1 Tuesday, 8 October 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 WITNESS: DZURO MATOVINA [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Matovina, yesterday during the
11 examination-in-chief you referred to Jovan Raskovic, and you said that he
12 had a major impact on the Serb population or, rather, he was one of the
13 founders of the Serb Democratic Party. I personally did not know him, but
14 his statements are well known.
15 You say that he supported the idea of a Greater Serbia, which is
16 not true. When did Jovan Raskovic speak about a Greater Serbia?
17 A. Yesterday during my testimony, I spoke about the speeches he made
18 when the Serb Democratic Party was being established in Slatina and beyond
19 that, in Slavonia. I said that his speeches were such that it was quite
20 clear that he advocated the project of creating a Greater Serbia.
21 Q. Did you ever hear him mention some Greater Serbia?
22 A. The press wrote about that too. That was a generally known thing,
23 what he actually advocated, that is, and what kind of speeches he made.
24 Q. Do you know that Jovan Raskovic never spoke about a Greater
1 A. I don't know about that assertion.
2 Q. For example, in Vukovar, on the 22nd of July or during that speech
3 that you mentioned, he said that Serbs would never take to arms or
4 jeopardise anybody's children but that they would always be ready to
5 jeopardise the Ustasha regime and that that claim is not anti-Croatian but
6 anti-Ustasha. Do you remember that, Mr. Matovina?
7 A. I don't know about that speech of his.
8 Q. That was the content of most of his speeches that we had the
9 opportunity of reading about in the papers or seeing in other media.
10 So not anti-Croatian, as he said, but anti-Ustasha. Do you
11 remember that?
12 A. I said that I do not know of that kind of a speech his in Vukovar.
13 Q. All right. Is it true that the election campaign in Croatia at
14 the beginning of 1990 was full of various paraphernalia, pictures, et
15 cetera, that revived the spirit of Ante Pavlic and the Independent State
16 of Croatia from 1941 to 1945? Do you remember that at least, Mr.
18 A. I was not involved in the campaign throughout Croatia. I already
19 said that I was in Slatina. And I was not involved in politics. I was a
20 policeman. I said yesterday what my position was and what I did.
21 Q. All right. Do you know what the content of this policy was as
22 regards the attitude towards the Serbs? It was quite well known:
23 One-third was supposed to be killed, another third was supposed to be
24 expelled, and the remaining third should be Catholicised.
25 A. I've never heard of such positions. I know that perhaps
1 individuals said something like that but that was never the official
3 Q. All right. Do you remember, for example, that in April 1990 - you
4 could see that in the newspapers in Croatia - the town of Hvar one morning
5 had graffiti saying, "Croatia all the way up to Zemun, Zemun is Croatia."
6 Do you remember that?
7 A. I really don't remember that. I already said that I was not
8 involved in such a chronology. I was doing my own job.
9 Q. Do you know that even Ivica Racan, the current Prime Minister of
10 Croatia, on the 27th of February 1990 stated that the HDZ is a party of
11 dangerous intentions. Do you remember that?
12 A. I know that statement, but statements made by politicians are
13 statements that are used on certain occasions, as always.
14 Q. All right. Do you remember, then, that Dalibor Brozovic, one of
15 the six members of the Presidency of the then Croatia - and the president
16 was Franjo Tudjman - in each and every one of his speeches to the citizens
17 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, he promised the citizens a chequerboard on Romanija
18 and the Serb insignia on the Drina?
19 A. I'm not aware of this speech of Mr. Brozovic's, and I know very
20 little about this, generally speaking.
21 Q. All right. Obviously you don't know about this. At least, that's
22 what you say. So is it correct? Do you know at least that this red and
23 white chequerboard was actually the flag that, after 50 years, they
24 decided would be the flag of Croatia, and do you know that it's correct
25 that that was the state of the Independent State -- the flag of the
1 Independent State of Croatia during the time of Ante Pavlic and the
2 Ustasha state?
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've made this point several times
4 already. We're not going to allow you constantly to reiterate the same
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Do you know, for example -- do you remember, for example, a
9 Reuters report from the 23rd of April, 1990 about the elections? This is
10 a report on the elections of the HDZ and they're characterised as a
11 nationalist and a predominantly separatist party. Do you remember that?
12 A. I did not read Reuters really. I would not like to go into
13 political estimates regarding elections, political parties, anything.
14 Q. All right. Is it correct that it's precisely the region of
15 Western Slavonia that you are from had great scars from the large scale
16 crimes that were committed during the Second World War precisely under
17 that flag that I referred to just now? For example, the event that
18 occurred on the 13th of January 1994 [as interpreted], the Orthodox New
19 Year's Eve, when there was a massacre over the Serb population and when
20 the Ustashas from Podravska Slatina surrounded the Serb village of
21 Kometnik near Vocin and massacred 275 inhabitants. Since you lived in
22 Western Slavonia --
23 JUDGE MAY: According to the translation, this is January 1994.
24 THE INTERPRETER: 1942.
25 JUDGE MAY: Is that the date you had in mind?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] January 1942.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes. What's the question?
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I asked Mr. Matovina, in view of the fact that he lived precisely
5 in Western Slavonia, whether these scars were in people's minds at the
6 time when there was this revival of the Ustasha movement in Croatia.
7 A. I was born in 1949. That is to say, after the Second World War.
8 What happened during the war is something that I learned through history.
9 It is true that there were crimes, and that is publicly referred to, and
10 nobody ever remained silent with regard to any one of these crimes.
11 Q. Nobody ever remained silent about any one of these crimes? That
12 is not true. But do you remember that in Croatia in 1990 constitutional
13 amendments were passed? Not to go into all of them individually, but the
14 substance was that the Serbs no longer had the status of a constituent
15 people with these amendments. Do you remember that in 1990?
16 A. I don't know what you're referring to. I think that there is a
17 constitution and it says quite clearly what the rights of all peoples are.
18 I would not go into an interpretation of constitutional provisions.
19 Q. All right. Do you remember, since you were then a public figure
20 in a way, that the Croatian authorities did not take into account any one
21 of the Serb amendments with regard to the constitution, especially with
22 regard to requests of the Serbs to retain in the new constitution the
23 status that they had in all other constitutions after the Second World
24 War, the status of a constituent people? Do you remember that, that not a
25 single Serb amendment was adopted?
1 A. I think that it was adopted and that a compromise was found and
2 that there is such a solution in the constitution.
3 Q. Very well. Tell me, please, is it correct that everything that
4 happened, all these symbols that were displayed and all the way up to the
5 illegal arming of paramilitary formations in Croatia, instigated not only
6 nationalism but also fascism in Croatia and a disparaging attitude towards
7 the Serbs? Do you know about that?
8 JUDGE MAY: That's just general abuse. Yes. Next question,
9 Mr. Milosevic.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is it correct that the election campaign in Croatia in 1990
12 unequivocally announced a pogrom attitude of these nationalist parties
13 toward the Serbs and this way of resolving the national question in
15 A. You are not right, Mr. Milosevic.
16 Q. All right. What can you say about founding the National Guard
17 Corps as a professional armed organisation that was anti-constitutional?
18 I hope that you know that the Constitutional Court ruled that the
19 establishment of this paramilitary formation was unconstitutional.
20 A. I'm not aware of any such ruling by the Constitutional Court.
21 Q. All right. Do you know that in Croatia in 1990 an illegal arming
23 A. Croatia had to defend itself from aggression which loomed over it
24 from day-to-day, and that turned out to be true later.
25 Q. Do you know that these arms, ammunitions, and equipment were
1 secretly distributed throughout the territory of Croatia and that it was
2 distributed only to ethnic Croats, primarily members of the HDZ? Is that
3 right or is that not right? As a policeman, you would have had to know
4 about this.
5 A. I do not know about any kind of secret arming. You said yourself
6 that the National Guard Corps was established, and the Croatian police
7 later on, together with the National Guard Corps, it comprised the armed
8 forces of the Republic of Croatia.
9 Q. All right. That was a well-known thing throughout Yugoslavia.
10 The Presidency of Yugoslavia, on the 9th of January, 1991, at the very
11 beginning, passed an order to disband irregular armed formations and, at
12 the request of the government of Croatia, they extended the deadline that
13 was established by this order by 48 hours. That is to say that the new
14 deadline was the 21st of January. Do you remember that and the events
15 that followed?
16 A. I do. The Presidency did reach such a decision, and at the same
17 time, the JNA armed the Serb population and prepared them for an armed
19 Q. Do you know that the JNA was not arming anybody? They only
20 mobilised recruits, conscripts. Do you know that?
21 A. I spoke about that yesterday.
22 Q. Yesterday during the examination-in-chief, you said that the Serbs
23 left the police on their own, and it is well-known that it is precisely
24 the sector of the interior that was cleansed of the Serbs by the new
25 Croatian government, also of Croats that they thought were wrong, and that
1 they also reinforced 18 police administrations that were then established,
2 and they covered the territory of all of Croatia. Do you still stand by
3 that statement of yours that it was Serbs who left the force on their own,
4 or were they expelled from the police?
5 A. I stand by my statement. I know that nobody was dismissed. I
6 know that nobody was expelled. I know that the police at the time was the
7 only armed force that the Republic of Croatia had and that it was the
8 legitimate right of the Croatian state to reinforce the police.
9 Q. All right. So you do not know about these large-scale dismissals
10 from public services, from the police, from the media, and even from
11 various companies.
12 JUDGE MAY: Just before you answer that, the question should be
13 put: Were there large-scale dismissals, as far as you know, Mr. Matovina,
14 or not?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. There were no dismissals.
16 Individuals left on their own. As far as I know, where I lived and work,
17 nobody was dismissed in accordance with the criteria that Mr. Milosevic is
18 referring to.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. Do you remember that in Pakrac it is precisely that
21 the ethnic composition of the police was changed and on the 2nd of March
22 it led to a clash between citizens who were ethnic Serbs and the police?
23 That is in your neighbourhood. You're bound to remember that.
24 A. It is in my neighbourhood, and before the police station in
25 Slatina was attacked, there was an attack on the police station in Pakrac.
1 As for the change in the ethnic make-up, I don't know because I was not
3 Q. All right. But if Serbs were a majority, they did not attack
4 themselves, did they? There wasn't an attack, there was a protest.
5 A. Yes, there was an attack. The police station in Pakrac was being
6 taken over.
7 Q. Do you know that the Croatian police, on the 17th of August, with
8 the intention of preventing a Serb referendum from taking place, in all
9 towns where Serbs were a majority, they tried to take away weapons, which
10 led to the erection of roadblocks. Do you remember that, at least?
11 A. No. It was not necessary to take armaments -- arms when they were
12 in police stations. This was just an alibi for attacks on police
14 Q. You say in your statement that the rebels attacked police stations
15 in Croatia and that they wanted to take over stations where there were
16 weapons and ammunition. Can you explain this? Does that mean that the
17 Serbs attacked policemen and police stations where practically 85 per cent
18 of the force was Serb? Doesn't that seem illogical to you, Mr. Matovina?
19 A. I spoke about the chronology of the attack on police stations
20 yesterday, Knin, Banovina, Petrinja, Pakrac, then Obrovac, Benkovac where
21 Serb policemen were a majority and where, after attacks were launched, the
22 authority of the so-called SAO Krajinas was established. And after that,
23 roadblocks were placed on roads and this area was cut off from the rest of
24 Croatian territory.
25 Q. All right. Tell me, when you speak about these attacks, are you
1 talking about attacks on police stations or are you actually talking about
2 protests of ethnic Serbs because of the abrupt changes in the make-up of
3 the police force?
4 A. No. That's not what I'm saying. That's not what I mean, that you
5 think I mean.
6 Q. In your statement, you say that tensions grew and that in Knin
7 there was a rebellion and that the Serb rebels started to attack the
8 police stations in Knin, Petrinja, Pakrac, and Daruvar. The police was
9 the sole armed force of Croatia. And then you go on to say that in 1990,
10 85 per cent of the policemen were Serbs and there were 15 per cent of
11 Croats. That means that they attacked themselves; is that right? Is that
13 A. I spoke about the national structure, the ethnic composition in
14 the police station of Slatina, and this figure relates to that particular
15 police station. As to the other police stations, the situation was
16 similar. At the level of the ministry, this ratio was 65/70 -- or 70/30.
17 That was the ratio, although the Serbs in Croatia were not a majority
18 ethnic group.
19 Q. You claim that the percentage that held true for the whole of
20 Croatia or for the areas where the Serb population represented the
21 majority. What are you referring to?
22 A. Well, in those areas, that ratio was even less favourable.
23 Q. All right. You spoke yesterday about the attack launched on your
24 own police station, whereas in fact you deny that yourself, because you
25 say that the leaders of the SDS party, they weren't leaders, SDS leaders
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 at all, they were just demonstrators who were demonstrating in front of
2 the place station, asked the chief of the police station, Kresimir Libl,
3 guarantees that the arms would not being taken out of the police station.
4 Is that correct? Is that right?
5 A. Well, that was the reason or, rather, an alibi that was used
6 because there were no intentions to take away the weapons and this kind --
7 and we didn't expect an attack like that. We managed to collect the
8 necessary number of people to prevent the militant masses entering the
9 police station building and taking control of it, because we knew what
10 this meant, what it would mean when a police station was taken over such
11 as the one in Knin, Pakrac, and the other places where the barricades had
12 already been set up and where the Croatian authority was not functioning.
13 Q. All right. Is it true, Mr. Matovina, that the protests that you
14 were talking about were organised precisely out of fear that the HDZ would
15 not arm itself by taking away these weapons from the police station?
16 Isn't that right?
17 A. No, not at all. Who would officially give weapons to the HDZ,
18 taking it from the police station? This was something that no -- it never
19 entered anybody's mind.
20 Q. All right, Mr. Matovina. Is it true that the only demands of the
21 citizens being assembled was that weapons should not be taken out of the
22 police station? Is it true that the amassment of the population was that
23 they were afraid of the pogrom that threatened the Serb ethnic group and
24 which in fact did take place later on against these people? Isn't that
1 A. No, it isn't because, at the last moment, they managed to prevent
2 the militant masses from entering the police station and taking it over.
3 Q. Mr. Matovina, these were demonstrations in front of the police
4 station, not an attack on the station. You yourself say that there was a
5 large mass of the people and had they intended to storm the police station
6 and enter it, they would have done so, and that emerges from what you
7 yourself said.
8 A. Well, they would not have entered because it was the only police
9 station which was attacked and defended successfully. The other ones
10 which were attacked at that time were taken over, and after the police
11 stations were taken over, it was evident how power and authority
12 functioned in them after that.
13 Q. All right, Mr. Matovina. You said yourself that the people were
14 armed, that there were many people there - of course, you didn't see the
15 weapons yourself - and that nobody on that occasion was injured, neither
16 did anybody shoot at anybody else. So there was, in fact, no attack.
17 Isn't that right, Mr. Matovina?
18 A. I said yesterday that on that occasion, Mesaros Mato's car was
19 overturned. The man was carved up himself but his life was saved through
20 the efforts of the few of us that came to his aid. I also said that the
21 militant masses did shoot and that after the mass dispelled, there was
22 several hundred shells in front of the police station from the bullets
23 that had been fired, several hundred casings. Therefore, the mass of
24 people gathered in front of the station were armed.
25 Q. All right. Whether the masses were armed or not, and let's not go
1 into the casings that you're talking about, I really don't know anything
2 about those events, all I do know is what you said and that it emerges
3 from that that nobody was injured. And that particular citizen that you
4 mentioned turned his car into the masses although he could have taken a
5 roundabout road which would have been faster. He entered the masses
6 purposely, and there are many witnesses to that, and on the occasion, he
7 injured many people. Do you remember that, Mr. Matovina?
8 A. Yes, he did drive through the mobs, and as I said yesterday, his
9 aim was to reach the health centre as quickly as possible, which is where
10 his ailing wife was lying. And it was unusual, at least up until that
11 time, that such a large mass of people in an unorganised fashion, without
12 any security, should be found on the main road, gathered on the main road,
13 blocking the communications there and paralysing communication in town
15 Q. All right. Mr. Matovina, as you know your town very well - I've
16 never been to that town - some of the people from the town who took part
17 in this event said that it was much faster for him to use other byroads to
18 get to the hospital rather than drive into the mass of population that he
19 drove into, injuring more than ten people. Do you remember that,
20 Mr. Matovina?
21 A. No, he did not injure anybody. He didn't drive into the masses at
22 any great speed, the speed that you're talking about now, and nobody asked
23 for medical assistance. Now, why he didn't take a byroad, I really can't
24 say, a roundabout way.
25 Q. Well, have you ever heard of somebody driving into the masses
1 rallying at a rally?
2 A. Well, all kinds of things happen.
3 Q. Let's not discuss that topic any further. Do you remember the
4 decision to block all the barracks, the JNA barracks, in Croatia by a
5 uniform decision taken by the command? That was taken in the second half
6 of August, 1991. And the decision to attack all the units of the JNA from
7 the 14th of September, 1991. Do you recall that?
8 A. Well, I spoke about that yesterday, and I think the decision that
9 you are talking about now refers to the so-called gentlemen's agreement
10 that was reached when the government of the Republic of Croatia made an
11 agreement with the JNA on the peaceful leaving of the infrastructure and
12 localities where its units had been put up.
13 Q. And do you know, for example, that of these events in Split on the
14 6th of May up until the 25th of July in Croatia, 126 cases were recorded
15 of attacks on the members of the JNA and the JNA facilities, and all they
16 were to blame for was that they were stationed in Croatia on the Croatian
17 part of Yugoslav territory as members of the JNA. Do you recall that?
18 A. Well, as far as that particular fact and figure is concerned, I
19 don't know anything about that, but I do know that there was a burgeoning
20 distrust in Croatia towards the JNA. The people were ill disposed towards
21 it because they saw that it was not what it purported to be. It was not a
22 Yugoslav army, neither was it a Yugoslav People's Army. And it is in the
23 events that took place that it took one side against another.
24 Q. The previous witness said here that the JNA, where it appeared,
25 separated the two belligerent parties, the two conflicting parties, and
1 that it did not take sides, but let's leave that for the time being for
2 somebody else to talk about.
3 Do you remember this: On the 31st of October, 1991, 15 villages
4 were cleared in the Grubisno Polje municipality? Do you remember that?
5 Fifteen Serbian villages.
6 A. I don't know, because I said that throughout that time I was in
7 Slatina. Now, what happened in other areas, I really can't say. Don't
8 ask me about that because I don't have that information.
9 Q. Well, you spoke here about other regions too, but do you remember
10 on the 13th of December, 1991, the 13th of December, 1991, I say, when
11 over 100 settlements in the Podravska Slatina municipalities - Daruvar,
12 Orahovac, Slavonska Pozega - were cleansed and the Serbs expelled on the
13 13th of December, 1991. That's when that took place. I assume you know
15 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... Yes,
16 Mr. Matovina.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know about that piece
18 of information. I said yesterday that on that occasion, the paramilitary
19 units withdrew and so did part of the population from the areas that I
20 mentioned yesterday.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, if there had been -- you were in Slatina, and
22 you were the police chief there. If 100 settlements in the municipality
23 had been cleansed, you would have known about that, wouldn't you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in Slatina at the time, and I
25 was the assistant chief of the police station, whereas Mr. Milosevic, in
1 his question, asked about whether I knew about the Pozega, Daruvar,
2 Orahovica and Slatina municipalities. The part that I testified to, which
3 was from the Slatina municipality area where I was the assistant to the
4 chief of police there, I can say that yes, it is true that the population
5 did withdraw with the paramilitary units up until the line -- the
6 Pozega-Kamensko-Pakrac line towards the later established UNPA zone. And
7 as for the settlements of Pozega and Daruvar and the rest, I really don't
8 know what Mr. Milosevic is asking me about.
9 JUDGE MAY: Let's clarify this. Just deal, if you would, with the
10 area that you know about, which is Slatina. You say that the population
11 or some of the population withdrew. Was there -- the question was: Was
12 there any cleansing of that population? That is, was the population
13 forced out? The Serb population, that is.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serb population was not forced
15 to leave by the Croatian authorities. It went voluntarily with a portion
16 of the rebellious Serbs and the units which were stationed there or set up
17 -- rather, set up there.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. That means that they themselves voluntarily left hundreds of
20 settlements on the territory of these municipalities. That's what you're
21 saying, Mr. Matovina.
22 Now, tell me this: As you yourself said that on the 14th of
23 December, the Croatian army took over control over that whole territory,
24 according to your knowledge and information, how long did the fighting go
25 on to take control of the territory and to expel the Serbian population?
1 A. No. The Serbian population was not expelled at all. On the 14th
2 of December, what happened was that after the withdrawal and after the
3 order, the units of the paramilitary and the fact that the population went
4 with it, the Croatian authorities took control of the area.
5 Q. All right. You at least agree with the dates that I quoted. The
6 13th of December, 1991, that was the date I say that 100 settlements were
7 emptied. You're talking about Slatina alone.
8 Tell me, please, why in all this fighting and taking control of
9 the area, it was precisely on the 13th - control had already been assumed
10 by the Croatian army on the 14th [as interpreted] - why, then, you made
11 the exception of Vocin? Why did you exempt Vocin when a hundred
12 settlements were emptied and when you yourself say that these people who,
13 according to your claims, were killed and fell victim, that they fell
14 victim not only in Vocin but in other settlements as well? Why did you
15 set aside Vocin from these hundreds of settlements?
16 A. Well, yesterday I spoke about an area which came under the
17 composition of the former municipality of Slatina and the localities in
18 which the crimes were committed when the paramilitary units withdrew.
19 Q. All right. Tell me this, Mr. Matovina: What does Serbia have to
20 do, and even the JNA -- and Serbia was not in command of the JNA -- what
21 did it have to do with those events, for example, in Vocin that you took
22 to be an example?
23 A. Why are you asking me this? You know yourself what this was all
25 JUDGE MAY: Don't worry about why he's asking it. Did you see any
1 involvement of the JNA or any Serbian involvement in what happened in
2 Slatina? Can you help us about that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said that the overall
4 arming of the rebel units was organised by the JNA and that preparations
5 were carried out on the part of the commanding officers, that mobilisation
6 had taken place and additional training as well.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Matovina, even in this criminal report that you presented
9 yesterday - and I've just had a chance to glance through it, but that was
10 sufficient for me to form an opinion, everybody, literally everybody,
11 without exception, against whom you filed a criminal report were
12 exclusively your own citizens, citizens from that area. I don't assume
13 that that is being challenged because that is what it says in the criminal
14 report itself. And then after that, further on --
15 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with these things one at a time. Let's get
16 the report.
17 I take it that the report being referred to -- Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff,
18 you can help us. It's presumably the report that was referred to by the
19 Prosecution which names a number of suspects, which is tab 5 of Exhibit
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. It's actually the crime
22 charge brought to the district public prosecutor in Osijek, and it refers
23 to Cetekovac.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, Mr. Matovina, what is being put to you is
25 that the suspects that are referred to there are -- all have -- let me see
1 what it is. Were all citizens of your area and not, therefore, Serbs from
3 Just a moment. Let the witness deal with the point.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that all the people
5 against whom criminal reports were filed and who were said to be guilty of
6 the massacre in Cetekovac, in the area of Slatina, were people who had
7 been mobilised into paramilitary formations. They had been armed with JNA
8 weapons, and they were even dressed in JNA uniforms, the type of uniforms
9 used by the reserve force. We have eyewitness statements about that.
10 As for the other part of the list indicating members of the
11 so-called White Eagles people or, rather, men who had come from Serbia
12 that we had discussed yesterday, I can say there were no criminal reports
13 against them because all we had were their full names and no other
15 At that time, there was no communication with Serbia, so it was
16 never possible to establish the identity of these men.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Yes. But look further on. What you said is all right, because it
19 says here in black and white that these are local citizens from your area.
20 But in the same report, you say Description of Facts: They wrote out 50
21 symbols of four-S slogans. "Everything is Serbian," then "Vuk Draskovic,"
22 "We will kill Tudjman," and again "Vuk Draskovic."
23 What on earth has Serbia got to do with it, can you tell me?
24 A. Well, those were the slogans that were put up on the facades of
25 many buildings on the 31st of May, 1990, and in a number of villages
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 where, on the eve of the establishment of the SDS, this propaganda was
2 carried out.
3 Q. All right, Mr. Matovina. So out of 100 settlements that on the
4 13th December 1991 were evacuated, you found only one, Vocin. And here
5 you say the Serbs had committed a massacre, while you remember very well
6 that there was an explosion in Vocin. A warehouse of explosives and
7 ammunition was blown up. I don't know even where these explosives and
8 ammunition had come from, but it is a fact that everything was destroyed
9 in the area around the warehouse and some people were injured.
10 A. I don't know about that explosion. All I know is that Vocin and
11 the surrounding villages were completely destroyed during their retreat.
12 What explosion are you talking about?
13 Q. The explosion that we have data about. And you mentioned it
14 yesterday. You said only one place in Vocin was blown up. It was
15 actually a warehouse of explosives and ammunition, and nobody was able to
16 establish the cause.
17 A. Yes. Explosives were sent to that building and there was a stock
18 of explosives and ammunition, while the surrounding houses were torched
19 and blown up.
20 Q. So it was a building that was used as a storage place for
21 explosives and ammunition and that's how it came about?
22 A. It was blown up precisely on the day of the retreat and the
23 massacre that happened that night in Vocin between the 12th and the 13th
24 of December, 1991.
25 Q. All right. But do you realise, Mr. Matovina, since you said it
1 yourself, on the 14th of December the Croatian army took over all these
2 areas, do you realise it was all that happened in this fighting between
3 you in those local conflicts on that entire territory during the offensive
4 of the Croatian army? Because said it yourself. This happened on the
5 13th, and on the 14th the Croatian army took over the entire area. Isn't
6 that correct?
7 A. You see --
8 Q. Well, the times don't coincide. They speak against you. The 13th
9 was the eve of the day of the Croatian takeover.
10 A. Well, let me assist in clarifying this case. On the case -- in
11 the case file, we even have a criminal report filed by the prosecutor's
12 office of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka against several persons who had
13 blown up the Virgin Mary church in Vocin, and they qualified it as damage
14 to property of others. However, in some witness statements, we have
15 indications that completely different people did it.
16 Q. I'm not going to go into who did it and what it was about. I want
17 you to explain, because you know it, unlike me who can only now gather
18 information, that it was all about a Croatian offensive, an offensive of
19 the Croatian army resulting in a conflict between the local Serb
20 population and the Croatian authorities. Isn't that so?
21 A. I think I made it clear yesterday and earlier today how these
22 events occurred.
23 Q. All right. Do you know, as a policeman, about the events in the
24 area of Pakrac, the Pakrac field and the mass liquidation of Serbs in
25 Marino village and Pakrac field on the 9th of October, 1991, when several
1 smaller death camps were established, including Ribarska Koliba in Marino
2 Selo and another one in Pakrac field. Do you know anything about that?
3 A. No. I never visited Pakrac. I know nothing about it.
4 Q. All right. Tell me, do you remember -- have you heard anything
5 about this: From 11th October to 29th March, 1992 -- 11th October 1991 to
6 29 March 1992, in your area several hundred Serbs were liquidated from
7 about a hundred settlements, and these were villages, with the exception
8 of the Pakrac area, in a location which was not actually involved in any
9 armed conflict. These places were outside the area of armed conflict.
10 You said yesterday when I told you about this and enumerated some
11 villages, you said there was no conflict.
12 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... Now, what is the
13 question? Mr. Matovina, what has been put, you've dealt with the hundred
14 settlements. We're not going back to that. But what is being put is
15 between the 11th of October, 1991, and the 29th of March, 1992, in your
16 area, it's said, several hundred Serbs were liquidated. Now, can you help
17 us with that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. That is not correct, and I know
19 nothing about it. For every event that we knew about, and I spoke about
20 this yesterday, in individual cases we reacted according to legal
21 procedure, from identifying eyewitnesses to finding perpetrators, and I --
22 as far as what this gentleman is talking about, I really know nothing.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. All right. Do you know about the broader area of Western
25 Slavonia, since there there was no one to protect them? Tens of thousands
1 of Serbs on horse-drawn carriages left the area of Pakrac, Slatina, and
2 other places where they were the majority population.
3 A. I told you that I wasn't there at the time, and you probably mean
4 the events when the population and the army or, rather, members of the
5 paramilitary formations were withdrawing from that area, but I wasn't
6 there and I can't talk about it. I wasn't there in Western Slavonia.
7 Q. Do you know that from June 1991 to August 1992; 193 settlements
8 were completely cleansed, 183 urban and -- 183 villages and ten towns?
9 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, you've put your case. You've been
10 told before that merely making allegations against the other side is not
11 necessarily a defence. Now, have you got any cross-examination about his
12 evidence or the documents he produced?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, these questions are about his
14 testimony, and I would like to remind you, Mr. May, that the previous
15 witness, since he didn't agree with me about the figure that I had about
16 183 villages, he said it wasn't 183, it was 165. As if 165 was a lesser
17 crime even if it were true.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Matovina, you heard about Bljesak, the Flash operation. How
20 many Serbs were killed during those 36 hours? Do you know anything about
22 A. I don't because I wasn't --
23 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... Western Slavonia
24 at all.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Flash was an operation of the
1 Croatian army involving a blockade of the Lipovac-Zagreb road. And after
2 talks and negotiations, when they failed to find a way out of it and an
3 agreement, they proceeded to block the road in the entire area. But
4 further on from Slatina is an area where I didn't go. I did not
5 participate in Operation Flash, and I can't talk about how the operation
6 was carried out and what happened.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. But it is not disputable that it happened in Western Slavonia
9 where you hail from. You're telling us that you know nothing about it?
10 You worked there, after all?
11 A. Well, it's a generally known fact that Croatian authorities
12 eventually deblocked the area. I'm not denying it.
13 Q. All right. Do you know how many people were killed then and how
14 many thousands of houses were destroyed?
15 A. I told you I did not take part in Operation Flash. I was in
16 Slatina all the time. I don't know how the operation was carried through,
17 and I certainly can't testify to the details you are asking me about.
18 Q. All right. Do you remember that in the beginning of 1991, the
19 leadership of the then SFRY, that is Yugoslavia, attempted to arbitrate in
20 the resolution of the conflict between Knin and Zagreb but all their
21 attempts failed because Croatia kept increasingly arming itself,
22 increasing the police force and the National Guard Corps?
23 JUDGE MAY: The question is: Can you assist at all in your
24 capacity in Slatina as to any attempts of the SFRY leadership to resolve,
25 arbitrate in the issue? Can you assist about that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, from this perspective, I can
2 say what I found out eventually as a regular citizen.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You're just talking about your general knowledge
4 as a citizen of the area; is that right?
5 Mr. Milosevic, no point just asking general citizens about what
6 they know or what they've read. We can hear evidence from the
7 participants and we will look at the documents in due course. Now, move
8 on to another topic with this witness.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Let's not talk about the leadership of the state. Here is
12 something specific: Do you remember an event in Borovo Selo when Serbs
13 had accepted to remove roadblocks, to return the situation back to normal,
14 and at the agreed time the police entered the village with two buses, two
15 field vehicles and one passenger vehicle, contrary to agreement, all these
16 vehicles full of policemen. And instead of talking to the population,
17 they got out of their cars and started shooting all over the village. Do
18 you remember that event? Do you remember that crime, Mr. Matovina?
19 JUDGE MAY: Let him answer. Do you know anything about this
20 particular event, Mr. Matovina?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember. I wasn't there, but I
22 remember reading in the press, and the coverage was wide. A crime was
23 committed against Croatian policemen who had entered that village.
24 JUDGE MAY: Again, this is something you read in the papers; is
25 that right?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. That's all I know
2 as a general citizen.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Next question.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Matovina, as a citizen, do you know that according to the
6 census from 1981, and that was the last census whose information is
7 completely accessible to the public, in the municipalities of Grubisno
8 Polje, Gradiska, Novska, Orahovica, Pakrac, Slatina, which is your
9 municipality, Slavonska Pozega, Virovitica, there were 251 settlements
10 with an absolute overwhelming Serb majority and 32 settlements with a
11 relative majority of Serbs. Do you know about that?
12 A. I don't know. As far as migration processes and ethnic make-up is
13 concerned in Slatina, at least I spoke about that yesterday.
14 Q. You don't know, then, that in 1990 and 1991 and 1992, all of these
15 were ethnically cleansed? You probably don't know about that either.
16 JUDGE MAY: We've been through all this. Now, unless you've got
17 something new to ask the witness, we'll bring this to a close. We're not
18 wasting our time any more.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have half an hour left, Mr. May,
20 and that's the time you gave me yesterday. Not exactly generously, but I
21 do intend to avail myself of that half hour.
22 JUDGE MAY: Don't waste it by constant repetition.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I did not really notice that I was
24 repeating anything, but perhaps you know better about that.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In your statement, on page 4, paragraph 6, you mention that the
2 citizens who were gathered there, you call them rebels, and they were
3 shouting slogans: "We are not giving our police. Long live Yugoslavia.
4 This is our police."
5 In your statement, you actually confirm that your fellow citizens,
6 Serb fellow citizens, declared themselves in favour of Yugoslavia. So
7 this part of your statement means that they did not want the HDZ to take
8 their weapons away and to arm their own membership. Is that finally
9 clear, Mr. Matovina?
10 A. I mentioned the chanting of the citizens who had assembled around
11 the police station accurately. I said how the militant masses felt, the
12 militant masses who were trying to break in. And I referred to all the
13 details of this gathering.
14 Q. And is it correct what you say on page 5, paragraph 2, that there
15 was no reaction from JNA barracks or, rather, that the JNA did not want to
16 be on anybody's side or to interfere?
17 A. It is correct. That time, the JNA did not react.
18 Q. You talk about some documents that were found in barracks, et
19 cetera. Is it correct that you personally did not find a single document
20 from among those that you've been referring to?
21 A. I personally did not find a single document, but when the barracks
22 were put under the control of the Croatian army, documents were found in
23 them, and these documents clearly showed that Serb reservists were called
24 up and what specialties they had. I already said that I personally did
25 not work on this case. It was 20 or so officials who were involved. I
1 was the one who rounded off the file, so I did not carry out all the
2 investigations together by myself. We worked together.
3 As for all these materials that are compiled, somewhere this
4 particular document can be found as well, that reservists were called up,
5 that they were trained in barracks, and that they were issued weapons.
6 Q. Mr. Matovina, what you are saying just now, is that actually a
7 description of the regular reception of reservists which went the same way
8 for decades? They were called up to barracks, they had military training
9 exercises; of course they would get weapons for these military training
10 exercises, and that is the only activity that you really describe. That's
11 the way it was in 1980, in 1970, in 1960 and when you did your military
12 service. How else are reservists trained anyway?
13 A. Yes, that's the way it was before. However, that time, after the
14 training was completed and after the weapons were received, the reservists
15 did not return to their homes. They went to areas that later came out of
16 the control of the Croatian authorities and the illegal units were already
17 being established in the area.
18 Q. Didn't you explain a few minutes ago that these reservists or
19 territorials, as you called them in different ways, that they left the
20 area together with their families? That is to say that they returned to
21 their families, and they left the area together with their families under
22 the pressure of the attacks of the Croatian army that took control on the
23 14th of December, according to what you said? Is that right or is that
24 not right, Mr. Matovina?
25 A. I talked about mobilisation when it was in full swing, and I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 talked about what was going on at the military barracks when the training
2 started and the mobilisation started. That is March, April. And it
3 became even more intensive in May and June. I spoke about the chronology
4 of these events, and I also described how the armed insurgency throughout
5 Croatia was developing, and then it was reflected on the area that I have
6 been talking about too.
7 Q. Do you remember that on the 23rd of January, 1991, when the
8 federal Secretariat of National Defence was saying the exact contrary,
9 that using as a pretext an alleged military intervention - and there was
10 no military intervention, especially not against Croatia - that intensive
11 pressures were organised against the members and units of the JNA, also
12 that certain facilities were guarded by persons with arms, there were
13 terrorist attacks that were launched against the army and its soldiers,
14 and that the army then said if Croatia does not disband these armed units,
15 it will act in accordance with the decisions of the Presidency of
16 Yugoslavia, and it will raise combat readiness to a level that will
17 guarantee the implementation of the Law on Criminal Procedure, that is to
18 say carrying out this in accordance with that law? There was a legally
19 provided procedure. Do you remember that?
20 A. Again, as a citizen, I can say to you that the JNA was resolute in
21 its demands and that it did not respect the rights of peoples in the
22 former Yugoslavia, that they should be self-reliant or, rather, that the
23 republics would have the right to become independent.
24 Q. Tell me, Mr. Matovina, since in your statement you say that the
25 Croatian guard was established only in October 1991 - you say that on page
1 6, paragraph 2 of your statement - do you know that that is not true, that
2 these so-called ZNGs were promulgated on the 28th of May 1991? Do you
3 know about that?
4 A. Perhaps in other places, in other locations, but in Slatina at
5 that time, a brigade of the Croatian army was officially established in
6 the month of October. There wasn't any Croatian army there then. There
7 was perhaps just a unit of the ZNG.
8 Q. You mention here that on the 4th of August, the army opened fire
9 at the police station. You mentioned that on page 7 of your statement.
10 You say, further on, that the officers of the JNA several days later
11 visited the police station in order to see what actually happened, and
12 they said to you then that they were shooting because they thought that
13 the MUP would attack the barracks. However, that was a single incident,
14 and they came to visit you on that occasion to express their regrets
15 because they did not intend to intervene vis-a-vis you in any way. Is
16 that correct or is that not correct?
17 A. It is correct that not a few days later but that they came on the
18 following day.
19 Q. The following day.
20 A. Yes, the following day. They came to see what actually happened.
21 However, in terms of the intensity of the attack against the police
22 station, in terms of the particular parts of the building that were
23 targeted and the timing of the actual attack, the intentions of the JNA
24 were quite clear.
25 Q. We explained that yesterday all right. You say that you -- that
1 you saw from a 50-minute -- from a 50-metre distance they could not see
2 whether there were any policemen inside. You said it was night-time and
3 they could not see at a 50-metre distance whether there were any policemen
4 inside, but you say that you took the barracks on the 16th of December.
5 How can you explain that Commander Babic of the barracks was sent to
6 Bjelovar as a prisoner of war when you say there was no fighting involved,
7 that one man came later to collect the pistol that he had forgotten
8 previously? How come that the commander of the barracks was taken as a
9 prisoner of war?
10 A. Commander Babic was not a prisoner of war. In spite of fact that
11 the JNA opened fire at the police station, he was never held accountable.
12 He personally asked that he and two other officers be driven away to
13 Bjelovar where buses were ready and when -- where they were taken in and
14 all these people were released on the same day. The conscripts, the
15 soldiers, were released immediately and they went home. So nothing
17 What I've been trying to say is that on the next day, an officer
18 came and he was quite free to look for his pistol and that this event
19 speaks of --
20 Q. All right, Mr. Matovina. You said just now that the soldiers went
21 to their homes, and a little while ago you said that the soldiers took
22 weapons and joined some rebels, insurgents. What is true out of the two?
23 A. I'm going to explain. These were soldiers who were conscripts,
24 who were doing their regular military service. They went home to their
25 parents all over Croatia or Yugoslavia, whereas in the other case I was
1 referring to the reservists from the area of Slatina who were mobilised,
2 trained, and armed by the JNA.
3 Q. All right. Do you know that members of the Croatian MUP and the
4 ZNG already on the 21st of September massacred 13 soldiers of the JNA in
6 A. I can speak about that as a citizen. Again, I read about this in
7 the papers, what happened, et cetera. I don't know about the details.
8 Q. Do you know how many hundreds of attacks were launched against the
9 JNA after the agreement was signed?
10 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic, we're going to deal with what this
11 witness can answer.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You are giving evidence about what happened in Cetekovac on the
15 4th of September, 1991, but you were not in the village when that event
16 occurred; is that right?
17 A. No, I was not there but I explained yesterday. I explained the
18 entire chronology of the events involved.
19 Q. All right. But that's a different matter altogether. So you were
20 not an eyewitness of a single thing that happened then.
21 A. I'm not an eyewitness of the event that took place right that very
22 moment, but as for the rest --
23 Q. All right. But I'm asking you whether you were an eyewitness.
24 You were not an eyewitness. You did not see who killed 22 men whose
25 bodies were found on the 5th of September. Is that right or is that not
2 A. I did not see that but I did speak to witnesses who came from the
3 actual site, and I spoke to them during the first few hours after they had
5 Q. All right. On page 9 of paragraph 4, you say -- you say, "I
6 think --" "I think that the attack was carried out by special units
7 because it was led by Boro Lukic. He was a reserve captain in the special
8 sabotage unit of the JNA." Is that correct that this is only your
9 assumption who carried out the attack and who killed these people? You
10 don't really know that, do you?
11 A. The special platoon carried out this attack. There is testimony
12 about this, even coming from some of the members of that actual platoon
13 who were later interviewed by the police or, rather, who were accessible
14 to police inspectors and to persons who were investigating the case,
15 because the case was not completed on that day, it went on for several
16 years, depending on when witnesses were available. And this had to do
17 with the persons who took part in the attack.
18 Q. All right. On page 8, paragraph 3, you say that the archives of
19 the paramilitary forces, as you say, were found in Zvecevo, that a
20 military plan of the attack on the village of Cetekovac were found. Were
21 you present when these archives were found? Did you see a single one of
22 these documents? Can you give a more detailed explanation as to who the
23 persons who saw this plan were?
24 A. The documents were found by members of the Croatian army, and
25 almost all of these documents, a large number of these documents were
1 handed over to the police. They are being kept in the police still. I
2 personally saw these documents. Part of the documents were copied and are
3 attached to these files here. And I personally saw the plan of the attack
4 on Cetekovac which was planned in accordance with all military rules.
5 That is to say, the main thrust of the attack, the operations coming from
6 the flanks, and everything else, just the military usually does this.
7 Q. All right. Now that you've been referring these documents, have
8 you actually been speaking about the list of documents that we established
9 were made by the Croatian police and also some lists where there is a
10 stamp of the Croatian police on them? Are those the documents that you're
11 referring to now?
12 A. I explained yesterday that the document that you were showing was
13 just an accompanying letter which gives a list of the documents that are
14 being provided and that the stamp of the Croatian police was affixed to
15 these documents because these are photocopies. Originals are being kept
16 in the police administration, or, rather, the police station in Slatina,
17 and this stamp confirms that the copy is faithful to the original.
18 Q. Mr. Matovina, on the photocopy that was given to us yesterday,
19 even the stamp is a photocopy. It's not that the stamp is there to affirm
20 that it is authentic, that it is equal to the original.
21 A. Possibly, because all of this was photocopied into -- in several
22 copies; perhaps dozens of copies, I don't know.
23 Q. You spoke yesterday about the Papuk detachment, and you pointed
24 out that this Papuk detachment followed the traditions of the 12th
25 Slavonian Brigade which fought in the Second World War. Those were your
1 words yesterday; is that right?
2 A. Yes. This is a statement of several members of the unit that took
3 part in the armed rebellion who were members of that unit, that
4 detachment. Their testimony was that the detachment was established in
5 order to follow these traditions with a view to liberating these areas. I
6 don't know from whom.
7 Q. All right. But you say that they followed the traditions of the
8 12th Slavonian Brigade that fought in the Second World War. I wrote down
9 your exact words. Against who did this 12th Slavonian Brigade fight in
10 the Second World War?
11 A. The 12th Slavonian Brigade was a partisan brigade. It fought
12 against the fascists in the Second World War.
13 Q. So it fought against the Germans and Ustashas; is that right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. All right. In relation to what you said, namely that you
16 personally did not see anything and that you were not present, on page 9
17 of your statement, you say: "Sixty soldiers entered the village with
18 artillery support, and at least 160 soldiers surrounded the village."
19 On the basis of which facts and figures are you presenting the
20 number of soldiers involved, and how do you describe all of this that you
21 mention in your statement and only a short while ago you said that you
22 personally did not see any of this?
23 A. All this information is based on the statements of witnesses who
24 survived this event. I already said that.
25 Q. So on the basis of claims made by persons who were on the spot or
1 on the basis of claims made by persons who had heard what had happened.
2 A. On the basis of a small number of persons who managed to hide and
3 survive or, rather, flee from the village. Ten or more watched the
4 incident with their very own eyes, because they were -- they could not be
5 noticed, and they were even supposed to come and testify here.
6 Q. All right. You think that the intention of the attack was to
7 expel the Croats from that area. Tell me, then, why did the Croats not
8 leave when the attack was so successful and so brutal?
9 A. I talked about the consequences of the attack and what happened
10 and what was supposed to happen. As for what was supposed to happen, I
11 really don't know. My descriptions show quite evidently what the
12 intention underlying the attack was.
13 Q. That's why I'm asking you, because the intention was, as you had
14 put it, that the Croats should leave. Why did they not leave? You said
15 the intention was for the Croats to leave. So the intention was carried
16 out, the attack was carried out brutally, it was over. Why did they not
17 move out if that was the intention, for them to move out?
18 A. It is only natural that later, after this attack against the
19 village, this village remained on the front line and the members of the
20 Croatian police and the National Guard Corps were sent there. And they
21 prevented further attacks against this village and attacks against the
22 villages facing the Podravina highway. That was the ultimate objective,
23 to take that and to cut off the only road that led to Eastern Slavonia.
24 Q. All right, Mr. Matovina. Let me draw your attention to page 9,
25 the one but last paragraph of your statement, and I want to ask you: Is
1 it true that the results of the investigation established that the events
2 which you describe in Cetekovac, that in those events it was neighbours
3 who took part, the neighbours and even relatives of the victims
4 themselves; is that right?
5 A. Yes, it is. The reservists who were mobilised, armed, and
6 trained, wearing the JNA uniforms of the reserve cadres from the villages
7 of Balenac and Cojlug, some of them were recognised by family members of
8 the casualties at the funeral in Cetekovac.
9 Q. Mr. Matovina, as I assume you were a reservist yourself of some
10 sort, and if you weren't I'm sure you will know, that at least ten, 15, or
11 perhaps 20 years prior to that that the reservists had, should they be
12 called up to military exercises and mobilisation, they had their uniforms
13 with them at home, the uniforms of the reserve forces which they obtained
14 from their units in the JNA. Is that something you know about?
15 A. Yes, that is true that they had part of the equipment, that is to
16 say uniforms and other equipment, but they never had weapons at all. They
17 weren't allowed to keep those, nor the other type of equipment that is
18 necessary for warfare.
19 Q. Did you ever see anybody distribute weapons to them? From the JNA
20 to these people who, as you say, set up paramilitary units. The army
21 issued strict orders that paramilitary units should not be allowed to
22 form, and if they were formed, that they should be disarmed. So do you
23 have any personal insight into anything that you're claiming?
24 A. I spoke about the departure of the convoy, over 40 trucks carrying
25 military equipment from the barracks in Nasice to the insurgent area and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the distribution of those weapons. I said that yesterday. And I spoke
2 about the killing of a citizen of Serb ethnicity - his surname was Kokic -
3 at the funeral in Ceralije, who didn't want to take up arms. And later on
4 and at that time the Croatian police went out to investigate and later on
5 it was seen that he was the one who refused to take up arms and was going
6 to Slatina to report the whole case, however, he was killed on his way to
8 So those are the facts and figures relating to the distribution of
9 weapons and the participation therein of the JNA and the arming of the
10 paramilitary units.
11 Q. How do you know that weapons were distributed to them?
12 A. Well, there were several witnesses, people later who came to the
13 area and went back to Slatina and said during that night, after the
14 arrival of the convoy, there was a massive distribution of weapons that
15 took place. And up until that time, part of the weapons had already been
16 brought into the area and distribution had already taken place, and the
17 commanding officers had received this equipment from the training sessions
18 in the barracks.
19 Q. I asked you about the concrete specific events and what did Serbia
20 have to do with them. Now I'm asking you about your entire testimony and
21 all the events that you mentioned during your testimony. What on earth
22 has the Republic of Serbia to do with any of these events that you are
23 testifying about?
24 JUDGE MAY: That will be a matter for us to determine. You've
25 asked the witness --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm asking him.
2 JUDGE MAY: You've asked the witness once and he's given his
3 answer. He identified people there from Serbia, he said.
4 Now, have the amicus got any questions?
5 MR. KAY: Yes, about ten minutes.
6 JUDGE MAY: Right. Very well. We will adjourn. We will take the
7 break now. Re-examination afterwards and then we'll hear the next
9 Could you be back, please, in -- I think we have half an hour
10 today. Twenty-five past, please.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.56 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.29 a.m.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
14 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
15 Q. Mr. Matovina, I'm going to ask you some questions now about a part
16 of your evidence concerning the 14th of December, 1991, when you said the
17 Serbs left voluntarily from your area of Slatina.
18 A. Yes. Go ahead.
19 Q. By that, did you mean the Serb civilian population?
20 A. The Serb civilian population, yes, and the armed units which left
21 the area together with them. Actually, they were forcing them to go with
23 Q. It's about the Serb civilian population that I wanted to ask you
24 questions. By that, do you mean women, children, families were leaving
25 their homes?
1 A. Yes. Those who were in the area under temporary occupation. The
2 rest of the Serbs who were where the Croatian authorities were, for the
3 most part remained.
4 Q. So those Serbs, as you say, under temporary occupation, do you
5 mean by Serb rebel units? What do you mean by "temporary occupation"?
6 A. Yes. Under the temporary control of the Serb rebel units which at
7 that time controlled the area and where the Croatian authorities were not
8 functioning. That is to say, not a single institution was in the hands of
9 the Croatian state, in fact.
10 Q. So in which direction did those people go, the civilian
12 A. I've already said that they went in the direction of Pakrac where,
13 later on -- which was to become the UNPA zone later on from the
14 Pozega-Pakrac road right up to Okucani and towards Bosnia. And another
15 portion went to Bosnia straight away, as far as my information tells me.
16 Q. And what numbers are we talking about? Have you had any access to
17 figures that you can help us with the amount of people of the civilian
18 population who were leaving?
19 A. I don't know what numbers or figures they were from the village,
20 but the majority left.
21 Q. I want to go now to the documents. I'm going to look at Exhibit
22 327 and tab 13 and go to attachments 57 and 58 where we looked at
23 documents with the signature or name Munja, and you gave evidence about a
24 man called Vukelic.
25 MR. KAY: Perhaps if they could be put in front of the witness.
1 Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is a list of the members
3 of the Zvecevo detachment, with their first and last names, their ranks,
4 their military registration number, et cetera.
5 MR. KAY:
6 Q. If I can just stop you there. We don't need to look at that. I'm
7 looking at the documents in attachment 57, the first one with the name --
8 signature Munja and the stamp, and that's the document dated 14th of
9 November, 1991. You've got it there in front of you. It's got "57" in
10 the top right-hand corner.
11 Just looking at this name Munja, you referred to another document
12 where you said someone had written in hand that he had a name Vukelic.
13 First of all, did you take part in the investigation of this particular
14 matter concerning these documents?
15 A. As I've already said, about 20 of the employees took part, and
16 they looked at the archives of the paramilitary units from Zvecevo and
17 studied them carefully, and they introduced a system into them. They
18 systematised them as evidence and contribution and attachments to the
19 reports for the Prosecution. And from speaking to the witnesses or,
20 rather, individual members of the units that we're talking about, we
21 learnt that behind the nickname Munja was the person of the man Veljko
22 Vukelic, in fact, and one of the staff wrote this down on the first page
23 that document.
24 Q. The translation came to me that you used the word "we." I'm
25 asking actually about you personally, whether this was a matter of the
1 investigation that you were concerned with and knew about.
2 A. Yes. I was one of them, one of the people who participated in the
3 investigation, and I did know about it, yes.
4 Q. Just looking at that document there dated the 14th of November,
5 1991, where Munja's signature is, there is a stamp. Can you tell us what
6 that stamp is?
7 A. As far as I'm able to see, it says "The SAO Krajina, Slavonska
8 Pozega," and the rest of it, the rest of the wording on the stamp are not
9 readily legible. I think it says "The socialist Republic of Yugoslavia,
10 Western" -- I can't really read what it says on this other part. It's a
11 question of the photocopy.
12 Q. Is it an official stamp that you recognise or know about?
13 A. Well, that stamp was the official stamp used in the area which was
14 under temporary occupation, and it is still -- it can be found on a series
15 of other documents too.
16 Q. Let's go to the document, then, in attachment -- at the end of the
17 -- excuse me -- in attachment 58, which is dated the 5th of November,
18 1991, which has the handwriting, "Vukelic is the one hiding behind Munja."
19 Can you see that?
20 A. I can see it, yes.
21 Q. In relation to Vukelic, have you had any connection with this man?
22 Did you know him?
23 A. I did know him while he was in Slatina holding the post before the
24 war of the secretary of the committee, and later on, he was head of the
25 Secretariat for National Defence.
1 Q. You said that he had close ties with the JNA, and you accused him
2 of cooperating and distributing weapons to Serbs. Where does that
3 information come from? Why do you say that?
4 A. No, I didn't accuse him of distributing weapons. What I was
5 saying was that there was cooperation with the JNA and the Secretariat or
6 Department for National Defence. I said that this cooperation or
7 collaboration was close, that it was on a daily basis, and that it was the
8 task of the department to call up the reservists and young men to do their
9 military service, to engage in training, to compile military records and
10 all the rest of the business of the defence department in connection with
11 civilians. And I also said that in the first days of the uprising, he
12 left the area and crossed over to the area which was later under the
13 control of the rebel Serbs.
14 Q. So as far as distribution of weapons is concerned, you're not
15 saying anything against him in relation to arming the local population; is
16 that right?
17 A. I was quite resolute in stating who armed the population and how
18 the distribution of weapons was carried out. Now, which posts and offices
19 he held later in the insurgent area, I don't know. I wasn't there. But
20 from the documents -- from certain documents, we can see that he was in
21 the top military and civilian echelons, or, rather, political structures.
22 Q. Thank you very much. I want to go on to one other matter now and
23 that deals with the 4th of August, 1991, when you described the police
24 station at Slatina as having been attacked by the JNA. That event took
25 place at 2300 hours and about or near the time when there is a change of
1 duty for the police.
2 The record we have on the LiveNote translation is that the JNA was
3 50 kilometres away. I don't know whether that's right or wrong, because
4 another figure has also been mentioned. Can you help us with that?
5 A. It was 50 metres, not 50 kilometres.
6 Q. That's all I need ask about that. Just the last matter I'm going
7 to deal with is Exhibit 334, looking at tab tabs 6, 7, 8. These are three
8 medical reports that you produced as part of your files of investigation.
9 Tab 6 contains details of a person with some bruises and abrasions
10 which have been noticed by the doctor on the body; is that right?
11 A. Yes, that's right. It was a policeman by the name of Darko
12 Bozickovic from Vocin.
13 Q. If we look at tab 7, when the doctor considered that patient,
14 would it be right to say that the doctor didn't find any injuries at the
15 time of the medical check?
16 A. This particular citizen asked for medical assistance, and in his
17 statement, he says that he was beaten up in Vocin, and he mentions the
18 perpetrators, Bolic Mile, Vocin nicknamed Kristus, and Bjelobrk Goran, a
19 policeman who had fled from the police station in Slatina to join the
20 police force in Vocin.
21 Q. Can you get to the point, please? The report says: "Type of
22 injury cannot be determined"; is that right?
23 A. Yes, that's what it says here. That's the observation made.
24 However, I personally know that that particular citizen did have
25 consequences from that, and he suffers from them today as well.
1 Q. And if we look at tab 8, again another patient was considered by
2 the doctor, and the report was: "Type of injuries cannot be determined
3 due to the period of time elapsed"; is that right?
4 A. Yes, that's what it says. But that particular citizen, Doric
5 Kresimir, I mentioned him yesterday, he was a driver in a company in
6 Slatina, and he has lasting aftereffects from the beating.
7 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour
9 Re-examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
10 Q. Just on these last two persons, you speak of Antun Simic. What
11 were his lasting effects that you mentioned?
12 A. According to what he says - because I was in contact with him
13 quite frequently - he has PTSP effects, and from the numerous injuries and
14 beatings, his health has been impaired. I think that he has a certain
15 invalidity percentage as well. I can't say 100 per cent for sure, I can't
16 claim that, but I do think that he is an invalid and asked for medical
17 documents to bear that out because of the aftereffects that he suffered.
18 Q. And Mr. Doric Kresimir?
19 A. Mr. Doric also complained to me on several occasions. I know both
20 men personally. This latter one works in Slatina, so we meet -- happen to
21 meet more often.
22 Q. I have one more question. You spoke about the military call-ups
23 as they were before the war and then in the year 1990, and I want to
24 clarify two points.
25 When the -- when the reservists were called up in the years before
1 the war - I'm not talking of 1991 - were all of the reservists called up
2 no matter of what ethnicity they had?
3 A. That's right. Before the war, reservists, both Serbs, Croats, and
4 all the rest of them, were called up, all the other ethnic groups too,
5 depending on what their military records showed as their speciality and
6 which units they belonged to and also when they underwent additional
7 training in their unit. So no difference was made. Everybody was called
9 Q. And in 1991, who was called up? Was there a difference?
10 A. In 1991, exclusively and only Serbs were called up into the JNA.
11 As I have already said, they were included into the units of Territorial
13 Q. And one more question. When the -- before the war, not in 1991,
14 in the years before when the training was finished, what was done with the
16 A. The weapons would remain in the warehouses, in the depots of
17 Territorial Defence, and they were in the perimeter of the barracks.
18 Before the war, nobody used to take weapons home, or any other part of
19 military equipment.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, these were my questions.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Matovina, that concludes your
22 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it.
23 You are free to go.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 [The witness withdrew]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll have the next witness.
2 MR. NICE: I think there is to be a change of chair to accommodate
3 him. That's being dealt with. He needs a slightly higher chair, or a
4 higher chair.
5 JUDGE MAY: While it is being dealt with, the position is that
6 Thursday has become available in the afternoon. The court is available
7 now, and so we propose to sit in the afternoon too. Does that present
8 difficulties to anybody?
9 MR. NICE: It may do. Can I approach the matter through your
10 office in the usual way and let you know about it when I've reviewed it?
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, if there are difficulties, we'll hear them, of
12 course. But that apart, we need to do as many witnesses as we can this
14 MR. NICE: Absolutely, yes, of course.
15 JUDGE MAY: How long is it likely that this next witness will
17 MR. NICE: I would hope, in chief, two sessions.
18 Can I turn to, while the housekeeping or administrative matters
19 are being dealt with --
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay has a point.
21 MR. KAY: Sorry to cut across Mr. Nice there, but it's on the
22 subject of sitting hours, which are probably of concern to the accused.
23 In a half day, that's a day where we sit from 9.00 until quarter to two,
24 he's able to have more free time upon which to work upon his case as well
25 as have a break from the rigours of the court day. When he's here on a
1 full day, he has less opportunity for personal breaks, and by that I mean
2 personal freedom of getting some fresh air, and in those circumstances, a
3 full day, given his medical condition --
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, we did have that in mind, but we're not sitting
5 either on Friday or the following Monday.
6 MR. KAY: Yes.
7 JUDGE MAY: So the fact is that it's before his holiday.
8 MR. KAY: Yes. Well, I've made the point.
9 JUDGE MAY: You've made the point. I mean, normally we will have
10 in mind those difficulties when we decide to sit on an afternoon. It's
11 one of the matters we'll have to consider.
12 MR. KAY: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: And we will take it into account, of course. But as I
14 say, there's a break coming up so it's less pressing than it would
15 otherwise be.
16 As for the point that Mr. Nice has, we'll consider that in due
17 course to take into account what you say.
18 MR. KAY: I'm grateful, Your Honour.
19 MR. NICE: While administrative --
20 JUDGE MAY: I am sorry. There is another matter which I've just
21 received a note from the registry that apparently there is some difficulty
22 for the accused to meet with his legal associates at the Tribunal, no
23 doubt during these afternoons. If it's necessary, we will make an order
24 that he should be entitled to do that after the hearing of the court or
25 during the day.
1 MR. NICE: While the witness is being brought in, maps again.
2 This atlas has been ordered in, I hope, enough numbers to meet everybody's
3 needs. I'll likely refer to it today; may we give it a provisional
4 exhibit number and then when we've got enough copies, give it a final
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Can we make sure there is sufficient for the
9 Trial Chamber and its staff when you produce these.
10 MR. NICE: We've ordered, I think ten. Of course, I discovered
11 that the atlas doesn't show Montenegro, which isn't terribly helpful.
12 I've got a couple of other maps which I've got in single versions at the
13 moment, and perhaps we can deal with those in the same way.
14 JUDGE MAY: Have you got a number? We'll have a number now for
16 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Prosecutor's Exhibit number 336.
17 MR. NICE: Thank you.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration. No need
19 to stand.
20 WITNESS: NIKOLA SAMARDZIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
23 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 Examined by Mr. Nice:
25 Q. Your full name, please, sir.
1 A. Nikola Samardzic.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the position is that Mr. Samardzic in fact
3 speaks several languages, including English, but we've judged that it's
4 better in all circumstances that he gives his evidence, or the majority of
5 it, in his native language.
6 It may help, I think, if we deal with a little bit of geography
7 straight away. There are, as I say, two additional maps that I'm going to
8 have produced in enough quantity to become proper exhibits. May they be
9 temporarily ascribed exhibit numbers, and it might be sensible if they go
10 in the general map exhibit, whichever number it is.
11 THE REGISTRAR: I believe that's Exhibit number 333.
12 MR. NICE: This has been tendered.
13 JUDGE MAY: That was the last map. The collection you're
14 referring to is the binder we have which I think is the 326, which we've
15 already numbered.
16 MR. NICE: Let's put 323 on the overhead projector just to
17 familiarise ourselves with some geography.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that's Prosecutor's Exhibit 333.
19 MR. NICE: And if we could look at the coast between Dubrovnik,
20 and that's the third point to the south.
21 Q. Mr. Samardzic, we can see this part of the coast of the former
22 Yugoslavia stretching from Dubrovnik; then coming first south, we can see
23 the town or village of Igalo; we then see the Bay of Kotor. And although
24 it's not very clearly marked on this map which is why I would have a
25 better map, we can see that the border between Croatia and Montenegro,
1 Croatia including Dubrovnik, of course, and Cavtat, seems to run right
2 through the mouth of the Bay of Kotor; correct?
3 A. Yes. It's the middle part of the entrance into the Boka Kotorska
5 Q. And if the technicians would come out again so that we can see a
6 little bit more of the map, we can see that the coastline of Montenegro
7 extends further to the south-east, and we can see Podgorica, for some time
8 known as Titograd, and also it's possible to see - but not very clearly on
9 this map - the old capital of Cetinje, but the blue marker to the south
10 is, I think, the village or the town of Bar; is that right?
11 JUDGE MAY: Is this the municipality map or is it another one?
12 MR. NICE: It's another map. It was produced yesterday. I'm just
13 trying to --
14 JUDGE MAY: I wish we could get these maps into order. Sometimes
15 we have the municipality map; this one appears to be -- you're referring
16 to a map which has more on it than we have in our municipality map.
17 MR. NICE: Correct. And I gather it's already been produced as an
18 exhibit, and I want you to have more details than is contained in the
19 municipality maps for reasons that will become apparent in the course of
20 the evidence.
21 JUDGE MAY: So your map now, the new map, will contain Montenegro;
22 is that right?
23 MR. NICE: Unfortunately, it's only going to contain part of
24 Montenegro but enough part of it for you to understand -- for the Chamber
25 to understand and follow the evidence of the witness.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
2 MR. NICE: So that's that map. If we could -- don't worry about
3 it. It may help if we look at the -- just to explain the geography to the
4 Judges, can we give this map, which is the Bay of Kotor, a provisional
5 exhibit number because I haven't got enough copies of it to e produced at
6 the moment but they are being run off and once they're available perhaps
7 we can give it a proper exhibit number.
8 Q. While we're doing that, the Bay of Kotor, as it's called,
9 Mr. Samardzic, is actually a striking feature sometimes described as a
10 fjord although -- because it resembles a Norwegian fjord rather than is
11 made in the same way. As we can see it there, it's a dramatic inlet into
12 the high mountains -- high black mountains of Montenegro; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, precisely. The Bay of Boka Kotorska is bordered by high
14 mountains, especially Mount Lovcen, which are nearly 2.000 metres high.
15 The cliffs are steep, and there is a resemblance to Norwegian fjords.
16 Q. If we move the view just a little to the left, please. Thank you
17 very much. I'm going to get you to deal with the evidence about this
18 later, Mr. Samardzic, but right on the left of that map you can see a
19 peninsula. Perhaps you'd just point it out on the overhead projector.
20 The usher will explain how you can do this. You take the pointer and
21 point it out on the overhead projector itself. No, not on the screen, on
22 the projector.
23 A. Where is this? Oh, here.
24 Q. If you point out -- there's a peninsula, and that's the peninsula
25 of --
1 A. This peninsula is called Prevlaka. It has a cape which is called
2 Ostri Rt cape, meaning Sharp Cape.
3 Q. We're going to come back to that peninsula, which we see sits
4 right on the edge of the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. And with that little
5 addition of geographical information to the case, your history is that you
6 were born in 1935 in the village of Ledenica, which is in fact on --
7 typically of the maps, I think, on that bit of the northern north-western
8 Bay of Kotor that is cut off on this map. That is where you were born and
9 where you were brought up.
10 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm going to lead on matters of
12 Q. In 1982, you were appointed as a representative of the Yugoslav
13 Chamber of Commerce in Australia, opening an office in Sydney in June of
14 1983. Five years later, you moved to Brisbane, where you set up the
15 Yugoslav exhibition for the 1988 World Expo, and you then, at the end of
16 that year, returned to Montenegro. You became, and this is not in the
17 summary, a member of the Montenegrin parliament, an MP, and then in July
18 of 1990, you were elected as the Montenegrin representative to the Federal
19 Chamber of Republics, each republic selecting their own representatives to
20 sit on or in that Chamber.
21 Having languages skills in English, Italian, Spanish, and Russian,
22 and for other reasons, you were appointed the Foreign Minister of
23 Montenegro on the 16th of February, of 1991, a post from which you
24 resigned on the 26th of May of 1992, being formally replaced in that post
25 by parliament on the 31st of July of 1992.
1 Is that narrative of your personal history correct?
2 A. Yes, it is completely correct, although it is not all of my
3 personal history. But that about covers it, yes.
4 Q. Perhaps the only other thing that may emerge in the course of
5 evidence is that you were originally a sea captain -- or not originally.
6 You were a seafaring man and you became a sea captain, and in due course
7 you became head of a major shipping business of the former Yugoslavia, and
8 you can give the history of that and of your successes in the business and
9 of how the business was eventually taken over by others, if asked. Thank
11 If what I've said is correct, then we can move on.
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Right. I'm going to ask you to deal shortly with a number of
14 topics before we turn to the substance or the most central parts of your
16 Mr. Samardzic, as a person at the centre of both the Montenegrin
17 government and the republican government, it may well be that there were
18 things that you learnt about from various sources over time. In all
19 topics that I'm going to ask you to help the Judges with, I'm going to ask
20 you to identify so far as you can your sources of knowledge, whether it
21 was something that you saw or heard yourself, whether it was something
22 that somebody told you, something that several people told you, or whether
23 it was something that you simply learnt about in the course of your work
24 in government. Do you understand?
25 A. I understand.
1 Q. First, I think there are a couple of short things you can help us
2 with about the characterisation of Croats in an adverse way and by
3 reference to their alleged connection with a fascist past.
4 Where did you become -- when and where did you become aware of
5 this characterisation of Croats that troubled you?
6 A. Well, the traces of World War II were ubiquitous in Yugoslavia.
7 It was a fratricidal war, and the Ustasha Croatia had perpetrated many
8 crimes against Serbs and other peoples in Croatia and Bosnia, but at the
9 same time it is true that the Chetniks of Draza Mihajlovic had done the
11 Q. I am going to interrupt you when you go off the question, I hope
12 not in any sense disrespectfully. The question is simply when and where
13 in recent history did you become troubled by the characterisation of
14 Croats by reference to their past?
15 A. Well, I was especially troubled by it after I returned from
16 Australia in 1989, early in 1989, when the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution
17 took place in Montenegro in January 1989, although it was going on during
18 my term of office in Australia in the 1980s as well. Many people
19 considered that all Croats were Ustashas, however, I was never able to
20 agree with that.
21 Q. In your experience, was the characterisation of Croats as Ustasha
22 connected with any other political objective of those who were making
23 these characterisations?
24 A. Certainly. It was connected with another political movement, a
25 political movement geared at creating another Greater Serbia and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 rectifying the injustices committed against the Serb people, and this
2 perception of the Croats was incited more and more as the crisis deepened.
3 Q. A word or so more, please, about what you've already touched on,
4 the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution. Explain in literally a few sentences, a
5 couple of sentences, how that struck you and what it actually amounted to.
6 A. Well, in late 1980s, especially after the so-called 8th session of
7 the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Serbia, Slobodan
8 Milosevic was accepted by all nationalist forces in Serbia and embraced in
9 a large measure in Montenegro as well and by Serbs in Bosnia as the leader
10 of the movement for the creation of Greater Serbia. The creation of this
11 movement did not take one day. It took some time in the period that led
12 up to the crisis and disintegration of the country.
13 The movement took a variety of forms. It started out with rallies
14 and demonstrations in the streets that were later labelled as the
15 Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution which toppled the governments in Vojvodina
16 and Kosovo, resulting in the abolition of their autonomies.
17 And then the same was carried out in Montenegro. However, there
18 was one difference in Montenegro: They took advantage of the discontent
19 among workers to present the movement as a socially oriented one whereas
20 it was in fact a nationalist putsch. The leadership was replaced in all
21 these provinces and areas. The movement continued, and then as the
22 expression went at the time, "people" happened in Slovenia as well.
23 Q. All right. Can I --
24 A. This entire movement was in fact --
25 Q. Thank you. Can I bring you to a particular topic, a rally in
1 Podgorica, capital of Montenegro, on the 10th of January, 1989. Tell us
2 about that in a sentence or so.
3 A. Already-established groups in Montenegro, not only from Podgorica
4 but also from Serbia and elsewhere, including nationalist Chetnik elements
5 in Montenegro, took advantage of the discontent among workers, especially
6 those employed by a big factory, Radoje Dakic to organise mass
7 demonstrations in Podgorica, gathering of 100.000 people who called for a
8 replacement of the leadership in Montenegro. The leadership indeed
9 resigned, which introduced a new era in Montenegro. It was named the
10 Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution, although it had nothing to do with
11 bureaucracy. The whole affair was organised by the elements I've already
12 mentioned from Belgrade but also from Montenegro itself.
13 Q. Can I now turn to the emergence of two young men, or very young
14 for the positions they were to hold, it may be judged, Momir Bulatovic and
15 Milo Djukanovic. A sentence or so about how they came to the offices they
17 A. Momir Bulatovic was an assistant to a professor at the Podgorica
18 University, and as far as I can remember, he was the secretary of the
19 League of Communist's committee at the university. He was involved in the
20 Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution, as we can see from video footage taken at
21 the time, while Milo Djukanovic did not actually take part in this event
22 that day, but he did advocate the new path proclaimed by Slobodan
23 Milosevic, and he was a member of the Central Committee of the League of
24 Communists of Yugoslavia, the large Yugoslavia. He was particularly
25 active in talks with members of the Central Committee from Croatia, and it
1 is probably then that he was spotted by Slobodan Milosevic as a desirable
2 partner and associate.
3 These two men were used in the so-called Anti-Bureaucratic
4 Revolution, although I must say that over time, over the past years, Milo
5 Djukanovic realised his error and turned against Slobodan Milosevic's
6 policy. Nowadays, his policies are completely contrary to those of
7 Slobodan Milosevic, but back then, he was one of his followers.
8 Q. And as these men rose to the positions of President and Prime
9 Minister, can you just give us, in case it's not already in evidence, an
10 idea of their ages at the time they took those offices?
11 A. Well, Milo Djukanovic was born in 1962, which means that at the
12 time when he became Prime Minister, he was about 28. Momir Bulatovic is
13 slightly older, perhaps five or six years older, I don't know exactly.
14 They took up their new positions not right after the 10th of
15 January but after the proper elections in December 1989, which is when the
16 first parliamentary multi-party elections took place in Montenegro. The
17 League of Communists still existed at the time, and on their respective
18 lists they won the elections and the new multi-party parliament elected
19 them or, rather, appointed them to these positions. One of them was named
20 president of the Presidency.
21 Q. Thank you. You've already spoken of Greater Serbia.
22 MR. NICE: Can the witness please see Exhibit 326. Thank you.
23 Tab 3. Usher, here it is. If you're happy to use ours rather than -- are
24 you happy to use ours if we've got it? Right. It saves time. A map
25 we've seen before.
1 Q. Now, we know about this line from other witnesses, but now I want
2 you to tell us what you knew, and from what sources, about this line and
3 any significance it had in the conflict with which we are dealing.
4 A. This is the line from Karlobag to Virovitica. According to the
5 nationalist movement that was developing towards the end of the 1980s, at
6 the very beginning of the 1990s, that was the objective, to reach that
7 line and to create a Greater Serbia thereby. This was explained in
8 different ways: To preserve Yugoslavia; others were saying to create
9 Serbia; third parties were saying that even that line -- that that line
10 could even be crossed. But that is the basic line of Greater Serbian
11 chauvinism, to include Bosnia in a Greater Serbia as well as a large part
12 of Croatia and Montenegro. At that time, they also thought it should
13 include Macedonia.
14 Q. When you say that people were speaking about it, what sort of
15 people, how commonly, to what degree was this an open topic for
16 conversation or discussion amongst politicians or others?
17 A. As for that, as for the creation of a Greater Serbia, this was
18 discussed among politicians and among ordinary people to a great extent
19 that during the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution in Vojvodina, Kosovo,
20 Montenegro, and certainly after that period of time as well. Politicians
21 took part in it, cultural figures, and I say once again, ordinary people.
22 This was not something that was unknown, Karlobag, Virovitica, and the
23 creation of a Greater Serbia. And also the slogan that was then
24 omnipresent, "All Serbs in one state." It was fascist ideology, but it
25 was omnipresent. If you're asking me who was involved in all of this, it
1 was obvious that it was coming from Slobodan Milosevic, who became the
2 leader of that movement.
3 All of the nationalist parties in Serbia, including the Serbian
4 Orthodox Church, accepted him as leader in order to accomplish that, that
5 kind of state, that is.
6 Q. Thank you. Can I now turn to another topic, and that is the
7 relationship between the accused and other members of the Federal
8 Presidency. On this topic, can you first explain in general terms to the
9 Chamber what your sources of knowledge are from which you can speak of the
10 nature of the relationship between the accused and other members of the
12 A. At that time, before it was broken up, Yugoslavia had eight
13 members of its Presidency; a representative coming from each of the
14 republics - there were six republics - and two from the two autonomous
15 provinces respectively. During the disintegration of Yugoslavia, four
16 members of the Presidency completely sided with the policy of Slobodan
17 Milosevic. These are representatives from Serbia, Vojvodina, Kosovo,
18 and --
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Samardzic, I must interrupt you for a moment.
20 Could you just give us the answer to the question, which was: What were
21 your sources of information about this matter? We need to know how it is
22 that you can give evidence about it.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, there are different sources.
24 If you wish, it is Slobodan Milosevic himself who showed --
25 JUDGE MAY: Did you meet him? This kind of thing.
1 Mr. Nice, perhaps you could explore it by questions.
2 MR. NICE: Yes. Certainly.
3 Q. What we need to know before we, as it were, hear your conclusions
4 is whether what you're going to tell us about as a result of what you saw
5 or experienced yourself or as a result of what other people told you, and
6 if so who, or is it a matter of inference from events. So can you -- and
7 it's difficult when you've been at the centre of things and information
8 comes in different ways, but can you try and explain first how it was that
9 you're able to give an account of the relationship between the accused and
10 other members of the Federal Presidency.
11 A. The four members of the Presidency that I mentioned fully
12 advocated what Slobodan Milosevic advocated and what he spoke in favour
13 of. That could be seen from the media, from the press, from television.
14 Q. Yes. That's a coincidence of action with what was known
15 elsewhere. The next thing, Mr. Samardzic, is did anybody speak to you
16 about the detail of his - I think they're all men - relationship with the
17 accused and tell you how things operated?
18 A. Of course, at that time I was Minister of Foreign Affairs of
19 Montenegro, without receiving pay for it, actually. I heard about it from
20 President Bulatovic first and foremost, that Branko Kostic and then Jovic
21 and then Bajramovic from Kosovo and the rest, they were fully going along
22 the lines of what Slobodan Milosevic had requested and that they were only
23 carrying out his wishes.
24 Q. Very well.
25 A. Secondly, the events in The Hague --
1 Q. We'll come to the events in The Hague a little later. But dealing
2 with what Mr. Bulatovic himself told you, was this something he told you
3 once or spoke about once or something that was mentioned more than once,
4 and if so, how frequently?
5 A. This cropped up during spontaneous discussions when various
6 matters were looked into. He always bore in mind that these four members
7 of the Presidency were completely in accordance with the wishes of
8 Slobodan Milosevic. He expressed that several times. It would be very
9 hard for me to say exactly on which date this occurred, but it certainly
10 happened several times. However, my knowledge about this does not only
11 come from Momir Bulatovic. Also there was his behaviour. For example,
12 this meeting with Kostic. How they behaved later in The Hague. I saw
13 this myself.
14 Q. Very well.
15 A. I saw that these four -- yes?
16 Q. We'll come to that bit of your evidence at its right place when we
17 come to the events in The Hague. Can we try and stick broadly
18 chronological in your evidence. Just deal with Nenad Bucin and what
19 happened to him. What office did he hold at one time?
20 A. During the time of the socialist Yugoslavia, he held high offices
21 in Montenegro. When the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution took place, he
22 obviously sided with this policy of Slobodan Milosevic. However, at the
23 same time, in my conviction because I know him personally, because he
24 comes from the same area that I come from, he was an honest man, and he
25 believed what Slobodan Milosevic was saying.
1 When Slobodan Milosevic, at a point of crisis, required all four
2 members of the Presidency who were his to hand in resignations, he refused
3 to. And then when they were -- when Slobodan Milosevic asked them to
4 return to the Presidency, Nenad Bucin took a dignified stand and said,
5 "No, I will not return," and then he did not obey Slobodan Milosevic.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... one second. You stated there
7 two things about what the accused required by way of resignation and
8 reinstatement. What's your source of information for those two pieces of
9 evidence? Did somebody tell you about it? Did you observe it? Did you
10 hear it? Did you infer it?
11 A. I did not see it. I did not infer it. I heard about it precisely
12 from the Montenegrin leaders, primarily from Momir and the rest, that
13 Slobodan Milosevic had asked them to hand in their resignations. And
14 after that, he asked them to return. They all obeyed that, but Bucin did
15 not. He did not want to return.
16 Q. Branko Kostic occupied the position thereafter as -- on the
17 Presidency. By the Montenegrin constitution, on whose instructions was he
18 supposed to act in his role on the Federal Presidency?
19 A. Let me say straight away that Kostic replaced Bucin because Bucin
20 no longer wanted to be there. As a man who had become an ultra
21 nationalist, a proponent of the policy of a Greater Serbia although a
22 Montenegrin, he was appointed a member of the Presidency. And at that
23 time, as member of the still valid Presidency of Yugoslavia, he was
24 supposed to receive his instructions from the parliament of Montenegro and
25 to represent the interests of Montenegro. According to the constitution
1 of Montenegro, that's what he was supposed to do. And the constitutions
2 of all the other republics and provinces were similar to that. They sent
3 their respective representatives to the Presidency of Yugoslavia on the
4 same basis.
5 Q. In fact, from your -- I ask you this, if you will, from your
6 knowledge of what was actually happening in the Montenegrin parliament:
7 In fact did he act pursuant to the decisions of that parliament and
9 A. No. He never came to the Assembly of Montenegro to submit a
10 report or to receive instructions from the Assembly of Montenegro. What
11 he did, he did on orders from Belgrade; more precisely, on orders from
12 Slobodan Milosevic, and that is how he acted.
13 He came to Titograd or, rather, Podgorica to improve on what the
14 Montenegrin leaders were doing and to correct them, discipline them if
15 they were doing something that was in contravention of what had been
16 decided in Belgrade.
17 Q. Can we deal with one detail about the man Kostic? Was there an
18 incident in Borovo Selo in May of 1991 where a Croat policeman or Croat
19 policemen were killed?
20 A. Yes. At that time, Croat policemen were killed. And in my
21 opinion, in my view, that was the beginning of the fratricidal war in
22 Yugoslavia. These paramilitary units were organised by the Yugoslav army,
23 killed these policemen who represented the new authorities in Croatia.
24 JUDGE MAY: If we could just deal the relevant matters, please.
25 MR. NICE: Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Did -- was Kostic seen to express a view in relation to the
2 killing? If so, how did you learn about this expression of view?
3 A. Well, it was on television. He visited the paramilitary units
4 that had killed these policemen. He practically encouraged them. He did
5 not visit the victims. As a member of the Presidency, he does represent
6 Montenegro, but he represents Yugoslavia as a member of the Presidency.
7 It was his duty to go and visit the victims, not only the murderers of
8 these policemen.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A few days ago you said that
11 witnesses were supposed to talk about something that they had participated
12 in themselves or something that they had seen for themselves. These --
13 this witness is talking about what he learned from the newspapers, about
14 what he found out from some alleged conversations he had with certain
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to interrupt you. He can
17 give evidence about conversations he had because we admit that. But I
18 quite agree that evidence of what he saw on the television isn't going to
19 help anybody.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, with respect --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What does he have to do with Borovo
23 JUDGE MAY: It was Mr. Kostic's reaction to it was the issue,
24 Mr. Milosevic. But at the moment, this witness is saying that he saw it
25 on the television. Well, we can have anybody here to say --
1 MR. NICE: But if he saw the man Kostic doing something that was
2 worthy of complaint on the television, it's as good as seeing it directly.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, if he's got some more evidence about that, let
4 him give it, but I'm not sure it really assists us very much.
5 MR. NICE: Yes, one more question.
6 Q. When you say you saw this on the television, Mr. Samardzic, is it
7 a question of the television showing Kostic actually congratulating the
8 paramilitaries or is it a question of a --
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. Sorry, I missed that. Or is it a question of a reporter saying
11 that that's what happened?
12 A. It was on television that Kostic, as a member of the Presidency,
13 came to these people. Kostic encouraged them, saying that they were
14 fighting against separatists, against those who wanted to destroy
15 Yugoslavia, et cetera. However, I forgot to present another piece of
16 evidence to you that has nothing to do with television, related to this
17 incident, that is.
18 A few days after this incident, Momir Bulatovic sent me to Zagreb
19 in order for me to intervene. It was still the month of May, there was no
20 war. I was supposed to ask the Croatian leaders to end the embargo that
21 Montenegro had on oil. And because of Montenegrin policy, Croatia was no
22 longer sending oil from Ina to Montenegro, and that was our only source of
23 oil. However, they refused that, and they said that this was due to
24 Branko Kostic's behaviour in Borovo Selo. Everybody said that. I met at
25 least seven or eight Croatian ministers then. They were all astonished,
1 asking why Kostic went to congratulate the murderers of their policemen in
2 Borovo Selo.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Samardzic, did you see this incident on television
4 or did somebody simply report it to you? There may be a distinction.
5 Do you follow? Did you see film of Kostic doing what you
6 described or was there simply some reporter saying that this is what
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What was on television was how
9 Kostic met these fighters, in his assessment, in Borovo Selo. We could
10 not see the battle, we could not see these fighters killing the Croatian
11 policemen but we could see Kostic after the incident. Kostic did not come
12 during the battle. He came after the crime had been committed, and he
13 paid a visit to these people.
14 JUDGE MAY: You saw that on the television, is that it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't understand what you're
16 asking me. What did I see on television? I saw Kostic with these men on
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Did you see this scene on the television or did
19 you merely read a report about it, that's all, or hear a report about it.
20 That's the distinction. Mr. Nice, I think we've got the evidence.
21 MR. NICE: And I think there's only one question that's necessary
22 to conclude this small topic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I saw Kostic.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. This matter was, I think, brought to Bulatovic's attention. Did
1 he ever publicly condemn Kostic's comments? Just yes or no.
2 A. No, he did not condemn it but he was unsatisfied with it, and in
3 front of me he did condemn it. When he spoke to me in a private
4 conversation, Bulatovic did condemn it, however, publicly he did not.
5 Q. Can we move now to another topic, paragraph 11, the movement of
6 weapons through the port of Bar. You've seen where Bar is on that map. I
7 think historically the Bay of Kotor may have been a substantial port, but
8 at the time with which we are concerned Bar is the major port of
9 Montenegro; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. Bar is the main port of Montenegro.
11 Q. Now, did weapons arrive at the Bar port? Just yes or no, please.
12 A. Yes, weapons did arrive in the port of Bar.
13 Q. How did you learn about this? Again, we're looking at your source
14 of knowledge before we look at the evidence itself. How did you learn
15 about this?
16 A. I saw ships, and I also talked to the manager of the port who also
17 told me that weapons were there. I also heard this from Montenegrin
18 leaders, including Bulatovic, that weapons were in port. The ships were
19 anchored there, six or seven of them, I believe, up to 10.000 tonnes,
20 ships of up to 10.000 tonnes. I don't know whether all of their freight
21 was weapons, but I am presenting to you now the sources from which I found
22 out about this.
23 Q. Did you discover where the weapons came from?
24 A. No, I did not. The weapons came from somewhere. I don't know
25 about that because I did not participate in these dealings.
1 Q. Very well. Did you discover where they were due to go or where
2 they went? And if so, how?
3 A. No. I cannot confirm where it went. I can only assume that at
4 that time it went to Bosnia or Croatia or, rather, to the theatres of war
5 that were being prepared and that actually turned into theatres of war
6 later. However, I did not take part in this effort so I cannot assert
7 what happened with these weapons. At any rate, the weapons were unloaded.
8 Q. And who in the government was responsible for the distribution of
9 those weapons?
10 A. In the government, it was the Ministry of the Interior that was
11 dealing in the distribution of these weapons. However, I must point out
12 that it was the Yugoslav People's Army that handled these weapons, and
13 that this was certainly under their control. And the Ministry of Interior
14 of Montenegro helped the army.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there's a file of exhibits for this
16 witness with tab numbers. May the file be given a single number and we'll
17 then look at the exhibits tab number by tab number.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the map of the Bay of Kotor will be
19 Prosecutor's Exhibit 337, and then the set of documents for this witness
20 will be Prosecutor's Exhibit 338.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, while we are preparing the first exhibit
22 which I ask to be shown in the way I normally deal with it, which is by
23 asking the usher to place on the overhead projector shortly the B/C/S
24 original where that is the original, and then to hand the B/C/S version to
25 the witness and to lay the English version on the overhead projector, can
1 I make an observation, nothing to do with this witness, about exhibits?
2 I understand that the press find the speed with which we deal with
3 exhibits, because they're available to all of us in full, it makes it
4 somewhat difficult for them to make the greatest sense of the exhibits
5 because, of course, they can't see them in full until they are made
6 available from the Registry later. I'm sensitive to their concerns
7 although that can't affect the time that we can allow the case to take. I
8 will try, wherever possible, as exhibits are being laid on the projector,
9 to give a summary of what the document is, a summary that can always be
10 corrected if it is incorrect.
11 So if we just lay the original on the overhead projector briefly
12 and then hand that, please, to the witness and lay the English version on
13 the overhead projector.
14 Q. Do we have here, Mr. Samardzic, a document from the federal
15 Secretariat of the Interior in Belgrade dated the 30th of July of 1991,
16 being an information about a meeting held in the Bar harbour because of
17 the storage and transit of a larger quantity of weapons. There are a few
18 passages of this document that I would ask us to focus on. It begins with
19 these words: "On the 26th of July, a meeting was held in Bar, and the
20 representatives of the federal Secretariat of the Interior took part in
21 it, as well as MUP of the Socialist Republic of Montenegro."
22 And then a couple of sentences later on, it refers to
23 "... the ongoing business of transferring and storing 30.000 tonnes of
24 dangerous substances (weapons, ammunition and military equipment) which is
25 in transit through Bar ..."
1 In the next paragraph, the underlined passage begins as follows:
2 "Otherwise, they strongly claim that all necessary measures had been taken
3 to store safely the goods, which have been given special treatment, into a
4 separate part of Bar harbour, to keep it under constant security service
5 surveillance in cooperation with the Bar security centre."
6 And further down the page, the next underlined passage deals with
7 an agreement being reached that the second part of goods "should not be
8 shipped to Bar until delivery of the goods already arrived starts, and
9 that further destination of shipment of those goods cannot in any case be
10 on the territory of Yugoslavia or neighbouring countries."
11 If we look over the page and then ask for your comments, if any,
12 on this document, please. Over the page, towards the bottom: "The SSUP
13 together with other bodies in charge should follow realisation of
14 necessary measures and actions in order to realise the job successfully
15 from the security aspect."
16 And the next but one block: "To make security evaluation and if
17 necessary engage JNA members in securing Bar harbour premises while the
18 goods are on stock or being delivered."
19 I'm taking you through only parts of that document which you've
20 seen, perhaps, in full. What does that document reveal to you, Mr.
21 Samardzic, if anything beyond what it just states?
22 A. The document reveals that the army was involved with the weapons
23 as well as the federal Ministry of the Interior and the republican and
24 security centre of Bar, which is the special department of the State
25 Security Service in the port of Bar or, rather, the town of Bar, and also
1 the shipping organisations such as Bar Tranzit, the federal customs
2 office, et cetera. All of them together sought, according to this
3 document, ways and means of ensuring full security while these weapons
4 were being stored in the warehouses of Bar.
5 I must emphasise that the port of Bar has excellent storage
6 facilities, so that all this could be stored per -- following the
7 provisions of this document. Although I can't see from this document, and
8 I saw it just recently -- I didn't know it existed in fact, but I have
9 looked through it. But we can't see in the document where the weapons
10 were sent to and where they came from. I do know that a certain man
11 called Jezda Vasiljevic, Master Jezda as he was called, who delved in
12 matters of this kind, he was one of the Slobodan Milosevic's friends and
13 he bragged about that quite openly, and he became very rich probably from
14 engaging in affairs of this kind.
15 JUDGE MAY: We are going some way from the document.
16 MR. NICE: I will move then to paragraph 12.
17 Q. Did you, on one occasion at least, see anything of Mr. Krajisnik
18 or Mrs. Plavsic? If so, where and in what company?
19 A. Yes, I did see them in Bar for a very brief period of time.
20 Mr. Djukanovic met me in Budva and asked me to go with him to Bar, which
21 is where we met those leaders from Bosnia. But I don't think that this is
22 a piece of information of any significance because it was a private
23 meeting in a restaurant, in a coffee bar during the summer months. It was
24 out in the open, in a public place, and I can't say anything more about
1 Q. Are you able to help us at all with the subject matter of the
3 A. No. I repeat, I just said hello to them. Koljevic started saying
4 straight away that they would be creating a Serb state in Bosnia. That's
5 what I did hear, but I can't confirm any other concrete subject matter
6 because, as I say, I left their company. I just recognised them because I
7 knew them from the television screens. They were active. So I didn't
8 stay with them long, and I don't think Djukanovic did either. I don't
9 think there were any significant discussions held because, as I say, it
10 was in a coffee bar out in the open, a public place, in fact.
11 Q. Thank you. And the Koljevic to whom you refer is Nikola Koljevic;
12 is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right. He committed suicide later on. He was one of
14 the ideologues of the Serb state in Bosnia.
15 Q. Very well.
16 A. And he was the one that came to the meeting.
17 Q. Was there a Croatian politician named Hrvoje Kacic?
18 A. Yes, there was. He was a professor at the Zagreb university and
19 an expert in maritime law. He was from Dubrovnik, and during the Yugoslav
20 crisis, he became a Croatian politician and leader, as far as I recall.
21 Q. Very well. Just one thing about him and then I've got one other
22 question to ask about the previous piece of evidence, but let's just stick
23 with Mr. Kacic.
24 Did you have a conversation with him in the second half of 1991
25 where something was forecast?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, I did. I met Kacic in The Hague in September 1991 when the
2 conference was all -- peace conference was already under way there, the
3 conference of Yugoslavia, because in actual fact the war had already
4 started, and Hrvoje told me he was very concerned that the Yugoslav army
5 was preparing to launch a sharp attack on Dubrovnik. And I didn't believe
6 him at the time. I thought that this was just propaganda or a trick. I
7 believed at the time that the JNA would not attack Dubrovnik.
8 Q. Very well. Going back to the previous piece of evidence about the
9 meeting in Bar, you've already said it was in the summer of 1991. Are you
10 able to put a month or any part of a month on the date of the meeting?
11 A. Which meeting?
12 Q. The earlier meeting that you've told us about involving meeting --
13 the encounter in the cafe involving Krajisnik and Plavsic. Can you give
14 us the month when that meeting occurred?
15 A. It was in the summer of 1991. The war had not still started in
16 Yugoslavia at the time, but you could see the difficulties and conflicts
17 that were afoot. And many of us, I myself included, didn't believe that
18 there would be any bloodshed but that there was a crisis in Yugoslavia,
19 that was quite true. But I don't remember the exact date. I know that it
20 was the summertime and that I was wearing summer clothes and going to Bar
21 with Djukanovic. Not to have a meeting with them but just to go and see
23 Q. Very good. I'm going to move on now from the 7th of September --
24 JUDGE MAY: When you come to a convenient moment.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the next passage will take us beyond 1.00.
1 JUDGE MAY: Well, that may be a convenient moment.
2 Mr. Samardzic, we are going to adjourn now for an hour and a half,
3 until half past two. Could you be back then. Could I remind you, as all
4 witnesses have to be reminded, not to speak to anybody about their
5 evidence until it's over, and that includes the members of the Prosecution
6 team. Could you be back, please, at half past two.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.59 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: Before we return to the evidence, sitting on Thursday
4 afternoon would not be a problem for the Prosecution. We do have
5 witnesses who can fill the time, use the time, and any personal
6 difficulties I had I think can be dealt with by others taking the
7 witnesses concerned.
8 We hope to have at least ten copies of the atlas by late this
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll sit Thursday afternoon then.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Mr. Samardzic, we reached the 7th September, and I now want to
13 turn on a couple of weeks or a week to a meeting that there was in Igalo,
14 which the Chamber will probably remember is on the Bay of Kotor itself,
15 near to Herceg Novi. You will see it again on a map a little later.
16 The date of that meeting, can you remember?
17 A. Yes, the 16th of September, 1991.
18 Q. Who was there?
19 A. President Milosevic, President Tudjman, General Kadijevic, and
20 General Adzic, and I myself on behalf of the Montenegrin government. I
21 was the host. It was held in the residence of Marshal Tito.
22 Q. Representatives of the international community?
23 A. Yes. The meeting was held because they were to meet Lord
24 Carrington, and of course Lord Carrington was present.
25 Q. What, if anything, did you observe of the attitude of General
2 A. The persons mentioned had a long meeting in order to establish
3 peace and a ceasefire in individual sectors, and they had separate
4 meetings in the large hall. I was on the sidelines, but I was able to
5 hear the main dialogue which was between the president, President
6 Milosevic, and President Tudjman, and it was obvious that both generals
7 were there to listen to what President Milosevic said.
8 During the luncheon, I was able to see that both Kadijevic and
9 Adzic were just there to assist and to listen to what Mr. -- what
10 President Milosevic had to say. If you would like me to say what was
11 discussed during the luncheon, I shall be happy to do so, but I'm not sure
12 that's what you were asking me. But if you would like me to say, I shall
13 be happy to do so.
14 Q. I'll summarise to the effect of that in a second, but did you see
15 either of the generals expressing views contrary to the views of the
16 accused at any stage?
17 A. Of course not, because what I saw, and let me repeat these were
18 people that although they held high military posts, were just listening to
19 what President Milosevic had to say. And if I may, I can also be -- if I
20 may be allowed to add that at one point during the lunch, I told General
21 Kadijevic of an event that took place during World War II. I told the
22 story in the Serbian language and he whispered to me and said, "Why don't
23 you tell the story to Lord Carrington?" Quite obviously he was afraid
24 that President Milosevic would overhear him giving me instructions. But I
25 did recount the tale to Lord Carrington. Both presidents heard it and
1 Franjo Tudjman agreed as well, and President Milosevic became excited and
2 said, "No, that is not how it was. Look at General Adzic. Eight members
3 of his family were killed by the Croats, the Ustashas, and Chetniks and
4 Ustashas cannot be equated. They cannot be the same." The story and tale
5 referred to that an old Montenegrin had said that the Chetniks and the
6 Ustashas are very similar, that they are very close relations, and that
7 they could never marry. This was all recounted in the Montenegrin
8 dialect, but that caused President Milosevic to become very excited, and
9 he didn't even offer me his hand in saying good-bye.
10 Q. Very well. I think I'm going to come back to paragraphs 15 and 16
11 if only I remember, and slip them in perhaps a little more. They will
12 come at the end of the evidence. And also 17.
13 You've already dealt substantially with the position of Bulatovic
14 and Djukanovic. Just tell the Chamber this, though: Over what period of
15 time, roughly how many months, were you in government of one kind or
16 another with them?
17 A. I was elected as a member of the government at a meeting on the
18 16th of February, 1991, and I held that post in realistic terms until the
19 26th of May, 1992. Officially, I was replaced at a meeting of the
20 Montenegrin Assembly, and that was held on the 31st of July, 1992. But to
21 all intents and purposes, I was there for a year and a half.
22 Q. And in the course of that time, apart from one particular incident
23 and maybe some others but one particular incident we will deal with, did
24 you ever see either of these men making decisions that you knew to be
25 contrary to the preferred decisions of the accused where you knew what his
1 preference was?
2 A. Well, the decision was -- that is to say the talks with Croatia
3 were quite opposite, and the conclusions of the Montenegrin Assembly of
4 the 4th and 7th of October were quite certainly contrary to the policy
5 pursued by President Milosevic. Although they implemented the policy,
6 however, at the beginning the war - and as far as Montenegro is concerned,
7 I consider it to have started on the 1st of October - they tried to find a
8 solution --
9 Q. I'm going to stop you. I'm going to return to -- it may be easier
10 for you to deal with that when we've looked at some other events.
11 The 1st of October of 1991 saw, I think, an extraordinary session
12 of the government of Montenegro; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's right. The 1st of October, in the evening, was when
14 the meeting was held, the extraordinary session or, rather, expanded,
15 enlarged session as it was referred to.
16 Q. Who was there? What was discussed?
17 A. I came to the meeting late. I wasn't there from the beginning but
18 towards the end, because President Bulatovic had sent me with Lord
19 Carrington's deputy Mr. Basince [phoen], to visit Cetinje. So when I went
20 into the hall, I was quite shocked. I had never seen a meeting of that
21 kind. There were about eight military persons, three or four generals at
22 least, wearing war uniforms, and they were sitting at the tables that we
23 would usually sit at when we held government meetings, and the entire
24 leadership of Montenegro was there who were not government members, led by
25 President Bulatovic.
1 Q. What was discussed?
2 A. On that occasion, as I said, I was quite shocked, but what was
3 said that Croatia had started to attack Montenegro, and that 30.000
4 Ustashas were ready to advance upon Montenegro and to take control of Boka
5 and that it was up to us to defend ourselves. That's what President
6 Bulatovic said and this was borne out by General Strugar.
7 And just to conclude, the extraordinary session was devoted as to
8 how we should organise our defence. However, later on, I came to the
9 realise that the basic goal was to organise mobilisation as best as
10 possible and that the Montenegrin leadership should work to organise the
11 process of mobilisation for the Montenegrins for the front as best as they
13 Q. I want you to help us, if you can, with what various individuals
14 may have said at that meeting. Was the Ministry of Defence of Montenegro
15 then a man called Bozo Babic?
16 A. Yes, that's right. He was present and he was Minister of Defence
17 of Montenegro.
18 Q. Can you recall what, if anything, he spoke of at that meeting or
19 at one of the meetings around this time, about the objectives of the use
20 of armed force?
21 A. I didn't come across him speaking, taking the floor, at that
22 point. He had taken the floor previously, because as I say, I was at
23 Cetinje with Mr. Basince. So he didn't speak at that particular meeting
24 but he did later, of course, at some other meetings on the 4th of July
25 and, rather, October, the 7th of October. I'm sure he did make speeches
1 of that kind.
2 Q. Well, can you tell us, please, whatever he said at whichever
3 meeting he said it?
4 A. Well, along those same lines, that it was up to us to defend the
5 country, that we had to organise ourselves, that Montenegro had been
6 attacked, that the Croats wanted to take control of Boka. And not only
7 General Babic said that. This was commonly thought in the government and
8 by the people. Many people believed that we had been attacked because
9 there was enormous propaganda along those lines favouring war, especially
10 television Titograd and the newspaper Titograd the main daily published in
12 Q. Was anything said by anyone - Ministry of Defence or anyone else -
13 about how far the JNA would extend its reach in the course of armed force?
14 A. At that time, in the first days of the war, the main line was that
15 we should defend ourselves because the Croats were attacking us. And at
16 the same time and before that, there was discussion about the fact that
17 all the Serbs should live in one state. That was the slogan and
18 propaganda, that we could no longer -- they could no longer be separated
19 but all the Serb lands should be rallied together and united later on.
20 That was the propaganda, those were the slogans. And I should like to
21 tell the Tribunal that although it might appear contradictory, that is
22 what -- how it was. On the one hand, we said we were going to defend
23 ourselves and, on the other hand, we were saying how big our state was
24 going to be.
25 Q. What was your approach, as Foreign Minister at that time and on
1 the basis of the information that had been brought to you by the military?
2 A. At the beginning, I was sort of caught out, especially at the 1st
3 of October meeting. I was completely astounded. I didn't know what to
4 do. As the generals were there and I had been taught to respect the
5 Yugoslav army, because as a child I remember how the national liberation
6 of the army of Yugoslavia was first established in the course of World War
7 II, and so at that first instance, although I never believed that anything
8 like that could come to pass, and I always used to say that nothing like
9 that would ever happen, and I even kept saying to Mr. Vayman [phoen] that
10 there would not be a war, although the war had already started. So on
11 that day too I said well, if it is true that they have attacked us, then
12 we will have to defend ourselves. But that was a lie; nobody attacked us
13 so far as Dubrovnik was concerned. And afterwards, I did everything I
14 could, everything in my power without taking into account either Serbia's
15 or Montenegro's official policy. What I did was to ask that the war be
16 stopped and that a way should be found to bring peace back to our lands.
17 And I must emphasise that the initiative we took together with the
18 Croatian government stemmed from my proposal tabled to Bulatovic, and I
19 must say that he accepted it straight away.
20 Q. The first meeting on the 1st of October had this reference to
21 30.000 - I don't know how they were described - attacking Montenegro.
22 After that first meeting, was that topic, the attack by 30.000 Croats,
23 ever raised again?
24 A. Well, it died a natural death, so to speak. This was stated by
25 Bulatovic on the 1st of October. It was borne out by Strugar. However,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 later on, from television reports, it was quite clear that the Croats did
2 not enter Boka but we entered the territory of Dubrovnik. And so this
3 story about the 30.000 stopped, and what was talked about was the fighting
4 around Konavle and around Dubrovnik. They could no longer bandy the
5 figure of 30.000 if the JNA units had entered Dubrovnik territory.
6 Q. Mr. Samardzic, you will find that some of my questions do allow
7 for short answers. I realise you want to give a fuller answer, but when
8 you can give a shorter answer, sometimes I'd ask you to do so.
9 Can we look at a couple of exhibits now, then, please. In -- I've
10 forgotten the exhibit number. It is -- my mistake. I haven't written the
11 exhibit number on it.
12 JUDGE MAY: 338.
13 MR. NICE: Thank you very much, Your Honour. 338, tab 2. We'll
14 hand in copies, if that's more convenient, because they'll be loose. I
15 see. Whichever you like. And if you could place the original on the
16 overhead projector briefly, and when that's been viewed in general, hand
17 it to the witness.
18 We see here a Republic of Montenegro Presidency order and the
19 People's Defence, marked officially secret, or official secret, and we're
20 going to see that it relates to the 2nd of October.
21 Right. Can you put that to the witness. Thank you very much.
22 Q. The English makes it clear that this is an order signed by the
23 President of the Presidency, Momir Bulatovic, under certain Articles of
24 the Law on People's Defence saying this: "That on the 2nd of October,
25 between 1500 and 1700 hours, they should carry out mobilisation of a
1 Special Police Unit, the strength of a reinforced Infantry Company tasked
2 with carrying out combat operations of the armed forces in the conflict of
3 war on the border of the Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of
5 It then says this: "Together with units of the Yugoslav People's
6 Army and the Territorial Defence, the unit will perform specific military
7 and police tasks in accordance with the Mission Plan to be devised by the
8 Operative Command on the Dubrovnik front.
9 "A senior police officer appointed will have ... direct command.
10 "Ministry of Interior will equip ...."
11 What would you say, Mr. Samardzic, about the existence of a
12 Dubrovnik front, whether Dubrovnik was fighting or defending itself or
14 A. It was a war of conquest. It was an unjust war against Croatia, a
15 war in which Montenegro disgraced itself by putting itself in the service
16 of the Yugoslav army and Slobodan Milosevic, and this shame will remain
17 with us for perhaps another 100 years. Nothing more shameful has been
18 done in Montenegro in its history for many hundreds of years.
19 Allow me to say, Your Honour, one more thing. Dubrovnik is a town
20 which for a thousand years was the subject of a tacit agreement among all
21 the conquering forces that were ever present in the Balkans to the effect
22 that Dubrovnik would not be attacked. A four-star general of the Yugoslav
23 army, Bozidar Vucurevic, asked General Aleksandar, a commander of the
24 Italian forces, Italian air forces during World War II, that their planes
25 should not fly over that area --
1 Q. I'm going to interrupt you --
2 A. -- lest a bomb accidentally fell on Dubrovnik.
3 Q. The historical context is interesting and may be relevant, but I'm
4 going to narrow it until its relevance becomes clear. The question was,
5 and I'd like you to come back to it, at the time of this mobilisation --
6 A. Right.
7 Q. -- a front at Dubrovnik? Was Dubrovnik a town or a location that
8 was fighting and attacking?
9 A. Nobody attacked anybody from Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik was only
10 defending itself. The Yugoslav army conquered the territory around
11 Dubrovnik but not the town itself. The airfield of Cilipi, a dozen
12 kilometres away from Dubrovnik, was taken over, and units of the Yugoslav
13 army reached Ston, near Dubrovnik, and the Yugoslav air force bombed
14 Zadar, Split, Sibenik and some other towns on the coast. But as far as
15 Dubrovnik was concerned, their task was to take over as much territory on
16 the Croatian coastline as possible, and it was consonant with their action
17 in other areas which ended in particular tragedy in the case of Vukovar.
18 Q. Before we turn to the next document, you've mentioned now the
19 other towns which to your knowledge at the time were bombed, along the
20 Croatian coast. What did you notice and what can you tell us now about
21 the relationship of the towns that were bombed with that triangular line
22 we looked at on the map earlier today?
23 A. It was evident that the entire Dubrovnik operation was geared at
24 taking over the territory of the coastline belonging to Croatia up to
25 Karlobag, and towns up to Karlobag were indeed conquered but not Rijeka
1 and Pula. This disgraceful action on the part of the Yugoslav army in the
2 Dubrovnik battlefield had also the objective of destroying the spirit of
3 the Yugoslav army --
4 Q. I'm going to -- I'm going to --
5 A. -- which had been -- [In English] very important.
6 Q. I understand the importance to you, and it may be to history, but
7 you'll be guided by me and we will deal with matters that I particularly
8 want you to help the Judges with first.
9 Now, you observed that no towns north of Karlobag were attacked in
10 this operation by forces coming from the east or north-east. Was there --
11 were there attacks also mounted, to your knowledge, to the north on the
13 A. [Interpretation] In the north, there were battles around Vukovar.
14 However, at that time, I didn't know much about what was going on around
15 Vukovar. I knew much more about events around Dubrovnik. But it was
16 still obvious that it was the objective of the Yugoslav army, it was its
17 strategy, to conquer a part of Croatia, such as Slavonia and Western Srem,
18 and to reach the line of Virovitica or beyond and probably to conquer
19 Osijek and Vukovar.
20 Q. Let's look at the next exhibit, then, now, please. Exhibit 338,
21 tab 3.
22 MR. NICE: Original on the overhead projector. This being a
23 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Montenegro, official secret
24 document coming from Pavle Bulatovic, and being an order made on the 1st
25 of October. When you've viewed that, could you hand that to the witness.
1 We will see what the English translation says.
2 Q. This was an order to this effect: "On the 2nd of October, between
3 1500 and 1700 hours, a Special Police Unit --" I'm so sorry. I think I've
4 got the wrong document. No, no.
5 A. No, it's not here. You have the real document.
6 Q. Yes, I have the right document.
7 MR. NICE: Can he have it back, please. No, that is the correct
8 document. Can he have it back, please? Yes, can he have it back, please.
10 Q. "On the 2nd of October, between 1500 and 1700 hours, a Special
11 Police Unit shall be mobilised and tasked with carrying out combat
12 operations in the conflict of war on the border between the Republic of
13 Montenegro and the Republic of Croatia.
14 "The unit shall be reinforced with members of the special platoon,
15 special unit and policemen of Titograd security centre ..."
16 Next paragraph: "The unit shall be under the direct command of
17 the assistant minister for public security service ..."
18 Next paragraph: "After the formation, the unit shall be equipped
19 with necessary infantry weapons and medical provisions."
20 Finally: "The unit shall carry out combat tasks of a military
21 police character in accordance with the mission plan which shall be drawn
22 up by the operative command at the Dubrovnik theatre of war."
23 Any comment about that additional to the comments you've already
24 made about the position in Dubrovnik? And if there is nothing additional,
25 we'll move straight on to the next topic.
1 A. I would like to say this: I didn't see these documents at the
2 time. I saw them here. But I was aware of the mobilisation being carried
3 out, the order for which was signed by President Bulatovic and another
4 Bulatovic, a minister. Every citizen was aware of this, although I didn't
5 have access to these documents at the time, the documents that you have
6 shown me now. It is obvious that great efforts indeed were invested to
7 mobilise Montenegrins for the Dubrovnik -- for the Croatian theatre of
9 Q. How many men were mobilised in Montenegro and how many went to the
10 front in Croatia?
11 A. I don't know the exact number because I wasn't directly involved
12 in affairs regarding mobilisation. That is, I wasn't involved at all.
13 But from what I heard, over 30.000 fighting men were mobilised and
14 certainly the majority of them were sent to the Dubrovnik theatre of war.
15 That is what I heard from other people, not firsthand. It is certain,
16 however, that wherever it was possible to find men to mobilise,
17 able-bodied men, that was done.
18 Q. Were there any paramilitary units that were organised? If so, to
19 which body were they subordinated?
20 A. There were paramilitary units, and they were subordinated, as we
21 can see from this document signed by President Bulatovic, to the Yugoslav
22 army. The command was integrated and the army had command over those
23 paramilitary units. These units were organised, as we see here, from
24 members of the Territorial Defence and police, but there were other units,
25 and I must say here that members of the People's Party also made efforts
1 to set up certain units which would be sent to the Dubrovnik front under
2 the command of the Yugoslav army.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nice, tab 2 is using the expression of "Dubrovnik
4 front," and we see in tab 3 Dubrovnik theatre of war, but I can note in
5 the B/C/S version it uses the same words, but could you clarify it with
6 the assistance --
7 MR. NICE: The best way is to get it done by the interpreters, and
8 I'm grateful to Your Honour for having observed that, picked it out.
9 If we could lay the B/C/S original of tab 2 on the overhead
10 projector, and if the interpreters would be good enough to read the last
11 two words, if it makes sense -- if they make sense on their own, of Roman
12 II, for us, I would be grateful.
13 Can you help us with those words?
14 THE INTERPRETER: The word can be interpreted as "theatre of war,"
15 "front," "battle zone," "war zone"; any of these.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much.
17 MR. NICE: I'm grateful.
18 Q. With paramilitaries involved, was there any information
19 circulating as to whether crimes were being committed by those going from
20 Montenegro in this war?
21 A. Most of the inhabitants of Konavle in the vicinity of Dubrovnik
22 fled from the army to Dubrovnik, from all areas except Cavtat. News
23 travelled fast, and it quickly became known that some of these members of
24 paramilitary units - not all of them, I must say - are looting and
25 plundering wildly in Konavle. Konavle is actually a group of villages
1 near Dubrovnik where many people built beautiful houses. Their property
2 was looted. And I must underline that this was done in an organised way
3 by the army but also randomly by individuals. They would take out
4 valuables from houses, such as television sets, household appliances, et
5 cetera, and then throw a hand-held rocket or something to destroy the
6 house completely and destroy all the traces of looting.
7 Q. We're going to come back --
8 A. Make it look like damage incurred in the war.
9 Q. We're going to come back to that as a separate topic later, and
10 shortly, but those events were known of. Did any political leaders - and
11 if so, which ones? - go to the front, to your knowledge? And if so, what
12 was their revealed attitude to the soldiers who they found there?
13 A. Branko Kostic frequently went to that theatre of war, and we could
14 see television footage of his visits. I didn't go even when he went
15 there. And Branko Kostic and others went to inspect the troops.
16 Television pictures and photographs showed them inspecting the troops and
17 encouraging the soldiers. It was broadly covered by the press, both
18 opposition and official press. You could often see Bulatovic and Kostic
19 in that area.
20 Q. The man Seselj, did he feature at all at this time in any way in
21 the campaign?
22 A. Yes, a lot and very badly. Seselj played the part at that time of
23 the Chetnik Vojvoda or Chetnik duke, and he got the title from a war
24 criminal, Vojvoda Djuic who emigrated after the previous war. And in that
25 capacity as a self-styled Chetnik duke, he inspected the troops who wore
1 all the symbols of Chetniks from the previous war. I must say that it was
2 a disgrace that such a glorious and chivalrous army should be inspected by
3 a man like Seselj.
4 JUDGE MAY: Can we stick, please, to the questions.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Before we move from this general topic about the campaign
7 Dubrovnik, I want to turn to somebody who had a party political
8 importance, Bozidar Vucurevic, mayor of Trebinje. Did he have a political
9 position at that time? And if so, in which party?
10 A. That mayor is a former truck driver from Trebinje. He is in fact
11 a village charlatan who became a big cheese at that time. He organised
12 paramilitary units from Eastern Herzegovina to attack Dubrovnik, and he
13 made jokes about the destruction of that town. His role is one of a great
15 Q. And finally - just yes or no to this first - did you hear anything
16 of use of prisoners released from gaol fighting in this campaign? Just
17 yes or no.
18 A. I heard about that but I cannot confirm it because I didn't see it
19 with my own eyes, but I have heard about such men being used, yes.
20 Q. Can you say from whom you heard that? Can you say, according to
21 the sources that you had, by whom they were released?
22 A. I heard this from my friends from Kotor and Budva and Titograd
23 itself. But who actually released these men, I can't say. It is easy to
24 conclude that they were released by their prison administration, if they
25 were released at all.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Very well. We've dealt now with the 1st of October meeting.
2 Let's move on from that meeting to the 4th of October and thereafter. Was
3 there a meeting on the 4th of October?
4 A. Yes. It was a session of the government and a session of the
5 parliament on the 4th and 7th of October respectively.
6 Q. Can you remember specifically what happened on the 4th as opposed
7 to what happened on a later day?
8 A. We started with the initiative which was discussed on the 4th and
9 the 7th of October, that our parliament should continue talks with the
10 Croatian parliament. It was a matter for debate, difficult debate,
11 because the differences in opinion were wide. There were extreme opinions
12 that Croatia should not be talked to at all, but there were those who also
13 thought that Montenegro should talk to Croatia and try to stop the war.
14 This initiative was supported by President Bulatovic and Prime Minister
16 Q. Were you provided with reports on the situation on the ground?
17 A. No. Nobody sent any particular reports to me. We didn't receive
18 any special reports. But it was so broadly discussed in the media, on
19 television and in the press, that we knew at every moment exactly which
20 line our troops had reached, which towns or areas they have control of and
21 which they don't. It is likely that Bulatovic did receive some reports
22 that I didn't, from generals, for instance, but we didn't even need any
23 special reports because everyone knew --
24 Q. Very well.
25 A. -- where Yugoslav units are, which towns they hold and which they
2 Q. Exhibit 338, tab 4. After the meeting of the 4th of October and
3 before the meeting on the 7th, was this letter sent? While the original
4 in Cyrillic goes on the overhead projector, I can explain that this is a
5 letter from the government of the Republic of Serbia and the President
6 Dragutin Zelenovic, dated the 5th of October. Now can we look at the
7 English version, please.
8 The text shows as follows -- or reads as follows: "The government
9 of the Republic of Serbia, on its session held on October the 4th, have
10 been acquainted with the danger to the civilian population and the city of
11 Dubrovnik that represent a part of the Serbian and Croatian history, as
12 well as a magnificent monument of the world cultural heritage.
13 "Your decision to install paramilitary units, Black Legions, and
14 numerous foreign mercenaries in a city of invaluable historical and
15 cultural value, and to launch an armed attack on settlements in
16 Herzegovina and Boka Kotorska from this position represents a totally
17 uncivilised, inhuman, and undignified act."
18 Boka Kotorska, of course, is the Bay of Kotor.
19 "We help that you yourself are aware of this and that you will use
20 all the forces at your disposal to stop destruction of Dubrovnik in order
21 for it not to be destroyed, as other cities.
22 "Addressing you with this letter to stop the destruction of
23 Dubrovnik, the government of the Republic of Serbia expresses its firm
24 conviction that all the members of the Yugoslavian army and troops of the
25 Territorial Defence will put all the efforts to protect this historical
1 town." Signed by President Dragutin Zelenovic and sent to the government
2 of the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb, or at least addressed there.
3 Now, without becoming expansive about matters historical and
4 trying to confine yourself, if you can, to the significance of this letter
5 at that time and what it shows us about what was happening, your comment,
7 A. Well, the 5th of October was the date on and around which war
8 operations were carried around in Dubrovnik and around it. This is as
9 cynical as anything that was done in the times of Goebbels. It says here
10 that the Yugoslav army should defend Dubrovnik, the very army that was
11 attacking it. You can't get any more cynical than that.
12 It says here that the Yugoslav army is not taking part in this
13 war; it is the Montenegrin troops which are involved. And this is written
14 by a member the government of President Milosevic. And they are together
15 in this. I must also say that the letter is also nonsensical. The
16 Serbian Prime Minister knows precisely what the Territorial Defence of
17 Montenegro and the Yugoslav army are supposed to do, although he
18 personally isn't involved.
19 This letter talks about things that I know very well about. I
20 heard Minister Jovanovic say many times at the time that it is the
21 Montenegrin army which is involved in the war, not the Yugoslav army. You
22 can't get much more cynical than that.
23 Q. The 7th of October extraordinary session, can you tell us what was
24 discussed then, please.
25 A. It was similar like on the 4th of October. The Assembly passed a
1 decision to negotiate with the Croats. And in the first sentence, it said
2 - and this is very important and I really want to highlight it here -
3 that the Assembly of Montenegro states that it recognises the will of the
4 Croatian people, for them to have an independent state. I have to
5 emphasise here that in spite of the war and in spite of all the troubles
6 that prevailed then, Montenegro was the first one to recognise Croatia's
7 independence along with Slovenia officially. So although this is
8 contradictory to everything that was going on but that is a fact. This
9 document does exist and you have it.
10 Q. Now, was anything else raised at this meeting that hadn't been
11 particularly in issue before? And you remember we -- well, see if you can
12 help us.
13 A. Yes. In the context of what I was saying, namely that Montenegro
14 accepts the independence of Croatia, and this was contrary to Slobodan
15 Milosevic's policy which shows that the Montenegrin leaders did try to get
16 out of his claws, was the fact that we started talking to Croatia.
17 Dr. Adzic writes -- sorry, Dr. Kacic writes about this in detail in his
18 latest book that was published in the English and Croatian languages.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, can we move on, please, and stick to what
20 the witness knew himself.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. We're going to see, in the next documents, reference to Prevlaka.
23 It may be helpful, I think, at this stage if we use this map, which is
24 going to be Exhibit 336, and it's just that little bit there. We can --
25 You're going to see, as I say, from documents shortly following
1 that Prevlaka turned up. Was it discussed at this 7th of October meeting?
2 A. Well, yes. That's it. We took Prevlaka as a pretext to talk to
3 the Croats in order to achieve some kind of peace to the extent of our
4 possibilities, because you cannot really act against the army because the
5 army holds everything in their hands. However, Prevlaka was taken as a
6 pretext for us to talk.
7 Q. Very well. Now, if the booth would be good enough to focus right
8 down on the bottom right-hand corner of this map. If they can do that for
9 us. No, literally. That's it. Perfect. Thank you.
10 We can see on this map, Mr. Samardzic, the Prevlaka peninsula in
11 green, and then we can see, in black, the border between Croatia and
12 Montenegro leaving to the east a channel, I think that you would say was
13 perfectly sufficient, for vessels to pass through and to remain in
14 Montenegrin waters. Nevertheless, being overlooked by that peninsula that
15 curves round and underneath the opening to the bay itself.
16 In very short order, really just a sentence or so, what was the
17 proposal that was put by you on behalf of the Montenegrins to Croatia
18 about that boundary? Really, just in a sentence or so. The Judges
19 haven't seen it before, and it will help them to have it in the most
20 straightforward way possible. What was your proposal?
21 A. Our proposal was to rectify the border and for Prevlaka to belong
22 to Montenegro. But this was a proposal that was put forth in friendly
23 negotiations with Croatia, and also we wanted Croatia to accept this and
24 we wanted to discuss Prevlaka on that basis. That is what it says in the
25 document that we sent to the Croatian parliament.
1 Q. So the effect of that would have been to change the border that on
2 this map has a pointy -- pointed top and then goes down, to change that to
3 a line running presumably directly south or south-west. Would that be
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now --
7 A. For the entire entrance into the Bay of Kotor to be Montenegrin,
8 not to be shared with Croatia. This was our proposal, but on the basis of
9 friendship with Croatia. That's what we said in the document, too.
10 That's what we put in writing.
11 Q. Let's look at Exhibit 338, tab 5, a number of documents. And on
12 this occasion I shan't ask for them all to go on the overhead projector
13 because I think it would be -- all the originals to go on the overhead
14 projector because I think it would take too long.
15 So hand the originals, please, to the witness, and just place the
16 first page of the English version on the overhead projector.
17 You see this coming to the Assembly of the Republic of Montenegro,
18 October the 12th, to the speaker of the Croatian parliament, signed by
19 Dr. Vukcevic, the president of the Montenegrin Assembly: "Dear Mr.
20 Speaker, please find enclosed the initiative of the determination of the
21 sea and land border between Montenegro and Croatia, by agreement put forth
22 by the Assembly. We hope the Croatian parliament will accept our
23 initiative and enter the negotiations." Copied to Lord Carrington and
24 Hans Van den Broek.
25 Next document, please. We'll try and deal with these fairly
1 swiftly. The next document is in a couple of sheets and is the initiative
2 itself, coming from -- described as Titograd, also Podgorica, on the 8th
3 of October. The initiative, title set out, and it says this under
4 paragraph 1, third line -- or perhaps better read all of it: "Taking into
5 consideration the decision of the Republic of Croatia to become a
6 sovereign and independent state, the Assembly of the Republic of
7 Montenegro considers that such a decision, apart from raising a series of
8 legal and state issues, also changes the status of the border between the
9 Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Croatia, as it has been to the
11 Characterises it. Next paragraph, second line: "The existing
12 border in the area of the Prevlaka peninsula is a hinderance to the
13 establishment of a just and rational boundary in the coast waters and the
14 continental shelf and therefore believes a minor correction necessary."
15 Over the page, please. If the usher would be so good. Paragraph
16 3: "Montenegro has no interest in seeing further conflicts, destruction,
17 and loss of human lives in the border area towards the republic. The
18 population of those areas has lived in peace and mutual respect for
19 centuries regardless of political systems. That is why this area is a
20 tourist zone renowned throughout the world for the beauty of your
21 Dubrovnik and our Bay of Kotor.
22 "In an earnest effort to re-establish such relations as soon as
23 possible, we address the Croatian parliament with an initiative to settle
24 all pending issues, including the aforementioned issue of the land and sea
25 border through dialogue and negotiations. If the Croatian parliament
1 should accept this initiative, contact through Nikola Samardzic, MP,
2 Minister of Foreign Affairs."
3 Next document page, please. The history of the initiative is set
4 out. The second paragraph: "The Assembly affirmed that the Republic of
5 Montenegro is not at war with the Republic of Croatia, nor has it any
6 territorial pretensions toward its territory. Reservists from Montenegro
7 presently in the region of Dubrovnik and in Herzegovina are members of the
8 JNA which is the only instance responsible for their deployment. We
9 cannot, therefore, accept the standpoint of the Croatian parliament that
10 Montenegro has performed aggression on the Republic of Croatia. On the
11 contrary. Montenegro has and continues to promote peace, friendly and
12 good neighbourly relations with Croatia."
13 It deals with comments on tourism in the maritime economy. The
14 next paragraph deals with the fact that the Bay of Kotor is actually so
15 large that the coastline is 30 per cent of the entire coastline. Then it
16 turns to the existing border and explains why the new border proposed
17 would be a good one.
18 The next sheet, please, of this document. And we see this set
19 out, coming from Montenegro to Croatia: "One cannot deny the fact that
20 these and similar circumstances aggravate the psychosis of war among a
21 greater part of the Montenegrin population. They feel that Montenegro
22 would be impaired and damaged if Prevlaka would belong to another state
23 and if a foreign army base would be located there."
24 Last paragraph: "The above makes it clear that Montenegro has no
25 territorial pretensions but only wishes that an agreement be reached on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the establishment of lasting peace."
2 Was the problem, or did the problem in any event include that
3 Prevlaka was simply used as a military base, Mr. Samardzic?
4 A. You ask me.
5 Q. Yes. Just yes or no, probably.
6 A. [Interpretation] These documents that you read out just now were
7 ones written by me personally. They were approved by President Bulatovic
8 and by Prime Minister Djukanovic. The objective was to start negotiations
9 with the Croats and to stop the war. That was far more important than
10 Prevlaka. Everything that is written here is true, and regrettably, it
11 was in contradiction with the actual state of affairs because war was
12 being waged in Dubrovnik and a march further on towards Karlobag was being
13 planned. However, these are documents and this is what really happened.
14 Q. Mr. Samardzic --
15 A. The Croats --
16 Q. Mr. Samardzic, we're going to look at the rest of the documents in
17 this exhibit, but I just wanted to get a little detail in for the Judges.
18 Was Prevlaka in fact used as a military installation and for nothing else?
19 Just yes or no.
20 A. Yes, there was a military base then, nothing else.
21 Q. Fine. Let's --
22 A. During the Second World War, it was a prison for the
23 anti-fascists. This was during the Second World War. Otherwise, before
24 the Second World War, during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and later on during
25 Tito's Yugoslavia, it was a military base.
1 Q. Next part of this exhibit, please, if the usher would be so good.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honours, this is the only substantial exhibit that
3 is more than a single or a couple of pages.
4 Q. We now come to Titograd, dateline the 8th of October, from the
5 Assembly, conclusions of the session on the 7th of October:
6 "The Assembly obliges the delegation of the Republic of Montenegro
7 to insist on its further work on the principal orientation of the Republic
8 of Montenegro that all disputes in Yugoslavia can and must be settled
9 through political negotiations. The delegation of the Republic of
10 Montenegro is obliged to insist the issue of the future arrangement of
11 relations in Yugoslavia can be resolved in such a way as to guarantee and
12 protect full and equal rights of all citizens, republics, and
14 Then paragraph 3: "Obliges the delegation to be open to any
15 initiative which may lead to a just and principled resolution of the
17 Perhaps you'd best look over the page to paragraph 5 where there's
18 a further reference to a principled solution to the border issue, and then
19 says: "The Assembly accepts in principle the fundamental principles for
20 the arrangement of future relations in Yugoslavia as well as the related
21 conclusions of the committee for constitutional matters of the Assembly of
22 the Republic. The Assembly of the Republic considers these fundamental
23 principles an initiative and sound basis for finding an optimal solution
24 to the issue of future arrangement of relations."
25 Perhaps you would look at the last couple of pages and we'll come
1 back to your evidence on the topics.
2 Finally, we have a document on --
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't have that document either.
5 Until now, they were in this same order, no mean achievement as opposed to
6 yesterday, but now I can't find it. I can't find this one.
7 JUDGE MAY: We'll see you get another one. Perhaps he could have
8 another clip, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: Yes. If it's only the October the 15th document he's
10 missing, I'm sure we can find one of those.
11 Q. This the reply then, sent on the 15th of October from the speaker
12 of the Republic of Croatia coming to the President of the Assembly in
13 Montenegro. Just read a few of the passages. Second paragraph on the
14 first page.
15 "I'm sure that the atmosphere for discussion and dialogue would
16 have been more favourable had your initiative appeared before the
17 aggression on the Republic of Croatia from the territory of Montenegro.
18 This conclusions of October the 8th, the Croatian parliament did not
19 declare the Republic of Montenegro the aggressor but rather the Republic
20 of Serbia and the so-called JNA or what is left of it.
21 Over the page, perhaps, without doing a disservice to the
22 document, and at the top: "Your assertion in item 3 of the initiative
23 that Montenegro has no interest in seeking further conflicts, destruction,
24 and loss of human lives in the border area towards the Republic of Croatia
25 raises a certain amount of hope that peace and good neighbourly relations
1 can return --"
2 A. [In English] Can I have the document in Serbo-Croatian? No it's
3 not that. It's not that. I have not also the document.
4 MR. NICE: There appears to be a photocopying shortcoming. No,
5 Your Honour, this one may not actually exist in B/C/S, in which case I
6 hope we'll be permitted to continue with it in English, and I'll inquire
7 into the status of any other translation as soon as I can.
8 Q. Are you happy to follow it in English, Mr. Samardzic?
9 A. Yes, I can.
10 Q. Thank you. If we just go down the page from where we were, come
11 towards the bottom, a short paragraph. "... especially concerned by your
12 statement that there are certain circumstances which aggravate the
13 psychosis of war." And then the last paragraph: "We therefore accept
14 your proposal that direct contacts be established, and we invite your
15 designee, Mr. Nikola Samardzic, MP," and so on, "to visit Zagreb as soon
16 as possible without delay."
17 Mr. Samardzic, just this on this little collection of materials of
18 one kind or another: So far as you could judge, was the Montenegrin
19 approach for a negotiated settlement including settlement of the little
20 border issue genuine? And were you sincere?
21 A. [Interpretation] I was absolutely sincere. I made every effort I
22 could, and I really wanted negotiations to be accepted, and I really
23 wanted these negotiations to start and to have a ceasefire in this way,
24 and also to put a stop to the aggression against Dubrovnik. I believe
25 that Momir Bulatovic, also having seen where Slobodan Milosevic's policy
1 would lead everyone to, I believe that he also supported this, because we
2 discussed it often. This what I wrote on the Montenegrin side is
3 something that he approved, and together we got a reply from Mr. Domljan,
4 the speaker of the Croatian parliament, and I know that he was pleased
5 that there were this favourable response and it was agreed that I would go
6 to Zagreb. However, at the very last moment, this was stopped, and I
7 imagine that it was stopped from Belgrade.
8 Q. Was any reason given for your visit being stopped?
9 A. It was said officially, officially allegedly, that I could not
10 travel to Zagreb because one had to travel to The Hague. This was written
11 on the 15th, and then this came on the 17th, two days later, when we
12 received Lord Carrington's proposal. And then I went to The Hague rather
13 than to Zagreb. However, there were also words to the effect that I
14 shouldn't go to Zagreb. "Don't go there. They'll kill you there," et
15 cetera. However, I paid no attention to this because everything that was
16 agreed upon was agreed upon verbally. Also with Dr. Kacic, because I was
17 in constant communication with him. And the only purpose for this was for
18 us to achieve some kind of peace.
19 Q. Before I turn on to the next couple of days of October this same
20 year, can you just tell us, please, a little bit more about two things
21 featured in the Dubrovnik campaign? Was there talk of something called
22 the Dubrovnik Republic at about this time? If so, was it serious?
23 A. Of course there was talk about the Dubrovnik Republic. There was
24 this major campaign that Dubrovnik should purportedly be liberated and
25 become some kind of an independent Republic of Dubrovnik within a Greater
1 Serbia, and they started working on this. This was done by the military
2 circles, by the military, the counter-intelligence service. And the
3 Montenegrin government did not take part in this. It was the people's
4 party, a pro-Chetnik organisation that was formed during those days. They
5 took part in it and they were absolutely involved in this with the army to
6 create a Republic of Dubrovnik. And they held meetings in Cavtat. This
7 could be seen on television. They also wrote about this in their
8 newspapers. Individuals came to see me and to ask me whether this
9 Dubrovnik Republic could be established. Everybody had reasons of their
10 own why they put this question, and interests of their own, and as I said,
11 this was discussed during those days. It was discussed rather
12 extensively, this Dubrovnik Republic.
13 Q. Was it ever discussed or talked about between you and Jokic or
15 A. I know Jokic, because he was in the navy, and he often came when
16 he was commander of the navy zone of Boka to see me at my office. Well,
17 it wasn't that often, but he did come and that's how we knew each other.
18 I did not know Strugar, though. I just saw him at the session that was
19 held on the 1st of October.
20 But what I want to say now is the following: During these war
21 operations - I cannot remember the exact date, it was probably the end of
22 October, beginning of November - when things were not going well for the
23 Yugoslav army in Dubrovnik, three Englishmen came, officials of the
24 European Union. I saw that they were citizens of the United Kingdom. And
25 they asked me to establish contact for them with Admiral Strugar and
1 Admiral Jokic. Somebody from the government had sent them to me although
2 at that time I did not know where Strugar was and where Jokic was. I
3 managed to find Strugar and Jokic through the Ministry of Interior of
4 Montenegro, and I talked to Jokic. I said to him that these gentlemen
5 were looking for him in order to negotiate with a view to establishing
6 peace. They accepted that, and immediately after that, they started
7 asking me whether it was possible to organise a Republic of Dubrovnik.
8 That's what they asked me. Jokic asked me and Strugar also asked me,
9 could I explain this to them, and that was on the telephone. They were at
10 the front line and I was in my office in Titograd.
11 I said to them forget about that completely. That is impossible.
12 That's a bad thing. It's no good. And if you wish any good to your army
13 and to your country, you should absolutely and totally forget about this.
14 This is a chauvinist idea that is going to backfire against the Serb
15 people the most. They did not make any comments, but that's what I said
16 to them and I would like to confirm here that they were asking me from the
17 front line as to whether a Republic of Dubrovnik could be established,
18 because obviously they had their doubts. They saw that people around
19 Dubrovnik would not hear of it.
20 Q. Did you become aware at that time of any evidence to suggest that
21 the citizens of Dubrovnik themselves wanted separation from Croatia?
22 A. No way. Not a single person from Dubrovnik, a true person from
23 Dubrovnik, at least these generations, never showed any intention of this
24 kind to secede from Croatia. This is a pure lie, propaganda. The
25 Republic of Dubrovnik ceased to exist in 1797.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Now we're going to come to the Carrington Plan, to the role of
4 Jovic, Kostic, Bulatovic, yourself, and the accused in that plan, and to
5 the visits here to The Hague. I think, Mr. Samardzic, it will be sensible
6 for you to give, if you can, a concise narrative of events, including an
7 account of your speech, a summary of your speech, please, which we can see
8 in an exhibit in a minute, or at least some of it. And if you either go
9 for too much detail or too little, you'll have to put up with my
10 interrupting you, and I hope you don't mind.
11 We've dealt with your planned visit in October and its
12 cancellation. Just remind the Chamber of what Lord Carrington's plan was
13 and then explain the Montenegrins' involvement in it, please.
14 A. After holding a number of rounds of negotiation on the
15 establishment of peace, quite obviously it became clear to the European
16 Community that the warring parties in Yugoslavia were unable to agree
17 amongst themselves, and Lord Carrington, who was the chairman of the peace
18 conference on Yugoslavia on the 17th of October sent to all the republics,
19 that is to say the presidents of all the republics, six of them, a plan on
20 how to settle the crisis in Yugoslavia and to establish peace.
21 In short, the plan contained the following: That the federal
22 republics of Yugoslavia should become independent states and members of
23 the United Nations. Furthermore, that they could associate and form an
24 association of independent states if they wished to do so. They can
25 associate -- form associations amongst themselves.
1 A special status was established for national minorities and in
2 the annex it was clearly stated that this related to the Serb minority in
3 Croatia. Therefore, the inhabitants of the Serbian Krajina region, or the
4 SAO as it was referred to then, the autonomous areas, were given rights
5 like an independent state. They had their judiciary, their own police
6 force, their own economy, their own educational system, their own tax
7 system, everything section except the army. And the Croatian army along
8 those lines was not supposed to be within that territory, that is to say
9 the Serbian territory, but the international community.
10 That is the gist of Lord Carrington's plan.
11 At 6.00 on the 17th of October, that plan was presented and
12 President Bulatovic had it copied and he convened a meeting of the
13 Montenegrin parliament. It was only the Montenegrin parliament of all the
14 other six republics that this was discussed and televised throughout
15 Serbia, Bosnia and perhaps Macedonia, and parliament called for a decision
16 to be taken as to whether Lord Carrington's plan was to be adopted or not.
17 Now, you mentioned my own presentation on that particular evening.
18 What I said was that Lord Carrington's plan must be adopted, and I
19 emphasised the following: Unless we accept Lord Carrington's plan, we are
20 leading the Serbian people in Croatia into the greatest possible abyss and
21 they will come upon hard times. And I also emphasised that if we failed
22 to adopt Lord Carrington's plan, the United Nations would enforce
23 sanctions and a sanitaire cordon would be set up. I emphasised all that.
24 I said that we could not win a war of this kind because the morale of our
25 army and our people, as it was an unjust war, was running low, and a war
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of this kind could not be won. I also emphasised that when Britain went
2 to war, then it was the son of the British monarch that was in the
3 forefront, whereas our own leaders kept their sons at home in safe places
4 or abroad whereas it was the poor people that went to war.
5 So I put all that forward, I emphasised all that, and I almost got
6 beaten up on that particular evening. I was called a traitor. Some ultra
7 nationalistic people stormed the Assembly, and they really wanted to beat
8 me up. But always I say, we in Montenegro waged this kind of discussion
9 from 7 in the evening to 7 in the morning. And at 7.15, we left by
10 special plane --
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Samardzic, it may be difficult but you're in a
12 court and just answer the questions.
13 THE WITNESS: Okay, okay, I'm sorry.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. On the passage so far, having spoken to the witness at some
16 length --
17 THE WITNESS: Okay.
18 MR. NICE: -- I judged it probably wise to let him give a summary
19 because it would probably be quicker than the interruptions of questions
20 and answers that I would have to make to elicit the same information.
21 We've reached the position where we can put into evidence a
22 summary of his speech because it's an exhibit. I've missed out Exhibit 6
23 and we will have to come back and deal with that. Perhaps I'll deal with
24 that straight away. Then we can look at Exhibit 7 and that may be time
25 for a break, that being a matter, of course, for the Court and not for me.
1 Can we just look at Exhibit 6 because we then have it -- not
2 Exhibit 6, tab 6 --
3 JUDGE MAY: We'll go on to -- if it's all right with the
4 interpreters, we'll go on until 4.15.
5 MR. NICE: Tab 6 of 338, just to get a little bit more context.
6 This is a letter from Dr. Vukcevic of the 16th of October.
7 Original, please, to the witness and English on the overhead projector.
8 Of course the previous document was in English, not in B/C/S. It follows
9 the normal plan where we have documents only in English they aren't
10 translated into B/C/S. If they're in one or other of the languages of the
12 Q. Very well, then. This document, just to deal with it:
13 "Mr. President, we acknowledge the receipt of your letter..." Next
14 paragraph but one -- it is the Assembly of Montenegro speaking: "Our
15 influence on the JNA is rather limited. We are doing all we can in the
16 area of Dubrovnik to try and help calm the situation down, help the
17 beginning of at least a gradual withdrawal of JNA units. Our efforts with
18 the army would be a great deal more effective if individual actions
19 against its soldiers ceased. Each individual killing or wounding of a JNA
20 soldier is making our efforts with the army and our attempt to reduce the
21 war psychosis in the Republic more difficult.
22 "We believe that the first results of our efforts are already
23 apparent since the army representatives have agreed with the Dubrovnik
24 authorities to repair the equipment for the supply of water and reconnect
1 "We have interpreted the arrival of JNA units into Cavtat and
2 Zvekovica as an agreement between the JNA and the representatives of
3 Dubrovnik authorities with the mediation of the international observers.
4 We will do everything we can to help the population of the Dubrovnik
6 "Tomorrow ... the Assembly will sit in session, and the following
7 day, 18 October, a peace conference will be held ... where the delegations
8 will be led by the presidents of the republics."
9 And then it states: "Nikola Samardzic, our parliamentary deputy
10 ... is unable to come to Zagreb tomorrow or the day after due to these
12 Is that the letter that sets out the reasons that were given to
13 you for your non-attendance upon Croatia?
14 A. Yes. Those were the reasons I was presented with, because we were
15 to go to The Hague, and that's what it looked like. But quite obviously,
16 I was not able to go to Zagreb. However, the Hague conference was far
17 more important at that particular point in time. It was more important
18 for me to accompany President Bulatovic.
19 Q. Let's look at the next document, which is a record that you've
20 made. You will have to give us a date of it. A record you've made in an
21 English fax format, I think, or similar. Summary and shortened version of
22 your speech. You've already given us an account of that, about not being
23 traitors, accepting the peace proposal, Lord Carrington hasn't destroyed
24 Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav leaders did that. We cannot win this war.
25 Morale is low, reference to the rich families spending time on the
1 beaches, reference to the English royal family, stop the violence, United
2 Nations sanctions an alternative, must negotiate.
3 When did you prepare -- just that's all I want to know,
4 Mr. Samardzic. When did you prepare this summary of your speech? Very
5 recently or at the time?
6 A. At that time. That is part of the text which I wrote when the
7 Jugooceanija ships were blocked, they were stopped because of the
8 sanctions, seven of them in the ports of the United States of America.
9 And I prepared material for that.
10 Q. That's all I need to know. The question was when you prepared the
12 Let's now go on with the Carrington Plan. We'd reached the stage
13 where, following the discussion, you were all due to come here to The
14 Hague. How did you travel? Obviously, you flew here, but who did you
15 travel with?
16 A. With President Bulatovic and the security provided. We flew in a
17 small plane directly from Titograd to The Hague.
18 Q. Did Bulatovic say anything about the negotiations of which he was
19 to be a part?
20 A. Yes, he did. We went to The Hague to say yes or no vis-a-vis Lord
21 Carrington's plan, and we held a parliamentary session throughout the
22 night. He still wasn't quite sure and hadn't reached a decision in the
23 plane, but he was quite sincere and said that Lord Carrington's plan was
24 the only way out of the situation and the predicament that faced us. But
25 he was afraid of President Milosevic, what he would do, and he didn't know
1 himself what President Milosevic would do at that point in time.
2 Q. At the meeting itself, did there come a chance for people to speak
3 in order on the merits of the plan? If so, what was the order in which
4 people were to speak?
5 A. The custom was that the representatives of the republics should
6 present their views in alphabetical order, which meant that Bosnia was due
7 to speak first and then Serbia in front of Slovenia. And this took place
8 in the plenary session. However, may I just add that when we arrived in
9 The Hague, we met Lord Carrington and he was worried and concerned whether
10 Croatia would accept the plan. He didn't doubt that Serbia would, but he
11 had quite a lot of disquiet as to whether Croatia would and whether
12 President Tudjman would refuse.
13 Q. When it came time to speak, who spoke first?
14 A. President Milosevic took the floor first.
15 Q. His attitude toward the plan?
16 A. His attitude was that he was very firm in rejecting the plan and
17 said he did not agree with it and stated the following more or less: The
18 Croats have the right to set up their own state, but if they have that
19 right, so do the Serbs, to -- in Croatia to go to their state, the state
20 of Serbia, or to Yugoslavia, and he said that is why he disagreed with the
21 Carrington Plan, that the Serbs should stay in Croatia.
22 Q. In what manner, with what moderation or otherwise was that view
23 expressed by the accused?
24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish. Yes. Just answer the
25 question. What?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These are documents, Mr. May. They
2 all exist. Minutes exist.
3 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter. He can --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand why you're
5 letting the witness recount what I myself said when you have records of
6 that. It was all recorded at the international conference, word for word.
7 So why hear his interpretation? I didn't talk to him privately.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let him give -- he can give -- he can give his
9 evidence about it. If it's wrong, you can contradict it with the minutes
10 when we produce them in due course, no doubt, if such exist. Yes.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He can read through the minutes
12 too. I don't see why I should listen to him.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Mr. Samardzic, can you answer the question, please? What was the
16 manner, the moderation or otherwise, of the accused at the time he took
17 the floor and expressed the view he did?
18 A. I think I've answered that question. He said that Croatia had the
19 right to set up its independent state, but so did the Serbs in Croatia.
20 They had the equal right of living in their own state, and that is why
21 they cannot accept -- could not accept the plan devised by Lord
22 Carrington. And he adamantly rejected it. And I agree with the
23 president --
24 Q. We now come to the voting of the others and in particular the
25 voting of Bulatovic and what happened then. Tell us about that.
1 A. After the speech that was made by President Milosevic, everybody
2 took the floor in alphabetical order, and they accepted Lord Carrington's
3 plan in its entirety. The Croats were particularly pleased because they
4 had no need to reject the plan now that President Milosevic had rejected
5 it. Montenegro and President Bulatovic also accepted the plan.
6 This made President Milosevic angry. He was furious, got up out
7 of his chair, and said, "I'll give you your independent and sovereign
8 Montenegro. I'll give you what for." It's difficult to interpret his
9 words and the term he used, but it was a very serious threat, meaning,
10 "I'll give you what for if you want an independent, sovereign
11 Montenegro." So he got up. That's quite certain. He had to walk for 20
12 or 30 metres because there was the Macedonian delegation sitting in front
13 of us, so he sort of threatened us for interrupting this.
14 Q. The meeting ended with all except the accused voting in favour of
15 the plan; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct, yes. There was a vote. You either could state
17 your views on the plan or there was a show of hands. Everybody raised
18 their hands. It was only President Milosevic in his speech who rejected
19 Lord Carrington's plan. And I would like to add that by doing so, he
20 prolonged the war and opted for war instead of the peace offered by the
21 international community, and brought the peoples -- the people of Serbia
22 and all the other nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia to a great
24 Q. You returned to Montenegro. Did you return with Mr. Bulatovic?
25 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Now, in due course, did Mr. Bulatovic change his position?
2 A. He changed his position straight away, as soon as we returned to
3 Montenegro. But may I be allowed to say the following? After the
4 meeting, we had talks with President Tudjman, after the plenary meeting in
5 The Hague, we also met with President Tudjman in The Hague as well. And
6 I'd like to say a few words on that topic.
7 Q. If you can just give us the subject matter before we invite you to
8 do so. What was the subject matter of the discussion?
9 A. The establishment of peace between Montenegro and Croatia, to
10 avoid war, and to discuss the question of the Prevlaka. And before we
11 spoke of myself going to Zagreb, but now we were able to talk to President
12 Tudjman. We tried to organise that, Kacic, myself, and President Tudjman,
13 and President Bulatovic agreed that before they left for Zagreb and we
14 left for Titograd that we should have a meeting and discuss the issues.
15 Q. Was the meeting fruitful? Was there a spirit of compromise with
16 President Tudjman or not?
17 A. Yes, it was. We completely agreed, that is to say, President
18 Bulatovic and President Tudjman agreed that they should not go to war and
19 that the issue of the Prevlaka could be settled. And President Tudjman
20 said if there were no war, then Prevlaka would not present a problem
21 either. And he said if the relationship between Montenegro and Croatia
22 was as it was during the times of Njegos and Ban Jelacic, then we would
23 not even have to discuss the Prevlaka. But now that I'm at war, I don't
24 have the right of handing over Prevlaka to you, but we'll discuss the
25 matter and the Croatian Sabor or parliament will have to rule on that, and
1 Dr. Kacic writes about that whole issue in his book.
2 Q. We've probably got time to deal with deal with how it came about
3 that Mr. Bulatovic changed his position immediately on return to
4 Montenegro. Can you tell us first how you know how it came about that he
5 changed his mind? Did he tell you? Did somebody else tell you? Did you
6 discuss it with him? Tell us what happened.
7 A. The very next day, as soon as we arrived in Titograd, Kostic and
8 Jovic came to Titograd and Babic received them. President Milosevic had
9 obviously sent them. And Bulatovic was told that he had to change his
10 position. I did not attend that particular meeting. It was the leaders
11 of Montenegro that attended the meeting, several of them. And Bulatovic
12 was forced, he was actually forced to put his hand up and say he had made
13 a mistake.
14 Q. Did you see Kostic and Jovic in Podgorica, Titograd?
15 A. No, I didn't see them myself, but I was told that they were there,
16 and I knew that the meeting was being held in that same building, and
17 judging by the police standing guard around the building, that there was
18 an extraordinary situation taking place, as if war had started in
19 Titograd. There were so many policemen there out on the Titograd streets.
20 Q. How did you learn that it was they who'd persuaded him to change
21 his mind? Did somebody tell you? If so, who?
22 A. Yes. He told me himself personally. President Bulatovic told me
24 Q. Did he tell you the terms that were put to him by these two men?
25 A. "Reject Lord Carrington's plan." That was it. And that a new
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 initiative should be adopted, and that initiative was known as the
2 Belgrade initiative, which implied the organisation of a new state, a
3 federal one, and Serbia and Montenegro would be the component parts. And
4 so discussions started on the Belgrade initiative, and five days later, on
5 the 23rd of October, a discussion was held in parliament on the issue.
6 Q. [Previous translation continues]... but did Mr. Bulatovic say what
7 would happen if he declined to change his position on the Carrington Plan?
8 A. He said to me that Jovic was categorical and said, "We'll bring in
9 other people if you don't want to change your opinion and position." And
10 in that situation, bringing in new people meant to lose your life, to
11 bring in other people by saying that. Jovic -- that's what Jovic conveyed
12 to me what Bulatovic said, that he said he would bring in other people.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will adjourn now.
14 Mr. Nice, how much longer do you anticipate being?
15 MR. NICE: I would like to say half an hour but I expect it will
16 be 45 minutes.
17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Samardzic, would you be back, please,
18 tomorrow morning at half past nine to continue your evidence.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.15 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
21 October, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.