1 Friday, 6 December 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mueller, you want to address the Court.
7 MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much, Your Honour. Your Honours, on
8 behalf of my client, I would like to make a statement. My client asks you
9 to lift the order of non-disclosure in this case. He wants to go public,
10 and he's ready to give you the explanations and reasons for that, if you'd
11 like to hear this.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness -- if you want to say something
15 briefly about it --
16 MR. MUELLER: You want me or the witness to tell this?
17 JUDGE MAY: Whichever is more convenient. Mr. Mueller, since
18 you're already addressing us, perhaps you'd like to go on.
19 MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE KWON: I note there is some difficulty in following in
22 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to start, Mr. Mueller, we'll see if it's
23 cleared up.
24 MR. MUELLER: Thank you. The reasons given by my client are
25 four-fold, Your Honours, and this also refers -- this also gives a reason
1 as to why the client has made this decision just now and not on an earlier
2 stage of this trial.
3 The first reason my client gives is this: Within the last weeks,
4 Mr. Milosevic has accused him and was laying blame on him, and this was
5 mostly in closed session. He thinks that the public has an interest and a
6 right to be kept up-to-date about his arguments which were in response of
7 the arguments of Mr. Milosevic.
8 The second reason is that he says, "During my testifying, the
9 press, the media, has meddled my identity by more or less direct
10 references. This spiralled up so far that my photo," personal information
11 about him such as his bio, his full name and his name as C-061 was
12 published in the media.
13 JUDGE MAY: Apparently there is some continuing problem with the
15 Yes. Let's continue.
16 There is a power system failure.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MAY: I gather the accused can follow the transcript.
19 Apologies to the amicus. We will not start the evidence, but let us
20 finish this explanation while we can. We're awaiting the technician.
21 Yes, Mr. Mueller.
22 MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much. This went so far that the
23 public in Belgrade, at least in Belgrade, and the media in the meantime
24 knows about his full name and his identity.
25 The third point is the following, Your Honours: My client says
1 that he spoke to his family about this issue, and this was a very
2 long-lasting process within the last weeks, and the family was scared
3 about the release of his identity, and his family has endured a lot of
4 fear in the last time. So as we may know from his statement, and I
5 shouldn't repeat that, perhaps, there were threats to his life.
6 These people is still in a certain way, that's what he believes,
7 threatening his family now. And the discussion on this subject underwent
8 a long, long process within the family and finally a decision was made by
9 yesterday evening that the family agreed when he goes public.
10 And the fourth and very important issue for the client is the
11 following: The way to go public -- the decision to go public, in his
12 view, is a very important contribution to reconciliation of the people in
13 the former Yugoslavia by hearing his opinion and by hearing that what he
14 says is the truth.
15 Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'd like to ask the witness if one of the factors
18 given by counsel for his decision to go public relates to threats to his
19 family, which apparently are still continuing. I don't understand in that
20 context, then, against that background, how going public would assist. Or
21 is it that the last factor, the reconciliation, which would be encouraged
22 and facilitated, is the predominant factor?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I expect that the
24 Tribunal, outside this courtroom, will continue its protective measures to
25 assist my family.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. I understand that, yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well. The application will be granted.
3 The measures will be lifted.
4 Mr. Babic, your application to have your protective measures made
5 in relation to you having been granted, you will be referred to by your
7 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
8 WITNESS: MILAN BABIC [Resumed]
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I understood you to say
11 that I have two hours, 15 minutes left, is that right, for today?
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes, and it's now 9.15, nearly.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. We will resume where we
14 left off.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] And we left off talking about Kijevo. You
17 explained that this young man who was killed, Pecer Vaso was his name,
18 took part in some sort of shooting between a group on the Serb side and
19 those others, concentrated "orderlies" or "Redarstvenici" or members of
20 the Croatian National Guard or whatever they were called, in Kijevo.
21 However, all the facts and all the witnesses from that time say quite the
22 opposite, and that is that there was no shooting whatsoever from the Serb
23 side and that Vaso Pecer was killed while he was tending to his sheep near
25 Do you happen to remember that that was what happened or not?
1 A. I was talking about my first piece of information, the first
2 information that reached me, and that was that we received reports, first
3 of all that the late Vaso Pecer at Polaca was killed as an ordinary
4 citizen by the police or, rather, by somebody at Kijevo.
5 After that, I personally attended the public commemoration
6 following the death of that person, and this took place on the 2nd of May,
7 1991. I later heard a different piece of information, and I also told you
8 about that, and that is that the late Pecer was on the slopes of Mount
9 Kozjak with a group of individuals who were targeting and cross-shooting
10 with Kijevo. And I said here in the courtroom that it was never
11 established how the man was killed. An investigation was conducted into
12 the affair, but as I said, they did not ascertain how he actually died.
13 And that was around the 2nd of May, 1991.
14 Q. All right. Now, in view of the fact that this incident followed
15 the logics of the killing of an innocent young man, a shepherd looking
16 after his sheep, is it true that this incident that was a very serious one
17 and affected everybody's sentiments, because there weren't cases of that
18 kind until then, was the reason why the citizens, after the funeral, after
19 the funeral of this man Vaso Pecer, spontaneously tried to organise an
20 attack on Kijevo and this was thwarted and prevented by the JNA, because
21 of this emotional reaction, and they wanted to stop further bloodshed? Is
22 that right or not?
23 A. What I know is this: I know that the people were revolted and
24 disturbed and upset, the citizens of Polaca and Knin. And I was there
25 myself. I saw these people who were ready to march on Kijevo, people from
1 Polaca; they were carrying weapons. But this was stopped. We did not
2 grant permission for that, and I don't think the JNA did either. So this
3 was stopped. And this gave rise to a second wave of reaction on the part
4 of the JNA. That is to say, up until that time, the JNA had already been
5 stationed between Polaca and Kijevo, and this incident triggered off the
6 following situation: The Knin Corps stepped up its presence in the area
7 by bringing out more tank units.
8 Q. All right. But is it quite clear that the JNA prevented further
9 bloodshed following that incident, and is it also clear from what you're
10 saying here and now that the JNA played the role of separating the two
11 parties that might have clashed in an armed conflict? Is that correct or
13 A. Events of this kind and the events that took place at the Plitvice
14 lakes and in Borovo Selo as well as in Petrik [phoen], and I have
15 described these events, I've talked about them, and the way in which I've
16 described them shows that they were the reason for which the Yugoslav
17 People's Army brought out its units and deployed them along the line
18 between the Serbs,
19 the demarcation line between the Serbs in Krajina and Croatian.
20 Q. So what we have just observed now is quite contrary to the
21 schematic and diagram that you described at the start of your testimony.
22 We now assert that a shepherd was killed, a young man was killed. After
23 his funeral, there was a general revolt on the part of the populace, and
24 an attempt was made to engage in a new conflict, but this was thwarted and
25 prevented by the JNA who separated the two sides. And you said that there
1 was a programme according to which some people were trying to incite --
2 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. You've made various
3 assertions there.
4 Mr. Babic, do you agree with the way that the accused has put the
5 way this incident started? Do you agree with that or not? You should
6 have the opportunity of saying whether you do.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not agree with what he's saying
8 because these incidents were incited on purpose. It was organised by a DB
9 police group, state security group, in order to provoke an armed conflict
10 between the Serbs and Croats or, rather, between the police of the
11 Republic of Croatia on the one side, and later on the Croatian National
12 Guard on the one side, and the Serb forces in Krajina on the other and
13 that this would lead to the displacement of the JNA or, rather, the coming
14 in of the JNA and having its members deployed in the area. So it's not
15 the way Mr. Milosevic has told it.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. All right. Does that mean, then, that these, as you call them,
18 parallel structures organised the killing of Vaso Pecer in order to
19 provoke an incident and in order to have the army positioned in the area?
20 Is that what you're claiming?
21 A. I am claiming that the parallel structures or, rather, the group
22 from Golubic on several occasions shot at Kijevo, causing armed
23 provocation in order to make the MUP of Croatia on the Kijevo side respond
24 and thus became -- and thus became involved in the situation. And I
25 explained to you what I knew about the case of Vaso Pecer, the shepherd.
1 Q. All right. So that means that the armed units that were
2 established there by these Croatian paramilitary formations, they were
3 quite innocent, were they? And the person to blame was Vaso Pecer, for
4 having been killed, and he was killed in order to create a reason for an
5 attack to be launched on the innocent members of the Croatian National
6 Guard Corps.
7 A. About the innocent man Vaso Pecer, I have already stated what I
8 knew about his killing, and I said that the DB, the state security, and
9 police in Krajina, did cause -- did provoke the other side in order to fan
10 the flames of the conflict and have the JNA become involved in the manner
11 that you set out.
12 Q. Well, if we're talking about the facts, then the facts are these:
13 I assume that we would have to be more specific and precise and not to say
14 that provocations were carried out just like that and then that the army
15 intervened afterwards. Is it true that in those days the Croatian MUP
16 carried out raids on the villages and all the other settlements and areas
17 inhabited by the Serbs?
18 A. What happened is the following, and we have the Otisic case as a
19 case in point, what I knew about that at the time, and this was that the
20 MUP of Croatia or, rather, the police station from Sinj, with police
21 units, ransacked the village of Otisic looking for weapons. This
22 instilled fear in the people, and this was - how shall I put it? - a major
23 incident that was caused by the Croatian police, and it caused great
24 unrest among the Serbs in the area, especially the village of Otisic. And
25 that was the reason why I asked you that the JNA should come in to protect
1 the village of Otisic.
2 However, later on I also heard that a group of men from Otisic
3 caused intimidation and placed mines on the power poles - that's my own
4 knowledge - and later on the incident in Otisic broke out and I said that
5 was the reason for which on the 26th of August, 1991 I discussed this
6 matter with you and asked you that the JNA should intervene over there,
7 and you said, "Hasn't that already been solved?" And in fact on that very
8 morning, I heard later on that the JNA and the units under its control had
9 indeed attacked Kijevo and moved towards Otisic from Biletovo [phoen] and
10 towards Mikovo [phoen].
11 Q. Are you now blaming the JNA for protecting you and defending you?
12 A. No, I'm just saying what happened.
13 Q. Well, that's not what happened. Why didn't you mention, as you're
14 talking about Otisic - because I have all the facts before me here - that
15 they ransacked and searched the village of Otisic, that they took three
16 Serbs away to the Split prison, and that they killed a local of the
17 village of Cetina. His name was Dusan Gargenta. Wasn't that what
19 A. I know about Otisic. I don't know about Gargenta. I don't
20 remember that, how he died or whatever.
21 Q. You don't know about these people who were taken off, and you
22 don't know that that particular man was killed.
23 A. I know about Otisic. There was great panic and unrest and fear,
24 and I've already talked about this.
25 Q. Well, was it the Serbs that caused that once again, this incident,
1 and then they were the casualties in the incident?
2 A. I thought at that time that the Croatian police force, for no
3 reason at all, did things like that in Otisic. However, later on I learnt
4 that a group from -- that the group of people from Otisic was not innocent
6 Q. So these people from Otisic who were arrested and the man who was
7 killed, they themselves are responsible for having been arrested and the
8 man responsible for having got killed.
9 A. Well, I told you what I know about those events.
10 Q. Well, it seems that you know something quite different now to what
11 you knew at the time. All right. But is it true in Vrlika they
12 ill-treated the Serbs, that they destroyed and set fire to their houses,
13 and even at that time your father-in-law, Bozo Skrbic, was killed; isn't
14 that right?
15 A. At that time, several days before the 26th of August, in fact, the
16 Croatian police and the guard that was there --
17 Q. Why don't you give me a yes or no answer? You're going into
18 explanations. All I need is yes or no.
19 JUDGE MAY: Let him answer. You put a number of things, Mr.
20 Milosevic. He must have the chance to answer. And also you're asking
21 about different incidents.
22 Yes, Mr. Babic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that time, according to my
24 information and knowledge, and also the knowledge I had later on as well,
25 the Croatian police or, rather, the MUP of Croatia in Vrlika and the
1 Croatian guard corps, a unit of the guard corps that was in Vrlika at the
2 time, blocked all exits towards Civljani. That means towards the Knin
3 municipality. And the population, the inhabitants were not able to cross
4 that line. Around the village of Kosori and Civljani was a JNA unit. It
5 was stationed there. This was on the 26th -- no, the 27th of August,
6 1991. I arrived in Knin in the morning, and later on that same day I
7 arrived in Cgani, and I heard from my mother-in-law that my father-in-law
8 had also been killed in Vrlika by the Croatian police force the previous
9 day, in the evening.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. All right. Tell me now, did your father-in-law provoke the
12 Croatian police in any way or was he to blame for anything so that they
13 killed him?
14 A. The JNA officers said that -- who were at Cgani and Zukanovici on
15 that day when I myself arrived, which was the 27th of August, they said
16 that by radio communication they had heard conversations between the
17 Croatian police or, rather, the Croatian guard corps. They heard that an
18 order had been issued that all my family should be hanged. My in-laws
19 were there and so was my mother and grandmother. My father-in-law was
20 killed on the occasion, my mother-in-law managed to escape, my house was
21 set fire to, and my mother managed to escape as well.
22 Q. All right. So you heard the order saying that your family should
23 be hanged. They killed your father-in-law, the rest of your family fled,
24 and so it is the Serb side that is to blame for the incident. Is that
25 what you're saying?
1 A. Which side do you mean?
2 Q. Well, all right, tell me this then, let me put it this way: You
3 mentioned Kijevo and the 1991 fighting. How, then, did you state to the
4 daily paper Politika on the 29th of August, 1991, that no forces from the
5 Republic of Serbia took part in the fighting for the liberation of Kijevo,
6 Vrlika, et cetera, and so on and so forth in that vein, things you said in
7 that particular interview? How is that possible then?
8 A. Well, I don't remember whether I mentioned the Serbian forces, but
9 the fact is that at the battles in Kijevo, it was the JNA that took part,
10 the militia -- the police of Krajina and the local TO defence of the
11 village of Cetina.
12 Q. Very well, then. Tell me, please, is it right that the forces of
13 the 113th Brigade of the National Guards blocked the JNA warehouse and
14 broke into JNA facilities known as Manojlovac, and they mined the road
15 passing through Kijevo and prevented all communication between Knin and
16 Sinj? Is that right? Is that right or not?
17 A. Manojlovac is on the opposite side.
18 Q. I'm talking about two things.
19 A. You have mentioned several things. I don't know the exact name of
20 the unit of the National Guard in Drnis in Vrlika. In Kijevo, it was the
21 police of the MUP of Croatia and the unit of the National Guards was in
22 Vrlika and, I also heard, in Drnis. For Manojlovac, I don't know what
23 happened in Manojlovac.
24 Q. And was -- were explosives put along the road to Kijevo and all
25 communication blocked?
1 A. At that point in time, I don't know whether there was a blockade
2 or not. I know that there was communication through Kijevo. It was
3 possible to -- the JNA could move through Kijevo. And even I went by on a
4 couple of occasions in a JNA vehicle through Kijevo with Colonel Djukic.
5 Q. So JNA could move freely throughout that period along that route?
6 A. I wasn't there on that day.
7 Q. Is it true, then, that on the 16th of August, the ZNG and MUP from
8 the village of Kijevo, Vrlika, Maovica started attacks on the JNA on all
9 hills and the Kosovska Greda with the aim of destroying and confiscating
10 tanks and APCs? Is that right?
11 A. There were conflicts at Civljani, and I think they started on the
12 26th. I don't know about the 16th, I'm not sure.
13 Q. Very well. We noted a moment ago that forces of the 9th JNA corps
14 were deployed along the line Vrlika-Polaca precisely in order to separate
15 the MUP of Croatia and the Serb forces; is that right?
16 A. JNA units were deployed at Polaca, and at Civljani and Kosori, and
17 I expected, after talking to you, that they would also be deployed at
18 Otisic. So they were making a kind of sandwich.
19 Q. They were forming a buffer zone to avoid a conflict. Is that
20 right or not?
21 A. I said how and when the JNA units came. They came under the
22 excuse not to allow a conflict, but the conflict provoked by the DB and
23 the police was the reason that prompted them to take up positions along
24 those lines.
25 Q. I see. So the Serbs manufactured a conflict to have the JNA come
1 out and separate the MUP and ZNGs on the one side and the Serb forces on
2 the other?
3 A. You were the one who were provoking that conflict through the
4 structures I have referred to.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Babic. And is it true that members of the Croatian
6 MUP opened fire without any cause on facilities and soldiers of the JNA in
7 that buffer zone? Is that right?
8 A. I have said what I know, that the conflicts between the Croatian
9 citizens, the MUP, and the blockade of the barracks, the Croatian police,
10 and the ZNGs escalated as at the beginning of January 1991 up until August
11 1991. And in August, they turned into an open war.
12 Q. Is it true, then, that after those attacks, it was only then that
13 the forces of the 9th Corps started action primarily to deblock the road?
14 A. I heard the following: There was a blockade, and I've already
15 spoken about that in this courtroom. A deceased man from Cetina of whom
16 it was said that he had either died or -- died after being beaten by the
17 Croatian police in Sibenik, and he was buried there. His body was exhumed
18 and they wanted to transport him to Cetina, and that was when the road was
19 blocked. And in that connection, a large meeting, a rally of the citizens
20 was held in front of the 9th Corps. That was the reason for the blockade.
21 So it existed partly only.
22 As for the beginning of the conflict on the 26th of August, I had
23 the following information: First of all, I thought that the blockade of
24 the road had provoked the attack by the JNA. However, I have two other
25 reports about that event.
1 First, on the 25th, in the evening, after I was asked to come and
2 see you in Belgrade, I was told to drop in at Golubici, and over there I
3 saw a group of people from Lapac unloading something into the warehouse
4 where there was a training centre of the DB and police. It seemed to me
5 that I saw the president of the municipality there, and I asked one of the
6 men, "What's going on?" and he said that a mortar platoon from Lapac was
7 going to be deployed in the direction of Kijevo. That is the first report
8 I had about it.
9 Later I heard the following: That a group from Cetina had opened
10 fire first towards Kijevo. So this was a group, whether it was the TO or
11 the police of Krajina or a group of civilians I don't know exactly. Then
12 the fire was returned from Kijevo and then the JNA launched the attack.
13 However, what happened was that the Croatian forces, whether it was the
14 police or ZNG from Jezevici attacked toward Cetina, that the people of
15 Cetina panicked, and they were almost defeated there. But thanks to the
16 rapid intervention of the corps, they managed to defend that route. That
17 is what I heard subsequently about the event.
18 Q. I see. You're making a distinction between what you knew then and
19 what you allegedly heard later. What you knew then, you have just
20 repeated, coincides with what I am claiming, and now you're saying that
21 you heard later on that it was different.
22 A. I later heard more details.
23 Q. I assume that they too at the time knew that they were going to
24 deblock the road, just as you knew it at the time, and what you're saying
25 now you've made up. Is that right or not?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. If you say that the road was deblocked in the way you say it was
2 deblocked, it was done in such a way that -- that all the Croatian
3 population fled before the JNA, that Kijevo was destroyed by artillery,
4 that JNA with tank units and artillery passed through Kijevo towards
5 Vrlika, reached Maovica, Otisic towards Maljkovo, and via Jezevici to the
6 end of the village of Laktaci towards Dabar.
7 Q. Very well. That's fine. But let's cover these facts rather
8 quickly. Do you know that no members of the Krajina MUP took part in that
9 operation at all?
10 A. I said as much as I knew as to who took part. I know that Martic
11 and Zelenbaba entered Kijevo later on. Whether it was before or after the
12 JNA, I'm not sure. I heard that, but I saw on television that Martic and
13 Milenko Zelenbaba were removing the MUP inscription and they were
14 trampling on it. This was shown on Belgrade television.
15 Q. That is quite a different matter. Do you know that Martic, with
16 members of the police, entered Kijevo only after these so-called Croatian
17 policemen - there were 800 of them concentrated there - had fled? And
18 this was a small village. Do you know then?
19 A. When Martic entered Kijevo exactly, I don't know.
20 Q. And do you know, if you don't know that, since you described how
21 they used tanks and artillery to capture Kijevo and so on, do you know
22 that in that operation of deblocking the road, there were no casualties?
23 Do you know that?
24 A. I do know that there were one or two members of the Croatian ZNG
25 buried near Djurdjevici at the entrance to Vrlika. Somebody told me that
1 somebody was buried there. I'm not sure of that.
2 Q. I see. So somebody said that one or two people were buried, and I
3 have the information that there were no casualties in the deblocking of
4 Kijevo and that about 60 of them were captured and, immediately after
5 that, released because the purpose was not to kill or arrest anyone but to
6 lift the blockade on the road. Do you know that?
7 A. I've told you what I know about it.
8 Q. What you know you usually say, "I later heard," "Somebody told
9 me," and so on.
10 A. That day, I was visiting you in Belgrade and I was not present in
11 Knin or in the area, so it was only the next day.
12 Q. You keep referring to visiting me in Belgrade very often, but
13 we've seen that when we discussed the Vance Plan in the autumn of 1991,
14 that the next time you saw me was in 1993 as a member of a larger
15 delegation, and in 1994 and 1995. This was only once a year. You seem to
16 give the impression that you were in Belgrade constantly.
17 A. From October 1990 until September 1991, I met you personally in
18 Belgrade some 25 times.
19 Q. Very well, Mr. Babic. Those are your claims and assertions.
20 So you are not aware that there were no casualties in Kijevo. You
21 do not know that the 60 men captured were immediately released. You know
22 nothing about that; is that right?
23 A. I've told you what I know.
24 Q. Is what I'm saying correct or not?
25 A. I know that there were captured people.
1 JUDGE MAY: He doesn't know. He said that. Now, let's move on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think he knows that very well,
3 Mr. May, but simply refuses to say anything that suits the Serbian side.
4 But let us move on more quickly.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You have made -- told us a number of untruths about Drnis. Is it
7 true that Drnis has about an 80 per cent majority Croatian population?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it true that the HDZ won at the elections and, after asserting
10 its authority, it implemented terror and intimidation and provoking
11 incidents with the Serb population and the JNA? Is that right or not?
12 A. The HDZ won at the elections in Drnis in May 1991. I spoke about
13 the events in the police station in Drnis in August 1990 when Ante Bujas
14 issued an order to a group of policemen over there, who were both Serbs
15 and Croats, to disarm the barricade at Kosovo Klanac and to head toward
16 Drnis. And when the policemen refused to do that, they dispersed. I also
17 said that several local communes in Drnis municipality joined with Knin
18 municipality. I said what I knew about Drnis.
19 Q. Is it true that after the formation of the 113th Brigade of the
20 National Guards Corps, attacks on the barracks and warehouses of the JNA
21 started in Sibenik and Split?
22 A. I don't know what brigade it was in -- correction, Drnis and
23 Sibenik. I don't know the details about the blockade of barracks around
24 Drnis, but there were JNA warehouses there, warehouses, and I do know of
25 the blockade in Sibenik. General Vukovic told me about it and his
1 intention to go and deblock Sibenik via Drnis.
2 Q. Do you know about the blockade of barracks, the blockades of the
3 village of Zitnic, the warehouse at Trobunje, the commander of the
4 Motorised Brigade, the radio relay centre, the Manojlovac warehouse? You
5 know nothing about these blockades of barracks and break-ins into
7 A. I know that there were blockades of JNA facilities by the Croatian
8 forces, but I don't know any details about those blockades around Drnis. I
9 know that the garrison in Sibenik was blocked. Exactly where it is and
10 what kind of blockade it was, I don't know. I just know that General
11 Vukovic once asked me whether anyone had a town plan of Sibenik, because
12 he wanted to go and deblock the garrison in Sibenik. And he said in
13 passing that Drnis was like a mole on the female genitals, like a sore on
14 female genitals to him. But I don't know anything more than that.
15 Q. But you were not interested in events then. According to your
16 testimony, you were just a massive observer.
17 A. No. I was present at Tepljuh when Orlovic said that the people
18 were disturbed, that there were groups above Tepljuh disturbing them. I
19 went there and saw it. There was no shooting, just incidents. And then
20 an armoured train, Frenki's train, came. There were some disorders there,
21 and then later on, I don't know whether that was the next day or a few
22 days later, I came to Miocic, and General Djukic was already operating
23 there. I reached his armoured combat vehicle. He was issued -- issuing
24 orders to his artillery which was opening fire on Petrovo Polje, and I saw
1 Q. Since the JNA was a buffer zone along that line, is it true that
2 it prevented conflicts in the village of Tepljuh at the beginning of
3 August 1991?
4 A. I don't know exactly for August, but I do know that it was
5 deployed in front of Miocici and Tepljuh towards Petrovo Polje. This is
6 along the line of villages that had joined Knin. Earlier they were part
7 of Drnis municipality. So between Tepljuh and Croatian villages. And in
8 September there was the event as I have described it.
9 Q. Do you remember how long those small JNA groups were blocked? For
10 example, this centre at Promina was completely blocked, and a transport
11 helicopter which was to bring essentials - food, et cetera - was downed,
12 was shot down by these paramilitary units, and the pilot, Major Brkic, was
13 killed. Do you remember that?
14 A. I assumed there was a blockade but I don't know any details.
15 Q. Is it true that negotiations started on a cease-fire and an
16 agreement to that effect was signed and the organised withdrawal of units
17 of the JNA from Sibenik and Sinj?
18 A. There were talks on several occasions. In August, the JNA, as I
19 said, reached close to Sinj, the village of Maljkovo and close to Drnis,
20 the villages I have mentioned. I know that. And then in September, the
21 beginning of September, the JNA made progress, moved forward towards --
22 closer to Sinj, the village of Hrvace, and at the end of September the
23 Knin Corps, or Colonel Djukic, captured most of Drnis municipality. He
24 passed through the town of Drnis and established the line at the village
25 of Zitnic. In the area towards Zadar -- I heard this from General
1 Vukovic; he was to deblock Zadar, that is the barracks in Zadar, and this
2 happened at the beginning of October. I do know that General Vukovic, the
3 commander of the 9th Corps, moved its command post to a place near Zemunik
4 and that Zadar was under heavy fire from JNA units and that, in this way,
5 the 9th Corps forced Zadar municipality or, rather, the authorities of
6 that municipality to agree to deblock the barracks and an agreement was
7 signed on deblocking the barracks in Zadar.
8 After that, there were negotiations or incidents, I don't know
9 exactly, around the deblocking of the barracks in Sibenik. So first there
10 was Zadar and then Sibenik. And the garrison from Sinj started pulling
11 out, then from Zadar and then from Sibenik. And this withdrawal went on
12 for months, up until the end of 1991, roughly.
13 Q. I see. So the army intervened regarding two matters only; to
14 deblock its barracks, to pull out its members, its units, and to serve as
15 a buffer zone to prevent conflict between the National Guards Corps and
16 the Serb forces in the area. Isn't that quite clear?
17 A. Yes. And it was deploying within the territory of SAO Krajina but
18 also in areas which were not part of SAO Krajina, such as the town of
19 Drnis, Promina, Miljevci, Kotrelja [phoen], Maljkovo and some other
20 villages around Zadar. Skabrnja, to mention that as well.
21 Q. Is there any doubt that, at the time, this was all territory of
22 the SFRY and that the army was being deployed in a territory in which it
23 is legally present? And what has that got to do with it if it was not the
24 territory of SAO Krajina? It was deblocking its garrisons in Zadar and
25 Sibenik which were never a part of SAO Krajina, but the army had been
1 there for 50 years, that same army.
2 A. I said that the JNA had deblocked the barracks and was moving
3 around SAO Krajina, and in a portion of the area that was not SAO Krajina,
4 which means they took their positions in other areas as well. The SAO
5 Krajina decided to secede from Croatia and to remain within Yugoslavia.
6 It was constituted as a federal territory of the SFRY, according to what
7 -- our convictions. Up until then, the SAO was in fact part of SFRY
8 territory. However, in the parts that I mentioned where the JNA was
9 present and active, this was not SAO Krajina territory. And as for
10 October and November and the subsequent months, it became common knowledge
11 that as of the 8th of October, Croatia declared that the three-month
12 moratorium had expired, after which it could gain independence. And it
13 proclaimed that it was indeed an independent state as of that date.
14 So I'm not here to act as arbiter; I'm just talking about facts.
15 Q. Yes, the facts. And in that entire operation, in pulling out the
16 army from the facilities that had been deblocked, in pulling out the
17 equipment as well, do you remember the attacks that were made on the
18 railway line between Zagreb and Belgrade and the army trucks, Karlovac and
19 Banja Luka? Another case in point: The Zagreb-Belgrade railway line in
20 the village of Ivankovo when a whole military composition of trains and
21 tracks were attacked by members of the Croatian National Guard Corps,
22 which means that the army was pulling out from the deblocked areas and it
23 was moving out of Croatian territory, in fact. Do you remember that?
24 And the incidents that took place on the Zagreb-Belgrade railway
25 line where a military escort was taken off the train, taken in an unknown
1 direction and military equipment and materiel looted? Do you remember
2 that and everything that attended the blockade and deblocking afterwards
3 and how this situation came to a head and how the feelings escalated
4 vis-a-vis the JNA?
5 A. I described how the barracks were deblocked. I also said that I
6 did hear about the blocking of the barracks in Varazdin and Bjelovar and
7 the incident you mention now, this train composition, this trainload by
8 which the military were pulling out its facilities, and that the train was
9 blocked. I did hear about that, and I personally saw the withdrawal
10 officers and their families as they were pulling out of the area of the
11 5th army area at the Bihac airport. There were columns and columns of
12 officers with their families, carrying their own -- their furniture and
13 property. They were waiting for planes to evacuate them from the area.
14 Q. And do you remember a letter written by the deputy federal
15 secretary for national defence, Admiral Stane Brovet - who was a Slovene,
16 let me point out - on the 31st of August, 1991 which he sent to the
17 president of the government of Croatia and spoke about the attempts and
18 the famous looting that place over JNA property by members of the armed
19 formations, armed units of the Croatian National Guard Corps and others?
20 Do you remember that? That was quite public.
21 A. Well, I don't remember that now, but I know that there were
22 attempts when officers' apartments were stormed and looted. I do know
23 about that. There were rumours going round that things like that were
25 Q. All right. And is it true that in all the armed conflicts by
1 armed units from Krajina with the Croatian National Guard Corps and the
2 JNA on the other side, until they had become the object of attack, their
3 role was just to separate the two warring sides; isn't that right?
4 A. The JNA units were deployed, according to the best of my
5 information, as of the month of March. And the publicly declared reason
6 was to separate the conflicting parties which were the DB and -- on the
7 one side of Serbia and the Croatian police, which later became the
8 Croatian National Guard Corps and its units.
9 Q. All right. And do you remember the official announcement that was
10 made by the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, made public on the
11 28th of July, 1991, in which it states that with all cases - and I'm
12 quoting from that report - in which the JNA units were forced to fire
13 after the attacks by the MUP and the Croatian National Guard Corps was
14 something that the public was informed about, when they had to return
15 fire. It is common knowledge that the JNA units did not open fire on any
16 occasion first and that members of the army and their families were
17 subjected to very strong provocation. Their property was under jeopardy,
18 and armed -- this finally led to armed attacks as well against their
19 person. Do you remember that?
20 A. I said what I knew and the manner in which the escalation of the
21 armed conflict came about, which means shooting on both sides, and usually
22 this shooting came from the Krajina side. The police and DB shot at the
23 Croatian police, and the Croatian police would respond, they would return
24 fire, and then the Krajina police force or the volunteer units would
25 attack the Croatian side by throwing mortars at them. The Croatian side
1 would respond once again, and then the JNA would step in and open
2 artillery fire. So that's what happened as of August 1991. Before
3 that --
4 Q. Does that mean that this is not correct, then, what it says here,
5 that this is incontestable proof that the JNA units never opened fire
6 first but that they opened fire exclusively to protect themselves once
7 they had come under attack? Do you say that that is a lie?
8 A. Well, I'm telling you what you know -- I've said what I -- I'm
9 telling you what I know.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. And of the events in Split that were well known on the 6th of May
13 up until the 25th of July, that is to say when they lynched that soldier
14 over there and launched demonstrations against the army in Croatia, that
15 126 cases of violence towards soldiers and JNA facilities were directed,
16 as well as 22 armed attacks against JNA units, 11 cases where fire was
17 opened on the barracks, 36 cases of unlawful action, and so on and so
18 forth. All this was presented to the Yugoslav public. Now, do you claim
19 that all that was pure fabrication?
20 A. I say the following about that, and I've already spoken about that
21 before this Tribunal: That after the events of the 2nd of May, especially
22 after what took place in Borovo Selo, there was a great escalation of hate
23 on the part of the Croatian population, the government, and the police.
24 Intolerance generally, which -- and et cetera, and the role of the JNA in
25 those conflicts. And I said that I attended public opinion and this
1 expression of animosity and so on and that for days the victims from
2 Borovo Selo were buried, public commemoration meetings were held, public
3 protests and rallies were held over the events in Split, but the events
4 escalated and there were more and more conflicts with the JNA, and the
5 whole entire public was able to see this, when a citizen of Split in fact
6 jumped up onto an armoured JNA carrier and strangled a young soldier in
7 that truck -- tank. And a soldier was killed in Split. So this was the
8 time of great escalation, when in Croatia a referendum was to be held as
9 to whether the citizens of Croatia were in favour of a sovereign,
10 independent Croatian or whether they wished to remain within Yugoslavia.
11 It is my assessment that those events led up to the fact that the Croatian
12 citizens for the most part opted for an independent, sovereign, and
13 autonomous Croatian state.
14 Q. All right. Does it emanate from what you're saying that the
15 people of Krajina attacked the Croatians -- attacked Croatia and not that
16 this new chauvinist regime in Croatia attacked the Serbs? What are you
18 A. I spoke quite specifically about what I knew, first of all in
19 1990, and then the political conflicts that ensued.
20 Q. Could you be briefer, please. I can't keep listening to speeches.
21 My question was quite specific.
22 So you say the Krajina people attacked Croatia. Is that what
23 you're claiming, perhaps?
24 A. I told you how the conflicts came to take place.
25 Q. All right. Tell me this: Your closest associates, were they the
1 president of the Municipal Assembly of Donji Lapac, Slovastovac [phoen],
2 and Vobrovac [phoen], Sergej Veselinovic? Were they your closest
3 associates or amongst your closest associates? Isn't that right?
4 A. Rastovic was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly of Donji
5 Lapac and president of the Assembly of North Dalmatia and Lika, the
6 vice-president of the Serbian National Council, and vice-president of the
7 Provisional Executive Council of SAO Krajina. He was the founder of the
8 Serbian Democratic Party together with Dr. Jovan Raskovic.
9 JUDGE MAY: The question was were they the -- your closest
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were my political friends, my
12 political comrades. We thought the same way up until the 29th of May,
13 1991, and then we went our own ways. They became a faction close to
14 president -- Prime Minister Starevic and Martic. They were close to
15 Frenki, and I can also say that they were his political associates and
16 friends up until the formation of the government on the 29th of May, 1991.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. All right. Well, we have here, written in hand, a letter, and I'm
19 going to ask you to ask me [as interpreted] a few questions that these two
20 men have written in their letter. They wrote the letter out in their own
21 hands and signed it. They say: "We hope that you know that the Serbian
22 Democratic Party obtained a nationalistic preface because we expected a
23 political conflict at a national, Serbian, and Croatian level in Croatia
24 and not because somebody from Serbia wanted that to happen but because,
25 through its exclusively nationalist programme, it already puts by the
2 A. I said there was a political conflict between the representatives
3 of the Serb people and the government of Croatia in 1990 and that you
4 became involved in the conflict in the way in which I have described.
5 Q. And they go on to say quite the opposite. They say what you're
6 saying and that you're saying that somebody from Serbia was to blame. "We
7 don't blame you because you didn't know about it," and you became a member
8 of the SDS and League of Communists of Croatia later on. Isn't that so?
9 A. Why do they say? Fell into the SDS. I joined the SDS on the 17th
10 of February 1990 at the founding Assembly, and I became a member because I
11 was put forward by a member of the national board after a short
12 introductory address.
13 Q. All right. They say: "But you know that at the party meetings
14 that we held throughout the Krajina region we drew attention to the
15 resurrection of the Ustasha movement and nobody influenced this from
16 Serbia and you -" using the singular form - "are keeping quiet." That is
17 what they are saying to you. Isn't that right?
18 A. I spoke about the meetings and events in 1990. I've spoken about
19 them at length and quite specifically before this Tribunal already.
20 Q. It says: "And we the undersigned" --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Would you give us the date of that letter, the
22 date of the letter from which you're quoting.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've just received it. Listening to
24 this witness, these are his closest associates. They've just sent me this
25 letter, Mr. Robinson. I just received it by fax. I have a whole series
1 of letters from the people of Krajina with respect to the testimony of
2 this witness of yours, and you can --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: I can tell you that your case will be
4 strengthened if you are to call these people as witnesses, because the
5 weight which the Chamber can attach to that kind of evidence will be
6 limited, but it would be immeasurably strengthened if you were to call
7 them as witnesses when you give your defence, so please bear that in mind.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for that advice, Mr.
9 Robinson. Of course, these people who write letters and sign their own
10 names to them are ready and willing to testify, because, so far, this has
11 been a very amateur rigging of this whole thing.
12 JUDGE MAY: No. No. You're not making comments like that. Cheap
13 sneers of that sort cut no ice at all. Now, you remember you're in a
14 court and ask proper questions.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. And is it true what they say. "We, the undersigned, admired your
17 rhetorical capabilities as to how you explained to the people the advent
18 of the Ustasha fascist powers and how they would endanger them." They
19 admired you for that. That's what they say.
20 JUDGE MAY: That's a comment by them of no relevance at all.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. All right. Is this correct then: Do you not remember that the
23 official authorities in Serbia at the time, via the Krajina generals,
24 supported the side that was opposed to us, Racan's SDP party, and that is
25 why the SDS, at later elections, did not win elections in the Serb
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 municipalities? How, then, is a plot and coordination as to some sort of
2 forming of the Serb programme? Those are their words. What --
3 A. What is your question?
4 Q. Well, they're the ones that are asking the question. Do you
5 remember that the official powers at the time supported Racan's party,
6 which was in fact the League of Communists of Croatia and later on become
7 the SDP at those particular elections?
8 A. You didn't support Racan, as far as I recall.
9 Q. Well, they're reminding you of that. That's what they say in
10 their letter.
11 A. You did not support Racan at all. I remember that very well.
12 Q. Well, all right. I don't claim anything.
13 A. And as far as this group of pensioned, retired generals is
14 concerned, from Lika, I did hear about that, that they were in the
15 pre-electoral campaign in 1990, that they went around in helicopters,
16 supporting the leftist option, as they called it, of the League of
17 Communists of Croatia, the left-wing Racan party, as you referred to it.
18 Q. Yes. And they said, "Of course we didn't let Tudjman put a noose
19 around our necks. We worked round -- with the organs of the
20 municipalities, of which you were the president, for the forming of the
21 Serbian National Association, and you know that nobody from Serbia took
22 part in that. You know that very well." That is what they are writing to
24 A. I spoke very specifically about those events, and I mentioned you
25 for the first time where -- about the fact that you left to Kupari, to go
1 to Kupari, and the first time I talked to you on the 11 of August, 1990.
2 And I said at the SDS founding Assembly, I don't remember there were
3 people from Serbia. Kosta Carlski [phoen] was the main guest there on
4 behalf of the Democratic Party. I don't remember the others. Now, I
5 don't know what the question is. What's your question?
6 A. They say it was just our political battle with the nationalist
7 Croatian authorities, our resistance to the disenfranchisement of the
8 Serbian people and the abolishment of its constitutional rights on a daily
10 A. It was our political battle, along with your guarantees that
11 Yugoslav People's Army would protect our political struggle.
12 Q. And they go on to say: "Did we not see through their attempts to
13 deprive us of our status of a constituent nation and therefore taken
14 political steps to protect ourselves?" That's what they say.
15 A. I did talk about this political conflict and our political efforts
16 to stand up to the amendments to the constitution of the Socialist
17 Republic of Croatia where those rights were reduced and that we were
18 opposed to the passing of a new constitution for Croatia in December which
19 did not recognise the right of the Serbs as a constituent peoples and that
20 we strove to ensure that those Serb rights should be defined in the
21 Croatian constitution, and the Serbian autonomous province be recognised.
22 And Raskovic was opposed to this notion of a county or Zupanja. And I can
23 recall very well when I proposed that it be called the SAO autonomous
24 province that he was very angry to have this word "Zupanja" or "county"
1 Q. Well, I'm not asking about that. Yes, he was angry. But as you
2 were the close associate with him, with these two, is what they say in
3 their letter correct? And they say the following: "You say the nights we
4 spent in the Knin centre for information, our courageous running towards
5 every barricade that was under threat, during all that, with your presence
6 you encouraged and supported the people of Krajina who trusted you
7 unreservedly. Did you see anyone from Serbia there at the time?"
8 A. As for the barricades, I explained how it came about that they
9 were put up. As for the referendum --
10 Q. Well, was anyone from Serbia there?
11 A. At the barricades?
12 Q. Yes. Was it someone from Serbia who put up the barricades?
13 A. I didn't see you at the barricades.
14 Q. Did you see anyone from Serbia?
15 A. I didn't say I saw anyone from Serbia.
16 Q. We have had testimony here --
17 A. Allow me to finish. I saw Jovica Stanisic with Milan Martic in
18 May, 1991 and Martic introduced him as a person from the MUP of Serbia.
19 That was in August 1990.
20 Q. Well, did not someone from the MUP of Serbia have the right to be
21 friends with someone and to cooperate with someone? Is that something
22 that is suspect and inadmissible?
23 A. Well, Martic was an inspector, he was not a Minister.
24 Q. How do you comment on this passage in their letter? The Defence
25 council that you are accusing of being a parallel power and body is
1 something that you yourself set up until the Territorial Defence could be
2 established. Is that correct or not?
3 A. No, that's not correct. The so-called staff - I only heard it
4 called a staff, not a council - was set up in the village of Padjeni on
5 the 18th -- no, sorry, on the 16th -- just a moment, please. On the 18th
6 of August, 1991, on the initiative of Marko Dobrijevic, Branko Perica,
7 Zelenbaba, Opacic, and Martic.
8 Q. Don't explain this. They say that you set up this body that
9 you're accusing; is that correct?
10 A. I was there at the beginning of the meeting but then I went off
11 with Veljko Popovic, who was the president of the council of the
12 municipality of Knin, to a meeting with Ante Bujas who was the chief of
13 police in Sibenik and who was in charge of the Knin police station. And
14 while this meeting at Padjeni was going on, I was with Bujas at the police
15 station in Knin. At that meeting, Bujas asked that we agree to his
16 proposal that 30 MUP policemen of Croatian ethnicity should arrive in the
17 police station in order to improve the ethnic make-up. I wasn't there at
18 the meeting until the end, so I don't know exactly how it ended.
19 I know that the staff was established. Martic informed me of this
20 on the following day. He invited me to Golubic, and I arrived in Golubic
21 and he asked -- he said, "Will you tell us who will hold what post?" And
22 I joked with him. I said, "Well, you can be the chief and Jovo can take
23 charge of political activities, and Dusan Zelenbaba can be in charge of
24 the medical corps, I'm sure he's familiar with that kind of work." And
25 then Zelenbaba said, "Well, I never even completed my army service." And
1 we laughed. This was a kind of a joke.
2 Well, anyway, this was supposed to be a group that was called in
3 aid to the barricades, but a few days later, it turned to a military camp
4 and I didn't like this at all. They referred to my authority. They said
5 that I had established and that this was a sort of staff of mine, and I
6 asked to the late Jovan Raskovic to disband this staff at the SDS meeting,
7 and this was done, as far as the staff is concerned.
8 As for the Council of National Resistance, I did not take any part
9 in that. That was an illegal organisation. And I said to the people whom
10 I knew to be in it and who were causing incidents and making announcements
11 over Radio Knin, all of which contributed to disorder and to the situation
12 of chaos that prevailed, as the later academician Mr. Raskovic said, the
13 purpose of this all was to be -- to introduce a state of emergency.
14 Q. You're answering in too great detail. Be brief, please. They say
15 that you yourself set up this body. They say it's not correct that you
16 were there at the beginning of the meeting and then you left. They're
17 lying, are they?
18 A. Well, these are two bodies. One was the staff set up at the party
19 meeting in Padjeni and the other body was the National Defence Council
20 which they established, and I had no part in that and asked for it to be
22 Q. Well, they are writing here and saying why are you disgracing us
23 with lies? We all breathed as one, fighting for our elementary right to
24 life. And they say now you're saying that you were in some kind of
25 conflict with all of them; that they were extremists and that you were a
2 A. I'm saying what happened. I was leading a political struggle
3 which I described here in detail, and I can go on to explain it more.
4 Q. Well, you say that what was in your heart and in your mind differs
5 from what you were saying. Did you want to remain in Croatia?
6 A. Well, I wanted to achieve autonomy in Croatia, hoping that Croatia
7 would remain within Yugoslavia. That's what I thought and what I said. I
8 said that I felt the dismemberment of Yugoslavia as if it was the
9 dismemberment of my own body, and I described in detail what happened
11 Q. Well, since you have now lifted the embargo on your testimony, the
12 public will be able to see your entire testimony and the tapes where you
13 are talking to the investigators and the representatives of the opposite
14 side, and they will be able to see for themselves what this looks like.
15 Your close comrades ask you is it not an insult to the Serbian
16 people of the Krajina, our former friend, for you to consider them to be
17 immature politically, to have been manipulated by someone, as if there had
18 been no collective memory of the fascist and genocidal Ustasha state.
19 They say who was it who manipulated our fathers, who experienced the
20 Ustasha pogrom in 1941?
21 JUDGE MAY: This all sounds like political comments and that sort
22 of thing. It's not at all helpful. Let's move on. If you've got
23 something concrete to put out of the letter, of course you can, but
24 putting their comments and political views are totally irrelevant.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Very well. They go on to say: "For God's sake, what does this
2 have to do with Serbia?"
3 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm going to stop this. You've either got some
4 proper questions to ask or the cross-examination is coming to an end.
5 This letter involves questions which are not proper or relevant.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May. We have to
7 hurry up. I will pass over some questions because I think we have cleared
8 up how the attack on the JNA went and the blockades of the barracks.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you agree that the army, at the price of unprecedented
11 humiliation, avoided using any sort of drastic means to unblock the
12 barricades; that they kept negotiating, that they kept trying to settle
13 this peacefully? You heard the tape of the conversation between Kadijevic
14 and Tudjman.
15 A. As far as I know, the JNA used the most drastic and the strongest
16 means at their disposal; the artillery and even the aviation.
17 Q. Well, they used aviation to defend some transports that were
18 attacked, that's true, but what you are saying is a complete lie. You say
19 that they used the most drastic means. Do you know that the life of the
20 members of the JNA, some of whom spent two and a half months under
21 conditions of siege and blockade, do you know what it was like?
22 A. I heard that the conditions were terrible, and I also heard
23 something from the taped conversation between Hadzic and Mladic which
24 Mladic let me hear when the Maslenica Bridge was taken. Hadzic was
25 speaking of the difficult situation of the people in the garrisons.
1 Q. All right. In Varazdin, Jakova [phoen], Slavonska Pozega,
2 Cakovec, they soon surrendered, almost without a struggle. They were
3 under a blockade. Others, such as Bjelovar, Zagreb, Bosjic [phoen],
4 Sibenika, Karlovac, Gospic offered strong resistance. They fought for as
5 long as they could or, that is, until they were deblocked.
6 A. I know that Tudjman's forces took over most of the garrisons in
8 Q. Do you know the name of Major Tepic?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Bjelovar was the only place with great sacrifices. After fierce
11 fighting which lasted all day, the barracks fell, and Major Tepic died a
12 heroic death, as did the commander of the Armoured Brigade. There was a
13 brutal attack on the garrison. They had not attacked anyone at all. Is
14 that true or not?
15 A. That's true, and Major Tepic has been declared a hero.
16 Q. Very well. Are you aware of the fact that, in parallel to
17 everything that was going on, as early as 1990 and 1991, ethnic cleansing
18 took place where the Serb population was forced to move out, and they set
19 out towards Serbia? Do you know that we had a hundred thousand refugees?
20 Can you tell me exactly when?
21 A. Well, in 1991, Yugoslavia still existed. I know that during 1991,
22 especially in the summer during the armed clashes in Eastern Slavonia,
23 there were many refugees. I visited the village of Vajska myself on the
24 Vojvodina side of the Danube, and I saw with my own eyes that there were
25 large numbers of refugees accommodated in the school in Vajska, and they
1 went to other parts of Serbia as well.
2 Q. Well, you were the Prime Minister at the time. Do you know that a
3 hundred thousand Serbs fled from Croatia, faced with unprecedented terror,
4 with murders, arrests, people being taken away and going missing without
5 any trace?
6 A. I don't know if it was a hundred thousand, but large numbers of
7 people left Slavonia, and this was the first great exodus when the JNA
8 retreated from there. This was a large exodus of the Serbs in the autumn
9 of 1991.
10 Q. Very well. Do you know that even The New York Times in 1993 --
11 David Binder wrote in The New York Times of 10.000 Serbian houses that had
12 been blown up and the expulsion of the Serbs from Croatia outside the area
13 of the Krajina and that it was ethnically the purest country in Europe on
14 the territories it controlled? It did not then control the area of the
15 Krajina. They said there were a hundred thousand houses that were blown
16 up. Granic admitted to 7.000.
17 A. Well, at the time, I belonged to the group of Serbs, a large group
18 of Serbs who fled from that area.
19 Q. Well, I am speaking of the houses blown up in 1993, not 1995.
20 Don't mix things up.
21 A. I apologise.
22 Q. Do you know anything about this? He wrote this in 1993, but this
23 happened throughout this period. Do you know what was done in Zadar, what
24 was done in other places? You mention that people were blown up, houses
25 with whole families in them.
1 A. Well, there was talk of a Serbian family with the last name of Zec
2 who were murdered in Zagreb.
3 Q. Are you then trying to reduce these hundred thousand family homes
4 to the Zec family alone, which is, of course, a tragic event? I'm
5 speaking of 10.000 houses that were blown up in 1991, by the end of 1991.
6 A. I don't know exactly, but there were tens of thousands of
7 refugees, mostly from Western Slavonia, which until then, had been held by
8 the JNA. And before that, part of the area of the Slavonska Pozega
9 municipality, there were houses that were burnt where the Croatian
10 authorities had moved people out. These were villages on the western side
11 of Slavonska Pozega. This happened in 1991.
12 I have said that in the summer of 1991, a large number of people
13 from Eastern Slavonia crossed the river Danube.
14 Q. Well, let's not waste time on this, but was The New York Times
15 influenced by this parallel structure you keep referring to?
16 JUDGE MAY: He can't answer that.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Does it not seem to you, Mr. Babic, that you are overly-eager to
19 attack the parallel structure? Doesn't it seem to you that one can easily
20 spot the empty gap in this mosaic which you will fill with someone you
21 attacked from this so-called parallel structure in order to confirm the
22 truth of what you are saying? Doesn't this whole testimony seem
23 amateurish, all this fabrication?
24 A. The truth is only one. It's not piecemeal. I'm saying what I
1 Q. Can you explain that on the tapes the innumerable tapes from your
2 examination-in-chief by the Office of the Prosecutor, starting with the
3 first tape which should be the beginning, you -- they say that in your
4 previous interviews, you concluded this or that. Were you rehearsing your
5 testimony, then? Was that a dress rehearsal? How many hours did you
6 spend before the interview was taped, preparing for this?
7 A. As for my statement, I can say that I gave it according to the
8 proper procedure. When the video and audiotapes had already started
9 recording, that's when I started making my statement. Before that, I had
10 contacts and two meetings with a member of the investigating team of the
11 Tribunal. The contacts were five or ten minutes long when I asked for an
12 interview and when we were scheduling the interview. So that's what we
13 talked about, not the content of the interview. There were no previous
14 interviews about what I was going to say. I did not discuss this with
15 anyone, including representatives of the Tribunal, as regards the
16 interview that was taped.
17 Q. Well, the examples of Kijevo, Drnis, and so on that you mentioned
18 and that you were asked about which the lady who conducted your
19 examination-in-chief, you explained a certain setup. You say the DB
20 provoked, the army attacked, expelled the Croats, and so on and so forth.
21 So each of these events, Kijevo, Drnis, Oborovo, Obrovac, Kostajnica,
22 Plaski, Skabrnja, Rupe, Nadin, Slunj, Ogulin, Saborsko, Petrinja, Sisak,
23 Korenica, Dubica, there is information on each of these places, and all
24 this information contradicts what you said in order to support this false
1 A. I'm speaking about what I know and about the events of the time.
2 Q. Don't you see that what you knew then was one thing and that what
3 you learnt later was another?
4 A. I always gained information through personal inspection and
5 obtaining information immediately after the events had taken place, and my
6 information comes from several sources. This is not enough --
7 JUDGE MAY: I'm stopping you, Mr. Milosevic. It's time for the
8 break. Twenty minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, there is a request from the
12 interpreters for both you and the witness to slow down so that they've got
13 time to interpret properly. So remember, as I said at the outset, leave a
14 gap, if you would, between question and answer.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. May, though I see I
16 only have another hour left, but I shall do my best to bear in mind the
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So I've listed all these places, and reports that I have about
20 them are quite opposite to what you have said. Tell me, please, do you
21 have any subsequent information, perhaps, about a series of other crimes
22 that occurred and which you are now denying? Let me list just a few.
23 On the 22nd of August, 1991, the National Guards Corps and the MUP
24 of Croatia rushed through the Serbian villages of Banija, Trnjani, Ckalja,
25 Kinjacka, Bestrma, Plinski Put, Plinska Greda, Brdjani, and opened fire at
1 anything that moved and killed dozens of people. Do you know about that
2 or not?
3 A. You refer to what I'm saying as my pattern, but it is what I know
4 about the way you waged the war. You drew the Serb people in Krajina into
5 that war, the JNA into that war, to achieve your political goal.
6 Q. I'm asking you a specific question. Let's leave those speeches
8 JUDGE MAY: One at a time.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Will you please answer my question.
11 A. That was the first part of your question. Secondly, from that
12 period of time, I remember I was told about the killing of a large number
13 of people in Kinjacka, near Sisak, where the Croatian armed forces killed
14 a large number of Serbs in this village of Ninsko [phoen].
15 Q. Very well. Sisak, which was not a part of Krajina and that was
16 under Croatian authority.
17 Do you remember in the summer and autumn 1991 dozens of Serbs were
18 executed and dozens of bodies have still not been found? People were
19 killed in their homes, in the street, at work, and in most cases, they
20 were taken away to pre-arranged spots and liquidated there. This is
21 Sisak. Do you know anything about that?
22 A. I don't know exactly how many people were killed in Sisak, but I
23 do know that a large number of people did flee from Sisak. I know that
24 among them were four leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party who fled from
25 Sisak and the whole area of Banija.
1 Q. And is it true that in the Pakracka Poljana there were large-scale
2 liquidations of Serbs, in Marino Selo and Pakracka Poljana that started on
3 the 9th of October, 1991?
4 A. We heard about the events in Pakracka Poljana and Marino Selo
5 where certain armed formations of Croatia committed crimes against Serbs.
6 Q. Do you know about these numerous small death camps that were
7 formed there; Ribarska Koliba, Stara Ciglana, in Pakracka Poljana?
8 A. I heard about Pakracka Poljana and Marino Selo. As for the other
9 locations you mentioned, I don't know.
10 Q. Do you know how many hundreds of Serbs were killed there?
11 A. I heard that a large number of Serbs were killed there.
12 Q. And is it true that in Gospic that again you're quite erroneously
13 describing the events of the 10th of September, 1991, where the Croatian
14 guards and the MUP were grouping round the barracks and the military
15 facilities in Kaniza? They switched off the electricity, water, and
16 telephone cables and started killing soldiers outside the barracks and
17 then opening fire from the hospital and the church, killing captain
18 Miodrag Ostojic, Lieutenant Dusko Masinjamin [phoen], six soldiers were
19 seriously wounded with shots fired into the compound.
20 A. I remember at the same time some officers were saying that the
21 wives of officers, of Croat officers, were being hanged, and this was
22 happening in Gospic. I also heard that there were murders of Serbs in
23 Gospic who were buried somewhere around Gospic. There was an
24 investigation and trials in Croatia.
25 Q. Do you know about this building Oglovnica that members of MUP and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the guards broke into? There was Milan Rozic known as Ruke [phoen],
2 Matija Marte, known as Ivan; Podje [phoen] called Ziga, Zejlko; Petri
3 Miroslav, and they executed -- took away and executed several dozen men of
4 Serb ethnicity.
5 A. I'm sorry. Where did you say this occurred?
6 Q. This was in Gospic.
7 A. I'm not sure. I don't know the details about that. I do know
8 that there were such events, and I've already said what I had heard about
10 Q. And do you know that on the 25th of December, in a period of two
11 days, 123 persons of Serb ethnicity were taken away from Gospic and
12 Karlobag and executed?
13 A. I said that I had heard that in that period of time and later a
14 large number of Serbs were persecuted by the Croatian forces.
15 Q. And do you remember -- do you remember when patrolling No Man's
16 Land near Siokakula [phoen], members of the TO and the JNA came upon
17 carbonated bodies of 15 men and nine women?
18 A. Yes, I was told about that event. Charred bodies.
19 Q. Is it true that also in Karlovac, which you describe again quite
20 wrongly, that on the 21st of September they stopped vehicles and killed
21 the soldiers? Do you remember that event?
22 A. Yes, I remember the event at Goranski Most when Croatian forces
23 stopped a group of reservists from the area of Kordun who were going to
24 the barracks, Logorunska, a barracks near Karlovac, and they were killed
25 on the bridge. One man managed to escape by jumping into the river. Yes,
1 he jumped into the river, and he wrote about it, and I read his articles
2 about the event.
3 Q. They first shot at their feet, then they slit their throats, broke
4 their bones, cut off their ears, all on this bridge.
5 A. Yes. I read what this man wrote, that they forced them to lie on
6 the ground, and they executed them one by one, and that he saved his life
7 by jumping and escaping.
8 Q. Do you remember the event in Paulin Dvor near Osijek? The
9 inhabitants didn't even take up arms because they were given guarantees by
10 the Croats from the neighbouring villages that nobody would harm them.
11 However, when the police forces arrived in those villages, they put them
12 all into two houses, and in the night between the 11th and 12th of
13 December, they executed all the people in -- detained in house 51. In the
14 morning, there were none of them dead or alive, there was just blood all
15 over the building. Do you remember that?
16 A. I don't remember that particular event.
17 Q. The body of Dara Vujanovic only has been found. There is no trace
18 of the others to this day.
19 JUDGE MAY: The witness cannot give any evidence about it.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, these investigators of the
21 opposite side, in 2002, discovered the bodies of 18 missing from Paulin
22 Dvor at a location called --
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to stop you. You're asking
24 this witness questions. It's only what he can give evidence about which
25 is relevant at the moment. You can call evidence about these events if
1 you wish. There's no point asking him about things he doesn't know about.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Very well. In view of what was happening in Western Slavonia with
4 the first major exodus of Serbs from Western Slavonia, how can you be
5 saying what you're saying?
6 A. I don't understand the question.
7 Q. How can you justify the Croatian authorities when you're aware of
8 the exodus from Western Slavonia and of all these crimes that I have
9 listed? Did you again subsequently come to the conclusion that it was the
10 Serbs who attacked them?
11 A. I'm not attacking anyone or blaming anyone. I'm talking about
12 specific events.
13 Q. Very well. Is it true that tens of thousands of Serbs on tractors
14 and horse-drawn carts left Daruvar, Grubisno Polje, Podravska Slatina, a
15 part of Pakrac in which they had had the majority otherwise?
16 A. Yes. The moment when the Yugoslav People's Army started
17 withdrawing from those areas. I heard and listened, the people saying
18 that rumours were spreading that the Ustasha, as they called the Croatian
19 army, were slaughtering all over. I don't know exactly what was
20 happening, but tens of thousands of Serbs withdrew together with the JNA
21 from Western Slavonia. They fled. So I know what I heard and what I saw.
22 Q. So it was not because of the crimes that were being committed. I
23 asked a question to a colleague of yours who was a protected witness, and
24 I asked him whether he knew that 193 settlements were ethnically cleansed,
25 and he said that the figure wasn't right. It wasn't 193 but 163. That
1 52.320 Serbs left the area, and the final report mentions a figure of up
2 to 70.000. Do you know about that?
3 A. I do know that tens of thousands of people from the area of
4 Western Slavonia fled in the way I have described, when the JNA withdrew.
5 If you want my opinion about it, that is also a consequence of your
6 policies towards the Serbs and the Croats.
7 Q. Very well, Mr. Babic. And is it true that in Nos Kalic on the 3rd
8 of April 1992, the Croatian army attacked this purely Serbian village and
9 that today there are neither houses nor people? The entire village has
10 been razed to the ground.
11 A. When was this?
12 Q. The 3rd of April, 1992. Nos Kalic does not exist today. There
13 are no houses or people there.
14 A. It is true that the Croatian army was -- first captured the
15 village of Nos Kalic, the only Serb settlement on the Miljevicka plateau,
16 and razed it to the ground. There are no inhabitants there. Whether they
17 were chased out or killed, I don't know. But in the next operation of the
18 Croatian army, as it advanced along the Miljevicka plateau, in June 1992,
19 several dozen members of the Territorial Defence of Krajina were killed in
20 the area, and they were mostly from the area of Dalmatinsko Kosovo or
21 Knin. This was the second advance of the Croatian army towards what were
22 later known as pink zones, that is, territories that were not under UN
23 protection, that were not protected under the Vance Plan that you
24 accepted. So they were not protected by the United Nations.
25 Q. You're surely not going to deny that this treacherous attack in
1 the pink areas which were zones, after all, in which nothing should have
2 taken place that was like a military conflict, that all this happened in
3 the presence of UNPROFOR?
4 A. Those were areas that were not under protection, because you
5 didn't want the Vance Plan to be modified so that they would be protected
6 as well. These areas were subsequently called the so-called pink areas
7 after those events, and they were given that name so as to find a model
8 that would be acceptable between the government of Krajina, you, and the
9 Croatian side as to the establishment of Croatian authority there as soon
10 as possible.
11 Q. Is it true that they threw the dead Serbs into pits and on top of
12 them large rubbish to cover up traces of their crimes?
13 A. Many victims were discovered as a result of this attack and
14 conflict between the Croatian army and the Territorial Defence or, rather,
15 the Serbian army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, as it was called by
16 then, and a number of bodies, I think, were never found.
17 Q. You're also distorting the events in Maslenica on the 22nd of
18 January, 1993 when the Croatian army attacked the Republic of Srpska
19 Krajina in the south from Zadar towards Benkovac and Obrovac, and also
20 from Sinj towards Vrlika.
21 A. What are you talking about, sir? What have I distorted?
22 Q. Is it true that on 22nd of January the Croatian army attacked the
23 Republic of Serbian Krajina from the south, from the direction of Zadar,
24 and also from Sinj towards Vrlika? Is that right?
25 A. There were two attacks by the Croatian army that followed one
1 another. The first was in the area of the Maslenica Bridge, the Ravni
2 Kotari area, along the Adriatic motorway, and the Croatian forces then
3 captured a part of the territory that was under the so-called protection
4 of the UN but which was not demilitarised. The immediate cause for the
5 attack, actually, was that the agreements around the opening of the
6 so-called blue routes had not been implemented. This is -- was agreed
7 between the government of Krajina with the Croatian authorities and your
8 support. Why this wasn't implemented, I don't know.
9 Q. What do you mean why I didn't realise it? What are you talking
10 about? Tell me, is quite the opposite true, quite the opposite, that it
11 was only then that since they were attacked in the parts that they were
12 protected by UNPROFOR, the people of Krajina took from the warehouse heavy
13 weapons in order to protect themselves from the attacks as UNPROFOR did
14 not protect them? Is that right?
15 A. Mr. Milosevic, it is true that you did not respect the plan you
16 had signed. There wasn't complete demilitarisation, there wasn't a mixed
17 police force, and that the displaced Croats did not return. And it is
18 true that the Croatian army attacked the area on the date you have given.
19 Q. Very well. Tell me, regarding the Medak pocket, south-east of
20 Gospic, was that also a treacherous attack after the UN were protecting
21 the area for 18 months? People were not expecting any kind of attack.
22 They had been under protection for 18 months by tanks and infantry on
23 Divoselo, Pocitelj.
24 A. The fact is that in the area, the Croatian army committed a
25 massive crime against the Serbian civilian population. A large number of
1 members of the Serbian army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina were killed
2 in that attack. The area -- this event occurred under conditions of open
3 hostilities in 1993, in between -- between the Serbian army of Krajina and
4 the Croatian army. This area was also a UN protected area and it is a
5 fact also that the area was not demilitarised, that you did not
6 demilitarised it under the provisions of the Vance Plan that you imposed
7 on us, and it is a fact also that there was an armed conflict between the
8 Croatian army and police on the one hand and the Serbian forces on the
10 Q. Isn't the truth quite the opposite, that the citizens believed in
11 UNPROFOR protection, that they were surprised by the attack, and that
12 unheard-of crimes were committed, Mr. Babic?
13 A. You cannot mourn more for the people who died then than I did, but
14 the fact is that there was an armed conflict at the time between the
15 Serbian army of Krajina and the Croatian army. You said that the conflict
16 occurred in January 1993, and that is true.
17 Q. Do you remember the written report by General Jean Cot, who was
18 the commander of UNPROFOR at the time, dated the 19th of September, 1993,
19 once he had toured the villages? He said, and in his report he states,
20 and I quote the report: "I did not find any traces of life, any signs of
21 life, either of people or animals, in several villages through which we
22 passed. The destruction is complete, systematic, and intentional."
23 Do you remember that report of his?
24 A. Mr. Milosevic, that is absolutely correct and corresponds to the
25 same picture that the armed formations of the JNA and other people under
1 its command made in 1991 in certain areas of Croatia.
2 Q. I'm asking you about this, whereas that repetition of yours, your
3 constant repetition of the accusations is not an answer to my question.
4 What I'm asking you is this, and please just answer my questions --
5 A. I'm saying that the way in which Franjo Tudjman waged a war in
6 1993 and 1995 against the Serb people in Krajina is the same as you waged
7 via the Yugoslav People's Army against the -- against Croatia and the
8 Croatian people in 1991.
9 Q. Is it possible that these crimes that were perpetrated during all
10 the operations, for example, the Flash and Storm operations, that the army
11 did that, that I did that in 1991 against the Croats? What Croatian
12 territories were rid of Croats and which Croats were killed and everything
13 that you are saying, all these territories emptied of them? And you're
14 speaking about the actions of the JNA against Croatian territories. What
15 territories are those?
16 A. In 1991, I stated very specifically what the armed formations of
17 the JNA did under its command and under your Supreme Command, what they
18 did in 1991. I mentioned all the villages; Kijevo --
19 Q. Well, nobody died in Kijevo.
20 A. I mentioned Drnis. I mentioned the area of Vuksic and the area
21 around Benkovac and Maslenica, the Maslenica bridge.
22 Q. Do you know --
23 A. Would you allow me to finish, please. You asked me, so let me
24 finish. In Saborsko, Slunj, Kostajnica, around Mitosevac [phoen] which
25 means -- actually, I also mentioned before this Tribunal all these areas
1 which were destroyed under your Supreme Command in 1991.
2 In 1995, in the Flash and Storm operations in Western Slavonia and
3 SAO Krajina, the armed formations of Croatia did the same against the
5 Q. So you are comparing deblocking the road in Kijevo in which nobody
6 was killed, deblocking the road through Saborsko because you weren't able
7 to be linked with other areas - and we had a witness here who took part in
8 the Saborsko operation --
9 JUDGE MAY: This is not a proper question. This is argument
10 again, Mr. Milosevic. You're putting your arguments. You can put them to
11 us. It's not a proper question.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So you're saying that that is the same as the Flash and Storm
15 operations and the expulsion of 250.000 Serbs from Krajina; is that it?
16 JUDGE MAY: That's precisely the point that I was making. Yes.
17 Go on to the next question.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All right, then. Is it true that in the negotiations with Nikolic
20 that the motorway was opened, that you closed it and the Croatian forces
21 used this as a pretext to use violence and tanks to open the motorway?
22 A. The motorway was closed by Milan Martic, was blocked by Milan
23 Martic, the former president of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, and I was
24 the Foreign Minister at the time.
25 Q. Don't you remember that by Resolution 994 of the 17th of May,
1 1995, the UN Security Council demanded that Croatia pull out of the areas
2 under UN protection, that it had come to that? Of course, without any
3 sanctions towards Croatia, but they even had to request that this be done.
4 Do you remember that?
5 A. Well, I remember and I said that via the civilian representatives
6 of the UN, I discussed this issue with them, with the UN representatives.
7 However, Croatia retained control over the Okucani region which it had
8 taken in the Flash operation.
9 Q. Tell me, please, how many people were killed in the Flash and
10 Storm operations? How many were expelled?
11 A. Well, I don't know, but dozens of -- I don't know the exact
12 figures. In the Storm operation, what was expelled or the people that
13 took refuge, according to what I know and my assessments, is between 200
14 and 240.000 Serbs in the Storm operation, Operation Storm.
15 Q. All right. Let's remain there, because quite obviously you have
16 your own approach to all these issues. But let's go back for a moment, as
17 we're in open session, after the operation, Operation Storm, you came to
18 see me for a talk of some kind, and you said that it lasted for just
19 several minutes, and that before that you had been to see Mirko
20 Marjanovic, and you said that I had told you that we're going to send the
21 refugees to Kosovo.
22 A. That's what you -- you said you would put up 100.000 in Kosovo and
23 that a large number of others, that is to say the rest, could go to
24 Republika Srpska. And when I asked you whether we could go to Eastern
25 Slavonia, your answer was, "No, not for now."
1 Q. That is not true, but let me just ask you about the facts. Let's
2 stick to the facts. Do you know that in Serbia, after Operation Storm and
3 in view of what was going on in the Republika Srpska, in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, there were 1 million refugees?
5 A. According to my information and my assessments, there were
6 approximately 800.000. Between 800.000 and 1 million refugees.
7 Q. Ah, a million refugees.
8 A. My assessment was 800.000 refugees after the events that took
9 place in Kosovo, after the war in Kosovo. That means 800.000, maybe up to
10 1 million. There were refugees in Serbia and Vojvodina.
11 Q. What are you talking about the war in Kosovo? I'm asking you
12 about after Operation Storm.
13 A. Between 600 to 800.000 refugees.
14 Q. There were 1 million refugees at the time in Serbia. Do you
15 happen to know that in Kosovo the total was only 10.000 refugees, just
16 10.000 refugees in Kosovo?
17 A. I know for certain there were less than 100.000 because they
18 couldn't have been put up there. So many people couldn't have been
19 accommodated there.
20 Q. Of course they couldn't have been accommodated there. But far
21 under the -- below the percentage, because 1 per cent of the refugees
22 which existed in Serbia were in Kosovo, and this represents 10 per cent of
23 the territory Serbia, Kosovo does. So it was ten times below average.
24 That was the figure of refugees in Kosovo province. Are you acquainted
25 with those facts and figures?
1 A. Yes. That is why we were astonished when you said that 100.000
2 people would be put up in Kosovo.
3 Q. Let me ask you, did you go to Marjanovic for a meeting?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did Marjanovic tell you that we would receive all the refugees?
6 A. He said the following -- would you allow me to answer your
7 question, please? He said the following: He stated that he would accept
8 and take in all those who came to Serbia but first that people could be
9 accommodated with their relations if they were the immediate family;
10 father, mother, brother, sister, children, et cetera. All the others
11 would be escorted. They would be under escort, police escort, and under
12 the control of the staff you set up, Jovica Stanisic, nicknamed Badza, he
13 was the Communications Minister, and one other man, I can't remember his
14 name, they would all be displaced and settled around Serbia, according to
15 your plan. That's what he told me.
16 Q. Did he mention them going to Kosovo?
17 A. He said those two things to me. He didn't say where they would be
18 put up but in what way they would be accommodated.
19 Q. Is it logical to assume that when 250.000 people are coming in, a
20 staff be set up, a headquarters, to settle them all over Serbia because
21 Belgrade would not be big enough to fit them all in? Wouldn't that be
23 A. As far as Belgrade is concerned, according to my information you
24 did not permit people to turn off the main road and come into Belgrade.
25 Q. There were an enormous number of refugees in Belgrade itself.
1 A. As far as I knew, the only way people could go to Belgrade was if
2 they had any immediate relations there, close family, or if they fled from
3 the column and left it secretly, without the permission of the police
5 Q. Well, is it logical that a government and its staff should gear
6 the refugees to an equal distribution over Serbia? Serbia is not large
7 enough to be able to take all the refugees into its capital city.
8 A. As far as I know, you did not permit refugees to be put up in
10 Q. Because there was sufficient numbers in Belgrade already. So what
11 do you want to say about that? The fact is that the police -- you said
12 that the police escorted the columns --
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, I'm going to bring this argument to an
14 end. He's given his answer as far as he knows. Now, you can call
15 evidence about it if you wish, but he can't take the matter any further.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You explained to us in this courtroom that I wanted to put the
18 refugees up in Kosovo province according to some sort of secret plan that
19 I had. I'm now going to show you the Official Gazette of the Socialist
20 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a copy of the Official Gazette, so not of
21 Serbia but of Yugoslavia, and the date is the 9th of February, 1990, which
22 was the time when Yugoslavia was an integral country, a whole country, and
23 when the president of the Yugoslav state Presidency was Janos Djezjenovcek
24 [phoen], when the Federal Assembly had a Chamber of Nationalities, and
25 when it had the Executive Council, the Federal Council, and when that
1 Federal Council of Yugoslavia, the federal Executive Council, way back in
2 1990, enacted a certain -- a set of conclusions that were made public in
3 the Official Gazette in Yugoslavia which speaks about Kosovo, that they
4 introduced unrest and insecurity among all the peoples there, the Serbs
5 and Montenegrins in the first place, that the exodus from Kosovo had been
6 stepped up and that measures were being taken for their own personal
7 safety and the safety of their property, and that aggressive action on the
8 part of the Albanian separatists and terrorists should be prevented and
9 stopped. All this is what the Assembly says, the Assembly of the
10 Socialist Federal Republic says in 1990, and points out the continuous
11 activities of Albanian separatists and terrorists geared towards
12 separating Kosovo from the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia and
13 the conclusions it makes is the following: It says that the programme is
14 a democratic document, and then it publishes the title The Yugoslav
15 Programme of Measures and Activities to Stop the Exodus of Serbs and
16 Montenegrins from the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, the
17 speedier return of those people who have already left the province, and
18 the arrival of all those who wish to live and work in Kosovo province.
19 So what, then, is this secret plan about Kosovo that you're
20 talking about and my personal --
21 JUDGE MAY: I don't recollect any talk of a secret plan, but we'll
22 ask the witness about that.
23 Did you understand there was a secret plan of some sort to
24 resettle people in Kosovo?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Let him finish. Let him clarify it. Let him clarify.
2 You're putting it.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that in the
4 course of -- I don't think that I spoke about this issue in the course of
5 my testimony in that particular fashion. I think that previously, perhaps
6 when I spoke to the investigators, I happened to mention that I knew that
7 the government of Serbia did have a plan to resettle 1.000 people
8 returning to Kosovo in that sense, but I don't -- didn't speak about any
9 secret, covert plan. I just brought it up when I was thinking about the
10 population, the way in which the refugees were put up and accommodated,
11 resettled and so on. So this was knowledge I gained from the media at the
12 time. I don't think I spoke about any secret plan. I just happened to
13 mention what I heard about. I heard of the existence of a plan, whether
14 it was a Serb plan or a plan of the government of Serbia to have 1.000
15 Serbs settle in Kosovo, rather re-settle in Kosovo province, people who
16 were going back, something along those lines, but I don't think I brought
17 this up in this trial.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I read out this Yugoslav
19 programme and activities to stop the exodus of Serbs and Montenegrins and
20 the speedy resettlement of people who had left, and to enable anybody who
21 wanted to go to Kosovo province to live and work would be allowed to do
22 so. This is an Official Gazette adopted by the Assembly of Yugoslavia,
23 the programme contained in it. You can have it because I don't want
24 witnesses of this kind to manipulate facts and all subsequent witnesses
25 that are going to appear here.
1 JUDGE MAY: That -- that is not a proper comment about the witness
2 at all. But you'd like this exhibited?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I would.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you know how many on the territory of Croatia were camps for
6 Serbs? Let me refresh your memory. For example, do you know that there
7 were 221 camps for Serbs on Croatian territory in Biograd na Moru, three
8 in Bjelovar, nine -- three in Varazdin, three in Bikovski [phoen], one in
9 Virovitica, three in Vrginmost, two in Glina, Vrpolje one, in Goli Otok,
10 and so on and so forth. And 221 camps for Serbs in all. That was the
11 total figure.
12 A. I know that in -- around Bjelovar and in Slavonia after the Flash
13 operation, Operation Flash, a large number of camps were set up by the
14 Croatian authorities, and they put the detained Serbs in them.
15 JUDGE MAY: We have the document now. Mr. Milosevic, it's a
16 lengthy document. No doubt it deals with a lot of other matters which
17 have nothing to do with this trial. If the first three pages were
18 translated, is that going to be sufficient?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, you can have it translated in
20 its entirety. This would show you that the whole of Yugoslavia and --
21 took steps to stand up to the intentions, as it says here, of Albanian
22 separatists and terrorists, and that was way back in 1990.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But does the whole document deal with that issue
24 or does it go on to deal with other issues?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's just the programme which
1 relates to Kosovo, Mr. May. There's nothing else there.
2 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We'll give it an exhibit number and it
3 will be translated.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Defence Exhibit 68.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you know that there is an association of former camp inmates of
7 1991, the president of which is Petar Pjodorov?
8 A. Yes, I have heard about that.
9 Q. He says that the Serbs for camps [as interpreted] was set up in
10 April 1991, that early. Is that correct? Just say yes or no.
11 A. I don't remember any concrete facts and figures from 1990 -- 1991,
13 Q. He says that it is assumed that 5.000 persons, women and children,
14 were held in custody in Croatia. Is that true?
15 A. I know that people were imprisoned, but I don't have any precise
17 Q. He says in September the Black Legion arrived and their behaviour
18 was brutal. They beat people, stamped on them.
19 A. I don't know about this Black Legion. I know of the Black Legion
20 from World War II.
21 Q. In Sisak there were 400 men, women, and children imprisoned alone.
22 Do you know that? Is that correct?
23 A. I have no specific figures.
24 Q. In the Lora camp in Split, 39 former members, former soldiers of
25 the JNA were killed.
1 A. I know that in the prison in Lora, a large number of people were
2 killed. They were abused and beaten by the Croatian army and police who
3 were in command of the Lora prison, and I know that some people who were
4 detained there -- I know some of the people who were there. I know their
5 names and I know that UNPROFOR intervened to have them released.
6 Q. And do you know that the inmates made statements to the effect
7 that their ears had been cut off, they were tortured with electricity,
8 they were forced to eat each other's ears, the ears that had been cut off.
9 Their bodily parts had been cut off. I have several statements from the
10 camp inmates. I haven't got time to read them all out. Were you ever
11 interested in statements of this kind?
12 A. I did hear about that, and I was interested in hearing about that,
14 Q. Well, is it true, then? Are the facts correct?
15 A. I heard all the things that you have just mentioned as well.
16 Q. And do you know that there are doctors' reports which show that a
17 person was skinned alive, that people were skinned alive? Their skins
18 were taken off their bodies while they were still alive; they were flayed.
19 A. I don't remember that.
20 Q. I have a court report on the examination of a detainee from Lora,
21 and we can see on that basis that the warden, Tomo Dujic and Perisic, says
22 that: "They took it out on us by mistreating us with electricity. They
23 placed electrodes on our ears, and these were linked to transformers on
24 the table, and this led to great pain. I thought my eyes would pop out of
25 my sockets." That's what he writes.
1 And do you know how many examples of this? Vestvic [phoen], a
2 soldier from Klagovac [phoen] was killed in Lora, having tortured him
3 severely before that. And Jelic Dusko, a reservist from Trebinje, also
4 died as a result of the beatings. So you have heard about the Lora
5 prison, have you?
6 A. Yes, I have, and I know some of these people personally from
7 Civljani and Poljani who were taken prisoner in 1994 in the Operation
8 Storm and put in prison in Lora. I heard about others too.
9 Q. I can refresh your memory. I can supply you with a list of these,
10 but I'll leave that for later on. I have a list of persons who
11 disappeared in the Lora prison, but we have to hurry up.
12 Is it true that in the late afternoon hours of the 2nd of August,
13 1995, from the government bureau in Belgrade on Terazija Square you
14 established telephone links with a member your delegation who was at the
15 Geneva negotiations?
16 A. The president of the 3rd -- what did you say, the 3rd of August?
17 Yes, on the 3rd of August talked to Milivoje Vojnovic and Milo Novakovic.
18 Q. Is it true that one of your ministers was with you on the
20 A. I don't remember who was with me then.
21 Q. It was Mile Bosnic, wasn't it?
22 A. Mile Bosnic was there very frequently. Whether he was with me at
23 that particular time, I can't say.
24 Q. Very well. Is it true that a member of the delegation of the RSK
25 on the other side of the telephone line informed you that the delegation
1 in Geneva was met by a CIA representative and was told that the next day
2 at the negotiations with Croatia they were not to accept anything and to
3 refuse everything that was offered them? Is that correct? Is that true?
4 A. I heard later on, and I think Milivoje Vojnovic told me, that
5 there were two men who tried to prevail upon them not to accept the
6 agreement. One of them was the Yugoslav Ambassador to the United Nations
7 in Geneva, I've forgotten his name now, and the other man was somebody who
8 allegedly had a Serb surname, but he -- Vojnovic said that he was in fact
9 working for the CIA, and he too said that they should not accept the
10 agreement, agree to it.
11 Q. Very well, then. Can you tell me and the public in the public
12 gallery, and especially the Serbian public following this, what was the
13 task in Geneva of the representative of the CIA who met the delegation of
14 Republika Srpska Krajina while you were sitting there talking to
15 Ambassador Galbraith in Belgrade?
16 A. I spoke to Ambassador Galbraith in Belgrade the day before. We
17 discussed the Z-4 plan, the new mandate of UNPROFOR, the situation in
18 Bihacki Zepa and the opening of the roads on that day. And the man you
19 say was a CIA agent, they -- he did not meet them, they met him in
20 private, and they said he was from the CIA, the Vojnovic, this man
22 Q. I'm not saying that Vojnovic was a CIA agent.
23 A. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about what
24 Milivoje Vojnovic, a member of the delegation of the Republic of Srpska
25 Krajina in Geneva told me about the events and the way in which
1 negotiations were conducted in Geneva. That's what I'm talking about.
2 Q. Can you deny in public here that you were aware on that occasion
3 that the Clinton Administration was supporting the Croatian army in
4 Operation Storm, not only verbally but also by providing logistic and
5 other support?
6 A. The ambassador of the USA, Peter Galbraith, the Ambassador to
7 Zagreb told me he had the support of the American government for the Z-4
8 plan and what we were discussing. I don't know about the rest that you're
9 talking about.
10 Q. What we agreed on about the Z 4 plan? Who agreed about the Z-4
12 A. At the meeting, I agreed to the Z-4 plan proposed by Peter
13 Galbraith, the Ambassador of the USA in Zagreb, and he also mediated with
14 Tudjman. He told me that he had the support of the US government and that
15 this was a good plan for the Serbian Krajina and that he was mediating
16 between the government of the Krajina and the Croatian government, that is
17 Tudjman, in order to have the Z-4 plan implemented in the Krajina.
18 Q. Very well. Since I only have about 12 minutes left, let me just
19 go into some of the intercepts, although some are doubtless doctored.
20 Karadzic calls me Slobo. He never actually called me Slobo. And
21 there are other details, a sort of frame or ram is mentioned. I don't
22 know what this refers to, but look at this conversation. It's tab 44.
23 It's a conversation between Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic taped
24 on the 23rd of November, 1991.
25 He asks me whether some sort of meeting had gone well, and I said,
1 "Yes, yes, it did go well." And then I quote the conversation. I'm
2 quoting from the conversation you presented here. I say, "I think that
3 man down there, that Babic, is swine." And then down here it says,
4 referring to Marc Goulding, who seems to be a very descent Englishman, I'm
5 just quoting now from what it says here, it says here: "He replied that
6 he had talks yesterday with Mr. Babic who says he is..." and then there
7 are three dots "said that these municipalities are under threat and he is
8 not under threat. He doesn't need anyone. And Karadzic says, "Uh-huh."
9 And I say, "He doesn't need anyone, but Franjo should run him down and his
10 people over there should be slaughtered. I think he' a bastard." Of
11 course I said that, and I don't want to discuss it now, because there's no
12 point in dealing with maps now. We have to establish principles and the
13 issue of maps is an issue of fact, and the fact referred to is where the
14 people under discussion live, and that's the wording used by Ambassador
15 Wayne, so where people live, where Serbs live, that's where the protected
16 areas would be.
17 And then on the 11th of December, that's tab 45 --
18 JUDGE MAY: Wait a minute.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What do you want now?
20 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness -- if you've got a question about tab
21 44, you should ask it, otherwise there's no point.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, from these three conversations, let me quote a sentence from
24 each of them and then I will put my question?
25 JUDGE MAY: No. While it's in the witness's mind, you were asking
1 him about a number of these things and the witness should have a copy of
2 them, by the way, Exhibit 353, tab 44.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Is it clear to you, Mr. Babic, that it was evident to me then that
5 you were actually helping Tudjman with your vehement radicalism which went
6 against the interests of the Serbian people in the Krajina?
7 A. I was then asking for protection from the JNA, and everybody knows
8 this. I wanted the JNA to remain there and protect the Serbian people
9 until a political solution should be found.
10 Secondly, your assessment and the way you referred to me, that
11 says more about you than it does about me.
12 Q. Well, in this second conversation, tab 45, I say, "This man is an
14 JUDGE MAY: [Previous translation continues] ... has he got one?
15 Tab 45. Yes. Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And it says, "I think that he is helping Tudjman on purpose,
18 providing him with an excuse for this situation," that is for violence
19 against the Serbs. And later it says: "It must be made public that we
20 support this. It must be clearly seen. And this is the best evidence
21 that we are in favour of peace."
22 So you knew that I think and I thought, in the autumn of 1991,
23 that you were playing into Tudjman's hands and giving him an excuse for
24 what he was doing against the Serbs at that time.
25 A. Mr. Milosevic, if you're referring to this plan and an excuse for
1 Tudjman, let me say the following: It was you and Tudjman who accepted
2 this plan without asking us. You imposed this plan on the people of the
3 Krajina. You failed to comply with this plan, and you prompted Tudjman's
4 aggression against the Krajina.
5 Q. Very well. We shall be able to explain this easily.
6 Look here. Here's another conversation. I will quote from it
7 just to make it clearer that this was my position all along, and you are
8 mentioned as a close associate of mine, so let everyone be clear about
9 this. And this is tab 20. I apologise. Tab 20. 05 is the last number
10 on the page. The first sentence says: "I don't know whether anyone can
11 say something to him so that he will either quieten down or maybe he could
12 be dismissed." And then, "He will do enormous damage, so that's all that
13 can be done."
14 Then this goes on to say: "The only card they have to play is
15 Milan Babic, their only trump card," because you were doing what you were
16 doing. This is my conversation with Karadzic. And he agrees with me, and
17 as you yourself said, he tried to convince you to accept the Vance Plan.
18 And he explained to you that the formula of peace was the best formula.
19 Radovan Karadzic did this in my presence.
20 And then I go on to say: "If someone had shot me, I would never
21 have been able to imagine who Tudjman's trump card would be," and that was
23 A. Mr. Milosevic, in 1991, you waged a horrific war. You dragged the
24 Serbian people into that war. You did not protect the Serbian people.
25 You brought shame upon the Serbian people. You brought misfortune on the
1 Croatian people, the Muslim people, and ultimately the Croatian people.
2 Q. I'm putting facts to you, Mr. Babic, and you can hold speeches
3 which we can read in the papers from sources such as the ones you are
4 involved with, but what I have read out to you is what your closest
5 associates write to you, and the public can judge what is true and what is
6 not true.
7 A. Mr. Milosevic, I have been putting forward facts here for ten days
9 Q. Since you are living from one day to another and thinking only of
10 your own pragmatic interests, is it clear to you that Croatia will have to
11 give the Serbian people the status of a constituent nation again? Because
12 the Krajina lasted much longer than the Paris commune. Do you think --
13 JUDGE MAY: We're now moving into present politics, and I don't
14 think that is part of our trial at all. Now, if you've got any more
15 questions about the relevant period, you can ask it, Mr. Milosevic. Five
16 minutes remain. But current politics are not going to assist.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I had a pile of documents here
18 submitted by you, but time does not allow me to go into them.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You accused Martic of holding prisons in Knin. You said here that
21 in those prisons Croats were tortured or mistreated. I don't know
22 anything about anyone being tortured. According to all the statements I
23 received, and this was confirmed by some of the witnesses and quoted by
24 me, the Croats lived on an equal footing in Knin, even held posts, various
25 posts. And in one of the documents you brought, there is an order here,
1 Osman Vukic, a policeman from Zadar, is to be released. He had been
2 arrested in Knin. This order was implemented immediately, and it was
3 signed by the Prime Minister, Dr. Milan Babic. So you were the one who
4 was able to release someone. So why then are you pointing the finger at
6 If Croatia was in your heart and not on your lips and in your
7 mind, so you released this man Osman Vukic, why did you not release them
8 all if you knew someone was being tortured and mistreated? As you see,
9 you had the authority to do this --
10 JUDGE MAY: Question. Question, Mr. Milosevic, now.
11 Mr. Babic, would you like to answer that?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have already spoken of this
13 document. It was not the norm for the Prime Minister to release someone
14 from prison. This was one of three occasions when someone interceded with
15 me from Zadar and Sibenik, some medical doctors, and I asked in the MUP in
16 Knin that this be done, and they then asked me to sign such a document.
17 But this was not the usual procedure. It was the police that ran the
18 prison. They held prisoners there for a long time, and then they
19 exchanged them for imprisoned policemen from the Krajina.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Why are you constantly using the third person singular when you
22 should be using the first person plural when you -- for things that you
23 should be held responsible for, although no one should answer before this
25 A. I'm only speaking of facts and of what I knew at the time.
1 Q. Well, you keep referring to Martic's Police. This was the police
2 of the Krajina. It was not Martic's private police. Did Martic had a
3 private police?
4 A. It was your police.
5 Q. Very well, Mr. Babic --
6 JUDGE KWON: Is it tab 168 the accused is referring to?
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Do you know Petar N. Stikovac? Do you know a man called Petar N.
10 A. If you're referring to a Professor from Licka Kaldrma, a teacher,
12 Q. He also sent in a statement, and he agreed to have this put in the
13 defence, and he asks you, "Today all Serbs that are worth anything are
14 either in their graves or in prison," and he's asking you --
15 JUDGE MAY: No. We're not interested in the comments of
16 letter-writers. It's totally irrelevant. Now, if there's a concrete fact
17 you want to ask arising out of it, you can put it, but you can't put
18 what's in the letter in terms of comment and the rest.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Since all this was my fault, listen to this order. Is it correct
22 that even without asking Milan Martic you appointed him deputy commander
23 of the Territorial Defence and declared yourself to be the commander? Is
24 this correct? Here is the order on the appointment of the deputy
25 commander of the Territorial Defence of the Krajina, Milan Martic.
1 According to my information, you never even asked him if you could appoint
2 him. You acted arrogantly and decided about everything, doing whatever
3 you wanted, and now you are blaming Martic who, unlike you, is a decent
5 A. It's correct that I appointed him and it's correct that agreed to
6 that point.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: [Microphone not activated]
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Let me ask you something else?
10 JUDGE MAY: What tab, please?
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Tab 55 and the tab before was correct it was
12 168 as to what Judge Kwon said.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit 352, Your Honours?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. It sounds about your last
15 question. You may have time for two more.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. ... addressed to me late January 1991. I don't have the tab here,
18 but it's -- it bears a number, an ERN number, 02172108. It's a letter
19 written by you addressed to me, and you say: "Pursuant to the
20 conversation," I'll skip over the introductory part, "On the occasion of
21 the negotiations between the representatives of the republics and
22 especially the conversation that is to take place between you and the
23 representative of Croatia to discuss the future ordering of -- of the
24 state, we ask you that you receive the delegation of the Serbian National
25 Council, because we wish to inform you of the views of the Serbian people
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 living in the Republic of Croatia and the area of the Serbian Krajina. We
2 would be grateful if you could receive us before the 25th of January this
3 year," signed by Prime Minister Dr. Milan Babic.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, it's tab 34 from Exhibit 352.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. So on a page, you are more or less asking me to instruct you as to
7 what you should do. At the end of January 1991, you are asking me to
8 receive a delegation of your National Council. I'm saying your because
9 you were president of that council among the 32 other positions that you
10 held during those five years in Krajina to present your views in
11 connection with the forthcoming talks, because in those days, the
12 presidents of the six republics were discussing future relationships in
14 So isn't this in contradiction with your allegations about secret
15 talks and discussions? The way in which this letter is addressed and the
16 request to receive the Serbian National Council at the end of January
18 A. This was the sixth or seventh meeting with you which took place
19 after that letter. I've already testified about that in this court.
20 Q. Very well. As I have no more time, just one more question.
21 And who could the Serbs from Krajina address for aid being exposed
22 to all these dangers, including the danger to their very lives and
23 existence, if not to Serbia?
24 A. You were the man that people trusted and I trusted. You were the
25 man who persuaded us into the correctness of your views.
1 Q. But my question is: Who else could they address but Serbia?
2 Wasn't it logical? Was it a secret? Was it a secret that Serbia assisted
3 you? Was that a secret and you're revealing the secrete here? We
4 assisted you in every respect to survive.
5 A. You and your policies are the past. Your policy of nationalism,
6 yours, Tudjman's and even mean should be relegated to the past.
7 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Milosevic. You will get an answer
8 to your question. The question which the accused puts to you and perhaps
9 you would answer it, Mr. Babic is this: Who else could they -- could you
10 have turned to at the time but him? That's the point that he makes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one else. We only addressed him,
12 and he promised protection, protected us, and then compromised that
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. No. We must bring this to an end.
15 Mr. Tapuskovic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I -- if you don't want, let me
17 ask you another question.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Though the struggle for freedom will never be relegated to the
20 past. As you do not remember anyone who was killed, I will leave for you
21 lists of close to 5.000 men from Krajina, their names, place of birth, to
22 refresh your memory.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And to you, gentlemen, I would like
24 to make a gift of a book in Serbian and English speaking about the
25 genocide of the Serbs, 1941, 1945, and 1991 and 1992, and if you just leaf
1 through it, you may have perhaps an idea of what you are doing and of what
2 is being discussed here.
3 JUDGE MAY: These documents will be marked for identification.
4 The list and the pamphlet will be given distinct numbers. They will not
5 be admitted at this stage. We will hear any objections from the
6 Prosecution, and then we will consider whether to admit them. Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours --
8 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Yes, the exhibit numbers, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the list will be marked for
10 identification as D69, and the book will be marked for identification as
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Babic, I shall do my best in this
16 cross-examination on behalf of the amicus to address only facts and the
17 evidence that has already been presented here, and I will ask you for some
19 So let me start first with what you've said on the 19th of
20 November, 2002, and it is on page 12.976 of the LiveNote. You said the
21 following, and I quote: That after the formation of the Federal Republic
22 of Yugoslavia in April 1992, through Lilic, Slobodan Milosevic had control
23 over all federal institutions.
24 I should just like us to clear up a few things in chronological
25 order to assist the Court. First of all, I would like to know the
1 following: Is it true that on the 27th of April, 1992, the Federal
2 Republic of Yugoslavia was established? Is it true that from the 27th of
3 April, 1992, until the 15th of June, 1992, the position of president of
4 that state was held by Branko Kostic?
5 If you don't remember the date --
6 A. I remember that the first elected president by the Assembly of FRY
7 was Dobrica Cosic, who performed the duties.
8 Q. Do you know that it was Branko Kostic or not?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Now we come to the elections. Yes. On the 15th of June, the
11 elected president was Dobrica Cosic, and he remained in that position
12 until the 1st of June, 1993. And then for a brief time in June it was
13 Milos Radulovic, and then Lilic from the 25th of June, 1993, until June
15 So during the time of the events in Krajina, the indictment
16 period, August 1991 to June 1992, Lilic did not hold any federal
18 A. I understand you're talking about the Federal Republic of
19 Yugoslavia. You mentioned Lilic in connection with the Federal Republic
20 of Yugoslavia. So he is mentioned in that connection.
21 Q. Yes, but he had no authority until 1993.
22 A. In 1993, there was the war in Krajina, in 1994 and 1995.
23 Q. I'm saying that he had no federal position during the time of the
24 war in Krajina.
25 A. I don't know whether he had any connection at the time.
1 Q. As the president of state.
2 A. I was talking about the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, not the
3 SFRY. Did I mention Lilic in the context of SFRY or FRY?
4 Q. You said that as from 1992, Slobodan Milosevic controlled federal
5 institutions through Lilic.
6 A. I said he had control over the federal institutions through Lilic
7 as well. He was not the president, but he was one of the presidents of
8 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
9 Q. Let us not waste time. In 1992, Lilic was not the Supreme
10 Commander of the armed forces. He was not president of the country. He
11 wasn't, was he?
12 A. Not in 1992, but it was then that the Federal Republic of
13 Yugoslavia was established, and I mentioned Lilic in that context.
14 Q. Thank you. Let's not dwell on that any further. Up until then,
15 until the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was established, the federal
16 Presidency acted as the Supreme Commander. Isn't that so?
17 A. The Presidency of SFRY was the Supreme Command of the armed forces
18 of the SFRY according to law. I said that over the rump Presidency, which
19 was formally the Supreme Commander, the real Supreme Commander was
20 Slobodan Milosevic.
21 Q. That is precisely why I'm asking you. The rump Presidency, in the
22 most critical period, in March 1991, could not act. The rump Presidency,
23 as you call it, was paralysed because decisions could not be taken to take
24 certain steps in relation to paramilitary formations precisely because the
25 Presidency was complete.
1 A. Mr. Tapuskovic, I said that in March there were changes in the
2 members of the Presidency, and at the end of May 1991, the federal --
3 federal Assembly said who were the newly elected members. Branko Kostic,
4 I said, Sejdo --
5 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could the witness be
6 asked to answer my questions. I'm asking him about March.
7 Q. Between the 10th and 15th of March, was the federal Presidency in
8 complete composition? When the vote of a Serb from Bosnia, the
9 representative in the Presidency, it was decisive for certain measures not
10 to be taken against paramilitary units?
11 A. Yes, that is right. The Presidency did not agree to the army's
12 demand for such measures.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, you have already said that Slobodan Milosevic
14 controlled the rump Presidency. I won't go back to that. But as of March
15 up until December, until he resigned as a member of the Presidency of the
16 SFRY, Mesic obstructed the work of the Presidency. Yes or no.
17 A. You've given a long period. I can't say yes or no. I think he
18 was elected at the end of May, after obstruction in the Presidency, and
19 then formally he was president of the Presidency until I don't know when.
20 Until Croatia proclaimed independence.
21 Q. No, no. He resigned in December. My question is: Did he
22 obstruct the work of the Presidency precisely so that the Yugoslav
23 People's Army could not operate? Yes or no.
24 A. I don't know exactly how Mesic behaved. I know what I know.
25 Q. That is the first point I wish to address. I should now like to
1 go on to the next one. I would now like the document to be prepared. Tab
2 1, 352. It was the first exhibit which was tendered here. And it has to
3 do with the programme of the Serbian Democratic Party.
4 On the first day of the examination-in-chief, you confirmed that
5 on the 17th of February, 1990, the Democratic Party was formed. Is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. That was only three days after the 14th of February when the
9 Assembly of Croatia adopted amendments to the constitution legalising the
10 multi-party system. Is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So you appeared to have been the first party to be formed in
13 Croatia after the introduction of the multi-party system.
14 A. The HDZ was formed but I don't know whether it was legal.
15 Q. Yes, and you became a member of that party and its functionary on
16 that same day.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The programme of the party we are talking about, while you were
19 working, did you support that programme throughout that time?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was it an expression of the spirit, the wishes, and needs of the
22 people of Krajina?
23 A. It was the political programme of the Serbian Democratic Party.
24 Q. Fine. In the first sentence of that programme, it says that your
25 interests will best be defended by a general democratisation of the
1 country. I would like you to have that programme in front of you for me
2 to be able to ask you something about it. If you could confirm a few
3 matters contained in that programme. Tab 1, Exhibit 352.
4 In that programme and in answering the questions from the
5 Prosecution, you said --
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Tapuskovic. We can't find the
7 passage you are referring to in the tab 1. Could you check it once
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] In the English translation, it is
10 page 11. And I shall exclusively be dealing with this chapter 3. Chapter
11 3, which talks about democratic federalism.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, you opted for a federative internal organisation of
13 Yugoslavia in that programme.
14 A. Yes, that was the political option we supported.
15 JUDGE KWON: [Previous translation continues]... isn't it out of
16 Exhibit 351 instead of 352?
17 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The first exhibit tendered here.
18 I thought it was 352. Yes. Yes. 351/1. I do apologise. I have it in
19 my hands now.
20 Q. So please, I wish to draw your attention to what it says on page
21 18.18. In the Serbian version, it is page 11, in the middle somewhere.
22 And in the English version, it is point 18 on page 18. And it says: "The
23 army remains Yugoslav. Its federative character includes a federative
24 command and protection of the federal socio-political system." Is that
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. Further on in that chapter, and this is on page 12 of the English
3 translation --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise. We don't have the
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. -- and it says as follows: "We are in favour of the equality of
8 citizens proclaimed by the single-party system, because in that system,
9 one Slovene citizen was equivalent in political evaluation to five Serbs."
10 Does it say that? Does it say that in the translation?
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, in the transcript there is a
12 mistake. It says just the opposite. It says, "We are not in favour."
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Is that not a good translation of
15 what I was saying?
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters couldn't hear -- misheard. The
17 interpreters misheard. We apologise.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It's time to adjourn in any event. We
19 will return to this after the -- after the adjournment. We will adjourn
20 for twenty minutes.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Please
25 try and understand me. Ms. Higgins had a death in the family, and my
1 assistant has had to leave, so I'm left here alone with all these piles of
2 paper. So I will do my best to be as efficacious as possible in my
3 examination of the witness.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, I'd like to draw Their Honours' attention to page 12 of
5 the English translation, paragraph 1. The Exhibit number, as I've already
6 stated, is 351/1.
7 What we were discussing with the interpreters a moment ago, the
8 sentence reads: "We are not in favour of civil equality..." Not in the
9 affirmative, in the negative.
10 Then the text goes on to state in the programme, and I do think
11 that this does have significance and you'll say whether or not: "We are
12 in favour of the principle of having one citizen, one vote."
13 Is that the principle that you advocated?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. Now, the principle of one citizen, one vote, throughout the entire
16 history of Yugoslavia, was that principle a problem precisely because half
17 the population of Yugoslavia, from 1918 and especially after 1941, was
18 represented by the Serb population? The Serbs made up almost half the
19 population of Yugoslavia, roughly half. Isn't that right? The Serbs made
20 up half the population?
21 A. This principle of one man one vote was to be realised at the level
22 of republics and federations. So these are two principles; one man, one
23 vote. What are you asking historically? I'm not quite understanding you.
24 What were you asking about history, the historical framework?
25 Q. Is it true that in Yugoslavia, half the population -- about half
1 the population were Serbs; is that correct?
2 A. Not about half. The Serbs were the majority nation, not half.
3 Q. So you mean there were more than half, more than half the
4 population were Serbs?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And tell me what period you're referring to.
7 A. I'm referring to 1945 onwards, for as long as Yugoslavia existed.
8 Q. The Serb nation was the majority people, not 50 per cent but the
10 Q. Thank you. That's what I'm asking you. So there was no danger of
11 a Greater Serbia but of this principle one man, one vote in that setup in
13 A. We're talking about the democratic principle stated here, the
14 basic democratic principle in a democratic society. I don't understand
15 what you're actually asking me, to be frank.
16 Q. All right. That's an answer too. Thank you for that. Now, in
17 this programme, it goes on to state that you advocated a new relationship
18 towards the provinces, that it should be re-examined and assessed in a
19 more modern way.
20 A. That's what it says in the programme, yes.
21 Q. Does it also say that the power wielders of the one-party system
22 unilaterally and uncritically imported the concept of provinces from the
23 Soviet constitution to the post-war Yugoslavia?
24 A. That's what it says in the programme.
25 Q. And then does it say later on again through the one-party power
1 wielders, that is to say the Communist Party, the provinces were
2 transformed into states?
3 A. That's what the programme says as well.
4 Q. Does it go on to say that such a grotesque project become a
5 destabilising factor of states who have them and it is because of them
6 that human blood is spilled? Is that what it says?
7 A. I think that's what it says. I remember that from the programme
8 itself but I can't find it in this document.
9 Q. Now I'm asking you, is it true that this was done by the
10 constitution of 1974, which in fact was the found works for the
11 establishment of eight states, two of which were on Serbian territory? De
12 facto was that how it was in practice?
13 A. Yes, more or less.
14 Q. Thank you. The federal functions of that state through the right
15 of veto, were they upset, completely?
16 A. Yes, they were.
17 Q. Did this provide the ground works for disintegration and the
18 break-up of Yugoslavia itself, ultimately? Did this provide the grounds
19 for that?
20 A. As to political assessments, and if we look at the state of
21 affairs in practice according to what you said, the republics did have a
22 high degree of competence. Now, I don't know what you mean by whether
23 this constitutes grounds for breaking up Yugoslavia.
24 Q. Well, this right to secession became the dominant right in that
25 particular 1974 constitution, did it not?
1 A. Yes, that's right. Let me put it this way: The right to
2 secession was interpreted by individual republics as the right of the
3 republics to secession.
4 Q. I'm asking whether that principle became dominant in the
5 constitution. I'm not talking about who wanted to secede when.
6 A. Well, I didn't hear you properly. Would you repeat your question?
7 Q. The right to secession, did that become in a way dominant in the
8 constitution? Did Kardelja who was the creator of the constitution say
9 way back in those days that Slovenia was in Yugoslavia only in a
10 transitory fashion?
11 A. Mr. Tapuskovic, these are historical facts. I think that that's
12 what was talked about and stated at the time. I can't guarantee.
13 Q. My question is this: By that constitution on the territory of
14 Serbia, was the principle of one citizen, one vote made impossible and
15 that the veto of Vojvodina and Kosovo, did it take away the right of the
16 Serb peoples that the other nations enjoyed? The other nations enjoyed
17 this right in their own republics?
18 A. That's how the Serbs interpreted it.
19 Q. Please. The principle of one citizen, one vote, could it have
20 achieved anything on the territory of Serbia? That is my question to you.
21 A. I said that the principle was realised at the level of the
22 provinces, republics, federation. In this context, it reflected the
23 dissatisfaction and the Serbian Democratic Party shared the view in Serbia
24 that this was not a good thing for Serbia to give the provinces a status
25 of that kind.
1 Q. And did you write your proclamation because you considered that
2 Kosovo had all autonomous rights but not a right to its own state, a state
3 of its own?
4 A. That was the party line.
5 Q. Now, in Krajina, in the 50 years from 1945 onwards, did you
6 advocate cultural, political, and territorial autonomy for you?
7 A. I was born in 1956.
8 Q. But as somebody who headed that state at one point in time, as you
9 yourself did, I'm sure you know these basic facts?
10 A. The Serbs advocated through the institutions of the republic and
11 outside the institutions through the Serbian Arts and Cultural Society
12 when was proclaimed from a cultural to a political institution, and it
13 advocated in this way the founding of the Serbian Democratic Party and
14 other parties. I've already spoken at length about them.
15 Q. Thank you. May I go back to a moment to one of the intercepts, a
16 conversation between Dobrica Cosic and Radovan Karadzic, tab 50, 353. And
17 I don't think we need look for it, Your Honours, because what I'm going to
18 read out is something that has already been asked an interpretation by the
20 Radovan Karadzic says: "Otherwise, they, the people who drew up
21 the map, have drawn up the most honourable and honest variation where we
22 have 61.3 per cent of the area." "Ah 61.3," says Cosic. And Karadzic's
23 response to that is, "Otherwise, according to the historical right, we
24 would have had 70 per cent."
25 Now, I'm not going to ask you to interpret any of these
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 conversations because I consider that this will be something that Their
2 Honours will do looking at them in their entirety, but what I want to ask
3 you is this. As we're discussing Karadzic's and Cosic's conversation,
4 private property, this is my question to you: Is a private property the
5 unassailable right of each and every individual and a sanctity, private
7 A. That is what the political programme was advocating.
8 Q. What about the land registers and excerpts from them proof that
9 the country belongs to somebody and houses on a given property? Is this
10 all contained in the land registry and cadastre? That something that is
11 contained there?
12 A. Yes. Proof of ownership of property.
13 Q. Now, 70 per cent of the country was privately owned in Bosnia by
14 Serb ethnic groups.
15 A. I heard that from Mr. Karadzic.
16 Q. But you don't know that for a fact yourself?
17 A. Well, I'm not sure.
18 Q. Now, as you held the position you held, do you know of the 17.200
19 square kilometres, that is the surface area of Croatia, which portion of
20 the land in Krajina was privately owned by the Serbs, by Serb citizens?
21 A. According to our facts and figures, more than 12 per cent of the
22 land was owned by the Serbs. At least that is one of the figures that
23 appeared, which we accepted.
24 Q. For what area?
25 A. Croatia.
1 Q. I'm not asking you about Croatia. I'm asking you about Krajina,
2 Lika, Kordun, Banija.
3 A. I don't know we didn't look into the cadastre and the square areas
4 of that.
5 Q. Yesterday you said you didn't know how many inhabitants Krajina
6 had exactly and you couldn't answer that question?
7 A. Take it slowly, please. What was it I didn't say exactly and
8 specifically yesterday.
9 Q. Yesterday you didn't know how many inhabitants Krajina had at one
10 particular point in time. You said 500 and something-odd.
11 A. Mr. Tapuskovic, that related to the census and the results of the
12 population centres. The number of citizens that went to vote on Serb
13 autonomy on the 19th of August until the 2nd of September, 1990, and I
14 said in that regard that Serbs in Croatia went to the referendum as well
15 as Serbs who lived in Yugoslavia and in the diaspora in Paris. I think
16 that's what my answer related to. I don't know how you interpreted me.
17 Q. Well, although you advocated many rights of persons in those
18 areas, as you yourself say, you were at the head of a state and you
19 proclaimed that state at one point in time, and you don't know, according
20 to the land registry, how much land is owned by Serbs in the area you were
21 the head of?
22 A. Well, we didn't look into things like that.
23 Q. I want to go back and refer to the programme once again. In
24 response to a question from the Prosecutor, you said that the main
25 obstacle to the establishment of political democratisation was the
1 domination of one party, and that was the Communist Party.
2 A. Is that in the programme?
3 Q. Yes, I mean the programme?
4 A. Well, that's right.
5 Q. When did you become a member of the party?
6 A. In elementary school -- in secondary school, third grade
7 elementary school I became a member of the League of Communists of
8 Yugoslavia, in December. Well, I was a young person, and in 1990 I was --
9 I was a member of the Communist Party up to 1990.
10 Q. Are you -- is it true that you attended a party congress several
11 months before that? Well, I'm not asking you that actually. Is it true
12 that no opposition bloc broke down the party but that its members
13 disbanded the party itself?
14 A. I didn't speak about any disbanding or demolishing. I just said
15 how the League of Communists of Yugoslavia at its last congress changed
16 the party statute, and I said that I voted against the change to the
17 statute although it already been imported. What are you actually asking
19 Q. In tab 78, we looked at tab 78 yesterday, I believe, Exhibit
20 352/2, and this is contained in the documents sent to us by the
21 Prosecutor, you were, shown a law yesterday, a law enacted by you
22 personally as president, you yourself brought about this law on the 9th or
23 7th of January, 1992, and you signed the act on banning the work and
24 political action of all political parties, organisations, et cetera, on
25 the territory of Serb Krajina.
1 Now, if you brought this decree into effect, you're a member of
2 the party, and just one year after you ceased to be a member of the League
3 of Communists, you banned people -- you did not let people allow the right
4 to rally over one idea and ideology. You banned the existence of these
5 parties. Whereas you yourself had been a member of the party for 20
6 years, after which you passed a law saying that people were not permitted
7 to rally around an idea, an ideal.
8 A. Well, I said that this took the form of a law but it was a
9 political act to distance ourselves from Slobodan Milosevic.
10 Q. That means you banned people from having the right to think for
12 A. I explained the object of that particular document, of that
14 Q. Thank you. Now, what about all the former members of the League
15 of Communists? Did they all become high ranking officials later on in the
16 newly established states? Did they become the presidents of those states
17 straight away and some of them very high positions? All those who had
18 formerly been members of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, which
19 meant that they stayed in power.
20 A. Some of them were reformists, joined other parties. Others
21 remained in some functions. Others remained rigid and conservative such
22 as Mr. Milosevic.
23 Q. Gligorov, Kucan, other cases in point, not to mention the others.
24 Now, as this is related to credibility, answer me this, please: Yesterday
25 in your response to a question about the 169.000-odd dollars, US dollars,
1 you said you didn't remember that sum of money, having received that sum
2 of money.
3 A. I said I don't remember. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Now, can you answer me this: Do you not remember the court
5 proceeding -- legal proceedings taken against you? This was not -- could
6 not have been public, but it was done covertly. Secrete legal proceedings
7 were taken against you. Do you remember that?
8 A. No, I don't remember that.
9 Q. In the intercepts that had to do with arrests Milan Martic, and we
10 listened to them mostly, everything that took place, according to what we
11 heard only the intercepts was geared towards preventing one incident from
12 taking place; isn't that right? And this was an incident that led to
13 unrest among the population.
14 A. It concerned the release of Martic from detention.
15 Q. But without any incident; isn't that right? Were the people to
16 serve? Did they gather?
17 A. Yes, everything was done to release Martic. That was the purpose.
18 Q. I see. That was more important than avoiding an incident. Was
19 the incident avoided? Was the incident avoided?
20 A. I was speaking of the purpose of those talks.
21 Q. One wonders whether you can interpret something on your own. That
22 is something that Their Honours will decide about. But I would like to
23 know, among all those 50 intercepted conversations, did you hear anyone
24 issuing an order to anybody else?
25 A. I heard Slobodan Milosevic issuing an order to Karadzic.
1 Q. Which order?
2 A. To gather people to report to Zelac, to organise a rally.
3 Q. My question is to any military authority. I'm always referring to
4 Krajina itself.
5 A. Will you repeat the question?
6 Q. Did you hear anyone, I'm not mentioning Slobodan Milosevic, I
7 don't know why you're mentioning him. I'm saying whether among those 50
8 intercepted conversations you heard a single one in which somebody was
9 giving orders to the Supreme Command to do something. Did you hear that?
10 A. In the form of an order to the Supreme Command? I did not hear.
11 Q. Thank you. Now, I'll ask you some notorious facts in my opinion,
12 and upon -- after that, I will have a question for you. It is true -- is
13 it true that on the 2nd of July, 1990, the Assembly of Slovenia adopted a
14 declaration on the sovereignty of the state of Slovenia?
15 A. Roughly around that time. I don't remember the date exactly.
16 Q. Just confirm the fact. Is it true that on the 23rd of December a
17 plebescite was held in Slovenia at which 88 per cent of the population
18 voted in favour of independence?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And then on the 31st of January, the Assembly of Slovenia adopted
21 a charter saying that it would start proceedings for disassociation
22 from Yugoslavia?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And then Drnosek [phoen] informs the Presidency about this and,
25 then the 18th of May 1991, the Assembly of Slovenia addressed to Assembly
1 of the SFRY a statement on disassociation from Yugoslavia not later than
2 the 26th of June, 1991?
3 A. Roughly so, but I don't remember the exact dates.
4 Q. And then Slovenia adopts of the resolution on disassociation from
5 Yugoslavia. And then there's a referendum in the republic and then on the
6 25th of June, Croatia and Slovenia actually proclaimed their independence.
7 A. I think it was the 30th of June that Croatia did it.
8 Q. Very well. Were those moves that led to the disintegration
10 A. Those were laws which made Slovenia and Croatia independent states
11 ready to enter into a confederation with other countries that were
13 Q. But that comes later. They proclaimed their independence. Now,
14 whether they associated with others, that's something else that comes much
15 later; Badinter speaks about that. Leave that aside for the moment. Here
16 on page 13011 of the transcript, line 16/21, you said that there was a
17 discussion about future relationships in Yugoslavia and that this was a
18 very intensified discussion regarding two possible options. One, the
19 political approach upheld by Serbia, a strong federation, and a second one
20 by Croatia and Slovenia, independence and secession. You repeated that
21 several times; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If things evolved in this way, that is the proclamation of
24 independence, the adoption of all these legal acts and documents in that
25 connection, was the discussion over that issue over? There were no more
1 discussions as of June?
2 A. In June, around the beginning of June, upon the intervention of
3 the European Community and the agreement in Brioni, the decisions of
4 Croatia and Slovenia were suspended for three months.
5 Q. I'm not asking you that. These legal acts adopted by Slovenia and
6 Croatia, didn't that mean that there was no further discussion about it as
7 far as they were concerned? They had a discussion, they implemented their
8 decisions, and there proclaimed their independence, so that there was
9 nothing more to discuss.
10 A. As far as I know, they insisted on recognition of their
12 Q. Thank you. If that is so and after your interpretation of a
13 conversation between Slobodan Milosevic and Karadzic, this is page 13046,
14 the transcript of the 19th of November, you said, and these were all
15 conversations dating back to July and August, after all these discussions
16 and after what Slovenia and Croatia had done, you said there was a plan
17 for Slovenia and Croatia to be forced to leave Yugoslavia and thereby the
18 disintegration to be carried out.
19 How could they have had such a plan, as you interpreted the
20 conversation, if by then those legal documents had already been adopted?
21 They had made the decision, and somebody saying, "They're shooting at our
22 backs, and what can we do that we can't go on living together under those
24 A. The procedure of the proclamation of independence and the leaving
25 of Yugoslavia by Slovenia and Croatia started in January 1991, and it
1 proceeded in a way that we've --
2 Q. Yes, but we've already said that it was completed in June. In
3 June it was all over. And these intercepts were later. All of them were
4 later. Why would somebody be making a plan to force somebody to leave
5 when he's already decided to be independent and he had already left?
6 A. This was happening in the events that took place prior to that.
7 Q. Thank you. We now have the Exhibit 351, tab 64. Even before
8 them, without any prior procedure, on the 18th of March, 1991, you signed
9 the decision for Knin to secede from Croatia. How big is Knin? How is it
10 possible that you could do this?
11 A. This decision was made on the basis of the decision of the
12 executive council of SAO Krajina of the 16th of March, 1991, and the
13 decision was prompted after my telephone conversation with Mr. Milosevic
14 when he asked us to support Yugoslavia, and that meant to remain in
15 Yugoslavia in line with his option which meant separating from Croatia and
16 remaining in Yugoslavia and letting Croatia go.
17 Q. You have already said during your testimony that Slobodan
18 Milosevic didn't know about it and that he even opposed it.
19 A. I said how I interpreted his request to support Yugoslavia.
20 Q. And you seceded though he didn't ask you to do that. He didn't
21 oppose secession. But you said explicitly that regarding that, or the
22 decision of the 1st of April, 1991, when the whole of Krajina seceded from
23 Croatia, did not have his support.
24 A. That decision was taken after a telephone conversation with
25 Milosevic and his request that we support Yugoslavia. This was a -- that
1 was the way in which we supported Yugoslavia. His option for the Serbs of
2 Croatia to remain in Yugoslavia and for Croatia to go.
3 Q. Tell me, did he oppose that? When he learnt that you had taken
4 such a decision, were there protests because he did that?
5 A. He didn't oppose the decision on secession. He opposed the
6 decision on unification with Serbia. He said with Yugoslavia.
7 Q. Very well. You said over the past few days that he did not agree
8 with that, but let it be.
9 From those days, that is in that period up to May 1991, was the
10 JNA normally deployed throughout the territory?
11 A. Until when?
12 Q. Well, let us say until the beginning of 1991.
13 A. Until the beginning of 1991? I didn't notice any special or
14 unusual activities.
15 Q. And during that 50-year period up to 1991, did it occupy anyone on
16 the territory of Yugoslavia or was it the regular army?
17 A. The JNA was the armed force of the SFRY.
18 Q. Can you tell me, please, something in the -- in this connection?
19 Do you know that on the 27th of June, 1991, the Territorial Defence of
20 Slovenia attacked the JNA without any prior announcement and that 50
21 soldiers were killed? Is that true?
22 A. I know that the JNA intervened upon the demand of the federal
23 government to deblock frontier posts and that there was an armed clash
24 with Slovenian Territorial Defence forces and fire was opened on unarmed
25 soldiers. I don't have any specific information.
1 Q. Was this not followed by attacks and occupation of barracks in
2 both Slovenia and Croatia?
3 A. That is how the armed conflict occurred between the JNA and the
4 armed forces in Slovenia. As for Croatia, I've already said that the
5 conflict started as of January, 1991.
6 Q. I should now like to read out two documents to you. If I could
7 have that much time, at least. I have much more. Both documents were
8 signed by you. They are your orders. One has been tendered into
9 evidence. It is tab 38, 352/2. And the other has not been admitted into
10 evidence but it is tab 37. Tab 37, 352/2.
11 You are issuing an order on the 1st of April, 1991, and you say as
12 follows: "Order: To carry out mobilisation on the 1st of April." You're
13 saying to mobilise the Territorial Defence of the Serbian Autonomous
14 Region of Krajina and volunteer units to defend the freedoms of all
15 citizens and to protect its territorial integrity. This is number one.
16 And number two, that is the only thing the Prosecutor read to you:
17 "We demand from the government of the Republic of Serbia to have for the
18 forces of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Serbia to
19 provide all technical and personal aid to the SUP of Krajina."
20 So this was your order and your conclusion; is that right?
21 A. Yes. I've already commented that document here.
22 Q. Yes, the conclusion but not the order.
23 A. That order too was the result of the events in Plitvice.
24 Q. Yes. But what was not tendered into evidence, tab 37, on that
25 same day you have a request dated the 1st of April, 1991, and now you're
1 not writing to anyone in Serbia but to the Presidency of SFRY, the JNA
2 command staff, the federal SUP, and other federal organs, competent
3 federal organs, requesting strongly first: "Urgently and entirely to
4 implement the decision of the Presidency of Yugoslavia on the complete
5 withdrawal of aggressor and terrorist forces of MUP of the so-called
6 republic of Croatia from the territory of the SAO Krajina." Is that
8 A. That's right. That was in connection with the promise of
9 Milosevic and Jovic that JNA would protect the territory of the Serbs in
11 Q. Why didn't you put that in your request to Serbia? But you are
12 writing to the Presidency of SFRY here.
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. That's also what you said in your interview with Grubac on the
15 18th of January. I can't find it now. You said the same thing there in
16 that interview. You also spoke about terrorist and aggressor forces
17 already in January; is that right?
18 A. Figuratively, that's how we spoke of each other. I spoke about
19 the terminology used between us and the Croatian side.
20 Q. Yes, but under 2 of this request, you knew nothing about the
21 victims of the Serbs or their casualties or anything, but here you said to
22 immediately return the bodies of the dead and all the wounded.
23 A. The situation was confusing, and there were reports that many
24 people had been killed and disappeared in the area of Plitvice.
25 Q. Yes, but you're writing a request that you signed. Are you doing
1 that on the basis of unverified information or do you have reliable
2 information when you demand the return of the dead?
3 A. This was the information received from the people from Korenica.
4 Q. So you have no direct knowledge.
5 A. I was there, and I was told that it had happened there.
6 Q. Did you see a single body?
7 A. One person was killed on the Serbian side and one policeman on the
8 Croatian side.
9 Q. Here it says "dead bodies," in the plural. But let's go on.
10 Number 3, request number 3: You're demanding through the mediation of the
11 Red Cross of Yugoslavia and the federal SUP - again the federal - that all
12 detained citizens and members of Krajina SUP -- and how many were
14 A. I don't know whether it is true. I know that Hadzic was elected
15 -- was arrested in Plitvice at the time.
16 Q. And then on page 3064 of the transcript, you go on to say: "The
17 JNA entered into the war with Croatia in August. The conflict started in
18 May." And here, in these orders, you're referring to certain requests of
19 your own for assistance from federal institutions.
20 A. That was the guarantee of Jovic and Milosevic, that they would
21 protect us in connection with those events.
22 Q. Again, on the 13046, you said there was a plan for a part of
23 Croatia which was occupied by the JNA and which was under the control of
24 the Serbs to remain in Yugoslavia. Are you referring to Krajina when you
25 said that?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Isn't the truth something else? In those days, the army -- in
3 those days, the army hadn't occupied anything. The army had been occupied
4 itself or, rather, surrounded, under siege. What particular period are
5 you referring to?
6 A. The most critical period.
7 Q. May, June, July, and August, and September, and October?
8 A. I spoke with precision about the escalation and how the JNA was
9 used. I spoke with precision about that.
10 Q. Here you talked about occupation, and a moment ago we read out
11 that you submitted a request to prevent the activities of terrorist
13 A. When giving my answers, I must know exactly to what time period
14 you're referring.
15 Q. But you made this request in April. Was there a war on already?
16 A. I said that already in August 1990, via Jovic, Milosevic said that
17 he would protect our political struggle, and he said the same during all
18 meetings with them.
19 Q. Very well. I have to hurry up. Did you refuse three times the
20 Carrington Plan? The talks you had with Wijnaendts in the autumn of 1991,
21 each time Milosevic told you to accept and each time you rejected?
22 A. There were three talks with Milosevic.
23 Q. You've already said that here.
24 A. Two were the same in meaning, the third was different.
25 Q. But not once did you accept his recommendation.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. On two occasions he was forcing us to accept the Carrington Plan
2 and the third time he asked us not to accept it because he said special
3 status on Yugoslav soil, and this was contrary to the Carrington Plan.
4 Q. I'm saying that he said to you twice accept the proposals made and
5 you didn't. Did anyone from the parallel structures perhaps force you to
6 accept it?
7 A. In those times, there was a parallel structure. Frenki was waging
8 a campaign against me as a traitor.
9 Q. Let's not go into that. Did Frenki tell you not to accept the
11 A. Frenki was the parallel structure.
12 Q. Did Frenki tell you not to accept the plan?
13 A. Slobodan Milosevic told us to accept, and I said here in court
14 that I did not agree with it.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. That's what I wanted to hear.
16 What about the Serbian National Council on the 19th of December,
17 1991? Did it proclaim the Republika Srpska and form a state thereby?
18 A. It wasn't the Serbian National Council but the Assembly of SAO
19 Krajina proclaimed itself to be constitutional and did that.
20 Q. Was Slobodan Milosevic opposed to that?
21 A. I didn't hear him oppose it. In a telephone conversation with me,
22 he only said -- he called me "colleague" in a sort of mocking way,
23 sarcastic way, and when he called me to attend a meeting on the 23rd.
24 Q. After that, did you insist upon linking up with the rest of the
25 parts, Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, that it should all form one
1 state and sent a request to the international community to ask for it to
3 A. What happened was the following: On the 19th of December, the SAO
4 Krajina was proclaimed the Republic of Serbian Krajina and then Eastern
5 Slavonia and Western Slavonia themselves took the decision to become
6 annexed to the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
7 Q. What about the Vance-Owen Plan? Did Milosevic say that it should
8 be accepted and you refused?
9 A. The Vance-Owen Plan did not apply to Krajina. It applied to
11 Q. I'm asking you about the Vance-Owen Plan.
12 A. I said that the Vance-Owen Plan did not apply to Krajina.
13 Q. Well, what you were discussing, the Vance Plan, did he insist you
14 accept it?
15 A. Milosevic not only insisted but imposed the acceptance of that
17 Q. You yourself were against?
18 A. I was against in the way that I have explained here.
19 Q. Right. That brings me to the point that I'm interested in most,
20 and perhaps it will interest the Trial Chamber as well; why you failed to
21 agree to the Vance Plan, was that precisely the fact that you did not want
22 to have demilitarisation because you were opposed to the UN -- to the JNA
23 pulling out of the area?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. Did you insist that the demarcation line be along the borders
1 between Krajina and Croatia?
2 A. That the UN peacekeepers should come and be deployed along the
3 green line, as it was known.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Tapuskovic. Microphone
5 for the amicus, please.
6 JUDGE MAY: Microphone. Your microphone seems to be off.
7 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You said that on one occasion Milosevic told you where the army
9 should be deployed, and now I see here that you yourself insisted upon the
10 boundary being between Croatia and Krajina, otherwise you wouldn't give
11 your permission for the plan to be signed.
12 A. You're distorting my words. Milosevic said where the army would
13 be deployed in mid-June -- July 1991, and over the Vance Plan discussions,
14 I demanded that the JNA remain where Milosevic had had it deployed.
15 Q. Nonetheless, despite the fact that you were asked to agree, was it
16 in the interests of one and all to have the agreement signed and the war
17 ended and the suffering ended? But you prolonged it and did not accept
18 the plan; isn't that right?
19 A. You are making some assertions. What do you want to say by that?
20 Q. You didn't accept the plan.
21 A. I didn't accept the plan for security reasons and I have discussed
22 that in detail here.
23 Q. Did the Assembly of Krajina accept the plan?
24 A. The Krajina Assembly did, after the Security Council decision to
25 send UN peacekeepers to the -- and the Municipal Assembly of Knin, which I
1 presided over, on the 12th and 13th of March, accepted the deployment of
2 the UN peacekeepers on its territory.
3 Q. After that, did you, with the part of the Assembly that did not
4 wish to accept the Vance Plan, did you with that portion of Assembly
5 members, make a decision to hold a referendum?
6 A. The decision to hold a referendum came on the 12th of February,
7 1992, and the Security Council decided on the 20th and 22nd of February.
8 Q. Yes, but you wanted to hold a referendum to prevent the adoption
9 of the Vance-Owen Plan.
10 A. No. I wanted to hear the people state its views. This was before
11 the UN Security Council had decided to send the peacekeepers into Krajina.
12 Q. I don't know if I'll have time for all this. I'll have to skip
13 over some questions, but I'm interested in everything concerning plan Z-4,
14 the Z-4 plan, and it concerns tab 104, Exhibit 352. It is the document of
15 the United Kingdom embassy and its letter. We looked at it. Did you have
16 the document in your hands? It is in English.
17 A. It was read out to me in the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 Q. Now, with respect to that plan, did you hold two conversations
19 with Slobodan Milosevic as you yourself said? Once, I think you said
20 according to the transcript on page 13242, that you talked to him for the
21 first time about the plan in April and that Slobodan Milosevic, as you
22 said, told you that the plan was a good one but that there were just some
23 minor problems with respect to the territory around Slunj.
24 A. He said the plan was good and that Slunj should be vertically
1 Q. Right. And the second time you talked to him was in the night
2 between the 2nd and 3rd of August, was it not?
3 A. The 3rd of August, at about 11.00 a.m.
4 Q. Now, about these conversations with him, did you inform Gavro --
5 Galbraith, did you inform Galbraith of your talks with Milosevic?
6 A. The discussion with Milosevic on the 3rd was after my talks with
7 Mr. Galbraith. I talked to Mr. Galbraith in the afternoon of the 3rd and
8 he asked me whether I had made a statement. I said that I had. I think
9 that was the contents of my telephone conversation with Galbraith on the
10 3rd of August in the afternoon.
11 Q. Well, you didn't tell him what was told you in the month of April
12 by Milosevic, that the plan was a good one. You didn't convey that to
14 A. To tell you quite frankly, Galbraith said that Milosevic was the
15 greatest adversary to the plan, opponent to the plan.
16 Q. In point 4 of the document, Galbraith said that you yourself said
17 that Martic and Milosevic were opposed to the plan. You did not tell
18 Galbraith what Milosevic had told you, namely, that the plan was a good
19 one. What it states here is that you said that Martic and Milosevic were
20 opposed but that you had nothing against it.
21 A. Absolutely so. I did think that Milosevic was not -- was not
22 frank and honest with me in the conversation I had with him in April.
23 Q. But you talked to Galbraith in the morning, and you told him that
24 you would make this public. Beforehand, you had spoken to Milosevic and
25 once again you didn't say that Milosevic had said, "Yes, yes, but calmly,
2 A. I don't remember that I mentioned Milosevic to him later on over
3 the -- in the telephone conversation.
4 Q. Why didn't you tell anybody from the month of April onwards that
5 Milosevic had said the plan was a good one, which meant that it ought --
6 it should be accepted?
7 A. I think that I -- I don't remember that I kept that secret.
8 Q. Well, why didn't you emphasise it when you spoke to Galbraith?
9 A. I told Galbraith that he -- Milosevic must give his agreement,
10 especially with respect to the involvement of forces around the Bihac
11 pocket. That was emphasised in particular. The army was there, the army
12 of the RSK, Abdic's forces, the MUP of Serbia, the DB of Serbia and
13 everybody else that took part, and especially it was around this Bihac
14 pocket that I emphasised to Galbraith that this could not go ahead without
16 Q. Let's see what it says in paragraph 4 of the document. You said
17 to Galbraith that he personally wanted to accept this, and then you say
18 Martic and Milosevic were opposed, full stop. Is that what you said? Is
19 that what you were thinking?
20 A. Martic said that Milosevic was opposed to taking the plan into
22 Q. I'm not asking you that. You told Galbraith what is written here,
23 that Milosevic was opposed, although on that night as well you had an
24 answer and his answer was, "Yes, but calmly, peacefully, without any
25 incidents, talk to some man called Rade and then settle the terms." You
1 didn't say that in April you had his support and that he had said that the
2 plan was a good one.
3 A. There is a difference between what Milosevic said "calmly,
4 peacefully," and I think the interpreters here translated the word "min"
5 or "slowly" properly the first time, which means without panic. It was
6 taken to mean slowly. It did not mean slowly; it meant calmly,
7 peacefully. So there was a difference between what Milosevic stood behind
8 and what he meant when he said "min" or calmly, yes, yes, when he wasn't
9 involved himself. I know the difference of when he is actually standing
10 by what he says and is saying what he means and when he isn't.
11 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't know
12 whether I'll have one or two minutes more. May I?
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, certainly.
14 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Then I'll try and pass over some
15 issues quicker, get through some material quicker. I have a list here
16 that I have drawn up, and I should like to hand it over to the Trial
17 Chamber itself to facilitate matters. They are 54 decisions, in fact, and
18 each of these decisions was signed by Babic, and they were all made
19 between July and December 1991, amongst which were two orders for
20 mobilisation and the order where he releases -- places a citizen at
21 liberty without any court decision to do that. And I should like it to be
22 known that between - and I'm drawing your attention, Your Honours, to this
23 - that between July and December 1991, there are 54 decisions by Mr.
24 Babic which relate, among others, to and first and foremost the
25 functioning of the Territorial Defence, and I have made a list of them
1 all. I have them in English as well with the numbers, and I will give you
2 some copies to distribute amongst yourselves. It's difficult for me to
3 find my own way round all this.
4 But we have here a decision. First it is tab 25, 351/1. It is
5 the order dated the 2nd of August, 1991, signed by Milan Babic. And the
6 other decisions are similar to this. He states: "Pursuant to the
7 aforementioned law, the commander of all the armed forces on the territory
8 of defence of Zagreb is the president of the government of Krajina Milan
9 Babic," answer signs it, and then he goes on to state once again an order
10 by him to the commander of the Territorial Defence, the Territorial
11 Defence zone area commanders are appointed by the commander of the
12 Territorial Defence of Krajina i.e., the Prime Minister Milan Babic. I
13 assume that these orders were arrived at by you independently or did
14 somebody exert pressure on you?
15 A. No, I made them independently.
16 Q. Thank you parallel structures have nothing to do with this?
17 A. Parallel structures are something quite different I've already
18 explained this.
19 Q. Did Frenki perhaps order you to do this?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. Then we come to another one. 162. That is the order,
22 the same exhibit. The order for mobilisation. And then another order,
23 once again for mobilisation, dated August. Did you issue that order?
24 A. Would you read out the order exactly, please, and I'll tell you
1 Q. This one is dated the 26th of October, 1991. The order is in
2 Serbian, but it refers to mobilisation?
3 A. With respect to the order received from the Yugoslav state
5 Q. So you issued this yourself?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. All right. So I won't go back to that. So all these decisions
8 show that you made your decisions yourself and made all these 54
9 decisions. You arrived at these decisions at your own initiative; is that
11 A. Well, quote each and every one to me and I'll be happy to answer.
12 Q. Well, I haven't got time to do that, but all of them were signed
13 by you; is that right?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. You said that you talked to Slobodan Milosevic twice about
16 financial matters. The first time was in 1990 when you discussed the Viga
17 factory. There was no war at that time. There were no armoured trains or
18 bombs or anything of that kind, just screws were being manufactured there,
19 and you asked 60 million, a sum of 60 million to save the factory. Was
20 that the principle of solidarity that held true in Yugoslavia, that when
21 there was a problem, everybody should pull their efforts to help, the
22 principle of solidarity among the republics, did it exist at that time?
23 When a factory had to be saved, did everybody help?
24 A. It was support of the municipality of Knin to the municipality of
1 Q. Thank you. And the next conversation you had was in 1993 in a
2 delegation when you talked about financial issues; is that right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Now, this isn't actually a question. What I would like to do is
5 the following: I would like to show the Trial Chamber and draw your
6 attention to the following so that Their Honours could take this into
7 consideration. I won't able to do so when the Prosecution presented its
8 evidence. I couldn't keep getting up with my own remarks and criticism so
9 I'll do that now so Your Honours could take this into account.
10 I think that the Court ought to assess in respect to all the
11 financial documents that relate to the time after 1992, June 1992, in
12 fact, afterwards. So after the incriminated time in the indictment.
13 What has that got to do with the events up until June? You
14 yourselves will be able to assess that. But I should like to draw your
15 attention to the fact that those documents, for the most part, with two
16 exceptions, were documents after June 1992, which means when the conflict
17 that is mentioned in the indictment no longer took place.
18 There are only two documents prior to that time frame, time
19 period. One was the 10th of February, 1992, and it was 380.000 dinars.
20 That was the sum that was in question. And it is 352 document, tab 16.
21 It was the events in Glina and relates to the events in Glina. They were
22 not used. But it emerges from that document that some banking assistance
23 was called for so that the money which was already in Glina could be used
24 in the republic.
25 A. For the MUP.
1 Q. Yes, for MUP too, but it was a sum of money that was already
2 there, and the sum was 380.000 dinars. Is that right?
3 A. That's how it would appear.
4 Q. The second document is document 352, tab 5 and 6, which talks
5 about -- it doesn't talk about the money received but a programme of
6 assistance that is to be received in the future, and the Prosecution has
7 calculated this and found that it is 92 million marks and that these are
8 monies incurred, demands for such-and-such assistance even after June.
9 Before June and after June as well.
10 A. What documents are you talking about?
11 Q. I'm talking about financial documents in which you ask for
13 A. We asked for assistance, yes.
14 Q. Do you have any proof that 92 million German marks were given to
15 you ever, that the sum of 92 million German marks arrived in Krajina at
17 A. I don't have any document to prove that.
18 Q. I have no -- do you have any documents that your requests were
19 complied with and that this sum actually reached you, this sum of 92
20 million German marks?
21 A. The documents I had I have supplied you with.
22 Q. And may I conclude and deal with one more topic? You said here,
23 you spoke here and we have it in the transcript on page 13002 and also in
24 tab 352 -- or, rather, Exhibit 352, the tab is 26, where you spoke about
25 the fact that the media in Serbia exaggerated events and that you came
1 under the influence of the media too and that frequently you based your
2 own opinions on what the media was saying.
3 What about the influence of the Zagreb media, the television and
4 press? Did that also have any influence on your own judgement?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And which had greater weight?
7 A. The media from Serbia.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, all that was being written at the
9 time about changes in the constitution, depriving the Serbs of their
10 rights, all this disturbed you less than the articles appearing in the
11 Serbian press.
12 A. The way in which the press in Serbia were explaining this. We,
13 and I personally had greater trust in the press in Serbia.
14 Q. Did you devote more attention to what was actually happening in
15 Krajina and Croatia and all over Yugoslavia than to what you read in the
17 A. To both the events and the press.
18 Q. But which more?
19 A. I answered with great precision. I can't wait now.
20 Q. But you said that some people brought pressure to bear on you,
21 that you accepted their rhetorics and you thought the same as they did?
22 A. Yes. And I name the people I meant, the rhetorics I referred to
23 and the time period I referred to.
24 Q. And the letter you wrote in response to Milosevic when you
25 rejected the Vance Plan, were they all your positions or Rasuo's
2 A. They were my positions as well. I accepted them. I adopted them
3 as my own.
4 Q. So you signed what they had written.
5 A. I adopted it and signed it.
6 Q. And do you stand by that?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. And what you wrote in the letter which Mirko Marjanovic allegedly
9 asked of you?
10 A. I said under what circumstances I had done that. I was asked to
11 say that Yugoslavia was not to blame, and this was a condition for the
12 refugees to be admitted in Serbia.
13 Q. And what about what is said in the letter what happened to the
14 people before they reached Serbia? That is not true?
15 A. I said what I entered in my statement, the part of my statement
16 that was requested by Marjanovic.
17 Q. Now, what that letter says about the suffering of Serbs on their
18 way to Serbia?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. But what is correct? You said what happened once they arrived in
21 Serbia. Allegedly they were sent to Kosovo. But what happened to them
22 while they were travelling to Serbia? What were the casualties?
23 A. Many were many. People were dying along the way. There was a
24 shortage of water, food. The trip took a long time. There were
25 blockades. Then Mladic put up a blockade at Vrbas. So Mladic is to blame
1 for the blockade on Vrbas.
2 Q. No. I'm asking you about what was happening on the motorway when
3 columns of refugees were bombed?
4 A. You mean the column from Topusko. The column was shelled at
5 Bosanski Petrovac.
6 Q. How many people were killed?
7 A. I heard that several were killed.
8 Q. Just one more question and that will be all. You spoke at length
9 here about many things, but mostly you never saw anything. You just
10 received information.
11 A. No, that is not true. I also said about what I saw. And in most
12 cases, I was an eyewitness of many of the events I saw. I said exactly
13 which events I had seen, which I received reports about, and which I heard
14 about later.
15 Q. Did you ever take a decision on the battlefront? Did you take
16 part in any battle? Did you really see what was going on?
17 A. I did see things. I spoke about the events in -- around
18 Korenica. I was at Miocic when colonel -- now, what was his name --
19 Djukic was in command of the artillery firing at Petrovo Polje, and once I
20 was at Peruca, but I didn't see any combat. The units were further
22 Q. Did you ever take command yourself personally?
23 A. No.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, you said you had half an hour in
1 re-examination; is that right?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It will have to be on Monday morning.
4 Mr. Babic, I'm afraid we must ask you to remain for another
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, I have two technical points to
8 JUDGE MAY: Does it have to do with Mr. Babic?
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, at least one. One refers actually to a
10 remark that Mr. Milosevic made this morning. He said actually that now
11 the tapes of the suspect interview would be available to the public, and
12 that is actually not the case because only a very, very limited part of
13 the tapes are in evidence. So I just want to make this remark that it --
14 the entire tapes of the suspect interview with Mr. Babic are not to be
15 disclosed, so that everybody understands.
16 JUDGE MAY: We will have to consider that. It will be a matter
17 for the Trial Chamber, of course. Yes.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. And the other point is just the order
19 of the witnesses for next week. We want to actually achieve, to conclude
20 all the witnesses who come from abroad and would put Mr. Blewitt the
21 end of the row and not at the beginning.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. He is simply producing, as I remember,
23 some documents which another witness -- have -- are they in evidence?
24 They are. Right.
25 JUDGE KWON: 315
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE ACCUSED: [No translation]
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, produce another clip, if you would, when
3 he comes.
4 Yes, Mr. Milosevic?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that you said
6 that you would consider this matter regarding the disclosure of the tapes,
7 would you please bear in mind that even this last statement that he gave
8 in connection with the letter, answering questions by Mr. Tapuskovic,
9 differs significantly from what is on the tapes and the questions I put to
10 him, because on the tapes he is complaining that Rasuo wrote a letter that
11 he did not agree with, and now he's saying that he agreed with it and
12 wrote it.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this is all -- this is all matter of
14 argument. We will consider how much of the tapes should be admitted.
15 Usually the whole statement goes in if we put part of a statement in.
16 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, if you'd like to think about that and you can address
17 us next week as to which bits should be allowed in and which not.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, we have no problem with
19 allowing the entire tapes, which is actually more than 1.000 pages into
20 evidence. I only mentioned that at the moment it's not and that is why I
21 made the remark.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will consider that. Meanwhile, 9.00 on
23 Monday morning. There is a motion for a protective measures of the 4th of
24 December which the Prosecution have put before us. That application will
25 be granted.
1 Very well. Monday morning.
2 Mr. Babic, would you be back then, and we will conclude your
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 9th day of December,
6 2002, at 9.00 a.m.