Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 13387

1 Monday, 25 November 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: We'll deal with some administrative matters first.

7 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we've had notice that the plenary will now

8 take place on the 12th and the 13th of December, two of the original days

9 which were fixed. It will not take place on the 11th, and therefore we

10 shall sit that day, having in mind the time that's been lost. We will

11 sit, of course, on the 18th, where we said we would have administrative

12 matters. It may be that, if we get that far, there may be some evidence

13 to be finished up, and closer to the time, we'll decide whether we'll sit

14 that afternoon or not, but the parties should have that time available for

15 sitting, if necessary.

16 Yes.

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


19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 Examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff: [Continued]

21 Q. Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?

22 A. Good morning. Yes.

23 Q. Witness, you have already described the pattern of attacks that

24 you saw occurring, and you have described the military formation present

25 in particular regions, and I would like to discuss with you now what you

Page 13388

1 can tell us about crimes occurring in particular places named in the

2 indictment.

3 The first place I would like to turn to is the Kostajnica region,

4 in particular, the regions Dubica, Cerovljani, and Bacin. On Friday you

5 testified that fighting took place in this region until September 1991,

6 and you also testified at an earlier point in time that you observed the

7 fighting personally from the Bosnia side of the river.

8 You also mentioned already that you travelled through the region

9 in November 1991, on your way to Petrinja, and that you saw the Croatian

10 villages or parts of villages where Croats had lived, that they were

11 destroyed and the population gone.

12 You also already mentioned a military headquarters in Samarica,

13 and my question to you is: What kind of a facility was it? Was it -- of

14 what structure was it the headquarters?

15 A. At Samarica was the headquarters of the operative group for the

16 JNA for Banija and Kordun, and this headquarters was the military command

17 for the area. The 7th Banija Division had its headquarters up there as

18 well, as did the special police units, or rather -- well, that's it.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, we actually had managed to

20 produce charts of the military formations on the ground at that time, and

21 with the help of the usher, I would like to put to the witness these

22 charts now. And it has three pages: one showing the TO structure, one

23 showing the JNA operational group that the witness just mentioned, and the

24 third is actually a map that is just showing you where the various places

25 are located.

Page 13389

1 Q. First of all, Witness, if you look at the first chart. And I have

2 to read it to you because it's in English language. It says: "Croatian

3 operative zones of the TO SAO Krajina," and it simply shows the command

4 structure, with the Prime Minister on top; the Main Staff of the TO, with

5 first General Djujic, and then, of course, you have already said that

6 changed; and then you have here the three operational zones: the first one

7 for Dalmatia and Lika, the second one Slunj, and the third one Kostajnica,

8 Petrinja, Sisak.

9 Is that correct? Is the chart correct in relation to the TO?

10 A. Underneath Slunj you should add Vojnic and Vrginmost. And

11 underneath Petrinja, what should be added is Glina and Dvor na Uni.

12 Otherwise, the rest is as it was here, was as it was in the chart.

13 Q. Yes. Thank you. And if you look at the second page, you have the

14 JNA Operation Group Banija-Kordun-Lika after October 1991, and it shows

15 here already the headquarters Samarica and its commander Jasan Maric.

16 Then you have the various sections, that is the 2nd and 3rd Operative Zone

17 of the TO with Colonel Vujaklija, JNA 5th Military District Units, then

18 the 6th Lika Division, the Loznica Brigade from Serbia that you mentioned,

19 and the Special Police Units Krajina, and then you also have here the

20 Banija Division attached to the TO, and the unspecified JNA units attached

21 to the 5th Military District.

22 Would that be correct?

23 A. It says "Operative Group Banija Kordun" here and "Lika." The

24 commander was General Spiro Nikovic in the month of November. I don't

25 know the dates, from when until when.

Page 13390

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. And then I'm not sure whether Lika was under this Operative Group

3 or whether it had its own command, the 6th Lika Division. But anyway, so

4 there, that's what it was like. This is what it was like.

5 And underneath the Loznica Brigade you should add the Sabac

6 Brigade from Serbia and the Vojvodina Brigade from Serbia as well, and a

7 paratrooper unit from Nis.

8 Q. The paratroop from Nis, did it have a particular -- did it have a

9 particular name?

10 A. It was a special paratroop unit. I don't know what the name was

11 exactly, whether that was its name or whether it had another one.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we put it on the overhead projector?

13 Yes. Yes. Thank you. And the third, the third page. Can you please

14 turn it around to the map. The third page. Can you please put the third

15 page on the ELMO.

16 Q. It's actually a map showing the 5th Military District region, the

17 Naval Military District region, and the places that we actually spoke

18 about so far. Looking at it, is it correct?

19 A. The border between the Naval Military District and the

20 5th Military District was here, this line. Lika belonged to the

21 5th Military District, and Northern Dalmatia to the Naval Military

22 District.

23 Q. Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Witness.

24 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, it's described as tab 120, this

25 exhibit. Which exhibit is that in?

Page 13391

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Tab 120 was actually the creation of the

2 Operational Zones and their composition with the three military

3 districts. But this would now, of course, need to have a different

4 exhibit number because it's an entirely new exhibit. It's just a

5 reference to the document that was discussed.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Give it a new number, please, the next number.

7 It's being suggested that we have tab 171 of 352. It probably makes very

8 little difference.

9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.


12 Q. Witness, you had mentioned the 7th Banija Division and that

13 Mr. Bogdan Vajagic commanded it up to September 1991. Do you know who

14 commanded it in October, November 1991?

15 A. Bogdan Vajagic was his name, and the division was reformed,

16 restructured as a formation of the Territorial Defence, but it remained

17 the same in content.

18 Q. And you also mentioned that Special Police Units were also there,

19 so the units attached to the parallel structure. In -- in October, end of

20 October, and November 1991, who in person was there from the parallel

21 structure? Which commanding person?

22 A. His name was Borojevic, and he was the commander of that Special

23 Police Unit. His name was Borojevic.

24 Q. Were volunteer units or paramilitary units as well in that region

25 in Kostajnica attached to the Samarica headquarters?

Page 13392

1 A. I don't know.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, please.

3 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


6 Q. Did you visit the headquarters in Samarica personally, and if so,

7 when and why?

8 A. In mid-November 1991, while I was in Petrinja, I was invited by

9 General Spiro Nikovic to go to Samarica to visit him, but I never went

10 there, for security reasons. I wasn't quite sure what was happening up

11 there and what existed up there, because people had been telling me that

12 there were different units stationed there, that there were killings that

13 had taken place and similar things.

14 Q. Did you fear for your own safety?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. These units that you mentioned, these people that were stationed

17 there, were they opposing your politics, or why would you fear for your

18 own safety?

19 A. There was a constant conflict between the parallel structures

20 there: the state security, the DB, and the police force, and part of the

21 SDS, the regional board of the SDS. So there was a political conflict.

22 But the SDS, the regional board of the SDS, supported me and criticised

23 those parallel structures, especially the police force of Krajina and

24 Martic.

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Open session.

Page 13393

1 [Open session]

2 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, if the witness could point the

3 location of Samarica in this third tab in this map.


5 Q. Witness, you heard Their Honours asking.

6 A. Yes, I can. Samarica is a hill which is located where the

7 Bosanski Novi -- or rather, Dvor na Uni, Kostajnica, and Petrinja

8 municipalities meet, which means here.

9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The witness is pointing, actually, at the

10 word "Banija," in the region of the word "Banija." This map is not

11 specific enough to show the place itself. Thank you.

12 JUDGE KWON: Is it near from Petrinja?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's between Kostajnica and

14 Petrinja, yes.

15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.


17 Q. Witness, when you were in the region in November, did you see the

18 villages Dubica, Cerovljani, and Bacin; and if so, what did they look like

19 in relation to the destruction that ...

20 A. Those villages were destroyed.

21 Q. Were there churches in these villages and were they destroyed as

22 well?

23 A. I don't know exactly. I arrived in Kostajnica from the Petrinja

24 direction, and I saw those villages afterwards, later on, and they had

25 been completely destroyed and without any inhabitants.

Page 13394

1 Q. The villagers, or the people living, the Croat people living in

2 these villages, had they posed a threat to the Serbs in the region in

3 October/November 1991?

4 A. No, they had not. The fighting was over by mid-September.

5 Q. You mentioned already you heard of killings. Did you get

6 information that 120 Croatian villagers from these three villages had been

7 killed in October 1991?

8 A. I didn't receive information to that effect. My information was

9 different, in 1994/1995.

10 Q. What was your information?

11 A. I heard from people from Dubica that they had taken revenge in

12 Bacin for what had happened in 1941.

13 Q. I would like to now move on to the region Korenica, Ogulin, and in

14 particular, the villages Saborsko, Poljanak, and Lipovanic. You have

15 already mentioned the training ground in Slunj and the officer Cedomir

16 Bulat being in charge there. Do you know which JNA corps were active in

17 this region end of November until mid - sorry - end of October until

18 mid-November 1991?

19 A. The command was active there, the command from Plitvice, that is,

20 Mukinje, and from the training ground. I had information that this was

21 the operative zone of the 6th Lika Division and units within it, or in

22 coordination -- acting in coordination with it or subordinated to it. I

23 also heard that there was an advance command position of the Rijeka Corps,

24 and that the Vojvodina Brigade was active there for a while, as well as

25 members of the paratroop units from Nis, and the Territorial Defence from

Page 13395

1 the area. Who was exactly the highest commanding officer or command, I

2 don't know. According to establishment, if there was a forward command

3 post the Rijeka Corps, then they must have had the highest-ranking officer

4 within it.

5 Q. Witness, was there also the 1st Partisan Light Brigade in this

6 region?

7 A. The 1st Partisan Light Brigade was within the territory of the

8 municipality of Gracac and a part of the municipality of Gospic, in the

9 southern part of Lika, not around Plitvice. Up there, I think it was the

10 5th Brigade that was active.

11 Q. Yes. I would briefly talk -- I would like to briefly talk to you

12 about this 1st Partisan Light Brigade. Who was its commander?

13 A. Colonel Petar Trbojevic.

14 Q. Was he a JNA officer?

15 A. Yes, a JNA officer, dispatched from the General Staff in September

16 1991 to form the 1st Light Partisan Brigade.

17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the -- I would like to have closed

18 session very briefly, for two questions.

19 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


22 Q. Did you actually meet Colonel Trbojevic, and what dealings did you

23 have with him?

24 A. At least on two occasions. The first time, when he came from

25 Belgrade, I was called to the command of the Knin Corps by General

Page 13396

1 Vukovic, and he introduced me to Colonel Trbojevic. And he said that

2 Colonel Trbojevic was going to be the commander of the 1st Light Partisan

3 Brigade and that men would not respond to the mobilisation because of its

4 name, so that I should appeal to them to sign up, and that was the reason

5 why I met with Colonel Trbojevic. I said to General Vukovic that I would

6 do that if it was going to be called a brigade of the Territorial Defence,

7 and he said, "Okay, then." And indeed, later on, in communication with

8 us, it was referred to as the 1st TO Brigade, but in reality it was known

9 as the 1st Partisan Brigade.

10 Q. Does that mean this brigade cooperated with the Knin Corps?

11 Because you mentioned Colonel Vukovic.

12 A. That's right.

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

14 put to the witness the tab 161 and 162 of Exhibit 352.

15 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, do we need to be in closed

16 session?

17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. Thank you.

18 [Open session]

19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.


21 Q. Witness, looking at the two documents, are they related to the

22 mobilisation that you just mentioned to us, that is, a mobilisation order

23 of the 26th of October, 1991, and the other one also a mobilisation order

24 of that same day?

25 A. That's right.

Page 13397

1 Q. In the first document, there is a reference made to a mobilisation

2 issued by the SFRY Presidency of the 4th of October, 1991. Was that the

3 reason why this mobilisation was actually ordered?

4 A. Yes. This document refers to that, and this other one as well.

5 Q. Thank you. That should be enough. We don't need to discuss more

6 details on this matter.

7 In relation to the region of Plitvice and the villages Saborsko,

8 Poljanak, and Lipovanic, did the Korenica municipal TO staff cover that

9 same region, and if so, who was the commander there in October, November,

10 1991?

11 A. The Municipal Staff of the TO Korenica did cover it, but the

12 surrounding Serbian areas had been linked to the Korenica municipality.

13 And the commander of the Municipal Staff was Colonel Milos Cvijeticanin,

14 or Lieutenant Colonel.

15 Q. Was he an active JNA officer; do you know?

16 A. He had been an active officer in Zadar prior to that, and he

17 probably continued to be that.

18 Q. Was personnel of the DB Serbia in that region active in this

19 region; do you know?

20 A. Yes. After August 1991, a base of the DB of Serbia was in

21 Korenica or, rather, Frenki's base was there.

22 Q. Does that mean that Frenki himself was there, or who was there in

23 charge of this section?

24 A. I was told that those men from the DB were there. And I

25 personally had met Frenki there earlier, on earlier occasions.

Page 13398












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 13399

1 Q. You already mentioned the parachute units from Nis, and does -- do

2 they have special uniforms?

3 A. They wore red berets.

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would like to go into closed session for

5 two questions.

6 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


9 Q. Witness, you said they were also there in October/November 1991.

10 How do you know that?

11 A. They were there until February 1992. From when exactly, I can't

12 say, but they were there during combat activities. I know because I was

13 in the SIT factory near Udbina in 1992 when the municipality of Udbina was

14 being established, and Colonel Milivojevic was in the staff, and he was in

15 command in the area. A member of the parachute unit came to the

16 headquarters wearing combat gear with gloves without fingers. He shook

17 hands with me, and he gave me as a gift a red beret, his red beret, the

18 kind that he wore. But he told me not to put it on my head because it was

19 worn only by men who had sworn to fight to the death. I took the beret

20 and I hid it in the corner of my cupboard so the children wouldn't play

21 with it because I thought it was damned.

22 Q. This person that spoke to you from the parachute unit, did he tell

23 you where he had been fighting? Did he mention anything?

24 A. They were in the region around Vrhovine. I don't know exactly

25 where.

Page 13400

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Open session, please.

2 [Open session]

3 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.


5 Q. In October/November 1991, were the villages Saborsko, Poljanak,

6 and Lipovanic surrounded by Serb villages?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did these villages at that time pose a threat to the Serbs in the

9 region?

10 A. No.

11 Q. When -- do you know when these villages were attacked?

12 A. There was fighting there around the 17th of November or

13 mid-November in 1991. So mid-November there was combat around Slunj, and

14 that is the region.

15 Q. Did you get the information that end of October until the 12th of

16 November, Croat civilians were killed in these three villages? Do you

17 know anything of that?

18 A. No, I didn't.

19 Q. I would like -- did you hear it later on? Did you get any

20 information later on about this?

21 A. Later on I saw - that is in 1994 - that the villages had been

22 destroyed and that they were abandoned, that there were no inhabitants in

23 them.

24 Q. I would like now to move to the third region, that is Northern

25 Dalmatia with Skabrnje, Nadin, and Bruska, and particularly the time

Page 13401

1 period November 1991 to February 1992. These villages that I just

2 mentioned, are they all in the Benkovac municipality or the Serbian -- the

3 so-called Serbian Zadar region?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Who was the president of the Benkovac municipality at that time,

6 November 1991 to February 1992?

7 A. Zdravko Zecevic.

8 Q. Was he related to Frenki, Martic, and the others of the parallel

9 structure?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Was there a Crisis Staff in Benkovac? Do you know?

12 A. There was a Crisis Staff in Benkovac which was a body that was not

13 envisaged by the documents of the municipality but was formed on the

14 initiative of the local authorities in Benkovac itself.

15 Q. Was the Martic police involved in the Crisis Staff?

16 A. Yes, there were representatives, that is of the civilian

17 authorities, the police, the TO; therefore, all the structures that

18 existed within the municipality of Benkovac.

19 Q. Was the JNA involved in this Crisis Staff?

20 A. I don't know.

21 Q. You have already mentioned that Captain Dragan had a training

22 facility in the Benkovac region. Was he there in November 1991? Do you

23 know?

24 A. He would come in November 1991.

25 Q. And Frenki, was he also in this region in November 1991?

Page 13402

1 A. I don't know where Frenki was at that time.

2 Q. In relation to the Martic police in the region in November 1991,

3 do you know who was in charge of them there in this particular region of

4 Benkovac?

5 A. There was the regular police and the special police. The head of

6 the special police was Goran Opacic.

7 Q. Are you aware that Skabrnja and Nadin were attacked in November

8 1991?

9 A. There was some fighting there, but I don't know exactly the

10 location.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

12 put to the witness two exhibits. The first is tab 164 of Exhibit 352, and

13 the other one is tab 75 of that same exhibit.

14 Q. And looking at the first one, it is actually a note about fighting

15 concerning the Yugoslav army and Martic in the villages -- in the Croatian

16 villages in Benkovac municipality of September 1991.

17 Witness, this is a document compiled by the Croatian authorities,

18 and looking -- looking at it, on the second page there is a quote, and I

19 quote on the second page:

20 "In accordance with Colonel Mladic's orders, Martic's terrorists,

21 together with military reservists, are entering all houses by force,

22 robbing and taking everything they need and destroying the rest."

23 And my question is: Did that happen in that region as indicated

24 here in this note? Do you know?

25 A. Yes, that is how it was.

Page 13403

1 Q. And I have here the second document. It is a report of the SAO

2 Krajina headquarters of the 17th of September, 1991.

3 JUDGE MAY: Let's go back to the previous one,

4 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.


6 JUDGE KWON: Which is the first document? Is it tab 165? 164.


8 JUDGE MAY: Let's get this right. It's 164, is it?


10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And it is actually a document provided by the

11 Croatian authorities, and I just wanted to address the contents of this

12 document with the witness, whether such attacks as described here, with

13 robbing and destroying, took place in the region. That was the purpose of

14 putting it to the witness. Yes.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we have that.

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The next document, tab 75.

17 Q. Witness, it's a report of the SAO Krajina headquarters of the 17th

18 of September, 1991. And if you look at the seal and the header, is that

19 a -- are they authentic?

20 A. They are.

21 Q. And what position did this person Maglov, Petar have? Do you know

22 that?

23 A. I can't remember exactly.

24 Q. In this document, there is the mentioning of the TO Benkovac staff

25 on the first page and an order given by Milan Martic. And as point 2,

Page 13404

1 there is mentioned: "Have an armoured train go from Kosovo station to

2 near Tepljuh and open heavy fire on the region of Siveric." What kind of

3 an armoured train was it?

4 A. It was an armoured train that Frenki made in Strmica, a combat

5 armoured train.

6 Q. And who was in charge of this train? Do you know who commanded

7 the conduct of this train?

8 A. Guska was his name.

9 Q. To whom was he related? Was he part of this parallel structure?

10 Who was he subordinated to?

11 A. Frenki and Martic.

12 Q. In relation to the villages Skabrnja and Nadin, did they pose a

13 threat to the Serbs in the region, or the JNA, in November 1991?

14 A. To the Serbs, no; but in a sense, they jeopardised the flank of

15 the JNA forces in the region of Zemunik.

16 Q. In which way did they jeopardise the flank of the JNA units? Was

17 the Croatian army in these villages in November 1991?

18 A. I don't know exactly. I just know that General Vukovic said that

19 before the winter he had to level the lines where his units had been

20 deployed in that region, to even them out. I said General Vukovic.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, please, for one question.

22 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


25 Q. Witness, to whom did General Vukovic say that, and why?

Page 13405

1 A. He told me that in his office, at the headquarters of the 9th

2 Corps in Knin. Actually, he invited me and asked me to point to the

3 Northern Dalmatian region on the map and indicate the Serbian settlements

4 in that area, that is, from Sibenik towards Zadar, the municipalities of

5 Knin, Sibenik, Benkovac. And I pointed them out to him. In the area of

6 Benkovac, it's not really possible to indicate with precision because the

7 population is mixed to quite a considerable degree. And such compact

8 areas of Serbian and Croatian settlements are distributed in the form of a

9 curve, so that as I pointed them out, this was in a curving position. And

10 then he waved his head and said, "I can't leave it like that until the

11 winter. I have to make the lines straight." That's what he said, that he

12 had to deploy his unit in a straight line.

13 Q. Were the villages Skabrnja and Nadin disturbing the straight

14 line?

15 A. Yes, in a sense. In relation to that line, they were indented.

16 The area of Zemunik and towards Zadar, where the 9th Corps units were

17 deployed, they formed a kind of wedge, and Skabrnja was inside it.

18 Q. Witness --

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go to open session again.

20 [Open session]

21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.


23 Q. Do you know when these villages, Skabrnja and Nadin, were attacked

24 and which -- in which way, which forces took part in it?

25 A. I learnt later -- I wasn't fully informed at the time. I was

Page 13406

1 later informed that these were Skabrnja and Nadin, in November 1991. JNA

2 units took part, as well as units that were coordinated by the Crisis

3 Staff in Benkovac, which means the TO and the police and all armed

4 formations that were in the area of Benkovac.

5 Q. Did you get information that Croatian civilians were murdered

6 during the attack?

7 A. I learnt later that they had been.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Private session, please.

9 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


12 Q. Who informed you, and what did this person tell you?

13 A. I was informed by [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]. He

16 said that they went there to straighten out the region, to straighten out

17 the lines in Skabrnja. And he said that Goran Opacic had also taken part

18 in the attack, or rather, at the beginning of the attack, but afterwards

19 that he had left. He told me that for personal reasons, because Goran

20 Opacic, in June 1992, mistreated me in person, and that is probably what

21 prompted [redacted]to mention him specifically to me.

22 Q. Does that mean Goran Opacic mistreated you in person, or this

23 [redacted]?

24 A. No. Goran Opacic mistreated me. He mistreated me and some other

25 people from the Regional Board of the SDS of Krajina in Benkovac.

Page 13407

1 Q. Why did he -- what was the occasion that he mistreated you, and

2 what did he actually do to you?

3 A. On the 13th of June, 1992, after, in Djevrske -- no, in

4 Bratiskovci. I beg your pardon. That's a village which was joined from

5 the Sibenik municipality to the Knin municipality. And he said that

6 Slobodan Milosevic was not to be trusted, believed. And when at that

7 meeting I tried to prove to the people what he wanted to give to Croatia

8 in March 1991, that means when I was talking about Bihac and the road from

9 Benkovac to Drnis, so two days after that, or three days later, Goran

10 Opacic and his men waited for me in Benkovac and wanted to liquidate me

11 physically.

12 Q. Witness, let me clarify something. Who said that Slobodan

13 Milosevic was not to be trusted?

14 A. I did. I said that to the people at the meeting in Bratiskovci.

15 Q. Witness --

16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go back into open session.

17 [Open session]

18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.


20 Q. This person Goran Opacic that you mentioned, did he have a

21 nickname?

22 A. Klempo was what they called him.

23 Q. Was he close to Milan Martic?

24 A. Yes, close, intimate.

25 Q. I would like now to move on to Bruska. You have already mentioned

Page 13408

1 Bruska and how you visited it. In December 1991, was there any fighting

2 in or around the village?

3 A. I don't remember.

4 Q. Are you aware that ten civilians were killed in the village of

5 Bruska on the 21st of December, 1991, and how it came about?

6 A. I did hear about that, later on. And how it came about was that

7 Goran Opacic, with a few of his men, threw a bomb into the house where the

8 inhabitants were sitting. And Croats were killed, the Croats who were

9 there, and a Serb postman who was sitting there with them.

10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Closed session, please, for one question.

11 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


14 Q. Who informed you about that?

15 A. [redacted]

16 Q. And when did he inform you?

17 A. Two years ago, a year and a half ago.

18 Q. Did the Croatian villagers return to the region of Skabrnja or

19 Bruska before Operation Storm? Do you know?

20 A. No.

21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go back into open session.

22 [Open session]


24 Q. Witness, with the help of the usher, I would like to put to you

25 Exhibit -- tab 166 of Exhibit 352. And there is a document of the

Page 13409

1 Ministry of Internal Affairs dated the 28th of September, 1992, signed and

2 stamped. Can you first of all comment on the header and the stamp and the

3 signature?

4 A. This is a document which corresponds to the contents, but the

5 signature is not that of Martic. Somebody signed for him, probably

6 someone from the command of the special police units.

7 Q. And the stamp, is it the stamp that was used at that time?

8 A. Yes, it is.

9 Q. In this document, there is a reference made to -- I quote: "We

10 have the --" I can't read that word. Sorry. Mine was not readable. "We

11 have the surely information that during the 29/30-1992 by force

12 immigration of the population is planned for Skabrnja, Novigrad, and

13 Pridraga." And a little bit further down: "... we inform you that we

14 will be forced to prevent by force arrival of -- on the territory of

15 RSK."

16 Do you know that anything happened at that time, in September

17 1992, in relation to the return of the population?

18 A. I know that people talked about it and that it was the position by

19 the people in the government that the Croats should not be allowed to

20 return. I don't know exactly, in any precise terms.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's enough for the document.

23 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, who interpreted, translated this

24 document? I'm interested in the form of the document. Was it faxed?

25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It is actually a UN -- we received this

Page 13410












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13 English transcripts.













Page 13411

1 document from the UN.


3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: UNPROFOR. And I'm actually -- I'm not sure

4 who translated it. I assume they, not us.

5 JUDGE KWON: And if you could tell us what the previous documents,

6 the handwritten documents, are which were put before this document under

7 the same tab number.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, this is just a memo from

9 UNPROFOR related to the situation at that time, and attached was this

10 statement from Martic, Martic's ministry. The other questions I can't

11 actually answer. It is a letter written to UNPROFOR and the State

12 Committee for Cooperation.

13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I think it says that.

14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.

15 Q. Witness, we have -- you have already mentioned Dubrovnik and the

16 fighting in Dubrovnik and what the goal was in relation to this region.

17 Did the Bosnian Serbs have a particular goal for the region around

18 Dubrovnik? Did you ever have a conversation related to this?

19 A. Yes, they did. It was their target that the Republika Srpska

20 should come out onto the sea to the south of Dubrovnik, in that area.

21 Q. How do you know that? Did you have conversation of that kind or

22 did you hear them quote such things?

23 A. I heard this from Biljana Plavsic, that Republika Srpska should be

24 given an outlet to the sea at the rocks of Konavle.

25 Q. When did she say that? Did she say that publicly and when?

Page 13412

1 A. Yes, she said that publicly in 1994 or 1995. I'm not quite sure

2 now.

3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I -- when we spoke about the

4 intercepts in relation to the Martic arrest, there was actually one

5 intercept that I did not put to the witness, and I would like to do that

6 just now, and it is -- it's tab 37 of the intercept binder 353.

7 Q. Witness, did you listen to an intercepted conversation between

8 Radovan Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik? Do you recall that?

9 A. I do recall it, yes.

10 Q. How familiar are you with Mr. Krajisnik's voice?

11 A. I know the voice well. I heard him on several occasions. He uses

12 the Sarajevo dialect with his own personal type of intonation.

13 Q. Yes. I do not like to go into any details. It's not necessity

14 point in time. Thank you.

15 Witness, we have seen from several documents that you had actually

16 put -- discussed and explained to us that civilian and military courts

17 were established in the SAO Krajina and the RSK, and we also have seen the

18 request of the RSK to the VJ to transfer staff for military courts. Does

19 that mean that civil and military courts did function in the years 1991 to

20 1995 in the Krajina?

21 A. Yes, they did.

22 Q. Are you aware whether any war crimes committed against the

23 non-Serbs, the non-Serbs in the region, were investigated by the judiciary

24 and led to a result such as a conviction?

25 A. No, except for one group from Drvenik for a crime in Rupe or

Page 13413

1 thereabouts. In 1993, I think it was.

2 Q. What kind of group -- what kind of group was it? Who was

3 convicted of what?

4 A. A group belonging to the army of the Srpska Krajina from Drvenik

5 where it had killed some civilians. This was around the village of Rupe

6 or around that area, and they were arrested and taken to trial. I don't

7 know what the outcome of the trial was.

8 Q. The victims of these crimes, what ethnicity did they have?

9 A. They were Croats.

10 Q. You have already described the looting that took place after

11 attacks on --

12 A. I beg your pardon. I do apologise. Or one of them was perhaps

13 killed at Rupe, and they killed some Croats from their own village.

14 Perhaps that was it. Perhaps that was what happened.

15 Q. Witness, you have already described the looting that took place

16 after attacks on Croatian villages, and I would like to ask you a question

17 now in private session.


19 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

20 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


22 Q. Did you ever have -- did you ever speak or have a conversation

23 with Branko Kostic, the member of the SFRY Presidency, concerning

24 looting?

25 A. Yes, I did. On the 31st of December, 1991, on the premises of the

Page 13414

1 Presidency of Yugoslavia in Belgrade.

2 Q. What did you talk?

3 A. Well, while we were waiting for Borisav Jovic to arrive, he was

4 saying -- he was telling us a joke, and he asked me whether I knew what a

5 Montenegrin flak jacket was. And then he explained to me that actually

6 they were prosciutto hams placed one in front and one behind. And he

7 showed his chest and his back and said that the Montenegrins wore these

8 prosciutto hams as flak jackets. And then he went on to comment and said

9 that the Montenegrin reservists in the Konavle region liked shooting

10 prosciutto hams mostly.

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can go back into open session.

12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.


15 Q. Witness, you have already described the two detention facilities

16 in Knin, and I just need a few more details on this. Were Croats detained

17 in a part of the old Knin hospital?

18 A. Yes, they were.

19 Q. This old Knin hospital, where was it situated in Knin in relation

20 to the government buildings and the JNA barracks?

21 A. Between the headquarters of the 9th Corps and the government

22 building.

23 Q. Does that mean they were close?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Who ran the detention facility, and in which time period did it

Page 13415

1 function as a detention facility?

2 A. The police were at the head, and it functioned as a prison for a

3 long time. I don't know when it started being used in that way, but

4 sometime in the middle of the summer of 1991 until the end of 1992. And

5 later on, when the prison was taken over by the Ministry of Justice and

6 when Ilija Tauz came and brought in professional prison guards, it was

7 moved to the other wing of the old hospital, and that's where the prison

8 was later on.

9 Q. How many -- what kind of people were kept there; civilians,

10 combatants, men, women? Can you tell us?

11 A. Members of the Croatian police force and army who had been taken

12 prisoner. And later on, I heard that there were some civilians too,

13 Croats.

14 Q. And how many Croats were detained there at a given time? What was

15 the capacity?

16 A. I don't know exactly what the capacity was. Well, tens, dozens.

17 Q. Do you know how long the detainees were kept there? I mean, over

18 which time period were they kept there?

19 A. I don't know exactly, but it was in 1991 at any rate. The autumn

20 of 1991.

21 Q. I mean the individual detainees, how were they kept there, the

22 time period; just for a few days or months? The individual detainees, how

23 long would they be detained there?

24 A. Well, I can't say exactly. There were some exchanges that took

25 place. Some of them were exchanged and, therefore, released.

Page 13416

1 Q. You said that detainees -- it was known that detainees were

2 mistreated there. Who mistreated them and in which way?

3 A. The guards who were policemen. I heard later on that they even

4 brought in citizens from the streets to mistreat them.

5 Q. And when you say "citizens from the streets," which ethnicity had

6 the victims?

7 A. Croats.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Closed session, please.

9 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.


12 Q. Witness, you mentioned that some were exchanged, and my question

13 is: Were you actually involved in some of these exchanges?

14 A. At the beginning of September 1991, when Ambassador Wijnaendts

15 arrived after the signing of my statement and the accepting observers from

16 the European Community, he suggested that as an act of good faith and

17 goodwill that he could take off a group of Croats, prisoners, with him in

18 the helicopters. And I called upon Nikola Amanovic from the police force

19 and asked him whether we could meet that request made by

20 Ambassador Wijnaendts. And Amanovic arrived and he brought a list of

21 prisoners with him, detainees who were in prison, and I handed the list

22 over to Ambassador Wijnaendts. This was in front of the Knin Assembly

23 building. So it was all standing on our feet outside. The Ambassador

24 took a pen and drew some circles round some names on the list, as many as

25 he could take with him. And that's what happened on that occasion. That

Page 13417

1 was my participation.

2 Q. And how many people were listed on the list, and what kind of

3 people were they?

4 A. I don't know. I think that they were Croatian policemen or

5 guardsmen who were the prisoners.

6 And there was another instance, one or two cases, in fact, in

7 July, August - I don't remember exactly when - but on that occasion,

8 General Niko Spirovic -- I beg your pardon, Spiro Nikovic is his name, he

9 called me to ask Martic to let a Croatian policeman out of prison, to

10 release him, because the Croatian police force from Sibenik had requested

11 this.

12 And also on another occasion received another message from Zadar

13 via the head of -- from a doctor in Sibenik and a relation of mine whether

14 I could do anything to ensure the release of a policeman from Zadar who

15 was being held in a prison in Knin. So those were the cases that I

16 personally know about.

17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: With the help of the usher, I would like to

18 put to the witness tab 168 of Exhibit 352.

19 Q. And my question to you is: Is this related to one of the releases

20 that you just mentioned? It's an order dated the 25th of July, 1991, in

21 relation to the release of Osman Vikic from Zadar.

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Looking at the name, is that a Croat?

24 A. Looking at the name, I would say he was a Muslim.

25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Witness, do you need [Realtime transcript read in

Page 13418

1 error: "do you know"] a Prime Minister's signature in order to release a

2 prisoner? Was it common at that time?

3 I said "do you need" not "do you know."

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. But for some reason the Prime

5 Minister was asked to sign as justification to have this person released.

6 I don't know why. But it was Minister Martic, in public, once who made a

7 comment that this was a mistake that had been done through the Prime

8 Minister and General Nikovic and that he was sorry that this had actually

9 taken place, and this was published in the press.

10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We have to stay in private session.

13 Q. During the events in 1991, you were in a leading political

14 position in the SAO Krajina, and you were also the head of the TO, and you

15 told us --

16 JUDGE MAY: The senior legal officer, please. Just a moment.

17 Just go on. It's totally different.

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Thank you.

19 Q. You said from 1991 onwards when the JNA was involved, you saw what

20 was happening to the Croatian population. How did this make you feel at

21 that time? How did you feel about what was going on?

22 A. Well, I felt that this didn't bode well for the Serbs either, that

23 it was bad and that it compromised all the political principles for which

24 the Serbs in Krajina had fought for until that time.

25 Q. You said that you were a kind of a spokesman of the Krajina, and

Page 13419

1 we even saw you mentioned in one article as the chancellor of Krajina.

2 And you also said that you were backed, and the people listened to you.

3 Why did you not oppose more vehemently what was going on, and why did you

4 continue to have the functions that you had?

5 A. Well, I became exclusively interested in the fate of my people. I

6 became an ethnoegotist, if I can put it that way - selfish - and I took

7 care of only my own people and forgot the others. And I sort of saw my

8 political role in that light. I liked performing this role, and I would

9 tell the public what people expected me to say. So I had entered this

10 vicious circle from which it was difficult to extricate myself. And I did

11 think that ultimately, after the war, a solution would be found and that

12 things could be settled politically.

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, these are actually the

14 questions that the Prosecution has to this witness. I'm actually

15 finished, faster than I expected it myself.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go into open session.

17 [Open session]

18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.

19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

20 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you repeat the final comment in open

21 session.

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Which one?

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Which one do you mean? Oh, you mean that we

25 are finished with our questions. Yes. The Prosecution has now finished

Page 13420

1 its questions that we're to put to the witness, and faster as expected.

2 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient time. We'll go to

3 cross-examination, Mr. Milosevic, after the break. Twenty minutes.

4 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.

5 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, before you begin, there's one

7 procedural matter which we must deal with in private session.

8 We'll go into private session.

9 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.

11 JUDGE MAY: The point is this, which the registrar has mentioned

12 to us, that because the witness has to -- has voice distortion on his

13 microphone, it's necessary for the registrar to switch off your

14 microphone, Mr. Milosevic, after you've finished your questions and before

15 you -- before the witness answers. So it will be necessary to pause

16 between question and answer. Would you, therefore, keep your questions as

17 short as possible.

18 And would the witness bear in mind to leave a break after the

19 accused has asked his question, to leave a break for the registrar to

20 switch off the microphone. Now, that doesn't sound difficult, it doesn't

21 sound difficult, but in fact it will be, because you'll understand the

22 question and you'll be anxious to answer it, since you both speak the same

23 language. But could you bear that in mind, that there should be a pause.

24 Yes. We'll go back into open session.

25 [Open session]

Page 13421

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, would you, of course, bear in mind that

3 any matters, as you know now, which may disclose the identity of this

4 witness must be dealt with in private session, and you should err on the

5 side of caution in that respect. Yes.

6 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have been given the

8 testimony of this witness on tapes, and I would like at the beginning to

9 play one of those many videotapes, the first one. The first one will

10 suffice.

11 JUDGE MAY: Just let us see what -- let us just see what this is.

12 This is tapes of his interview, is that it?

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. A part of the first tape of

14 his conversations with the lady opposite and with the investigator, upon

15 which I could put some questions to the witness and ask him to comment.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the track has been identified. It will have

17 to be in private session, as the registrar points out, because of the

18 facial distortion.

19 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in private session.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the video be played.

22 [Videotape played]

23 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] ... the year 1991, and in

24 connection with that, I would like to say the following. You see it was

25 really that I was reacting on a daily basis, day in and day out I reacted

Page 13422












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13 English transcripts.













Page 13423

1 every day to events, external events and in order to represent the

2 interests of the Serbs in Krajina, the people I represented. And in all

3 my interventions, what I wished was really one thing. That where Serbs in

4 Croatia and primarily in Krajina, that I ensure a just, a harmonious

5 relationship in Croatia, relations in Croatia. And in no way wore murder

6 and suffering. In that sense, I also issued some statements. One was,

7 for example, also taken up and published in the press, it was a statement

8 of the 21st of August, 1991. And it referred to the attempt to preserve

9 peace in the area of Kijevo. I already talked about that. And another

10 statement, which I made, I gave on the 29th of August, 1991, that was also

11 published by the press. And in this statement I said that we do not wish

12 bloodshed between Serbs, Serbian and Croat population. And that we

13 wouldn't wish to take over, to subjugate a single village, Croatian

14 village, and not to occupy a single particle of Croatian territory, nor to

15 do any harm to the Croatian nation. And then at the end something that I

16 believe I already mentioned earlier with the international representative

17 Mr. Galbraith, I agreed with this international proposal which was

18 submitted for the status of Krajina within Croatia."

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It goes on. These are just excerpts

21 from the tape and it's longer than this, and I would like to ask my

22 questions once we've seen all of it. So please continue.

23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

24 [Videotape played]

25 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And now if you will allow me,

Page 13424

1 another two sentences to devote it to another topic, to devote them to

2 another topic. And it concerns that document which was already on this

3 table, which has been on this table. It is the official document number

4 63. It is a document of an audit to the third operation cell, to the

5 command of the third operation cell. I already talked that, and in

6 connection with that, I would like to in this context, I would like to add

7 the following --

8 "MR. HARDIN: Just let me just interrupt, for reference purposes,

9 that's the document that is marked MBW863. Yes now, just one second, yes,

10 it's all right now. The ERN number is 0207 -- 7 -- 794 948/unclear

11 just made a copy/unclear.

12 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And I would like to say the

13 following, concerning that document. It is certain that I signed that

14 document, but it is also certain that if I hadn't signed it, somebody else

15 would have signed it. Well, I have been asking myself and I wonder why

16 that has been slipped to me and that I then signed it. I'd like to be

17 clear about that. It is again the work of that Milosevic parallel

18 structure operating in Krajina. In that way, they certainly wanted to

19 compromise me. To compromise me vis-a-vis the legitimate representatives

20 of the Croatian authorities, in the attempt to resolve the open issues in

21 a peaceful manner. To present me as a liar and to present me as somebody

22 who is for war and not for peace. And in that situation at the time, it

23 was the work for compromising me, it was done in order to compromise me

24 and to present me as a person who is not for peace and not for the Vance's

25 plan. And it seems to me that this document is still carrying, is still

Page 13425

1 having this function of compromising me, even today at this very moment.

2 And I feel that it is compromising me even today. It is placing me in a

3 different light, and also me, and the intentions, and my real intentions,

4 what they were. And that was to resolve the political problems without

5 violence, and to enable and ensure the coexistence of the Serbian and

6 Croatian people without a conflict. And this is what --"

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Let us proceed.

8 [Videotape played]

9 "MR. HARDIN: OK. Mr. Babic, let me just ask you a question in

10 point about what you just said a few minutes ago. You said that on the

11 29th of August 1991, in essence you didn't wish bloodshed, and I don't

12 recall what else you said, but it was that/unclear. And I have a

13 representation of what is an article from Politika, dated 29th of August

14 1991. I think that this is just a summary of the article, but what I have

15 written here is: 'Milan Babic states that the southern parts of the SAO

16 Krajina are almost entirely under control of armed people, after the SAO

17 Krajina forces liberated Kijevo, Vrliku, Otisic, and other areas. He adds

18 that no forces from the Republic of Serbia participated in the operation

19 and that the Serbs shall shrink from no means to defend their right to

20 independence.' And then it goes on to state: 'Krajina,' he states:

21 'cannot remain within Croatia, even if Croatia remained in Yugoslavia.'

22 Do you recall that interview?

23 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No. As I remember it, how my

24 statement went that we have no claims towards Croatia or the Croatian

25 people.

Page 13426

1 "MR. HARDIN: In the press summary that you mentioned when you

2 were talking, is this the one, the same interview that we're talking

3 about?

4 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, I found this. I got it

5 from a friend of mine. He reminded me of this. But we can check with the

6 press and check it then.

7 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Do you want to give this to us, what you

8 have there?

9 "MR. MUELLER: Is this the article or is it not?

10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No it is not the article."

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: Continue, please.

12 [Videotape played]

13 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, I did not understand actually

14 what you meant when you said that my plan was, as a regional politician,

15 was to come to an agreement with the Croatians within the framework of

16 Croatia. From when onwards did you have this plan?

17 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, I could say it was my plan

18 or my intention to do it, it was from the beginning of September 1990. It

19 was when, with Jerko, Jerko Vukas, the mayor of Sinj, when we agreed for a

20 meeting with the representatives of the Croatian government and of the

21 Croatian parliament. On the 10th of September, we signed an agreement.

22 In the documents, I submitted a copy of this agreement where we stated we

23 agreed that all open questions will be resolved through the institution.

24 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yeah, let's not go into details, and get

25 not let -- let's not get distracted by details. You say since September

Page 13427

1 1990 you wanted to solve the problem with Croatia. Why, then, did you

2 pass so many decisions annexing the SAO Krajina to Serbia, to Yugoslavia?

3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, I said that these were the

4 day-to-day reactions to these external events. Concerning some of these

5 events have already been discussed here. I also mentioned a number of

6 times that this parallel structure was being set up in Krajina, which had

7 an impact on the external events. They took over, they had the monopoly

8 over the organs of force, through the institution of the police, the state

9 security. And then also the -- the public was being threatened. They

10 were -- I mentioned a number of times also this film which was being shown

11 on television concerning Martin Spegelj and the purported attack on Knin.

12 And we -- we were -- this -- we considered that we were being publicly --

13 it was a kind of a public threat to us, and this -- us, as well as the

14 public at large. And we also -- we wanted to get Milosevic to take a

15 clear stand; namely, we wanted to provoke him and not to manipulate the

16 public with false hopes, through false hopes. And that is why I mentioned

17 that these reactions, we had these reactions to these day-to-day events.

18 And after this atmosphere of fear was created, and after the armed

19 conflicts were being -- occurred, the next opportunity for resolving our

20 status came at the international conference. And then again similar means

21 were used by Milosevic and his people.

22 "In front of the apartment of Borivoj Rasuo at the beginning --

23 at the beginning of The Hague conference there was a big -- in big letters

24 what I read, big, it was written in red, `Babic, traitor.' And Rasuo --

25 Rasuo said that this was written by a policeman who lived next to him.

Page 13428

1 "I already mentioned how Frenki in the police station in Knin,

2 before I went to the first preparatory meeting in Paris for The Hague

3 Conference, that he was inciting people against me by saying that I was a

4 traitor and so. Then at the time, Slobodan Milosevic; then Simovic;

5 Petrovic, who was the vice-president of the Assembly of Serbia, I won't

6 list all the others, but however, many people from Serbia and from the --

7 among -- from the ranks of the authorities were -- were creating this

8 climate among the population and generating thus expectations among the

9 people living in Krajina and that it is their natural right to remain in

10 Yugoslavia and that they will have to make another -- choose an option.

11 "I mentioned to you that this -- at a certain point I couldn't

12 take this atmosphere, this pressure, any more, and I didn't go to Paris to

13 this preparatory meeting. I was really pressed on the one side by the

14 public opinion and authorities in Serbia, and on the other hand, this

15 pressure that I'm a traitor of the Serbian nation."

16 JUDGE MAY: Any more, Mr. Milosevic?

17 THE ACCUSED: Yes, yes.

18 [Videotape played]

19 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] So I'm -- I'm describing to you

20 this atmosphere which prevailed at the time, and how -- how we acted as

21 rational politicians.

22 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, I still don't understand your

23 position in relation to what your plans were. You say in September 1990,

24 your plan was actually -- or you intended to solve the problems internally

25 in Croatia.

Page 13429

1 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

2 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Please. And then comes this period

3 where clashes occur and when conflict comes up, and then you -- do I

4 understand that you still continued to have this plan or did you give it

5 up for a while?

6 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] That was in my head and in my

7 heart, but not always in my mouth.

8 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And in autumn 1991, you again wanted

9 to discuss and negotiate with the Croats. Is that what you say?

10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, an opportunity occurred for

11 that. It was with -- through the mediation of the international

12 community. I already mentioned what these relations were, how they -- how

13 they progressed, and maybe it was my mistake not to have sufficient

14 courage to take this step publicly.

15 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But did you --

16 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, these were my weaknesses.

17 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But no, let's not speak about your

18 weaknesses now. Did you --"

19 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We are talking about 1991 now."

20 [Videotape played]

21 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] But what I wanted to say was that

22 Tudjman did not want to have a public meeting, a meeting that would be

23 public, made public. You see, he offered that this meeting take place. I

24 accepted but that it had to be made known public. But I received no

25 feedback on this. So we then also proposed this constitutional solution

Page 13430

1 where the Krajina would be within the framework of Croatia as a region,

2 Krajina region, district. And that's why they called me the district

3 leader, the head, the `Zupan.' Even Biljana Plavsic called me leader of

4 the district, namely, the person who wants the Krajina to be a district, a

5 region of Croatia.

6 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But, Mr. Babic, it's very difficult when you

7 jump between the years. If I understand you now correctly, it's in 1990

8 you were strongly moving to having an Autonomous Region Krajina within

9 Croatia.

10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes. And formally it was, up to

11 the end of May 1991.

12 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But then you gave it up and never pursued

13 it. Isn't that -- isn't that the fact?

14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, you see, there was no

15 possibility for pursuing, for opening this matter. I was really limited

16 by the circumstances which were being created around us, and Croatia was

17 publicly saying that Serbia is abusing of Krajina for its public purposes,

18 ends.

19 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yeah. Isn't that --"

20 THE ACCUSED: Go on, please.

21 [Videotape played]

22 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But you, at the moment, you've just said he

23 created parallel structure in the Krajina. He undermined my plan. That

24 is what you said, but you did not explain what you mean.

25 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes. And I'm convinced of that.

Page 13431

1 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But I don't really understand that.

2 How could -- how could he do that?

3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] How could he?


5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Just suspend matters for a moment, please.

6 Thank you. Yes.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I was just able to find the --

8 the script, the script from the interview, and I just noticed that in this

9 tape that is just now played to us, two sentences are actually dropped.

10 They are cut out. And I think it, in a certain way, changes what the

11 witness says.

12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. What are the two sentences?

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: After: "And Croatia was publicly stating

14 that Serbia is abusing of Krajina for its public purposes, ends." And

15 then I asked the witness: "Yes. Isn't that the truth?" And the witness

16 answered: "Yes, but what I want to say is how Milosevic and others abused

17 Krajina, individual persons and its institutions."

18 This is what the witness said, and this is actually left out, this

19 short quote. From the rest -- before is played and the after is played,

20 but this is not.

21 JUDGE MAY: In due course this extract will have to be exhibited.

22 You will have, of course, the opportunity to check that it's correct and

23 it has been exhibited.

24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: There were also other breaks, and I have only

25 now found it in this huge transcript, and we'll check it.

Page 13432

1 JUDGE MAY: Of course. Yes. Let's go on with the playing,

2 please.

3 One at a time. One at a time.

4 Now, Mr. Tapuskovic. Yes. What is it, Mr. Tapuskovic?

5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to

6 draw your attention simply to one matter. I agree that we should assess

7 everything when we see it in full context, but for several days, we've

8 been listening to the intercepts, and excerpts taken from those, just two

9 sentences. So if this principle refers to the substance, that is to say

10 that every document and every transcript should be viewed in its entirety,

11 I agree that it be so. However, the remark I have to make -- the remark

12 made by the Prosecution about the two sentences I think is not justified,

13 because when we listen to the intercepts, quite a different method was

14 applied.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --

17 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. We will have the full extracts

18 exhibited. Then we shall be able to see for ourselves what it in fact

19 says. Yes.

20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These shortenings were for the

21 economy of time, because the points upon which the lady opposite is

22 insisting upon isn't lost. He did say it. But it was cut out -- what she

23 was saying is cut out, which is not as essential for the witness

24 statement. But the shortenings and abridging that was made was because

25 they were your tapes and not my own. So there was no intention to skip

Page 13433

1 over anything, just to see the manner in which this witness testifies.

2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So it was to save time.

4 JUDGE MAY: When the extracts are finished, the tape as it has

5 been played will be exhibited. No doubt it will have to be done under

6 seal. And then we will exhibit also the transcript. But this whole

7 matter must be kept within bounds.

8 Yes, Mr. Mueller. Then we really must get on with the playing.

9 MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much, Your Honours. Just for the

10 sake of fairness and safeguarding the rights of my client as a witness who

11 is supposed to tell here the truth, if anything else then the truth, I

12 consider that he should at least be given a notice that he is now

13 listening to excerpts of a tape, which was not done. Thank you.

14 JUDGE MAY: Well, he's just heard it.

15 MR. MUELLER: He heard it after. He heard it after.

16 JUDGE MAY: Let us not waste further time. There is no unfairness

17 so far.

18 Yes. One other matter. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, can you tell us

19 which -- the document that was referred to, an order of the -- to the

20 3rd Operative Zone signed by the witness. Is that an exhibit of ours or

21 not?

22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: There -- the first document was actually a --

23 tab 143 of Exhibit 352, and it refers to this command structure in the

24 3rd Operational Zone. But the very first document that Mr. Milosevic

25 actually -- that is mentioned in the interview is a document not exhibited

Page 13434












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13 English transcripts.













Page 13435

1 by us, and if Mr. Milosevic wants to refer to it, it would have to become

2 a new exhibit.

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. But it was the order which I specifically

4 asked about. That's tab 142, Exhibit 352.

5 Yes. Now, let's go back to the playing, if we may, of the tape.

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understood that I was mentioning

7 something. I am not mentioning anything. I'm just showing what the

8 witness was saying. I have not said anything so far.

9 JUDGE MAY: What counsel said was that if you want the statement

10 exhibited - it was referred to in the tape - if you want it exhibited, you

11 can ask and it can be a new exhibit number.

12 Let us go on with the playing, please.

13 [Videotape played]

14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] ... September 1990. And we

15 stabilised the situation in the area of Knin, and after a period of lack

16 of stability, and when we also made these also statements concerning

17 peace, pacifying, and undertook certain activities, two things emerged.

18 "At first what emerged was this Council of National Resistance

19 against the subjugation of Serbs. It had a very long title, and in brief

20 it was known as the Council of National Resistance, an illegal

21 organisation, and which I later recognised in the DB, namely the people

22 from there were the people in the DB. So even a journalist noted that as

23 the people from Knin are not -- a -- are -- now this void has been

24 occupied by the people from the Council of National Resistance.

25 "And the second element was that the unrest and conflicts began in

Page 13436

1 Banija. I don't know who or what caused these conflicts. So the Serbs

2 were accusing the Croatian government, and the Croatian -- the ah --

3 "THE INTERPRETER: Could you ask him to repeat that?

4 "MR. HARDIN: Could you repeat that?

5 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And the Croatian government was

6 accusing the rebellious Serbs, and Serbia, and the Serbs from Banija were

7 accusing the Croatian government."

8 [Videotape played]

9 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] But I remember that Raskovic

10 supported me. He said, `That's the right thing.' And he added: `There

11 is a third element, wishing of the conflict.' So the first two factors,

12 elements, were we and the Croatian government, and he mentioned this third

13 factor, the third element, wishing a conflict. He at that point must have

14 known something more than I did.

15 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But you said the illegal organisation, this

16 Council of National Resistance, were people of -- from the DB. You mean

17 from the DB Serbia or the local DB?

18 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Local people, yes, people who

19 were living in Knin: Dule Orlovic, then Vitas, and others who were

20 there. At a certain point, Dusan Orlovic was the head of DB of Krajina.

21 But I recounted -- I described to you how I've seen that his boss was

22 Jovica Stanisic. It was on the basis of the talk, on that discussion in

23 August 1991.

24 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But, Mr. Babic, let's not get distracted

25 again. You say while you were pursuing peace, other forces were -- other

Page 13437

1 sides were pursuing war. And you mentioned this Council of National

2 Resistance, you mentioned some elements in Banija, and you mentioned a

3 third party whom you -- who Raskovic mentioned. Why can you then say it's

4 Milosevic? How does Milosevic fit into this picture?

5 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, you see, it -- how does he

6 fit in this picture? At the beginning, I didn't know how he fit, but

7 later I was -- it became clear to me that there is a hierarchy and that

8 there's a system: Vitas, Orlovic, Martic, Stanisic. They certainly lead

9 to Milosevic. I think that Stanisic leads to Milosevic, that he wasn't

10 there independently. That's how I see the structure."

11 [Videotape played]

12 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] ... Milosevic. A statement on

13 our acceptance of the Cyrus Vance plan and the acceptance of the UN

14 forces. In this discussion, Radovan Karadzic aggressively supported

15 Milosevic and he acted aggressively towards me. And Nikola Koljevic, it

16 was a non-aggressive attitude, but also expressing his support for the

17 position stated by Milosevic. And then Milosevic gave me a sheet of

18 paper, and then I went to another room to write down this statement. And

19 I wrote this statement, approximately on one page. He took, I believe, a

20 pencil, and he said the following --

21 "MR. HARDIN: `He' meaning who, Milosevic?

22 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Milosevic. Milosevic said the

23 following. He said: `I won't cross it out, but I shall underline what I

24 believe you should leave out.' And then he underlined practically the

25 entire text. What remained was that we -- was the sentence that we accept

Page 13438

1 the peace plan. Well, I, you know, in a subdued tone, I protested. I

2 didn't agree with that. And he responded. He reacted to this by saying,

3 `You're stubborn, stubborn.' He often would say that to me, that I'm

4 stubborn, and he used the English term that I'm a troublemaker. And he

5 launched this expression `troublemaker' in May 1991, and it was then that

6 he said that I ought to be killed. Namely, he said that -- he

7 stated, `Some academicians said that you ought to be killed.'

8 "MR. HARDIN: In May 1991?

9 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. When he said that I

10 ought to be killed. But on this occasion, he didn't say it.

11 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But was that a joke? Did he mean it as a

12 joke or did you understand it as a threat?

13 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] A threat. Well, you know, he

14 wanted to conceal it a bit, that it's not his direct threat. You know, he

15 didn't even offer coffee. It was a hostile attitude.

16 "MR. HARDIN: /unclear/in May?"

17 [Videotape played]

18 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And I think that while I was

19 there and while we were waiting for Jovic to arrive, Branko Kostic was

20 talking to General Krstic over the phone. In fact, Kostic was asking, `Is

21 there anything which has to -- ought to be signed?' I do not remember -- I

22 cannot recollect if there were any other Presidency members present. I

23 remember that he was there because of this scene with the telephone, but

24 the talk, I had the talk with Jovic.

25 "MR. HARDIN: Yes. Now, when you describe the talk with Jovic, I

Page 13439

1 would like you to tell me, as best as you can recall, what he said and

2 what you said. Not necessarily what you thought, but what you and he

3 said.

4 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] First, well, he showed the plan,

5 the text.

6 "MR. HARDIN: `He' meaning Jovic?

7 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Jovic. Jovic showed the text to

8 me.

9 "MR. HARDIN: And `the text' means the Vance Plan?

10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

11 "MR. HARDIN: Okay.

12 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And I said, `There's nothing new

13 in this.' That is what I said. And he answered. He was arrogant,

14 uppity. He said, `And is there anything new with you?' I said, `No.'

15 And, you know, this is the key impression of that meeting. I don't

16 recollect other things being said. This arrogance and this attitude of

17 him -- of his, this is what remains with me.

18 "MR. HARDIN: So at the time you had this meeting with him, he

19 was already -- it was very -- it was well known by him that you opposed

20 the Vance Plan; is that correct?

21 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes. When he -- yes, because he

22 said, `Is there anything new with you?' He meant: Are there any changes

23 in your attitude? I wasn't generally opposed. Generally, I was for, I

24 was accepting the plan.

25 "MR. HARDIN: Yes, just what was said.

Page 13440

1 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes. He knew that I had some

2 comments, some observations. It was in this sense that he said, `What's

3 new with you?' I remain behind these comments of mine. So I retain and I

4 stand by these comments of mine.

5 "MR. HARDIN: And what did he reply?"

6 [Videotape played]

7 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. Well, let me just ask a question regarding

8 that and then I'll go back and qualify it. Okay. With that statement I

9 just read, is that true, that that was one of the aspects of contention

10 between what you wanted and what Mr. Milosevic et al. wanted?

11 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't about this.

12 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. Hang on. Hang on. Hang on. Hang on just a

13 minute. Hang on. Hang on just now. I'm going to qualify this. What I'm

14 looking at and what I'm reading from is -- I already read the ERN number.

15 No. I'll repeat it for the record. It's 00543360. Okay. And this is an

16 unofficial translation, and it says it's a text of Mr. Milan Babic's

17 response to Slobodan Milosevic, as reproduced in Politika, 12 January

18 1992. Now, did you write a letter to Slobodan Milosevic on or about that

19 date?

20 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, a letter was written, was

21 drafted by Boro Rasuo, and I did sign a text, and well, he elaborated and

22 put in -- filled it in with different things.

23 "MR. HARDIN: Well, this letter that was written by whoever

24 segment, went out with your signature, did it not?

25 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

Page 13441

1 "MR. HARDIN: Was that an accurate representation of what you

2 wanted?

3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No.

4 "MR. HARDIN: Why did you sign it?

5 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, at the suggestion that the

6 public opinion -- namely, that Slobodan Milosevic created this public

7 opinion. It was -- this was the suggestion by the person who drafted the

8 text, to formulate it in this way for the public.

9 "MR. HARDIN: Yes. Yes. But what do you differ with in this

10 letter? What -- do you recall the letter? I don't have a copy in B/C/S.

11 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] The Vance Plan was not a

12 political plan; it was a security arrangement.

13 "MR. HARDIN: Yes.

14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And this plan did not encompass,

15 did not incorporate about a quarter of the territory of Krajina in which

16 Serbs lived. And the main opposition and our disagreement was concerning

17 the territory, the size of the territory which should be covered by the

18 peace forces. And I did show to Jovic, to Milosevic, what was not being

19 protected, and they didn't want to talk about it. And then I insisted --

20 my attitude, I was inflexible on that, on this green line which would

21 divide the forces, separate the forces, and in this way, then it would be

22 possible to protect the entire territory in which Serbs lived.

23 "You know, I couldn't face a situation where a big part of the

24 people would be lacking protection and that I would be then the culprit

25 for this position.

Page 13442

1 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. So let me ask you the question then: When

2 you wrote this letter, is this a political letter or is this how you

3 felt?

4 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Political.

5 "MR. HARDIN: I don't see it here, and I just scanned it -- I

6 don't see it, anything here about the part of the territory of Serbian

7 Krajina which would not be covered under this plan.

8 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] It speaks of this line of

9 separation, speaking of the line of separation and the deployment of the

10 forces which would, in practice, mean the protection of our entire

11 territory."

12 [Videotape played]

13 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]...

14 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, when I read this letter, there is

15 rhetoric in that which is extremely radical, especially in relation to the

16 Croats that are mentioned here as the `Croatian neo-Nazi aggressors.' And

17 you also speak here of the Vance Plan being realised as the plan, actually

18 allowing the plan of genocide of the Serbs, that you contest that the

19 Krajina is part of Croatia, that you do not want to be disarmed. It

20 sounds from this letter that you are much more radical than Mr. Milosevic

21 himself.

22 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, but these were neither my

23 feelings nor my thoughts.

24 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But you signed it.

25 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] I was thinking about concrete

Page 13443

1 matters, about the security aspects. Well, the tension and the pressure,

2 a moment of lack of attention. I wasn't more radical. I wasn't more

3 radical than Milosevic, because Milosevic, on the 26th of February, by the

4 Assembly in Borovo Selo, introduced the constitution and the laws of

5 Yugoslavia on the territory of Krajina. There are documents existing

6 about that. And at the time when this letter was published, neither the

7 constitution of Yugoslavia nor the laws of Yugoslavia were in force in

8 Krajina.

9 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, you gave us, last time, a lot of

10 documents, and in some of the documents were just that ...

11 [Videotape played]

12 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] In -- in practical terms, he

13 occupied on behalf of Yugoslavia, politically, Krajina. Until then, he

14 had the control over the militia, the army. He influenced the economic

15 system via the economy. And on the 26th of February, he also occupied

16 Krajina politically. He took over the power, took over the power.

17 "MR. HARDIN: Yes.

18 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] And these -- these things really

19 pull our attention from what is essential, and it shows me more radical

20 than I was. But in reality, it was different.

21 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. But we've we covered this a little bit some

22 time ago with the October meetings. Is what you just -- I'm sorry. Just

23 please allow me for a couple minutes to see what I'm missing. At the time

24 when you said that he acquired Yugoslav laws into the Krajina in, what,

25 February --

Page 13444


2 "MR. HARDIN: -- 26th, 1992; correct?

3 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Yes.

4 "MR. HARDIN: Now, at that point, did Croatia, the government of

5 Croatia, have any control over this area in the Krajina? Yes or no.

6 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] No, they didn't.

7 "MR. HARDIN: So the area of the Krajina now became a part of

8 Yugoslavia, as I understand. Is that correct?

9 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Not quite.

10 "MR. HARDIN: What was it then? What was it?

11 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Formally it was a separate

12 area.

13 "MR. HARDIN: Was it part --

14 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] In reality, a part of

15 Yugoslavia.

16 "MR. HARDIN: Okay. Now, what did he want?

17 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] On the 9 -- on the 19th of

18 December, we separated from Yugoslavia.

19 "MR. HARDIN: Hang on. Just a minute. We'll talk physical

20 dynamics, geography. On this 26th of February, 1992, according to what

21 you said, what Milosevic caused to happen was that the Serbian Krajina now

22 became part of Yugoslavia.

23 "Now, understanding that politics changed during this period and

24 going all the way back to 1990 and moving up to that date, isn't that the

25 same thing, that the Serbs, represented by you, as the president, wanted

Page 13445

1 was a part of Croatia, being the Serbian part of Croatia, to be divorced

2 from Croatia and then to become part of Yugoslavia or Serbia depending

3 upon what time period we're speaking about?

4 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Not everybody.

5 "MR. HARDIN: Did the government -- the government of the SAO

6 Krajina --

7 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Let me ask you -- Mr. Babic, let me ask

8 you. On the 19th -- you said on the 19th December, you decided in the

9 Krajina that you did not want to be part of the Yugoslavia?

10 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] We proclaimed -- we proclaimed

11 ourselves independent, and we stopped being a part of Yugoslavia.

12 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But at the same time, according to

13 this letter that Mr. Rasuo wrote, you also said, `We don't want to be part

14 of Croatia.' Did you want to be absolutely independent like Monaco sort

15 of? What did you want?

16 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, it was -- it became. The

17 situation became clear. You know, Croatia was already recognised as an

18 independent state by a number of -- it was from the 23rd of December she

19 was recognised as an independent country by Germany and then followed by

20 others. The position then of the international community at the

21 conference on Yugoslavia was -- was clear from the 18th of October, 1990,

22 that there can be no changes of the borders of the former republics of

23 Yugoslavia. So it was clear to everyone that Krajina will have to find

24 its position within Croatia.

25 "Now, in this conflict, which was also an armed conflict and

Page 13446












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Page 13447

1 conflict on an institutional level, there was this radical column, and

2 although the international community had this clear position -- so we had

3 to move gradually. Not Monaco. So we created -- this was created and

4 what we called the Republika Srpska Krajina. It was an institution by

5 which it was possible then with other involved factors, Croatia, the

6 international community, to solve this problem and to solve -- to

7 determine its future position. So -- and it was my conviction and my

8 feeling that this would have to be in a political and territorial

9 community with -- in Croatia.

10 "So from the 18th of October, the second session of that

11 conference when this position was clearly stated, the realistic prospects

12 were these. But you see, we also have to move gradually and also within

13 the public opinion. We had a lot of faith and confidence in these options

14 which were proposed by Milosevic. So we were somewhere in a position in

15 between, between Yugoslavia and Croatia, which became independent.

16 "MR. HARDIN: So you're -- so you're -- okay."

17 JUDGE MAY: If we're moving on -- not very long.

18 [Videotape played]

19 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] So irrespective of what was

20 written in the press, my proposal was that the UN takeover also the

21 civilian administration of Krajina, and that in this way then the

22 international community could slowly, gradually, find this kind of

23 solution. So it was -- but it ought to have been done without big shifts,

24 without great fear in the public, and without vengeance coming from

25 Milosevic. So it was a more muted way of finding a solution within the

Page 13448

1 boundaries of Croatia.

2 "But I already talked about this, that from the moment of the

3 Vance Plan and my proposal for the civilian administration, international

4 civilian administration, an UN protectorate for the Krajina, there was an

5 evil campaign being launched, and it was -- it involved also my aides who

6 were considered to be my close aides, and they diverted the attention from

7 these matters and creating an image of us as radicals and that there was

8 nor strength neither in me personally nor in the institutions of Krajina

9 to come out of this situation more peacefully. So I was really suppressed

10 by this pressure, this atmosphere, this choking atmosphere.

11 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic --

12 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] I told you about this, that the

13 municipality of Knin accepted the deployment of the peace forces. It was

14 the first time that the shooting took place in my apartment. I'd like

15 just to depict for you what was the general environment, the general

16 prevailing climate.

17 "MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Mr. Babic, I mean, what you tell us now is

18 in absolute contrast to what is written here in this letter. How can you

19 explain that?

20 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I didn't have the

21 strength, the power. I had no other support than these people whom I

22 considered to be the closest to me. I told you that this idea of a UN

23 protectorate for Krajina, these same people didn't want to support it, to

24 back it up.

25 "MR. HARDIN: Mr. Babic -- Mr. Babic, with all due respect, when

Page 13449

1 you say you don't have the power for /unclear/, you have stood three days

2 in the Presidency speaking about the Vance Plan in front of the most

3 powerful people in Yugoslavia. You didn't -- you didn't represent

4 yourself to be a man not afraid to say things or afraid to do things.

5 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Oh, I was less afraid of them

6 than of the angry people, of the angry rank and file.

7 "MR. HARDIN: Yes, but --

8 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] How -- how -- how could I -- you

9 know, if somebody said, `Yes, he protected Knin but he didn't protect us,'

10 then you would have revenge. There was the responsibility towards these

11 people whom I represented. I -- I said that this was -- I already

12 mentioned to Madam Hildegard that once, that this was really an

13 existential fear of my very survival."

14 JUDGE MAY: That's finished, then, is it, Mr. Milosevic?

15 THE ACCUSED: I think there is one small piece.

16 [Videotape played]

17 "MR. HARDIN: Frankly, some of the answers you're giving us,

18 especially when it comes to this letter, for example, are in contrast to a

19 lot of things that we have.

20 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'm talking candidly,

21 sincerely from my heart and from my mind. From the mind and the heart.

22 "MR. HARDIN: Do you have any more you want to ask? Okay. We'll

23 move into a whole different [indiscernible].

24 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] Do I have to answer, add anything

25 to that?

Page 13450

1 "MR. HARDIN: No. No, you don't have to add anything to that. I

2 just want to advise you, because I have -- I have the feeling, and I don't

3 have to -- and I don't have to be right, nor do I have to be wrong, that

4 you're slanting some of your answers. And like I said, the question is

5 that you have to ask yourself when you decide whether you're going to

6 answer it, just that, whether you have to answer it or not. And when you

7 do, just like what I said, you want to make sure it's as honest as you can

8 make it and as best that your memory can recall.

9 "WITNESS MILAN BABIC: [Interpretation] I have to -- but you know, I do

10 that to the best of my abilities, but I have to also tell you what was in

11 my heart, what was in my mind, and what was on my lips."


13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now. We will deal in

14 private session when we come back with what should happen to the exhibits

15 and the like, the Politika decision and the rest of it. Twenty minutes.

16 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.

17 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.

18 JUDGE MAY: Private session to deal with these administrative

19 matters.

20 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.

22 JUDGE MAY: The tape itself should have an exhibit number, and

23 attached to it we should obviously have a transcript, when that could be

24 made available, of the relevant section. I think normally we give a

25 Defence number to these documents. Yes.

Page 13451

1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the next Defence exhibit number is

2 D57.

3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

4 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, perhaps you could help us: When are we likely

5 to be able to have a transcript of this?

6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We can provide you with a transcript of this

7 section played tomorrow, but if you like, we can also provide you with the

8 entire transcript, in particular, a CD-ROM.

9 JUDGE MAY: Let us stick with the extract for the moment.

10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. We will get it tomorrow.

11 JUDGE MAY: And if the rest becomes necessary, we'll --

12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And it would be helpful, if Mr. Milosevic

13 plans to play more of the interview, if he could tell the court deputy, or

14 us, one day in advance, which day and approximate hour he will be playing,

15 and then we could provide you with the transcript of this section in

16 advance. And it would be also easier for you then to follow which

17 sections are left out.

18 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

19 The other matters we need to deal with are: The tab number of the

20 order is, I understand, 143 - the Registry have it - not 142. The

21 Politika article, I seem to remember that as being exhibited, but perhaps

22 you could remind me of what the number is.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The Politika article with the two letters is

24 tab 79 from Exhibit 352.

25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

Page 13452

1 Unless there are any other matters relating to that tape, I think

2 we can go into open session.

3 [Open session]

4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back into open session.

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, to assist you in preparation of your

6 cross-examination, we've decided you can have up to 20 hours

7 cross-examination. We don't encourage you to take that long, but you can

8 if you want. You've had an hour and a half, of course, this morning,

9 playing that tape. We will today sit until 2.00, so you have until then

10 to continue your cross-examination. And would you remember, please, both

11 the accused and the witness, to leave a pause between question and answer,

12 for the interpreters. Yes.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, it is my impression that

14 the time that you are giving me is somewhat shorter than the

15 examination-in-chief took, and as you're indicating the need for making

16 pauses between question and answer, and other forms in which time is

17 wasted, I don't think that you ought to abridge the time.

18 JUDGE MAY: The time is not abridged. But go on. Let us make a

19 start. We've a lot to cover.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

21 Q. Now, I have played some tapes here, just half, actually, of a

22 large number of tapes that we have from your interviews, Mr. Croatia 61.

23 I could have taken any other tape, but I selected the first tape.

24 Now, did it remind you -- we saw the tape played and we saw on the

25 tape that the lady opposite said to you that what you were saying was in

Page 13453

1 complete contrast with what they had, and you were able to see that; isn't

2 that right?

3 A. I don't understand your question.

4 Q. I was saying -- let me remind you. Did you see that a moment ago

5 that even the lady who interviewed you and held the examination-in-chief

6 said that what you were saying was in complete contrast with what they

7 had? I hope you were able to see that.

8 A. Would you please be more specific.

9 Q. Well, for me to be more specific, I would have to go back into a

10 closed session, and I don't wish to do that. So I'm asking you in open

11 session: Did you remember what you saw a moment ago?

12 A. During the interview, I told the truth to the best of my

13 recollections.

14 Q. All right. Did you notice that the interviewers, the investigator

15 himself - and this was at the very end of this excerpt from the tape that

16 I played to you - that he presented his impressions that this was in

17 contradiction with what they had, the material they had, and that he had

18 the impression that you were distorting your answers, that they were

19 distorted, slanting your answers?

20 A. If I can remember, the investigator reminded me that I should

21 speak about the facts that I had seen and heard, and not talk about my

22 feelings and sentiments in my heart and in my mind.

23 Q. All right. Tell me, then, please, this: In view of the fact that

24 the person who was putting the questions to you, and the investigator, was

25 cautioning you about the contrasts that you -- and what you were saying,

Page 13454

1 as opposed to what they had, the material they had, how come that you

2 agreed in the examination-in-chief with everything they said over the past

3 five and a half days?

4 JUDGE MAY: That's not a matter for the witness to answer. He

5 gave his answers. It will be for us to judge the way in which he gave

6 them.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

8 Q. You say that you had made attempts to secure a peaceful and

9 harmonious life for the population of the Krajina with the other

10 inhabitants of Croatia, within the framework of the Republic of Croatia.

11 Is that correct? Is that what you endeavoured to achieve? That's what

12 you say. Isn't it so?

13 A. I am saying that in 1990, the political option in favour of the

14 SAO Krajina was one thing; in 1991, it was something else; and in 1995,

15 again it resembled the option of 1991 [as interpreted].

16 Q. Tell me --

17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises: 1990.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. We have seen on this tape, and I think at the

20 examination-in-chief, that in the beginning -- and as we have seen when

21 they are putting questions to you - they keep repeating this, and it's in

22 the transcript - that is, that you, as of 1990, attempted to secure a

23 harmonious life within the framework of the Republic of Croatia; is that

24 correct?

25 A. In 1990, we wanted the community of municipalities, that is, the

Page 13455

1 SAO Krajina, to achieve political and territorial autonomy within Croatia,

2 and depending on the position of Croatia within Yugoslavia. If it was in

3 a federation, the content of this territorial autonomy would be on a lower

4 level, it would resemble a cultural autonomy; and if Croatia became a

5 confederal republic within Yugoslavia, then the level of autonomy would be

6 higher. That was -- those were the options in 1990.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

8 JUDGE MAY: Microphone. Microphone.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. But we all heard you explaining that from the very beginning, from

11 1990 onwards, you endeavoured to solve the question or the issue of a

12 harmonious life within the Republic of Croatia. And as far as I was able

13 to see and hear on the tape, your explanations were that what was in your

14 heart and in your mind - you even gestured and pointed to your heart and

15 your head - that this was not what was on your lips, this was not what you

16 were saying. Is that correct?

17 A. In 1990 -- I explained in great detail how it came about that the

18 SAO Krajina opted for Yugoslavia in 1991. In 1991, I agreed with your

19 conception that the SAO Krajina and the Serbs had the right to remain

20 within Yugoslavia.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, in order to avoid

22 identifying the witness, I will not be more specific here, but I can refer

23 to an article in Politika.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Can you explain how it came about that this article was

Page 13456

1 published? You marked it with number 63. It follows that your statement

2 was not actually yours, that somebody else had made it and that it was

3 published as yours. Is this your explanation?

4 A. What article are you referring to specifically?

5 Q. The document you marked number 63.

6 A. May I see the document?

7 JUDGE MAY: Now, 63, Mr. Milosevic, is a decree to do with

8 insignia. Is that what you had in mind?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I was referring to what the witness

10 said when interviewed by the investigator and a representative of the

11 other side --

12 JUDGE MAY: I think that's --

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- what he himself mentioned as 63.

14 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. No, I don't think it is 63. I think

15 it's 79. Let the witness see 79. Don't put it on the ELMO.

16 Yes. Now the witness has it. What was the question,

17 Mr. Milosevic?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand how -- what he

19 meant when he said someone else would have signed it, he had not signed

20 it. I don't understand his explanation.

21 JUDGE MAY: I think we better go into private session to deal with

22 this.

23 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.

25 JUDGE KWON: I think that Mr. Milosevic is referring to tab 130.

Page 13457

1 Is that right? If I'm right.

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I think he's referring to tab 143. That's

3 the order.

4 JUDGE MAY: Well, I have got the Politika article, which I thought

5 the matter was being referred to, at 79.

6 Mr. Milosevic, could you give us -- tell us again what it is that

7 you're referring to, and we'll find it and make sure that we've all got

8 the same document.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Milosevic, please.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are we in private session now?

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we're in private session. We need to identify

12 this document that you want.

13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted to see the document which

14 on the tape we have just seen the witness referred to when he said

15 somebody else would have signed it had he not signed it, and the

16 investigator said this was number 63. I wanted to see this document

17 myself.

18 JUDGE MAY: But first of all, what the investigator said is in

19 reference to some other documentation. The document which the Prosecution

20 said was referred to was tab 79, which was a Politika article referring to

21 a reply from the witness to Mr. Milosevic, dated the 12th of January. The

22 original may be somewhere else.

23 JUDGE KWON: If I can assist the parties here, the document

24 Mr. Milosevic is referring to is the document of -- ordering the

25 establishment of the 3rd Operational Zone and signed by this witness. And

Page 13458












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 13459

1 I remember that this witness had said that if he hadn't signed this

2 document, somebody else would have signed this document. Is that right?

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as far as I can recall,

4 all the documents concerning the constitution of the Operative Zones were

5 signed by me. This was the idea of setting up a Territorial Defence of

6 the SAO Krajina.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Very well. But since we are in private session, I can put this

9 question to you now. It is not clear to me whether you, as president,

10 were also the commander of the Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina.

11 Just answer yes or no.

12 A. On the basis of the decision on the implementation of the law on

13 the defence of the republic of August 1991, the president of the

14 government or the Prime Minister of the SAO Krajina was to be the civil

15 commander, and the military commander was to have been the commander of

16 the Main Staff of the SAO Krajina.

17 Q. Tell me precisely. Were you the commander of the Territorial

18 Defence of the Krajina, and as such did you sign a number of documents?

19 Is that correct or not?

20 A. In actual fact, no. Formally and legally, on the basis of the

21 decision on the implementation on the law on the defence of the Krajina,

22 the Prime Minister was to exercise his duties as prescribed by that law.

23 Q. And did you do that?

24 A. In the normative part. That is, I signed the formal, legal

25 documents for the constitution of this body.

Page 13460

1 Q. So you did not really actually perform your duties. You only did

2 so in a formal and legal sense. Is that what you're saying?

3 A. I should have exercised my duties, but you prevented this.

4 Q. Very well. One thing is not clear to me, then, as we are now

5 discussing the law on Territorial Defence. You explained here that you

6 implemented the law on defence on the territory of the Krajina in such a

7 way that you received the law from my office by fax. Is that correct?

8 A. The way we implemented this law was that on the basis of the law

9 on the implementation of the legislation of Serbia, the Republic of

10 Serbia, the government decided that the law of the Republic of Serbia on

11 defence should be implemented on the territory of the SAO Krajina, and I

12 asked for the text to be sent to me from your office, and I received it in

13 the way I have described.

14 Q. Very well. Judge Kwon then asked you whether you had any other

15 means of obtaining the law, and you explained that the law had been sent

16 to me for my signature, and to expedite matters, you asked for it to be

17 faxed to you so that you wouldn't have to wait for the Official Gazette to

18 come out. Is that correct?

19 A. Yes, it's correct. And also let me add: So that you would be

20 informed of this.

21 Q. Very well. If the law had been submitted to me for my signature,

22 it could not have been published yet. That's why you received it from my

23 office by fax.

24 A. I received information that the Assembly had passed the law and

25 that you had signed it, that the text of the law was in your office.

Page 13461

1 Q. Very well. Let's establish some facts, then. The decision passed

2 by the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina on the implementation

3 of the law of defence of Serbia on the territory of the Autonomous

4 Province of Krajina, this is the document bearing the number 02172185.

5 This decision was adopted on the 1st of August, 1991, and this is not in

6 dispute. The date is on the document.

7 A. Would you repeat this, please?

8 Q. The decision on the implementation of the law on defence of the

9 Republic of Serbia on the territory of the SAO Krajina was adopted on the

10 1st of August, 1991, and the date is on the document.

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And your letter in -- containing the information on the

13 implementation of this law on the territory of the SAO Krajina was written

14 on the 2nd of August following the decision of the 1st of August. And in

15 it, you say that on the basis of the law -- "pursuant to the law on the

16 implementation of the laws of the Republic of Serbia on the territory of

17 the SAO Krajina..." and so on and so forth. So these are incontestable

18 facts. We are talking about the 1st and 2nd of August.

19 Now if you please, look at your exhibit which begins on page

20 02162249. This is a photocopy of the Official Gazette of the Republic of

21 Serbia.

22 JUDGE MAY: We'll get the exhibit number.

23 JUDGE KWON: Tab 24.

24 JUDGE MAY: 352.

25 JUDGE KWON: 352. Please confirm whether I'm right.

Page 13462

1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it's tab 23 of Exhibit 352. The

2 Gazette. The decision -- the decision of the 1st of August, 1991.

3 JUDGE KWON: The Official Gazette should be tab 24.

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. It's actually two

5 documents together.

6 JUDGE KWON: So, Mr. Milosevic, that's why the Chamber is

7 recommending you to have your associates in the courtroom, to conduct your

8 cross-examination in a better mode. You have to present the exact

9 document to the witness. So consider the matter later on.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Kwon, I think it's sufficient

11 for a document to be recognised if I quote the page number, your page

12 number, which is printed on it, and that it isn't hard to find. It's much

13 easier for you than it is for me with all these papers in front of me.

14 But in order to avoid wasting time --

15 JUDGE MAY: Let's move on. Have you -- is it the Gazette you want

16 or the decision? Is it the Gazette you want the witness to look at or a

17 decision?

18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness can look at it, and you

19 can look at it, because you don't need anyone to translate the date for

20 you.

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's see how we go, see if we've got the right

22 document.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Please, in order not to stray from the main point, we concluded

25 that the law of the SAO of Krajina was passed on the 1st of August. I am

Page 13463

1 now drawing your attention to the fact that this Official Gazette of the

2 Republic of Serbia was published on the 27th of July, five days earlier,

3 that is. And at the beginning, in the decree on the promulgation of the

4 law on defence, it can be seen that I signed the decree on the 18th of

5 July. If I signed the decree on the 18th of July and the law was

6 published on the 27th of July, is it sufficiently clear that the witness

7 could have had no need to get this paper, which every lawyer's office in

8 the country sees routinely, to get this through my fax machine?

9 A. May I explain?

10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, the document, the

12 Official Gazette in which the law on defence of the Republic of Serbia was

13 published, I obtained last year and gave it to representatives of the OTP

14 and the investigators to show them what this decision of the 1st of August

15 relates to. So as I have already said during my testimony, I obtained the

16 law by fax, and it is identical with this text, the text that was

17 published in the Official Gazette. So I wanted to show them the Official

18 Gazette to show them the law that we officially implemented in SAO Krajina

19 on the 1st of August, 1991. I didn't know at the time when exactly the

20 Official Gazette had been published, but I learnt that the document was in

21 your office for your signature, and I asked that it be sent to me by fax

22 from your office, as I have already testified.

23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. I wish to remind you that in answer to a question from Judge Kwon

25 as to whether you had some other way of obtaining the law, you answered

Page 13464

1 that the law was in my office awaiting my signature and that is why you

2 looked for it. However, it is evident that I signed it on the 18th of

3 July, which means that that was not true. And the Official Gazette was in

4 the shops already on the 27th of July, five days before you issued your

5 own law, which is undisputable.

6 So you have said this merely in order to point out that you

7 received such instructions from me, that is, instructions to implement

8 this law. And you know very well that you implemented all the laws of

9 Serbia in those cases when you had no opportunity to write your own. Is

10 that right or not?

11 A. All that is right is that I wanted to get that law in the way I

12 got it because I had been informed that it was in your office. Secondly,

13 I wanted you to be informed about it.

14 Q. Very well. Did I caution you, as early as January 1992, that you

15 shouldn't create the impression that you were coordinating your decisions

16 and positions with the leadership of Serbia, and did I inform the citizens

17 of Krajina that they should know that that was not true?

18 A. You wrote something to that effect in your letter. As for the

19 laws, your recommendation was as follows: that it was better for the laws

20 to be copied by us, that is, the laws of Serbia, and to publish them as

21 our own, than to simply proclaim them as being the laws of Serbia in the

22 territory of SAO Krajina.

23 Q. And does that mean, then, that our position was that you should

24 not implement the laws of Serbia in the territory of Krajina?

25 A. No. That we should only proclaim them as being our own, that we

Page 13465

1 should simply copy them, and this is what we mostly did later on.

2 Q. And is it true that when you didn't have time to write out your

3 own, you simply copied the laws of Serbia? Is that right or not?

4 A. The law on the implementation of legal regulations of the Republic

5 of Serbia and SAO Krajina was adopted on the 29th of May, 1991, because in

6 Krajina, the legislation of Croatia had been annulled, with the exception

7 of those laws that were not in contradiction with the regulations of

8 Krajina and the regulations of SFRY. That is why we needed amended laws.

9 We discussed this, and I informed you about this in May, and you said that

10 it was better for us to copy out the laws of Serbia and to publish them as

11 our own than to simply proclaim them, because it wasn't convenient for

12 people to see that these were the laws of Serbia.

13 Q. Very well. That has nothing to do with reality. My question

14 was: Is it true that I warned the citizens of Krajina that you were not

15 telling the truth when you were saying that you were coordinating your

16 positions with those of the leadership of Serbia?

17 A. I have already spoken in this Tribunal about the things we had

18 coordinated our views on and things which we held opposite views. I said

19 what I insisted upon and what you insisted upon, and I think that much of

20 my testimony was devoted to that matter.

21 Q. Very well. Tell me, then: Does it follow from your testimony

22 that I decided about everything? Is that what you are saying? Is that

23 right, Witness?

24 A. What is your specific question?

25 Q. Are you claiming in your testimony that I made all the decisions?

Page 13466

1 A. I testified that you were at the top of the command structures of

2 both the JNA and the parallel structure in Krajina. I testified that your

3 political objective was for all Serbs to live in one state, that the JNA

4 would protect us, that we had the right to remain in Yugoslavia.

5 Q. I'm not asking you that. From your testimony, it follows that

6 everybody listened to what I said except you; is that right?

7 A. I spoke about things and time periods and facts when we listened

8 to you and when we didn't.

9 Q. I see. Everybody except you obeyed me. And our conflict was - I

10 don't know how to put it - a minor clash, because I had insisted that a

11 peaceful solution should be adopted, that the Vance plan be adopted,

12 whereas you insisted that the plan be rejected. Is that what we disagreed

13 on?

14 A. I listened to you with respect to many things, which things I've

15 already said here.

16 Q. Very well. We'll come back to those matters later on. But tell

17 me, please: Is it true that I had warned you that rejecting the

18 protection of the peacekeeping forces of the UN would call in question the

19 most substantive interests of the Serbian people? Did I warn you of that?

20 A. You wrote along those lines in the letter published, and a copy of

21 which you sent to me personally.

22 Q. Did I warn you that rejecting that plan would mean rejecting the

23 possibility to stop further unnecessary loss of human life?

24 A. I think that says in your letter too.

25 Q. Did I tell you that the presence of the United Nations has the

Page 13467

1 sole purpose of preserving peace?

2 A. That is stated in your letter too, I think.

3 Q. And did I say to you that your negative position was an extremely

4 irresponsible act?

5 A. I think that is stated in your letter as well.

6 Q. And did I tell you that people should not suffer sacrifices out of

7 conceit of politicians?

8 A. I think that is stated in your letter too.

9 Q. Now, tell me, please: You were explaining, towards the end of

10 this tape - and that also coincides with the final part of your

11 examination-in-chief - that you were doing what you did not intend to do,

12 out of fear for your personal existence. Actually, let me remind you. At

13 the end of the tape that we all viewed, you say that there was a terrible,

14 stifling atmosphere around you, that your associates had different

15 opinions, that the people had different opinions, and that you had to say

16 what you did because you were afraid for your own existence. Is that

17 right?

18 A. We feared that we would be left without protection and that

19 Croatia would take revenge on us for the war that you waged, that you

20 would get out of the war and that we would pay the price.

21 Q. Very well. We'll come to that later too. Can we agree that you

22 explained why you said what you didn't have in mind, that your motive for

23 doing that was fear?

24 A. I don't understand exactly what you mean.

25 Q. As far as I understand the explanation you gave for saying what

Page 13468

1 you didn't mean, what you didn't want, because you were motivated by fear

2 for your personal existence.

3 A. I spoke about that with precision. I don't understand your

4 generalised statement.

5 Q. But the investigator asked you why you said what you didn't mean,

6 and you said that this was out of fear for your personal existence.

7 A. As far as I remember, the investigator told me to speak only about

8 the facts and not about my feelings and my thoughts.

9 Q. Very well. We heard that here what you said, so please answer my

10 question. If then you were saying what you didn't mean, and the motive

11 for that was fear, today what you are saying, is that also prompted by the

12 same motive, that of fear?

13 A. I took an oath before this Tribunal that I would tell the truth,

14 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and I think, and I claim, that

15 the truth is won, and I am still ready to tell the whole truth about

16 everything I need to say before this Tribunal, and not just what were

17 parts of political reactions or partial views. I am ready to tell the

18 whole truth here, about facts, about views, about feelings as well, about

19 everything.

20 Q. Very well. And judging by what you are saying: In an endeavour

21 to have the Vance plan accepted, I favoured war, whereas you, by rejecting

22 the Vance plan, were for peace. Is that what you wanted to explain here?

23 A. When I was speaking to the investigators, I was speaking

24 retrospectively about an observation of the overall events. You misled

25 the people of Krajina and the international community that you favoured

Page 13469

1 peace. You imposed the Vance plan on the people of Krajina. You adopted

2 it. You accepted that plan and imposed it on the people of Krajina. But

3 in fact, you also violated it. You did not comply with it.

4 Q. Very well. We'll come to that. That is not true.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I think, Mr. May, that there's

6 no need for us to continue in private session.

7 JUDGE MAY: Open session.

8 [Open session]

9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're in open session.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Very well. Can we agree --

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think, Mr. May, that we should at

13 least make an effort to work in open session as much as we can.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Can we agree that it follows from what you are saying that you

16 enjoyed your political role? You say that you knew that you could survive

17 politically only if you said what your surroundings expected of you. Is

18 that right?

19 A. I liked my political role, in a sense, and I had to respect public

20 opinion in my political actions.

21 Q. So you were working because of the attraction of the political

22 role, and you were doing things that you did not agree with because of the

23 attraction of your political role; is that what you are saying?

24 A. No. Occasionally those were the motives, yes.

25 Q. Yes or no.

Page 13470












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Page 13471

1 A. Generally, no, but there was such a motive too, in certain periods

2 of time and for certain reasons.

3 Q. Does that mean that you played your political part only because of

4 the power that it implied? For what other motive, if you were doing

5 things you did not agree with?

6 A. No. I played my political role because I believed that it could

7 contribute to a better future for the people, for the public good.

8 Q. Was that for the public good, for the benefit of the public, for

9 you to speak contrary to your convictions, which you are now presenting to

10 us here?

11 A. I didn't speak or act in contradiction with my convictions but in

12 line with political pragmatism as to how those convictions could be turned

13 into reality, in what way.

14 Q. But as far as I was able to see, in your explanation you mention

15 that you may have got some things confused, you may have forgotten

16 things. But anyway, on the last tape you even apologise because of such a

17 possibility, don't you?

18 A. In the interviews conducted with me, I said that I said what I

19 could remember but that I had more to say, and at the end of that

20 interview was my statement that I had things to add, things I hadn't said.

21 Q. Very well, then. Tell me, what was the motive of your

22 endeavours? Was it political pragmatism, as you put it, to create the

23 image among the citizens of Krajina that you were coordinating your views

24 with the leadership of Serbia when it comes it your decisions and

25 positions?

Page 13472

1 A. Those were not my words.

2 Q. Well, let us assume that -- the fact that I sought to explain to

3 the citizens of Krajina that that was not true. That must have had some

4 reason, or maybe it had no reason or no motive.

5 A. You sought to cheat, to trick the peoples of Krajina, to play

6 around with their destiny.

7 Q. I wanted to play with the citizens of Krajina why?

8 A. To achieve your plans. And in 1991 they were maximalistic, and

9 later on you revised them. And for the revision of your political plans,

10 you manipulated with public opinion and the people, and the people of

11 Krajina as well.

12 Q. Perhaps that may be a projection of precisely what you were doing

13 with public opinion in Krajina all this time, especially when it is placed

14 in the context of your current explanations of your intentions, as long

15 ago as 1990, to resolve all problems within the framework of the Republic

16 of Croatia. Is that so or not?

17 A. In 1991, we accepted your concept for the solution to the crisis

18 on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which was the right of all

19 Serbs to remain in one state.

20 Q. Mr. MILAN BABIC, we'll come to that later on in due course, but as you

21 mention this, I assume that you know that with the existence of Yugoslavia

22 since 1918, in fact, and that Yugoslavia expressed the interests of all

23 the South Slav peoples, that the Serbs did in fact live in a single

24 state. Not in 1991 or 1992 but since 1918. That is to say since the end

25 of World War I. Is that something you are aware of?

Page 13473

1 A. Could you ask the question again, please?

2 Q. Do you know that all the Serbs lived in the one state since the

3 end of the First World War in 1918?

4 A. I am aware of the historical facts and that in 1918 a state was

5 set up of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes in such a way that Serbia and

6 Montenegro united and the provisional state of the Slovenes, Croats, and

7 Serbs, which was later on proclaimed to be the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In

8 1939, within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Banovina of Croatia was

9 established, and through the decisions of the National Liberation

10 Movement, the Communist Party, in 1945 the federation was set up of the

11 Yugoslav republics.

12 Q. Do you remember that even in the declaration which you drew up, or

13 whatever the document was called, on unification of Republika Srpska and

14 Republika Srpska Krajina, that it was precisely in that document that you

15 describe the historical course of life in common in a single state, which

16 dates back to 1918 and not 1990 or 1991? Aren't these historical facts

17 that cannot be refuted?

18 A. The concept that you advocated and that we accepted in 1990 and

19 1991 during the disintegration of Yugoslavia was the concept according to

20 which the peoples of Yugoslavia had the right to self-determination up

21 until the point of secession, and you prepared a law along those lines.

22 Q. Sir, you are referring to --

23 MR. MUELLER: I'm sorry.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. I do apologise. I did

25 not do that intentionally.

Page 13474

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go on.

2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mueller is on his feet.

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mueller.

4 MR. MUELLER: Your Honours, would you mind me asking for a short

5 break now to have a word with my client?

6 JUDGE MAY: We're just about to break anyway. Let me just see

7 what the question was. Is there a matter -- we'll go into private session

8 if we're not in private session.

9 MR. MUELLER: We are not.

10 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]

11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.

12 JUDGE MAY: We're now in private session. Mr. Mueller, is there a

13 matter you want to raise with us?

14 MR. MUELLER: Not with you, with the client. Not with you, Your

15 Honours; with the client, please.

16 JUDGE MAY: Well, why don't you just go and have a quick word with

17 him here since we've got only five minutes.

18 MR. MUELLER: I would very much like to, but I think what I have

19 to discuss with him under these auspices is not for the public nor for

20 anybody else in this room.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 MR. MUELLER: Two minutes will be absolutely sufficient, Your

23 Honours.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But the point is we're just going out, and we

25 don't want to waste further time. Is it impossible for you to go up to

Page 13475

1 him and say whatever you want to say?

2 MR. MUELLER: This is quite restricted because I don't speak

3 Serbian. May I make a suggestion, Your Honours, please?


5 MR. MUELLER: Let's put it that way: If the client prefers to

6 continue to the termination of today's session, I would agree to that, of

7 course.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. MILAN BABIC, are you happy to go on for another ten

9 minutes or so?

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am.

11 MR. MUELLER: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I do not ask for a break

12 any longer.

13 JUDGE MAY: We're still in private session. Mr. Milosevic, you

14 must take care.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, while we're in private

16 session, Mr. May, while we're in private session, let me ask some more

17 questions which I'm sure you would instruct me to go into private session

18 for.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. I should like to remind you, in view of the fact that quite

22 obviously you presented yourself falsely and hid behind my name during all

23 those years that, as opposed to you, I don't claim that now. I claim what

24 I claimed then. The intercepted conversation, for example, which through

25 you the opposite side is introducing as evidence between me and Radovan

Page 13476

1 Karadzic, for example, dated the 1st of November, 1991, on page 02129072,

2 it was noted there --


4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. It was noted there that I say to Radovan Karadzic, speaking about

6 you yourself, "What Babic did is dishonourable. It is dishonourable that

7 he said that the Serb government was -- he is lying that Serbia tried to

8 convince him."

9 Is it true that everything you said here you're saying in order to

10 rid yourself of your responsibility and accountability for the serious

11 fate of the Serb people precisely from the Krajina territory?

12 A. As to what I said at the press conference in concrete terms on the

13 30th -- 31st of October, 1991, was that I said that the top echelons of

14 power exerted pressure for us to accept The Hague documents. I didn't

15 mention the government, nor did I mention you personally. One of the

16 journalists asked me which top echelons when we know that there is only

17 one top echelon, and I kept quiet. I didn't dare mention your name, of

18 course.

19 As far as my responsibility and accountability is concerned, I am

20 ready to be subjected to sanctions for my responsibilities. It is not

21 true that I have come here to cast the blame off myself.

22 Q. All right. But through your statements, you consciously have

23 accused all Serb leaders in the Republic of Srpska Krajina, to all intents

24 and purposes, and to put the blame on them and rid yourself of the

25 responsibility.

Page 13477

1 A. I did not accuse anybody. I have just told the truth, the whole

2 truth as far as I know it. I did not wish to shift the blame. I merely

3 presented the facts that I know about. It is not up to me to accuse or to

4 make a judgement.

5 Q. Does it not seem to you to be a little grotesque, Mr. Croatia 61

6 that a man who was in the post of the president of republic and the Prime

7 Minister of the government should describe the events as being -- as an

8 observer, watching through the looking-glass, and not as a participant, as

9 somebody who issued orders and the principal political leader in the

10 territory for a series of years, especially in the critical period that

11 we're talking about?

12 A. What is your question? You're making observations, but what's the

13 question?

14 JUDGE MAY: Let me put it. You may wish to hear the answer to

15 it. The question is this: You have given your evidence as though you

16 were not a participant but as merely an observer of these events. Now, if

17 that were put to you, if that suggestion were made to you, what would your

18 answer be to that?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have made my observations as a

20 participant of the events and as an eyewitness to the events.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. All right. Tell me this first: When did we meet for the first

23 time? When did we first meet?

24 A. Sometime in October. I don't know the exact date, but it was

25 autumn 1990.

Page 13478

1 Q. All right. October 1990. And what was the reason for our

2 meeting? Why did you come to see me?

3 A. I apologise, but are we in an open session or private session?

4 Q. No, this is a private session.

5 A. The president of the SDS, Jovan Raskovic, sent me to speak to you

6 or, rather, to sound out the possibility of having the Serbian Democratic

7 Party, whose headquarters were in Knin and of which he was a president,

8 should take part at elections in Serbia. I don't know whether they had

9 been sounded yet.

10 Q. Was there any other subject that we discussed apart from that?

11 A. On that occasion you mean?

12 Q. Yes.

13 A. I don't remember.

14 Q. There wasn't. Right. So in October, you asked me what I thought,

15 whether you should take part in the elections or not. And when did we

16 next meet?

17 A. Yes. And you also said on that occasion, "Where am I?" That is

18 to say, why didn't I come before that?

19 Q. All right. Let's not go into whether I said, "Here's some

20 coffee," or, "no coffee," or whatever, but if there was nothing else under

21 discussion, when was the next time we met?

22 A. The next time was when Jovan Raskovic returned from America, and

23 that was in November, I think.

24 Q. And what was the subject of discussion then?

25 A. The subject discussed was for the most part a discussion between

Page 13479

1 you and Mr. Raskovic about assessments of the elections, the electoral

2 results and the concepts for the establishment of the state and society.

3 Q. All right. So we discussed the elections. And when did we next

4 meet?

5 A. And political concepts.

6 Q. When did we next meet?

7 A. The next occasion we met was in December.

8 Q. 1990.

9 A. That's right.

10 Q. All right. Let's not go further than that. Let's stick to that.

11 We met for the first time and you asked me about the elections in October,

12 and then you say November we discussed the same thing, and then it was

13 December.

14 Now, tell me, is it true that you, on the 17th of February, 1990,

15 that is to say eight months before we ever happened to meet, that you, at

16 the founding Assembly of the SDS held before a rally of 5.000 people in

17 front of the railway station in Knin, that you were elected to the very

18 small leadership, together with the late Raskovic, Opacic and all the

19 rest, Dzakula, Cvijeticanin, Stikovac, and the others; isn't that right?

20 A. To your previous question, I didn't give a full answer. We met

21 not personally, but we had a contact in August through mediation, and that

22 was in fact our first meeting but not face-to-face. We did this through a

23 mediator, Slobodan Vucetic.

24 Q. What do you mean through a mediator? I learnt that you called for

25 me when I was at a meeting, that you had some problems to lay before me,

Page 13480

1 and once again through an intermediary, I said that you should contact the

2 organs of Yugoslavia because Serbia had nothing to do with what you were

3 about.

4 A. I was told that you and the president of the Yugoslav state

5 Presidency and the federal secretary for National Defence were there

6 together at a meeting, which meant that it was a common position and that

7 it should be solved by us going to the president of the Presidency,

8 Borisav Jovic, for him to inform us how we would be protected.

9 Q. Mr. MILAN BABIC, do you know that I spent the summer vacationing in

10 Kupari, and I spent ten summers spending my holidays in Kupari, and that

11 particular summer as well?

12 A. I know about that year. I don't know about all the other years.

13 Q. All right. Let's go back to what you were saying. Is it true

14 that on the 27th of May of that year, that is to say five months before

15 you met me, you were elected as president of the Municipal Assembly of

16 Knin?

17 A. It was the 23rd of May.

18 Q. All right. Very well. And one month later, on the 27th of June

19 of that same year, were you elected president of the communities of

20 Northern Dalmatia and Lika?

21 A. Not on the 27th of July. It was June. It was two days later.

22 Q. Right. Two days later. Now, is it true that on the 31st of July

23 you were elected president of the Serbian National Council?

24 A. Yes, that's right.

25 Q. And it was at the Assembly in Srb where there were 100.000 Serbs

Page 13481

1 from all over Croatia?

2 A. It wasn't at the Assembly, or Sabor, in Srb. It was at a meeting

3 in Knin.

4 Q. And when was the Sabor Assembly? It was on the 25th of July,

5 1990; is that right?

6 A. Yes, that's right.

7 Q. All right. And so that was before we met. So tell me, please, at

8 that particular rally, the rally of the SDS, was a declaration adopted on

9 the sovereignty and autonomy of the Serb people in Croatia? That's right,

10 isn't it?

11 A. It was the Sabor or Assembly in Srb where the declaration on

12 autonomy was adopted.

13 Q. All right. And what about the leadership of your party? Could it

14 link that autonomy to the option of staying within the SFRY or stepping

15 out from it?

16 A. In the declaration it was stated what this kind of autonomy

17 implied, and amongst others, it was precisely defined.

18 Q. All right. And is it true that at that time it was asserted that

19 if Croatia remained in the SFRY and the Federation, that for the area of

20 Krajina, cultural autonomy would be requested, with the use of the Serb

21 language and Cyrillic script, as well as cultural institutions, the press,

22 radio, television, and so on and so forth?

23 A. And the community of municipalities, regional and local

24 self-government. That was the option for the Federation.

25 Q. And is it true that you envisaged, should the new powers in

Page 13482












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Page 13483

1 Croatia insist on a confederal system, that you strove for higher forms of

2 autonomy, political and territorial?

3 A. Yes, that's right.

4 Q. And is it also true that on the 21st of December you accepted the

5 executive president of SAO Krajina?

6 A. As the president of the Presidency, or rather, the Provisional

7 Presidency of the community of municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and

8 Lika, I also became the provisional president of the Executive Council of

9 the SAO Krajina, because that Presidency played the role of the Executive

10 Council of SAO Krajina itself.

11 Q. All right. Now, for those who do not know this, is it true that

12 the Executive Council in fact means the government, and that it meant in

13 all the republics and at the level of Yugoslavia as well? The Federal

14 Executive Council, the Federal Executive Council of the republics, they

15 were the governments of the republics and the government of the Federation

16 itself; isn't that right?

17 A. Well, according to the concepts of the former Yugoslavia, the

18 Executive Council is an executive organ of the Assembly, which implies

19 strict divisions of power in legislation, et cetera. Partially it is a

20 linguistic quirk, but also one of substance. So the government has more

21 power as the executive organ than the Executive Council has.

22 Q. All right. Now, this changed in Yugoslavia and it was no longer

23 called the Executive Council. On the 29th of May, did you in fact become

24 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Srpska Krajina?

25 A. It is true that by constitutional law, the statute of SAO Krajina

Page 13484

1 was proclaimed a constitutional law, the Executive Council became the

2 government, and, by the same token, as president of the Executive Council,

3 I became Prime Minister of the government.

4 Q. All your explanations seem to be that everything that happened,

5 happened alongside your will, by some sort of automation. Do you gain

6 this impression, as the one you're giving me?

7 A. We're dealing with legal procedure, but a political decision to go

8 ahead with anything was needed beforehand.

9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's 2.00 and it's time for us to

10 adjourn. We'll go on tomorrow.

11 There's something I want to deal with in open session.

12 [Open session]

13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I just ask one thing of the Chamber as

14 well? It will be of great assistance to us if the accused is able to

15 indicate to the Chamber how much of the remaining --

16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

17 MR. NICE: -- 17 1/2 hours of indicated cross-examination time

18 he's likely to use. That time would take us to the end of the three days

19 sitting, roughly, of next week, when there's another five-day break. If

20 he's going to be substantially less than that amount of time, we'd have to

21 get a witness in for next week. If he's likely to want and to use all of

22 that amount of time, then it will not be necessary to get a witness until

23 five days later, for the following week. I suspect there's going to be a

24 change of witness ordering in any event because of the time that's been

25 used, but if the accused - and I recognise it's not an easy exercise - if

Page 13485

1 he could indicate to you, by tomorrow, whether he's likely to use the full

2 time allowed, that would help us in our planning.

3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you've heard the request. Perhaps

4 you'd like to think about it.

5 Let me say to the --

6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have already stated my views,

7 Mr. May. It is my impression -- and I asked you to reassess the time that

8 I will have. Of course I intend to use up all the time that you allot me.

9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We won't go into the matter any further.

10 The Prosecution will have heard that.

11 I say this to the public: that of course this witness is

12 protected, and nothing is to be reported which indicates his identity.

13 We'll adjourn now. 9.00 tomorrow morning.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,

15 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of

16 November, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.