1 Friday, 14 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before the accused resumes his
8 cross-examination, you can see I'm assisted this morning by Mr. Theunens.
9 I draw this to your attention. He's one of the members of the OTP who has
10 assisted in the preparation of this witness, but he is, in due course,
11 going to be, or expected to be an expert witness is coming from the
12 military analysis department of the Tribunal and for those reasons I
13 thought I'd better put it on the record that he's actually in court today.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] So, General, let's round off what we were
19 discussing about the competence of the -- of Yugoslavia towards the armies
20 of Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina. Is it true and correct
21 that Yugoslavia did not have any competencies with respect to command of
22 those armies -- over those armies?
23 A. In which period?
24 Q. Throughout the whole period. The material time. The period
25 you're testifying about. If somebody else has something else to add I'll
1 ask them.
2 A. Well, I explained that the Territorial Defence in the territory of
3 Kninska Krajina was subordinated and under the command of the JNA.
4 Q. Until the JNA withdrew pursuant to the Vance Plan; is that right?
5 A. Yes. And that's what I said.
6 Q. All right. Fine. Now, once the JNA withdrew from the territory
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the territory of the Republika Srpska Krajina
8 according to the Vance Plan, and once the armies of Republika Srpska and
9 Republika Srpska Krajina had been formed, or the Serbian army of Krajina,
10 did the JNA have any power and authority over the commands over those
12 A. Well, the JNA didn't exist then.
13 Q. Did the army of Yugoslavia then have any authority over those
15 A. At that time, I wasn't an active-duty officer to be able to answer
16 that question directly, but I can give you some information which I knew
17 about and some data that I learnt about from the officers and superior
18 officers who, from the army of Yugoslavia, went to join up with the army
19 of Republika Srpska or Republika Srpska Krajina then once again returned
20 to the army -- to the JNA. And I know about the presence of top figures
21 from what we call the Vojna Linija, or military line, which during the
22 Pauk operation, Operation Pauk, were at the command post from which they
23 were able to command.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish. Do not interrupt him.
25 Yes, General. Continue his answer. He is answering your question
1 about the information we had.
2 Now, is there anything you want to add, General?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, just to finish the sentence I
4 had started. So some of these top people were in the most forward command
5 post for the Operation Pauk.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. General, I was asking you something quite directly, and that was
8 did the army of Yugoslavia have any command responsibility over the army
9 of Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina? I didn't ask you
10 whether it was a good year for plums or whether anybody had come visiting.
11 JUDGE MAY: No. Mr. Milosevic, that's a totally unfair comment.
12 Now, he's answered the question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had you asked me about plums, I
14 would have told you about the plum situation. But you asked me whether
15 Yugoslavia participated --
16 JUDGE MAY: General, don't. You'll only keep things going.
17 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Ask some further questions.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What I asked was did the army of Yugoslavia have any competencies
20 and command authority over the army of Republika Srpska, army of Republika
21 Srpska Krajina.
22 A. And my answer was that I do not know.
23 Q. You don't know?
24 A. No, I do not know. I know about the details that I told you of.
25 Q. And you don't know that they had their headquarters and staff and
1 supreme commands? You know nothing about that? You know nothing about
2 who appointed the various commanders in the army of Republika Srpska and
3 Republika Srpska Krajina? You know nothing of any of that?
4 A. Well, I do know about that, but I don't know or, rather, I do know
5 that the ranks that were given had to be verified later on in Yugoslavia.
6 And I also know, and let me repeat once again, and this is not linked to
7 the army of Yugoslavia, that some of the top people from MUP assumed
8 command positions in Operation Pauk.
9 Q. General, well, you seem to have focused your attention on that
10 MUP. Whatever the subject, your answer is MUP.
11 A. Well, that's what the situation was like.
12 Q. Yes, yes, yes. We'll come to that. We'll get to that, and we'll
13 have other questions too linked to that particular issue. But you said
14 here, and I made a note of it, I wrote down your words, you said that a
15 parallel army had been established from the MUP and that MUP, you used the
16 word, became an armada. That's the word you used. Is that right?
17 A. I didn't emphasise it the way you're doing now.
18 Q. All right. But you did use the word "armada," didn't you?
19 A. No, I did not use the word "armada." That is not a term that I
21 Q. All right. Well, look at the LiveNote and you'll be able to see
22 for yourself, and people in Yugoslavia watched all this. But tell us, how
23 big did the MUP get? How massive did it become, and how was this parallel
24 army in fact formed, and how far was MUP at all, because you say -- you
25 claim that -- how many members did MUP have at all?
1 A. Well, I'm keeping that piece of information as confidential, as
2 secret, an official secret, and I assume that you can give us a better
3 answer to that. But from the information and data and indices presented
4 here during the presentation of evidence, we saw that intervention
5 brigades did exist, that detachments did exist, that they had helicopters,
6 that they had APCs, armoured vehicles, and that is something that they did
7 not previously have. And you saw on the basis of the request that was
8 made, and you and I observed that it was a megalomaniac request, asking
9 for the Banja Luka SUP to provide technical resources and materiel which
10 was the materiel of a military brigade.
11 Q. Did the MUP of Serbia ask for that, request that?
12 A. I'm not talking about the MUP of Serbia, but you know full well
13 that the MUP of Serbia received from the army --
14 Q. Just a moment, General. Just a moment. Let's make things clear.
15 Would you please answer my questions.
16 A. But you keep interrupting me and I'm not able to provide an
18 Q. Well, I can't ask you one thing and have you answer something
19 quite different. What I'm asking you is how big this MUP was, because you
20 keep focusing on MUP and calling it an armada and things of that kind. So
21 how big was it in fact?
22 A. Well, I don't have any official data of information, but --
23 Q. Well, give us an example.
24 A. Well, it was publicised that there were about 90.000 men.
25 Q. General.
1 A. Well, all right. That's what I'm telling you.
2 Q. Isn't it unfortunate that a general, head of the intelligence
3 service, has to use data and information that he has heard bandied about
4 and rumoured in the streets, round the back corners of the streets and in
5 cafes? Is this serious testimony for you to quote a figure of 90.000 men?
6 A. Well, don't hold me to my word. I'm sure you will have facts and
7 figures which will show you what the state of affairs was.
8 Q. Yes, I do have them.
9 A. Well, then provide them.
10 Q. That's why I say it's shameful for you to claim something like
12 A. Well, I'm not working in the MUP intelligence for me to be able to
13 have the kind of data that you have as president of the republic.
14 Q. Well, I see that you had -- did your intelligence work vis-a-vis
15 along the lines of just one member of MUP, and then you say you didn't
16 deal with intelligence work for the whole of MUP.
17 A. No, we didn't. These are facts and figures and information that
18 would come to us periodically from people who were sent away by people
19 like that, and I assume you knew that.
20 Q. You say harassed. Who harassed these people and sent them away?
21 A. Well, are we in open session?
22 JUDGE MAY: We are.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know about the officers.
24 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to go into closed session?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That would be a good idea.
1 Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am opposed. I object.
3 [Private session]
13 Pages 16093-16099 – redacted – private session
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Very well, General. I have some data for 1991, also for 1995, and
14 this terrible police, this armada, et cetera, the maximum strength it had
15 in 1995 numbered 32.000. That is not counting the state security, and the
16 entire state security department had a total of 3.500 employees. And
17 these 32.000, out of this figure, 3.000 were firemen who are also
18 employees of the Ministry of the Interior. Six thousand are
19 administrative personnel. As you know, they issue passports, driving
20 licenses, and many other administrative tasks; typists, secretaries,
21 technicians, et cetera. The police with general competencies, the people
22 in the street to maintain the law and order, patrolmen, numbered 14.000.
23 I'm talking about 1995. In 1991, there were only 10.000. The traffic
24 police, 3.000. The frontier police, 3.000.
25 JUDGE MAY: The witness must have a chance to answer all these
2 General, is there anything you want to say on what's been put to
3 you so far?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This probably -- these figures apply
5 to the permanent police force and not including the reserve force. That
6 is the first point.
7 The second is perhaps it would be interesting to give the figures
8 for 1999.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Yes, I do have the figures for 1999. They are spectacularly
11 different. They really are. A total of 36.000; 6.000 in administration,
12 3.500 firemen - so they went up by 500 - 3.000 crime police members, 3.500
13 frontier policemen - they were increased by 500 too - 4.000 traffic
14 policemen, and 16.000 policemen of general competence, including special
15 police units that you are referring to. And do you know that, General,
16 that they consisted of policemen working at their work posts, and then
17 when a special unit is formed --
18 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... you're now going
19 on to a separate point.
20 General, you should be able to deal with the figures which have
21 been put. Is there anything you want to say about them before we come to
22 the special units?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have occasion to have such
24 data or to have access to them to be able to enumerate the numbers
25 regarding policemen and firefighters and all the rest. But I don't know
1 the unit that I mentioned, to whom it belonged, the Skorpions. I have no
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. They reported to you on the 17th of May. What did you -- I report
6 A. Well, what I referred to at the private session.
7 Q. I see. You were reporting that there was a volunteer unit
9 A. Not volunteer. Members of SAJ.
10 Q. So it was called a special anti-terrorist unit and not Scorpios.
11 So I'm asking you about the Scorpios in that unit.
12 A. I don't know about that. Someone may call himself what they will,
13 but a special anti-terrorist unit has its own formation and it is well
14 known what its name is, just like Arkan's unit which had its own name too.
15 Q. Do you know that Arkan was never in Kosovo during the war of 1999?
16 A. I don't know where Arkan was, but I was speaking about men from
17 his unit.
18 Q. But as far as I understand it, the men who were with him as
19 members of volunteer units applied as volunteers, and according to
20 information I received then that you are now testifying about - I don't
21 remember it but you have said it and let's accept it - that only 30 of
22 them were admitted as volunteers and the rest were turned back precisely
23 because of certain problems that the competent organs thought there might
24 be with them. Is that what you said?
25 A. I know what I said. Not quite the way you put it. Among other
1 things, it was said that the previous day they had killed people. That is
2 the first point.
3 Secondly, Mr. Sainovic did not know that Arkan's units were in
4 Kosovo Polje.
5 Q. Will you please answer my question. You keep mentioning Sainovic.
6 As you know, Sainovic was the vice-premier, the vice-president of
7 the federal government. And by the federal government, being the
8 vice-president of that government, he was assigned responsibility for
9 Kosovo and Metohija. During the OSCE presence, he was president of the
10 Yugoslav Commission for Cooperation with them. He negotiated with Rugova
11 and other politicians over there. He held a series of political meetings.
12 JUDGE MAY: What you must do is ask a question.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Yes. I'm asking a question. If he said he was not aware of that
15 unit, why wouldn't you believe him? Do you believe that he was not
16 telling the truth?
17 A. No. I'm just saying that it was strange that he didn't know.
18 Q. Now, if he didn't know, how could I know?
19 A. You should have known from Rade Markovic, who told you about it.
20 Q. According to what you say, he passed on this information at a
21 meeting that Sainovic was present at, and Sainovic said that he didn't
22 know about it. Did that happen then?
23 A. I don't understand what you're saying.
24 Q. You described a meeting, but we'll come back to that meeting.
25 That was in public session, and you'll be able to answer questions about
2 You described the meeting, and you said Rade Markovic said that
3 there were 30 men, volunteers, which they had accepted, and that the
4 others had been turned back, and that Sainovic said - when I asked what
5 about this - that Sainovic said that he was not aware of it, so how could
6 I have known if he didn't know about it? And he learnt about it, if what
7 you're saying is correct --
8 JUDGE MAY: It's not for the witness to answer what you knew or
9 didn't know, what you could have known and what you couldn't have known.
10 He's described what happened.
11 Now, you were asking questions earlier. I think we had got onto
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We'll come to that meeting, as the
14 witness diluted it rather, so we'll review it in its integrity.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. But let us focus for a moment on the police. As you see, quite
17 incorrect figures have been given by you regarding the police.
18 JUDGE MAY: He's given his answer to that. He's given his answer.
19 Now, let's move on.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Do you know that the relative ratio of policemen in Serbia in
22 1995, for instance, not in 1991, the ratio of policemen to the population
23 was 1 to 434 citizens? This is counting all those employed in the police.
24 I don't know whether in other countries they count the firefighters and
25 the administrative officers and everything. In France, it is 1 to 266.
1 In Italy, 1 to 338. In Holland, in Britain. Only Japan has a lower
3 JUDGE MAY: What is the point? What is the point?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The point is that there is a rumour
5 being spread here of a very strong police force in Serbia, whereas in fact
6 the police force in Serbia was smaller than in virtually all other
7 European countries in relation to the population. And Serbia was in a
8 wartime environment.
9 JUDGE MAY: We're not -- we're not in fact using the time very
10 usefully. You can call your evidence about that, but you know what the
11 witness says. He says that that doesn't include the reservists, the
12 reserve forces who, the evidence is, were in action. Now, whether they
13 were or not is something which we may have to decide, but there's no good
14 arguing with the witness whether there were a lot or not a lot of
15 policemen. We've gone as far as we can on that.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. The reserve force could only exist in wartime, and the witness is
18 talking about 1991 and 1992, and you too are referring to that period.
19 Therefore, gentlemen, these are things that cannot be compared.
20 A. May I comment briefly? From the figures that you have given, in
21 1991 there were about 10.000 people employed in the police.
22 Q. I said in 1991, there were 22.000 total, not counting the state
23 security which was always constant at the level of 3.500, whereas the
24 general competence police numbered 10.000, traffic 2.000, frontier 2,
25 crime 3, firefighters 2.000 --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- we've heard these figures. Let the
2 witness finish.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let's say 20.000. Again, it was
4 doubled. But that is not the point I'm making in this discussion.
5 In 1992, that is in the month of March, the standing force of the
6 JNA in those days had a total of 36.000. So compare the number of
7 employed in MUP to those in the army, and I'm saying that they were more
8 or less equal.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. How can you say such things as a general? A policeman is
11 employed, and a soldier is not an employee. The police doesn't have
12 soldiers who are unemployed and serving as part of their national service.
13 You're talking about the employees in the army who are officers and
14 non-commissioned officers, professional soldiers who receive a salary. In
15 the police -- in the police, all policemen are professionals. There are
16 no conscripts in the police, doing their military service. Therefore, the
17 army mostly consists of conscripts doing their national service, and the
18 minority are officers. Unless you're saying that there are more officers
19 than soldiers.
20 I'm giving you the total number of the employed in the Ministry of
21 the Interior, including the administration, including the technicians, the
22 firefighters, and everyone else. You said 90.000.
23 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal with it in this way: Mr. Milosevic, as
24 usual, you argue with the witness. That's not what you're here to do.
25 Now, General, is there anything you want to add to what you've
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the number of
3 permanently employed in the MUP and the number of permanently employed in
4 the whole of the Yugoslav People's Army was such that there were more in
5 the MUP than in the JNA.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Well, give us the figures, please. What was the total number of
8 staff in the JNA?
9 A. Thirty-six thousand.
10 Q. I see, 36.000. What year?
11 A. On the 27th of March, 1992.
12 Q. The whole of the JNA. Fine. I'll take that figure as your claim,
13 as I have to save time. I just wish, before passing on to some concrete
14 questions which you should be well-informed about, to ask you the
15 following: Was it the top military leadership in 1991, Veljko Kadijevic
16 -- I'm now talking about the ethnic composition. He was a Yugoslav.
17 Blagoje Adzic, chief of the Main Staff, a Serb from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 So cadres from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Josip Gregoric, deputy and
19 under-secretary from Croatia, a Croat. Stane Brovet, a deputy federal
20 secretary, a Slovene. Mile Ruzinovski, Chief of Staff of the first
21 administration - this is the operations administration and the most one -
22 a Macedonian. The commander of the north-western theatre of operations,
23 Konrad Kolsek, a command post in Zagreb, a Slovene.
24 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you reading this. You're supposed
25 to be asking questions.
1 General, if at any stage you disagree with anything that's being
2 said, just interrupt, because it's the only way we can deal with it. Do
3 you agree so far with what the accused has read out?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The -- what he has read out is
5 correct, and it applies to the first half of 1992 and not to the
6 subsequent period. In more concrete terms, General Gregoric was pensioned
7 off, and he was replaced by General Sljivic. General Kolsek was also
8 replaced as commander of the 5th Military District, and General Avramovic
9 came to take his place, Zivota Avramovic. Then General Ruzinovski was
10 replaced when he was sent as commander of the 2nd Operative Group to
11 Eastern Herzegovina, and only a few days after that, because of his
12 alleged reaction to the fact that Montenegrins over there and other people
13 who were there would not allow a Macedonian to be their commander. And
14 let me not go on enumerating, but these are the facts.
15 On the 4th of December in 1991, 41 per cent of the total staff in
16 the air force, and I'm only talking about the air force, were not Serbs
17 and Montenegrins; they were people of all ethnicities. There were 2 per
18 cent Hungarians, 1 per cent Albanian. And regarding the actual flyers,
19 the pilots, 52 per cent were Serbs and Montenegrins, and 48 per cent were
20 people of other ethnicities. However, that picture in the subsequent
21 period, that is during the second half of 1992 and 1993, changed
22 significantly so that, on various grounds, people were replaced because
23 they didn't have citizenship and they now belong to other states. Some
24 stayed on.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. But let me -- please answer my question first and then we'll move
2 on and you can make any additional remarks if you have any.
3 This list that I've read out to you so far, is it correct? I'm
4 asking you, is it correct for 1991? Is it correct or not? Don't explain
5 what happened later. We'll come to the reasons for the changes.
6 A. But I'm giving you a different picture for the end of 1991. That
7 is also 1991.
8 Q. What do you care about the picture? I'm asking you whether this
9 is correct.
10 A. It's not correct in the way you're interpreting it.
11 Q. So Aleksandar Spirkovski, a Macedonian, was not the commander of
12 the central theatre of war.
13 A. When, when, when?
14 Q. In 1991.
15 A. He was not until the end of 1991.
16 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop this. I'm going to stop this for a
17 moment. Read out what you say the position was for 1991 and we'll hear
18 that and then we'll go on to deal with later.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Well, let him challenge any name. I'm going to read this out to
21 you. I'm going to read out 16 names. 1, Veljko Kadijevic, Federal
22 Secretary. 2, Blagoje Adzic, Chief of General Staff. Josip Gregoric,
23 deputy federal secretary and under-secretary. Stane Brovet, deputy,
24 federal secretary, under-secretary. Mile Ruzinovski, head of the first
25 administration of the General Staff. That is the cooperative -- that is
1 the operative administration. Konrad Kolsek -- I'll slow down. Konrad
2 Kolsek, commander of the north-west battlefield.
3 The commanders in Zagreb: Spirkovski, commander of the central
4 theatre, headquarters in Belgrade. Andrija Silic, also a Croat, Chief of
5 Staff of the central theatre. Zivota Avramovic, head of the south-east
6 theatre, headquarters in Skopje. Bozidar Grubisic, head of the navy.
7 Anton Tus, head of the air force. Zvonko Jurjevic, deputy chief of the
8 air force.
9 So when Tus was pensioned off, as you said, again, he was replaced
10 by a Croat, Jurjevic.
11 Ivan Radanovic, head of the centre for higher military schools in
12 Belgrade. Ibrahim Alibegovic, head of the war college. Tomislav Bjondic,
13 commander of the Command Staff Academy.
14 JUDGE MAY: What nationality or ethnicity are you saying they had?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is the way it was: Kadijevic,
16 Yugoslav; Adzic, Serb from Bosnia; Josip Gregoric, Croat; Stane Brovet,
17 Slovenian; Mile Ruzinovski, Macedonian; Konrad Kolsek, Slovenian;
18 Aleksandar Spirkovski, Macedonian; Andrija Silic, Croat; Zivota Avramovic,
19 Serb; Bozidar Grubisic, Croat; Anton Tus, Croat; Zvonko Jurjevic, Croat;
20 Ivan Radanovic, Croat; Ibrahim Alibegovic, Muslim; Tomislav Bjondic,
21 Croat; Mate Petar, a Croat.
22 The ethnic pattern as regards these 16 top generals in the top
23 military echelon of the JNA: One Yugoslav, two Serbs -- that is to say
24 from Bosnia and Serbia proper, a total of two Croats, eight Slovenians,
25 two Macedonians too, and Muslims one.
1 Did I have any influence over this top military echelon? You tell
2 me that.
3 JUDGE MAY: You're going on to a totally different point. First
4 of all, let's deal with the list as it's been read out, since the general
5 is giving evidence and not you.
6 Is the list which the accused has read out correct for 1991 or
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just for one period in 1991, the
9 first half of 1991, as regards some persons. As regards some other
10 persons, it is relevant to the period up to September 1991.
11 Bozidar Grubisic was not, in 1991, commander of the navy. He was
12 Assistant Federal Secretary for National Defence.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. For what?
15 A. For personnel. Political affairs, et cetera.
16 Q. Oh, it's not correct that Grubisic was commander of the navy in
18 A. No. No. Another admiral who was a Serb. I can't remember his
19 last name right now, but it's not that it really matters. And his Chief
20 of Staff was a Croat. Bozo Erceg. Out of those who have been mentioned,
21 the following have been replaced: As I said, General Ruzinovski,
22 immediately a few days after being appointed commander of the 2nd
23 Operative Group, at the request of Montenegro, as far as I know, that he
24 is not accepted as this kind of an appointment because he's Macedonian.
25 Then General Spirkovski was replaced by Zivota Panic who was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Andrija Silic was replaced and later on, he was detained and
3 investigations were carried out against him in 1993.
4 Then General Kolsek was replaced and Zivota Avramovic took his
6 And I could go on referring to these replacements and other
7 appointments, however, I cannot give a clear-cut answer. If one says
8 1991, this situation was partially true. But as I said, either up to June
9 1991 or by September, at the latest, when all these changes were made and
10 when retirements took place. But General Zvonko Jurjevic did not come to
11 become Deputy Chief of Staff for the air force. He was commander of the
12 air force.
13 Q. I'm not saying that. He was deputy head of the air force. He was
14 Tus's deputy. And then when Tus left, he came to his position. Is that
15 right or is that not right?
16 A. No, that's not right. In the army this is called the Chief of
18 Q. Oh, all right. He was the number 2 person in the air force; is
19 that right? Tus was commander, Jurjevic was Chief of Staff. Both of them
20 Croats. When Tus retired, the then Chief of Staff Jurjevic became
21 commander. Is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So a Croat was there before him, he retired, and then again a
24 Croat came to the position of commander of the air force.
25 A. Yes. Yes. And on the 25th of September, 1991, an effort was made
1 to carry out a coup in the air force. Bozidar Stefanovic was behind it,
2 and they tried to get rid of Zvonko Jurjevic in this way.
3 Q. Oh, please. What did you challenge out of this entire list that I
4 read out to you? Only that Grubisic was not commander of the navy but,
5 rather, Assistant Federal Secretary for National Defence. Is that right?
6 A. No. I gave my answer. If you didn't understand it, I'm not going
7 to repeat it.
8 Q. Is there something else that is incorrect in this list? You claim
9 that Grubisic was not at this position?
10 A. What period are you talking about?
11 Q. 1991, General.
12 A. Which month? The year has 12 months.
13 Q. I'm asking you about 1991.
14 A. That is an imprecise question.
15 Q. Well, I don't know what hour, minute, and day people -- until what
16 minute, hour, and day people held their appointments. I have this list
17 and I'm asking you whether it's correct.
18 A. I said for which period this list was correct and in what respect.
19 Q. Oh, so towards the end of 1991 Kadijevic was no longer Federal
20 Secretary for National Defence, Blagoje Adzic was no longer Chief of
21 Staff, and let's go on.
22 A. You're not right.
23 Q. Were they or were they not?
24 A. Until the 8th of January, Kadijevic was Secretary for National
1 Q. Was Adzic throughout 1991?
2 A. I didn't challenge any of that.
3 Q. So what are you challenging?
4 A. Well, go on. Go on. Move on to Spirkovski.
5 Q. All right. I read you this list for 1991.
6 A. Well, that's fine. But you're asking me about Blagoje Adzic. Why
7 don't you ask me about Spirkovski?
8 Q. I don't have time to. I read out all the names to you and I don't
9 have time to go from one name to another, I'm not going to go into all of
10 that, I'm just asking you about 1991 when these conflicts started.
11 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered. Now what he should have, in
12 fairness to him, is the list in front of him so that he could begin to
13 answer it. If you want to ask any more questions about it, then you'll
14 have to put a copy of it in front of him, or the original.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will deal with that. That's not a
16 problem for the witness either. He's just trying to be of such great
17 assistance to this Prosecution that even what is undeniable he is trying
18 to challenge.
19 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic. Comments do not assist. Just get
20 on with the questions. If you want him to have a copy of the list, he can
21 have it. Otherwise, we'll move on to another topic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When we go back to that, I'll give
23 him the copy. Actually, somebody can take this and this copy -- this can
24 be copied.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By your leave, I don't really need a
1 copy of this. I know all of this by heart.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's probably just as well the Court has a copy.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. General, if possible, can you just give me brief answers to my
5 questions, because my time will be limited. I'm going to put an entire
6 series of questions to you that have to do with the period that you're
7 testifying about and concerning events that you should know something
9 Is it correct that after the victory of the HDZ in the elections
10 in 1990 that over there various expert teams were immediately established
11 for military matters?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is it correct that a project of the Croat armed forces was carried
14 out then, counting on 44.000 people for all the arms and services, that is
15 to say the army, navy, and ground forces?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it correct that on the basis of that project a plan of special
18 activity vis-a-vis JNA officers was worked out, especially those who were
19 ethnic Croats, with a view to breaking up the JNA?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it correct that Boljkovac then stated that Croatia is prepared
22 to sacrifice 25.000 people in order to attain these objectives?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it correct that in mid-1990 a meeting was held between the
25 delegation of the HDZ and the Slovenian Demos precisely in order to agree
1 on what their tactics vis-a-vis the JNA would be in order to have broken
3 A. Yes, there was a meeting then, and there was another meeting in
4 January 1991 in Otocac Krka. That is correct.
5 Q. Is it correct that on the basis of the agreement reached then,
6 that you have confirmed, the leaderships of the HDZ and Demos, on the 9th
7 of July, 1990, Slovenia started preparations for establishing its own
8 army? And Jelko Kacin, the Deputy Minister of Defence of Slovenia, in the
9 centre for training the TO near Ljubljana, said that Slovenia already in
10 September would sent to the federal authorities an ultimatum that 60 per
11 cent of conscripts should serve their military service in Slovenia, 35 per
12 cent in Croatia, and only 5 per cent in the rest of the SFRY, and that
13 already in December of that year 90 per cent of the conscripts would
14 remain in Slovenia and 10 per cent would be in Croatia. Do you remember
15 these figures?
16 A. This is 1990?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Well, yes, that's right.
19 Q. Is it also correct that Kacin said at that meeting that if the
20 federal authorities do not meet this request, Slovenia would stop paying
21 into the federal budget and it will also tell all Slovenian officers to
22 leave the JNA in order for the Slovenian army to be established?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Is it true that this was coordinated with the leadership of
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it correct that at that time what was agreed upon was that all
3 powers of the federal states should be taken over in the domain of defence
4 and that all of this should be put under their own authority, that a
5 detailed cleansing of personnel and secretariats should be carried out,
6 Secretariats of National Defence, also in the Territorial Defence, in the
7 Ministry of Interior, and that at all offices in these ministries tested
8 personnel who are ethnic Croats and Slovenians respectively should be
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Is it true that in the -- in mid-1990 in Croatia, that is to say
12 in 1990, mid-1990, that what started was the massive establishment of
13 volunteer units in order to replace the Territorial Defence which was
14 multi-ethnic and that this, in mid 1990, preceded the National Guards
16 A. I know about information from mid -- mid-July 1990 when volunteer
17 units were established that were then called the Croatian National Guard
19 Q. So we are talking about mid-1990. Let's not split any hairs now,
20 15 days here or there. Is it correct that in mid-June 1990, mid-June 1990
21 in Croatia, a campaign was launched to replace the top personnel of the
22 TO? About 60 per cent of all personnel were replaced. And within that
23 campaign of replacing the top personnel of the TO, on the 25th of June,
24 1990, Spegelj sent a telegram to all in the TO related to the change of
25 personnel because there was resistance to such policy, and then he informs
1 them in this telegram and he makes it compulsory upon them to cleanse the
2 personnel of the TO, and in this sense they should closely coordinate with
3 the leaders of the municipalities. Do you know about that?
4 A. I know about that telegram. I'm not sure about the actual date
5 and the month that you are referring to, but I do know about the personnel
6 purges in the Ministry of Defence of Croatia. When General Spegelj became
7 minister, he immediately dismissed 20 employees who were primarily ethnic
8 Serbs, and this fits into the context that you are referring to now, but I
9 don't know exactly which month this was.
10 Q. Is it correct that through HDZ committees and the Catholic church,
11 these volunteer units were enlisting their personnel?
12 A. Checks were made for the personnel for these volunteer units. It
13 is either the Catholic church or the local committees of the HDZ that were
14 checking them out and giving recommendations for them. I don't know
15 whether they were actually carrying out the recruitment, but the Catholic
16 church, inter alia, said who was eligible to enlist in these units.
17 Q. Is it correct that at that time, from Western Herzegovina, 220
18 members were received from there because Croatia already considered
19 Western Herzegovina to be their territory at that time?
20 A. So we -- we had that kind of information.
21 Q. So is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Is it true that among the persons who were engaged were many
24 persons who were sentenced to many years in prison for having committed
25 grave crimes, as well as those who had not done their military service?
1 So in order to -- in Valdanos, Lucka, Zagreb, Rakic, all prisoners were
2 released, all of those who were serving prison sentences for grave crimes
3 like looting, murder, et cetera? Do you know about that?
4 A. That's not what I know.
5 Q. Well, say what it was.
6 A. It's not in Valdanos but in Valbadon, near Pula. And also the
7 other places that you mentioned, these were not prisons, these were camps
8 for training and for having these units that were established stationed.
9 So in Lucka, there was not a prison, this was a MUP base. So these were
10 not prisons. What is true is that there was one prison, Valbadon, near
11 Pula. Valdanos is on the southern coast.
12 Q. Okay. There may be a mistake as far as the name is concerned, but
13 is it correct that it is precisely these persons who were serving prison
14 sentences were engaged there? Is it true that criminals were recruited?
15 I'm talking about the actual phenomenon.
16 A. That's correct. Just like in some military units in Serbia there
17 were also criminals.
18 Q. Yes. I understand your need to explain straight away that there
19 was something of that kind in Serbia. I'm sure there is in France and
20 England, but I'm asking about Croatia specifically now.
21 Is it true that at that time or, rather, on the 27th of July, 1990
22 we're talking about, a competition was published to take in MUP personnel
23 on condition that the candidates were morally and politically reliable,
24 could be trusted, and so on and so forth? So that all those who were
25 recruited secretly were later on turned in to these orderlies of the ZNG,
1 Croatian National Guard Corps, and stationed in the training centre in
3 A. Well, the situation was a little different. First of all, data
4 was published in the Belgrade press as to the formation of the Croatian
5 guards. And I think that this was on the 25th of July, 1990. And then
6 two reactions that came with the establishment of this organisation: The
7 MUP who had taken in these people earlier on, previously, into these
8 illegal volunteer units covered them by publishing a subsequent
9 competition on the 27th of July, whereas the competition was published as
10 it was in the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which implied moral and
11 political reliability, trustworthiness, and so on. So there was this job
12 vacancy that was publicised and that was the competition. And the
13 condition was that they had done their military service. So until this
14 job announcement came up, they tried to legalise -- with this competition
15 and job announcement, they tried to legalise the people who they had taken
16 in earlier.
17 So this centre, this educational training centre, was not the only
18 thing and existed in these facilities in Zagreb but in the other places
19 that you said were prisons and were not prisons.
20 Q. So you mean the institutions of higher learning.
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. Well, let's make one thing clear: The fact that was publicised
23 about these illegal formations was correct, was it not?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. And when they saw that everything had been made public and come
1 out into the open because the press had been writing about it, they
2 hurried up to legalise the illegal situation that had been created
3 previously; is that what you're saying? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And is it true that, in that period of time, those units had
6 already been armed with automatic weapons?
7 A. Which period are you talking about?
8 Q. In the period of time that we're talking about, that is to say
9 mid-1990 or, rather, July to be more exact. Let me put myself right and
10 say July 1990.
11 A. I know about the period from the end of September or the beginning
12 of October, I know that for certain, that they did have automatic weapons.
13 What weapons they had before that, I can't say. But as of the end of
14 September and beginning of October, from the contingent of weapons that
15 had been imported and brought in from Hungary, these formations were
16 armed, yes. What they had been using for weapons before that, I don't
18 Q. Is it true that at that time the Territorial Defence in Croatia
19 was selected on an ethnic basis, already at that time, that its members
20 were selected on an ethnic basis in the middle of the year?
21 A. The -- no. The Territorial Defence was not, especially the
22 republican staff and headquarters. Again General Ostovic was still there,
23 he was a Croat. However, the Secretariats for National Defence, which
24 were under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence, something was done
25 there and the cadres were sifted through and vetted. Now, whether in some
1 Municipal Staff of the Territorial Defence some of this vetting took
2 place, I really can't say, but in the Secretariat for National Defence,
3 that was true; it did happen there.
4 Q. All right. And is it true that from June 1990, Croatia, to all
5 intents and purposes, intensively worked to establish its own army, to
6 form its own army, and that there was intensive training of these
7 formations and the aim was on marksmanship?
8 A. They started their training with marksmanship, as far as I know,
9 and they represented this as being as the members were the police. But as
10 I know, the police -- and guardsmen. But the police, first of all, learns
11 about rules and regulations and then how -- and then learns how to use
12 weapons. With them, it was the reverse.
13 Q. And is it true, General, that in August 1990, Vladimir Seks, Ivan
14 Vekic, Branimir Glavas -- do you know those names? I assume you do.
15 A. Yes I do.
16 Q. Were they all top functionaries of the HDZ? That's right, isn't
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. The new authorities in Croatia. That was what they were. And in
20 August 1990, they agreed to form the armed section or armed detachments,
21 in fact, armed detachments on the territory of the Sremska Baranja region,
22 and the formation of groups for silent liquidation.
23 A. What I know for certain is this: I know about Glavas. He was the
24 Secretary for National Defence in Osijek. And I know that Mercep,
25 Mercep's group, in fact, that he had distributed 100 rifles to Mercep's
1 group and about 300 kilogrammes of explosives. And I also know what the
2 whole of Yugoslavia knows and learnt from the programme that was televised
3 later on, that Glavas did have these groups -- or, rather, Mercep had
4 groups for silent liquidation, and that after the television programme,
5 the man was -- the man who said all this was killed, and his name was
6 Zvonko Ostovic.
7 Q. Yes, I did quote that example and said that after the television
8 programme, this man was killed. I said this before some witnesses who
9 denied it and I'm very happy to hear this from you. I said this was a
10 going to be a good, useful witness.
11 Now, were these groups for secret liquidations, were they
12 targeting the leading Serbs, communists, et cetera? Those were the
13 criteria more or less, that they were prominent Serbs, good communists, et
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it true that -- as you say you know Glavas, by the way, is it
17 true that he had a group of this kind that numbered 17 members and that
18 they were all identified, while Mercep also had his own group of men and
19 only four of those men were identified as being members of the group, and
20 Glavas for terrorist actions, according to my information, gave Mercep
21 1.000 rifles and 300 kilogrammes of explosives.
22 A. No, it wasn't a thousand rifles, it was 100 rifles. That was our
24 Q. How much explosives?
25 A. That is correct, 300 kilogrammes of explosives.
1 Q. Yes. That's right.
2 A. You now have some details, I assume, there in front of you about
3 that. I think they are more or less true. I can't say if there was 17 --
4 if Glavas had 17 members and Mercep had another number, but I do seem to
5 recall figures of that kind, of that order.
6 Q. But at that time in the mid-1990 -- in mid-1990 when all the
7 terror began and the liquidations began, there was complete peace in
8 Yugoslavia. There were no clashes or conflicts at all at that time. Did
9 the Serbs pose a threat to anyone at that time? Did they jeopardise
11 A. If you're talking about that particular period of time, that would
12 be up until mid-1990, no, I don't know that any excessive incidents or
13 behaviour existed at that time.
14 Q. Is it true that the terrorist group of the Croatian Uzdanica was
15 formed at that time?
16 A. Have you heard of the Croatian Uzdanica, made up of 80 men, and in
17 Osijek 40 were under the command of Damir Horvat; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. That is Damir's statement to the security
20 Q. And is it true that already in the summer of 1990 when there was
21 complete peace, when peace reigned, that there were mass provocations that
22 were launched and open attacks and pressure against the JNA, its members
23 and family members, the family members of the officers?
24 A. This kind of pressure escalated as time went by, that's true, but
25 that was from August on, or perhaps September 1990. So we had records of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 concrete acts of provocation and some JNA members were even taken into
2 custody. And I can remember some of this. I presented this data and
3 information when I was questioned. So I do remember this particular piece
4 of information. From 1988 until the end of 1991, for instance, we had
5 records for Yugoslavia as a whole. 459 attacks on members of the JNA,
6 members and JNA facilities. Of that number, 200 took place in 1991. And
7 106 of those 200 took place in Croatia. So those are the facts and
8 figures for 1991. Those are the details.
9 As to when they started, I think that the first cases were
10 recorded in August, August through September and later on.
11 Q. 1990, are you saying?
12 A. Yes, 1990.
13 Q. Fine.
14 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient moment to adjourn. Twenty
16 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, before I continue, in view
20 of the fact that it's Friday today and we're drawing close to midday,
21 could you please ask them to give me a list of witnesses for next week,
22 because it's high time I had it.
23 MR. NICE: The written list is being copied now, the letter with
24 the names is being copied now. I think he's had advance notice of all
25 those who are coming, in any event, on previous lists.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. General, is it true that on the 22nd of August, 1990, as early as
4 that, 1990, in Velikovac, a MUP patrol of Croatia intercepted a military
5 vehicle that was on assignment, a normal regular assignment, peacetime
6 assignment, and that it searched the vehicle, mistreated the officers and
7 soldiers, confiscated their weapons and so on?
8 A. Well, you have the concrete date and concrete event, I see. What
9 I know is the information that I have already told you about, the attacks
10 that started sometime in August or September. As to that particular
11 incident, I can't quite recall it now, but as I said, I did say that the
12 attacks started at about August. Whether that was the first incident or
13 second, I really can't say.
14 Q. And do you happen to remember another event on the 19th and 20th
15 of September, 1990? It took place at about 2230 hours, when the MUP
16 attacked the army vehicle, mistreated the officers, and took them into
17 custody and took them to the MUP building. Do you happen to remember
18 that? You must have had reports about that in view of the official
19 function you had.
20 A. I do know about that event, but that did not take place in Rakici.
21 It is Rakitje.
22 Q. I said Rakitje.
23 A. Well, it was translated as Rakici. Anyway, the event, I know
24 about that for certain. It involved two officers from the -- coming back
25 from the airport, back home from the airport, and they were going behind a
1 truck that did not have the MUP insignia to designate who it belonged to.
2 Before the truck turned to Rakitje, which is where the MUP had its base,
3 these two officers were intercepted and attacked, and they were taken into
4 custody to MUP because they were suspected of having followed the vehicle,
5 been following the vehicle, and then Boljkovac intervened to have them
6 released, with apologies.
7 Q. Is it true that on the 2nd of December, 1990, in the village of
8 Mikanovci, near Vinkovci, and that otherwise is a predominantly Serb
9 populated village, an attempt was made to try to liquidate members of the
10 JNA, soldiers and officers, by placing a barricade with nails on it on --
11 across the road in order to destroy the motor vehicles that passed by and
12 have them turned over and have the people in them injured or killed? Do
13 you remember that particular incident?
14 A. Well, I don't remember the village.
15 Q. It was December 1990, the village of Mikanovci by Vinkovci.
16 A. I know Vinkovci. My reports said that this took place near
17 Vinkovci, around the barracks. I don't remember the name of the village
18 but I do remember the incident, yes.
19 Q. But was the incident as I have described it?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. And in mid-July or, rather, the 17th of July, 1990 - so that was
22 early on - when the JNA security organs uncovered intimations about the
23 establishment of the illegal ZNG groups, and these were classified as
24 secret military organisations and that the state security and the MUP of
25 Croatia was actively involved in that.
1 A. I've already given you an answer to that. I said that that was
2 linked to that competition or job vacancy announcement.
3 Q. And is it true that the security service following on or -- the
4 Presidency of the SFRY uncovered and documented on the territory of
5 Croatia precisely these paramilitary forces who were undertaking to
6 prepare actions and that it engaged in disarming the paramilitaries in
8 A. This was not on assignment from the Presidency, Yugoslav state
9 Presidency, but the Secretariat for National Defence.
10 Q. Well, there's no big difference there, as far as I can see.
11 A. Well, the difference was in the fact that the Presidency, the
12 state Presidency, numbered people from the republics who precisely were
13 engaged in these secret ongoings. So the Presidency was not informed.
14 Q. Do you remember that on the 20th of August, 1990, Branislav
15 Petricevic, Secretary of National Defence in Sinj, from a contingent of
16 weapons belonging to the Territorial Defence and then purchasing these
17 from the sport company in Split, distributed weapons to members of the HDZ
18 in the field, and that these weapons, in the village of Otok, were issued
19 and handed around by the local priest? Do you remember that? I'm talking
20 about the 20th of August, 1990.
21 A. Well, I don't know the exact date, but I think that was the
22 material time, that's true. But before that, in Knin, local guards were
23 organised and set up local watches by the Serbs, because there were
24 attempts two days before that to try to disarm the police stations in
25 Obrovac and Benkovac. And this was done by the special forces of MUP from
2 Q. Now, why did the special unit of MUP from Zagreb disarm, go about
3 disarming the police force, the regular, official police force in Obrovac
4 and Benkovac?
5 A. Well, probably to see that was part of the plan that existed in
6 Croatia, as part of that plan. And that wasn't the only police station
7 where that was done. So for -- they assessed that this was for security
8 reasons, and they thought that these weapons could be distributed to the
9 Serbs otherwise. But as you just mentioned the procurement of these
10 weapons via the sport company, a work organisation in Split, the Serbs
11 later also received weapons from the sport company of Belgrade.
12 Q. Well, that sport company was in Belgrade, whereas this branch in
13 Split were their shops, their outlets. I known that Knin had an outlet of
14 the sport company as well, and it dealt with sports, the purchase of
15 hunting weapons legally. Is that correct or not?
16 A. Well, you couldn't get weapons unless you had a permit to carry
17 them, permission to do so.
18 Q. So the arming I'm asking you about was illegal, unlawful, was it
20 A. The way it was done, the quantities of weapons, objectively
21 speaking, was illegal, yes.
22 Q. Yes, of course. And is it true that two days prior to that -- I
23 was asking you about the 29th of August, so on the 18th of August --
24 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. It will take a minute or two to put
25 right. We'll wait.
1 [Technical difficulty]
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue, Mr. May? [In
3 English] Can I continue?
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. On the 18th of August, 1990, the president of the executive
7 council of the Municipal Assembly of Split, Goran Pavlov, was working on
8 the formation of paramilitary units from trusted cadres of the HDZ
9 numbering 400 men called the Croatian National Guards. By then, according
10 to information that as far as I know you had access to, he had a list of
11 officers of the JNA in Split and the surrounding garrisons that needed to
12 be liquidated. The unit for silent liquidations was headed by Marko
13 Djaja, a member of the HDZ and a caterer. Is this information correct?
14 A. I don't know the exact date but the information is correct.
15 Q. And is it true that in mid-August 1990, in the area of Kasteli,
16 near Split, again a volunteer unit was formed by the HDZ? The commander
17 was the Secretary of the National Defence in Kasteli, Kresimir Vuljak, who
18 distributed 20 automatic rifles and several hundred pistols on that
20 A. Correct. That is correct.
21 Q. And is it true that at the beginning of October 1990, activities
22 were started to intensively, illegally arm Croatia from abroad,
23 specifically from Hungary, Austria, in collaboration with Slovenia, from
24 Bulgaria, from the Brgas and Varna ports, with ships Lipa and Karolina,
25 with planes, and it was established at the time that from Czechoslovakia
1 twice electronic equipment was imported and a large number of pistols,
2 only from Czechoslovakia.
3 JUDGE MAY: This must be dealt with in a way which the witness can
5 General, can you deal with the matters which are being suggested?
6 First of all, that at the beginning of October there were activities to
7 arm Croatia illegally, it's said, from abroad, and then a number of
8 countries are given. So perhaps you would answer the first question:
9 Were there such activities, to your knowledge, or not?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there were. Only the
11 preparations for these activities occurred earlier than October. In
12 August already those preparations were under way. And the first -- the
13 large contingent of weapons was discovered on the 10th -- between the 10th
14 and 11th of October, 1991. And the data given are correct about the Lipa
15 and the Karolina ships, only this was in January 1991.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Is it also correct that from Czechoslovakia alone several thousand
18 pistols were imported, Zbrojovka? Then there was a transport from Uganda.
19 You know the name of Kikas, don't you?
20 A. Five thousand pistols were imported in two deliveries via Zagreb
21 airport, and Kikas's plane arrived sometime in July or August 1990. No,
22 I'm sorry, 1991.
23 Q. And what did that plane contain?
24 A. It contained, as far as I can remember, 620 automatic rifles, Sar,
25 a large quantity of explosives, and equipment.
1 Q. And is it true that in that period of time, the JNA, that is your
2 organs, discovered a total of nine different channels of illegal arming of
3 Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo and Metohija?
4 According to the information I have, six channels from Croatia and one
5 each for Slovenia, and Bosnia and Kosovo and Metohija; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, it is. It's correct.
7 Q. And is it true that as early as then, the separatists in Kosovo
8 and Metohija were intensively being armed via Croatia and Slovenia and in
9 the centres of Territorial Defence of Slovenia members of terrorist groups
10 of the KLA were being trained? Not only them but others as well. And a
11 prominent role in this was played in those days by the then secretary --
12 JUDGE MAY: One at a time.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. -- Janez.
15 JUDGE MAY: One at a time. Now, the first thing is the training
16 of groups, separatists from Kosovo, being armed, it's said, and trained in
17 Croatia and Slovenia. Can you assist as to that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can. Some corrections need to be
19 made to this information. The security administration discovered one
20 channel of weapons supply coming from the Kintex firm in Bulgaria towards
21 the Albanians in Kosovo. Those were pistols that were being supplied. At
22 the time, the KLA did not exist. There were illegal organisations in
23 Kosovo which had their own headquarters formed in the form of Crisis
24 Staffs, illegal Crisis Staffs for their military organisation. And a part
25 of the Albanians in Zagreb, primarily from the cultural national club
1 Skendija, according to a previous agreement reached with the leaders of
2 the HDZ, were enlisting volunteers, Albanians living in the territory of
3 Croatia. And I do not know that they went there as a compact group, but
4 they were sent there through certain people - I know the names - and the
5 information was that there were about 2.000 of them. Among them was a
6 certain number of retired or demobilised officers of the JNA of Albanian
8 I don't know that these activities took place in Slovenia. There
9 were two officers there. One of them is Maljoku Naim, who was put on
10 trial in a military tribunal. The other one's name is Demiri Fadil, who
11 was also tried by a military tribunal in 1986. They were living in
12 Ljubljana, and I know that, later on, they were in units of the KLA.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I use the expression that these were future members of KLA
15 terrorist groups that you have now confirmed. It is true that in those
16 days, the KLA as such did not exist, but these were people who later
17 cropped up again within the framework of KLA terrorist groups. Is that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you are -- you have told us even more than I mentioned, that
21 there were about 2.000 of them that were armed and trained over there.
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And is the foreign connection quite clear regarding arming of
24 Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Kosovo and Metohija? Was that
25 part of the preparations for the break-up of Yugoslavia and its
2 A. This is a very major conclusion. I can tell you only what I
3 specifically know. I know of the involvement of Hungarian state organs in
4 the delivery of weapons to Croatia in the course of 1990. And I also know
5 of the tacit position taken by the Bulgarian authorities in those days,
6 tacitly to tolerate export of weapons by the Kintex company to the
7 territory of Yugoslavia. And I recall that a high-level British foreign
8 office official had cautioned Bulgaria's diplomatic representatives in
9 London about the information they had in connection with a ship, the Lipa,
10 which was about to set sail. But it did set sail regardless of these
11 comments. So I can't say that this was an international conspiracy
12 because the British foreign office did caution the Bulgarians that the
13 weapons would go to Croatia and that this could provoke war.
14 Q. I have that piece of information.
15 A. But that would -- it would not be correct to say the whole world
16 or the whole of the West. I've given you just specific information.
17 Q. Yes, quite specifically. Is it true that it was established that
18 in that period, that is in mid-1990, $193 million [Realtime transcript
19 read in error "192"] was spent on the illegal arming of Croatia?
20 A. I don't know whether it was spent, but through all those channels,
21 that was the sum they had at their disposal, illegal funds.
22 Q. So you had information about that?
23 A. Yes, we had information about that.
24 Q. Is it true that the -- at the end of 1990 and the beginning of
25 1991, precisely during this period of illegal intensive arming through HDZ
1 and MUP channels, MUP opened up 18 new police poste, or stations, mainly
2 in areas inhabited by Serbs or in ethnically mixed environments?
3 A. Yes. Those stations were opened, and I think that the number you
4 have given is correct.
5 Q. And is it true that simultaneously they broke into internal
6 affairs secretariats where Serbs were, disarming them, seizing weapons
7 from the reserve force of Serbs, and dismissing them from work, firing
9 A. I think that this happened first and then came the formation of
10 the stations. As far as I know, this did not happen simultaneously.
11 Q. So what came first was the dismissal of work?
12 A. Yes, cleansing of staff members. But you have quite a number of
13 these questions. I don't know to what extent that is in the context of
14 what I have been saying here.
15 Q. It is in the context of the events you're testifying about,
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. NICE: I've been wondering how long to leave it: All these
19 questions are outside the scope of the examination-in-chief.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course they are.
21 MR. NICE: A large amount of them are included in the summary that
22 was provided, for the reasons I gave, ahead of the summary. Relevance may
23 be extremely limited or doubtful. I don't to be seen to be, or thought
24 even to be, a victim to what the accused might regard as favourable but
25 there should be a limit to the degree to which he can spend his
1 cross-examination time outside the scope of the material that's --
2 JUDGE MAY: I disagree. It seems to me that what happened in
3 Croatia prior to these events that we're dealing with may be relevant. We
4 deal with the arming of the Serbs. It may be that the arming of the
5 Croats is equally relevant.
6 MR. NICE: Yes. It will be a matter for the Chamber how far,
7 which is why I haven't interrupted, but the witness's observation is
8 nevertheless correct.
9 JUDGE MAY: It's true that it goes beyond his original statement
10 and evidence, but nonetheless, we allow relevant cross-examination.
11 MR. NICE: As Your Honour pleases.
12 JUDGE MAY: And in my view, this is relevant.
13 Just help me with one thing, will you, General. It was put to you
14 that the Croats had 193 million to spent on arms. I think that was the
15 question. It wasn't stated 193 million what. Can you help us with that,
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Maybe there was an
18 error in the interpretation. I know of the figure of $192 million. Now,
19 whether all of that money was spent on that, I don't know. I know that a
20 certain sum that was paid to the Croats for the weapons, because the
21 channel along which it was imported was cut and that this money stayed
22 behind in Hungary and then it was paid back to Croatia.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I mentioned the figure of 192 million. Maybe there was an error
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 on the LiveNote and it appeared as 193 million, but I don't think the
2 difference is significant.
3 Is it true that in the Knin-Krajina, then, that is in mid-1990, a
4 large number of armed extremists were threatening the Serbs who were
5 scared and who started to arm themselves to defend themselves and protect
6 their very existence?
7 A. According to the information we had at the time, there was
8 uncontrolled use of weapons that had been distributed. The weapons were
9 distributed or, rather, the first contingent of automatic weapons imported
10 from Hungary arrived in the warehouse at Mostine near Split, and it was
11 then distributed mostly in places around Krajina. And they were
12 discovered because they were used in an uncontrolled manner, and that is
13 how it was known that there were armed Croats. I cannot deny that the
14 Serbs also then, out of fear, started to get hold of hunting weapons that
15 I mentioned. But I don't think that this was just an individual activity,
16 but I think that there was some organised activity behind it, that is, to
17 organise themselves for the defence should they be attacked. And I said I
18 don't pretend that we had all the information available, but in those days
19 we were monitoring the arming of Serbs, and according to that information,
20 there were about 1.300 pieces.
21 It is true that they returned the weapons after the Presidency
22 issued an order in January 1991, on the 9th of January, and that they
23 returned most of those weapons and removed the barricades. And since I'm
24 talking about that period, it is a fact that the Croats did not return the
1 If I'm speaking too lengthily, I can interrupt it.
2 Up until the 19th of January, when the deadline expired for
3 general disarmament in Croatia, the Croats returned 147 rifles out of
4 which only 11 were Kalashnikovs from Hungary. The rest of the rifles were
5 hunting and trophy rifles. That's all I know about that.
6 Q. Let's go back to what you said just now. You were saying that,
7 via Split, weapons came in for the Croatian extremists in the territory
8 around Serb settlements, especially in Krajina. And as you said here,
9 they irresponsibly used these weapons. Otherwise, the word that we use is
10 Senluk, when people are just shooting for the hell of it; you show that
11 you're armed.
12 Was this justified, then, the fear of the Serb population there,
13 when they saw that people were being armed around them, that they were
14 shooting in this area, and was it justified that they --
15 JUDGE MAY: That is a matter which it may be the Trial Chamber is
16 going to have to decide, whether anybody was acting in self-defence or
17 not. It's not a matter for the witness.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, it is for this witness to
19 say what came before what. Was it the arming that took place first?
20 JUDGE MAY: But drawing the conclusions from that is a matter for
21 us, not for him.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. General, is this the -- is this what happened first: When the
24 Croats started arming themselves and when they started shooting for the
25 hell of it, this Senluk that I referred to, and was it only then that the
1 Serbs made an effort to procure weapons for themselves? Did the first
2 precede the second?
3 A. It is quite difficult for me to give a definite answer now, but
4 what I do know definitely is that the first major organised supply of
5 automatic weapons came in for the Croats and was distributed among the
6 Croats from the supply that came from Hungary.
7 In terms of timing, I think that these weapons that were obtained
8 from the work organisation Sport, from Belgrade, came after that period.
9 Q. Thank you very much. Let's save time and let's move on. That's
10 what I wanted to have established.
11 Do you know that at the same time illegal arming took place when,
12 after this import of weapons from Hungary - this was on the 11th of
13 October, as you said - the first quantity arrived in Mostine, the
14 warehouse of Mostine, with MGV automatic rifles on the 22nd of October
15 from the Slovenian company Gorenje, and that a certain Djaja took over
16 these weapons, who took over part of the weapons and also equipment for
17 diversions and sabotages. You had information about that, didn't you?
18 A. I know about a certain quantity of MGVs from Maribor, and this
19 piece of information is correct about taking over part of the arms and
20 equipment, actually that Djaja did that.
21 Q. Is it correct that the session of the Presidency of the SFRY for
22 which information was provided and it is proof of illegal arming in
23 Croatia, and this information came from your service or, rather, from the
24 Federal Secretariat for National Defence, the session was not held then
25 because Vasil Tupurkovski was absent. However, Mesic took this piece of
1 information to Croatia where they were shocked about the fact that the JNA
2 knew about this.
3 A. Yes, that is known. However, this is a situation when the then
4 president, Borisav Jovic, presided over the Presidency, this piece of
5 information, because it was very confidential, was not distributed before
6 the session, but during the session itself Mr. Jovic did give this piece
7 of information to the members of the Presidency, but then he did not
8 discuss this as a separate item on the agenda.
9 Then the next regular session of the Presidency was supposed to be
10 held only on the 9th of January. The effects of that could have been
11 disastrous. The man who was working on discovering this channel was in
13 But there's another interesting aspect to all of this. When they
14 received this information, and I think that they got it the same evening
15 through Mr. Mesic who went to Zagreb the same evening, then they tried to
16 withdraw the weapons that they had distributed through the HDZ. However,
17 since nobody wanted to return the weapons, we in the security
18 administration said that they actually carried out a manoeuvre with these
19 weapons. They printed over 50.000 IDs for the reserve force of the MUP
20 and then distributed these IDs to members of the HDZ so that they could
21 justify the fact that they had weapons in their possession.
22 I feel it is my duty to say that, later on, the federal MUP
23 carried out their own checks and investigations and realised that many
24 improper things had been going on, and the Federal Secretary of the
25 Interior, Mr. Gracanin, had been informed about this. However, this
1 information was not made public.
2 Q. So the consequence of this discovery, namely that there was
3 illegal arming, was the fictitious legalisation that took place. I have
4 the information here that 54.000 IDs were printed of the reserve police
5 force for Croatia, and that is correct, isn't it?
6 A. I said 50.000, but possibly it is 54.000. But I said 50.000.
7 Q. However, that was the way in which weapons were not returned, but
8 they remained in their hands?
9 A. Not only that. That is how the fact was concealed that through
10 the HDZ a paramilitary arming was being founded.
11 Q. Is that undeniable, that through the HDZ a paramilitary army was
12 being formed?
13 A. Yes, that is undeniable.
14 Q. And when the Presidency passed a decision to disarm all
15 paramilitary formations, the Croatian formations returned only 157 pieces,
16 and out of them, only 11 Kalashnikovs.
17 A. I said only -- I said 147.
18 Q. All right. But all of it was just old iron except for the 11
19 Kalashnikovs; right?
20 A. Yes. But Mr. Mesic said in the Presidency that the deadline for
21 returning weapons should be extended for another 48 hours. That was on
22 the 19th of January. On the same evening, we received information which
23 was checked out, documented, and it was on television, that Minister
24 Spegelj passed a decision to the effect that weapons would not be
25 returned. Rather, the entire force should be placed on a state of alert
1 and military facilities should be blocked. Specifically what I know,
2 because I was then in Virovitica, it was the barracks in Virovitica that
3 was blocked. The soldiers who tried to go for medical check-ups to Zagreb
4 were arrested by these armed civilians around the barracks, and it is only
5 after that that tensions went down at the intervention of the Presidency
6 and the federal authorities, because after that, the army had also raised
7 its own state of alert.
8 That is what I know about this particular event.
9 Q. So this increase in tensions is only a consequence of the fact
10 that decisions of the Presidency were not carried out, the fact that
11 weapons were retained, weapons were not returned, weapons that the
12 paramilitary formations used for their own armament.
13 A. I cannot draw any conclusions. I'm just presenting the facts.
14 Q. You mentioned that Serbs who had bought some -- some hunting
15 rifles and pistols through the Sport work organisation had returned their
16 weapons; is that right?
17 A. I said that they returned them in part. However, Serbs had some
18 automatic weapons. Because Mr. Martic, already I think on the 18th or
19 19th of August, 1990, when the MUP tried to break into the police stations
20 in Obrovac and Benkovac, distributed the weapons of the reserve force of
21 the MUP to the reserve force of the MUP and probably to others who
22 volunteered. So as far as I know, it was about 100 automatic rifles and
23 machine-guns, I'm not aware of the exact figures, but they also had a
24 certain quantity of automatic weapons.
25 Q. All right. But when the Presidency issued an order to disarm, the
1 Serbs returned their weapons and the Croat side did not.
2 A. I know that all the automatic rifles were returned but not all the
3 hunting guns.
4 Q. I'm not asking about the hunting guns. And do you remember that
5 Mesic had requested for delaying the deadline for another 48 hours because
6 they had been warned that the army would react if they did not comply with
7 the decision of the Presidency?
8 A. I already said that.
9 Q. And is it correct that instead of returning weapons, they carried
10 out mobilisation then?
11 A. I said that as well.
12 Q. So it is correct?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. Is it correct that the Serbs were convinced - I mean they returned
15 their weapons - that the Croats would return their weapons too and that
16 the decision of the Presidency would be complied with?
17 A. I don't know what they were convinced of, but I know that they
18 accepted this order.
19 Q. Is it true that then on the basis of what was known and on the
20 basis of all the checks that were made as to whether everything had been
21 returned, that at that time in the Knin Krajina there were very few
22 weapons, a bit over a hundred rifles and three machine-guns? Is that
23 correct? Because the Serbs were convinced that everybody would return
24 their weapons and that's why they returned theirs too.
25 A. This refers to the automatic weapons of the police station that
1 was returned, and I already said that.
2 Q. Yes. So can we say that in accordance with the decision of the
3 Presidency, the Serbs returned their weapons? According to the Vance
4 Plan, Serbs returned their weapons again, so two times they returned their
5 weapons. And here, when Kirudja was a witness, we established that it was
6 only after the attack on Maslenica in January 1993 that they took weapons
7 again because UNPROFOR did not protect them. So two times they returned
8 weapons, and is that what you know?
9 JUDGE MAY: This witness doesn't know what any other witness said.
10 It's no good asking about that.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Do you know that they returned weapons the other time, when
13 UNPROFOR came?
14 A. What I know is that these weapons were put under international
15 control. They were stored and put under international control. As for
16 these other comments, I cannot deal with that. So I have given these
17 facts and figures, and there is no need for me to repeat them.
18 Q. All right. Do you remember, for example, that the Serbs in
19 Krajina, then, would sell a cow, for instance, to buy a rifle because they
20 felt threatened?
21 A. There were such cases. Two cows had to be sold for one rifle.
22 Q. Is it correct -- you mentioned this ship Lipa. This is the 31st
23 of December, 1990. Seventy tonnes of weapons came in through Varna in
24 eight containers. That's how they were delivered.
25 A. I remember the figure of eight containers. I do not remember the
1 weight in tonnes. I remember the company that was involved in the
2 transport. It was called Zagrebtrans.
3 Q. Do you remember that all of this was declared as whisky and
4 cigarettes that were being transferred to the island of Krk? And
5 according to the customs declaration, the ship was supposed to sail to the
6 port of Bizerta [phoen]?
7 A. Yes, this is the operative information that we had.
8 Q. Is it correct that the then president of Croatia, Tudjman, after
9 the film about Spegelj and the illegal armament was televised, firmly
10 promised the Presidency of the SFRY that all paramilitary formations would
11 be disarmed and that the perpetrators would be punished?
12 A. At that time, I was in Zagreb, and that is what I was told by the
13 security administration.
14 Q. But that is not what was actually done.
15 A. I think that on the 26th of January, he made a statement similar
16 to what you said just now. He made a public statement. However, as far
17 as I know, a day later he went to Austria for consultations, and after
18 that when he returned, he changed his decision. He said that the HDZ was
19 not being armed, rather, it was the MUP of Croatia that was being armed,
20 that Croatia was entitled to that, and that the Yugo army would not be in
21 a position to arrest Croatian citizens. And then the district attorney,
22 the district prosecutor in Bjelovar initiated criminal proceedings against
23 me because of the allegedly unauthorised arrest of civilians in Croatia,
24 and that is when I became a wanted man.
25 Q. And who did Tudjman meet with in Austria?
1 A. I can't remember. Somebody from the top Austrian leadership.
2 Q. And is it true that after this promise was made and then when he
3 changed his position after receiving instructions in Austria, Zarko
4 Domljan, a high official of the HDZ, I think he was even president of the
5 Croatian parliament for a while, at the session of this Central Committee
6 of the HDZ in Zagreb, he said that the attempt to disarm Croatia was the
7 last blow to the independence of Croatia.
8 A. I remember that. He's not the only one who said that. After this
9 campaign, after the 27th of January, this was a widespread campaign, and
10 that is the way it was carried out, in that spirit.
11 Q. And do you happen to remember that at the time there was talk
12 about intensifying links with Slovenia, for example, as well as
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the leaders of Kosovo Albanians in
14 order to exert pressure on the Serbs and pressure to break up Yugoslavia?
15 Do you remember that?
16 A. That took place before the matters we're discussing now, and I
17 know that there were contacts with Mr. Rugova, for example, and I also
18 know about the contacts between Spegelj and Fikret Abdic. And after
19 importing weapons from Hungary, he offered a certain quantity of weaponry
20 in order to arm the Muslims over there. And also, he was in contact with
21 Rugova with respect to Kosovo.
22 Q. And is it true that Marko Nobilo, Tudjman's advisor, after the
23 film on Spegelj was shown on the 31st of January, said that the Croatian
24 leadership had finally come to realise that Croatia had no prospects for
25 the future within the SFRY and that that is why Tudjman had many contacts
1 with Western representatives who gave him support for secession? Do you
2 remember that?
3 A. Well, there were operative data along those lines.
4 Q. Now, as you are the best placed person to answer my next question,
5 let me first of all start off by saying that we had here, sitting in the
6 seat you're sitting in now, people who challenged the Spegelj film.
7 JUDGE MAY: I've told you before that there's no point putting to
8 this witness what other witnesses said. What he can give is his own
9 evidence. Now, I've no doubt you're going to invite him to comment on
10 what other witnesses have said. That is not a proper question.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Fine. Then I'll ask him
12 directly and ask him what he knows.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Was the film about Spegelj fabricated? Was it a false film, a
15 falsified film, a forgery, or was it authentic and correct?
16 A. All the material shown in the film, and I'm now talking about the
17 material that was secretly filmed by the military security service, and I
18 state categorically that they are absolutely authentic.
19 Now, in uncovering the illegal importation of weapons, 19 and a
20 half hours of television footage, secret footage, was recorded, was
21 filmed, and a very small portion was incorporated into that particular
22 film and there was about 120 hours of phonic recording, voice, audio
23 recording. So I state that the material is authentic, the film is
24 authentic, judging by the material it showed. As to the way it was
25 mounted and where the public statements were taken from and how these were
1 placed parallelly or mounted, montage was made with the filming, it wasn't
2 that lies were mounted, but it was based on the truth. That is what I
3 know about. The editing was done in that way.
4 And there were different statements from January 1991 when the
5 film first saw the light of day, about Spegelj who, at the time,
6 completely denied the authenticity of anything that was shown and
7 everything that was shown. And then the third man that took part in the
8 programme, Perisic was his name from the Croatian MUP, he gave an
9 assessment and he said that according to his knowledge, to the best of his
10 knowledge, the material that was shown was indeed authentic.
11 So from this categoric denial in the month of January, later on
12 Minister Spegelj acknowledged that he was not fully aware and had allowed
13 this man to take the films he took. He was not cautious enough.
14 And as to the film The Death of Yugoslavia, I think Perica Juric
15 commented on that and commented on that film.
16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. I want to clarify the answer, if the
17 general would.
18 You're saying that the footage in the film is authentic. You can
19 say that because it comes from the military security service. But what I
20 didn't quite follow was what you were saying about the editing. You said
21 something to the effect as to where it was mounted and where the public
22 statements were taken from, and you made some comment about that which I
23 don't follow.
24 Now, it may be that you didn't wish to comment on the editing, but
25 if you do, could you clarify what you meant when talking about as to the
1 way it was mounted.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. Well, perhaps I
3 gave an incomplete answer here because of the time constraints. I didn't
4 want to take away the accused's time. Let me repeat.
5 The material that was shown in the film as secret filming done by
6 the security organs are absolutely authentic, and I took part directly in
7 the operations of having this secretly filmed, in the secret filming.
8 Which means that I didn't get it from any other security organ, I
9 organised these operations directly and took part in that secret filming.
10 And this raw material I personally took to Belgrade to the Federal
11 Secretary for National Defence. And that material, once again, I returned
12 -- after it was shown and seen, I returned it to me in Zagreb. And
13 nobody could fabricate it or rig it in any way.
14 So that is the first point as to the authenticity of the material.
15 I say that I am responsible for the authenticity of the material. The
16 material was kept and stored in the security service if some harm hasn't
17 come to them now.
18 Now, I spoke about the montage of the film and how it was edited
19 and mounted. The editing of the film, or montage, is a professional term
20 used when a film is actually made and it consists of different sequences.
21 And when you direct a film, you have to decide upon the sequence and -- of
22 the elements that you're going to play and show in order to show
23 something. The term "editing" in the technical sense of the word means
24 combining, compiling what was publicly stated at meetings in the Croatian
25 parliament or statements made over Croatian television and things of that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 sort by individual top leaders from Franjo Tudjman via Spegelj and others.
2 So they made statements. They said, "We did not arm the HDZ," for
3 example. And then they would play parts of the secret filming, the secret
4 footing where Spegelj actually speaks and says that the HDZ was indeed
5 being armed. And then Minister Boljkovac cautions him, warns him and said
6 this should not have gone through the HDZ but that everything should have
7 come under the MUP. And then you would have another sequence played from
8 another public statement that had been made, for example, and then once
9 again, the secret footage would be played, what these people were actually
10 saying tete-a-tete, when they were sitting alone together.
11 So it wasn't montage and editing in the sense of producing
12 something that was untrue; it was the way in which these sequences were
13 made and confronting the public statements of these individuals with what
14 they were doing in private, secretly. I don't know if that makes it
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
17 Yes. Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Well, let's make this question simple, General, simplify matters.
20 You yourself said you didn't get this secondhand but that you organised it
21 all yourself personally in the official capacity you occupied, and as you
22 saw the film that was shown to the public, publicly, was that film
23 completely true and truthful?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. Thank you. Is it true and correct that Spegelj, on the occasion,
1 said, "Our absolute concept is to have all the officers killed, if
2 necessary on their thresholds, because for an open conflict with the JNA,
3 we still do not have enough power and strength to do so," that that was
4 the gist and the approach that they had at that particular time?
5 A. Well, I can't confirm whether those are the exact words he
7 Q. Well, let's allow that it was a paraphrase.
8 A. That's what I wanted to say.
9 Q. You needn't read it as an exact quotation.
10 A. I know that he organised preparations for the officers through
11 whom I obtained that information, who were Croats, by the way, and that
12 they should prevent officers, when the sound -- the alarm is sounded, that
13 they would be able to get to the barracks, that they should be liquidated
14 on their own doorsteps.
15 And as to the cautions and warnings of officers of how people --
16 how they expected people to be killed in front of their own homes, he said
17 that nothing should be asked, no questions should be asked, that
18 everything should be cut down -- and I'm now saying the exact words. He
19 used the verb "sisati," that no questions should be asked whether they
20 were men or women, everyone must be cut down, mowed down. So those were
21 the exact words.
22 The second part is this: Of the less senior officers who were
23 arrested, one of them was brought to trial, the NCOs, and they endeavoured
24 to form a group who would, in the barracks when he gave the signal,
25 liquidate the officer on duty, the duty officer in the barracks, disarm
1 the guards and lock up, he said, all Serbs in the cellars. Lock all the
2 Serbs up in the cellars. Give them a glass of water to -- as for the
3 Albanians and Muslims, give them five bullets each and let them go home,
4 those of them who wished to go home. And the second NCO, who was also
5 brought to trial, he prepared him to disarm the border huts, the frontier
6 huts that they worked in and to take the weapons and distribute them to
7 the Croatians in the surrounding villages.
8 So this -- these were film -- this was footage that we first got
9 -- we first got the audio tape. And they were taken on the 14th of
10 October 1990, the audio recordings, and Minister Boljkovac was present.
11 And they moved around in his car, they drove in his car. And then I was
12 given the task of taking television footage after the audio recordings.
13 And that's when most of the material was taken and most of the filming
15 For purposes of having the whole truth come out, it is my duty to
16 state the following: Already on the 22nd or the 23rd of October, 1990,
17 those first original television films were seen also by Mr. Jovic in
18 General Kadijevic's cabinet or offices. So he was informed already in the
19 second half of October. He was shown that footage and the material.
20 Not to be too lengthy, but let me say that I had occasion when I
21 met Mr. Jovic to ask him why Spegelj had not been arrested, because I was
22 later blamed for the fact that he had not been arrested. In fact, this
23 was a decision taken by the Presidency itself, that the proceedings
24 against Spegelj would follow regular legal court procedure. That is to
25 say that he would be invited, summoned, he would be -- he would respond.
1 If he did not respond, then a warrant would be put out for his arrest.
2 And when I asked Mr. Jovic why Spegelj had not in fact been arrested, his
3 answer was, "Well, what would have changed had we arrested him?" So that
4 was his answer. "How would that have changed things?"
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Well, how, then, do you explain, please, tell me this, because
7 quite obviously there's some very interesting events and details coming
8 out here now: If you had at your disposal what the Federal Secretary
9 Kadijevic had at his disposal, and the president of the Yugoslav state
10 Presidency Jovic, if they already had that material in October, how is it
11 then possible that the problem about disarmament and information
12 explaining and expounding the proposal to disarm these formations should
13 come up before the Presidency only in December, as late as December?
14 Because that was two months later.
15 A. Well, it's one thing to have initial data and information, and
16 it's quite another thing to have dealt with the problem in its entirety.
17 So parallel armament did not take place only in the Virovitica and
18 Podravina regions. I presented information about the distribution of
19 weapons via the warehouses in Mostine, for example.
20 In order to arrest somebody, to arrest those who were responsible
21 for that, what was provided for was -- that is to say, almost 40 people
22 were involved and their arrest. From the Vujak that you mentioned, this
23 man Vujak, via other people, the president of the executive council of the
24 Split municipality, for example, and this whole operation was being
25 prepared for the 3rd and 4th of December, 1990, between the 3rd and 4th of
1 December, 1990. And then it was put off.
2 Q. Well, why didn't you arrest them all?
3 A. You can ask Mr. Jovic that, not me.
4 Q. Well, was it Jovic's business and duty to order the arrest of
5 these presidents of the executive councils or whatever? What was that
6 man's name, the man you mentioned or the man I mentioned? I can't
7 remember. You've just said I mentioned his name. Was that the duty of
8 the president of the Yugoslav state Presidency or the security organs who
9 establish -- who have established that people were being armed illegally,
10 that weapons were being brought in and that the integrity of the country,
11 the constitutional order of the country was being jeopardised? To
12 implement the law, do you need a Yugoslav state Presidency president
14 A. Well, in this case, yes.
15 Q. I must say I don't follow you there. I don't understand why.
16 All right. Tell me, as you've just mentioned -- or, rather, let's
17 go a step back. We have observed, and I think I've noted this down, so
18 far in the meantime, having moved on from the generalities, I asked you
19 about 60 questions and you gave affirmative answers to practically all of
20 them, and that other side over there reacted, they said did they have
21 direct links.
22 Now, if we bear in mind everything that was happening over there,
23 we mentioned Glavas and the detachments for silent liquidation, the
24 killings of Serbs, shooting in Kninska Krajina, the arming that took place
25 before the Serbs had armed themselves, the fact that they were in
1 jeopardy, their lives were under threat and all the other things that took
2 place, is it quite clear that it was an armed, violent secession on the
3 part of Croatia seceding from Yugoslavia, contrary to the constitution?
4 It was armed, it was violent, it was an armed, violent act of secession
5 and it was being prepared --
6 JUDGE MAY: I think this is a matter which the Trial Chamber may
7 ultimately have to determine. It sounds like a mixed matter of fact and
8 law. What you can do is to ask the witness what he understood of the
9 situation, what did the situation that he was dealing with appear like to
10 him. You can ask him that, if you want.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, if I'm asking a general,
12 General Aleksandar Vasiljevic, then I expect an answer conveying his
13 position, nobody else's.
14 JUDGE MAY: I told you it was not a proper question. It was a
15 matter of fact and law for the Trial Chamber to determine. Let's move on
16 to something else.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. General, was this for you as a JNA general an obvious armed
19 secession on the part of Croatia from Yugoslavia and an attack on
20 Yugoslavia and its institutions?
21 JUDGE MAY: No. I've ruled against you.
22 General, you can deal with it in this way: From your own
23 experience and your own knowledge, how did the JNA react to this
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I say first that all the persons
1 who were arrested and put on trial before the military Tribunal in Zagreb
2 in the first half of 1991 were found guilty of the criminal act of armed
3 rebellion, according to the constitutional order in force at the time.
4 That's one thing.
5 And according to the impression that I had - and that is why I did
6 the job I did, risking a great deal as did the other people working on it
7 - we felt that preparations were under way for a violent secession of
8 Croatia from Yugoslavia. And there were many indicators. Not only those
9 that were shown here, but also when the conflict broke out in Slovenia,
10 when Tudjman called Alija Izetbegovic to call on all Bosniak soldiers and
11 officers to abandon the JNA, his aim was for the armed conflict which had
12 been under preparation against the JNA in Croatia to be -- to spread to
13 Bosnia and Macedonia. And we called this in the army as the opening of
14 the southern front. And two of his advisors were sent, one to Sarajevo
15 and another to Skopje. If necessary, I can give you the names of these
17 We were convinced that we could successfully defend Yugoslavia if
18 all these formations were disarmed, regardless of the ethnicity of the
19 people carrying those weapons.
20 However, at a meeting of the Presidency held in March, such a
21 decision was not supported. And this was followed, first of all, by
22 attacks on the JNA, and I am aware of official correspondence from the MUP
23 of Croatia that, in future, the JNA should no longer be referred to as the
24 Yugoslav People's Army but as the "occupying army."
25 And as this is a good opportunity, let me inform you of the
1 following: Out of more than 2.700 arrested members of the JNA in Croatia,
2 85 per cent were captured in their barracks, 15 per cent in their
3 apartments, and almost no one in open spaces or in conflict. The policy
4 was, as they said, that the army should remain in the barracks. Those
5 barracks were blocked, and people were killed inside them.
6 In Bjelovar, my security officer was killed, Captain Jovanovic,
7 who also worked on the discovery of channels for the delivery of weapons.
8 He and his commander, Colonel Kovacevic, and Lieutenant Colonel Vasic, the
9 assistant for morale, they were stripped to the waist and liquidated in
10 front of a line-up of soldiers. I have TV footage about that.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. It may not seem very important just now, but it could prove to be
14 important later on. Let me ask you one more thing, which doesn't appear
15 to be very significant.
16 Do you remember that there were certain excuses given regarding
17 the illegal purchase of weapons to the effect that the SSNO did not allow
18 -- that is, the Federal Defence Ministry, did not allow the MUP of
19 Croatia to purchase weapons in our own domestic factory, that is the
20 Crvena Zastava factory. My question is, is it true that the Federal
21 Ministry of Defence did not refuse to allow the MUP of Croatia to purchase
22 weapons from Crvena Zastava as requested, as claimed by Spegelj, but that
23 Spegelj, on the 5th of October in Hungary contracted purchase of weapons
24 before he had received an answer from the federal secretariat about
25 purchase from Crvena Zastava and that the federal ministry did not veto
1 the Croatian request but responded that it should be selective, that a
2 certain amount could be purchased straight away and another contingent
3 would be manufactured next year because the federal secretariat, in those
4 days, believed that these were regular supplies for the police, renewal of
5 the weaponry, et cetera? So even that excuse was not truthful.
6 A. It is true that the response sent to Croatia arrived in due time,
7 that is, within the fixed one-month period envisaged. And the reply
8 contained what you said. It was addressed on the 10th of October.
9 According to documents we had, Spegelj, five days before that,
10 that is on the 5th of October, he was already in Hungary with Zdravko
11 Mrksic, who was then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia.
12 Q. And is it true that as soon as Spegelj took over his duty as a
13 minister, was radical in his demands for attacking barracks, disarming of
14 the army, liquidating officers and their families, breaking in with
15 sabotage groups into military facilities to liquidate guards and security
16 officers, and that even Tudjman did not agree to this and he complained of
17 Tudjman's hesitation?
18 A. Yes, that is true, and he wrote that in his book Memories of a
20 Q. You mentioned he offered weapons to Fikret Abdic, of whom he said
21 that he was petrified and refused it, because -- I think this to be
22 probable, because Abdic was not the kind of man who was prone to any kind
23 of bloodshed. Then he offered weapons to Rugova. He asked that the
24 Albanians in Kosovo start an armed rebellion straight away, and so on.
25 Did you have information about all this?
1 A. Yes. I've already testified about that.
2 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient moment. We will adjourn
3 now. It's the time. We'll adjourn for 20 minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE: I've spoken to the witness on --
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session right now.
9 [Open session]
10 MR. NICE: Could we have private session, please.
11 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE MAY: I'm just going to deal with one other administrative
14 matter it may be convenient to deal with now before we continue the
16 I referred earlier this week to the application to admit the 64
17 statements under Rule 92 bis, and we have been thinking of the most
18 convenient way of dealing with this by way of argument, and we propose to
19 deal first with those statements to which the amici have made observations
20 which put them in a different category really from the others, and those
21 are B-1732, C-1201, C-1231, C-1150, C-1090. We will find a time next week
22 convenient to hear some argument upon those particular statements and then
23 we'll deal with the others probably portion by portion. It may be
24 convenient - I don't know what anybody thinks about this - to deal with
25 them by way of location. Perhaps this is not the right moment to discuss
2 MR. NICE: Can I -- thank you for that. Can I confirm that the
3 queries you raised about witnesses whose material have not be disclosed
4 can be answered shortly; it now has all been disclosed.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
6 MR. KAY: If it cannot be Monday, because Monday is a day I
7 can't --
8 JUDGE MAY: We will avoid Monday. We will be continuing the
9 cross-examination of this witness.
10 MR. KAY: Good. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
12 General, sorry to have detained you for that.
13 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, if you'd like to go on.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. General, you mentioned a session of the Presidency of the SFRY
16 held in March 1991. Do you remember that a proposal was made there to
17 introduce measures of emergency precisely because of what you said,
18 namely, Croatia's non-compliance with regard to weapons and the disbanding
19 of paramilitary formations; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember that then at the session of the Presidency the
22 vote was 4 to 3 in favour of adopting emergency measures, but they were
23 not adopted only because Drnovsek was not present at the session. Do you
24 remember that?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Is it correct that the arming of Serbs in Croatia actually
2 intensified only after that session of the Presidency of Yugoslavia? That
3 was the 12th of March, 1991, when the proposal of the Federal Secretariat
4 for National Defence to introduce emergency measures was reduced and also
5 when the decision of the Presidency to disband paramilitary units in the
6 SFRY did not come through?
7 A. I have no specific knowledge as to the extent of arming. I cannot
8 give reliable figures on that. But by way of a general conclusion, it is
9 right that after that, they started organising themselves, that roadblocks
10 were set up once again.
11 Q. After these attempts failed to disarm those who were threatening
13 A. Yes. After the March session.
14 Q. All right. Is it true that Tudjman then talked with Izetbegovic
15 in order to open a corridor so that deserters could pass unhindered,
16 primarily deserters from the JNA, and in order to reach concrete
17 agreement, he sent his representatives to Bosnia-Herzegovina and also met
18 with Rugova; is that right?
19 A. I only know about the fact that he sent his representatives to
20 Macedonia and Sarajevo. This was primarily for the sake of coordination
21 of activities that were to be carried out in these two republics.
22 According to a similar recipe, they were supposed to be engaged in this
23 same process of secession.
24 Q. All right. Can one then state that this was their mutual
25 agreement on mutual military cooperation for the purposes of secession?
1 A. This was Tudjman's endeavour, to reach this kind of agreement, but
2 I think in Macedonia this process had not started, inter alia, because we
3 managed to have the cooperation of the Ministry of the Interior of
4 Macedonia who recognised the jurisdiction of the federal MUP. This
5 process had been delayed for a while in Bosnia-Herzegovina also because of
6 the cooperation of the then Minister of the Interior, Alija Delimustafic.
7 However, later on, from March onwards, this process would move in a
8 different direction because the Patriotic League of Peoples, as a
9 paramilitary formation of the Party of Democratic Action, the SDA, had
10 already started taking actions of their own.
11 Q. The Party of Democratic Action is Izetbegovic's party; right? And
12 this Patriotic League of Peoples worked as a terrorist organisation
13 practically, isn't that right?
14 A. I could not use that word, "terrorist." I think that the right
15 word is "paramilitary organisation," which had in its plans some such
16 activities as well.
17 Q. When you say "such," you mean terrorist?
18 A. I mean special units, diversionary units that were established for
19 such activities. Their use had to be verified by the military Crisis
20 Staff of the Patriotic League in Sarajevo.
21 Q. Is it correct, do you remember the particular piece of information
22 that there were four or five diversion sabotage groups that in the period
23 from 1991 until the beginning of January 1992 were discovered? Is that
25 A. Yes. In the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I remember the most
1 characteristic part when an attempt was made to blow up a military train
2 at the railway station in Brcko.
3 Q. Oh, in Brcko. And this group in the territory of Brcko, where had
4 it been brought in from? Is it true that it was brought in from Croatia
5 precisely to carry out this attack against military facilities at the
6 railway station in Brcko?
7 A. Yes. They were caught at the bridge on the Sava River.
8 Q. All right. Is it correct that another group was in the territory
9 of Vojvodina and that it was also brought in from Croatia and that it
10 consisted of 17 members and that they then tried to get into the military
11 barracks in Sombor?
12 A. That is correct, but this happened later, when broader operations
13 started in Croatia.
14 Q. Is it correct that a third group was caught, those who were trying
15 to blow up the bridge between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina at Scepan
17 A. This group was not captured. Information was revealed about that.
18 This was given to the Ministry of Interior of Montenegro and to
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is why reinforced security was requested for
20 that particular bridge.
21 Q. Is it correct that two brothers, members of the diversionary group
22 caught in Bosanski Samac when they were transporting weapons and equipment
23 for 100 men in Listica? Is that correct? Did that happen?
24 A. That is correct. These are the Kovac brothers, but this is not a
25 diversionary group. The two of them did carry out illegal transports of
1 complete equipment for 100 men. They were captured in Bosanski Samac, I
2 think, or in Bosanski Brod, at those checkpoints that were shared by the
3 MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the JNA.
4 Q. At that time, one can put it this way, there was cooperation
5 between the JNA and the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina in order to prevent
6 illegal weapons flows; is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it correct that in the same period several channels and groups
9 were discovered that were trying to import weapons into Croatia from all
10 over the world? And do you know who the immediate perpetrators of illegal
11 arms imports were? In addition to Hungary, arms were imported from Italy
12 and Great Britain as well.
13 A. The security administration worked on something which was called
14 -- the code name was Kanal, "channel." This operatively covered a large
15 contingent of weapons in the port of Constanza in Romania. These were
16 weapons that had belonged to the PLO while Ceaucescu was in power. And it
17 is correct that emissaries from Croatia tried to import those weapons.
18 This is the period from the 6th of August onwards. Actually, 6th of
19 August, 1991. That's when I became aware of this.
20 And then through these operative positions, an effort was made for
21 them not to take land routes, because later on, objectively, the border
22 with Hungary was not under JNA control. The following combination was
23 made; that the weapons had to be transported by ship for security reasons,
24 and then two shiploads of weapons -- and I know that in one there were
25 over 50.000 Kalashnikovs, but then there were also heavier weapons, like
1 artillery guns and artillery pieces. This import was being delayed in
2 order to find a forwarder. So then the weapons were unloaded, probably
3 because of this risk of war, and somebody had to pay for the insurance, et
4 cetera, et cetera. So to make a long story short, these were two
5 shiploads from Constanza, and while I was in active service, these ships
6 actually never left Constanza going to Croatia, and the weapons didn't
7 either. However, the money had been paid.
8 Q. Did you know anything about the import of weapons from Italy and
9 Great Britain?
10 A. I know for sure about weapons from Italy, and I was in contact
11 with the head of the Italian intelligence service, General Ramponni in
12 Belgrade. We gave information about that channel, and in Genoa, after
13 that, the Italian police arrested five Croat arms traders.
14 Q. You don't know anything about Great Britain?
15 A. I can't remember. I told you about Great Britain, that the
16 British foreign office reacted to information about the ship of Lipa, and
17 they cautioned the Bulgarian embassy in London that it would not be good
18 for peace in the territory of Yugoslavia for these weapons to be found in
19 that area. So that is the piece of information that I am aware of.
20 Q. Is it correct that on the 5th of May, 1991, Tudjman had a meeting
21 in Trogir with the top people of the HDZ and with the authorities from the
22 Dalmatian municipalities where he presented the following assessment; that
23 the JNA was jeopardising Croatian democracy, that something should have
24 been done earlier but it wasn't too late even then but that there should
25 be a protest rally in front of the building of the naval district and also
1 in Split and that at least 5.000 people should be engaged in blocking the
2 JNA in the naval district and that is the only way in which the JNA could
3 be compelled to act differently. Did you have this information?
4 A. We did. I am not aware of this figure that he mentioned, this
5 figure of 5.000 people. Actually, he was answering questions there as to
6 why the Croatian leadership did not do anything in order to discipline the
7 JNA. That's the way they had put it. And he said quite literally, "Don't
8 ask me to do that. Get together. Go out tomorrow and block the command
9 headquarters of the military naval district and do it that way." And then
10 he also said through the independent trade unions in Split - and Jure
11 Sundov was their president, I believe - a big rally was organised, the
12 command headquarters was blocked, actually, and that is when an armed
13 attack took place against the command, and the military police that was
14 providing security there in an armoured transporter, that is when the
15 soldier Gesovski was killed, and then Lieutenant Egeric was wounded. And
16 another soldier who was in the armoured vehicle was almost strangled, but
17 then they finally managed to close the turret and to pull him in.
18 Q. So let's be very precise about this. This meeting in Trogir where
19 Tudjman suggested to them that they should rally together, this was on the
20 5th of May. And already on the next day, the 6th of May, the rally did
21 take place, and these members of the JNA were killed in front of the
22 command of the military naval district; is that right?
23 A. Yes. And the Yugoslav flag was taken down from the flag mast and
24 the flag with the chequerboard was put up.
25 Q. Yes. And is it true that after that it was precisely the MUP of
1 Croatia that, in order to protect the organisers of this action, hid the
2 -- hid Jure Sundov and also the two policemen who took part in this crime
3 as well as other people who were known to have illegally taken weapons?
4 A. I only know about Jure Sundov and about the two policemen that had
5 killed and wounded members of the army.
6 Q. Tell me, is it correct -- is it correct, this piece of information
7 that I have here, that you or, rather, the security administration of the
8 army mediated in the exchange of Ivan Duspara, Mate Sabljic, Branko
9 Glavinic, and Ronald Zvonaric? These are people from Split who strangled
10 the soldier in Split; is that right?
11 A. I did not mediate in that exchange. That exchange was carried out
12 according to the decision taken by the federal secretary. In that
13 exchange, Kikas was exchanged as well. He's a citizen of Canada, and he
14 took part in the import of weapons with this Boeing aeroplane from Uganda.
15 At that time, General Aksentijevic was exchanged, who had been arrested by
16 members of the Croatian MUP at the entrance into Zagreb, and also seven
17 other officers. And at that time, 19 arrested security officers in
18 Croatia were exchanged, and seven pilots who had been gunned down. So
19 that was a total of 34 members of the army headed by General Aksentijevic
20 who were exchanged for this so-called group of the Split stranglers who
21 were already taken out of JNA jurisdiction and who were sent to the
22 penitentiary in Foca, to serve their terms there.
23 Q. Where?
24 A. In Foca.
25 Q. In view of what they had committed, were these persons who could
1 have been considered prisoners of war? Just give me a yes or no answer.
2 A. No.
3 Q. That is what I think too. Since they were not prisoners of war,
4 how was it possible that they were exchanged for captured JNA members in
5 the territory of Croatia?
6 A. We had the position taken by the Federal Secretary for National
7 Defence that all captured members of the National Guards Corps could be
8 exchanged for only one arrested or imprisoned member of the JNA.
9 Q. As far as I understand it, top priority was given to care for the
10 security of JNA members, and that was the reason for this.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did a delegation or representative of the Red Cross attend these
13 exchanges, as prescribed, especially the one in Zagreb when you handed
14 over Kikas and the others?
15 A. A man was present on behalf of the Croatian authorities, as far as
16 I know, a representative of the Jewish community in Zagreb. And I don't
17 -- I'm not sure that members of the Red Cross were present. I can't
18 remember that. I do know that there were problems in carrying out the
19 exchange, because a lieutenant security officer from Gospic, his name was
20 Ivan Duspara, they didn't bring him to the exchange, and I didn't want to
21 agree to the exchange without him. The reason why he wasn't brought for
22 the exchange was that, after being brought out of the prison in Gospic
23 twice, the persons escorting him pretended to execute him twice. Like a
24 fake execution was carried out, but as he survived and didn't have a heart
25 attack, they beat him up in a catering establishment close to Zagreb. And
1 as he was all black and blue from the beatings, they didn't dare hand him
2 over until he recovered a little. And then we received him two days
3 later, while he still had visible traces of the beatings.
4 Q. Let us move away from these events in Split now and the background
5 to those events which I hope we have established accurately now.
6 Is it true that on the 24th and 25th of July, 1991 near Suho
7 Polje, which is on the road between Podravska Slatina and Virovitica, a
8 military vehicle was stopped by the National Guards Corps, fire was opened
9 at it when a Major Radoslav Vuckovic, the commander of the frontier
10 battalion, and another two soldiers were seriously injured? Do you
11 remember that event?
12 A. Yes, I do, because I knew Vuckovic personally while I was working
13 in Virovitica. With his patrol he removed warrant posters issued against
14 me, and I think that was one of the reasons he was attacked. He was
15 seriously wounded and transferred later to the JNA -- to the medical
16 academy. When he recovered, he was assigned to the Uzice Corps. And
17 then, being a commander, he was killed by a drunken reservist in front of
18 other soldiers.
19 Q. Is it true that on that same day, around 2200 hours, 300 metres
20 from the barracks in Vinkovci, at a checkpoint put up by members of the
21 MUP of Croatia, without any reason or cause, Goran Mihajlovic was killed
22 and Boban Kalimancevic, both sergeants, and though the perpetrators were
23 identified, they remained unpunished and suffered no consequences?
24 A. Yes, that is true, that these two non-commissioned officers were
25 killed, and it is also true that in those days, in Vinkovci, like a wax
1 model of the head of the commander had been made, who was still alive.
2 But this wax head was put on a pole and carried around the barracks to
3 cause a psychosis of insecurity. And this -- the name of the staff
4 sergeant was Kalimancevic.
5 Q. Yes, that's right, but you didn't tell me whether you know that
6 the perpetrators were identified and were not punished.
7 A. I can't remember that.
8 Q. Very well. And is it true that on the 25th of July, half an hour
9 after midnight, an armed attack was carried out by the MUP of Croatia
10 against the military units securing the bridge at Bogojevo
11 A. Yes. I know of that event.
12 Q. And is it true that on the 18th of September, a terrorist group of
13 the Croatian army attacked a military column in Studena Vrela, near
14 Listica, when a sergeant, Vojko Ceh, was killed, as well as a soldier,
15 whereas on the side of the attackers Ludvig Pavlovic was killed, who was a
16 member of an Ustasha terrorist organisation and a member of a terrorist
17 group which in 1972 had been infiltrated and executed at Radusa in Bosnia
18 and Herzegovina, but he survived that execution, and an ID card was found
19 on him?
20 JUDGE MAY: We're getting a long way from this in a huge amount of
21 detail. Deal with events in 1991.
22 Was there this incident, General, when a sergeant and -- was
23 killed on the 18th of September? Can you help us with that?
24 A. I can. He was a non-commissioned officer of the military police,
25 a Slovene by ethnicity. Ludvig Pavlovic was released. He was amnestied
1 by Mr. Mesic when he became president of the Presidency. He was set free
2 and immediately after that, he joined the Croatian armed forces in Western
3 Herzegovina and that is where he was killed. And it is true that an
4 official ID was found on him of the MUP of Croatia.
5 This is an example that I told Mr. Alija Izetbegovic about on the
6 5th of February, 1992, and a subsequent event when another officer was
7 kidnapped, that is captain and pilot Dragan Stojcinovic in Mostar. And
8 Alija Izetbegovic told me on that occasion, "Leave Western Herzegovina
9 alone. It was never part of Bosnia." So he was rather indifferent to
10 this because there were many excesses in Western Herzegovina which, in my
11 judgement, if I'm entitled to make one now, was treated as a component
12 part of Croatia. And this didn't seem to bother the president who was in
13 power at the time.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Was this during the time when there was an agreement between
16 Tudjman and Izetbegovic and the Slovenian leadership and these others that
17 we mentioned, the emissaries who went to Macedonia and Kosovo and so on,
18 that their cadres should abandon the JNA?
19 A. Tudjman's first appeal to Izetbegovic to call on Bosniak members
20 to walk out of the JNA was made on the 30th of June in 1991. That is the
21 fourth or third day after the conflict started in Slovenia. And I can't
22 say that it accepted it. In other words, I don't know that there was any
23 agreement on some sort of an alliance modelled on what the -- what Croatia
24 and Slovenia did. But I do know that at a session of the federal council
25 for the protection of the constitutional order, after we presented all
1 this information as to what was going on in Western Herzegovina,
2 Mr. Izetbegovic was advised to send a Demos to Tudjman, a protest reacting
3 to this and also to the fact that the territory of Neum municipality,
4 which belongs to Bosnia-Herzegovina, was being used for the transfer of
5 National Guards Corps forces from Metkovic, that is Western Herzegovina,
6 towards Dubrovnik. I know that he didn't wish to accept to make such a
7 demos, although it was proposed by the federal council for the protection
8 of the constitutional order.
9 Q. Had that proposal been accepted, would it have reduced tension and
10 removed the threat of conflicts in that area?
11 A. I think not. I think that things had already gone too far by
13 Q. You're saying that this was sometime in mid-1991, when without any
14 doubt Slovene cadres, following instructions from their leadership, and
15 Croatian cadres upon instruction from their leadership, were leaving the
16 JNA as of the mid-1991.
17 A. There was a major campaign according to the -- of the break-up of
18 the JNA along ethnic seams or lines. That was the expression used. I
19 think that that was not true, and I have given information about the air
20 force specifically, as to the large percentage of officers who were not
21 Serbs or Montenegrins. That campaign was spread intentionally, and the
22 JNA was not abandoned in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the withdrawal of
23 Muslims from the JNA. I think that a large number of those people
24 believed in Yugoslavia, and it was only at the end, at the end of this
25 entire process, when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was constituted,
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13 English transcripts.
1 when the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised, there were
2 few people who deserted from the JNA. They realised where this was
3 heading, they submitted legal requests, and left the army. But this could
4 be said of March and April 1992 in particular. This applies to that
5 period. Many of them remained honourable officers.
6 Q. You know, I assume, though then you were already retired, that a
7 large number of Muslims, so let's talk about the area of Bijeljina, for
8 instance, or Derventa and so on, that they were within the ranks of the
9 army of Republika Srpska and were defending it, together with the Serbs,
10 from Muslim extremists. They were defending their towns and villages.
11 A. I think that's an idealised presentation of the events.
12 Unfortunately, there were some ugly scenes and events too. I had an
13 officer, a colonel who was a Muslim, who was chief of security in
14 Ljubljana and who withdrew together with his troops to Bosnia, and his
15 wife who was a Slovene, committed suicide by setting fire to herself. He
16 suffered from a heart attack as a result, and he couldn't even attend her
18 When the war in Bosnia started, he was still on sick leave in the
19 place of his birth, somewhere near Bosanski Novi, I'm not quite sure about
20 that right now. The Serbs held him under blockade there. He was under a
21 kind of curfew when he would be allowed to leave his house to buy
22 something. His house was not destroyed. He managed to get to Germany,
23 and he was in a camp, a refugee camp there, and that is where he died.
24 And he's a terrible example of the fate of some honourable officers. And
25 what the climate had -- was like that had swept the area at the time. The
1 Serbs who should have helped him. And I appealed to some officers that I
2 knew to take care of him. He survived, that's true, but he was under
3 blockade, and that is true. Under a kind of house arrest.
4 Q. There are many such tragic individual examples, but let us try to
5 establish one thing: As you were speaking about illegal arming and about
6 the distribution of weapons, particularly in areas surrounding the Serbs,
7 and incidents in ethnically mixed environments, is it true that on the
8 other hand, in units of the TO formed by local Serbs there were also
9 Croats who wanted to defend the SFRY?
10 A. I know that the movement of the League of Communists for
11 Yugoslavia had animated its members, and the members of that party were
12 multi-ethnic, and they were encouraging people to join the JNA. They
13 didn't join as an organised group, nor did they have any party or
14 ideological insignia. And in that sense, I can confirm that there were
15 Croats and Muslims, communists, in particular, who joined the JNA. What
16 happened to them later when the army of Republika Srpska was formed, I
17 don't know. I know for the period while the JNA still existed.
18 Q. Do you know of the case of a brigade headed by a Muslim in the
19 army of Republika Srpska?
20 A. No, I don't.
21 Q. But we'll come back to that later. Do you remember when MiG
22 planes of our air force - when I say "our," I mean the Yugoslav, the JNA
23 air force - pushed back helicopters of the MUP of Croatia with national
24 guards members who wanted to land in Obrovac and Knin?
25 A. Yes, I do remember.
1 Q. Is it true that the essence of that intervention that the army
2 should thereby prevent a great conflict from breaking out with the
3 storming of these special troops, by their storming this area and coming
4 into the territory in which the Serbs were living?
5 A. The first and basic reason why the air force reacted was purely of
6 a practical and formal nature. The -- these helicopter flights were not
7 announced to the flight control system on a regular basis, according to
8 regular procedure, and once they did come into contact with them, they
9 gave the wrong coordinates. And this was the formal reason, regardless of
10 the plane in question, was told to go back and land where it had taken off
11 from. Now, this was investigated why they were sent back, but that was
12 for legal reasons, according to the regulations.
13 As far as my information told me, in the helicopter, Ustasha songs
14 were being sung. They would sort of sing lyrics like, "We'll slaughter
15 anybody who doesn't want to come with us," and that these special troops
16 were being transported and flown in towards a police station, or I don't
17 know what, to carry out the disarming. So that was the pretext for
18 sending the helicopters back, although the legal provisions did exist for
20 Q. So can we know that we cannot claim at all that that particular
21 operation on the part of the air force to stop the helicopters was any
22 kind of form of incapacitation and to prevent the functioning of a
23 Croatian state with the rule of law?
24 A. No. The Croatian state violated the provisions and rules and
25 regulations of the flight of helicopters.
1 Q. Well, Milan Babic said here that they were stopped to prevent
2 regular Croatian authorities from being able to function. That's what he
3 said here.
4 A. I don't think he was in a position to give that kind of answer.
5 Q. Right. So there were other reasons. Second, tell me what you
6 know about Pakrac. Or let me be more specific because we have to save
7 time. Is it true that on the 2nd of March, 1999, in Pakrac, 600 members
8 of the special units of the MUP of Croatia raided Serb houses, searched
9 them, ransacked them, beat and mistreated the population and that the
10 Serbs had to flee en masse?
11 A. Part of what you've just said is correct. That means that a
12 forerunner to all this was the following: The Croats, members of that
13 police station in Pakrac, following the principles of what had been done
14 much earlier on in August in Knin, they were made to leave the station,
15 and the resistance lay in the fact that they did not accept putting up the
16 Croatian insignia, that is to say the chequerboard emblem, up on the
17 police station building. So there was first of all this resistance on the
18 part of the people in the police station, the policemen there, to accept
19 these emblems that were being imposed by the current Croatian authorities.
20 After that, what happened was that there was an intervention by 615
21 members of the special forces themselves, of the MUP of Croatia which were
22 led by -- I don't know what his rank was then, he was probably an
23 inspector, but his name was Markac. I think his first name was Stjepan.
24 And when I arrived on the scene in Pakrac, what I came across was lots of
25 policemen moving around in tens, groups of ten, like an army. There were
1 lots of civilians put up against a wall that were being searched. I don't
2 know that they stormed the houses, barged into the houses. I can't say
3 that for sure. I don't recall that.
4 And the fact that I was sent to Pakrac was because some Serbs
5 which had fled from Pakrac had crossed over into Bosnian territory on the
6 Bosnian side. And as far as I know from some secretary for national
7 defence, they called up you or somebody else in Belgrade and said that
8 they were in -- that 40 Serbs had been held in the Pakrac church and that
9 they were going to slit their throats and set them on fire. And that's
10 why the Federal Secretary for National Defence sent me to Pakrac in the
11 first place, to check out and see what was going on there. The Serbs had
12 not been locked up in the church, but the church was indeed a military
13 facility, because up on the bell tower there was a sniper nest, a
14 machine-gun nest.
15 Q. And who had taken over this?
16 A. The Croatian MUP.
17 Q. The Croatian MUP took over the church and put a machine-gun nest
18 up on the belfry; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right. Because it was at the high point from which
20 you could control the whole of the town. And then the fact is that the
21 Serbs from the nearby hill Kavarija started shooting at the police station
22 and one MUP member was seriously wounded on that occasion. After that,
23 there was in fact some shooting from the MUP APC. They were shooting at
24 two soldiers who were providing security for ten combat vehicles that had
25 come into Pakrac. There were some APCs and trucks, but there were no
1 tanks yet, but they didn't meddle nor did they enter Pakrac. Then they
2 shot at this little house, the hut where these two guards were on duty.
3 And after that, the army entered Pakrac, those ten or 12 trucks
4 and armoured vehicles which separated the Serb and Croatian forces.
5 Otherwise, that night in Pakrac, Mr. Digoricija [phoen] was there,
6 Mr. Digoricija, and he had taken over his duties as Deputy Minister of the
7 Interior of Croatia. And we filed a criminal report against these two
8 men, members of the combat vehicle for having opened fire, the APC, for
9 having opened fire, which was -- but that was never realised because they
10 were put away.
11 Q. Who put them away?
12 A. The MUP did, just like the ones from Trstenik who attacked me in
13 1999. And that -- those proceedings were never completed. So the MUP
14 took care of them.
15 After that, a meeting was held, attended by a portion of the
16 Presidency, chaired by Mr. Mesic. Mr. Bucin was there too, and I think
17 Bogic Bogicevic attended as well. Then there were some other responsible
18 officials from the 5th Military District. I took part in the meeting, and
19 the clash broke out because it was claimed that there were no refugees, no
20 Serb refugees in the woods around Pakrac, who had taken to the woods. And
21 I offered that I -- I said to Mr. Mesic that I would be willing to go and
22 check it out for myself in the field, and that's where I came into
23 conflict with him personally.
24 Well, the situation calmed down after that. The forces were
25 separated, and that's the story as I know it.
1 Q. Well, can we draw a very short and clear conclusion: The army
2 exclusively carried out the separation of forces, the conflicting forces.
3 A. Absolutely so. And had it not done so, there would have been a
4 major conflict because they were sandwiched between the MUP forces and the
5 Serb forces. But once the army entered Pakrac, the shooting stopped and
6 40 members of the MUP were arrested, as well as some other Serbs who they
7 probably thought had -- were from the SDS, and they were transferred to
8 Bjelovar. And the condition for the station to go back to normal was that
9 the Croatian MUP should return -- have those 40 Serbs returned to Pakrac.
10 And they were indeed returned, but as far as I could see, they had been
11 beaten up.
12 Q. They had all been beaten up?
13 A. Well, I can't say they had all been beaten up, but I did see some
14 injured people.
15 Q. And is it true that after that particular operation, the kind
16 performed by the Croatian MUP in Pakrac, that they carried out a similar
17 operation at the Plitvice lakes, Plitvice?
18 A. Yes, that's right. I said that that was my impression when I
19 talked to people, that after that Pakrac, they took courage and -- to
20 launch broader military action. And the MUP of Croatia, ever since
21 Pakrac, started to behave as a Croatian army. They marched in three
22 columns out of Zagreb in a complete military formation. In Pakrac, they
23 deployed the army according to the principles of army deployment and not
24 as MUPs; they would march in platoons, et cetera. And in my opinion, that
25 was the first step towards legalising the future Croatian armed forces.
1 Q. How do you mean legalisation?
2 A. Well, they came out with 615 members of the police force, which
3 acted in fact as an army.
4 Q. So this was a demonstration, in fact, of working as an army. It
5 wasn't legalisation. There was nothing legal in it.
6 A. Well, you can use whichever term you liked, but the legalisation
7 actually took place in June when the ZNG came out onto the stadium and
8 there was a review of troops.
9 Q. Now, with respect to Plitvice and the JNA role there, is it true
10 and correct that from the 10th Corps in Zagreb at Plitvice after the
11 conflicts between the ZNG, the National Guards Corps, and the local
12 inhabitants of Serb ethnicity, that only a small group was sent of
13 experienced security organs in order to attend the situation in the field
14 and to collect information, to reconnoiter and gather information?
15 A. Well, it wasn't quite like that.
16 Q. How was it, then?
17 A. Well, it was like this: The principle is when a military unit
18 goes out into the field, then the security organs move with it. Now, they
19 were there first of all because a large portion of the units had gone out
20 into the area to separate the Serb and Croatian --
21 Q. That's precisely what I'm asking you about. Is it true that when
22 the conflict at Plitvice took place between the ZNG and the local
23 inhabitants, the JNA only went there to separate the two sides and to calm
24 the situation, that it didn't side with anybody?
25 A. Absolutely so. Absolutely correct.
1 Q. Let's move on, then.
2 A. Well, that first commander, the commander was a general, and he
3 was a Croat. He was an ethnic Croat. Otherwise, there were several
4 generals. They replaced each other. And one of them was General Raseta.
5 Q. And is it true that on the 2nd of May a similar operation, they
6 intended to launch a similar operation in Borovo Selo, that is to say the
7 MUP members, with their attack on Borovo Selo, that they were intending to
8 do the same thing?
9 A. I wasn't in the security department in Belgrade in May. I don't
10 really know. I don't have any specific information as something that I
11 took part in, but I do, of course, know that a unit did intervene. I
12 think it was a unit from Osijek, in actual fact. Once again, they went to
13 separate the two warring sides, that is to say the ZNG on the one side and
14 the armed Serbs on the other in that particular area, and that people
15 opened fire on the column once it had left Osijek, the military column, as
16 it emerged from Osijek.
17 Q. And do you remember, or perhaps you can confirm the fact that
18 after that, on the 29th of June, radio Vukovar appealed to all Croat males
19 to respond to checkpoints and collection points with their long weapons,
20 long-barrelled weapons.
21 A. Well, that was broadcast over the radio. Everybody knew about
23 Q. And do you know about Zvonko Kostic from Vukovar and a statement
24 he made that a list had already been compiled for the liquidation of
25 prominent Serbs from the area of Eastern Slavonia? Are you aware of that?
1 A. Well, that event took place quite a lot earlier, seven or eight
2 months prior to that.
3 Q. Yes, that's what I'm saying, before.
4 A. Yes, but considerably before. So we uncovered this piece of
5 information in December 1990 and had all the material to support it, to
6 support our claims.
7 Q. This -- these lists for silent liquidations, for expulsions, for
8 dismissals and so on and so forth, they date back to 1990 until the clash
9 broke out, the conflict broke out; is that right?
10 A. Well, I know about these two cases, specific cases which we've
11 already mentioned, Zvonko Ostojic and the other man Damir from the
12 Hrvatska Uzdanica about the lists for liquidation.
13 Q. Is it true that in August 1991, two soldiers were killed and one
14 officer wounded on the 25th, six soldiers and officers in Vukovar were
15 wounded as well? Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is. That's correct.
17 Q. And is it true that, before that, the barracks in Vukovar were
18 blocked by the Croatian National Guard Corps and cut off so that the
19 officers and soldiers did not have any electricity, water, any supplies
20 for 20 days? And not only was it blocked, it was also attacked with
21 different projectiles, and that already on the 14th --
22 JUDGE MAY: General -- I'm going to interrupt you.
23 I thought you said, General, earlier that you did not know about
24 Vukovar because you had left the service, but I may be wrong about that.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you couldn't be wrong, but I
1 was an active-duty serviceman when this was taking place in Vukovar.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, we're talking about 1991.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Let me repeat my question to you. Is it true that before that,
6 the barracks in Vukovar had been blocked by the Croatian National Guards
7 Corps and that they were kept without electricity, water, or other
8 supplies for a period of 20 days, during which time they were attacked by
9 different projectiles and that already on the 14th of September, among the
10 JNA members, there were persons who were dead and wounded? They had no
11 water, no food, and quite simply they were under a complete blockade. Is
12 that correct or not?
13 A. There are a lot of questions in what you've just asked me.
14 Q. Well, tell us what is not correct.
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, let the witness deal with these things one at a
16 time. It's not fair on anybody the way that you pile them up like this.
17 The first question, General, was this: Is it right that the
18 barracks in Vukovar were blocked by the ZNG for a period of 20 days?
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I say that before the events that I talked about, that it had been
21 already under a blockade for 20 days.
22 A. May I please answer?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Two soldiers -- the two soldiers who
25 were killed that the accused just mentioned were killed as they were going
1 into town. And at the time, the barracks were still not under a complete
3 On the 14th of September, however, 1991, a telegram arrived which
4 was brought into the meeting that was taking place of the staff with
5 General Kadijevic, and I attended that staff meeting. It was a very
6 dramatic telegram, to say that the Vukovar barracks had been under
7 blockade for already 20 days and that they had spent up all their reserves
8 of food, water supplies, and so on, that there were a number of wounded
9 persons whom they were not able to give assistance to, and that there were
10 a number of people who had been killed as well, that they were unable to
11 bury their dead because they were unable to go out into the compound and
12 had to keep them wrapped up in sheets, and that the stench from the
13 decaying bodies had a very negative effect on the psychology of those
14 present, on the members. And the General Staff was prevailed upon to lend
15 assistance to them.
16 General Kadijevic ordered Admiral Brovet to leave the meeting
17 straight away and to call up, I think it was Wijnaendts, and to convey to
18 Franjo Tudjman that unless he take action immediately - and these were his
19 words - unless he deblocks the Vukovar barracks straight away,
20 immediately, there would be a large scale war on his hands.
21 Admiral Brovet returned to the meeting and said that he had
22 conveyed the message to Mr. Wijnaendts. I can't be absolutely sure.
23 Q. Let me remind you. And that he had asked for patience, for the
24 General Staff to show patience over the next 24 hours. After that, he
25 informed General Raseta from Zagreb that General Aksentijevic, with seven
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 others, seven other officers, had been arrested, and they were coming back
2 from an assignment they had been on, an official assignment, and that he
3 had been told by some top people in the Croatian leadership that Tudjman
4 had said that Croatia was defending itself at Vukovar and that it was not
5 attacking anybody.
6 And on the next day, the 15th of September, larger units of the
7 JNA were on the move and the order was given to deblock the barracks.
8 So that is what I can testify to, my part in it, because I was a
9 participant, and that's what I remember very well.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So it is not at all being disputed that on the 14th of September
12 when this telegram arrived, the barracks had already been under a blockade
13 for 20 days with members inside who were being killed and wounded, with no
14 electricity, no water, in a situation that was so bad that they were not
15 even able to bury their dead because they couldn't leave the -- go out
16 into the compound because there was shooting coming from all sides; is
17 that right?
18 A. Yes. That's what I said. And the next day, on that 15th of
19 September, a general blockade of all military facilities in Croatia was
20 under way. So as of the 15th of September, all the military facilities
21 were under a blockade, as well as the command of the air force in -- and
22 headquarters in Zagreb. The whole Varazdin Corps was blocked and it
23 surrendered on the 21st of September, as far as I recall. And the
24 garrison in Bjelovar stayed on for another seven days. It offered
25 resistance during that time. That was the garrison in which Major Stjepic
1 blew up the warehouse because he didn't want to surrender. And that is
2 the same garrison where, after the HDZ stormed the barracks, in front of a
3 column of soldiers, their commander was shot, the political advisor and
4 the security organ. They were all shot in front of the soldiers.
5 Q. Well, can we then note that a blockade of all the barracks in
6 Croatia was carried out then on the basis of a decision made by the
7 Croatian leadership? Can we say that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you remember that Brovet, after talks -- the talks you talked
10 about with Lord Carrington, which he was charged to do by Kadijevic, said
11 that Carrington would like to convey a message to Kadijevic and say that
12 the JNA should refrain from any operations over the next 24 hours so that
13 he could reach an agreement with Tudjman to deblock the barracks. Is it
14 true that the JNA respected that time period, it waited for this 24-hour
15 deadline for these others, that is to say Lord Carrington and Tudjman, to
16 reach an agreement on the deblocking of the barracks and that it
17 intervened only after a clear-cut stand, and when they saw quite clearly
18 that the barracks would not be deblocked and the barracks was in the
19 situation that you've described? Is it true that it adhered to that
20 24-hour deadline?
21 A. Yes. And I said that the preparations to deblock the barracks
22 began on the 15th of September.
23 Q. Now, did this JNA operation have any other goal and objective
24 except to deblock the barracks?
25 A. That was the first objective, and that's the one I know about.
1 Q. And do you happen to have any knowledge as to how the soldiers in
2 Vukovar were killed and how the bodies of the dead soldiers in Vukovar
3 were inundated with fuel and set fire to by the paramilitaries, the event
4 that took place there?
5 A. I do know about that partially. I know about the members of the
6 military police who were killed in that first onslaught when they entered
7 Vukovar. And I know from earlier on as well, from the period when we
8 worked to uncover the illegal channels in which weapons were being brought
9 into Croatia.
10 May I just complete my answer, please. So before that, there was
11 a campaign, and a party meeting when Vuk Draskovic said that the Serb
12 lands were everywhere where Serb graves exist. I don't know if you
13 remember that or not.
14 Anyway, then the leadership of the HDZ in Osijek, with Seks at its
15 head, made a decision that the JNA members who had been killed on Croatian
16 territory should not be buried, because then Serbs would come to visit
17 their graves, because that's what Vuk Draskovic had previously said. And
18 then the decision was taken that they should be burnt, that their bodies
19 should be burnt.
20 Now, the elements of what I'm saying now are to be found partially
21 in a diary of Marin Vidic, kept by Marin Vidic. And he was the commander
22 of the Crisis Staff for the defence of Vukovar. He was taken prisoner and
23 that diary was confiscated and handed over to the law courts. So there
24 were instances where the dead bodies of soldiers were in fact burnt. How
25 many I can't really say with any precision. I know that on that first
1 onslaught about 20 JNA members were killed and wounded.
2 JUDGE MAY: We must draw the hearing to a close. It's past time
3 and there is another case coming in this afternoon.
4 Mr. Milosevic, you have now, so that you could complete your
5 preparation over the weekend, you have four and a quarter hours left for
6 this witness, and you must tailor your cross-examination to allow you to
7 finish in that time.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I asked you
9 yesterday, however, whether you were going to give me some more time on
10 Tuesday. What you're saying now means that you're just giving me Monday.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's the position.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But then that is a total of less
13 than two and a half days, in fact.
14 JUDGE MAY: It's a total -- it's a total of practically eight
15 hours, which is slightly more than the Prosecution will have had.
16 Yes. We will adjourn now.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 17th day of
19 February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.