Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7077

1 Monday, 16th March 1998

2 (3.45pm)

3 (The accused entered court)

4 JUDGE JORDA: I first wish to apologise on

5 behalf of my colleagues and myself for this delay, but

6 it was due to other official engagements affecting the

7 Tribunal, which is an international body, and obviously

8 has certain obligations which require the presence of

9 the judges. I wish to welcome the accused -- do you

10 hear me, General Blaskic.

11 GENERAL BLASKIC: Good afternoon, your

12 Honours, I can hear you very well indeed.

13 JUDGE JORDA: If General Blaskic can hear me

14 there is every chance parties can hear me as well. We

15 can proceed to the continuation of our hearing.

16 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, your Honours and

17 counsel. We would request, Mr. President, to proceed in

18 a closed session.

19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. As I do not know

20 exactly why you are asking for a closed session,

21 I assume it is in order to explain to us why you are

22 asking for a closed session?

23 MR. HARMON: That is correct.

24 JUDGE JORDA: I say that for the benefit of

25 the public and the observers. I do not wish them to

Page 7078

1 have the impression that immediately the Prosecutor

2 asks for a closed session that we adopt a closed

3 session, but I now understand the reasons. I turn to

4 my colleagues, I have their approval. Under those

5 conditions, we can pass on to a closed session now. A

6 private session or a closed session?

7 MR. HARMON: A private session is sufficient

8 for the purposes of my request.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, private session,

10 Mr. Registrar.

11 (In private session) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

12 Very well, Mr. Prosecutor, we are in private

13 session now. I assume that you have something to

14 explain to us which requires a private session. You

15 have the floor.

16 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President. Some

17 time ago, as a result of events which the court is

18 already familiar with, I was informed by the next

19 Prosecution witness that he wished to proceed in

20 testifying in a closed session. The Prosecutor's

21 Office fully supports his request for the reasons which

22 I will explain and for the reasons which, if the court

23 is desirous, he will explain.

24 In our communications with the Defence to

25 notify them of which witness we were going to call

Page 7079

1 today, I identified the witness to the Defence and

2 I also informed the Defence that we would be requesting

3 a closed session. On Thursday, the 12th, I received a

4 communication back from Mr. Hayman informing me that

5 they would oppose that request absent knowing fully the

6 bases for making that request and I subsequently filed

7 a copy of Mr. Hayman's letter to me as attachment A by

8 consent with counsel.

9 The following day, I met with Mr. Hayman and

10 we discussed some of the bases for the request for a

11 closed session, and I was informed that counsel would

12 discuss the matter amongst themselves upon the return

13 of Mr. Nobilo from Zagreb and I would be informed of

14 their decision. I was informed moments ago that the

15 Defence is not able to agree to a closed session for

16 the witness, and, therefore, I am pursuing my

17 application which I filed on Friday for protective

18 measures for this witness, specifically for a request

19 to proceed with the witness's testimony in a closed

20 session pursuant to Rule 75(B)(ii) and pursuant to

21 79(A)(ii) and A(iii). So now, Mr. President, if the

22 court pleases, I am prepared to expand on the bases for

23 this request, if the court wishes me to do so.

24 MR. HARMON: Following the receipt of the

25 statement that was taken by the Office of the

Page 7080

1 Prosecutor and submitted to the Defence in early May,

2 the complete statement of the witness was distributed

3 through President Tudjman's office and by President

4 Tudjman at the presidential palace on or about 6 May

5 1997. What followed, after the distribution of the

6 statement of Mr. Mesic was the public pillorying of

7 Mr. Mesic in the media.

8 The media campaign was orchestrated at the

9 highest levels of the State of Croatia. Mr. Mesic was

10 branded an traitor and the media incited the public

11 against the witness.

12 Following that incitement, and I have

13 submitted some examples of that with the court and

14 previous filings, Mr. Mesic received a constant stream

15 of threatening phone calls. Both he and his family

16 received phone calls which threatened his life,

17 threatened the lives of his family members.

18 Following the unfortunate publication in the

19 press of his statement, Mr. Mesic was required --

20 obligated -- to defend himself in the media and he made

21 numerous appearances in the media trying to blunt the

22 orchestrated attack that was being mounted against

23 him. It was certainly quite a natural reaction from

24 someone who had been attacked in the press, but it was

25 one that was forced upon him unfortunately, by

Page 7081

1 President Tudjman and the serious violation of Tribunal

2 confidentiality.

3 The fact that he responded to these virulent

4 attacks is not in any way a waiver or intended to be a

5 waiver for his request to testify before this Tribunal

6 and to testify in a session that afforded him

7 protection; that is, a closed session.

8 As part of the State campaign that has been

9 mounted against him, the witness believes now that he

10 is under constant surveillance and he is being

11 followed. Subsequently he received threats from

12 individuals who were responsible -- personal and direct

13 threats -- from individuals who were responsible for

14 the killing of civilians in Pakras Polanje and the

15 killings of a prominent family in Zagreb.

16 These threats were made by persons who were

17 admitted murderers and whose convictions were

18 overturned by the Croatian Supreme Court for a

19 violation relating to non-representation by counsel at

20 the time they made their statements to the authorities.

21 Subsequently, Mr. President, an oblique threat

22 was made against the witness in a most recent past,

23 within the last three weeks, by President Tudjman.

24 Mr. Mesic believes the testimony he is prepared to

25 present to your Honours is valuable testimony, and that

Page 7082

1 the efforts that I have summarised have been

2 orchestrated by persons in the highest positions of

3 power in Croatia in order to prevent him from

4 testifying before you.

5 He believes, Mr. President, and the Prosecutor

6 supports him in this belief, that he and his family are

7 at considerable personal risk if his testimony is made

8 public -- and if his request to proceed in a closed

9 session is denied. Mr. President, and your Honours,

10 Mr. Mesic is prepared to testify about the matters that

11 I have summarised briefly, if the court so desires.

12 That concludes my comments, Mr. President.

13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Hayman,

14 Mr. Nobilo, you are opposed to a closed session.

15 Who is Mr. Mesic actually, Mr. Harmon?

16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, Mr. Mesic is a well

17 known political figure in the former Yugoslavia. He

18 was the last President of the presidency in the former

19 Yugoslavia before Yugoslavia essentially disintegrated

20 or fell apart. Mr. Mesic was a founder -- not a founder

21 but he was instrumental in HDZ political affairs. He

22 was a person who was instrumental in the founding of

23 the HDZ political party in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He has

24 occupied the position of Prime Minister in the Republic

25 of Croatia. He has a variety of high-level Government

Page 7083

1 official positions in Croatia. He is and was an

2 intimate of Franjo Tudjman and he is currently the head

3 -- separated from the HDZ and has formed a separate

4 political party in Opposition to the HDZ in Croatia.

5 I can give greater detail but I think I have

6 hit a significant number of highlights of his

7 distinguished career.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you are opposed on

9 behalf of General Blaskic to testimony in closed

10 session. What are your reasons, please?

11 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Have you tried to reach an

13 agreement -- have you had discussions over this point?

14 MR. NOBILO: No, we had a very short

15 conversation so that we did not touch upon the

16 substance of the issue. But I will be brief. As you

17 know, the Defence has never, so far, opposed any kind

18 of protection measures, because we are aware that

19 people and particularly those in Bosnia-Herzegovina

20 may, at times, be exposed to certain security risks and

21 out of the respect for the integrity of each witness,

22 we never opposed such measures.

23 But the reason why we are disputing it this

24 time is our fear that politicians may draw the Tribunal

25 into some kind of political manipulations so that the

Page 7084

1 Tribunal may become an instrument in the political

2 disputes between political parties in Croatia.

3 Therefore, we are concerned in protecting the integrity

4 of this Tribunal, namely, everything that Mr. Mesic said

5 in his statement for the Prosecutor has -- he has

6 repeated in numerous interviews. I have collected

7 maybe 200 of those interviews. Not a single point that

8 he made in the statement for the Office of the

9 Prosecutor exists which has not been repeated on

10 innumerable occasions.

11 After the publication of his statement, which

12 the Prosecutor places in a rather embarrassing context,

13 because the Prosecutor said that he provided that

14 statement to the Defence after which it was published,

15 but it is also worth noting that it was not a

16 confidential statement -- after the publication of that

17 statement, Mr. Mesic has made at least twice or three

18 times as many interviews, which he used in his

19 political struggle.

20 Furthermore, before going to The Hague,

21 Mr. Mesic promised to give an interview to the

22 journalist about his testimony in The Hague and he said

23 that, after his return from The Hague, at the end of

24 this week, he would grant an interview to a well known

25 Croatian weekly. Therefore, in my view, this is a kind

Page 7085

1 of a political ploy. I think that Croatia, as a legal

2 State, is stable enough to protect all its citizens'

3 security and safety, and he is a public figure, a

4 politician, he is accustomed to debates and discussions

5 and I assure you he is very skilful in that respect and

6 he cannot be intimidated through political debate.

7 As for specific threats made by persons who

8 committed murders in Pakras Polanje against whom

9 proceedings have been dropped, even that is not

10 correct, because those persons are in Croatian

11 detention and criminal proceedings are under way

12 against those persons, so I cannot see how they could

13 have threatened Mr. Mesic.

14 Also the allegation that Tudjman threatened

15 Mr. Mesic has not been explained in any way, so that we

16 cannot comment on it.

17 To sum up, I feel that the security of

18 Mr. Mesic is not in jeopardy, that all the allegations

19 referred to by the Prosecutor regarding statements made

20 by Mr. Mesic are such that he has made them repeatedly

21 to the press and this only makes the work of the

22 Defence more difficult, because the question is how

23 could we use the information Mr. Mesic will give to

24 verify that information, which we have to do -- to

25 verify the statements through people he has worked with

Page 7086

1 in the Croatian leadership. If the hearing is closed,

2 the question is how we can use that information and

3 that data.

4 Furthermore, there is no record of Mr. Mesic

5 requesting any police protection because of any threats

6 made to him. He is a very well known figure and

7 I cannot imagine that his personal safety could have

8 been threatened.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have

10 something to add before the judges make their ruling?

11 MR. HARMON: I do, Mr. President. In the

12 motion that I filed on Friday, on page 4, footnote

13 number 2, I informed the Chamber that Mr. Mesic intends

14 to testify publicly in the Dokmanovic case -- this week

15 -- and obviously the interests in the Dokmanovic case

16 are different than the interests in the testimony that

17 the court may receive and will receive in this

18 particular case. I have conferred with Mr. Mesic,

19 I have asked Mr. Mesic if in fact he has made statements

20 about his willingness to talk to his press after his

21 arrival in The Hague and he said that he has and it

22 relates to his public testimony in the Dokmanovic

23 case. So, I think that we should put those statements

24 of Mr. Mesic's willingness to talk to the press in

25 context with his anticipated public testimony that will

Page 7087

1 occur later this week in a different case.

2 Those are my comments, Mr. President.

3 MR. HAYMAN: May I add two comments,

4 Mr. President?

5 JUDGE JORDA: It is not customary,

6 Mr. Hayman, but, go ahead.

7 MR. HAYMAN: The first would be it would be

8 helpful if we could be served with the application that

9 was filed on Friday. We have never received it. It

10 would help us speak more directly perhaps to the

11 Prosecutor's assertions, including the assertion made

12 in footnote 4 which we were not aware of in even the

13 most general sense, until Mr. Nobilo started to get

14 phone calls from members of the news media in Zagreb

15 asking him about Mr. Mesic's upcoming testimony, which

16 he declined to comment on in any way, shape or

17 fashion. The fact that Mr. Mesic has an appointment

18 with the news media to talk about his testimony in this

19 other case raises a rather obvious question, and that

20 is, he is going to be asked, "Did you testify in the

21 Blaskic case?" Apparently, he is going to lie to the

22 Croatian news media and say, "No, I did not; I was here

23 to testify in a different case", and I query if the

24 Tribunal should be a party to that type of fraud and

25 deception.

Page 7088

1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I turn first

2 towards my colleagues -- no questions? We are going to

3 withdraw and discuss the point. The hearing is

4 adjourned.

5 (4.05pm)

6 (Short adjournment)

7 (4.23pm)

8 JUDGE JORDA: After having deliberated, the

9 judges have decided unanimously that Mr. Mesic's

10 testimony will be in closed session.

11 Mr. Registrar, we can move from a private

12 session into a closed session

13 (In closed session) [Confidentiality lifted by later order of the Chamber]

14 MR. HARMON: May I raise a second point that

15 was part of our discussions last Friday with

16 Mr. Hayman? If I can identify what the problem is and

17 the solution at the same time, I would like to do that

18 at this point in time.

19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, it is very pleasing

20 for this Tribunal to the hear one of the parties

21 raising -- not only raising a problem but also

22 providing a solution to it.

23 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, it came to my

24 attention when I was talking to the witness that

25 Mr. Mesic has in the past been represented by

Page 7089

1 Mr. Nobilo. He has been his counsel in other issues in

2 other litigation. That raised in my mind a potential

3 conflict of interest with the cross-examination by

4 Mr. Nobilo of Mr. Mesic, and, in order to avoid any

5 possible point should there be a conviction and on

6 appeal of a conflict of interest existing between

7 Mr. Nobilo cross-examining his former client, I identify

8 that problem to Mr. Hayman.

9 Mr. Hayman and I had a conversation briefly

10 before we came to court and I was informed that

11 Mr. Blaskic is prepared to waive any potential conflict

12 of interest, should Mr. Nobilo conduct the

13 cross-examination.

14 MR. HAYMAN: That is correct, Mr. President,

15 we can put that waiver on the record, if necessary.

16 I would note, though, that months ago the Defence

17 advised the Prosecution and the court that Mr. Nobilo --

18 that Mr. Mesic had been a client of Mr. Nobilo's, so that

19 is in the record. That is not something that has been

20 concealed. In fact it was affirmatively disclosed.

21 JUDGE JORDA: First, thank you for this

22 clarification. First, we note, and the Registrar will

23 ensure that everything is put into the transcript,

24 stating that the General has given up his right to

25 invoke this issue later on. There may be reasons for

Page 7090

1 appeal, although that is not the main reason. I would

2 also like to express my concern whether it might be

3 more efficient if Mr. Hayman were to conduct the

4 cross-examination. Would that not be even better -- a

5 better guarantee, subject to you being given some time

6 if it was Mr. Nobilo who prepared it? What do you

7 think, Mr. Hayman?

8 MR. HAYMAN: We think the waiver is efficient

9 and in light of the waiver either one of us can conduct

10 the cross-examination. In reality there are many

11 documents in the Croatian language which Mr. Nobilo will

12 potentially be using so he has prepared the cross so

13 I expect him to conduct the cross-examination, with

14 leave of the court.

15 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to consult with

16 my colleagues at the bench.

17 (Pause).

18 Also unanimously, the judges have decided

19 that they would accept the suggestions both by the

20 Prosecution and the Defence and the accused.

21 Therefore, Mr. Nobilo will conduct the

22 cross-examination, since the accused has given -- has

23 waived his right to any challenge later on, on that

24 score. Do you have a third problem, Mr. Harmon, for

25 which of course you would also have a solution?

Page 7091

1 MR. HARMON: My only request in clarification,

2 Mr. President, is that General Blaskic actually state

3 affirmatively for the record that he is prepared to

4 waive the conflict of interest. Counsel has indicated

5 he is prepared to do so but we have not heard from

6 General Blaskic yet on that particular point.

7 JUDGE JORDA: I am very pleased to hear

8 General Blaskic -- sometimes I speak to him directly,

9 but perhaps I could ask him more specifically in this

10 case to rise and to say that you give up any right for

11 appeal, because of this possible conflict of interest

12 that might exist between Mr. Nobilo's position, who was

13 the former counsel of Mr. Mesic and the current position

14 of Mr. Nobilo which allows him to conduct the

15 cross-examination. Please state your case clearly and

16 out loud.

17 GENERAL BLASKIC: Your Honours, I feel rather

18 embarrassed to speak after your ruling on this issue.

19 I know that Mr. Stjepan Mesic was a client of my

20 attorney Mr. Nobilo and I waive any potential legal

21 objections regarding possible conflict of interest in

22 that connection.

23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, General Blaskic.

24 Mr. Harmon, are you completely satisfied and do you have

25 a fourth question?

Page 7092

1 MR. HARMON: No, I have no fourth question and

2 I am completely satisfied, thank you, Mr. President.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, you might now ask

4 the Registrar to have the witness brought in, who will

5 be called by his name, because this is a closed

6 session.

7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, would you want me

8 to summarise before the witness steps into the

9 courtroom what his testimony will cover?

10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, before he comes into the

11 courtroom, you should given us the general outline of

12 the testimony. Of course, subject to your using that

13 for something else later on. We want to be careful

14 that your summary brings out the things you are going

15 to emphasise later on. Go ahead.

16 MR. HARMON: As I touched upon briefly, the

17 next witness, Mr. Mesic, is an important political

18 figure in the history of the fall of Yugoslavia, the

19 disintegration of Yugoslavia and he has played an

20 important role in both Croatian politics and the

21 politics of the Socialist Federal Republic of

22 Yugoslavia. Rather than recount the various highlights

23 of his distinguished career now, I am going to ask him

24 to summarise those, so you will be familiar with who he

25 is when he comes before you.

Page 7093

1 He is going to testify about the development

2 of the HDZ political party, both the founding of it in

3 Croatia and the founding of it in Bosnia, and he will

4 discuss the relationship between the HDZ party in

5 Bosnia and the party in Croatia.

6 Because he was a confidante of Franjo

7 Tudjman, the current President of the Republic of

8 Croatia, he has had an opportunity to hear Mr. Tudjman's

9 views about Bosnia and about Bosnian Muslims. He will

10 convey to you what Dr Tudjman's views are in respect of

11 both those topics. He will testify about President

12 Tudjman's dual policy towards Bosnia, one which was a

13 public policy of recognition of the independence of

14 Bosnia, and a clandestine policy to divide Bosnia

15 between Croatia and Serbia.

16 He will testify in that regard about a

17 meeting that took place in 1991 between Slobodan

18 Milosevic and President Tudjman at Kar Zordzivo, after

19 which President Tudjman's clandestine policy to divide

20 Bosnia was implemented. He will also testify about

21 some of the meetings in Zagreb that occurred between

22 Franjo Tudjman and Mate Boban, Dario Kordic, Anto

23 Valenta, Ignac Kostroman, and other luminaries of

24 Herceg-Bosna.

25 He will testify about the current laws in

Page 7094

1 Croatia, laws that existed at the time Bosnia was

2 independent, but laws which deal with elections and

3 which tend to undercut the independence of Bosnia.

4 He will testify about Croatian involvement in

5 the Croat Muslim war in Bosnia. He will describe to

6 your Honours the impact of the Vance-Owen peace plan on

7 the thinking of political leaders both in Croatia and

8 in Herceg-Bosna and, lastly, he will testify about

9 conversations he had in respect of Ahmici.

10 That, Mr. President, is a summary of his

11 testimony. His testimony will be relevant to

12 paragraphs 5.0 and 5.1 of the general allegations

13 section of the indictment which allege the existence of

14 an international armed conflict, and his testimony is

15 relevant to all grave breaches counts of the

16 indictment, those counts being 5, 8, 11, 15, 17, and

17 19. That concludes my introductory remarks,

18 Mr. President.

19 JUDGE JORDA: After the agreement with one

20 of my colleagues, but of course we work in three, so

21 I will speak to my colleague -- I want to consult with

22 him before I ask you a question on a certain point.

23 Did you speak with this witness about Rule

24 90(F), because this is a closed session; he

25 participated if I understood things correctly at the

Page 7095

1 highest levels of Mr. Tudjman's policies. I do not know

2 if he was involved in any kinds of acts. Did you speak

3 about this with him, because we are going to ask him

4 questions on that subject?

5 MR. HARMON: I did not raise this subpart of

6 Rule 90 with him, because I did not think it applied to

7 him based on the nature of the testimony he was

8 prepared to give.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. If you are sure,

10 okay, I thank you. We can have Mr. Mesic brought in.

11 (The witness entered court)

12 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Mr. Mesic?

13 MR. MESIC: I do.

14 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please remain

15 standing. First, tell us your name and -- your family

16 name and your given names?

17 MR. MESIC: Stjepan Mesic.

18 JUDGE JORDA: Stjepan Mesic, thank you. The

19 usher will give you a declaration, which is your oath.

20 Please read it.

21 MR. MESIC: I solemnly declare that I will

22 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the

23 truth.

24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may be

25 seated. You will answer the Prosecution's questions,

Page 7096

1 who has called you to testify at the International

2 Criminal Tribunal in the trial against General Blaskic,

3 the accused, who is here in this courtroom. You will

4 make your statement freely, in sequences and the

5 Prosecutor will introduce the plan to use and to enter

6 the cohesiveness of what will be said for the judges.

7 STJEPAN MESIC

8 Examined by MR. HARMON

9 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. Mesic.

10 Mr. Mesic, I am going to ask you a series of questions

11 and I am going to identify the topic and the subject

12 area of those questions. I will then ask you to tell

13 the judges in a narrative form the answers that you

14 have in respect of each of those subject areas.

15 I would like first to begin by asking you to inform the

16 court, if you would, about your background, about your

17 distinguished political career, about the various

18 positions that you have held both in the Socialist

19 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in the Republic of

20 Yugoslavia when it was one of the Republics of the

21 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and the

22 positions you have held in the Republic of Yugoslavia

23 since its independence?

24 A. Thank you. I was born 1934 in Orahovica in

25 Croatia. I completed my elementary school in

Page 7097

1 Orahovica, but this was during the war years, so

2 I spent part of my schooling in Hungary because we had

3 to retreat there as refugees because this was the very

4 end of the war.

5 I graduated from the middle school -- the

6 secondary school in Pozega and then law school in

7 Zagreb. I practised in Narsica and then in Zagreb.

8 I was then a judge for a year, and after that I worked

9 as legal counsel for a company in Zagreb, and then, by

10 accident almost, I was elected a member of Parliament

11 in Zagreb. This was in 1965. At that time, there was

12 only the League of Communists and the Socialist

13 Alliance that could field candidates who would then

14 become members of Parliament if they were elected.

15 There was another possibility, that is, that

16 100 citizens show up in court and petition for a

17 candidate, and in that manner, this candidate would be

18 on equal footing with the candidates fielded by the

19 Communists. I was the first person during the

20 Communist system who did this, and nobody did it after

21 me. I was the first one -- I brought 100 people

22 there. Then I was elected, and I was unique in that

23 way.

24 I was a member of the Croatian Spring and,

25 after 1971, I was unemployed and I also received a

Page 7098

1 sentence of two years and two months. I spent that

2 sentence in Stara Gradiska. I could not become an

3 attorney, even though I did pass the bar exam, because

4 I was not politically and morally qualified, as it was

5 said in those days.

6 After a while, I was employed finally by an

7 architectural studio to do the legal affairs for them.

8 Its director later retired and then I became a

9 director. The committee of the League of Communists

10 tried to oppose my election. However, it was a small

11 company, so there was not much opposition and

12 I passed.

13 In 1989, I was again elected as a member of

14 Parliament to the same position, which I had held in

15 1965. I got a mandate to form the Croatian Government

16 and I had to step down as a member of Parliament.

17 After a while, the Parliament -- the Croatian

18 Parliament sent me to Belgrade to become a member of

19 the Presidency and this decision was adopted by the

20 Croatian Parliament. I was first the Vice-President

21 and then President of the Presidency of the Socialist

22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. There was a lot of

23 difficulties, because the Serb side was opposed to

24 my assuming the position of first Vice-President and

25 then President of the Presidency, even though it was a

Page 7099

1 constitutional provision.

2 After the pressure of the European Troika,

3 I was elected to this position and I was in this

4 position until the end of 1991, whereupon I returned to

5 Zagreb and I was a member of the executive board of the

6 Croatian Democratic Union, and I was in this position

7 until 1992, and in the elections of 1992 I was

8 re-elected to the Croatian Parliament and then I became

9 the President of the Croatian Parliament.

10 Among the political duties which I held

11 during the establishment of the Croatian Democratic

12 Union, I was elected Secretary-General of this party

13 and I was in this position and I was elected to

14 President of the Croatian Government.

15 And now, in a manner of speaking, I am

16 outside of the party institutions. I was a member --

17 there were three Croatian parties -- Croatian

18 independents -- and a third party fused and I became

19 their President, after having left the ruling party,

20 the HDZ.

21 Q. Let me ask you some clarifications on some of

22 the points you raised. In 1971, you mentioned the

23 Croatian Spring. Can you tell the judges, what was the

24 Croatian Spring?

25 A. The Croatian Spring was actually a movement

Page 7100

1 led by a section of the Communist party, or, rather,

2 the top leadership of the Croatian League of

3 Communists, that is the most progressive part, but it

4 consisted of several parts. One was the students'

5 movement, another was a trade union movement and the

6 third section was a cultural institution known as the

7 Matica Hrvatska, and all three comprised the Croatian

8 Spring.

9 Q. You mentioned that you had been convicted of

10 something. Could you expand on that -- tell the judges

11 exactly what you were convicted of?

12 A. This would sound rather ridiculous nowadays,

13 the charges made against me. Nowadays it is certainly

14 not a criminal offence -- it is not even a

15 misdemeanour, but in those days it was a serious

16 charge, namely, with the formation of the Matica

17 Hrvatska, this cultural association, and its branches

18 in the municipalities, I visited a number of those

19 branch offices -- Slatina, Orahovica, Donje Mikoholjic,

20 Vukovar, and other places, and I said in one of those

21 places that the Croats had paved their way to the

22 Adriatic with their swords in their hands, whereas

23 others had reached that area, either due to our

24 goodness, and we also said that the important thing is

25 for the devil to warm on the fire and not to extinguish

Page 7101

1 it.

2 The third thing I said was that it was

3 certain that the Croats had killed the Yugoslav

4 Ambassador, Rolovic, in Sweden, but that that was not

5 in the interests of the Croatian people, because we

6 were advocating democratisation in Croatia and

7 Yugoslavia and for the adoption of amendments which

8 would lead to a confederal structure and, therefore,

9 the murder, the assassination of the Yugoslavia

10 Ambassador was not in our interests. When I said that,

11 even though the Croats had been the murderers, but

12 I said that the investigation would establish who was

13 behind the act.

14 Of course, when this was interpreted in the

15 judiciary, they found that I had the Serbs in mind, and

16 that I was implying that the Belgrade police was behind

17 this, and this was sufficient to get me a sentence of

18 two years and two months in prison.

19 Q. Next, Mr. Mesic, you said in 1990 you became

20 the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia within

21 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Can you

22 tell me who appointed you to that position?

23 A. I was appointed by the Croatian Parliament,

24 and I was proposed by the President of the Republic,

25 Dr. Franjo Tudjman.

Page 7102

1 Q. Now, I would like to turn your attention,

2 Mr. Mesic, to another topic, and that is the development

3 of the HDZ party in Croatia. Could you please tell the

4 judges about the development of that party in Croatia,

5 its evolution, both in terms from a movement to a

6 political party, and its political philosophy as well?

7 A. Thank you. With the elimination of the

8 Croatian Spring, that is the end of 1971, all

9 democratic processes in Croatia were halted. They were

10 halted throughout Yugoslavia. Persecution was

11 considerable, and more than 10,000 of us participants

12 in this "Spring" ended up in prison. But an even

13 larger number were left jobless, or were mistreated in

14 other ways. However, that is the way life is, so what

15 happened was that this pressure eased, so that

16 somewhere after 1985 or 1986 we started thinking more

17 about the possibilities of us -- the people of the

18 Opposition -- organising ourselves.

19 I must say that we met in various groups and

20 already in 1988 we started thinking about publishing a

21 journal -- a newspaper -- which would be outside the

22 control of the powers that be.

23 However, with the process of democratisation

24 in Croatia, and in Serbia Milosevic came to power, who

25 manifested aspirations towards expanding the borders of

Page 7103

1 Serbia by abolishing the autonomy of Kosovo and

2 Vojvodina. Amongst us, the process of party formation

3 was accelerated and the first such party was formed in

4 1989, the Croatian Social Liberal Party, and we, that

5 is, the circle of people, worked on the formation of

6 the Croatian Democratic Community -- using the term

7 "community" so as to avoid the use of the term "a

8 party", because, at that time, it was not allowed, so

9 that the potential danger existed of Parties being

10 abolished and in this way the Croatian Democratic

11 Community would be exempted from that and I think

12 I joined the HDZ a month or two after it was founded.

13 That is, a very large circle of people was involved in

14 the formation of the party, a founding assembly was

15 scheduled, several hundred people attended, but the

16 rumour spread that the police had outlawed the meeting

17 and Franjo Tudjman, together with 56 of his followers,

18 went to a football stadium and proclaimed the formation

19 of the party, the main board was elected and he was

20 elected President of that board , so I did not

21 participate in those very first elections, someone else

22 was elected at the time, Mr. Bobetko, and after that

23 I was elected to that post when I joined the Croatian

24 Democratic Community.

25 Q. Could you describe the political philosophy

Page 7104

1 of the HDZ at its inception and any changes in that

2 philosophy -- any evolution of that philosophy?

3 A. Since all of us Opposition people had opted

4 for democracy and the multi-party system even before

5 the elections, it was clear that the HDZ, in its

6 programme, supported such a multi-party system, and

7 democracy and all democratic processes.

8 At the time when parties were still being

9 formed, they collaborated amongst themselves, even

10 though they were competitors. However, the majority of

11 Parties were shaped or modelled on European political

12 Parties, whereas the HDZ increasingly acquired the

13 characteristics of a movement -- it did not rid itself

14 of this to this day and, even today, it is still a

15 movement. Precisely because the HDZ assumed a monopoly

16 over power, introducing centralisation of power and

17 resources, and precisely because that community did not

18 take the shape of a party, it became an obstacle to the

19 development of democracy, so that we had increasingly

20 the hallmarks of a single party system.

21 The HDZ had a monopoly over power, the other

22 Parties could in no way jeopardise the authority of the

23 HDZ, and most of the decisions, regardless of how

24 productive they may have been or not, they were always

25 adopted, even those which actually halted

Page 7105

1 democratisation in Croatia.

2 Even when the policy towards Bosnia --

3 Bosnia's turn came, that is the policy towards

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I departed from the policy of the

5 HDZ in those days and that is why in 1994, together

6 with 11 deputies of the Croatian Parliament,

7 I abandoned the HDZ and we formed a new party.

8 Q. Mr. Mesic, did the philosophy or the character

9 of the HDZ political party change as a result of

10 Slobodan Milosevic's pleas to nationalism --

11 nationalistic impulses of Serbs who lived in

12 Croatia?

13 A. I must say that there were various factors

14 that influenced the structuring of the HDZ and its

15 policies. One of the most important factors could be

16 said to have been the policies of Slobodan Milosevic,

17 who, with his ultra nationalistic policies in Serbia,

18 contributed to the radicalisation of policies in

19 Slovenia, in Croatia and in Macedonia and, therefore,

20 clearly in Bosnia-Herzegovina; namely, Slobodan

21 Milosevic, by his radical policies, destroyed or

22 abolished the autonomy of Kosovo, the autonomy of

23 Vojvodina; he toppled the leadership of Montenegro;

24 and, clearly, one could not expect a better fate for

25 Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Macedonia in the future

Page 7106

1 structuring of the State.

2 This strengthened all those forces which were

3 opposing this radical Serb policy, which looked for

4 like-minded people among the Serbs in Croatia.

5 Unfortunately, we did not manage to win over the Serbs

6 in Croatia to a sufficient degree to oppose these

7 policies of Milosevic's, so that he won considerable

8 influence among the Serbs in Croatia.

9 However, that policy also had an impact on

10 the formation of a rather powerful Croatian radical

11 structure within the HDZ, as well as in other Parties,

12 but certainly less so among the Opposition Parties.

13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, we might take a

14 short break now, say 15 minutes, and after that we will

15 try to work for about an hour, until about quarter

16 after 6.00.

17 (5.00pm)

18 (A short break)

19 (5.20pm)

20 (The accused entered court)

21 JUDGE JORDA: We will work until 6 o'clock.

22 Please continue.

23 MR. HARMON: When we took our break, you were

24 telling the judges about the effect that Milosevic's

25 appeals to Serb nationalism had on the HDZ political

Page 7107

1 party in Croatia. Could you please continue describing

2 that effect?

3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be

4 advised to put on the microphone, please?

5 A. It is well known that Milosevic came to power

6 in Serbia precisely on this emotional charge. There

7 was resistance in Kosovo that took place due to this

8 Serb policy and he broke this down both in Kosovo

9 and in Vojvodina and continued on in Montenegro and

10 there was a danger after these democratic changes that

11 the same situation would be repeated in Croatia,

12 especially since Milosevic -- not just Milosevic but

13 everybody who followed his policies -- remained

14 constant threats to all the other Republics.

15 Milosevic himself was not interested in any

16 kind of Yugoslavia, either federal or confederal. He

17 was only interested in Serbia and that was a Serbia

18 that would have wider borders. The biggest threat of

19 such a policy was for Croatia, because there was a

20 Serb population in Croatia, which was about

21 10 per cent of the total population.

22 Part of this population was in all Croatian

23 cities, so there, there was no great danger of any

24 radicalism. However, where there were larger

25 concentrations of Serbs, Milosevic's influence was also

Page 7108

1 greater and a party was created -- an exclusively

2 Serb Democratic party headed by Govan Raskovic,

3 which radicalised Serbs precisely based on the policies

4 of Slobodan Milosevic.

5 At first Serb demands were for cultural

6 autonomy. However, as this nationalist charge rose,

7 the demands also kept rising, so that there was a case

8 of closing roads in Croatia, which was called "the

9 Timber Revolution", and as a member of the Croatian

10 Government, I invited representatives of all Serb

11 communities to sit down together and to look for a

12 solution so that this would stop -- that this process

13 of radicalisation would stop and that we would open up

14 communication lines, roads, and railroads and that the

15 production would go on in the normal way.

16 The representatives of all Serb

17 communities with a Serb majority accepted this

18 except for Milan Babic, who, together with Jovan

19 Raskovic, was in direct contact with Belgrade, that is,

20 with Slobodan Milosevic and he, being in contact with

21 Belgrade, received instructions from Belgrade not to go

22 to such a meeting, and after that, we were turned down

23 by all these Serb municipalities -- majority

24 municipalities. They were told not to negotiate with

25 the Croatian Government and we were brought in a very

Page 7109

1 difficult situation, because the Croatian economy

2 pretty much ground to a halt.

3 There was a problem with health care system,

4 with the social system -- the entire State system, due

5 to this resistance of these radicals, Serb elements,

6 who were receiving instructions exclusively from

7 Belgrade and from Slobodan Milosevic.

8 Since this then became an obstacle for

9 Croatia, the Croatian nationalists also became

10 radicalised and all Serbs became guilty in the eyes of

11 all the Croats and vice versa, so there is a general

12 guilt going on both ways and it is not clear that

13 Slobodan Milosevic was the person who planned all this,

14 so this radicalisation was an obstacle for us to

15 continue with democratic processes. All these

16 processes were halted and this all then led to heating

17 up of the situation and eventually to the war.

18 Q. Did the increasing nationalism impact on the

19 HDZ party and the leader of the HDZ party?

20 A. Yes, of course. When we established HDZ,

21 I must say that the leadership, in any event, was more

22 democratically oriented. A large number of them were

23 anti-fascists. Starting from Franjo Tudjman, Josip

24 Boljkovac and Manolic -- they were all World War II

25 veterans, so there was no possibility at the time of

Page 7110

1 the establishment of the HDZ to do that. However,

2 later, the policies became more radical and the

3 elements grew stronger, who were looking for their

4 inspiration in the puppet Second World War Croatian

5 State -- puppet of fascist Italy and Germany. It was

6 clear that Croatia today could only be formed on the

7 traditions of anti-fascism. It was created in World

8 War II as a federal unit and this was later confirmed

9 in the constitution, but we still had a number of

10 obstacles coming from those who believed that they

11 could bring back some historical illusions. They did

12 not understand that history was one thing and the

13 present parliament was something completely different

14 and that in history only things that happened really

15 are -- are real. We cannot change that. We can only

16 reinterpret things.

17 Q. Now, Mr. Mesic, just for the record and so it

18 is perfectly clear, who was the head of the HDZ

19 political party in Croatia?

20 A. It is well known that Franjo Tudjman was

21 elected as the first President of the HDZ. When it was

22 established HDZ had several candidates for President,

23 but Franjo Tudjman won and after that, until now, he

24 has been the President of this party, which is really

25 not a party -- it is a movement. It is a movement

Page 7111

1 which has penetrated all State mechanisms. It controls

2 the media, it is a movement that controls all the

3 economic mechanisms -- everything is centralised. The

4 power is centralised in all its segments. So that this

5 kind of a set-up has really stopped the process of

6 democratisation. However, these processes are going on

7 and things will get better.

8 Q. Mr. Mesic, I would like to turn your attention

9 to another topic and that is the development of the HDZ

10 political party in Bosnia. First off, do you know

11 approximately when the HDZ political party was

12 established in Bosnia, and did you have a role in

13 establishing that party?

14 A. It is correct -- after the HDZ was

15 established in Croatia, a decision was adopted to go

16 into the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and for this

17 don Anto Bakovic and Perica Juric were put in charge of

18 this job. I think that this job was done fairly

19 quickly. The HDZ gained strength in Bosnia very

20 quickly, precisely because a large number of Muslims

21 also joined the HDZ there. The first President of the

22 HDZ was Perinovic -- he is a physician. After that,

23 there were certain personnel changes, but, also, the

24 changes within the structure of the HDZ itself -- of

25 the party -- so that people dropped out -- those people

Page 7112

1 who were not part of the Croatian population dropped

2 out.

3 Q. Mr. Mesic, was the HDZ political party in

4 Croatia and the party in Bosnia related? Can you

5 describe that relationship to the judges?

6 A. In the formal sense, I must say, for truth's

7 sake, formally the HDZ in Croatia was separate from the

8 HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- that is formally, but, in

9 reality, all decisions are made in Zagreb and I think

10 that there is no doubt about it. I do not think that

11 -- there is no question of the HDZ in Bosnia being an

12 independent party in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- formally

13 yes, but not in reality.

14 Q. Would you take the judges through the

15 leadership of the HDZ political party in Bosnia,

16 starting with Dr. Perinovic and identify who he was,

17 what his ethnic background was, what his political

18 philosophy was and take us through the succession of

19 leaders in the HDZ political party in Bosnia, if you

20 would, please.

21 A. Before this first founding convention of the

22 HDZ in Bosnia, it was not clear who was going to be its

23 President. Don Anto Bakovic aspired to that position

24 -- he is a Croat from Bosnia. However, the decision

25 was made in Zagreb that Mr. Perinovic would be elected

Page 7113

1 to that post. However, later, it was found out that he

2 kept certain things from the public, that he had

3 Serb background, that his ancestor was a priest of

4 the Orthodox church, and it was not the fact that he

5 was a Serb, but that he did not reveal this fact -- it

6 was believed that he could then do that with things

7 that were of interest for Croatia and so a new person

8 was sought and Mr. Stjepan Kljujic was found, so he was

9 elected President of the HDZ in Bosnia.

10 I have to say that he was a tried and true

11 advocate of Bosnia-Herzegovina as one State, and this

12 put him on a collision course with those whose

13 interests was not the same. I was given the role of

14 replacing Mr. Kljujic at the meeting in Siroki Brijeg.

15 I was present there and I told Mr. Kljujic that I was

16 there, I was sent to relieve him of duty. However, in

17 discussions with the executive board of the HDZ of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I realised that he had the full

19 support of these people -- most of these people fully

20 supported him, because the process of separation or

21 division between the factions there had not yet taken

22 place, that is, the faction that would advocate a

23 separate Herceg-Bosna.

24 I told him that, "When I go back to Zagreb,

25 I will tell Mr. Franjo Tudjman that I could not relieve

Page 7114

1 you of duty and that I had to leave the status quo

2 there". However, Stjepan Kljujic said that, if Franjo

3 Tudjman reached a decision to relieve him of duty, "He

4 will do it one way or the other, so I am not going to

5 resist this. I am going to resign and I am going to

6 leave Siroki Brijeg and go to Sarajevo". I had no

7 option but to seek a replacement for him.

8 This was Miljenko Brkic, who was a university

9 professor, a highly educated person who also was an

10 advocate of a whole Herceg-Bosna. Today he is in

11 Sarajevo and he stayed on this duty for several months

12 and then a change took place, and he is replaced by

13 Mate Boban. I had no part in that any longer.

14 Q. Mr. Mesic, let me ask you some questions about

15 the parts of your testimony you have just concluded.

16 You said that you were given the role to relieve

17 Stjepan Kljujic as the head of the HDZ party in Bosnia;

18 who gave you that role?

19 A. The same person who took the decision that

20 Stjepan Kljujic should be elected President of the HDZ

21 for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is the President of

22 the HDZ for Croatia, Dr. Franjo Tudjman.

23 Q. Why did he give you the role to relieve

24 Stjepan Kljujic as the head of the HDZ party in Bosnia?

25 A. There was an objection from

Page 7115

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, conveyed to Zagreb, to the effect

2 that Stjepan Kljujic did not sufficiently protect the

3 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that he did not protect

4 sufficiently the Croatian interests, that he did not

5 advocate them sufficiently vehemently, and that he was

6 a Croat actually under the control of Alija

7 Izetbegovic, and for this reason a person should be

8 sought who would be totally committed to the protection

9 of Croatian interests.

10 Q. And, in fact, Mr. Mesic, Stjepan Kljujic was

11 married to a Muslim woman; is that correct?

12 A. Yes, he still is.

13 Q. Good. Now, eventually, you said that Mate

14 Boban came to become the President of the HDZ political

15 party in Bosnia. Can you tell the judges what his

16 relationship was to Franjo Tudjman?

17 A. Before Boban, the acting President was

18 Miljenko Brkic, after whom came Mate Boban. I must say

19 that I was not too happy with this solution, though

20 I knew Boban for many years, ever since the 60s --

21 1967-68. He developed, or rather his political views

22 developed from those of a man who was interested in

23 democracy, to a man who started implementing policies

24 which were imposed by Zagreb, or, rather, by Franjo

25 Tudjman, and eventually he was totally committed to it

Page 7116

1 and he implemented it.

2 Whenever I spoke to him, he always said, and

3 claimed, "I have no policies of my own. I am

4 implementing what is expected of me from Zagreb -- what

5 the President of the HDZ asks, is asking me to do".

6 Unfortunately, that policy had its repercussions, but

7 of a negative nature.

8 Q. Did Mr. Boban tell you as well that he had to

9 consult with Mr. Tudjman in respect of any important

10 decision he took regarding Herceg-Bosna?

11 A. Yes, he said that, but even if he did not,

12 the Croatian television broadcast daily images of

13 people from the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina coming to

14 Croatia. This could be seen daily on television, in

15 the media, in the press. At first, these were visits

16 by a delegation of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after

17 which these visits became visits by delegations of the

18 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna and now that is

19 called a visit by a delegation of the Croatian people

20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina calling on President Tudjman,

21 but, in fact, they were always the same people coming

22 to visit -- only the name has changed.

23 Q. Mr. Mesic, could you please describe to the

24 judges the political philosophy of the HDZ in Croatia

25 at its inception, and how it evolved, and what it

Page 7117

1 evolved to?

2 A. From the moment we accepted the new

3 possibilities for the achievement of democracy in

4 Croatia, until major divisions occurred, when we

5 embarked upon the democratisation process, we said that

6 affiliations with different Parties should not be

7 considered, meaning that we were enemies amongst

8 ourselves, simply because we belonged to different

9 Parties, that we simply held different views about

10 various problems and that is precisely why we belonged

11 to different Parties, because we had different

12 solutions to offer to those problems.

13 And, when the HDZ was formed, this attitude

14 was adopted. But, in time, as the movement did not --

15 was not transformed into a party, it was not structured

16 as a party, there was a great deal of slowing down of

17 democratisation which was eventually totally halted,

18 and even the transformation of socially-owned property

19 or social ownership was used to implement definite

20 policies of the HDZ.

21 Actually, for people who have not lived in

22 our part of the world, it is difficult to understand

23 what the term "social property" means and what its

24 transformation implies. In fact, it was used for a

25 robbery of the century such as probably not been seen

Page 7118

1 anywhere else, namely, in the east and all the

2 countries of transition, there was State property, only

3 marginally private property and there was cooperative

4 property. In the former Yugoslavia, we also had, in

5 addition, "Social property", for which there is no

6 affirmative definition. There is a negative definition

7 only. "Social property" is described as not being

8 cooperative or private or State property. The workers,

9 through their workers' councils, managed a factory and

10 an economic enterprise and the management board took

11 care of the technology of the business side, headed by

12 a manager, who was appointed by a certain mechanism,

13 but the influence of the League of Communists was such

14 that any enterprise of any significance -- the

15 management of that enterprise was decided by the party

16 committee.

17 In principle, this social property made it

18 possible for us to be closer to a market economy,

19 closer to democratic societies, because, after all,

20 these were economic entities that were relatively

21 independent in decision-making, but the actual

22 management of the enterprise was under the control of

23 the party, or, rather, the League of Communists.

24 In order to establish a society similar to

25 that in the free world, we had to identify the owner.

Page 7119

1 We had to establish who was in fact the owner, so that

2 we could be compatible with western societies. This

3 meant transforming this social property. In principle,

4 we should have followed the trace to the source of the

5 capital. In that case, the owners would be the former

6 owners of the segment which would be worked out

7 mathematically -- the owners whose property was

8 nationalised under Communism; then the banks to whom

9 loans were not returned, again, this could be

10 calculated; and, finally, the workers who used to work

11 in those enterprises would receive their shares through

12 their pension funds, because they contributed to the

13 capital of those enterprises, and then the present-day

14 employees turn would come. That should have been the

15 principle to be implemented.

16 However, the HDZ leadership combined this

17 transformation with privatisation, so that only

18 fraudulent sales occurred, when individuals without a

19 dollar in their pocket would purchase entire

20 enterprises -- people who had no idea how to manage

21 became managers, and what we had were people who

22 destroyed the Croatian economy so that, among

23 enterprises of significance, all that is left are

24 warehouses with the workers being unemployed.

25 The HDZ decided to grab capital while in

Page 7120

1 power, and then, tomorrow, to continue to rule through

2 ownership of capital. Of course, a key role was played

3 in all this by the HDZ policy towards the media, which

4 are absolutely, in the majority of cases, under the

5 control of the HDZ, especially the electronic media and

6 the TV.

7 In that sense, the HDZ, as a movement, became

8 an obstacle to the development of democracy, and, in

9 that sense, it changed its appearance from the

10 beginning, when it promised to struggle for democracy

11 together with other courses, to become an element

12 halting democratisation and imposing a new

13 totalitarianism itself.

14 Q. The HDZ political party in Bosnia, when it

15 was founded, did it favour a sovereign Bosnian State

16 and was it a party of inclusion; that is, it welcomed

17 Serbs and Croats and Muslims?

18 A. Yes, that is also evidence of this, because a

19 large number of Muslims participated, and became

20 members of the HDZ, so that, at the first elections,

21 there was a concrete result -- if there were about

22 17 per cent Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina and they won

23 24 per cent of the votes, this proves that a proportion

24 of the Muslims, the Bosniaks had voted for the HDZ. At

25 the time, when the HDZ for Bosnia-Herzegovina was

Page 7121

1 formed, both in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

2 there was a slogan to the effect that there can be no

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina without Croatia and no Croatia

4 without Bosnia-Herzegovina, but of course both were

5 treated as Bosnian States.

6 Q. The last question I have on this subject is,

7 did the HDZ party in Bosnia change its philosophy and

8 become a party which had aspirations that favoured

9 integration into Croatia, and excluded Muslims and

10 Serbs from participating in the party?

11 A. I must say, due to the considerable pressure

12 from the Milosevic regime, brought to bear on the Serbs

13 in Croatia and the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there

14 were few Serbs in the HDZ. There were some -- formally

15 they could become members, but neither did the Croats

16 accept them as members, nor did they themselves want to

17 join the HDZ, because they would have been accused by

18 the Serbs of being traitors, whereas cooperation with

19 the Bosniaks, the Muslims at first was excellent. We

20 even organised the training of policemen from

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a large number of those

22 policemen were actually Muslims.

23 However, as power in the HDZ was taken over

24 by those who were not genuinely interested in the

25 survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who kept speaking about

Page 7122

1 Croatian areas and never about Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

2 who finally imposed a policy -- not a policy of

3 co-existence but a policy of separate existence by

4 Serbs, Croats and Muslims, namely, a thesis came to the

5 fore that Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia could not

6 live together and that a separation had to occur.

7 There were many things that contributed to

8 this, one of them being that, within the circles who

9 were against the survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was

10 being said that Bosnia-Herzegovina was, how should

11 I put it, an entity which is unfeasible in the same way

12 that the former Yugoslavia was unfeasible and that is

13 why it collapsed, and so that Bosnia-Herzegovina was

14 also unfeasible, it was not a logical community, and,

15 for that reason, the parts had to separate.

16 However, this thesis is subject to serious

17 criticism, and one of those criticisms is that Bosnia

18 did not come into being when Yugoslavia came into

19 being; it was formed a long time ago by populations,

20 who had lived in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic

21 multi-religious environment, and the hatred did not

22 occur because they suddenly decided to separate and to

23 go their separate ways and form their own States. The

24 hatred was only the product of the war. It needs to be

25 overcome. It does indeed exist but it was encouraged

Page 7123

1 from the outside in the first place, by Milosevic's

2 policy of breaking up Bosnia-Herzegovina, because,

3 I must say, I do not know whether you are familiar with

4 this, but, according to the 1974 constitution, which

5 was passed by Tito, after suppressing the Croatian

6 Spring, but having endorsed the thesis from the

7 Croatian Spring that Yugoslavia could survive after

8 Tito but only as a confederal model and, according to

9 that constitution, the Republics were the sovereign

10 entities and they were entitled to become independent

11 if the federation could not survive.

12 Therefore, the Yugoslavia federation was

13 called a federation, but by the constitution of 1974 it

14 had evolved into a confederation and Milosevic was

15 actually doing tricks. He was tricking all the peoples

16 of the former Yugoslavia and then also the

17 international community and the European and

18 international organisations by claiming that it was the

19 right of the nations to independence, which would mean

20 that the parts of Croatia inhabited by Serbs could be

21 annexed to greater Serbia and especially so parts of

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- all these could, in the future,

23 form this future greater Serbia.

24 Clearly, this was in contradiction with the

25 constitution and it was not feasible, because the right

Page 7124

1 to independence, according to the constitution, was

2 enjoyed by the Republics and this was something that

3 was eventually confirmed by the Badinter Commission and

4 it is on those grounds we have independent States,

5 Croatia within its borders, Macedonia within its

6 borders and Slovenia within its borders and a wounded

7 Bosnia within its borders.

8 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have concluded my

9 examination. If we are to conclude at 6, this would be

10 an appropriate time.

11 JUDGE JORDA: We will suspend the hearing

12 now, and start again tomorrow at 2.30.

13 (5.58pm)

14 (The hearing adjourned until Tuesday, 17th March 1998

15 at 2.30pm)

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