Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 10739

1 Thursday, 3 October 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: The programme for today will be as follows: That the

7 witness will be examined until 10.20 in the way which we've already

8 ordered. We'll then break until 10.50. At 10.50 we will deal with

9 Mr. Wladimiroff's matter. We will then have the earlier witness back for

10 examination today and tomorrow. The first session will be until 12.20,

11 the luncheon adjournment will be until 1.50. We will sit again 1.50 to

12 3.20. We'll take a 10-minute break; we'll sit again 3.30 to 4.30.

13 Tomorrow morning we will sit for four hours between 9.00 and 1.00,

14 with breaks as appropriate. We will finish tomorrow at 1.00, by which

15 time we will have finished the examination of the earlier witness.

16 Now, as we said, there is cross-examination of this witness for a

17 further hour, Mr. Milosevic. Yes.


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mesic, for the past two days, you have spoken

22 a lot about Greater Serbia. Do you know that Greater Serbia is a creation

23 of the Austro-Hungarian empire from the century before the last and that

24 it was used exclusively as a means of anti-Serb propaganda and that there

25 was never a programme, that no Serbian government ever had this kind of

Page 10740

1 programme from the moment Serbia came into existence until today? Are you

2 aware of that?

3 A. I know a lot of things about history, but we are here for another

4 reason. If Greater Serbia was not in issue, why, then, did the Guards

5 Division, commanded by the Supreme Command, directly subordinated to

6 Blagoje Adzic, attack Vukovar? Why did the 252nd Armoured Brigade from

7 Kraljevo, from Kraljevo, mind you, go against Vukovar? Why did the 220th

8 Armoured Brigade from Nis attack Vukovar? Why did the 2nd and 3rd Guards

9 Brigades attack Vukovar? They were commanded by Sljivancanin, Mrksic, and

10 Radic, as is well known. Why did the White Eagles come, Dusan Silni

11 commanded by Raznjatovic, Arkan?

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mesic, I'm going to interrupt you. Do I take it

13 from that answer that this is a conclusion which you draw from the events

14 which occurred?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were implementing the plan for

16 the creation of a Greater Serbia. These were units of the Ministry of the

17 Interior, special purpose units of the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia,

18 and the Territorial Defence of Serbia, all under the command, ultimately,

19 of Slobodan Milosevic, accused here. The plan for the creation of a

20 Greater Serbia started from Vukovar. I don't want to enter into

21 Austro-Hungarian propaganda.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Mr. Mesic, as you know, I was the President of Serbia. Yesterday,

24 Mr. May asked me about Vukovar, and I told him I didn't know about that.

25 I was the President of Serbia. And you, Mr. Mesic, is it not correct,

Page 10741

1 attacked, according to your own decision, the JNA, wherever it was

2 stationed. You are responsible for the conflicts with the JNA, which was

3 on the territory of Yugoslavia. You caused all the destruction and

4 killing. Is that correct or not, Mr. Mesic?

5 A. The accused is putting forward conclusions that not even David

6 Copperfield would be ashamed of. Croatia was defending itself from the

7 JNA because the JNA was arming those who were attacking Croatia, the

8 Croatian state and the Croatian government. Croatia was defending itself

9 because the JNA, under the control of the accused, was attacking Croatian

10 territory. No one attacked barracks. They were simply blocked,

11 surrounded, to prevent them attacking.

12 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Mr. Milosevic, I think the reference

13 to David Copperfield was probably to Micawber, although I don't know if

14 that's right or not. But in any event, can we deal with something more

15 concrete? We are dealing in generalities and it's really of no assistance

16 to the Trial Chamber to have these very general discussions.

17 Perhaps you can help us. Since the plan for the Greater Serbia

18 was mentioned, Mr. Mesic, did you hear the accused or anybody in the

19 leadership of the JNA or the Republic of Serbia talking about such a plan?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. Or rather, it is

21 correct that there was no discussion of the creation of a Greater Serbia.

22 As far as I know, there is no such conclusion, formal conclusion, but the

23 job of creating a Greater Serbia was being done in Serbia and in Bosnia

24 and Herzegovina. So work on it was being conducted. And I draw this

25 conclusion on the basis of the actions of the JNA, the Territorial

Page 10742

1 Defence, and the illegal, or rather, legal in Serbia, paramilitary

2 organisations which were mobilised in centres in Serbia, which were

3 trained in centres in Serbia, and after the fall of Vukovar, men, women,

4 and children, all those who were not killed in Ovcara, were taken to camps

5 in Serbia, which stretched all the way to Nis.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Since this is evidently untrue, to avoid your explaining again

8 about Greater Serbia, which as you yourself say nobody ever discussed,

9 yesterday you said that you were well aware of the time, so the Serbs

10 reacted in August 1990. You spoke of the log revolution. And you claim

11 that conflicts broke out because there was a plan to create a Greater

12 Serbia, which as you yourself have just said nobody ever mentioned, and

13 that it was the plan to create a Greater Serbia which broke up Yugoslavia.

14 Now tell me: You were the first Prime Minister of Croatia after

15 the HDZ won the elections, and this government introduced a reign of

16 terror over the Serbian population. They did this before August 1990.

17 A. There was no reign of terror in Croatia. As I said, there were

18 unacceptable messages, that is correct.

19 Q. What sort of messages are you talking about? Let me just remind

20 you: This wave of anti-Serbian nationalism which was reminiscent of 1945

21 and 1971, let me tell you, on the 12th of March, the presidency of Croatia

22 sent a letter where Milan Seselj resigned because of the benevolent view

23 of the Ustasha taken by the government because the government was allowing

24 the Serbian people to be mistreated, their language thrown out of the

25 constitution, and taking every opportunity to mistreat the Serbs in

Page 10743

1 Croatia. This was in March 1990. You said the Serbs rebelled and put up

2 logs to prevent your police from slaughtering them in August, but the

3 Ustasha killed Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies in Jasenica, as you well know.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we're going to deal with concrete

5 matters and we're going to deal with questions and not speeches. Now,

6 would you move on to some other topic. I think we have exhausted this

7 topic. We've been through it several times yesterday, and now we're going

8 through it again today. Now, remember, your time is limited.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You are wasting my time and

10 Mr. Mesic is wasting my time. I'm using my time very rationally.

11 JUDGE MAY: If you don't have sensible questions, it will be

12 brought to an end.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this a sensible question,

14 Mr. May, for him to tell me why the survivors of Jasenovac, of the

15 Jasenovac camp, wrote a message saying, "We have escaped one hell, we

16 don't want our children and grandchildren to experience another. We are

17 embittered by the knowledge that the independent state of Croatia was the

18 will of the Croatian people."

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. Mr. Mesic --

21 JUDGE MAY: The witness cannot answer the question as to why that

22 letter was written. You will have to call evidence about it if you wish.

23 Now, what is your next question?

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. My question is: In your programme, the programme of the Croatian

Page 10744












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Page 10745

1 Democratic Union, did you include all this? I'm speaking of the

2 historical opportunity for the Croatian people to create their own state.

3 And did you embark upon a pogrom of the Serbs on the 17th of June, 1989?

4 This is the programme of that HDZ of yours which was established on the

5 17th of June, 1989, with these goals. So did the Serbs rebel before that

6 for you to do that, or was it afterwards? How can something that happened

7 later cause something that happened before?

8 JUDGE MAY: Several questions in one. The first allegation is

9 that you embarked upon a pogrom. I think, Mr. Mesic, these are matters

10 which you've dealt with before, but since it's put in that way, you should

11 have the opportunity to deal with it.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already answered this

13 question, but I can do so again. The Croatian people had the right to

14 independence, just as the people of Finland have, just as the Serbs have.

15 They have the right to independence and they made use of that right.

16 Because Yugoslavia had no integrating factors any longer, Croatia wanted,

17 in the period leading up to dissociation, to have this happen in a

18 peaceful way, which is why it offered a confederal model. I have already

19 stated this.

20 I also said that Croatia was based on the anti-fascist Croatia

21 created in World War II. The Croatia of today is based on the

22 anti-fascist Croatia. The independent state of Croatia was neither

23 Croatian, nor was it independent. It was a creation of quislings. It

24 perpetrated crimes and it had to answer for those crimes. To link the

25 independent state of Croatia as it was then with the Croatia of today can

Page 10746

1 only be in the interest of somebody's propaganda. But the Croatia of

2 today, a democratic country ruled by law, has nothing to do with that

3 independent state of Croatia. I said, and I say again, that there were

4 erroneous messages, messages that were wrong, but this had to be resolved

5 through the institutions of the Croatian state and not to have the Serbs,

6 who are elected to the Croatian parliament, walk out of that parliament

7 when there were issues to be identified and resolved. What was it they

8 wanted? They wanted precisely what happened and precisely what Milosevic

9 is accused of today. But it was not they themselves who wanted the

10 rebellion, it was others who led them into rebellion, and the accused

11 knows very well that the aim was to set up the Virovitica-

12 Karlovac-Karlobag boundary.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. You said that a thousand times.

15 A. It's always the same.

16 Q. You hold it against Croatian MPs. I'm not entering into your

17 internal affairs in the parliament, but you hold it against them that they

18 walked out of the parliament to avoid resolving issues, and this,

19 according to you, was the place where they should have been solved, and

20 yet you do not hold it against yourself that you walked out of the

21 Presidency of Yugoslavia, the highest organ of Yugoslavia, where problems

22 had to be resolved. You purposely brought the Presidency into a situation

23 in which it became a rump Presidency by walking out of it and leading

24 others to do the same. All your stories about Greater Serbia were merely

25 a pretext for you to carry out your plan, to decapitate --

Page 10747

1 MR. NICE: I'm sorry to interrupt, but can the witness perhaps

2 answer that question, if there is a single question locked in there.

3 JUDGE MAY: Was there a question? What was it?

4 MR. NICE: The suggestion is that he walked out of the Presidency

5 of Yugoslavia. I'd like to have an answer to that.

6 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think he's answered it several times, but of

7 course he can.

8 The suggestion is that you accused the Serbs of walking out of the

9 parliament but you walked out of the Presidency, and I suppose what's the

10 difference? That's the point which was made.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will gladly answer, and I'm glad

12 that the question was put. Croatia proclaimed its independence in

13 agreement with the international community. Croatia postponed the

14 implementation of its decision, hoping that a political solution would be

15 reached within three months' time, namely, a political model as to how we

16 would move from that federation which no longer functioned into something

17 that was different. We said that we wanted a confederal model. If it did

18 not function, then everybody would take their own path. But as an

19 independent state without wars.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Mr. Mesic, we've already heard that.

22 A. Yes, we have already heard it. That's why I'm repeating it. And

23 once these three months elapsed, when there was no more Presidency, when

24 Croatia was independent, I had nothing to do with the Presidency. I had

25 no business there. I did not come to the Presidency of Yugoslavia of my

Page 10748

1 own free will. I came on the basis of a decision reached by the Croatian

2 parliament, and if there was no more Presidency, my only task was to

3 return to the parliament and say that I had no more business in Belgrade,

4 and that's exactly what happened. I don't see how I was the one who

5 toppled Yugoslavia.

6 Q. Of course you're the one who did. Mr. Mesic, is it being denied

7 that mass dismissals from Serbs who were employed in the police, state

8 administration, and even the health sector, was --

9 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't answer questions on that. You asked

10 them yesterday and he dealt with it. You must ask something new today if

11 you want to continue.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am asking him something new.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Because the point is that it's not possible if you put the time

15 sequence together, then you will see that the reaction of the Serbs in

16 Croatia was reaction to a pogrom that was started against them.

17 JUDGE MAY: You've dealt with them. Now, look, Mr. Milosevic:

18 You can ask questions about what the witness has said, but you can't go

19 over and over again the same material. It's pointless. Now, you've got

20 10 minutes left.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you remember the statement made by Lord Carrington,

23 who said: We were about to reach a solution. You are talking about it

24 now, a political solution. We were about to resolve the problem of

25 Slavonia and Krajina when Germany recognised Croatia within its borders

Page 10749

1 and that destroyed the peace process. Croatia had no interest whatsoever

2 in pursuing the political process. They simply carried out what they had

3 intended to carry out. Do you think that he's right when he says that?

4 A. Germany was not the first one to recognise Croatia. It was

5 Iceland that did. Iceland and Germany and all other countries that

6 recognised Croatia and Slovenia. Later, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.

7 They recognised reality, because Serbia did not accept agreements.

8 Serbia, headed by the accused, wanted to change borders of the republics.

9 That's the whole problem. Because if there were dismissals from work, I

10 repeat once again, is that a reason to destroy Vukovar? Are divisions

11 supposed to be brought in then?

12 Q. I believe that we've cleared that up, that there were conflicts

13 with the JNA, not with Serbia, and conflicts with the JNA and the

14 territory of Yugoslavia and the Croatian part of Yugoslav territory were

15 caused by your violence, not the violence perpetrated by the JNA.

16 But my question is: Did the Serbs accept Vance's plan and the

17 UN-protected areas, north, south, east, west? Is that correct or is that

18 not correct, Mr. Mesic? Is that not what happened at the end of 1991 and

19 the beginning of 1992? Is that correct, Mr. Mesic?

20 A. Correct. The Vance-Owen Plan.

21 Q. It's not the Vance-Owen Plan. It's the Vance plan.

22 A. All right. It was the Vance plan and then the Vance-Owen plan,

23 and the UNPAs, and Croatia abided by that. They were protected.

24 Q. Oh, you're saying that you protected the UNPAs and you carried out

25 all these attacks against the UN-protected areas, all of them. Look at

Page 10750












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Page 10751

1 it. That is a book about the Miljevac Plateau, with pictures of corpses.

2 The book about Maslenica also. This is 1992. This is 1993. The exodus

3 in 1995. Persons who went missing, Western Slavonia. 1995. All these

4 attacks were carried out against UN-protected areas. How do you explain

5 that, Mr. Mesic, that you attacked all the UNPAs?

6 JUDGE MAY: We are being asked by the interpreters to remind you

7 to slow down, both the accused and the witness.

8 Now, Mr. Mesic, the allegation is that there were attacks on the

9 protected areas. Perhaps you could deal with those.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were only responses to

11 attacks. Croatia had to re-establish traffic on its roads. Croatia had

12 to ensure normal life in its towns, and they were under attack, under

13 attack at all roads in Croatia. As for Maslenica, it is a well-known fact

14 that this is an area above the Adriatic highway and Croatia was

15 practically cut in two and Croatia had to ensure the possibility of

16 traffic taking place.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Mr. Mesic, it is my claim that the Serbs accepted the Vance plan,

19 that they carried out demilitarisation, that they were guarded by the UN

20 and that you attacked them and that you expelled them from the areas that

21 were protected by the UN. These are historical facts. Are you denying

22 that? Are you claiming that that's not the way it was?

23 A. Of course I'm denying that, because, quite simply --

24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. Let the witness make an

25 explanation. Yes.

Page 10752

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Great.

2 Q. Mr. Mesic --

3 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He has finished, Mr. May.

5 JUDGE MAY: Can you add anything, Mr. Mesic, to that, about the

6 protected areas?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. I can add that disarmament

8 was not carried out.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Mr. Mesic, we are not going to go into that now. I don't have

11 time to exhibit these books and these abominations. Whether the Serbs

12 observed the zones under UN protection is not something that I'm going to

13 contest, because it's quite clear that they did and that you did not. So

14 now we have to proceed.

15 JUDGE MAY: Put a question. You're not giving evidence.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please.

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. You came to the head of the Presidency on the 1st of July, 1991.

19 Within three months' time, until the 1st of October, you held 15 sessions

20 of this highest organ of the Federation, at which discussions were held on

21 halting hostilities and on a peaceful resolution to the Yugoslav crisis.

22 I did not attend a single one of these sessions. You rarely invited the

23 presidents of the republics, these 15 sessions that I'm referring to. Did

24 any member of the Presidency of the SFRY, as you put it, from the pro-Serb

25 bloc, was against stopping hostilities and finding a peaceful resolution

Page 10753

1 to the crisis? At these 15 sessions that you convened, was a single one

2 of them against it?

3 A. Even a commission was stopped -- was formed to stop the

4 hostilities. It was headed by Branko Kostic, member of the Presidency.

5 As a matter of fact, he was vice-president of the Presidency. This

6 commission was actually a commission for fanning the flames of war, and

7 that's the way they behaved. They had support among the Serbian bloc,

8 which was headed by Borislav Jovic. And he, on the other hand, had direct

9 communication with the accused.

10 Q. Are you trying to say that they opposed a peaceful solution, that

11 they did not want a peaceful solution?

12 A. Correct. That is precisely what I'm saying.

13 Q. The minutes that you presented here shows that on the 1st of

14 October, six members of the Presidency were present. I just want to

15 correct you in terms of what you said yesterday. And the decision on the

16 demobilisation of all armed groups on the territory of the SFRY, except

17 for the JNA, and the regular peacetime police force, and that was supposed

18 to take place as of the 18th of July, 1991, as of midnight, and you

19 personally signed that decision, Mr. Mesic. You signed that decision on

20 behalf of the SFRY Presidency to disarm everyone except for the JNA and

21 the peacetime police force, and you armed your own ZNGs, members of the

22 national guard, and other paramilitaries who were plundering and killing

23 all over Croatia, and there is also --

24 JUDGE MAY: You must allow the witness to answer.

25 Yes, Mr. Mesic. No. You've been speaking for a long time.

Page 10754

1 Mr. Mesic, what's suggested is that you were disarming everyone except the

2 ZNG.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The accused knows full well that

4 these were illegal paramilitary organisations that had to be disarmed, and

5 I agree with that. As for the ZNG, the National Guard Corps is not an

6 illegal paramilitary organisation. It is an institution established

7 within the Ministry of the Interior, but it was armed. So this is a legal

8 organisation, not an illegal organisation.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Mr. Mesic, item 1 of this decision that you signed reads as

11 follows: To demobilise all armed units in the territory of the SFRY, the

12 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, except for the JNA and the

13 regular peacetime police force, by the 18th of July, 1991, 2400 hours.

14 There is no mention of legal, illegal. It says everyone, all armed units

15 except for the army and the police. You signed that decision, and now you

16 are claiming, because the ZNG --

17 JUDGE MAY: You must come to a question.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. You were aware of the crimes from the report of Stjepan Herzog

20 published in 2002 on the 29th of January. It was published by Novi List.

21 He says there is certain information about illegal arrests of peace-loving

22 citizens of Serb ethnicity who are taken away and nobody knows whether

23 they are dead or alive. That pertains to the liquidation of the Serbs in

24 1991. It says that this was addressed to the Committee for the Protection

25 of the Constitutional Order, to Tudjman, et cetera. You knew about all of

Page 10755

1 that, didn't you, Mr. Mesic?

2 A. Such a letter was not sent to me. After I was elected to this

3 office, I found this. Croatia did not always function as a state based on

4 the rule of law. It is today, though. And these crimes are being

5 investigated. If it is correct -- if what Mr. Stjepan Herzog established

6 then is correct, the perpetrators will be brought to justice. Croatia

7 today is a state based on the rule of law.

8 Q. Mr. Mesic, I'm not asking you about anything that is taking place

9 today. You keep explaining this period of time when you were responsible

10 for crimes against Serbs by saying that, I don't know, that the parliament

11 decide this, that you were not being asked about this, that you were --

12 JUDGE MAY: This is going over old ground yet again. Now, your

13 time is now up. You can ask, though, two more questions if you wish, but

14 they must be new questions.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, that's precisely the question

16 I put: Was Mr. Mesic some invisible man who was not in this leadership

17 that was responsible for these crimes, or does he consider himself to be

18 one of the persons responsible for these crimes against Yugoslavia?

19 JUDGE MAY: He's already answered that several times.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. If you're letting me put

21 two more questions, I'm going to put my next two questions.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Is it correct that it was precisely this same JNA - and you were

24 at the helm of the collective supreme commander - did it not agree to 14

25 cease fires during these operations, and all were requested by the

Page 10756












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Page 10757

1 Croatian side, doesn't that best show the attitude precisely of that

2 military leadership that you have been contesting? This Supreme Command

3 staff was founded in 1987, not later, as you were saying. Doesn't that

4 show the attitude of the Presidency and of the military leadership, that

5 is to say, to find a peaceful solution to all these problems? And each

6 and every one of these cases, the army did accept your requests, and in

7 their reports that I have received here, it says that they did not open

8 fire anywhere, only in the places where they were attacked. How do you --

9 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer that.

10 A. We are not establishing negative facts here. We are talking about

11 positive facts. That is to say that the Supreme Command staff can become

12 operational --

13 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... translation.

14 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English channel? Can you hear

15 the English channel?

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's all right. Yes. Let's go on.

17 Yes, Mr. Mesic.

18 A. The Supreme Command staff can be activated only in case of war and

19 only in case of imminent threat of war. A decision on that is to be

20 passed by the Presidency of Yugoslavia. Such a decision was never

21 reached.

22 As for the ceasefire, there were ceasefires, as far as I know this

23 was the case, yes, 14 times. I'm not going into who had requested a

24 ceasefire; there were ceasefires. But the army was carrying out the

25 assignment it got, to cover the area that the paramilitaries had put under

Page 10758

1 their control before that and they expelled the non-Serb population from

2 that area.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. All right. So I'm entitled to one more question only. This area

5 that you are talking about were UN-protected areas after that, and I see

6 that you learned this very well, this sadly composed false indictment. My

7 question is the following: Now that you are working for this illegal

8 Tribunal, do you really believe you can evade criminal responsibility for

9 crimes?

10 JUDGE MAY: That's not a proper question. The witness is a

11 witness before the Tribunal, he's not working for it, as you know quite

12 well.

13 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.

14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

15 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:

16 Q. [Interpretation] From the extensive material we have here, it was

17 very difficult for me to decide which particular documents to select and

18 what to choose as interventions as amicus. And I decided on two pages

19 from this massive material, and I'd like to ask the Prosecution to prepare

20 these documents. They are Mr. Mesic's statements given in March 1998

21 before the investigators of The Hague Tribunal, so that I won't be able to

22 go into that other statement, which was longer, in the Dokmanovic case,

23 except for a fragment of that.

24 But what I would like to ask you first, Mr. Mesic, is this: It is

25 a sort of introductory question and has to do with the event that took

Page 10759

1 place in Karadjordjevo. You said that you wanted to organise a meeting

2 between yourself and Tudjman and Jovic and Milosevic, and you proposed

3 this to Tudjman, whereas only Tudjman actually went to the meeting; isn't

4 that right?

5 A. Yes, that's right.

6 Q. Is it also right that in all the matters relating to the destiny

7 and fate of Croatia, you consulted the president of the Republic but that

8 you also stood by your own opinions and views? Is that right?

9 A. In the Yugoslav state Presidency, I represented the interests of

10 the Republic of Croatia, and I put forward my own views as well.

11 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you said that your entire family were in the

12 Partizan movement, and you said that when you were interviewed as a

13 witness in the Dokmanovic case, at one point you said the following: "My

14 father and his five brothers and my entire family, including myself, all

15 of us were with the Partizans." And I know that very well, and that 11 of

16 your relatives were killed.

17 I'm not going to ask you about some things that this Court will

18 have to go into about the victims in the camps during World War II, but I

19 do want to ask you the following in view of the fact that your whole

20 family was in the Partizans: Is it correct that in World War II, of all

21 the people living in our areas and in our part of the world, it was the

22 Serbs that suffered most? Yes or no.

23 A. It was the Jews, the Romanies, and of course a lot of Serbs that

24 suffered and were -- fell casualty. But I don't want to enter into

25 speculation as to numbers.

Page 10760

1 Q. Thank you. Is it also true that Hitler bombed -- only bombed

2 Belgrade and the Serbian towns and Montenegrin towns, not military targets

3 but mostly civilian targets and that there were a great deal of victims

4 and casualties among the civilians themselves? Is that right?

5 A. Yes, it is. The Wehrmacht did bomb Serb towns.

6 Q. Thank you. Is it also true that it was only in Serbia where if

7 one person was killed, 100 Serbs were killed in retaliation, in

8 Kragujevac, Kraljevo, and other towns in Serbia?

9 A. Yes, that is correct. I just have to add that General Adzic told

10 me that if one Serb was killed, 2.000 Croats will pay with their heads.

11 Q. Yes, I've heard that, but I asked you this, and I'm going to ask

12 you today the following: Yesterday you mentioned the killing of

13 Ferdinand. The killing of one man is always a tragedy and I don't think

14 that the killing of, the murder of Ferdinand was a good thing. But what I

15 want to ask you is the following: Are you aware of the fact that in World

16 War I, of the military-able men in Serbia, 60 per cent of the male

17 population in Serbia were killed? Is that correct or is the percentage

18 approximately correct? Perhaps it was 54 per cent.

19 JUDGE MAY: Your role is to assist the Trial Chamber and not to

20 try and make points of various sorts for either side. Now, these are

21 matters which no doubt we can read, if they're relevant, but I don't

22 really see that it's going to assist cross-examining this witness about

23 the First World War or indeed the Second World War.

24 The point that the accused has made is that the Serbs were in

25 fear, and he says, no doubt that that is because of a background of what

Page 10761

1 happened 50 years before. But there's a limit to the evidence that we can

2 receive on this topic, and it's a limit to what benefit there is in

3 cross-examining this witness about it. Now, we will -- we've said that we

4 will hear on both sides one historian, but there is a limit beyond that

5 which we're not really prepared to go. So could you bear that in mind,

6 please.

7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour Judge May, that is

8 precisely what I wish to do, just what you were saying. I am bearing that

9 in mind and wish to clarify that point. I want to arrive at a question,

10 but I have to go back to one previous question before I get to my main

11 question. I would like to ask Mr. Mesic whether, in the history of the

12 Yugoslav peoples and area - as you called it, the invalid Yugoslavia -

13 whether there were any 40 years between 1950 and 1999, whether the country

14 had ever gone through a period of this type in history where there were no

15 casualties, no victims, no civilian casualties, and that it was in fact

16 the most peaceful period in the history of that entire region.

17 Q. Is that correct?

18 A. I agree with you on one point, and that is that it was a peaceful

19 time, without war. The Serbs and Croats never went to war in history

20 until this particular war, which was imposed in order to expand borders,

21 or rather, to change the borders and frontiers of the republics of the

22 then Yugoslavia.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to go back

24 to some matters that are really very relevant to this Trial Chamber, and

25 that is the following: In World War I, a large number of regiments came

Page 10762












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Page 10763

1 from the area of Croatia.

2 Q. Is it true that Josip Broz Tito was a member of one of those

3 regiments and arrived in Serbia, in Ljig?

4 JUDGE MAY: I do not see why that is very relevant to the Trial

5 Chamber, and particularly I don't see why it's of any relevance to the

6 cross-examination of this witness. Now, he dealt, Mr. Tapuskovic, with a

7 great deal of evidence, and there's been little cross-examination relating

8 to it. If you want to cross-examine him on his evidence and if you want

9 to assist the Trial Chamber, by all means do so, but going back in history

10 at the moment does not seem to be of any assistance.

11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It is precisely because of those

12 killings that the Serb people were afraid of any other conflict or war

13 that might come. That is why I put my questions. But I will stop there.

14 Q. Yesterday you said that there were only three integrational

15 elements in Yugoslavia and that they were Tito and his -- with his

16 charisma and authority, then we had the League of Communists of

17 Yugoslavia, and finally, the Yugoslav People's Army. That's what you

18 said, I believe, isn't it?

19 A. Yes. They were the main factors of integration. Of course, there

20 were economic interests and so on and so forth, communications, and so on.

21 But they were the main factors of integration, without which Yugoslavia

22 was no longer tenable.

23 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. The people that lived for 70

24 years together, the language, family ties, the economy, culture, and

25 everything else, did this not link up people? Was it really only tourism

Page 10764

1 that was the important link in the chain? Were not all these other links

2 important?

3 A. An amicus curiae is there to assist the Court. That is the duty

4 of the Judges too. But he must also help ascertain the truth. I did not

5 say that tourism was the main factor of integration. What I said was that

6 the main integrative factors were the ones I stated. There were others.

7 But without those three main factors of integration, Yugoslavia could not

8 have survived. It was Serbia that went to block Slovenia, and Slovenia

9 was within the frameworks of Yugoslavia. It was Serbia that forbade, led

10 by Mr. Milosevic, the accused here, to purchase goods from the republic of

11 Serbia, any goods whatsoever, in the republic of Serbia. This boycott was

12 enforced. So who, then, is it who wished to dismember the country?

13 Q. Nonetheless, this first factor of integration did exist because,

14 of course, Josip Broz Tito died. He died a natural death and the League

15 of Communists disintegrated.

16 You said yesterday -- actually, in the statement you gave

17 previously, in paragraph 4 of that statement, you said that Milosevic

18 destroyed the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Now, do you think that the

19 Communist Party of Yugoslavia should have remained in place or do you

20 think that it should have been done away with in order to democratise the

21 region? Do you consider that it should have remained? Because you seem

22 to criticise Milosevic for having effectively destroyed the Yugoslav

23 Communist Party.

24 A. That is your explanation and interpretation, that is not what I

25 said. All I said was that that particular factor of integration had

Page 10765

1 disappeared too. And let me say that I went to prison because I was

2 against a one-party system, so don't put into my mouth words that I did

3 not say.

4 Q. No. I'm just reading your statement, reading the statement you

5 gave, in which you say: "Milosevic effectively destroyed the Yugoslav

6 Communist Party." That is word-for-word what it says in your statement,

7 the statement you gave in 1998.

8 A. I have to answer once again and respond: There were three factors

9 of integration which had disappeared. Amongst them was the League of

10 Communists, which was a multinationality, multi-ethnic party, which means

11 that all the nations and nationalities, in one way or another, took part

12 and participated in the membership of the League of Communists of

13 Yugoslavia. And then the League of Communists of Yugoslavia disappeared.

14 I do not say that the League of Communists was a good thing. It could not

15 have been a good thing by virtue of the fact that it was just one party,

16 one single party, and I was in favour of a multiparty system. So don't

17 place words into my mouth and say that I was sorry to see the League of

18 Communists go. All I said was that it was this factor of integration

19 which had disappeared.

20 Q. Thank you. And then you say all that remained was the Yugoslav

21 People's Army, and then you said yesterday now it was up to destroying the

22 Yugoslav People's Army. Who was it who should have done this? Who was it

23 who destroyed the Yugoslav People's Army?

24 A. It was the accused and his vision of the creation of Serbia at the

25 expense of other people's territory. The army asked for sponsors,

Page 10766

1 sponsorship, because the mechanism, that enormous mechanism, was left

2 without the money to fund it, so it sought for sponsors. And the army saw

3 Slobodan Milosevic as being its sponsor. Slobodan Milosevic who stands

4 accused here. And in Serbia, who would have a larger territory. That is

5 why the army took the side of Slobodan Milosevic and executed the tasks

6 that he placed before it.

7 Q. But was not the army attacked in Slovenia on the 27th of June,

8 1991, when barricades were set up around the borders? The army wished to

9 go and control the borders, but on that occasion 40 innocent soldiers were

10 killed and they were not bearing arms. Is that correct? Wasn't the army

11 attacked in Slovenia when the barricades were set up by the Territorial

12 Defence throughout Slovenia? Isn't that right?

13 A. In Slovenia, the army was not attacked. It was the Yugoslav

14 People's Army who was the attacker in Slovenia, attacking the institutions

15 of the Slovenian Republic.

16 Q. Thank you. And was a blockade set up of the barracks, following

17 orders from Zeks? In Croatia and in Split, to prevent the soldiers from

18 being able to get water, food, and electricity?

19 A. I have already answered that question. The blockade was

20 necessary. The blockade of the barracks of the Yugoslav People's Army was

21 necessary to prevent the arming of those who were overthrowing the

22 institutions of the Croatian state.

23 Q. I don't want to go back to Mr. Spegelj and his statement that what

24 should be done was to begin killing the officers of the Yugoslav army, but

25 you keep saying that one party in Serbia kept talking about the

Page 10767

1 Karlobag-Virovitica et cetera, that border there.

2 A. You mean Karlovac.

3 Q. Yes, I mean Karlovac. We know what we mean. Now, the Croatian

4 party of rights on the 17th of June, 1991, did it proclaim the Lipljanska

5 povelja on which it demanded the eastern borders along the lines of

6 Subotica, Zemun, Drina, Sandzak and Boka Kotorska?

7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speaker please be asked to slow down

8 and repeat the final part of his question. Thank you.

9 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked to slow down and also to repeat the

10 final line of the -- the final part of your question.

11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. That the borders had to be along the

13 Subotica-Zemun-Drina-Sandzak-Boka Kotorska line, that's what I was saying

14 with the June charter.

15 A. I do not know about that June charter, but even if it was adopted,

16 the authority in Croatia was not in the hands of the Croatian Party of

17 Rights. As far as General Spegelj is concerned, because he was mentioned

18 here, he never uttered the fact that anybody ought to be killed. What he

19 said was - and there are videotapes about that - that in the case of a

20 civil war, should a civil war break out, nobody will ask who was guilty

21 and who was not, there's just shooting and people are killed. And that is

22 why he said that a civil war should be avoided.

23 Q. Now, you say that because of all this, among the people in the

24 region - and I equate the Serb and Croat people - that there was not the

25 fear of new conflicts and loss of life. But let me ask you this question

Page 10768












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Page 10769

1 now and wind up that area. If there was no fear and no justified fear --

2 I understand that Croatia had the right to unite its territory. That is

3 quite normal, to have a uniform united territory, and I accept that. But

4 isn't this what happened in the end, what happened actually in the

5 Krajina, that it was the Serb houses that were burnt, that the civilians

6 were killed and that all the people, about 300.000, perhaps it wasn't

7 exactly 300.000, but one day, with bombings from planes, were expelled

8 from those areas. I don't know whether forever, but anyway, they were

9 expelled then. How could that have happened if your aim was only to get

10 back your territories? Does that not mean actually that the fear was

11 justified and that the Serbs suffered the fate that they were afraid of?

12 A. When the log revolution began, there was not one single reason for

13 any serious fear. There were no serious grounds for fear and anxiety.

14 Everything should have been settled through Croatian institutions. And

15 had that been done, there would not have been any war in Croatia. But it

16 was the arming of those who were implementing the plan to expand the

17 borders of Serbia - I don't want to say Greater Serbia here - but to

18 expand it. Because it's a small area, so nobody can be great in a small

19 area, or greater in a small area. So it was this expansion of Serbian

20 borders that was wanted. So those who were armed worked to implement that

21 plan. And when the final operation took place, a part of the people left

22 together with the army. They left together with the army.

23 Q. Mr. Mesic, I accept all that, but I'm asking you why civilian

24 casualties were necessary. Why was it necessary to kill civilians, to

25 burn their houses, and to expel them from these regions? That's what I'm

Page 10770

1 asking you.

2 A. I have already answered that question. I said what the Serbs in

3 Croatia were needed for. Slobodan Milosevic needed them to populate

4 Kosovo once he had expelled the Albanians. But the crimes committed

5 against the civilians, it is I myself who am in favour of having every

6 criminal brought to justice and have all these cases investigated, and

7 that is the policy that I am pursuing and the Croatian radicals are

8 criticising me. They are uniting against me with the Serb radicals and

9 are criticising me in that. And if you change their title, then you will

10 see that they are working along those same lines, and we were able to see

11 that during this trial as well.

12 Q. Thank you. That was the topic I wished to discuss and ask you

13 about. I have one more matter to deal with. They are constitutional

14 matters. I know full well that, as a statesman, you are well versed in

15 the most subtle aspects of constitutionality so I won't be able to go into

16 the details but just some basics, please.

17 In your statement here, you spoke about the Croatian Spring and

18 you say here at one point that many ideas for which we strove were adopted

19 and were incorporated into the 1974 constitution, which established a

20 confederal Yugoslavia. That's what you say in your statement. And when

21 you were examined as a witness in the Dokmanovic case, on page 1629, lines

22 7 and 8, you say the following: That the 1974 constitution introduced

23 into the Yugoslav mechanism the confederal model. Is that correct?

24 A. The functioning of the Federation, in practical terms, meant that

25 it worked according to the confederal model. That's not the name it was

Page 10771

1 given, but if automatism exists with the rotation of the president and

2 vice-president, and if the most important questions require a consensus of

3 opinion, then quite certainly that is a form of a confederation, the

4 confederal model.

5 Q. You said yesterday that you decided that you had to work towards

6 independence because Yugoslavia was no longer a federal state, which

7 according to your convictions, as you stated here already, in 1974 it was

8 in fact a confederal state. Now, how do you explain this? How do you

9 marry the two?

10 A. It was not fully a confederal state. It had aspects of the

11 confederal model in its mechanism. That is why Croatia and Slovenia

12 proposed a confederal state to the ultimate consequences. The model that

13 was in force could not have survived, because neither Serbia was satisfied

14 with it, nor any of the other republics, and that is quite true. But what

15 we were asking for was a confederal model. Serbia proposed what it

16 implemented later on in Kosovo and Vojvodina, and we were not able to

17 agree to that.

18 Q. Thank you. Is it true - especially as you followed this - after

19 the Croatian Spring, there was initiative to change the constitution, to

20 alter the constitution? Is that so?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. As early as 1971, were there tempestuous discussions about this?

23 And this book published in 1971 at the faculty of law in Belgrade, was it

24 not banned, and did it not contain the opinions of the biggest legal

25 experts of the time in Yugoslavia who thought that this was leading to the

Page 10772

1 break-up of Yugoslavia, which is why it was banned? Are you aware of this

2 or not?

3 A. I don't know which books were banned in Belgrade.

4 Q. I'm asking you about this one.

5 A. I have to mention, if we are discussing law, that original

6 sovereignty in the Yugoslav Federation was born by the republics. Dr.

7 Jovan Stefanovic, a university professor, held the view - and he was

8 correct in this - that original sovereignty was born by the republics and

9 it was by the will of the republics that part of their sovereignty was

10 transferred to the Federation. Dr. Jovan Stefanovic also said that

11 citizenship originally resided in the republics, but by virtue of the

12 logic of things, if a republic belonged to a federation, it was considered

13 that if someone was a citizen of the republic, he was also a citizen of

14 Yugoslavia.

15 Q. We have no time to go into this. You say you don't know anything

16 about this book, but since you yourself were imprisoned unjustifiably, do

17 you know that because of their opinions that these constitutional changes

18 were leading to the break-up of Yugoslavia, Mihajlo Djuric, a university

19 professor, another assistant professor, Cavoski, as well as Kostunica,

20 were persecuted and dismissed, expelled, from the university because they

21 held the view that these changes were leading to the break-up of

22 Yugoslavia? Are you aware of this?

23 A. I know that many people in Croatia were punished for their

24 opinions, and I'm absolutely against this. I'm also against people in

25 Serbia being punished for holding certain opinions. Whether I agree or

Page 10773

1 disagree with these opinions is another question. At the time, it was a

2 crime to hold certain opinions. Unfortunately, the country was a

3 dictatorship, and that's how it was.

4 Q. We have no time to go into this. I will have to discuss this with

5 experts on constitutional law. But let me ask you this: Did the

6 constitution of 1974 provide for a veto?

7 A. I cannot answer this question.

8 Q. Did the regions, the autonomous regions, have the right to take

9 independent decisions, and if Serbia voted in favour of a certain proposal

10 in the Federation, a decision could not be reached if one of the provinces

11 disagreed with it?

12 A. A province could halt a certain measure if it disagreed with it.

13 Q. So a province could block any proposal coming from Serbia at the

14 federal level?

15 A. I don't think this refers to any proposal. It was only essential

16 matters, and this also meant that the republics, if they disagreed with a

17 certain measure, could not -- it could not be implemented at the federal

18 level.

19 Q. Is it true that no republican law could be passed without the

20 consent of the provinces in a country of 10 million inhabitants and the

21 provinces had only 2 million inhabitants? Is this correct?

22 A. Yes. They were a constitutional category.

23 Q. If the constitution proclaimed the -- that all the republics were

24 equal, how was it possible for Serbia to be so powerless that it could do

25 nothing, absolutely nothing, on its own? Practically all the federal

Page 10774












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Page 10775

1 institutions had been eliminated, nothing was functioning at the federal

2 level precisely because of what was imposed on Serbia and did not exist in

3 any other republic. Answer me just this: Were there attempts in Croatia

4 for national minorities or the constituent peoples to attain the same sort

5 of rights but they were unable to do this?

6 A. Croatia had no autonomous provinces. Serbia had two autonomous

7 provinces; Kosovo and Vojvodina. But the Yugoslav constitution

8 established that the autonomous provinces were a constituent element of

9 the Federation within the framework of Serbia. Their representatives in

10 the federal Presidency held equal status to the presidents of the

11 republics.

12 Q. Mr. Mesic, my time is up. I have to take this into account. And

13 I have only one question left: When you set out to declare independence

14 in the situation where two Germanys -- the two Germanys had already united

15 and Europe was headed towards integration, in a situation in which the

16 Helsinki charter existed, how was it possible for you to go for

17 independence, when the whole world was heading towards integration, you

18 were breaking up a small part on the globe into a fragment, in separate

19 states? That's my last question.

20 A. As the Federation was untenable, it is quite logical that we

21 wanted dissociation. There was no other way out. There are far smaller

22 states in Europe than any of the Yugoslav republics, much smaller states,

23 which are sovereign and independent. But the solution for all the former

24 republics, which are now states, is a united Europe, which will open up

25 its borders. Nothing stood in the way of the republics becoming

Page 10776

1 independent without a war, and for every nation, as is happening now in

2 Europe, to live within its own culture - just as a German doesn't care

3 today whether he's on one side of the border or the other, or a Frenchman

4 - the same would have happened on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

5 It wouldn't have mattered whether a Croat or a Serb was on one side of a

6 border or another because the same rules that apply in Europe and that are

7 reached through European mechanisms in a democratic procedure would have

8 applied. There was no need to use tanks to impose one's own solutions on

9 others. This was the biggest mistake made by the one who wanted to change

10 the borders of republics, and that is the accused.

11 Q. Well, I agree, but why was Germany, which had united, the first

12 country to recognise you?

13 A. I answered yesterday that we were first recognised by Iceland.

14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, Your

15 Honours.

16 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:

17 Q. The correct and full quotation from the statement of March 1998

18 put by Mr. Tapuskovic reads as follows:

19 "That in 1989 ... Milosevic --" or "at the 14th congress,

20 Milosevic effectively destroyed the Yugoslav Communist Party. This

21 created a void at the federal level, since the only functioning parties

22 were those at the republic level."

23 Was that your view of events at the time, Mr. Mesic?

24 A. That is correct. I was not defending the policy of the Communist

25 Party; I was simply ascertaining that it had disintegrated.

Page 10777

1 Q. And by being destroyed at the federal level, were there then only

2 republican parties in operation?

3 A. That is correct. The League of Communists remained at the

4 republic level. In Croatia, it was transformed into a social democratic

5 party. It accepted the multiparty system and carried out social

6 democratic policies such as is normal in Europe.

7 Q. In the limited time available, any question that you can answer by

8 a yes or no will probably result in the saving of time.

9 Various allegations have been made against you. A little bit more

10 about your own credentials, please. Were you ever a member of the

11 Communist Party yourself, so we can know about that? Yes or no.

12 A. Yes, I was.

13 Q. Until when?

14 A. Until 1971, when I participated in the Croatian Spring, called for

15 democracy and called for clear accounts at the federal level.

16 Q. You were asked about the period of peace of which the next 20

17 years, approximately, would form part. Period of peace, yes; with or

18 without civil rights, as properly understood in Europe, would you judge

19 that period of peace?

20 A. It was a period without war, but not a period of peace, because

21 laws were applied selectively, and this cannot be so in a democracy.

22 Q. You told us of the period of time which you, a qualified lawyer,

23 were unable to get a job and indeed unable to travel because you were

24 deprived a passport. Was deprivation of passport a standard tool of the

25 then state?

Page 10778

1 A. Hundreds of thousands of people were denied a passport. I was one

2 of them. I applied for 150 vacancies, and although I had passed the

3 examination to become a judge, the bar examination, I was unable to get a

4 job.

5 Q. With that background of concern for democracy, did you cleave to

6 those positions throughout the beginnings of the HDZ as a party, leaving

7 that party only when you disapproved of its actions in Bosnia?

8 A. I was convinced that Yugoslavia could not survive, but I was also

9 afraid of those enormous rallies, the million-strong masses, saying that

10 they would settle accounts with Croatia. I was looking for those who

11 could resist these attacks, stand up to those attacks, and I thought it

12 was the HDZ that could rise to that historical challenge. When I saw,

13 however, that part of that policy was diverging from what I wanted, then I

14 abandoned it.

15 Q. Pausing there in the chronology, and I'm dealing with a few

16 matters chronologically: Who were the first victims of Plitvice and

17 Pakrac? Were they Croats or Serbs?

18 A. There were no victims in Pakrac, no wounded and no dead, but the

19 Yugoslav army was brought in to take the territory needed to achieve

20 Greater Serbian goals. The first victim in Plitvice was a Croat, Josip

21 Jovic.

22 Q. During your occupancy of the Presidency, as president, for which

23 you had striven, were you working conscientiously to achieve results

24 through the Presidency?

25 A. That is correct. I understood my arrival at the Presidency as an

Page 10779

1 opportunity to find a peaceful political way out of the crisis, because

2 Yugoslavia entered the crisis before my arrival. The work of the

3 Presidency was blocked. Federal institutions were not functioning. All

4 this was already happening when I was appointed to that office.

5 Q. And were your attempts to hold meetings away from Belgrade, where

6 it was too dangerous for you to travel, were your attempts to hold

7 meetings sincere attempts where you would have conducted business had it

8 been arranged -- had it been possible to make arrangements to meet?

9 A. It's not that it was just dangerous for me to reach Belgrade. I

10 was prevented from reaching Belgrade because the airport in Zagreb had

11 been closed down and the roads were blocked. I wanted to convene a

12 meeting where everybody could come, and that was on Brioni. The answer

13 was that there could be no agreement and that the military option was to

14 be employed.

15 Q. Let's move on, then, in time, dealing still with your overall

16 credentials. You've had put to you -- shouldn't have been done but you've

17 had put to you a passage from a protected transcript, which I'll deal with

18 procedurally when your evidence is concluded, but can you help us with one

19 question or two questions about that and answer them yes or no. You know

20 the protected evidence and the trial to which it relates. Was the

21 defendant in that trial a Serb? Yes or no.

22 A. That's correct.

23 Q. Was he a Serb, the defendant in the other -- the Chamber knows the

24 point I'm getting at.

25 JUDGE MAY: I think you know -- we need to look at our Rules,

Page 10780












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Page 10781

1 because the witness is giving evidence here.

2 MR. NICE: I'll deal with that procedurally. The point, I think,

3 is obvious.

4 Q. Let's come to Bobetko. In the very last week, when it was known

5 you were coming here to give evidence, had there been reaction,

6 substantial reaction in Croatia, adverse to the surrender of Bobetko to

7 this Tribunal?

8 A. Yes, that is correct.

9 Q. Have you, from the very first moment when this issue was raised in

10 Croatia, I think last week or the week before, been resolute that Croatian

11 defendants indicted here should be surrendered here for trial?

12 A. I consider that Croatia has a constitutional law on cooperation

13 with the Tribunal and that it must cooperate always, at all times. The

14 Croatian government also has the right to use the legal means at its

15 disposal when it finds this necessary.

16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I have a few matters of detail arising

17 from questions. Can I just deal with those? I can't deal with

18 everything.

19 Q. I think you spoke of the Serbian minister's visit to Croatian

20 territory. Do you remember that passage of questioning? If so, can you

21 give us the name of the Serbian minister and whereabouts it was he went,

22 and when, if you can remember.

23 A. I cannot recall his first and last name at the moment, but I know

24 that he visited the area that entered into the

25 Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica boundary without the knowledge of the

Page 10782

1 Croatian authorities, and he was a minister in the government of Serbia.

2 He was accompanied by Vojislav Seselj, whose military units were also in

3 the same area.

4 Q. When there was a vote about the withdrawal of the army from

5 Croatia, were you the only one to vote against that proposal?

6 A. I have to correct you: The vote was on the withdrawal of the army

7 from Slovenia.

8 Q. Sorry. From Slovenia. Yes. Were you the only one to vote

9 against?

10 A. Correct, because I held the view that this was part of the

11 accused's scenario. He wanted to let Slovenia go because there was no

12 indigenous Serb population there, so he could not attack part of Slovenian

13 territory. That is why the JNA withdrew from Slovenia and did not enter

14 into a further war with the Territorial Defence of Slovenia, which was

15 very successful.

16 Q. It's suggested that at this time you were enthusiastic for the

17 break-up of Yugoslavia. If you had voted differently, would you have

18 shown more enthusiasm for the break-up, do you think?

19 A. When I voted, I had in mind that this was the implementation of a

20 scenario, but I said: If the Yugoslav army, which had become Serbian,

21 also withdraws from Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia, then I will vote for

22 its withdrawal.

23 Q. Just a matter of detail the Chamber may not otherwise have

24 understood: As president of the Presidency, you explain you had only a

25 very limited personal staff serving you. Is that correct?

Page 10783

1 A. Yes. I had only a few staff members; an advisor, a Chef de

2 Cabinet, and two secretaries.

3 Q. I think perhaps finally: You've had drawn to your attention this

4 morning, very recently, the possible existence in the Serbs of fears that

5 they will have had built on earlier unhappy and tragic events. Did you

6 ever prey on Serb fears with your approach to politics, Mr. Mesic, or not?

7 A. Never, not for a single moment was it my policy to intimidate or

8 frighten anyone because of their nationality or ethnicity. I always

9 advocated, and I still advocate today, the rights of citizens, civil

10 rights, the protection of minority rights, and positive discrimination of

11 vulnerable groups, including minorities.

12 Q. And have you at all times attempted to bring that about in

13 Croatia, the positive discrimination for vulnerable groups?

14 A. Yes, that is correct, which is why I supported the law on national

15 minorities which is being passed in accordance with European standards. I

16 wanted Croatia to be even more advanced and to give national minorities

17 even more space.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mesic, that concludes your evidence. Thank you

20 for coming to the Tribunal to give it, and indeed for making yourself

21 available for an extra day. The Tribunal, the Trial Chamber, will adjourn

22 now for half an hour. We'll begin again with Mr. Wladimiroff's matter.

23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, just before we adjourn and perhaps after

24 the witness has withdrawn, may I just make our position clear on the other

25 transcript, so that we can -- before we forget it.

Page 10784

1 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

2 MR. NICE: The position is -- this doesn't -- the witness doesn't

3 have to stay for this, I know he's probably in a hurry to go. The

4 position is that --

5 JUDGE MAY: The witness would like to go.

6 [The witness withdrew]

7 MR. NICE: The transcript remained subject to protective measures

8 of another Chamber, and indeed was then moved to the Appeals Chamber,

9 where it remains under protection. The Prosecution, consistent with its

10 duty of disclosure, was concerned that the accused should have an

11 opportunity to read that transcript, and since the accused finds

12 opportunities when he can to criticise these procedures, it should be

13 known publicly that everything is done to make material available to him,

14 the Prosecution taking initiatives when they must. So we took the

15 necessary steps that would enable him to read the transcript, and it was

16 provided on him pursuant to an order of the Presiding Judge of an Appeals

17 Chamber on the basis of non-further disclosure and indeed on the basis of

18 contempt consequences for breach of the order. Therefore, it should never

19 have been, under that order, mentioned publicly in this Court.

20 Now, if, in the event -- and I had no desire to interrupt a point

21 while it was being taken by the accused. If in the event it's only that

22 part of the transcript that he wants to go before you, then that can

23 really be an end of the matter.

24 JUDGE MAY: Why don't we look at the whole transcript and see if

25 there's any relevance in it.

Page 10785

1 MR. NICE: Yes. If you want any more, then we'll have to consider

2 whether the accused, or someone on his behalf, should apply back to the

3 Appeals Chamber for a more liberal extension.

4 JUDGE MAY: This is going round and round. I thought the law --

5 Rules had been amended to make it more practicable.

6 MR. NICE: They may have been, but that's what we have been left

7 with in this case and we have to obey those Rules for obvious reasons.

8 JUDGE MAY: The sensible course may be for the Trial Chamber to

9 have a look at the transcript, see what may or may not be relevant, and we

10 can take the matter further from there. Thank you.

11 MR. NICE: Thank you, sir.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In connection with this transcript,

14 I just wish to correct a factual error that was probably intentional on

15 Mr. Nice's part. He asked Witness Mesic whether the defendant was a Serb,

16 the accused was a Serb, and then he did confirm that the accused was a

17 Serb. And I was using the transcript from a trial where a Croat was the

18 accused. I also referred to the transcript from the trial of Dokmanovic,

19 but that was public.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Nice's question was aimed at getting the

21 answer which you've just given. He didn't get it. But that was the

22 purpose of the question, obviously.

23 Look, we're going to look at this transcript and we'll come back

24 to it in due course and see if we can't make it public in some way. So

25 we'll return to it when we've had a look at it ourselves.

Page 10786












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10787

1 We'll adjourn now, half an hour.

2 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

3 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. There is a request that the accused be permitted

5 to consult with his associates today, here, after the Court has stopped

6 sitting, for an hour or an hour and a half. That we shall instruct the

7 registry to facilitate.

8 Now, I turn to the matter which we said we would deal with, which

9 relates to the amicus Mr. Wladimiroff.

10 Mr. Milosevic, you were making some submissions on that topic when

11 I stopped you last week. Is there anything you want to add to what you

12 said then?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you know, I put a question in

14 relation to what the friend of the Court said - your friend, not mine -

15 about these proceedings. I consider this to be inappropriate and I

16 consider that to be an obstruction in the proceedings and whatever is

17 going on here, but I believe that this confirms precisely that this

18 illegal court is not in the domain of law. It is in the domain of

19 politics and the media. After all, the previous witness too primarily

20 expounded on his political thoughts, he was not establishing facts. This

21 is yet additional proof of the fact that this is a political and media

22 operation, not a legal operation of any kind.

23 As far as individuals in this room are concerned, I consider it to

24 be highly inappropriate that they engage directly in this media campaign

25 which is following this operation that you call a trial, and I believe

Page 10788

1 that in this way Mr. Wladimiroff has fully disqualified himself, even as

2 your friend, from carrying out that duty.

3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I wouldn't normally call on the Prosecution,

4 but if there's anything you want to say about this, you should have the

5 opportunity of doing so.

6 MR. NICE: Thank you, Your Honour. No. The transcript has

7 recently come to my attention. There are some passages that cause us

8 concern, but I'm sure that those passages will already have occurred to

9 the Chamber. I made the observation on the last occasion that this was

10 raised that there are dangers involved in speaking to the press at all. We

11 do not do so and we've pursued that policy rigorously from the beginning

12 of this trial, and I think it's extremely unfortunate that --

13 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice, you may not have done so, but others,

14 I suspect, have.

15 MR. NICE: Not from this trial team we haven't.

16 JUDGE MAY: No, not from your trial team, I'm sure, but others

17 have. You might like to review that.

18 MR. NICE: Yes. I mean, there is, of course, a press component in

19 this office, but so far as the trial team is concerned --

20 JUDGE MAY: Well, there have been comments on the trial, which it

21 may be that you might review the propriety of in due course.

22 MR. NICE: I haven't seen them myself. Indeed, I don't really

23 read the press, because it's, as I indicated in my recent short opening,

24 so far as I can understand, often ill informed. There it is. That's my

25 basic observation. Unfortunately, there shouldn't be any contact with the

Page 10789

1 press, and inappropriate for those involved in trials of this kind.

2 I'll just check with Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff and Mr. Groome. I haven't

3 discussed it.

4 No, nothing else.

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Wladimiroff, we have now your note which has been

6 passed to us about the article which appeared in the Kultura newspaper and

7 then was part of it reproduced in the Dutch press. Perhaps you'd like to

8 begin by dealing with that.

9 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, Your Honour. I will start indeed with the

10 Bulgarian one. And dealing with the portion of that Bulgarian publication

11 Mr. Milosevic mentioned, I can firmly say these were not my exact words.

12 The publication resulted from a visit to Salzburg in August. I was

13 teaching students at a summer school on international criminal law, a

14 course organised by the University of Salzburg, and one of the students

15 active for the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee's Legal Defence Programme

16 asked for an interview, which he taped at the time.

17 When answering general questions about my practice as a lawyer,

18 Tadic case and fair trial issues as a whole, questions of the student

19 moved to the Milosevic trial. In my response to the question, "Is there a

20 chance Mr. Milosevic will be acquitted?" I indicated that the Prosecutor

21 has chosen a large target against the accused of the Kosovo, Croatia, and

22 Bosnia issues. In using a shotgun - you have read in the transcript what

23 I actually said on that subject: In using a shotgun, he was attempting to

24 assure that some of the pellets from the shotgun - perhaps I should say

25 hunting rifle - hit the target as a way of proving his case. I stated as

Page 10790

1 well that there is a possibility of the accused being acquitted of all

2 charges. And again, I take it you have read it in the transcript.

3 Later the student, who is not a journalist, told me that he

4 published the article in a newspaper in Bulgaria and that he had edited my

5 answers to his questions and had included a phrase not used by me

6 deliberately. That is the phrase, and I quote: "Theoretically, yes, but

7 in practice, no." He e-mailed me yesterday the transcript of the relevant

8 passage from the tape, and has also confirmed my account of the interview.

9 And that confirms my reaction. You have these documents.

10 Let me say I regret what happened, but as you may have noticed,

11 what has been published here was not actually what I said, and you have

12 read what I have said.

13 If I may now turn to the previous issue, the Haagsche Courant, I

14 dealt with it during the hearing of the 11th and I wrote you a letter on

15 the 12th to explain how that came about. As I've written in that letter,

16 actually, I have nothing to add to what I said here in Court. In my

17 judgement, the content of the article does not reflect the spirit of my

18 conversation with that journalist and what is said, the quotations, are a

19 misrepresentation of what I've said.

20 Here the situation is slightly different. After the hearing, I

21 contacted the journalist, and he regretted that the article had not been

22 sent to me for approval. He defended his understanding of the

23 conversation but acknowledged that his version was an interpretation of

24 our conversation; these were not quotes. I disagree with his

25 interpretation, but that leaves the matter as it is.

Page 10791

1 In both cases, I realised that I should have not given an

2 interview, as I have written to you, and I accept that by giving an

3 interview, consequently I am responsible for that interview, although I

4 have not been quoted correctly; in one case not quoted at all, and in the

5 other case, incorrectly.

6 Let me say, I regret the criticism on matters that have happened

7 outside of the courtroom. Since my assignment as amicus curiae in

8 September last year, I have tried to assist the Court and the accused in

9 this trial in the interests of justice, and I believe that the accused has

10 benefitted from this assistance, and I can tell the Court that if there is

11 a lesson for me to learn, the lesson is clearly this: I can't talk to the

12 press, even not on matters which are not directly -- indirectly being

13 related to Milosevic case. I do better to keep silent and simply do my

14 task entrusted by the Court.

15 JUDGE MAY: The accused has submitted that it's inappropriate for

16 you to continue. It will be a matter for us, of course, to determine

17 that, but how do you answer that suggestion which he makes, that it is

18 inappropriate for you to continue?

19 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I understand his observation on this issue, but

20 as I already have said, these incidents deal with matters I was reported

21 to have said outside of the Court. I take the position that in Court, I

22 have function to calling to the standards as has been required by the

23 Court to the amici. I think I can function as an amicus in this case if I

24 keep up the standard in Court, as I've done before, and to avoid a

25 repetition of what happened outside of the Court I just indicated I won't

Page 10792












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10793

1 speak to the press any more and I think it is possible to continue.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you, Mr. Wladimiroff, reconsider that

3 answer against the background that one of your roles is to make

4 submissions and objections that are open to the accused, which it would

5 seem to me raises a question as to whether, in light of what has happened,

6 any confidence can be reposed in you to discharge that responsibility.

7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Let me say this, Your Honour: I take it that

8 the matter of confidence is a matter for the Court. If I say it very

9 directly, the amici do have a relation with the Court. We try to assist

10 in the Court. We are not tied to any of the parties. We have no relation

11 with any of the parties. We are not instructed by any of the parties. So

12 there is not a matter of a relation of trust with any of the parties.

13 We do have a relation to the Court, and as I've said, I regret

14 what happened outside of the Court, misquoted or not quoted at all, but

15 anyhow, having been reported of what I was -- said -- what I have said,

16 which I did not say, I feel that there is a -- let me try to phrase it

17 very carefully. I feel that I have happened an incident that may have

18 disappointed the Court, and I apologise for that, but I still believe that

19 what I've done in Court would allow me to go on, because that is what

20 matters, what I do here in Court in front of you.

21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Wladimiroff, you raised the point that you, as an

22 amicus curiae, have some relation with the Court. That's the point, I

23 think. But the other people, the laymen, who do not understand very well

24 what amicus curiae is and what their role is, they might think that they

25 have regular contact with Judges, which is not true at all.

Page 10794


2 JUDGE KWON: So what you are saying may be reflected to other

3 people that they may include some Judges' thinking or something like that.

4 So could you give me your observation of what is the real transcript? You

5 compare the -- you describe the trial as a kind of hunting game, and at

6 the end of the transcript you mention that there is a possibility some

7 bullets will stick. So could you clarify that, that meaning.

8 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I will try to do so, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, thank you.

10 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Let me first address the first issue you raised.

11 Perhaps one of the problems I created for myself is to explain to the

12 outside world what an amicus is doing. The lesson, as I said, here to

13 learn is perhaps one should not, because in an attempt to explain what an

14 amicus is doing, in a way you come to talk about the trial and then you're

15 vulnerable to questions you don't want to answer to, and that's what

16 happened.

17 Now, answering to your second question, in my appreciation, at

18 least I've not meant to compare the trial with a hunting game. Of course

19 not. But I used an example which I think is not -- is perhaps not the

20 best example I ever used in my life. But the example was meant to

21 demonstrate, in a very simple way, what one perhaps could say the

22 Prosecution is doing with so many charges, and the example of a hunting

23 rifle shooting all these bullets, the charges, I thought at that very

24 moment would explain what is going on. It doesn't say that we are dealing

25 here with a trial in that respect. It's not a comparison of the trial;

Page 10795

1 it's a comparison of what the Prosecution is.

2 Perhaps I shouldn't have done it. I should leave out the word

3 "perhaps." I shouldn't have done it.

4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. And I remember I mentioned this once

5 before while we are dealing with some summarising witness, with Mr. Nice,

6 I remember I said that what is important is that we have to do the right

7 thing and we have to do the fair trial. But what is also important is

8 that we have to be seen to others as we are doing just things, right

9 things, and fair trial. But what would you say to this: That the public

10 and the media may no longer consider you as to be an impartial body? What

11 is your observation, by what you have said in the media?

12 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Let me say this, Your Honour: I try to separate

13 what I am reported to have said and what I actually have said. It is

14 extremely difficult to respond to things you have not said. Actually, you

15 simply can't. I can only respond to what I've said, and I reiterate:

16 What I have said is not endangering the fairness of the trial, in my view.

17 What I've said may not be beautiful language or the finest example one can

18 use. It is unfortunate to deal, perhaps, with the matter at all, but I've

19 not really said anything that is wrong, that really endangers the trial,

20 which is unfair to the accused. And from that feeling, that I was

21 misquoted, I feel that I'm able to continue to do the work as properly as

22 one should. And as I also said, in Court, I did not make this mistake in

23 terms of phrasing things not very elegantly, and not having done so, I

24 feel I can continue.

25 Perhaps it's also -- I shouldn't say this, but I think, to be

Page 10796

1 frank with the Court, after all, I am a Dutchman. I try to speak English

2 as good as I can. It's sufficient to do my task, but sometimes it may

3 hinder me, and I think these are the occasions where it was of hindrance.

4 Perhaps if you're a native speaker, one would have used finer examples or

5 phrased it perhaps in a way that no misunderstanding could happen. But

6 again, it's not an excuse. It's more an explanation.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: For example, Mr. Wladimiroff, in the quote cited

8 by Judge Kwon, it says, "You may lose half of all the links --" this is

9 the transcript from the tape. "At the very top, you may lose again a

10 number of cases, but some will stick, as we have spoken of a chance that

11 some will stick." That's very unfortunate language, and perhaps it would

12 have been more felicitous if you had said some may stick.

13 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I appreciate what you say, Your Honour, and

14 indeed, in hindsight, when you read it back, of course you wish you had

15 used more better language, more elegant language, more subtle language.

16 But you also may have noticed this is speaking language. It is long

17 sentences, and again, not as an excuse, but to explain why it was phrased

18 as it was, this is speaking language of a non-native speaker.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I want to reinforce, though, what Judge Kwon said

20 because, as you know very well, in assessing matters of bias and

21 partiality, very seldom will you get evidence of direct bias. So the real

22 test is how the matter appears to a reasonable man. The appearance is

23 more important, is a more significant indicator than the reality. And so

24 what Judge Kwon said is extremely important in, I think, how we assess

25 this. This is how it appears to the reasonable person.

Page 10797

1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I understand that, Your Honour, and I also

2 understand that this is a matter of careful consideration and indeed to

3 look at the transcript and judge matters on the basis of that and not on

4 what has been published. I appreciate that.

5 I also understand that justice should not only be done but also be

6 seen. But perhaps if the standard of the test of justice should also be

7 seen is applied, one may consider that that standard should be an

8 objective one, in the sense that it should perhaps not be understood in

9 the way as others decide how to promote it. What I'm saying is if the

10 media are making more out of it than is in it, it is a matter for you to

11 consider. I'm not saying they're making more out of it than there is in

12 it, but it is always in my mind that it would be wrong to reach at a point

13 where others would decide what you will have to think about it by writing

14 a lot about it. I'm not able to express myself more superbly, but I think

15 you understand what I'm saying. It's a matter of an objective test.

16 JUDGE MAY: Well, you must be right there. The test is: Has what

17 you have done affected the fairness of the trial?


19 JUDGE MAY: Is there any prejudice to the fairness of the trial?

20 That is the first question. And the answer to that is plainly not. This

21 is a Trial Chamber composed of independent and professional Judges, and no

22 reasonable person could say that there's any prejudice to the fairness of

23 the trial.

24 The next issue is: Is there any prejudice to the perception of

25 the fairness of the trial? And I speak for myself when I say that no

Page 10798












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10799

1 reasonable person could imagine that comments attributed to you could in

2 any way be attributed to the Trial Chamber. Of course not.

3 So the issue then is: Is it possible for you to continue in your

4 role, acting independently but as a friend of the court, your having

5 admitted, as is plainly the case, that it was wrong to speak in the way

6 which you have done. Now, do you feel that your independence has been

7 compromised and your ability to continue has been compromised by what has

8 happened? And more important, do you think the fairness or the perception

9 of the fairness of the trial has been compromised by your continuing?

10 Plainly, the Trial Chamber has ordered there should be an amicus, and

11 plainly that should continue.

12 MR. WLADIMIROFF: I will try to answer that, Your Honour. I think

13 the fairness of the trial is not affected. I think that the perception of

14 fairness of the trial has been, unfortunately, a matter of discussion, and

15 my hope is that the discussion today cleared that there should not be a

16 perception of unfairness if there was such a perception at all. If that's

17 right, if I evaluate the situation rightly, I would say I can go on.

18 JUDGE KWON: What is raised by our Presiding Judge and answered by

19 you is very appropriate, and it's absolutely right. We are not affected

20 at all by what you have said or what is expressed by the media.

21 My last concern is that the role of the amicus curiae is to assist

22 the Court, and it is also to assist, in part, the accused, who is not

23 represented by an attorney. But if the accused is so strongly opposed to

24 an amicus curiae, I'm concerned whether you, as an amicus curiae, can

25 pursue a robust role in the proceeding.

Page 10800

1 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Let me say this: I think that the accused's

2 position is that he doesn't recognise this Court, and consequently he

3 doesn't recognise anyone appointed by the Court. So from the very start

4 on, I have been aware that I am a persona non-grata in terms of law,

5 because I'm appointed by the Court. That by itself is not a hindrance to

6 do my task as good as possible, and that's what I've done.

7 You may have noticed that the amici concentrate on the legal

8 issues of this case, and we are very reluctant to interfere in

9 cross-examination. And I speak for myself; that's very true. In any

10 legal dealings, I realise that by addressing legal issues raised by the

11 Prosecution or raised by the Trial Chamber, I engage myself in a legal

12 debate or legal issue which the accused may not like because it is an

13 expression of playing according to the Rules and my understanding is that

14 he doesn't accept that because he doesn't recognise the Court. So I'm

15 familiar with the concept of an accused who doesn't like what someone who

16 is appointed by the Court may do. That will not change.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Wladimiroff, let me say that -- let me

18 clarify that, for my part, the question is not so much the fairness of the

19 trial from the point of view of the Judges sitting here. I would dismiss

20 that. The question, it seems to me, is more particular. It's the

21 perception of your fairness as an amicus. It's the perception as to

22 whether you can discharge fairly and impartially your role to make

23 submissions and objections that are open to the accused, in the light of

24 what has happened. It's not the fairness of the trial in abstracto or in

25 relation to the Judges. The question is whether you can be perceived as

Page 10801

1 being impartial and fair in light of the fact that it may reasonably be

2 said that you have commented on the evidence, not necessarily in the

3 Bulgarian transcript but in the other one, and in a manner which can be

4 said to be adverse to the accused. That's the perception which is at

5 issue; of your fairness in discharging the role ascribed to you to make

6 submissions and objections open to the accused.

7 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because if you can't do that, if I can't have any

9 confidence that you will be impartial and fair in making submissions and

10 objections that are open to the accused, then I don't see how you can

11 discharge your role at all. That's what I think you should concentrate

12 on. But I don't believe that we need to spend a very long time on this.

13 For my part, I'd be quite satisfied with what you have to say after you

14 have answered this particular question.

15 MR. WLADIMIROFF: Yes, Your Honour. Perhaps I say too much when I

16 say I am an independent mind, and I do mind when people say that I'm not

17 independent. I do not beg for this job or anything of that kind. I like

18 to do what I do, because I think it's in the interests of justice, and

19 that's the only concern, and I have no fear that it will be different. I

20 think I will continue as I did, in a way to assist the Court as I've done

21 within the courtroom every time I was here, and nothing will change, and I

22 feel fit to do it.

23 JUDGE MAY: I have to say, for myself, that I regard the crucial

24 issue in this, as in all issues, as to whether the fairness of the trial

25 is prejudiced, and that is the issue which I shall be putting to myself.

Page 10802

1 In relation to the fairness of your submissions, I think, as it were, not

2 in mitigation, but it can be said that the Trial Chamber has been assisted

3 by the submissions which have been made so far by the amici on a number of

4 issues, some of which I have no doubt that you have drafted. Yes.

5 Just one moment.

6 [Trial Chamber confers]

7 JUDGE MAY: The Trial Chamber will consider the issue.

8 Mr. Nice. I have a note that we'll need a few minutes to prepare

9 for the next witness.

10 MR. NICE: The next witness, as Your Honour will remember, is the

11 witness returning for cross-examination, who has the benefit of

12 protection.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll rise for a few minutes.

14 --- Break taken at 11.36 a.m.

15 --- On resuming at 11.50 a.m.

16 [The witness entered court]

17 JUDGE MAY: Since we've had this break, we'll in fact go on now

18 until 1.00 and adjourn then.

19 The second administrative point is this: Because of the form of

20 the microphone for the witness, it's most important that all speakers turn

21 off their microphone, having spoken, or otherwise it affects the witness's

22 microphone.

23 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

24 WITNESS: WITNESS C-037 [Resumed]

25 [Witness answered through interpreter]

Page 10803

1 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

2 Q. [Interpretation] You gave a statement, as far as I can see, on the

3 1st of May, 2002, that is, of this year, and you're testifying about the

4 events which took place 11 or 12 years ago.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Now, these 12 years that have elapsed, is that too great a passage

8 of time for you to be able to remember all the details in precise terms,

9 everything related to those events, 11 or 12 years later?

10 A. Yes, it is a long period of time. That's true. And I try to do

11 my best to remember everything that I thought I could remember and

12 everything that did take place.

13 Q. Well, that's the purpose of my question. So what you say, you are

14 absolutely convinced that that's how things happened; is that right?

15 A. Yes, I am convinced that that was how it was.

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the accused. We did not

17 hear the question.

18 JUDGE MAY: Microphone, please.

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The microphone is switched on,

20 Mr. May.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. -- with your family?

24 A. Part of my family. We don't all live in Pakrac in Croatia.

25 Q. Are you employed?

Page 10804












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13 English transcripts.













Page 10805

1 A. I am now.

2 Q. Do you have any difficulties with respect to going about your

3 daily life and work normally?

4 A. Well, it's not easy, but ...

5 JUDGE KWON: I don't think we have transcript which proceeded

6 "-- with your family?" What was the question and answer? Could you

7 repeat it again?

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question was: Is he living

9 normally, a normal life, with his family, and he says he's living in

10 Pakrac, quite normally, with his family.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Now, I'm interested in another matter. I'm not sure that it's

13 correct, but you'll give me your answer and then I'll know. Is it true

14 and correct that in November 1991 you were first accused in a trial before

15 the Croatian authorities that was --

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: May I interrupt here?

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Closed session.

18 [Private session]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 10806












12 Page 10806 – redacted – private session














Page 10807












12 Page 10807 – redacted – private session














Page 10808

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [Open session]

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. When did you set up the Serbian Democratic Party of Western

14 Slavonia?

15 A. Towards the end of May or perhaps in June 1990.

16 Q. The 6th of June? Who was the initiator? Who initiated the

17 formation of the party?

18 A. Well, there were several of us, amongst them I myself.

19 Q. Did you form the party independently or did you have any links and

20 connections with any other SDS party's branches, from Knin, for example?

21 Who were formed first: Those in Knin, the party in Knin, or your one?

22 Could you tell us something about that?

23 A. It was the people in Knin that registered their party first, and

24 then the first democratic elections were held, and several -- they won

25 several seats in parliament, in the Sabor. And it was only after those

Page 10809

1 elections that we founded our party in Western Slavonia.

2 Q. So you founded the party as part of the SDS which had already been

3 formed or as a separate party and registered it as such?

4 A. No. We belonged to the Knin party, the Knin SDS party.

5 Q. Tell me now, please: Did anybody outside those members of yours,

6 that composition of membership in Knin and in Western Slavonia, was

7 anybody else involved in the formation and establishment of that party,

8 for example, anybody from Serbia, from Belgrade? Was anybody involved in

9 the setting up of that party of yours?

10 A. As far as I know, no.

11 Q. Well, tell me, then, how you came by the idea of forming the

12 Autonomous Region of Western Slavonia.

13 A. Because the war was already ongoing in the Krajina region and in

14 Eastern Slavonia, and what we wanted to do was to ensure that Western

15 Slavonia avoid a war and to enter into negotiation, and that's why we set

16 up a separate party for SAO Western Slavonia.

17 Q. Why did you set up the SAO of Western Slavonia? As far as I

18 understood, it was to negotiate with Zagreb and to settle the issue. Why,

19 then, did you need to form an autonomous region, if that was your

20 intention at the time? Could you not have negotiated --

21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the accused.

22 Microphone.


24 Q. [No interpretation]

25 A. Well, this was because cell Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem

Page 10810












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Page 10811

1 was already in existence, so that some people considered that we belonged

2 to that area. We didn't want to belong to the area under that particular

3 name, and we wanted to have a different identification for ourselves.

4 Q. So that means that you set up the Serbian autonomous region of

5 Western Slavonia in order to distance yourselves from those in Eastern

6 Slavonia; is that what you're saying?

7 A. So as not to come under the SAO Slavonia, Baranja and Western

8 Srem. We wanted to be separate in order to be able to articulate our

9 requirements and demands.

10 Q. That's what I'm saying, so that you could distance yourself.

11 That's why you set up your particular SAO; right?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, I asked you a moment ago about the establishment of the SDS

14 in setting up the SAO. Was anybody from Serbia involved?

15 A. You're thinking of Western Slavonia?

16 Q. Well, whatever.

17 A. Not as far as Western Slavonia is concerned. I don't know about

18 the others.

19 Q. All right. Now, let's look at this from a financial aspect. Did

20 anybody provide funds for the SDS of Western Slavonia? For example, from

21 Belgrade, Serbia? Did anybody finance it in any way?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Did you have any connection whatsoever with Belgrade and Serbia in

24 the -- in your activities?

25 A. No.

Page 10812

1 Q. Tell me, please: Is it true that, with respect to the referendum

2 that you put into effect about the autonomy of the Serb people in Croatia,

3 that nobody from Serbia or Belgrade participated in that either; isn't

4 that right?

5 A. That's right.

6 Q. So you didn't have -- there wasn't any participation from them; is

7 that what you're saying?

8 A. No, there wasn't.

9 Q. Tell me this: You say, and you say that on page 9 of your

10 statement, that you would come to Belgrade, to the government of Serbia,

11 to have talks there with Budimir Kosutic, who was the vice-premier at the

12 time. Did you come at your own initiative?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Did you go to see him first and foremost because he too was a Serb

15 from Croatia, from those parts, and so you considered that you could pay

16 him a visit and talk to him?

17 A. I don't know which date you mean, which date you're referring to.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.

19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

20 Q. This is on page 9 of your statement. You said you went to

21 Belgrade to talk to him.

22 A. Our first contacts with Mr. Kostic was the fact that he was a

23 professor and we thought he could help us to articulate our criticisms to

24 the Croatian constitution.

25 Q. Well, thank you very much, because that's precisely what I wanted

Page 10813

1 to ask you, and you've saved me a question there. So you went to see him

2 for him, like a compatriot, who was from the same area, from the same

3 region, to help you with some legal matters because he was professor at

4 the Belgrade faculty of law; is that right?

5 A. Yes. That was our first contact with him, but that was not in

6 Belgrade; it was in Western Slavonia. But when I went to see him in

7 Belgrade, this was on the 21st or perhaps 22nd of August, 1991. On that

8 occasion I went to see him with a colleague of mine. I wanted to put

9 forward the problems because the war had started over there, and he

10 received us on that particular occasion.

11 Q. So it was at your initiative that you went to tell him what was

12 going on; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, did he encourage you in any way to have a conflict, incite

15 you towards a conflict with the Croatian state, or influence you in any

16 way in that respect, in a sense in which you could condemn in any way now?

17 A. Well, between the two conversations that we had, two meetings that

18 we had, when we went to have our negotiations with Mr. Tudjman, he didn't

19 like the fact that we had been previously -- this was a telephone

20 conversation. But he never incited us to go to war. I never heard about

21 that.

22 Q. All right. Let's go on now. When it comes to the question of

23 Territorial Defence for the SAO of Slavonia, is it true and correct that

24 in no way was Serbia involved in this?

25 A. I have no awareness or knowledge of it having been directly

Page 10814

1 involved, because I do not know in what way the Territorial Defence units

2 were set up, because the people who set them up did so without my

3 knowledge. I was not informed of this, so I don't know -- or whether

4 there was any part played by Serbia.

5 Q. Right. So you know nothing about the involvement of Serbia in the

6 Territorial Defence of Western Slavonia; is that right?

7 A. That is right. I do not.

8 Q. There was some tension over there and some conflicts and clashes.

9 I assume you mean in Pakrac; right?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. What happened there, in fact? Why did that conflict break out?

12 A. Well, it all started with the police station there, because the

13 ministry had sent some 30, approximately 30 policemen to the police

14 station in order to change the ethnic composition and to avoid having a

15 Serb majority but to have a different ratio in the make-up of the police

16 force, and they had new insignia and emblems on their caps. And as far as

17 I remember, the criticisms and objections made by the chief of police - or

18 secretary, whatever he was - that they were taking away the weapons from

19 the -- they were taking weapons out of the police station and into their

20 own homes, and this was a danger. And he asked the leadership of the

21 municipality to provide him with written authorisation for him to be able

22 to disarm the policemen and call in the reserve police force in order to

23 maintain law and order in the Pakrac municipality.

24 Once he did this, the ministry became involved, the Ministry of

25 the Interior, and one or two days later - I can't remember exactly - an

Page 10815

1 incident broke out when they were entering Pakrac to take over the police

2 station again and have it under their control. There was sporadic

3 shooting between the reserve police force and the ministry. There were

4 talks and negotiations, and the federal ministry became involved in this.

5 Control was taken over of the police station again and the same insignia

6 were reverted to, both in the municipality and in the police station.

7 That is briefly what happened.

8 Q. Very well. And then when did the army come in?

9 A. The army came in several hours after the incident.

10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.

11 A. Yes.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. What did the army do? What was its task? How did the army

14 behave?

15 A. The army arrived. I don't know who they contacted in the town and

16 in the police, but later on they asked that the reserve police force be

17 disarmed and that they hand over their weapons so that they could hand

18 over the weapons to the MUP of Croatia.

19 JUDGE KWON: We are having some kind of technical difficulty.

20 This witness is a protected witness and his voice is being distorted, so

21 you have to put a pause and speak very slow, slower than ordinary case.

22 And regarding the previous question to this one, when the witness said,

23 "Yes," there was no interpretation, either interpretation nor the

24 transcript. What was the question after: "The army came in several hours

25 after the incident," and what is the following question?

Page 10816












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Page 10817

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness has already answered the

2 question. The question was: What did the army do? And the witness said

3 that the army asked that weapons be given back and handed over to the

4 ministry.

5 JUDGE KWON: What was the previous question to that, if you

6 remember?

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Don't you have it here? The

8 question was about the incident, what sort of incident took place. When

9 he described the incident, I asked him whether the army came in and what

10 its role was. He has just explained that the army in fact insisted that

11 the weapons taken by the reserve policemen be given back and handed over

12 to the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. This means, in effect, that in this situation, the one just

15 described, was assisting the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia and its

16 organs. Is that correct, Mr. C-37?

17 A. Yes, it is.

18 Q. Is it correct that the task of the army was in fact to prevent

19 conflicts on the territory you are testifying about? I'm not talking

20 about all the territories, but just the one you know about. Is this

21 correct or not?

22 A. On the 2nd of March, the army came in to prevent a conflict.

23 Q. The army tried to separate the conflicting sides?

24 A. There was no conflict any longer.

25 Q. So everything had calmed down and the army was helping the

Page 10818

1 Ministry of the Interior of Croatia; is that what happened?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Were there any attempts, on any side, to attack a village or to

4 incite some sort of violence at that time or immediately after that, in

5 that year?

6 A. No.

7 Q. So the situation was quite calm?

8 A. Yes. Not in that year, because the war broke out later on, but in

9 those days.

10 Q. In view of the fact that in your testimony you say that the JNA

11 prevented attacks on Croatian villages when tensions mounted and violence

12 erupted -- is that correct?

13 A. When tensions mounted, you mean after the 2nd of March?

14 Q. I don't know the exact dates, I'm not fully conversant with your

15 situation. I'm just trying to say because you are testifying as an

16 eyewitness, I'm trying to ask about the behaviour of the JNA. I'm going

17 by your statement, and you say, on page 11, paragraph 5, that the army

18 prevented an attack on a Croatian village.

19 A. That was in the area of Pakrac. In that area, it did prevent an

20 attack on Croatian villages, but in Donji Caglic, which was a mixed

21 village, there was a conflict between the Serbs and the Croats.

22 Q. And they were trying to separate them?

23 A. That's not what happened then, because some of the Croats left and

24 the others were killed.

25 Q. Tell me: Is it correct that the army respected all the ceasefire

Page 10819

1 agreements?

2 A. I cannot give you an answer to that question, because I don't know

3 who broke the ceasefires. I know that ceasefires were constantly

4 violated, but as there were no JNA soldiers in the area where I was, I

5 cannot say with any certainty who it actually was who broke the

6 ceasefires. I don't know that.

7 Q. What I'm asking you is whether the army respected the ceasefire

8 agreements or not.

9 A. Well, my answer is that I don't know because I wasn't in the same

10 location as the army.

11 Q. As far as I understand you, you say that the task of the JNA was

12 to prevent the spreading of the conflict, to prevent the entry of Croatian

13 policemen into Serbian villages, and also to prevent attacks on Croatian

14 villages, and that the JNA respected ceasefire agreements. That's what

15 you say on page 11, the third paragraph from the bottom of your statement.

16 A. I abide by my statement.

17 Q. That's all I wanted to establish.

18 Tell me, please --

19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] -- conflicts that broke out in

21 your area in that year?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You say in most cases when there was a conflict, both Serbs and

24 Croats left their homes and fled. The main difference was that most of

25 the Croats would return home after hostilities ceased, but many Serbs did

Page 10820

1 not come back.

2 A. I was referring to the area of Western Slavonia, near the

3 confrontation line, because this area narrowed down in time. And when the

4 population of Grubisno Polje left, they did not come back. But the Croats

5 who lived near Grubisno Polje did come back. The same happened in

6 Daruvar, later on in Podravska Slatina and in Orahovica. Ultimately,

7 that's what happened in the area of Pakrac.

8 Q. You have read the indictment against me; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Tell me now: Is it true that you yourself, although you held the

11 posts that we mentioned in closed session - so I don't want to mention

12 them again - that you are not aware of any of the crimes alleged against

13 me? Is that correct or not?

14 A. Can you clarify this? I really don't understand the question.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Milosevic, please.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Is it correct that holding the posts you did, and you have just

18 said that you have read the indictment against me, is it correct that you

19 have no knowledge of any of the crimes alleged against me?

20 A. As for crimes, I don't know that you yourself perpetrated any

21 crime.

22 Q. So you know nothing of this?

23 A. No.

24 Q. You have just said that you don't know who established the

25 Territorial Defence of Slavonia. Is that correct?

Page 10821

1 A. That's correct.

2 Q. And yet you held the post that you did. If you don't know who

3 established the Territorial Defence, can you tell us whether it consisted

4 of the residents, the villagers, from the villages and hamlets in the

5 area?

6 A. Yes. It was composed of local people. But when I spoke of the

7 organisation of the Territorial Defence, it was organised by local people

8 working in the municipal secretariats, but I don't know who gave them

9 their orders and I don't know how they did it.

10 Q. Very well. That's something you don't know. But you do know that

11 these were local people, the inhabitants of the area. So if I understand

12 you correctly, you don't know whether anyone ordered them or suggested to

13 them that they should establish a Territorial Defence. You don't know

14 that.

15 A. I have said that I don't know that.

16 Q. Does this then imply that they organised the Territorial Defence

17 on their own initiative?

18 A. It's possible, but I don't know that.

19 JUDGE KWON: Just a minute, Mr. Milosevic, and before it

20 disappears from the transcript, I better intervene here. To the question

21 of Mr. Milosevic, Mr. Witness, whether you have no knowledge of any of the

22 crimes alleged against Mr. Milosevic, after having -- you have read the

23 indictment and you were asked whether you have any knowledge of the crimes

24 there. And you said: "As for crimes, I don't know that you yourself

25 perpetrated any crime." But are you aware of any crimes alleged in the

Page 10822

1 indictment perpetrated by other than the accused that is allegedly

2 perpetrated by the Serbs in Croatia? Are you aware of any incident in the

3 indictment?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have spoken of such crimes. I

5 have testified about them. They happened in the area of Western Slavonia.

6 I spoke of particular crimes in particular locations.

7 JUDGE KWON: Is it -- to your knowledge, is it included in the

8 indictment?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Well, that's just what I'm asking you. As far as you know,

13 Serbia, and I as its president, did we have any connection with what you

14 say you read in the indictment?

15 A. I do not know whether you personally have anything to do with the

16 crimes or Serbia itself. I spoke about the crimes that were perpetrated

17 there. That was my answer.

18 Q. So you do not know whether I had anything to do with them or

19 whether Serbia had anything to do with them.

20 A. I don't know that.

21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.

22 A. I don't want to speculate.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, would you bear in mind, please, the

25 technical difficulties we're having with this particular witness because

Page 10823

1 of the various measures. And the interpreters are not hearing the

2 question because the microphones have to be turned off between question

3 and answer. So could you leave a pause after he's answered a question and

4 before you ask your next one. And turn off your microphone.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can turn it off if the command is

6 switched from your desk to my desk, because I'm already pausing for too

7 long, but it seems to be insufficient, the pauses I'm making ...

8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear.

9 THE ACCUSED: -- on. Yes. It was switched off. [Interpretation]

10 If the command is transferred to me, I will make sure that I switch the

11 microphone off when the answer is complete.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Let's move on faster, and I will pause when you complete your

14 answer.

15 Is it correct that you know nothing about the arming of the

16 Territorial Defence?

17 A. No, I don't know anything about it.

18 Q. You don't know anything?

19 A. No, I don't.

20 Q. Very well. You also know nothing about the equipping of the

21 Territorial Defence?

22 A. No, I don't.

23 Q. You have no information about the way the Territorial Defence was

24 funded?

25 A. No, I don't.

Page 10824

1 Q. Is it correct that all the commanders of the Territorial Defence

2 were local people? For example, just as the members of the Territorial

3 Defence were?

4 A. To begin with, no; later on, some JNA officers arrived.

5 Q. Where did they come from?

6 A. Well, they came from Banja Luka and Jovo Trbojevic arrived from

7 Novi Sad. He was born in Western Slavonia.

8 Q. So the people who came originated from the area?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Nobody arrived from Serbia to issue commands in your area. It was

11 local people who had some military education; is that correct?

12 A. In the area of Okucani, there was a JNA unit which had arrived

13 from Bjelovar and the officers there were not local people. They were

14 from Yugoslavia, from Serbia, from Bosnia.

15 Q. Very well. A JNA unit from Bjelovar, but Bjelovar is the closest

16 Croatian town, is that not correct, where there was a barracks?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And they also arrived from Croatia; is that correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Very well.

21 A. Later on, there were units arriving from Vojvodina, from

22 Vojvodina, from Zrenjanin.

23 Q. Are you speaking of regular JNA units?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. While the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia existed?

Page 10825

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Very well. Tell me, now: In the office that you held, you didn't

3 know of any assistance to the Territorial Defence of Western Slavonia by

4 the ministry of Serbia?

5 A. No, I don't.

6 Q. I conclude that on the basis of your statement, so I want to

7 confirm it. But you did visit the Ministry of Defence of Serbia?

8 A. I was there in 1992. I think it was the beginning of 1992. I was

9 in the Ministry for Serbs Outside Serbia, and then I was invited to the

10 Ministry of Defence to say what was going on and what had happened in

11 Western Slavonia.

12 Q. When you paid this visit, they asked you what was going on. They

13 wanted information as to what was going on in Western Slavonia, what is

14 going on there; right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. At that time, did you discuss any crimes or anything else from

17 over there?

18 A. I don't think so.

19 Q. As for the relationship between the Territorial Defence and the

20 JNA, you absolutely know nothing about that; is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Also, to the best of my understanding, you know nothing about the

23 arming of the Territorial Defence of Krajina.

24 A. I'm not aware of that.

25 Q. Are you aware, in view of the office that you held, not at that

Page 10826

1 time but let's say in the earlier years, a year or two or three

2 previously, where these weapons of the Territorial Defence were? Were

3 they there in your town, in your municipality, in your locality, where the

4 Territorial Defence was -- I imagine that the Territorial Defence was

5 organised the same way throughout Yugoslavia. I don't know what the

6 situation exactly was in Croatia, but I assume that the weapons were there

7 where you were, the weapons of the Territorial Defence. Are you aware of

8 that?

9 A. As far as I know, the Territorial Defence in Croatia was organised

10 just as it was throughout Yugoslavia, and it did have weapons of its own.

11 I know that later these weapons were taken from the Secretariats of

12 National Defence. I don't know in which way and I don't know from which

13 localities, but I do know that it was referred to.

14 Q. All right. As far as I can understand from what you've been

15 saying, the JNA was not present in a greater part of Western Slavonia.

16 A. No. Perhaps in one-third, up to one-third.

17 Q. Tell me now, please: In relation to what you said during your

18 direct examination, the session of the Presidency of the SFRY that had

19 to do with the Vance plan, and this was held in 1991 --

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, this matter was actually

21 discussed in private session.

22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll go into private session.

23 [Private session]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 10827












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Page 10828












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Page 10835

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [Open session]

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Did I understand this correctly, that the contacts between the

15 leadership of Western Slavonia and the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs

16 were only of a personal nature? Is that right or is that not right?

17 A. As far as I can remember, yes. At that time, there weren't any

18 contacts. There were some later.

19 Q. You do not have any knowledge about any linkage between the

20 government of Serbia as far as these contacts are concerned?

21 A. No.

22 Q. You don't know about that. So in view of your position, the

23 office you held, you have no knowledge about these events that are

24 described. If you do not have any information that anybody issued an

25 order for some alleged expulsions of Croats from certain towns and

Page 10836

1 villages, if you do not have any knowledge about the participation of

2 Belgrade in the organisation of the Territorial Defence, in the

3 organisation of a referendum, the organisation of leaving towns, leaving

4 certain municipalities and confrontations that arose, why, then, on page

5 12, in the penultimate paragraph, you say that there is no reason for you

6 not to believe that some crimes were committed after all? You say that

7 there is no reason for you not to believe that these crimes had been

8 committed. And since we've gone through all of this, you do not have any

9 knowledge about this, but you say that you do not have any reason not to

10 believe that this was committed. How can you explain that?

11 A. I have no reason to -- not to believe that crimes were committed.

12 I say that because we know that crimes were committed down there in

13 Dalmacija, in the south, that civilians were killed, and also in Western

14 Slavonia I talked about these crimes, like the Croats were moved out of

15 Ilok.

16 Q. Let us be clear on one thing, please: I'm not talking about these

17 showdowns that you had in various villages and what have you not. I am

18 talking about these crimes that are being linked to some kind of intent,

19 to some kind of influence from Serbia, some kind of organisation against

20 the civilian population belonging to a different ethnic group. That's

21 what I'm talking about. And the fact that you were fighting each other

22 there, that you were settling various accounts, I'm not referring to that

23 at all. I am talking about your claim. What does this have to do with

24 any kind of influence coming from Belgrade and Serbia? That is what I'm

25 talking about. The fact that you fought between yourselves is a different

Page 10837

1 thing.

2 A. I'm going to repeat my answer. I beg your pardon. I have no

3 reason to believe that crimes were not committed, but I did not say

4 anywhere that I thought that I said that Serbia was linked to these

5 crimes. Is that what it says anywhere?

6 Q. Well, even as far as these crimes are concerned, is it true that

7 you do not have any personal knowledge or information about any one of

8 these crimes?

9 A. Well, I said that I heard that crimes had been committed.

10 Q. Well, that's what I wish to establish. You do not even have

11 personal knowledge of any one of these crimes, not only the first thing

12 that we mentioned.

13 A. I said in my previous statements that there were crimes in Western

14 Slavonia that I had heard of. Since I was not nearby when any of this

15 happened, I talked about the crimes that I heard had been committed and

16 that I heard who had perpetrated them.

17 Q. Just give me an answer to the following now: At the beginning of

18 the examination-in-chief, you were asked about a meeting in my office; is

19 that right? Is it correct that the persons who were present then asked

20 me -- no, no.

21 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... session?

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it was in private session. The

23 meeting with Mr. Jovic and Mr. Milosevic.

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

25 [Private session]

Page 10838












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Page 10839












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Page 10840












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Page 10841












12 Page 10841 – redacted – private session














Page 10842

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [Open session]

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

13 JUDGE MAY: We are going to adjourn now until half past 2.00.

14 There's one matter I wanted to deal with before they do. How much longer

15 do you think you might be with this witness, Mr. Milosevic?

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't really know, but I

17 will adhere to the time allotted to the Prosecution, that is to say, that

18 opposite side over there.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well.

20 I'm thinking of tomorrow. Do you have any other witness? It may

21 not be necessary.

22 MR. NICE: We certainly do have another witness. May I say two

23 things about witnesses? Our intention is to have enough witnesses here to

24 keep a continuous flow of evidence, wherever possible, and we do have one

25 for tomorrow. There may be something I want to say about revision of the

Page 10843

1 witness order after the break.

2 JUDGE MAY: We have to finish at 1.00 because of technical

3 reasons. The accused was saying earlier that he hadn't got the papers for

4 the next witness. It may well be that he has got them, but it also may be

5 that you could supply him with a new supply so he can look at it over the

6 weekend.

7 MR. NICE: Can I make one other point in 30 seconds? The accused

8 complaining about the amount of time set out in the timetable. The

9 original timetable of how long witnesses must take was a best estimate.

10 Of course we will be taking witnesses more quickly wherever we can and it

11 looks as though we will often be able to improve on the timetable

12 originally given, taking less time than originally forecast.

13 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

14 Witness 37, would you be back, please, half past 2.00.

15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.











Page 10844

1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before the accused starts asking

3 questions, just one administrative matter, as I shall be leaving the

4 Chamber in a few minutes. The next two witnesses are Matovina and

5 Samardzic. The accused hadn't yet located the material -- it's all been

6 served. He hadn't located the material in Matovina. Now being served.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot hear anything.

8 MR. NICE: May I carry on, as it doesn't immediately concern the

9 witness? So that material is being served on him again and it may be

10 we'll be able to serve the exhibits for one or both witnesses today to

11 assist him, or certainly tomorrow.

12 If there's a witness to start tomorrow, it will have to be, I

13 think, Matovina, because I don't think Samardzic is going to be in a

14 position to start. But if we don't start the next witness until Monday

15 morning, it may be that we will ask the Chamber to take Samardzic first

16 and Matovina second, and I don't imagine that will inconvenience the

17 accused and I hope that it will be acceptable to the Chamber.

18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It seems unlikely that we're going to get

19 to another witness tomorrow. But thank you for that.

20 Now, I should say that we have received the English version of the

21 exhibit which was put in, D40.

22 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Well, Mr. C, let's continue, Mr. C-037. Let's take note of all

25 the other things you don't know about. You don't know about Babic's

Page 10845

1 contacts with the Defence Ministry of Serbia and Minister Simovic, isn't

2 that so?

3 A. I don't know, no.

4 Q. You know nothing about any support, either to Babic or Matic, from

5 Belgrade; right?

6 A. I have no proof or evidence that they had any support except that

7 through the media they were allowed to speak quite extensively along those

8 lines.

9 Q. But nonetheless, you make mention of the fact that the state

10 security used the Association of Serbs from Croatia so that through them

11 they could wield their influence on events in Croatia. That is your free

12 assumption. Now, is it true that you never attended meetings in that

13 association, especially not with representatives from the state security

14 service?

15 A. I was in the association, the Association of Serbs from Croatia.

16 Q. Yes, but explain to me on the basis of what you say that the state

17 security service used it, used them, for their own ends.

18 A. Well, as far as I remember, some of the members did say they were

19 in contact with them, but I don't know anything more about that.

20 Q. Which members of the Association of Serbs in Croatia said they

21 maintained contacts?

22 A. Well, one of the generals, was it Kokot or someone else, I'm not

23 quite sure.

24 Q. You mean the people who are retired, pensioned, pensioned, retired

25 generals living in Belgrade, people of that sort?

Page 10846

1 A. Yes, that's right.

2 Q. So you don't actually know of any contacts between the Association

3 of Serbs in Croatia with the state security service?

4 A. No, I don't have any knowledge of that directly.

5 Q. Now, the military level, the military line that you -- that we

6 have made mention on several occasions here, you know nothing about that,

7 the military connection; isn't that right?

8 A. Yes. I don't know.

9 Q. What military line do you mean about?

10 Q. Well, I'm talking about a military connection between Krajina and

11 Belgrade, or anything of that type, any sort of military link-up, link-up

12 with military structures. You know nothing about that?

13 A. Well, all I know is that Minister Spanovic went to the JNA, to

14 Belgrade.

15 Q. In Belgrade?

16 A. Yes. He went to Belgrade.

17 Q. Right. But otherwise, you know nothing of that link, do you?

18 A. No.

19 Q. And you know nothing about the links between the Ministry of the

20 Interior of Serbia and the police of Krajina; isn't that right? Is that

21 correct?

22 A. Well, I don't know whether they had any direct contacts, no.

23 Q. Right. You don't know. And you never saw, as a functionary - I

24 don't want to mention your title or office - any Red Berets in Western

25 Slavonia; isn't that right?

Page 10847

1 A. No.

2 Q. You didn't see them, did you? Very well. When you speak about

3 the police force of Western Slavonia, do you -- I don't assume that

4 Belgrade had anything to do with its formation.

5 A. As far as I know, no.

6 Q. You also have no knowledge about the contacts of the police of

7 Western Slavonia with the Ministry of the Interior of Serbia.

8 A. I don't know about that.

9 Q. All right. Very well. You also have no knowledge about the

10 presence of anybody from the MUP of Serbia on the territory of Western

11 Slavonia.

12 A. No, I don't. The only thing I can say is that Vezmar Jovo, the

13 man who worked in the MUP, came and went back. I just know about him.

14 Q. And where is Vezmar Jovo from?

15 A. Pakrac.

16 Q. You mean he came to work in Pakrac?

17 A. No. He left Pakrac and went to work in Pancevo and from the

18 police force in Pancevo, he was the commander in Western Slavonia in part

19 of Pakrac. And then he returned to Pancevo. That's all I know.

20 Q. So he went to work in Serbia after the fall of Western Slavonia;

21 is that it?

22 A. Yes, that's right.

23 Q. Do you know how many people left and went to Serbia, to the

24 Republika Srpska as well after they were expelled, after the Serbs were

25 expelled from Croatia, after August, August 1995? Have you any idea?

Page 10848

1 A. Well, about 350.000 in total.

2 Q. Well, I assume that a large number of those 350.000 found jobs

3 working in the field they were professionals for.

4 A. Well, we can assume that, yes.

5 Q. And the man you mentioned, Jovo, was a professional policeman and

6 continued working in the police force; is that right?

7 A. Yes, that's right.

8 Q. You don't know where the money came from for what you were doing

9 and whether Serbia financed the SAO of Western Slavonia; is that correct?

10 A. As far as I know, I have no information that Serbia financed it,

11 no.

12 Q. Is it correct that in fact policemen from Western Slavonia were

13 people who lived there and who used to work in the MUP of Croatia?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You mentioned your contacts with generals, first of all General

16 Uzelac. At the time, you did not discuss weapons with him or military

17 issues; is that correct?

18 A. In Bucje, he came to see what the situation was, and he only said

19 that he would try to keep that area so that people could stay there.

20 There was no discussion of weapons.

21 Q. Which means that he expected it to be safe so people wouldn't have

22 to flee; is that correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. The document, one of the documents attached to your statement,

25 entitled "The meeting of the Regional Board of the SDS" held on the 8th of

Page 10849

1 May, 1991, contains the standpoint of the majority of the Serbs who lived

2 in the area; is that correct?

3 A. What conclusion are you referring to?

4 Q. I mean what is attached to your statement.

5 A. Do you mean the referendum?

6 Q. To be precise, there are too many of these documents delivered by

7 the other side.

8 A. Are you referring to the 8th of May, 1991?

9 Q. Yes.

10 A. Speaking about the referendum, yes. It was the majority view that

11 there should be a referendum in order to vote on remaining within

12 Yugoslavia.

13 Q. Very well. I won't go into that any further.

14 Is it correct that on page 2 of that document, under number 2 --

15 let me just see. You concluded at that meeting, and let's just clarify

16 this: Was there anyone from Serbia present at that meeting and did anyone

17 give you any instructions coming from Serbia at that meeting?

18 A. No, there was no one from Serbia there, and no instructions were

19 given.

20 Q. In item 2, there is your name, and then it says again that

21 Slovenia and Croatia were puppets in the hands of Big Daddy, and it is

22 well known that Bosnia, Sandzak, and Kosovo were to become a Muslim state

23 of the Balkans. And on the 15th of May, 1991, under quotation marks,

24 "15.000 Albanians were to cross over from Albania and start a war, and

25 Izetbegovic played a major role in this." Is this correct? This is what

Page 10850

1 was discussed, what you discussed.

2 A. No. As I said, this was not discussed.

3 Q. It was not discussed?

4 A. No.

5 Q. So the minutes that you gave are not authentic.

6 A. It wasn't me who gave the minutes.

7 Q. So it was the other side?

8 A. It was the Prosecutor's office, and these minutes are not actually

9 minutes of that meeting.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please bear in mind that minutes of

11 this kind, which is being introduced through this witness, can in no way

12 be connected to this witness or admitted into evidence through this

13 witness. If you have another witness, well that's your business, but this

14 cannot be introduced in this manner which is evidently inappropriate.

15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. You say that in August, after the MUP of Croatia went to Okucani,

17 units arrived there from Bjelovar. Is it correct that these units arrived

18 in order to prevent further clashes?

19 A. They disarmed -- the Croatian MUP disarmed part of the army and

20 then the army took back its people, and then, as far as I remember, the

21 Banja Luka Corps arrived to assist them through Gradiska, because Western

22 Slavonia had been cut off for more than a month, and there had been no

23 contacts with Bosnia for more than a month. And then the JNA units from

24 Bjelovar, which were in Okucani, linked up with the Banja Luka Corps which

25 had arrived from Banja Luka.

Page 10851

1 Q. Very well. So we see that in this case the army liberated

2 soldiers that had been taken prisoner by the MUP of Croatia, the Ministry

3 of the Interior of Croatia, which had captured and disarmed them, and the

4 army prevented conflicts. Is that right?

5 A. Yes, that's what happened on that occasion.

6 Q. Was the JNA then stationed all over the territory of the former

7 Yugoslavia, and Croatia was then part of Yugoslavia?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. You read a list of the camps mentioned in the indictment, but you

10 have no personal knowledge as regards these camps. From what you said, I

11 understand that you heard about this only on Croatian television. Is this

12 correct?

13 A. I heard about the others through Croatian television, but in

14 Western Slavonia I also heard something from the people who lived there.

15 Q. Tell me: What kind of camps were these? As I assume you know

16 that the leadership of the Krajina always asserted to Belgrade that there

17 were no camps. I don't know if you were among those who asserted this.

18 Were these camps? Were they prisons? Or what were they? What do you

19 know personally?

20 A. I personally don't know what the distinction -- the actual

21 distinction is in the definition of a camp or a gaol, but what there was

22 in Bucje was a family house which was used to detain people, to lock them

23 up. And from what I heard, some were beaten up and some were liquidated,

24 but most of them managed to be exchanged.

25 What I heard about Ovcara was that people were put in a warehouse,

Page 10852

1 as far as I can remember, that they were taken away and killed.

2 What I heard about Knin was that it was a prison. Whether it was

3 part of a barracks, I'm not sure.

4 Q. Well, who, example, was in the prison in Knin?

5 A. I don't know who was inside.

6 Q. Well, was it criminals or were peaceful citizens locked up in the

7 gaol in Knin?

8 A. When I was there, there were criminals, who were Serbs, and as for

9 the others, I don't know, but I heard that they were civilians. I didn't

10 see them myself.

11 Q. I assume that the Serb criminals were also civilians who were

12 locked up.

13 A. Yes, but some of them were soldiers.

14 Q. You went to Knin often; is that correct?

15 A. Yes. Well, not really often, but maybe once a fortnight. I would

16 spend a day there.

17 Q. Well, once a fortnight for one day. You would have had to have

18 some sort of knowledge of that. Milan Martic told me, and I believe he

19 was telling me the truth, that in Knin there were Croats --

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you can't give evidence now what Milan

21 Martic told you. You can either call Mr. Martic or you can give evidence

22 yourself about it. But ask this witness questions.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will reformulate my question. You

24 see, Mr. May, when the other side is putting questions, they are examining

25 this witness about places he had never been to, asking him what he heard,

Page 10853

1 and I'm asking him about Knin, which he visited himself, to ask him

2 whether there were Croats living a normal life in Knin and whether it's

3 true what I was assured of, that there was no discrimination, no

4 mistreatment, and that --

5 JUDGE MAY: You can put that. First of all, put --

6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Is this correct or not?

8 JUDGE MAY: -- there were Croats living a normal life in Knin. Is

9 that right?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were Croats living a normal

11 life in Knin.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. So there were Croats living a normal life in Knin?

14 A. Yes, there were.

15 Q. And there was no violence perpetrated against them, they were not

16 mistreated?

17 A. I can't say that about everyone, but I know that there were Croats

18 who had no problems. I can't vouch for each and every one of them.

19 Q. Very well. Just to clarify this: So we cannot speak of ethnic

20 cleansing or anything like that there. That happened on the other side,

21 but everything is being inverted here.

22 Well, since you say that you have no reason - excuse me - you said

23 that you heard about some camps only from Croatian television. As you say

24 that you have no reason to disbelieve the truth of these reports - this is

25 on page 13, paragraph 1 of your statement - in view of the office you

Page 10854

1 held, were you aware of information about camps for Serbs in Croatia, in

2 Western Slavonia, during the time you were there? Let me ask you about

3 some of them. For example, in Western Slavonia, Pakrac, Slavonska Pozega

4 and so on - I have a whole list here - do you know about this?

5 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with the matter, particularly

6 Pakrac, where he lived.

7 A. Yes, I heard that there was a prison in Pakrac, in Pozega, in

8 Pakracka Poljana.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Very well. Let me look at this list. Slavonska Pozega, 1, 2, 3,

11 4, 5. Slavonska Pozega the barracks was a camp for Serbs. Slavonska

12 Pozega the sports hall, Slavonska Pozega the female prison, Slavonska

13 Pozega the police station, Slavonska Pozega the district prison. Are you

14 aware of all of these places?

15 A. Yes, I've heard of them.

16 JUDGE MAY: This was a prison, was it, for Serbs in these places

17 or was it a prison for Croats?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A prison for Serbs.

19 JUDGE MAY: And what period are we dealing with when it was a

20 prison for Serbs?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as for Croats -- oh, the

22 Serbs. Well, it was in the course of 1991. And in Pozega there is still

23 a prison there.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Yes, but the sports hall and the other places I read out, these

Page 10855

1 prisons certainly no longer exist today, or at least I assume so.

2 A. No, they don't exist today.

3 Q. Would you please answer the following question. This refers to

4 Pakrac. There were the following camps for Serbs there, so please tell me

5 which ones you know about and which ones you don't know about, or whether

6 you know about them all, which would be logical. Pakrac-Lipik, Pakrac the

7 prison, Pakrac the basement of the department store, Pakrac-Gavrinica,

8 Pakrac the village of Seovica, a camp in the community centre, Pakrac the

9 village of Seovica, a camp in the woods, Pakrac-Marino Selo, the basement

10 of the Ribnjak Hotel, Pakrac-Marino Selo the fishing cottage,

11 Pakrac-Marino Selo --

12 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with this. He cannot be expected

13 to retain all this information.

14 A. I heard of camps in Pakrac in the police station, and in Pakrac in

15 the department store. Seovica and the other places you mention were under

16 Serbian control in 1991. Maybe some people say these were camps after

17 Operation Flash, but this was not a camp for Serbs at the time. As for

18 Pakrac Ka Poljana, two or three of these locations did exist. They can

19 all be counted as a single camp.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Very well, so the three locations in Pakrac Ka Poljana were a

22 single camp for Serbs; is that correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Apart from these three, what other camps for Serbs do you know

25 about in the Pakrac area?

Page 10856

1 A. What I said: The department store, the police station, and there

2 was one in the area of Lipik. I don't know exactly where.

3 Q. So you know about these three and the other one, but do you know

4 anything about Pakrac Marino Selo the administration building?

5 A. That was all a single camp.

6 Q. Tell me: Do you know anything about the Pakrac Ka Poljana camp in

7 the Jedinstvo company? This was a company producing ballpoint pens and

8 light switches.

9 A. All this can be considered a single camp.

10 Q. Very well. Then the fishing cottage and the firefighting centre,

11 the fire brigade centre?

12 A. This is all a single location.

13 Q. What about the other locations?

14 A. This is all a single camp.

15 Q. And how many Serbs were detained in those camps?

16 A. I don't know what the number is. They said it was over a hundred.

17 Some said two or three hundred, but we never got any exact data.

18 Q. When you speak of a hundred, two hundred, or three hundred, are

19 you speaking of all the camps you confirmed existed in Pakrac and in the

20 Pakrac region, or in one of these camps?

21 A. What I said refers to Pakrac Ka Poljana. As for the basement of

22 the Pakrac department store, I don't know the number detained there.

23 Q. So you don't know how many people were there, but you know there

24 was a camp?

25 A. Yes, because people are still afraid to speak about it, the people

Page 10857

1 who were there, at least those that I'm in contact with.

2 Q. All right. But you are now in contact. We heard Mr. Mesic say

3 that Croatia is now a state in which the rule of law prevails. How do you

4 explain the fact that people are afraid to say that they were in camps,

5 people who live there? Is that to say that they are not sure of their

6 safety even nowadays if they're afraid to speak about this?

7 A. People who were in camps are afraid to speak about this because

8 they are afraid that those who kept them in these camps could harm them

9 until the present day. There is still fear.

10 Q. Can you say something about what you learned concerning the

11 treatment, the treatment of people in these camps, how they were treated

12 there?

13 A. I heard that they were tortured, that they were beaten with

14 electric wires, that electric current went through them, that they made

15 each other cut their ears off and that the other person was supposed to

16 eat the other person's ear, that there were beatings, that there were

17 killings. That's what happened in Pakrac Ka Poljana. And in Pakrac, they

18 were beaten, they were tied up to radiators, they were beaten up.

19 Q. How many of them survived and how many were killed in these camps?

20 A. As for figures, I really cannot speak about that, because the

21 exact number of persons killed is not known. These numbers are still

22 being dealt with. The number of missing persons is going up day after

23 day. As people are returning, everybody is looking for their own family

24 members, and there are still quite a few who are missing. I don't know

25 about the survivors either. People left and they went to different

Page 10858

1 places, so it is hard now that the situation hasn't been fully stabilised

2 yet, it's hard to tell. I don't really want to make any estimates of this

3 kind because it concerns human beings.

4 Q. Did you personally have the opportunity of talking to any one of

5 these victims whose ears were cut off, and then they made them swallow

6 these ears, and people who were burned by electric current and beaten up?

7 A. I talked to one person. They fired a gunshot through his stomach.

8 He talked to me about that. And also another one who buried others, but

9 they are still afraid to testify about that in public.

10 Q. And this other person buried those who did not survive; is that

11 right?

12 A. Yes.

13 JUDGE MAY: Help us with this: When was all this occurring?

14 You're describing these incidents in prison camps. Again, what period

15 would we be talking about?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This happened sometime from August

17 1991 until the beginning of 1992.

18 JUDGE MAY: And what was the situation in Pakrac at the time?

19 Because you've described various Serb takeovers and that sort of thing.

20 What happened?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the 19th of August, in the town

22 of Pakrac, Serbs were only on the outskirts, as for the area that they

23 held militarily. The town itself was no man's land for a while, and

24 afterwards it was under Croatian control all the time. So Gavrinica, that

25 was mentioned by Mr. Milosevic, was on the side of Pakrac. The town was

Page 10859

1 extensively shelled, bombed, so no one lived there except for the police

2 station and the basement of that department store, and in the streets on

3 the other side of the line, the area that was held by the Serbs.

4 Life returned there only as of March 1992. It started to return,

5 to put it that way. There were Croats there for the most part, and very,

6 very few Serbs until 1995. And in 1995, after Operation Flash, a few

7 Serbs returned, those who had somewhere to go back to, and they still

8 don't live in the apartments where they lived before because they do not

9 have the right to do that. Their apartments were taken away. Apartments

10 were also destroyed. And then when buildings are repaired, they are being

11 repaired and reconstructed by the European Union. And once houses are

12 repaired, then those Serbs who applied to live in those houses can

13 actually return there.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Let's be quite clear about this: You had direct communication.

16 You learned about these camps for Serbs in this area of Pakrac, and

17 torture of Serbs in 1991, while Croatia was still within the SFRY, before

18 the international recognition, while the army was in the Croatian

19 territory of the then Yugoslavia. They were still the one and only

20 Yugoslav army. So all of that was taking place at that time; is that

21 right?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Can you say something more specific as to who were the Serbs who

24 were detained and tortured in camps, whose noses and ears were cut off,

25 who were beaten up, who had gunshots fired into their stomachs? Who were

Page 10860

1 these people? Were these people who had committed crimes or what?

2 A. These were ordinary people. These were citizens from that area.

3 Some lived in Pakrac Ka Poljana. They were taken there. And many were

4 brought to Pakrac Ka Poljana from Zagreb and from other parts in Croatia.

5 Also from the areas surrounding Pakrac, Daruvar, et cetera. Also from the

6 village of Kip a group of people was brought to Pakrac Ka Poljana. They

7 were not criminals in any way, nor were they doing anything against the

8 state.

9 Q. So on the basis of this, one may infer that they were beaten up,

10 massacred, killed, only because they were Serbs; is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. You said just now that a number of people returned but that some

13 people still do not live in their apartments even though their apartments

14 were not destroyed. Why?

15 A. When war broke out, all the Serbs who had fled from their

16 apartments and did not live there during the war lost the right to return

17 to their own apartments. That is this so-called tenancy right that

18 prevailed before, and this law is still in force, namely, that Serbs do

19 not have the right to apartments. Efforts are being made to have this

20 returned. I don't know when this will happen, but serious efforts are

21 being made in order to have these tenancy rights restored. So they lost

22 the right to live in the apartments where they had lived before, and this

23 is a serious existential problem.

24 Q. When was this law passed, that the Serbs did not have a right to

25 return to their apartments, the apartments that they left because of what

Page 10861

1 you just described now, the kind of things that happened to them?

2 A. I don't know exactly whether this was in 1992 or in 1995. I don't

3 know exactly, to tell you the truth, because I was reintegrated in 1995.

4 I don't know, but I think the law had already been passed by then.

5 Q. So in the present-day state of Croatia, where the rule of law

6 prevails, this law is still in force and Serbs still cannot return to

7 their apartments?

8 A. No, they cannot. Some were bought, some were given to others and

9 others are empty.

10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the question of Mr.

11 Milosevic.

12 A. Refugees from Slavonia, Bosnia, when they got Croatian

13 citizenship, they moved into these apartments because other citizens of

14 Croatia who did not have apartments bought these apartments and now own

15 them.

16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, the interpreter said that they

17 couldn't hear your question before. Could you slow down, please, and put

18 a pause between the question and answer.

19 Mr. Witness too.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Kwon. I thought that

21 I was bearing this in mind, but I shall pause.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Could you tell me something else now. You've just described this

24 for me, what was going on in Pakrac. Can you tell me something else? I

25 don't really want to read this again, and you heard this and you said it

Page 10862

1 was correct. These camps in Slavonska Pozega, for Serbs, of course, I'm

2 asking about that, those camps, do you have any knowledge about that,

3 about the number of Serbs who were interned in these camps and how they

4 were treated there?

5 A. I don't have any knowledge. I don't have any knowledge concerning

6 the number of people who were there. What I heard was that they were also

7 beaten and tortured. At that time, that seemed to be some kind of a rule

8 between these two sides that were in conflict around Pakrac in Western

9 Slavonia, that on the Serb side, the Croats were beaten up and tortured;

10 and then on the Croatian side, that's what happened to the Serbs. I don't

11 know what kind of contacts and relations they had, but one could come to

12 the conclusion that this was really known about everyone who ever was

13 detained. Well, not everyone, but almost everyone. So then this gave

14 rise to tensions and also to a wish to revenge the situation that

15 happened. So that's what happened in Pakrac and the surrounding area. I

16 don't know about the numbers involved in Pozega. I just know that they

17 were really beaten up badly. And I know that there were frequent

18 exchanges between the Serb side and the Croat side, that the Croats

19 exchanged Serbs and the Serbs exchanged Croats. So they each took their

20 own prisoners out for exchanges.

21 Q. Please, I read out only part of this to you, this list of prisons

22 for the Serbs. How many Serb prisons were there for Croats, ones that you

23 know about?

24 A. What I enumerated in Western Slavonia was Mijokovicevo, Bucje,

25 Vocin, down in Okucani. These were prisons. And then -- well, I know

Page 10863

1 about these prisons. And the rest were conflicts and killings, like

2 Balinci, Cetekovac.

3 Q. Oh, so you know of these four; right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. So how many Croats were in these four prisons that were held by

6 the Serbs?

7 A. I don't know that figure either. It's very hard for me to say,

8 especially for Stara Gradiska. And up there at Bucje, I really don't like

9 to make estimates. We're talking about human beings.

10 Q. Is it correct that in 1991, in October, you lived in Bucje for

11 some 30 days or so?

12 A. Yes. Well, not only in Bucje, but at Bucje too. Not only in

13 Bucje, but also in the surrounding areas.

14 Q. So that's where the prison was?

15 A. Yes, in that village.

16 Q. All right. So you lived there for 30 days and you saw that

17 prison. So this is a prison where Serbs held Croats. I assume, in view

18 of the office that you held, that you had to have been informed as to what

19 was going on in this prison, how many people there were there, who these

20 people were, and how they were treated.

21 A. Since you are referring to the office I held, let me inform you

22 once again, if you do not remember. I did not have any authority up there

23 whatsoever. There was only military authority up there, namely, the

24 Territorial Defence. It was operating up there. And I did not have the

25 possibility or the right, as they had put it, to meddle in things that I

Page 10864

1 was not supposed to be interested in, according to them. So I don't know

2 how many people were in this prison. I know that there were civilians,

3 for the most part, those who had been collected near the separation line,

4 and perhaps there were a small number of soldiers who had been taken

5 prisoner during the war. Among these prisoners, there were Serbs as well.

6 And I heard from them the most that they had been beaten up, and some were

7 taken away and killed. But I could not really have insight into this

8 because this was under the control of the Territorial Defence, which

9 throughout the war that was taking place there, was violently opposed to

10 me, so I did not have any right to access the area or enter it.

11 Q. Well, but it is highly unlikely that you couldn't really get any

12 information, because among local people, one usually knows everything.

13 You know what other people are cooking for lunch let alone how many people

14 are in prison and what's going on in that prison. How many persons were

15 there in that prison?

16 A. I can't tell you a number that I don't know.

17 Q. But you probably saw the building. Were you in that building?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Did you see that building?

20 A. I did not come close to the building, so I don't know.

21 Q. Oh, so you don't even know what the building looks like?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Are you sure?

24 A. Sure.

25 Q. What was the maximum number of people who could have been there?

Page 10865

1 A. Perhaps around 100.

2 Q. How many of them were Serbs and how many were Croats?

3 A. Perhaps 10 were Serbs and the rest were Croats.

4 Q. How many soldiers, how many civilians?

5 A. I don't know about that.

6 Q. All right. Let's not pursue this any further.

7 When you talk about events in Pakrac, on page 4, in the last

8 paragraph, you explained that the municipality of Pakrac made a decision

9 to remain in Yugoslavia if Croatia were to leave Yugoslavia. Is it the

10 population itself that reached that decision or did you organise that?

11 A. That was the decision of the assembly of the municipality of

12 Pakrac, not of the population, but of the delegates of the population of

13 the municipality.

14 Q. Did anybody suggest that you should make this kind of decision?

15 A. This was after the disassociation, when Croatia disassociated from

16 Yugoslavia. That's when the Serbs voted that they wanted to remain in

17 Yugoslavia. This was some kind of a political gesture, to make it known

18 that people did want to stay in Yugoslavia.

19 Q. However, as far as I can understand this, this was not within the

20 referendum that you had had before that; is that right? Was it before or

21 after?

22 A. The first referendum was for cultural autonomy, in 1990. This was

23 sometime around the 21st or 22nd of February, 1991. And the second

24 referendum was to remain in Yugoslavia. That was on the 12th of May,

25 1991. So that was between the two referendums.

Page 10866

1 Q. All right. Tell me: What was the substance of this referendum

2 for cultural autonomy?

3 A. I cannot be aware of the details now. It was a long time ago.

4 But it was cultural and political autonomy of the Serbs in Croatia that

5 was referred to. This was supposed to protect Serb identity in Croatia.

6 I don't really know about the details of this referendum.

7 Q. Did this mean education in the Serb language, the use of the

8 Cyrillic alphabet, the functioning of the Serb Cultural Society of

9 Prosvjeta? So equal treatment, actually, in terms of the protection of

10 national identity of the Serbs, in terms of their cultural needs, then

11 also in the fields of education, culture, et cetera. Is that what it was?

12 A. I think that that is the right way to put it, to protect Serb

13 cultural identity, not to mention all these things that you have just

14 mentioned.

15 Q. And is it true that after that there was great pressure exerted?

16 What do you know, for example, about the dismissal of Serbs from the

17 police force, from all public services, from the media, from the health

18 service, and so on, in Croatia in the course of 1990, when there were

19 still no conflicts or clashes? Can you tell me something about that?

20 What do you know about that?

21 A. Yes. That was the time that the dismissal started, especially

22 from the police force.

23 Q. I apologise for interrupting you. I apologise. Mr. Kwon, I won't

24 speed up. But let me just add something. When you say "at the beginning

25 there were dismissals from the police force," what do you mean

Page 10867

1 "beginning"? When was this beginning?

2 A. Well, I couldn't give you an exact date, but I think it was the

3 end of 1990. That's when dismissals from the police force started and

4 from state public services, when Serbs were let go. Because it was

5 considered there were more than was necessary by virtue of the ethnic

6 representation, especially in the police and public services, and

7 especially in municipalities where the HDZ won the majority in the

8 elections.

9 Later on, in 1991, this took hold and there were more and more

10 dismissals from work after that.

11 Q. And do you have an idea as to how many people at the beginning and

12 before the conflict broke out, how many Serbs were dismissed from the

13 police force, from public services, from the media, and from the other

14 jobs that they held?

15 A. Well, I don't have a figure, and I don't have an estimate either,

16 because when all this was going on, it created great tension. And I can't

17 make assessments of that kind. I can't hazard a figure.

18 Q. Yes, but do you have any knowledge about other areas except for

19 the police force, health service, public services? Were Serbs dismissed

20 from companies and enterprises, from commercial organisations, for

21 example?

22 A. That came later. I heard about that in the course of 1991,

23 especially in Zagreb and in the larger towns, where there were many large

24 enterprises. I heard that they had been dismissed just for being Serbs.

25 Q. Just for being Serbs, no other reason?

Page 10868

1 A. Yes, that's right. That's what I heard from the people who were

2 fired.

3 Q. It was the people who were fired who told you this?

4 A. Yes, that's right.

5 Q. Now, do you know that for the most part all the directors, the

6 company managers or people who had positions of leadership in the economy,

7 who were Serbs, ethnic Serbs, that they were dismissed straight away, or

8 rather, replaced straight away? Some of them might have carried on doing

9 some work in the companies, but they were replaced in their post of

10 director or manager. Did you hear anything about that?

11 A. Yes, I did hear of things like that happening too, yes.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. What was going on in all these areas; police, public services, the

15 media, the health service, and so on and so forth? Did this take on the

16 form of a general all-out discrimination of Serbs in Croatia?

17 A. Yes, it did take on those proportions. It did become an all-out

18 general discrimination, and the Serbs were afraid that they would lose

19 their jobs. That happened principally in areas where Serbs were the

20 minority, that is to say, in Zagreb, Sisak, Pozega, and those towns

21 towards Bjelovar and other places.

22 Q. So that means that happened where Serbs were really in the

23 minority. That is where the discriminatory measures were greatest, most

24 widespread; is that right?

25 A. Yes, it is. That's right. Where the HDZ had won the majority

Page 10869

1 vote.

2 Q. All right. So that means where the HDZ won, the programme was to

3 dismiss the Serbs and expel them; is that so or isn't it?

4 A. Well, I don't know whether that was their programme, but I do know

5 that that is what happened.

6 Q. When you heard for the first time of instances and cases where

7 people were taken away, where there were illegal and unlawful arrests,

8 that all trace was lost of people, that they were being killed, from

9 Zagreb to Vukovar, in the different places in that area, when did you

10 first hear of that happening?

11 A. I first heard that in mid-1991.

12 Q. I quoted something this morning, a report, and Mesic confirmed

13 that he found it when he assumed his post of president. It dates back to

14 1991. It was Herzog, Tudjman's advisor, who talks about unlawful arrests

15 of Serbs, unlawful detention of Serbs, he means arrest of Serbs - I don't

16 have to translate from the Croatian into the Serbian language for you -

17 and that all traces are lost of them, that it is not known whether they

18 are alive or dead. Do you know about that?

19 A. No, I didn't know of that report.

20 Q. Was -- did that report -- was that report made public after the

21 arrival of the new authorities?

22 JUDGE MAY: He says he doesn't know anything about it. Now, let's

23 try and move on.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10870

1 Q. Tell me this, please: After the famous barricades were set up, is

2 it true that you established that the government in Serbia, the government

3 in Belgrade, had nothing to do with or knowledge of that before this

4 appeared in the public information media, and this kind of resistance?

5 A. I didn't understand you when you said whether we had established

6 this.

7 Q. Is it true that the government in Belgrade had nothing to do or

8 any knowledge about this? And I'm thinking of your own statement. But

9 answer the question. You know what you said; I don't have to repeat that.

10 A. As far as I know, this was done by the local population, at their

11 own initiative.

12 Q. You said that the Pakrac police set up barricades during the night

13 but the JNA demanded that they be removed. Members of the MUP of Croatia

14 took advantage of this and on the 2nd of March, 1991, they entered the

15 town, exchanged gunfire with the Pakrac policemen, which means that they

16 shot at each other, they disarmed a few of them, and in the meantime, the

17 JNA arrived and negotiations started between the JNA and the MUP of

18 Croatia. Two days later, the disarmament process started of the rest of

19 the members of the Pakrac police force and the weapons were returned back

20 to the police. Then you go on to say four assistants of Petar Gracanin,

21 the federal Minister for Internal Affairs, arrived in Pakrac. I remember

22 that one of them said that the -- that Croatia was a legal state and that

23 the Pakrac policemen had to return the weapons, otherwise they would be

24 arrested by the federal police force and that they would be turned over to

25 the MUP of Croatia. The Serbs in Pakrac were -- saw that everything had

Page 10871

1 calmed down and were disillusioned. Is that so?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Now, how did the barricades come to be set up in the first place?

4 Can you tell me that?

5 A. I think that I said that in private session, that I explained that

6 in private session, so can I repeat it in a private session?

7 JUDGE MAY: Private session, yes.

8 [Private session]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 10872












12 Page 10872 – redacted – private session














Page 10873

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [Open session]

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I thought we had returned to

13 open session a long time ago. I thought we were already in open session,

14 Mr. May, quite some time ago, because the witness only had several facts

15 to give us in private session. I cannot waste time and go back to the

16 questions I've already asked, that we've already covered, but I do like to

17 know -- and I do think that too much insistence is made on these closed

18 sessions, private sessions, because it is not the witness C-037 that is

19 endangered by the publication of what we're talking about because

20 everybody knows who he is anyway.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Is it true that this red/white, and white/red chequerboard was

23 found on the death camps of Jasenovac, likes of Jasenovac, for example?

24 Is that true?

25 A. Yes, it is.

Page 10874

1 Q. Well, do you then consider that it was only the elderly people, as

2 you say, the older generations, who were troubled and upset by that? Do

3 you think they had reason, good reason to be upset and troubled, and was

4 there good reason for them to be anxious and even afraid of what was in

5 store for them?

6 A. Yes, they did.

7 Q. So what we were saying a moment ago, discussing a moment ago,

8 about the camps, the dismissals, the beatings up and killings and so on

9 and so forth, was that confirmation that their fears were justified?

10 A. In a way, yes, because those were the first steps taken to instil

11 fear in the people.

12 Q. And is it true that the region of Western Slavonia had deep scars,

13 was deeply scarred by the mass crimes committed during World War II and

14 that the people there had to be sensitive, quite justifiably so?

15 A. Yes, that's right.

16 Q. Is there a Serb family, a single Serb family in that part of the

17 world which did not have casualties of some kind in World War II, during

18 World War II? Let me stop there and then I'll continue and I'll go on to

19 ask another question.

20 A. Well, perhaps -- I don't know. Likely -- not likely.

21 Q. In Western Slavonia, with the exception of those who had fled

22 before the clashes started, was there a family that did not lose somebody

23 in these attacks launched by the Croatian police and army on Serb

24 settlements and Serb houses?

25 A. I apologise, but could you repeat that question? I didn't follow

Page 10875

1 you.

2 Q. In that part of the world, that is to say, in Western Slavonia, in

3 that region, is there any family which has not lost any -- which did not

4 lose anybody in the attacks 1991, up to 1995, in Western Slavonia, except

5 for those who had fled before 1991 and gone to Serbia or somewhere else?

6 A. Yes, some of the Serb families fought in the Croatian army and

7 were there together, so such families do exist.

8 Q. Yes, but are there many such families?

9 A. No, there are not.

10 Q. Now, with respect to this event, as far as I was able to follow

11 and gather - and this is on page 5, paragraph 5 of your statement - you

12 say that in the information media --

13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, I note you are quoting the witness's

14 written statement several times, a number of times, so it seems that your

15 intention -- it is your intention to continuously quote his statement. Do

16 you like us to have one? We don't have them right now.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this is his statement, the one

18 that I was given by you. I assume that it was included in the materials.

19 JUDGE MAY: You refer to "you." Remember that we're the Judges.

20 The Prosecution sent you that document. We had nothing to do with that,

21 and we don't have them. Now, you were asked by the Judge: Do you want us

22 to have the copies or not?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course I do, but as far as I

24 recall, so far you always had copies of statements, looked at them, looked

25 for sentences and were able to find them. So I would ask myself now why,

Page 10876

1 and is this a logical mistake, that you don't have them now?

2 JUDGE MAY: We don't have the statements. We've told you this

3 before: We don't have the statements of the witnesses unless they're

4 disclosed under the Rule, which, as you know, allows for the admissibility

5 of written statements. We have those, but the other statements we don't

6 have.

7 Let us have a copy of these ones and we'll give it an exhibit

8 number.

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Then I should like to

10 have this introduced.

11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

12 JUDGE MAY: Well, I gather there are six statements. Which is the

13 one that you've been relying on, Mr. Milosevic? We've got it. Thank you.

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Maybe, Your Honour, I can be of assistance.

15 Maybe Mr. Milosevic refers to the proofing summary. That is something you

16 have in front of you, and ...

17 JUDGE MAY: We have the proofing summary, that's right.

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have the witness's statement of

19 the 19th of March. No. I apologise. Of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of May,

20 1990 -- no, sorry, 2002. That's the statement.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. This is a summary. Yes, we've got that. Thank

22 you. Yes, we've got this one.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. May I proceed, then?

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 10877

1 Q. Mr. C-037, you say that in the media, the events that we have just

2 described, partly in private and partly in open session, were represented

3 as dramatic events, and this is your opinion. Don't you think that this

4 kind of event in Pakrac is dramatic?

5 A. Yes, it is, but what was said in the media was that people had

6 been killed, and even their names were mentioned, and this did not happen.

7 That's why I said that these events were misrepresented.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Did you ever manage to find out who produced this report? Was it

11 given by someone from Pakrac or did somebody in the media make it up? I

12 mean the report about the people who were killed and that this was not

13 true.

14 A. As far as I can remember, a journalist arrived and wrote the

15 article from Pakrac, the report, from Pakrac.

16 Q. So it was somebody who came to Pakrac, observed the sporadic

17 shooting and the conflict, and wrote an article about it?

18 A. I don't know what he observed.

19 Q. Very well. But you say there was no reason for the Serbs to flee

20 because there was no threat to them from the Croatian side.

21 A. What period are you referring to, please?

22 Q. I'll tell you. You say, in fact, there was no reason to leave

23 because there was no military threat from the Croatian side in

24 November/December 1991. So this is late 1991. And then ... Yes. You

25 say there was no reason for the Serbs to leave because there was no

Page 10878

1 military threat from the Croatian side. And then you mention the

2 amendments. This is on page 18, the second paragraph from the bottom of

3 your statement. You said: I was able to see that people were being

4 manipulated in Western Slavonia, for example, in the SDS. And that's your

5 party, is it not? Wanted to study the amendments to the Croatian

6 constitution. People didn't want to listen but demanded weapons because

7 they had heard rumours that the Croats had armed. So they had heard

8 rumours that the Croats had armed. Were these rumours true? Were the

9 Croats armed or not?

10 A. In your first and second comments, you mixed up two events. First

11 you spoke of late 1991 and then you spoke of early 1991. These two events

12 were nine months apart. To respond to your first comment, in late 1991,

13 when people were withdrawing from Grubisno Polje, Daruvar and other

14 municipalities, there was not a strong concentration of the Croatian army,

15 so the pressure was not so great. They were not withdrawing because of

16 the military strength of the other side. In Daruvar, they entered Serbian

17 villages only some five or six days later, and then destroyed and burnt

18 them.

19 Q. When did this happen precisely?

20 A. Well, Daruvar retreated around the 15th of November, and they

21 entered it some five days later, five or six. So it may have been the

22 15th, the 20th. I don't know the exact day. But there was no fighting in

23 those villages. People withdrew from the villages, out of fear, because

24 there were rumours of heavy concentrations of Croatian forces. And people

25 did not have enough self-confidence, enough self-reliance. There was no

Page 10879

1 JNA there. They were expecting help from the JNA. And as they were there

2 on their own for days and days, they retreated. After that, the Croatian

3 forces entered. Whether these were the home guard or the Croatian army or

4 what they were called, I don't know, but they entered all the villages in

5 Western Slavonia.

6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the question.

7 A. These villages then were looted for days. They were torched for

8 days. The better houses that could not be torched were blown up.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. What happened to the better houses?

11 A. Well, they would not burn, so they were blown up with explosives,

12 and that's what happened to all the villages that had been controlled by

13 the Serbs during the war. As for the second part of your question --

14 Q. Let's stay with the first part for a while. That's why I'm asking

15 you this, because it seems illogical when you say that they had no reason

16 to be anxious and to flee, when you yourself say that once they had fled

17 from the Croatian forces, these villages were first looted and then burnt

18 or blown up. Does that not contradict what you said, namely, that they

19 had nothing to fear, nothing to flee from?

20 A. The forces that entered these villages were not strong enough to

21 take these villages from the local Serbs. A single man can torch a house

22 or a village. I don't know how many of them came in later, but had they

23 had strong forces, they would have entered the villages on the same day

24 that the Serbs left them. But the villages were not looted and burnt in a

25 single day. This went on for days and days. So there was time for more

Page 10880

1 people to arrive. Maybe some civilians took part in this. That's why I'm

2 saying there was no reason to abandon the area. People could have held it

3 and gone on living there. But I think the local commanders were not up to

4 the task; they panicked and they manipulated the people.

5 Q. So they manipulated people into fleeing instead of fighting; is

6 that what you're saying?

7 A. I think they should have stayed there and preserved their village

8 rather than leaving it. That's my opinion, still.

9 As for the other question you put to me, when the videotape of

10 Spegelj was published, was broadcast, it terrified people because they

11 concluded that the Croats were arming, and felt unsafe. When the

12 amendments to the constitution were discussed in Okucani, when Mr. Kosutic

13 came there to help us, you couldn't even talk to people about the

14 constitutional amendments. They were not interested in that. All they

15 wanted was weapons. They said: If I have a gun, I feel safe. And this

16 was a widespread phenomenon. The fear was such that they demanded

17 weapons, and there was pressure on all the political leaders to do this.

18 Those who refused were considered to be traitors. It was thought that

19 they were not looking after the people properly.

20 Later on, in June 1991, when the event at Borovo Selo took

21 place, I think it was - yes - in May, on my way back, passing through the

22 Croatian villages from Osijek to Slavonska Pozega, I saw people going out

23 at night carrying rifles, so I saw that the Croats were also armed. I

24 don't know who of the Croats was armed, on what basis, how, whether it was

25 just members of the HDZ or whether it was also other people, but I did see

Page 10881

1 them carrying weapons. And then at the same time the Serbs armed

2 themselves as well. Some people bought weapons initially. I don't know

3 who supplied them, but a lot of weapons were bought, and many people armed

4 themselves. This was a widespread phenomenon.

5 Q. What do you know about the point in time when the National Guard

6 Corps, as it was called, was established?

7 A. I think it was sometime in the summer of 1991, but I don't have

8 the exact information.

9 Q. Who were members of this National Guard Corps?

10 A. I think it was volunteers or policemen. I'm not sure exactly. I

11 know it was established and that its name was the National Guard Corps,

12 but I don't know who the recruits were. I don't know from where these

13 people were recruited.

14 Q. So you have described camps where people were tortured, people

15 fleeing and torching of houses and villages. Now I have a general

16 question for you. After the first day of your testimony, a newspaper said

17 that Witness C-037 accused Milosevic of planning the

18 Karlovac-Karlobag-Virovitica boundary. Since I have --

19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, that doesn't sound like a very correct

20 question. What you can do is ask the witness about his evidence, not

21 about the way in which some newspaper has reported it. Now, what is the

22 correct question?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I'm asking the witness

24 whether he accused me in his testimony --

25 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. What he said

Page 10882

1 is what he said. It's not for the witness to comment on it. You can do

2 so in due course and we can make a finding about it. It's not for him to

3 comment now.

4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --

5 JUDGE MAY: No, don't argue. Just move on to the next point.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --

7 JUDGE MAY: You can ask him some question which is relevant to the

8 evidence, but asking him about the newspaper report is not either -- or

9 asking him to comment on his own evidence, which is what you appear to be

10 doing. Now, that is simply not permissible. Now, what's the point --

11 what is the point you want to make? If you tell us the point, maybe we

12 can formulate it into a question which is permissible.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll tell you, Mr. May, if you will

14 allow me. I assume I have the right to put questions in connection with

15 exhibits shown to the witness who was asked to comment on them. If an

16 exhibit was shown to a witness and --

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Of course you're entitled to do that. Put

18 the -- let's go to the exhibit. Put the exhibit -- the right way to do it

19 is put the exhibit to him and then you can ask your question. Now, which

20 is the exhibit you want to ask him about? If you don't know which one it

21 is, we'll find it.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There was a map of Croatia on which

23 there were two straight lines, or rather, one broken straight line,

24 marking --

25 JUDGE MAY: Let's identify the exhibit. We'll find it.

Page 10883

1 JUDGE KWON: It seems to be tab 3 of Exhibit 326.

2 Is this the one?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes, yes. This map was

4 shown. Please put it on the projector. I can see it even from here. I'm

5 sure the witness can see it, if it's only 50 centimetres away. So put it

6 on the projector.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. There, you see this map, Mr. C-037?

9 A. I do.

10 Q. This map was shown to you here. What connection does it have with

11 any standpoint of Belgrade? If you know, tell me.

12 A. This has to do with Seselj's slogan, Karlobag, Karlovac,

13 Virovitica.

14 Q. Wait a minute. Leave Seselj's slogan alone. Various politicians

15 say various things at different points in time. Did you ever hear a

16 single representative of the government -- as you know, Seselj was in the

17 opposition. Did you ever hear a single representative of the government,

18 starting with me in Serbia, or the Prime Minister or a minister, or

19 someone from Yugoslavia, a general, for example, talking about a plan, an

20 alleged plan, such as the one shown to you on this map? Did anyone

21 ever --

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer. It's an important point.

23 There's no point if you go on; he can't answer it.

24 A. No, I didn't hear it from any officials of the government of

25 Serbia or the government of Yugoslavia. I said what this line, this

Page 10884

1 boundary, was connected with.

2 JUDGE MAY: So can we take it, Witness 37, that you never heard

3 anybody in the government talking about this line?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I didn't.

5 JUDGE MAY: But as I recollect it, you said that you saw somebody

6 - I may be wrong about this -- remind us, if you would, what your evidence

7 was that you say connects this line with the Serbian government.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps with the sentence that all

9 the Serbs would live in a single state.

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but how is that connected with this line?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I linked this sentence with

12 Mr. Milosevic, that all the Serbs would live in one state.

13 JUDGE MAY: Let me finish. It doesn't explain quite why you come

14 to this particular -- why this particular line on the map. What's the

15 significance of it? Would you explain to us. I know you say it's

16 connected with Greater Serbia, but can you help us as to this or not? It

17 may be you can't.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This here is the Krajina. This is

19 Western Slavonia. Seselj came to visit Krajina and Western Slavonia and

20 he spoke about this border, about this line.

21 JUDGE MAY: So it's what Seselj says. I see. Thank you.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. When was this?

24 A. Seselj said that in 1991.

25 Q. All right. Did he have some kind of a political party then?

Page 10885

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Was he perhaps in parliament?

3 A. Yes, I think he was.

4 Q. Are you sure?

5 A. I think I am. The radical party --

6 Q. Was he in opposition?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Whose opposition?

9 A. Yours.

10 Q. So how can you say, then, even if he had spoken about this - I

11 don't even know that he had - how can you link this up with some position

12 of the government of Serbia or any position of mine? Because somebody,

13 according to you, said something at some point, some person from the

14 opposition.

15 A. I said that I am linking that to his name.

16 Q. Oh, all right. I don't know if he said that, but over here,

17 during your testimony, this was linked up to me. It's being held against

18 me. So as you can see --

19 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... trouble what

20 anybody is putting in the papers. It's what the evidence is here of which

21 we shall be the Judges.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Do you know that that sentence that many are abusing here, "All

24 Serbs in a single state," does not say "will" but was linked to the

25 following explanation: That Yugoslavia was in the interests of all

Page 10886

1 Yugoslav peoples and that Serbs had a particular interest in the

2 preservation of Yugoslavia because only with the existence of Yugoslavia

3 can the Serbs live in one state, although they are in different republics?

4 Do you know that? Do you know how come this quotation was distorted, that

5 it pertains to that one and only state, Yugoslavia, the then Socialist

6 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?

7 A. I did not correct the quotation or distort it, believe me. I am

8 telling you, I just know that the Serbs wanted to remain in Yugoslavia, to

9 live in that state. As for this line, I linked it up to the statement of

10 that man, not to go into all of that again. And I don't know about these

11 changes and these inversions, what you said, I mean "will" or "do" or

12 whatever.

13 Q. But you are interpreting it that way. The Serbs did live in one

14 state while Yugoslavia was still in existence, but also all Croats lived

15 in one state. Because they even have problems now, Croats in Bosnia,

16 greater problems than they ever thought they would have, because slowly,

17 under pressure, they are not sending children to Sarajevo to go to school.

18 They're sending them to Split or to Zagreb. All the Croats lived in one

19 state too, and the Muslims lived in one state too. That's why I said that

20 for all Yugoslav peoples, Yugoslavia is the solution, because they all

21 live in one state.

22 JUDGE MAY: You've been asked: What is the question?

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The question was to clarify this.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. You uttered that sentence, which is very correct and very humane

Page 10887

1 and very reasonable, but you linked that up with some speech. You even

2 said that this was in Kosovo Polje, this speech. This speech in Kosovo

3 Polje is a remarkable speech, and it is quite contrary to what is being

4 asserted here, and everybody had the right to read it. So who put this

5 into your head, that we --

6 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic, you can't go on making these

7 speeches. Now, you can give evidence in due course and you can tell us

8 about it then. Now, have you got any other questions for this witness?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, of course. Well, I have three

10 hours left for tomorrow, Mr. May. Please.

11 JUDGE MAY: Let's get on with it now.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I am going on, yes.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. All right. So regardless of the fact that there was no military

15 danger involved as far as the Serbs from Croatia were concerned, in your

16 opinion, and it was obvious that they were endangered indeed, that all

17 their villages were torched, et cetera, and they all had to flee, and you

18 seem to be saying that they should have stayed there and fought because

19 then they would have kept their houses, then probably somebody would have

20 accused them too of carrying out an aggression against their own houses.

21 A. May I say something?

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You're supposed to be giving evidence, although

23 it may not appear like that. Yes?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Milosevic, I still think that

25 there was no reason for them to leave. I believe that. Because there are

Page 10888

1 reasons why I'm saying this. Where the Serbs were in Croatia, in their

2 own villages, and where there were no conflicts, the villages remained

3 intact. Had Serbs not left then, as they stayed behind from Pakrac

4 further down, these villages remained. I am not justifying this. This

5 was a retaliation. This was a crime committed against these people. But

6 I repeat: There was no concentration of forces. There was not that kind

7 of threat that was supposed to make them leave.

8 And I know, on the other hand, that there was no goodwill for the

9 Serbs to remain. But one cannot live on the goodwill of others only. One

10 has to live on the basis of one's own free will and to stay where they are

11 and fight. I did not mean that they should fight in the sense of

12 committing crimes or something like that, but defending themselves. I

13 think that then Croatia would not have entered Western Slavonia. What was

14 done against it afterwards is a different story altogether.

15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear Mr. Milosevic.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. So this is your explanation. In Croatia, did the Serbs do

18 anything else but defend themselves in the territory where they had lived

19 for several centuries? Did they go to conquer Croat territories, or were

20 they defending the territories where they lived, territories that were

21 theirs?

22 A. Well, down there, around Drnis, there were conquests of Croatian

23 villages that did not belong to the Serbs, that did not belong to the

24 Serbs. Also there were some in Kordun or in Banija. I can't recall

25 exactly now. The problem is that in those areas where the Serbs did

Page 10889

1 exercise their own control, they should not have torched Croat villages.

2 And they should not have expelled or killed Croat civilians who were

3 there, because that happened too. I'm not trying to say that there was

4 not ethnic distrust among them, but that's not right. Like Donji Caglic

5 near Pakrac, when the army came, there were one or ten, I don't know how

6 many extremists, but others were not. They could have remained alive.

7 Because if you are involved in a struggle of defence to live in your own

8 home, that does not give you the right to expel others. And now everybody

9 is trying to justify themselves that way when they say that's why I

10 committed something bad against someone else.

11 I think that sufficient attempts were not made to avoid this evil,

12 and I have reason to think this way. I was born in Croatia. My parents

13 were born in Croatia. They also lived through the Second World War.

14 Their entire families, all their relatives, were killed. As children,

15 they were in Ustasha camps. But it was Croats who saved them from these

16 Ustasha camps. So in our history, we have cases when we were killing each

17 other, but there are also cases when we were saving, rescuing each other,

18 and I think it was more difficult to do it then than it is now. I live in

19 the conviction that we Serbs should have done even more in order to

20 prevent this from happening. That is my conviction. I cannot change it.

21 I know what kind of state this is, and I know the fears involved,

22 and I saw my own father, who was afraid, and he said, "Yes, the Ustasha

23 killed all the members of my family, all my relatives, but it is Croats

24 who saved me from the camp." And he was 12 years old, he was not 30 years

25 old. He was a child, a 12-year-old child, but he was aware of that.

Page 10890

1 And also in that war, they joined the Croats and they joined the

2 Partizans. And we did not give each other a chance to resolve things and

3 not slaughter each other. That's what I keep thinking about time and

4 again.

5 Q. C-037, I think that your way of thinking is right, and I think

6 that no one can or has the right to kill another person because he himself

7 is exposed to danger unless he is saving his own life, unless this is

8 self-defence. As for these excesses that you are referring to, you

9 mentioned a village near Drnis and you mentioned something else near

10 Benkovac, et cetera. But you did not answer my question: Is it correct,

11 along with the exceptions that nobody can or should justify, nor would

12 anybody accept this kind of justification. So given these exceptions, is

13 it correct that in those years of crisis, Serbs, for the most part, that

14 is to say as a rule, exclusively defended their own doorstep and the

15 territories where they lived, along with these excesses that nobody is

16 justifying. But generally speaking, isn't it correct that they were

17 defending their own villages, their own homes, their own doorsteps where

18 they were imperilled? Is that correct?

19 A. For the most part, yes.

20 Q. So let's clarify that. As for crimes, nobody is justifying that.

21 The Croatian parliament, in 1990, adopted an amendment to this -

22 what's it called? - 68 and abolished the Cyrillic alphabet; is that right?

23 What was the reaction in Western Slavonia to this? Do you think that this

24 evolution in the atmosphere of fear started escalating, I mean with these

25 first seemingly not exactly dramatic changes but basically, and over the

Page 10891

1 longer term, dramatic changes. Tell me about the atmosphere then.

2 A. Yes. This did sound negative among the Serb population, because

3 they were building Croatia together with the Croats. They were

4 constituent people. And the alphabet had a footing -- was on a footing of

5 equality. And they wanted their alphabet to be equal, because that is a

6 right that had been acquired, and that is something that they had lived

7 with for years. So this upset them.

8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the question.

9 JUDGE MAY: Again, they can't hear the question. You've got to

10 leave a pause. And this must be the last question before we adjourn.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. The events that followed later, after this first alarm, so to

13 speak, did they escalate further into an atmosphere of fear and threat

14 that you reacted to, as you had put it yourself, spontaneously and on the

15 basis of the feelings of the citizens themselves there where they lived?

16 A. Yes, especially when the Serbs were no longer a constituent

17 people, when they became a minority. And when they were becoming a

18 minority people, felt that in this way they were considered to be of minor

19 value. And before that, it was said that they were privileged and

20 whatever. So they took this to be an attack against them, as a rise in

21 discrimination.

22 JUDGE MAY: We must adjourn now because the tape is about to run

23 out.

24 JUDGE KWON: Just one thing. I have to apologise for my mistake

25 that, with the assistance of Madam Registrar, I realise that it was not

Page 10892

1 the proof summary that the accused is quoting, and the written statement

2 is dated 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of May. So we had better have one, if the

3 Prosecution -- yes.

4 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now, 9.00 tomorrow morning.

5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.15 p.m.

6 to be reconvened on Friday, the 4th day of

7 October 2002, at 9.00 a.m.