1 Monday, 2 November 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina et al.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 Mr. Kay, with the last witness, you bar tabled the
12 document 00974, a letter from Mr. Cetina. I'm informed that this
13 document, which was assigned number D1770, was already in evidence as
15 MR. KAY: Our apologies, Your Honour, may we vacate it in those
17 JUDGE ORIE: D1770 is vacated.
18 MR. KAY: Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Are you ready, Mr. Kay, to call your next witness?
20 MR. KAY: We are, Your Honour. The witness is Mr. Vedris.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 Could Mr. Vedris be escorted into the courtroom.
23 No protective measures sought, and no objections from the
24 Prosecution to admission into evidence of the 92 ter statement, which was
25 filed on the -- I think the 4th of -- 10th of September, and the other
1 Defence teams have not responded to the motion.
2 Good morning, Mr. Vedris.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and
5 Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the
6 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The text was handed
7 out to you by the Usher. I would like to invite you to make that solemn
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Vedris.
12 Please be seated.
13 Mr. Kay.
14 Mr. Vedris, you will first be examined by Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is
15 counsel for Mr. Cermak.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: MLADEN VEDRIS
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examination by Mr. Kay:
21 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vedris.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Mr. Vedris, there is a screen on your right, and I'll ask for a
24 document to come up onto that screen.
25 MR. KAY: Could 2D00736 be placed on the monitor.
1 Q. You will see a statement in the Croatian language. And --
2 A. I can see that.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the front of that document,
4 can you see your signature --
5 MR. KAY: If the document can be moved down on the page.
6 A. It's fine.
7 Q. And is that a copy of your signature in a Croatian language
8 version of a statement you gave to the Defence?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. KAY: If we could just look at the last page of Mr. Vedris's
13 Q. There's the last page of the statement, and we can see the date
14 of the 2nd of April, 2009.
15 Did you sign that statement on that day, and is that your
16 signature on the document?
17 A. That's right, that's correct.
18 Q. And before signing that statement, did you read through it to
19 check the document?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And was the information contained with that -- within that
22 statement, to the best of your knowledge and belief, true and correct?
23 A. Yes, that is so.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. KAY: And Mr. Vedris signed each page in between,
1 Your Honour.
2 Q. If I was to ask you the same questions today as were asked when
3 you made this statement, would the answers that you gave be the same as
4 those contained within the statement?
5 A. Yes, they would be the same.
6 Q. Thank you very much.
7 MR. KAY: In those circumstances, Your Honour, I ask that this
8 document be made a court exhibit.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1772.
11 JUDGE ORIE: D1772 is admitted into evidence.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I will give a short summary of the
14 statement now for the record.
15 Q. Mr. Vedris, I'm going to summarize the statement for the Court
16 record in a very short form, and then I will ask you a few extra
17 questions about it.
18 MR. KAY: Your Honour the statement of Mr. Vedris discloses that,
19 in 1990, he was appointed by the Assembly of the city of Zagreb, the
20 president of the Executive Council for that city, a function which later
21 became statutorily renamed as being the position of the mayor of the city
22 of Zagreb
23 Between 1990 and 1992, he was also president of the Crisis Staff
24 for the city. As the Court will know from the evidence, that was a time
25 of conflict within the states of the former Yugoslavia.
1 From April of 1992, he was appointed as a minister without
2 portfolio in the government of Croatia
3 the reorganisation of public administration. Later on in 1992, at the
4 end of the year, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of the
5 Republic of Croatia
6 100 days, he resigned from that post as Deputy Prime Minister and moved
7 to being the position of the president of the Croatian Chamber of
8 Commerce, whilst, at the same time, being a member of parliament.
9 And Mr. Vedris continued with positions within public life, but
10 also, in private life, formed his own international advisory company and
11 more recently has been employed at the Faculty of Law at the
12 University of Zagreb
13 Mr. Vedris knows Mr. Cermak well. He was aware in autumn of 1991
14 when Mr. Cermak was appointed in the government of national unity to the
15 position of being an assistant minister for defence with responsibility
16 for logistics. The two of them cooperated together, because, as I have
17 informed the Court, Mr. Vedris was concerned with the city of Zagreb
18 there was an infrastructural role for the city in relation to times of
19 conflict and the needs for the defence of the state.
20 Later on, in 1993, Mr. Cermak became a minister for economy, and
21 at that time, Mr. Vedris, having resigned as Deputy Prime Minister for
22 economy and moving to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce where he was the
23 president, brought again the two into cooperation with each other, as
24 they were both in two linked areas of responsibility. Later on, in 1993,
25 Mr. Cermak resigned from his political position and returned to his
1 private business interests.
2 In August of 1995, Mr. Vedris, on the 5th, received a telephone
3 call from Mr. Cermak, telling him he'd been appointed the commander of
4 the Knin Garrison. The two of them, at that stage, were sharing office
5 premises and had an association with each other through their business
6 interested. Mr. Cermak informed Mr. Vedris that he was going to Knin
7 because the president personally asked him to, to help organise civilian
8 life for a short time. At that time, as they were sharing an office
9 building together, when Mr. Cermak returned on occasions to Zagreb
10 Knin, he spoke about the work he was doing in the area. Mr. Cermak had
11 to return to attend to business matters and discussed his work in Knin
12 with Mr. Vedris, who had had his responsibilities as being the mayor of
13 the city of Zagreb
14 had to be undertaken at that time.
15 Your Honour, that's a brief summary of Mr. Vedris's statement to
16 the Court, and with the Court's leave now, I will ask him some further
18 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted, Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Vedris, I'm going to ask you some personal questions about
21 Mr. Cermak, first of all.
22 It's correct from your statement - is it not? - that you've known
23 him since the early 1990s?
24 A. From the mid -- from mid-1990.
25 Q. And in that time, you have had a connection of working with him
1 in separate areas of responsibility, in relation to, in his case, the
2 government of Croatia
4 Is that right?
5 A. In mid-1990, I was the mayor and Mr. Cermak was still a private
6 person at the time, so he became a member of the government later on, as
7 an assistant minister, around 1991, in mid-1991.
8 Q. I want to ask you some questions now about your observation of
9 Mr. Cermak's organisational skills, what his qualities are.
10 As you were able to observe them from your connections with him
11 described in your statement, how would you describe Mr. Cermak's
12 organisational skills?
13 A. Well, in mid-1990, of course, my main focus was to organise the
14 life of the big city under new circumstances. However, parallel with
15 that, I was the president of the Croatian football council; it was a new
16 institution which was important and which was also opening up to Europe
17 and its partners. And I had a chance to meet Mr. Cermak in this period
18 as someone who was also very much committed to a social life, sports
19 life; and we discussed a number of topics which were related both to the
20 city and also to the sports milieu.
21 Q. Mr. Vedris, this has to be translated --
22 A. [In English] Sorry, sorry.
23 Q. -- to us, and --
24 A. Sorry. I will do my best. Thank you.
25 Q. Please slow down --
1 A. Thank you.
2 Q. -- because I ask tell that the pace is very hot.
3 A. Okay.
4 Q. All right. So please slow down and remember the focus of my
5 question was on Mr. Cermak's organisational skills. The Court has the
6 information within your statement already, and what I want you to do is
7 focus on how you perceived the quality of his organisational skills.
8 Thank you.
9 A. [Interpretation] When I talked about his sports and social
10 activities in that time, during the interregnum, Mr. Cermak was present
11 in that milieu. And that's where his organisational abilities -- let us
12 not forget that this was the period after the first democratic elections
13 in the Republic of Croatia
14 of the Croatian democratic union. And his organisational abilities were
15 expressed in the organisation of a number of public rallies and
16 everything else that is part of the infrastructure and logistics which
17 are very important for someone to be successful in that sort of public
19 Later on, that is to say, in the latter half of 1991, when the
20 war was spreading on the territory of the Republic of Croatia
21 General Cermak was not yet general at the time, took part in the defence.
22 We could talk about the continuation of his presence and of his
23 abilities, which I have already described.
24 Q. It was whilst he was assistant minister for defence and involved
25 in logistics that I want to focus on -- on now, as to the quality of the
1 work that he was doing there, so far as you could see --
2 A. Mm-hm.
3 Q. -- whether he accomplished his work well or not.
4 A. Zagreb
5 the whole period, a number of people would come from across Croatia
6 a plea that Zagreb
7 the Ministry of Defence. And very often I would send these people from
8 various parts of Croatia
9 Mr. Cermak who was Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Defence to help
10 them, and each time, after a day or two, I would get the information that
11 they communicated in a very efficient way and that he helped them.
12 As for the city of Zagreb
13 him for advice or suggestions in view of logistics and assessment, which
14 is often necessary in a big city, such as this one, and he always
15 intervened in good time and in the best possible way.
16 Q. The phrase we got was "it was not once." By that do you mean on
17 more than one occasion?
18 A. Absolutely. Much more than once. And let us not forget that war
19 was spreading in Croatia
20 Eastern Slavonia
21 municipalities came to see us in the city of Zagreb and ask us for
22 assistance. Let us also not forget that the city of Zagreb, which has
23 population of a million people, has population from all parts of Croatia
24 who were willing to go out to the front and take part in the defence of
25 various parts of Croatia
1 As the city of Zagreb
2 We could provide food and clothing. However, as for the assistance that
3 had to do with war operations that had to be done through the Ministry of
4 Defence - and very often my personal recommendation or of someone -- of
5 colleagues from the Executive Council was to go and see General Cermak,
6 because of his efficiency, because the war operations could not be
7 postponed. Sometimes it was the question not of a day but of the hour
8 when assistance would be provided.
9 Q. Later, Mr. Cermak transferred to become the minister of the
10 economy in -- in 1993. And in relation to that role of his, did you
11 continue working with him?
12 A. Well, to put it colloquially, one could say that General Cermak,
13 as the minister of economics at the time, tried to act as a bulldozer
14 whenever one could react to provide infrastructure that was destroyed
15 because of the war. Whenever someone could do something to make the
16 public utilities and communal services begin to operate in terms of
17 restoring the economics, companies, one could note his wish and his
18 presence and his organisational skills. If there were two complementary
19 addresses, then certainly that was the Chamber of Commerce and the
20 Ministry of Economics. So the nature of our work made us communicate
21 practically every day and also cooperate on a daily base.
22 Q. You mentioned there "infrastructure." The importance to Croatia
23 at this time in 1993, in repairing infrastructure damaged by war, how
24 significant was that?
25 A. Well, that was the decisive issue. Because, without
1 infrastructure, you cannot organise the normal life of people, let's
2 alone the economic activities. Let us not forget that throughout this
3 period Croatia
4 level of employment. So even under wartime conditions and aggression,
5 you had to go on living and have enough strength for the time that was
6 coming which meant opening up towards the world and Europe because
7 simply, regardless of the fact that war was being waged in Croatia
8 normal life just had to go on.
9 And perhaps as a footnote, very often previously, as the mayor
10 during the day and during the night, we also had to take into account
11 security; and then, during the day, the services would have to issue
12 permits and resolve daily issues of the citizens. And it was the same
13 in 1991.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Correction, 1993.
15 MR. KAY: Thank you.
16 Q. Eventually, Mr. Cermak left his post as minister of the economy
17 to concentrate on private business. What contact and connection did you
18 have with him from that period in October 1993 onwards to 1995 when he
19 left the government?
20 A. Primarily we had connections as friends and personal ones. So
21 when you go through a period of life that is so dramatic on the whole,
22 then relations become permanent. I understood his reasons - and I
23 mentioned them in my statement that he wanted to do more and
24 further - but under these circumstances, the political resolutions were
25 still dominant and that was what determined the tempo of possible
1 activities in the country.
2 So he had enthusiasm. He wanted to do things faster, but that
3 was conditioned by circumstances that were beyond our possibility to
4 have -- to effect them.
5 Q. In that period from October 1993 to August 1995, was Mr. Cermak
6 involved in any political way in -- in politics or government?
7 A. As far as I know, he wasn't. He turned to the area where he
8 thought he had to be recognised, and to do his best, and that was private
10 Q. In -- going back to private business, were individual steps, such
11 as that, important for Croatia
12 A. Yes, it was certainly so. Namely, the reconstruction of economic
13 life in Croatia
14 dropped by more than one third which had happened during the big economic
15 crisis on the international scene. So it was important. We had the
16 opening up towards the world and that was the imperative in Croatia,
17 because the aggression and war have its beginning and -- have their
18 beginning and their end. But as for normal life, if it is to go on,
19 economy has to go on as well.
20 Q. So as president of Chamber of Commerce during this period, were
21 you supportive of the initiatives by people such as Mr. Cermak who were
22 setting up private businesses?
23 A. Our task was much broader. We tried to connect a number of
24 companies in Croatia
25 "clusters" in the contemporary colloquialism, then also to support
1 export, to try to attract foreign investments, and also, in all parts of
3 the Croatian Chamber of Commerce was more than a development agency,
4 which incited, entrepreneurship and also employment.
5 Q. I want to turn now to August of 1995, and to the 5th of August,
6 the date of the conclusion of Operation Oluja and the liberation of the
7 territories previously occupied at that time.
8 Where were you on the 5th of August, 1995?
9 A. I was outside Zagreb
10 Q. And your first information about Mr. Cermak being appointed to
11 the position of commander of the Knin Garrison came from where?
12 A. I heard it over the radio. I was listening the news and in the
13 course of those days, radio and TV programme was omni-present in our
14 lives, and I heard that announcement being made over the radio.
15 Q. And did you speak to Mr. Cermak about this appointment?
16 A. Yes, I did. He called me over the phone. He said that he had
17 accepted to help, that he was urgently leaving, and he also added that he
18 wanted me to learn of that from him personally.
19 Q. And the reason for him phoning you was -- was why?
20 A. Firstly, given our friendship, it was quite normal for me to hear
21 it from him. Secondly, he probably wanted to share his enthusiasm with
22 me, and I could clearly feel it over the phone. He said that, I will try
23 to continue working on what I had worked before in the
24 Ministry of Economic Affairs and try to do something of use, perhaps in
25 another area.
1 Q. Did give him -- or, first of all, how did he describe the work he
2 was going to do in Knin?
3 A. Well, if we are to narrow that to one or two sentence, it was to
4 create a normal living conditions asap and to create conditions for the
5 local economy, for the people residing there, to become functioning
6 again, to come up with a way to normalize the situation as soon as
7 possible so that those people could feel that they were put to some good
8 use and that they were actually useful to the community.
9 Q. Did you give him any advice?
10 A. Yes, absolutely.
11 Q. And what advice was that?
12 A. I told him that the establishment of utilities and a communal
13 life and services is not as attractive as some other engagements, but it
14 requires team-work, resources, and round the clock work and commitment.
15 I told him that as a former president of the Executive Council and the
16 mayor of a large city. Basically, the needs of such disparate cities are
17 similar, be it the one million inhabitant city that is Zagreb
18 that is Knin, which had between 10 and 50.000. My first problem as a
19 mayor was to unblock a waste dump, and that came about in the summer
20 months. That simply was the first thing that crossed my mind when giving
21 him the advice.
22 Q. Upon liberation of the area, were you aware what structures for
23 authority and responsibility were in place for Knin at that time?
24 A. In principle, yes. I knew that there was a governmental
25 commissioner. I knew there were certain institutions, which I should
1 have shouldered their part of the burden. But my knowledge was of that
2 general level.
3 Q. Thank you. Moving on now to later on, after Mr. Cermak left for
4 Knin, did you meet him after he had gone down to take up his position?
5 A. Yes. In the second half of August, when I returned from my
6 leave, Mr. Cermak came to Zagreb
7 that time and spoke.
8 Q. And where did you meet?
9 A. In the -- in my and his office, basically, because we shared
10 office in the same building at Martica Street, number 65, in Zagreb.
11 Q. And do you know the reason for Mr. Cermak coming back to Zagreb
12 at that time?
13 A. Well, if I am to summarize that, there were two important
15 Firstly, given the organisational aspect of his work, he came to
16 speak to some people in certain governmental departments.
17 Secondly, in relation to his business activities that was under
18 way, to see what needed to be done by him personally.
19 Q. Do you know if, before he had gone down or before he had been
20 appointed on the 5th of August by President Tudjman, whether there had
21 been any previous planning in relation to him having any role in the
22 future in Knin, whether this had been a planned appointment of him or
24 A. As far as I could understand, and as far to the information that
25 was available, this was supposed to be a limited activity. It was
1 expected of him to be a link as a person who was supposed to stimulate
2 the civilian sector and, after that, to go back home.
3 From our conversations and what I also believe was that one
4 person can initiate processes but cannot stand in for the entire civilian
5 authority structure, because this needs to be shouldered by different
6 institutions, different governmental departments, or county offices
7 present in the area itself.
8 Q. Did you know what governmental departments he had come up to see
9 or whom he met on his return to Zagreb
10 A. We didn't discuss that specifically. In the overall pace of
11 events, it was not particularly important to discuss the first, the
12 second, or the fifth meeting; but two topics prevailed, in general.
13 One, were public utilities. And his wish was to have Zagreb
14 other cities help Knin, primarily in terms much equipment that was
15 missing. And from Zagreb
16 with certain aspects of those public utilities.
17 Regarding the economy, his wish and ambition was to have some of
18 the companies which can manufacture parts of its production in Knin to
19 open up their branches and plants there, thus, obtaining possible --
20 giving possibility for employment.
21 Q. Did you give any assistance or support to him?
22 A. Firstly, I expressed my understanding. As I said, I understand
23 what public utilities mean, and I know what public -- private
24 entrepreneurship means. But, in principle, I advised him to slow down.
25 I told him it wasn't possible in a short period of time to do everything.
1 I also told him to be realistic and that after liberation of a large part
2 of Croatia
3 opposition to his enthusiasm, that it was necessary for the government
4 and other cities in Croatia
5 that he had to be realistic in the sense of the scope of aid he was to
6 receive and the period of time within which that assistance was to come.
7 Q. Do you know if he was successful in getting any aid or assistance
8 from other institutions outside Knin?
9 A. Well, one can always look at things generally all in -- detail or
11 In general terms, the needs were far greater. But specifically,
12 given his communication ability and the respect he enjoyed as well as his
13 links with different public figures at the time, I am positive that,
14 under the circumstances, he achieved the maximum.
15 Q. And can you provide the Court with any specific examples of
16 equipment or otherwise that he was able to obtain?
17 A. From Zagreb
18 be certain documents in existence about trucks and equipment he received
19 for public utilities. But other than that, I didn't -- I do not have any
20 knowledge of particular details.
21 Q. Thank you. And in the few months, say, three or four months
22 after his appointment to Knin, on how many occasions did you meet him?
23 Was it just that one occasion, or were there other occasions?
24 A. Looking back, I think it was on one or two other occasions,
25 because frequently he had no time to visit Zagreb. In those few
1 occasions, I noticed that he became more aware of the restrictions of his
2 communication with the commissioner. And he was slowly realizing that as
3 an individual, he was less and less indispensable. And that it was up to
4 those who represented the institutions to take over their
5 responsibilities step by step, and primarily I have in mind the different
6 governmental departments.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. KAY: That's all the questions I ask, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
10 Any cross-examination by counsel for Mr. Gotovina or
11 Mr. Cermak -- Markac.
12 MR. MISETIC: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, are you ready to cross-examine
16 Mr. Vedris?
17 MR. WAESPI: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, yes,
18 I am.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vedris, you will now be cross-examined by
20 Mr. Waespi. Mr. Waespi is counsel for the Prosecution.
21 You may proceed, Mr. Waespi.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vedris.
24 A. [In English] Good morning.
25 Q. I'd like to start, first, with clarifying some of the function --
1 the functions had you in the 1990s.
2 We heard this morning, and it's part of your statement, that you
3 were the first in the 1990s, in effect the mayor of Zagreb, and then also
4 president of the Crisis Staff of the city of Zagreb. And then, from
5 April 1992 onwards, you were the minister without portfolio in the
6 Croatian government.
7 Until when you did have that function?
8 A. [Interpretation] I think it was up until late October 1992.
9 Q. And then on the 29th of December, 1992, until 4th of March, 1993,
10 you were, as we hard, the Deputy Prime Minister for economy.
11 Did you resign --
12 A. Deputy Prime Minister, yes.
13 Q. Yes, that's correct.
14 A. [In English] okay, mm-hm.
15 Q. Now, did you resign with immediate effect on 4th of March, 1993?
16 A. [Interpretation] Correct.
17 Q. But you continued to attend meetings at the presidential palace
18 with President Tudjman and other participants and the president still
19 addressed you with Deputy Prime Minister. And I'm talking about the
20 meeting on 12th of March, 1993.
21 A. That is possible, because, at the time, I still acted as a member
22 of parliament.
23 Q. Okay. We heard you talking about the organisational capabilities
24 of Mr. Cermak, and you talk extensively about that in your witness
25 statement. On various occasions, you address his exceptional
1 organisational skills.
2 I want to ask you, did you know that Mr. Cermak had probably in
3 the -- in 1990, perhaps even earlier or slightly later, his own unit of
4 800 men, armed men, at the time before the Croatian army existed?
5 A. It is difficult for me to address that because I don't know what
6 the background do this question is, and -- in terms of establishment.
7 Q. Let's have --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vedris, whatever the background of the question
9 is, could you please answer it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I have no knowledge of that.
11 MR. WAESPI:
12 Q. Then --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then it is totally unclear to me how it could be --
14 the background of the question could be relevant before you answered
15 that, Mr. Vedris. That comes as a bit of a surprise.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
17 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Let's have a look at a document and see whether it refreshes,
19 perhaps, your memory.
20 MR. WAESPI: This is P2355, an interview Mr. Cermak gave in 1997
21 to Nacional, and I'm interested in the English, page 3, and in B/C/S, in
22 Croatian, it's on page 2.
23 Yes, this is in B/C/S, and in B/C/S, the question put to him
24 starts in the third column from the right to the bottom.
25 Q. You see it in bold "veliki minusi u MORH." There the question
2 And in English, it's on page 3 --
3 MR. KAY: I don't have an English, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, you now have it, I take it.
5 MR. KAY: It's just come on, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. WAESPI: And at one time we should move the B/C/S so --
8 THE WITNESS: [English] Sorry, on the left side is the Croatian
9 with a huge, well --
10 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's the question.
11 THE WITNESS: On the right, English.
12 May I ask you to concentrate on Croatian side, and can you give
13 me exact paragraph.
14 MR. WAESPI: Yes, we will focus on B/C/S for a moment, with
15 Mr. Kay's indulgence.
16 Q. So if we focus on the right bottom of the document.
17 A. Can you put in bigger form?
18 Q. Yes, it will come up very soon. And we need to go to the bottom.
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. There you see "veliki minusi u MORH" in bold, and that's the
21 question that I'm interested in, Nacional.
22 A. Mm-hm, mm-hm.
23 And was the point in this question in this paragraph?
24 Q. Yes, it doesn't not finish, so we need to move on --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vedris, just give Mr. Waespi some time to
1 organise what he wants to show you on the screen. And I noticed that
2 you --
3 THE WITNESS: Okay, sorry.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- highly gave up of efficiency --
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- and good organisation.
7 Mr. Waespi is doing his utmost best.
8 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Vedris.
9 Let's move to the top.
10 Q. And now it's the second column to the right from the top, and you
11 see the continuance of the answer of Mr. Cermak. And in about the tenth
12 line you see the reference to the 800 armed men.
13 A. [Interpretation] Yes.
14 MR. WAESPI: Let me just ask the Registrar to put on the English
15 version, bottom of page 3, and then it's continuing on page 4, but I'm
16 only interested in what is at the bottom of the page 3. And I can read
17 it out, what General Cermak responded to a question:
18 "After it became obvious that the war would not be avoided, I
19 started preparing my own unit before the ZNG and the Croatian army were
20 established. By then, I had over 800 armed men. At the beginning, I
21 have my HQ at the Radicev Trg, where I was the presidential advisor on
22 special affairs."
23 Now, does that refresh your memory about these 800 men? Perhaps
24 you don't know, but perhaps it refreshes your memory.
25 A. This is the background, and now it all becomes clear.
1 In Croatia
2 legal. And each of their members, who had a weapon on him, had a licence
3 too. By sheer circumstance, I'm more familiar with it through my
4 function as the president of the Croatian soccer association because
5 soccer games at that time were high-risk events. And in addition to
6 regular police escort provided to both supporters and the teams, security
7 companies participated as well. While now we are on the topic of
8 refreshing our memories, I can tell you there were several such security
9 companies which working within the legal framework, pursuing their
10 business activities and purchasing weapons legally, I reiterate.
11 As regards the other part of Mr. Cermak's answer, but given --
12 that is something I don't know. But what I can tell you was that he
13 participated actively in the first multi-party elections as part of the
14 HDZ, and I presume that was a part of that context.
15 Q. And, if you know, Mr. Cermak would pay these 800 mean and he
16 would give them tasks? Is that the way it went?
17 A. No. The regular security companies had their own regular tasks.
18 They were engaged on securing specific facilities, institutions, banks,
19 the public sector, and that was how they earned their wages, and that's
20 where the wages for the employees came from.
21 Q. And who gave the tasks to these 800 armed men?
22 A. The one who was giving them tasks was the person who was heading
23 the company, depending on the contracts that the company. They had a
24 schedule of daily duties, and they organised it in the same way that the
25 work of security companies is organised to this day.
1 Q. But the boss of these 800 armed men was General Cermak?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, I'm a bit concerned about your line of
3 questioning. The witness tells us that the 800 men were - as I
4 understand it - that they were employed by a firm which was headed by
5 Mr. Cermak. And as in -- as we find often in these kind of firms, that
6 they were sent to someone who had hired security.
7 And your questions seem to ignore, more or less, that you have
8 always two levels. The one is those who are in charge of the company who
9 make the contract and say, Well, you need 20 security mean. Here, you've
10 got a list. When do you want them to be there? 9.00 in the morning.
11 What is their task? To secure a building or to secure a person or ...
12 And then the other level is that the one who has hired such
13 security, that he says, We'll go do Zagreb this morning, or you should --
14 better look at the back of the building than the front of the building
15 because that's where we expect the risk to be greater or that's where
16 construction works are done and that there's a special risk.
17 So if we're talking about boss -- about tasks, et cetera, could
18 you, in view of the answer of the witness, please clearly keep in mind
19 which of the two levels we are focussing.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. WAESPI: Thank you for this clarification, Mr. President.
22 I'm interested in the ultimate ownership, if you want, of these 800 mean.
23 Q. Who was the -- in general, at the high strategic level, not at a
24 daily level, who was the chief, if you want, of these 800 mean. That was
25 Mr. Cermak. Isn't that correct?
1 A. I think that this is confusion. There was no strategic boss.
2 These were companies that were recorded in the court register, they had
3 their management, their owners, and they also had their business
4 contracts that were concluded mostly with the banking sector and public
5 institutions, and they were doing their job. Everything else is a
6 different issue.
7 Q. Yes, let me go back --
8 A. It's an issue of possible co-ordination.
9 Q. So let me go back to what Mr. Cermak said in his interview. I
11 "By then, I had over 800 men, and I had my HQ at this Radicev
13 So what was the role of General Cermak in relation to these 800
14 men, if you know?
15 A. I don't know exactly. But if you allow me a brief comment.
16 Namely, at the time, in Croatia
17 many possible provocations; I primarily mean the sports events. All the
18 sports events that had an international character were potential powder
19 kegs, and it was precisely the security companies that, alongside their
20 regular weekly duties, we would engage them at the sports events in order
21 to avoid possible conflict or provocations.
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So that the buses with the fans
24 would leave in an orderly way and so on and so forth.
25 JUDGE ORIE: What exactly had to be done at football events is
1 not the focus of Mr. Waespi, his question.
2 Let me try to see whether I have understood well what he'd like
3 to hear from -- to know from you.
4 Who was the owner of the firm that employed the security people
5 that you could hire from that company? Who opened that firm?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the court registers
7 exist, and it is very easy to establish who are also the owners and the
8 management of the company. I have no direct knowledge of this.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So, if you don't know -- okay. You say it is
10 registered, but you do not know.
11 Second question --
12 A. [Overlapping speakers] ... Yes, that is so. I don't know.
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... so you don't
14 know who owns the firm, you don't know who managed the firm.
15 Now, if you made a contract from your football position, if you
16 would hire security, with whom would you speak and negotiate about the
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The procedure was as follows: The
19 Croatian soccer association as the institution and their chief secretary
20 or specific clubs would then simply communicate by phone or in any other
21 way with a specific security company, because, of course, there was a
22 number of them, they would --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's try to immediately focus on what seems to
24 be the core of the issue.
25 Did the football association ever hire security from a firm, a
1 security firm in which Mr. Cermak was involved?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have no direct knowledge about
3 this, because the chief secretary and the administration were in charge
4 of this, and not myself as the president.
5 But, of course, all the relevant documents are still in
7 JUDGE ORIE: You say: I do not know "because the ... secretary
8 and the administration were in charge of this, and not myself as the
10 Sometimes presidents do know what their staff are doing. Simple
11 question: Are you aware of any security contract concluded between the
12 football association and a firm, in which Mr. Cermak, either as owner,
13 manager, or whatever way, played a role?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, considering the levels
15 of responsibility, considering the segments of work that people were in
16 charge of, considering my position and positions, I was fully
17 concentrated on providing as much security for public law and order as
18 possible. And I cannot answer this, because I wasn't involved in this
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm asking you not whether it was important to get
21 security. I did not ask you whether your position required you to get
22 involved. I just asked you whether you know whether the football
23 association ever hired security from a firm in which Mr. Cermak was
25 Did they; or did they not; or don't you know? If you say, I do
1 not know, you do not have to explain why, because the explanations
2 usually -- well, let's refrain from and comment on explanations.
3 Do you know that this ever happened?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because there was a number of
7 companies on the market.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, was one of these companies -- was there one
9 company in which Mr. Markac -- Mr. Cermak was involved in any way, to
10 your knowledge? Ownership, management, other consulting capacity? Was
11 there any firm of which you know that Mr. Cermak was involved?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From what I know, he had business
13 and friendly relations with some of these companies and their owners, but
14 I don't know of any details.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Was there ever a -- could you tell us with which of
16 these companies he had such friendly relationships with what may have
17 been the owners?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, looking back, I remember one
19 name. I think it was the company named Sokol Safranic.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, was there ever a contract concluded
21 between the football association and this company?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that, so any answer
23 that I would give would not be correct.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, you may proceed.
25 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Now, Mr. Vedris, you talk a lot about President Tudjman in your
2 witness statement. I think you mentioned him at least ten times. You
3 talk about his motives and plans. Paragraph 12 in relations to the
4 appointments of Cermak; his desires, paragraph 4.
5 How well did you know Mr. Tudjman?
6 A. Well, considering how dramatic the events were in the period when
7 I held public positions, I quite often had a chance to communicate with
8 President Tudjman. And, of course, I came to know a few things about his
9 political and public activities.
10 Q. And you also attended quite a few meetings under his -- his
11 chairmanship; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And that even continues as we heard earlier today, after you
14 stopped being a Deputy Prime Minister?
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes, if Mr. Waespi could be more specific as to
17 which portions of the paragraphs he is challenging. I don't see that he
18 is -- the statement refers to Mr. Tudjman's motives.
19 MR. WAESPI: I'm not challenging anything. I'm just saying that
20 the witness talked in his witness statements, in paragraph 12, about his
21 motives and plans in relation to the appointment of Mr. Cermak.
22 MR. MISETIC: Okay. It's just -- I noticed some exhibits on the
23 exhibit list. So if it goes outside the scope, I would like to put an
24 objection. But if that's the case, if it's just related to Mr. Cermak,
25 then I have no objection.
1 MR. WAESPI: That's not what I said. I said this -- that he has
2 mentioned at least ten times. And examples are the paragraphs I
4 MR. MISETIC: Well, Mr. President, here's my objection. If the
5 Prosecution intends to challenge any motives that President Tudjman had
6 vis-a-vis Mr. Cermak, which is what I have been told is -- he is
7 referring to in the statement, I have no objection. If the Prosecution
8 intends to explore President Tudjman's views generally about issues that
9 are not specifically discussed in the statement, then I would say that
10 it's outside the scope of the direct.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Let's hear what questions Mr. Waespi will further
12 put to the witness, and we, and also Mr. Waespi, has in the back of his
13 mind, what would be your objection if we would enter a certain area.
14 Apart from cross-examination not being limited to what was dealt with in
15 chief -- our rules there's no strict rule to say you can only deal with
16 matters which were touched upon in chief.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. I was about to put to you that you even attended meetings with
20 President Tudjman when you were the president of the Chamber of commerce;
21 is that correct?
22 A. Yes, I understand.
23 Q. And at these meetings, a whole range of topics was discussed,
24 from economy, from issues in Bosnia
25 these topics, of these meetings you attended.
1 A. Of course. When I was there and when concern topics were
2 discussed, I think that the written minutes also exist.
3 Q. Now, let me talk about President Tudjman's style of government or
4 leadership. Now, I think it was your own view that the H - and I quote:
5 "The HDZ and Croatia
7 Is that a quote that can be attributed to you?
8 A. Would be so kind to provide the entire document, please?
9 Q. Yes, certainly. But let me ask you first: Do you remember
10 having made a comment in this regard, talking about Bolshevik manner
11 totalitarian organisation. I will show you a document in a moment, but
12 I'm interested in whether you remember that?
13 A. I wish to see the original document probably in Croatian, then we
14 would see the character of the translation, and then I might --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please first answer the question. And
16 then if there is any need we will look at whatever document there is.
17 And if the translation has to be checked, we will carefully do that.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We might talk about the level of
19 authoritarianism, I think that would be the right expression, and this is
20 why I asked to see the document in Croatian.
21 JUDGE ORIE: The question simply, Mr. Vedris, was whether you
22 remember having made a comment in talking about Bolshevik manner,
23 totalitarian organisation.
24 Do you recollect -- have any recollection of having given such a
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, without seeing the document
2 and the background, I cannot answer that question.
3 JUDGE ORIE: You can answer the question in whether you have any
4 recollection having made such a statement. If there's any need to look
5 at a document, with may do so, or we may refrain from doing that. But
6 you're here, first of all, to answer the question, which is not a
7 question about what we find in a document, but which is a question about
8 your recollection of making a certain statement. If you know, tell us;
9 if you have no recollection, tell us as well.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not remember without having
11 insight into the wider background.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Vedris, this is not an answer to the
13 question. This is a conditional answer. If you have recollection,
14 please, tell us; if you don't remember, tell us, I don't remember. But
15 don't try to make this answer a conditional one. So to say: I do not
16 remember unless the sun shines tomorrow. That's not the kind of answer
17 we're expecting.
18 If you have a recollection of having said such -- of given such a
19 comment, tell us. If you say, My recollection, I have never made such a
20 statement; that's another possible answer. Or it may be or it may not
21 be, but I don't remember at this moment.
22 Give us the answer but not conditions or I have to look at the
23 document first. We do not even know whether there's a document.
24 Please proceed, with your answer.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's possible that I did say so,
1 but I would wish to see the document.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so your answer is it is possible but you do not
3 know four sure. Is that ...
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we do understand that you would wish to
6 see a document in which we find any reflection of you having made such a
8 I leave it in the hands of Mr. Waespi, whether or not he will put
9 this document to you now.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. Yes, I would like to go
12 to 65 ter 7459.
13 Q. And this, Mr. Vedris, is a meeting dated 3rd March, 1995, between
14 President Tudjman and at least Mr. Ivica Crnic. And I would like you to
15 have a look at the cover page first.
16 And we don't need to go into any detail, except for the passage
17 I'm interested in. But the transcript shows a conversation between
18 Mr. Tudjman and Mr. Crnic. And President Tudjman appears to be fairly
19 angry with Mr. Crnic.
20 Now, tell me first, who is Mr. Crnic, if you know?
21 A. Mr. Crnic is a respectable lawyer from Croatia, from Zagreb
22 held a number of public positions, and is he now a lawyer at
23 Radio Zagreb
24 MR. WAESPI: If we go in English page 3 and B/C/S page 4.
25 Q. We see that President Tudjman accuses Mr. Crnic of destabilising
2 So that's basically what this much of the conversation is about.
3 MR. WAESPI: And let's go to page 10 in English. And in
4 Croatian, it's page 15.
5 Q. And I read out the part I'm interested in. Actually in English
6 it starts at page 9.
7 "President Tudjman: You see, Croatian people will not let that
8 happen in spite of those acts, no matter if you or anybody else
9 participate in that.
10 "Ivica Crnic: Any way, I do not participate in any organisation
11 or any clan. I swore in health of my daughter, and the man does not
12 swear just like this in those things.
13 "President: It is surprising. As far as I know, even though you
14 say you're not in any clan with Nikica, Mladen was your friend.
15 Mladen Verdis actually wrote the same pamphlet that HDZ and this Croatia
16 have become Bolshevik manner totalitarian organization.
17 "Yes that is what you are giving us, isn't it?"
18 MR. WAESPI: Now, can you tell us what this --
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, excuse me.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. KUZMANOVIC: The whole question was prefaced by Mr. Vedris
22 having said something about being Bolshevistic. Now, what we hear is
23 that it was something that might have been written and he is not being
24 confronted that he himself said or I himself wrote, but he is being
25 confronted with a transcript that gives basically a third-hand account of
1 what possibly might have been said. And I think that is very unfair,
2 given all of the prefacing that we had to this questioning with the
3 transcript to be used in this manner.
4 Thank you.
5 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, what this --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Waespi --
7 MR. WAESPI: -- transcript reveals is that a quote, a very
8 straightforward quote, easily recognisable quote, was attributed to
9 Mr. Vedris. Whether he said it or wrote it doesn't matter. And I asked
10 him beforehand whether he remembers having made the quote and he said,
11 It's possible; I'd like to see the document.
12 So I see no objectionable way that I can put the transcript to
13 the witness.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
16 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, it's not a document; it's not the
17 article. It's a transcript which is basically a third-hand reference. I
18 think it's extremely unfair to this witness to present it in that
20 JUDGE ORIE: The witness was asked whether he ever gave a
21 comment; that was the language which was used in at least most of the
22 questions. The witness was reluctant to answer a question from his
23 memory. It took me quite a while to get him there. And then he said --
24 no, Mr. Vedris, I'm speaking at this moment.
25 Then I urged him to answer the question, and he asked to see a
1 document, where Mr. Waespi now puts the document on the table. And we
2 all can see what the document contains. That is, a comment by the
3 president in which he refers to what others have said or -- not have said
4 but what Mr. Vedris wrote.
5 Mr. Waespi may proceed.
6 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Now, did you ever utter these word, write them down in a
8 pamphlet, or make any other comment?
9 A. Your Honours and Mr. Prosecutor, if I did, in the course of such
10 a conversation, I must have surely told the president that Croatia must
11 be wary of continuing its path --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Why not answer the question of Mr. Waespi. If I did
13 it, then ... Mr. Waespi just asked you a rather simple question, and
14 you're invited to answer the question.
15 Did you ever utter these words, write them down in a pamphlet, or
16 make any other comment, which I understand to be whether you ever, in any
17 other context, uttered such terms.
18 Could you please answer the question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 I never wrote that in any pamphlets. Whether I said anything of
21 the sort in a discussion, that is possible.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI:
25 Q. So you don't know what the president is referring to, what kind
1 of pamphlet?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, I'm looking at the clock. I --
5 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I will move on from the document, which I'd
6 like to make an exhibit, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: I'll object to the admission under Rule 89(C). I
9 don't see any relevance or probative value in this document. And without
10 having had an opportunity to read what else is in the document, I would
11 object if this is the sole basis for tendering.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, is there any other part of this document
13 or would you just focus on the observation made by President Tudjman?
14 MR. WAESPI: In fact it's on the back part. There's another
15 comment towards the end of the document. But I'm only interested in --
16 in the comment actually read out. But I think it is important to have
17 the document in. Also, because of the fact that the witness wanted to
18 see the document. The witness is mentioned. He had the chance to
19 comment on it. I think there is sufficient foundation laid to have it
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kuzmanovic.
24 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Thank you.
25 The witness wanted to see a document where he himself said that,
1 not a document where there was something third hand. And I disagree with
2 the assertion that the entire portion of this -- or this entire
3 transcript, even this particular portion, is relevant or probative for
4 any issue relating to this witness's testimony.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: The objections are denied. But the Chamber will
7 admit only the portion specifically dealt with. That is, cover page and
8 relevant page, where the president makes his statement. Perhaps the page
9 prior to that; I leave it up to the parties to see whether that's needed
10 for the context. Because I noticed that in English the -- what the
11 president says is rather at the top of the page which might make it a bit
12 more difficult to have the clear view on the context.
13 So, therefore, Mr. Waespi, you are invited to tender the relevant
14 portion of this document and to consider during the next break whether
15 you can agree with the Defence teams in what would be appropriate
16 context, half a page, whole page, and whether the page shown to us, as
17 such, gives sufficient context as far as what follows.
18 We'll hear from you after the break.
19 We'll first have a break. And we will resume at 11.00.
20 Mr. Waespi, by the way, could you give us any impression, as far
21 as ...
22 MR. WAESPI: I'll certainly conclude within the next session. I
23 think maybe another -- less than an hour, I would assume.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If possible, I do not know whether -- we have
25 two witnesses scheduled for today, if all parties could do their utmost
1 best to see whether we can conclude the testimony of both witnesses
2 today, that would be appreciated.
3 We will resume at 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Especially in view of the Chamber urging the parties
7 to see whether we could finish today, the Chamber apologises for the late
8 start which was caused by urgent Tribunal matters.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. In relation to the last
11 proposed exhibit, 65 ter 7459, we suggest that pages 9 and 10 in English
12 and 14 to 16 in Croatian be tendered.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber has decided on admission, is there
14 any comment on the contextualisation of the relevant portion? If not ...
15 Then, Mr. Registrar the --
16 And the cover page as well, Mr. --
17 MR. WAESPI: That's correct, Mr. President.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will become Exhibit P2655.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
20 Mr. Waespi, may I take it that this portion has been uploaded or
21 will be uploaded into e-court so that you verify, together with the
22 Registrar, whether we have the right portion of the document in evidence.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. WAESPI: I will do that. Thank you.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Vedris, leaving aside the Bolshevik characterisation,
1 how would you describe Mr. Tudjman's style of leadership?
2 A. As a very young democracy springing up in very difficult
3 conditions of war, where a border-line between procedure and wishes for
4 efficiency is rather difficult to arrive at. This is basically how I
5 describe it.
6 Q. I'm not quite sure I understand your answer. But let me maybe
7 put it in a different way.
8 Stipe Mesic publicly called him a dictator. Would you agree with
9 that assessment?
10 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I'm going to object to the form of
11 the question. I'm not sure what Stipe Mesic has to do with anything.
12 And if he wants to ask the witness's opinion about something that's fine,
13 but then to put to him what some other person may have said, I don't see
14 the probative value in that, and I think it is --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I think, Mr. Waespi, let's me just check that.
16 Well, Mr. Waespi started asking about how the witness viewed
17 the -- the style of leadership. And then, as such, to put to a witness
18 the assessment of that -- others, that is not, I would say, in
19 cross-examination, is not inadmissible.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, what I suspect may happen is that
21 this is sort of bootstrapping --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
23 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... well let me just state,
24 because I'm going to object to the admission --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but one thing, Mr. Misetic. The witness
1 understands English. I just wanted to remind you that whatever comments
2 you make at this moment should not be of a kind to inappropriately come
3 to the knowledge of the witness.
4 MR. MISETIC: I'm not going talk about substance of testimony.
5 What I will say --
6 JUDGE ORIE: If you would will describe what kind of a trap you
7 expect to be there, that, of course, could, under circumstances, be a
8 message to a witness.
9 MR. MISETIC: I'm not suggesting there is a trap. What I'm
10 saying is that it's bootstrapping, because now the question has been
11 posed about what the third person thinks. Then to show him documents
12 about what the third person thinks, we will object, and then the argument
13 coming back will be, Well the witness was asked questions about it, he
14 commented about it; therefore it has probative value. Therefore, let's
15 get it in.
16 My objection is the same objection that was litigated previously
17 in this case with respect to P687, at transcript page 6851, which is
18 putting materials to a witness about what someone else commented, that
19 otherwise have no relationship, to the witness is improper. It denies us
20 the right to cross-examine the witness who is not in court. And if that
21 is the exercise that we're going to go through, then I wish to put it now
22 on the record that we're going to object to a procedure and an argument
23 later that says, Well, I asked him all sorts of questions about
24 Mr. Mesic, and, therefore, to make the transcript clean, we need to admit
25 these other documents.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand your position, Mr. Misetic. I think
2 that if Mr. Waespi would share with you that Mr. -- whoever, Mr. X, Y,
3 or Z, has said something. And if he puts that to the witness that if you
4 do not disagree that this person has once said that, that there is no
5 need to have that document be admitted into evidence, would there?
6 Because then it's just the quote and nothing else. And then the mere
7 fact that X, Y, or Z would have said A, B, or C just to put to the
8 witness, there would be no further probative value in such a document,
9 and therefore, there would be no need to have it admitted into -- into
10 evidence, unless you would challenge that Mr. A, B, or C would have ever
11 been reported to have said something.
12 MR. MISETIC: That is correct. And I agree with you,
13 Your Honour, that the provisio that that wouldn't mean that we agree that
14 that becomes the substance of evidence because it was within -- embedded
15 in the question.
16 JUDGE ORIE: No. That's -- I think that's clear, that whoever is
17 quoted, you have had no opportunity to cross-examine that person about
20 MR. KAY: And, for our the part, we agree with the approach of
21 Mr. Misetic there, because we would challenge the validity of undergoing
22 a form of cross-examination in that way. It has no probative value at
23 all to -- to say, Well, this person says this.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whether he was right or wrong in that quote
25 is, of course, Mr. Waespi, I take it, is not something that you would
1 conclude on the basis of putting a quote to this witness, would it? It's
2 just to perhaps to test the answer the witness has given?
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes. It's about starting with a credibility.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Testing this witness, and not seeking the
5 substance of the quote to -- to create evidence. Let's --
6 MR. WAESPI: What I want from the witness is his assessment of
7 the style of leadership in 1992, 1993, 1995. He was a minister at that
8 time; I want a realistic, fair assessment of how it was.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
10 Yes, Mr. Kay, I'm --
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I think, Your Honour, just for the record, I do
12 want to join in my [sic] objection. And if that's what's being asked of
13 the witness, what his view or opinion is, I don't have a problem with
14 that. But to confront him with what someone else thinks or believes is
15 really not relevant or probative.
16 So I just wanted to join in those objections, Your Honour.
17 MR. WAESPI: That's hardly appropriate in cross-examination to
18 put whatever we have of which, I think, have good-faith belief in to put
19 it to the witness. That's cross-examination.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I think --
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay.
23 MR. KAY: It's just as a result of the exchange there, one with
24 can see what else lies in -- in relation to this matter.
25 If it's to test a witness's credibility, you're bound by his
1 answer. And that is a very accepted rule, because you are putting
2 something to him which is outside the evidence of -- of the case. And it
3 can't that be you rely on because someone else said this and you've put
4 it to him, and the witness then denies it, that you have somehow
5 challenged his credibility.
6 The actual rule is this: You are bound by that answer. You're
7 not actually challenging the witness's credibility. You are bound by the
8 answer of it. And that is a very accepted rule in all common law
9 jurisdictions in relation to this process, because -- for obvious reason,
10 none of us are able to deal with it. But the answer that Mr. Waespi
11 gets, whatever it is, on whatever matter which is extraneous to the
12 materials in the Court, he is bound by.
13 JUDGE ORIE: The answer given by this witness on the matter. At
14 the same time, we should not forget that -- and that's, of course, to
15 some extent triggered by the statement itself and is not uncommon in the
16 courtrooms in this house, that is, that we're not only talking about
17 facts, but we are talking about impressions, opinions, et cetera. And
18 this is part of it.
19 And, therefore, Mr. Waespi, as I said before, the Chamber will
20 not -- will allow you to put these questions. But let's also not forget
21 that what witness A, B, or C, or a person quoted in the press thinks
22 about the quality of -- or the colour of the eyes of another person is,
23 of course -- is not always directly addressing the core of the case.
24 So, therefore, you would -- we would certainly not encourage you
25 to put all the qualifications of the style of leadership of Mr. Tudjman
1 to this witness and then to find out that he disagrees.
2 MR. WAESPI: Okay.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
4 MR. WAESPI:
5 Q. Now, Mr. Mesic, he is a friend of yours, isn't he?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. So let me ask you the question again. Mr. Mesic publicly called
8 Mr. Tudjman a dictator; in fact, even in relation to how the lineup of
9 the football team should be done. And you were, as you testified this
10 Monday, president of the football association. Now, do you agree with
11 Mr. Mesic that Mr. Tudjman was a dictator?
12 A. No. I think he was prone to authoritarianism to some extent, but
13 he had respect for parliamentary democracy and it's institutions.
14 While we're on the subject of soccer, I can tell you that he
15 never tried to impose anything on me.
16 Q. Let me go then to a different 65 ter. This is 7463. This is a
17 speech by Mr. Mesic taken from his official home page, November, 2000.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, here we are reaching, of course, the
19 issue, if you want to use another qualification used by Mr. Mesic.
20 But --
21 MR. WAESPI: No, it goes to what the witness said, the answer
22 about the football team.
23 JUDGE ORIE: About the football team.
24 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then at least we are back in the field of facts.
1 Football is fact. I do understand that, at least, in the country of
2 which the -- this Tribunal is established, that we have 16 million
3 coaches of the Dutch national team. That is at least how it is
4 described, the situation.
5 If we are now back in the realm of facts, could you please tell
6 us what you want, what your quote will be or what --
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes. It's a couple of sentences. He talks not
8 only, of course, about the football team but also what the witness just
9 says, that Mr. Tudjman had respect for parliament. That is not what
10 Mr. Mesic, the successor of Mr. Tudjman, says. I would like to put
11 this --
12 MR. MISETIC: Well --
13 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Mr. Misetic.
14 Yes, Mr. Waespi.
15 MR. WAESPI: And I would like that the witness, who gives a
16 one-sided view of the way it was at the time, he uses the word democracy,
17 and I want the Trial Chamber and the witness to know that there this is
18 an different view from a very very respected person. And I want the
19 witness to -- to give an answer to that.
20 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, may I respond.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, briefly.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, he had his case in chief; he didn't
23 call Mesic. He didn't call a single witness to discuss Mr. Tudjman's
24 style of governing.
25 Now he has opened a line of examination that the witness didn't
1 discuss in direct examination, doesn't like the answer, and now wishes to
2 impeach the witness with the statement of someone who is not in court.
3 And he didn't make a discussion in his direct examination about
4 democratic style or not. That's an answer to a topic that he's opened in
5 cross-examination. And to my earlier objection, Mr. President, you
6 indicated that he can go outside the scope of direct. He's now outside
7 the scope of direct, trying to impeach a witness for an answer that
8 wasn't raised in direct examination.
9 And now we're into the area that exactly I had objected to
10 earlier, which is, he wants to get testimony in of another witness who he
11 failed to call in his case in chief.
12 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I would like to reiterate what I said
13 before. I'd like this witness who was --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but -- yes, you are -- the objection came from
15 the Defence, so you're now -- the last one -- after I give an opportunity
16 to the other Defence counsel to either join or add something to what
17 Mr. Misetic said, then have you an opportunity to respond, Mr. Waespi,
18 and then the Chamber will rule on the matter.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, we were asked for a focused case. And one
20 wonders, with this approach, as to who is giving evidence here.
21 Stipe Mesic or Mladen Verdis; whose evidence is under consideration? It
22 must be Mr. Vedris's evidence that is under consideration, what he says
23 and what he knows, not what other people have said and may believe they
24 know, because we don't know the basis for any other external statement.
25 In my submission, this is not the focused case Your Honour
1 requested and said to the Defence at the start of the Defence cases when
2 we go down these routes. Questions to Mr. Vedris as to his knowledge,
3 his information, what he knows, provides that focus.
4 To now embark from a small question about Mr. Mesic to materials
5 that Mr. Mesic may have produced, who knows? He may have rejected what
6 he said. He may have said that he uttered views for political gain for
7 himself. There can be all manner of reasons, and what we move from is
8 this witness to someone else's statements.
9 That, in my submission, cannot be the proper basis for
10 cross-examination. It's not something the Defence did, and in my
11 submission, it's not something the Prosecution should be allowed to do.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kuzmanovic.
13 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I just wanted to say --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. KUZMANOVIC: I just wanted to add our joinder to both of the
16 objections and just add one other thing.
17 It's obvious that if Mr. Vedris had written or said in the past
18 that Mr. Tudjman was a dictator, it would be completely relevant to bring
19 something like this up for him. We're getting further and further afield
20 and further and further deluded from the issue. The issue is of
21 Mr. Vedris's credibility not -- not Mr. Tudjman's or Mr. Mesic's
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
24 MR. WAESPI: Yes, first of all, to the point Mr. Kay made. This
25 is not something Stipe Mesic said in passing. As I said before, this is
1 from a speech, official speech Mr. Mesic gave. It's available on the
2 home page.
3 Second, we have witnesses, I think Mr. Galbraith talked about
4 Mr. Tudjman and his style of government, this is part of our case. And I
5 believe the Prosecution, with every Defence witness, we are entitled to
6 elicit evidence that's favourable to us.
7 Now, the witness said a moment ago that Mr. Tudjman had respect
8 for the parliament. So I believe I'm entitled to put to the witness
9 information that's contradictory of this point. So Your Honours can
10 check the credibility of this witness on that point.
11 This is an very short portion, I think about eight lines, and the
12 witness can say whether he would disagree or whether he would accept what
13 Mr. Mesic said on this point.
14 This is basic cross-examination, in my point of view.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, the Chamber allows you to -- to briefly
17 put this quote as the last one for the time being, unless, of course, we
18 never know whether, from the answer of the witness, something very
19 special arises. But then to formulate your question.
20 And then before you answer that question, Mr. Vedris, the Chamber
21 will first consider whether the question is one that needs to be answered
22 by you. So we'll give the green light in answering, or red light, for
23 the answer of the question.
24 Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 If we could go to 65 ter 7463. And in English, it's on top of
2 page 5; and in B/C/S it's on page 3.
3 Q. Now, let me read what President Mesic said in November 2000:
4 "Although the system in force is usually designated as a
5 semi-presidential, it was actually a presidential one. And even more
6 than that, Franjo Tudjman took all the decisions on the appearance of the
7 state seal, on the appointment of special ministers, but also on the
8 selector of the Croatian football team. At the same time, Croatia
9 strictly centralised country with the centre making all the decisions and
10 everybody leaving for the centre. The government reported to the
11 president and not to the parliament."
12 Now, you talked a moment ago about the issue of -- of the
13 parliament vis-a-vis President Tudjman and also, and this is obviously a
14 minor issue, about the Croatian football team.
15 Now, having read what Mr. Mesic stated, do you agree with him, or
16 do you disagree with him?
17 JUDGE ORIE: You may answer that question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is not possible to
19 answer with a yes or a no because we are talking about different periods
20 of time. I can talk about the period when I was actively involved in the
21 public life and when I cooperated with President Tudjman.
22 The statement we are talking about here relates to a broader
23 period and beyond the period of my active communication with
24 President Tudjman.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Waespi, rather than to -- to stay with all
1 this, if there's anything, for example, if you -- I'm not suggesting that
2 it would be the football that is most important, but, of course, you
3 could ask follow-up questions: Are aware of President Tudjman ever
4 interfering with the composition of the national team? And then the
5 witness will tell us whether he knows or not.
6 Apart from the relevance of that, I don't expect, as a matter of
7 fact, the Spanish king -- I wouldn't -- let me say the following. I
8 would not know exactly what to think about if the Spanish king would ever
9 be involved in the composition of the -- of the Spanish national team. I
10 would not know, as a matter of fact, how that relates to matters which
11 are at stake in the context in which the matter is raised.
12 You could also interpret this as, That's what we want, a head of
13 state, with such an interest in national sports. That's a different way
14 of looking at it.
15 So, therefore, I'm reminding you of all this so that we should
16 not spend too much time on matters which are so multi-interpretable that
17 it causes more confusion than anything else.
18 Mr. Kay.
19 MR. KAY: Your Honour, may I invite Mr. Waespi to put the players
20 that were selected, if we get into the fine detail of it, as a way of
21 proving his knowledge and any basis for it.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I -- -- I join you.
23 MR. WAESPI: [Overlapping speakers] ... question I --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I join you in getting to facts rather than to
25 opinions, assessments, et cetera.
1 Mr. Waespi --
2 MR. WAESPI: The question I actually have for the witness is --
3 Q. You told, this morning, that you were part of all these meetings
4 or many meetings you attended with Mr. Tudjman even as a president of the
5 Chamber of Commerce.
6 Why can you not give us your impression of the leadership style
7 of President Tudjman at that time you were with him, 1992, 1993, 1994,
8 until you relinquished your job as Chamber of Commerce?
9 What prevents you from telling us whether you agree with
10 Mr. Mesic's assessment or not?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, Mr. Mesic, at least from what I can see,
12 doesn't give any time-frame. So, therefore, if this witness tells us
13 that the leadership, style of leadership, may not have been the same
14 during all times and that, therefore, he cannot answer the question, then
15 it's next logical question would be: During the period when you attended
16 meetings with President Tudjman, whether, during that period, the style
17 of leadership substantial pages [indiscernible] substantial pages. That
18 would be the first question.
19 And then the follow-up questions would be about what the style of
20 leadership was, as observed by this witness, if it did not change, and if
21 it did change in that period of time, first, how it was in the beginning,
22 what then changed, and how it was in the end, or whether there were more
23 changes, to approach it an organised analytical way.
24 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I'm happy to move on. It will be
25 another quote, but it's more tied to what the witness said in his witness
2 I accept the witness's answer that he doesn't want to go into
4 Q. Now in paragraph 3 of your statement which is now D1772 --
5 MR. KUZMANOVIC: One moment, Your Honour. I'm sorry to interrupt
6 Mr. Waespi. But to some extent he has answered the question on page 43,
7 line 19. He answered:
8 "No I think he was prone to authoritarianism" --
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... Yes, but Mr. -- of
10 course, that --
11 MR. KUZMANOVIC: And it --
12 JUDGE ORIE: That answer which, of course, is on the record now,
13 is part of the testimony. And I think Mr. Waespi was about to move on
14 to --
15 MR. WAESPI: Something entirely different.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Something entirely different. That's the impression
17 I gained. And therefore, there's no need to go back to what was earlier
19 MR. KUZMANOVIC: No, I do understand that, Your Honour. My point
20 was that he did -- Mr. Waespi said he didn't want to answer the question
21 and he did answer the question.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, to some extent he did answer the question. In
23 certain respects he did, in others he did not. He made reservations.
24 Let's not, at this moment, lose ourselves in -- in assessing whether the
25 observation that he did not answer the question was without merit, was
1 without --
2 Let's just move on.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. In D1772, which is your witness statement --
6 MR. WAESPI: And perhaps this document could be MFI'd,
7 Mr. President.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I object --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Which document?
10 MR. WAESPI: The last one. The one I quoted from which is
11 65 ter 7463.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I take it that it was a literal quote from --
13 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- a speech of Mr. Mesic. And if there was anything
15 relevant in there, that it is contained in the quote, and that
16 therefore --
17 MR. WAESPI: [Overlapping speakers] ... that there is more.
18 Given the objections of the Defence, I'm -- for the time being, I don't
19 wanted to tender it, but just to have the record clear, to have it MFI'd.
20 MR. MISETIC: I object, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ORIE: To have it MFI'd or to have it admitted into
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes. If he is not tendering it, then why MFI it,
24 if he is not tendering it?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. WAESPI: I'm not insisting. It's a practical issue. If the
2 documents needs to be --
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: If the document needs to be used, perhaps later we
6 can start from zero. So if there is no objection to MFI, I'm not talking
7 about this witness but another witness.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Nightmare for -- for a president of a Trial Chamber
9 is to have a long MFI list, Mr. Waespi. You know that you quoted from a
10 speech given by Mr. Stipe Mesic. Now I take it that there are no other
11 speeches with literally the same paragraph - not eight lines, by the way,
12 but nine lines. So, therefore, if you want to revisit this matter at any
13 later stage, the Chamber, even without this document being MFI'd, thinks
14 that you would find it back and then put it to any other witness that
15 would come and testify.
16 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber does not see any reason why this
18 document should be MFIed.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Your witness statement, paragraph 3, and this is D1772, I quote,
22 you say the following:
23 "Due to permanent provocation by the political leadership in
25 also necessary to realise and prepare for the worst and the most
1 difficult scenario, which was armed conflict and war."
2 But you would agree with me, Mr. Vedris, that this was not a
3 one-sided picture, but that in particular, President Tudjman made many
4 moves which simply had to antagonise the Serbs in Croatia?
5 A. I would not agree with this. Namely, from the very beginning,
6 from the first independent democratic elections in Croatia, it was
7 absolutely a political and social wish to realize a democratic framework
8 for resolving any conflict without any tendency towards antagonism, with
9 any segment of the society.
10 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, unfortunately, we have to go into the
11 same issue. I would like to put a quote from Mr. Mesic which directly is
12 in contradiction of what Mr. Metic [sic] said to this witness, and it
13 comes from the same document.
14 MR. KAY: Your Honour, my submission --
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Just trying to find the line, Mr. Waespi. But I
17 think that we would allow you one more. I think that's what I said at
18 the time. And you have taken that opportunity. And that should be
19 understood as one more is not two more.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. WAESPI: Thank you.
22 Q. This is on page 4 in English of 65 ter 746 -- I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE ORIE: No, Mr. Waespi, you must have misunderstood my
25 Now, I'll find -- if the parties could assist me where I said
1 "one more time," then ...
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: It was already a while ago -- Judge Gwaunza tells me
4 that it's 45:16.
5 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I believe it is page 47, beginning
6 at line 17 as well.
7 JUDGE ORIE: 47.
8 Let me be clear, Mr. Waespi, I think it was clear that the
9 Chamber would allow to you put one more quote of Mr. Mesic to this
10 witness that we'd then move on. And, as I said, you've taken that
11 opportunity, and we therefore now move on.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. And it's also true - is it not? - that Mr. Tudjman did not
15 believe in a peaceful co-existence of the Croats and the Krajina Serbs.
16 Would you agree with me?
17 A. No, I do not agree with you. President Tudjman was convinced
18 that it was possible within Croatia
20 Q. So if Mr. Mesic publicly said the opposite, you would not agree
21 with him?
22 A. You see, for agreement and for co-existence, two sides are
23 necessary. So one cannot talk about unilateral acts of one side if you
24 don't have the willingness of the other side, for anything.
25 Q. So you're saying one side was willing but the other side was not?
1 A. Your Honours, Mr. Prosecutor, let me remind you that Croatia
2 accepted Z-4 which envisaged a high level of independence within one and
3 the same country, and the other side did not accept this plan.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, we are moving far away from the
5 statement of the witness, where I --
6 MR. WAESPI: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll go back to the
7 statement. Actually, I'm about to finish.
8 Q. You -- in your statement you say a number of times that
9 Mr. Tudjman was impressed by Mr. Cermak and his ability and that he
10 called him four times, I believe, to -- I think become -- for a function.
11 Now, do you agree with me that Mr. Cermak had been one of
12 Mr. Tudjman's favourites and that this fact was well-known?
13 A. President Tudjman respected qualities of certain persons, and, in
14 accordance with that, under circumstances which were not simple, these
15 were the circumstances of war and everything else that was going on. He
16 tried to find a position for everyone where these people could be engaged
17 in the best way possible, with best efficiency.
18 In the case of Mr. Cermak, I emphasised in my statement his
19 exceptional organisational talent, which President Tudjman had seen on
20 the occasion of the first democratic elections at the party level. This
21 was confirmed under difficult wartime circumstances, and it was then
22 fully expressed during the reconstruction of the country, when he worked
23 as the minister of the economy. And these are the facts that I stand by.
24 Q. So Mr. Cermak was one of the favourites of Mr. Tudjman?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, whether he was a favourite or not, in
1 the statement it's clear that this witness takes the position that
2 President Tudjman held Mr. Cermak in high esteem for his qualities. And
3 then to say, Are you a favourite, are you not? That really doesn't add
4 that much. But I take it that, in view of your last question, that you
5 want to put that someone else would have ever said Mr. Cermak was
6 Mr. Tudjman's favourite or not, that really doesn't assist the Chamber
7 very much.
8 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President, I don't have any more questions, but
9 I think there is a fine distinction between professional capabilities on
10 one side and the word "favourite" and going beyond.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but we're done -- who assesses that and on what
12 basis? And -- unless you say that I have a political statement in which
13 someone explains on the basis of what facts he came to the conclusion and
14 that Mr. Cermak was a favourite and then also explains what that means to
15 be a favourite of -- then it would make sense.
16 But if someone else would have said, Well all knew that
17 Mr. Cermak was one of President Tudjman's favourites, that's -- then a
18 personal assessment, including what others were supposed to agree with
19 and test it. It just doesn't assist the Chamber. Unless, as I said
20 before, you have something factual, very concrete, then to put to the
21 witness. But just a one-liner, We all knew that four times, Mr. Cermak
22 being one of the -- one of the babies of President Tudjman doesn't assist
24 MR. WAESPI: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
1 MR. KAY: I have no re-examination, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: No re-examination.
3 MR. MISETIC: Nothing, Your Honour.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: As well, Your Honour.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vedris, I have one question for you, which is
8 the following:
9 Mr. Waespi put to you an interview in which Mr. Cermak was
10 reported to have said about his 800 men. Mr. Waespi asked: Were you
11 aware of Mr. Cermak having 800 men, armed men. And then, in response to
12 that question, you started explaining to us what the structure of firms
13 selling security in Croatia
14 You remember that?
15 Then I did put a few questions to you --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I did put a few questions to you about your
18 knowledge of Mr. Cermak being engaged in whatever capacity in such a
19 firm, and the Chamber noticed that you could not say anything about that.
20 What the Chamber does not fully understand yet, and perhaps you
21 could explain that to us, that if a question is put to you about
22 Mr. Cermak having 800 men, that you start talking about the security
23 firms and explaining in quite some detail on how that went, and then
24 asked about Mr. Cermak's involvement in such a firm. You say, I don't
25 know anything about it.
1 What made you link the security firms to the 800 men of
2 Mr. Cermak, where, in your later answers, you seemed to have no clue
3 about Mr. Cermak being involved in such a firm, or such firms?
4 Could you please explain that for the Chamber.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what specifically do
6 you think I should refer to? Whether the activity of these firms or the
7 links that Mr. Cermak may have had with such firms?
8 What exactly is your question?
9 JUDGE ORIE: My question is why, when asked about 800 armed men
10 for Mr. Cermak, why do you then start talking about security firms;
11 whereas, in your later answer, we gained the impression - and I'm saying
12 "we" for the whole of the Chamber - that you were not aware of any link
13 of Mr. Cermak to a security firm?
14 How you first linked Mr. -- the 800 men to security firms; and
15 later said, Well, Mr. Cermak and security firms; I've got no idea. To
16 say it a bit bluntly. That is what is a puzzle for the Chamber.
17 I wouldn't say inconsistency between the two answers, but at
18 least --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- we have difficulties to understand.
21 Please proceed with an answer.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
23 In this period, you did not have two groups of 800 men. There
24 were 800 men who were engaged as working for security firms, and I tried
25 to explain how these firms operated and what their line of work was. So
1 these were the armed persons.
2 As for the interview and the quotation from it that was presented
3 here, there is an reference to Mr. Cermak. And I said in the first part
4 of my statement that he had business and friendly relations with some of
5 the management an owners of such companies. And that was the context of
6 what is mentioned in the interview.
7 So, informally speaking, he co-operated with the firms that had
8 the -- the firms had the employees who were armed, but they were lawfully
9 armed, so one can talk about his cooperation, whether private or
10 business, with the management and the owners of such companies.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could you then tell us who the owners were?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said in the first part of my
13 testimony that there are very clear court records and there's the
14 register from which one can see who were the owners of such companies,
15 legally, and transparently. But it is difficult for me, after so many
16 years, to talk about the names or the ownership structure of these
17 companies, but documents exist and they may be presented to the Court at
18 any given time.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the suggestion that registers always
20 transparently show real ownership is a suggestion which might not be
21 followed by all lawyers without any hesitation. Let me be clear on that.
22 But if you say that you knew that Mr. Cermak was doing business and had
23 friendly relations with owners and managers, then to tell the Chamber, Go
24 and check the registers, rather than to tell us with whom, then,
25 Mr. Cermak had these relations or did business with, comes a bit as a
2 Why don't you just tell us -- or don't you remember?
3 A. Your Honour, I don't know sufficient facts. But if we use
4 another minute for explanations, some of the companies also hired
5 sportsmen, people who were able to move around quickly and, for example,
6 Mr. Safranic, Sokol Safranic, which was the name of the firm was one of
7 the owners, and he was a friend and a business colleague of Mr. Cermak.
8 I remember him, because he was present in the public in
9 connection with some sports events. But, as I say, there was a number of
10 these firms, and, as the president of the Executive Council, we engaged
11 another security firm which secured a number of public buildings in the
12 city. But if you asked me about the management or the structure of
13 ownership now, it would be too difficult for me to, try exactly after two
14 decades, to answer this. However, there are clear records.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that Mr. Cermak himself, apparently in the
16 interview, is reported to have said that he had his 800 men doesn't
17 refresh any of your memory as that Mr. Cermak may not have been only
18 friendly or may have done business with such firms but that he might have
19 been involved in ownership or management for those firms?
20 A. As for the ownership issues, I repeat again, we might refer to
21 official documents.
22 As for the text, as far as I know, Mr. Cermak, he did not
23 authorise the interviews he had given. If he had, probably the
24 formulation would have been more precise. We have spent a lot of time on
25 this, but this was an informal, colloquial, and quite imprecise
1 statement, especially as regards the facts that were necessary to write
2 anything like this.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Did you attend the interview?
4 A. No.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Are you aware of the interview having been recorded?
6 A. It probably was, because this is the way how one turns it into a
8 However, when we do interviews, very often, then we make
9 something more precise, when we -- we explain when we want to read
10 through the statement that we gave.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But whether the written version reflects
12 exactly, or less exactly, or not at all what Mr. Cermak said, you were
13 not in a position to verify, did you?
14 A. Certainly not.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.
16 Have the questions of the Bench --
17 MR. KAY: Your Honour, I have one matter arising from
18 Your Honours' questioning.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. KAY: Sometimes we don't know what's important or not to the
21 Trial Chamber.
22 Further Re-examination by Mr. Kay:
23 Q. Sokol Safranic was a name you mentioned, in fact, in answer to
24 questions from Mr. Waespi. You've just mentioned that name in answer to
25 questions from His Honour.
1 Can you give an explanation by what you mean about
2 Sokol Safranic?
3 A. Sokol Safranic, at that time, was the name of a security firm.
4 Mr. Safranic was either a part of the management or the owner of the
5 company. Sokol was an old tradition name he used, and - with the hyphen
6 in between - he added the last name of Safranic, the person who was
7 either in the management or owned the firm itself.
8 Q. And what does "Sokol" mean. What does that stand for? You said
9 it was an old name.
10 A. It's an old Croatian historical name, which, indirectly
11 associated to -- well, it is actually the name of a bird and also the
12 name of an old sports association which existed throughout Croatian
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Sokol means falcon.
15 MR. KAY: Thank you very much.
16 Q. And what was Mr. Cermak's connection, if any, with this firm?
17 Can you explain that, why you mentioned this name?
18 A. Sorry ...
19 I think he was on friendly terms with him. And they had some
20 business contacts, which did not have to do with the security firm alone.
21 Let us not forget that prior to 1991, Mr. Cermak had been a private
22 entrepreneur and he had cooperated with a number of companies in
23 different areas, although I have no particular knowledge of that. I told
24 you that I only met him in the period following the first democratic
1 Q. And --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, the questions by the Chamber were not
3 aiming at further establishing the specifics of a relationship with one
4 firm or another. It was -- to some extent it was also --
5 MR. KAY: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- testing credibility and reliability which was at
7 the foreground.
8 MR. KAY: Yes, I was trying to establish what the witness knew
9 about it, obviously, because I've had instructions, so --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, I inform you that the
11 Chamber doesn't, at this moment, consider that it will be assisted --
12 MR. KAY: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: -- by -- by hearing or knowing more about the
14 details of this one specific business relationship of -- with a firm the
15 witness -- or a person the witness mentioned.
16 MR. KAY: Yes, thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Mr. Misetic.
19 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President. I rise because there is one
20 issue that I intend to bar table a document in response to a question or
21 a line of questioning that was pursued by Mr. Waespi. I simply didn't
22 have it at my disposal when Mr. Waespi concluded his examination.
23 I will bar table it, but it is -- these are excerpts from the
24 Martic OTP final trial brief concerning the questioning by Mr. Waespi at
25 pages 53, lines 14 to 16. I'm willing to bar table it, but I wanted to
1 let the Chamber know that I wanted to put those excerpts now in in
2 response to that, in case the Chamber wanted me to put any of it to this
3 witness who would have been present. The excerpts deals with the HDZ in
4 1990, 1991, and 1989. He has personal knowledge of it, but I'm content
5 to bar table it. However the Chamber wishes to proceed.
6 It is Exhibit 65 ter 1D114.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, the Chamber, at this moment, has no clear
8 view on --
9 MR. MISETIC: We can call --
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, but -- I don't know how many page it would be.
11 MR. MISETIC: It's three paragraphs, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Three paragraphs.
13 Mr. Waespi, would you object to a bar table admission of the
14 excerpts from the Martic final trial brief?
15 MR. WAESPI: If I can exhibit something else in exchange, I
16 wouldn't oppose.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Come up with a proposal, Mr. --
18 MR. WAESPI: I don't object.
19 JUDGE ORIE: You don't object.
20 Then --
21 MR. MISETIC: If we could have that MFI'd, and I will only
22 upload -- right now, the entire brief is in e-court, but we will shorten
23 it. It is 65 ter 1D114.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ORIE: The issue seems not to be, at this moment,
1 admission. The issue seems, rather, to be whether there would be any
2 need to ask further questions to this witness about that. So, therefore,
3 the Chamber would appreciate to have the relevant three paragraphs on the
4 screen so that we can form an opinion as to whether we should keep the
5 witness for a while or ...
6 MR. MISETIC: And, Mr. Registrar, it is 65 ter 1D114, page 2.
7 JUDGE ORIE: The paragraphs were, Mr. --
8 MR. MISETIC: They're all yellow highlighted, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ORIE: All yellow highlighted. And the first one, 25 --
10 MR. MISETIC: Then 31 and 32.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. If you would just first give us an
12 opportunity to read 25.
13 Could we -- I'm looking at my colleagues. Could we move on to
14 the next page, to finish reading 25.
15 Could we move to the next paragraph which was -- 32, you said?
16 MR. MISETIC: 31 and 32.
17 JUDGE ORIE: 31 and 32, please.
18 Could we move on to the next page.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, may I take it that the relevance of
21 tendering this as a bar table document is in relation to the -- the
22 question put by Mr. Waespi? Well, let's --
23 MR. MISETIC: The question --
24 JUDGE ORIE: To put it short, it takes two to tango. Is that --
25 MR. MISETIC: No, it was the question on page 53 beginning at
1 line 14 through 16 that President Tudjman made many moves which simply
2 were to antagonise the Serbs in Croatia
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 I don't think there is any need to put further questions to the
5 witness in this respect. And the Chamber --
6 Mr. Waespi, you did not object to the --
7 MR. WAESPI: Yes. Perhaps the only issue is whether the witness
8 was a party member and from when to when. I'm not sure that's part of
9 his evidence. It's kind of related, but since this comes in while the
10 witness is here ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: And any problem by the other parties to hear from
12 the witness whether he was a party member, HDZ, and from when to when?
13 MR. MISETIC: No problem.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vedris, last question to you: Were you a member
15 of the HDZ, when did you become a party, if at all, and up until what
16 moment were you a member?
17 Yes, and I should have said "When did you become a party member,"
18 rather than to become a party. Yes.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was a member of the Croatian
20 Democratic Union
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
22 Then this -- Mr. Waespi.
23 MR. WAESPI: Yes, I'm sorry, I might have overstepped my ground.
24 But if the witness could be asked why he left the party.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Misetic.
1 MR. MISETIC: Well, I think --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course, if we are interested to know
3 whether he was a member of the party, of course, if -- in the middle of
4 a -- of a period in which -- politics is very important. If you leave a
5 party, then it might be good to know, also, whether there was any
6 specific reason why he left the party.
7 Mr. Vedris, any specific reason why you left the party in 1994?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was. It was a personal
9 reason of mine, as well as a reason of a number of then members of the
10 HDZ and parliament. We believed that in the next stage that Croatia
11 embarking upon it was necessary to make more room for democracy and
12 decision-making concerning the important issues that were raised within
13 the HDZ itself.
14 We tried to encourage such debates up to a point while we still
15 believed that a dialogue of that kind may result in quality, the quality
16 of the party, as well as the -- the quality of the wider context in which
17 it worked.
18 At the point in time when we assessed that it was difficult for
19 us to expect to see that within the rather strict party framework, we
20 decided to leave the party and terminate our membership in the HDZ.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Have the questions -- and let's be open, more
23 specifically, the last answer, has triggered any need for further
25 MR. MISETIC: No, Mr. President. But if I could just ask for an
1 exhibit or -- I tender 65 ter 1D114. I don't know how the Chamber wishes
2 to --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Being the three paragraphs?
4 MR. MISETIC: Correct.
5 JUDGE ORIE: The highlighted paragraphs from the
6 Martic Prosecution's pre-trial brief.
7 MR. MISETIC: Final --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Final brief.
9 Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1773.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
12 Where there is no further need for the parties, as I understand,
13 to put additional questions to the witness, Mr. Vedris, this concludes
14 your evidence in this court. I would like to thank you very much for
15 coming a long way to The Hague
16 put to you, put to you by the parties, were put to you by the Bench, and
17 I wish you a safe return home again.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Presiding Judge.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the clock. Mr. Kay, I take it that
21 you would prefer to have the break now and then start
22 examination-in-chief of the next witness after the break?
23 MR. KAY: Yes, please. Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break. And I have the best intention
25 to resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.43 p.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, is the Cermak Defence ready to call its
4 next witness?
5 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour. May I call Nadan Vidosevic, please.
6 Your Honour, while the witness is being collected, can we deal
7 with a matter that started at the end of Friday' session concerning the
8 murders in Brgud.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. KAY: The document shown on Sanction has been uploaded as
11 2D180367. And we ask that an exhibit number be assigned to that
13 JUDGE ORIE: That's the 13th of September report?
14 MR. KAY: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1774.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Waespi, although you did not deal with the
18 witness, I think --
19 MR. WAESPI: I will inquire.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It would take me a bit of an intellectual --
21 some gymnastics, to even imagine. But we will just wait and hear from
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Vidosevic.
25 Before you give evidence in this courtroom. The Rules of
1 Procedure and Evidence inquire that you make a solemn declaration that
2 you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 The text is handed out to you by Mr. Usher. I would like to
4 invite you to make that solemn declaration.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Vidosevic. Please be seated.
8 Mr. Vidosevic, you will first be examined by Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay is
9 counsel for Mr. Cermak.
10 WITNESS: NADAN VIDOSEVIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examination by Mr. Kay:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vidosevic.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. Mr. Vidosevic, if you look at the screen on your right, we are
16 going to produce a statement on there that you gave to the Defence.
17 MR. KAY: May we have 2D00723, please.
18 Q. If could you look at this statement, which is in your own
19 language, and identify whether it is the same time you gave to the
21 A. Yes, that's the statement I gave to the Defence.
22 Q. And is that your signature on the first page of the document?
23 A. Yes, that is my signature.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 MR. KAY: If we can now go to the last page of the document.
1 Q. And there, in your own language, is a date there, the
2 4th of May 2009 and your signature. Is that your signature?
3 A. Yes, that is my signature.
4 Q. Before signing this document, did you read through it to check
5 that its contents were correct?
6 A. Yes, I did. And the contents are correct.
7 Q. And is the information in there, to the best of your knowledge
8 and belief, true and correct?
9 A. Yes, the information is absolutely true and correct.
10 Q. If I was to ask you, today, the same questions that caused the
11 answers that enabled this statement to be produced, would you give the
12 same answers to those questions, if asked them in court today?
13 A. Yes, I would give the same answers as I did at the time.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. KAY: Your Honour, the statement is signed on the intervening
16 pages, and I ask that this document, with the Court's leave, becomes an
18 JUDGE ORIE: The OTP has already responded that it does not
19 object admission.
20 Therefore, Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that becomes Exhibit D1775.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Is admitted into evidence.
23 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. I will now make a short statement summarizing the contents of
25 this statement, Mr. Vidosevic, for the record.
1 MR. KAY: And with Your Honours' leave, may I do that.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
3 MR. KAY: Mr. Vidosevic was born in 1960 in Split and graduated
4 from the university in Split
5 Dalmacija cement enterprise, and in March 1993, he was elected as a
6 deputy of the Split-Dalmatia county, in the house of counties in the
7 Sabor, the parliament, of the Republic of Croatia
8 prefect for Split-Dalmatia county.
9 On the 12th of October, 1993, he was appointed as minister of the
10 economy in the Government the Republic of Croatia
11 position until 18th September, 1995. And after that date, he became the
12 president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, which is the position that
13 he currently holds today.
14 Your Honour, I'm just looking at paragraph 2 of the statement,
15 and I notice the second paragraph has a typographic error and it should
16 be September "1993," not September "1995," which flows from the
17 information given in the statement.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we see that already in your motion.
19 MR. KAY: Thank you.
20 Mr. Vidosevic, as the minister of the economy, was aware of the
21 vital significance, after the liberation of Knin, of the whole region
22 that was now formally coming under the government of the
23 Republic of Croatia
24 their significance to the economy of Croatia at the time in August 1995.
25 He was responsible for the operation of various state-owned enterprises,
1 as they were at that time, and it was important for him to establish
2 supplies of energy, being electricity, gas, and fuel, with the objective
3 of factories within the region could resume working as soon as possible.
4 He was the superior of a man called Zdenko Rincic, whom he
5 appointed as the coordinator for the Ministry of Economy in Knin, and his
6 tasks were to establish co-ordination with other institutions in Knin, to
7 help establish normal life and conditions and start the economic recovery
8 in Knin as soon as possible. And Mr. Rincic reported to him on the
9 progress of the restoration of factories and other services as the time
10 and days passed after the liberation of Knin.
11 Mr. Vidosevic was aware that Mr. Rincic was using the support of
12 Mr. Cermak, whom he was aware of, as having a man of great business
13 experience and who was assisting in the normalisation of life in Knin and
14 reestablishment of the utilities and infrastructure. And three days
15 after Operation Storm had ended, he visited Knin with the prime minister
16 and some other ministers to assess the situation in the town.
17 On the 7th of September, 1995, he attended the special session of
18 the government that was held in the fortress in Knin, where the
19 government discussed and considered measures undertaken for the economic
20 recovery in the region.
21 Your Honour, that's a brief summary of the content of the
22 statement. And with the Court's leave, I would like to ask Mr. Vidosevic
23 a few extra questions.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm aware that it may be difficult, but I
25 would invite the parties, still, to consider the possibility of
1 concluding the testimony today. I have no assessments yet from the other
2 Defence team nor from the Prosecution, so it's difficult for me to ...
3 MR. KAY: Mr. Waespi and I have collaborated on the matter and
4 believe that this is a distinct possibility.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And it is not contradicted by parties with
6 whom you also may have collaborated, but I'm not aware of it.
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes, we have no questions, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: We neither, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Kay.
11 MR. KAY: I thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. Yes, Mr. Vidosevic, a few questions concerning the nature of your
14 August 1995, as minister of the economy, how would you have
15 assessed, at that time, the economic state of the Republic of Croatia
16 before the liberation of Knin?
17 A. I would assess it as very complex in every aspect. The
18 30 per cent of the territory was occupied. All the central roads were
19 occupied. Three Adriatic ports, Split
20 As for the network of roads, that was also threatened and so was the
21 pipeline. We had a frontline in the norther part of the country as well,
22 so the situation was very difficult. We had around 15 per cent of the
23 population as refugees of which one third were refugees from
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If we look at the Netherlands today, the equivalent
25 would be if we had a million half and half people not living in their
1 homes. It's something unthinkable.
2 So under these conditions, we were fighting a very difficult
3 battle to keep the Croatian economic system operating. And Knin was very
4 important, and it would open a new vista. You can imagine how many
5 millions we lost when transporting goods that had to be transported
6 through the only road that we had that was across the bridge for Pag and
7 then by ferry to the ground and then avoiding the front lines so that we
8 could communicate with the rest of the world. I'm talking about the
9 southern part of Croatia
10 We also had great problems with power supply, due to the very
11 complex situation in Bosnia
12 was one of the greatest challenges. We had problems with supplies. We
13 had power cuts that was from 10
14 impossible. Also, supply of food for the population. And therefore Knin
15 was certainly the crucial point for the normal functioning of the state.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vidosevic, if you take a breath now and then,
17 our interpreters can also take a breath. Yes.
18 Please proceed.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
20 MR. KAY:
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vidosevic.
22 Knin, then, was liberated on the 5th of August, 1995. And how
23 important was it to get the region back to normality and stabilised for
24 the Croatian economy?
25 A. Well, just as I said, the costs that the state had were reduced
1 several times. The life could become normal, and the state could
2 function properly again, not only in this region. Not only the county of
3 Knin and Zadar - today it is the county of Zadar
4 mean just that region but also the entire territory of Croatia
5 Q. And what were the significant businesses in the Knin region that
6 required getting back into operation as soon as possible?
7 A. There were several, primarily this was the railway
8 note [as interpreted]. Before the war, 3.000 employees worked at the
9 railway junction in Knin. In addition to this, it was important to make
10 the power supply system operational. It was part of the then-Yugoslav
11 power supply system, Nikola Tesla. It was of exceptional importance for
12 us. It was also necessary to provide regular oil and gas supplies. And
13 what was also a challenge was to how to revive the companies.
14 It was surprising for me that these companies were in an
15 excellent condition when I visited Knin several days after the conclusion
16 of operations, how one would make them operative again. Some of them
17 were very perspective, and they could find a place on the market. Some
18 were also in a good condition technically and technologically, but the
19 demands of the market were not such that this was needed. I mean, not
20 just the market in Croatia
21 So the challenge was how to find professionals and how to
22 re-establish everything. What was exceptionally good was general
23 enthusiasm of the people in the companies which were mainly publicly
24 owned companies, such as the power supply system and the water supply
25 system, but also other enterprises that were willing to assist. So that
1 it was not a problem to motivate people; a bigger problem was to
2 co-ordinate them so that the tasks would be carried out as soon as
3 possible. And I believe that we managed to achieve that.
4 Q. How prepared was the government on the 5th of August, 1995, to
5 start this process of taking over these industries and factories? Had
6 there been any plan that had been prearranged, or was it something that
7 was developed from the moment of liberation?
8 A. We did not have any special plan, in case of liberation. Of
9 course, we had experience from the war years, but we did not have a
10 special plan.
11 However, when things happened as they did, we were all happy that
12 the possibility to start operating appeared. And, let me say that we
13 demonstrated a high level of efficiency under relatively difficult
15 Q. And, in relation to his role in this, from what you were able to
16 observe and learn, what was Mr. Cermak's role in relation to the matters
17 that you were interested in?
18 A. It was crucial, and it was excellent. As an experienced
19 businessman with some political experience; namely, he was the minister
20 of economy before me, and he was the crucial person who made sure that
21 the process would develop the way we wished.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vidosevic. We are attempting to finish your
23 evidence in one day, which I know will be important to you.
24 And I have no further questions. But please wait there.
25 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
2 Since the Gotovina and Markac Defence have informed the Chamber
3 that they they've no questions for the witness.
4 Mr. Waespi, are you ready to cross-examine Mr. Vidosevic?
5 MR. WAESPI: Yes, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
7 Mr. Vidosevic, you will now be cross-examined by Mr. Waespi.
8 Mr. Waespi is counsel for the Prosecution.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Waespi:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vidosevic.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. First I'd like to turn to paragraph 4 of your witness statement,
13 which is now D1775.
14 MR. WAESPI: Perhaps if we could --
15 Q. There you state that:
16 "I did not know that Operation Oluja was going to start; I heard
17 that the operation had started from the media, like all other citizens."
18 Now, is it, therefore, fair to say that you weren't part of the
19 inner circle of the Croatian structure that made these big decisions
20 about whether to go to war or not?
21 A. It is difficult for me to answer. When you are a minister in the
22 government, then you are a member of the leading structures of your
23 country. But the fact that the war operation would start was not part of
24 my area of responsibility.
25 Q. And you also weren't part of any of the meetings prior to 1995
1 that proceeded [sic] the launch of Operation Storm in which, you know,
2 military issues were discussed?
3 A. Not in the military sense of the word.
4 Q. So it's no surprise that you were not involved, or knew of any
5 plans, if there had been, in relation to the Serbs in the Krajina?
6 A. Well, I wouldn't quite put it that way. We had regular
7 government meetings, and what was characteristic for the sessions of the
8 Croatian governments in general was that decisions were always, without
9 exception, made by consensus. So if any of the ministers did not agree
10 with any of the proposed government decisions, then this item would be
11 removed from the agenda. And on the basis of this, I can conclude that,
12 if there was anything that was happening and that was directed against
13 the Croatian citizens of Serbian ethnicity, it would not be accepted by
14 the government, not just myself, but many of my colleagues. We would
15 probably have left the government.
16 Q. Now, let's turn to paragraph 5 in your testimony. And you talked
17 about that in chief as well. That was the transfer of Mr. Rincic, who
18 was your deputy for special-purpose manufacturing industry and you
19 appointed him as the economic coordinator.
20 Now, was that a civilian or military activity that Mr. Rincic
22 A. He had civilian responsibilities as my assistant for a
23 special-purpose manufacturing industry. And when Operation Storm was
24 launched, he asked me to join the brigade that he had been a member of
25 earlier, the 112th Brigade which covered the Zadar area, and I approved
2 Q. But when you appointed him as economic coordinator, was that a
3 military role or a civilian role?
4 A. That was a strictly civilian position.
5 Q. Now, we come back to that in a second. But in paragraph 6 and
6 also paragraph 5 and 9 you say that Mr. Rincic verbally reported to you
7 on his activities by telephone.
8 Now, when was that, that Mr. Rincic phoned you?
9 A. If you are asking me about exact times, it is very difficult to
10 say, because many years have passed. But, generally speaking, I can tell
11 you that he reported to me about the issues which were interesting for
12 me. And while responding to Mr. Kay, I explained a while ago what that
14 Q. And when was it the first time that Mr. Rincic reported back to
15 you on his activities and the progress of the economic situation in Knin,
16 as you point out in paragraph 6 of your statement? If you recall, after
17 such a long time.
18 A. Unfortunately, I do not remember the day.
19 Q. But that was, you know, in those days following his appointment
20 as coordinator in Knin, I take it?
21 A. Yes, it was certainly after that.
22 Q. And where was Mr. Rincic when he phoned you? Was he in Knin?
23 A. I think that he was in Knin, but I know that he was active in a
24 wider area, because we were also interested, for example, in the
25 Knin Gips factory in Kosovo Polje, which is a bit further away of Knin in
1 the direction of Drnis.
2 Q. Do you know which phone he used when he reported back to you?
3 A. No, I couldn't tell that you. That is to say, I don't know.
4 Q. Now, in paragraph 9 of your statement you say that Mr. Rincic
5 also reported to you about his cooperation with Mr. Cermak and Mr. Pasic.
6 Now, what did he, Mr. Rincic, report to you about his cooperation
7 with Mr. Cermak?
8 A. He reported to me, as I said earlier, about the things that I was
9 interested in. And what I can say, I know this quite well because the
10 instructions were quite precise, that he should put himself at the
11 disposal of Mr. Cermak so that we could more easily fulfil our tasks, as
12 Mr. Cermak was a very competent person who could help to resolve these
13 very complex issues much supply and revival of economy, the supply of
14 population and the recovery of economy in this area.
15 Q. Now, you said earlier that that was a civilian activity performed
16 by Mr. Rincic. Now, did you know that he was performing these
17 activities, at least when he left his office, in uniform?
18 A. I did not have this information.
19 Q. And did you know that he was signing documents on behalf of
20 Mr. Cermak, using the official letterhead and, indeed, the stamp of the
21 Knin Garrison command?
22 A. I did not know that at the time.
23 Q. When did you become aware of that?
24 A. Later on. Much later. But I must admit that this did not strike
25 me as strange in any way because I know that both he and Mr. Cermak had
1 an insufficient number of men for fulfilling their tasks, so if they had
2 to have an exchange of tasks in a formal way, it seemed to me quite
4 Q. So you would accept that Mr. Rincic was performing tasking on
5 behalf of General Cermak, within the organisation of General Cermak?
6 A. It is possible; but I would say, as part of their joint task.
7 Q. Now, did you also know that Mr. Rincic, sometimes intentionally,
8 gave the impression that he was General Cermak's assistant or deputy?
9 A. I didn't know that, but ... I could easily answer that.
10 At the time, for the system which was being rebuilt to operate,
11 it was very important to be efficient. And I suppose that Mr. Rincic
12 then pragmatically, never thinking that today here in The Hague we would
13 be discussing that, he would use the authority of General Cermak.
14 Q. So it was important, during those days, to be pragmatic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You also say in paragraph 10 of your witness statement that, on
17 the basis of the reports you were getting from Mr. Rincic, you were:
18 "... sure that Mr. Cermak was doing his job well."
19 And you also met with Mr. Cermak at that time. Now, how many
20 times did you meet with Mr. Cermak at that time, meaning during the time
21 Mr. Cermak was in Knin?
22 A. Several times, but these meetings were neither long nor very
23 detailed because there was no need for such meetings. Things were
24 happening at a pace that we wished to have. Everything was developing
25 well. And Mr. Rincic was, in my view, an adequate link between the work
1 that Mr. Cermak was doing and the area of work that I was doing.
2 Q. Now, we heard, and I quoted you, that you thought that Mr. Cermak
3 was doing his job well, based on the information received from
4 Mr. Rincic. Now, in your conversations with Mr. Cermak, did you also get
5 the impression that Mr. Cermak was doing his job well?
7 A. I knew Mr. Cermak as an entrepreneur from earlier times. He had
8 two basic traits: one was extreme efficiency, and another, which was
9 very important under the circumstances, was his degree of reliability.
10 Hence, our discussions were short, effective, and I knew that what he
11 said would be done.
12 Q. Did anything apart from what you just told us stick out from
13 these discussions between you and Mr. Cermak during that relevant period
14 of time in August 1995?
15 A. Save for some courtesy discussions we had, there is nothing else
16 that sticks out in particular.
17 Q. So he wouldn't have told you that his authority was ever
18 questioned by, you know, his subordinates or by other units or -- or
19 member of units, whether civilian or military?
20 A. No, I was not under the impression that his authority was
21 questioned in any way.
22 There was, though, a general feeling that he and his associates
23 had a lot of work to do. We were short of people, especially those
24 qualified, and this one of the greatest challenges we faced, to come up
25 with quality people who would be able to take on this enormous
1 responsibility of normalizing life in Knin and its environs.
2 MR. WAESPI: Mr. Waespi, if we quickly could turn into private
3 session, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar could we turn into private session,
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 23745-23747 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 Mr. Waespi, this concluded your cross-examination?
5 MR. WAESPI: Yes, that's correct.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, any need to re-examine the witness?
8 MR. KAY: I have no --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please activate your microphone.
10 MR. KAY: I have no re-examination.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No re-examination.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Vidosevic, since the Chamber has no further
14 questions for you either, this concludes your testimony in this court.
15 We'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and answering
16 the questions that were put to you by the parties and by the Chamber, and
17 I wish you a safe trip home again.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kay, we would have 15 minutes left, but I can't
21 imagine -- I don't know whether your next witness is available already?
22 MR. KAY: Not in the building, no, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Not in the building. Then it would certainly take
24 us more than 17 minutes to get him in here. So, under those
25 circumstances, it would be wiser to allow you to continue tomorrow.
1 MR. KAY: I'm much obliged. I don't know if there's any
2 housekeeping matters we need attend to in the next 15 minutes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Misetic nods yes, so ... if we can use our
4 time, then, Mr. Misetic.
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
6 Over the weekend we e-mailed to the parties and the Chamber an
7 agreement between the Prosecution and the Gotovina Defence with respect
8 to P71. It is an additional page that was illegible in the original
9 copies. Both the Gotovina Defence and the Prosecution have inspected the
10 original in the archive in Croatia and have come to an agreement as to
11 what the text says. A translation has been prepared by CLSS, and we
12 would ask the Chamber's leave to upload that one page into Exhibit P71.
13 And the exhibit in English is ID 1D724999, and the B/C/S version is
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, P71 doesn't immediately ring a bell.
16 What kind much document are we talking about?
17 MR. MISETIC: It is the Split Military District operational
18 diary. There was a page in there; we can call it up, if the Chamber
20 JUDGE ORIE: No. I just -- if the parties agree on a legible
21 version of that page and earlier -- of course, I now -- of course, that
22 rings a bell what document we are talking about. There were good reasons
23 to have it admitted into evidence. So therefore, with the agreement of
24 parties, to have a better copy in evidence which is always preferable
25 seems to be no problem.
1 MR. MISETIC: It's not --
2 JUDGE ORIE: It's the page which was illegible, which is now
4 MR. MISETIC: Right. And just for the record and so the Chamber
5 is aware of the relevance, it's a page from a 9 August meeting where
6 General Gotovina orders videotaping and photographing of perpetrators
7 of -- of criminal acts.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber follows the parties in this respect and
11 allows the addition to be uploaded and to be part of P71.
12 Any other procedural matter?
13 If not, we'll adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow,
14 Tuesday, the 3rd of November, 9.00 in the morning, in Courtroom III.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
17 November, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.