Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13486

1 Tuesday, 26 November 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The witness entered court]

4 [The accused entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.14 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We're just being handed, marked D57, the

7 transcript of the interview. Yes.

8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I just wanted to mention that

9 you find in the interview a part shaded in grey, and these are the parts

10 that were not played.

11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We've got the entire interview in front of

12 us.

13 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

14 WITNESS: WITNESS Milan Babic [Resumed]

15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Today, to begin with, let us start

18 with the map that this witness commented on. I think it was not in

19 private session, so I assume we don't have to go into private session now.

20 JUDGE MAY: This, I take it, is the map of the RSK.

21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. That is the map that this

22 witness started his testimony with. So --

23 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. For the record, it must be noted it's

24 Exhibit 326, tab 11. The witness has a copy? Yes. Yes.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I continue, I should just

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1 like to draw attention to the fact that, according to my accounts, the

2 examination-in-chief lasted 24 hours. You told me I would have 20 hours.

3 So would you please reconsider and establish whether my calculations are

4 right. I may be wrong. It is quite possible that I made a mistake.

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, let me deal with that. You are wrong,

6 in fact. It was 20 hours. I noted it.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

9 Q. First of all, is it true to say that this was no secret map?

10 A. This was a public document.

11 Q. I see. A public document. It was all over the Krajina. It was

12 like a leaflet; isn't that right?

13 A. No, not a leaflet but what it is; a map with data.

14 Q. Yes, with data: A summary, information on the back of the map,

15 even a summary in the English language should it have to be shown or

16 distributed to foreigners.

17 A. I don't know for what purposes it was used. I obtained it in

18 1994.

19 Q. And this was issued by the Serbian army of Krajina with the help

20 of the journal Vojska from Belgrade; is that right?

21 A. Yes. That is what it says, with the assistance of the publishing

22 institution Vojska of Belgrade.

23 Q. And there's the stamp of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, and the

24 stamp of the Serbian army of Krajina?

25 A. Yes. The new emblem from 1994, or coat of arms.

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1 Q. Would you now please comment, as you did before, with regard to

2 this map, but first of all, before you do that, please tell me, what was

3 the percentage share of the population in Knin municipality by ethnicity.

4 In Knin municipality.

5 A. Knin municipality had about 90 per cent of the population were

6 Serbs, or up to 90 per cent, and 10 per cent were others. Nine per cent

7 were Croats, about 1 per cent were Yugoslavs.

8 Q. So that would roughly be the composition in 1981.

9 A. I may be wrong, plus or minus 1 or 2 per cent.

10 Q. Do you remember that the leadership of the Republic of Srpska

11 Krajina would frequently emphasise the fact that Croats in Knin were

12 living on a footing of equality like all other citizens and that the

13 authorities of the Republic of Srpska Krajina are not behaving towards the

14 Croats in the way in which the Ustasha authorities are behaving towards

15 the Serbs? Is that right or not?

16 A. The Croats know best how they lived in Knin, as do the people from

17 Serbia and Knin. I will give you just three examples. There is no doubt

18 that they didn't feel at ease during the time of inter-ethnic

19 disagreements and conflicts, but it is also a fact that already in October

20 some citizens of Croatian ethnicity and Albanians suffered damage because

21 of the events in Knin.

22 In April 1991, the police of Krajina selectively started seizing

23 weapons from citizens - not all of them, but from Croats - and this

24 especially happened in the village of Potkonj in Kninsko Polje, and

25 Vrpolje. They experienced unpleasantness or worse than that, certain

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1 suffering. The inhabitants of the Croatian village of Kijevo, on the 26th

2 of August, 1991, during the attack of the JNA.

3 Also in 1993, Croats in Knin felt not only unsafe, but they were

4 physically mistreated by refugees from Benkovac after the attack of the

5 Croatian army on Ravni Kotari, especially people from Islam Grcki and the

6 surroundings who would come to Knin. The police brought them there in an

7 organised fashion and instigated them to move into Croatian houses so that

8 the Croats had to flee and seek shelter in the centre in Vrpolje, and then

9 the police organised their resettlement by buses via Zitnic towards the

10 territory controlled by the Croatian government.

11 That is as far as Knin is concerned. I don't want to be cynical,

12 but the Croats in Knin fared better, in spite of what I just said,

13 compared to how they fared in areas where there were armed conflicts.

14 Q. I remember, for instance, that Milan Martic said with pride that

15 Croats in Knin were living in conditions of complete equality, which we

16 received with the greatest measure of approval, and another colleague of

17 yours, a protected witness, not quite as protected as you but also

18 protected, confirmed that in Knin, the Croats did indeed live on a footing

19 of equality. Are you denying that now?

20 A. I'm just telling you how equal they were.

21 Q. So you are claiming that they were not equal in Knin.

22 A. I don't -- I know that they didn't feel comfortable and that I

23 know many Croats in Knin who felt in jeopardy.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

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1 Q. You held a very important position. I won't name it now in public

2 session. If you found that there were such cases of mistreatment, why

3 didn't you prevent it?

4 A. The authorities in Knin acted in several ways to calm the

5 situation. First of all, the staff for the defence of Knin, for the

6 barricades, was disbanded. It was formed in Golubic or, rather, to be

7 more precise, it was formed on the 16th of August, 1991, in Padjeni, and

8 it was based in Golubic. And then also, efforts were made to disband the

9 Council of National Resistance which caused the greatest amount of

10 confusion and disturbance when that was not necessary. And also,

11 endeavours were made through the government of the Republic of Srpska

12 Krajina to place the police under the control of the government and

13 civilian authorities, and a lawyer was appointed to the position of

14 Minister of Internal Affairs in the government of SAO Krajina.

15 Also, at the beginning of August, also through the government of

16 Krajina, measures were undertaken for the police and the DB to be

17 subordinated to the legal authorities of Krajina. This was also done on

18 the 21st of November, 1991, through the Assembly of SAO Krajina. Such

19 measures were also taken in February 1992, but by then, the position of

20 the authorities that were behind these measures had weakened. This was

21 not achieved because you supported those structures.

22 Q. Well, this witness, your colleague who spoke before you, said

23 quite the opposite. Which structures? I hear for the first time this

24 term of parallel structures. This is information that I received from you

25 now, that you had parallel structures in Krajina.

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1 A. These were structures formed by the DB of Serbia, Jovica Stanisic,

2 Frenki, and you personally. Those structures, in 1991, on the 16th of

3 August, 1990, sought to obtain legitimacy by winning support of the

4 Serbian Democratic Party, and they did get it at a meeting of the Main

5 Board in Padjeni on the 16th of August, 1990. However, those structures

6 started operating in a manner that was not originally thought necessary.

7 The idea was for the Croatian government should not affect the

8 position of the Serbs regarding autonomy. However, those structures that

9 were formed in Golubic referred to the authority of the SDS and the

10 authority of the president of the municipality, and they didn't form a

11 staff to control the barricades but a war camp. And upon the initiative

12 of the president of the Assembly, the Executive Board of the SDS, at the

13 beginning of September 1990, decided that those structures be disbanded.

14 And the president of the Assembly persisted in that direction, and that

15 camp was disbanded. Martic was in charge of it in a wood at a first, then

16 in a meadow, then at Cinobadova Glavica, the memorial home, then the Knin

17 fortress. And from the 30th of September onwards, it moved to the police

18 station in Knin.

19 Jovica Stanisic, in August 1990, was already in contact with those

20 structures. And those structures took over control over the Centre for

21 Information of Knin municipality.

22 JUDGE MAY: One at a time. Let the witness finish. But can you

23 keep your answers fairly short, Witness Milan Babic, so that the accused can

24 have the opportunity to ask his questions.

25 Is there anything more you want to add to what you were just

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1 saying about the structures?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This structure started to be formed

3 in 1990. It was publicly announced over the Council for National

4 Resistance, and later on, that structure operated in conjunction with the

5 Secretariat for Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Interior of SAO

6 Krajina as a parallel structure to the extent that they were not

7 subordinated to the legal authorities of the SAO Krajina, though the

8 authorities of Krajina did take part in the nomination of certain

9 individuals in that structure for a particular purpose, such as was the

10 case with Milan Martic.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. There's a Serbian saying which implies causing confusion. Now,

13 tell me specifically, who were the people who constituted that parallel

14 structure? Tell me the names of the people in that parallel structure in

15 1990 in Knin and the surroundings. Who were they?

16 A. Milan Martic, Jovo Vitas, Nebojsa Mandinic, Jovica Stanisic, the

17 journalist Cvetkovic, an unknown individual whose name I don't remember

18 from the room for encoding, and other people who were connected to them

19 from the SDS and from among the citizenry. That was the structure that I

20 identified in 1990, beginning with August through the autumn, until

21 January 1991.

22 In 1991, that structure consisted of Jovica Stanisic, Franko

23 Simatovic, Milan Martic, Dusan Orlovic - of course, Dusan Orlovic was

24 there in 1990 as well - and people under their control and influence right

25 through the presidents of the municipalities of Lapac, Korenica, Benkovac,

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1 the vice-president of the government, Dusko Starevic. And later, Veljko

2 Matijasevic, the president of the Assembly, under the influence of

3 Stanisic, joined in in 1992. Under your influence and that of Jovica

4 Stanisic and Budimir Kosutic, Mile Paspalj joined in, and from the 16th to

5 the 26th of February, that structure managed to assert its formal and

6 legal authority in the Republic of Serbian Krajina.

7 Q. I see. It's becoming clearer to me now. Do you consider all the

8 officials in the Republic of Srpska Krajina and, before that, in SAO

9 Krajina, who were in confrontation with you to constitute a parallel

10 structure?

11 A. No, but those who did not respect the decisions of the government

12 and Assembly of SAO Krajina and who used coercion upon members of the

13 government to be tolerated, they prevented by force the government and the

14 Assembly to assert their legal authority over them.

15 Q. What were they? Were they a faction in the SDS or were they

16 members of other parties? What were they? What kind of a structure were

17 they?

18 A. They were members of the DB of Serbia, members of the so-called DB

19 in Krajina, members of the police of Krajina headed by Milan Martic, a

20 part of the politicians in the SDS and outside it, and other people who

21 were not in the SDS but who collaborated with the DB of Serbia.

22 Q. What do you mean the DB of Serbia in 1990?

23 A. Cooperation, obedience, coordination. That's what I mean by

24 collaboration. The DB of Serbia had no competence over the territory of

25 Croatia in 1990. In formal terms, it could have no competence to govern

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1 or to run the police in SAO Krajina and the Republic of Krajina in 1990

2 and later, and it did that nevertheless. So its presence in the area was

3 illegal.

4 Q. The fact that the DB of Serbia was not competent in Krajina I

5 quite agree with you.

6 A. In formal and legal terms, it was not competent, but it did have a

7 command position over the structure, consisting of the people I have

8 listed.

9 Q. Now, please don't get so excited. Without any excitement --

10 A. No, I'm not getting excited. I'm trying to be as brief as

11 possible in response to what Judge May has said.

12 JUDGE MAY: Now, both of you, both of you bear in mind that this

13 has to be interpreted, and bear in mind too what I said earlier, before

14 the cross-examination began, about breaks between question and answer.

15 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Mr. May. I'll join

18 in in what you said, because quite obviously this is highly interesting,

19 not to say amusing.

20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Now, you've enumerated Martic, Vitas, Orlovic, a man called

22 Nebojsa whose surname you don't know.

23 A. Mandinic Nebojsa, the president of the Assembly of Associated of

24 Labour of the municipal Assembly of Knin.

25 Q. And Man -- what was the other name?

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1 A. Mandinic.

2 Q. Right, Mandinic, the president of a Chamber of the municipality of

3 Knin because the chamber had the Chamber of Associated Labour and the

4 Citizens' Chamber.

5 A. No, socio-political one.

6 Q. All right, socio-political.

7 A. Socio-political and the Chamber of Associated Labour.

8 Q. Well, one of the presidents of the three chambers. And what was

9 Martic? Tell me that.

10 A. He was a police inspector at the police station in Knin.

11 Q. At the time that the SAO Krajina was formed, is that it?

12 A. Yes. When the SAO Krajina was formed, he was in the Council for

13 National Resistance, and on the 4th of January, 1991, the Executive

14 Council, Provisional Executive Council of SAO Krajina promoted David

15 Rastovic, president of the Municipal Assembly of Knin and vice-president

16 of the Executive Council of SAO Krajina and appointed him secretary of the

17 interior for internal affairs.

18 Q. You had nothing to do with that, no participation in that, did

19 you?

20 A. Yes, I did.

21 Q. Well, at the proposal and so on and so forth, as a man behind the

22 looking glass, as you said yesterday. So Martic was Minister of the

23 Interior for Krajina?

24 A. Secretary of the SUP, the Secretariat for Internal Affairs of

25 Krajina.

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1 Q. And where is Martic from?

2 A. Martic was born in the village of Zagrovic, near Knin.

3 Q. So Martic was secretary of the SUP of Krajina. He was from Knin.

4 That first man. Now, who is Vitas? Who is this other one?

5 A. Jovo Vitas; he was a businessman in Knin.

6 Q. A businessman in Knin?

7 A. Well, he lived in Knin. Where he was born, I can't say.

8 Q. Is he from Krajina, Jovo Vitas?

9 A. I don't know where he was born exactly. The surname Vitas existed

10 around Bosanska Krupa as well.

11 Q. All right. That's not too important. But he was in Knin as well;

12 is that what you're saying? And this man Orlovic, what was he? Who was

13 he?

14 A. Dusan Orlovic was a medical student. He never graduated. And he

15 was a native of Lika. And he sort of did nothing much, went around

16 without a job. But from 1989, we knew that he was always present when any

17 of the events took place in the area, any important events.

18 Q. And what was his function, his post?

19 A. He was member of the Council of National Resistance. Martic

20 appointed him as head of the DB, the state security in Krajina.

21 Q. So the head of the state security in Krajina. And you say that he

22 was originally from Krajina himself. That's right, isn't it? And were

23 they members of any party, any one of them?

24 A. Martic wasn't. Orlovic, as far as I know, wasn't either. Jovo

25 Vitas, as far as I know -- I'm not quite sure whether he was a member of

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1 the Socialist Party of Croatia, of a Yugoslav orientation, but he did have

2 some participation in preparations -- in the organisation. Then there was

3 Nebojsa Mandinic, who was a member of the SDS.

4 Q. All right. Tell me this: This man Nebojsa, Nebojsa Mandinic,

5 apart from the fact that he was president of this Council of Associated

6 Labour, or whatever it was called, of the Municipal Assembly of Knin, did

7 he hold any other post?

8 A. Post, you're asking about, what post he held. Well, together with

9 Bogoljub Popovic and Martic, he had something to do with some security

10 matters. I can't really be specific what the name and title was.

11 Q. Well, I assume you were together there. They weren't there alone,

12 the two of them on one side and you on the other side. I assume that all

13 of you were together.

14 A. Each one of us in our own way.

15 Q. All right. I understood it --

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

17 JUDGE MAY: The interpreters are having trouble hearing. Is your

18 microphone on?

19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

20 JUDGE MAY: The problem is not allowing pauses and not allowing

21 the registrar time to switch it on, so can you bear that in mind.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Okay. So that means that we

23 can -- we have to make pauses; is that it, Mr. May?

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

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1 Q. So you were saying Martic, the secretary of the SUP; Vitas was an

2 official there; Orlovic was the head of the DB state security for Krajina;

3 Mandinic was the president of one of the chambers of the municipality of

4 Knin. How can they be parallel structures, then? How can a parallel

5 structure be made up of people who hold official posts in the regular

6 structure, even before the SAO Krajina was proclaimed? What kind of

7 parallel structure were they, then?

8 A. What they were doing was not the structure of the institutions

9 which were legally elected and established at multiparty elections. They

10 were structures which had illegally cropped up, arbitrarily, on their own

11 initiative, and that is why I call them parallel structures to the legal

12 institutions.

13 And I said that Martic was elected as secretary of SUP. But the

14 Assembly of Krajina, following a proposal by the Prime Minister, appointed

15 him Defence Minister for SAO Krajina on the 29th of May. And he himself,

16 on that particular day, took the oath of office. And the very next day,

17 having been convinced by Frenki and people from the DB of Serbia, he

18 refused to hand over to the Ministry of the Interior, and to the newly

19 appointed minister, to hand over his office to Dusan Vjestica. And in

20 that way, it was through the force of might, because, together with the DB

21 of Serbia, he had control over the armed formations of both the police

22 force and the paramilitaries which had been set up in the camp of Golubic

23 in April. So quite simply, he had might and power behind him, and the

24 government and Assembly were not able to impose Vjestica, or rather, to

25 force him to hand over his office to Vjestica.

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1 But one month elapsed, and on the 27th of June, in Grahovo, the

2 Assembly was forced to accept his will in order to avoid an internal

3 conflict in Krajina or a civil war at a point in time when the conflict

4 was escalating with Croatia. So it was in that sense that he and they

5 made up the parallel structure, once again in power in Krajina. They

6 imposed their own will through force.

7 Q. Now, explain this to me, please: As you have just said - I hope

8 I'm making sufficient pauses, Mr. May - that the Assembly lent its support

9 to the positions of Milan Martic, how, then, did you say that he achieved

10 his goals by force? Did he perhaps cock his rifles at the deputies in the

11 National Assembly, or did he perhaps arrest a national deputy, or did

12 anything else of that kind? So why are you fabricating nonsenses of that

13 kind?

14 A. Well, he did do that in 1995, and I complained to you personally

15 that units of the police force had stormed the area. They had come in

16 from Bihac and stormed the Municipal Assembly of Knin. I complained to

17 you personally and asked you to intervene to quell the situation.

18 And in 1991, he had the power because he was in control, together

19 with the DB of Serbia, the state security system of Serbia. He controlled

20 the regular police force and the police force of Krajina, the one that was

21 established as the Krajina police, that is to say, the paramilitary

22 formations that had already been formed. And after Dusan Vjestica took

23 over power - or rather, he didn't take over power, I beg your pardon, but

24 the Assembly nominated him and appointed him to the post of Minister of

25 the Interior - he passed decisions to replace at least two deputies, two

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1 of Martic's deputies. And they, Martic and his assistants, tore up those

2 decisions by the newly appointed minister and made fun of him and the

3 decisions. So there was no other structure, nor was there any possibility

4 of imposing -- of having Minister Vjestica take up his role.

5 Now, to avoid an interior conflict, an interior clash and a civil

6 war between the Serbs in Krajina, or amongst the Serbs in Krajina, this

7 was accepted as a fact, that is to say, the authority of the DB and the

8 authority of Martic, who was in command of the police force, because they

9 had their own political goals, that is to say, the same political goals,

10 which were that of defending a Krajina. So from that time, this parallel

11 structure began to function; not only from that time, but it was

12 functioning with those same political goals: to preserve Krajina within

13 Yugoslavia, or rather, within the state that you yourself created. And

14 the interests of the Assembly and government was also to preserve Krajina

15 and defend it from attacks by the armed forces of the Croatian government,

16 and that formed a symbiosis of a kind.

17 However, this parallel structure - the paramilitary formations,

18 the police of Krajina, the DB of Serbia, with its paramilitary units - did

19 not only protect and defend the inhabitants of Krajina but caused

20 provocations towards Croatian threats to create clashes and to pull in the

21 Yugoslav People's Army, to pull it into the conflict, as you yourself had

22 planned. And that is why the policy of these parallel structures differed

23 from the political goals and endeavours made by the government and the

24 Assembly, that is to say, the legal structures of the SAO Krajina.

25 Q. Tell me this: Wasn't it your objective too to preserve Krajina?

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1 A. I was precisely saying that yes, it was.

2 Q. Well, let me ask you something now. Did you say, on the first day

3 in court here, that in 1990, what had happened there was that the head of

4 the state security of Serbia turned up, Jovica Stanisic, along with his

5 assistant, or whatever you called him, Franko Simatovic? Isn't that

6 right?

7 A. Jovica Stanisic came for the first time in August 1990, and at the

8 beginning of April, Jovica Stanisic and Franko Simatovic; Fica; your

9 personal security detail or somebody from your security, Captain Dragan;

10 another man who had a name that associated -- that brought to my mind

11 France; and some other instructors turned up after their meeting with you,

12 that is to say, after the second half of May, in order to -- I apologise.

13 JUDGE MAY: Witness Milan Babic, you should remember that -- try and

14 keep your answers fairly short, because otherwise time is going to go on.

15 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

17 Microphone.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Well, let's see. The head of security of the DB, Jovica Stanisic,

20 was in Knin.

21 A. I didn't hear the start of your question. The question wasn't

22 interpreted into Serbian.

23 Q. I'm talking about 1990. The head of the DB of Serbia, Jovica

24 Stanisic, was in Knin?

25 A. I didn't know his function in 1990. Martic said that it was a man

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1 from the MUP of Serbia.

2 Q. All right. Very well. Now, in 1991, you said again that with

3 Radmilo Bogdanovic, this minister, this head of the DB, attended a meeting

4 that was held at my office in March, and you mentioned something along

5 those lines.

6 A. Radmilo Bogdanovic at that time was the outgoing minister.

7 Q. All right. And Stanisic was the head of the DB; right?

8 A. Well, I don't know whether he was the head of the DB, but from the

9 month of April, he told me that he was the head of the DB, the state

10 security. I heard this in April.

11 Q. All right. So he told you that. So once again that is another

12 lie. Jovica Stanisic was not head of the DB, either in 1990 or in 1991,

13 when you're talking about this meeting. I didn't even know him in 1991.

14 Nor could he have been there at that particular time on any assignment

15 whatsoever. You could have said that I was in Croatia at the time,

16 because I was holidaying in Dubrovnik, or rather, Kupari. And yes, I was.

17 I was there.

18 A. He was the head, and he talked to me about his personal conflict

19 with Janackovic, and that was in March. He had these clashes with

20 Janackovic, who was his boss. He had an office right next to Janackovic

21 in the old building of the MUP of Serbia in Knez Milos Street, and he told

22 me about his clashes with Janackovic. After that, Janackovic left, and he

23 was the head. Whether his title was "head" or "chief" or whatever it was,

24 I don't know.

25 Q. Oh, I see. So you say he had an office in the MUP building of

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1 Serbia; is that right?

2 A. The MUP of Serbia had a new building in Knez Milos Street, and his

3 office where he received me was in the old building. Now, whether it was

4 the MUP building, but it was an old building right next door to the new

5 MUP building of Serbia.

6 JUDGE MAY: One at a time.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. All right. Very well. I heard in part of your testimony that he

9 had an office in my office or, rather, in the building of the Serbian

10 state Presidency, and now I hear he has an office in the MUP of Serbia,

11 and this is quite a large evolution in comparison to your previous

12 statement.

13 A. In September 1991, his seat was in his office next to Goran

14 Milinovic, I think the man's name was, your man, your chef de cabinet, and

15 he personally showed me, before I arrived at my meeting with you, the

16 reporting room. It was a semi-oval room with a table in it. It had a

17 stand for a map, and the room was empty. And that was in September 1991.

18 And I met him in your office there in the autumn of 1991 and once more, I

19 think. I said that he was in your office in March with Bogdanovic. I met

20 him there once again in September 1994. I met him in your offices. You

21 had invited him to come in April 1995.

22 Q. All right. When I ask you that, you can tell me your answers.

23 Very well, Mr. Croatia-061.

24 A. And he had an office later on --

25 JUDGE MAY: Witness Milan Babic, let the accused finish his question and

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Page 13505

1 don't interrupt. He should not interrupt you.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. He

3 interrupted me.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. All right. Let's put it that way. I interrupted you. That's

6 just as exact as what you were saying beforehand.

7 JUDGE MAY: Don't comment either.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Very well.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Now, you were mentioning a moment ago that there was some parallel

11 military units set up by them and led by them, and my question to you is

12 the following: Are you aware, do you know that as far as Serbia is

13 concerned - now I'm being quite specific here, Serbia - as far as Serbia

14 is concerned, paramilitary units were only set up by opposition parties?

15 Do you know that? Are you aware of that, Mr. Milan Babic?

16 A. I am aware of the fact that Serbia or, rather, you, via Jovica

17 Stanisic, Radmilo Bogdanovic, and Franko Simatovic nicknamed Frenki,

18 formed volunteer units, detachments, in the SAO Krajina starting with

19 April 1991, and I know that you instructed and linked up the Secretariat

20 of the Interior or, rather, the police stations on the territory of SAO

21 Krajina, and also that you, through them, set up special units, the ones

22 that the Assembly of Krajina, on the 29th of May, 1991, called the Krajina

23 Milicija, militia.

24 Q. So the formation of your Krajina police force you considered to be

25 the formation of a paramilitary formation.

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Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13507

1 A. It was a paramilitary formation because it was not under the

2 control of the government.

3 Q. How can the police SAO Krajina not be under the control of the

4 government?

5 A. Well, in the way I explained. It had the right of might and was

6 not subjected to a government that did not have sufficient might.

7 Q. All right. And what about the Minister of the Interior? Was he

8 at the head of that police force?

9 A. I explained how he came to be the Minister of the Interior.

10 Q. Well, you explained that he was nominated and appointed by the

11 Assembly. That's what you said.

12 A. In such a way that this was done by force, because he didn't wish

13 to hand over his authority which the DB of Serbia and he himself had set

14 up, the structure he had set up.

15 Q. Is it a fact that Milan Martic was appointed by the Assembly of

16 Krajina to the post of Minister of the Interior? Is that a fact?

17 A. I said that he even took an oath of office, but he didn't want

18 to. I apologise. He was appointed Minister of Defence, but he didn't

19 want to hand over the Ministry of the Interior, and he took over this

20 position by force.

21 Q. The Assembly decided that he should hold both posts?

22 A. In formal and legal terms, the Assembly did grant him both posts

23 because he demanded that and took it by force, and did he not hand over

24 the other office to the Minister of Defence who was supposed to take

25 charge of the special militia.

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Page 13508

1 Q. Was any information ever published about this or was anybody

2 informed of the fact that this decision by the Assembly of the Krajina on

3 the appointment of Martic came about by force and that he did this by

4 force?

5 A. It's the people who took part in all this who know that.

6 Q. You are explaining your quarrels to us as if they are political

7 events. What do I care about your quarrels?

8 A. These were not quarrels. This was the way you controlled and

9 influenced events in the Krajina. You took over the armed forces in the

10 Krajina through the DB and through Martic.

11 Q. Since I took over under power in the Krajina, what were you doing

12 there?

13 A. Fighting for the Krajina in -- by political means and taking part

14 in those armed formations that were defending the Krajina.

15 Q. Well, let's go back to the paramilitary units. You say that what

16 became the Krajina police was in fact a paramilitary formation. Do you

17 know anything about paramilitary formations? Who set them up? Did the

18 parties you cooperated with, and that was the entire opposition in Serbia,

19 was it they who set up the paramilitary units in Krajina?

20 A. As far as I'm concerned, I started cooperating with the opposition

21 in Serbia in 1993. In 1991, up to March, we supported you and your

22 policy, and we did this publicly.

23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Would you please take a look at page SA035981, which you handed

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Page 13509

1 over as an exhibit. When I say "you," I'm referring to the OTP. I don't

2 know whether you personally gave it to them since you also belonged to the

3 other side.

4 JUDGE MAY: Now, that's a quite unnecessary comment.

5 Can you identify, so that we can have it for the record, what this

6 is and we'll find the number.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I want to read what it says here, as

8 Ratko Mladic, the Commander of the Knin Corps, is sending his daily combat

9 report to the commander of the 2nd Military District in Zagreb.

10 JUDGE MAY: What is the date of this document and the author?

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The date is the 8th of April, 1992,

12 and it says:

13 "In the town of Knin and in the units, leaflets have turned up -"

14 I'm reading slowing - "calling on citizens to attend the ceremonial

15 launching of the brigade of the Serbian army in the village of Kosovo.

16 Another brigade will be established in Lika, and the organisers forming

17 these forces are," and then these are listed. And this was scheduled to

18 take place at a certain time in 1992.

19 And then it says: "The corps command, with the Main Staff of the

20 Territorial Defence and the police of the Republika Srpska Krajina, have

21 taken appropriate measures to suppress these intentions."

22 So they have taken measures to thwart this.

23 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop you. It's important that everybody

24 else at a least has a copy of what you're reading from. Is this an

25 exhibit?

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Page 13510

1 Can you help, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, as to what this is?

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I do not think that this is an exhibit, and

3 we are trying to find the document with the help of the number given, but

4 at the moment we are not yet successful. We don't know what it is at the

5 moment.

6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, was this one of the documents which

7 were exhibited by the Prosecution or not?

8 THE ACCUSED: No, Mr. May. This is disclosure Rule 68, 31

9 October.

10 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well. We'll try and track it down.

11 Witness Milan Babic, can you follow what's being put?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can assume what this refers to.

13 If it refers to April 1992, I can assume what this is about. Is the date

14 correct, April 1992?

15 JUDGE MAY: 8th of April, 1992.

16 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Finish your question which I interrupted.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Can you comment on the fact that obviously the corps command and

20 the Territorial Defence Staff and the police of the Krajina are taking

21 appropriate steps to thwart these intentions of forming wildcat renegade

22 brigade? And as you can see in this text, because I can't say your name,

23 Milan Babic, you yourself were the organiser of this. And Mladic responded, and

24 the police responded in order to prevent this -- this running wild in the

25 Krajina. Here it is. This was sent to the corps command and yet you are

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13511

1 talking of paramilitary formations.

2 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer. Yes, you can comment on

3 that.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can. The question was put in

5 the context of cooperation with the opposition in Serbia, but now I also

6 see that it comes within the context of paramilitary structures. The

7 events that took place in April 1992 on Dalmatinsko Kosovo near Knin was

8 the formation of the so-called Serbian army when the Petar Mrkonjic unit

9 was established.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Allow me one question about this. You organised this Petar

12 Mrkonjic Brigade, didn't you?

13 A. No. If you mean personally, no, I didn't.

14 Q. I mean you personally organised it.

15 A. No.

16 Q. You say you didn't. I will prove that you did. And secondly, is

17 it correct that this brigade consisted entirely of criminals recruited by

18 you?

19 A. Please may I answer?

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, answer. You've already said that you weren't the

21 organiser, so you needn't answer that, but you can give an explanation, if

22 you wish.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This brigade was organised by part

24 of the Regional Board of the SDS headed by Ljubica Solaja and Cubrilo. I

25 personally attended that gathering and gave my support, for political

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13512

1 reasons. In my estimation, this was a political demonstration and a

2 protest against the demilitarisation of the Krajina. I can explain my

3 personal and political reasons to the Court, if necessary, for doing this,

4 but in closed session.

5 JUDGE MAY: Of course. You can just help us, though, as to what

6 this brigade was. It's been alleged that it was a brigade of criminals.

7 What was it?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a political protest against

9 the demilitarisation of the Krajina.

10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the witness said that he

11 could explain this but that he had to do so in closed session. I agree.

12 Let us go into closed session for a minute, because I would really like to

13 hear his explanation.

14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to hear his explanation.

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

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

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The following took place: In April,

20 I was dismissed by the Assembly, the so-called Assembly, of the SAO

21 Krajina after the appointment of the new government in Borovo Selo in

22 February. In April, I was the President of the Assembly of the

23 municipality of Knin and a member of the Regional Board of the Serbian

24 Democratic Party.

25 Part of this Regional Board, headed by Ljubica Solaja and Rade

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Page 13513

1 Cubrilo and some others, organised the so-called Serbian army. At the

2 time it was a paramilitary formation as they envisaged it. I suggested

3 that this would compromise us politically and that it would not be a good

4 thing for us to do this. The people I talked to know this.

5 Then they scheduled a rally on Kosovo Polje, and Veselin Djuretic,

6 an historian from Belgrade, arrived. He was an advisor in the Serbian

7 Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mirko Jovic, the president of Srpska

8 Narodna Obnova, with Kiro Radovic from Montenegro and some others arrived,

9 and on that day, Veselin Djuretic, on the day he arrived, insisted that I

10 should also attend the rally, and this was what prompted me to attend. I

11 did so for political reasons, because this was the only political base I

12 could rely on in the political confrontation with the structure that was

13 then in power. I was then in the opposition, and that was the political

14 reason I joined, in order not to be excluded.

15 I attended the rally. I made a short speech supporting the

16 event. I said before that to these people, "What will you do with this

17 regiment once you've established it? Then you'll go home three hours

18 later." And they had no answer to this. This was not a real regiment.

19 It was simply a group of people. They wore folklore ornaments.

20 Then they each went their own way after that. They brought the

21 Petar Mrkonjic flag to my office in order to provoke me, and what did they

22 do then? They asked the Executive Council to give them an office in the

23 Municipal Assembly next to the office I had given to the UNPROFOR police.

24 At that time, I was the president of the Knin municipality, and I had the

25 UN flag flown, and I had given UNPROFOR an office in the Assembly

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Page 13514

1 building, and they made use of my weakness in order to get me to

2 participate in a political provocation.

3 Nothing came of it. It did not become a paramilitary troop.

4 Later -- the later Minister of Defence of the -- or, rather, the Minister

5 of Defence of that government in a place called Jelovi Tabani, or whatever

6 it was called, in the valley of a little river flowing from Strmica among

7 the hills in Lika, there was a warehouse there. So the Minister of

8 Defence serviced it.

9 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]... I think you may be

10 drifting away from the point.

11 Is there anything more you want to ask in private session,

12 Mr. Milosevic?

13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. It says in this daily report by General Mladic to the command of

16 the army: "The organiser of the formation of these forces is Milan

17 Babic." That's what it says. And the corps command, the Main Staff of

18 the Territorial Defence, and the police of the Krajina had taken measures

19 in order to suppress these intentions. Therefore, you are the organiser

20 of paramilitary units in the Krajina. Is this correct or not?

21 A. The following is correct: Ratko Mladic was convinced that I was

22 the organiser. Let me finish. Borivoje Djukic, a colonel who was

23 subordinated to him and Martic, on the day that the rally on Kosovo took

24 place, flew above it in a helicopter. Secondly, Martic said to me in

25 Bijeljina, at a meeting organised by Karadzic with bishops of the Serbian

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Page 13515

1 Orthodox Church in February 1995 -- in February 1995, that is, there was a

2 gathering in Bijeljina, convened by Radoslav Karadzic and the leadership

3 of Republika Srpska, where the patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church

4 and a large number of bishops participated, and Ratko Mladic and I were

5 invited. At lunch, Ratko Mladic asked me jokingly, "Where's your Serbian

6 army?" I answered him and said, "You know better than I do." He looked

7 at me in surprise. At that moment, it became clear to me that it was not

8 Mladic but Jovica Stanisic who was behind the Serbian army in Krajina.

9 That's my conclusion.

10 Q. God help me. Mr. Milan Babic, you are engaging in science fiction now.

11 But you said a sentence just a moment ago which I wrote down. This army

12 was organised by the SDS of the Krajina and you supported it. So you

13 simply supported it. But who was the leader of the SDS of Krajina? It

14 was you personally, weren't you?

15 A. No. It was Ljubica Solaja.

16 Q. You were not the president of the SDS?

17 A. I was a member of the Presidency of the Regional Board of the SDS.

18 Q. Well, SDS and the Serbian Democratic Party, that's the same

19 thing. So it was your party, of which you were the leader, that organised

20 this. You are simply trying to play this down by saying that you lent

21 your support to it. But in Mladic's letter, it says that you were the

22 organiser.

23 A. After this, we dismissed Ljubica Solaja. She did something else.

24 And we dismissed her from the post of president of the Regional Board, and

25 after that I became the head of the SDS Regional Board in Krajina.

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Page 13517

1 Q. But you didn't replace Solaja because of this brigade and the

2 paramilitary formations but because Milan Babic wanted to be president of

3 that too; is that correct or not?

4 A. Milan Babic wanted to keep in the political seat, as it is usually

5 put in political lingo, and he did some stupid things.

6 Q. I see. So you did some stupid things because you wanted to keep

7 your political seat; is that right?

8 A. Yes, figuratively speaking.

9 Q. Since we're in private session --

10 JUDGE MAY: If you're moving from that document, do you want it

11 exhibited, the Mladic document?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. But you have that

13 document. Yes, certainly I would like it to be tendered into evidence,

14 please, admitted into evidence. It is your document.

15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

16 JUDGE MAY: Let the usher collect it and we'll exhibit it. What

17 we'll do is this: We'll hand this to the Prosecution so they can identify

18 the document. It should be translated. We'll exhibit it, and then this

19 can go back to the accused.

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour --

21 JUDGE MAY: We'll give it a number, first of all.

22 Yes.

23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Just to assist you: We do not have a

24 translation of this document. This document was obviously disclosed as a

25 Rule 68 submission. But we will --

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Page 13518

1 JUDGE MAY: Can you get us a clean copy of it?

2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.

3 JUDGE MAY: And we'll get it translated.

4 The original can go back to the accused. We'll take the copy and

5 have it translated. And give it a number, please.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it will be marked Defence Exhibit

7 D58, under seal.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Are we finished in private session now?

9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, because I should like to take

10 advantage of the opportunity and save time, because this is also

11 indicative of the identity of the witness, so I have a few more questions

12 in private session.

13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. You explained yesterday that your intention was, ever since 1990,

15 to resolve everything within Croatia. And this brigade that you formed,

16 you did so just like that, to provoke [as interpreted] yourself, because

17 you just said you supported it.

18 A. No, that's not right.

19 Q. But let me ask you, since there is a record in the transcript of

20 what you said: You supported it, and it was organised by the Krajina SDS,

21 of which you were a member of the leadership and later the president.

22 A. I've already said how it was organised.

23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we've been over these points, so

24 there's no need to repeat them.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, then.

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Page 13519

1 Q. And all this time, actually, you wished to resolve the problem

2 within the framework of Croatia; is that right?

3 A. I said my wish was -- in 1990 and 1995, that was my wish.

4 Q. Very well. But tell me now, please: Did you, in your letter to

5 me on the 11th of January - I have your letter here, with a stamp of your

6 Republic of Serbian Krajina and your signature - did you write to me

7 saying that my accusations against the Serbian people of the Republic of

8 Srpska Krajina -- that my accusations were levelled against the people?

9 Is that right?

10 A. If that is what it says in the letter, yes.

11 Q. Well, it's your letter.

12 A. I know the content, but I can't remember every single sentence.

13 Q. Did you write to me that the offered plan of Cyrus Vance implied

14 the involvement of the peace forces throughout the territory of Serbian

15 Krajina following disarmament? Did you write to me that this is being

16 marked as a part of Croatian territory under UN protection and that those

17 were the reasons why you couldn't accept it?

18 A. Among other things.

19 Q. And that the constitutional legal system of Croatia would be

20 implemented in those territories, and that such an adopted plan by me,

21 while denied by you, was only one aspect of the plan that you adopted and

22 that we objected to? Is that right?

23 A. What you have read is correct.

24 Q. And you did all this with the wish, in your heart and in your

25 mind, to resolve things within Croatia?

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Page 13520

1 A. At that point in time, to protect ourselves.

2 Q. Very well. Let's go on to another aspect, the duration. Do you

3 remember well that I explained to you that we too had raised the issue in

4 negotiations with Vance, but his response had been that the Security

5 Council renews its decision every six months, on a regular basis, and that

6 that would happen in this connection too, and we accepted this?

7 A. He was an extremely honest man, open-minded in talks with us, and

8 the Security Council did indeed renew the mandate every six months. No.

9 After one year. Upon our request, the term of six months was changed to

10 one year.

11 JUDGE MAY: One at a time.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Then you go on to say that if the Vance Plan were to be accepted,

14 there would be genocide against the Serbs; is that right?

15 A. Fear of genocide did exist at the time, but not for the reasons

16 that you had mentioned before the war, but because at the time we feared

17 Croatian revenge for everything that had been done to them during the war

18 in the autumn of 1991. We feared retaliation by Croatia.

19 Q. You say that the plan that I accepted would not be accepted by the

20 Serbian people of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and I'm convinced that

21 it is not acceptable for all non -- Serbs who are not indifferent to their

22 history, and that that was your personal belief, which does not commit

23 you.

24 Do you remember that it was quite clear that the plan would not be

25 implemented without your agreement, that is, the agreement of the

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Page 13521

1 authorities of Krajina?

2 A. Regarding the proposal for the modification of the plan, we

3 enjoyed the support of the people in Krajina. There was a large rally in

4 Knin --

5 Q. I'm not talking about that. Please.

6 A. Yes, you were talking about that.

7 Q. What are you talking about?

8 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]...

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Is it a fact that the Cyrus Vance Plan was implemented only after

11 the Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina had endorsed it? Is that

12 right or not?

13 A. You accepted the plan, and you forced the Assembly of Krajina to

14 confirm what you had already accepted.

15 Q. You have a specific manner of explaining facts. But did the

16 Assembly of the Republic of Serbian Krajina - of course, following our

17 maximum endeavours, and my own personally - did it accept the Vance Plan?

18 Did I physically force the Assembly to accept the plan?

19 A. You sent General Adzic, Kostic, and I was told that Glina was

20 virtually blocked under military siege, more or less, and that also people

21 who were not members of the Assembly were told to come to that meeting,

22 and that that segment of the Assembly accepted it in that way because of

23 the way in which you had brought it about.

24 Q. You know that what you're saying now about the blockage of Glina

25 and people coming to the Assembly who were not members, that the military

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Page 13522

1 was widely present, you're saying exactly the same what some people from

2 Kosovo said as to the way in which the amendments to the constitution of

3 Serbia were adopted in Kosovo.

4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, that is a totally irrelevant point,

5 totally irrelevant. It's not a question at all; it's just a comment.

6 Now, what he said is that you forced them to accept it by sending generals

7 and blockading. Now, you may challenge that, but that's his answer, so

8 there's no point really going on about it.

9 But while we're dealing with it, do you want that letter that

10 you've referred to of the 11th of January, do you want that exhibited?

11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it is already an exhibit.

12 JUDGE MAY: What is it, please?

13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Tab 79.

14 JUDGE MAY: 352, tab 79.

15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.

16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, we come to an

17 exhibit like that - it's impossible for the Chamber to have them all in

18 mind - can you let us know once you identify it? It will help us. Thank

19 you.

20 Yes. We've got two more minutes.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. Did I write to you and caution you in my letter that between peace

23 and war, every reasonable and honest man would choose peace, if the choice

24 was between peace and war?

25 A. That is what it says, but that was your trick. You publicly spoke

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13523

1 about peace, but in fact you advocated war.

2 Q. I recognise this type of accusation, as you are not the best of

3 pupils, you know.

4 A. For a while, you were my teacher.

5 Q. Yes, but your present teacher doesn't seem to be so successful in

6 teaching you the things you should say.

7 JUDGE MAY: Come on, Mr. Milosevic. These are not proper

8 questions. If you're going to make an allegation, make it clearly, but no

9 point having an argument.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Do you remember -- I wrote that in the letter, and that is why I

12 considered you an ordinary trickster, to put it mildly. Though you

13 personally informed me that regarding the arrival of the UN forces, you

14 would accept entirely the decision of the Presidency, you did the

15 opposite.

16 A. It is not true that I ever said that I would fully accept the

17 Vance Plan, and unconditionally. I always requested modifications, at all

18 meetings: meetings with you, at General Kadijevic's, General Adzic, Jovic

19 and Kostic, at the expanded session of the Presidency; and publicly, in

20 the Assembly of SAO Krajina, the government of SAO Krajina, and addressing

21 the people, I always advocated my views in public, and with great

22 precision at times.

23 Q. So just before the break, can we agree on one thing? On the

24 tapes, when I listened to your beating about the bush regarding the plan,

25 you just said that there was no discussions allowed, and now you're saying

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Page 13524

1 that you had discussions with Adzic, with Kadijevic, for three days, with

2 the entire Presidency of the SFRY, at a session that you fled from, that

3 you yourself said, when those discussions --

4 A. Those were not discussions, Mr. Milosevic. That was coercion, to

5 make me accept the plan unconditionally, without modifications, sir,

6 former president.

7 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop this. Now, both of you must control

8 your tempers. We'll adjourn now, 20 minutes.

9 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.

10 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.

11 JUDGE MAY: We will continue in private session.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's no need for the private

13 session any longer.

14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll go into open session then.

15 [Open session]

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

17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Let us clear up this business around Franko Simatovic, as you are

19 accusing him of participating in the so-called parallel structure. Do you

20 know what his position was in the State Security Service of Serbia?

21 A. First of all, I'm not accusing anyone. I'm just saying what I

22 know. Secondly, I know that Franko Simatovic was subordinated to Jovica

23 Stanisic and that you advocated, requested, demanded that he be in

24 Krajina. You said that he was a good guy.

25 Q. Will you please answer my question. What was his position in the

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Page 13525

1 State Security Service of Serbia?

2 A. He was subordinated to Jovica Stanisic.

3 Q. Very well. Do you know that he was head of the Intelligence

4 Administration?

5 A. On one occasion before the events in August 1991, you mentioned a

6 man from the administration. I don't remember which number you used. You

7 used a number, the second or third administration, and you said that there

8 were certain criticisms about an individual as to why he was heading that

9 service whereas he was a Croat by ethnicity. And then you said his father

10 was a partisan and that he had chased the Ustashas and that he was a good

11 guy.

12 At the time, I didn't know who you were talking about. Later on,

13 I learnt that you meant Franko Simatovic, who was a Croat.

14 Q. Very well. Now you've added another fact. Do you consider that

15 someone who is by ethnicity a Croat had ill-intentions towards the Croats,

16 the Croatian people to which he himself belonged?

17 A. What are you asking me?

18 Q. I'm asking you whether you believe, since you yourself have said

19 that he has said that he's a Croat --

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, it's not a proper question, that. It's

21 a pure comment. The witness can give evidence about facts as he knows

22 them, and he's given the evidence about this man. That's purely a comment

23 that you're making.

24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

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Page 13527

1 Q. I asked: Do you know whether Franko Simatovic was head of the

2 Intelligence Administration?

3 A. I don't know what he was head of. I know he was subordinated to

4 Jovica Stanisic and to you.

5 Q. That he was subordinated to Jovica Stanisic goes without saying,

6 as he worked in the state security service. And from the time that

7 Stanisic became head of the state security, he was certainly subordinated

8 to him. But I asked you whether you knew that he was head of the

9 Intelligence Administration, which means that he collected intelligence.

10 A. I said what I know.

11 Q. Very well. You said that from the DB of Serbia certain parallel

12 structures had been formed, and you listed all people from Krajina, not

13 from the DB of Serbia; Martic, Vitas, Orlovic, Nebojsa, Martinovic or

14 whatever, and so on. And since you are claiming that the DB of Serbia was

15 omnipresent there, tell me, throughout that five-year period, can you list

16 people, ten names from the DB of Serbia who may have come to Krajina even

17 for ten minutes throughout that five-year period? Can you give us those

18 names?

19 A. Just now I can remember Jovica Stanisic, Franko Simatovic, Fica,

20 Captain Dragan.

21 Q. Excuse me. What has Captain Dragan got to do with it?

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- let the witness finish what he's

23 saying, then you can ask the questions.

24 Now, are there any other names that you want to add,

25 Witness Milan Babic, to those names?

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Page 13528

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Marko, I think, from later years.

2 Just now I can't think of any other names.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. I see. So you've listed four names of which Jovica Stanisic was

5 based in Belgrade.

6 A. I've said about Jovica Stanisic, who told me that Captain Dragan

7 was in their service in August 1991, and he even mentioned some money.

8 Q. He couldn't have told you that, because Captain Dragan was never

9 in the state security service.

10 A. Please. I ask the Court to be allowed to answer the question.

11 Q. Who is preventing you?

12 A. Jovica Stanisic told me that in August 1991 in the Seher

13 restaurant in Belgrade.

14 Q. Very well. That's what you say. You say he told you.

15 A. Well, his wife was there too, and she was born in the environs of

16 Knin.

17 Q. All right. Fine. That's great. You were at a private lunch with

18 Jovica Stanisic and his wife.

19 A. He invited me to explain to me that Captain Dragan was a very

20 strong-headed man and that they found it difficult to control him.

21 Hot-headed.

22 Q. Well, how could they have trouble in bringing to heel somebody who

23 belonged to their own service?

24 A. Well, they wanted to divert attention from Frenki. I asked you to

25 withdraw Frenki from this structure, and they wanted a public debate with

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Page 13529

1 Captain Dragan and people from the Krajina, as if this were a political

2 conflict, to make it appear as if Captain Dragan was a political personage

3 and not a member of the DB of Serbia.

4 Q. Well, you know whether he was a political figure or not, but you

5 do know that he wasn't a member of the DB of Serbia.

6 A. I know he was in the service of the DB of Serbia.

7 Q. Neither was he in the service of the DB of Serbia, but let's leave

8 that alone and let's move on.

9 You were shown here a solution or, rather, a judgement by the

10 court in Sibenik where an investigation was launched, and you stated your

11 views about that. I think that was in open session. I think it was the

12 judgement of the court in Sibenik that we were talking about. And the

13 number of that document was 01397042.

14 JUDGE MAY: Have we got that document?

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Have you got the document. Right.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. You said, as far as I was able to jot down --

18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I just want to clarify whether it is the

19 court in Split or Sibenik, and we would have to go into private session if

20 that is the judgement referring to the leadership of the Republika -- the

21 leadership of the RSK, because that was discussed in private session.

22 JUDGE MAY: Sibenik was referred to.

23 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] May I assist the Court, Your

24 Honours?

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

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Page 13530

1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] It is the arrest warrant for

2 Milan Martic and the document that attends it.

3 JUDGE MAY: Have we got the document?

4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. It's Exhibit 352,

5 tab 111B, and it was discussed in open session.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.

7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So it was in open session, I

8 gather.

9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Now, have you read the document in detail?

11 A. If I remember correctly, if that is the document that I'm thinking

12 of, there are two parts to the document. One part relates to crimes and

13 the second to political crimes, if that is the document I'm thinking of.

14 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness just have a look at the document.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a decision made by the

16 District Court in Sibenik, and the decision is to launch an investigation,

17 and it is indeed in two parts in the explanations given. The first part

18 relates to the person in question, and the second statement are reasons,

19 and under number 1 it enumerates crimes, and under 2 it is for political

20 crimes.

21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this a public session, an open

23 session? Are we in open session?

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.

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Page 13531

1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. So this decision was discussed in open session. Do you recall

3 that in your examination-in-chief you stated, when you were shown this

4 decision, this decree, that the facts were correct? That's what you

5 stated.

6 A. Under what is listed in point 1 and point 2.

7 Q. All right. Very well. So let's look at point 1. It says the

8 following, that from October to the present day, having formed an

9 association of the so-called Council of People's Resistance... From

10 October 1990 until today. So that is the Council of People's Resistance,

11 or National Resistance. And you said that the facts contained therein

12 were correct. Now, if the facts are indeed correct - and according to

13 what you say, they are - then it is also true that the person under number

14 1 here, listed under number 1, was accused, and an investigation was

15 launched against him. Is that correct, Mr. Milan Babic?

16 A. I said who the members of the Council of National Resistance were,

17 and when questioned before this Tribunal, in my testimony, and over the

18 past few days I spoke about the facts that I am aware of, stemming from

19 this decision: the mining of the kiosk, and so on.

20 Q. Please, I'm asking you the following: You gave a very brief

21 answer during the examination-in-chief. When you were shown and presented

22 with these facts and this decision, you said that the facts were correct.

23 Now, the fact stands here that the Council of People's Resistance, as it

24 says here, and as you can see, you are considered responsible. Is that

25 right or is it not?

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Page 13532

1 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session.

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

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

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness answer.

5 A. I mentioned who the members of the People's Resistance Council

6 were, and this was -- this decision was brought in by the district court

7 in Sibenik and on the basis of the district prosecutor's office request.

8 So these are the crimes that are listed: Under number 1, perpetrated by

9 the members of the Council of People's Resistance; and then under number 2

10 there were other crimes which were political crimes, and I participated in

11 them.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. All right. Very well. Can we take it, then, that under number 1

14 we have Babic Milan; number 2, Marko Dobrijevic; and then only in third

15 place is Milan Martic, which was the reason you were asked this question;

16 then we see that there is Nebojsa Mandinic; and number 5 is Dusan

17 Orlovic. Right? So you are listed under number 1, in connection with

18 what you state are the correct facts, that is to say, the formation of the

19 Council of People's Resistance; isn't that right?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Well, why, then, did you state that the facts were correct?

22 A. The facts are correct in the way that I explained them to be.

23 These are suspects. It was the position of the prosecutor's office in

24 Sibenik at that time. I didn't know about this.

25 Q. All right. Very well. So the facts are correct, but only if they

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Page 13533

1 do not relate to you; right?

2 A. Well, I acknowledge this before this Tribunal: that on the 28th of

3 February, 1991, the Serbian National Council, at a meeting presided by

4 Milan Babic, brought in a resolution on separation of the Republic of

5 Croatia municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika, of the so-called SAO

6 Krajina, et cetera, et cetera. That is correct.

7 Q. Well, you didn't make a selection of the facts, which facts were

8 correct and which were incorrect. You said that the facts were correct

9 for the entire document.

10 JUDGE MAY: No point going over that. Just -- no point --

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?

12 JUDGE MAY: No point going over that again.

13 Now, Witness Milan Babic, you can tell us which facts you accept as

14 being correct and which facts are not correct.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I accept the fact that all the

16 crimes listed here are correct and that all the crimes do not relate to

17 all the individuals equally who are listed here. Some of them relate to

18 Milan Babic, others relate to Marko Dobrijevic, others yet again to Milan

19 Martic, yet again others to Nebojsa Mandinic. So which facts relate to

20 each of these individuals, I have already explained. I can go on and

21 explain again if you so wish.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. All right. Now, as you say that you -- it was your intention,

24 although it wasn't on your lips, as you say, to integrate into Croatia --

25 A. We were integrated into Croatia in 1990; and in 1995, it was our

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Page 13534

1 intention to go back, to go back to Croatia, to return in the status

2 proposed by the international community.

3 Q. All right. We'll come to that in due course.

4 I didn't happen to notice among all these masses of exhibits here

5 one particular order, which I have in my hands now, so I do apologise if I

6 have omitted it. But here it is. I have it, the photocopy, in fact. It

7 is the government of the SAO Krajina, the Ministry of Defence. The 26th

8 of July, 1991 is the date. And it is an order pursuant to the

9 constitutional law on the ministries and Article 32 of the Rules of

10 Procedure of the government of the Serbian Autonomous Province of

11 Krajina.

12 The Defence Ministry brings in the following order: that the

13 Regional Staff of Territorial Defence for Kordun and Banija be set up, the

14 headquarters shall be in Glina, and so on and so forth. Then he mentions

15 the commanders appointed from Glina, who the assistants are, and so on and

16 so forth. It comes into force immediately. And here it says: The

17 Defence Minister, Milan Babic. And that is the 26th of July, 1991.

18 Is that so or is it not?

19 A. That is correct, yes.

20 Q. You can take a look at this order if you like. Is it your own

21 order?

22 A. May I please have a look at it?

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. Yes. Go ahead. Here you are.

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Page 13535

1 JUDGE MAY: It sounds familiar, but I may be wrong about it. 26th

2 of July.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this is correct

4 in the original document, but this kind of order was signed by me, after a

5 meeting with the president of the municipalities and the political

6 leadership in Glina in July 1991, and after a political decision that was

7 taken to abolish the 7th Banija Division and 6th Lika Division as

8 ideological units which were not within the structure of SAO Krajina, and

9 to proceed within the organisation of Territorial Defence of SAO Krajina

10 as a legal structure of the armed forces for the Defence of SAO Krajina.

11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Could we have this

12 admitted into evidence as well, please.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll give it a number.

14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think, Mr. May --

16 JUDGE MAY: Subject to the Prosecution seeing it, we'll give it a

17 number now and mark it for identification, and then if there's any

18 objection, the Prosecution can make it.

19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the next Defence Exhibit number is

20 D59. It's marked for identification.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go on.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we go back into open session,

23 Mr. May, now, please?

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

25 [Open session]

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Page 13536

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

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Milosevic, please.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Mr. Milan Babic, what parallel structure are you talking about then?

5 A. A structure which was not under the control of the government and

6 the Assembly of the SAO Krajina.

7 Q. Well, I see here that this is precisely, this document that I

8 showed you, is precisely evidence of the opposite, proof of the opposite,

9 that you had that control and not Jovica Stanisic or Franko Simatovic,

10 that it was you yourself.

11 A. This was a document that was in keeping with the provisions of SAO

12 Krajina and its regulations.

13 Q. Well, I'm not challenging that. I'm saying that in keeping with

14 the rules and regulations, you functioned to the full possible extent and

15 not that the parallel structure was in operation.

16 A. This was outside the line of parallel structure. This was along

17 the lines of, first, a political decision to establish the Territorial

18 Defence for SAO Krajina as an independent armed formation under the

19 control of the organs of the SAO Krajina and one which would, in combat,

20 function on the basis of the laws of Yugoslavia and the principles of a

21 total national defence, or, rather, which would, should a war break out,

22 be placed under the command of the competent structures within the JNA and

23 the Yugoslav state Presidency during combat, in fighting. And it was be

24 on the basis of the laws that would be applied as of the 1st of October.

25 The political concept was that this structure should be the

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Page 13538

1 exclusive control of the autonomous -- the autonomous control of the legal

2 organs of the SAO Krajina.

3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

4 JUDGE MAY: There's a point being made.

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. It's a technical point --

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.

7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We have just found that it is already in

8 evidence, and it is Exhibit 352, tab 118.

9 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Remove the earlier number. Yes.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. All right. Let's go back for a moment to the map that you started

12 off with and its background, because there are a lot of facts on it. I

13 should just like you to comment briefly.

14 Now, the introductory text that we received from you as to how the

15 Republic of Srpska Krajina came into being, and according to this

16 photocopy that I have here, it is on page 01132357. And it says here:

17 "With the evermore aggressive Croatian chauvinism, the Serb

18 people, in 1989, responded with the formation of the Serbian Cultural and

19 Arts Society, named Zora, in Kistanje, and rallying ranks around national

20 symbols and myths."

21 Is that correct? Just answer yes or no.

22 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if the witness has got the passage first.

23 Have you got it, Witness Milan Babic?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do now.

25 JUDGE MAY: Page 9.

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13539

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's correct that the Serbian

2 Cultural Society --

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Please answer with yes or no, because there's no time for you to

5 explain everything. I've read your quotation. Just tell me whether it's

6 correct or not.

7 A. Conditionally speaking, because I don't know what the word

8 "Croatian chauvinism" means here in this context. We used the word

9 "Croatian nationalism" and "ethnocentrism." What the author wanted to

10 say here, I don't know. The rest is correct.

11 Q. Very well. Now, please comment on the following passage where it

12 says:

13 "The Croatian communist government, which together with the

14 clerical nationalists sought for a way in which to trick the Serbs,

15 responded with arrests."

16 Is this correct? In 1989, you created the Serbian Cultural

17 Society Zora in Kistanje, and the government responded with arrests. Is

18 that correct or not?

19 A. The arrests came about not because the Zora Society was

20 established but because of the incidents that occurred at the celebration

21 of the anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo near Knin when Zoran Jovan

22 Opacic, the president of the Zora association, was arrested and a number

23 other participants were detained.

24 Q. That was in June 1989; is that correct?

25 A. Yes, when your pictures first appeared in Knin.

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13540

1 Q. And then they say:

2 "However, the nucleus around which the Serbian people will

3 articulate their political platform was offered by the Serbian Democratic

4 Party which was founded on the 17th of February, 1990, and Jovan Raskovic

5 was elected its president."

6 Is this correct?

7 A. Yes, it is.

8 Q. Then it says that: "This party was transformed into a movement of

9 the Serbs, especially after the HDZ won the elections in Croatia in 1990,

10 and their first step was the formation of paramilitary formations and

11 illegal arming, and their platform was founded on secession and threats

12 against the Serbian people." Is this correct or not?

13 A. Well, I don't know whether it was the first or the second step,

14 the one that refers to the establishment of the paramilitary formations

15 and illegal arming by the Croatian government, but the police formations

16 and the increase in the number of policemen carried out by the Croatian

17 government was understood by the Serbs as being paramilitary formations,

18 and it was so understood by the JNA as well. And there were associations

19 of citizens belonging to the HDZ. And this was spoken of at the time.

20 Q. And what was the National Guard Corps? Was that the police?

21 A. As far as I know, this was a police formation, but it was set up

22 like an army. In other words, on organisational terms, it was a military

23 formation but by its position it was part of the Ministry of the Interior

24 of Croatia.

25 Q. Well, then, tell me -- see what it says here:

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Page 13541

1 "Immediately after taking power, Franjo Tudjman and the clerical

2 nationalists started introducing the symbols and signs of the Independent

3 State of Croatia from World War II, opening up old wounds and inciting

4 fear, often Ustasha genocide."

5 A. The second sentence, "Franjo Tudjman and the clerical

6 nationalists, immediately after taking over power, started with a

7 party-of-right programme," this is exaggerated.

8 Q. When was the HDZ established?

9 A. The HDZ was established in late 1989, and it was legalised a year

10 later. Yes, in 1989.

11 Q. Did you read the platform of the HDZ?

12 A. I heard what it was. I also listened to Franjo Tudjman speaking

13 on Zagreb television during the pre-election campaign, explaining the

14 party platform.

15 Q. And did you read then in the party platform that there was a

16 historical chance of establishing an independent state?

17 A. I listened to Franjo Tudjman on television saying that Croatia had

18 an irregular geographical shape. It was boomerang shaped, and that it

19 should be shaped by drawing a line along the River Drina. And he showed

20 this on a map. So his conception was that Croatia should consist of the

21 then-Republic of Croatia and the then-Socialist Republic Bosnia and

22 Herzegovina.

23 Q. So this was the territory that used to be the Independent State of

24 Croatia during World War II.

25 A. As far as I know about history and the tales of people who were

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13542

1 alive at the time, this was the territory covered by the Independent State

2 of Croatia which also covered Srem, but the NDH did not cover a long part

3 of the Primorje region which, when Yugoslavia was divided up by the

4 fascist powers, belonged to Italy.

5 Q. I'm speaking of the second part. Tell me, then, is it correct

6 that what it says here further on, the Serbian Assembly in Srb, on the

7 25th of July, 1990, issued a declaration on the autonomy of the Serbs in

8 Croatia and a plebiscite of the Serbian people starting from the Avnoj

9 decisions and the rights of nations and peoples to self-determination

10 without denying this right to others. Is this correct?

11 A. Yes, it is.

12 Q. Then it says:

13 "The attempt by the Croatian police to hinder the plebiscite by

14 force, to stop it, and the events of the 17th of August, 1990, marked the

15 beginning of the armed struggle of the Serbs for survival on their ethnic

16 and historical territories."

17 Is this correct?

18 A. Yes, it's correct.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Would the speakers please slow down for the

20 interpreters.

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. But --

23 JUDGE MAY: You're both being asked to slow down for the

24 interpreters.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't finished. Could you

Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber

Page 13543

1 please allow me to finish.

2 On the 17th of August, the resistance to the attempts to prevent

3 the referendum began, and later on during October 1991, this grew into --

4 into the causing of incidents by the Serbs in Croatia.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. This referendum, what I read to you, was this initiated by someone

7 from Serbia or was it a spontaneous reaction by you in the Krajina?

8 A. As far as I know, Serbia got involved in these events in such a

9 way as to help the Serbs to organise a plebiscite. Serbia helped to

10 define correctly the question that was to be put at the referendum in

11 order for it to be within a legal framework. Serbia guaranteed with the

12 JNA that the plebiscite, as we called it, or the vote, would actually be

13 carried out.

14 Serbia later got involved in these events in order to use them for

15 its own purposes. This political conflict was used by Serbia, which got

16 involved by setting up a parallel structure and causing incidents with a

17 view to getting the JNA involved and the federal state to intervene in

18 order to introduce a state of emergency and suspend the Croatian

19 government.

20 Q. These are your assumptions.

21 A. May I be allowed to reply?

22 Q. These are your assumptions as to what happened and what the

23 responses were. Was the initiative -- did it come from Serbia or was it a

24 logical reaction to the pressures and the repression to which the Serbs

25 were exposed from the very beginning? Is this correct or not?

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Page 13544

1 A. What I said was not my assumption. These are facts for which I

2 have personal knowledge and which I heard from the academician

3 Mr. Raskovic. There are minutes from a session where he said that these

4 clashes -- and he was speaking on the 10th of September in Srb in the

5 evening, and he said there was a third party who wanted conflicts to break

6 out in Croatia, that there were those in Yugoslavia who are bloodthirsty

7 and who want to make use of the clash between the Serbs and the Croats in

8 Croatia to introduce a state of emergency. These are facts, not my

9 assumptions.

10 Q. Who was he referring to, since you are putting forward these

11 facts? Who in Yugoslavia was able to introduce a state of emergency in

12 Croatia, and who was it who was bloodthirsty?

13 A. Legally, it could be done by the Presidency of Yugoslavia, or it

14 could be done by the JNA illegally.

15 Q. Did Raskovic criticise the JNA?

16 A. He said, literally, that it was a third party who wanted a

17 conflict, not the Serbs and the Croats in Croatia. But I quote what he

18 said: In Yugoslavia there are those who are bloodthirsty and who want to

19 make use of this conflict to have a state of emergency introduced on that

20 territory. And everybody knows who was able to introduce a state of

21 emergency.

22 Q. You said that Raskovic criticised the army as being impotent.

23 A. Raskovic criticised you, and in February 1992, he said that the

24 army was weak. In February, after the Spegelj affair, when the army did

25 not arrest Spegelj nor introduce a state of emergency in Croatia, he

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Page 13545

1 doubted that the army was able to do this. The army did this in a way

2 later organised by you, starting on the 1st of March, 1991, and onwards;

3 as far as I know, from April and May 1991 onwards.

4 Q. What was it that I organised from April and May 1991?

5 A. You organised a parallel structure in the Krajina to cause

6 incidents, and then you deployed the army on the confrontation line, in

7 May 1991.

8 Q. Very well. We shall come to this later.

9 Would you please comment --

10 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Milosevic mentioned the witness's name.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. -- what is on the map, when the Croatian parliament, the 25th of

13 December, 1990, in brackets, proclaimed Croatia the national state of the

14 Croats and declared the Serbs to be a national minority.

15 A. I brought this in order -- this map in order to show what the

16 factual situation was and to show the participation of the JNA and the

17 results of the war in the Krajina because of this. And I can comment on

18 what the author here said; the cup runneth over and all of that, this is a

19 literary way of expressing oneself. The rest is correct. In the

20 constitution of 1990, Croatia excluded the Serbs as a constituent nation

21 in the Republic of Croatia. That is correct.

22 Q. Well, let us go back to the position of the Croats. You said that

23 the government of the Krajina would never do to the Croats what the

24 Ustasha government had done to the Serbs, and that the Croats were safe on

25 the territory of the Krajina. And you even complained that the Croatian

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Page 13546

1 government was offering luxury hotels, Solaris near Sibenik, and Medena

2 near Trogir, to accommodate citizens from those areas in order to get them

3 away from the territory of the Krajina, and that this was a sly move --

4 JUDGE MAY: If we're to follow these questions, we need to know

5 what you're referring to, and I take it you're referring to the witness's

6 evidence. If so, you should put the matter shortly to him so he can

7 follow it.

8 Have you followed this, Witness Milan Babic, what the accused has put to

9 you?

10 Start again, Mr. Milosevic. What's the question?

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Mr. Milan Babic, is it true that you all said to us in Belgrade that

13 there was nothing for us to worry about because no one would touch a

14 single Croat over there, that the Croats were equal in the Krajina, and

15 that you had no intention of doing what the Ustasha government was doing

16 to the Serbs outside of Krajina? Is that what you all said?

17 A. As far as I can remember, you were asked to say how you intended

18 to protect the Serbs, that is, to carry out your promise that they would

19 be protected by the JNA. As far as I know, that's what the discussions

20 with you were about.

21 JUDGE MAY: No. Witness, listen to the question. What is said is

22 that you and others were saying they were not to worry, Croats were equal

23 in the Krajina, there was no intention of doing what the Ustasha

24 government was doing to the Serbs. Was that ever said?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, things to that effect were

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Page 13547

1 said. What events exactly were referred to, I don't know, but if it would

2 be put to me, I would comment on it, in early 1991. I have to say that

3 the rhetoric, especially public rhetoric, escalated starting from 1990 and

4 early 1991, after the Spegelj affair, after the outbreak of armed clashes,

5 especially after the outbreak of war operations in the autumn of 1991.

6 The mutual rhetoric, both Serbian and Croatian, escalated, so that in the

7 1990s, from the Serb side and the Serb Krajina side, the Croatian

8 government and Tudjman and all their supporters were called Ustasha; and

9 on the other hand, the Croatian authorities referred to the JNA as a

10 Serbo-Chetnik army. So there was an escalation of rhetoric from 1990 to

11 the autumn of 1991.

12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

13 Q. Very well, then. Do you remember that when we asked you

14 questions, saying: If that is so - and we are glad to hear that you are

15 making sure that nobody should be in jeopardy - why are Croatian families

16 moving out of Krajina? And you answered: Tudjman is offering them luxury

17 hotels: Solaris, near Sibenik, on the coast; Medena, near Trogir. These

18 are large hotels. I personally visited them in the old days. And this is

19 attractive to them, so they wish to give the impression that we are doing

20 something against them, and that is not true.

21 Is that true, that that was how you answered our questions?

22 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session.

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

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

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember personally talking

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Page 13549

1 to Mr. Milosevic along those lines and about these matters. I did make a

2 large number of public statements, different statements in different time

3 periods, and I would like to know which period this is referring to so

4 that I can comment on it.

5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we move on, Mr. May? I see no

6 reason for private session.

7 JUDGE MAY: No. Can you help the witness? You're putting things

8 to him, and in order that he can answer properly, he needs to know when

9 it's alleged that these comments were made. When are you saying that he

10 said all this?

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. I don't have here any records of the meetings held, but this was a

13 general issue, and it was a well-known position in Serbia that there must

14 not be any discrimination along ethnic or religious lines, and that was

15 the practice applied in Serbia anyway, and we expected the same practice

16 to be applied by the leadership in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. And

17 I'm asking the witness whether it is true that they sought to persuade us

18 that their practice was such that there was no reprisals against the

19 Croats, that they were absolutely safe in those areas, and that they would

20 not allow anything to be done to them such as the Croatian Ustasha

21 authorities were doing to the Serbs. And I'm asking the witness whether

22 that is true or not.

23 A. In conversations with you, as far as I can remember, we mainly

24 discussed the question of the protection of the Serbs, that is, the

25 protection of the right of SAO Krajina to self-determination and remain in

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Page 13550

1 Yugoslavia. And you said the JNA would protect you, you have nothing to

2 worry about. And therefore, my conversations with you were along those

3 lines. Whether you discussed some other matters with someone else, I

4 don't know.

5 Q. As you don't know, let me not insist on that. You are claiming

6 that you don't know, though you all did say the same things in those days.

7 Didn't your TO and the JNA protect you? Weren't you protected?

8 And that this went on up until the Vance Plan, when the Blue Helmets were

9 supposed to come and protect you, when there was no need for the JNA to

10 protect you; is that right?

11 A. That was a terrible, compromising protection, I can say as an

12 introduction, but allow me to finish first. The JNA did protect the

13 existence of SAO Krajina and the territory involved, but from August 1991,

14 the JNA, together with all the formations under its command, covered the

15 so-called referendum territory of SAO Krajina, went beyond it, and did

16 some destruction and cleansing, forcing tens of thousands of Croats to

17 flee. And it set up a border which was larger, beyond the so-called

18 referendum borders, so that is the border that was shown on this map, the

19 border taken up by the JNA, with all its formations, and over which you

20 had command.

21 Q. Is it true that the JNA did not establish any frontiers; it sought

22 to position itself between the conflicting parties, not to allow Serbian

23 and Croatian democrats to fight one another, the Democratic Community of

24 Croats and the Democratic Serbian Party? Is that right?

25 A. With the police and the parallel structure, you instigated the JNA

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Page 13551

1 to go to that border, the confrontation line, between the months of May

2 and August. And in August 1991, as far as I know, and everyone knows, the

3 JNA launched offensive action. It went beyond that separation line and

4 captured parts of Croatia which had not been Serb populated. It

5 established a new line, a new border, virtually. That became the new

6 border of SAO Krajina, Western Slavonia, Eastern Slavonia, and the

7 Republic of Serbian Krajina.

8 Q. We'll come to that easily, because that also is not true.

9 Are they the borders that were protected areas by the UN? Are you

10 talking about those borders?

11 A. This border doesn't fully coincide with the UN-protected areas.

12 These areas are broader and larger than the UN-protected areas. They are

13 larger by about 25 per cent. As for Western Slavonia, they are smaller

14 than the UN-protected areas, roughly 20 per cent of the UN-protected areas

15 in Western Slavonia; and in Eastern Slavonia, those borders coincide with

16 the UN-protected areas.

17 Q. I'm not asking you about this map. I'm asking you about the

18 facts, the factual situation as to where Serbs were living and where

19 Croats were living, that factual situation. Those lines that you are

20 referring to, were they the same that were later established as

21 UN-protected areas?

22 A. First of all, the JNA lines, in the autumn of 1991, did not

23 coincide with the ethnic territories of Serbs but went beyond, including

24 territories where the majority population were Croats. Secondly, the zone

25 or the line established by the JNA did not coincide with the UN-protected

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Page 13552

1 areas. Namely, the UN did not recognise parts of municipalities beyond

2 those listed in the Vance Plan.

3 Q. Please, let's not waste time. Twenty-five per cent --

4 JUDGE MAY: Are we still in private session? Is there any reason

5 why we shouldn't be in open session for this?

6 Let's go into open session.

7 [Open session]

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't see a single reason,

9 Mr. May. You asked for us to go into private session.

10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Is it clear that in 1991 the JNA was legally present within the

13 territory of SFRY, regardless which territories in Croatia we're talking

14 about, not only the territories that are on the map marked as territories

15 of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, but in many cities throughout Croatia,

16 where it had been for 50 years? Is that right or not?

17 A. What is the question: whether the JNA was the legal army of SFRY?

18 Q. Yes. Throughout the territory of Croatia, not just Krajina. I'm

19 talking about its legal presence throughout the territory of Croatia.

20 A. Well, my God. The JNA was the armed forces of SFRY, of course.

21 Q. Fine.

22 A. Only it performed illegal acts as of August 1991.

23 Q. As to what is legal and illegal, let's leave that for later.

24 But you say that in autumn 1991, you wanted to negotiate with the

25 Croatian side, but no talks occurred because of your personal weaknesses.

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1 Is that right?

2 A. I don't understand the question.

3 Q. You said -- you gave explanations that you wanted to talk.

4 A. When?

5 Q. In the autumn of 1991, with the Croatian side. Is that right?

6 You spoke about that here in this courtroom.

7 A. Yes, there was an opportunity through the international conference

8 to establish a dialogue with Croatia and resolve the issue. That's what I

9 did say. It was a good chance, but unfortunately, it was a missed

10 opportunity, and I was one of those who made errors and omissions not to

11 take advantage of that opportunity. It was a good opportunity.

12 Q. Yes. You could have answered simply with a yes without going into

13 all those explanations.

14 You said that you had proposed that Krajina should be a Zupanja in

15 Croatia.

16 A. In 1990, during the discussions on the new constitution of the

17 Republic of Croatia.

18 Q. And is it true that up to the formation of the Serbian Democratic

19 Party in Glina and when you became one of the top leaders, you were an

20 official of the League of Communists of Croatia? Is that right?

21 A. I was in the League of Communists of Croatia, and I held certain

22 positions which I have already mentioned here in this Tribunal at the

23 beginning of my testimony.

24 Q. Will you please answer with a yes or no so that we can save time.

25 You've already said yes with a rather lengthy, complex sentence. So --

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1 A. In substance, no, because when you say "official," that means

2 somebody with executive powers in the body of the League of Communists,

3 starting from the Municipal Committee through the Regional Committees, the

4 Central Committee, et cetera, et cetera. So when you say an official, you

5 mean someone with executive powers in the structure of the League of

6 Communists. So my answer is no, or exactly what I said in answering your

7 question for the first time.

8 Q. Are you claiming then that you were not in the Presidency of the

9 Municipal Committee of Glina?

10 A. No.

11 Q. Were you an official of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia

12 and, as such, a delegate at the congress of the League of Communists of

13 Croatia?

14 JUDGE MAY: We'll deal with this in private session.

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

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

17 JUDGE MAY: Would you, Witness Milan Babic, tell us what position you

18 had, if any, in the League of Communists and whether you attended this

19 congress or not.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1989, I was a member of the basic

21 organisation of the League of Communists for primary health care in the

22 medical centre in Knin. At the elections for delegates, for, I think it

23 was the 11th and last congress of the League of Communists of Croatia at

24 the elections organised throughout the structure of the League of

25 Communists in Knin - it had 3.000 members - I was elected one of six

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1 delegates from the territory of Knin municipality to be a delegate at the

2 congress that was being held in Zagreb.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. I don't understand why you need such a lengthy explanation. I am

5 simply asking you whether you were a delegate at the congress of the

6 League of Communists of Croatia and now you're saying yes, explaining that

7 you were one of six delegates from the whole region elected to the

8 congress. Fine.

9 A. Because you started your question by saying whether I was an

10 official, and I'm saying what that means. That's it.

11 JUDGE MAY: You're not going to get into -- we're not getting into

12 an argument about this. Now, do you want to ask anything more,

13 Mr. Milosevic, about the League of Communists or anything of that sort?

14 If not, we'll go back into open session.

15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a couple of other things.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. So you were a participant at the congress, and the congress

18 debated important political issues. The League of Communists of Croatia

19 was in power; you were participating at the congress of the party in

20 power. Did you say anything at all in connection with those documents and

21 decisions? Did you oppose anything that you disagreed with at that

22 congress?

23 A. I remember three things. First, at a commission for the reform of

24 the economic system, I made a written contribution for the discussion,

25 suggesting a reorganisation of the communities of interest in the social

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1 services and the formation of funds.

2 Secondly, at a plenary session, when there were decisions

3 regarding the statute of the League of Communists of Croatia, I was

4 against the option which reorganised the League of Communists of Croatia

5 in such a way that it should, as an independent organisation, join the

6 League of Communists of Yugoslavia, because according to statute up to

7 then, the League of Communists of Croatia was a part of the League of

8 Communists of Yugoslavia.

9 And a third point I wanted to oppose were writings by Mitrovic or

10 whatever his name was, secretary of the League of Communists of Croatia,

11 who gave an interview to Nova Makedonija newspaper and who spoke badly

12 about Knin as a focus of nationalism. So this was on the bulletin board

13 of the congress, and I wanted to debate this. But the delegation from

14 Knin said, "Don't. Boro Mikelic will attack them and criticise them."

15 And indeed at the plenary session Mikelic delivered a political speech. I

16 don't remember all the details, but he spoke about it.

17 So that was what I did at the last congress of the League of

18 Communists of Croatia.

19 Q. Very well, then. Is it true that from a communist -- you were a

20 communist, weren't you?

21 A. I was a member of the League of Communists and a communist, yes.

22 Q. Fine. So suddenly, from a communist, that year, within a period

23 of one month, you did an about-turn, a salto mortale, and turned into a

24 nationalist. You completely changed your convictions, and from a

25 communist you became an anti-communist and took over the leadership of

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1 Knin municipality; is that right?

2 A. Under your influence, I certainly became an ethnoegotist, and if I

3 had listened to you until the end, I would have become even worse.

4 As for the position of president of the municipality, I became

5 that because I joined the Serbian Democratic Party on the 11th of

6 February, 1990, in Knin, or, rather, I was invited to address the founding

7 Assembly. And after my address, the people liked it, and they proposed me

8 to the Main Board, and that is how I became a member of the Main Board.

9 And as I had a lot of merit for the election campaign in Knin

10 municipality, there was a discussion as to whether I should be a delegate

11 in the Sabor of the Republic of Croatia or whether I should be president

12 of the municipality. And it was my personal wish - I wasn't a good

13 speaker in those days to go to the Sabor or Assembly - I preferred to stay

14 locally in Knin, and this was supported by people from SDS in Knin and

15 Jovan Raskovic, and the Executive Board decided to nominate me as a

16 candidate for president of the municipality, and I did. I was elected as

17 the SDS had a majority in the Assembly.

18 Q. So all this went along those lines because they were enthusiastic

19 about you. They elected you. They didn't even ask you of your opinion.

20 A. Oh, yes they did, to make the choice whether I wanted to be a

21 delegate in the Assembly of Croatia or the president of the municipality

22 in Knin. And for the reason I have given, I said that I wasn't a good

23 speaker then and I didn't think I would fare well in the debates in the

24 Sabor, so I said I would prefer to stay in Knin, and also because I had

25 merits for the election campaign. I was very active during that campaign

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1 in Knin municipality, part of Lapac and part of Benkovac, and wherever I

2 headed the campaign, the party won the elect. So this was a reward for my

3 political activities, in fact.

4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone. Sorry.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. What about Kordun and Eastern Slavonia? The Serbs mostly voted

7 for the League of Communists of Croatia; isn't that right?

8 A. In the elections in 1990, five delegates were elected to the Sabor

9 of Croatia of the SDS of Serb ethnicity, and 27 delegates, members of the

10 Serb ethnicity and members of other parties, and especially of the League

11 of Communists of Croatia. That is the Party of Democratic Change as it

12 came to be called.

13 As for the municipalities, the SDS won in four municipalities.

14 Actually, in those days, the SDS wasn't really ready, didn't have the

15 necessary organisational structure to take part in the elections

16 throughout the territory of the Socialist Republic of Croatia. It was

17 weaker organisationally. So because of the way in which the president of

18 the party led it in a leadership manner rather as a movement than a party,

19 and because of its poor organisational structure, those were the results

20 of the elections.

21 Q. Fine. All that was in Knin. Did anyone from Serbia exert any

22 influence over you in that respect, in the change of your political

23 orientation and everything that you've just spoken of, the events in Knin,

24 the establishment of the Serbian Democratic Party, the taking up of the

25 party course?

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1 A. I can say indirectly in two ways. First of all, Serbia advocated

2 the federalist concept of Yugoslavia, which I accepted. And secondly,

3 Serbia, through the media, starting in 1989, laid great emphasis - too

4 much emphasis, I must say - on the position of the Serbian people in

5 Croatia, and I believed this. I was even elected to the Main Board of the

6 Serbian Democratic Party because I referred to the position of the Serbian

7 people in the area between Knin and Karlovac in the way spoken of by the

8 Serbian press.

9 When passing through the area, I looked to see whether this was

10 so. I saw dilapidated and ruined churches which had not been repaired.

11 In Plitvice, I saw that Serbs were moving out of the area. There was a

12 certain amount of depopulation, and that's what I said. I said that the

13 communist authorities, that is the communists of Croatia or the Croatian

14 communities, as I began to call Raca, had caused a desert to exist between

15 Knin and Karlovac. That was my impression, and that was what Duga of

16 Belgrade and Novi Sad television said.

17 You asked about influences from Belgrade. Well, truly because of

18 that impression and because of what they said, that's how I began to view

19 things, and this contributed to my being elected to the Main Board of the

20 SDS.

21 Q. You're now speaking of a tabloid in Belgrade that wrote about

22 this. Did the official papers write anything at all about the position of

23 the Serbs in Croatia in 1989? In Serbia, I mean.

24 A. Television Belgrade and the Novi Sad television, they broadcast a

25 report on the population moving out of Plitvice. And there was even a

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1 writer from Knin.

2 Q. I'm asking you about the Belgrade media and the official press.

3 A. Yes. In early 1990, there was a headline in Politika I remember

4 about the failure to bury the victims of the Ustasha genocide from World

5 War II and that this amounted to a repetition of the genocide. That's

6 what Politika said.

7 Q. Well, we'll find what Politika said.

8 A. It was in May.

9 Q. As regards the press, we will have time to go into this.

10 Do you remember that in the speeches you made then you attacked

11 both the communists of Croatia and the communist regime, as you called it,

12 in Serbia?

13 A. Well, that depends. There was a structure in the SDS which didn't

14 criticise the communist regime in Serbia at all but criticised the

15 communist regime in Croatia. The president of the party, Mr. Raskovic,

16 the academician, after he decided to go to Belgrade and organise the party

17 there, he said, "We have to make a decision ." At the famous eighth

18 session of the Central Committee of Serbia when you carried out -- well,

19 I'm not qualified to give an opinion about this, but some sort of party

20 putsch, he said that one communist group had replaced another. And it was

21 from that point onwards that he began to suffer criticism and mistrust

22 from your side. There was a group in the SDS which supported you in spite

23 of the fact that they sometimes overemphasised their national or one would

24 say nationalist positions. And there was another group. Well, it wasn't

25 really a group. It was Raskovic and Mihajlo Markovic, who was an

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1 academician, a member of the Executive Board, an ideologue of the SBS, and

2 who said the following to me, speaking about Jovan Raskovic, the president

3 of the SDS. He said: "We agree with him about one thing, and tomorrow he

4 says another, and vice versa. And then Milosevic criticises him one day

5 and praises him the next. We don't know what to do with him."

6 And in the end, you withdrew him. You brought him back to

7 Belgrade. You separated him from the people, and you started a campaign.

8 Starting in July or early August, you started to weaken Jovan Raskovic for

9 these reasons.

10 Q. Who withdrew Raskovic to Belgrade?

11 A. Dobrica Cosic.

12 Q. And you said at the end you withdrew him to Belgrade, but I met

13 Jovan Raskovic only once in my life.

14 A. Dobrica Cosic did it, but you, through your media, started a

15 campaign against Jovan Raskovic.

16 Q. I think there is no point in us being in private session,

17 Mr. May.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Public session.

19 [Open session]

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

21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

22 Q. You started explaining something to do with the president of the

23 SDS, Jovan Raskovic, which is incorrect, and therefore, I want to ask you

24 the following. I think I can do this in open session. I won't mention

25 your name.

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1 Is it correct that you held it against Jovan Raskovic that he went

2 to Zagreb and had talks with Franjo Tudjman and other leaders in Croatia?

3 A. There were two members in the Main Board. Both were

4 vice-presidents of the party. One was the president of the Executive

5 Board. And they laid great emphasis on such things.

6 There was also a discussion at the Main Board of the party. Jovan

7 Opacic, Zelenbaba, Branko Peric, and several other people asked that Jovan

8 Raskovic be replaced, but they did not gain the support of the majority at

9 that session of the Main Board. Jovan Raskovic was not dismissed. These

10 people left the SDS after that session and went to the Serbian Renewal

11 Movement of Draskovic. They said that the SDS was the Serbian infantry,

12 that it was weak and inefficient and that they were crossing over to the

13 artillery, to the SBO.

14 Q. It seems to me that things were somewhat different from this. You

15 criticised Jovan Raskovic strongly because of some compromising statements

16 he made in his talks with Tudjman.

17 A. You probably mean other talks he had later on.

18 Q. I'm referring to your attacks on Jovan Raskovic. That's what I'm

19 referring to.

20 A. What attacks? By me or by people from the SDS?

21 Q. You personally.

22 A. If you mean me personally, we can discuss that.

23 Q. Is it correct that it was you, together with someone I will not

24 mention here by name because I would then be in danger of revealing your

25 identity, on his return from America, you not only dismissed him but

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1 almost hounded him out of the Krajina, out of the SDS, out of all public

2 life; is that correct?

3 A. First of all, Jovan Raskovic did not live in the Krajina. He

4 lived in Sibenik. Secondly, Dobrica Cosic suggested that he go to

5 Belgrade for certain reasons. And thirdly, the HDZ in Sibenik organised

6 the signing of a petition against Raskovic, Marko Dobrijevic and Branko

7 Popovic. And fourthly, from late 1990, a so-called Krajina faction of the

8 SDS began to emerge within the SDS.

9 Jovan Raskovic was never dismissed. He died as the president of

10 the SDS in 1992.

11 Q. Is it correct that it is because of their disagreement with you in

12 the way that Jovan Raskovic was treated that these people, Opacic and

13 Zelenbaba, the people you mentioned who were co-founders of your party,

14 left the party and went over to the SBO? Is this correct?

15 A. At the moment they were leaving the SDS, I was very close with

16 President Raskovic. They were one faction, and then later on, a harder

17 faction, a pro-Milosevic faction which supported you was established

18 consisting of Marko Dobrijevic and Petar Stikavac who were its leaders,

19 and that's why Jovan Raskovic dismissed them in February 1991.

20 After that, a faction was set up consisting of the Regional Board

21 of the Krajina SDS and President Raskovic said that this was a faction

22 which was not eliminated but tolerated because we were a democratic

23 party. And several political options were allowed. President Raskovic

24 said that anyone who uses his own head thinks a little differently from

25 the next person.

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Page 13565

1 Q. It seems to me that you mentioned here that I had something

2 against Raskovic, but now you explained that he left for quite different

3 reasons and under quite different circumstances. And now you're saying

4 that there were some SDS members who supported me at the elections. But

5 why did I need their support in Knin when I was running at the elections

6 in Serbia?

7 A. There are two things: Firstly, in February 1991, you said that

8 Jovan Raskovic should be dismissed. I told you personally he could not be

9 dismissed; he was a popular leader. Secondly, you were waging an election

10 campaign in Serbia in 1991 for the parliament, as the Socialist Party of

11 Serbia, and you yourself were running for president. You had a conflict

12 with the national opposition, and it certainly suited you to have the

13 support of a party defining itself as a democratic and a Serbian party.

14 This suited you politically, in order to gain support among the voters in

15 Serbia, you and your party.

16 Q. Milan Babic, you said just a moment ago that in 1990 the reach of this

17 party went only as far as Knin and maybe several kilometres beyond Knin.

18 A. In early 1990, in the elections up to -- leading up to May, but

19 after that, the party founded its first committee in Belgrade and another

20 in Novi Sad. And just before the elections in Serbia, the independent SDS

21 of Serbia was established, which took part in the elections.

22 Q. Your party was in the opposition at the elections in Serbia.

23 A. Part of the party split away and established an independent SDS of

24 Serbia, taking part in the elections in Serbia, and part of the people and

25 the Main Board of the central SDS party in Knin supported you, and that is

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Page 13566

1 a fact.

2 Q. Very well. They supported me probably in their thoughts, because,

3 as you know, we won those elections by a landslide.

4 A. The support was in the media. I don't know what media transmitted

5 this.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Tell me, please, since you are denying that you drove Raskovic

9 out --

10 A. That was your campaign, your underhand campaign, to disqualify him

11 politically.

12 JUDGE MAY: This argument is of no assistance to us, in which you

13 both interrupt each other. It's impossible to follow.

14 Now, we're going to adjourn again for 20 minutes.

15 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.

16 --- On resuming at 12.39 p.m.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll sit now until 2.00, and I understand the

18 Prosecution may want a few moments at the end.

19 MR. NICE: Just a couple of minutes.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.

21 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. To continue: It follows that Raskovic was not handed from Knin in

24 your struggles for political prestige but for other reasons; is that

25 right?

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Page 13567

1 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes.

2 Q. Explain, then, whether you launched a campaign in 1995 to replace

3 the then Prime Minister, Borislav Mikelic.

4 A. In 1995, or rather, in 1994, with the replacement of

5 Mikelic -- actually, this was initiated by the president, the then

6 president of Srpska Krajina, and he was replaced in 1995, in June, I think

7 it was. Mikelic was the Prime Minister, and he had a minority in the

8 Assembly of the RSK.

9 Q. I didn't ask you about the dates. I have the dates here. What I

10 asked you was whether you were at the head of the campaign to have Mikelic

11 replaced, you and your party.

12 A. If by that you mean whether there was a political decision to that

13 effect, to have Borislav Mikelic replaced before there was a vote in the

14 Assembly, the answer is yes.

15 JUDGE MAY: No. That wasn't the question. The question was:

16 Were you at the head of a campaign? Now, it is a fairly straightforward

17 question, Witness Milan Babic, so perhaps you could just answer it simply.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can, if you tell me what is

19 meant by "campaign." What does the word "campaign" imply?

20 JUDGE MAY: Let's go into private session. It's a perfectly clear

21 word, what "campaign" means.

22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, just a moment in open

23 session before we go into private session.

24 THE INTERPRETER: [Interpretation] Microphone for the accused,

25 please.

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Page 13569

1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you want us to go into private

2 session, I'd like to ask one more question in open session, before we go

3 to private session, so that we can clarify some circumstances with regard

4 to the answer I'm going to get to my next question.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. What I want you to explain is this, the circumstances

7 surrounding -- or rather, the circumstances and the reasons for which you

8 fled from Knin for three days, prior to the Croatian offensive, together

9 with your wife, your children, and your mother-in-law. Why did you flee

10 to Belgrade? Is that correct or is it not?

11 A. It is not correct.

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A private session, please.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll go into private session now.

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

15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.

16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. You said that you didn't know what I meant by the word

18 "campaign."

19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We're in a private session now, as I

20 take it, Mr. May. Is that right?

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we are.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. So my question was: Did you wage a campaign to have Borislav

24 Mikelic replaced, you and your party, the Serbian Democratic Party, whose

25 president you yourself were, and, at the same time, the minister in that

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Page 13570

1 government of Borislav Mikelic, Minister for Foreign Affairs? Is that

2 correct or not?

3 A. I don't want to call that a campaign. A campaign implies

4 something broader, which involves longer political debates, et cetera.

5 This was a political decision that was taken, and it was my initiative as

6 well, and the initiatives of the deputies of my party, who won the

7 majority in the Assembly of the RSK. And the decision was to

8 initiate - and it did do so - and the decision was made to have Borislav

9 Mikelic replaced as Prime Minister of the RSK government. So it wasn't a

10 campaign of any kind; it was just a political debate, followed by

11 political decision. The Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina, whose

12 president I was, had the majority of deputies in the Assembly, but not the

13 vast -- they weren't qualified as a majority. Borislav Mikelic had the

14 minority.

15 Q. And the government of Borislav Mikelic, and Borislav Mikelic

16 himself, along with my support, did he hold negotiations with

17 representatives of the Croatian government to discuss a series of issues

18 in which intermediaries participated, Owen and Stoltenberg, to discuss the

19 normalisation of relations and all other outstanding issues that we'll get

20 to in due course? Is that correct or not?

21 A. It is not precise enough to say "your support." It was your

22 direct participation, in very concrete, specific terms. Those talks were

23 not able to begin without your decision. A negotiation, an agreement,

24 could not have been reached unless you agreed to it, unless you agreed to

25 the text of the agreement itself. So an agreement could have been

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Page 13571

1 approved only once you had okayed it. And once I made a statement, a

2 public statement, with respect to the agreement that I took part in, I

3 made a further statement than you asked for. And then a whole edition of

4 a daily paper called the Vecernje Novosti, for the provinces, you threw

5 into the wastepaper basket because my statement went beyond what you

6 yourself agreed to. So I said yes, your participation; yes, your decision

7 to have the negotiations go forward; and yes for an agreement to be

8 reached.

9 Q. Please, is it correct that the so-called Zagreb agreement was

10 reached, and that your delegation was led by Mikelic, and that there were

11 three points in the Zagreb agreement: The first was cessation to all

12 hostilities, second was normalisation of economic relations, and third a

13 political settlement to be discussed? Is it true that that Zagreb

14 agreement contained those three points?

15 A. What is true is the following: A truce -- an agreement about a

16 truce was adopted in March, before Mikelic and the government of Serbian

17 Krajina were constituted, after the elections that were held at the end of

18 1993 and the beginning of 1994. And next, the beginning of negotiations

19 to discuss economic issues was after you had approved it in June 1995 and

20 after direct talks were held between, on the one hand, Mikelic and myself,

21 as Foreign Minister, and on the other side there were the deputies of the

22 Croatian government, Sarinic and Ivica Pasalic. And that's how the

23 negotiations began. The agreement was reached, that is, at the end of

24 1994. I don't know whether I made a slip of the tongue. It was 1994.

25 And we spoke about the oil company in 1995, and you proposed a name for

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Page 13572

1 that mixed oil company. And those negotiations were completed, and the

2 crowning glory of that was the agreement signed by Mikelic and verified by

3 Sarinic and the government of the Republic of the RSK. I don't know which

4 other Zagreb agreements you are referring to.

5 Q. Might you have made a mistake? Was it not in -- when you said in

6 June 1994, that the negotiations were held in 1994?

7 A. Yes. I said I misspoke. I might have made a slip of the tongue

8 to that effect.

9 Q. Now, is it true, Mr. Milan Babic, that you set up obstacles constantly

10 to those negotiations?

11 A. That is not correct. I took part in them to the very end.

12 Q. All right. We'll come to that later on, when you took part and

13 when you did not.

14 A. The economic agreement and the talks pertaining to that point, I

15 took an active part in that, and the agreement could not have been adopted

16 in the Krajina Assembly without my political support and the support of

17 the deputies whose representative I was, the party I represented, the

18 party whose president I was.

19 Q. Well, that's what we're talking about. You controlled the extent

20 and measure to which something would go through and would not go through.

21 And isn't it true that Mikelic reached an agreement to open the motorway?

22 A. Mikelic and myself.

23 Q. Well, I don't seem to remember you being there, and I don't think

24 Owen and Stoltenberg remember you either on the negotiations for the

25 motorway.

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Page 13573

1 A. Well, there are documents to that effect.

2 Q. Anyway, isn't it true that for the most part you criticised

3 Mikelic, and you said he wished to integrate Krajina into Croatia in that

4 way?

5 A. Well, there were two approaches towards Mikelic. The year was

6 1994, and then there was 1995, and different reasons and different causes

7 and different reactions. So as far as Mikelic is concerned in 1994, it

8 was through my initiative that his replacement was thwarted or, rather, I

9 prevented this. I gave the initiative not to give a vote of no confidence

10 to Mikelic in 1994 precisely when the economic negotiations started, and

11 precisely so that the negotiations could be continued.

12 Q. And then in 1995, when the negotiations started to bear fruit and

13 bore results, then you considered that he was in fact working against the

14 interests of Krajina to reintegrate Krajina into Croatia and then launched

15 a campaign to have him replaced; isn't that so?

16 A. At the beginning of 1995, this is what happened: The agreement

17 was blocked, the implementation of the agreement was blocked.

18 Q. You mean 1995.

19 A. Yes, I apologise, 1995. There was a blockade of the agreement

20 with respect to the crisis and the new mandate for the peacekeepers, the

21 UN peace forces. Mikelic was replaced after a meeting of the Assembly of

22 the RSK, and this took place in May 1995. So at the following Assembly in

23 June. The public reason given was that he was against the unification of

24 the RSK and Republika Srpska. This was a way to gain support for his

25 replacement with the minority in the Assembly.

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Page 13574

1 Now, the causes, the real causes lay in quite a different field.

2 The reasons were that Mikelic, at that time, no longer came to Knin. He

3 was afraid to cross the border, cross Republika Srpska into Knin. He

4 would convene government meetings in Erdut, in Eastern Slavonia. And to

5 all intents and purposes, he had contributed to the fact that the RSK, at

6 that particular time, was divided. It was divided into the territory of

7 the former SAO Krajina and Eastern Krajina.

8 Q. Let's not go too far afield. Answer my question. Please stick to

9 my questions, please.

10 You now said that Mikelic was replaced in May 1995.

11 A. June, I think it was.

12 Q. Is it true and correct that on the 30th of May, 1995, you were

13 given the mandate by the president of the republic, Milan Martic, to form

14 a government?

15 A. That was later on.

16 Q. Well, Mikelic was replaced in May.

17 A. June. Or the end of May. Possibly the end of May.

18 Q. I have the 30th of May, 1995, as being the correct date.

19 A. Yes, that's right. I was given the mandate to set up a new

20 government.

21 Q. All right, then. So on the 30th of May, you received the mandate

22 to set up a new government, and then you brought the whole structure,

23 power, and authority into a situation of crisis, because it was only on

24 the 27th of July that you in fact formed a government at the meeting in

25 Topusko; isn't that right?

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Page 13575

1 A. Well, you contributed to that. The reason was obstruction. The

2 police which you controlled in Eastern Slavonia did not permit the

3 Assembly to take place in Mirkovac -- Mirkovci, for the government to be

4 formed, established earlier on.

5 Q. So for two months you were not able to set up a government because

6 you wished to hold the Assembly in the place where Mikelic had held his

7 government and which you criticised him for keeping a government in

8 Eastern Slavonia. Why didn't you have the Assembly in Knin, for example?

9 A. We wanted to gain the political support of Eastern Slavonia,

10 because the problem was Eastern Slavonia, in fact, because you had divided

11 Krajina into two parts. It was your plan and Karadzic's plan that the

12 former SAO Krajina should be liquidated and to have Eastern Slavonia

13 remain.

14 Q. First of all, that's not true. Neither Karadzic nor myself had

15 any plans of that kind.

16 A. I heard about that plan.

17 Q. Who did you hear about the plan?

18 A. From Buha, the Foreign Minister, Aleksa Buha, the Minister of

19 Foreign Affairs of Republika Srpska, and Momcilo Krajisnik, president of

20 the Assembly of Republika Srpska.

21 Q. Did Buha and Krajisnik tell you it was my plan to divide up

22 Krajina?

23 A. As they cooperated with Jovica Stanisic - Jovica Stanisic was your

24 executor at that time - and on the basis of what you told me in 1991, this

25 was a certainty for me.

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Page 13576

1 Q. And what was it that I told you in 1991 which presented a

2 certainty to you?

3 A. That you would leave Tudjman with Bihac and the territories of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and by doing so that you would cede to him the

5 territory of SAO Krajina.

6 Q. That's not true at all. You explained to us here in this

7 courtroom that after the talks I had with Tudjman, I asked you, in order

8 to release the tension that had built up, to open a road, a line of

9 communication so that they could communicate with the Drnis area down

10 there, and your reactions were that this was tantamount to treachery if

11 they were allowed to communicate, that this was a betrayal.

12 A. You said that Tudjman needed Bihac. You said that loud and clear,

13 and I understood that to be your agreement with Tudjman.

14 Q. You couldn't have understood the agreement. You couldn't have

15 understood anything, because a country needs roads in order to

16 communicate. I don't have to explain that fact to anybody. But you held

17 the government in crisis for two months, since you received the mandate to

18 set up a government and until you actually did so, just because you

19 weren't able to hold your Assembly meeting in Mirkovci, although I don't

20 know why you couldn't have a meeting anyway on the territory of the RSK.

21 A. Those were the events of 1995. March 19 -- in March 1991, you

22 reached an agreement with Tudjman about Krajina. Those were my

23 conclusions or, rather, you said so. That's what you said. And in 1994,

24 on the 20th of November, this was confirmed by Aleksa Buha. He bore that

25 out. And in January 1995, well, that was your concept. You controlled

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Page 13577

1 Karadzic through Jovica Stanisic at that time, although you came out

2 publicly in favour of having it appear as if there was a blockade between

3 Yugoslavia or, rather, Serbia and the Republika Srpska. You in fact

4 controlled Ratko Mladic as well.

5 Q. Just one moment, please. Stop right there. Stop right there.

6 A. So you politicians --

7 JUDGE MAY: This is not just some sort of argument. Remember

8 you're both in court. Now are we still in private session? Right.

9 Now, Mr. Milosevic, you can ask a question. Keep it short.

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Please refrain your answers to answering my questions, please.

12 You mentioned a meeting a moment ago that you came to see me with

13 Martic, and at that meeting, you said you had heard me criticise Martic

14 for lending support to Karadzic; isn't that right?

15 A. That was the third meeting that you had with Martic, and I was

16 there.

17 Q. All right. So I was criticising Martic for lending support to

18 Karadzic. And now you're saying, now you're saying that that conflict and

19 the blockade itself was in fact rigged, whereas there was no kind of

20 conflict and clash or blockade at all.

21 A. You said what I quoted. You said to Martic that you weren't going

22 to make a new Karadzic out of him, which means that you didn't want him to

23 make political outbursts. That's how I understood it at that point in

24 time. Of course, the public was informed that the government of Serbia

25 or, rather, you yourself had introduced a blockade of Republika Srpska,

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1 but from what I knew, that blockade, as far as weapons were concerned and

2 as far as fuel was concerned for army purposes and as far as wielding

3 influence on Ratko Mladic and as far as Jovica Stanisic's activities were

4 concerned in Republika Srpska, it did not in fact exist. There was no

5 blockade of that nature.

6 Q. How do you know that?

7 A. Well, I know that from Jovica Stanisic, Karadzic, Momcilo

8 Krajisnik. I know it also from Borislav Nikolic. And in fact, the basic

9 reason for which Borislav Nikolic was not able to cross over Republika

10 Srpska territory was that he was in a conflict with Karadzic with respect

11 to the fuel, oil quotas for Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska

12 Krajina.

13 Q. All right. We'll come to oil and petroleum later on, but tell me

14 this: Is it true, at least what you said here, that it was in July of

15 1993 that you met and decided to set up a Serbian Democratic Party of Serb

16 Lands which would go to the elections, go to the polls in Serbia? Is that

17 correct?

18 A. It is correct that there was an initiative by Radovan Karadzic at

19 the time and of the Serbian Democratic Party of Serbia for a Serbian

20 Democratic Party of Serbian Lands to be formed as a party, and I took part

21 in those discussions, but those discussions did not end in the way

22 envisioned by Karadzic, that is, the Serbian Democratic Party of Krajina

23 of which I was a president did not join that unified Democratic Party of

24 Serbian Lands, because I insisted that the situation was such as it was,

25 that there was separate republics. For as long as the RSK existed, the

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1 Serbian Democratic Party should be an independent party in that republic.

2 Q. Let us just list the facts, because when facts are mentioned

3 outside of time and space, they give a different impression. I hope you

4 will agree with me in that respect.

5 Is it true that in 1993, in July, when you discussed the formation

6 of a Serbian Democratic Party of Serbian Lands that in mid-May in Pale

7 there was an Assembly meeting that I attended, with me the Greek Prime

8 Minister Mitzotakis, the President of Yugoslavia, Dobrica Cosic, when we

9 insisted that the Vance-Owen Plan be accepted; is that right?

10 A. I saw that on television.

11 Q. Is it true that they rejected that plan quite unreasonably and,

12 after that, the blockade was introduced? Is that right?

13 A. Yes. It was published that a blockade was enforced by you.

14 Q. Do you know that international observers came, an International

15 Monitoring Mission that controlled the blockade, and it was headed by a

16 Swedish general, Bo Pellnas?

17 A. Yes. I do know at the railway bridge, but there were

18 breakthroughs of the blockade upstream along the River Sava, upstream from

19 Raca.

20 Q. So it wasn't the bridge that was used to break through the

21 blockade but the woods?

22 A. Yes. I know that oil was transported in that way.

23 Q. Fine. Then you know more than I do. Tell me, and this agreement

24 of yours to form a Serbian Democratic Party of Serbian Lands, did it imply

25 joining forces for the elections in Serbia so that I would be replaced by

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1 you and the Serbian Democratic Party of Republika Srpska? Is that right

2 or not?

3 A. My understanding was that the SDS of Krajina should be absorbed

4 within his party so that he should appear at the elections in Serbian

5 Krajina and to have political control over it.

6 Q. But in your statement that I heard and remember well, didn't you

7 say that the SDS of Serbian Lands was going to go participate at the

8 elections in Serbia?

9 A. The SDS of Krajina did not join that SDS of Serbian lands. That

10 party was an opposing party to the SDS of Krajina at the elections in

11 Krajina at the end of 1993.

12 Q. Did it take part as an opposition party in Serbia?

13 A. The SDS of Krajina, no.

14 Q. And the SDS of Serbian lands, did it participate?

15 A. I don't know.

16 Q. Very well. Let's go on, then. Is it true that while the Assembly

17 was in session, Grahovo fell, as had happened to Glamoc, and then the

18 Assembly of RSK proclaimed a state of war and instructed your government

19 to be permanently in session in Knin? On the 27th of July, 1995, a new

20 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was formed headed by you,

21 wasn't it?

22 A. Yes. And on that same day, we were informed that the Croatian

23 army, the HVO, and other formations had captured Bosansko Grahovo.

24 Q. Was a decision then taken that you should sit permanently in

25 Knin?

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1 A. Yes. The decision was taken for the government to sit

2 permanently.

3 Q. Fine. Since such a decision was taken for the government to sit

4 continuously and that a conflict was clearly in the offing, how did it

5 happen that you fled from Knin together with your wife, children, and

6 mother-in-law two days prior to the Croatian offensive? Were you informed

7 about it?

8 A. It is not true I fled from Knin. In the last week of July,

9 Yasushi Akashi was in Knin, the head of the UN mission for the former

10 Yugoslavia, and during talks that he had with representatives of the

11 authorities of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, he informed me that the

12 American Ambassador Peter Galbraith, who I had met earlier, wanted to

13 continue discussions with me about the so-called Z-4 plan, that is, the

14 political status of the Serbian Krajina or, rather, the status of the

15 territory that constituted the Serbian Krajina at the time. I accepted

16 the invitation and a meeting was scheduled through Juri Mijakotnik, the

17 head of the UN mission in Sector South, and it was scheduled for a

18 Wednesday - I have to think over the date - in the American embassy in

19 Belgrade, and that was the reason why I left.

20 Q. He was in Zagreb and you were in Knin. Why didn't you talk in

21 Knin, but rather both of you had to go to Belgrade to meet there?

22 A. The first proposal was that we should talk on a boat, on a ship,

23 and that I should be transported by helicopter via Split to that ship.

24 And I said that that wasn't convenient, that it was safer for me to have

25 the meeting in Belgrade. Martic and the others proposed that it should be

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Page 13583

1 in the office of the Krajina -- in the Krajina offices in Belgrade, but

2 through Mijakotnik, I proposed a meeting in the American embassy in

3 Belgrade as it was safer and more accessible for me, and he accepted

4 that.

5 Q. So you did not comply with the decision of the Assembly for the

6 government to be continuously in session in Knin but you left Knin on the

7 2nd of August, 1995.

8 A. That was the decision of the government, not the Assembly. The

9 Assembly doesn't decide how the government will sit.

10 Q. Well, fine. But the decision was for it to sit permanently

11 because of the danger. How could you leave Knin, and how did you remember

12 taking your wife, children, and mother-in-law with you?

13 A. I left in the capacity of Prime Minister for -- to negotiate with

14 international mediators regarding the political status of Krajina and

15 preventing Krajina being captured by force of arms and for a political

16 solution to be found for Krajina. That was the reason. Each member of

17 the government had his assignments. And my priority at that point in time

18 was to find a political settlement for Krajina and to accept the Z-4 plan

19 which I supported as Foreign Minister during two conversations I had with

20 Galbraith but whom I had informed previously about the political

21 relationships and the balance of forces in Krajina and around Krajina with

22 regard to the acceptance of that plan.

23 When I became Prime Minister, my political authority increased,

24 and as the Prime Minister, I was able to accept that document, and that

25 was the reason why I gladly and immediately agreed to that talk.

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1 Q. Yes. But you haven't answered why you needed to take your whole

2 family to the negotiations.

3 A. My family did not attend the negotiations. They did not.

4 Q. But why did you take them to Belgrade?

5 A. They were not with me.

6 Q. And where were they then?

7 A. My mother-in-law was very seriously ill. She was suffering from

8 cancer, and she needed treatment, and she went for treatment several

9 times.

10 Q. But where were they physically? Would you tell us, please.

11 A. They were not with me. They did not -- they were not involved in

12 politics. They have nothing to do with my political decisions and my

13 political activities.

14 JUDGE MAY: Witness Milan Babic, what is being put is that you fled with

15 your family. Now, you say that you left because you were attending,

16 wanting to go to a meeting and wanting to attend talks. Now, what you are

17 being asked about is if it's right that you were going to the political

18 talks, why was it necessary for your family to go? Your answer is that

19 your mother-in-law needed treatment.

20 Now, can you just explain, if it's the case, why was it necessary

21 then for the rest of your family to go too? Can we just hear your

22 explanation?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My mother-in-law didn't go with me.

24 She was accompanied by my wife. There was a holiday, a school holiday.

25 The children were on holiday, and I wanted them to be safe. It was a

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Page 13585

1 highly unsafe situation. I didn't have any special protection at the

2 time, and there was fighting around Knin.

3 My mother-in-law died one month or two months later.

4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Is there no dispute, then, that you left Knin together with your

6 family?

7 A. I went on my -- to do my own business, and they went to take care

8 of their own business.

9 Q. I didn't claim that you took your mother-in-law, wife, and

10 children for talks with Galbraith. I just asked you whether you went

11 together with them from Knin.

12 A. On the same day, yes. We didn't use the same transport, nor the

13 same route, nor on the same business.

14 Q. Well, I never assumed that your wife and children took part in the

15 negotiations. I just said that together with them you left Knin, two days

16 prior to the attack.

17 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered the matter. He's given his

18 explanation.

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

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With great effort. I wouldn't ask

21 you, if you were a witness, about your family.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] It's not your family that is in

23 question, sir.

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Witness, it's not an improper question. It's

25 relevant. You see, the issue is -- the accused is putting that you fled

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Page 13586

1 and you took your family with you. He's entitled to put that. You've

2 given your explanation.

3 Now, Mr. Milosevic, unless you've got some new point to make on

4 this, we should move on.

5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

6 Q. Will you please explain to me now: You said here, in private

7 session, that you had agreed with Galbraith, or rather, that you accepted,

8 in talks with Galbraith, the plan for a settlement that was offered to

9 you. Is that right?

10 A. That was one of the elements I agreed with in the capacity of

11 Prime Minister.

12 Q. Fine. From what has been shown to us here, on that day there was

13 a meeting in Geneva, chaired by Thorwald Stoltenberg, and you sent some

14 ministers there, didn't you?

15 A. Yes. The Minister of Foreign Affairs went.

16 Q. But that doesn't matter.

17 A. And Martic sent three negotiators. So the government sent one and

18 the president of the Republic sent three.

19 Q. Very well. Answer this very specific question for me, please: If

20 you say that you accepted the proposals given to you by Galbraith, why

21 didn't you inform your negotiators in Geneva that you had accepted it, so

22 that they might tell their collocutor in Geneva, that is, the Croatian

23 side, about it? Why didn't you inform them of that?

24 A. I did. I talked to Milivoje Vojnovic, the Foreign Minister of the

25 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, who was a member of the

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1 delegation, and I talked to Milo Novakovic, who was also a member of the

2 delegation.

3 Q. So you informed them that you had accepted, and they didn't say so

4 over there; is that right?

5 A. I said what I had accepted, and my suggestion was that they accept

6 all the proposals of the international mediators, and they did accept

7 them.

8 Q. Fine. If they accepted, as you are saying, the proposals of the

9 international mediators, why does it emerge from the note written by the

10 British ambassador, as far as I could see, a note to the governments of

11 participating countries, that Stoltenberg had told them from Geneva that

12 they were not informed about anything? Does that mean that they informed

13 their collocutor or they didn't?

14 A. I know what I said here. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I haven't

15 finished my answer. I was told by people who listened to Pasalic, who was

16 a member of the Croatian delegation, that he said that the Serbs were

17 buying time. So according to my direct knowledge, the Croatian delegation

18 was informed, and as far as I know, and this was what Ambassador Galbraith

19 told me, and he had discussed my statement with Tudjman.

20 Q. So that means that the Croatian side knew that you had accepted

21 the proposals. That means that the American side knew that you had

22 accepted the proposals. But nevertheless, the very next day an offensive

23 was launched by the Croatian army, encouraged by those same Americans

24 whose propositions you had accepted, and an offensive of the army which

25 had been informed about your acceptance launched the offensive.

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Page 13588

1 A. I had informed the ambassador that those proposals can be

2 implemented only if you agree with them. I was informed -- or rather, the

3 doubts were expressed of the international mediators as to Martic's

4 agreement with it, and also I was told that they had information - and I

5 was told this by an official of the French embassy - that you were not

6 supporting this, and this was on the day the Croatian offensive and the

7 bombing of Knin by the Croatian army started.

8 Q. Didn't you say here that you called me and informed me that you

9 had agreed, and that I had said, "Fine, calmly," or "peacefully"? Those

10 were your words.

11 A. I quoted you as I remember.

12 Q. And did you hear -- but I also saw, on the videotape of your

13 interview, explaining a conversation with me, you said that you had asked

14 me about the Z-4 plan and that I had said that the plan was a good one.

15 Is that right?

16 A. Correct, only that Slunj needs to be divided vertically, though

17 Slunj should have been part of SAO Krajina.

18 Q. I don't know why you said that.

19 A. I don't remember that either, but that doesn't matter.

20 Q. But I did say that the plan was good, didn't I? Then why are you

21 accusing Martic that he said the plan should not be taken into

22 consideration when you yourself say that Martic said that the plan cannot

23 be reviewed until the mandate of the UN is extended? Are these two

24 different things or not?

25 A. I'm not accusing Martic. I'm just conveying his words, that you

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Page 13590

1 said that the plan should not be even taken into consideration until the

2 Vance Plan was implemented. And at that point in time, there was a new

3 idea, a new concept, the UNCRO mandate of the peace forces, not the Vance

4 Plan. The Vance Plan was no longer a plan of the international

5 community. That plan was something that you did not comply with. You did

6 not implement it. You did not allow demilitarisation. And in 1995, you

7 said that the proposal for a political settlement should not be even

8 considered until the plan that you obstructed is implemented.

9 Q. And isn't it true that Boro Mikelic said that it wasn't true?

10 A. No. He went to the next-door office and talked to him, or

11 telephoned - I don't know - but he sat there and kept quiet.

12 Q. And how do you link this up, then, with your conversation with me

13 where I said that the plan was a good one?

14 A. Well, I'm talking about the facts. I'm stating the facts. You

15 were deceiving me. That's what it means.

16 Q. So I was deceiving you, and behind your back I told Martic not to

17 even consider the plan?

18 A. That's what Martic said.

19 Q. Oh, I see. That's what Martic said, and I told you something

20 else. So the important thing is what Martic told you that I had said and

21 not what I had told you personally?

22 A. The important thing is what you did and how you behaved.

23 Q. And you yourself explained that Martic had said to the

24 representatives of the international community: We're not going to

25 consider it until the mandate of the United Nations is revived.

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1 A. The Vance Plan. The Vance Plan was extended, renewed, in a

2 different way, and it was UNCRO later on.

3 Q. You never mentioned Vance's plan. Vance's plan was already four

4 years old at the time. So whether it was UNPROFOR or UNCRO, there's no

5 difference there. It was a mandate given to the United Nations.

6 A. The United Nations renewed their mandate in a different way and

7 UNCRO was formed later on, so until the plan -- Vance's plan was realised;

8 at least, that's what you had said. And the plan was no longer in the

9 offing among the international community. It was not implemented because

10 you obstructed its implementation. And you prevented the demilitarisation

11 of Krajina and remilitarised it again, and this was in opposition to the

12 plan. And all this happened in the second half of 1992, in 1993, in 1994,

13 and in 1995 as well. And even when you spoke to me, when you said that

14 the plan, the Z-4 plan, was a good one, when you said that to me, you also

15 said, in the same breath, that the logistics of Serbia was with us in the

16 fight against Croatia. So those were your words as well.

17 Q. Mr. Milan Babic, let's not make these fabrications and constructions,

18 because --

19 A. You put Milo Brksic [phoen] in command of the operations in Bihac.

20 Q. I haven't announced a tape, and I don't want to abuse the time or

21 use up my time in this way, but I shall be showing you an excerpt of what

22 you yourself said, a tape of that, and then we'll be able to see what it

23 was that I did and just how many untruths there were in your statements

24 and testimony itself. But let's not discuss that point now.

25 From what you said here during your examination-in-chief, it would

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Page 13592

1 appear that Galbraith told you that a Croatian offensive was in the

2 offing, that it would follow. Is that right, Mr. Milan Babic?

3 A. Not in those very words, but that was the sense of it.

4 Q. Right. That was the sense of it. If we did not react, that

5 Croatia would. But did you inform anybody of this? Because you were the

6 only man who knew about this Croatian offensive. So did you inform

7 anybody about that?

8 A. This was a conversation in the evening, between 8.00 and 10.00,

9 one or two hours. And the next day I made a statement, and I talked to

10 you, I talked to Vlatkovic -- Vlatko Jovanovic, and I said what I had

11 agreed with Galbraith. I asked for your support in the matter. I made my

12 statement, and the negotiations took place in Geneva, and the next day the

13 Croatian offensive started.

14 Q. Well, why didn't you inform anybody? Why didn't you tell anybody

15 that a Croatian offensive was in the offing, if Galbraith had indeed told

16 you, as you yourself say?

17 A. He said something along those lines, that Croatia would opt for a

18 military settlement. He didn't say the Croatian offensive would begin the

19 next day. He said that we would fare the same as Western Slavonia. So it

20 was by way of a comment on his part. He didn't actually announce a

21 Croatian offensive.

22 Q. So you didn't become conscious of the fact that he knew something

23 about a Croatian offensive of some kind?

24 A. He was the intermediary in the talks between me and Tudjman, or

25 rather, as I understood it, he proposed the American concept that

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Page 13593

1 Krajina -- according to which Krajina, or rather, its part, which was

2 called SAO Krajina, be given political and territorial autonomy in

3 Croatia. That was the Z-4 plan.

4 Q. That's not what I'm asking you.

5 A. Well, that was their proposal. That was their proposal. That's

6 how I understood it.

7 Q. I'm not asking you that. What I'm asking you is this: Are you

8 saying that it wasn't clear to you at that time, that he did not inform

9 you that there would be a Croatian offensive?

10 A. He said that Croatia would settle the issue militarily and that it

11 would be detrimental to us.

12 Q. Did you inform anybody about that?

13 A. Well, I talked about that and I took steps to prevent it. I

14 accepted his views and stands. I asked your support. I called upon the

15 delegation in Geneva to accept it. So as far as I remember, those were

16 the political moves I made.

17 Q. Well, let's leave your political moves aside, and answer my

18 question directly. Did you inform anybody whatsoever that Galbraith told

19 you that there would be a Croatian offensive to follow?

20 A. He said that we would fare badly unless we agreed and accepted, so

21 I urged that we did, in fact, accept. He didn't say that there would

22 actually be a Croatian offensive.

23 Q. All right. So you didn't know that there would be a Croatian

24 offensive; is that what you're saying? Let's clear up one point.

25 A. Yes. I had no idea that there would be one so fast, especially as

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Page 13594

1 we had made the statement. I had made a public statement saying that I

2 accepted and that the delegation in Geneva accepted the proposals made by

3 the international community.

4 Q. All right. Let's put all the pieces of this puzzle together, and

5 the facts. You accepted the proposals, the Geneva delegation accepted the

6 proposals, the Croatian side was informed that the agreement had been

7 accepted, the American side and the other sides were also informed,

8 because they had talks with you, and nonetheless an offensive did follow.

9 Are those the facts?

10 A. Yes, they are.

11 Q. All right. Very well. Now, is it also true that once the

12 offensive was launched in the -- early in the morning the next day, you

13 personally, from the bureau of the government in Krajina in Belgrade, sent

14 faxes to Dvor na Uni and Kostajnica to tell people to withdraw? Is that

15 true?

16 A. I think that Milivoje Vojnovic sent some form of correspondence

17 along those lines.

18 Q. I'm not asking about Vojnovic. I don't even know what your

19 representative's name was in Belgrade. What I'm asking you is about you

20 personally. Did you send faxes to Kostajnica and Dvor na Uni that people

21 were withdrawing?

22 A. I don't remember that.

23 Q. Let me just see if we could move back into open session at this

24 point. Let me just check.

25 Well, quite simply, I'd like to link all this up, what you're

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Page 13595

1 saying now with what was presented here as being intercepts; that in 1991,

2 on the 11th of December, 1991, a conversation between myself and Karadzic

3 - and it is page 0212900 - that you intentionally tried to give Tudjman

4 an alibi for this entire situation, or, for example, the conversation on

5 the 23rd of November. I don't even want to quote what I said on that

6 occasion. But that you were leading up to the fact that your people would

7 be slaughtered, that Tudjman would step on you, and I said that you were a

8 rascal. So those are your exhibits, exhibits that were put forward here.

9 Was I right, then, in 1991, Mr. Milan Babic? Wasn't I right when I qualified

10 you in that way, in view of what you've just recounted to us all here?

11 A. You were not right. You were in favour of the Vance plan and

12 demilitarisation. But you did not fulfil Vance's plan, which you

13 advocated, and you hold me responsible. It is a fact that I was against

14 the plan and asked that it be modified. But it is a fact that you came

15 out in favour of the plan and forced the Krajina Assembly to adopt the

16 plan, and then you violated the plan. You didn't respect it. Those are

17 the facts.

18 Q. And is it true that precisely in conformity with that plan, that

19 the JNA withdrew from the area of Krajina?

20 A. The JNA did withdraw, but the weapons remained. And a portion of

21 the officers stayed on in the TO. General Torbica became the commander of

22 the Territorial Defence, the structure of the Territorial Defence stayed

23 on, and in 1993 everything was -- became a function of the general

24 situation, as an army, as the Serb army of the Republic of Srpska Krajina.

25 JUDGE MAY: The last reference is to Exhibit 353, tab 45. Yes.

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1 There seems to be some doubt whether it's 44 or 45. One of the two.

2 Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Anything more in private session?

3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think that we need

4 remain in private session for what I'm getting to, Mr. May, but we'll see,

5 and you can assess for yourself.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll go on in private session and just

7 see what happens.

8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't think we need continue

9 in private session, because I'm moving on to another area which is just

10 linked to this.

11 JUDGE MAY: We'll go, then, into open session.

12 [Open session]

13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.

14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation] All right.

15 Q. In the light of everything that we have heard thus far, Mr. Milan Babic,

16 tell me this: In addition to the fact that you're testifying against me,

17 are you also a suspect of this institution?

18 A. I'm not testifying against you; I am testifying to the truth.

19 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues]...

20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. These matters were

21 discussed in private session.

22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well.

23 Private session.

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

25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.

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1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Witness Milan Babic, you can answer.

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

3 JUDGE MAY: No. You've put something to the witness. He should

4 have a chance to answer it.

5 Is there anything you want to add?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. First of all, he claimed that

7 I was testifying against him. I am testifying about the truth; neither

8 for nor against, but the truth as I know it.

9 And what was the next question?

10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Well, the question was: Are you also a suspect, a suspect of the

12 Tribunal? And am I right if I say that you are a suspect?

13 A. I was told, when I had the first contacts with the investigators

14 and the Prosecution of this Tribunal, that I was also a suspect.

15 Q. And why were you a suspect? Did they explain to you?

16 A. Yes. According to a paragraph in the indictment that charges you,

17 one of the charges against you too.

18 Q. But you are not an accused; right? You have not been accused?

19 A. We have the assertions of the representative of the Prosecution

20 here, and I think it is up to the OTP to answer that question, once again,

21 if necessary.

22 Q. All right. Now, as you say you regret and are sorry and that you

23 have responsibility, and as you claim that something happened which did

24 not happen, because that is what the Prosecutor expects of you, and you

25 say that you didn't make a deal of any kind, do you know why you haven't

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1 been arrested? Why haven't they arrested you?

2 JUDGE MAY: That's not a matter for him.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. All right. Very well, Mr. Milan Babic. And tell me this. Let's be

5 more precise. Let me put my second question again. Did you first express

6 your desire to testify before this Tribunal, or were you first a suspect

7 and then came by the idea that through your testimony you could accuse me

8 for the crimes that were committed in Croatia?

9 A. Let me be quite precise. It was suggested, it was proposed, that

10 I be a witness in another investigation, at the end of the year 2000, or

11 2001. However, I decided that I would like, when the International

12 Tribunal has its branch in Belgrade, or rather, when the authorities of

13 Yugoslavia accept the International Tribunal on its territory -- they

14 asked me to go to Banja Luka to testify, in fact. I couldn't go to Banja

15 Luka. I had no passport of any kind, Yugoslav or otherwise, and I was

16 afraid of going there because I didn't think I would be allowed to return

17 to Belgrade. I lived in Belgrade. So that's the first point.

18 The second point is that when I heard, through the media, my name

19 mentioned in the indictment of the Tribunal against Slobodan Milosevic, I

20 felt the need and duty, first of all for my own personal reasons, to

21 make -- to set up contact -- to establish contact with the Tribunal and to

22 tell the representatives of the OTP everything that I know about the

23 events that came to pass, including my own participation in them, and that

24 was the reason why I asked for these contacts with the Tribunal. We

25 established contact and our talks began. They were tape-recorded, and you

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Page 13599

1 have them here, and you are now presenting part of those interviews.

2 Q. From this very unwieldy explanation, am I able to draw the

3 conclusion that when you made this statement, you in fact knew that you

4 were one of the suspects; is that right?

5 A. Every time at the beginning of each interview I was told what my

6 status was and what my rights were. I was read my rights. So the answer

7 is yes.

8 Q. All right. Now, as this also is something we ought to discuss in

9 private session to avoid any reactions, we can continue in private

10 session, but tell me, please, in the statement that you gave to the

11 investigators, you say that your letter dated the 12th of January - I

12 don't want to quote it because it was the topic of a long debate between

13 you yourself and the investigators and representatives of the opposite

14 side - that your letter -- that you in fact did not write this letter. Is

15 that right? Is that true?

16 A. I signed that letter, but the letter was compiled by Borivoj Rasuo

17 on the 12th of January, 1992, if that's what you mean, if that's what

18 you're referring.

19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It's tab 79, with the two letters from

20 January.

21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. So Rasuo wrote it; is that right? Do you mean to say that you

24 weren't capable of answering, of writing an answer, or did you in fact

25 agree with me and Rasuo did not, and then you accepted his text because

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1 you didn't have your own position and stand, or what other point or

2 explanation would be that somebody made a draft for your own letter?

3 A. I did have my stand and stance, but he was a better letter writer,

4 he was better at rhetoric, and he advised me that they should be the

5 reasons why we should proceed in that way, and I agreed with him. I

6 agreed with his opinion, because I believed him. He was a politicologist,

7 a political scientist, and I was a dentist. But I did have my political

8 stance, yes.

9 Q. All right. Very well. But did he express your views to the

10 letter?

11 A. Well, my basic positions, yes, he did express them, and I already

12 said that he embellished them, to use a literary term.

13 Q. All right. And do you know that this man, Rasuo, after the

14 meeting held in Belgrade on the 9th of March, went to the Democratic Party

15 which was then represented by Micunovic, Kostajnica, Djindjic? Is that

16 right? Yes or no.

17 A. I didn't know about that. I did know that the information two

18 years ago was that he was a councillor and that's how he introduced

19 himself in the Democratic Party whose president was and is Zoran Djindjic.

20 Q. Yes, the present Prime Minister of the puppet regime in Belgrade.

21 A. At that time, I don't think he was in Democratic Party, but I'm

22 not sure.

23 Q. And was he your main advisor for political issues throughout that

24 time and a friend of yours?

25 A. Yes. He became a friend of mine and my political advisor.

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1 Q. I gathered from a part of your answer on the tape that this letter

2 was written in a climate and atmosphere that I had created, as if Rasuo

3 wanted to meet me halfway by sending that letter with the gross criticisms

4 at my expense. Isn't that right? What was the purpose of that letter?

5 A. I was thinking back in retrospect. I was think about the events

6 in retrospect.

7 Q. Very well, then. Tell me, please, is it true that the purpose of

8 your letter was for you to compromise as much as you possibly could what I

9 was doing?

10 A. No, not to compromise that but to express my political views and

11 to oppose the concept that you were imposing on the people of Krajina or,

12 rather, which you had accepted without prior agreement of the people or

13 the representatives of the authorities in Krajina.

14 Q. And is it true that that same Rasuo, being aware of the time of

15 the Milosevic-Seselj conflict, initiated the signing of a coalition

16 agreement between you and Seselj in Belgrade in February 1994? Is that

17 true or not?

18 A. Yes, that's true.

19 Q. Is it also true that on the basis of that coalition agreement

20 which you and Seselj signed, the Serbian Radical Party, in March 1994, got

21 the place, the position of the president of the Assembly of RSK, and his

22 name was Branko Vojnica?

23 A. Yes, that's right.

24 Q. Is it true that then Milan Martic, as president of the RSK, did

25 not wish to nominate you as the Prime Minister but, rather, Borislav

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1 Mikelic, whereby the coalition agreement was called in question?

2 A. Martic had the obligation to propose someone from the majority

3 party in the Assembly, and it was noted that the proposal of the majority

4 in the Assembly was that I should be the one. Martic did not respect

5 that, and he forced Borislav Mikelic, he imposed Borislav Mikelic. And I

6 heard later from him that he was your choice.

7 Q. What you heard from him is not important. What is important is

8 that he wouldn't agree to your coalition agreement with Seselj for the

9 government to be handed over to you.

10 A. He didn't respect the constitution of RSK for the position of

11 Prime Minister to be held by a representative of the majority in

12 parliament.

13 Q. Yes. And then you insisted that Rasuo be Minister of Information

14 in Mikelic's government.

15 A. I first wanted it to be Lazar Macura, the Information Minister,

16 but Martic and Boro Mikelic didn't agree with that, or, rather, Martic.

17 I'm sorry.

18 Q. And then you accepted Rasuo, who was even worse?

19 A. I agreed with that, as did Jovica Stanisic.

20 Q. Tell me, did you then become Minister of Foreign Affairs in that

21 government?

22 A. I did.

23 Q. And at the same time, you had control of -- shall I call it the

24 majority in the Assembly?

25 A. No. The SDS of which I was the president did not have a majority

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Page 13604

1 in parliament, nor did it have a majority of the ministerial posts in the

2 government. That was how the political forces were distributed in the

3 Assembly and in the government.

4 Q. And do you remember that this Rasuo of yours, a member of your

5 party, your friend, your political advisor, all talks and negotiations

6 with Croatia were obstructed by him and throughout the time published

7 articles against me? Is that right or not?

8 A. Rasuo was against the negotiations of the government and my

9 participation in negotiations with Croatia on an economic agreement, and

10 that was the reason why he left the government and broke off all political

11 and friendly relations with me and became not only in the opposition but a

12 fierce critic of me and my policies. What he said about you in those

13 days, I cannot remember clearly. I can't -- I am unable to comment on

14 that. I don't know what exactly you have in mind.

15 Q. Do you remember at least vaguely how many base attacks he launched

16 against me? I assume following your instructions, or maybe they were not

17 on your instructions.

18 A. From October 1994, we broke off political contacts, and he became

19 my political opponent.

20 Q. When did he become your political opponent?

21 A. As of the autumn of 1994.

22 Q. But I have information here that he was replaced from the position

23 of minister in December 1994.

24 A. I think the opposition started immediately after we started

25 economic talks with Croatia. He resigned - he wasn't dismissed - because

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Page 13605

1 he didn't agree with the policies of the government and with my own

2 personal policies.

3 Q. Why are you saying that Jovica Stanisic allegedly approved that he

4 should be minister? Of course he couldn't approve or disapprove of that

5 because that was not his job, but you do know that he had very bad

6 relations with Jovica Stanisic.

7 A. In April 1994 when the talks were conducted on the composition of

8 a new government of the RSK, these talks were conducted in Martic's

9 residence in Belgrade behind the Zvezda stadium, Jovica Stanisic, Brana

10 Crncevic, and some others were present at those talks, and I've already

11 referred to the situation when I proposed Lazar Macura. Martic opposed

12 this. Then I said, "Let it be Borivoj Rasuo." Then Martic said, "He's

13 even worse." And then Jovica Stanisic nodded in approval, saying it's

14 okay, and then Martic said it was okay.

15 Q. Well, I really can't go into the nodding of heads, but tell me,

16 please, your political advisor, your friend, your minister, your alterego,

17 if I can put it that way, you yourself said that he obstructed all talks

18 with Croatia while you are talking about some sort of gradual integration

19 in those interviews that we viewed on tape. What kind of gradual

20 integration of Krajina in Croatia and the settlement of the position of

21 Serbs in Croatia can we talk about? And you're saying that I torpedoed

22 your peace attempts and that you favoured a peaceful settlement whereas I

23 wanted war.

24 A. My answer to your first question is that Borivoj Rasuo had

25 political influence over me in January 1992. Borivoj Rasuo had no

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Page 13606

1 political influence over me in the autumn 1994 and 1995 when the

2 negotiations started. And you torpedoed the Z-4 plan because you prompted

3 Martic not to take it into consideration.

4 Q. How do you know that?

5 A. Martic said so.

6 Q. Fine. So you're testifying about what Martic said. That is how

7 you behaved. Tell me, was a session of the Assembly held in Glina on the

8 9th of February, one that you didn't wish to attend and that, after the

9 debate, the Vance Plan was adopted?

10 A. It is true that that was a part of the Assembly of the Republic of

11 Serbian Krajina convened by Mile Paspalj, that that Assembly accepted the

12 Vance Plan in the way I've already described, with the participation of

13 General Adzic, other generals and their escorts, Kostic, Jugoslav --

14 Branko Kostic, Jugoslav Kostic, Kostic, members of the government of

15 Serbia, and a very large delegation from Serbia. I've already described

16 how that Assembly accepted the plan, that is, the way you had posed it.

17 Q. Before that, you said that the three-day meeting held with the

18 Presidency of Yugoslavia was something you fled from.

19 A. Well, the simplest explanation is that I didn't want to go back

20 and be exposed to continued torture. I had already explained my position,

21 and there was no further reason for me to be tormented at that session any

22 longer.

23 Q. Did you say after that that allegedly Jovica Stanisic told you

24 that I had given him the assignment to arrest you on that occasion?

25 A. When Jovica Stanisic was in Knin, he commented those events from

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Page 13607

1 the past, and he said I could have behaved in such a way that the Assembly

2 accept the plan, and I could have agreed with the decision of the

3 Assembly, and in that way I would have politically survived. And then his

4 comment was that President Milosevic had told him to arrest me on that

5 occasion.

6 Q. I'm sorry. I didn't understand that. In what did I tell him?

7 A. To arrest me.

8 Q. On what occasion?

9 A. When there was this discussion or, rather, attempt to impose the

10 Vance Plan during a three-day session of the Presidency in Belgrade,

11 January, February 1992.

12 Q. And do you have any explanation, if it is true that I told him

13 that and if your assumption is true that he was a loyal associate of mine,

14 that he would have told you that?

15 A. He said that his assessment was -- I don't know whether he shared

16 that assessment of his with you or not, that this would have inflicted

17 political damage to you. Because I asked him, "Well, why didn't you

18 arrest me?" Because then I would have become a visible political victim.

19 Until then, I was an invisible political victim of your dictatorship.

20 Q. How were you an invisible political victim, when I wrote you a

21 letter publicly, in public?

22 A. You did that for three months. In the -- in the same way, accept

23 fully and unconditionally. So no discussion about modifications, no

24 discussion about anything. I just had to accept something that you had

25 already approved. That was your position from November 1991, December.

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1 Then the letter came in January, and then February.

2 Q. Fine. So you said that we saw each other for the first time

3 sometime in October 1990, when you were talking about participating in the

4 elections, and then you sort of followed some sort of policies of mine

5 from October 1990 until November 1991, when we clashed. Is that right?

6 So how shall I call it? This link of yours with my policies, as you would

7 have it, lasted for some 11 months, though when you came to ask about

8 elections, it had nothing to do with my policies because that wasn't any

9 real meeting. So what are we going to do now?

10 A. My direct contacts in connection with your policies went on from

11 the 11th of August, 1990. I didn't see you in person, but we contacted

12 through Slobodan Vucetic, and you sent the message through Borisav Jovic

13 that you would support all our political struggle, that the JNA would be

14 the guarantor of our political struggle, which meant also the calling of

15 the referendum. That was the direct message.

16 Q. Let's make ourselves quite clear here. You are sending a message

17 to me via Vucetic that you want to talk to me, and I am on a summer

18 holiday, and you're given the answer that you can talk to Jovic because

19 your questions can be addressed, if you have any complaints, at the level

20 of Yugoslavia and not at the level of Serbia, and that's all that you got

21 as an answer. You were given an answer regarding the technical requests

22 for being received.

23 A. No. Vucetic said that you were over there, Kadijevic, and Jovic.

24 Q. And another 3.000 or 4.000 guests.

25 A. I don't know about the other guests. And that you were there

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Page 13609

1 together and that we should send an official request to be received to

2 Jovic, that he would hear us out and that he would tell us.

3 Q. Fine. That you should call him seems to me logical. That is the

4 proper institution because that is the federal Presidency.

5 So they adopted the Vance Plan. Is it true that the vast majority

6 of citizens, in spite of the fact that you did not accept the plan, was

7 unconditionally in favour of peace, and that leaflets and the posters for

8 the referendums posted by your men in Knin only confused the people? Is

9 that correct or not?

10 A. What is correct is that 5.000 citizens, a large number of the

11 citizens of Knin, attended a rally and supported me at the end of the

12 session in Belgrade. This was at the beginning of February. And for us

13 to really have a clear picture of what the citizens were in favour of and

14 what they were not in favour of, we wanted to call a referendum for the

15 citizens to state clearly whether they were for the Vance Plan

16 unconditionally or with the modification of the government of the RSK.

17 As for leaflets and posters, I heard that the commander of the

18 brigade in Gradacac which had two names, 1st Partisan Brigade and 1st TO

19 Brigade, prohibited public information to be given to citizens about these

20 things. So this didn't happen because there was a lack of political

21 strength and power for this to be carried out.

22 JUDGE MAY: Your last question, Mr. Milosevic, for today.

23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My last question, Mr. May, has to do

24 with the report of the command of the 9th Corps dated the 20th of

25 February, 1992, which the other side has tendered. It is SAO34420, and I

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1 will quote from it as you've already had it in your hands, and I would

2 like to hear comments. I will only quote from that report addressed to

3 the commander of the 2nd Army, the commander of the 2nd Military

4 District.

5 "The very concept of Babic's and Vance's conditions in the

6 leaflet seem to most voters unclear, and at first glance, they immediately

7 reject the variant under B and to support the first variant, the first

8 option, which is, of course, yours. On the other hand, all the citizens

9 of Krajina are unconditionally in favour of peace and the arrival of the

10 Blue Helmets so that the referendum posters are only causing confusion so

11 that the people don't know whom to trust any longer.

12 "In Glina, on the 16th of February, an Assembly of the RSK was

13 held, chaired by Mile Paspalj, and it adopted a decision on relieving

14 Babic from the position of president of the republic and also adopting a

15 no-confidence towards the whole government."

16 And it also says this session that you claim was held under

17 pressure, the session was attended by 85 deputies, of which 74 favoured

18 the decisions, 8 were against, and 3 deputies refrained from voting,

19 abstained.

20 "Already at 1855, on Serbian Radio Knin, a telephone conversation

21 was held with Milan Babic in which he said that the session in Glina was

22 unlawful and that it was held upon instructions from Belgrade."

23 That is one extract. This is quite a long report.

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I don't think we can embark on this at

25 the moment. Is there anything you want to ask about that particular

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1 extract which the witness can deal with quickly or we'll leave the matter

2 until next week.

3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. Please, in the form of a question, I would like to ask him, which

5 is one of the last quotations I wanted to read from this dispatch:

6 "Milan Babic is endeavouring in every way to hold onto power in

7 Krajina. When he saw he wouldn't have the support of the Assembly, he

8 abruptly took a decision to form new municipalities in the villages in

9 which he has loyal supporters. It is particularly conspicuous that some

10 larger places in RSK, which were municipality centres, Udbina, Kistanje,

11 are no longer treated as municipalities, though each of those places has

12 more inhabitants than most of the newly formed municipalities taken

13 together. And he's relying on a provision of the constitution, according

14 to which the president is entitled to convene the Assembly."

15 So not only did you not respect the decisions of the Assembly and

16 all the recommendations that we gave, but you even sought at all cost to

17 hold on to your political power in Krajina, especially with regard to this

18 question on which our opinions clashed regarding the acceptance of the

19 Vance Plan.

20 A. The new municipalities that I initiated should be formed were

21 later known as the pink zones, and they were parts of the RSK which had

22 joined by referendums to one of the municipalities in Krajina and were not

23 covered by the Vance Plan, and this was a political way of highlighting

24 their position so that they would be given appropriate attention.

25 And secondly, in regard to your statement that I wanted to remain

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Page 13613

1 in politics, I did. That is true.

2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So I have no more time for any more

3 questions.

4 JUDGE MAY: Have we got a reference to that?

5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, it is not an exhibit. It is

6 actually a document provided to Mr. Milosevic as Rule 68 material, and we

7 have no translation. We have the Serbian version of it.

8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let it be exhibited, be given the next

9 exhibit number, and we'll get it translated.

10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the next Defence Exhibit number is

11 59, D59.

12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We're going to adjourn now. Yes,

13 Mr. Nice.

14 MR. NICE: Two things.

15 JUDGE MAY: Sorry. Open session. We're in closed session --

16 private session.

17 [Open session]

18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.

19 MR. NICE: There will not now be time to conclude the evidence of

20 the witness next listed before Christmas, and the decision has been taken

21 that it would be inappropriate to have his evidence in two parts. He will

22 therefore not now be taken until January at the earliest, and we will find

23 and identify by Thursday morning at the latest other witnesses to fill the

24 three plus one days remaining after the conclusion of this witness's

25 evidence, by my calculation, on Friday of next week.

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1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. He's got about 14 hours outstanding.

2 MR. NICE: That's right. As to the next listed witness, there

3 have been a number of difficulties. It is possible that, in respect of

4 documentary provision, we will apply to the Chamber in the next few days

5 for specific assistance, there being time between now and the date when

6 the witness would be coming to Court for the Chamber to assist in dealing

7 with that, a matter we regard as really non-compliance by the provider.

8 Second point: The chronology that the Chamber required has been

9 prepared and will be served tomorrow. It is at the moment sourced mainly

10 to either the indictments or to the pre-trial brief, but of course the

11 paragraphs in those documents provide further sourcing to raw material for

12 most entries. The Chamber might have wanted to say something to the

13 accused about how he might approach this document. We've sought to make

14 the entries in it, entries in it that should be capable of agreement, and

15 by indicating agreement to those entries, time can be saved, time which

16 will thus be available for evidence in chief and in cross-examination.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we'll see the chronology when it comes.

18 If there are matters which should not be subject of controversy, we'll

19 invite the accused to agree them. You will let the accused have your list

20 of witnesses, or your next witness, as early as you can, so you can

21 prepare.

22 MR. NICE: It will be tomorrow afternoon, or Thursday morning at

23 the latest.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.

25 Very well. We'll adjourn now.

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1 Witness Milan Babic, would you be back, please, on Monday morning.

2 Monday morning.

3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.06 p.m.,

4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of December,

5 2002, at 9.00 a.m.

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