Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 21603

 1                           Tuesday, 15 September 2009

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Good morning to everyone.

 6             Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

 7             THE REGISTRAR:  Thank you, and good morning Your Honours.

 8             This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus

 9     Ante Gotovina et al.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

11             I'd like to inform the parties that Judge Kinis, for urgent

12     personal reasons, is unable to sit today and tomorrow.  Judge Gwaunza and

13     I have considered whether it would be interests of justice to -- to

14     continue the hearing, and we have decided that it is in the interests of

15     justice, and, therefore, we'll be in court, the two of us, and we'll

16     continue to hear the case.  Judge Kinis will have access to the full

17     transcripts and, if need be, the video of -- and audio of the hearings.

18             One second, please.

19                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

20             JUDGE ORIE:  We briefly turn into private session.

21                           [Private session]

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Page 21615

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16                           [Open session]

17             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink]  Your Honours, would you like me

18     to now escort in the representatives?

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Please do so, Mr. Monkhouse.

20             You may remain seated.

21             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

23             Mr. Misetic.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.  Just before I begin, Mr. President, in terms

25     of timing, if you can tell me when the break will be.

Page 21616

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, I'll -- first I would like to put on the

 2     record, which is -- has been, until now, confidential, that the Chamber

 3     had decided that we would hear the testimony of the next witness through

 4     videolink.

 5             The next witness being Mr. Mr. Akashi.  Mr. Akashi, during a

 6     closed session hearing in the last half an hour, has already made a

 7     solemn declaration that he will speak the truth, the whole truth, and

 8     nothing but the truth.

 9             As far as timing concerned, I will just consult with the

10     registrar here for a second.

11                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, the Chamber would like you to start

13     your examination-in-chief and we would then take a break at 11.45, that

14     is in five-quarters of an hour from now on.  Then we would have half an

15     hour of a break, and then we would conclude at a quarter to 2.00.

16             Mr. Akashi, unfortunately, this morning we had a bad start

17     because we had technical problem with the videolink which now all seem to

18     have been resolved.  They have been resolved.  We'll start now with a

19     session of five-quarters of an hour, then have half an hour break and

20     then have a last session here in western Europe until a quarter to 2.00,

21     and then we'll continue tomorrow, if that is fine with you.

22             THE WITNESS:  It's fine with me, sir.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

24             Mr. Akashi, you will first be examined by Mr. Misetic.

25     Mr. Misetic is counsel for Mr. Gotovina, and Mr. Misetic are you ready.

Page 21617

 1             MR. MISETIC:  I am, Mr. President.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Then please proceed.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 4                           Examination by Mr. Misetic:

 5        Q.   Good afternoon, Mr. Akashi.

 6        A.   Good afternoon, Mr. Misetic.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if you could please show the witness

 8     65 ter 1D2935 which is tab 0 in the binder.

 9        Q.   Mr. Akashi, I'm going to show you now a witness statement which

10     you signed -- or which I believe you signed and it is dated 20 July 2009.

11             Do you recall this document?

12        A.   Yeah, I do.

13        Q.   Before coming to court today, have you had a chance to review

14     that statement?

15        A.   Yeah, I had a -- a couple of occasions when I reviewed this

16     document.

17        Q.   Okay.  And this is a statement dated 20 July 2009.  On the bottom

18     of the first page, is that a -- and on the last page, is that your

19     signature?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Okay.  At the time you gave the statement to the Gotovina

22     Defence, did you give it to the best of your knowledge and in accordance

23     with the truth?

24        A.   After our conversation, in the last few days, I had an

25     opportunity to consult with my notebook about my various appointments,

Page 21618

 1     and, on that basis, I think I must correct the information in

 2     paragraph 7.  In fact, I was in Zagreb when Operation Storm occurred, and

 3     I was in Sarajevo when another military action in Sector West took place

 4     on the 1st of May.  I think I was mixing these two operations.

 5        Q.   Okay.  So, in fact, I was going to ask you, in addition to that

 6     correction, are there any other corrections at that need to be made to

 7     your statement?

 8        A.   I think there is no need for me to make other corrections.

 9        Q.   Okay.  If I asked you the same questions today in court that you

10     were asked on the 20th of July, 2009, would you give the same answers in

11     court today that are reflected in the statement that is in front of you?

12        A.   I'm not sure whether I will give exactly the same answers, but I

13     think essentially these are what took place and what I did.  While

14     depending on the nature of the questions now, I may give somewhat

15     different answers to these new questions.

16        Q.   Okay.

17             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President I move to admit into evidence 65 ter

18     1D2935.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

20             Mr. Hedaraly.

21             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

23             Mr. Akashi, may I understand your last answer to be that the

24     substance of your answers would be the same, subject to this one

25     correction, but that, of course, it depends on the questions, whether you

Page 21619

 1     would give further details or -- but that the substance as it's written

 2     down is correct?

 3             THE WITNESS:  Yes, indeed, Your Honour.  That's the thrust of my

 4     statement.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

 6             Mr. Registrar, could you please assign a number to the statement

 7     of Mr. Akashi.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour.  The statement will be

 9     Exhibit D1646.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  D1646 is admitted into evidence.

11             You may proceed, Mr. Misetic.

12             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

13        Q.   Mr. Akashi, I'm going to turn your attention now to the events of

14     Operation Flash in Western Slavonia, which you've referenced now in

15     correcting your answer to paragraph 7.

16             MR. MISETIC:  And, Mr. Registrar, if we could show Mr. Akashi,

17     please, tab 50, which is 65 ter 1D1166.

18        Q.   Mr. Akashi, do you recognise this document as a code cable that

19     you sent on the 10th of May, 1995 to Mr. Annan, Mr. Gharekhan,

20     Mr. Goulding, and Mr. Stoltenberg?

21        A.   I have not had time to read through this cable but, on the face

22     of it, I have been present at, indeed, those meetings took place.  But

23     I -- I have not had time to review the cable.

24        Q.   First, as a preliminary matter, we're going to go through many

25     code cables today.  If you could explain to the Chamber what your

Page 21620

 1     position was and why you were sending code cables on a frequent basis to

 2     Mr. Annan in New York?

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, there may be some confusion.

 4             Mr. Akashi, I think the last question that was put to you by

 5     Mr. Misetic was not whether you could, at this moment, confirm the

 6     accuracy of what is in this cable, but whether you recognise this

 7     document as a cable sent to you on its first appearance.  So that is to

 8     say whether there is any reason for you to believe that what appears as a

 9     cable sent by you, whether there's any reason to believe that it would

10     not be a cable sent by you to Mr. Kofi Annan.

11             THE WITNESS:  Your Honour, I said that simply because I have not

12     had opportunity to read this cable since -- 14 years ago.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  And at first glance --

14             THE WITNESS:  That's as simple as that.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  At first glance does it look like a cable sent by

16     you and is there anything you -- if just going through it quickly, would

17     there be any reason, at this moment, for you to have any doubt as to

18     whether this is a cable sent to you?

19             THE WITNESS:  Your Honour, it looks as if it was a cable, indeed,

20     I sent to the UN Secretary-General --

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

22             THE WITNESS:  -- at that time.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25        Q.   Mr. Akashi, again, if you could just by way of background explain

Page 21621

 1     your position at the time and why you were sending code cables to New

 2     York on a frequent basis.

 3        A.   Mr. Misetic, as you know, I was the Special Representative of

 4     UN Secretary-General in the former Yugoslavia, and it was my duty and my

 5     responsibility to keep the Secretary-General and the secretariat fully

 6     informed of major developments within the purview of my mandate.

 7        Q.   Okay.  Looking at this document, the 10th of May, it refers in

 8     the first sentence to a meeting on the 9th of May, 1995, in Belgrade,

 9     first with President Milosevic and subsequently with Messrs. Martic,

10     Mikelic, Babic, and General Celeketic.

11             Do you recall the meeting in Belgrade on or about the 9th of

12     May with Mr. Martic?

13        A.   I wonder whether I should go through the entire cable before --

14        Q.   Well, just as a preliminary matter, do you recall meeting with

15     Mr. Martic, Mikelic, Babic, and General Celeketic right after

16     Operation Flash?

17        A.   That they -- the cable says so, so I have no reason to believe

18     that the cable is incorrect.

19        Q.   Okay.  If you look at the second-to-last sentence, the discussion

20     in the cable is about your meeting and about -- with them, with the Knin

21     leadership, and also a separate meeting with Mr. Milosevic.

22             But in your meeting with the Knin leadership the issues concerned

23     Sector West, which was Western Slavonia that you were discussing with

24     them.  And if you look at -- on the first page, the second-to-last

25     sentence starts:

Page 21622

 1             "Milosevic is firmly of the belief that the area should be placed

 2     under the sole authority of the United Nations, and every effort made to

 3     allow the Serbs from that area to continue to live there; Martic,

 4     however, maintains his position that the United Nations should do

 5     everything it can to facilitate the departure of any remaining Serbs."

 6             Now, do you have an independent recollection of Mr. Martic and

 7     the Knin leadership, after Operation Flash, taking the position that the

 8     United Nations needed to facilitate the departure of any Serbs remaining

 9     in Western Slavonia?

10        A.   I do not have a specific recollection on this point.

11        Q.   Okay.  If you could turn to page 4 of the document, which is

12     paragraph 7.

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Now, in your witness statement that you gave to the Gotovina

15     Defence at paragraph 2, you stated that you recalled

16     Operation Safe Passage and that that was to ensure maximum safety and

17     security of innocent civilians.  And let me now show you some more

18     specifics about this meeting with the Knin leadership.  Again paragraph 7

19     says you met for three-hours with so-called President Martic, Mikelic,

20     Babic, and Celeketic.

21             If we turn to paragraph 8, the first sentence says:

22             "On Sector West I explained at length the efforts of UNCRO and

23     other international organisations to address the explicit concerns

24     conveyed to us by the Knin leadership, my conviction that the Serbs

25     remaining were being well looked after, and that the programme of

Page 21623

 1     departure for those Serbs wishing to leave was scheduled to begin that

 2     day."

 3             Now, if we stop right there, do you recall what you meant when

 4     you stated to Mr. -- to the Knin leadership that it was your conviction

 5     that the Serbs remaining in Sector West were being well looked after?

 6        A.   I do not have a specific recollection on this point, but I must

 7     have had the -- a general context of our continuing discussion with the

 8     leadership of the Croatian government, including Mr. Sarinic.  They gave

 9     us -- they continued to give us assurances about the safety of the Serbs

10     in Sector West, and so I must have based my belief in that regard on

11     these conversations I had -- I was having in Zagreb.

12        Q.   Okay.  If you go down in that paragraph towards the middle, at

13     the sentence that begins "after rather extensive discussions ..."

14             Did you find that?

15        A.   Which -- what line?

16        Q.   It's in the middle of paragraph 8, and it begins:  "After rather

17     extensive discussions Martic asked me four questions ..."

18             "After rather extensive discussions, Martic asked me" --

19        A.   Yes, now I found the passage.

20        Q.   It says:

21             "Martic asked me four questions:  1, how long will it take to

22     move all the Serbs from Sector West to Serb-controlled Bosnia."

23             Do you remember Mr. Martic asking you that question?

24        A.   No, I have no recollection about this particular conversation.

25        Q.   Okay.  If you go down a few lines it says -- you write what you

Page 21624

 1     responded.  And you said:

 2             "I responded that, 1, I could give no time assurances, the

 3     important consideration being that the people's right to choose was being

 4     respected."

 5             Now, do you recall --

 6        A.   Yeah, I see that.

 7        Q.   Okay.

 8        A.   No, I'm afraid that I have no recollection of these specific

 9     points discussed between Martic and myself.

10        Q.   Okay.

11             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President I move to admit 65 ter 1D1166 into

12     evidence.

13             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

15             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours that will be Exhibit D1647.

16             JUDGE ORIE:  D1647 is admitted into evidence.

17             Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

18             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

19             Mr. Registrar, if we could go -- just one moment, please.

20             If we could go to 65 ter 1D1176.

21             This is tab 1, Mr. Registrar, in the binder.

22        Q.   There concerns a meeting with Milan Babic.  And if we -- if you

23     go to the second page, Mr. Akashi, that's the page that I'm interested

24     in.  It's from --

25        A.   Yes.

Page 21625

 1        Q.   -- Mr. Kirudja to you.  Can you tell the Court --

 2        A.   What paragraph?

 3        Q.   Well, first, if you look at the memorandum heading on page 2 of

 4     the document.  It's to you from Mr. Kirudja.  Do you see that?

 5        A.   No, I don't.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, the first page of this document

 7     should be to Stoltenberg from Colborne; is that correct?

 8             If I could get the assistance of Mr. Registrar in Tokyo.

 9             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink]  I think we've found it.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

11             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink] It's on the second page, two of

12     five?

13             MR. MISETIC:  That is correct.

14        Q.   Now, could you tell the Court --

15             JUDGE ORIE:  No.

16             MR. MISETIC:  If we scroll up in e-court, it's 2 of 5 in the

17     upper right-hand corner.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  It's clear to me.  Please proceed.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

20        Q.   Mr. Akashi, again, could you tell the Court who Mr. Kirudja was?

21        A.   I'm afraid I do not know who Mr. Kirudja is.

22        Q.   Okay.  Well, it's a memo that was sent to you on the 10th of

23     May discussing a meeting with Mr. Milan Babic, a proposal for Western

24     Slavonia.

25             And if we go to paragraph 2, this is now -- purports to be the

Page 21626

 1     words of Mr. Babic.  The sentence at the bottom of the stage starts:

 2             "We are all interested in the fate of the people in Western

 3     Slavonia, and we know that the majority want to leave and" --

 4             MR. MISETIC:  If we turn the page.

 5        Q.    "... not remain under Croatian authority.  We also know that the

 6     Croats have intensified their propaganda campaign to show to everybody

 7     that they are ... humane -- that they are a humane occupying force of our

 8     lands."

 9             Now, the first question, Mr. Akashi, is:  Since you don't recall

10     who Mr. Kirudja was, I presume you don't recall this memo specifically?

11        A.   What is it, your question?

12        Q.   Do you recall receiving a memo like this?

13        A.   Yeah, I do not have a specific recollection --

14        Q.   Okay.

15        A.    -- of this cable.

16        Q.   Okay.  As -- as a general matter - let me ask you the more

17     general question.

18             As a general matter what information were you receiving from the

19     Knin leadership about the desire of the Serb population in Western

20     Slavonia after Operation Flash, in terms of whether they wished to stay

21     or leave Croatia?

22        A.   In general, we received information about Krajina Serb leadership

23     from our own representatives who are stationed in Knin, including

24     commander of UN peacekeeping force there.  And on the civilian side, I

25     remember that we had a very able representative called Jack Greenberg who

Page 21627

 1     kept us all [indiscernible] about Knin's Serb leadership's behaviour,

 2     and, to the extent possible, their thinking.

 3        Q.   And do you remember specifically now what the thinking of the

 4     Knin Serb leadership was on the issue of whether Serbs should stay or

 5     leave Western Slavonia after Operation Flash took place?

 6        A.   I do not have specific recollection as to which course of action

 7     Knin Serb leadership was in favour of:  Departure or staying on.

 8        Q.   Okay.

 9        A.   I have no recollection on that point.

10             MR. MISETIC:  I move to admit into evidence 65 ter 1D1176.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly, no objections, I understand.

12             Mr. Registrar.

13             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours that will be Exhibit D1648.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

15             Please proceed.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar in Tokyo, the next document will be

17     tab 2 in the binder, and this is 65 ter 1D1177.

18        Q.   Mr. Akashi, this is a memo --

19             MR. MISETIC:  I'll wait for it come up on the screen here in

20     The Hague.

21        Q.   This is a memo drafted by you and sent to Mr. Annan on the 9th of

22     May, 1995, and talks about the movement of Serbs from Pakrac.  Pakrac is

23     in Western Slavonia.  And in the first paragraph you write:  "Today

24     marked the successful start of the operation to relocate willing,

25     informed Serbs from Sector West to Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Page 21628

 1             And then you discuss what procedures were employed.  It says:

 2             "This morning approximately 300 Serbs gathered in Pakrac in

 3     response to the UNHCR notification by radio of the possibility of

 4     departing from Sector West.  Each individual was interviewed by the

 5     Croatian authorities with respect to their civil rights and then

 6     interviewed/counselled by the UNHCR on their right to remain if they so

 7     wished.  If after this point individual Serbs still wished to department,

 8     their names were taken by UNPF staff."

 9             MR. MISETIC:  If we turn the page and go to paragraph 7 it says:

10             "Other villages" --

11             THE WITNESS:  Yes.

12             MR. MISETIC:  It says :

13             "Other villages/towns are now being examined and a consolidated

14     list of dates for each location will be broadcast by radio to the local

15     population."

16             And the preceding paragraph discusses the planning of subsequent

17     movements, including when the convoys would be leaving.

18        Q.   Now, first, do you have -- does this refresh your recollection

19     about some of the specifics of Operation Safe Passage?

20        A.   I'm afraid I do not have recollection about these specific

21     points.

22        Q.   Well, do you have a recollection that the United Nations was

23     involved in transferring Serbs out of Western Slavonia and into Bosnia

24     and Herzegovina after Operation Flash?

25        A.   I'm afraid I do not recall these matters.

Page 21629

 1             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President I move to admit 65 ter 1D1177,

 2     please.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  No objections from Mr. Hedaraly.

 4             Mr. Registrar.

 5             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1649.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  D1649 is admitted into evidence.

 7             I take that if I do not hear from the other Defence teams that

 8     there are no objections against the documents tendered by Mr. Misetic.

 9             Please proceed.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

11             Mr. Registrar in Tokyo, tab 3 is the next document.  And

12     Mr. Registrar here in The Hague, it's 65 ter 1D2915.  And I have to --

13     I'm reminded that I need to seek leave to add this to our 65 ter exhibit

14     list.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly, any objections to the document being

16     added to the 65 ter list?

17             MR. HEDARALY:  Let me just look at it.  I suspect there are none

18     but I'll -- give me a few seconds.

19             Yeah, no objection.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Leave is granted to add this document to the 65 ter

21     list.

22             Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, and thank you to counsel.

24        Q.   Mr. Akashi, this is a report of -- from UNHCR on humanitarian

25     issues that was sent to the ICFY co-chairman on the 30th of June, and it

Page 21630

 1     discusses Operation Safe Passage.  And if we could go to page 4 of the

 2     document in e-court, and it's numbered page -- numbered page 3,

 3     Mr. Akashi, at the top of the page.

 4        A.   Number?

 5        Q.   It's numbered page 3, and I'm interested now in --

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.    -- in the paragraph that begins in the middle of the page:

 8             "The influx of refugees from Western Slavonia ..."

 9        A.   Yes, I see that.

10        Q.   Okay.  And towards the end of that paragraph, there's a statistic

11     and it says:

12             "Some 2.100 left Western Slavonia ... via the UNCRO

13     Operation Safe Passage?"

14             And then the next paragraph says:  "The Croatian government" --

15     in the middle of the paragraph.

16             "The Croatian government declared that those Serbs who fled

17     Western Slavonia will be permitted to return if it is ascertained that

18     they were legally residents in Croatia prior to the 1991 conflict.

19     UNHCR's involvement in the population movements from Western Slavonia

20     after the restoration of Croatian rule was limited to the counselling of

21     the Serb population about their right to stay or the possibility to leave

22     with the assistance of international organisations.  In the latter case,

23     UNHCR ascertained the voluntary nature of such departures.  The UNHCR

24     also interviewed refugees arriving from Sector West to Banja Luka."

25             Mr. Akashi, in terms of the departure of the Serb population from

Page 21631

 1     Western Slavonia and the --

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Well ... yes.

 3             Please answer the question.  We had to wait, Mr. Akashi, for a

 4     while for the interpretation.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 6        Q.   Let me -- Mr. Akashi, I will complete the question.  In terms of

 7     the departure of the -- the organised departure of the Serbs from

 8     Western Slavonia through international organisations, do you have a

 9     recollection as to whether it was ever established whether those

10     departures were voluntary or not?

11        A.   I think it was a standard policy of UNHCR to ascertain the

12     voluntary nature of movement of the people concerned.  Otherwise, it

13     would constitute a forceful departure.  So what is mentioned in this

14     paragraph looks to me to represent the standing UNHCR policy in these

15     situations.

16        Q.   Okay.  As part of determining the voluntariness of the departure,

17     do you know if UNHCR asked Serbs who wished to depart, whether they would

18     sign a document indicating the voluntariness of the departure?

19        A.   I do not know the technicality of how the voluntary nature of

20     these refugee departure was ascertained.

21        Q.   Okay.

22             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I move to admit 65 ter 1D295 into

23     evidence.

24             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

Page 21632

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1650.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  D1650 is admitted into evidence.

 3             MR. MISETIC:  Let me call up one document, which I may not have

 4     any questions for in light of the last answer.  But, nevertheless, it's

 5     65 ter 1D2914.  And it's page 2, paragraphs 8 and 9, Mr. President, go to

 6     the issue of the procedures employed by UNHCR to determine voluntariness,

 7     and I will move across the bar table do admit this one into evidence as

 8     well, and I will proceed.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

10             MR. HEDARALY:  If we could just have until the break so can I

11     read it.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Could it be marked for identification for the

13     time being.

14             Mr. Registrar.

15             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1651

16     marked for identification.

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

18             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

19        Q.   Mr. Akashi, I wish to turn your attention now to the events

20     leading up to Operation Storm.

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   And do you recall, first of all, attending a meeting with

23     President Tudjman on or about the 29th of July, 1995?

24        A.   I do not have a specific recollection of that meeting on the 29th

25     of July with President Tudjman.

Page 21633

 1        Q.   Okay.  Well, fortunately we had an audio recording of the

 2     meeting, so I would like to play for you some excerpts of the audio of

 3     your meeting with President Tudjman on the 29th of July, 1995.  It may

 4     refresh your recollection.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  And, Mr. Registrar, this is 65 ter 1D1166.  And if

 6     I may just have one moment, please.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, the top of the audio clip --

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, I gave -- called out the wrong number.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  -- was 65 ter 1D2943, if that's the correct number.

10             MR. MISETIC:  That's correct.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Then --

12             MR. MISETIC:  It is, Mr. President.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  -- we know what we are talking about.

14             MR. MISETIC:  Yes, thank you.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  The Chamber was provided with a copy in advance.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, the issue is that in the meeting

17     President Tudjman has his own interpreter present who is conducting an

18     interpretation, so the question for the Chamber is whether you wish for

19     the interpreters in the booths to be interpreting the Croatian followed

20     by President Tudjman's interpreter or should we just let the audio play

21     as is.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, I think for a better understanding it is

23     important to know how the language spoken by Mr. Akashi was translated to

24     President Tudjman and how the words of Mr. Tudjman were translated to

25     Mr. Akashi, and, therefore, exceptionally, I think that it would be

Page 21634

 1     appropriate to -- well not to say to rely upon, but at least to follow

 2     the conversation as it was translated at the time.  Which, of course,

 3     then creates an additional problem in relation to the French translation.

 4     It's -- it's the first time that I'm thinking about these problems,

 5     because what we then expect from the French translators to first

 6     translate what is said in English and then to translate the words as

 7     translated in B/C/S.  It's a bit of a puzzle.

 8             I suggest to the parties that we invite the French booth -- I

 9     always am -- don't know exactly the -- oh, the other side, yes, to

10     translate on the basis of the transcript but only to translate the words

11     as spoken by the person himself; that is, for Mr. Akashi, English, and

12     for President Tudjman, the words in B/C/S.

13             I hope that that will work.  If have you any problems with that,

14     I'd like to know.  I'll move to channel 5 to hear any.

15             Then we'll proceed in this way.

16             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.  We are starting at the 26th minute, 59

17     second mark of the tape.  And this is page 9 of the transcripts for the

18     booths.

19        Q.   Mr. Akashi, we're going to begin now.

20                           [Video-clip played]

21                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

22             MR. MISETIC:  Shall we continue from where we are?

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, and I think what will now follow is the

24     translation by the interpreter as given at the time.

25             So I think we still can proceed.

Page 21635

 1                           [Video-clip played]

 2              "Mr. President said:  We don't -- I don't think we need fear

 3     such as human tragedies because as we can see the Serbs are demoralised,

 4     deserting their units.  So either they will show their readiness to agree

 5     to a political solution or they will be -- they will suffer a military

 6     defeat.  And speaking quite openly, I think both the European Community,

 7     the European Union, and the United Nations are quite aware of the Serbian

 8     behaviour, and have shown full understanding of the steps Croatia has

 9     taken in this regard.

10             "So let me repeat:  We are for talks, for negotiations, if the

11     peace process should start right away, not in eight days or in a

12     fortnight but in two or three days, but the peace process must start

13     right away.  Otherwise, we shall take advantage of the demoralisation in

14     the Serbian ranks both in Bosnia and among the Knin Serbs.

15             "Therefore, it is not at all fortuitous that Martic, Karadzic,

16     and Mladic have been proclaimed criminals of war, and this I believe that

17     also reflects the general mood, the general position of the international

18     community, and I think the other side should draw its conclusions from

19     that."

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

21             MR. HEDARALY:  I may not have understood the previous guidance of

22     the Court.  I thought that everything would be translated to make sure --

23     to understand what was actually spoken by President Tudjman and what was

24     said by the interpreter.  I did not get an English interpretation of what

25     President Tudjman directly said.  I'm not saying that we need it, but I

Page 21636

 1     thought is how it was going to proceed.  I just wanted to clarify that.

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  I think I said that exceptionally we would focus on

 3     how it was translated at the time and, of course, if there's any need to

 4     verify the translation, we have, of course, now the transcript in both

 5     languages so there is an opportunity to verify that, if there's any need

 6     to do so.  At the same time, I'm not quite convinced yet that the B/C/S

 7     transcript, as you find it on our screen, is exactly the same as the

 8     B/C/S transcript as we -- I mean, on the e-court screen, is exactly the

 9     same as the transcript we find in the transcribed version of this

10     conversation as far as B/C/S is concerned.

11             But there's an opportunity to verify that, because it's all

12     written, and most important, at this moment for Mr. Akashi seems to be

13     how his language was translated to President Tudjman at the time, the

14     words he used, and how the language of Mr. Tudjman was translated to him.

15     This gives, I take it, a better orientation.  Unless the parties would

16     come with strong reasons to follow another procedure.

17             Then you may proceed, Mr. Misetic.

18                           [Video-clip played]

19             "Yasushi Akashi:  Mr. President, if you agree, I'd be ready to

20     fly to Knin tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, and to convey your

21     willingness to start serious political talks.

22             "The Interpreter:  The president said:  If this should lead to a

23     peaceful solution and this means that we should have the immediate

24     reinstatement of the pipeline, meaning within 24 hours, and immediate

25     start of the negotiations of reinstatement of road and rail links, but

Page 21637

 1     immediately.

 2             "Including also political talks on the implementation of the

 3     constitutional law of the Republic of Croatia on the rights of the

 4     Serbian ethnic community in Croatia, the rights to local

 5     self-government ..."

 6             MR. MISETIC:

 7        Q.   Mr. Akashi, did you follow along with the audio?

 8        A.   Not very well.  I missed some -- some -- some of the passages.

 9        Q.   Well, do you recall you having a discussion with

10     President Tudjman about going to Knin and President Tudjman giving you

11     some of his conditions that the Knin leadership needed to accept?

12        A.   I -- I remember that I met President Tudjman on the 29th of July,

13     and the atmosphere at the time was extremely grave and with some

14     forebodings of a major war starting, and I remember also that I made my

15     best effort to counsel self-restraint to President Tudjman.  Other than

16     that, specifics escape my memory.

17        Q.   Okay.

18             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I move for the admission of the

19     audio of that meeting, which is, again --

20             MR. HEDARALY:  1D2943.  We don't object.

21             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

22             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1652.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

24             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25        Q.   Now, Mr. Akashi, you ultimately did go to Knin and have that

Page 21638

 1     meeting with Mr. Martic; correct?

 2        A.   That's correct.

 3        Q.   Okay.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  And now, Mr. Registrar, in Tokyo, if you could show

 5     Mr. Akashi the document in tab 5.

 6             And, Mr. Registrar, here this is 65 ter 1D1586.

 7        Q.   Mr. Akashi, this is the code cable you sent to Mr. Annan

 8     documenting what transpired at that meeting with Mr. Martic on

 9     30th of July in Knin.  And I'd like to spend a few minutes talking to you

10     about this meeting.

11             Now, in paragraph 1 you describe the document in front of you as

12     a comprehensive summary of that meeting.  And in paragraph 2 you write:

13             "I went to Knin with the intention of exacting very specific

14     commitments from the leadership there on measures to be taken that would

15     clearly contribute a stabilisation of the situation."

16             And towards the middle of that paragraph, you note that the

17     meeting lasted for over five and one-half hours.

18             If you turn the page and go to paragraph 3.  You describe what

19     commitments you sought from the Knin leadership, and you identify four

20     commitments that you ask them to make.

21             And then the last sentence of paragraph 3 says:  "In return for

22     these commitments, I was prepared to order an active deployment of UNCRO

23     forces along the likely main axis of any potential HV advance into the

24     Krajina, provided that the necessary security and freedom of movement'

25     assurances for UNCRO troops were provided by the ARSK, and to dedicate

Page 21639

 1     all my efforts of persuasion at convincing the Croatian authorities to

 2     pursue negotiations rather than war."

 3             Now can you explain what was the intention -- had the Knin

 4     leadership accepted these four points, what was "the active deployment of

 5     UNCRO forces along the likely main axis of any potential advance into the

 6     Krajina ..."  intended to do by you?

 7        A.   Mr. Misetic, what is your specific question?

 8        Q.   Well, it indicates that you made -- that you were prepared to

 9     order active deployment of UNCRO forces along the likely main axis of any

10     potential HV advance in the Krajina.  My question is:  Why?  What would

11     the deployment of the UNCRO forces along the main axis of any potential

12     HV advance have achieved?

13        A.   I do not have a recollection as to my thinking when these

14     discussions actually took place.

15        Q.   Do you recall any concern that deploying UNCRO forces along a

16     likely main axis of any potential HV advance might put those forces,

17     those UNCRO forces, in harm's way?

18        A.   I'm afraid I cannot answer that question, because whatever I say

19     will be based on a supposition of mine today.

20        Q.   Okay.  Okay.

21             MR. MISETIC:  If we go to paragraph 10 of this document, which is

22     numbered page 4.  And it's page 4 in e-court.

23        Q.   Paragraph 10 states:

24             "The Force Commander" -- who I believe was General Janvier at

25     this meeting, "supported my efforts throughout the meeting, and by making

Page 21640

 1     the following explicit points to Martic and Mrksic: ... there was a need

 2     for precise, concrete commitments from the RSK to avoid a military

 3     escalation."

 4             And then the fourth point was:

 5             "NATO close air support is available for him to use against any

 6     force attacking United Nations personnel."

 7             Do you see that line?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   If -- let me ask you this question:  Based on your experience in

10     the former Yugoslavia, if UNCRO was deployed along the likely main axis

11     of attack by the HV, based on your understanding of this entry, would

12     NATO have been called in had there been an altercation then between the

13     HV and UNCRO forces?

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Before you answer the question -- Mr. Akashi, before

15     you answer the question, Mr. Hedaraly.

16             MR. HEDARALY:  Thank you, Your Honour.  Two points.  First of

17     all, that, I think, calls for clear speculation, especially given the

18     witness's recollection so far to that meeting.  Second of all, there are

19     four points, so if Mr. Misetic will call for speculation, rather than

20     read two of them at least the whole -- the whole paragraph, all four

21     points, should be put to the witness.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, you're invited to give the full context

23     and --

24             MR. MISETIC:  Your Honour, I will be happy to --

25             JUDGE ORIE:  -- you further asked the witness about based on your

Page 21641

 1     understanding of this entry, where, of course, we would have to know what

 2     the understanding of the witness of this entry is before we can fully

 3     evaluate this answer.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, if could I ask just -- just to give

 5     a proffer of what's -- what I'm going to do.  If I could ask that the --

 6     is there any way for the witness not to listen to --

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  I'm afraid there is not.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  If there's any way that you could postpone that for

10     a couple of minutes --

11             MR. MISETIC:  Sure.

12             JUDGE ORIE:  Then, of course, we could --

13             MR. MISETIC:  Sure.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  -- just before the break hear from you.  Yes.

15             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

16        Q.   Let me read out the full paragraph for you, Mr. Akashi.  It

17     says --

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   What I had read out:

20             "The Force Commander supported my efforts throughout the meeting

21     and by making the following explicit points to Martic and Mrksic:  (a),

22     there was a need for precise concrete commitments from the RSK to avoid a

23     military escalation; (b), Croatia considers the ARSK involvement in Bihac

24     as justification for its own military moves in Grahovo and Glamoc; (c),

25     the RSK cannot complain about the United Nations's inability to implement

Page 21642

 1     our mandate if it does not provide us with the minimum degree of freedom

 2     of movement needed for us operate; and (d), NATO close air support is

 3     available for him to use against any force attacking United Nations

 4     personnel."

 5             Now my question to you, Mr. Akashi, is:  UNCRO actually - and we

 6     can look at the document if necessary - did implement something called

 7     operation active presence, which is Exhibit D288 in this case, deploying

 8     UN forces along the main axis of potential attack by the HV.

 9             My question to you is:  Did NATO, or did you and Mr. Janvier have

10     the authority then to call in NATO to attack Croatian forces if in fact

11     those UN forces came under fire by Croatian troops?

12        A.   This specific NATO action is called close air support.  It's an

13     action by NATO when UN personnel is under armed attack, and the object of

14     NATO air action will be specifically the weapon which is used actually

15     against the safety and the security of UN personnel.  And the weapons

16     attacking UN personnel have to be verified, not only from the air but

17     from the ground.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Akashi, Mr. Akashi.

19        A.   And if --

20             JUDGE ORIE:  If you do not mind, I'd like to intervene for a

21     second.

22             I think the specific question by Mr. Misetic was whether you or

23     Mr. Janvier had the authority to call for such a NATO close air support.

24     So the question is less about what that means but, rather, about who had

25     the authority to call for such an action.

Page 21643

 1             THE WITNESS:  Your Honour, in this case, there's a standard

 2     procedure called dual-key system.  In other words, activation of NATO air

 3     action has to have not only the UN key but NATO key, in order to be

 4     implemented.

 5             So NATO can use its veto, even if -- even if UN wants it.  But I

 6     was also describing specific circumstances in which UN will ask for NATO

 7     close air support.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Thank you.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, in view of the tapes, which are not

11     serving us for many more minutes, I suggest that we already allow

12     Mr. Akashi to start his break and that you address the Chamber without

13     Mr. Akashi --

14             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  -- being able to hear it.

16             Mr. Akashi, a little bit earlier than expected --

17             THE WITNESS:  Yes.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  -- we'll have a break and we'd like to resume in

19     35 minutes from now, if that suits you.

20             THE WITNESS:  That's fine, Your Honour, but I take it that the

21     break is not just form me but for all the personnel involved in these

22     proceedings.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, you're perfectly right, but the Chamber was

24     informed that you may have some concerns about breaks and timing, whereas

25     all those involved in the proceedings here they know me well enough that

Page 21644

 1     I will consider their interests to the extent possible.  But I

 2     specifically addressed you in this respect.  We'd like to see you back

 3     and we can interrupt at least the audio at this moment with Tokyo.

 4             THE WITNESS:  Thank you for your humanitarian consideration.  But

 5     I stood up to many hours of negotiations in the former Yugoslavia.

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Thank you.  Then we'll interrupt at least the

 7     audio.

 8                           [The witness stands down]

 9             Mr. Misetic.

10             MR. MISETIC:  The point of the question is based on the fact that

11     on 4th of August I have a code cable from Mr. Akashi indicating that on

12     the day of Operation Storm he had a meeting with Mr. Sarinic and

13     indicated that NATO close air support was possible because of attacks on

14     Croatian Army troops.

15             So I think he should have, anyway, at least some knowledge of

16     the -- of the situation concerning NATO close air support and --

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, as a matter of fact, I interrupted him, I think

18     specifically on the point you're raising now, whether the circumstances

19     to call for close air support by NATO were met yes or no.  It was not

20     your question.  Your question was about authority.

21             MR. MISETIC:  Correct.

22             JUDGE ORIE:  So if I want to resume that at any later stage, then

23     --

24             MR. MISETIC:  We will.

25             JUDGE ORIE:  -- of course.

Page 21645

 1             Now, Mr. Hedaraly, do you still have any concerns about the

 2     context, as you said, and whether or not to ask for speculation.  I think

 3     the witness started answering about conditions under which NATO CAS would

 4     be possible, and he apparently has knowledge about the authority to call

 5     for such air support.

 6             MR. HEDARALY:  I think, Mr. President, you are correct, and

 7     perhaps rather than showing him first that specific line, if -- in direct

 8     examination it may have been more useful to explore that with the

 9     witness, first, what his knowledge is, and then it would have obviated

10     any contextual or speculation objection because then we would have known

11     what the witness's knowledge was on that issue and then Mr. Misetic could

12     have explored that further.  And if then there was need to show him a

13     specific document or cable, because either it's a contradiction or to

14     refresh his memory, I think that then there would be no objection

15     whatsoever.

16             But I'm happy to wait for Mr. Misetic to resume and how the

17     question will be put to the witness.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, a general invitation to be less leading

19     through documents, and I think --

20             MR. MISETIC:  If I may --

21             JUDGE ORIE:  -- not affirm further support for the objection

22     Mr. Hedaraly made before.

23             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I will state that given the

24     witness's ability to recall things independently which I have personal

25     knowledge having tried to take a statement from him, and I think matters

Page 21646

 1     have proceeded very slowly this morning on that basis, I can proceed that

 2     way of testing his memory and then showing him documents, but I can

 3     assure the court that we will be in direct examination into Thursday

 4     if --

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Perhaps even a short introductory question, it would

 6     appear that the witness has no specific recollection about certain

 7     events, then we could move quickly then to the documents.

 8             We will take the break now, and we'll resumed at quarter past

 9     12.00, European time.

10                           --- Recess taken at 11.46 a.m.

11                           [The witness takes the stand]

12                           --- On resuming at 12.18 p.m.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Before we continue, Mr. Hedaraly, D1651.

14             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  Would that also include that would you not object to

16     having it added to the 65 ter list, if Mr. Misetic would have asked you?

17             MR. HEDARALY:  If he would have asked me, I would not have

18     objected.

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Then leave is granted to add D1651 to the 65 ter

20     list and it is admitted into evidence.

21             Please proceed.

22             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Had I asked Mr. Hedaraly

23     and he not objected, I would have thanked him for not objecting.

24                           [Trial Chamber confers]

25             MR. MISETIC:

Page 21647

 1        Q.   Mr. Akashi, if I could ask to you look at the document at tab 5

 2     where we left off.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  I --

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

 5        Q.   If we look at paragraph 11.

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   It says:

 8             "I then tried to pin Martic down on the commitments that I

 9     believed he had made during the course of our discussion.  I observed

10     that Martic had committed himself to the following ...

11             And it goes through:

12             "(a), ensuring there was no ARSK presence in Bihac, which was the

13     tantamount to an immediate and total ARSK withdrawal from Bihac; (b),

14     that the RSK had no territorial or offensive military intentions toward

15     Bihac; (c), that UNHCR aid deliveries to Bihac would not be hindered by

16     the RSK authorities; and (d), that army commanders should meet right away

17     as early as tomorrow."

18             And if we skip down to paragraph 13, It says:

19             "In the end, agreement was finally reached on the exact wording

20     of the text with the understanding that Martic would sign it.  As it was

21     evident that the meeting was concluding, Mr. Matsura, who was with the

22     ARSK, asked me if I had asked President Tudjman to sign a similar

23     document.  The answer to that question was, of course, well known to all

24     present, and there had been no mention of the issue at any other time

25     during the meeting.  Nonetheless, Martic used it as an excuse not to sign

Page 21648

 1     the document.  As an alternative, it was agreed that Mr. Matsura, as a

 2     fluent English speaker, would read the document out verbatim and in the

 3     name of President Martic to the waiting press.  I expressed my conviction

 4     that by doing so Martic was fully accepting on his honour the terms of

 5     the commitments contained in the document.  However, when we went down to

 6     meet the press, Matsura was the only one from the delegation not to

 7     accompany us (except General Mrksic who had left the meeting as soon as

 8     final agreement on the text was reached)."

 9             Now, Mr. Akashi, what conclusion did you reach by the fact that

10     Mr. Martic refused to sign it and then Mr. Matsura did not come down to

11     read the statement verbatim, as had been agreed?

12        A.   I remember that this was with one of the ipsos of great

13     difficulty of negotiating with Martic, and either he changed his mind or

14     he was not -- he did not think through while we were negotiating, and he

15     had a second mind.  In the end, I think it was extremely disagreeable for

16     us to negotiate with such a person, and we were all very bitter at the

17     end of that meeting, which, in the end, proved to be fruitless.

18        Q.   Okay.  Thank you, Mr. Akashi.

19             MR. MISETIC:  If we could look just at -- you will see that

20     attached to this document which you sent to Mr. Annan.  If you look at

21     the last page, it is a copy of the six-point document, which, at

22     paragraph 15 the code cable you say you are attaching for ease of

23     reference.  Another copy of the six-point document that resulted from my

24     meeting in Knin."

25        A.   Mm-hm.

Page 21649

 1        Q.   Do you see the six-point document?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Okay.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D1586 be marked

 5     and I tender it into evidence.

 6             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Yes, Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1653.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  D1653 is admitted into evidence.

10             Please proceed.

11             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

12             Mr. Registrar in Tokyo, if we could please go to tab 9 in the

13     binder.

14             And, Mr. Registrar, this is Exhibit D1474 for e-court.

15        Q.   Now, Mr. Akashi, you will see that this is a letter you wrote to

16     President Tudjman about your meeting in Knin with Mr. Martic.  And in the

17     cover letter, you wrote:

18             "During discussions today in Knin, Mr. Martic reiterated to

19     myself and General Janvier the commitment of the Knin leadership to a

20     peaceful solution of the conflict.  Six specific undertakings were also

21     made.  The exact wording of the undertakings made to me by the Knin

22     leadership is recorded on the attached document, which I distributed to

23     the media on my return to this evening to Zagreb."

24             And if we turn to the page, it's the same six-point agreement

25     that was attached to your code cable to Mr. Annan.

Page 21650

 1             And my question to you is, if, as you say you were -- I don't

 2     have the transcript in front of me, Mr. President, because my transcript

 3     has gone down.

 4             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, I was informed that this is a problem which

 5     occurs in all the courtrooms at this moment.  So, therefore, I am afraid

 6     that we have either to live with it and find solutions or --

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Okay.

 8        Q.   I will then try to paraphrase your answer to the last document,

 9     Mr. Akashi.

10             If you were disappointed by the fact that Mr. Martic had in fact

11     not agreed to the six-point agreement, may I ask why you then followed up

12     by writing a letter to President Tudjman which seems to indicate that he

13     did accept it?

14        A.   You should read carefully this covering letter, in which Martic

15     reiterated his commitment to us to a peaceful solution of the conflict.

16     He also, at one stage, agreed to the six-point undertakings, but he

17     subsequently backtracked on that.

18             So you can see from this covering letter differentiation between

19     Martic's general commitment to a peaceful solution of the conflict and

20     his acceptance of the six points in -- contained in the attached

21     document, where I did not say that there has been agreement.

22        Q.   Mr. --

23        A.   So a careful distinction is being made between one general

24     commitment and the six specific undertakings.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I'm going to ask a few more

Page 21651

 1     questions on this topic because it relates, for us, to the Brioni

 2     transcript.

 3        Q.   So if I may follow up.

 4             Mr. Akashi, the wording actually of the letter says simply:

 5             "I agree with you on the first sentence."

 6             The seconds sentence says:

 7             "Six specific undertakings were also made.  The exact wording of

 8     the undertakings made to me by the Knin leadership is recorded on the

 9     attached document."

10             Now, do you recognize that the wording of this letter would have

11     indicated to President Tudjman that, in fact, Mr. Martic had agreed to

12     these six conditions?

13        A.   His agreement with us at one point is a matter of historical

14     record, and in order to show that the Knin leadership accepted these six

15     undertakings at some point, we differentiated the general commitment from

16     the historical fact of the acceptance of those undertakings at some

17     point.  Maybe this is too fine a point for a casual reader, but I think

18     this is a carefully crafted document.

19        Q.   Okay.

20             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that -- I'm sorry it's already

21     admitted into evidence as D1474.

22        Q.   Mr. Akashi, if we could now turn to Mr. -- or to

23     President Tudjman's response to this letter.

24             MR. MISETIC:  This is Exhibit D1475.  And it is tab 10, it's the

25     next tab in your binder.

Page 21652

 1        Q.   Now, Mr. -- first, let me know when you've had a chance to read

 2     through the letter, Mr. Akashi.

 3        A.   I am not able to read Croatian.

 4        Q.   If the registrar in Tokyo could assist us.  Is there an English

 5     translation of this document in the binder?

 6             THE REGISTRAR: [Via videolink]  There doesn't appear to be an

 7     English translation immediately behind the B/C/S original, so I'm looking

 8     for that elsewhere.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  It may that be there's inadvertently the Croatian

10     version was put in rather than the English.  So let me just --

11        Q.   Mr. Akashi, ask you about your recollection.  Do you recall that

12     President Tudjman wrote you a letter in response to your letter to him of

13     the 29th?

14        A.   I do not have --

15        Q.   I'm sorry, the 28th.

16        A.   I do not remember Tudjman's letter.

17        Q.   Okay.  We'll move on.

18             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. Registrar, if we could go to tab 8 in the

19     binder.  This is 65 ter 1D1585.

20        Q.   Mr. Akashi, this is a code cable concerning your meeting with

21     Mr. Sarinic on the 4th of August, which is the first day of

22     Operation Storm.

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   And in the first paragraph, towards the middle, it says -- I'll

25     refer you to Mr. Sarinic.

Page 21653

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   It says:

 3             "He expressed full understanding for the need to avoid as much as

 4     possible civilian casualties and assured me that firm orders had been

 5     passed throughout the chain of command that the security of UN personnel

 6     was to be fully respected?"

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   "Sarinic also gave official endorsement to the idea that, in the

 9     event that the Croatian Army takes long swaths of territory, the United

10     Nations would be permitted to monitor human rights and assist on

11     humanitarian matters."

12        A.   Yes.

13        Q.   And then skipping that next sentence:

14             "In response to my comment on the possibility of NATO close air

15     support as to protect our troops if they are under fire, Sarinic said

16     that NATO action in Croatia against Croatia would severely harm the

17     relations between his government and the United Nations."

18             And it says:

19             "Below is a more complete summary of the meeting."

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Okay.  And then if we --

22             JUDGE ORIE:  One second.

23             Yes, Mr. Misetic, someone is listening to keep the right pace.

24             MR. MISETIC:  I'm trying myself, Mr. President.

25             If we could go to page 2 of this document.  In that carry-over

Page 21654

 1     paragraph from the previous page, towards the middle, it says:

 2             "I expressed my regret that more than 200 shells had fallen on

 3     the town of Knin, that other towns in the Krajina had been shelled, that

 4     many of UNCRO's observation posts ... had been targeted, attacked, and/or

 5     overrun, that one Danish peace keeper had been killed by direct fire from

 6     the Croatian Army, and that two Polish peacekeepers were injured, one of

 7     them seriously.  Although the ARSK had also shelled some Croatian cities

 8     today, such activity was subsequent to the Croatian shelling of Knin and

 9     in any case, I insisted it was not a justifiable pretext for shelling

10     urban areas.  I informed Sarinic that, after consultations with me, the

11     Force Commander had asked NATO for air presence in areas where UNCRO

12     peacekeepers were under direct threat from the fighting, and urged

13     Sarinic to ensure that the HV commanders were fully cognizant of the

14     United Nations's intention to take all necessary measures to protect its

15     forces."

16             Now, on this paragraph --

17             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic.

18             MR. MISETIC:  I'm sorry.

19        Q.   Now, Mr. Akashi, do you recall this discussion with Mr. Sarinic

20     on the 4th of August?

21        A.   I have, yeah, some recollection about the general tone of our

22     discussion.

23        Q.   Okay.  Now you make reference in the code cable to having had

24     a -- consultations with the Force Commander, who was General Janvier

25     asking for NATO air presence?

Page 21655

 1             Do you recall the conversation with General Janvier on NATO air

 2     presence?

 3        A.   Not the contents of our discussion, as such.

 4        Q.   Well, do you recall that NATO air presence had been called in?

 5        A.   No, I have no specific recollection.  We had occasions about

 6     possible NATO action, but I do not recall specific discussion between

 7     myself and General Janvier in this particular circumstance.

 8        Q.   Okay.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  Well, rather than flipping back and fourth between

10     document, Mr. President, I'm just going to read out a portion of

11     Exhibit D288 which is General Janvier's order for active presence.  It's

12     page 6 of that order, which is also, if necessary, tab 6 in the binder.

13        Q.   Mr. Akashi, General Janvier, prior to Operation Storm, had

14     ordered an operation known as Active Presence, and he had ordered upon

15     renewed hostilities UNCRO forces shall remain in location; upon renewed

16     hostilities, all actions necessary for self-defence shall be taken; UNCRO

17     forces shall not withdraw nor shall positions be abandoned without

18     authorisation.

19             And earlier in that order, General Janvier had ordered - this is

20     page 3 of 8 at the top - within the Zone of Separation and the Dinara

21     mountains, UNCRO forces are to be placed in those areas most likely to

22     become either areas of conflict between the warring parties or axes of

23     advance.

24             My question for you, Mr. Akashi, is was there a discussion about

25     deploying UNCRO forces in areas likely to be the main axis of attack of

Page 21656

 1     the HV for the purpose of ultimately calling in NATO close air support in

 2     order to stop the -- any potential Croatian Army offensive?

 3        A.   I cannot give a specific answer as to whether there were specific

 4     discussions about these questions of UNCRO deployment and NATO air cover

 5     for them.

 6        Q.   Well, you say you can't -- you don't recall specific discussions.

 7     Do you recall generally any such policy?

 8        A.   I have no recollection, but I think, under the circumstances,

 9     consideration might have been given to this type of measure.

10        Q.   Okay.  Now, if we can go back to tab 8, which is the 4th of

11     August code cable.

12             MR. MISETIC:  And, again, it was 1D1585.  Going to page 3,

13     paragraph 5.

14        Q.   Paragraph 5 says:

15             "On the subject of civilians, Sarinic claimed that Croatia would

16     like all the people to remain in the Krajina after the operation is over,

17     as it had wished the people to stay in Western Slavonia, and that the

18     human rights of those remain would be guaranteed.  Sarinic stated that he

19     accepted UNPF monitoring of the behaviour of Croatian military, police,

20     and civilian authorities" -- I believe it should say "in the field of

21     human rights and humanitarian assistance in the future in areas of the

22     Krajina taken by the HV.  He officially accepted my proposal to deploy at

23     least two integrated human rights monitoring teams to each of Sector

24     North and Sector South when conditions would permit.  Sarinic also

25     pledged that the entire leadership, from the top to the bottom, would do

Page 21657

 1     its best to behave in an civilised manner and assured me that efforts

 2     were being made to avoid civilian casualties."

 3             Now, Mr. Akashi, my first question to you is:  When Mr. Sarinic

 4     told you this, did you believe that he was sincere?

 5        A.   Whether I believed he was sincere?

 6        Q.   Yes.

 7        A.   This question can only be answered in the context of my press

 8     conference statement that day, in which I condemned the Croatian military

 9     attack on the Krajinas.  And in my subsequent meeting with Sarinic in

10     person I expressed deep regret, and I sought assurance for full safety

11     for civilians as well as for UN personnel and additional assurances for

12     full protection of human rights after the military action was over.

13             So -- and I call your attention to a few words which you did not

14     read out after the sentence which you just read for the benefit of the --

15     of the Tribunal, that -- that Sarinic added to say that, and I quote:

16             "War is a terrible environment and it is the civilians who always

17     suffer the most in such conditions."

18             He was obviously not perhaps contrite but on the defensive.

19        Q.   Well, let's look at paragraph 7, which offers some of your

20     conclusions from the meeting.  And you wrote:

21             "Generally speaking, Sarinic appeared to be greatly concerned

22     that events would transpire on the ground which would show Croatia in an

23     unfavorable light.  Because of these concerns, I believe we can expect

24     generally good cooperation from the Croatian authorities in the areas of

25     our own greatest concern now, namely, assistance to the civilian

Page 21658

 1     population and security for United Nations personnel.  Although the

 2     cooperation will be welcome, to the extent it materialises, it will be

 3     the result of Croatian self-interest interest, rather than munificence.

 4     Nonetheless, Croatian anxiety over their image in the eyes of the world

 5     can be used in an appropriate manner to advance our concerns."

 6             Now, can you explain to the Court what you meant in that in terms

 7     of advancing your concerns and how Croatian anxiety could be used to

 8     advance those concerns?

 9        A.   I think that this passage requires no explanation.  As I have

10     said, our concerns were genuine and serious, and Sarinic, in his rather

11     vain manner, did his best to -- to show his agreement with our concerns.

12     But we were counting on -- on those Croatian interests to maintain its

13     good image in the western countries, because we may be accused of being

14     too optimistic in that regard.

15        Q.   Now, Mr. Akashi, there is an agreement here that is referred to

16     often in this case as the Akashi-Sarinic agreement to the 6th of August.

17     To the best of your recollection, did the negotiations for that agreement

18     first begin with this conversation with Mr. Sarinic on the 4th of August?

19             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

20             MR. HEDARALY:  I apologise for the interruption.  It perhaps may

21     make more sense to first ask him about the agreement, what he remembers

22     about it, and then perhaps where it started.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, that's -- Mr. Hedaraly is not very

24     strong in his expression that he would like you to be less leading, but

25     that's certainly what he seeks, and he does it in a gentle way by not

Page 21659

 1     firmly objecting but by inviting you to be less leading in this respect.

 2             If you would follow his invitation, that might save us a few

 3     objections.

 4             MR. MISETIC:

 5        Q.   Mr. Akashi, do you recall agreement that you reached with

 6     Mr. Sarinic on the issue of human rights in the newly liberated

 7     territories?

 8        A.   That's the agreement on the 6th of August, I take it?

 9        Q.   Correct.

10        A.   I have a general recollection that the agreement dealt

11     essentially with human rights and the right of safe page for Serb

12     refugees.

13        Q.   Okay.  Was the first time -- the first negotiation with

14     Mr. Sarinic that culminated on the agreement of the 6th, the meeting on

15     the 4th of August that is memorialised in this code cable of the 4th of

16     August?

17        A.   What is the question?

18        Q.   In other words, this agreement on 6th of August, when was the

19     first time had you a conversation with Mr. Sarinic about human rights

20     monitoring by UNPF in the newly liberated territories?

21        A.   We had discussions on these matters in May, with regard to

22     Sector West, and I -- I remember that we also discussed these matters on

23     the 4th, 5th, and the 6th of August.

24        Q.   Okay.  Thank you.

25             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that Exhibit 65 ter 1D1585 be

Page 21660

 1     marked and I tender it into evidence.

 2             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

 4             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1654.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  D1654 is admitted into evidence.

 6             Please proceed.

 7             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 8             Mr. Registrar, if could I have the witness look at tab 63 in the

 9     binder, which is 65 ter 1D1596, please.

10        Q.   Mr. Akashi, do you recall information regarding the shelling of

11     Knin being given to you on the 4th of August?

12        A.   Since the Croatian attack on Knin started that day, I'm sure all

13     the information about the extent and the variety of attacks should have

14     been given to my office.

15        Q.   You are not in the heading of the memo, but if we scroll down to

16     the bottom of the page, if you look it says:  "Internal distribution,"

17     and the first letters there are SRSG.  Would that be you, Special

18     Representative for the Secretary-General?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   Okay.  Now, if you go -- if we look back up at the top and look

21     at the time stamps on this document, it says UNPROFOR communications,

22     4 August, 8.15.  And then there is a time stamp on the right-hand side of

23     the document which appears to show a time stamp of 8.41 on the 4th of

24     August, 1995.

25             Now, Mr. Akashi, this is within three hours, three and a half

Page 21661

 1     hours, of the Croatian military operation beginning.  And if you look at

 2     paragraph 2, the information distributed says:

 3             "At 0500 hours 4 August the HV commenced a coordinated and

 4     concentrated artillery attack on Knin.  Over a period of 30 minutes, it

 5     is estimated that 200 to 300 rounds landed in the centre of the city.  At

 6     0530 hours, the concentrated artillery attack subsided, however,

 7     harassment fire has continued, with approximately one round every 15

 8     seconds landing in the city centre?"

 9             First, do you recall this as the initial information that you

10     received about the shelling of Knin?

11        A.   Yeah, it corresponds to my general recollection.

12        Q.   Okay.

13             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked

14     and I tender it into evidence, which is 65 ter 1D1596.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  There is no objection by Mr. Hedaraly, I see.

16             Mr. Registrar.

17             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1655.

18             JUDGE ORIE:  D1655 is admitted into evidence.

19             MR. MISETIC:

20        Q.   Mr. Akashi, let me go back in time for one moment and this is

21     tab 57 in your binder, which is 65 ter 1D1587.

22             Again, this is a code cable from you to Mr. Annan.  And if we go

23     to page 2, paragraph 4(B).  It says:

24             "The Croatian government is not prepared to liberate all the

25     occupied territory in the near-term offensive.  They appear unprepared to

Page 21662

 1     take back parts of Sectors North and South and are unlikely to attack

 2     Sector East.  Thus, the action would not shed the political weight of

 3     refugees from Vukovar."

 4             Now, in the days leading up to Operation Storm do you recall

 5     whether the assessment was that the Croatian Army would not conduct an

 6     operation against all of Sectors North and South?

 7        A.   I have no recollection in that regard.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that this exhibit be marked

 9     and I tender it into evidence.

10             JUDGE ORIE:  No objections, Mr. Hedaraly.

11             Then, Mr. Registrar.

12             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, that will be Exhibit D1656.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  D1656 is admitted into evidence.

14             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

15             The next document is Exhibit D337.

16             And, Mr. Registrar, this is tab 11 in the binder.

17        Q.   Mr. Akashi, this is a code cable drafted by you on the evening of

18     the 4th of August.  The UNPROFOR communications stamp in the upper

19     right-hand corner has a time stamp of 1947.  And it's an update on the

20     current situation in Croatia, and this is the first day of

21     Operation Storm.

22             MR. MISETIC:  And if we turn the page and go to paragraph 4.

23        Q.   You wrote to Mr. Annan:

24             "We have been advised by the civil affairs office in Sector South

25     that the Knin leadership have requested UNHCR and UNPF assistance in

Page 21663

 1     evacuating approximately 32.000 civilians from Benkovac, Obrovac, Gracac,

 2     and Knin to Petrovac and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

 3             Now do you recall, on the evening of the 4th, the issue of

 4     Krajina Serbs leaving the Krajina?

 5        A.   I do not have specific recollection of that.  By the way, you

 6     said I drafted this cable.  I -- these cables are usually drafted by my

 7     colleagues, either in the civilian sector, or sometimes in the military

 8     areas, and it is very occasional that I myself draft something which

 9     would be rather of general character on strategic questions than on

10     tactical situations or specifics of negotiations.

11        Q.   Okay.  Can you tell us who, by name, would have participated in

12     drafting these cables?

13        A.   I had seven or eight officials working for me.  In addition, I

14     had my military commander and his staff, and we had also representatives

15     deployed in various duty stations.

16        Q.   Okay.

17        A.   So it is impossible to tell you as to who in specific

18     circumstances may have drafted or has sent drafts of various cables.

19        Q.   Okay.  Well, would Mr. --

20        A.   But if -- yeah.

21        Q.   Would --

22        A.   If they deal with important points and matters, we usually take

23     time to have discussion together.

24        Q.   Okay.  Would Mr. Tony Bambury have participated in drafting some

25     of these code cables?

Page 21664

 1        A.   Tony was one of my very diligent, very hard-working young

 2     officer, yes.

 3        Q.   Now going back to this document, do you have any recollection at

 4     all about the issue of Krajina Serbs leaving the -- leaving the so-called

 5     Krajina on the evening of the 4th of August?

 6             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

 7             MR. HEDARALY:  That question has been asked and answered at 58

 8     lines -- line 12.

 9             MR. MISETIC:  He said specific recollection, Mr. President.  I'm

10     asking now for a general recollection.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

12             Mr. Akashi, are you able to tell us from your recollection about

13     Krajina Serbs leaving the area and with specific information as to the

14     day and the time when they may have left?

15             THE WITNESS:  Your Honour, I am simply not able to give you those

16     specific information.  Since I was not there at that time, I, Your

17     Honour, as you may recall, I -- I was in Knin on specific dates but not

18     on the 4th or 5th or 6th of July.  I was -- I visited Knin on the 7th of

19     July.

20             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Mr. Akashi, even if you did not personally

21     observe, do you have any recollection apart from having personally

22     observed about issues of Krajina Serbs leaving the area in this

23     time-frame?  And I'm talking about civilians.

24             THE WITNESS:  Yes, Your Honour.  If you frame the question in

25     these general terms, my answer will be yes.

Page 21665

 1             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  If there will be any follow-up question, I

 2     leave it to Mr. Misetic.

 3             Mr. Misetic.

 4             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 5             MR. HEDARALY:  Just -- I'm -- I think just for the record, the

 6     witness stated he was on Knin in specific dates on either the 4th or 5th

 7     or 6th of July, but on the 7th of July.  I think that's probably a

 8     mistake.  But just want that for the record.  If Mr. Misetic wants to

 9     clarify that.

10             MR. MISETIC:  I believe that [Overlapping speakers] ...

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, that might be wise to do.  Yes.

12             MR. MISETIC:

13        Q.   Mr. Akashi, you indicated you weren't in Knin on the 4th, 5th,

14     6th, but you were on the 7th of July, could you perhaps --

15        A.   That's August.

16        Q.   Yes.

17        A.   I meant August, I'm sorry.

18        Q.   Thank you.  Mr. Akashi, on this issue of your general

19     recollection of the fact that Krajina Serbs were leaving, do you recall,

20     generally speaking, what information you received as to where they were

21     going?

22        A.   No, I myself did not have that information.

23        Q.   Well, in the code cable that we're looking at, at paragraph 4,

24     you indicate that 32.000 civilians would be going from -- four towns in

25     the so-called RSK to Petrovac and Banja Luka.  Can you tell us where that

Page 21666

 1     information came from?

 2             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

 3             MR. HEDARALY:  I may have to be a little less gentle this time

 4     and object to leading the witness.  It seems to me that the logical

 5     question is what is the general recollection, what do you know about that

 6     when Your Honour asked the question, rather than leading him to a

 7     specific line in the document.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Well, I think that the witnesses clearly explained

 9     that his recollection as far as the general issue is concerned is there,

10     but that it does not go any further.

11             Is that correctly understood, Mr. Akashi?

12             THE WITNESS:  Your Honour, you are entirely correct in your

13     understanding, sir.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.

15             Under those circumstances, Mr. Misetic is entitled to take the

16     witness to the documents and to see whether that in any way refreshes his

17     recollection or whether it triggers any additional recollection.

18             Mr. Misetic, you may proceed.

19             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you.

20        Q.   Mr. Akashi, my question was:  That first sentence in paragraph 4

21     of Exhibit D337, do you recall where that information came from?

22        A.   No, I do not know that.

23        Q.   Okay.  Now, in your answer to His Honour Judge Orie, you

24     discussed a trip you took to Knin on the 7th of August.  First, can you

25     tell us why you decided to go to Knin on the 7th of August?

Page 21667

 1        A.   I -- I do not recall as to why I travelled to Knin on that day.

 2     But with regard to events in -- in the month of May that year, with

 3     regard to Sector West, I remember I kept asking for permission to travel

 4     to Sector West and permission came rather late for me to travel.  Even on

 5     the day I was allowed to travel, my helicopter had to turn back.  It

 6     would appear that the Croatian military had difficulty giving me

 7     permission.  So you needed permission not just from Mr. Sarinic but from

 8     others as well.

 9             So it could be that, in the case of travel to Knin in August,

10     August 7th, there may have been similar problems of permission from the

11     Croatian authorities.  But I cannot be very specific on that.

12        Q.   Yes.  But, Mr. Akashi, my question wasn't about your permission

13     to go.  My question is why did you want to go to Knin in the first place.

14             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

15             MR. HEDARALY:  I [Overlapping speakers] --

16             THE WITNESS:  I think it's almost as both of us --

17     [overlapping speakers] ...

18             JUDGE ORIE:  One -- one second, please, Mr. Akashi.

19             Mr. Hedaraly.

20             MR. HEDARALY:  And in the beginning of the witness's answer he

21     said he did not recall why I travelled to Knin that day.  Then he went on

22     to Sector West.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes, but it's unclear whether that's specific about

24     the day or -- let me just try to resolve this matter.

25             Mr. Akashi, was it for any specific purpose that you wanted to

Page 21668

 1     travel to Knin where you finally travelled on the 7th of August?

 2             THE WITNESS:  Yes, Your Honour.  I wanted to see with my own eyes

 3     as to what happened, the conditions of life of my people, my personnel,

 4     as well as conditions of the city, as well as living conditions of IDPs

 5     which were housed in our military barracks.

 6             So I think it is -- was in the nature of my responsibilities that

 7     I wanted to get my own personal glimpse of the situation to make my

 8     personal assessment.

 9             MR. MISETIC:

10        Q.   With respect to your answer that you wanted to see with my own

11     eyes as to what happened, the conditions -- the conditions of the city,

12     may I ask why you wanted to -- or what was the purpose of checking on the

13     condition of the city?

14        A.   I'm surprised by the question.  I think it's an intrinsic part of

15     my responsibility as UN Secretary-General Special Representative in the

16     area, to get first-hand information of the situation only a few days

17     after the major military attack --

18        Q.   Well --

19        A.    -- and humanitarian tragedy was also unfolding there.

20        Q.   Well, let me ask you:  Were you aware of allegations that Knin

21     had been indiscriminately shelled?

22        A.   I don't recall that.

23        Q.   Well, in the code cable we had on the screen before concerning

24     your meeting with Mr. Sarinic, there is reference to you telling

25     Mr. Sarinic or talking to him about 2 to 300 rounds falling on Knin.  Do

Page 21669

 1     you recall whether one of the purposes of your visit to Knin was to

 2     determine the state of the city as it relates to allegations of the

 3     shelling of Knin?

 4        A.   That was part of my purposes, yes.  But please do not equate

 5     shelling of 2 to 300 shells and indiscriminate shelling.

 6        Q.   Well, explain what you mean by that.

 7        A.   I mean exactly what I have said.

 8             JUDGE ORIE:  Could I try to seek --

 9             Did you want to say that mentioning 2 to 300 rounding falling on

10     Knin does not mean that the town of Knin is indiscriminately shelled but

11     also is no evidence of the contrary.

12             Is that well understood?

13             THE WITNESS:  That's correct -- that's correct, My Honour.  I

14     think one should not go into a realm of speculation.  Two to 300 shells

15     could mean indiscriminate shelling, but it could be that all those shells

16     could have been concentrated on military installations.  You may have to

17     say you have to stretch imagination a little bit to believe that.  But I

18     think we have to be -- we have to try to be as exact as possible.

19             MR. MISETIC:

20        Q.   Well, Mr. Akashi, do you recall whether, prior to your trip, you

21     had received allegations that the HV had in fact targeted non-military

22     targets in Knin and that in fact the Knin hospital had been shelled?

23        A.   I do not recall that.

24        Q.   Well, if we could look at tab 30 in your binder.

25             MR. MISETIC:  And this is 65 ter 1D2918.

Page 21670

 1             And I need to seek leave to add this to the 65 ter exhibit list,

 2     Mr. President.

 3             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Hedaraly.

 4             MR. HEDARALY:  No objection.

 5             JUDGE ORIE:  Leave is granted, Mr. Misetic.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Thank you, Mr. President.

 7        Q.   And I'm interested in page 9 of this document.  This is a weekly

 8     situation report but if you look at the cover page - if we scroll down in

 9     e-court - sorry.  If we could go back to the cover page in e-court.

10             The cover page says that this a weekly situation report covering

11     the period 31 July through 6 August.

12             MR. MISETIC:  And now if we could go to page 9.

13        Q.   And it's drafted -- or, sorry, it's sent by you, Mr. Akashi.

14             Now in section D in the first paragraph, it says:  "While a full

15     assessment of the situation will not be possible until UN personnel gain

16     freedom of movement in the area, there are initial reports of a number of

17     civilian casualties and apparent targeting of non-military targets by

18     Croatian forces in the Knin area.  In a particularly egregious case,

19     UNCRO personnel assisted in evacuation of Knin hospital after it was

20     shelled."

21             Does that refresh your recollection about the nature of some of

22     the allegations of the shelling of Knin?

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Could you wait --

24             THE WITNESS:  I do not recall --

25             JUDGE ORIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Akashi.  We sometimes have to

Page 21671

 1     wait for the interpretation.

 2             THE WITNESS:  Thank you, My Honour.

 3             I still have no recollection of specific shelling of the -- this

 4     hospital.

 5             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President --

 6             THE WITNESS:  I imagine this is a specific hospital called Knin

 7     hospital.

 8             MR. MISETIC:

 9        Q.   Yes.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Mr. President, I ask that 65 ter 1D2918 be marked

11     and I tender it into evidence.

12             MR. HEDARALY:  No objections.

13             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Registrar.

14             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honour, that will be Exhibit D1657.

15             JUDGE ORIE:  And is admitted into evidence.

16             MR. MISETIC:

17        Q.   Now, Mr. Akashi, tell us what you recall about the condition of

18     Knin on 7th of August -- the condition of the town itself when you

19     visited the town on the 7th of August?

20        A.   Mr. Misetic, even under normal conditions, Knin was not a

21     particularly attractive or clean city, and Knin, on the 7th of August,

22     presented a typical city which has come out of quite a major military

23     assault.  The streets were littered with -- with pieces of building and

24     stores had their show windows broken, and particularly it was -- it was a

25     very sad sight to see so many internally displaced persons, child and old

Page 21672

 1     men, as well as women, seeking temporary refuge in the UNCRO or military

 2     barracks.

 3             I received representatives of these IDPs.  I remember that

 4     subsequent meeting with some of the leaders of refugees indicated that

 5     they were very sorry that they did not follow the advice given by UN.

 6     But, yeah, they began to blame Martic for his lack of true understanding

 7     of the situation.

 8        Q.   Okay.  Did you notice any -- any particular -- particularly

 9     unusual damage caused by artillery?

10        A.   What do you call "unusual"?

11        Q.   Well, damage that you normally wouldn't expect from a military --

12     well, let me rephrase the question.

13             Did you notice damage to residential apartment buildings or

14     civilian structures throughout the town that you attributed to artillery

15     damage?

16        A.   Some of the houses which looked like residences of civilians were

17     damaged.

18        Q.   Okay.  In terms of your meetings with the UN in the compound --

19     let me ask you first, were you briefed by UN personnel in the compound?

20        A.   Yes, indeed, I did.

21        Q.   And what did they tell you about what was transpiring in Knin,

22     first, with respect to the behaviour of Croatian troops?

23        A.   I do not recall specifically what they told me of -- with regard

24     to behaviour of Croatian forces.  But I was very proud of the way in

25     which they opened their accommodations for temporary refuge of Croatian

Page 21673

 1     Serb inhabitants.  I thought the behaviour of our military in Knin was

 2     exemplary.  But, of course, despite their best efforts, of course, IDPs

 3     were in some kind of a shock, and they presented a very -- very sorry

 4     sight.

 5        Q.   Did you receive in your briefing information that the Croatian

 6     Army was engaging in systematic looting of the town?

 7        A.   I don't remember that.

 8        Q.   Okay.  Mr. Akashi, let me turn your attention to tab 12 of your

 9     binder, which is Exhibit D29.  This is your code cable to Mr. Annan

10     concerning your trip to Knin.

11        A.   Mm-hm.

12        Q.   Now, first of all, before I get into the details of this, let me

13     ask you, did you also -- you said you spoke to some of the Serbs in

14     the -- in the UN camp.  Do you recall whether they expressed to you a

15     desire to stay or leave Croatia on the 7th of August?

16        A.   I don't remember as to what they wanted to -- to do.  I don't

17     remember specifically that any of them wanted to leave Knin.  Maybe they

18     were in some kind of daze at that -- at this stage.  But it is possible

19     that there was a discussion --

20        Q.   Okay.

21        A.    -- on that point.

22        Q.   Let's look at the code cable.  And if we look at paragraph 2, you

23     say:

24             "My overall impression of the town of Knin is that it suffered

25     considerable damage from artillery fire, which was evident in the

Page 21674

 1     streets, where I observed many shops with broken windows, cars damaged

 2     and off the road, artillery shell holes in the road, et cetera.  However,

 3     the damage to the town's structures, while noticeable, was less than I

 4     anticipated.  Large numbers of homes and buildings were left untouched by

 5     the fighting."

 6             My question is:  In that quotation, you say "it was less than I

 7     anticipated."  Do you recall what had you anticipated, prior to coming to

 8     Knin?

 9        A.   I must have anticipated somewhat larger damage and destruction.

10        Q.   Do you know -- do you recall why you would have anticipated that?

11        A.   I do not recall why.

12        Q.   Okay.

13        A.   But, maybe, my previous information may have made me thought that

14     it could be larger.

15        Q.   Okay.  Do you recall visiting the hospital when you went to Knin?

16        A.   No, I don't -- I don't remember visiting the hospital.

17        Q.   Okay.  If you turn to the page and go to paragraph 3 of the

18     document.

19        A.   Hmm.  Mm-hm.  So I was there.

20        Q.   [Overlapping speakers] ...

21        A.   It would appear.

22        Q.   Yes, I was going to say, it would appear from the document.  It

23     talks about what you found, the conditions you found.

24             "The hospital was large and in generally good condition having

25     been hit by only one artillery round."

Page 21675

 1             Does that refresh your recollection at all about a trip to the

 2     hospital?

 3        A.   In these visits, I go to so many different places that I do not

 4     have a specific impression left about the conditions of the hospital.

 5        Q.   Okay.

 6             MR. MISETIC:  Can we go to the next page, which is paragraph 6.

 7        Q.   Now, you write to Mr. Annan:

 8             "In talks with the refugees in the camps and with their two

 9     designated representatives, several common concerns repeatedly emerged,

10     in addition to the one on interviews.  The most striking aspect of my

11     conversations, however, was the fact that all of those with whom I spoke

12     uniformly expressed a desire to leave Croatia (with the exception of the

13     doctor mentioned above).  Perhaps the refugees' greatest preoccupation

14     was, would they be able to freely leave Croatia for the FRY, or,

15     alternatively, Bosnia, and if so when, and would the UN help them with

16     their departure.  The refugees also sought assurances that they would not

17     be expelled from the UNCRO compound, pending a more permanent resolution

18     of their predicament.  They also wanted to know whether they would be

19     able to take mobile property with them when they departed, and whether

20     they would be compensated for fixed property left behind."

21             Now, does that passage refresh your recollection about you having

22     conversations with the refugees about their desires as of the 7th of

23     August to leave Croatia for the FRY or, alternatively, Bosnia?

24        A.   My answer is yes and no.  I think they may have had emotional

25     desire to leave the town of Knin in such a miserable conditions.  At the

Page 21676

 1     same time, it would appear that they were asking for all kinds of

 2     assurances for them to depart from those conditions.

 3             So, under these conditions, I think refugees are likely to

 4     express all kinds of hopes because of the -- their experiences and their

 5     predicament.

 6        Q.   Okay.  Thank you, Mr. Akashi.

 7             Now, on the 6th of August, the day before this trip to Knin, you

 8     had a meeting with Mr. Sarinic at which time the agreement with

 9     Mr. Sarinic was signed; is that correct?

10        A.   I did not get you.

11        Q.   I said:  The 6th of August is the day that you reached agreement

12     with Mr. Sarinic?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Could you tell us in your own words what you understood the

15     substance of the agreement to be.

16        A.   It dealt with the question of safe passage, as well as questions

17     of protection of human rights.

18        Q.   Okay.  On the issue of human rights, were you familiar, then,

19     with the establishment of Human Rights Action Teams in the newly

20     liberated areas?

21        A.   I do not have specific recollection, but, generally, this is what

22     we desired to have established, for the purpose of monitoring

23     humanitarian situations.

24        Q.   Okay.  At paragraph 10 of your statement which is now in

25     evidence, you said:  "I recall the United Nations field teams, including,

Page 21677

 1     UNMO, UNCIVPOL, and HRAT" -- which is the Human Rights Action Teams, "all

 2     of their field report would have been sent to someone in my office."

 3             Now, explain to us when these reports come into your office what

 4     happens then?

 5        A.   It depends on the nature of the reports.  Reports from UNMOs are

 6     usually looked at by military -- by my military staff.  Reports dealing

 7     with human rights are looked at by my civilian colleagues.  And when a

 8     very important, serious information is given, usually my attention is

 9     drawn to it.  And some of the important questions are dealt with in -- in

10     my discussions on a daily staff meeting.

11        Q.   Okay.  Now, if -- if a matter is important and let's use, by way

12     of example, you receive reports of -- from the field of human rights

13     violations occurring on the ground and this is brought to your attention,

14     what steps, if any, do you take then?

15        A.   I cannot give you a specific procedure.  At that -- if it is a

16     question of a serious violation of human rights, civil affairs will study

17     the matter, the extent of severity, as well as -- as the nature of the

18     violations, and I may discuss with civil affairs and with my own staff

19     the implications of such a violation and what action we should take at

20     what level --

21        Q.   Okay.

22        A.    -- and, of course, New York headquarters attention is drawn to

23     these violations.

24        Q.   Okay.  So in terms of -- what I was getting at is what you refer

25     to as -- what actions should be taken at what level.

Page 21678

 1             Now, I presume one action is to draw New York headquarters

 2     attention to these violations.  What other actions might be undertaken

 3     in -- if a report of human rights violation comes in?

 4        A.   For instance, the matter could become urgent subject of

 5     discussion with Mr. Sarinic.

 6        Q.   Okay.

 7             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Misetic, I am looking at the clock.

 8             MR. MISETIC:  This is a perfect time, Mr. President.

 9             JUDGE ORIE:  It's the perfect time.

10             MR. MISETIC:  Yes.

11             JUDGE ORIE:  Mr. Akashi, we'll conclude for the day.  We are in

12     the early afternoon; you are already the early evening hours.  I would --

13     first of all, I would like to instruct you that, since we will continue

14     tomorrow, that you should not speak with anyone about the testimony,

15     whether that is testimony you've given already or still to be given the

16     days to come.

17             We'd like to see you back at the same time tomorrow, and we hope

18     that there will be no further technical difficulties which would cause us

19     to have a break for, as we started this morning, a break for

20     approximately one hour, so we hope to start right away tomorrow.  I think

21     it was in your time 4.00, if I'm well-informed.

22             THE WITNESS:  That's correct, Your Honour.  That's correct.

23             JUDGE ORIE:  Yes.  Then we'd like to see you back tomorrow, Tokyo

24     time, 4.00.

25             And we will adjourn for the day and resume tomorrow, the 16th of

Page 21679

 1     September, Western European time 9.00 in the morning.

 2                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

 3                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 16th day of

 4                           September, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.