Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber
1 Wednesday, 4 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.24 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We've been delayed, as I understand it, because
7 building works at the Detention Unit have delayed the accused's arrival.
8 We will sit until 2.00 to try and make up some of the time. We'll take
9 the normal breaks at the normal times.
10 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS Milan Babic [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do I recollect well that we
15 discussed in public session the fact that the Defence Minister of Serbia,
16 General Simovic, had appointed, or rather, given the proposal for the
17 commander of the Krajina TO, General Djujic? I think this was in public
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In that case, allow me to put a
21 question without mentioning the witness's name, keeping my promise not to
22 make any such omissions regarding protective measures.
23 I hope you will be able to have this translated. I have been
24 given a statement by fax in handwriting, signed precisely by Lieutenant
25 Colonel General (retired) Ilija Djujic. I will not read it out in
Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber
1 extenso. Anyway, it's hard to read his handwriting. But he does say:
2 "During one of my visits to Knin, I was visited in my native house by
3 Milan Babic." He lists his positions, the positions he held, and then he said:
4 "In that family home of mine, Milan Babic asked me to accept the duty of
5 commander of SAO Krajina and to form the defensive structure," et cetera,
6 et cetera.
7 I am giving you this statement which clearly shows that this
8 would-be witness is not telling the truth.
9 JUDGE MAY: It's a question for him. It's not a question about
10 the statement. It's his evidence.
11 Now, what's alleged, Witness Milan Babic, you've heard what's been read
12 out, it's alleged by this person that Djujic visited you, and you asked
13 him to accept the duty of the commander and form a defensive structure.
14 Did anything like that happen at all?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I correct you?
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] From what I have read out, it was
18 not the general, General Djujic, who visited the witness but the witness
19 visited General Djujic in his family home.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So he went to see him to ask him
22 what he asked him.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The following is true: I did know
24 General Djujic even before the appointment, and I would meet with him.
25 Among other things, I did visit the house that he was rebuilding in his
Public Non-Redacted Version of Previous Private Session Transcript of Witness Testimony by Order of the Trial Chamber
1 native village. He also came to visit me in my office, but the
2 appointment of General Djujic as commander of the TO of SAO Krajina
3 occurred in the way I have described.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be exhibited?
5 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic, for the reasons which have been
6 explained before when you've produced statements or documents from persons
7 outside the courtroom. The only way to get that sort of evidence in is to
8 call the witness himself. It's not evidence; it's merely his statement.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Let us clear up one further point before I continue with the
12 questions where I left off yesterday. You said yesterday that you knew
13 nothing about the money collected in the diaspora, amounting 169.417
14 dollars, and that that was not handed to you. Did I understand you
16 A. I said that I never received such a quantity of money in cash
17 myself. There were situations when people from the diaspora would contact
18 the Serbian radio-television through me or in some other ways, and in that
19 way conveying the money, but I absolutely do not remember personally
20 receiving such a sum of money.
21 Q. Will you please comment, then, on this very brief note. It is a
22 note written by the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
23 and signed by him, Ratko Veselinovic. It is his note in which he says:
24 "At the end of 1994, the Ministry of Finance --"
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I will not read out the
1 name, but you will be able to gather yourself.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. "-- to Ratko Veselinovic, a list of our citizens from the diaspora
4 was handed in, people who had collected funds and who wanted to help their
5 people. When handing over this list, the request was made to check
6 whether these funds were deposited in the budget of the Republic of Serbia
7 Krajina or the municipality budget. As these funds were handed in to --"
8 and then the position and name of Witness Milan Babic is given -- "amounting to
9 169.417 US dollars, having made checks through the foreign exchange
10 inspector, the Finance Minister established that no such funds were
11 invested into the budget of the Republic of Serbian Krajina or into the
12 budget of the Municipal Assembly of Knin.
13 "In the foreign exchange inspectorate, proceedings were instituted
14 against --" the name of Milan Babic is given -- "but in view of the fact that he
15 held the position which he did --" and then that position is defined --
16 "the proceedings were conducted in secrecy. The proceedings were
17 instituted by the foreign exchange inspectorate, and in charge was
18 Vladimir Velebit who was killed in the Serbian Krajina under mysterious
19 circumstances and that is why this note is being made. Signed Ratko
20 Veselinovic, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Serbian Krajina."
21 As this is no statement of a witness but, rather, a note drafted
22 in connection with the event I have just described, I assume that at least
23 this can be accepted into evidence. If not --
24 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. What is the date of the note, please?
25 Has it got a date on it?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am afraid I don't have -- there is
2 no date on this, I'm afraid.
3 JUDGE MAY: Let us see the document. While that's being
4 collected, perhaps we could be reminded of the exhibit number for the
5 collection, which in the end was exhibited, I think. It's the list. Yes,
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We note that this has a fax date on, it's
9 pointed out by the registry, of December 1999. It's got another one on of
10 more recent date, November this year. But in any event, we will admit it
11 subject to the right of the Prosecution to make any objections in due
13 Perhaps the Prosecution could see it now.
14 Perhaps we could have an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Defence Exhibit 64, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MAY: And perhaps the witness should see it before he
17 comments on it.
18 If you'd just have a look at that, Witness Milan Babic.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour -- Your Honours, while the
20 witness is reading it, the Prosecution would object against the
21 admissibility of this document, because what it amounts to is actually a
22 statement of a person signing this document, explaining something that
23 happened years ago, and it's actually a written statement about facts of
24 that time, and it's given in 1999, and as we also saw, that same date was
25 on the fax list. The fax list had that same date, and it's actually a
2 JUDGE MAY: Since we don't have it translated, it's difficult for
3 us to judge. What we'll do is we will admit it but subject to oral
4 argument in due course when we have a translation.
5 Yes, Witness Milan Babic. Do you want to make any comment on that
6 document now you've had the chance to read it?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about this. I
8 said that I only recollect that some funds were handed over in my
9 apartment to the director of Serbian radio television. I don't exactly
10 remember the sum involved. As for this, I know nothing about it.
11 JUDGE MAY: Does it represent the truth, as far as you know?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is written here, no. I do not
13 remember that, absolutely not.
14 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes. Let the document be handed back,
15 unless you want to ask any more questions about it, Mr. Milosevic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've read out the whole document,
17 and I think it contains sufficient information. I have no further
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I just didn't understand the answer that you gave that the money
21 was handed over in your apartment, the money from the diaspora, in your
22 apartment, to the director of television. Which television?
23 A. It's not this money that I'm referring to but a certain sum of --
24 for the Serbian radio television in Knin.
25 Q. And what was the name of that director of the Serbian television
1 in Knin to whom the money was given?
2 A. Lazar Macura.
3 Q. I see. So Lazar Macura, in your apartment, received some money
4 but not this sum that is mentioned in this note.
5 A. No. On another occasion, not in connection with this.
6 Q. And what was that first occasion if this was another occasion?
7 A. He received a donation for the Serbian radio and television. I
8 don't remember exactly.
9 Q. So you're claiming that you never received money from Serbs in the
10 diaspora intended for aid to the people of Krajina?
11 A. I did receive 10.000 dollars from a man called Prica in the
12 presence of Rasuo, and Caslav Ocic gave me 5.000 American dollars from
13 Momcilo Djujic, he said, and asked me to sign a note of thanks, and I gave
14 this money to Rasuo and the representative offices in Belgrade. I
15 received support from the diaspora for the elections, for my party,
16 amounting to about 7.000, I think it was Canadian dollars, so -- and I
17 also received from certain people --
18 Q. And what was Caslav Ocic at that time, at the time when the Vance
19 Plan was under consideration?
20 A. Caslav Ocic was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government
21 of Eastern Slavonia.
22 Q. And do you remember his article in the newspaper in which he wrote
23 that Cyrus Vance had bribed me with $120 million to accept the Vance Plan?
24 Do you perhaps recollect that?
25 A. I do not.
1 Q. Very well. This is just one of the minor details that I was
2 accused of in those days. But let us move on with regard to the events
3 that, as we have seen, you know very little about, especially in 1990.
4 Did you know anything about the illegal arming of paramilitary
5 formations in Croatia, in the first place the members of the HDZ and all
6 the other formations that I listed yesterday, so I don't have to repeat
7 them today, all their different names.
8 A. I knew as much as was broadcast by the media, and in the spot or
9 announcement of the information service of the federal Secretariat of
10 National Defence.
11 Q. And do you know that already on the 11th of November, 1990, the
12 Presidency of Yugoslavia, at a session it held, was informed of a channel
13 for illegal import of weapons to Croatia as early as the 11th of November,
15 A. I said that I had heard through the media reports by the
16 Secretariat for National Defence on the illegal arming of the HDZ and
17 other people who were not part of the legal police structure of the
18 government of Croatia.
19 Q. Do you know, since at that meeting of the Presidency of the SFRY,
20 Stipe Mesic, as a member of the Presidency, was present as well as Ante
21 Markovic as the president of the federal executive council, that through
22 them, the leadership of Croatia was immediately informed that this illegal
23 channel had been unveiled, discovered, and then Spegelj got the message,
24 "Flee abroad, otherwise, you'll be arrested." Are you familiar with this?
25 A. I don't know about these events in connection with the Presidency.
1 What I do know about those events, I just said how I learnt about them.
2 Q. All right. Tell me this, is the following correct -- I'm just
3 going to ask you whether it's true or not and you can give a yes or no
4 answer. You don't have to talk about matters that I'm not asking you
6 Is it true that after the -- before the general attack on the --
7 by the Croatian paramilitary formations on the JNA units, the new HDZ
8 authorities in Croatia had quite a number of clashes and conflicts with
9 the Serb people in Krajina? Is that true or not?
10 A. As far as I remember, there was some sort of order for a complete
11 blockade of the barracks by Croatia, and before that, there were conflicts
12 and clashes between the military formations or, rather, the police forces
13 and the DB forces, state security on the one side, and the Croatian police
14 on the other side. So the DB from Krajina on one side and the police on
15 the other, the Croatian police force. Those clashes took place before
16 that, before the JNA.
17 Q. All right. Tell me this: Did the first clash take place,
18 regardless of the fact that you don't seem to remember anything from 1990,
19 but did it take place on the 17th of August, 1990, in Kninska Krajina when
20 the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Croatia demanded that the police
21 station in Knin be renamed and called by a different way, with a plaque up
22 in front of the door, and instead of the Yugoslav flag, the Croatian flag
23 should be put out with the chequerboard emblem and that the policemen that
24 made up the police force in that station be replaced by Croatian
25 policemen? Did this first clash take place on the 17th of August, then?
1 A. Not on the 17th of August but two or three days later, I think.
2 And the clash did not take place in Knin either, and it wasn't a real
3 clash, actually. Or, rather, there was a conflict when the special police
4 force of the Croatian government in Split started out towards Knin and
5 when some people were armed at the barricades in Civljani and they shot,
6 they started firing. The police went back to Vrlika and that was the
7 incident in question.
8 The next incident that occurred, after the 17th of August, that is
9 to say, round about that time, according to the information that I had
10 received from policemen in Drnis is when Ante Bujas, the chief of the
11 police from Sibenik issued an order, having received instructions from the
12 Internal Affairs Ministry, to disarm the barricades at Klanac between
13 Tepljuh and the other Kosovo area, and that the special police units from
14 Drnis should move towards Knin, whereas the policemen from Knin, the Serbs
15 and Croats, refused to carry out the order and it was never actually
16 implemented. So that's what happened in Knin in the month of August.
17 Q. All right. Let me remind you: The commander of the police
18 station at that time in Knin, was that Milan Martic? Was he the commander
19 who, with 19 other policemen, referred back to Petar Gracanin, the
20 Internal Affairs Minister, to ask him to stop this violence over the
21 police station in Knin? And as the federal secretariat didn't take any
22 steps to do that, he had to fend for himself and do the best he could.
23 Was that what happened?
24 A. The commander, or komandir, was a man by the name of Vujko. He
25 was a Serb by origin from around Skradin and previously he had served in
1 the Serb police force. And there was a letter which was drafted on the
2 5th of July, I think it was. It was published in the Politika newspaper,
3 and it was signed by most of the policemen in Knin, and this was to
4 organise a petition with all the signatures. This was organised in fact,
5 this petition, by Martic, Nikola Manovic, Zelenbaba, and some others - I
6 can't remember their names - and most of the policemen of the Knin police
7 station. They wrote this letter to Petar Gracanin, saying that they
8 refused to have the new uniforms and insignia prescribed by the Ministry
9 of the Interior of Croatia. Was that your question?
10 Q. And tell me, then, what was Martic then at that time?
11 A. Martic was an inspector in the police station in Knin.
12 Q. All right. Tell me this, then: This conflict, clash, when the
13 new Croatian authorities took this step and the clash was a reaction to
14 this on the part of the policemen in Knin, they reacted by sending a
15 petition to the federal Minister of Internal Affairs. Is that right? Is
16 that what you were saying?
17 A. I said that they had organised the signing of a petition, and this
18 petition or letter was printed in the Politika newspaper at the beginning
19 of July, and they did not wish to have the police force -- the name of the
20 police force in Knin changed to Redarstvo, they did not accept the new
21 caps with the new insignia and emblems of Croatia, and the uniforms that
22 were prescribed, and they were supposed to be black uniforms.
23 Q. Do you know the reasons why they refused to accept the
24 chequerboard emblem and those black uniforms?
25 A. Up until then, the insignias they wore, worn by the policemen in
1 the Socialist Republic of Croatia, was the five-pointed star. The
2 Ministry of the Interior or, rather, the Croatian government, even before
3 the changes that were made to the constitution of Croatia, stipulated that
4 the police should wear the insignia and emblems of the so-called
5 chequerboard which was the old Croatian emblem, the chequerboard emblem.
6 And there were proposals, whether this was formally done or not, at the
7 level of the Croatian government that the name for the police force be the
8 Redarstvo or "Orderly" and later on, the police of Croatia.
9 Now, whether for some time this term, which was Redarstvo, whether
10 it was ever used officially I don't know, but in the common parlance, it
12 Q. Well, why were these people so sensitive to the "sahovic" or the
13 chequerboard coat of arms?
14 A. In the Socialist Republic of Croatia's coat of arms was the
15 chequerboard emblem, the old Croatian coat of arms, but it was reduced
16 slightly, it was a little smaller. So the emblems of corn, sea, and so on
17 with the five-pointed star was what they wanted to abolish, and introduce
18 the chequerboard coat of arms and emblems without any of the additional
19 symbols. So this was the old Croatian coat of arms.
20 And this was commented by most of the Serbs in Croatia at that
21 time, the political parties as well as the Serbs in the police force in
22 Knin, as symbols which bring to mind the NDH, the Independent State of
23 Croatia during the war. Although I listened to Mr. Seks, he explained
24 this, whether cynically or not, but he said that the Ustasha chequerboard
25 began with a white field in the upper row whereas this one now the new
1 chequerboard coat of arms began with the red field, the red square. But
2 this was not really taken seriously.
3 Q. Well, what about the reactions? Did the people react because
4 these were in fact Ustasha symbols?
5 A. The interpretation was that they brought to mind and resembled the
6 Ustasha emblems and that it associated people with the Independent State
7 of Croatia, the Ustasha state.
8 Q. Now, did you have any understanding for that or did it remind you
9 of that as well?
10 A. We were opposed to a unilateral step of this kind, that is to say
11 that the majority in the Croatian parliament should impose such emblems as
12 state emblems and coats of arms, that is to say the official coat of arms
13 of the Republic of Croatia. We wanted this to be discussed with the
14 representatives of the Serbs living in Croatia, which means that we were
15 opposed to having symbols of this kind introduced without the acquiescence
16 of the Serb people.
17 Q. All right. I didn't ask you that. What I was asking you was did
18 you personally consider this to be Ustasha symbols?
19 A. It was laying too great an emphasis on the Ustasha Croatian
20 emblems, because the Ustasha chequerboards in fact had the letter 'U'
21 added to them.
22 Q. Can I take it, then, that you did not consider that they were
23 Ustasha symbols?
24 A. Well, this was suggested in a way. It sort of associated us with
25 the Independent State of Croatia, and by overemphasising Croatian national
1 symbols, this did resemble and bring to mind the former symbols although
2 these weren't the Ustasha symbols in fact.
3 Q. So did you consider that it was not an Ustasha symbol?
4 A. It did not associate me with those.
5 Q. So are you saying that you were not reminded of the Ustasha
6 symbols? Is that what you're saying now?
7 A. In our public debates, we called them pro-Ustasha symbols. I
8 can't remember exactly what we called them, but not as an exclusive
9 Ustasha symbol. That's what I considered. Although they did sort of
10 resemble them and remind us of them and so perhaps the word was actually
11 used. I can't quite remember now.
12 Q. So your answer is perhaps but you can't remember exactly. Let's
13 move on so as not to go on with this question for too long.
14 Do you remember that the MUP of Croatia decided to have an
15 airborne helicopter unit land at Knin and have ground forces from Sibenik,
16 Split and Gospic move on the police station to take control of it, and
17 this operation was led by the Deputy Minister of the Internal Affairs,
18 Perica Juric, who returned to the country as a well-known Ustasha emigre,
19 which he had been up until then, but the operative centre of the RV PVO
20 reacted to prevent bloodshed. The air force and anti-aircraft units
21 wanted to prevent the bloodshed by sending in the forces and thus thwarted
22 the conflict that could have taken place between the police, the Croatian
23 police on the one hand and the Knin police force on the other. Is that
24 correct? Is that true or not?
25 A. I've already spoken about what I know of those events that took
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 place on the 17th of August, 1990, in Knin, and the intimation that
2 Croatian transporters were to arrive in Knin. Later on, I heard that
3 Croatia had three, the Croatian air force had three APCs. One of them had
4 broken down in Kosovo whereas another one was really stopped at Korenica
5 in the Lika region.
6 Later on, I learnt about the helicopters, that the helicopters had
7 started out but that the JNA had prevented them from actually landing in
8 Knin and they had to return back to Zagreb. Colonel Bajic later on
9 explained this over television. He was the commander of the air force
10 unit in Zagreb, Colonel Bajic was his name.
11 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. The transcript, line 23, page 13,
12 has attributed an answer of the witness to me. No doubt that will be
13 corrected. Yes.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. All right. To sum up, the police in those beginnings had clashes
16 with the Serbs in Krajina, the newly established Croatian authorities, and
17 the army acted to stop the conflicts and did not take anybody's side. All
18 it did was to prevent the conflict; isn't that right?
19 A. I heard that the army had indeed prevented the Croatian police
20 from intervening in Knin, which means taking over the police station and
21 preventing the referendum. So the army made it possible for the police
22 station in Knin to remain independent of the control of the Croatian
23 authorities and that the Serb referendum should go forward without
25 Q. All right. Do you know that it was the message of the MUP to --
1 MUP of Croatia to all the other regional MUPs to ensure constant
2 supervision of the garrison and for them to be on the ready to act if the
3 orders came? Do you know of that order on the part of the Croatian police
5 A. No, I do not know about that.
6 Q. Do you know that the MUP of Croatia, on the 7th of December, 1990,
7 issued orders for the activation of 50 per cent of the reserve force?
8 A. Exactly when this order was pronounced I don't know, but I did
9 know myself that the Croatian MUP did increase its reserve formations.
10 Q. And do you remember that in the course of 1990, that is to say
11 before any clashes ever took place which could be denoted as such, that
12 over 70 cases were registered of provocation and physical attacks on
13 members of the JNA in Croatia, individual ones, different ones?
14 A. I don't know of that particular figure. I didn't have that
16 Q. But do you know about those attacks that took place in 1990?
17 A. In 1990, you say?
18 Q. Yes. All this was going on in 1990.
19 A. There were clashes between the Croatian police and citizens in
20 Petrinja who had fled to the Petrinja garrison and there were some clashes
21 around that garrison. Now, what actually happened, I don't know. Whether
22 it was between the police and army, I don't think it was.
23 Q. So you know nothing about the attacks, not only those by the
24 police but the armed groups of civilians, the extremists, on members of
25 the army, members of the JNA in 1990? You know nothing about that you
2 A. As for 1990, I don't remember. Whether I knew anything, I don't
3 really know.
4 Q. All right. You say you don't know. Now, do you know that the
5 Presidency of the SFRY on the 9th of January, 1991, that is to say at the
6 very beginning of the year, issued an order to disband all armed units
7 which were not within the composition of the united armed forces of the
8 SFRY and that this was to have been completed by the 19th of January, that
9 is to say, within a space of ten days?
10 A. Yes, I do know about that order.
11 Q. And do you know that the Yugoslav state Presidency, because of the
12 situation it found itself in, decided at a meeting of the 25th of January
13 to call the president of the federal government and the federal
14 Secretariat for National Defence and that an agreement was reached by
15 which the -- by the 6th of January the reserve force was to be
16 demobilised, of the police force in Croatia, and the units of the JNA be
17 reduced to the peacetime level of readiness. Do you know about that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And do you remember that the Presidency of the SFRY, at the
20 insistence of the government of Croatia, extended the time limit, the
21 deadline that it set for the 9th of January, it put it off for 48 hours
22 because they explained that they were not able to implement the order in
23 such a short space of time? So they asked for two more days, and the
24 Presidency did indeed extend the deadline. Do you know about that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And do you remember that on the 22nd of January, the Yugoslav
2 state Presidency took note of the fact that disarmament had not taken
3 place in Croatia and that Croatia was in fact arming itself and that a
4 mobilisation was going on, quite the contrary to what had been agreed upon
5 and promised in order to thwart and prevent the conflicts and for
6 political issues to be settled by political means? Do you know about
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And do you remember one specific event that took place at that
10 time when this disbanding was supposed to take place? The leadership of
11 Croatia in fact handed out weapons in Osijek, and between the 19th and
12 20th of January, 1991, a driver Zdravko Tomsic [phoen] was seized with a
13 supply of arms, and in Eastern Slavonia a similar incident took place,
14 Darda. Do you remember these incidents?
15 A. Yes, I did hear about that. I heard that the police was handing
16 out weapons to the reservists, and it was rumoured that their weapons were
17 being handed out to the members of the HDZ. Now, I don't remember that
18 specific case with the truck, that you mentioned, and the driver.
19 Q. All right. And do you remember that on the 5th of May, the
20 Croatian paramilitary units blocked the barracks in Osijek and Gospic and
21 that on the 8th of July, this was followed by an attack on JNA units which
22 were providing security for the 25th of May bridge across the Danube
23 River, Bracka Palanka? Do you remember those occurrences?
24 A. These incidents, which means the intensive blocking of the
25 barracks, this wave started after the beginning of May, after the incident
1 in Borovo Selo and Plitvice Lakes, Polaca, Benkovac, between Polaca and
2 Kijevo, near Knin. And other events, the ones in Split, for example.
3 So that was the time that we saw an escalation in the conflict and
4 the protests that were going on, both on the part of Croatian citizens and
5 the beginning of the blockade of the barracks, JNA barracks, and the
6 blockades by members of the police, the guards, and who knows who else.
7 Q. Do you remember the clash between the police that occurred in
8 Pakrac in early March 1991?
9 A. I asked you about this conflict. I asked you what was going on
10 there, and you said everything would be all right and I could go to Knin.
11 Later on, I read in the press that there had been a conflict between Serb
12 citizens and the Croatian police, that the JNA had intervened, and the
13 press even said that people had been killed. I think --
14 Q. Are you saying that you know nothing about these events apart from
15 what you read in the papers?
16 A. Well, what I heard from the media, that something was going on
17 there, then I called you on the phone. I was in Belgrade at the time. I
18 rang you up. And then I read in the press about these events, and later
19 on there was talk about them. But my knowledge of these events is not
20 direct, it's indirect.
21 Q. Did you, when you arrived there - in Knin, I mean, when you
22 returned - did you find out whether this was correct, that over 600
23 policemen from the training centre in Lucko near Zagreb were on their way
24 to Pakrac in three columns?
25 A. Yes. Of course we knew all about that. We were informed of that,
1 but not directly. We did not have direct communication with Pakrac.
2 Q. Did the JNA intervene in time there with the same aim that they
3 had in Knin to prevent inter-ethnic clashes and bloodshed?
4 A. I don't know how the conflict broke out there exactly, but later
5 on I heard or read somewhere that Borisav Jovic had said that he had
6 ordered an intervention by the JNA, and after that, he asked for the
7 approval of the Presidency for the way in which the JNA became active in
9 Q. Do you know that a small unit was sent which prevented a clash and
10 that, later on, teams arrived from the federal Ministry of the Interior to
11 solve the problems that had occurred in Pakrac, to prevent serious
13 A. I know about the intervention but not about the details.
14 Q. But I assume you know that although everything was done to prevent
15 the conflict that was imminent, that it did take place. It did break out,
16 not only between representatives of the Croatian Ministry of the Interior
17 and the Serbian citizens living in these areas but that also fire was
18 opened from one of these armoured personnel carriers belonging to the
19 Croatian police which I mentioned and which fired on JNA soldiers
20 stationed in front of the Pakrac hospital. Are you aware of this event?
21 A. As I said, I'm not aware of the details of what happened in
23 Q. Very well, then. Do you know that within the scope of these same
24 efforts and in this same -- in this same context, on the 30th of March,
25 1991, the Plitvice Lakes were taken by force, on which occasion two men
1 were killed and 20 wounded? Did you know anything about that?
2 A. Yes, I did. I had personal knowledge of these events in the
3 afternoon of that day. I think it was the last day of March.
4 Q. Very well.
5 A. The intervention of the special police of Croatia took place after
6 forces were deployed, forces of the Krajina police, and I don't know who
7 else Martic deployed there. A police station was to be opened in
8 Plitvice, but the Serb forces deployed by Martic were instead deployed in
9 battle formation. After that, the Croatian police intervened, and the
10 first clash occurred, as I heard, behind the bridge over the river Korana
11 at the entrance to Plitvice. The Serbian forces fired a -- fired a rifle
12 grenade, which missed its mark, and then the clash broke out, and a
13 Croatian policeman was killed. I don't know if it was then or a little
14 later, the Serbs retreated from the bridge. Then there was a skirmish.
15 Rifle shots were fired and a Serb was killed in the area of the hotel in
16 Plitvice. And the result of all this was that the Croatian police took
17 over the national park area as far as the hotel or, rather, the memorial
18 home of the 6th Lika Division near Mukinje. The JNA intervened from the
19 north in the direction of Plitvice, and they deployed themselves in the
20 area of Mukinje. I met General Stimac personally who was in charge of
21 this JNA intervention.
22 Q. So what was the purpose of this intervention? Was it to separate
23 the warring sides? Is this correct or not? Was it not to create a buffer
24 zone between the two hostile parties?
25 A. The army separated the Krajina police, which was under the control
1 of the Serbian DB, and the special police of Croatia, which had taken the
2 area of the hotel. So the army was actually deployed as a buffer in the
3 Mukinje area.
4 Q. All right. So the army was serving was a buffer. Who was there
5 from the Serbian DB controlling the Krajina police?
6 A. I can't remember exactly. Before the intervention, before the
7 effort to set up a Krajina SUP police station in Plitvice, there was a man
8 whose name I can't remember now, although I know him, and he knew what was
9 going on. I can't say exactly whether it was he who intervened for Martic
10 to deploy his forces in battle formation rather than trying to set up a
11 police station, but the DB structure did have an influence in this
12 particular instance. The man from the DB of Serbia had all the
13 information, and I suspect that it was he who intervened with Martic and
14 got him to deploy his forces in battle formation rather than simply trying
15 to set up a police station. That is what I know about the functioning of
16 this structure after April.
17 Q. As far as I can understand, you're constantly drawing conclusions
18 but you have no facts to present. You're simply drawing conclusions on
19 the basis of your assumptions or on the basis of a goal that is to be
20 reached. This is the first time I'm hearing that the DB of Serbia
21 participated in the clash on Plitvice between the forces of the Krajina
22 and the Croatian police.
23 A. I know that he was well aware of the situation. I don't know what
24 the extent of his influence was, but I do know that instead of opening a
25 police station, Martic deployed his forces in battle formation.
1 Q. That explains nothing. Tell me, is it correct that on the 31st of
2 March, Croatian policemen, as they were called at the time, arrived as
3 guests in the national park of Plitvice? They were posing as visitors,
4 and they attempted to ambush the police of Krajina from within.
5 A. Well, there was talk of this, that some were in there, but I have
6 described the events as I learned about them at the time.
7 Q. So Croatian policemen came disguised as visitors in order to
8 attack from the inside, and the DB of Serbia knew about this and
9 organised, I can conclude from what you're saying, they influenced the
10 police of the Krajina to organise themselves. Is that what you're saying?
11 A. I have described very precisely what I know about the outbreak of
12 the clash. And as for the members of the Croatian police in civilian
13 clothes, there was talk of this but I know nothing specific about it. As
14 for the influence of the DB of Serbia, as I said, that was my conclusion.
15 The facts are what I said. I have told you what I heard at the time had
16 happened. And in the afternoon, I arrived there; from then on, I was in
17 Korenica and I was able to find out for myself what was going on.
18 JUDGE KWON: Just one second. Mr. Witness, could you tell us the
19 difference between deploying the forces in battle formations and the
20 setting up a police station in concrete terms.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if you're setting up a police
22 station, you have to find a building, you have to put offices in there,
23 the chief of police, criminal inspector, a traffic policeman,
24 administrative staff, and the administrative structure should be put in
25 place as is usually in a police station.
1 Battle formation is something different. No police station was
2 opened. Men who were armed, in uniform and not in uniform, were deployed
3 over an area of several kilometres in the area of the national park, and
4 they were deployed on the edges of the national park facing the territory
5 controlled by the Croatian government. That's what the difference is.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: Thank you, Mr. Kwon.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. While you have spent quite some time in The Hague now, the
10 policemen you see around here, are they sitting in a police station or are
11 they on the beat? Are they walking the streets and controlling -- or
12 patrolling the area of their responsibility?
13 JUDGE MAY: That's not a proper question. It's not for the
14 witness to comment on that.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. As you are constantly mentioning the DB, do you remember that to
17 my question when I asked you to enumerate some names, you managed to
18 enumerate three, and that was a mistake. You mentioned the wife of one of
19 the people involved who was from the area, and probably she came to visit
20 her parents, accompanied by her husband, and she was not on some sort of
21 secret mission. So this influence of the DB of Serbia amounted to
22 occasional visits, private or official, it doesn't matter, by only three
23 persons, so why can't you enumerate at least ten?
24 A. I enumerated the chiefs of the DB who were in the Krajina and the
25 chiefs who were in Belgrade. As for the operatives in the field and the
1 agents, I didn't know about these.
2 Q. Well, all these chiefs were from the DB of Krajina. Isn't it so?
3 A. Jovica Stanisic was not from the DB of the Krajina. He was your
4 chief policeman, your associate. You were his immediate superior. His
5 office, up to the summer, was in the old MUP building. He was close to
7 Q. If he was in Belgrade, how could he have been in Knin? I
8 understood that you had had lunch with him and his wife. I assume that he
9 had gone with his wife to visit her parents in Knin.
10 A. It wasn't lunch; we had coffee in the Seher restaurant in
11 Belgrade, in the Venjak [phoen] area, in the garden of the restaurant, in
12 fact, and he called me over to introduce his wife to me and to have a chat
13 with me. He wanted to establish friendly relations with me. And after
14 your intervention and after you criticised the fact that I had had to call
15 you for Frenki to be withdrawn from the Krajina, that was the reason he
16 wanted to chat with me, and that was in August in Belgrade, in August
18 Q. Well, is it correct that in early May, on the eve of the
19 referendum in Croatia, the Serbian referendum in Croatia, the Croatian
20 police caused several incidents and that there was an incident in Borovo
21 Selo on the 2nd of May? Is this correct?
22 A. On the 2nd of May, I heard about the clash in Borovo Selo from
23 Vojislav Seselj first. He had been in Knin and he told me that two of his
24 men had been killed in Borovo Selo. Later on, I heard from Frenki that
25 his men, that means the DB, had used an anti-aircraft gun to fire on the
1 Croatian police in Borovo Selo. Later on, I heard that the commander, the
2 local commander of the defence of Borovo Selo was -- his name was Vukasin
3 Soskocanin, and for reasons that were never explained, he drowned in the
4 river Danube.
5 Later on, I heard many stories on the Croatian side as to how this
6 clash had occurred: That the Croatian police had set out for Borovo Selo
7 and that there had been resistance to their entry into Borovo Selo and
8 that a large number of men had been killed. The Croatian police had many
9 men killed, and this caused enormous indignation in Croatia. There were
10 funerals of policemen going on for days and days. This was on television,
11 and public opinion in Croatia became very hostile after this event toward
12 Serbia and toward the Serbs and also toward Yugoslavia, towards everything
13 that, in their view, posed a threat to Croatia.
14 On the 2nd of May, as I said, Vojislav Seselj --
15 Q. Let's be brief. Let's cut this short, if we may. You have
16 described the event exactly as it was presented by the Croatian press and
17 Croatian propaganda, the propaganda of the time, and that's quite clear.
18 A. I heard about this event first from Vojislav Seselj, later from
19 Franko Simatovic, and later on from people from Borovo, and also I saw
20 what the Croatian media were reporting.
21 Q. Is my information correct that the Serbs from Borovo Selo, as a
22 gesture of goodwill in negotiations with the police, had said they would
23 remove the barricades and that they would normalise the situation because
24 they had been promised that no one would be attacked, arrested, or taken
25 away, would go missing, and that they had removed the barricades, that the
1 police had arrived in the village at the agreed time but with two buses,
2 with two terrain vehicles and one passenger vehicle full of policemen, and
3 instead of talking to the population about normalising the situation, they
4 opened fire on all sides and that's how the clash occurred.
5 Is this a correct description of the events in Borovo Selo or what
6 you have just explained, which is the version put forward by the Croatian
7 propaganda at the time?
8 A. I heard from people from Borovo Selo that the Croatian police had
9 arrived in buses. They even laughed because the Croatian police had been
10 so stupid. They were not prepared for battle, they were simply sitting in
11 buses, and they were allowed to enter into the village. They showed me
12 the spot up to which they had allowed them to enter, and then they opened
13 fire on them. That's what people, local people, actually told me. I don't
14 know about anything else.
15 Q. Very well. Those two buses full of policemen, two terrain
16 vehicles and a passenger vehicle, so five vehicles full of policemen, two
17 of which were buses, were attacked by the locals of Borovo Selo just like
18 that, out of the blue. And what did those busloads of policemen armed to
19 the teeth, what were they looking for in that village? So Borovo Selo
20 attacked the police and not the police, fully armed, attacking the
21 peasants in Borovo Selo?
22 A. As far as I know, Borovo Selo was not under the control of the
23 Croatian police. What happened there before, I don't know. The Serbs had
24 Borovo Selo under control and not the police. So that is how the
25 conflicts arose. The Croatian police wanted to establish control over
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Borovo Selo, and they met with resistance.
2 Q. Well, certainly resistance was put up. Borovo Selo didn't go to
3 the police but the police, armed to the teeth, came to the village and
4 opened fired on the village, on their houses, on the people, on the
5 children, women, et cetera. Is it true --
6 JUDGE MAY: He's given his account. He's given his account of
7 what he's heard.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is what we can read in the
9 Croatian press, what he has just told us.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is it true that the event in Borovo Selo on Easter, the 2nd of
12 May, 1991 - it was Easter - that there were no JNA units there at the time
13 and that the entire event occurred outside the area of responsibility of
14 any JNA units?
15 A. As far as I know, the JNA intervened after those events.
16 Q. And how did it intervene? Again to separate the clashing parties?
17 A. Yes, between the Serbian forces in Borovo Selo and the Croatian
18 forces outside Borovo Selo.
19 Q. So again, to act as a buffer and avoid continued conflicts.
20 A. Yes. It positioned itself between two conflicting parties.
21 Q. Very well. And do you remember the announcement from the expanded
22 session of the Presidency of the SFRY regarding four principles for
23 resolving the political crisis in the country? The session was held on
24 the 20th of August, 1991, and all members were present in addition to the
25 members of the Presidency, as announced, that is why it was called an
1 expanded session. Participating were the presidents of the republics or,
2 rather, the presidents of the Presidencies of the republics, the president
3 of the Assembly of Yugoslavia, the president of the federal government, or
4 Prime Minister, the vice-president of the Assembly, the presidents of the
5 federal chamber of the Assembly, the federal Secretary for Foreign
6 Affairs, the Minister for Justice and Administration, the Minister for
7 Development, the Deputy Minister for Defence, and that the session was
8 chaired by the president of the Presidency of the SFRY, Stipe or Stjepan
9 Mesic, the one who testified here and who is now president in Croatia but
10 whereas he should really be in prison.
11 Do you remember that event?
12 A. Not in particular.
13 Q. But that is when the principles were agreed on. So the Presidency
14 in full composition, the presiding officer was that same Stjepan Mesic,
15 and four principles were established. Do you know them? The first was
16 respect of every people or nation to self-determination, including the
17 right to secession and unification. Any change of external and internal
18 borders is unacceptable by unilateral acts and use of force but only and
19 exclusively if such changes do occur, then it must be on the basis of the
20 right of peoples to self-determination and through a democratic procedure
21 and by legal means.
22 That was adopted at that session chaired by Stjepan Mesic,
23 attended by the whole Presidency and all the top leaders of the Yugoslav
24 state, which was in one -- still in one piece at the time.
25 Secondly, respect --
1 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Milosevic, we must have time for
2 questions. You're supposed to be questioning him, not making speeches.
3 Does that help you? Do you remember that, Witness Milan Babic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't remember the details.
5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now and you can continue
6 after the break. Twenty minutes, please.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.54 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So, is there any dispute that the Yugoslav leadership in full
12 composition gave top priority to things being resolved by peaceful means
13 and on the basis of the right of peoples to self-determination in a
14 democratic procedure and by legal means? Doesn't that disprove your
15 explanations of the use of the right of peoples to self-determination?
16 A. I'm sorry, what is the actual question?
17 Q. I just read out to you principle number 1, which says that on the
18 basis of the right of peoples to self-determination in a democratic
19 procedure and in a legal way, things needed to be resolved.
20 A. There were two understandings of that principle of
22 Q. I'm not talking to you about understandings.
23 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness finish what he was going to say. You
24 are putting things to him and then trying to force him into some sort of
25 corner. He must be entitled to reply himself. Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were two understandings or
2 interpretations of the realisation of that right. One was that that right
3 is exercised within republics and through the republics. That was the
4 concept upheld by Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
5 the other was your position regarding the right of self-determination,
6 which was that regardless of republican borders, the nations of
7 Yugoslavia, the recognised nations, including the Serb nation, were
8 entitled to decide which state they would live in regardless of republican
9 borders. And through -- not only in their mother republic, that is
10 Serbia, but in other republics too. In other words, that that right to
11 self-determination can ignore the boundaries of republics.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Do you remember that I read out to you that it was -- that any
14 change of both external and internal boundaries was unacceptable by force
15 of arms? So external boundaries, secession from Yugoslavia by unilateral
16 acts was unacceptable. This is what was established by that same
17 Presidency chaired by Mesic.
18 A. I told you I was not familiar with the details of that session.
19 Q. Even if you are not familiar with the details, I am reading you a
20 document which can be easily verified. For example, the third principle
21 says the principle of equality, which implies the equality of all options,
22 refraining from imposing one's will on others, and use of force. Also the
23 principle of legality, which is means that political agreements must be
24 legally sanctioned and a legal procedure established for its
25 implementation. And then you talk about some law of Jovic's. This is the
1 position of the Presidency of the SFRY, which says that legal procedures
2 of implementation have to be established of any political agreement which
3 has to be legally sanctioned without coercion and in conformity with the
4 constitution of Yugoslavia.
5 Is that clear?
6 A. I told you how those principles were interpreted in those days; in
7 two different ways.
8 Q. In those days, as far as I can see from this, these principles
9 were interpreted in a uniform manner by representatives and presidents of
10 all the republics and the entire Presidency of the then-SFRY. That is
11 precisely why I'm quoting them to you, because that is in complete
12 contradiction with what you are saying. But let us move on.
13 Is there any dispute that SFRY existed as a sovereign state right
14 up until the establishment of the FRY? That is the 27th of April, 1992,
15 when the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established. Before that,
16 there was the SFRY.
17 A. That was your interpretation. But the international conference,
18 and especially the so-called Badinter Commission of that conference,
19 stated towards the end of autumn 1991 - I think it was in November, to be
20 precise - that the SFRY was in the process of disintegration, and later on
21 it was stated that it had collapsed.
22 Q. That is quite a different matter. But even in the documents of
23 this illegal prosecution, what I have said is written, that is, until the
24 formation of the FRY, SFRY existed as a state.
25 JUDGE MAY: What is the question?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Was Croatia recognised by the United Nations on the 22nd of May,
4 1992? Is that right?
5 A. I think that is the correct date.
6 Q. And by the European Union on the 15th of January, 1992, by many
7 countries of the European Union.
8 A. Germany recognised Croatia, I think, on the 23rd of December,
10 Q. Very well. The role of Germany, the Vatican, and other powers has
11 been explained here. I'm asking you about recognition by the European
12 Union. So it was on the 15th of January, 1992?
13 A. I think it was on the 8th of October, 1991, that the three-month
14 moratorium expired regarding the independence of Croatia and Slovenia
15 which was agreed upon at Brioni, and that after that term had expired,
16 Croatia declared that it had become an independent state.
17 Q. Let us clear up this thing. Is there any dispute that throughout
18 this period and after this recognition of Croatia, the territory of
19 Krajina was a United Nations protected area?
20 A. I am sorry; could you repeat the question? I can't read out the
22 Q. So Croatia was recognised on the 22nd of May, 1992, by the United
23 Nations, and on the 15th of January by the European Union. Is it true
24 that after that time and throughout, the territory of Krajina was a
25 protected area by the United Nations, according to the Vance Plan?
1 A. From February -- from the end of February 1992, the Security
2 Council adopted a resolution deciding that four -- four areas should be
3 formed under UN protection. So Krajina and parts of the territories of
4 Slavonia which were not part of Slavonia and Eastern Slavonia.
5 Q. Very well. Is it true that all Security Council resolutions,
6 including the one 740 of the 4th of February, 743 of the 21st of February,
7 and 762 of the 30th of June, 1992, and 802 of the 25th of January, 1993,
8 and the Vance Plan, as well as the report of the UN Secretary-General
9 dated the 3rd of February, 1992; 15th of February, 1992; 17th of July,
10 1992; 10th of February, 1993, that they all speak about UN protected areas
11 and about peacekeeping operations in Yugoslavia? Is that right or not?
12 A. Yes. They speak about it, but the plan according to which that
13 protection was to have been provided, was not complied with.
14 Q. I'm asking you whether these documents refer to that or not.
15 A. The protection applied to a state of demilitarisation, a mixed
16 police force, the return of displaced persons. That was what the
17 protection related to.
18 Q. Is it beyond doubt - and please give me a yes or no answer - that
19 Croatia did not enjoy sovereignty over those territories?
20 A. First of all, the conference on the former Yugoslavia stated that
21 there could be no change of republican borders.
22 Q. Again you're giving me an answer to a question I have not put to
24 A. So Croatian laws did not apply to those territories. Croatia did
25 not assert its authority in those areas, if that is your question.
1 Q. Yes, that is my question. I will now quote to you from a report
2 of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the 4th of February,
3 1992, on page 5.D, and I will quote the whole of it:
4 "It follows from this that areas under UN protection as hitherto
5 would not be subject to the laws and institutions of the Republic of
6 Croatia in the transitional period up to a political settlement."
7 That is what is stated in the report of the UN Secretary-General.
8 A. The Secretary-General also stated that in the Security Council,
9 and this was adopted in February 1992, upon which the peace forces were
11 Q. Well, is it then clear, and I'm asking you because these false
12 charges speak of some sort of Serbian occupation, is it possible to speak
13 about Serbian occupation?
14 A. It is possible to speak about the occupation by Serbia. Serbs
15 were living there and Serbia had de facto authority in that area.
16 Q. Since you insist on that, I will use some quotations from this
17 report of the Secretary-General linked to the course of the negotiating
18 process regarding the Vance Plan, and here is what is stated in that
19 report. As you have been referring to Mark Goulding, Deputy
20 Secretary-General, here is what is stated in the report. And I'm reading
21 the report, report of the UN Secretary-General dated the 4th of February,
22 1992, and it refers to the Vance Plan:
23 "In the course of my talks --" in the course of his talks in
24 Belgrade, Mr. Goulding once again was given unconditional assurances by
25 Mr. Branko Kostic, the vice-president of the SFRY; Mr. Borisav Jovic, the
1 president of the State Committee for Cooperation with the UN Regarding
2 Peacekeeping; General Blagoje Adzic, acting federal Secretary of Defence
3 of Yugoslavia, and the Chief of Staff of the JNA, that they accept the
4 plan and that they will fully cooperate in its implementation. The
5 President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, also reiterated his full
6 acceptance of the plan.
7 "Also in Belgrade, Goulding --" this was point 10 that I read out.
8 Now point 11:
9 "He met with Adzic, the leader of the Serbian community in the
10 region of Eastern Slavonia, who had an objection, but it was removed when
11 Goulding explained that in a future resolution, it would be emphasised
12 that the presence of the peacekeeping forces does not preempt or prejudice
13 the political negotiations. When this had been explained to him,
14 Mr. Adzic confirmed his acceptance of the UN plan."
15 Then mention is made of the visit with Mr. Veljko Dzakula in
16 another area. In fact, that is Western Slavonia, under UN protection, and
17 we know that and that is what is stated here, who also accepted the plan.
18 Point 12 of this report of the Secretary-General says:
19 "Mr. Milan Babic, the leader of the Serbian community in the third
20 proposed UN protected area, with whom Mr. Goulding had a five-hour long
21 talk in Knin on the 27th of January, declared that he and his colleagues
22 in the government --" and here it says, "of the so-called Serbian
23 Krajina" -- "cannot accept the UN plan. He expressed the view that
24 stating in the plan that UN protected areas in Croatia were unacceptable
25 because they prejudiced the political settlement. He believed that
1 Goulding's proposal that this be resolved by a Security Council document
2 does not provide sufficient security. He rejected demilitarisation," et
4 Let me not continue reading because it is very lengthy.
5 "Babic added that only his government can assume responsibility
6 towards the Security Council on behalf of his community," which is
7 correct. "Goulding refused to make any changes in the plan which had been
8 adopted by the Security Council."
9 And then I just wish to quote from point 13:
10 "In Zagreb, President Franjo Tudjman and senior officers in his
11 government also declared that they could not accept the fundamental aspect
12 of the plan whereby they withdrew the complete and unconditional support
13 of that plan expressed to my envoy, Mr. Cyrus Vance, on the 1st of
15 As we can see, it was only Tudjman and one of the leaders, by
16 their refusal, actually delayed the implementation of the Vance Plan and
17 prolonged the agony. And Tudjman declared, and I quote: "After
18 international recognition of his republic, there are no political issues
19 left to be negotiated. Mr. Goulding declared that such withdrawal of
20 support for the plan by Mr. Tudjman would mean depriving the plan of two
21 of its central elements and would undermine the basis for its acceptance
22 by others. However, even after many hours of talks, Mr. Goulding did not
23 manage to overcome this new and unacceptable -- unexpected obstacle to the
24 deployment of international peace forces."
25 Therefore, we see that Tudjman's position is in accord with the
1 position of one of the leaders of one of these UN protected areas.
2 And now I'm asking you: Do you remember -- since Tudjman later
3 on, under pressure, accepted the deployment of these forces, however, in
4 the paragraph regarding his refusal, he says that Croatia has been
5 recognised and that there are no reason for any further negotiations.
6 My question now is: Do you remember that international mediators,
7 including Lord Carrington who chaired the conference, assessed that
8 recognition of Croatia had been premature and that this marked the death
9 toll for the peace conference on Yugoslavia? Do you remember that?
10 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have time just for a moment. First of
11 all, do you want that document exhibited, Mr. Milosevic, the report of the
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you wish. I can give it to you.
14 However, this is in Serbian. And it's generally distributed B23451,
15 February 2nd, original English. The title is "Further report of the
16 Secretary-General Pursuant to Resolution 721 of 1991." You can probably
17 find it in your archives. But I can give you this copy too.
18 JUDGE MAY: No need to go on. We'll ask the Prosecution if they
19 can produce for us a copy. They should have one in English.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I don't -- we couldn't find
21 anything that we have. We only -- what we have is actually the other
22 document that Mr. Milosevic talked about, that was the Presidency session
23 of the 20th of August. This we would have. But --
24 JUDGE MAY: Let us have, then, the accused's copy, and we'll
25 exhibit it and get it translated if necessary.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here you are.
2 JUDGE MAY: Exhibit number for it, please.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be Defence Exhibit 65.
4 JUDGE MAY: Now, Witness Milan Babic, you can -- you've heard a very
5 extensive document read out. It may be you should have a copy in front of
6 you so you can comment on it, and if you wish, we could go in at any stage
7 to private session if you wish to comment on it.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can comment on the document.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Go into private session.
10 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I can say is this: I had talks
13 with Mr. Goulding in Knin at the end of January 1992, and we discussed the
14 Cyrus Vance Plan. So what it states in this report is correct in the way
15 that Mr. Goulding presented it to the United Nations Secretary-General. I
16 can also add to this that on the occasion, I informed Mr. Goulding in
17 detail about our positions with regard to the proposal to modify the plan.
18 I informed him quite exactly about the zones and areas inhabited by the
19 Serbs which come under the territory of the RSK and were not provided for
20 as being protected. And I also told him of the municipality's plan, and I
21 showed the areas which were not incorporated in the protection plan. I
22 also discussed with him the possibility of having the Territorial Defence,
23 once the JNA had left, transformed into a regional police force with the
24 weapons that were prescribed for a mixed police force. And I also pointed
25 out my reservations with respect to the implementation of Croatian laws on
1 Krajina territory, which he mentions in the report.
2 So it was my impression after the talk, and Mr. Goulding did say
3 this, that we could continue our discussions on the issue, and some of our
4 remarks and criticisms should be supported, whereas others would probably
5 not be acceptable.
6 And after that meeting, I really did expect to have another
7 meeting with him. However, what followed was the Yugoslav State
8 Presidency meeting, the expanded one on the 31st of January - and we've
9 already discussed that - and we were forced, I personally was forced to
10 accept the plan in its entirety and unconditionally. They didn't even
11 want to listen to any amendments to the plan. There was absolutely no
12 discussion on that score, with respect to this document, that is.
13 Now, I don't know if you want me to read out the whole report and
14 then to make some more comments. It's rather a lengthy report.
15 JUDGE MAY: No. We've heard it read out. The part that we've
16 read out, is there any comment you wish to make in that part which deals
17 with you and your position?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that point in time, I was
19 president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and I represented the
20 Serbian community in Krajina.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. All right. Well, as we are --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Is it clear that in this report by the Secretary-General about
2 your talks with Mark Goulding, that what you claimed that you explained to
3 Mark Goulding with respect to the acceptance of the plan is very much
4 different to what he says and what is stated in the UN Secretary-General's
5 report about the failure to accept the plan? And how come that it is only
6 you and Tudjman at that particular time had the same position not to
7 accept the plan, with different explanations? Each of you had your own
9 A. Well, according to what I said, I told you of the modifications I
10 had sought. Mr. Goulding told me the issues that were debatable and
11 others that were not. So we were not able to discuss the substance of the
12 plan. There was no change to that, no substantial changes which would not
13 make the plan a demilitarisation plan. So all we could discuss was the
14 military formations or units to remain in the area.
15 Q. Well, he states quite clearly what you discuss. I don't think we
16 need to comment on that. But you go on to say afterwards that the
17 Yugoslav side didn't adhere to the plan, or something along those lines.
18 So I'm going to read out a very brief excerpt from the Resolution 802 of
19 the 25th of January, 1993. It is the UN Security Council Resolution
20 number 802 of the 25th of January, 1993. The Security Council, and this
21 is the third line: "Deeply concerned." Before that it says: We confirm
22 Resolution such-and-such and our attachment to the peace plan of the
23 United Nations, the so-called Vance Plan, and then it goes on to state the
24 number of the plan. And then the third line states as follows: "Deeply
25 concerned about the information received from the UN Secretary-General on
1 the 25th of January, 1993, with respect to the rapid and violent
2 escalation and deterioration of the situation in Croatia which has arisen
3 through the military attack by Croatian armed forces on -- in the area
4 under the protection of the United Nations peacekeepers," and in brackets,
5 "(UNPROFOR)." And then he goes on to call for unconditional changes to
6 the peace plan of the United Nations.
7 So as you can see, the Security Council expresses its deep concern
8 because of the attack launched by Croatian armed forces in the UN
9 protected area as early on as January 1993. So who was it who did not
10 adhere to the plan, the Croatian side or the Serbian side?
11 A. Neither you nor Franjo Tudjman did.
12 Q. All right. There's no point in discussing something that is quite
13 clearly set out in the documents. We needn't waste time in these
15 You mentioned the Badinter Commission, and in the text of the
16 Badinter Commission, which was highly prejudiced to the detriment of
17 Yugoslavia, even there it is stated in the chapter on plan -- "United
18 Nations Peace Plan for Yugoslavia," that was the heading of the chapter,
19 and then underneath, it said "The Vance Plan" as a second heading, and
20 point 1, it states: "The United Nations peace plan in Yugoslavia is to be
21 a provisional arrangement for creating conditions for peace and security
22 that are necessary for negotiations about an overall settlement to the
23 Yugoslav crisis. This arrangement would not preempt the outcome of those
25 Is there anything to be challenged there?
1 A. Well, that's what it says in the plan itself, that it is a
2 security operation, this demilitarisation, which does not preempt a
3 political settlement. So it was the plan for demilitarisation and not a
4 political plan. That is true.
5 Q. All right. As we're still in private session, I should just like
6 to refer to one more report by the UN Secretary-General, dated the 15th of
7 February, 1992, and the title is "Further report of the United Nations
8 Secretary-General pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 721 of 1991,"
9 which reflects in fact what I said all along, that is to say, your
10 persistent refusal to accept the plan.
11 And in point 7 with respect to Krajina, this is what is stated:
12 "I have received a letter dated the 11th of February from Borisav Jovic,
13 president of the state committee which was set up in Belgrade for
14 cooperation with the United Nations with respect to peace and the
15 preservation of peace."
16 And in his letter which is attached as an addendum along with the
17 annex, Annex 4 of this report, Mr. Jovic describes the meeting of the
18 Krajina Assembly at which 81 deputies voted in favour of the United
19 Nations plan, nobody voted against, and there were six abstentions.
20 "On the basis of the voting and the measures that were undertaken
21 in this regard by a number of leaders from the area, Mr. Jovic states that
22 the decision means a definitive and unconditional acceptance of the United
23 Nations plan and full agreement to cooperation towards its implementation
24 and recommends that I propose to the UN Security Council the deployment of
25 the UN peacekeepers themselves."
1 And point 8 says: "Mr. Jovic expressed the view that resistance
2 to the plan on the part of one Serbian leader in the area, Mr. Milan
3 Babic, does not have," in inverted commas, "any great importance. The
4 members of the council must know that Mr. Babic held a meeting with the
5 opposite side in Krajina on the 10th of February, which decided to hold a
6 referendum on the issue on the 22nd and 23rd of February. When this
7 report was written, he and some his followers still expressed their
8 opposition to the plan. However, I have come to the conclusion that I
9 must not allow these criticisms in themselves to block the recommendation
10 itself which this report contains. They nonetheless represent a potential
11 danger for the implementation of the plan and therefore it is even more
12 important for the fears and interests of the Serb community in Krajina to
13 be viewed in their entirety at the Conference on Yugoslavia chaired by
14 Lord Carrington." And I think that this was -- is indeed Lord
15 Carrington's intention.
16 Therefore, does this deny -- is this a disclaimer of your story,
17 the story you tell, that you in fact accepted the plan when it says in
18 this UN Secretary-General report, with all the efforts that were invested
19 and final agreement reached on the part of the Assembly with our maximum
20 efforts in that regard to have the plan implemented although it was quite
21 clear that you and several -- a couple of other followers of yours were
22 opposed to that plan and resisted the plan.
23 A. This letter, as you have stated, is dated the 11th of February,
25 Q. I said the 15th of February.
1 A. All right. So around the 12th or 13th of March, 1992, the
2 municipal assembly of Knin, which I chaired, made a decision by which it
3 accepted the deployment of UN peacekeepers on its territory.
4 Q. All right. But that is afterwards.
5 A. After the UN Security Council made the decision.
6 Q. Yes, after the UN Security Council decided to deploy its
7 peacekeepers, then you at the Knin municipal meeting accepted this, but it
8 was rather a belated decision and represented no relevant factor in the
9 form of being a contribution to the plan's implementation. I assume that
10 that was so.
11 A. Could I receive in -- that is your interpretation. I should like
12 the Trial Chamber to take note of that. After the UN Security Council had
13 accepted the plan, I accepted it too. My resistance was before it had
14 actually gone through in the UN Security Council.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I think we can go back into
16 open session now.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, into open session.
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE KWON: Do we have the documents, Resolution and report?
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: At the moment, we're searching for the
21 English version in our systems, and I cannot say so, no.
22 JUDGE KWON: Would you like the documents be exhibited?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think they should be
24 exhibited, the Resolution and the UN Secretary-General report that I've
25 just quoted from. And it would be a good thing if you had the Serbian
1 version for you to be able to compare and see that I quoted very
2 precisely. Each word is in its proper place.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Regardless of the fact that the
5 original is in English.
6 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal with them now. There should be a
7 Resolution and a report. If the registrar has them, they could be given a
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Are we in open session?
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the exhibits be given a number.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Okay. Resolution 802 dated the 25th of January,
14 1993, will be Defence Exhibit 66. And the Further Report of the
15 Secretary-General dated the 15th of February, 1992, will be Defence
16 Exhibit 67.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. To go back to the meeting in Igalo and the agreement reached there
20 with Lord Carrington about a ceasefire, you had occasion to hear the tape
21 as well of the conversation between General Kadijevic and the Croatian
22 president, Franjo Tudjman, in which Kadijevic insists upon the fact that
23 the agreement reached with Carrington should be respected. You know the
24 subsequent events that took place. Is it true that the Croatian side yet
25 again did not respect the agreement?
1 A. Can you remind me of the date, please? I didn't take part in the
2 agreement, so --
3 Q. In Igalo, it took place in November 1991. That was when the
4 meeting was held at which the agreement on a ceasefire was signed and when
5 Kadijevic -- or, as far as I have noted down here, you can -- the date
6 should be checked out. It was the 17th of September, not November. The
7 17th of September, 1991, was the date.
8 Is it true that the Croatian side once again did not respect the
9 agreement? You listened to the tape, and you know about the events. So
10 is it correct or not?
11 A. After the middle of September, according to my information, the
12 Yugoslav People's Army took -- launched an active operation towards Nis.
13 At the beginning of October, it went towards Zadar and Sibenik. Now, what
14 happened on other battlefronts I can't say with any certainty, but after
15 the middle of the September, the intensity of the armed conflict escalated
16 considerably. Now, who violated the agreement, if that was the date that
17 it was reached, I don't know. What I do know was that there were
18 incidents which broke out in the area of Petrovo Polje and -- Petrovo
19 Polje near Drnis and Molvice in Lika.
20 At Petrovo Polje, what happened was that police groups from Knin
21 started shooting. There was crossfire with the Croatian forces - whether
22 police forces or the guards corps, I don't quite know - but the report
23 said that there was some shooting going on that something was happening
24 down there, I don't know exactly what. And then Frenki's armoured platoon
25 went to Tepljuh and the situation escalated. After that, the Knin Corps
1 reacted with its artillery and fired at the Croatian positions and
2 settlements in Petrovo Polje. That was in September 1991, to the best of
3 my knowledge.
4 Q. I'm asking you very specifically about the cease-fire agreement
5 and not about the events that took place before the cease-fire agreement
6 was reached, and what I asked you specifically was: Is it true that the
7 Croatian side yet again did not respect the agreement, and you heard the
8 telephone conversation between Kadijevic and Tudjman in which Kadijevic is
9 advocating respect for Carrington's agreement and insisting upon the fact
10 that they ceased their attacks on the barracks to enable the barracks to
11 have water and electricity supplies and to abide by the agreement.
12 So I'm asking you: Is it true that, after the agreement was
13 reached, the Croatian side did not respect it once again?
14 A. According to my knowledge and information, I did hear that there
15 were ten or 15 agreements, cease-fire agreements, in the course of that
17 Q. I'm not asking you about the 15 agreements of any kind, I'm asking
18 you about the Carrington agreement that the whole world knew about and
19 that Tudjman signed. It wasn't an agreement between two commanders or
20 anything like that, it was signed by Tudjman himself. That's the
21 agreement that I'm asking you about.
22 JUDGE MAY: Witness Milan Babic, if you don't know the answer to a
23 question, just say you don't know and we'll get on more quickly. But if
24 you do know, just try and answer it directly, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I try to say what I know about the
1 events of the time. And as for this question, all I can say is I don't
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you remember that Kadijevic, in his letter to Lord Carrington
6 on the following day - and this was published in the papers - said that in
7 spite of all assurances by Croatian organs that they had ordered a
8 ceasefire, attacks were still continuing with exceptional force and a
9 remorselessness and that, unfortunately, at 12.00 of the 12th when a
10 complete cease-fire was to have taken effect, the Croatian forces not only
11 did not stop but they intensified their attacks on the JNA. It goes on to
12 say that in Zagreb, Sibenik, Varazdin Petrinja, Vukovar Vinkovci, in the
13 area of Sinj, Skradin, Ogulin and other places, attacks had taken place
14 and not a single JNA facility had been unblocked --
15 JUDGE MAY: Do you know anything about this, Witness?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think I have already
17 said what I know about these events at the time. I said that in
18 September, there was an intensive blockade and also attacks by Croatian
19 forces on barracks in the towns of Croatia. I knew about this from the
20 media, and this was common knowledge. People talked about. And I have
21 already said this. And I tried to add to this what I myself saw.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Very well. Do you remember the decisions on the blocking of all
24 JNA barracks in Croatia? This decision was issued in mid-August 1991,
25 while the decision on attacks on the barracks and all JNA units was made
1 on the 14th of September, 1991, and Carrington responded immediately in
2 order to prevent this, and a few days later the cease-fire agreement was
4 A. That is correct, and I knew about this, yes.
5 Q. Very well, then. The events of the 6th of May in Split and
6 Sibenik, which are well known, up until the 25th of July, do you know that
7 in this period there were 126 incidents recorded in Croatia of force used
8 against persons and facilities of the JNA and 22 armed attacks on JNA
9 units were registered, 11 instances of opening fire and physically
10 imperilling barracks, 36 incidents of overstepping of authority?
11 A. I've heard of such events but I can't tell you any precise data.
12 This was the second stage of the escalation of conflicts after the events
13 of May 1991.
14 Q. Very well, then. Is it clear from these facts - and these are
15 facts, not somebody's standpoints - that the then-leadership of Croatia,
16 several days before the meeting with Carrington, issued a decision on an
17 all-out attack and the JNA and that what was agreed in Igalo was not
18 respected a single moment, that is, that the leadership of Croatia never
19 had any intention of complying with it. When all these facts are added up
20 and compared, isn't this clear?
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop these speeches. If you want to
22 comment on what the accused has said, you can do so, Witness Milan Babic, or
23 we'll move on.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. What was the question?
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. When what you yourself say in your reply that you know about, in
2 connection with the decision on blockading barracks, in connection with
3 the decision on attacks throughout Croatia on barracks, after which there
4 followed an intervention by Lord Carrington and Tudjman signed the
5 agreement on a cease-fire which involved the mobilising reservists of the
6 Croatian National Guard and so on and so forth, that the attacks
7 intensified, which is evident from Kadijevic's letter to Lord Carrington
8 written on the following day, and that not for a single moment did they
9 comply with or have any intention of complying with the agreement they had
10 signed with Lord Carrington.
11 A. If the agreement was reached in September, on the basis of your
12 question, I can say that from the 26th of August, as far as I know, a
13 large-scale intervention by the JNA began in the direction of the
14 territories controlled by the Croatian government and police. I don't
15 know what you want me to do now, whether you want me to make what I know
16 fit into some conclusion of yours.
17 Q. Well, let's --
18 JUDGE MAY: No doubt that's what the accused wants to do, and his
19 conclusions are matters which he can submit to us. They're not matters
20 for the witness.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Are you aware of the fact that in 1990 Tudjman, at a meeting with
23 Manovic, Bojkovac and other associates of his, worked out in detail the
24 first stage of the then-concealed covert war against the JNA?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Well, then, I won't put any questions about this, about elements
2 of something you know nothing about.
3 Do you know that when issuing the decision on a forcible
4 secession, the members of the Croatian leadership had a strategy of -- of
5 a simultaneous attack on the JNA in order to stretch out the forces in all
6 places where the JNA was deployed in Croatia to cover as wide a territory
7 as possible and to engage them in a large number of small tasks while
8 prolonging the institutional crisis in the country and obstructing the
9 functioning of the political, economic, and military system in an attempt
10 to limit the JNA in its ability to -- and to attack it? Do you know what
11 was happening at the time? Do you know about this?
12 A. What I know about the preparations of the government of Croatia
13 against the JNA, while I think this is the first thing I heard, it was
14 information that came from the federal secretariat for defence, the
15 information service, and this was the first time that these activities of
16 the Croatian government were presented in detail. That was on the 25th of
17 January, 1991. And I have already spoken of what was being said at the
18 time, what people talked about, that the Croatian government was arming
19 the police and the members of the HDZ, and the ruling party and the
20 then-government of Croatia had a model for ordering relations in
21 Yugoslavia. They openly advocated their own political model, and that was
22 quite clear.
23 I don't know what else you're asking me about.
24 Q. Very well. Is it correct that after Plitvice, which we have just
25 mentioned, that fresh conflicts broke out, one after another, against
1 Serbian villages? For example, in Glina, Brsadin, there were armed
2 clashes between the Croatian police and the Serbian police and attacks on
3 citizens of Serb nationality where there were dead, wounded, imprisoned?
4 Do you remember anything of this?
5 For example, on the 26th of June, 1991, in Glina and Brsadin?
6 A. I remember the clash in Glina very well, because after the
7 outbreak of these clashes, I was in the vicinity or, rather, I claim to
8 Glina and I was able to see what was going on there.
9 The special police of the Krajina, Captain Dragan, and armed
10 citizens from Glina were engaged in an armed conflict with the Croatian
11 police and attempting to take over the police station in Glina which until
12 then had been held by the Croatian police. I am well aware of this, but I
13 don't know anything much about the events in Brsadin.
14 What else did you ask me about?
15 Q. Very well. So you know nothing about this, and you explained that
16 in Glina it was the Serbs who attacked the Croats. Is that correct?
17 A. No. The Serbs did not attack the Croats, but the special police
18 of the Krajina and Captain Dragan in particular, were attacking the police
19 station held by the Croatian police in Glina, and they took it over after
20 the conflict.
21 Q. Was an attempt made to take the village of Mirkovci near Vinkovci
22 on the 22nd of July 1991, where there were also dead and wounded?
23 A. I know that there were battles in the vicinity of Mirkovci and
24 that the inhabitants, and especially the TO of the village of Mirkovci,
25 were involved and this was well known in public. This was made public
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that they fought there in persistent defend -- effort to defend Mirkovci.
2 And a young girl, I remember, was very popular among the Serbs, she fought
3 on the Serbian side. I don't recall her name now.
4 Q. Well, since you have just spoken of how the police of the Krajina
5 actually attacked the Croats in Glina --
6 A. I did not say that it attacked the Croats. I said it attacked the
7 police station in Glina.
8 Q. Very well, the police station. Glina is in Banija, isn't that
9 correct, and there are other places there. Also, is it correct, tell me
10 precisely, that it was you yourself who appointed people, your own people,
11 to leading positions in the area, at the same time dismissing those who
12 were loyal to Jovan Raskovic?
13 A. This is not correct.
14 Q. I'm referring first of all to Dvor na Uni, Kostajnica, Petrinja,
15 and Glina, the area of Banija.
16 A. Not correct.
17 JUDGE MAY: Private session.
18 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Is it correct that in the Petrinja municipality, you appointed
23 your colleague president, someone of the same profession as you, Radovan
24 Maljkovic, and that the president of the executive council was Nikola
25 Bandur appointed by you, who is also the president of the Crisis Staff.
1 Is this correct?
2 A. I don't remember. Well, I can say it is not correct because a
3 community of local communes of the municipality of Petrinja was set up
4 there and they elected their own president.
5 Q. So you did not appoint your colleague Radovan Maljkovic of the
6 same profession as you as president?
7 A. Well, I accepted him as president but he was elected by the people
9 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the barracks in Petrinja, Samarica,
10 and Vasil Gacesa, which is the Petrinja garrison of Colonel Tarbuk, were
11 constantly under the blockade of Croatian forces until the 21st of
12 September, 1991, and that the members of the JNA, even had they wanted to,
13 were unable to be active in the area of Banija but this was the TO
14 commanded by you and your commanders. Is this correct or not?
15 A. What did you say? You said several things here. Can you repeat
16 them one by one?
17 Q. The first thing I asked you was did you appoint your colleague, a
18 dentist, as the president of the municipality in Petrinja? You say he was
19 elected by the Assembly.
20 A. He was a psychiatrist, not a dentist, and he was elected by the
21 Assemblymen, that is, by the representatives of the local communes of the
23 Q. Very well. I asked you, was it correct that the Petrinja garrison
24 was under the constant blockade of Croatian forces until the 21st of
25 September and that, even had they wanted to, they would not have been able
1 to operate in the area because they were under a blockade and no one was
2 able to leave the barracks, and any activity was done exclusively by the
3 Territorial Defence which was under your command. Is this correct or not?
4 A. The town of Petrinja was under the control of the Croatian
5 government. The Petrinja garrison was on the outskirts of the town. What
6 sort of blockade it was under, I cannot know exactly. I know that units
7 of the Petrinja garrison took part in the fighting around Kostajnica and
8 especially in the fighting around Jabukovac. People told me that
9 Captain Letic from that unit commanded the artillery or a tank or
10 something or other and that he had the merit for liquidating the Croatian
11 outpost in Jabukovac which belongs to the municipality of Petrinja.
12 Q. Well, let's move on. Let's move on. I ask you whether it's
13 correct or not, and you answer not very clearly, so I can't really tell
14 what your answer is.
15 A. Put your answers -- put your questions and I will answer each one
16 of them.
17 Q. Is it correct that the JNA did not take part at all in the
18 fighting around Dvor na Uni, Kostajnica, Glina and Petrinja because the
19 JNA, according to the decision of the Presidency of the SFRY, was
20 exclusively used to create a buffer zone? Is this correct or not?
21 A. I know that the Petrinja garrison took part in the fighting around
22 Dvor, Petrinja -- sorry, around Kostajnica and two other places, but I'm
23 not sure, I don't know about Dvor.
24 Q. As you know this, can you tell us when it happened?
25 A. This happened in September, the month of September. Yes, yes, in
1 September 1991. In September 1991. I know about this.
2 Q. When in September? When in September?
3 A. Well, starting in September and onwards. Whether it was --
4 whether it had happened before, I don't know, but people told me this in
5 November 1991.
6 Q. Well, how could it happen when the barracks in Petrinja were under
7 a blockade?
8 A. I don't know. I don't know. I know there was a conflict there
9 and that they took part in the fighting. As I said, the barracks of the
10 Petrinja garrison were on the outskirts of Petrinja and some were in other
11 places. You mentioned two other places.
12 Q. There were two barracks. Petrinja is not New York. And do you
13 know that Colonel Tarbuk, the commander of the Petrinja garrison, from
14 leaders of the civilian authorities that you as the TO commander had
15 appointed, explicitly demanded that the burning and looting of Croatian
16 homes organised by you be stopped?
17 A. I didn't organise it, and I am not aware of that order.
18 Q. Very well. And do you know that precisely because of the blockade
19 of the Petrinja garrison in Banija a motorised brigade under the command
20 of Colonel Boric came from another area to take over this function of a
21 buffer zone since the Petrinja garrison was unable to do that as it was
22 under blockade by paramilitary forces of Croatia?
23 A. I'd heard of Colonel Boric, but where exactly he was engaged, I
24 don't know.
25 Q. Very well. And is it true, Mr. Milan Babic, that your man, the
1 president of the municipality of Petrinja that we mentioned a moment ago,
2 Dr. Radovan Maljkovic, broke off contacts with the JNA garrison of Colonel
3 Tarbuk, and he wrote a letter to Zeljko Raznjatovic, Arkan, the commander
4 of the Serbian volunteer guards, asking him to come to the area?
5 A. I saw that letter on the Office of the Prosecutor of this
6 Tribunal. That is the first time I heard of that letter.
7 Q. Very well. Then tell me, can you explain why you broke off
8 relations with the army and wrote a letter to Arkan? Why did you do
10 A. We didn't break off our relations with the army at all. We
11 supported the mobilisation, and we felt the JNA was the most powerful
12 force to protect the Serbian people in Krajina, and it was really no
13 reason. It wouldn't be logical, and it's simply not true. We supported
14 the Yugoslav People's Army as the armed force of Yugoslavia, which was
15 under your command, to protect the Serbian people in Krajina.
16 Q. We've already talked about commanding, so you don't have to
17 mention it each and every time. You learnt your lesson well enough.
18 Tell me, please, is it true that this same Dr. Radovan Maljkovic,
19 at the elections in Krajina at the end of 1993, on behalf of your party,
20 in fact, therefore a close associate of yours, became a deputy in the
21 Assembly of the Republic of Srpska Krajina where he was one of the most
22 extreme -- greatest extremists? The people around you were the most
23 extreme, as can be seen from all the documents. Is that true or not?
24 A. It is true that Dr. Radovan Maljkovic was elected deputy of the
25 Assembly of the Republic of Srpska Krajina in the constituency of Petrinja
1 and that his nomination had come from the Serbian Democratic Party of
2 Krajina, and the rest are your allegations, which are not true.
3 I can also say the following, and that is why you're mentioning
4 Radovan Maljkovic; he was a political opponent of Borislav Mikelic who was
5 very influential in Petrinja and Banija. So that is my opinion why you
6 are mentioning his name right now, Radovan Maljkovic. Borislav Mikelic
7 was a man who, even before he left the area, had a lot of influence in
8 Petrinja, Kostajnica and Dvor na Uni. He couldn't in Glina because he had
9 a personal opponent there.
10 Q. As far as Borislav Mikelic is concerned, even in the former
11 Yugoslavia he was one of the most prestigious businessmen and the manager
12 of the largest factory of that time in the country, called Gavrilovic
13 [phoen], so certainly the most influential person in Petrinja as the
14 Petrinja combine by far extended the boundaries of his municipality.
15 Therefore, whether he was influential or not is not a question. He
16 certainly was influential. What was strange about that? The question is
17 how he used that influence, and he used it for a peaceful solution and not
18 for conflict.
19 A. He told me that he assisted in arming Banija.
20 Q. He told you that. Well, that's fine. Oh, I see that he has
21 merits for that. We'll come to some other questions with respect to
22 Mikelic who engaged in negotiations for a peaceful settlement which you
23 obstructed, as we established yesterday.
24 Is it not clear that everything that you're attributing to the
25 Yugoslav People's Army and the police force of Krajina was actually done
1 or perpetrated by people appointed by you?
2 A. I've said what I know about what was done, where it was done, and
3 how it was done, and who was responsible in the chain of command in the
4 areas in which those occurrences happened.
5 Q. And in answer to the previous question too when I said that you
6 had appointed Maljkovic who was an extremist in your party, you more or
7 less confirmed it because you confirmed that it was upon the proposal of
8 your party that he was elected, as if he was not a member of your
10 JUDGE MAY: He's given his answer to this question about the
11 appointment of this man.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, please, is it true that with the assistance of Mile
15 Paspalj, you appointed another colleague of yours by profession, Dusan
16 Jovic, in Glina? Dr. Dusan Jovic who was also president of the Crisis
17 Staff and commander of the Territorial Defence of Glina and president of
18 the War Presidency of Glina? Is that right?
19 A. Dr. Dusan Jovic was a gynaecologist, and he was elected president
20 of the municipality by the deputies of the Assembly of the Municipal
21 Assembly of Glina.
22 Q. A moment ago you mentioned him as being in confrontation with
23 Mikelic, and he was also a member of the leadership of your party, as far
24 as I know.
25 A. He had a personal conflict with Mikelic because he married
1 Mikelic's former wife, ex-wife, and he was a member of the Serbian
2 Democratic Party, yes. He was a member of the same party as I was.
3 Q. And what were you in that party?
4 A. In what time period?
5 Q. In the time when you appointed Jovic.
6 A. Jovic was elected president of the municipality by the deputies of
7 the Municipal Assembly. Jovic was appointed commander of the regional TO
8 staff in Banija.
9 Q. And who appointed him to that position?
10 A. At the end of July 1991, by the Prime Minister acting as the
11 Minister of Defence.
12 Q. Was it you that appointed him?
13 A. Is this a private session or an open session?
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. It's a private session. So you appointed him?
17 A. Yes, I appointed him.
18 Q. So you appointed him and Maljkovic and the --
19 A. No, not Maljkovic. Nor did I appoint Jovic as president of the
20 Assembly but only to this position that I've just said.
21 Q. Very well. You're using the term "appointing," he was appointed
22 as if he were an observer and you appointed him.
23 A. There's one procedure of the election of the president of the
24 Assembly and another matter is the appointment of the president of the
25 Crisis Staff, which Jovic should have been but he didn't manage to
1 establish command over Dvor na Uni, Kostajnica because of his conflict
2 with Mikelic and with Vajagic, who was commander of the 7th Banija
4 Q. Look, I'm talking about Glina now and about Jovic whom you
5 appointed. Didn't you just now mention the municipality of Glina and the
6 crimes and burning of Croatian property in the area, the village of
7 Josevica and Vidusevica?
8 A. Vidusevac? I don't know about the first one, but the other one I
9 saw personally.
10 Q. And who is responsible for this?
11 A. The person who was in command of that area.
12 Q. And who was in command of that area if it was not the person you
13 had appointed?
14 A. I said exactly how the chain of command worked in that area and at
15 what time.
16 Q. Very well. Let's move on. Is it true that the proclamation of
17 the War Presidency of Glina municipality was signed by that very Dusan
18 Jovic whom you had appointed and who was doing that in accordance with
19 your own policies? Is that true or not?
20 A. Dusan Jovic was president of the Municipal Assembly of Glina and,
21 as such, he could have been the president of the so-called War Presidency,
22 if that was what it was called. So the War Presidency was part of the
23 Municipal Assembly which was acting as the Assembly in conditions of
24 imminent threat of war or state of war. So if he was the president of the
25 Assembly, then he also was the president of the so-called War Presidency.
1 Q. Very well. So he was the one who wrote this proclamation in the
2 bulletin of the War Presidency of the TO staff of Glina. So TO staff and
3 not the municipality. And you had nominated him. And he says, "How long
4 will you continue to watch the suffering imposed upon us by his -- Tudjman
5 and his Ustashas with indifference, turning a blind eye to it all?" And
6 it is an extremely, extremely inflammatory, I would say, vocabulary. Was
7 that your policy? Was that in harmony with your policy, or did someone
8 from Belgrade, perhaps, have influence over him, or some parallel
9 structure or some Holy Ghost who cropped up in the middle of the night to
10 tell him to do what he was doing?
11 A. I don't know what you're talking about. The aim was to protect
12 the Serbian people in Krajina and not to inflict harm on the Croats.
13 Q. Very well. I think that will be enough. But since there is no
14 doubt that you knew about all this, especially as Jovic was a member of
15 the top leadership of your party, how, then, can you speak about chaos in
16 Banija and Kordun when it was you yourself who had control over these
17 areas through these people who you personally had appointed and who
18 behaved in an extreme manner?
19 A. I didn't have that area under control, I was just speaking about
20 facts. I don't know what you mean. How could I have had control over the
21 area when there were command structures, as far as the military command is
22 concerned? As for political -- as for the political, I've already said.
23 Q. Well, fine. Is it true that Dr. Dusan Jovic, that same man, was
24 later appointed Health Minister in your government of SAO Krajina and
25 later the Republic of Krajina?
1 A. Vaso Lezajic, Dr. Vaso Lezajic was Minister of Health in the
3 Q. And what was Jovic? Was he -- did he have a position in the
4 government of SAO Krajina?
5 A. In the government of SAO Krajina? I don't remember.
6 Q. I see. You don't remember whether Jovic had a position in your
7 government. The Health Minister was Vaso Lezajic. And what was Jovic?
8 A. I don't remember. I don't remember that he was in the government.
9 Q. Are you claiming that he was not in the government of SAO Krajina
10 and the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
11 A. Maybe in the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
12 Q. I see. He was. And who was Prime Minister at the time?
13 A. At what time?
14 Q. When Jovic was there. When Jovic was in it.
15 A. I can't say exactly. It's possible, but I don't remember. But he
16 certainly was not a member of the government of SAO Krajina.
17 Q. I see. He was possibly a member of the government of the Republic
18 of Krajina?
19 A. Dr. Vaso Lezajic was the Health Minister in the government of SAO
20 Krajina and the Republic of Krajina until another set of people took over,
21 so he couldn't have been in that government.
22 Q. So he wasn't a minister in that government. You don't remember.
23 A. He was not a minister in the government of the Republic of Serbian
24 Krajina. I don't remember.
25 Q. And yet you were the Prime Minister at the time.
1 A. I wasn't the Prime Minister of the republic, I was president of
2 the Republic of Serbian Krajina then.
3 Q. Very well, then. And what kind of links could have the structures
4 in Serbia have had to what was happening in Glina and Banija?
5 A. You were the Supreme Commander.
6 Q. So I was the one who appointed this Jovic and wrote these
7 proclamations for him and controlled him and did what he did; is that what
8 you're saying?
9 A. You were at the top of the command structure, as I have already
10 described it.
11 Q. Very well. Your description is your affair. But let's move on.
12 Is it true that upon your initiative at Dvor na Uni, at your
13 personal initiative in Dvor na Uni, as well as in Petrinja and Glina, the
14 president of the municipality, Simo Rajisic, was replaced and in his
15 position your close associate appointed, also from the SDS, Pero
16 Cvjetanovic? Is that right or not?
17 A. In Dvor na Uni, there were two current, two in the SDS and one
18 outside the SDS, Simo Rajisic belonged to the former left wing. The bulk
19 of the SDS in Dvor na Uni was held by a faction in which there was Zunic
20 and others. Pero Cvjetanovic was one faction. He was a founding member
21 of the SDS. He was president of the municipality for a very brief time.
22 And I did not appoint him to that position but the deputies of the
23 Municipal Assembly.
24 As for Petrinja, I said that I didn't appoint anyone over there.
25 Q. Who else did you mention? I asked you what you just confirmed,
1 that you replaced the president of the municipality Simo Rajisic.
2 JUDGE MAY: No he didn't. Don't misrepresent the evidence.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment. We've lost the translation. Would you
6 repeat your question, please?
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Have you at least confirmed that Pero Cvjetanovic, whom you
9 appointed to replace Simo Rajisic, belonged to your party, a member of the
10 leadership of your party?
11 A. A member of the party whose president was Dr. Jovan Raskovic, and
12 he was one of the close associates and founding members of Raskovic [as
13 interpreted]. I did not replace him, nor did I appoint the other person
14 to the Presidency.
15 Q. But there's no dispute that he was a member of the top leadership
16 of your party?
17 A. Of the party the president of which was Mr. -- Dr. Jovan Raskovic.
18 And he was a member of the Main Board.
19 Q. Very well, then. Tell me, please, you mentioned Goran Hadzic
20 somewhere. You said, in a denigrating term, that he was a warehouse
21 guard, a warehouse clerk.
22 A. I said that I was embarrassed to speak of his qualifications, but
23 when I was asked to do so, I had to say that.
24 Q. So you felt that his qualifications were such that he was not
25 capability of performing a certain public office?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I said that he was an eloquent politician, and I didn't link his
2 qualifications to his political activities.
3 Q. Very well. So if you had such an attitude towards his
4 qualifications, how then, when you replaced Matijasevic from the position
5 of the president of the Assembly --
6 JUDGE MAY: No. That is not accepted.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you appoint Mile Paspalj president of the Assembly?
9 A. No, the Assembly elected him to that position.
10 Q. I see. The Assembly elected.
11 A. Every president is elected by the Assembly. That is, the deputies
12 of the Assembly. What preceded this was the following: As the previous
13 president of the Assembly was Velibor Matijasevic, who used to be
14 president of the municipality of Glina, there was an internal clash
15 between Matijasevic and a group around Mile Paspalj and Borisav Jovic, and
16 this conflict was resolved in such a way that Matijasevic was replaced and
17 Jovic was elected to the position of president of the Assembly.
18 In view of the fact that I held Matijasevic in high esteem as a
19 lawyer, an activist in Banija, I knew him from the time of the founding of
20 the Serbian Democratic Party, I favoured his election as president of the
21 Assembly of SAO Krajina, and I was supported by some other deputies, and
22 he was elected president of the Assembly of SAO Krajina.
23 And then what happened was that he fell under the influence of
24 Martic, Dusan Starevic, and some other people who were under the control
25 of Jovica Stanisic, and then he obstructed Assembly meetings being
1 scheduled. I said that already in the autumn of 1991, when I was supposed
2 to go to the first meeting with Wijnaendts in Paris, he scheduled a
3 meeting of the Assembly at which the Prime Minister, that is me, was
4 supposed to submit a report, and I said how this was resolved through your
5 intervention and that of Jovica Stanisic. Later on, when the government
6 asked for an Assembly session, he refused to convene an Assembly session,
7 and that is why I went to Banija to seek political support to convene the
8 Assembly and to renew the institutions of SAO Krajina, and on the 21st of
9 November, 1991, the government asked for an Assembly session to be
10 convened. The deputies came -- the majority of deputies came to attend,
11 but Matijasevic, the vice-president of the Assembly, Drago Zecevic, the
12 vice-president of the Assembly from Lapac, obstructed this. And then the
13 majority of deputies decided that the Assembly should sit nevertheless,
14 and they elected a new president and that was Mile Paspalj. So Paspalj
15 was president of the Regional Board of the Serbian Democratic Party in
16 Glina. Because he had very strong political influence in Banija and as
17 Matijasevic was from Banija too, the political formula was that people in
18 position should not all be from one part of SAO Krajina but that they
19 should be evenly -- that all parts of SAO Krajina should be evenly
20 represented in the political bodies of SAO Krajina.
21 JUDGE MAY: The time has come to adjourn, if we look at the clock.
22 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand, Mr. May, that we're
2 still in private session. Is that right?
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we are.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. If I understood you correctly from the explanation you gave,
7 Matijasevic was a prominent member of the SDS and, as such, elected to the
8 post of president of the Assembly, as you yourself explained. And then
9 you went on to say that he linked up with Martic and began working in a
10 way that you didn't find suitable, and that was why he was replaced.
11 A. I explained why he was replaced, why Matijasevic was replaced;
12 because he did not attend the Assembly meeting, and he obstructed the
13 Assembly session. Now, how he became linked to the parallel structures or
14 the way in which Jovica Stanisic wielded influence on him, I've already
15 explained that.
16 Q. Well, I didn't hear you explain that. I don't know how he came to
17 influence him or why the President of the Assembly was a parallel
18 structure for you.
19 A. I said that at the beginning or, rather, sometime around the 12th
20 of October, 1991, around that date anyway, a meeting was held at your
21 office, or perhaps it was a day before that, but that's the general time
22 frame, and that it was a preparatory meeting for the SAO delegation and
23 Serbian region of Slavonia and Baranja to attend negotiations within the
24 frameworks of The Hague conference prior to our departure for Paris
25 together with Ambassador Wijnaendts. And during that meeting, I put
1 forward to you the fact that the president of the Assembly, Matijasevic,
2 had sent out an invitation for me to attend the meeting and that I was to
3 table a report as Prime Minister. And I said that I could not be in two
4 places at the same time, I couldn't be in Knin and in Paris at one and the
5 same time, and you said that you knew nothing about that. To that, I
6 answered that Jovica Stanisic knew. You left the room, and a little while
7 later, the Assembly was cancelled and I went to Paris for the negotiations
8 without having any burdens or any obligation to table a report to the
10 So that was my knowledge of how Jovica Stanisic influenced
12 Q. Well, what Jovica Stanisic has got to do with Matijasevic is we
13 insisted upon you attending the peace negotiations in Paris and that was
14 the priority rather than the attendance of your Assembly meeting which you
15 could hold any time you liked, and the Paris conference couldn't be held
16 any time.
17 A. Well, I think Matijasevic explained that that was more important,
18 or whatever he did, actually, I don't know, but that was the outcome at my
19 intervention with you and the fact that Jovica Stanisic said that he could
20 do that, he could wield influence on Matijasevic, and he did indeed do so,
21 it appears.
22 Q. So I influenced Matijasevic to defer the Assembly meeting for you
23 to be able to go to attend the peace negotiations in Paris with Ambassador
24 Wijnaendts; is that it?
25 A. Yes, that's how I understood it.
1 Q. All right. Tell me then, please, as you had replaced Matijasevic,
2 what were the circumstances under which Matijasevic was subsequently
3 killed a short while later?
4 A. Matijasevic I don't think died soon after the 20th of November.
5 Actually, I don't know when he was killed. But a little while later, I
6 heard -- I don't know exactly, but I heard people from Banija say that he
7 had gone to have an inspection of the communal infrastructure or water
8 supply system. Now, whether he was at that time the director, I'm not
9 quite sure, but that he was killed somewhere out there. That's what I
10 heard. And later on, I met his parents on one occasion and they talked
11 about it but didn't go into the details.
12 Q. All right. Can I conclude from what you're saying, then, when you
13 link it all up and recapitulate, that all the people that disagreed with
14 you, that did not agree with you, according to your criteria, were ranked
15 among the formations of some parallel structure?
16 A. A parallel structure is a concept of the military line and
17 political line, military or political chain, that you wielded influence
18 over and were in command of on the territory of Krajina.
19 Q. Well, you have just construed that parallel structure concept.
20 But as we're still in private session, I'm going to ask you a few
21 questions with respect to your interview, the interview that was otherwise
22 played here. It is on page 02034458, as provided by the opposite side
23 over there.
24 And in that interview of yours, you state the following -- I'm
25 just going to read several extracts. I see it's rather a long one. It is
1 three pages of a newspaper long. The weekly magazine Nin published it.
2 And you say:
3 "The Serbian Democratic Party politically succeeded in uniting
4 the people --"
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I be of
6 assistance. It is tab 26, Exhibit 352.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. "The Serb Democratic Party politically succeeded in uniting the
9 Serb people within the Avnoj boundaries of Croatia, the anti-fascist
10 council boundaries, and the SDS succeeded because quite simply it was
11 stated that the need arose for the articulation of Serb consciousness in
12 the area."
13 Are those your words?
14 A. What date was the interview?
15 Q. The interview appeared in the weekly Nin, and as far as I was able
16 to gather, it was the 18th of January, 1991. That was the date.
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. Then you go on to say: "It is the task of the SDS to further
19 establish overall democratic relations within the Serb nation." Are those
20 your words?
21 A. That's my interview.
22 Q. What did you say?
23 A. Those are my words, yes.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness have a copy of the interview. It will
25 be much easier for him. If you would take him to the place that you're
1 referring to, Mr. Milosevic.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I read that from page 2. The second page, paragraph one, column
4 one, and this is column two where you give your explanations that are
5 contrary to the ones you are stating here and now.
6 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let's get the passage again that you
7 were asked to comment on.
8 Have you got it, Witness Milan Babic? "Serbian Democratic Party
9 politically succeeded in uniting the people of the anti-fascist boundaries
10 and succeeded because, quite simply, it was stated that the need arose for
11 the articulation of Serb consciousness in the area."
12 Have you found that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I said articulate. I think
14 there was a question of some sort of articulation of views, and I'm
15 talking about the political consciousness, political awareness and that
16 kind of articulation. In the political sense of the word.
17 Could you help me, please? I can't find it.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. "The task of the SDS is to establish overall democratic relations
20 within the Serbian nation...." That was your ambition, was it not?
21 A. The SDS was set up for the area of the entire SFRY. So throughout
22 the territory where the Serb people lived. And it was defined in its
23 programme as such, that it would support the interests of the Serb people
24 and implement the democratic relations in society.
25 Q. All right. Tell me, now, how far is what you're saying now
1 different from what you wrote then, or the other way round? You say here,
2 and that is in the middle column of the article, newspaper article on page
3 2, which says:
4 "The HDZ as the political will of the Croatian people, which
5 quasi-democratic relations were established in Croatia, in which more
6 democracy is meant for one people; i.e., more rights to the Croats than to
7 the Serbs. And that was particularly manifest in the Croatian Sabor
8 Assembly whereby the HDZ was supported by all the Croat nationalist
9 parties in this endeavour and also the so-called left bloc which was
10 turned into an Assembly and that would make the political interests of all
11 citizens more difficult but it fixates the interests of one people, the
12 Croatian people."
13 And then it says:
14 "Through such political action --" and then it says in brackets,
15 "(through the Croatian Assembly) national torture of one peoples over
16 another was effected so that the Serb people had to find new political
17 instruments in order to protect its equality. This instrument was found
18 in the institution of the Serb National Council, formerly the Serb
20 A. I've already talked about that. We defined the Serb Assembly in
21 Srb as a second part of the Croatian Sabor or Assembly. So we defined the
22 HDZ policy and the majority in the Croatian parliament and defined it as
23 Croato-centralism and nationalism. That was the definition.
24 Q. And it was your definition that a national torture of one people
25 over another was being effected.
1 A. That was the term I used, torture, because we considered that
2 Croato-centrism and hegemony was being effected through the centralist
3 system, that is to say, through the Croatian parliament or Sabor.
4 Q. Well, does that then mean that these positions of yours were not
5 - how shall I put it - dictated from Belgrade at all? You are now
6 explaining to us that that's how you saw the situation, how you felt, what
7 your sentiments were, and that you reacted in that fashion. Is that how
8 it was?
9 A. As regards our political relationship towards the HDZ and towards
10 the majority in the parliament, I explained that. I said we waged a
11 fervent political struggle with the HDZ and the parties that gained the
12 majority in parliament and that you became involved in that political
13 struggle by provoking incidents and bringing that political struggle to a
14 head and that this brought about an armed conflict.
15 Q. All right. So it wasn't you who caused all the incidents with
16 what we've discussed a moment ago with your commanding, et cetera. It was
17 somebody else that gave rise to those incidents. Is that what you're
19 A. I said that as of 1990, the events that followed and the
20 information that I have I presented here.
21 Q. And on the right-hand paragraph in the middle, you say:
22 "Therefore the Serbian Autonomous Province in Krajina was not the
23 result of anybody's whim or armed struggle but we could talk about a
24 logical continuity. It was not the result of banditry."
25 And then you go on to say: "We have nothing against Croatians
1 waging their own national drives. We have nothing against their
2 independence either, but on Croatian ethnic ground."
3 Is that right?
4 A. That's what I thought at the time and you convinced me that that
5 was right.
6 Q. You say I convinced you. When did I convince you? This is the
7 18th of January, 1991 that we're talking about. All right, all right, if
8 you say I convinced.
9 A. Well, with Borisav Jovic, when I had a meeting, I had a meeting
10 with you later on and you said that that was our legitimate right and you
11 said that you would defend and protect us in furthering those rights.
12 Q. Well, I quoted the principles of the Yugoslav state Presidency
13 which the Presidency had determined when it was in full composition with
14 the presence of all the leading figures in Yugoslavia of the day.
15 A. I have to say that sometimes, and very often, there were
16 differences between your public declarations and what you in fact went
17 about doing.
18 Q. Ah. So you know that, do you?
19 A. Well, I talked about the facts and my knowledge of them.
20 Q. During the examination-in-chief in connection with this interview,
21 you explained that it was the journalist by the name of Grubac who in fact
22 influenced you and had you present your views in this particular fashion.
23 A. I spoke about Grubac not only in connection with this newspaper
24 article but I said I had known him from 1990 onwards and that he did wield
25 influence on me, especially in the spring of 1991, because he demanded
1 that I attack Vuk Draskovic and that this was following your instructions,
2 that you wanted me to do so and that I should write letters of support to
3 a counter rally of the SPS during the march demonstrations along those
4 lines, and that is how I spoke of Grubac's influence upon him.
5 Q. All right. Well, tell me, did I ask you for any support?
6 A. He said that you had asked for me to attack Vuk Draskovic by
7 making statements, that that was something you asked in March and that you
8 had asked me to write a letter to the participants of a rally at the Usce
9 with respect to the 9th of March demonstrations held in 1991, and I was
10 invited to attend the meeting by your associate Dusan Markovic.
11 Q. All right. Tell me, how was I able to ask anything of you through
12 Grubac when I didn't know Grubac at the time and I don't remember meeting
13 him more than once or twice later on?
14 A. Well, he said the following, and I know that. He was close to
15 Snezana Aleksic and she was very close to you. You had family ties and
16 she was close to the leadership of the party led by your wife, and Grubac
17 was also on close terms with Goran, your chef de cabinet. I think they
18 had discussions about me too.
19 Q. All right. Now if you say that he was close to my wife's party,
20 you're talking about the Yugoslav Leftist Party; is that right?
21 A. Yes, Snezana was one of the leaders of the Yugoslav Left Party and
22 she told me that she was close to you privately, and her office was in the
23 Central Committee building. When he asked me to write my speech for the
24 rally held at Usce, and I dictated the speech to him over the phone, he
25 gave the speech to Snezana Aleksic and she sent it on further.
1 Q. All right. Tell me, now, please, as we're not disputing the fact
2 that this interview was given on the 18th of January, 1991, that is not in
3 dispute, tell me, do you perhaps know that the Yugoslav Left Party was
4 formed in 1994? Are you aware of that?
5 A. Yes. And Snezana Aleksic was a member of the party later on, and
6 she had family ties, close family ties to you at the time.
7 Q. All right. All right. Let's just establish this fact first.
8 A. And she gave us your home telephone number. That's how Grubac
9 came by your home telephone number.
10 Q. Well, I don't know who handed out my private telephone number at
11 home. That's not the subject of our discussion or my cross-examination of
12 you here, whether somebody gave you -- provided you with my telephone
13 number at home or not. What I wanted to note was that the Yugoslav
14 Leftist Party was founded in 1994, and we're talking about 1991.
15 A. I said that Aleksic was a member later on of the Yugoslav Left
17 Q. Tell me this: Is it true that when you were replaced at the Glina
18 Assembly session, that you were -- that you replaced Ljubica Solaja
19 straight away and you took over the leadership of the SDS in Krajina and
20 Ljubica Solaja later joined the Serb Radical Party?
21 A. First of all, the first news I had that I had been replaced in
22 Glina was over Belgrade television. That's the first point.
23 Second, Madam Ljubica Solaja had been replaced by the majority of
24 Presidency members. I took part in the meeting. I think it was at the
25 end the April. And there were two particular events that forerunners to
1 this. One was Solaja's and Cubrilo's attempts to set up a Serb army in
2 Kosovo but she wasn't replaced because of that but later on because she
3 supported by Zdravko Zecevic who was our political adversary, and that's
4 why the majority of members of the regional SDS board for Krajina had them
5 replaced. So this was the regional branch of the SDS for Krajina that
6 took this decision. And after she was replaced, I became president of the
7 Regional Board of the SDS for Krajina. And after that, she left and
8 joined the Radical Party.
9 Q. All right. Ljubica Solaja was replaced and you took her place as
10 president. You assumed the post of president. But that was not through
11 your activities but through the activities of the LDS leadership. You
12 just seemed to be the object of all this, not the subject.
13 A. No. I was the subject too. She couldn't have just been dismissed
14 through my own personal will but through the will of the other members of
15 the Assembly. I wasn't able to replace her myself or appoint myself
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, as I wish to ask a few more
18 questions which are linked to -- which were linked to something that was
19 discussed in open session, I think that we could now move back into open
20 session. May we? Because I would like to ask the witness whether one
21 point he made is correct.
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In that part of the open session -- when we were in open session,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we talked about some issues from the letter of the retired General --
2 Lieutenant General Djujic. So I want to put just one question in
3 connection with this. Is what I'm going to read now correct, what he says
4 in his letter? We have already explained how he was appointed, what he
5 wrote about this, and then he goes on to say:
6 "I have been performing this duty from the 1st of October, 1991
7 --" he's referring to the duty of commander of the TO -- "until the 25th
8 of November, 1991. I was dismissed from this post on the 25th of
9 November, 1991, through the decision of the president of the government of
10 the SAO Krajina, Milan Babic."
11 Is this correct?
12 A. General Ilija Djujic, as far as I know, resigned. His resignation
13 was accepted, and he received the appropriate decision in the appropriate
15 Q. Very well. You are not answering my question directly, but I
16 understand your answer.
17 Tell me now, please, is it correct what he says here, that the
18 reason for his dismissal was twofold, first of all --
19 JUDGE MAY: No. No, the witness didn't say, and you mustn't
20 misrepresent what a witness says. What he said was that the man resigned.
21 You can put, if you want, what was the reason for his resignation. You
22 can put that, but you can't put that it was a dismissal, because the
23 witness doesn't agree with you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
25 JUDGE MAY: We're not getting any translation.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. I am not
3 claiming anything myself, I am simply reading from what he says.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Can you put to the witness what you want to put,
5 but don't misrepresent what he says.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well, Mr. May. I
7 am only quoting from the statement of General Djujic and asking the
8 witness whether it is correct, because the reasons the witness says he was
9 not dismissed but that he resigned -- he himself says he was dismissed,
10 but the witness says he resigned.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Were the reasons that he enumerates correct? And he lists two
13 reasons: "First because Babic did not agree with me, and the standpoint
14 of the General Staff of the JNA, that the manoeuvring units of the
15 Territorial Defence should be resubordinated to the JNA commands in this
16 area." That's number one. And number two: "Because Babic asked of me
17 that the Territorial Defence on its own initiative attack and take over
18 Skradin, and this is something I did not agree with, among other reasons
19 because Skradin is inhabited by a majority Croatian population."
20 Is this correct, what General Ilija Djujic wrote?
21 A. It is not correct.
22 Q. Very well.
23 A. He told me that he had resigned because of his illness, as far as
24 I can remember.
25 Q. Well, I've told you what he says the reasons were.
1 A. That's not correct.
2 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal with this, but we'll go into
3 private session first.
4 [Private session ordered for public release,18 December 2002 (D18520-D18519)]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Witness Milan Babic, you deal with this matter of
7 General Djujic resigning.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is the following, not in
9 connection with his resignation but in connection with the problem about
10 resubordinating the Territorial Defence units: After General Ilija Djujic
11 took up his post in early October 1991, he initiated a meeting with
12 General Vukovic and myself, which was held in Benkovac, and he asked that
13 this relationship be resolved, that is, that the Main Staff of the
14 Territorial Defence of the SAO Krajina be the superior command for the
15 Territorial Defence units on the ground also. This was not the case. The
16 superior command for the Territorial Defence on the ground were the JNA
17 commands, and General Vukovic said that this had nothing to do with him,
18 that he was not in charge of this, that this should be resolved in the
19 General Staff.
20 This was one of the topics I discussed with General Adzic.
21 General Adzic said, "No, there will be no changes. Things will stay as
22 they were. The units of the Territorial Defence must remain under JNA
23 command." And that is the only matter I discussed with Djujic in this
24 connection, and this was around the 10th of October, 1991. I never even
25 mentioned to General Djujic at that time while he was there that Skradin
1 should be taken. I know about an operation that was supposed to take
2 place in order to take Skradin, but that was in 1993. I know there was a
3 plan that the Serbian army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina should take
4 Skradin, but it's not true that I spoke of this in 1991 to Djujic. It is
5 true that Djujic said that he was resigning because he was ill, and this
6 is mentioned in the decision that was issued on his -- on the termination
7 of his duty.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume we need no longer remain
9 in closed session, Mr. May, but let us just clarify.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. So it is not correct that the first reason was that you refused to
12 have the Territorial Defence subordinated to the JNA and that you insisted
13 it should be under your command and not under the command of the JNA,
14 which was in accordance with the legislation of Yugoslavia, that it should
15 be commanded by the JNA.
16 A. My idea was that it should first be constituted as an independent
17 military formation which could operate in cooperation with JNA units, but
18 this could not happen for two reasons. First because of the principle of
19 a single chain of command in the SFRY, there could be -- there could not
20 be two parallel chains of command. And secondly, because you did not
21 permit any autonomous government or authority in the Krajina in relation
22 to you.
23 Q. But he says quite the opposite here. He says you did not allow
24 the Territorial Defence to be subordinated to the JNA.
25 A. It was not possible for me to prevent this. I'm telling you what
1 my political idea was to begin with, but I was unable to implement this.
2 Q. You say that what is said here about the attack on Skradin is also
3 not true, but General Djujic will probably be able to testify to this
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We may continue in open session,
6 Mr. May.
7 JUDGE MAY: Before we leave there, I've been referred to page --
8 I'm sorry, Exhibit 352, tab 22, as the relevant document dealing with
9 the --
10 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 72, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. 72, dealing with the resignation.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I continue, Mr. May?
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You say, then, that he was not dismissed but that he resigned.
18 Kruschev also resigned because of old age and illness.
19 JUDGE MAY: That's a comment by you. You should look at Exhibit
20 352, 72 -- tab 72.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us proceed.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Do you know that in late September 1990, in only two days in
24 Petrinja, over a hundred innocent Serbs were arrested and mistreated.
25 After this, about 400 women and children of Serb ethnicity hid, because
1 they were afraid, in the barracks of the Petrinja garrison.
2 A. The information on the arrest of the Serbs in Petrinja and their
3 taking refuge in the garrison in early October 1990 was told me by Miss
4 Milena Tanjga during a meeting when the delegation from Croatia and from
5 the federal government was staying in Knin, and Mrs. Tanjga insisted that
6 the representatives of the SAO Krajina -- I apologise, of the municipality
7 of Knin who took part in the negotiations, should not continue the talks
8 until, as she said, "the hostages were released." That's what she called
9 the arrested Serbs in Petrinja. And the president of the Knin
10 municipality said this to the Croatian and the federal delegations.
11 Q. As you are now introducing Mrs. Milena Tanjga, can you just
12 explain to us what she was doing and what post she held at the time. Was
13 she also a member of your government or what was she?
14 A. In 1990, Ms. Milena Tanjga was a journalist, a correspondent of
15 Nova Macedonija from Zagreb. Then she went to Knin. She was the wife of
16 a military officer and -- a colonel, and he was on good terms with -- with
18 Q. Very well. Now that we are referring to this arrest of hundreds
19 of innocent Serbs in Petrinja and the women and children fleeing and
20 taking refuge in the garrison, are you aware that this action by the
21 Croatian forces gave rise to real panic among the Serbs, who started to
22 flee from their homes?
23 A. I don't know any details, but I do know that not only in the area
24 of Petrinja but also in the area of Dvor na Uni, Glina and the entire
25 area, there were clashes between armed Serbs and the Croatian police. Who
1 armed these Serbs I don't know exactly, but it's true that there were
2 clashes, that there was a lot of confusion, that there were
3 demonstrations, and that people did take refuge in the Petrinja garrison.
4 Q. Is this fact familiar to you, because it was common knowledge at
5 the time and many people talked about it, that the Serbs in that area had
6 no weapons whatsoever apart from several hunting rifles and licensed
8 A. In March in your cabinet, I heard from the outgoing Minister of
9 the Interior, Radmilo Bogdanovic, that before March 1991 he had sent 500
10 pieces of weapons to Banija. When exactly he sent them, I don't know.
11 Q. You couldn't have heard this from Radmilo Bogdanovic, but we shall
12 be able to clarify where you got such ideas from. But as we are now
13 talking about the arrests and people fleeing and taking refuge in the
14 barracks and so on and so forth, on the basis of what are you saying that
15 Martic, the Serbian DB, the JNA, or the Belgrade media had anything at all
16 to do with these events? Anyone, apart from the local people, the SDS
17 activists who were appointed to leading positions in the manner that we
18 attempted to clarify in private session?
19 A. As for the events and incidents in 1990, especially in October, I
20 have said everything I know about the events in Northern Dalmatia, Lika,
21 the area of Knin and Banija, and what I know is what I have said here.
22 Q. Is it correct that the events in the area of Banija and Petrinja
23 were reported to the federal government and the federal Ministry of the
24 Interior and the Presidency of the SFRY by Borislav Mikelic, the then
25 president of the Socialist Party of Croatia which was Yugoslav oriented?
1 A. I don't know exactly what he reported, but I know that Borislav
2 Mikelic held a rally in Banski Grabovac in Banija at the time.
3 Q. Do you know that on the occasion of these events in the areas of
4 Petrinja and Banija, a special delegation of the Yugoslav government
5 arrived, headed by the vice-president or, rather, the Deputy Prime
6 Minister Aleksandar Mikelic?
7 A. This delegation visited all the Serbian municipalities and all the
8 municipalities in which there had been incidents in Northern Dalmatia and
9 Banija, and this happened around the 6th of October 1990.
10 Q. And later on, Vasil Tupurkovski, a member of the Presidency of the
11 SFRY, came to the area. He was a representative of Macedonia in the
13 A. I don't know whether Vasil Tupurkovski visited Banija, but I know
14 that he did come to Knin and he talked to the president of the
16 Q. And did he take action to calm down the situation? What was his
18 A. He did try to calm down the situation, but he was told by the
19 President of the municipality of Knin that the president of the
20 municipality of Knin had no influence on the armed incidents taking place
21 in the area of Knin and that he was unable to control them.
22 Q. Well, did you do anything to calm the situation in Banija? Did
23 you appear in the area? Did you go there? Did you hold any one of these
24 speeches that nobody has ever heard about about peace?
25 A. At that time, I didn't go to Banija. No, I wasn't in Banija at
1 that time.
2 Q. Tell me, do you wish to assert that some sort of representatives
3 from Belgrade were spreading fear in the area of Banija and Kordun?
4 A. What I know about the events in Banija and Kordun I have already
5 said. What I know about the influence of Belgrade and you and Jovica
6 Stanisic in those days, as well as the media in Belgrade, I've already
7 testified about that.
8 Q. You mentioned several times what the Belgrade media published.
9 Among other things, they reported on the Assembly session of Krajina that
10 we have mentioned. Also the events that really took place. Do you have
11 any examples of the Belgrade media making up events, the events that they
12 wrote about, especially regarding the suffering of the population over
13 there? Did they make things up? Do you have an example of a fabrication
14 that was published so that we can look into that too?
15 A. The Belgrade media exaggerated things, especially around Pakrac.
16 I have already mentioned here in this courtroom the name of Savo Bosanac
17 and some other people who were killed in Pakrac at the beginning of March
18 1991. Later on, it was established that this was not true. The Belgrade
19 media constantly, in their features, referred to events from the Second
20 World War and linked them and the new Croatian authorities to the Ustasha
22 Allow me to answer. Allow me to answer. Through the parallel
23 structure, you manufactured incidents which provoked reaction and fear
24 among the Serb population and intensified intervention by the Croatian
25 police, and this went, spiralled up into intolerance, violence, and
1 eventually war.
2 Q. Very well. On the 15th of February, 1990, by physical force of
3 policemen, the rally of Serbs in Karlovac was prevented, and the rally was
4 against the Ustasha movement and for Yugoslavia. This was prior to the
5 formation of the SDS.
6 A. I heard from people who were organising that rally in Karlovac
7 that they were not allowed to hold it.
8 Q. And what has Belgrade got to do with that?
9 A. I was not familiar with any details regarding those events.
10 Q. And do you know that on the 4th of March, 1990, a rally was held,
11 a large rally, at Petrova Gora. Among other speakers were Milka Korfrun
12 [phoen], a well-known anti-fascist and a Croat by ethnicity, a Croatian
13 politician at the time.
14 A. Yes, I do know. I was a participant at that rally.
15 Q. So why such a reaction to the resurrection of the Ustasha
16 movement, the ghosts from the Second World War as early as March 1990?
17 How come there was this rally in Petrova Gora? Was that manufactured by
18 the media in Serbia and the parallel structures?
19 A. What you have just said was the description of the media in Serbia
20 of the all-Serb rally in Zagreb in the Lisinski hall [phoen].
21 Q. And do you know that on the 17th of March in Topusko, a group of
22 intellectuals independently formed the Sabomirka [phoen] Cultural Society
23 and the first magazine in the Cyrillic script after 30 years?
24 A. Not after 30 years. I know about it. Before that there was
25 Prosjet that was published, a journal of the Serbian Cultural Society,
1 Prosjet, based in Zagreb. So up to '71. In 1971, this journal stopped
2 being published in Cyrillic. So if that was 30 years, yes. Twenty years.
3 Q. So it was twenty years. Fine, then, after 20 years. And why did
4 Prosjet stop being published in Cyrillic?
5 A. Because the work of the Serbian Cultural Society Prosjet in Zagreb
6 was frozen after the events of 1971, that is, the clashes when the
7 Croatian Matica, a literary association, became a political organisation
8 and the Cultural Society Prosjet also became a political organisation.
9 And then the authorities reacted both towards Matica Hrvatska and towards
10 the Serbian Cultural Society Prosjet.
11 Q. Let's leave that now. Let's put it aside.
12 Do you know that in 1990, in the territory of Slunj municipality,
13 there were about 400 registered Ustashas living there and that, after a
14 short training course, they were given weapons and uniforms of the
15 National Guards Corps?
16 A. I don't have any detailed information about Ustashas, and I don't
17 know about that case in Slunj.
18 Q. You know nothing about it?
19 A. About those 100 Ustashas from Slunj, I do not.
20 Q. And do you know that in mixed environments in which there was no
21 hostility, such as Cetingrad, Rakovica, Liganj [phoen], there was
22 so-called stations of the ZNG set up, and their ranks consisted mostly of
23 good-for-nothings and criminals and idlers and Ustashas and the like?
24 A. That members of the National Guards Corps of Croatia as an armed
25 formation of Croatia were in Slunj and Cetingrad in November 1991 is
1 something I do know. I was told about that by people from Kordun. And
2 against those formations and against the Croatian population, Cedo Bulat
3 intervened, captured the town of Slunj, and I know there was fighting
4 around Cetingrad, and the area was taken control of, and there were very
5 few members of the guards there or Croats, for that matter.
6 Q. And did the Serbs in Kordun organise themselves in view of these
7 events simply to save their lives or did they make up these dangers that
8 were threatening them?
9 A. The Serbs organised themselves to protect their areas in the ways
10 I have already described, and I also explained who organised them to do
12 Q. Very well. And do you know that precisely when these so-called
13 outposts were formed in these mixed environments that I have listed, that
14 then Serbs with hunting weapons, out of fear of a repetition of 1941 when
15 several thousand Serbs were killed by the Ustashas in their homes,
16 organised village guards so that these bandits couldn't enter Serb
18 A. I do know that hunting weapons, and particularly carbines
19 manufactured in the Zastava factory in Kragujevac, were sold through the
20 company Loris in Belgrade. They were on sale in Northern Dalmatia and
21 Lika in 1990 and people purchased those weapons. How they bought hunting
22 weapons in the area around Slunj, I don't know exactly, in 1990. But I do
23 know that in 1992, that is as from August, I have information that to that
24 area weapons were delivered via Jovica Stanisic, the DB, and from Serbia
25 through Bosanski Novi.
1 Q. And who told you that?
2 A. Mile Grbic from Bosanski Novi.
3 Q. Very well. And do you know that at the time in Kordun there
4 wasn't even a branch of the SDS, but the Serbs mostly voted for the SDP as
5 an Independent Yugoslav Democratic Party?
6 A. Those are events from April and May of 1990. The Serbian
7 Democratic Party was poorly organised in Kordun, and the Yugoslav
8 Independent Democratic Party was organised there, headed by Mile Dakic,
9 and also the League of Communists of Croatia, that is the Party of
10 Democratic Change. They were most successful at the elections held in
11 Croatia in April and May 1990.
12 Q. Very well. When we're talking about the fears of the people in
13 Kordun and the formation of the National Guards Corps in these mixed
14 settlements, those village guards that were organised, were they perhaps
15 also organised under some influence from Belgrade?
16 A. The Croatians started forming the guards corps as early as 1991.
17 I don't know exactly when they started, but it was the formation of the
18 army of the republic of Croatia within the competence of the Ministry of
19 Defence. Village guards guard duty was held even before the referendum of
20 Serb autonomy in 1990.
21 Q. But did anyone from Belgrade take part perhaps?
22 A. In organising the village guards before the 11th of August, I
23 don't know whether anyone from Belgrade took part. Belgrade took a very
24 active part as from the 11th or 12th of August, encouraging the Serbs,
25 representatives of the Serbs in Croatia, to persevere with respect to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 their political demands, with the promise that the Yugoslav People's Army
2 would protect their political struggle.
3 Q. Very well. Tell me, as you keep repeating one and the same
4 sentence, you don't need to repeat it every single time you're giving an
6 Do you -- let us take it that you've already said it.
7 Is it known that upon the initiative of the Muslim Bosniak
8 organisation from Velika Kladusa --
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, what are you talking about? What are
10 you criticising the witness for for repetition, or is it evidence you
11 don't approve of; is that the problem? In that last response, I don't see
12 any repetition.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, he keeps repeating, with
14 respect to everything he has to say, that it was some sort of a parallel
15 structure that he made up, even when that has nothing to do with the
16 question, and he simply --
17 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt before you go on. You asked him:
18 "Did anyone from Belgrade take part perhaps?" And his answer was: "I
19 don't know whether anyone took part, but it took an active part, Belgrade,
20 from the 11th or 12th of August, encouraging the Serbs, the
21 representatives of Serbs in Croatia, to persevere with respect to their
22 political demands, with the promise that the Yugoslav People's Army would
23 protect their political struggle."
24 That's his answer. And to criticise him because it's a
25 repetition, it seems to me, is wholly wrong.
1 Now, if you would simply restrict your questions to questions, we
2 would all get on better and you would have more time, instead of
3 delivering, as you do, a running commentary on what the witness says.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, through a number of
5 questions, we have addressed the position of the Yugoslav People's Army
6 which was separating the opposing parties and which were seeking to calm
7 the situation.
8 JUDGE MAY: So you say, Mr. Milosevic. We will in due course hear
9 your arguments about it and we'll look at the rest of the evidence. Then
10 we'll decide. But for you to issue a running commentary, as you do, upon
11 the witness's evidence, frequently turning it, or trying to turn it in
12 your own favour, isn't going to assist.
13 Now, you've got two hours, 40 minutes left, so let's move on.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I should like to ask you to check
15 the time, please, and to compare the time used by the
16 examination-in-chief. I think it was a little longer than you said. But
17 you have the information, and you can check it out.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So my question is: Do you know that upon the initiative of the
20 Muslim Bosniak organisation from Velika Kladusa, Sead Kajtezovic, and the
21 Serbian Democratic Party from Vojnici and Slunj headed by Mile Bosnic,
22 because of the danger of the outbreak of conflicts, negotiations were
23 conducted between the political leaderships of these parties which were
24 later joined by the SDA and the HDZ from the municipalities of Slunj,
25 Velika Kladusa, and Vojnici and Vrginmost. Do you know about that? Are
1 you aware of these efforts of various parties to cooperate amongst
2 themselves, including the SDS, the HDZ, the SDA, and the Bosniak Muslim
3 organisation from Velika Kladusa, and the others that I have mentioned
4 from the municipalities of Slunj, Velika Kladusa, Vojnici and Vrginmost,
5 the aim being to maintain peace in the area?
6 A. In later years I heard from someone that there were such talks,
7 but I am not aware of any details. I do know that Mile Bosnic used to
8 work in Velika Kladusa in the combine that was led by Fikret Abdic. That
9 is Agrokomerc, which was managed by Fikret Abdic, and I know that he knew
10 him. He was part of his board of management in his factory and that he
11 knew some people there. He told me later. Now, whether he took part in
12 those negotiations with the Muslim Bosniak organisation and the others
13 that you have listed, I don't know about that. Bosnic did not talk to me
14 about that.
15 Q. And do you know that those talks and their mutual contacts, the
16 aim of which was not to have any disturbances or conflicts, were
17 interrupted by the activities of the Croatian police when they beat up
18 precisely the participants, that is Momir Lazic, Lazo Dragicevic, Janko
19 Jerkovic, Mile Bosnic, and another two priests of the Serbian Orthodox
21 A. I don't know what the role of Mile Bosnic, Momir Lazic,
22 Dragicevic, and the priests had in connection with talks with people from
23 the parties of Zazine Krajina, but I do know during the events in
24 Plitvice, that is the 31st of March, 1991, these three men set off from
25 Vojnici towards Plitvice via Slunj and that they were arrested there by
1 the Croatian police and detained and that they were physically mistreated
2 and moved to the prison in Karlovac, that they were beaten in Slunj, and
3 then they were moved to the prison in Karlovac where they were more
4 leniently treated and, after that, released.
5 Q. Fine. They beat them with boots and rifle butts, and they
6 congratulated their Easter.
7 A. Yes. They were treated very brutally. I heard from Bosnic and
8 Lazic, and I wondered how he survived, because he's a weak and thin man.
9 Lazic was larger. So I even joked, because I said he was fatter so he
10 managed to survive.
11 Q. Is it true that up to then the Serbs hadn't made a single incident
12 until these people were mistreated and beaten in this way, what you
13 yourself have exceptionally on this occasion confirmed?
14 A. These were events of the 31st of March, 1991. There were many
15 events that preceded this, so I don't know what exactly you're referring
17 Q. I was saying that there were no incidents up to then. I'm talking
18 about the municipalities of Slunj, Vojnici, Velika Kladusa and Vrginmost,
19 where all the parties, Muslim, Croatian and Serbian, sought all together
20 to maintain stability, peace, and tolerance and avoid anything from
22 A. That was a rather complicated question, so I don't really know
23 what your concrete question is.
24 Q. Is it true that the Serbs, until then, had not caused any
1 A. I spoke about the incidents in 1990, those at the beginning of
2 1991. I don't know which particular incidents you're referring to. I'm
3 not talking only about Glina and Plitvice but about Slunj, Velika Kladusa,
5 A. As far as Vojnici is concerned, Vrginmost, I don't recollect any
6 particular incidents, namely the president of the municipality of Vojnic,
7 Mile Vuckovic, pursued a tactical policy, if I can call it that. He
8 recognised and was even a member of the Assembly of SAO Krajina, and at
9 the same time, the police in Vojnici was receiving salaries from the MUP
10 of Croatia. So he managed to balance things out until the events in
11 Plitvice. And then he protested resolutely and wrote a letter of protest
12 regarding the Bosnic and Lazic and Dragicevic case and the case involving
13 those priests as well.
14 Q. All right. And do you know that very soon after that, one of the
15 negotiators on the part of the HDZ became casualty, a Croat and member of
16 the government of the ruling party, who was beaten up at the Assembly
17 meeting in Slunj, and he had to leave Slunj after that. Do you know about
19 A. No, I don't.
20 Q. And do you know that that was when a witch-hunt was started of the
21 Serbs that were starting to flee and that the first casualties fell? And
22 I'll mention Janko Jerkovic from Vaganjci who was stabbed, Cedo Biga from
23 Grabovac. Then there was Kotur. And then Basnija Niksic [phoen] from
24 Slunj, two other young men, Slobodan Devic and Popovic, were killed on the
25 spot and thrown on a rubbish heap. Nino Vidojevic was another one. They
1 extinguished cigarettes on his body.
2 Do you know that there was this general witch hunt? First of all
3 caused by the beatings and then by the reprisals on both Serbs and Croats
4 who had taken part in the negotiations in the interests of finding a
5 peaceful settlement, and that all this was done by the Croatian police?
6 Do you know about that?
7 A. I said I didn't know about these negotiation or who took part in
8 them or how they evolved.
9 Q. All right. What about the civilians who had taken up arms to
10 defend their own homes and establish this Serb army of Krajina? Did they
11 come from Belgrade as the occupiers and creators of a Greater Serbia or
12 were they from the villages of Krajina, regardless of which villages?
13 A. What are you talking about now? Are you talking about the
14 negotiations with the Muslims, the events in 1990 and 1991? What are you
15 thinking of quite specifically?
16 Q. Mr. Croatia-061, I'm talking about a general reign of terror that
17 was rampant in the area, and as we've passed through a series of examples,
18 I'm asking you whether the civilians who had taken up arms to defend their
19 own homes and later on organise the Serbian army of Krajina, did they come
20 from Belgrade as occupiers? Is that what you're saying? Or were they
21 from the Krajina villages and took up arms to defend themselves, your
22 formations, the ones that you're mentioning?
23 JUDGE MAY: There are a series of assertions there. The first
24 assertion is that there was a reign of terror. Do you agree with that or
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the month of October, the
2 incidents that took place were interpreted as being terror on the part of
3 the Croatian authorities by the media. Now, what happened in actual fact
4 in October 1990, I have already explained.
5 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the Serb army. Well, the
7 Serb army of Krajina was established, institutionally speaking, in May
8 1992. It's very difficult to answer that question, Your Honours, because
9 the events of 1990 and 1991 and the creation of the Serb army in 1992, all
10 this -- well, actually, I really would like to answer the question but
11 it's a very complex question.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Wait a moment. The next point that was
13 made was that the civilians took up arms to defend their own homes and
14 later to organise the Serbian army of Krajina. Do you agree that that is
15 what's happened or not?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1990, what happened was that the
17 civilians bought hunting weapons, and I've already talked about that.
18 In 1991, the weapons were handed out and so-called volunteer units
19 were organised by the DB of Serbia, the Serbian state security, and I
20 talked about that too. The Serbian army of the RSK institutionally
21 speaking was constituted by the Assembly of the RSK itself on the 18th of
22 May, 1992.
23 JUDGE MAY: And the third point that was made was this, or the
24 third question: Did they -- these come from Belgrade? Did people come
25 from Belgrade as occupiers or was it a local effort?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have spoken about this. As of
2 August, I said which people came in, how they came, what their assignment
3 was, and what they did when they got there. So specifically speaking,
4 from April 1991, they came in to organise a Serbian paramilitary, a
5 paramilitary army in Krajina.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So you're saying that they started coming in April, some people
8 over there came in to help you. And what were you doing until April?
9 What happened until April 1991?
10 A. Well, I've been speaking about that in great detail for days now.
11 Q. All right. As you've been speaking about that specifically and in
12 detail, let's move on. Just give me a very precise, concrete answer.
13 This is a concrete question, we don't need a speech to answer it. Did one
14 single Minister of Defence, the Minister of the Police, the commander of
15 the Main Staff, were any one of these who were people born outside
16 Krajina, throughout the whole time, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995,
17 any of these people, any of these leading officials, were they born
18 outside Krajina, a single one of them?
19 A. The Minister of the Interior, the Ministers of the Interior --
20 well, I have to think about this. It's a long period of time you're
21 asking me about and many people, so I have to recall each one separately.
22 You asked me about a whole series of people, a large number of people, so
23 I have to do my best to recollect each one of them.
24 The ministers. Let's see, the Ministers of the Interior. Who
25 were they in the SAO Krajina and the RSK? Yes, they were born in the
1 Krajina area.
2 What else did you say? The Defence Ministers you mentioned.
3 Let's see about them. The Defence Minister Tarbuk, Milan Tarbuk, he was
4 the minister from November 1991. I assume, I'm not quite sure but I
5 assume he was born in Kordun or he originated from Kordun. And the other
6 Defence Minister - what was his name? - of the RSK, in Hadzic's RSK? He
7 was an admiral. I don't know where he was from exactly. What was his
8 name? It's just slipped my mind. The Defence Minister later on was Rade
9 Tanjga, and I think he was born in Ocestovo village, close to Knin. Then
10 there was Minister Milan Suput. I think he was born in the Lika region.
11 So that's as far as the Ministers of Defence are concerned.
12 Then you asked about the commanders. There was General Torbica,
13 the commander of -- he was the commander as of May. Who the corps
14 commander was before that of the JNA, I'm not quite sure, but he was a
15 Serb from Lika. I assume he was born there, his origins were there. Then
16 there was a commander General Milan Celeketic. He was from Western
17 Slavonia. Well, at least, I'm not quite sure but he lived in Western
18 Slavonia. Whether he was actually born there I'm not sure. Then there
19 was General Mile Mrksic, and he was a native of Kordun. I've already said
20 that. Now, whether he was actually born there or whether his antecedents
21 were from Kordun, I'm not sure.
22 What else did you ask me? Was there anything else?
23 Q. All right. Can we get a collective answer, can you summarise --
24 would it be right to say that none of them were born outside Krajina? Of
25 all the ones you've mentioned, you seem to have picked your brains and
1 recollected all these individuals. Is that so?
2 A. I have told you what I know about them.
3 Q. Fine, very well. Let's move on to your other assertions with
4 respect to Kijevo and the fighting that took place in 1991. Why do you
5 say that in the struggles and battles around Kijevo and for Kijevo, units
6 of the JNA were engaged when you personally, you yourself in your
7 statement - I don't want to go back into private session so I
8 won't quote the exact date the paper this appeared in and all the rest -
9 but you said that no forces whatsoever from Yugoslavia took part in the
10 fighting to liberate Kijevo, Vrlika, and so on, and some other things as
11 well which I don't want to mention because I would prefer to stay in open
13 A. I said what I knew. Now, in the context I did that, I cannot
14 repeat here and now, but I said what I knew, and I have told this Tribunal
15 what I know, and I can repeat that. So in the battles for Kijevo, to the
16 best of my knowledge, the Knin Corps of the JNA took part with the use of
17 the artillery and infantry as well as the participation of a separate
18 brigade commanded by Colonel Djukic. The units were also commanded by the
19 Chief of Staff General Mladic. At that time, the commander of the staff
20 was Spiro Nikolic. What his command role was I assume down the chain of
21 command, but he did have a command function. So we're talking about the
22 JNA. What did you ask me? What was your question?
23 Q. Let's not waste time. I didn't ask you who at the time when this
24 was going on was the commander and Chief of Staff and all the rest of it.
25 All that is written down in the documents. I'm asking you why you're
1 saying that units of the JNA took part in that fighting when you made
2 quite the opposite statement at one point, that you said that it was not
3 true that they had taken part. That's what you said previously.
4 A. Well, I might have misspoken. I might have made a slip of the
5 tongue, but I didn't say something I didn't think. I -- the JNA units did
6 participate. The 9th Knin Corps did participate, and I know the
7 commanders that took part in the fighting; General Mladic and Colonel
8 Djukic. I personally saw the units of the corps deployed in the area and
9 I personally saw the commanders the following day, after the battles had
10 been concluded after Kijevo.
11 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment; there's an objection.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. I think when the witness
13 is -- said -- is pointed out to contradiction with a former statement, it
14 should be put to him properly. He should be given a --
15 JUDGE MAY: Of course. Of course. We were waiting to go into
16 private session in due course. We don't want to go on going in and out.
17 Yes, Mr. Milosevic, you can refer to this document before we
18 adjourn today or when we come back on Friday. You can refer to the
19 document you're relying on to say that --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll go back to the document in
22 private session.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't want to deprive myself of
25 asking the remaining questions that I have for today.
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Is it true that this place, this place Kijevo, is ten or 11
3 kilometres to the east of Knin along the Knin-Vrlika-Slunj road, and in
4 March 1991, were there forces of the MUP of Croatia in Kijevo?
5 A. Yes, it is along the Knin -- it's not along the Knin-Vrlika-Slunj
6 road, it's along the Knin-Vrlika-Sinj road.
7 Q. Yes, Sinj, I made a slip of the tongue and said Slunj instead of
8 Sinj. Yes, and in Kijevo, in that month of March, were the MUP forces of
9 Croatia present?
10 A. The police station was set up, I believe, in April 1991, perhaps
11 in March, the MUP station. I think it was March or perhaps April 1991.
12 Q. All right. Fine. Now, up until that time, the inhabitants of
13 Kijevo, mostly Croats - that is not in dispute - did they in any way --
14 were they in any way jeopardised by the Serbs, threatened by the Serbs who
15 lived in the surrounding parts? Yes or no.
16 A. No.
17 Q. And is it also true that in Kijevo and -- the HDZ organisation was
18 functioning, was operational, and that this served the Croatian
19 authorities a purpose, that is to say at all costs they provoked some sort
20 of inter-ethnic clash there although the Serbs did not jeopardise in any
21 way whatsoever, as you said a moment ago, the Croat inhabitants of Kijevo?
22 A. The constituency of Kijevo had its deputy, its MP in the Knin
23 Municipal Assembly, and he was a member of the HDZ party. I think his
24 name was Mate Maloca. I might be wrong there but Mate was his first name.
25 So as they had an MP, a deputy in the Municipal Assembly of Knin to
1 represent the HDZ, the HDZ took part in the elections in April and May for
2 the Municipal Assembly seats, I therefore assume on that basis and
3 conclude that they did have an HDZ organisation in Kijevo.
4 Q. All right. Fine. And in the first half of 1991, is it true that
5 it was precisely this isolated, shall we say, village, without any great
6 importance, happened to be visited by members of the Main Board and
7 government, Milas and Seks, to call upon the inhabitants of Kijevo to
8 stand up to the authorities in Knin and the Yugoslav People's Army? Is
9 that what happened? Are you aware of that? Do you know about that?
10 A. I know that in the month of March, that is to say when the MUP
11 police station of Croatia was set up, the JNA for the first time in the
12 region of Suvo Polje -- Suho Polje, that is to say around Kijevo, they
13 were there and I know that Seks came to Kijevo by helicopter. I don't
14 know who accompanied him. And they held speeches there, lending their
15 support to the inhabitants of Kijevo and the police station in Kijevo, and
16 the helicopter was shot at from the Serb side, and people even said that
17 it had been hit but that the helicopter managed to pull itself out, to
18 extricate itself from the situation.
19 Q. All right. You said a moment ago that the Serbs who lived in the
20 surrounding parts of Kijevo did not jeopardise the Croats in any way.
21 Now, is it clear, at least from what we have just taken note of,
22 that pressure was brought to bear over the inhabitants of Kijevo to create
23 an incident and to clash with the authorities and the JNA?
24 A. I first said that the inhabitants of Kijevo were not jeopardised
25 by the surrounding Serbs who lived in the surrounding parts, but they were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 under jeopardy by a group from Golubic, that is to say a DB and police
2 group from Golubic. And this group already at the end of April and
3 certainly from the beginning of May did some sporadic shooting. There was
4 sporadic shooting from Golubic towards Kijevo and the police station
5 there, or the Kijevo settlement, and in one of these drives a native of
6 Polaca was killed. Vaso Pecer was his name. And that was in May.
7 Q. Who was an inhabitant of Polaca?
8 A. Vaso Pecer. Around the 2nd of May, 1991.
9 Q. Was he a Serb?
10 A. When he was killed, people rumoured that he was killed by the
11 Croats from Kijevo or, rather, the Croatian policemen from Kijevo. But
12 later I learnt some more details about this incident, and I would rather
13 not speak about the dead, because of his family, but I was told that in
14 fact he had taken part in a group of policemen from Golubic who did this
15 sporadic shooting from the Kozjak positions, that is to say from the
16 slopes of Mount Kozjak towards targeting the village of Kijevo and that is
17 in fact how he lost his life, how he was killed.
18 Q. He was killed that way, was he?
19 A. Well, it was never established who actually killed him. There was
20 this shooting, Kijevo was being targeted, and there was shooting back from
21 Kijevo, so he was killed in this crossfire. But it was never ascertained
22 as to who killed him. There was speculations.
23 Q. All right. All right. So you say he killed himself?
24 A. No, I didn't say he killed himself.
25 Q. This place Polaca, is that the same place where the Ustashas from
1 Kijevo in 1941 in just one night killed several dozen Serbs? Is that the
2 same Polaca place?
3 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to go into that because the time has
4 come up, but what the relevance of that can have for events 50 years
5 later, I don't understand.
6 Now, we'll adjourn -- we will adjourn now, and the UN holiday
7 tomorrow means that we can't sit, but we'll sit on Friday at 9.00.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How much time, Mr. May, do I have
9 left, according to your arithmetic?
10 JUDGE MAY: Two hours and a quarter you have.
11 MR. NICE: Your Honour --
12 JUDGE MAY: And then Mr. Tapuskovic. Yes.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, assuming that the accused and Mr.
14 Tapuskovic take the time allotted - and I understand that the accused will
15 and Mr. Tapuskovic has told me he will - that will leave a limited, at
16 most, amount of time for the next witness. As Your Honour knows, I have
17 competing duties in relation to this case on Friday. It may well be that
18 the next witness will not be reached at all, but if time is available for
19 him to be reached, if this is acceptable to the Chamber, I'll make
20 arrangements for one of my colleagues to take him in chief, if that's
21 acceptable to the institution generally, but I think it's a witness of a
22 kind I ought to be available for for cross-examination, for obvious
24 JUDGE MAY: I think it's highly unlikely we're going to reach
25 another witness.
1 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.00 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 6th day of December,
5 2002, at 9.00 a.m.