjo. Or if you're not
11 able to do that -- well, you can do what you like. If Letica is there,
12 well, he's worse than that man Spegelj that made things much worse. You
13 can do what you like. Not only him. Everything's like that.
14 "You said that Ljubicic hadn't returned either; is that right?
15 "Yes, but Ljubicic is not -- Grubisic is not Letica. I know that
16 he didn't come back. That's up to him. When he left, I knew he wouldn't
17 come back. And that's his business. It's his face that is on the line.
18 So we can conclude that it's a general mood.
19 "Well, if there is a general mood for war, then okay, go to war.
20 All I'm asking you for is a cease-fire, nothing more than that, what we
21 signed for, and then we can negotiate later on, nothing else.
22 "Very well.
23 "So you give it some thought, think about it, whether we can find
24 a way out of all this. So let there be an absolute cease-fire by 1000
25 hours. Absolute cease-fire so that people can continue living. They must
1 be given water. Otherwise, I'm going to tender my resignation. Well, not
2 me, but you are. So don't let them die like that. I would not allow them
3 to die in that way. And everything that Ante Markovic is preparing --
4 "Yes, it's a dangerous business that business.
5 "He's a son of a bitch and you know that very well. He came to
6 see me many times and I told you about that many times. So we must get
7 the better of those two and then we've solved the situation; right?
9 "Because he wasn't there when the signature was required because
10 nobody took him seriously. Nobody has any respect for him and that's it.
11 "Okay. Goodbye."
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters apologise, but they were not able
13 to read the text as it stood.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, did you recognise General Kadijevic's voice?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. General Kadijevic said he was talking to Tudjman for the third
18 time that night and was advocating an absolute cease-fire. That's
19 something that we were able to hear on the tape; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, was that respected? Was the agreement respected? Did they
22 abide by the agreement that was signed in Igalo through the mediation of
23 Lord Carrington?
24 A. From this conversation we can see that it was not respected and
25 that there a roundabout intention to avoid it and to continue the
1 hostilities, and that is why later on a new agreement was reached on the
2 cessation of hostilities. I think that was on the 1st of September or
3 thereabouts. But of the 13 or 14 cease-fire agreements, the total number
4 of cease-fire agreements, as far as I know that's how many there were, and
5 as far as I know all of them were interrupted due to the Croatian side.
6 Q. And what can we see from all these elements here, everything we
7 heard? What are the -- what were the parties to the conflict over there?
8 A. That's quite obvious, because the two parties in the conflict
9 discussed, had a conversation and dealt with the military situation on the
10 ground, in the field. Nobody else could have resolved that situation
11 because they had the power and authority over the armed forces that were
12 there in the field. Nobody else was mentioned on either side.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but
14 let us just consider the admission of the audio tape, because we're
15 dealing with the exhibits individually.
16 Mr. Nice, let's hear from you.
17 MR. NICE: There was, of course, no written version of the first
18 part of the tape which covered assertions about an important witness, Ante
19 Markovic, in some detail. And as to the balance of the intercept, the
20 transcript was very imperfect. No complaints. It was simply obviously
21 being read out by the accused in cross-examination from some document.
22 The accused should probably have in mind that intercepts produced
23 by the Prosecution have been according to a pretty clear form or formula,
24 namely questions and answers carefully divided up and transcribed, and it
25 may be appropriate for the accused and those assisting him to have this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 tape properly transcribed in full.
2 That would be my only observation. I don't object to its
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: It had been marked as D62 for identification.
5 MR. NICE: Yes. It's already in as an exhibit, I think, whatever
6 it is, D62, but what we really need is a proper transcript of it.
7 I'm grateful, of course. Your Honours will have seen that Judge
8 May asked for a transcript on the second page, a third of the way down.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters in the English booth rendered a
11 simultaneous interpretation of the tape as they heard it. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... for the tape
13 to be transcribed.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I ask for --
15 JUDGE KWON: The interpreters made a note.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I said we'll renew the order made by Judge May
17 for the tape to be transcribed.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milosevic, could I have clarification of the
19 date of the interception of that communication.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know the date exactly, but
21 it must be immediately after the meeting at Igalo, because General
22 Kadijevic says "This is the third time that we're talking about this," in
23 order to have this implemented.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not sure if the observations by the
25 interpreters working for us today reflect any sensitivity that I might
1 have been dissatisfied with what was provided. I was, of course,
2 extremely grateful to the interpreters here for what they provided, no
3 complaints of them at all, simply noting that for good order we really
4 need a written version, prepared at more leisure, but I understand the
5 difficulties and I'm grateful for what they did.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: They did very well in the circumstances.
7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, we've covered several conferences. We've heard
10 explanations of the reasons for the conflict that erupted, the cease-fire
11 agreements, and we also saw the reports of the Dutch ministry on the
12 events taking place at the conference as well as the agreements between
13 the JNA and Croatia.
14 So now, having all those facts in mind, I will read out to you
15 item 6 -- or, rather, count 6 from Croatian indictment, which reads as
16 follows -- I hope that you have count 6. That's on page 2 in Serbian
17 version. It says: "Slobodan Milosevic participated in the joint criminal
18 enterprise," and then it explains various paragraphs and says: "The
19 purpose of this joint criminal enterprise was to remove by force Croatian
20 and other non-Serb population from approximately one-third of Croatian
22 Please pay attention to what's coming: "The territories which
23 under his plan were to become part of new Serb state under the domination
24 by perpetrating crimes" and so on.
25 Mr. Jovanovic, these events, this series of events, including
1 cease-fire agreements and events reflecting the situation in Yugoslavia at
2 the time, does all of that confirm or deny this claim, or to be more
3 precise, what plan, either plan created by myself or by Serbia, does it
4 deal with? Was there a plan to remove the Croat and other non-Serb
5 population from the approximately one-third of Croatian territory?
6 A. I was not aware of such plan ever, and I don't think that such
7 plan existed. Based on the facts that we heard, I don't think that one
8 can conclude that there was such a joint criminal enterprise to achieve
9 those goals.
10 Moreover, it could be said that President Tudjman wanted not only
11 to achieve independence by means of war but also wanted to get rid of the
12 extra population, meaning Serbs, in Croatia by means of war. After the
13 victorious operation called Storm in which several thousands of Serbs
14 perished and which represented the greatest ethnic cleansing --
15 MR. NICE: Objection. It's quite interesting to observe that the
16 answer now being given is to a question that wasn't asked. It came out
17 with remarkable facility, but it was not asked.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, it wasn't asked, but it is still evidence.
19 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can Mr. Jovanovic continue or need I
21 put some additional questions to him?
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... and short
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Therefore, based on all the events that we covered very
1 superficially in your testimony so far, who was involved in the conflict?
2 Who was the victim? Who fought? Who perished? What was the origin of
3 refugees and so on? Therefore, I put this question to you and read out
4 this count of indictment, and based on that, please tell me, was there any
5 plan on the Serb part to expel Croat and non-Serb population or did
6 something else happen there?
7 A. All facts point to something quite contrary, not what is stated in
8 the indictment. Back in The Hague in September, at the time you stated
9 that until that time, several thousands of Serbs fled from Croatia to
10 Serbia, not only in the towns but also in other parts of Croatian
11 territory where their lives were threatened. The conduct of Croat
12 authorities had a very clear goal, namely to intimidate Serbs and to
13 encourage them to flee. This mass expulsion, this mass exodus of Serbs
14 culminated in the Operation Storm. President Tudjman, shortly after that,
15 said in a gathering that Serbs will not constitute more than 3 to 5 per
16 cent of Croatian territory ever in the future, which shows that this was
17 an additional goal of Croatia in addition to achieving independence.
18 Q. What you just stated, is it related to the speech of Franjo
19 Tudjman at a rally in Zagreb where he stated there would be no war had
20 Croatia not wanted one? We've already seen this speech of his on a tape
21 here. Do you remember him uttering those words, "There would be no war
22 had Croatia not wanted one but we decided that was the way to achieve our
23 goals"? Can you tell us what goals he referred to?
24 A. Yes. I remember that. And it is a bit unusual that President
25 Tudjman so openly admitted that he favoured the war option in order to
1 achieve his goals.
2 What I tried to do was to show that he had several parallel goals.
3 Independence was one goal, and then the other goal was to get rid of a
4 large number of Serbs. And the events showed us in precisely what way he
5 worked on achieving this.
6 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, all right, let us go back to the Conference on
7 Yugoslavia. In tab 25, we have a letter by the vice-president of the
8 Presidency of Yugoslavia sent to the chairman of the Conference on
9 Yugoslavia, Lord Carrington. This is a long letter which mentions that
10 the Presidency of Yugoslavia on its session held on the December -- on 8th
11 of December, 1991, examined the opinion of the Arbitration Commission sent
12 by the conference secretary to the members of the Presidency and that it
13 reached certain positions.
14 Would you please elaborate on those positions.
15 A. As far as I can remember, this letter represented a challenge to
16 this thesis from the second document of Lord Carrington to the effect that
17 Yugoslavia ceased to exist and that it was in the process of
18 disintegration and that therefore federal units had to be taken care of by
19 placing them under a roof of newly independent states. And this letter
20 states the facts showing that Yugoslavia still exists because more than
21 half of its population continues to live in that country and that it is
22 only the peoples of Yugoslavia who by way of referendum can decide whether
23 their joint state can continue to exist. This was not an issue to be
24 decided by any international forum.
25 Furthermore, it states that Serbia and Montenegro, as well as
1 Serbs living in other republics, remain loyal to their country, to their
2 state which would continue to exist and that they do not wish to leave it,
3 nor did they ever express a wish to break away.
4 Further arguments --
5 Q. All right. You don't have to interpret the entire letter. The
6 letter is quite long. Please tell us, does it show an orientation towards
7 conflict or an orientation towards peace? Does it favour violence or
9 A. This shows positions which favour a peaceful political, democratic
10 solution, not a continuation of unilateral secessionist acts on the part
11 of any republic. Prior to this -- I think that just prior to this the
12 European Community urged all Yugoslav republics to seek independence
13 without mentioning Yugoslavia, because they had already erased Yugoslavia
14 from the political map of the Balkans in Europe.
15 Q. All right, Mr. Jovanovic. In relation to this appeal sent by the
16 European Community to the republics in Yugoslavia to opt for independence
17 and to choose that path, we see under tab 27 a letter of yours. It is
18 stated here that this is a letter sent by Minister Jovanovic, minister of
19 foreign affairs and that that was in connection with the urging to seek
20 independence. Please take a look at this letter. It's in tab 27.
21 A. I've found it.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I hope that you have
23 this letter as well.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So this is a reply sent by Serbia following this appeal to seek
2 independence, and it's stated here Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Foreign
3 Affairs, Belgrade. This was sent on the 23rd of December, 1991 to Hans
4 Van den Broek, minister of foreign affairs in the Netherlands who at the
5 time -- or, rather, the Netherlands at the time chaired the European
7 Since this is your letter, Mr. Jovanovic, I think it would be
8 wiser for you to explain what this letter pertained to and what positions
9 it expressed.
10 A. This letter is not simply a response to the offer extended to
11 Serbia to seek independence and to seek recognition as a newly independent
12 state, but it rather summarises our basic principles and positions in
13 relation to the Yugoslav crisis.
14 In this letter, I immediately highlighted the fact that Serbia had
15 a statehood and was internationally recognised back at the Berlin Congress
16 in 1878 and that Serbia invested its statehood into the Kingdom of
17 Yugoslavia when it was established, which enabled this newly created
18 country to be internationally recognised, and that it had never occurred
19 to Serbia nor did it ever express a wish to break away from Yugoslavia,
20 therefore, this appeal, this urging sent to Yugoslavia was sent to the
21 wrong address. Serbia did not want it.
22 In addition to that, I pointed out to the abuse committed by the
23 conference and the European Community, because they abused the process.
24 They abused various good proposals and turned them into a dictate which
25 broke apart a state that was a founding state of the League of Nations, of
1 the United Nations, and which was a leading country in the nonalignment
2 movement at that time.
3 In addition to that, I pointed out that Serbia remained loyal to
4 all of its international obligations, committed to its international
5 obligations, human rights, and that it would continue legal continuity and
6 maintain its status of an international subject even after the secession
7 of other republics.
8 I also pointed to his attention that despite of all the troubles
9 that Serbia experienced at the Conference on Yugoslavia, despite the fact
10 that it supported the implementation of Vance's plan in Croatia, that it
11 supported Cessation of Hostilities Agreement concluded in Geneva, despite
12 all of that, contrary action was taken by other factors. Therefore, this
13 is a summary representing all the positions adhered to by us at the
14 conference and showing our opposition to the principle or to the situation
15 where somebody wanted to bring our country to an end.
16 The right to self-determination was denied to some nations in
17 Yugoslavia --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jovanovic. Are you finished? Because what
19 we really wanted was --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mostly yes, I am finished.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues]... letter. And
22 in future, try to keep your answers as short as possible.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Very will. We can proceed. Mr. Jovanovic, in cross-examination
25 of one of the previous witnesses, Mr. Nice produced a report here saying
1 that he had received that report from a ministry. This is one of the
2 Dutch ministries. We can find that document in tab 4. You see that this
3 is Conference on Yugoslavia, Summary of Developments.
4 I'm not going to cover the entire document, Summary of
5 Developments, because it starts from the first opening of the first
6 plenary session, and then the second, the third, and so on. However, let
7 us now focus on what Mr. Nice tried to prove through this document,
8 namely, item 5, paragraph 5 --
9 MR. NICE: Prosecution Exhibit 812 for cross-reference purposes.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thanks.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Paragraph 5, which was quoted here states as follows: "In the
13 margins of the Fourth plenary, a meeting was held on the 4th of October
14 chaired by minister -- by the minister for foreign affairs of the
15 Netherlands, assisted by Lord Carrington and Ambassador Wijnaendts,
16 between Croatian President Tudjman, Serbian President Milosevic, and
17 minister of defence General Kadijevic." [Interpretation] And then it goes
18 on to explain that Mr. Nice said that at the time, at this meeting which
19 was in the margins of the fourth plenary session, as is stated here,
20 actually accepted Carrington's plan. This is what he informed the press
21 about, so this was nothing secret.
22 It says here: "A statement was read out subsequently by the
23 Netherlands minister at a press conference, reflecting the agreement of
24 the Yugoslav parties involved..."
25 Now, about what? Then it goes on to say: "This included the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 principle that a political solution should be sought on the basis of the
2 perspective -- [In English] of recognition of the independence of those
3 republics in Yugoslavia wishing it," [Interpretation] and then there's a
4 comma there, and then it says, "[In English] at the end of a negotiating
5 process conducted in good faith and involving all parties."
6 [Interpretation] Therefore, could it be said that I gave here a
7 prior consent consenting to Carrington's proposals if we take the entire
8 sentence into account, especially this part that comes after the comma,
9 "at the end of the negotiating process conducted in good faith and
10 involving all parties"?
11 A. In my view that cannot be defended, that position, because this
12 paragraph says quite the opposite. It says that independence can be
13 granted to those republics who wish it, which does not exclude the
14 possibility that some republics would want to remain in Yugoslavia as a
15 common state. And that was essence of the conflict between us, our
16 delegation, and Lord Carrington on the other hand, who wanted simply to
17 support the secession but not the possibility for Serbia and Montenegro to
18 remain in Yugoslavia and for Yugoslavia to have legal continuity.
19 In addition to that, it is stated here that recognition would come
20 at the end of negotiating process if it is conducted in good faith and if
21 it involved all parties. This good faith, as we were able to see, was not
22 abided by, was not implemented, because negotiating was soon succeeded by
23 dictate and a conclusion that Yugoslavia was in a process of
24 disintegration and that the only act that needed to be done was to give
25 independence to all of its federal units.
1 It is mentioned here that there should be no unilateral change of
2 borders, towards the bottom. Recognising that there could be no
3 unilateral changes of internationally recognised borders in Yugoslavia,
4 because those were the only borders. The internal borders were internal
5 administrative lines.
6 So this text both in its substance and its form cannot be accepted
7 or seen as acceptance of Lord Carrington's proposal in relation to the
8 solution to Yugoslav crisis.
9 Q. All right. Now I would like you to pay attention to a very brief
10 passage that continues. It's the last one in item 5, and it reads as
11 follows: "[In English] As a first step, it was agreed that
12 representatives of the Serbian communities in Croatia should be invited to
13 meet the conference coordinator and the deputy chairmen to discuss
14 possible future arrangements."
15 [Interpretation] What does this passage mean, Mr. Jovanovic?
16 A. In my opinion, it means two things. First, that Serbs in Croatia
17 were compelled to defend themselves, and that is why they were one of the
18 parties to the conflict. And the other thing is that they were the victim
19 of the policy and right to self-determination, because as I said, that
20 right was reserved only for Croats, not for the Serb people there as well.
21 Therefore, the proposal put forth to the conference to invite the
22 representatives of the Serb community in Croatia to join the process of
23 negotiations is something that is positive and that reflects the
24 legitimate interests and aspirations of the Serb people in Croatia.
25 Q. All right, Mr. Jovanovic. We don't have time to deal with this
1 entire summary of developments.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'm anxious not to deny the accused the
3 opportunity to deal with a matter that we've advanced as important and he
4 plainly finds important himself, but that last matter of interpretation by
5 a witness on a document was extreme really in -- was extreme, it may be
6 thought, and I just don't see how it can assist to have the three lines
7 there interpreted as broadly as it was by this witness.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: We may see it as a non-sequitur.
9 MR. NICE: It's up to the accused how he spends his time, I
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Do you know that the Yugoslav leadership addressed three questions
13 to Lord Carrington that were actually addressed to the Badinter
14 Commission? What was the fate of these three questions, and do you
15 remember them, by any chance?
16 A. I do remember them although some of them are a bit lengthy so
17 perhaps it would be better if I read them out. These three questions were
18 the following: Was there secession in Yugoslavia, and is it allowed
19 according to international law? That is one thing. The second is: Is
20 the right to self-determination a subjective right, the right enjoyed by a
21 people or by a republic or, rather, by a territory? And the third
22 question was about the so-called internal boundaries. According to
23 international law, can they be considered international boundaries?
24 Q. All right. So you know what the questions were, those that were
25 addressed to Lord Carrington or, rather, to the Arbitration Commission
1 through the chairman of the conference.
2 Did the chairman of the conference forward these questions to the
3 Arbitration Commission or did he rephrase them?
4 A. He rephrased them. And how can I put this? He changed the order
5 of questions. He put the question related to secession first, and that
6 was not the case originally. And he rephrased the others in such a way
7 that they lost quite a bit of their original meaning, and they were rather
8 leading questions in respect of the Arbitration Commission.
9 If the Honourable Trial Chamber allows me, I can read these
10 rephrased questions. They are quite lengthy, so I could not quote them
11 from memory.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I read them out?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: What document are they in, would we find these
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm asking the witness about this.
17 These questions are contained in numerous documents. I haven't presented
18 them here specially. I don't think I did.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By your leave, Mr. President, Your
20 Honour --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... which you
22 say operated to the detriment.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the way it was.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: What are you reading from?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am reading the questions that I
1 got out of two books, because we do not have any archives. They are now
2 in a ministry that is not accessible to us, so this is from the book of
3 Professor Smilja Avramov and the book of Professor Milenko Kreca,
4 Badinter's Arbitration Commission. That's the title of the book.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. We have that in tab 11, Milenko Kreca's book. It was exhibited
7 here. Tab 11.
8 Please go ahead, Mr. Jovanovic.
9 A. As for our question that had to do with secession, whether
10 secession is a legally permissible act from the point of view of the UN
11 Charter and other relevant documents, Lord Carrington rephrased that as
12 follows: "Serbia believes that republics that proclaimed independence or
13 wished to proclaim their independence or sovereignty have left or will
14 leave the SFRY, which would otherwise continue to exist. Contrary to
15 that, other republics believe that this is not secession but, rather, that
16 this is disintegration or the breakdown of the SFRY as the result of the
17 will of these republics. I asked the arbitration to look at this question
18 so that I could formulate an opinion or recommendation that might be
20 So that has to do with the question related to secession. It can
21 be seen here -- please go ahead.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question should have been?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was phrased by us in
24 the following way: "Is secession a legally permissible act from the point
25 of view of the UN Charter and other relevant regulations?"
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you say that this reformulation was to the
2 detriment --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the detriment, yes, because in
4 the reformulation, the Badinter Commission was not asked the question
5 directly whether secession is a legally permissible act from the point of
6 view of the UN Charter and other documents. And this was done
7 intentionally, because the answer would have had to be that secession is
8 not a permissible right from that point view. And then in the
9 reformulated --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, are the questions posed not a matter of
11 public record?
12 MR. NICE: Well, we're having some difficulty about that, because,
13 for example, the source that the accused, I think, has relied on at tab 11
14 comes from somebody who's a participant and who fills the document with
15 commentary, and I'm not yet in a position to accept the accuracy of the
16 way things factually are recited by that author.
17 As to other matters, I'm not sure quite what it is that the
18 witness says he's reading from that is otherwise not available to him from
19 a ministry. If he identifies the prime source from which he's reading, it
20 may be that I'll be able to agree on things. I hope so.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: He's told you he's noted down what the contents of
22 two books which have stated what happened, but are the documents that
23 passed in the course of this inquiry of the commission not public
24 documents that are available?
25 MR. NICE: They're not literally public documents. They certainly
1 should be available and we should be able to find them, and this should be
2 a matter of agreement, I think. You've had a number of documents on this
3 commission in any event. But I'm afraid I haven't been able to track this
4 down immediately while I've been sitting here.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: But are you challenging the accuracy of the
6 questions? You're not?
7 MR. NICE: Not yet in a position. I'll deal with it when I can.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. So that's the first question that you say
9 was reformulated to the detriment of Serbia. What's the next question
10 which was reformulated? Give us the original version and then the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. The original version is:
13 "Who is the title holder of the right --"
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
15 The interpreters do not have the text and he's reading.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you please read more slowly so the
17 interpreters can follow because they don't have the text.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm going to repeat it. "Who is the
19 titular to the right to self-determination from the point of view of
20 international law, a nation or a federal unit? The right of a people to
21 self-determination, is it a subjective collective right of a people or is
22 it a right enjoyed by a territory?" That is the original question.
23 The rephrased question reads as follows: "The Serb population
24 from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a constituent people in
25 Yugoslavia, do they enjoy the right to self-determination?"
1 The third question --
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you explain to us how in your view that
3 operated to the detriment of Serbia, the reformulation.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is detrimental because the right
5 to self-determination in all international legal documents is formulated
6 as the right of a people, a nation, not a territory, and the question
7 asked the Arbitration Commission to give an unequivocal answer to that.
8 With the rephrased question, the Serb population in Croatia and
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina is practically in advance turned into a minority, not a
10 constituent people, although the question says, "As a constituent people
11 do they enjoy the right to self-determination?" That was done because a
12 concept had already been made to protect the so-called internal borders as
13 future internationally recognised borders. Therefore, the Serb people who
14 lived in those two republics could not exercise their right as a
15 constituent people. They could only expect protection as a minority.
16 The third question --
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... and that
18 will be the last, although there --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last one, yes.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... the point
21 that you're making.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last question: "The demarcation
23 lines between the constituent part of the federal state (provinces,
24 cantons, states, countries, republics and the like) are borders from the
25 point of view of international law."
1 The rephrased question reads as follows: "According to
2 international law, the line of delineation between Serbia and Croatia on
3 the one hand and Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina on the other hand can be
4 considered to be borders." In our conviction, the Arbitration Commission
5 was in this way given a suggestion to consider internal delineation lines
6 to be borders from the point of view of international law.
7 So finally, one of the opinions of the Arbitration Commission was
8 that internal boundaries were boundaries from the point of view of
9 international law, invoking a decision of the International Court of
10 Justice in The Hague in relation to the Burkina Faso-Mali case concerning
11 a border that was drawn by colonial forces, colonial powers, and --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: The possidetus juris doctrine.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But that rule pertained to all
14 former colonial territories in Latin America and in Africa precisely to
15 avoid conflicts and unnecessary casualties. But that only has -- that
16 only pertains to colonial territories where colonial power was exercised.
17 But Yugoslavia was not such a case. It was the result of agreement
18 reached amongst equitable peoples, and it could not be treated the same
19 way the way borders in former colonies were treated.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, returning to Judge Bonomy's concern, I
22 observe that the witness has not only spoken of the change in formulation
23 of the questions but has been specific, certainly in relation to the
24 second question, that this was done with a purpose. Now, if I know by
25 whom it is said the change was effected, then I can make direct inquiries
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the person before the conclusion of this witness's evidence, both to
2 establish the change and also to see what might be said about the purpose.
3 I observe that the defendant's -- the accused's witness list
4 includes Mr. Badinter.
5 JUDGE BONOMY: I think, Mr. Nice, the suggestion is Lord
6 Carrington altered the terminology before submitting the matter to the
8 MR. NICE: If that's the point, I can probably contact him
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's my understanding.
11 MR. NICE: If that's clearly what's being said, and as to the
12 purpose, I'll deal with it.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, in relation to what
15 Mr. Nice just said, may I just state two facts. The letter containing the
16 questions was sent to the chairman of the conference, Lord Carrington, by
17 the Yugoslav leadership. Lord Carrington forwarded the questions,
18 rephrased in such a manner, to the Arbitration Commission. So there is no
19 doubt about any of that. Mr. Jovanovic has just explained this.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Did he have the power to rephrase the question?
21 Was that within his authority? Was it understood that it was a matter for
22 him to ultimately decide on the phrasing of the question? Mr. Jovanovic?
23 I'm not asking you. Let the witness, who was there.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We objected to Lord Carrington
25 because of what he did, in the belief that he should have informed us at
1 least beforehand about his intention to change the question, which would
2 own be natural if there were any kind of fair play. But his answer was
3 that, as chairman, he had the right to rephrase the questions. That was
4 not an answer that we found satisfactory because this was then a right of
5 subordination that was involved, and it was not true negotiations then.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Jovanovic, have you read the book by Milenko
7 Kreca which deals with these things, which is tab 11? Does the book deal
8 with such rephrasing of questions? If yes, could you lead us to the point
9 -- to the parts which deal with that matter?
10 MR. KAY: Page 28.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, is it on page 28 we can see matters that
13 are dealt with?
14 MR. KAY: Yes, mentioning the changing there in relation to the
15 second question, I think it is.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see.
17 MR. KAY: You'll see in the second paragraph, if I can just assist
18 the Court: "Lord Carrington, acting as chairman ... asked the Commission
19 to reply to what he described as 'the following question put by the
20 Republic of Serbia.'"
21 The question is set out, and then the next paragraph: "As we see,
22 the chairman of the Conference -" that's Lord Carrington - "not only
23 altered the question which..." was sent "... to the Arbitration Commission
24 but, at least judging from the wording of the Commission's opinion, he
25 inaccurately stated that the rephrased question was sent by the Republic
1 of Serbia."
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see, yes. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Please
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, from that period -- or, rather, at that period, the
6 term that was used fairly often was "premature recognition." Do you
7 remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So who used this term "premature recognition"? Was that the Serb
10 definition perhaps or, that is to say the definition of the Republic of
11 Serbia, or was this an expression and term that was broadly used at that
12 time, common usage?
13 A. The term "premature recognition" was used even before the offer
14 that was made by the European Community and sent to the republics asking
15 for independence, as well as later on, afterwards, throughout the duration
16 of the Yugoslav crisis. That means right up until 1995. So before the
17 offer for independence, there were warnings and cautions made that no
18 hasty acts should be undertaken and that recognition should come at the
19 end of the negotiating process. And I should like to mention in that
20 regard the appeal that was launched by Lord Carrington to the European
21 Community, for example, and then we have a letter sent by the
22 Secretary-General --
23 Q. Just a moment, please. Let's pause there for a moment. What was
24 there in that appeal to the European Community? What was the contents of
25 that appeal, the gist of the appeal by Lord Carrington?
1 A. According to what he himself said later on, he appealed, I assume
2 at the meetings held in the European Community, that no premature
3 recognition should be made because this would hinder the successful work
4 and completion of the conference but that the recognition given to the
5 independent republics should be done at the end of this process, that it
6 should come at the end of the negotiating process, at the end of the work
7 of the conference, and the General-Secretary -- Secretary-General of the
8 UN, de Cuellar at the time, concerned himself because of this indication
9 of premature recognition, sent two letters, one to Minister Genscher and
10 the second to Mr. Van den Broek, in which he extends his cautions to them
11 and said that premature recognition would hinder and harm the work of the
12 conference and appealed that this should not be done. And I think that a
13 similar appeal was made by Mr. Cyrus Vance, so that there were a number of
14 these cautions issued before the actual act of recognition took place.
15 And later on during the Yugoslav crisis, there was not a single important
16 and serious politician in the West who did not find that the premature
17 recognition was too hasty and called the act a catalyser of the crisis and
18 everything else that went on, so they regretted this premature
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it seems to be very a long answer on
21 something that may be of no relevance. I'm very hesitant about
22 interrupting because I don't want to be seen or even thought to be
23 stopping the accused calling in evidence what he wants to call, but with
24 tangential matters like this, might it from time to time be helpful to
25 establish with the accused to what legal or factual issue on the
1 indictment this all relates? Because we explored secession and, with an
2 earlier witness, I hope, revealed that even an illegal secession doesn't
3 affect the Prosecution's case that relates to matters that come
4 subsequently. And really, the view of the international community about
5 premature recognition is hardly likely to be central, I would have
6 thought, to the Trial Chamber's conclusion, but it's a matter for the
7 Trial Chamber.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: The accused would be able to point to paragraphs
9 in the indictment, no doubt, that deal with secession. And it is true
10 that we have heard evidence on these matters, and I have indicated to
11 Mr. Milosevic that he's in danger of beating the point to death.
12 Mr. Milosevic has, in response to an earlier question from me
13 about this approach to the evidence, explained that as this witness was
14 present, he wants to reinforce the points made earlier, and it is in that
15 sense that I think the -- he's asking these questions. I do agree that it
16 is repetitive. We have heard evidence, but evidently Mr. Milosevic
17 believes that this witness can reinforce his case on these points.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, just something I'd
19 like to say with respect to Mr. Nice's observation a moment ago. Mr. Nice
20 would be right if it were correct that the Serbs had planned an armed
21 secession of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that does have
22 a lot to do with what he claims, because he says that the Serbs or,
23 rather, I planned how to expel the Croats or Muslims from certain
24 territories, which is absurd. So he would be right if that were the case,
25 if that were correct, that the Serbs -- that it was the Serbs who had
1 planned the armed secession of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, which I
2 assume is clear to one and all that that is just not true, and the events
3 bear that out and so do the documents.
4 And my second point is this: Mr. Nice also says that the question
5 of premature recognition is not relevant. Well, all the politician -- all
6 politicians throughout the world on both sides of the Atlantic spoke about
7 the fact that premature recognition torpedoed the peace conference and
8 made it impossible for the peace process to go forward because the
9 Croatian leadership as well as the Bosnian leadership had lost their
10 motives to sit down to the negotiating table any more because they had
11 gained recognition.
12 So we're talking about acts and actions that had enormous negative
13 repercussions on the Yugoslav conflict. And if that isn't relevant as far
14 as Mr. Nice is concerned, then I have nothing to add. But tell me now,
15 please --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I haven't -- I haven't stopped
17 this line of examination because it does have some relevance, although it
18 may be of a peripheral character, but I don't believe you have to deal
19 with it in the detail that you have done so far. I think the matters can
20 be taken much more quickly, and I believe you probably have more points
21 that are more centrally and directly relevant to the matters in the
23 It's now time for the 20-minute adjournment. We are adjourned.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, the Serbs in Croatia, was it them who planned, they
4 who planned the garrisons, attacked JNA garrisons, organised a blockade
5 and the expulsion of over 100.000 refugees before the beginning of the
6 conference? Did the Serbs do that?
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I question either the ability of the
8 witness to answer a question like that intelligently, but more I question
9 whether the accused is not already aware of the impropriety of such
10 questions. And if he is aware of the impropriety of them, why on earth is
11 he asking them? Perhaps the answer to that question is obvious.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. There is, of course, merit
13 in the objection. The question is just too general. From that broad
14 generality, identify a specific issue that the witness can deal with.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, in that year 1991, who launched attacks on the
17 garrisons of the Yugoslav People's Army on the territory of the Republic
18 of Croatia?
19 A. To the best of my knowledge, this was done by the paramilitaries
20 of the new Croatia or the new Croatian authorities.
21 Q. What about the Yugoslav People's Army? Did it provoke these
22 attacks in any way on the barracks and garrisons of the JNA?
23 A. To the best of my knowledge, no, because it kept a barracks, and
24 at the beginning of the armed conflicts between the paramilitary
25 formations of the Republic of Croatia and the armed parts of the Serb
1 people in some portions of Croatia, the JNA endeavoured to separate the
2 two sides and to prevent the escalation of the conflict.
3 Q. Do you know, Mr. Jovanovic, that in the course of the Conference
4 on Yugoslavia, that is to say in those first few months, that there was
5 mention or, rather, that there were proposals from the Presidency of the
6 conference, that is to say the international negotiators, about the fact
7 that a special status should be accorded to the Serb regions in Croatia?
8 A. In the course of the conference, the first document by Lord
9 Carrington envisaged, among other things, special status for areas within
10 Yugoslavia where -- which was populated by minority. Later on during the
11 conference, as work progressed, upon our insistence it was decided that
12 special status should be accorded to parts of Croatia inhabited by a
13 majority Serb population only, because Macedonia and the other republics
14 did not agree to it being established on their own territory. So this is
15 what we asked for, precisely to stop the conflicts and to ensure the basic
16 existential security and safety for the Serb people in those areas under
17 international guarantees and with the demilitarisation of those areas.
18 Q. Very well. That is what I wanted to ask you in a separate
19 question, actually. Was it the idea of the leadership of the conference
20 itself, that is to say the representatives of the international community?
21 Did they come up with that idea?
22 A. What do you mean?
23 Q. The idea about special status.
24 A. Yes. The idea came from the conference itself.
25 Q. Very well. Now, did that idea imply the demilitarisation of the
1 areas inhabited by a majority Serb population on the territory of the then
2 Croatia, the Socialist Republic of Croatia, in fact?
3 A. As far as I remember, it did mean demilitarisation.
4 Q. Did it also mean and imply international guarantees?
5 A. Not quite but through negotiation they arrived at that and that
6 was our position. That was the position we took, and we explained that a
7 special status could be established with a demilitarisation, international
8 guarantees, free life for one and all, and recognition of the rights of
9 that ethnic group to later decide who they wished to live with.
10 Q. All right. Fine. Now, the recognition, the premature recognition
11 that came for the Republic of Croatia, did it put a stop to all further
12 negotiations that had been started at the conference to discuss those
14 A. Yes, that's right. Croatia was no longer morally bound or
15 politically bound to accept something like that, like a special status on
16 its territory.
17 Q. Why wasn't it bound to do so any more?
18 A. Because it had gained what it wanted. That was recognition by the
19 international community, the European Community, and some other states,
20 and also because it considered that the Serbo-Croatian question could be
21 settled in some other way.
22 Q. All right. Now, the Vance Plan was assessed at the time as the
23 first positive step in the direction of a peaceful political settlement to
24 the political crisis in the then Yugoslavia. Tell me now, please, how did
25 it come about?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. It came about at the initiative of the Presidency of the SFRY, and
2 they sent a letter to the president of the Security Council to that
3 effect, asking that the Security Council discuss the question of sending
4 peace forces to the area in Croatia which was populated by a majority Serb
5 population, which is where the conflicts where. And in that way, by so
6 doing, to put an end to the war conflict and to issue guarantees to people
7 living there that their lives would not be further threatened and in
8 jeopardy and that a political process should be allowed to evolve for a
9 final political settlement to the situation.
10 Q. Now, at that time, was special emphasis made to the fact that
11 Vance's plan, or the introduction of protected zones, UN protected areas
12 did not preempt a political solution?
13 A. Yes. That was expressly stated. Quite right.
14 Q. Why, then, was the process for seeking a political settlement
16 A. Because the Croatian authorities, the Croatian government, was not
17 interested in any other solution except for a military solution. It asked
18 those zones to be incorporated into the constitutional and legal system of
19 Croatia. They set that ultimatum. Or to be considered adversaries, which
20 Croatia would one day have to deal with. And those people were disarmed,
21 all heavy weapons were withdrawn or placed in warehouses and locked away
22 in depots, and at the same time, they enjoyed UN protection and,
23 therefore, there was no military action vis-a-vis Croatia. All military
24 action that took place was on the part of Croatia, and very often with
25 considerable casualties, including members of the international peace
1 mission as well.
2 Q. Please tell us, what was the role of the then Yugoslav leadership,
3 and what was the position of Serbia in relation to the introduction of the
4 UNPAs and the acceptance of Vance Plan?
5 A. Serbia was in favour of that from the very beginning, and it was
6 very active in that field. You were very involved yourself. They wanted
7 the Vance Plan to be drafted as soon as possible and to be as acceptable
8 as possible to all sides. I think that due to your efforts, you received
9 recognition by the late Cyrus Vance, who was very pleased with your
10 cooperation and the success of his initiative which at the time was,
11 unfortunately, one of very few peace initiatives that was successful in a
12 brief period of time. In just a few months, this plan was put into action
13 and the peace mission was sent to the field very soon.
14 Q. Do you know after the Vance Plan was implemented, after the Blue
15 Helmets were sent to the area, did the members of the army of Krajina
16 attack Croatian forces during any period of time?
17 A. As far as I know, no, they didn't ever, because they were very
18 scrupulous in relation to that plan. They tried to protect it for any
19 kind of jeopardy that would come from Croatian side. They were very happy
20 with that plan, so there was no need for them to try to undermine it.
21 Q. Do you know anything about the attacks of Croatian forces on the
22 UNPA zones; and if so, can you tell us what particular attacks you can
24 A. I think that the first attack was in Maslenica. The second one
25 was in the so-called Medak pocket, or in Medak. The first one was already
1 1992, and then the Medak pocket, I think, was in 1993.
2 In both of these cases, Croatia was condemned by the Security
3 Council and criticised, and under the pressure of the Security Council, it
4 had to retreat. Unfortunately, there were casualties in those attacks,
5 both on the Serb side and on the side of the Blue Helmets.
6 After that, in 1994 or perhaps 1995, there were operations Storm
7 and Flash, which means the zone in Western Slavonia was attacked, and
8 during the Flash operation the Krajina was attacked.
9 Q. You mean it was Operation Storm?
10 A. Yes, that's right. I made a mistake.
11 Q. Do you know why is it that the UN did not react to the invasion of
12 these zones protected by the UN by Croatian army? So those zones were
13 protected by the UN and were attacked by Croatian forces.
14 A. That was because Croatia throughout that entire period had a very
15 strong political support, first of all by Germany and then by the United
16 States, and that in itself was sufficient to prevent any efficient action
17 on behalf of the UN. I know that when the Medak pocket was attacked, the
18 Czech commander of the Blue Helmets who was exposed to risk himself as a
19 result of Croatian attack asked for NATO assistance. However, NATO
20 assistance was denied to him. I don't know whether he received any
21 explanation, but at any rate, he did not receive any support during this
22 attack on positions of Blue Helmets.
23 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, you were an active participant when the
24 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was adopted in late
25 April 1992.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is that right or not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. At the same session when the constitution of the FRY was adopted,
5 another declaration was adopted as well, the declaration pertaining to the
6 then-existing political situation and the position of the Federal Republic
7 of Yugoslavia with respect to the open question of Yugoslav crisis. Do
8 you remember that?
9 A. Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, in tab 35, you can find
11 this declaration in English. It has already been presented here. I
12 apologise. Not 35. It is tab 36. It has already been admitted as P526,
13 and we're bringing it here under tab 36.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, did you find the declaration?
16 A. Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, were you able to find
18 the declaration? I want to be sure that you have it.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I have it, and I think my other colleagues
20 have it. And thanks for following the proper decorum.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, why is it that on the 27th of April, 1992, in
23 addition to the new constitution of the FRY a separate declaration was
24 adopted as well?
25 A. It was adopted in order to explain to the world, to point it out
1 to them that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was not a new state but a
2 reconstructed old state existing in the territories of the republics which
3 did not opt for independence. At the same time, we wanted to stress that
4 this state was the legal successor and would continue to have the status
5 of international subject that Yugoslavia had from its inception in 1918
7 In addition to that, we also wanted to express that the Federal
8 Republic of Yugoslavia not only did not resist the independence of certain
9 republics --
10 Q. All right. We will explain that separately. But please tell us,
11 were those mainly the reasons for adopting the declaration at the same
12 session when the constitution was adopted as well?
13 A. Yes. That was the main reason. And there were also other
15 Q. Now, please tell us, what was the position taken in that
16 declaration with respect to the republics that had seceded?
17 A. The position was that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia respected
18 those republics and was prepared to recognise them as independent states
19 at the end of the Conference on Yugoslavia, at the end of the negotiating
20 process. At the same time, we stressed that the FRY had no territorial
21 claims with respect to any of those republics and that it would not oppose
22 their admission into the UN or other international organisations.
23 As for the citizens residing there, our consular services offered
24 to provide all services that the people needed, meaning passports and
25 everything else.
1 Q. Here in item 1 where the continuity of Yugoslavia is mentioned, it
2 is stated: "At the same time, it shall be ready to fully respect the
3 rights [In English] and interests of the Yugoslav republics who declare
4 independence. The recognition of the newly formed states will follow
5 after all the outstanding objections [sic] negotiated on within the
6 Conference on Yugoslavia have been regulated."
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I suppose you meant "commitments," not
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no. Not "objections." Here in
10 this English translation it is stated "all the outstanding questions." So
11 the word is "questions negotiated on..."
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. What position, if any, was taken with respect to the obligations
14 that Yugoslavia had taken over? So from its inception in 1918 to the
15 adoption of that constitution in 1992.
16 A. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia publicly declared that it
17 considered itself bound to apply and respect all international treaties
18 and obligations which had been undertaken by the previous Yugoslavia and
19 which Yugoslavia in its other forms had, including the Kingdom of Serbia,
20 who participated in the drafting of The Hague Conventions in 1905 and so
21 on. Therefore, legal succession necessarily meant being bound by all
22 previous obligations undertaken by the previous Yugoslavia.
23 Q. Very well. Item 4 says: "The FR of Yugoslavia has no territorial
24 aspirations against anybody in its surroundings."
25 Was the position entirely clear as far as the territorial
1 ambitions, claims, aspirations are concerned, and everything else that is
2 being claimed here that Yugoslavia had?
3 A. I think that it is stated absolutely unambiguously here, very
4 precisely, very clearly. This is a very clear obligation to respect
5 territorial integrity of other republics which became independent states.
6 This obligation and this statement was contained in previous public
7 declarations given by representatives of Serbia. Therefore, on a number
8 of occasions we assured the world that we had absolutely no territorial
9 aspirations or claims in relation to the former Yugoslav republics.
10 Q. We had Ambassador Okun testify here. If you remember, he was the
11 secretary of Mr. Cyrus Vance during the negotiations and his mission to
12 Yugoslavia. He read out from his diary written by hand, and it was
13 obvious, even in the initial meetings that we had, that Serbia had no
14 territorial claims whatsoever. Do you remember those meetings held with
15 Cyrus Vance, accompanied by his secretary or his aid Ambassador Okun?
16 A. Yes, I remember that very well. I remember them, and I
17 participated in almost all of them, if not all of them.
18 Q. From the very beginning of the communication we had, the contacts
19 we had with Cyrus Vance in his capacity as special envoy of the UN
20 Secretary-General, did Serbia make its position clear as far as our
21 interests are concerned, and was it clear that the position of Serbia was
22 that it had no territorial claims, no territorial aspirations?
23 A. There were no doubts whatsoever in that regard. It was stressed
24 on a number of occasions, both to Mr. Cyrus Vance and to Mr. Okun.
25 Q. Based on what your recollections are in view of the office you
1 held at the time, can you tell us, what was the response to this
2 declaration within the UN and also among the states with which we had
3 diplomatic relations at the time?
4 A. This declaration was very well accepted. Certain countries -- or,
5 rather, it was registered as the UN document, and it was referred to as a
6 document by the Under-Secretary, the legal advisor of the UN when he
7 responded to letters of the two former Yugoslav republics which became
8 independent states and which objected and pointed out that Yugoslavia was
9 no longer a member of the UN.
10 As for the other states, they all continued to have their
11 diplomatic missions to Yugoslavia, and we continued to have diplomatic
12 missions in their countries. Some of them, such as Great Britain, openly
13 declared that all bilateral agreements signed previously between Great
14 Britain and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would continue to be in
15 force and would be applied with respect to the new Yugoslavia. Other
16 states accepted this with understanding. They showed understanding in
17 this issue, so that there was absolutely no doubts as to what was the
18 position of Yugoslavia with respect to other former Yugoslav republics.
19 Q. In view of the fact that you have stated a number of things here
20 that have to do with the development of events in Croatia in the course of
21 1991, I'm not going to quote everything to you, but please take a look at
22 one of the counts of Croatian indictment. This is count 26, and the last
23 one in it.
24 It is stated here that: "He controlled, contributed to, or
25 otherwise utilised Serbian state-run media outlets to manipulate Serbian
1 public opinion by spreading exaggerated and false messages of ethnically
2 based attacks by Croats against Serb people in order to create an
3 atmosphere of fear and hatred among Serbs living in Serbia and Croatia.
4 The propaganda generated by the Serbian media was an important tool in
5 contributing to the perpetration of crimes in Croatia."
6 Mr. Jovanovic, we're still dealing with 1991. You participated in
7 all of the events. Please tell us, what is it from the propaganda view
8 that Serbia did in order to spread ethnic hatred, fear, and contribute to
9 the perpetration, to the commission of crimes? Also, do you know anything
10 about what manipulations I was responsible for in order to create hatred
11 and perpetrate crimes?
12 A. I think that this is a very arbitrary claim that is contained in
13 this indictment. There is no greater hatred and no greater fear. Nothing
14 could be greater than the hatred and fear spread by Croatia and its
15 paramilitary formations. What our media did was only to broadcast what
16 was happening to the Serbs in the areas where they were threatened.
17 As for the ability to influence the international community in
18 general, we should remind everyone that the government of Serbia could
19 have, could wield influence only over one outlet of electronic media and
20 perhaps several newspapers, whereas the entire remaining media was under
21 the influence of the opposition and was very critical with respect to the
22 government. Therefore, to claim that all media outlets were used by the
23 government in Serbia in order to spread hatred and animosity felt by Serbs
24 in relation to Croats and Croatian authorities is unfounded, because that
25 does not reflect the factual state in Serbia.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Very well, Mr. Jovanovic. Now let us turn to some other questions
2 which have to do with the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Let us not deal
3 with what came before those events but, rather, focus on this: Do you
4 know whether the Republic of Serbia - and this was the subject matter of
5 some of the conferences organised by the international community and the
6 Conference on Yugoslavia - so do you know whether the Republic of Serbia
7 supported the plan known as Cutileiro's plan? Do you remember whether at
8 the plenary meeting of the international Conference on Yugoslavia
9 Cutileiro's plan was discussed and what was the position taken by the
10 Republic of Serbia with respect to that plan at that conference?
11 A. I was present when the special envoy of the EU, Mr. Cutileiro,
12 informed the conference on the results of his negotiations with three
13 sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he gave us a pleasant news that there was
14 an agreement reached on principal points and that there were also some
15 finishing touches, as he said, that needed to be done, and he asked for
16 another two or three weeks to complete that before he could inform about
17 the successfully completed business. This was very happily -- this caused
18 a lot of pleasure among Lord Carrington and everybody else who
19 participated in that conference. You yourself expressed very positive
20 thoughts about that news and said that Mr. Cutileiro should be given some
21 more time to conclude that task. And when addressing Mr. Izetbegovic, you
22 said that for future independent Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was much more
23 important to be recognised by all of its citizens and ethnic communities
24 than by other states. And then you added and highlighted that Serbia was
25 prepared to be among the first to recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina as an
1 independent state after Mr. Cutileiro concluded his mission.
2 I think it was a very important statement, but Mr. Izetbegovic
3 insisted on instant recognition. He did not accept this position that
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina should be first recognised by all of its citizens
5 but, rather, demanded that that be done by other states first.
6 When he returned to Sarajevo, it is well known that the US
7 ambassador, Mr. Zimmerman, had a meeting with him, and he inquired about
8 how this happened that this plan was signed. And when he heard from
9 Mr. Izetbegovic that he affixed his signature reluctantly, he asked him,
10 "Why did you do something that you didn't want to do?" And allegedly
11 that's --
12 Q. But you're not testifying about that.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Because you were not present during Zimmerman's meeting with
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I think that we are going to have someone who can say something
18 about that.
19 Tell me, as for the process of negotiations, Serbia did not take
20 part in it at all as far as the Cutileiro plan is concerned.
21 A. It is a well-known fact that we did not take part in it at all.
22 The only participants were the representatives of the three ethnic
23 communities; Karadzic, Izetbegovic, and the late Mate Boban, and of course
24 Ambassador Cutileiro on the other side.
25 Q. Was there anyone from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, from
1 Serbia, Montenegro, who at that time took part in the negotiations among
2 the three Bosnian sides in any way?
3 A. No.
4 Q. And what about the representatives of the Serb people in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did they accept the Cutileiro plan?
6 A. They accepted it, of course, as a compromise because it satisfied
7 their minimum requirements, and that is that they should be free, that
8 they should enjoy their constituent rights, that they be given the right
9 to consensus, and that this state which would be based on cantons would be
10 a state of equitable, equal peoples, not a state in which one or two
11 peoples would be above the remaining people.
12 Q. Around that time when these negotiations on Bosnia were taking
13 place, you were with me on an official visit to Turkey. Do you remember
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you remember what Sulejman Demirovic asked me about this? And
17 also the then president of Turkey, Turgut Ozal? That is to say the Prime
18 Minister and the president of Turkey who I talked to then?
19 A. They expressed their support to Yugoslavia and to preserving
20 Yugoslavia. They said that that was their long-term interest, to have a
21 stable country of all these republics. And at the same time, they gave
22 their assurances that they would not recognise these republics before all
23 outstanding issues were resolved. However, only a few weeks after that
24 there was a collective recognition of all four states, not only Slovenia
25 and Croatia. So from that point of view, the then leaders of Turkey were
1 rather insincere.
2 Q. To keep this as brief as possible, this stage of your testimony
3 about developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, since you were following all of
4 this all the time, how many international peace agreements and proposals
5 were there in relation to the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Perhaps
6 this is too lengthy a question, but how many proposals were there and what
7 was the position of Serbia -- rather, what was my position towards these
8 peace proposals?
9 A. There was a total of five, if we include the action plan of the
10 European Union towards the end of 1993. First, there was the plan of
11 Ambassador Cutileiro; then there was the Vance-Owen Plan; then the
12 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan. In the meantime, there was the action plan of the
13 European Union, and finally of the Contact Group.
14 From the very outset, we had a positive attitude towards this, and
15 we supported this not only in nominal terms rhetorically but very actively
16 as negotiators as well. We endeavoured, in our contacts with the
17 representatives of the Serb people in Bosnia and the representatives of
18 other people in Bosnia, too, to seek common points on which the future
19 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina would be based.
20 Q. All right. From the point of view of that experience and that
21 practice, you attended many of these meetings. Why did they invite me as
22 President of Serbia to take part in these meetings? When I say "they," I
23 am referring to Lord Owen, Thorvald Stoltenberg as the co-chairmen of the
24 conference, before that Vance and Owen. So why was I invited to take part
25 in these meetings that had to do with Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. Because all international intermediaries saw in you a useful
2 negotiator who always gave preference to political solutions rather than
3 military solutions, and a person who always advocated solutions that would
4 secure the minimum interests of all the three constituent peoples. You
5 always highlighted that and everywhere, especially in your contacts with
6 the representatives of the Serb community there who could not always find
7 their way easily in all these complicated negotiations. And often they
8 reacted emotionally, which hindered the results that were required and not
9 to talk about how emotionally charged the other two communities were too.
10 And that is why the international intermediaries, starting from Cyrus
11 Vance all the way to the US representatives Holbrooke and others, that is
12 what they appreciated the most as far as you were concerned, that you
13 always preferred a peaceful solution, not a military solution or war.
14 Q. You have very clear information about our support to these peace
15 plans. In the light of this continued support to peace plans, can one
16 speak of the existence of some territorial aspirations of Serbia or
17 Yugoslavia vis-a-vis Bosnia-Herzegovina, any aggression against
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina or any kind of act of aggression towards
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina or the like?
20 A. No, neither politically nor mathematically. If you and, through
21 you, Serbia supported all five peace plans and if you insisted on their
22 further development and on their acceptance by all, that can only be
23 looked upon as a positive factor. On the other hand, these insinuations
24 about the existence of some secret territorial pretensions or aggressive
25 intentions are a propaganda effect, and this propaganda was required
1 precisely because the conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina went on. Let us not
2 forget that the leadership of the Muslim people there were interested in
3 having foreign military intervention, and that was possible only with the
4 continuation of the conflict rather than if it abated.
5 Q. Tell me, in your opinion, how can this interest of theirs be
6 explained, that they wanted to have a foreign military intervention in
8 A. This concept of a so-called unitary Bosnia was behind it, where
9 the most numerous community would dominate over the others. That is
10 something that was not concealed in any way, and of course that could not
11 be accepted by the other communities. So that was the stumbling-block
12 that was a constant impediment to all the activities taken by the
13 peacemakers aimed at finding a joint view.
14 Unfortunately, the leadership of the Muslim people were spurred on
15 from the outside to continue along these lines. So they really needed a
16 raison d'etre because they no longer had an external enemy.
17 Q. Mr. Jovanovic, many assessments were heard here, a lot of
18 information was shown, and many documents were shown that have to do with
19 the Vance-Owen Plan. The Athens conference and then the session of the
20 Assembly of Republika Srpska held in Pale with the -- with the presence of
21 Bulatovic and myself and Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis. I'm not going
22 to dwell on that issue now, but if you wish to say something special in
23 this regard, I will be pleased to ask you about that too. However, it is
24 hardly known that before the meeting in Athens where the Vance-Owen Plan
25 was accepted there had been another attempt at the session of the
1 parliament of Republika Srpska in Bijeljina. I'm going to ask you
2 something about that because you personally attended that session of the
3 Assembly of Republika Srpska. I'm going to ask you to say something about
4 that, because this, in a way, was not part of --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
6 Mr. Milosevic. It's time for a question.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I put the question,
8 Mr. Robinson, I'm going to ask the witness, and I'm going to draw your
9 attention to the following: That is tab 38. There is a photocopy there
10 of the Politika daily newspaper dated the 27th of April, 1993. This is a
11 report from the session of the Assembly of the Republika Srpska and the
12 presence of Mr. Jovanovic at that session and his efforts to have the
13 peace process sustained. I hope that you have a translation of this.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There are two pages here.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Jovanovic --
18 MR. NICE: The interpretation hasn't found its way to me yet.
19 Sometimes there's a difference in the time it reaches the Bench to the
20 time it reaches us, but I'm not aware of one net. Looks as though
21 Ms. Anoya can provide one, whether first time or because we mislaid the
22 one we had. Thank you very much.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Just briefly let us deal with this. The conference in Athens
25 about the Vance-Owen Plan was held on the 1st of May. Isn't that right,
1 Mr. Jovanovic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now we are just ascertaining the facts.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So I hope that these are not leading questions, because these are
6 facts that can easily be checked out.
7 This Assembly of Republika Srpska was held in Bijeljina on the
8 26th of April, I think, a few days before the conference in Athens.
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Why did you go to this session of the Assembly of Republika
12 A. I went there as an envoy of the three presidents; you, President
13 Bulatovic, and of course the president of the Federal Republic of
14 Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic.
15 Q. Let me just interrupt you at this point. On page 2 of this
16 photocopy from Politika there is a text in a box and these three
17 signatures, Dobrica Cosic, Slobodan Milosevic, and Momir Bulatovic. You
18 can see that in the middle paragraph. That is the letter that we sent to
19 the Assembly.
20 The fact that you went to attend the Assembly session, was its
21 purpose to have you acquaint the Assembly of Republika Srpska about the
22 positions of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Serbia and Montenegro
23 concerning the Vance-Owen Plan?
24 A. Yes. That letter was a major effort, a desperate effort, I should
25 say, to convince the Republika Srpska MPs that this plan was acceptable
1 and that they should vote in favour of it. The letter contains arguments
2 that are a strong support in favour of the plan, although the plan, like
3 any other plan, is less than perfect and it contains certain sections that
4 do not really suit any one of the three peoples, including the Serb
5 people, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You particularly explained here the
6 progress that was made in the talks with Lord Owen and Stoltenberg in
7 respect of some of the pending issues where they indicated the course that
8 would be taken in terms of finding final solutions to these issues. At
9 the same time, you pointed out that this paper, this document, the
10 Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, actually met all the minimum requirements of the
11 Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say appropriate territory.
12 It guarantees the fact that it is a constituent people, also guarantees
13 the right to consensus and ensures their freedom so they would not be
14 threatened from any one of the other two sides in case they were to change
15 their minds and show some ill intent.
16 As for the support that Serbia had given until then to its people
17 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is political and material support, it was
18 indicated it was said that this support is so great that the Serb people
19 in Bosnia-Herzegovina had to bear in mind the fact that the burden on the
20 shoulders of Serbia and Montenegro are so great that they were hard to
21 bear, especially in the situation when there were sanctions imposed and
22 that that was why they were supposed to accept this plan and to discuss
23 further all pending issues after the plan was accepted and after
24 hostilities were ceased, because in this way, the possibility was open of
25 finding final solutions. At the same time, the Assembly was asked
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 categorically to accept the plan and that they should not allow that
2 because of that, Serbia and Montenegro or, rather, the Federal Republic of
3 Yugoslavia should become yet again the victim of sanctions that had
4 already been planned to be reimposed if the Assembly of Republika Srpska
5 Krajina were to reject the plan.
6 Q. You mean the Assembly of Republika Srpska.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, tell me, what was your task at this meeting of the Assembly?
9 You took this letter of ours and I assume that you read it, as far as I
10 can remember now. I can't remember exactly now.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell me, now --
13 A. Yes, that's right. It was my task to read it out, and I went to
14 Mr. Krajisnik and explained to him that I wanted to do this. He agreed
15 and at one point during the discussion he gave me the floor, and after it
16 was read out there was silence and then other people asked for the floor.
17 Karadzic, although he wasn't satisfied with all the elements of the plan,
18 did propose that the Assembly adopt the plan.
19 Q. All right. But let's just take things step-by-step. Radovan
20 Karadzic, at that meeting of the Assembly, came out in favour of accepting
21 the plan; is that right, and proposed that the Assembly do the same; is
22 that right?
23 A. Yes, despite certain elements that he was dissatisfied with in the
24 plan he thought that the plan was a plus and ought to be supported.
25 Q. Right. So Karadzic supported the plan. What was the president of
1 the Assembly, Momcilo Krajisnik's, view? How did he behave?
2 A. Mr. Krajisnik, president of the Assembly, behaved like the Speaker
3 of the House. He didn't state his own views too much, but he showed that
4 he was in favour of the plan and asked the deputies to take a positive
5 view because he didn't have a negative stance towards it, although in
6 official terms and formally he never actually came out in favour of it.
7 Q. All right. The president of the Assembly presiding over the
8 Assembly session on that occasion didn't have a negative stance, negative
9 position. He asked you to read out our letter, and the President of
10 Republika Srpska, Radovan Karadzic, had a positive stance and advocated
11 the adoption of the plan, so why wasn't the plan accepted, then, by the
12 Assembly at its session that day?
13 A. Because there were certain speakers who criticised it in no
14 uncertain terms, and they used very harsh language. One of those people
15 was the member of the Presidency, that is to say Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, and
16 she was a fervent advocate in criticising the plan. And even myself who
17 just conveyed the message in the letter, she said that I was not a
18 sufficiently conscious Serb. So she didn't spare my either. The others
19 kept quiet. Some people, as I said, criticised it openly and early
20 towards dawn the plan was rejected. It was not accepted and it was
21 regrettable for all of us who had done our best to have the plan prepared
22 as well as possible and go through. Unfortunately, sanctions against
23 Serbia and Montenegro followed, and they were not to blame for the failure
24 of the plan, the fact that it wasn't accepted.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, a housekeeping matter. The
1 Chamber was again criticised for about the tenth time for encroaching on
2 the time of the trial that follows. Consequently, I've decided that we
3 will stop at 1.43, seventeen minutes to two.
4 MR. NICE: And, Your Honours, since there's been a short break in
5 the giving of the evidence, by Your Honour's observation, may I in
6 forecast of something I'm going to do tomorrow, alert the Chamber and,
7 through the Chamber, the witness to this: I will ask him I think
8 tomorrow, at the end of tomorrow's session, if he would be so good, to
9 take with him documents that I propose to deal with in cross-examination
10 in order that he may, if he so chooses, read them or peruse parts of them
11 in order that we may save time in cross-examination. Of course, it's
12 entirely a matter for the witness whether he's prepared to make that time
13 available to us by working outside the court tomorrow afternoon, but
14 that's my present plan.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice. That's for tomorrow.
18 Continue, Mr. Milosevic, and remember, we are stopping at 1.43.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson, I shall
20 bear that in mind. But I'm not quite clear on one point and I don't
21 assume Mr. Jovanovic is clear on that either: Does Mr. Nice intend to
22 give him those documents today to read or have I misunderstood that? Will
23 he provide him with them tomorrow for the day after?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: He will do so tomorrow.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Jovanovic -- the letters are rather small here. Small print.
3 But on the right, the report on policy and politics, the letter that
4 Cosic, Bulatovic, and myself sent to the President of Republika Srpska, we
5 state in that document that, "We wish to tell you -" and we address the
6 deputies - "at a time when equality is guaranteed you and the right of
7 decision-making via consensus as constituent peoples and the territory
8 you're being offered, you do not have the right to endanger and subject to
9 international sanctions 10 million citizens of Yugoslavia for the sake of
10 unresolved issues that are incomparably more trivial than the results
11 achieved. Put simply, we want to tell you that you must take care with
12 your demands."
13 And then I go on to say at the end: "We will allow ourselves as
14 much right to make you important decisions for the Serbian people and what
15 is good and what is bad for our country and the entire Serbian people.
16 This is a matter of war and peace and we are therefore choosing peace.
17 This peace is not just peace for Serbia and Montenegro but also for all of
18 us. This peace is an honourable peace which guarantees your equality and
19 freedom. The alternative is an unnecessary war which cannot bring
20 anything but ill, suffering and violence to both us and others," et
21 cetera, et cetera.
22 So you read out all this and Radovan Karadzic suggested that the
23 plan or, rather, proposed that the plan be supported.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you say anything else at the Assembly session except for
1 reading out the letter?
2 A. No, I did not because it didn't come under my competence and
3 authority to do so.
4 Q. I see here that in between the paragraphs we have a statement by
5 you about the peace process. "Keep the peace process going."
6 A. Yes. I made that statement early in the morning after the
7 agreement was not voted on. I thought that the peace process was
8 jeopardised, but I said that we mustn't lose hope and we must continue our
9 work to achieve peace and a political settlement.
10 Q. Very well. Now, since you didn't take the floor to say anything
11 else and you said that Biljana Plavsic attacked you and said you weren't a
12 good enough Serb, why did she attack you if you didn't take the floor at
13 all, didn't make any other statements?
14 A. Because I was the conveyer of that joint message and for having
15 read out the message myself. She probably concluded on the basis of that
16 that I wasn't a sufficiently good Serb just like the other presidents
17 weren't, and she adopted a very harsh tone, an angry tone.
18 Q. Do you remember the results of the voting? Which deputies voted
19 aye and which voted nay?
20 A. I can't remember exactly. I just remember that there were
21 considerable votes against -- for --
22 Q. Or you mean that it was rejected?
23 A. Yes, that's right, it was rejected. So they voted against.
24 Q. So is it clear that there were rigorous sanctions that were
25 enforced towards the Republic of Yugoslavia and farther afield, in
1 Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina?
2 A. Yes, that was clear that this would be enforced but they passed
3 over that, glossed over it because they considered that their interests
4 came first and everything else was secondary and subservient to that. So
5 when I say "their interests," in the very narrow sense of the word.
6 Unfortunately, these sanctions were expanded to include Serbia, Montenegro
7 or, rather, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as well, although they were
8 completely unmerited, unwarranted, because as I say, the people who should
9 have been commended were put down.
10 Q. In Athens several days later, as we can see on the basis of the
11 calendar just four days later, a conference was held with Vance and Owen
12 and the host of the conference was Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis. Did
13 you take part in that conference?
14 A. Yes, I did. I was there.
15 Q. Just in very brief terms, very briefly, please, because we just
16 have two minutes left, as Mr. Robinson told us a moment ago, what were
17 your impressions from the conference? Radovan Karadzic accepted the
18 Vance-Owen Plan there and put his signature to it. So what were your
19 impressions? How long did the discussion go on for; what happened?
20 A. I did not actually take part in the discussion and debate myself
21 but I was close by. It lasted a long time. It was a difficult
22 negotiation and discussion, a lengthy one, and Radovan Karadzic wouldn't
23 have agreed had you not advocated this. And this is something that
24 Mr. Mitsotakis himself recognised, and finally he placed his signature to
25 it but conditioned it with the proviso that there should be a referendum
1 in Republika Srpska. And as we know, the referendum was -- also went
2 against the plan so that this whole good idea fell through.
3 JUDGE KWON: Excuse me, Mr. Milosevic. The decision of the
4 Bosnian Serb Assembly, was that a unanimous one or not? This report of
5 Politika said it has unanimously rejected the Vance-Owen Plan. If you let
6 me be clear about -- as to whether Mr. Karadzic supported the plan or did
7 he reject the plan as well?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When he took the microphone, he
9 asked the deputies to adopt the plan, although he said that the plan was
10 not satisfactory and didn't meet all the expectations and interests that
11 it should have done because there were unsatisfactory solutions but that
12 it was good on the whole and that it favoured Serb policy. That was his
14 Now, as a guest myself I was sitting in the first row, and I
15 didn't consider the votes behind me. So those who were in favour of the
16 plan did not dare state this publicly during the voting, because the
17 general mood was going against the acceptance of the plan.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: That has to be the last question, and we are
19 going to adjourn now, and we will resume 9.00 a.m. tomorrow.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.43 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 15th day of
22 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.