1 Monday, 25 August 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
8 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
10 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Can we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. For
15 the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Sarah Clanton, Case Manager
16 Thomas Laugel, legal intern Marina Marcikic.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell, with
21 Sunna Aevarsdottir, legal intern.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 Mr. Stringer, please proceed.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 WITNESS: GORAN HADZIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Stringer: [Continued]
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Hadzic.
4 A. Good morning.
5 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 251 which is
6 Exhibit Number P00196.140.
7 Q. While that's coming up, Mr. Hadzic, we're going to talk a little
8 bit more about the issue of housing and how the issue of housing was
9 treated and who was handling housing in the SBS [sic] during late 1991
10 and early 1992?
11 Mr. Hadzic, this is from Dalj on the 2nd of October, 1991,
12 reflecting the session held on that day in Erdut, a decision on the
13 temporary transfer the assets of the Republic of Croatia and socially
14 owned property to the hands of the Serbian district. Do you recall this
16 A. I do.
17 Q. And did you -- it appears over your name. Did you, in fact,
18 approve or sign off on this decision in your capacity as prime minister
19 of the SBWS?
20 A. I don't remember specifically whether I signed this, but I'm
21 familiar with this. I received these papers when I arrived here. But
22 it's consistent with what I generally remember, to protect private
23 property in some way. But I don't specifically remember whether I signed
25 Q. And what you just said was interesting to me. You said to
1 protect private property because this decision actually - at least on its
2 face - refers to assets of the Republic of Croatia and socially owned
3 property. My first question is whether this decision would relate to
4 something like an agricultural enterprise, such as the DP Dalj
5 co-operative that we've heard about this in case?
6 A. Obviously I misspoke when I said to protect private property. I
7 meant protecting the property of either the state or a private person.
8 Because from what I remember and from the information I had at the time,
9 the only goal was to protect that property. I was not specifically aware
10 of these things whether it was DP Dalj or some other state-owned company.
11 I just generally supported the idea of protecting this.
12 Q. You would agree with me, however, that an enterprise like DP Dalj
13 would fall within the scope of this decision?
14 A. There's no need for me to agree or not agree with you. I said I
15 was generally in favour of protecting property and this was developed at
16 the level of the ministry. The Ministry of Agriculture. I didn't
17 interfere in this.
18 Q. Right. I think that actually I will ask you to tell me whether
19 or not you agree with me. You've -- you've now referred to the Ministry
20 of Agriculture. We know that the DP Dalj was agricultural enterprise.
21 Was it socially owned?
22 A. Yes. Well, you can see from the name itself. DP, in my
23 language, means socially owned company.
24 Q. And so, in fact, a socially owned company like DP Dalj would fall
25 within the terms of this decision and therefore come into the hands of
1 the Serbian district; correct?
2 A. I have to look at the decision. If you give me a moment.
3 It's clearly written here. In my view, it didn't apply to
4 anything specific. Generally, everything was supposed to be protected
5 and to become the property of the Serbian district.
6 Q. Including DP Dalj.
7 A. If you say so. At that moment, that was not my thinking.
8 Q. Well, I'm not the witness. I'm asking whether you can say it or
9 not, whether you might be willing to agree with me that, in fact, based
10 on the language here, and based on the status of DP Dalj as a
11 social-owned company, DP Dalj was among the socially owned assets that
12 came into the Serbian district, under this decision.
13 Can you agree with me on that?
14 A. I've already answered. At that time, I didn't even know that
15 DP Dalj was a separate specially created company. This applies to
17 Q. You didn't know that DP Dalj was a socially owned company in
19 A. I didn't say I didn't know in 1991. I didn't know at the time
20 when this decision was prepared. It was prepared for everything in
21 general. And it was only in the process of being established. It didn't
22 start -- it wasn't up and running immediately.
23 Q. Did housing fall within the terms of this decision as well, the
24 places where people lived?
25 A. I'm not a lawyer, but looking at this decision, I believe it was
1 just a temporary transition of the property of the Republic of Croatia
2 and other socially owned property into the property of the Serbian
3 district; whereas housing was a matter of private property. I don't
4 know - at least I don't remember - of any cases of socially owned
5 apartments in the territory where we lived, except, of course, in
6 Vukovar, but Vukovar at this time was not under our control yet.
7 Q. Was it the wish of the SBWS government to take temporary control
8 over housing? For example, to preserve it during this period of time?
9 A. I don't know about this specific period, but all the decisions
10 that we adopted were exclusively temporary. And the only reason, from
11 the information I had at the time, was to protect property because there
12 was a war going on, there were many people who were outsiders, who were
13 not locals of the area. There were many attempts of robbery and looting,
14 and this was an attempt to prevent looting and robbery. At least that's
15 how it was explained to me. I was not very legally literate in these
17 MR. STRINGER: If we could please have tab 250. That's
18 Exhibit 195.140.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Hadzic, this is also dated the 2nd of October. And it's
20 similar but slightly different from what we just looked at. This is the
21 decree on the temporary protection of abandoned property. And if we look
22 at page 2 of the B/C/S version, it appears to me that -- sorry. Page 3.
23 This document appears over your signature; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. And if we go back then to Article 1, it says that:
1 "This decree regulates the temporary protection, preservation,
2 and use of property that, in keeping with the decision by the government
3 of the Serbian district on [sic] 2nd October ... became the property of
4 the Serbian District of SBWS, as well as protection, preservation, use of
5 other abandoned property."
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes, I see it. Yes, that's what written here.
8 Q. And then in Article 2, it provides that the Ministry of the
9 War-Time Economy is to make a list of the property in Article 1. And
10 then it continues on in the subsequent articles to set out how the
11 process of identifying these properties and managing them is to take
13 Now, would you agree with me, Mr. Hadzic, then, that under this
14 decree the SBWS government is asserting authority over housing in the
15 district, that is, abandoned housing, houses of people who are no longer
16 living there?
17 A. Well, I can't agree with this phrasing. I can say that it was an
18 attempt by the government to establish its governance. It was a
19 unilateral decision of the government, but there were many other
20 conditions on which this decision and its enforcement depended because
21 the government did not have any influence on the army, the Yugoslav
22 People's Army that was there, and we had no levers of enforcement. This
23 was an attempt to protect the property that was being looted by some
24 people whom I didn't know and who -- whom we were unable to prosecute.
25 Q. Well, wasn't it also an attempt - and I'm not suggesting
1 necessarily that -- that there's anything wrong about it - at one level,
2 isn't this an attempt simply to regulate managing all of this abandoned
3 housing, keep track of what's there? And then we can look at Article 10.
4 But before we do, just to follow up and ask: Isn't this an attempt by
5 the government to establish a way to regulate and keep track of abandoned
6 housing in the district?
7 A. I have to be honest. The government did not have either the wish
8 or the power to control these processes. The only thing we wanted at the
9 time was to protect that property.
10 Q. Well, let's look at Article 8 first because this talks about the
11 Ministry of Justice and Administration shall appoint a commission
12 consisting of at least three members. And as it says here, that
13 commission is to implement the procedure for the protection of property
14 owned by citizens in the liberated territory.
15 Do you see that?
16 A. I see that.
17 Q. First question is: Who are the citizens? Serbs and Croats
18 alike, as well as Hungarians, Slovaks, all the other ethnicities living
19 in the district?
20 A. Well, it goes without saying that it applies to all citizens. We
21 did not make any distinction by nationality. It means all those who
22 abandoned their property as well as the citizens who remained behind.
23 They were all equal citizens, as far as I'm concerned.
24 Q. Throughout the trial, Mr. Hadzic, we've heard a lot of evidence
25 about non-Serbs who were expelled from the district during late 1991,
1 1992 and beyond. This decree, it applies to the houses of non-Serbs who
2 were expelled; correct?
3 A. Well, I cannot agree with that understanding. I don't see it
4 that way, and what I believe you just said is not correct. This is the
5 2nd of October, the beginning of a real war, both Serbs and Croats were
6 leaving their houses to flee from the war and, of course, Croats were
7 perhaps leaving in larger numbers, but there were also a lot of Serbs who
8 left for Serbia, some even for Croatia. So this decision dated
9 2nd of October applies to all citizens. Nobody was driving them out.
10 They were trying to flee from the war.
11 Q. Do you deny that non-Serbs were being driven out of the district
12 by the 2nd of October, 1991? You deny that unequivocally?
13 A. I'm neither confirming nor denying. At that time, I was not
14 aware that anyone was being driven out. Anyone who wanted to stay,
15 stayed. Those who wanted to leave were leaving. There was one case
16 later that I heard about in Dalj. Croats had prepared some sort of boat
17 for people who wanted to leave and they took that boat. But the very
18 fact that people were leaving their homes was tragic. But, at that time,
19 I did not have any information that anybody was expelling anyone.
20 Q. The Ministry of Justice and Administration that's referred to
21 here in Article 8, that's the ministry whose head was Mr. Susa?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So his job was, then, to appoint this commission of three people
24 who would implement the procedure? Mr. Susa was responsible for this?
25 A. I don't know right now whether it was Susa or not. The Ministry
1 of War-Time Economy was mentioned here. I didn't know. I don't know
2 when I was signing this document. But he will certainly come here and
3 we'll be able to ask him.
4 Q. And then in Article 10, it says that:
5 "Property abandoned by citizens may not be transferred to new
6 owners," I'll skip some words, "unless this is done by the owner and is
7 to his advantage."
8 "This may also temporarily be done so as to satisfy the defence
9 needs of the district or when it is in the general interest of the
10 district and its individual parts."
11 Mr. Hadzic, was it under this provision, then, that the
12 government approved Serbs from elsewhere, such as Western Slavonia, to
13 come and to live in the houses abandoned by non-Serbs?
14 A. I don't see the connection between this decision and the arrival
15 of Serbs from Western Slavonia. I'm not sure I even knew or whether the
16 Serbs from Western Slavonia were already coming at the time. This
17 decision was meant to protect property, and all the legal assumptions
18 mentioned here are something that I see for the first time. I never
19 thought about it before, or dealt with it.
20 Q. Well, given the fact that prior to the conflict Serbs did not
21 constitute a majority in any of the municipalities of your district, it
22 was in the interest of the district to bring in Serbs or to accommodate
23 Serbs from elsewhere inside the district; isn't that true?
24 A. That's not only not true, but it's this kind of thinking that I
25 wouldn't deign to consider if I were not sitting here. At that time, it
1 didn't cross my mind that somebody, some Serbs would come from another
2 territory and move in there. All we wanted was to stay as a part of
3 Yugoslavia. I never thought about that in the least. At least I
4 personally never thought that way.
5 Q. Before the recess, Mr. Hadzic, and I know it's been several weeks
6 now since we were having this conversation, I showed you a lot of
7 statements, I suggest, in which you were talking about Serbs coming from
8 other parts of Croatia. We don't need to go back all through that again,
9 do we?
10 A. We are talking about the 2nd of October. I don't remember that
11 the Serbs from Croatia had already started arriving at that time. You
12 just took my statements out of context and I was only responding to what
13 the Croatian side was saying. And of course, now I'm not a position to
14 show you exactly what I was answering, which Croatian statements. At
15 that time I didn't have the resources or possibility to enforce any of
16 this. I just made political statements. Our territory was in the
17 process of being established, journalists were asking me questions, and I
19 Q. You've said this a few times, Mr. Hadzic, and I want to follow up
20 on it. You just said: "I just made political statements."
21 I think from before you said that your statements about the
22 Western Herzegovinians from the post-World War -- or from the
23 World War II period, those were political statements. You've said this
24 elsewhere as well. What do you mean by that, when you say it's a
25 political statement?
1 A. I'll explain it. At that time, Stipe Mesic was a member of the
2 Presidency and he returned from Belgrade once and said: I accomplished
3 my mission. Yugoslavia is no more. And the Serbians who want to leave
4 Croatia but they can take with them only a lump of earth that they
5 brought on their shoes when they had come in the first place. Stipe
6 Mesic at the time, together with Tudjman, controlled the army and had
7 power. At that time I was making what I call political statements
8 because I had no means of implementing or enforcing anything. I was
9 talking about Western Herzegovinians. Perhaps -- these were just mere
10 words, declarations.
11 There were many people in my village from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 One of them even had his son in the army and still he had no problems.
13 Luka Sutalo was a typical example of those Croats from Western
14 Herzegovina who had been in the war, and I never thought he should be in
15 any trouble because of me. Those were empty words. It's perhaps better
16 to put it that way than to call it a political statement.
17 Q. So they're things you were saying that you didn't believe at the
18 time personally?
19 A. I was responding to Croatian provocations in the same tone. I
20 was not going around asking people who was born where. Anybody who
21 wanted to stay with us was able to stay. You can see that even now.
22 It's clear.
23 Q. So when you say "political statements," what you're telling us is
24 that you were saying things that you didn't actually believe yourself.
25 This was just for public consumption?
1 A. Yes. Yes, why not? You can call it that way. Perhaps a better
2 description would be empty words. Meaningless stories. It's better to
3 call it that way than to call it political statement.
4 Q. Well, the fact is your political statements had a profound impact
5 on the events that were taking place at that time; isn't that true?
6 A. That's not true. First of all, I was giving those political
7 statements in Belgrade and nobody was able to see it in Slavonia and
8 Baranja because there was no electricity and nobody was able to see it.
9 Second, the press that published it was not read by anyone in
10 Slavonia and Baranja because people didn't read newspapers. It was just
11 for the broader public in Croatia.
12 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 2, which is 1D00003.
13 Q. This is an article from Novosti on the 7th of November, 1991,
14 Mr. Hadzic. The title is: "Accommodation Provided." And we can blow
15 this up for you if it would assist you to read the original language
17 A. Could we zoom in on the bottom part?
18 This is from the 7th of November. It's more than a month after
19 the document we discussed a couple of minutes ago. And it refers to
20 temporary accommodation.
21 Q. Right. And so what's happening here, as you've pointed out, this
22 is the 7th of November. A moment ago we were talking about the decrees
23 of the 2nd of October, so this is about a month or so later.
24 Here now you are actually going public and calling upon displaced
25 Serbs to come and temporarily settle in SBWS. You do agree that this is
1 a statement that you made?
2 A. I agree. But it's a humanitarian issue, not a political one.
3 These people had their houses destroyed in Croatia. This is also the
4 territory of Croatia, except it's in the east not the west. Were they
5 people supposed to be without a roof over their heads or were we supposed
6 to give them some temporary accommodation?
7 Q. Now here it indicates that according to the statement that was
8 received by this press agency, Tanjug, it said:
9 "Everyone who is interested should apply with the
10 Executive Councils of local communes and the Ministry for Housing,
11 Public Utilities, Reconstruction, temporarily based in Erdut."
12 Do you see that?
13 A. I see.
14 Q. Now, is that how it was actually handled? People who wanted to
15 come into abandoned housing in the SBWS -- or I should say assignment of
16 housing was within the government structures to be handled by
17 Executive Councils and this Ministry for Housing. Is that how it was
19 A. No, that was not the process. I neither saw nor heard anybody
20 coming in response to this invitation from the ministry in Erdut. I
21 don't even know who made this appeal. And from the evidence you led so
22 far, we saw who established the councils in local communities and who
23 implemented this, bypassing the government. This has nothing to do with
24 the government. We perhaps only tried to put some order into all -- all
25 of this, but nobody addressed the government on these matters.
1 Q. And the evidence we led on this was that, for example, in
2 Beli Manastir, it was Mr. Borivoje Zivanovic who was head of the
3 Executive Council, and then later on in SBWS and in the Erdut area
4 actually it was Mr. Ilic. Correct? Those are two of the people we
6 A. I didn't mean the two of them but now I'm going to talk about the
7 two of them.
8 As for what we discussed, that had to do with the Ilok and where
9 the refugees were put in Western Srem, this was done by the JNA. That's
10 what I meant. But now that you mention Mr. Zivanovic and Baranja, you
11 have to know that the municipal assembly in Baranja was established
12 before the government was established. And Zivanovic was president of
13 the municipal assembly, and they had their own laws and regulations and
14 they worked on that basis apart from the government. And it was only
15 later that Milovanovic [as interpreted] was elected - I think it was the
16 end of 1991 - president of the municipality of Dalj, and only in the
17 spring of 1992 that he was elected president of Slavonia, Baranja, and
18 Western Srem, when I became the president of the Serb Republic of the
20 Q. We have at page 14, line 6, Mr. Hadzic, it indicates -- we see
21 the name "Milovanovic." I wonder whether you were actually referring to
22 Mr. Milan Ilic there.
23 A. I mentioned two names: Boro Zivanovic and Milan Ilic. I just
24 have to look at the context to see whether this is Beli Manastir or Dalj.
25 Yes, yes. This is Milan Ilic.
1 Q. We talked about that before and I don't want go back into that
2 now. But let's talk again about Mr. Zivanovic a little bit and what was
3 happening in his area on assigning of housing. This would be --
4 MR. STRINGER: Before I do that, Mr. President, I would tender
5 this exhibit, which is 1D00003.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3222, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MR. STRINGER: So, again, this is tab 225, P02163.
10 Q. As this is coming up, Mr. Hadzic, I can just tell you, this is a
11 decision over -- this is from the Beli Manastir Gazette. It's a decision
12 of Borivoje Zivanovic on appointing a commission to assign flats, houses
13 for temporary use.
14 Now, it's item number 66 in the -- in the gazette, I believe.
15 Now, what you've just said, Mr. Hadzic, I'll agree with you,
16 Mr. Zivanovic was a little bit ahead of the curve, as we say in my
17 language. He was taking this authority early on, this is
18 14th of September, 1991, even before the SBWS government was officially
19 in existence; right?
20 A. Yes, that is right.
21 Q. And it was only subsequent, later, I think it was in November in
22 which he was appointed to be the head of the Executive Council for
23 Beli Manastir. We looked at that decision before.
24 A. Yes, he was confirmed by the government then but he was already
25 that he been elected by the Municipal Assembly of Beli Manastir,
1 independently of the government.
2 Q. And so then can we agree that, in fact, Mr. Borivoje Zivanovic
3 and his people, this commission here that he is appointing, are handling
4 the issue of housing and assigning housing in Beli Manastir? That's what
5 they did.
6 A. I can agree or disagree with what I see but I'm here to be a
7 witness about the things that I took part in and that happened and that I
8 knew about. I didn't know about any of this. Nobody informed me about
9 this, and I never received a copy of this Official Gazette of the
10 Beli Manastir municipality.
11 Q. There was no significant JNA or military role in Beli Manastir,
12 right, as opposed, say, to Western Srem? Can we agree on that?
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, could you look on your screen
14 whether we have the decision -- whether this document is the decision we
15 are talking about now? Because this is about --
16 MR. STRINGER: I apologise, Mr. President. Yes, what we're
17 seeing on the English actually begins at the bottom of this page, 66.
18 It's item 66 there which, unfortunately, it appears we do not have
19 page 2. That's it.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes. I see.
21 MR. STRINGER: This is what I have, Mr. President. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Mr. Hadzic, my last question was whether, in fact, there was no
25 significant JNA or military role in Beli Manastir as opposed to
1 Western Srem. What I mean by that is that the local authorities in
2 Beli Manastir had a great deal more authority and control because,
3 really, there was not much of a conflict that occurred there. True?
4 A. Well, I didn't have any influence over developments in
5 Beli Manastir. And at that time, I wasn't informed about what was going
6 on, so I don't know how things went in Baranja. I really don't know.
7 Q. You don't know how things went in Baranja in September and
8 October of 1991?
9 A. No, no, no. Not September and October. You asked about when the
10 army was there and when there were conflicts there. I think that was
11 before that. So I don't know how long the army stayed on and what the
12 situation was like and ...
13 Because these things happened there without me knowing about
14 this. People were saying, by way of a joke, that there was a three-day
15 war in Baranja, but it was short. The army was there, there was always
16 this tension. There was always the possibility of the Croats
17 relaunching ...
18 Q. When was this three-day war, as best as you can remember?
19 A. Well, I think -- well, now I really don't know precisely. But
20 maybe August, beginning of September. But I think it was August.
21 Q. Right. And so by September, which is when this decision is
22 issued, we can agree, can't we, that the local authorities,
23 Mr. Zivanovic, the local civilian authorities, were in control of and
24 able to exercise their government functions in Beli Manastir; correct?
25 A. Well, it would seem that way on the basis of these papers, but
1 I'm not sure that they could have done this on their own without
2 coordinating with the JNA. Because there was still a war situation there
3 throughout the territory. And I know that they had very close relations
4 with the JNA, specifically Zivanovic and all of these other people who
5 showed up in Erdut.
6 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1476, P1707.
7 Q. Now here we're going to move forward to the 11th of December,
8 1991, although we're staying with the issue of abandoned property.
9 This is a document of the 1st Military District Command on
10 resolving a request for use of abandoned property. And it's referring to
11 requests from certain local officials for making use of abandoned
12 properties and farms.
13 And in paragraph 1, what's ordered here is that:
14 "All such issues should be resolved in co-operation with and at
15 the request of government officials of SO Baranja, Eastern Slavonia,
16 Western Srem ... followed by officials selected by the SO, which is the
17 Serbian district government as well as Serbian district government
18 recognised local organs or [sic] authority."
19 And so by the 11th of December, what we're seeing throughout the
20 area of the 1st Military District, their area of responsibility, is
21 co-operation with local authorities in respect of housing and abandoned
22 housing, in particular; isn't that true?
23 A. No.
24 Q. In item 3, because the JNA did not want to be associated with
25 issues involving possible abuse of abandoned property, it is also ordered
1 that local authorities are in charge of managing locally abandoned
2 properties and it's their obligation to create records, et cetera. And
3 it continues to talk about the role envisioned by the local authorities
4 in making and keeping of records, et cetera.
5 Do you see that?
6 A. Yes, I see that.
7 Q. And then moving down to item 6:
8 "Local commands shall honour the municipal assembly decisions,
9 Executive Council decisions, and decisions made by the government of
10 SO Baranja, Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem regarding handing over, that
11 is, using abandoned properties."
12 So what we see in the evidence, Mr. Hadzic, is, in fact, local
13 authorities and local legislation, district legislation asserting control
14 over the issue while, at the same time, we see the JNA quite keen on
15 co-operating with and ceding this issue to the local authorities. That's
16 really how it was, isn't it?
17 A. Of course, that's not right. And I think that you know that.
18 What we can see here is that the army is just speaking about this by way
19 of declarations. You have several examples but I'll take only one, say,
20 Ilok. They didn't even want to talk to us before UNPROFOR came. There
21 was military government there. And we see here -- you say "local
22 government." No, we see that it's the military that is in charge of
23 everything here and that the Town Commands decide on everything and they
24 may accept some decision of the local government. They just put this on
25 paper. This is not what you're trying to prove or what you're trying to
1 say. It's the exact opposite. It was Town Commands that did everything
2 on their own.
3 I wrote about Ilok, and I asked them to tell us at least what
4 they took in terms of the socially owned enterprises, cars, accommodation
5 of refugees. They didn't even want to deal with that, talking to us. Up
6 until March, April, they were in charge. As for this, I don't know who
7 they were lying to. I mean, they never really sent these papers to us.
8 We never knew about this. This was their internal communication. I'm
9 not even sure that it happened at the time. But this proves what I've
10 been saying, not what you've been saying.
11 Q. Well, let's talk about Ilok then. What you've just said is that
12 the Town Commands decide on everything, they may accept some. You say
13 that "they didn't even want to talk to us before UNPROFOR came." That's
14 at line 10 of what you just said.
15 MR. STRINGER: Let's go to tab 1486, which is P1709.
16 Q. In fact, there were talks, Mr. Hadzic. What you said just now is
17 not true. There were talks. The JNA was trying to speak to your people,
18 work with your people on this issue in Ilok.
19 This is letter coming from your justice minister, Mr. Susa, from
20 Ilok, on the 29th of December, talking about the commission for
21 organisation and conduct on the operation of moving in and temporary
22 accommodation. So, in fact, Mr. Hadzic, it would appear that Mr. Susa is
23 acting in the capacity that was envisaged under Article 8, I believe it
24 was, of that decree on abandoned property that we were looking at a few
25 minutes ago, referring to the government's commission. As he says: With
1 the aim to ensure better co-ordination has convened a session to be held
2 30 December at the castle in Ilok with representatives of the Executive
3 Council of Vukovar municipality and all settlements in which temporary
4 accommodation is being carried out.
5 Now, Executive Council of Vukovar municipality, do you recall
6 whether Mr. Miroljub Vujovic, who had been the TO commander on the
7 20th of November, whether he was still on the Executive Council of the
8 Vukovar municipality at that time?
9 A. I don't know. It was the president of the Executive Board that
10 made these appointments. But I have to respond to what you said at
11 first, that I said something that was not correct. No, I'm speaking
12 under oath and everything I said was correct. When I said that they
13 didn't want to talk to us, I meant in practical terms. I mean they did
14 speak to us formally but to return cars to us. They didn't even want to
15 talk about it. Or, rather, they didn't want to return them, but they
16 could have formally discussed this for 100 years but they didn't want to
17 do anything that we proposed. And it is that sense that I said that they
18 didn't want to talk or discuss things because they didn't want to do
19 anything for us. And that is why I said that. They just kept on talking
20 and talking but meaninglessly and that's what I meant. Everything I said
21 is correct.
22 Q. And attached to this letter, this invitation, if I can put it
23 that way, just to -- to finish that off, Mr. Susa says:
24 "We believe that your presence would contribute to, first of all,
25 better detection of problems and ways of resolving them," et cetera.
1 So he is inviting this colonel to a meeting at Ilok to discuss
2 housing. And then he attaches to this letter a lot of data and I want to
3 ask you about some of the data that's attached to this.
4 MR. STRINGER: And in that, Mr. President, we're going to have to
5 work with the B/C/S version because the English version doesn't -- it has
6 the tables but it really doesn't contain all the data. And so just to go
7 to page 2 of this in the B/C/S.
8 Q. What this is, Mr. Hadzic, can we agree, is a list of the
9 residents of Vinkovci and Vukovar municipalities according to the census,
10 1991 census. Do you see that at the top?
11 A. That is what is written here. But I do apologise to you, I don't
12 know what the context is. I mean, what you read, Susa's letter. Susa
13 was only for Ilok, and this is for the entire municipality of Vinkovci
14 and Vukovar. And I don't think that Susa was the one who drew this up,
15 if that is what you were trying to say?
16 Q. The data that's reflected on here - and I know there's a lot -
17 but what it does is to set out the composition of the population in
18 various settlements. Is that a correct way of putting it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And so we can see a lot of the settlements are virtually entirely
21 Croat. 99 per cent, 97, 100 per cent. And then, of course, other
22 settlements have different compositions.
23 A. Yes, I just have to point something out. I would like you to
24 know something. This is the territory of the entire municipality of
25 Vinkovci. More than half of this territory was not within the
1 SAO Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
2 MR. STRINGER: Now if we could go to page with the ERN number of
3 the B/C/S version it's the page ending with 8953. Right now we're at
4 8942 so we need to move down about 11 pages. So we're going to skip
5 over. 8953. In the English, it's page -- in e-court, page 14.
6 Q. And this has a table. And what we're seeing on this page, and
7 the names are written in the Cyrillic text on the left-hand column,
8 number 2, but let's take, for example, item number 27, Tovarnik. Is that
9 Tovarnik we're seeing there in row number 27?
10 A. Yes. Tovarnik, yes.
11 Q. And then moving from left to right, we've got a series of columns
12 that relate to where it says at the top "pre rata" that's before the
13 conflict. And then the next set of columns, "posle rata," that's
14 post-conflict or war. Isn't that true, that's what that means?
15 A. Yes, that's what's written there, but I don't know who drew up
16 this table. I still don't understand that.
17 Q. Is this a document of the JNA? It's come to us from the
18 Serbian -- we can see from the stamp, it's coming from the Serbian
19 Ministry of Defence.
20 A. I don't doubt that you got that, but I'm just saying that I did
21 not discuss that and none of the government members drew this up. I
22 cannot testify about it here. I can just give my opinion here, as if I
23 were some kind of expert, but otherwise I cannot testify about it. I've
24 never actually seen this document.
25 Q. What I want to do is to go with you through some of the figures
1 that are set out here. Because, for example, staying with Tovarnik, what
2 we see before the war, pre-war, is that 2050 Croats lived there, or
3 69 per cent of the population; 890 Serbs, or about 30 per cent. And then
4 post-conflict we see about the same number of Serbs, 880, but now the
5 number of Croats has dropped from 2050 to 150. In other words, the
6 majority has now become a minority down to 36.5 per cent. Do you see
8 A. Yes, I see that. The Croat majority left with the Croatian army
9 when the JNA came.
10 Q. Well, we can agree to disagree about the reasons why the Croatian
11 community left. If we can move out six more columns to the right, out to
12 column number 15. Now, are you able to tell what you say this column
13 refers to? This refers to whether there's a local government. Correct?
14 Has government been formed, yes or no?
15 A. The JNA wrote "da," "yes," in Cyrillic there. I can only
16 translate that.
17 Q. And so -- well, looking at row number 26 which is for Boksic,
18 here it indicates that there is not a local government but that for the
19 other places there is; such as Tovarnik. Indicates there is a local
20 government here. Do you see that?
21 A. I see that it says "no," "ne" Boksic.
22 Q. And then if we go to the next page, these are more places.
23 Number 16 is Ovcara; 17 is Sotin, for example.
24 Sotin, we see that the composition of this place went from
25 62 per cent Croat pre-war to 9 per cent Croat post-conflict. We see
1 there that the Serbian population in Sotin went from 363 people
2 pre-conflict up to 786 people or 86 per cent of the population there
3 post-conflict. And we're not going to go through all of these,
4 Mr. Hadzic, but what's happening here, isn't it, is that we're seeing
5 Croats out and Serbs in, the number of Serbs in many of these villages
6 increasing significantly, thus establishing Serbian majorities in what
7 had previously been Croat-majority villages and towns. Isn't that what
8 this shows?
9 A. I've already said that I don't know anything about this table.
10 That's what it shows. Now, whether this is correct, I don't know. I
11 have no way of knowing.
12 Q. But what we're seeing here is a reflection of what you were
13 advocating in the newspaper article that we just looked at, for example,
14 that Serbs from other places, including displaced Serbs - and, of course,
15 we don't dispute that Serbs were being displaced in large numbers from
16 Western Slavonia - but in any event, Serbs from elsewhere are coming in
17 and they're moving into these places in which the Croats and other
18 non-Serbs used to live. This is just a reflection of what's happening,
20 A. I invited them to come in and move temporarily. I had the
21 experience of my own village where were there only Serbs. People moved
22 into Serb houses, not only Croat houses, so it wasn't only Croat houses,
23 but these people had to be put up somewhere.
24 Q. And, again, on this page, if we move out to column number 15, the
25 question on has government been formed, yes or no, here we see that a
1 government's been formed in all these places; correct?
2 A. To be quite precise, it was the authority established by the
3 Yugoslav People's Army, as you probably know, and the Trial Chamber now
5 Q. And then moving to the next page, which ends with the ERN number
6 8955, we see a number of the places that we're all more familiar with in
7 this trial in the Western Srem region.
8 Row number 1, we see Ilok; 4.000 Croats down to 850. 54 per cent
9 of the population down to 13.7. Sarengrad. Bapska, 1711 Croats now down
10 to 400. 97 per cent of the population down to 43. Mohovo, Opatovac,
11 Lovas, similar. Lovas, 91.9 per cent Croat now post-conflict is, or
12 post-war, down to 12.3 per cent.
13 And again, Mr. Hadzic, for all these places we see that there is
14 a local -- I should say, that a government has been formed. Do you see
16 A. I see that.
17 Q. And it's these governments that we're seeing that are handling
18 the issue of housing, accommodating the Serbs, assigning the housing to
19 the incoming Serbs; correct?
20 A. I don't know that. I can only suppose because I had no contact
21 with them.
22 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1488, P1710.
23 Q. Mr. Hadzic, just the previous exhibit started with that letter
24 from Mr. Susa to the colonel inviting them to the meeting in Ilok to talk
25 about housing on the 30th of December. Now this exhibit is dated the
1 following day, 31st of December. Report on the government session, and
2 this is directed to the 1st Military District Command, civilian affairs.
3 And here the person writing this whose name is Milos Miljovic, assistant
4 commander for civil affairs, he refers to the meeting in the first
5 paragraph of the commission for populating and temporary accommodation.
6 And then second paragraph he says that the meeting was attended by Deputy
7 Prime Minister Bogunovic. Is that Boro Bogunovic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And Minister for Justice and Administration, Vojin Susa. Member
10 of the Executive Council, municipality, Milorad Visic. Representatives
11 of TO and Executive Councils of the majority of the local communes of the
12 places that are listed. And then it continues to say that Mr. Susa
13 opened the meeting by presenting its goal in the introduction. It says
15 "A large number of refugees did not come at the invitation of the
16 government but in an unorganised manner and that it is our duty to
17 receive them and secure accommodation for them in a more organised manner
18 than so far. He said the government appointed a group led by deputy
19 prime minister."
20 Now, again, the reference to the deputy prime minister here, is
21 that going to be Mr. Bogunovic?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then continuing on the next page:
24 Bogunovic who will deal with this coming task to set up accurate
25 records of temporarily populated persons and solve the issues of food and
2 And then continuing at the end of paragraph:
3 "He says that the Executive Council of Vukovar has been set up
4 and functioning and that in the future it would co-ordinate these
5 actions, although at this stage it had to focus on Vukovar itself."
6 So, in fact, Mr. Hadzic, what we see is by the end of
7 December certainly, your government is actively engaged in the issue of
8 managing the housing, accommodating incoming Serbs, and taking control
9 over the issue, keeping records, et cetera, dealing with food and
10 medical. True?
11 A. You did not define that properly. We don't see that our
12 government was involved on the 30th of December. On the
13 30th of December, our government was trying to get involved. This was a
14 first meeting, a first contact, and by that time the JNA had finished
15 everything. Our first contact was when everything was already over.
16 That was our first attempt to get involved and to help.
17 Q. And just skipping down a couple of paragraphs, I'd like to ask
18 you about what the government was trying to do.
19 Deputy prime minister said:
20 "We do not know what our goals are here. We want the structure
21 here to change. Some people do not understand military administration
23 And the person writing this report says that:
24 "These quotes illustrate that the government wants to change the
25 structure of the population at all costs, even by pushing them under the
1 impact of artillery in the zone of intense combat activities, while we do
2 not know what our goal is, can mean that why doesn't the army free the
3 whole of Slavonia and hand us over authority on a plate. His support of
4 immigration even in the zone of intense combat activities did not cease
5 even after the warning by a representative of the division command that
6 we did not recommend populating refugees to the west of Tovarnik to spare
7 them from experiencing exodus twice."
8 So, Mr. Hadzic, if people in the JNA were hesitating on turning
9 over, giving free rein to your government people on the issue of housing,
10 it's because, as they concluded, your government didn't actually care
11 about the safety of the people it wanted to bring in, you only cared
12 about changing the ethnic composition. That's what's being said here,
13 isn't it, and that's how it was?
14 A. No, that's not how it was, one. And second, this was written by
15 an organ of the institution which cleansed Croats from Ilok. They did
16 all that. And he is writing here, and you are taking him at his word and
17 you are believing this institution in this case, although in other cases,
18 of course, they were not to be believed. And we have two Prosecution
19 witnesses here, one was not protected, that's Boro Bogunovic, and you
20 could have asked him. And the second one, who did all this, was
21 protected, so I'm not going to mention his name. And now I'm supposed to
22 talk about events of the 30th of December when all that was already over
23 and when we got involved for the first time. And you are believing a JNA
24 colonel, a representative of the institution which did all that. As for
25 myself, I can really say I know nothing more.
1 Q. Well, I'm going to put it to you, sir, that this report was
2 written by a gentleman who has absolutely no reason to lie in his
3 reporting to his superiors about the content of the meeting, and he makes
4 it quite clear that the concerns that they have regarding the safety of
5 the Serbian population that your government is so desperate to put into
6 these areas?
7 A. Well, I'm testifying here, and I can only say what I know.
8 Colonel Belic wrote me a letter in a decent tone but very indecently
9 accusing me that we had done nothing for the refugees, that we had not
10 established the boards that he thought we were supposed to set up, and
11 that we basically did nothing. And now some other colonel, based on all
12 that was done - and we all know what was done, we know who did it in
13 Ilok, in what way, we know everything - now this man is trying to say
14 that Boro Bogunovic made some statement and we don't even see that Boro
15 said it. Instead, this colonel is giving us his conclusions about
16 Boro -- about what Boro thought about sending people to the front line.
17 We could not direct people to go where we liked. They went where they
18 wanted. When I say "we," I mean the government.
19 So as for the resettlement in some peripheral areas, first of
20 all, the government had nothing do with it. I don't believe this
21 colonel, and if you want to believe him, you are free to do so. I think
22 we should have asked your witness Bogunovic about this. But when Susa
23 comes, we'll ask him. I don't see from this that Boro Bogunovic said
24 that people should be resettled at any cost in peripheral areas. That's
25 the conclusion of this man, this colonel. But in my eyes, he is neither
1 an honourable man nor an honest man.
2 Q. When you say he is neither honourable or honest, are you talking
3 about the person that wrote this report, Mr. Milos Miljovic?
4 A. Yes, I mean him. I don't know him personally, that was the first
5 time I heard of him, but I believe the conclusion he is making here is
6 completely incorrect. I have no reason to defend Boro Bogunovic here,
7 but nowhere in this text do I see that he wanted to send people as
8 cannon-fodder somewhere. That was this man's conclusion. Maybe I'm
9 wrong. Maybe I didn't read it very well but I can -- I can read it more
10 carefully now.
11 Q. Well, it was the policy of the government --
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, it is more or less that time --
13 well, no, not more or less, it is. Would it be convenient?
14 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
16 We'll adjourn for 30 minutes. Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hadzic, at the beginning of the hearing this
20 morning, I omitted to remind you that you are still under oath, but I'm
21 sure you know, you realise that, as long as you are in this chair, you
22 are under oath and rules being set out stay in force. Thank you.
23 Mr. Stringer, please proceed.
24 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Could we please have tab 1481, which is Exhibit D30. 00030.
1 Q. Mr. Hadzic, just before the break, I believe you referred to an
2 exchange of correspondence that you had with Colonel Belic of the
3 Ilok Town Command and so it seemed a good opportunity to discuss this
4 exchange of letters briefly, which I'd like to do now. And the first of
5 these, which is your letter to him, should be coming up. Do you see that
6 there? Do you recognise that as your letter to Colonel Belic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Because -- and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but throughout
9 your testimony this morning you've been telling us, I believe, that you
10 really weren't involved and you didn't have any knowledge or involvement
11 on the issue of housing. Here we see that actually as of the
12 23rd of December at least you're becoming directly involved in your
13 capacity as prime minister. So you were informed of what was happening
14 and you did participate in dealings with the JNA on this issue. True?
15 A. I need to explain this because you drew a conclusion that I
16 thought impossible to draw. When I said I didn't deal with this, I meant
17 the period of the events in Ilok, and at that time, these processes had
18 already finished.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honours, I would suggest that Mr. Hadzic
21 repeat his question [sic] because the considerable and the significant
22 part of it was not transcribed.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hadzic, repeat his question or --
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No, not question, sorry. His answer.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer -- oh, his answer, okay.
1 Mr. Hadzic, could you repeat your answer, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to paraphrase because I
3 can't repeat it exactly as the first time.
4 I didn't expect that you would draw the conclusion that you drew
5 because I thought I was quite clear when I said that we didn't deal with
6 it, meaning the government, namely, the resettlement in Ilok. We were
7 not involved when the process was under way. I believe it's common
8 knowledge and we see from this date that I only heard about it towards
9 the end of 1991, December 1991, when all this had already been finished.
10 We were trying to establish civilian authorities there, but even then we
11 were not allowed to. And as you said yourself, the military government
12 lasted until the beginning of 1992 and the arrival of UNPROFOR.
13 MR. STRINGER:
14 Q. So can we agree, then, by the end of 1991, you and your
15 government was -- were directly involved then on the issue of housing and
16 accommodation and that you acquired greater responsibility on that issue
17 as time went on?
18 A. We cannot agree. Because it was only towards the end of 1991
19 that we tried to get involved, but since there was a military government,
20 they didn't let us and they appointed all the civilian officials there,
21 including directors of enterprises in Ilok, and we had very little
22 influence on it. At the beginning, almost none. In fact, I don't know
23 that we had any influence at that time. I really believe we didn't have
25 Q. On page 2 of your letter here, third paragraph in the English,
1 you say:
2 "In an effort to eliminate or at least reduce possible problems
3 from our side we have appointed the minister of justice, Mr. Susa, as our
4 representative ..."
5 So then this being the 23rd of December, we were just before the
6 break talking about the meeting that Mr. Susa had with them on the
7 30th of December. So when Mr. Susa was meeting -- when Mr. Susa,
8 Mr. Bogunovic were meeting with the JNA on the 30th of December, it was
9 pursuant to the appointment that you have referred to here in your
10 letter; correct? He has been given this responsibility.
11 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I believe there's an --
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm sorry. Mr. Zivanovic.
14 Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I noticed the error in translation in the
16 paragraph just read by Mr. Stringer. Because the original should be "in
17 an effort to influence on elimination," not "in an effort to eliminate."
18 [Interpretation] I will read out from the original. "Wishing to
19 exert our influence to eliminate or at least reduce possible problems."
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
21 MR. STRINGER: It's in the record. I think to the extent that
22 there may be any difference, I don't think it requires any further
23 clarification, unless Your Honours would like some.
24 Q. The point -- my point, Mr. Hadzic, is what's indicated here, you,
25 your government has appointed Mr. Susa to take this responsibility, and
1 that's what he was doing then the following week on the 30th when he met
2 with the JNA to talk about the housing situation in Ilok; correct?
3 A. This was our attempt to have some influence, if possible, because
4 all this had already been finished at the end of 1991.
5 Q. And then you go on to talk about how you're hoping anyway to get
6 your minister of finance involved, giving him - this is skipping down a
7 paragraph - "an opportunity to check the situation and flow of funds on
8 transfer accounts ..."
9 Do you see that?
10 A. I have to find it, but I remember. That seems to have been the
11 main problem for them.
12 Q. And then on page 3 of the English, and this is skipping down
13 about four more paragraphs, it says:
14 "The government has been told that the settling of Ilok went on
15 rather well."
16 Do you see that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then you say:
19 "We would appreciate at least being informed about the criteria
20 according to which it was done, with the possible remark that our
21 approval does not go without saying."
22 And then after that you say:
23 "This all the more in view of your request, which represents a
24 novelty as conveyed by Mr. Susa, that a reason must be stated and
25 approval given for temporary settlement of refugees in settlements around
2 Now, I'm going to suggest to you, Mr. Hadzic, that among the
3 reasons why the JNA wanted to retain some level of control over this was
4 because you, your government, and its representatives were intent on
5 placing Serbs throughout these territories without regard to their own
6 safety and in areas that were still in the conflict zone as was indicated
7 in the previous exhibit we looked at.
8 A. That's not true. I said it in my answer before the break. Maybe
9 I don't have the right to ask and it's not courteous but from what did
10 you get this conclusion? I didn't know that, and I couldn't even
11 suppose. It's not written anywhere.
12 Q. Well, Mr. Hadzic, I think we draw different interpretations of
13 the exhibit that we were looking at before the break. I don't intend to
14 go back to it unless the Chamber would like to revisit it, the language.
15 Skipping down two more paragraphs, there's a reference here in
16 your letter to a report submitted to the government by Mr. Susa and
17 Mr. Bogunovic, Deputy Prime Minister. And, again, just to confirm,
18 Mr. Bogunovic then had by this point been appointed by you also to join
19 Mr. Susa in these discussions with the JNA?
20 A. Yes. Him and Mr. Bogdan Vojnovic, who was minister of finance.
21 It was a three-member commission.
22 Q. Now the next document is tab 1484, which is the letter that came
23 in response from Colonel Belic. This is P1962, dated the
24 25th of December.
25 And at the beginning he greets you and says it his pleasure to
1 establish official mutually beneficial contact with you.
2 Moving down to the bottom of page 1 of the English, which is the
3 fourth paragraph after this one, he says:
4 "I must admit that I expected there be would be comprehensive,
5 primarily planned and organised involvement by members of the government
6 of SBWS in connection with the settlement of refugees from Western
8 I'm going to skip down a few lines. He says:
9 "I'm disappointed to have to say and inform you that the people
10 you entrusted with the resolution of the most important civilian matter
11 at the moment have not demonstrated any shred of the necessary skills,
12 resourcefulness, knowledge, and, most devastating of all, good will.
13 Naturally, it is difficult to deceive people who have suffered and lay
14 the blame on others, and I say this because we have heard many serious
15 criticisms of your government from many people."
16 So again, Mr. Hadzic, I'm going to put it to you that despite all
17 your complaints about the military rule and the JNA, the role of the JNA
18 on this issue particularly in the Ilok area, the JNA took on this role
19 because the government had, so far, failed to establish or show that it
20 was willing or able to do so itself. True?
21 A. I was indicted before this Honourable Court for the events
22 referred to in the indictment. One is that I was involved in the forced
23 expulsions and resettlement of these area by Serbs. It's clear from this
24 letter that the colonel is accusing me of not having done that and this
25 should be, in fact, a crucial Defence exhibit proving that the charges in
1 the indictment are untrue. I'm now explaining something that you are all
2 able to see, that I was not involved in the resettlement of Ilok. I was
3 perhaps a bad president, but it's up to the assembly to discuss it. But
4 if what Mr. Belic says and what Mr. Prosecutor says is true, then I can't
5 be charged with it because I did not lend any attention to it.
6 What am I supposed to answer to your question? Right, I as the
7 prime minister did not deal with the problems of Ilok. I was not
8 involved in the resettlement of people and Colonel Belic is accusing me
9 of not having done that. I don't think this calls for a legal expert.
10 This is basics.
11 Q. He continues on the next page, page 3 of the English, first full
12 paragraph. This is five paragraphs down in the B/C/S:
13 "I'm saddened by the fact that the problem of settling of people
14 is overshadowed by a request for accommodation to a ministry with a
15 sizeable staff -- with a sizable and staff as yet not approved by you,
16 and the priority task is to find accommodation for their family members."
17 So, really, Mr. Hadzic, at this point, again the JNA has
18 expressed its disappointment at your government's lack of concern for the
19 Serbian people that it wanted to put out into the conflict zone. Now
20 they're expressing their disappointment at your government for this sort
21 of self-interest in getting themselves situated in the nice, beautiful
22 confines of Ilok. True? Everybody has been to Ilok. Everybody knows
23 how beautiful the area is.
24 A. The page was changed for me only now. Could you please indicate
25 to me which paragraph this is so that I can read it again in Serbian?
1 Q. It's the paragraph that begins with the words:
2 "I am saddened by the fact that ..."
3 A. Now I see it. Thank you.
4 Well, in your question, again, you mentioned the confrontation
5 line, the front line, and, again, I cannot find that in this text. As
6 for this other thing that is in the text and that I can speak about,
7 proves that this -- that our government did not have any influence over
8 the settlements in Ilok. I mean, we didn't even find accommodation for
9 the three members of the government itself. By the way, they were
10 refugees. Susa was a refugee from Vinkovci and there was no place for
11 him and his family to stay. And Vojinovic is from Vukovar but his house
12 had been destroyed, so he had nowhere to stay either, and the third one
13 didn't either, so this supports everything that I've already said. If
14 you can find this somewhere else, this reference, we never asked for
15 that. We just sought accommodation for the people who were supposed to
16 be in Ilok to work there. We did not ask for castles or any particularly
17 beautiful accommodation. We just needed accommodation for them so that
18 they could work and live somewhere.
19 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1600. Exhibit
20 65 ter 6527.
21 Q. Mr. Hadzic, these are the minutes of the meeting of the Serbian
22 District SBWS District Council, the 25th of May, 1992, now. So about
23 five months or so later. This is in Erdut. I want to stay with this
24 document on the issue of the priority of the SBWS and its policy on
25 resettlement even as of late May 1992.
1 Mr. Milan Ilic, he was the head of the SBWS District Council at
2 this point in time; is that correct?
3 A. The interpretation I received was "oblasni odbor." It was the
4 government of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem and he was president of
5 that, and I didn't have any contact with them with regard to their work.
6 After me, they were an independent body in relation to the president of
7 the Republic of Serbian Krajina, that is to say, myself, so I really
8 don't know what they did.
9 Q. Well, they were a body, they operated under the structure of the
10 Republic of Serbian Krajina, did they not? They were not wholly
12 A. Within the government? Well, I don't know. I had no
13 relationship with them and they probably had communication with the
14 government of the Republic of Serb Krajina. However, they had their
15 regional assembly. They had a high level of autonomy, so they operated
16 through the assembly and the assembly was above them.
17 Q. Before the summer recess we looked at the document in which you
18 appointed Milan Ilic, I believe, at that time to be the head of the
19 Executive Council for Erdut. Do you recall that?
20 A. Yes, I recall that, but not Erdut but Dalj. The name of the
21 municipality was Dalj then, and now according to the new Croatian law it
22 was moved to Erdut.
23 Q. Then we see some other names of persons present at this meeting.
24 Do you know who Pajo Nedic was?
25 A. Yes, of course, I know.
1 Q. What was his position?
2 A. In 1991, he was in the government. He was minister of industry,
3 I think, that what's it was called, in Slavonia, Baranja, and
4 Western Srem. And later on he was elected to this District Council but I
5 did not have any particular contact with him after that, and I don't know
6 which exact position he held.
7 Q. Now, in this document, we see item 2, which is what I wanted to
8 direct your attention to:
9 "President Milan Ilic informed those present about the fact that
10 several villages in the area of the district are virtually uninhabited,
11 and that there's a possibility for populating many other places as well.
12 The great importance of populating these places needs no further
13 elaboration. What needs to be done is take urgent measures for this to
14 take place."
15 And then it continues on as to how to achieve that.
16 Now, Mr. Hadzic, what Mr. Ilic is saying here is that -- or I'm
17 going to put it to you the great importance of populating these areas
18 lies in populating these areas with Serbs so that the Serbian demographic
19 majority that has now been achieved in these areas by this point in time
20 can be maintained. That's the great importance to Mr. Ilic. True?
21 A. No, not true. I did not attend that meeting. I just have to
22 point something out in response to your previous question. The
23 government confirmed the appointment of Ilic as president of the
24 municipality of Dalj but it was not their proposal, it was the proposal
25 of the local communes. Perhaps I should explain this. Perhaps you
1 really did not understand this. I think that this is accidental and I
2 don't think that it's a major mistake. This was the problem. I know
3 that Slavonia and Baranja are agricultural land. These were abandoned
4 areas. The land was not being tilled. So these were peasants who were
5 living and the land need to be tilled. And I really don't know what
6 Milan Ilic meant but I don't see anything here saying that he had said
7 that it was a particular ethnic group that was supposed to populate the
8 areas. These were villages that had been abandoned, land that had been
9 abandoned, and the land was supposed to be tilled so that there wouldn't
10 be diseases, infections and so on. And I don't see where you get this
11 conclusion that it was supposed to be the Serbs and I don't see where he
12 could have brought these people from. And I as president of the republic
13 and of the Krajina, I don't remember having discussed that problem at
15 Q. Well, we saw on all the demographic data, the numbers attached to
16 the document earlier this morning, that certainly in so many of these
17 areas where there had been Croatian majorities, those majorities no
18 longer existed. Do you recall that?
19 A. Well, we've discussed that before the break. Do you remember?
20 Q. Yeah, I'm asking you: Do you remember?
21 A. Well, I'm saying that I remember we discussed it before the
22 break. Sorry, I guess you didn't understand what I was saying.
23 Q. My point is that it was the government's policy - and that's
24 what's being expressed here and in other documents we're going to look
25 at - it was the government's policy to maintain those majorities even
1 those -- I should say Serbian majorities, even though such majorities
2 never existed prior to the conflict. That was the policy and the aim.
4 A. Well, that's not true. I explained concretely what the aim was.
5 It wasn't that some elections were being prepared here between the Serbs
6 and the Croats and that policy was to have as many Serbs as possible to
7 vote. Quite simply, somebody was supposed to live in that village and
8 till the land. Now, the Serbs were the Serbs who were there. We
9 couldn't have brought them from Mars in order to create some kind of
10 majority. The land had to be tilled. There was the problem of disease,
11 infections. There were different problems in that area.
12 Q. But here we are in May, the 25th of May, 1992, in fact, the
13 people that should have been coming back in to till the land were the
14 Croats who had owned the land and who had lived there before. True?
15 A. Well, I've told that I did not attend that meeting. I don't know
16 anything about that document. Somebody was supposed to go back there and
17 till that land. Now whether it's going to be Croats who would accept to
18 return or whether it would be Serbs, this is the first time I'm
19 discussing this. I never discussed it before.
20 Q. Well, under the Vance Plan, which you agreed to, wasn't it under
21 the Vance Plan that, in fact, those Croats who were no longer there were
22 to come back? Return of refugees, right? That's what was supposed to
24 A. Well, that's the way it was supposed to be. The Vance Plan was
25 supposed to be carried out. We were the party that accepted that. We
1 did not decide about that. This was between the UN and the -- and Serbia
2 and Croatia. In May, nobody asked us a thing. Not the international
3 community, not Serbia, not Croatia.
4 Q. Well, you don't think that Mr. Ilic here is referring to
5 populating these areas with Croats, do you? I mean, you don't seriously
6 contend that that's what he wants, do you?
7 A. Well, I cannot think either one thing or the other. It would not
8 be serious for me to interpret now what he meant. I really don't know.
9 For me it would be logical that Croats who would agree to accept our laws
10 should be allowed to return to our areas. That would be fine with me.
11 It's only logical.
12 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, we tender this exhibit 65 ter 6527.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object because the witness did not give
15 any information. He was not familiar with this document and with this
16 particular meeting. So I -- I believe there is no foundation for
17 admitting of this document.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer.
19 MR. STRINGER:
20 Q. Mr. Hadzic, you were looking at the original.
21 Can we look at page 2 of it.
22 Can you identify the signature that appears at the bottom?
23 A. I see that "Milan Ilic" is typewritten but I don't know his
24 signature at all. So this signature doesn't say a thing to me. Although
25 I know the Cyrillic alphabet very well, I cannot even tell whether this
1 is Cyrillic or Latin, and I cannot discern what is written there.
2 MR. STRINGER: I'll move on, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. STRINGER:
5 Q. Just a small detour here, Mr. Hadzic, before we move on.
6 I'm looking at your testimony on the 9th of July in this trial.
7 You were actually talking about a conversation you had with
8 Radovan Stojicic about Mr. Bogunovic. This is at page 9594. You
9 testified that Badza, Stojicic, had indicated to you that they didn't
10 want to work with Mr. Bogunovic as minister of interior. Do you remember
12 A. I remember that.
13 Q. Yeah. And that it was as a result of that that he was removed
14 from that position. I can read -- let me read your answer and then that
15 may make it easier for you.
16 You said:
17 "He didn't" -- this is page 9595. This is what you said,
18 Mr. Hadzic:
19 "He didn't tell me: Remove Boro Bogunovic. He told me: Do as
20 you will. However, if Bogunovic remains minister, we will not co-operate
21 with him. At least that's how I understood him."
22 Do you recall that?
23 A. I recall that, the conversation with Badza, and I remember having
24 testified about this.
25 Q. And then also on the same page of your testimony, you said that:
1 "Boro was not professional. He didn't have any experience. When
2 we set up the government, he was like an interim solution to the problem
3 that we had. That was the most important thing. He was just not
4 professional enough. He did not have the required knowledge."
5 That's at page 9595. Do you recall having said those words, or
6 words to that effect, Mr. Hadzic.
7 A. I remember.
8 Q. And then on the next page you describe then giving this
9 information to Mr. Bogunovic because you said he was your friend. And
10 then you said, this is page 9596:
11 "Badza -- and I said: Badza represents Belgrade, and this is the
12 position of Belgrade. And I see that somehow he agreed to be deputy
13 prime minister rather than minister of police."
14 Do you recall that?
15 A. Yes, I recall that. I said that Badza was the representative of
16 Belgrade or the representative of this Belgrade police, Serbian police.
17 MR. STRINGER: If we could please have tab 355, which is
19 Q. I just want to put a time-frame on this, Mr. Hadzic. These are
20 minutes of the SBWS government meeting on the 29th of November, 1991.
21 And at the meeting we see yourself, we see Stevo Bogic, we see
22 Mr. Bogunovic, Borislav Bogunovic, other members of the government. And
23 then also present we see -- it should say, yes, the session was also
24 attended by Milorad Trosic, Milos Vojnovic, Predrag Radlovic,
25 Milan Milanovic, and then Radovan Stojicic. So Badza was also present at
1 this meeting.
2 And then on page 2 of the English and I believe it's, yes, page 2
3 also of the B/C/S. Item number 2 just at the bottom of that paragraph it
4 says -- well, it starts off, Mr. Trosic, district public prosecutor, was
5 talking about the situation in terms of crime. There's a discussion
6 about that and then at the end it says:
7 "The discussion also touched upon the matter of appointing the
8 minister of the interior as one of the deputy prime ministers. No
9 particular decisions were adopted with regard to the report."
10 I think that's a report, the report of Mr. Trosic.
11 So does this indicate for us, Mr. Hadzic, roughly the time-frame
12 of your discussion with Badza, his complaint about Mr. Bogunovic, and
13 then the time when Mr. Bogunovic went from being minister of interior to
14 being deputy prime minister?
15 A. Well, I cannot confirm that with any certainty now because this
16 process regarding the replacement of Bogunovic, it didn't take only a day
17 or two. Perhaps it was a couple of weeks. So around that date, yes, but
18 probably these talks took place before that. It's not that Boro agreed
19 immediately. So this was a time of persuasion. I don't know whether it
20 was ten days, 15 days, I don't know. I cannot remember.
21 Q. Well, we know that by the time that Mr. Susa and Mr. Bogunovic
22 met with the JNA colonel on the 30th of December, he was clearly
23 deputy prime minister at that point because that's how he was introduced
24 and referred to.
25 You need to say yes or no. You can't just nod your head. It
1 doesn't make it into the record.
2 A. Yes, yes. It's not that I was nodding by way of a response. I
3 was nodding to myself. And I think this was made public in the
4 Official Gazette, when he became minister of police, deputy
5 prime minister, so it's not only that. There are several sources from
6 which one can see when this took place.
7 Q. My point here, Mr. Hadzic, is Mr. Bogunovic is decommissioned as
8 minister of the interior because, as you said, he wasn't professional.
9 He was just not professional enough. He seemed ill-equipped to handle
10 Ministry of Interior. So what you then did is to promote him and put him
11 with Susa in charge of housing. Again, it seems a decision calculated
12 to -- well, why did you do that? Why did you promote him, put him in
13 charge of housing, when it's clear to you he's not professional and he
14 couldn't handle the job that he'd already had?
15 A. Boro Bogunovic was a layperson for the police, but Boro Bogunovic
16 was a man who was capable of doing other things. He worked in a big
17 company in Vukovar before the war and he was a capable person. When I
18 said that he was not a professional, I meant that he was not a
19 professional for the police. He did not have a good co-operation with
20 the police from Serbia and Badza was their boss and Badza was --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Hadzic please
22 slow down and repeat the rest of his answer. Thank you.
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Did you get that message, Mr. Hadzic? They're asking if you
25 could slow down and repeat your answer.
1 A. [In English] Yes.
2 [Interpretation] Badza had under his control the entire police.
3 That includes the territory of Slavonia and Baranja. And he did not
4 want -- I mean, he did not find a common tongue with Boro Bogunovic and
5 Boro was not a professional for the police. But Boro was a man who could
6 have done this work of a different kind. Now, Boro, when he was
7 appointed minister of police, that was not just my decision. At the time
8 when it's government was formed, I was not some kind of a big boss that I
9 could have decided you'd be that. I wasn't above Boro. This was a joint
10 decision of ours that Boro would be minister of the police. This was
11 just in a formal sense because the police did not even exist at the time
12 and the assembly appointed Boro deputy prime minister at my proposal.
13 MR. STRINGER: Tab 1512, please, P3184.
14 Q. Mr. Hadzic, I just want to look at numbers for a couple of more
15 minutes. This is a March 10th of 1992 report coming from Tovarnik
16 village, from the JNA commander there, regarding the national structure
17 and number of inhabitants in the zone of the 3rd Motorised Brigade.
18 And if we go then to the next page, we see another one of these
19 charts regarding ethnic composition pre- and post-conflict.
20 MR. STRINGER: Your Honours, in the English there, before "b/d,"
21 you'll see in the footnote "b/d" means "combat operation." So these are
22 numbers before and after combat operations.
23 Q. I just want to look at some of these, Mr. Hadzic, not all of
24 them. You tell me if you disagree with -- if you have any strong
25 disagreement with the data that's presented in this.
1 Tovarnik pre-conflict, pre-combat activities about 2100 Croats,
2 262 Croats after combat activities. Whereas at the same time we have
3 852 Serbs who lived there who after the conflict are now joined by
4 950 people who had come in, Serbs who came in to settle. Ilaca had
5 15 Serbs pre-conflict and 550 after. Again, Serb settlers.
6 So skipping ahead to page 5 of the English, population by
7 national structure in the area of responsibility of the Ilok
8 Town Command, 8500 Croats before, 1826 after. The number of Serbs here
9 remains relatively -- excuse me. If we see before combat operations
10 1167 Serbs. After combat operations, the number of Serbs who had lived
11 there before remains relatively the same but now we see inhabited, which
12 I'm suggesting is settlers, an additional 4314 Serbs who have arrived.
13 So would you agree with me, Mr. Hadzic, that what is happening -
14 and I'm not going to go through all of this, it continues on, Ilok,
15 Sarengrad, Mohovo, Bapska - but we don't really have any strong
16 disagreement, do we, that as of March 10th, 1992, there had been a
17 profound change in the ethnic composition of this Western Srem region
18 that's referred to in this report?
19 A. Well, this report shows that they're using the concept of
20 military administration in the area of responsibility. That is to say
21 that everything that happened, happened under the command of and in the
22 organisation of the JNA. However, I as a witness do not know anything
23 about this because I did not take part in any of this and I did not have
24 this information. But speaking as a private person, I know that people
25 came from Western Slavonia, Serbs, and the Croats left with their army.
1 That I know, sort of. But it's not that I took part in any of this and
2 that I can testify about any of that. I don't -- I cannot.
3 Q. Just setting aside the issue of responsibility and even setting
4 aside the issue of why Croats left, my question is: Based upon whether
5 it's your capacity as president of the RSK, which you were at this time,
6 or as a private citizen, I take it you don't take strong -- you don't
7 have strong disagreement with the notion that there was profound
8 demographic change that had occurred in Western Srem as of this time?
9 A. Well, I could agree. I know the Croats left and the Serbs from
10 Western Slavonia came. That's all I know, and I think that's what you're
12 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1514, P2754.
13 Q. This is from roughly the same period, 16 March 1992, a report to
14 the 1st Military District Command, "Weekly report of the organ for civil
16 Turning to page 2, first of all, I want to see -- apologies. The
17 top of page 2, talking about replacing personal documents, issuing them
18 with documents certified by the SBWS government. And then:
19 "In order to resolve this problem, the organ for civil affairs
20 has addressed the issue to the SO government, municipal authorities. To
21 facilitate solution to this problem in accordance with your abilities,
22 exercise influence on the government of Serbia and through them on the
23 Serbian district government. The authorities of the government of SO
24 SBWS are not sufficiently present on the ground and are inefficient at
25 resolving important problems."
1 Why didn't you take measures to -- because you know from your
2 exchange with Mr. Belic going back to December that there was inadequate
3 and insufficient co-ordination and involvement between your government
4 and the JNA military authorities, why didn't you do any more to fix that?
5 A. There are several reasons. The first reason is that we did not
6 deal with the problem of settlement and resettlement at all. It was not
7 our priority and the government did not get involved in this at all.
8 Second, we were taken by surprise by these events, as you can see
9 from Belic's letter, and we were accused that we were doing nothing,
10 which is completely contrary to the relevant count in the indictment.
11 And, third, there was a military rule there. You can see from
12 the date that the military rule was still there and they did not allow us
13 to deal with these issue. So this commission headed by Bogunovic and
14 Susa, in Ilok, tried to do something, but they couldn't because it was
15 still administered by military rule. And when the issue of finances came
16 up, that put a definitive end to it because they didn't even want to
17 discuss it. They took everything in their own hands.
18 Q. You just said "that we did not deal with the problem of
19 settlement and resettlement at all." In fact, Mr. Hadzic, that's not
20 true. You were the lead negotiator in the international negotiations
21 taking place about the Vance Plan, and the Vance Plan and your
22 involvement in it was all about settlement and resettlement.
23 How can you claim that you didn't have any involvement or
24 participation or deal with the problem of settlement and resettlement?
25 A. Well, I can tell you and explain this easily.
1 First of all, there are my arguments and the arguments of the
2 opposing side who is accusing me of something. The theory of Mr. Ilic
3 was that somebody was trying to move Serbs into that area, whereas I
4 accepted the Vance Plan, according to which the refugees were supposed to
5 return when the conditions are met.
6 On the 16th of March, the date here, there was no talk about
7 this. It's quite obvious from this that the JNA had a different plan
8 that the government and I knew nothing about. At the time we are
9 discussing, my government was already disbanded. It didn't exist. So
10 when I said that we didn't deal with it, I meant the government of which
11 I was prime minister. It was obvious that our priority was not to move
12 Croats out and move Serbs in. After February, the government no longer
14 The problem of the Vance Plan is something you are right about
15 but in a wrong way. The Vance Plan was for the return of refugees once
16 it became possible. And even UNPROFOR was against them returning at that
17 time because the wounds were still fresh and the people who had until the
18 day before waged war could not suddenly live in peace together anymore,
19 and it was too early for them to return.
20 It's obvious that this JNA officer was advocated something that I
21 did not agree with. I stand by my position as I stood by it then.
22 Q. The next paragraph in this document says that:
23 "With the SO government's permission, the local authorities are
24 continuing to move out the Croatian population. On 15 March 1992
25 approximately 100 inhabitants were removed from Boksic village.
1 According to our information, the removal is carried out pursuant to
2 compiled lists and they are mainly persons who are involved in any way in
3 the Croatian Defence Forces or are still collaborating with them on a
4 voluntary basis."
5 Now, the fact is that even though you'd moved on to be president
6 of the republic, the SBWS government and the people you left behind there
7 were continuing to employ this policy of removing Croats in order to
8 maintain the newly achieved Serbian demographic majorities; correct?
9 A. No. You said they continued that policy. They couldn't continue
10 that policy because the SBWS government did not have such a policy. You
11 don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand whose writing this and
12 where they are writing. It was happening in the area of responsibility
13 of the JNA. Nobody could even come there without JNA permission. It was
14 completely controlled by the JNA. I don't know for whom these lies are
15 intended and why he is writing this at all. Who could come to the area
16 of responsibility of the JNA at the time? They didn't let us leave our
17 own villages without a special permit. Who could take 100 people in the
18 plain sight of a brigade -- of a JNA brigade and all the colonels whom we
19 couldn't even approach? I'm really surprised that anybody could believe
21 Q. All right. So now this is Novica Gusic, Mr. Hadzic. Is he also
22 lying when he says that this was done with the SO government's
23 permission? Is this another JNA officer who is just lying about what's
24 happening in his own area of responsibility?
25 A. Of course he is lying. He is lying shamelessly. What government
1 permission? Which government? What could the government order to the
3 Q. And so then you're telling us, Mr. Hadzic, that all of these --
4 this gentleman's a colonel and the JNA assistant commander for civil
5 affairs, he is lying to his superiors in the 1st Military
6 District Command about the removal of 100 Croat inhabitants from Boksic
7 village. That's -- that's your view? This is an absolute false report.
8 A. No, that's not what I said. I said he is saying half the truth
9 and half lies. In the first part, he is telling the truth, that it is
10 under their administration, military rule, under their control and that
11 was that.
12 Now, in order to keep it on record, he is lying that somebody
13 else had done it, not them. So he's telling about 60 per cent of truth
14 and 40 per cent of lies.
15 Q. So all of the expulsions and the displacements of the non-Serbs
16 from Western Srem, in your view, were carried out exclusively by the JNA.
17 Is that your evidence?
18 A. In the JNA area of responsibility, who could come, at all? The
19 government was still there.
20 Q. Just answer my question.
21 A. I started, but you didn't let me finish.
22 For our government, it was a big problem how to divide personal
23 incomes. They didn't have a single bus. How could they [Realtime
24 transcript read in error "we"] transport 100 people when they didn't have
25 cars for themselves? I'm quite sure that nobody from the government
1 could come to Boksic. First of all, because the army was there and,
2 second of all, because the government had neither cars nor petrol --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Hadzic please stop speaking so fast.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Hadzic, you are speaking way too fast.
5 Please keep that in mind when giving answers.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry, I just noted one error either in -- in
7 transcript or in translation. It is in line 8.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: No wonder, Mr. Zivanovic, with the speech -- with
9 the -- with the velocity with which Mr. Hadzic is talking.
10 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yeah. It is page 54, line 8. It is -- it
11 states: "How could we transport 100 people ..." Because he -- as far as
12 I heard, he said: "How could they transport 100 people when they didn't
13 have cars for themselves?"
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. I was talking about that
15 government in which I was no longer a member. I'm sorry I speeded up
16 because when the Prosecutor interrupted me, I speeded up because I was
17 afraid he might interrupt me again. But I won't do it anymore.
18 MR. STRINGER:
19 Q. So it your view, Mr. Hadzic, that the JNA is exclusively
20 responsible for expulsions and displacement of non-Serbs also in the Dalj
22 A. Well, that's a different matter. I don't know how the expulsions
23 were enforced in the Dalj municipality. If you can show me some
24 evidence, some papers about the organisation of that, but that could not
25 be done without the permission of the JNA. Maybe some fools, maybe some
1 self-appointed people did that. But without the approval of the JNA that
2 could not be done. The JNA controlled the entire territory. Not a
3 single bicycle could pass by that check-point unseen, let alone a whole
4 bus. I cannot talk about any other details. But nothing could happen
5 there without the JNA.
6 Q. Was the JNA exclusively responsible for the displacements, the
7 expulsions of non-Serbs from the Baranja region, Beli Manastir, in your
9 A. I know that the entire territory of Baranja was controlled by the
10 JNA, but I was not so familiar with the Baranja area and I have no
11 particular information. But I'm again sure that it couldn't be done
12 without the JNA because the entire border, both facing Serbia and facing
13 Croatia, was controlled by the Yugoslav People's Army and the Serb --
14 Serbian police.
15 Q. The fact is that displacement and expulsion of non-Serbs was
16 vital to you and your government and its ability to hold on to the SBWS
17 region in all of these places because there had not been a Serbian
18 majority there before. Your view was that the expulsion was necessary
19 and needed to be maintained.
20 A. No. That was not a fact. Our position was completely contrary.
21 I'll hope I'll make myself clear enough for the Trial Chamber to
23 During combat operations and after their completion, large
24 numbers of Croatian people withdrew together with their army and a
25 smaller number of them remained, those who wished to stay. For me, and
1 the government I represented, they were not a problem. On the contrary.
2 It was in our interest for them to stay there because we wanted to remain
3 a part of Yugoslavia. And as an ethnically pure territory it would not
4 be good. So it was constantly a problem for us that I faced very
5 frequently as prime minister. I was -- although I had no power against
6 these expulsions. And according to the information I now have, some
7 Croats left because they were expelled but some left voluntarily,
8 together with their families. Because our authorities were not giving
9 them permits to leave. But they made do in various ways, they managed,
10 and many of them left with the help of UNPROFOR. It was not good for our
11 authorities for Croats to leave Slavonia and Baranja because we were not
12 afraid of elections and the Croatian majority in certain areas.
13 No, that was not our thinking. We wanted to stay within
15 MR. STRINGER: Could we have tab 1218, please, P41.
16 Q. This is a UN cable to Mr. Goulding from Mr. Nambiar on 9th
17 of July, 1992, regarding their meeting with you, Mr. Dzakula, and your
18 foreign minister Mr. Vejzovic. And I want to direct your attention to
19 paragraph 10 because what you just said, Mr. Hadzic, was a lie. This
20 business about wanting the Croats to stay.
21 This is how it really was and we see it in paragraph 10:
22 "On the question of refugees, Hadzic said that they were prepared
23 to accept all non-Serbs who were willing to return to the UNPAs, but at
24 the same time it must be realised that even if all non-Serbs were to
25 return, the Serbs would still remain in the majority."
1 And that was absolutely your position as president of the RSK, as
2 president of the republic, that in those areas which you had finally
3 achieved Serbian control demographically you were going to keep it that
4 way and make sure that not enough Croats came back to be able to take the
5 majority again as it had been before the conflict. That's the truth,
6 isn't it?
7 A. That's not true. I don't want to use any harsher word. There is
8 no need for conflation here, and I'll speak slowly now so that the
9 interpreters can follow.
10 A moment ago we discussed Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
11 Now we moved on to the Republic of Serbian Krajina. What we saw in this
12 paragraph 10, I think, I don't have it anymore, this conversation,
13 two unconnected conclusions were conflated. It was in my interest and
14 the interest of the government for the Republic of Serbian Krajina to
15 remain a multi-ethnic community and for the Vance Plan to be implemented
16 as best -- as well as possible. It's not because we wanted to be still a
17 majority. In SAO Krajina, even before the conflict, there were
18 95 per cent Serbs. There was no problem for Croats to return. They
19 would still be in the minority. It just proves that we didn't mind the
20 Croats coming back. It was not a problem for us. Knin was 95 per cent
21 Serb. I'm not saying that is -- that is either good or bad. Why would
22 these 10 per cent Croats have to disappear? And I don't see why you tell
23 me I'm lying when I say that I never minded Croats staying if they still
24 wanted to remain as Yugoslavia, as we wished.
25 MR. STRINGER: Is it time for the break, Mr. President?
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes, it is. Thank you, Mr. Stringer.
2 Court adjourned.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stringer.
6 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Hadzic, before the break, we were looking at P41 which was
8 the UN cable talking about this statement of yours that you were
9 "prepared to accept all non-Serbs who were willing to return to the
10 UNPAs," plural, "but at the same time it must be realised that even if
11 all non-Serbs were to return, the Serbs would still remain in the
13 I'm going to put it to you, Mr. Hadzic, that you're talking about
14 this issue of majority, that is, the demographic aspect, because you knew
15 that that was the key to your government's ability to hold on to the
16 SBWS. You had to preserve the status quo that had been achieved during
17 the war which was the ethnic cleansing and expulsion of non-Serbs. Isn't
18 that true?
19 A. That's not true. The interpretation I got was SBWS. Did you
20 perhaps misspeak? Because this is not about Slavonia, Baranja, and
21 Western Srem. It's about the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
22 Could you just give me the whole thing back in Serbian so I can
23 see it once again and then I would like to explain that Serbs would still
24 be in the majority.
25 MR. STRINGER: If we could show Mr. Hadzic paragraph 10 in the
1 B/C/S. I think we don't have that in its entirety.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now I understand the context.
3 I said it only as a confirmation, that this accusation that we
4 didn't want Croats to come back doesn't hold water because in the
5 Republic of Serbian Krajina, the Serbs would still be in the majority
6 even if all the Croats returned. So this accusation that we were afraid
7 of it, that we didn't want it, is not true.
8 MR. STRINGER:
9 Q. Well, actually, this paragraph talks about the UN Protected Areas
10 in the plural, and whether we talked about the UNPAs or whether we talk
11 about the RSK, we're still talking about the area of the SBWS. True?
12 The SBWS was one of the UNPAs.
13 A. Yes, it was, but for me that was the Republic of Serbian Krajina
14 as a whole and we didn't discuss separately that refugees could return to
15 one area and not to another area. When we discussed the return of
16 refugees, we discussed their return to the whole territory. We never
17 discussed -- I never discussed separate parts of that region, and I don't
18 remember that anybody ever specifically mentioned one area as different
19 from the others.
20 Q. Well, just in the preceding paragraph 9 here, you're being asked
21 about the matter of the expulsions in Tovarnik. So we know that despite
22 what you're claiming now, certainly the discussion with these gentlemen
23 from the UN included the SBWS; right? Tovarnik being in Western Srem.
24 A. I just explained it a moment ago. I discussed the entire
25 territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, including everything, and
1 including Tovarnik, which was in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. And
2 could you please show me para 9 again so I can see what's written about
4 Yes, I remember that question. I remember it was put to me when
5 I came here, and I know that some of these people were prosecuted, those
6 who were caught. Not all of them were caught, but some people were tried
7 for Tovarnik. It was not strictly my job, but I know that case.
8 Q. We'll talk about that probably tomorrow.
9 On the 14th of July, Mr. Hadzic, this year on your direct
10 testimony you were asked about this issue of what we call special status,
11 and your counsel referred you or said as a question, he said:
12 "You also said the most acceptable option is the one involving
13 special status. Were those your words?"
14 And your answer was -- this is page 9719 of the transcript. You
16 "Yes, those were my words. We in Slavonia, Baranja, were
17 prepared to discuss a special status but certain preconditions had to be
18 met and it couldn't happen overnight."
19 Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes, I remember that. I think it had to do with my conversation
21 with Mr. Henry Wijnaendts.
22 Q. That's right, and also Ambassador Ahrens who testified earlier in
23 this trial.
24 And in the context of Messrs Wijnaendts and Ahrens, then, when we
25 talk about special status, can we agree, Mr. Hadzic, that that involves
1 some degree of autonomy or special status for Serbs who were in these
2 areas of Croatia?
3 A. It was not discussed in detail but the very word "status"
4 indicates that it was some sort of special status, but I don't remember
5 it now.
6 Q. But you knew that certainly in your dealings with the
7 international community, Wijnaendts, Ahrens, others, there wasn't going
8 to be any special status for Serbs in Western Slavonia -- excuse me, in
9 SBWS because they'd never had majority population in that area. Special
10 status was only going to apply to Serb-majority areas such as the Knin
11 Krajina. Isn't that how it was explained to you?
12 A. No. Why would Wijnaendts then inform me and not Babic who didn't
13 want to discuss it? Wherever Serbs were in Croatia, they were supposed
14 to have some sort of special status regardless of the territory. That's
15 how I understood it.
16 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab number 44, which is
17 65 ter 1D02579.
18 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is a report or a note dated 23 July 1992 and
19 it's setting out what was said at a meeting two days earlier on the
20 21st of July, 1992, in which you met with Lord Carrington and others.
21 Also present was your foreign minister, Mr. Vejzovic, Defence Minister
22 Stojan Spanovic. Mr. Ahrens was there as well.
23 And the 21st of July being, well, the same month that you had met
24 with Messrs. Goulding and Nambiar in the document we were just looking at
25 a minute ago. It's about 12 days later. On page -- bottom of page 2 of
1 the English, it says:
2 "Ambassador Ahrens did not agree to stray from the task ..."
3 That's where the paragraph begins. And I don't have the B/C/S
4 reference for you, unfortunately.
5 I believe it would be page 2 of the B/C/S as well. It begins:
6 "Ambassador Ahrens did not agree to stray from the task ..."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. I see that.
9 Q. And it goes on to say:
10 "Ambassador Ahrens responded to this remark by saying that the
11 Republic of Serbian Krajina had two serious issues: Firstly, the RSK is
12 part of Croatia and is not completely independent, and secondly, the
13 basis for decision will be the census of 1981 or 1991, according to which
14 the Serbs have a majority in 11 municipalities and a relative majority in
15 Pakrac and Petrinja, but in Beli Manastir, the Serbs account for only
16 26 per cent. After the return of refugees to the 11 municipalities, the
17 Serbian majority will be restored, and that will be the basis for making
18 a decision, but the other municipalities will not be part of the
19 autonomous community (read: RSK)."
20 Now, Mr. Hadzic, the message that's being delivered to you here -
21 and I'd suggest that, according to his evidence, Ambassador Ahrens
22 delivered this message to you more than once - the 11 municipalities here
23 are going to be a reference to the Serbian Krajina. Whereas, as referred
24 to here, Beli Manastir, where there was only 26 per cent Serb,
25 Beli Manastir is never going to be a part of any sort of autonomous
1 community. It's never going to enjoy any sort of special status. Isn't
2 that what they were telling you?
3 A. We were all able to hear the testimony of Mr. Ahrens. He said
4 what he had to say about my conduct and the conduct of all the others who
5 were there. I have nothing to add to that.
6 This was our thinking at the time. Now, it says here that if it
7 were to be the main principle, only the 1981 and 1991 censuses would be
8 used, and in that case there was no point in expelling anyone. That's
9 why I was not in favour of expelling people. And Mr. Ahrens could tell
10 you first-hand what I was thinking about the whole issue. And it
11 confirms what I'm saying now, that I was prepared to talk and to
12 negotiate and work for a peaceful and stable solution.
13 Q. But what Mr. Ahrens was telling you at the time was that you were
14 never going to be able to hold on to the SBWS as some sort of autonomous
15 region or territory because it had never been a region in which Serbs
16 formed a majority of the population; correct?
17 A. Well, that is what is written here. I don't remember that
18 exactly, but that turned out to be true. That is ultimately what
20 Q. And so you knew that your only chance of holding on to SBWS as an
21 autonomous region was to preserve the newly achieved ethnic composition
22 in which you did now have a Serbian majority achieved through expulsion.
23 Isn't that true?
24 A. No, that's not the truth. It is actually the direct opposite of
25 what you've been showing us just now. What we were told was that
1 irrespective of the momentary situation, it is 1980 and 1981 [as
2 interpreted] that are going to be taken into account and that the current
3 state of affairs really had no effect and that it really -- that there
4 was no point. It's only the census of 1981 and 1991 that would be taken
5 into account.
6 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we tender that exhibit, 1D02579.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3223, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 MR. STRINGER:
11 Q. Mr. Hadzic, on the 10th of July, this summer, last month, on your
12 direct examination you were asked a few questions about Mr. Stevo Bogic
13 and I'd like to follow up on that.
14 At page 9689 of the transcript, you -- actually what was
15 happening at the time, my learned friend, Mr. Zivanovic, was taking you
16 through the Law on Ministries, I believe it was, in which all of the
17 people who had been appointed ministers of the SBWS government were
18 listed there. Do you remember that? And he was asking you about where
19 everyone had come from.
20 A. I remember that.
21 Q. Okay. And then you were asked about Mr. Bogic and you said:
22 "He was from Borovo Selo. He came as part of the package
23 together with Jovic and Devetak."
24 Do you recall that?
25 A. I recall that.
1 Q. And as I understand it, he was a minister without a portfolio. I
2 think I asked you about this earlier. You'd indicated previously, I
3 think in your suspect interview, that he didn't have an education or was
4 not well educated and so he could not be given a portfolio.
5 A. Yes. He was not specifically professional for a particular
6 ministry or department.
7 Q. And then you went on to describe his duties in which he was
8 responsible -- well, I'll just read your words at 9690:
9 "He assumed a responsibility to set up a security service around
10 the government building. That meant around-the-clock security detail in
11 three shifts."
12 Do you recall that?
13 A. I remember that I said that, and I remember that that's the way
14 it was.
15 MR. STRINGER: And just for the record, Your Honours - I don't
16 think we need to look at it - the reference was to L -- Exhibit L1,
17 page 24 of the English, which is the decision appointing Mr. Bogic as
18 well as the other ministers of the government.
19 Q. What was Mr. Bogic's profession or his employment prior to the
20 time he became a minister without a portfolio?
21 A. I think that he was an agricultural technician by training.
22 Q. And did you meet him in Borovo Selo around the events of the --
23 the time of the incident there in May of 1991?
24 A. At that time, I did not meet with him. I think I didn't even
25 know him at the time. I mean, I didn't talk to him. I hadn't talked to
1 him. Maybe I saw him before, but it's not that we were friends or
2 anything like that.
3 Q. My -- my question, and let me put it to you this way. When did
4 you first become acquainted with Mr. Bogic?
5 A. I met him in the summer of 1991. I think. I knew him then by
6 name and surname. Perhaps I saw him at a meeting before that, but I
7 didn't know who he was. I don't know. I don't remember.
8 Q. And then could you just briefly describe, then, how your
9 relationship with him developed such that then he was entrusted with the
10 duty of establishing and organising this security detail for the
11 government buildings.
12 A. Well, I don't know how I stated that up until now, but when I
13 said that he was in charge of security for the government, it's not that
14 I personally gave him that duty. I didn't even know him then. It was
15 the government decision and he became minister at the proposal of the
16 local commune of Borovo Selo, as I've already said, in that package, like
17 Devetak. I didn't even know Devetak. I just knew Dr. Jovic. I mean, I
18 knew Dr. Jovic better.
19 Q. Did Mr. Bogic have a background or training in security, as far
20 as you knew?
21 A. Not as far as I know. No, certainly not.
22 Q. Moving forward, then, into 1992 and beyond, he also was a
23 minister in the government of the RSK; correct? Excuse me, he was deputy
24 prime minister.
25 A. Yes. He was deputy prime minister of the RSK and he was elected
1 at this assembly in Borovo Selo.
2 Q. During that period, did Mr. Bogic also play a role linked to
4 A. You mean during the assembly? While the assembly was held?
5 Q. Perhaps, yes. But just in general terms, during the RSK period,
6 beginning in early 1992, did he play a role in respect of security for
7 the assembly, for members of government, for transporting individuals,
8 that sort of thing?
9 A. Well, at the time of the government of Slavonia, Baranja, that is
10 to say, in 1991, from time to time he would help and organise that, but I
11 don't have any information about 1992.
12 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 97, Exhibit 1D03600.
13 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is from Danas, 16 July 1991. Title is: "No
14 talks with the Croats." This is in Borovo. And there is a part of this
15 that attributes some statements to Mr. Bogic and then another part that
16 attributes statements to you.
17 And in the first paragraph here we see, it says:
18 "These ideas shattered against the statement of Stevo Bogic who
19 admits that the Croatian authorities had issued several wanted notices
20 against him and they were just waiting for Serbia to recognise as its own
21 territory Slavonia, Baranja, and Srem. There will be no talks with the
22 Croats. There are too many insults, too many victims fell, so living
23 together is no longer possible."
24 What --
25 A. I cannot find that in the text.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It seems that the original doesn't match to --
3 doesn't correspond to the translation.
4 MR. STRINGER: I'll move ahead then. We'll come back to it,
5 Mr. President. Apologies for that.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thanks.
7 MR. STRINGER: The next exhibit, Mr. President, is at tab 1047.
8 It's a video-clip. Exhibit P241. We have this as the 29th of July,
9 1991. And we -- the interpreters should have it, the transcript, and
10 we'll wait for them to tell us if they've got it at hand before we --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could we have the 65 ter or the V number?
12 MR. STRINGER: 65 ter 4895.1.
13 Can we start?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Yes. Interpreter's note:
15 We've got it now.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The vice-president of the
18 Presidency of Yugoslavia, Branko Kostic visited Borovo Selo today.
19 Talking to the citizens, Kostic stated, among other things, that those
20 defending their homes could not be referred to as bandits or terrorists.
21 He criticised the federal government for, as he maintained, insufficient
22 support ... "
23 MR. STRINGER:
24 Q. Mr. Hadzic, we've stopped the video there, and I'm going to ask
25 you if you can identify a couple of the people -- a few of the people we
1 see in the frame.
2 First of all, to the right of the screen, our right-hand side,
3 the gentleman in the light-coloured suit, who's that?
4 A. That's Branko Kostic.
5 Q. And what was his position at the time?
6 A. As far as I can remember, I think he was vice-president of the
7 Presidency of the SFRY and acting president or something like that; I'm
8 not sure.
9 Q. Do you recall this occasion of his visit to Borovo Selo?
10 A. I remember that he came. I don't recall the details.
11 Q. Would you accept if I suggested that this is on the 29th of July,
13 A. I would accept that, yes, probably.
14 Q. Okay. And then seated next to Mr. Kostic we see that's you
15 signing something. And then I want to move over -- moving to the left of
16 the screen, there's a gentleman standing with a light-coloured shirt
17 that's open at the collar. Can you identify him?
18 A. Yes, that is Stevo Bogic.
19 Q. Okay. And I want to show you a few more of these videos,
20 Mr. Hadzic, because just to suggest to you, it appears to me - and you
21 can correct me if I'm wrong - given his proximity, is he standing close
22 to you because is he providing some level of security? Is this related
23 to his function on the security side or is he there for some other
25 A. He just happened to be there. It is not security. He personally
1 was not capable of carrying out security-related work. He had a physical
2 handicap. He had a problem with his leg. I mean, I don't want to offend
3 him, but it would have been ridiculous if I were to say that he
4 personally could have provided security.
5 MR. STRINGER: The next one is tab 1022, Exhibit P3128, which
6 would be 65 ter 4831.1.
7 When the interpreters have that, we'll start.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We've found it, thank you.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "'This moment was worth living for.'
11 These were the words that Ilija Koncarevic, the president of the
12 Great National Assembly of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, used to
13 address the deputies, announcing the decision that Slavonia, Baranja, and
14 Western Srem, together with the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina,
15 constitute a new federal unit of the Serbian people. And the Assembly of
16 the SAO Krajina proclaimed Krajina a republic at today's session in Knin,
17 enacted its constitution, and elected Dr. Milan Babic as its first
18 president by unanimous vote.
19 "The Great National Assembly of the Serbian region of Slavonia,
20 Baranja, and Western Srem adopted the new constitution, by which it
21 proclaimed the Republic of Serbian Krajina. The new state ..."
22 MR. STRINGER:
23 Q. Mr. Hadzic, this is Beli Manastir in December of 1991,
24 proclamation of the RSK? Is that correct?
25 A. I apologise. Yes, yes. Yes. Yes. I didn't understand that
1 that was the question. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Then we see you seated right in the middle of the screen there in
3 the green uniform; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Who is the gentleman seated next to you?
6 A. That was the minister of foreign affairs in that government of
7 ours, Professor Dr. Caslav Ocic. He is a member of the Serb Academy of
8 Sciences and Arts.
9 Q. Thank you. And we can run the video a bit more if it will
10 assist, but before we do that, could I just suggest to you that seated
11 behind you in the green uniform is again Mr. Bogic at this -- at this --
12 at this assembly?
13 A. The interpretation I received said "again." That would have
14 meant that he had been sitting behind me before this, or maybe this is
15 just a misinterpretation.
16 Q. I'll rephrase the question.
17 Is that Mr. Bogic who is seated behind you that we see on the
18 screen, the gentleman in the green -- what appears to be a green uniform?
19 A. No. Vitomir Devetak is sitting behind me and it is behind
20 Caslav Ocic that he is sitting. And behind me on this side, like Bogic
21 is on the other side, is Milan Milanovic and he is to Devetak's left and
22 Bogic is on his right.
23 Q. Okay. So just for the record, in the row of people behind you
24 then, starting at the right-hand side of the screen, that's
25 Mr. Milan Milanovic, Mr. Vitomir Devetak, Mr. Stevo Bogic, and then who
1 is the fourth gentleman, if you can say?
2 A. I think that this is some guest from Novi Sad. I don't know him.
3 He's not from the region.
4 Q. Now, why were you and these two members of your -- well, who had
5 been members of your SBWS government, Mr. Milanovic and Mr. Bogic,
6 wearing uniforms? Why are you still wearing uniforms at this time?
7 A. Well, I think this was December 1991. UNPROFOR hadn't come yet.
8 There was still a war going on, and I've already explained this, why I
9 wore a uniform and why I wasn't wearing civilian clothes. But maybe I
10 should explain it again if it is of interest. I know why I wore a
11 uniform. I don't know why Bogic wore a uniform and I'm not sure that
12 what he is wearing is a uniform. I really don't know anything about him.
13 But I am wearing the uniform.
14 Q. Okay. The next document, I don't know that we need to call it
15 up, I'll just say it for the record, Mr. Hadzic. If you want to take a
16 look at it, we can.
17 MR. STRINGER: Actually, let's -- let's -- let's go there. This
18 would be tab 424, which is Exhibit L6.
19 Q. And what we're looking at here, Mr. Hadzic, is item number 140.
20 This is the Official Gazette of the RSK, decision on the election of the
21 prime minister and government ministers.
22 And here we see Mr. Bogic, number 4, as having been elected
23 minister of the government.
24 Do you know what his function was in this capacity?
25 A. The only thing I know was that he was elected deputy prime
2 Q. What did he bring to the government that justified that?
3 A. I don't see before whom you think this should be justified. The
4 government was formed only on that day.
5 Q. Right. But you must -- as president of the republic, you must
6 know what it was that he was expected to do; right?
7 A. Well, of course not. This was the government of the Republic of
8 Serb Krajina that was proposed and appointed and confirmed by the
9 assembly. Actually, it was proposed by Zdravko Zecevic, the prime
10 minister. I didn't know half of these people who were in the government,
11 and it was Zecevic who compiled this personnel list of this. I only
12 proposed Zecevic, I mean, and it was the assembly that elected him and
14 Q. This is the same Zdravko Zecevic that I asked you about earlier
15 in your testimony before the summer recess. He's the gentleman at the
16 SFRY Presidency talking about how the Croats can't come back to Benkovac.
17 Do you remember that?
18 A. Well, I just know one Zdravko Zecevic and that's the one.
19 Q. And so he also then proposed Mr. Bogic and the others to be
20 members of his government?
21 A. Well, that's what the procedure was. The prime minister proposes
22 his cabinet.
23 Q. I mean, as time went on, you became friends with Mr. Bogic,
24 though; right? It's not just that you were president and he was a deputy
25 prime minister. You had a friendly relationship with Mr. Bogic that
1 developed over time. Isn't that true?
2 A. Well, at that time not yet. I became friends later when I lived
3 from time to time in Borovo Selo, and that's where he was from. I didn't
4 particularly socialise with him.
5 Q. And it's your evidence that you really don't know what his
6 function was as -- let me ask you this: In general, did you know what
7 was the role or the function of a deputy prime minister in the RSK
9 A. Well, I didn't say that I did not know what his function was. I
10 said that he was deputy prime minister. He attended regular meetings of
11 the government, but he did not report to me. Zdravko Zecevic didn't
12 report to me either. He probably carried out some work in which he was
13 guided by the prime minister. That is only something that I can assume
14 but I don't really know.
15 Q. Do you know if he represented the RSK government in meetings of
16 local officials throughout the republic?
17 A. Well, I don't know. I assume that that could have been the case.
18 I didn't know at that time and nobody reported to me about that, but he
19 probably did something.
20 Q. And as a deputy prime minister of the RSK government, then, I
21 expect that his -- he would be obligated professionally to carry out the
22 policy of the RSK government as one of its representatives.
23 A. Well, that would be logical. But it was an issue for the
24 government, and the government was chosen by the assembly. It was a body
25 parallel to the president of the republic. Our competences did not
2 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 1049, which is P2199.
3 This is a video. 65 ter 4896.2. And we'll wait for the interpreters to
4 say when they're ready.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Just a moment. Ready.
6 [Video-clip played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The Serbs in Krajina, or at least
8 some of them, have decided to welcome the Blue Helmets well prepared and
9 trained. This is no time for quarrel but for unity, harmony, and
10 coexistence of the Serbian people in one state, was one of the messages
11 heard today at a meeting in the 17th August training centre of the
12 Krajina SUP located in Golubic near Knin. The meeting was held to mark
13 the beginning of the training of the first class of Krajina MUP policemen
14 and was attended by many dignitaries, including members of the rump
15 Yugoslavia Presidency Jugoslav Kostic and Sejdo Bajramovic, also
16 Goran Hadzic and Mile Paspalj, and the representatives of the Yugoslav
17 army headed by the commander of the Knin Corps Major-General
18 Ratko Mladic, as well as the representatives of the SUP of Serbia. After
19 the anthems 'Hej, Sloveni' and 'Boze pravde' were played and after the
20 troop review, Milan Martic addressed the policemen."
21 MR. STRINGER:
22 Q. We stopped the video at this point, Mr. Hadzic, again just we see
23 you standing there -- well, first of all, do you remember what this event
24 is? We've seen this video a few times.
25 A. Right now I have a brain freeze. I remember we were there, and I
1 remember watching this video but I can't remember. My concentration has
2 dropped. I would be grateful if you could remind me a little. But I
3 know we have already discussed it. It was some sort of celebration or
5 Q. This is what we would call the rally or the ceremony that was
6 held at Golubic in spring of 1992. Does that sound correct?
7 A. Yes, yes. I see it was in Golubic. It was in 1992, right.
8 Q. And then the gentleman standing next to you, who's that?
9 A. This is Zdravko Zecevic, the late.
10 Q. And then standing next to him?
11 A. He is Deputy Prime Minister Stevo Bogic.
12 Q. So, again, I had intended to suggest or to ask whether his
13 proximity to you again is linked to his function in some security
14 capacity, but based on what you've said, I guess that's not correct?
15 A. No. Behind my back you see the head of Ljubomir Mudrinic,
16 between me and Zdravko Zecevic. That's my security. And my second
17 escort, Milenko Japundzic, must be standing next to him but we can't see
19 Q. And those are the two gentlemen who I believe you've testified
20 were your closest security people really since the beginning when you
21 became president of the SBWS government?
22 A. Yes. They were my only escorts throughout 1991. Stevo Bogic is
23 not standing there as my security man. He is also a guest in some
24 protocol sense because we are lined up according to hierarchy.
25 Q. Now, by -- well, you indicated that at some point, you -- because
1 you were both living in Borovo Selo, you and Mr. Bogic then formed some
2 sort of a relationship of a friendship. When did that start?
3 A. Well, after the elections in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, I
4 occasionally stayed at Borovo Selo. That was in 1994. And then I used
5 to see him more often. But we never had a problem with each other. We
6 were on good terms even before but we were not friends. We didn't sit
7 around in bars together.
8 MR. STRINGER: The next one is tab 979, Exhibit P3124,
9 65 ter 4795.5. And again we'll wait for the interpreters to tell us when
10 they're ready.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Can't see the 65 ter number on the screen yet.
12 Could you remind us?
13 MR. STRINGER: 4795.5.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Got it.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "So, on 19 February 1995, there was
17 a wedding of Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, commander of the Serbian
18 Volunteer Guard and president of the Serbian Unity, and Svetlana Ceca
19 Velickovic, the most popular singer of Serbia and Yugoslavia. The
20 arrival from -- in Zitoradja is as planned. It's still raining a bit,
21 but nobody seems to mind. I will also tell you who the guests of the
22 wedding party are: The host ..."
23 MR. STRINGER: Sorry, we probably don't need all of this,
24 Mr. President. I'm just going to ask if my colleague Mr. Laugel can move
25 us ahead to about the one-minute mark of the clip.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 [Video-clip played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "... Janko Raznjatovic, uncle;
4 vojvoda, or duke, Vuk Vukovic; ensign - Zeljko Raznjatovic's eldest son
5 Mihajlo; best man ..."
6 MR. STRINGER:
7 Q. Mr. Hadzic, just we're seeing now this image, the question is:
8 You attended Zeljko Raznjatovic's wedding; correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. February 1995?
11 A. I know it was 1995. I can't remember the date.
12 Q. And is that Mr. Bogic who is seated next to you on your left here
13 in this image we're seeing?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then as I understand it, at some point around this time,
16 maybe earlier, you actually -- I don't know how to put it the most
17 correctly, but you're perhaps the godfather of his daughter. He asked
18 you to be the godfather of his daughter at her baptism. Is that true?
19 A. Yes. It's a Serbian custom and it's a sin to refuse when you're
20 invited to be the godfather.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, whose daughter is that?
22 MR. STRINGER: I apologise. The daughter of Stevo Bogic.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. STRINGER:
25 Q. Is that correct, Mr. Hadzic? We're talking about the daughter of
1 Mr. Bogic?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 414, P00201.140. It's a
4 document, not a video.
5 Q. While this is coming up, Mr. Hadzic, by way of introduction I
6 think we're going to move to an aspect of this topic which perhaps we
7 will disagree about more than we have so far on Mr. Bogic. My
8 understanding from your evidence is that you deny that there was some
9 entity or group called the Serbian National Security, what we call in
10 English SNB. Is that your evidence: It didn't exist?
11 A. Yes, that's my evidence. It didn't exist, except in colloquial
12 terms. Those people who were standing guard around the government were
13 saying in jest that they were guarding the think-tank of the Serbian
14 nation. The Serbian National Guard or Serbian National Security was more
15 of a pejorative term because it doesn't exist.
16 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we're not getting e-court. We
17 don't see the document on our screen in e-court. I don't know if anyone
18 else is having a problem.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: We have the same problem, indeed, Mr. Stringer.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Someone is looking into it, Mr. Stringer. Can we
22 proceed or do we wait?
23 MR. STRINGER: I think for the document we need to -- to -- we
24 need to wait.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
1 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, I could see if I could skip ahead
2 of --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Oh, there it is.
4 MR. STRINGER: Yep.
5 Q. You've seen this before, Mr. Hadzic. I know for sure you saw it
6 your suspect interview because you were asked about it. This is dated
7 the 10th of February, 1992. Upper left-hand corner, it says: "Serbian
8 National Security, Erdut." And it appears over -- well, can you
9 recognise the signature there?
10 A. I see it's written "Stevo Bogic." I don't know exactly what his
11 signature looks like, but I suppose this could be it. I'm not sure,
13 Q. And what's happening here is that Mr. Bogic -- well, looking at
14 the original, and we can blow it up, if necessary, do you have any reason
15 to doubt the -- the seal that appears next to his name there?
16 A. I don't know. This stamp is the stamp of one of the ministries
17 of the government, but it's not the stamp of the Serbian National
18 Security because it didn't exist.
19 Q. I'm not asking if it's a stamp of the Serbian National Security.
20 I think you've answered my question.
21 Your evidence is that this does appear to be a stamp of one of
22 the ministries of the government?
23 A. Yes, that's what I said. It could be, but I'm not an expert.
24 Q. And on the translation, what we have is that it's the stamp of
25 the Serbian District of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, Vukovar. Is
1 that what it says?
2 A. That's written. But I don't remember that stamp. It must have
3 been made at some ministry. It was not the stamp of my office, the
4 office of the prime minister.
5 Q. All right. Now we just got that you said: "It was not the stamp
6 of my office, the office of the prime minister." But now this is
7 February 1992. So at that point, your office is the office of the
8 president; is that correct?
9 A. I didn't have a special stamp. The only stamp I had was the
10 stamp of the secretary of the government, but this is not it. I didn't
11 have any special office until I became president of the republic and that
12 was only after the 26th of February. This is before.
13 Q. There's some handwriting on the -- well, first of all, what's
14 happening here is that Mr. Bogic is sending in this specification of
15 requirements stating that they need funds amounting to 260.000 dinars for
16 one month and this is based on the work of the Serbian National Security
17 Service. Do you see that?
18 A. I see that.
19 Q. So at least as of February 1992, Mr. Bogic thinks there is
20 something called Serbian National Security; right?
21 A. Well, it might appear so from this. You need to ask Bogic. I
22 didn't have that information, and it didn't exist.
23 Q. And then there's handwriting that can you see on this document.
24 And the handwriting on the left-hand side says:
25 "It was agreed that Bogdan should call, in other words, that it
1 should not go into procedure until the other ministries are also
3 That's 19th February, 1992. Do you see that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. And then at the bottom of the right hand -- in the bottom
6 right-hand corner it says:
7 "At the recommendation of President Hadzic, approved by," and we
8 have the signature of Mr. Vojnovic. Do you see that?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. That's Bogdan Vojnovic.
11 A. I suppose it's Bogdan Vojnovic. Because there was only another
12 Vojnovic, Milos, but this is a B.
13 Q. And can you remind us what was Mr. Bogdan Vojnovic's position at
14 the time?
15 A. He was the minister of finance.
16 Q. You don't doubt that that's his signature on the document, do
18 A. I can't say yes or no because I've never seen his signature. I
19 don't remember it.
20 Q. But you don't have any reason to doubt what is indicated in this
21 document, though, do you, in terms of his approving the funds going, as
22 requested, to Mr. Bogic?
23 A. I have no reason to either doubt it or not doubt it. I can only
24 say it was not at my recommendation. I don't know about the rest, and I
25 don't know what the purpose of this was. The only thing I remember is
1 that in February some money was supposed to come in to finance the work
2 of the government, and this is just an attempt to launder something or to
3 justify it.
4 Q. Well, do you think that Mr. Bogic is involved in trying to
5 embezzle money from the government?
6 A. I can't go as far as to say that, but I think he wanted to pay
7 salaries to the people who were guarding the government. That's my
8 guess. Because from what I know, they had worked for an entire year
9 without pay. I mean, the whole year of 1991, those couple of months, not
10 the whole year, because they had only been working from October.
11 Q. Okay.
12 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have tab 432, Exhibit P1834.
13 Q. Mr. Hadzic, you were asked to comment on this document during
14 your direct examination. This was on the 16th of July, page 9869 to 70.
15 And at 9869 you said that:
16 "As for the Serbian National Security, I've already explained it
17 didn't exist. It was just misinformation spread among the people."
18 Do you remember that testimony?
19 A. Yes, and that's true.
20 Q. If we turn to page 5 of the English, which is -- I believe it's
21 also page 5 of the B/C/S, Mr. Hadzic, I'm looking at the paragraph that
22 begins with the words:
23 "Namely, at the time of disrupted values and general distrust,
24 aware of their advantage ..."
25 Do you see that?
1 A. I see.
2 Q. "... obvious distrust of the SJB," which I believe is the public
3 security station, "and the SDB," which is the security service, I believe
4 "certain individuals have established security services like: The
5 Serbian National Security and the security services in the TO Staffs,
6 Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan's unit, is also used for this purpose."
7 And then skipping down a paragraph, it again refers to Serbian
8 National Security.
9 "We're pointing here to the illegal opening of the positions in
10 the SJB by the Serbian National Security ..."
11 Following paragraph refers to the members of the Serbian National
13 And then the next paragraph after that, it says:
14 "The culmination of dissatisfaction was caused by the information
15 that the work of the Assembly of Krajina on 25 February 1992 was ensured
16 by the Serbian National Security and the unit of Zeljko Raznjatovic,
18 Do you see that?
19 A. [No interpretation].
20 Q. Do you allow for the possibility, Mr. Hadzic, that even if you
21 didn't know it was calling itself this, there was a group of people
22 linked to Mr. Bogic who did call themselves Serbian National Security,
24 A. No, they didn't call themselves like that. It was a group that
25 was in charge of the security for the building. And the residents of
1 Borovo Selo, because most of them were from Borovo Selo, called them
2 different names and one of those names was the National Security, Serbian
3 National Security, but they were saying that they were guarding the
4 think-tank, the conglomeration of the most precious brains we had.
5 Q. Okay. I want to make sure I understand you clearly on this.
6 Some people out there were referring to these security people as
7 Serbian National Security? Is that what you're saying?
8 A. Yes, but it was in jest because they were up to ten people,
9 eight, nine or ten. They were based in Erdut and they provided non-stop
10 security for the government while their neighbours had to take up arms
11 and go to war. So these people obviously resented them and called them
12 different names. Those people had to go to war while this group was in
13 the background. They guarded the premises of the government, working in
14 three shifts.
15 Q. And then it's indicated here, did they also become involved in
16 providing security at the Krajina Assembly on the 25th of February, 1992?
17 A. I have already given evidence on this issue. It's possible they
18 brought some ministers. There could have been no more than three or
19 four. The others must have remained in Erdut. And they knew these
20 people so they knew who was allowed to come in or not. But they couldn't
21 provide security because it was technically and physically impossible.
22 It was too small.
23 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I believe we can break for the day.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
25 Mr. Hadzic, you will be back on the witness stand tomorrow
1 morning at 9.00 so you stay under oath. Thank you.
2 Court adjourned.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
5 August, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.