1 Tuesday, 12 February 2002
2 [Open Session]
3 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the registrar call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-02-54-T, the Prosecutor versus Slobodan Milosevic.
9 JUDGE MAY: The appearances, please.
10 MR. NICE: For the Prosecution, the Prosecutor Madam
11 Carla Del Ponte appears; I appear; and the Court will see that I am joined
12 by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, who, as the Court will know, has special
13 responsibility for the Croatian indictment; my learned friend Mr. Groome,
14 sitting on the far right, who has special responsibility for the Bosnian
15 indictment; and closest to me, my learned friend Mr. Ryneveld, who has
16 special responsibility for the Kosovo indictment, the indictment that's
17 going to be dealt with chronologically first in this case.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: For the amici curiae, Steven Kay of Queen's Counsel of
20 the bar of England and Wales, Professor Michail Wladimiroff of the
21 Netherlands bar, and Mr. Branislav Tapuskovic of the Yugoslavia bar.
22 JUDGE MAY: Madam Prosecutor, it's now for you to open your case.
23 You will have in mind, of course, our order of the 4th of February
24 relating to this trial and that this part of the trial relates to Kosovo,
25 although you have leave in your opening address to deal with other
1 relevant matters to clarify the issues in the case.
2 Before you address us, let me deal with one preliminary issue. We
3 will grant your motion of the 8th of February for the withdrawal of
4 exhibits and witnesses and the substitution of others. We're pleased to
5 note the withdrawal of over a thousand exhibits, and we would encourage
6 such sensible pruning in the future. And I would add this: We will deal
7 with any outstanding motions or other matters concerning this part of the
8 trial later this week, and we'll deal with the conduct of the trial
9 relating to the Bosnia and Croatia indictments on Tuesday of next week.
10 That's the 19th of February. We will find a convenient moment during the
11 evidence to conduct that hearing.
12 Yes, Madam Prosecutor.
13 MS. DEL PONTE: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Your Honours, the Chamber will now begin the trial of this man for
15 the wrongs he is said to have done to the people of his own country and to
16 his neighbours. How simple that statement is to make today; how easily
17 those words pass into the record of these proceedings; and yet how
18 remarkable it is that I am able to speak them here. Today, as never
19 before, we see international justice in action.
20 Let us take a moment at the start of this trial to reflect upon
21 the establishment of this Tribunal and its purpose. We should just pause
22 to recall the daily scenes of grief and suffering that came to define
23 armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia. The events themselves were
24 notorious and a new term, "ethnic cleansing," came into common use in our
25 language. Some of the incidents reveal an almost medieval savagery and
1 the calculated cruelty that went far beyond the bounds of legitimate
2 warfare. The international community was shocked to witness the vicious
3 disintegration of a modern state, and the Security Council of the United
4 Nations was quick to recognise the grave threat caused by the serious
5 crimes it believed to have been committed.
6 This Tribunal is one of the measures taken by the Security Council
7 acting for all Member States of the United Nations to restore and maintain
8 international peace and security. That is our purpose, and our unique
9 contribution is to bring to justice the persons responsible for the worst
10 crimes known to humankind.
11 The crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, and the other
12 crimes within the jurisdiction of this Tribunal are not local affairs, and
13 their prosecution may be beyond the capability of national courts. Crimes
14 of the magnitude of those in the indictment before the Chamber affect all
15 of us throughout the world. The law of this Tribunal - international
16 humanitarian law - is the concern of people everywhere.
17 These crimes touch every one of us, wherever we live, because they
18 offend against our deepest principles of human rights and human dignity.
19 The law is not a mere theory or an abstract concept. It is a living
20 instrument that must protect our values and regulate civilised society.
21 And for that we must be able to enforce the law when it is broken. This
22 Tribunal, and this trial in particular, give the most powerful
23 demonstration that no one is above the law or beyond the reach of
24 international justice.
25 As Prosecutor, I bring the accused Milosevic before you to face
1 the charges against him. I do so on behalf of the international community
2 and in the name of all the member states of the United Nations, including
3 the states of the former Yugoslavia. The accused in this case, as in all
4 cases before the Tribunal, is charged as an individual. He is prosecuted
5 on the basis of his individual criminal responsibility. No state or
6 organisation is on trial here today. The indictments do not accuse an
7 entire people of being collectively guilty of the crimes, even the crime
8 of genocide. It may be tempting to generalise when dealing with the
9 conduct of leaders at the highest level, but that is an error that must be
10 avoided. Collective guilt forms no part of the Prosecution case. It is
11 not the law of this Tribunal, and I make it clear that I reject the very
13 I do, of course, intend to explore the degree to which the power
14 and influence of the accused extended over others, but I stress again that
15 the accused is brought before you to answer for his own actions and for
16 his personal involvement in the crimes alleged against him.
17 Your Honours, while I bring the indictment as Prosecutor in the
18 international public interest, I do not mean to ignore the victims of the
19 crimes committed during the conflicts. Much of the development of the law
20 since the Second World War has been designed to prevent members of the
21 civilian population from coming to harm in times of armed conflict. The
22 law itself exists to protect ordinary people not engaged in hostilities.
23 Even so, as Prosecutor, I do not directly represent any individual
25 I do, however, consider it to be part of my function in presenting
1 the case to allow the voice of the victims to be heard. No court can
2 experience the events as the victims themselves did, and no court can be
3 expected to do so. Many victims cannot come before you because they did
4 not survive. Nor is it possible, in the proof of crimes on such a scale
5 as those in the indictments, for any prosecutor to bring all of the
6 surviving witnesses to give evidence in court. Despite that limitation, I
7 am confident that the Prosecution case will present to the Chamber a full
8 picture of the circumstances of the crimes and of their impact on the
9 people against whom they were directed.
10 The case against the accused will be complex. It will be broad in
11 its scope, reflecting the nature of the charges, and yet it will be
12 detailed, as criminal cases must be, where specific features of the
13 evidence are required to be explored in depth. This case will certainly
14 test the criminal justice process itself and will challenge the very
15 capacity of a modern criminal court to address crimes which must extend so
16 far in time and place. I fully accept the responsibility that falls upon
17 the Prosecutor to bring forward evidence to support the indictment.
18 A trial of this nature requires the Chamber to hear evidence from
19 many sources; from individuals, from organisations, and from state
20 officials. The Chamber will receive testimony from high-ranking military
21 figures, diplomats, government representatives, and other persons of rank
22 and function who, for different reasons that the Chamber will understand,
23 cannot be named today. Such persons do not commonly appear in the
24 criminal courts, and receiving their evidence challenges equally the
25 witnesses and the Court.
1 The witnesses must find in themselves the individual courage to
2 give their accounts in public. I will seek to match their strengths by
3 obtaining for them all appropriate measures of protection available under
4 the Tribunal's Rules. Organisations and governments must also find the
5 institutional resolve to place before the Chamber information - sometimes
6 sensitive information - in their possession. In this regard, the trial
7 will test the cooperation of all states, not simply the states of the
8 former Yugoslavia, some of which in the past have obstructed the work of
9 this Tribunal and its Prosecutor. Peoples throughout the world following
10 these proceedings will be watching to see the extent to which their own
11 leaders are committed to achieving the aims of international justice in
12 this forum.
13 This is a criminal trial. It is unfortunate that the accused has
14 attempted to use his appearances before this Chamber to make interventions
15 of a political nature. I can assure the Chamber that in the case before
16 us the Prosecution will not allow itself to be drawn into any such
17 exchanges. This is a Trial Chamber, not a Debating Chamber.
18 I should also make it clear that in the performance of my duties
19 towards this Chamber, I shall not allow myself any advantage from the fact
20 that the accused has chosen not to be legally represented. Under the
21 Statute of the Tribunal, an accused is entitled either to defend himself
22 in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing. He is fully
23 entitled to exercise that choice and to elect to conduct his own defence.
24 By doing so, he does not change the trial process in any way, and the onus
25 upon the Prosecutor to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt remains
2 That is the position even where a prosecutor confronts a defence
3 of defiance, or where an accused refuses to recognise the court or, in
4 some way, attempts to undermine the solemnity of the proceedings. I speak
5 for each of the counsel on this side of the table when I say that, as the
6 Chamber will be aware, the Prosecution has scrupulously discharged its
7 obligations at all pre-trial stages of this proceeding. We regularly
8 consider, and will continue to consider with the Chamber and with the
9 amici, whether mechanisms can be applied to reduce any risk adverse to the
10 accused resulting from his attitude to this court.
11 I can further undertake to the Chamber that in their conduct of
12 the trial, Prosecution counsel, in the highest traditions of their
13 profession, will do everything possible, despite the absence of Defence
14 counsel, to assist the Chamber to identify the issues as the evidence
16 Your Honours, permit me to say a further general word about the
17 context in which the witnesses who may come before the Chamber will give
18 their evidence as this trial progresses. It has been said many times that
19 my mission as Prosecutor is to bring before the institution the persons
20 who are believed to be most responsible for crimes in the former
21 Yugoslavia. The International Community expects persons at the very
22 highest levels of command and leadership to be brought to justice here in
23 The Hague. That task is the very definition of my mandate as Prosecutor,
24 and it is the essence of the purpose of the Tribunal.
25 With the trial of this particular accused, we reach a turning
1 point of this institution. The proceeding upon which the Chamber embarks
2 today is clearly the most important trial to be conducted in the Tribunal
3 to date. Indeed, it may prove to be the most significant trial that this
4 institution will ever undertake. It is thus a trial that must inevitably
5 mark the path towards the conclusion of the work of this Tribunal, even
6 although that day is still some way off.
7 The trial also marks a change, as the Court will discover, in that
8 many people who have inside information are making the decision that it is
9 right and better for them to assist the Tribunal by giving evidence and by
10 making their mark in the record of humanity.
11 I recognise that this trial will make history, and we would do
12 well to approach our task in the light of history. Sadly, ours is not the
13 first inquiry into atrocities committed in the Balkan region. Listen to
14 the words of the Chairman of the International Commission to Inquire into
15 the Causes and Conduct of the Balkan Wars. Baron d'Estournelles de
16 Constant is writing of the wars in 1912 and 1913. He makes the point at
17 the conclusion of his introduction to the report published in 1914 that
18 the real culprits are not the Balkan peoples, and he goes on to say this:
19 "The true culprits are those who misled public opinion and take
20 advantage of the people's ignorance to raise disquieting rumours and sound
21 the alarm bell, inciting the country and, consequently, other countries
22 into enmity. The real culprits are those who by interest or inclination,
23 declaring constantly that war is inevitable, end by making it so,
24 asserting that they are powerless to prevent it. The real culprits are
25 those who sacrifice the general interest to their own personal interest
1 which they so little understand, and who hold up to their country a
2 sterile policy of conflict and reprisals. In reality, there is no
3 salvation, no way out either for small states or for great countries
4 except by union or conciliation."
5 Your Honours, no words could better set the scene for the matters
6 this Chamber will now try.
7 [Interpretation] Let me make some comments in the French language
8 before I give the floor to my colleagues, to Senior Trial Attorney
9 Mr. Nice. He will probably need four or five hours, because that will be
10 the very core of the indictments. Then the other senior attorney, Dirk
11 Ryneveld, will speak in respect of the details of the basic crimes in
12 Kosovo, approximately one hour.
13 Let me say, Mr. President, these few closing remarks: An
14 excellent tactician, a mediocre strategist, Milosevic did nothing but
15 pursue his ambition at the price of unspeakable suffering inflicted on
16 those who opposed him or who represented a threat for his personal
17 strategy of power. Everything, Your Honours, everything with the accused
18 Milosevic was an instrument in the service of his quest for power. One
19 must not seek ideals underlying the acts of the accused. Beyond the
20 nationalist pretext and the horror of ethnic cleansing, behind the
21 grandiloquent rhetoric and the hackneyed phrases he used, the search for
22 power is what motivated Slobodan Milosevic. These were not his personal
23 convictions, even less patriotism or honour or racism or xenophobia which
24 inspired the accused but, rather, the quest for power and personal power
25 at that.
1 The trial which commences today will evoke the tragic fate of
2 thousands of Milosevic's Croatian, Bosnian, Albanian victims. To read
3 about the sufferings endured by these countless victims and survivors is
4 unbearable. Yet the accused, Milosevic, also caused other victims. And
5 now, Your Honours, I am thinking about the Serbs. The Serbian refugees
6 from Croatia, from Bosnia, from Kosovo abused by Milosevic, whose fears
7 were fed and amplified and manipulated to serve Milosevic's criminal
8 plans. Many paid with their lives; most lost their homes and their
9 futures. These men and women must rightly be counted among Milosevic's
10 victims, just as the citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, who
11 now must reconstruct the exsanguinated country which Milosevic, the
12 accused, bequeathed to them.
13 The history of the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and the
14 fraticidal conflicts of another age which it brought about is a complex
15 process which must be written by many people. This Tribunal will write
16 only one chapter, the most bloody one, the most heartbreaking one as well;
17 the chapter of individual responsibility of the perpetrators of serious
18 violations of international humanitarian law. It is up to other courts to
19 make the moral, historical, or even psychological diagnosis of the accused
20 and to analyse the social, economic, and political dynamic which
21 constituted the basic fabric of the crimes that we are going to consider.
22 The apparently inevitable concatenation of fear and hatred,
23 political manipulation, the sinister role of some of the media but also
24 the heroism of the resistance and those who opposed him throughout the
25 former Yugoslavia, the survival of dignity and civil spirit and humanity,
1 all of these are mechanisms which must be analysed, dissected, and
2 explained because it is imperative to respond to the victims' demand for
3 truth, "victims" in the broadest sense of that term, and to reduce the
4 risks of seeing this played out again in another place in the world and,
5 in particular, in the Balkans. But here, more modestly, it is Slobodan
6 Milosevic's personal responsibility which the Prosecution intends to
7 demonstrate for the crimes ascribed to him, nothing but that, but all of
9 This is the contribution of justice, and we wish to make it
10 dispassionately, recalling the words of Ivo Andric pronounced at the
11 Jewish cemetery of Sarajevo, and I quote:
12 "If humanity wishes to be worthy of that name, must organise its
13 common defence against all international crimes, erect a barrier which is
14 sound and sure and truly punish all those who murder individuals and
16 And I thank you very much, Your Honours. I thank you for your
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: On a day in November 1991, at the fall of Vukovar in
20 Croatia, a man - I think he was 58 - and his wife, fearing the worst, went
21 to the hospital to find protection. What happened was that the men taken
22 away by Yugoslav army soldiers, eventually to a farm called Ovcara where
23 they were beaten, jumped upon by the soldiers, subject to various
24 indignities, the man, who will be a witness before this Tribunal, along
25 with six others, I think, had the chance good fortune of knowing one of
1 the soldiers personally.
2 So those seven were picked out and, indeed, six of them, I think,
3 survived. The other 260 were slaughtered. Thousands died in the conflict
4 in Croatia, and perhaps at least 170.000 or more were deported. And so
5 that account is an example of the misery and, indeed, of the criminality
6 with which we will be dealing in the indictment that comes first in time
7 chronologically, the Croatian indictment.
8 A year or thereabouts later, in Visegrad, Bosnia, a young woman,
9 heavily pregnant, found the town taken over by Yugoslav soldiers and, I
10 think, others, a group called the White Eagles, of which we will hear, was
11 involved. Because of what was happening, she and many other people took
12 to the woods at night. Indeed, she gave birth to her daughter in the
13 woods, at night. And it would appear from evidence that we do have that
14 she gave that daughter a name, but we can't tell you what the name is.
15 In due course, that woman, her baby, and many others, including
16 some 45 members of her extended family, were taken, on the basis of a
17 promise that they would be travelling in a Red Cross bus, to a house that
18 had been prepared for them with petrol on its carpets and presumably
19 floors. They were burnt alive, and the baby's screams were heard for some
20 two hours before it too succumbed.
21 So that is one crime to represent the thousands killed in the
22 Bosnian conflict, well over 7.000; a conflict that involves hundreds of
23 thousands - two, three - deported.
24 We move on seven years to the third indictment and to another and
25 different story involving a mother and daughter. This time not a young
1 daughter or a daughter unborn, but to a girl of about 20; old enough to
2 think that she was perhaps an adult launched on life; young enough, no
3 doubt, to have been regarded by her mother as the daughter she truly was.
4 This is at a place called Kozica and thereabouts.
5 At this site, as the Court will, in due course, hear, some 50
6 women were gathered together for safety. Again, by deception, and under
7 guard of abusing soldiers, they were taken not to a mosque as they were
8 promised, but to a house that was capable of being made secure; the
9 mother, from whom you will hear, and her 20-year-old daughter. The
10 daughter was one of several women, mostly young, who were taken out from
11 time to time by the abusing soldiers, returning in a state of obvious
12 fear, it being perhaps a matter of inference what happened to them.
13 Later, eight women, I think five young and perhaps three a little
14 older, were taken again; one of them the 20-year-old daughter. The house
15 was tied up with wire, as the remaining women could see. They feared they
16 were going to be burnt alive, but that didn't happen. In due course, they
17 escaped, or they were let out, in fact. But the mother did not find her
18 daughter. In the weeks that followed, when she was free to revisit the
19 area, she searched, hopelessly looking for the daughter who was, in due
20 course, found by those representing the international community doing
21 their distressing work. She and the other seven women last taken out were
22 found at the bottom of three different wells into which they had been
23 thrown, probably alive, and after who knows quite what had happened to
25 That account may serve as but one representation of what happened
1 in Kosovo where at least four and a half thousand people died, but
2 estimates rise to ten, and where over three-quarters of a million people
3 were forcibly moved from Kosovo or forcibly removed within it.
4 Those then, in some statistical way, and with just those examples,
5 are the subject matter of this trial and these indictments.
6 Having said what I've said, the Court may want to know that I
7 shall return rarely, if at all, to such distressing material again. And
9 First, as the Prosecutor has herself said, it is for the witnesses
10 to come to this Tribunal and to give their accounts, and it is to them
11 that we shall look for the proper record. Of course they will be but a
12 tiny fraction of those who suffered, but the Court will want to know that,
13 for the most part, they are anxious to give their evidence; and indeed,
14 even those whose statements may be admitted by the provisions for the
15 acceptance of written material in this Tribunal, for the most part, they
16 want their contribution to be public and clear as to who it is who's
17 making it. So we leave it to the witnesses.
18 Second, the distressing and emotive potential of this sort of
19 evidence has, in truth, only one forensic value, point of forensic value,
20 point of forensic significance, to this trial. The accused, as, of
21 course, is obvious, is charged in respect of these events. The issue is,
22 or may be, did he know they were happening? Of course he did. Not only
23 would matters have been reported to him, but in these days when the press,
24 radio, and television bring wars to our homes as they occur, he cannot not
25 have known. And therefore the question is if the Chamber is, in due
1 course, satisfied that he lay behind what was happening, why did he
2 continue; why did he not stop these things that were occurring?
3 And third, as a reason for sparing the Chamber an excess of
4 distressing material, this: This accused and others who may come to this
5 Tribunal, or indeed to other tribunals, must know that whatever the
6 underlying facts of crimes charged against them, trials will be conducted
7 in a calm and unemotional manner.
8 And perhaps one last reason why we should treat these events as
9 dispassionately as possible, perhaps what, say the Prosecution, the
10 accused did. He did not confront his victims. He was able to view what
11 was happening from the distance of high political office, and, if the
12 Prosecution's case is right, he had these crimes committed for him by
14 This trial, as, again, the Prosecutor has correctly explained,
15 will not be making findings as to history. Matters of history always
16 leave scope for argument, for doubt between historians. But history, even
17 distant history sometimes available to this Court through the witnesses,
18 will have a relevance from time to time in showing what the accused
19 thought, what those identified in indictments as his co-perpetrators
20 thought, what his compliant supporters thought, and what was available in
21 history to fire up the emotions, particularly nationalist emotions,
22 however little this particular accused might personally and genuinely have
23 held those nationalist views.
24 For procedural reasons, this trial will start with evidence about
25 Kosovo, despite that conflict coming last in time. But, in a way, this
1 may be curiously appropriate, for Kosovo features from first to last in
2 the sequence of tragedies with which we are concerned, as well as holding,
3 so it is said, a place in the hearts of Serbs and Albanian Kosovars as the
4 cradle of their respective civilisations.
5 The 1974 Constitution of the Republic of Yugoslavia gave Kosovo,
6 as it did Vojvodina, semi-autonomous status. In fact, very considerable
7 independence. Little-known Kosovo, little Kosovo, barely over a hundred
8 kilometres from end to end, was hardly on anybody's lips outside
9 Yugoslavia and on few people's tourist plans. It lies, of course, in the
10 southern part of the Republic of Serbia, which is itself or was itself one
11 of the constituent republics of the socialist Yugoslavian republic.
12 President Tito died in 1980. It may be that Serb nationalists
13 believed that Tito had kept Yugoslavia together by weakening Serbia when
14 he organised the semi-autonomous provinces within it. Maybe the phrase
15 "weak Serbia, strong Yugoslavia" explained what he had done and why Serb
16 nationalists felt as they did about it.
17 Released from shackles, however beneficent of Tito, exposed the
18 population of Yugoslavia as a whole and its leaders to new experiences,
19 new opportunities and new temptations, and it was Kosovo that showed early
20 signs of enthusiasm for change. As early as March or April of 1981,
21 massive student demonstrations occurred in its capital Pristina, in the
22 town of Prizren and elsewhere, and the slogan "Kosovo Republika" was
23 heard, coming as a surprise and indeed as a shock to many in federal
25 At the same time, Serbian communists, and maybe Serbs without
1 political affiliation, were becoming free to grumble about their historic
2 lot and about Kosovo. The Serbian view may have included that it was they
3 who had been the valiant victors in World War I, the chief architects of
4 the new Yugoslavia, the valiant victims of World War II, those who had won
5 in law -- in war but lost in peace and all or very many Serbs were willing
6 to complain about Kosovo.
7 Interestingly, at that early time, Kosovo may have found some
8 support in the republic, in northern Slovenia, perhaps because seeing what
9 was going to happen or what was happening in Kosovo, the Slovenians had
10 anxieties for themselves. But the prevailing culture, perhaps difficult
11 for outsiders to understand or to feel, was that this was a place where to
12 speak in nationalistic terms was genuinely unacceptable, something likely
13 to bring criminal sanctions. May it be that as thought became free, in
14 part, at least, it was easy for it to become distorted? And the Chamber
15 will hear, I have no doubt, in the course of evidence, of a memorandum of
16 the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts that was leaked in 1986. It's a
17 memorandum, of course, of genuine intellectuals, and they were able, in
18 1986, to put their names to the following lines, and I quote, in
19 translation, of course:
20 "The physical, political, legal, and cultural genocide against
21 the Serb population of Kosovo and Metohija is the serious, serious defeat
22 of Serbia."
23 They went on in the memorandum to say:
24 "Except in the wartime period, never have the Serbs of Croatia
25 been so threatened as today."
1 That, then, the reaction of intellectuals in 1986 of Serb
2 persuasion to what was beginning to happen in little Kosovo.
3 How slight was the face -- the threat that the Serbs really faced
4 compared with the threats that were to face others later? How could they
5 sensibly use in that context the notion of genocide of culture? But the
6 prevailing culture was one that could produce such thought, and there was
7 much talk at the time of Serbs being vulnerable and under threat, concern
8 that the massacres of World War II, where they had suffered badly, so
9 badly, would happen again, concern that they would be drowned by the
10 Albanians in Kosovo or that they would somehow be exploited and oppressed
11 politically and economically.
12 It was onto to this scene that this accused was propelled or
13 propelled himself. And a question may arise, when we consider this part
14 of the history on the evidence, how this man, rare among former communist
15 leaders, was able to effect the transition from party leadership under the
16 old regime to party leadership under the new. Was he a brilliant and
17 kindly leader or was he simply a man who had the sharpest appreciation of
18 how to retain control through manipulation?
19 The fate of the late Ivan Stambolic may provide some answer. This
20 man was mentor, in the political sense, to the accused, his protege. He
21 sent his protege to Kosovo to quell unrest. He gave him an opportunity.
22 It was an opportunity, and I'm afraid it's of course now all too well
23 known, he gave him an opportunity which he took.
24 Your Honour, we'll look now briefly at a piece of footage. Even
25 if it is well-known, it will have to be part of the evidence in this
1 case. It's footage of the April 1987 meeting in Kosovo.
2 If the booth could assist us.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. NICE: To what extent, if any, that incident was stimulated
5 and planned matters little. It was that phrase that, "You will not be
6 beaten," and the response of others to it that gave this accused the taste
7 or a better taste of power, maybe the first realisation of a dream. It
8 gave him an opening.
9 The man who had sent him, his former mentor, Stambolic, rapidly
10 lost power. The accused gained power. By the 23rd of September of 1987,
11 at the 8th Session of the Serbian Communist Party, the accused achieved
12 superiority over Stambolic, and in due course he was removed on the basis
13 of what it may be was a totally incorrect or even forged document, and the
14 accused became head of the ruling Communist Party.
15 It's perhaps worth having in mind that it can never have been easy
16 or that easy for a Serb communist to gain wide popularity. Serbs may have
17 treasured institutions like the monarchy or the Orthodox church or even
18 the Chetnik movement that had been suppressed by communism, and it may be
19 that Bosnian Serbs in particular felt this strongly and saw less or little
20 good in communism. So for a former communist such as -- or a communist
21 such as this accused to gain wide support was tricky, difficult, and he
22 had to unite, if he was to have and retain power, the communist left and
23 the anti-communist right. He had to obtain support of Serbs in Serbia
24 proper but also elsewhere in Yugoslavia. He had to weld them together,
25 although much later, or later in any event, he would have to be releasing
1 them, individuals, when their purpose was served, and large groups of them
2 in Croatia and Bosnia when his efforts at joinder failed.
3 By 1988 and into 1989, the accused was enjoying considerable
4 support. It was something called the Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution,
5 manifest in Vojvodina in something well-known I think, as the yoghurt
6 revolution because of what was thrown, and also in Montenegro. And to
7 give us a taste of the times, it was in the course of these rallies, this
8 Anti-Bureaucratic Revolution, that pictures of the accused were
9 everywhere, borne aloft in demonstrations. And perhaps as a result both
10 the Provincial Government of Vojvodina and the Republican Government of
11 Montenegro became places where support for the accused could be found.
12 Indeed in Montenegro, Momir Bulatovic, as President of Montenegro, came to
13 be a great supporter of this accused.
14 But his successes were not without difficulties. In October of
15 1988, there were demonstrations in Kosovo again against Serb nationalism
16 and against the threats to the Kosovar economy and indeed its autonomy.
17 In November 1988, there were moves in the Kosovo Communist Party where
18 people less loyal to this accused were replaced by those more loyal to
19 him, and that was followed in February of 1989 by massive strikes, in
20 particular of Albanian miners, against the threat of the revocation of
21 Kosovo's autonomy.
22 Can we get another snapshot of this accused at about this time?
23 At the end of February or beginning of March of 1989, there was a
24 demonstration. The subject was nationalism. We'll see the video in just
25 a second.
1 The accused spoke to a crowd of perhaps up to a million
2 demonstrators in Belgrade. He spoke of settling accounts with Kosovo
3 leaders and promised decisive action, but perhaps interesting is this: He
4 kept the crowd waiting for a full 24 hours and then only spoke to them for
5 four minutes.
6 Can we see the clip?
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. NICE: Well, the accused had learned, it may be thought, to
9 use the power of a crowd. And in that interchange with the crowd, he
10 responded to what was asked of him. And the man, Vllasi, featured in the
11 communist shuffle that I referred to recently, was, I think, arrested the
12 following day.
13 But the powers of crowds are limited and, ultimately, reversible,
14 as we will all recall from seeing on our television screens how it was
15 that this accused eventually lost power so many years later.
16 I return then to Kosovo, a continuing problem. In March of 1989,
17 the Kosovo Assembly itself passed constitutional amendments contrary to
18 its own best interests, abandoning or losing control of police, education,
19 economic policy, the choice of the official language, and its veto powers
20 over further changes of the Serbian constitution. At the time it passed
21 those amendments, the Assembly building was surrounded by tanks and there
22 was uncertainty, in any event, as to whether the appropriate majority for
23 the changes was present.
24 It would not be surprising if such actions against Kosovo brought
25 reaction. And I suppose the only surprise that one might have in mind now
1 and, as we look at the chronology, for the next few years of the
2 chronology is that the reaction of Kosovo, or of the Kosovo Albanians, was
3 as muted and peaceful for a time as it was. Peaceful, perhaps, because
4 Kosovo was left waiting, so far as it was concerned, for an eventual happy
5 outcome; waiting, it may be on the accused's part, if he dwelt on it at
6 all, for Kosovo's turn to come. People, at the time of the conflicts in
7 Croatia and Bosnia, would say cynically or jokingly that, in the end, it
8 would end at Kosovo.
9 On the 28th of March of 1989, the Assembly of Serbia approved the
10 constitutional changes and revoked the autonomy of Kosovo granted in the
11 1974 constitution. More strikes, massive in scale, responded to by brutal
12 repression; up to 100 demonstrators killed, a thousand people put on
13 trial, including many of the Albanian elite. But this did not affect the
14 accused's rise. For on the 8th of May, the time that these things were
15 happening, he became, not by popular vote but by the mechanism of the
16 state appropriate at the time, President of Serbia.
17 This trial is about the climb of this accused to power, power that
18 the Prosecution will invite the Chamber to say, in due course, was
19 exercised without accountability, responsibility, or morality. Such
20 climbs cannot be accomplished alone. The help of fellow travelers is
21 required, however quickly they may leave or be made to leave the moving
22 vehicle, and from time to time we should just consider some of these men,
23 co-indictees, some of them in the Kosovo indictment; others named as
24 co-perpetrators in the Croatia and Bosnia indictments.
25 Borisav Jovic, whose photograph is on the overhead projector,
1 became Vice-President of the collective Presidency of Yugoslavia. It's a
2 body composed of various representatives of the states and the
3 semi-autonomous provinces. This man was one of the accused's closest
4 collaborators in the early days of the joint criminal enterprise charged
5 against him, and was President of the Presidency itself of Yugoslavia
6 between 1990/1991, for a year.
7 Through this man and others like him, say the Prosecution, this
8 accused exercised effective control over the Presidency - the Presidency -
9 serving as Commander-in-Chief of the Yugoslav army, at that time known by
10 the acronym JNA, and he was able to achieve that control despite being,
11 the word "only" would be inappropriate, really, but only President of
13 Perhaps I should just add this: Those who did not live in federal
14 states and who look at them from a different experience may be tempted to
15 think that it must be the case that the federal body is, in some way, all
16 embracing of, larger than, more powerful than, the constituent states.
17 That would be an easy mistake to make in respect of the former Yugoslavia,
18 and it may well be the case that the federal body was weaker at various
19 times, and certainly at the time with which we are concerned, than the
20 individual state of Serbia. But that's for later determination.
21 Returning to the man Borisav Jovic. In June of 1990, as the
22 evidence will reveal, the accused shared with Jovic his view that the
23 amputation of Croatia, the secession of Croatia, was to be exercised in
24 such a way that various opstinas/regions of Croatia remain with us, with
25 Yugoslavia. At the same time, another man who becomes important at this
1 time, General Veljko Kadijevic, agreed with that notion; that Serbian
2 opstinas, in the event of the loss of Croatia, should remain with us, the
3 "us" then being, at least at that time, Yugoslavia. A seemingly innocent
4 goal but one that could be used to explain and to justify territorial
5 aggression and crimes against humanity in the coming years.
6 That general, General Kadijevic, along with General Adzic, the
7 Chief of Staff of the JNA, the Yugoslavian army, assured both Jovic and
8 this accused that the military would in no case allow the Croatian police
9 to occupy certain particular Croatian cities which were, by that point,
10 under Serb control.
11 A word about the word "police," as I shall use it in the course of
12 this opening and as will be used extensively in the trial. The Ministry
13 of the Interior is known as the MUP, M-U-P, or the Ministry of the
14 Interior Police is known as the MUP, the M-U-P. It comes in two parts:
15 the conventional police, dealing with crimes, traffic, and so on, and
16 another part which, to the uninitiated, resemble far more a military
17 force, with substantial weaponry and appropriate vehicles.
18 The relationship of Jovic and Milosevic before and during the war
19 in Croatia, which we will be turning to in due course, will show in detail
20 how this accused, although the President of Serbia, exercised control over
21 that Presidency of which I have referred and the army of which the
22 Presidency was Commander-in-Chief.
23 Another point begins to emerge about this accused.
24 First, guilty, culpable people often forget to do, at the time,
25 what their innocence should have them doing. We may find in the case of
1 this accused, in the years that are to come, little or no expression of
2 regret for what was happening to the victims of these conflicts; no
3 sympathy. What thought process could enable him, whatever he was doing,
4 to suffer this form of mental blindness?
5 Well, now, part of the answer to that question may lie in the
6 mechanism by which he controlled events. By being notionally separate
7 from the body that was, in law, doing things - in this case, the
8 Presidency of which he was not a member - he controlled events because he
9 controlled the people who constituted the body that, as we will say in due
10 course, did evil. So it was that body, not he who bore responsibility.
11 Never him; no regrets; no shame.
12 Moving on just a little with Borisav Jovic, before we return to
13 the chronological examination of events. We will discover that from
14 October 1991, when there were absentees from the Presidency because the
15 representatives from Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina
16 did not exercise their powers, the Presidency became what was known as a
17 Rump Presidency, headed by a man called Branko Kostic, sometime
18 Vice-President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, named as a
19 co-perpetrator, with Borislav Jovic playing a key role in it. And then it
20 was the Rump Presidency influenced, if not controlled, by the accused that
21 was able to control the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, the Territorial
22 Defence units and volunteer units acting in coordination and under the
23 supervision of the JNA, and so on. So, so much, for the time being, of
24 that man.
25 We will, no doubt, hear in this case from at least one
1 constitutional expert. It's right that the Chamber should have that
2 material before it, although there is a limit to the relevance of
3 constitutional law to a man who, as the Prosecution say, regarded the law
4 as an instrument of rule rather than a controller of rulers. And the
5 quick reality may be this: The units I have just described as being
6 subordinated to and controlled by the Rump Presidency, in due course, that
7 committed the gravest of crimes, was simply, however indirectly, under the
8 authority of this accused. And the Rump Presidency acted without
9 dissension to execute his policies so that the man Jovic would share
10 responsibility for what was done by the army. But we'll come to that in
11 due course.
12 Returning to the rise of this accused, and returning to Kosovo, we
13 come to the 28th of June of 1989. Another, I think, famous clip, but we
14 must show it and it must be entered into the evidence of this case.
15 On that day, there was celebration of the 600th anniversary of the
16 Battle of Kosovo. I shan't trouble the Chamber with the detail of why
17 that battle, which was indeed a loss by Serbians, was celebrated in the
18 way it was.
19 The event occurred at a place called Kosovo Polje in Kosovo. An
20 enormous number of people attended. The accused was the lead speaker.
21 The full speech we'll, of course, pay consideration in due course. The
22 Chamber may think it is a skilful speech of great power, reflecting on how
23 Serbs used to feel guilty for their role but should no more, how Serbs had
24 been the bringers of freedom; basically how Serbs did and were good. But
25 there was one passage even in June 1989 that merits particular attention,
1 and the clip that I will now ask to be played will show us what it was.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. NICE: Can we just pause that for a minute, please? Your
4 Honour, I'm sorry. I was hoping that might be translated by the booths.
5 If it's not happening --
6 JUDGE MAY: Maybe that's something you can deal with during the
7 adjournment, which we will take shortly.
8 MR. NICE: Yes.
9 JUDGE MAY: At a convenient moment.
10 MR. NICE: I'm entirely in the Court's hands, certainly.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are ready.
12 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... earlier than I
13 thought you would be rising.
14 JUDGE MAY: I have a message that the interpreters are ready, so
15 let's try again.
16 [Videotape played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Comrades, at this place, at this
18 place in the heart of Serbia, on the Field of Kosovo, Kosovo Field, six
19 centuries ago, a full 600 years ago, one of the greatest battles of that
20 time took place. The Kosovo heroism for six centuries has inspired our
21 creativity, has fed our pride, and does not allow us to forget that we
22 were once a large army, a proud army, a rare army who in its loss was not
24 "Six centuries later - today - we are once again fighting battles
25 and faced with battles. They are not armed battles, although such battles
1 are not excluded either. But regardless of the nature of those battles,
2 the battles cannot be won without the decisiveness, the courage and
3 perseverance, and all the good qualities that were ever present a long
4 time ago on the field of Kosovo."
5 MR. NICE: So armed battles, armed struggle was not being excluded
6 even at that stage.
7 And one other point about this gathering and what was said at it,
8 which we will look at in the course of the trial: Happening on the
9 territory of Kosovo, a speech that contained references to the values of a
10 multi-ethnic society but not one word about the Kosovo Albanians.
11 By the end of 1989, it may be appropriate to remind ourselves the
12 fate of Romania's President Ceaucescu may well have caused fear in the
13 minds and hearts of those who would be facing strong anti-communist
14 sentiment generally. The skill and ability of this accused was to use
15 such developing sentiments of anti-communism and to turn them, by reliance
16 on nationalism, to his own advantage, for in the same way has he
17 understood the power of the crowd, he appreciated that nationalism was a
19 I return to what the Prosecutor has already said but in slightly
20 different terms to the same effect: Was the accused a nationalist?
21 Maybe; maybe not. In the same way as he most probably was not in any way
22 a racist.
23 There are those who believe in causes, and there are those who can
24 seem to believe in causes. Only they know at the time which may be the
25 truth. Others have to wait until later to discover from a careful
1 examination of patterns of events whether the cause was an object of
2 genuine pursuit or the passport to something else. The Chamber may in due
3 course decide, if it thinks it has to, but the Prosecution invites caution
4 before finding sincere adoption of a nationalist Serbian cause by this
6 We come to the disintegration of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia
7 in January of 1989. I needn't trouble you with the video clip for the
8 meeting where the Slovenes and Croats left the party, although they
9 remained in the Presidency of the former Yugoslavia for another two and a
10 half years. The Chamber may remember from other sources how the Slovenes,
11 I think, arrived at the last meeting with their suitcases ready for a
12 quick getaway.
13 Following that meeting, further demonstrations in Kosovo. Kosovo
14 again. Demonstrations crushed by police; 27 killed. Now not an
15 incidental but a figure of comparative, not acceptability but something,
16 for of course a disintegrating society can have all too easily a
17 corrupting effect on one's approach or the approach of people there to
18 things like that.
19 And we then reach the stage in the overall development of the
20 history of the elections elsewhere and the growth of the nationalist
21 parties elsewhere.
22 I don't know if that's a convenient moment or not.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it would be convenient. We will adjourn.
24 Would the registrar just come up, please.
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now until half past eleven.
2 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
5 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honours. A matter I should raise before the
6 Court before Mr. Nice continues with his opening, and it's merely to put
7 it on the record and give an explanation because some people may have been
8 concerned with what happened in the adjournment, although, for our part,
9 we're not.
10 The accused passed a number of informal comments about the
11 Prosecution opening to Mr. Tapuskovic of a very general nature which we
12 heard and which was translated for us and not in the way of detailed
13 instructions or anything like that, and the amici obviously listened to
14 what was being said by him. We just raise this so that there is a
15 clarification, if there is any communication by the accused to the amici
16 during the court session, to find out what the position is as Your Honours
17 would see it.
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, the difficulty is this: that during the court
19 session or when the accused is going in and out of court, it's clearly
20 disruptive if there are conversations going on. It's better, if there are
21 any conversations, that they take place out of court and not while he's
22 going in and out. So if you wish to speak to him or he wishes to speak to
23 you, then you must ask and, no doubt, leave will be granted.
24 MR. KAY: Thank you for that clarification, Your Honour.
25 MR. NICE: We come to the elections of the spring of 1990.
1 In Croatia, the Croatian Democratic Union, known by its initials
2 HDZ, won a plurality of votes and the majority of seats in the Croatian
3 Parliament, the Sabor, and elected the late Franjo Tudjman as its
5 Can we just have a look at a plan.
6 We, of course, owe a duty to be evenhanded in the presentation of
7 this chronology, as indeed in the presentation of all the evidence in this
8 case, and therefore at this time, as we look at this plan - the first time
9 we've looked at it - it shows, of course, Croatia surrounding
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it shows the particular areas of interests for the
11 Serbs, but just for the present purpose, it just shows a couple of points
12 for identification purposes really. Because at this early stage, it's
13 worth noting that Croat armed forces, at this stage, were already
14 attacking the Serbs from time to time; in particular, they attacked some
15 Serb civilians, notably in Eastern Slavonia, which we can see in red, and
16 indeed there were war crimes committed in the Gospic area, which is not, I
17 think, shown specifically but which is over to the west, now the subject
18 of a high-profile trial itself in Croatia.
19 We will probably leave that map on the overhead projector, I
20 think, for the time being and move on.
21 While the Croats of Croatia were moving towards a nationalist
22 position and government, the attacks on Kosovo Albanians were continuing,
23 and the delegates to their Assembly in Kosovo passed what was an
24 unofficial resolution declaring Kosovo an equal and independent entity
25 within the republic. Sorry, of course this map doesn't show Kosovo. We
1 all know where it is. In due course, for any who don't, maps will be on
2 the overhead projector, making that clearer.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, there's some interruption coming from one of the
4 booths which we can overhear. Maybe something can be done about it.
5 MR. NICE: While that's being dealt with, Your Honour, I am aware
6 that there is, of course, a new language being dealt with in this
7 Tribunal, and although probably it would have been desirable for me to
8 move at the measured pace I'm adopting in any event for interpreters with
9 whom I'm familiar, it's particularly appropriate with new interpreters
10 that I don't go too fast.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. NICE: With that unofficial resolution passed, perhaps
13 unsurprisingly, the Serbian Assembly reacted by dissolving the Kosovo
14 Assembly; a further substantial attack on Kosovo's integrity.
15 The accused's Communist Party was changing, mutating into the new
16 party that he was to lead, the Serbian Socialist Party or SPS, coming into
17 being on the 16th of July of 1990, the accused becoming its President, the
18 party being and becoming one of, if not his main, lever of power.
19 A word also about that party. It remained the most powerful party
20 in Serbia until the autumn of the year 2000. The accused was its
21 President throughout save for a period between May 1991 and October 1992
22 when the man Borisav Jovic, of whom we've already seen and heard a little,
23 was President.
24 This party controlled institutions on the Serb republic and the
25 Yugoslav federal level. The accused had de facto power at those levels
1 through the party regardless of which function he held, whether as
2 President of Serbia, as he was from 1990 to 1997, or President of the
3 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 until 2000. Through his party,
4 he could control the Presidency of, first, the socialist republic, later
5 the federal republic and the Serbian Assemblies. He controlled that which
6 I have already described as the Rump Presidency, giving him control over
7 the army, and the parliamentary majorities of the SPS gave him control
8 over parliaments in both Serbia and Yugoslavia.
9 The powers of patronage he exercised were enormous. Key
10 government posts were filled by party members. Some of those names, and I
11 shan't list all of them, who were appointed effectively by the party and
12 thus by this accused, include Jovic, to whom we've heard; Kostic of the
13 Rump Presidency to whom we've referred; Nikola Sainovic, a Deputy Prime
14 Minister of the federal republic in due course and who will feature later;
15 Vlajko Stojiljkovic, Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs, again who will
16 feature later; Milan Milutinovic, President of Serbia from 1997, who will
17 feature in our later discussions; and Mihalj Kertes, the Federal Deputy
18 Minister of the Interior and Serbian Minister without portfolio and
19 Director of the Federal Customs Agency, a man of great significance, in
20 due course, when we consider the way control of events was subject to
21 control of money.
22 It may not be easy to understand the real nature of a political
23 party in the accused's Serbia. It may be fair to describe it as the only
24 real employer, certainly of people at a certain level, with the accused
25 appointing people to high office, the party controlling the payroll.
1 By this patronage, he exercised enormous power, which included
2 control over media outlets, particularly Radio Television Serbia, RTS, and
3 the publishing company Politika, because directors of these firms almost
4 exclusively were members of the party, and it was individuals loyal to the
5 accused that filled the top posts. Likewise did he have control over the
6 National Bank of Serbia, the National Bank of Yugoslavia, and that Federal
7 Customs Administration associated with the man Kertes.
8 Almost all directors of major Serbian state companies, men who had
9 enormous power and control, were members of the party. Their jobs, their
10 incomes, their homes depending on that affiliation and on the patronage of
11 the accused.
12 In addition and coming later, in 1995, the accused's wife, Mira
13 Markovic, founded a party called the Yugoslav United Left, or JUL, a small
14 party but a place which would be home for those committed socialists and
15 former communists for whom the nationalist tendency of the SPS was
16 unacceptable. Small though the JUL was, it was a force to combine with
17 the accused's party - two parties in the one family - and between 1995 and
18 2000, the parties joined forces in coalition governments on the federal
19 and republican level bearing responsibility for all-important decisions,
20 including those in relation to state security and international policy.
21 Thus an outline of political control, and I return to the
23 In September 1990, on the 7th of September, indeed, many Kosovo
24 Albanian delegates of their Assembly, as it had been, proclaimed a
25 Constitution for the Republic of Kosovo. On the 28th of September, the
1 Republic of Serbia promulgated a new Constitution which had wide-ranging
2 effect, by Article 135, nullifying any obligations it owed to the rest of
3 the country and, by Article 72, usurping two paramount federal functions;
4 national defence and foreign relations. It may be thought that this was a
5 secessionist document in substance.
6 Meanwhile, in November 1990, turning to Bosnia and Herzegovina,
7 multi-party elections were called. And at the republic level there, the
8 voting was as follows: The SDA, the party of the Bosnian Muslims, came
9 first with 86 seats; the SDS, the party of the Bosnian Serbs, second with
10 72; and the HDZ Croat party, 44 seats.
11 Here we have three national nationalistic parties, and they
12 formed, for the time being, a coalition government dividing up power in
14 Let us focus on the SDS, the party of the Bosnian Serbs, its
15 leader, Radovan Karadzic, its leadership including Momcilo Krajisnik and
16 Biljana Plavsic, co-perpetrators and, of course, awaiting trial here. The
17 platform of that party was the unification of all Serbs within one state.
18 The SDS, regarding the separation of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the
19 socialist federal republic, as it still was, as a threat to the interests
20 of the Serbs.
21 Looking ahead, but only briefly to 1993, in an interview, the
22 woman member of those three, Biljana Plavsic, said the following, and I
24 "In order not to have any fear as to what will happen, I would
25 prefer us to cleanse Eastern Bosnia from the Muslims. They have
1 introduced the term 'ethnic cleansing' to denote a perfectly natural
2 phenomenon and qualified it as a war crime."
3 She went on:
4 "Muslims originate from the Serbs, but it is spoiled Serbian
5 genetic material which has converted to Islam and then naturally from
6 generation to generation the gene has condensed. It has deteriorated
8 Thus when looking at the SDS, the views of one of its leaders.
9 Meanwhile, in Serbia, on the 9th of December, 1990, this accused
10 was elected again President of Serbia, but now not by internal mechanisms
11 but by a popular mandate, giving him an authority greater than any of his
12 colleagues or, it may be thought, those whose election was indirect.
13 Staying with the map and looking at the various areas, hopefully
14 coloured yellow, green, blue, and red, on the 24th of December, Croatian
15 Serbs in Knin announced the creation of a Serbian Autonomous District and
16 declared their independence from Croatia.
17 Back in Kosovo, as moves for independence elsewhere in the
18 Federation of Yugoslavia were gathering pace, in Kosovo suppression was
19 continuing. Throughout late 1990 and 1991, thousands of Kosovo Albanian
20 doctors, teachers, professors, workers, police, civil servants were
21 dismissed from their job simply on account of their being Kosovo
22 Albanians. The local court was abolished; many judges were removed. And
23 violence against Kosovo Albanians increased.
24 I pause to ask ourselves this, a question of curious importance,
25 as we will later see: Who lived in Kosovo? How many? Only estimates are
1 available for the population of Kosovo in 1991 because the Kosovo
2 Albanians boycotted the census that was administered that year. General
3 estimates are that the population during the time period relevant to this
4 indictment was between 1.800.000 and 2.100.000, and of that number,
5 approximately 85 or 90 per cent were Kosovo Albanians; 5 to 10 per cent,
6 Serbs; and some other smaller groups.
7 The significance of those figures? Significant in themselves in
8 light of what was to happen to those people, particularly when we see
9 later, much later, how this accused was to attempt to misrepresent the
10 very strong balance of the population in favour of the Kosovo Albanians.
11 On the 22nd of January, 1991, the accused and President Momir
12 Bulatovic of neighbouring Montenegro, in a joint press release, proclaimed
13 to the world that existing Yugoslav borders "have never been the
14 boundaries within which individual Yugoslav nations live," drawing a
15 distinction between state and nation.
16 On the 5th of February of 1991, Serbia established ministries of
17 its government, as proposed by the accused, including a ministry
18 specifically to have links with Serbs outside Serbia. It was this
19 ministry that assisted the SDS, the party of the Serbs in Bosnia, to
20 establish that Serb republic to which we will be turning later.
21 On the 23rd of February of 1991 - now, I'm not sure that it is
22 exactly that date - in February 1991, the accused visited the head office
23 of that party to be greeted by Karadzic, Krajisnik, and Plavsic. In all
24 their presences, Karadzic told the journalists present this: "We do not
25 see that this should be discussed, Serbs living exclusively in a joint
1 state. Just as it is natural that rain falls, it is quite natural for
2 Serbs to live in the same state." The party's expression of purpose was
4 But it wasn't all plain sailing for the accused. In March of
5 1991, demonstrations against him, this time in respect of his control of
6 the media, soon to become the most serious challenge to his regime,
7 demonstrations that were violently suppressed by both the police and the
8 army. I will not trouble you with footage of these demonstrations, but we
9 will see later the degree to which this accused was prepared to use force
10 on those of his own who took against him.
11 But with these demonstrations the accused was embattled, and it's
12 interesting to observe that Karadzic of the Bosnian Serbs came to his
13 rescue to the extent that, in any event, threatening violence with these
14 words: "If demonstrations are a weapon," he said, "it has to be said that
15 we have so much pressure from Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina that a million
16 of them are ready to go to Belgrade and demonstrate." So the accused,
17 threatened at home, could turn for help to Serbs abroad, a symbiotic
18 relationship. Serbs abroad were to seek and have assistance from the
19 accused, at any event, for as long as he could give it.
20 So Yugoslavia reached a deep crisis with the events I have
21 described in summary, leading the accused to famously declare that
22 Yugoslavia was finished. Deadlock in the Presidency led to the
24 The very representatives on the Presidency, those from Serbia,
25 Montenegro, Vojvodina, and Kosovo, who may have been under the control of
1 the accused, resigned, subsequently to rejoin. Why did they resign? The
2 evidence may satisfy the Tribunal, in due course, that their resignation
3 was part of a complicated attempt at a coup, in the course of which
4 General Kadijevic was to take over the army. The accused was to play his
5 part, which he did by saying the things he said and, for example, at a
6 secret meeting, telling local government leaders that Serbia was de facto
7 at war and saying this: "If we don't know how to work and run the economy
8 well, we surely know how to fight well," saying, "It's always the
9 powerful, never the weak who dictate frontiers," and announcing on
10 television that he was organising police reservists to prevent rebellions
11 in Kosovo and elsewhere. He stated, "Serbia would no longer be bound by
12 decisions of the Federal Presidency," control its Rump though he did.
13 That position or those positions of the accused have, of course,
14 been stated on many occasions; namely, that the borders of the Yugoslav
15 states were irrelevant and merely administrative and would have to be
16 changed before any republic could become independent. So far as the
17 accused was concerned, borders were only borders if they were for people.
18 Only people could become independent. But, of course, people could not
19 take their land with them, which meant, in the logic of these arguments,
20 that people would be forced off their lands to allow people to have the
21 borders that they wanted.
22 But back to the coup, if coup it was. If the army was to take
23 over, then perhaps it lost its nerve and failed, and so Jovic and the
24 others returned to the Presidency. He, of course - that is, the accused -
25 continued to control the members of the Presidency, some of them being
1 changed about this time, further to fit in with his own desires. There
2 was a replacement - I needn't trouble you with the names at the time being
3 - in respect of Kosovo, that replacement being organised not by the
4 Kosovo Assembly but by the Serbian Assembly. Kostic came to represent
5 Montenegro, Yugoslav Kostic came to represent Vojvodina, and Borisav Jovic
6 stayed as the representative of Serbia, so that the accused controlled
7 four of the eight votes on the Presidency and could paralyse the Yugoslav
8 government at will.
9 Of those four, the Prosecution's case is that it was Jovic and
10 Kostic who were his primary agents through whom he directed actions of the
11 Serbian Bloc, matters covered in the memoirs of one of them and subject of
12 evidence we will lead.
13 On the 29th of March of 1991, again famously, the accused met
14 President Franjo Tudjman in Karadjordjevo to discuss the partition of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina between Serbia and Croatia. The accused promised
16 Croatia the territory of what was described as the 1939 banovina. I'll
17 come to that briefly when introducing the Croatian indictment. The
18 agreement left little, very little for the Muslims. It was to be, in the
19 vernacular, a carving up of another territory.
20 In March 1991, the conflict intensified. Serb police forces
21 attempted to consolidate power over areas with significant Serb
22 populations, and Serb police, headed by Milan Martic, a co-perpetrator in
23 one of these indictments, took control of a police station in Pakrac,
24 which is in Western Slavonia.
25 If you could just put the map back on very briefly to remind
1 them. Thank you. Western Slavonia, shown on the map.
2 At Plitvice, in the Krajina towards the west, famous beautiful
3 lakes, the Serbs attacked a bus carrying Croatian policemen. Another
4 battle erupted. The JNA army deployed troops, issuing an ultimatum to the
5 Croatian police to withdraw from Plitvice. The consequence of that,
6 something to be repeated on other occasions, was to leave the Serb
7 attackers in the area with the spoils that they had achieved by the time
8 of the intervention of the army.
9 By March of 1991, another body had been formed. It was called the
10 Supreme Command Staff, and it gradually assumed command authority over the
11 army. The picture we see here is of Adzic, the JNA Chief of Staff, on the
12 left and Kadijevic on the right. The title of the photograph, with its
13 date which is a little hard to say, but it's 1991, and I think it's the
14 12th of March, is "Meeting of the Supreme Command."
15 Now, the Supreme Command was something that should only have
16 existed in wartime, but it was set up now. And later Kadijevic told Stipe
17 Mesic, whose present role is well-known, that the accused had wanted him
18 to found the Supreme Command Staff and that Kadijevic had cooperated with
19 him since the remaining Serbian leadership, as he said, reflecting a use
20 of the word "Chetnik" that is not favourable, the rest of the Serb
21 leadership were even greater Chetniks than he. Well, that view that the
22 others were worse, was that a view that some others, even international
23 diplomats, may, in due course or at the time, have allowed themselves to
24 think? And if they and all of them thought it, were they ultimately to be
25 proved wrong?
1 On the 15th of May, Serbian delegates blocked the election of
2 Stipe Mesic to President of the Presidency, leaving Yugoslavia without a
3 head of state. At that same time, a little later, the 29th of May, the
4 accused brought Karadzic, whose party may be seen as an offshoot of the
5 Croat party with the same initials, into the plan.
6 We will play now, with the assistance of the booth, a tape of an
7 intercept. It's between the accused and Karadzic. It discusses getting
8 arms for part of Bosnia.
9 Before we play it, can I forecast what you will be hearing? The
10 accused tells Karadzic to call the army General Uzelac, Commander of the
11 Banja Luka Corps and a man in charge of units in Western Salvonia, to
12 arrange a meeting with him on the highest level. About the armament of
13 local Serb populations, the accused says this: "All men you give, you
14 have to stay and protect houses and territory and block the HDZ centres
15 will be armed and give everything they need. We'll transport that by
17 When Karadzic asks whether they could get weapons for Territorial
18 Defence, the accused answered: "It's not a problem."
19 If we could hear the tape, please.
20 [Audio cassette played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
22 "R: O.K. Then, let's do it. We are ready - there are 170 people
23 in Mrkonjic and 150 in Sipovo who are ready to go to Kupres.
24 S: Is Uzelac authorised for that too?
25 R: No, no. Yes, I think he is, yes.
1 S: Well, then tell him we can't discuss every detail like this.
2 R: O.K. O.K. Then these 150 and 170 men will go to Kupres. And
3 we already have 750 men there at Kupres.
4 S: So it's important for us that the JNA battalion be at Kupres
5 and that everything goes well."
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not sure whether that reflected
7 entirely my forecast but this is one of a number of intercepts now
8 available, and the intercept that I had in mind reflects the consent that
9 I said and reveals the contribution to arms for Karadzic by this accused.
10 I move on.
11 Elsewhere, the world was not entirely asleep however much it might
12 later have been criticised for lack of awareness. As early as the 20th of
13 May of 1991, the United States Congress announced entry into force of the
14 Nickles Amendment banning economic assistance to Yugoslavia due to
15 repression in Kosovo. The accused was to learn that playing the
16 nationalist tune came with a price. But this was only the beginning of
17 the price or the cost. Huge costs in money but, of course, significantly
18 in lives lost and ruined was to lie ahead.
19 August the 1st, 1991, brings us to the start of the period covered
20 by the indictment first in time, the Croatia indictment. Let us take
22 A great deal has, of course, been written about this man. This
23 trial starts with a blank sheet of paper and writes on it only that which
24 can be spelled out by evidence. The Prosecution should perhaps express
25 some forecast of what that evidence will reveal in general terms
1 consistent with what the Prosecutor has already explained to you.
2 A clever and ambitious man will be revealed. Not a racist in the
3 sense of someone determined to live only with fellow Serbs, not an
4 idealist; someone concerned more, if not exclusively, with the maintenance
5 of personal power. A man who we must not contrast the figure we see here
6 and in the earlier hearings who speaks of defending his people, of the
7 unfair wars against the Serbs, casting himself as victim, with a person
8 who could bring a million people to their feet waiting for just a few
9 minutes of his time. A complex man. A man who would leave no traces if
10 he could avoid them or who indeed destroyed traces of his control. A man
11 who, in order to do that, avoided large meetings where those attending
12 could always find support for disagreement or dissension in others; and a
13 man who, perhaps as a result, preferred one-to-one encounters, personal
14 control, where those with him could not be sure of the loyalty or the
15 disloyalty of others. A man who was prepared to use different objectives
16 to stimulate different people: All Serbs in one state, anti-capitalism,
17 or when dealing with the International Community, the preservation of the
18 integrity of the former Yugoslavia, as appropriate summaries of his
19 position. A man who it may be thought counted on the short-term memories
20 of observers and who was able later to play the peacemaker. A man, it may
21 be, who simply regards those as fools who cannot see how easy it is to say
22 one thing and to do another.
23 Looking at the case overall, the Prosecution's case is that the
24 overall transaction that links the three indictments together is to be
25 found in a transaction that from first to last has the accused being
1 concerned by forcible removal of non-Serbs from areas of the former
2 Yugoslavia, to have and to control a centralised Serbian state, to do so
3 by gaining from Croatia and Bosnia or retaining in Kosovo territory that
4 fell within his plan. In language created by the facts of this case, he
5 did that by ethnic cleansing.
6 May I indulge myself once only in this opening to this extent: Is
7 "ethnic cleansing" a phrase that should, if there is man with ingenuity
8 to do it, be abandoned and replaced by words that better describe the real
9 horror of what is contained within those two words lest the understatement
10 implicit in the word "cleansing" should ever permit any offender to feel
11 free to do that which he or she would not do if these acts were correctly
12 described? Not having that ingenuity myself, I must stick to the phrase
13 that these facts created.
14 Looking at the accused, and in the vernacular, from first to last
15 he wanted as much as he could get, as we will reveal, as much as he could
16 get away with and as much as he could keep, providing that the price was
17 not too high in territory or power; a flexible man who did not waste time
18 with dreams. And this may have marked him off from some of those with
19 whom he was concerned, "he" pursuing a personal, "they" an idealistic
21 At the outset, he thought he could have it all, perhaps, a new
22 Yugoslavia; himself a second Tito. That impossible, the central Serbian
23 state to be carved out of Croatia and Bosnia, all the while keeping Kosovo
24 in an iron grip. This all to be effected by the forcible removal of
25 non-Serbs whenever and wherever they posed a challenge. Possibly simply
1 to satisfy the hatreds of those who implemented his will.
2 As we look at the three indictments that make this trial, and in
3 due course the Chamber may be satisfied that in Croatia and in Bosnia he
4 was involved in war that he could afford to win but didn't, Kosovo was
5 something he could never afford to lose, but he did.
6 The accused carried out his aim or objective of control and
7 domination by Serbs over territory with different co-perpetrators who were
8 all part of a common plan. The plan was achieved through various means or
9 methods, many of the methods used involving the commission of crimes under
10 the Statute of this Tribunal, this case providing a case example of how
11 state machinery may be used for pursuing criminal objectives.
12 The evidence will show that the accused had a central role in
13 different although closely related joint criminal enterprises, each
14 involving the commission of the various crimes under the Statute.
15 In relation to the activities of the accused in different
16 locations, the accused used the structure of the Federal Republic and of
17 Serbia to accomplish this scheme agreed with others, the shared criminal
18 intent on all occasions, including the commission of the gravest crimes
19 against the non-Serb population, in an effort to gain or retain control
20 over territory, ensuring Serb domination.
21 The systematic and organised way in which the attacks against the
22 non-Serb civilian population was carried out reveal carefully designed
23 schemes and strategies within the overall plan. He used his control and
24 influence over elements of the army, first the JNA, later known as the VJ,
25 over the MUP that I've already described, over individual politicians;
1 over the political and military leadership of the Republika Srpska to be
2 declared in due course in Bosnia, and in all cases using many resources at
3 his disposal to ensure the efficient schemes designed to achieve the
4 overall plan. He had a fundamental role in the planning, organisation,
5 financing, support, and direction of the execution of the plans. He was
6 thus an essential participant in the criminal enterprises to the extent
7 that, without him, it is hard to conceive of any of them.
8 The Croatian indictment, which I must summarise for its potential
9 significance in the immediately forthcoming part of the case concerning
10 Kosovo, but which I must obviously deal with at sufficient detail for the
11 accused, who may not have taken the opportunity of reading the materials
12 provided to him, to understand what he faces.
13 Croatia, briefly, having been a medieval state on the front lines
14 of the fighting of the Ottoman Empire, became part of Yugoslavia in 1918,
15 negotiated autonomy in 1939. At that stage, including within its
16 territory, territory that was later to be part of Bosnia, called the
17 banovina, part of northern or north-western Bosnia. In World War II,
18 Croatia was divided between Tito's Partisans and the fascist Ustasha,
19 after the war became a republic of the new socialist Yugoslavia.
20 The indictment in this case, as public as they all are, and it
21 would be inappropriate for me to expand on the allegations in great
22 detail, sufficient to say this: Included in the Croatian indictment are
23 crimes against humanity such as persecution, murder, deportation, which
24 offences have to be committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack
25 against the civilian population. That's all contrary to Article 5 of the
1 Statute. The indictment includes grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions
2 of 1949, such offences as killing and torture. For these offences, the
3 victims have to be persons protected under those conventions, there having
4 to be a connection with an international armed conflict. That's Article 2
5 of our Statute. Third, there are offences charged as violations of the
6 laws and customs of war, such as murder, wanton destruction, and so on,
7 contrary to Article 3 of our Statute.
8 This indictment not being about matters of history is not about
9 justification for Croatia's secession from Yugoslavia or the merits of the
10 Croat-Serbs revolt. It's not about Milosevic's backing the Croatian-Serb
11 cause. It is only concerned with crimes and his individual responsibility
12 for them, a responsibility he bears by his support for very specific acts
13 and particular people and the things that they did.
14 In the spring of 1990, thus Croatia left the communist fold with
15 its new government under Franjo Tudjman.
16 The map again.
17 Serbs from rural areas launched a rebellion in August 1990 in the
18 area called the Krajina, green. For those unfamiliar with it, there's
19 always the potential confusion because there's another Krajina to be
20 referred to across the border south and east in Bosnia. We're concerned
21 here with the Croat Krajina.
22 In that Krajina lived about half of the total number of Serbs that
23 lived in Croatia. The rest of the Serbs lived peacefully substantially
24 throughout the war in other parts of Croatia.
25 The rebellion of those Serbs would have detached about a third of
1 Croatia from the rest of its territory and did so, as we will discover,
2 for a full year, despite the continuation of the federal Yugoslavia.
3 Those authorities did nothing to help and everything to worsen the
4 situation. And indeed, although not charged for that period, ethnic
5 cleansing took place with many Croats fleeing in the face of initial
7 But on the 25th of June, 1991, Croatia itself declared
8 independence. The Krajina Serbs declared their own separation from
9 Croatia and their annexation to Serbia. They also declared union with
10 that other Krajina in Bosnia to which I have referred.
11 The Krajina Serbs were led by a duo of former communists turned
12 nationalists, leaders of the Serbian democratic, SDS, party; first their
13 President, Milan Babic; and second, their police chief, Milan Martic, both
15 Under the direction and the direct involvement of the Serbian MUP,
16 in particular of the man Jovica Stanisic, shown here, and another man,
17 Frenki Simatovic, also shown, a local Territorial Defence and the Martic
18 police force was set up. Stanisic, at the time, was chief of state
19 security for the Republika Srpska as of March 1991.
20 At the same time in Eastern Slavonia, blue [sic], local Serbs also
21 declared their separation from Croatia, declaring themselves to be part of
22 the socialist federation. Their leader, Goran Hadzic, and under the
23 direction of the Serbian MUP with its official, Radovan Stojicic, and a
24 man, Zeljko Raznjatovic, they established Territorial Defence with police
25 units. The second name is, of course, the real name of someone far better
1 known, the late Arkan.
2 Let us not forget Western Slavonia, where -- sorry, if I said
3 blue, I meant red the last time, but never mind. We've dealt with red.
4 We'll now go to blue.
5 Western Slavonia, where the Yugoslav army and the paramilitaries
6 of a man called Vojislav Seselj, president of a radical party which openly
7 espoused a particular creed were active. The creed openly espoused by the
8 man Seselj went by the title of "Greater Serbia." It's a phrase that is
9 bound to be heard in this court. We will not ourselves encourage its
10 excessive use for fear that our shorthand may lead to a brevity of
11 thinking. We don't particularly associate it as a title with the approach
12 of the accused whose purposes we have already separately described. That
13 he might rely on the support of people who had perhaps extreme nationalist
14 views going by particular titles is, again for reasons already given, not
16 War followed, and with it, the crimes. The accused, in order to
17 play his part in what was to develop in Croatia between the Croatian Serbs
18 in the areas described and others, had the following at his disposal: The
19 army, the Territorial Defence units of the Krajina and of Slavonia,
20 Martic's police. He also had the Territorial Defence of Serbia, his own
21 to command, and of Montenegro. He had the Serbian Interior Ministry, his
22 own by law to control, and, as we will discover, a broad array of
23 paramilitaries tied in one way or another to the units just cited.
24 All those units on this territory committed a widespread, criminal
25 campaign with extermination or murder of hundreds of Croats and non-Serbs
1 in the various places listed in the indictment, including Vukovar and
2 Dubrovnik; the prolonged and routine imprisonment and confinement of
3 thousands of Croats and other non-Serbs in detention facilities in Croatia
4 and elsewhere, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina; torture, beatings
5 and killings of Croats in those detention centres; forced labour of Croat
6 and non-Serb civilians detained and sometimes not detained; sexual
7 assaults of Croat and non-Serbs; also perpetrating unlawful attacks on
8 Dubrovnik and undefended Croat villages throughout the territories that
9 we've specified in the indictment; the beating and robbing of Croat and
10 other non-Serb civilians; the torture and beatings of Croat and other
11 non-Serb civilians during and after their arrest.
12 In addition, the deportation or forcible transfer of at least
13 170.000 Croat and other non-Serb civilians from the territories in which
14 they had an interest, including the deportation to Serbia itself of at
15 least 5.000 inhabitants from Ilok; 20.000 from Vukovar; and the forcible
16 transfer to locations within Croatia of 2.500 inhabitants from Erdut,
17 which I think we were able to see on the map but we needn't put it up
19 Finally, there was the destruction of homes, public/private
20 property, cultural institutions, historic monuments, sacred sites of Croat
21 and other non-Serb populations in Dubrovnik and elsewhere. A pattern for
22 these attacks will be found in the evidence; for example, surrounding of
23 villages by Serb forces, often the JNA, the army; entering of forces,
24 often the Territorial Defence, the police, or paramilitaries; killing of
25 inhabitants - sometimes a few, sometimes many, sometimes all; expulsion of
1 survivors, if any; looting of homes; destruction of villages by fire or
3 As I say, we must use the word "ethnic cleansing." It happened
4 over and over again, done by different units in different places, so that
5 it became the rule, not the exception. It was something that was, in due
6 course, to happen in neighbouring Bosnia, and then later still in Kosovo.
7 The evidence shows that the forces I've cited operated together
8 towards a single goal at the direction of this accused. The objective of
9 all the parties matched that of the Serbian Bosnian leader, Radovan
10 Karadzic, treating the war in Croatia as an integral part of the overall
11 Serbian conflict, with a single goal, responsive to a single master.
12 How did the accused manage those Krajina and Slavonian Serbs,
13 whose territories we've looked at on the map? Here is a report of one of
14 their meetings early in May 1991. It's on the video, although of course
15 it's in translation. The original documents I have available, of course.
16 If Your Honour will just give me a minute, I'll try to find my own
17 version. It's a little hard to read on the document we have there.
18 You can see that this is a meeting of the regional SDS party, at
19 the top. The meeting is opened, and in the second paragraph, the meeting
20 is recorded in this way, the speaker said: "As for the talks with
21 Milosevic, he appeared sufficiently informed of the situation in the
22 Socialist Republic of Croatia, but said he was angry with the Krajina for
23 making decisions without consulting him, and suggested that if we decide
24 to participate in the referendum on 12 May 1991, the ballot has to read,
25 'In favour of remaining in Yugoslavia,' not Serbia.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 53 to 62.
1 "The reason is that there is no legal or international support,
2 and we should not participate in the referendum on 19 May 1991, because it
3 would mean an internationally-recognised Croatia. America would even
4 agree to military intervention, but not civil war, provided that Ante
5 Markovic stays.
6 "At the same time, Serbia will exert pressure on Croatia not to
7 hold a referendum on 19 May 1991, and instead organise a Yugoslav
9 "Furthermore, according to Milosevic, Mesic will not take up the
10 post of President on 15 May, because this means that Croats would be
11 holding four key positions in the SFRY, Socialist Federative Republic of
13 "Dzakula briefed on the talks with Slobo. Slobo's main demand is
14 that we do not get involved in clashes with the Ministry of Interior any
15 more, but let them clash with the army, which can deal with the NDH,"
16 that's the reference back to the wartime fascist state. "... let them
17 deal with the NDH without any problems. There are three international
18 options for Yugoslavia, which will be announced on 10 May 1991. At the
19 same time, he accepts faster and better cooperation. Knin remains the
20 basis for all further activities.
21 "Milosevic also said the talks with the leadership should
22 continue, for in this way we at least have a direct insight into their
24 So he was angry that the Krajina had acted without consulting
25 him. They were to boycott the referendum and hold their own. Using the
1 JNA, he said, could deal effectively with Croatia. That's what NDH means
2 in this circumstance. And it may be thought that the point was, amongst
3 others, keep Serbia out of it technically; do everything within the
4 framework technically of Yugoslavia from the Presidency of which Mesic
5 would be barred; be sure to carry on consulting with him in the future, as
6 the evidence showed that they did.
7 The Chamber may be satisfied, in due course, from evidence and
8 also from the memoirs of the man Jovic, that the defendant, the accused,
9 described as Slobo, had two ideas. In a quotation in the memoirs, Jovic
10 said this: "Slobo had two ideas; first, that the amputation of Croatia be
11 effected in such a way that--" he named two particular
12 municipalities-- "Lika Banija and Kordun, which have created their own
13 community, remain with us, whereby the people there later declare in a
14 referendum whether they want to stay or go; second, that the members of
15 the Socialist Federal Republic Presidency from Slovenia and Croatia be
16 excluded from the voting on the decision because they do not represent the
17 part of Yugoslavia that is adopting this decision."
18 At about this time, the accused brought the leader of the Bosnian
19 Serbs, Karadzic, into the plan. The tape that is the intercept tape to
20 which I have referred deals with that, and I'm not going to replay it or
21 attempt, if I have found the wrong passage before, to find the correct
22 passage now.
23 A meeting was scheduled for the 5th of July of 1991, according to
24 Jovic in his diary, with General Kadijevic. The demand being made of the
25 General at that time was this: "The main forces of the JNA must be
1 concentrated on a line running from," and then he gives the geographical
2 locations, "Karlovac to Plitvice in the west, Baranja, Osijek, and
3 Vinkovci to the Sava in the east, and along the Neretva in the south. In
4 this way, it will cover all the territory where Serbs live until the
5 situation is fully resolved, until a free expression of popular will in a
7 This approach was accepted, it appears, by the General. We don't
8 have all those places marked on a map, but running up and across, down, it
9 would take in the largest conceivable area of those Serbs living other
10 than in Serbia. It would be without regard, it may be thought, to the
11 interests of the many other people living within that area.
12 Milosevic worked very closely with co-participants in the joint
13 criminal enterprise from the Bosnian Serb leadership, informing the
14 strategy for obtaining control of those territories. In addition to
15 periodic face-to-face visits with the Bosnian Serb leaders, the accused
16 and his associates maintained regular, frequent, and sometimes daily
17 telephone contact with them. His authority with the Bosnian Serb
18 leadership is evident in a deferential tone employed by Bosnian Serbs in
19 Karadzic's plea for daily contact, and even in the occasional use of the
20 term "boss" when mentioned.
21 I think we do have a tape which is revealing of Karadzic and
22 Milosevic at this time. Can we play that?
23 [Audiotape played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
25 "M: Please, we are on our way. No more concessions to anyone.
1 And if they want to fight, we're here and they can go to hell, we're here
2 for whoever wants to fight and we're stronger.
3 R: And if they want to live in peace we're here, no one will be
4 either better or worse off than we are.
5 M: Whoever wants to follow Alija and fight against us can do
6 so. They will lose and it will be a pleasure for us, but if they want to
7 be honest and decent towards us, we will behave towards them as we do
8 towards ourselves."
9 MR. NICE: Expressions of view that could hardly be clearer. This
10 was a man controlling the army, whose services would be available to
11 Croatia as it became independent. I beg your pardon, not available to
12 Croatia, to the Serbs in Croatia as Croatia became independent. But it's
13 clear from what we've heard that things began as a single plan, the whole
14 operation remaining closely monitored by, under the control of, this
16 In August of 1991, the siege of Vukovar, to which I made very
17 brief reference at the very beginning. The JNA undertook operations
18 against towns in Eastern Slavonia, resulting in their occupation by JNA
19 and other Serb forces. The Croat and other non-Serb populations in these
20 areas was forcibly expelled. By late August, the JNA laid siege to the
21 city of Vukovar, and by mid-October, all other predominantly Croat towns
22 in Eastern Slavonia had be taken by Serb forces except for Vukovar, which
23 was itself a mixed Croat-Serb city. Non-Serbs there were subject to a
24 brutal occupation regime consisting of persecution, murder, torture, and
25 other acts of violence. Almost all of the non-Serb population was either
1 killed or forced from the occupied areas.
2 Yes, there were Croat forces responsible for provocative acts and
3 criminal acts, but nothing like on the same scale. These acts by Croats
4 are being examined by the Office of the Prosecutor of this Tribunal. But
5 of course, reprisals, if that is to any extent what they were, are not
6 justified so as to cover the various crimes committed by the Serb forces.
7 The siege of Vukovar continued until the 18th of November, 1991,
8 when the city fell to Serb forces. During that three-month siege, the
9 city was almost totally destroyed by JNA shelling and by hundreds -- and
10 where hundreds of people were killed. When the JNA and Serb forces
11 occupied the city, hundreds more Croats were killed by Serb troops, the
12 non-Serb population of the city being expelled within days of its fall.
13 I think I have a video, and the first part of it will show us
14 something of the fall of Vukovar, with its non-Serb inhabitants being
15 transferred. There's an old gentleman shown in it; he was shot dead a few
16 minutes after this video was filmed. And we will see a sequence at a
17 warehouse in Vukovar where civilians were gathered in the afternoon of the
18 20th of November, taken away in an organised, military action. And I
19 think on the first bit of the video we will see that, while they were
20 taken into buses and military trucks, Arkan and also Goran Hadzic and
21 other JNA officials were there as well.
22 Can we play that video, please.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. NICE: This is the old gentleman that was soon to be shot.
25 Not particularly old, indeed, but elderly. But his shooting is not
2 This footage has obviously been slowed down for its own purposes
3 by the original makers of it, not our creation. But nevertheless
4 depictive, in a dramatic way, of these awful events.
5 And there you saw Arkan; there he is.
6 And there are some nuns being moved. Thank you.
7 As I explained right at the beginning of my address, victims from
8 the JNA barracks were taken to the Ovcara farm, that is, victims who had
9 been gathered from the hospital which is about 5 kilometres south of
10 Vukovar; and there having been beaten and tortured, all, bar a few, were
11 taken, shot, and buried in a mass grave.
12 Between the 18th and 20th of November of 1991, after termination
13 of military operations in and around Vukovar, the JNA deported thousands
14 of Croat and other non-Serb inhabitants into the territory of the Republic
15 of Serbia. Following a request of Goran Hadzic to retain those non-Serbs
16 suspected of participation in the military operations, the JNA transported
17 a large number of the inhabitants of Vukovar to detention facilities in
18 Dalj nearby, on about the 20th of November, where Serb Territorial Defence
19 members selected those suspected of participating in the defence of
20 Vukovar, interrogated, beat, tortured, and, in the case of at least 34 of
21 them, summarily executed them.
22 Interestingly, if one has in mind without reviewing the map which
23 shows how the extremities of Croatia are so far removed one from the
24 other, on the very day of the fall of Vukovar, a witness from whom you'll
25 hear heard about the events on the military radio, showing of course --
1 beg your pardon. The witness, I should say, is at the opposite end of
2 Croatia, the other side nearer the coast. He heard about it on the
3 radio. Yet another not trivial but slight reflection of the fact that
4 this was all acting together, known to one another, pursuit of a common
6 And, I suppose as a little postscript to Vukovar, bearing in mind
7 the people that were taken to the hospital, one of the civilians detained
8 in Serbia following all these events was the head of that hospital.
9 The accused never gave any explanation for his crimes, but maybe
10 his real attitude can be assessed from what he did. One of those
11 responsible was a man Sljivancanin. He continued to serve in the Yugoslav
12 army and the VJ under the Supreme Command of this accused. He was active
13 until certainly late last year. Another commander at Vukovar, Mile
14 Mrksic, became military commander in the Krajina in May of 1995, three
15 years after the crimes in Vukovar. The third senior JNA commander at the
16 Vukovar scene, General Andrija Biorcevic, was decorated the day after
17 Vukovar fell. The local Serb boss, Goran Hadzic, the man whose very men
18 took charge of those prisoners at the Ovcara farm where so many were
19 killed, was chosen by this accused to replace the Krajina president soon
20 afterwards, on the 22nd of February of 1992. And evidence will show that
21 the accused's government worked closely with that man implicated in the
22 Vukovar event and that, indeed, the accused ordered support for him.
23 Evidence will come -- evidence will come consistent with what is
24 contained in the diary of the Secretary of the Ministry of Defence for
25 Serbia, Simovic, and I will read you a quote. It's on the overhead
1 projector. It sets out how at that time Simovic, the Minister of Defence
2 for Serbia, and the accused met, just two of them, being in daily touch
3 over the special line, but at that time they had to arrange things without
4 any middleman.
5 Coming back to his office, Simovic shortly said:
6 "Those that are patient shall be saved."
7 And then he went on listing things that had to be done urgently:
8 "All the photographs and videotapes we had that were showing
9 genocide of the Serb people in Krajinas should be handed over to the
10 Ministry of Information who were to prepare books and documents for The
12 That's not for here. That's for one of the meetings here.
13 "Goran Hadzic was to be given all possible assistance in
14 connection with the establishment of governmental institutions in the Serb
15 province, and we recruited a certain number of colonels, either already
16 retired or about to be retired, and dispatched them there to organise a
17 Territorial Defence. The Ministry of Defence set up task groups led by
18 generals to receive people that came every day for instructions on and
19 assistance for the Serb Krajinas. We had to find the people and prepare a
20 speech for the Prime Minister, Goran Hadzic, as his address and appeal to
21 the people of Serbia and to help the Serb people in the Serb Krajina."
22 You cannot have much closer co-participation than to have Serbia
23 writing letters nominally to come from Hadzic, requesting the support of
24 Serbia to be given to Hadzic.
25 On the 22nd of January, following an attack of the Croatian army
1 on the Maslenica bridge, Hadzic had proclaimed total mobilisation for the
2 RSK, declaring a state of war and threatening to shell Zagreb. Here a
3 picture of Hadzic, with a face on the left that is already familiar.
4 Was this the Krajina Serbs' war plan in a nutshell, indiscriminate
5 attacks on civilian targets? Because this certainly was a threat that was
6 carried out in 1995.
7 So far as the financing of the Krajina's army is concerned, the
8 accused and the army's general staff were heavily involved. According to
9 minutes of talks of Krajina representatives, including Hadzic and the
10 Chief of Police Martic with the accused and some others, on September -- I
11 beg your pardon, the 12th of November, 1992, the mode of financing the
12 Krajina army and its police was agreed. It was agreed that the army and
13 police needed to be financed, as before, through Serbia's Ministry of
14 Defence. It was agreed that there should be the maintenance of equipment
15 and military staff through the VJ. It was agreed that the Krajina
16 Ministry of Defence should request the Serbian Ministry of Defence for
17 200 billion dinars until the end of November 1992, and 150 billion dinars
18 until the 5th of December of 1992, with further funding into the year
20 The republican -- the Krajina's army was totally dependent on
21 financial assistance from the Republic of Serbia. The accused was
22 responsible for and directed the provision of that assistance.
23 Hadzic himself said in an interview in July 1993 of the accused
24 that the accused consulted him in all matters related to the RSK. He
25 referred to his good relationship with the accused and praised him as the
1 greatest Serbian politician.
2 I'm about to change topics.
3 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient moment. We'll adjourn now
4 until half past two.
5 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm just confirming that the Court has
4 indeed, the accused and the amici do in fact have the documents that I've
5 been producing on the ELMO.
6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
7 MR. NICE: Sorry. Just confirming that the Court, the accused,
8 and my learned friends the amici do in fact have the documents, I hope
9 most or all of them of that been produced publicly. It seems to me given
10 sometimes the difficulty of reading documents on the overhead projector it
11 is desirable to have hard copies for yourselves.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we have them.
13 MR. NICE: Thank you. I return to three or four bits of evidence
14 connected to the man Arkan, who was himself, of course, unequivocally
15 connected to Serbia.
16 First, on the 2nd of July, 1997, following the arrest of a man
17 called Slavko Dokmanovic, who was charged, in respect of the Ovcara
18 massacre, by the Tribunal, the man Hadzic fled to the Federal Republic of
19 Yugoslavia. Did the accused make any man -- any effort to bring this man
20 to justice? No, he did not.
21 Then let's turn again to Arkan, who provides a good illustration
22 of how this unified operation may have worked. Said in the indictments to
23 be a member of the joint criminal enterprise and a career criminal in his
24 own right, his record is well known. Engaged in robbery and other
25 offences in Belgrade and on the Montenegro coast, wanted in several
1 countries on very, very serious charges including murder, the sort of
2 thing that could provide for his home state a lever. He was a man they
3 could extradite at any time because there was outstanding indictments
4 against him elsewhere. Did they? No. He was used, and in 1991, formed
5 his Serbian Volunteer Guard known as the Tigers out of a nucleus of people
6 who may have had entirely disreputable pasts, and for the most part
8 Training centres were set up in Tenja and Erdut in Croatia, and of
9 course Erdut becomes one of the major crime scenes in this, the Croatian
10 indictment. He was appointed the Commander of the Centre of Special
11 Training of Volunteers in Eastern Slavonia, based in Erdut, by the Krajina
12 government, presided over by Hadzic with whom he was constantly in contact
13 on crime scenes such as Vukovar and elsewhere.
14 Incidentally, we're looking at a picture of Arkan and, of course,
15 someone else.
16 Arkan claimed publicly that he was appointed as a special advisor
17 of Hadzic throughout the relevant time. They had close political and
18 business relations. His Tigers, as they were known, were better equipped
19 than other units, and they actually had the same category of weapons as
20 the MUP special forces. In contrast to other paramilitary groups, they
21 had strict command structures and discipline.
22 Witnesses will reveal how Arkan and his Tigers were connected to
23 the State Security Service of Serbia's Interior Ministry and that they
24 were indeed supplied from that service's arms depot. Arkan was himself a
25 frequent visitor to the Territorial Defence command post in Erdut. The
1 photograph now being shown on the overhead projector.
2 The Commander of the Territorial Defence and the head of that post
3 was a man called Radovan Stojicic Badza, who was a high official in the
4 Serbian Interior Ministry and a personal associate of this accused.
5 The witness will reveal how Arkan and all the other paramilitary
6 leaders and Krajina Serb leaders at the Erdut command post answered
7 directly to the Serbian Badza's authority.
8 Soon after the fall of Vukovar, that man Badza was promoted,
9 rather than anything else, by the accused to the post of Deputy Minister
10 of the Interior in charge of public security service. The Chamber will
11 recall what I said at the beginning about the powers of patronage and will
12 have in mind, in due course, whether this was patronage by way of reward
13 or recognition.
14 Turning back to Arkan. He said of himself and his troops that
15 they were under the direct command of Yugoslav armed forces, and he said
16 that at a press conference in Erdut on the 27th of November of 1991.
17 One of the commanding generals, Andrija Biorcevic -- I beg your
18 pardon. I've gone wrong.
19 I must show, first, a tape, and the tape reveals what we may come
20 to understand is truly meant by the word "surrender," and it goes on, I
21 think, to show something of what the man Arkan describes, putting it
22 rather more succinctly. May we see it?
23 [Videotape played]
24 "ARKAN: We don't take any more prisoners. We're going to kill
25 every fascist soldier we catch.
1 INTERVIEWER: No prisoners?
2 ARKAN: No prisoners."
3 MR. NICE: If you can stop the tape, please. There was a passage
4 of tape, I think, that got omitted, but it doesn't matter about that.
5 What we have seen is Arkan making his position quite clear, and
6 one of the commanding generals, Biorcevic, put it this way at the same
7 time, speaking of the allegations made about the use of paramilitary
8 formations, he said this:
9 "Some say that I conspire with paramilitary formations. These
10 are not paramilitary formations. They are people who voluntarily come to
11 fight for the Serbian people. We surround a village. They enter it, kill
12 those who refuse to surrender, and we go in."
13 Well, those observations by Biorcevic, who got a medal for his
14 exploits at Vukovar, reflect conduct that is without excuse in law or fact
15 if crimes are being committed; complete involvement by one and the other
16 party in the common enterprise.
17 On one occasion during the battle for Vukovar, Arkan found himself
18 trapped behind Croatian lines, and what happened, in a quote that we have
19 via the secretary of Simovic, is instructive. It reads as follows and is
20 on the screen for those who wish to follow it. At least, I hope it's on
21 the screen.
22 "One night they managed to get inside the defence perimeter and
23 then the army was ordered to withdraw, and Arkan and his courageous boys
24 remained inside the defence perimeter. We had..." and it refers to
25 somebody of no significance for these purposes, "... on the line. He gave
1 us the news and asked Simovic to order the air force to act, but nobody
2 knew Arkan's exact whereabouts.
3 "`Then let the air force fly over Vukovar and distract their
4 attention so the volunteers can get out,' asked the man Kum, and a visibly
5 distraught Simovic requested that the air force fly over Vukovar, but
6 refrain from action in order not to shoot our own.
7 "Then the same night we stayed on line with Kum and the
8 headquarters of JNA units. It was nearly dawn when we heard that the
9 volunteers managed to get out, but that Arkan was not to be found
10 anywhere. He'd remained back inside in the perimeter, captured again.
11 All hope seemed already was lost when we were told that Arkan had surfaced
12 and was coming to see Simovic. He appeared without a trace of fatigue, as
13 if nothing had happened to him, under full arms, with a sniper gun across
14 his shoulder and a bloody Ustasha hat hanging on it. He entered the
15 office together with Kum and some of his buddies to tell us how he himself
16 had killed 24 Ustashas in that one night and captured the sniper gun that
17 he brought as a present for Simovic ."
18 So in other words, Arkan, in the control of, as it were, the enemy
19 within Croatia, brings out Serbia's Defence Minister intervening with the
20 air force to come to his aid. Simovic was, of course, subordinate to this
21 accused and acted on his orders.
22 Was Serbia not involved in this? Impossible. If Serbia was
23 involved at this level, who? Of course, this accused. And we see through
24 this one incident the whole range of forces acting in concert.
25 Your Honour, documents that I used to know by the unappealing name
1 of "organigrammes" and are now sometimes referred to by the possibly more
2 useful name of "wiring diagrams" can be helpful documents for various
3 reasons, providing they're not regarded in any way as over-precise
4 descriptions of what they seek to portray.
5 Now, what we have here, what we have here is such a diagram, and
6 some important things to note about it, but it may summarise the
7 Prosecution's view subject to a number of provisos. And I hope it's
8 visible, but if it isn't, I'll read out the title at the time. This is a
9 simplified illustration of the accused's participation in joint criminal
10 enterprise for the crimes charged for Croatia. It doesn't suggest itself,
11 as we see in the box at the bottom left, to represent command and control
12 between the parties, nor is that required for the purposes of this joint
13 criminal enterprise.
14 We see the accused represented in the top at the middle. On the
15 left, the Rump Presidency to which I have referred, with his principle
16 enforcers there, Jovic and Kostic, they having command over the JNA with
17 the various personalities referred.
18 The direct line going from the accused to the JNA again doesn't
19 suggest direct lines of control, influence, and participation.
20 Look then, please, if you will, to the right side of the diagram.
21 Here you have the Croatian Serb leadership; Babic, Martic, and Hadzic.
22 They, of course, via the Krajina - perhaps that intervening box doesn't
23 take very much - but via the government or however, have control over
24 Martic's police on the right, the local Serb Territorial Defence a little
25 to the left.
1 The accused's influence on connection with the Croatian Serb
2 leadership leads to his influence on control of the Serb Territorial
3 Defence and Martic's police.
4 Then let's look at the middle section. Coming from the accused,
5 we have the Serbian Ministry of Defence and Tomislav Simovic. We've made
6 a passing reference to Seselj's men. We'll hear more about those in the
7 course of the trial, under the MOD. Then we have the Serbian Ministry of
8 Interior, the MUP, with, again, various people referred to underneath the
9 accused or, although not necessarily directly under him on any de jure or
10 strictly legal interpretation of the structure, certainly under his
11 influence. And the names are referred to there, the SDB or SJB part of
12 the MUP spawning the Red Berets and the Arkanovci.
13 All of these groups starting at the left - the JNA, Seselj's men,
14 the Red Berets, and Arkanovci, the local Serb Territorial Defence, and
15 Martic's police - feature in the commission of these crimes and in a
16 schematic way but subject to the careful reservations that I've already
17 made. And, of course, entirely subject to what the evidence reveals, this
18 may represent, and I hope helpfully, the approach of the Prosecution to
19 the responsibility of this accused.
20 And of course the middle section is perhaps the section he would
21 most need to hide, the part dealing with the MUP and so on. And the
22 complexity -- and it may be that such a plan will need to become much more
23 complicated as the evidence emerges if we are to use it or substitute for
24 it a similar document. The complexity of it really reveals and confirms
25 the need of this accused to hide what he was doing, for it may have been
1 always difficult or impossible for him to accept that Serbia could be seen
2 to be at war. So things were dealt with in another way, via the
3 republic's army and other agencies.
4 Back briefly again to Arkan and then to another topic. Arkan
5 amassed enormous wealth in Serbia. He's placed by one witness along with
6 Seselj in Vukovar, and the same witness confirms that his Tigers, or
7 Serbian Volunteer Guard, were established, as that wiring diagram shows,
8 by the Serbian DB, part of the MUP.
9 In 1991, Arkan and his troops came from Serbia to Eastern Slavonia
10 and set up their headquarters and controlled a wide area, cooperating with
11 the JNA, Yugoslavia's army under Biorcevic, Biorcevic a man who was
12 commended on the 19th of November, 1991.
13 With those connections in mind, let me turn to an entirely
14 different topic, Dubrovnik, but briefly. It features in the indictment.
15 Starting in early October 1991 -- and perhaps we can just put the
16 plan again. What may be thought an ambitious plan, given its geographical
17 separation, in early 1991 the JNA and associated units from Serbia and
18 Montenegro seized the municipality of Dubrovnik and laid siege to the city
19 itself. The seized areas around Dubrovnik were cleansed, looted, and much
20 was destroyed with JNA forces shelling the city, an act that was wholly
21 without justification, killing at least 43 Croatian civilians.
22 The old town of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site,
23 was heavily shelled and many ancient buildings damaged without being
24 marked with Hague Convention symbols by international observers. The
25 damage did not come about accidentally. The JNA shelled the town, as the
1 following video will show, from high ground from which they had an
2 unobstructed view.
3 [Videotape played]
4 The footage begins with the view of Dubrovnik from the heights of
5 Djakovica. We will then see some JNA artillery soldiers using their
6 sights to take aim towards the town of Dubrovnik, and shortly we'll see
7 the view, the line-of-sight view of Djakovica from Dubrovnik itself,
8 showing just how vulnerable they were.
9 Reversing the image, we go back to Djakovica where we see the type
10 of wire-guided missiles used, waiting to be fired.
11 And then we can see some consequences of the attack on this
12 ancient town; damage suffered by the buildings.
13 We'll soon, I think, see some of the gunboats used by the JNA
14 navy. First, we -- and we see firing onto the walls; some shells
15 ricochetting off, I think, and some doing considerable damage. There's
16 the gunboat.
17 You can see now, I think, or shortly, we can see boats in the
18 marina being hit, or possibly missed, but certainly close. And then we
19 see a survey of damage to the buildings.
20 And this footage will end, I think, with Dubrovnik on fire,
21 columns of smoke rising from the town.
22 The leadership of Montenegro was committed itself to what it
23 described as the liberation of Dubrovnik and other parts of Croatia along
24 with the JNA, and supplied logistics and volunteers for the JNA. A
25 Dubrovnik republic, in the ambition of those involved, was to be detached
1 and joined to Serbia. There was, of course, no need to liberate a city
2 whose population was overwhelmingly Croat, whose Serb inhabitants had
3 suffered no discrimination and asked for no liberation.
4 Looking at this ambition, it is helpful to know that a witness
5 will be before you saying that at the same time, senior Montenegrin
6 leaders, following the accused's line, said we must liberate at least to
7 the Neretva, which is the river halfway up and running inland, and say to
8 the Croats, "Never again will we live together."
9 The same witness will testify that everyone in Podgorica, the
10 capital of Montenegro, and in Belgrade, were sure that Serbia was going to
11 win the war quickly, and as victors it wouldn't matter what they had
12 done. They were so caught up with this drive, and he described the line
13 as the Karlobag-Karlovac-Virovitica line, which is about as far towards
14 Slovenia in the north as you could think of going; that the drive to that
15 line, with their own invincibility, they really couldn't have cared less
16 at the time. Who knew? Of course, they lied shamelessly to the few
17 internationals who were around during the period, but they didn't care
18 that their lies were so preposterous.
19 The army, the evidence will be, was no better, it having committed
20 itself to the accused's programme. Officers, being instilled with the
21 ideology of brotherhood and unity, totally abandoned everything -- in it
22 in favour of a Greater Serbia. They shared the arrogance, did the army of
23 the civilian leaders, and saw no reason to confer. That evidence will be
24 before you, and of course, like all the evidence of this case, will fall
25 for your determination, in due course.
1 A further witness will testify before you that on the 6th of
2 December, 1991, General Strugar of the JNA told him that he had resorted
3 to firing on Dubrovnik in retaliation for attacks upon his troops; a line
4 similar to the line used by the Krajina Serbs who resorted, in due course,
5 to firing on the city of Zagreb as retaliation for what had -- as
7 The Dubrovnik campaign spread over to Bosnia. In mid-October
8 1991, Serbian and Montenegrin forces, for example, attacked the village of
9 Ravno in the Trebinje municipality, killing a number and expelling part of
10 the population. The pattern always the same; the ambition, at this stage,
12 However, the international community didn't let things pass
13 entirely unnoticed. In October 1991, there was a plan of Lord Carrington
14 to achieve a peaceful dissolution of Yugoslavia and its problems. The
15 then Montenegrin President Bulatovic, of whom we have heard, decided to
16 accept the plan as, in his position as president of a state, he was
17 allowed, no doubt, to do. He was minded to allow the republics to decide
18 how much independence they wanted if they so chose. In doing this, he
19 defied the accused, leaving Serbia as the only republic that rejected the
20 Carrington Plan. Bulatovic's independence of mind didn't last long. The
21 accused made him reverse his plan or be arrested. Bulatovic obeyed.
22 Starting on about the 7th of October, Serb forces of the army and
23 of the Territorial Defence, with the militia and the army of Krajina, or
24 the Krajina police, and also Martic's police, were in control of an area,
25 Hrvatska Kostanica, which is near Bacin, a name that will become familiar
1 to the Chamber, if it isn't familiar already. Most of the Croat civilians
2 in this area had fled their homes during the attack in September 1991.
3 Approximately 120 Croat civilians, mostly women, the elderly or the
4 infirm, remained in the village of Dubica, Cerovljani and Bacin.
5 Why, one might ask, would such people worry the JNA or, for that
6 matter, the Krajina? Worry them or not, in late October 1991, the Serb
7 forces rounded up the remaining 120 civilians, releasing 10 and killing
8 the remaining 110.
9 This accused says that he and his army sought only to preserve
10 Yugoslavia. If so, why were such crimes necessary? Why were they
11 intentional, for they were not incidental? Why did the elderly and the
12 weak have to die in the way that they did?
13 Further evidence before the Tribunal within that category
14 described as inside or insider will include that, by the summer of 1991,
15 Serb volunteer and police forces in the Krajina were being supplied and
16 instructed or led by officials of the Republic of Serbia's Ministry of
17 Internal Affairs and its agents. One of those agents was a man, Captain
18 Dragan, who closely cooperated with Milan Martic, the Krajina Defence
19 Minister, and the Serbian MUP representatives active in the Krajina, in
20 particular the man whom you will become familiar, Frenki Simatovic.
21 A word about Martic. Even after the implementation of the Vance
22 Peace Plan, the man Martic, shown here, pursued the plan of ethnic
23 division. On the 1st of October, 1992, he stated publicly in Borba that
24 the return of Croat refugees to the Krajina and to Baranja was out of the
25 question. Despite the Vance Plan, he continued to favour the unification
1 of the Krajina and the Republika Srpska - we'll have to learn of that a
2 little later - a plan that was already being pursued by Babic in 1991.
3 At the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994, Martic ran for the
4 post of RSK President, with Babic as his only serious opponent. Martic's
5 goal: the unification of all Serb lands. And this man, during the
6 election campaign, we may note he said, "I am carrying out the programme
7 drafted by our pan-Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic." The
8 state-controlled media in Serbia supported Martic, in particular after
9 Babic got more votes than him in the first round; and on the 24th of
10 January, 1994, he became the President of the RSK.
11 On the 18th of February, 1994, he stated publicly he was supported
12 by this accused during his campaign, confirming that his goal would be the
13 unification of all Serbs; and that once all Serb land be united, he would
14 gladly hand power over to this accused.
15 During a Croatian offensive, the so-called Operation Flash, which
16 began in May 1995, Martic ordered the bombardment of several towns,
17 including Zagreb, and was indicted for these offences before this
18 Tribunal. But he was arrested in September, in Otoka, which is near to
19 Bosanska Krupa, on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was feared
20 that republic police forces might extradite him to Croatia who maintained
21 an arrest warrant for him. Reflective of the relationships which will
22 guide this Chamber in its eventual conclusion that it was a concerted
23 intervention by the Bosnian Serb leadership and the Serbian government
24 that Martic was freed.
25 He was frequently received by the accused, he accompanied the
1 accused on talks, for example, with Russian representatives, and in August
2 1995, when Croatian forces retook the Krajina, Martic fled to Banja Luka
3 and then to Serbia.
4 Moving on to the end of the Croatian indictment and its story. In
5 Geneva, on the 23rd of November, 1991, this accused, with Kadijevic and
6 Tudjman, entered into an agreement, signed under the auspices of the
7 United Nations Special Envoy Cyrus Vance. The agreement called for the
8 lifting of blockades by Croatian forces on JNA barracks, and for the
9 withdrawal of JNA forces from Croatia. Both sides committed themselves to
10 an immediate cease-fire throughout Croatia by units under their command,
11 control, or political influence. They further bound themselves to ensure
12 that any paramilitary or irregular units associated with their forces
13 would also observe the cease-fire.
14 Well, what units were these for which the accused, with Kadijevic,
15 was making undertakings if they were not the JNA army, the Serbian
16 Interior Ministry, and then the Croatian Serb forces in the Krajina
17 Slavonia, Baranja, Western Srem, or Eastern Slavonia, as it's more
18 conveniently described?
19 It was soon after this, you'll recall, if the Chamber would be so
20 good, that the accused had the Krajina Serb leader Babic replaced because
21 of his opposition to the Vance Plan. Perhaps more interestingly and a
22 reflection of the sort of mistakes people can make when they do not
23 actually look far enough ahead, it wasn't the local Serb leaders who
24 signed this agreement. Perhaps they should have been, but they weren't
25 even asked to. The accused did it; he did it for them. It was a display
1 of power, perhaps too irresistibly tempting to hand over to anyone else.
2 It was a display of power and authority to the international community
3 that reflected the underlying realities of his involvement in what had
4 gone before. His ability, had he chosen, to stop it happening, his duty
5 to stop it and punish it, all things he didn't do because he is, as said
6 in this indictment, guilty.
7 On the 27th of February, 1992, the accused gave a speech to the
8 Serbian Assembly and, in it, and it's on the ELMO now -- the overhead
9 projector, I'm sorry, in the highlighted passages, he acknowledges helping
10 the Serbian people in Croatia with money, food, clothing, medicines, and
11 also with a large number of volunteers at the front. Nothing could be
13 A sort of peace came as a result of the Vance Plan in January
14 1992. It allowed the Krajina Serbs control of the territory they'd
15 seized, although Babic didn't comply with that, risking therefore the
16 accused's anger and finding himself replaced by a more compliant leader,
17 Goran Hadzic, not long after in February 1992.
18 Another cease-fire agreement signed by Tudjman and Milosevic on
19 the 3rd of January, 1992, paved the way for the implementation of the plan
20 put forward by Cyrus Vance. There were four United Nations Protected
21 Areas established; however -- and from those areas troops had to be
22 withdrawn. But the JNA, although it may have officially withdrawn from
23 Croatia eventually in May 1992 -- May 1992, it left large portions of its
24 weaponry and personnel behind in the Serb-held areas, turned them over to
25 the police of the Republic of Serbia and Krajina. And despite the plan,
1 displaced persons weren't allowed to return to their homes, and those few
2 Croats and other non-Serbs who remained in Serb-occupied areas were
3 expelled in the following months. The territory of the RSK remained under
4 Serb occupation until large portions of it were retaken by Croatian forces
5 in two operations in 1995.
6 So what was the plan? Evidence will show that it was territorial
7 gain through ethnic cleansing. The same man, Simovic, the Minister of
8 Defence, wrote to a man called Vuk Draskovic, a Serb nationalist leader
9 with a small party and, so far as material, the first part may not put it
10 in context, but it says this:
11 "By this time in the heart of Serbia, because Serbia is today
12 being defended beyond the administrative borders with Croatia. If we do
13 not embrace our goals that we have almost achieved, we may find ourselves
14 defending Serbia at some future checkpoints, or on our Belgrade doorsteps
15 tomorrow." Complete integration of plan.
16 Who was in charge? Let's return again to the man Simovic. He
17 said this:
18 "Our mentality is to think as the boss says. The man at the top
19 thinks on behalf of everybody else. It has always been like this in our
21 "Every time I went to the Parliament to address the
22 representatives, I had to go to meet our civilian boss to ask for 'my'
23 opinion. Usually, he would arrange for these meetings to take place on
24 the same day as my address to the Parliament. He would then postpone it
25 so that the session of the Parliament had to be extended to allow me to go
1 and see Mr. Milosevic. I then had to say whatever I was told, ignoring
2 the notes I had prepared myself. On one occasion, I wanted to tell the
3 representatives about the heroism of Mr. Seselj's volunteers, but
4 Mr. Milosevic told me that I could not say that because, as he put it,
5 'Why should we glorify him?'"
6 A last photograph, a few last points, and then I'll move to
8 The photograph -- no, sorry, the second map. The first map that
9 we've been looking at showed what was the ambition in Croatia of the
10 Croatian Serbs. There are many maps. Rarely do they entirely match one
11 with another. But this map, of course slightly differently configured,
12 shows the areas that, in the event, were held, the areas that it took
13 some -- that's the hatched areas. Thank you very much. And also in the
14 east. Shows the areas that were held, areas that were, in due course, and
15 subject to the qualifications I've already made, eventually returned.
16 We will now look at a last photograph and then a few more points.
17 This is a photograph of three men. It was taken at a military parade in
18 the Krajina on the 28th of June, 1995, shortly before the Krajina
20 Mile Martic, on the right, of whom we've spoken, the accused's
21 links with him clear. Less than two months before this particular
22 photograph, he'd ordered the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Zagreb for
23 which he was indicted by this Tribunal. The accused made a sort of verbal
24 condemnation of this man, but took no steps to bring him to justice.
25 The man in the middle, Mile Mrksic, one of those responsible for
1 the massacre at Vukovar, duly indicted by this Tribunal. He has spent the
2 years since as a high-ranking officer of the Yugoslav army under the
3 accused's watch with no attempts to submit him to justice. Indeed, he was
4 sent by the accused to take over the ostensibly independent Krajina Serb
6 The third man on the left, Milorad Ulenek, also known as Milorad
7 Lukovic, a deputy of Arkan. He commanded a Special Forces Unit of the
8 Serbian Interior Ministry for years. This unit under various guises
9 implicated in war crimes in Croatia and in Bosnia and also in Kosovo
10 during the war there.
11 The appearance of, maybe from time to time as the evidence
12 unfolds, of autonomous separate actions apparently without connection, the
13 reality of course, the reality that this Chamber must uncover, in its
14 search for the truth, is a coordinated and a criminal enterprise so far as
15 these three men are concerned, they clearly acting together, tied to the
17 Your Honour, there is no need, I think and I hope, to recite this
18 indictment count by count. The accused has it available to him. It sets
19 out with what he is charged. And in any event, as we forecast, we will,
20 in due course, before calling evidence in relation to Croatia and Bosnia
21 and following the submission of our case in writing on those parts of the
22 indictment, be allowed a further opportunity to explain our case in
24 What I've said so far is but a summary in order to put the accused
25 on notice. There is more, of course, to come. But just take, before we
1 move on, if we can all be so -- or if the Court could be so good, a
2 common-sense view of what was happening. If the Court would be so good to
3 take a common-sense approach at some stage to this case.
4 When we look at the three areas seeking Serbian independence, they
5 weren't connected. When we look at Dubrovnik, even less so. Were they
6 areas capable of independent self-support or did they inevitably need
7 something to join on to? What was it they wanted to be a part of? It was
8 Serbia. The time that they were acting, was there even the intervening
9 prospect or the intervening entity in Bosnia for them to cleave to? No,
10 there was not, although it may have been shortly to come.
11 Were they going to seek to join to something without the consent
12 of that body, without the consent of Serbia and its leader? No, they were
13 not. Were they going to be doing this without his involvement? No, they
14 were not. But the evidence, of course, will have to be dealt with in due
16 Your Honour, I turn then now to the Bosnian indictment. Under
17 this indictment, ICTY crimes included or covered include offences in the
18 same category as for Croatia, same categories as for Croatia, but they
19 also include genocide, contrary to Article 4 of the Statute. The
20 Prosecution will submit, at the conclusion of the evidence in this trial,
21 that the accused intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
22 communities in part, which is in accordance with the definition of
23 genocide, in order to fulfil the aims of the objectives of the criminal
24 enterprise where persecutions in themselves would be insufficient to
25 achieve the desired result.
1 Alternatively, that genocide was the natural and foreseeable
2 consequence of the joint criminal enterprise forcibly and permanently to
3 remove non-Serbs from the territory under control. Alternatively, the
4 accused was an accomplice and he knew that some of the perpetrators were
5 committing genocide and he undertook acts which assisted in their
6 commission. Further or alternatively, as a superior within the meaning of
7 Article 7(3) of our Statute, he knew or had reason to know that genocide
8 was about to be committed or had been committed and did not prevent or
9 punish the perpetrators thereof.
10 Just one word about genocide before I turn to the facts of this
11 indictment. It is, of course, the crime of crimes. As a word, it is used
12 by those who have suffered away from the legal context, and it is
13 sometimes difficult for them to appreciate that great though their
14 suffering may be, the word may not apply in law. There is, to that
15 extent, a tension between the use of the word by non-lawyers and its
16 application in courts.
17 Although it may describe the crime of crimes, it does not
18 necessarily always mean that offences can only be of the gravest kind if
19 they do attract that word, for the word has to be given its strict legal
20 meaning. That we know is what is going to happen in this court, and we
21 are aware of our duties simply and only to seek a conviction for genocide
22 if and when the legal elements are satisfied.
23 I turn on. Bosnia was one of the six constituent republics of the
24 Socialist Federal Republic, once a medieval state occupied by the
25 Austro-Hungarian Empire and becoming an administrative unit of that state
1 in the nineteenth century, briefly forming its own government in 1918
2 before being incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes
3 and then becoming, of course, Yugoslavia.
4 During World War II, Bosnia and Herzegovina was incorporated into
5 the independent State of Croatia sponsored by Germany and Italy, and
6 forces of the ruling Ustasha regime committed widespread and systematic
7 violence aimed at eliminating Jews, Serbs, and others felt to be
8 undesirable. Similar violence, although on a smaller scale, was committed
9 by Serbian Chetniks against non-Serbs. The Muslims suffered
10 proportionately the highest losses in Yugoslavia after the Jews.
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina emerged as a distinct administrative unit
12 after World War II with the establishment of the Socialist Federal
13 Republic of Yugoslavia. It was the home to three religions co-existing
14 within its borders; the primarily Serbian Orthodox Serbs, the
15 predominantly Roman Catholic Croats, and the Bosnian Muslims. The Muslims
16 gradually came to see themselves as a distinct nation separate from Croats
17 and Serbs, recognised in this by the Yugoslavian government in 1970.
18 Relations between the constituent populations improved following
19 World War II and under Tito's regime, and although, of course, perceptions
20 will be various, by the 1980s it may be that members of the three groups
21 lived and worked together well, especially in the cities.
22 The free elections of November 1990, I think I've dealt with the
23 spoils of government being divided up. The Serbs' political party, the
24 SDS of Bosnia-Herzegovina, an offshoot of the Croatian party, and we've
25 seen in Croatia how intimately the accused was involved in that particular
2 As the war continued in Croatia, it appeared increasingly unlikely
3 that Bosnia and Herzegovina would not also declare independence from the
4 Socialist Federal Republic. The party, the SDS, realising perhaps that it
5 couldn't prevent secession of Bosnia and Herzegovina from the republic
6 began the creation of separate -- of a separate Serbian entity within
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and several Serbian autonomous regions were formed
8 just as in Croatia. And we see here a map which is titled at the bottom:
9 "The Serbian Autonomous Districts or Regions as Defined by the
10 Proclamation of the 21st of November, 1991, Published in the Official
11 Gazette." The areas familiar probably to the Tribunal in any event, the
12 Krajina, Northern Bosnia, Semberija, Romanija, Birac, Herzegovina.
13 Now, not long after this, the accused, say the Prosecution,
14 together with the man Karadzic and others, formed a plan permanently to
15 remove the Bosnian Muslims from Bosnian Croats on the territory they
16 wanted through a campaign of persecution. In the spring of 1992, that
17 plan went into effect and in places where the persecution was
18 insufficient, the execution of the plan escalated to genocide.
19 The Prosecution will assert and does assert that this accused took
20 pains to conceal his participation in the enterprise. However, the
21 Bosnian Serb leadership and military could not have done what they did
22 without his massive ongoing informed assistance.
23 There are various ways of looking at the links. Throughout 1991,
24 the Croatian Serb leadership, the Bosnian Serb leadership, and elements of
25 the JNA and Yugoslavia leadership were operating on a single plan, it is
1 asserted by the Prosecution, to erase Croatian Bosnia's borders, as
2 proclaimed by the accused on numerous occasions.
3 Another quotation, and I think we can see this, from the 15th of
4 January, 1991:
5 "As far as the -- as far as the Serbian people are concerned,
6 they want to live in one state."
7 Yes, thank you.
8 "As far as the Serbian people are concerned, they want to live in
9 one state. Hence divisions into several states which would separate the
10 Serbian people and force them to live in different sovereign states is,
11 from our point of view, unacceptable."
12 What this meant in practice was visible during in the war in
13 Croatia. The permanent -- in Croatia, the permanent removal of unwanted
15 The accused was also instrumental in the passage at that time of
16 the Serbian Law on Defence, which in the event of war, placed the police
17 and Territorial Defence under the control of the President himself; and
18 Article 39 of that law would establish the apparent legal legitimacy for
19 the Serbian Ministry of Defence to begin recruiting and equipping Serb
20 military -- Serb paramilitaries that were sent to Bosnia and engaged in
21 ethnic cleansing of targeted municipalities. So there was preparation in
22 the law and execution of the law for the purposes of the Serbs in Bosnia.
23 Karadzic shared Milosevic's goal. Karadzic leader, of course, of
24 the party. On the 23rd of February, 1991, in Milosevic's presence he said
1 "We do not see that this should be discussed. Serbs living
2 exclusively in a joint state. Just as it is natural that rain falls, it's
3 natural for Serbs to live in that same state."
4 And on the 26th of February, 1991, Karadzic acknowledged Milosevic
5 as the representative of the Bosnian Serbs in case of Yugoslavia's
7 On the 25th of March - we've already made some reference to this -
8 there was the Karadjordjevo meeting. I needn't repeat that. And Bosnian
9 SDS party declared that only Milosevic was authorised to represent the
10 Bosnian Serbs in negotiations on the future of Yugoslavia, that they have
11 given him their party position because if not him, it would have had to
12 have been Izetbegovic. But nevertheless, all of this shows a complete
13 integration of the party in Bosnia with their ideological, if it was an
14 ideology, leader.
15 Karadzic, repeatedly encouraged by the accused, put his SDS
16 organisation at the disposal of the Yugoslav army in order to provide
17 assistance in manpower to that army for its war effort in Croatia in the
18 summer and autumn of 1991, as it were a link between three of the
19 important parties, not just two. And he maintained regular and in certain
20 crisis situations almost constant telephone communications with the
21 accused and other officials in Belgrade discussing with them and
22 consulting on the broadest possible range of issues of common concern.
23 Evidence of intercepted phone calls will reveal these and other matters.
24 In these contacts, he frequently but not always assumed the role
25 of eager subordinate and willing collaborator in the ideas and designs
1 originating in Belgrade. Karadzic valued the context -- contacts and
2 following a discussion regarding proceedings for The Hague Conference held
3 here on the 29th of October of 1991, was reassured by the accused that
4 their conversations represented a sort of coordinating body acting to
5 protect the interests of the Serbian people.
6 We must look briefly at the chronology of events of what was to be
7 known as the Republika Srpska. We start with the proclamation in
8 September 1991 of the autonomous region of Herzegovina. You've seen them
9 on the plan. On the 16th of September, the Krajina proclaimed. On the
10 15th of October, a meeting of the SDS party council -- I beg your pardon.
11 I omitted something I should have put in.
12 Before we move on - we've just passed two proclamations of
13 independence - let's see what was written by a group of JNA reservists in
14 October 1991. It's written -- let me just get my copy.
15 It comes from a group of JNA reservists, and it goes to a number
16 of people including this accused, Kadijevic, Karadzic, Plavsic, and
17 others, and it's dated sometime in October, it would appear, 1991.
18 The second paragraph:
19 "We would like first to explain that we've chosen this action
20 because of the inhuman treatment we've received from some officers. They
21 tasked some of us with the most loathsome assignments, liquidation of
22 Muslim and Croat individuals and threatened with drumhead court-martial,
23 if we failed to obey the orders. The almost beastly conditions in which
24 we lived were another reason for deciding to take this action. We are
25 prepared to submit written statements on these issues and on others that
1 have compelled us to make this move, but we shall disclose them only to
2 the officials."
3 Two points emerge. One: What have they been asked to do? Two,
4 the point I made right at the beginning this morning: Did he know what
5 was being done? Of course he did.
6 15th of October, the Serb party of -- the Serb Democratic Party,
7 the SDS party council, was -- formed the Assembly of Serbian People of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the 22nd of October, the accused called for unity
9 Serb state, and the Rump Presidency, to which we've referred, called for
10 mobilisation of reservists in Serbia and other regions that want to stay
11 in the Yugoslavia.
12 On the 26th of October, Karadzic declared a full mobilisation of
13 Territorial Defence and field units in the Serb Republic of Bosnia and
15 Karadzic became more explicit about what the single state would
16 look like. There was to be a plebiscite in November 1991, but before
17 that, he said this:
18 "I am telling you, whatever Bosnia we have one day, no Muslim
19 foundation shall ever be laid in Serb areas, and Serb villages, whether or
20 not you import Turks, because we will instruct Serbs not to sell land to
22 He continued in an address, a public address, after loud
24 "The first foundations that are laid will be blown up. It is not
25 always good to disclose one's plans, but it's not bad to say that we will
1 not give them up because we will proclaim `You must not sell land to
2 Muslims. You must not.' This is a fight to the finish, a battle for
3 living space."
4 This same exhibit produces the following quotations of interest:
5 "Asking" -- it may not be on this particular version of the exhibit, but
6 you'll find elsewhere in the same speech that the man, Karadzic, asked the
7 ouster of radio chairmen and editors who did not listen and did not
8 respect the policy, an exhortation to people to take over the public
9 accounting system, and instruction to his followers to be energetic and
10 strict, to get ready to go and establish authority in territories,
11 municipalities, regions and local communities.
12 He said this:
13 "Serbs do not need an army for their party. The army is here.
14 And incidentally, theirs and our aims overlap 100 per cent. Do not leave
15 that equipment and that army alone. Don't. That would be a disgrace. We
16 would lose the state if we were to lose that army."
17 On the 9th and 10th of November there was a plebiscite called by
18 the Bosnian Serbs. The result may be of questionable significance given
19 the different questions that were asked of different groupings. The
20 result was to stay in Yugoslavia.
21 On the 21st of November -- all right. Perhaps I ought to look at
22 this document. This is the document reflecting the plebiscite.
23 "Pursuant to the right for self-determination," it reads, "and for
24 the purpose of the full and permanent protection of the rights and
25 interests of the Serbian people, the Serbian people in Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina determine that the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 remain in the joint state of Yugoslavia."
3 There was a decision for the Serbian people to remain.
4 But I move on to save time, if I can. Romanija, Birac, and
5 Semberija declared their position on the 21st of November. On the same
6 day, an Assembly proclaimed as part of Yugoslavia all places that had over
7 50 per cent of Serb voters who voted to stay in Yugoslavia; and on the
8 11th of December, the Assembly requested the Yugoslavian army to protect
9 as Yugoslavia those parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina where the plebiscite had
10 taken place.
11 On the 19th of December, the party of Karadzic issued instructions
12 for take over of municipalities, and on the 9th of January of 1992, the
13 Assembly adopted a proclamation of the Serbian Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina declared to be part of federal Yugoslavia. The
15 territory of that republic was declared to include the territories of the
16 Serbian autonomous regions and districts and of other Serbian ethnic
17 entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the regions in which the
18 Serbian people remained in the minority due to the genocide conducted
19 against it in World War II. It was declared to be part of the federal
20 Yugoslav state, changing its name on the 12th of August to the name by
21 which it's probably better known in this institution now, the Republika
23 In January of that same year, human rights organisations and
24 international diplomats had notified the accused of crimes committed by
25 Arkan's Tigers, Seselj's men, Captain Dragan's men, all based in Serbia.
1 He promised to investigate and punish those responsible. He never did.
2 Rather, he continued, say the Prosecution, with other members of the
3 criminal enterprise to ensure that all those men enjoyed the necessary
4 support that they needed to continue in the commission of criminal acts.
5 Let's look at a map which is one of many maps, but this is a map
6 that shows the maximum ambition of the party at the time. And the red
7 line, which we've had laid over another map, shows just how much of the
8 territory, which we can now see, the light blue territory, was to be
9 consumed as part of the Republika Srpska, and of course the areas into
10 Croatia. An ambitious plan indeed, and the documents will show that was
11 in the mind of these people at the time. A plan that, of course,
12 disregarded the interests of many.
13 On the 29th of February or between then and the 2nd of March in
14 the Bosnian referendum on independence that the Serbs boycotted, there was
15 a vote for independence. And on the 18th of March, at the 11th Session of
16 their Assembly, the decision -- of the Serb's Assembly in Bosnia, the
17 decision was made to prepare proposals for a takeover of power in the
18 republic of the Serbian people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in short what
19 happened was that armed takeovers followed.
20 Notwithstanding that, the United States and the European Community
21 recognised the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 6th of April.
22 And then we have on the 12th of May, at the 16th Assembly, a famous
23 document, I think, excerpt from the speech of Karadzic on this occasion to
24 the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina held on the 12th of May, and it
25 has six points.
1 "The Serbian side in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Presidency, the
2 government, the Council for National Security, which we've set up, have
3 formulated the strategic priorities of the Serbian people. The first such
4 goal, separation from the other two national communities, separation of
5 states, separation from those who are our enemies and who have used every
6 opportunity, especially in this century, to attack us and who would
7 continue with such practices if we were to stay together in the same
9 "The second strategic goal, it seems to me, is a corridor between
10 Semberija and Krajina. So that is a very important strategic goal which
11 we have to achieve because there will be no Krajina, no Bosnian Krajina,
12 Serbian Krajina, or alliance of Serbian states, if we do not secure that
13 corridor which would integrate us and give us unimpeded flow from one part
14 of our state to another.
15 "Third strategic goal, to establish a corridor in the Drina
16 valley. That is, elimination of the Drina as a border between two
17 worlds. We are on both sides of the Drina. Our strategic interests and
18 living space are there.
19 "Fourth strategic goal, establishment of a border on the Una and
20 Neretva Rivers.
21 "Fifth strategic goal, division of the city of Sarajevo into
22 Serbian and Muslim parts and implementation of an effective state
23 government in each of the these two constituent states.
24 "Sixth strategic goal, access of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina to the sea. It is not unimportant. It's very important.
1 Some things are more important than others or more feasible than others."
2 At that same session, Mladic, the General, indicted of course at
3 this Tribunal, announced that it would be impossible to separate Serbs and
4 that to do so would constitute genocide -- from non-Serbs would constitute
6 Now, the Bosnian indictment starts in March 1992. The relevant
7 history in a nutshell is as follows: With the establishment of the
8 Republika Srpska supported by this accused and with the break from
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the municipalities were taken over, explusions and
10 associated killings followed, all with the accused's support, say the
12 Crimes were committed, and then in January, and between then and
13 May 1993, there was a break, a break between Karadzic and the accused. It
14 was about a plan then being advanced known as the Vance-Owen Plan. The
15 accused argued that it should be accepted. The Bosnian Serbs refused.
16 The Prosecution's case, subject of course of evidence, will be that he
17 continued to support them financially whatever was being public by way of
18 a break.
19 On a statement -- in a statement on the 11th of May, two
20 statements on the same day but I'll collapse them, the accused said these
21 things. First:
22 "The decision -- the decision on the peace plan concerns the
23 interests of Yugoslavia, Serbia, and Montenegro, Krajina in Croatia, and
24 the Serbian republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina. All citizens in the whole of
25 the Serbian nation, not only the Assembly and the citizens of the Serbian
2 He then said this:
3 "I, therefore, believe that the decision on this cannot be made
4 only by the citizens of the Serbian republic but by all the people's
5 representatives elected to the parliaments of Yugoslavia, Serbia,
6 Montenegro, Krajina, and the Serbian republic equally and with full
7 respect for the interests of their citizens in the Serbian nation for
8 peace, freedom, equality, and violence."
9 The excerpt which is now on the overhead projector adds, I think,
10 this. He made the following statement:
11 "In the past two years, the Republic of Serbia, by assisting
12 Serbs outside Serbia, has forced its economy to make massive efforts and
13 its citizens to make substantial sacrifices. These efforts and these
14 sacrifices are now reaching the limits of endurance. Most of the
15 assistance was sent to people and fighters in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but a
16 substantial amount of aid was given to the 500.000 refugees in Serbia.
17 Serbia has lent a great deal of assistance to the Serbs in Bosnia. Owing
18 to that assistance, they have achieved what they wanted."
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request that the speaker
20 slow down, please.
21 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked to slow down, please.
22 MR. NICE: My apologies to the interpreters. I do apologise. I
23 detected I was speeding up and should have adjusted earlier.
24 We've reached the middle of 1993, and because everything about
25 this accused, in our submission to the Chamber, will have to be looked at
1 in an integrated way, it may be helpful just to reflect on something that
2 was happening at home. I forecast this a little earlier when I said we
3 will see just how this man was willing to exercise force and to use force,
4 even on his own, when it was necessary.
5 What we're going to see is a video of the way demonstrators were
6 dealt with back in Serbia right at this time, at the time that the plan
7 with Karadzic is reaching fulfillment. Can we just see this video?
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. NICE: The demonstration. This is how the MUP police force or
10 part of the police force would deal with those who would not accept this
11 accused's plan. This is the home state as created by this accused, the
12 man who says, I think, he was only defending legitimate interests.
13 I return to the split that there was between the accused and
14 Karadzic. There was a border closing between the Republika Srpska and
15 Serbia but not until 1994, and even then not for military traffic. There
16 was a reduction, but not an elimination, of financial and military support
17 for Republika Srpska as Mladic was later to reveal.
18 Despite the differences between Mladic and Karadzic, the real
19 split on the level of cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the
20 Republika Srpska did not occur. They were the subject of tightly closed
21 borders for the months of August to November 1994, but it was impossible
22 to stop greater cooperation between these two particular entities.
23 Businesses were too tightly connected, and it was impossible for this
24 accused to ignore the protests that Serbian companies who were suffering
25 financially made because of the embargo.
1 In July of 1994, just before the break, the split was reflected in
2 a closing of borders, there was a working group, the interministerial
3 working group to assist the problems that were arising. This meant that
4 the Republic of Serbia was still financially helping the projects and the
5 Serbian Ministry for Cooperation with Serbs Outside of Serbia was in
6 charge of that body. And the Prosecution case is that that support for
7 military activities continued in various ways.
8 We must come, then, to two particular events. First Sarajevo.
9 Sarajevo, mentioned of course in the indictment, suffered an almost
10 uninterrupted barrage of attack between 1992 and 1995, with terrorised
11 civilians. The aim, we've seen it already, was to separate and divide the
12 city and to tie down the troops of the Bosnian Muslims.
13 In May of 1995, General Mladic, in a speech, said that it was the
14 Yugoslav army which provided his Bosnian Serb army, the Republika Srpska
15 army, with weapons and other equipment covering more than 50 per cent of
16 its needs.
17 We turn to Srebrenica. The Muslims there, in an enclave, in a
18 UN-safe area, the Muslims so attacked that there was a massacre, as we
19 know, of an enormous number of people. And I'll have to say something
20 else about that shortly.
21 As the war began, the Bosnian Serb leadership became entirely
22 clear about its intentions, and the Prosecution case is that the accused
23 had to have known what they were. We've looked at the six goals document
24 already, or the six objectives document already.
25 On the 12th of May of 1992, the Bosnian Serb Minister of Health
1 argued that their army, I suppose then still the JNA, ought to destroy the
2 Bosnian government civilian hospital in Sarajevo so that the enemy had no
3 where to go for medical help.
4 When the war began in Bosnia, units connected with this accused
5 were among the earliest perpetrators of crimes; Arkan, in particular, in
6 Bijeljina, starting as early as the 1st of April, 1992; the JNA elsewhere;
7 and others traceable to his control.
8 The JNA was still deployed throughout Bosnia and the accused no
9 longer bothered to conceal his control over it. One high international
10 official witness before you will testify that, in discussions in November
11 1991 regarding the Yugoslav army's role in that region, the accused stated
12 he would agree to the army's withdrawal once a UN peacekeeping operation
13 was established. So there he is in his position of Serbia, dealing with
14 the federal army and what it was going to do in the country of Bosnia,
15 under attack.
16 What about the relationship between the JNA and the army VRS of
17 the Bosnian Serbs? Although the JNA did withdraw in name -- I'm reminded
18 that I should have dealt with another wiring diagram. I hadn't marked my
19 text accordingly, but I'll deal with it now. If the Court has this
21 Subject to the same qualifications, on the top, a simplified
22 illustration of the accused's participation in the joint criminal
23 enterprise; at the bottom, on the left, a reminder that the lines on the
24 chart do not necessarily represent command and control between the
25 parties. We see something not dissimilar from what we've seen before.
1 The accused, in the middle, with his various roles set out; the Rump
2 Presidency on the left commanding the JNA, with the various people
3 identified; something called the Supreme Defence Council now coming into
4 existence, composed of people from the Rump Presidency and also the
5 accused himself; immediately below him, the Serbian Ministry of the
6 Interior under his effective control, that body, with its identified
7 leaders having direction over the Serbian Special Forces including the
8 Red Berets and the Arkanovci; to the right, the Bosnian Serb leadership.
9 It will be for the Chamber to decide whether the influence and control is
10 as stated by the Prosecution and necessary for conviction in this case.
11 The Bosnian Serb leadership with, under its control, municipal crisis
12 staffs, which we haven't yet mentioned but I think which will be familiar
13 to the Chamber from other dealings its had in other cases, in general
14 terms; Bosnian Serb MUP; and the VRS or Territorial Defence with Ratko
16 What is interesting is to look at the second diagram which seeks
17 to set out what connections there may have been between the JNA on the
18 left and the VRS of Ratko Mladic on the right. And so this second, again,
19 simplified illustration, subject to the usual observations, suggests that
20 the connection between the VJ and the VRS, to use acronyms for speed, was
21 multifaceted and of very great value, importance, as reflected by these
22 items: Supply of personnel, payment of officers' salaries, supply of
23 military equipment and munitions, provisions of training, sharing of
24 communication systems, sharing of intelligence, linkage between
25 radio/technical reconnaissance systems.
1 So that presents, in diagramatic form and, we hope, subject to all
2 of the qualifications, helpful for the Chamber to have in mind, a picture
3 of the relationship that existed between the JNA and the VRS. So that
4 although the JNA withdrew in name from Bosnia and Herzegovina in May of
5 1992, support continued. By that support and by his other aspects of
6 control, of which we'll hear more in the trial, he bears responsibility
7 for the acts committed in Bosnia by the VRS.
8 Before the formal withdrawal of the JNA from Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, the accused was instrumental in shifts of personnel that
10 simply moved personnel across to create an essentially Bosnian Serb army
11 from one that had formerly been composed of an ethnic mix, and such
12 restructuring evidences his appreciation for and intention that this
13 essentially-Serb JNA should intercede on the side of Serbs in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, as well as to set the stage for the creation of a separate
15 Bosnian Serb army when that was necessary.
16 From the autumn of 1991, then, as the JNA began to withdraw its
17 forces from Croatia, forces under the control of the JNA started to
18 redeploy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many of them going to exactly those
19 places where there was a gap, where there was no garrison and no other JNA
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, if you would find a convenient moment at
22 about five past four.
23 MR. NICE: Certainly.
24 The accused had exercised control over the JNA through the
25 Yugoslav Presidency. But on the 27th of April of 1992, the Supreme
1 Defence Council that we saw on the first two of those diagrams was
2 formed. I've indicated in summary its composition.
3 It exercised a substantial influence and control over other
4 members -- sorry, the accused exercised substantial influence and control
5 over other members of the council. The Supreme Defence Council and the
6 President of the Republic de jure had power, in law, over the army; first,
7 the JNA and then the VJ. So that the accused was, perhaps typically,
8 exercising control in more than one way over the object of his control,
9 both through individuals and through channels of communication and
11 He used his position on the Supreme Defence Council to ensure that
12 the former JNA, now becoming and being called the VJ, should continue to
13 support and cooperate with the VRS in Bosnia. The VJ contributed to the
14 crimes through its relationship in the way that I've just described.
15 Your Honour, I've dealt, in summary form, on the diagram, with the
16 headings that I could enlarge on. What I propose to do, I think, to save
17 time, is to abbreviate what I'll say about these headings in detail and
18 just look at one or two exhibits that exemplify some of the points.
19 They're in the papers that you have.
20 So under personnel support, if we can just look at the exhibit
21 that creates the 30th Personnel Centre. This is the body that organised
22 the payment of the VRS officers. There were 12.000 such officers, I
23 think. And here we see, "In future" -- this is a document from the 6th of
24 March of 1993.
25 "In future, working lists are to be delivered to this Command not
1 later than the 5th of each month for a previous month in order to send
2 them timely to the Military Computing Centre of the General Staff of the
3 Yugoslav Army for their payment." Thus were the officers of the VRS
5 Moving from personnel support over -- I needn't trouble you with
6 the detail of the other categories. Extensive training. There was direct
7 military activity in Bosnia. This will be the subject of evidence. And
8 in particular, in the struggle for Bratunac, a name that will become sadly
9 familiar here, there was the public statement of one of the generals of
10 the Yugoslav army admitting presence of his units, an admission
11 corroborated by orders he signed. He even noted the problems of
12 accommodating so many troops of both armies together.
13 In relation to activity by the troops on the territory itself,
14 we'll see reference to this in more histories. And can we look at another
15 exhibit. It has a connection to a helicopter -- yes, a helicopter, I
16 think. Yes. This is a document of the 3rd of November. Reading, as
17 material, "One brigade from the Herzegovina Corps, Ministry of the
18 Interior forces up to a strength of one battalion. Yugoslav Army Special
19 Forces up to 120 people and a helicopter squad, with its main forces
20 through a decisive defence of the greater section of the front, shall
21 prevent an enemy breakthrough from Central Bosnia and Gorazde towards
22 Sarajevo." This an order that reveals the participation of the accused's
23 forces as he, no doubt, regarded them at that stage.
24 I think I have two more exhibits to go before I come to the end of
25 this section. Would you like me to go that far or would you like me to
2 JUDGE MAY: Deal with those.
3 MR. NICE: Yes.
4 A great deal of evidence about supply and support. One document
5 in relation to standardisation of procedures. The next document is a
6 document dated the 15th of February, 1995, and it deals with -- thank you
7 very much. "That the commands of corps and their subordinated units or
8 their members can address RS official organs and institutions in the SRJ
9 and RSK solely via the VRS Main Staff." Completely integrated.
10 And then the next document. An order directing that supply
11 requisitions from the VRS to the VJ be regularised and systematised.
12 Reading, "Only the Commander, his deputy and Assistant for Logistics of
13 the Republika Srpska Army shall have the right to approve direct contacts
14 with the General Staff of the Army of Yugoslavia."
15 In addition to standardisation of procedure, there was the sharing
16 of intelligence and a great deal of evidence about that.
17 And, indeed, perhaps I can conclude with this feature of the
18 Appeals Chamber's decision in Tadic, which it may be possible for us to
19 pray in aid, whether it's necessary, but for reasons of consistency, where
20 it was held that "The armed forces of the Republika Srpska were to be
21 regarded as acting under the overall control and on behalf of the FRY,"
22 paragraph 162 of the Appeals judgement.
23 Your Honour, if that would be a convenient moment. I certainly
24 have more to go on Bosnia before we come to Kosovo. I'll see if I can
25 make some reductions in the time it will take overnight.
1 JUDGE MAY: How long do you anticipate being?
2 MR. NICE: I think I shall be the morning overall.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, half
4 past nine.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.08 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day of
7 February, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.