1 Wednesday, 24 February 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
8 Your Honours. Good afternoon to everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus Gotovina et al.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Before we will hear the testimony of the first Chamber witness,
13 the Chamber would briefly like to put a few matters on the record. For
14 the sake of full transparency, the Chamber wishes to put on the record
15 the steps taken by the Chamber with regard to the calling of
16 Witness CW-1, which is Mr. Radic. As the parties recall, the Chamber
17 announced its decision to call this witness on the 20th of January, and
18 on the 28th of January, a legal officer of the Chamber contacted
19 Witness Radic by phone and informed him about the Chamber's decision and
20 about the possible date for testimony. This phone conversation was
21 recorded with the knowledge of the witness, and may be provided to the
22 parties, should any dispute arise as to what was said during the
24 Subsequent to this, the Victims and Witness Section of the
25 Registry contacted the witness on numerous occasions in order to make the
1 practical arrangements with regard to the witness's travel to and stay in
2 The Hague
3 request to send Requests for Assistance to Croatia for Witness Radic and
4 to the extent that the Request for Assistance did not require -- and to
5 the extent that the RFA did not require Croatia to contact the witness
6 regarding the substance of his testimony.
7 I would like further to put on the record what is found in an
8 e-mail of the 12th of February, 2010, in relation to the scope of
9 cross-examination in general. Easiest is to just slowly read the
10 substance of this e-mail.
11 It reads:
12 "Dear parties, on 27th of January, 2010, the Chamber informed the
13 parties of its inclination to focus its examination-in-chief of the seven
14 Chamber witnesses on very specific matters, and that the parties should
15 also focus their cross-examinations on the matters raised in the
16 examination-in-chief," which, is found at transcript page 27.106. "The
17 parties were then invited by the Chamber to file written submissions by
18 the 5th of February, 2010, should they fundamentally disagree with this
19 approach." Same page of the transcript. "On the 5th of February, 2010
20 the Prosecution filed the Prosecution's submission on the scope of
21 cross-examination of Chambers witnesses, in which it requested the
22 Chamber to confirm that the scope of cross-examination includes the
23 witnesses' credibility and to allow the parties to make requests in
24 advance of the witnesses' testimony to extend the scope of
1 "With regard to the first issue, the Chamber confirms that the
2 scope of the cross-examination of Chamber witnesses will include their
3 credibility. When cross-examining a Chamber witness, the parties will be
4 able to read into the record portions of previous statements alleged to
5 be inconsistent with any evidence given by the witness during his
6 testimony in order to challenge the witness's credibility.
7 "With regard to the second issue, the Chamber recalls that the
8 rationale of Rule 90(H)(i) of the Rules, coupled with the fact that none
9 of the parties called any of the Chamber witnesses during their cases,
10 militates in favour of restricting cross-examination to the topics dealt
11 with during the examination-in-chief. However, should the parties feel
12 the need to extend the scope of their cross-examination, they shall make
13 such requests as soon as possible."
14 And then the e-mail continues to say that this will be put on the
15 record, but I have read the substance of the e-mail of the
16 12th of February.
17 Next item deals with the scope of the examination-in-chief of
18 Chamber witness number 1. And the Chamber wants to put on the record
19 that, on the 12th of February, 2010, the Trial Chamber informed the
20 parties by e-mail of the intended scope of examination-in-chief of this
21 witness. More specifically, that the Chamber intended to question
22 Witness Radic with a view to exploring the consistency or inconsistency
23 of the aims and purposes of the use of Croatia's governmental powers and
24 instruments as expressed and observed in a public setting, on the one
25 hand, and as found in non-public -- in a non-public setting on the other.
1 Further, the Chamber would primarily focus on the following subject
2 matters: The return of persons; the temporary takeover and reconstruction
3 of property; and the security issues following Operation Storm.
4 As far as the non-public setting is concerned, the Chamber would
5 focus primarily on the Presidential and VONS meetings that the witness
7 As far as the public use of Croatia
8 instruments is concerned, the Chamber is not intending to seek any
9 further evidence on legislative activities or on planning, developing, or
10 implementing programmes on which the Chamber has already received
11 extensive evidence by -- through witnesses, such as Witnesses Sterc,
12 Skare Ozbolt, Skegro, and Bagic.
13 The Prosecution has asked to give time-limits. The Chamber is
14 not intending to put very strict time-limits but the Chamber expects that
15 the testimony could be concluded in two days. And as the parties may be
16 aware, we have swapped tomorrow's afternoon session to the morning
17 session. However, if that would be not sufficient, then we still have
18 Friday reserved to continue.
19 Then I would like to move briefly into private session on a
20 matter not directly related to this witness.
21 [Private session]
11 Pages 27122-27123 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
20 One preliminary matter before we ask the usher to bring the
21 witness into the courtroom.
22 In preparing for the first Chamber's witness, the Chamber
23 received from the parties a statement that the witness gave to the
24 Gotovina Defence, a statement which was signed on the 25th of May, 2009
25 This statement is not in evidence. However, if the Chamber would like to
1 rely on that, it has requested it to be uploaded so that we can see it on
2 our screens and if there's any need to put anything of his statement to
3 the witness.
4 Then, unless there are any questions in relation to these, I
5 would say, preliminary matters, if there are, I would like to hear them;
6 if not, we will ask the witness to be brought into the courtroom.
7 MR. KEHOE: Just briefly, Mr. President, procedurally. We filed
8 an e-mail message to Chambers and parties yesterday concerning the order
9 of examination by the parties when the Chamber concludes. We went and
10 researched what the Chamber proposed and did in prior proceedings, and
11 frankly, adopted that, in that the order of proceeding would be
12 Prosecution with the burden of proof, then by the respective parties.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what was on the mind of the Chamber,
14 and the Chamber was informed that the witness has shown some interest in
15 knowing as well on how we would proceed.
16 The one thing I do not know yet is whether a sequence of
17 examination or cross-examination, whatever would you like to call it, I
18 think we called it cross-examination among the Defence teams, whether
19 that has been agreed upon.
20 MR. KEHOE: I haven't discussed it with my colleagues. I
21 certainly at the first break will do so. I thought, maybe
22 presumptuously, that we would go first, as we have done in the past, and
23 we are prepared to do so. So that's -- but I will talk to my colleagues
24 on the break, and ascertain that.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Then I think we're at the point where we can ask the witness to
2 be escorted into the courtroom. Madam Usher.
3 I also inform the parties that the Chamber has verified whether
4 the witness would require any protective measures. The answer is that he
5 didn't ask for it.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Radic. Can you hear me in a
8 language you understand?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, before you give evidence, the Rules of
11 Procedure and Evidence require that you make a solemn declaration that
12 you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 The text is now handed out to you by Madam Usher, and I would like to
14 invite to you make that solemn declaration.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
16 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Radic. Please be seated.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, the Chamber was informed that you would
20 very much like to know what the sequence of questioning will be. First,
21 the Chamber will ask you questions. That might take quite some time.
22 Once we have heard your testimony, the Prosecution will ask questions,
23 and after that, the Defence counsel will ask questions.
24 If there would be any need for further questions, we'll establish
25 that once we have concluded these series of questions.
1 WITNESS: JURE RADIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 Questioned by the Court:
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, would you please state your full name and
5 date of birth for the record.
6 A. My name is Jure Radic. I was born on September 15, 1953.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Mr. Radic, I'll just first like to go
8 through some general information.
9 From 1992 to 1994, you were the Chief of Staff of the Office of
10 the President of the Republic of Croatia
11 Defence and National Security Council, the VONS. Is that right?
12 A. Yes. In early 1992, I was the minister for science, and then
13 from mid-1992 up until the end of 1994, I was the head of the Office of
14 the President and the Secretary-General of the VONS.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And were you deputy prime minister of the government
16 of the Republic of Croatia
17 development from 1994 to 2000?
18 A. That's correct. Since 1994, up until 2000, I was the
19 vice-president of the Croatian government and the minister for
20 reconstruction and development. But in the latter part of that period,
21 there was another function added to the ministry so the name changed, and
22 I actually became the minister for reconstruction, development, and
23 relocation -- resettlement.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And as a deputy prime minister and minister of
25 reconstruction and development, and, as you said, later on, changed its
1 name, were you closely involved in all tasks in the process of
2 reconstruction, development, and the return of displaced persons
3 following Operation Storm?
4 A. Yes, I was. My task was reconstruction of homes, of
5 infrastructure and the conditions, living conditions, and enabling or
6 making the conditions such that people can actually return.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I would now to move into a different area and deal
8 with some of the meetings you were reported as having attended.
9 Could we please pull up P462? Page 16 in the English and page 25
10 in the B/C/S.
11 If you would like to look at the documents in hard copy and not
12 only on your screen, we have prepared a binder which would enable to you
13 look at the hard copies, but we'll start with having them on the screen.
14 If have you any difficulties in reading them, please tell us.
15 The front page, the first page of this document, mentions you as
16 being present at this meeting on the 11th of August, 1995. Were you
18 A. Well, I would have to read the details of the meeting. But it's
19 quite possible and very likely that I was. A lot of time has passed in
20 the meantime, but I could say that I attended most of the meetings that
21 dealt with reconstruction and development so I do believe that I was
22 present there, because my name is -- appears there. But once I see the
23 context, I will probably refresh my memory.
24 JUDGE ORIE: If at any moment any doubts would come up as to your
25 presence, we'd like to hear from you.
1 Could I take to you page 25 in the B/C/S, page 16 in English.
2 For the parties, when I'm referring to pages, I'm referring to
3 e-court pages which are not necessarily the same as the pages -- as the
4 paging as we find it in the document.
5 Mr. Radic, from these minutes, the Chamber sees that you are
6 recorded as having said, and I quote part of which is seen on your
7 screen. You are reported to have said:
8 "That Vojnic used to have only 51 inhabitants."
9 You follow that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: "Today it's a town of 15.000 people. Tomorrow we
12 can fill it up with 15.000 in addition. Lapac has 14 inhabitants,
13 14 Croats, Donji Lapac 14 inhabitants. (It's more than the number of
15 Yes, Mr. --
16 MR. MISETIC: I sincerely apologise for the interruption,
17 Your Honours, but there is a -- I now notice translation errors in this
18 paragraph so I don't know if you wish to tell me -- tell you outside the
19 presence of the witness, but what the numbers are today versus used to be
20 are mixed up in the translation.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, do you speak and understand English?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can understand it. I don't
23 understand everything, but, yes, I do understand it.
24 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
25 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, just -- you say there are translation
2 issues in the document?
3 MR. MISETIC: In the English version, yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: In the English version. Have they been raised
5 before, have we missed anything? Because this is what is at this moment
6 in e-court.
7 MR. MISETIC: I don't believe it has been raised before and I
8 don't recall focussing on this paragraph. Quite honestly, Mr. President,
9 we -- I haven't gone through all the transcripts to check the
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I can imagine that you didn't do that.
12 Mr. Radic, since the Gotovina Defence would like to draw the
13 attention of the Chamber to certain issues in relation to this document,
14 this is preferably done in your absence. So, therefore, with my
15 apologies, would you be kind enough to follow the Usher so that we can
16 deal with that matter, and we -- I think that we'll see you back very
18 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation].
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
21 MR. MISETIC: Yes, we don't have the English on the screen
22 anymore. But I believe temporally it is mixed up, so what it should say
23 is that: "Today Vojnic has 51 residents. It's a town of 15.000 people
24 in which tomorrow we can put 15.000 people."
25 JUDGE ORIE: You say Vojnic has today only 51 inhabitants. Is
1 that --
2 MR. MISETIC: Correct, correct.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Which -- any other matter?
4 This, of course, extends, I take it, to the lines that follow,
5 that we should understood the reference to 14 inhabitants of Lapac as of
6 today -- today, at the 11th of August, 1995, and that -- yes, that seems
7 to be ...
8 Ms. Gustafson.
9 MS. GUSTAFSON: Your Honour, I -- obviously I don't speak
10 Croatian but I do know that these numbers correspond exactly to the
11 numbers in the census. In other words, if you look at the 1991 census,
12 the town of Vojnic
13 sense it's more consistent with the --
14 JUDGE ORIE: You would say --
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: -- the translation as it is so perhaps we can get
16 some [Overlapping speakers] ...
17 JUDGE ORIE: Let's then -- let's then --
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: -- definitive clarification --
19 JUDGE ORIE: We can ask clarification from the witness.
20 Mr. Misetic, what words exactly in your view are mistranslated
21 and, as we all know, it's not the task of our interpreters to make
22 corrections. At the same time, to send it back to CLSS for one or two
23 words which are not perhaps very difficult issues and then to wait for a
24 day might not be very practicable.
25 Could you point us at where and perhaps reads it in B/C/S --
1 MR. MISETIC: I'll just --
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- where it is said that it is today that Vojnic has
3 51 inhabitants.
4 MR. MISETIC: I propose, Mr. President, that I just read out
5 the -- from where it says: "I don't -- and I don't know ..." and I will
6 just read the rest of it. And then ...
7 It's in the second line.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just have a look.
9 I haven't got it in e-court in front of me. The page number in
10 the hard copy would be ... yes, I see it. That's page 11 out of 18 in
11 the hard copy.
12 Yes, if you would please slowly read from, "I don't know," but
13 then, of course, in the original language.
14 MR. MISETIC: [Interpretation] "And I don't know, we don't have a
15 report on this, but I don't know if you know that Vojnic has only
16 51 inhabitants today. It's a town of 15.000 people, and tomorrow we can
17 fill it up with 15.000."
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Gustafson, logic does not oppose against this
19 interpretation, because if today it is a town of 15.000 people, tomorrow
20 we can fill it up with 15.000 doesn't make sense. Whereas, if you link
21 today to the 51 inhabitants, it makes more sense. But we could verify
22 with the witness.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: Certainly, Your Honour. I'm not opposed to the
24 clarification. I just wanted to point that fact out. That's all.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll proceed, and we'll invite the witness to
1 be escorted into the courtroom again.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, an issue was raised in relation to the
4 translation into English. I will read now in English what appears to be
5 agreed upon by the parties at least, as a basis for proceeding.
6 But I would, at the same time, like to very much invite you to
7 carefully look in the text of what is now translated to you in B/C/S
8 reflects what you understand is in the original minutes of the meeting.
9 Then I start at the same point again:
10 "That Vojnic has only 51 inhabitants today. It is a town of
11 15.000 people, tomorrow we can fill it up with 15.000, in addition, Lapac
12 has 14 inhabitants. 14 Croats. Donji Lapac, 14 inhabitants. (It's more
13 than the number of houses ...)."
14 Are you --
15 A. Yes, I think that is consistent now, both the English and the
16 B/C/S versions are consistent with each other.
17 JUDGE ORIE: I continue my quote, because as -- where it says
18 "It's more than the number of houses," then there are a few dots. I then
20 "I agree, but it's strategically so important, and it's in such a
21 position that we must repair the houses, Gojko, and put Croats there,
22 such is the position of the place."
23 Could you briefly explain what you considered to be the strategic
24 importance? If you could do it briefly. And I'm talking about
25 Donji Lapac.
1 A. Well, we are talking about the time immediately in the aftermath
2 of Operation Storm and the area where Croatia was practically cut off by
3 the aggressor's army. There were only a few kilometres left -- of
4 territory left between Karlovac and Kupa where one could travel from
5 north to south. It is also a time when the war, in the immediate
6 vicinity right across the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was still
7 very intense and Mladic's forces were in a position where they were
8 almost launching attacks and they certainly had opportunity to launch
9 attacks again, to cut off Croatia
11 So this was the strategic thinking that we were guided by. But I
12 would like to add something. Not only during Operation Storm or around
13 Operation Storm, but as early as the -- establishment of the Croatian
14 state in 1990, we were considering and thinking about regions that were
15 relatively empty, sparsely populated, because Croats had been actually
16 expelled from there by the Communist parties in the past. So the
17 strategic goal was that Croatian citizens not be for the most part in
19 half of Croatia
20 as well. So this was our thinking, that this was a region that needed to
21 be settled.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you now, the line, "It's more than the
23 number of houses," and then the dots, do you remember what you exactly
24 said at the time; and could you tell us what you then meant by what you
25 said. We have only the line, "It's more than the number of houses."
1 A. Well, I think perhaps the transcript was imprecise. I had
2 occasion to see some other transcripts and I know that they're not always
3 absolutely reliable in terms of their precision. But I have to say that
4 there were many apartments in this area, so not private homes but
5 apartments, flats, and in almost 90 per cent of the cases, these flats,
6 or apartments were actually socially owned or state owned. I don't even
7 know how to interpret socially owned [B/C/S spoken] into English.
8 But during the socialist period, all of us, and I'm referring to
10 Donji Lapac or Knin there were a lot of apartments that were actually
11 owned by the Yugoslav People's Army.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe.
13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could be of some assistance on
14 how these transcripts have been transcribed. And I'm not just looking at
15 this one in isolation but through all of them. I don't know if -- if you
16 want me to do this in the presence of the witness and I --
17 JUDGE ORIE: If --
18 MR. KEHOE: -- focus on that which is in the parentheses.
19 JUDGE ORIE: My first question for the witness was whether he has
20 recollection of what he said and that is I -- I already indicated that
21 the transcript may not be complete here. So I would first like to hear
22 an answer to that question. If at any later stage we would like to focus
23 more on how these transcripts were made, then we'll certainly do so and
24 you can raise the matter.
25 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: My first question was whether you remember about
2 what you said about it's more -- apparently referring to the number of
3 14, because if you are talking about it's more than what is recorded here
4 as the number of houses, that seems to relate to the number of 14.
5 Do you remember what you said at the time?
6 A. No, I can't remember. But I just realised now what's written
7 here in the brackets, in the transcript, and I can only assume that
8 perhaps this was an aside that somebody else actually said and that
9 that's how it actually found its way into this transcript, because I
10 don't see any logic in this, in a person who would be taking these
11 minutes to put some words into parentheses in this way, and which makes
12 this sentence incomplete, in fact.
13 So I can't -- I absolutely cannot recall what it was that I was
14 actually saying. I couldn't say that with any certainty.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So whether you said it or someone else said it
16 that's ...
17 Now, could you explain to us what may have been meant by the
18 speaker at the time, that 14 was more than the number of, as is said
19 here, houses, which suggests that there was apparently, as far as houses
20 are concerned, that there were less than 14.
21 A. Well, I think this is just something that found its way into this
22 transcript from elsewhere because I cannot place it in the context in
23 which this is being said. So I have to be quite honest. I can't
24 remember what my words were, but I couldn't even draw any conclusions as
25 to what these words were actually referring to.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us, Donji Lapac, was by majority,
2 inhabited by persons of what ethnicity?
3 A. The large -- a large majority of the Donji Lapac population were
5 JUDGE ORIE: "Large" could -- would that be 80 per cent,
6 90 per cent, 70 per cent? Do you have --
7 A. I think over 90 per cent, probably.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And -- thank you.
9 Could I take you briefly to P463. Page 12 in the English;
10 pages -- page 17 in the B/C/S, at the bottom.
11 This is a -- these are minutes of a meeting in which, on the
12 cover page, as you may see on your screen now, it was you who was
13 present, and as we understand, with President Tudjman.
14 A. Yes. Yes, I was present at that meeting.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could we go to the pages I indicated.
16 Could we go to the ... perhaps first -- no. First go to, in the
17 original, page 17 in e-court, the last bottom.
18 There -- but if you want to read it first, you talk about
19 Donji Lapac.
20 A. Mm-hm.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And perhaps we should move to the next page in
23 There you are reported to have said:
24 "Do you know that ethnically the cleanest municipality in Croatia
25 was Donji Lapac, the cleanest."
1 In view of your previous answer, could we understand that to be
2 as the cleanest, in terms of the -- the highest majority being Serb?
3 A. Yes, I said before, over 90 per cent. Here it says 99 per cent.
4 But, yes, we can take it to mean that, yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And then the President said:
6 "Probably none of them remained?" With a question mark. And you
7 would have answered: "Yes, none."
8 A. Yes, that is correct. This is the period after Storm, and in
9 spite of the appeals by President Tudjman, the government, and all of us
10 to stay, the population still left. I cannot specifically say whether
11 nobody remained in Lapac, but a large majority did leave that area. This
12 is a fact.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would like to move back to P462. That's the
14 minutes of the meeting we just looked at. That's the minutes of the
15 meeting of the 11th of August. We have looked already at the front page.
16 A. Mm-hm.
17 JUDGE ORIE: On the bottom of page 14, we find that you are the
18 person speaking. And once we've seen that, I'd like to move on to
19 page 15.
20 Could we move to ...
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 THE WITNESS: Mm-hm.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I wanted to show in the English version that - it is
24 on page 14 in English - that Mr. Radic is reported as being the speaker.
25 And we then move to page 15 and page 23 in B/C/S.
1 You're reported here as having said - and perhaps you could
2 please try to find it - that:
3 "The Law on Property authorises the state to grant that property
4 for temporary use."
5 Have you found that? I think it would be the [Overlapping
6 speakers] ...
7 A. I see it. It's at the top.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then Mr. Nikica Valentic is reported as having
9 responded that:
10 "This law regulates the possibility of granting that property and
11 that somebody cannot be expelled from a house in a year time if" -- and
12 then it says -- or at least we have it, between slashes: "/a refugee/
13 comes back. But the fact is," and I'm still quoting Mr. Valentic, "that
14 we must think what we will be in two, three years, when somebody comes
16 Then Mr. Susak stated that:
17 "Nobody will move in under such law."
18 To which Mr. Vrdoljak then responded:
19 "Nobody will, but let's say, according to the Law on
20 Compensation, this would definitely mean their final removal. Those from
21 there would request to be sent few Kunas and would be very happy."
22 Now, one possible interpretation of these remarks is that the
23 Law on Property, the suggested Law on Property, would aim at guaranteeing
24 persons who were granted property for temporary use, that they would not
25 be expelled if the refugee who owned the house returned so that the
1 refugees would not return, and I'm saying this is one of the possible
3 Is there any information available to you which would contradict
4 such an interpretation of what is said here?
5 A. Yes, some people thought in this way, and I agree with you that
6 this is one possible way of thinking about it. Those of us who dealt
7 with the renewal and the reconstruction thought differently, and we
8 implemented this in the forthcoming period and there were many examples.
9 For example, I think it's possible to show this even in video
10 footage. In Kistanje we built an entire new settlement of 150 houses and
11 relocated people to those houses who were temporarily accommodated in
12 abandoned property, and then we freed up that property for the return of
13 their owners once they decided to return. So we always took care of one
14 type and the other type of person whenever this was possible, because the
15 concept of the law was the preservation and guarantee of private property
16 but also providing shelter to people who, at that time, were without
17 homes, because they were, for example, expelled from Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 or from other parts of Croatia
19 One more thing, which is perhaps the most important one here.
20 The proper way to save a house from destruction was to have somebody
21 inhabit it, either its real owner or a temporary tenant. As far as homes
22 and especially estates in villages or forests were left empty, that house
23 would be destroyed by thieves, robbers, by bad weather or other reasons.
24 The goal was to preserve property at all costs and also to provide
25 shelter for people and not to prevent anybody who wanted to return, who
1 wanted to apply, who wanted to come back as a Croatian citizen could do
2 that. This was something we didn't wish to prevent but it was a long
3 process. It took a few months. However, if a house was left empty, it
4 would become rundown and dilapidated within six months.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You started your answer by saying: "Yes, some
6 people thought in this way ..." Did you refer to those speaking that
7 they considered that this would finally result in a final removal, and is
8 that also expressed by the speaker who says, Well, we can't expel them
9 within a year; but what, if in two or three years somebody comes back,
10 which is --
11 A. It's hard to say what a person thought. But can I tell you what
12 I personally thought at the time.
13 I was personally in charge of creating such conditions. As for
14 what individuals thought, well, it would be hard for me to speak about
16 JUDGE ORIE: Our primary focus at this moment is to understand
17 what persons speaking in this meeting said. If you may have other
18 thoughts, that seems to be already emerged from the first part of your
19 answer where you said, Some people thought in that way.
20 The thought as I put it to you, as a possible interpretation,
21 that the -- that the -- the person speaking may have hinted at a
22 non-return of refugees. Those who had left the area where they had
23 lived. Was that on the mind of some persons, and could this be
24 understood possibly as an expression of those thoughts, not to say that
25 those were your thoughts. Perhaps we come back to that at a later stage.
1 But I'm just focussing on this part of the minutes.
2 A. I cannot say in any way what somebody else was thinking. If we
3 read this record, these minutes, it's clear that there are individuals
4 who could have said something like that, but these are not people who
5 were charged with organising this particular task. Those whose message
6 was crucial, important, that was the president of the republic, the prime
7 minister, and then that was also me, it was my task. So I would not want
8 to go into what that was supposed to mean, what was the message that
9 person was trying to send when he said that at the time.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to stay on the same page.
11 The last part of what I just read to you was that Mr. Vrdoljak
12 remarked that:
13 "Those from there would request to be sent few Kunas and would be
14 very happy."
15 Now, these words could be interpreted as to suggest that
16 compensation should be offered to displaced persons so that they would
17 not return but accept a few Kunas. Is there any information you could
18 provide to this Chamber which would contradict or shed a different light
19 on what was said in this line by Mr. Vrdoljak?
20 A. Yes. We began an assistance programme for expelled persons
21 sometime in 1991 and 1992 in Croatia
22 expelled in Croatia
23 having their homes reconstructed. They stayed in big towns. The funds
24 they would receive for the reconstruction of their home in Nustar, which
25 was partially liberated, but they never renovated the house. They would
1 stay in Zagreb
2 So in principle, we abandoned the idea, and we put that into a
3 law, of giving people money, but we actually did the renovations for
4 their houses and in order to help them return to their homes, in order to
5 prevent the money being spent for other purposes. So maybe Mr. Vrdoljak
6 knew this fact and that there was such examples among the Croats, but
7 this was not something that we strived for. We tried with the money that
8 we had at our disposal to create conditions for these people to return
9 where they came from. I mentioned the example of Kistanje where this was
10 actually implemented.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand you well, that the remark by
12 Mr. Vrdoljak, "Those from there would request to be sent a few Kunas and
13 would be very happy," that that would relate to Croats, or would it refer
14 to Serbs who had left their homes?
15 A. In this case, since this happened shortly after Oluja, I think he
16 meant Serbs. But immediately before that, he did have some experience in
17 relation to Croats.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to move on to another document,
19 Mr. Radic, to P2593.
20 Perhaps we could look at the first page, to start with.
21 Mr. Radic, you are reported to be present in the meeting, a
22 meeting of the 17th of December, 1996. The same applies as earlier, may
23 I take it that if you are mentioned at the cover page, that we could
24 start on the basis of the assumption that you would be ready -- you would
25 be present, and if there's anything at a later stage which would make you
1 think that that might be a mistake, we'd like to hear from you.
2 Could we then move to page 3, to start with, in the English, and
3 page 4 in B/C/S.
4 There, Mr. Ivica Kostovic is recorded as having said -- and
5 perhaps we could move a little bit further down in the English.
6 "The second thing that needs to be done -and the prime minister
7 has already given the green light for it - is the simple compensation,
8 meaning that we would pay off the Serbs, and" --
9 And we now move to page 4 in the English:
10 "... our bank would give a loan to a Croat, he would give that
11 money to a Serb, and the Serb would sign he would not return there
13 And then on, I quote further from page 4 in the English, page 5
14 in the B/C/S, President Tudjman is recorded as having said:
15 "They should be offered to be compensated for what they have here
16 instead of return ..."
17 These remarks could be interpreted to suggest that compensation
18 should be offered to displaced persons so that they would not return.
19 Could you tell us of any information which would -- which would
20 you have and could tell the Chamber about which would contradict such an
21 interpretation, that the focus was rather on compensation with the result
22 that there would be no return? At least no return of Serbs.
23 A. There were different ideas voiced at our meetings. Obviously, I
24 can't recall this, this was one of such ideas, but ultimately, this was
25 not accepted as a conclusion and it was not acted upon. We set off the
1 idea to consider buying out property from those who did not wish or were
2 not going to come back a few years later. At that point in time,
3 however, these ideas were not accepted as a conclusion, and I as the
4 minister in charge and neither the prime minister nor the President
5 issued any kind of instructions for this idea to be carried through.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand you well that you say, from what was
7 said here, although not accepted, that the priority would be for
8 compensation which would result in non-return but you say this was not
9 put in practice later.
10 I'm mainly focussing at this moment on how to interpret what was
11 said and not to pay a lot of attention on what, after that happened,
12 because the Chamber has heard quite some evidence on what was done at a
13 later stage. I'm primarily focussing on the language used and the
14 thoughts expressed at that time.
15 Would you agree that this suggests, then, that compensation would
16 be the first thing to do and then this would result likely in the no
17 return? Apart from what happened later.
18 A. At the time, I understood that slightly differently then, and
19 today, still.
20 Everything should be done for them to return, and as for those
21 who decide not to return, a way had to be found to compensate them.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But would you agree with me that if that was the
23 guiding thought, that you would have expected language such as, Let's
24 give them an option either to be compensated or to return, and if they
25 choose not to return, then compensation is still there.
1 That is what you would expect if the thoughts were as you just
2 interpreted them.
3 A. This was repeated at least 100 times at various meetings that I
4 attended. This is one such meeting where this was said slightly
5 differently. But it was stated in many meetings and publicly, as well as
6 at government meetings, what you have just said, yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Can you point us at any non-public government
8 meeting where an offer for compensation was put on the same level as the
9 option for return?
10 A. I did not quite understand the question. Compensation on the
11 same level as the option for return?
12 JUDGE ORIE: What I'm asking you, because we see here that they
13 should be offered to be compensated instead of return. That seems to be
14 an expression of a policy considered by the speaking person.
15 Now, can you point us at any non-public meeting where you said it
16 was phrased some times slightly different and it was expressed often in
17 such meetings. Could you point us at any non-public government meeting
18 or another non-public meeting, in which the option to be compensated and
19 the option to return were offered, or were suggested to be offered as
20 equal options, not the one that should be the aim of the policy to be
21 adopted rather than the other, but you say if they would not return we
22 could still compensate them.
23 But could you point us at any non-public meeting where it was
24 said, We should give them the free option: Return or be compensated, as
25 you wish, and we'll opt for such an approach.
1 A. At the time, we had cabinet meetings every morning at 9.00. And
2 it's been 15 years since then, but it's my impression that practically
3 each meeting did discuss return first. These ideas about compensation
4 were in the background, because we simply didn't have the money. These
5 were ideas of some people. I cannot remember, but I can see from the
6 minutes that some people did voice these ideas. But that was not the
7 most important thing. The key thing was to create conditions for all
8 people to return, both Serbs and Croats, all those who wished to return,
9 who wanted to take Croatian nationality. That was -- or citizenship.
10 Croatian citizenship. That was the question. And immediately we opened
11 at our branch -- our office in Belgrade
12 then, but it was an office - we opened up the possibility for people to
13 apply to return. This couldn't happen immediately and we couldn't have
14 them returning in a -- spontaneously. It had to be organised in some
16 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has received a considerable body of
17 evidence on this issue. Therefore, I'm not encouraging you to further
18 elaborate on that, and if any of the parties would want to re-visit this
19 matter, they are, of course, free to do so.
20 Mr. Misetic.
21 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I know we're approaching a break and
22 I so have an interpretation or translation issue and I didn't wish to
23 interpret you in your questioning but --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. MISETIC: -- perhaps we can ask the witness to leave when
1 you're ready.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would -- one final question. You said,
3 Well, return was more important for us because we didn't even have the
4 money to compensate them. Under those circumstances, I would expect
5 President Tudjman to say, Let's do our best that they will return,
6 because we have no money for compensation.
7 Instead, he says, They should be offered to be compensated for
8 what they have here instead of return, which gives a priority for
9 compensation, at least that's how you could understand this, rather than
10 a priority for return.
11 Therefore, your explanation, We didn't have the money for
12 compensation, earlier a few Kunas were mentioned, that -- I'm trying to
13 reconcile your observation with what I read here as being said by
14 President Tudjman and also the few Kunas, who talked about a few Kunas, I
15 think it was Mr. Vrdoljak. I'm trying to reconcile your explanation,
16 saying that, We didn't wish to compensate them, let them return, because
17 we have no money.
18 A. At the time, and after this meeting, I had scores of
19 conversations with President Tudjman, and I convinced him that what I was
20 suggesting was right, and ultimately he accepted that. So his final
21 position was not what is stated here. Perhaps it was an idea at one
22 point in time, but the final position was what I said: Let us first
23 create conditions for people to return.
24 We must understand that at the time we were in the process of
25 discussing and figuring out what we wanted to do, and then the final
1 position of the President was, Let us offer the option of return, and let
2 us organise that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We are at a point where we have a break, Mr. Radic.
4 Mr. Misetic wanted to raise a translation issue. Therefore,
5 we'll not bother you with that.
6 Could you already follow Madam Usher, and we'd like to see you
7 back in approximately 25 to 30 minutes from now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
11 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Mr. President.
12 I have the original on my screen so I'm going try to follow it in
13 the English, but to my mind, we need to check the translation of the
14 first paragraph on the screen in the English, the President's comment,
15 and then Mr. Kostovic's follow-up which may affect what is actually being
16 discussed there.
17 I don't know if you wish me to read it out or just tell what you
18 I think it should say. But ...
19 JUDGE ORIE: I would rather wait until you have verified the
20 translation and then hear from you. Of course, still in the absence of
21 the witness because you said, I still have to verify that, and that is --
22 MR. MISETIC: No, but I mean verify with the interpreters or if
23 you wish to just tell me -- for me to tell you what --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if would you read the relevant portion, and
25 again I apologise for the interpreters, but for very practical reasons,
1 if it doesn't become too complex because complex issues should be sent to
2 CLSS for proper verification. But if there's an issue which you consider
3 we could deal with and where I am not faced with any fierce objections by
4 the interpreters, then you --
5 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- please introduce the matter.
7 MR. MISETIC: I also thank the interpreters. It's just that if
8 we're -- we seem to be doing somewhat of an exegesis on these transcripts
9 so I wanted to make sure that we have it perfectly correct.
10 The sentence, Mr. Kostovic in the first paragraph starts and I
11 will speak in Croatian now:
12 "[Interpretation] The majority of them says, I will come back if
13 you guarantee my safety. Naturally this is what they say but when they
14 need to come, we have been waiting for 100 Serbs for a month, from Bilje,
15 who want to come back but we still don't have that definite list."
16 [In English] And then the President says:
17 "[Interpretation] And they should be offered, instead of
18 returning, to have compensation for this here and then" [In English] And
19 then [Interpretation] "Or if they wish, Mr. President, Radic's men can
20 find him some intact Serbian house and tell him, Here you are, here's a
21 house, come back. The majority of them will not."
22 [In English] Just in terms of the subtlety of the language here,
23 Mr. President, the -- the change from census to a list, it seems to me
24 that he is discussing 100 Serbs who were supposed to come back but they
25 haven't got a list of who these Serbs are, and they have been waiting
1 since August. The President says in Croatian [Interpretation] "And offer
2 to them," [In English] meaning a reference, I believe, back to the
3 100 Serbs.
4 And then in the next sentence, Mr. Kostovic says: We could offer
5 them or Radic's men can offer them an entire or an undamaged Serb house.
6 And it's been interpreted as, "They won't come back" which is accurate
7 but I think there is a little more subtlety in it which is they don't
8 want to come back [B/C/S spoken] meaning a personal decision as opposed
9 to some other factors, et cetera. So I just -- the context of the
10 questioning of the witness seemed to say that this was a broader
11 conversation and I read it as they're discussing this return of the
12 100 Serbs from Bilje.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time the witness testified that he
14 had to convince President Tudjman that he was right, which I understood
15 to be opposite to what President Tudjman expressed.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes. But as I understand the transcript, it is
17 that he's being -- the president is being told that there are these Serbs
18 who say they want to come back but we have been waiting for four months
19 for them to do so and can't get a list yet of who they are. And then the
20 president says, Well, to those, offer them something, and then there's a
21 further response.
22 That's just so that we're clear on what I think it says.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's put on the record. If this needs a new
24 translation to be uploaded -- I do not know exactly. You have explained
25 to us now how you understand this in the original language and we will
1 certainly consider that.
2 I was about to move to my next subject.
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes. And I just wanted to make one additional
4 point, and Mr. Kehoe had indicated it earlier. It is our understanding
5 from doing many exegeses on these Presidential transcripts that when --
6 when -- and we can confirm that with the Prosecution during the break.
7 When something is in parentheses when a speaker's portion, it usually
8 means there is another voice that's heard on the tape, not the voice of
9 the person speaking. So that's -- we just wanted to clarify when we were
10 talking to Mr. Radic about on the 11th of August transcript, usually what
11 that will mean is that --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I think I left it open that --
13 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- someone else was speaking when I then put my
15 further questions to the witness.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then we have a break, and we resume at a quarter
18 past 4.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, I'd like to stay in the same document,
23 P2593, but now move to page 14 in English and page 19 in B/C/S.
24 And I would like to draw your attention to where it starts, I
25 think in B/C/S, "trece," "third" in English.
1 You are reported to have said there the following:
2 "The Serbs are the most corrupt people in the world. There is
3 isn't a single more corrupt or purchasable nation. Starting from this
4 fact, I believe that we can achieve more, as we just said, by buying
5 their property."
6 Earlier you explained how some people were -- may have been
7 thinking about giving priority to compensation but that that was not your
9 This remark could be interpreted to suggest, and that's -- the
10 question in that respect is similar to my previous questions, that
11 compensation should be offered to displaced persons so that they would
12 not return.
13 Same question to you: What information could you provide to this
14 Chamber which would contradict this possible interpretation of those
16 A. Well, just this, that this was one of the ways to do it, that
17 this was one of the elements in the discussion, and as the discussion
18 went on from day to day, we increasingly were reaching the conclusion
19 that it was the correct thing to do, to offer everyone to return. And
20 this transcript and many other transcripts from that time are just part
21 of those discussions, and no final conclusions were actually put forth
23 Me, myself, I wasn't quite clear at the outset what the best way
24 to proceed would be, but after all these discussions and conversations
25 and argumentation, discussions with my colleague Serbs also who were in
2 should return. And this, although, as I mentioned earlier, there was the
3 fact that we were aware there were not enough funds to actually cover the
4 compensation plan at that point in time.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, in December 1996 - that is,
6 approximately 15 to 16 months after Operation Storm - your language does
7 not suggest that you have no money. To the contrary, the language
8 suggests that you can achieve much more by buying their property.
9 A. Well, this was the fact for those who had actually decided not to
10 return. We have the following fact. We had already actually had a good
11 picture of who was willing and going to return. Let me just remind you
12 that we actually extended the time-line for applications for return by
13 three months several times over. And after this, even those who directly
14 took part in the rebellion in Croatia
15 as the state where they would finally wish to settle down, of course, for
16 those individuals the final variant that would be offered, the final
17 option would be to offer them money as compensation. But that was --
18 there were various options that were being discussed.
19 And at this time, there was a third option which was actually
20 sort of going on the sidelines which was exchange of property. There
21 were a lot of people, Serbs from Croatia
22 from Zagreb
23 with Croats who were actually people who had lived in Vojvodina and were
24 born there, natives of Vojvodina. And there weren't -- this was not a
25 small figure we're talking about. There were tens of thousands of people
1 entering this kind of process.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Mr. Misetic, not another translation issue, I hope.
4 MR. MISETIC: I'm only doing translation issues, Mr. President.
5 So it's just a -- actually it's interpretation.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, it's interpretation.
7 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then could you please point at the lines you
9 consider not to be accurately translated so that we could ...
10 MR. MISETIC: Page 36 --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. MISETIC: -- line 10 in my e-court - let me just make sure -
13 JUDGE ORIE: Is it about at this time?
14 MR. MISETIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... LiveNote.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And what words then ...
16 MR. MISETIC: Actually, it is page 36, line 9, on the central
18 JUDGE ORIE: Line 9, central LiveNote.
19 MR. MISETIC: The -- "on the sidelines."
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, I will read to you a sentence where there
21 possibly is a problem with the translation. I read it to you, and after
22 you have listened, once it is translated to you again, please tell us
23 whether it reflects what you said.
24 I start at the end of line 8, Mr. Misetic:
25 "But that was -- there were various options that were being
1 discussed. And at this time, there was a third option, which was
2 actually going on the sidelines, which was exchange of property."
3 What is now translated back to you, is there any inaccuracy
4 compared to what you said?
5 A. Well, I think I didn't say in parallel, running in parallel. But
6 in fact it was the -- the essence is there. So there was a third option
7 at the same time and it was going on without our knowledge. That was the
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on the sidelines, then, I take it, that
10 was a discussion, which meant beyond your discussions.
11 A. Well, yes, it was something that we didn't know about.
12 JUDGE ORIE: You considered, apparently, buying the property as a
13 better achievement. The discussion as we have followed it from these
14 texts is, Return or money to be paid, whether we call it compensation or
15 buying property, that that is -- may come down to approximately the same.
16 You said buying the property was the better achievement. Could
17 you explain, in view of your other answers, why you considered where you
18 were -- as you said, you were in favour of first offering return, while
19 you, nevertheless, considered buying the property a better achievement?
20 A. Well, the basic principle -- our basic position was there aren't
21 enough people in Croatia
22 we wanted as large a number of people to return as possible. Those who
23 wanted to be Croatian citizens. But as time went by, after two or three
24 year, we realised that this was not an option, that there was a number of
25 people who had left Croatia
1 option actually prevailed, that we should also find this other option
2 which was the -- the sanctity of private property should be upheld and it
3 should not be violated.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And do I understand that in your answer, where
5 you said that, "We had a major demographic and we wanted as large a
6 number of people to return as possible," that that would include Serbs.
7 A. No dilemma at all, both Croats and Serbs, because large swaths of
8 Croatian territory were sparsely populated, or unpopulated, even before
9 Storm, and this was even more true after the war, or in the course of the
11 JUDGE ORIE: We are here in late 1996. I'm not aware of -- let's
12 say, a general call, Croats and Serbs, say, Please all come back, Croats
13 and Serbs, and populate the areas which are so badly populated, almost
14 empty of inhabitants.
15 Could you point at any -- well, let's say in this period of time,
16 that is August of 1995 to December 1996, where there was such a -- kind
17 of a general call, We need people to inhabit our country. Whether you
18 are of Serb ethnicity or of Croat ethnicity, please come back and be in
19 our population.
20 A. Well, not only that this was a general invitation, it was much
21 more than that. But I'm not certain whether this was in 1996 or 1997,
22 but I personally proposed a law on areas of special state interest, and
23 for the most part, they covered the areas in question, where we not only
24 invited people to come back but we actually stimulated this by -- by
25 providing tax incentives, large or higher salaries to those professions
1 that were wanted. So if a doctor, for instance -- and nobody spoke --
2 nobody mentioned Serbs or Croats. Doctors, if they wanted to come and
3 live in Donji Lapac, or any of the areas that we had proclaimed as areas
4 of special state interest, they would actually receive higher pay than a
5 doctor in Zagreb
6 So it was much more than a general invitation. There was a law
7 that was passed in the Assembly and, of course, this was an additional
8 expense, but we couldn't actually provide sufficient incentive for people
9 to come back and settle down in those areas without this kind of
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you say that they were better paid than a doctor
12 in Zagreb
13 there were no many Serb doctors in Zagreb, were they?
14 A. No. We were actually addressing our invitation to Croatian
15 citizens, absolutely to everyone who wanted to proceed in that way. This
16 was a law that was passed. You can take a look at the law, and there is
17 not a single article in it which would actually identify people according
18 to their ethnic background. Simply this was a attempt to revitalise
19 these regions.
20 And if I may just add, at about the same time - I can't tell you
21 the exact date - but again at my initiative, the Assembly actually
22 adopted a national programme for demographic renewal. And again, there's
23 not a single article --
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'll come -- I'll come to that later.
25 My next question does focus, however, on legislation to be
1 adopted. And I'd like to move back to P462. That's the same
2 11th of August meeting we looked at before, Mr. Radic. Page 15 in
3 English; page 24 in B/C/S.
4 Yes. I'd like to draw your attention what was said by
5 Mr. Krpina, and I quote from what he is recorded to have said. He says:
6 "... I think we should pass a law, they would declare all
7 abandoned property state property on the pretext of preserving it [sic]
8 and then in the procedure, if someone returns, if there are no legal
9 obstacles, the state will give him back his property."
10 This remark suggests, or at least could be interpreted, that the
11 preservation of property, in the mind of Mr. Krpina, was used as a
12 pretext for declaring abandoned property state property but that
13 preservation was not the law's actually purpose [sic].
14 Could you -- same question. Do you have any information which
15 would go against such an interpretation of his words?
16 A. Well, I do, in the events themselves, which followed, which was
17 that this property was actually preserved and returned. And, again, I
18 have to repeat, there were numerous discussions and various proposals put
19 forward and there were many situations where a proposal -- where a
20 conclusion -- or, rather, a meeting ended with a majority thinking one
21 thing, a majority of the participants, and then later on, after a
22 discussion with the prime minister and President Tudjman, we actually
23 reached conclusions that were non-discriminatory by nature.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, this Chamber has heard evidence from a
25 witness, Mr. Galbraith, who was, at the time, the US ambassador to
2 transcript page 5.203 - with regard to passing a law declaring abandoned
3 property state property, he stated that:
4 "The notion of preserving the property was simply a pretext for
5 taking the property, making it impossible for the Serbs who had left to
6 return to that property, and as part of a scheme to try to resettle
7 Croats in the area, thereby changing its strategic -- the strategic
8 complexion of the Krajina from being Serb to being Croat."
9 Now, Mr. Galbraith used very similar words as the words we just
10 read as being used by Mr. Krpina on the 11th of August. Again, would you
11 have any specific information which would contradict what Mr. Galbraith
12 told us, how he perceived the intentions, and that could undermine his
13 testimony that preservation was used as a pretext for declaring abandoned
14 property state property so that Serbs would not return.
15 Mr. Kehoe.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, if I may, Mr. President, I believe that
17 Mr. Galbraith was referring to this transcript if I'm not mistaken.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just check that, T52 --
19 MR. KEHOE: I know that during the course of his direct
20 examination he was shown this transcript.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. KEHOE: The reason I recognise that is because I objected to
23 it, but be that as it may --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You would say that the similarity of the
25 language not very striking --
1 MR. KEHOE: Right.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- if you put it to him. Nevertheless his testimony
3 is such that he would not say, Well, I never thought about that being the
4 intention behind it. I mean, if you wish, we could -- or in
5 cross-examination could go through his testimony. But I do agree with
6 you, I -- I should verify. But I take it that he was shown the -- he was
7 shown the -- the document, the -- the minutes, but --
8 MR. KEHOE: Prior to trial.
9 JUDGE ORIE: At least -- yes. Yes, but, of course, then still
10 what remains is his testimony. I might go into that into further detail
11 but I would have to properly prepare that and find the right portions of
12 his testimony and every detail in this respect.
13 MR. KEHOE: Right. With regard to that document, just one last
14 point. I do believe we will find that it was admitted through
15 Mr. Galbraith, P462.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it may well be.
17 MR. KEHOE: Yeah.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, leave alone that perhaps the language pretext
19 was -- was perhaps suggested to him by looking at the document. I would
20 like to take you, then, briefly to your statement given to the
21 Gotovina Defence, and if you would allow, just read a portion of that at
22 this moment and if there is any further need to contextualise I will hear
23 from you.
24 In paragraph 33 of the statement, as it was presented to the
25 Chamber, it says that you stated that:
1 "Some of the representatives of the international community
2 exerted pressure on the Republic of Croatia
3 they did not understand, or didn't want to understand, the true reality
4 of the situation in the field."
5 Which suggests that pleading for the return was something you
6 could only do on not a proper understanding of the reality.
7 Could you, first of all, confirm that this is what you said, as
8 we find it in the statement; and, then, second, comment on that?
9 A. Well, yes, I can confirm this by saying the following. Some
10 representatives of the international community, including Mr. Galbraith,
11 exerted pressure on Croatia
12 before the conditions were ready, before the infrastructure was renewed,
13 before the area was actually organised in a way to allow -- to provide
14 for normal living conditions. So that what is I had in mind.
15 We did not have in mind a long period of time but, rather, a
16 short transitional period. And if you allow me, just one additional
17 sentence about what Ambassador Galbraith said. The fact -- I mean, the
18 proof that he was not correct in what he thought is that his successor,
19 Mr. Montgomery, found a way for the American government to assist our
20 programme of building homes in Kistanje, where he and I together actually
21 gave the keys over to the new owners to -- and where we actually made
22 sure that Serbs moved into those homes. So our intention was not to
23 prevent it but, rather, to allow it.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kehoe, at least part of the answer was that
25 Mr. Galbraith said that what he read was completely consistent with what
1 he observed. So as to make clear that even if the wording may have been
2 borrowed, that the testimony does take distance from -- from what he read
3 in this minutes.
4 MR. KEHOE: And my -- my thought, Mr. President, was simply
5 the -- the similarity of wording.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
7 Then I would like to stay in P462; page 16 in the English, and
8 25 in B/C/S.
9 Mr. Valentic is recorded as having said -- no, let me first go to
10 what President Tudjman is recorded of having said.
11 And I don't see that on my screen at this moment. Yes, it's on
12 the bottom of the page.
13 President Tudjman is there recorded as having stated:
14 "I am with the more radical. If someone has left the country and
15 does not appear there, I don't know, a month, or three months, et cetera,
16 that shall be considered, think of the wording, state property,
17 et cetera. We have come out of a war, et cetera, define it like that."
18 Which -- and perhaps I -- we move on to page 17 in the English,
19 26 in B/C/S, where Mr. Valentic is speaking. He is recorded to have
21 "Not three months, three months is too long, because we ..."
22 And then President Tudjman says:
23 "Okay, a month, then."
24 This language could be interpreted as expressing the thought that
25 the deadline for declaring abandoned property as state property should be
1 kept very short.
2 Do you have any explanation as to why President Tudjman and why
3 Mr. Valentic were -- were wanting this to be such a short period?
4 A. Well, I think what is key here is this. In those areas where
5 there were no problems that I mentioned earlier, such as the removal of
6 land-mines and so on, that people should return as soon as possible so
7 that the property would not get damaged. But when we saw that the
8 deadlines that we provided did not really produce any results, then we
9 extended the deadlines in many instances.
10 There were a lot of apartments, flats, in small towns, for
11 instance, I was in Benkovac and then in Knin, where if a person returned
12 very soon, it was still possible to salvage that apartment. When I said
13 earlier that conditions were not such to allow for people to move that,
14 because the land-mines hadn't been removed and so on, but there were
15 cases where we -- the conditions were such that people could return very
16 soon. And this should not be understood in a negative sense. Rather, it
17 should be understood as an incentive. That was my understanding.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If my recollection serves me well, this Chamber has
19 not received evidence in which it was explained that the longer period of
20 time for return was inspired by the fact that it was not safe due to
21 land-mines to return any earlier. The Chamber did receive some evidence
22 quoting different reasons and -- but the parties will correct me when my
23 recollection is not correct. Some of the evidence said that there was a
24 lot of international pressure on it, and not land-mines.
25 But if the parties could assist me in finding any piece of
1 evidence where the land-mines are used as an explanation for why the
2 30 days should be longer, then I would -- the Chamber would appreciate
4 But first the question: Do you have -- the land-mines, which you
5 give now as an explanation, is there any -- is there any documentary
6 evidence or is there any other information you could provide to the
7 Chamber that this is what caused the change of the time-limits? And the
8 Chamber is aware of how the time-limits changed; that is, late August, a
9 decree, 30 days; then 22nd of September, from 30 to 90 days; and then,
10 finally, in January 1996, the time-limit being abolished at all.
11 So the Chamber is aware of these, I would say, legislative
12 developments, but since the fact that it was not safe to return because
13 of mine clearance is, as far as I -- as far as my recollection goes, is
15 Do you have any corroboration for that view as having triggered
16 the extension of time?
17 A. I'm going back to that period in my thoughts.
18 The overall return was under my charge, both of Croats and Serbs.
19 There was a danger that Croats who had spent three or four years in
20 exile, for example, from the place of Slunj, would not suddenly rush back
21 within a day or two, without us having checked the -- whether the houses
22 were de-mined or not. So when I'm talking about the return to the area
23 liberated during Oluja, I'm talking about the return of all persons,
24 regardless of their names. So the first major problem was the problem of
25 mines and de-mining.
1 JUDGE ORIE: That was not my question.
2 A. Mm-hm.
3 JUDGE ORIE: My question was whether there -- you have any
4 documentary evidence to corroborate this explanation of extending the
5 30 days' time-limit. Any minutes, any documents, any decrees.
6 A. I haven't really been dealing with that subject for -- topic for
7 ten years. I'm not in the state government anymore. So my recollection
8 is what it is. What I seem to remember is that we had that deadline for
9 a certain reason and also because an insufficient number of people had
10 applied to return within that 30-day period.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No international pressure on extending the
12 time-limits, as far as your recollection goes?
13 A. I think so. I think that there were talks with certain
14 ambassadors who did provide some suggestions in that direction, yes. But
15 my recollection is more of this later period, when we extended it for a
16 year or longer, when we were preparing a conference, a donors' conference
17 and equipment, where the international community was supposed to help in
18 the rebuilding, overall building. So that's when we had conversations
19 and deadlines and pressure to extend the deadlines for the return.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any recollection of specific instances
21 where you provided, if I could say, the same de-mining services to Serbs
22 who wanted individually to go back to the place where they had lived
23 before? Because you said that's what you did with Croats returning.
24 Do you have any recollection of giving the same de-mining
25 services to -- to Serbs? Any specific instances or ...
1 A. De-mining was never aimed at a particular house but it was aimed
2 at a certain region, an area. When a certain area was being de-mined,
3 then all the citizens from the -- that particular area would have the
4 same service. And I must say, on the topic of de-mining, that we had a
5 lot of help from the international community. If ever any help came in
6 that particular job, it came from the international community, and
7 because they were the ones who were providing this assistance, it would
8 never be something that was aimed at only one ethnic group.
9 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, on the issue of de-mining, I don't
10 believe this transcript is in evidence as 65 ter 939. December 4, 1995.
11 I was just directed to it by my learned friend Mr. Kay where
12 General Cervenko is talking about the difficulties in returns because of
13 those de-mining -- because of the mine problem.
14 MR. KAY: Yes. There is a considerable amount in this
15 transcript, Your Honour. It is a 61-page transcript. There is mention
16 of the United Nations. It was a document I was aware of when Your Honour
17 raised that -- that matter, so I turned it up.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it is appreciated. I invited you even to --
19 to -- I said as far as my recollection goes, I've not seen anything in
20 evidence, which luckily is then confirmed by Mr. Kehoe that I didn't miss
21 a major portion of the evidence.
22 If could you provide a copy to Chamber's staff and, of course,
23 usually we're not seeking evidence on our own initiative but since it was
24 raised in this question, if we could have a look at it so as to see
25 whether this would -- although the witness didn't give that information
1 but to see whether it -- not now immediately. If would you take your
2 time and provide it to Chamber's staff, then we may have a look at it.
3 MR. KAY: Mm-hm. Apparently there is no English translation in
4 e-court and quite how have I ended up with an English translation which
5 isn't from my staff at all, I don't know. Mine's got "OTP" on the bottom
6 left-hand corner so ...
7 JUDGE ORIE: I suggest that the parties sit together during the
8 next break and see in what way they can provide the Chamber with any
9 information and especially, also, on -- and that's, of course, the focus
10 of my question in view of the answer of the witness, is Croats returning,
11 we had to de-mine, and the question was, were similar services provided
12 to Serbs returning. That was my -- because what we are talking about,
13 we're talking about time-limits imposed on the return of those who had
14 left the territory.
15 So the Chamber might not be interested in the whole subject of
16 de-mining as a general subject but specifically in this context.
17 MR. KAY: I suggest Your Honour reads this document, if
18 Your Honour is interested in that.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm certainly interested in it. I take it
20 that you would then provide the other parties so that everyone knows what
21 I'm reading, and I want to be very transparent in this respect.
22 Ms. Gustafson, you have 61 pages to read overnight as well, as
23 far as I understand.
24 I'd like to move on and move to another meeting, which is, again,
25 a Presidential meeting, 22nd of August; P463. And ...
1 We have that on our screen. Mr. Radic, you are reported to be
2 present here. I think we had a look at it already.
3 I'd like to move to page 6 in English and page 9, to start with,
4 in B/C/S and then move on to page 10.
5 According to the record, President Tudjman stated that upon
6 learning that the mayor of Knin was a Serb and was no good for anything,
7 that the mayor should be replaced. And he added to that:
8 "There is no reason for a Serb being there right now."
9 And then you are recorded as having responded to that:
10 "Sure. He shouldn't be there."
11 And then President Tudjman then stated:
12 "There's a majority of Croats there, so change that."
13 Could you shed some light on President Tudjman, in August 1995,
14 appearing to take the view that Knin should not have a Serb mayor?
15 A. The emphasis is not on whether somebody is a Serb or a Croat,
16 from what I can remember, but whether they are capable of being --
17 managing a town after Oluja, a town which is more complex than Zagreb
18 If I remember, I spoke about a number of mayors of towns where displaced
19 persons were coming back, so I was thinking both of Croats and Serbs.
20 Not only Serbs but also Croats which do not have enough self-initiative
21 or are not good organisers or did not prove to be people up to the
22 significant and difficult demands a town would require. And the
23 President added to that the story about how in some area before the war
24 or perhaps at that particular moment, there was one majority ethnic group
25 or another, and he was thinking even of appointing somebody who would be
1 accepted by the people who were there at that time, which is something
2 that can then be reviewed after a certain period of time has passed.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Now, what -- you introduce the mayor, and you say
4 that he wasn't good for anything and that it was a Serb.
5 Now, if it was not about his Serb ethnicity, I would have
6 expected President Tudjman to say, There's no place for incompetent
7 people. However, he says there is no reason for a Serb being there right
8 now. He does not respond in any way to your observation as to be good
9 for nothing, apart from what that exactly means, being good for nothing.
10 A. The transcript goes on. Actually it's the only transcript that I
11 read before I came here.
12 You will see at the very end that we are also discussing the
13 mayors in Istria
14 President that everything should be done for us to secure people of good
15 quality in Croatian areas as well, particularly in places where the
16 situation was problematic. This would be something that is very
17 important for the return of displaced persons.
18 I'm trying to recall the entire conversation not just a detail
19 because the transcript is a transcript of an informal chat, in armchairs.
20 It is not an official meeting, and we did not really state precise
21 definitions or state our positions precisely. My position at the time
22 was to warn the President, Let's go to some key towns and bring capable,
23 able people to positions there, in those towns.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the President responds by saying:
25 "There's a majority of Croat there, so change that."
1 Could you explain "the majority of Croats" at that point in time,
2 and we're talking 22nd of August, being a majority in Knin?
3 A. When we're speaking about Knin, we're talking about the broader
4 area of the town. Knin also includes the nearby villages around the
5 town, where, at that time, a number of Croats were able to return. Also,
6 a large number of apartments was preserved in the town, where a number of
7 people moved in that were needed for the normal functioning of the town.
8 At that point, from what I remember, the majority of those people
9 were Croats, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And they had already moved in on the 22nd of August?
11 A. Not all. It was more about some of them could. I remember that
12 we had a nearby village which was quite large, the village of Kijevo
13 we had about 2.000 displaced persons in Split. The idea was that they
14 could come to a state-owned property, apartments in Knin. I think this
15 is stated in one of the transcripts. So they could at a distance of
16 ten kilometres away from their homes physically help with the rebuilding
17 of those houses and then move back into them. So logically, we needed
18 somebody to come back with them who would be able to lead those people
19 and manage the affairs.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Your explanation suggests that there was no majority
21 of Croats there but that you envisaged that in the future there might be
22 a majority of Croats. But that's not what President Tudjman says, is it?
23 A. I don't recall how many people there were at one particular point
24 in time or at what date. I can't really remember that now.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Would you agree with me that if all the Serbs would
1 return, that Knin would be a Serb-majority town and that the same would
2 be true for the Knin municipality as well?
3 A. Absolutely, yes. But we were aware of the fact that this was not
4 possible at all, because a good number - I'm not going to say the
5 majority - but a good number of the citizens of Knin were, let's say,
6 officers of the Yugoslav People's Army who were attacking -- Croatia
7 They were not even people who originated from Knin. They just got
8 apartments there. So they left. They still haven't accepted Croatia
9 their own state. We are aware of that. Knin, absolutely. Small towns
10 such as Knin, Benkovac, they just didn't have the local population,
11 people who actually came from there but a lot of people, especially those
12 who were in the army, were settled there deliberately. So these towns
13 did not only have native inhabitants.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
15 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I believe that a certain portion of
16 the witness's answer concerning what features were in the town wasn't
17 interpreted and may be relevant.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, where should I ask the witness,
19 starting on what line, to repeat his answer?
20 MR. MISETIC: Page 53, beginning at line 11: "They just got
21 apartments there," and then there was something -- specific reason that
22 he offered.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I read again part of your answer as it was
24 translated to us and I invite you to complete it.
25 You said:
1 "But a good number of the citizens of Knin were, let's say,
2 officers of the Yugoslav People's Army who were attacking -- Croatia
3 Was there anything you added there to your answer? Was there --
4 is there anything missing -- or is it --
5 MR. MISETIC: Sorry. There seems to be a problem with LiveNote
6 being one line off depending on whether we're at our stations or the
7 central LiveNote. So it was the next line down, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And now it has moved from my screen so I have to get
9 the other version. So you want me to start reading just prior to that.
10 MR. MISETIC: No, just after that, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Just after that. Okay.
12 Therefore I again read to you what was translated to us:
13 "... let's say, officers of the Yugoslav People's Army who were
14 attacking -- Croatia
15 Knin. They just got apartments there. So they left."
16 What is missing in what I just read to you and was part of your
18 A. These were not natives of Knin had who had spent ten or 15 years
19 living there and who had Croatian nationality, who would live there and
20 consider themselves citizens of Knin. They were on temporary work in
21 Knin. We would -- we could look at them like that.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Are you referring to people who had moved in since
23 the -- since Croatia
24 Is that what you're referring to?
25 A. Partly about them, and partly those who, as officers of the
1 Yugoslav People's Army, were given apartments in Knin, spent some time
2 there, then they would move to Nis
3 somewhere else.
4 The emphasis was this. Those people when they left, of course,
5 they didn't even think about going back to Croatia because Croatia
6 not their home. They were living there temporarily.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm trying to understand what you meant
8 exactly by "temporarily."
9 Was that people that moved in since power was taken over; or are
10 you also referring to an earlier period in time?
11 A. Both.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us what approximately was then
13 the percentage of such imported inhabitants of Knin town and
14 municipality, well, let's say, before the republic of --
15 A. I don't have that data but it was not an insignificant number.
16 JUDGE ORIE: But is it 10 per cent, 20 per cent? What's your
17 understanding of what part of the population -- and I'm talking about
18 pre-war, so before the Serb forces took control of the area of the -- as
19 they called it, the Serbian Krajina.
20 A. Precisely, preparations to take over control lasted for several
21 scores of years. I cannot give you a specific number. But at least
22 30 per cent of people like that were located to Knin on duty, serving in
23 the Yugoslav People's Army. That was the largest percentage of people
24 who had relocated there.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So if we would take the census of 1991, and if
1 we would deduct 30 per cent of those having reported as Serbs in Knin
2 town and Knin municipality, would we then approximately have some insight
3 as to what was the Serb population of that area, not influenced by an
4 influx of JNA officers perhaps for preparing the takeover?
5 Would that be a fair way to look at it? Because then we might
6 have a look at the census and then we could establish whether, if we're
7 talking about a Croat majority or a Serb majority, what would have been
8 the balance, excluding those who came in after 1991, excluding those who
9 were there stationed as JNA officers, so that we get to what I would
10 suggest to call the core of the Serb population of Knin municipality and
11 Knin town.
12 I don't have the figures at hand. We would have to look at it.
13 But I'm just seeking your position in this respect.
14 A. I don't have them either. This would require a more serious
15 demographic analysis. But we're probably close to these figures, if
16 we're talking about that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Now going back to the transcript of that
18 meeting, when President Tudjman said something about the majority of
19 Croats there and said, "So change that," you then are recorded as having
21 "Yes, sure. They wanted to put some Serb in Okucani as well.
22 Not a chance. A Croat is over there and we did Okucani nicely."
23 I notice reading this, that you did not refer to an incompetent
24 Serb, which, whoever would wish to be put in Okucani, but about they
25 wanted to put some Serb, only reference to ethnicity, nothing else, and
1 then you said, "Not a chance."
2 Could you first tell us, Okucani, was the composition -- the
3 ethnic composition of Okucani was approximately what? We can verify it
4 if you would like to, but not the whole of the census of 1991, and I'm
5 now looking at the old figures is in evidence yet.
6 What was Okucani composed of ethnically.
7 A. I think that they were in the majority before the war, but now
8 we're talking about the situation when these socially owned or state
9 apartments were occupied by Croats who were left homeless in Posavina,
10 across the area, and there was some ideas to leave the mayor who was in
11 office before, not that he was in Okucani from before but he was a mayor
12 while in exile. And what they proposed was a man who had been leading
13 them, a man whom they trusted. But I never personally discriminated or
14 distinguished between people as Serbs and Croats but as people who would
15 be able to manage or be part of a group.
16 When taken out of context it could be interpreted that we were
17 picking mayors based on whether they were Serbs or Croats, but, no, that
18 was really not the goal at all.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said: "They were in the majority before
20 the war."
21 You were referring to Serbs? Or Croats?
22 A. Yes, the Serbs were in the majority. The Serbs.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any recollection as to that majority
24 being 55 per cent, or 75, or 95? Was that a large majority?
25 A. I think the ratio was not so pronounced. The figures were quite
1 similar in those areas, but please don't hold me to the figures. I
2 really don't have the data in front of me.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think from the pre-war period, the 1991 census
4 at least, the parties could assist the Chamber in having more accurate
5 figures on that.
6 I put this question to you because the reference you make in this
7 meeting is to ethnicity, and, therefore, if you say it should be looked
8 into in the context, that's exactly why we are asking you questions, so
9 that you also have an opportunity to give us the context and give us a
10 better understanding of -- a better possibility of understanding of what
11 was said and what was meant.
12 A. Well, you see, in this unrelated conversation that we had, and
13 that's what this conversation of the 22nd of August was, where we
14 discussed all kinds of topics, we did not insist on people actually
15 expressing their views. I frequently used the term "Croat" when I
16 refer - and that is the case today as well - to Croatian citizens. And
17 at that time, well, in my office, as a university professor, I had four
18 assistant lecturers, two of whom were ethnic Serbs. In other words, I
19 don't have any kind of bias -- negative bias towards them. When I say
20 "Croat," I mean a Croatian citizen, a person who has in mind the Croatian
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we move to our next subject, I would
23 like to have a break first, because we will not finish that in two or
24 three minutes.
25 We have a break until ten minutes to 6.00.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 --- On resuming at 5.55 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Before we proceed, I'd like to address one matter
6 very briefly.
7 Earlier today we discussed, and I'll not go into any details,
8 about something being filed by Friday, and the other parties still
9 considered whether or not -- you remember what it was. We dealt with the
10 matter in private session.
11 Now the Chamber would like, even if the filing would come on
12 Friday at the end of the day, already be informed by noon whether or not
13 any choice has been made, because if the Chamber would consider to take
14 further action, we'd rather do that Friday afternoon, in order not to
15 lose further time. So I said please file it by Friday but already inform
16 Chamber's staff by noon
17 relation to names.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's understood, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 Then we continue, Mr. Radic --
21 Yes, Mr. Kay.
22 MR. KAY: It's just on this because whatever application is made
23 by one party, the other parties will -- may want to respond to.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
25 MR. KAY: And I'm concerned that the Court may implying that
1 decisions are being made before responses to filings --
2 JUDGE ORIE: No. As a matter of fact, if no one applies for A,
3 B, or C --
4 MR. KAY: Yeah.
5 JUDGE ORIE: -- then the Chamber feels free to do what it may
6 have already on its mind.
7 MR. KAY: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If there would be any submission which leaves it
9 open that the Chamber should continue to show self-restraint, we'd like
10 to know.
11 MR. KAY: Yeah.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If there is no reason for self-restraint, and that
13 is when none of the parties have indicated to take any action in relation
14 to A, B, or C, then the Chamber feels more free in proceeding in -- as it
15 intended, in relation to A, B, and C. Is that --
16 MR. KAY: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Does that meet your concern, Mr. Kay?
18 MR. KAY: Yes. If there are amendments to be made, I do alert
19 the Court to issues that might be arising which will involve discovery
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I can imagine that. We have to carefully
22 consider how we can proceed without obstructing -- for the Chamber not to
23 obstruct parties initiatives and that's on our mind, and we will
24 certainly find ways to do that.
25 At the same time, the Chamber, by being properly informed even
1 about some details, will better be able to assess whether it can send an
2 e-mail, make a phone call, whatever.
3 MR. KAY: I understand Your Honour more clearly. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And close communication here can avoid any risk of
5 unrepairable damage.
6 Then I would like to move on.
7 Mr. Radic, sometimes we have to deal with urgent procedural
9 We are in 463, and I'd like to move to page 10 in the English and
10 page 14 and 15 in the B/C/S. And I read again what -- and perhaps we
11 should -- no, perhaps we should go back to -- where are we? Are we in 14
12 in the B/C/S. One second, please.
13 Yes. I -- I again read to you what the portion of the minutes
14 is, which I would like to ask you some questions about.
15 You said -- oh, no, it -- you're recorded to have said:
16 "I defined five priorities according to the urgency of colonising
17 these places with Croats.
18 "If you ask me, this thing right here is the first and second
19 priority. We should bring Croats back here urgently and this area should
20 be urgently colonised with Croats. And we should by no means let more
21 than 10 per cent of Serbs be here ever again. Because, that's where we
22 were cut off."
23 Where President Tudjman then responds:
24 "Not even 10 per cent."
25 First of all, talking about "here," and -- what area did you have
1 on your mind when you made this statement?
2 A. I was showing a map to President Tudjman, and I was referring to
3 the area between the rivers Kupa and Una. That's the area where the
4 Croatian territory is the narrowest, where it had almost been cut in two.
5 For instance, sometime between Karlovac -- somewhere between Karlovac and
6 all the way to Ogulin, this was a strategically important area. I have
7 already mentioned it earlier today. And here we were still discussing
8 these matters because there was still the threat of Mladic's army's
9 aggression from Bosnia
10 So I was pointing to the President the area between the rivers
11 Kupa and Una.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you translate that for the Chamber in
13 municipalities. What municipalities would be covered by what you were
14 referring to?
15 A. Well, these were -- at the time those municipalities were larger
16 than they are today. But certainly the town of -- the city of Karlovac
17 with its surrounding areas --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. If you say the
19 municipalities are larger now, I do not mind if you would refer to
20 municipalities as they were in, well, let's say, 1991. Yes.
21 A. Well, all right. At one time Croatia had some 50 municipalities,
22 whereas today it has some 500, and that is why it is difficult to point
23 this out without a map, actually. That's why I mentioned the area
24 between the rivers Una and Kupa, where the state was -- almost cut in
25 half. But if you had the map before you, that would be the area between
1 Slunj and Ogulin.
2 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. MISETIC: If we could check the witness's answer there, what
5 the area is.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you repeat what the area was because
7 there may be a -- I didn't look at the transcript, as a matter of fact,
8 but could you please repeat how you described the area.
9 It is translated to us as the area between the rivers Kupa --
10 Kupa and Una, or is it at a later stage?
11 MR. MISETIC: He mentioned some cities, Mr. President, at the end
12 of the sentence. If could just name the cities again.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was that the reference on page 62, somewhere
14 around line 18, Slunj, Ogulin.
15 MR. MISETIC: That's correct, yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 You said: "... if had you the map before you, that would be the
18 area between Slunj and --
19 A. The towns of Karlovac, Slunj and to the south all the way to
20 Ogulin. That's the area where Croatia
21 the narrowest, and during the occupation that's where it was at the
22 greatest -- in the greatest danger. That is the area I was referring to
23 and that's the area we were discussing.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could be of --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. KEHOE: -- some assistance in this regard. As you recall,
2 there has been some marking of maps on this score.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Granic has marked that map.
4 MR. KEHOE: Yes. And we have that map but we also have the blank
5 of that. So as -- if Your Honour just wants to --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that might be a good idea, that I -- but I do
7 not what the blank map is there --
8 MR. KEHOE: I do.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. KEHOE: Okay. What was admitted into evidence was the map
11 that's marked. The blank map is 65 ter 1D3011.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could we have that on our screen and could
13 Madam Usher then assist so that we -- that it can be marked.
14 We will get the map on our screen, Mr. Radic, so that we ...
15 A. Mm-hm.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Maps usually take some time.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And could it be enlarged and can we focus on the --
19 we do not necessarily mean the whole of the map but that area to be ...
20 Perhaps move the map a bit to the right. No, not the bar but the
21 map. Yes.
22 Madam Usher, could you assist the witness in marking the area he
23 was referring to.
24 Mr. Radic --
25 A. [Interpretation] I can see it all and I can mention the
1 municipalities now if you would like me to, because now can I see them
2 before me.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's do both. Let's invite you to mark the map and
4 then also to name the municipalities which were covered by your
6 A. So I am talking about this area, this encircled area where the
7 municipalities of Vrginmost, Vojnic, Karlovac, Duga Resa, and perhaps a
8 portion of the Ogulin municipality, maybe even the larger part of Ogulin
9 municipality, and the municipality of Slunj
10 that was of critical significance and in a critical -- at a critical
11 point strategically speaking.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And when you said that's where we were -- no, let's
13 first ask you another question.
14 You said:
15 "We should by no means let more than 10 per cent of Serbs be here
16 ever again."
17 Do I understand that Serbs that would have left, that it was on
18 your mind that if Serbs were to return, that the final result would be
19 that there would never be more than 10 per cent after the return?
20 A. No. I certainly did not say that anywhere.
21 We were discussing the resettlement of Croats into that area.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whoever you want to settle there, the language
23 used is:
24 "By no means let no more than 10 per cent of Serbs be here ever
1 Which suggests that, as the final result, that there would be no
2 more than 10 per cent Serbs. I mean, whether you would fill the area
3 with Croats or Italians or Germans is another matter. But this language,
4 especially also if we look at the response by President Tudjman, could
5 well be interpreted as saying, Whatever the return programme will be,
6 finally, never more than 10 per cent Serbs there.
7 That's, I would say, the -- unless you disagree with me, but this
8 is what is my understanding of the ordinary language. If I say, Let
9 there never be more than 10 Canadians winning gold medal, then it means
10 not 11, not 12, not 13, not 14. 10 or less.
11 A. But that would mean that 90 Croats might win the gold medal, if
12 we are discussing gold medals. So what we are talking about here is a
13 relatively empty area which is sparsely populated, not enough people live
14 there, and if we were talking about the area before Operation Storm and
15 talking about Operation Storm in talking about immigration into Croatia
16 we were of the view that they should not be actually -- they should not
17 migrate to Zagreb
18 first to develop the economy, to develop factories and various plants and
19 so on --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, a population will be 100 per cent.
21 That's those who are living there. If you say, not more than 10 per cent
22 should be Serbs, apart from who will be the remaining 90 per cent, what
23 the Chamber is interested in to understand how many Serbs had been living
24 there and which would be above the 10 per cent that was mentioned here.
25 Could you tell us -- let's take an example. Vojnic, how many
1 Serbs were there pre-war?
2 A. I don't know off the top of my head what the figure would be, but
3 we can add them up. If we take this whole area, this whole circle that I
4 drew up there, I assume that in that area, before the war -- it is hard
5 to say off the top of my head now, but I think there were about 30 to
6 40.000 Serbs living there and perhaps some 50 to 60.000 Croats. And I'm
7 talking about this entire critical area. But I can't really give you a
8 very precise figure.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And if there would be areas within this circled part
10 of the map where there would have been a large majority of Serbs, what to
11 do -- well, let's say there may have been municipalities or towns where
12 there was, well, let's say, up to 70 or 80 per cent, or even more of
13 Serbs. What should the remaining 60 and 70 per cent do if they wished to
14 return, where you had said that not ever more than 10 per cent?
15 A. Well, I will be very specific again. They should all return, but
16 let us settle in that area which was empty 10 per cent more of other
17 citizens. And again I have to repeat, we always had in mind -- and when
18 discussing these matters, we always had to think in the back of our minds
19 we had these possibility of being attacked. But when I mean -- when I
20 say Croats I mean citizens, ethnic Croats and ethnic Serbs.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic.
22 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, maybe if could you just check -- I
23 have line -- page 67 --
24 JUDGE ORIE: One second. 67, yes.
25 MR. MISETIC: Line 1. "But let us settle in that area which is
1 empty 10" -- something.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I read part of your answer and then please
3 correct me when there's any mistranslation.
4 You said you will be very specific: "They should all return, but
5 let us settle in that area which was empty 10 per cent," and then you
6 said ... it is translated to us as "10 per cent more of other citizens."
7 That is how it is translated to us.
8 Is that what you said --
9 A. No, ten times, not 10 per cent. Ten times more.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Ten times more of the others.
11 Now, please stay with me on arithmetics. Let's assume, original
12 population, 70 per cent Serbs, 30 per cent Croats. Now if you want --
13 A. Not in this -- not in this area. That was not the ratio.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Not even in some municipalities?
15 A. Well, I drew this circle between Una and Kupa rivers and it is my
16 impression, if we take this whole area in consideration, that there were
17 some 60 per cent of Croats and 40 per cent of Serbs. You know, Karlovac
18 is a big town.
19 JUDGE ORIE: 60 per cent Croats, 40 per cent Serbs. Although it
20 may be that in some municipalities it was quite different which may have
21 resulted in people having to remove to other parts of the area you
23 Do we agree on that? Well, let's say if in one municipality
24 there was 80 per cent majority of Serbs. Could they then stay there,
25 and, nevertheless, fulfil your -- or return there, and, nevertheless,
1 fulfil your wish that there should be ten times as much Croats, as I now
2 understand, than there were before? And some of the Serbs had to -- if
3 we --
4 A. Absolutely. If we look at a municipality as individual. But I
5 pointed out this entire area. There is no dilemma about one or other of
6 those municipalities in this area as being like that, but speaking of
7 this critical area, critical for Croatia
8 the time when we still had the threat of aggression over our heads.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let's just, for purposes of -- if we would have
10 40 per cent of Serbs living there, yes? Let's just, for argument's sake,
11 assume that 50 per cent of them would wish to return, which would
12 mean ...
13 A. 20.
14 JUDGE ORIE: 20.
15 A. [In English] 20.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, then you would need a huge amount of
17 Croats in order to create that new situations because you wanted to have
18 ten times as much Croats as there were before, or ten times more Croats
19 than Serbs? I -- it is not entirely clear to me yet.
20 A. [Interpretation] Well, in your calculation and, of course, my
21 profession is mathematics, you would need another hundred thousand so
22 that you would have 120.000; correct?
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then you would have a ratio of 1:6. 20
24 to -- no. 20 to 120 -- no. 20:140.000.
25 I'm just trying to -- to follow your --
1 A. Yes. Exactly. We are getting close to the figures. But please
2 just take this with a grain of salt. We are getting closer in this math
3 that we are trying to figure out. But this is an area that could absorb
4 another 100.000 inhabitants because it was empty. There was no one who
5 could work the -- till the soil or work in the woods. We still have a
6 lot of people in Croatia
7 and this is what we were discussing rather informally. But no one ever
8 suggested that this could all be accomplished in three days, but this was
9 just a strategic line that was to be followed and perhaps accomplished
10 in -- in some -- in a decade or so, or several decades.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In our example we would still be well above
12 10 per cent, isn't it?
13 A. Well, in the example that we gave, there would be 20.000 on the
14 one hand, and 160.000 on the other. So some 12 per cent or so.
15 But these are figures that we are just generally discussing here.
16 When the president said this, he meant -- the 10 per cent, he was
17 actually referring to the figure that was approximately the ratio of the
18 Serb population before the war in Croatia
19 strategic direction, long-term, was in fact to retain this figure, but
20 nowhere was it said that anyone would be prevented from going back to
21 those areas, anyone who was prepared and wanted to be a Croatian citizen.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, in order to achieve that, you would
23 have to move people perhaps away, or would you accept that in one
24 municipality there was still a large Serb majority?
25 A. Oh, absolutely we would accept that if that were the case. That
1 was not in dispute at all, that we would accept a Serb majority. And
2 second, the transfers of population is an issue which is rather open
3 still. At that point in time we had tens of thousands of people who were
4 refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina, expelled from there, and who were
5 waiting to be settled somewhere.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you explain this that you needed this area to
7 be populated. Because it was empty, you said. What is at all the
8 purpose of saying not more than 10 per cent Serbs? I mean, what you
9 needed is population as you explained it to us. Why at all talking about
10 what percentage could be Serb and what percentage could not be Serb?
11 What's the use, what does it add to, apparently, what was your
12 problem, that is, that the area should be populated?
13 A. At this point in time, when I referred to a Serb, I meant those
14 Serbs who actually took arms and fought against Croatia and did not
15 intend to take Croatian citizenship; but when I said "Croat," I meant
16 anyone who could be Croat or Serb or Bosnian, because there are a lot of
17 Bosniaks in that area and hopefully some day there would be even more of
18 them, because we needed people to develop that area.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's return -- could we assign a number for
20 this marked map. Mr. Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
22 Exhibit C3. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: C3 is in evidence.
24 Can we return to -- what was it? I think we were in 463. Let me
25 just have a look. Yes, 463. Same page where we were. That was page 10
1 in the English, and 14 and 15 in B/C/S.
2 You then continue and give -- refer to certain areas, Petrova and
3 Zrinska Gora. I do not know exactly where that is. Could you help us
4 out? In what municipality that was, or ...
5 A. Well, they were in Vojnic or Vrginmost municipality. I'm not
6 quite sure, one of those two, close to the border with Bosnia and
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said: "I'm talking about 10 per cent,"
9 and then are you pointing at various locations. And there you say you
10 have to establish some kind of a city sooner or later. And you said:
11 "We have also have Vojnic and Veljun, a somewhat smaller place."
12 You say this in relation to the 10 per cent, where you focus on
13 certain areas. How do we have to understand that you bring in other
14 people and that, finally, the balance would be not more than 10 per cent
15 Serbs and 90 per cent of other ethnicities?
16 A. Well, if we look at the map that I mentioned earlier, that was
17 the thinking at the time. To open up that area to give incentives for
18 people to move in, into that region rather than some other areas of
20 municipalities, and that they should actually change their population.
21 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, could you tell us, you were -- what
24 finally was the result in this area? How many Croats were
25 additionally -- or on from the Operation Storm?
1 Now, you said it was approximately 60/40. Let's just assume that
2 the 40 -- the 60 per cent Croats would remain and let's do it in terms of
3 perhaps an example. Let's say 60.000 Croats - I'm not asking about Serbs
4 at this moment - 40.000 Serbs. Could you tell us in -- as a result of
5 this colonising, how many Croats are living in that area now? If you
7 A. I don't know the exact figures.
8 Unfortunately, many Croats and many Serbs did not return at all.
9 Unfortunately. Because during their exile, they acquired new living
10 conditions, and let's say even Croats from that area found jobs in
12 found jobs in Belgrade
13 is still depopulated today. The numbers living there are insufficient.
14 Were I in the government today, I would propose to the Croatian
15 government a programme to stimulate life in those areas, no longer for
16 some strategic or defence reasons but for just residence or living
18 JUDGE ORIE: So if I understood you well, the whole concept of
19 colonisation was, as you explained it to us, and that's how you explained
20 this conversation, is that by a huge import of Croats, you would have a
21 new, if I could say so, ethnic balance, where the Croats had a
22 90-per cent majority.
23 A. At the time, after Storm, it was for strategic reasons. Today
24 I'm talking about economic reasons, and I'm generally speaking about
25 Croatian citizens, because, for sure, there are no longer any people in
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Radic, moving to page 11 in English and 17 in
4 B/C/S, still in the same document, I read again what you stated there as
5 we find it in the minutes.
6 You said -- you refer to a village:
7 "... which used to be called Maja and was predominantly Croat
8 marked red, while the predominantly Serb areas are marked blue. It is
9 the key area to start bringing in settlers."
10 "Secondly, Croats are to return to Croat areas."
11 "Thirdly, the third priority is this marked area here, the
12 liberated Croat area, and this one here, which used to be populated by
13 Serbs. This marked area here was populated 90 per cent by Serbs, but now
14 it is entirely under our control. Only a few people remain."
15 You just explained to us that you looked at the whole area, if
16 you were thinking about settling and the balance between ethnicities.
17 Here, apparently, you are focussing more detailed on certain
18 areas, and you're specifically referring to 90 per cent populated -- an
19 area populated 90 per cent by Serbs but now entirely under your control.
20 That's at least -- but explain to me -- it sounds to me as it may
21 be not fully consistent to say, We were just looking at the whole area;
22 whereas, here, are you specifically looking at areas but perhaps you
23 explain what area you exactly pointed at with a 90-per cent Serb majority
24 which you say is "now entirely under our control."
25 A. We don't have video footage from that meeting to be able to see
1 which section of the map I'm showing to the President. I would have to
2 go over the whole transcript to refresh my recollection.
3 But when we're saying that something is under our control, then
4 what we mean is it was under the Croat control, the control of the Croat
5 army and the Bosnian army in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think on the map
6 we're showing a section of territory that is in Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 But we're not saying that we would be populating that. So it is very
8 difficult from this segment to tell what, at that point, I was showing to
9 the President on the map.
10 Perhaps we could read the next page, because it's hard for me to
11 follow the thread completely.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Another opportunity would be to provide you with a
13 hard copy of the transcript, so that -- I always hate to give you
14 homework, but perhaps that you take your time to read it over and to see
15 whether, in the context, it is -- it is -- whether you find relevant
16 information in the context.
17 So what you're saying here is that you may have referred here to
18 territory not within the original borders of Croatia but, nevertheless,
19 being under your control.
20 A. The President refers to Kupres and Grahovo there. These are two
21 settlements in Bosnia-Herzegovina. When we say "ours," colloquially
22 speaking, it's -- I don't know actually to what extent it was under the
23 control of the -- or monitoring of the Croatian army, but at the time it
24 was under the allied friendly forces of the army of the Croat people in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. But if the President is talking about Kupres and
1 Grahovo here, we're talking about towns that are actually situated in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 This is the time that I recall when the liberation of those areas
4 from Serb occupation was under way. I think that Grahovo and Kupres --
5 actually, I know that for sure they were liberated before Knin was, and
6 even that was a precondition for the liberation of other parts of
8 it has to do with territory of a neighbouring state. And I think the
9 context is that if there are no attacks by those attacking Croatia from
10 the other border, then it's not so essential to have long-term defence
11 forces on this particular side of the border, if things remain like that.
12 I think this is what was being discussed.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to move on to another document, which is
14 D1823, which are the minutes of a closed session of the Croatian
15 government. And there -- we do not have, I think, a front page.
16 Page 6 in English; 11 in B/C/S. I still think we have not yet
17 the page in English.
18 Mr. Radic, on this page -- and let me see whether I find it in
19 English. Maybe further down. No, it should be further up. It's at the
20 top, line 4.
21 You are recorded to have said -- and I think the discussion was
22 about the draft on -- the draft decree on the -- no, let me see. Yes,
23 the draft decree on temporary takeover and administration of specified
25 You said:
1 "It surely is a historical document, which determines, I will use
2 the word, demographic future of the liberated areas."
3 Could you explain us what you exactly meant by those words.
4 A. It's hard with this sentence just taken out of context. One
5 would need to read the whole speech to the government. But evidently,
6 I'm talking about the fact here that in Croatia we have a large number of
7 empty apartments and houses where we could accommodate displaced persons
8 or exiled persons instead of placing them in hotels and other facilities.
9 I think this is mostly relating to the property that is owned by
10 the state or socially owned. For the most part. One would need to read
11 the entire thing to know the context. It's hard just to be precise on
12 the basis of one sentence.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you would like to look at the previous
14 page, we move to the previous page.
15 A. Perhaps the following one.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could we move to the following page.
17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I believe a contextualisation of the
18 discussion would probably begin by Mr. Misetic on page - not this
19 Mr. Misetic - on page 3. That's page 3 of the English.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Page 3 of the English --
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- and that would be in --
23 MR. KEHOE: He's talking about the issues that they are about
24 discuss and he lays it out, that President Valentic -- or the
25 Prime Minister Valentic gives Mr. Misetic the floor and talks about a
1 series of individuals.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We have a hard copy for you there, if you would like
3 to quickly read the previous and the following page, then, Madam Usher,
4 could you assist. We are talking about -- it's already there. It's
6 Are there hard copies available to the witness?
7 A. Yes, if I may --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you -- yes, please.
9 A. As for your question, what did I mean when I said strategic
10 conditions were on what the future of the people depended on, what I
11 meant was that for a -- it was important to return people to their homes,
12 and I'm primarily thinking of Croats but others too, let's say those from
13 a village, and I mentioned the village of Kijevo today, those people
14 should be placed in empty apartments in Knin so that they could return to
15 their houses as soon as possible.
16 So what the strategic significance of that was, is that homes
17 that were emptied as a result of the war would not remain empty and
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't think that I asked about strategic
20 importance. I asked about how this would determine the demographic
21 future. That is what my question was about. Because, apparently --
22 that's at least at first understanding of what you said, is that the
23 draft decree on -- well, let's say the houses, whether or not to return,
24 temporary takeover, that that would be very important for the demographic
1 Now demographic future, where you told us that this legislation
2 was aiming at preserving houses, whereas demography is, for me, different
3 from maintenance of buildings.
4 You say it is important for the demographic future.
5 A. The demographic future, we adopted that programme and its first
6 principle was that the population in Croatia be distributed throughout
7 its territory. If you take the document, this is the first sentence of
8 that demographic programme of ours, that the population is not
9 concentrated only in one area but throughout the territory.
10 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine. But what I would like to know is what
11 then exactly the link is between the draft, which is presented here,
12 which is the draft decree on temporary takeover, and demography.
13 A. The possibility for people to come to the area immediately and
14 not to have wait for another three years before their homes can be
15 renovated. This is most directly linked to demographics. The person
16 from Kijevo and Kistanje, for example, would not need to wait in a hotel
17 for another two or three years but to immediately come to their home.
18 This is the basic demographic premise.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, now we earlier heard that -- or we saw that the
20 word "pretext" was used as the aim of this type of legislation. Pretext
21 of preservation of houses.
22 A. [No interpretation].
23 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently there's a ...
24 You hear me again?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We talked about the pretext of preservation.
2 A. I'm hearing it now.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And here demography is -- means to you that Croats
4 could immediately return to their homes.
5 A. These are two things that do not exclude each other but
6 compliment each other. Thus, let's preserve the houses and bring the
7 people close to their homesteads, so in one move one would achieve two
9 JUDGE ORIE: But isn't it true that this piece of legislation,
10 whether we have the initial decree or the later law, would primarily
11 affect Serbs who had not returned in time?
12 A. The rule or regulation applies to them giving them a deadline by
13 which they would need to return. But at that time there was no event
14 that did not include everyone. Each move was interconnected. You always
15 had one block that, if touched, would require that you also touch another
16 block. We had to -- I'm going to add a third argument. We had to
17 relocated Croats, for example from the Love Hotel in Trogir, in order to
18 be able to make money during the following tourist season in that hotel,
19 in order to use those funds to restore a house to which a Croat would
20 return and, in turn, free up a house to which a Serb could return. So it
21 was all interconnected.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I would like to take you -- and this will be the
23 last document we'll look at. That's P2678.
24 And I would like to move to page 26 in English, and 45 in B/C/S.
25 These are the minutes of a closed session of the Croatian government,
1 5th of October, 1995.
2 You are talking about:
3 "The first priority of the overall national entity is currently
4 to accommodate where Croatia
5 thinnest, like I said, we cannot discuss this in open session, but it was
6 thinnest in the area south of Karlovac and up to the Slovenian border."
7 I think that is the area we discussed before. What I'd like to
8 know is what could not be said in -- what could not be discussed in open
10 A. It was a delicate subject at the time, the one of Croats expelled
11 from Bosnia and Herzegovina who were encouraged or incited by many when
12 they came to Croatia
14 So message like that could be -- to -- understood as a disturbing
15 one to them. We understood that there were plenty of empty state-owned
16 and socially owned homes where people could be accommodated in that area,
17 so it was not appropriate to pour oil on the fire or add salt to their
18 wounds at the time when they had to run before the occupier in their
19 countries. So -- and they didn't know what to do and where to go.
20 So that was the reason why this was being discussed at the time,
21 how to care for them and provide shelter to them.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I do not yet fully understand.
23 You explained that the legislation which was drafted and the
24 efforts were, Let's populate the areas, let's get everyone back who, at
25 one point in time, whether Croat or Serb, would have had to leave the
1 territory of Croatia
2 What was now the sensitive message? That is still unclear. Why
3 couldn't you say, Come back, whether you were accommodated in the coast,
4 at the coast-line or whether you had fled to other areas due to the
5 occupation? What was the -- what couldn't you say that was so sensitive?
6 A. I'm talking about the third group of people. I don't know if
7 this is quite clear. People who had been expelled at that time from
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina and to whom the message, Return immediately to your
9 homes, under the knife of Ratko Mladic, would be -- the alternative to
10 which would be go to Australia
11 Unfortunately, there were plenty of empty apartments and houses in
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'll re-read your answer over the break. And see
14 whether I have any follow-up questions.
15 Let me just see ...
16 I would have not more than 15 minutes to conclude this
17 examination, but rather than rushing at this moment, we'd rather do that
19 I would like to instruct you that you should not speak with
20 anyone about the testimony you have given today. It is public, but,
21 nevertheless, you're the only one who should not speak about it. And
22 also not about the testimony still to be given tomorrow. And we'll --
23 MR. KAY: Your Honour, before we rise --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. KAY: -- if I could just raise one matter, because Your
1 Honour wanted assistance in the matter.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do we need the witness for that or ...
3 MR. KAY: It is a quick matter and if Your Honour wants to --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I have another matter as well so --
5 MR. KAY: Oh, very well. Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: -- I'd rather not bore the --
7 MR. KAY: Yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- the witness with that.
9 So, therefore, you're excused at this moment. We'd like to see
10 you back tomorrow morning, at 9.00, in Courtroom I. And, as I said, do
11 not speak with anyone about your testimony.
12 One second, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
15 JUDGE ORIE: I think you asked to be provided with P463. With
16 the assistance of Chamber staff and the Usher, we'll take that out of the
17 binder so that can you read that. It was P463, isn't, the 22nd of
18 August ...
19 MR. KEHOE: That's correct, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you are already excused unless we would
21 need the witness --
22 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, on that score just in the spirit
23 of --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps also D1823.
25 MR. KEHOE: And, Mr. President, I was going to say it may be
1 quicker certainly during the examination if the witness is given the
2 series of transcripts that the Chamber referred to during the course of
3 its examination. I certainly will be referring back to those, and I
4 think it might be an easier exercise if we just give them all to him.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: We are very generous today, Mr. Radic, you can take
7 the whole binder with you. The only matter is ...
8 One second, please.
9 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: You will not only find the exhibits we referred to
11 but you will find your own statement as well, which you gave to the
12 Gotovina Defence.
13 But can you keep the binder. We expect to you bring it with you
14 tomorrow morning.
15 Madam Usher, could you --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gladly. Thank you.
17 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Kay, before we rise.
20 MR. KAY: It was just on the issue of mines which Your Honour
21 raised with --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you'll -- if there's --
23 MR. KAY: -- this witness --
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- any practical way of providing us with a --
25 either an electronic copy or a hard copy, then perhaps you could --
1 MR. KAY: Exhibit D1813, page 29, is a passage of text in which
2 this witness mentions the problems of de-mining. And in another exhibit,
3 D1815, at page 11, is two passages, where -- where this witness refers to
4 the problem of mining.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you'd like us to specifically look at
6 those pages and -- in the context.
7 MR. KAY: Well, it was something Your Honour raised --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. KAY: -- and you raised it with the bar as well so those --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but --
11 MR. KAY: I knew there were passages.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I remember that you said something about a
13 lengthy report on de-mining is that --
14 MR. KAY: That's another document.
15 JUDGE ORIE: That's another document which will be provided.
16 MR. KAY: That's a Prosecution document that I believe has been
17 released already.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any way of giving guidance in the
19 61 pages so that --
20 MR. KAY: I can do that, yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Would it be possible to do that, well, let's say,
22 within the next half an hour?
23 MR. KAY: Oh, easy, yes. Yes. Not while I'm standing up at the
24 moment because I can't remember where I've put it in this [Overlapping
25 speakers] ...
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please, then, communicate with Chambers
2 staff on this matter so that we know, later this evening, what we have to
4 MR. KAY: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Any other matter?
6 Could I inquire, the Chamber has not many questions left, a few
7 questions in relation to the statement, which will take not more than
8 15 hours. As matters stand now -- oh, 15 hours. Yes. Yes, I don't know
9 whether this is Freudian or not.
10 As matters stand now, could the parties give an indication as to
11 how much time they would need in cross-examination.
12 Ms. Gustafson.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: I anticipate approximately two sessions,
14 Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Two sessions.
16 Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Approximately the same. Probably -- maybe a little
18 bit less.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Two sessions.
20 Mr. Kay.
21 MR. KAY: It depends what goes before but it could be half a
22 session to one session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Half a session.
24 Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: The same with me, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Which brings me to the conclusion that with a bit of
2 discipline -- I don't know whether I've shown sufficient discipline
3 today, but with a bit of discipline we could conclude the testimony of
4 this witness Friday.
5 If the parties would agree on that?
6 It seems that the scheduling for three days seems to be more or
7 less adequate.
8 I would very much like to conclude the evidence by Friday and not
9 to ask the witness to stay over for the weekend. So, therefore, the
10 parties are urged to do their utmost best and also to find a proper
11 balance between what is still to be asked -- I'm also looking at the
12 Defence to see to what extent they could work together in this respect,
13 to see whether we can conclude on Friday.
14 Ms. Gustafson.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: I apologise, Your Honour. Just to forewarn the
16 Chamber in light of the fact that there may significant -- it appears
17 that there will be significant cross-examination by the Defence, there
18 may be a need for the Prosecution to re-cross-examine --
19 JUDGE ORIE: I am aware of that. I am aware of that.
20 Mr. Kay, you said half a session, if I remember well.
21 MR. KAY: I said half to one.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Half to one. Mr. Mikulicic said --
23 MR. KAY: It depends what goes before --
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- the same, half to one. Let's make that three
25 quarter then. That would mean we would need four sessions plus one and a
1 half for the two remaining. That's five and a half sessions. We have
2 six sessions. We will take tomorrow only 10 to 15 minutes. Therefore
3 there would be although limited time left, and if the parties could see
4 whether it is able to make two sessions one and three-quarters. And
5 again the Chamber is not aiming at imposing much time-limits, but I think
6 we all agree that, with this programme, it should be possible to conclude
7 on Friday.
8 We adjourn and we resume tomorrow, 9.00, Courtroom I.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.10 p.m.
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day of
11 February, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.