Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 1321

1 Wednesday, 15 February 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: If the Chamber could go into private session before

6 we begin.

7 [Private session]

8 (redacted)

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14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

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25 (redacted)

Page 1322

1 [Open session]

2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

4 Before proceeding with the trial, the Chamber would like to read

5 out an oral order on, oral decision, on the Prosecution's 92 bis motion of

6 the 25th of January 2006. And the order goes as follows: The Prosecution

7 requested admission of the statements of witnesses MM-028, Ivan Jelic, and

8 MM-068, Aleksandra Szekely, MM-072, Milan Smoljan, and MM-073, Bozica

9 Lisak. The Defence in its response did not object to the admission of the

10 statements. However, the Defence did object to admission of two proposed

11 exhibits accompanying the statement of witness MM-028. In its decision on

12 the 16th of January 2006, the Trial Chamber set out the applicable law on

13 the admission of 92 bis statements. This law remains applicable in

14 today's decision. The Trial Chamber finds that the statements of

15 witnesses MM-68, MM-072, MM-073, meet the requirements as set out in Rule

16 92 bis of the Rules and the relevant jurisprudence. The statements are

17 therefore admitted.

18 The Trial Chamber further finds that the statement of witness

19 MM-028 also meets the requirements of Rule 92 bis. However, the Defence

20 has raised objections on the authenticity of the material associated with

21 that statement. The Trial Chamber requests the Prosecution to obtain a

22 further statement from the witness addressing the following questions.

23 1: Does the witness verify that the list depicted in the upper

24 part of the newspaper page is in fact the list he received, signed, and

25 handed to the mayor of Zadar.

Page 1323

1 2: Does the witness verify that the video footage regarding the

2 attacks on the villages of Skabrnja and Nadin in November 1991, including

3 his narrative account of those attacks and the footage of the victims

4 arrival at a hospital in Zadar and the subsequent identification of those

5 victims by family members have not been manipulated and are a true

6 depiction of the events as he remembers them.

7 The Trial Chamber will defer its decision on the motion for

8 admission of the statement of Witness MM-4028 until such time that it has

9 received the supplementary statement and the requested translation.

10 Finally, the Trial Chamber requests that the Registrar assign

11 Exhibit numbers to the statements and associated material of the

12 statements of witnesses MM-068, MM-072, MM-073.

13 Thank you. That's the order.

14 Is it you, Mr. Whiting? Mr. Whiting.

15 MR. WHITING: It is me, Your Honour, thank you, and, of course,

16 the Prosecution will comply with the order as soon as we can.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

18 MR. WHITING: Before we call our next witness I want to raise a

19 small procedural matter, if I may. The Bench may have noticed in addition

20 to what might be considered our table here, and I'd like to introduce to

21 the Bench Mr. Peter Michael Mueller who is seated at the end of the bench.

22 Mr. Mueller is not in fact a member of the Prosecution team. He is the

23 lawyer for the witness, Mr. Milan Babic. He represented Mr. Babic

24 throughout Mr. Babic's own case and also has represented him during his

25 testimony in two previous cases here at the Tribunal. In those two

Page 1324

1 previous cases he was permitted by the Bench to sit in the courtroom

2 during the testimony, simply for purposes in case there is some reason for

3 the witness to consult with him. I don't expect him to participate in

4 proceedings. However, if the witness has some need during his testimony

5 to consult and there are matters which may arise -- I don't expect it, but

6 there are matters that may arise that might require consultation and I

7 think it would therefore justify us having Mr. Mueller be seated here in

8 the courtroom during the testimony of Mr. Babic.

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting.

10 Thank you very much, Mr. Mueller. You're welcome to sit there

11 next to your client.

12 Yes, Mr. Whiting.

13 MR. WHITING: With that resolved, the Prosecution calls Mr. Milan

14 Babic as the next witness.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

16 May Mr. Babic come to the stand, please.

17 [The witness entered court]

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May Mr. Babic please make the declaration.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

20 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


22 [Witness answered through interpreter]

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Mr. Whiting?

24 MR. WHITING: Mr. Babic you may be seated.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may be seated.

Page 1325

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

2 Examination by Mr. Whiting:

3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Babic, can you understand me clearly in your

4 own language?

5 A. Good afternoon. I do understand you.

6 Q. Thank you, if at any time you're unable to understand me in your

7 own language or if you're unable to understand my question, please tell

8 me.

9 A. Okay.

10 Q. Could you please state your name?

11 A. I'm Milan Babic.

12 Q. I'm going to go through your background quickly if I may. Could

13 you confirm that you were born in 1956 in Kukar in the municipality of

14 Sinj in Croatia, you are married, you have two children --

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. -- you're a dentist by profession, and by the end of 1989 you were

17 one of the acting directors of a primary health centre in Knin; is that

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to start by going through the various positions

21 you held after 1990. But before the war, were you a member of the League

22 of Communists of Croatia?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. In February of 1990, did you attend the founding rally of the

25 Serbian Democratic Party or the SDS in Knin?

Page 1326

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you assume any positions within the SDS?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Could you tell us what they were?

5 A. I became a member of the main board of the SDS, and I became the

6 president of the municipal board of the SDS in Knin in that spring.

7 Q. When did you become a member of the main board?

8 A. At the founding assembly in February 1990.

9 Q. You said that you became president of the municipal board in Knin

10 in that spring. Spring of which year, please?

11 A. 1990.

12 Q. Did you assume any other positions thereafter within the SDS, in

13 1990 or 1991?

14 A. In March 1991, I became a member of the regional board of the SDS

15 for Krajina. And in November 1992, I became president of the SDS for

16 Krajina.

17 Q. How long did you hold that position?

18 A. I was president of the SDS in Krajina between November 1992 and

19 August 1995.

20 Q. Aside from your positions in the SDS, did you assume any positions

21 in the Knin municipality?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Could you tell us what they were, please?

24 A. In May 1990 I was elected president of the municipality of -- of

25 the municipal assembly of Knin.

Page 1327

1 Q. How long did you hold that position?

2 A. Until April 1994.

3 Q. In 1990 did you have a position in the association of

4 municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika?

5 A. Yes. I was the president of the temporary presidency of the

6 community of the municipality of Northern Dalmatia and Lika.

7 Q. In July of 1990, it's been agreed that the Serbian National

8 Council was established. Did you have a position in the Serbian National

9 Council?

10 A. I was the president of the Serbian National Council.

11 Q. When did you become the president?

12 A. On the 31st of July 1990.

13 Q. Mr. Babic it's also been agreed that on the 21st of December 1990

14 the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina otherwise known as the SAO

15 Krajina was established. Did you hold a position in the SAO Krajina?

16 A. Yes. I was president of the temporary executive council of SAO

17 Krajina.

18 Q. And from what date to what date?

19 A. Between the 21st of December 1990 and the 30th of April 1991.

20 Q. Did you hold any position after that -- after the 30th of April

21 1991?

22 A. I was elected president of the executive council of the SAO

23 Krajina.

24 Q. And from what date to what date did you hold that position?

25 A. From the 30th of April 1991 until the 29th of May 1991.

Page 1328

1 Q. Did you assume another position on the 29th of May 1991?

2 A. Yes. I became the president -- the head of the government of the

3 SAO Krajina.

4 Q. How long did you hold that position?

5 A. Until the 19th of December 1991.

6 Q. It's been agreed that on the 19th of December 1991, the Republic

7 of Serbian Krajina or RSK was formed. Did you hold a position in that

8 entity?

9 A. I was the president of the republic.

10 Q. How long did you hold that position?

11 A. Between the 19th of December 1991 and the 16th of February 1992.

12 Q. At the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994, did you run for

13 president of the RSK?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. What was the result of that election?

16 A. I won the elections in the first round but the elections were

17 repeated and in the second round Mr. Martic won the elections and he

18 became president of the Republic of Srpska Krajina.

19 Q. In 1994 did you get a position in the government of the RSK?

20 A. In April I became a member of the government of the Republic of

21 Srpska Krajina and my position was the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

22 Q. Until when did you hold that position?

23 A. Until the 27th of July 1995.

24 Q. Did you assume another position on that date?

25 A. Yes. I became the head of government of the Republic of Srpska

Page 1329

1 Krajina.

2 Q. How long did you hold that position?

3 A. About a week, until the 4th of August 1995.

4 Q. What happened on the 4th of August 1995?

5 A. Croatia carried out the military aggression on the Republic of

6 Srpska Krajina and the territory of Krajina was occupied.

7 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to talk now about your own case at the Tribunal.

8 Could you tell us how you first had contact with the Office of the

9 Prosecutor?

10 A. In autumn 2001, I heard through the media that my name was

11 mentioned in an indictment -- in the indictment against Slobodan

12 Milosevic, in fact, as being an accessory in the joint criminal

13 enterprise. Having heard that news, I tried to get in touch with the

14 office of the International Tribunal in Belgrade and that's how I got in

15 touch with the Tribunal. And later on that year, I started having

16 contacts with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in

17 order to tell the truth about the events that I knew about.

18 Q. During those interviews, were you represented by counsel?

19 A. Yes, I was.

20 Q. Is it the same counsel that represents you today?

21 A. It is.

22 Q. Were you treated as a suspect in the interviews with the Office of

23 the Prosecutor?

24 A. Yes, and I was reminded of the fact before the start of each

25 interview.

Page 1330

1 Q. Were the interviews recorded?

2 A. They were.

3 Q. Did you believe that you yourself could be charged?

4 A. Yes. There was a possibility of that. I assumed that I would be

5 charged.

6 Q. During the interviews were you told anything about that by the

7 Prosecution?

8 A. I was told that there was a possibility of an indictment against

9 me.

10 Q. Why did you submit to those interviews?

11 A. In order to establish the truth about the events that took place

12 at that time and in order to fully present my own role in those events.

13 Q. Were you hoping to help yourself?

14 A. In a way, yes.

15 Q. In what way?

16 A. I supposed that the Prosecution would get a full picture of my

17 participation and in case I ended up as an indictee that it would

18 represent an extenuating circumstance.

19 Q. Did you provide documents to the Prosecution during this period

20 of -- during these interviews?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Do you recall approximately how many documents you provided?

23 A. About 180.

24 Q. Were these documents from the time period, that is from 1990 to

25 1995?

Page 1331

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you testify in the Milosevic case in 2002?

3 A. I did.

4 Q. Do you recall for how many days you testified?

5 A. Approximately 12 days.

6 Q. On the 17th of November 2003, was an indictment confirmed against

7 you at the Tribunal?

8 A. Yes.

9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, with the assistance of the usher I

10 would like to show the witness the indictment and perhaps it could be

11 placed on the ELMO. This is a copy of the indictment in all three

12 languages, in English, French, and B/C/S.

13 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise that indictment?

14 A. I do.

15 Q. Is that the indictment that was confirmed against you?

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Don't we have the indictment on the ELMO, as you

17 suggested?

18 MR. WHITING: Sorry, Your Honour. What's being shown on the ELMO

19 obviously --

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's in B/C/S.

21 MR. WHITING: -- is the B/C/S version. I'm not going to go through

22 this indictment but I would ask that it be admitted into evidence,

23 Your Honour.

24 JUDGE MOLOTO: The indictment is admitted into evidence as an

25 exhibit, and may it please be given an exhibit number.

Page 1332

1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 173, Your Honours.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: That will be Exhibit number of the B/C/S

3 indictment. Can we give an exhibit number to the English version of that

4 indictment, please?

5 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think actually one number -- if I'm

6 not mistaken -- I'll be corrected if I'm wrong, but I think one number can

7 be given to all different -- all languages.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: If that is so, thank you very much.

9 MR. WHITING: Thank you, that can be removed from the ELMO.

10 Q. Mr. Babic, on the 22nd of January 2004, did you -- we may be using

11 the ELMO again so if we could leave it -- did you plead guilty to count 1

12 of the indictment, the crime of persecutions, under Article 5(H) of the

13 Statute of the Tribunal and did you admit to having been a co-perpetrator

14 of a joint criminal enterprise from the 1st of August 1991 until the 15th

15 of February 1992?

16 A. Yes, but I'm not sure about the date because I think the session

17 was on the 22nd of January and the -- afterwards, I pleaded guilty.

18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises, we haven't heard the

19 date.


21 Q. Okay. But at approximately that time, in January of 19 -- January

22 of 2004, you agree you plead guilty; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, concerning the first count of the indictment.

24 Q. Was the goal of the joint criminal enterprise to which you pled

25 guilty the forcible removal of the majority of Croat and other non-Serb

Page 1333

1 populations from approximately one-third of Croatia in order to transform

2 that territory into a Serb-dominated state through the commission of

3 crimes within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal?

4 A. Yes.

5 MR. WHITING: With the assistance of the usher, I would like to

6 put a document in front of the witness. For this document, I have copies

7 for the Chamber and the Defence.

8 Q. Mr. Babic, is this the plea agreement you entered into in your

9 case?

10 A. Yes, it is.

11 Q. Could you turn, please, to page 6? Is that your signature on page

12 6? No. I'm sorry, that -- it's page 6 of the English, please. Okay.

13 That's actually page 7 but that's fine. Is that your signature?

14 A. Yes, it is.

15 Q. Was there a factual basis attached to this plea agreement, at tab

16 1? It's on the next page.

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Did you agree to that factual statement?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. I want to look at paragraphs -- at paragraph 8 of the plea

21 agreement which appears on page 4 of the agreement. In English. No, not

22 the factual statement. It's before that. It's before that. On page 4.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Paragraph?

24 MR. WHITING: Paragraph 8, please, there at the top.

25 Q. Mr. Babic, it says in paragraph 8 that "Milan Babic agrees to

Page 1334

1 accept responsibility for his actions and to cooperate with and to provide

2 truthful and complete information to the Office of the Prosecutor whenever

3 requested." At the end of that paragraph, it says "Mr. Babic agrees to

4 testify truthfully at any trials, hearings or other proceedings before the

5 International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, ICTY, as

6 requested by the OTP." Did you agree to that provision?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Paragraph 10, it states, "It is understood and agreed by Milan

9 Babic and the Prosecution that all information and testimony provided by

10 Mr. Babic must be absolutely truthful. This means that Milan Babic must

11 neither minimise his own actions nor fabricate someone else's

12 involvement." Did you agree to that provision?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And in this agreement, did the Prosecution agree to recommend a

15 sentence of no more than or, let's say, less than 11 years in your case?

16 A. Yes.

17 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into

18 evidence, please?

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which document, Mr. Whiting? Is it the agreement

20 or -- together with the factual basis for the agreement.

21 MR. WHITING: The whole thing, the whole thing, yes.

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document then is admitted into evidence. And

23 may it please be given an exhibit number.

24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 174, Your Honours.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

Page 1335


2 Q. Mr. Babic, at the time you pled guilty did you make a statement

3 before the Court?

4 A. Yes, I did.

5 MR. WHITING: And with the assistance of the usher could I provide

6 Mr. Babic a document, and I have copies for the Chamber and the parties.

7 For the record this is a portion of the transcript from the 27th of

8 January 2004. I'm sorry, it's a portion of the transcript from January

9 27th, 2004, in Mr. Babic's case, which was case number IT-03-72-I, and the

10 pages of the transcript are pages 57 and 58.

11 Q. Mr. Babic, is this the statement that you made?

12 A. Yes, it is.

13 Q. Could you read the statement for us, please? And this has been

14 provided to the interpreters. It is -- it was provided in addition to

15 the -- yes. I think it's been found. So it would be of assistance to the

16 interpreters. Let me just -- if we could just wait a moment. I see that

17 it's moving from booth to booth here. It starts -- for the benefit of the

18 booth it starts at "the accused."

19 Mr. Babic, could you read the statement, please?

20 A. I said the following. "Thank you, Your Honour. I come before

21 this Tribunal with a deep sense of shame and remorse. I have allowed

22 myself to take part in the worst kind of persecution of people simply

23 because they were Croats and not Serbs. Innocent people were persecuted.

24 Innocent people were evicted forcibly from their houses and innocent

25 people were killed. Even I learned what had happened -- even after I had

Page 1336

1 learned what had happened I kept silent. Even worse I continued in my

2 office and I became personally responsible for the inhumane treatment of

3 innocent people.

4 "The regret that I feel is the pain that I have to live with for

5 the rest of my life. These crimes and my participation therein can never

6 be justified. I'm speechless when I have to express the depth of my

7 remorse for what I have done, and for the effect of my sins and the effect

8 they have had on the others. I can only hope that by expressing the

9 truth, by admitting to my guilt and expressing the remorse, can serve as

10 an example to those who still mistakenly believe that such inhumane acts

11 can ever be justified.

12 "Only truth can give the opportunity to the Serbian people to

13 relieve themselves of its -- their collective burden of guilt. Only this

14 an admission of guilt on their part makes it possible for me to take

15 responsibility for all the wrongdoings that I have done. I hope that the

16 remorse that I have expressed will make it easier for the others to bear

17 their pain and suffering. I have come to understand that enmity and

18 division can never make it easier nor to us live together. I have come to

19 understand that the fact that we all belong to the same human race and

20 that it is more important than any difference and I have come to

21 understand that only through friendship and confidence can we live

22 together in peace and friendship and thus make it possible for our

23 children to live in a better world.

24 "I've asked help from God to make it easier for me to repent and

25 I'm thankful to God for making it possible for me to express my

Page 1337

1 repentance. I ask my brothers, Croats, to forgive us, their brother

2 Serbs, and I pray for the Serb people to turn to the future and to achieve

3 the kind of compassion that will make it possible to forgive the crimes.

4 And lastly, I place myself at the full disposal of this Tribunal and the

5 international justice. Thank you very much."

6 Those were my words then, and I stand by them even today.

7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Babic. You anticipated my question.

8 On the 29th of June of 2004, were you sentenced to a period of 13

9 years?

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before he answers that question, are we to do

11 anything with this document?

12 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I don't think it's necessary to make it

13 an exhibit since it's been read into the record.



16 Q. On the 29th of June 2004, were you sentenced by the Trial Chamber

17 to a period of 13 years' imprisonment?

18 A. Yes, I was.

19 Q. With the assistance of the usher could I put a document in front

20 of the witness, please?

21 Mr. Babic, do you recognise that document?

22 A. Yes, I do.

23 Q. What is it?

24 A. It is the judgement.

25 Q. In your case?

Page 1338

1 MR. WHITING: Your Honour I would ask that be admitted into

2 evidence.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

4 please be given an exhibit number.

5 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 175, Your Honours.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

7 MR. WHITING: It can be removed from the ELMO. Thank you.

8 Q. Mr. Babic, you were sentenced in that judgement to 13 years. Did

9 you appeal that sentence?

10 A. I did. I appealed against the amount of the sentence, the

11 length.

12 Q. Did you appeal the judgement itself or just the sentence?

13 A. No, not the judgement itself but the duration of the sentence.

14 Q. On the 18th of July 2005 was the sentence affirmed, the sentence

15 of 13 years affirmed by the Appeals Chamber?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Mr. Babic, please do not say where you are doing this but are you

18 presently serving your sentence?

19 A. Yes, I am.

20 Q. In June of 2004, did you testify in the trial of the Prosecutor

21 versus Momcilo Krajisnik?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Mr. Babic, those are all the questions about your case. I'm going

24 to move on to a different subject. With the assistance of the usher,

25 could I please show Mr. Babic the -- his 89(F) statement and I'll take

Page 1339

1 care of moving that into evidence now.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are we to hear anything about Momcilo Krajisnik?

3 MR. WHITING: No, just that he testified in that trial.

4 Q. Mr. Babic, could you look at that, please, and in particular could

5 you look at the first document in that binder? Do you recognise that

6 document?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you sign it and initial all the pages?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. What is it? What is that document?

11 A. It is a statement given by me according to the rules of the

12 Tribunal pertaining to the knowledge I have concerning the events

13 described in the statement.

14 Q. Is the information contained in that statement true and accurate,

15 to the best of your knowledge?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Is what is written in the document what you would testify to if

18 you testified orally about those subjects?

19 A. Yes.

20 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would move that the exhibit -- into

21 evidence, and just to be clear with respect to the Court's order on this

22 issue, what we've done we've, of course, complied with the Court's order

23 but this how we did it. We kept the statement as it was with all the

24 references to all the documents, but we removed from the attachments the

25 exhibits that the Court found should be removed, and the reason we did

Page 1340

1 that is that we were afraid if we deleted them from the statement and

2 re-numbered the statement it would start to get confusing about what the

3 record would get confusing about what had been removed and what remained

4 so in order to make -- to keep a clear record we kept the statement as it

5 was and removed the exhibits, and that is what is in the binder. And I

6 would ask that it be moved into evidence now, please.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: The entire binder?

8 MR. WHITING: Yes, Your Honour, the binder is the statement with

9 the exhibits that were admitted by the Chamber.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

11 Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?

12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have an

13 objection to make. We haven't received a signed statement. According to

14 my esteemed colleague from the OTP there were some changes and amendments

15 made to that statement. We don't know what their contents are and it

16 would be good if the Defence would be given a copy to see if we have any

17 objections.

18 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry, there must have been a

19 misunderstanding, there have been no changes at all or amendments to the

20 statement. The statement is identical to the statement that was filed

21 with the Chamber and ruled on by the Chamber. I do understand that

22 Defence counsel would like to have the signed version and I don't have one

23 at hand to give him but at the break I can -- I do. I do have one, with

24 the assistance of the usher. But I can represent to counsel and to the

25 Bench that it is identical to the one that was filed with the Court and

Page 1341

1 provided to Defence counsel.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, did you hear that?

3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I did, Your Honour. I

4 will be able to confirm that only after having read the statement.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Are you suggesting that your objection still

6 stands?

7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. We are

8 lagging behind so to speak because had we be given the documents before

9 that, by this time we would have been able to state our position. But as

10 things are now, we can't state our position as regards the statement. We

11 can only take the word of the OTP. But we can express our position only

12 after having read the statement, of course.

13 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I would have thought my word would be

14 sufficient but I have no problem deferring on this matter until a later

15 time in the testimony. It's not a problem.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just wanted to get it quite clear from

17 Mr. Milovancevic that -- are you saying that you do not accept your

18 colleague's word on this issue, that this statement is identical to the

19 statement that you had been given, and there has been no change to the

20 statement? The only change is to the annexes to the statement.

21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if the basis to

22 accept written evidence is the word of the opposing party, then we have no

23 need for the Rules of Procedure. As foreseen by the Rules, the opposing

24 party needs to forward every piece of document they have. And I wouldn't

25 want to find myself in a situation of being told something by the OTP that

Page 1342

1 is not so. If the Chamber wishes to know the position of the Defence, and

2 if the Defence wants to do their work seriously, then all of the material

3 needs to be forwarded to the Defence to state their position, and

4 therefore at this moment I cannot state our position. It is not a matter

5 of whether I believe my colleague or not. It was an omission on their

6 part and not on our part and now it is being represented here as our

7 wrongdoing.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Nobody is representing it as your wrongdoing. I

9 was just asking you a question. If you will not take your colleague's

10 word, very well, then, the ruling on this -- on the admission of the

11 document will be made once you have confirmed with your colleague on the

12 opposite side, Mr. Whiting. Thank you very much.

13 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.

14 Q. Mr. Babic, the first topic I want to discuss is I want to look at

15 a map, and could that be taken from -- that can be removed from in front

16 of the witness.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Usher, it is suggested that you can remove that

18 whole binder from the witness.


20 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to show a map to you and ask you some questions

21 about it.

22 MR. WHITING: Again, I'll ask the assistance of the usher to

23 provide two documents. For the record, the first document, a map, is

24 01131342. It will be familiar to the Chamber. It's identical to Exhibit

25 3 that is in evidence. And the reason I'm providing it in this form is

Page 1343

1 that it's a much better copy and much more readable than the version that

2 I provided before. The second document, which is 01132355 to 01132358 in

3 the B/C/S and an attached translation, that will become clear in a moment,

4 what that is, through the witness.

5 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this map?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Did you provide this map to the Office of the Prosecutor?

8 A. Yes, I did.

9 Q. The document with text that is -- that accompanies the map that

10 I've given to you and I've read out the ERN, what is that?

11 A. It was printed on -- at the -- on the back of the map.

12 Q. So just to be clear, the original map had the map on the front and

13 this text on the back? Is that what you're testifying to?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Do you know who made this map and when it was made?

16 A. It was published by the publishing company called Vojska from

17 Belgrade. I received it after 1993, and it was supposed to reflect the

18 situation in 1993.

19 Q. Can you tell us anything about the publishing company Vojska?

20 A. It was a state-owned enterprise.

21 Q. Do you know who -- are you able to tell or do you know who asked

22 for the map to be made? Or who created the map? You've told us who

23 published it but who created it? If you know.

24 A. I don't know. I presume the Main Staff of the military of the

25 RSK.

Page 1344

1 Q. Why do you presume that?

2 A. I believe I saw their -- I saw somewhere that they authored this.

3 Q. Now --

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just clear a little point in my mind? Is it

5 the evidence that all the documents -- all the pages from page 1 and

6 looking now at the English version to page 13, all that information was

7 written on the back of this map?

8 MR. WHITING: Well, Your Honour, the English version is slightly

9 misleading because the English version that's been provided has --

10 contains the translation of both the front and the back and so it's much

11 longer than would appear. The pages that what appeared on the back of the

12 map are the four pages in B/C/S. So it's four pages that appeared in text

13 on the back of the map.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: But is the English not a translation of the four

15 pages in B/C/S?

16 MR. WHITING: It's the English is a translation of the four pages

17 plus all the text on the front of the map.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: So the record is not showing it correctly when it

19 says what is written on this document is what was written on the back of

20 the map. The record should read, the first four pages of the English

21 version are a translation of the B/C/S that appeared on the back of the

22 map.

23 MR. WHITING: Your Honour that's not exactly right but I'll try to

24 make it clear.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.

Page 1345

1 MR. WHITING: And I apologise for the confusion. And the witness

2 should listen to this to -- so that he could confirm that it's accurate

3 but this is my understanding of his testimony and of the exhibit. The

4 four pages of B/C/S which are 01132355 to 2358 are the text that appeared

5 on the back of the map. The attached English translation is longer and

6 the first part of the English translation 01132359 to 2361, the first two

7 and some pages are the translation of the front of the map. And that

8 actually has already been provided to the Chamber. Starting on 01132361,

9 it even says in there, it says "back of the map" and that is the

10 translation of the text that appeared on the back of the map. I hope

11 that's clear and if the witness could -- if the witness followed that and

12 if the witness could confirm that that is in fact at least with respect to

13 the first four pages of B/C/S, that that's in fact what was on the back of

14 the map?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In Serbo-Croatian, I can -- I

16 understand that it was on the back of the map.


18 Q. Thank you?

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: And then pages 01132362 through to 01132371 are

20 what? Constitute what?

21 MR. WHITING: That's the translation of the four pages in B/C/S

22 appeared on the back of the map and that are attached here, that are these

23 first four pages.

24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

25 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm sorry, Mr. Whiting, I thought you were

Page 1346

1 saying that from page 0113261 below the line where it says, "Back of the

2 map" that is where the translation concerning the back of the map

3 commences in sequence; is that correct?

4 MR. WHITING: Yes, yes, that's correct, Your Honour. I apologise.

5 I misheard Your Honour, Judge mow low toe but that's correct, it starts

6 from 2361, that's correct, to the end, to 2371, that's the translation of

7 the four pages that appeared on the back of the map.

8 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting.


10 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to ask you some questions about the front of the

11 map, if you would turn your attention to the front of the map, please. On

12 the front of the map, on the lower half in the middle, there is a map that

13 is in a blue colour of Croatia. Do you see that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And is that -- and there is a legend there and do the shadings

16 there, the blue shadings reflect the census data for 1981?

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: 1981?

18 MR. WHITING: 1981, yes.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.


21 Q. Looking at the data that is reflected on this map for 1981, was

22 this -- was the sense -- the ethnic distribution in Croatia approximately

23 the same in 1991 as it was in 1981?

24 A. Yes, roughly speaking.

25 Q. Now, I'd like to talk to you about various regions. We've heard

Page 1347

1 in this trial about various regions within Croatia. Northern Dalmatia,

2 Lika, Kordun and Banija. We've heard some testimony about that and I want

3 to discuss with you and ask your assistance in orienting [Microphone not

4 activated].

5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

6 MR. WHITING: It's on but it's not work,.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: It's not lit here, Mr. Whiting.

8 MR. WHITING: I've been cut off!

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you need assistance before we can proceed?

10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm told someone is coming to attend to the

12 problem. There, you're on now.

13 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour let me see where I was.

14 Okay. I was saying that we've heard about various regions within Croatia,

15 Northern Dalmatia, Lika, Kordun and Banija, and I'd like to ask your

16 assistance please in orienting us and the Chamber about where these

17 regions were.

18 And it may be helpful for the Chamber in following this testimony

19 to have at its disposal map 3 from the map book because we are going to be

20 talking about municipalities and I'm happy to lone my map book if -- or we

21 have other copies to loan if anybody has forgotten their -- I --

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: We are very grateful to the Prosecution for loaning

23 us. It's actually not forgetfulness, it's just that we've got limited

24 space here and we are trying to reduce our load each time we come to

25 court.

Page 1348

1 MR. WHITING: I understand, Your Honour. I think we've provided

2 two. Is that sufficient or is three necessary?

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's sufficient.

4 MR. WHITING: Okay. As I said, map 3, it might be helpful in

5 following this part of the testimony.

6 Q. Mr. Babic, could you tell us which municipalities were within the

7 region that's been -- that's referred to as Northern Dalmatia?

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just confirm, on this map; we are looking at

9 this map?

10 MR. WHITING: My questions were about that map. We've left that

11 now.

12 Q. Mr. Babic, did you hear my question? Which municipalities were in

13 the region known as Northern Dalmatia?

14 A. The municipalities of Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, and Drnis. And

15 something which used to be fictionally called the municipality of Zadar

16 since 1993.

17 Q. Could you explain to the Chamber what you mean about -- what

18 you're talking about when you refer to the municipality of Zadar?

19 A. I don't know exactly when. By the end of 1992 and in 1993, the

20 so-called municipality of Zadar was set up. It did not have any territory

21 as such. It was just presented to the public as being in existence

22 because in 1991, certain Serb villages from the municipality of Zadar

23 joined the municipality of Benkovac so they were within the framework of

24 the municipality of Benkovac and I don't suppose they got out of that

25 municipality and crossed over to the Zadar municipality in 1993. That's

Page 1349

1 why I'm saying that it was a fictional municipality.

2 Q. When you're talking about this fictional municipality of Zadar, is

3 it just to distinguish it -- is it the Serbian Municipality of Zadar or

4 are you talking about the whole municipality of Zadar?

5 A. The Serb Municipality of Zadar.

6 Q. Okay. And did that Serb Municipality of Zadar, did it occupy --

7 was it -- did it occupy the entire municipality of Zadar or just a part of

8 the municipality of Zadar?

9 A. It was supposed to be the Serb part of the municipality of Zadar.

10 Q. And the villages of Skabrnja and Nadin, do you -- what area did

11 they belong to, do you know?

12 A. Before the conflict, I'm not very sure. But I think they were

13 either within the municipality of Zadar or Biograd [phoen], and after the

14 armed conflict, that is to say in the autumn of 1991, they had been

15 militarily occupied and so they became part of the territory of the SAO

16 Krajina.

17 Q. Now, the area that you've identified as Northern Dalmatia, do you

18 know approximately what the ethnic composition of this area was in 1990

19 and 1991?

20 A. According to my assessment, 80 per cent Serbs and 20 per cent

21 Croats.

22 Q. The next area I want to ask you about is the area of Lika. Which

23 municipalities made up the area of Lika?

24 A. The region of Lika was made up of Donji Lapac, Gracac, Titova

25 Korenica, and Plaski. Those were the municipalities there. Also, the

Page 1350

1 municipality of Vrhovine which was set up at a certain point. Or rather

2 at one point Vrhovine and Plaski belonged to the municipality of Titova

3 Korenica, and then afterwards they separated and they were set up as

4 separate municipalities.

5 Q. Okay. So these municipalities that you've referred to as Plaski

6 and Vrhovine were originally part of Korenica, Titova Korenica, is that --

7 is that -- am I clear on your testimony?

8 A. Those municipalities back in 1990 were within the framework of the

9 neighbouring municipalities. Plaski of the municipality of Agolin [phoen]

10 and Vrhovine was a part of the municipality of Obrovac, and on the basis

11 of a referendum by the beginning of 1991 the Serb population of that area

12 voted in favour of joining the neighbouring municipality of Korenica and

13 so after the referendum they were included in the Titova Korenica

14 municipality. But during the existence of the SAO Krajina, they again

15 went independent and they set up separate municipalities, first Plaski and

16 then later on Vrhovine as well.

17 Q. Mr. Babic, I can hear in my ear phones that the interpreter is

18 having a little difficulty keeping up with you. You speak very fast. If

19 you can just remember to speak a little bit more slowly, please.

20 Now, do you know --

21 A. I do apologise.

22 Q. Do you know what the ethnic composition of Lika was in 1990-91?

23 A. This -- in this territory that belonged to Krajina, the Serbs were

24 75 or -- between 75 and 80 per cent and the Croats were the rest.

25 Q. Let me ask you about the area called Kordun, referred to as

Page 1351

1 Kordun. Which municipalities were in this area?

2 A. There were the municipalities of Vrgin Most, Vojnic, Slunj, and

3 Krnjak.

4 Q. The first one is -- I could hear it but it didn't get captured.

5 Was it Vrgin Most?

6 A. Yes, Vrginmost; it's single word.

7 Q. And what were the other ones? Vojnic, Slunj, and what was the

8 last one?

9 A. Krnjak.

10 Q. Now, Krnjak, could you tell us what was this municipality? Was

11 this another new municipality?

12 A. In 1990, it was on the territory of the municipality of Karlovac

13 and there again the Serb population on the basis of a referendum voted in

14 favour of joining the municipality of Vojnic. So for a while they were a

15 part of that municipality and then later on they set up a separate

16 municipality.

17 Q. So to be clear, the -- Krnjak was originally a part of Karlovac?

18 A. That's right.

19 Q. What was the ethnic makeup, if you know, of the region of Kordun

20 in 1990, 1991?

21 A. In this area, Serbs made up about 75 per cent of the population

22 and the rest were Croats.

23 Q. Next I want to ask you about the area known as Banija. Which

24 municipalities were included in Banija?

25 A. The municipalities of Glina, Dvor Na Uni, Kostajnica, Petrinja or

Page 1352

1 most of the municipality of Petrinja, and the municipality of Sisak

2 Caprag.

3 Q. What was the ethnic makeup of Banija in 1990-91?

4 A. Serbs made up between 75 and 80 per cent of the population and 20,

5 25 per cent of the population was Croat, roughly speaking.

6 Q. We've also heard about an area referred to as eastern Slavonia

7 Baranja and Western Srem. I'm not going to ask you what the

8 municipalities were in this area but can you tell us if you know what the

9 ethnic composition of that area was in 1990-91?

10 A. According to my assessment, Serbs made up 50 per cent of the

11 population, about half of the population, and the other half were Croats

12 and others.

13 MR. WHITING: With the assistance of the usher I would like to

14 show the witness a map and it's actually a copy of map 3 with some

15 markings on it. And when I've referred to map 3, just so the record is

16 clear, that's map 3 from Exhibit 22. If that could be placed on the ELMO,

17 please?

18 Q. Mr. Babic, this map has markings in pink pen and in blue -- light

19 blue pen on it. Do you recognise those markings?

20 A. Yes. I drew that.

21 Q. Do you recall when you drew that?

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness draw that? Did he draw that?

23 MR. WHITING: That was his testimony, yes, that he drew that.

24 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recall when you drew this, those lines?

25 A. Yesterday, the day before maybe.

Page 1353

1 Q. Can you tell us -- I'll just have a few questions about this map

2 and I'm mindful -- I'm aware of the time, that we are almost at the break.

3 The pink line, what does the pink line represent, approximately?

4 A. Roughly speaking, it is the demarcation between SAO Krajina and

5 Croatia and the part of Western Slavonia and Croatia by the end of 1991.

6 Q. And the blue lines that you made, the light blue lines, what do

7 those lines represent?

8 A. Those are the lines indicating the regional borders within the SAO

9 Krajina.

10 Q. If you -- if the usher could give the witness a pen, and if you

11 could mark a 1 just so this -- we are clear on these regions, the -- a 1

12 in the area that you've identified -- that you've drawn to be Northern

13 Dalmatia?

14 A. [Marks]

15 Q. A 2 for Lika?

16 A. [Marks]

17 Q. A 3 for Kordun?

18 A. [Marks]

19 Q. And a 4 for Banija?

20 A. [Marks]

21 Q. And these lines that you've drawn, both the pink line and the

22 light blue lines, are these approximate lines?

23 A. The pink one is an approximate line. The blue line is correct

24 because I used the existing line separating the municipalities. So it's

25 more accurate.

Page 1354

1 Q. Thank you.

2 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be admitted into evidence,

3 please?

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

5 please be given an exhibit number.

6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 176, Your Honours.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

8 MR. WHITING: And this is a convenient time. Thank you,

9 Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then we will take a short

11 break and come back at 4.00. Is that right? 4.00, 25 minutes.

12 --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.

13 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. If I may interrupt you before you proceed,

15 Mr. Whiting, just one little point. It's been made known to the Bench

16 that on Friday, there is a possibility that we could sit in the morning

17 and then get a free afternoon. If the parties are so inclined, they can

18 give us an advice and we can make the necessary arrangements.

19 MR. WHITING: We are available to did that, Your Honour, just to

20 be clear that would be -- we would sit in the morning and then we would

21 not sit in the afternoon?

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's correct.

23 MR. WHITING: Okay.

24 JUDGE MOLOTO: If that would be helpful to you, to the Defence?

25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

Page 1355

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Then we will then sit in the

2 morning on Friday. You may proceed, Mr. Whiting.

3 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.

4 Q. Mr. Babic, if I could turn your attention, please, to the map that

5 is in front of you, and it -- the map that I'm referring to is 01131342,

6 which I'm holding up, and for the purposes of the record, just to remind

7 the Chamber that the translation of the front -- of the contents of the

8 front of this map is in evidence as Exhibits 15 and 16, I won't ask that

9 that be called up right now because I have a very brief question about it

10 and it can be checked, looked at later if that's necessary. Mr. Babic, I

11 want to draw your attention to the blue box in the lower right-hand corner

12 of the map. Do you see that box?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Can you tell us what is contained in that box?

15 A. The heading Krajina is in -- represented by numbers which

16 represent regions of Krajina, indicating the surface area, the number of

17 inhabitants, the ethnic makeup, how many Serbs, Croats, and others,

18 according to regions and the SAO Krajina, Eastern and Western Slavonia, if

19 that's what you have in mind.

20 Q. You testified before, I believe, that this map was prepared in

21 1993 or 1994. Do you remember that testimony?

22 A. I do.

23 Q. Now, I just going to go briefly through the regions with you.

24 Northern Dalmatia, what is reflected there as the Serb population, in

25 terms of percentage? Can you find that?

Page 1356

1 A. 90 per cent.

2 Q. Lika? Serb population?

3 A. 93 per cent.

4 Q. Kordun? Serb population?

5 A. 98 per cent.

6 Q. Banija? Serb population?

7 A. 97 per cent.

8 Q. Thank you.

9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this map and the back of the map

10 with the translation be admitted into evidence, please?

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: The map and the back of the map, translation.

12 Could the map and the translation relating to what was written on the back

13 of the map are admitted into evidence. May they please be given an

14 exhibit number.

15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 177 for the map and

16 Exhibit number 178 for the translations, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

18 MR. WHITING: And that can be taken away from the witness, thank

19 you. I have no more questions about that.

20 Q. Mr. Babic, I want to talk about another topic now. I want to talk

21 about your motivations for joining the SDS. You testified earlier today

22 that you joined the SDS in February of 1990 and that you held various

23 positions within the SDS. Can you tell the Chamber, why did you join the

24 SDS?

25 A. I was first of all interested in the development of the welfare in

Page 1357

1 Knin, where I lived, and I felt that through this new political party I

2 could make my own contribution in -- the Serb Democratic Party was a party

3 which declared itself as democratic one, and was asking for changes in

4 society. It was a democratic party which represented the Serb national

5 interests in Croatia, and the Knin region had a majority of Serb

6 population so my motive was threefold, in fact. A desire to make my

7 contribution to development of the region, a desire to participate in the

8 putting into practice of the programme and the manifesto of the Serb

9 Democratic Party in its entirety.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: The third reason?


12 Q. Mr. Babic, Your Honour has asked what the third reason is. It

13 appeared that you gave two reasons.

14 A. Yes. So the first reason, the development of the region; the

15 second reason, because it was a national party; and the third reason

16 because it was a party which was putting into practice democratic changes

17 in society.

18 Q. You testified that the party represented the Serb national

19 interests in Croatia. Could you tell us what those were or how those were

20 interpreted by the party? What do you mean by that?

21 A. The Serb people in Croatia was a constituent people according to

22 Croatian constitution but they were still a minority of the population of

23 the Republic of Croatia. So the national interest was the protection of

24 the cultural identity of the Serb people and the economic prosperity of

25 those areas inhabited by Serbs.

Page 1358

1 Q. Could you tell us what some of the concerns were of Serbs that --

2 at that time, that you were aware of?

3 A. Well, the Serbs were concerned on both counts that I've just

4 mentioned. Even before the setting up of the new government in Croatia,

5 even back in 1989, and especially at the start of the 1990s or in 1990,

6 national and nationalist political organisations were on the rise in

7 Croatia and their approach to the internal setup of Croatia was different.

8 They felt that Croatian culture and language should be upgraded and that

9 the Serb people in Croatia should no longer be a constituent people but

10 just a national minority.

11 Q. You've started to answer this question but maybe you can elaborate

12 a little further. Could you describe for us in general terms, at this

13 point, what the differences were between the different political

14 approaches or different political parties that existed in Croatia in 1990?

15 A. The main political party in Croatia was the HDZ, which won the

16 first multi-party democratic elections. The election campaign of that

17 party was very clear. Members of the party and more specifically the

18 president of the party who later on went on to become the president of

19 Croatia promoted those policies. They advocated the creation of a Greater

20 Croatia in the area of the then Republic of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina

21 and they were in favour of Croatia becoming independent and separating

22 from the former Yugoslavia, and that policy was supported by some other

23 national and nationalist parties.

24 On the Serb side, the main party, the most influence party, was

25 the SDS, which represented a political approach according to which it

Page 1359

1 would be a good idea to stick to the Yugoslav federation and that there

2 should be autonomous regions within Croatia in those areas in which the

3 Serb population were in the majority, and they were in favour of a

4 democrat transformation of society. Actually all parties were in favour

5 of that if we think in terms of getting rid of the old communist system.

6 All of them except for the Communist League movement for Yugoslavia, which

7 only seemed to have any impact amongst the JNA members in Croatia.

8 Q. Was there conflict between these two broad approaches, that is the

9 approach of the HDZ and the SDS?

10 A. Yes. Absolutely. There was a political conflict.

11 Q. Did this --

12 A. Which --

13 Q. I'm sorry, I think I -- I didn't mean to cut you off. You were --

14 did you want to finish your answer? You said there was a political

15 conflict which --

16 A. Yes. That political conflict had already started by explaining

17 the political programmes before the elections and continued after the

18 elections when the HDZ came to power and the SDS came to power in some

19 mostly Serb municipalities within Croatia.

20 Q. In time, did this conflict escalate?

21 A. It did escalate. Politically speaking, as well as in terms of

22 violence and demonstrations of force, and in the end it was an all-out war

23 during 1991.

24 Q. Mr. Babic, you said in your answer that it escalated both

25 politically speaking and in terms of violence and demonstrations of force.

Page 1360

1 Could you tell us, please, was one side responsible for the escalation in

2 terms of violence and demonstrations of force?

3 A. Both sides were responsible, but to my knowledge, the Serb side

4 began using force first.

5 Q. Was the SDS party formed anywhere else besides in the Krajina

6 region of Croatia?

7 A. The SDS under that name was formed for the region of -- for the

8 area of Croatia, but it wanted to be organised in the entire former

9 Yugoslavia. Therefore they organised some of their boards in Serbia and

10 in the Bosnian Krajina. That is the SDS often referred to as the

11 SDS-Croatia, although its name was only SDS, and its president was

12 Dr. Raskovic. Under the name of the SDS, there were some other parties

13 formed elsewhere. For example, we had the SDS of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a

14 separate party, and by the end of 1990, some SDS boards in Serbia formed

15 their own SDS of Serbia. That was the situation back in 1990.

16 Q. You said that the -- you made reference to the SDS of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Who was the leader of that party?

18 A. Dr. Radovan Karadzic.

19 Q. You said a moment ago that to your knowledge, the Serb side began

20 using force first. When did that occur, approximately?

21 A. It occurred on the 17th of August 1990.

22 Q. I'll ask you more questions about that later. Could you tell us,

23 Mr. Babic, when did you first meet Milan Martic?

24 A. I first met him in July 1990.

25 Q. What was the circumstance of meeting him?

Page 1361

1 A. At the time, Mr. Martic was employed with the police station in

2 Knin, and together with a group of other policemen, initiated a signing of

3 a petition among the policemen against the introduction of new Croatian

4 symbols as well as new uniforms and the change of name for the members of

5 the police in Croatia. In that protest he referred to Dr. Raskovic, that

6 is he went to see him and Dr. Raskovic advised him to go and see me. And

7 that's how we met.

8 Q. This Dr. Raskovic is that the same Dr. Raskovic that you

9 identified a moment ago as being the president of the SDS?

10 A. That is correct.

11 Q. And what happened in the meeting that you had with Mr. Martic?

12 A. I thought it would be all right to see him and the.

13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the meaning

14 of Mr. Babic's words but he said that I thought he was correct, it was the

15 right thing to do.


17 Q. I think the interpreter had a little difficulty understanding your

18 last answer. Can you repeat it, if you recall it?

19 A. I received information from Mr. Martic that they put together a

20 text for the petition, sent it to federal Minister of the Interior, and

21 that they wanted to see that published in the media. I believe they

22 called it the petition.

23 Q. Who was the federal Minister of the Interior at that time?

24 A. Petar Gracanin.

25 Q. Was there subsequently a meeting with Croatian officials?

Page 1362

1 A. Yes. After that, a delegation from the Croatian Ministry of the

2 Interior came to the police station in Knin to try and deal with the

3 situation. That is to try to force those policemen who signed the

4 petition to express their loyalty to the newly formed state.

5 Q. Do you recall who was in this delegation?

6 A. I forgot their names. There was an assistant Minister of the

7 Interior and an undersecretary, a younger man, and the rumour had it that

8 he came back from abroad and that he was at that time employed with the

9 Ministry of Interior in Croatia.

10 Q. Do you recall when this meeting occurred?

11 A. In July of 1990.

12 Q. Were you present at the meeting?

13 A. Yes, I was.

14 Q. Can you tell us what happened?

15 A. We had a discussion during the meeting and we heard explanations

16 from both parties. The Knin policemen expressed their reasons for

17 signing, and the Zagreb delegation expressed theirs. And during the

18 meeting, a lot of people assembled in front of the police station from

19 Knin and the surrounding settlements, because by that time, people heard

20 that there were Croatian Special Forces deployed to one of the nearby

21 forests. That's why the tension increased. And we had to think of a way

22 for the delegation to leave safely. A few of us tried to convince those

23 people to move elsewhere, to make it possible for the delegation to leave.

24 Q. Mr. Babic, was Mr. Martic present at this meeting?

25 A. As far as I can remember, yes, he was.

Page 1363

1 Q. Can you recall what his role was?

2 A. I don't remember anything in particular. There was discussion and

3 the policemen stated their views as well as the ministry delegation from

4 Zagreb.

5 Q. Did you give a speech on this occasion?

6 A. I believe I spoke at the station. I can't remember precisely but

7 I do know that I tried to speak with the people assembled in front of the

8 station to break up.

9 Q. Did Mr. Martic, do you recall whether he -- him making any kind of

10 a speech on this occasion or afterwards?

11 A. I don't remember him speaking during the meeting, but I think he

12 did give some statements to the press and the television.

13 Q. Do you remember the content of those statements?

14 A. The most famous of his sentences was that the Croatian coat of

15 arms will not be seen on the Knin fort for as long as he lived. That's

16 what made his famous throughout the Krajina. He became a national hero.

17 Q. You made a reference to the Knin fort. What is the Knin fort?

18 A. It's a fortress, a mediaeval fortress which used to be the city of

19 Knin, and there are some apartments there, various restaurants, the

20 Chamber of commerce at the time was there and it's up on a hill

21 overlooking the city.

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is the fort a suburb in Knin?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is in the centre. It is both the

24 centre and the suburbs because at the same time that's where the town ends

25 because there is the river on the other side.

Page 1364


2 Q. Does the fort have any symbolic significance?

3 A. Of course.

4 Q. Please tell us.

5 A. It has symbolic value as the city centre, as well as a military

6 stronghold taken over by the Serb soldiers from the Turks for the Republic

7 of Venice. Therefore it has a historical importance as well as the

8 symbolical importance for the survival of Serbs in that area.

9 Q. Did you have another meeting with Mr. Martic in August of 1990?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. When was that?

12 A. Around the 10th or a day before the 10th of August 1990.

13 Q. What happened on that occasion?

14 A. I was in the neighbourhood seeing one of the neighbours for an

15 afternoon coffee. I was there with my family and a friend. And

16 Mr. Martic walked into the house wearing a combat uniform and a rifle.

17 That was a military uniform.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: A police uniform.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He said, stay calm, everything is

20 fine. But the Croatian Special Forces have been sent to attack us, to

21 attack Krajina. We didn't remain calm, of course. We were quite upset.

22 And he said that I should leave with my family that night. One of the

23 people who was with him, Mr. Pepina Cupkovic took me and my family to a

24 house where we spent the night, allegedly to be protected from the

25 Croatian Special Forces who tried to enter Knin. But on that day, there

Page 1365

1 were none. In the morning we were told by several people that we were

2 supposed to go to see Slobodan Milosevic to seek protection.


4 Q. I'll ask you about that in a moment but first I want to ask you

5 about the uniform that you said Mr. Martic was wearing. You described it

6 both as a combat uniform and a police uniform. Could you explain that,

7 please?

8 A. As a uniform worn by policemen when they have to be deployed.

9 They have a cap, a rifle, and boots. That would be as far as the

10 difference goes concerning their standard uniform in peacetime, when they

11 only carry a gun, a pistol.

12 Q. And the uniform, could you just describe the colour of it, please?

13 A. A blue police uniform.

14 Q. You said that the following day you were told by several people

15 that you were supposed to go see Slobodan Milosevic. Do you recall who

16 told you that?

17 A. I believe I was told that by Mr. Martic. I can't recall his words

18 precisely, but David Rastovic was there who was the president of the Donji

19 Lapac municipality and the vice-president of the Serb National Council,

20 and Mr. Popovic of Zadar, a retired colonel and a vice-president of the

21 SDS.

22 Q. Did you go -- did you meet with Slobodan Milosevic?

23 A. Yes. Indirectly, the next day.

24 Q. Explain what you mean by that.

25 A. I learned that President Milosevic was at Kupari close to

Page 1366

1 Dubrovnik on his vacation and that I should contact members of the

2 Presidency. Mr. Slobodan Vucetic, among others, who at the time was in

3 Bilovci [phoen] in Montenegro. I was told to speak with the Slobodan

4 Vucetic to establish communication with Slobodan Milosevic at Kupari. I

5 did so. I went to Kupari with Mr. Vucetic but I stayed outside next to

6 the road. And Mr. Vucetic entered the military facility compound, that's

7 where military officers could go for their vacation, and he passed on the

8 information to Mr. Slobodan Milosevic.

9 Q. Did you find out who Mr. Milosevic was there with?

10 A. Mr. Vucetic said all three of them are there. He said that with

11 Milosevic there were the president of the SFRY Presidency, Mr. Jovic, and

12 the Federal Defence Secretary, Mr. Kadijevic.

13 Q. You identified Mr. Jovic as being the president of the SFRY

14 Presidency. From which republic was Mr. Jovic?

15 A. From Serbia.

16 Q. Do you know what his relationship was at the time to

17 Mr. Milosevic?

18 A. He was a member of the Socialist Party of Serbia, the president

19 being Mr. Milosevic. He was one of Milosevic's men within the federal

20 bodies.

21 Q. Why did you want to meet with Mr. Milosevic?

22 A. To seek protection in Serbia, and to have a channel for the Serbs

23 in Croatia to express the difficulties they have been experiencing with

24 the new Croatian authorities.

25 Q. Why go to Mr. Milosevic to get protection? Can you explain that?

Page 1367

1 A. Milosevic was the then Serbian president, and his party, as well

2 as himself personally, were for the unified Yugoslavia encompassing all

3 the Serb territories and all the Serb population. He was presenting

4 himself as the protector of Serbs throughout Yugoslavia.

5 Q. You told us that your message was taken to Mr. Milosevic by

6 Mr. Vucetic, but what happened next? What's the next thing that

7 happened?

8 A. Milosevic said that we should ask for an official meeting with

9 President Jovic and that we express our concerns to him and to go to

10 attend a meeting in Belgrade, inside the federation palace.

11 Q. Did you do that?

12 A. Yes. We sent an official request for Mr. Jovic to see us, and so

13 he did.

14 Q. Do you recall when that occurred?

15 A. It was, I believe, on the 13th of August, that is two days after

16 the meeting with Milosevic. Or three, perhaps.

17 Q. What happened at that meeting? What did you say; what did

18 Mr. Jovic say?

19 A. I explained the political situation of the Serbs in Croatia, and

20 the constitutional changes made by the new Croatian authorities. They

21 wanted to abolish the rights of the Serbs as a constituent people. I also

22 explained that we were in preparations to hold a referendum for the Serbs

23 in Croatia, and the other members of the delegation explained the threats

24 made for an armed intervention, the threats being made by the then

25 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia. That's what we told

Page 1368

1 Jovic more or less.

2 Q. And what did he say to you?

3 A. He explained that they were preparing a draft law on secession, to

4 be put before the federal assembly. He said that he supported our

5 political struggle and that the JNA will serve as a guarantee of that

6 struggle and support as well.

7 Q. That last part, that the JNA will serve as a guarantee of that

8 struggle and support as well, on subsequent occasions, did others tell you

9 that?

10 A. Yes. That was one of basic tenets of Milosevic. During any

11 meeting with Milosevic, whether it was myself or someone else, he kept

12 saying that the JNA would protect us. He repeated that often.

13 Q. And when it's us, the JNA would protect us, who was he referring

14 to?

15 A. The Serbs in Croatia.

16 Q. In -- when is the first time you met with Mr. Milosevic?

17 A. We met face to face in October 1990.

18 Q. From that time until the end of 1991, approximately how many times

19 did you meet with Mr. Milosevic?

20 A. Around 20 times.

21 Q. The meeting that you were describing for us with Mr. Jovic, were

22 you with -- did anybody else -- did anybody go with you to that meeting,

23 from Croatia?

24 A. I was there, then David Rastovic [Realtime transcript read in

25 error "Raskovic"] and Bogoljub Popovic.

Page 1369

1 Q. Did they speak about anything?

2 A. I would just like to make a correction to the transcript. It is

3 not Raskovic but Rastovic and Bogoljub Popovic.

4 Q. Thank you for that because we have Jovan Rastovic and -- I'm

5 sorry, now I've made the mistake. Jovan Raskovic and David Rastovic, and

6 those are two different people, correct?

7 A. Yes. Jovan Raskovic was the president of the SDS and Mr. Rastovic

8 was the vice-president of the Serbian National Council and the president

9 of the municipality of Donji Lapac.

10 Q. Now, if we could go back to my question, did David Rastovic or

11 Bogoljub Popovic say anything at the meeting?

12 A. Yes. As I said already, we each had our own share of discussion.

13 I explained the political difficulties and the situation with the Serbs in

14 Croatia.

15 Q. Did you meet with anybody else on that trip to Belgrade?

16 A. After the meeting with Jovic we met with the federal Minister of

17 the Interior, Mr. Petar Gracanin. When leaving the meeting with Jovic we

18 spoke with an adviser of his, I believe, one of his staff within the

19 cabinet. He said precisely in what way we needed to hold a referendum.

20 He stated that we should put it into law and to harmonise it with the

21 constitutions of Yugoslavia and Croatia, to include the category of self

22 declaration.

23 Q. In your meeting with Mr. Gracanin, the federal Minister of the

24 Interior, what was discussed?

25 A. More or less the same as with Mr. Jovic, but from the security

Page 1370

1 standpoint. For example, about what was going on within the Croatian

2 police, what was the reaction of the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia

3 concerning the events in Knin, as well as the referendum to be held and

4 the situation with the police in Knin itself.

5 Q. Did Mr. Gracanin later talk about this meeting in the media?

6 A. Yes. He said that he suggested to the Serbs to put barricades on

7 roads. I don't remember that he said that precisely but I believe he also

8 met with a police delegation prior, although I'm uncertain of that.

9 Q. What happened after you returned to Croatia from this meeting?

10 A. We held a meeting of the Serbian National Council at Dvor Na Uni

11 to have a clear standpoint as to the Serbs in Croatia declaring themselves

12 independent.

13 Q. Could we publish, please, 65 ter number 33? Is it necessary to

14 have the ERN? No? Okay.

15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?

17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] On page 55 -- no, page 50, line

18 7, 16:08:16 there is a mistranslation of the reply supplied by the witness

19 as to what was agreed at the meeting when he came back from Belgrade. I

20 wouldn't like to comment on it now so perhaps if you could ask the witness

21 once again?

22 Because it says that it was agreed that Serbs in Croatia should

23 ask for independence and the witness did not mention that. He simply

24 referred to the fact that the citizens should declare themselves and he

25 never mentioned independence at all.

Page 1371

1 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'll try to clarify that.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting.


4 Q. Mr. Babic, could you tell us -- there has been perhaps a little

5 problem with the translation. Could you tell us again what happened with

6 this meeting when you returned from Belgrade to Croatia?

7 A. We had a meeting of the Serb National Council at Dvor Na Uni. At

8 that meeting, it was decided that we would survey the Serb people in

9 Croatia asking them about the Serb autonomy.

10 Q. Thank you.

11 MR. WHITING: I think that clarifies the issue.

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

13 MR. WHITING: Now, if you could -- if we could turn to page 2 of

14 that document, please.

15 Q. Mr. Babic, can you read that on the screen? Do you see a

16 document in front of you, a handwritten document on the screen?

17 A. Yes. These are the minutes from the meeting that was held on that

18 day.

19 Q. And on which day?

20 A. The 16th of August 1999 -- 1990, sorry.

21 Q. Do you know who wrote these minutes?

22 A. I think the Secretary of the Serb National Council, Mr. Vjestica.

23 Q. What is his first name, Mr. Vjestica's first name?

24 A. Dusan Vjestica.

25 Q. Have you seen these minutes before?

Page 1372

1 A. Yes. I submitted it to the Tribunal.

2 Q. Are they accurate minutes of the meeting?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I want to look down, if we could scroll down further, further,

5 there. Thank you. There, there, there.

6 Do you see where it says, Jovic gave support to all political

7 battles? No, no. I can't tell if that's --

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Can you just read that sentence, please?

10 A. The sentence reads as follows: "Jovic gave his support to all

11 political battles for the rights of the peoples and for the referendum to

12 be carried out according to the legal provisions, and he said that the

13 army would give their support and protection and grant protection to the

14 political struggle of the Serb people. The attitude --"

15 Q. That's fine. Thank you.

16 And then do you see where it says, "Rastovic" and it's underlined?

17 Can you see that?

18 A. I can.

19 Q. And what does it say after that?

20 A. "The guarantor of what we declare is the army."

21 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be moved into evidence,

22 please?

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it

24 please be given an exhibit number.

25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 179, Your Honours.

Page 1373

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.


3 Q. Mr. Babic, this was on the 16th of August 1990. What happened on

4 the following day, on the 17th of August 1990? Before I ask you that, I

5 have another question to ask you. You told us that before you went to

6 Belgrade, Mr. Martic appeared in a combat uniform and said that -- to tell

7 you that the Croatian Special Forces were arriving. Did that ever occur?

8 Did they ever arrive?

9 A. No, not at the time. There were conflicts later but not then.

10 And not on the following day either.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?

12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have something

13 to complain about in the transcript once again. It's line 18. By way of

14 reply, it says the army will provide guarantees for whatever we declare,

15 and the witness never mentioned it. So the witness was reading out the

16 text from this handwritten document which seems to be saying something

17 else, at least as far as my understanding goes, so could we perhaps

18 rectify that.

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, we are looking at the English

20 translation and when I looked at this translation, it seems to me as if

21 the witness said it exactly as it stood on the English translation. But

22 you can help us because we don't understand B/C/S. If the English

23 translation is not exactly the same as the B/C/S version ...

24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think Your Honour is correct that the

25 witness was at that point simply reading from the document and that the --

Page 1374

1 what he read and the way it was translated here is in essence the same as

2 has been translated in the official translation of the document. So I'm

3 not clear on what the problem is.

4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the text that was

5 submitted to the witness is a handwritten text, and it includes a

6 statement according to which the army - and I'm paraphrasing it now - will

7 be a guarantor in case a political statement is made by the population as

8 to their destiny and here it says that they would be guarantor for the

9 decision made, which is somewhat different.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, maybe we must give the B/C/S document to one

11 of the interpreters to interpret to us in English, because as I say, I

12 looked at the English version and the -- what was translated to me was the

13 exactly the same as or substantially the same as what was on the document

14 before me, which is an English version. Is it possible for one of the

15 translators -- interpreters to please help us?

16 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, if I may on this, the document, of

17 course, has already been translated and the translation is now in

18 evidence. If counsel has an issue about the way it's been translated, it

19 seems to me that that could be raised at another time and we could resolve

20 it at another time, and we could continue with the witness. The witness

21 was merely reading out what's in the document so there is nothing coming

22 from the witness himself on this issue.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic? You have to -- do you want

24 to say something, Mr. Milovancevic?

25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe that we

Page 1375

1 could solve this issue if we could show this sentence to the witness once

2 again and if we could reread it perhaps, because all I'm saying is that

3 the witness did not actually make any comment of his own. He just read

4 out a phrase that was in these minutes. So if he could just read it once

5 again, it may be something we can argue with or not, but if the witness

6 could read it out once again, and then we could know for sure because what

7 you've got is a translation into English and then it has been

8 re-translated and changed again through the witness's response, and I

9 believe if the witness could be shown this same phrase once again and if

10 he could read it out once again we could solve the problem.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: But, Mr. Milovancevic, you've just told me now that

12 the witness read it without comment, and what was translated as what he

13 read was substantially the same as what I saw on the screen in the English

14 version. So why do you want him to read it again? You want him to read

15 it with a comment?

16 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. No,

17 Your Honour. What the witness has read out has been mistranslated.

18 That's the essence of my comment. It is totally different from what is in

19 the transcript so could the witness reread the sentence and then we can

20 make a comparison once again? That's what I was going to suggest.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

22 Mr. Babic would you please read that sentence again? I hope you

23 do know which sentence this is. This I suppose was the sentence -- okay.

24 Let me not get into it. Read the --

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do know. Yes. It

Page 1376

1 says, "Raskovic," underlined, and then -- and then his words, "the

2 guarantor of our declaration is army -- is the army."

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I can tell you now, Mr. Milovancevic that's

4 what's written in the English here is "the army is the guarantee for our

5 declaration," and I'm reading it as is without correction. "Guarantee."

6 MR. WHITING: Thank you. May I proceed, Your Honour?

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.

8 MR. WHITING: Thank you.

9 Q. Mr. Babic, this meeting occurred on the 16th of August 1990. What

10 occurred on the following day, on the 17th of August?

11 A. On the 17th of August, several events took place, or rather there

12 was unrest in Knin.

13 Q. Could you elaborate a little bit? What kind of unrest? What

14 happened precisely?

15 A. Well, perhaps I could give you a description of the events.

16 Perhaps that would be best.

17 Q. That would be --

18 MR. WHITING: My microphone seems to be having problems.

19 Q. That would be perfect if you gave us a description of the events.

20 A. On the 17th of August, the municipal assembly, I received a telex

21 message from Sergej Veselinovic, the president of the municipality of

22 Obrovac, saying that the special forces from Croatia --

23 Q. Mr. Babic, if you don't mind, don't go too fast so the

24 interpreters can keep up. I'm sorry to interrupt you. Please continue

25 and I hope I didn't interrupt your train of thought there.

Page 1377

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just say before you carry on, Mr. Babic,

2 if you can say short sentences, give the interpreter an opportunity to

3 interpret, and then go on again.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.

5 On the 17th of August, 1990, I was at the office of the municipal

6 assembly in Knin. That's where I received a telex message from the

7 president of the municipality of Obrovac, Sergej Veselinovic. The message

8 said that Croatian Special Forces set out to attack Obrovac and the area

9 of Knin and that they were setting up barricades on Velebit. At the same

10 time, or a couple of minutes later, Dusan Orlovic came to see me. A man

11 who had close ties to Mr. Martic and the police movement. And afterwards

12 he was an aide to the Interior Secretary and the Secretary in charge of

13 Internal Security. He told me that Croatian armoured transport vehicles

14 were entering Knin, and he was rather agitated. That's at least the way

15 he came across. And so I believed him. And I ordered some of my staff to

16 sound the sirens from the municipality, from the town hall, that is.

17 And I went to the village called Strmica and I told one of the men

18 who was accompanying me to declare a state of emergency in town, and then

19 I said, perhaps a state of war, rather. And so he conveyed that message

20 or something along these lines, and the message -- I don't really know in

21 what way but at any rate, it somehow got to the Tanjug news agency for

22 Croatia and it was reported in the media that the president of the

23 municipality of Knin, Milan Babic, had declared a state of war in Knin,

24 and people got really nervous and there was a lot of traffic jams on the

25 roads in Croatia. It was a tourist season and I stayed for a while in

Page 1378

1 that village and since nothing happened I went to the centre at Golubic.

2 It was where some youth-work actions used to take place and I wanted to

3 ask Mr. Martic and Orlovic what was going on, and then they said that

4 there were no Croatian Special Forces, that they were not on their way to

5 Knin but at that time we were -- they were busy distributing the weapons

6 from the police reserve forces to the people who were there.

7 And so I was slightly embarrassed and I went back to town and I

8 basically took my words back and I said that there was no state of war,

9 but as of then, barricades started to go up all over the place in Knin,

10 Gracac, Lapac, Obrovac, in the area of Lika and Dalmatia, and so that was

11 the start of what the Croat press called the "Balvan revolution."

12 Afterwards, the staff for barricades was set up in Golubic, and Mr. Martic

13 and another group of people from the SDS were in charge of that, and the

14 staff was set up on the basis of a decision of the main board of the SDS.

15 But actually it only functioned for a couple of days, maybe two or three

16 weeks at the most.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt you. I'm sorry, Mr. Babic, to do

18 this to you. A number of questions arise from this long answer and I

19 would like to get, to follow your answer. Who distributed these weapons?

20 You said that Mr. Martic and somebody else told you that there were no

21 Special Forces coming but that they were busy distributing weapons from

22 the police reserve forces to the people who were there. Is it Mr. Martic

23 who distributed the weapons?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: And who had sent the telex that you first received

Page 1379

1 before -- right at the beginning of this long answer?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sergej Veselinovic, the president of

3 the municipality of Obrovac.

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.


6 Q. Mr. Babic, I also have some questions about that long answer. You

7 mentioned Dusan Orlovic. What was his position at that time?

8 A. At the time he was a close ally of Mr. Martic but he was a

9 civilian.

10 Q. And what position -- you made reference to a position that he held

11 later on. Could you explain what position he held later on?

12 A. For a long time, he was an aide to the Secretary of the Interior

13 and Security, and later on he was an aide to the Minister of the Interior

14 for state security, in both instances in Krajina, and after 1995 he was

15 again an employee of the state security service in Serbia.

16 Q. When he was an aide to the Secretary of the Interior, who was the

17 Secretary of the Interior?

18 A. Mr. Milan Martic.

19 Q. And when he was an aide to the Minister of the Interior for State

20 Security, who was the Minister of the Interior then?

21 A. Mr. Milan Martic.

22 Q. Was he in charge of state security?

23 A. I don't understand. Who do you mean, "was he in charge."

24 Q. Thank you. That was a good question. Was Mr. Orlovic in charge

25 of state security?

Page 1380

1 A. He was for a long time.

2 Q. And was state security within the Ministry of the Interior?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. There will be more questions on this later.

5 You said that --

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just ask one more question.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry. On this occasion, what position did

9 Mr. Milan Martic hold?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean on the 17th of August?

11 Well, informally he was the head or the leader of the police uprising in

12 Knin. I'm talking about the 17th of August here.

13 JUDGE MOLOTO: He -- right. That's a self-appointed position, I

14 suppose.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was the leader of the movement in

16 question. So -- well --

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: But within the police, did he hold any official

18 position also?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time, he was an inspector at

20 the police station in Knin. I believe that's the correct terminology.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.


23 Q. And state security is referred to sometimes by -- is it referred

24 to sometimes by an abbreviation?

25 A. Yes, DB.

Page 1381

1 Q. Now, you --

2 A. Or SDB, I apologise.

3 Q. Sometimes DB, sometimes SDB?

4 A. Yes, mostly DB. That's the shortest way.

5 Q. And you referred -- you referred to seeing Milan Martic in Golubic

6 and you asked about where these Croatian Special Forces were and they said

7 they weren't coming. Did the Croatian Special Forces ever appear, that is

8 on that day?

9 A. Not on that day, as far as I know. On that day, Croatian police

10 from Zagreb set out for Knin in a helicopter. That's something that I

11 found out at a later stage but they -- then the JNA air force intervened

12 and they were sent back to Zagreb so they didn't get to Knin.

13 Q. You also made reference to barricades that went up, and what was

14 the name that the Croatian press started to call this?

15 A. I've already mentioned it, "Balvan revolution," log revolution.

16 Q. Thank you. And what was Milan Martic's role in the erecting of

17 the barricades?

18 A. At first, he was the head of the barricade staff, and there upon

19 he was the leader of the illegal organisation which was called the council

20 of international -- of national resistance against the putting down of

21 Serbs or something like that. And they were in charge of the barricades.

22 Basically they were known as the council of national resistance and then

23 it was officially taken over by the Secretariat for the Interior of

24 Krajina.

25 Q. Okay. I'm going to ask some questions to try to be a little bit

Page 1382

1 more detailed and specific about what you've just told us.

2 Before you started to tell us about what happened in Golubic in

3 the days after August 17th, can you tell us again what -- what happened

4 there in Golubic?

5 A. What particular point in time do you have in mind?

6 Q. After -- after August 17th.

7 A. Yes. Golubic or rather this youth camp was turned into a military

8 camp, with guards at the entry gates, armed individuals. It was a

9 military camp, the way I saw it.

10 Q. And what function did the military camp have, if any?

11 A. It represented the staff and the gathering point for those who

12 were in charge of the barricades, who took part in this uprising. It was

13 supposed to be a place from where the barricades would be managed but it

14 turned into something resembling a military camp.

15 Q. Who was in charge there?

16 A. Milan Martic was in charge.

17 Q. How long did the camp exist there?

18 A. Not very long, maybe two to three weeks.

19 Q. What happened then?

20 A. Since I noticed that it was no longer a barricades staff but

21 actually a military camp which was rather dangerous, considering the

22 political situation at the time and the political attitude represented by

23 the SDS at the time, I told that much to Mr. Raskovic, the president of

24 the party, and I asked him to convene a meeting of the party board and to

25 require that military camp to be disbanded and that it should not be

Page 1383

1 within the area of responsibility of the SDS because it was compromising

2 the SDS position and policy and that was the decision that was made and

3 the military camp and the staff were both disbanded.

4 Q. What happened next?

5 A. The people from the staff or the camp or Mr. Martic, that is,

6 simply moved to another location on the outskirts of Golubic, afterwards,

7 the village of Otun [phoen], afterwards a part of Knin which is called

8 Sinobadova Glavica, but it was no longer the barricade staff. But it was

9 actually something that was presented to the general public as the Council

10 of National Resistance but they acted as an illegal organisation.

11 Q. Mr. Babic, I'll ask you some more questions about the Council of

12 National Resistance but I think we've reached a time for the next break.

13 And I learned from the last time that if I go over, it's deducted from the

14 break.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Court adjourned. We will come back at quarter to

16 six.

17 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.

18 --- On resuming at 5.46 p.m.

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Whiting.

20 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.

21 Q. Mr. Babic, before the break, you talked about -- you started to

22 talk about the Council of National Resistance which you said acted as an

23 illegal organisation, and earlier you provided a little bit of information

24 about it. But could you tell us now what did the Council of National

25 Resistance do in the fall of 1990?

Page 1384

1 A. The Council of National Resistance appeared after the 10th of

2 September 1992 [as interpreted]. That is, after the negotiations in which

3 several presidents of municipalities of the Serb Krajina had with the

4 representatives of the Croatian parliament and we arranged for a situation

5 to be normalised in Croatia. The Council of National Resistance appeared

6 as the enemy of easing the tensions and against the agreement reached with

7 the Croatian authorities, and they also had their own view of the way

8 negotiations should be conducted and future problems resolved. The

9 Council of National Resistance actually provoked, they elevated tension by

10 way of issuing dramatic statements and announcements via the media. They

11 also blocked rail traffic, they mined tunnels, they blew up kiosks and

12 private shops owned by Croats. They even planned to cut off electricity

13 for Knin, to create as much tension as possible, and to provoke an

14 intervention by the JNA and the introduction of the state of emergency in

15 Croatia.

16 Q. Mr. Babic, in the beginning of that answer, the interpretation we

17 got is that you said that the Council of National Resistance appeared

18 after the 10th of September 1992. Is that correct?

19 A. No, 1990.

20 Q. Thank you. Why did the Council of National Resistance want to

21 provoke intervention by the JNA?

22 A. In order to further the policies represented by Milosevic and

23 Jovic. They were in favour of the state of emergency in Croatia and they

24 wanted to see the Croatian government fall and they wanted to introduce

25 the military -- to install the military administration.

Page 1385

1 Q. And when you say to further the policies represented by Milosevic

2 and Jovic, what policies are you referring to?

3 A. I'm referring to the policy of creation of a state to encompass

4 all of the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina as well by way of

5 taking over Serb territories and for the others to leave Yugoslavia if

6 they chose to. That was the essence of their policy.

7 Q. I'll ask you some more questions about that later. You've already

8 identified the role that Milan Martic played in the Council of National

9 Resistance. Who else, if you know, was involved in that organisation?

10 A. That organisation never published a list of its members or its

11 structure. It functioned illegally and what one could observe in Knin,

12 the organisation encompassed people from the police, some citizens, a part

13 of the SDS membership, then Jovo Vitas, Dusan Orlovic, Nebojsa Magdinic

14 [phoen] was an official of Knin municipality. Then Nebojsa, aka Neso

15 Maric. I can't remember any other names.

16 Q. Jovo Vitas, who was he? What position did he hold at that time?

17 A. Jovo Vitas was a trader, a private entrepreneur in Knin. As for

18 the Council of National Resistance, he often had communiques.

19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed a part of the witness's

20 question. Could he please repeat?


22 Q. Mr. Babic, you may have to speak a little -- up a little bit. The

23 interpreter missed the last part of your answer. Could you repeat that

24 answer about Jovo Vitas?

25 A. Jovo Vitas was a trader in Knin, a private entrepreneur, a citizen

Page 1386

1 of Knin. As for the Council of National Defence, he often had their

2 communiques and would deliver them to the radio, and he often transported

3 explosives from the police station in Knin to the barricades. He often

4 was with the centre for sounding alarm in -- with the municipal assembly,

5 and he seemed to be a very mobile person, multi-tasks within the council.

6 He even threatened to kill me after I signed agreement with the -- Mr.

7 Boljkovac and Mr. Degoricija from the Croatian parliament concerning a

8 peaceful resolution for the situation in Knin.

9 Q. When was that?

10 A. Around the 10th of September 1990.

11 Q. You said that he often transported explosives from the police

12 station in Knin to the barricades. How did you know that?

13 A. I saw him load explosives and he was driving that vehicle. People

14 were talking about it.

15 Q. You also mentioned Neso Maric. Who was he?

16 A. He was a guy from Knin. I don't know what his occupation was.

17 But he was quite close to Milan Martic. He was often seen as his escort.

18 Q. When did he -- when was he the escort for Milan Martic? During

19 what period of time, if you know?

20 A. From that time until 1995, I believe.

21 Q. And what did he do, if you know, as the escort for Milan Martic?

22 A. Personal guard.

23 Q. Now, you've made reference to this event on the 10th of September

24 1990. Could you explain, please, for the Court what occurred then?

25 A. Upon the initiative of the president of the Sinj municipal

Page 1387

1 assembly, who was a member of the HDZ, the leading party in Croatia at the

2 time, to meet with me. I agreed and we discussed several items, among

3 other how to resolve the problems existing between the municipalities of

4 Knin and Sinj, in particular concerning the supply of electricity and

5 water since these were often cut off due to the barricades and the

6 conflict. We also discussed holding a meeting in Donji Lapac between the

7 representatives of the Serbian municipalities and the government, i.e.,

8 the parliament and the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia concerning a

9 resolution for the -- to the crisis. We also discussed my visit to

10 President Tudjman in Zagreb. On the 10th of September, a meeting was held

11 indeed in Donji Lapac. On the Croatian side there were the president of

12 the assembly of municipalities, Mr. Slavko Degoricija, Minister of the

13 Interior Mr. Boljkovac, and an official of the Minister of the Interior.

14 On the Serb side -- there was Jerko Vukas as part of their delegation as

15 well. On the Serb side, I was there, then the president of municipality

16 of Donji Lapac, the Secretary of the Serb National Council, Mr. Dusan

17 Vjestica, the president of the Executive Council of Donji Lapac,

18 Mr. Djukic, who was also -- and the secretary of the municipality in Donji

19 Lapac. We made an agreement there to peacefully resolve the outstanding

20 issues and to return the weapons taken from the reserve police forces and

21 stations. Those weapons were taken in August that year. We also agreed

22 that there be an initiative to form a Secretariat of the Interior within

23 the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia with its seat in

24 Knin.

25 MR. WHITING: Could we have 65 ter Exhibit number 34, please?

Page 1388

1 Q. And while that is being brought up on the screen, Mr. Babic, with

2 respect to that last -- the last part of your answer, the initiative to

3 form a Secretariat of the Interior within the Ministry of the Interior of

4 the Republic of Croatia with its seat in Knin, would that Secretariat be

5 subordinated to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia,

6 that is would it still be within that ministry or would it be separate?

7 A. It would be still within the Ministry of the Interior, as its

8 branch office, so to speak.

9 Q. Now, can you see the document in front of you? Is that -- on our

10 monitor it's not in B/C/S. It's not particularly clear but --

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Can you recognise that document?

13 A. Yes. It was the communique issued after the meeting.

14 Q. After the meeting on the 10th of September 1990?

15 A. That is correct.

16 Q. Did you provide this document to the Tribunal?

17 A. Yes, I did.

18 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please,

19 Your Honour?

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

21 please be given an exhibit number.

22 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 180, Your Honours.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.


25 Q. Mr. Babic, what was the reaction of the Council of National

Page 1389

1 Resistance to this initiative that you participated in?

2 A. On that same evening or the next day, they found me at the centre

3 for sounding the alarm by two members of the council and I was threatened

4 by them; they said I should be killed, as a traitor. The weapons were not

5 returned, however. In that way, they undermined the agreement.

6 Q. The weapons that were distributed in Golubic on the 17th of August

7 1990, were they ever returned?

8 A. A part of the weapons was returned in January 1990, upon the SFRY

9 Presidency request.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me, there is something wrong there. You're

11 asking about the weapons that were distributed on the 17th of August. The

12 answer is that they were returned on the -- in January of the same year.

13 MR. WHITING: I'll try to clarify that.

14 Q. When -- can you tell us again when a part of the weapons were

15 returned?

16 A. In January next year, that is 1991.

17 Q. Thank you. Now, the barricades that were erected starting on the

18 17th of August 1991, how long did they stay in place?

19 A. They stayed in place for as long as the frontline was established,

20 the line that separated the armed forces of the Krajina and the JNA on one

21 side, and on the other side the Croat forces. That is approximately until

22 April 1991, until that time those were barricades and after that it was

23 the active line of defence as well as the starting point for any attacks

24 against Croatia.

25 Q. And after August of -- after the log revolution began on the 17th

Page 1390

1 of August 1990, what was Milan Martic's reputation?

2 A. For the public, he was a Serb national hero, the leader of

3 resistance against the Croat authorities.

4 Q. Which public?

5 A. The Serb public.

6 Q. During the rest of 1990 and into 1991, could you tell us what the

7 nature of your relationship was with Mr. Martic?

8 A. Formally speaking, the relationship was established as of January

9 1991 when the interim Executive Council of the SAO Krajina elected Milan

10 Martic as Secretary of the Interior. Later on, he became Minister of the

11 Interior of the SAO Krajina and the RSK, and president of the RSK, the

12 Republic of the RSK.

13 Q. During 1991, then, you were -- you were president in various

14 capacities and he was either a secretary or a minister. Was he -- was

15 Milan Martic under your control?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Why not?

18 A. Because Milan Martic belonged to the parallel structures in

19 Krajina. He was controlled by the DBA of Serbia and Slobodan Milosevic.

20 Q. Can you explain for us a little bit more what you mean by the

21 parallel structures? What does that mean? And you said controlled by the

22 what of Serbia?

23 A. When I say parallel structures, I mean the hierarchy of power and

24 force, so to speak, within the SAO Krajina, established by the members of

25 the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia, plus members of the State Security

Page 1391

1 of Serbia, some members of the SDS, some members of the police in the Serb

2 municipalities in Krajina, and they represented parallel bodies to the

3 legally elected authorities in Krajina, including the president and the

4 assembly. That parallel structure was run by the State Security in Serbia

5 and Slobodan Milosevic himself.

6 Q. What was Milan Martic's role in the parallel structure?

7 A. He was the most powerful man within the structure in the SAO

8 Krajina.

9 Q. Who within the Ministry of the Interior in Serbia or the DB of

10 Serbia was -- participated in the parallel structure?

11 A. Radmilo Bogdanovic, Jovica Stanisic, Frenki Simatovic, Captain

12 Dragan, that is Dragan Vasiljkovic. And they were assisted by some other

13 people, in particular by Minister Sokolovic as well as some other people

14 whose names I can't recall.

15 Q. Was the DB of Serbia within the Ministry of Interior of Serbia?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Radmilo Bogdanovic, what was his role? What was his position, if

18 you know?

19 A. Radmilo Bogdanovic was the secretary or the Minister of the

20 Interior, as referred to the government of the Republic of Serbia.

21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed a date.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Until March 1991.


24 Q. And who was the Minister of Interior after March of 1991?

25 A. Zoran Sokolovic.

Page 1392

1 Q. Jovica Stanisic, what was his position?

2 A. During 1991 and at the beginning of -- during 1990 and at the

3 beginning of 1991 he was an employee of the state security service in

4 Serbia. By the spring of 1991 he became the head of the State Security

5 within the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.

6 Q. And Frenki Simatovic, do you know his position?

7 A. Frenki Simatovic was an employee of the Serbian State Security

8 Service and the head of one of its directorates. I believe he was the

9 second directorate.

10 Q. And finally Captain Dragan or Dragan Vasilkovic, what was his

11 position?

12 A. Captain Dragan was a State Security Service employee or a

13 contractor. His role was to be training instructor for the Special Forces

14 of the police in Krajina, and he also commanded over one of the State

15 Security Service's units.

16 Q. When was that?

17 A. From April 1991 onwards.

18 Q. I'll ask you more questions about all of these individuals later.

19 But now I want to go back to your particular relationship with

20 Mr. Martic. Were you able to give orders to Mr. Martic?

21 A. No.

22 Q. Did you have any control over the police?

23 A. No, I did not, because Martic obeyed the people from the parallel

24 structure, that is Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Milosevic. He was supported by

25 them.

Page 1393

1 Q. Did Mr. Martic have control over the police?

2 A. Yes, he did.

3 Q. We've heard about the TO. Did you have control over the TO in the

4 SAO Krajina?

5 A. Based on the law on Krajina, I was the Supreme Commander of the

6 TO.

7 Q. That was based on the law. Did you have any real authority over

8 the TO?

9 A. No, I did not, in any command sense of the word.

10 Q. Could you describe for the Court the command structure of the TO

11 after January of 1991, within the SAO Krajina?

12 A. The TO in the area of the SAO Krajina was organised into municipal

13 staffs and the TO units. The -- those staffs and units were supposed to

14 have been commanded by the TO staff in Zagreb, but since Krajina seceded

15 from the rest of Croatia until March 1991, the TO for Krajina was not

16 linked up. As from August 1991, when the assembly based on the decision

17 adopted the law or rather implemented the law of the National Defence in

18 Serbia in the territory of Krajina, that is when the networking of the

19 staffs and units of TO began. Hence, trying to make a unified structure

20 for the TO in the region of Krajina. By the end of September 1991, the

21 Main Staff of the TO was formed, as well as the zone staffs of TO of

22 Krajina. By early October the unification of the TO for Krajina was

23 complete.

24 Q. From January of 1991 until August of 1991, did -- did any TO units

25 exist?

Page 1394

1 A. There were just municipal staffs and units either existed only on

2 paper or did not exist at all, as far as I know. The -- there were plans

3 for such units to exist.

4 Q. What happened to the individuals who comprised the units before

5 January 1991, within the SAO Krajina? What happened to those people?

6 A. They were not permanent units because the system of the people's

7 Defence in the Socialist Federative Republic of former Yugoslavia had two

8 components, an active component, that is to say the JNA, and Defence,

9 Territorial Defence component which is made up of the TO units and they

10 were set up only under conditions characterised by an imminent danger of

11 war. The only parts of the TO that were constantly in operation were the

12 staffs, and that at different levels, the republic level, the local level,

13 et cetera.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down.


16 Q. So -- Mr. Babic, did you hear that His Honour's words that just

17 slow down a little bit?

18 It's -- so during this phase from January of 1991 to August of

19 1991, what armed units existed within the SAO Krajina?

20 A. The militia of Krajina and voluntary units.

21 Q. The volunteer units were under whose control?

22 A. Under the control of the police or rather the parallel structure

23 of state security.

24 Q. Did you have any control over armed units during this period,

25 January 1991 to August of 1991?

Page 1395

1 A. No.

2 Q. In August of 1991, when the TO structure was organised, were there

3 TO units then in existence?

4 A. Yes. That's when they started setting up the TO units, as well as

5 the volunteer units. I mean, they were also being turned into TO units.

6 Q. And after August of 1991, who commanded these TO units and

7 volunteer units?

8 A. In the SAO Krajina, it was the commander of the TO, Milan Martic,

9 or else the relevant JNA commander on the ground.

10 Q. When was Milan Martic the commander of the TO?

11 A. Starting the 8th of August 1991.

12 Q. Until when?

13 A. Until the 30th of September 1991.

14 Q. What was his formal position during that time, with respect to the

15 TO?

16 A. He was the deputy commander of the TO.

17 Q. If he was the deputy, who was the commander?

18 A. I, as the head of government, was the commander of the TO.

19 Q. Can you explain, then, why, if you were the commander and he was

20 the deputy commander, you said that he commanded the TO units during this

21 time period?

22 A. Well, because Slobodan Milosevic asked for him to become commander

23 of the TO and since people from the parallel structures and from the JNA

24 were under Milosevic's influence, that was the way in which his influence

25 would also be felt, through Milan Martic. Actually, Slobodan Milosevic

Page 1396

1 asked me to appoint Martic as commander of the TO, which I did not do.

2 Q. During that time period, 8th of August to 30th of September 1991,

3 did you give any orders to Milan Martic with respect to the TO?

4 A. The only thing was my orders about the setting up of units and

5 staffs. That's what we -- what was forwarded to him from me.

6 Q. And were those orders taken or issued on your initiative or on

7 somebody else's initiative?

8 A. Well, as to appointments, setting up of staffs, at the beginning

9 of the setting up of the TO it was my initiative, with regard to the

10 appointments of certain people within those staffs, but it didn't work.

11 Up until the JNA or rather the headquarters back in Belgrade and Milosevic

12 approved certain people to be appointed for certain positions within those

13 staffs, that's when it started to work.

14 Q. After the 30th of September 1991, who commanded the TO units?

15 A. There was the Main Staff of the Territorial Defence and regional

16 staffs, which were of course under the command of the higher echelons of

17 the JNA.

18 Q. I want to go back to -- and what was -- let me ask this first:

19 What was Milan Martic's role then?

20 A. Milan Martic left the -- that position in a huff so to say because

21 he was unhappy with the appointments for the new Main Staff because up

22 until that very moment he was expecting to get the formal appointment as

23 the commander of the TO, and it was at that moment that he withdrew from

24 the fort and he went back to the police station in Knin, and that's where

25 he acted as the Minister of the Interior for the SAO Krajina.

Page 1397

1 Q. Did he remain in command at that time of police forces?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. I want to go back to the time period from January of 1991 until

4 August of 1991. You testified earlier that the armed units in the SAO --

5 in the SAO Krajina were police units and volunteer units. Can you explain

6 what Milan Martic's role was with respect to these units, these armed

7 units?

8 A. Milan Martic set up a camp, a training camp, for special police

9 units and he was in command of that, and there was training for the

10 volunteer units in groups at the same camp, and they too were under the

11 control of the parallel structures of government in Krajina, and Milan

12 Martic was a participant, a member, of all that.

13 Q. I want to go through now, please, Milan Martic's formal positions.

14 You already testified about his role in the Council for Popular Resistance

15 or National Resistance in 1990 and also you made reference to his other

16 positions. On the 4th of January 1991, did he receive -- was he appointed

17 to a position?

18 A. He was appointed Secretary of the Interior of the SAO Krajina.

19 Q. How did that come about, that appointment?

20 A. At the meeting of the interim executive council of the SAO

21 Krajina, Mr. David Rastovic suggested we elect a Secretary of the Interior

22 and he went on to propose Milan Martic, and most people agreed, myself

23 included.

24 Q. Why did you agree?

25 A. Well, the majority was in favour, and politically speaking it

Page 1398

1 would have worked against me had I opposed it.

2 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit number 46, please? And

3 if we could --

4 Q. First of all, Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?

5 A. I do apologise. Could you switch on the other screen for me

6 because I don't seem to be able to do it.

7 Q. Do you see the document in front of you, Mr. Babic?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Do you recognise this document?

10 A. I do.

11 Q. What is it?

12 A. It is the minutes from the executive council meeting of the Serb

13 Autonomous Region in Krajina and it was held in 1991 in Knin.

14 Q. Could we scroll down, please, on the document, to addendum 82?

15 Thank you.

16 And addendum 2, does it read a proposal to appoint Milan Martic

17 from Knin as the Secretary of Interior of Serbian Autonomous Region of

18 Krajina was unanimously upheld?

19 A. Yes.

20 MR. WHITING: Could the document be admitted into evidence,

21 please, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

23 please be given an exhibit number.

24 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 181, Your Honours.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

Page 1399

1 MR. WHITING: Could we have document 65 ter Exhibit number 45,

2 which is actually in evidence as Exhibit 33? I don't think that's the

3 right document. The document I'm looking for is 02172060. I have 2061 up

4 on the screen. I'm looking for 2060, which I believe is Exhibit 33, and

5 65 ter 45.

6 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I've got 2060 on my screen.

8 MR. WHITING: Oh, you do? Then it's our screen.

9 Q. Mr. Babic, the important thing is what do you have on your screen?

10 What's the number on the top of the document that you have on your screen?

11 A. 2061. Those are the last digits.

12 MR. WHITING: So the witness also has --

13 JUDGE MOLOTO: You have a problem between the two of you.

14 MR. WHITING: We'll do this the old-fashioned way, Your Honour.

15 With the assistance of the usher, could this document be shown to the

16 witness, please?

17 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise that document?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And just for the record, the number on that document that I've

20 handed to the witness is 02172060 which I believe is Exhibit 33.

21 What is that document, Mr. Babic?

22 A. It's a decision about the appointment of the Secretary of the

23 Interior for SAO Krajina signed by me.

24 Q. Thank you. I'm not going to move it into evidence because I think

25 it's already in evidence but if it turns out it isn't we'll clear that up.

Page 1400

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

2 MR. WHITING: Could we have 65 ter 44, please, on the computer?

3 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise that document?

4 A. I do. It's the decision about the setting up of the Secretariat

5 of the Interior of the SAO Krajina dated the 4th of January 1991.

6 Q. Could we turn, please, to the -- rather, scroll down to the bottom

7 of this document? Whose name appears there at the bottom?

8 A. My own.

9 Q. Did you provide this document to the Tribunal?

10 A. I did.

11 Q. Is it an authentic document?

12 A. It is, from the archives.

13 Q. I notice that the document does not have a signature, does not

14 have a stamp on it. Can you explain that?

15 A. It's a document from the archives. As I said, it may happen that

16 the original is submitted and what is filed in the archives is a simple

17 copy without any signatures or stamps, simply registration number, which

18 is a number to the left.

19 Q. Thank you?

20 A. At the bottom.

21 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into

22 evidence, please?

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

24 please be given an exhibit number.

25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 182, Your Honours.

Page 1401

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

2 MR. WHITING: Could we have document number 47, please?

3 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise this document?

4 A. I do. This is a telex with information -- a message.

5 Q. Who is it from?

6 A. This message came from the executive council of the SAO Krajina.

7 Q. And if we could scroll down to the bottom of it, please, whose

8 name appears?

9 A. My own.

10 Q. What's the date of this document? We will go back to the top of

11 it, please.

12 A. The 5th of January 1991.

13 Q. Who is it to?

14 A. It is to the president of the SFRY in Belgrade, the federal

15 Secretariat of the Interior in Belgrade, the Minister of the Interior of

16 the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb, the republic Secretariat of the

17 Interior of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade, the republic Secretariat

18 of the Interior of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo, and the

19 police administrations in Zadar, Sibenik, Gospic, Sisak, and to the news

20 agency Tanjug in Belgrade.

21 Q. Now in the first paragraph, it says, it gives a list of the police

22 stations that will be included in the Secretariat. Or rather it gives a

23 list of the municipalities where police stations will be included in the

24 Secretariat, Obrovac, Benkovac, Gracac, and so forth. Do you see that?

25 A. I do.

Page 1402

1 Q. Now, the second paragraph, it says, and I'll read the paragraph,

2 it says, "All human and civil rites shall be guaranteed on the territory

3 of the Autonomous District of Krajina irrespective of the religious,

4 racial and ethnic affiliation of the population." Do you know why -- no,

5 that's -- do you know why that language was included in this document?

6 A. It was important at the time to mention all this because of

7 interethnic tensions and an increase in tensions amongst the inhabitants

8 of different nationalities because of various events that had taken place

9 within Krajina itself, conflicts, tensions, information that we received

10 about armed groupings that found themselves in that area and around that

11 area.

12 MR. WHITING: Could this document be admitted into evidence,

13 please.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

15 please be given an exhibit number.

16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 183, Your Honours.

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

18 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter 646, please?

19 Q. Mr. Babic, do you see that document?

20 A. I do.

21 Q. Do you recognise it?

22 A. I do. This refers to an organisation chart of the Secretariat for

23 the Interior and the date is the 19th of January 1991 and the decision was

24 made in Knin. On the part of the executive council of the Serb Autonomous

25 District of Krajina.

Page 1403

1 Q. In Article 1, it says that the Secretariat for Internal Affairs

2 carries out all internal affairs in relation to the rights and duties of

3 Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina and that is state security affairs,

4 public security affairs, and other internal affairs.

5 All of those parts were included within the Secretariat for

6 Internal Affairs?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Was this document provided to Mr. Martic?

9 A. Yes, and he was behind the draft of the document.

10 Q. Could we look at Article 11, please? It's probably on the third

11 page. No, the previous page. Second page, sorry. If you could scroll

12 down, please.

13 I will -- I'm going to read Article 11, please. "The secretary

14 decides on employment and termination of employment in the Secretariat on

15 assignments of the employees, placing them at disposal, giving awards for

16 achieved results, disciplinary responsibility for minor and serious

17 violations of duty, and other issues from the field of working

18 responsibilities in the Secretariat according to this resolution and the

19 enactment from Article 14 of the resolution."

20 How long was this organisational document for the Secretariat of

21 Internal Affairs in place? That is, how long was it in effect, from the

22 19th of January until when?

23 A. Until the 1st of August 1991.

24 Q. What happened on the 1st of August 1991?

25 A. A decision was reached about the application of the law on

Page 1404

1 internal affairs of the Republic of Serbia on the territory of Krajina.

2 Basically that law started to apply on the territory of the SAO Krajina.

3 Q. That decision of August 11991 is actually included in your written

4 statement, what we refer to as the 89(F) statement, and for the benefit of

5 the court it's tab 41 of the 89(F) statement.

6 Could we have 65 ter Exhibit 1849, please?

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, I've got a question on this

8 document that's on the screen right now.

9 MR. WHITING: Okay. Probably be best to proceed with that.


11 Can we go to the first page of this document, please? Mr. Babic,

12 Article 2 of this document says, "When by federal law, other law, or

13 regulation from the field of internal affairs, the jurisdiction of bodies

14 for internal affairs, apart from jurisdiction of federal bodies, is

15 determined, those affairs on the territory of Serb Autonomous Region of

16 Krajina are carried out by the Secretariat for Internal Affairs of Serb

17 Autonomous Region of Krajina."

18 What is meant by "federal law" in that paragraph?

19 A. It's the law of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia

20 and its bodies.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: In Belgrade?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much.

24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour's question reminded me that I need to

25 move this into evidence as well. Could we move this into evidence as

Page 1405

1 well, please.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is then admitted into evidence. May

3 it please be given an exhibit number.

4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 184, Your Honours.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.


7 Q. Now, before I go on to the next document, could you tell us, at

8 this time, in January of 1991, was the -- was Martic, Milan Martic,

9 already a part of the parallel structure that you have described?

10 A. He was.

11 MR. WHITING: Now, if we could have 65 ter Exhibit 1849, please.

12 Q. Do you recognise this, Mr. Babic?

13 A. I do. This is the official journal of the Republic of Serbia from

14 July 1991, where the law on internal affairs was published.

15 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this be moved into evidence,

16 please?

17 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it

18 please be given an exhibit number.

19 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 185, Your Honours.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.


22 Q. Going back a little bit in time, on the 29th of May 1991, was

23 Milan Martic appointed to a position?

24 A. Yes. He was elected by the assembly and he was appointed the

25 Defence Minister of the SAO Krajina.

Page 1406

1 Q. Could you tell us how this came about?

2 A. Following my initiative, I wanted to weaken Mr. Martic by

3 transferring him from the post of the future Minister of the Interior to

4 the post of the Defence Minister. The Defence Minister would have been

5 seen as powerful in terms of the actual title but in terms of the actual

6 remit, it was much less important. And after I made the proposal, I was

7 told by someone that he would accept that with the proviso that he could

8 still maintain his control over the special police units which were being

9 trained at Golubic. And that was when negotiations started and several

10 people participated in those negotiations, one of his aides as well, and

11 he agreed that his name be put forward for the post of the Defence

12 Minister, with the proviso that the special units of the Krajina Militia,

13 being trained within the Ministry of the Interior, be placed under the

14 control of the Defence Ministry and he took his oaths as the Defence

15 Minister.

16 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, I have some questions about kind of terminology

17 here, and from -- from January of 1991 until the 29th of May of 1991, did

18 Mr. Martic remain in the position as the Secretary of the Interior of the

19 SAO Krajina?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And you made reference in your previous answer about -- you refer

22 to the future Minister of the Interior. Can you explain to the Court why

23 were these positions being renamed or what was happening at this time?

24 A. On the 29th of May 1991, the government of the SAO Krajina was

25 formed. As for the Secretariats, before that time, there was only one for

Page 1407

1 the interior and it was renamed into the Secretariat for Internal Affairs.

2 The name was changed.

3 Q. We may have a translation issue here. It was changed from the

4 Secretariat of the Interior to what? In May of 1991, on the 29th of May

5 1991?

6 A. The Ministry of the Interior of the SAO Krajina.

7 Q. Thank you. Now, you've testified that Mr. Martic took his oath as

8 the Defence Minister. How long did he hold that position?

9 A. For a couple of days, not more than that. Formally speaking, he

10 held that position until the 27th of June 1991.

11 Q. What happened after a couple of days?

12 A. He said he won't do it any more, that he won't be the Minister of

13 Defence, but that he wants to remain as the Minister of the Interior.

14 Q. You testified earlier that it was your initiative to put him in

15 the Minister of Defence and that your purpose was to weaken his power.

16 Why did you want to weaken his power?

17 A. As the Secretary of the Interior, he became a powerful man. He

18 was controlling the regular police, the Special Forces of the police that

19 were being formed at Golubic, and at the same time he was neglecting some

20 of the basic tasks and duties of the secretary, that is to protect public

21 order, and because in April and May, there was great turmoil and unrest,

22 in which the police, that is the Ministry of the Interior, participated,

23 and Mr. Martic included.

24 Q. Now, you said that after a couple of days, he said he wouldn't be

25 Minister of Defence any more, he wanted to remain as Minister of the

Page 1408

1 Interior. What happened then?

2 A. On those two or three days, the newly appointed Minister of the

3 Interior, Mr. Dusan Vjestica, tried to take over the control of the

4 Minister of the Interior. He issued some appointment orders and he tried

5 to remove some of Martic's aides but Martic and his aides refused with

6 sarcasm, and after a few days everyone accepted that Martic remains where

7 he was, that is he never even left the position. He was previously the

8 Secretary of the Interior. During the next SAO assembly held in Bosanska

9 Grahovo [phoen], during the joint assembly with the Bosnian Krajina

10 assembly, Martic was formally appointed as Minister of the Interior and

11 Dusan Vjestica as Minister of Urban Planning and Public Utility Services.

12 Q. If Milan Martic made this decision within two or three days, why

13 was he not appointed to the Minister of the Interior until the 27th of

14 June 1991?

15 A. That's when the next assembly session was held.

16 Q. Do you know why Milan Martic changed his mind about being Minister

17 of Defence?

18 A. Frenki and Jovica Stanisic advised him to refuse to be that and

19 that he should remain Minister of the Interior.

20 Q. How do you know that?

21 A. I was told by some of the people from the police station that the

22 people I mentioned advised him not to accept the new position, and Jovica

23 Stanisic confirmed that to me next year, in 1993, when he said that they

24 made a mistake for not leaving Martic as the Minister of Defence.

25 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter number 79, please, which I

Page 1409

1 believe is Exhibit 35.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we do that, is the document on the screen

3 already in evidence?

4 MR. WHITING: I believe so, Your Honour, and I'm getting the nod.

5 I think it is in evidence.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.


8 Q. Do you recognise that document?

9 A. Yes, I do. That was the appointment of the minister appointing

10 Milan Martic as Minister of Defence of the SAO Krajina as of the 29th of

11 May 1991, made by the assembly of the Serb Autonomous District of Krajina.

12 MR. WHITING: Could we see 65 ter Exhibit 75 [sic], please, which

13 I believe is Exhibit 32.

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you move on, let me just be -- now on

15 the 29th of May 1991, the assembly itself appoints Mr. Milan Martic as the

16 Minister of Defence, not Minister of the Interior.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. That's fine.

19 MR. WHITING: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.

20 65 ter, 78.

21 Q. Do you recognise this document?

22 A. Yes, I do. That is the decision to form special-purpose units of

23 the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina MUP to be called the Krajina

24 Police, to be under the authority of the Ministry of Defence. The

25 decision is dated the 29th of May 1991, made by the assembly of the SAO.

Page 1410

1 Q. Mr. Babic, during this time that -- during the time from the 29th

2 of May 1991 until the 27th of June 1991, when, formally at least, Mr.

3 Martic was Minister of Defence, did he ever lose control of the police in

4 the SAO Krajina?

5 A. No.

6 MR. WHITING: Could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 80, please?

7 Q. Do you recognise this document?

8 A. Yes. That is a decision on the election of the Minister of the

9 Interior of the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina, Dusan Vjestica,

10 made during the assembly session of the SAO Krajina, held on the 29th of

11 May 1991.

12 MR. WHITING: Could this be admitted into evidence, please?

13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence and may it

14 please be given an exhibit number.

15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 186, Your Honours.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

17 MR. WHITING: Finally could we look at 65 ter Exhibit 91, which is

18 Exhibit 34?

19 Q. Do you recognise this document?

20 A. Yes. This is a decision on the election of the Minister of the

21 Interior of the Serbian Autonomous District of Krajina, appointing Milan

22 Martic as Minister of the Interior of the Serbian Autonomous District of

23 Krajina, dated the 27th of June 1991, by the assembly of the SAO Krajina.

24 Q. Until when did Mr. Martic remain in this position?

25 A. Until early 1994, when he was elected president of the republic.

Page 1411

1 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I think this would be a

2 convenient time.

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's happening to this document? Is it already

4 an exhibit?

5 MR. WHITING: It is. It's Exhibit 34.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

7 The matter is postponed to tomorrow at quarter past two in the

8 same courtroom. The matter is adjourned.

9 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I believe we are in Courtroom I

10 tomorrow.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Oh, in Courtroom I? Let me just make sure. You

12 are very right. We will be in Courtroom I tomorrow at quarter past two.

13 Thank you very much.

14 Court adjourned.

15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.00 p.m.,

16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of

17 February, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.