1 Wednesday, 22 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I understand there is an
6 administrative matter that you wish to raise in the absence of the
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. It has nothing to do with the
9 witness and I'm only going to take up a few minutes of your time. I have
10 three points to raise, actually.
11 First, with respect to my health situation. I have a lot of noise
12 in my head and all the symptoms that Dr. Dalal at the university in Leiden
13 has already established or, rather, established several months ago, so I'm
14 not quite sure, and I want to tell you this, I'm going to do my best, but
15 I'm not quite sure whether I'll be able to get through the examination of
16 this witness today, but I'll do my best. Otherwise, these symptoms are
17 getting worse, and they make me very tired. And therefore, I consider
18 that since I put in my application two months ago to enable me to go and
19 have treatment, I would like to have a ruling from you.
20 The second thing that I wanted to say is this: It is linked to
21 what you said at the last session in connection with the witness list. I
22 cannot provide the necessary instructions to my associates since at this
23 point in time I do not know how much time you're going to allocate me,
24 whether you're going to give me sufficient time to present all the
25 evidence that I wish to present. And I should like to remind you,
1 Mr. Robinson, that when I raised the issue at the time, you first said
2 that it was too early to debate issue, later on you said that you wouldn't
3 be making a decision to extend my time but that you would follow the
4 proceedings to see how things were going and then would make a ruling.
5 However, it is now time for me to be told how much time I have, to get an
6 idea of how much time you're going to give me. I'm fully conscious of the
7 fact that you're not going to give me all the time I need, but I would
8 just like to know how much time you are actually going to accord me so
9 that I can issue instructions about the witnesses and so on.
10 And the third point is this: It's already been many years since I
11 put in a request for you to issue a subpoena for the testimony of Clinton
12 and Clark. I think the time has come for you to issue that order, and I
13 think that there is every justification for a positive decision on your
14 part in issuing that subpoena, because we are dealing with personalities
15 who played a key role in the wars - especially Clinton - in the wars on
16 the territory of the former Yugoslavia and later on in the aggression
17 against Yugoslavia. I am afraid that if you procrastinate in making your
18 decision any longer, we are going to via facti enter a time span when this
19 won't be possible, we won't have time to do it, and that wouldn't be
20 proper in any sense. So I would like to remind you that that is an
21 outstanding issue which you should rule upon as soon as possible.
22 So those are the three points that I wish to raise this morning.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 MR. KAY: Can I assist the Trial Chamber, because there is an
25 imminent filing later on today in relation to President Clinton --
1 ex-president Clinton, for the Trial Chamber.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm sorry, I didn't hear that, Mr. Kay.
3 MR. KAY: There is an imminent filing, it's going to be later on
4 today, concerning ex-president Clinton.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Because that would have been the short answer to
6 Mr. Milosevic on that score, that the Chamber needs to have the relevant
7 information from assigned counsel in the same way that we were given
8 submissions by assigned counsel in relation to Blair and Schroeder. We
9 need to have something to look at, and that is the only reason why a
10 decision has not yet been given.
11 As for your health situation and your application for provisional
12 release, I am to say that a decision will be given on that matter this
13 week. And I will consult with my colleagues on the other matter.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, as to the submission that you made
16 about the time within which you are to present the rest of your case, I
17 remind you that nothing has changed since the decision that we gave on the
18 12th of December in relation to severance, extension of time, and rest,
19 and I'll just read paragraph 26 of that decision. It says: "The Trial
20 Chamber will therefore not allow the accused any additional time other
21 than that to deal with minor adjustments to its initial calculation and
22 the accused's application for additional time is denied. He is
23 strenuously urged to move on, to deal with his case on the Croatia and
24 Bosnia indictments forthwith. The position might have been different had
25 the accused shown a willingness to act reasonably in the presentation of
1 his case. Should there be a clear indication in the future that he makes
2 proper and efficient use of time, the Chamber might reconsider the
4 So that's the position, and it has not changed, Mr. Milosevic.
5 Now, let's move on with the -- with your defence and call the witness.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, all right, Mr. Robinson, but I
7 hope that you're not observing that I'm not presenting evidence in an
8 efficient manner. So you yourself said that you would reconsider your
9 decision to see how much time to allocate me. I ought to know. You ought
10 to tell me for me to be able to plan ahead and plan my witness structure.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Nothing has changed so far, Mr. Milosevic.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 WITNESS: MARKO ATLAGIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue with the examination of this
17 Examination by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Atlagic, with the adoption of the Croatian
19 constitution in December 1990, as far as the letter of the constitution
20 was concerned meant that a new independent Croatia had been established,
21 and you were elected parliament member within that state; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell us what kind of state that was?
24 A. With the passing of the constitution of the Republic of Croatia on
25 the 22nd of December, 1990, a new Independent State of Croatia was
1 established which had the same or similar characteristics as the
2 Independent State of Croatia from 1941 to 1945 under Ante Pavelic.
3 Q. Tell us some basic traits which indicate the similarity that
4 you've just mentioned. You said it had similar characteristics. So what
5 were those essential similar characteristics?
6 A. Both states had thrown out the Serb people from the constitution
7 and thrown out the Cyrillic script. They had the same symbols and emblems
8 of the state. Both persecuted the Serb people, ethnically speaking. Both
9 states introduced the Ustasha money, which was the kuna. Both of them
10 persecuted Serb intellectuals. Both states set up camps for Serbs. The
11 leading political parties or, rather, the leading political -- yes, the
12 leading political parties, both in the Ustasha state, the Independent
13 State of Croatia, and in the 1990 State of Croatia, the Croatian
14 Democratic Union, HDZ, had almost the same or similar -- I would say
15 almost the same characteristics; that was Greater Croatia nationalism,
16 separatism, and terrorism, and both tried to convert the Serbs into
17 Catholicism. And Stef Pinac [phoen] himself from 1941 to 1945 said he had
18 converted 240.000 Serbs to Catholicism, whereas the Croatian state, as it
19 was established in 1990, that was at Zrakomlat, and he was one of the Serb
20 leaders, and he said that thousands of Serb children had been converted to
21 Catholicism today. So both of them introduced a new way of speech, the
22 speech of terror, of hatred, of violence, and the telephone was no longer
23 referred to as at the telephone, it was referred to as "brzoglas" or "fast
24 speech." And they changed many words like that. A train, which in the
25 Serbo-Croatian was "voz," became "vlak," and so on. And they even
1 surpassed the former State of Croatia because ethnically it had completely
2 purged the country of Serbs, cleansed it of Serbs.
3 So those were the main characteristics, as far as I'm concerned,
4 but there were many others if you look at both those two states.
5 Q. Now, these phenomena, that is to say from the time the
6 constitution was introduced, was their intensity growing or declining as
7 time went on?
8 A. Well, as time went on, this intensity increased, and from 1990 to
9 1995, we actually saw that the -- that was the case, the situation. The
10 Serb people were totally ethnically cleansed, and they experienced an
11 exodus. The events that took place from 1990 to 1995 showed us that they
12 had experienced this enormous exodus, and there were names and surnames,
13 the names of villages, and Dr. Zarko Paposki [as interpreted] speaks of
14 this change.
15 Q. Who is Zarko Paposki?
16 A. Dr. Zarko Paposki is a leading Croatian intellectual.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Puhovski, interpreter's correction.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He is a contemporary Croatian
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. He lives and works in Croatia today, does he?
22 A. Yes, he does, he lives and works in Croatia today.
23 Q. In tab 11, do we have a quotation by him on page 63? At the
24 bottom of the page.
25 A. Yes. In tab 11, inter alia, it says: "In the Krajina, once upon
1 a time only cattle were expelled from their sheds in order to be taken to
2 pasture or to fairs, whereas now the Serbs have been driven out."
3 He says this was cleansing of history, culture, science, but also
4 cadastral cleansing as well as cleansing of names.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'm not sure really quite what the
6 admissibility of all this material is, but since we're looking at it I
7 have to observe that the translation that's been provided this morning
8 doesn't cover the total passage that's been read by the witness and that
9 we simply have no idea and we don't have anything like the time or
10 resources to research the overall context of an article or book like this
11 when we just get a snippet like this.
12 JUDGE BONOMY: And what do you see as the relevance of this,
13 Mr. Nice?
14 MR. NICE: Well, I don't.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, I'm totally baffled at the moment as to the
16 relevance of any of this, and it's just underlined what we were discussing
17 earlier, the failure to make responsible use of time.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, please bear in mind
19 that the witness is testifying to what he knows. What is provided in
20 these exhibits illustrates the fact that this is not something he himself
21 made up or some kind of erroneous impression the witness has. On the
22 contrary, these are prominent Croatian intellectuals who are not Serbs and
23 who spoke about the same things in the same way.
24 Therefore, in my opinion, it is very relevant. However, if
25 genocide over the Serbs is not relevant in your view, then there's no
1 point in discussing it at all.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As for --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Why don't you bring the witness to evidence that
5 is more directly related to the charges in the indictment?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that this is very directly
7 related to the indictment, because the indictment turns things upside
8 down. It presents the Serbs as aggressive beasts, whereas in fact they
9 were responding to very aggressive and very cruel attacks against
10 themselves, to history being repeated, to genocide being repeated.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, in that case, then, what you
12 should do is to identify a particular charge in the indictment and show
13 that the acts with which you have been charged are acts which were done in
14 response, that they were of a defensive nature, but you don't do that.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: It's also important not to lose sight of the ground
16 on which this objection was taken, which is that the evidence the witness
17 has given, including the quotation from the exhibit is not -- well, the
18 part of the quotation is not repeated in the translation. So again, it
19 just shows a failure to present a case in a form which the Trial Chamber
20 can easily follow.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's move on, Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I must intervene right away. What
23 Mr. Nice said is incorrect. I received the translation of this tab. It's
24 on two pages. On page 2, very fluently it says in the English language:
25 "Dr. Zarko Puhovski [In English] wrote that this was the cleansing of
1 history, culture and science, but also --"
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We don't have --
3 THE ACCUSED: Then he says: "... the cleansing of place names and
4 proper names. In the last war, the current Croatian authorities declared
5 the Krajina Serbs to be aggressors and invaders of their own homes and
6 homeland." It's -- et cetera.
7 [Interpretation] So what Mr. Nice says about this passage not
8 being translated is incorrect because I have the translation here,
9 translated by your translators.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Milosevic, what the witness read out was: "In
11 the Krajina, once upon a time only cattle were expelled from their sheds
12 in order to be taken to pasture or to fairs, whereas now the Serbs have
13 been driven out." Where does it say that in the translation?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the Serbian text, it's right
15 above the sentence I quoted. Just before it: "Once upon a time only
16 cattle were driven out of their stables ..." and so on and so forth. "[In
17 English] ... late 20th century, the Serbian people were subjected to a
18 classic example of expulsion from their age-old territories."
19 [Interpretation] Then it goes on to say what was read out. So this
20 sentence is there too but only half of it has gone in.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Regrettably, I don't have the sort of special
22 insight that can read things that aren't actually in front of me on paper.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is a classic example of a
24 failure to manage your case properly, because you should have observed
25 that the translation was not complete. That's your responsibility.
1 Let us proceed.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as I'm concerned, the
3 sentence that has been translated is sufficient for my purposes. The
4 witness read the previous sentence, which is also important, but I had not
5 intended to use it.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Atlagic, the Croatian constitutions up to the amendments of
9 1990 contained a provision in which the Serbs were a constituent people.
10 What did the amendments of July 1990 contain?
11 A. These amendments --
12 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you answer that, do we have these previous
13 constitutions in front of us or is that just a statement of evidence by
14 you, Mr. Milosevic?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's in these constitutions,
16 Mr. Bonomy. There's a constitution of 1974.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: And do we have the Croatian Republic constitution
18 of 1974 as an exhibit in this case; and, if so, what number is it?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, you have it. You have it,
20 Mr. Bonomy. It was given to Professor Kostic, the previous witness, who
21 read out to you quotations from that constitution in which it says the
22 Croatian people, the Serbian people, in the constitution of Croatia. That
23 was a few days ago. I can't tell you the exact exhibit number, but that's
24 the Croatian constitution of 1974, which was read out to you here by
25 Professor Kostic. So I don't want to go back to it now.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, is that document exhibited?
2 MR. NICE: It's not exhibited, no. It was made available to him
3 overnight, he read it and answered questions the following morning. It
4 was not exhibited.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let us proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So what did these amendments of 1990 entail? What were you
9 A. All the constitutions up to 1990 of the Republic of Croatia
10 contained provisions on the equality of the Croatian and Serbian peoples
11 in Croatia, even before 1945, even in the 17th century. However, the
12 amendments threw out the Serbs and reduced them to a status of an ethnic
13 minority. They were no longer a state-building and constituent nation.
14 Q. Well, you said that in Tito's constitutions and before the Serbs
15 were guaranteed the right of constituent nation. What are you relying on
16 when you say this?
17 A. I'm relying on a 17th century document written in 1630, the
18 Austrian Emperor Ferdinand II granted the Serbs the statute Valachorum.
19 This referred to the Krajina Serbs in the Austro-Hungarian empire, giving
20 them the highest degree of autonomy. Furthermore, in 1867, there was a
21 provision enacted by the Croatian parliament speaking of the total
22 equality of Serbs and Croats.
23 Furthermore, at the second session of the AVNOJ held in Plasko in
24 1943, it was stated that there can be no Croatia in which the Serb nation
25 is not equal and which does not guarantee the Serbs full equality. Then
1 we have the second and the third sessions of AVNOJ in Topusko in 1944
2 where a declaration was passed on the rights of peoples and citizens,
3 where it says that the Serbian people are completely equal to the Croatian
5 Q. And this changed with the amendments of 1990?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Well, let's not waste time. How did this reflect on the Serbs in
9 A. They saw it as a tragedy. They felt that they were losing their
10 sovereignty, their state, their homeland. They felt that they were losing
11 their state-building characteristics of a political nation. They felt
12 that they had been expelled from the constitution, that they were now
13 lost, abandoned, all alone. This reminded them of 1941 to 1945, the time
14 of the Pavelic state, when they were also expelled from the constitution.
15 Q. What you are saying, does it -- is it also something that very
16 eminent Croatian intellectual has also said?
17 A. Yes. Leading Croatian intellectuals and philosophers, including
18 Gajo Petrovic confirmed this. He is a leading Croatian philosopher and
19 logician not only in the Balkans but in Europe, and he said that --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we have heard enough of this
21 matter now. We have heard enough of it. Move on to another subject.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I would like to look at
23 tab 12. Gajo Petrovic is a leading Croatian philosopher. He is not one
24 of the most important philosophers but the most important philosopher.
25 And in tab 12 you have a quotation where it says: "... the 'new regime'
1 has brought something new with it: The direct rehabilitation of fascism
2 and Ustashism, the Independent State of Croatia and its leaders, including
3 the greatest criminals, for example Mile Budak, who is already having
4 streets named after him, as well as Ante Pavelic who, in a Zagreb monthly
5 has been declared to be the 'first Croatian liberal...'" and so on and so
6 forth. So this was said by a Croatian philosopher.
7 MR. NICE: I'm not sure what the question was, not sure what the
8 value of the evidence is, and I invite the Court to direct the witness to
9 move on perhaps to the next tab, which might be more interesting.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Let's move on, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. What is there in tab 13? Would you be kind enough to take a look
13 at it.
14 A. In tab 13, we have a statement by a Pole, Adam Michnik, who said,
15 and I quote: "In Croatia today ruled by Tudjman, the tradition of the
16 Ustashas and Ante Pavelic has virtually been rehabilitated."
17 MR. NICE: Page 3 of the English, to help.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Page 1 or 3? It looks like page 1, unless that's
19 just a summary.
20 MR. NICE: It's on page 3. I might be wrong. The quotation
21 that's being read -- no, maybe it's page 1 as well. It turns out in more
22 detail on page 3. I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. What are you making of this, Mr. Milosevic?
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We have seen what the leading Croatian philosopher says. We now
1 see what a Polish intellectual says. Awareness of what was really
2 happening at the time in Croatia, did it exist only in the heads of the
3 Serbs who were fearful, or was it also evident to those who were not under
4 threat but who were using their own brains?
5 A. Well, certainly it wasn't just the Serbs. It was also many Croats
6 who saw the threat, as did many foreigners. I can give you an example:
7 An honest man, Luciano del Bianco, an Italian, who was the president of
8 Pula municipality, and when he was asked whether there had been attempts
9 to bring his municipality, Pula, into the war, he responded yes, there
10 were such attempts. When I called the top leadership, they would tell him
11 to try and solve things peacefully, but as soon as he put down the
12 receiver faxes would arrive telling him that the barracks, the port, and
13 the airport should be attacked.
14 Q. Your colleague the president of Pula municipality said this?
15 A. Yes. And as an MP, he even had some unpleasantness because of
17 Q. In tab 14, is there a quotation from something the daughter of
18 Ante Pavelic said?
19 A. Yes. Mirjana Psenicnik, a daughter of Ante Pavelic, said, when
20 interviewed by Novi List --
21 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continued] ... fairly unfortunate
22 position, but let's just focus on tab 13, because of all the documents of
23 this kind, if they're of relevance at all, the Chamber might actually find
24 in tab 13 something that's worth reading if it has two minutes or three
25 minutes over the break, because here we have a complete document, so we
1 can see the context of a single line that somehow has been drawn from it
2 by the accused, and indeed it's the work of a respected Polish
3 intellectual; I accept that. We then come to -- nevertheless, the accused
4 made nothing of it apart from, apparently, to read one line. We've now
5 gone back to another tab of the earlier kind where all we are getting and
6 all we are able to deal with is a paragraph without context. And I simply
7 don't know whether all these other tabs where we just get a snippet here
8 or there are in fact, when seen in their context, documents that set two
9 sides of a coin, as to an extent tab 13 does.
10 So I respectfully invite the Chamber to stop the process of just
11 having snippets of articles, but nevertheless I'd invite it - because I
12 may return to it in cross-examination - to find time just to read tab 13
13 in its entirety because it does, to some degree, set a balance.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: What are you making of tab 14, Mr. Milosevic?
15 What is the question that you wish to put to the witness? What is the
16 evidence that you wish to elicit from this witness?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, as you can see, the principal
18 issue raised here is who is the victim? What we can see quite clearly
19 from this is that there was clear awareness that Serbs were the victims.
20 And tab 14 quotes even a statement of the daughter of Ante Pavelic and how
21 she characterised the new Croatian state. The witness just mentioned the
22 president of Pula municipality, a fellow MP, who said that every day they
23 had received written orders to attack barracks, ports, and airports, which
24 is completely true.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... Pavelic.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: The part about the mayor of Pula is the only
2 English part I have in tab 14.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Will you please read this quotation.
5 A. "Mirjana Psenicnik, daughter of Ante Pavelic, stated for Novi List
6 on the 13th of June, 1992, among other things: 'After all, even in the
7 former Independent State of Croatia, there was no such anti-Serb sentiment
8 as there is today.'"
9 Q. Is that identical to what you just said in your testimony when you
10 were comparing the situation and the features of the former and the
11 current Independent State of Croatia, saying that the difference is that
12 the new independent Croatian state succeeded in finally and completely
13 driving out the Serbs?
14 A. Yes. And she is saying the same thing.
15 Q. Now, talking about your experience as a citizen of Croatia --
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Can I be clear, Mr. Atlagic: What do you mean by
17 "the former Independent State of Croatia"?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The State of Croatia, the criminal
19 and the fascist state from 1941 to 1945, NDH, headed by Ante Pavelic.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Her quotation that you've just given us was:
21 "After all, even in the former Independent State of Croatia, there was no
22 such anti-Serb sentiment as there is today." I thought you were saying
23 the sentiment was the same.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, precisely. She meant to
25 say with this statement that anti-Serb sentiment in the Independent State
1 of Croatia of 1941 was great, but not so great as the one that emerged
2 with the new constitution in Croatia in 1990; that it was even stronger at
3 the time when she was speaking.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let's move on, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Atlagic, let us conclude this area of your testimony. Was the
7 fear on the part of Serbs justified or not?
8 A. Well, if we take into consideration the -- the election campaign
9 of the Croatian Democratic Union before they came into power and the
10 statements and messages sent by the leaders to Serbs such as, "Hang Serbs
11 on trees," et cetera, and everything that followed the abolishment of
12 Serbs from the constitution, dismissals, the driving out of Serb policemen
13 from police stations in majority Serb areas, the invocation of Croatia in
14 its historic borders, which was done by the Croatian President Tudjman,
15 and the rehabilitation of Ustasha criminals Mile Budak and others, if we
16 know that even the party of Ante Pavelic was re-registered, the statements
17 of MPs such as Mile Djodan, if Serbs are not allow to teach in their own
18 language in schools, if the new hate speech reminds Serbs of 1941 to 1945,
19 then that fear is more than justified.
20 Q. Look at tab 15. Is that another example of a renowned analyst
21 saying the same thing, or almost the same thing?
22 A. Yes. In tab 15, we see a statement of Milenko Predragovic, a
23 well-known Croat analyst, who said: "Namely, in the opinion of its own
24 protagonists, instability and conflict with Serbs suit the new Croatian
25 Democratic Union authorities as an excuse to completely secede from
1 Yugoslavia. A statement of the Croatian government issued a few days ago
2 denouncing Yugoslavia as a naive case of servicing Iraqi planes in Gorica
3 near Zagreb as a violation of Croatian sovereignty, only confirms the
4 claim that the new authorities are doggedly looking for motives, on the
5 international scene as well, to secede from Yugoslavia. If this is the
6 case, and it is, then this matter should be discussed openly instead of
7 accusing others of creating a scenario to destabilise Croatia. The matter
8 should be discussed with the Serbs to see whether they agree with it or
10 Q. All right. So was it about a pretext or about an intention?
11 A. Milenko Predragovic means to say that Croatian authorities are
12 constantly creating incidents, and they are using these incidents
13 involving Serbs as a pretext for seceding from Yugoslavia.
14 Q. Concerning the conduct of these -- of the legislative branch of
15 which you were a member, the activities of the parliament whose member you
16 used to be, does your experience confirm that the fear of Serbs were --
17 was justified and --
18 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... looming up. The
19 format of this one --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you can't ask the question in that
21 way. "... does your experience confirm that the fear of Serbs was
22 justified ..." He is obviously going to say yes, so the evidence would be
23 useless. Move on to another matter.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. All right.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. How did the legislative branch act in those years from 1990 to
2 1991 when you were a member?
3 A. Already in 1990 constitutional amendments were introduced, and
4 later a new constitution was introduced, bringing a new coat of arms and a
5 new flag and establishing the Latin script as the only official one. It
6 turned out that the five-pointed star, the symbol of anti-fascism was
7 erased from the coat of arms and the crescent and six-pointed star became
8 new symbols.
9 Q. Why do you object to the new coat of arms if we know that the
10 so-called chequerboard was the oldest Croatian coat of arms?
11 A. Yes. It features already in 18th and 17th century tombstones and
12 other symbols -- sorry, 9th century symbols. That is the best known
13 Croatian coat of arms. But they don't put the chequerboard. They put the
14 crescent and the six-pointed star established by Pavao Vitezovic as a
15 symbol of Iliria.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The whole Croatia --
18 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Atlagic, Mr. Milosevic told us that all of this
19 was about explaining why the Serbs reacted. Can you give me an example of
20 Serb reaction that was caused by this sort of conduct.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, normally they reacted -- they
22 reacted even to this coat of arms. When it was adopted, Serb MPs
23 cautioned that the anti-fascist symbol should not be abolished.
24 JUDGE BONOMY: We want to know about crimes or conduct that could
25 be described as a crime unless it was justified in some way. Now, can you
1 give me an example of Serb reaction of that nature which was caused by
2 this conduct on the part of the legislature, on the general attitude of
3 the Croats towards the Serbs trying to expel them from their land, and so
4 on. What was it that the Serbs did? Give me an example that could be
5 described as criminal conduct as a result of this behaviour of the
6 Croatian authorities.
7 You see, if you can't, then I would be driven to the conclusion
8 that this is tit-for-tat, that this is a case of let's try and prosecute
9 Croatia here and never mind defending the allegations against the Serbs.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Bonomy, the Serb people
11 and the Serb politicians did not give the Croatian authorities a single
12 excuse to act like this, to be erased from the constitution, et cetera.
13 On the contrary, Serb authorities asked for autonomy at the beginning.
14 JUDGE BONOMY: That may be true but that's not the question I'm
15 asking you. The question I'm asking you is not about the Serbs giving
16 cause, which would be prior behaviour, I'm asking you about subsequent
17 behaviour. What is it -- what other ways in which it is said the Serbs
18 reacted because of this behaviour, because that's what Mr. Milosevic has
19 told us this evidence is about.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Serbs pointed out these
21 phenomena, either through their MPs or political parties. They opposed
22 what was going on in various ways in 1990 and onwards.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That was very responsible of them, but what we're
24 looking at is conduct that could possibly be described as irresponsible
25 and even criminal unless it was justified. Now, give me an example of
1 that. What was the form in which the Serbs reacted to this attitude,
2 irresponsible attitude of the Croatian authorities?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Serbs reacted only through
4 their MPs, as far as the legislative branch is concerned. In various
5 gatherings and meetings they also expressed --
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Don't confine your answers to the legislative
7 branch. Any authoritarian behaviour that you say caused reaction from the
8 Serbs, give me an example. And if you can't, just say so and we'll let
9 Mr. Milosevic explore it a little further.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, all I know is that Serbs had
11 given no cause. However, they were constantly under attack, both by the
12 legislative and the political authorities.
13 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ...
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, please continue, and bear in mind
16 the charges in the indictment.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Atlagic, this parliament in which you served, did it
19 acknowledge and accept a single, at least one Serb amendment in the new
20 Croat constitution?
21 A. Not a single proposed Serb amendment was accepted in the new
22 constitution. I proposed amendments myself as an MP. I warned that Serbs
23 should not be erased from the constitution, that they had always been an
24 equal people in Croatia for many centuries. However, the parliament did
25 not pay attention to anything of the kind and erased Serbs from the
1 constitution without any explanation given.
2 Q. That is about the constitution. But now concerning laws that are
3 adopted based on that constitution, were you faced with any discrimination
4 as an MP? Did you witness any discrimination in those new laws?
5 A. Many laws were passed by parliament in which the Serbs experienced
6 legal discrimination.
7 Q. How? How did they suffer from legal discrimination? Explain.
8 A. Well, first of all, they were thrown out of the constitution.
9 Then --
10 Q. Well, we already heard that about the constitution. I'm asking
11 you about the laws now.
12 A. Well, many laws were enacted, such as the law on primary
13 education, basic education, and the Serbs are not mentioned in that law at
14 all. The Serbian language isn't mentioned. All that is mentioned is the
15 Croatian language, which was introduced. So there was total
16 discrimination. And the Serbs understood this, this legal discrimination,
17 as state terror against them.
18 Q. All right. Now, apart from language, was there anything else?
19 What about in the material world? What about discrimination there? For
20 example, the budget, when the budget is passed. Did any discrimination
21 crop up there?
22 A. Well, in the budget for 1990 and 1991, when the budget was passed
23 for the Republic of Croatia, not a single dinar was allocated and
24 earmarked for Serb schools, but it was allocated for tuition in the
25 Croatian language and for the national minority schools; Italian schools,
1 Hungarian schools, Ukrainian schools, and so on.
2 Q. Well, that's a positive facet.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: Just going back briefly, what language is it that
4 you're speaking?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I speak the Serbian language. I'm
6 speaking Serbian.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I see this, all of this evidence
9 really as a kind of background to the charges in the indictment, but you
10 need to appreciate that evidence that the Serbs were discriminated against
11 by Croatia will not provide an answer to the charges in the indictment,
12 but I allow you to lead it because it's almost a part of the res gestae.
13 But I presume you will be bringing evidence that relates to the specific
14 charges in the indictment.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I hope that I'll show that.
16 I'll do my best. But I want to say that the charges in the indictment
17 have nothing to do with me, and any normal person would be able to see
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Atlagic, are there any concrete pieces of
21 evidence according to which the Croatian authorities in parliament - we're
22 talking about parliament - incited nationalism, for example? You spoke
23 about nationalism and fascism and so on. Do you have concrete proof and
24 evidence of this being incited --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I want to examine the statement
1 that you just made and which you have made before, because I need to be
2 clear as to -- as to what your case is. You say that the charges in the
3 indictment have nothing to do with you and anybody can see that. Well,
4 what, then, are you seeking to establish through the evidence that you are
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm trying to establish the
7 truth because we're talking about a completely distorted picture here of
8 some sort of Serb blame which has been construed. That does not mean at
9 all that certain Serbs did not commit certain crimes, individual crimes.
10 I can't address those, I can't say yes they happened or not because I
11 don't have the facts at my disposal, but certainly I don't exclude the
12 possibility that certain crimes did take place. However, those crimes
13 have absolutely nothing to do with the policy and politics of the Krajina
14 leadership and especially not the policy and politics of Serbia.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'd like to hear from Mr. Kay on this matter,
16 because it is an important issue: What is the accused's case? And is he
17 to be allowed to continue to lead evidence which, on the face of it, does
18 not serve any forensic purpose?
19 MR. KAY: The case brought against him on the Croatian indictment
20 has been that this was a background and conflict provoked by the Serbs.
21 If you remember, the Court has gone many times back to the so-called SANU
22 memorandum, which seems to be a document that was never published in an
23 official form but the Prosecution have set great store by the fact that
24 there was Serbian activity that was seeking to make the Serbs the dominant
25 people within Yugoslavia. The accused's case has been to consistently
1 reject that and show that the political and social circumstances in the
2 former Yugoslavia as it was breaking up was in fact a time when the other
3 republics were acting specifically against Serbs.
4 Again, the effect of this evidence has a limited use in terms of
5 the counts on the indictment, and I acknowledge that. What the accused
6 appears to be seeking to do is to try to redress some of the balance in
7 the case. He doesn't know how the Judges are going to be affected by the
8 presentation of the context of the Prosecution case and he's obviously
9 attempting to try and redress that balance.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are there paragraphs in the Croatian indictment
11 to which this relates? Because we have found on past occasions that the
12 indictment itself opens up areas for discussion which are not necessarily
13 very relevant in themselves.
14 MR. KAY: The passage that it would be best to go to would be the
15 passage at the end where you have the so-called additional facts.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is that paragraph 100 --
17 MR. KAY: 91 -- 84 onwards. And paragraph 103 we have the
18 allegation of Greater Serbia, which has been specifically made against the
20 We all know that the beginnings of this lay with the so-called log
21 revolution, the municipalities, the villages within the Croatian Serbian
22 Krajina where they were resisting the political forces that were taking
23 place within the Republic of Croatia at that time, and the reasons for
24 them taking the steps that they did, and Your Honours have heard evidence
25 about this from several witnesses, the resistance that was taking place by
1 those Serbs to the developments taking place within Croatian society from
2 1989, 1990, to 1991, in the context of this witness's evidence become the
3 more understandable for that resistance. This was not a resistance to
4 create something in relation to Serbia. This was a movement to protect
5 those Serbian peoples within the Krajina and elsewhere who were resisting
6 unfavourable developments in Croatian society towards them; i.e., this is
7 not a plan that comes from Belgrade or Serbia but is an understandable
8 reaction --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: What do you understand -- what do you understand
10 the accused to mean when he says that the charges have nothing do with him
11 and that must be clear to anybody?
12 MR. KAY: Well, what took place within the Serbian Krajina of
13 Croatia and elsewhere was not caused by him. These were -- these were not
14 resistance movements that arose as a result of any policy from Belgrade or
15 any direction by him. These were understandable resistance movements to
16 what was happening within Croatian society. So this was born within the
17 Republic of Croatia by those Serbs living there who were able to
18 experience a change in that republic that was alienating them from its
19 society culturally and politically and failing to recognise them as a
20 people within it, and they could see, in the break-up of the former
21 Yugoslavia, that the future for them within this secessionist movement of
22 Croatia was leaving them without any caring government or any government
23 which had any concern for their best interests, welfare, and development,
24 and so the resistance, what happened within Croatia, came about from
25 within. On previous occasions Mr. Milosevic has described this as a civil
1 war, and that is, as I see it, the context in which he's presenting his
2 case on the Croatian indictment.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Came from within and not from without.
4 MR. KAY: Yes.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Or if without, certainly not anything to do with
7 MR. KAY: And in his cross-examination of witnesses within the
8 Prosecution case - I have in mind C-060, C-020, Lazarevic, Slobodan
9 Lazarevic, those witnesses we heard in October 2002 - that was very much
10 along the lines that this was a rebellion from within Croatia for
11 understandable reasons, and this was not something those politicians and
12 leaders from the local society, C-037 and others, may have visited
13 Belgrade, may have met him as part of their continuing search for support
14 and help, but in fact they took their destinies in their own hands, and
15 that is what they were concerned about. Their futures, livelihood and
16 security was something that they had to positively deal with by their own
17 steps because there was no support for a proper humane regard for their
18 development within Croatia, and this politician with his background and
19 from his position was, so to speak, trying to advance the interests of the
20 Serbian people within Croatia entirely unsuccessfully.
21 I hope that assists the Court as I see it.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but I'm still concerned as to whether it's a
23 proper use of the Court's time for Mr. Milosevic to spend the time that
24 he's allocating to himself for Croatia in this way.
25 MR. KAY: Well, it may well be that he's proved sufficiently
1 already the background to his case by the evidence that he has called, and
2 often an advocate has to draw a line in relation to how far they go with a
3 particular line of defence before they move to the next stage, and it may
4 well be that he has proved these facts sufficiently already.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
6 JUDGE KWON: I wonder whether the Defence admits that there were
7 actually some support or assistance from the Republic of Serbia to the
8 Serb people in Krajina. Then this kind of background material may be
9 relevant, whether the purpose that the support is to help the people
10 defend themselves or to commit crimes. Is that the Defence case? Am I
11 correct in so understanding?
12 MR. KAY: As I read the cross-examination of Mr. Milosevic in the
13 Prosecution case, it was clear that he was presenting it on the basis that
14 there were at times necessary the self-defence of people within that
15 territory, that the indictment, which starts in August 1991 in relation to
16 crimes, was in a period when the Yugoslavia was still in existence.
17 Croatia had not seceded from the former Yugoslavia. That came at a much
18 later date, and towards the end of the period of the charges in the
19 indictment which run up to June 1992.
20 The evidence Your Honours have been hearing largely concern, in
21 relation to crimes in Croatia, the period when Croatia itself may be
22 considered not to have been a state, it was still part of the former
23 Yugoslavia. The JNA still would have had responsibilities throughout
24 Yugoslavia in relation to the protection of people within in certain
25 circumstances. And the -- when you look at the evidence called by the
1 Prosecution in relation to the Croatian charges, take Slobodan Lazarevic.
2 Virtually all his evidence was outside the time frame of the indictment.
3 He was dealing with 1993, 1994, 1995, later on in 1992. Very, very small
4 passages of that witness's four days of testimony concerning the role of
5 the DB and the JNA and alleged links between them and the RSK, virtually
6 -- hardly any of that evidence was within the time frame of the
8 One of the problems Mr. Milosevic has had to face is the
9 presentation of the case against him which did not confine itself to the
10 time frame of the indictment, and it's probably very difficult for an
11 advocate to restrain themselves at times and to take that bold decision,
12 if you like, to put material on one side and just focus on the period
13 where the case lies against them. But I can understand why he may have
14 been misled when one looks at the Prosecution evidence that was called.
15 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, Mr. Kay, you make a number of very good
16 points, and I understand the relevance in at least a limited way of some
17 of this evidence, but it's linking it to the indictment that -- or the
18 failure to link it to the indictment that makes it of doubtful relevance
19 as far as I'm concerned, because we have here a witness who doesn't know
20 of any incidents that could even be described as self-defence and is
21 telling us about events in the parliament and other circles of authority
22 in Croatia which he now speculates may have caused fear or may have
23 justified fear among the Serbs, but we've had no evidence of actual fear
24 or actual behaviour that results from that. So one has to wonder how that
25 can be relevant to the indictment, and that's the point I've been trying
1 to make. And while I understand the general point you make, it seems to
2 me there's been ample evidence led on the general background and that this
3 is a failure to make a reasonable use of the time that is available to
4 concentrate on the indictment.
5 MR. KAY: Yes. Perhaps the accused needs to understand he can use
6 the good points he obtained in the Prosecution case --
7 JUDGE BONOMY: And many of them -- many of them, I may say.
8 MR. KAY: Yes.
9 JUDGE BONOMY: And he shouldn't underestimate what has actually
10 been gleaned from cross-examination.
11 MR. KAY: Yes. And those witnesses I cited, all of which
12 contributed evidence that supported this background to this aspect of the
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well, Mr. Milosevic. We have been assisted
15 by Mr. Kay's explanations. It's a little clearer to me what you're trying
16 to do by way of this evidence on background, but always bear in mind the
17 need to relate it to the charges in the indictment.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, the starting point
19 here is that certain crimes were committed. Once a civil war breaks out,
20 there are casualties and victims on all sides. That is not something that
21 is contested. But I'm explaining to you that that has nothing to do with
22 Serbia, and you'll be best able to understand all this if you look at
23 paragraph 89, for example, of the Kosovo indictment, which was written
24 before they received instructions to indict me for Croatia and Bosnia,
25 which is quite nonsensical.
1 Here is what it says in paragraph 89: "Slovenia, on the 25th --
2 on the 25th of June, 1991, Slovenia declared its independence from the
3 SFRY, which led to the outbreak of war. Croatia declared its independence
4 on the 25th of June, leading to fighting."
5 Now, what led to fighting? The proclamation of independence and
6 that declared by armed forces.
7 Look at the following: Bosnia-Herzegovina declared its
8 independence which, after the 6th of April, resulted in a wide-scale war.
9 Now, we're not dealing with Slovenia here, or you're not dealing
10 with Slovenia, and that's not important, but both in the Croatian and
11 Bosnian indictment they wrote themselves what led to war. Once a war
12 breaks out and then somebody kills somebody else, let's see who is
13 responsible for that in Belgrade. It's the greatest nonsense that you can
14 conceive of. Once a war breaks out and somebody kills someone, that's why
15 it's called a war, that's what happens. But the question is what brought
16 about that war, and here they themselves wrote how the war came about.
17 And we're discussing Krajina at the moment. The Serbs exclusively
18 defended themselves, defended themselves in front of their own houses.
19 They didn't go to Zagreb to attack it, they didn't defend Rijeka or
20 whatever, they defended their own homes. They were in front of their own
21 homes until the UN forces came to protect them. And the UN protected
22 areas are zones where the Serbs live. They were the subject of this UN
23 protection. Once the United Nations arrived, that is to say in 1991, they
24 never attacked anybody after that. They didn't even attack anybody before
25 that, they were just defending themselves; that's quite clear.
1 Now, in all this, some crimes had probably been committed. I
2 cannot enter into discussion about all these crimes. That would be
3 nonsensical. I cannot know about them. I am dealing with research now.
4 I cannot investigate as a separate organisation but that -- the situation
5 is quite clear, and they themselves wrote it down in the indictment. Once
6 a war breaks out, of course, then people die, and it's mostly the innocent
7 that lose their lives in a war, that's something that cannot be
9 Now, that somebody was sent from Serbia to commit a crime, that is
10 quite nonsensical. We assisted Serbs, sent assistance, aid and assistance
11 on all sides. From all of Serbia enterprises, individuals, the state,
12 everyone sent aid and assistance. We received several hundred thousand
13 refugees ourselves, but assistance was never given for the purpose of a
14 crime being committed. How could you give assistance to somebody under
15 jeopardy for them to commit crimes whereas it is them that were under
16 jeopardy, and then to help them commit crimes?
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's nonsense, and that's why I
19 say it's nonsense which any man of reason would be able to see as such.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic. Before you continue,
21 just a minute.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Chamber is of the view that
24 you can deal more expeditiously with these matters, and you should move on
25 to other areas.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: The points that you have been trying to make, I
3 believe we have heard enough evidence in relation to those matters.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Atlagic, let us move on now to your actions in connection with
6 this situation which they no longer want us to illustrate. A preliminary
7 question: Did the Croatian parliament do anything to put a stop to these
8 nationalist and fascist speeches in the country?
9 A. The parliament did nothing to stop the spread of fascism in
10 Croatia. On the contrary, they encouraged it, either by their actions or
11 by their failure to act. It was more by failure to act.
12 Q. And you, as MP Marko Atlagic, what did you respond to? Let me
13 help you. In tab 16, we have certain documents that refer to you
14 personally. Explain, please, how you responded, what you responded to,
15 and what you asked for early on. This was 1990, mid-1990. Look at tab
16 16. Is there a date here? It says the 3rd of July.
17 A. Mr. Milosevic, at the first session of the first multi-party
18 parliament in Croatia - this was in late May, 1990 - I saw nationalism and
19 fascism being revived. I will tell you what this was about.
20 At the first multi-party session, President Tudjman, the president
21 of the republic, Dr. Zarko Domljan, the speaker of parliament, and other
22 leaders of the Republic of Croatia, when they made their inaugural
23 speeches, they let it be known what they wanted to do with the Serbs.
24 They threw out the Serbian people from their definition of the Republic of
25 Croatia. In his inaugural speech, President Tudjman said that the
1 Croatian state was the state of Croatian -- the Croatian people and other
2 inhabitants. Serbs were nowhere mentioned.
3 This first session was of a celebratory nature, so I wasn't able
4 to speak, but I spoke at the second session, held on the 28th and 29th of
5 June, 1990, and put questions as to why they were doing this.
6 Q. Mr. Atlagic, according to parliamentary procedure, you can respond
7 only by putting questions; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And what does it say here? There is a document where it says
10 question put by Deputy Marko Atlagic regarding the inaugural speeches of
11 the highest ranking republican officials at the constituent session of the
12 Assembly. This is an official document whereby your question is being
13 passed on. There is only one page of these shorthand notes. I see that
14 the second page is missing.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: I don't want him to read it. I just read it in
16 its entirety. You can just tell us in summary form what it says.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So you don't have to read it out, but you are responding to their
19 inaugural speeches and saying that the Serbian name is not mentioned, and
20 you speak of the status of the Serbs. I won't go on to read all of this,
21 but what did you say here?
22 A. I warned the parliament at the first working session of the first
23 multi-party parliament that the leaders of the Republic of Croatia, the
24 Assembly, or parliament, and the Executive Board were not complying with
25 the then-valid constitution of the Republic of Croatia when addressing us
1 MPs and other guests by failing to define the Republic of Croatia in the
2 way it's defined in the official constitution. The official constitution
3 said that the Republic of Croatia was the state of the Croats, the state
4 of the Serbs in Croatia, and of ethnic minorities.
5 Q. So you are actually drawing attention to the fact that they are
6 violating the provisions of the still-valid Croatian constitution, Article
7 1, paragraph 2.
8 A. Yes, precisely so. I put three questions here. Unfortunately,
9 the other pages have not been kept, but I asked why they were doing this.
10 Was it an involuntary omission, or is it because they didn't like the
11 Serbian people, or is it because they want to expel the Serbs from the
12 constitution? This was actually an indication of their intentions, and
13 later on they actually did precisely this; they threw the Serbs out of the
15 Q. Very well, Mr. Atlagic. Here we see the document sent to the
16 cabinet by the Croatian parliament, and according to the law you had the
17 right to reply. Did you ever get a reply?
18 A. No, never. Although under the law I was to receive one. I saw
19 Dr. Tudjman in Varazdin, speaking in Varazdin, I think on Croatian
20 television, and he said that some MPs were putting very unpleasant and
21 inappropriate questions. I never received a written reply.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, we'll take the break now for 20
24 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: Mr. Nice, before we resume, the question I asked
2 earlier about the constitution of Croatia, I was certainly confused in my
3 own mind at the time the explanation was given. If reference was being
4 made to the explanation that Mr. Kostic gave at the end of
5 cross-examination, that was about the constitution of Bosnia. Was there
6 separately --
7 MR. NICE: I think he had both. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff might be able
8 to give you the better detail because she was dealing with it, but our
9 recollection is that he had both, yes.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: But did he give us an account from both?
11 MR. NICE: I'll leave Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff to deal with that.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I think he did. He referred to
13 both the constitutions of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition
14 to that, he also referred to certain rules, but these rules of procedure
15 or what it was we didn't give to him. We gave him the two constitutions
16 to look at to find the passage where he claimed that was in there.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you very much.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Just one additional remark. It was not
19 exhibited because we only had the B/C/S version.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for
22 Mr. Milosevic, please.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Atlagic, you raised several MP questions in parliament. Look
25 at tab 17. It says here that the decision of the new parliament at its
1 first constituent session to exclude the Yugoslav national anthem is
2 inappropriate. You are asking the Croatian parliament to distance itself
3 from that. Did you ever get a response to that? What was the response?
4 A. At a parliamentary session, I raised a question connected to
5 nationalist incidents at a football match between Yugoslavia and the
6 Netherlands at the football stadium in Maksimir. Forty thousand
7 spectators turned their backs when the national anthem of Yugoslavia was
8 played, and they burned the Yugoslav flag. And they also rooted for the
9 Dutch team. So I put a question in parliament, asking that perhaps the
10 decision on excluding the Yugoslav national anthem in its protocol may
11 have had an indirect influence on the events at the Maksimir football
13 Q. And my question was did you ever get a reply?
14 A. Yes, I did get a reply in writing from the Executive Committee, or
15 Council, of the parliament to the effect that this was because the
16 football clubs Dinamo and Hajduk did not provide a single player in the
17 Yugoslav national team and that that was the reason for the incidents. And
18 there had been similar incidents at the football match previously played
19 in Zagreb between the Red Star of Belgrade and the Zagreb Dinamo.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I didn't follow that last answer. You got a
21 reply from the Executive Committee or the Council of the parliament to the
22 effect that this was because the football clubs and something or the other
23 did not provide a single player in the Yugoslav national team. Could you
24 explain that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's exactly what they said.
1 The spectators were responding because not a single footballer from Zagreb
2 or from Split was playing in the Yugoslav national team. And that was a
3 strange kind of reply which I failed to understand. And that was the
4 Executive Council.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. That's the Croatian government?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And now to move on to a more serious issue, a more difficult
9 question you put, which is in tab 18. Only the second of your questions
10 is mentioned here, and that is: "Is it true that a large group of cadets
11 in the police school in Zagreb sang songs --" read this.
12 A. "... 'My aunt advised me that all the Serbs should go (I will not
13 say this word) themselves', 'We Croats don't drink wine but the blood of
14 the Serbs from Knin', 'Croatia, our Croatia, you are the country of all
15 the true Ustashas' ..." End of quotation.
16 Q. So you learned that these cadets in the police school were singing
17 that, and you asked that the minister of the interior resign.
18 A. Yes. I asked that Minister Boljkovac resign because true dramas
19 were taking place.
20 Q. You say true human dramas, as it says here. What kind of human
21 dramas, genuine human dramas were you referring to?
22 A. I was referring primarily to the feelings of the parents of these
23 cadets and the citizens, especially in the Krajina, citizens of Serb
24 ethnicity. This was madness and parents and journalists informed us of
1 Q. And how did the minister of the interior respond, the government,
2 the parliament, how did they respond?
3 A. I never received a reply. Their response was silence. I never
4 got a reply to this question.
5 Q. And when did this take place? What is the date here?
6 A. Well, this took place sometime before -- well, before November
7 1990. It was in October.
8 Q. So it happened in October 1990. All right. And what about your
9 response and the question you raised in parliament in tab 19?
10 A. Yes. In tab 19, there is a question I raised as an MP in
11 parliament in connection with a statement made by the deputy speaker of
12 parliament, Stjepan Sulimanac, who spoke about the Jadovno mass grave
13 where 46.000 Serbs were interred who had been shot, and he said that it
14 should be covered over with concrete.
15 I asked whether the parliament or the government of the Republic
16 of Croatia would distance themselves from this uncivilised and
17 unprecedented barbaric act.
18 Q. And where and when did he say this? This is the 3rd of July,
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And did you get any response in this case? This was a speech made
22 by an official.
23 A. Yes. I received a short, written reply that this was
24 Mr. Sulimanac's own personal matter, that it nothing to do with the
25 parliament or the government.
1 Q. And what is there in the question you raised in parliament which
2 we can see in tab 20?
3 A. In tab 20 is a question I put at the parliamentary session in
4 connection with ethnic or national cleansing of Serbs from the Ministry of
5 Defence of the Republic of Croatia, which was headed by Mr. Spegelj. I
6 asked whether it was true that on the 17th of October at 1500 hours in the
7 office of the Minister of Defence of Croatia Spegelj 21 employees of the
8 ministry were summoned by Perica Juric, who was the assistant minister of
9 interior affairs, and told that within an hour --
10 Q. You say within half an hour.
11 A. Yes, within half an hour they were to hand over the keys to their
12 offices and desks and leave their workplaces. I asked whether it was true
13 that there were two Montenegrins, two Croats, and two Serbs there, and
14 what number of Serbs were there, and I asked whether they were drawing up
15 lists of people who were not considered suitable for these jobs and
16 whether this was done according to instructions from President Tudjman.
17 He said: "We did not draw up a party platform for the party but for all
18 of Croatia. We need people who are of good character and who are good
19 employees and that individuals shouldn't hide behind the HDZ platform."
20 This is what he said, President Tudjman.
21 Q. Did you know about this before that or is this the first time you
22 learned about this cleansing, as you called it, in parliament?
23 A. Yes. That was ethnic cleansing in the Ministry of Defence. I
24 learned about it in direct contacts with those 21 persons. This was a
25 purge. And they -- they came to me. Why did they come to me? Because I
1 was the only Serb MP who dared raise these issues in parliament. That's
2 why they came to me. And I raised these questions, and then I met them
3 and talked to them. Twenty-one employees --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, the Chamber has heard enough
5 evidence on the questions put by this witness to the parliament. Move on
6 to another area.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There are several more questions
8 raised by him in the parliament --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
10 Mr. Milosevic. We've heard enough.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I am now saying only for
12 procedural reasons that all these questions raised by him should be
13 exhibited, because these are official records of the Croatian parliament
14 and they concern the witness directly. That is my request to you.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll admit them, Mr. Milosevic. Their value is
17 another matter.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the Defence binder will be Exhibit
20 MR. NICE: The Chamber hasn't been make orders tab by tab as the
21 exhibits have been looked at. My position is on the extracts, with the
22 exception of tab 13, I think it is, remains, that I would challenge the
23 admissibility of things that are extracts and don't come in a context. It
24 may well be that if they came in context there would be other passage of
25 these articles that I'd like to draw to your attention.
1 MR. KAY: Can I just deal with the extracts? There is a
2 difficulty over the volume of translated material and at times he's been
3 told to take extracts and not to use the whole of the material, and so the
4 accused in pointing the Trial Chamber's attention to the point that he
5 wants to make, in my submission, is adopting a good practice for the
6 benefit of the Court.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: It may be an understandable difficulty, Mr. Nice.
8 We'll admit all of them, and we note -- we note the comments made
9 by Mr. Nice as well, yes.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Atlagic, who started the armed conflicts in Croatia?
12 A. They were started by Croatian paramilitary organisations. That is
13 a well-known fact, common knowledge.
14 Q. Do you have an example to give, an example of a fellow MP who was
15 involved in such activities?
16 A. Already in 1990, even my fellow MPs got involved directly on the
17 ground. Among them my fellow MP who later became president of the
18 municipality of Osijek, Branimir Glavas, who in October 1990 distributed a
19 powerful explosive called Vitezit in his municipality. Sometime around
20 the 6th or 7th of October he disarmed a legal police patrol and criminal
21 proceedings were instituted against him. However, already on the 12th
22 October he was appointed by the Municipal Assembly by secret ballot
23 secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence, and believe it or not,
24 it was the Minister of Defence Martin Spegelj who gave his approval for
25 that although the man was under criminal investigation at the time.
1 There were Croat MPs whom I told it is their turn to raise this
2 issue in the parliament, it is up to them rather than to me, and they
3 replied they were afraid for their families. They didn't want to do it.
4 Q. Do you have any knowledge about how paramilitary formations were
5 set up in Croatia?
6 A. Yes, I know about that because I was an MP. The Croatian
7 parliament decided that special units would be organised within the
8 civilian defence, an organisation that is meant to deal with fires and
9 such things.
10 Q. Did they need weapons for dealing with fires?
11 A. No, but they did have weapons.
12 Q. And how did the Croatian government approach this issue?
13 A. Already in July it formed special youth brigades whose task was to
14 protect people's lives and property. Those were the paramilitary
15 organisations. Already in June 1990 they established these paramilitary
17 Q. What about the HDZ?
18 A. They were involved very actively. They organised workshops where
19 training was provided for youth units, and the requirement was that the
20 men should not be older than 27 and that they recruited mainly criminals,
21 people who used to be criminals in the past.
22 Q. At the time did you know anything about the reorganisation of the
23 Ministry of the Interior, that is the police in Croatia?
24 A. Precisely at that time there was a reorganisation of the Ministry
25 of the Interior so that public security stations in Serb majority areas
1 were abolished and subordinated to public security stations in Croat
2 majority areas; towns, and villages.
3 Q. Were they put under the jurisdiction of Croat majority areas in
4 all cases?
5 A. Yes, for the most part, including boards. They wanted to disarm
6 police stations from majority Serb areas.
7 Q. How was this done in terms of staffing?
8 A. On the 27th of August, this announcement was made that people were
9 being recruited. On the 27th of July. The requirements were made clear:
10 They were not to be older than 27, and at this public competition, they
11 recruited these people, these people were given weapons and sent later to
12 Serb villages to organise provocations.
13 Q. You yourself are from Benkovac. What did it look like there?
14 A. On the 16th, 17th August, a group of men from the public security
15 station in Osijek came to Benkovac to disarm policemen in Benkovac, and
16 they seized a lot of weapons, long and short barrels. The same thing
17 happened later in Petrinja, Dvor Na Uni, and other places. As for
18 Benkovac, the next day, when the people found out that this had happened,
19 they organised a rally before the Municipal Assembly, and they were
20 addressed by the president of the Municipal Assembly, Zdravko Zivkovic.
21 However, the people were so fiery in asking for somebody to be found
22 responsible, and the opposite side was already taking the weapons to
24 I addressed the people because the situation was very tense and I
25 calmed the people down. That afternoon the rally resumed at 5.00, when
1 Jovan Raskovic addressed the people.
2 Q. What happened to Serb policemen during that reorganisation?
3 A. They were dismissed from their jobs. For instance, in Zadar, 17th
4 -- 17 policemen were dismissed in November, and in protest against this
5 move, 130 policemen from Zadar, Benkovac and Obravac [phoen] did not want
6 to work and they were later all dismissed.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: The police officers in Benkovac, was carrying a
8 long-barrel weapon a normal part of the duty of such police officers?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At that time, policemen did not
10 carry long barrels.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Where did the police officers in Benkovac get the
12 long-barrel weapons from?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, at the police station there
14 was also the reserve force of the police, and they had that in
15 safekeeping. Not only in Benkovac, but every police station had a reserve
16 of weapons.
17 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. At that time did the Croatian Ministry of the Interior -- all this
20 is happening in summer and early autumn 1990, all that you've described?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did the Croatian MUP start opening new police stations in 1990?
23 A. Already in end 1990 and early 1991, Croatia started opening new
24 police stations in Serb majority places, and the purpose was to provoke
25 Serbs, to create incidents, because that was what the authorities wanted.
1 Q. What was the first armed action that you know about in Croatia?
2 A. It was the 17th of August, in Benkovac. It had to do with that
3 rally. At that time the Ministry of the Interior sent three vehicles full
4 of armed policemen from Korenica. However, people blocked them and they
5 did not reach their destination.
6 On the 15th of February, 1991, there was another major incident in
7 Plitvice, and that is considered to be the first one, although the
8 previous one I described is actually the first.
9 Q. You were in the focus of those events. Tell us, how did the
10 federal authorities react to the decision of the Croatian government to
11 establish the Home Guards Corps and other paramilitary organisations?
12 A. Croatia organised its paramilitaries already on the 9th November
13 1990, when they elected the commander of the Territorial Defence of
14 Croatia, because they adopted a law then according to which the commander
15 was chosen by the Presidency of Croatia, not the Presidency of the SFRY.
16 However, the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia reversed this decision on
17 the 26th of June, 1991, the decision to establish the Home Guards Corps.
18 And later even the Presidency of Yugoslavia issued an order or, rather, a
19 decision on the 9th of January to disarm all paramilitary formations in
20 Croatia. Croatia, however, ignored it, and we in the parliament were not
21 even informed about it. And then on the 20th of January, the Croatian
22 government asked for a prolongation, for an extension of the deadline for
23 this disarming for 48 hours, and the Presidency asked for it immediately.
24 Q. What did the Croatian authorities do then?
25 A. Instead of disarming them, on the 20th of February, 1991, the
1 Croatian authorities adopted a decision saying that all federal laws were
2 null and void in Croatia.
3 Q. Why did they arm these new formations in the first place, and how
4 did Serbs actually arm themselves and why?
5 A. It was all happening at the time when there were many rallies
6 calling for extermination of Serbs. After that, the new constitution of
7 Croatia was adopted without any Serbs as constituent people, invocations
8 of the past, Ante Starcevic and Mile Budak, dismissals of Serbs,
9 especially from the police and national defence organisations, killings of
10 policemen and Serbs. After all that, Serbs had no choice but to arm
12 Q. How did they do that?
13 A. Through smuggling of arms. Apart from that, peasants sold their
14 property and cattle in order to buy a rifle. Some of them got weapons
15 from police stations who had provided the weapons normally belonging to
16 reservists to Croatian majority areas.
17 Q. In the context of what you are describing, what was the situation
18 in Benkovac?
19 A. Well, I've already said that in Benkovac the situation on the --
20 between the 16th and the 17th in the evening -- or, rather, a group
21 arrived in some Land Rovers - a type of vehicle - they were armed, and
22 they wanted to take the weapons of the reserve police force, and I said
23 the kind of barrels they were.
24 Q. Are you talking about the 16th and 17th of August?
25 A. Yes, that's right. And the following day, what happened happened.
1 Q. What did happen the following day? Tell us, please.
2 A. Well, the following day, as a sign of protest, the people went in
3 front of the Municipal Assembly building to hold a rally, and then the
4 rally moved to the public security station where they called for the chief
5 of police to be held responsible, and not only the chief but the soldiers,
6 too, for having allowed the weapons to be handed over and the police
7 station disarmed. And in the afternoon hours, there was another rally
8 near Benkovac.
9 Q. And do you know what happened on that particular day in Korenica,
10 for example? Was there any intervention by the MUP of Croatia there?
11 A. Well, it was precisely from Korenica that the MUP of Croatia sent
12 three armed vehicles of specials. They were armed, to intervene against
13 the people down there. However, the Serbs in Lika set up an obstacle and
14 didn't allow them to intervene. And I spoke about this at one of the
15 parliament sessions at the time, and they said that this was a stage set
16 that was -- that took place somewhere else. And I said, "Gentlemen
17 deputies --" I said this in parliament -- "it is you who are sending
18 transportation vehicles bearing arms against an unarmed people for no
19 reason," and they said that the reason -- the reason they gave was that
20 the public security station had sent in a written request saying that the
21 Serbian Democratic Party would disarm them, allegedly, the SDP.
22 Q. Do you have any knowledge - and now we're talking about August
23 1990 - of whether the Yugoslav People's Army intervened on that occasion?
24 A. Yes, I do. When the three vehicles were returned in the direction
25 of Korenica, the Croatian MUP then sent three helicopters that were armed
1 against those people down there. However, the army intervened and had the
2 helicopters return to base. So that was how the army stepped in. And I
3 mentioned that once again at a parliamentary session.
4 Q. Now, did the army intervene in armed fashion?
5 A. No. They just issued an order. Or, rather, they made the
6 helicopters land.
7 Q. In Benkovac previously, Mlinar was wounded. You said you went to
8 visit him. What was that about?
9 A. Well, Mlinar was president of the Serbian Democratic Party, a
10 pupil of mine, and as I said, he ended up in hospital, but what was
11 interesting was that this was the 18th of May, 1990, before the first
12 multi-party Assembly went into session. However, the Serbian Democratic
13 Party already at that time after that particular incident froze its
14 relations with the Croatian parliament and thawed them one month later.
15 However, what is interesting to note in connection to this case is that on
16 the 1st of June - and the event happened on the 18th of May - but on the
17 1st of June the Croatian paper Vjesnik published a statement by the
18 vice-president of the Croatian parliament, Vladimir Seks, saying that
19 Mlinar had inflicted the wound on himself.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat what he said about
21 Dr. Raskovic, please. He's going far too fast. Thank you.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Witness, you're being asked by the interpreter to
23 repeat what you just said and to speak more slowly.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will. Thank you. I was
25 saying that on the 1st of June, the Croatian paper Vjesnik published
1 information to the effect that Mlinar had inflicted the wound on himself
2 and that this was staged in some way by Dr. Jovan Raskovic and then that
3 he acted it out very well.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Atlagic, they claim that Mlinar had wounded himself with the
6 knife, stabbed himself with the knife.
7 A. Yes, that's right, but as I was a deputy and it was my
8 constituency, I put a question to the house, to the Croatian parliament.
9 Twenty days later, 20 days after Vladimir Seks had made that particular
10 statement, and I warned the government that great dramas were being played
11 out on the territory and that ethnic tensions had reached a peak and that
12 I wanted information in connection with the Mlinar incident. So I raised
13 this question officially, I put a question to the house, and asked whether
14 there was a criminal investigation into the affair, and later on the
15 answer I received was that the investigation was still under way, and the
16 vice-president of the Sabor gave this statement on the 1st of June, that
17 everything had been concluded, whereas the answer given to me was on the
18 15th of July that the investigation was still underway and that the case
19 had not been fully investigated. So there was -- he was caught out
20 telling a lie, or an untruth.
21 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to whether in places where there were
22 no tensions or conflicts there were any attempts to cause tension and
23 conflict; and if so, who did this? Who attempted to do that?
24 A. Well, the scenario in Krajina was like this: Where there were no
25 tensions, the leadership of the ZNG, Croatian National Guards Corps, were
1 sent to villages where the majority population was Croatian but next to
2 Serb villages, and then provocations would start straight away on the part
3 of their members.
4 Q. Do you have an example of this?
5 A. Yes, in Lisine-Ostrovicke.
6 Q. What is the name?
7 A. Lisine-Ostrovicke.
8 Q. What is that?
9 A. It's a village with a hundred per cent Croatian population. On
10 the 14th of July, 1991, the forces of the ZNG arrived, police forces, and
11 near that village is the Serbian village of Ostrovica, with very few
12 inhabitants, and elderly inhabitants at that, and when the police force
13 arrived, the inhabitants, when they came to Lisane-Ostrovicke, they forced
14 them out. They said go away. We don't have any problems with the Serbs.
15 And the answer they received was that the ZNG had been sent by Franjo
17 Very soon after there was shooting in Ostrovica, and that's how
18 the clash started. It's interesting to note that the locals of the
19 village of Lisane who were Croats by ethnicity, because the ZNGs caught a
20 Serb along the motorway from Stradun to Benkovac, the Zenga members caught
21 this man and the Croatian population saved him. They took him to the
22 village and saved him. So these Croats behaved admirably. But the Zengas
23 always said we'll fly in your centres to do what we have to do, so that's
24 how the conflict began, that's how the war began in Dalmatia. And that,
25 in my opinion, was the first conflict, major conflict that broke out in
1 Dalmatia, when these persons started shooting, there was retaliation, and
2 then one thing led to another, and you know how things like that spread.
3 That's how a conflict spreads.
4 Q. Well, you've enumerated rather a lot of events dated back from
5 that time. I'm going to quote point 9, paragraph 9 in the Croatian
6 indictment, where it says that the Serb forces, between August 1991 and
7 June 1992, killed hundreds of civilians and deported some of the
8 survivors. A large number of men, non-Serb males, were held in detention
9 centres mostly in Knin and Benkovac, that is to say in your own
10 municipality. Knin is mentioned here and your own municipality of
11 Benkovac. Can you tell us anything about that? Is that true?
12 A. As for Benkovac, I know that there was no prison or detention
13 centre at that time in the Benkovac municipality, I don't know about Knin.
14 I have no information about Knin.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly be asked to slow down.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Again the interpreters are asking you both to
18 slow down.
19 MR. NICE: Paragraph 9 is not the correct reference. I don't know
20 if the accused would like to give us the correct reference.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I've been trying to find it.
22 Mr. Milosevic, what is the correct reference?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I might have made a mistake in
24 giving the paragraph number. But not to dwell on that point, I'll look
25 for it, but the allegations are certainly -- or what I read out was
1 certainly correct. I might have got the paragraph number wrong, though.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, we would like to find it, Mr. Milosevic.
3 It's another instance of sloppy management.
4 MR. NICE: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff is under the impression, knowing the
5 indictment very well, that what he actually did was to summarise the
6 effect of several paragraphs. Now, I've been looking at the indictment
7 myself this morning again and I certainly don't remember anything in the
8 phraseology or with the phraseology given. Perhaps the accused would like
9 to help us.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, can you help us?
11 MR. KAY: I was wondering whether in fact the reference was to
12 paragraph 34, but -- which has the time frame.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I can't find it now, but this
14 was certainly a quotation that is to be found somewhere in there.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll come back to this, Mr. Milosevic. I expect
16 you to provide us with the correct reference. Move on in the meantime.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So this was about the events that took place in the summer of
19 1991. However, it's all in your region. In Dalmatia a little earlier.
20 In May in Trogir a meeting was held of the leaders of the HDZ party. Now,
21 was there anything significant that happened in Trogir at the meeting of
22 these HDZ leaders that you knew about at the time?
23 A. Well, I knew that on the 5th of May, for example, the 5th of May,
24 in Trogir the president of the republic, Dr. Franjo Tudjman, called all
25 the representatives of the HDZ at the meeting from the Dalmatia region,
1 the Municipal Board Presidency, in fact, and the presidents of the
2 municipal Assemblies of the region, of the whole of Dalmatia, and quite
3 simply he issued an order to them. He said that the next day they were to
4 attack the military barracks in Split, and that all water supplies and
5 electricity supplies should be cut off to them. So he just gave them an
6 order as to how they should do this.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I'm not allowing any further
8 examination on this issue. It is unfair to the Prosecution, not to
9 mention the Chamber. How is the Prosecution to cross-examine without
10 having the correct reference, and what are we to make of it without having
11 the correct reference?
12 Mr. Nice, you do not have to cross-examine on that. I'm not
13 allowing it.
14 MR. NICE: I'm grateful.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on to another matter.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't have any reference
17 here to any kind of indictment that you're mentioning, Mr. Robinson. My
18 question related to the events at the beginning of May in Trogir - I
19 wasn't referring to the indictment - which he, as a deputy, knows about
20 and that was what he was talking about. Of course that's not in this
21 written submission of Mr. Nice's, because he wouldn't have fared well had
22 he written that down. But we're talking about what happened, what went
23 on, and we're talking about May 1991.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honours, two points: First of all, that last
25 remark is moving towards the kind of remark that is quite unacceptable.
1 The substantial, or substantive point is that the evidence this witness
2 has given, or I know the Court has said I don't have to cross-examine on
3 it, but is unsourced in any event. It's just general evidence with no
4 explanation of source, like a lot of this witness's evidence.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Move on to another area, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, Mr. Robinson, I think that
7 it is very important, because the witness knows from personal experience.
8 I'll ask him about it.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. How do you know about this meeting in Trogir and the instructions
11 given to block the barracks? That is very important because of the date
12 and because of everything that happened later.
13 A. I know about it because I had communication with my colleagues,
14 deputies from the Croatian parliament. I talked to them. And apart from
15 that, what happened the following day in Split was something that the
16 whole world saw because all the television stations throughout the world
17 broadcast that.
18 Q. So we're talking about the 6th of May. What happened on the 6th
19 of May?
20 A. Well, on the 6th of May, pursuant to instructions from
21 Mr. Tudjman, a mass of workers from most of the companies and enterprises
22 in Split went to the military district and went to block the barracks, and
23 attack the JNA and the barracks, rather, and cut off water and electricity
24 supplies to the barracks, which is what happened. Officers' cars were
25 damaged and anything that reminded anybody about -- of Yugoslavia was
1 damaged and destroyed, such as the Yugoslav airlines offices, the JAT, but
2 Saso Gesovski, a soldier, was also killed on that occasion and two other
3 soldiers wounded. However, the organisers of that rally strangled a
4 soldier in an armoured car. I think it was a tank. This is something
5 that the whole world saw happening. And the strangler of that soldier was
6 promoted later on to officer rank and in 1991 received a decoration from
7 Tudjman for merit for the people in 1991.
8 Q. But there was no tension there in Split between the Serbs and
9 Croats, or was there?
10 A. In Serb apartments, as my colleague deputies told me, Serb
11 apartments were marked, especially the apartments of officers.
12 Q. What about the Serbs' conduct in Split? Was there anything
13 untoward there that could have irritated the Croats?
14 A. No, no incidents like that or anything that could irritate the
16 Q. What about this clash on the 6th of May? That clash was between
17 the demonstrators and the army, was it not?
18 A. Yes. A clash between the demonstrators and the army, and in front
19 of the Naval Military District building they took down the Yugoslav flag,
20 put up a Croatian flag and a green Muslim flag, I think it was ten metres
21 long. And my deputies from parliament told me later of the details of
22 what had happened.
23 Q. Am I understanding you correctly; so in Split were there no --
24 where there were no conflicts between the Serbs and the Croats a clash
25 broke out between the organised extremists and the army by them laying
1 siege to the Military Naval District's building?
2 A. Yes. They laid siege to the naval district's building pursuant to
3 Trogir's instructions because he was cross with them. He said they should
4 have done that earlier, but if they hadn't done it earlier, they should do
5 the following day.
6 Q. Did the army have -- was there any army activity going on in that
7 naval district?
8 A. No. The army was calmly going about its daily duties. The army
9 did not do anything to provoke anyone. They were in the barracks and went
10 about their daily business, the soldiers.
11 Q. So you say the soldiers were not outside the barracks.
12 A. No.
13 Q. Tell me, on the territory of your municipality, which is the
14 closest and which we know about and you can testify about, were there any
15 sabotage or terrorist activity?
16 A. Yes, there was. In my municipality, on the 31st of July, for
17 example, in Ceranje Donje village, there was a sabotage terrorist group
18 led by Miro Barisic, a well-known terrorist who had killed Ambassador
19 Rolovic in Stockholm in 1971, and two other men as well who set mines to
20 the surrounding area and a church courtyard. Why a church courtyard on
21 the 1st of July? Because on the 2nd of August there was a village fair
22 that was to be conducted in that courtyard and in that area and that would
23 have led to destruction; however, the shepherds that tended to the sheep
24 saw these armed people doing something in the fields around the church and
25 they reported this to the Ministry of the Interior and Benkovac and then
1 the group was liquidated.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's the name of the person you say was a
3 well-known terrorist who had killed the ambassador? And we don't have the
4 name of the ambassador in Stockholm in 1971.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The name of the terrorist was Miro
6 Barisic, and the name of the ambassador was Rolovic. He was killed in
7 Stockholm. He was brought to Croatia in 1971. That was when the
8 ambassador was killed.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: So he was the Yugoslav ambassador, was he?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, a Yugoslav ambassador in
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was this person tried for the killing?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not aware whether he was ever
14 arrested but in the early 1990s he was invited by the authorities and he
15 did what he did.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is your basis for saying that he killed this
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The basis is I remember it. It was
19 a notorious fact. The whole world knew it. All of Yugoslavia knew it.
20 It's common knowledge.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, he did not deny it
22 himself. He boasted about having killed the Yugoslav ambassador, because
23 he was a member of the Ustasha movement.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: You say he was never arrested? In Yugoslavia or
25 in Stockholm?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As far as I know, he wasn't, but I
2 can't assert that. He was a member of the Ustasha formations that the
3 witness is talking about, and that's beyond doubt. He was the murderer of
4 the late Ambassador Rolovic.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could add, in connection with
6 Barisic, that he had called me on the telephone for five months,
7 disturbing me. He would call me up on the phone and curse at me and
8 insult me because of the issues I raised and the questions I put in
9 parliament as an MP.
10 JUDGE BONOMY: Is Barisic still alive?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he isn't. He was one of the
12 three liquidated on the 31st of July. The entire sabotage terrorist group
13 was liquidated.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: By whom?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By employees of the Ministry of the
16 Interior of the municipality of Benkovac after they received a report from
17 some shepherdesses guarding sheep. They said they saw some people acting
18 suspiciously in the vineyards and they responded.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me give you the reference. It's
21 paragraph 45.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I want to ask you whether you know anything about this. It says
24 here: "Serb forces --" and that refers to November 1991, that's a little
25 later in the year, after these events that you've been talking about. "In
1 November 1991, Serb forces comprised of JNA and TO units and Martic's
2 Police attacked the village of Skabrnja near Zadar. On the 18th of
3 November, 1991, the Serb forces entered Skabrnja. Moving from house to
4 house, they killed at least 38 non-Serb civilians ..." and so on and so
6 Do you know anything about the events in Skabrnja? What was this
7 about and how did this occur?
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let him first provide the basis for any knowledge
9 that he has about these events.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is this near your village?
12 A. Yes. Skabrnja is a large village bordering on my municipality of
13 Benkovac. It's on the border between Zadar municipality and Benkovac
14 municipality. What I know about the events in Skabrnja is the following:
15 In Skabrnja --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Well, how would you have received this
17 information? Presumably you were -- you were not there.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I received information from a person
19 whom I felt to be well-informed in view of his position.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you tell us who that person was?
22 A. Yes, but in private session.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I move that we go into
24 private session.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 48645-48646 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Please tell us, what did you learn about this event? I quoted the
12 Serb forces comprising the JNA and TO units and Martic's Police attacking
14 A. What I know is that there were Croatian military units, that is
15 Croatian policemen, stationed in Skabrnja, that they provoked the
16 villagers in the neighbouring village on a daily basis, in the
17 neighbouring villages of Biljana Donja, Zagrad, and from a place called
18 Nadinska Kosa, which is an elevation in Skabrnja, they constantly fired
19 into this village of Zagrad where there was a Serbian population, and one
20 person, called Nenad Kuzet, I think, was slaughtered. He had his throat
21 cut and he was stabbed with a knife. He died. And there was another
22 civilian, his last name was Strbac, I don't remember his first name --
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Zagrad or Zadar?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Is it Zagrad or Zadar? The indictment refers to
1 Zadar, Z-a-d-a-r. Is that the same place or a different place?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zadar is the name of the
3 municipality but a village near Skabrnja is called Zagra, Z-a-g-r-a. It's
4 a small hamlet. The paramilitary forces were provoking on a daily basis,
5 and they even ambushed and killed a lieutenant, I think his name was
6 Stefanovic, and two other soldiers. The paramilitary forces were
7 shelling Biljana Donja, and even Benkovac, on a daily basis, as well as
8 Zemunik airport, the village of Zemunik, and a number of other villages
9 with a majority Serb population. After the soldiers were killed, two
10 soldiers who were ambushed, there was an action, and then what happened
12 What I know is that when the conflicts broke out, the civilian
13 population was brought to Benkovac municipality by the Red Cross, and part
14 of them remained, according to what I heard. In fact, the Croatian
15 intelligence service would not allow some of the civilians to retreat, to
16 withdraw, and the ZNG were using them as a human shield. Of course, they
17 were killed. Of course a certain number of civilians were killed. I
18 don't know exactly how many, but I did hear that a certain number of
19 civilians were killed.
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Atlagic, you said after the soldiers were killed
21 two soldiers who were ambushed, there was an action, and then what
22 happened happened. Could you tell us more in detail about that action,
23 about what happened?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I know, after the
25 lieutenant and two other soldiers were killed, there was an armed clash.
1 In that clash, the Serb forces advanced, and the civilian population was
2 withdrawn through the Red Cross, and then there was an armed conflict in
3 the village and some civilians were killed, as far as I know. That's the
4 information I have. But these civilians were being used by the ZNG as a
5 human shield. That's how they got killed.
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Mr. Atlagic, you mentioned -- you
7 used the term "Serb forces." In that clash, the Serb forces advanced and
8 the civilian population was withdrawn. How did the Serb forces consist
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, the Territorial
11 Defence and, as the JNA had also been attacked, I assume there were some
12 individuals from the JNA, because they were acting, that is the JNA, was
13 between those villages, trying to prevent bloodshed. But when the ZNG
14 attacked those three and killed them, then a conflict broke out.
15 JUDGE KWON: Were the police members also included?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I assume, but I can't say with
17 certainty, that the Ministry of the Interior did participate as part of
18 the TO. It was all the TO.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: I have difficulty with the idea of your assumption
21 that there were some individuals from the JNA. Do you mean people from
22 the army running loose and wild or do you mean people in the army under
23 the control of their superior officers?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The JNA was under control then, but
25 according to what I know, they were very upset because three soldiers were
1 ambushed and killed, and also those villages were being shelled on a daily
2 basis, and so a conflict erupted, and when there's a conflict, there's a
3 general situation that's difficult to keep under control.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Atlagic, let's clarify this a little bit further. You said
7 that from that village in which the conflict took place, that is Skabrnja,
8 the civilians were taken to Benkovac by the Red Cross.
9 A. Yes. Most of them had been taken care of by the Red Cross.
10 Q. How did it happen, then, that a number of civilians remained in
12 A. I've said previously in my evidence that the Croatian intelligence
13 service stopped a number of them and used them as a human shield, facing
14 Serbs, and let a number of them die to protect themselves.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... please
16 remind me what evidence the Prosecution led on this paragraph.
17 MR. NICE: Quite a lot of evidence --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. NICE: There's quite a lot of evidence. I'll be dealing with
20 it in cross-examination. It comes from a range of exhibits where some
21 witnesses - I'm just myself reminding myself on which is, if any, the lead
22 live witness on the topic - but you'll find the documents are pretty
23 exhaustive of the detail. The source of the documents. And the source of
24 the documents we'll have a look at in cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: But you had -- you had witnesses.
1 MR. NICE: Yes, yes.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Live witnesses.
3 MR. NICE: First of all there was hearsay evidence, as it were, or
4 summary evidence from Mr. Babic, and we have victims as well, but I'll
5 point them to you in a minute.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Very well. Mr. Milosevic, please continue. Yes.
7 Please continue, Mr. Milosevic.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Atlagic, I'm not quite sure that I followed. You explained
10 that civilians from Skabrnja were transferred to Benkovac by the Red
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. However, a number of them remained in Skabrnja.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then you explained that from Skabrnja somebody shot at all
16 those surrounding villages, including Zemunik air field.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You said a number of civilians were killed. You mentioned
19 somebody named Strbac and a man called Kuzet. That was before or after
20 the shooting in Skabrnja?
21 A. I can't remember. I think it was before the conflict.
22 Q. And that lieutenant and two soldiers were killed before the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And then the conflict in Skabrnja followed.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you have any other report or information that you gained?
3 Because it says here in the indictment that Serb forces went from house to
4 house, killed them at home, in the streets, et cetera. Do you have any
5 more information?
6 A. No.
7 Q. What did you know then about it? Why did the conflict in Skabrnja
8 happen? Just what you said or there was some other reason as well?
9 A. Well, all I have described. That was the main reason why the
10 Croatian paramilitary forces kept provoking the people.
11 Q. What did the army do close to your municipality, Benkovac?
12 A. They acted as a buffer zone, in this case between Skabrnja and
13 Donja Biljana. They were there to prevent a conflict.
14 MR. NICE: Your Honours, if I can just interrupt to give you a
15 better answer to your previous question. Apart from documents which we'll
16 look at later, two of the eyewitnesses, both I think 92 bis, one a
17 deceased witness, Marko Miljanic, and Bosko Mrkic.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Nice.
19 Please continue, Mr. Milosevic.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. So all that you have been describing, killings of civilians,
22 ambushes of two soldiers and constant shelling from Skabrnja, all those
23 constituted the reason for the ensuing conflict in Skabrnja?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what kind of forces of the Home Guards Corps were in Skabrnja?
1 A. I don't know about their size or strength but I know they were
2 strong, rather strong. That's the kind of information I had, based on
3 those day and night shellings and provocations.
4 Q. All right. So that's all you know about that incident?
5 A. I have no other knowledge.
6 Q. Do you know -- let me just have a look here. Do you know of a
7 village called Bruska and a hamlet Marinovic?
8 A. Yes. They are in my municipality.
9 Q. Well, if you know about Bruska village and Marinovic hamlet, I
10 will read to you from paragraph 48 of the indictment. "On 21st December,
11 1991, Serb forces, in particular members of Martic's police, entered the
12 village of Bruska and the hamlet of Marinovic where they killed ten
13 civilians, among them nine Croats. The names of the victims ..." et
14 cetera, et cetera. The annex is further on.
15 So do you know anything about this incident? Let me remind you:
16 The 21st of December, 1991. You say it's a village in your municipality.
17 A. Yes. I know about those events. It's very difficult for me to
18 speak about the locals of Bruska village because I have emotional ties
19 with that village and with Marinovic hamlet. My extended family has ties
20 with them, and my brothers used to work there and were friends with some
21 of those people.
22 This crime was committed by a villain, obviously, and my knowledge
23 is that nine Croats and one Serb were killed. My information is that this
24 was done by illegal groups from the neighbouring village. The
25 neighbouring village is called Medvedja. It has a mixed Serb-Croat
2 I also had information that these persons had been in some sort of
3 physical contact even prior to this conflict, before these nine lovely
4 people, Croat people were killed. I think, in fact from what I know,
5 these were irregular groups from the neighbouring village called Medvedja.
6 After that, I believe 12, 13 Croats remained in Bruska. The rest
7 moved out. And the remaining 12 or 13 locals from Bruska were constantly
8 in trouble during the conflict in Krajina.
9 Q. But they remained?
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Again, what is the source of your information on
12 this matter?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The source of my information was my
14 position as an MP, which gave me access to certain services who had
15 insight into the situation on the ground.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: That tells me nothing. Who is the source of your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, certain persons. Certain
19 persons who had -- were able to have precise information.
20 JUDGE BONOMY: Are you not going to tell me any more?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell you that in open
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I wanted to clarify that the -- the
24 evidence on which you do not have to cross-examine is that which relates
25 to the wrong information given by the accused about paragraph 9 of the
2 MR. NICE: Thank you.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: It doesn't relate to the evidence that he adduced
4 immediately after.
5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if the witness's position on the
6 identification of this source of information is the same as the last time,
7 may that information be given now in whatever terms the Court is content
8 to receive it so that the Prosecution may be more assisted in its
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: We will have to go into private session. Yes.
11 Let's go into private session.
12 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, in public session or in private
12 session, what you wanted to say?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No need. I don't need private
14 session, Mr. Robinson. I just want to tell you that if I continue to feel
15 the way I'm feeling now, because I have this thundering noise in my head,
16 I'm not quite sure I'll be able to continue examining the witness.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, then, we should perhaps have the doctor
18 here examine you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'll instruct the court deputy to see that the
21 accused is examined by the Tribunal's doctor. And report to us before the
22 end of the break.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 1.10 p.m.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you have been seen by the
2 Tribunal's doctor. The Tribunal's doctor has reported to us. I
3 understand that you are ready to continue. Should you have any problems,
4 you should bring that to our attention. In the meantime, I will instruct
5 the Registrar, through the court deputy, to ensure that you are examined
6 by an appropriate specialist this afternoon.
7 How much longer would you be spending with this witness anyhow?
8 You have spent just about -- a little over four hours so far.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I cannot continue with
11 the examination of this witness. I really don't feel well. But for the
12 record, and I wish to tell you, too, you can consider that I have
13 completed my examination-in-chief so the other side may feel free to
14 examine him, and I thank the witness.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, just let me inquire from you
16 whether in the rest of the examination that you had planned, did you
17 intend to raise with the witness other paragraphs of the indictment, such
18 as paragraph 45 and 48, which deal with actual incidents?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, 45, Mr. Robinson, is Skabrnja,
20 and I asked questions about Skabrnja. As for 48, that's Bruska. I asked
21 him something about Bruska, and as far as I understood it, he answered my
22 questions related to Bruska.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: What I wanted to find out was whether you
24 intended to lead additional evidence in relation to other paragraphs that
25 allege particular incidents in particular villages.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I cannot check that out now, but I
2 think that having said what I've said is enough for you. Having completed
3 my examination-in-chief, I cannot continue, and Mr. Nice can conduct his
4 cross-examination if he wishes to do so.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you should be in a position to
8 tell me whether you have other evidence to lead similar to the kind of
9 evidence that you led in relation to the villages that were allegedly
10 attacked by Serb forces in paragraphs 45 and 48. That's a simple
11 question, and I need to know.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I've understood you now,
13 because you mentioned paragraph 45 and 48. No, I have no other paragraphs
14 of that kind. And there are none, actually.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: In that event, then, Mr. Nice.
16 MR. NICE: Can we go into private session just very briefly.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just a minute, Mr. Nice.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice. Into private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Page 48659 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Throughout your evidence you have had in front of you and have
16 been turning the pages of some notes that you said you were happy for the
17 Court to inspect. May they be made available to the Prosecution, please,
18 Mr. Atlagic.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. You also, as I see, being having your own volume of
22 Mr. Nort, please.
23 You've also got your own volume of exhibits which has got
24 handwritten annotations on it. Have you written handwritten annotations
25 on the exhibits themselves?
1 A. Yes, I have. I put annotations and it's my handwriting. You can
2 take a look at them both.
3 MR. NICE: May we do that over the break and have a look at the
4 bundle of exhibits then, please, with the Court's leave.
5 Q. Very well. Have you tried to give here a fair picture of the
6 history of events in Croatia, Mr. Atlagic?
7 A. Well, I think I have tried to give an objective picture, but not
8 fully because I wasn't able to do so, allowed to do so in full, to present
9 things in full.
10 Q. Let me ask you one question because you've spoken -- although you
11 know the Benkovac area well, for obvious reasons, you've spoken much more
12 broadly than that, but what crimes were committed by Serb forces on the
13 territory of Croatia in 1990 and 1991? Or do you say none were? None
14 was, I beg your pardon.
15 A. I can't say that there were no crimes. There were crimes in 1991
16 and both sides. That's not --
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
18 A. -- challenged.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... since you've spoken so
20 broadly, what crimes, please, were committed by Serb forces on the
21 territory of Croatia, and then we'll explore your sources of knowledge.
22 So, please, what crimes?
23 A. The ones I know about -- well, a case that happened in Bruska, my
24 municipality, and the neighbouring municipality of Skabrnja.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... forces, were they? That's
1 the question I asked you.
2 A. I don't know that it was perpetrated by Serb forces in Skabrnja.
3 I said that the Croatian intelligence service put forward these civilians
4 in front of the Serb forces as a human shield, which means that they
5 placed them there, placed them in front of themselves when going to
6 battle. Now, as for Bruska, I said that my knowledge tells me that -- my
7 information comes from the neighbouring village, populated by the Serbs
8 and Croats, and that before the war those two sides were in some
9 physical --
10 Q. You haven't so far as I know, although questioned a little bit by
11 the Bench, explained these as offences by Serb forces. In the interests
12 of a fair picture, I want you to tell us, please, what offences on Croatia
13 were committed by Serb forces, to your knowledge.
14 A. On the territory of the area I'm testifying about, I don't know
15 that the Serb forces committed any crimes in 1990, the beginning of 1990.
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... in 1991?
17 A. Well, the beginning of 1991 too.
18 Q. So your evidence, you tell us a fair depiction of events involves
19 no offences committed by Serb forces to your knowledge at any stage; is
20 that right?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, he did say in the area that he's testifying
23 MR. NICE: True.
24 Q. In the area you're testifying about, do you disavow any knowledge
25 of anything beyond Benkovac?
1 A. Well, I have general knowledge. It's not true that I haven't got
2 any. I have general knowledge. I was a deputy, after all, an MP, so I
3 have general knowledge.
4 Q. You lived in Benkovac, what, from -- right the way through from
5 1990 to 1995; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You travelled throughout the area of the RSK throughout that
8 period of time?
9 A. Well, for the most part I did but not all over the area.
10 Q. I may come back to this question of your state of knowledge and
11 whether you were trying to give a fair picture a little later on. Let's
12 move forward. As a level of politician where you were, do you -- are you
13 in a position to accept - just help us with this - that when both Slovenia
14 and Croatia left it was with the effective assent and understanding of
15 this accused, or is that something that's frankly outside your level of
17 A. Well, I can help you, but -- and I wanted to say during the
18 examination-in-chief but wasn't allowed to do so, that Croatia and
19 Slovenia left forcibly, and I warned at the 14th LCY Congress as a
20 delegate to the 14th, and also the 11th Congress of the League of
21 Communists of Croatia too --
22 Q. We have had evidence from intercepts of discussions between this
23 accused and Karadzic where he explains his expectations for the departure
24 of both Slovenia and Croatia. Exhibit 613, tabs 9 and 15. At your level
25 of being a politician, do you know anything one way or another about the
1 true intentions of this accused to see the departure of Slovenia and
2 Croatia from the Federal Republic of the former Yugoslavia? Or is that
3 better left for him and people at his level?
4 A. No, I did not know about their intentions. I know that the
5 accused strove for Yugoslavia as an integral territory.
6 Q. Before we move on to 1990, just one other question. We've heard,
7 I think, from Milan Babic that as long ago -- not as long ago but even in
8 1989 Knin was a hotbed of Serb nationalists. I think he may have said
9 many of them drawn from the ranks of the unemployed. Do you know enough
10 about Knin to confirm that?
11 A. Well, from that period, that is to say 1989, that was when the
12 Communist Party of Yugoslavia was in power. And as far as I know, from
13 that time I didn't know any nationalist excessive behaviour in the area.
14 Q. No reason to doubt what Milan Babic said on matters within his
15 area of knowledge, is there?
16 A. No, I don't think that Milan Babic is competent to speak about
17 that period because Milan Babic was a delegate at the 11th Congress of the
18 League of Communists of Croatia together with me and he sat next to me,
19 and I got up to speak about burgeoning nationalism and issued warnings to
20 the Croatian authorities at the time, and Milan Babic kept quiet, he
21 didn't fight against nationalism. He was an anonymous person.
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... you won't answer my question,
23 I'll move on. In my 1990 --
24 A. Well, would you make your question clearer, then. Once again,
25 please, may I hear it again?
1 Q. In January 1990, at the 14th Congress of the Communist Party,
2 Slovenia delegates walked out. You presumably were there.
3 A. Yes, I was there.
4 Q. And we know that the Croatian delegation walked out as well. Did
5 you walk out?
6 A. At the time, the Croatian delegation left but I didn't. I -- no.
7 No. I stayed on until the end for the final session. I, Boro Mikelic --
8 Boro Mikelic, and five or six others.
9 Q. So your orientation as early as January 1990 was already to favour
10 the Serbs over and above the interests of the Republic of Croatia of which
11 you were a delegate.
12 A. No. That's your insinuation. I was on the side of Yugoslavia
13 because the Congress was of a Yugoslavia orientation. So already in 1989
14 and 1988 there were nationalists rampant, and I wrote letters before
15 that. At the 11th Congress I was one of the rare Croatian communists
16 drawing attention to what was happening. So Croatia left the Congress
17 because the League of Communists of Croatia wanted to secede from the
18 League of Communists of Yugoslavia and wanted to have Croatia secede
19 from Yugoslavia. That was as clear as day, and that was clear to us
20 deputies at the time and delegates to the Congress.
21 Q. You see --
22 A. I apologise. At that 14th LCY Congress I submitted a report and
23 warned about what was happening on the territory of Slovenia and Croatia.
24 I provided an analysis for Slovenia according to which 254 - and you can
25 look at the transcripts from that session --
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... time is -- You made an
2 interesting observation this morning when dealing with the legislation in
3 the Croatian parliament how none of the amendments proposed by the Serbs
4 was accepted and that this overbearing attitude of the Croatian parliament
5 was one of the causes of difficulty. Going back, please, to the 14th
6 Congress, you will recall that the Slovenians have made it clear, and
7 we've had President Kucan here, made it clear that they came to that
8 Congress with number of amendments that would have enabled the Federal
9 Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia to continue but that each and every one
10 of those amendments was voted down by the Serb side in exactly the same
11 way as you now say the Croats voted down Serb amendments in their
12 parliament. President Kucan is right about that, isn't he? There was a
13 complete Serb determination to crush Slovenes' attempt change the position
14 in a way that would have enabled you to go forward.
15 A. No. No. Those are not the correct pieces of information. You
16 can't link the 14th LCY or LC Congress of Croatia with what was going on
17 in the parliament of Croatia. As for the 14th Congress of the League of
18 Communists of Yugoslavia when it comes to Slovenia, I published the
19 Mladina newspaper and quoted 250 instances of attacks against the Yugoslav
20 army. At the time in Slovenia what was the --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm going to ask you to
22 listen to the question, please. You made a point this morning about the
23 effect of one over-strong side resisting completely proposals for
24 amendments of another side. I'm asking you to accept, if it be the case,
25 that President Kucan's explanation that that was what happened at the 14th
1 extraordinary Congress is accurate. He is accurate, isn't he? They came
2 with proposals and the Serb side voted every one down. Just yes or no.
3 A. Well, I don't agree with Kucan's proposals, and it wasn't the way
4 he said it.
5 Q. Well, perhaps you'd like tell us, then, one of the proposals that
6 the Slovenes brought to take matters forward that was passed by the Serb
8 A. Well, as far as I remember, and it's difficult for me to remember
9 all the details, but all Slovenia's proposals were aimed at breaking up
10 the League of Communists of Yugoslavia as one united organisation, and in
11 a way they were putting forward proposals to give them an alibi to leave
12 the Congress so that later on Slovenia could leave Yugoslavia.
13 Q. I'm not going to press further with that question. Let's move on
14 to the next thing chronologically because the party of the SDS was formed
15 in February 1990, and its first chairman was Jovan Raskovic, of whom
16 you've referred, wasn't it?
17 A. Well, I don't know the exact date because I wasn't a member of the
18 SDS at the time, but I do know that the president was Dr. Jovan Raskovic,
20 Q. Now -- look at tab 2, please. This party that was to become so
21 influential, led by a man Jovan Raskovic, at this time was putting out
22 extreme propaganda, wasn't it? Do you accept that?
23 A. I don't know which propaganda you mean.
24 Q. Have a look --
25 A. I don't think he did. I don't agree with that.
1 Q. Let's look at a document, then, please. It's already an exhibit.
2 Exhibit 446, tab 50. You've drawn to the Court's attention the bad things
3 that you've said have been said by the Croats and, as you appreciate, we
4 have no interest in the Office of the Prosecutor to defend the Croats from
5 the things that they did that were bad or unhelpful or wrong or criminal,
6 not -- not our interest at all. Let's actually see what was happening on
7 the other side.
8 This is Jovan Raskovic in 1990, in a book we've hopefully prepared
9 an adequate passage for context, and these are the sort of things that
10 were being said in 1990, and I read: "The Ustasha movement is also a
11 rational delirium. Already in 1940 when Ustashas were planning the
12 destruction of the Serbs, they made exact geography of all the pits on the
13 territory in the Independent State of Croatia. Not only did they do this
14 but they calculated the dimensions of the pits and determined how many
15 bodies of children and women would fit in each pit. In that way they knew
16 exactly what and how much they could 'do.' The delirium of the slaughter
17 and genocide that took place in 1941 against the Serb people was a
18 rational delirium, and that is why it had such an epochally high 'score.'
19 "The delirium of the Mass Movement in Croatia in the 1970s had
20 rational programmes but it was stopped on the political level. If it had
21 not been stopped on that level, the delirium would have been realised and
22 would have become a murderous delirium. It would have been murderous
23 because it was anti-Serb, genocidal - and it was stopped ..."
24 Just pausing there, do you, looking back, recognise that to be
25 publishing articles like that in 1990 could have an adverse effect on the
1 development of relations between Croats and Serbs? Because this comes
2 from the Serb side, you see. Do you accept that?
3 A. No, I don't accept that, because this was taught in textbooks in
4 primary schools and secondary schools, and what Dr. Raskovic writes in
5 this book is nothing new. The Serbs and Croats knew that from their
7 Q. Mr. Nort, next page, please.
8 The next page, the last passage of this I want to look at, one of
9 the very few propaganda documents or publicity documents that we'll
10 consider. Here is another passage from the same book and it reads, a
11 third of the way down the page: "The nation in displacement, in
12 migration, is always subject to suffering. Suffering of the Serbs was a
13 rule of history. The only thing that has been happening to the Serbs from
14 the Battle of Kosovo until the present time was a huge suffering. Only
15 God's justice saved the Serbs from annihilation, and from complete
16 disappearance of the Serb name. In every century, hundreds of thousands
17 or millions of the best among the Serbs dedicated to their faith and
18 nation were paying their dedication with their lives. The Serb nation has
19 been undergoing destruction for six centuries."
20 And these last -- first two sentences of the next paragraph:
21 "Today, there are not many living Serbs, and there are too many dead
22 Serbs. The dead Serbs, whose energy has not been transformed into dust
23 and ashes, because the energy is eternal, are helping today the living
24 Serbs to restore their spiritual, cultural, and national entity."
25 Now, those are the expressions advanced by the leader of the SDS
1 in the RSK. Do you agree with those expressions of views? Sorry,
3 A. Well, the expressions advanced, if you read this, the book by
4 Dr. Jovan Raskovic, then on the whole they are true and correct in the
5 sense that the Serbs really did suffer in many wars. They suffered in
6 many wars.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... want to know a little bit
8 more --
9 A. Through no fault of their own.
10 Q. And I want, please, do you adopt, do you think these are
11 reasonable views to hold of the position of Serbs?
12 A. Well, the position of the Serbs from the Battle of Kosovo up to
13 1990 was very difficult because of the historical circumstances in which
14 they lost their lives.
15 Q. There is a theme that I'm going to try and ask you to deal with as
16 we run through the events that you've dealt with, and the theme is this:
17 The Serbs make much of their suffering, don't they?
18 A. Well, every man in the world is susceptible to his suffering. I
19 don't think that the Serbs make much of their suffering. Every person of
20 culture in the world would do the same. I assume it's one's ability to
21 see one's pain and suffering because of one's future, in order to avoid --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
23 A. -- suffering in the future.
24 Q. The second part of my question to you is this: Between the period
25 of time between 1990 and 1992 -- 1995, under guise of their suffering, the
1 Serbs in your area were seeking to obtain and for a time did obtain that
2 to which they were not entitled, namely the independence or near
3 independence of their Serb units from Croatia. They did it under cover of
4 their suffering which they advanced and used to generate emotion; is that
6 A. No. What you are trying to say, the Serbs did not get anything
7 that wasn't their due. They had the same rights until 1990 as the Croats
8 had. As soon as the Croats broke off, well, the Serbs had the right to
9 say who they were going to live with, regardless of the suffering. So it
10 was equal rights. It was a question of equal rights.
11 MR. NICE: And finally, if the Chamber is obliged to rise --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes --
13 MR. NICE: -- I ask one last question?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: -- we are.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Is this still your view, because you've developed since the 1990s
17 - and we'll follow your development - but is this still your view, that in
18 coming here to this Tribunal, you will have one of your three privileges,
19 one of which was to defend -- that you went with weapons to defend the
20 Republic of Serbian Krajina as a university professor; the second of which
21 was that you met Vojislav Seselj in Western Serb areas; and the third is
22 that you'll be able to tell the truth about the Republic of the Serbian
23 Krajina? Is that still your view?
24 A. Well, I think it is very rare that in anybody's -- in the life of
25 any man you have the chance to defend your own people. Not everybody can
1 do that. So it is a privilege to defend one's own people when the -- that
2 people has been attacked by -- have been attacked by someone.
3 The second privilege is, and I truly believe that it is a
4 privilege, to meet Vojislav Seselj as the president of a political party
5 and a universal -- a university professor.
6 And the third privilege, would you repeat that, please, what was
7 that one that you mentioned, my third privilege?
8 MR. NICE: [Previous translation continues] ... Your Honours, I'll
9 deal with that tomorrow.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I think that privilege is one,
12 too, to tell the truth as I see it and as I experienced it and as it truly
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. We're going to adjourn now, but I
15 just remind the court deputy of the instruction that I have given for the
16 Registrar to arrange to have Mr. Milosevic examined by a doctor competent
17 to deal with his complaints, and that should be done this afternoon and a
18 report submitted to the Chamber by tomorrow or in any event at the
19 earliest possible time. We are adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day
22 of February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.