Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10614

1 Wednesday, 2 October 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

10 Q. [Interpretation] How long a prison sentence did you serve in

11 Gradisce?

12 A. One year.

13 Q. You were there together with Petar Sale and another person in the

14 same cell; right?

15 A. Yes, in the same penitentiary, but we were not in the same room.

16 Q. And you know, later, that the state security service recorded your

17 activities with the third person that you were with?

18 A. I don't know anything about that.

19 Q. Is it correct -- I mean, I imagine that you do know that at that

20 time you were monitored, taken care of, I don't know how to put it, by

21 Milanko Orescanin, an operations officer of the state security service?

22 A. This is the first time I hear that name.

23 Q. He worked at the state security service in Slavonski Brod?

24 A. This is the first time I hear that name, and in Slavonski Brod, I

25 was there only a few times in my life.

Page 10615

1 Q. Well, he had very detailed information about your activities

2 concerning that person. Tell me: Do you know anything about that?

3 Because there is evidence that after the HDZ victory, you were the person

4 who gave instructions to have that operations officer killed, the man from

5 Slavonski Brod, and he was liquidated on the 15th of August, 1991, a

6 religious holiday, Sunday.

7 Q. This is the first I ever hear of it. I never held any executive

8 positions and I had no influence whatsoever on anyone's liberty or life.

9 Q. But there are persons, there are witnesses, Mr. Mesic, who

10 according to your instructions kidnapped that person, Mijokovic, Milan

11 from Slavonski Brod and Jokic, Ivan from Slavonski Brod?

12 A. You're probably the one who is socialising with them. I have no

13 idea.

14 Q. Also according to your instructions, Momo Devrnja, a Serb from

15 Orahovac, a forwarder was liquidated, a man who had a conflict with you.

16 I imagine you remember that?

17 A. Just as much influence as I had on Lincoln's assassination.

18 That's about it.

19 Q. On the 24th of December, Muselinovic, Miodrag with his wife Milici

20 and neighbour Desanka Radonjic [phoen] was the chief of SUP in Orahovac

21 and he was killed according to your instructions.

22 A. The same answer as for the previous one.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat the question.

24 The speed is impossible to follow.

25 JUDGE MAY: We'll have to pause. The interpreters can't keep up

Page 10616

1 this pace. Now, you both speak the same language; therefore, it would be

2 better if there was a pause between the question and answer. And also

3 after the answer. Mr. Milosevic, will you bear that in mind.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. According to your instructions, Serb villages Pusina, Kokocak,

6 Kraskovici [phoen], Brekoracani [phoen], Gornja Pistana, Slatinski

7 Drenovac were destroyed; is that correct or is that not correct?

8 A. That has nothing to do with actual facts. I found out about the

9 torching of these villages and I protested. I launched by protest with

10 President Tudjman.

11 Q. With who?

12 A. With President Tudjman, and you had also socialised with him.

13 Q. You were involved in the Hefner affair in 1967, the one that had

14 to do with the selling of white slaves, and also you remember that Tito

15 referred to an affair that you were involved in that had to do with buying

16 machinery for the textile industry in Leskovac.

17 A. No. This is just a figment of someone's imagination.

18 Q. Is it correct that you were the main organiser of the affair that

19 had to do with military records, abolishing the security records that were

20 kept? Need I remind you of why you did that?

21 A. This is no affair. This has to do with the following: The

22 National Defence authorities kept records about young men who were

23 supposed to go and do their military service. As president of the

24 municipality, I got information that Croats were not being sufficiently

25 active in the army, that they did not enroll in military schools. They

Page 10617

1 did not take up commissions and they did not go to military schools in

2 general. I was surprised by the fact that it was only Serbs who were

3 applying. I realised that there was one particular item in

4 questionnaires, that is to say, item 32, and this was something that was

5 filled by the officials of the Secretariats of National Defence and I

6 asked to see what was written there. Since a person involved protested

7 because it said that his father -- his name is Slavko Sulovnjak. He was

8 in the army. And in that questionnaire, it said that his father was an

9 Ustasha from 1941 and that he was tried as a war criminal. However, his

10 father had been a partisan. His father had retired as an non-commissioned

11 officer of the Yugoslav People's Army. I asked for this to be looked

12 into. They did look into it and they established that for over 90 per

13 cent of Croatian young men, it said that they were children of enemies,

14 and that therefore they could not attend such schools. Serb children did

15 have passing grades, though, so to speak. That is what I know about item

16 32.

17 Q. That's what the Croatian authorities wrote. It was not the Serb

18 authorities.

19 A. It was Serbs who were employed in the National Defence

20 authorities, and I can even give you names if you're really interested.

21 Q. Are you trying to say that Croats were not employed in Croatia in

22 National Defence authorities?

23 A. It is only when I came to Orahovac as president of the

24 municipality, the first Croat became head of the Secretariat for National

25 Defence.

Page 10618

1 Q. All right. Is it correct that while you were in prison, and this

2 Petar Sale, by the way, is a well-known chauvinist from Sibenik; is that

3 right? While you were in prison, the officials of the state security

4 service of Croatia tried to employ your services for the rest of your

5 prison term?

6 A. Again this is a figment of your imagination. I did have a prison

7 sentence of two years and two months. This was the first-instance court

8 that made that ruling. However, the Supreme Court reduced the sentence to

9 one year and I served one year. I don't really see why anybody would try

10 to enlist my services. This is again pure fantasy.

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mesic, remind us again: When was this prison

12 sentence? What years.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From 1975, from May 1975 until May

14 1976.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Is it correct that after that you worked for the state security

17 service of Croatia in the sector for internal enemies at that?

18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Milosevic.

19 The next question is: What was the sentence imposed for?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For participation in the Croatian

21 Spring. I was president of a municipality and I took part in the Croatian

22 Spring, as it was called. I can also give you a list of all the crimes

23 that I was accused of, if the Trial Chamber is interested in that.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10619

1 Q. When was this Croatian Spring?

2 A. One of the crimes was that I said: Let the devil get warm by our

3 Croatian fire but let him not extinguish the fire. At that time, a

4 topical question throughout Yugoslavia was the struggle for constitutional

5 amendments. I said for all of those who wish to see democracy, there is

6 place in the train leading to democracy. Every person who tries to

7 sidetrack that train by putting his foot in front of it can only remain

8 without that foot. That's what I said.

9 I also said that the Croats tread their path to the Adriatic Sea

10 with their own sabres and all the rest followed in their footsteps. These

11 are the crimes for which I was sentenced to two years, two months in

12 prison.

13 Q. Is it true that you worked then for the state security service of

14 Croatia in the department for internal enemies and that after that you

15 started working for the state security service of the Yugoslav army?

16 A. The truth is that I asked for a passport. For 15 years I did not

17 have a passport. I asked for a passport to be issued to me as a free

18 citizen. I was refused a passport, and I lodged a complaint because of

19 that. And I did that every year, a few times every year, as a matter of

20 fact. That is more or less all the contact I had with the police. All

21 the rest just pertains to the realm of fantasy.

22 Q. All right. You did not work for the state security service of

23 Croatia, you did not work for the counter-intelligence service of the

24 army, I assume. And it is assumed that your relationship with Spegelj

25 dates back to those days, that is to say, some other period of time. Do

Page 10620

1 you know that Franjo Tudjman replaced Spegelj as well because it was his

2 suspicion that he was an agent of the KOS and that is why he fled across

3 the border with the assistance of Josip Manolic, former head of the

4 Croatian police, with a false passport issued in a false name?

5 A. This is pure fantasy and that can be proved by the following: In

6 order to get a job after prison, I applied at 150 different posts.

7 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. Yes. Let him finish.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My question was different, and it

9 had to do with Spegelj.

10 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish and give his explanation.

11 A. What is the logic? Why would I work for the state security

12 service and I could not find a job? And I applied at 150 different

13 places, and I did not get a job anywhere. What is the logic of that? And

14 for 15 years I did not have a passport.

15 As for Spegelj, the situation was well known. At a meeting of the

16 Croatian political leadership, Spegelj presented a plan, which is referred

17 to in Croatia as the Spegelj Plan. He proposed that warehouses be seized

18 from the Yugoslav People's Army, where weapons were, depots with the

19 weapons of the Yugoslav People's Army, and not to touch military barracks

20 but to take weapons. Since in these depots there were several hundreds or

21 perhaps thousands of tanks, Spegelj said: If we take these weapons, for

22 each tank we have people who are trained, who were in the army, and if

23 Milosevic wants to move against Croatia, we have the resources to meet

24 him. In this way, we are going to avoid a war, because the Yugoslav army

25 is in disarray. However, if we go on waiting, the Yugoslav army will

Page 10621

1 consolidate itself, it's going to become a Serb army, and Milosevic is

2 going for try to conquer Croatian territories with it. Tudjman disagreed

3 with that. I was the only one who voted in favour of that proposal, and

4 that is why General Spegelj left his post.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. I see that you really have this hang-up about Milosevic. You

7 mentioned me in every other sentence you uttered yesterday. On the basis

8 of what you said just now, Mr. Mesic, is that to show that you were more

9 radical than Tudjman in your viewpoints that had to do with the war, more

10 radical than Tudjman?

11 A. I'm really pleased that this question was put to me, because I

12 responded in one case how war can be averted; to take weapons from the

13 hands of the army and to avoid the war. Because Croatia would have

14 something to meet Milosevic with if he were to attack. So this is a case

15 about which I think I was right until the present day, and I think that

16 General Spegelj was right too. Many lives would have been saved, both of

17 Serbs and Croats, had it been that way.

18 Q. Mr. Mesic, is it clear to you, in connection with these

19 accusations levelled against Milosevic, and Milosevic's purported command

20 over the army, what you said just now, that I really had -- had I actually

21 had the possibility of commanding the army, Yugoslavia would not have

22 fallen apart, there would not have been a civil war. Regrettably, I did

23 not have that possibility, so what happened, happened. But please answer

24 the following: You spoke about motives a few minutes ago. Motive for a

25 cooperation with the state security service. Could your motive not have

Page 10622












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Page 10623

1 been to reduce your prison sentence from two years to one year? You said

2 it yourself. Just like now, the motive for cooperation here is to avoid

3 punishment and responsibility that is your due, since you are a person --

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you know you have to ask questions here

5 and not make speeches. The witness has said that he did not cooperate

6 with the state security service, so there seems little point going on

7 about it. Your next question.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Now that we're on the subject, that we're discussing such

11 questions: On the 24th of April -- on the 26th of April, 1994, you stated

12 for Feral Tribune: There were quite a few murders in the case of which

13 the perpetrators, though known, are not in prison yet. People know who

14 killed Reihl-Kir and Saban Krivokuca, the Zec family. The murders of the

15 Zec family said themselves that they raped the woman and her 12-year-old

16 daughter and killed them. One of them is employed by the Ministry of

17 Defence. You know it's not easy to sit at the same table with a person

18 whose bodyguard took a 12-year-old child, followed a bullet into his head

19 and then threw him into the garbage. It is my understanding that it has

20 become clear to the Croat people as well that things have happened that

21 are leading us to an abyss. So that is your own statement, isn't it? I

22 have quoted you correctly, I believe. My question is: The changes in

23 Croatia - you are now president of Croatia - is this fact --

24 JUDGE MAY: Let us first of all deal with the quotation which you

25 have attributed to the witness.

Page 10624

1 Mr. Mesic, that is a quotation from a paper in April 1994. Is the

2 quotation correct, and is there anything you want to say about it before

3 we move on to another subject?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. I always struggled for the

5 rule of law, and I did assert that crimes had been committed, and the rule

6 of law had to prevail. I am struggling for the rule of law now as well.

7 I'm struggling for ascertaining individual guilt and responsibility,

8 because in that case, collective responsibility will be halted.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. All right. My question was: The changes in Croatia which have

11 taken place, and you have been elected president, has that led to this

12 clearing up and settling of accounts with the killers that you yourself

13 said were known, that their names were known, the people who did the

14 killings were known? Now, you, as head of the Croatian state now, have

15 you succeeded in clearing all this up and bringing these people to

16 justice?

17 A. The people that you are talking about in this particular case are

18 undergoing trial in Croatia at the moment.

19 Q. You mean all the victims that you mentioned, or just some of them?

20 A. The ones that we learnt about have been taken to trial, but none

21 of the cases have been completed, no files have been closed, and

22 investigations are under way and the perpetrators will be prosecuted.

23 Q. Do you yourself feel responsible for what took place and for the

24 crimes that were committed while you yourself occupied the highest posts

25 and offices in Croatia after Tudjman, that is to say, up until 1994?

Page 10625

1 A. The accused knows very well, because he's a lawyer, that I was

2 president of the Croatian Sabor or parliament assembly, which means primus

3 inter pares, and I was president of parliament. I was not in the

4 judiciary organs or in executive power and authority, nor was I in the

5 police force. And the accused knows full well what the function of a

6 parliament is.

7 Q. As far as I remember, you were president of the executive board of

8 the HDZ party as well.

9 A. Yes. I was the president of the executive board of the HDZ.

10 That's true, in 1992, which means from January to the elections, that is

11 to say, until October 1992.

12 Q. Before that, you were prime minister when the HDZ won the

13 elections; isn't that right, Mr. Mesic, when it came into power?

14 A. Yes, you're quite right. You have the right facts and figures. I

15 was prime minister for three months. That is true. And after that I took

16 up my post as member of the Yugoslav state Presidency. And that's where I

17 remained until the end of 1991.

18 Q. All right. What you're saying is that after you returned from the

19 Yugoslav state Presidency, when you were elected as president of the

20 Croatian parliament, that that was not the second most important office in

21 Croatia and that you link your activities up with the formal decisions

22 taken by -- official decisions taken by parliament and not for the overall

23 political situation in Croatia, the state of affairs that prevailed and

24 everything that went on there. You were the number two man in Croatia;

25 isn't that right, Mr. Mesic?

Page 10626

1 A. I always strove for the functioning of the rule of law of the

2 Croatian state and the Croatian constitution recognises the division of

3 power into three sections: The legal section and the two others, the

4 judiciary and everything else that the constitution implied and

5 stipulated, which means that I was president of parliament.

6 Q. All right. You therefore consider that you worked in line with

7 the constitution and that you did the work that comes under the

8 competencies of the parliament. Does the parliament have the right to

9 send Croatian troops, for example, to Bosnia-Herzegovina or is that

10 something that comes under the competence of executive power?

11 A. It's a very good thing that this question was raised, and I think

12 we ought to clear it up now. For the Croatian army to be able to act

13 outside Croatia, the head of state could take a decision only with the

14 acquiescence and agreement from the Croatian parliament. This kind of

15 agreement was never issued by the Croatian parliament, whether anybody

16 went outside Croatia, groups or individuals, it was not up to the

17 parliament to ascertain.

18 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. What you're saying is that you don't

19 consider yourself to be responsible for not having carried out your

20 constitutional duties, the ones that you insisted upon a moment ago,

21 because parliament did not take decisions in that respect, the decisions

22 that it should have taken. So you feel, do you, that this rids you of all

23 responsibility?

24 A. Yes, that's quite right.

25 Q. And are you aware of the fact that, for example, units of the

Page 10627

1 Republic of Croatia launched an attack on the municipality of Brod in

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 26th of March, 1992, a great crime was committed

3 there, the population of the village of Sijekovac in the Bosanski Brod

4 municipality was massacred and even at that time Bosnia-Herzegovina was

5 not even internationally recognised, which means that in all respects it

6 was part and parcel of Yugoslavia, even in the most -- in the strictest

7 formal sense. And their 108 -- the members of the 108th Brigade of the

8 National Guard Corps were there from Slavonski Brod and so on and so

9 forth. There is a complete set of documents pertaining to the

10 perpetrators. Is it possible that you, as president of parliament, did

11 not know about that?

12 A. There were several interventions that I had from several families

13 of -- and the parents said that they had gone to Bosnia. I asked for

14 information, both from the head of state and the defence minister, and

15 they told me that it was only volunteers who had gone and that it was the

16 volunteers who were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina who volunteered to go. I

17 had no other instruments at my disposal. The only thing I could do was to

18 ask to be informed. But I must say that if anybody does have knowledge as

19 to the fact that a citizen of Croatia perpetrated a crime anywhere, then

20 this should be filed. Croatia is a country in which the rule of law holds

21 true today, and everybody will be held accountable.

22 Q. Well, you've received many such reports, Mr. Mesic, but are you

23 saying now that you did not know, as president of parliament, a body who

24 was the sole body competent to take a decision in the matter, that you did

25 not know that what came within the frameworks of your competence was done

Page 10628

1 illegally and that you did not in fact know that Croatian troops were

2 present in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Is that what you're saying?

3 A. That observation is quite correct. I did not know about that.

4 Q. All right. Did you know, for example, that from the 3rd of April

5 until the 9th of April an attack was launched on Kupres, the Gornji

6 Malovan, Kratez, Mala Plazenica, Zagliska Suma [phoen], the town of

7 Kupres, Begovo Selo, all these other villages, and so on and so forth?

8 JUDGE MAY: Is looks as though this is going to be a reputation of

9 much of the cross-examination which we heard in the earlier part of the

10 case, which doesn't relate to the evidence of the witness. What he said

11 is that he heard of interventions, made inquiries and was told that it was

12 due to volunteers. Perhaps, Mr. Mesic, in order to avoid a long list

13 being given, if that's what the accused has in mind, can you answer this

14 question: Can you tell us where these interventions which you inquired

15 about took place, or can you not now remember?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I certainly do not know the

17 locations they were sent to, but the parents of the young men told us that

18 their children had gone to Bosnia. When I asked about this, the defence

19 minister and the former president of the Republic told me that not a

20 single unit had gone, that it was only volunteers who had gone, and that

21 is the volunteers who were actually born in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, I

22 had no other instruments for investigating the truthfulness of those

23 assertions.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. Mesic, it wasn't a case of individuals, for example, if we had

Page 10629

1 the 106th Brigade from Osijek, the full complement of it, and the Zuti

2 Mravi from Vukovar, the 101 Zagreb Brigade, the Student King Tomislav

3 Battalion, the Zrinjski Battalion, the special purpose unit of the MUP of

4 Croatia and so on and so forth. In addition to the KOS, the Zenga, and so

5 on?

6 JUDGE MAY: Pause there, Mr. Milosevic. The witness can only give

7 evidence about what he knew himself. Now, what is being suggested, that

8 these units intervened in your inquiries, were those units mentioned? Do

9 you know anything about them or not?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see that the accused knows the

11 situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina very well and that he is well aware of all

12 the units that went to war there, and I'm sure he could enumerate all the

13 Serbs units. If he knows about the Croatian units, I'm sure he knows much

14 more about those who came from Belgrade and other towns and destroyed

15 Croatian and Bosnian towns. However, let me respond once again and say

16 that I did not know of a single unit which went from Croatia to

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. Is it true that your nephew, who was not a

20 volunteer and who is not from Bosnia-Herzegovina, also went to

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina with his unit? Do you know about that? Are you aware

22 of that?

23 A. My nephews were not in the army. They were too young to be.

24 Q. All right. We'll get to that later on.

25 But tell me this: How can you, for example, as we spoke a moment

Page 10630












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Page 10631

1 ago about those incidents and what was going on, to all intents and

2 purposes an aggression, and you say you know nothing about it, this is

3 what I have in my hand: The command for the rear of Bosanski Brod

4 Sijekovac. That is where the crimes were perpetrated --

5 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you now. The witness has given his

6 evidence. He knows nothing about it. Your duty, your function at the

7 moment, is to cross-examine him about his evidence. It's not to make

8 speeches or try and present evidence yourself. Now, he's given his

9 evidence about this matter and he can take it no further. In due course,

10 if it's relevant, you can call evidence, but for the moment you must move

11 on to some other topic.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I wish to ask the witness

13 respect to what he says he didn't know, how he can --

14 JUDGE MAY: He's told you. He told you he doesn't know. He

15 doesn't know.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] His comment on this military

17 document and this is something that will take me 20 seconds to read out.

18 This is a photocopy with a stamp and signature. It is a permit allowing

19 the intervention platoon from Zagreb, a certificate, in fact, to execute

20 the detention of women --

21 JUDGE MAY: Is it signed by the witness? What connection does it

22 have with him, before you put it.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The connection it has is -- with the

24 witness is -- this is to say, it is linked with his second function in the

25 hierarchy of the Republic of Croatia, and this is a certificate issued to

Page 10632

1 the intervention platoon from Zagreb, which is the capital of Croatia,

2 where the cabinet of Mr. Mesic is located, a permit allowing the detention

3 of women, young girls, Serbs, for the needs of the male sex.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, what is the connection with this

5 witness, before you put it?

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the connection is to show

7 that the units that he says he knows nothing about are not only committing

8 crimes but are organising rape and all the rest of it.

9 JUDGE MAY: Look, that's nothing to do with the witness. You're

10 here to cross-examine him about these matters. If it's relevant, you can

11 call evidence in due course, but what you're not here to do is to make

12 speeches and try and present evidence that crimes were committed by the

13 other side which are irrelevant. Now, this trial, remember, this

14 indictment, is about crimes which are alleged -- it's alleged that you

15 committed, and his evidence is about that, so you should concentrate on

16 that rather than to try and show that crimes were committed by others.

17 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may I just raise a few matters, because

18 it's plainly important to the accused. Perhaps what is at stake here is

19 the credibility of this particular witness for the Prosecution. In

20 respect of this, the accused is attempting, I believe, to put forward to

21 the Court various events that occurred during his Presidency of Croatia,

22 to demonstrate his involvement within the conflict that occurred in the

23 region. Those issues may well be important to this accused in relation to

24 issues of defence of territory, other aspects of the conflict. I don't

25 have instructions on that matter, so I can't say, but it may well be that

Page 10633

1 it's the form of questioning that's the problem here. But it's the issue

2 of what was happening at the time whilst he was president of Croatia and

3 whilst troops were leaving the borders of his state.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, much time has been wasted in this trial in

5 trying to establish that crimes were committed by others, which may or may

6 not be relevant to the trial. That is why it's important to see whether

7 documents were signed by this witness. If the issue is that it was

8 notorious, if that's the point that is being made, that crimes were being

9 put, were being made, were being committed, then that can be put to the

10 witness. What can't be put, which is what I suspect the accused is doing,

11 is to read out lists and lists of crimes, taking up time, and thereby, in

12 my view, raising matters which at this stage are not relevant to the

13 trial. Our time is limited. We must stick to the relevant matters. But

14 I will put to the witness the general point, and we'll hear what he says.

15 Mr. Mesic, what may be being suggested is this, and you can help

16 us, if you would: That it was well known that crimes were being committed

17 in Bosnia during the time of your Presidency. I think this is what is

18 being suggested. And therefore you must have known about these matters,

19 apart from them being referred to by the parents of the volunteers or

20 members of the armed forces, as you suggested. Now, if that is being

21 suggested, then you should answer it. Was this a matter which in fact was

22 something of general knowledge in Croatia, and in particular, to you as

23 president at the time?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While I was the president of the

25 parliament, I knew about the camps organised by the Serbian side in Bosnia

Page 10634

1 and Herzegovina. I received information, and this was actually shown on

2 television ultimately. If there were other crimes, news of them did not

3 reach me.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Until when were you president of parliament, Mr. Mesic? Until

6 what date?

7 A. I was president of parliament from the 7th of September, 1992

8 until the 24th of May, 1994.

9 Q. 1994. Very well. In that period of time, I ask you, within that

10 period of time, what you said you don't know, and you said you inquired of

11 the minister about -- let me tell you: On the 3rd of July, 1993, Alois

12 Mok criticised the Croats because of their activities against the Muslims,

13 and he issued a protest which he addressed to the government of Croatia.

14 On the 4th of February, also while you were president of parliament, the

15 Security Council of the United Nations -- let me repeat- the Security

16 Council of the United Nations, neither more nor less, issued a statement

17 warning Croatia that it would be exposed to serious consequences if it did

18 not withdraw its regular troops from Bosnia within a period of two months.

19 So this is issued by the Security Council. It was a presidential

20 statement. And yet you, as the president of parliament, say you did not

21 know about this. On the same day, the German chancellor, Helmut Kohl?

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with the Security Council point

23 and then you can tell us what is the relevance of this, Mr. Milosevic.

24 Yes.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's really noteworthy that the

Page 10635

1 accused is now expressing remorse for the sufferings of the Bosniak

2 people. This is really something to be commended. However --

3 JUDGE MAY: Could you deal with the Security Council resolution,

4 please.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With respect the resolution, I have

6 already said what I was able to do was to ask the president of the state

7 whether our troops had crossed the border. He said no. The Minister of

8 Defence said no. I had no other instruments at my disposal.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Very well. May we proceed?

11 JUDGE MAY: No, we're not going to proceed with this until you've

12 explained what the relevance is. The indictment charges you with crimes

13 in Croatia in the period between 1990 and 1992. What relevance does the

14 conflict between the Muslims and the Croats have in relation to that?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, what we are speaking of

16 here is not relevance, but rather, the credibility of this witness.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes. You can ask questions about the

18 credibility -- wait a moment. You can ask questions relating to the

19 credibility of the witness, but of course you're bound by his answers and

20 the questions can only go so far as to test their credibility. Now, he's

21 given you an answer about the Security Council resolution. Your next

22 question.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. Then I may

24 proceed to my next question.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10636

1 Q. You arrived on the 5th of December in the Croatian parliament.

2 You thanked them for their confidence. This was on the 5th of December,

3 1991. And you made a notorious statement to the effect that you thought I

4 have performed my task. Yugoslavia is no more. Is this so, Mr. Mesic?

5 We saw it on the video we played here a few days ago, and all of

6 Yugoslavia knows about this. You said: I think I have performed my task.

7 Yugoslavia is no more.

8 A. An excellent question. I will explain what this was about. The

9 Croatian parliament elected me to be the Croatian member of the Presidency

10 of Yugoslavia. I went to Belgrade, where first, for several months, I was

11 not allowed to take up my duties because the Federal Assembly was unable

12 to meet. After that, the Serbian bloc boycotted my election as president

13 under --

14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, let him finish. You've asked him a

15 question. Let him give his explanation.

16 A. Finally, under pressure from the international community, I was

17 elected president. Croatia adopted a decision on its independence.

18 Croatia, in agreement with the international community, postponed its

19 secession from Yugoslavia by three months. This time period had elapsed.

20 Yugoslavia no longer existed. The federal institutions were no longer

21 functioning. I returned to Zagreb, and that's precisely what I said.

22 Because I did not go to Belgrade to open up a house-painting business. I

23 went there as a member of the Presidency of Yugoslavia. Since Yugoslavia

24 no longer existed and the Presidency no longer existed, I had performed

25 the tasks entrusted to me by the Croatian parliament and was reporting

Page 10637

1 back, ready to take up a different office. What was I to do in Belgrade

2 when the Presidency no longer existed?

3 Q. Very well, Mr. Mesic. This is truly worthy of admiration, your

4 explanation of what you said, but you haven't told me whether you actually

5 said: I have performed my task. Yugoslavia is no more.

6 A. The accused is a lawyer. He understands very well what I'm

7 talking about. My task was to represent Croatia in the Federal

8 Presidency.

9 Q. There is no need for you to repeat this. You said this in the

10 Croatian or Serbian language, or whatever you want to call it, and

11 everybody understood it. Your explanation now is obviously an attempt to

12 make this statement relative, but this is no longer important.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. In your public statements, or rather, in Tudjman's public

16 statements on Ban Jelacic Square on the 24th of May, 1992, said "There

17 would have been no war had not Croatia wanted it. But we thought that it

18 was only by war that we could win the independence of Croatia. That's why

19 we had a policy of negotiations behind which we were setting up military

20 units. Had this not been so, we would not have reached our goal." Is

21 this correct, Mr. Mesic?

22 A. I think that this could have been reported only by the Serbian

23 press, because it simply does not correspond to the truth. We know who

24 was in control of the press in Serbia. It was the accused, Slobodan

25 Milosevic.

Page 10638












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Page 10639

1 Q. Unfortunately, a few days ago we watched a video of this, and we

2 saw this speech on Ban Jelacic square, taped on video. Tell me, please:

3 Do you know that when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was founded and

4 the new constituted was promulgated on the 27th of April, 1992, a

5 declaration was adopted on the goals of the new common state, that is, the

6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, according to which, and I quote verbatim:

7 "Yugoslavia has no territorial pretensions towards any of the former

8 Yugoslav republics." Are you aware of this?

9 A. I don't know what the declaration on the establishing of the

10 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia says, but I do know everything that was

11 done to cut off parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and annex them

12 to Serbia.

13 Q. Mr. Mesic, you're telling us fairy tales about Karlovac, Karlobag

14 Virovitica boundary. When did you ever hear any official of the Republic

15 of Serbia referring to this border, and when did any body or organ of the

16 Republic of Serbia or anyone in Yugoslavia raise this issue and talk about

17 such a boundary? This is a pure fabrication that you are launching here.

18 Where did you get this idea?

19 A. It's quite understandable that those who perpetrated aggression

20 did not make such statements, but the Serbian minister, who was in the

21 government, one of the ministers of Mr. Milosevic, visited this boundary

22 with Vojislav Seselj, the Chetnik Vojvoda or leader, to show how far the

23 interests of Serbia reached.

24 Q. What minister are you referring to? And if a minister visits a

25 spot, if he goes to a certain municipality, does he go to a boundary or

Page 10640

1 does he mark a boundary? Was he marking a boundary there?

2 A. You understand very well that if someone visits Croatia,

3 especially an official, he should visit the official organs of the

4 Republic of Croatia.

5 Q. What municipal organs are you referring to if someone is visiting

6 a municipality? I didn't know you were a police state of that kind, that

7 someone visiting a municipality in Croatia would have to report to the

8 police.

9 A. I was not paid to teach the accused Croatian laws. I was paid to

10 implement them.

11 Q. Mr. Mesic, you are a university graduate. Did you ever learn

12 about the rights of peoples to self-determination, and do you know that

13 volumes and volumes of books have been written on this topic? Do you know

14 about this?

15 A. I think this question is pointless. Of course I do. Of course I

16 know about the right to self-determination. This is going too far.

17 Q. Well, then answer me, please: Where did you get the idea that, as

18 you said, the Serbs in Croatia do not have a right to self-determination?

19 Where did you get the idea, as you said on page 2 of your statement, that

20 according to the constitution of 1974, Yugoslavia was a confederal state?

21 You know yourself that this is untrue. Show me a single constitutional

22 provision to this effect. Is this correct or not, Mr. Mesic?

23 A. The Presidency of Yugoslavia was established as a confederal

24 institution because all decisions were made for the most part by

25 consensus, and the accused knows this very well. He also knows very well

Page 10641

1 that according to the constitution of 1974, the republics were called

2 states, and he also knows that, by virtue of their association into

3 Yugoslavia, they also had the right to disassociate themselves from

4 Yugoslavia. When a threat arose that Croatia and Slovenia might suffer

5 the same fate as Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro, Croatia made use of

6 its right to disassociate itself, and the Badinter Commission confirmed

7 this. Of course the Serbs have a right to their own state. That state is

8 the Republic of Serbia. But it is well known that national minorities

9 cannot ask to secede from the Republic of Croatia. They could ask for

10 that but they could not realise it, because the Republic of Croatia was

11 recognised in the borders established by Avnoj and the accused knows this

12 very well.

13 Q. Do you know that according to the Yugoslav constitution, it was

14 the peoples and not the republics that had sovereignty? Do you remember

15 that even the coat of arms of Yugoslavia had five torches, represented

16 five peoples: The Serbs, the Croats, the Slovenes, the Macedonians and the

17 Montenegrins, and then later on a sixth torch was added when the Muslims

18 were declared a constituent people? Are you aware of this, Mr. Mesic?

19 A. The constituent elements of the Federation were the republics,

20 plus two autonomous provinces: Vojvodina, and Kosovo. Those were the

21 constituent elements of the Federation. Symbolism is one thing, but

22 constitutional provisions are quite another.

23 Q. You assert that in the constitutions of Yugoslavia and the

24 republics, it was not the sovereignty of peoples that was the starting

25 point but the territory of the republics established in 1945; is that what

Page 10642

1 you're claiming? I just want to be clear so as not to waste time.

2 A. I have said what I had to say about the constituent elements of

3 the Federation. Croatia had the right to self-determination, and the

4 Serbs in Croatia had the right to protection, to protection of their

5 collective rights and of their status as citizens of the Republic of

6 Croatia.

7 Q. Very well. Let us proceed, then. Let us proceed at a faster

8 pace, so please answer me yes or no: Is it correct that all the

9 constitutions of Croatia, until the amendments introduced by you in 1990,

10 had a provision about the Serbs as a constituent people, not a ethnic

11 minority, as you have just said? For example, the constitution of 1945,

12 1963, 1974, the constitutional amendments of July 1990. So these

13 amendments of July 1990 for the first time left out the Serbs as a

14 constituent element of the Republic of Croatia. I'm referring now to the

15 constitution of the Republic of Croatia. Did all the constitutions

16 contain a provision about the Serbian people as a constituent people in

17 Croatia; yes or no?

18 A. One cannot reply to this question with yes or no. The

19 constitutions were enacted in different periods of time, in different

20 situations, and in different international environments. The

21 constitution, therefore, had different provisions at different points in

22 time. For example, the Yugoslav and the Croatian constitutions had a

23 provision which other constitutions, for example, do not contain, that

24 there are two kinds of groups: Narodi and Narodnosti, two kinds of

25 peoples, plus ethnic groups. The constitution was further developed up

Page 10643

1 until 1990.

2 Q. So the fact that the Serbs were left out of the constitution was

3 a development.

4 Do you know that on the 14th of May, 1887, the Croatian parliament

5 enacted a provision on the use of the Cyrillic alphabet? Are you aware of

6 this?

7 A. I was not aware of that particular piece of information, but I do

8 thank the accused for having given me this piece of information. That is

9 truly meaningful for me.

10 Q. And do you know about the rest, that what the constitution -- what

11 the assembly of Croatia adopted in 1887 was abolished in 1990 by your

12 parliament? They abolished the Cyrillic alphabet as an official

13 alphabet. Do you know about that? You went 150 years backwards. Do you

14 know that?

15 A. Yet another piece of information, very important to me, as a

16 lawyer.

17 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. Do you remember an entire series of laws,

18 not to mention taking over symbols, the symbols of the Nazi state of the

19 independent state of Croatia, for example, the law on the Academy of

20 Sciences and Arts, the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts? In article

21 1 it says that it is the legal successor of the academy from the period

22 from 1941 to 1945. The budget for 1991 does not envisage a single dinar

23 for the schools of Serbs in Croatia, but it does envisage money for

24 Italians, Czechs, Ruthenians, and other national minorities. The law on

25 the government allows the government to take measures against so-called

Page 10644

1 disobedient municipalities. The only executive government in Europe that

2 has the right to dissolve municipalities. The law on education refers to

3 the Croatian language only, and so on and so forth?

4 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time. What is the question,

5 Mr. Milosevic?

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. The question is -- the question is: Is it correct that not only

8 through this behaviour and also the combination of this ethnic intolerance

9 towards the Serbs, but it is also through the adoption of many laws, the

10 Croatian authorities instigated nationalism and chauvinism not only in

11 Croatia but also a discriminatory, an insulting attitude towards Serbs in

12 Croatia. Is that right or is that not right, Mr. Mesic?

13 A. Croatia adopted laws that gave equal rights to all its citizens

14 and protect national minorities, all vulnerable groups, actually.

15 National minorities are vulnerable groups, and that is why Croatia favours

16 positive discrimination of all vulnerable groups.

17 Q. Very well. Then give me a comment with regard to these following

18 statements: There are many such laws, and of course they did have to

19 cause concern. For example, a meeting of the parliament on the 4th of

20 October, 1990, the 4th of October, 1990, your own assembly. Damir Majovic

21 says: "Do not trust the Serbs even when they bring gifts." Stjepan

22 Sulimanac says: "Persons who moved in after 1918, who moved into Croatia

23 after 1918, a law should be passed with regard to such persons and there

24 should be protection from them." Then MP Ivan Milas says: "We are going

25 to use a sword in respect of your rights. The day of a final showdown is

Page 10645

1 getting near." Another MP says: "All Serbs should be isolated like Iraq

2 isolated the Kurds. A ghetto should be established for the Serbs." And

3 Praljak, what's his name, one of the helmsmen of the HDZ said in April

4 1990: "Outside the boys are already singing we are going to slaughter the

5 Serbs." And so on and so forth. Is that the right kind of atmosphere,

6 Mr. Mesic? Is that the atmosphere in which the Serbs were supposed to

7 view everything that was happening to them with confidence? And in the

8 meantime you dismissed practically all Serbs from the state

9 administration?

10 JUDGE MAY: One thing at a time. Now, you've read out a series --

11 you've read out a series of quotations which are said to have been made in

12 the parliament.

13 Now, Mr. Mesic, you can deal with that. First of all, do you know

14 if these statements were made, or these sort of statements, and if so, is

15 there anything that you can tell us about them?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were different statements that

17 will were impermissible, and it is certain that such statements harmed

18 Croatia. As for Slobodan Praljak, I must say that he was never a member

19 of the HDZ. When the HDZ was established, he was one of President

20 Tudjman's major critics. Now, why were such statements made? I say today

21 as well that they did not work to Croatia's advantage but to its

22 disadvantage. There were rallies of Serbs in various places on the 4th of

23 February, 1990. On the 4th of March, 1990, there was a rally in Petrova

24 Gora of people from Lika, Kordun, Banja Luka, Bosanska Krajina, and also

25 Vojvodina in Serbia.

Page 10646












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13 and English transcripts.













Page 10647

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Was that when Ante Markovic established his own party?

3 A. On the 27th of July, 1990, the Serb assembly passed its so-called

4 decision on Serb autonomy in Croatia. On the 1st of July, 1990 in Kosovo

5 by Knin, an official statement was made that the Serb Autonomous Krajina

6 was established in Croatia, its president being Milan Babic. On the 17th

7 of August, the first roadblocks were on the road in Benkovac, Knin and

8 Gradacac. On the 13th of September, there were meetings and rallies of

9 persons in Dvor and in various other places. In towns and in

10 municipalities in Croatia where there is a predominantly Serb population,

11 there were inscriptions saying: "This is Serbia." So it is persons who

12 came from Serbia who manipulated the Serb masses in Serbia? Why? Because

13 Milosevic needed to bring about an insurgency of the Serbs in Croatia so

14 that he would light the initial fuse for setting Bosnia-Herzegovina on

15 fire, because he needed Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's what the accused

16 actually did. That is why he should be held accountable. These radical

17 statements, regrettably, are only in response to statements made by the

18 accused.

19 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you see that you're not testifying about anything

20 here except your political and propaganda activities all this time?

21 Because you do not have a single fact here; you only have your own

22 positions and your attacks against Milosevic.

23 A. This is the trial of the accused Slobodan Milosevic. I have

24 sufficient facts in order to believe that he is guilty because he planned

25 war, he carried out war, and he built into this plan a crime that he

Page 10648

1 should be held accountable for.

2 Q. Very well.

3 JUDGE MAY: Let us get back to the subject-matter of the trial.

4 Yes. You are asking about the statements, Mr. Milosevic.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. I put a question. I said: These laws and the atmosphere in

7 parliament, the atmosphere in Croatia, the dismissals of thousands of

8 persons from the administration, from the police, from the media, even

9 from the health sector, is that the kind of atmosphere that caused concern

10 among the Serbs, or was it, as Mr. Mesic just put it now, was it Milosevic

11 who caused concern and who led to this insurgency? Were these facts of

12 life the thing that caused concern among them or did Milosevic come from

13 Serbia to make them start a rebellion, now that I've quoted all of this?

14 A. It wasn't the accused Milosevic who came. His emissaries came,

15 and they were the ones who started the insurgency in Croatia.

16 JUDGE MAY: Can you deal with the allegations which are made,

17 that, first of all, there were the dismissals of thousands of persons from

18 the administration and the police and the media and the health sector?

19 Now, can you deal with that, Mr. Mesic? Were thousands dismissed?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it is an exaggeration

21 to speak of thousands, but that there were dismissals is a fact. There

22 were unnecessary dismissals. People also took those who dismissed them to

23 court and won these cases. I think that these statements that are radical

24 and inadmissible only work to Croatia's detriment, and I always struggled

25 against that.

Page 10649

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. All right. So the atmosphere and the statements -- I mean, you

3 say now that it is negative, but the atmosphere was there, wasn't it? So

4 it's not Milosevic who caused an insurgency among the Serbs; it is your

5 laws, your pressures, your behaviour, your attacks against people. Is

6 that right or is that not right, Mr. Mesic?

7 A. I have to reply once again, and I've already said this.

8 Q. If you've already said it, please don't read out what you've

9 already read out, please.

10 A. Those who wanted to cut off parts of Croatia, parts of the

11 Republic of Croatia, those are the ones who are to be blamed for the

12 radical statements that were made.

13 Q. Well, look, somebody wanted to cut off parts of your territory.

14 Susanne Woodward from the Brooking Institution, an institution of high

15 renown throughout the world, she says:

16 "Smashed stores fronts, fire bombs thrown and harassed and

17 arrested potential Serb leaders. In many parts of Croatia Serbs were

18 expelled from jobs because of their nationality."

19 JUDGE MAY: You can call her to give evidence if you want. Yes.

20 Was there an atmosphere, Mr. Mesic, to cause the Serbs to have

21 fear at this time or is that not so?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is an exaggeration to say that

23 there was an atmosphere of fear, but that there were improper and

24 inadmissible statements, that is a fact. Also there were dismissals that

25 were wrong; however, people took those who dismissed them to court and

Page 10650

1 they won those cases.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. You mean those 100,000 Serbs who fled Croatia already in 1990,

4 they won these cases for their own jobs; is that what you're trying to

5 say?

6 A. The accused is a lawyer, and he knows that only a person who is a

7 plaintiff can win a case.

8 Q. Well, we heard your own statements of a few minutes ago about

9 those murders, what kind of rule of law you had. We're going to hear

10 others later as well. I assume that you're not joking now when you're

11 referring to --

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the time has come to move on from this

13 sort of argument, which doesn't assist the Court.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mesic: Do you remember the statement made by the

16 famous artist Edo Murtic in Novi Liste [phoen], a daily from Rijeka, made

17 in June 2000? I'm quoting him: "I remember how a few months prior to the

18 elections in 1990" - he is referring to his conversation with Tudjman -

19 "how he came to me quite delighted, believing that he would turn me into

20 his Augustincic. He thought that we would now do what the Ustashas and

21 Pavelic did not do in 1941. He said that he would send 250.000 Serbs

22 packing away and the remaining 250.000 would be killed." So these are

23 your own newspapers. It's not a Belgrade newspaper. This is Edo Murtic,

24 a famous artist, painter, a well-known intellectual. Do you remember that

25 statement of his about this conversation before the elections in 1990?

Page 10651

1 And I quoted Susan Woodward a few minutes ago and she is referring to the

2 atmosphere before 1990, before the elections.

3 JUDGE MAY: The witness can deal with the conversation by -- or

4 comments by the artist which has been referred to.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The artist Edo Murtic is a friend of

6 mine, by the way, but I do admit that I haven't read that particular

7 statement of his.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. All right. Tell me, please: I'm just going to briefly quote the

10 newspaper Feral Tribune on the 21st of April, 2001, autumn 2001, there was

11 a hunt against the Serbs in 1991. It says: "Mercep's killers were

12 killing Serbs en masse in Pogracka [phoen], Puljane [phoen], they were

13 taking people out of their homes in Zagreb and they were trying them but

14 firing bullets into their heads. Norac Oreskovic and others applied

15 similar methods when dealing with the innocent Serbs of Gospic.

16 Spectacular Crystal Nights were organised in Zadar during which tens of

17 houses were destroyed whose inhabitants had the wrong chromosomes."

18 Is that correct, Mr. Mesic? Is that what the Croatian newspaper

19 Feral Tribune said or did this Croatian newspaper lie when they said that?

20 A. There were crimes, and I always asked for them to be investigated

21 and the perpetrators to be punished. Croatia did not have sufficient rule

22 of law, and after all, that is how I won the election, because I have been

23 calling for true rule of law in Croatia. Crimes were committed and

24 perpetrators should be brought to justice. But that is no reason for

25 destroying Dubrovnik, for destroying Vukovar, for destroying Croatian

Page 10652

1 cities. Criminals should be prosecuted, but towns should not be

2 destroyed.

3 Q. Correct. Perpetrators should be prosecuted, perpetrators should

4 be tried, but the only question is: Who criminals were. Who were the

5 criminals? That's the only question. And criminals should certainly be

6 prosecuted and brought to justice, certainly.

7 So that is the whole point. That is the inversion that was made,

8 Mr. Mesic; isn't that right? You are testifying here that I was the one

9 who broke up Yugoslavia and you were in favour of Yugoslavia and any child

10 in Yugoslavia knows --

11 A. I think that we can reach agreement on one thing very quickly

12 here. I am not the person on trial here.

13 Q. Well, that's the point.

14 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now. It's time, Mr. Milosevic.

15 Half past. Twenty minutes.

16 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.

17 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. I'm going to show you now that you weren't speaking the truth a

21 moment ago when we were discussing an issue and questions about the people

22 who were fighting in Bosnia who were not volunteers. And when I asked you

23 about your nephew, who was also in Bosnia, a Croatian soldier there, and

24 he was not a volunteer. He was born in Slavonia so he was not from Bosnia

25 either and had nothing to do with Bosnia, and you said that that was not

Page 10653

1 true, not correct; isn't that so? Now take a look at your own testimony

2 in a case - or rather, when you speak about this same subject, it is page

3 7266 of the transcript - while you were testifying here in this same

4 building --

5 JUDGE MAY: This is, so we've got it, is this in -- not in

6 Dokmanovic?

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, it isn't. It's in the other

8 case, the other trial, where Mr. Mesic was a protected witness. And so I

9 wish to adhere to the rules, although the Slobodna Dalmacija paper did

10 publicise this. I don't want to make explicit mention of it. And

11 Mr. Mesic, as we can see, is a witness, has been a witness in many cases,

12 a witness for the Prosecution, which also demonstrates this inversion.

13 JUDGE MAY: No. That's just --

14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That I was talking about. All

15 right. But this is what it says here. May I read it out?

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. And I'm reading out your own transcript, not mine, when you're

18 talking about whether they were in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He says the

19 following: "Whether there were any, I cannot tell [In English] I was not

20 an inspector, nor was it up to me to establish it. But my nephew Vlatko

21 Mesic, who was a Croat soldier, he was in Bosnia. He came back from there

22 and he was not a volunteer in Bosnia. He was born in Slavonia. He has

23 nothing in common with Bosnia, but he was there."

24 Therefore, you told an untruth a moment ago. You even said that

25 your nephews were too young, whereas here in this transcript from your

Page 10654












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Page 10655

1 testimony which was given under oath, you are saying something quite

2 different, in fact. Is that right, Mr. Mesic, or is it not?

3 A. My two nephews live in France, and two of them live in Belgrade.

4 And during the war, they were minors. It is a relation of mine, a distant

5 cousin. The interpretation of that was probably erroneous. Who said

6 that -- who told me he was in Bosnia. That is what he told me and that is

7 what I said.

8 Q. Very well.

9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I -- I didn't want to interrupt that

10 last exchange, given that it had started, but any further reference to

11 protected testimony should itself be given in private session.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't see why this should be given

14 in private session, Mr. May, when I am making no mention here of --

15 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- what it refers to, actually.

17 JUDGE MAY: Those are the Rules. Any reference to private-session

18 matters should be in private session. Yes, let's go on.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't see that I have infringed

20 upon your procedure in any way by having brought that up.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. When you were asked by a representative of the accused, did you as

23 a speaker take any steps for this matter to be investigated? Because of

24 course [In English] It is the assembly's responsibility regarding the use

25 of the army outside its border. Did you form a commission? Did you put

Page 10656

1 this issue on agenda --

2 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Don't, please. I don't want to

4 waste time. I won't carry on with that.

5 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. So when weren't you speaking the truth, Mr. Mesic: Now or then,

8 when you made that statement which was under oath again?

9 JUDGE MAY: He's given his explanation. If there's anything you

10 want to add, Mr. Mesic, you can.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The direct question was whether my

12 nephew was there, and I said no. A relative, a relation of mine, was,

13 which means that individuals were there who were not born in Bosnia. But

14 apart from that one individual that I did know, I wasn't able to ascertain

15 who was there.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Now, whether you say nephew or relative or distant cousin or

18 whatever I read out here, that's what it said, so there can be no dilemmas

19 there or confusion. Let's move on.

20 Is it true that in your presence Tudjman said that at the end of

21 the war there would be 5 per cent of Serbs in Croatia, by the end of the

22 war?

23 A. Yes, that is what he said. He said that was his assumption.

24 Q. Is it also true that he said that Tudjman thought that the 1938

25 solution for Croatia was the best one when it was the banovina of Croatia?

Page 10657

1 A. No. It was Tudjman's position that as Vojvodina had been attached

2 to Serbia, and it was never under Serbia, even during World War II,

3 Vojvodina was under the main staff and headquarters of Croatia because

4 Serbia did not have one. And he therefore considered that Avnoj, the

5 anti-fascist World War II council had made a mistake when to

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a historical Croatian province had not been

7 envisioned as autonomous province within Croatia. So that position was

8 one that he always stood by, and he considered that Bosnia-Herzegovina had

9 to be a whole, a whole entity, and that it must be within the frameworks

10 of Croatia. But Avnoj, the anti-fascist council, did not take that into

11 account. However, in the electoral campaign, he stated the facts and said

12 that Croatia represented an oblong role with one section cut off. But in

13 that way, he did not move any proceedings to put that right and to ask for

14 alien territory to be attached to Croatia. After he returned from

15 Karadjordjevo, he said that Croatia was to receive the banovina borders

16 plus Cazin and Bihac, Kladusa, and he said, as Milosevic had told him, he

17 said: "Listen, Franjo." That's what he said. You take Cazin, Kladusa and

18 Bihac. I don't need that. That is what we refer to as Turkish Croatia.

19 That's what he told us. Now, whether that was what actually took place,

20 the accused knows that better himself.

21 Q. Well, of course there was no discussion about carving up Bosnia.

22 We have already had that discussion here. But your explanations are

23 becoming relevant for you. So to recap: You weren't telling the truth

24 with respect to the presence in Bosnia, and later on I am going to call

25 evidence --

Page 10658

1 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. The witness has said

2 he's telling the truth. Now, don't misrepresent the evidence. If you've

3 got a question, you can ask it.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that we differ because of

5 the translation in your transcript, where it says nephew, and he says

6 relative or distant cousin, whereas otherwise there is no difference.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Now, to get back to what you were just saying, that you had no

9 intentions of any kind, Globus, the paper, this is a special edition,

10 November 1, 1999, which says the following:

11 "Tudjman was in Canada, paid a state visit to Canada in 1988 and

12 1989 [As interpreted] -- 1998 and 1999, and dovetailed concepts, first

13 that Croatia had to be independent and autonomous, and so on and so

14 forth. Third, that the Serbs must be brought to the level of a national

15 minority, which meant that Croatia should have been more or less

16 ethnically pure. And fourth, if there are Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina to

17 the extent that they cannot all be expelled to Serbia, all that remains is

18 to carve up Bosnia-Herzegovina, which will ensure pure Croatian regions

19 and certain restructuring, and this would be joined onto an ethnically

20 pure Croatian state." Isn't that right, Mr. Mesic?

21 A. I don't know who said that.

22 Q. This is something that can be read in Globus about a plan that was

23 dovetailed in 1988 and 1989 [As interpreted] in Canada with the Ustasha

24 émigrés. Do you know at all about that?

25 A. I know nothing about that plan whatsoever.

Page 10659

1 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, on the basis of what you were saying

2 a moment ago, is it true and correct that Tudjman considered the

3 territories that belonged to the 1938 banovina, that it should be annexed

4 to Croatia? Is that what he thought? Is that right or not? Annexed.

5 A. He said that that was what Milosevic had proposed.

6 Q. Just a minute. I'm speaking about something else now. I don't

7 want to show you the transcript once again, but you can look at the

8 transcript from that same trial where you testified and the number of the

9 transcript line is 7130. But to avoid having to go into private session,

10 I just want to jog your memory and tell you that you did speak about the

11 subject at that particular time.

12 And just as like a moment ago, when you challenged the fact that

13 Tudjman thought that for Croatia the best solution would be the 1938

14 banovina solution, also from your testimony, on page 7129 and 7130, you

15 said what you said. So tell me now: Is it true that the HDZ party for

16 you was an extremist nationalistic --

17 MR. NICE: If this line of questioning is to be of any value at

18 all --

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.

20 MR. NICE: If this is to be of any value at all, the following

21 thing should happen: The Chamber will have to go into private session,

22 not because itself necessarily wants to. It simply that this was

23 protected evidence of another Chamber and we don't have rights to do

24 anything else. Second, the transcript will then have to be examined

25 properly with the witness being in a position to read it and the Chamber

Page 10660

1 being able to see the full context.

2 JUDGE MAY: At the moment I do not wish to go into private

3 session. It cuts up the cross-examination, makes it very difficult for

4 everybody else to follow. If there is a significant point here, no doubt

5 our attention can be drawn to it.

6 MR. NICE: Can I simply also then ask that the accused reminds me,

7 or through the Chamber, of what page he says its was on which the first

8 reference was to be found. He says 7266 but it doesn't match my page

9 numbering.

10 JUDGE MAY: That's the note we have, 7266.

11 Mr. Milosevic, you will have -- if you want to quote from the

12 transcript, if there's any significance in what was said earlier, do you

13 want to quote from the transcript, we have to go into private session.

14 Those are the rules which we have to follow. Now, if we can avoid doing

15 that, we should do so.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. May, but it is not proper

17 and correct that the public should not be able to see this, that

18 Mr. Mesic, for the most part --

19 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter about that. It is the Rules which

20 we have to follow. This was private session evidence, therefore it should

21 be dealt with in private session. Now, do you want to ask anything more

22 about that transcript or not?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I'll ask him something

24 about -- something else from the transcript in the Dokmanovic trial, where

25 he wasn't a protected witness.

Page 10661

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Is it correct that the HDZ is an extremist nationalistic party

3 which introduced a uniform, unilateral way of thought that captured people

4 in this way? Is that what you think? And you expressed words to that

5 effect in the Dokmanovic trial, where you were not a protected witness.

6 The transcript page is 1714 in the testimony against him, and that is

7 where you made a statement to that effect. You said that that was your

8 opinion later on, not straight away, not from the very outset. So when

9 did you come to think that way?

10 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment. In order that the witness can deal

11 with this properly, have we got a copy of the transcript, Mr. Nice? First

12 of all, have we got a copy of the transcript.

13 MR. NICE: Yes.

14 JUDGE MAY: Secondly, can the witness follow it?

15 MR. NICE: It's in English, I'm afraid, so he probably can't

16 follow it, because his English is not probably at the level to deal with

17 that. But we have a copy for Your Honours if Your Honours haven't seen

18 it.

19 JUDGE MAY: We, we have it here.

20 Mr. Mesic -- I'll deal with it. Mr. Mesic, what is being put to

21 you in the passage which the accused is asking you about is counsel says,

22 counsel Mr. Fila, put: "We read that for you the HDZ is an extremist

23 nationalist party, a hindrance to democracy which introduced a single way

24 of thinking and which robbed the people. Is that what you really meant?"

25 And you replied: To look at this in terms of the period -- time period

Page 10662












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10663

1 involved. "Okay," said witness. "Have you said something like this?"

2 And you replied: "The statement of yours calls for clarification, namely,

3 when the HDZ was established first, when I was its member, when its

4 programme was elaborated, that was a party that was in favour of a

5 multiparty system for democratisation of free society. When the balance

6 of political forces in the HDZ changed, I left the HDZ and I became

7 critical of the policy."

8 So counsel then put: That is to say that this statement,

9 obviously referring to his earlier statement, is from the latter period.

10 And you replied: Yes, from the latter period.

11 Now, you're being asked about the comment that the HDZ was or

12 became an extreme nationalist party, a hindrance to democracy, introducing

13 a single way of thinking. Can you help us as to whether you said that,

14 and if you wish to elaborate on it, do.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the HDZ was formed, just like

16 the other parties in Croatia, after the socialist model, I wanted to have

17 a multiparty system. That's what I was in favour of, of a contest of

18 opinion of democracy. That's what I wanted. Now, as the threats were

19 coming from Serbia, threats which the accused himself, via his rallies,

20 was sending out to Croatia, and they were coming from Vojvodina, from

21 Serbia, and from Kosovo, the so-called rallies for truth, where it was

22 stated that the people attending the rallies would go as far as Ljubljana

23 and that what they would do was to stop over in Zagreb, topple the

24 government there, and carry on by way of passing. I considered that the

25 HDZ could mobilise in Croatia people for setting up resistance to that

Page 10664

1 kind of policy on the part of Milosevic, and I joined the HDZ because I

2 considered that we would be able to protect the interests of the Republic

3 of Croatia. However, because of the erroneous policy which prevailed

4 later on, or rather, the erroneous policy towards and vis-a-vis

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the wrong model of privatisation which was seen and

6 the insufficient functioning of the rule of law in the country, the

7 insufficient functioning of the institutions inherent in the rule of law,

8 I left that policy behind. I stepped down from it, because finally I

9 could still go on being the president of the Sabor parliament. I had to

10 take part in that policy and politics. But as I did not agree with the

11 policies, I left the post of president of parliament and joined the

12 opposition.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Mr. Mesic, you relinquished the post of president of parliament,

15 as you said a moment ago, only after the first quarter of 1994. However,

16 the destructive policy of the HDZ, according to you, began already in

17 March 1991; isn't that so?

18 A. Yes, you're quite right. From your agreement in Karadjordjevo.

19 Q. So you ascribe the destructive policy of the HDZ, you date it to

20 March 1991 and you ascribe it to me. Is that so, Mr. Mesic?

21 A. Well, if you offered the carving up and division of Bosnia, then

22 it is quite true that in part you did take part in the creation of the

23 wrong kind of policy.

24 Q. Well, as you well know, I never offered a division of Bosnia nor

25 was that our policy. And if you believe I did so, then please show me one

Page 10665

1 detail which would be illustrative of that?

2 A. Not only the division of Bosnia. It is sufficient that you paid

3 the army in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is sufficient to read the book written

4 by General Veljko Kadijevic, the Federal Secretary for National Defence,

5 who speaks precisely of the Virovitica-Karlobag-Karlovac border and that

6 you stood behind that border, Mr. Accused. That same person Kadijevic,

7 the Federal Secretary for National Defence, Blagoje Adzic, General Blagoje

8 Adzic, who was the Chief of Staff of the General Staff of the Yugoslav

9 army, never came to me. They never, ever came to me in the Presidency,

10 although I embodied the Supreme Command. They never came to see me. I

11 insisted -- it was I who insisted on going to see them. They never came

12 to see me. But if you read Boro Jovic and his books and if you read

13 Mamula and his books, if you read Veljko Kadijevic and his books, you will

14 see that the agreements were only and exclusively made with the accused.

15 Q. First of all, that is not correct. I don't know what they say in

16 their books. Mamula retired even before the tensions mounted in Croatia,

17 and later on in Bosnia. But I assume that you are a passionate reader of

18 all these various books. But now tell me, please: As you were referring

19 to the HDZ just now, in 1991 it started acting destructively, so how can

20 you put up with this for a full three years, staying in that destructive

21 party for three years as its executive chief, that is, as president of the

22 Executive Board of the HDZ?

23 A. The point is something else. I was the president of the executive

24 board of the HDZ. Let me tell you -- just a moment. From the 29th of

25 December, 1991 until the 7th of August, 1992. This is the period in which

Page 10666

1 I was at the head of the Executive Board of the HDZ. The point is that as

2 soon as I saw that the policy was not the policy I had advocated, I could

3 have relinquished it. That is true. However, in Croatia, I would have

4 been seen as someone who refused to face the problems Croatia was facing

5 at that moment, and it would have been thought that I had not done enough

6 to correct the things that were going wrong in Croatia. I hoped that with

7 those who thought the same way I did, I could correct the HDZ policy, that

8 we could win. That is why, with other representatives, or rather, with 23

9 MPs of the Croatian parliament, I discussed our leaving the HDZ. This was

10 in 1993. In this way, we could have achieved cohabitation. The

11 opposition would have been the strongest in parliament, and HDZ would have

12 held executive power. Things would have been different had we succeeded.

13 But unfortunately, I was not successful. Only 11 MPs followed me, and we

14 had one vote less than we needed to be the majority in parliament.

15 If you want to make a big change, you need to have a critical mass

16 with you. I thought that 23 MPs in parliament would be sufficient. We

17 did not succeed, but I went over to the opposition. So I cannot pinpoint

18 a date and say up to that date the policy was right; after that date, the

19 policy was wrong. There was a continuity of events in politics. When

20 enough things happen, one responds. My response was to try to contribute,

21 in a positive way, to a better climate and a better policy in Croatia.

22 Q. Very well. That was two years after March 1991, when you say that

23 the destructive policy of the HDZ started. You say that to start with the

24 HDZ was a democratic party and so on. In the HDZ platform, which I assume

25 you contributed to, together with the other leaders of the HDZ, you say

Page 10667

1 that the programme is based, among other things, on the teachings of Ante

2 Starcevic. Let me just remind you what Ante Starcevic said -- or rather,

3 wrote about the Serbs. He called the Serbs -- I don't know if this can be

4 translated. I wouldn't be able to translate it. He called them filthy

5 spawn, horrible slaves, people who were fit for the axe, Austrian dogs,

6 inflated bags?

7 JUDGE MAY: When was this kind of thing written?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ante Starcevic wrote, for example,

9 in 1870, because the witness based his programme on that of Ante

10 Starcevic, who wrote --

11 JUDGE MAY: You're saying that. The witness hasn't said it. Help

12 us with Mr. Ante Starcevic, who wrote 130 years ago. Was your programme

13 based on his writings?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I did not create the

15 HDZ platform or programme. It had already been adopted when I joined the

16 HDZ. Secondly, the teachings of Ante Starcevic do not consist of

17 particular statements that he made under various circumstances. Ante

18 Starcevic, who is referred to in Croatia as the father of the homeland,

19 advocated the idea that Croatia had to be independent. He struggled for

20 the independence of Croatia from Austria and Hungary. In essence, he was

21 a liberal. On the basis of Croatian state law, he demanded the

22 independence of Croatia. This is the part of his teaching that I find

23 acceptable, an independent republic of Croatia. This is what was taken

24 from Starcevic.

25 It was also mentioned, and the accused does not mention this, that

Page 10668

1 the programme was based on the anti-fascist tradition of the peoples

2 liberation struggle. The accused omitted this on purpose, on the

3 traditions of the anti-fascist struggle. So the ideas were not taken just

4 from one source, but from all sources contributing to a positive role for

5 Croatia and its citizens. That is why this was referred to in the

6 preamble to the programme. If we are to speak of history, the accused

7 should say what Vuk Stefanovic Karadzic wrote. He was a Serbian writer

8 who said that Serbs are all, everyone is a Serb, that the Croats were

9 nothing but Serbs of Catholic faith, so that all this should be Serbia.

10 JUDGE MAY: The Trial Chamber is not assisted by the exchange of

11 abuse, particularly abuse a hundred years ago.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Is it true that the HDZ policy became more radical with time and

14 that elements who found inspiration in the Croatian state during World War

15 II grew stronger? I'm referring to the fascist independent state of

16 Croatia.

17 A. The more attacks were mounted against Croatia and its integrity,

18 more excesses arose, and more and more people referred to the independent

19 state of Croatia. I was against this. I'm still against this policy,

20 because in essence I am an anti-fascist, and those are the ideas I always

21 struggled for.

22 Q. Very well. I asked you about what you said about the HDZ, not

23 about what you say about yourself.

24 A. That's why I left the HDZ.

25 Q. Very well. In any case, I see that as the president of the

Page 10669

1 Presidency of Yugoslavia, you betrayed Yugoslavia and contributed to its

2 break-up. Then proceeding to betray those with whom you had collaborated

3 to destroy Yugoslavia. I'm referring to the HDZ and Tudjman. I don't

4 know who is next. Is it true that Tudjman wanted that from the very

5 start, when the HDZ was founded, Tudjman linked it up with the right-wing

6 factions in Croatia, which includes those who do not conceal the fact they

7 are Ustasha?

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mesic, before you answer, allegations are made

9 there which you should have a chance to deal with, a series of them.

10 The first is that, as the president of the Presidency of

11 Yugoslavia, you betrayed Yugoslavia and contributed to its break-up. Did

12 you regard yourself as betraying Yugoslavia?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was elected to the Presidency

14 of Yugoslavia, I believed that I would help to resolve the Yugoslav crisis

15 by political means, that I could contribute to avoiding the war. My

16 proposal to the Presidency was that we should adopt a fully confederal

17 system and that the confederation should be given a time limit, three to

18 five years, that the republics should be declared independent, that the

19 republics should be internationally recognised, that they should recognise

20 each other, and thereby be recognised by the international community, and

21 that on the day when the Federation ceased to exist, a confederation be

22 established. Why? Because everyone was dissatisfied with Yugoslavia.

23 Serbia claimed that it was being exploited. Serbia claimed that they were

24 the ones who funded others. Croatia was saying that its hard currency was

25 being siphoned off to Belgrade. If everybody was dissatisfied, why not

Page 10670












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10671

1 adopt a new model? My proposal was to have a confederation and to

2 establish what tasks the confederation would perform, how much this would

3 cost, and what the key to the budget would be, to the financing of this.

4 Serbia never expressed its view on this proposal. Instead of this,

5 Milosevic proposed a strong federation. That is what happened to Kosovo

6 and Vojvodina, that this should happen everywhere. We could not agree to

7 this. But I was in favour of negotiations. I thought that it was better

8 to negotiate for ten years rather than to wage war for ten days. Some

9 people were in favour of the war option, and Slobodan Milosevic was

10 certainly one of those.

11 But what could I have done in Belgrade? Who could I have

12 influenced? The generals contacted Milosevic, the army executed what

13 Milosevic's regime wanted, the creation of a greater Serbia, because he

14 was saying that the Serbs should remain in one state. That is the part

15 that was to become Yugoslavia and to be taken from Croatia. That's what

16 General Veljko Kadijevic says in his book, and he was the Secretary for

17 National Defence.

18 Therefore, therefore, the army, when it had been made into a

19 Serbian army, when the Croats, the Slovenians, the Macedonians and others

20 had left, when it had become a Serbian army, it was to perform the job of

21 setting up new borders, and the one who was perpetrating that plan was the

22 one who was destroying the Federation. I wanted to search for a political

23 solution through constitutional means. I had two secretaries, an advisor,

24 and a Chef de Cabinet, and they were the only people I could influence. I

25 have to say they were all Serbs. Who else could I have influenced, and

Page 10672

1 how could I have toppled Yugoslavia? Was it I who did it or was it the

2 person who had the Yugoslav army at his disposal, which had been

3 transformed into a Serbian army?

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Mr. Mesic, that all the peoples of Yugoslavia should live in one

6 state pertained to Yugoslavia and that the Serbs in Yugoslavia lived in

7 one state was one of the reasons why Serbia wanted Yugoslavia to be

8 preserved, and that is the only thing that you can quote me on saying, not

9 anybody else. And you're making this up, just like others have along the

10 same lines.

11 I asked you the following: Tudjman wanted a Croatian state at all

12 costs, and from the very inception of the HDZ, he firmly relied on the

13 most radical right-wing, which consisted of the most drastic Ustasha; is

14 that right?

15 A. That's not true. Increasingly radical elements started joining

16 the party and then I left the party.

17 Q. You say in your interview to the AIM and the question was why did

18 Tudjman from the very inception of the HDZ so strongly rely on the radical

19 right wing in which there are some clear-cut Ustasha. You say that you

20 were powerless, that these were forces that were more powerful than you

21 and that Tudjman went along with them and that the forces that you

22 represented were different, and you say that he relied on these extremist

23 forces and he believed that they would be his friends in war, and that

24 after the war he would manage to neutralise them. That was your

25 explanation. Is that right or is that not right, Mr. Mesic?

Page 10673

1 A. I think that I answered that question at the very outset. The HDZ

2 was a democratic party and now the question is what this journalist meant

3 by the very outset. Which outset?

4 Q. All right. You explained that this was from March 1991 after the

5 meeting in Karadjordjevo. That is your interpretation of the situation,

6 and we are not going to dwell on that. However, you did remain in that

7 same HDZ for another three years and now you're attacking it.

8 A. 1991 until the end of 1992 cannot be three by any kind of

9 arithmetic. So there seems to be some kind of erroneous arithmetic

10 involved.

11 Q. Is it true that it was Tudjman's view that Bosnia was a mistake,

12 that it was a mistake to make it as a republic after the Second World War

13 and that it should be annexed to Croatia? Is that right or is that not

14 right?

15 A. Those were his ideas, that Bosnia was supposed to belong to

16 Croatia on the basis of a decision that should have been adopted by Avnoj.

17 That's what we discussed, because we were both in opposition, both Tudjman

18 and I were MPs in the Croatian parliament in 1965.

19 Q. All right. Is it true that it is precisely in Zagreb that

20 deportations of the population of Bosnia were discussed? Or as you had

21 put it, the humane resettlement of the population and basically this was

22 ethnic cleansing. Is this right or is this not right?

23 A. As for humane resettlement, that is something that you talked

24 about and all of those who thought that it was necessary to transport

25 Croats from Slankamen into Croatia and Serbs into Serbia. I certainly

Page 10674

1 took no part in that.

2 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. Let's not dwell on this much longer. I

3 asked you whether you had your own views on this, because in the

4 transcript that I refer to, your opinion is quite obvious. You say that

5 any person with common sense would realise that this is ethnic cleansing.

6 A. Well, humanitarian resettlement is actually ethnic cleansing.

7 That is why your detachments came, Dusan Silni, Arkan's guard. All of

8 them came in order to carry out ethnic cleansing. That is not even

9 humanitarian resettlement.

10 Q. Mr. Mesic, I am referring to your policy, the policy of Croatia.

11 I am not talking about whether anybody from Serbia did any such thing.

12 Because as you know full well, it is only Serbia that kept its ethnic

13 composition over the past ten years, and nobody was expelled from Serbia,

14 not a single house was torched, and nobody was mistreated because of their

15 ethnic affiliation.

16 A. Except for the fact that in Serbia there were 18 camps where there

17 were Croatian citizens and they were fleeing from Seselj, the Croats from

18 Vojvodina were, and they were settling Croat settlements and they were

19 exchanging their houses for Serb houses. That is the so-called

20 humanitarian resettlement.

21 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you know that there was not a single camp in

22 Yugoslavia, or rather, in Serbia, not for Croats, not for anyone, not for

23 Croats, not for Muslims, not for anyone.

24 A. Croatia is still looking for over 3.300 of its citizens. Many of

25 them, after Vukovar and after other places where massacres were committed,

Page 10675

1 were taken to Serbia. We have to know that the Yugoslav army, with

2 paramilitary organisations, which, with the approval of the Serb

3 leadership came to Croatia, destroyed Croatian towns. Why was Vukovar

4 destroyed? Why were the citizens of Croatia taken to Serbia from Vukovar?

5 Why were they taken to camps in Serbia? If the president of Serbia does

6 not know that there were camps in Serbia, then that is the problem of

7 Serbia.

8 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you know, for example, that when this propaganda

9 started about the existence of camps in Serbia, that various foreign

10 delegations spoke to me about this, people who came on other business, and

11 they asked me about these camps? And I answered to each and every one of

12 them: Please feel free to take a helicopter that I have here and that is

13 ready. Put your finger anywhere on a map and that's where the helicopter

14 will take you, and you will see that there is nothing of the sort in

15 Serbia. After a few answers that I gave of this kind, one delegation, it

16 was a German delegation, asked to go, then pinpointed the mine in

17 Aleksinac on a map. They went there and the only thing they found was --

18 JUDGE MAY: You're not giving evidence. You can give evidence to

19 us in due course.

20 Mr. Mesic, do you know anything about Mr. Milosevic's dealings

21 with foreign delegations? Have you seen any reports or heard anything

22 about that?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about that. I do know

24 that the Yugoslav army, together with paramilitary organisations, took out

25 of the Vukovar hospital almost 300 persons and that they were all

Page 10676

1 liquidated in Ovcara, near Vukovar. I also know that citizens who were

2 taken prisoner in that massacre of Vukovar were transported to Serbia.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. First of all, that is not correct. Secondly, please take a look

5 at this map.

6 JUDGE MAY: What are you suggesting happened at Vukovar,

7 Mr. Milosevic, if it's not correct?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is not correct that anyone from

9 Serbia took citizens from Vukovar to Serbia. It is not correct that any

10 policy of Serbia's influenced the intensification of the conflict in the

11 region of Vukovar. What is correct is that it is precisely the armed

12 detachments of the HDZ that barged into people's homes, into villages

13 around Vukovar and took Serbs away, arrested them, and so on. They

14 attacked Vukovar --

15 JUDGE MAY: Is it disputed that 300 persons were taken from the

16 hospital to Ovcara and there liquidated? Is that disputed?

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't have these figures, Mr. May,

18 and I'm not discussing them now. But I shall try to find these facts and

19 figures and see what kind of facts and figures are available. I can

20 claim, though, that no Serbian authorities had absolutely anything to do

21 with this, nor did the Serb authorities cause any kind of ethnic conflicts

22 in Vukovar. Ethnic conflicts in Vukovar were caused by the same people I

23 quoted a minute ago, those who took people out of their homes in Zagreb.

24 JUDGE MAY: I've asked you some questions about that. Now, let's

25 move on to matters which the witness can deal with, in particular, his

Page 10677

1 evidence. Time, as you know, is limited, Mr. Milosevic. We must allow

2 some time for the amicus to ask any questions that they want this

3 afternoon. And any re-examination, Mr. Nice?

4 MR. NICE: There's likely to be some, yes.

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay, could you help about the amicus?

6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, there will be questions.

7 JUDGE MAY: How long do you ask for, Mr. Tapuskovic? Can you give

8 us an idea, please?

9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It is hard for me to say. I will

10 honour any decision you make, but it seems to me that half an hour would

11 be absolutely indispensable.

12 JUDGE MAY: We may not be able to give you half an hour, I'm

13 afraid, because time is short. We can extend the sitting this afternoon

14 until 2.00, unless the Registry have any difficulty about that. There's

15 another hearing this afternoon, but I anticipate we can sit until 2.00,

16 and we will extend the hearing until then to accommodate as much

17 questioning as we can.

18 But Mr. Milosevic, your time is limited, as you know. So let's

19 move on. If you've got any matters that you want to challenge on what the

20 witness said in his evidence, you should do so.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, of course I am challenging

22 almost everything that the witness said during his testimony. But I

23 assume that it is clear to you that limiting time for the

24 cross-examination of this witness is quite contrary to the need to

25 ascertain the truth. After all, the other party announced that they would

Page 10678












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Page 10679

1 examine him for ten hours and then they decreased the number by two and a

2 half times in order to diminish my ability to cross-examine him. However,

3 I am going to use the time that is given to me, and you will have to deal

4 with the fact that you haven't given me enough time.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you know that there were 221 camps for Serbs in the

7 period between 1991 and 1996 in Croatia? The five that you refer to in

8 Serbia never existed. And here you have a list of all the 221 camps for

9 Serbs in Croatia, and also a map that shows where they were and how many

10 were in different towns and so on. Are you aware of this?

11 A. Regardless of the fact that I have been highly critical in terms

12 of the functioning of rule of law in the state of Croatia until the year

13 2000, the truth is that there were no camps in Croatia. There were

14 abuses, there were crimes. That is certain. However, unfortunately, I

15 did not answer the question that had to do with Vukovar. Do I have to

16 give an answer? I do. Those who carried out liquidations were given

17 decorations and were promoted to the rank of general and other such ranks.

18 They still live in Belgrade and they are wanted by this Tribunal. So I'm

19 not the one who is inventing things. The only persons who were not taken

20 out of Vukovar were those who were liquidated in Ovcara.

21 Q. According to the information I have, no army could have executed

22 or liquidated anyone. You know full well as a citizen of Yugoslavia until

23 it was broken up and you have --

24 JUDGE MAY: This is a matter which the Trial Chamber, I suspect,

25 is going to have to determine in due course, and it sounds as though these

Page 10680

1 are matters of argument. So, Mr. Milosevic, let's move on.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Mesic, is it clear to you that in that Yugoslav People's Army,

4 there could not have been a single officer who would have issued orders to

5 have innocent civilians executed?

6 JUDGE MAY: That is precisely the point, which is purely one of

7 argument and nothing else. Now, have you got further questions?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have an enormous number of

9 questions left, but I have a present for Mr. Mesic, a map of camps for

10 Serbs from 1991 to 1996, with a list of all camps according to different

11 towns. 221, to be exact. When he goes back to Croatia, let him check

12 that out and then he can give an answer to this question, because

13 obviously he cannot give an answer now. Could you please have this map

14 shown on the ELMO. 221 camps.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't need that, because this

16 simply is not true. There were --

17 JUDGE MAY: Just let us see. What is this document that you're

18 producing, Mr. Milosevic? Where does it come from?

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The committee for collecting

20 information on crimes against humanity that were committed and violations

21 of international law, published in Belgrade the 5th of February, 2001. I

22 was no longer president of Yugoslavia then. On the 5th of February, 2001.

23 It is the committee for collecting information on crimes committed. This

24 is a map with all the camps and a list of all the camps in Croatia.

25 However, in all fairness, in Bosnia-Herzegovina there were 536.

Page 10681

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. So you did not rank first.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please have this put on the overhead

4 projector so it can be seen.

5 JUDGE MAY: For what it's worth, this document may be put on the

6 overhead projector, the witness can look at it. He probably hasn't seen

7 it. It can be shown to the Prosecution.

8 And then, Mr. Milosevic, if you want to prove it, that is, you

9 want it exhibited, then you can prove it yourself when you call your

10 evidence.

11 Yes, Mr. Mesic, you can --

12 Don't interrupt.

13 Mr. Mesic, just have a look at that, see if there's anything that

14 you can say about it or not. You've heard where it comes from, you've

15 heard what it purports to be.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Croatia did not have any camps, but

17 I do repeat: There were illegal acts, there were abuses, there were

18 crimes, and what I'm asking for is that every crime should be investigated

19 and the perpetrators punished. I am struggling for individual guilt to be

20 established. I don't want any collective responsibility. This has

21 nothing to do with the truth.

22 Q. All right. So you don't want to --

23 JUDGE MAY: Let the Prosecution have that document and then it can

24 be returned to the accused.

25 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

Page 10682

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Is it correct that among the generals that you refer to, that they

3 took part in operations in Bosnia, were Milivoj Petkovic?

4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please slow down. The

5 interpreters could not --

6 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked to slow down. Slow down, please.

7 A. Yes, some generals themselves said that they were in Bosnia, but

8 they said this subsequently.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. What did they say?

11 A. Subsequently.

12 Q. Oh, subsequently. Petkovic, Roso, you say that they were not

13 there?

14 A. I'm not saying anything. I'm just saying that they did not say

15 then, that they said afterwards that they had been in Bosnia.

16 Q. And is it correct that you said that the decision on the ethnic

17 cleansing of Muslims was not formally passed but that it was carried out.

18 Is that correct or is that not correct?

19 A. I imagine it is understandable that if everybody leaves a village

20 and that they were forced to leave a village, that that is ethnic

21 cleansing.

22 Q. Is it true that as far as Pero Markovic is concerned, the mayor of

23 Capljina, you said that he carried out ethnic cleansing?

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, how does it help? How is it relevant

25 whether an individual carried out ethnic cleansing in Bosnia? To deal

Page 10683

1 with an indictment? What you must understand is that attacking others is

2 not a form of defence, and therefore the relevance is strictly limited.

3 Now, what is under investigation in this trial is the activities which are

4 alleged in the indictment. For you to attack the others is no defence and

5 of little, if any, relevance. Now, have you got anything else you want to

6 ask this witness about his evidence as opposed to allegations that you

7 want to make about others? No doubt this institution has investigated and

8 will investigate those allegations against others, but it's of no

9 assistance to this Trial Chamber to make allegations about the conflict

10 between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats in 1992 and 1993 when

11 we're dealing with crimes alleged to have been committed by you and others

12 in Croatia strictly, but also in Bosnia.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, what I'm bearing in mind is

14 precisely the profile of this witness. As for everything that happened,

15 he accuses me, first and foremost, then he accuses his former president

16 and his former political party, and his own generals, and he was the one

17 who gave them instructions, and he also accuses his own politicians, the

18 ones that he gave instructions to, in order to protect himself from

19 responsibility, which is vast, both in terms of the break-up of Yugoslavia

20 and everything else that he is now accusing the HDZ and Tudjman and other

21 factors of, under this slogan that this is the rule of law that he favours

22 and that that's what he's struggling for. And until 1994, what, he did

23 not struggle for the rule of law then?

24 JUDGE MAY: The accusations which a witness might make are not

25 relevant. It's his evidence which he makes and it's on that which you

Page 10684

1 must concentrate.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am testifying about the facts that

3 I know about. I cannot testify about those that I'm not aware of.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. Who destroyed the bridge in Mostar? Is it

6 correct that it was destroyed by the Croatian forces?

7 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to allow the question. Move on to

8 something else, Mr. Milosevic. You really must deal with this witness's

9 evidence, not a generalised attack upon the Bosnian Croatians.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

11 Q. Now, are the words correct by Imre Agotic, your military ally,

12 that were published in Zagreb that the greatest crimes were performed when

13 they were taking over the terrain, that is to say, when the MUP of Croatia

14 and the police were taking over the terrain?

15 JUDGE MAY: Which terrain are you talking about?

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

17 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic -- yes. Another question, and move

18 off this topic. Move on to something more relevant.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. As you say that you didn't meddle and

21 interfere in this, is it true that you, as a high-ranking functionary of

22 the HDZ, personally went to Bosnia-Herzegovina and replaced Stjepan Kljuc

23 from the post of HDZ head in Bosnia? Is that true or is it not?

24 A. I did not replace him. I went there as an HDZ official, but that

25 has nothing to do with this trial.

Page 10685

1 Q. Well, it does have very much to do with this trial, because it

2 testifies to your direct involvement in the events in Bosnia, for which

3 you accuse me.

4 A. May I explain?

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, since you've been asked.

6 A. The HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina was under the influence of the HDZ

7 of Croatia, because ultimately the HDZ was the one that founded it. And

8 when the first president was replaced, the first president of the HDZ of

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, then what we had -- what had to be done was for a new

10 HDZ president for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be elected. This could only

11 be done at a party congress. But that party congress was not scheduled.

12 A Presidency meeting was scheduled. President Tudjman asked me to go to

13 Siroki Brijeg, which is where the HDZ Bosnia-Herzegovina was meeting at

14 the time, to intervene in this method of replacement of Stjepan Kljuc, who

15 at the time was president of the HDZ Presidency for Bosnia-Herzegovina. I

16 got in touch with some people. I went to Siroki Brijeg. I spoke to

17 people there, and they told me that they supported Stjepan Kljuc. What I

18 said to them was the following: Kljuc, it is my task that he be replaced,

19 but that I talked to people and that he would be given a vote of

20 confidence if he tenders his resignation. However, what he did was indeed

21 tender his resignation, irreversibly, and went to Sarajevo. Before doing

22 so, he asked me: "How are you going to explain that away to Tudjman?

23 That is to say if I am given a vote of confidence, how are you going to

24 explain that to Tudjman?" And I said: "Well, I'll say the majority was

25 in favour of not accepting your resignation and you will remain the

Page 10686












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Page 10687

1 president of the HDZ party." And then he became afraid. He was afraid

2 for his own survival. He got into his car and left Siroki Brijeg for

3 Sarajevo.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. All right. And is it true that the various decisions which refer

6 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only the one you mentioned a moment ago, among

7 others, was taken by people in Zagreb, such as Vice Vukojevic from Zagreb?

8 Was Vice Vukojevic a member of the Croatian Sabor or parliament?

9 A. Yes, he was a member of the Croatian Sabor, and he did appear in

10 uniform, in HVO uniform. Otherwise, his origins are from

11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I said to President Tudjman that I didn't like

12 what Vice Vukojevic was doing. I criticised him.

13 Q. All right. You talk to Vukojevic and he said that they had shot

14 people. Is that right or not, Mr. Mesic?

15 A. No, it is not.

16 Q. Well, you can find that in the transcript, 7063.

17 A. No. He said something else. I said something else. And please

18 don't distort what I and he said. He said that in the battle for Prozor,

19 the place called Prozor, a lot of Muslims had lost their lives, and I

20 asked him whether anybody had been killed on the Croatian side or perhaps

21 wounded. He said no, and that was all. I didn't have any further

22 conversation with him because I didn't think that you could have people

23 killed on one side and nobody even wounded on the other. And I never

24 spoke to him again after that.

25 Q. So you were angry with him, were you, because of that, because you

Page 10688

1 in fact ascertained that crimes had been committed, but you didn't take

2 steps at all. All you did was to be angry with him and you never spoke to

3 him again.

4 A. The accused is well aware of the fact that this was

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, their territory, and that I wasn't able to undertake

6 anything there. He knows that full well.

7 Q. Is it true that there were many members of the Croatian parliament

8 who went to Bosnia, many Croatian MPs who went to Bosnia during the war,

9 not only Vice Vukojevic but others too, wearing uniforms, to take part of

10 the war there?

11 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt now because there's a real

12 danger of this trial being totally sidelined about matters which were not

13 part of the witness's evidence, and that is namely the conflict in Bosnia

14 between the Croatians and the Muslims.

15 Now, Mr. Kay, you mentioned a matter earlier, and on the grounds

16 that this might be relevant in terms of credibility of the witness. But

17 obviously the Trial Chamber must keep the matter within bounds. The

18 witness's evidence is essentially about Croatia, although I'm aware that

19 Bosnia, of course, is also subject of an indictment and to some extent his

20 evidence may be relevant to that. The question is to what extent is the

21 accused entitled, if at all, to examine matters which at the moment appear

22 to have no bearing at all on the issues which the witness raised or indeed

23 the issues in the trial. This is a serious matter because clearly if he's

24 going to follow the same approach which he used before, which was to use

25 cross-examination as a vehicle to make allegations against the other side,

Page 10689

1 to what extent is he entitled to do that, do you submit?

2 MR. KAY: He's entitled to attack the credentials of this

3 particular witness, who has maintained during his direct examination that

4 he was only seeking to enforce the rule of law and was not a party taking

5 part in hostilities within the region. Plainly, the accused disagrees

6 with that and is attacking the knowledge of this witness as to what were

7 the real events within the region and the participation of himself and his

8 political party within those events. One appreciates that there is a time

9 limit on a witness giving evidence, and that is the real issue here for

10 the accused. Time spent on matters that are not productive of his defence

11 to the indictment obviously can cause him to be in difficulty in putting

12 forward a defence to the charges. But in many respects, we believe he is

13 aware of those issues. They have been sufficiently in force during the

14 trial, and attempts have been made by the amicus to ensure that he does

15 put his case and is given an opportunity to do so. In many respects,

16 where the subject of the Trial Chamber's ruling here in relation to

17 timing.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think the point is that he obviously is

19 entitled to test the witness's credibility by asking about matters

20 relating to Bosnia, but the real issue is: How far can he go down that

21 road? It would seem to me that once he has put a question in relation to

22 a particular matter touching on Bosnia and he has received an answer on

23 that, then he should move on to another issue. In that regard, he would

24 have been allowed to test credibility in relation to that matter, but I

25 think the issue being raised by the Presiding Judge is that apparently he

Page 10690

1 goes too far down the road, and that tends to take us into areas that are

2 not relevant.

3 MR. KAY: A helpful way may be to just make the point here that

4 the Trial Chamber is aware of the matters that have been put in issue by

5 the accused, that the Trial Chamber is aware that he has put in issue

6 various aspects of this witness's evidence, so that any reinforcement of

7 that fact is not further necessary.

8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

9 Mr. Milosevic, you've heard what's been said. You know there are

10 time limits. There is a question of how far you can continue to deal with

11 matters which are purely peripheral, and bear in mind, as has been said,

12 that the Trial Chamber realises quite well what you're putting in issue

13 and the challenges you make to the credibility of this witness. You

14 should therefore deal with any matters which you think are important,

15 which you might not otherwise be able to do so because of time, as early

16 as possible. Now, you are subject to time limits, and there will be

17 another seven minutes and then we'll have to adjourn.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I understood that in addition

19 to the time constraints and limits that have seen to be precipitously come

20 to the fore in the case of this witness, that I do have at least until the

21 close of business today. I think that is a minimum. But I think that it

22 would be in order if you were to give me a little more time, if you were

23 really to take into account the quest for truth.

24 JUDGE MAY: We have in mind the time limits taken by the

25 Prosecution. You should have roughly similar. You can have until 20

Page 10691

1 minutes before the end, and that means 20 minutes to 2.00, and that is to

2 allow the amicus some time and also time for some re-examination. I'm

3 afraid both of those will necessarily have to be curtailed.

4 Yes, let's move on. You've heard the points that have been made

5 about Bosnia and the events there in 1992 and 1993.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Tell me, please: You were the president of parliament and

8 presided over a meeting on the 24th of September, 1992, at which the

9 deputy public prosecutor in Gospic Djoko Kalanj was relieved of duty, and

10 you also knew that Kalanj was killed already in October 1991. You

11 relieved him of duty then because he didn't turn up for work, although he

12 had actually been killed 11 months before in the crimes that had taken

13 place and that are well known. Is that right, Mr. Mesic?

14 A. I think this is notorious insinuation. Neither did I know that

15 Mr. Kalanj had been killed, nor did I know what had happened to him at

16 all. As president of the Sabor, I received a proposal from the committee

17 to nominate and relieve of duty members of parliament, and I put the

18 proposal to the vote. I later learnt that that particular individual had

19 in fact been killed.

20 Q. So he was killed first by those authorities of yours and then he

21 was relieved of duty for not turning up to work in the morning. Is that a

22 material fact, regardless of your knowledge or awareness or whatever?

23 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered the question. Move on to

24 something else.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10692

1 Q. Yesterday you were saying that Josip Tito was an integral factor,

2 but already in 1971, you worked towards the downfall of Yugoslavia when

3 the integral factor lead Yugoslavia and he was a Croat to boot. Isn't

4 that so?

5 A. Once again, this is notorious insinuation. My positions were one

6 thing. Croatia was not on a footing of equality because it was not able

7 to handle the foreign currency that it earned. So we didn't have clean

8 bills and arithmetic. And what I took part in was in financial fairness

9 with respect to Croatia and Yugoslavia and to clear up the accounts. Now,

10 what I was taken to task for, I talked about yesterday. I still consider

11 that Tito, with his charisma, was an integral factor. He was a politician

12 who stood at the head of Yugoslavia at the time when Yugoslavia played a

13 positive role, that is to say during the conflict between East and West.

14 He created the non-align movement with others, and that was a positive

15 factor, and that was why many people in the world were very sentimentally

16 well disposed towards Yugoslavia. And the accused knew that full well,

17 and that is why he said he was fighting for Yugoslavia at a time when he

18 was using all the resources at his disposal to ensure its breakdown. And

19 I was not tried because I jeopardised or in any other way threatened or

20 claimed that Tito was not a factor of integration. Yes, he was, but he

21 had left the world arena. He was a product of his time. He was a

22 communist. He was a Bolshevik. All that is true and correct.

23 Q. Mr. Mesic, as we are talking about the atmosphere that prevailed

24 and you say that it was Belgrade that stirred up the Serbs, is it true

25 that in 1990, in February, at Vatroslav Lisinski hall in Zagreb at the HDZ

Page 10693

1 rally, 32 Ustasha émigrés from a number of countries in the world attended

2 that rally and meeting? I hope that is not being challenged.

3 A. When the first congress of the Croatian Democratic Union was being

4 prepared, talks were held between the HDZ leadership and the then

5 Secretary for Internal Affairs, or rather, the Minister of the Interior of

6 the Socialist Republic of Croatia. We discussed with him this matter and

7 ascertained that some people would be coming who perhaps could be held

8 responsible for breaking the law. What was said was that everybody could

9 come who had not been tried as a war criminal, that they would be able to

10 come freely, to come and go, that they would be given free passage and

11 would not be prosecuted if they were not in fact war criminals. That was

12 the agreement that was reached.

13 Q. And do you know that, quite contrary to that Croatian extreme

14 nationalism, that the Serbs in Croatia at those first elections came out

15 in vast majority in favour of the League of Communists of Croatia led by

16 Racan and not for some kind of Serb party or any idea from Belgrade or

17 policy put forward from Belgrade? Do you know that 21 members of

18 parliament in the Sabor, that they had them -- that they were on the list

19 of the League of Communists of Croatia? Do you know about those 21, that

20 they were Serbs?

21 A. The SDP went to the elections, the party for democratic change,

22 and not the Communist Party. Many Serbs were elected, that's true. I

23 don't know their exact number. Some of them were on the SDP democratic

24 change party list, others were elected from amongst the other parties, as

25 well as the SDS, the Serbian Democratic Party. So they were members of

Page 10694












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Page 10695

1 the Croatian parliament.

2 Q. My question to you was --

3 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn. You can ask the question after the

4 adjournment. Twenty minutes, please.

5 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

6 --- On resuming at 12.38 p.m.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Very well. Is it clear that the very fact that in all the areas

9 inhabited by Serbs, 90 per cent of them were in favour of Racan's party,

10 in which the Croats were in the majority, that this shows that they were

11 in favour of a federal Yugoslavia and that they wanted to remain a state

12 building and constituent nation in Croatia? Is that correct or not?

13 A. At the referendum at which the citizens of Croatia voted on

14 whether they wanted an independent Croatia or to remain in Yugoslavia,

15 94.17 per cent voted in favour of independence. Among them were Serbians.

16 Q. Does that show that the issue is something else and that the HDZ,

17 which won the elections with extreme nationalist views, was a clear

18 message to the Serbs as to what awaited them?

19 A. I have already said that some messages were unacceptable, but

20 there was no reason for Serbs to fear. Excesses started when emissaries

21 arrived from Serbia and when the leadership in the municipalities where

22 the majority Serb population said that they were in fact ostensibly in

23 favour of Yugoslavia but they were in fact in favour of the creation of a

24 greater Serbia. They had been deceived and manipulated, because in the

25 end the programme, the plan to create a greater Serbia failed.

Page 10696

1 Q. You know there was no such plan, but who actually contributed to

2 the anxiety of the Serbs and to their concerns? I think that without

3 doubt, you are one of those mostly responsible for that. For example, in

4 the summer of 1990, on the occasion of your visit to Gospic, you said, I

5 quote: "The Serbs from Croatia, while they are ploughing Croatian land,

6 pray to God that rain might fall in Serbia. Lets the Serbs go to Serbia

7 but take with them only as much land as they brought when they arrived on

8 the soles of their shoes."

9 Is that what you said, Mr. Mesic?

10 A. I'm not interested in what you think of me and what I do. That is

11 completely immaterial to me. The quotation is incorrect. The accused put

12 together two things that I said. What I said was, first, that Croats --

13 that Serbs in Croatian should not plough land in Croatia while praying to

14 God that it might rain in Serbia. This was my response to those who wrote

15 graffiti on walls in Croatia saying this was Serbia. It was not Serbia.

16 It was Croatia, and that's what I wanted them to know. I wanted them to

17 know that they could not engage in implementing such a policy.

18 The second thing I said was that when Serbs arrived in Croatia,

19 they were not carrying Serb land on their shoes to transform Croatian soil

20 into Serbian soil. I wasn't saying anything about what they should take

21 away with them. What I said was that they had not brought Serbia with

22 them on their shoes. Just as the Croats who went to live in Austria, in

23 Burgenland, did not take Croatia with them on the soles of their shoes.

24 They took it with them in their hearts. But they are loyal citizens of

25 the Republic of Austria, although they are aware of their ethnic origins,

Page 10697

1 their Croatian origins. So my message to the Serbs was that Croatia was

2 their homeland, that they can love their former country, but that they

3 should be loyal citizens of the Republic of Croatia. In fact, my message

4 to them was that we wanted them in Croatia, not that they should leave

5 Croatia.

6 Q. Do you think that the Serbs in Croatia cannot be compared to my

7 grant workers in Austria? The Serbs lived in Croatia on their own land

8 for several centuries. They did not arrive there as migrant workers.

9 Q. I think the accused misunderstood me or at least pretends to have

10 misunderstood me. Several centuries ago Croats emigrated from Croatia to

11 Burgenland. They were aware of their Croatian origins but they are loyal

12 citizens of the Republic of Austria. They have their municipalities,

13 territories. They are protected by legislation of the Republic of Austria

14 as a national minority. This was my message to Serbs, that they should be

15 loyal citizens of the Republic of Croatia and not listen to the emissaries

16 of Slobodan Milosevic.

17 Q. Very well, Mr. Mesic, but at the pre-election rally that was held

18 in Gospic on the 2nd of March, 1990, which was attended by about 15.000

19 Croats, and because it was raining, many of them were carrying umbrellas,

20 you said there: When we Croats establish our own state, all the Serbs in

21 it will fit under a single umbrella. This rally was held on Nikola Tesla

22 Square in Gospic. Is this correct, Mr. Mesic, or not?

23 A. No, it is not correct. I don't know who attributed these words to

24 me.

25 Q. I don't have time to prove this because my time is limited.

Page 10698

1 A. You will never be able to prove it.

2 Q. I will prove it, just as I will prove that you worked for the

3 military counter-intelligence service and many other things that you

4 denied here?

5 JUDGE MAY: That's all comment.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. In Slovenian TV show on the 8th of November, 1995, on a private

8 television station, you said that Mr. Genscher and Pope John Paul the

9 second, with the support they gave to the break-up of Yugoslavia,

10 contributed the most to the break-up of this country. You said: I wanted

11 to transmit the idea of the collapse of Yugoslavia to those who could

12 influence its fate the most, Genscher and the pope. Genscher made it

13 possible for me to contact the Holy See and they agreed to the total

14 break-up of Yugoslavia. Is this correct or not?

15 A. First of all, I would like to ask the accused not to make me

16 laugh, because this is a place where we should be serious. I never spoke

17 about this. I never spoke of Croatia or Slovenia breaking up Yugoslavia.

18 It was Slobodan Milosevic and his regime who are working for that. I was

19 speaking of independence. When Yugoslavia lost its integrating factors,

20 when it became quite clear that the executive council, the Supreme Court,

21 the Presidency of Yugoslavia, the constitutional court, had become

22 blocked, that no institutions were functioning, it was quite clear that

23 such a federation, such as it was, was untenable. And when it became

24 quite clear that Croatia had to seek a way out, and this way out could

25 only be in independence, we had to look to those who would support our

Page 10699

1 right to independence.

2 Q. Mr. Mesic, at a press conference in Belgrade, in the press centre,

3 in December 1990, you said that there were no misunderstandings in

4 Yugoslavia since the HDZ, or rather, that these misunderstandings did not

5 begin when the HDZ came to power in 1990 but that they started, in fact,

6 in 1918. Do you remember this?

7 A. Yes, I remember that very well. The misunderstandings did not

8 arise when the HDZ came to power. The misunderstandings date further

9 back. If necessary, I can explain that. The Austro-Hungarian monarchy

10 could not be preserved according to the same model in which it had

11 existed. The Austrian emperor, Franz Josef did not understand what was

12 going on on the territory of this great empire. Franz Ferdinand thought

13 that on the territory of the former empire, a personal union should be

14 established, just modelled on the commonwealth, so that parts of the

15 Austro-Hungarian monarchy should become independent and that a personal

16 union should be established. This was the threat to greater Serbian

17 policy which existed then, because they knew that the ambitions to break

18 up Bosnia and Herzegovina would no longer exist if this came to be.

19 Because from Garasanin onward, greater Serbian policy wanted Serbia to

20 expand across the River Drina. If the peoples and the states on the

21 territory of the empire became independent, Serbia would no longer be able

22 to expand its borders across the River Drina. That is why the

23 organisation called "the Black Hand" decided to assassinate Franz

24 Ferdinand in Sarajevo.

25 JUDGE MAY: I think we've probably exhausted that topic in 1918.

Page 10700

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Is it clear, Mr. Mesic, from what you said - and here I include

3 your presence in Siroki Brijeg in Bosnia and Herzegovina, for those who

4 don't know where Siroki Brijeg is - where the Croatian historical rights

5 in Bosnia were put forward, Boban and you and most other participants

6 advocated this, and it was only Kljujic who advocated Bosnia as a whole,

7 as an entity, which is why he was replaced. Is that true or not?

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we've already dealt with Mr Kljujic.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. But when you parted ways with Tudjman - while you were

12 implementing this policy, you advocated the same views - you said that

13 Croatia was a twilight zone, that it was approaching the model of Paraguay

14 that it was a risk zone, and that the rules that applied there were --

15 A. I have to explain again. I said that Croatia -- in Croatia the

16 rule of law did not apply, that there were abuses, that there were crimes,

17 that tycoons appeared who were destroying the Croatian economy, which is

18 why I parted ways with that policy. I demanded that Croatia function as a

19 state in which the rule of law applied, and I demanded that Nazi and

20 fascist symbols which here and there appeared in Croatia should be done

21 away with. Today, Croatia is discussing a law, a bill, in parliament on

22 banning Nazi symbols and punishing those who put forward such symbols in

23 the future.

24 Q. Very well, Mr. Mesic. Are you claiming that you yourself did not

25 personally contribute to the development of this fascist climate towards

Page 10701

1 the Serbs when you were one of the top leaders of the HDZ? Later on you

2 call this a twilight zone, but did you contribute to its creation or not?

3 Do you consider yourself responsible, co-responsible, for the creation of

4 this twilight zone and the expulsion of the Serbs from Croatia?

5 A. I think that this is entirely wrong. I was an anti-fascist from

6 my youth. My whole family was on the Partizan side. Not a single member

7 of my family was on the other side. Eleven members of my family were

8 killed fighting on the anti-fascist side. I am a convinced anti-fascist,

9 and I find all this distasteful.

10 Q. Is it correct, then, that you criticised Tudjman for signing the

11 Vance-Owen Plan when representatives of the UN were deployed in the

12 territories where there was a conflict - these were the UN-protected

13 areas - and you criticised him because Croats could not enter the Krajina

14 until a political solution was found? Is this correct or not?

15 A. I criticised many decisions made by President Tudjman and

16 supported others, depending on the point in time. When Tudjman suggested

17 that a referendum on Croatian independence be held, I felt that the

18 elections had been enough for citizens of Croatia to show what they

19 wanted. I thought it was enough. But Tudjman said: No. Let's have a

20 referendum.

21 I opposed the referendum, but later on I saw that in that

22 case Tudjman had been right. Sometimes I supported Tudjman, sometimes I

23 did not. But I cannot discuss now every instance where I supported him or

24 not, because I think this is of no interest to this Tribunal.

25 Q. In agreement with Tudjman, when you, the prime minister, you

Page 10702












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Page 10703

1 issued a decision on the withdrawal of the reserve forces of the police

2 from municipalities, mostly in the Krajina, where the Serbs were in the

3 majority, you remember that, I assume.

4 A. This is yet another lie and another trick. A decision was made to

5 collect weapons in all municipalities of the Republic of Croatia so that

6 Croatia could defend herself, because the authorities in Belgrade had

7 previously issued a decision that all weapons should be withdrawn from

8 Croatia so that Croatia could be brought to her knees.

9 The Territorial Defence, I have to explain, was commanded by a

10 staff in Zagreb, the staff of the Territorial Defence. The army - that

11 is, the army of the SFRY - was commanded by the General Staff in Belgrade,

12 but both were components of the armed forces of Yugoslavia. We held the

13 opinion that it was improper to withdraw weapons from the Territorial

14 Defence because these weapons were protected in Croatia. However,

15 evidently the regime of Slobodan Milosevic and his subordinates felt it

16 was in their interest to disarm Croatia and to arm the rebellious Serbs in

17 order to implement the plan that General Kadijevic also speaks about, and

18 that is the establishing of the Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag border. I

19 know the accused does not like this, but these are the facts.

20 Q. There's nothing for me to dislike here. These are not facts but

21 your political opinions, Mr. Mesic, because you have failed to put forward

22 a single fact here.

23 Along with a decision to collect the weapons from the Serb areas

24 in late July, you also made a decision to establish the National Guard

25 Corps. This was a paramilitary formation. Is this correct or not?

Page 10704

1 A. I have to remind the accused that, on the one hand, there were

2 illegal paramilitary organisations and there were legal paramilitary

3 organisations. The police force is also a paramilitary organisation.

4 They have weapons, they have uniforms, and they have a chain of command.

5 But they are not an army. Croatia adopted a decision that the National

6 Guard Corps be established. Its purpose, in fact, was to be something

7 like the gendarmes in France or the carabinieri in Italy. We wanted to

8 have a unit which could be activated, in case of need, if the vital

9 interests of the Republic of Croatia were threatened. At that time, this

10 was not yet the Croatian army.

11 Q. This decision of the Croatian government was to have been

12 implemented, first of all, in the area of Lika, where Serbs made up 93 per

13 cent of the population; is that correct or not?

14 A. Where did you get this 93 per cent? That's not true.

15 Q. Very well, then. The majority.

16 A. Well, 93 per cent and 51 per cent is a big difference. But as we

17 have heard, the accused no longer stands by the usual kind of arithmetic.

18 Q. When the political and security situation deteriorated, did the

19 political leadership of the Serbs in Krajina decide to hold a referendum

20 on autonomy? This was in late August 1990.

21 A. I have to respond again, although I have already answered a part

22 of this question: Weapons were collected on the entire territory of the

23 Republic of Croatia, and the referendum was illegal, and Croatia failed to

24 recognise it, did not recognise it, because it was an illegal referendum,

25 and in Croatia law has to be respected.

Page 10705

1 Q. Is it correct that on the 16th and 17th of August, when the police

2 set out toward Benkovac, where 10.000 Serbs had gathered, do you think

3 that this move that you made had anything to do with the reactions of the

4 Serbs and that it was not actually incited by the authorities of Serbia?

5 You said Belgrade -- I mean, when you say "Belgrade," I assume you're

6 referring to the federal organs of Yugoslavia, not to the leadership of

7 the Republic of Serbia.

8 A. I'm referring to the accused and his regime and his links with the

9 Yugoslav army.

10 Q. All right. We're going to get to that a bit later.

11 Did this have anything to do with the reaction of the Serbs, the

12 fact that the police set out to Benkovac, where 10.000 Serbs had

13 assembled? Is that correct or is that not correct?

14 A. The police did not set out against anyone. They could only

15 provide security at the rally.

16 Q. Oh, so they went there to guarantee their security.

17 A. Yes, by all means.

18 Q. Do you think that such wrong decisions of yours, to send police to

19 places where people had rallies, in spite of the constitutional right to

20 freedom of assembly, was a wrongful decision which made the Serbs place

21 roadblocks; this was not part of a struggle for a greater Serbia?

22 A. During this trial I've answered that question too.

23 Q. All right, Mr. Mesic. After this Croatian government was

24 constituted, the one whose prime minister you were, wasn't it clear that

25 at that time the activity of the organised arming of HDZ members started?

Page 10706

1 Is that right or is that not right? Is that being contested too?

2 A. I was prime minister of Croatia for three months before I went to

3 Belgrade, and on the 17th of August, 1990, the log revolution started.

4 Roads were blocked, roads that were of vital interest to the economy of

5 Croatia. Croatia had to survive, both politically and economically. Who

6 was it who was destroying Croatia then? Was it those who wanted to

7 establish free traffic on Croatian roads or those who were carrying out

8 orders issued by the accused and provoking the Croatian authorities?

9 Q. All right. It just so happens that the accused at that time was

10 vacationing in Dubrovnik and heard about this from the newspapers there.

11 But are you trying to say that logs are some kind of offensive weapon, or

12 is it the police that enters settled areas and attacks people? Was

13 anybody ever attacked by a log?

14 A. Yes, logs are a very lethal weapon, because they do not allow

15 free communication in Croatia. They do not allow the economy to

16 function. This is a grave attack on the Croatian economy and the Croatian

17 state. Before that, I would really like to hear where this happened,

18 where the police attacked someone so the Croatian roads had to be

19 blocked. I would really like to hear that once and for all.

20 Q. I've given you countless examples - I've presented them here

21 anyway - during 1989 and 1990, many examples. I even quoted your own

22 newspapers to you, about incursions, about arrests, about people being

23 taken away and who are still missing. You know about that. Mr. Mesic, do

24 you think that since at that time you were prime minister, you are the

25 guiltiest person of all for clashes with the Serbs in Croatia?

Page 10707

1 A. Although this is nonsensical, I am going to dignify it with an

2 answer. They opted to provoke the Croatian authorities in order to

3 establish the boundary that I refer to. Specifically in Pakrac, there was

4 a conflict between two streams in one police station.

5 Q. All right. You've already explained that.

6 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He's taking up my time. He spoke

8 about it yesterday.

9 JUDGE MAY: You've put serious allegations to him. He must be

10 able to answer them.

11 Yes. Go on, Mr. Mesic.

12 A. Since part of the police station was disarmed, the Minister of the

13 Interior sent reinforcements in and disarmed the attackers. That brought

14 an end to it all. However, the army came into the streets with 20 or 30

15 tanks, and they purportedly separated the conflicting parties. There were

16 no conflicting parties. There were those who were attacking the police

17 and there were those who were protecting the police. There were no two

18 parties that were clashing. There was not an interethnic conflict there.

19 Nobody was wounded. Nobody was killed. I came to Belgrade. Borislav

20 Jovic, the representative Serbian of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, said

21 that there was a massacre of Serbs in Pakrac, where 40 persons were

22 massacred. I said, "Well, I was in Pakrac yesterday. Nobody was wounded.

23 Where did you read that?" And he said, "In the Titograd daily newspaper

24 of Pobjeda." Now, where is Titograd? Where is Pakrac? They have nothing

25 to do with each other. But it is obvious that this is a scenario. The

Page 10708

1 army was supposed to be brought into the picture to ensure the boundaries

2 that not only General Kadijevic knows of very well but also this accused,

3 Slobodan Milosevic.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. This accused doesn't, and I do not consider myself to be accused

6 by this false indictment. And since you behaved the way that you behaved,

7 that you behaved in this broad-minded, democratic manner, how is it

8 then possible and why were you the protagonist of a programme that Serbs

9 were supposed to be expelled from the constitution of Croatia as a

10 constituent and state-building people?

11 A. Croatia proclaimed its independence. It had its own

12 institutions, it had its own parliament, and it passed laws. I'm not in a

13 position now to interpret why each and every law was passed and in which

14 way and how the constitution was adopted. There is a procedure involved.

15 I don't know in which case I would have to give answers now in respect of

16 a decision that is reached by the parliament of my country.

17 Q. A parliament that you chaired. So you believe that you preserved

18 the status of the Serbs that they had according to all previous

19 constitutions. I mean, had you retained that status for them, that they

20 still would have rebelled; is that your opinion?

21 A. Institutionally, no rights of Serbs or of any other ethnic group

22 were violated. I admit that there were some messages that were

23 unacceptable, but they had to be discussed at a table, not by destroying

24 Dubrovnik, not by destroying Vukovar, Skabrnja, Vucine, not Cetekovac, not

25 by massacring people. In that way, not a single conflict can be resolved.

Page 10709

1 Q. Mr. Mesic, as a member of the Presidency, later on you even

2 compounded your responsibility for everything that happened to the Serbs

3 in 1991 and 1992 and later on your responsibility as Croatia's -- as the

4 president of Croatia's parliament, at the beginning of 2000, you stated,

5 on television, that the Croats in 1995, through military actions, that is

6 to say, through storm and flash, in the war for the homeland, that they

7 won a glorious victory. Mr. Mesic, no doubt storm and flash are actions

8 that meant carrying out war crimes and ethnic cleansing, ethnic cleansing

9 of practically all Serbs from Croatia. Do you --

10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you know that this is not the time to

11 make speeches or try and give evidence, which you're trying to do. Have

12 you got a question to ask the witness?

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Please, I do have a question. If these were glorious actions, why

15 are you saying now that Bobetko should be held responsible if he was doing

16 something glorious, in your words?

17 A. The victories in the homeland war were glorious because they made

18 it possible for Croatia to reach each and every part of the Croatian state

19 and to establish the functioning of the institutions of the Croatian

20 state. In these battles, crimes may occur, as always. I am advocating

21 the following: That everybody should be held accountable for what he did.

22 Croatia adopted a constitutional law in cooperation with The Hague

23 Tribunal. I am advocating the following: That everybody should have the

24 right to defence. All suspects should be held accountable before The

25 Hague Tribunal. If these are Croatian citizens, then they should have the

Page 10710












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10711

1 right to defence, maximum defence, implying dignity and respect for

2 everything that everyone did by way of a contribution to the independence

3 of Croatia. But I want each and every citizen to be equal before the law

4 because it is only then that we can expect to realise our strategic

5 objectives and that is to become part of European and Atlantic alliances,

6 which is truly our strategic objective.

7 Q. All right. It is my understanding that the expulsion of 250.000

8 Serbs from Krajina and taking tens of thousands of them out of columns,

9 according to the findings of Commissioner Ema Bonino, and these persons

10 went missing, simply that you are calling all of this individuals crimes

11 and individual actions. The expulsion of 250.000 Serbs and the

12 destruction of thousands of persons who were in these columns. You are

13 calling this individual crimes within this glorious --

14 JUDGE MAY: The witness has dealt with this, and it's not clear

15 what relevance this has to this particular indictment. These are events

16 in 1995. Yes let's move on to something else.

17 MR. NICE: I'm concerned if there's to be the time limitation that

18 the Chamber has identified that the accused is simply not dealing with the

19 matters on which evidence has been given, and typically in the last

20 question but two he slid over 1991 and 1992 with an allegation to which

21 the witness was not allowed to give an answer, that being exactly the time

22 of the Presidency, the Rump Presidency, and the other matters that we

23 should be investigating.

24 JUDGE MAY: What was the question that you say he should have been

25 able to answer.

Page 10712

1 MR. NICE: Well, it was where he suggested -- I'll just find it

2 again. He simply suggested that he compounded everything by his behaviour

3 in 1991 and 1992, without putting any particulars.

4 JUDGE MAY: I think the witness has dealt with that.

5 Mr. Nice, there is a question of time. We understood that the

6 witness could not be available tomorrow. Is that right?

7 MR. NICE: The way I expressed it was he was definitely available

8 yesterday and today and that he might be available for tomorrow. I know

9 his original plans were to travel back tomorrow. But the Chamber will of

10 course be in the witness's hands and he'll know better than I, I not

11 having spoken to him yesterday, what his availability now is.

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mesic, could you help us with this? You've heard

13 about this question of time. Are you available tomorrow at all in the

14 morning or do you have to get back?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have some engagements tomorrow

16 afternoon, so I could be present in this courtroom for part of the morning

17 tomorrow.

18 JUDGE MAY: Could you be here for an hour, say from 9.00 to 10.00?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

21 Well, Mr. Milosevic, you can have until 2.00 today. You can

22 have --

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

24 JUDGE MAY: You can have a few minutes tomorrow in addition to

25 that, but there must be time for the other parties to cross-examine and

Page 10713

1 re-examine.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. In your interview to the president of the Association of Writers

5 of Croatia, her name is Marica Mikuljan, this is Nova Matica [phoen]

6 number 7, dated 1992, in response to her question how come you wrote a

7 book, you said, inter alia: My original idea was to call the book "How I

8 toppled Yugoslavia." Mr. Genscher suggested that perhaps in Europe, such

9 a title would not be well received. Genscher added that we all

10 contributed to the break-up of Yugoslavia, and that seemed acceptable to

11 me, hence the title of my book. That's what you said. And then in

12 response to her next question, what was your prognosis for the Balkans

13 after the drama was over, you say, inter alia, in your response: Let me

14 conclude. It is logical that if the opponent was declared to be the devil

15 a priori, then his demonic family should be destroyed too, his demonic

16 country and his entire demonic history. Now, this brings us to the

17 following question: Who declared the Serbs in advance a priori to be the

18 devil, the demon? Did you do that on your own or was it the leadership

19 that you were a part of, or was this done in conquered [As interpreted]

20 with Genscher and what is your role in this kind of a priori

21 qualification?

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with several questions which were

23 bound up there. The first was the quotation attributed to you about the

24 possible title of a book "How I toppled Yugoslavia." Perhaps you can deal

25 with that. And then there was a question about your prognosis for the

Page 10714

1 Balkans. That was the second one.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that the title of the

3 first edition of my book was "How we toppled Yugoslavia." The second

4 edition was entitled "How Yugoslavia was toppled." I said this in order

5 to make things quite objective, namely, Croatia, Slovenia, and other

6 republics sought a confederal model. Serbia asked for a so-called firm

7 federation. The status quo could not remain forever. That meant that we

8 had to become independent. As the Socialist Federal Republic of

9 Yugoslavia disappeared, we all took part in the process, all of us who

10 wanted changes and a confederacy that would have a time limit of three to

11 five years and also those who were toppling the Federation in order to

12 establish a different kind of federation that Croatia, Slovenia,

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia could not accept. That is why in the

14 second title I tried to make it sound more objective, and the contents

15 show what this book is really about.

16 As for the other part, that is not a proper quotation. I never

17 said any such thing. Who did this and who in this way deceived the

18 accused, I really have no idea.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Very well. Now that you have been saying that I created the

21 so-called Serbian bloc in the Presidency, I assume that before that you

22 should bear in mind that all divisions in the Presidency were created on

23 the basis of political divisions regarding ideas as to what the destiny of

24 Yugoslavia would be, not on the basis of somebody's influence. Is that

25 right or is that not right, Mr. Mesic?

Page 10715

1 A. Well, it is clear that the leadership in Kosovo was toppled and

2 that autonomy was destroyed, that the leadership in Vojvodina was toppled

3 and that autonomy was destroyed there. And also that the leadership in

4 Montenegro was toppled. These three representatives, along with Borislav

5 Jovic, who represented Serbia proper, were the Serbian bloc. It can be

6 seen by how they voted. And also when Borislav Jovic resigned, others

7 also resigned. But Milosevic comes forth immediately. There is no more

8 Yugoslavia, he says. We are not going to carry out the constitution.

9 There are no valid decisions reached by the Presidency for us. And he, as

10 the president of Serbia, who had to come to a session of the Presidency

11 because according to the constitution he would have to stand in for the

12 member of the Presidency from that republic if he were leave, he said that

13 he would not do that. Now, I am really interested in hearing who was it

14 that was toppling Yugoslavia? We wanted a different concept, and that was

15 legal and legitimate. We thought that this kind of Yugoslavia was

16 untenable. Let us work in favour of a model that was tenable. And if it

17 cannot be sustained, then we are going to part our ways in peace,

18 cooperate mutually as the Czechs and the Slovaks do, for example.

19 Q. Mr. Mesic, what you said just now is what you said yesterday too,

20 and then you played a video cassette that speaks to the contrary. Because

21 I never said there that there is no Yugoslavia. On the contrary, I spoke

22 in favour of Yugoslavia. And as for this resignation, as I explained at

23 that time, that's what you broadcast, it was a reaction to the fact that

24 the Presidency did not want to pass its own decisions, and that is why the

25 assembly of Serbia refused Jovic's resignation and returned him to his

Page 10716

1 position two days later. And when I said I would not go there instead of

2 him meant that I thought that he should go back there and work there and

3 that his resignation was a reaction to the fact that the Presidency

4 refused to carry out its own decisions?

5 JUDGE MAY: What is the question for the witness?

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. The film that you showed, where did you see that? And you showed

8 me on television. Where did you hear me say that Yugoslavia did not exist

9 any more and all the rest that you said, and that the Presidency was not

10 going to function and Borislav Jovic, the bit about Borislav Jovic? The

11 events showed you otherwise.

12 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer this.

13 Can you help us with this, Mr. Mesic, or not?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I didn't show any

15 excerpts. That has nothing to do with me. It is the Prosecution and

16 indictment that calls for that. As far as I'm concerned, I don't much

17 like watching television images of Slobodan Milosevic. That is far from

18 my thoughts. As for the tape itself, we were able to see the tape.

19 Borislav Jovic and Mr. Bucin tendered their resignations and straight away

20 we see the advent of Slobodan Milosevic, who says that he's not going to

21 use his right to represent Borislav Jovic in the Presidency until that man

22 had not attended the assembly meeting and until his resignation was

23 refused. So once again the accused doesn't seem to handle arithmetic too

24 well, and now I can see that he doesn't handle time too well either.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10717

1 Q. Mr. Mesic, the aim assembly was scheduled. You know that Jovic

2 returned to work in the Presidency following a decision of the Assembly of

3 his republic and that what you're saying is nonsense.

4 JUDGE MAY: No, we're not going on in this way. Let's move on to

5 another topic. You haven't asked questions about any of the documents

6 that were produced. If you want to do that, Mr. Milosevic, you should do

7 so in the 40 or 50 minutes that remain for you.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I shall do my best, Mr. May, to deal

9 with that too, but as I was informed only the day before yesterday that

10 the witness would be available two and a half times less than was

11 originally planned, I'm trying to make a selection of the more important

12 issues.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Is it true, Mr. Mesic, that the political position of Serbia

15 Montenegro was to stand up against Yugoslavia's breakdown? And is it also

16 true that there was no firm federation as you termed it that was proposed

17 by the representatives of Serbia and Montenegro but quite the contrary,

18 that it was a democratic federation that they put forth, a democratic one,

19 a free one, and I'm sure you will recall that, for example, Serbia, at a

20 meeting of the presidents of all the republics, which was held in

21 Sarajevo, supported the proposal by Izetbegovic and Gligorov, offering a

22 loose type of federation, the loosest possible type, but nonetheless a

23 state of sorts and not some kind of what you would call alliance,

24 confederal alliance for a period of five years. So Serbia lent its

25 support to that particular plan, which meant that all the republics would

Page 10718












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Page 10719

1 gain autonomy, but nonetheless would keep them within the realms of a

2 state. What we wanted to do was to preserve Yugoslavia, and that is what

3 neither you or anybody else can challenge. Isn't that right, Mr. Mesic?

4 A. I think the accused has stated precisely what should have been

5 stated. They were against Yugoslavia, opposed to it. They were offering

6 something that Croatian and Slovenia found unacceptable. Therefore, he

7 was opposed to Yugoslavia, the kind of Yugoslavia that existed at that

8 time, and that's precisely what I'm claiming. He was against Yugoslavia.

9 He was opposed to Yugoslavia, and that is why he used the military option

10 and worked towards the breakdown of Yugoslavia, with a military option.

11 Q. How were you able to conclude that we were opposed to Yugoslavia

12 when the entire public knew full well that we were striving only for the

13 preservation of Yugoslavia, and what we said was that that was the best

14 solution for all the South Slav peoples and nobody would have a better

15 life in any other way, and as to freedoms, rights, the independence and

16 autonomy of the republics, they were never brought into question at all?

17 A. Had we accepted the proposals made by the accused, then I suppose

18 we had the nice kind of time that the Albanians have had in Kosovo and we

19 didn't want to taste the beauties of that.

20 Q. Ah, I see. In Croatia you were under some kind of pressure, as

21 far as I understand it, pressure from Serbia, while Yugoslavia was living.

22 I never noted any pressures of that kind. I don't know where you saw them

23 prevalent. Perhaps you could tell me.

24 A. I think that this question is nonsense, nonsensical.

25 Q. Except in tourism, perhaps, because there were a lot of tourists

Page 10720

1 from Serbia coming to the Adriatic Coast.

2 Is it true, Mr. Mesic, that the first division in the Presidency,

3 the first rift, was caused after your statement that you wanted to be the

4 last president of Yugoslavia?

5 A. The accused has a terribly rich imagination and he seems to be

6 very adept at distorting things. He knows full well what I said on the

7 occasion at that time.

8 Q. Well, what did you say?

9 A. I came to Belgrade as somebody who had been elected to the

10 Presidency, and my statement, the statement I made, that Yugoslavia in

11 that model, as it stood, could not survive. Everything that happened

12 later on bore out the fact that I was quite right and that we had to find

13 a political solution, because unless we found a political solution, I

14 would be the last president. Not that I wanted to be the last president,

15 but that I would be the last president, and that is in fact what I was. I

16 was the last president of Yugoslavia, through the will of those people who

17 opted for war, who selected the war option, through the will of those who

18 refused to accept a political solution but who gave arms and weapons into

19 the hands of those who were not to blame. They were to blame because they

20 accepted to bear arms. But the person most to blame was the person who

21 supplied them with arms, who put those arms and weapons in their hands.

22 Q. So it is not being challenged that when you took up the position

23 of president, or rather, a member of the Presidency, as a member from

24 Croatia, that you said that Yugoslavia could not survive, and it is not

25 clear to you; you refuse to accept the fact that this was the cause of the

Page 10721

1 rift in the Presidency, statements of this kind on your part, and the fact

2 that these assertions of yours could not be tenable in view of the office

3 you held.

4 JUDGE MAY: What you must not do is to misrepresent the evidence.

5 Now, the witness has answered the question. He's told you what he said.

6 He's told you he blames your government for what happened. Now, I

7 don't think we're going to get much further on that simply arguing about

8 it.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, you know very well, as a

10 lawyer, that every state has a constitution, and that until that

11 constitution is changed, even if it is a bad constitution, that it is in

12 force and holds true nonetheless. And when I say that the statements made

13 by Mr. Mesic, who, according to that very constitution, was elected to

14 perform the function at the Yugoslav level, that is to say, the top

15 Yugoslav level, that this was untenable with that constitution and with

16 the relationship that he had towards Yugoslavia. So what I am saying is

17 that it was he himself and no Milosevic who was the cause of the rift that

18 took place in the Presidency.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Do you recall, for example, that --

21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have made that point several

22 times. We have heard you. We understand your case. We will deal with it

23 in due course. We will have to make our own minds up about it. Now,

24 time is limited, and you have to concentrate on asking this witness

25 questions, if you've got any, beyond making statements. I suggest you

Page 10722

1 move on to another topic, we having heard both sides on this particular

2 issue about the early days of the Presidency.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Please, your thesis is that I forced Montenegro not to accept

5 Carrington's plan; right? Is it clear to you that that is just not true?

6 JUDGE MAY: Let him answer.

7 A. I never claimed that anywhere. I never said that the accused had

8 forced Montenegro not to accept Carrington's plan. All I'm saying is that

9 the accused, with the policy he waged, broke down the autonomous Vojvodina

10 and Kosovo and toppled the leadership, which was a legally elected one, in

11 Montenegro, and that he implemented an anti-bureaucratic revolution, as

12 it's called, by which in fact he destroyed Yugoslavia. Because if you

13 destroy the constituent elements of a federation, those component

14 parts - and they were the two provinces - then Yugoslavia can no longer

15 exist either. And that fate, the fate of Kosovo, is something that we did

16 not wish to repeat for ourselves.

17 Let me be quite clear to the very end now. Why didn't the accused

18 fuss over the fact that the Serbs were fleeing from Croatia? Because he

19 needed that critical mass of people to populate Kosovo once he had

20 expelled the Albanians from Kosovo. That is the plan the accused had, to

21 throw out the Albanians and to bring in the Serbs from Croatia to populate

22 the area. That was what he had in his mind: to destabilise Albanian and

23 to destabilise Macedonia as well, because that mass of Albanians coming in

24 would, of course, destabilise those two weak countries. That was his

25 plan, and he counted upon the fact that he would be the factor and element

Page 10723

1 which the international community would seek to calm the region, but the

2 NATO pact stepped in to stop those awful plans of his.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Mr. Mesic, your imagination is commendable, but unfortunately --

5 A. Thank you for saying that.

6 Q. -- But unfortunately, there are many defects in it. First of all,

7 as regards Montenegro, do you recall that in Montenegro a referendum was

8 held; that is to say, it was not an anti-bureaucratic revolution which

9 engulfed the people and subjugated the people, but there was a referendum

10 at which the citizens of Montenegro stated their views and opted for

11 Yugoslavia? It was not under pressure of any kind. Is that --

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

13 A. I have already answered that. Everything that was done in that

14 particular region was done through the will -- and that is to say not only

15 the will of Milosevic but on the will of his regime, the toppling of those

16 leaderships. That was what he wanted to do. He held speeches in front of

17 millions. He mobilised the populace. He convinced them that all the

18 Serbs would live in one single state, and obviously when you seize other

19 people's territories.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Show me that speech of mine. Show me one speech in which I said a

22 single word against Croatia or Yugoslavia. Do you have one single example

23 to show us of that kind?

24 A. Of course. If you claim that the Serbs in Croatia have the right

25 to self-determination, they then decide, not the Serbs in Croatia but the

Page 10724

1 rebel Serbs. I don't want anybody to think that I am blaming the Serbs in

2 Croatia. No. The greatest portion of Serbs lived in Zagreb, for

3 example. There were more of them living in Zagreb than the entire Krajina

4 region. I'm talking about the insurgent Serbs, those who rebelled and

5 those who wanted to annex Serbia, this to Serbia, and made that decision,

6 and so did Milosevic's regime, led by him, and they put out the slogan of

7 all Serbs living in one state. So those affiliated Serbs too. It is true

8 that Serbia did not pass a decision which would make this legal, but

9 neither were they opposed to it.

10 Q. That is just not true. That, quite simply, is a lie. And any

11 mention of one state referred to Yugoslavia as a common interest, the

12 common interest of all the Yugoslav peoples. And what I was saying was

13 only in that way would the Serbs be able to live in one country if we

14 preserve Yugoslavia, being that one country. But I also said that all the

15 Muslims could live in one country if we were to preserve Yugoslavia and

16 all the other nations and nationalities scattered around Yugoslavia, and

17 nobody minded that at all. That is the truth, Mr. Mesic, and I think that

18 your memory will serve you well there. But what you're doing now is

19 speculating. But Is what I'm saying right or not?

20 A. My memory serves me very well, thank you. Because the accused

21 said if the Slovenes want to leave, let them leave, and you should go as

22 soon as possible. If the Croats want to leave, let them go too. But

23 quite obviously all the Serbs would remain in one single state. In other

24 words, they remain in that state by virtue of their territory, the state

25 that he calls Yugoslavia. I call it an invalid, handicapped Yugoslavia.

Page 10725

1 He terms it otherwise.

2 Q. Mr. Mesic, from what you have just said, do you in fact confirm

3 the fact that the Serbs in Croatia had lost under your authority

4 the properties and characteristics of a constituent peoples, that is to

5 say, a peoples realising their right to self-determination? Is that what

6 you're bearing out, what you're confirming, the right that they always

7 enjoyed under all the constitutions except the 1990 constitution? Is that

8 what you're confirming by what you're saying now?

9 A. The Serbs realised their constitutional right to

10 self-determination and formed a republic, the Republic of Serbia. I don't

11 know why -- I don't know --

12 Q. We're not talking about the Serbs in Serbia, Mr. Mesic. We're

13 talking about the Serbs in Croatia. It was the Serbs in Croatia who

14 had the status, enjoyed the status of a constituent people in Croatia, and

15 that was not --

16 JUDGE MAY: This is degenerating into an argument. It doesn't

17 seem it's taking us anywhere. These may be matters which, in the end,

18 we'll have to resolve, but it seems pointless going on about it with this

19 witness. He's made his position clear. You've cross-examined him

20 thoroughly. Now, let's move on to any other topic that you want to

21 examine about.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. All right. Let me just ask this: Is it clear to you that when

24 you speak about Vojvodina and Kosovo, that you are in fact speaking about

25 autonomous provinces within Serbia proper, so that therefore you cannot

Page 10726












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Page 10727

1 transfer this to Slovenia and Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and

2 Macedonia, that same model, because the internal constitutional changes in

3 Serbia were a matter for Serbia to decide, not a matter for Croatia to

4 decide, not a matter for Croatia to decide? Vojvodina is not in Croatia.

5 It is in Serbia. So do you deprive Serbia the right of settling matters

6 in its own house?

7 A. I see that the accused is suffering from amnesia once again,

8 because it was the provinces which were a constitutive element of the

9 Federation as well, both of Serbia but also a constituent element of the

10 Federation as well, and that is the portion he deprived them of.

11 Q. I quite obviously don't have time to engage in this kind of

12 discussion and debate, but I think that constitutional experts are the

13 ones who are well capable of dealing with these matters, and your

14 distorted concepts of the right of nations to self-determination seems to

15 me to be --

16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this is all argument and comment. Now,

17 let's move on.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. The Territorial Defence in the republics, that it was under the

20 command of the Presidency and the Supreme Command and partly controlled by

21 the republics, where the Territorial Defence of Serbia is concerned, you

22 said, quite incorrectly, that the Territorial Defence units of Serbia

23 waged war in Croatia because the TO of Serbia and Montenegro was

24 exclusively under the command of the army. You say that on page 19 of

25 your statement. How can you say something like that?

Page 10728

1 A. The Territorial Defence attacked Dubrovnik, together with the

2 rebels from Bosnia and Herzegovina. And with respect to the attack on

3 Croatia, it was the army that was under the command of the General Staff,

4 and together with the Territorial Defence, they attacked Croatian towns

5 and villages. Units of the army arrived from Serbia, and in Bosnia and

6 Herzegovina and Serbia they joined in the attacks and ethnic cleansing.

7 This would have been impossible. It was not possible that no one in

8 Croatia saw that tanks were going from Serbia to Vukovar and other parts

9 of Croatia. This is something that cannot be concealed. Somebody had to

10 see that the army was coming from Serbia to Croatia during the war.

11 Q. Mr. Mesic, are you aware of the fact that the JNA was all over the

12 territory of the former Yugoslavia and that therefore Croatia was not a

13 demilitarised republic within the SFRY? When I drew up my demonic plan,

14 as you say, the army then attacked Croatia. No. That was not the case.

15 The army was already in Croatia, just as it was in Serbia and everywhere

16 else in Yugoslavia. Is this clear to you? Is it clear to you that this

17 was all happening when the army was being attacked, when there were

18 clashes with the army, when you were making decisions to drive out the

19 Yugoslav army, not the Serbian army, but the Yugoslav army?

20 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm going to bring this to a close.

21 Mr. Mesic, it's put to you, first of all, that the Yugoslav army

22 was already in Croatia, so there was no question of it being brought in,

23 and secondly, that that army was under attack. Would you deal with those

24 two separate points, please.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will do that gladly. From the

Page 10729

1 barracks of the JNA, which had by then become a Serbian army because the

2 other nationalities had left it by then, it was this army that was arming

3 the rebels, which is why they were under a blockade, why they were

4 surrounded, so that they could no longer arm those who were attacking and

5 trying to topple the institutions of the Croatian state. Novi Sad is not

6 in Croatia, but it was a Novi Sad corps that attacked Vukovar. Belgrade

7 is certainly not in Croatia, but it was from Belgrade that guards units

8 came to attack Vukovar. Somebody had to have seen this, at least those

9 who, in that aggressive war, promoted those who participated in all this

10 and decorated them. The accused knows very well who these people were.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Mr. Mesic, as you know very well, military districts did not

13 coincide with the borders of the republics in the Federal Republic of

14 Yugoslavia. They are still -- they still do not coincide with these

15 borders in Yugoslavia. For example, in the 2nd -- the 2nd Military

16 District covers a part of western Serbia and yet it's based in Podgorica.

17 So there was a single JNA, a unitary JNA, and you made the decision - and

18 I will tell you exactly when you did that - that it should be driven out

19 of Croatia, that the barracks should be cut off, that electricity and

20 water should be cut for the barracks, that soldiers should be attacked,

21 that they should be beaten up, arrested, and so on and so forth. Are you

22 aware of this or not, Mr. Mesic?

23 A. The accused knows full well that this is not true, that it's a

24 fabrication. I made no such decisions, nor was I in a position to make

25 them. However, the accused knows very well that the JNA was not allowed

Page 10730

1 to attack Croatian towns, and I would like to know when and where he

2 lodged a protest against this, against Serbian tanks, JNA tanks going to

3 destroy towns in Croatia.

4 Q. Mr. Mesic, when Dubrovnik was being shelled, I was attending a

5 conference with Lord Carrington, together with your president, and then I

6 said that any clash was crazy, that Dubrovnik was a Croatian town. This

7 has nothing to do with what you're saying. But let us go back to your

8 story about the Serbicised army, as you say, because the influence of the

9 Serbian bloc is quite senseless. It doesn't make sense when we are

10 speaking of the JNA. General Kadijevic was half Croat, half Serbian.

11 Adzic was from Herzegovina. Brovet was a Slovenian.

12 JUDGE MAY: You're not giving evidence. You're not giving

13 evidence.

14 It's being put, Mr. Mesic, that you're wrong when you say that

15 the JNA was becoming Serb. In particular, two generals are referred to.

16 Would you like to deal with that.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not count anybody's blood

18 cells or look at their chromosomes. Individuals did remain because they

19 were afraid for their survival, but that doesn't mean anything. Most of

20 the Croats had left the JNA. All the Slovenians, except for Brovet, and

21 perhaps one or two individuals had left. The Albanians had left the

22 army. The Bosnians had left the army. I'm merely putting forward facts.

23 But exceptions only go to prove the rule.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you know that in 1999 or in the year 2000, even then

Page 10731

1 the army of Yugoslavia was not ethnically pure, not only when we look at

2 the composition of soldiers, but when we look at the composition of the

3 generals, and this was ten years later. So why are you falsifying facts?

4 Why are you manipulating facts in this way? You know that the JNA then

5 had members in proportion to the ethnic -- general ethnic make-up, as far

6 as soldiers go and also as far as generals go. There were even more from

7 other republics than there were from Serbia. This was a Yugoslav army.

8 You yourself said it was an integrating factor. So it doesn't make sense

9 when you say that it was Serbia who took the JNA under its command.

10 JUDGE MAY: Another speech. Another speech.

11 It's said that you're wrong about the ethnic make-up, Mr. Mesic.

12 It says you're wrong about it in 1999 and 2000, but we're not dealing with

13 those years. But dealing with the years which we are talking about, which

14 would be 1991, can you give any evidence about the ethnic make-up, or are

15 you relying on the behaviour of the army, your evidence about it becoming

16 more Serb?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most of the Croats in the JNA left

18 it when it became evident that the JNA was waging an aggressive war

19 against the Republic of Croatia. Most of the Slovenians in the JNA left

20 it when it became completely evident that the army was waging an

21 aggressive war against Slovenia. The same happened in the case of other

22 republics. Whether a few individuals remained is of less importance.

23 Some individuals did remain. I assert that too. But the army was

24 implementing a policy that General Kadijevic admits was aimed at setting

25 up a Virovitica-Karlovac-Karlobag boundary. This is what General

Page 10732

1 Kadijevic himself said, regardless of who his father and mother were. I'm

2 not interested in that. But he was in the service of the greater Serbian

3 policy and the aggression against the Republic of Croatia.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Very well. I assume that General Kadijevic can testify about that

6 and not you, Mr. Mesic. In its public announcement of the 1st of October,

7 its communique, did your Presidency express concern because the federal

8 organs and the assembly were no longer functioning, the Presidency was

9 undergoing a crisis, and the president wanted to have extended sessions to

10 be attended by representatives of the republic and federal governments and

11 so on? Do you remember this? This is on page 8, paragraph 2 of your

12 statement.

13 A. I'm not sure I was in Belgrade at the time, but it's quite clear

14 that the federal institutions were not in fact functioning.

15 Q. Is it true that at the session of the 3rd of October, the

16 Presidency stated that Yugoslavia was facing an imminent threat of war and

17 that this was not a session of a Rump Presidency but a session attended by

18 six members of the Presidency? Is it not true that this was functioning

19 in danger of imminent threat of war and that --

20 THE INTERPRETER: Would Mr. Milosevic please slow down.

21 A. No, this is not correct. Yugoslavia was not facing an imminent

22 threat of war. Yugoslavia was threatened by Serbian aggression against

23 parts of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Mr. Mesic, apart from these political qualifications which are

Page 10733

1 quite inadequate, you have no arguments to put forward. You are speaking

2 of a war against Yugoslavia, an illegal and unconstitutional secession,

3 it's expulsion of units of the Yugoslav army from the territory of

4 Croatia. Please, your fabrication about what General Kadijevic said --

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we're not here to listen to more

6 speeches. We're almost finished today. It may be of assistance to know

7 how long do you think you might require in re-examination, Mr. Nice?

8 MR. NICE: It could be 20 minutes I thought would have been more

9 than possible.

10 JUDGE MAY: There will be that available. We'll have to decide

11 how the time goes is to be divided.

12 MR. NICE: There are important issues raised with this witness and

13 it's only right that a proper record should be left in the evidence about

14 what the true position is.

15 [Trial Chamber confers]

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Mesic, would you be available for longer than

17 one hour tomorrow morning? Is that possible?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to be in Zagreb by 12.00

19 noon. I need at least an hour to get there, or an hour and a half, to get

20 to Zagreb. Maybe an hour and a half. I could be here for an hour and a

21 half, from 9.00 to 10.30.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, that would be helpful. Yes.

23 [Trial Chamber confers]

24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll give the accused another half hour

25 had, Mr. Tapuskovic half an hour, Prosecution 20 minutes.

Page 10734












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Page 10735

1 You've got another five minutes. Do you want to ask some more

2 questions, Mr. Milosevic, this afternoon, or are you finished for the day?

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mesic: Were your claim correct, what sort of

5 obligation would the army have to obey me had I ordered the army, the then

6 JNA, to do something? Why would they have had to obey me? How could I

7 have issued them with orders?

8 A. Formally they were under no obligation. That's precisely the

9 point. You issued orders to that army, and when I asked General Kadijevic

10 why he was obeying only you, he said: Everybody else in Serbia is even

11 worse. You should discuss this with General Kadijevic.

12 Q. As far as I know, you asked him why he was communicating with me

13 at all, not why he was obeying me. Because, as you know, that is untrue.

14 A. General Kadijevic, as the Secretary of National Defence, never,

15 throughout my term of office in Belgrade, came to see me. Just recall how

16 many times you talked to him.

17 Q. Less than you, I assume as his supreme commander.

18 A. You're making me laugh again. This is no place for us to laugh.

19 Q. On page 17 of your statement, you say that the Rump Presidency

20 implemented a putsch, a coup d'etat. Was this a Rump Presidency because

21 you obstructed its functioning and those who followed you in your

22 obstruction, or was it a Rump Presidency because those who continued to

23 attend the sessions were continuing to fulfil their obligations? Was it a

24 Rump Presidency because you left it or because they remained at their

25 posts performing their duty? Is there any logic in this, Mr. Mesic?

Page 10736

1 A. The Rump Presidency could not be established by any legal and

2 legitimate means, by any extensive interpretations of the constitution.

3 This was an illegal group of people which introduced a state of emergency,

4 at the suggestion of Slobodan Milosevic, because he was the only one who

5 had any influence over those people and over that Rump Presidency. And

6 let me give you a piece of information. My advisor remained in Belgrade.

7 The room, the premises where the Presidency and later the Rump Presidency

8 had its sessions had a connecting door leading to my former cabinet. My

9 advisor listened to what they were talking about. He came to Croatia by

10 way of Hungary and reported to me, so that I knew what the Rump Presidency

11 was discussing. Slobodan Milosevic asked that Vukovar be left alone and

12 that the army go to Zagreb. And General Kadijevic said that this was

13 impossible because the Croats had gained in military strength to such an

14 extent that they would attack his flanks and he would not be able to reach

15 Zagreb. So the opinion prevailed in the end that Vukovar had to be

16 destroyed. This is my interpretation now, but it was the accused who

17 asked that Zagreb be attacked. The witness to this is my advisor who told

18 me this.

19 JUDGE MAY: Let's follow this. When were you told that there had

20 been this discussion about Vukovar, Mr. Mesic? What sort of date are we

21 dealing with?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was the time when I was not

23 going to Belgrade, when there were frequent army attacks from Novi Sad and

24 Belgrade against Vukovar, and my advisor was still in Belgrade. He was in

25 Belgrade until Vukovar fell. And he used to come to see me by way of

Page 10737

1 Hungary, via Hungary.

2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you know that the presidents of the republics at the

4 session of the Presidency, that they arrived only rarely and by

5 invitation, and that except on those rare occasions when all the other

6 presidents of the republics were present, I never took part in any

7 sessions of the Presidency? How can you put forward such fabrications,

8 such falsehoods? You should know that. And you say this was put to you

9 by your advisor --

10 JUDGE MAY: It's suggested, Mr. Mesic, that this is not true.

11 Perhaps you could answer that and then we'll adjourn.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First I have to say that the accused

13 is now speculating. These are not sessions of the Presidency of the SFRY,

14 because I know very well how any session chaired by me was convocated [As

15 interpreted]. I'm speaking about sessions of the Rump Presidency. Who

16 they invited and how, I don't know. I only know what my advisor told me.

17 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now. It's 2.00. Tomorrow

18 morning -- you can go on tomorrow morning about this.

19 JUDGE KWON: Before we adjourn and before too late, I'd like to

20 suggest the registrar to exhibit Mr. Mesic's transcript the in Dokmanovic,

21 which we didn't.

22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, I believe it was marked Exhibit 329.

23 JUDGE KWON: Those are exhibits.

24 THE REGISTRAR: I will look into that.

25 MR. NICE: I think the position is that part of the transcript was

Page 10738

1 marked on its side as exhibited pursuant to the 92 bis package and the

2 other part wasn't. So there might be grounds for simply taking the whole

3 Dokmanovic transcript and exhibiting it as His Honour Judge Kwon proposes.

4 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. First of all, we'll deal with the

5 exhibit number. Yes.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution's Exhibit 331.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked that the other transcript,

8 which contains a more extensive testimony by Mr. Mesic, also be tendered

9 into evidence. I will not say what the case is, because he was a

10 protected witness in that case.

11 JUDGE MAY: We haven't seen that. Is there any objection to that

12 being done?

13 MR. NICE: Can I think about that over night. One of my problems

14 is is that in two cases the page references of the accused don't match the

15 transcript I have and I haven't been able to find the references he made.

16 JUDGE MAY: We'll consider that overnight. Meanwhile, I would

17 remind everybody that we are sitting tomorrow from 9.00 in the morning

18 until half past 4.00, 4.00 to half past tomorrow, 4.00 or half past

19 tomorrow.

20 Mr. Mesic, would you be back, please, for the first session

21 tomorrow. Thank you. 9.00 tomorrow.

22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.04 p.m.,

23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of

24 October 2002, at 9.00 a.m.