1 Tuesday, 4 November 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, before I continue, I would
8 like to ask you whether you have considered the possibility of giving me
9 some additional time, because Lord Owen was the main international
10 negotiator for three years, and it is impossible to cover in three hours
11 even very superficially the main issues.
12 JUDGE MAY: We've considered the position as we did -- as we said
13 yesterday. You have one session, an hour and a half. I suggest that one
14 way you can save time is by keeping your questions short, concentrating
15 and focusing on them rather than lengthy questions. Yes.
16 WITNESS: DAVID OWEN [Resumed]
17 Questioned by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] Lord Owen, yesterday we ended the session with
19 your position about the crimes committed by the Serbs in response to my
20 statement that crimes were committed by all sides. I hope that you will
21 recollect that we had discussed those camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
22 that you will remember, I hope, that both you and Stoltenberg and myself
23 and other participants, Bulatovic in the first place, received assurances
24 from the leadership of Republika Srpska, that apart from prisoners of war
25 and regular prisons, there was nothing else there, and that even Radovan
1 Karadzic called on Paddy Ashdown publicly to come and see for himself,
2 which he did, after which he made a statement saying that what had
3 appeared in the press was not correct. Do you remember that?
4 A. The first part of our conversations with Dr. Karadzic I certainly
5 do remember, and they were along those lines, and we were given in our
6 negotiating sessions many assurances either about the camps or about the
7 hostages, those people who were taken prisoner. So it is perfectly true
8 to say that those issues were very frequently raised, first by myself and
9 Mr. Vance and then by Mr. Stoltenberg and myself. And it's also true to
10 say that you urged them to make sure that their practices were acceptable
11 to us and to the international community.
12 Q. And that the International Red Cross should be present everywhere
13 and that all prisoners should be exchanged on the principle all for all.
14 Wasn't that how it was, Lord Owen?
15 A. Certainly you were always keen to involve the international --
16 ICRC, and you did in fact see the head of the ICRC from time to time. And
17 I think that they did. We got very much better access to the prison
18 camps. The situation was very much worse when I first arrived in early
19 September 1992. I think it did improve, though. I must say from what
20 I've heard since, the improvements were not what we were assured -- they
21 were not as good as the assurances, put it that way.
22 Q. But my impression was, and I hope you shared it, because a long
23 time after the war information started arriving that there were various
24 violations of international law and various crimes committed in some
25 prisons, that at the time in those days the leadership of Republika
1 Srpska, I mean Karadzic, Krajisnik, Koljevic and others, even they were
2 not aware of those violations, because they assured us to that effect.
3 And my impression was that they were sincere in doing that. Was that your
4 impression too?
5 A. I think a change took place in Dr. Karadzic. In the early days,
6 in 1992 and in 1993, he seemed to have some understanding about the
7 pressure of the international opinion on human rights questions. And for
8 example, if somebody was taken prisoner, a foreign -- or somebody -- and
9 we made representations about it, he was at pains to make clear that this
10 was not hostage-taking, that this was a purely criminal matter and would
11 be dealt with in the criminal -- by the criminal procedures and that he as
12 president had no involvement with it.
13 And in those early days, I think it seemed to have a ring of
14 conviction to it, but more he was able to flout international opinion on
15 the battlefield and the more he was able to see off plan after plan, the
16 more he became, in my view, less trustworthy and more flagrant about these
17 were not just prisoners, these were hostages. And we had a lot of
18 problems with him in 1994 and early 1995 with hostage-taking, and it was
19 much more obvious that these were -- to my mind that these were political
20 hostages, they were not criminal positions.
21 But you were aware of that, and maybe -- but we could do no more.
22 We would receive these assurances from Dr. Karadzic. All I can say is I
23 couldn't agree with your view that his pledges were sincere. I think
24 increasingly that they came less -- they had carried less conviction and
25 less sincerity.
1 Q. I cannot go into any judgement as to what extent it was sincere
2 because my impression was that they were sincere. But if you remember,
3 some delegations when they came to Serbia even, they asked questions about
4 camps in Serbia. Do you remember that?
5 A. Yes. I can't say I've got a complete recall of it, but I think I
6 remember discussions about camps in Serbia.
7 Q. Do you remember that when such an absurd assertion was made I
8 denied it, not only by offering my guarantees that there were no such
9 camps, but I would offer each delegation that may raise such an issue to
10 use a police helicopter to point on the map a spot where they have
11 suspicions that there were such camps to see for themselves that there
12 were no such things. Do you remember that?
13 A. I don't, but I have no reason to doubt. At that time, I think you
14 were pretty confident about what was exactly happening in the country
15 which you were responsible for, Serbia and then the FRY. But the area of
16 Serbia Montenegro, you knew what was going on. I'm not sure -- I've never
17 doubted that.
18 Q. But surely you know full well that there were no camps in the
19 territory of Serbia and Montenegro.
20 A. The problem of professing to knowledge that I don't have, I don't
21 -- it's not an issue which came on my radar screen massively, to be
22 honest. My main focus was on camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time. I
23 think that I was focusing on abuses of human rights in Croatia and Kosovo
24 and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was often taking up with you abuses of human
25 rights in Kosovo, and as you know, I did not agree with a lot of what was
1 happening in -- under Serbian control of Kosovo.
2 Q. Kosovo is a separate issue. It's a principled matter. I
3 considered Kosovo to be our own internal affair, and it had nothing to do
4 with the war in Bosnia and Croatia and, generally speaking, with the
5 events connected with the break-up of Yugoslavia. You knew that.
6 A. I knew that was your view. Of course, I disagreed with it. We
7 had to reach a sort of modus vivendi about that. I think you did accept
8 that the terms of reference of the London conference, which you accepted,
9 did mean that ICFY had -- the International Conference on the Former
10 Yugoslavia -- did have a locus on Kosovo, and so you never ruled out
11 talking about it, but you made it abundantly clear that you disliked
12 talking about it and didn't really consider that we had a right to be
13 involved. But we're not really here to talk about Kosovo, but inasmuch as
14 we had a dialogue about Kosovo it was the least satisfactory dialogue that
15 we had. I think you'd agree.
16 Q. We didn't discuss that at all because I considered that to be our
17 internal affair.
18 A. That's not my recollection. We did discuss Kosovo. You did often
19 say that it was your internal affair, but neither myself, Mr. Stoltenberg,
20 or Mr. Vance accepted that. But this was an area of very serious
21 disagreement between us.
22 Q. That we had disagreements over that, that is quite true, and I'm
23 not denying it.
24 Lord Owen, I should like to make the best of the time available to
25 me, which is very limited, as you can see, to raise a number of issues,
1 and I would like to ask you kindly to assist me by giving me short
2 answers, if possible.
3 First of all, regarding the nature of the war. In several places
4 in your book, you refer to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as the
5 other wars in the territory of the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1995 as
6 civil and a war of secession. For example, on page 5, paragraph 1 -- I
7 have this compact disk that was given to me by the opposite side, and that
8 is why the pagination does not agree with pagination of your book, and I
9 am sorry.
10 You say that, "All wars bring evil to the surface and especially
11 the cruelty of civil wars as recorded through history. It is a fact that
12 the wars in the former Yugoslavia had elements of secessionist and civil
13 wars and this only contributed to the difficulty of making objective
15 Did you experience those wars as secessionist and civil wars?
16 A. I think there were elements of aggression in it. Particularly, it
17 was not possible to classify it as a civil war once the international
18 community had accepted the independence of many of what were hitherto
19 republics in the regions in the former Yugoslavia. But I do not deny in
20 my book talking about aspects of the war that were civil wars, and I think
21 that this is one of the things that the world community never quite
22 understood, or significant sections of it didn't.
23 Q. I also think that they didn't understand, and that is why your
24 explanation is so useful, because you are the most competent person to
25 provide it.
1 In view of the fact that we established yesterday that the
2 Yugoslav People's Army was positioned throughout its territory and that
3 after the recognition of the republics, it pulled out of Croatia when the
4 Vance Plan was adopted and the UN arrived from Bosnia and Herzegovina in
5 the period we indicated yesterday and that the army of Republika Srpska
6 was formed. So in those days, there were no foreign soldiers there, at
7 least not from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is from Serbia and
8 Montenegro. I assume you remember that well. And before that, there was
9 Yugoslavia, the country was Yugoslavia.
10 A. Yes. I -- it's a complex history. I don't claim to have ever
11 fully mastered it, but it was an extremely important part of my task to
12 try to understand how Yugoslavia had come into existence, how the
13 boundaries of -- internal boundaries of the nations and regions of
14 Yugoslavia had been established, how the maps had been drawn up, and I
15 don't dissent from what you're saying, in fact.
16 Q. I'm not reading from your book, but I have a chronology of
17 documents here. But you will probably remember on the 23rd of July, 1993,
18 according to this chronology, co-chairman of the ICFY, Lord David Owen,
19 rejected the possibility of military intervention in Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina and explained it by saying that it was very difficult to
21 intervene in a situation which is not one of aggression.
22 And then your words are cited: "Though this war started partially
23 in that way, but it was always a conflict between the Serbs from Bosnia,
24 the Croats from Bosnia, and the Muslims from Bosnia."
25 That is what you said in July 1993. I assume you remember that.
1 A. I unfortunately don't recall every word that I've ever uttered,
2 but I think principally the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was between those
3 who lived there, but it would be foolish to believe that that was the only
4 aspect of this war. There was, throughout the period that I was involved,
5 JNA forces, people who were not born in Bosnia-Herzegovina operating
6 inside Bosnia-Herzegovina and being helped and aided by the Yugoslav army.
7 And similarly, there were substantial forces from Croatia operating
8 alongside Croatian Serbs and supplying them with arms and ammunition. And
9 therefore, the two states that were bordering Bosnia-Herzegovina that had
10 previously been in the former Yugoslavia as one, namely Serbia,
11 Montenegro, and Croatia, were involved in this war and that was one of the
12 aspects of why it was a civil war. It was a civil war across the former
13 Yugoslavia as well as a civil war within Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 And then the war had to change in terms of the international
15 community, which I think you and many other Serbs found very difficult,
16 and a good many Croats too. But once recognition had taken place, then
17 there had to be a change. These countries had to be treated as
18 independent countries.
19 We can argue about recognition, but the right of the international
20 community to declare a state which is dissolving itself, to declare
21 certain elements from it now to be independent is there in the UN Charter,
22 and that took place. And that did change the situation. Therefore, from
23 that moment on, any activity from a country outside Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 had, in the eyes of international law, was an aggression, was no longer a
25 civil war.
1 Q. That would be true if we had had troops in the territory of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina after the recognition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but you
3 know that we didn't have any troops in the territory of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina. I even told you and Mr. Stoltenberg of only one exception,
5 and that is that I had sent a police platoon to the territory of Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina, that is at the Strpce railway station where a crime was
7 committed, where people were taken off the train on the Belgrade-Bar
8 railway line, to guard that station. And this was in the territory of
9 Republika Srpska, but we feared that some paramilitary units may commit
10 another crime, and they guarded that station, because it is only nine
11 kilometres of the Belgrade-Bar railway line that runs through
13 And I informed you and Mr. Stoltenberg about this. This was an
14 exception. This was a police platoon that stood guard at the police
15 station to prevent anyone from stopping the train there. This was a
16 station that trains did not stop at normally.
17 JUDGE MAY: Now, I warned you about time which you're taking up.
18 What is the question?
19 THE WITNESS: I remember the incident, and I don't think it has
20 much bearing on all of this, but it is a fact that the railway line
21 chipped into Bosnia-Herzegovina for a very small portion. I think it was
22 something like nine kilometres, maybe a bit longer than that.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. That was the exception, that is the presence of this police
25 platoon, and I informed you of that because there were no other Yugoslav
1 forces in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I assume you remember
3 A. Well, I remember your interpretation, and we went over yesterday
4 why I disagree with it. I think there was a rather clever way of taking
5 Yugoslav forces into, buttressing the Bosnian Serbian army without it
6 being quite as apparent as, for example, in Croatia. In Croatia, it was
7 completely apparent at some stages in the war. Their forces were without
8 any question whole -- whole detachments deployed into Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 You went through rather more of a subterfuge, but I do not accept your
10 interpretation that there were no people fighting in the Serb side in
11 Bosnia who could not normally be thought to have been and should have been
12 part of the JNA in -- answerable to you in Serbia and Montenegro.
13 But I may be wrong. But that was the view I held, and I held it
14 consistently, and I think there is some evidence at the time which we
15 based our views on.
16 Q. You never had any objection to the effect that any unit of the JNA
17 was operating in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina; isn't that
18 right? You talked to me on innumerable occasions.
19 A. Yes. Again, I want to reiterate, I don't think you did send
20 formed units from Yugoslavia into Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was much
21 more that people were serving who were not always residents in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were not people who had spent their whole life
23 there, and that there was a mixing of the two. But I -- I notice your
24 denial, and no doubt there will be evidence given in this court about this
25 matter. I can only tell you what I thought at the time.
1 Q. Did you consider those people to be volunteers, those people who
2 went there? You know very well there were many people from Sandzak
3 fighting in the army of Alija Izetbegovic in Bosnia-Herzegovina. They
4 were from Serbia, but I assume they were not sent there by Serbia, so the
5 question of volunteers is quite a separate issue.
6 A. Yes, that is a separate issue, and that certainly did happen, and
7 it is also the case, I remember in Sarajevo, being proudly introduced by
8 the Bosnian government force commander to a Serb general who had
9 voluntarily served in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So this is one of
10 the reasons why this war was very complex, and they were not simple
11 questions and simple issues.
12 Q. Quite so. On page 552, you say that one of the greatest
13 historians, Thucydides, said that, "People went to war because of fear,
14 honour, and interest. Rarely are there only culprits and victims. This
15 even applies to interstate wars when wars are absolutely or partially
16 civil wars as was the case with the four wars waged in the former
17 Yugoslavia so far, we are wrong to view these matters in simplified terms
18 or to present them as a battle between good and bad guys. So it's far
19 more complex than that." Which four wars are you referring to?
20 A. Well, there was always some definition problems. There was an
21 initial war, but sometimes called the war between Serbia and Slovenia.
22 That lasted, if one thought that was a separate war, for a matter of
23 weeks, and that ended.
24 Then there was a war between Serbia and Croatia, and that was
25 highlighted, of course, by the sieges that went on and particularly the
1 long siege of Vukovar. That was the time when the sanctions and the ban
2 on the transfer of weapons into the former Yugoslavia actually hurt the
3 Croatians, and so we need to remember that. Then later, of course,
4 probably preferentially hurt the Bosnian Muslims.
5 And then there was the war between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 and there was then the war which we can argue about the definition of what
7 -- whether it was purely the Republika Srpska.
8 And then there was an internal war between the Croatian -- the
9 Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims which raged in the -- on a couple
10 of occasions very badly in April of -- in the spring of -- April 1993 and
11 then broke out again in 1994, early 1994. And then you go on to the war
12 of -- over Kosovo.
13 So there is a lot of definition of how many separate wars there
14 were, but they all had a common theme in the dissolution of the former
15 Republic of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Well, that was a united war against Yugoslavia, and that's how
17 Yugoslavia was broken up. But I don't understand where you get Serbia's
18 war with Slovenia from. It had nothing to do with the intervention of the
19 army in Slovenia. It was up to the federal government, and I assume you
20 know that at least.
21 A. I -- it's -- it's a part of history which I was not a direct
22 participant in, and I don't see much advantage in us locking on that
23 particular question. You may have a different interpretation, certainly
24 very much more knowledge than I have exactly what went on. My
25 interpretation has been that it was a war which was paving the way for
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 dissolution, but --
2 Q. That's quite true. It was a very detrimental war, but Serbia had
3 nothing to do with that particular war, and we didn't even know that the
4 intervention would take place.
5 And as far as Croatia is concerned, well, I have here a letter
6 that I addressed to Cyrus Vance, and that was after several rounds of
7 negotiations that we had. And the letter is dated the 24th of November,
8 1991, that is to say, even before recognition took place. It was still
9 Yugoslavia that we were dealing with. And he wrote to me on the 24th of
10 November and I answered his letter on the 27th of November. I've mixed up
11 the dates. I apologise for that. But anyway, that was how it was.
12 And I say I wish to express my agreement with respect to the
13 importance of the topics you express interest for in your letter, that is
14 to say the definition of territories under the protection of the United
15 Nations forces, because without doubt, it was my personal support and
16 Serbia's support and the support of the presidents of Yugoslavia that the
17 Blue Helmets came to Croatia in the first place.
18 So I say that there in view of the fact that the definition of
19 territories on which once again an attempt was made and, unfortunately, to
20 a certain extent implemented, genocide over the Serb people, and this led
21 to large scale conflicts. The definition of territories is a de facto
22 question, and I think that the state on the ground is the only objective
23 response, because he was interested in knowing where the UN people should
24 be deployed. And I say that the overall territory, in my view, where the
25 conflicts and clashes took place should enjoy effective protection by the
1 United Nations. And I go on to explain that as the freedom and security
2 and safety of the people living there are vital to the -- their
3 existential interests, I therefore consider that every definition of
4 territory must be checked out and confirmed on the ground, that is to say
5 where the conflicts actually took place.
6 And I go on to emphasise the importance of the decisions made by
7 the Yugoslav state Presidency in this regard, in the interests of
8 understanding --
9 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. There is a limit to what the
10 witness can deal with, what any witness can deal with. What is it that
11 you want to put, Mr. Milosevic? What are you putting? You're asking the
12 witness questions.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am putting before the witness
14 questions and asking him whether it is true and correct that in the areas
15 populated by the Serbs there were great -- there was great retaliation
16 vis-a-vis the Serbs, that they rebelled and that Yugoslavia, from the very
17 beginning, endeavoured to prevent the conflict there. When I say
18 "Yugoslavia," I mean the Yugoslav People's Army as well and the country's
19 federal institutions which still existed at the time, and that we always
20 strove and advocated for impartiality, and therefore wanted the UN mission
21 to arrive on the spot.
22 JUDGE MAY: Again, you're putting a whole lot of things here
23 together. The first point you put is that there was great retaliation
24 vis-a-vis the Serbs in the areas which were populated by them. That's one
25 point. And then you put that Yugoslavia, from the beginning, endeavoured
1 to prevent the conflict there, i.e., the Yugoslav People's Army. I don't
2 know if Lord Owen feels he can comment on that particular proposition.
3 THE WITNESS: I was not involved at this time, but of course Cyrus
4 Vance was a great friend of mine and we discussed the issue.
5 On the point you raised about whether you were helpful to
6 Mr. Vance in those negotiations, of course he's not alive now to answer
7 this question, but I gather that his assistant, Mr. Ambassador Okun, did
8 give evidence here, and I'm sure he would have been able to deal with
9 this. It was certainly my view that Mr. Vance felt that you had been
10 extremely helpful in those negotiations, so I don't wish to dissent from
12 On the second round of questions, this whole business of the fact
13 that there were substantial Serb communities, not just in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina but also in Croatia, that is an undoubted fact. And of
15 course the UN protected areas that came in as part of the plan in Croatia
16 were an attempt to deal with this issue. But the absence of serious
17 negotiations, the absence of getting agreement in Bosnia-Herzegovina which
18 would have helped settle the problems in Croatia resulted in the mass
19 exodus of Serbs from the Krajina. And I think all this demonstrates that
20 we can go over the history -- and this region has got so much history that
21 it bedevils dealing with the future. And all I can say to you is you have
22 a justified grievance, in my view, that the Western world took a view that
23 the only way to create independent countries out of the former Yugoslavia
24 was to accept the regional map of Yugoslavia as drawn up during the war in
25 1944 by, amongst others, Mr. Djilas. Now, I think that is a perfectly
1 justified grievance, and I've always made it quite clear that I think we
2 should have been readier to have made some changes to those maps in order
3 to reflect some of the long-standing settlement of individuals, Croats and
4 particularly Serbs. But that was not the decision that was made in 1991
5 by the European Union, and my book makes reference to that very fateful
7 But that was taken in good faith in believing it would not be
8 possible to reach agreement on any other boundaries, and probably that
9 judgement was correct, but I think it did give a grievance to the Serbs.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Unfortunately, I have to hurry up.
12 Now, on page 274, you refer to Ratko Mladic and say that, "When in
13 June 1991 the Serbo-Croatian war began, he was the Chief of Staff of the
14 9th Army Corps, located in Knin. And like the other corps, this one was
15 in the process of dissolving because the officers and staff began to come
16 out and say they were Croats and step down from the JNA to join their
17 national armies. They left the military service, and in some cases, they
18 even left the country. Mostly the Serbs who stayed on in the JNA did not
19 have any freedom and many were surrounded by the Croatian army in their
20 barracks, which was one of the reasons for which the JNA reacted with such
21 force in places like Vukovar. And from that stage, we see the development
22 of a classical civil war with rifts in the army and rifts in friendships
23 between officers from the same regiment and them leaving and going to
24 fight each other." End of quotation.
25 It was the war that flared up in 1991, and you call it a classical
1 civil war, Lord Owen, don't you?
2 Now, can we conclude from that the divisions and rifts in an army
3 of a country that you have described in the way you have where everybody
4 was the member of one and the same army and now suddenly they were
5 beginning to fight each other, that those are properties and traits of a
6 civil war, no other type of war. It was a civil war, in fact. What other
7 type of war could have been waged between the members of the same army who
8 had split and started fighting each other?
9 A. Well, I agree with the wording that I used in the book, not
10 perhaps surprisingly, and what you've quoted.
11 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. There's a matter I want to say. It
12 would be helpful if the Prosecution, since you produce these documents,
13 can refer us in due course to these passages which have been referred to
14 from the CD-ROM so we can tie them up with our own copies.
15 MR. NICE: We will make arrangements. I don't think --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Nice.
17 MR. NICE: I'll make arrangements, not necessarily today but as
18 soon as I can.
19 THE WITNESS: The reference, Your Honour, is page 165 and 166. .
20 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Lord Owen.
21 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE WITNESS: 165 and 166.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Therefore, if it was indeed a civil war and a war of secession, I
25 assume it's clear that the blame for the war lies with the side conducting
1 the secession and conducting it by using force, this illegal secession.
2 So was that called in question, Lord Owen?
3 A. I think that's a gross simplification of the complex background in
4 which you were seeing substantial divisions of opinion in the governing
5 structure of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. You had, as you know very
6 well since you participated in it, a rotating Presidency, and I think many
7 of the Tito structures broke down not just with the outcome of -- with the
8 start of the war but in the months and even years before war broke out.
9 Q. I should like now, because of the shortness of time -- something
10 seems to be wrong with this microphone.
11 Anyway, I should just like -- just to round off this issue and
12 reference to Croatia: On the 16th of July, 1993, I have a notation here
13 saying that the media informed and the government of Croatia and Serbian
14 Krajina signed an agreement in Erdut binding Croatia to withdraw its
15 troops by the 31st of July from the occupied territories of Srpska
16 Krajina, Ravni Kotor, and Maslenica, the Miljevac Plateau, the Peruca
17 hydroelectric power station, and the Zemunik airport in exchange for the
18 opening up of the bridge across the Maslenica canal and the Zemunik
19 airport. And then it goes on to say that the president of the Republic of
20 Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, as well as Franjo Tudjman, the Croatian
21 president, after the meeting held and organised by the co-chairmen of the
22 conference on Yugoslavia, ICFY, Thorvald Stoltenberg and David Owen, made
23 a statement and among other things -- I'm going to skip over this next
24 portion here and go on to point 3 -- expressing their satisfaction with
25 the solutions reached with respect to the Maslenica Bridge, Zemunik and
1 Peruca, the presidents welcome the agreement reached on the cease to
2 hostilities and consider that each individual or group violating that
3 agreement must be held accountable. They indicate the importance of the
4 agreement reached -- the presidents indicate the importance of the
5 agreement reached as an example of how issues should be solved peacefully
6 and consider it to be an important step towards normalising Serbo-Croatian
7 relations as a whole.
8 Now, then, is it true that after the UNPA zones came into being
9 that there were no cases of any kind of instances where Serb forces from
10 the Republika Srpska Krajina attacked any territory outside the protected
11 areas? And as you can see, there were very considerable violations of the
12 PA zones by the Croatian forces. But we did our best to do away with that
13 practice. Isn't that right, Lord Owen?
14 A. I think the court will need to take evidence from the various UN
15 commanders of UNPROFOR in Zagreb. That's -- you're asking a degree of
16 detail which I can't verify either one way or the other.
17 Q. Very well. Let us now move on to another topic. Let me tell you
18 of my intentions, to make it easier for you, and the topic is Greater
20 There are several places in the book and in a telegram you talk
21 about the idea of a Greater Serbia and mention my name in that regard, and
22 that was expected in view of the frightening propaganda and demonisation
23 that was going on in the Western media. And they had this construed story
24 about a Greater Serbia.
25 But on page 228, paragraph 1, in your book, you say that from that
1 time on, that is to say from the 25th of April - and you mean 1993 -
2 onwards, "Milosevic in formal terms gave up the idea of a Greater Serbia
3 and strove for an agreement under the conditions that the majority would
4 be able to accept in the UN. And in the next two years, he never wavered
5 from seeking a solution of that kind. Unfortunately, the demonisation of
6 Milosevic in the USA reached such levels that the administration Congress
7 and the media, without any difference between them, were incapable of
8 adapting themselves to this new reality and continued to say that
9 Milosevic was attached to the idea of a Greater Serbia."
10 So on the basis of the fact that I advocated the Vance-Owen Plan
11 and later on peace plans and took an active part in seeking a peaceful
12 solution, your conclusion is that from the 25th of April, I did not
13 advocate a Greater Serbia after that time. Have I understood you
15 A. Yes. In the relationship to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some people have
16 a different interpretation about Kosovo, but I believe Kosovo was part of
17 Serbia and still is part of Serbia unless and until the UN Security
18 Council makes a different delineation of Kosovo. But I believe you had
19 given up the idea that the only way to get a settlement was for that part
20 of Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina had to be geographically linked
21 to Serbia and Montenegro. You still wanted very close linkage, but you
22 didn't, in my view, and all the plans that you supported thereafter always
23 had the Bosnia-Herzegovina's boundary maintained, the same boundary that
24 had been accepted by the Security Council in May 1992 as the definition of
1 Q. Therefore, you are saying that I was not advocating a Greater
2 Serbia from the time and point at which you became included and involved.
3 And you have no knowledge or awareness whether I had ever strove --
4 striven for that idea before. Do you have any knowledge of that or was it
5 just propaganda? Do you actually know that I was or not?
6 A. Knowledge is a difficult thing to point a specific time, but the
7 impression I had up until January of 1993 was that, all things being
8 equal, you would have preferred a division of parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 and that you would have preferred a portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina to be in
10 part of Serbia and Montenegro and a portion of Bosnia-Herzegovina to be in
11 part of Croatia.
12 If you ask can I prove it, have I got factual evidence of that, I
13 have to say no.
14 MR. KAY: The passage is at 153 in the paperback.
15 THE WITNESS: I believe, Mr. Milosevic, that you are a pragmatist
16 and that in our discussions in Geneva in the start and development of the
17 Vance-Owen Peace Plan, and I think even earlier than that in your
18 discussions with Mr. Vance, I think you had come to recognise that though
19 it would have to take place over a long period of time, the Croatian Serbs
20 would probably eventually have to live within Croatia. I think you had
21 not come to that view of Bosnia-Herzegovina until some way into the
23 And I think that when you met with President Mitterrand in Paris,
24 I think that was a very important meeting in that I think you realised
25 that if you could get a settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, President
1 Mitterrand would put the weight of France behind lifting of sanctions, and
2 indeed he gave you a specific promise that that's what he would do. And
3 from that moment on, I think you began to see a way through which would
4 satisfy your beliefs of what the Serbs needed but would not mean breaking
5 up Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 But these are my interpretations of your views, and they may well
7 be wrong.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Well, you're not quite right in so much as you have any idea of my
10 pushing the idea of a Greater Serbia, and this general term Greater Serbia
11 is a creation of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the annexation of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because everything that was Serbian was called Greater
13 Serbian, whereas nobody ever of the politicians, Serb politicians and
14 those who were within the power structure ever came out with any ideas or
15 programmes for a Greater Serbia.
16 And anyway, in that same passage and paragraph in your book, you
17 say: "As far as Milosevic is concerned, the Bosnian Serbs have protected
18 their interests, and in that sense, they have become victorious, but it
19 wasn't a Greater Serbia in the sense of a unified country from Belgrade to
20 Banja Luka and Knin, and from our January meetings in Geneva, this wasn't
22 So you mention that in January that it wasn't a question of
23 Greater Serbia, that it was not Greater Serbia in terms of one country
24 reaching from Belgrade to Banja Luka. So you -- and Knin. So you base
25 them on propaganda waged at that time, I assume, and on the stories told
1 and bandied about by Milan Panic and not on any objective argumentation
2 that you could have had. Isn't that right?
3 A. These are pretty sweeping allegations, but the difference between
4 you and President Tudjman is President Tudjman never made any secret at
5 all that he disliked the existing map, that he did not consider that the
6 map of Bosnia-Herzegovina was correct, that it had never been an
7 independent country, shouldn't be an independent country, and he wanted to
8 go back to the old Badovan [phoen] map. Now, that was his view.
9 You did not express that view in any way in those terms, but that
10 didn't mean necessarily that you hadn't got a similar view. I can only
11 hear what you say is your view, and I've heard it more concisely than I'd
12 heard it before in the negotiations. I just -- I take note of your view.
13 Q. Yes, but Lord Owen, let's take a look just to remind you. This is
14 Cutileiro's map for the division of Bosnia according to the cantonal
15 division on the basis of the 1971, 1981 and 1991 population censuses. And
16 here we see white for the Serb territories, Croatian for the striated
17 ones, and the Muslims are the black areas. I'd like to draw your
18 attention to that.
19 So this then is Cutileiro's plan, signed by all three national or
20 ethnic communities, and we supported it ourselves, and from this it is
21 evident that at the time of Cutileiro's plan, when that took centre stage
22 we were talking about territory, the kind of territory that could not be
23 referred to as being Greater Serbia in any way.
24 That then is Cutileiro's plan, and the map accepted by the Serbs
25 and signed by Izetbegovic and Karadzic and Boban, and all that took place
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 before the conflicts broke out. And there wouldn't have been a war anyway
2 had we stuck by Cutileiro's plan. And we can see from this and from those
3 times that there can be no mention at all of Greater Serbia. It is a map
4 within Bosnia-Herzegovina as a state, and the Serbs accepted it too.
5 Radovan Karadzic signed it. And Izetbegovic, once he had signed it,
6 withdrew his signature at the proposal of Warren Zimmermann, and
7 Zimmerman, in his book, says he prevailed upon him to do so.
8 JUDGE MAY: We must have a question. Is the point you're trying
9 to make that this plan is illustrative of the fact that you were not a
10 supporter of Greater Serbia? Is that the point that you're making?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This demonstrates that the
12 leadership of Republika Srpska, led by Radovan Karadzic, by its support
13 and signing of this plan had no idea of any kind of Greater Serbia. But
14 the Cutileiro plan related to --
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well. Let the -- no. I'm going to
16 stop you going on. It's time that the witness had an opportunity to
17 answer the point that you're trying to make.
18 Lord Owen, if you want to comment, please.
19 THE WITNESS: Well, I think that this is a perfectly reasonable
20 view for Mr. Milosevic to put forward. This demonstrates that my timing
21 of his conversion against Greater Serbia, or maybe he never had the
22 Greater Serbia, it's evidence that it's reasonable for him to put it
23 through, because it is true, of course, that they did accept the Cutileiro
24 plan. The Cutileiro plan, when you look at it again, you can see has the
25 problems of whether it could have provided a cohesive government for
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. But I'm not against what Ambassador Cutileiro tried
2 to do, and much of that is reflected in the provincial map of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina which was the ten provinces that was the basis of the
4 Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
5 So this may be and you're certainly open to convince people that
6 you were never in favour of Greater Serbia and this would be part of that
7 evidence. I understand that. That doesn't mean that I am personally
8 accepting your interpretation of that history. I think there was an
9 aspiration held not just by you but by many Serb nationalists that there
10 could be a different map, and of course theoretically there could have
11 been. And at various stages in the negotiations, President Izetbegovic
12 himself became quite interested in a Muslim state within the confines of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The exact shape of it was never discussed if for no
14 other reason than it was beyond the terms of reference the International
15 Conference on the Former Yugoslavia. Our terms of reference given to us
16 in August 1992 were to find a peace settlement within the internationally
17 accepted boundaries of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I have already indicated
18 that I think that was a remit which was unnecessarily rigid and they ought
19 to have been prepared to look at boundary changes much earlier.
20 But this is all the history. It's obviously important, but it
21 also is a history when I was not in office and I therefore can't add more
22 to what lay behind the Cutileiro map.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Lord Owen, certainly it was possible to draw many other kinds of
25 maps. This was drawn by the three parties with the assistance of
1 Ambassador Cutileiro. But the very fact that Radovan Karadzic and the
2 leadership of Republika Srpska signed up to it, and this meant an
3 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina and division into cantons which under no
4 circumstances has anything to do with an idea of a Greater Serbia is
5 surely sufficient proof that that idea was not at the basis of the
6 policies pursued even by Republika Srpska and even in those days of the
7 Cutileiro plan. Before the war, before the outbreak of any conflict,
8 before anyone was killed. Isn't that certain? Isn't that correct?
9 A. You're a great one for asking leading questions, Mr. Milosevic,
10 but I do not deny that if you were making your case which you have never
11 believed in Greater Serbia, if that is the case, this is a concrete
12 evidence that certainly my statement that you only really accepted that it
13 had gone in April 1993 might be wrong and that you had accepted it was a
14 lost cause earlier than that.
15 I can't be more helpful than that to you, and you are perfectly
16 entitled -- this is the whole issue of this court, is that you must be
17 given and are being given a fair trail and you must be able to make your
18 case. And you may be able, when you come to give your own evidence, to
19 develop this. I'm not standing in your way on this issue. I put my view
20 in April 1993. Perhaps that was too narrow a view of somebody who had
21 only come into the detailed negotiation since September 1992.
22 Q. But I am emphasising here that as you see, even Radovan Karadzic
23 did not advocate a Greater Serbia because he is the one who signed it.
24 The leadership of Republika Srpska signed the Cutileiro plan.
25 A. But, Mr. Milosevic, you and I know that Mr. Radovan Karadzic
1 signed many things, and if we took on the basis that everything he signed
2 was his intention and what he wanted, then of course we wouldn't be in
3 this mess. The fact of the matter is that he consistently took positions
4 in one forum which were different from positions he took in other forums.
5 It is perfectly possible to have signed this map as part of a view
6 and later wanted to bring together all those areas in the Cutileiro map
7 that are white, which represent Serb majority areas, and to bring them
8 into one republic.
9 I also think it's perfectly possible that Mr. Radovan Karadzic at
10 one time had seen Republika Srpska linked to Serbia and then, as he grew
11 more and more confident of his position, wanted to keep Republika Srpska
12 outside Serbia because he didn't share much of your own ideology. It's
13 not for me to go into the mind of Mr. Radovan Karadzic, but I think I am
14 entitled to say that I am allowed to have the utmost skepticism of
15 documents that are signed by Mr. -- Dr. Radovan Karadzic.
16 Q. Very well. Your skepticism is something you're entitled to, but
17 you remember that when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed in
18 April 1992, a declaration was adopted in which the Federal Republic of
19 Yugoslavia declared urbi et orbi that it had no territorial claims towards
20 any one of the former Yugoslav republics. When it adopted its own
21 constitution, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that
22 is, when Serbia and Montenegro formed the FRY. I am sure you know that.
23 A. Yes, but you would not then follow the logic of that declaration
24 and recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you know we spent many hours
25 discussing why you would not recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina. And had you
1 done so, I think if Serbia and Montenegro had recognised the government of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it would have made life much easier in the
3 negotiations, even though you would have qualified it that the government
4 should be formed on a different basis. But I don't want to go through
5 your time on this issue, but you made that declaration, but you didn't
6 follow its logic, which was the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina under
7 international law.
8 Q. Surely first the political settlement needed to be found in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina first. You yourself say that the government had
10 control over only 10 per cent of the territory. Who could treat as a
11 partner a government that has control over only 10 per cent of its
12 territory? We insisted on a political settlement which would equally
13 protect the interests of all three peoples and their agreement. And later
14 on, when peace was achieved, do you remember that Izetbegovic and myself,
15 benefiting from hospitality of President Chirac in Paris we normalised
16 relations, he recognised the continuity of Yugoslavia as Tudjman did
17 before him at our meeting in Athens. Unfortunately, the new authorities
18 threw that all overboard and requested that Yugoslavia be readmitted to
19 the UN, but that's another matter.
20 So when things were settled, when the parties had agreed, when the
21 interests of all three nations were recognised, there was no dispute. Up
22 until then, things were at issue. Wasn't that logical, Lord Owen?
23 A. Well, that was how you saw it, but as you know, the Contact Group
24 attempted for many months to get you to recognise Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
25 you used all those arguments that you've used now to refuse to do so and
1 said that you would not do it until there had been a final settlement. So
2 you have stayed consistent to your arguments, but there were many of us
3 who thought that a recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the
4 qualification about the government would have been a way of putting to
5 rest, if you like, the propaganda which, as you see it, of Greater Serbia.
6 Certainly I believed it was in your interest to make that
7 qualified recognition.
8 Q. But that government that you are speaking of committed the
9 greatest crimes against the Serbs in those days, that very government. It
10 wasn't a Serbian, Croatian and Muslim government, it was a government that
11 had committed the greatest crimes against the Serbs in those days, even
12 though you say that Serbs crimes were greater. But anyway, that will be
14 That was the government responsible for the greatest crimes
15 against the Serbs and against the Croats, for that matter, in the period
16 that you just mentioned in 1993 and 1994.
17 JUDGE MAY: I wonder if we're going any further forward by going
18 over this topic in that way. Have you got something else you want to ask
19 the witness? Because time is running out.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I quite agree with your quotation that I was eager for Serbs in
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia and anywhere else to protect their vital
23 interests and nothing beyond that, and those interests are protected if
24 they are treated on an equal footing. But I hope you will agree that the
25 notion of equality implies that if Serbs are equal, then the others have
1 to be equal too, and vice versa.
2 So please tell me, did I ever ask for the Serbs living anywhere
3 more than that they should be equal with all the other peoples throughout
4 all the conversations we had over a period of three years?
5 A. This word "equal" is a tricky word. I'm not trying to be too
6 pedantic, but it is my belief that if we had had more goodwill, we could
7 have arrived at a solution in which the Croats in Croatia would have been
8 able to continue to live there. And although this -- we are focusing here
9 on Bosnia-Herzegovina, it does need to be remembered that one of the
10 biggest ethnic cleansings in the whole of the Balkans during this period
11 was that involving Serbs who had to flee Krajina in the early summer of
12 1995 and that, when we talk about this whole complex of problems, we have
13 to recognise that one of the biggest failures was the failure to ensure
14 that the ordinary citizens in Croatia who were Serbs were entitled -- were
15 able to continue to live there.
16 Now, we did devote quite a lot of time to that issue, and we were
17 never able to make the Croatian Serbian leaders show the degree of realism
18 which was necessary to protect their own people. And there were
19 occasional leaders who were ready to do that, but -- so you -- I don't
20 think I can help you any further than that. I think you were trying to
21 protect and ensure equal citizenship for Serbs in Croatia through the
22 UNPAs and the initial Vance Plan, but they themselves didn't help
24 I mean, the months that we spent in 1974 -- 1994, 1995, trying to
25 get an economic agreement was one in which was extremely frustrating in
1 which it was very difficult to get an understanding in Zagreb of the
2 necessary concessions that were necessary, and also in the Knin. And in
3 many ways, the Knin leadership showed less understanding of the rights and
4 of the -- their obligations to their own citizens, and they got -- the
5 consequence was this mass ethnic cleansing of Croat Serbs.
6 Q. Now that you yourself have touched upon that topic again, I shall
7 just read to you a quotation from Thorvald Stoltenberg in September this
8 year when he was there on a visit, and who refers to those events that you
9 mentioned just now. He says: "In the negotiations between Knin and
10 Zagreb prior to the Operation Storm, in which Franjo Tudjman took part
11 too, I suggested that SAO Krajina remain within Croatia but with the right
12 to self-determination. Both sides accepted the proposal, but the reply
13 was valid for only a couple of hours, because Tudjman was already
14 preparing orders for an offensive with the acquiescence of the Americans.
15 I note that the UN did not know of the preparations of the Croats nor of
16 the approval of the White House for the Storm. When the offensive
17 started, I felt cheated, and what I said is the only truth."
18 This is what Mr. Thorvald Stoltenberg said. Is that true, Lord
20 A. I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was said by
21 Thorvald Stoltenberg. Thorvald was my partner in the negotiations as the
22 UN representative once Cyrus Vance stepped down, and he was a remarkably
23 honest, straightforward political leader, and he was at great pains to
24 make clear, particularly when he was the UN representative responsible for
25 UNPROFOR and was in Zagreb, as well as being co-chairman of the
1 International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, great pains to make
2 clear the obligations of the world and the UN to the Croatian Serbs and
3 that they should be treated fairly. And I'm afraid by then it was very
4 clear that President Tudjman had won the heart, if you like, or the
5 intellect or whatever it was, he had won the -- around the Americans to
6 his point of view and that was a reality. But again, it was in
7 desperation that they didn't find it possible to get a dialogue and a
8 settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they came round to accepting that
9 the Croatian armed forces would tilt the balance of power inside
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is what they did in the fighting that took place
11 in the summer of 1995. And if you're looking for the realism that came
12 out, that eventually in the Bosnian Serbs led to Dayton and your own
13 participation in Dayton, one has to admit that part of that came from the
14 defeat of the Serbs by the Croatian army in Western Bosnia.
15 Q. Surely it resulted from our peace efforts, Lord Owen.
16 A. No. I think the reality was that even General Mladic had to face
17 up to the fact that the Serbs were by then beginning to lose the war, that
18 the fact that the West tolerated the Croatian army fighting overtly inside
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina meant that the balance of force had tilted against the
20 Bosnian Serbs and the Croatian army was helping not just the Croatian
21 Serbs but also the Bosnia-Herzegovina government forces. So that the --
22 when you came to the NATO bombing in August, end of August and September,
23 early September, there had been a very different balance of forces in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I think that meant more realism from General
1 It nevertheless took him two weeks of bombing before he came right
2 round to it. But you know these areas better than me. I was no longer a
3 participant, I was just a very interested observer.
4 Q. That was the choice between war and peace. What would have
5 happened if Yugoslavia had got involved like Croatia had? Then the whole
6 of the Balkans would have gone up in flames, and that precisely was the
7 greatest contribution made to achieve peace, and that is how the Dayton
8 Accords were reached. And after all, to be quite honest, Serbia made the
9 greatest contribution to those accords, because without Serbia there
10 wouldn't have been any Dayton Accords. Isn't that correct, at least?
11 A. Yes. I think that is undoubtedly true. I also think you are
12 correct in saying that if the Serbia and Montenegro, the FRY, if their
13 armed forces had crossed into Bosnia-Herzegovina, then we would have had a
14 very bloody war.
15 Q. So we made the option of peace.
16 A. Yes. I believe you wanted peace. Yes, I've said already from
17 April 1993 onwards you supported all the different propositions. What I
18 wished you'd done is made it, your verbal support for peace, you had made
19 that into a -- the military pressures and economic pressures that we
20 talked about yesterday which could have brought a peace very much earlier.
21 I believe you put up with the Bosnian Serbs' obstruction of peace for two
22 years -- two and a half years too long.
23 Now, some --
24 Q. Lord Owen, let us be correct in dealing with the facts. I do
25 believe that you are a person who is correct with facts.
1 Now, look at those peace plans. The Cutileiro plan was dated
2 March 1992. The Serbs adopted it. Then for a long time there was
3 nothing. But there's an entire correspondence that I don't have time to
4 go into where Serbs insist in communication with Carrington and Cutileiro
5 that the negotiations continue even though Izetbegovic withdrew his
6 signature. So the plan was March 1992, then the Vance-Owen Plan in May
7 1993, and surely it follows from this -- or it appears that you are
8 reproaching me for not having resorted to some more drastic measures in
9 favour of the Vance-Owen Plan as if I had abandoned it but in fact you
10 abandoned it. And I don't mean you personally but I mean the
11 international community. The Vance-Owen Plan was abandoned in the first
12 place by the Americans, or rather they didn't even support it. They
13 didn't want to support it. Isn't that true? And they made it known to
14 the Serbs that they didn't consider the plan to be a good one. And then
15 we from Belgrade acted as Don Quixote who advocated the plan which was
16 being undermined by the international community and among that community
17 the largest world power. Isn't that true or not?
18 A. There's a great deal of truth in that.
19 Q. Now, tell me, please, Lord Owen, when was the plan that you named
20 "Invincible," after the carrier, that we referred to as the
21 Owen-Stoltenberg plan? Anyway, it doesn't matter what its name was. When
22 was it, though, do you remember?
23 A. Yes. In September 1993.
24 Q. In September 1993. In May there was the Vance-Owen Plan. All our
25 efforts and pressures. It is immediately abandoned and already in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 September the Invincible Plan is put on the table and again the Serbs
2 accept it. There was the red zone, during which we are bringing pressure
3 to bear from May until September, but then the international community
4 abandoned the plan, appears with the Invincible Plan which again the Serbs
5 adopt and the Muslims reject. Wasn't that right?
6 A. No, I don't think the international community abandoned the plan.
7 The European Union took over the plan of three republics and called it the
8 European Action Plan and increased the percentage of territory for the
9 Bosnian government from 33 -- 30 per cent to 33.3 per cent, and that plan
10 was on the table in December 1993, and we've earlier referred yesterday to
11 the fact that that was probably one of the best opportunities for a peace
12 settlement, which might have been much easier to bring reconciliation than
13 even the Dayton plan. I think the boundaries have been established
14 between the Muslim -- predominantly Muslim republic and predominantly
15 Croatian republic would have given a great deal more stability to
17 But that was not agreed, and the agreement there was a difference
18 of about 0.5 per cent of territory between Mr. -- Dr. Karadzic and
19 President Izetbegovic, in Brussels. Then came the Contact Group plan in
20 September -- sorry, in July of 1994, and then Dayton in 1995, all of which
21 you can say that you agreed with, but in order to get agreement, we had to
22 have agreement on the map, and there the Bosnian Serbs were at times
23 difficult to the point of blocking, and a settlement which would normally
24 have been accepted by reasonable rational people.
25 Q. Lord Owen, I agree with you. It was crazy even to imagine for a
1 plan to fall through for -- because of 0.5 per cent of territory. It is
2 absolutely beyond common sense. But something must have been behind it.
3 But this is why I'm referring to this chronology. There's the Cutileiro
4 Plan in 1992, then the Vance-Owen Plan in 1993, then the Invincible Plan
5 in September 1993, then the Action Plan Kinkel-Juppe, or rather of the
6 European Union, then the contact group, then Dayton. The Serbs accepted
7 the Cutileiro, Invincible, they accepted the Action Plan of the European
8 Union, and they accepted Dayton.
9 Therefore, to be quite fair towards the leadership in Pale, they
10 accepted four peace -- [French on English channel] -- isn't that correct,
11 Lord Owen?
12 A. [French on English channel]
13 JUDGE MAY: We're getting French on the English channel. Can we
14 try again?
15 THE WITNESS: Shall I answer, Your Honour?
16 JUDGE MAY: Please.
17 THE WITNESS: You are making -- you're aligning your own support
18 for all those plans with the position of the Bosnian Serbs. The Bosnian
19 Serbs rejected the Vance-Owen Peace Plan in Pale. The Bosnian Serbs did
20 accept the Cutileiro Plan, the Bosnian Serbs did accept the plan on HMCS
21 Invincible and many of us believe that President Izetbegovic, when he was
22 returning to Sarajevo, was going to argue for its acceptance as well, but
23 the EU Action Plan never reached final agreement. There -- we could not
24 impose a settlement, and we were trying to get the two sides to agree.
25 The Croats were agreed to it. Indeed they had agreed to all these plans,
1 but the area of difference, as you say, was not 0.5 per cent, and it was
2 within the power of Karadzic and Krajisnik to have made that adjustment.
3 And as you say, it was crazy that they didn't.
4 And then in Dayton, as I understand it, you were given the casting
5 vote in the delegation of the Serbs, and you did reach agreement.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Will you let me just make a correction. I didn't prevent the
8 voting of the Serbs from Bosnia, but having learnt from some very bitter
9 experiences that both you and I are aware of, before we went after Dayton,
10 I drew up an agreement. And this is the agreement which was final and
11 which you are probably familiar with. It was signed by Karadzic and
12 Koljevic and Plavsic and Krajisnik and Kosic - I don't know what he was -
13 Prime Minister Buha, and Mladic. And on the Yugoslav side, Lilic,
14 Milosevic, Bulatovic, Kontic, the Federal Prime Minister, a second
15 Bulatovic, the Defence Minister, and the Chief of Staff. And also by the
16 Serbian Patriarch Paul.
17 Why? Because I didn't wish a repetition of Athens and the
18 Vance-Owen Plan rejection, and because I wanted to have a document in my
19 hands which would provide for the possibility of a final adoption of what
20 is adopted in Dayton, that there can be no review of it. And should the
21 votes be divided, because it was 3-3, three from Republika Srpska and
22 three from Yugoslavia, then I would have the casting vote. Because in the
23 three, of which I was one, my vote would be decisive. And this was
24 precisely to avoid the dangers that we have referred to. You are surely
25 aware of that. I didn't prevent them from voting, but in Dayton, an
1 agreement was reached which was feasible and which in relative terms
2 protected the interests of all three nations. Isn't that so, Lord Owen?
3 A. Yes, I think it is. It's not entirely a joke when I say that I
4 wish that you'd had a casting vote in Athens and that we had had the
5 patriarch of the Serbian church there to witness that.
6 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now. Mr. Milosevic, we've
7 considered your time, which is now up, but as an act of grace, you can
8 have another quarter of an hour when we come back.
9 We will adjourn. Twenty minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I understood it correctly, Mr.
14 May, you've given me an additional 15 minutes; is that right?
15 JUDGE MAY: That's right.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Lord Owen, with respect to these plans, and I seem to feel that we
18 need to clarify this question of an Action Plan that you referred to a
19 moment ago. I should like to remind you of one of your quotations from
20 the book. 407 is the page of the English version which I have on the
21 compact disk, where you say the following: "There had now been four lost
22 peace initiatives [In English] the Carrington Cutileiro plan before the
23 war -- before the war started, the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, the Invincible
24 package, and now the EU Action Plan. Most Europeans I judged felt any
25 further effort while the US remained on the sidelines was doomed for it
1 allows the Muslims to escape the necessity of compromise inherent in any
3 [Interpretation] Do you therefore consider that for the lack of
4 success of the Action Plan of the European Union it was predominantly the
5 Muslim side that was to blame, including the United States?
6 A. No, I don't believe that. I think that President Izetbegovic
7 faced an extremely difficult issue on agreeing on a map which was
8 effectively defining a Muslim republic, predominantly Muslim republic,
9 which was part of the essence of the new structure that we were on. We'd
10 abandoned the provincial structure which you could argue was based on the
11 cantonal Cutileiro, the provincial Vance-Owen Peace Plan, we were now
12 going for a recognition that there would be three autonomous areas within
14 And on that map, we were accepting that these three enclaves in
15 Eastern Bosnia were very tightly drawn. We'd expanded the areas a bit.
16 We'd got a link, a road link, through to Gorazde, and we got Zepa and
17 Srebrenica together, but they were very tight. So in Eastern Bosnia,
18 there was a real serious problem for President Izetbegovic in convincing
19 his own people.
20 And secondly, there was a real problem -- sorry. That was in
21 Eastern Bosnia. And there was, secondly, a real problem in Western Bosnia
22 where he did need, I think, more territory. And as I say, the person who
23 had the territory was Dr. Karadzic and the republican Serbian leaders.
24 The person who had the least territory, given that they were the majority
25 population -- not the least territory but the lesser territory than the
1 Serbs was the Bosnian Muslims, and I think it was not unreasonable to get
2 that 0.5 per cent out of the Bosnian Serbs.
3 And you stayed late that night, and I think you left Brussels
4 thinking that Karadzic and Krajisnik would come up with this extra 0.5 per
5 cent the next day, and they didn't. And I think that was -- that was
6 their call, really. They had to move a bit on both those two rounds of
7 territory to get the EU Action Plan agreed in Brussels.
8 Q. Yes, without doubt. And I think that you and I and everybody else
9 couldn't have even supposed that something could have been started on the
10 basis of 0.5 per cent of the territory. That was quite clear.
11 But I reminded you of this quotation of yours precisely because it
12 speaks about this position taken by the US allowed the Muslims to avoid,
13 to sidestep the need for a compromise, which was necessary in the
14 negotiations. So that was the point of the quotation I selected from your
16 A. Well, on that I agree, and I had been advocating privately for
17 quite awhile that the format of these negotiations, European Union and
18 United Nations, was insufficient and that we had to involve the United
19 States. And I had been -- I advocated in the subsequent months that we
20 should do more through NATO, and I was a strong proponent of the Contact
21 Group Plan which would allow the EU representation to be subsumed in the
22 membership of Britain, France, and Germany, the Contact Group. But the
23 crucial extra element in addition to the Russian Federation of the Contact
24 Group, to make it five, was the United States. And from that moment on,
25 the United States became a partner on the negotiations.
1 The Contact Group Plan was actually very little different from the
2 EU Action Plan, and indeed not much different from Dayton, to be honest.
3 The 51 per cent for the Republika Srpska was there in all of these plans,
4 the EU Action Plan and before HMCS Invincible. Now, the 51 per cent began
5 to be something which the Americans accepted and then they had the
6 Croat-Muslim federation. So I do believe it was crucial to involve
7 President Clinton's administration, and from that moment of the formation
8 of the Contact Group Plan we began to be more coherent in our own Western
9 position. And in order to do that, as I say, we had to make the EU
10 representation come through its three largest countries, and I think that
11 was realism.
12 Q. Yes, that was realism and that isn't at issue. But what I would
13 like to do now is go over certain questions having to do with the fact
14 that you speak about certain errors, mistakes that led to the civil war
15 and the premature recognition of Croatia and Slovenia, among other things.
16 Is it without doubt, Lord Owen, that it was only in Yugoslavia
17 that all the nations, all the ethnic groups, realised their right not to
18 be broken up into different states and that they could live in one state,
19 all the Serbs, the Croats, the Muslims, and that life in that one area of
20 Yugoslavia, one country Yugoslavia, had a series of advantages for the
21 citizens living in it on different levels, and why did states form a
22 European Union anyway? So I don't suppose you're challenging that.
23 A. No, I think it would have been easier if the former Yugoslavia had
24 not dissolved.
25 Q. Well, that's precisely what I'm talking about too. The former
1 Yugoslavia was an advantage and advantageous to all its nations or ethnic
2 groups, and I assume you are aware of the fact that a series of states,
3 international organisations, personages supported Yugoslavia's integrity
4 and strove at the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis to safeguard its unity,
5 to preserve it.
6 A. Yes. That was the position of the United States, and President
7 Bush Senior and also under Secretary of State James Baker, and that was
8 also the position of the European Community.
9 Q. I'm sure you also know that the European parliament on the 9th of
10 June, 1991 adopted a resolution on Yugoslavia which did not support the
11 unilateral acts of secession on the part of Slovenia and Croatia.
12 A. I'm not actually aware of it, but if you tell me so, I have no
13 reason to disbelieve it, and it would be consistent.
14 Q. And do you know that the Council of Ministers of the European
15 Community and the European Council, also organs of the European Community
16 supported the territorial integrity of the SFRY, and on the 26th of March,
17 1991, the European Community proclaimed a declaration on Yugoslavia in
18 which it stressed that, "A united and democratic Yugoslavia had the best
19 chances of becoming integrated harmoniously into the new Europe," and I'm
20 quoting that from that particular declaration.
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Do you also know that the Council of Ministers of the OSCE meeting
23 in Berlin on the 19th of June, 1991 adopted a declaration too? Amongst
24 other things, it expressed support to the territorial integrity and unity
25 of Yugoslavia.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And now as we're talking about this about-turn, let me remind you
3 of what you say in your book, in actual fact the English version on my
4 compact disk on page 46, paragraph 1, right after your appointment, and
5 you write about that, you say: "On Sunday we went off to London by car
6 and stopped on the way to have tea with Peter Carrington at his farm in
7 Buckinghamshire. As always, Peter was relaxed, but in his voice while he
8 was talking and saying how the European foreign ministers behaved towards
9 him, there was a certain sharp note. There was no doubt that the decision
10 made by the EC on recognition of December 1991 he considered that to be
11 treachery, betrayal. And while he presented the chronicle of events, I
12 asked myself out loud --" this is what you say -- "What could they do to
13 me? And he laughed." And you go on to quote him: "Don't worry. Nothing
14 much remains that they could do."
15 So Carrington considered that this recognition put paid to the
16 peace efforts; isn't that right?
17 A. Yes. He wrote to that effect in a letter putting his views on
18 record more formally, and so did Cyrus Vance and so did the
19 then-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Perez de Cuellar. So the
20 three people most involved in the peace process at that time all opposed
21 the European Union -- European Community's decision to recognise,
22 believing apart from the merits of the Slovenia and the Croatian question
23 is that it would be inevitable that they would move on quickly to what
24 they considered to be a premature recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina; and
25 that is exactly what happened, and I believe it was a very serious
2 Q. I would even go as far as to say tragic, Lord Owen, and I'm sure
3 you'd agree with that.
4 Now, do you remember a statement made by James Baker on the 13th
5 of January, 1991 before the American Congress when he said that, "The fact
6 was that Slovenia and Croatia unilaterally proclaimed their independence.
7 Despite our warnings they resorted to force in order to take over the
8 border crossings, and this gave rise to a civil war." That is what James
9 Baker said at a hearing before the US Congress on the 13th of January,
11 A. I'm not aware of it but I have no reason to doubt that that's what
12 he did say.
13 Q. And I'm sure you'll remember Cyrus Vance's statement on the 9th of
14 February, 1995, when he said the premature recognition of the former
15 Yugoslav republics was a terrible mistake.
16 A. That was his view, and he held it right until he died.
17 Q. "What should have been done was to keep to The Hague agreement,
18 which did not allow for recognition of the former Yugoslav republics while
19 an all-embracing solution was found. This was not respected, and I think
20 it was a terrible mistake," and that is a quotation of him. Do you
21 remember that?
22 A. I was aware of it, and I agree with it.
23 Q. Lord Carrington, in the Vienna weekly Profile says the following,
24 speaking about attempts to reach peace. He said, "In that business I
25 helped Cyrus Vance who was the main negotiator. The negotiations
1 developed well and we were almost -- we had almost reached a solution to
2 Krajina and Slavonia. However, at that point the European Community at
3 the end of 1991 decided to recognise Slovenia and Croatia." And he goes
4 on to say that, "The behaviour and conduct of the European Community
5 toppled the peace conference," and I'm quoting him there. And I go on to
6 quote, "Croatia, by being recognised, got what it wanted. So did Slovenia
7 and they no longer had the desire for continuing the peace conference.
8 And what is more important, this same thing should have been enabled for
9 others, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the first place. But Alija Izetbegovic did
10 not opt for anything other than independence, although it was clear to him
11 too that this kind of option would mean war. Hans Dietrich Genscher
12 wanted to have international recognition of Slovenia and Croatia.
13 Practically all the rest were opposed to that."
14 Then he goes on to criticise the journalists, Lord Carrington
15 does, and says he was being blamed for being pro-Serb. And his answer to
16 that was, "That's senseless, that's nonsense. It wasn't easy to say who
17 was good and who was bad. When the Croats proclaimed their independence,
18 they did not allow the Serbs in their own country, and there are 600.000
19 of them, to have any guarantees whatsoever. It was understandable,
20 therefore, that the Serbs were concerned over this if we bear in mind the
21 Croatian and Muslim Ustasha conduct during World War II."
22 Do you remember that?
23 A. No, I don't. You must be responsible for that quote, and Lord
24 Carrington's perfectly capable of being responsible for his own quotation.
25 Q. And do you remember something that the Diplomatico published
1 about, that Chancellor Kohl, at a summit meeting in Brussels on the 29th
2 and 30th of June, 1991, in fact, that is to say four days after Slovenia
3 and Croatia had declared their secession, although it wasn't a topic on
4 the agenda, called for the instantaneous recognition of those republics.
5 A. I'm certainly aware that that was his view, but exact words I
6 don't know.
7 Q. And do you know what was going on on the 16th of December, 1991,
8 at the EU summit where Genscher stated --
9 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. There's no point, really, asking the
10 witness about matters that he can't deal with. Now, you've had your
11 quarter of an hour. You can ask a few more questions providing they're
12 relevant and they're matters which Lord Owen can answer. Mere propaganda
13 on your side isn't going to help us.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am not engaged in any kind of
15 propaganda. What I'm trying to do is to speak about the facts.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. And you will have the chance to do that when you
17 give evidence, of course, but the only point is to ask a witness questions
18 which he can actually deal with.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Well, on page 556 and 557 of your book, you say that, "Lord
21 Carrington and Perez de Cuellar, in letters, drew attention to the fact
22 that premature recognition of Croatia could fan the flames of the crisis
23 to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a step -- they went a step further." And you
24 say the following in paragraph 1 on that page, 556, 557: "The mistake
25 that the European Community made to recognise Croatia could have been
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 overcome had the situation not been complicated by the recognition of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina regardless of the consequences. The USA at the end of
3 the December 1991 were opposed to the recognition of Croatia and became a
4 very active advocate of recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, the
5 spring of that year. However, we need not have considered this to be
6 unavoidable nor was it logical to carry on and recognise
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Internal Yugoslav republic composed of three large
8 constituent nations with very different attitudes and positions with
9 respect to independence. Therefore, they went from one mistake to the
11 But the price that was paid was human lives, Lord Owen. So
12 therefore, as you yourself linked up the wars that you describe and call
13 it one war, a war against Yugoslavia, a war in which Yugoslavia was
14 dissolved, would that be right?
15 A. I think it was a profound error to go ahead with the recognition
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina just because you'd recognised Croatia and Slovenia.
17 And certainly to do so in the absence of a substantial UN peacekeeping
18 force in the country prior to recognition. So you could have at least
19 reduced the dangers of war breaking out.
20 One of the problems was that the United Nations at that stage were
21 having difficulty in getting sufficient number of troops from contributing
22 countries to uphold the United Nations Protected Areas, four of them, in
23 Croatia. So in a way, our problem was, which was there throughout the
24 whole of this crisis, this marvelous habit of politicians making
25 rhetorical commitments in the Security Council not backed up by the forces
1 and the resources on the ground. And that, unfortunately, has been the
2 story of the former Yugoslavia and no more so than over Srebrenica where
3 we gave the impression of being able to protect people without having the
5 There is not the fault of the United Nations. The United Nations
6 is frequently used as being the overall umbrella to blame. The blame has
7 to be on the Security Council at the time, and in particular its permanent
9 Q. Lord Owen, you mentioned General Morillon, and from what you write
10 about him, I have gained the impression that you have a good opinion of
11 him. Is that right?
12 A. Yes, I have.
13 Q. I'm sure you know that he testified in the French parliament, and
14 I have here the authentic text, L'audition de Generale Philipe Morillon
15 October 1992, 1993, et cetera, et cetera, in the French parliament, and as
16 Mr. Nice asked you some questions about Srebrenica, although you said you
17 weren't there at the time and you didn't want to go into it but he
18 insisted upon it, in this document he says: "I did not waiver in stating
19 and writing that Mladic had fallen into a trap in Srebrenica. He expect
20 resistance which he didn't encounter. So I don't think he expected the
21 massacre to take place, but in that regard he underestimated the amassed
22 hatred. I do not believe that he ordered the massacres. However, I don't
23 know. That is my personal opinion."
24 And it is also my personal opinion and I can't believe it. You
25 too have met General Mladic, so I assume that you can't believe that he
1 could have ordered a dishonourable thing of that kind.
2 A. I'm afraid here we come to a very serious disagreement. It's not
3 job to claim or make a speculation as to what happened in Srebrenica in
4 1995, but it is certainly my job to tell you, Mr. Milosevic, and the Court
5 that I don't share that view of General Mladic. I think there was many
6 different elements in the character of General Mladic which made him a
7 very ambivalent personality to determine, but I do not consider that it
8 was beyond General Mladic's record of behaviour to have been complicit in
9 massacres of Muslims. I believe he was a racist, I believe that he had
10 many quite irrational attitudes to the Muslim population, and I believe
11 that his record as a general demonstrated that there was a callousness and
12 a brutality about the man that would have allowed him to make decisions.
13 Whether he did or not I do not know, and I'm not prepared to speculate.
14 But as to his character, I would not be a character witness for General
15 Mladic's inability to conduct or to -- to -- I'm searching for a word
16 which is not necessarily conduct but to acquiesce in a massacre of
18 Q. Well, Lord Owen, I quoted Morillon and said that I too don't
19 believe that he ordered the massacre, and that is what Morillon says, that
20 he doesn't believe it either. But let's move on.
21 Speaking about what you knew from 1993 or, rather, what he knew on
22 the basis of 1993 and Morillon's testimony in parliament and the amassed
23 hatred, Morillon adds: "I informed Belgrade too. I went to see Milosevic
24 and told him this is what is going to happen. He helped me. What I --
25 that I had won that battle then that was thanks to the position taken by
1 Milosevic, but New York was also kept au courant."
2 So I assume you know about that as relating to 1993.
3 A. Mr. Milosevic, I made it quite clear, and many people don't like
4 me saying it, but I do believe that you were very helpful in 1993 in
5 stopping General Mladic going in and taking Srebrenica. And I rang you up
6 personally. You were also under many representations of other people, and
7 I believe the record is quite clear that you did intervene and you were of
8 considerable help in that situation. I think you were well aware of the
9 great danger for the reputation of the Serbs. If they had gone into
10 Srebrenica, there would have been very bitter street fighting. The grudge
11 match that existed around Srebrenica between -- over Bratunac and others
12 would have spilled over into a very, very nasty scene.
13 And I do not know what representations if any were made to you in
14 1995 or what were the circumstances. As I say, I was no longer a
15 negotiator. But I think it is the most shameful single episode to have
16 occurred in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the massacre around Srebrenica in 1995,
17 and inasmuch as I must have in some ways contributed to that by not
18 alerting enough people, by not being -- making it more and more apparent
19 how dangerous the situation was, I deeply regret it. But I can only tell
20 you I opposed the safe area policy from beginning to end. I considered it
21 was a fraud. I said so. I made it clear to ministers. I opposed the
22 joint action plan in 1993. I earned the very considerable animosity of
23 the United States in doing so. I think it was a disgraceful decision.
24 Every single member of that Security Council, when they passed the
25 resolutions on safe areas, knew that they were not going to provide
1 sufficient troops. They knew that the UN generals had said that there
2 should be a minimum of 35.000 new troops in order to conduct that policy.
3 We did not provide those troops, and we are in part responsible for that
4 appalling massacre.
5 Q. I completely share your opinion about that. And there was nothing
6 more shameful that could have happened or anything that was so detrimental
7 to the people who were the victims but also to the detriment of the Serbs.
8 And that is why I am interested in seeing that what happened in 1995 is
9 dealt with and light thrown on it as clearly as possible.
10 JUDGE MAY: Now, you have five minutes left.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. Yes, I am
12 bearing that in mind, that you very generously gave me some more time
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, as to this testimony before the National Assembly of France,
16 Philippe Morillon presents his views about another issue that you touch
17 upon in your book and your statement. And Marileno Daubaire [phoen], a
18 deputy, asked him, "Do you consider - yes or no - that there existed the
19 aggressor and the victim of the aggression and that the victims were to be
20 protected?" And General Morillon said, "No. I was present and I
21 experienced and lived through that crisis from its very start in April 192
22 and I always refuse to believe that there was the aggressor and the victim
23 of the aggression. And because of that, the Bosniaks criticised me for a
24 long time."
25 As opposed to Philippe Morillon, you yourself were not in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the beginning of the war but you came some six
2 months later, but nevertheless on the basis of your own experience and
3 knowledge, can you say that you agree with General Morillon with respect
4 to that assertion of his?
5 A. I think it is two simplistic to see the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
6 as being one of aggressors and victims. I've made it quite clear that I
7 think there was evil done on all sides by all parties. The political
8 leaders demonstrated a lack of compassion, of consideration, and readiness
9 to compromise on all sides. But nevertheless, there is a danger in trying
10 to be fair in apportioning an equality of guilt, in trying to determine
11 that all were equally at fault. That, in my judgement, was not the case.
12 I said it yesterday and I say it again. In trying to make that very
13 difficult judgement as to how many -- you know, what was the balance of
14 fault, what was the balance of horror, what was the balance of
15 inconsiderate behaviour, I think the Bosnian Serbs come out the worst. I
16 they are followed by the Croatian Serbs, and then by the Muslim leaders
17 and troops.
18 Q. You mean the Bosnian Croats.
19 A. Sorry. Bosnian Croats. Yes, sorry. The Bosnian Serbs were the
20 first, in my view, in the scale of bad behaviour. Secondly were the
21 Croatian Serbs -- the Bosnian Croats, sorry, and the second were the
22 Bosnian Muslims. But -- you know, I'm not God. I'm not here to apportion
23 these things, I'm just giving my overall estimate because of this tendency
24 for a propaganda war with each side claiming that only they were the ones
25 who were fair-minded, only they were the good people, only they were the
1 reasonable ones. Unfortunately, it's necessary, it seems, to form some
2 judgement on this whole affair, but we are better looking at individual
3 episodes, but it was one of the problems that things were never quite what
4 they seemed. On the face of it, crimes looked as if they could be
5 associated with one element, but there was a good deal of agent
6 provocateuring, so you had to have a skeptical view as to who was
7 responsible for any particular thing. But I think your fellow Serbs did
8 not do the reputation of the Serbs worldwide any good by their conduct in
10 Q. As you're mentioning those incidents and the erroneous image, let
11 us take the explosion at the Sarajevo Markale marketplace on -- in 1994,
12 on a Saturday. That was one of the turning points in that particular war,
13 and the Serbs were blamed for it. Isn't that right? Whereas you, on page
14 419, speak about the fact that a delegation of the Bosnian government
15 which was to have negotiated - and this took place afterwards - did not
16 appear at the Sarajevo airport. "Rose was angry, furious. He went to the
17 Bosnian Presidency to try and persuade President Izetbegovic and his
18 military commander General Delic to come and attend the meeting. And
19 those around General Rose never hid the fact that at the meeting he said
20 to the leaders of the Bosnian Muslims that he had just received technical
21 information indicating that a mortar shell did not come from the area
22 under Serb control but from the Muslim part of town.
23 "If this information were to be circulated by the media, the
24 outcome would be completely different, and if the -- Izetbegovic tries to
25 withdraw from the negotiations, he, Rose, would feel duty-bound to conduct
1 the preliminary evidence of the investigation conducted by the UN."
2 That is something you write about on page 419 of your book. "If
3 the government negotiating team does not attend the meeting on the 17th of
4 February at the airport, he would convene a press conference." And that
5 is the end of your quotation. So the knowledge that the Muslims shelled
6 their own people was something that was not brought to light but used as a
7 method of coercion despite of the fact that public opinion was engulfed by
8 an anti-Serb hysteria. Isn't that right, Lord Owen?
9 A. Well, you are partially correct, but unfortunately, you have not
10 completed the story. At the request of Dr. Karadzic, and indeed it was
11 inevitable anyhow, there was a full-scale independent inquiry of that
12 particular mortar incident, and the UN inquiry that was established by
13 Boutros Boutros-Ghali came to the conclusion that they could not pinpoint
14 who was responsible, whether the shell had been -- mortar had been fired
15 from a Muslim army controlled area or whether the Bosnian government
16 forces or whether from a Serb forces. But where you are correct in saying
17 is that in the early stages, the preliminary evidence did point to it
18 coming from an area of Sarajevo controlled by the Bosnian government
19 Muslim forces, and it was in a most extraordinary situation to live with
20 watching NATO and the European Union all ready to make decisions on the
21 automatic assumption that this had been fired by the Bosnian Serbs. And
22 that was, as I say, never proven, nor, however, was the converse proven,
23 that the original impression that it had come from the Bosnian government
24 Muslim forces. So it's left as an unsatisfactory episode, but in the
25 diplomacy of that period it was extraordinarily important that the United
1 Nations retain their integrity and their impartiality and it is to the
2 great credit of General Rose that, despite endless public criticism, he
3 refused to do so. And I think it needs to be said in this court that many
4 UN personnel lost their lives in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in fighting for
5 impartiality and in fighting against very powerful forces. At that time
6 there was a readiness amongst the European Union, which I must say I was
7 not proud of, and of NATO, to come to one conclusion and that was that
8 this was totally the fault of the Bosnian Serbs.
9 But nevertheless, again the background which NATO had to face and
10 the European Union had to face is that day after day, there were shells
11 landing in Sarajevo from Bosnian Serb mortar sites, and guns firing into
12 it. I myself stayed with General Morillon and were woken in the middle of
13 the night by artillery fire directly on the UN headquarters in Sarajevo.
14 So there was a background history. And though that particular
15 episode there was a danger of the impartiality and integrity of the
16 international community being damaged, fortunately it was not, and the
17 establishment of the fact was they couldn't conclude who had fired it, but
18 they knew that there were too many heavy weapons in placements around
19 Sarajevo which had been endlessly firing into Sarajevo, and they had to
20 go. And so an ultimatum was put on General Mladic that those forces had
21 to be withdrawn, quite correctly.
22 And General Mladic refused to withdraw them. That was the
23 reality. He rotated them round out of Sarajevo and then back in through
24 other roads. And it was only when the Russians at initially our
25 instigation but then very quickly and quietly moved their forces, UN
1 forces committed in Croatia, around through into Sarajevo and reinforced
2 that part of the area of Sarajevo to give reassurance to the Serbs, and
3 then your own generals forced General Mladic to start to withdraw his
4 troops -- to withdraw his heavy weapons. And we managed to establish an
5 exclusion area in Sarajevo and eventually to have, for quite a number of
6 months, peace in Sarajevo with very few scattered incidents. But it soon
7 broke down.
8 I only go into that in some detail. They things -- the facts are
9 very difficult to establish, but what I've said I believe to be an
10 accurate interpretation of a very difficult ten-day, 14-day period.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you have had past your time, but you
12 can ask one last question.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. If it's just one more question, and as you are talking about my
15 political positions, Lord Owen, I noted down that you said yesterday with
16 precision what I was expressing was the majority Serb opinion. What else
17 should I have represented except the majority opinion of the people who
18 had elected me?
19 A. Well, Mr. Milosevic, whether or not you were elected in the
20 Western democratic sense is open to some argument, but nevertheless, at
21 times there has never been any doubt in my mind that you were the chosen
22 leader of the Serbian people. You represented majority opinion. So I'm
23 not going into the electoral process, but I do believe you did represent
24 for a substantial period of time the views of the Serbs.
25 That puts a very special responsibility on a political leader to
1 sometimes be prepared to lead his public opinion against their views, to
2 tell them the truth, to lead -- to take a minority position. And I think
3 that my great regret is that you did not take on that view, that Serbian
4 nationalist view, particularly over Kosovo but on some other aspects of
5 this dispute, and I don't think it is sufficient as a justification to say
6 I was acting always on behalf of majority opinion. Democracy is not
7 purely and simply a continuous referendum in which leaders are meant to
8 represent the opinion of the majority. It is extremely important that
9 they are prepared to stand, at times, for views and opinions that
10 represent minority. And what is right internationally and what is right
11 in international law should be upheld, and I think that you had a
12 responsibility to uphold those international laws even if that was not
13 what was accepted by majority Serb opinion.
14 I'm sorry if I end on a sort of lecture note, but the reality of
15 political leadership through history is that some of the greatest acts
16 have been when leaders have been prepared to run against their own public
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I --
20 JUDGE MAY: It's Mr. Kay's turn. We'll deal with any exhibits you
21 have at the end.
23 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
24 Q. Lord Owen, I'm going to ask you some questions now based on our
25 Court Exhibit C18, which is your book Balkan Odyssey, so I'll be taking
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 pages from that.
2 And if we could turn to chapter 3 at page 94, which is the section
3 dealing with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan. And this is in January of 1993,
4 you having entered the peace process in September of 1992. And in that
5 period from the September to January, obviously you researched the
6 background, information, had meetings to decide a course of action that
7 you were going to put to the principal parties involved. That would be a
8 correct summary, wouldn't it?
9 A. I hope so.
10 Q. Looking at the plan at page 94, we see there what were the
11 constitutional principles, defining Bosnia-Herzegovina as a decentralised
12 state and then giving substantial autonomy to provinces but denying an
13 international legal character to those provinces. So the point was on
14 your peace plan at that moment was the recognition that the international
15 community had already given that Bosnia-Herzegovina was going to remain a
16 recognised state. There was no backtracking on that issue, and it
17 certainly wasn't possible to backtrack on it by then.
18 A. No, that's correct. That was the terms under which we were set up
19 from the London conference. And anyhow, that was international law.
20 Q. Yes. Within that decentralised state, you weren't going to
21 identify the particular ethnic groupings of the provinces that were going
22 to be contained within.
23 A. No. We didn't -- we didn't ascribe an ethnic basis in the names
24 or in our own description, but nevertheless it was always obvious, given
25 the situation in the former Yugoslavia, that people would claim that
1 certain provinces were or were not likely to have majorities within it.
2 Q. In January of 1993, at that stage the Bosnian Serbs were in the
3 most powerful position.
4 A. Yes. They occupied about 70 per cent of the territory.
5 Q. The recognition of the peace plan at that stage would have made
6 them give up substantial gains that they had made of a military nature
7 over the previous year.
8 A. Yes. They were being asked to withdraw from something like 23 per
9 cent of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So it was a very substantial
10 reversal of the product of war, if you like, or of ethnic cleansing, and
11 it was to be done by negotiation without being forced. So it was -- it
12 was ambitious, there's no doubt about that.
13 Q. At page 97 of the book, you make it clear that you were asking a
14 victor to give up a larger proportion of land, which is something very
15 unusual in a historical context.
16 A. Yes. They would have to retreat from about 38.6 per cent of the
17 territory which they occupied.
18 Q. And you challenged any critics of that peace plan to recall in
19 history any episode similar where a controlling force could have been so
21 A. Right, that's true. I can't think of any case where they had
23 Q. Putting this into context in relation to Mr. Milosevic in
24 Belgrade, for him to adopt the support of that plan, you would probably
25 recognise would have represented a considerable political challenge for
1 him in dealing with the Bosnian Serb leadership.
2 A. Yes, I think I did, but we were asking not just him. At that
3 particular time President Milosevic was president of Serbia and we were
4 also involving the authority of the president of the FRY, President Cosic,
5 who was a well-known nationalist, and also President Bulatovic from
7 Q. At this stage when the peace plan was unveiled, if we look at page
8 99, you mention there that there was great criticism by Izetbegovic,
9 President Izetbegovic, as to the plan itself, and there was the use of a
10 propaganda machine on his part to reflect that he was almost being bullied
11 within this process to accept less than he was entitled to.
12 A. Well, actually, we had heard that the Bosnian Muslims had accepted
13 the plan. In fact, I think it was former Ambassador Zimmerman who had
14 been told that. And we also got that impression. But it's true, of
15 course, that they then did, sensing the new incoming American
16 administration, thought for some strange reason that this plan was soft on
17 the Serbs, they were naturally enough wanting to try and get more
19 Q. You've come to the point that I was going to deal with next, that
20 in fact your view was, if we look at page 100 of the book, that there was
21 a certain degree of misrepresentation by the US State Department
22 encouraging Izetbegovic to ask for non-negotiable territory against the
23 Bosnian Serbs almost as a means of causing a failure of the peace plan.
24 A. I don't think it was really deliberate. I think it was they
25 didn't understand the plan. They didn't understand the history at that
1 time. They were a new administration taking office, but there were
2 people, of course, who did understand it, but there was a very strong
3 feeling amongst some people in New York and elsewhere, and Washington,
4 that we had been too generous to the Serbs.
5 Q. You write at page 100 that Vance and Okun had been complaining of
6 US misrepresentation of your intentions and the details of the plan.
7 A. Yes. That's true.
8 Q. And some of the feelings behind this were believed to be because
9 the Russians supported the plan and the US was wary of a Russian-backed
11 A. That may have been a factor. That may have been a factor.
12 Q. And again when we consider Mr. Milosevic's political history, he
13 of course was a communist, he was from a socialist party, and his
14 government had good relations with Russia.
15 A. They were beginning to be a bit strained, but yes.
16 Q. Yes. But that was a future within it.
17 A. Yes. There was a -- I don't think the Russian Federation at that
18 time were as supportive as the Serbs, as sometimes the Serbs thought they
19 should be as fellow Slavs, but nevertheless, I think it was a tribute to
20 the then Russian Federation foreign secretary Mr. Kozyrev that he did try
21 to be fair-minded throughout this whole period, and I think the Russian
22 Federation played an extremely helpful path right up to the Dayton peace
23 conference and beyond in working with NATO in implementing the plan.
24 Q. To be bold about this, there is a lot of tub thumping that's been
25 going on, but political interests were also being served by the states who
1 were looking at these affairs externally.
2 A. We don't live in a perfect world.
3 Q. Thank you. If we turn to page 102, given the difficulty of this
4 plan as it was to be received by the Bosnian Serbs, Mr. Milosevic's
5 backing to that plan was an important key on your behalf.
6 A. Yes. At that time in January, we didn't have his total support,
7 but he was acting helpfully in trying to -- he saw what we were trying to
8 do, establish the principles of the cooperation, and I think somewhere in
9 the book I mention that he came up with the idea of merging two principles
10 and presenting nine principles instead of ten or --
11 Q. It's the middle of page --
12 A. He provided the basis for a compromise which Karadzic could say
13 that he proposed eight principles, the co-chairman proposed ten
14 principles, and we had now settled for nine principles, and it was a
15 rather ingenious suggestion, which we were grateful to accept from
16 President Milosevic.
17 Q. It's the middle of page 102. "Milosevic suggested over lunch the
18 face-saving formula."
19 A. Right.
20 Q. And again, you were obviously able to recognise that there were
21 important political consequences for him as well in helping put forward a
22 plan that was contrary to the aspirations of the Bosnian Serb leadership
23 at that time.
24 A. Yes. You have to remember that most of the opposition parties
25 supported Dr. Karadzic, including some of those who later went on to be
1 leaders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after President Milosevic
2 lost the election.
3 Q. And to balance this, back in Belgrade you were aware again of his
4 need to carry this through the politicians in Belgrade in Serbia.
5 A. Up to a point. This was not a working democracy as we know it in
6 the West, but he had to take account of the criticism of his plan that was
7 coming whether it was coming from Draskovic or Seselj or any of the other
9 Q. One of your ways of assessing his commitment to this plan was the
10 understanding from the evidence that Karadzic then began to try and sell
11 the plan to his constituency.
12 A. Well, it would certainly have helped if he had.
13 Q. He was trying to represent it as being a victory on his behalf.
14 A. The plan.
15 Q. Yes. His acceptance of it.
16 A. Karadzic?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. No, no. It was quite the reverse. Karadzic was hedging his bets
19 on the plan throughout and saying this would be a great defeat for the
20 Serbs, that they would have to give up all this territory and that they
21 were giving up territory which had industrial locations on it, that they
22 were giving up precious territory. Karadzic reversed it, Karadzic never
23 accepted the plan and he didn't want it. And you know, the reality of
24 life is that Dayton gave the Serbs six per cent more territory than the
25 Vance-Owen Peace Plan gave them.
1 Q. In your book at page 103, you make it clear that it was the
2 pressure by Mr. Milosevic, then-President Milosevic, on Mladic and
3 Karadzic and the other leaders that this plan had to be adopted.
4 A. Well, he pressurised, and he got them to sign up for it in Athens,
5 but they then denounced, went back on the signature, including, really,
6 Dr. Karadzic in Pale. Dr. Karadzic went nominally in support of the plan
7 in Pale, but I think what reports I've heard of his speech, it was done in
8 such a low key way that he was already effectively helping those who were
9 going to vote against it.
10 Q. You described Karadzic breaking down and caving in at the eleventh
11 hour in relation to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
12 A. In Athens, yes. He -- they negotiated through most of the night
13 with him, and that was not just President Milosevic but it was President
14 Cosic and Bulatovic and also Prime Minister Mitsotakis, the Greek Prime
15 Minister. He played a very helpful role.
16 Q. Again, these were key steps taken by Mr. Milosevic in support of
17 the peace plan to attempt on his side, on the Bosnian Serb side, to get
18 them to that commitment.
19 A. Yes. No doubt he was -- he -- well, I have no doubt that he was
20 totally committed to it and that he didn't go to Pale and go through a
21 subterfuge of trying to pretend that he was selling them a plan and
22 letting them vote it down. He suffered quite a humiliation in Belgrade of
23 not being able to get his will through in Pale. That's my reading of it.
24 There are others who, as I say, have a conspiracy theory about this but I
25 don't think that's the truth.
1 Q. You describe him at Pale as having been defeated, only collecting
2 only two votes and the other party collecting, I think 51 votes or
3 something like that, and him leaving by a side door.
4 A. Yes. I wasn't there, but yes that's the description in the papers
5 and that fulfilled -- I think that was the case, and the crucial
6 intervention came from General Mladic and also Mrs. Plavsic.
7 Q. Just to balance this now, in that January when this peace plan is
8 being pushed forward - just looking at page 105 of the book now - the last
9 thing you needed to keep the Serbs on side was President Tudjman
10 unleashing a military attack on the Croatian Serbs to try and take land.
11 A. It was extremely unhelpful and no doubt designed for it. I think
12 he felt that the world was focused on Bosnia-Herzegovina and the peace
13 plan, and it was a good opportunity to get his military action in.
14 Q. And also at this time again, the Clinton administration were being
15 -- or taking steps that you believe actively were trying to kill off the
16 Vance-Owen Peace Plan.
17 A. I think they were focused on Croatia. I don't think they were --
18 you know, this is a new administration coming in. I think President
19 Clinton came into office on the 20th of January. The 23rd of January or
20 around there the attack on Maslenica bridge was launched, so I don't think
21 that the Clinton administration could have been expected to have a view on
22 that very much, that Croatian aspect, but they were -- they'd already
23 indicated pretty clearly that they were unhappy with the Vance-Owen Peace
24 Plan in the weeks up to the inauguration. And as you know, under the
25 American system, the election having been held in November, the two-month
1 period that goes from November until the inauguration in January is
2 usually made with a bipartisan policy in the State Department. The State
3 Department accommodates to the incoming presidency's views on foreign
4 policy, which is perfectly reasonable and understandable system.
5 Q. You described at page 114 that the new administration had already
6 made up their minds and were intent on killing off the VOPP.
7 A. There is no doubt that was what they were doing, and the issue for
8 me and for Cyrus Vance was whether or not we acquiesced in this. It was
9 particularly acute one for Cyrus Vance because, A, he was American, and B,
10 he had been former Secretary of State, and his previous deputy, Mr. Warren
11 Christopher, was now the Secretary of State. So for Cyrus Vance to go
12 into open opposition to a new incoming democratic administration which he
13 obviously had some sympathy with was very difficult indeed, and so we
14 discussed it and it was agreed between us that I would take the full
15 frontal attack on the American administration and he would support me,
16 which he did absolutely solidly. They tried to make -- this was an
17 example of a very difficult question. We could have acquiesced in this
18 and let this issue ride, or we would challenge them. It seemed to me my
19 responsibility for the European Union, which was united on this, that we
20 were not saying to the Americans take it or leave it to this plan, what we
21 were saying is give it serious consideration, don't reject it outright.
22 These are your allies, your friends who have come to this proposition in
23 the framework of a conference in which America was represented and which
24 the Russian Federation and other non-EU countries were represented, and we
25 were not prepared to see the plan sidelined without a fight, so we fought
1 it. And we did manage to get them to nominally support the plan a
2 fortnight later or perhaps three weeks later. But it was never
3 full-hearted support.
4 Q. Taking it briefly then from that January until May when there was
5 the Pale meeting, you were aware of the fact that Mr. Milosevic kept up
6 his pressure on Radovan Karadzic, you describe as bullying Radovan
7 Karadzic to accept the plan and to accept the reality of political life.
8 A. Yes, bullying which I totally supported on that particular
10 Q. Yes. Page 158, 159.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You were of the view that Karadzic here was giving no leadership.
13 He was unprepared to see through his constituency within the Bosnian Serb
14 political grouping and challenge them to come on board.
15 A. Yes, that's true.
16 Q. You had, and you describe them at page 163 at the Serb Assembly,
17 Biljana Plavsic, who was a hard-liner, opposing signatory to the plan;
18 Krajisnik, and Karadzic was more concerned with his own leadership of the
19 Bosnian Serbs than trying to get through the peace plan.
20 A. Yes. I think we began to see Krajisnik emerging as a powerful
21 influence. He was at Athens, but he was basically sidelined and didn't
22 play a major role, but post Pale, I think Krajisnik became a more
23 influential person, and thereafter I think one had to consider Karadzic
24 and Krajisnik basically as one. It seemed to me that Karadzic had decided
25 that he would -- he wouldn't move far without Krajisnik on board.
1 Q. Just looking at page 165. This isn't concerned solely with the
2 political dimension but also the military dimension of the political
3 situation. You had General Mladic, who was a powerful figure at this
4 stage, almost running his own political agenda, not controlled in every
5 sense by the Bosnian Serb parliament but able to exert his own influences
6 and have his own alliance within the political groupings of that
8 A. Yes. I think Mladic became very powerful from then on. And
9 that's not to say he was powerful as a military leader, but I think he
10 began to have a political constituency from the Pale Assembly onwards.
11 Q. The position that you were left with then in the May was that Pale
12 could reject Belgrade and get away with it.
13 A. And buck the rest of the world, yes.
14 Q. Yes. Because they -- they were able to present a substantial
15 force within the area, and they had a cohesive political agenda on their
16 own terms.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. As the vote at the Pale Assembly showed.
19 A. Yes. You have to remember these people were not of the same
20 political party as then-President Milosevic, and they had a different view
21 of Serbian history. I think it's true to say that Karadzic began to see
22 himself as a sort of Mihajlovic Serb, a different tradition from Tito and
23 from the Partisans.
24 Q. Quite capable of having his own thoughts of his own kingdom, if
25 you like, divorced from Serbia.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. He may have believed he could from time to time, but then I think
2 one of the things that happened from Belgrade is they reminded them every
3 now and then of how vulnerable they were if they didn't have the support
4 of Belgrade. And you come to this whole question of the supply line
5 through from Serbia Montenegro to the Bosnian Serbs, that when they did
6 get above themselves I think they were pulled back to the realities that
7 they were dependent on them.
8 Q. But there was the problematic issue, though, back in Belgrade in
9 how you control the Serbs who were there in Bosnia. You can't attack your
10 own people. The political agenda would not have permitted that.
11 A. Well, we discussed this yesterday, and I was quite open about my
12 view, that it would have been unrealistic to ask President Milosevic at
13 any time to put the forces of the JNA onto the Bosnian Serb military. Now
14 that was not the realm of practical politics.
15 Q. You've got to recognise here the ethnic connections between the
16 various peoples and --
17 A. Yes. And they were also, all of them, both Belgrade and the
18 Bosnian Serbs, were appealing. The Bosnian Serbs because they were
19 ideologically rather proud of the fact that they were not communists,
20 although quite a number of them had been. Their relationships were a bit
21 more ambivalent with Russia but there were opposition forces to President
22 Yeltsin in Russia that were going and siding with the Bosnian Serbs.
23 Q. You had recognised by this stage, in May of 1993, that President
24 Milosevic was not a magic bullet that you could just fire and get what you
1 A. I could fire certainly not, no. And nor could many other people.
2 No. He -- he had his limitations on him, and that would be absurd to not
3 recognise, but I've already made it clear I think he exaggerated those
4 limitations on his power. Whether deliberately or not, I don't know. He
5 won't be the first politician to be extremely cautious about exercising
6 power when it means damaging your base. Politicians tend to look after
7 their political base.
8 Q. Yes. This stage thereafter from the May saw a great degree of
9 political uncertainty. There was the savage phase of the Muslim-Croat war
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You refer to that at page 171.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And shifts in policy from the US, page 180. Originally seeking
13 more land for the Muslims and then wanting more land for the Serbs, a
14 complete contradiction in points of view.
15 A. Yes, it was extraordinary. By May we had the US administration
16 that had condemned the Vance-Owen Peace Plan as being too generous to the
17 Serbs arguing that there should be more land made available to the Serbs,
18 that the plan was unrealistic, it was too harsh on them. It was amazing
19 circumstances. However --
20 Q. And the Russians who were originally content then wanted to back
21 more land for the Serbs.
22 A. Yes. It's hard for the Russian foreign minister, when confronted
23 by an American Secretary of State who wanted to make more concessions to
24 the Serbs, saying to them, "No, thank you, I think we should be tougher on
25 the Serbs." That was not a realistic position for Kozyrev to adopt at
1 all. So I have no criticism of Kozyrev when offered this joint action
2 plan even though I think he saw some of the problems with it. It was
3 perfectly understandable he should have gone along with it.
4 Q. And this was encouraging the respective parties to seek to try and
5 fulfil their own interests?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Even if it was at the expense of a cease-fire or peace. They
8 realised that the land was up for grabs. A land grab started.
9 A. Yes. I think if you -- that type of people, rather bullies and
10 fairly immature in political view, if they get concessions, they see that
11 as a licence to demand more concessions. And the West's attitude to these
12 different plans -- and I want to stress that the Vance-Owen Peace Plan is
13 only one plan, and in many ways an ambitious one. What was the most
14 important plan of all was the Contact Group Plan. This was put together
15 by five of the major governments of the world. The fact that they walked
16 away from their map and didn't impose it gave tremendous surge to Karadzic
17 and Krajisnik and Mladic to think that they could defy Belgrade, defy
19 Q. Again, at the time of that Contact Group being put together and
20 their plan being -- emerged from the political quagmire, President
21 Milosevic wanted to see that the Contact Group was in fact serious,
22 because there had been so much vacillation and change it was difficult for
23 anyone to really follow who was being serious and who was not.
24 A. Yes. I -- I don't know quite what you're referring to, but if he
25 did think that, which is a perfectly reasonable thought -- I certainly
1 thought that myself. I didn't know whether they were serious or not. I
2 don't think they were.
3 Q. Page 309 of your book is where that conclusion can be drawn.
4 A. You've read the book better than I have.
5 Q. Meanwhile, because President Milosevic had backed the Vance-Owen
6 Peace Plan, his authority had been undermined with the Bosnian Serbs.
7 A. I think that's -- that was true. I think were some very
8 interesting phases in President Milosevic's power over the Bosnian Serbs.
9 I think he was initially pretty powerful and you got the feeling that they
10 were taking it, so when I first met him he was a powerful influence. I
11 think there was a period after Pale where to some extent he had been
12 weakened by asking for support and then it disappearing. And you know,
13 the plan disappearing, so to speak. So I think he has a grievance that we
14 were not supporting our own plan at one stage.
15 Then I think in September 1974 [sic] the decision to start to
16 restrict supplies across to the Bosnian Serbs was an attempt to recover
17 lost influence, and my own estimation -- I said 1974; 1994. I think that
18 probably by 1995, and certainly by the summer of 1995, he had recovered a
19 good deal of his influence which he wielded, as we heard today, of getting
20 himself into a position where he held the casting vote in the negotiations
21 prior to Dayton. And I think by then they had lost the Krajina and the
22 Bosnian Serbs had seen reality. The Serbs had been ejected from the
23 Krajina. The Croatian government was in a -- overtly operating in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that was tilting the balance. The Bosnian Serb
25 armed forces numbers were being reduced. They were having some
1 restrictions. We can argue about how much, how effective those
2 restrictions were, and I think then-President Milosevic's powers were
3 probably greater, and he exercised them, and he exercised them as anybody
4 who has read Richard Holbrooke's book on Dayton, right at the very last
5 moment over Brcko, and that was an issue he and I had discussed in
6 greatest detail months -- over many months.
7 The position he took over Brcko was predictable. That was the
8 position he had basically taken in the negotiations over Brcko up in the
9 north where the --
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. So there is a continuity to all of this.
12 Q. He, for that period, from May 1993 until the summer of 1995, had
13 seen --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just to avoid any confusion because
17 of dates, this meeting at which the leadership of Yugoslavia, upon my
18 initiative, reached agreement with the leadership of Republika Srpska
19 regarding a unified delegation in Dayton was held on the 29th of August,
20 1995. It was the 29th of August, which means long after the events in
21 Bosnia and Croatia, at least several weeks later.
22 MR. KAY:
23 Q. Yes, until that period of May 1993 until August 1995, he had gone
24 through a period where his power had waned and Karadzic was very much in
25 political control of the Bosnian Serbs.
1 A. And/or Mladic.
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Yes, I agree.
4 Q. It's difficult --
5 A. Yes. That position was upheld by a large number of people. This
6 is not just my own view.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Those people who were closest to the negotiations, whether it was
9 General Wahlgren, whether it was the Russians, some of the Russian
10 experts, a large number of people who were involved in that did believe
11 that there had been a waning and a waxing in President Milosevic's
12 influence, and I agree with your analysis.
13 Q. Indeed, the Russians were giving direct support to President
14 Milosevic to try and influence Karadzic and exert pressure upon him.
15 A. Yes. I mean, the Russians had appointed -- the Americans had
16 appointed as part of the sort of new American initiative when they came to
17 grips with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan right back in February 1993, they
18 appointed Ambassador Bartholomew, a very able diplomat, and tough, as
19 their representative. And the Russians had responded by appointing
20 Ambassador Churkin. And Ambassador Churkin was tireless in his efforts
21 and visiting on the ground, trying to influence all the different Serb
23 Q. Yes. Page 307 of the book.
24 Also in this period, you of course have the NATO airstrikes in, I
25 think it was May of 1995. Notwithstanding that, after the NATO
1 airstrikes, President Milosevic still supported the Contact Group plan.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Page 330. Karadzic still being very much in control, President
4 Milosevic politically making what you would have considered to be a bold
5 position, no doubt, despite the NATO airstrikes, to still be backing the
6 Contact Group peace plan.
7 A. He certainly continued to back it, and I think he had doubts as to
8 how much they were ready to certainly bring pressure to implement it. And
9 of course at this time he believed that the sanctions should be lifted
10 from him, from his country.
11 And this was a very, very difficult question, and there were
12 divided views even in the European Union on it. Broadly speaking, the
13 European Union felt that we ought to have sticks and carrots and that
14 easing of sanctions on Serbia and Montenegro was a reasonable thing to do
15 to reward the cooperation that we were getting from Belgrade. The
16 Americans broadly took the view that if you ease sanctions you'd never get
17 them back, and therefore sanctions had to be held firmly over the FRY.
18 There was a legitimate argument, therefore, in terms of
19 international diplomacy as to how to handle that, and there are arguments
20 on all sides. But it still made it difficult for President Milosevic at
21 times that the West seemed to not be prepared to give a reward for them in
22 that sanctions were affecting the standard of living and employment
23 prospects in Serbia, Montenegro, and no doubt made difficulties.
24 Q. And just considering that, you have the attack on the Serbian
25 Krajina by Croatia, page 343 of the book, after Martic had closed the
1 highway, and President Milosevic was very frustrated, as it seemed, that
2 that could be the cause of losing a chance for peace and the Contact Group
4 A. Well, President Tudjman by then had shown that he had judged the
5 political situation rather well from his point of view. He came -- he
6 provided the Americans with an alternative route, and he knew he could get
7 away with attacking there. He was not helped by the fact that this
8 so-called leader of the Krajina Serbs, Martic, was a fool. And
9 unfortunately, there was another person called Mikelic who was much more
10 reasonable and serious, and if his voice had been dominant in Knin, it
11 would have been possible to conduct these negotiations. But the Croatian
12 Serbs were absurdly provocative in closing the highway, and they gave an
13 excuse for Tudjman to launch an attack which was of course out with
14 international law and a breach of agreement over the UNPAs. But he got
15 away with it.
16 Q. And as part of the complexity of the situation, you were very
17 skeptical of the dog that didn't bark, being the forces of the Bosnian
18 Serbs, and Karadzic had been able to come to an arrangement with Tudjman
19 who supplied him with oil.
20 A. Yes. Well, I'm sorry just to laugh, but it is -- it was almost a
21 farcical situation. I think I wrote to Douglas Hurd - I think it's in my
22 submission - that if it's possible to conduct a strategy in a cesspit, a
23 delicate strategy in a cesspit, this is what we were doing. It was an
24 unbelievable situation. So here was the FRY, President Milosevic,
25 applying sanctions on to the Bosnian Serbs, putting his oil tankers
1 through to the Croatian Serbs, may or may not be off-loading some oil en
2 route, who knows, perhaps not, and then encounters President Tudjman
3 authorising supplies to Karadzic and the Bosnian Serbs, at which stage
4 what does he do? In order to recover some influence, he probably supplies
5 a bit more oil to the Bosnian Serbs.
6 You know, when I sometimes read about and hear the comments of
7 people about this, they have no idea of the extraordinary circumstances in
8 which we were operating, all this time with UN Resolutions and Security
9 Council things which were mutually contradictory, frankly.
10 Q. And Tudjman had expressed to you that that accommodated his
11 interests and he was quite prepared to do it against an old enemy?
12 A. Yes. He had the great advantage that he was absolutely clear what
13 he wanted. He wanted total control over Croatian territory, and he didn't
14 mind how he got it.
15 MR. KAY: Thank you. I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE MAY: Lord Owen, that brings your evidence to an end. Thank
17 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. If I -- I'm not sure I'm
19 allowed to make a comment, but I think the last period of questioning
20 vindicates your decision, presumably, to allow a friend of the Court to
21 take place.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
1 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Pack, there's a housekeeping matter we've got to
2 sort out before we begin the evidence.
3 Mr. Milosevic, you've got various documents which you handed in.
4 You want us to exhibit them, do you?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I handed them over to the
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll just have a look at them one by one.
8 The first one we have is a copy of the Cutileiro plan. If that hasn't
9 been exhibited before - there certainly have been a lot of references to
10 it but I don't remember an exhibit - we'll give that the next D number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: D209, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MAY: The next document is the letter of the 27th of
13 November, 1991 from the accused to Mr. Cyrus Vance. Give that the next
14 number. Next D number, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 210, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: There is then the interview with General Morillon,
17 which is in French. We'll just consult on that.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE MAY: We will admit that, giving it the next D number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 211, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Is there some other document that you were going to
22 put to the witness but didn't have time? Is that right?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, there were some other ones, but
24 I think that I will be able to use them with some other witnesses.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
1 Yes, Ms. Pack.
2 MS. PACK: Your Honour, the next witness is B-1531.
3 JUDGE MAY: We will have the witness, please.
4 MS. PACK: Your Honour, may I address you very briefly on one
5 administrative matter, which is that B-1524 now will be the witness coming
6 after Harland. He was scheduled originally for last Thursday, but that is
7 the order in which the witnesses will run tomorrow and next week.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It may be that we won't get much beyond
9 Mr. Harland tomorrow, but we'll see.
10 MS. PACK: I'm grateful.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE MAY: If the witness would stand, please, to take the
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
17 WITNESS: WITNESS B-1531
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Examined by Ms. Pack:
20 MS. PACK: May the witness be shown, please, the front page of tab
21 1. May be witness be shown the B/C/S version of the statement, front page
22 at tab 1.
23 Q. Witness, looking at the front page there, are your details, name
24 and details as set out on that page, correct?
25 A. I can't hear anything.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. I will repeat the question if necessary. Witness, are your
2 personal details, your name and personal details as set out on that front
3 page, correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Witness, have you given two statements to the Prosecution, dated
6 the 25th of June, 1996, and the 28th of June, 1997?
7 A. Yes.
8 MS. PACK: Can the witness be shown, please, tab 2, and the front
9 page of the English version statement at tab 2.
10 Q. Witness, can you confirm that that's your signature there at the
11 bottom of the first page of the English version of your statement dated on
12 the 28th of June, 1997.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Turn to the fifth page, please, of that statement and confirm if
15 that is your signature on the fifth page, the last page of that
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. PACK: May the witness please be shown tab 3, the front page
19 of the English version statement at tab 3.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 MS. PACK:
22 Q. That is your statement appearing on that page; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Please look at -- please look at page 9 of that statement and
25 confirm that that is your -- again your signature on page 9, the last page
1 of that statement.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Witness, have you had an opportunity to read both statements
4 whilst in The Hague and prepared an addendum statement yesterday, 3rd
5 November, which sets out the changes that you wished to make to the first
6 of those statements and some additions?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Witness --
9 MS. PACK: Could the witness be shown tab 1 again, please.
10 Q. The B/C/S statement at tab 1. If you just look at the last page
11 of that statement page. Is that your signature again appearing at the
12 last page of that B/C/S statement?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Witness, do the --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. -- contents -- Witness, are the contents of the first two
17 statements, with the changes and additions that were made and set out in
18 the addendum, taken together, are those statements true and correct to the
19 best of your knowledge and belief?
20 A. Yes.
21 MS. PACK: Your Honour, I'd ask for those three statements to be
22 admitted in evidence and assigned an exhibit number.
23 THE REGISTRAR: 581, Your Honour, under seal, confidential.
24 MS. PACK: Your Honour, I have no questions. I'll just read a
25 summary of the evidence.
1 The witness was a senior figure in public life in Foca at the time
2 the conflict broke out there. He describes the build-up of ethnic
3 tensions in Foca. He says that Velibor Ostojic, Petko Cancar, and
4 Vojislav Maksimovic were in Foca quite a lot in the year before the war.
5 During the first half of 1992, they were in Foca all the time. They were
6 giving orders for the paramilitary and volunteer forces from Montenegro
7 and Serbia as well as certain formations of the JNA.
8 The witness describes meetings attended by Ostojic, Maksimovic,
9 Cancar and Stanic, president of the SDS in Foca, at the church in
10 Cerazuluk in Foca. The Serbs had their Crisis Staff there.
11 In 1990, the foundational meeting of the SDS in Foca was held.
12 Petko Cancar was one of the persons in charge of the organisation of this
13 meeting. The Focatrans affair was going on at this time. Serb workers
14 had left the Focatrans company and had been striking for several months.
15 They blocked streets inside the town and stopped normal relations between
16 citizens in Foca. The workers were directed by Miro Stanic at the local
17 level and by Ostojic Maksimovic and Cancar at the republic level. They
18 met regularly with the strike committee.
19 The SDS leaders encouraged the Serb workers to create their own
20 company and also created such feelings in the Serb populated villages.
21 The witness describes the distribution of arms to Serb civilians
22 in Foca. He recalls one occasion about six months before the war when a
23 Muslim policeman stopped two long vehicles containing military, infantry,
24 and heavy artillery.
25 On the 6th or 7th of April, all the Serb policemen in Foca were
1 called to a meeting with Ostojic, Cancar and Maksimovic chaired by Miro
2 Stanisic at the hall where the SDS had their offices. The Serb police
3 were given ultimatum at this meeting to separate from the Muslim police.
4 Thereafter, all the Serb police left the MUP of Bosnia and Herzegovina and
5 the Serb and Muslim police were divided albeit sharing the same building.
6 The witness describes negotiations between members of the SDS and
7 the SDA which started around this time. In the witness's view, the
8 negotiations were just a way for the SDS to gain time.
9 The armed attack on Foca began on the 8th of April, 1992. The
10 witness describes the barricades which had been erected by Serbs on all
11 the approaches to the city. There was one Muslim barricade in Donje Polje
12 set up as a response to the Serb ones.
13 On the first night of the attack the witness heard a lot of
14 shooting and firing. Serb paramilitaries had artillery and machine-gun
15 fire directed against Muslim parts of Foca. The witness could tell that
16 Donje Polje and Sukovac were targeted by artillery fire. There was some
17 resistance but it was sporadic and limited.
18 From the 13th of April Serb paramilitaries occupied almost all the
19 town except Donje Polje. The witness was later told that directives for
20 anything happening around Foca were coming directly from Radovan Karadzic
21 and that Cancar, Maksimovic and Ostojic were acting on his behalf, passing
22 on orders to local leaders like Stanic.
23 After the first day of the attack, the witness left Foca town and
24 went to Ustikolina From there, sometime after 19th of April 1992, he went
25 to Gorazde.
1 Your Honour, I have no questions to ask of this witness. Might I
2 alert Your Honours to the matters which I set out on the first page of the
3 proofing summary. This witness has security concerns, and I invite the
4 Chamber to hear evidence in private session which he fears will tend to
5 lead to his identity being revealed to the public, and I've identified the
6 sort of issues which may lead to his identity being revealed to the public
7 at the front of the proofing summary and then throughout the proofing
8 summary in the highlighted portions of that typed text.
9 JUDGE KWON: And one thing, Ms. Pack, although we admitted the --
10 all the statements including the addendum, I note the addendum was
11 produced only yesterday, and it contains substantial changes and addition.
12 Given that the accused received it only today and he had no time to
13 prepare for it, so I think some changes, additions, important part of it
14 should be dealt with live or at least you give some explanation to that
16 MS. PACK: Your Honour, yes. The position was that this witness
17 was, by an order of the 10thth of October of this year, granted -- his
18 evidence was to be admitted under the Rule 92 bis procedure and the
19 Prosecution didn't then take a declaration in view of the Chamber's
20 earlier indications to that effect a couple of weeks ago, that that wasn't
21 necessary. The addendum statement is similar in scope in fact to the
22 addendum statement that is ordinarily obtained when the 92 bis procedure
23 is followed, albeit that there is that substantive matter in paragraph 8
24 that is slightly lengthier in scope than would ordinarily be contained in
25 an addendum statement.
1 JUDGE MAY: The witness should deal with that orally, if necessary
2 in private session, paragraph 8.
3 MS. PACK: I'm grateful, Your Honour. If we can go into private
4 session then just to deal with that paragraph.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. 1531, in the introductory summary, Ms. Pack
2 at the very outset said that you were a well-respected person in the
3 political life of Foca. So I assume that you have a good knowledge of all
4 the events dating back to those times. Would that be right?
5 A. I think that the lady in question said in public life, in the
6 public life of Foca.
7 Q. All right. Fine. I noted down in the political life of Foca, but
8 public life if you like. At any rate, you were respected, a respected man
9 in Foca. So we're not disputing that, are we?
10 A. No, we're not.
11 Q. Very well. Fine. Now, you talk about the situation in Foca prior
12 to the outbreak of the war in 1992 and immediately after it broke out, and
13 from what you say, it would emerge that the Serbs were preparing for war
14 while the Muslims were not.
15 Now, do you claim that that's how it was?
16 A. I wasn't involved, nor do I have any information as to the
17 Muslims' preparation for war.
18 Q. You weren't involved in that you say. All right. Now, were the
19 Muslims arming themselves before the war broke out, and if so, how?
20 A. I can't either say yes or no to your question because I don't have
21 the necessary information on that matter.
22 Q. All right. Fine. Now, is it true that on the 25th of August,
23 1990, a large SDA rally was held to promote the party in Foca?
24 A. I don't remember the exact date, but yes, a rally to promote the
25 party, the SDA party, was held in Foca.
1 Q. And was that meeting attended by 150.000 people, roughly?
2 A. I think the figure was a little lower, but yes, a large number of
3 citizens did attend.
4 Q. When you say somewhat less, how much less? If not 150.000, how
5 many would you say?
6 A. Well, there were over 100.000 people.
7 Q. All right. And is it true that amongst them there were about
8 20.000 people from Serbia, Muslims from Serbia, in fact, and from Sandzak
9 led by Sulejman Ugljanin?
10 A. There were a number of people from that area, but you're quoting a
11 large figure and I can't confirm that.
12 Q. What would be your rough estimate then?
13 A. Well, I can say what I'm sure about, and one of the people who
14 were there was the man you mentioned a moment ago.
15 Q. Well, tell me then, how many inhabitants did Foca have before the
16 war? What was the population?
17 A. About 42.000.
18 Q. So in that town of approximately 42.000 inhabitants, as you say,
19 the presence of -- if we take this lower figure, this conservative
20 estimate that you say is over 100.000 people, in such a small town at a
21 rally, would you say that that represents a tectonic upset?
22 A. Well, a large number of people came from the interior of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Transport was organised by buses and coaches, and
24 they were put up in different areas for them to be able to attend the
1 Q. All right. And can we observe that on the political plane, the
2 Party of Democratic Action in Foca started in full force, very
3 intensively? Could we put it that way?
4 A. I don't share your opinion on that score.
5 Q. Well, in a town of 40.000 inhabitants, you have over 100.000 to
6 attend a rally to promote a party, and as you say, came from all parts,
7 from Serbia, from Sandzak led by Ugljanin. So is it possible to conceive
8 of any more than that?
9 A. When we're talking about the situation in Foca itself, it all
10 began earlier, in the first half of the year.
11 Q. I'm asking you now about this particular rally, and we noted, you
12 and I, although we don't agree on the figures, but the general figures are
13 not contested, so I'm asking you whether activities of a party of this
14 kind in one place implies the fact that the party had a very great
15 stronghold in that particular locality, or foothold? Just say yes or no
16 to save time, please.
17 A. At that promotional rally, as far as I can remember, it was
18 stated, among others things, that it was being organised to commemorate
19 the victims from World War II so that history should not repeat itself.
20 Q. Mr. 1531, I'm not asking you what was stated. What I'm saying is
21 that a large -- an enormous rally of that kind, and you yourself admit to
22 there being over 100.000 people attending from various parts of the
23 country including Serbia, the SDA party there, that Foca was a great
24 stronghold of the party in that place, in that town; is that right?
25 A. Well, I can say that there were individuals from Foca who were
1 activists of that particular party.
2 Q. All right. Very well, Mr. 1531. And there were also individuals
3 who were party activists among those 100.000. I think that sounds highly
4 convincing. But never mind, let's move on.
5 Is it true that the Cengic family was the number one and highly
6 respected family in town?
7 A. I could say that the Cengic family was highly influential when it
8 came to the political life of the SDA party.
9 Q. And the head of the household was Halid Cengic, wasn't he?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Halid's son Hasan Cengic was arrested in 1983 and convicted
12 together with Alija Izetbegovic; isn't that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And do you happen to know that the two of them were tried for
15 extremist Islamic political views; where Izetbegovic was concerned, this
16 was expressed in his Islamic declaration of the 1970s.
17 A. I haven't had an opportunity of becoming better acquainted with
18 the document, but from the media, I read that they were convicted for
20 Q. Do you know what they were convicted of and for?
21 A. Well, what was publicised in the public.
22 Q. It was the Islamic declaration where Izetbegovic says there can be
23 no peace and co-existence between the Islamic faith and the non-Islamic
24 faith and its institutions.
25 A. No, I don't know about that. I haven't read the contents.
1 Q. Tell me, Mr. 1531, if you say that you are an influential and
2 respected individual in political life, was it possible that as a
3 prominent member of the SDA party you had no knowledge of the contents of
4 a document of that kind written by your president?
5 A. I wasn't a member of the SDA myself.
6 Q. Very well. Now, do you know the fact that the declaration was
7 published again in 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, second publication, and
8 that it played a significant role in Izetbegovic's pre-election campaign,
9 in fact?
10 A. I'm not aware of that, no.
11 Q. Very well. The motivation for condemning Hasan Cengic was the
12 same as Izetbegovic's conviction, because of extremist positions. And
13 they were convicted together with some like-minded individuals.
14 A. Yes, I know that they were convicted in the same legal
16 Q. Do you know that in the course of the 1990s Hasan Cengic, for
17 example, became a high-ranking functionary, official?
18 A. I know as much as was written about the topic in the media, that
19 he was among the leadership of the Party of Democratic Action.
20 Q. Do you know that he was vice-premier of the government of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well?
22 A. No, Hasan Cengic was not. That man was Muhamed Cengic.
23 Q. Now, did Hasan Cengic have a title of any kind and position in the
24 Islamic religious hierarchy?
25 A. Well, I really don't know about that.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. At the time before the arrest and conviction of Cengic in Foca,
2 was that a point of support for Alija Izetbegovic's illegal activities
3 before he was arrested? Do you know about that?
4 A. No, I don't.
5 Q. Very well. In your second statement you speak of a strike and
6 protest of workers in the Focatrans company in 1990. The strike and
7 protest officially were socially motivated, but you attribute political
8 motives to them, isn't that right?
9 A. Everything that was happening at the time and after that points to
10 such a conclusion.
11 Q. Workers usually go on strike for social reasons. Now, tell me,
12 what would be the alleged political motivation for that strike?
13 A. Workers of Serb ethnicity in Focatrans in the first half of 1990
14 left the enterprise compound, and I think they took some of the means with
15 them, and they presented their demands, and I remember that one of them
16 was an ultimatum to have the general manager replaced. I know that this
17 went on for months and that as early as then there were preparations for
18 the formation of nationalist parties so that some people who were
19 frequently in touch with the strikers and the strikers' committee later,
20 after the elections, I saw that they had emerged into the top leadership
21 of the SDS and had important positions in the executive powers of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina. So I know that during that period of the strike,
23 inter-ethnic relations were seriously upset, that support was given to
24 those people, and every effort was made to prove that joint life was
25 impossible, though I do remember that they were called on repeatedly to go
1 back to work. And in settling the problem, in addition to local
2 institutions, institutions at republican level joined in which further
3 complicated the situation and reached a critical point.
4 Q. Among the facts that you have mentioned, the material facts, that
5 is that the strike went on for months and that one of the demands was the
6 replacement of the manager, as far as I know anything about strikes,
7 there's hardly a single workers' strike, particularly those that last for
8 some time, that don't include the demand for a replacement of the manager.
9 Explain to me, please, what is the alleged political motivation
10 for the strike. Do you have any other arguments apart from this one, that
11 they wanted the director replaced?
12 A. Also their refusal to go back to work and join the regular work
13 process. They persisted on separation and subsequently the formation of a
14 parallel company with the resources they had received from Serbia. I mean
15 vehicles, material resources.
16 Q. You mean the workers of a transport company? You say that later
17 on, certain individuals -- some of the strikers could later be seen within
18 the ranks of the Serbian Democratic Party. That's what you said a moment
19 ago. Isn't that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know that the Party of Democratic Action, that is the
22 Muslim party, was founded far before the Serbian Democratic Party?
23 A. I don't know the exact date as to when which one was formed, but I
24 don't exclude that what you are saying is correct.
25 Q. On the 27th of March, 1990, the initiating committee of the Party
1 of Democratic Action declared that the party would be formed in May. On
2 behalf of that board, Alija Izetbegovic, at a press conference in
3 Sarajevo, said that, "The SDA --" and he is being quoted -- "is a
4 political association of citizens of Yugoslavia belonging to the Muslim
5 cultural historical circle but also of other citizens." Those who belong
6 to the Muslim cultural historical circle, as he put it. Are you familiar
7 with that? This was on the 27th of March, 1990.
8 A. At that time, the SDA did not in any way get implicated into the
9 dispute with the workers of Focatrans.
10 Q. And when did that dispute start?
11 A. In the first half of 1990 when workers of Serb ethnicity separated
12 and started their strike.
13 Q. Are you telling us that it was only the Serbs that were on strike
14 in Focatrans?
15 A. Workers of Serb ethnicity mostly. There may have been a couple of
16 Serbs who stayed on working, but I'm talking about the vast majority.
17 Q. And were the Serbs in the vast majority among the employees of
19 A. I don't know the exact percentage share, but I don't think that
20 there was a drastic difference in terms of the number of employed Serbs or
22 Q. And were there Muslims who were also striking, on strike?
23 A. I don't have any such information.
24 Q. Are you claiming that not a single Muslim took part in the strike?
25 A. No, I'm not claiming that, but I don't have the information.
1 Q. Very well. And what was the population composition in Foca before
2 the war, according to the 1991 census? What was the ratio between Muslims
3 and Serbs?
4 A. The largest community were the Bosniaks, or Muslims, then followed
5 by the Serbs, and there was about 18 or 19 per cent of those who declared
6 themselves to be Yugoslavs.
7 Q. So one-fifth were Yugoslavs in Foca.
8 A. I think about 18 per cent.
9 Q. And what was the percentage share of the Serbs, please?
10 A. I think about 38 per cent.
11 Q. Together with the Yugoslavs, that makes it 56 per cent. Are you
12 telling us that 44 per cent of the population in Foca were Muslims? You
13 surely know the figures from the 1991 census.
14 A. I don't know the exact figures just now, but I do know that the
15 Muslim population was the largest, followed by the Serbs, and that there
16 was a certain percentage of people who declared themselves Yugoslavs.
17 Q. In that case, I won't persist, as there are figures about all
19 In your statement you say that you are not a member of the SDA but
20 the SDA appointed you to the position that you held.
23 Q. You were proposed by the SDA. So there is every reason to believe
24 that you must have known what was -- what the SDA was doing in Foca, your
25 closeness with it, because otherwise they wouldn't have proposed you to
1 such an important post. You must have been close to them and they
2 wouldn't have proposed you if they didn't trust you; is that right?
3 A. If I were to give you a more detailed answer to this question,
4 then in my answer I would have to reveal my identity.
5 Q. I won't insist, then, but another reason for being familiar with
6 the situation and activity of that party in that town is your formal
9 JUDGE MAY: We will go into private session for the witness to
11 [Private session]
13 Page 28594 – redacted – private session.
12 Pages 28595 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 28596 – redacted – private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. I would like you to comment, Mr. 1531, since we have already
5 mentioned Halid Cengic, could you please comment part of an interview
6 granted to the Sarajevo weekly Liljan issue 279, pages 11 to 13, under a
7 heading Interview of the Week, Cengic, the main logistics person of the
8 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a soldier and a Hadzija.
9 In this interview, Cengic mentions information about the
10 activities of the SDA in Foca which I would say you must have been
11 familiar with. According to what Halid Cengic says, "The Muslims in Foca,
12 as early as the 1st of August, 1990, allegedly to defend Focatrans, had a
13 platoon of men armed with automatic weapons, a machine-gun, and a mortar.
14 They all had camouflage uniforms, and they took their oaths at the
15 Ustikolina mosque with their hands on the Koran."
16 This is a quotation from this interview. I would say this is
17 something that you should, and I would even say you must have known for
18 the reasons I have given. Are you aware of this, Mr. 1531?
19 A. In view of your question, it would have been better if we hadn't
20 gone back into open session for me to be able to explain some things to
21 Their Honours, the Prosecution, and you.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll go back into private session.
23 [Private session]
12 Pages 28598 to 28602 – redacted – private session.
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
18 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now until tomorrow morning, 9.00.
19 Mr. Milosevic, you have 20 minutes left with this witness.
20 Mr. B-1531, could I please remind you, as we remind all witnesses,
21 not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over.
22 Very well. We will adjourn now.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day of
25 November, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.