Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 48289

1 Monday, 13 February 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may continue, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.


9 [Witness answered through interpreter]

10 Cross-examination by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: [Continued]

11 Q. Mr. Kostic, before the break we saw three clips related to your

12 speech in Borovo Selo. In the second video, you refer to the audience as

13 offsprings of the heroes from Vucin Dol. That relates to victories of the

14 Montenegrins won in summer 1876 against the Turks; right?

15 A. That's right.

16 Q. In these victories a huge amount of Turks were killed; right?

17 A. A large number of both Turks and Montenegrins were killed. The

18 Turks were the occupiers.

19 Q. And calling upon an audience in a village in which a lot of people

20 have already been killed, in particular also Croat policemen, that sounds

21 to me like encouraging further violence, does it not?

22 A. Well, you might have drawn that conclusion but my conclusion is

23 quite different to yours. I was addressing the people, the public, who

24 until then had lived in freedom and who loved their freedom. Now, the

25 participants of the Vucin Dol battle were Montenegrins who had fought for

Page 48290

1 their freedom, and that's how I saw the peaceful inhabitants of Borovo

2 Selo who rose up, quite simply, against those who had come armed to impose

3 their power upon them.

4 Q. And in the third video clip that we saw, you compare the policies

5 of the Croatian leadership with, as you said, "the frenzied Croatian

6 ideology from 50 years ago." That does not calm down the situation in

7 that hot spot; right? It rather does the different.

8 A. Well, had not everything resembled the policy of Hitler's Croatian

9 state, Pavelic's state of 50 years ago, then probably the inhabitants of

10 Borovo Selo wouldn't have behaved that way during those days. But

11 everything that was happening during those days at that time very vividly

12 reminded the Serb population of Borovo Selo to what happened to the Serbs

13 50 years earlier, and that is what disturbed them, and that is what made

14 them organise themselves and put up resistance, because up until those

15 days, that population was a peaceful population. The people lived in

16 their houses, they tilled their fields, and then suddenly they were faced

17 with a situation where they felt themselves to be under threat, under

18 jeopardy.

19 Q. Mr. Kostic, in that third speech you also refer to the suffering

20 of the Serb people. Mr. Kostic, non-Serb inhabitants in Borovo Selo

21 suffered, too, didn't they? But you don't refer to them. Why is that?

22 A. I don't think you're right on that score, but I should like to ask

23 you, in view of the fact that 15 years have passed since then and that we

24 saw the clips just four days ago, may we just show -- see that third clip

25 to remind ourselves of it for me to be able to answer you and to see on

Page 48291

1 the basis of what you draw your conclusions?

2 Q. Mr. Kostic, I don't think we need to see the clip again, but I can

3 quote -- I can quote from the transcript that I have here in front of me,

4 and I was actually referring to the following that what you said --

5 pardon?

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, to be fair to the witness,

7 we'll see the clip.



10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: As for the AV booth, we do it on Sanction.

11 [Videotape played]

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are we to have a translation?

13 THE INTERPRETER: The volume was down. We cannot hear the

14 soundtrack.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you start again so we can have a

16 translation.

17 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] In addition he said that we have a

18 revamping of the ideology that was started 50 years ago. Europe and the

19 world remembered that policy very well, and I'm convinced that Europe and

20 the world will finally understand it today as well, come to realise what

21 the policy and politics meant and what consequences such a policy can

22 have, not only on the Serb people living in this area of Croatia, who is

23 most directly in jeopardy, but also the consequences that such a policy

24 could have further afield in Europe as well. Our federal organs,

25 especially the Federal Executive Council, up until now have not been on a

Page 48292

1 par with their job, because due to force of circumstance, we are dealing

2 with an area in jeopardy where the Serb people are suffering, and it is

3 the concern of the Federal Executive Council in this case and in all other

4 cases to be expressed fully and materially viewed regardless of the ethnic

5 composition of the population which that unfortunate situation has

6 engulfed. We'll do everything in our power to see that that Yugoslav

7 People's Army of ours, which is strong and mighty and which has the

8 wherewithal to act even more than before to offer its assistance and

9 support to all parts of the population who are jeopardised or who have

10 already been jeopardised, regardless of where they reside, where they are.

11 Today it is the Serb people in Croatia that are under threat. Now, if

12 future developments take the course none of us would like to see, I don't

13 exclude the possibility of certain other parts or other ethnic groups find

14 themselves in jeopardy in certain areas as well. Then our army must be

15 the force to act. It must be truly a popular national army that will

16 stand up to protect each and every citizen under jeopardy regardless of

17 which ethnic group it belongs to or which religion or which political

18 options."

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. I think that's enough. Yes.


21 Q. Yes. That was the third clip that I was referring to, Mr. Kostic,

22 and as I hear you here, you are referring to the suffering of the Serb

23 people of Borovo Selo and not to the suffering of the non-Serb people of

24 Borovo Selo. And my question to you was why do you refer only to the

25 Serbs?

Page 48293

1 A. Madam, I don't think you understood the sense of what I said

2 properly, and that is why I asked that it be played again. I spoke, and a

3 moment ago, before we actually saw the clip, I repeated this, that the

4 Serb people on the territory of Croatia during World War II, that is to

5 say 50 years previously, experienced a terrible genocide. Over 700.000

6 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies were on the execution sites of Jasenica and others

7 in World War II on the territory of Croatia. And so when I spoke of the

8 suffering --

9 THE INTERPRETER: Jasenovac, interpreter's correction.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So when I spoke of suffering, I was

11 speaking about the suffering due to the same forces and the same ideology

12 that had raised its ugly head again. So it was in that sense that I spoke

13 about the suffering of the Serb people. But I'm fully conscious of the

14 fact that with the situation as it was, and when we talked about it 14

15 years ago Croatian policemen were killed, Serbs were killed. Wherever you

16 have weapons, wherever you have guns, then it is quite clear, especially

17 if you're dealing with an inter-ethnic clash, that there will be

18 casualties. The result the mistrust on both sides and the terrible

19 experience of the past. There must be victims, and I am very sorry for

20 each and every victim that falls.


22 Q. Mr. Kostic, we saw Goran Hadzic sitting next to you in that video

23 just played. Mr. Hadzic, he was a close associate of Jovica Stanisic and

24 Mr. Milosevic; right? Do you know that?

25 A. I don't know that. I met Mr. Hadzic for the first time on that

Page 48294

1 occasion when I visited Borovo Selo. When I visited Borovo Selo. Now,

2 whether and to what extent Mr. Hadzic cooperated with Mr. Stanisic, whom I

3 don't personally know nor did I ever have occasion to meet him, I don't

4 know, or with anybody else. I know that I met Mr. Goran Hadzic later on,

5 during the long meetings when the entire leadership of the Republic of

6 Srpska Krajina had a 40-hour long meeting and then several other meetings

7 that lasted five or six hours when we tried to persuade them to accept the

8 Vance Peace Plan.

9 Q. Mr. Kostic, do you know that Mr. Hadzic closely cooperated with

10 Arkan?

11 A. No. I never saw Arkan myself.

12 Q. But you know that he was stationed in Erdut, do you? Do you not?

13 A. I don't know. I learnt about that, or I heard about that later

14 on, that his forces were there, and when I attended these proceedings,

15 actually, when I followed this trial, but at the time I didn't know that,

16 no.

17 Q. When you were in Borovo Selo, you did not just visit refugee

18 camps, you also visited the barricades; right?

19 A. No, no barracks.

20 Q. I didn't say barracks. I said barricades, the barricades that

21 were put up by the people at the entries of the village.

22 A. I didn't visit any barricades either. We crossed the Danube River

23 on -- on a raft because it was impossible to communicate via the bridge.

24 And to tell you the truth, I don't know the area very well, so I don't

25 know whether the river flows upstream or downstream at that particular

Page 48295

1 point where we crossed in the raft. But I do know that there were

2 paramilitaries positioned all around, Croatian paramilitaries, that they

3 had mortars, and I also know that in crossing the river in the raft, in

4 crossing the Danube, we could have been under threat and the target of

5 mortars of the Croatian paramilitaries. And that is why instead of the

6 time announced when we would cross the Danube, we crossed two hours later

7 on the raft. But we didn't visit any barricades at all, nor did I notice

8 any barricades, for that matter, in crossing from the embankment to Borovo

9 Selo.

10 Q. Mr. Kostic -- and also I would like to put a translation of a

11 Tanjug domestic service report to the witness. We only have the English

12 translation of this report. We don't have the B/C/S version of this

13 Tanjug report.

14 It's from the 29th of July, 1991, referring to your visit in

15 Borovo Selo.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Professor Kostic.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I ask a question? That is to

19 say I owe Mr. Bonomy an answer about -- to a question about the

20 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So I was just going to ask you, shall

21 I take this opportunity to answer that question now while that is being

22 set up, or shall we leave it 'til later?

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. We'll have your response at the end of the

24 cross-examination.

25 Please continue, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

Page 48296


2 Q. Mr. Kostic, this article is actually -- or, rather, this Tanjug

3 report is actually quoting you, and it is very much like the clip that we

4 saw, but on the last line in this report, it says: "Kostic also went on a

5 tour of the defenders of Borovo Selo and the barricades at the entry of

6 this village."

7 That is what is written here by Tanjug domestic service. Can you

8 comment on this? They say here that you visited the defenders of Borovo

9 Selo and the barricades at the entry of this village.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What do you say to that, Mr. Kostic?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say that Tanjug's

12 information at that time was mostly correct, and from that point of view

13 as far as any information coming out of Tanjug, I had no criticisms to

14 make. I think that everything that happened in Borovo Selo was recorded

15 in the three clips shown by the Prosecution.

16 So I visited the inhabitants of Borovo Selo, I went to the centre

17 of Borovo Selo, and the welcome there, the address I made and the talk to

18 the leaders of the Serb people in the area, you've seen all that. But I

19 don't know where the barricades were. I don't recall seeing any

20 barricades. Perhaps I passed by them without knowing they were there.

21 And even if I had visited or toured the barricades, I don't see anything

22 bad in that.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we would like to tender this

25 article.

Page 48297

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It's admitted.

2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, that will be Exhibit 945.


4 Q. Mr. Kostic, when you visited the village and you spoke to the

5 people there, did you notice that it was not just local Serbs but also

6 Serbs from Serbia there?

7 A. Madam, I was in the area for the first time. I'd never been there

8 before. And you asked me a moment ago about Arkan and about Mr. Stanisic.

9 They were - how shall I put this? - well, let me say well-known figures,

10 but I never met them. Now, how I could have recognised somebody and known

11 they were from Serbia proper or from Borovo Selo, I don't know. All I

12 could do was to recognise the people who came in the delegation with me,

13 and amongst them there was Mr. Brana Crncevic, as you were able to see,

14 but I said he didn't come there as a writer but he went there as a man in

15 charge of refugees.

16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... ask the question.

17 Mr. Kostic, your visit to Borovo Selo was understood by the Croats and

18 also by others as endorsement of the killing of the Croat policeman. Was

19 that said about your visit? Do you know that?

20 A. Well, madam, I assume you talked to the Croats over there, but on

21 the basis of everything I stated publicly and on the basis of the tape of

22 my speech that you showed here, neither the Croats nor anybody else could

23 have understood it that I was lending my support to someone while coming

24 out against someone else. I stated quite clearly, and I can repeat it

25 again, that at this point in time and in that case it was a matter of the

Page 48298

1 Serbs being jeopardised on the territory of Borovo Selo, but in other

2 cases, in other instances, what could easily happen was that the Muslims,

3 Albanians, Macedonians and Croats might be mentioned - I don't know if I

4 mentioned all of them - but in all events we with our Yugoslav People's

5 Army, which is truly a people's army, will stand up in protection of

6 anybody.

7 Q. Let me interrupt you. I simply asked you whether your visit in

8 Borovo Selo was understood by others as an endorsement of the killing of

9 Croat policemen, and I ask you this because you yourself mentioned that

10 this visit to Borovo Selo was the reason why Mr. Mesic did not accept you

11 as the head of the monitoring mission. So he, at least, understood it

12 this way, didn't he?

13 A. Well, madam, you would have to ask Mr. Mesic that. Mr. Mesic, at

14 The Hague conference, told me when I had visited the units of the Yugoslav

15 People's Army at Dubrovnik, told me, "Ah, so that's it, Branko, you're

16 visiting the Chetniks around Dubrovnik." And there was nothing else left

17 for me but to tell him, "No, Stipe, I'm not visiting the Chetniks. I'm

18 visiting the members of the Yugoslav People's Army, the sole legitimate

19 armed force in this country, of which you are the supreme commander but

20 unfortunately you are not performing your duty pursuant to the

21 constitution, so I had to do it instead of you." So if you gained that

22 conclusion on the basis of what Mr. Mesic said, I myself didn't arrive at

23 that conclusion, nor was my visit turned against anybody. My visit took

24 place to mitigate the suffering and pain of that unfortunate jeopardised

25 people of which 8.000 had already crossed the river Danube and fled.

Page 48299

1 Q. Mr. Kostic, we -- Mr. Nikola Samardzic testified in this court in

2 the Prosecution case, and he also referred and said, "Borovo Selo was

3 understood as endorsement of the murder of the Croat policemen for the

4 Serb cause." He refers to your visit in Borovo Selo.

5 And it's Exhibit 339, page 7, Your Honours.

6 He also mentioned that this was understood as an endorsement of

7 what had happened in the past there. What do you say to that?

8 A. Madam, it was not my intention to mention that individual, because

9 he -- he is dead. We say never speak ill of the dead. But since you

10 mention Mr. Samardzic, I did follow these entire proceedings, this whole

11 trial, and I have to say that the most -- or the ugliest assessment of the

12 situation was made by Mr. Samardzic, because in his testimony, the only

13 thing that he said correctly was in that portion of his testimony when he

14 said that I asked that he be replaced.

15 Well, you must allow me to answer your question and to complete my

16 line of -- train of thought. If you've referred to Mr. Samardzic, then

17 let me say what I think about Mr. Samardzic, because you are drawing

18 conclusions on the basis of his testimony now.

19 So the only thing that I am going to say is that Mr. Samardzic,

20 the only thing that he said during his testimony was that at that time I

21 called upon the responsible people in Montenegro to replace him because he

22 was occupying the post of the minister of foreign affairs in Montenegro

23 and he wasn't serving his people.

24 Q. Mr. Kostic, let me interrupt you again. I would like to move on,

25 and I would like to put to you a quote from your book --

Page 48300

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness omitted to say the only

3 thing that Samardzic did say in the course of his testimony, but he said

4 the only thing he said correctly was that he asked to be replaced.

5 Everything else was not correctly stated by Samardzic, but the transcript

6 seems to say differently.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. That's noted.

8 Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.


10 Q. I would like to put now a quote from your book or, rather, a

11 letter that you mention in your book to you. That's Exhibit D33, tab 72,

12 and it is on page 265.

13 Can it be provided?

14 Mr. Kostic, it is --

15 A. I have found it.

16 Q. Mr. Kostic, it's a letter by a group of 40 professors of your

17 university, the Podgorica University, and they say the following: "It is

18 no credit to us that our university does not lag behind in the slightest

19 with a number of teachers and fellows who propagate violence and hatred

20 from prominent positions within the ruling and other political parties."

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't have copies.

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I thought it would

23 have been provided.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's not it. That's not the

25 portion you read out. It's not there. It's not page 265.

Page 48301


2 Q. Would you please read from what actually was provided to you. It

3 was -- at least in the version of the book that I have, it's page 265.

4 A. The last paragraph, the one that is marked, it says: "In the

5 second part of the 10th Extraordinary Congress held --" but this is not it

6 -- "when the League of Communists changed its name into the Democratic

7 Party of Socialists --" this is not it. You want to quote something else,

8 I know.

9 Q. Yes. I was actually referring to this letter, this letter from

10 the university, the colleagues from the university of Titograd, and I

11 think you have it in your book; right?

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, the B/C/S that is attached to

13 the translation you have is obviously not the correct one. We will change

14 that.

15 Q. But luckily you have --

16 A. I have found it.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it in the English version?

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The English version is correct. The English

19 is correct.

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. What page, then?

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's the second page, in the middle, I

22 started to read. "It is no credit to us that our university does not lag

23 behind --"

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, here.

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: "-- in the slightest with the number of

Page 48302

1 teachers and fellows who propagate violence and hatred from prominent

2 positions within the ruling and other political parties.

3 "A special place among them belongs to Dr. Branko Kostic,

4 vice-president of the country's non-existing Presidency, who considerably

5 contributes to the disintegration. Dr. Kostic's controversial political

6 activities in the past three years, beginning with his recommendation to

7 save the bullets for the coming war and a street brawl and signing up to

8 become a volunteer in the army to the scandalous statements at the

9 Conference in The Hague ..."

10 Mr. Kostic, first of all my question is: Did you actually say

11 "Save the bullets for the coming war," and what was the location?

12 A. At one occasion at large rally, which was attended by over 700.000

13 [as interpreted] people as was assessed, when there was a shooting

14 incident and people were sitting up in the trees in clusters, and others

15 were firing into the air. I wanted to keep control over the rally, so I

16 said to the seething crowd, "Keep your bullets. Don't waste them." And I

17 have to say that after that not a single shot was fired.

18 What I said has been used and abused, very often by people who do

19 not share my opinions. At a rally which I did not organise but which was

20 organised by a political party led at the time by a person who is still a

21 persona non grata in Sarajevo, who was unfortunately a colleague and

22 professor of mine at the university and who changed his opinions more than

23 once, he quoted this under the title "Organiser from the background." I

24 will tell you exactly on which page of my book it is all explained.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, you had an answer.

Page 48303

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. That was the answer. Thank you.

2 Q. And this other --

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By your leave, Mr. Robinson, it's

4 page --

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: No, Mr. -- No, Mr. Kostic. Let's move on.

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Again another -- Could that please be

7 admitted, Your Honour? And it's actually the B/C/S version would be page

8 270, not as said here, 265. It's actually following, when you look into

9 the batch, little batch that you have, it's following in the B/C/S, it's

10 attached here just a few pages later.

11 Can this be admitted?

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kostic, what about the reference to a street

13 brawl?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say the following in this

15 connection: At the time I was president of the Presidency of Montenegro.

16 This happened in June. We were supposed to be celebrating the anniversary

17 of the so-called Belvedere demonstrations of 1937, when there was

18 bloodshed. The regime of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia shot into a crowd of

19 peaceful demonstrators. Several people were killed or wounded. My father

20 was also seriously wounded then. Even without regard to my post as

21 president of the Presidency of Montenegro, I felt duty-bound to attend

22 because of my family.

23 Mr. Momir Bulatovic was also there. We met in the municipal

24 building of Cetinje municipality before leaving for the ceremony. In

25 front of the Cetinje monastery there was an event that had been organised.

Page 48304

1 A group of young men who were being rowdy and causing a disturbance had

2 been brought in to the police station. Their supporters then organised

3 themselves and arrived in front of the Assembly building. There were

4 about 20 or 30 of them in a group, and they arrived at the moment when I

5 was leaving the building. I was in the building and I was president of

6 the Presidency, so I should have been informed of this, but unfortunately

7 none of the security personnel informed me. I didn't know that a group of

8 young men had been arrested, nor did I know that another group was moving

9 towards the building in an organised manner. Although there were some 20

10 or 30 policemen there, this group walked up to me. I didn't know what

11 this was about. Of course I could have avoided them, but I met them to

12 see what this was about. They were shouting, "Let our comrades go, let

13 our comrades go. Release them." I didn't know what this was about.

14 One of the young men in the group, who was in the second or third

15 row and was taller than all the others, said, "You are a traitor of

16 Montenegro. You are selling Montenegro." And he spat at me. This whole

17 group was surprised by his action. They moved back a few metres, and my

18 security men advised me to withdraw to the Assembly building, the

19 Municipal Assembly building.

20 Cetinje is my town, and I was ashamed. Not that someone was

21 spitting at me as president of the state, but that someone should be

22 treating me in this way. And I --

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kostic. That's -- is that your

24 account of the street brawl? Did you do anything?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was just about to say this. I was

Page 48305

1 angry and confused. I walked towards the group, and I kicked the young

2 man who had spat at me in the lower part of his body. The police then

3 moved the young men 20 or 30 metres off, and from there they continued

4 yelling. I didn't want to take refuge in the Municipal Assembly building

5 but waited for the situation to calm down. Once everything was under

6 control, I walked towards the group to see what this was all about,

7 because I still didn't know why they had gathered.

8 As I was walking towards them, they started yelling, "Throw away

9 the pistol. Throw away the pistol." It was summertime. I unbuttoned my

10 jacket. It was light jacket. I opened it, and I said, "I have no pistol.

11 I don't need a pistol in my town of Cetinje." And they yelled, "And the

12 policemen behind you?" I turned around and I really saw a group of

13 policemen following me. I ordered them to go back, and they obeyed. I

14 approached the group, a small group, because in the meantime my driver had

15 pulled me back. This young man was bleeding. He had been hurt and some

16 young man had taken him across the street. I had quite a normal

17 conversation with some of these young then. They addressed, "Comrade

18 Branko, this was not intended for you." We had quite a normal

19 conversation.

20 I later went to attend the ceremony, but people still remember the

21 misinterpretation that I was actually taking my jacket off in order to

22 start fighting.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... the end of

24 the account now, yes. Thank you.


Page 48306

1 Q. Mr. Kostic, just one more question. You said that the

2 demonstrators said, "You are selling Montenegro." What did you mean?

3 Selling Montenegro to whom?

4 A. Well, you can draw your own conclusion, but it's quite clear to me

5 why you're asking me that. That's why I asked Mr. Bonomy not to be angry

6 at with me at one point in time. You see Mr. Bulatovic in his book

7 talking about our disagreements about the legal status of Montenegro and

8 the future state, accused me of siding with Mr. Milosevic. Because of

9 these accusations constantly hurled at me, even by my party comrades, I

10 kept repeating that I was not siding with anyone, that nobody loved

11 Montenegro more than me, and that my concern was for the future of my

12 country.

13 Q. You have answered my question. It's no need to go in so many

14 details. Try to answer my questions as short as possible so that we can

15 finish the cross-examination as soon as possible.

16 Mr. Kostic, another -- another chapter in your book --

17 A. Madam, your questions are malicious. That's why I have to be more

18 extensive in my answers.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: The questions are not malicious. They are, in

20 fact, quite appropriate.


22 Q. Mr. Kostic, another section in your book, and I would like to

23 refer you now to the pages 217 starting. And I would like to have the

24 translation provided to everyone in the court and the document also for

25 Mr. Milosevic.

Page 48307

1 Mr. Kostic, it's actually a speech, a rally on the 2nd of October,

2 1990, and I think that's the rally that you just spoke about with the

3 700.000 people attending. Is that the speech that you refer to in your

4 book?

5 A. Madam, all of Montenegro doesn't have 700.000 people in it. I

6 said 70.000 people. That's the rally. And thank you for drawing

7 attention to this text.

8 Q. Yes. A little bit -- on page 3 in the English, the second

9 paragraph. And it should be marked, actually, for you. You see the

10 following -- you said the following: "The looming tragedy in this

11 country, the looming tragedy of the Serbian people in Croatia is too great

12 for us to divide ourselves into parties and sympathisers. Serbian

13 children and Serbian women and the helpless elderly are fleeing their

14 homes again, once more they are forced to seek help or salvation in

15 military barracks."

16 Mr. Kostic, you gave this speech on the 2nd of October, 1990.

17 That is a little bit later than the so-called log revolution where certain

18 barricades were set up. What you are talking about, Serbian children,

19 Serbian women and the elderly having to flee, that hadn't happened then,

20 had it? How can you say those things?

21 A. If you're talking about Borovo Selo, it hadn't happened. Borovo

22 Selo happened only in 1991, and this was in May. I visited it in June. I

23 was, however, referring to what was happening in the territory of

24 Republika Srpska Krajina, Knin, Benkovac, and other places in Croatia

25 inhabited by Serbs. And it was already evident. The media were already

Page 48308

1 reporting that Serbian people, women and children, were trying to take

2 refuge, inter alia, in JNA barracks.

3 Inter-ethnic tensions and conflicts did not start in 1991, but

4 the --

5 THE INTERPRETER: In 1990, interpreter's correction.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were already attacks on the

7 JNA.


9 Q. Mr. -- Mr. Kostic, we are hearing evidence now for quite some

10 time, and the first violent clashes we hear about is actually Plitvice and

11 Pakrac. That's all in 1991. But here in 1990, you speak about Serbian

12 women and Serbian children fleeing, and the elderly. That's an

13 extraordinary exaggeration. Wouldn't you say that? Isn't it? That

14 didn't really happen at that time.

15 A. Madam, this rally, which an opposition party attempted to organise

16 and the aim of which was evidently to win me over for that party, as they

17 told me later, but of course they didn't succeed, this whole rally was

18 organised in order to calm down tensions, not to exaggerate. What is

19 certain and beyond dispute is that in the municipalities in the

20 Knin-Krajina, where the Serbian population was in the minority and where

21 large-scale ethnic conflicts had not yet broken out where the JNA was not

22 engaged and where the police forces of the Tudjman government had not

23 attempted to entered and disarm the police on the territory of the Serb

24 municipalities, there was uncertainty, and there certainly was fleeing by

25 the Serb population, and there certainly were helpless people seeking

Page 48309

1 refuge in JNA barracks.

2 Q. Mr. Kostic. Mr. Kostic, in that same page -- or, rather, in your

3 book you refer to that event as an atmosphere, indeed inferno, singing

4 slogans, banners, calls for taking up arms, and in such an atmosphere you

5 speak of the Serbian children and Serbian women being threatened. And you

6 also speak about the genocide threatening the Serbian people in Croatia.

7 That's actually fuelling the wave of nationalism and what was going on

8 there. That's fuelling the wave, isn't it? It's adding to the tension,

9 not calming.

10 A. That's not correct, madam. You can draw your own conclusion, but

11 if you read my book carefully, you will see, and this is perhaps one of

12 the things that brought me to the post of president of the Presidency in

13 Montenegro, I'm referring to the fact that at that time when ethnic

14 passions were already seething, I was the one putting out the flames in

15 Montenegro, calming down the passions of the crowd, and getting the crowds

16 to disperse peacefully. This happened at this rally as well as the

17 rallies in Rozaje and Plav, where only Muslims and Albanians had gathered

18 on one side, and Serbs and Montenegrins on the other, separated only by a

19 police cordon. And they couldn't be made to disperse throughout the day,

20 and at the end of the day, when I arrived, I managed to get the crowd to

21 disperse peacefully, thus avoiding bloodshed. All my efforts at the time,

22 madam, were aimed at calming the tensions and not fanning the flames, but

23 you can draw your own conclusions.

24 Q. Mr. Kostic, you already spoke with Mr. Milosevic about the Ohrid

25 peace declaration and it's actually at page transcript --

Page 48310

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I'm just reminded, I would like

2 to tender that speech -- that part of the book, that is.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, it's admitted.

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The Ohrid peace declaration testimony part,

5 Your Honour, is at transcript 47819 to 47820. In relation to the Ohrid

6 peace declaration, that's tab -- that was Defence Exhibit D333, tab 20,

7 there is also, on page 2, but I think it's enough that I read it to you,

8 it's actually said that: "The Presidency will form a state commission to

9 determine the facts of the situation and examine the implementation of the

10 peace declaration. In this declaration there's also mention that it will

11 be requested that the European Community Monitor Mission would

12 participate."

13 Q. Do you remember that? It's actually on page 2 in the English, the

14 third paragraph. It says here: "The SFRY Presidency will form a state

15 commission to determine facts of the situation and examine the

16 implementation of the decision, and it will request the European Community

17 Monitoring Mission to participate in monitoring the execution of these

18 decisions."

19 However, Mr. Kostic, do you recall that you had a meeting with

20 Mr. Jovic and Mr. Milosevic on the 2nd of August, 1991, regarding that

21 issue and where you decided to not allow the European observers to

22 participate? Do you recall that?

23 A. I remember the Ohrid Declaration very well and also the entire

24 Ohrid meeting. You omitted to mention that the Ohrid meeting was

25 concluded unsuccessfully. It was broken up by Franjo Tudjman, who walked

Page 48311

1 out of the session before we had adopted the Ohrid Declaration. In spite

2 of this, the rest of us who remained adopted the Ohrid Declaration.

3 Stjepan Mesic insisted that the JNA withdraw to its barracks. The rest of

4 us did not agree to this. The rest of us wanted the JNA to withdraw after

5 the disarming of the paramilitary formations in Croatia.

6 Q. Mr. Kostic --

7 A. As regards your specific question, I'm just coming to it. I was

8 just about to answer your question. With respect to this meeting with

9 Jovic and Milosevic on the 2nd of August, as you say, I really don't

10 remember it. I can, however, confirm that from the very first day we had

11 reservations with respect to the internationalisation of the Yugoslav

12 crisis. We were doing everything not to internationalise it.

13 Mr. Tudjman, Mr. Mesic, Mr. Ante Markovic, and the minister of the

14 interior, Mr. Loncar, were doing everything to internationalise the

15 Yugoslav crisis. Therefore, I do not exclude this possibility.

16 I really don't remember this meeting, but it's possible I attended

17 some such meeting and that I expressed reservations towards the engagement

18 of the European Community in the solving of our crisis. Later

19 developments proved me to be right, because the international community

20 took a very one-sided approach.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kostic, you must endeavour to answer the

22 questions more directly and more briefly than you have been. Just get to

23 the point.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I was actually referring to

25 Mr. Jovic's testimony and his book, "The Last Days of the SFRY," entry 2nd

Page 48312

1 August 1991.

2 Q. Mr. Kostic, during your testimony you spoke about two visits of a

3 delegation from Western Slavonia that saw you - and that's at transcript

4 47642 - and you said that the army did not have enough resources to

5 protect the people in Western Slavonia. Mr. Kostic, my question in this

6 regard is: You are aware that Seselj's volunteers and the White Eagles

7 came to Western Slavonia, in particular Ploce, and did engage in clashes

8 there. Do you know that?

9 A. Neither with respect to Seselj's men nor with respect to the White

10 Eagles did I know anything about this at the time. I know that Seselj's

11 men were in the area of Western Slavonia when the Serbs who fled from

12 Western Slavonia asked me to address them in the trade union hall in

13 December, if I'm correct, 1991. And on that occasion Mr. Seselj called me

14 on the telephone to ask me whether he could also attend this rally of

15 refugee Serbs from Western Slavonia, because he said that he had

16 volunteers whom he had sent there.

17 I have already said that I was informed that Seselj sent

18 volunteers but that he did not organise them as separate units; rather, he

19 sent them to join the JNA and the Territorial Defence units.

20 Q. Mr. Kostic, you spent quite some time with Mr. Milosevic on the

21 wording of the Brioni Declaration, and it was Defence Exhibit D333, tab

22 68, and you both agreed that there was no mentioning of the three-month

23 suspension on the independence declaration, and you -- do you recall that?

24 A. Yes, I do.

25 Q. However, among the documents related to the Brioni Declaration,

Page 48313

1 there is also a memorandum of understanding on the monitor mission to

2 Yugoslavia of 13th July, 1991. Do you know about this memorandum?

3 A. Could you please remind me what this is about. Was it an annex to

4 the Brioni Declaration or is it a different document? Because with

5 respect to the Brioni Declaration, I already said that we didn't have a

6 meeting of the Presidency at Brioni. Mr. Jovic and I went there and came

7 back, but no meeting of the Presidency was held. It was only the

8 presidents from the secessionist republics and representatives of Croatia

9 and Slovenia that attended. The Brioni Declaration was accepted only

10 later by the Presidency and by the federal government.

11 Q. In the Brioni Declaration, there is an Annex II that refers to

12 monitor mission, and what is now put to you is a memorandum of

13 understanding of the working of the monitor mission.

14 A. You mean Annex II, the guidelines for the mission in Yugoslavia,

15 the monitor mission in Yugoslavia?

16 Q. No, I do not refer to Annex II. I refer to the memorandum of

17 understanding on the monitor mission to Yugoslavia on the 13th of July,

18 1991.

19 A. Well, can you give me the text, madam? What I have here is the

20 Brioni Declaration, Annex II.

21 Q. I -- there seems to be a problem, Mr. Kostic, with the B/C/S

22 version. Therefore, I think we put the English version on the ELMO. It's

23 -- it's referred to as page 21. Could it please be put on the ELMO, and

24 the section memorandum of understanding - the other side, please - and the

25 lower part. Please move it so we can read the memorandum of

Page 48314

1 understanding, please, so that we can see the lower part. The lower part.

2 Please, the lower part. Yes.

3 It says here that we can see number b). It says here "Article I

4 (Mandate)," and letter b) says here: "To monitor the suspension of the

5 implementation of the declarations of independence for the period of three

6 months, as agreed between the Host Parties, in the context of the

7 arrangements reached in Brioni, particularly on the border regime and the

8 boarder security."

9 Mr. Kostic, in this regard there is no doubt that Brioni included

10 a three-month suspension of the independence declaration; right?

11 A. No. The Brioni Declaration, where three months are mentioned and

12 in the portion that you just read out, it speaks about a three-month

13 period in which the situation at the borders should be returned to what it

14 was, and just on Slovenia. The international borders on Croatian

15 territory were not taken up by the Croatian paramilitaries. It was just

16 the Slovenian paramilitaries that had taken up positions along the borders

17 of Slovenia. And the decision made was to give a three-month deadline -

18 so that's the three months that are mentioned in the Brioni Declaration as

19 well - that in a three-month period a suitable solution be found for the

20 situation along the borders, which would imply solutions which were

21 closely related to those in the European Community. Which means that

22 since it was the military, the JNA, that provided security at our borders

23 and frontiers, that a solution should be found that would imply most

24 probably that police forces should be called upon to protect the borders.

25 So this was the three-month period relating to the frontiers on the

Page 48315

1 territory of Slovenia.

2 Q. Mr. Kostic, are you telling us here that the Brioni Declaration

3 and the discussions in Brioni had nothing to do with the suspension of the

4 implementation of the declaration of independence? Are you really telling

5 us that?

6 A. Well, how do you mean have nothing to do with it? They do have

7 something to do with it, but the Brioni Declaration in no place states

8 that within the space of three months that, unless a solution is found,

9 independence would be proclaimed. The Brioni Declaration speaks about the

10 establishment of peace and that a peaceful settlement should be found to

11 the political crisis, and three months as a suspension period is only

12 mentioned with respect to Slovenia, that the situation should be returned

13 to before the 25th of June where, only when it comes to the question of

14 the border and to protect and secure the border, that would be similar to

15 the European border belt. And there is similarity in the Brioni

16 Declaration and the Presidency decisions taken on 4th of July in fact are

17 none other than attempts for the European Community to fulfil its two

18 obligations taken upon itself as the three points in the package deal when

19 we elected Mr. Mesic as president, which meant suspension of the acts on

20 secession, the establishment of peace, and a political peaceful solution

21 to the problem, along with the simultaneous pressure on the part of the

22 European Community on the Croatian and Slovenian leadership not to block

23 the institutions of the federal state, which means the Presidency, the

24 Assembly, and the government.

25 Q. Mr. Kostic, let me just refer to Defence Exhibit D333, tab 68 --

Page 48316

1 sorry, 86. 86.

2 Mr. Kostic, it is an Assembly of the Republic of Croatia

3 declaration of 8th of October, 1991. This Assembly document refers to the

4 Croatian referendum of the 19 March 1991 -- May 1991. It refers to the

5 date 25 June 1991 that is mentioned in the Brioni Declaration, and it says

6 here: "Having established that the three-month deadline and the deferment

7 of implementation of the constitutional decision determined in the Brioni

8 Declaration expired on 7 October 1991, having established that in the

9 period up to the deadline set in the Brioni Declaration aggressive

10 operations by the so-called JNA and Serbian terrorists against towns and

11 villages gained momentum."

12 Then I drop a few lines, and it says then: "Having established

13 that Yugoslavia no longer exists as an association of states, a joint

14 session of all the Chambers held on 8 October 1991, the Assembly of the

15 Republic of Croatia adopted the following decision: On 8th of October the

16 Republic of Croatia will sever its constitutional ties on the basis of

17 which is created a former SFRY with other republics."

18 And actually, that's the decision taken on the 8th of October, the

19 independence decision.

20 Mr. Kostic, they also refer to the Brioni Declaration. What do

21 you say?

22 A. Well, madam, your main problem lies in the fact that you wrote the

23 indictment in Zagreb and Zagreb alone, and so many times --

24 Q. Mr. Kostic, I really reject those kind of comments.

25 A. If I might be allowed to continue my train of thought. As I was

Page 48317

1 saying, so many times --

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kostic, we don't want a train of thought, we

3 just want an answer, a direct answer.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not that thought, another thought.

5 What the lady just read out is what it says in the text, but during my

6 testimony I have shown so many times and with so many examples that the

7 Croatian leadership and Croatian authorities in their attempt and desire

8 to have an independent state interpreted in their own way everything that

9 was mutually agreed upon, including the two truces concluded at The Hague

10 in -- at The Hague conference, which was decided upon with the presence of

11 the top European leaders, and it was an unconditional cease-fire, an

12 unconditional deblocking of the barracks, and they did not do that on

13 either occasion. They interpreted it in their own way.

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would like to tender this

15 memorandum of understanding, that document in that group of documents

16 relating to the Brioni Declaration, because our finding is that this

17 memorandum of understanding was not tendered before.

18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll admit it.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And I'd also like to --

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the number, first?

21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 946.

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would also like to tender this exhibit --

23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I also would like to tender this Defence --

25 that was originally Defence Exhibit tab 86. Mr. Milosevic, at least as I

Page 48318

1 saw, didn't tender this.

2 JUDGE KWON: It was --

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It was? Okay.

4 JUDGE KWON: But I wonder whether 68 was or not.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I was actually speaking of 86. 68 isn't,

6 Your Honour.

7 JUDGE KWON: I was told I was right. 86 was already admitted. So

8 we'll admit 68.

9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you.

10 Q. I will now turn to the 1st of October, 1991. Mr. Kostic, you may

11 remember that in your testimony Judge Bonomy asked to see the official

12 document in which a state of imminent threat of war was declared or

13 concluded, and first of all I would like to show you a clip from an

14 interview that you gave to -- for the documentary "Death of Yugoslavia."

15 And it's in Sanction. And for the AV booth, it's in Sanction. And just

16 before we play that, the transcript should be handed out.

17 [Videotape played]

18 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] But we needed a two-third majority

19 to pass that decision in the Presidency. Drnovsek did not come to the

20 sessions. Mesic was boycotting them too. Bogicevic and Tupurkovski would

21 come occasionally. It was the session of the 30th of September where the

22 only item on the agenda was the political and security situation in the

23 country. We prepared lengthy conclusions, an eight-page document, which

24 included some provocative stands which we knew would provoke many

25 objections, both by Tupurkovski and Bogicevic, and so on. And towards the

Page 48319

1 end of that document, we sneaked in that formula from -- saying that the

2 country was facing an imminent threat of war. And when we -- the debate

3 started, we spent a lot of time discussing the first part of these -- of

4 the document, these controversial assessments, and then we accepted their

5 objections and removed one sentence from that document and then another,

6 but the assessment that the country was facing an imminent threat of war,

7 the very sentence that exists in the Yugoslav constitution, went

8 unnoticed. They simply did not have any objections to it. And so those

9 conclusions which were carried by two-third majority, by six votes, was

10 published. We gave it to Tanjug. And nobody can deny it happened that

11 way. We have transcript from that session from which you can see that

12 that was the assessment adopted by six votes, that is to say carried by

13 two-third majority.

14 On the next day, Bogicevic and Tupurkovski were reprimanded in

15 writing by Mesic and Drnovsek for attending that session in the first

16 place. And on the next session, Presidency session held on the 3rd of

17 October when we started operating in conditions of an imminent threat of

18 war, they did not appear at all, but that document empowered us to work

19 and make decisions with as many members that were present at the session

20 under the constitution; one, three, or all five members of the Presidency

21 where the peacetime conditions were no longer valid. So we really did use

22 a sort of, if I can say so, political trick, small political trick, but

23 that wasn't the first or the last time such methods were resorted to. But

24 we did this because we wanted to remain within the limits of the

25 constitution defining that question, and we did remain within the limits

Page 48320

1 of the constitution, and we did not take a single law having -- decree law

2 that was not done in that way."


4 Q. Mr. Kostic, you knew that Mr. Bogicevic and Mr. Tupurkovski would

5 not be in favour of declaring or concluding an imminent threat of war, and

6 that's why you tricked them, right?

7 A. Well, these were moments of honesty. I think that that was the

8 case, that it was so, but bear in mind the fact that we were not able to

9 meet one month previously. The country was at war and they boycotted the

10 work of the Presidency. And after their arrival on the 1st of September,

11 Izetbegovic writes a letter to Mesic and Gligorov, criticising why they

12 had attended the Presidency session on the 1st, whereas they took it upon

13 themselves not to block federal institutions. They made that pledge to

14 the international community. So what can I say? I can just confirm what

15 I said.

16 Q. Mr. Kostic, I was also, as Judge Bonomy, looking for a document

17 where it really actually says that the Presidency concluded or declared

18 that a state of war existed, and actually in all the documents I didn't

19 find that particular official statement. Can you help us with that?

20 A. Well, at that point in time when Mr. Bonomy asked that question,

21 at that point I didn't even know that that had been published, for

22 example, in the Official Gazette. Truth to tell, Mr. Bonomy considered

23 and probably still considers that that should have been some sort of

24 separate decision taken. But I am still convinced that it wasn't a

25 decision, it was an assessment of a situation which was the imminent

Page 48321

1 threat of war, and that state of imminent threat of war and that

2 assessment was published in the Official Gazette, and I think that

3 Mr. Milosevic at the following meeting attached this Official Gazette and

4 made it part of the list of documents.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the transcript which we have

8 received, the excerpt from Prosecutor Kostic's interview for television,

9 he said in Serbian, in the Serbian language that -- the following: "That

10 the assessment of an imminent threat of war was placed in the broader text

11 in a fairly unnoticeable manner," whereas in the translation, it says, "We

12 sneaked in that formula," which has quite a different connotation and is

13 not correct. When he says that it wasn't bombastically stated but that it

14 was within the context of the entire text that they used that, that's one

15 thing, but to say "sneaked in that formula" was something rather

16 incorrect.

17 So please bear in mind the fact that the translation, the written

18 translation of what Mr. Kostic really did say in the television interview

19 and this is different, and all that relates to - how shall I put this? -

20 the political tactics does not relate to any sneaking in of anything, but

21 to an unnoticeable way in which this element was introduced.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. We'll --


24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could we have this clarified, though --


Page 48322

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- by placing this on the ELMO.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We would have to play it again and it's in

3 the middle of it, or the interpreters could actually --

4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters agree with the explanation just

5 given.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, then. Very well.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And, Your Honour, I would like to

8 tender that clip.

9 [Trial Chamber confers]

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we thank you for the

11 clarification.

12 And you want to tender --

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, this clip. It's an interview given for

14 the documentary "Death of Yugoslavia" but it's not yet tendered.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I just wish to have something

18 clarified. What is being tendered, the videotape and not the transcript?

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour --

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: What are you tendering?

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are tendering the video clip and the

22 translation as it shows actually on the transcript here in the courtroom.

23 We have the translation and then the clarification of Mr. Milosevic. I

24 think that should actually be sufficient.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. It's both, of course subject

Page 48323

1 to the clarification has been given.

2 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, who translated this one? I

3 remember there was -- used to be a general problem of translation --

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The translation was --

5 JUDGE KWON: -- in relation to "Death of Yugoslavia."

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. The translation was made by the people

7 who produced the documentary.



10 MR. KAY: If I can just help with this, because the translation

11 booth are assisted by getting these documents in advance, and of course

12 will be relying on the documents as the video is playing, and we saw an

13 example there of where Mr. Milosevic made a correction, and of course the

14 interpreter properly accepted that, but of course had been using the

15 document originally provided, which if we -- we must bear that in mind

16 when these problems arise. They are not giving a translation of what is

17 on the video but often with an aided source.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: The English translation will be marked for

20 identification pending -- pending translation.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.

22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 947.


24 Q. Mr. Kostic, I had already moved on to the documents that relate to

25 the 1st of October, 1991. And in relation to Defence Exhibit -- tab 33,

Page 48324

1 that's a statement by the SFRY Presidency of the 1st of October, 1991, I

2 read this document carefully, and I didn't find any official statement

3 that a conclusion was made about an imminent threat of war. It was more

4 or less just, as it appears to me, that there was a talk about a danger of

5 an all-out war breaking out.

6 Can we please have this document in front of everyone.

7 Mr. Kostic, in that document it only says here on the first page

8 in the middle of that page: "The relevant federal departments informed

9 the SFRY Presidency that the political and security situation of the

10 country was extremely serious and dramatic, and that there was danger of

11 an all-out war breaking out."

12 That's actually the information that the Presidency members got.

13 And in the rest of the document I couldn't see anything that -- that it

14 was concluded that such a state of war or imminent threat of a state of

15 war existed. Is that how it went?

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The text that you referred to is a

18 text of the statement by the Presidency from its session of the 3rd of

19 October. That is the 3rd of October session statement.

20 Now, the 1st of October session, the 1st of October session we

21 were the two-third majority of Presidency members, in conformity with the

22 constitution, took note of the existence and assessed that there was a

23 situation of imminent threat of war. We tried to convene a session for

24 the 2nd - I've already said that - and then at the intervention of Mesic

25 neither Tupurkovski or Bogicevic turned up, so we scheduled it for the

Page 48325

1 3rd. At their request we moved it forward, but they didn't come then

2 again, and contrary to the constitution, Alija Izetbegovic, as president

3 of the Presidency, made it impossible for Bogicevic to arrive. He did

4 that -- Gligorov did that too, contrary to the constitution, because the

5 Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Macedonian Assembly was -- were the

6 only presidencies who could stop them coming to the Assembly session, the

7 FRY Presidency session, so --

8 JUDGE BONOMY: Excuse me, this doesn't seem to deal with the point

9 that's arisen. The copy I have of this document is dated the 10th of

10 October.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's a mistake, Your Honour. It's actually a

12 mistake in the translation. When you look at the B/C/S, it says the 1st

13 of October. It's mistake.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: And therefore it refers to the 30th of September,

15 because it talks about "what happened last night" at the bottom of the

16 page. At the bottom of my page, the last paragraph: "In these

17 circumstances, last night the Supreme Command Staff discussed the possible

18 measures to be taken."

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But it is the, as it says here,

20 meeting.

21 JUDGE BONOMY: Meeting yesterday. So it's the 30th of September

22 that this relates to on the face of it. I thought it was the 9th of

23 October but now that you've clarified that, it's the 30th of September.

24 JUDGE KWON: The preceding paragraph has the 30th of September.


Page 48326

1 Q. Perhaps Mr. Kostic could help us. We have here this document that

2 relates to a Presidency session held "yesterday in Belgrade," and it

3 refers to Bogic Bogicevic, the -- the Assembly session -- sorry, the

4 Presidency session in which Mr. Bogicevic took part in. When did it take

5 place, and does this document that is now in front of you refer to it?

6 A. Please. The 1st of October session resulted in a SFRY statement

7 that was broadcast by Tanjug and that we already brought up during the

8 examination-in-chief and tendered into evidence. That is the 1st of

9 October meeting one. And Tanjug, on the 1st of October in the evening,

10 published the Presidency statement, informing the domestic public and the

11 international public --

12 JUDGE BONOMY: What does this document relate to? Can you just

13 clarify that and then we can make some progress.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, this document, which the

15 lady mentioned, and page -- on page 31 of the book is a Presidency

16 statement from its meeting of the 3rd of October.

17 JUDGE BONOMY: We're looking at tab 33.

18 JUDGE KWON: Please look at tab 33 of your binder.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please. Tab 33 is a statement by

20 the SFRY Presidency from a session held on the 1st of October, 1991. It

21 was broadcast by Tanjug on the 1st in the evening.

22 As you can see --

23 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, why -- in that case -- excuse me --

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- on page --

25 JUDGE BONOMY: Excuse me for a moment. In that case, why does it

Page 48327

1 have the date the 1st of October and then start by saying, "The SFRY

2 Presidency held a meeting yesterday in Belgrade"?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Bonomy, this doesn't exist in

4 the original text. It says: "In Belgrade a session of the Presidency of

5 the SFRY was held." It doesn't have the word "yesterday" in the original.

6 You can put the Serbian text on the ELMO and have the interpreters

7 translate it for you. I've been wondering what it was that was in

8 dispute.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... about the

10 last paragraph, which says: "In these circumstances, last night the

11 Supreme Command Staff discussed" so-and-so.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here: "In these

13 circumstances, last night the Supreme Command Staff discussed the possible

14 measures to be taken, and sent a warning to the president of the Republic

15 of Croatia ... and the Main Staff of the Croatian army a warning." It

16 says what they had discussed.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see, and in the one, two, three, four, fifth

18 paragraph we have something, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, which comes fairly close

19 to some kind of a formal assessment. The paragraph beginning: "Many

20 lives have been lost," in English. The last sentence reads: "It has been

21 assessed that this poses a serious risk of even fiercer inter-ethnic

22 conflicts and conflicts between the republics and that Yugoslavia was

23 facing an imminent threat of war."

24 So that looks, to me, like an assessment that there was an

25 imminent threat of war.

Page 48328

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In this regard, just one question to

2 Mr. Kostic.

3 Q. Who made this assessment, those who were reporting to the

4 Presidency or the Presidency members themselves?

5 A. This is a statement adopted by the Presidency of the SFRY in its

6 six-member composition with a two-thirds majority. It was the Presidency

7 of the SFRY that adopted this statement. It considered the situation and

8 concluded that the country was facing an imminent threat of war. All six

9 members of the Presidency adopted this unanimously at a session held on

10 the 1st.

11 During the discussion, what Mr. Milosevic said, that the previous

12 night the Supreme Staff -- the Supreme Command Staff, and so on, was

13 considered and taken into account. This is an assessment of the political

14 and security situation in the country which was adopted just as it stands

15 by all six members of the Presidency.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We're going to take the break now. Is there a

17 point you want to make?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a correction. Listening to you

19 just a while ago, you quoted the passage mentioning an imminent threat of

20 war. I heard the word "risk." It is not the word "risk" that is used but

21 "threat" in the Serbian text; that there is a threat that all this will

22 happen. "Risk" and "threat" are two different concepts.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't want to get into that now. We will take

24 the break for 20 minutes.

25 --- Recess taken at 10.37 a.m.

Page 48329

1 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.

4 Q. Your Honour, during the break I just noticed that the document

5 that we just spoke about, that's Defence Exhibit tab 33 is basically the

6 same document as Exhibit 328, tab 6. However, the translation of tab 33

7 seems to me more accurate. There are quite some differences in the

8 English translation, therefore my proposal will be to tender this tab 33

9 so that we have a better version.

10 JUDGE KWON: It's already admitted.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: We've already admitted it.


13 Q. Mr. Kostic -- Mr. Kostic, we have also - and I would like you to

14 have a look at it - we have also some draft minutes from the same

15 Presidency session, and I would like to -- it's tab 328 -- tab 28. It's

16 Exhibit 328, tab 28. That was already used.

17 If you please put the third page with the agenda onto the ELMO --

18 or, rather, the B/C/S version, please. The B/C/S version with the agenda.

19 Looking at the agenda -- and it's page 3 in the English. Looking

20 at the agenda, it's a quite a lengthy agenda, and there's only the two

21 full points that relate to the situation in --

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is tab 28, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff?

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Exhibit 328, tab 28. That was --

24 JUDGE BONOMY: So where do we get a copy?

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Well, usually, Your Honour -- I was told

Page 48330

1 usually from exhibits that we have previously tendered, you do not get the

2 copy, but we have put on the ELMO page 3.

3 Q. And I just want to ask you, Mr. Kostic, when you look at the

4 agenda points, there is no mention made of a discussion about an imminent

5 threat of war; right?

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It would have to be another tab

9 number, because in tab 28 I only have the 17th of August, and that's a

10 single page, both in the Serbian and in the English version.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... of

12 Prosecution Exhibit 328. It's not in any of the tabs that you have, but

13 it's on the ELMO now.


15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we -- Mr. Usher, could you please move

17 the page so that we can see the -- the end of the page. The lower part.

18 Yes. Yes.

19 Q. And I would like you to -- I think, Mr. Kostic, you haven't asked

20 my -- answered my first question. In the agenda there is no mentioning

21 that an imminent threat of war should be discussed; right?

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where is the agenda? I see b, c, and d.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we see the English on the ELMO now.

24 JUDGE KWON: Page 4.

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Page 3 there is the agenda, and it continues

Page 48331

1 on page 4. There is just the first two points, where it says: "The

2 political and security situation in the country," and second, "Agreement

3 about further work on finding a solution for the future Yugoslavia," and

4 the rest of the agenda is basically something more or less administrative

5 matters.

6 Q. Mr. Kostic, why is this point, which is a very important one, not

7 on the agenda mentioned?

8 A. I have to say that I don't understand your question, madam. The

9 first item on the agenda is the key item, and it reads: "The political

10 and security situation in the country."

11 Within the scope of this first item on the agenda, the Presidency

12 concluded that the country was facing an imminent threat of war. You

13 don't expect us to discuss this item under Miscellaneous.

14 Q. Can we now have the B/C/S on the ELMO.

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I want the B/C/S on the ELMO

16 because the English translation that we have provided within the Exhibit

17 328, tab 28 is, as we found out now, incorrect, and I would like to

18 clarify this point.

19 On the ELMO, please, the page -- let me see what it is. In the

20 B/C/S it's page 2, and the lower part of it, please.

21 Q. Mr. Kostic, could you please read the second paragraph under item

22 1, which starts with "Predsednistvo."

23 A. "The Presidency of the SFRY assessed that the political and

24 security situation in the country is extremely difficult and dramatic and

25 that there is a threat of an all-out civil war."

Page 48332

1 This is what Mr. Mesic wrote in his book when he claimed that an

2 imminent threat of war was not mentioned anywhere here.

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, in the exhibit that we provided

4 earlier in this case, it actually speaks of "concluded," but as we know

5 now, it is "assessed."

6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kostic.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour --

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I say something?

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very briefly.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The lady said that this is a draft

11 minutes. I see that these are the minutes of the session, judging by the

12 agenda, but as this is a draft, I cannot vouch for the correctness of

13 every single word here.

14 In my book I have the original text of the statement that we

15 issued and which was published in the media.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours --

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's annex 1, page -- and tab 73.

18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the page number.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, the Prosecution has meanwhile

20 received the shorthand notes of the entire session. We received it in

21 December from the Serbian government or, rather, from Serbia and

22 Montenegro, and it's 136 pages thick document, and we were not able to

23 translate it for this session here. Ms. Tromp, however, has read the

24 entire document, and her finding was that in -- in this document it's not

25 the Presidency members that make assessments but, rather, the

Page 48333

1 institutions, the federal institutions, like Mr. Gracanin and the JNA

2 command.

3 My proposal would actually be that we prepare a complete

4 translation of these shorthand notes and provide it as exhibit from the

5 bar table at the moment when it is actually translated so that everybody

6 can read what is actually said there. That would be my proposal. What

7 we, of course, could do is we could ask Mr. Kostic to go through the B/C/S

8 version and direct us, tomorrow, to the section where the conclusion is

9 made or an assessment is made by the Presidency members and not by anyone

10 else that took part in that session, because in addition to that - because

11 Ms. Tromp provided us with a few bits of translation - and the only page

12 where we actually have mentioning of the state of -- imminent threat of

13 war is on page 26 in the B/C/S, where Mr. Branko Kostic says the following

14 - and maybe you can confirm that, Mr. Kostic - he says: "Firstly, how

15 should we qualify the momentary constitutional legal state in the country?

16 Is it an emergency state, a state of war in the bigger part of the country

17 without the declaration of war, a state of imminent threat of war in the

18 entire country? What is the real influence of the foreign factor onto

19 these happenings?

20 "Secondly, how is the legal and factual subjectivity of

21 Yugoslavia being estimated? In which measures is the SFRY constitution

22 still being respected, and which are the real endurance of the federal

23 organs? How do we provide a minimum functioning in the federation,

24 especially in the domain of defence and security until a solution of the

25 future organisation of the country?"

Page 48334

1 That's questions that Mr. Kostic raised. And do you recall this,

2 Mr. Kostic? And do you recall whether any vote was taken, any conclusion

3 that there was an imminent threat of war by the members of the Presidency?

4 A. You said that you have a 136 pages of shorthand notes. Fifteen

5 minute -- 15 years after the event I cannot remember every word you read

6 out. All I can say is that that corresponds to my thoughts at the time.

7 However, I do not know whether this is the original text, these are the

8 original shorthand notes. They always had to be authorised. I don't know

9 if what you are reading from is the authorised version.

10 I can confirm, so that I don't have to read these 136 pages again,

11 in tab 73 on page 339, 340, and 341, and these are just three pages, you

12 have the official statement by the Presidency of the SFRY, which was

13 adopted by all six members of the Presidency. That is a text nobody can

14 dispute. If there are any misunderstandings in this regard, this is the

15 only original text, the only true text that I refer to, that I can vouch

16 for.

17 Q. Mr. Kostic, you have on the ELMO at the moment --

18 JUDGE KWON: Just a moment. Did you say tab 73 or tab 72, which

19 is your book.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have the tab number. It's

21 either 72 or 73. It's my book.

22 JUDGE KWON: That's tab 72. Thank you.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but in my book there is an

24 annex, and that's the original text of the statement. It was published by

25 Tanjug.

Page 48335

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, in the Prosecution's case,

2 what is the significance of this question of the declaration or conclusion

3 that there was an imminent threat of war?

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The position of the Prosecution is that the

5 Presidency -- the six Presidency members did not declare or conclude that

6 there was an imminent threat of war, and therefore that's why the

7 Presidency, the Rump Presidency, as we call it, is illegal, and all the

8 decision and steps they took were illegal. That is the point. In

9 particular, the use of the JNA, and I will come to this point right after

10 I finish this one. The movements of the JNA directed by this Rump

11 Presidency, that's our focus, that this was all illegal.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Thank you very much.


14 Q. Mr. Kostic, what you have on the ELMO and what is also marked in

15 the -- for you in the B/C/S is a translation of what you said on page 6 of

16 these shorthand notes, and my question to you was whether the Presidency

17 members ever voted on the conclusion of an imminent threat of war.

18 A. The members of the Presidency never voted about the formulation

19 you read out, which purports to be something I said, but they all voted on

20 this statement in which it is concluded that the country is facing an

21 imminent threat of war. This was published, and it was adopted by all six

22 members of the Presidency.

23 Q. Mr. Kostic, and if I put to you that within this huge document of

24 stenographic notes that we got from the government of Serbia and

25 Montenegro there is no mentioning of any such vote, what do you say?

Page 48336

1 A. All I can say is that these notes are incomplete, that's all.

2 Q. I now would like to move on to the -- the Presidency session of

3 the 3rd of October, 1991, and it's Exhibit -- it's Prosecution Exhibit 300

4 -- 328, tab 13. It's draft minutes of the Presidency session.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And can we have the -- on the ELMO the B/C/S

6 version. Mr. Usher, the B/C/S version with the first page. It's actually

7 the second page. The second page.

8 Your Honour, I do this exercise because in the translation that we

9 provided to you, we tendered Exhibit 328, tab 13, there is also a

10 translation mistake in there that we find quite important to clarify.

11 Q. Mr. Kostic, would you read, please, under the -- under the

12 headline "Agenda," there is little paragraph starting with the word

13 "Dogovor." Could you please read this.

14 A. What passage is that?

15 Q. Sorry, you have to put the other page. The previous page. The

16 previous page, lower part, please. Further down. Yes.

17 If you read what is standing behind "Dnevni Red."

18 A. "1. Agreement on securing continuity of the work of the

19 Presidency of the SFRY, pursuant to the assessment of the Presidency of

20 the SFRY from the 143rd Session of the Presidency of the SFRY of the 1st

21 of October, 1991, on the existence of an imminent threat of war, and

22 passing over to work of the Presidency of the SFRY in conditions of the

23 existence of an imminent threat of war.

24 "2. Some --"

25 Q. That's enough. Thank you very much.

Page 48337

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just to also point out again

2 that it's here "assessment" and not, as it is in the previously provided

3 translation, "conclusion."

4 Q. Mr. Kostic, during this session of the Presidency, you actually

5 made quite important changes and decisions, and you say, and I quote now

6 myself from the English - you can now put the English on it, item 1 -

7 "Proceeding from the above assessment --" it's again a change here;

8 assessment -- "the SFRY Presidency noted that the requirements had been

9 met for the SFRY Presidencies to start working and functioning as

10 envisioned by the SFRY constitution in a state of imminent threat of war

11 and in accordance with the SFRY Presidency decision number 36 of the 21st

12 November 1984. The changeover to work in conditions of imminent threat of

13 war will enable the SFRY Presidency to avoid the possibility of having its

14 work --"

15 THE INTERPRETER: The Prosecutor is kindly asked to slow down.

16 Thank you.


18 Q. "... of having its work obstructed and to take over certain

19 functions of the SFRY Assembly, which is unable to convene."

20 And a little bit further down, it says --

21 A. I'm not getting the interpretation. I'm not getting

22 interpretation.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let's try again, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. I read only --

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.

Page 48338

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be given to me,

2 the document on the ELMO? I want to see it in the Serbian language.

3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let it be passed to the accused.


5 Q. And I start, Mr. Kostic: "The changeover to work in conditions of

6 imminent threat of war will enable the SFRY Presidency to avoid the

7 possibility of having its work obstructed and to take over certain

8 functions of the SFRY Assembly, which is unable to convene."

9 And: "The SFRY Presidency adopted the decision on the work and

10 methods of the Presidency in the event of imminent threat of war which

11 will ensure the continuity of its work. According to the decision, the

12 SFRY Presidency will adopt decisions by a majority vote of its present

13 members."

14 Mr. Kostic, that meant that you could from now on make all the

15 decisions among the four members that attended; right? No more need for

16 six members.

17 A. As of the 3rd of October, we could reach decisions with that

18 number of members of the Presidency who were present, based on a simple

19 majority. So if five were present, three votes would be sufficient; if

20 four were present, or three, we could still issue decisions.

21 I wish to draw attention, however, to the following, madam: The

22 document you have quoted from, you yourself stated that these are draft

23 minutes. You see, in the Presidency of the SFRY, there are shorthand or

24 phonographic records. This document becomes valid only after it is

25 authorised by each member of the Presidency. As far as I know, we did not

Page 48339

1 authorise this.

2 Secondly, minutes of the Presidency do not contain any details,

3 only the general gist of the discussion under each item of the agenda.

4 Statements for the public are special documents, separate documents

5 considered at the Presidency and then issued for the public, and one such

6 document is the one I have already mentioned, which is in my book.

7 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Kostic, was there any minimum number of members

8 of the Presidency who had to attend to make the meeting valid?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up until the 3rd of October, the

10 Presidency could hold sessions --

11 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ...

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After the 3rd of October, pursuant

13 to the decision reached in 1984, if there is an imminent threat of war,

14 there is no minimum number. So the number that can be gathered together.


16 Q. Mr. Kostic, a little bit further down in that document, it says:

17 "With regards to the implementation of the Decision, it was concluded that

18 all members of the SFRY Presidency be immediately informed that the SFRY

19 Presidency will continue to convene in Belgrade during the imminent threat

20 of war, which makes it necessary for the members of the SFRY Presidency to

21 stay in or near Belgrade, so that the Presidency can begin its work within

22 two hours of convening a session."

23 Mr. Kostic, that does actually exclude Mr. Mesic, Mr. Drnovsek,

24 and the other members that were not close to Belgrade, does it not?

25 A. No, you're not correct on that score, madam. Both Mr. Mesic and

Page 48340

1 Mr. Drnovsek, as well as Mr. Tupurkovski and Mr. Bogicevic, were regularly

2 invited to attend the session of the 3rd of October. They were invited on

3 the 1st of October. We thought that it would be the 1st, then at their

4 request we moved it to the 3rd. They were invited to attend the meeting,

5 and not only that one but every subsequent Presidency meeting that we had,

6 we regularly issued invitations, and Mr. Mesic recognises that in his

7 book. We regularly sent out invitations for the session, with all the

8 attending documents, and Mr. Mesic, 15 days after this, presided over the

9 Presidency meeting in The Hague where we were all present. But they

10 consciously wanted to block the work of the Presidency.

11 Q. Mr. Kostic, would it at least be a practical problem for them who

12 are in Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia or Bosnia to come to your sessions?

13 Just from a practical standpoint of view.

14 A. Well, no, it would not present any problem at all, because both

15 Mr. Mesic and Mr. Drnovsek were accommodated in one of those same villas.

16 And in Dedinje they had a 65-square-metre apartment, like I did, and so

17 they lived in those apartments. That was their official accommodation, as

18 it was mine, and it was their duty as Presidency members to live in

19 Belgrade, to reside and work in Belgrade, because it was Belgrade that was

20 the venue of the Presidency sessions. And that also applies to

21 Tupurkovski and Bogicevic, so their place of work was in the Presidency of

22 the SFRY in Belgrade and their accommodation was in Belgrade.

23 Now, the fact that they consciously left Belgrade and Mesic tried

24 to convene and schedule meetings in Brioni or Zagreb or wherever else, the

25 rules governing the Presidency work stipulated that Presidency sessions be

Page 48341

1 held in Belgrade.

2 Q. Mr. Kostic, the rules also allowed that Presidency sessions could

3 take place at other places, would it not?

4 A. Only in cases when agreement was reached on the part of all

5 members of the Presidency on that point. But in principle, the Presidency

6 sessions were held in Belgrade. If the Presidency president could assume

7 that a change of venue for the Presidency sessions could not -- might not

8 be accepted by certain members of the Presidency, then he must hold

9 consultations previously, and he cannot schedule a meeting outside

10 Belgrade unless agreement is reached on that point, to change the venue.

11 Q. Mr. Kostic, you said that the other members of the Presidency, as

12 Mr. Mesic and the others, would receive documentations from the

13 Presidency. However, I quote now again from these minutes, and it's still

14 under item 1, it says here: "Also, it was concluded that the members of

15 the SFRY Presidency who were absent from today's session be informed of

16 the contents of this Decision should be informed when they arrive in

17 Belgrade, because it cannot be faxed to them owing to the high degree of

18 confidentiality."

19 Mr. Kostic, I read this to mean that they wouldn't get all the

20 important decisions immediately afterwards but only when they come to

21 Belgrade.

22 A. Well, we're talking about two quite different matters, madam. I

23 -- what I'm saying is this, that all the Presidency members received

24 material not from the session but material for the session, documents for

25 the session. So they received the documents before the session takes

Page 48342

1 place, not from the session. Now, here they were invited to attend the

2 meeting once the agenda was declared for the 3rd, but they didn't come to

3 the meeting. And then we said that they must be informed, but all the

4 sessions we had after that, for those sessions they received invitations,

5 they received agendas set out in advance, and if they didn't turn up, then

6 we would send back to them the information about what was decided at the

7 sessions in their absence. And Mr. Mesic says that in his book, and he

8 thanks -- expresses thanks to some Mr. Bogicevic and that -- he says that

9 somebody sent him the documents from the offices of the cabinet, but it

10 wasn't that man, it was us. So not from the sessions. Not documents from

11 the sessions but documents for the sessions.

12 Q. Mr. Kostic, just one more quote from these minutes. It's item 2,

13 the second paragraph. It says: "The SFRY Presidency approved the

14 activities of the Armed Forces Supreme Command so far in implementing the

15 decisions of the SFRY Presidency regarding mobilisation."

16 That's what you did; right?

17 A. Well, there must be a mistake in the text there again, at least as

18 you read it out. You say that that was a draft of some minutes? It

19 wasn't the Supreme Command. We were the Supreme Command. The Presidency

20 was the Supreme Command. And all we could do was to authorise the

21 measures that the staff of the Supreme Command or, rather, the General

22 Staff had taken with respect to mobilisation, and then that is true. With

23 the proviso that Mr. Tudjman had already proclaimed general mobilisation

24 in Croatia.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.

Page 48343

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the original text, it is not

3 state -- it doesn't say "Supreme Command." It says "the work of the staff

4 of the Supreme Command." "The Presidency authorised the work of the staff

5 of the Supreme Command."

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Thank you.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you. Thank you for that clarification.

8 Q. I would like now to turn to Exhibit 328, tab 11, and it's draft

9 minutes of the Presidency session of the 4th of October, 1991.

10 A. Which tab did you say?

11 Q. It's a Prosecution -- it's a Prosecution exhibit that was provided

12 earlier in the case. That's the Presidency session of the 4th of October.

13 And just under item 1, it says: "The SFRY Presidency adopted the order on

14 partial mobilisation to bring up to strength commands, staffs, units and

15 institutions of the armed forces to ensure their combat readiness."

16 That was done Mr. Kostic?

17 A. Yes. That order on partial mobilisation was passed, but not to

18 strengthen the Supreme Command Staff. What it says here quite literally

19 is the following: "The order on partial mobilisation to bring up to

20 strength the commands, the staffs, and units and institutions." So this

21 decision on partial mobilisation was the result of the fact that Slovenia,

22 Croatia, Kosovo, had already taken decisions not to send their recruits to

23 the Yugoslav People's Army, and the Yugoslav People's Army, to all intents

24 and purposes, was cut down in strength under normal conditions whereas war

25 was already going on.

Page 48344

1 Q. Mr. Kostic, you don't need to go into details. This was already

2 addressed sufficiently.

3 Under item 2, it says: "The vice-president of the SFRY Presidency

4 briefed the Presidency on the documents related to control and command of

5 the SFRY Armed Forces that he signed in the absence of the president of

6 the SFRY Presidency. In this connection, it was concluded that the

7 vice-president of the SFRY Presidency would continue to sign documents

8 from this domain in the absence of the SFRY president and inform the SFRY

9 Presidency later."

10 First of all, what documents does this first sentence relate to?

11 Which documents did you sign on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd of October that

12 relate to the military?

13 A. Well, in the original it doesn't say that they were documents. It

14 -- it says that they were decrees, signed decrees from command. So if we

15 say decree, especially in the field of command of the armed forces, then

16 this refers to acts, to documents that either relate to promotions of

17 certain officers to certain ranks, or possibly it was some sort of

18 recognition and things like that. So those are decrees relating to

19 certain officers, not all of them.

20 And a part of these decrees -- some of these decrees are signed by

21 the minister of defence, some by the chief -- the head of the General

22 Staff, and for the top ranks this is done by the president or

23 vice-president of the Presidency in the absence of the president.

24 Q. Mr. Kostic, my question actually was very precise. I asked you

25 which decrees, or whatever you call it, which decrees you signed in that

Page 48345

1 few days to this briefing on the 4th. What did you sign on the 1st, 2nd,

2 or 3rd of October in relation to the control and command of the SFRY armed

3 forces? Do you recall that?

4 A. Well, you're asking me too much. After 15 years, to tell you what

5 I signed on the 3rd or 2nd of October, what decrees they were, I really

6 can't say. What I did say is that they were decrees either relating to

7 promotion to rank or recognition, commendation, things like that. Those

8 were the sorts of decrees that would be signed.

9 I think I signed decrees about new officers having completed the

10 military academy and the new commissioned officers. But of course you can

11 get more information about that from the people that sent you this.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: And would they also have, Mr. Kostic, the final

13 version of these minutes confirmed by all members of the Presidency?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean these minutes here, this

15 record?

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: You made the point that these are drafts, that

17 the minutes are draft minutes and that they are ultimately confirmed.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we didn't confirm the minutes.

19 Truth to tell, minutes were adopted. So minutes from the previous session

20 would be adopted at the forthcoming session. The minutes as minutes just

21 states roughly what the items on the agenda were. However, the

22 stenographic notes from each Presidency session, especially if they go

23 public, have to be authorised beforehand. So every participant in the

24 discussion at Presidency sessions, if these are going to be made public,

25 has to authorise - I don't know what the deadline is, within the space of

Page 48346

1 three days or five days - and only once it has been authorised can the

2 shorthand notes of meetings of that kind go public, whereas the minutes

3 are adopted from one session to the next.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. So wherever you have a draft, there

5 is a subsequent authorised version.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There should be one. But as I say,

7 an authorised version of the stenographic notes, where every word of

8 participants in the session is recorded. Not an authorisation of the

9 overall minutes compiled by the Secretary-General of the Presidency.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.


12 Q. Mr. Kostic, you said that the other members of the Presidency that

13 were not coming any more, they did that because they didn't want to come.

14 This is at least my understanding. They had opportunity to come. And I

15 would like to play now an intercept to you.

16 For the AV booth, it's on Sanction.

17 And it is Exhibit 613, tab 123. It is an intercept between

18 Radovan Karadzic and Mr. Kostic, held on the 18th of November, 1991, and

19 it's quite a lengthy intercept, and we only play a little sequence of it

20 where it relates to the work of the Presidency.

21 [Audiotape played]

22 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Yes, yes, we took this man

23 Bogicevic to talk to him and see what we're going to do.

24 "That he should do his job for which he took the solemn oath. He

25 doesn't have to vote in favour, he can vote against.

Page 48347

1 "Well, I'm not sure either. He wants the constitutional basis,

2 we'll give him -- we discussed the Prime Minister.

3 "Yes.

4 "You know that some people mentioned me there.

5 "Slobo told me -- well, it wouldn't be a good idea. I have to

6 finish what I started here. That's the most important thing. And on the

7 other hand, we need a technician, somebody who knows how to manage the

8 system. I sent Jovic a fax, a message that the Serbian Democratic Party

9 does not have its candidate or a Bosnian candidate, and we considered that

10 Serbia that had not -- did not have a Prime Minister for 30 years, that it

11 should be Serbia who should provide -- which should provide a Prime

12 Minister."

13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise for not having the

14 written text of the tape played.


16 Q. Mr. Kostic, first of all in relation to this conversation, it's

17 you and Mr. Karadzic; right?

18 A. What I can say is that is certainly Radovan Karadzic's voice. As

19 to my voice, as you were able to mention, is very indistinct. Quite

20 possibly -- I often listened to tapes of my conversations and public

21 appearances, and I must say it is very difficult for me to recognise my

22 own voice very often, so I really can't confirm whether, from what you've

23 just played, from the intercept you've just played, whether the other

24 person on the line was me, whether that was my voice or not. But what I

25 can say is this: On the basis of the contents of the conversation, I

Page 48348

1 don't exclude the possibility that it is my voice as well. And if it's me

2 and Mr. Radovan Karadzic talking at a certain point when we as the

3 Presidency tabled to the federal parliament an expose, and when the

4 Federal Executive Council of the Assembly withdrew its trust from Mr. Ante

5 Markovic, and when Ante Markovic was revoked and a new Prime Minister

6 about to be nominated, we addressed all the republics that in keeping with

7 procedure they should put forward their own candidates for president of

8 the federal government. So that's what I can tell you about that.

9 Q. And Mr. Kostic, you are discussing here with Mr. Karadzic about

10 the role of Bogicevic. To me it sounded as if you didn't want him to

11 participate in the Presidency, or that there was at least a problem with

12 him participating in the Presidency. Is that my misunderstanding or what

13 does -- what was that about?

14 A. Well, madam, quite obviously you've misunderstood. All I could

15 have done was to complain to Radovan Karadzic and say that Mr. Bogicevic

16 was obstructing the work of the Presidency. And as you were able to see

17 from his response, he says that they talked to him, too, and were trying

18 to indicate the constitutional foundations. And the Bosnian constitution

19 is quite clear on this point, and I'll tell you that later on, where it is

20 only the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina that can revoke Bogicevic's

21 participation in the work of the Presidency.

22 I was complaining that Mr. Bogicevic, like the others, was

23 obstructing the Presidency and trying to block its work.

24 Q. I would now move on to another topic, and I would like to have

25 Exhibit 338, tab 2 in front of the witness. It's an exhibit previously

Page 48349

1 tendered by the Prosecution. It's an order of the 1st of October, 1991,

2 signed by Mr. Bulatovic in his function as president of the Presidency of

3 Montenegro, and it says here under "Order": "On 2 October 1991, between

4 1500 and 1700 hours, carry out a mobilisation of a Special Police Unit the

5 strength of a reinforced Infantry Company tasked with carrying out combat

6 operations of the armed forces in the conflict of war on the border of

7 Republic of Montenegro and the Republic of Croatia."

8 And it says as item II: "Together with units of the Yugoslav

9 People's Army and the Territorial Defence, the unit will perform specific

10 military and police tasks in accordance with the Mission Plan to be

11 devised by the Operative Command on the Dubrovnik front."

12 Mr. Kostic, it's on -- this order is of the 1 October 1991, and on

13 that same day the Rump Presidency or, as you like it, reduced Presidency

14 starts to function. That's not a coincidence; right? That's related.

15 A. That's not correct. You see that this order of Mr. Momir

16 Bulatovic is entitled the 1st of October, and the Presidency in its

17 reduced form started working only on the 3rd of October. On the 1st of

18 October we had six members working. So that conclusion is not correct.

19 Q. This order, does that relate to an extensive military campaign in

20 the Dubrovnik area?

21 A. This is the first time I see this order. And you could ask

22 Mr. Bulatovic about that. This is the involvement of a police unit,

23 engagement of a police unit numbering about one company strong. All I

24 know is that at the time in Montenegro, the initiative was launched and

25 that Montenegro at the time there was a reinforced police unit that was

Page 48350

1 sent to the border between Montenegro and Croatia, and in that border

2 belt, because for 20 years when we didn't have a single armed soldier over

3 there, much more numerous Croatian police forces appeared in the area, and

4 paramilitaries as well, that started to threaten the border and our

5 barracks, the JNA barks at Prevlaka. Otherwise, Mr. Bulatovic, pursuant

6 to the constitution, as president of the Yugoslav State Presidency, was

7 placed -- the person best placed to take a decision of this kind. But

8 this decision of Mr. Bulatovic has nothing to do with the Presidency

9 moving to working within conditions of an imminent threat of war, because

10 this was on the 1st of October and it was only on the 3rd that we began

11 working in reduced composition.

12 Q. Did you know about this mobilisation of police forces in

13 Montenegro?

14 A. At that point in time, no. I learnt about that later on. It

15 didn't come within my purview so it wasn't my duty to know things like

16 that.

17 Q. When the Rump Presidency took over, the -- the JNA --

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, can we use the other

19 term, the "reduced Presidency" as a term instead of the "rump"? I think

20 that Mr. Robinson gave the right term. Unless you want to implement Mr.

21 Mesic's terminology to the letter.

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... issue an

23 edict on this. I leave it to the Prosecutor.


25 Q. Mr. Kostic, I use this term because it's used in the indictment --

Page 48351

1 A. I just asked.

2 Q. And I just tell you I will use it because it's used in the

3 indictment and therefore I stick to it, but you, of course, can call it

4 whatever you like.

5 Mr. Kostic, at that time when the Rump Presidency took over, that

6 was a few days before the moratorium on the suspension of the independence

7 of Croatia and Slovenia came up, the deadline came up. Does that -- did

8 you make all this decision because of that? Is that related?

9 A. That had nothing to do one with the other, because we were

10 surprised by the decision of the 8th of October, and I said that the 8th

11 of October decision cannot find support in the Brioni Declaration anyway,

12 it can only find a point of support in the one-sided interpretation by the

13 Croatian leadership of the contents of the Brioni Declaration. So that we

14 really didn't expect that anything special would happen on the 8th of

15 October, anything --

16 Q. Mr. Kostic, also on the 1st of October -- no. Rather, let us play

17 first an intercept. There is another intercept which I would like you to

18 listen to, and it's Exhibit 613, tab 128, and it's an intercept again

19 between you and Mr. Karadzic. At the time it's on the 26th of November,

20 1991, and again it's on Sanction and we play it because it's not long.

21 [Audiotape played]

22 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Hello?

23 "Good morning.

24 "Hello, Radovan, how are you?

25 "How are you?

Page 48352

1 "I'm fine. I was on another telephone yesterday, but I wanted to

2 see how we could suggest this about Ploce."

3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they do not have the

4 transcript of the intercept, and the sound isn't clear enough for us to

5 follow without it being placed on the ELMO.

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Please, can you put it on the ELMO,

7 Usher, so that they can follow.

8 [Audiotape played]

9 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Hello?

10 "Hello.

11 "Hi, Radovan.

12 "How are you?

13 "Fine, how are you?

14 "Excellent. Listen, I was on Nikola's phone yesterday, so I

15 don't know what the situation is like, and I thought we could discuss how

16 we could suggest this communication from Ploce, because Ploce is vital to

17 us.

18 "Yes.

19 "And they can take the part from Ploce downward.

20 "Towards Dubrovnik?

21 "Yes.

22 "Uh-huh.

23 "Is there any chance of that happening?

24 "Well, I don't know. We agreed that they would come with detailed

25 maps, you know.

Page 48353

1 "Uh-huh. Maybe they should be told that somebody in Bosnia

2 believes, that, for example, our side believes that Ploce is of great

3 importance and that it has destroyed the Bosnian economy so far, and that

4 it should -- maybe it would be a good thing to do, it seems to me, since

5 Yugoslavia can -- Requests regarding that have already been made.

6 "... the Neretva, right?

7 "A bit to the left of the Neretva.

8 "A bit to the left of the Neretva.

9 "Yes, a few kilometres, a bit.

10 "All right, I'll bear that in mind. We'll see, then we'll also

11 see about that with those people from the army.

12 "Yes, well, that is the Bosnian economy, but it should, yes, no,

13 it won't be able to oppose. On the contrary.

14 "Yes.

15 "Because everything depends on down there, entirely.

16 "Okay.

17 "And inside, on the mainland - nothing, we must not consider it.

18 One side is entirely against it and there's nothing there in the end, and

19 the army can have full control over it.

20 "All right. The Neretva, practically that is-- defend it with the

21 idea of demilitarisation of Dubrovnik, like the surrounding area.

22 "Yes, and the surrounding area, and Plo ...

23 "Practically, to demilitarise that whole pocket.

24 "Yes, all of it, and Ploce are a strategic importance there and

25 generally they are of economic importance. So it can be said that ... it

Page 48354

1 can be requested that Ploce should be --

2 "Okay, I'll take that into account.

3 "Good.

4 "So there while we're discussing it, for the army, a bit about

5 that.

6 "Okay. I think that would be a good idea.

7 "Okay.

8 "They have the means to defend themselves.

9 "Okay.

10 "All right, speak to you later."


12 Q. Mr. Kostic, you are speaking here with Mr. Karadzic on quite

13 massive operations of the JNA, right; is that correct?

14 A. No, that is not correct. It wasn't a large-scale operation at

15 all. The units of the JNA at the time were already on the territory of

16 Dubrovnik. I already said that I was not clear myself why the Supreme

17 Command Staff sent 30.000 to such a small area. And the assignment of

18 those units was not to take over Dubrovnik, and on one occasion I just

19 presented my assumptions, that I don't exclude the possibility of the

20 General Staff or, rather, the staff of the Supreme Command at that time

21 having requested the Supreme Command to have mobilisation of up to 150.000

22 men and that the Yugoslav People's Army should then cut across certain

23 axes on Croatian territory and reach the barracks where our 25.000 army

24 members were located, to disarm the Croatian paramilitaries, and then to

25 bring Tudjman to the negotiating table, because all negotiations had

Page 48355

1 proved unsuccessful to date. So that I don't exclude the possibility that

2 it was precisely the General Staff by sending out such large numbers, such

3 large units to such small territory perhaps had the intention of reaching

4 the Neretva River and joining up with the Knin Corps up there, and so on

5 and so forth. But it wasn't any separate massive operation that we were

6 planning. Here Mr. Karadzic in this conversation just leads us to the

7 conclusion, because there was a lot talked about the need to demilitarise

8 the entire area of Dubrovnik and the surrounding parts. So we considered

9 that this demilitarisation of the Dubrovnik belt could be a good solution

10 and linked to the problem of the Prevlaka as well, which shuts off the

11 entrance to the Bay of Kotor. So within the frameworks of all those

12 negotiations, discussions, and talks, Mr. Karadzic is talking about the

13 port of Ploce which was treated as a Bosnian and Herzegovinian port in

14 peacetime, and he highlights that question.

15 Q. Mr. Kostic, you said you cannot exclude the possibility that there

16 was such bigger operation goals in existence, but you are actually talking

17 with Mr. Karadzic about that, and for this purpose I would like to use the

18 atlas again. That's Exhibit 336, page 37 and 36.

19 Mr. Kostic, you are speaking about Ploce, and we find Ploce at

20 the coast in quarter 2 -- 1, 3, and you speak about Ploce, which is in the

21 Neretva Delta, and we see -- we hear you speak about the Neretva River.

22 That's not just Dubrovnik, that's about a huge territory; right?

23 Ploce is a little bit upwards, south-west -- north-west.

24 North-west, yes. Ploce. And then you have the Neretva River between

25 Mostar and the coast. So this is actually what you are also talking

Page 48356

1 about. And my question to this is: At that time --

2 JUDGE KWON: The witness hasn't found the location.

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No? I think he pointed at Ploce.

4 Q. Mr. Kostic, did you --


6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I've found it.


8 Q. And Neretva River. My question to you is: At that time, the

9 Bosnian Serbs had actually six goals, strategic objectives. Do you know

10 about these strategic objectives?

11 A. As for the six strategic goals of the Bosnian Serbs and the

12 Bosnian leadership, I really don't know about these. I can find Ploce and

13 Neum here. I knew and had known previously that Ploce was practically the

14 main port of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even for part of Croatia, because

15 they used communications going through Bosnia. Bosnia had a small part of

16 the coast at Neum.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next question, please.


19 Q. Mr. Kostic, in that territory between Ploce and Dubrovnik, there

20 were no barracks; right?

21 A. No. As far as I know, no.

22 Q. So there was no reason to attack this area; right? Other than

23 what you already mentioned that link up certain corps and certain

24 territories.

25 A. As far as I know, madam, the JNA never attacked that area at all.

Page 48357

1 I assert that with confidence. The JNA did not go any further than Slano.

2 I didn't visit this part of the coast many times, so I'm not really sure

3 of the distance. But as far as I know, the JNA didn't even get as far as

4 Neum. It was at Cepikuce, Slano, but it didn't go further up.

5 You should know that at that time the Serbian leadership of Bosnia

6 and the leadership of the Muslims and Croats in Bosnia were having

7 intensive talks at the time about Bosnia getting certain territory around

8 the port of Ploce, and so on and so forth, should Croatia secede. They

9 were discussing this.

10 Q. And, Mr. Kostic, in that territory that you just mentioned where

11 the JNA was actually heavily involved, there were -- there was no Serb

12 majority and not even a substantial minority of Serbs; right?

13 A. I never said, madam, that the JNA went there to protect the Serb

14 ethnic majority. The JNA went there to block Dubrovnik and the

15 surrounding area and thereby prevent the spreading of the flames of war to

16 the territory of Montenegro. Also, to protect the barracks on the

17 peninsula of Prevlaka. Just as the army did not set out to conquer

18 Dubrovnik, it only set up a military blockade, a naval blockade there in

19 order to prevent the war spreading to Montenegro. That was the main task

20 of the JNA in that area.

21 Q. Mr. Kostic, you said that at that time the leadership, the Serbian

22 leadership and the leadership of Muslims and the Croats in Bosnia were

23 having talks on Ploce. Who exactly did have these talks, and could it be

24 that you confused this with talks in 1992 or 1993?

25 A. I really don't know who had discussions at the time, but I know

Page 48358

1 that for the Serb people in Bosnia who were expecting some sort of

2 independence within the framework of Bosnia, the issue of Ploce as a port

3 and of railroads and transport was very, very important when one could

4 sense that Croatia was about to be recognised and become independent.

5 These talks were more between Bosnia and Croatia than inter-ethnically

6 within Bosnia, but I really don't know much about that.

7 Q. Mr. Kostic, before we move on to other questions about the JNA,

8 just one further remark in relation to the session of the Presidency held

9 on the 1st of October, 1991. I asked you whether the actions in relation

10 to the -- the changes of the Presidency on the 1st of October and the

11 following one, I asked you whether it had anything to do with the expiring

12 of the deadlines for Croatia and Slovenia, and you said it didn't.

13 However, I have -- I quote now from these extensive stenographic notes,

14 and on page 44 in the B/C/S, and here is the translation: Mr. Milivoje

15 Maksic says: "They agreed on the following: In a still to be prepared

16 declaration, all sides in Yugoslavia will, after the expiration of the

17 moratorium, be called upon to continue the participation in the Conference

18 on Yugoslavia in The Hague ..." and so on and so forth.

19 It was discussed, Mr. Kostic, on that 1st of October, and you were

20 aware that this was upcoming, and it played a role, did it not?

21 A. You can draw your own conclusions, madam, but what you have just

22 quoted is the opinion of Milivoje Maksic. He was the deputy of

23 Mr. Loncar, the federal secretary for foreign affairs. I really don't

24 remember this, but even if I did, such a statement by Mr. Maksic would

25 only go to confirm our expectations that a peaceful political solution

Page 48359

1 would be found rather than a solution based on violence and force. We

2 hoped it would be found at The Hague conference.

3 Six days after -- or, rather, 23 days earlier, on the 7th of

4 September, at a session of the Presidency we agreed on the four basic

5 principles which Mr. Mesic set out at the first inaugural conference in

6 The Hague. These principles were agreed on by all the members of the

7 Presidency and all the republican presidents. I don't actually remember

8 what Mr. Maksic said at the time.

9 Q. Mr. Kostic, when discussing Defence Exhibit D333, tab 67, that was

10 the 7th May 1991 declaration of the top command of the JNA in raising

11 combat readiness, you said that throughout all of 1991 and 1992 the JNA

12 acted with restraint.

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honour, that's on transcript page

14 47732.

15 Q. You remember that you said that?

16 A. I kept saying, and I still assert today that throughout the war

17 crisis in the former Yugoslavia the JNA acted with extreme restraint. No

18 other army would have acted with such restraint. The JNA suffered

19 enormous losses, respected all cease-fires, was always under threat.

20 Q. We don't need to repeat that. I just asked you and you confirmed

21 that you said that. However, I have here a Tanjug report on a

22 declaration, a statement of the Supreme Command headquarters of the SFRY

23 armed forces of 1st of October, 1991.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honour, it was part of the Exhibit

25 643, tab 1 or, rather, it's mentioned in the report of the military expert

Page 48360

1 Mr. Theunens. It was not tendered separately. It's just mentioned there.

2 Q. And I would like to quote from what is said here. And as you say,

3 Tanjug is usually correct in its reporting. And in the lower part of the

4 document, it says: "For each attacked and overrun of Yugoslav People's

5 Army facility, one facility of vital importance of the Republic of Croatia

6 will be immediately destroyed.

7 "2. For each attack and taken garrison, vital facilities of the

8 town in which the garrison is located will be destroyed. The civilian

9 population is warned to withdraw in time from inhabited places.

10 "3. As a military response to taking several barracks and other

11 military facilities since the latest cease-fire agreement, we will launch

12 offensive actions in part of the Republic of Croatia."

13 Mr. Kostic, that's on the 1st of October. That's quite now

14 different from being a buffer between ethnic groups; right?

15 A. Madam, this was after ten cease-fires had been agreed, and in each

16 of these it was the obligation of the Croatian paramilitary formations to

17 lift the siege of the JNA barracks. Great Britain moved its whole armada

18 to the Falklands, and our members on their own territory were under threat

19 from the unconstitutionally established paramilitary formations of Croatia

20 which we had tolerated for months.

21 I know about this warning issued by the Supreme Command Staff, and

22 it only goes to confirm what I said. They were fed up. They were fed up

23 waiting for the Croatian paramilitaries to respect the cease-fire.

24 Q. Mr. --

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we're going to take the break

Page 48361

1 now. We will adjourn for 20 minutes.

2 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.

3 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.

6 Q. Mr. Kostic, in that warning that was made by the Supreme Command

7 headquarters, there is no more a distinction made between civilian and

8 military targets. You know that targeting civilians and civilian

9 institutions and facilities could be a war crime; right? You know that?

10 A. It could represent a war crime, yes, but if vital facilities are

11 being targeted which can be used by the paramilitaries to make it

12 impossible to bring water, electric power, telephone communications, and

13 similar things, then of course the army can threaten to destroy such

14 facilities. And as you may have seen, the army issued warnings to the

15 civilian population, telling them to take refuge in a timely manner.

16 Q. Mr. Kostic, when you heard and got aware of this warning, what did

17 you do about it? Did you address the Supreme Command Staff about it and

18 warn them that what they are threatening here could be -- amount to war

19 crimes? Did you do anything about it?

20 A. I have to tell you I read and learned about this warning when

21 preparing for this testimony. At the time, I was not aware of this

22 warning, but I reiterate: If the Croatian paramilitaries were

23 counter-constitutionally cutting off water, electricity, telephone

24 communications --

25 Q. We need to make --

Page 48362

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, I don't necessarily

2 understand those three paragraphs in that way. Why shouldn't it be

3 assumed that they're talking about military facilities?

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: What he is actually -- what is actually

5 stated here in paragraph 1 -- in point 1, it's actually that they want to

6 destroy a facility of vital importance for Croatia, and there is no

7 distinction between whether it's military or civilian. And in one -- in

8 the next one it's even more clear, at least to me. It says here, "Vital

9 facilities of the town." That, to me, actually can or will include

10 civilian facilities. At least, there is no distinction made. And it is

11 said here: "The civilian population is warned to withdraw in time from

12 inhabited places." In other words, they want to -- to retaliate on

13 inhabited places. That's why I actually put this to Mr. Kostic.

14 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see. Okay. I think there may be some basis

15 for that, yes.

16 JUDGE KWON: You cannot -- you could not locate the document other

17 than the -- Mr. Theunens' report yourself?

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We actually have only this -- this previous

19 translation. That's a translation made on the basis of this original

20 Tanjug domestic service report, and we don't have the report as such.

21 However, I would like to tender this document, Your Honour, as a separate

22 exhibit.


24 JUDGE KWON: Do we have the B/C/S version as well?

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, we don't. That is what we don't have,

Page 48363

1 Your Honour. We just have --

2 JUDGE KWON: Have we heard from the witness that he confirmed the

3 authenticity or the content of this document? He just dealt with it.

4 Could you confirm it again?

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Theunens, Mr. Theunens dealt with it, and

6 Mr. Theunens referred to this item in his report.

7 JUDGE KWON: So this was not admitted at that time.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. It was just -- there were so many

9 exhibits related to Mr. Theunens' report that only part of it were

10 tendered officially.

11 JUDGE KWON: And, Professor Kostic, you do not dispute the

12 existence of this order or report?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I looked at the

14 English version of this. I cannot say this is the very document, but I do

15 know that in the collection of documents I have in which one can find all

16 the decisions and orders issued by the Presidency of the SFRY and the

17 Supreme Command Staff, I think I saw a similar document in the

18 Serbo-Croatian language.

19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kay is on his feet.


21 MR. KAY: Your Honour, this must come from somewhere originating

22 in the B/C/S language, and that's really what this Court should be given

23 primarily. I think this document should be marked for identification

24 pending production of an original.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We'll do as Mr. Kay has suggested.

Page 48364


2 Q. Mr. Kostic, just in this context, you said that there -- you --

3 you have read something in a collection of documents. What kind of

4 collection would it be, and do you have it? Could you provide the B/C/S

5 to us?

6 A. I don't have it with me at present, but I can bring it tomorrow

7 morning, if I can find it. I don't have it here now.

8 Q. Yes. That would be very helpful, if you could do that, thank you.

9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 948, marked for

10 identification.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would like also, Your Honour, as we are

12 dealing with exhibits, I would like to tender the -- the stenographic

13 notes of the -- of the Presidency session of 1 October, as far as I have

14 quoted them, and it's the quote related to page 26, Branko Kostic. And

15 the other one is related to page 44, Milivoje Maksic's remark. And as I

16 said before, I would like to, from the bar table, if we have completed the

17 entire translation, we would want to submit it from the bar table. It

18 will be provided.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Judge Kwon is inquiring whether the witness

20 confirmed this.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I understood him to confirm this, that he --

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will admit those pages to which reference was

23 made.

24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 949.


Page 48365

1 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would now like you to look at another statement made

2 by the Federal Secretariat of National Defence, and it's Exhibit 446, tab

3 64, and perhaps we have the first page -- first page of this document on

4 the ELMO. It's a document dated 12 October 1991, of the Administration

5 for Moral Guidance within the SSNO. And I just quote from the bottom of

6 this document. It says here: "It is obvious that the war which has been

7 imposed upon the Serbian people in Croatia and the JNA by the Ustasha

8 forces and their leadership, is not about the conquest of Croatian

9 territory, as some peacemakers falsely insinuate and pretend. It is

10 rather about defending parts of the Serbian people from genocide and

11 biological extermination with which they are threatened by resurrected

12 fascism in Croatia, securing the safe withdrawal of the JNA

13 forces currently under blockade and families ..." and so forth.

14 Mr. Kostic, the JNA is not a buffer here according to their own

15 statement. They are now defending parts of the Serbian people; right?

16 And that's October.

17 A. I have repeated several times: Initially in April, May, and even

18 in June 1991, the JNA was really acting as a buffer, separating the

19 conflicting sides and preventing the spread of inter-ethnic conflicts.

20 However, as the Croatian paramilitary formations grew in size, and I did

21 mention that in only two months the number of policemen was increased from

22 17.000 to 90.000 men, as they grew in size and numbers and armed

23 themselves, they intensified their attacks on the JNA. I have stated more

24 than once during this testimony that one of the strategic aims of the JNA

25 was to ensure the physical protection of the imperiled Croatian -- of the

Page 48366

1 imperiled Serbian people --

2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, in Croatia.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- where they were in the majority.

4 When the United Nations sent in the Blue Helmets with the priority task of

5 defending the Serbian population, the JNA withdrew.


7 Q. Mr. Kostic, there is also on the next page, page 2 in the English

8 and I think also in the Serbian, it says: "That is why the SFRY

9 Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has taken a

10 clear position that the JNA units withdrawal from Croatian territories

11 inhabited by Serbs would be unacceptable because that would expose them to

12 physical liquidation ..." and so on and so forth.

13 Mr. Kostic, those units, the JNA units within that territory

14 inhabited by Serbs, their barracks were not at that time blockaded, right?

15 The blockaded barricades were in other parts of Croatia; correct?

16 A. The barracks located on the territories where there was a majority

17 Serbian population were not blockaded. It was the barracks on the

18 territory of Croatia which had been there in peacetime, where there was a

19 majority Croatian population, that were blockaded.

20 Q. And one last quote from this document here. It's the very last

21 paragraph. It says here in the first line: "All armed units, be they

22 JNA, Territorial Defence, or volunteer units must act under the single

23 command of the JNA."

24 That's what you have already also mentioned that did happen;

25 right? The JNA were in command of all the troops.

Page 48367

1 A. What is your question?

2 Q. My question was that indeed this did happen. The JNA on the

3 ground were in command of all these troops that are listed here in that

4 paragraph that I just read; correct?

5 A. According to the law on national defence, all armed units were

6 under the command of the JNA. This includes the police force, the

7 Territorial Defence, and the regular units of the JNA. They all had to

8 act in unison. However, we were unable, when some paramilitary units were

9 formed by some opposition parties, to put these under the control of the

10 JNA. The task of the JNA was, however, to prevent those units from

11 operating on that territory.

12 Q. What about Arkan's unit, Arkan's Tigers? Were they also included

13 under the JNA command?

14 A. I couldn't say that. I couldn't say that. I don't know if and

15 when Arkan's units were there. The only thing I know for certain is that

16 in Western Slavonia, the volunteers sent by Mr. Seselj's Serb Radical

17 Party did not go there as separate volunteer units of Mr. Seselj's but,

18 rather, they joined the JNA and Territorial Defence units.

19 As for Arkan's men, I really don't know if, when, or where they

20 were put under the control of the JNA. I don't know if they were under

21 their control or not. And the same goes for the White Eagles.

22 Q. Mr. Kostic, during your testimony on Monday, at transcript 48056

23 and 48557, you referred to the composition of the JNA, and you said that

24 even in 1992 in both the General Staff and in many units there were

25 non-Serbs from the highest to the lowest level.

Page 48368

1 When you said that, Mr. Kostic, the Office of the Prosecutor

2 actually looked at the commanders of corps and military districts that

3 relates to Croatia, and I would like to put some names to you to see

4 whether this was correct what you told us.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we have here a sheet with all

6 these names. I think just for ease of reference, it's better that

7 everybody has it in front of everyone. It's easier to follow.

8 Q. Mr. Kostic, we do not need to speak about Mr. Kadijevic, Brovet,

9 and Adzic because we have already mentioned them quite frequently. Also,

10 Zivota Panic, we have spoken about him as well. General -- Major General

11 Mile Mrksic --

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: How far down do you go for the seniority?

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I go down to the commanders of the

14 operational groups and tactical groups. Not below that.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. Thank you very much. Please continue.


17 Q. So the first one I just want to mention here, Mile Mrksic, major

18 general, commander of the Guards Motorised Brigade. He's a Serb; right?

19 A. I think he is. I really can't say.

20 Q. We don't need --

21 A. Don't expect too much of me, that kind of data, because of these

22 officers on the list here, I know very few of them except those who were

23 at the top of the General Staff with whom I communicated. So I won't be

24 able to give you reliable data as to the ethnicity of all these people

25 there, but I'll do my best.

Page 48369

1 Q. I thought you as the member of the Presidency and Supreme Command

2 would know at least the generals. But let's see how it goes.

3 It says here Aleksandar Spirkovski. He was commander of the 1st

4 Military District. He --

5 A. He was a Macedonian.

6 Q. He was replaced in September 1991; right?

7 A. I don't know exactly when he was replaced, but I do know that he's

8 a Macedonian.

9 Q. Zivota Panic, his successor actually, he is a Serb?

10 A. Yes, he is.

11 Q. Vojislav Djurdjevac, from the 4th Corps, command of the 4th Corps

12 Sarajevo, what is he?

13 A. I don't know.

14 Q. Commander of the 5th Corps, Nikola Uzelac, is he a Serb?

15 A. I don't know.

16 Q. Vladimir Vukovic, commander of the 5th Corps after Uzelac, is he a

17 Serb?

18 A. I would think that he would be a Montenegrin rather than a Serb,

19 but I don't know.

20 Q. Momir Talic, commander of the 5th Corps, Serb?

21 A. I don't know.

22 Q. Mladen Bratic, commander of the --

23 A. I don't know.

24 Q. If you don't know these people, just look down the list and tell

25 me whether you can identify any of them being a non-Serb and

Page 48370

1 non-Montenegrin.

2 A. Well, what I can tell you is Konrad Kolsek, for example, is a

3 Slovene, and I knew him personally because he was corps commander in

4 Podgorica a long time before that. He's a Slovene.

5 Q. Yes. And he was replaced in July 1991 by Zivota -- Zivota

6 Avramovic. Is he a Serb?

7 A. Who?

8 Q. The one replacing --

9 A. Who is he, a Serb?

10 Q. The one replacing Mr. Kolsek.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Avramovic.


13 Q. Avramovic.

14 A. I think he is a Serb, but I really can't say, this national

15 composition. I see Vladimir Vukovic appears twice here. I don't know if

16 it's the same man or not. Ratko Mladic is a Serb. Miodrag Jokic is a

17 Montenegrin. Zvonko Jurjevic is a Croat.

18 Q. And he was replaced --

19 A. And Anton Tus, for example, was a Croat. He was the commander of

20 the air force. Anton Tus escaped to a paramilitary organisation of

21 Tudjman's --

22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...

23 A. -- and instead of him, there was Jurjevic Zvonko who was

24 appointed.

25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...

Page 48371


2 Q. Mr. Kostic, you do not answer my question. I was asking you

3 whether Mr. Zvonko Jurjevic, the Croat, was replaced by Bozidar

4 Stevanovic, a Serb.

5 A. Madam, Zvonko Jurjevic was replaced, but it is very important in

6 view of the substance of your question for me to answer this. Zvonko

7 Jurjevic was appointed commander of the air force instead of Anton Tus who

8 was himself a Croat who had fled to join up with Tudjman's paramilitary to

9 all intents and purposes, and we had nothing against appointing another

10 Croat as commander of the air force.

11 Now, he was replaced, the second commander was replaced, whether

12 intentionally or not. The UN helicopter on a mission was shot down. I

13 think there was some Italians and some Frenchmen there, and we thought

14 this was a direct mistake on the part of the commander of the air force,

15 and that's why he was replaced, because we thought that the downing of

16 that UN helicopter, they wished to undermine our actions and drive to

17 bring in the UN peace forces to Bosnia. I'm finished.

18 Q. Mr. Kostic, we don't need all these details. It was a simple

19 question. And I understand Mr. Bozidar Stevanovic is indeed a Serb. Now,

20 we look at the 2nd Military District of Sarajevo. You know Milutin

21 Kukanjac. He was a Serb; right? And Mr. Ratko Mladic definitely too;

22 correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And looking at the Operational Group commanders, we have here

25 Andrija Biorcevic of the Operational Group North, involving Baranja and

Page 48372

1 for northern part of Eastern Slavonia, he was a Serb or not?

2 A. Well, I can't say for certain. All I can do about these other

3 people -- Spiro Nikovic is a Montenegrin, Pavle Strugar is a Montenegrin.

4 As to the other people on that second page, I really don't know. Judging

5 by the name, name and surname, I can assume they might be Serbs but I

6 don't know their ethnicity because I don't know them personally.

7 Q. And besides those listed, can you name any high-ranking - I mean

8 really high-ranking - non-Serbian officer who was still in command in

9 1992?

10 A. Well, I've already told you that most of these generals here are

11 one -- people I don't know. I never met them, never saw them. The ones I

12 do know is Kadijevic, Brovet, Adzic, Panic. As to the others, I don't

13 know them. You could have asked Mr. Vasiljevic that, who was a witness of

14 yours. He could have given you all that information.

15 Q. Mr. Kostic, let's move on. I would like to now refer you again to

16 the testimony of Mr. Jovic, and actually paragraph 84 of his 89(F)

17 statement. Your Honour, that's Exhibit 596, tab 1.

18 Mr. Kostic, Mr. Jovic refers here to a meeting before the

19 Presidency session on 11 July 1991, and he says -- he says here the

20 following: "On 11 July 1991, before the Presidency session, Kadijevic,

21 Milosevic, Kostic and I met. We assessed that the JNA cannot remain

22 united."

23 I skip now a few lines, and then it says --

24 A. May I be given the document in Serbian, please?

25 Q. Yes.

Page 48373

1 I don't have it at hand, Your Honours.

2 You have to listen to the translation, Mr. Kostic, but it's only

3 very brief sections.

4 And it says here: "Internal orientation, defending the future

5 Yugoslavia. First variant of defending the future Yugoslavia: Serbia,

6 Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs outside Serbia and possibly

7 Macedonia. Second variant: Serbia, Montenegro, the Serb nation in

8 Yugoslavia, and possibly something else."

9 Do you recall having this meeting where you discussed the future

10 Yugoslavia?

11 A. No, I really don't remember that, that Mr. Jovic refers to in his

12 book. We did have very frequent consultations, almost on a daily basis.

13 Now specifically what he says here, I really don't remember any of that.

14 He claims again -- or ten days later, if you say it was on the 4th of

15 July. I think on the 14th of July we took the decision to withdraw police

16 forces from Slovenia. This was on the 18th. He put this in order in the

17 form of a diary but quite obviously he did not keep a diary.

18 Q. He actually speaks of a meeting of 11 July 1991, but we don't need

19 to dwell on the date. Mr. Kostic, the first variant, as it is called

20 here, of the future Yugoslavia, including Serbia, Montenegro,

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs outside Serbia, and possibly Macedonia, is that

22 basically reflecting the Belgrade Initiative that you have already spoken

23 about or is it different?

24 A. I don't know what Mr. Jovic's thoughts on that were during those

25 days and how he wrote it down, but what we were thinking about and the

Page 48374

1 what -- the way my thoughts were going has been repeated many times and

2 written down many times. We considered that quite obviously Slovenia --

3 we cannot keep Slovenia and Croatia within the composition of Yugoslavia.

4 I personally considered, and all the other people that I associated with

5 said that we should not use the force of the Yugoslav People's Army to

6 force anybody to live together. And I must say that to the last day,

7 practically, we did think that that reduced Yugoslavia would include

8 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a republic in its entirety with Montenegro and

9 Macedonia.

10 And as for the Serb people who were under threat on the territory

11 of Croatia, where they were an ethnic majority, we had a very clear-cut

12 vision that that people over there must be physically protected with the

13 Yugoslav People's Army until a political settlement had been found or,

14 rather, until the Blue Helmets had arrived who would take on the role of

15 physical protector, and then we withdrew the Yugoslav People's Army from

16 that territory.

17 Q. Mr. Kostic, the second variant that you -- that you were

18 discussing, according at least to Mr. Jovic, that's including Serbia,

19 Montenegro, and the Serb nation in Yugoslavia and possibly somewhere else,

20 that's actually the same that was later the territories that you discussed

21 in -- on the Convention on Yugoslavia on the 3rd of January, 1992; right?

22 That's basically the same, is it not?

23 A. Madam, I cannot tell you what went on in Mr. Jovic's head. He was

24 a witness of yours, and you could have asked him yourself about matters of

25 that kind. All I can do is to confirm what was quite clear to me and my

Page 48375

1 own personal options dating back to those days, is that on the one hand we

2 had no pretensions towards Serb territories in Croatia, and the best proof

3 of that is that the UN peace forces were invited over by us. We had no

4 pretensions, secondly, towards Bosnia, and it is clear from day one we

5 supported both the Cutileiro Plan and the Vance-Owen Plan, without

6 excluding the possibility that in some -- at some point in future there

7 should be a redeployment of those forces in the Balkans which would lead

8 to some sort of unification, but we rejected as the Yugoslav state

9 Presidency, and the Assembly of Yugoslavia rejected --

10 Q. Mr. Kostic, let me interrupt you. I had actually -- I thought I

11 had asked a very simple question. Were the two -- were two concepts

12 discussed on a future Yugoslavia? One with Bosnia and one without.

13 A. Madam, what do you expect me to say? You want to hear what you

14 want to hear? I said that I don't specifically remember that particular

15 meeting, but I also said how I thought and what my thoughts were and all

16 those making decisions and all the people that had the greatest

17 responsibility was what I described a moment ago. We even rejected

18 including the Serbs within Yugoslavia and nominating the representative to

19 the Presidency of the SFRY. So you can't expect me to say what you want

20 to hear. I'm telling you what our thoughts were, and I can confirm that

21 with steps taken, with documents written, with -- and so on, the way we

22 thought at that time.

23 Now, what Mr. Jovic thinks and what his calculations were, well he

24 was a witness of yours here and you can call him back.

25 Q. Mr. Kostic, I will go on and now I will quote from paragraph 86 of

Page 48376

1 the 89(F) statement of Mr. Jovic. It's related to a meeting of the 8th of

2 August, 1991, and he says here: "... Milosevic, Kostic, Kadijevic, Adzic

3 and I met to agree on the further political orientation in connection with

4 the decision on the cease-fire in Croatia. Milosevic insisted on

5 heightening combat readiness by the military because he felt that further

6 clashes were imminent. He asked, almost insistently, when and where the

7 military would finally begin the definitive showdown ..." And also as the

8 second last sentence mentioned: "We really have no alternative but to

9 intensively expel the Croats and Slovenes from the military ..."

10 Do you recall such a meeting and such a conversation?

11 A. I neither recall such a meeting nor such a conversation. In my

12 testimony and in my book when I never -- when it never entered my mind

13 that I would appear here before The Hague Tribunal or be mentioned as a

14 party to the joint criminal enterprise or as a witness in this trial, I

15 stated quite clearly there and wrote down that Mr. Milosevic was precisely

16 one of those people who, when we had to decide whether to undertake an

17 offensive action through the force of the army to deblock the barracks in

18 Croatia, was the man who did not accept that solution. And I have to say

19 that in my intimate thoughts I considered that my ideas were more proper.

20 And I also said that, although I didn't comment this with him, he didn't

21 accept to take steps like that because it would have involved far more

22 widespread mobilisation. So perhaps he was afraid that mobilisation would

23 not have succeeded in Serbia, and an unsuccessful mobilisation in Serbia

24 with the Socialist Party in rule could threaten that and could lead to

25 civil war. I wrote that down.

Page 48377

1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I think you have answered the question.


3 Q. Mr. Kostic, again, I'm now referring to paragraph 91 of -- 91 of

4 the Jovic 89(F) statement, and he speaks here about the meeting on the

5 24th September 1991, including again you, Kadijevic, Milosevic, and

6 Mr. Jovic, and he says here, it's at the end of this chapter: "Kadijevic

7 then concluded the following: Military success cannot be achieved with a

8 semi-legitimate Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro should declare that the

9 military is theirs and assume command, financing the war, and everything

10 else. All the generals on the General Staff, except one, are Serbs, and

11 they all support this approach and think the same way. We could not

12 accept, says Jovic -- We could not accept the demand that the military

13 drop 'Jugoslav' from its name. That would mean Serbia and Montenegro

14 would completely lose all their advantages, both politically and military

15 ..."

16 And just to add to this, in paragraph 94, he says: "At the

17 meeting of the 6th -" and it's now two days -- "on the 28th of September,

18 Kadijevic again raised the question of the state for whom the army should

19 fight for, and last time he offered to run the JNA over to Serbia and

20 Montenegro. And since Serbia and Montenegro do not have their own armies,

21 a formula should be found for turning the JNA over to those nations that

22 want to remain in Yugoslavia. However, this was felt to be bad solution

23 from the international standpoint."

24 Mr. Kostic, do you recall that Mr. Kadijevic raised such issues

25 and that they were rejected by the other members in these meetings because

Page 48378

1 of international reasons or advantages?

2 A. I don't remember that conversation. As I say, we had many.

3 Mr. Jovic is writing about that in his diary. Mr. Jovic also wrote down

4 that he came to see me. He never came to see me. Now, what his

5 intentions were, I don't know. He claims that Mr. Milosevic sort of

6 seemed a bit disoriented. I must say that I had a lot of communication

7 with Mr. Milosevic, and that I never found him to be confused. I think he

8 was much broader in his outlook than Mr. Jovic at that point in time.

9 Now, why Mr. Jovic wrote these things and that he has turned it into a

10 diary as having been recorded in his notebook as a diary, you'll have to

11 take that up with him. But at no point were my thoughts along those

12 lines, nor Mr. Bulatovic's, although he is not mentioned here, nor

13 Mr. Milosevic's thoughts, and the thoughts of the top military echelons to

14 establish a Serbian and Montenegrin army. Instead, we always started out

15 from the fact that it was the Yugoslav People's Army. He always mentioned

16 the date of the 28th of September. Don't forget that that was at that

17 time still the sole legitimate state member of the United Nations, no

18 question of recognising Croatia or Slovenia or their independence or

19 anything like that. So thoughts along those lines can only be the result

20 of Mr. Jovic's line of thinking and not my own.

21 Q. Mr. Kostic, I didn't ask you about Mr. Jovic. I simply asked you

22 whether the military at that time made such demands. It's Mr. Kadijevic,

23 at least according to Mr. Jovic, making such demands which are then

24 rejected by the politicians in the group of six. Do you recall that?

25 A. No, I don't remember Mr. Kadijevic ever voicing those views, but I

Page 48379

1 do remember very well that many opposition parties at that time tried to

2 give -- throw doubt and suspicion on Mr. Kadijevic and that questions like

3 that were asked of me and that later on in my book, and today also, I

4 claim that Mr. Kadijevic always was and remains a Yugoslav --

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Kostic.

6 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: You must endeavour to answer more directly and

9 briefly.


11 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would like to ask you now something related to the

12 Carrington Plan, and first of all I would like to put something to you

13 from Exhibit 812 that the Prosecution provided in the case. We have this

14 document only in English, Mr. Kostic, because it's a document provided and

15 prepared by the European Union, and therefore it's only in English so it

16 needs to be translated to you while I go through it. And it's a document

17 on the Conference on Yugoslavia, a summary of the -- of the developments

18 in that conference.

19 And I quote from page 2, Your Honour, the fourth point.

20 It says: "The fourth plenary session was held on 4 October 1991.

21 The Chair concluded that all parties involved were breaching the

22 cease-fire. With the exception of Serbia and Montenegro, all parties

23 condemned the constitutional coup launched by Serbia in the collective

24 Presidency. The Chair indicated that the EC and its Member States would

25 not recognise the situation created which could only worsen institutional

Page 48380

1 stalemate.

2 "Slovenia and Croatia stressed that they would give effect to

3 their declaration of independence from 7 October onwards ..."

4 Were you present in that fourth plenary session, Mr. Kostic?

5 A. No, I was not present. I attended only sessions from the 18th of

6 October and the 5th of November.

7 Q. When such sessions took place, would you afterwards get

8 information about how it went by your -- by these people that attended?

9 A. Well, we were informed through the bulletins and the mass media as

10 far as that goes, but I have it say that unfortunately Mr. Carrington and

11 the leadership of The Hague conference attempted systematically to bypass

12 the Presidency. So I couldn't testify here about what the 4th of October

13 session dealt with. I can tell you what happened on the 18th of October

14 and the 5th of November when I attended.

15 Q. Let me, nevertheless, put something to you from the 4th October

16 because it's so important that you actually should know about it. It says

17 here -- it's point 5, Your Honour, point 5.

18 "In the margins of the fourth plenary, a meeting was held on the

19 4th of October chaired by the minister for foreign affairs of the

20 Netherlands, assisted by Lord Carrington and Ambassador Wijnaendts,

21 between the Croatian President Tudjman, and the Serbian President

22 Milosevic, and the Minister of Defence General Kadijevic. A statement was

23 read out subsequently by the Netherlands minister at a press conference,

24 reflecting the agreement of the Yugoslav parties involved after Minister

25 van den Broek had obtained the acquiescence of all Yugoslav parties

Page 48381

1 present at the plenary meeting. This included the principle that a

2 political solution should be sought on the basis of the perspective of

3 recognition of the independence of those republics in Yugoslavia wishing

4 it, and at the end of a negotiating process conducted in good faith and

5 involving all parties. The recognition would be granted in the framework

6 of a general settlement, and have the following components:

7 "A loose association or alliance of sovereign or independent

8 republics.

9 "Adequate arrangements to be made for the protection of

10 minorities, including human rights guarantees and possibly special status

11 of certain area.

12 "And no unilateral changes in borders."

13 That is an agreement, at least according to this document, reached

14 on the 4th of October, Mr. Kostic. Did you hear about this? Were you

15 informed about this agreement by Mr. Milosevic or General Kadijevic or

16 anyone else?

17 A. There are two questions in your question, actually; one concerning

18 the truce that was concluded, whether on the 4th or on the 10th of

19 October, and the second question that you put, I have to say it's quite

20 unclear to me what was agreed at that session of the 4th of October. That

21 was followed by the session of the 18th of October.

22 At the session of the 18th of October, Mr. Milosevic objected to

23 the document offered by Mr. Carrington and refused to accept it. He

24 reminded Mr. Carrington that on the 4th of October, possible options had

25 been discussed. The possible options were the ones listed in the document

Page 48382

1 as well as the option for those republics that wished to do so to continue

2 living in Yugoslavia and that they would have the same rights and be given

3 the same treatment as the seceding republics. This option was missing

4 from the document. At the session of the 18th, there was evidently a

5 misunderstanding between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Carrington.

6 In my book, which is in the tab, I wrote about this.

7 Mr. Bulatovic later claimed that at the session of the 4th, The

8 Hague document had been accepted by both Milosevic and Bulatovic. I don't

9 know that, so there's nothing I can tell you about it. I wasn't there.

10 Q. As you --

11 JUDGE BONOMY: That sounds like a "Yes, I heard about it, and it's

12 exactly as you've read out."

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. That is how I understand it.

14 JUDGE BONOMY: It's a pity we can't get these simple answers, I

15 think.


17 Q. And actually, as you mentioned Mr. Bulatovic on this issue, I

18 would like to actually quote now or to show to you a few excerpts from his

19 book "Rules of Silence." Can this be please provided to everyone.

20 I will first quote from what I think is in the B/C/S page 65. And

21 actually, Mr. Bulatovic's understanding is exactly as Mr. Carrington's

22 understanding of what was decided on the 4th of October.

23 "Finally in a meeting in The Hague on 4th October, 1991, they -"

24 and he refers here to Slobodan Milosevic and Tudjman - "accepted together

25 with Lord Carrington and Hans van den Broek, chairman of the European

Page 48383

1 Community Council of Ministers, a document indicating the road toward the

2 adoption of an all-round agreement to solve the war crisis in the SFRY

3 territories."

4 And the solution he quotes as follows: "The basis of the

5 solution, as the document said, will be: '... independence to those

6 republics that want it at the end of the talks, which are to be held bona

7 fide. The independence will be granted on the basis of a general solution

8 and will consist of the following components: A loose association or

9 association of independent and sovereign republics; adequate protection of

10 human rights and a possible special status for some territories, but

11 without any unilateral change of borders.'"

12 So, Mr. Kostic, that's also Mr. Bulatovic's understanding that on

13 the 4th of October, Mr. Milosevic, Tudjman, and everyone else present

14 agreed to that. Can you --

15 A. Can I? You haven't told me anything new. I read what

16 Mr. Bulatovic wrote. I don't know if it's correct. I can only confirm

17 that at the Assembly of Montenegro, Mr. Bulatovic stated that

18 Mr. Milosevic had accepted this, and at the plenary Assembly of

19 Montenegro, as the Presidency of the -- president of the Presidency of

20 Montenegro, in his introductory expose, suggested that The Hague document

21 be adopted. However, this was rejected by the Assembly. That's all I can

22 say.

23 Q. Mr. Kostic, I would now like to continue with the book of

24 Mr. Bulatovic. We have already mentioned a meeting in Belgrade on the

25 14th of October, 1991, and that's the meeting. I understand you were

Page 48384

1 present. And on page 4 of the translation -- where would it be in the

2 B/C/S?

3 A. Page 66.

4 Q. Yes. Mr. Bulatovic writes the following about what was discussed

5 and agreed: "They --" and I think he refers here to the Serbian

6 leadership because it is related to the previous paragraph: "They hold

7 the view that the status of the Serbian people in Croatia is an issue

8 which has gained an international dimension and could be solved in its

9 essence only as such. Until international mechanisms to protect the two

10 Serbian Krajinas are found, one should maintain military balance with the

11 existing forces and the achieved level of mobilisation of the JNA. They

12 advocate demilitarisation -- demilitarising all areas in which

13 inter-ethnic conflicts may break out. They especially have Bosnia and

14 Herzegovina in mind. It is possible to achieve all of this with a radical

15 peace proposal which they are expecting to see in the near future. They

16 hope that Lord Carrington will shortly present a document stemming from an

17 already-reached agreement."

18 Do you recall this discussion and was it like this?

19 A. I recall this discussion. I wrote about this discussion, which

20 took place on the 14th, in my book. As for what Mr. Bulatovic wrote, I

21 really don't remember it.

22 I have to reiterate there are many things that are incorrect or

23 invented in Mr. Momir Bulatovic's book. I drew attention to this in

24 public and criticised it, but you keep referring to it. All I can say is

25 here are the facts and here are the arguments put forward by both authors,

Page 48385

1 so let's see what is correct.

2 I even wrote down that neither Mr. Bulatovic nor Mr. Milosevic

3 spoke much at this meeting, nor did they engage in much discussion of this

4 very important issue.

5 When Mr. Bulatovic and I clashed about the way to lift the siege

6 of the barracks in Croatia, after Mr. Jovic's response, Mr. Mile

7 Djukanovic stated that he had come to the meeting having the same opinion

8 as me, but that after Mr. Jovic's response he was withdrawing this

9 opinion.

10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.


12 Q. Mr. Kostic, just one point that I actually asked you about. At

13 that meeting on the 14th, could it be understood by everyone that an

14 agreement was reached and that one -- that the Carrington Plan would be

15 accepted? Could that be the impression of those present, including you?

16 A. What meeting, madam?

17 Q. On the 14th of October. The meeting of the 14th of October where

18 Mr. Bulatovic actually wrote these things about.

19 A. Please, had I had any such knowledge, had I known what

20 Mr. Bulatovic states here, that a comprehensive solution would be found, I

21 would not have been shortsighted enough to ask that 150.000 soldiers be

22 mobilised and that the JNA go into offensive action and lift the siege of

23 the barracks in Croatia. If I had known that a solution had been found, I

24 would not have advocated this, madam. You seem to trust Mr. Bulatovic

25 much more than you do me, but you would have more reason to quote from my

Page 48386

1 book than his. However, that's a different matter.

2 Q. Mr. Bulatovic describes in this section of the book also how the

3 Assembly in Montenegro actually dealt with the proposal and that they

4 discussed it in a positive sense and -- but we do not have to dwell on

5 this. But I would quote from you and read from page 7 in the English, and

6 Mr. Bulatovic is here speaking of the Montenegrin Assembly session held on

7 the 17th October 1991, and he says the following in relation to that day:

8 "I received information that Slobodan Milosevic needed to talk to me

9 urgently." And I skip a few sentences, and then it says: "After several

10 casual sentences, he told me that he had changed his position in relation

11 to Lord Carrington's proposal and that he would reject the offered

12 proposal at the plenary session in The Hague the following day. He

13 advised me to do the same. When I realised what he was saying, I asked

14 for more details. I wanted to know which crucial event had taken place in

15 the meantime to change the decision, which as early as two days before I

16 believed was rational, courageous and the only possible one. I was not

17 given an answer, saying that the line that we were using was insecure.

18 Slobodan told me that I need not know the details, just the decision and

19 act accordingly."

20 Mr. Kostic, my question to you is: What did happen that

21 Mr. Milosevic changed his mind?

22 A. Who said that, that he changed his behind?

23 Q. I just read to you what Mr. Bulatovic said, that Mr. Milosevic

24 suddenly called him and had changed his mind, and my question to you is:

25 Why did he change his mind? Why did he not stick to the agreement of the

Page 48387

1 4th October that was confirmed on the 14th of October according to

2 Carrington and according to Mr. Bulatovic?

3 A. Madam, I repeat once again, there are many things that are

4 incorrect in Momir Bulatovic's book "The Rules of Silence." He states

5 that The Hague document was accepted by the Assembly of Montenegro. This

6 is incorrect, and I deny this in my critique of his book.

7 Don't expect me to assist you by testifying about a telephone

8 conversation between Mr. Bulatovic and Mr. President Milosevic. I have to

9 tell you that I have great reservations about everything Mr. Bulatovic

10 writes.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you aware of any event, anything that might

12 have happened that would explain the change of position on the part of

13 Mr. Milosevic?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm really not aware of any event

15 that might have changed his mind. When we met at Batajnica on the morning

16 of the 18th to fly to The Hague, Mr. Milosevic asked me what the position

17 taken by the Assembly of Montenegro had been. I couldn't tell him because

18 I had left the session early so that the Presidency take up a standpoint.

19 He then told me --

20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.


22 Q. Mr. Kostic, what --

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I see it's time. We have to stop, and we will

24 adjourn.

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just could I please tender this

Page 48388

1 so that it is marked for identification, as we did with other passages of

2 Mr. Bulatovic's book?


4 JUDGE KWON: How about together 944. The earlier passages which

5 were marked for identification.

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, 1 to 14, the English and the B/C/S.

7 Thank you.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. They're all marked for identification, yes.

9 We will adjourn until tomorrow, 9.00 a.m.

10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,

11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 14th day

12 of February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.