1 Wednesday, 28 August 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Mr. Registrar, may we have the appearances, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. May we have the appearances, please,
12 starting with the Prosecution.
13 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
14 For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Thomas Laugel,
15 Jaclyn Fortini.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
17 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
19 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic, Christopher Gosnell, and Jolana Makraiova
20 as our intern.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President. Just one brief
23 technical matter before we bring the witness in.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 MR. STRINGER: I have been reminded that the Prosecution needs to
1 re-tender exhibit 65 ter 00079.1. This is the part of the book that has
2 now been reduced to the part that was shown to the witness.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. Admitted and marked.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document shall be assigned Exhibit Number P2890.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
7 Good morning, Excellency. May I remind you that you're still on
8 your oath. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell for cross-examination.
11 MR. GOSNELL: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. Thank
13 WITNESS: GEERT AHRENS [Resumed]
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
15 Q. Good morning, Your Excellency.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. My name is Christopher Gosnell. I represent Mr. Hadzic in these
18 proceedings. I'll ask you a few questions today. If any of my questions
19 aren't clear, please feel free to ask for a clarification and I'll do my
21 A. Thank you.
22 Q. You were asked yesterday some questions about Croats and Serbs as
23 ethnic groups. Did Slovenes also comprise an ethnic group?
24 A. Well, in the Yugoslav terminology they were a nation as were the
25 Serbs and as were the Croats. But the Slovenes are in so far different
1 as their language is clearly a different language from what used to be
2 called Serbo-Croatian.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness, please, be asked to come
4 closer to the microphones. Thank you very much.
5 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
6 MR. GOSNELL:
7 Q. So in that sense, they would be even more distinct from the other
8 groups that comprised or lived in the former Yugoslavia.
9 A. I would think so, yes.
10 Q. And why did they want to secede from the SFRY?
11 A. I mean, this is a question concerning history of our times, and
12 this is a long story in Yugoslavia. But you might be aware that
13 Milosevic had organised changes of government first in the two autonomous
14 provinces of Serbia, in Vojvodina and in Kosovo, and that he had sent his
15 people, there was an expression [B/C/S spoken], the people have happened,
16 into Montenegro and replaced the leadership there by people of his own.
17 When he sent the people to Slovenia the Slovenes closed the border and
18 then Serbia broke off relations with Slovenia, so this was an ongoing
19 process, and I can only recommend you to read the 500 pages of my book
20 for a good answer to that question.
21 Q. Would you say that the process leading to the secession of
22 Slovenia from Yugoslavia was a movement of national self-determination?
23 A. That thought was said, but there was always in public
24 international law this difference between self-determination, on the one
25 side, and the unity of states on the other, and this was one of the big
1 problems in dealing with the Yugoslav crisis. But, in the end, I think
2 the developments on the ground went in the direction that a separation
3 became unavoidable. I mean, after Vukovar you could not save Yugoslavia.
4 You couldn't do it even before but after it was certainly ...
5 Q. Let's leave aside public international law. My question really
6 concerns what is animating or driving the process towards self- --
7 towards secession and statehood and is it what is driving, and we're
8 taking the case now of Slovenia, is it what's driving the movement
9 towards statehood and secession, some sense of collective identity of the
10 people living in that area?
11 A. Well, I mean, the Slovenes in a way have a different identity.
12 And I remember at one point I sat with some Serbian friends in Belgrade
13 and one of them said, I don't like Slovenes, and as we had spoken Serb,
14 he did not remember that I was German and someone asked him, Why didn't
15 you like Slovenes? Because they are like the Germans. So this was this
16 alpine nature of Slovenia, but the Slovenes had to save their national
17 identity from Germanisation and from Italianisation and that is why they
18 linked up with Yugoslavia after the First World War.
19 Q. To put the matter shortly, they wanted a separate state to
20 reflect, in some manner, their sense of national identity. Isn't that
22 A. They wanted to preserve the national identity and felt that
23 joining Yugoslavia might be the best way at that point in time, after the
24 First World War.
25 Q. And would that be in common parlance a movement of national
2 A. In a way, it is, yes.
3 Q. And would the movement that led to the collapse of Czechoslovakia
4 and the separation of Slovakia and the Czech Republic also be an example
5 of statehood arising from a movement of national self-determination?
6 A. Well, now, I don't want really to be fixed on these ideas because
7 I have myself have slightly different ideas from this, and I mean, as we
8 are hopefully still moving towards more European unity, I think this
9 insistence on the statehood of each nation was not very wise,
10 particularly when you deal with areas that have a population like a
11 leopard skin because this would then inevitably lead to bloodshed. It's
12 interesting, there is a book by Margaret MacMillan, 1919, discussing this
13 national principle introduced by Wilson in his 14 points and the
14 disastrous consequences it had. I mean, if you look at the states that
15 were formed then, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and even the Soviet Union
16 that was formed, not on this basis but also came to being in those years,
17 you see that this did not work and we are on a different way now. But
18 the others, these are more or less political statements that come from an
19 individual's political convictions.
20 Q. Ambassador, I'm not trying to get into a normative discussion
21 about the merits of these movements but, rather, a descriptive discussion
22 to understand what we're dealing with. And would you agree that the
23 collapse of Czechoslovakia is the product of at least two movements of
24 national self-determination, namely, the Slovaks and Czechs?
25 A. Certainly there is a difference between the Slovaks and the
1 Czechs. And the Slovaks again, after the First World War most of them
2 had been under Hungarian rule, joined this Slavic state and later felt
3 they should not stay together with the Czechs, but this was, after all,
4 an agreed divorce and not this madness which we have seen in Yugoslavia.
5 Sorry for the term.
6 Q. But the answer is yes to my question, right, that this was a
7 product of movements of national identity wishing to have a reflection in
8 statehood; correct?
9 A. Yes. That does not mean that agree with it, but it was an effect
10 of it.
11 Q. I fully understand that you don't agree with it. And would other
12 examples be the movements in Catalonia, Quebec, Kosovo, would those also
13 be examples of movements of national self-determination?
14 A. Well, I think I should not go into these areas of which I'm not
15 particularly knowledgeable. As far as Kosovo is concerned, the Albanians
16 are, of course, a totally different nation from the Slavic nations that
17 Yugoslavia had, and this is a longer story than just the 1990s.
18 Q. Was Croatia's desire to separate from Yugoslavia a product of
19 national self-determination wishes?
20 A. Productive in what respect? Producing what?
21 Q. Did it arise from that wish for autonomy to reflect, in some
22 sense, some ethnic sense, some sense of collective ethnic identity.
23 A. That was certainly the case in Croatia, but there was a
24 predecessors. You might know that after the First World War, the
25 Croatian voters voted against the Yugoslav Vidovdan constitution, and the
1 Croatian Peasants Party under Radic, who was later shot in the Serb
2 Skupstina, was for independent Croatia. Then you had these
3 [indiscernible] 39 which was practically a separation before the Second
4 World War. Then had you this awful NDH --
5 Q. Ambassador, I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm going to come to the NDH
6 in a moment. But before we do get to that, let me just put you to the
7 proposition that I was driving at with my previous questions, which is
8 there is no necessary link or there's no necessity in a national
9 self-determination movement to drive out all of those who are not of the
10 ethnicity of the group that is pushing for national self-determination.
11 There's no necessity that that be the case, is it?
12 A. Certainly not.
13 Q. Now, you were discussing the independent state of Croatia and,
14 first of all, can I just ask you, what years did that state exist? Let's
15 leave aside all the details, but just what years did that state exist?
16 A. From April 1941 to the end of the Second World War.
17 Q. And yesterday at 7678, you described that state as: "A very bad
18 Fascist regime."
19 A. Yeah, I can confirm that.
20 Q. Why -- why did you say that?
21 A. Well, they had a Fascist system. The leader Ante Pavelic called
22 himself the Poglavnik which is some sort of Fuehrer, and they committed
23 genocidal acts against Serbs but also against Jews and Roma. They
24 committed horrible crimes against Serbs particularly in
25 Western Herzegovina and this was in very clear memory of the Serbs in
1 1991 and one should be aware of that.
2 Q. When you say "genocidal acts," is it your view that there was a
3 genocide perpetrated against Serbs by that regime?
4 A. I mean, the definition of genocide again is a rather difficult
5 one. But Serbs were killed massively just for being Serbs and this
6 included women and children and they were partly only thrown into caves
7 in these -- these Karst mountains which they had in Herzegovina, just
8 left there to die. I mean, there is a lot of stories but I was seven
9 years old at that time. I don't know -- what I know, I know from books
10 and from people who have seen this.
11 Q. And were they closely allied and aligned with the policies of
12 Nazi Germany?
13 A. Well, actually, there was absolutely no need to tell the Croats
14 to persecute Jews. They did it by themselves. This is different from
15 countries where the Nazis imposed their horrible policy on other nations.
16 And in so far, I think the Pavelic state was worse than most of the
18 Q. You're saying that they did it willingly and enthusiastically?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was the chequer-board symbol displayed as a symbol of that state
21 along with the swastika?
22 A. Well, the chequer-board symbol is a very old symbol. It has been
23 used in Croatia in the Middle Ages. I have seen myself pictures of that
24 age. It was used by the NDH, that's correct, but it had, of course, a
25 different history than the swastika which Hitler had, I don't know from
1 where, could be from out of nowhere because there was absolutely no
2 tradition for the swastika in Germany.
3 Q. Well, the swastika, of course, is a Buddhist symbol --
4 A. Yeah, yeah, but it's --
5 Q. -- long predates its use by the Nazis so there is a history of
6 appropriation of symbols. But my question to you was whether or not the
7 chequer-board symbol was used alongside the swastika as a symbol
8 representing that state, that regime, of the NDH?
9 A. I don't know whether Pavelic used the swastika at all, I'm not
10 aware of that.
11 Q. And at the end of World War II, did Tito suppress the use of the
12 chequer-board symbol?
13 A. I don't know positively but that should be natural that he did.
14 Q. Why would you say it would be natural that he would do that?
15 A. Well, this was a symbol of this Fascist state at that time, and
16 Tito did everything to do away with. It was also interesting that Tito,
17 under the formula of "bratstvo i jedinstvo," brotherhood and unity, tried
18 to suppress these national feelings and he did not criticise the Croats
19 in general for having been Fascists. I mean, he himself was a Croat with
20 a Slovene mother.
21 Q. You've already alluded to this, but you're one of the very few
22 people who may be in a position to give an objective answer to this
23 question. But how would Serbs have perceived the resuscitation of this
24 symbol by Tudjman?
25 A. Very negatively.
1 Q. And did Tudjman attempt to require that symbol to be adopted even
2 in areas where there was a large Serb majority?
3 A. Yes. I heard that he tried to have new police uniforms with a
4 swastika on the arm and that Knin was asked to wear these uniforms, which
5 Milan Martic was not prepared to do.
6 Q. Sorry, at line 14 you used the word "swastika," I assume that you
7 mean chequer-board symbol?
8 A. 14? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry. Chequer-board symbol.
9 Q. You say Serbs would have viewed that very negatively. Could you
10 elaborate? What would they have, based on your knowledge of the NDH
11 regime, what would they have feared or believed?
12 A. The NDH was one big horror for the Serbs, and with the
13 independence of Croatia, the symbols of this state reappeared partly.
14 One is this chequer-board symbol. Then there was the units of a party
15 militia by one certain Paraga who used uniforms that were very close to
16 the Ustasha uniforms, and after what had happened 50 years before, the
17 Serbs certainly had to be very concerned about what might happen.
18 Q. When did that Paraga militia come into existence?
19 A. I think from the early 1990s. Later, I think there was a -- was
20 a split within the Croatian camp and they suppressed it. I think the
21 first were called HOS. HOS, Hrvatske Obrambene Snage, or something like
23 Q. Now I'd like to move to some documents that you were shown
25 MR. GOSNELL: And if we could have 65 ter 448, which is
1 Prosecution tab 5. It has a long P number, it has been exhibited, but
2 65 ter numbers are sometimes easier.
3 Q. Now, this, Ambassador Ahrens, is the document reflecting the
4 Carrington draft convention.
5 Perhaps we can turn to page 2.
6 Now, first of all, it say there that it's -- on the page, it's --
7 it's the so-called Carrington draft convention. Do you know whether this
8 text, as such, was ever adopted?
9 A. It was not adopted by the conference because Milosevic objected
10 to it. But it was, in a way, adopted by the EC foreign ministers when
11 they made the observance of chapter 2 of that document a precondition for
12 the recognition of the Yugoslav republics independence.
13 Q. And what it says here, and I'm going to read 1.1(e), with the
14 preamble included, and this is what it says:
15 "The arrangements for a general settlement of the Yugoslav crisis
16 will comprise the following components:
17 "(e) in the framework of a general settlement, recognition of the
18 independence, within ... existing borders, unless otherwise agreed, of
19 those republics wishing it."
20 Now yesterday when this was read you to the words "unless
21 otherwise agreed" were not drawn to your attention.
22 I want to ask you, those words, "unless otherwise agreed," what
23 do they mean to you? What did you understand them to mean at the time?
24 A. I mean, this was still a proposal, and when you look at this
25 article, you will see that it has certain mutually exclusive
1 possibilities, either confederation, federation or total independence.
2 The one paragraph that we -- refers to the borders -- I mean, I think it
3 has never totally been excluded by the international community that
4 borders may be changed by mutual agreement, but there was, of course,
5 almost a hysteria against the change of borders because at that time
6 everyone was looking at the Soviet Union and not at Yugoslavia.
7 Q. And those first words at the beginning of subpart (e), "in the
8 framework of a general settlement," did you understand those words to
9 mean that a precondition of the creation of states on the territories of
10 the republics was a general settlement for the entire Yugoslav problem?
11 A. Well, the idea of the general settlement was such that the Dutch
12 foreign minister, van den Broek, had the ambition of closing the
13 conference until Christmas and the final settlement should come before
14 the end of the year 1991. And this is the idea here.
15 Q. Okay. But leaving aside time -- timing, isn't the point here
16 that a precondition for allowing the republics to establish states on the
17 territories of the republics is a general settlement of the entire
18 Yugoslav question?
19 A. Well, this was not the policy of the EC at the time, and I would
20 not interpret this in that way. But, as we said before, this has never
21 been adopted.
22 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D713, please, which is Defence
23 tab 35.
24 Q. Now, here, on the front page, this appears to be a letter from
25 the permanent representatives of Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom
1 to the president of the the Security Council. And there's attached a
2 declaration on Yugoslavia adopted by the European community on the
3 8th of November, 1991.
4 If we could please turn the page, there's an annex and it says:
5 "Declaration on Yugoslavia. Extraordinary EPC ministerial meeting."
6 What does EPC stand for?
7 A. European political corporation.
8 MR. GOSNELL: And if we can turn the page.
9 Q. The fourth paragraph down:
10 "In this respect, they recall that the prospect of recognition of
11 the independence of those republics wishing it can only be envisaged in
12 the framework of an overall settlement that includes adequate guarantees
13 for the protection of human rights and rights of national or ethnic
14 groups. They urge parties concerned to prepare forthwith legal
15 provisions to this end."
16 Now does that remind you that the position of the EC at this
17 stage, at least on this date, was that a condition of recognition was an
18 overall settlement of the Yugoslav crisis?
19 A. Not a condition because if you make an overall settlement a
20 condition, then one party alone could actually prevent any further
21 development. And that is exactly what happened.
22 MR. GOSNELL: May I tender this document, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number D95. Thank you.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have L2, please, which is Defence tab 17.
1 Q. Now, this, Your Excellency, is the resolution to which is
2 attached the Vance Plan. And -- excuse me, it's actually the report to
3 which is attached the Vance Plan. And if we turn to page 8 in e-court,
4 we see the words, again, that we just saw in the declaration.
5 Paragraph 25, about halfway down. And, by the way, this is dated the
6 11th of December, so this would be a matter of a month after the
7 declaration we were just looking at.
8 And it says, midway through paragraph 25:
9 "The conference" - and this is referring to the conference on
10 Yugoslav, the Carrington conference - "it will recalled is guided by a
11 number of considerations, including those set forth in the declaration
12 issued by the 12 member states of the European community at Rome on
13 8 November 1991."
14 It then repeats those words.
15 "The conference has also, with the agreement of its participants,
16 ruled out any changes in external or internal borders by means of force.
17 I believe that any selective, uncoordinated departure from those
18 principles could hold very serious dangers not only for the republics of
19 Yugoslavia but for all of her peoples and, indeed, for the maintenance of
20 peace and security in the region."
21 Now I just have this question for you. Do you remember that the
22 words "selective and uncoordinated" were ever used to describe the
23 worst-case scenario for the secession of republics from Yugoslavia?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And whether you remember that or not, do you read this provision
1 as stating, quite clearly, that there ought to be no further unilateral
2 declarations of independence from Yugoslavia barring a negotiated
4 A. What is the date of this document?
5 Q. This is the 11th of December, 1991.
6 A. I mean, this is a letter by three Ambassadors of three EC
7 members. The same EC, five days later, adopted a declaration by which it
8 laid down the principles for the recognition of newly independent states.
9 And there was one declaration for Yugoslavia, the other one for the
10 Soviet Union and similar cases.
11 Q. Sorry, Ambassador, just to be clear, this document in front of us
12 right now, this is the report of the Secretary-General, to which is
13 attached the Vance Plan. The previous document was a cover letter from
14 three representatives on the Security Council attaching the ministerial
16 So just to clarify -- and I know that you just gave an answer in
17 which you referred to three representatives. Do you want to change your
18 answer at all now that I've drawn this to your attention?
19 A. No. I mean, I do not see why we should hear -- discuss the
20 merits of recognition or not. There's a lot of arguments, particularly
21 that you could not do anything in Croatia against what was happening
22 there, as long as this was an internal matter of the state called
23 Yugoslavia that did not exist anymore. And the EC countries decided
24 clearly on the 16th of December, all of them, to recognise republics. I
25 think I should not go beyond this because I myself was not involved in
1 this. I was a member of the Carrington conference. My boss was
2 Carrington. And I was loyal to the conference.
3 Q. All right.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, I read in these texts, the few
5 documents that you showed, that this is about recognition of states by
6 other states. And in your questions, you seem to take that as being the
7 same as declaration of independence by republics. Is that your position?
8 MR. GOSNELL: That's -- that's a fair distinction, Mr. President.
9 Q. Yes, Mr. Ambassador, I should have been more precise that what
10 this report is saying, it's not prohibiting unilateral declarations of
11 independence but it does seem to be setting out a policy in terms of
12 recognitions of declarations of independence.
13 Would you care to add anything to your previous answers? I just
14 want to give you a full opportunity to answer my question. Now that I
15 have made the correction.
16 A. Five days after this document, the EC, all members of the EC,
17 made this declaration on recognition of the independence, and there were
18 very important reasons why they did so, not because anyone liked
19 Yugoslavia to disintegrate. Not one of the EC countries was happy about
20 this. But the situation was such that they saw the necessity.
21 MR. GOSNELL: And now, please, if we could turn to page 11. This
22 takes us into the Vance Plan itself, and the language carries over, or at
23 least there's a reference back to this notion of a comprehensive
25 Q. And paragraph 8 says, in defining the UN-protected areas:
1 "The UNPAs would be areas in Croatia in which the
2 Secretary-General judged that special arrangements were required during
3 an interim period to ensure that a lasting cease-fire was maintained ...
4 "As already stated, the special arrangements in these areas would
5 be of an interim nature and would not prejudge the outcome of political
6 negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Yugoslav crisis."
7 Am I right in saying -- let's not discuss the precise meaning to
8 you or I of those words. Were those words understood by the Serb side as
9 offering a guarantee or as meaning that the protected area, the final
10 status of the protected areas was not prejudged in the Vance Plan?
11 A. Those lines was meant to define the responsibilities of the
12 conference on one side, which was still the Carrington conference, and
13 the UNPROFOR to be deployed on the other. So they should create the
14 conditions under which the conference would then negotiate the final
15 settlement. That is the real background of this article.
16 It is true that it seems that most of the Serbs believed, indeed,
17 that this opened the possibility for, in the settlement, independently of
18 so far defined principles, and this was the tragic error which I think
19 was also promoted to a certain extent by Western mediators who wanted the
20 Serbs to sign the Vance Plan, while at the same time Genscher was asked
21 to pressure Tudjman to sign it because he also didn't want to sign it.
22 And then in the end it was signed, and I would rather think, and I say
23 that in my book, that some of the Serbs believed that this opened all
24 possibilities. But that was not the the sense of it.
25 Q. And when you say "Western mediators," to whom are you referring?
1 A. Marrack Goulding. He was the under-secretary general of the
2 United Nations in charge of peacekeeping operations.
3 Q. Anyone else?
4 A. I was not present then, but this is what I assume.
5 I don't know in how far Vance and Okun went along those lines.
6 This does not mean that there was a deliberate undercutting of agreed
7 principles, but I think it is also a little bit in the heat of battle of
8 having this adopted that the Serbians said, Well, this does not preclude
9 anything if you sign this. It's just a preliminary regulation of
10 conditions in place.
11 Sorry, I think I'm still talking too fast.
12 Q. Let me take you, if I may, to your statement.
13 MR. GOSNELL: And this is 06476; Prosecution tab 58.
14 Q. And if we please could turn, I hope, to e-court page 65, which is
15 your answer to 12(a).
16 A. I can't see it very clearly.
17 Q. At least in English, it's page 65 in e-court.
18 A. This is German version here.
19 There's another subject?
20 Q. I think it's now coming up on the page in front of you.
21 Now, the second-last sentence on this page reads:
22 "Unfortunately, ambiguous statements were made by Vance, Okun,
23 and Goulding in connection with the acceptance of the Vance Plan, which
24 the Serbs interpreted as meaning there might very well be border changes
25 in their favour."
1 A. This is more or less what I've just said. The word "ambiguous"
2 is a little bit too strong for the translation. It was not deliberately
3 ambiguous but just it could be understood in different ways.
4 Q. And what they let it be understood was somehow related to border
5 changes; is that correct?
6 A. I think it was only related to them assuming that a solution
7 outside of Croatia was possible. The word "border changes" was really a
8 no word in those years.
9 Q. And did they let it be known that that issue, did they let it be
10 known to the Serbs, to their Serb interlocutors, that that issue would be
11 a matter for negotiation?
12 A. I don't think so. I didn't go that far. First of all, I know
13 Secretary Vance and Okun very well. They would never double-play these
14 things. And I think the explanations which they gave of a more general
15 nature so that the Serbs understood them in a wrong way.
16 As to Marrack Goulding, I don't know. I have not met him
17 personally but I have read his book, which is called The Warmonger, where
18 he has very positive assessments of Milosevic and his like.
19 Q. And from that you infer what?
20 A. Well, I would at least say that the Serbs would weigh his words,
21 particularly as being particularly important because he was, in the UN,
22 the person in charge.
23 Q. Changing gears, Mr. Ambassador, that you met Goran Hadzic for the
24 first time on the 6th of September, 1991, and that the purpose of your
25 visit was:
1 "To get to the signature of Mr. Hadzic under an agreement that
2 should make an existing cease-fire operational and this was on the eve of
3 the Carrington conference."
4 That's at page 7674 for my friend.
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Whose idea was it to seek out Mr. Hadzic's signature?
7 A. I don't know who told Ambassador Wijnaendts whom to see, but it
8 was, of course, clear that, at that time, in that area, Mr. Hadzic was
9 the person that the Serbs considered as being officially in charge.
10 But I do not know, because I was not, myself, involved in these
11 negotiations. Here, I was only a technical advisor. I was -- I was
12 picked up in Zagreb and joined them.
13 Q. You say the Serbs considered that he was the person being
14 officially in charge.
15 First of all, which Serbs are you referring to; and, secondly, in
16 charge of what?
17 A. The Serbs that had to be talked to, that means the power holders
18 in this -- what later became Sector East. And in charge of what means
19 the leader of these Serbs. The one who could actually decide whether
20 they would observe a cease-fire or not.
21 Q. So are you implying that he has some kind of command and control
22 over armed forces there?
23 A. No, I don't imply that. I know that Mr. Hadzic does not have a
24 military background. But, I mean, we have a lot of civil presidents in
25 the world who are actually the Supreme Commander of the armed forces.
1 Q. Do you have any knowledge or understanding about the relative
2 authority of Mr. Hadzic versus the JNA commanders who were present in the
3 territory that would later become Sector East?
4 A. No, I don't.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1D702, please.
6 Q. Now, you, Mr. Ambassador, used very specific language when you
7 described what you were seeking from Mr. Hadzic. And you said that you
8 were seeking to make an existing cease-fire operational.
9 Now, this in front of us is a cease-fire agreement from the
10 1st of September, 1991. Was this the cease-fire agreement that you and
11 Mr. Wijnaendts wished to operationalise?
12 A. Well, I didn't wish to operationalise a cease-fire because I was
13 not involved. I was a member of the ECMM that at that time had just
14 began executing a mandate regarding these areas. I think it was a
15 cease-fire of the 1st of September.
16 MR. GOSNELL: If we could please turn the page and go down to the
17 bottom. I'm interested in focussing on the signatories of this
19 Q. It's done at Belgrade on September 1, 1991, in ten copies.
20 Hans van den Broek of the EC and its member states. Stipe Mesic,
21 president of the SFRY Presidency, and in his capacity as collective
22 Supreme Commander of the armed forces. Ante Markovic, Federal Executive
23 Council president. Alija Izetbegovic, president of the Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina Presidency. Momir Bulatovic from Montenegro. Tudjman from
25 Croatia. Kucan from Slovenia. And Milosevic from Serbia.
1 Now it's correct that what we have -- seem to have here is all of
2 the presidents of the republics, plus representatives of the SFRY. Is
3 that right?
4 A. Yes. These are the participants of the conference that was to
5 take place a week later.
6 Q. And some of these leaders, for example, Milan Kucan, had no
7 soldiers involved in ongoing conflicts at that time; is that correct?
8 A. Well, there had been fighting in Slovenia and I think these
9 signatures of these papers wanted to make sure that it would not re-start
10 in Slovenia either. Because the Slovenes had some rumours about
11 certain -- something like cycle or manoeuvre to be planned against them.
12 Q. Was there any connection between the fact that the
13 Carrington conference was to start the next day and the fact that you
14 were seeking Mr. Hadzic's signature?
15 A. That is what Ambassador Wijnaendts told me, that he wanted to get
16 a cease-fire in place when the conference started. Because
17 Lord Carrington, who was to be the chairman of the conference, said he
18 could only negotiate a peace or overall settlement when there was no
19 fighting on the ground. And Carrington said very often, It is not my
20 task to create or to negotiate a cease-fire.
21 Q. And in addition to that, was it, so to speak, the price of
22 admission to being present at the Carrington conference to have signed up
23 to this agreement?
24 A. I don't see in that way. I mean, those who were there were the
25 presidents of the six republics and what we used to call the federals.
1 That means a large part of those fighting on the ground were not there,
2 and exactly for this reason, Wijnaendts sought out those who were in
3 power locally. First, Mr. Hadzic and then Mr. Babic.
4 Q. Well, then, was it the price of admission for those who were not
5 in de jure positions of authority to be admitted to the
6 Carrington conference?
7 A. No. Because they were not admitted to the conference.
8 Q. But they subsequently did have talks with you and others in the
9 framework of the Carrington conference, did they not?
10 A. Well, the talks I attended with them were in Paris, in the Dutch
11 embassy, that had a reason. Later I understand that Wijnaendts and the
12 two vice-presidents of the initial phase of the conference met here in
13 The Hague but I was not present.
14 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Hadzic was asked to sign any previous
15 cease-fire agreements or any subsequent cease-fire agreements?
16 A. I have no knowledge of that.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I tender this document, please.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number D96. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. GOSNELL: And, just for the record, that's 1D702 again.
22 Could we have P1345.1325, which is 65 ter 861; Defence tab 6.
23 And we please could go to page 2.
24 Q. Now, this is the accord implementing the cease-fire agreement of
25 23 November 1991, the byline is Sarajevo, 2 January 1992. And this is
1 the cease-fire that takes hold and carries through the -- at least in
2 some form, the Vance -- implementation of the Vance Plan.
3 Down there at the bottom, we see that it's signed by A. Raseta
4 Colonel General JNA --
5 A. That's Andrija Raseta, he was the commander in Zagreb.
6 Q. -- Susak, the Defence Minister of Republic of Croatia. And then
7 if we go over the page, it's witnessed by Mr. Vance.
8 Now, does that remind you that this cease-fire, but also other
9 cease-fires, were, in fact, signed by JNA commanders when they pertained
10 to matters in what would become the protected areas in Croatia?
11 A. The JNA was heavily involved. They were the one side in the
12 fights in Slovenia. And, as I described yesterday, I myself have seen
13 their tanks and guns dug in around Vukovar and Osijek and shooting into
14 these cities, so they were an important part of the war effort of the
15 Serbs against the Croats.
16 So it is only natural that they had to sign. And if I may say
17 that clearly, Andrija Raseta was a JNA officer so he was the Serb side of
18 that. I know him quite well because we were in the negotiations between
19 the Slovenes and the JNA on the withdrawal of the JNA later. And he was
20 a very nervous person, a Serb from Croatia, who was said that he also --
21 his family had suffered from the Ustasha.
22 Q. And after you left Borovo Selo on the 6th of September, am I
23 correct that you crossed over the border into Vojvodina and boarded a
24 helicopter and flew from there towards, first, Osijek, landed, found that
25 the person that you were intending to meet there was not present, and
1 then you flew on from Osijek to Zagreb. Is that correct?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. And during the journey between Osijek and Zagreb, am I correct
4 that your helicopter came under anti-aircraft fire?
5 A. We had two ECMM helicopters, Alouette helicopters, very small,
6 white colour, and we came, indeed, under heavy anti-aircraft fire which
7 was clearly aimed at shooting us down.
8 Q. When that happened were you flying over Croat-held territory?
9 A. I don't know who was on the ground. It was over the Papuk
10 mountain in Croatia. I later heard this was Croat-held territory but I
11 don't know whether that was true.
12 Q. You're fluent in Serbo-Croat.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What words would you used in Serbo-Croat for police?
15 A. Well, we discussed the day before yesterday. This is a sematic
16 question. In some areas it was policija, in others was milicija, but
17 always in the singular. For example, when you take the English word
18 "militia," the singular has a different meaning than the plural. If I
19 talk about the militia of Ruritania, I would think of the police of
20 that -- of that country. But if I talk about the militia -- the militias
21 of Ruritania or, even worse, the militias in Ruritania, then I would
22 think of paramilitary groups or even a gangsterism. And that's what we
23 had in Yugoslavia in certain areas.
24 Q. And what word would you use in Serbo-Croat and I do apologise to
25 the -- for the transcript. What word would you use in Serbo-Croat for
1 militia, the English word "militia"?
2 A. [B/C/S spoken] which is something like paramilitary group. I
3 don't know. You have people who are more fluent in Serbo-Croatian.
4 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, I -- looking at the
5 transcript, and I know it's an issue of some significance, perhaps if we
6 could just take a moment and ask if the witness could perhaps spell the
7 word he has just given us or whether he could double-check what's just
8 been put into the transcript, militia versus milicija, so that what he is
9 saying is accurately reflected to avoid any confusion later.
10 MR. GOSNELL:
11 Q. Well, let me just start perhaps by asking this question: Is
12 there -- is there an exact translation in Serbo-Croat for the word
14 A. I mean, I'm not a linguist in the sense of, let's say, the origin
15 of these words but since I don't know any English-speaking country where
16 the police is called "militia," the Serbian word "milicija" should, at
17 least not always, be translated into English as "militia" but very often
18 as "police," if you go from the function.
19 Q. And given the fact that the -- and we'll come back to the
20 spelling at the end, given the fact that the Serbian word "milicija"
21 sounds very similar to the English word "militia," for English speakers
22 or for people who are writing in English there is a danger of confusion
23 of those two concepts, is there not?
24 A. Well, as I said, that is the use of the singular or the plural.
25 I think when you say, in German, for example, "die Miliz" of such and
1 such, I would still think it is the police of that area. But when I say
2 "Milizen," which is militias, I would certainly think of rather unsavory
4 Q. But it is also possible that if someone says, "I am milicija,"
5 that could be written down in English, mistakenly, as "militia," assuming
6 that those two are synonyms. Right?
7 A. I mean, in Serbo-Croatian there's a word "milicioner" which is
8 the individual participating in a militia. That is a policeman. And if
9 I had to translate to Serbo-Croatian into English I would translate with
11 Q. Now perhaps we could take up the Prosecutor's suggestion and
12 earlier you gave us a definition of the word "militia" in Serbo-Croat.
13 Would you mind spelling the word you used?
14 A. Well, milicija is m-i-l-i-c-i-j-a. And when I said militias, I
15 would translate -- I may have a better translation like paravojne, which
16 means paramilitary, p-a-r-a-v-o-j-n-e, and then I would jedinice, which
17 means units, "jedinice." Paravojne Jedinice.
18 Q. Now I'd like to ask you a few questions about the implementation
19 of the Vance Plan and you've discussed --
20 A. Mm-hm.
21 Q. -- to a fair extent during your examination-in-chief about the
22 Vance Plan. Can you tell us your view as to whether, under the
23 Vance Plan, whether UNPROFOR was obliged to use force, if necessary, to
24 defend the protected areas from Croatian attack?
25 A. Well, that is what the mandate says. I mean, not that is what
1 the mandate says but one has to look into the mandate as to that. It is
2 not a chapter 7 mandate but they could, of course, defend themselves.
3 And since in the attack in January 1993, I think two or three French
4 soldiers died, they could have shot back in self-defence.
5 Q. So if fair to say that the only way in which UNPROFOR forces
6 would be -- would find themselves in a situation where they are obliged
7 and able under the chapter 6 mandate to use force to protect the
8 protected areas, is if they are physically on the lines, on the borders
9 of the protected areas?
10 A. Well, this was another point of contention between the two sides
11 because the Serbs, indeed, wanted UNPROFOR only to be on the line of
12 confrontation and not inside.
13 Q. We'll come to that in a moment. But I just want to focus on an
14 initial or preliminary question first.
15 And that is, consistent with self-protection, isn't it right that
16 the only occasion that UNPROFOR is going to use force to defend the
17 protected areas is if UNPROFOR forces are on the edge of the protected
18 areas and in harm's way of any Croat attack?
19 A. I'm not talking about protecting the United Nations protected
20 areas only but about protecting themselves, and in so far, they could use
21 force. But there were not to withstand an overall attack, which they
22 could not. They were not strong enough.
23 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have P2882, please; Prosecution tab 84.
24 Q. Now, this is a document that you did look at yesterday. It's
25 from the RSK Ministry of Interior dated the 30th of April, 1992. The
1 subject is conversations between EU representatives and the RSK
2 president. It's addressed to the state committee for co-operation with
3 the UN, B. Jovic personally; the SDB of the MUP of the Republic of
4 Serbia, to J. Stanisic personally; to the SSNO security administration,
5 A. Vasiljevic personally.
6 Before we get into the content, any idea why these individuals
7 are being -- would be addressed on a letter of this sort which
8 incidentally is prepared and signed by Milan Martic?
9 A. What is the contents of the letter? Because before I can say
10 whether the addressees are right, I have to know what's in it.
11 Q. Let's dive in then.
12 MR. GOSNELL: And if we could turn to page 2.
13 Q. And, by the way, this document ostensibly recounts a conversation
14 of the 29th of April, 1992, between Goran Hadzic and the deputies of
15 Lord Carrington, Thierry De Beauce and Wijnaendts, and someone named
16 Guy Yelda, assistant of Mr. Beauce.
17 A. Well, actually the deputy at that time was only Monsieur
18 Thierry De Beauce, French minister of state. The organise head of the
19 conference was Ambassador Wijnaendts. And Guy Yelda, G-u-y Y-e-l-d-a,
20 was the French assistant from Mitterrand's office for De Beauce.
21 Q. Second paragraph down:
22 "Hadzic evaluated that the loss of lives on a daily basis was
23 caused also by an inadequate disposition of the UNPROFOR forces which
24 were deployed about 20 to 30 kilometres behind the line of the front,
25 leaving, in that way, the Serbian population in the borderland areas
1 towards Croatia."
2 Now, based on what you know, is that descriptively correct that
3 UNPROFOR forces were well inside the boundaries of the previous
4 confrontation lines?
5 A. I was myself not dealing with the deployment of the UNPROFOR
6 forces. What I do remember is that the Serbs wanted them on the line of
7 confrontation, and the Croats and the international community wanted them
8 all over the UNPAs, and that was unfortunately necessary because some
9 very unpleasant things were going on inside the UNPAs.
10 Q. Did you know -- and I understand you're not intimately familiar
11 with the situation on the ground, but based on what you did know, reports
12 you did read, did you know that the areas on -- around the confrontation
13 lines were unstable, insecure?
14 A. The situation was such that around the end of 1991, beginning of
15 1992, there was a real standoff and there was a cease-fire that held.
16 As I said yesterday, President Tudjman wanted to prevent under
17 all circumstances a Cyprus situation to arise and that is why the Croats
18 became offensive here and there. The first such incursion was a place
19 called the Miljevacki Plateau, the second was this serious one which is
20 the object of 802. There were others, the worst was in the Medak pocket
21 where Croats committed very bad crimes.
22 Q. So just to give a global view of the situation, it's right, isn't
23 it, that after the creation of the protected areas, the Serbs were
24 content with the status quo, whereas the Croats were pressuring to
25 restore these territories to their control?
1 A. In principle, this is a correct statement. The Croat -- the
2 Serbs, of course, in what they consider their areas continued ethnic
3 cleansing. Whereas Tudjman, who did not want to lose these territories,
4 felt that he could not allow the situation to become permanent as in
5 Cyprus. This was the situation. That's correct.
6 Q. And we'll get to the ethnic cleansing piece of this. But, for
7 the time being, isn't it right that the areas around - and I'm not sure I
8 got an answer to this question - the areas around the confrontation
9 lines, including the pink zones, were unstable and dangerous places?
10 A. I think that's a natural fact, yes. I crossed them often.
11 Q. If we can look at the last paragraph on this page:
12 "Colonel Stojan Spanovic, the RSK minister of defence, pointed
13 out that they had information that the RH Main Staff planned the
14 operations for forcefully seizing the RSK territory which was not under
15 the UNPROFOR protection. Therefore, we doubt that the inadequate
16 establishing of the UNPROFOR units is a sort of pressure on RSK in the
17 conditions of changed circumstances and relations in SFRY since the time
18 when Vance's plan and the peace concept were accepted."
19 Now this document is the 30th of April. How long after this did
20 the Miljevacki Plateau attack take place?
21 A. I don't remember the date. I can look it up in the book, I have
22 it here, but I can't say it out of my memory.
23 Q. And, to your knowledge, is there any truth at all to Spanovic's
24 suspicion here that UNPROFOR is deploying in such a way to put pressure
25 on the Serbs out of a fear that an attack by the Croats would be
1 successful and the territory would be taken?
2 A. No. This is what Mr. Spanovic thinks. I think it's not correct.
3 You have to see that this is the document set up by the
4 Carrington conference, and on the other side is the deployment of
5 UNPROFOR. These are at that time still two totally different
6 institutions because only ICFY was a largely UN enterprise.
7 Q. Now if I understand correctly, your information about human
8 rights violations in the protected areas came mainly, if not exclusively,
9 from ECMM reports and then we have the one document from the Czech
10 Ambassador. Would those be the sources of your information about human
11 rights abuses in the protected areas?
12 A. No. I mean, I had a contact with Widows of Vukovar and with
13 other Croatian individuals who had fled the areas. I had this impression
14 of the prisoners on the 6th of September. We saw the almost systematic
15 destruction of houses and churches of the other side in the areas. Then
16 there was a large number of real furious reports and -- both oral and
17 written reports of ECMM observers. Then there were -- there was
18 information by the Croatian government which was to a large extent rather
19 reliable. Tudjman makes these points in one of his letters to the
20 United Nations. So there was quite a lot, but, of course, those who
21 perpetrated human rights abuses would be well advised not to do so before
22 the eyes of international observers although even that happened. I read
23 in reports that ethnic cleansing went on under the eyes of UNPROFOR
24 soldiers. And Ilok was in a daylight operation where both UNPROFOR and
25 the ECMM were involved, so there was no doubt about these human rights
2 Q. The Ilok event occurred in October 1991; is that right?
3 A. I think so.
4 Q. That was before the creation of the protected areas; correct?
5 A. Yes. But the ECMM was in place.
6 Q. And the information from the Widows of Vukovar, that pertained to
7 crimes that occurred in November 1991, is that correct, around the time
8 of the fall of Vukovar?
9 A. Well, I don't know because I don't know who the individuals were
10 behind these names, but it would certainly refer to the times between
11 something like April and November 1991.
12 Q. So some of the information that you've just been describing, that
13 concerned crimes that occurred in 1991 and early 1992; is that correct?
14 A. Yeah, yeah, if I have mentioned UNPROFOR in that regard, that's
15 an error.
16 Q. Did you ever observe or learn or perceive or were told that there
17 was any decline in the incidents of human rights abuses over time and, in
18 particular, after the institution of the protected areas.
19 A. Well, I mean, the worst happened in 1991 when these areas were
20 conquered, but that is why I was slightly surprised that UNPROFOR
21 reported that ethnic cleansing went on under their eyes because the
22 fighting proper had stopped. I mean, there was the cease-fire and there
23 were these Croatian incursions, but the situation in 1991 was totally
24 different. And one has also to see that ethnic cleansing was almost not
25 necessary in areas where the Serbs were, as in Knin, 87 per cent, but in
1 areas where the Serbs are only 37 per cent, as in Vukovar, you have to
2 cleanse out if you want to make a clean shop - sorry for these
3 expressions - quite large number of people.
4 Q. And what you just said ... well, strike that preamble.
5 Is it the case that by the time the protected areas are set up
6 and in particular in Sector East, the vast majority of non-Serbs have
7 already left, either to flee the fighting or they've been forced out or
8 by whatever other reason?
9 A. I have no personal knowledge of this, but the figures of expelled
10 or -- expelled Croats or refugees that Tudjman gave in those times were
11 rather high.
12 Q. And you yourself raised the issue of human rights abuses with
13 Mr. Hadzic; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That was during your meeting with Mr. Hadzic on the
16 23rd of September, 1991, in Belgrade; correct?
17 A. Well, we did that at many occasions because I was head of the
18 Working Group in charge of minorities, and the Krajina Serbs never
19 disputed that I was in charge of non-Serbs living in their area. So I
20 had a right to -- to raise these points.
21 Q. Well, let's have your statement again, 06476.
22 MR. GOSNELL: If we could start, please, with e-court page 14.
23 Now, it's the answer to question 20, so perhaps if we go to the next
25 Q. Now, there is a reference -- you're being asked about the meeting
1 of 23rd of September, 1992, with Goran Hadzic: "Where was the meeting
2 held?" Go over the page, please. In ... well, it did say in Belgrade.
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. And then if we go down, please, to the answer to subpart (f):
5 "Do you recall any other occasions in which the issues of ethnic
6 cleansing or human rights violations were raised in the presence of
7 Hadzic? If so, please provide details.
8 Answer -- we see the German, "Nein."
9 If we go over to the next page.
10 A. What's the question?
11 Q. Sorry, just for the record I want to make sure that we have this
12 on the screen in English.
13 A. I mean, this "no" means that I have not heard these points being
14 taken up with Mr. Hadzic by anyone else. The instances in which I talked
15 with Mr. Hadzic on these points were, of course, anyway in this paper and
16 they are, well, more or less exhaustively there, but the issue that was
17 my proper mandate of looking after non-Serbs in the RSK came, of course,
18 up when I met with the leaders.
19 Q. And the participants in your Working Group were only the
20 representatives of the republics; isn't that right?
21 A. That is right for the Carrington conference. Later, during the
22 ICFY, we hardly had anymore such plenary sessions because they led
23 nowhere. We were dealing with individual republics and we tried to go in
24 the direction of what we called the trilaterals, the government, a
25 minority and us around the same table. This succeeded in Macedonia
1 but -- and sometimes even in Serbia and Kosovo, but not for some time in
2 Croatia. In Voganes [phoen] that was the trilateral.
3 Q. So are you saying that the first time that the Serb minority
4 representatives were involved in the context of the Working Group now, in
5 the context of the Working Group, the first such meeting was in
6 November 1993?
7 A. No. Because we had meetings, for example, the Paris meeting, but
8 it is correct that particularly after January 1992, Carrington and later,
9 from April, De Beauce, rather dealt themselves with these issues. But
10 the last meeting I had with the Serbs from Krajina under the
11 Carrington conference was in July 1992 in Belgrade and that is in the
13 Q. So that's different from, separate from, not the same as, the
14 Working Group on minorities; correct?
15 A. Well, depends. When I talked to Hadzic about non-Serbs in the
16 RSK, I have my hat as minorities Working Group chairman. But when we
17 discussed the relationship between Zagreb and Knin, we had these special
19 Q. So your view is that you raised the issue of human rights abuses
20 with Mr. Hadzic on occasions other than this September 1992 meeting in
21 Belgrade; is that correct?
22 A. Well, September 1992 meeting in Belgrade was the first meeting
23 after the setting up of the ICFY. I had met Mr. Hadzic in London the
24 month before, and I had had I think, at that time - I would have to check
25 it - my first Plenary Session, may have been the only one, in Geneva.
1 And after that I travelled to Belgrade to have a first contact as the new
2 conference representative with the RSK Serbs and that was when I met
4 Q. So if I understand correctly, is it right that the first time
5 that you could have raised it would have been on the 23rd of September,
7 A. No. I mean, I could have raised in October 1991. We could have
8 and we should have raised it on the 6th of September, 1991. And
9 actually, Wijnaendts raised it, for example, in Knin, the week
10 thereafter, when he wanted the signature of Babic on the cease-fire and
11 he obtained the release of five prisoners from Babic.
12 Q. I should have put my question a little bit more precisely,
13 Mr. Ambassador, I'm sorry for that. When I say that you could have, I
14 mean to say the first time that it fell squarely within your mandate to
15 raise it was on the 23rd of September, 1992, during that meeting in
17 A. No. I mean, I had the mandate under the Carrington conference as
19 Q. Except that under the Carrington conference, if I understand
20 correctly, you weren't meeting with Mr. Hadzic in the context of the
21 Working Group, were you?
22 A. No. Because the Working Group still had these Plenary Sessions
23 which were attended only by representatives of the six republics. And
24 the two Serbian representatives there, Kreca and Avramov, declined to
25 speak about the situation in the Krajina because they said this had
1 nothing to do with them.
2 Q. So with those answers in place, come back to the question I asked
3 before. The first time that it fell within your mandate to raise it with
4 Mr. Hadzic would have been the 23rd of September, 1992, in Belgrade.
5 A. Not within my mandate. Because under my mandate I could have
6 done so, and the circumstances in October 1991, in Paris, were not such
7 that I wanted to do it because we had this discussion about Mr. Babic
8 objecting to my presence in that meeting, and I did not want to put up
9 the other hat but I had it.
10 Q. And when you did raise this issue with Mr. Hadzic on the
11 23rd of September, 1992, in Belgrade, am I right that he acknowledged
12 that such abuses had occurred?
13 A. He did acknowledge that under conditions of war such -- such
14 events had occurred, yes. Under conditions of war.
15 Q. And what does that mean? What did he say in respect of the
16 relationship between violence and conditions of war? Sorry, let me
17 correct my question. What did he say about the connection between human
18 rights abuses and the conditions of war?
19 A. I mean, the answer normally consisted of three points.
20 First point, we have a constitution and laws in our country that
21 guarantees all these rights.
22 Second point, we have a functional judicial system that sees to
23 it that this is being implemented.
24 Third, I do not deny that violations occurred. This is
25 understandable under the conditions of war.
1 I wouldn't know any more details.
2 Q. Did he talk to you at all about the obstacles, given the
3 conditions on the ground, to preventing or remedying human rights abuses?
4 A. No, he did not. I mean, I pondered it, of course. I asked
5 myself what the relationship is with people like Arkan or Frenki. But we
6 did not discuss it.
7 Q. He never said, for example, that a large percentage of the
8 population in Sector East following the war and as a result of the war
9 were armed, including with rifles?
10 A. I couldn't remember that he said that.
11 Q. Did he ever say that was a problem with demobilising the large
12 number of individuals who were outside of the framework of the special
14 A. Not in discussions with me.
15 Q. Did he ever tell you that the constraints on the regular police
16 under the Vance Plan, namely, only possessing side-arms, also hampered
17 the ability to prevent those crimes or human rights violations?
18 A. He did not and we actually did not discuss these last three
19 points which you made.
20 Q. You didn't seek to press him on how it could be that these
21 violations could occur?
22 A. Not really. What we did discuss was the necessities of a
23 protection, so that was more future-oriented than past-oriented.
24 Q. And how would you compare Mr. Hadzic's -- the nature of
25 Mr. Hadzic's reaction to the nature of the reactions that you received
1 from other Serb interlocutors?
2 A. Mr. Hadzic was much more accessible than most of the others. So,
3 in one instance he asked me for a text of that Croatian law. In another
4 instance he asked me to help with the -- the system of protecting human
5 rights in the RSK. And then in Plitvice, where I think we had the
6 longest and most private conversation because it was just the two of us,
7 he said that he personally could not fully exclude a solution inside of
8 Croatia but that every Serb politician who said that in public would be
9 in danger. That was the widest he went in contacts with me.
10 MR. GOSNELL: I do see the clock. Thank you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Excellency, this is time for our first break. Thirty minutes,
13 same as yesterday. We'll come back at 11.00. The court usher will
14 escort you out of the court. Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue, Mr. Gosnell.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Amongst the war conditions that were mentioned by Mr. Hadzic that
23 you mentioned before the break, do you recall that he, amongst those,
24 referred to the large population of displaced persons who were -- Serbs,
25 who were present in certain protected areas, certain parts of the
1 protected areas?
2 A. I do not remember that he made such a remark to me, but he spoke
3 in public several times about the refugee situation, and also inviting
4 Serbs from other areas of the former Yugoslavia to settle in Sector East.
5 Q. Well, in respect of the -- not from other parts of Yugoslavia but
6 from parts of sector -- excuse me, parts of Croatia that had been seized
7 by Croat forces, there were many Serbs who moved into the protected areas
8 without the need for any advertising; isn't that correct?
9 A. That is correct. But there was also some advertising and some
10 pressure. But also on the Croatian side. Even stronger on the Croatian
12 Q. Do you know how many houses were destroyed, Serb houses were
13 destroyed in Zadar?
14 A. I don't know, but it was, according to Mr. Pupovac, who was a
15 Serb active in Zagreb, quite a number.
16 Q. Do you remember that you were told it was a thousand?
17 A. It could have been in that dimension.
18 Q. And did the former residents of those houses know that their
19 houses had been destroyed?
20 A. I think so.
21 Q. Did international mediators, representatives, avoid raising human
22 rights issues with their Serb interlocutors?
23 A. Well, in my feeling, I think these points should have been raised
24 much more. Now, of course, Vance and Owen were after a solution for the
25 horrible Bosnian problem and they fully concentrated on the Vance-Owen
1 Peace Plan for Bosnia where there was, of course, also a part on human
2 rights, but generally they dealt with the big political problems without
3 going into these details. Whereas I considered, if I may say it with my
4 words, my main task to deal with the poor victims of that ethnic madness
5 that had befallen Yugoslavia. Of all nations: Croats, Serbs, Albanians,
6 what have you.
7 Q. And the Prosecutor asked you yesterday whether you knew whether
8 Mr. Hadzic had taken any steps to try to remedy the situation as you
9 reported it to him. Were you in any position to know what steps he may
10 have taken, whether he took such steps?
11 A. Well, I could imagine that he might have told me if he had taken
12 such steps because this would take some of the problem away.
13 Q. Did you ask him on any subsequent occasion whether he had taken
14 such steps?
15 A. I cannot remember. I don't think so.
16 Q. And do you think that, after this September meeting in Belgrade,
17 do you now recall or do you not recall whether you, again, raised the
18 issue of human rights violations with Mr. Hadzic?
19 A. I mean, we certainly discussed these points also in Plitvice
20 where we had a long discussion and talked about everything that was of
22 Q. Aside from the list from the Widows of Vukovar, did you address
23 the human rights situation with him on that occasion?
24 A. I'm pretty sure I did but I do not recall in concrete terms
25 because we also discussed the overall situation, as I mentioned before
1 the break, the solution for the problem in the Krajina where he, for
2 once, said that he would not totally exclude the solution inside of
3 Croatia. Had he prevailed, the Serbs would still be there.
4 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have D73, please; Defence tab 15.
5 Q. This is a crypto cable from -- under the name of Nambiar with the
6 signature Cedric Thornberry to Goulding dated 30 November 1992. Subject:
7 Discussions with Knin authorities.
8 Do you remember whether you saw this document at the time or have
9 you seen it recently?
10 A. I've seen it recently.
11 Q. And if we could please turn the page. Under paragraph 6 -- and
12 there's no indication incidentally that Mr. Hadzic is present. It's a
13 conversation with Stojan Spanovic and then with the minister of energy of
14 the time, Bjegovic.
15 A. Can I read this first? You refer to number 6, yeah?
16 Q. Yes, I'm coming to 6. I just wanted to give you that information
17 from page 1.
18 A. Yeah, Spanovic --
19 Q. And then now --
20 A. -- and Bjegovic, who was the prime minister of the time.
21 Q. This is before Bjegovic apparently becomes -- perhaps we should
22 go back to page 1, just to make it clear.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are kindly asked not to overlap
24 because it is impossible to interpret what they are saying.
25 MR. GOSNELL: Understood.
1 So there we see that it appears there's a discussion with
2 Stojan Spanovic, minister of defence of the time, and Bjegovic, minister
3 of energy of the time.
4 Could we go to page two, please.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes.
6 MR. GOSNELL:
7 Q. "We kept clear of displaced persons' issues on this occasion, and
8 said little about disarmament. But Spanovic volunteered that they were
9 making a very big effort to clean up their act by arresting their bandits
10 and making life hot for their gangsters (especially in Sector East).
11 Clearly very sensitive to this matter, now, he agreed precisely with our
12 analysis and felt the 'decline into anarchy' line we have been publicly
13 taking could destroy any residual credibility they may have."
14 And the question I have for you is this: Did you observe that
15 Mr. Hadzic in his discussions with you was concerned about any loss of
16 credibility arising from allegations of human rights abuses in the
17 protected areas?
18 A. I cannot recall any remark by Mr. Hadzic comparable to what we
19 have here in number 6 by Spanovic. He might have made it, but I think I
20 would have recorded it.
21 Q. In the last sentence reads:
22 "Colleagues confirm that they are indeed attempting to crack down
23 on at least some of their thugs, and that the serious crime rate has
24 dropped appreciably."
25 Now, do you recall - and the date of this again is the end of
1 November 1992 - do you recall whether there were any reports indicating
2 that the crime rate, in particular in Sector East, dropped appreciably
3 around or before this time?
4 A. Not really. And I remember, for example, when we drove to
5 Sector East, that the Belgian troops that were there showed us at several
6 instances jeeps that had been stolen from them and then repainted. And
7 when I asked them, Why didn't you take it back, they said, They are so
8 poor. And I remember that Mr. Thornberry, whenever he had to see local
9 authorities somewhere in the Krajina, he said, We are going to see the
10 local bandit. So this went on.
11 Q. The crime is being perpetrated against UNPROFOR.
12 A. Well, that one was against UNPROFOR, yeah. They stole their
13 jeeps. But that was a sign of the general lawlessness, that they even
14 dare take these jeeps. I didn't hear that they took the Russians' jeeps
15 but the Belgians'.
16 Q. Do you speak Russian?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The confusion we discussed earlier -- or not confusion, the
19 distinctions, the language about milicija, militia, does that confusion
20 arise in the Russian language?
21 A. I'm not aware of that. And my Russian is not as good as my
23 Q. Now, yesterday you testified at pages 7741 to 42 about handing a
24 list between 50 and 150 names --
25 A. Mm-hm.
1 Q. -- that had been drawn up by a group called the Widows of
2 Vukovar. You gave this list to Mr. Hadzic and he looked at it and said
3 they were all dead. And you said, and I quote, and this is on 7742:
4 "We did not discuss who had killed them, for what reasons they
5 were dead or so, he just said that this was the state of affairs."
6 Just a couple of follow-up questions about this --
7 A. Let me just correct. Mr. Hadzic did not say, This is the state
8 of affairs, but I wanted to say that we just discussed the state of
9 affairs but not the causes.
10 Q. Do you remember whether he said he recognised any of the names as
11 being people he knew personally?
12 A. He did not say that. He looked at the list very carefully and
13 from this I would conclude that he knew who were the persons on the list.
14 Otherwise he could not tell me that they were all dead.
15 Q. Did he say whether he knew the manner in which they had been
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did he indicate whether he believed they had been killed in
19 combat --
20 A. No.
21 Q. Sorry, I just wanted to finish my question. Did he say whether
22 he believed they had been killed in combat or whether they had been
23 killed in some other circumstance?
24 A. No, he did not. I mean, when such points were brought with Serbs
25 of the RSK, the normal excuse was that they had been killed in combat.
1 But at this occasion, Mr. Hadzic said nothing to that extent.
2 Q. But you can't say in this case whether that was an excuse or not
3 in relation to these names, can you?
4 A. Yeah. I don't know who the people were. I mean, the point that
5 the group called itself the Widows of Vukovar somehow would logically
6 make me deduct that they knew that they were dead. Because I'm a widow
7 when my husband doesn't live anymore. But I think one should not go into
8 such semantic exercise. It was just women who were very much concerned
9 about what had become of their husbands and sons.
10 Q. I would like, if I may, to ask you some questions about the
11 so-called Resolution 802 negotiations following the incursion by Croat
12 forces in the area of Maslenica bridge, and you spoke about that during
13 your testimony and I'll try not to ask you to repeat too much of what
14 you've already said.
15 But let me just first ask you: Is it your general impression
16 that Mr. Hadzic was the deciding negotiator or interlocutor in relation
17 to these negotiations?
18 A. Well, certainly in the meetings which we had in conference rooms
19 in New York and Geneva. But as I may have said, I don't know whom he had
20 to consult before he made a decision or whether he had to consult anyone.
21 But among these RSK representatives who were there with him, such as
22 Paspalj and the foreign minister, he was clearly number one.
23 Q. Did the fact that Mr. Hadzic was from Sector East have anything
24 at all to do with your understanding or perception of his authority in
25 relation to these negotiations?
1 A. Well, I mean, I said somewhere that, of course, he was not so
2 directly involved because he was from Sector East which is far away from
3 the theatre of this 802 operation and in so far he might not have been so
4 directly interested in what it is.
5 On the other hand, he was, from February 1992 onwards, the
6 president of the entire RSK and, as such, he had to deal with it.
7 Otherwise, Babic would anyway have been the one to negotiate.
8 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 06476, please.
9 Q. Which is your statement again.
10 MR. GOSNELL: I believe we're looking for e-court page 21, the
11 answer to question 22(g).
12 Yes, that does look like the right page.
13 THE WITNESS: Can you make it bigger?
14 MR. GOSNELL: If we could zoom in on the bottom paragraph,
16 Q. "Hadzic was the head of the Serbian negotiating delegation by
17 virtue of his position. But in two ways he was not really involved. For
18 one thing, he was from the UNPA Sector East, which was far away from the
19 Maslenica bridge. Then he also did not have any military background,
20 even though he occasionally wore a Serbian paramilitary uniform."
21 And these negotiations are going on in 1993, March onwards; is
22 that correct?
23 A. I think it started in February but I would have to check. And
24 February, well, he had been president of the RSK for one year at that
1 Q. And that's what I am very interested in in your answer and I'm
2 curious about. Because on the one hand, he is, as you know, as of this
3 date the president of the RSK, but here you are saying because he is from
4 the UNPA Sector East, which was far away from the Maslenica bridge, he
5 was not really involved.
6 I'm curious if you can help us understand why you say that, or
7 said that.
8 A. Well, I can only repeat. Because this did not concern him so
9 directly because he was from an area far away from the theatre of these
10 operations. And the second point is that he, indeed, seems not to have
11 had a military background. He might have fulfilled his obligation as a
12 soldier in Yugoslavia. They had a draft. But, otherwise he was not a
13 military officer so...
14 Q. And yet we see in the documents that he is present at many of the
15 negotiations. Isn't that correct?
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. And he is the head of the delegations to those negotiations;
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. And yet here you are saying he is not really involved. How are
21 those two reconcilable?
22 A. It might be better to replace "involved" by "deeply interested."
23 Of course, he was involved, he was head of the delegation, but his
24 personal interest might have been less intense than that of Babic or
25 Martic who were from Knin.
1 Q. And were Martic and Babic the ones making the final -- I don't
2 want to say final. Were they the ones determining the negotiating
4 A. No, I don't think so. Babic had been sidelined a year before.
5 He might have been mayor of Knin at that time, I don't remember. He
6 still played a role but he was clearly not in the political mainstream,
7 and Martic had still to come up.
8 Q. Well, if Mr. Hadzic isn't so interested, then what personality,
9 which person was interested? Which person was primarily concerned with
10 this issue?
11 A. I mean, in a way, this concerned, of course, also the overall
12 situation of the RSK towards Croatia and in so far Mr. Hadzic was
13 interested. But on the other hand, the area we dealt with and these
14 details and niceties of these 802 negotiations had to do with the
15 territory to the south of Knin and almost on the Adriatic Sea, so that
16 was a totally different theatre. He might not have known the villages,
17 whereas the others knew them. But I don't think that the Knin, in
18 opposition to the overall leadership, had the decisive influence. Hadzic
19 was in -- in charge.
20 Q. Well, why we have this document in front of us, let's turn,
21 please, to e-court page 24. I'm looking to the answer under subpart (e)
22 which, just to give you the context, this is -- the question that you're
23 originally asked concerns the negotiations in Norway in 1993. And then
24 there's a subquestion that says:
25 "What economic arguments did you make to convince Hadzic and the
1 RSK government to reach an agreement? How did Hadzic and the Serb
2 leaders respond to these arguments?"
3 "Hadzic showed little interest in economic matters. His home,
4 Sector East, which directly bordered with Serbia, did not need any
5 Croatian concessions. It was totally different in Sector South, which
6 was cut off from the coast."
7 It's also true, isn't it, that Sector South is cut off from
8 Serbia; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you enlighten us as to -- or expand on this answer, in what
11 sense is there, are there, would there be, divergent interests in respect
12 of these two sectors?
13 A. Well, Knin was a very important railway centre in former
14 Yugoslavia. Since the railways did not run anymore, a high percentage of
15 the workers in Knin was jobless. Knin and the areas above the coast, I
16 mean, these Serb majority areas, were not directly on the coast but very
17 close to it. And many of these Serbs, I think, had employment in the
18 coast and drew their income from there. So this fell flat. And when you
19 looked at the landscape around Knin it's a barren country. It is all
20 stone and -- and little even forests or so. So they were in a very bad
21 situation, and they needed fertiliser, they needed a lot of basic stuff
22 to run their economy. And, since on the other side there was Bosnia and
23 there were parts of Bosnia which were not Serb-populated but Croatian or
24 Muslim populated, so hostile to them, this was a very difficult
25 situation. And we had hoped that the situation would make them make
1 concessions because they simply had to, but the national feelings were
2 much, much stronger than the understanding of economic matters with most
3 of the leaders of the former Yugoslavia across the board.
4 Now in Sector East where there were oil wells which were refined
5 close to Belgrade and where there was a wealthier agriculture, although,
6 of course, with the loss of a high percentage of the population, this was
7 also in a mess, but these were different problems. And Sector East did
8 not need the Croats. Sector South and Sector North needed them. And the
9 Croats, on their side, also needed Serbian concessions because the
10 railway line. Then electricity lines. And the -- the dam in Peruca.
11 All of this had been necessary for -- for -- for example, the well-being
12 of the Croatian and Dalmatian coast, which was the basis of tourism.
13 Q. Did the joblessness and the very difficult situation in
14 Sector South have any impact on politics in the Krajina region? By
15 "Krajina region" I mean Sector South and Sector North.
16 A. As I said, the political wish to establish an independent Serbian
17 state was much stronger than the wish to re-establish the economic links
18 with Croatia which would raise the economic well-being of the area, and
19 in so far I do not see much of an influence of the contacts on the
20 political decisions of the Krajina leadership. Not even those who were
21 from the area, like Babic or Martic.
22 Q. Did you observe, based on your contacts with Serb interlocutors,
23 that there was any distinction in the power structures between the
24 Krajina and Sector East? Were these separate power structures or were
25 they all unified under the umbrella of the RSK?
1 A. I think they were all unified under the umbrella of Belgrade.
2 Q. That didn't answer my question. It's enlightening but ...
3 A. Yeah, okay. I think they were unified under the umbrella of the
4 RSK politically. Economically they were different. And the direct
5 influence of Serbia was, of course, much bigger in Sector East which
6 bordered Serbia directly.
7 Q. Were there separate power brokers in the Krajina region who had
8 effective control over - and I'm asking this very generally - who had
9 control over -- or separate control over decision-making in that area?
10 A. No. The persons we discussed with were always speaking -- or
11 after the RSK was established speaking for the entire RSK and not for
12 different sectors.
13 Q. But did you become aware at some point surely that there was a
14 schism in the politics of the RSK and that this schism, I suggest, was
15 correlative with the distinction between Krajina and Sector East?
16 A. I wouldn't say it that way. I mean, the first clear split that
17 occurred was when the Vance Plan had to be accepted. Because Babic
18 definitely did not want to accept the Vance Plan and we interpreted the
19 developments that then came, that Hadzic became president of the entire
20 country and then accepted the Vance Plan, as the work of Belgrade.
21 Q. Let's see if we can illuminate this topic by looking at a few
23 MR. GOSNELL: First of all, could we have P45, and this relates
24 to the issue of the submission of the agreement, the 802 agreement, to
25 the RSK Assembly.
1 Q. Now you were shown this document that is coming up in front us
2 from Wahlgren to Annan and the date is the 22nd of April. And the
3 subject is reported to be parliamentary session of the RSK in Okucani on
4 20 April 1993.
5 If we turn the page, we see the correspondence that is referred
6 to on the cover page and it's another cover page. And this one is from
7 someone named Jusuf Khalaf OIC Civil Affairs. The name is K-h-a-l-a-f.
8 Do you know who that is?
9 A. Well, the UNPROFOR civil section, which was headed by Thornberry,
10 had field stations and in Sector West it was obviously this person.
11 Whether I have met him, I don't know. There was another one in
12 Sector East -- in Sector South in Knin, which appeared yesterday,
13 Jeannie Peterson, and these -- this personnel changed rather often.
14 Q. It says the drafter is Jusuf Khalaf and at the bottom it says:
15 "Message: Please find attached the notes of the above-mentioned
16 session. Any more information will be communicated to you in due
18 Now -- well, let's turn to the next page for starters.
19 The title of this page is: Notes on RSK parliament session in
20 Okucani on 20th April 1993.
21 With the possible exception of the first two words, the typeface
22 appears to be different than what we saw on the previous page.
23 Now, given the reference on the cover page to drafter being
24 Jusuf Khalaf, and given what you know about UNPROFOR protocols, could you
25 be sure, looking at this, that Mr. Khalaf is the author of the page in
1 front of us?
2 A. I mean, these field stations of UNPROFOR had not only one person
3 and so it might be -- have been written by a colleague. For example,
4 sometimes my papers have SC, which is Sancho Coutinho, which is normally
5 on my dealings.
6 This may explain this change in type here. Another possibility
7 is that the person who was there must have known Serbo-Croatian and it
8 could be the interpreter who has written it down.
9 Q. And that's what I was going to ask you and I know -- I take on
10 board what you said about Mr. Khalaf. I suppose it wouldn't assist you
11 if I asked whether you saw any documents or have any indication at all
12 that Mr. Khalaf spoke Serbo-Croat?
13 A. No idea. But normally they did not. I was still a rather rare
15 Q. All right.
16 MR. GOSNELL: I'm done with that document. Could we please move
17 to 01681; Prosecution tab 24.
18 I'm sorry, I called the wrong number. Could I have 05369,
19 please; Prosecution tab 43.
20 Q. And one more aspect of that last document. It says that the
21 session occurred on the 20th of April, the parliamentary session.
22 A. Mm-hm.
23 Q. Does that date accord with your recollection of the date when the
24 agreement was rejected?
25 A. I mean, the agreement was rejected on the basis of that decision.
1 Q. Do you remember saying in your book - and, for the record, I'll
2 just give the reference, it's page 143 of your book - that it was shot
3 down by the RSK Assembly on 24 April?
4 A. May be an error.
5 Q. I'm not saying you're in error. I'm merely drawing your
6 attention to the discrepancy between what you say in your book and this
8 A. I mean, I don't know. But I think, in any case, this does not
9 make a difference in the development that we had had a drawn-out
10 negotiation on an agreement with 22 drafts and that then the one that had
11 finally been accepted was shot down by the Assembly some two weeks
13 Q. Paragraph 2 of this document, which you prepared, it seems; is
14 that correct?
15 A. Probably I have written it myself, yeah. But it could also be
17 Q. And the date is 30 April 1993, and you're describing a meeting
18 with Mr. Hadzic and Mr. Misa Milosevic of the same day, 30th of April,
20 And five lines from the bottom, you say:
21 "Hadzic answered that they wanted the April 6 agreement. When he
22 again requested the presence of Serbian police in the 802 area, I stated
23 categorically that I would not even transmit such a proposal to the
24 Croatian side. He could only accept the agreement as it was and give the
25 co-chairmen of ICFY the assurance provided for in the Annex ..."
1 Next page, please.
2 "... of the agreement. After some discussion, Hadzic distanced
3 himself from part of his Assembly's views and said that he would not seek
4 any changes in the text of the agreement; he would make the statement
5 about his police not entering the 802 area.
6 "If the meeting in Athens was successful on Bosnia. If not,
7 things would be very difficult for him too. After this, we agreed to
8 continue the discussion ... Hadzic added that in case of a positive
9 outcome in Athens, he would be grateful if ICFY or UNPROFOR could give
10 him some assurance about the safety of Serbs against further Croatian
11 attacks and about the structure to be worked out by UNPROFOR for the
12 802 areas. He needed something that would allow him to justify before
13 his Assembly why he had accepted agreement not endorsed by this Assembly,
14 without any changes."
15 Now, I'm not so interested in the details of the position. But
16 do you recall that during this meeting Mr. Hadzic was reflecting that
17 there was pressure from elements inside that Assembly that were not
18 amenable to allowing him to conclude an agreement?
19 A. I had that impression.
20 Q. And what do you know about those elements, if anything?
21 A. Well, of course, we -- we know Mile Paspalj, who used to be the
22 Speaker of that parliament and who was a hard-liner, according to what I
23 know. And there was, of course, more such hard-liners in that
24 parliament. I remember, for example, after Dzakula had signed that
25 Daruvar agreement, someone in the Assembly said that Dzakula was a
1 traitor. This sort of people, and I think there were quite a few of
3 Q. Did Mr. Hadzic ever tell you that he had been accused of being a
4 traitor as a result of these negotiations?
5 A. No. But it was interesting in the report about the session of
6 the parliament that Mr. Hadzic, in two sentences, said more or less in
7 the first sentence the agreement was good. In the second, the agreement
8 was not good.
9 Q. And what do you think that indicates?
10 A. That he, in fact, would have liked the agreement to go through
11 and be signed, and his concern about the safety of the Serbs in the area
12 where Serb police would not go again, these villages, one of them is
13 Islam Grcki, are understandable and justified.
14 Q. And just while we have this page in front of us, if we could look
15 at the first sentence of paragraph -- sorry, the second paragraph under
16 item 3:
17 "Hadzic then reiterated that the Krajina Serbs wanted a separate
18 existence from the diaspora Serbs in Croatia."
19 Now does that reflect a common refrain by Mr. Hadzic insisting
20 that the RSK territories would not be reintegrated into Croatia, into the
21 Republic of Croatia?
22 A. Yes. I mean, when I told Mr. Hadzic, for example, about this
23 constitutional law and our negotiations about it, he would always say,
24 These are Serbs living under Croatian rule, I wish them well, but we are
25 not concerned. This does not have any relation to us.
1 Q. And you are a Serbo-Croat speaker and you used the expression in
2 English here "a separate existence."
3 Can you indicate to us why you would have used those particular
4 words, "a separate existence"?
5 A. I have no particular reason to use those words. It could also be
6 an independent state or an existence outside of Croatia.
7 Q. Is it possible that that reflects directly the syntax used by
8 Mr. Hadzic with you?
9 A. I don't think so.
10 Q. Why not?
11 A. Well, normally I would not make wordly quotes, and "separate
12 existence" was one of the words which we used for these possibilities.
13 MR. GOSNELL: I would tender this document, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number D97. Thank you.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 01681, please; Prosecution tab 24.
18 Q. The last document was the 30th of April. This document is the
19 14th of June, 1993. It's from Stoltenberg under the signature of
20 Cedric Thornberry to Annan. Subparagraph -- or paragraph 2 -- or the
21 subject line is: Croatian Krajina meetings in Geneva on 16 June.
22 "After the Serb military had failed to turn up at Topusko on
23 20 May to sign the interim cease-fire, we got messages indicating that
24 they wanted to speak military to military on this matter, no civilians,
25 no politics. After meetings involving FC and CMO, it was confirmed that
1 this was a somewhat fraudulent prospectus as what General Novakovic in
2 fact wanted was to wrest control of the political handling of the
3 implementation of 802 from the designated representatives of RSK in
4 Geneva in favour of himself and those who think like him."
5 Do you remember anything about the incident being described here,
6 or the event?
7 A. Yes, I mean, I have seen that paper, I think, even at the epoch
8 when it was written. Mile Novakovic was the one who actually ended
9 the -- the 802 negotiations proper. I think he was the one who wrote
10 that letter that said that the letter by Stoltenberg and Owen to the
11 Serbs was dirty joke. So this shows a certain split. The military was
12 certainly not satisfied with what the civilian part, in this case the
13 government and Mr. Hadzic, wanted to do.
14 Q. And do I understand correctly that what General Novakovic is
15 attempting to do is engage in direct negotiations with the Croat side
16 under the auspices of the international mediators; correct?
17 A. Yeah. But not the international mediators -- well, he wanted
18 somehow to also have a role in the ICFY but as normally as a general and
19 a military leader he would deal with UNPROFOR only. But later, for
20 example, in Norway, Novakovic was together with Hadzic in the Serb
21 delegation and Hadzic was the leader.
22 Q. Do I understand correctly from your last answer that Novakovic
23 was making direct contacts with the officials of the ICFY, without going
24 through Hadzic?
25 A. I don't know whether he discussed this with Hadzic. But this
1 paper shows that Novakovic wanted to turn up in Geneva.
2 Q. And according to this, wrest control of the political handling of
3 the implementation of 802.
4 A. Well, this is something what the author of this paper thinks. I
5 don't see that, and both were together in Norway and I could not see any
6 contradiction between them.
7 Q. So you didn't observe this --
8 A. No.
9 Q. -- wresting of control?
10 A. No. But it should be seen, of course, that towards the end of
11 that same year, Mr. Hadzic was slowly -- well, there was these elections
12 in the RSK and he was replaced by Martic.
13 Q. Is it possible that Thornberry or Stoltenberg knew things about
14 General Novakovic in relation to these negotiations that you didn't?
15 A. I don't think so. We were in constant contact and Stoltenberg
16 was the chairman of our conference.
17 Q. Were you in contact with Thornberry about these matters?
18 A. Very often.
19 Q. It goes on:
20 "Thus while talking provisional cease-fire, Novakovic and
21 colleagues have in fact been trying to find a new way to implement 802
22 which will operate more to their interest."
23 Do you have any idea who is being referred to when it says
24 "Novakovic and colleagues" having some kind of a separate interest or a
25 personal interest or an interest of some kind? I don't know.
1 A. Well, other Serb military. And these colleagues, I think, this
2 might extend partially into Serbia.
3 Q. Is it a reference to Martic?
4 A. One would not normally say that Martic is a colleague of
5 Novakovic. Because Martic was a policeman but not a military, in the
6 strict sense. But it could be. I mean, Martic then later was the next
8 Q. It goes on:
9 "All those associated with the 6 April agreement are held in
10 suspicion by the RSK military, including President Hadzic, and any
11 mention of Misa" - next page - "Milosevic provokes nasty and dismissive
13 Now do you remember whether Mr. Hadzic mentioned that the
14 military was pushing back against his stance or his attempt to negotiate
15 an agreement under 802?
16 A. No, he did not discuss this with us.
17 Q. Did he say that he was being held in suspicion by the RSK
18 military because of his involvement?
19 A. No. The RSK Serbs almost or practically never spoke about their
20 internal splits with us, the foreign mediators. One could hear something
21 from Babic after he was deposed, but not too much.
22 Q. And during his lakeside discussion with you in Plitvice, did he
23 say what the consequences might be for him, not in relation to the 802
24 agreement, but if he had ever revealed candidly that his view was that
25 there might be a solution to be found within Croatia for the RSK?
1 A. There was no need to say that because it was quite clear to me,
2 and it showed a certain degree of trust by Mr. Hadzic because if I had
3 gone public with what he had told me, I might endangered him.
4 Q. What does that mean, "endangered him"?
5 A. Well, they might have arrested him as a traitor.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I tender this document, 01681.
7 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell, I'm told that there are a few cables
9 under this document number. Is it your intention to tender them all?
10 MR. GOSNELL: I would prefer not to, in principle, so I think if
11 we could just take the front three pages. We can take care of that
12 Mr. President, if ...
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: So I understand you will come back to us with the
15 final solution on this one.
16 MR. GOSNELL: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
18 MR. GOSNELL: While we still have this on the screen, could we
19 turn the page -- or, no, we can just go down to the bottom of the page,
21 "After a prolonged meeting of the Supreme Defence Council this
22 morning, which Bjegovic, Novakovic and Martic attended, we received their
23 agreement to the Geneva meetings, and now have provisional
24 delegations ..."
25 Q. Let me just stop there. Does it appear to you from that that
1 Mr. Hadzic isn't present at that particular Supreme Defence Council
3 A. Obviously he was not.
4 Q. Do you --
5 A. It's not -- well, I don't know this. Because when Bjegovic,
6 Novakovic and Martic attended, this does not exclude that the president
7 wasn't in charge. I don't know this.
8 Q. Any information at all about why Thornberry or Stoltenberg would
9 only have mentioned those three names and not have mentioned Hadzic?
10 A. Well, because that were the ones they talked to at that moment.
11 Q. And what do you know, if anything, about the Supreme Defence
13 A. Not very much. Just the body that dealt with military matters on
14 a national -- on a national basis, which means the entire RSK.
15 Q. Do you know whether decisions could be taken by the
16 Supreme Defence Council with only the three listed names in attendance?
17 A. If Milosevic said so, yes. Not Misa Milosevic but Slobodan.
18 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 1686, please.
19 Q. This is from Coutinho, S. Coutinho to Wahlgren dated
20 18 June 1993. Again, that's your assistant. Is that correct?
21 A. Right.
22 Q. And if we can turn over the page, your name appears there. It
23 doesn't say specifically that it's from you. Did you draft this?
24 A. Probably, yes.
25 Q. Item 1, and this matter was raised during your direct
1 examination, about timing, timing of negotiations.
2 And under item 1 you say:
3 "Hadzic was probably right when he said that negotiations between
4 the Croatian government and his regime had to start with
5 confidence-building measures. He mentioned as such a cease-fire and
6 first arrangements for practical co-operation."
7 Now, do you remember that it was your view in June 1993 that,
8 indeed, there was a need for confidence-building arrangements?
9 A. Yes. First of all, all Serbs would tell us all the time that
10 they had absolutely no confidence in the Croats. And, second, as long as
11 there was a possibility of fighting, you could not easily consider any
12 practical co-operation. So we had this three-tier approach. First, the
13 cease-fire. Then an agreement on practical measures, such as opening
14 electricity lines, pipelines, and roads. And then, third, a political
15 solution. This was tried for years. It failed in the end and later we
16 tried an overall approach, doing all three together.
17 MR. GOSNELL: I tender this document, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number D98. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have 01797, please; Prosecution tab 28.
22 Q. This is from Vollebaek and Ahrens, Zagreb, to Stoltenberg/Owen,
23 Geneva. 23rd September 1993. Subject: Meetings with Mr. Hadzic and
24 Mr. Jarcevic in Erdut and Foreign Minister Jovanovic in Belgrade,
25 23 September 1993.
1 Did you draft this; do you remember?
2 A. Well, Vollebaek was very active on this Erdut 1 thing, so it
3 could have been him. I can't say for sure.
4 Q. Indeed, in paragraph 1 it does say: "Today I travelled together
5 with Ambassador Ahrens to Erdut," so it seems that it was -- am I
6 right --
7 A. It was Vollebaek, yeah.
8 Q. Why is Foreign Minister Jovanovic involved and what is he foreign
9 minister of?
10 A. He is foreign minister of that third Yugoslavia which had been
11 set up in the spring of 1992 between Serbia and Montenegro. And since
12 this was a very dangerous situation Tudjman wanted a solemn opening of
13 his pontoon bridge, whereas the Serbs had let it be known that this was
14 in the range of their artillery. This could have led to very severe
15 consequences. And since we knew that, to put it mildly, that Belgrade
16 had a certain influence on Knin, we talked to the Yugoslav foreign
18 MR. GOSNELL: If we could turn the page.
19 Q. And I'll read this paragraph in its entirety so that we have the
20 full context, which is important:
21 "Mr. Hadzic said that he fully accepted the idea and would be
22 happy to participate since it was clear that the alternative was war. In
23 fact, he pressed for an early start to the process because he feared
24 further Croatian attacks in the near future."
25 Let me stop there. Was there an attack that had occurred shortly
1 before the 23rd of September, 1993, by the Croats?
2 A. I don't recall when the Medak pocket attack was. That was under
3 the point of view of human rights violations, war crimes, the worst of
4 all. But it must have been somewhere in 1993.
5 Q. When you say it was "worst of all," why do you say it was worst
6 of all?
7 A. Because there were killings of civilians and deliberate
8 violations of human rights, not just by accidental fire or so.
9 Q. Are you saying that the forces that engaged in that attack did
10 that deliberately?
11 A. It looked so.
12 Q. Was it your understanding they were under orders from someone to
13 engage in those acts?
14 A. I don't think so because Tudjman understood that this would harm
15 the position of his country. But there was, of course, an overall policy
16 of not encouraging the Serbs to remain in Croatia.
17 Q. "On the question of return of displaced people, Ahrens mentioned
18 that while in New York, the principle had been agreed that all displaced
19 people should return, including Serbs to Croatian-held territory.
20 Paspalj had said that no Serbs would want to go back. Hadzic said that
21 the principle was correct, but then went on to say quite strongly that
22 Serbs and Croats could never live together again. It might be possible
23 for Croats to return to Krajina, but it was inconceivable for Serbs to
24 want to return to Croatia."
25 Now, is what Mr. Hadzic saying here about "never live together
1 again," is that in reference to a desire that the RSK, or whatever
2 Serb-held territories there might be, should not be reintegrated into
4 A. I mean, that was actually one of the principles of the
5 nationalist wing of Serbian politics, which, at that time, was the vast
6 majority. And I remember that I went to Belgrade immediately after the
7 Operation Storm, which was in August 1995, and I talked to Serbian
8 refugees, a large number of Serbian refugees on Serbian soil, I was in
9 Obrenovac, and asked them whether they were prepared to return to
10 Croatia. And they said, We will never return if our areas are under
11 Croatian government because the Croatians are a genocidal nation.
12 This was the overall feeling but, of course, also the product of
13 a constant propaganda. They had no other means of information, source of
15 Q. So Mr. Hadzic is accurately describing the feelings of those
16 Serbs who had been forced out or who had left those areas --
17 A. Well, I don't know whether he is describing. He is actually
18 stating that policy.
19 Q. Well, what it says here is that:
20 "It might be possible for Croats to return to Krajina, but it was
21 inconceivable for Serbs to want to return to Croatia."
22 So isn't he -- isn't the distinction that he is drawing here,
23 that Croats can come back to Serbia or to the RSK, whereas it was
24 inconceivable that Serbs would want to go back to areas under Croatian
1 A. I mean, first of all, there was an obligation under the
2 Vance Plan that the Croatian refugees could return into the RSK areas and
3 that was not fulfilled at all. And when I took this up with Serb
4 interlocutors, I was always told that this was too dangerous for the RSK
5 because the Croats would send soldiers in disguise.
6 The second point is that even in Croatia, no one was prepared to
7 return to the RSK under the government it had.
8 Q. And because there are, is it not true, a large number of people
9 of Serbian ethnicity who have themselves been displaced from parts of
10 Croatia who, frankly, are hostile toward non-Serbs and in particular
12 A. I mean, quite a bit happened in the area of Zadar and also
13 Pakrac, whereas there were other islands of Serb settlements, which I
14 mentioned yesterday, where the Serbs still would live, but they
15 complained to me that cars with loudspeakers would drive through their
16 villages at night and threatening them. That was this Gorski Kotar area.
17 So it was not pleasant to be a Serb in Tudjman's Croatia.
18 Q. And those people regrettably, as a result of those experiences,
19 would not want to return to Croatia ; correct?
20 A. Well, I don't know. Because the number of refugees was much
21 higher after Operation Storm. We are talking in dimensions of 200.000.
22 And, actually, the Serb side had prepared the evacuation of the
23 population in case of a Croatian attack. You can find this in the report
24 by Mr. Mazowiecki, the former Polish prime minister who was in charge of
25 a human rights commission by the UN, that looked into the situation in
1 Yugoslavia. And he said that some people after Operation Flash which --
2 where the Croats took Sector West, had actually been forced to flee.
3 Q. My question, and I guess it wasn't clear, was whether those
4 Serb -- people of Serb ethnicity who had suffered from the intimidation
5 that you described earlier, those people would not be willing to return
6 to Croat-held territories in 1992 and 1993, after they had left.
7 A. That is certainly correct.
8 Q. So, in that sense, Mr. Hadzic's description is correct.
9 A. Yeah. But I think it's not a description because I think he was
10 also convinced that Serbs and Croats could not live together. And that
11 is something I simply do not buy.
12 I remember in Osijek and in Vukovar, particularly in Vukovar, we
13 had almost half/half Croats and Serbs. The number of marriages between
14 Croats and Serbs corresponded almost exactly to the statistics when you
15 understand that nationality doesn't play a role. I talked to
16 statisticians about this. It was quite interesting. And actually I
17 witnessed marriages breaking up over the war, between Serbs and Croats.
18 I have been told about this. I have not witnessed it myself in the form
19 of the real break. So this -- this was what I called earlier in the day
20 ethnic madness.
21 Q. Yesterday at page 7733, starting at line 20 -- line 1:
22 "Did Mr. Hadzic ever express the view to you that whatever the
23 territory was, Serbian and Croatian people simply could not live
25 Your answer:
1 "I cannot recall that Mr. Hadzic said that to me. Others did?"
2 A. Yes. That's correct.
3 Q. That's correct?
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. So it's not correct that Mr. Hadzic -- that you recalled that
6 Mr. Hadzic told you that Serbs and Croats couldn't live together?
7 A. No, no, I didn't say that. I say that I believe that was also
8 his conviction because everyone, even the bishops surrounding the
9 patriarch in Belgrade, said such a thing.
10 Q. Well, over the course of your meetings, and you've testified to
11 this with Mr. Hadzic -- well, first of all, let me ask you: How many
12 times did you meet with him privately?
13 A. We never met privately in the form that we arranged a meeting one
14 on one. But in the framework of such meetings, I very often took the
15 opportunity of talking one on one to the interlocutors, and I did so
16 particularly often with Mr. Hadzic because we had developed a certain
17 working relationship which made discussions fruitful.
18 Q. And your observation that he was candid with you -- excuse me.
19 Your observation was that he was candid with you on those occasions;
21 A. At some occasions, certainly.
22 Q. And you testified yesterday at page 7722 that you found it
23 "remarkable that he did not object to me being German" in respect of your
24 responsibilities as a mediator?
25 A. I don't know whether "remarkable" is the right term but at least
1 he did not do it. The Serbs, after a while, felt that I was not a Serb
2 hater or something like that. I mean, I had very close relationships in
3 Belgrade and I also used to go to the writers' club in Belgrade which was
4 the centre of national Serbs. I would meet writers there. I knew
5 Dobrica Cosic who became the president of the third Yugoslavia. I knew
6 everyone. I also talked, of course, to Karadzic and Hadzic -- Mladic and
7 Koljevic and whom have you.
8 Q. And in the course of either your private discussions with him at
9 any time or otherwise, did Mr. Hadzic ever tell you that non-Serbs should
10 be segregated from Serbs within the protected areas?
11 A. He did not say that. I mean, it was quite clear that we were
12 against ethnic cleansing, and when I raised questions of human rights, he
13 would normally agree to the standards which they have in their laws and
14 their constitution. But it was not implemented.
15 Q. Did he ever express to you the view that non-Serbs should be
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did he ever suggest to you that the non-Serbs should be forced
19 out of the protected areas?
20 A. No. But it happened. While he was president.
21 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I have one more line of questioning,
22 but I would prefer to start it after the break, if that's possible.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Of course.
24 Your Excellency, this is the second break. As always,
25 30 minutes, which means we come back at 12.45. The court usher will
1 escort you. Thank you.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
4 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 12.48 p.m.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, while that's taking place, I can
7 take care of the first three pages of 65 ter 1681, which have now been
8 uploaded as 1D00732.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit Number D99.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 [The witness takes the stand]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.
14 MR. GOSNELL:
15 Q. Your Excellency, you testified yesterday in relation to the
16 Norway negotiations that you believe that Mr. Hadzic leaked the existence
17 of those negotiations; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. That was said at the conference and that was the common
19 conviction. I think there's a factual basis to it, but I don't know
21 Q. When you say you don't know which, what do you not know?
22 A. Exactly which media he informed at what point in time. And what
23 he told them.
24 Q. Is the basis of your information about the leak solely the
25 information that was provided by Mr. Sarinic during the closing session?
1 A. No. I think Vollebaek, who was very much in charge there in
2 Norway, also checked it but I cannot say that for sure. I even had the
3 feeling that the Serb side did not contest this, that they agreed that
4 Mr. Hadzic had gone public. But, as I said, I say with much reserve.
5 This is 20 years ago and I don't remember.
6 Q. Was there an ongoing issue in the negotiations that the Croats
7 would send the lowest possible representative of government whereas the
8 Serb side would frequently be represented by the president himself?
9 A. I mean, this was, of course, one of the points that constantly
10 played a role. We mentioned yesterday that in Borovo Selo the main issue
11 was how Mr. Hadzic was to sign. The international community did not
12 recognise that Mr. Hadzic was the president of an existing state because
13 the state was not recognised. And Mr. Sarinic was a quite high-ranking
14 Croatian official, I think one who was quite well placed to deal with it
15 and we appreciated him to some others who were not always as professional
16 in negotiations.
17 It is correct that if you take Mr. Hadzic's position as
18 president, then Sarinic was not up to him, but Tudjman would never have
19 sat opposite Mr. Hadzic. Then you wouldn't have any talks.
20 Q. Do you recall what Mr. Sarinic's position was?
21 A. He was some sort of advisor to the -- to the president, something
22 like head of the presidential administration. I can't tell you exactly
23 but it was a position of power. He had more power than a minister.
24 MR. GOSNELL: If we can go please to P2889; Prosecution tab 56.
25 Q. This is the document you looked at, Your Excellency, in relation
1 to this meeting during your direct testimony.
2 If we turn the page to item 4, Sarinic says if he had been
3 correctly informed, the head of the Serb delegation was giving a
4 television interview, so he had put that above the Plenary Session.
5 A. Where is that?
6 Q. That's the second-last sentence.
7 A. Of number 4?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Oh, yeah.
10 Q. Now, is that the leak?
11 A. I don't think so. I think there was a second step. There was
12 first the leak and then later the interview. If I recall well.
13 Q. And is what you recall that, first, Hadzic makes some kind of --
14 gives some kind of a leak and then he goes off and gives a television
15 interview somewhere, about the negotiations?
16 A. It might be that the leak had been rather earlier. Maybe one day
17 earlier. And then these negotiations failed. And it had become public,
18 and so it was only logical that Hadzic, as leader of the delegation,
19 would give then an interview. There was no more secret. If this is so,
20 I cannot exactly retell.
21 Q. As best you can recall or perhaps you can't at all recall but did
22 this interview, supposed interview occur in Norway?
23 A. I think, if I recall well, it was some sort of telephone
24 conversation or something like that with a journalist who went public and
25 certainly with a Serbian media, not with the Norwegian media.
1 Q. Mr. Sarinic's allegation is that Mr. Hadzic is giving a
2 television interview.
3 A. That was the second -- the second point. Because Sarinic
4 bitterly complained about Mr. Hadzic not being present at the last
5 Plenary Session of the negotiating group and I think he said at this
6 press conference connection with this absence of Mr. Hadzic.
7 Q. So --
8 A. I said yesterday he might have gone shopping.
9 Q. Well, let's just stick with what's written here and the
11 A. Mm-hm.
12 Q. Is the allegation, then, that Mr. Hadzic is giving a television
13 interview to Serb media in Norway?
14 A. That's how I understand this passage. Vollebaek is still alive.
15 He will be able to say it more exactly. I think I should not go beyond
16 this because I simply don't know.
17 Q. Well, given Mr. Hadzic's position that we've seen in some of the
18 previous documents and the allegations that had arisen in his regard, how
19 do you think it would have played amongst a domestic audience if it
20 turned out -- or, for that matter, amongst RSK Assembly members if it
21 turned out that Goran Hadzic was engaged in direct face-to-face meetings
22 with the Croats secretly? Would that be to his benefit?
23 A. Well, I would assume that the Serb leadership, particularly
24 including Belgrade, were aware of this meeting even when it was secret,
25 and it was always popular to say that a meeting with the Croats had
2 Q. Was it popular to say that one was engaging in secret meetings
3 with the Croats?
4 A. Well, one would try one's best and, I mean, Mile Novakovic was
5 there. There were quite a few people there so it was not just Mr. Hadzic
7 Q. Well, I'm not sure that answers the question but let me put it
9 How would this play amongst Assembly members in the RSK who
10 surely would not have all been informed about secret negotiations?
11 A. Well, the hard-liners would certainly not be too pleased. On the
12 other hand, the aims of the Serbs in these talks was, number one, what
13 they said, peace. It is definitely peaceful relations on the border as
14 they see it. And, number two, facilitating certain activities and
15 economic measures that would greatly help the population. And, number
16 three, insisting on the RSK never joining Croatia.
17 These were the three points which, if put properly, would
18 convince the audience.
19 Q. The hard-liners, of course, would have no interest in putting
20 things properly, would they?
21 A. Which things? These three points?
22 Q. The beneficial aspects of engaging in such negotiations.
23 A. Well, I don't know. There might have been a certain - how shall
24 I say? - fatigue of tension and of insecurity which might have convinced
25 a number of Serbs that it might be about to time to come to terms with
1 the Croats, in particular, as they had been made believe that there is a
2 possibility of having a -- an agreed future outside of Croatia. That's
3 what they wanted.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Your Excellency.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, that concludes my cross-examination.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Gosnell.
7 Anything in re-direct?
8 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President.
9 Re-examination by Mr. Stringer:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Ambassador Ahrens. Just a few questions to
11 follow up on some of those put to you by my learned friend, Mr. Gosnell.
12 At the beginning of the cross-examination, you were asked a
13 series of questions referring to various national movements of
14 self-determination. Slovenia, Slovakia and some other countries were
15 referred to. Do you remember that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you happen to know or could you give us an indication what
18 percentage of Slovenia was constituted by Slovenes?
19 A. I don't know the exact percentage but it is very high, around
20 90 or more.
21 Q. Yeah. Any idea the percentage of Slovaks in what became Slovakia
22 when that country split?
23 A. No. But I think it was also quite high. And they were not so
24 much mixed with Czechs as with Hungarians.
25 Q. Do you have a general idea of the percentage of Serbs who were
1 living in Croatia during these times?
2 A. 11.5 per cent.
3 Q. And, again, you've already given some numbers about the various
4 percentages in the Sector East.
5 A. Yeah. In particular, Vukovar had 37 per cent Serbs and
6 44 per cent Croats and that was the highest percentage in Sector East of
8 Q. So when talking about national movements of self-determination,
9 is there any distinction to be made between those that occurred in places
10 like Slovenia versus Serbs in Croatia?
11 A. I mean, definitely so when it comes to Croatia, the Sector East
12 was -- had no Serb majority whatsoever. And that is why, for example,
13 the Z-4 plan which provided for autonomy for the Krajina did not provide
14 such an autonomy for Sector East, just a few points, but not this very
15 wide-reaching autonomy provided for Knin.
16 Q. Now, you agreed with the proposal put to you by Mr. Gosnell that
17 crimes need not be committed as part of a national movement for
18 self-determination. I wonder if you have a view as to the likelihood of
19 crimes occurring when such a national movement is being undertaken by a
20 group that's in a significant minority in that country.
21 A. I mean, it's difficult to answer that question. But it's quite
22 clear that there's no legitimacy to such a movement when they are only a
23 minority. And if they want to impose their will on the majority, the
24 motive to use unacceptable means are, of course, stronger.
25 MR. STRINGER: Could we have, please, what's now been marked, I
1 believe, as Defence Exhibit 1D713. This was the 8th of November, 1991
2 letter from Rome, or from the conference in Rome.
3 Q. Ambassador Ahrens, you were asked to comment on this document
4 during your cross-examination, and I just would briefly take you back to
5 it at page 3, in paragraph 25. And if -- thank you.
6 And again, focussing on the fifth paragraph that we see here,
7 which I believe is the one that counsel referred you to already:
8 "... prospect of recognition of the independence of those
9 republics wishing it can be only be envisaged in the framework of an
10 overall settlement and includes adequate guarantees for the protection of
11 human rights, rights of national or ethnic groups. They urge parties
12 concerned to prepare forthwith legal provisions to that [sic] end."
13 Now the question here, Ambassador, is yesterday on your direct,
14 we looked at the constitutional law on minorities for Croatia. Is that
15 something that was envisaged here in this paragraph?
16 A. This is certainly one of the backgrounds and that is also one of
17 the reasons why we were so active with this constitutional law, although
18 the Krajina Serbs were not prepared to consider such a solution.
19 Q. And now this is the 8th of November, 1991. But in your
20 cross-examination, you mentioned the impact of Vukovar, and the question
21 there would be, if you could elaborate on that. The fall of Vukovar and
22 the events surrounding it, did that have an impact on the prospects that
23 any sort of overall settlement might still encompass a Yugoslavia?
24 A. I mean, these semantic exercise about a Yugoslavia were, rather,
25 not very fruitful because a Yugoslavia that would have been a
1 confederation was not acceptable to the Serbs. So the problems in
2 Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina would have arisen even if Tudjman's
3 Croatia and Izetbegovic's Bosnia had joined a confederation. The Serbs
4 wanted a federation. And Milosevic's policy before the fighting was in
5 the direction of a centralisation of the country and not a
6 confederalisation of the country so that -- that -- this is a little bit
7 a remainder of the general feeling of regret that Yugoslavia fell apart.
8 I said before no one wanted that, but it was not to be prevented in any
9 way anymore at this time. And Vukovar really put the seal under this
10 because Vukovar became very prominent in the media, in Western media, and
11 this then became, of course, also an important argument for politicians
12 who wanted to be popular in their own countries. But it is correct that
13 Lord Carrington was against recognition to the end and he later said that
14 recognition had ruined his conference, but this I don't know in how far
15 because what we needed were Serb concessions and not Croat concessions.
16 And I have seen that particularly in the Bosnian context, that pressure
17 was also put on the weaker part because they had to make concessions and
18 not on the stronger parts, so that Milosevic got away with a lot of
20 Q. Now, just to round this out, because we're talking about the
21 events surrounding Vukovar in November of 1991, there have been
22 references today to Slovenia. And just so it's in the record, the
23 Chamber recalls, were you aware of events that occurred in Slovenia
24 involving the JNA and then the status of Slovenia in respect of a unified
25 Yugoslavia as of this time, November 1991?
1 A. I mean, Slovenia had been a theatre of fighting in end of
2 June until the 3rd of July, I think. By mid-July, there was the
3 so-called Brioni agreement by which Slovenia and Croatia postponed their
4 independence by three months. It was an agreement with the EC. And the
5 mandate of the ECMM originally was to observe whether independence had
6 really been postponed. So I remember the rather senseless activity of
7 going to the border posts of Yugoslavia with Hungary and Italy and
8 Austria to see whether there was still the Yugoslav flag with the red
9 star in the middle or not. If it was not there, then that was a breach
10 of Brioni. In the meantime, when we were in our ridiculous white dresses
11 in Zagreb, people in the street would attack us and say, You go to
12 these -- these border posts and have your coffee there while our people
13 are dying in the conflict zones --
14 Q. Okay. So just to get in the record the year, you mention the 3rd
15 of July. Would that be 1991?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So as of that time - I don't know how to characterise it - in a
18 sort of de facto way, anyway, Slovenia is already out?
19 A. I mean, on the 3rd of July, I think the fighting stopped. By
20 mid-July was the Brian agreement and postponement of independence by
21 three months. Three months later, both Tudjman and Kucan proclaimed
22 independence anew. And sometime, I don't know the exact date, the --
23 Belgrade decided to withdraw the JNA from Slovenia --
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. -- and this was then carried out but they remained in Croatia
1 where we then had the siege of the JNA barracks by Croatian forces.
2 Q. Very well. Now coming back to November 1991, the date of this
3 document. At that time, again, the reference to an overall settlement,
4 by that point in time what were the prospects that an overall settlement
5 was going to involve a change of borders so that all Serbs could live in
6 one country?
7 A. Not at all. Because the treaty provisions for the convention did
8 not provide for this and it was in the international community a
9 really -- really a non-subject because at the same time the Soviet Union
10 broke apart and it was the Russians who insisted very much on borders to
11 be preserved. And I remember that my good friend Leonid
12 Kerestedzhiyants, who used to be the Russian ambassador in Zagreb, during
13 those years after Russian recognition was not welcome in Knin because
14 they considered him anti-RSK.
15 Q. All right. Now, today in your evidence - I'm looking at page 16
16 of today's transcript, roughly around line 14 - you were looking at the
17 Vance Plan. And the language about special arrangements in these areas
18 would of an interim nature and would not prejudge the outcome of
19 political negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Yugoslav
20 crisis. And then you were being asked whether this implied or could be
21 understood as some possibility of a -- of a final status.
22 Your answer was that the lines - this is the PAs - were meant to
23 define the responsibilities of the conference -- sorry, not the PAs. But
24 define the responsibilities of the conference on one side, which was
25 still Carrington conference, and UNPROFOR to be deployed. So that they
1 could -- sorry, so they should create the conditions under which the
2 conference would then negotiate the final settlement.
3 And you -- that's your reference there that I'm interested in is
4 the statement that UNPROFOR, the indication UNPROFOR was to create the
5 conditions under which final settlement could be achieved.
6 The question, Ambassador, is: What was the likelihood that --
7 well, was UNPROFOR ever able to create those conditions that were
8 envisioned, particularly in respect of demobilisation?
9 A. I think this is the picture which we have very often when they
10 would send troops abroad. A certain number of troops is requested and
11 much less are being sent and then this cannot be done. In Lord Owen's
12 book you'll find this for Srebrenica, where they made this mistake in a
13 very tragic -- with tragic consequences.
14 And this was at least the idea, and Vance and then -- his --
15 Ambassador Okun and the -- the -- the UN administration felt that this
16 could be brought about.
17 The conference on Yugoslavia, the EC conference, there was
18 definitely a wish by the Dutch, by -- by Foreign Minister van den Broek
19 to come to a final solution before the end of 1991. They wanted to do
20 this before Christmas. And in one of the press conferences and
21 declarations, somewhere in November it was even said that if there was no
22 final solution until that time recognition would be considered.
23 Q. Okay. On page 20 of today's transcript, you were being asked
24 about specifically do you have any knowledge or understanding about the
25 relative authority of Mr. Hadzic versus the JNA commanders who were
1 present in the territory.
2 And you said that you did not have such knowledge or
4 You did talk, however, about having met Mr. Hadzic in Borovo Selo
5 in September of 1991. If I recall correctly, your evidence was that
6 there was officer of the JNA who was also present?
7 A. If I remember well, this officer had come together with us to
8 Borovo Selo across the Danube. This is not something which I had
9 recalled but I think I have seen it in one of the -- the -- the films
10 which was shown to me. Then he would have come together with us from
11 Belgrade or have been on the other side of the Danube in Serbia. But
12 this military officer is seen greeting in that film with Mr. Hadzic and
13 then he sat in in our negotiations.
14 Q. And did he play any other role or -- I guess, the ultimate
15 question: Who signed? Did he sign or did Mr. Hadzic sign --
16 A. No. I think he didn't say a word, or very little. He just sat
17 there. And what we needed was Mr. Hadzic's signature. Not the signature
18 of that general.
19 MR. STRINGER: Could we please have P2889.
20 Q. Ambassador, we just looked at this a few minutes ago with my
21 learned friend. This relates to the Norway negotiations in November of
23 MR. STRINGER: If we could move to paragraph 4 and 5 on the next
25 Q. You were just asked some questions about the -- the suggestions
1 or the indication that there had been a leak and a breach of the
3 If we could focus on paragraph 5, here it's recorded a person
4 named Rakic is speaking on behalf of the Serb delegation.
5 A. He was a military from the RSK.
6 Q. He indicated that he believed it was -- well, that the president
7 of the RSK not being present was -- was -- he was justifiably not present
8 because there had been apparently some confusion about the time. And
9 then also the point that's already been alluded to about the president
10 was not sitting opposite his equal in rank.
11 Now, this was the third and final day of negotiations. Had
12 Mr. Hadzic been present on the previous days?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And would -- do you know if the rest of his delegation was
15 informed of the time that the Plenary was to take place here on the last
17 A. Well, I don't know how the Serb delegation was informed at that
18 time. But when the Serbs said that their president was not sitting
19 opposite his equal in rank, then the intention was always to bust the
20 negotiations because it was 100 per cent sure that the Croats would not
21 send their president to sit with the Serbs from Krajina.
22 Q. That may have answered my next and my last question, which,
23 having engaged in so many negotiations with so many leaders, what would
24 have been the impact of the head of the delegation not even appearing on
25 the final day's Plenary?
1 A. I mean, it was, I think, just a protocolarian impact and not a
2 political impact because at that time, the negotiations had already come
3 to an unsuccessful end.
4 There's, of course, one point. This was the last months of
5 Hadzic's presidency and I don't know in how far he was already aware of
6 the fact that he would be replaced by the, as I see it, more radical
8 Q. Very well.
9 A. Very -- two, three months thereafter.
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ambassador.
11 MR. STRINGER: Your Honour, I have no further questions.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Gosnell.
13 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I just have two questions on
14 redirect arising out of the questions.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please go ahead.
16 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
17 Q. Mr. Ambassador, you were just asked about the person, the JNA
18 officer who accompanied you to Borovo Selo on the 6th of September. And
19 you said that: He would have coming to -- with us from Belgrade or have
20 been on the other side of the Danube in Serbia.
21 Is my understanding correct that he was escorting you either from
22 Belgrade or from Serbia to Borovo Selo?
23 A. I don't think so. And I must say this was not my recollection.
24 I have seen this here on one of these films that he shook hands with
25 Mr. Hadzic coming from somewhere. I don't even know for sure whether he
1 came with us across the Danube or from somewhere else. But at least he
2 had not been stationed where we had these talks.
3 Q. So you had no indication that he was the JNA commander in the
4 area, did you?
5 A. No.
6 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 THE WITNESS: We met the JNA commander in the area. That was the
8 Osijek one. I don't think whether that was the same area, but maybe that
9 was the event of the 5th of October, the day before.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Your Excellency, this is the end of your
13 testimony. We thank you very much for coming to The Hague to assist the
14 Tribunal. I'm -- I must say that, and I'm speaking for myself because I
15 didn't confer with my colleagues, that your testimony was very helpful
16 in -- as I understood it. So thank you very much.
17 You're now released as a witness. We wish you a safe journey
18 home. The court usher will escort you out of the court. Thank you very
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Mr. President. If you allow
21 me one procedural point. I see this protocol here, this running protocol
22 on the screen, and in two instances I think the Defence and you yourself
23 have told me that there was an obvious error. There may be more such
24 errors so I cannot authorise this transcript.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: You are -- one, you are not authorising it,
1 Ambassador. And two, this -- this draft transcript is reviewed by
2 persons behind --
3 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I was -- thought so. Yeah.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: -- so it will improve. By all means.
5 THE WITNESS: Excuse me for the remark.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: No problem.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Stringer, is -- would it be useful to have
10 the next witness, if is he -- he or she is -- is it a he or a she?
11 MR. STRINGER: It's a he.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's a he.
13 MR. STRINGER: He arrived last night after an overnight trip,
14 Mr. President, and with the Court's permission, we would prefer to start
15 tomorrow. He is a relatively short witness, under 92 ter.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: No problem by that.
17 So then the court is adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.25 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 29th day of
20 August, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.