1 Wednesday, 1 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.17 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber apologises for the delay in starting.
7 Judge Bonomy was delayed by heavy traffic.
8 Mr. Milosevic, please continue.
9 WITNESS: BRANKO KOSTIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Robinson. But before
12 I do continue, I'd like to raise two points. First of all, Ms. Eve-Anne
13 Prentice only arrived last night, late, so that I didn't have an
14 opportunity of meeting her and I've never actually met her in my life
15 before, so it is necessary for me to see the witness before they testify,
16 so she will probably be testifying on Friday. That's my first point.
17 And now secondly, something with respect to your guidelines with
18 respect to medical documents. I'd like to ask you that at the end of the
19 day you set aside some 15 minutes because I'd like to present certain
20 matters and raise certain issues in that regard.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'll do that. We'll set aside 15 minutes at
22 the end of the last session. Please proceed.
23 Examination by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
24 Q. Good morning, Professor Kostic.
25 A. Good morning, Mr. Milosevic.
1 Q. We left off discussing the statements and allegations in the
2 Croatian and Bosnian indictment, Croatian count 99 -- paragraph 99, and in
3 the Bosnian 56, where it states that I allegedly said that everything was
4 over with Yugoslavia and that from that statement of mine - and I quoted
5 the place where it said that Serbia was always in favour of Yugoslavia -
6 the allegation is that I said that Yugoslavia was finished and that it
7 never -- Serbia never hid the fact she was in favour of Yugoslavia and
8 she's proud to state so today too publicly.
9 Now, tell me, what is my relationship towards Yugoslavia
10 throughout the Yugoslav crisis?
11 A. Well, from the very first day when the Yugoslav crisis started,
12 and practically throughout the time it lasted, your attitude and the
13 attitude of the entire leadership of Serbia was without any dilemma for,
14 or in favour of, Yugoslavia.
15 Q. What was your own attitude towards Yugoslavia?
16 A. Well, I lived for that, and I can say that not even today am I
17 able to come to terms with the fact that we lost it.
18 Q. And what about the top military echelons and their attitude
19 towards Yugoslavia?
20 A. The top echelons of the military, out of all the institutions of
21 the then Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, for the longest time
22 managed to preserve and retain their integrity and entity as a whole as a
23 whole and all their efforts were geared towards preserving Yugoslavia.
24 All the interventions, all the statements made by the top military leaders
25 and what they did in assessing the situation on the one hand and in
1 forecasting the events that would arise unless a stop was put to it
2 seriously and the desire -- complete desire to retain and preserve
3 Yugoslavia was something that the top military echelons were most fervent
4 about, and I think it is thanks to Mr. Veljko Kadijevic, who at the time
5 was the defence minister, and Mr. Blagoje Adzic, who was the chief of the
6 general staff at the time, that this was so, and Mr. Stane Brovet and the
7 other military leaders.
8 Q. Tell me, please, what was the national composition, the ethnic
9 composition of the top military echelons during that year of 1991?
10 A. Well, perhaps I'm not going to be able to give you a very precise
11 answer and take the people in turn by name, but of the generals at the
12 top, there were -- there was a majority of Croats. There were some
13 Slovenes, too, but I think there were only two Serbs, one of which was
14 from Bosnia, one or two Macedonians, if I remember correctly as well, but
15 I have to say I'm a little surprised because Montenegro always had a lot
16 of generals but at that particular point in time there was no Montenegrin
17 general at the top.
18 I'm speaking about the initial stage. Later on, I think there was
19 General Domazetovic, and later on, General Boskovic too.
20 Q. You mean Montenegrins.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Montenegrins who appeared later.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As a Prosecution witness, we heard testimony here from the then
25 chief of the security department, or administration, General Vasiljevic,
1 and in his testimony, as far as I remember, he gave us the composition of
2 the military leadership, who the members were, from which we were able to
3 see that there was one Yugoslav, two Serbs, one Serb from Bosnia, eight
4 Croats, two Slovenes, two Macedonians and one Muslim. And you said a
5 moment ago that there was -- that there were eight Croats in the top
6 echelons of the day, two Slovenes and two Serbs and one Muslim.
7 Do you happen to remember those generals? Veljko Kadijevic was
8 the federal secretary; Blagoje Adzic, the chief of the general staff, of
9 course; and Josip Greguric, the deputy or under secretary; Stane Brovet,
10 deputy of the federal secretary; and so on and so forth. Do you remember
11 all those names?
12 A. Well, the fact that -- what General Vasiljevic said should be
13 taken as being quite reliable data, because General Vasiljevic himself was
14 one of the leaders of the military. He was first of all deputy of the
15 chief of the 12th administration of KOS, and later on the chief of KOS,
16 the 12th administration or department. So these data should be taken to
17 be quite reliable, certain data. All the people you mentioned I remember
18 very well myself. Of course I had more frequent communication with
19 Mr. Veljko Kadijevic, for example, and Mr. Blagoje Adzic, well as
20 Mr. Stane Brovet.
21 Q. Do you know, or did you happen to know at the time, how, according
22 to the regulations -- rules and regulations, whether in the constitution
23 or other regulations, the composition, the ethnic composition of the
24 officer cadres was regulated, perhaps, in the Yugoslav People's Army?
25 A. Well, the national structure or ethnic structure for officers was
1 regulated in the same way as it was regulated -- as the national structure
2 was regulated for the entire army, and members of the army. And without
3 exaggeration we can say that every single unit, right down to the lowest
4 level in the Yugoslav People's Army, represented Yugoslavia in miniature.
5 In other words, the recruitment policy for the military for training
6 purposes in the units of the Yugoslav People's Army was regulated in such
7 a manner that all the recruits that were called up to do their military
8 service, you would take into account their ethnic structure and the age
9 structure which would correspond to that of the general country as a
10 whole, the SFRY as a whole. And the same thing was mirrored with the
11 officers. But I'd like to say that in the general staff there was
12 significant deviation from that in this sense: For example, the Serbian
13 people to all intents and purposes, counting the Serbs not only living in
14 Serbia but Serbs living in other parts of Yugoslavia as well, the Serbs
15 represented almost half the entire population of Yugoslavia, whereas from
16 the figures you read out, you can see that there were only two Serbs at
17 the very top echelons of the military, that is to say the General Staff.
18 Q. So when I asked you whether the military echelons were in
19 conformity with those principles --
20 A. No, they were not, and they went to the detriment of the Serbs, to
21 the Serb disadvantage.
22 Q. Did anybody ever raise that question and did they raise it in the
23 sense of a problem and say that it was to the disadvantage of the Serbs?
24 Did anybody ever raise that matter?
25 A. No.
1 Q. None of the Serbs?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What about the overall composition of the armed forces with
4 respect to the national structure or ethnic structure? How did that have
5 to be regulated?
6 A. Well, I've already said that in answer to your previous question.
7 The overall composition of the Yugoslav People's Army mirrored and
8 corresponded to the ethnic structure of the population as a whole and the
9 age structure of the population. Of course, we can say that that was so
10 up until the beginning or the first months of 1991. Already, however, in
11 the second half of 1991, or second quarter when the situation came to a
12 head and became more and more tense, there were deviations from that
13 because certain republics started to -- actually, they stopped sending
14 recruits from their midst to the Yugoslav People's Army, and they refused
15 to pay in the resources necessary for the budget and for the army and so
16 on, customs duty and so on, so that during 1991 this principle was upset.
17 There was a disruption of the ethnic structure in the Yugoslav People's
18 Army. There were fewer and fewer Slovenes, for example, in the army, and
19 when I say that, I have in mind the recruits coming from Slovenia or,
20 rather, the lack of their coming. And later on, there were fewer Croats
21 and Muslims and Albanians and so forth. So that one of my major
22 criticisms of the text of the indictment is this: That the authors of the
23 indictment do not indicate those problems, the problems that went -- meant
24 a direct violation of the constitution and existing laws of the country in
25 a legitimate legal state, and indicate and attempting in -- to my mind in
1 a fairly underhand way, to accuse us of intentionally Serbicising the
2 Yugoslav People's Army whereas the actual state of affairs was quite the
4 Q. Thank you, Professor Kostic. Tell us briefly what the ethnic
5 composition was of the state leaders, top state leaders when we had
6 secession on the political scene, and look at mid-1991. Or to be
7 specific, who was the Prime Minister at the time?
8 A. The Prime Minister of the day was Mr. Ante Markovic, who was a
9 Croat, and he was delegated from Croatia as Prime Minister.
10 Q. Who was the foreign minister at the time?
11 A. The foreign minister at the time was Mr. Budimir Loncar, also an
12 ethnic Croat delegated from Croatia.
13 Q. Who was the president of the Presidency of the SFRY in mid 1991?
14 A. The president of the Yugoslav state Presidency was Mr. Stjepan
15 Mesic, also a Croat from Croatia, delegated from Croatia. And I can also
16 add to that the fact that in 1991, for example, two more or, rather, three
17 of the most prominent posts in the SFRY were filled and covered by Croats
18 from Croatia. For example, Mr. Branimir Zekan was the minister, the
19 federal minister of finance of the SFRY. Mr. Bozidar Marendic was the
20 federal minister in Ante Markovic's government for science and technology
21 and development. And in that group, the group we've already mentioned, I
22 don't want to put Mr. Veljko Kadijevic into that group although he was
23 indeed a delegate of Croatia. He was -- one of his parents was a Croat,
24 the other parent was a Serb, but I'm setting him aside intentionally and I
25 don't want to put him in that basket, in the group we mentioned first.
1 Q. Now he declared himself as being a Serb anyway. He didn't declare
2 himself as being a Croat or a Serb?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Right. Now that you're bearing that in mind, did these, if I can
5 call them secessionist republics, have any reason whatsoever to feel
6 themselves to be under some sort of political domination by Serbia or the
7 Serbs in general?
8 A. I personally feel that they did not have any reason whatsoever of
9 feeling themselves to be under some hegemony or domination by the Serbs
10 nor did they have any reason to fear that. And even as I myself am an
11 economist and worked at the university for quite some time and later was
12 the vice-premier in the government of Montenegro for development matters,
13 I can safely say that there was the general conviction across the board in
14 other parts of the SFRY to the effect that Slovenia and Croatia within the
15 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were in a very privileged
16 position, a fairly privileged position, because they were the most highly
17 developed of Yugoslavia's republics. All the processing industry was
18 located in Slovenia and Croatia and developed there, and at the same time
19 those two most developed republics had 20 -- a 24-million-strong market
20 for their products, and they had in the lesser developed parts of
21 Yugoslavia and in Serbia proper as well, they could come by very chief
22 food, raw materials, and energy.
23 Q. You've answered the question of what the situation was like now
24 both in the top military echelons and the top state echelons, the
25 president of the Presidency, the Prime Minister, the foreign minister, the
1 minister for development, the minister of finance, and so on and so forth.
2 We've seen who those posts were occupied by. Now what about the situation
3 previously? That is to say from World War II to 1990, for instance.
4 Let's take that period.
5 A. Well, perhaps I'm not going to take everything in order, I might
6 not say everything in order, but I can tell you the general appearance.
7 Marsal Josip Broz Tito, from 1945 until his death in 1980, was the head of
8 state and he was the overall supreme authority and personage who, without
9 exaggeration, can be said to have held all power in his hands, either as
10 head of state or head of the then party, the party of the day, which was
11 the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
12 From 1980 onwards, that is from Tito's death onwards, right up
13 until 1992, for example, the role of head of state was performed by the
14 Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as a collective
15 organ --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I hesitate to interrupt you, but I
17 believe we are going over ground that we have already covered. We have
18 had evidence on these matters before.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Do you know whether in this long period, apart from four years,
21 anyone from Serbia was Prime Minister?
22 A. In that 47-year long period, there was only one four-year term of
23 office when a Serb was Prime Minister. That was Petar Stambolic.
24 Q. I asked you earlier about legislation governing the ethnic
25 structure of the army.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me just tender this tab 85,
2 Mr. Robinson. I only have it in English. It is Article 242 of the
3 constitution, which says: "As regards the composition of the army, the
4 promotion of the senior -- two senior posts [In English] the principle of
5 the most proportional representation ... shall be applied."
6 [Interpretation] "The principle of proportionate representation
7 should be applied."
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I quoted this article of the constitution in order to point out
10 that it was not strictly observed, to the detriment of the Serb side. Was
11 that the position you expressed?
12 A. Precisely.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this tab 85? It's that
15 article of the constitution alone, and I think it's provided only in
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's admitted, yes.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. How did you come to be elected member of the Presidency of the
21 A. Mr. Nenad Bucin, who represented Montenegro in the Presidency of
22 the SFRY after that three-day session in March in 1989, resigned from the
23 Presidency. And since he stuck by his resignation, the Assembly of
24 Montenegro elected me in mid-April to the Presidency of the SFRY. The
25 Yugoslav Assembly, as envisaged by the constitution, confirmed my election
1 on the 16th of May, 1991.
2 Q. How many members were there in the Presidency, who they
3 represented, how were they elected, how did they work?
4 A. The Presidency had eight members; one from each republic,
5 including autonomous provinces, which had their members in the Presidency.
6 They were elected by republic or province Assemblies, and they were
7 answerable in practice to the bodies that elected them, that is republic
8 Assemblies, although our mandate as members of the Presidency was not
9 imperative in nature. In other words, a member of the Presidency could
10 decide independently, whereas the Assembly had the right to revoke its
11 member and send another one.
12 Q. Who were members of the Presidency at the time when you were on
14 A. Slovenia was represented by Janez Drnovsek, Croatia by Mr. Stjepan
15 Mesic, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Mr. Bogic Bogicevic, Serbia by
16 Dr. Borisav Jovic, Macedonia by Dr. Vasil Tupurkovski, Vojvodina by
17 Jugoslav Kostic, Kosovo and Metohija by Mr. Sejdo Bajramovic, and I
18 represented Montenegro.
19 Q. How did the Presidency operate? How were decisions proposed and
21 A. In addition to the competencies of the Presidency as envisaged by
22 the constitution, the Presidency also had its rules of procedure that
23 governed many affairs, including the method of work of the Presidency.
24 The Presidency actually constituted a group of eight equals, eight peers.
25 Every decision required at least five votes in favour, and the most
1 important decisions required a two-third majority, that is six members of
2 the Presidency, whereas the president and vice-president of the Presidency
3 did not have any special rights compared to other members of the
4 Presidency, apart from the fact that they were required to translate into
5 practice or make operative the decisions taken by the Presidency.
6 Q. Can you tell us very briefly, what was the purview of the
8 A. Well, it was a head of state. It represented the state internally
9 and externally, appointed ambassadors, received letters of credit. Apart
10 from those state functions envisaged by the constitution, the Presidency
11 also played the role of Supreme Command. It was the highest civilian
12 command of the armed forces of the SFRY.
13 Q. You explained earlier a problem faced by the Presidency in March
14 and how it was overcome; namely, Serbia put Mr. Jovic back on the
15 Presidency, Montenegro elected you, and after that, Stjepan Mesic became
16 president. Who was before him as Croatian representative?
17 A. Mr. Stipe Suvar.
18 Q. How did Stjepan Mesic replace Mr. Suvar?
19 A. Mr. Mesic came to the Presidency as representative of Croatia, and
20 he was nominated by the Communist Party of Croatia. Excuse me, this is
21 Mr. Suvar who was nominated by the Communist Party of Croatia. And in
22 1991, first multi-party elections were held in Croatia.
23 The Communist Party of Croatia suffered a terrible defeat at those
24 elections, and the Croatian Democratic Union, led by Mr. Tudjman, had a
25 landslide victory. Since the authorities in power changed in Croatia,
1 this entailed a change in the Presidency. Croatia withdrew Mr. Suvar and
2 elected Mr. Mesic instead.
3 Q. What was Mr. Suvar's approach to Yugoslavia?
4 A. He was in favour of preserving it.
5 Q. What was Mr. Mesic's attitude to Yugoslavia?
6 A. Well, that's clear from all his statements, his testimony here,
7 and especially from his book that he published at the same time as I did
8 mine in 1994. From what he says, it would seem that he had nothing to do
9 with it, but he in fact played a great role in destroying Yugoslavia.
10 Q. Did Mesic express publicly his intention and desire to break up
12 A. Yes, more than once. Many times, in fact. Just before he was
13 about to be elected into the Presidency of the SFRY, he stated publicly
14 that he would be the last member of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, that he
15 would be the president of the last Presidency of Yugoslavia. That
16 statement is very well known. His intentions were clear and obvious, and
17 it seemed to me - I have to say this - several years after all of this,
18 that is in 1999 when Mr. Stjepan Mesic was a leader of an opposition party
19 in Croatia opposing the HDZ and Mr. Tudjman, so in the role of opposition
20 leader, Mr. Stjepan Mesic spoke out on Montenegrin television, and he
21 recounted those days in 1991. And I would have no quarrel with what he
23 Q. What did he say?
24 A. Well, he said that it was part of the platform of the HDZ to
25 secede from Yugoslavia, establish an independent state of Croatia. He
1 said that all the proposals they came up with at that time were geared to
2 that end. And even the idea of confederation that they proposed at the
3 time - if you have time, we can demonstrate that here - that idea of
4 confederation was only a half step towards the ultimate objective of an
5 independent and sovereign Croatia. He even said - it was on Montenegro
6 television - he said your Montenegrin state was recognised even at the
7 Berlin Congress in 1878, so your state ambitions were fulfilled, whereas
8 Croatia did not have that and it had to be achieved even at the cost of
10 Q. We'll come to that later. You mentioned you have something here.
11 You explained his public altitude towards Yugoslavia. Tell me, what are
12 the obligations -- what were the obligations of every member of the
13 Presidency of the SFRY concerning the territorial integrity of the
15 A. It is a constitutional obligation of every member of the
16 Presidency, not only to represent his own republic but to represent the
17 interests of all the citizens of Yugoslavia, to preserve the territorial
18 integrity of Yugoslavia. That constitutional amendment is written into
19 the oath that all of us as members of the Presidency took before the
20 federal parliament of the SFRY when our election to the Presidency was
22 Q. How was a member of the Presidency elected?
23 A. That was governed by the rules of procedure. That was done by
24 voting at Presidency session.
25 Q. That was in the rules of procedure.
1 A. Yes. A simple majority is required; that is, five votes out of
3 Q. Tell me, who voted for and who against the election of Mesic at
4 this session when there was a problem about his appointment?
5 A. The first voting was on the 15th of May, 1991. It was
6 Mr. Drnovsek from Slovenia who voted for Mr. Mesic from Croatia, Mr. Bogic
7 Bogicevic from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Mr. Vasil Tupurkovski from
9 Q. That's four. And what about the other four? They voted against?
10 A. At that session, three members, from Serbia, Kosovo and Metohija,
11 and Vojvodina voted against. And since my own election to the Presidency
12 was not yet confirmed by the federal parliament, that session was attended
13 by president of the Presidency of Montenegro, Mr. Momir Bulatovic, who
14 abstained from voting at that session, and he explained it by saying that
15 he was indignant about the failure to confirm my election to the Federal
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Had you been there, how would you have voted?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I actually expressed my
19 position two days later. I'll explain. I would have voted against.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And now tell us -- let us clarify this issue that Mr. Robinson
23 asked. How many attempts were there to elect Mesic?
24 A. Two.
25 Q. The second time you were already a confirmed member of the
1 Presidency and took part in the session on a regular basis.
2 A. The second attempt to elect Mr. Mesic took place on the 17th of
3 May; two days later. My election was confirmed on the 16th of May by the
4 Federal Assembly, and on the 17th I was already a legal member of the
5 Presidency and participated as such in that session. There were many
6 speculations as to whether my vote would be the necessary fifth vote, and
7 I had been, before that, in the Assembly of Montenegro to conduct
8 consultations, although the conclusion of the Assembly would not have been
9 binding for me, but still I wanted to check, and I said tongue in cheek,
10 even if I give my vote to Mr. Mesic, my vote as a vote for Montenegro
11 cannot be the fifth, it can only be the first. It was a bit of a joke.
12 But at that session of the Presidency, I have something here that I wish
13 to read briefly. It's -- it's an explanation --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but is it --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- a rationale.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we need to get on.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is very short. Mr. Kostic said
18 it was a very short passage.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Brevity is not a response if it is not relevant.
20 All right. Let us hear it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it is very important. Here
22 at that session of the Presidency - that's in my book called "1991, Not to
23 be forgotten." You have that in your tab, that's page 20 in the tab.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's request: Which tab?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I stated at this session -- but I
1 will be reading slowly.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you tell us what tab it is, Mr. Milosevic,
3 for the benefit of the interpreters?
4 JUDGE KWON: 72.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's 72.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Which page are you quoting from?
8 A. Page 20, at the beginning of the third paragraph.
9 Q. That's tab 72.
10 A. May I?
11 Q. That's in fact the answer to the question why you voted against
13 A. I said then: "It is a sovereign and inalienable right of every
14 nation and every republic in Yugoslavia, including Croatia, to delegate to
15 the Presidency of the SFRY representatives that are the most appropriate
16 to them. Membership in the Presidency, which is a collective head of
17 state, requires from every member of the Presidency not to be only a
18 deputy of their own republic or their own political party but to take into
19 account and represent the interests of other nations and republics who are
20 united into a democratic Yugoslav state. That is why the rules of the
21 procedure envisage that decisions are taken by polling all the members of
23 "In case the contrary happens, with due respect to Mr. Stjepan
24 Mesic as a legitimate representative of Croatia elected by the legitimate
25 authorities of the Republic of Croatia, I will not support his election to
1 the Presidency of the SFRY."
2 Just one more.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's very -- it's very learned and it reads well,
4 and we know why you voted against.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have the --
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just a remark. We do not have
9 any translation in relation to this tab 72, so I wonder when we will get
11 MR. KAY: You have no need to have the whole book translated,
12 presumably. The accused has obviously been careful with the translation
13 issues here.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We have the translation here,
15 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff. It reads quite well, as I said, but I don't know how
16 much further it takes us. So we'll only admit that part which has been
17 read and translated in court.
18 And we don't need to hear anything more, Professor.
19 Your next question, Mr. Milosevic.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Tell us about this passage you just read and the passages you
22 didn't have time to read.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I've ordered you to move on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am moving on. I am moving on, Mr.
25 Robinson. I'm not going back.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're going back to the same passage.
2 JUDGE BONOMY: I wonder if, before you do anything else, you could
3 tell us, who was the fifth vote?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At this session, Mr. Mesic was not
5 elected once again because there was no fifth vote. He was elected only
6 on the 13th of July, and this was on the 17th of May.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. In any direct or indirect way, did you ever challenge the
11 legitimacy of Mr. Mesic's membership in the Presidency of the SFRY?
12 A. Yes [as interpreted].
13 Q. Did you challenge his right to --
14 JUDGE BONOMY: I'm afraid I have to question the relevance of
15 this. What is the relevance of this to whether war crimes were committed
16 or not?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The relevance is to show how the
18 secession that caused the war arose, who its protagonists were. In the
19 opinion of all those within and outside the country who evaluated this, it
20 was the secession that caused the war. Mr. Mesic --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, Mr. Milosevic. You don't move on until the
22 Chamber has ruled on the issue raised by Judge Bonomy.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Whether or not this -- whether or not this witness
24 challenge the legitimacy of Mr. Mesic's membership in the Presidency seems
25 to me entirely irrelevant even to the point that you say it deals with.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Move on, Mr. Milosevic. Next question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, no. You're not to offer comments. Please
4 don't offer comments. Answer the questions raised by Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In view of the fact that you did not challenge Mesic's legitimacy
7 as a member of the Presidency - on the contrary, you stressed it - why,
8 then, did you not vote for his becoming the president of the Presidency?
9 A. Because I was afraid that as president of the Presidency he would
10 abuse his office with a view to implementing the platform of his party
11 which sent him to the Presidency of the SFRY. This later proved to be
12 true many times over. At the time, many people tried to connect my vote
13 against Mesic with political and ideological motives, but this was not
14 correct. In a month and a half, during which time we did not have an
15 elected president, I put forward various compromise proposals. For
16 example, I proposed that instead of --
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, I'm afraid I have to question the relevance
18 of any of this. We know what Croatia and Slovenia did, and it's the fact
19 that they did it that matters. We know who the people were who were
20 involved in that. So what is the point on going -- in going over all this
21 territory yet again to get a personal perspective on it from Mr. Kostic?
22 No matter how learned and relevant that might be to life in general in
23 Yugoslavia then and now, it is not relevant to the issues that we have to
24 resolve here.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I endorse what Judge Bonomy has
1 said. I don't see the point of this line of questioning, which seems to
2 serve more some personal interests rather than the matters at issue in the
3 trial. It's the sort of thing the professor may wish to write about, but
4 it's not helping us here. So move on to the issues that are raised by the
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This has an indirect bearing in that
7 it clarifies other issues, Mr. Robinson. The failure to elect Mesic was
8 seen by his supporters as an infringement of the rights of Croatia. This,
9 however, was not the case, because the Republic of Croatia did have its
10 equal member of the Presidency. However, the election of the president of
11 the Presidency was a matter for the Presidency to decide. So I asked
12 Mr. Kostic whether this in any way brought into question the equality of
13 Croatia in that Presidency. If, however, you do not wish to hear about
14 this any more, I will pass over these questions. These issues are already
15 part of history, and everybody understands them except the opposite side
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Kostic, what were the relations in the Presidency of the SFRY
19 at the time you became its member? The eight members you mentioned, what
20 were their mutual relations within the Presidency?
21 A. I have to say that while we worked together, relations were
22 tolerant. At several of its sessions, the Presidency managed to reach
23 decisions, and very important decisions, at that. But later on, the
24 implementation of those decisions was obstructed.
25 I had occasion more than once to say that I had nothing against
1 Mr. Mesic personally. Our communication was quite normal and natural.
2 When he was not before a camera or when he was not being recorded,
3 Mr. Mesic was a very interesting collocutor, and I often said so.
4 However, our day-to-day communication was one thing, but his public
5 speeches were another thing. In the Croatian parliament, he even had to
6 justify some decisions that he adopted jointly with us as a member of the
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I move on to my next
9 question, the transcript has already gone, but I have to correct
10 something. My question was whether he was ever opposed to the legitimacy
11 of Mesic in the Presidency. It says here yes, but his answer was no.
12 Please enter this correction into the transcript.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's noted, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. When you took up your duty as member of the Presidency in 1991, a
16 tension had already started and there were already conflicts. Is this
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What measures did the Presidency of the SFRY take in order to
20 prevent armed conflict?
21 A. There were many such measures, but they all boiled down to the
22 conclusion that armed clashes had to stop, that everyone had to refrain
23 from using force. The JNA, which persistently and over a long time warned
24 where all this was leading and kept saying that we were facing civil war,
25 pursuant to decisions by the Presidency, was engaged in every place where
1 armed incidents and clashes had taken. Not to assist any one side but to
2 be a buffer in order to prevent the spreading of inter-ethnic clashes.
3 Its first large-scale engagement was, of course, when Slovenia issued a
4 decision on secession. At that time, on their own initiative and contrary
5 to the constitution, the Territorial Defence of Slovenia removed all the
6 Yugoslav symbols from the state borders and the border crossings into
7 Slovenia. The army was then engaged not to wage war against Slovenia but
8 to assist the Federal Customs Bureau and the border police to resume their
9 duties on the borders of the SFRY.
10 Q. We will not go into this any further, but as you opened up the
11 this issue, who sent the army into Slovenia? Was it the Presidency who
12 decided this?
13 A. No. It was the Federal Executive Council, headed by Mr. Ante
14 Markovic, on the 26th of June, 1991. By that decision, the Federal
15 Executive Council told the Federal Secretariat of the Interior and the
16 Federal Customs Bureau to restore the situation on the state border to
17 what it had previously been, and the Federal Secretariat for National
18 Defence was duty bound to offer assistance should there be any hindrances
19 to the execution of these tasks.
20 Q. So this was done by the Federal Executive Council, headed by Ante
21 Markovic. Very well. How did war break out in Yugoslavia and what was
22 its cause?
23 A. The war started practically in Slovenia, although one can't really
24 say it was a real war. But all the clashes that occurred arose due to the
25 one-sided secessionist actions going against the constitutional order of
1 Yugoslavia. Slovenia declared independence, took over the state border,
2 removed Yugoslav symbols, and then the conflict broke out. The same
3 happened in Croatia when the then authorities of Croatia tried to cancel
4 the validity of Yugoslav laws on its territory and to set up its own
5 police authorities in areas populated mainly by Serbs, and when they
6 attempted to send their police units into those areas, thus taking over
7 power from the existing authorities in those areas held by the Serbs, this
8 caused an atmosphere of fear, and the population in those territories
9 simply rebelled. There was a spontaneous rebellion in those territories.
10 Roads were blocked. That's why these first clashes were called the log
11 revolution. Logs were not used for offensive activities, they were not
12 used to attack; they were used to prevent the penetration of Croatian
13 police forces into those territories.
14 Q. Among politicians, were there those who shared your opinions about
15 the causes of the war?
16 A. I have to say that as far as foreign politicians go, if we are
17 referring to the very beginnings of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia,
18 it was Mr. Baker's opinion that made the deepest impression on me.
19 Q. Can we take a brief look at it, please. Can you please play it,
20 just briefly, in the light of what you now said about the outbreak of the
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can Mr. Baker's statement be played,
24 [Videotape played]
25 "If German and Austrian leaders still believe that Slovenia and
1 Croatia could be separated from Yugoslavia without a wider war, the
2 Americans strongly believed otherwise.
3 "Because we said if Yugoslavia does not break up peacefully,
4 there's going to be one hell of a civil war. It nevertheless broke up
5 non-peacefully. It broke up through the unilateral declaration of
6 independence by Slovenia and Croatia and the seizing by these two
7 countries' republics of their border posts, which was an act of force and
8 which was an act that was in violation of the Helsinki principles. But
9 the European powers and the United States ultimately recognised Slovenia
10 and then Croatia and then Bosnia as independent countries, as member --
11 and admitted them to the United Nations. The real problem was that there
12 was a unilateral declaration of independence and a use of force to gain
13 that independence rather than a peaceful negotiation of independence,
14 which is the way it should have happened."
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Apart from yourself, we see Baker here. Now, let's
17 look at paragraphs 89 and 90 of this alleged Kosovo indictment, written at
18 a time when they still did not have a mandate to raise indictments for
19 Croatia and Bosnia.
20 In paragraph 89 - I will quote a part of it - it says: "On the
21 25th of June, 1991, Slovenia declared its independence from the SFRY,
22 which led to the outbreak of war."
23 That's what it says in this paragraph of theirs. And a sentence
24 on, it says: "Croatia declared its independence on the 25th of June,
25 1991, leading to fighting ..." and so on. And in paragraph 90, it says:
1 "Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence on the 6th of March
2 1992, resulting in wide-scale war after the 6th of April, 1992."
3 So even they, before they had the idea about Croatia and Bosnia,
4 because of course something like that could never occur to anyone, they
5 established here that war arose with these acts of secession.
6 Is this what you know or do you think it was different?
7 A. I have to say that this is one of the few statements in this
8 indictment that I fully agree with. The unilateral declarations of
9 independence in all parts of the former SFRY led to war. This is
10 correctly stated in this indictment, but I have to say, if I'm allowed to
11 express my personal opinion, that in the indictment there are many
12 mutually contradictory statements.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. So violent secession led to war in all
14 three republics, because this disintegration, or in the colloquial sense,
15 the colloquial term used, the break-up is the local one.
16 A. I used the term the break-up of Yugoslavia, not the disintegration
17 of Yugoslavia.
18 Q. Tell us, please, the leaders of some of these secessionist
19 republics, did they recognise that secession was in fact the reason for
20 the war?
21 A. Well, the two leaders of these three republics stated that
22 publicly, at a public session, without beating about the bush. I think
23 that Mr. Tudjman, on Ban Jelacic square, with a rally of his like-minded
24 supporters gathered there for re-election for president of Croatia, stated
25 that publicly.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see that, please? May we see
2 the next clip, the next video with an excerpt from Mr. Tudjman's speech.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] And some people, some individuals
5 in Croatia and especially abroad, who were not friends of Croatia, were
6 saying that there shouldn't have been war, that we were to blame for the
7 war. And I said yes, there would be no war if, had we given up our aim,
8 creating self-reliant and independent Croatian state."
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, what Izetbegovic said with respect to
11 the war. What was his attitude and stance?
12 A. Well, I remember very well, not in 1991 but already in 1990, when
13 the multi-party elections were held in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, that at
14 the time Mr. Alija Izetbegovic at pre-election campaigns of his party, the
15 Party of Democratic Action, which won the vote, when his sympathisers
16 called for an independent and sovereign Bosnia and called for slogans like
17 that, then Mr. Izetbegovic said to them: "I would like to have an
18 independent and sovereign Bosnia as well. However, we cannot achieve that
19 without a war."
20 And in 1991, when to all intents and purposes a so-called
21 historical agreement had already been reached between the Muslims and the
22 Serbs and a prominent intellectual, Dr. Adil Zulfikarpasic speaks about
23 that - he's a Muslim from Bosnia, the leader of the then-Bosniak Muslim
24 organisation - that agreement, which had already been achieved -- was
25 rejected by Alija Izetbegovic, and said that he would jeopardise peace for
1 independence and autonomy.
2 Q. What about the United States of America? What was its position?
3 Did it change in any way? Perhaps we could take a look at another brief
4 excerpt of a speech made by Lawrence Eagleburger, one-time Secretary of
5 State. Now, did the position of the United States change; and, if so,
6 why? That was my question.
7 [Videotape played]
8 "The United States, the only power strong enough to oppose
9 Germany, began to waiver. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger,
10 who had once served as US ambassador to Yugoslavia and spoke Serbo-Croat
11 knew well the dangers of a wider war if recognition were extended before a
12 settlement had been reached between the different ethnic groups.
13 "So I think the major lesson here is that when you get involved
14 in something like this with a thousand years of history underlying it all,
15 you need to understand that once the dam breaks, the viciousness can be
16 pretty awful on all sides.
17 "In the end, here also, peace would be sacrificed for domestic
18 politics. There was an American election coming up.
19 "When we finally went ahead and recognised, one of the reasons we
20 did so is because it had become a major domestic political issue for us
21 here. We have particularly a large Croatian-American community, and
22 Mr. Bush lost most of them in the -- in the election that he lost because
23 they were unhappy with our having delayed as long as we did in recognising
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I can't really see where these
1 questions and these videos are leading us to. Now it's even getting into
2 domestic issues of the United States. I don't really see what it has to
3 do with the indictment.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll ask Mr. Milosevic to explain.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm asking Mr. Kostic why
6 there were changes. I don't know whether this clip was played to the end,
7 I wasn't able to follow. I was just following the translation into
8 Serbian. But he explains that it was through domestic policies or
9 politics, that they had a large and strong Croatian-American community,
10 and that that --
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: I rule that it is not relevant. It is not
12 helpful at all. Move on.
13 MR. KAY: Your Honours, may I raise a matter, as I was rather
14 concerned about the Mesic issue and passage of evidence. In the evidence
15 of Mr. Mesic, he said: "Milosevic had told them that all the Serbs would
16 live together in a single state and that was their right because they had
17 the right to self-determination. He was deceiving the world because he
18 was saying that he was fighting for Yugoslavia, however, he was doing
19 everything to destroy it." That's at transcript page 10530.
20 He then accused Martic and Babic of provoking the conflict so that
21 the JNA would come in and separate the fighting sides but then create a
22 new border, and he said, "Milosevic was carrying out his plan," and the
23 whole terms of his evidence - that's at 10533 - were in those terms.
24 The Prosecution called extensive evidence, and we're at this stage
25 reviewing this passage of the Prosecution case for the final brief in
1 which it was alleged that there was a plan here that Mr. Milosevic, along
2 with other Serb leaders, had conspired since 1985 to create a conditioned
3 atmosphere to expand Serbia, for Serbia to control Yugoslavia, and that
4 that caused the disintegration of Yugoslavia and that what was happening
5 was that there was a plan - and this is quite clearly expressed in the
6 Croatian indictment - that Serbia was going to spread its borders and the
7 plan was to take over vast tracts of Croatia, and Bosnia, for that matter.
8 So what the accused is attempting to do is to react to these
9 allegations, to say that is untrue, Mr. Mesic was a self-serving
10 politician who gave evidence here to justify his own political ends, that
11 there were distinct issues within those republics, for instance Croatia,
12 that required Serbs within those territories to be fearful, to be
13 concerned to their future, and that they, as constituent peoples of the
14 Republic of Yugoslavia, had concerns about their safety and their futures,
15 but what was afoot was in fact a plan that was to take over their lands,
16 whether they liked it or not, and create a state that was totally
17 unsympathetic to those peoples.
18 Now, if the case is going to develop in some way that all those
19 aspects of the Prosecution are irrelevant, in many respects it's important
20 we have an indication about that because a great deal of time and effort
21 is being -- having to be spent in trying to analyse the evidence of
22 Mr. Mesic and other politicians such as he in order to express the
23 accused's defence. But for my part, I can see why he's being forced and
24 caused to call evidence like this, because he has spent days listening to
25 a Prosecution that has advanced these theories and allegations in those
1 terms against him.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the evidence you say we wrongly
4 MR. KAY: He was trying to develop the statements that Mr. Mesic
5 -- or the evidence of this witness in relation to the statements made by
6 Mr. Mesic in 1991 and Mr. Mesic's political agenda in 1991, and he
7 referred Your Honours to page 20 of the book that he had written in 1994.
8 Mr. Mesic gave evidence as a Prosecution witness. The accused
9 doesn't know whether the Trial Chamber found him credible or incredible,
10 and part of the approach that he is caused in his defence is to deal with
11 aspects of credibility in relation to senior politicians and to
12 demonstrate how their evidence was self-serving for their own interests,
13 as well as replying to allegations that he had a plan and was acting as an
14 aggressor in respect of a plan.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE BONOMY: If you're concerned about the passage where Mr. --
17 Professor Kostic is enlarging upon many people trying to connect his vote
18 against Mesic with political and ideological motives but this wasn't
19 correct and there were various compromise proposals, Mr. Kay, I do not see
20 that any prejudice at all has been caused by interrupting the personal
21 perspective of this witness on the Presidency at that time. I have
22 already noted as we've gone along that the evidence he has given is
23 relevant to the assessment of the reliability of Mesic. It plainly is. I
24 have no difficulty with that. But then a perspective on the negotiations
25 that are actually taking place in detail isn't really assisting me in
1 determining the attitude of the accused, which is what this is principally
2 about once you've recognised also the value of this witness's evidence in
3 assessing the reliability of Mesic. And we have got certain limitations
4 on time, and we need to get to the really relevant issues if we can.
5 MR. KAY: I understand that and I'm grateful for Your Honour's
6 observations on those matters, and they may well indeed have helped the
7 accused, but I think it is important to show why we are in this area with
8 this particular witness, because the plan is an essential part of the
9 Prosecution's strategy in this case in alleging that the accused was
10 creating conditions - and that's the way it has been expressed - as well
11 as directly implementing measures to enforce his so-called plan.
12 JUDGE KWON: That plan as a member of joint criminal enterprise.
13 MR. KAY: Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I've disallowed the question relating to
15 the interests of the United States of America, but I'll allow the
16 questions that relate to the Prosecution's allegation that the accused had
17 a plan and that he was an aggressor.
18 Mr. Milosevic.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Professor Kostic, you became a member of the Presidency of the
21 SFRY in May, as you've told us. Do you remember from that period of time
22 and from the knowledge you had what was happening in Croatia at the time?
23 Do you remember the main events that took place and occupied the attention
24 of both the public and the political structures in Yugoslavia?
25 A. Well, during those days there were still not all-out open attacks
1 on the Yugoslav People's Army where it took up its positions between the
2 warring sides, or conflicting sides, but throughout the territory of
3 Croatia, especially in rural areas where there was a majority Serb
4 population, there were mass attempts of having police forces reach the
5 area, take over the police stations which existed quite normally up until
6 then and were mostly populated by Serbs from the territory and the
7 employees were Serbs from the territory. That's one thing.
8 The other thing on the part of Croatia as leader of -- Tudjman, as
9 leader of the Croatian Democratic Community, he toured a number of places
10 and towns and at demonstrations, at rallies that were held and organised
11 by Croatian citizens - in Zadar, for instance, and then in Sibenik - at
12 those rallies he publicly raised these questions in this heated mass of
13 his sympathisers, saying why they weren't rallying in front of the command
14 of the military naval district in Split, for example, where there had been
15 legal attempts, constitutional attempts at arresting those people who had
16 engaged in crimes, by attacking the Yugoslav People's Army, by killing
17 soldiers, and so on and so forth.
18 So one or two days after that, there were indeed mass
19 demonstrations that took place in Split, where the military naval district
20 headquarters was surrounded and where a JNA soldier was killed, when there
21 was an attempt to strangle a soldier on the armoured carrier, for example.
22 And in Trogir, talking to the leadership of Trogir, Mr. Tudjman asked the
23 economy to orientate itself towards the production of - how shall I put
24 this? - requirements for the army, requirements for the war.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, it's time for the break. We will
1 adjourn for 20 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Professor Kostic, you spoke about the attacks of Croatian forces
7 against Serbs and Serbian property. Were there physical assaults on Serbs
8 in larger cities of Croatia; and, if so, when? When did it start?
9 A. That was already happening in end April, early May 1991, in the
10 course of those mass gatherings of the sympathisers and supporters of the
11 Croatian Democratic Union. The atmosphere was very feverish. There were
12 not only attacks on Serbs but also on their property. Buildings were
13 destroyed, shop windows broken, Serb property looted. And because people
14 remembered and were reminded of the recent past, those events in Trogir
15 and in Zadar were called the Crystal Night.
16 Q. Did Serb -- Serbs provoke that in any way?
17 A. Well, you couldn't say that, especially not of Serbs in those
18 larger towns and cities. They could not have provoked it in any way, not
19 such violent behaviour, because by that time Serbs were already reduced to
20 the status of second-rate citizens. They were dismissed from work under
21 the pretext that, from the viewpoint of ethnic structure, there were
22 already too many of them, et cetera.
23 Q. How did the Presidency of the SFRY react to the conflict in Borovo
24 Selo and the general security situation in Croatia?
25 A. At that time, I was not yet -- I think Borovo Selo happened on the
1 1st or the 2nd of May, but I know that in that situation when Mr. Jovic
2 was still president and Mr. Mesic was vice-president, the Presidency
3 adopted conclusions and platforms that bound all parties to cease the
4 conflict, to stop the movements of armed citizens and paramilitary units,
5 to prevent any movement of Croatian paramilitary units towards
6 Serb-populated areas. The Presidency ordered disarming and banned all
7 movement of armed groups apart from the JNA and the MUP.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you tell us, what was the population of
9 Croatia just prior to the outbreak of the conflicts in 1991, and the
10 ethnic distribution?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't know the exact figures
12 concerning the ethnic structure, if you mean the areas where the Serb
13 population was in the majority. I really don't have those figures with me
14 now, but I can say with quite a high degree of certainty that the total
15 population of Croatia in 1991 was 12.2 or 12.4 per cent of Serbs, and
16 nowadays it's 4 per cent. And in that light, the allegations in the
17 indictment that there was a mass exodus of Croats sound absurd. The
18 exodus happened, but it was an exodus of Serbs, the largest after the
19 Second World War.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Yes.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you have occasion to visit some of those areas at the time as
23 member of the Presidency? Were you delegated to visit some of those
25 A. After the events, the incidents in Borovo Selo, a lot of
1 information poured in and reached the Presidency about a large number of
2 refugees and displaced persons from those areas, and I as a member of the
3 Presidency visited Borovo Selo -- or, rather, I first visited Backa and
4 Vajska, where the refugee centres were. The admission of refugees was
5 organised there in school buildings and other public facilities.
6 The scenes I saw were harrowing. There were mainly women and
7 children there. On the walls of those school buildings I saw a lot of
8 children's drawings that were perhaps the best illustration of how all
9 this impacted on a child's psyche. There were no drawings of little teddy
10 bears or rabbits. All of the drawings were of rifles and tanks. And that
11 applies to all that population, regardless of ethnicity.
12 When I was in Backa, there were already 8.000 refugees there from
13 the other side of the Danube River. Most of them were Serbs from those
14 areas, but there were also Croats and other ethnicities.
15 And on that occasion when I was touring Borovo Selo - I have
16 footage of that as well - I said that care for those 8.000 refugees from
17 Borovo Selo and the surrounding area was not only the responsibility of
18 Serbia, that it should be the responsibility of the entire Yugoslavia.
19 And I accused the Federal Executive Council and Prime Minister Ante
20 Markovic for not showing greater certain for the refugees.
21 Q. You said a moment ago that at that time the president was
22 Mr. Jovic and vice-president was Mesic.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I'll read to you from the transcript, page 10537, when Mesic said
25 that Jovic came to the post of the president on the 15th of March, and he
1 was supposed to become vice-president on the same day but the Assembly
2 delayed his appointment for a couple of months. Let's see what the
3 transcript says.
4 A. That's completely incorrect.
5 Q. The question put to him was: "Can we [In English] go to paragraph
6 9? In accordance with the constitutional system of a rotating the
7 Presidency where the president of Presidency held office for one year, did
8 Borisav Jovic take that office on the 15th of March of 1990 with you as
10 "Yes, that is correct. He did take over that office. But I did
11 not take over the office of vice-president immediately because the Federal
12 Assembly kept putting it off for a few months. They did not meet for few
13 months so that I would assume that office as late as possible."
14 [Interpretation] So he says that the Assembly delayed and
15 postponed, that he was supposed to take office on the 15th of March and
16 didn't. Do you know when Mesic was elected member of the Presidency?
17 Because you said that the previous Croat representative was Suvar.
18 A. Well, this bit is completely incorrect, because the rotation took
19 place every 15th of May. After the multi-party elections in Croatia, the
20 establishment of the new cabinet, led by the Croatian Democratic Union,
21 took until the 30th May, 1990.
22 Q. That's true. Tudjman was elected, and at that time Mesic was
23 Prime Minister of Croatia. So was he able to become member of the
24 Presidency on the 15th of March?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You know that the proclamation of his membership in the Presidency
2 was on the 24th of August.
3 A. He was elected by the Croatian Assembly on the 24th of August, and
4 in September the Assembly of Yugoslavia confirmed it.
5 Q. Do you know that the Assembly of Yugoslavia, as many other
6 parliaments, does not convene sessions in the summer?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. So Mesic is lying even about easily verifiable things?
9 A. I'm sorry that the judges did not allow me --
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I think that's incorrect.
11 That's actually what should not be said here, that, "So Mesic is lying
12 even about easily verifiable things." I mean, he's making comments here
13 on a witness, and that should not be allowed.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. I agree with the Prosecutor.
15 Refrain from comments of that kind.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right, then.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is he telling the truth when he says he was supposed to take the
19 office of vice-president at the same time as Jovic the office of
20 president, on the 15th of March, 1990?
21 A. That's not true.
22 Q. Very well.
23 A. And if I may allow, what I was saying, I'm sorry the Judges did
24 not allow me to say that in all likelihood, there existed a plan in 1991,
25 but it was not a plan of Greater Serbia. There was a plan of secession of
1 certain republics by using force. If there had been a plan of Greater
2 Serbia, I would not have advocated, concerning Mesic's appointment, that
3 Serbia and Montenegro cede their posts of president and vice-president to
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, who were at the time offering a
5 compromise solution for the Yugoslav crisis. My proposal for a compromise
6 was accepted by members of the Presidency from Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
7 Vojvodina, Kosovo and Metohija, but this compromise proposal that was
8 geared at finding a peaceful solution was rejected precisely by Drnovsek
9 and Stjepan Mesic. It's an important element that refutes the allegation
10 in the indictment that there was a plan, some sort of plan for Serbian
11 hegemony in Greater Serbia. And there are many other indications of
12 that. I hope I will be able to cover them.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Since we've come back to this, can you tell me now
14 who was the fifth member of the Presidency who voted on the 24th of August
15 for Mr. Mesic to be appointed president of the Presidency?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, I think you are a bit
17 confused about the dates. The 24th of August is the date when Mesic was
18 elected member of the Presidency of the SFRY, but it was in 1990 when he
19 replaced Stipe Suvar and when Jovic was president of the Presidency.
20 As for Mesic's election as president of the Presidency of the
21 SFRY, it was decided on the 30th of June and 1st of July, 1991, in the
22 presence of the European troika. Mr. Jacques Poos, foreign minister of
23 Luxembourg and then chairman or president of the European Union --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... would you tell
25 me who the person was who was the additional vote that resulted in
1 Mr. Mesic becoming the president?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean in 1991, not the 24th of
4 JUDGE BONOMY: I mean on the 30th of June or the 1st of July,
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 30th June, 1st July, the
7 fifth vote was given by Borisav Jovic, representative of Serbia.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was still opposed.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Professor Kostic, how did the SFRY Presidency react to the
12 situation in Borovo Selo and the general security situation in Croatia?
13 Could you please look at tab 11. We have a communique from the Presidency
14 session of the SFRY of the 4th of May, 1991.
15 In this communique, can we see in the second paragraph that the
16 session was also attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In paragraph 4, what is in issue are the reasons for the
20 deterioration of the situation. What does it say?
21 A. "The Presidency believes that the causes of the deterioration in
22 the situation lie, among other things, in extremist behaviour and in the
23 fact that its past decisions and conclusions, and in particular its
24 explicit position that political problems cannot be resolved by resorting
25 to force and can only be resolved by political means and in a democratic
1 way, have been ignored and not met with compliance. The SFRY Presidency
2 condemns all violent behaviour and the use of force."
3 Q. What does the next paragraph say concerning the conduct of the
4 Yugoslav People's Army?
5 A. "The SFRY Presidency noted that the Yugoslav People's Army,
6 working consistently and resolutely to meet its constitutional
7 obligations, has once more succeeded, in exceptionally difficult
8 circumstances, in reducing and stopping the spread of inter-ethnic
10 Q. Very well. This time that you are referring to, was it a time
11 when the army acted as a buffer between conflicting parties?
12 A. Yes, that's that time period.
13 Q. Please look at the next tab, 12, "The programme of measures and
14 activities for a permanent solution to inter-ethnic conflicts in the
15 Republic of Croatia," dated the 8th of May, 1991.
16 A. Yes. That session was attended, in addition to the president of
17 the Federal Assembly and the federal government, by presidents of
18 Macedonia and Serbia, presidents of the Presidencies of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Slovenia, and the Prime Minister of the
20 Republic of Croatia.
21 Q. This session, with an extended composition, took place with the
22 representation of the Prime Minister from Croatia, but can we say that all
23 republics were represented?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. As a clarification for those who don't understand, it says
1 Presidents of the Republics of Macedonia and Serbia, and presidents of
2 Presidencies of the Republics of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and
3 Slovenia. The only difference is --
4 A. In constitutional provisions, because Presidencies were a
5 collective head of state where that particular constitutional provision
6 still existed.
7 Q. So by that time, Macedonia and Serbia already had presidents and
8 the others had presidents of Presidencies.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What are the main points that we see here that the Presidency
11 adopted with a view to resolving the conflict in Croatia?
12 A. It says under a) "to prevent armed conflict;
13 "b) to establish contentious issues which lead to inter-ethnic
15 "c) to ensure democratic dialogue to resolve them."
16 Q. So those are the main three areas in which the Presidency is
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What does point 8 say -- not 8, 3.
20 A. Point 3 says: "Immediately demobilise the reserve police and
21 militia forces, organise the removal of weapons from citizens, and their
22 storage in appropriate depots which are under control of the relevant
23 organs, in keeping with the law."
24 Q. What does point 4 say?
25 A. "Immediately cease attacks on the Yugoslav People's Army, its
1 members, facilities and JNA equipment.
2 "The SFRY Presidency estimates that the Yugoslav People's Army is
3 carrying out its functions in keeping with the Constitution of the SFRY
4 and federal laws, and that it is capable of successfully protecting the
5 country's borders and/or preventing inter-Republican and inter-ethnic
6 conflict as the joint armed force of all our peoples."
7 Q. So it's the position of the Presidency on the 8th of May, 1991,
8 when the Presidency is meeting in its full composition with
9 representatives of all republics, including presidents?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Except for Croatia where the Prime Minister is present.
12 A. These decisions were unanimously adopted. The president was still
13 Dr. Borisav Jovic, and the vice-president Stipe Mesic.
14 Q. Wait a minute. On the 8th of May was Stipe Mesic the vice -- oh,
15 the vice-president, yes. That's correct, he was the vice-president. The
16 representative of Croatia and the vice-president. He then also voted in
17 favour of these decisions, since they were adopted unanimously.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Very well. There is a positive assessment here of the role of the
20 JNA, because it says that the Presidency feels that the JNA's carrying out
21 its tasks in accordance with the constitution.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when did the first large-scale attacks on the JNA and its
24 members in Croatia occur?
25 A. The first large-scale attacks began somewhat later, when secret
1 import of weapons had already taken place, and the paramilitary formations
2 of Croatia had grown to such numbers that they practically outnumbered the
3 members of the JNA. The JNA, as a buffer zone, began to get in their way
4 because they could not then establish their authority in Serb-populated
5 areas, and that's when large-scale attacks began.
6 Q. And what triggered these events, these attacks? Can you pinpoint
7 something that triggered them?
8 A. Well, there was more than one such event, but I believe the
9 initial trigger was what happened on the 5th of May when Tudjman made a
11 Q. In Trogir?
12 A. Yes, in Trogir.
13 Q. What was that speech characterised by?
14 A. In Trogir, President Tudjman said that the Croatian economy should
15 orient itself towards producing equipment for war.
16 Q. And what happened on the following day in Split?
17 A. What happened was that the headquarters of the military naval
18 district in Split, for example, was surrounded and a soldier was killed.
19 There was an attempt to strangle a soldier on an APC, and there were
20 large-scale demonstrations by members and sympathisers of the Croatian
21 Democratic Union.
22 Q. How did the top military echelons respond to these attacks?
23 Large-scale attacks on the JNA began. How did the military leadership
25 A. Well, they responded as soon as the 7th of May. They issued a
1 decision on raising the level of combat readiness, because what had
2 happened and what had been reported by the mass media, especially the
3 electronic media, seemed almost incredible, even amid these rising
4 tensions and inter-ethnic conflicts, not to mention that it would have
5 been incredible in any normal state, this open attack on the soldiers of
6 that state.
7 Q. You said that the top military echelons responded as soon as the
8 7th of May. In tab 66 there is a communique by the top military
9 leadership. It's issued by the Federal Secretariat for National Defence,
10 and it concerns the vehement anti-army campaign. 7th of May. It's in tab
12 A. I've found it.
13 Q. Please take a look at what the top military leaders are saying.
14 Is this the response to the attacks on the JNA?
15 A. This is a statement by the Federal Secretariat of National Defence
16 about the relentless anti-army campaign.
17 Q. It's about propaganda as well. Let's not quote everything, but
18 start with line six. Could you read it, please.
19 A. "These days, when the Yugoslav People's Army is making strenuous
20 efforts to prevent the spreading of increasingly dangerous armed conflicts
21 in the Republic of Croatia, the anti-army campaign and the attacks on the
22 army are reaching a climax precisely on the territory of this Republic.
23 Certain persons holding the highest government and social positions
24 participate in this directly, obviously intending to provoke a
25 confrontation between the people and the army, and making it impossible
1 for the army to fulfil its tasks by providing the conditions for a
2 peaceful and democratic resolution of the Yugoslav crisis.
3 "According to the reports by certain media, in a conversation
4 which he had in Trogir on the 5th of May, the President of the Republic of
5 Croatia, Franjo Tudjman, asked, inter alia, why there had been no
6 demonstrations in front of the Naval District Command, so the world could
7 see that this was not just a fight waged by the leadership but by the
8 whole people of the Republic of Croatia. Today, encouraged by this
9 invitation, in a political situation that is already extremely tense, tens
10 of thousands of citizens surrounded the building of the Naval District
11 Command in Split. The participants in these militant, destructive
12 demonstrations attacked the crews of military police vehicles that were
13 securing the Command building from the outside, and, without any
14 provocation, fire was opened from the mass of protesters and a group of
15 Croatian policemen on the JNA members inside the Command. In this
16 incident, one soldier was killed, and one wounded.
17 "The one who lost his life was a member of the military police,
18 Private Sasko Gesovski ..." and so on.
19 Q. You need not read any further. Does it say here that the
20 president of the Presidency had been informed, as well as Ante Markovic,
21 the Prime Minister?
22 A. Yes. And there was a request to hold an urgent session of the
24 Q. So it was then that attacks on the army began to escalate. What
25 is there in the next tab, tab 67? Please take a look at it. The date is
1 the 7th of May.
2 A. This is a declaration by the top command on raising the combat
3 readiness of the JNA. "As the Presidency of the SFRY and other federal
4 organs did not comply with the standpoints, Yugoslav society has already
5 entered into civil war. The way the Yugoslav People's Army has been used
6 up to now to prevent inter-ethnic conflict can no longer be effective.
7 "To every attack on JNA members, units and facilities of the kind
8 that have already been begun and have taken the first victims among
9 soldiers, the army shall reciprocate according to the rules of combat
10 engagement, which includes the use of fire."
11 Q. Does this mean that the army had not even fired any shots until
12 that time?
13 A. No, it hadn't. The army acted with restraint, not only up to that
14 point in time but also throughout the Yugoslav crisis, and even throughout
15 the war. Throughout all of 1991 and 1992, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, when I
16 met with him in Skopje in 1992, told me that wherever the JNA had been
17 present there had been no inter-ethnic conflicts and no tensions,
18 precisely due to the behaviour of the army.
19 Q. We'll come to that meeting of yours with Mr. Izetbegovic in Skopje
20 later on. How did the Presidency of the SFRY respond to the enactment of
21 these various pieces of legislation in the western republics which were
22 aimed at secession by contravening the constitution?
23 A. The Presidency immediately assessed these actions as unlawful and
24 counter-constitutional. This was unilateral secession, contrary to the
25 constitution of the SFRY. And I believe that the Federal Executive
1 Council, or perhaps the Executive Council of the Assembly, I'm not sure
2 which, responded to these acts of secession by starting an initiative with
3 the Constitutional Court of the SFRY, asking the Constitutional Court to
4 issue its opinion on these acts of secession. The Constitutional Court,
5 if I remember correctly, on the 12th of July -- or the 20th -- issued a
6 decision where it declared these acts of secession to be unlawful and
8 Q. As you mentioned the events in Slovenia, in the next tab, 74,
9 there is a decision of the Federal Executive Council concerning the events
10 in Slovenia. You mentioned it. It should be tendered as an exhibit.
11 Would you just read what it says. "The Federal Executive Council at its
12 session held in the night between the 25th and 26th of June --"
13 A. "-- presided over by Ante Markovic, issued a decision on the
14 immediate securing of the implementation of federal regulations on
15 crossing the state borders on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia,
16 and in connection with this, the Secretariat of the Federal Executive
17 Council for Information informs that a decision has been reached as
19 Q. We don't have to read the entire decision. The federal police are
20 given orders, and under 2 --
21 A. Yes. Under 2, it says: "To ensure the implementation of federal
22 regulations on crossing the state border, the secretariat has to
23 immediately cooperate with the Secretariat for National Defence in order
24 to use the border units of the JNA to secure the state borders and the
25 border posts, the border crossings, and the inhabited places in the border
1 belt. The cooperation mentioned in paragraph 1 of this article shall be
2 established by the Secretariat of the Interior and the Secretariat of
3 National Defence."
4 Q. Very well. Was this the decision of the Federal Executive Council
5 after which conflicts arose in Slovenia and those soldiers were killed?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did the army participate in anything that might be called a war at
8 that time?
9 A. No. If it means something, I can even say that, pursuant to this
10 decision, the -- of the Federal Executive Council, only one -- 1.990
11 soldiers were sent there to assist the federal police, the Federal
12 Secretariat of the Interior, and a group of employees of the Federal
13 Customs Bureau. I have already stated several times that a decision to
14 send those 1.990 soldiers there was the biggest mistake ever made by the
15 top military echelons throughout the Yugoslav crisis. That is to say they
16 erroneously evaluated that such a small contingent of members of the JNA,
17 sent there only to assist the Ministry of the Interior and the Customs
18 Administration would find themselves encircled by 35.000 members of the
19 Territorial Defence of Slovenia, which were by then equipped with modern
21 A truce was quickly established. The army was very efficacious,
22 and I think that within 24 hours they succeeded in taking almost all the
23 border posts. And during this operation, only eight members of the JNA
24 were killed. Five of these were pilots of two military helicopters
25 transporting food for the blockaded barracks, which had been positioned in
1 Slovenia during peacetime.
2 After the truce, and the decisions issued by the Presidency on the
3 4th of July, before the decision was reached to withdraw JNA units from
4 the Slovenia, 22 members of the JNA were killed in spite of the truce.
5 Q. You were then a member of the Presidency of the SFRY?
6 A. I was the vice-president of the Presidency.
7 Q. When did you learn about this decision of the Federal Executive
9 A. I learned about it when it had already been carried out. We took
10 no part in it.
11 Q. How was it possible for this to happen without the knowledge of
12 the Presidency of the SFRY?
13 A. The Federal Executive Council at that time -- no. I was mistaken.
14 Q. This is the 26th of June.
15 A. The Presidency had not yet been convened, but the Federal Council
16 of the Assembly of the SFRY convened and called on the Federal Executive
17 Council. In view of the fact that the Presidency had not been convened
18 yet, they called on them to ensure that the constitution was respected, so
19 that the Federal Executive Council issued this decision pursuant to the
20 invitation from the Assembly Executive Council.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you, what's the significance of the
22 Presidency not having been convened?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you asking me, Mr. Bonomy?
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes. What does it mean that the Presidency had not
25 been convened?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in principle, according to the
2 competencies derived from the constitution, a decision of this kind to
3 send units of the Yugoslav People's Army would be something that the
4 Presidency of the SFRY would do, as the supreme civilian command. But the
5 Presidency was still blocked at the time. And because of the situation as
6 it was, the federal government was the institution, the top organ of
7 society called upon to protect the constitutionality of the country.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: So this is following upon the difficulties in
9 March, the Presidency was not functioning as it ought to be. Is that the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was the position after the
12 changes as well. Already in May, we didn't elect Mesic as president of
13 the Presidency, two attempts having been made, the Presidency was under a
14 blockade. It was blocked in its work. And it was only on -- between the
15 30th of June and the 1st of July that the Presidency was constituted.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: While we're on this subject, I remain confused
17 about the point you were making about the date on which Mesic became
18 vice-president. Can you give me the date on which he effectively became
19 vice-president of the Presidency?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the exact date that he
21 became vice-president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, but you must bear
22 in mind that we're talking about 1990 here. It's all 1990, when he
23 replaced Stipe Suvar. I think that was October 1990.
24 Now, everything else that we've been talking about, the election
25 for president --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Very well. Now, at the time that this event in Slovenia came to
4 pass, which was later referred to as the war in Slovenia, Mesic was
5 vice-president of the Presidency, Yugoslav state Presidency; is that
7 A. Yes. He still hadn't been elected president.
8 Q. He still hadn't been elected president himself. And who presided
9 over the Presidency meetings?
10 A. Well, it wasn't Mr. Jovic either, because their terms of office,
11 their mandates had expired on the 15th of May, pursuant to the rules
12 governing the Presidency. But for that month and a half, for as long as
13 the Presidency was blocked, we did take a decision about who would convene
14 Yugoslav state Presidency meetings, who would receive letters of credit
15 and credentials, and so on and so forth, everything the Presidency used to
16 do. On one occasion the Presidency meeting was convened by Vasil
17 Tupurkovski, next time it was Jugoslav Kostic. I think that happened
18 twice, in actual fact.
19 Q. All right. Now, could the Presidency meet and convene with regard
20 to this? Had it been informed of the federal government decision?
21 A. Well, yes. Regardless of the fact that the Presidency hadn't
22 actually been constituted, we did meet to discuss certain issues.
23 Q. All right. But you learnt about that, you in the Presidency, only
24 when there was troop movement, when it had already been effected; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. Let me just consult my notes here for
3 moment and the exact paragraph number I wish to quote. Yes, here it is.
4 In paragraph 100 of the Croatian indictment, it says the following: "On
5 the 19th of May, 1991, Croatia held a referendum at which the voters by
6 large majority voted for their independence from Yugoslavia. On the 25th
7 of June, 1991, Croatia and Slovenia proclaimed their independence from
8 Yugoslavia. On the following day, the JNA took action to prevent the
9 secession of Slovenia."
10 So that is what it says and this is what actually happened.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did the JNA take action to prevent the secession of Slovenia or
13 was it the Federal Executive Council who authorised first of all the
14 police force and then the JNA to assist the police force in taking up the
15 border crossing points?
16 A. I've already said the federal government, chaired by Mr. Ante
17 Markovic, made a decision binding the Federal Secretariat of the Interior
18 of the SFRY, as an organ of government, and the Federal Administration of
19 Customs, like a federal organ, to take over the functions at the borders
20 of the SFRY on the territory of Slovenia and Croatia which the Slovenian
21 Territorial Defence and Interior Affairs forces of Slovenia had previously
22 forcibly taken over, taken down all Yugoslav insignia and so forth. And
23 by the same decision, the Federal Executive Council made it incumbent on
24 the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, which at the same time was
25 an organ of the federal government, of course, to assist the Ministry of
1 the Interior and the Customs Administration if, in the implementation of
2 their tasks, they encountered any difficulties.
3 Q. All right. Now, to the best of your knowledge --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Normally, how are borders manned?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the borders are concerned
6 of the whole area, the borders were secured by the Yugoslav People's Army,
7 with watchtowers manned by the JNA along the border belt, and the border
8 crossings themselves were manned by the police, and there were police
9 forces there and people from the Federal Customs Administration at the
10 border crossing points themselves.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: When you say "the police," you mean the local
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I couldn't give you an exact
14 answer to that question, but at any rate, the police who were there to
15 secure the border crossing points, who were at the border crossing points
16 themselves, came under the competence and authority of the Federal
17 Secretariat for the Interior. Now, whether the people manning the posts
18 were from the territory of Slovenia or from some other territory, I really
19 can't say. I can't tell you. I assume, and that -- it would be normal
20 that most of the people manning them were from Slovenian territory.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: So it was not wholly a federal responsibility.
22 Was it a wholly federal responsibility? That's what I'm trying to find
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Exclusively federal responsibility,
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Securing the border, the border
3 crossing points, and the Federal Customs Administration. That was
4 exclusive federal responsibility.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender tab 74, now, with
7 the decision of the Federal Executive Council, or federal government.
8 We've already read through it.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, you have been through several tabs,
10 Mr. Milosevic. We will admit all of them.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, several. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: And we'll also admit the video clips.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, I understand some of the translations --
15 some of the documents are not translated, so those we'll mark for
16 identification pending translation.
17 JUDGE KWON: I would assume the tab numbers for the several videos
18 are tab 87. I hope you could organise it in a better, more orderly way.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. What did the Presidency undertake to stop a war? First of all, in
24 A. The Presidency, on the 4th of July, held a very important meeting,
25 and it had been constituted by that time already, and it passed a number
1 of important decisions, which later on were transformed into what came to
2 be known as the Brioni declaration of the 7th of June, and that came
3 about, once again without our knowledge, when the European troika, at the
4 invitation of Mr. Ante Markovic and Mr. Budimir Loncar and Mr. Tupurkovski
5 from the Presidency was called to come to Brioni, the Brioni Islands.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Do you mean the 7th of June or the 7th of July?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 7th of July. The 4th of July
8 was the Presidency meeting, the 7th of July was the Brioni meeting; not
9 the 8th, as it says in the indictment.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. All right. Let's take a look at just a few documents now which
12 came into being in and around -- on and around that date. Tab 13, for
13 example, the statement from the 27th of June Presidency session of 1991.
14 Take a look at that, please. At the time, you yourself were a member of
15 the Presidency, were you not?
16 A. Yes, I was. Could you give me the tab number again, please?
17 Q. Tab 13. It's the session that was chaired by -- in the spirit of
18 what you said a moment ago, Jugoslav Kostic, member of the Presidency.
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. And participating were president of the federal parliament and the
21 federal secretary for the interior. Otherwise, this session, as can be
22 seen, was convened at the proposal of the Federal Council for the
23 Protection of the Constitutional Order, whose president was Bogicevic, the
24 Bosnian-Herzegovinian member of the Presidency; is that right?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. And what is the essence of the document, the positions taken by
2 the Presidency of the SFRY on the basis of proposals put forward by the
3 Council for the Protection of the Constitutional Order, chaired by Bogic
4 Bogicevic, and the Ministry of the Interior?
5 A. Well, it says there that the Presidency of the SFRY assessed that
6 in recent days the Yugoslav crisis had reached its culmination and that
7 there was a new dramatic deterioration in the political and security
8 situation in the country, especially with the adoption of the acts of the
9 Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia and the Croatian Sabor, or Assembly,
10 pertaining to independence and autonomy, which had taken place two days
11 before. The Presidency of the SFRY considers that by these acts direct
12 jeopardy was made of the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia, its state
13 borders, and the -- its international legal sovereignty.
14 It also notes that this was counter to the constitution and that
15 they were unilateral acts which had no legality or legitimacy on an
16 internal and foreign level and that as such they could not have any
17 constitutional effect.
18 Q. All right. Now, was this Presidency meeting with all its members
19 present? It hadn't elected a president and vice-president yet.
20 A. I'm not sure whether Mr. Drnovsek was there. Otherwise, all the
21 other members were. I don't think Mr. Drnovsek attended the meeting, but
22 I'm not quite sure.
23 Q. But all the others did?
24 A. Yes, they did.
25 Q. Including Mesic?
1 A. Yes. And there was also the president of the Assembly of
2 Yugoslavia, the federal secretary of the interior.
3 Q. All right. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender that document
5 into evidence as well. It's tab 13.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And let's take a look at tab 15 now, please, which is a statement
8 by the Presidency of the 1st of July.
9 A. So that was on that same day, because practically in the early
10 morning hours of the 1st of July, Mesic was elected as president and I was
11 elected vice-president, and we held that meeting of the Presidency at that
12 time, which was chaired by Mr. Stipe Mesic.
13 Q. Yes, we can see that.
14 A. There was president of the federal government there, Ante
15 Markovic, or Yugoslav Prime Minister. There was also the federal
16 secretary of the interior, Petar Gracanin, and the deputy federal
17 secretary of national defence, Admiral Stane Brovet.
18 Q. Who was a Slovene otherwise, wasn't he?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And the subject discussed is Slovenia?
21 A. At that Presidency meeting, the Presidency concluded the
22 following: "That all fighting must stop immediately and unconditionally,
23 the truce must be adhered to, lives must be protected, and peace
24 established throughout the country, and all forms of blockade and
25 pressure, blackmail and hostilities must cease.
1 "2. All members of the JNA and their family members, as well as
2 members of the Federal Secretariat of the Interior, customs service and
3 other federal organs, as well as the organs of the Republic of Slovenia
4 who have been arrested, must be released immediately."
5 Q. Here it says that the family members should be released too. Now,
6 what do you know about the lack of freedom of the members, family members
7 of these people at that time?
8 A. Well, the Territorial Defence of Slovenia, during those days, and
9 other armed formations at the time, had not only arrested a member of the
10 -- or, rather, members of the Federal Secretariat of the Interior and
11 members of the Federal Customs Administration who were there on government
12 business to bring back the constitutional order to the border belt, they
13 also took prisoner a certain amount of Yugoslav army members, but they
14 also had blocked the barracks prior to that, the JNA barracks on the
15 territory of Slovenia, because the Yugoslav People's Army, in all these
16 areas, including the territory of Slovenia in peacetime, had their
17 barracks there. And on the territory of Slovenia in those units we had
18 army officers who were not only from the territory of Slovenia but who
19 were from many other parts of Yugoslavia, and they had their families
20 living there with them. They had their apartments and so on. So that
21 when these measures were taken to implement a blockade and to prevent any
22 movement from taking place, the same measures were taken towards the women
23 and children of our army officers who were stationed there in Slovenia in
24 peacetime, performing their duties there within the JNA.
25 Q. All right. Fine. So that, in fact, was the first session chaired
1 by Mesic, and all these positions were adopted unanimously; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now we come to the document that you mentioned in your answer, the
4 4th of July, 1991, and it's tab 16. That's the next tab. That's the next
5 session of the Presidency presided over again by Stjepan Mesic. And the
6 participants are the president of the Assembly, the Prime Minister, the
7 minister of defence.
8 A. In my view, this was an extremely important session.
9 Unfortunately, these conclusions and decisions were never implemented.
10 Although our time is limited, I feel it would be a very good idea to go
11 through these points and read them.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. Just let the --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, there aren't many of them.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Allow the accused to ask the questions.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. It says here "Decision." It is not a statement but a decision.
17 So what did the Presidency of Yugoslavia decide at this session attended
18 by all its members; is that correct? First of all to establish the
19 original situation on the SFRY border, and a time is set for that. To
20 lift in full the blockade of the JNA units and institutions.
21 A. All assets and facilities of the JNA, yes. The original situation
22 was to be established by 1200 hours on the 7th of July, 1991. The lifting
23 in full of the blockade of the Yugoslav People's Army units and
24 institutions, which was to be completed by 1200 hours on the 5th of July,
25 1991. All assets and facilities of the JNA and Federal Secretariat of the
1 Interior and other assets of the federal organs of the Republic of
2 Slovenia were to be returned by 1200 hours on the 5th of July. That was
3 the following day.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is meant by the blockade of the army?
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. What does this expression "Full deblocking of the -- lifting the
7 blockade" --
8 A. All the barracks on the territory of Slovenia were blocked by the
9 Territorial Defence of Slovenia and other armed units of Slovenia, and
10 this was done to prevent any movement by JNA units from these barracks.
11 They were completely blocked. Vehicles couldn't leave, even in order to
12 get supplies of food, medicines, and so on. This went so far that in some
13 cases they couldn't take wounded men out of the barracks to hospital, they
14 couldn't bury the dead; it was a complete blockade.
15 If one left the barracks, they had to have a permit from the
16 Territorial Defence of Slovenia.
17 Q. Does it follow from this that the army did not use force at all?
18 A. It did use force but not against manpower, only at some points
19 where roads were blocked by armed units preventing access to the border
20 posts. For example, trucks loaded with sand were placed across the road,
21 trucks with trailers. Roads were blocked. And in some places the army
22 used weapons to remove these obstacles in order to pass through.
23 Q. But they didn't fire at people.
24 A. No, they didn't.
25 Q. Very well.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: All of this is in Slovenia, what we're talking
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand, Mr. Robinson.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: What we were just discussing, the lifting of the
5 blockade of the Yugoslav People's Army and the explanation that you gave,
6 relates to Slovenia?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was the same thing happening in Croatia?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Like a carbon copy. The same
10 scenario. Not only in Croatia but also in Bosnia. All the difference is
11 that Croatia happened immediately after Slovenia and Bosnia happened a
12 year later.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: I ask that, Mr. Milosevic, because we are
14 concerned with Croatia and Bosnia.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand that, but this was
16 a parallel escalation of these events, both in Croatia and in Slovenia,
17 and a bit later in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. There is a requirement here that armed forces of the Territorial
20 Defence be withdrawn into their peacetime locations. Was that a unanimous
21 decision of the Presidency?
22 A. Yes, it was a unanimous decision of the Presidency. I think,
23 although I cannot be certain, that Mr. Janez Drnovsek did not attend this
24 session either. He was a member from Slovenia. Whereas the monitoring of
25 the implementation of these conclusions was placed in the hands of Vasil
1 Tupurkovski and Bogic Bogicevic by a unanimous decision of the Presidency.
2 Q. So representatives from Slovenia and Bosnia.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did the JNA comply with these decisions?
5 A. The Yugoslav People's Army fully complied with the decisions of
6 the Presidency, but the Territorial Defence and other armed groups in
7 Slovenia did not. And that is best seen from the stenographic notes of
8 the Presidency session of the 8th of July, where gentlemen Vasil
9 Tupurkovski and Bogic Bogicevic, who had been entrusted with that task at
10 the previous session, the task of monitoring implementation, and at this
11 session they submitted their report.
12 These notes are very voluminous -- I think they are in one of the
13 tabs -- but the summary of their reports at the session of the 8th of July
14 was that the Slovene Territorial Defence did not comply with the
15 conclusions of the Presidency of the SFRY.
16 Q. In view of the dates, could we first see what the statement of the
17 federal secretary for national defence of the 6th of July says. So this
18 happened on the 4th of July, and we have a statement by Veljko Kadijevic
19 of the 6th of July. Can you find that in tab number 16 [as interpreted]?
20 A. I've found it.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's request: Could we hear the tab
22 number again.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the tab number?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 69.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since we adopted very clear
1 conclusions at the session of the Presidency and the deadline was the 5th
2 of July, in some instances the 7th of July, depending on the point, a
3 communique was released to the public by Veljko Kadijevic as head of the
4 General Staff of the armed forces of the SFRY. And you can see the title
5 of this communique is "Peace is in the interest of all, not war."
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What does he say about everybody's respective demands? He says
8 some demand that the army be locked up in barracks and observe peacefully
9 from there the destruction of the country, whereas others want the army to
10 assume the role of arbitrator and take over power in the country.
11 We knew from the start that the two alternatives do not lead to
12 the same end.
13 A. The army -- if the army had closed itself in the barracks, the
14 whole country would have been engulfed by the winds of war already.
15 Takeover was also not an option. Internal crisis in all countries,
16 including Yugoslavia, cannot be permanently resolved by using the army but
17 only by political means.
18 Q. He says: "That is why we opted, in securing peace and creating
19 the conditions for a democratic transformation of society, we opted for
20 the cautious engagement of units in crisis spots, and the consistent
21 observation of constitutionality and legality. Unfortunately, the only
22 support we have had in this regard is verbal."
23 A. And in the third paragraph from the bottom on page 308, he says:
24 "The army has never done anything on its own initiative outside its
25 constitutional powers and the decisions of the relevant federal
1 institutions. Even in Slovenia, JNA units were engaged in accordance with
2 their constitutional responsibilities to preserve the integrity of
3 Yugoslavia and pursuant to the Conclusions of the Federal Chamber of the
4 SFRY Assembly and the Decision of the Federal Executive Council."
5 Q. And he appeals that all be resolved by peaceful means. The army
6 is opposing all these moves and is not siding with anyone. Is that what
7 you can conclude?
8 A. This is true and indisputable.
9 Q. Now, during those days, those weeks, we have the parallel
10 engagement of the European Community, as it was called then. What was the
11 approach of the European Community in the preservation or non-preservation
12 - let us being completely neutral - of the Yugoslav states, and did their
13 approach change?
14 A. All the way until the 17th December, 1991, the position of the
15 European Community, at least as far as their declarations were concerned,
16 was in favour of preserving Yugoslavia and its territorial integrity and
17 working for a peaceful political solution and against unilateral acts of
18 secession. The European troika, when Mesic was elected on the 30th of
19 June, suggested three points that were extremely important: One, that all
20 conflicts cease immediately; second, that the European Community will use
21 its authority and its influence to force the Croatian and Slovene
22 authorities to abandon the idea of unilateral secession, to revert the
23 situation to what it was before the 30th of June, and that they would
24 ensure that their authorities would not block the work of federal bodies
25 by pulling their representatives out. They mean the Assembly and all the
1 other federal institutions. And the third point was that we should give
2 our approval for the election of Mr. Mesic as president of the Presidency.
3 So we who were opposing the election of Mesic issued a public
4 communique the day before he was elected, and we said that if the European
5 Community was assuming responsibility concerning the first two points,
6 that is lifting the blockade of the federal institutions and ensuring a
7 freeze of the secession by Slovenia and Croatia, then in those
8 circumstances we would give our approval to Mr. Mesic. However, at the
9 session of the Presidency where Mesic was being elected - that's why I
10 remained opposed to the end - the European Community told us that Slovenia
11 did freeze its decision to secede but the Croatian Assembly did not. And
12 that is why I decided to continue opposing the election of Mesic, stating
13 that a necessary precondition for me was for Croatia to freeze its
15 As far as European engagement is concerned, I can say that
16 although we complied and we fulfilled our part of the agreement, that is,
17 we gave our approval to Mesic, but the European Community did not fulfil
18 its part of the package. In other words, they did not manage to get the
19 Croatian and Slovene authorities to stop the conflicts - and they were
20 raging even during the truce - and second, they did not ensure the
21 continued work of the federal institutions. Even the Presidency of the
22 SFRY was partly blocked. The Assembly was, certainly.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Professor.
24 Mr. Milosevic, it's time for the adjournment, but I wanted to say
25 to you that although this background is not entirely irrelevant to the
1 indictment and indeed it does have some relevance, in view of the
2 constraints of time that you have placed on yourself by devoting so much
3 time to one section and leaving so little for the other two sections of
4 the indictment, you might consider that it is in your interest to move
5 fairly quickly to the allegations in the indictment of crimes, so that you
6 would then dwell less on the background and more on the crimes charged.
7 That's a matter for you to consider.
8 We will take the break. Twenty minutes.
9 Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, there is not a single
11 criminal offence in what you call the indictment with which I would have
12 anything to do.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We will take the break for 20
15 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So very briefly with regard to what you were just explaining about
20 the changing position of the European Community, do you remember that on
21 the 26th of March the Council of Ministers of the European Community
22 adopted a declaration on Yugoslavia where, I quote: "The united and
23 democratic Yugoslavia has the best chances of really integrating with new
24 Europe?" Do you remember that formulation?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And then on the 9th of July the European parliament in Strasbourg
2 adopted a Resolution on Yugoslavia where it explicitly does not support
3 the unilateral acts of secession of Slovenia and Croatia?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Then the declaration of the Council of Ministers of the 8th of
6 November, where they demanded an overall solution to the Yugoslav crisis
7 and said that any recognition of independence bypassing that overall
8 solution would be unacceptable.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So it's a series of enactments by the European Community. And
11 then on the 17th December, 1991, they issued a series of standards for the
12 recognition of new states.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker slow down, please.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the interpreter is asking you to
15 spoke more slowly.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So we have a series of positions expressed by the European
18 Community supporting the integrity of Yugoslavia, opposing any secession
19 or unilateral acts, and so on and so forth. And then you said that they
20 stated by end December that Yugoslav republics who wish recognition should
21 make their applications.
22 A. It's all as you stated.
23 Q. What was the reason for that? Do you have an explanation?
24 A. The reason for that, I believe, was given by Mr. Mesic himself.
25 And my estimates coincide with what he publicly stated in his book in
1 1994. The Berlin Wall was torn down, Germany was reunited, the
2 equilibrium in Europe was upset, Germany became overnight an economic and
3 political force to be reckoned with. Mr. Mesic says himself that the
4 federal chancellor, Mr. Kohl, and Mr. Genscher, then foreign minister,
5 were in favour of Croatian secession and independence from day one, that
6 Tudjman exerted pressure on them frequently to speak out, whereas they
7 replied that everything in its own time, there will be other states in
8 Europe. Whereas the US was preoccupied with bigger problems around the
9 world, and it let the European Community deal with the Yugoslav crisis.
10 So thanks to the influence it had, Germany managed to impose its position
11 on other countries in the European Community.
12 I have already said, and I believe it's the truth, that in those
13 days when the European Community assumed the responsibility to help us,
14 France and the UK were not the countries of Churchill and DeGaulle, that
15 they were countries of Chamberlain and Tetin [phoen].
16 Q. Did you take part in the Brioni meeting in early July -- June
18 A. I did take part but very briefly because we didn't even know about
19 that Brioni meeting. Mr. Stjepan Mesic informed me over the weekend and
20 the meeting was scheduled for Monday. He simply told me that it would be
21 a good idea if I could come that session in Brioni, but nobody told me
22 what kind of meeting it would be. I had spent the weekend in Montenegro
23 and when I game to Belgrade, I asked Mr. Jovic what kind of meeting that
24 was supposed to be and he said he didn't know, but I shortly found out
25 that the European troika was coming. It was on the 7th of July, whereas
1 we had adopted very specific conclusions on the 4th of July, three days
2 previously. I understood that the arrival of the European troika was a
3 sign that the European Community finally wanted to get the Croatian and
4 Slovene government to comply with their obligations, and that's why we
5 thought there was no need for us to go again to that meeting, because we
6 had already adopted our measures on the 4th of July. And I said so to
7 Jovic, but Jovic replied that it would be still good for us to go and meet
8 them over there so as not to seem opposed to their efforts.
9 We went, therefore, although we didn't know that there would be a
10 Brioni declaration issued. Since we had already adopted our joint
11 conclusions as a Presidency, we thought there was no need to re-discuss
12 these decisions.
13 The representatives of Croatia and Slovenia formulated the Brioni
14 declaration in this discussion with EC representatives, and I have to say
15 that after it was adopted by the federal government, we in the Presidency
16 also had to discuss it, and we accepted it because all the points from the
17 Presidency decision of the 4th of July were incorporated into the Brioni
18 declaration, with the only proviso that the deadlines were moved up a bit.
19 Q. What did this meeting at Brioni look like? What was discussed,
20 and what were the standpoints of the participants?
21 A. We didn't have any plenary meetings. There was no joint meeting
22 there. We simply took the opportunity, both Mr. Jovic and I, to inform
23 the gentlemen from the European Community about the conclusions reached by
24 the Presidency on the 4th of July, the deadlines we established, and to
25 ask them to carry out their part of the obligations that they had
1 undertaken when Mr. Mesic was elected president of the Presidency, and we
2 left it at that. The presidents of Slovenia and -- or, rather, the
3 representatives of Slovenia and Croatia remained and continued talking to
4 the representatives.
5 Q. So the Brioni declaration was not adopted at a session of the
7 A. No, but it was later on.
8 Q. I will read to you now something from the indictment. It says:
9 "On the 8th of July, an agreement was reached for Croatia and Slovenia to
10 suspend implementation of their independence for 90 days, until the 8th of
11 October, 1991. The European Community ultimately recognised Croatia as an
12 independent state on the 15th of January, 1992, and Croatia became a
13 member of the United Nations on the 22nd of May, 1992."
14 Do these allegations demonstrate what really happened at Brioni?
15 A. A lot of this is incorrect. First of all, it wasn't the 8th but
16 the 7th of July that the Brioni declaration was adopted. But what is more
17 important, the authors of the indictment either failed to understand or
18 deliberately bypassed the essence of the Brioni declaration. Its essence
19 was not that the decisions on the independence of Slovenia and Croatia be
20 suspended for three months --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: What paragraph of the indictment is that?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 101. 101.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Proceed.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The main point of the Brioni
25 declaration was not to delay the decisions on secession by three months
1 but, rather, to respect the establishment of peace and to search for a
2 political solution within a three-month period. There is only point in
3 the Brioni declaration mentioning the situation on the border and
4 restoring the situation there. Ninety days are mentioned, and that refers
5 only to Slovenia re-establishing the constitutional order of before the
6 25th of June.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, let's see whether what count -- or, rather, what paragraph
9 101 says is true or whether what you say is true. Let's look at the text
10 of the Brioni declaration. It's in tab 63. It's a joint declaration, and
11 the entire text is provided here.
12 Have you found tab 63?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is in Annex I.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't find it in the tab, but I
16 have it in my book.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes. I have the original from your book as well, this entire
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's on page 363, 363 of my book.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: All of tab 1 is devoted to the declaration.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All of tab 63 is the text.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tab 63, yes.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Would you be so kind as to take a look, as you said that later on
2 you supported the declaration in the Presidency.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can one say that this is a three-month suspension of the decisions
5 on independence, or is it about a cease-fire and negotiations, as it says
6 here, about all aspects of the future of Yugoslavia?
7 A. I've already said it was not about suspending the declarations of
8 independence by three months. It was, rather, about establishing peace, a
9 cease-fire, and creating the conditions for a search for a peaceful
10 solution to the overall Yugoslav crisis.
11 Q. We'll come back to the beginning of the declaration but, please,
12 first of all, can you find where the three-month term is referred to here?
13 Is it only in Annex I where it says further modalities for the
14 implementation of cease-fire?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And only in point IV, which refers to border security.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So there is nothing here about suspending the decisions on
19 independence. It rather says that: "The situation obtaining up until the
20 25th of June 1991 shall be re-established. During the (three-month)
21 suspension, negotiations with the aim of ensuring a proper transfer of JNA
22 authorities will have been concluded. A border regime based on European
23 standards remains a firm orientation."
24 Is there anywhere else that three-months are mentioned?
25 A. No. I remember well that when we were adopting the Brioni
1 declaration at the Presidency, we discussed the meaning of this provision
2 concerning European standards as far as the border regime is concerned.
3 Is isn't mentioned anywhere else. The representatives of the Presidency
4 who had been in Brioni and participated in drafting the resolution said --
5 rather, Mr. Tupurkovski then explained to us that when searching for a
6 solution for the border in this three-month period, European standards
7 should be applied.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Could you assist me, Mr. Kostic, with the reference
9 to -- in that same paragraph to "negotiations with the aim of ensuring a
10 proper transfer of Yugoslav People's Army authorities will have been
12 What does that refer to?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I think you asked me
14 a question to which I responded that on the territory of Slovenia, as
15 everywhere else, it was the JNA that held the border posts and guarded the
16 borders. The idea was that, as far as the border was concerned, solutions
17 should be sought in such a way that it would be the police taking over the
18 borders. Part of the authority of the JNA was transferred to the police,
19 the Ministry of the Interior. I think that this is now what is being done
20 in all the countries on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let's go back to the beginning of this joint declaration now,
24 which has been called the Brioni declaration. In the second paragraph, it
25 says: "The mission goal of the ministerial troika was to create adequate
1 conditions for peaceful negotiations between all parties. All parties
2 were acquainted with the 5 July declaration of the European Community and
3 its Member States and confirmed their obligation fully to fulfil the
4 proposals of the European Community of the 30th of June, 1991."
5 What were these? Was that when Mesic was elected?
6 A. Yes. The European Community undertook on its part to use its
7 influence on the Slovenian and Croatian leadership to ensure that these
8 decisions on a cease-fire be respected, that Yugoslav federal institutions
9 not be blocked by withdrawing Croatian and Slovenian representatives from
10 them. This refers to the Assembly, the cabinet, and so on and so forth.
11 This was the obligation that they undertook. But unfortunately, they did
12 not manage to impose either of these on Croatia and Slovenia.
13 Q. But it is stated here that they should comply with these
15 A. Yes. Mr. Demikalis [phoen], as the previous chairman of the
16 ministerial troika, as well as Mr. Bot, and especially Mr. Hans van den
17 Broek, told us at the session that these two guarantees were firm
18 obligations taken over on behalf of the European Community, but
19 unfortunately, it just remained a declaration, that's all.
20 Q. And what does it say, that the peoples of Yugoslavia are the only
21 ones who can decide on their own future?
22 A. "A new situation had arisen in Yugoslavia requiring careful
23 supervision and negotiations among various parties. Negotiations must
24 start urgently, and no later than the 1st of August, 1991, on all aspects
25 of Yugoslavia's future without any pre-conditions and based on the
1 principles contained in the final document from Helsinki and the Paris
2 charter in new Europe," et cetera.
3 Q. "The collective Presidency must have full powers and place
4 political and constitutional row with regard to the federal armed forces.
5 All parties will refrain from any unilateral moves, especially any acts of
6 violence." Does it say this?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Then they go on to talk about assistance from the European
9 Community. And then you have Annex I, referring to further modalities for
10 the preparation of negotiations.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what is the first point of this border regime? The control of
13 border crossings shall be in the hands of the Slovene police. They shall
14 act in compliance with federal regulations.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Customs --
17 A. The agreement signed by representatives of the federal government
18 and the government of the Republic of Slovenia on the 20th of June, 1991,
19 is hereby confirmed.
20 Q. Very well. Air traffic control. There is a single air traffic
21 control. And point 4, border security. And this is where it says that
22 the situation obtaining up until the 25th of June shall be re-established,
23 and that is what this three-month period refers to. It refers only to the
24 situation on the borders, and only to the borders of Slovenia.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It goes on to talk about further modalities for the implementation
2 of cease-fire, return of all JNA equipment, deactivation of Territorial
3 Defence units and their return to base. Was any of this implemented?
4 A. None of this was implemented. On the 4th of July, we reach the
5 same decisions at the Presidency, but we set the deadline at the 4th of
6 July and here it's the 7th of July.
7 Q. And it mentions captives?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When we look at the text of this declaration and what the
10 three-month period refers to - and it refers to the border regime in
11 Slovenia - is it possible to interpret this in the way it's interpreted in
12 paragraph 101, which I read to you, where it says that the European
13 Community tried to mediate and that an agreement was reached that Slovenia
14 and Croatia would suspend implementation of their independence for 90
15 days? Is this mentioned at all in the Brioni declaration, suspending
16 their decisions on independence? And it also mentions the 90-day period.
17 A. I am not a lawyer. I am an economist. But common sense leads me
18 to conclude that this is not mentioned at all. In the Brioni declaration,
19 this statement from the indictment is not mentioned at all. There is a
20 joke where it says that when you have two lawyers, you have three
22 Q. Now, these modalities for the preparation of negotiations
23 contained in Annex I, does that relate to Slovenia? Because it is only
24 there that three-month suspension is mentioned and the return, as it was,
25 of the 25th. Does that relate to Slovenia itself, because changes at the
1 border --
2 A. This only referred to Slovenia.
3 Q. And only with regard to border security before the 21st -- 5th of
4 June; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So does the agreement say at all that suspension be made for three
7 months with respect to Slovenia and Croatia's independence?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Very well. I think that's clear now. And anyway, we have the
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this into
12 evidence, please.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted, and --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted, and so are tabs 15, 16, and
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. You've already answered the question, but was any of what is
19 contained in the Brioni declaration respected?
20 A. No, nothing. Nothing was adhered to. Moreover, I have to say
21 that individual countries, for which Mr. Mesic publicly said -- lent open
22 support to the formation of independent and autonomous State of Croatia,
23 so it was from these countries that warnings kept coming in. Cautions
24 were issued, saying that conflicts should be stopped, because unless the
25 conflicts stopped, there would be recognition, whereas the conflicts were
1 in fact caused by the secessionist republics whose -- who didn't like the
2 solution. Had they given up their wish for independent, autonomous
3 states, the war could have been avoided but as they didn't want to, then a
4 war could not have been avoided.
5 Q. So the message was, Just continue to shoot, you'll be recognised.
6 Is that it?
7 A. Precisely.
8 Q. What is the contents of the 12th of July Presidency decision,
9 please? And it's tab 17 now.
10 A. There were many Presidency decisions. I'll have to remind myself
11 of what that particular one was.
12 Q. Well, take a look at tab 17. That's why we have these documents
13 and binders, to help you with your memory.
14 A. What date was that decision, did you say?
15 Q. It's the 12th of July.
16 A. I see, yes, the 12th of July. Well, it's like this: Since we had
17 a decision on the 4th of July at which we passed all the conclusions that
18 were contained later on in the Brioni declaration as well - and the time
19 there is the 7th of July or 8th of July for the Brioni declaration - we
20 charged Mr. Vasil Tupurkovski and Mr. Bogicevic, as I've already said,
21 members of the Presidency from Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, to see
22 whether the conclusions were translated into practice, and we received
23 feedback information from them at the meeting of the 8th of July and later
24 on, to which the -- they said that the Slovenian leadership and Slovenian
25 authorities were not adhering to the letter of the agreement and were not
1 carrying out the conclusions made by the Presidency. The Presidency on
2 the 12th of July once again passed a decision, under point 1, to
3 "demobilise all armed units in the territory of the SFRY, with the
4 exception of the JNA and the regular peacetime militia and police
5 formations by 2400 hours on the 18th of July, 1991."
6 Then point 2: "Ensure the manning of the JNA with recruits in
7 keeping with the Federal Law on Compulsory Military Service and other
8 regulations and acts adopted to implement it. Send recruits from the June
9 intake --"
10 Q. All right. We needn't go into all those details. But it says
11 here realise all -- everything contained in point 3 and everything
12 relating to the border regime that was in force on the 25th of June and
13 continue conditions for -- "create conditions for normal life and work of
14 JNA units, institutions and members and their families..." et cetera.
15 A. All I can say is something that I declared publicly in interviews
16 earlier on. We passed many decisions and conclusions at the Presidency
17 to find a peaceful solution, but none of those conclusions or decisions
18 were in fact put into practice on the ground. From January 1991 the
19 Presidency, which I wasn't a member of yet at the time, but then through
20 the month of May and so on passed decisions to demobilise, to disarm
21 paramilitaries, but none of that was actually done.
22 Q. This decision, was it implemented or not?
23 A. No, it was not.
24 Q. All right. Fine.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to tender this tab, tab 17,
1 into evidence as well, please.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it wasn't put into practice
4 for the simple reason that there wasn't political goodwill amongst the
5 political leadership and organs of power and authority in the secessionist
6 republics. There was no political will there to seek a peaceful
7 settlement. The more tense the situation, the greater number of conflicts
8 and violations of truce, the sooner they believed they would be given
9 independence and international recognition.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In paragraph 102 of what they call the Croatian indictment here,
12 it says the following: "On the 18th of July, 1991, the Federal
13 Presidency, with the support of the Serbian and Montenegrin governments
14 and General Veljko Kadijevic, voted to withdraw the JNA from Slovenia,
15 thereby acceding to its secession and the dissolution of the SFRY."
16 Now, please, are those allegations correct?
17 A. This is a pure fabrication. It's all been made up. And I can say
18 that as an immediate, direct participant in passing that decision. And I
19 must say that that was one of the most difficult decisions I had to make
20 as a Presidency member.
21 Q. All right. But let's now take a look at what the message of the
22 Presidency is of the 18th of July, 1991. And that's tab 18. The next tab
23 is what I'm referring to. The date is the 18th of June, 1991. What's
24 that decision?
25 A. This statement or, rather, through this message the Presidency
1 informs the public that with regard to the prevailing situation, it
2 adopted the following message, and the message read as follows:
3 "Yugoslavia is going through the most dramatic times. Inter-ethnic
4 conflict and inter-republic confrontations threaten war and disastrous
5 consequences for all our citizens, for all our nations and nationalities.
6 "We must stop on the road of using force which has claimed and
7 continues to claim people's lives and leads us all away from achieving our
8 vital interests.
9 "These interests are democratic development, respect for civil
10 rights and freedoms, and their continuous advancement, and raising the
11 quality of life.
12 "These interests are complete equality and mutual respect for the
13 rights of our peoples to decide independently and sovereignly on their own
14 fate and that of Yugoslavia, freedom of communication and association with
15 the outside world and the achievements of modern civilisation.
16 "All this can be achieved in peace alone.
17 "In the choice between war and peace, the SFRY Presidency is
18 unanimously and categorically for peace and a democratic denouement of the
19 Yugoslav crisis."
20 Q. So that's the general tone of the statement.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And it also says that: "The SFRY Presidency, in meeting the
23 presidents of the republics, the presidents of the republics which are due
24 to begin on the 22nd of July, 1991 in Ohrid, will ask the presidents to
25 accept and undertake on behalf of their republics to adhere strictly to
1 these principles and determinations as the first step towards a peaceful
2 resolution of all contentious matters."
3 And I have to say that at this Presidency meeting, that is to say
4 the 18th of July one where this message was adopted, we had the presence
5 of Mr. Drnovsek, and I think that was the first meeting where the
6 Presidency was sitting in full composition, with all its members.
7 Q. Now, let's take a look on the decision of the JNA's withdrawal
8 from Slovenia mentioned in the point I quoted, where it was said that
9 "Along with the support of the Serbian and Montenegrin government to
10 General Kadijevic, that the withdrawal of the troops from Slovenia was
11 agreed to which speeded up the disintegration of Yugoslavia." That's what
12 it says in paragraph 102. Thereby acceding to its secession and the
13 dissolution of the SFRY.
14 Now, let's have a look at tab 19. Why was this decision taken to
15 move the units stationed, to relocate them?
16 A. Well, in the last or penultimate paragraph before the decision, it
17 says: "Stemming from -- proceeding from its message to the public and its
18 resolve to ensure normal conditions for members of the JNA stationed in
19 the Republic of Slovenia to live and work without using force, pursuant to
20 Article 313, paragraph 8 and Article 316, paragraph 2 of the SFRY
21 Constitution, the SFRY Presidency adopted the following decision." And by
22 that decision the Presidency adopted and accepted one of two possible
23 solutions which were proposed to us by the Supreme Command Staff.
24 Now, in view of the fact that throughout all this time the
25 decisions made by the SFRY Presidency were not implemented on the
1 territory of Slovenia, and despite the truce, members of the Yugoslav
2 People's Army were constantly losing their lives. The Supreme Command
3 Staff and headquarters proposed to the SFRY Presidency two possible
4 solutions, two options.
5 The first one, which was proposed by the Supreme Defence, was
6 this: That the Presidency should authorise Yugoslav People's Army to use
7 military force and thereby to force the Slovenian leadership of Slovenia
8 and Territorial Defence to respect the decisions of the Presidency.
9 The second possible solution, the second option proposed by the
10 Supreme Command Staff was the following: That if the Presidency as the
11 Supreme Command for any reasons whatsoever does not adopt a decision of
12 that kind, then it must decide on the temporary dislocation of units of
13 the JNA from the territory of Slovenia to securer and safer locations
14 which would ensure the fact that the JNA members were not jeopardised and
15 not threatened and that that temporary relocation should last until a
16 political settlement is found for the Yugoslav crisis and the status of
17 Slovenia within that realm.
18 Q. All right. Now, finally, not to have to go through all the
19 decision, could you read paragraph 9, or point 9, out for us, please.
20 A. Point 9 says: "This decision shall not prejudice any future
21 arrangement of relations within Yugoslavia nor bring into question its
22 territorial integrity."
23 Now, since I myself took part directly in the adoption of that
24 decision and was an active participant, that's why I was able to say that
25 what you just quoted, the position you quoted in paragraph 102, if I'm not
1 wrong, of the indictment is completely incorrect.
2 Q. All right. Fine. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, can you help us with the concentration
4 on these matters in the -- by the accused? Are these matters you would
5 say that were opened up by the Prosecution?
6 MR. KAY: They were opened by the Prosecution, but the level of
7 detail is probably not -- not needed in relation to it, in my view.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Milosevic, the matters that
9 you're raising are not irrelevant and were probably prompted by the way
10 the Prosecution led their case, but you do not need to spend so much time
11 on it. You do not need to enter into that level of detail.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Robinson, everything I've
13 been quoting, all the portions of the indictment, I consider to be
14 relative -- relevant -- I'm sorry, relevant, because if they have written
15 something as notoriously incorrect as they have, that General Kadijevic
16 and the Serbian government and the president agreed to Slovenia's
17 secession and the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the decision says
18 something quite different, then I assume it is quite clear how much
19 credibility can be ascribed to the text. And that's not the first
20 quotation. It's the 55th quotation to date which has proved to be
21 completely incorrect.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you say this will affect the credibility to
23 be attached overall to the Prosecution's case, particularly in relation to
24 the -- the charges of crimes?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... something
2 wrong about Mr. Kadijevic. Is that going to affect fundamentally the
3 crimes with which you have been charged?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Robinson, at that time,
5 Serbia had no competence and authority in any way whatsoever, nor did it
6 ever have, nor did it have afterwards, over the territory of Croatia. All
7 these events that are mentioned here in the indictment were taking place
8 up until mid-1992. And here we have a witness who was the vice-president
9 of the Presidency, which was the Supreme Commander of that army which had
10 allegedly committed certain things. So that absolutely does not mean that
11 the crimes happened there, the ones mentioned in the indictment. But it
12 does show who had competency and power and authority at that time and in
13 what way matters were gone about at the time.
14 So you have to bear in mind the time we're discussing, the
15 material time, and we're talking about mid-1992, up until that time, where
16 these alleged crimes had been enumerated and situated, which have not been
17 proved at all. We had the Supreme Command of the JNA, which was the
18 Presidency of the SFRY. Here we have the vice-president of the former
19 Yugoslav state Presidency. He is best placed to say what was done and how
20 the Presidency functioned and how the vertical campaign of command of
21 civilian leadership and army leadership functioned, in what way.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Proceed, but let us try and move more
24 And shorter answers, please, Professor.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Professor Kostic, you gave an interview to the paper Vecernje
2 Novosti on the 20th of July, 1991. That was right at that time. There is
3 a large heading of that interview chosen by the editorial board, but the
4 message is "Better without arms."
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What did you say there about this decision and how it came about?
7 There is quotation in the sub-heading: "With this decision we created
8 conditions for relieving tensions, avoiding armed conflict in Slovenia,
9 and looking for a solution to the crisis in a much more peaceful
10 atmosphere. I am certain that the Slovene leadership does not think it is
11 -- the Croatian leadership does not think it is in its interest to go
12 into armed conflict with the JNA."
13 JUDGE KWON: What is the tab number?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 75.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Page 128.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Saturday, 20th July, 1991, your interview given to Vecernje
18 Novosti newspaper.
19 A. In this interview, I first talked about the two possible options
20 offered by -- or, rather, required from us by the general command staff --
21 by the General Staff, but I did say with this decision we have paved the
22 way to ease tension. We showed to the Croatian people and the
23 international community that nobody has any intention of imposing their
24 own will on the Croatian people. As the Supreme Command of the armed
25 forces, we are supremely responsible for the lives of members of the JNA
1 stationed in the territory of Slovenia and the conditions of their life
2 and work. And they are living there today like in concentration camps.
3 They are subjected to power cuts. Their supplies of water and food are
4 cut off. They have to show their laissez-passer in every movement. Their
5 families are mistreated.
6 We could only safeguard JNA members on the territory of Slovenia
7 either by using force or by relocating these units to other areas pending
8 final solution on the future order. Therefore, between -- choosing
9 between peace and war, we opted for resolving the Yugoslav crisis in a
10 peaceful manner, and we believe this decision is the first step in that
12 Q. How did this decision come about, and who signed it?
13 A. Well, the staff of the Supreme Command announced what they would
14 opt for even before they submitted this to us, because we had already
15 tasked the Supreme Command Staff with suggesting solutions. And they said
16 that the situation was neither war nor peace, the ceasefire was constantly
17 broken by the Territorial Defence of Slovenia, and they had to take some
19 We could not take that kind of decision, because a number of
20 Presidency members were against both options or they abstained from
21 voting. So at Brioni, when we met there when the Brioni declaration was
22 being adopted - and I spoke about it in my book, I didn't conceal anything
23 - I told Mr. Drnovsek that we had no other option but to use military
24 force or to relocate units from the territory of Slovenia. And that was
25 the first session of the Presidency that Mr. Drnovsek attended.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you had asked for the last 15
2 minutes to be set aside for some matters that you wish to raise.
3 I'm going to ask the witness to leave now but to stay within the
4 environs of the courtroom. Do you understand that?
5 Mr. Milosevic, do you wish to tender the last three tabs, 18, 19,
6 and 75?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We admit them.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Certainly.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I requested that you make it
14 possible for me to address you concerning the medical information, because
15 ten days ago I was tested wherein, under the control of two medical
16 officers in the infirmary of the Detention Unit, I was administered all
17 the medication that I have been prescribed, and in doing so I was not
18 given the possibility of retreating to my cell or even the toilet --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic --
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- and four hours later --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: It appears to me that you -- you're providing a
22 response of one kind or another to the --
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I'm saying that it appears to me that
25 you're providing some kind of a response to the order of the Trial
1 Chamber, and I'm sure you would have seen that any response is to be in
2 writing. So the Chamber will not be hearing any oral arguments from you
3 at this particular time. The response is to be in writing and is to be
4 provided by the 2nd of February, which is Thursday. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, my intervention is
6 about this: I demand that you stop mistreating me by withdrawing
7 treatment. What is being done here is claiming that I'm not taking
8 medication. The test established that when I take medication under
9 control, the level of that medication in my blood is far below the
10 expected level.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm stopping you because this is
12 in flagrant violation of the order that we made in which we specifically
13 said that responses will be in writing, and so I will not hear any
14 submissions from you on that matter.
15 We still have another eight minutes. The witness is to be
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Robinson. Can I just
18 tell you one more thing before the witness returns?
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Not if it relates to the issue that we have dealt
21 MR. KAY: Can I just raise one matter, which is just an extension
22 of time because of matters that have been brought to my attention and
23 which I believe underlie the application of the accused, which for my
24 information is founded on something highly material, which I'm sure Your
25 Honours should be informed of that does not form part of the information
1 supplied to you to date. I've had to make several telephone calls in
2 respect of it and have been unable to advance matters, and I'm concerned
3 that when Your Honours look at this matter, that you're actually given
4 full detail and information of various aspects of the treatment of the
5 accused that has not been disclosed to date.
6 I'm concerned that we might not be able to achieve this by Friday.
7 We received your order on Monday, and steps have been taken by us to
8 advance issues. Some of it is quite technical in trying to work various
9 matters of a medical nature out, but we are concerned about it, and I
10 think that the Trial Chamber will benefit if we are able to get this
11 information before you.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: So, Mr. Kay, you're asking for an extension of
15 MR. KAY: Yes, I am, Your Honours. If we could -- at the moment
16 it's -- the 2nd of February is the date, which is tomorrow. I would try
17 and hope to be able to achieve matters by Friday, but I'm concerned,
18 because there's been a number of failed attempts to communicate with a
19 particular party who is involved in this.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. In response to Mr. Kay's submissions,
21 the time to respond to the Chamber's order will be extended to Monday, the
23 MR. KAY: Thank you. I'm much obliged.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness be -- we have five minutes. We
25 must stop at 1.43 to ensure that the sitting subsequent to our adjournment
1 begins at 2.15.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson, you
4 scheduled tomorrow's session for 8.00.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: For 8.00, yes. I will remind you of that at the
6 end, that tomorrow we begin at 8.00 with the 54 bis, and we will run the
7 hearing into the trial.
8 Yes. We have another four or five minutes which you can usefully
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can you at least move it to 8.30?
11 Because in the morning I have to have a shower and shave before I'm
12 transported, and my transport normally starts at 8.00. Tomorrow it would
13 have to start at 7.00. So at the time when I am unlocked, I should be
14 ready, and I have no conditions to be ready.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll move it to 8.30 to --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Professor Kostic, why did the secession of Slovenia entail fewer
19 problems than the secession of Croatia and later Bosnia?
20 JUDGE KWON: No, hold on.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: There's a preference for 8.00 in the Chamber,
23 Mr. Milosevic. It is the responsibility of the authorities to ensure that
24 you are here at 8.00.
25 You can ask two questions.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. I asked the question why did the secession of Slovenia, as you
3 said in your interview, entail fewer problems than the secession of
4 Croatia and later Bosnia and Herzegovina?
5 A. Because the ethnic composition of the population in Croatia was
7 Q. You mean Slovenia?
8 A. Yes, Slovenia. The ethnic structure was homogenous. It was
9 mainly Slovene population. And from that point of view, the freely
10 declared will of the Slovene people to separate from Yugoslavia and form
11 an independent state, in the view of those of us who were making estimates
12 and decisions at the time, did not create a great problem, because we who
13 occupied the highest posts in that supreme body thought from the very
14 beginning that not a single nation should be deprived of its right to
15 self-determination, including secession.
16 Q. All right. You have answered. Slovenia was ethnically homogenous
17 and there were no ethnic conflicts in Slovenia; is that it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can we just see a brief clip from that series using -- used
20 frequently by Mr. Nice, "The Death of Yugoslavia," where Borisav Jovic
21 speaks about that same issue. It takes 20 seconds, not more.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm very sorry, but I'll have to
23 stop it. I must ensure that the next trial begins or is given the
24 opportunity to begin on time. We will adjourn until 8.00 tomorrow
25 morning, and you can then show that video first thing in the morning. We
1 will have the 54 bis hearing, and after that we'll go straight into the --
2 into the trial.
3 The witness will be advised about when to come. I think you
4 should be here for 9.00.
5 We are adjourned.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
7 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day
8 of February, 2006, at 8.00 a.m.