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Milan Kučan

Milan Kučan
was President of Slovenia from 1990 to 2002.                            

Former Slovenian President Milan Kučan (1990-2002) describes comments that Slobodan Milošević made to him in relation to the prospect of Slovenia and Croatia declaring independence on 11 April 1991 in Brdo, located near Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana:

"[T]he accused said to me, “Well, if the Slovenes really want to leave the federation, well, in that case it will not be possible for us to be opposed to it,” he said. [although], the conditions will have to be met before Slovenia can leave Yugoslavia. However, the same could not go for Croatia in view of the fact that a good portion -- number of Serbs were living on the territory of Croatia and in this way they are -- they really have this blood link, blood ties with Croatia.”

Milan Kučan describes how he interpreted views expressed by Yugoslav National Army General Veljko Kadijević, one of Slobodan Milošević’s alleged co-perpetrators, in his book called, “My View of the Break-up,” which the Prosecution submitted into evidence:

"Q… Mr. Kučan, what's your view on how Kadijević describes the process of nationalisation of the army following its withdrawal from Slovenia?

A. Well, if you are referring to those excerpts and their description and his thoughts as to where the army should withdraw and what it should [do], obviously this is true, because it was part of the recognition that Yugoslavia no longer can be kept together. The army had been an integrating factor. Now with the withdrawal from Slovenia, its strategic mission changed. Not to protect and safeguard Yugoslavia but, rather, to protect the smaller Yugoslav borders, particularly the parts inhabited by ethnic Serbs. In fact, how I understand it is that apparently they do not want, or he doesn't want to, agree to parts of ethnic Serbs living outside a single state."

Former President Milan Kučan testified about events surrounding the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). Kučan testified about a number of statements that Slobodan Milošević made during that time period which indicated that he had aspirations to create a Greater Serbia as early as 1989. At the League of Communists Central Committee Meeting held on 30 January 1989, Kučan confirmed that Milošević said the following about the possibility of creating a confederation of the former Yugoslav republics: “I have to say that if Yugoslavia were to be conceived as a community in which Serbia is divided into three parts and on its knees, then Serbia would be against such a community, against such a Yugoslavia.”

Kučan also testified about several statements that Milošević made that indicated the lengths he was prepared to go to in order to achieve his aims. At the same Central Committee meeting, Milošević said: “Things that cannot be changed institutionally, and they must be changed because people don’t like them or they lasted for too long, will be changed un-institutionally.” Six months later, on the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo on 28 June 1989, Milošević stated that the Serbian people were again entering battles, that these were not yet armed battles, but that this could not be excluded. As Kučan interpreted this statement, “[o]ne could anticipate that there would be armed battles to follow and that changes will take place regardless the means to be used.” A year later, on 25 June 1990, during a speech before Serbia’s parliament on the republic’s future, Milošević said that its borders would remain “an open political issue.”

Milan Kučan was a career politician in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, serving in a number of positions, including Slovenia’s representative to the League of Communists Central Committee from 1982 to 1986, and Head of the Slovenian League of Communists from 1986 to 1989. He was President of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia from 1990 to 1992, when he was elected the first President of an independent Slovenia. He served as President until 2002.

Milan Kučan testified on 21 May 2003. Read his full testimony.