1 Tuesday, 14 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, just
8 for your information, yesterday when we spoke about the warning of the JNA
9 of the 1st October 1991, Mr. Kostic said that he has seen a similar
10 document, and this morning when he came into the courtroom he provided the
11 B/C/S version to us. It will be copied and soon handed out to everyone.
12 It's exactly the document that I referred to that Mr. Kostic identified in
13 his collection.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, our thanks to Mr. Kostic and to you.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 WITNESS: BRANKO KOSTIC [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: [Continued]
19 Q. Mr. Kostic, yesterday we left talking about the Carrington Plan
20 and the events of the 17th of October, 1991, and you had mentioned already
21 during your testimony that you could not stay during the whole session of
22 the Assembly session in Montenegro but that you had to go to Belgrade to
23 attend a meeting in the SFRY Presidency. That's how it was; right?
24 A. That's right, yes.
25 Q. And who attended the meeting in the Presidency?
1 A. The meeting of the Presidency was held in its reduced composition.
2 Four members of the Presidency attended it: Mr. Borisav Jovic, Sejdo
3 Bajramovic, Jugoslav Kostic, and myself of all the members of the
4 Presidency. I think that perhaps someone from the federal organs was
5 there, but I'm not sure. The four of us were there, though.
6 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic take part in this meeting?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Was there another meeting on the Carrington Plan on that same day
9 involving many more people?
10 A. In connection with Lord Carrington's plan, I know only that the
11 Assembly of Montenegro had a session, and in the afternoon the Presidency
12 of the SFRY, which I have just mentioned, which I myself attended. I
13 don't know any other meetings in connection with Lord Carrington's plan
14 held on at that day.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to
16 provide to Mr. Kostic and also everyone else a section from a book that
17 Ms. Smilja Avramovic wrote, and it's called "Post Heroic War of the West
18 Against Yugoslavia." Mr. Kostic, do you know that book? Avramov. It's
19 Avramov. Sorry. Smilja Avramov.
20 Mr. Kostic, do you know this book of Ms. Avramov?
21 A. No.
22 Q. If you look at --
23 A. I don't know it, no.
24 Q. Would you please have a look at page 274, the second last
25 paragraph, and I just quote a part of it. She speaks about the Carrington
1 Plan and then says: "Military leadership headed by General Kadijevic and
2 some individuals from expert teams as well as a group of independent
3 intellectuals being concerned about the fate of the country and offering
4 the help to President Milosevic were of the opinion that the Carrington
5 document should be turned down." And the last sentence of that paragraph,
6 it says: "Participating in the talks on the Carrington document were also
7 President Karadzic and President Babic. President Milosevic's speech in
8 The Hague the following day was the synthesis of the said opinions."
9 Mr. Kostic, that seems to me to indicate that on the 17th there
10 was quite a major meeting on the Carrington Plan with Mr. Milosevic,
11 Kadijevic, and experts, as is named here, and intellectuals.
12 Do you know about that meeting? Did you hear of it?
13 A. I really don't know anything at all about that meeting. This is
14 the first time I've heard of it. I have always been of the conviction
15 that on the day when the Assembly of Montenegro discussed the Carrington
16 Plan - and this was the 17th of October - the Assembly of Serbia discussed
17 the same plan. However, later on I learned that Mr. Jovic denied this
18 later and that the Serbia -- Serbian Assembly did not have a session on
19 that date. I did not check this. I didn't go into it any further, but I
20 don't know anything about this meeting you're mentioning, and I can say
21 nothing about it.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, the Prosecution would like to
23 tender this page of the book.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
25 MR. KAY: Well, the witness did not recognise the document,
1 disagreed with the content, and Avramov gave evidence earlier in the
2 Defence case and it could have been dealt with by her cross-examination.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, do we know in fact whether it was dealt with
4 in her cross-examination?
5 MR. KAY: It wasn't, as far as I remember.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I'm not aware of this, Your Honour, but my
7 assumption would be that the book was not translated at that time. I see
8 Ms. Tromp is nodding. Obviously this book wasn't translated at that time.
9 Perhaps, could it be marked for identification, and it may be that we can
10 discuss it with another witness who may have participated.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay?
13 MR. KAY: I would say no, bring it in when it's the time to do so.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. That's what we'll do, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
15 We'll not mark it for identification. If you can have it admitted at
16 another time, then so be it.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
18 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would like to refer you now to a press statement by
19 Lord Carrington of the 25th of October, 1991. It's not an exhibit yet,
20 and I would like to be -- this to be handed out.
21 Mr. Kostic, it's an English document because it's from Lord
22 Carrington and relates to the meeting that was held on the 25th of
23 October, 1991, and it says here on the first page: "Let me say that once
24 that the continuing -- let me say at once that the continuing attacks by
25 JNA on Dubrovnik and Vukovar are very worrying and threatening. These are
1 not besieged garrisons to be relieved, nor Serbian communities to protect.
2 "The leadership of the JNA is acting in a totally unjustified
3 fashion, bear a heavy responsibility, and are accountable for what they
4 are doing."
5 And he continues: "I would have wished to have said this to
6 him -" meaning Mr. Kadijevic, General Kadijevic - "him face-to-face. He
7 has always said that he would accept and abide by any agreed political
8 solution. But from his statements and actions this week, it is clear that
9 he is siding with one of the parties. General Kadijevic's assertion that
10 he derives his authority from those whose seizure of the Federal
11 Presidency in Yugoslavia on 3 October has been condemned internationally
12 (and who have declined to attend today's plenary), cannot be sustained."
13 Do you know about this press statement, this public statement of
14 Lord Carrington?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is he -- he's correct when he says that the JNA is attacking
17 Dubrovnik and Vukovar, although there are no besieged garrisons and there
18 are no Serbian communities to protect. Is he right there? That was
19 what ...
20 A. Now, 15 years later, I wouldn't be able to recall every word from
21 Mr. Carrington's statement, but in principle he objected to the effect
22 that there were no Serb communities there or besieged garrisons. However,
23 we expressed our dissatisfaction with Mr. Carrington's assessment. We
24 felt it was extremely one-sided. Mr. Carrington attempted to leave us as
25 the reduced Presidency out of The Hague conference and only after we
1 protested did he invite us to the conference on the 18th and the 25th.
2 Also, on the 5th of November, Mr. Carrington started The Hague conference
3 by stating that the Croatian leadership had not respected the cease-fire
4 agreement --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, you have answered the question.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. The Prosecution would like to tender
7 this document, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 950.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
11 Q. And I would like to put another document to you from the
12 Carrington documentation that was provided by the European -- It's also
13 not yet an exhibit. Can it be provided. It's a Declaration on the
14 Situation in Yugoslavia from the 28th of October, 1991, and it relates to
15 this session that took place on the 25th of October, 1991, and I just want
16 to quote one paragraph. It's the third -- or, rather, two paragraphs; the
17 third and fourth on that page. It says: "Notably, the principles of no
18 unilateral change of borders, protection of human rights, and rights of
19 ethnic and national groups constitute universal, objective standards,
20 which leave no room for compromise.
21 "The European Community and its member States are appalled at
22 constant violations of these principles. In this context they refer to
23 the Serbian position in the Conference, the coup d'etat of four members of
24 the Federal Presidency and their announcement of a plan aimed at the
25 establishment of a Greater Serbia. The statements and actions of JNA,
1 which were condemned in the Declaration on Dubrovnik of 27 October 1991,
2 should also be seen in this light."
3 Mr. Kostic, do you know this -- do you know this Declaration?
4 A. I don't recall this Declaration, but I can only say that this was
5 a time when the European Community was radically changing its standpoint
6 and its views on resolving the Yugoslav crisis, taking up an extremely
7 one-sided position, diverging from its previous standpoints that a
8 peaceful solution should be found, and so on.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the Prosecution would like to
10 tender this document as well.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 951.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
14 Q. I would like now to leave, because we don't have much time, I want
15 to leave this Carrington Plan and now turn to the Vance Plan. Mr. Kostic,
16 in the examination-in-chief, you spoke about -- in detail about the Vance
17 Plan, and we have discussed it here already. You discussed it with
18 Mr. Milosevic when you addressed Exhibit D333, tab 64, which has the text
19 of the Vance Plan, more or less.
20 Mr. Jovic, when he spoke about the Vance Plan, he said that all
21 the work involved with the drafting of the Vance Plan was directed by
22 Mr. Milosevic on behalf of the Serb side. Is that also your recollection,
23 that he was basically the one?
24 A. I don't know who worked with Mr. Cyrus Vance on behalf of the
25 Serbian side. Probably those advocating the preservation of Yugoslavia.
1 Is that what you mean by the Serbian side? I don't know who talked to
2 Mr. Cyrus Vance. I only know that I did not have occasion to meet
3 Mr. Cyrus Vance except at a meeting in Podgorica when he was talking to
4 Mr. Bulatovic and Mr. Djukanovic. At that time, Mr. Cyrus Vance, although
5 he was a representative of the United Nations --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kostic. Next question, please.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Babic and the entire Croatian Serb leadership in Knin, when
9 they rejected or, rather, did not want to accept this plan, they got
10 pressure to agree. They were pressured to agree to it, right?
11 A. I don't know whether you can describe it as pressure, but in any
12 case, we invested a great deal of effort to get them to accept this plan.
13 We had a 40-hour meeting, then two six-hour meetings, and finally I went
14 to Glina to a meeting of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
15 where it was ultimately accepted. Because in our assessment, Mr. Cyrus
16 Vance's plan was a peaceful option, whereas what Mr. Babic was advocating
17 was a war option.
18 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would like to put to you what Mr. Jovic said in this
19 context, and we are discussing whether the Croatian Serb leadership was
20 pressured. Can you please be -- can this -- it's from Exhibit 596, tab 1.
21 That is the 89(F) statement of Mr. Jovic. And at paragraph 114, he said:
22 "... I spoke with Milan Babic and told him that the plan for the arrival
23 of peacekeeping forces will be adapted with or without him." And in that
24 same paragraph, the last sentence is: "I came to the conclusion that if
25 Babic continued to resist, then he will be replaced."
1 Mr. Kostic, as you took part in these discussions on the Vance
2 Plan, are you aware that Mr. Jovic actually threatened Mr. Babic with
4 A. I never heard Mr. Jovic threatening Mr. Babic with replacement.
5 Had we had any intention to replace Mr. Babic or arrest him, we could have
6 done that very easily in Belgrade. We wouldn't have wasted so much time
7 trying to keep all the people there and trying to get their agreement to
8 the plan.
9 Q. But Mr. Babic was replaced, was he not?
10 A. Not then. Not at that time.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, on what basis would he have been
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood that to be the
14 Prosecutor's question as regards replacement or arrest.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... said if you
16 had wanted, at any time you could have had him arrested because he was in
17 Belgrade. On what basis would you have arrested him?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, let me tell you, I don't know
19 whether I can give a proper interpretation. I'm not a lawyer, I'm an
20 economist, but I was in a very responsible government position.
21 We were in a situation of imminent threat of war. We felt that
22 part of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was still part of the still
23 existing Yugoslavia. If --
24 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you not give me a simple answer to the
25 question? Can you not just tell me the basis on which you would arrest
1 him? I don't need the history of Yugoslavia to tell me that, surely.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not talking about history,
3 Mr. Bonomy. I'm talking about a dramatic situation in which --
4 JUDGE BONOMY: If you can't answer the question, we'll just move
5 on. Thank you.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
7 Q. Yes. Mr. Kostic, on that same page that you have in front of you
8 there's also paragraph 115 of the Rule 89(F) statement of Mr. Jovic, and
9 he says here, and I quote from the middle of it: "After huge problems
10 with Milan Babic, Milosevic completely lost his nerve and issued a public
11 announcement stating that he was terminating all cooperation with the
12 current Krajina leadership and that he would resume it once the Serbs in
13 Krajina had elected a new leadership."
14 Do you remember that, that he made such a strong statement?
15 A. I don't know why you keep asking me about Mr. Jovic's book. Why
16 don't you ask me what I talked to Mr. Milosevic about. As regards Babic,
17 I never discussed him with Mr. Milosevic. During my examination-in-chief,
18 however, I did mention that there was an erroneous impression that
19 Mr. Milosevic had undivided influence on the leadership of the Serbs in
20 the Serbian Krajina. I also said that for this reason he asked me to
21 attend the Assembly session in Glina, and I also said that at that time
22 Mr. Milosevic sent an open letter to the leadership of the Serbian Krajina
23 and Mr. Babic, which caused a great deal of surprise in the general
24 public. That's what I can say about this.
25 Mr. Jovic here is talking about his conversation with
1 Mr. Milosevic, and I know nothing about it so I can't tell you anything
2 about it.
3 Q. Mr. Kostic, I was asking you not about Mr. Jovic but about the
4 public announcement of Mr. Milosevic that -- requesting that the
5 leadership in Knin would -- should be replaced. That was my question.
6 But I see you refer only to the letter.
7 Let us now hear what you said on two occasions in that context.
8 Can we please have in Sanction played the first clip.
9 A. That's better.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters have a reference, please.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you have a copy passed to the interpreters.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: They should have a copy. It's the clip
13 Exhibit 352, tab 88. Your Honour, I forgot to mention that it is actually
14 already an exhibit. It's 352, tab 88.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We don't have any translation.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are we supposed to have a translation?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Your Honour. There are three excerpts in
19 the exhibit and tab 88 so we were trying to find the portion referred to.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. The first what is played starts with
21 "Vice-president of the Presidency, Branko Kostic, describes the course of
22 the talks ..."
23 THE INTERPRETER: Yes. Thank you. We've found it now.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Vice-president of the Presidency
1 Branko Kostic described the course of the talks to detail accusing Milan
2 Babic of walking out of the conference and taking the representatives of
3 Serbian Krajina with him. Kostic told the press that Paspalj approached
4 them on his own initiative and offered to sign it after he consulted
5 municipality representatives, as he informed the Presidency members.
6 Kostic then said that Babic's request to amend Vance's plan practically
7 implied its refusal and that there was no justification for the request to
8 return to political topics either, as Vance's plan did not prejudice a
9 solution for the status of Krajinas. Kostic refuted the allegations about
10 a possible coup in Krajina and explained that an order was being prepared
11 on the organisation of life in the territories where the army was present.
12 He explained that nobody made any physical threats at the conference, as
13 Babic alleged, and that Blagoje Adzic had offered his apologies to those
14 present for his nervous behaviour. Kostic said that it was now crucial to
15 inform people in the Krajina correctly and show that Vance's plan did not
16 imply betrayal of Krajinas.
17 "If people in Krajina chose Mr. Babic's option, this will then
18 mean the option of war. That is certain. It will then mean that the
19 people of Krajina are neither willing ..."
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I don't know. It's still continuing in the
22 THE INTERPRETER: There is no reception, no tape, sound.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But it's playing here. It's playing here on
24 the computer that Ms. Dicklich has, with tone and everything.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are not receiving any tone.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: What is the issue we are looking out for here?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are looking, actually, in particular this
3 part that's not coming. Actually, Mr. Kostic is repeating that same
4 threat, more or less, that Mr. Milosevic, according to Mr. Jovic, made.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why don't you just put it to him?
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
7 Q. Let me just read to you what actually is also on the video. It
8 says here, Branko Kostic speaking: "If the people of Krajina choose
9 Mr. Babic's option, this will then mean the option of war. That is
10 certain. It will then mean that the people of Krajina are neither willing
11 to share their fate with the rest of Yugoslavia nor to respect its organs.
12 I am telling you this as my personal opinion. This practically amounts to
13 refusal to participate in the work of federal organs or to respect their
14 decisions and consequently those of the Presidency as the Supreme Command,
15 just as Mr. Tudjman and Mr. Kucan did it. This practically means an act
16 of secession of that territory. It is difficult for me to believe that
17 might happen."
18 Mr. Kostic, did you say that on that occasion? We have it on the
19 tape, actually.
20 A. In the original, that is what I said, and I would repeat the same
21 thing given that situation today as well.
22 Q. But as I see it, Mr. Kostic, what you are saying here is
23 basically, "If you do not agree to the Vance Plan, then we cut off you.
24 You have to fend for yourself." That's at least how I understand it.
25 Would that be the correct --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Where do you read that?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Here. It says: "It will then mean that the
3 people of Krajina are neither willing to share their fate with the rest of
4 Yugoslavia nor to respect its organs." That's actually saying -- and
5 particularly the next: "This practically amounts to a refusal to
6 participate in the work of the federal organs or to respect their
7 decisions and consequently those of the Presidency as the Supreme Command,
8 just as Mr. Tudjman and Mr. Kucan did. This practically means an act of
9 secession of that territory."
10 JUDGE BONOMY: That's --
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: That seems to be looking at it from the opposite
13 point of view; that they would be seceding by their conduct, rather than
14 he would be cutting them off, but it's for you to put the questions.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
16 Q. Mr. Kostic, what did you mean?
17 A. Precisely, Mr. Bonomy. That's it.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Then I would like to right now the -- hear
19 now the second Sanction video related to Glina.
20 And for the interpreters, it is a section that starts with:
21 "Mr. Kostic, how are you? Welcome to Glina."
22 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you for the reference. We've found it,
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Do you want me to answer your first
25 question, what I meant by it? You asked me what I meant by it earlier on.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
2 Q. Yes, and I thought you had answered it.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. We covered that issue already. We are on to
4 Glina now.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
6 Q. Yes. You had answered that already, Mr. Kostic.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Mr. Kostic, how are you, welcome to
9 Glina. You are here to attend the Krajina Assembly conference. What do
10 you expect from that meeting?
11 "Quite a large number of us arrived to participate in the work of
12 the Serbian Krajina Assembly after attending a fairly extensive discussion
13 at the Yugoslav Presidency. In order to, on the one hand, repudiate all
14 accusations that have been unfoundedly spread among these people that we
15 are leaving those people in the lurch. Also, to tell the Assemblymen of
16 the Serbian Krajina Assembly, as well as to all people, that that is a
17 crude lie, that we have been and are remaining by the side of these
18 people. In addition, to help inasmuch as we can for reason to prevail and
19 that these people, as well as the assemblymen, realise that that which has
20 been gained through war until now can be defended by peace in the best
21 possible way from now on, with the assurances of the Security Council, a
22 world organisation, and the engagement of the Blue Helmets.
23 "Thank very much on behalf of Novi Sad television.
24 "Thank you.
25 "Mr. Kostic, what is your message to the people of Glina and
2 "That we have stood by and are going to stand by these people.
3 However, choosing between the peace option and the war option, the time
4 has come to defend in peace what these people have gained by war. Not by
5 a continuation of a long and precarious war that might spread out to the
6 hinterland and Bosnia and sweep over entire Yugoslavia, or even wider, the
7 Balkans. That could obviously finally result in the loss of everything
8 these people gained by war so far."
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
10 Q. Mr. Kostic, just one question to this. At that time when you made
11 this -- this speech, at that time, the Serb territories in Croatia, they
12 were under control of the Serbs; right?
13 A. At that point in time when I made that statement and when I was in
14 Glina myself, the Serbs in those areas who were involved and engaged and
15 stood up to all attempts on the part of the Croatian paramilitary to
16 impose their own power upon them, they were in control of the territory.
17 They had their freedom. They had their alphabet. They had everything
18 which they had as a constituent people and pursuant to the Croatian
19 constitution that was guaranteed to them on the basis of the constitution
20 previously. So that's why I said that as they succeeded in defending
21 themselves we should defend by means of peace and not by means of war.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kostic. Mr. Kostic, among the defence exhibits
23 that Mr. Milosevic proposed to you was Defence Exhibit D333, tab 2, and I
24 would like to -- you to turn to it now.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, that's an exhibit that was not
1 yet tendered by Mr. Milosevic, and I would like to address it with the
3 Q. It is a meeting with representatives that the Presidency held with
4 representatives from the Serbian Krajina, held on the 3rd of January,
5 1992. Do you recall that meeting?
6 A. I recall it extremely well.
7 Q. I would like you now first to turn to page 11 in the English where
8 Mr. Milan Martic is addressing you, and he says the following, it's about
9 disarming -- it's the talks about disarming the forces in Krajina, and
10 Mr. Martic says the following: "The solution to this problem is simple,
11 but what worries me most are, as we said, our local people who are
12 fighting and the local army; there is no other army except for commanding
13 officers. The weapons are a burning issue - the heavy weapons."
14 And this is what you talk about. And in relation to this, on that
15 same page, you say the following: "We said that all Territorial Defence
16 is also part --"
17 A. I apologise, but in the Serbian language, I haven't managed to
18 find that section, what you're just reading out.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's tab 2. They are the
21 stenographic notes from the meeting of the -- between members of the SFRY
22 Presidency and representatives of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
24 Q. It's on page 16 in the -- in the B/C/S version, Mr. Kostic.
25 A. I've found it. Thank you.
1 Q. And I was reading from the lower part of that, and you say:
2 "... we said that all Territorial Defence is also part of the JNA, but the
3 disarming of the Territorial Defence has been planned. I am asking you:
4 Do the UN and the group that will carry out control on the basis of the
5 talks they had with you, have a summary and list of equipment - how many
6 of these tanks, mortars, howitzers, artillery, and so on belongs to the
7 Territorial Defence and how many to the Knin Corps. Do they have it?"
8 And you give the answer "No."
9 And then you continue: "Therefore, we will create conditions -
10 you will not have to transport things from Banija down to Knin - we will
11 deposit the equipment where it may be used in need. You practically have
12 an already formed unit, which is convenient when so many men are from this
13 area. You had units even before you publicly declared them organised.
14 So, you will continue to have them organised. You can increase police
15 units. You have the Army in the background if they need to intervene."
16 Mr. Kostic, that is actually circumventing the Vance Plan, is it
18 A. No, that's not correct. That's not correct, because the Vance
19 Plan provided for the fact that on the territory where the Blue Helmets
20 would be deployed in the operative political sense, nothing be changed,
21 that everything should remain the same, including the organs of power and
22 authority, the Territorial Defence, and everything else. But what it did
23 provide for was that the weapons of the Territorial Defence, both light
24 and heavy weapons, must be stored under a double key, and only when the
25 Blue Helmets take up their positions in the territory and take on the
1 physical protection of the Serb people there, only then would the Yugoslav
2 People's Army withdraw, and that's what we did.
3 Q. Mr. Kostic, when you say that -- when you stress here that the UN
4 wouldn't have lists of materials, that's actually -- is that not basically
5 saying, "We can cheat them"? "They wouldn't know how many material
6 belongs to the TO and what to the JNA"? Or why do you say that here?
7 A. Well, the United Nations did not have a list of equipment and
8 weaponry for the simple reason that they didn't ask for it. As far as the
9 United Nations were concerned, the most important thing was that light and
10 heavy weaponry should be deposited in certain storehouses, that it be
11 under lock and key and under control, among other things, of the United
12 Nations, so that when the Blue Helmets appear, the Yugoslav People's Army
13 would withdraw completely from that area.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: That wasn't the question. The question was
15 whether --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question was whether, when you say that the
18 UN would not have a list of materials, whether you were not in effect
19 saying that "We can cheat them."
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, that's not what I meant. Cheat
21 them how? How would we cheat them?
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
23 Q. Mr. Kostic, you referred to the fact that the UN wouldn't know
24 which material, heavy equipment, would belong to the TO and which belongs
25 to the JNA, meaning you could leave the JNA stuff behind, claiming it were
1 TO stuff. That's what actually is meant here, isn't it?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Short answer, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply thought that the United
4 Nations were absolutely not interested in what belonged to whom, that the
5 United Nations were interested in the weaponry being deposited, that it be
6 placed under their control, and that the JNA be withdrawn from that
7 territory, and that's what was done.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
9 Q. Mr. Kostic, continuing in the text we have further questions. It
10 probably should be two pages further on. And Milan Martic, actually,
11 asked you: "If we must be wise with all this --" and it's on page 13 in
12 the English, Your Honours. And page 19 in the Serbian language,
13 Mr. Kostic.
14 A. I found it. I found it, yes.
15 Q. Mr. Martic says: "If we must be wise with all this, you ought to
16 help us. You know that there are 50.000 soldiers in Krajina now. You
17 print money here and send it to them. They are used to that money and
18 they live somehow. The economy is not functioning, money is being
20 And your answer to this is: "They must understand that we print
21 money here not only for them but also for these whom we send from here.
22 This money printing cannot last indefinitely. This must be kept in mind."
23 Mr. Kostic, was this how the Serb soldiers from the Krajina were
24 financed, through money printing in Belgrade? Was that how it went?
25 A. Well, please, take into account the fact that we're talking about
1 Yugoslavia still, and there still were no internationally recognised
2 republics. It was a united territory, the territory of Yugoslavia, and on
3 that territory we had the strongest corpus or, rather, corps. It was the
4 Knin Corps. And we had people there from all parts of Yugoslavia making
5 up that Knin Corps, both the soldiers and the others. And the people
6 lived there and they lived on money, and the Yugoslav People's Army
7 financed that. So those are the people we're talking about here. I don't
8 know which other people you mean. Who else would we send? Well, the
9 Yugoslav People's Army was there. The man from Macedonia was there. The
10 Split soldier who lost his life was there.
11 Q. Mr. Kostic, the TO members from Krajina, were they paid by the
12 money being printed in Belgrade, before -- during this conflict and also
13 after the Vance Plan?
14 A. I really couldn't give you a precise answer to that question,
15 whether all the members of the Territorial Defence did, or were, but in
16 view of the fact that we were dealing with wartime conditions, the
17 Territorial Defence units shared the fate of the units of the Yugoslav
18 People's Army. They come under the same command and so on and so forth,
19 so it would be realistic to suppose that they were financed too. So
20 that's why I say that we cannot keep it up that long, that the people who
21 were engaged at the front should come back home and carry on making a
22 living and living off that. So I can't give you a precise answer.
23 Q. I would like to continue now, go a little bit further in the text.
24 We are now -- in the English it's page 21, and in the Serbian -- it's an
25 exchange with Mile Paspalj.
1 A. I find Mile Paspalj in the Serbian version on page 28, the middle
2 of page 28. That's where he appears, Mile Paspalj. But I can tell you
3 something --
4 Q. It's actually a little bit further, I think. It's where Mile
5 Paspalj says: "First the period of three, four, or five months of pushing
6 permanent conflict between prominent Krajina figures in the territory of
7 Krajina, this did not come from the Republic of Croatia or Bosnia but
8 precisely from the Republic of Serbia and Yugoslavia."
9 And you answer to this: "I would appreciate it, Mr. Paspalj, if
10 you discussed the issues concerning Serbia with the leadership of Serbia."
11 It's on page 31, actually, in the Serbian language.
12 Do you know what Mr. Paspalj is referring here to when he says
13 "Serbia pushing permanent conflict between prominent Krajina figures"?
14 Do you know what he means?
15 A. When he said that, I said, and during the examination-in-chief I
16 also said, that one of the reasons for the tragedy that the Serb people in
17 the Republic of Serb Krajina suffered was on a political and ideological
18 basis, that that was the grounds for that, and that Babic joined the
19 Chetnik emigration and Bujic [phoen], and that the divisions in Serbia
20 were highly present, both among the leadership and among the people, and
21 that in all the contacts I had I insisted upon leaving behind ideology and
22 politics but that they should see to their survival in the area first.
23 And I know that certain opposition parties sent people there, their
24 volunteers. And some people thought that they would start out from there
25 towards Belgrade, under arms and things like that.
1 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would like now to go a bit further. It's on page 23
2 of the English, and it's -- in the B/C/S, it's where you refer to the
3 forces in the Krajina. And you say the following: "We are now, with this
4 engagement of the peacekeeping forces, ensuring that you continue to have
5 your own police and authorities in that territory, and for the 93 per cent
6 men who are now on the front to take off their uniforms and return to work
7 for a living, leaving all the weapons here and not grouping it in one
9 And if you're looking, Mr. Kostic, it's page 55 in the Serbian.
10 And you say: "I said, if need be, we will make new hangars and we will
11 deposit these weapons there where they will be most accessible for use; 93
12 per cent of the troops remain here where they can be mobilised and engaged
13 at any moment, and use those weapons. You can triple your police forces
14 and you have mechanised units at the border of Krajina and Bosnia, which
15 can reach the other end of the border within two hours."
16 Mr. Kostic, that's another move against the Vance Plan, the
17 demilitarisation, is it not, tripling the police? That was not what the
18 Vance Plan foresaw; right?
19 A. But let me tell you this: First of all, the storing of weapons
20 was agreed upon with Mr. Vance, that is to say Marek Goulding, who came
21 here as an envoy of Mr. Cyrus Vance, and we specifically agreed about
22 that, both the leadership of the Serbian Krajina with Marek Goulding, and
23 we in the Presidency of the SFRY. That's one thing.
24 Second thing is to -- the increase in the member -- numbers of the
25 police was not something they were averse to because they felt that the
1 Croatian authorities could infiltrate sabotage units and then blame the
2 Serb people of having risen up against the Blue Helmets and things like
3 that. So the peace forces, the UN peace forces, were also interested in
4 having more policemen there to provide better security for themselves and
5 the population as a whole.
6 Q. On the next page there in that same section, the next page in the
7 English, page 24, you say the following: "Why were we in the situation
8 where we had to accept many of these truces? Because we had enormous
9 problems with the supply of manpower and replenishing the army. You must
10 understand how much defeatism, rejection, and disorientation there is; to
11 date 80.000 men have deserted or left the front. Also, the units that
12 have been formed instead of setting out for the front simply disband and
13 go home."
14 And just my question to this, that you accepted the Vance Plan was
15 basically a military necessity, was it not? You couldn't continue to
16 fight. You didn't have the resources. Is that so?
17 A. No, that's not a good conclusion on your part. We could have
18 mobilised had we declared a state of war. We could have mobilised a
19 million people, whereas the top military echelons only asked for 150.000,
20 this additional mobilisation. However, had we not gone before the
21 Security Council and brought in the Blue Helmets in Serbian Krajina, we
22 would ultimately have had to declare a state of war, and we did not
23 declare a state of war.
24 The situation that you're talking about and these quotes from you,
25 that is a situation where there was no state of war proclaimed, and when
1 the army, to all intents and purposes, was working according to peacetime
2 laws and not wartime laws. It was a very difficult situation because of
3 which the army complained to us a great deal systematically and
5 Q. Mr. Kostic, it's not my quote, it's your quote. I'm quoting you
6 about what you said at that meeting with the Croatian Serbs. A paragraph
7 below that you say the following --
8 A. You drew the wrong conclusion out of this. You drew the erroneous
10 Q. You say the following, and it's on the same page, just the next
11 paragraph: "I'm very sure that Serbia and Montenegro could have easily
12 proclaimed themselves a state union, a sovereign state, and so on. But
13 the moment this was done and accepted, every Yugoslav People's Army
14 soldier would be an occupying soldier on the territory of Herzegovina, the
15 Knin Krajina, and Western and Eastern Slavonia."
16 And a little bit further down, you say: "This is why we promote
17 the continuity of Yugoslavia, because of the international community, the
18 legitimacy of the Yugoslav People's Army, and possibly to engage this
19 force on the whole territory."
20 That was the motivation; right?
21 A. You see, had we promulgated a state of Serbia and Montenegro, we
22 would have gone against the valid constitution of Yugoslavia, and we were
23 attempting to preserve this constitution and comply with it until the 27th
24 of April, 1992. In other words, we didn't want to behave in the same way
25 as the secessionist republics which rejected the Yugoslav constitution and
1 declared independence. We were acting in accordance with the then valid
2 constitution. It was the constitution of the only legitimate state that
3 existed at the time.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, this may sound as though I'm going back
5 to earlier questions, but it's in this context I want to ask you this.
6 When you assessed that there was an imminent state of war in October, who
7 was that war between?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time we declared an imminent
9 threat of war --
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, imminent threat of war, yes. Yes. Who was
11 the imminent threat of war between?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When an imminent threat of war was
13 declared, the war was between armed paramilitary formations of Croatia and
14 the JNA, which is the armed forces of the SFRY.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The paramilitary of Croatia had
17 armed men.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: It was for the avoidance of doubt that I asked the
19 question. That's a sufficient answer. Thank you.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
21 Q. Mr. Kostic, a bit further down now in the text -- in the English,
22 Your Honours, it's page 39; and in the B/C/S, it's 56. And it's actually
23 an exchange between you and Mr. Risto Matkovic, and you say here: "We
24 don't know where we will be tomorrow, but we should start from this:
25 Whether there is a Yugoslavia or a Serbia in this shape or another, it is
1 more than certain in my assessment that there is no government in Serbia
2 that can survive and be prepared to sacrifice these people. It does not
4 And a little bit further down in relation to Montenegro, you also
5 say: "However, the situation in Montenegro is such that there is no
6 authority that would survive for 24 hours if they were prepared to betray
7 the interest of those people."
8 Mr. Kostic, that is actually what you are saying here. That's
9 what I put to you when we spoke about Mr. Jovic's book, that the Serbian
10 leadership and the Montenegrin leadership could not survive without
11 supporting the Krajina Serbs. That's how I understood that -- your remark
12 here. Is that so?
13 A. This is not about the need for those in authority to survive in
14 power. It's about the fact that the people of Serbia and Montenegro were
15 convinced that physical protection had to be provided to other parts of
16 the people that were under threat in other parts of Yugoslavia until a
17 solution was found. The issue was not bare survival.
18 Q. But it says here no government in Serbia can survive. It's about
20 A. Madam, it was the government that was democratically elected by
21 the people in Serbia. And you should also mention Montenegro. At
22 democratic multi-party elections, the people elected the government, both
23 in Serbia and Montenegro. It was given the support of two-thirds of the
24 people, and this support was owing to the programme, the platform. A
25 large part of this was to try to preserve Yugoslavia, to try to find a
1 peaceful solution, and to prevent the part of the people that was under
2 threat in any part of Yugoslavia.
3 Q. I would like to move on now, and we go to the English page 52, and
4 in the Serbian it's page 74. It's an exchange between you and Mr. Martic,
5 Milan Martic, about, I would say, concrete terms.
6 "I agree with what President Babic said, that we would observe the
7 Presidency decision and that we ought to agree on concrete issues. Their
8 troops on our territory - about 50.000 for whom money is being printed.
9 According to our plan, we should transfer 20.000 men to the police. Are
10 you prepared to provide for these 20.000 men; are you prepared for Adzic
11 and Kadijevic not to order them to pull out the tanks, because we won't
12 give them; nobody needs to convince us of that."
13 And your answer is: "These are all concrete issues; it is cheaper
14 to both Serbia and Montenegro to do this than to finance a war."
15 And Martic: "Are you prepared to leave me a number of officers
16 that we are requesting, who want to lead these units as police units. We
17 need to specify all these details and stand behind it. This is what I am
18 interested in."
19 And your answer is: "I completely agree, these are the issues
20 about which we have to sit down and talk. Those who are responsible for
21 the portfolios should talk with the relevant portfolio minister, and this
22 ought to have an appropriate form instead of us having reservations again
23 each other."
24 Mr. Kostic, these concrete arrangements for the payment of these
25 20.000 police people and what else Mr. Martic needed, these arrangements
1 were made, were they not?
2 A. I can't say that. The possibility is left open for an agreement
3 of this. I really cannot tell you what was implemented and to what
4 extent, referring to what was discussed here. It wasn't only about 20.000
5 policemen. It was also about how various services could function, such as
6 the post office, the telephone communications, the public auditing
7 service, and so on and so forth. The -- bringing in the peace forces of
8 the UN implied that as far as the political situation went, nothing would
9 change in the area. Those people on that territory had to abide by the
10 laws --
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
12 A. -- throughout this time.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry. Sorry. You'll need to help me on this one.
14 You're in charge of the army at this point, and you don't know if this is
15 what actually happened. I find that strange. Perhaps you could clarify
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were discussing the adoption of
18 the Vance Plan here. As regards to specific issues referring not only to
19 the army but to the entire economy, we agreed that this should all be
20 regulated --
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Please don't divert attention from the issue. The
22 issue's the army. That's what the question's about. It's not about
23 anything else. It's not about anything else. And the question's very
24 specific. It's described by you as a concrete issue. And the question is
25 about transferring 20.000 men to the police, and were you prepared for
1 Adzic and Kadijevic not to order and to pull out the tanks, because "we
2 won't give them," and you say that would be cheaper for Serbia and
3 Montenegro as an option. You're in charge of the army. Are you saying
4 you don't know whether that actually happened or not?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, what we were discussing
6 here, we said that these issues would be solved by the relevant
7 ministries. So what was mentioned regarding the army had to be resolved
8 with the Ministry of Defence. Whether 20.000 men were left there or not,
9 I don't know, but as regards tanks and artillery, I can tell you that we
10 didn't manage to pull out a single piece of weaponry from the Muslim
11 territories in Bosnia or from the Croatian territories simply because it
12 was the people, the Muslim and the Croat people respectively that stood in
13 front of those weapons and we couldn't run over the people. That's my
14 response to you.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes, but the anxiety for me, Mr. Kostic, is if you
16 don't know the answer to this sort of question, I have to ask myself
17 whether, when you do give detailed answers about the behaviour of the
18 army, you're actually speaking from genuine knowledge or not, because this
19 seems quite an important matter and one on which I would have thought the
20 member of the Presidency with responsibility for the army would have
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And what can I tell you now,
23 Mr. Bonomy? You can doubt the truthfulness of my testimony, that's all.
24 After 15 years -- maybe if I had time I could find out.
25 JUDGE BONOMY: No --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And learn how many policemen were
2 left in Krajina, how many were funded, but I can't answer that question
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Perhaps the question could be put a different way:
5 Did you know at the time, and have you now forgotten? Is that what you're
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had I known then and forgotten in
8 the meantime, well, I'd probably still know it today had I known then.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, what's the point in pointing out to me
10 that it's 15 years ago? I'm not following this reaction to this line of
11 questioning. But anyway, let's let the Prosecutor continue.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
13 Q. Mr. Kostic --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I cannot remember that right
15 now. I can't answer that question, quite simply.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Please continue, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
18 Q. Are you aware that after -- after the Vance Plan was actually --
19 after the Vance Plan was agreed upon, that afterwards the -- there was a
20 strong cooperation between the JNA and the later army of the RSK? Are you
21 aware of the strong cooperation financially, in staffing and the like?
22 A. I really don't know what you're referring to now. I only know
23 that when the peace forces of the UN arrived, we withdrew the JNA
24 completely from the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would like to tender this --
2 this document. Mr. Milosevic didn't, but I would like to tender it as a
3 Prosecution exhibit.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
6 Q. Yes. Mr. Kostic, in relation to the Vance Plan and violations of
7 the Vance Plan, Mr. Milosevic asked you about violations of the Vance
8 Plan, and you said actually that exclusively the paramilitary formations
9 of Croatia violated the agreement, and I would like to put to you now a
10 report of the Security Council on that situation of the 27th of July,
11 1992, and it's Defence Exhibit -- it's D94, Your Honour.
12 A. Madam, don't try. On the 15th I withdrew from political life and
13 from the government, and you're saying this was on the 27th of July, 1992.
14 I won't be able to answer your question.
15 Q. This report relates to actually the period passing -- that passed
16 since the establishment of the Vance Plan. It's not something that
17 happens on the 27th of July, Mr. Kostic, but it's a report about the time
18 period that has passed since February 1992. Therefore, I think you will
19 be able to answer my questions. But let me put this to you and -- first
20 of all --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I have this report?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let it be passed to the accused.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It is Defence Exhibit D94, and of course we
1 have a copy for you -- for Mr. Milosevic.
2 Q. And I quote first from paragraph 5 here, point 5. It says here:
3 "Prior to the UNPROFOR's assumption of responsibility in the UNPAs, it
4 had become apparent that the JNA was transferring many of its heavy
5 weapons to local Territorial Defence units and paramilitary militias
6 established in these areas. The Force Commander has informed me that all
7 TO units in Sectors East and West have handed over their heavy weapons and
8 that these weapons, which include tanks, artillery, mortars, and
9 anti-aircraft weapons systems, have been stored ..." and so on and so
11 Mr. Kostic, what the UNPROFOR commanders found out is exactly what
12 you were talking about with the Croatian Serbs that we just talked about;
14 A. What you read at the end is what I keep saying. The JNA complied
15 with the Vance Plan completely. All heavy weapons were stored in depots.
16 You can see that for yourselves now.
17 Q. Mr. Kostic, I've just read to you the opposite. The commander of
18 the UNPROFOR found out that before they came, JNA transferred heavy
19 weapons to the TO. That's just what we --
20 JUDGE BONOMY: And paramilitary militias, according to this.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Yes.
22 Q. They found out, although they didn't have a list, obviously. They
23 found out.
24 A. Do you have anywhere in these UN reports that this was misused, or
25 were these weapons stored quite properly?
1 Q. You don't -- so you -- I understand you don't want to answer my
2 question. It's a very simple question. I read to you what the UNPROFOR
3 commanders found out, and that's what really happened; right? Before they
4 came, weapons were transferred from the JNA to the TO so that they could
5 stay in the region.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's your answer to that?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to give you a
8 specific answer. I don't exclude the possibility, because we had a lot of
9 problems trying to convince the people there to accept the Blue Helmets.
10 All the weapons left for them were left for their protection and for their
11 security. I was not informed of any complaints that these weapons which
12 were stored there were misused by members of the Territorial Defence or
13 the police on the territory of Serbian Krajina. The depots were opened
14 only when the paramilitary formations of Croatia attempted to penetrate
15 into these protected areas again.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
17 Q. I move on to paragraph 7. In paragraph 7 of this same report it
18 says the following: "However, the process of demobilisation of the TO
19 forces in the sectors has been complicated by the parallel emergence of
20 strengthened police and militia organisations. These groups, designed as
21 'Special police,' 'Border police' and so on are equipped with automatic
22 rifles and, in some cases, with machine-guns, in violation of the
23 provisions of the plan which require that the police be equipped only with
24 sidearms. In many cases these groups have taken over from the JNA or the
25 Serb Territorial Defence force's responsibility for manning the front
1 lines; they will have to be withdrawn and disbanded. These matters have
2 been repeatedly taken up with the local authorities, but so far without
3 satisfactory results."
4 Mr. Kostic, what the UN is complaining about is that the Serb side
5 violated the Vance Plan. That's correct, is it not?
6 A. I can tell you that what you are reading out, some parallel units
7 taking over something from the JNA means that the JNA was no longer there.
8 If it's correct that the JNA was no longer there, then our responsibility
9 in those territories no longer existed. Those were territories where
10 there was neither Yugoslav authority nor Croatian authority. The areas
11 were under the control of the United Nations. If such things did occur,
12 it was up to the UN to intervene. We were no longer competent. We were
13 no longer responsible.
14 Q. Mr. Kostic, when you talked with Mr. Milosevic, you said that only
15 the Croats violated the Vance Plan agreement, and I'm putting to you now
16 complaints by the UN that the Serb side violated the agreement, and do I
17 have to understand you didn't know that?
18 A. Madam, you should not assume. I'm telling you you're reading a UN
19 report of the 27th of July when I had already completely withdrawn from
20 political life. This is the first time I've heard this report. On the
21 15th of June, I handed over the duty of president to Dobrica Cosic,
22 president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and I retired.
23 Q. I'll stop you. I read now paragraph 14 of that report, only part
24 of it about expulsion, coercion, and intimidation, and this is what is in
25 the report: "In earlier cases, especially before an UNPROFOR assumption
1 of responsibility, these expulsions were carried out in a blatant manner."
2 It's hard to read. "Families were, under physical threat, gathered from
3 their houses in buses and trucks and transported to areas outside the
4 UNPAs. This had been most evident in Sector East. Since assuming its
5 responsibilities, UNPROFOR has been able, as a result of intense
6 patrolling and control of checkpoints, to put a stop to mass expulsions.
7 Individual cases of intimidation resulting in the forced departure of
8 persons from their homes have, however, continued to occur ..."
9 Mr. Kostic, they are speaking here from a time period in which
10 UNPROFOR wasn't there yet and you were still in the Presidency. What do
11 you say to this, the mass expulsion of non-Serbs?
12 A. I've already told you, madam. As regards mass expulsion, I can
13 assert with certainty that the JNA, that we were responsible for, expelled
14 no one. There was an inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflict there.
15 Wherever there are such conflicts, the population of both ethnicities and
16 religious affiliations flees and goes to places where they will feel
17 physically more secure.
18 You're saying that even after UNPROFOR took over there were
19 individual threats and so on. But even if this was the case and even if
20 it had been the case before UNPROFOR arrived, could I have been informed
21 of everything that happened on that territory between those people who
22 were waging a civil war? That's why I'm asking you, when will you start
23 indicting Mr. Blair for all the murders and rapes that happened in London
24 last night?
25 Q. I would like to move on now to an entirely different issue, and
1 it's just one question that I have to you in relation to the retiring --
2 retiring of officers. And we have heard a great deal about this, and I
3 don't want to go into any details. I just want to refer to your book,
4 actually, your book "1991, Not To Be Forgotten." This is Defence Exhibit
5 D333, tab 72. And I would like to have this provided to everyone. It's
6 page 108 in your book, and we have a translation.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, when are you proposing to
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In the next session, Your Honour. Sometime
10 in the next session. I have actually only two more complex items.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: As much as I do not like the time counting, you
12 are beyond the two-thirds limit.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, he is very -- and at this point
14 I agree with Mr. Milosevic: Mr. Kostic is a very important witness in
15 this case. He's actually the one who was at the head of the state at that
16 time, and therefore I would like to cover a few more aspects, and it would
17 -- I assume that there will be some redirect, and I assume that this will
18 -- by the end of that, it will be the two-thirds.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, but be as brief as possible in the
20 next session.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
22 Q. In relation to the retiring of officers, I would like to refer you
23 to your book, and it says here on page 108 --
24 A. Will you tell me the page number again, please.
25 Q. 108. 108, and it's actually marked also in the document provided
1 to you by the usher. I don't want to read the whole conversation, what
2 you have mentioned here, but the only thing I would like to quote is you
3 say here: "That same evening, a little while after Adzic's telephone
4 call, Slobodan Milosevic called me. He was angry. He specifically
5 criticised me because General Marko Negovanovic's name was included in the
6 list of retired generals," and then in brackets there is the sentence:
7 "Slobodan Milosevic and Momir Bulatovic did not have insight into the
8 whole list." And my question is what do you mean by saying they "did not
9 have insight into the whole list"? What does that refer to?
10 A. This means that several months previously, the Federal Secretariat
11 for National Defence had provided us with a complete list of all the
12 generals of the JNA, classified into several groups. Two groups were of
13 special interest and the reason we asked for the list was that we wanted
14 to know which were the generals which, pursuant to the law, either because
15 their years of service or because of their age, fulfilled the conditions
16 for retirement.
17 As I've already said, we had a huge number of generals. It was
18 too big even for the old Yugoslavia, the entire Yugoslavia. Now that
19 Yugoslavia was reduced in size by half, the number of generals was far too
20 large and had to be reduced.
21 Q. We do not need to have it all repeated. I only asked you was
22 there a list that Mr. Milosevic should have had but didn't have? This is
23 how I would read your remark, "insight into the whole list."
24 A. The Presidency had the list. Neither Mr. Milosevic nor
25 Mr. Bulatovic had it. It was the Presidency that had the list. This was
1 taking place when Mr. Jovic was going to China. We consulted everyone we
2 had to consult. We were not doing anything simply on our own initiative,
3 although Mr. Jovic said that this was impudence on my part. I never asked
4 him why he described it in this way, nor will I, but I have explained why
5 Mr. Milosevic should have known about Mr. Marko Negovanovic. Mr. Marko
6 Negovanovic was not pensioned off as the Serbian minister of defence but
7 only as a general.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we're going to take the break
9 for 20 minutes. We are adjourned.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Perhaps could that be admitted?
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Yes.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. I would like to have now a bit from Mr. Kostic's book put in front
17 of him, and the page is 47 and 48. It's Defence Exhibit 333, tab 72.
18 Mr. Kostic, you have already addressed the Belgrade Initiative
19 with Mr. Milosevic, and I do not want to go into any details of that.
20 Only one question, and that relates to the page 47 in your book, and the
21 chapter is marked.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it's on the first page of the
23 translation that you should have in front of you.
24 Q. You say here: "This is because Momir Bulatovic and Slobodan
25 Milosevic were the co-authors of the so-called Belgrade Initiative."
1 Is that so? Were they the co-authors of the Belgrade Initiative?
2 Just a yes or no answer.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And a little bit further down on that same page in your book, you
5 say the following: "Therefore, I expressed my opinion that despite
6 all --"
7 A. I'm not receiving the interpretation. No interpretation.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's try again.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
10 Q. In your book, a little bit further down, just a few lines further
11 down, it says --
12 A. It's all right now.
13 Q. -- "Therefore, I expressed my opinion that despite all, Momir
14 Bulatovic should be kept on because I feared that with his dismissal the
15 conflict might spread into Montenegro."
16 Mr. Kostic, does that mean at that time when Mr. Bulatovic had
17 actually agreed to the Carrington Plan and also had made an attempt to
18 withdraw Montenegrin soldiers from the front line, that Mr. Milosevic,
19 Jovic, and you discussed his dismissal?
20 A. We didn't discuss his dismissal at all. What it was about was
21 that I, as representative of Montenegro and vice-president of the Yugoslav
22 state Presidency, assumed one position and Mr. Momir Bulatovic, as
23 president of Montenegro, quite another position at The Hague conference.
24 And knowing the mood prevailing in Montenegro, that the population was
25 even then fiercely divided in two different polls over those options, I
1 knew that there would be a great deal of reaction amongst the population.
2 And in that sense, I told Jovic and Mr. Milosevic -- we travelled
3 together, we sat together and talked -- I expressed the view that
4 everything should be done to keep Momir Bulatovic, that is to say not to
5 open a new conflict between me and him in Montenegro because we had a lot
6 of difficulties to deal with of a difficult nature.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, just one thing in relation to
8 the Belgrade Initiative. Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Kostic had discussed it
9 alongside the Defence Exhibit D333, tab 84, and it was then not admitted
10 because Judge -- His Honour Judge Kwon pointed out that the Belgrade
11 Initiative document was already admitted under another exhibit number,
12 namely 338, tab 9. However, 338, tab 9, was only a basic proposal with a
13 few points, and the provisions discussed between Mr. Kostic and
14 Mr. Milosevic are actually quite complex, and they are not yet in
15 evidence. So --
16 JUDGE KWON: I think I mentioned another tab number, didn't I?
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Then my --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff --
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Then my information is incorrect.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I was informed that tab 84 was not yet --
23 this document was not yet admitted. Okay. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You're a brave person, anyhow, to take on Judge
25 Kwon on the matter.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Sorry. I don't know how this comes about.
2 We have already in evidence, and I would like to put this to Mr. Kostic,
3 the article, Epoha article dealing with the convention on the new
4 Yugoslavia, and it's Exhibit 808. And could that be put to Mr. Kostic.
5 Q. It's the convention on new Yugoslavia held in the SFRY parliament
6 on the 3rd of January, 1992. And, Mr. Kostic, was that an initiative by
7 the SFRY Presidency, this convention?
8 A. No. In the text here that is before us, it says that the
9 initiative for holding the convention on a third Yugoslavia came from
10 several political parties from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the initiative
11 board made up of, I think, nine political parties of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 came to the Yugoslav state Presidency. We agreed to hold a meeting. They
13 came, and we in the Presidency accepted being the sponsors of the meeting.
14 So it was the -- under the auspices of the SFRY Presidency that that
15 convention was held.
16 Q. And on page 4 of the English translation, there is a reference
17 to: "The process of building a new Yugoslavia will definitely depend on
18 the will of the nation, citizens, and republics that want to join it."
19 And it says -- it lists here those who want to join. "So far, Serbia and
20 Montenegro, Republic of Serbian Krajina, and Serbian Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that includes autonomous regions -" they're listed
22 then here - "have declared one way or another that they want to stay in
23 the new federal state."
24 The representatives of these entities, they were all present;
1 A. Yes, but mostly they were from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The vast
2 majority, in fact, was from Bosnia-Herzegovina. But there were
3 representatives of political parties, associations, movements from other
4 parts of Yugoslavia as well who had expressed the desire to stay within
5 Yugoslavia. And in tab 72 in my book, you will find a comprehensive list
6 of all the participants in the convention, and there were 109 of them.
7 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Kostic. And on page 5 of the English
8 translation there, it says in the middle of this page: "Pursuant to the
9 convention on new Yugoslavia, the SFRY Assembly has to bring decisions
10 that will enable overall solution of the Yugoslav political crisis,
11 including decisions on conditions and procedure for realisation of the
12 right of a nation to self-determination and decisions on criteria and
13 principles that would be a base for a just, territorial, and material
14 separation between new Yugoslavia and the parts of the former SFRY where
15 the peoples want to create independent and sovereign states outside of
17 Mr. Kostic, does that mean territorial separation and drawing new
18 borders between those new independent states and the new Yugoslavia?
19 A. Well, you would have to ask the authors of this Declaration, of
20 this Declaration on the New Yugoslavia, the third Yugoslavia that was
21 adopted at that meeting. There were representatives from all over. And
22 at the convention, we also discussed the protectorate, UN protectorate of
23 the Serbian Krajinas in Croatia and to seek solutions for the position of
24 that nation over there.
25 Now, as far as Yugoslavia was concerned, and this is the 3rd of
1 January, those of us who really did strive to preserve Yugoslavia from the
2 very first day, even in a reduced form, that is to say without Slovenia
3 and Croatia, at the time we still believed, and I particularly believed,
4 that we would succeed in keeping Bosnia within the frameworks of the
5 reduced Yugoslavia. And all our thoughts went along those lines. We
6 didn't expect the Muslims in Bosnia to turn against the Serbs and that a
7 civil war should break out there, although that was always a concern.
8 Q. When you now say that you were still considering Bosnia to be part
9 of this, I would like to put the map that was actually related to the
10 convention of the new Yugoslavia on the ELMO.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honours, you have it also. It's
12 part of this Epoha article, but it's in black and white. Yes. I would
13 like you to have the coloured version of this map. And it's -- but I have
14 to tell you that it's only in B/C/S here. The coloured version, we have
15 the B/C/S names of all the territories.
16 Q. But I think we do not need to concern ourself with that,
17 Mr. Kostic. This map attached to the new Yugoslavia, the convention of
18 Yugoslavia of the 3rd of January, that's not including the entire Bosnia.
19 It's actually including the Serb territories only; correct?
20 A. Well, I have to say first of all that this is the first time that
21 I see this map. I didn't see this map at the Convention on Yugoslavia.
22 And here what I can notice is that in the explanations given, it wasn't a
23 map of the new Yugoslavia but what it says here is that they were the
24 regions whose population had already declared themselves in favour of
25 staying in Yugoslavia. That's what it says in the map as well. The map
1 whose population has already declared itself willing to remain within
3 As far as I remember, the Muslims and Croats later on, after the
4 convention on the new Yugoslavia, organised a referendum, and it was at
5 the referendum that they came out contrary to the constitution and
6 contrary to the law, that they wanted a sovereign state, that is to say
7 without the participation of the Serb people and without the participation
8 of deputies in the Serbian Assembly and members of the Presidency of
10 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would like to --
11 A. As you can see here, Macedonia, too, is in the shaded area. So it
12 was still not the option to remain within Yugoslavia. All we have here is
13 the territories whose population said they wanted to remain within
15 Q. Yes. Thank you. Mr. --
16 A. However, the fact is that this wasn't a component part of the
17 convention, this map.
18 Q. Thank you. I would like to put to you now a map, and it's another
19 map. It's Exhibit 809A. It's a coloured map. And just very briefly,
20 Mr. Kostic, it's a coloured map indicating the Serb-held territories in
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina in December 1992. And just have a look at it. And
22 would you agree that those little blue dots along the -- this blue -- this
23 blue separate sections along the border with Serbia, Srebrenica, Zepa, and
24 Gorazde, where the Muslims were in the majority, and would you agree to
25 this? Can you read that map this way?
1 A. First of all, I see this map for the first time, just like the one
2 you showed us the previous time. You say the 30th of December, 1992. I
3 don't know. From the aspects of how far I am acquainted with the relief
4 and the map of the former Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, I can only
5 assume that the blue areas near the border with Serbia are areas --
6 represent areas which might be Gorazde, Zepa, and Srebrenica. That is
7 possible. That's where they should be, somewhere in that area.
8 Q. Yes. And in the middle of the actually Serb-controlled areas,
9 more to the Croatian border, there is also a dark blue Muslim area
10 indicated. That's Bihac; right?
11 A. I don't think that is Bihac, but let me state again this is the
12 first time that I see this map, and dating back to those times I really
13 can't tell you anything. I can't be of assistance here. But once again,
14 from the aspects of the geography of the former Yugoslavia, I would say
15 that that area was the Muslim part where Mr. Fikret Abdic was and where he
16 had formed his autonomous Muslim region. But I don't think that is the
17 area of Bihac. I think it is more to the north-west of Bihac.
18 Q. And we see something --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff is asking the
21 witness about things that she has not established in the first place. She
22 hasn't said what they are. He said that it wasn't a document that was
23 used at the convention in Yugoslavia, and it was indeed not. If it is a
24 map taken from some newspaper, then I'm wondering what sense there is in
25 asking the witness that, because different newspapers wrote different
1 things, all sorts of things. So what is the sense of asking the witness
2 about a map that was drawn perhaps by some newspaper? Or she can tell us
3 what the document is. Whose document it is, the provenance the document,
4 and then go ahead and ask the witness about it.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, are you still on the map?
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I'm not on the map from the newspaper,
7 actually. I have said that this is a map used as Exhibit 89 -- 809, and
8 it is actually, as it says here, it's from the UNPROFOR map. It says
9 here: "Source: Front lines in Bosnia and Herzegovina are from an
10 UNPROFOR map and shows status as of 30 December 1992."
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. And what is your next question?
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
13 Q. My next question was related to that small corridor that is here
14 between the areas along the Drina and the other Serb areas, and my
15 question to you was: When these areas were actually inhabited by mostly
16 Muslims, and in relation to the corridor, mostly Muslims and Croats, why
17 did the Serbs try to get it? Why was all this fighting about in the years
18 from 1992 to 1995? Can you help us with that?
19 A. Well, I could give you my opinion in answer to your question in
20 the extent in which an average citizen slightly better informed about it
21 or in view of the positions I held could tell you, but I don't know
22 whether there's any sense of giving you my opinion here in view of the
23 fact that --
24 Q. I just want to -- wanted to know from you if you can help us with
25 this in relation to your -- you were in a position -- you were in a very
1 important position until mid of 1992, and the question is: Do you -- can
2 you give us any facts that could actually answer this question that I was
3 addressing: Why did the Serbs try to capture these areas where the
4 Muslims and the Croats were in the majority? That was my question. Do
5 you know? Can you help us with facts in relation to that?
6 A. Well, madam, you yourself said that it was the period from 1992 to
7 1995, and in June 1992 I'd already left all my positions and posts, and I
8 can just tell you what I said in the examination-in-chief: That the
9 overall civil war, which was a very bloody civil war in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was waged between all three ethnic groups, was a
11 war for territory between all those three nations.
12 Q. Mr. Jovic -- Mr. Kostic, sorry. I was looking at the book of
13 Mr. Jovic. Sorry.
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: First of all, Your Honour, I forgot - and
15 that's a reminder from Ms. Dicklich - I forgot to ask you to admit the
16 Kostic book, pages 47 to 48 that were previously discussed.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you. And could the witness
19 please be given from Exhibit 596, tab 2, the Jovic book on "The End of the
20 SFRY," the entry of the 30th of April, 1992.
21 Q. Mr. Kostic, it's from the book, and it refers to a meeting, a
22 conversation with the Serb leadership from Bosnia and Herzegovina on the
23 30th of April, 1992, and according to Mr. Jovic's note, you were also
24 present as was Mr. Milosevic. And it says here in this entry, which is a
25 short one: "It is being demanded that we withdraw the JNA from Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. Slobodan and I both expected and predicted this."
2 And a little bit further down, it says: "The problem is that
3 Branko Kostic recently stated recklessly that he, as vice-president of the
4 SFRY Presidency, would never sign an order on withdrawing the JNA --"
5 JUDGE KWON: We're not following.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's in this entry of 30 April 1992, and it's
7 in the third paragraph or, rather, on page 400; and the translation it's
8 the second paragraph. The paragraph starts: "With the withdrawal of the
9 10 to 15 per cent ..." but I had skipped that and just moved on to the
10 next sentence.
11 Q. "The problem is that Branko Kostic ..."
12 "The problem is that Branko Kostic recently stated recklessly that
13 he, as vice-president of the SFRY Presidency, will never sign an order on
14 withdrawing the JNA from Bosnia-Herzegovina, and also that Milan Panic
15 stated that the military will not be withdrawn from Bosnia-Herzegovina for
16 five to seven years ..."
17 Mr. Kostic, do you recall this meeting with the Bosnian Serbs
18 attending where you were basically --
19 A. I do remember that, yes. I remember that. But what you've just
20 quoted from Mr. Jovic's book, I have to say that that is once again
21 something that Mr. Jovic has fabricated. It seems that he was following
22 what my political opponents in Montenegro were saying and what they were
23 criticising me for rather than what we were discussing.
24 My exact words, which are quoted here erroneously, was that never
25 as vice-president of Yugoslav state Presidency would I sign the withdrawal
1 of the Yugoslav People's Army from Bosnia-Herzegovina until the leadership
2 of all three ethnic groups agreed to that. So that is the comprehensive
3 statement that I made.
4 My political components made use of the first part of that
5 statement and omitted the second part of that statement, just like
6 Mr. Jovic omitted the second part of the statement. In my book I go on to
7 explain this, and I say that the Muslim and Croatian leaderships in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina had already ceased sending young men to the JNA. They
9 had set up their own paramilitary units, and the leadership of the Serbian
10 people in Bosnia accused us of --
11 Q. Let me interrupt you. I was actually --
12 A. May I just complete my thought, with your permission?
13 Q. I would like only to discuss this meeting with you, and you have
14 already explained that Mr. Jovic has not cited you fully, and we can leave
15 it at that. But the meeting, you remember it, I understand from your
16 answer. And Mr. Jovic wrote about this meeting, and it's further -- a few
17 lines down, the next paragraph, Your Honours. He says: "Independently of
18 Kostic's and Panic's statements, we discussed the need to withdraw the
19 remainder of soldiers who are FRY citizens from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Even
20 without them, there remain around 90.000 JNA soldiers in that republic,
21 mostly of Serb nationality, over whom the Serb leadership from
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina can resume political command."
23 And then it says: "Karadzic agrees. Krajisnik raises a series of
24 questions: How will that military be financed, who will pay its wages,
25 who will provide its pensions -" and so on and so forth - "all of which
1 are indeed problems, but are not critical to our discussion."
2 Do you recall this being discussed and these questions that
3 Mr. Krajisnik raised?
4 A. Well, I really don't remember what it was that Mr. Krajisnik
5 actually said, but I do remember the meeting very well. And as you can
6 see, it was a meeting of the 30th of April when the Security Council had
7 already recognised Bosnia-Herzegovina. So this meeting was on the 30th of
8 April when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had already been
9 constituted. And we then met with the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs
10 because previously it had accused us of keeping back or retaining a large
11 number of Serb representatives in the JNA and said that they were weakened
12 by this because, as opposed to the Muslim and Croatian paramilitaries in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the JNA was rather restrained. And so it was quite
14 natural that --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. I believe the Prosecutor was
16 interested in whether you remembered any questions about the financing and
17 who will pay the wages of the soldiers, who will provide pensions and so
18 on. Do you have any recollection of that kind of discussion?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't recollect that part
20 of the discussion, but I do remember very well what we agreed on at the
21 time and what we actually did and undertook, and that was to finally
22 withdraw the JNA from Bosnia and Herzegovina, although four days
23 previously Mr. Adzic and I had had a meeting with Mr. Alija Izetbegovic in
24 Skopje. At that meeting, he told us that the army could stay for five
25 years, if need be.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
3 Q. Yes. Mr. Kostic, I would like to put part of your book to you in
4 relation to the JNA withdrawal from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Everyone
5 should get the English translation. And I would actually only like to
6 quote the footnote 85 to pages -- to these pages that you have in front of
7 you, and the footnote is as follows: "At that moment, the Decision of the
8 Presidency of SFRY ... was fully completed in regard to the withdrawal of
9 the units of the JNA from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 "When in December 1991, immediately after Vatican, also Germany,
11 recognised without waiting 15 January 1992 as the date agreed in the
12 European Community, it was clear to us that Germany would do everything to
13 get recognition of independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In such
14 anticipated situation, the JNA in Bosnia and Herzegovina would be treated
15 by the international community as an aggressor army on the territory of a
16 foreign state.
17 "That is why, in February 1992, the Supreme Command ordered the
18 General Staff to redeploy military conscripts serving with the Yugoslav
19 People's Army in the shortest possible period by bringing all the military
20 conscripts from the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina who were serving
21 in the Yugoslav People's Army in the territories of Serbia, Macedonia, and
22 Montenegro back to their home republics. We did not have any legal basis
23 to force JNA officers and non-commissioned officers originally from Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina ... However, we left
25 the possibility open of allowing all these military officers who
1 volunteered to be deployed in the JNA in the territory of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina to do it. This measure was implemented swiftly. Therefore,
3 in April 1992, when the Presidency took the Decision on the JNA withdrawal
4 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, it only had to withdraw, from Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, 15 per cent of the total number of troops ..." and so forth.
6 This was how it was; is that right? This is what you wrote here.
7 A. That's correct, yes.
8 Q. And do you know and were you involved in solving the matters that
9 Mr. Krajisnik raised, that is the payment of the JNA officers that
10 remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Do you know that they were paid,
11 continued to be paid through the JNA?
12 A. I assume that this was regulated with the responsible Secretariat
13 for National Defence and that the JNA was duty-bound to pay pensions to
14 its employees who had done their years of service in the JNA. However,
15 the interview you are quoting from is an interview from May 1992. At this
16 meeting that you mentioned on the 13th of April, Mr. Krajisnik raised this
17 issue. I can only assume what happened, but I'm really not informed. I
18 assume that this was regulated with the Federal Secretariat for National
19 Defence, which was responsible for this.
20 Q. Do you know about a 30th Personnel Centre in relation to the
21 payment of the officers that remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
22 A. I'm hearing this for the first time. I don't really know anything
23 about this.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would like to have this
25 footnote admitted as part of this tab 72.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
3 Q. Mr. Kostic, you have discussed crime bases with Mr. Milosevic
4 during the examination-in-chief, and you basically more or less said that
5 you wouldn't know those kind of things. However, you, in a position as
6 the member of the Presidency, you received information from the JNA, did
7 you not, about what was going on in the territories?
8 A. We did receive information. I think the staff of the Supreme
9 Command or the General Staff of the JNA frequently issued public
10 communiques, mentioning the number of men killed, the number of truces
11 broken, and so on and so forth. But these communiques had to do with the
12 involvement and the activities of the paramilitary formations of Croatia
13 and the activities of the JNA.
14 Q. Mr. Kostic, you said actually in the examination-in-chief - and
15 that is at transcript page 48054 to 56 - you actually said that you had
16 regular briefings by the JNA and you toured the war zones and thus knew
17 about all the activities of the JNA. Is that -- do you stand by that?
18 A. If you say that's what I said verbatim, it's possible. I may have
19 been incautious, but I don't think I said we knew everything. But it's
20 true that we did receive information and that we did tour the areas. I
21 don't think I was so incautious as to say that. If I was, I have to
22 correct myself. Of course I wasn't able to know everything.
23 Q. I actually had quoted you as you said it. In relation to the
24 crimes of which you say you didn't know about it, I just wanted to refer
25 you to some documents that definitely must have reached you, because
1 they're basically addressed to you or the Presidency.
2 And first of all I refer here to Exhibit 330, tab 68. And it's a
3 strong protest by the government of the Republic of Croatia to, inter
4 alia, the Presidency of the SFRY, of the 25th of July, 1991. And in this
5 document, they complain about an event on the 25th of July, 1991, in which
6 members of the JNA opened artillery and tank fire on the villages of Erdut
7 and Bogojevci in the Republic of Croatia. What did you do about it,
8 Mr. Kostic, when you received this?
9 A. I have to say that at that time in that one-year period, there
10 were quite a few protests by the government of the Republic of Croatia and
11 that we had different information respecting many of these from the staff
12 of the General Command. I really don't remember this specific case, but
13 if I were to go through the documents carefully, I might remember.
14 However, at present I can't say anything specific about it.
15 I see that they are mentioning Erdut and Bogojevci. If I'm not
16 mistaken - I don't know if this is the period of the Ohrid Declaration -
17 it might be that this is when we were in Ohrid, but I can't be sure. I do
18 know that there was a lot of provocation, ways and means of a sort for
19 Mr. President Tudjman to walk out of the Ohrid meeting so that we had the
20 Ohrid Declaration practically without him. But I can't tell you more
21 about this without going through the documents in greater detail.
22 Q. But it's a fact that you -- that Mr. Mesic and the Croats, in
23 writing and also during Presidency session, would talk about what they
24 call attacks by the JNA and by those local forces. That's -- so you had
25 some information to this effect, didn't you?
1 A. Madam, Mr. Mesic publicly attacked his own army, the one of which
2 he was the Commander-in-Chief, saying that they were using --
3 Q. Mr. Kostic --
4 A. -- toxic materials and poisons.
5 Q. Mr. Kostic, it was a simple question. I just asked you, you got
6 this information from Mr. Mesic and through letters from the Croatian
7 government, and you -- do I have to understand your answer to mean you
8 didn't deal with it because you didn't believe it, or what position did
9 you take?
10 A. A large proportion of this information was incorrect, madam. When
11 we received information, we usually tasked a working group. Usually it
12 was Mr. Vasil Tupurkovski and Bogic Bogicevic who were tasked with
13 investigating. And a large proportion of this information was incorrect.
14 I can't tell you anything specific about this particular instance without
15 going through all the documents and seeing what this is actually all
16 about. I would even have to look at these reports drawn up by these
17 working groups tasked to investigate whether a crime had or had not been
18 committed somewhere. You can't expect me to know about each specific
19 instance now, 15 years after these events.
20 Q. Mr. Kostic, we also have here, and that's at tab -- Exhibit 359,
21 tab 3, that is a letter of Helsinki Watch of the 21st of January, 1992.
22 It's a letter to Mr. Milosevic and General Adzic in which they list
23 various crimes that had been committed in these conflict areas in Croatia,
24 and my question to you is, as it goes to General Adzic, did -- do you know
25 this letter?
1 A. Have you got a copy in Serbian?
2 Q. It's actually an English -- it's a letter written by Helsinki
3 Watch, and it's in English. It's from the committee in New York. So do
4 you know the letter?
5 A. No. But as for the Helsinki Watch, I can say throughout the time
6 I was holding government posts they had already decided in advance who
7 were the good guys and who were the bad guys in the Yugoslav crisis.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I have a copy of the letter,
9 Mr. Robinson?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, you may.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
12 Q. But I didn't intend to go now into details. As you said, you do
13 not know this letter, and even if you had got it, you wouldn't really
14 believe it to be correct. Is that what you say, Mr. Kostic?
15 A. Please don't interpret my ideas in your own way. All I said was
16 that at the time while I was holding government posts in Belgrade for a
17 year, the Helsinki Watch was prominent among those who had already decided
18 in advance who were going to be the good guys and who the bad guys in the
19 Yugoslav war. However, I'm not familiar with the content of this letter,
20 so I can't talk about it in advance.
21 Q. Mr. Kostic, now another letter, and that's tab -- Exhibit 643.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, this exhibit that I now will put
23 to him, it's a letter from UNESCO to Mr. Kostic, and it was addressed in
24 Exhibit 643, tab 1. That's the report of Mr. Theunens, but this document
25 was not admitted -- it was not tendered separately with the report. And I
1 would like to have Mr. Kostic look at it.
2 Q. Mr. Kostic, it's a letter of the 25th October 1991. It's about
3 concerns that UNESCO has in relation to old city -- inter alia, the Old
4 City of Dubrovnik. Do you -- did you receive this letter?
5 A. At present I don't remember receiving this letter, but as it's
6 addressed to me and in view of its contents and in view of our involvement
7 at the time in October in securing and protecting Dubrovnik and other
8 national and cultural heritage sites, I assume that it did reach me, but I
9 don't really remember this particular letter. I do know, however, that at
10 the time we were paying a lot of attention to protecting cultural
11 monuments and the national heritage, especially with respect to Dubrovnik.
12 Q. What did you do? This is just a very general remark. What did
13 you instruct the JNA in relation to -- to do in relation to Dubrovnik?
14 A. Well, you can see that in the documentation. On more than one
15 occasion, as the Presidency, we drew the fact that the cultural heritage
16 had to be protected. I even visited the Dubrovnik. To be sure, I
17 couldn't visit the Old Town at the time, but I did visit in mid-October,
18 even before the arrival of this letter, and I also know that the staff of
19 the Supreme Command issued warnings to lower-ranking commands and units,
20 saying that the Old Town in Dubrovnik had to be preserved and not
21 destroyed. I think the Old Town was preserved.
22 As for damage in Dubrovnik, which wasn't very serious, it occurred
23 on those buildings which were used as firing points threatening the JNA.
24 Dubrovnik was used by the media.
25 Q. Mr. Kostic --
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I --
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I ask you the source of your information that
4 there were firing points within the Old Town?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had occasion to see some footage
6 about the destruction in the Old Town and reports from the diplomatic
7 corps which toured the Old Town. I was also able to see some original
8 film footage of an archival nature. This was original footage from --
9 from the territory where the JNA units were. A journalist was asking a
10 private, who was in a trench, why they weren't advancing - and you can see
11 that this is not staged - and he says, "Well, we would advance but there
12 is some kind of botanical garden down there and they're not allowing us to
13 shoot at it."
14 I know for certain that the General Staff issued a special order
15 that JNA units should not approach Dubrovnik and the Old Town close enough
16 to be threatened from the Old Town. But I also know that, under those
17 conditions, when a state of war had not been declared, there certainly was
18 lack of discipline among individual lower-ranking units approaching the
19 town and so on.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I don't really think you've answered my question,
21 have you? What was the source of your information that there were firing
22 points within the Old Town? Forget facility for answering a different
23 question from the one that's actually asked.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the sources was the archive
25 film on the Dubrovnik operation, which I have with me if you're
1 interested. It will show you. It's the Arkitel [phoen] film on the
2 Dubrovnik operation, where seven or eight inhabitants of Dubrovnik speak,
3 among them the commander of the defence of Dubrovnik and a Croatian
4 journalist. I am the only interlocutor in the film on our side. And the
5 film shows very clearly, first of all, that the army did not have the
6 intention of taking the town; secondly, that the artillery pieces used
7 were not heavy pieces, they were light mortars. Furthermore, that the
8 town was not that badly damaged. It was just misused in the media to
9 accuse the JNA and so on and so forth.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: So you don't have an answer to my question. Is
11 that the position?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same film I'm telling you about
13 shows that several palazzos in the Old Town were destroyed but the Old
14 Town is very big, you know.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: You see, Mr. Kostic, you're constantly telling me
16 about how little firing was done at Dubrovnik, and I understand your
17 position on that. What I'm trying to find out is the source of your
18 information that parts of the Old Town of Dubrovnik were the source of
19 firing at the JNA.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I've just told you is knowledge
21 I gained later on, looking at this archive film, for example, on the
22 Dubrovnik operation.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: All right. Thank you very much. I've taken up
24 enough time on this unproductive exercise.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
1 Q. Mr. Kostic, we have heard here in this court a lot of evidence
2 that on the 6th of December, 1991, Dubrovnik, the Old Town, was heavily
3 shelled and actually that there was heavy damage, in particular on certain
4 palazzi, as you say, and in particular the roofs. Do you dispute that?
5 Are you still now, after so many years of information, do you still claim
6 Dubrovnik wasn't really attacked on that day? Old Town.
7 A. I have stated this in public more than once, and I say so in
8 Arkitel's film on the Dubrovnik operation. It's only when I heard the
9 testimonies at this Tribunal when individual citizens of Dubrovnik
10 testified that I learned about the 6th of December as something special,
11 when there was especially heavy shelling by the JNA. But until that time,
12 I really knew nothing about it. I have had occasion to hear information
13 from the staff of the naval district denying such claims made by Croatian
14 propaganda, and it was only during the trials here that I was able to hear
15 about these details. And pursuant to what I learnt, I don't deny those.
16 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Kostic.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I forgot to ask for the admission of this
18 UNESCO letter to Mr. Kostic.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 952.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And in Sanction, I would like to play now a
22 video. And the interpreters should know that it is Exhibit 365. It's
23 already admitted, Your Honours, but I would like to put this to
24 Mr. Kostic.
25 [Videotape played]
1 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Distinguished viewers, good
2 evening. And Montenegrin President Milan Djukanovic expressed his
3 commiserations to the Croatian --"
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise, but we are unable to
5 find the transcript.
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] ... the afternoon the Cavtat
8 meeting of Stipe Mesic and Mile Djukanovic, which was a tete-a-tete
9 meeting, is the first high level meeting since the aggression on Croatia.
10 It is the result of both sides' initiatives. The talks went on for about
11 an hour. And as President Mesic said, many questions were opened but also
13 "I should like to take this opportunity in my own name and also
14 on behalf of the citizens of Montenegro, especially those citizens who
15 share my moral and political convictions, to say that I deeply regret, and
16 my sympathies with all the citizens of the Republic of Croatia, especially
17 the citizens of Konavle, Dubrovnik, for all the pain and all the suffering
18 and all the material losses and damages that were inflicted on them by any
19 representative of the Montenegrin people within the Yugoslav People's
21 "Mesic and Djukanovic assess today's meeting as ..."
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: That's enough.
23 Q. Mr. Kostic, why did Mr. Djukanovic -- why did he actually
24 apologise? I mean, would you join this apology?
25 A. First of all, why Mr. Djukanovic apologised, you'd have to ask him
1 that, the reason for that. Now, what I would have done - and I can say
2 this quite openly and frankly - is this: I'm very sorry for all the
3 sufferings and casualties during that tragic 1991/1992 year on all sides,
4 and I have -- feel great pain because of all these casualties and
5 sufferings. But if there was somebody who would be best placed to
6 apologise, it would be Mr. Stjepan Mesic, without counting the other two
7 men who would have to apologise to the Serb people for the mass exodus
8 that took place, the largest exodus of the Serb people after World War II,
9 in fact.
10 So that's my political opinion, you know. Mr. Demikalis [phoen]
11 once asked me, in saying that his greatest contribution was that Mr.
12 Bulatovic had accepted The Hague document, also assessed him as being a
13 stubborn politician, not ready to enter into --
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kostic. Let's move on.
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Let's, yes. Your Honour, I would like to put
16 a map to the witness that actually was produced in the Office of the
17 Prosecutor, and it is actually depicting the crime bases in the Croatia
18 indictment. Only -- we have listed here only the murders and the killings
19 -- the killings in red, and the detention facilities in blue.
20 Q. But, Mr. Kostic, you have already mentioned that you wouldn't know
21 about the details of the detention facilities, so we would not have to
22 deal with this.
23 In relation to the killing incidents that you see here shown in
24 this map, I would like you first of all to look at the left -- the
25 right-hand corner with this huge group of incidents, the red boxes, and it
1 all relates to Eastern Slavonia around the Erdut region. And this high
2 concentration of killings, they're actually always involving Arkan and his
3 men, and Vukovar, Lovas, and a few other crimes. Do you claim that you
4 don't know any of these -- anything about these crimes committed by Arkan?
5 A. First of all, let me correct you on one point. As far as these
6 facilities are concerned where the people were gathered or detained, the
7 prisoners, in the examination-in-chief I just took note of what it said in
8 the indictment, that where those facilities were mentioned you can see
9 that they were military facilities.
10 Q. Mr. Kostic, I didn't ask you -- I actually said that I'm not
11 addressing the detention facilities because you have already mentioned
12 that you couldn't help us with this. But I ask you about these killing
13 counts that we have here related to Erdut, Dalj, and I would -- I put to
14 you whether you really claim and uphold today that you know nothing about
15 Arkan killing people in that area. Do you stand by that?
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Give us a short answer, Mr. Kostic. Don't
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've already said during the
19 examination-in-chief that these details about killings and crimes that
20 took place, I don't know. I can't speak about them. I don't know about
21 them. And I already said, as far as Arkan's forces are concerned, I don't
22 know where they were located or if they were present. All I knew was that
23 Seselj and the radicals provided volunteers who made up the JNA and
24 Territorial Defence units.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would like to put to the witness now a
1 document from the 1st Military District that is addressed to the military
2 command, and it's of the 18th of October, 1991. And it should be provided
3 to everyone.
4 Q. Mr. Kostic, this is now a military commander, Major General Mile
5 Babic. He is writing to Mr. Kadijevic's office, speaking of unauthorised
6 killings of arrested ZNG members and other individuals, and he in
7 particular refers to killings from October 1991 committed by Raznjatovic
8 Arkan and the special police in Dalj commanded by Stricevic Milorad, and
9 they are committing unauthorised killings of arrested ZNG members,
10 arresting Croatian individuals, and committing certain acts against the
12 Now that it is -- and they refer to a particular killing of a
13 certain Stjepan Pap. And as this is going to the security administration
14 of the SSNO, I wonder whether you know this, this document or the
15 allegations that are in this document.
16 A. Well, please, this is the first time that I see this. I said that
17 the counter-intelligence service and KOS was subordinate to the Federal
18 Secretariat of National Defence, that it was under that and not the
19 Presidency as the Supreme Command, and this is the first time I see this
20 document and I am quite certain that it never reached the Presidency. But
21 these kinds of reports probably exist on the Croatian side as well and on
22 the Yugoslav side, and there were tonnes of things like that.
23 Q. I just asked you whether you got information, this information,
24 and your answer is no.
25 I could put now many more of similar documents to you where the
1 security services actually are addressing crimes committed by Serbs, Serb
2 units, or Arkan or similar groups in the territory of the former --
3 territory of Croatia, and your answer would be you never -- did you never
4 receive any of those information? Did it never reach you?
5 A. Well, the most responsible officers, the top officers from the
6 staff did inform us that there were paramilitaries, that there were
7 individual crimes that were happening over there, and so on the basis of
8 that kind of report to the effect that there were paramilitaries there,
9 paramilitary armies, that nobody was controlling, that didn't listen to
10 anyone, we at the Supreme Command would make special conclusions and tell
11 the staff of the Supreme Command that all the armed formations on those
12 territories should be placed under its control and that paramilitaries
13 should be disbanded and sent home, disarmed and sent home. But detailed
14 information of this kind, as I've already said, you would probably find
15 tonnes of documents like this on both sides. So I neither have them nor
16 did I receive them.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I don't think I need to put
18 more. I have an abundance of documents to put to the witness of that
19 similar nature where information actually was presented, but I -- as I
20 see, I have no time to do this.
21 Can this document --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was this the first one that you put?
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, it's the first one.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Put one more.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And this one is not actually yet an
1 exhibit, Your Honour. I would like to have this admitted.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Oh, he didn't -- he didn't acknowledge --
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, he didn't.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- your proposition.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, he didn't. Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: We can't admit it.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, I withdraw this request.
8 Q. Let me put to you the documents Exhibit 686.
9 JUDGE KWON: I am of the opinion that if the Defence is not
10 opposed to it, we can admit it. We can ask him.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, are you in opposition to the
12 admission of this document?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I cannot get accustomed to switching
15 my own microphone on and not having somebody else switch it on for me.
16 But I am against it, opposed to it, for reasons of principle. Professor
17 Kostic, who was the vice-president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia --
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's ends it, Mr. Milosevic. If you're opposed
19 to it, we will not admit it because the witness didn't support the
20 propositions put by the Prosecutor.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you. Your Honour, one more of
22 these documents. It's already an exhibit, 686, and it is a letter of the
23 chief of security, Milenko Djokovic [phoen], and it's also going to the
24 SSNO security administration, and it's from the 13th of October, 1991.
25 Q. And in that letter, in the English it's on the second page, there
1 is mentioning of Serbian guard. "According to our confirmed operational
2 information, a paramilitary formation called 'Serbian Guard' is taking
3 part in combat operations against Ustasha Soldiery carried out in many
4 places in the territory of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem. A Command
5 has been formed in the Vojvodina TO centre-Erdut and it is headed by
6 Raznjatovic Zeljko, aka Arkan, and a group of his assistants. Mijacic
7 Goran, aka Kum, has a special role there. They (Arkan and Kum) have
8 special attention and privileged treatment by numerous Ministers and other
9 officials of the Serbian Government every day. They are becoming idols of
10 resistance movement of the Serbian people and in reality they represent
11 the corps of the proposed Nationalistic Soldiery, using the motto "For the
12 King and the fatherland.
13 "In the greater area of Vukovar, volunteer troops under the
14 command of Arkan and Kum are committing uncontrolled genocide and various
15 forms of terrorism ..."
16 And a little bit further down, it says: "We estimate that this
17 is a very dangerous and well-organised paramilitary group of considerable
19 Mr. Kostic, this is another document from a rather high-ranking
20 official that goes to the SSNO, complaining about Arkan being involved in
21 uncontrolled genocide and forms of terrorism. What can you tell us about
23 A. Well, this document, like the previous one, is one that I see here
24 for the first time, but let me remind you that it says in this document
25 here as a subtitle or, rather, as a title, it says, "The work of the staff
1 of the Serb Guard from Belgrade on the military organisation and breaking
2 up of the armed forces of the SFRY." So this is an intelligence report
3 or, rather, an intelligence organisation is informing about the work of a
4 paramilitary formation which is working to breaking up the armed forces of
5 the SFRY. So this is a piece of information that I am seeing here for the
6 first time, and it was probably the kind of report that we in the Supreme
7 Command were motivated by so that we issue an order to the Supreme Command
8 that all paramilitaries be either placed under the control of the Yugoslav
9 People's Army or to disarm them and disband them and send them home.
10 Otherwise, this document --
11 Q. But if I understand your answer correctly, it is -- it is possible
12 that you received this information?
13 A. No, you didn't understand me properly.
14 Q. What does it say here, and I quote now: "It was probably the kind
15 of report that we in the Supreme Command were motivated by so that we
16 issued an order to the Supreme Command that all paramilitaries be either
17 placed under the control and the force ..."
18 That sounds to me as if you did receive information of that kind.
19 Perhaps not this particular one but information of that kind.
20 A. Well, no, you didn't understand me properly, madam, and don't put
21 words that I didn't say into my mouth, or what you would like to hear from
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kostic, just answer the question and refrain
24 from those comments.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't, Mr. Bonomy, when she's
1 putting things into my mouth that I didn't say. Then you ought to caution
2 the representative of the OTP as well.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: She only quoted to you what's on the transcript,
4 exactly word-for-word, according to at least the English version.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, she made the wrong conclusion
6 then. I said exactly word-for-word that this piece of information, this
7 report, like the previous document, I had never seen before. Now, she is
8 concluding that I could have received it, so I have to intervene.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, not this particular -- let me correct that.
10 JUDGE KWON: Let me quote your words again, Professor Kostic. You
11 said as follows: "It was probably the kind of report that we in the
12 Supreme Command were motivated by so that we issue an order to the Supreme
13 Command that all paramilitaries be either placed under the control of the
14 JNA or to disarm them and disband them and send them home." What did you
15 mean by saying, "It was probably the kind of report that we in the Supreme
16 Command were motivated by"?
17 A. Well, we can see here that this specific piece of information did
18 not go to the Supreme Command. This report went to the intelligence
19 organ. And as you can see, this is from the republican staff of the
20 Territorial Defence of Serbia, this particular report. So most probably
21 it went to the competent authorities in the ministry or, rather, the
22 General Staff, the intelligence department, and on the basis of this kind
23 of report and similar reports, the most responsible representatives of the
24 Supreme Command at meetings of the Supreme Command would inform us of the
25 different types of problems that exist, and probably of problems like
1 this, too, that they had to confront, which then motivated us to draw
2 attention to this type of deviation and to put an obligation on the
3 command of the sole regular army, that is to say the Yugoslav People's
4 Army, to send those paramilitaries back home, to disarm them and place
5 them under their control.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, it's time for the
8 We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
9 JUDGE KWON: Just brief comment, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff. We have in
10 front of us a sheet of paper in B/C/S which is said to be the B/C/S of
11 948, but I see the difference. Could you clarify the difference between
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff. Please continue.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour. And first of all,
18 thank you to Your Honour Judge Kwon to remind me that we still have this
19 page that Mr. Kostic provided to us related to the Exhibit 948. Just to
20 explain that they look so different from each other, the English is
21 actually taken from Tanjug, while Mr. Kostic had this -- this page from a
22 collection of documents. But the text is actually absolutely the same.
23 Ms. Dicklich has checked it. What is different is these addressees that
24 are mentioned in the English version are actually in the headline here,
25 mentioned in the headline. There is also a headline given to this
1 document, a name given to the document that does not appear in the English
2 version, and the paragraphs are more dense here in the B/C/S version, but
3 it's exactly the same quotes, except for a difference is also in the
4 English it numbers certain statements as 1 to 4, and in the B/C/S it's
5 only numbered 1 and 2, and the other two paragraphs are not numbered.
6 These are actually the differences. Otherwise, the text is --
7 JUDGE KWON: After number 2 there are two paragraphs in English
8 but there are one paragraph in B/C/S, and I'm not sure whether they are
9 identical. We have to see the translation.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: They are identical but just in a different
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll see.
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honours, I
14 actually had intended to put five more documents to Mr. Kostic, if you
15 allow me to do that. It's all related to crime ...
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Another ten minutes.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would put to you now Exhibit 342, tab 11. That's
20 another document from a higher-ranking commander within the JNA, and it's
21 to the command of the 1st Military District, Lieutenant Colonel Milan
22 Jeremija, deputy commander for instructions in matters morale and
23 political propaganda is writing on October 23, 1991.
24 In point 4 of this urgent telegram, he writes: "Activities and
25 occurrences which have a negative impact on the state of morale in the
1 division units."
2 And it says here as the third point under this headline: "In the
3 combat activity zone of the 1st pgmd, the main motive behind the presence
4 of several groups of different paramilitary formations from Serbia,
5 Chetniks, the Dusan Silni detachment, and various self-styled volunteers,
6 is not to combat the enemy but to loot the people's property and engage in
7 sadistic abuse of innocent civilians of Croatian nationality." And he
8 refers then to the village of Lovas. "On one occasion, 80 villagers of
9 Croatian nationality were captured by the TO Lovas and the Dusan Silni
10 detachment; they were then physically abused and four of the Lovas
11 villagers were killed.
12 "After the arrival of the Valjevo Detachment in the village of
13 Lovas, the captured villagers were used for clearing minefields, and 17
14 villagers were killed. The wounded villagers were refused medical help by
15 the staff of the Sid Medical Centre."
16 This is also a crime base in the Croatian indictment, Mr. Kostic,
17 and do you know about this event when people were taken for clearing
18 minefields in Lovas and got killed by the exercise?
19 A. I really don't know anything about that. This is certainly one of
20 the numerous documents just like the previous two documents, and as we can
21 see, this is sent to the command of the 1st Military District. So the
22 document quite certainly could not have reached me, could not have come
23 into my hands.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
1 Q. Thank you. The next document I would like to put to you is
2 actually an event related to Skabrnja, another crime base.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it's not yet an exhibit but
4 perhaps the witness knows about it.
5 Q. It's the deputy commander of the VPO Major General Mladenic, and
6 it -- it's from the 20th of November, 1991, and related to the Cease-fire
7 Commission. And he says under point 1 the following: "... the Croatian
8 side insisted that one mission team visit Skabrnja and Nadin in the
9 presence of International Committee of the Red Cross representatives.
10 Given as a reason was the fact that the JNA carried out attacks despite
11 the signed cease-fire and that both villages are aflame. A crime against
12 30 people, who were massacred, (slaughtered), was carried out in
14 And it continues a lit bit further down: "The mission accepted
15 this request for the reason that the reports are very disturbing and it is
16 necessary to find out the truth and it is in the interests of both sides
17 that the mission as a neutral party does it."
18 And a little bit further down, it says: "With this in mind, the
19 mission requests the JNA to submit to them a detailed written report on
20 the events and the situation in the area."
21 Mr. Kostic, do you know about the European Monitoring Commission
22 complaining about what was happening in Skabrnja and that the JNA then had
23 to provide them with reports? Do you know about that?
24 A. I really don't know anything about that. I don't know the purpose
25 of all these documents which are of an operative nature and which go from
1 lower-level units to higher-level units. I really can't say anything
2 about them, nor was I in possession of a document like this at all.
3 Q. Mr. Kostic, you were at that time actually within the Supreme
4 Command of the JNA, and my assumption would simply be that the JNA
5 officials would have informed you, in particular when the UN -- the
6 European observers were complaining on the ground, but you say they
7 didn't. You were not informed.
8 A. Madam, I have told you that at that time all three sides were
9 committing crimes in that civil war.
10 Q. That's not an answer --
11 A. Reports of --
12 Q. Thank you. That's not an answer. Now, as you mentioned you
13 visited front lines, I would like to put to you something from the book of
14 Mr. Bulatovic, and it's actually what he writes about your and his visit
15 to the Dubrovnik front on the 13th of October 1991. First of all, do you
16 remember that you visited the front with Mr. Bulatovic?
17 A. Yes, I recall that.
18 Q. The sections I would like you to go to are actually marked, and in
19 the English it's here, named page 7 of 9, but of course it's only three
20 pages that we have here.
21 The first part is that Mr. Bulatovic refers to your visit and the
22 visits on the Herzegovina-Dubrovnik battlefield. We do not need to go
23 into these details, but he is actually explaining what happened while you
24 were there. Mr. Bulatovic is actually describing how you -- your carrier
25 was -- your carrier was actually hit by a long machine-gun burst. Do you
1 remember that, that the carrier in which you and Mr. Bulatovic were
2 travelling were actually shot at? Do you remember that?
3 A. Our vehicle was not hit. There was some shooting, and a member of
4 the JNA was killed, but he was not in our vehicle. He was outside. He
5 was on the ground.
6 Q. And --
7 A. But I heard "carrier" in the interpretation. I'm afraid it was
8 misinterpreted. I was told "your carrier."
9 Q. It's actually the vehicle in which you were driving. The vehicle.
10 A. Driver, not carrier.
11 Q. And let me just now quote. And this is the middle of page 8, Your
13 "It was not about a sabotage coup that entered or a lone sniper.
14 A drunken Territorial Defence member from Bar who was in the immediate
15 vicinity shot at us. When he had heard who was in the armoured vehicle,
16 he shouted, 'Now I'm going to kick some ass,' and started shooting with
17 his automatic rifle. Unfortunately, in the chaos that happened, one JNA
18 soldier lost his life. I'm not mentioning his name out of respect. The
19 official version was that he lost his life as a victim of the enemy
21 Do you recall that, and is it correct what Mr. Bulatovic is
22 writing here?
23 A. I read this for the first time when I read Mr. Bulatovic's book.
24 I have to say that this is the first time I came across this in this
25 version. I think it's described incorrectly, just as there are many other
1 incorrect things in his book, as well as fabrications. First of all, our
2 vehicle was not hit at all.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, your last question.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
5 Q. It's one document that I would like to put to Mr. Kostic, and it
6 relates to something that you said on the 6th of February. During your
7 testimony on at that day - it is under 48006 - you answered to a question
8 of His Honour Judge Bonomy, that in the areas where Serbs were a
9 substantial minority and the police station was run by Croats, nothing in
10 that police station would have changed. However, do you know that the
11 police station in Kijevo, that was such a police station that was manned
12 by Croat policemen, was attacked in mid-August 1991 by the JNA and the
13 Martic police?
14 A. What precisely happened in Kijevo I can't recall at present, but
15 if this is only about Kijevo, and it's well known what vast number of
16 police stations there were, then it's just the exception that proves the
17 rule. To tell you the truth, I don't know what the ethnic make-up of the
18 population of Kijevo was.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honours --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff. I think you must
21 conclude now. Is there something to be tendered?
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Just -- I would like to have this Bulatovic
23 book quote marked for identification as the previous one. And, Your
24 Honour, actually the witness has in front of him an exhibit that relates
25 to Kijevo, and it should -- it's Exhibit 463, tab 49. He has it in front
1 of him.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay?
3 MR. KAY: The witness didn't adopt the exhibits that were put
4 before him by the Prosecutor.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We have -- I didn't tender anything that was
6 not already an exhibit. I didn't.
7 JUDGE KWON: So we have marked for identification some parts of
8 Bulatovic's book. And he's coming, he --
9 MR. KAY: Marked for identification is all right but the
10 application was to have it admitted.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, then I misspoke. But I actually wanted
12 it only to be dealt with like the other parts.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Marked for identification pending testimony by
14 Mr. Bulatovic.
15 JUDGE KWON: That will form a part of 944.
16 MR. KAY: I've just seen the passage of the transcript. It was my
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the witness still has this one
20 exhibit in front of him and I actually intended to read a little quote
21 from it.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff --
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's Kijevo.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- I think we have been very indulgent.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Okay.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before Mr. Milosevic --
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much.
4 Before Mr. Milosevic commences re-examination, if he wishes to
5 re-examine, that is, Mr. Kostic, you had intimated at the beginning of the
6 cross-examination that you had some information in response to a question
7 raised by Judge Bonomy, and I said that I would allow you to provide that
8 information at the end of the cross-examination. You can do that now if
9 you wish, very briefly.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This refers to the issue of the
11 constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the provisions from which it
12 may be concluded that one people in Bosnia, or two peoples, can make
13 decisions of a fateful nature to the detriment of the other one or two
15 I have gone through that constitution and its amendments in
16 detail, and in this connection I would like to say very briefly that in
17 Article 1 on page 98 of the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is
18 stated, inter alia, that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a state of Muslims,
19 Serbs, and Croats, and of course other peoples. And in another -- in
20 Article 2, or paragraph 2, it is stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina is an
21 integral part of the SFRY. This is all Article 1 of the constitution of
23 In Article 304, on page 133 of the constitution of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it says that the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
25 through the republican organs, settles all the relations and matters of an
1 internal nature.
2 In Article 349, which mentions the Presidency of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in paragraph 11 it says that the Presidency of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina shall issue its rules of procedure. This is regulated in
5 the same way in amendment 51, paragraph 9, on page 337, in paragraph 13.
6 In Article 416 on page 149 of the constitution, in the second
7 paragraph it says a change in the constitution shall be adopted -- an
8 amendment shall be adopted if it is voted for by two-thirds of all the
9 delegates in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 And just to remind you, Your Honours, the interpreter's correction
11 of the council, there were three councils, or three chambers; the chamber
12 of associated labour, the chamber of municipalities, and the people's
14 On page 76 in amendment 7, paragraph 2 --
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you go on, the interpreters have corrected
16 something but it's not clear to me what they've corrected. It was
17 following a reference to voting for something by two-thirds of all the
19 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honours, not of all the delegates but of
20 all the chambers.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Of all the chambers. Thank you.
22 Carry on, Mr. Kostic. It's been clarified.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On page 762 in amendment 7,
24 paragraph 2 - that's Official Gazette number 21 in the material we got at
25 the time - it says that the Assembly shall also issue its own rules of
2 On page 589, in amendment 62, it states that decisions on changes
3 of the territory and the borders shall be made by the Assembly or, rather,
4 there must be a referendum at which all voters decide, and the decision
5 shall be valid if two-thirds of the total number of voters vote in favour.
6 What merits special attention, on page 593, in amendment 78, it is
7 provided that an act on amending the constitution of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina can be carried if two-thirds of all the deputies in the
9 Assembly council vote in favour.
10 In amendment 70, paragraph 10 of the constitution, on page 591, it
11 is provided that council will be established to discuss all issues
12 concerning national equality and the equality of all the nations and
13 peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was a constitutional obligation.
14 I believe this amendment was adopted on the 31st of July, 1991.
15 After the multi-party elections, however, at which the Party of
16 Democratic Action won the almost undivided support of the Muslim
17 population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the deputies of this party, in coalition
18 with deputies of the Croatian Democratic Union, rejected the demand to
19 form this council, although this was a constitutional obligation. This
20 council was, therefore, not formed. However, in any case, one can
21 conclude with confidence that not a single decision made by the Assembly
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and not a single decision made at a referendum
23 in Bosnia and Herzegovina was valid or based on the constitution, because
24 without the participation of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
25 there could not be a two-thirds majority in the Assembly of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina, nor could there be a two-thirds majority at the referenda.
2 That's 66.6 per cent. That would be a two-thirds majority. And please
3 don't hold me to exact numbers, but I think that the percentage at the
4 referenda was 62 per cent in favour of an independent Bosnia, but the
5 Serbian people boycotted that referendum and did not vote at it.
6 What is of special importance is that there is also a rules of
7 procedure of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the Presidency of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, and in those rules of procedure - and this is all in
9 compliance with the constitution - in Article 45 of these rules of
10 procedure, in paragraph 3, it reads follows: "When considering issues
11 relating to the equality of the nations and nationalities, which as such
12 will be established by a new constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
13 Presidency shall decide by consensus."
14 And the last piece of information. On page 137, in paragraph 314
15 -- in Article 314, paragraph 18, it is said that the Assembly of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina shall choose and dismiss the member of the Presidency of
17 the SFRY representing Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 During my testimony, I stated that Mr. Alija Izetbegovic made it
19 impossible for Mr. Bogicevic to continue his work in the Presidency,
20 although he was not authorised to do that by the constitution. It was
21 only the Assembly that could have done that.
22 That's all I had to say. Thank you.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, do you know what document the
24 witness has been referring to with the page numbers and --
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. No, I don't. I mean, we have -- we
1 provided to the witness, actually, the constitution, and that's --
2 JUDGE BONOMY: So that's --
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I assume he's quoting from those.
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Does that have an exhibit number?
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, no.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: No.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Because we only have it here in the office
9 JUDGE BONOMY: Okay. Thank you.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you very much for the information. These
12 are matters which we'll have to consider, and we'll have the benefit of
13 evidence from constitutional experts.
14 Mr. Milosevic, any re-examination?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Milosevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Professor Kostic, while we're discussing the
18 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which you've just quoted from, and
19 it's the copy that I, too, received from the opposite side over there when
20 you received it, in Article 1 does it say that the Socialist Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina is, et cetera, et cetera, a state of the democratic
22 peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Muslims, Serbs, and Croats alike, et
23 cetera? Is that what it says?
24 A. Yes, that is what it says, and I read it out.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: He read it out. He read it out, Mr. Milosevic,
1 so there's no need to go over that.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Now, in Article 2 it says: "The peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
5 the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims." Is that what it says?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in Article 3, does it say: "The peoples of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbs and Croats and Serbs and Muslims are ensured
9 conditions for the assertion of national values and proportionate
10 representation in the Assemblies of socio-political communities. Is that
11 what it says?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It's all the 1974 constitution, is it not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. I won't dwell on that any longer. Now, you were
16 provided a moment ago -- well, I can't take this in order, but anyway you
17 were shown a number of documents during the cross-examination. One was a
18 report by the Secretary-General dated the 27th of July, 1992, and it was
19 the one to which you said you had already left your political functions.
20 And do you remember that Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff quoted some passages from that
22 A. Yes, I remember that.
23 Q. Right. Fine. Now, in point 5, she quoted a passage from point 5
24 where it says the following: "[In English] ... force commander has
25 informed me that all TDF units in Sector East and West have handed over
1 their heavy weapons and that these weapons, which include tanks,
2 artillery, mortars, and anti-aircraft weapons system have been stored in a
3 number of locations."
4 [Interpretation] And she stopped quoting there, whereas the
5 sentence goes on to read as follows. There are no comma, dot, or
6 whatever: [Previous translation continues] "[In English] ... the control
7 of UNPROFOR with a double-lock system."
8 [Interpretation] So the entire quotation contains those elements.
9 Under the control of UNPROFOR, that that's how they were stored, on the
10 double-key system, double-lock system. Is that what you said here and
11 what it says in this report?
12 A. Precisely. And I said that they would be stored under the
13 double-lock system.
14 Q. And it says here that's what was done. Now, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff
15 also quoted something from point 7, the assertion that Vance's plan was
16 being violated. And she says, reading from point 7, that those groups,
17 that border police "[In English] are equipped with automatic rifles and in
18 some cases with machine-guns, in violation of the provisions of the plan
19 which require the police be equipped only with sidearms."
20 [Interpretation] The translation of "sidearms" "bocno oruzje"
21 means in fact pistols. So what does this violation of the plan refer to,
22 the fact that they have rifles and not just pistols? Is that what it says
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And does it also say here that they perhaps used those firearms,
1 that they shot, or was the only violation that they had rifles in addition
2 to the pistols at the border?
3 A. Well, in the cross-examination, I asked that question. I asked
4 whether any tanks had been abused or misused.
5 Q. Now, towards the end of point 8, it says, last few sentences:
6 "[In English] However, the Croatian authorities at the highest level as
7 well on the ground have insisted that withdrawal by Croatian army must be
8 contingent on simultaneous withdrawal by the Serb TDF from their
9 positions. Reports from UNPROFOR indicate that while these withdrawals
10 are being generally achieved, the Croatian army is yet to withdraw from
11 Siritovci village in the Drnis area. Efforts are under way by UNPROFOR to
12 effect this withdrawal in order to prevent the further escalation of
13 tension. Moreover, the Croatian authorities have replaced their military
14 in this area with Croatian police which they have so far refused to
15 withdraw, asserting that it is only their army which is required to be
16 withdrawn in accordance with Security Council Resolution 762."
17 [Interpretation] So does it then say there that the Serbs withdrew
18 while the Croatian forces remained or -- and I know --
19 A. And I know that when we discussed details, according to the Vance
20 Plan, it was provided that the Territorial Defence after the Blue Helmets
21 had taken over, that the Territorial Defence of the Serb Krajina and the
22 Croatian police and other armed units should withdraw. I think that it
23 said to 800 -- to a distance of 800 metres, so as not to jeopardise either
25 Q. All right. And just one more point from this document, this
1 report by the UN Secretary-General. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff had quoted some
2 point which in this chapter, which was B, under "Expulsions, Coercion, and
3 Intimidation," under that heading. And she quoted a point listing these
4 incidents, but I'm going to quote another passage from that same chapter
5 and it is point 17. So please listen to what it says in point 17.
6 "[In English] UNPROFOR believes that there is a direct link
7 between this situation -" [Interpretation] that's the situation of
8 pressure, violence, coercion against certain non-Serbs - "[In English] and
9 the presence of large number of refugees in these areas. The influx into
10 the UNPAs of Serb refugees from other parts of Croatia and more recently
11 from Bosnia and Herzegovina continues unabated. The refugees from
12 Croatia, some of whom appear to foresee no possibility --"
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, it's a very long passage, so just
14 quote what you need to enable you to ask the question that you wish to
15 put. Don't quote all of it.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not going quote the entire
17 paragraph, Mr. Robinson, don't worry.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. "[In English] No possibility of return to their homes, especially
20 in western and central Slavonia, have reportedly occupied houses left
21 vacant by the departure of their non-Serb occupants."
22 [Interpretation] Therefore, is what is indicated here the origin
23 of those pressures and conflicts and violence that is taking place in
24 those areas and also the protagonists of that -- those acts of violence?
25 A. Well, it was a general phenomenon both at that time, before, and
1 later, that where there were conflicts the population always tried to flee
2 to safer areas. And what you just read a moment ago shows that. It
3 indicates the influx, great influx of Serb refugees into those areas which
4 came under the UNPAs zones, the United Nations Protected Areas.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: You must endeavour not to ask leading questions.
6 Practically every question you have asked so far is a leading question.
7 The question you should have put to the witness just now is, What does
8 this indicate? Instead, you put a question with the answer in it. We
9 have been through this several times.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. Well, I'll read out just another portion, and we see what the
12 commander of the forces says, that he is concerned, the UN forces
13 commander, who was General Nambiar at the time. And the last two lines on
14 that page read as follows in 17: "[In English] General Nambiar expressed
15 his serious concern on this issue at meetings with the Belgrade
16 authorities. His interlocutors responded that though they could prevent
17 immigration from Serbia and Montenegro into the UNPAs, they were in no
18 position to do so in the case of refugees from other parts of Croatia
19 whose houses had already been destroyed or those from battle-torn areas of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina who directly entered neighbouring UNPAs."
21 [Interpretation] What does that tell us, Professor Kostic?
22 A. Well, during the cross-examination, I've already answered that
23 question, to all intents and purposes. There were conflicts there. There
24 were clashes there. There was mass migration there, displacement of the
25 population. Everybody sought to go where it was safest, and during the
1 cross-examination, I already said that when the Blue Helmets took up their
2 positions in the area and when the Yugoslav People's Army withdrew from
3 the area, we really didn't have any possibility from here of preventing
4 the population from dispersing.
5 Q. Just one more question now with respect to that approach and why
6 the UN Secretary-General's report was quoted in the first place. We saw
7 that the arms were handed over according to the double-lock system. Now a
8 very specific question. From the arrival of the Blue Helmets, once they
9 had arrived, was there any attack whatsoever on the part of the forces of
10 the Krajina against Croatian positions?
11 A. I can say with certainty that while I occupied the post of
12 vice-president of the Yugoslav state Presidency, until I handed over my
13 duties, I know of not one single incident of that kind or single attack.
14 And later on, on the basis of the information that I received, and just
15 like anybody else I was not in a position to hear of anything like that
17 Q. Thank you.
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Now, Mr. Kostic, how does that tie in with your
19 inability to recollect anything about the documents which were presented
20 to you indicating anxiety on the part of various people about Serb
21 aggression on the part of paramilitaries or those associated with the
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, you seem to be comparing
24 two things here. You're mentioning documents that were shown to me,
25 documents which I'd never seen before, documents which never ever reached
1 me, whereas here in this case we're talking about a document where I was
2 directly involved and in which I invested all my intellectual and physical
3 capabilities to arrive at that peace plan. So I was highly interested and
4 called upon indeed to see whether the peace plan was being respected or
5 not. So you cannot mix and compare those two things. Here I was directly
6 involved and in a certain way responsible for the implementation of that
7 peace plan.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, the question was from the arrival of
9 the Blue Helmets, once they had arrived, was there any attack whatsoever
10 on the part of the forces of the Krajina against Croatian positions? Now,
11 are you claiming universal knowledge from that time on that there were no
12 such attacks? Is that -- you say you were in a position to know that,
13 even though in the past, prior to that, we've seen that there were reports
14 coming through of the involvement of Serb aggression that you don't appear
15 to have been aware of. Now, if you are claiming universal knowledge, what
16 changed after the Blue Helmets arrived to give you that insight into
17 everything that was happening?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, Mr. Milosevic asked me a
19 specific question. He said from the time the Blue Helmets arrived
20 onwards, were there any attacks by the Territorial Defence against
21 Croatian positions and whether there were any violations of the peace
22 plan. That's how I understood Mr. Milosevic's question. And I said that
23 as far as I knew and during the time that I occupied my post and later on,
24 there were no such attacks.
25 Now, the talks about certain incidents on that territory linked to
1 civilians, to the population, and so on, I think that that's quite another
2 matter altogether and that Mr. Milosevic wasn't asking me about that. He
3 asked me whether there were any violations of the peace plan on the part
4 of the police and other forces on the territory of the Republic of Srpska
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Well, did you happen to notice that the documents that you were
9 shown here which you had never seen before date back to the times before
10 the UN forces arrived?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. At the beginning of the cross-examination, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff
13 asked you very briefly something about your information about the
14 population in Krajina at the beginning and at the end and the population
15 in Serbia, and you drew a parallel. Just briefly tell us this, please:
16 What do the changes in population structure indicate if they are compared
17 in Krajina and in Serbia in -- from 1990 to the year 2000?
18 A. Well, I don't have the exact facts and figures.
19 Q. I'm not asking you about exact figures.
20 A. But the information I do have at my disposal indicate that in
21 Serbia, on the territory of Serbia, both before the war and after the war,
22 the non-Serb population made up approximately one third of the population,
23 or a little more than one-third of the total population, non-Serbs, of
24 non-Serb ethnicity, and that structure was the same before and after the
25 war. Whereas in Croatia, on the territory of Croatia, the national
1 structure or population structure was so much disturbed that the national
2 structure of Croats, looking at before the war, was increased from 78 to
3 89 per cent, and the national structure of Serbs was reduced from 12.4 per
4 cent to 4.-something per cent. I don't know the exact digit. In other
5 words, about -- there were about 8 per cent less Serbs in the overall
6 population structure of Croatia afterwards, or today.
7 Q. All right. Fine. Now, Professor Kostic, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff
8 showed you the minutes from a Presidency session of the 13th of August,
9 1991, and in point 1 there was a quotation there which said that you --
10 or, rather, the question of the incident was brought up in Dalj, Sarvas,
11 Lovinac in Croatia. Do you remember that?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. It says here at the end of point 1: "The Presidency of the SFRY
14 concluded that they should ask the Federal Executive Council to form a
15 mixed expert commission to investigate the actual facts and inform the
16 public." I will skip over repeating the names of these villages.
17 In the Presidency, in addition to asking the government to form a
18 mixed expert commission to establish this, did you deal with this issue
19 any further?
20 A. As far as I can remember, no.
21 Q. Please explain what degree of generality was there in dealing with
22 issues at the level of the head of state, whether collective or
23 individual, when such events occur.
24 A. The level of generality is rather high, not only in situations
25 like this one but also in many other situations. The Presidency is not
1 responsible to investigate and establish facts, although we did have on
2 several occasions a state commission that was established, and in several
3 cases Mr. Bogicevic and Mr. Tupurkovski were involved. I went to Knin,
4 they went to see Tudjman, and so on and so forth, but this was the
5 responsibility of the executive branch of government and the responsible
6 government organs.
7 Q. In connection with this question, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff quoted from
8 your book. I won't dwell on all the quotations she read out here, but on
9 page 101 in your book, in a quotation that she highlighted, you mention
10 "paramilitary formations from Sarvas threatening members of the JNA who
11 were there as a buffer zone to prevent inter-ethnic conflicts," full stop.
12 What are you saying here was the purpose of the JNA units?
13 A. At that time, the purpose of the JNA in all the flashpoints was to
14 create a buffer zone to prevent the spreading of inter-ethnic conflicts,
15 because the paramilitary formations of Croatia had grown considerably by
16 that time. And had the JNA not been there as a buffer zone, larger
17 portions of the Serbian population would have been at risk physically.
18 Q. Very well. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff went on to ask you something in
19 connection with the resignation of members of the Presidency and my
20 statement published in Politika on the 17th of March. Do you recall that?
21 A. Yes, I do, very well.
22 Q. She then went on to quote me when I said I had ordered the
23 mobilisation of the reserve forces of the Ministry of the Interior, but
24 she didn't quote the beginning. The beginning of the passage reads as
25 follows: "In the existing circumstances where there have been attempts to
1 cause unrest in Sandzak and Kosovo and Metohija, I have ordered the
2 mobilisation of the reserve forces of the security forces of the Ministry
3 of the Interior."
4 Mr. Kostic, where is Kosovo and Metohija, and where is Sandzak in
5 territorial terms?
6 A. They were an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, as they
7 still are.
8 Q. Is there even a hint here of engaging any forces of the Ministry
9 of the Interior in Croatia? And she mentioned the Knindza, and Dusan
10 Silni, and so on and so forth. Can any connection be made here with this?
11 A. No, no connection can be made. And my response to the Prosecution
12 was that mobilising the reserve police force and employing them in Serbia
13 fell within the competence of the President of Serbia.
14 Q. Very well. I go on to say that in spite of the situation that has
15 arisen in Yugoslavia, no emergency measures should be introduced.
16 During the 11 years I was president, did I ever introduce
17 emergency measures anywhere?
18 A. No, I'm not aware that you did.
19 Q. You don't have this before you, do you? You don't have this text
20 before you?
21 A. No.
22 Q. It's tab 51. Then I won't quote from it any further, although in
23 conclusion I say that I believe peace will win in Yugoslavia.
24 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff put it to you that you were not supported by
25 your party as president. Do you remember that, that your candidacy for
1 the president of -- for the Presidency as a representative of Montenegro
2 was not supported by them? Do you remember that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. You showed your book here, "Deadly Manipulations." That's page
5 265, and you say that your name was mentioned in connection with a member
6 of the Presidency of Yugoslavia; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what was actually correct in connection with the quote on page
9 268 where Cazim Lukac expressed disagreement with your candidacy?
10 A. Cazim Lukac was a deputy in the Assembly, and evidently those who
11 are much better educated among his deputies got him to speak up at the
12 session and to say that I did not recognise the Muslim people. I denied
13 this. You can see that in my book. And I even demonstrated that
14 Mr. Cazim Lukac didn't know whether I had ever made any such statement or
15 where. The lady from the Prosecution does not distinguish between the two
16 concepts of nation and nationality.
17 Q. Everything that Cazim Lukac accused you of is something that you
18 published in your book?
19 A. Yes, verbatim.
20 Q. And why did you do this?
21 A. I did it primarily because of my conscience, but also because the
22 Muslim people make up a large proportion of the population of Montenegro,
23 and I wanted to show them how there was manipulation and misinformation
24 and false information.
25 Q. On page 273, you say that the deputy, Cazim Lukac, did achieve his
1 goal, if only briefly. He was the representative of the Party of the
2 Democratic Coalition, and he represented himself as the only
3 representative of Muslim interests in Montenegro, and he sowed doubt
4 [Realtime transcript read in error "sold out"] among the Muslim and the
5 Albanian population, and that is something that is very difficult to put
7 A. Precisely so.
8 JUDGE BONOMY: I see the transcript says "sold out" and I think
9 what was actually said was "sowed doubt."
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says he sowed doubt about my
12 attitude towards the Muslims. He threw feathers out of a window, and
13 feathers are difficult to collect. But in the end, feathers fall down
14 onto the ground and end up in the mud.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. When speaking about my influence, you explained his limitations --
17 or my limitations because I could not convince Babic, for example. You
18 took that as an example.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The same example was mentioned by Jovic in his book. And we have
21 seen that Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff mentioned some kind of statement that I made.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
23 352, tab 79, the front page of Politika. It's translated into English.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you have this?
1 A. 359 of what?
2 Q. It's 352, tab 79, but not from your exhibits, but it's a
3 previously exhibited document. And this is the document from which she
4 quoted, not from the statement itself but from Jovic's book. Do you have
5 it now? Is that the front page of Politika?
6 A. Yes, of the 9th of January, 1992.
7 Q. Well, what does it say here in the subtitle?
8 A. "Open letter from Slobodan Milosevic to Milan Babic."
9 Q. An open letter published on the front page of Politika.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And what is the title?
12 A. The title is "The people should not make sacrifices because of the
13 vanity and narcissism of any politician."
14 Q. The text on the ELMO is the wrong text.
15 JUDGE KWON: What's the title of the document, Professor Kostic?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document that Mr. Milosevic is
17 using is the original front page of Politika.
18 JUDGE KWON: So could you read the title. Is it reply from
19 Mr. Babic or a response from Milosevic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it's not a reply. It's not a
21 reply. The reply's on the other page of this document which I have. The
22 front page says "Open letter from Slobodan Milosevic to Milan Babic," and
23 then in large letters it says --
24 JUDGE KWON: What Mr. Milosevic was referring to was the reply
25 from Mr. Milan Babic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. No. I am referring to this.
2 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff referred to Jovic explaining what I was doing at the
3 time, and I was actually sending an open letter to Milan Babic, and it's
4 on the front page of Politika.
5 JUDGE KWON: I found it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It says here in small letters under
7 the title.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And Your Honour, you can see it on Sanction,
10 JUDGE KWON: The two letters are included in the same tab, so
11 that's the reason for my confusion. Please proceed.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's time to stop. It's actually time to stop.
13 Did you ask a question and did you get an answer? There is no question.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, not yet. We've only just
15 identified what she was referring to.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff was not referring to this letter of mine but to
18 what Jovic said in his book that I did with this letter. Is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Well, now --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. We can't -- we'll have to stop now. It's
22 time to adjourn, and we will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 15th day
25 of February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.