1 Monday, 27 February 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may be seated.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 WITNESS: SLOBODAN JARCEVIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may begin, Mr. Milosevic.
14 Examination by Mr. Milosevic:
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone for the
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. [No interpretation].
19 THE INTERPRETER: The witness says he cannot hear properly.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's a technical problem. Can we have that
21 attended to and corrected?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Slobodan Jarcevic. I was
23 born on the 2nd of February, 1942, in Gornje Ravno, Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
24 am one of the babies, few babies that survived of the Croatian Holocaust
25 against the Jews and Serbs in my native region.
1 Q. Tell us, please, something about your education and your
2 professional life.
3 A. My family was from Bosnia. It relocated to Serbia pursuant to a
4 Serbian government decision in 1946 where I went to primary school and
5 secondary school and graduated at the Faculty of Political Sciences in
6 Belgrade. I am a member of the Association of Writers of Serbia. I
7 worked for 33 years. I was a diplomat of the Federal Republic of
9 Q. And where did you serve?
10 A. I served in Zambia, India, Greece, Romania, and Kuwait for a
11 certain amount of time, whether it be shorter or longer.
12 Q. And what functions did you have during the war in Krajina?
13 A. From October 1992 until April 1994, I was minister of foreign
14 affairs of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, and from April 1994 until 1996,
15 I was foreign policy advisor to the president of Srpska Krajina, Milan
17 Q. I assume that that is sufficient as regards your CV. We don't
18 need any further details for the time being. To start off with, I'm going
19 to ask you something that you have direct knowledge of and which is
20 connected to the indictment for Croatia. You were therefore, as you said,
21 the foreign minister in Krajina for most of the time. Now, in the Croatia
22 indictment, referring to responsibility and accountability or, rather,
23 paragraph 6, it says that some sort of joint criminal enterprise existed,
24 the purpose of which was the forcible removal of the majority of the Croat
25 and other non-Serb population from the territory of the Republic of
1 Croatia, that I allegedly planned to become part of a new Serb-dominated
3 A. That kind of plan is an illusion. It never existed. In Belgrade
4 there was no politician there in Serbia or Montenegro. A criminal
5 enterprise just existed in the top political parties of Croatia, their top
6 echelons, and in the authorities of Croatia. It had as its purpose to do
7 away from the Croatia that was formed in AVNOJ and AVNOJ [as interpreted]
8 all the Serbs, and to do so in one way or another. There are many facts
9 about that, including United Nations documents which testify to it.
10 Q. What does it mean to do away with all Serbs in one way or another?
11 In what way to dispose of the Serbs?
12 A. For us to be able to understand that, we have to understand the
13 doctrine of the Croatian state. From the 19th century its programme was
14 as follows: Croatia, without any Orthodox Serbs in it. They must either
15 be destroyed, expelled, or Croatised, having converted them to Catholicism
16 before that. And I think that it is very interesting for the Trial
17 Chamber to hear from me that this was done through school textbooks. In
18 each of the school textbooks, it says that the father of the Croatian
19 state is Ante Starcevic, and he wrote in the 19th century that Serbs were
20 citizens of a lower order and that they should be beaten with an axe. So
21 for 60 years, in all the school textbooks and university textbooks, that
22 formulation survived.
23 Q. Yes, but let's go back to the material period that is incorporated
24 in the indictment. Tell us this, please: When did violence and crimes in
25 that area begin and who perpetrated them?
1 A. When I said that Croatia had as its doctrine the annihilation of
2 the Serbs, if we -- if we don't take into account what the Austrians did
3 to the Croats in World War I, the second attempt to persecute the Serbs
4 and expulse them from present-day Croatia began in 1939 under the direct
5 demands of the fascist countries.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jarcevic, Mr. Milosevic, to his credit,
7 directed you to speak about the time covered by the indictment, but you
8 have gone back to the 1930s and 1940s. Just concentrate on the question
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have completed what I
11 wanted to say about 1939. The next attempt at Serb expulsion was in 1971,
12 and persecution, with the so-called maspok, or mass movement in Croatia,
13 which was not a long time ago, and it was the cadres which led this
14 Croatian spring, or maspok, with the intention of persecuting the Serbs
15 were at the beginning of the political parties in 1990. And among them we
16 have Franjo Tudjman, Stipe Mesic, Djapic, and the rest of the leaders of
17 today's political parties.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Well, let's stick to that time frame and those years. Tell us
20 what your knowledge is about what actually the Croatian authorities had
21 been planning for the territory inhabited by Serbs in Croatia.
22 A. It is probably very difficult for those of you who do not come
23 from the Balkans to understand all the religious and nationalistic
24 complications of the former Yugoslavia, but when it comes to Croatia,
25 we'll be able to show this best taking the example of the European
1 countries. Croatia was the same thing that Belgium is today. That is to
2 say a bi-national state, a state of the Croats and the Serbs.
3 The first things the Croatian leaders planned to do is this: They
4 planned to have this bi-national or two-nation Croatia turned into a
5 one-nation Croatia, and not to call it the state of the Serbs and Croats
6 any more but just the state of the Croats. That was the lever which would
7 trigger off all the terrible events that came to pass later on.
8 Q. What was the political situation in Croatia in 1990?
9 A. It was a terrible situation, precisely because the constitution
10 had been changed, and that two-nation state was turned into a
11 single-nation state, and measures immediately followed that were very
12 stringent towards the Serbs, brutal towards the Serbs. They started
13 throwing Serbs out of their jobs, first all out of the police stations,
14 then the explanation they had given for dismissing Serbs was the kind that
15 was never noted in any country anywhere in the world. For example, a
16 certain man is being dismissed from his job because he is not showing
17 sufficient respect for the Croatian authorities. That was one of the
18 formulations that you would find in letters of dismissal to thousands and
19 thousands of Serbs from Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Karlovac, Rijeka, all
20 these people being dismissed. And they were living far away from the
21 subject matter this Trial Chamber is involved in Srpska Krajina.
22 Q. You are talking about areas in Croatia that are not incorporated
23 in the definition of the territory of Srpska Krajina's autonomous
24 provinces and so on, districts and so on and so forth, the SAOs.
25 A. Yes, and I'm very surprised to see that there wasn't an indictment
1 raised by the Prosecution against those who expelled 400.000 Serbs from
2 Croatian towns. That is the largest ethnic cleansing on the territory of
3 the former Yugoslavia that ever took place. And there are documents to
4 bear this out from the Security Council, and I can say a few words about
5 them if the Trial Chamber would be interested in hearing it.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Next question, Mr. Milosevic.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You said a few words about the general climate that prevailed and
9 the events that took place in 1990. Now, how did the Serbs react in
10 Croatia to those events and to those developments and that general mood
11 that prevailed, the violence that threatened them and that happened to
13 A. In 1990, or the year 1990 froze the marrow in the Serb bones, as
14 we like to say. There are probably similar proverbs in other languages
15 too. Let me tell you, in 1990 the Serb leader Raskovic, in Sibenik and
16 Zadar, was shown a petition with signatures saying that he should move out
17 of town, and one of the foremost journalists of Croatia, Tanja Torbarina,
18 in 1990, in the paper Vjesnik says, "I'm not a racist. Who can say that I
19 am just for the fact that I hate Serbs more than I hate blacks?" What
20 does that mean? It means what she considers the Serbs -- the blacks to be
21 a low race and the blacks an even lower race -- and the Serbs an even
22 lower race. I have one of those articles here. It says the Serbs are
23 livestock from the east. You can never teach them anything, and they
24 behave like a bull in a china shop. Along with articles of this kind, and
25 even worse articles, you had Serb houses being set fire to and destroyed,
1 as well as shops, et cetera, and this was still far away from the Republic
2 of Srpska Krajina. There were Sisak, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik where this was
3 going on. For example, Dubrovnik is being mentioned here quite a lot and
4 he experienced 2.200 Serbs being expelled. If you take it that a family
5 has three family members, that is 700 households that were looted, seized
6 and so on. Seven hundred houses were seized, in fact.
7 Q. When you say that the Serbs froze in their bones, was that a
8 general fear or can you pinpoint that fear to individual geographic areas
9 in Croatia at that time?
10 A. Well, the threats came through the mass media, and if they weren't
11 direct threats, then there was news passed by the media saying one house
12 had just been set on fire, or another economic facility, another shop, and
13 you would always hear the name and surname of the owner, which means that
14 you could recognise through these names that they were Serb names and
15 Serbs who were under jeopardy, nobody else. Just some Serbs happened to
16 be protected if there were some reasonable men at a local level that
17 didn't look -- listen to what they were being ordered either by the police
18 or from state institutions. However, it is difficult today to recognise
19 which those areas in fact were, because there is no single region of
20 Croatia, I say further afield from the Republic of Srpska Krajina, whose
21 inhabitants do not live as fugitives all over the world; in the United
22 States of America, Australia, and so on.
23 Q. When did the different political parties in Croatia begin to
24 appear, and what was the attitude taken by the main political parties in
25 Croatia with respect to current policy and the security policy and
1 situation in Croatia?
2 A. The fact that the HDZ and the Croatian Rights Movement -- Party,
3 and perhaps some others that directly relied upon the ideology of Ante
4 Starcevic to the effect that the Serbs should be beaten with an axe, other
5 parties too had similar party programmes against the Serbs but they did
6 not publicly manifest them. I cannot see that there was a single party in
7 Croatia with a programme to protect the Serbs and to preserve Croatia as a
8 two-nation state. There was nobody in the Sabor or parliament voting
9 against any changes in the constitution which would enact a single-nation
10 state instead of a two-nation state.
11 Q. And what happened to the Serb political -- Serb political
12 organisation at that time, that is to say when those events took place and
13 when they unfolded? So what was the behaviour and conduct of the Serbian
14 Democratic Party, for example?
15 A. The political activity of the Serbs at that time was
16 supra-national, supra-ethnic, and the Serbs joined parties which also had
17 Croats among their members. They hoped that through the policy of
18 Yugoslavia that had been implemented up to that time, the policy of
19 brotherhood and unity that had been in force since World War II, they
20 would preserve Yugoslavia and suppress this dangerous Croatian nationalism
21 as had been done in 1971. However, they soon realised that the Croatian
22 cadres in these common or joint political parties were not contributing to
23 the implementation of this policy. Croatian voters mostly voted for
24 parties which openly expressed their programme and their wish to have
25 Croatia become a one-nation state. The plan was in 1990 to make Croatia a
1 state devoid of Serbs.
2 Q. And who were the main organisers of this policy in Croatia all
3 this time? Not in history. I am not asking you about history now but
4 about that time.
5 A. Franjo Tudjman was at the top of it all, because -- I do have to
6 go a little way back into the past. There were Croatian emigres in many
7 Western countries - Australia, America, England, France - and they gave
8 him selfless assistance in money and everything else, and propaganda. The
9 president of Croatia today, Mesic, Racan, and everybody had the same kind
10 of policy. No one can deny that all the leaders of all the Croatian
11 political parties were preparing for what was to happen in 1991 and 1992.
12 That is the expulsion of Serbs from Croatian towns.
13 It might be interesting to explain why the towns were the first:
14 Because the Krajina was sparsely populated, and in the former Yugoslavia
15 it had been neglected. There was no industrial development. Industrial
16 development took place in towns. This naturally moved the Serbs from the
17 Krajina to go to the cities on the coast where there was tourism, or to
18 Zagreb, which was a large industrial centre, to Karlovac, Rijeka, Osijek,
19 and so on.
20 The majority of the Serb population was no longer in the Krajina.
21 According to the information received from the Croatian embassy in New
22 York, there were 471.000 Serbs in the towns, whereas there were only
23 251.000 in the Krajina. If we add those figures up, we see to what extent
24 the Croatian state was indoctrinated against the Serbs. Official
25 statistical data said that there was only 581.000 Serbs in Croatia;
1 however, if you add up these two figures, you see it's over 700.000.
2 In Knin in 1992 and 1993, we re-checked these figures, and it
3 appears that there were over a million Serbs in Croatia. One could
4 reconstruct this taking into account the Croatian information from the
5 Security Council mentioning 471.000 Serbs. Why? Because these were the
6 Serbs in all the municipalities added up, and this is more convincing than
7 the census that was published at republican level. Evidently the number
8 of Serbs was always reduced.
9 Q. You said that there was fear among the Serbs because of all these
10 events that you have mentioned. Was there anything coming from Belgrade
11 that might fan the flames of that fear?
12 A. Mr. President, for heaven's sake, was there any impulse needed
13 from outside the borders of Croatia to lead the Serbs to conclude they
14 were in mortal danger? The same kind of measures taken by Franjo
15 Tudjman's government had been literally implemented in 1941 in fascist
16 Croatia. One doesn't have to be highly intelligent to realise that the
17 Croatian authorities were to take up arms and take the same road they had
18 taken in 1941. Had there been a Great Wall of China between Serbia and
19 Montenegro and the Croatia of today, the Serbs would probably have been
20 even more determined to defend themselves. This way, they placed their
21 hopes in the Yugoslav People's Army, and they perhaps prepared to a lesser
22 extent than they should have.
23 Q. When did this violence in Croatia begin specifically?
24 A. It began in 1990 when Croatian newspapers were full of the kind of
25 writing I've just described. And all the Serbs who were employed in the
1 police, that is the Ministry of the Interior, were dismissed from their
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jarcevic, are you reading from notes?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have to read, but I can if
5 you like, because I have brought some --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. I just need to know whether you're reading
7 from notes and, if you are, then whether you have prepared the notes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was about to come here, a man
9 downloaded from the internet something that the Serbian forum in Zagreb
10 had posted on the internet, and it is some information which is hard to
11 memorise, although in 1992 and 1993, when I was minister, I knew it all by
12 heart, but you can't expect a man to remember every detail. However, I
13 will speak in general. And you can get all this information from the
14 Croatian government, which I think is duty-bound, as is the Yugoslav
15 government, to provide information to this Tribunal.
16 In 1990, dismissals of policemen began. According to the
17 information gathered by the Serb Democratic Forum, headed by Pupovac, you
18 can see that dozens of policemen were dismissed in every town. People who
19 were dismissed from their jobs in various companies or government jobs,
20 that is not recorded anywhere, but you can compare this to the statistical
21 data in Serbia and Montenegro where these people arrived as refugees. Of
22 course, in 1992, the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina asked
23 all the countries to which these people had gone in Western Europe,
24 Canada, America, Australia, to give us this information and to tell us how
25 many Serbs had arrived in these countries in 1993 who had left Croatian
1 towns, but no government gave us this information.
2 We sent several notes to the Security Council, asking them to ask
3 their members and the members of the UN to get this information from their
4 immigration authorities, but they refused to give us this data.
5 However, let me add something that's very interesting.
6 Boutros-Ghali, when we exerted pressure on him, on the 15th of May, 1993,
7 read out that the number of Serbs who had fled to the Krajina and to
8 Serbia and Montenegro amounted to 251.000. If one trusts the
9 Secretary-General, then the information provided by the Croatian embassy
10 about 471.000 Serbs is quite correct.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, in connection with the figures are you mentioning,
13 you have brought here a copy of a letter from the then Croatian ambassador
14 containing some of this information. It's in tab 16. Can you please look
15 at it and tell us about this information.
16 A. Mr. President, I don't have to look at it. I think I know it off
17 by heart. The Croatian embassy is informing the Security Council that in
18 the Krajina, that is in the UN protected area, there are only 189.000
19 Croats. However, if we look at the extent of the suffering -- that's not
20 it. If we look at the extent of the suffering of the Serbs and Croats,
21 when you look at the number of Serbs who were there and the number of
22 Croats who were on the other side, you will see that there were two and a
23 half times more Serbs who suffered than the number of Croats who were
24 withdrawn in an organised manner from the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
25 Q. Can you pause for a moment, please. You've just said "withdrawn
1 in an organised manner" referring to Serbs from the territory of the
2 Republic of Srpska Krajina. What do you know about this?
3 A. Mr. President, if we use basic logic, the fact that in the world
4 -- the fact that 471.000 Serbs were expelled has been concealed. One
5 wonders how the media and the UN could have overlooked this. Then of
6 course it was much easier on the Croatian side to organise the departure
7 of the Serbs from the Serbian Krajina, and there were only 189.000 of
9 Q. And who organised the departure from the Republic of Srpska
11 A. As I said, it was organised by the Croatian government in order to
12 demonstrate to the world how cruel the Serbs were and how they could not
13 tolerate people of other ethnicities or religions. This kind of language
14 was omnipresent and can be found even in the most prestigious European and
15 American media.
16 Of the 471.000 Serbs that I've mentioned, there is no information
17 to this very day that this was ever discussed in any UN body, for example,
18 or any body of the European Union, or anywhere else except - and we may
19 come to this - that the Republic of Serbian Krajina received some signals
20 from European international organisations to the effect that this is an
21 issue that will soon be raised. And it's already been raised at the
22 session of the Council of Europe of the 26th of January.
23 Q. What year?
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you have directed our attention to
25 tab 16, the letter from the Croatian ambassador to the Secretary-General
1 of the UN. There's an explanatory memorandum. What part of the
2 memorandum do you wish us to attend to?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't finished with this.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just let me have a look.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: No. I'm asking Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand that.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
8 JUDGE KWON: Next page, Mr. Nort.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In this explanatory memorandum that
10 he has provided, figures are mentioned. I was only interested in the
11 figures that Mr. Jarcevic could comment upon. As to the political
12 explanations, these are irrelevant for our purposes. These are political
13 phrases used at that time.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jarcevic --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: The second paragraph. What is the point of
17 directing us to a memorandum and you don't tell us what aspect of it you
18 wish to rely on? In the second paragraph there is a reference to some
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. In the second paragraph there
21 are some figures mentioned. You see, it says here as a result --
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Please look, Mr. Jarcevic, at paragraph 2, and I will ask you --
24 A. What tab?
25 Q. Sixteen. This is the letter dated the 27th of May, 1994, sent by
1 the permanent mission of the Republic of Croatia to the United Nations.
2 It's a letter signed by Mario Nobilo, and there are figures that are
3 mentioned here.
4 A. I'm just waiting for them to assist me. Yes.
5 Q. I -- have you found it?
6 A. Yes, I have. The gentleman helped me, and I'm grateful to him.
7 Q. I just wanted to ask you whether these figures that the Croatian
8 government is submitting to the Secretary-General are correct. It says
9 here: "According to the census of 1991, [In English] 500.000 -- 533.202
10 people lived in territories that are presently under Serbian occupation."
11 [Interpretation] Were these territories under Serbian occupation at the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I reply?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Look here:
16 The Croats say here that there are 533.000 people who lived there. Of
17 them, 271.000 were Serbs, and there were 72.000 others. These were
18 Yugoslavs, but 80 per cent of those were Serbs again. So if we were to
19 add this up, there were 320.000 Serbs. And as the Croatian ambassador
20 says, there were 189.000 Croats. It's really impossible that the Serbs
21 occupied their own country. This has entered the political vocabulary of
22 the world, and it is a wonder that this has survived to this day.
23 Secondly, the Croats say that the Serbs expelled 251.000 Croats
24 from the Krajina.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Where does he say that?
2 A. I think it's in the very next letter, if you -- here it is:
3 250.000 Croats were expelled from the occupied parts of Croatia.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Where do we find that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have this page.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Tab 17?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's a letter --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you must manage your case better
9 than you're doing. We are now being asked to look at tab 17.
10 MR. KAY: Paragraph 3, about six lines up.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we have found it.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is that what you were talking about?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Where it says, under point 3, in the middle of that paragraph:
16 "[In English] About 250.000 Croats have been expelled from the occupied
17 areas of Croatia."
18 [Interpretation] So more Croats were expelled than had lived
19 there, according to the census?
20 A. Yes, 60.000 more, approximately.
21 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, as you were the minister of foreign affairs of the
22 Krajina, were there any Croats in those areas during the war; in Knin, in
23 other towns? Were there any Croats there?
24 A. Yes. Unfortunately, I can't give you the numbers because I didn't
25 delve into that at the time, but there were Croats in Knin, Vukovar,
1 Baranja, and several villages in Lika. However, one should know that many
2 Croats were employed in the administration of the Republic of Srpska
3 Krajina, and some even joined the army.
4 A few days ago, I ran into a man, a Croat, who until 2005 had been
5 the commander of the garrison in Mladenovci, which is 60 kilometres south
6 of Belgrade. He retired only last year.
7 Q. To sum up, what, according to you, are the realistic figures
8 demonstrating how many Serbs lived in Croatia, how many were expelled, and
9 where they went?
10 A. Mr. President, there are no realistic figures to be found anywhere
11 today. Unfortunately, in the former Yugoslavia in many republics and
12 provinces, when the census was taken, the results were forged. For
13 example, in Kosovo, a far larger number of Siptars was shown to be there
14 and a far smaller number of Serbs.
15 In 1993 in Knin, the government tried to get more precise
16 information about the Serbs in the former Croatia, and they arrived at a
17 number which was over a million. In Croatia there were between 22 and 25
18 per cent Serbs and not 12 per cent, as Croatian statistics falsely
20 I wish to draw attention once again to the number the Croats
21 obtained by adding up the numbers of Serbs in the various municipalities,
22 which they handed over to the Secretary-General. There were 471.000 Serbs
23 in the big towns alone. Unfortunately, this document was seized by the
24 Croatian police as was the entire archives in Knin.
25 Q. All right. Let's not dwell on this any longer and let's move on.
1 To the best of your knowledge, how many Serbs fled from Croatia in 1990
2 and 1991? I'm not talking about what happened later, the attacks that
3 took place during Flash and Storm and Western Slavonia, et cetera.
4 A. I am not competent to utter that figure in my own name on the
5 basis of the information that the government of the Krajina had. As I
6 said, these documents were seized. But let us rely on Boutros-Ghali's
7 report that says that until the beginning of 1993, that is to say in 1991,
8 1992 and 1993, the following number was expelled only to Yugoslavia and to
9 Krajina, that is 251.000 Serbs. Only Germany reacted to our letter when
10 in 1993 we asked European countries to give us information about the
11 number of Serbs who sought shelter there. However, the reaction of the
12 German state was very strange. They only said that all of those who came
13 to Croatia -- to Germany from Croatia would be returned. Of course, that
14 led the government of the Serb Krajina to write a note to the German
15 embassy in Belgrade and ask them to tell the government not to return
16 people to areas where they were in danger. That is a very basic tenet of
17 the UN: You cannot return refugees to areas where they would live under
18 the threat of robbery, killing, et cetera.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm going to ask you to endeavour to answer more
20 briefly. Concentrate on the question. There is a tendency to digress.
21 Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You said now, in view of these documents of the United Nations,
24 that the representatives of the international community knew about the
25 magnitude of the problem that existed then and they knew about this great
1 wave of refugees, Serb refugees from those areas outside the Republic of
2 Serb Krajina, the Serb refugees that fled from other parts of Croatia. Did
3 you personally talk to any representatives of the international community
4 about that, in view of the fact that you were foreign minister?
5 A. Yes, with many, but I'm afraid that the Chamber is going to say
6 that I go on and on at great length. However, if noteworthy, I'm going to
7 describe these conversations. Gert Ahrends --
8 Q. Gert Ahrends.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Oh, I remember him, yes, Ambassador Gert Ahrends. He spoke
12 A. He spoke Serbian better than I do. Then Kofi Annan as well, then
13 General Wahlgren, then I talked to Cyrus Vance about this in February
14 1993. If you find this of interest, I can tell you about what was said
15 during these meetings.
16 Q. Tell us just as briefly as possible. What did you talk about to
17 Gert Ahrends?
18 A. As for Gert Ahrends, I talked to him about refugees from Croat
19 towns in Germany, and he said the German government is not going to give
20 you any information in writing, and the embassy in Belgrade is not going
21 to give any information; however, what I am conveying to you is that the
22 German government gave up on returning Serb ex-police from Croatian towns.
23 They will remain in Germany, although Germany has the largest expenses
24 among all the European countries in terms of supporting such refugees.
25 And then he went on to other matter that are not that interesting.
1 Then I talked to Cyrus Vance about all of this. Our delegation
2 was in New York then.
3 Q. When was that?
4 A. February 1993. That was before the Secretary-General read that
5 251.000 Serbs were expelled from Croat towns to Yugoslavia and to the
6 Republic of Serb Krajina. And then when I talked to Vance, I was on the
7 delegation that was led by Goran Hadzic, the president of the Republic of
8 Serb Krajina. I took the floor, and we and the Croats and Vance had the
9 draft Resolution 815 in our hands then. I asked Mr. Vance the following:
10 If this draft Resolution is ultimately adopted, then your own plan, the
11 Vance Plan, will go down the drain, because the Resolution will say that
12 the Republic of Serb Krajina is part of Croatia, the Republic of Croatia.
13 Mr. Vance, are you not going to protect your own plan? You have time to
14 intervene with the Security Council.
15 He kept silent for a long time, and then he said the Security
16 Council has too great an authority for me to be able to intervene. Then I
17 asked both him and Thornberry, who sat next to him, why there is no
18 mention in these resolutions of the persecution of Serbs and their
19 expulsion from Croat towns. Why is there no mention of that? Why is
20 there no punishment for that? He kept quiet and he said that nothing
21 could be done against Croatia because no Resolution envisages any such
22 thing. That is to say that no Resolution calls for Croatia to do that.
23 That was quite a surprise. I could not believe it, why no one had to be
24 punished if they persecuted Serbs or expelled Serbs.
25 I asked him about another matter, too. If you think,
1 Mr. President, I can talk about that as well, but can I tell you about
2 Kofi Annan's reaction?
3 Q. All right. Kofi Annan at that time was under-secretary for
4 operations, and these operations were taking place in the UNPAs; isn't
5 that right?
6 A. He was commander of the peace forces.
7 Q. He was no commander of the peace forces. He was the
8 under-secretary in charge of peace operations of the UN throughout the
10 A. Well, yes, that's what he was. He visited Knin. He had a meeting
11 with the government, and the deputy Prime Minister spoke, Branko Lubovac,
12 and he asked Mr. Kofi Annan, "What about the officers and soldiers who are
13 in the Serb Krajina? Are they not going to protect the Serbs?" He
14 expressed his doubts. He thought that they would not do that because he
15 mentioned this expulsion of Serbs from Croat towns. However, Kofi Annan
16 got visibly angry - he even raised his voice - and he said, "Officers and
17 soldiers who serve here on -- within the peacekeeping missions will keep
18 their military honour, and they will protect your people."
19 After that meeting, I asked him, "Mr. Kofi Annan, this republic of
20 ours of the Serb Krajina, which is officially called a UNPA, why is it now
21 under UN sanctions? Is there any logic involved there that you who are
22 protecting us are now punishing us so severely, which is going to lead to
23 the population that sought refuge from the Croat towns leave?" I was
24 surprised. Mr. Kofi Annan hugged me. He put his arms around me, and he
25 said, "Let's go and have lunch. We really made a mistake. We don't know
1 how to get out of all this."
2 And then also I talked to General Wahlgren on the plane when we
3 went to Geneva.
4 Q. All right. General Wahlgren was for awhile commander of the UN
5 peace forces.
6 A. Yes. He was a Norwegian, and in March we were on the same plane,
7 travelling to Geneva where, after the New York negotiations, the same
8 talks continued in Geneva. Then I asked Mr. Wahlgren why no document of
9 the UN mentions the Serbs who were expelled from towns. And he said no,
10 no, no, that is referred to. And he called one of his officers on the
11 plane and he said give me all the documents, give me all the Resolutions
12 of the Security Council. And they were reading all of this as we were
13 flying over Croatia, Austria, all the way to Geneva. And then he said,
14 "Mr. Jarcevic, indeed there is no mention, but I'm going to do my best
15 that this is referred to." And he promised that he would raise the
16 question in New York of the expulsion of Serbs from Croatian towns.
17 However, I think this was sometime in August 1993, and he was transferred
18 from the peace forces there. And I said, "Mr. Wahlgren, what happened?"
19 And he said, "Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali did that to me in his democratic
20 circle," the democratic circle around him, under quotation marks. So
21 that's what he said.
22 Q. Did you talk to the first commander of the UN Protection Force,
23 the Indian general, Nambiar, General Nambiar?
24 A. Yes. That was a very interesting conversation at the beginning of
25 1993. I was minister for only three months then and he was about to
1 leave, and I paid him a farewell call and I asked him, "General, tell me,
2 why is there no mention of the expelled Serbs from Croatian towns?" He
3 was visibly moved. He went silent. He put his head down, and I hope that
4 you will believe me because I do not have any documents corroborating
5 this. That was also seized in Knin. He said: "Well, there is mention of
6 that. The Security Council has detailed information about crimes
7 committed against Serbs in Croatia and detailed information about the
8 expulsion of Serbs that you are asking me about now, but believe me,
9 Minister -" he even called me a minister - "this information is in the
10 Security Council, but they are sealed off." This is a terrible thing to
11 say, I know, but I swore to tell the truth.
12 Q. Parallel to what happened at the beginning of the conflict and the
13 initial tensions in Croatia, do you know until when Serb representatives
14 were involved in regular political life and were -- how long were they in
15 the Croatian parliament too?
16 A. Mr. President, at that time I was not a member of the Krajina
17 government. I already said I came in mid-October 1992 when this had
18 already happened. But it so happens that I know three persons from the
19 then Croatian parliament in 1992. That's Marko Atlagic, who has already
20 testified here; Mr. Ratko Licina; and -- how can I not remember the third
21 name? Maybe I'll remember. Yes, Rade Tanga. He was a member of
22 parliament who was seen by the entire world because he went up to the
23 rostrum and he spoke about the bi-national Croatia, and he wanted to say
24 something about the statehood of the Serb peoples sending back to the days
25 of Austria. And he uttered a sentence, and he said that that statehood
1 supersedes the statehood of the Croatian people. And then one of the MPs
2 threw his briefcase at him and walked up to him, threatening him
3 physically. So that is how Serb MPs fared in the Croatian parliament.
4 What I have here is the Serb constitution from 1630. If you wish,
5 I can show it on this overhead projector and you will see that Serbs in
6 Austria had their municipal courts, had their Supreme Court, and no
7 organisation or no court from Austria had the right to intervene except
8 for the emperor himself. When Mr. Tanga wanted to say that, and when he
9 wanted to call the Croatian MPs to reason, not turning Croatia into a
10 one-nation state, I told you how he fared.
11 Q. Tell us, did you follow what happened and what led to the
12 referendum on the sovereignty and autonomy of the Serb people in Croatia?
13 When did this referendum take place? What was the reason for it to be
14 held, and how did this happen?
15 A. Mr. President, when you asked me whether anybody organised the
16 persecution of Croats, of course there was no mention of that, not in a
17 single Serb party or a Serb body or a Serb organisation. The Serbs, as
18 always, wanted Yugoslavia to be preserved. And then, when they saw that
19 the Croatian MPs started voting the way they did, as I've already
20 explained, then they tried, in that State of Croatia, to win at least
21 cultural autonomy, because they realised that the Croats would not say
22 that there were two equal peoples, peoples who had statehood within
23 Croatia, that there would be no going back to that.
24 When this persecution of Serbs started and when more and more were
25 being expelled from the cities, and when they realised that this was no
1 joking matter at all, I cannot remember the exact dates of all of this,
2 but then they moved on and held a referendum. 99 per cent of the
3 population, I think, of the Republic of Serb Krajina voted in favour of
4 creating a state of their own, as the Serbs presented in 1945.
5 I don't want to be criticised for going back to the past all the
6 time, but I would like to draw your attention to a paper that was part of
7 obtaining a master's degree at the University of Belgrade, and this has to
8 do with Serb-Croatian relations. And then at their Congress in 1945, on
9 the 29th and 30th of September - and this Congress was held in Zagreb, no
10 less - they voted in favour of a resolution asking that the future
11 Yugoslavia cannot cut off ties with all the Serbs within it, including
12 Serbs living in Croatia. So this will and content of the resolution of
13 the Serb people dating back to 1945 was denied. And may I repeat that
14 they were the only protagonists of the anti-fascist struggle in Croatia
15 during the Second World War.
16 Q. You mentioned the MA thesis, but you just take that as a source.
17 The document exists, doesn't it, what you mentioned? And you were talking
18 about the resolution of the Serb Congress at the end of the World War II.
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. And it was held in Zagreb.
21 A. Yes. I have a book about it. I can read out the sentence, if you
23 Q. Just read that one sentence out.
24 A. I have to get it out of my bag.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Do we really need that? He has already spoken
1 about it.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Robinson, not that. It
3 would be interesting for us to hear it regardless of whether you're going
4 to consider it or not. He's mentioning a master's degree paper as the
5 source of a document because he didn't find it anywhere else, but the
6 document is a well-known one. It exists. So perhaps he could be allowed
7 to read just one sentence out, if that is possible. If not, we can, of
8 course, move on.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, I'll allow him to read one sentence.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it will take me some time to
11 find the book.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. Never mind. We'll read it after the break. You can
14 find it during the break and, not to lose time, we can read it afterwards.
15 Let's move on now.
16 In connection with the referendum that you spoke about just now,
17 tell us, but just briefly, please, whether the authorities from Belgrade,
18 the Republic of Serbia, took part in the organisation of that referendum
19 or in any way influenced the outcome of the referendum.
20 A. The authorities could not influence the outcome of the referendum.
21 I don't say that there were not people from Serbia who went to assist and
22 offer advice over there and to give guidelines, organisationally speaking,
23 to their relations, because - perhaps the Chamber knows this or not - in
24 Serbia there are 2 million Serbs who originated from Krajina and
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they still have their houses and land, both in
1 Krajina and in Bosnia. So of course they went to stay with their
2 relations and help them out.
3 Now, as far as the authorities are concerned, they had no
4 influence whatsoever on the events, because the Serbs in Krajina had
5 organised themselves to defend their very life and their property as well.
6 And for that you don't need any incentive from outside.
7 Q. Now, in Krajina at the time, were there a number of parties? When
8 I say numerous parties, I mean parties the membership of which was largely
9 made up of Serbs.
10 A. Well, let me tell you, there were a number of parties, and mostly
11 they were made up of Serb members. However, they did not have the same
12 programmes. For example, Mikelic's party had a pro-Yugoslav programme.
13 Then there was another party, I don't know its exact title, but it was a
14 social democratic party and it too had a Yugoslav programme. And that was
15 the best sign that the Serbs were not as extreme nationalists as the
16 Croats were in their political parties. But when we saw that the Croats
17 were not ready to lend a helping hand to Yugoslavia or to a two-nation
18 Croatia, then all these people turned towards the Serbian Radical Party --
19 or, rather, the Serbian Democratic Party. That was a slip of the tongue.
20 Q. Towards the SDS, which was the ruling party.
21 A. Yes. You also had the Serb Radical Party over there.
22 Q. And which party were you a member of? You were a minister in the
23 government of Krajina yourself. Which party did you belong to?
24 A. Mr. President, I was a member of the League of Communists of
25 Yugoslavia until 1990, and from 1990 onwards, throughout the time of my
1 political activity in the Republic of Serbian Krajina I was not a member
2 of any single party, and I informed the government that I would not join
3 up either with the Serbian Democratic Party -- that I would not join the
4 Serbian Democratic Party either.
5 Q. Bearing in mind the political, league -- well, I'm not going to
6 ask you about that. We've heard that from other witnesses, all the
7 changes that took place in laws and so on. I'll skip over all that,
8 because you were talking about political and legal changes in Croatia in
9 1990 and 1991. Now, what happened on the ground? Do you remember any
10 specific event or events which followed those political and legal changes?
11 A. Mr. President, we've already talked about this in one of your
12 first questions. There was dismissal from work. There was dismissal from
13 the police stations and the Ministry of the Interior, of Serbs; the
14 pilfering and looting of houses, setting fire to houses, destroying
16 Q. Yes. Well, you've already spoken about all this, these phenomena.
17 Can you be more specific?
18 A. I have a court ruling from Zadar dating back to one month where a
19 Serb lady - I have it in my bag - a Serb lady is being accorded damages
20 because her house was looted three times in 1990, and then damaged and
21 destroyed and razed to the ground. So I have the document in my
22 briefcase. And I assume your associates have that document too. I gave
23 it to them, I think a month ago.
24 Q. Well, we'll take a look at what it says in the document, but --
25 A. I apologise for interrupting, Mr. President, but in one of the
1 tabs, a report of the Secretariat of the Interior of Zadar, that is to say
2 Croatia, you have the number of explosions. Perhaps we could see it on
3 the overhead projector, the gentleman could perhaps place it on the
4 overhead projector, because it is a Croatian source, a Croatian police
5 source. So you can see that there were hundreds of explosions and fires
6 planted just in the town of Zadar itself. And Zadar is small coastal town
7 on the Adriatic coast, and it 28.000 Serbs living in it. Of course, all
8 of them, every single one of them were expelled.
9 Q. All right, from Zadar and the surrounding parts Serbs were
10 expelled. We've heard about that. Did they, the Serbs in Zadar, ever
11 give rise to this behaviour towards them, cause it?
12 A. No. They didn't give any cause for such brutal behaviour there or
13 anywhere else.
14 Q. What about Osijek and other towns in which no Serb forms of
15 organisation and defence were set up?
16 A. In all Croatian towns where there was no Serb organisation or
17 membership in the Serb Democratic Party, pogroms came to pass. And let me
18 tell you that a few days ago I saw documents from Sisak whereby lawyers
19 from Zagreb - and I'd like to thank them - the lawyers from Zagreb sent in
20 to this Tribunal a piece of evidence about 600 Serbs killed in Sisak and
21 the surrounding parts. The same thing happened in Osijek, the Drava River
22 area, where there were bodies in 1990. And in Osijek a very good local
23 leader, he was a German by origin, wanted to prevent this onslaught by the
24 Croatian police and soldiers against Serb civilians, but he was,
25 unfortunately, killed. I'm very sorry about that, I can't remember his
1 name, but the first refugees into Serbia were from Vukovar. Perhaps you
2 have an erroneous opinion of that town. Vukovar and the surrounding parts
3 had a Serb majority population. Let's go back to before World War II, a
4 much greater majority. And the rest of the Vukovar inhabitants were
5 Germans and Roma. In the Independent State of Croatia during World War
6 II, not a single Roma --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jarcevic, who carried out these expulsions?
8 How were they carried out?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's so easy. So simple. It was
10 done by the Croatian state. All the organs of the Croatian state
11 persecuted the Serbs.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but give me the state officials. What state
13 officials carried out these expulsions?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was lucky enough not to have
15 been living in Croatia at the time so I can't tell you the name of the man
16 who expelled people from a certain town.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, the organs, I see. The head of
19 state, Franjo Tudjman.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was at the head and led
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm trying to find out who carried out the
24 expulsions. Was it the police or the army or what body?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The expulsions? Well, simple again,
1 Mr. President. It's very simple: The Croatian state armed almost all
2 adult Croatian males. They set up the Zengas, the ZNGs. They were a
3 paramilitary formation. So they were the ones that did it. The police
4 didn't stop them, they helped them. They helped them hide or keep the
5 identity of the perpetrators hidden. For example, there were 28.000
6 Serbs expelled from Zadar, and just imagine if from -- 28.000 Croats had
7 been expelled from a Serb town, for instance.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who carried out the looting of Serb houses?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The looting was carried out by -- I
10 apologise for interrupting you. The question is a simple one: The
11 looting was carried out by the paramilitaries and the next-door
12 neighbours, unfortunately.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You said a moment ago, Mr. Jarcevic -- you asked what would have
16 happened had 28.000 Croats been expelled from Serbia, for instance. What
17 would have happened if only 28 Croats were expelled from Serbia? Have you
18 ever heard of even 28 Croats being expelled from Serbia, or two Croats,
19 for that matter, or any Croat being expelled from Serbia?
20 A. No, never.
21 Q. And have you ever heard of any Croat being killed in Serbia?
22 A. No. Today, Mr. President, there are more Croats in Serbia - I
23 happened to read some statistical data a few days ago - than there were in
25 Q. When you speak about the protagonists of those expulsions and
1 persecutions, do you remember the public statements made by Tudjman and
2 Mesic as a function of those expulsions and persecutions?
3 A. Yes, certainly, Mr. President. I think it was in 1991 when Stipe
4 threatened that the Croatian state, once it is established, will enable
5 all the Serbs in Croatia to fit under a single umbrella.
6 Q. I think you've mixed the dates up rather. Mesic spoke about that
7 in 1990 in Gospic, in the pre-election campaign, pre-election speech.
8 It's a famous speech of his when he said that all the Serbs would fit
9 under a single umbrella once the state is formed.
10 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Now Mr. Milosevic is actually giving the
11 evidence. The witness does obviously not know about the event enough that
12 he can even place it in location and time.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Refrain from giving
14 evidence. Let the witness give the evidence, if he can.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I was just adding an
16 explanation to what he knows and to what everybody knows in Yugoslavia.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is not the time for explanations.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, did you personally talk to people at that time who
21 were leaving Croatia?
22 A. Yes, I did. I talked to many of them.
23 Q. Those who were fleeing from Croatia?
24 A. Well, it was terrible to listen to all the stories of these
25 families. For example, Boro Kutic was a policeman in Pakrac, and he says
1 that just one local paper published the fact that he sent weapons to Knin
2 for the log revolution. At that point in time, nobody wanted to talk to
3 his children in school. I mean the Croatian children didn't want to talk
4 to his children, and his senior called him and said that he should resign
5 and leave his job. What could be worse? Or, for example, in Zagreb -
6 this is quite unbelievable - people were incited to convert to
7 Catholicism, saying that nothing would happen to them if they did so. In
8 the government we had three documents about this, and we asked the
9 Security Council and the Vatican, His Holiness Pope John Paul II, to treat
10 these cases in the way that the Human Rights Charter demands under point
11 E, I think, the crime of genocide. However, nobody turned a -- everybody
12 turned a blind eye to this.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Jarcevic.
14 Mr. Milosevic -- Mr. Milosevic, would you just explain to me what
15 your case is as to how these acts against the Serbs relate to the charges
16 in the indictment.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They are related in such a way,
18 Mr. Robinson, that we can look at the events and see that the Serbs in
19 Croatia exclusively defended themselves, and that the war was the product
20 of the armed secession and a highly brutal form of violence towards them
21 and that, faced with a situation of that kind, they had to organise
22 themselves, and that certainly once there was a clash, there were clashes
23 and conflicts, there were crimes too.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you able to direct me to any paragraph in the
25 indictment, to any particular allegation in relation to which any of the
1 evidence given by Mr. Jarcevic points to a response by the Serbs, or are
2 we just at large and speaking in general terms?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We're not at large and in general
4 terms. I quoted at the beginning a part of the indictment according to
5 which there was a plan to expel the Croats --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Serbs.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, the fact that this was the
8 territory where the Serbs lived and where many who were expelled from the
9 rest of Croatia had taken refuge, and that all that was a form of their
10 defence and their protection and the realisation of their right to
11 self-defence. And ultimately you saw that the Vance Plan defined UNPA
12 zones, and we quoted what it says in the plan, to protect the population
13 in those areas, that is to say to protect the Serb population. Why would
14 somebody have to protect themselves if they were not under threat? So the
15 United Nations protected them then. And since they didn't protect them as
16 they had promised to do, so they endeavoured to protect themselves.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But after the arrival of the United
19 Nations, there was not a single aggressive act against Croatia.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Thank you. In my view, it would be
21 to the better if you could relate his evidence more specifically to the
22 charges in the indictment. Proceed.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You mentioned that the Serbs were converted to Catholicism. What
25 happened to the Serb Orthodox church in Croatia at that time? How was it
1 possible that there was this process to convert them, because there was
2 the Serb Orthodox Church there. It existed and had existed previously.
3 So what happened to the church, the Orthodox church?
4 A. It was terrible. That's the least that can be said. When the
5 believers came to the church in Zagreb, when the congregation rallied,
6 they were under threat. The Croats gathered together and members of
7 paramilitaries issued threats to them. They wrote on the churches, "Srbe
8 na vrbe," "Hang Serbs on trees," and other threats of that kind. And at
9 the time in the government we had the testimonies of people that were
10 recorded whereby the church premises or church yards were used as toilets.
11 So can you imagine a situation like that? When people saw that, they
12 didn't like coming to church because their lives were at stake.
13 Q. And who were the exponents of the most extreme behaviour against
14 the Serbs at the time? What social group?
15 A. Well, let me tell you, I don't want to speak about groups. Groups
16 were incited, and the state organs allowed them to behave the way they
17 did. Everybody knows that from 1990 to 1991, a lot of people arrived in
18 Croatia who were listed as fascists and terrorists everywhere in the
19 world. For example, the murderer of the Yugoslav ambassador in Sweden,
20 Rolovic, returned to Croatia. His name was Miro Barisic. Then in
21 Dalmatia, Pavelic suddenly turned up, pretending to be a fighter for human
22 rights. He was one of the survivors of the group in 1970 who had been
23 sent from Australia to raise a rebellion in Yugoslavia, and unfortunately,
24 they began their activities on Mount Radusa, where I was born. Such
25 people became esteemed in Croatia, and the media reported that Franjo
1 Tudjman liked to meet those people on his visits to the USA, Germany, and
2 other countries.
3 Q. You're talking about Ustasha emigres who then returned to Croatia.
4 A. Yes. These were emigres who had inherited the fascist ideology,
5 or the Nazi ideology.
6 Q. And what was the relationship between the return of those emigres
7 and the formation of the army, and how much of it was open and how much of
8 it was concealed?
9 A. The Croats did nothing covertly. They were proud of what they
10 were doing. They were proud that people were returning to Croatia who
11 could assist in the establishing of a Croatian army.
12 Q. And when did they begin forming those famous volunteer units on a
13 large scale?
14 A. In 1990, in Croatia, a secret import of weapons began. I think
15 that in these tabs there is a lot of information about that.
16 Unfortunately, these weapons were imported into Croatia secretly from
17 several European countries. I don't want to disparage European countries,
18 and I don't want to say that their police and military organs didn't know
19 about this import of weapons to arm units in friendly Yugoslavia. That's
20 what all European countries used to say about our country. There was a
21 plan, that is, which extended beyond the borders of Croatia.
22 Q. What was the National Guard Corps? Can you answer that briefly?
23 A. Yes. It was modelled after the Ustasha formations of 1941 and the
24 so-called National Guard of 1939 when the autonomous unit called the
25 Croatian Banovina was formed in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and when many
1 Serb territories were included in it.
2 Q. In tab 4, we have a document that you brought here which
3 illustrates what you've just been saying. It's from the command of the
4 1st Military District. It's dated August 1990, and the date is the 27th
5 of August, 1990.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Look at what it says in the first paragraph. It says: "On the
8 18th of August, 1990, the presence of over a hundred persons from these
9 countries has been registered. This refers to Canada, Australia, and the
10 USA. Among them, several members of leaderships of certain extremist
11 organisations have been identified. These people are on the list of
12 Yugoslav citizens who are to be arrested if they attempt to enter the
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, this is not translated. Put it
15 on --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We can put it on the ELMO, just page
17 1, just to see what this is.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You're talking about the arrival of emigres. You mentioned
20 criminals. Would you read the second half of the first paragraph and tell
21 us what the date is here. Can we see the date?
22 A. Yes, we can see the date here. This is a document dated the 27th
23 of August, 1990. So that's very early on. And it's actually preparation
24 for what was to follow.
25 The Yugoslav organs knew, and that's the saddest thing about this,
1 because anywhere else all the people on this list would have been
2 arrested. And I hope that Interpol would have helped if any of them had
3 escaped. But because the members of the Yugoslav Presidency from Croatia
4 and Slovenia had a strong influence there and they advocated separatism,
5 this information was provided only to a narrow circle of politicians and
7 Q. There is mention here of the presence on the 18th of August, 1990,
8 at a rally of the HDZ in Sarajevo. Can you see this in the first
9 paragraph? So they were actually staying in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, and these persons whose names are listed in the footnote are
11 mentioned, and they should have been arrested but nobody arrested them.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Well, now, tell us, was there any connection between those
14 paramilitary units set up in Croatia and the Muslim side, which was also
15 creating some sort of paramilitary units at that time?
16 A. Yes. I hope the Presiding Judge will forgive me, but I have to go
17 back to World War II when the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
18 declared to be the flowers of the Croatian nation. Franjo Tudjman, which
19 with the HDZ wanted to cut off Bosnia and Herzegovina together with the
20 Muslims from Yugoslavia and create a greater Croatia, such as Hitler had
21 created in 1941. And it was sickening to see those rallies in Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina where the Croatian and Muslims' flags were tied together and
23 the Serbian flag was nowhere to be seen, even though up to 20 or 30 years
24 before the Serbs had been the majority population in Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina, amounting to 64 per cent. They owned 64 per cent of the
1 land, that is. They were the owners of the new state, but yet the Croats
2 and the Muslims together wanted to separate it from Yugoslavia, and
3 probably they were planning the same fate for the Serbs in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina that the Serbs had suffered in the Croatian towns.
5 Q. You mentioned the import of weapons. This has already been
6 documented before this Tribunal, so I will not document it again.
7 However, there is a very interesting document here in tab 5, and it refers
8 to the 13th of February, 1991. It's a note about talks between the
9 federal secretary, Budimir Loncar, with the state secretary of the MIP of
10 the Republic of Hungary on the 11th of February, 1991, in Belgrade.
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is not translated. If you wish to cite a
13 particular portion, then we can put it on the ELMO.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Put it on the ELMO.
15 First page 1 and then page 2.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. First I want to clarify with the witness: Do you know who Budimir
18 Loncar was?
19 A. Mr. President, yes; he was my boss.
20 Q. Yes, he was your boss, but was he the minister of foreign affairs
21 of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia?
22 A. Yes, a cadre from Croatia.
23 Q. Yes, and a representative of Croatia in the federal government.
24 Who was the president of the federal -- who was the federal Prime
1 A. It was Ante Markovic.
2 Q. Very well. So the Croat Ante Markovic was the Prime Minister;
3 Budimir Loncar, a Croat, was the minister of foreign affairs, and he was
4 having talks with the minister of foreign affairs of Hungary.
5 A. Yes. And what we see here.
6 Q. Just let's have a look at it because I want to go through the
7 document. On page 1, in the last paragraph, what does it say? Would you
8 read it, please.
9 A. The first paragraph?
10 Q. No, no. Page 1, last paragraph.
11 A. "First the incident erupted because of deliveries of weapons to
12 the organs in Croatia from Hungarian military reserves which is against
13 the mutual agreement."
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, sorry to interrupt you, but we
15 must take the break now. Twenty minutes.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Please continue.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Milosevic.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, please look at page 2.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In the middle of this first paragraph, which is very long, the
24 minister of foreign affairs says to his Hungarian colleague: "The
25 delivery of weapons from Hungary under such conditions represents
1 sabotage." That's what he tells his colleague. And several lines lower
2 down, he says -- read it: "We have always said that --"
3 A. "We have always said that our relations with Hungary are ideal.
4 This consignment of weapons, however, has caused unease in Yugoslavia as
5 well as reactions in Hungary, especially in the parliament."
6 Q. Very well. Now, please go on to the next paragraph, where it
7 says: "But --"
8 A. "But solving this based on discovery of the full truth can be
9 useful to both sides. Whether the ministers will remain in the government
10 or not is an internal matter for Hungary, but we want to know what their
11 responsibility is."
12 Q. So a lot of questions were asked here as to whether the
13 information about the legal import of weapons from Hungary was true. This
14 is a conversation between the SFRY minister of foreign affairs with the
15 minister -- his counterpart in Hungary about this, this occurrence.
16 A. Yes, Mr. President. If you remember, and the Chamber will also
17 probably remember, when referring to these events I said that one should
18 not underestimate or disparage European countries and that these weapons
19 illegally imported into Croatia could not have gone past their police and
20 immigration organs unnoticed. So this is a conversation between two
22 The weapons were, therefore, brought into Croatia and this was
23 organised by a friendly neighbouring country.
24 Q. Let's look at page 3.
25 A. Yes. Delivery of weapons from Hungary.
1 Q. Page 3, third paragraph from the bottom, Loncar says, "We don't
2 want the problem we are discussing to be discussed in the OSCE forums."
3 A. Excuse me, Mr. Milosevic. The third page is missing from my copy.
4 Q. Very well. Then I will read from my copy. Only one passage that
5 I'll quote. At the bottom of page 3 - I hope the others have it - in the
6 last paragraph, end of last paragraph, the state secretary of Hungary
7 says: "The Hungarian government has stated in public that this is
8 regrettable and that the government -- that it has nothing to do with the
9 Hungarian minority in Yugoslavia or its organisations."
10 So they say that this event is regrettable. That's the position
11 of the Hungarian government.
12 In the same tab, further on, there is some information. Would you
13 please just take a look at it. It has to do with involvement of foreign
14 factors in the illegal import of weapons into Yugoslavia in October 1990
15 to January 1991. That's the time period.
16 A. Yes, Mr. President.
17 Q. At the bottom of page 1, under A, from Hungary.
18 A. Yes, here it is again.
19 Q. You have it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Does it mention 20.000 automatic rifles, 7.62, and so on and so
23 A. It says that the transport was carried out --
24 Q. It doesn't matter which company transported the goods.
25 A. Well, it's important because the company's a Croatian one.
1 Q. Well, that's understood. There's no need to prove it. And then
2 it goes on to talk about this from Hungary, and then further on it says
3 everything from Hungary, the 18th, the 16th, the 7th of December, when
4 seven persons were arrested at the civilian airport in Budapest on the 7th
5 of December 1991, and then it goes on to talk about the 19th of December
6 1991 when a large quantity of projectiles were transported from Hungary to
7 Croatia. Then there is mention of weapons from Germany, from Austria, and
8 other countries.
9 So is this large-scale illegal import of weapons into Croatia?
10 A. The government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina had this
11 information in 1992 and 1993 for as long as the Krajina lasted, and here
12 one can see that what I said when answering one of your previous
13 questions, the intention towards Yugoslavia and the Serbs extended beyond
14 the borders of Croatia. It was no accident that criminals from so many
15 different countries could bring weapons into Croatia without the knowledge
16 of their state organs.
17 As we can see in this conversation between two ministers, one from
18 Yugoslavia and the other one from Hungary, this has been confirmed. This
19 document also mentions Austria and Germany. They wanted to break up
20 Yugoslavia, and that was at the root of all the misfortunes that occurred
22 Q. Yes. We can see that this happened in 1990 and 1991.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, this has to do with
24 that question of yours, because you keep the asking about the indictment.
25 In the indictment, where individual criminal responsibility is mentioned,
1 it follows that what happened was a consequence of a policy or a plan of
2 mine, my behaviour, the behaviour of Serbia and so on, but it's evident
3 from everything there is that it was a consequence of the policy of armed
4 secession and the self-organisation of the Serbian people in Croatia for
5 purposes of self-defence.
6 The fact that individual crimes happened in all this, nobody
7 denies that, although I can't confirm it either because I don't know
8 everything that happened, but the cause and effect links are evident.
9 There was no joint criminal enterprise on the Serbian side. On the
10 contrary. This wave which began even before 1990 with expulsions and
11 murders of Serbs and all the other cruelty they suffered throughout this
12 period, and it culminated in armed secession and the consequences of armed
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. All right. I'm sorry, Mr. Jarcevic, I omitted to go through a few
17 tabs before this tab number 5. So just for the sake of the documents
18 themselves, I would like to put a very technical question to you in order
19 to be able to tender the documents that we've gone through already.
20 Please, in tab 1 -- it's pretty late. Let's go through this as
21 fast as we can. What is in tab 1? Take a look at this. What is this?
22 On page 25 of this document there is a circle that is Wednesday, the 3rd
23 of March. It says: "[In English] The radioactive waste management in the
24 area of Croatia affected by war - Damir Subasic, Antun Stare, Marjan
25 Gunaric," et cetera. [Interpretation] And so on. In parenthesis,
1 "Croatia." What does this document say? And later on, you have
2 documents and all the rest.
3 A. Mr. President, this is an international conference on mixed waste
4 and environment restoration held in Tucson, Arizona. However, something
5 that precedes this document is far more important, and I hope that the
6 Trial Chamber will not mind if I say a few words about this.
7 Much earlier in Pecs in Hungary, yet another international
8 conference was held about radioactive waste as well. In 1991, the
9 Croatian delegation there presented a report stating that certain areas in
10 Croatia will be used for storing radioactive waste and chemical poison.
11 The maps that show where this storage will be overlap with the Serb
12 settlements there that were fully cleansed ethnically in 1991 and the
13 villages were razed to the ground, including the infrastructure.
14 Q. All right, Mr. Jarcevic. In order to use time as efficiently as
15 possible, are these documents that show that radioactive material, as
16 envisaged by the Croatian authorities, should be stored in areas where
17 Serbs lived?
18 A. Yes. And also, may I remind you of the fact that in 1991 the
19 Serbs were totally expelled from that area, Western Slavonia.
20 Q. All right. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, could this tab number
22 1 be admitted into evidence?
23 JUDGE BONOMY: Sorry, what's not clear to me at the moment is what
24 this tab actually is. Does it relate to the Tucson conference or does it
25 relate to the Hungary conference?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
2 JUDGE BONOMY: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. These are two conferences
4 independent from one another. One was in Hungary, one was in the United
5 States, geographically speaking.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: Does the document relate to both of them?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he said.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document has to do with the
9 first conference in Hungary, with maps as to where radioactive waste is to
10 be deposited. We only have the programme of the conference from the
11 United States of America, and it says --
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So the first page is the programme of the conference in the US?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then, under number 7, we see the radioactive waste management
16 in the area of Croatia affected by --
17 A. Yes. That was the only topic, Mr. President.
18 Q. All right. We see that. And the second document has to do with
19 the conference in Hungary.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And this map that shows the sites coincides with the map of the
22 area from where Serbs were expelled.
23 A. Exactly. Precisely. Can I say what document is missing here, and
24 if you're prepared to hear me out, I'll tell you what this has to do with
25 that. The route of this radioactive material was from Germany to
1 Slavonski Brod by train, and then it was put onto trucks and taken to its
2 final destination.
3 Q. All right.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could tab 1 please be admitted into
5 evidence, Mr. Robinson?
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I don't see any relevance with
7 this trial, this document.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are not with you, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff. We
10 consider it to be relevant. We'll admit it.
11 Yes. A number for the binder.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibits with the binder
13 accompanying -- I'm sorry, the binder will be Exhibit D338. And the tabs
14 dealt with thus far, which are 16, 17, 4, 5, and 1, are admitted as such.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. And what is this in tab 2? In all fairness, in part
17 of one of your answers to one of my questions, you spoke about two
18 peoples, two nations in Croatia. So what is this in tab 2? I see it's
19 January 2006, the parliamentary Assembly of --
20 A. The Council of Europe.
21 Q. -- the Council of Europe.
22 A. Mr. President, this is very interesting, and I hope that it will
23 interest the Trial Chamber too. The parliament and government of the Serb
24 Krajina in exile have been working, and they've registered three offices
25 of theirs in France, Canada, and Holland before they opened their offices
1 in some other European countries too. They consulted politicians and
2 parliamentarians from European parliaments, and they were surprised that
3 in 1990 the civil war and the persecution of the Serbs started with the
4 change in the status of Croatia. Twenty-eight MPs from the parliamentary
5 Assembly of the Council of Europe signed a declaration stating that
6 Croatia should give Serbs the same status that they had in 1990, that is
7 to say that constitutionally Croatia be regulated as a bi-national state,
8 like Belgium, or a tri-national state, like Britain, or a quadri-national
9 state, like Switzerland. This will be on the agenda of the Council of
10 Europe in April, and even more parliamentarians are going to support the
11 mentioned 28, and they will vote in favour of a resolution which will be
12 more binding than a declaration. At the same time, a few MPs from
13 European countries this summer, before the European parliament - that is
14 to say the parliament of the European Union - they are going to sponsor a
15 similar resolution and they're going to ask Croatia to do what I've just
16 said, and in this way there will be conditions placed on its admission
17 into the European Union. They will not be able to accede before they give
18 the Serbs back the status they had in 1990 and before that.
19 I should like to say that we have parliamentarians from the major
20 countries of Europe, they are going to sponsor this; Britain, France,
21 Italy and Belgium.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is the relevance of this, Mr. Milosevic?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The relevance, Mr. Robinson, is in
24 the fact that obviously judging by these reactions, too, the decision
25 taken in 1990 for the Serbs to be abolished as a people or nation in
1 Croatia cannot be considered a fait accompli. It is a pending issue, and
2 it will probably remain a pending issue before this decision, which was
3 highly discriminatory and which went against the grain of all relevant
4 principles and norms, is finally annulled. As you can see, even 15 years
5 after that, it is brought up yet again even in the Council of Europe and
6 in the European parliament, as Mr. Jarcevic has been saying.
7 So it has to do with the presence of - how should I put this not
8 to use a stronger term? - an unjust phenomenon that marked the beginning
9 of the 1990s and the persecution of Serbs in part of Europe.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: This is not relevant. We'll not admit it.
12 Please move on to another matter, Mr. Milosevic.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Let us just go through tab 3 as well. What is there in tab 3,
15 Mr. Jarcevic? This is a document from September 1990.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: This one is not translated, so let it be placed
17 on the ELMO.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Is this information about -- what does it say here? It says:
20 "Recent knowledge about activities of the members of the Ministry of the
21 Interior of Croatia, the stay of extremist emigres, the training of
22 members of the 'Croatian army.'" What does this document speak of? This
23 is a document of the secretariat, the Federal Secretariat for National
24 Defence. As briefly as possible, please.
25 A. Mr. President, this document is similar to the ones that pertain
1 to the import of weapons in terms of what it caused it and what it was
2 supposed to cause. It didn't cause anything. As we've said, in any other
3 country people like this would have been arrested or at least prevented
4 from taking any kind of action.
5 In view of the fact that the Presidency consisted of
6 representatives --
7 Q. We are not going into all of that now, Mr. Jarcevic. This
8 document talks about the stay of extremist emigres and what kind of
9 knowledge existed about that, and then you testified about extremist
10 emigres and the beginning of violence, physical violence against Serbs in
12 A. Yes, Mr. President, that is correct, we've already spoken about
13 that, but what I'm saying is that in any other country they would have
14 been arrested or prevented from taking any kind of activity. Now, why was
15 that not done in Yugoslavia in 1990? That is a question that is very
17 Q. All right. Now tab 4 --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
19 admitted into evidence, because it talks about extremist emigres, and all
20 of that serves the purposes of the escalation of violence against the
21 Serbs. So the year is 1990.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: We'll admit it, yes.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. The information the 1st Military District. What does that
1 contain? As briefly as possible. It's the 4th of November, 1991 the
2 transference of military weapons and --
3 JUDGE BONOMY: [Previous translation continues] ... and been
4 through it in some detail.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Now, just briefly, let's go through tab 8, Mr. Jarcevic, and tell
8 us what that contains, and a short explanation will suffice, thank you.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just an inquiry. Tab 4, we have
10 discussed tab 4, but that's a document from the 27th of August, 1990, and
11 it's not a document of the 4th of November, 1991. So I wonder whether
12 there is something in disorder, because I can't see that we have discussed
13 any document from November.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, can you clarify?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, yes, I can. Probably
16 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff might have misheard when I referred to tab 7, which
17 relates to the 14th of November, 1991, and the transference of military
18 materiel and parts of the weapons, whereas tab 4 is August 1990, but tab 7
19 is November 1991. As far as I understood it, you said that it was
20 adopted, admitted.
21 JUDGE KWON: You haven't reached tab 7. Did you deal with tab 7,
22 Mr. Milosevic?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I repeated it now, but since you've
24 said that I dealt with tab 7, then -- no, I didn't deal with it, but you
25 said that I didn't need to.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are getting confused. Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff,
2 your point related to tab 4.
3 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff was speaking about tab 4, Mr. Milosevic.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: He was speaking of tab 7, but we were
5 thinking tab 4. So I think he did not deal with tab 7 yet.
6 JUDGE BONOMY: That's the problem, yes.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Okay. All right. So you're now going to deal
8 with tab 7.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume that there is no need for
10 me to go back to tab 4. Tab 4 was the 27th of August, 1990, and we've
11 done that.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is no need.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Now, tab 7 is November 1991, and it speaks of the transfer of
15 military equipment and other weapons of foreign origin to the territory of
16 Posusje in order to equip the paramilitary units. And that is a document
17 of the 1st Military District of the JNA at that time. Now, what does it
18 speak of? What's this tab about, this particular document, Mr. Jarcevic?
19 A. Do you mean tab 8?
20 Q. Tab 7.
21 A. It says tab 8 here.
22 Q. We're dealing with tab 7 now. Tab 8 is another tab. Tab 7 is a
23 document of the 1st Military District relating to the transfer of military
24 equipment and other weapons of foreign origin to equip the paramilitary
1 A. Well, this contains everything that we were speaking about so far.
2 There are facts about how paramilitaries were armed. However, these
3 paramilitaries are not disarmed, being disarmed, that nothing was done
4 against the organisers of their arming, that is to say nothing was done to
5 prevent arms reaching from them -- reaching them. And I say that because
6 in the organs of the federation, there were many, and they were people in
7 positions of decision-making, who assisted activities of this kind in
9 Q. Very well.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this document, please,
11 Mr. Robinson, tab 7?
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, in tab 8 we have a document of the Croatian Ministry
16 of the Interior. Can we see that on the document?
17 A. Yes, we can.
18 Q. What is the date of that document, the Croatian ministry?
19 A. The 17th of January, 1991. And since it is a report or record
20 intended for the federal organs -- the document deals with the
21 distribution of weapons to paramilitary units, and the types of weapons
22 are mentioned - Kalashnikovs, and so on and so forth - but this document
23 didn't help prevent what Croatia was doing to the Serbs that year and the
24 following year, although the signatory is the minister of the interior of
25 Croatia, Josip Boljkovac. He saw no reason not to sign this together with
1 the federal secretary, and nothing happened. Nobody questioned it.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'd like to tender this
3 document too, Mr. Robinson.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour --
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: I should say that all these documents are not
6 translated. They're marked for identification pending translation. Yes,
7 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, in addition to that, it is, of
9 course, for me not possible to cross-examine on these documents because I
10 have no idea really what is said in there. And in addition to that, the
11 witness has told us that he was actually at that time not in Croatia. He
12 was living, as I understood him, in Serbia. I can't really see how he
13 relates to this document and how he confirms the contents of these
14 documents. I can't -- at the moment I cannot see any relation of him to
15 those matters.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, the witness was very
18 much informed about everything that went on there, because he was
19 politically involved in it all. He was the minister of the -- he was
20 foreign minister of Krajina very shortly afterwards, and he couldn't have
21 become minister of Krajina by just having his name looked up in the
22 telephone directory. He was a man who had already worked in the field and
23 helped solve current political problems, the ones that existed. So he is
24 fully informed about what was happening there.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, we'll admit it. We'll mark it for
2 identification pending translation.
3 JUDGE BONOMY: I would find it helpful, when you have got so few
4 documents as there are in this instance compared with so many others, if
5 you had somebody here who was able to tell you if there was anything in
6 them that required cross-examination, but perhaps today you don't have
7 that facility which you often do have.
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, part of the documents I had
9 available when I prepared for the cross-examination, and of course our
10 staff member who speaks the language told me what it is, but we actually
11 received these documents -- at least, some of these documents I see today
12 for the first time, and therefore I didn't get any information what it
13 could be.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, what is the position with these
16 documents and their translation or their non-translation? Why are they
17 not translated?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I don't know that exactly. As
19 far as I'm concerned, I considered that they had been translated when I
20 received them in the binder. Now I hear that they haven't been
21 translated. I assume there's a technical reason. It might be a mistake
22 on the part of my associates. I don't exclude that at all. But I really
23 did believe that the documents that I have here and that arrived here had
24 been translated. But as you can see, they are very few in number and
25 short documents. So they're not long documents, and you can identify them
1 very easily.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, nonetheless, the Prosecutor is at a
3 disadvantage. How is she to cross-examine?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] From what we have already seen shown
5 on the overhead projector and from what the interpreters have already
6 interpreted and said, you can see quite easily what these documents relate
7 to, and anything that is questionable there or that can be challenged is
8 quite easy to see. But it's not the practice that I suggest be
9 introduced, it's the practice that was introduced on many occasions by the
10 other side over there as well.
11 JUDGE BONOMY: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, which ones do you not have any
12 information about?
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: It was actually the military documents that
14 were now the last ones. I had information on these talks about the arming
15 of the Croats. That I had already, and I know what it was.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: Can you tell us which tab numbers, then, you don't
17 have any information?
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I would have to compare them now with the
19 B/C/S version that I have in the other binder that I got originally. I
20 only see that the military documents I didn't have. Those -- I mean, tab
21 7 and --
22 JUDGE BONOMY: Well, 4 is a military document as well.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. But I would have to check now. I only
24 notice that some of them I've never seen.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, yes.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: We need a little bit more time because it's
4 even more confusing than I thought because the original tab numbers that I
5 had in the binder have -- are now completely different tabs. So that
6 comes in addition to this, but Ms. Dicklich is just checking.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. We'll come back to this point,
8 Mr. Milosevic. Continue. That one is also marked for identification
9 pending its translation.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, take a look at tab 9 now, please, which is
12 information. What does it say? What kind of information is this? Can
13 you find your way around those documents?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please. Microphone
15 for the witness.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once again, a subject we were
17 discussing, the illegal introduction of weapons into Croatia. Here we
18 have it again. The 31st of August, 1991 is the date.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. Fine.
21 A. I apologise for interrupting, Mr. President, but the interesting
22 thing to note here is this, and every citizen of Yugoslavia could have
23 seen that, and people from the world, too, what was -- this was about a
24 flight by an aeroplane which was full of weapons for the Croatian
25 military, and the plane was piloted by a Croatian emigre from Canada, but
1 the company -- the plane belonged to a Uganda company.
2 Q. It was rented out.
3 A. Yes. Well, I have a document here with a Nigerian -- from the
4 Nigerian embassy so I thought it was Nigeria, but it was Uganda, you're
6 Q. It was a large plane, a Boeing 707, in fact.
7 A. Yes, that's right, and it was grounded by the Yugoslav People's
8 Army planes at Pleso airport in Zagreb. It was forcibly ground, forced to
10 Q. What does it say? What was its destination according to
11 documents? The third paragraph: "The Boeing set out from Uganda with its
12 destination Burnik near Ljubljana."
13 A. Yes. The fact that Croatia and Slovenia or their air forces at
14 the time worked together to break up Yugoslavia.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Their forces, interpreter's correction, not air
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. And what did the -- this Croatian emigre say? He says it in the
19 last paragraph. In talking to the official organs of the Yugoslav
20 People's Army, what did he say? The last paragraph on page 1 of this
22 A. Do you want me to read it out? "In initial talk with the official
23 organs of the Yugoslav People's Army, Kikes said that the president of the
24 Socialist Croatian Businessmen's and Intellectuals Alliance in Toronto had
25 225 members and that all the leading members of that society were members
1 of the Croatian Democratic Union, and so on. According to Kikes, the
2 society had amassed together 880.000 dollars for the arming of the armed
3 forces of the Republic of Croatia. The money was deposited in a bank in
4 Klagenfurt, Austria, already on the 22nd of August this year."
5 Q. What does it say at the end of that first paragraph on page 2,
6 towards the end of that first paragraph? It says it should have been
7 taken over by who?
8 A. By the government -- a representative of the government of the
9 Republic of Croatia.
10 Q. Then what does it say in the next paragraph?
11 A. It says: "Kikes, in this first statement of his, was adamant that
12 the purchase of weapons were intended for the Republic of Croatia and that
13 behind this whole action was the Croatian Democratic Union."
14 Q. And what does it say after that?
15 A. "During the day the forces of the Ministry of the Interior of the
16 Republic of Croatia surrounded Pleso airport in Zagreb and used mortar
17 fire to try and destroy the plane belonging to the Uganda company with the
18 illegally purchased and illegally transported weapons and military
19 equipment and materiel of foreign production, foreign make. The JNA units
20 -- or, rather, the JNA unit providing security for the airport retaliated
21 by firing at a -- destroyed a vehicle of the attacker. Through the
22 actions of the forces of the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia this was
23 stopped for the time being."
24 Q. I'd like to tender this document into evidence as well now,
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a document dated August 1991.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. It's admitted on the same terms, marked for
4 identification pending translation.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In tab 10, you have a document of the Federal Secretariat of
7 National Defence. It's signed by the deputy federal secretary for
8 national defence, Stane Brovet. It concerns information about the import
9 of weapons and military equipment from Hungary, and it's dated the 10th of
10 September, 1991.
11 A. Yes. We see here that as of the 20th of August until the 9th of
12 September 1991, weapons were being transported into Croatia by planes
13 belonging to agricultural estates, so that the import of weapons was not
14 ceasing. As the ministry established long before, neighbouring countries
15 were deeply involved, unfortunately, in arming these paramilitary units
16 which were to cause the suffering of millions of people in Yugoslavia.
17 When I say millions, I mean all Yugoslavs, because there were sanctions,
18 and industrial and other facilities were destroyed, so that the suffering
19 is still going on in all the republics which are now independent states.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I have received
21 information that these military documents were handed over for translation
22 on the 13th of February. That is two weeks ago. They're short military
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I can't allow that to go without
25 comment, because two weeks is not enough notice, not enough time for the
1 Translation Unit, as you well know. They should have been sent in at
2 least a month before.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I'm informing you of
4 the fact.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: But it's not sufficient to inform me of the fact.
6 What I'm pointing out to you is that you have been delinquent in
7 submitting the documents to the Translation Unit late, and that is why we
8 are in the position which we now face today. And you must attend to these
9 matters. It is within the discretion of the Chamber not to allow you to
10 lead evidence on a document which is not translated. Proceed.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Look at tab 11. It's a letter from the Federal Secretariat of
13 National Defence to the Prime Minister of Croatia, dated the 30th of
14 August, 1991. So this is communication between the Ministry of Defence
15 and the Prime Minister of Croatia.
16 A. Yes, Mr. President. This shows the third source of arming the
17 paramilitary formations of Croatia. A train was attacked which was
18 transporting weapons belonging to the JNA on the Zagreb-Belgrade line. Of
19 course I assume that those who are responsible for this were arrested and
20 tried, but I never heard that they actually were. The Croatian
21 leadership, I assume, should have been punished, but I don't know that
22 anything was done.
23 Q. So what was this about? In point 1 it says: "On the
24 Zagreb-Belgrade line --"
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. "-- military equipment was taken from the wagon which was being
2 transported from the Republic of Slovenia pursuant to a decision of the
3 Presidency of the SFRY." So the JNA was leaving Slovenia. Its trains had
4 to pass through Croatia where they were stopped and looted.
5 A. Precisely so.
6 Q. Is that what this document says?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The Ministry of Defence is writing this to the Croatian Prime
10 A. Yes. As there's no translation into English, you have faithfully
11 translated what it says here.
12 The JNA, which was declared an aggressor in Slovenia, was pulling
13 out, pursuant to a decision of the Presidency, passing through Croatia,
14 which was a part of the then-Yugoslavia. However, Croatian paramilitary
15 formations ambushed the trains, looted them, and the participants of this
16 robbery would have been punished and tried in any country, but in
17 Yugoslavia nothing happened because in the top leadership of the
18 then-Yugoslavia the dominant role was played for the most part by cadres
19 from Slovenia and Croatia.
20 Q. Very well. And what does it say in paragraph 2?
21 A. It says that ten rail wagons of various quartermaster material was
23 Q. Was that established?
24 A. Yes it was. There's no need for me to comment on it.
25 Q. There is no need to comment. What does it say in paragraph 3?
1 A. It says at 0640 hours on the 30th of August, 1991, a train
2 carrying military equipment was stopped in the village of Mrkovci.
3 That's close to Vukovar.
4 Q. Very well, and what about the next paragraph?
5 A. It says it's occurring more and more frequently that military
6 columns are being stopped by force or trains with military equipment
7 stopped and members of the JNA maltreated. Military equipment and
8 property is regularly being confiscated and the extent of all this is
9 overstepping all reasonable limits. It cannot be tolerated. And this is
10 happening even after --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could there be a pause between question and
12 answer, please.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, just a minute, please. The
14 interpreter is asking the witness and yourself to observe a pause between
15 question and answer.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. As for the campaign started in mid-June 1990 in Croatia in
19 connection with the replacement of cadres in the Territorial Defence, do
20 you know anything about this?
21 A. Yes. In the Territorial Defence of Croatia and in Croatian police
22 stations, as early as 1990 there was replacement of people who were Serbs,
23 and of course people were brought in their place who were supposed to
24 carry out orders from Zagreb which were aimed at the ethnic cleansing of
25 Serbs. This was soon to be demonstrated after these dismissals, and it
1 was to culminate in 1990 and 1991, as seen in the Secretary-General's
2 report in the United Nations.
3 Q. Let's have a look, please. At that time, you said that at that
4 time there was a lot of arson and so on. Do you remember this?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Well, look at tab 13. It's a letter from the Ministry of Interior
7 of the Zadar police administration. It's dated 2001.
8 A. Mr. President, this document is very important. I hope that the
9 Chamber will understand this, because it was compiled after the civil war
10 in 2001. I wish to remind everybody that this kind of report has to be
11 submitted in every trial in which ethnic Serbs have instituted a suit.
12 Q. What does say?
13 A. It says here: "In connection with your request of the number and
14 date above, we hereby submit the following information: During 1990 --"
15 Q. Don't comment, just read.
16 A. "During 1991 --" Well, I'm trying to say that this is an organ of
17 the Croatian Ministry of the Interior.
18 Q. That's not in dispute.
19 A. Yes. And in Zadar, in the area, 21 fires and explosions were
21 Q. PU is the police administration?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So in 1990, the Zadar police administration recorded in its area a
24 total of 21 arsons and explosions.
25 A. Well, it doesn't say here who planted the bombs, but had the Serbs
1 done that they would certainly have said that. It goes on to say: "With
2 the spreading of war activities in these areas, the number of fires and
3 explosions increased so that in 1991 381 instances were recorded, whereas
4 in 1992 a total of 673 instances of fires or explosions were recorded."
5 I want to say that it was only Serb property and only Serb houses
6 that were blown up or set fire to.
7 Q. While in Zadar and the area there were no Serb units and so on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So this is something that can be
9 tendered into evidence, Mr. Robinson?
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Jarcevic, do you by any chance know that -- who
11 sent this information to whom and for what?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In trials before the court in Zadar,
13 this kind of document is delivered to Serb prosecutors who gave this to
14 me, to the government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina in exile, and I
15 felt duty-bound to give the Court this information which comes from police
16 sources in Croatia.
17 JUDGE KWON: So do you know to what court was this document
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the court in Zadar, the
20 municipal court in Zadar. You can ask the Croatian side, if I may make so
21 bold as to suggest it, for all this documentation accompanying this
23 JUDGE KWON: Do you know who was tried at that court?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some individuals sued the Croatian
25 state. Others sued Zadar municipality, and some sued the insurance
1 company where the building they owned which was destroyed was insured. As
2 you know, there is more than one way to initiate civil court proceedings.
3 Q. You can see here that the memorandum of the Ministry of the
4 Interior, the Zadar police administration is the heading on this letter,
5 and it's addressed to the Zadar municipal court.
6 A. Yes, that's what I said.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To the municipal court in Zadar,
8 informing the court that in 1990 there were 21 instances of fires or
9 explosions; in 1991, 381; and in 1992, 673. So this is being sent from
10 the Zadar police administration to the court in Zadar in connection with
11 certain lawsuits initiated by Serbs before that court. And I assume that
12 the court in Zadar asked the Zadar police for this information and this is
13 the response they received.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: That is marked for identification pending
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, just to your information, this
18 is precisely one of the documents that we did not receive in advance but
19 only today, and it's about another six documents that we only got today.
20 Just to --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: This one is very short.
22 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, and I will actually use it, that's for
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. In parallel with the declaration of secession of Croatia and all
2 the events you've been testifying about up to now, were any peace
3 negotiations being carried on that you know about?
4 A. Mr. President, with my arrival in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
5 this coincided with the negotiations which went on until the summer of
6 1994. Throughout 1993, due to circumstances because of my office, I
7 attended all these negotiations.
8 Q. So you attended all the negotiations that Krajina had with the
9 Croatian side and international mediators?
10 A. Yes. Better to say they were organised by members of the
11 international community, members of the International Conference on the
12 Former Yugoslavia, and on two occasions representatives of the government
13 of the USA and the Russian Federation.
14 Q. Did the international mediators or the representatives of the USA
15 and Russia put forward proposals to both sides or was it just the two
16 sides talking to each other? Could you describe the negotiations a little
18 A. As the standpoints of the government of the Krajina and the
19 government of Croatia were diametrically opposed and at the first meeting
20 each side would present its standpoint, the people I have just mentioned
21 mediated, the people from the International Conference on the Former
22 Yugoslavia and on two occasions representatives from Russia and America.
23 Most often, when we could not agree, they would propose the text
24 of an agreement we were supposed to sign. I cannot generalise here, but
25 every point had to be discussed separately. Let me clarify. For example,
1 the negotiations in New York in February, those in Geneva in March, April,
2 and all the way up to June, the ones in Erdut, the secret negotiations in
3 Norway, the secret negotiations in Great Britain, each had different
5 Q. As you were one the chief protagonists in these negotiations on
6 the Serb side, I would like to go through them all in chronological order.
7 So please be kind enough to tell us what characterised the negotiations in
8 February. After that, you will go on to those in March and later. I will
9 ask you what was happening on the ground at the same time as these
10 negotiations were going on. Please go in chronological order. So let's
11 look at February first.
12 A. February 1993, New York. It was Mr. Cyrus Vance who was chairing
13 these negotiations. David Owen was there as well. And the third person
14 was Gert Ahrends, who I mentioned a while ago and I told you that he spoke
15 excellent Serbia, and also a lawyer by the name of Okun. I cannot
16 remember his first name.
17 Q. Ambassador Okun was secretary to Mr. Cyrus Vance?
18 A. That was the group that we were meeting with, and at that time,
19 because of the Croatian offensive on the 22nd of January 1993 against
20 Ravni Kotari and the Maslenica bridge, I don't remember exactly how many
21 people were killed there, but the number is about 300, it was very hard
22 for the representatives of the Krajina to sit opposite the Croatian
23 delegation, so Cyrus Vance and David Owen decided that they should sit in
24 one room and we in another one. Then they would bring the positions of
25 one delegation to the other and the other way around. I don't know
1 whether I've put this very clearly.
2 Q. Just a moment. Let's get this clear. At that time these were
3 areas under UN protection.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. When did the Croatian offensive take place again these parts of UN
6 protected areas?
7 A. The 22nd of January, 1993.
8 Q. So for a year, or a bit less than that, those were UN protected
10 A. Yes, on the basis of the Vance Plan.
11 Q. All right. At least half a year later, after the UN forces were
12 deployed on the ground, this Croatian offensive took place.
13 A. Mr. President, before that there was yet another offensive, an
14 attack on the Republic of the Serb Krajina, or a UN protected area, and
15 that was at 21st of June, 1992.
16 Q. Where did that happen?
17 A. At the Miljevac plateau in Dalmatia. And all the detained
18 soldiers of the Serb Krajina were killed there or, rather, all of them who
19 were there, who happened to be there. I cannot tell you about this
20 exactly, but this should really cause surprise all round.
21 The Croats asked UNPROFOR officers to convey to the Krajina
22 government and the General Staff that one of the coastal towns will be
23 hosting an international children's festival and that the Serbs should
24 refrain from shooting or any other kind of incidents. Of course the
25 Serbs, as always, heeded this. They relaxed and the Croats took advantage
1 of that. They broke in and killed everybody in the garrison.
2 Q. That was in June 1992?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then Ravni Kotari --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please speak one at a time,
6 interpreter's note.
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: You are again overlapping. The interpreter is
8 asking you to observe the pause between question and answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. All right. Now, under these circumstances, who was it that
12 invited you to New York?
13 A. We were invited to New York by Cedric Thornberry. He got us ready
14 and set the date for when we should go. The delegation of the Republic of
15 Serb Krajina was led by the president, Goran Hadzic. He was accompanied
16 by Mile Paspalj, president of the parliament, and I as foreign minister.
17 Q. Cedric Thornberry was --
18 A. The head.
19 Q. -- the civilian head of UNPROFOR?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. So he sent you to New York, the delegation that you mentioned just
22 now. And who was there on the Croatian side? You've already said that
23 the international intermediaries were there; Vance, Owen, and the people
24 who worked for them.
25 A. Yes. At that time we did not see the Croatian delegation, but
1 Slavko Degoricija led the Croatian delegation. He also led the Croatian
2 delegation at the negotiations in Geneva.
3 Q. What happened in New York that time?
4 A. In New York -- I'm sorry, I know that I've moved on too fast yet
5 again, so I do apologise to the interpreters.
6 Since the international mediators let the delegation of the Serb
7 Krajina know that they considered them to be uncooperative, at the first
8 meeting Mr. Hadzic said that -- that he will let Croatia use Peruca,
9 Zelenik, and the Maslenica Bridge, and he said that because the Croats
10 explained in great detail over their media that the Serbs would not allow
11 the Maslenica bridge to be used and that Croatia had no possibility of
12 conducting transport and pursuing tourism through that part of Dalmatia
13 and Lika. They had to do all of that by ship, and that was expensive.
14 And of course in that way they were actually turning their own population
15 against the Serbs. That is why, through President Hadzic, we offered
16 these three facilities to the Croatian state so that they could use it.
17 Q. So what was concluded in New York? And what did the international
18 envoys propose in addition to your own attempt to show how cooperative you
19 were? What did the international mediators have to say?
20 A. At that time they just brought in the Croatian plan. At that
21 time, Croatia, like once in 1992 before I joined the government of the
22 Republic of the Serb Krajina, they had a proposal to give Serbs
23 self-government only in two municipalities; Glina and Knin. In order to
24 be clear on this, that was the area of one-third of the Republic of the
25 Serb Krajina. Of course that was not serious. And that plan would remain
1 as one of the Croatian trump cards all the way up to 1995. And
2 regrettably, the US ambassador brought this plan that was anything but
3 serious to Knin in 1995, and he proclaimed it to be his own proposal,
4 called Z-4. However, that was the same plan that was put forth to us by
5 the Croats in 1992 and also in New York when I was a member of the Krajina
7 Of course, we did not want to accept that and the talks failed, as
8 the intermediaries told us.
9 Q. What happened in the meantime?
10 A. Mr. President, are you referring to the continuation of the
12 Q. Yes, yes. You had these negotiations in New York. They failed.
13 It was February 1993. And when were the next negotiations held and who
14 participated in them?
15 A. The international mediators indeed realised by then that this
16 Croatian plan was unbelievably unacceptable. It lacked seriousness. So
17 these municipalities that the Croats were talking about were even smaller
18 than in the former Yugoslavia. And mostly in the Serbian settlements in
19 Slavonia, in Western Srem, even those Serb settlements would become
20 automatically part of Croatia.
21 We tried to talk about this in March again, and then in June, I
22 think, in Geneva, and I think that, in the meantime, we met three times.
23 Q. In relation to what you said just now about the Miljevac plateau
24 and the attack of the Croatian forces at the UN protected area in the
25 territory of the Republic of Serb Krajina, in relation to that was
1 anything said in Security Council Resolution 762?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, all these Resolutions
3 have already been admitted, so I don't think there's any need for me to
4 present them yet again this time.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, Croatia was not
6 condemned at all in that Resolution, and that's what happened in all the
7 Resolutions that followed, regardless of the kind of crimes committed by
8 Croatia against the Serbs or inhabitants of UN protected areas. The only
9 thing that would be written would be that Croatia had to withdraw their
10 troops from the Miljevac plateau. And of course the Croats only gave
11 their soldiers police uniforms and kept them there as a police force.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. All right. So what was the situation in actual fact? They
14 attacked the Miljevac plateau, the Security Council says that they should
15 withdraw their soldiers, which did not happen, and the Security Council is
16 cautioning both sides, telling them to exercise restraint. Was this the
17 customary phraseology used when Serbs are attacked, then both sides are
18 cautioned to exercise restraint?
19 A. Mr. President, that was the recommendation given to both sides, to
20 exercise restraint. That was so insulting for the Serb side and the
21 Republic of Serb Krajina, because our army never crossed the border of
22 Croatia, never attacked the population.
23 I'm sorry, just one more thing. Even in reports sent to the
24 Security Council that had to do with these events, the terminology was not
1 Q. In what sense are you saying this?
2 A. Croatia was never condemned.
3 Q. And what happened then at the next round of negotiations, and
4 where was that held?
5 A. The next negotiations were held in Geneva.
6 Q. When?
7 A. From March to June. I think there were three rounds.
8 Q. February, New York; the next month --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please speak one at a time,
10 interpreter's note.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Again the interpreter is asking please speak one
12 at a time.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The international mediators
14 explained this by stating that it was less expensive if we met in Geneva
15 rather than in New York. There was no other reason presented for changing
16 the venue.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Never mind. Geneva, New York. Who participated in these
19 negotiations in Geneva?
20 A. In Geneva it was Goran Hadzic again and the president of the
21 parliament, Mile Paspalj. I was there with them, and they were a bit
22 different from the ones in New York, because we and the Croats both agreed
23 to sit at a big round table in a single room.
24 Q. Tell us what happened then.
25 A. There was a repetition of what happened in New York. Slavko
1 Degoricija yet again offered Serbs self-government only in two districts.
2 Of course the delegation of the Republic of Serb Krajina could not accept
3 that and it proposed that we include in a possible agreement the entire
4 Republic of the Serb Krajina. The international mediators accepted this
5 idea of ours in the hope that, through subsequent economic trade,
6 cultural, and educational relations, they would perhaps turn Croatia into
7 something that would, in 1995, be achieved in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is
8 to say a single state consisting of two entities. So that is what was
9 heard all the time in Geneva.
10 And then in Erdut on the 15th and 16th of July, 1995, this was
11 materialised. The government of the United States of America and the
12 government of Russia intervened then, and their representatives, their
13 deputy foreign ministers, were present when the Erdut agreement was
15 Q. And what was the proposal of the international mediators in
16 Geneva? In order to save time, the negotiations went on from March to
17 June, but these were not three different, separate topics. It was an
18 attempt to find a solution. Would that be it, roughly, the substance of
19 these negotiations?
20 A. Yes. An agreement was supposed to be reached that would be
21 accepted by both sides.
22 Q. You said that until then the main difference was that they
23 proposed an autonomy for Knin and Glina, whereas you proposed autonomy for
24 all of Krajina.
25 A. We suggested that there be no break-up of Krajina.
1 Q. And what was the position of the international mediators?
2 A. The position of the international mediators was in favour of our
3 position, because they realised that their proposal really lacked
4 seriousness, and that would figure yet again in the so-called Z-4 plan.
5 Q. All right. The Croatian side proposed autonomy to you and
6 one-third of the territory of the Krajina?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You're asking for the entire territory of Krajina to be taken into
9 account, and the international mediators consider that to be logical?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was that the situation?
12 A. Yes, that was the situation.
13 Q. And what was the reaction of the international mediators or,
14 rather, what was the reaction of Croatia --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness, if you just took the opportunity to
16 listen to the interpreter, you'd be very sorry for her. She's going at
17 breakneck pace.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kay, Mr. Milosevic said that Security Council
19 Resolution 762 had been admitted already, but I'm not sure whether it is
21 MR. KAY: We'd have to check that through Harland's evidence. I
22 think he was the witness the Prosecutor used to bring in the various UN
23 documents. We'll check that.
24 JUDGE KWON: I couldn't find it.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I notice the time, and were the Court
2 thinking of adjourning soon can I draw to your attention the following:
3 The order you made on the 15th of February was that the accused should
4 provide more information on his witness list, and you said for the next
5 four to six weeks. There's been a short exchange of correspondence. The
6 Chamber may be aware of that. The present position is we've been notified
7 of this witness, who was to last six hours. That's -- six hours, I think,
8 and one other witness for this week, and no other. Was it six hours?
9 Three hours, sorry. Three hours for this witness, so he could have
10 finished today, tomorrow's witness could have finished tomorrow. We've
11 been given no notification of a further witness for this week nor has
12 there been any compliance with the four to six weeks order.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, what is the explanation for this?
14 Why have you only notified two or three witnesses when I specifically
15 instructed that you should notify witnesses for the next four to six
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: We are not getting any translation.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What Mr. Nice said, after
21 Mr. Jarcevic, there is yet another witness, and after that witness Momir
22 Bulatovic is supposed to testify, who had been announced a long time ago.
23 Last week, I asked the liaison officer to expedite matters to get him here
24 as soon as possible, and I received assurances that he would be brought in
25 as soon as possible. I did not conduct any additional checks this
1 morning, but my understanding was that he would arrive only on Wednesday.
2 In view of the fact that I have not seen him for several years
3 now, I need to talk to Mr. Bulatovic before his testimony, because it will
4 go on for quite a while. So he cannot start testifying on Wednesday.
5 There aren't any other working days until the end of this week, and then
6 there's next week. So I assume that during the course of that week and
7 the next week I would be able to proof Mr. Bulatovic and that he could
8 start testifying next week.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, you are being too clever by half.
10 You haven't really answered my question. You must provide a list of your
11 witnesses for the next four to six weeks. Mr. Bulatovic, I understand,
12 will take some time, but not all the time. So I expect you to carry out
13 the instructions of the Trial Chamber.
14 We will adjourn for 20 minutes.
15 Mr. Kay.
16 MR. KAY: Yes, to answer Judge Kwon's question, it was produced
17 through Branko Kostic. It's D333, tab 81.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please continue, Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, before I go on, here
23 is a list in English. It was prepared several days ago. I haven't
24 managed to find out why it wasn't submitted to you, but I will give it to
25 the liaison officer. It's already been submitted in electronic form to
1 the other side, and it's the witness list for the next few weeks. I would
2 like to ask you to solve as soon as possible the issue of your order that
3 Clinton and Clark testify. It's very important to me for planning
4 purposes. As for everything else, I will inform you later on.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: As you well know, we only received the written
6 submissions on that last week, in the latter part of last week, and we
7 will give a decision by the end of next week.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. I've been telling you
9 about this request of mine for more than two years.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, what is the purpose of a comment
11 like that? You very well know that we were not in a position to deal with
12 it in the absence of written submissions, and we only received those in
13 the latter part of last week from the assigned counsel. Don't waste time,
14 and don't be mischievous. Continue.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I assume that you
16 understand how important these witnesses are.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed, Mr. Milosevic.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Jarcevic, in these events that you've been testifying about,
20 including the negotiations you've spoken about, what was the relationship
21 of the Serbs in Krajina or, rather, their attitude toward the Vance-Owen
23 A. Mr. President, the Vance-Owen Plan was accepted in the hope that
24 it would be implemented. It contained two provisions guaranteeing this:
25 First, that there would be no prejudging of the political solution at
1 stake; and secondly, on the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina
2 or the UN protected areas, Yugoslav laws would be implemented.
3 This second point encouraged us, because without Croatian
4 legislation being in force, no decisions of the Croatian government could
5 be implemented in the Krajina, which meant there would be no persecution.
6 Q. And how did the Croatian authorities that you mentioned look on
7 the Vance Plan?
8 A. Mr. President, I apologise in advance for possibly insulting the
9 UN and the Security Council. In its documents, which later became the
10 documents of the Security Council, the Croatian side always used the term
11 "the so-called Vance Plan," and the UN never reacted to this, although
12 the Serb side kept drawing attention to it. On the other hand, these
13 documents were distributed bearing a Security Council number.
14 Furthermore, our warnings that this important document of the
15 Security Council was being disparaged were not distributed in the United
16 Nations palace.
17 Q. What was the most important document on which the situation in the
18 UN protected areas was based at the time?
19 A. The only document was the Vance Plan. All the other documents we
20 hoped would only be used to implement that plan. However, if I'm not
21 wrong, starting from Resolution 815 onwards, the UN protected area was
22 already being treated as a province or area of the Republic of Croatia.
23 Sovereignty was being transferred to the UN protected area, although the
24 Vance Plan stated that there would be no such prejudging of the issue.
25 Q. Well, how did the international community treat the Vance-Owen --
1 THE INTERPRETER: The Vance Plan, interpreter's apology.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. -- adopted by the Security Council?
4 A. The international community was neglectful. It didn't defend the
5 Vance Plan. The international community, through the documents of the
6 Security Council, wrote that the Republika Srpska Krajina, or the UN
7 protected area, was an integral part of the Republic of Croatia. This
8 amounted to prejudging the issue.
9 Q. How was the issue of weapons resolved on the territory of the
10 Republika Srpska Krajina in the UN protected areas?
11 A. The Vance Plan provided for heavy weapons to be put under a double
12 key. One key was in the keeping of the Serbian army of the Krajina, and
13 the other key was in the keeping of UNPROFOR officers. The police of the
14 Republika Srpska Krajina was also supposed to be disarmed and to carry
15 only sidearms. This means pistols without long barrels.
16 This provision was the only one that could not be implemented by
17 the government of the Republika Srpska Krajina, because every day the
18 Croats perpetrated aggression against the territory of the Republika
19 Srpska Krajina, and in the case of large-scale aggression such as that
20 which occurred at Miljevac plateau or Ravni Kotor on the 22nd of January,
21 1993, and then on the 8th of September, 1993. At such times UNPROFOR
22 officers were always aware of the tragedy that might happen to the Serbian
23 people, and they themselves offered the army of Republika Srpska Krajina
24 the keys to the weapons depots so that they could take the weapons and
25 fight off the army of the Republic of Croatia.
1 Q. When the Vance Plan was adopted, did the citizens of the
2 leadership of the Republika Srpska Krajina expect to be protected by
4 A. Mr. President, they did expect that, although many had doubts.
5 Many had doubts precisely because the international media were so anxious
6 to show that the Croats were in the wrong and the Croats --
7 THE INTERPRETER: That the Serbs, interpreter's correction, were
8 in the wrong.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and the Croats were in the right.
10 The editorial policy of the media was to ignore and be silent about the
11 mass expulsions of Serbs from the Croatian territories. Had this not been
12 so, there would have been greater confidence in the United Nations on the
13 part of the Serbs. But I think that for the first time now this terrible
14 fact, which is 15 years old, will reach the headlines of the world.
15 Q. In the UN protected areas, which was their official title, did
16 UNPROFOR provide protection to the Serb population?
17 A. Mr. President, they did not provide any protection at all. You
18 know, as does probably the Chamber, that in every Croatian offensive UN
19 soldiers got killed. It's quite possible that more than was acknowledged
20 were actually killed, and it's quite surprising that in such a situation
21 the Security Council did not threaten Croatia with sanctions, to say the
22 least, or with war planes, as they later did against Serbia and Montenegro
23 in a situation which was less terrible.
24 Q. These facts and the attacks that took place after the adoption of
25 the Vance Plan and the expectations that the Serbs in those areas would be
1 protected, how did all this affect the situation on the UN protected areas
2 and the population there?
3 A. Well, the people were disappointed, Mr. President, and the
4 government realised that what was most important to people was to save
5 their families. After the Miljevac plateau and Ravni Kotari, the
6 population of the Krajina started dispersing. Suddenly they started
7 moving away to Serbia, the Republika Srpska, and Montenegro. However,
8 this was not really dramatic, and in early 1993, as the minister of
9 foreign affairs, I drew the attention of the government and the president
10 to the fact that the population of the Krajina and Bosnia and Herzegovina,
11 who were Serbs, would start moving away to foreign countries. We
12 predicted that visas would be given wholesale to people from the Serbian
13 Krajina to foreign countries, and this actually happened. The United
14 Nations even opened up an office in Belgrade where it was very easy to
15 obtain visas very fast to emigrate to Australia, Canada, America, the
16 European countries, Sweden and Norway. The people felt that they could
17 not believe that the UN military forces would protect them, and they began
18 to look for ways of saving themselves and their families.
19 Q. As of mid-1992, when the UN forces took over control over the
20 whole area, apart from these large-scale attacks you've already mentioned,
21 the Miljevac plateau, Maslenica, the Medak pocket, and so on, was there
22 any other fighting?
23 A. Yes, there was. Croatia did not behave honourably towards the
24 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina either. I cannot give you the exact date in
25 1991 when Croatian troops crossed the Sava and attacked the Serbian people
1 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is an area called Posavina. However, UN
2 documents - and this is ridiculous - said it was elements of the Croatian
3 army that had crossed the Sava. An aggression against a state should be
4 defined quite differently.
5 Sometime in 1991, Croatia threatened the eastern part of the
6 Republika Srpska Krajina. I don't know the exact number of civilians whom
7 they called in a field while they were gathering maize were killed. They
8 killed a group and took another group prisoner. Fortunately, at the
9 request of UNPROFOR, these people were returned safe and sound to the
11 Q. And did the government of the Republika Srpska Krajina submit any
12 documents about the crimes against the Serbs in the Republika Srpska
13 Krajina after the peace forces of the UN arrived?
14 A. Mr. President, in the office of the Ministry of the Foreign
15 Affairs there was a man working practically around the clock, who speaks
16 English really well, and he translated everything and sent it out to
17 foreign countries in Europe, to the Security Council, and to the
18 Secretary-General. However, none of these documents was ever accorded the
19 status of an official document in any UN body.
20 Q. And in what form did the authorities of the Republic of Srpska
21 Krajina react or did they react? Did they go to the UN because of the
22 violation of the peace agreement and attacks on the UNPA zones and attacks
23 on the Serb population?
24 A. Well, Mr. President, I've already said everything was -- there was
25 just silence. That's where everything stopped. There was silence, and
1 the world media, mass media, did not inform about the situation in the way
2 that they should have sent out information.
3 Q. All right. At that time, apart from sending what you did to the
4 United Nations, you also communicated with Marrack Goulding, did you not,
5 who at the time was in your office very frequently, came to see you
6 frequently on behalf of UNPROFOR. Do you have any data about that
8 A. Mr. President, I never met Marrack Goulding myself because his
9 activities took place in 1991 and 1992 before my arrival, but I do know -
10 I learnt about this later on - that he did intervene at a point in time, I
11 believe, when the Croatian government or, rather, the president, Tudjman,
12 when he announced that he would not be accepting the Vance Plan. That's
13 when he intervened, and I think that was on the 2nd of January, 1992, when
14 that letter of Tudjman's to the UN came that it accepted the Vance Plan.
15 So his activities were in that regard, and as I say, I was not in Knin
16 myself at that time.
17 Q. All right. Now, after the attack on the Maslenica bridge, did the
18 Serb representatives continue to negotiate?
19 A. Mr. President, the Serb representatives always attended
20 negotiations, regardless of where the initiative came from. For example,
21 when the initiative came from the Croatian government for negotiations,
22 through Vollebaek who testified here, we accepted that too. We didn't
23 consult you or Belgrade, as the Prosecution and their witnesses are prone
24 to state and accuse you of doing, we accepted it straight away. And
25 that's a rather interesting event.
1 Vollebaek, on the 8th of September, 1993, in Knin, brought a draft
2 agreement of the Croatian government which we were supposed to sign. And
3 while he was opening his file, the dossier on that, the Croatian army
4 attacked the Medak pocket, and as French General Cot said, it burnt
5 everything down, and not even cats and dogs survived.
6 Q. And what happened to the agreement that was brought by Vollebaek?
7 A. Well, he closed his file on that, went back to Zagreb, and did not
8 utter a word of condemnation of the Croats. Had I been duped like that by
9 somebody, I would have at least left my post, left my job.
10 Q. Now, you spoke about the negotiations in Geneva between March and
11 June. What happened in the negotiations in Erdut? What happened there?
12 Who took part? What happened? What were the contents of those
13 negotiations? Who negotiated? What was the subject of the negotiations,
14 and so on?
15 A. Mr. President, the talks in Geneva were unsuccessful, just as the
16 ones in Washington had been, and that is why the international mediators
17 undertook something that they thought would lead to fruit, would bear
19 Let me tell you about Geneva. I put my initials to an agreement
20 put forward by Lord Owen, but I was not authorised myself nor was the
21 president of the state, Hadzic, authorised to sign it because Krajina,
22 pursuant to that agreement, would be included into Croatia without any
23 guarantees or without the creation of a two-nation Croatian state. So we
24 said that we would present it to the Assembly, and if the Assembly, as the
25 supreme legislative organ, adopts it, then it would come into force.
1 However, the Assembly rejected it unanimously and that is why the
2 international mediators invited us to come to Erdut on the 15th of July,
3 1993. They came, Charles Redman came, the deputy foreign minister of the
4 United States, and Vitaliy Churkin, the deputy foreign minister of the
5 Russian Federation, two of the most powerful countries. And they said
6 that we should sign the agreement so that finally there would be an end to
7 the bloodshed.
8 Q. When was that? That was in 1993, you say?
9 A. Yes. May I just be allowed to continue and tell you this, please?
10 Q. Yes. Go ahead.
11 A. They thought - and that's what they did - they proposed the draft
12 for the agreement. It did not contain many points, but it did provide for
13 commissions to be set up for all forms of state activity. And they told
14 us in confidence that the agreement could lead to cooperation in all
15 spheres of life and a two-nation state of the kind that existed in 1990.
16 Now, I signed that particular agreement, and the sole condition
17 that we posed of the Croats was that it shouldn't be signed by some police
18 official or somebody from Franjo Tudjman's security force but somebody at
19 the level of the person signing for Krajina. And the Croats agreed to
20 that proviso, and it was signed by the minister of trade. I'm afraid I
21 can't remember his name, first or last name, just now, but the most
22 important point of the negotiations was the following: Richard or,
23 rather, Redman -- Charles Redman, that's right. Charles Redman said:
24 "Gentlemen of the Krajina, this agreement must be respected by the Croats
25 and must be put into effect. The guarantor for that is the Russian
1 Federation. Mr. Churkin will be in charge of intervening if the Croats
2 happen to reject this agreement as well."
3 Q. And what happened next? Perhaps I interrupted you, but tell us
4 what happened next with that agreement.
5 A. Well, we were satisfied to hear that, especially as Churkin said
6 "Gentlemen, if that happens, if Croatia does that, then I will arrive in
7 Knin and then travel to Zagreb, and we will put this agenda up again and
8 put it into practice." And a copy of that agreement can be found in the
9 UN Security Council, because in a report by the UN Secretary-General, it
10 said that this had to do with the well-being of the people and that it
11 will be -- put an end to the bloodshed along the border between Srpska
12 Krajina and Croatia. And Boutros-Ghali said some very nice things about
13 the agreement in his report. However, not much time went by when Franjo
14 Tudjman -- I don't know what -- on what occasion, said that that was one
15 of 40 agreements, in fact, which Croatia had signed but had not abided by
16 and that it would not abide by the present one either. And so pursuant to
17 counselling from Charles Redman, we sent a fax to Mr. Churkin and asked
18 him to come to Knin himself, because that was the guarantee provided by
19 the two superpowers. There was no point in a small country like Croatia
20 in the Balkans playing with the guarantees issued by these two major
22 And Churkin didn't answer. I sent him a telegram saying that I
23 would come to Moscow, and I set off the following day. However, when I
24 arrived, the ministry of the Russian Federation, the Russian Foreign
25 Ministry, told me that Churkin had left for Brussels on an official visit,
1 and I was received by Potoni [phoen], the foreign minister, Ivanov, and he
2 said he didn't wish to discuss the matter, discuss the agreement at all.
3 That was a surprise. That came as a surprise. We didn't expect to hear
4 that, because everybody thought that Russia was a friend unreservedly of
5 the Serbs. But he said he didn't want to talk to him. And I asked him,
6 "Well, why did I come to Moscow, then?" And he said, "So that you Serbs
7 could learn to live together with the Muslims and Croats just like we live
8 together with the Chechens and other Muslims." So that was all he said.
9 Q. And what actually happened in Croatia after the signing of this
11 A. Well, what happened? Nothing happened. The international
12 mediators were left without a document guaranteeing what had been
13 stipulated by the Vance Plan, that is to say to find a peaceful solution
14 between the two ethnic communities. And of course the international
15 mediators did not apologise. They came to Knin, demanding that we
16 negotiate again.
17 Q. So did they say, forget the Erdut agreement, you have to negotiate
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. Or did they say you would be negotiating on the basis of the Erdut
21 agreement and the Vance Plan?
22 A. I'm mixing my words now, words that sound similar. But anyway,
23 they said forget the agreement, although it was signed at a high level, if
24 you look at the Croatian side, because for our part we always -- it was
25 always government members that signed it. But anyway, they proposed that
1 we conduct secret negotiations so that we should not lose face. And we
2 agreed to do so.
3 Q. All right. Was that after Vollebaek's visit to Knin?
4 A. Yes. Yes, after, because the September -- the 9th of September
5 one fell through, as I've explained. The 9th of September was after the
6 Erdut agreement. So after the Erdut agreement, Vollebaek -- there was
7 Vollebaek in Knin. Now, Vollebaek proposed secret negotiations in Norway
8 this time, if you're interested in hearing about that.
9 Q. Yes, did you go to attend those secret negotiations in Norway?
10 A. Yes, we did. The head of the delegation was President Hadzic, and
11 in the delegation next to him was the justice minister, Kuzet, and I
12 myself as the foreign minister. And I think there was another man,
13 and that was Admiral Rakic. We had an interpreter, and I assume that the
14 Trial Chamber will be interested in this. His name was Boro Bozic, not
15 the man who testified here, Lazarevic. He was just a private interpreter
16 for President Hadzic who helped him tour the cultural monuments in places
17 where we went to, to help him with trade, but that was official because
18 the head of state, whatever he does he does officially. So we negotiated
19 and the head of the Croatian delegation was Hrvoje Sarinic, and I think
20 that at the time he was an advisor to President Tudjman and the head of
21 state security, I believe. Unless I'm much mistaken. He was a Croat who
22 lived in South America for a long time -- no, in South Africa it was, and
23 who had happened to come back to Croatia quite recently, but he wasn't an
24 extremist and I have nothing bad to say about the man.
25 Q. So tell us what happened during the negotiations.
1 A. During the negotiations, the delegation of the Republika Srpska
2 Krajina was highly cooperative. The draft agreement which Vollebaek put
3 before us, to us and the Croatian delegation, we for our part accepted,
4 and it was aimed at achieving something similar to what would have been
5 achieved by the Erdut agreement which Croatia rejected.
6 Then, Mr. President, we didn't mind losing out on the Erdut
7 agreement too much, because we thought, well, here we have a new
8 agreement, almost identical. We'll sign that. And it was supposed to
9 have been signed in the morning of that day. In the morning, Vollebaek
10 called all the journalists from Oslo to attend. We were 60 kilometres
11 outside Oslo - I forget the name of the place now - and we were happy. We
12 just asked a room, some premises in which we could prepare the material,
13 and then to inform the following day our public at home and the world
14 public, and there was really no difference, not on any of the points
15 between the agreement -- or between us and the Croats. There was general
16 harmony. And we even joked about it. We played a little chess amongst
17 ourselves. I was a better chess player, so I was able to beat the
18 interpreter, too, although he is master level, master candidate category,
19 but that was the general mood that prevailed.
20 And when we went into that room to prepare our report for the next
21 day, our liaison officer that very evening, it might have been 11.00,
22 perhaps midnight, gave us a message from Zagreb saying that Tudjman had
23 ordered his delegation to pack up and go home early the next morning and
24 that they were not allowed to sign the agreement which Tudjman had a copy
25 of on his table, on his own desk. And this is -- it's only us that knew
1 that. But Vollebaek didn't know about that. We knew about it, the Croats
2 knew about it, but Vollebaek didn't, so we wanted to take advantage of
3 informing our centre in Knin and Belgrade during the night that Tudjman
4 had vetoed the signing of the agreement which should have been the
5 crowning of the negotiations in Norway.
6 The next day the journalists turned up, they knew about Tudjman's
7 decision. The only person who didn't know about his decision was
8 Vollebaek, who had organised and conducted the negotiations. And he was
9 very angry with me. He said: "You've ruined my career. Why did you
10 inform the public beforehand about all that?" And that's what happened.
11 Q. All right --
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic.
13 May I just remind you to give shorter answers. That answer took
14 up the entire page on the transcript.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it was interesting, unless I'm
16 very much mistaken.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: If you say so yourself.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So those negotiations, the secret negotiations in Norway fell
20 through, did they?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Because Tudjman sent a letter once you had dovetailed everything
23 and harmonised everything, saying that you weren't to sign.
24 A. Yes, we were supposed to sign in front of the Norwegian
25 journalists, those who were accredited in Oslo, and they were informed to
1 arrive that night. But on their way there, they had already learnt that
2 piece of information.
3 Q. All right, so the negotiations fell through. Now, did you
4 continue negotiating?
5 A. Yes, indeed, the international mediators asked us once again to
6 negotiate, without criticising Croatia. They didn't even write it down in
7 a single document. And Dobanovci was the chosen venue, which is the
8 holiday home of the former president, Josip Broz Tito, some 20 kilometres
9 away from Belgrade, and that's where we met. Once again the Croatian
10 delegation was led by Hrvoje Sarinic, and the Republic of Srpska Krajina
11 was headed by Goran Hadzic, its president.
12 Q. Was that successful?
13 A. No, not at all. It was even more ludicrous, if I can put it that
14 way, because Sarinic interrupted the negotiations, and he had harmonised
15 the text, which resembled the Norwegian one and the one from Erdut, but
16 when it came to the question of separation, a separation line and
17 regarding the 22nd of January Croatian aggression, they stated that it was
18 state property and the state had nationalised the fields and orchards
19 which belonged to Serb proprietors.
20 Now, a man named Kuzet, the justice minister who was born in those
21 regions, said, "Mr. Sarinic, you can't have this plantation belong to
22 Croatia when each bit of land is owned by Serb farmers." Mr. Sarinic used
23 this. He jumped up and said, "The president did not authorise me to hand
24 over this plantation." He got his things together and stormed out of the
1 Q. Well, you can't say that negotiations fell through because of that
3 A. Well, I've taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth,
4 Mr. President.
5 Q. All right. So those negotiations fell through as well. What
6 happened afterwards? Was another round of negotiations scheduled later
8 A. Yes, of course. And now we thought they had to succeed because
9 Charles Redman turned up again and Vitaliy Churkin. On the 22nd of March
10 and we were supposed to negotiate in Croatia in Zagreb. Up until that
11 time, we never agreed to go and negotiate on Croatian territory because
12 the Croats interpreted this as the rebel Serbs arriving to attend
13 negotiations with their state organs. However, everything fell through
14 again, but on that occasion we agreed and we said, right, we're not going
15 to go into that formality and make any problems. We agreed. We said,
16 right, the negotiations will take place at the Russian embassy. That's
17 what Churkin and Redman had decided. We didn't ask for any protective
18 measures or anything like that. We would have gone to any presidential
19 palace or whatever to attend negotiations.
20 And those negotiations were fairly successful. The text of the
21 negotiations was excellent for one fact, because of one basic fact: Heavy
22 weaponry on the part of the Croatia should have been placed under control
23 as well as heavy weapons of the Republic of Srpska Krajina. It was to be
24 placed under control. And this was the first time that we were present as
25 equal partners, at least where it came to weapons, and we signed the
1 agreement on the 29th of March, 1994.
2 Q. And was the agreement put into practice? Was it implemented?
3 A. Never. We always asked the international mediators, UNPROFOR
4 officers, why they shouldn't effect control over Croatian weapons and
5 arming, and if our heavy weapons were placed at precisely the spot distant
6 from the border where it was supposed to be placed, why wasn't Croatian
7 weapons --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm stopping you because you've answered the
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Did you sit down to a new round of negotiations after that?
12 A. Well, let me just think about this. I have to remember all the
14 Q. Do you know about any negotiations scheduled for London, for
15 instance, between Krajina and Croatia, organised by the Foreign Ministry
16 of Great Britain.
17 A. Yes. That was done in agreement with the Foreign Ministry of
18 Britain and the Congress of Serbian Unification. Let me tell you, that's
19 a Serb organisation in the United States of America, with branch offices
20 in Europe too. And also there was a humanitarian organisation, a British
21 one. I had all the documents about that, but the only thing that
22 attracted us to those negotiations was a message we received from the
23 Foreign Ministry of the United Kingdom saying that the Croatian delegation
24 would also be coming to the negotiations. I didn't consult Belgrade,
25 although I lived in Belgrade, or with any organ in Serbia, didn't consult
1 with you. Since I was the person informed about the negotiations as the
2 former foreign minister, they contacted me, that is to say London did, and
3 I sent a fax to Knin, and I was going to go there myself to expound why it
4 would be useful to go to London at a government meeting, because Great
5 Britain would be the auspices. It would be held under their patronage
6 because we didn't -- and that although we didn't succeed with the
7 patronage of the USA and Russia, we thought we might succeed this time.
8 But President Martic and Prime Minister Mikelic gave the go-ahead for the
9 negotiations and told me to go alone, without taking any other member with
10 me. And that really did succeed. It was secret until even the present
11 day. Nobody knew about these negotiations scheduled to take place on 60
12 miles out of London. I was told that it was in one of Cromwell's 60th
13 century castles, et cetera.
14 Q. Let's leave out the historical details. Tell us what happened.
15 A. Nothing. I waited for five days and the Croats never turned up.
16 Q. Did you see anyone? Did you talk to anyone about anything?
17 A. I was only received in the foreign office of Great Britain. They
18 wanted to hear my views. They reprimanded me there. They said that we
19 Serbs were people who looked into the past and that we were supposed to
20 look into the future.
21 At that meeting I said the following -- now, this was the head of
22 the department for the Eastern Adriatic. I think that his name was
23 Mr. Rion [phoen]. He said that -- he was Irish, too, and he said, "See
24 how we and the English get along. You see the post that I have here now."
25 And then I said to him, "In any pub in Great Britain you can hear people
1 talking about what happened in Ireland in terms of the history of Great
2 Britain, so why can we not speak about being part of Austro-Hungary?"
3 Q. All right. You've been through all the negotiations that you took
4 part in now. If you omitted some, let's not dwell on it any longer
6 Several times it was mentioned here, and also in some of the
7 witness statements coming from the other side, that I gave you
8 instructions before the negotiations that you had. I see that you had
9 many negotiations. Please answer the following question: Did I give you
10 instructions, or any of my co-workers, in terms of how you would negotiate
11 on behalf of the Republic of Serb Krajina with the representatives of
12 Croatia or the representatives of the international community?
13 A. Mr. President, I am confident that you did not even know about my
14 trip to London.
15 Q. I'm not talking about London now. After all, the trip to London
16 is not the most important one of all. You talked about negotiations in
17 New York, in Geneva, in Norway. I don't know if you mentioned any other
18 talks, but all of those that you mentioned, did I give you any
19 instructions in terms of these negotiations of yours?
20 A. Never. No instructions whatsoever.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... of a simple
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. All right. Now, if I did not give you any instructions in terms
1 of these negotiations, could I have given instructions to anyone else
2 without you knowing about that?
3 A. Well, yes, my bosses, and then they could have conveyed it to me.
4 But then I was the one who wrote out all those texts on my own.
5 Q. Oh, so you prepared the documents for these negotiations, the
7 A. Yes, to give a brief answer.
8 Q. Did your bosses exercise any influence over your making of these
9 preparatory documents?
10 A. It's interesting that they never raised any objections. What I
11 have to point out is our trip to Washington. In the platform, the
12 document for those meetings, I did not say that we would immediately let
13 the Croats use the road, the airport, and the power plant, but Mr. Hadzic,
14 although this had not been in my platform, proposed that first of all as
15 the first concession to be given by the Republic of Serb Krajina.
16 JUDGE BONOMY: When you talk about Washington, that's a separate
17 set of negotiations from New York, is it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I'm so sorry. It was New York,
19 and I misspoke. I said Washington. I am so sorry. It happens to elderly
20 people, what can I say.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You spoke about political parties in Krajina. You said that there
23 were several of them, and you said that you were not the member of any
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But you followed the activity of all parties, I assume?
2 A. Well, as much as I could, because you see that I kept travelling
3 abroad. I was abroad pretty often. And then when I would come back -
4 perhaps the Trial Chamber is not interested in that - but we had about 70
5 representative offices of volunteers abroad, and I had to communicate with
6 all of them, so I'm not that aware of the life of political parties.
7 Q. Do you know whether anybody from Serbia influenced the
8 establishment of these political parties?
9 A. Well, let me tell you, I don't know how useful my testimony's
10 going to be, but I can note the following: The people who founded the
11 Serb Democratic Party for the most part were your political opponents.
12 For example, until his death, that is what Dr. Raskovic was. And
13 Dr. Milan Babic then. If that's what you were interested in.
14 Q. Well, Milan Babic hasn't died yet.
15 A. Well, he's alive. I didn't say anything different from that.
16 Q. Out of all the members of the leadership of the Serb Krajina,
17 perhaps you were the person who communicated the most or, rather, who
18 spent the largest amount of time -- time in Belgrade; is that right?
19 A. Yes. And it was at my proposal that the government accepted that
20 the Ministry of the Interior --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the Foreign Ministry.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- should be in Belgrade, because
23 there was a wide array of embassies and consulates from all the over the
24 world there. We spoke to many ambassadors on their people, asking them to
25 open offices in Krajina, but that was out of the question. So that was
1 the only solution that we could work out for ourselves.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Now, please, in view of your experience and in view of problems of
4 the Serb people in Krajina, in the indictment, in the part that speaks
5 about responsibility in 26(m), it says I controlled, contributed or
6 otherwise utilised Serb state-run media outlets to manipulate Serbian
7 public opinion by spreading exaggerated and false messages of ethnically
8 based attacks by Croats against Serb people in order to create an
9 atmosphere of fear and hatred among Serbs living in Serbia and Croatia.
10 The propaganda generated by the Serbian media was an important tool in
11 contributing to the perpetration of crimes in Croatia.
12 Please, in view of your experience, in view of your presence
13 there, can you say whether this is true, whether all of this that is
14 claimed here is true or --
15 A. Mr. President, had that been so, then the media - I mean if you
16 had control over them - would first and foremost write about the expulsion
17 of Serbs from Croatian towns and cities, and that was not mentioned by the
18 media in Serbia, especially not by radio and television there.
19 Q. What was your experience? Did the media in Serbia exaggerate
20 false messages about ethnically based attacks against Serbs, and did they
21 fan hatred?
22 A. Mr. President, they only diminished the proportions of all of
23 this. Things that were going on were in actual fact far worse than that
24 was portrayed in the Serb media. For example, on the 1st of May, 1995,
25 the attack in Slavonia. The main news programme of TV Belgrade carried
1 that particular bit of news only in the 17th minute of their programme.
2 Q. And was there a fanning of hatred against Croats in the Serb
4 A. Never. No Serb ever uttered things like what Tanja Torbarina
5 wrote. Or if you compare it to what the Muslim and the Croat media said,
6 Seselj, who is accused here of disseminating hatred, he was almost a
7 saint. I cannot even utter the words that were written and said there.
8 They are worse than any kind of swear word you could imagine.
9 Q. You mentioned Milan Babic. He testified here. In his testimony
10 on the 18th of November, 2002, and that is on transcript page 12947, 82,
11 84, I'm not going to quote everything he said, but he said that I spread
12 hatred between the Serbs and the Croats, and so on and so forth.
13 A. Mr. President, that statement is totally nonsensical if it has to
14 do with your character. You did not go against your own political enemies
15 in Serbia, let alone somebody outside Serbia.
16 Q. Babic also stated that: "It is strange that Spegelj was accused
17 of buying weapons from Hungary, and that videotape that was shown by the
18 federal Ministry for National Defence, because Milosevic said that he
19 personally bought weapons from Hungary." Can you interpret this
20 statement? It was on transcript page 13104 and 106.
21 A. I did not understand you, Mr. President, especially the latter
22 part of your sentence.
23 Q. Well, he challenged the whole story about Spegelj. And we saw
24 what the Hungarian minister had to say to our minister. He challenged all
25 that. He disputed all that. He will that I bought weapons from Hungary.
1 Do you know anything about that?
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please observe the pause between question and
3 answer. Yes.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I think Mr. Milosevic is
5 misquoting the witness Babic. Of course we have to check first, but I
6 remember very closely that he actually said that he saw the Spegelj tape
7 and that he was shocked about what Spegelj was doing and those kind of
8 things. I remember that very vividly. So I think that's not right, what
9 he's quoted here.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, if you're quoting the transcript,
11 then you must be accurate. Are you in a position to substantiate?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assumed that I was correct, but he
13 stated on transcript page 13550 to 552. And now this is even spelling it
14 out in more precise terms than what I put in my question. "Every time
15 when the officials of the Republic of Serb Krajina met with the Croats or
16 foreign negotiators, they had to consult with Milosevic in order to get
17 instructions. If somebody would oppose that, they would be dismissed."
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So you were the one who conducted the negotiations. How did this
20 work? Is what Babic says here correct?
21 A. It's not correct, and I've already explained.
22 Q. Babic, in relation to the JNA - and that is on transcript page
23 13270 to 74, 75 - he says that: "In August 1991, the JNA stopped
24 protecting only the Serbs in Krajina and, together with other units under
25 its command, they took part in the destruction of non-Serb populations,
1 setting up new boundaries that went beyond the boundaries established
2 through the Krajina referendum."
3 On the basis of your own knowledge, can you assess this? Can you
4 assess the behaviour of the JNA?
5 A. I think that this is pure nonsense. He said that they stopped
6 protecting the Serb people?
7 Q. They stopped protecting the Serbs in Croatia.
8 A. Oh, so they -- protecting them until then. That is to say that
9 they had been in danger. So I can understand that, then, but the Yugoslav
10 People's Army never took part in any persecutions of the non-Serb
11 population. And after all, until the end of 1991, the Yugoslav People's
12 Army was not a Serb army or the Serb army at the time of the fighting at
13 Vukovar, for instance. The commander of the air force was a Croat, Zvonko
14 Jurjevic. I think that Babic here is equating this JNA from 1991 to a
15 purely Serbian army.
16 Q. This witness also says that -- or, rather, do you know these
17 names: Boro Rasuo and Risto Matkovic. He mentions them as people who
18 worked with me, and he said at that time they worked on drafts for the SAO
19 Krajina. Do you know anything about that? Irrespective of this these
20 particular people, but can you say anything about this? Were laws for
21 Krajina written in Belgrade?
22 A. I never met Matkovic. I have met Boro Rasuo. He joined the
23 government when I ceased being foreign minister. I heard that Rasuo took
24 part in writing the legislation of the Republic of the Serb Krajina, and
25 it is certain that they looked at the legislation of Croatia and at the
1 legislation of Serbia when writing the laws of the Republic of Serb
2 Krajina. There is nothing dishonourable about that. People write laws
3 the way they do in any country, Krajina included.
4 Q. Do you have any information about this that someone from Belgrade,
5 for example -- well, if these laws were not written in Belgrade, did
6 anybody from Belgrade suggest to them how they should write some laws? Do
7 you know anything about that?
8 A. My deputy, Petkovic, Srecko Petkovic, deputy foreign minister, I
9 know that he personally took part in the writing of these laws and that he
10 did that in Knin. He probably consulted, say, the laws of Russia or
11 Croatia, and perhaps even Roman law, of course. He took part in the
12 writing of these legal documents. I don't know about other people.
13 Q. Babic claims that Territorial Defence commanders reported directly
14 to the Yugoslav People's Army and not to the government of the Krajina.
15 A. Oh.
16 Q. The transcript page is 12983. Do you know anything about that?
17 A. Mr. President, one should know what the Territorial Defence is.
18 The Territorial Defence was envisaged by the constitution of the Socialist
19 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Municipalities were in charge of
20 Territorial Defence. Secretariats for National Defence within the
21 municipalities. And that is how they were established. However, they
22 respected the command of the then-JNA. As the JNA disappeared from
23 Slovenia or Croatia and Krajina, new armies were born and new Territorial
24 Defences were born. As for Krajina, one should bear in mind the
25 following: In some municipalities there were no secretariats that could
1 have been inherited, so to speak, but some people who had fled from
2 Croatian towns, they did what they could and, together with the people
3 they found there, they comprised the Territorial Defence. How could every
4 Territorial Defence unit report to Belgrade? That is quite unacceptable.
5 Q. He added on that same transcript page that Milosevic directly
6 appointed Territorial Defence commanders in Krajina through the existence
7 of the government of the Krajina.
8 A. This is an incomprehensible assertion. The authority of the
9 Krajina government did not differ from the authority exercised by any
10 government in the world. It is true that our government maintained
11 relations with the governments of other countries as much as possible. We
12 did have relations with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, but always as
13 any other two countries would. And of course that we can consult each
14 other, help each other, exchange experts.
15 Just one more thing, with your permission: I think that we should
16 not understand things to mean that at one point in time the Yugoslav
17 federal state died.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: What is your answer to the question that
19 Mr. Milosevic asked?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have answered. They were not
21 consulted. We decided on our own at government sessions. We made
22 decisions about everything, even including trade.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: And you would have been in a position to know if
24 Mr. Milosevic had directly appointed Territorial Defence commanders in the
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That kind of question was never
2 raised at government meetings, but the General Staff reported to us about
3 the appointments of officers, commanders, and so on. We never even asked
4 about how they became candidates, on what conditions, and how they were
5 appointed; whether it was one general who decided, two generals, the
6 entire General Staff, et cetera. I don't know about that, because
7 everybody was in charge of their own affairs. The government was informed
8 about what I did in the ministry, and the General Staff informed about
9 what was going on in the army.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Babic claims, on page 12997 all the way to 13427, 668, 691, that
13 through parallel structures Milosevic provoked incidents that then in turn
14 led to a reaction of fear among the Serb population and intensified
15 reactions of the Croatian police, and this led to intolerance, violence,
16 all the way up to war. I presented very briefly what he had asserted.
17 What can you say about that, Mr. Jarcevic?
18 A. That is sheer nonsense. The situation was quite different from
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: The last question, Mr. Milosevic.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Babic said that at the end of 1990, tension escalated and that a
23 group headed by Milan Martic, president of the National Council that was
24 dealing with repression against the Serbs, and all of this was done in the
25 hope that the mounting of tensions in parts of Croatia could allow the
1 Yugoslav authorities to interfere, to introduce a state of emergency, and
2 to suspend the authority of the Croatian authorities. That is what he
3 said on the 19th of November, 2002, on transcript page 14104, 105, and
4 119. Can you comment on that?
5 A. This is sheer nonsense yet again, squared. We saw how things
6 happened and what happened in Croatian towns. How could Milan Martic or
7 anybody else influence what was going on there? The plan of the Croatian
8 state was the extermination of the Serbs or the persecution or expulsion
9 of the Serbs. There is nothing else I can say but that.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We will adjourn until tomorrow morning at
11 9.00 a.m. Just a minute.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Kay, I was told that tab -- the Resolution 762
13 was not admitted. What you referred to is Resolution 752.
14 MR. KAY: I misread 752 for 762.
15 JUDGE KWON: So that being the case, we have to admit tab 12.
16 MR. KAY: Yes, my reference was to 752.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: So we will admit tab 12. I thank Judge Kwon.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, take a look at this.
19 In this binder of exhibits, you have a few Resolutions, and it says
20 translation for -- provided for each and every one of them. So these are
21 Resolutions 740, 743, 802, 815, that have to do with the evidence of
22 Mr. Jarcevic in view of the office he held. I thought that there was no
23 reason for me to make copies of Security Council Resolutions.
24 JUDGE KWON: No. Those are the exhibits which were already
25 admitted, but this one was not admitted. And for the sake of
1 completeness, I would admit tab 18, but let's consider that tomorrow.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. We are adjourned.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 28th day
5 of February, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.