1 Monday, 10 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Tieger, please continue.
8 MR. TIEGER: Thank you Mr. President. And good morning to all.
9 WITNESS: VOJISLAV SESELJ [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger: [Continued]
12 Q. Good morning, Dr. Seselj.
13 A. Good morning, sir.
14 Q. Dr. Seselj, you may recall that when we adjourned on Friday we
15 were reviewing the interview of March 24th, 1991, which is 65 ter 25195.
16 MR. TIEGER: And if we could call that up again, please, and turn
17 to page 7 of the English and page 61 of the Serbian.
18 Q. Dr. Seselj, we had previously looked at an excerpt that
19 immediately preceded the one I'm going to turn you to, that was the
20 question about whether Europe was going to observe it calmly and your
21 response concerning Europe's unwillingness to go to war. And then the
22 passage continues. The questioner asks:
23 "You believe that the Serbian people are ready to go to war?"
24 And your response was:
25 "I believe that, with their genetic code, the Serbian people are
1 always ready to go to war."
2 And you continue:
3 "Every Serb is born as a soldier, and even Europe knows it."
4 Did that accurately reflect your position on the -- what you
5 regarded as the position of the Serbian people and their leadership in
6 connection with the options available in the event that events took a
7 turn contrary to the objectives or interests of the Serbian people.
8 A. This has nothing to do with any kind of position of the Serbian
9 leadership. This is just my personal position and perhaps the position
10 of the political party that I belong to. You see, sir, this interview
11 goes beyond the time of Mr. Karadzic's indictment, even beyond the time
12 of the indictment issued against me. So this is my constant opinion, my
13 view of the world, my view of the Serbian people, and so on, and that is
14 the truth. However, the Serb people is a very unhappy people too or very
15 unlucky. They did not have a good leadership when Yugoslavia started
16 disintegrating. They put their trust up the JNA that was not up to the
17 historical challenges of that time, and the Serb people were seriously
18 divided by internal rifts dating back to the Second World War, the
19 division between the Partizans and the Chetniks. This is a very tragic
20 division that caused a great deal of trouble amongst the Serbian people.
21 Q. And I also -- excuse me, I also want to ask you about the next
22 passage where the questioner asks:
23 "Can one reach a solution with cool heads and with rifles laid
25 And your response was:
1 "How is one supposed to negotiate with the Ustashas? Did you see
2 today that the Croatian people are entirely Ustasha? There are very few
4 And then you go on to give credit and honour to the residents of
5 Istria, Rijeka, and Kvarner.
6 Did that reflect your view at the time about the extent of the
7 Ustasha philosophy among the Croatian people? And secondly, since you
8 mention the time-period, did that position change over time?
9 A. First of all, this is not about Ustasha philosophy. There is no
10 such thing. This is Ustasha ideology, which is clerofascistic; clero
11 because it fully includes the Roman Catholic church in Croatia as
12 supported by the Vatican throughout, and also they wanted to build a
13 theocracy, and it's fascist because it is not based so much on the
14 Italian fascist regime under Mussolini but rather Germany's regime under
15 Hitler. Actually, in practice the Ustasha ideology outdid the Hitler
16 regime, Hitler had an industry of killing, whereas the Croats in the
17 Second World War loved killing, enjoyed killing. These are two rather
18 different things. From the point of view of this time perspective,
19 perhaps that is not important for the victims involved, but at that time
20 it was easier for a victim that was killed in an easy way, not involving
21 great suffering or without being subjected to torture. Within the
22 Ustasha Independent State of Croatia, people were not killed before being
23 terribly tortured beforehand.
24 So first of all, let us see what this is. It is not a
25 philosophy, it is an ideology. Franjo Tudjman is an advocate of that
1 ideology. First of all, he proved that in his book. It was called
2 "Bespuca Povijesne Zbiljnosti." He quoted the Bible, also the Old
3 Testament, trying to justify genocide. Already in the 1980s he announced
4 that he was dreaming of a new genocide, and then when he took power in
5 Croatia, then he first stated that the Independent State of Croatia, this
6 clerofascist creation from the Second World War, was an expression of the
7 historical aspirations of the Croatian people for statehood. And this
8 was even included in the preamble of the new constitution of Croatia. I
9 think that it was passed in December 1990. This regime openly declared
10 itself as an Ustasha regime, and this regime did not exactly win a
11 majority of votes in the election. As far as I can remember, it was
12 about 48 per cent. However, after having fully taken over all the reins
13 of power, he created this amazing euphoria among the Croatian people and
14 a vast, enormous majority of Croats followed that regime and his Ustasha
16 Of course there are exceptions and I respect these exceptions.
17 There are honourable and honest Croats who realised what a lethal
18 ideology that was even at the time. Actually, if you look at this
19 historically, ethnically, and linguistically, these are actually true
20 Croats from Istria, from the Dalmatian islands. These are Croats who
21 have still preserved the Croatian language, at least as their local
22 dialect, Chakavian. Our greatest problem were those Croats, who are
23 originally Serb, who became Catholics and then tried to prove that they
24 were greater Catholics than the pope as it were. They were artificially
25 incorporated in the Croatian national corpus and they hated the most
1 those that they originated from; that is to say, the Orthodox Serbs
2 because deep down in their hearts they know that they originate from
3 these same Orthodox Serbs. So this is the second part of my response to
4 your question.
5 The third part, Franjo Tudjman immediately after taking over
6 started resorting openly to Ustasha methods. Serbs were persecuted,
7 dismissed from work, especially from government jobs. They were
8 compelled to seek these so-called Domovnicas; that is to say, they had to
9 have documents issued to them stating that they were loyal citizens of
10 the Croatian state. He started taking away their apartments, persecuting
11 intellectuals. Many Serbs were beaten up. All of this was done with a
12 view to making it impossible for them to live peacefully in the territory
13 of the former Croatian federal unit. The Serbs felt what was going to
14 happen, that is why there was this great unrest, restlessness, and I was
15 aware of all these dangers that were there because of Tudjman's coming to
16 power. So to this day basically this is what I think.
17 Q. Thank you. And the last passage in this particular interview
18 that I'd like to ask you about is found at page 12 and page 65 -- page 12
19 in the English, and page 65 in the Serbian. And the question was asked:
20 "Finally, where is the end to everything that is happening to us
21 in the Balkans?"
22 And you stated:
23 "It is in the renewal of a free and independent Serbian state in
24 the Balkans, encompassing all Serbian territories, meaning in addition to
25 the present-day federal unit of Serbia proper, also Serbian Macedonia,
1 Serbian Montenegro, Serbian Bosnia, Serbian Herzegovina ..." et cetera,
2 as we see in the remainder of the passage.
3 Again, Dr. Seselj, was that an accurate reflection of your view
4 of the -- what the overall objective was and more specifically what
5 constituted the territories of the Serbian state that should be
6 established with all the territories?
7 A. That was my general objective, not the general objective of
8 Serbia or the then-Yugoslavia or the Serbian leadership or other
9 political parties. This is the programme objective of the Serb Radical
10 Party. We openly presented it in our programme when we established the
11 party. This is in the document founding the party, so no other political
12 party had an identical objective. So I am striving for the exclusiveness
13 of this political objective. Now, what stands behind this?
14 First of all, even before political parties were established in
15 the then-Yugoslavia, I publicly advocated allowing Slovenia to secede
16 from Yugoslavia. Slovenes did not want to live in Yugoslavia. Why would
17 we keep them there by force? If they wish independence, then they could
18 achieve independence and Serbian policy had to be in favour of them and
19 had to allow them to leave. Ethnically it's a rather homogenous state,
20 Slovenia. There are no border issues that were unresolved and they could
21 leave if that was the will of the Slovenian people. Croats could also
22 leave but not by taking away parts of Serb territory with them because
23 the Croatian federal unit after the Second World War was established with
24 the proclaimed consent of Croats and Serbs living within its boundaries,
25 stating that that was their federal unit. The Serb right of a
1 constituent people in the territory of Dalmatia, Croatia, and Slavonia
2 dates back to 1881, as far back as that, at the time when the
3 Vojna Krajina, the military Krajina, was established. That is an area
4 where Austria brought Serbs for centuries so that these Serbs would
5 defend them from Turks. Serbs enjoyed privileges there, there was no
6 feudalism, there, they were not serfs and so on and so forth.
7 Now, since the Turkish danger was no longer there, since Austria
8 occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sandzak of Novi Pazar - not fully
9 but they had their barracks there - there was no state reason any longer
10 for the existence of the Vojna Krajina, the military Krajina; however,
11 politicians on the Serb side, on the Croatian side aspired for unity.
12 They thought that if they were united it would be easier for them to
13 oppose the centralist efforts of Vienna and especially of Hungary and
14 they agreed that the Vojna Krajina would be part of Dalmatia, Croatia,
15 and Slavonia; however, that the Serbs would be a constituent people
17 Now, I hope that you will bear with me and I hope that you will
18 have enough patience to hear me out. You know what my problem is? For
19 one year and three months I have not been appearing in this courtroom in
20 The Hague, so I could hardly wait for this moment to come. Perhaps I'm a
21 bit too extensive in my answers; however, I hope that you will bear with
22 me, I hope that you will not interrupt me. One of your predecessors did
23 not really fair very well. He was very brazen, very impudent, and I hope
24 that -- and then he got what he had coming to him; however, I hope that
25 you are going to be all right as you have been so far --
1 Q. If -- if -- thank you. Perhaps we can reach some kind of
2 understanding about that. It's certainly not my intention to cut you off
3 and I appreciate -- what I think what is happening now is that you want
4 to explain the basis for the position that we just read about in that
5 interview and I appreciate the fact that there is a -- that you want to
6 elaborate a very considerable historical basis and with a lot of
7 knowledge about what happened that you want to share with the Court.
8 So I'm looking for a way to shortcut that because there are
9 various other portions of things that you said that I imagine you also
10 want the Court to hear about that I'm trying to get to in the limited
11 time that we have. So I'm trying to indicate to you when I think you've
12 conveyed to the Court what I believe is a sufficient basis for them to
13 understand your position. Of course I leave that up to you. I'm not --
14 I don't have the power to stop you or the authority, but the Court may
15 also want to ask you to allow an opportunity for further information to
16 be developed.
17 Here, in this instance, I think we've touched on a subject that
18 could be discussed at great length and consume virtually all the time we
19 have. If we could leave it at the fact that this is, if I understand it
20 correctly, your position and that you consider that there are very valid
21 and legitimate historical reasons for that position which you could
22 elaborate at length if there was sufficient time, I would like to move on
23 to the next topic. If you think there is a point or two that really
24 needs to be made in connection with this, that's another matter, but I
25 think the Court understands your view that this is not an arbitrary
1 position but that it is based on history.
2 A. Well, the main part of my answer that your question is yet to
3 come. You stated there which territories I consider Serbian. I would
4 like to give you reasons why I consider that for each territory very
5 briefly. You mentioned about a dozen --
6 Q. No, I -- I --
7 A. I thought it was important to you.
8 Q. No, I agree. But I think it would be extremely helpful if we
9 focused on Bosnia and to some extent Croatia since we're touching on
10 that, but primarily Bosnia rather than the other areas. That will
11 certainly be more efficient for us and more focused.
12 A. In the Middle Ages Bosnia was a small dukedom in the east of
13 Serbia. The original Serbia comprised the areas of today's north
14 Albania, today's Montenegro, Zaljune [phoen], Hum, and the Neretva
15 dukedom which is today's Herzegovina. Of course, there were Serbs living
16 outside these borders, but they were under Bulgarian rule and then
17 gradually they liberated themselves from Bulgarian rule. Medieval Bosnia
18 was clearly Serbian and by all Byzantine documents you can see it was
19 Serbian. At the time of the Nemanjics, the so-called Bogumili appeared
20 in Serbia, it was a sect inside the Orthodox church. A Stevan expelled
21 them into the small Bosnian dukedom, and later the pope went into a
22 number of crusades against the Bogumili and the main force in permitting
23 it were the Hungarians. The Serbs who then became Catholics with time,
24 under pressure gave, up their national consciousness. But only at the
25 end of the 19th century they were forced to declare themselves as Croats.
1 There is no document, historical document, showing that they were Croats
2 before that.
3 The Muslims are Serbs who during the Turkish occupation adopted
4 Islam. At the start it meant substantial privileges in society, but
5 later on it was no longer the case. You may have heard of the word
6 "balija." I never used that because it's a condescending term for the
7 Muslims, but the balijas were Muslims who were late in converting to
8 Islam and therefore were unable to get any privileges but remained serfs.
9 Dubrovnik has always been a Serbian town. Initially, that is originally,
10 it was a Roman town, but later on the Serbian population prevailed and
11 Dubrovnik adopted the Serbian language. Dalmatia --
12 Q. Dr. Seselj --
13 A. You're not interested in that?
14 Q. No, sir, it's not that I'm not interested, it's not that others
15 aren't interested it's only a matter of time. And with respect, I think
16 you're showing your academic background and providing all the details I
17 presume you would want students of this matter to understand in detail,
18 but I'm sure -- I'm very confident you're more than smart enough to
19 provide us with a summary, capsulisation, a quick response that
20 summarises your position without all the underlying arguments and facts
21 in response to any question like this. So rather than a tutorial on the
22 subject which I know is significant, which I know is vast, we just need
23 as quick an answer as possible. If the answer is: Bosnia was always
24 inhabited by people who were originally Serbs who converted to Islam
25 under some forms of pressure or for advantage, then you can say that.
1 But please, try to get us to the underlying point. Obviously if that
2 specific point is challenged, then you can provide the details that
3 support it, but I trust you will try to avoid the kind of extensive
4 lecture that might be suitable in another context.
5 A. At the time of the Austro-Hungarian occupation, the ethnic
6 majority were Orthodox Serbs and not Muslim until the genocide of the
7 Serbs in the Second World War. But where did this huge percentage of the
8 Muslim Serbs in Bosnia come from? After the Vienna war, the Muslim Serbs
9 withdrew from Hungary, Slavonia, Lika, and gathered in Bosnia. That is
10 the essence. After the Serbian uprisings in Serbia, the greater part of
11 the Muslim population left the so-called Serbia proper or the Serbian
12 dukedom and settled in Bosnia. That's why a greater concentration of
13 Muslims came about, greater than otherwise, or rather, elsewhere in other
14 countries that were -- or lands that were under Turkish occupation.
15 As for Croatia, it had a territory under the Cetina river, that
16 is in the hinterland of Split, up until the Gvozd mountain. The Croatian
17 historians proved as much. At the time of King Tomislav, the Dalmatian
18 towns from Split to Zadar had a Roman population also were part of
19 Croatia, and at the time of Petar Kresimir the IV, Slavonia also belonged
20 to Croatia but not the Slavonia that -- the capital of which is Osijek
21 but the Slavonia that is actually today's Croatian Zagorje. The Croats
22 fled these territories because the Turks were advancing and they settled
23 in central Europe around Vienna and today's Slovak president,
24 Mr. Gasparovic, is of Croatian descent. And the Austrian settled Serbian
25 population in those empty homes because they wanted reliable defence. We
1 Serbs as a people were divided to such an extent that on the one hand the
2 Christian Serbs defended Austria and on the other hand the Muslim Serbs
3 fought on the side of the Turkish empire in its conquests. Is it a bit
4 clearer to you now?
5 Q. I thank you for that response. As I indicated a little bit more
6 fulsome in detail than I would hope for, but I'm going to move on to some
7 of your other interviews at the moment.
8 MR. TIEGER: I tender those excerpts, Mr. President, and move on
9 to another document.
10 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes we will receive them.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6387, Your Honour.
13 MR. TIEGER:
14 Q. And, Dr. Seselj, we began on Friday with the March interview
15 during which you mentioned your support for Dr. Karadzic in the SDS in
16 March of 1991. I wanted to turn to another document that appears to
17 reflect your position on the same subject in 1995 and that's 40296.
18 You'll be familiar with that, that's the familiar with Laura Silber for
19 the Death of Yugoslavia documentary. And the relevant excerpt can be
20 found at time code 01:36:44 to 01:38:36 and can also be found at page 26
21 and 27 of the English.
22 JUDGE KWON: 65 ter number again, Mr. Tieger?
23 MR. TIEGER: 40296.
24 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any appendix?
25 MR. TIEGER: I can read it, I think. This is a videotape that I
1 imagine Dr. Seselj has himself seen before, so -- although I wanted to
2 provide him with an opportunity to see his words --
3 JUDGE KWON: I can't find anything with that number.
4 MR. TIEGER: I think it has an A at the end, 40296A, if that
6 JUDGE KWON: I think it had to be released.
7 MR. TIEGER: Okay. And if we can play that.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Well, what is even more typical,
10 what is interesting perhaps and what I haven't told anyone yet is this:
11 At one time while putting pressure on Karadzic, Milosevic tried to ensure
12 my presence at the Serbian Presidency but so that it would appear
13 unintentional. For example, he was meeting with Karadzic and then they
14 called me and I literally ran into Karadzic at his office door. Or the
15 conversation with Karadzic was ongoing when I arrived, a few polite words
16 were exchanged, and he left as I came in. It's as if he used my presence
17 to lend weight to whatever he said to pressure Karadzic. Of course,
18 after that, I either phone Karadzic or sent a message through some people
19 that this was out of the question, that it was out of the question for me
20 to support any pressure put on him.
21 "Then, Karadzic was genuinely surprised by Milosevic's decision
22 to blockade the Drina border. This was definitely an act of betrayal of
23 high treason, the likes of which has never been seen in all our history.
24 He thought that Milosevic would never do such a thing and he was
25 surprised by it for a few days but he quickly composed himself and
1 opposed it. You know, Karadzic has one advantage in politics that the
2 rest of us don't have, he's a professional psychiatrist.
3 "Well, I can't tell you what Karadzic said to me in confidence.
4 I won't do that because I'm a true friend of Radovan Karadzic as long as
5 he pursues this kind of politics. I will never tell you anything that
6 someone else might use against him or that might put him in an unpleasant
7 situation. What he told me in confidence remains ..."
8 MR. TIEGER: Stop that here.
9 Q. So first with respect to the comments you made we heard at the
10 very end, this interview, as I understand it, took place in March of
11 1995, is it -- would that reflect the fact that your support for
12 Dr. Karadzic continued into that time-period and that this accurately
13 reflected your position about Dr. Karadzic and your relationship with
15 A. The conflict between Milosevic and Karadzic has -- had been going
16 on latently from the first elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990 when
17 the Serb Democratic Party got the majority of votes of the Serbian people
18 and shared power with the SDA, the Muslim party, and the HDZ, the
19 Croatian party. The conflict was basically idealogical as far as I know.
20 Mr. Karadzic, who did not favour communism, at least not at that time,
21 you could even say I don't know if he will agree that he was also a kind
22 of an anti-communist, and Milosevic was still a prisoner of the communist
23 world view. He had in principle embraced democratic principles and the
24 reorganisation of the state but he still was inclined to leftist ideas
25 and that sort of tradition. I was on the -- I sided with Mr. Karadzic in
1 their conflict. That doesn't mean that I idealise him. I had a lot to
2 hold against him and I did, but I kept silent over some things to protect
3 the higher interest.
4 Q. Dr. Seselj, you mentioned that in connection with your conflict
5 that you mentioned the ideology of communism. You've previously stated
6 though in addition to whatever friction that caused that Milosevic didn't
7 like Karadzic's nationalism and that was part of the tensions between
8 them as well, at least as I understand it from what you've stated, and I
9 believe you stated it in this very interview?
10 A. Yes. That was one of the sources of conflict between them, but
11 there were others too. Milosevic pretended to be the leader of the
12 entire Serbian people and Mr. Karadzic rose to a great popularity in a
13 short time, and Milosevic didn't want anybody to be more popular than he
14 was, and so on. Those are the small weaknesses that we all have to some
15 extent; that is, each of us hides that more or less successfully. At any
16 rate, the tensions between Mr. Milosevic and Mr. Karadzic were ongoing,
17 they never stopped. What affected me most was Milosevic's blockade of
18 the RS. I then turned against Milosevic with all means, I never -- I
19 never picked my words.
20 Q. There's the translation finally trickling in.
21 At the same time, I understand that despite your dismay over the
22 actions that Mr. Milosevic took in connection with the blockade and the
23 tensions over the Vance-Owen Plan, that you were still willing to give
24 credit where credit was due. I know that you considered and you made
25 clear that you considered support for the Bosnian Serbs and the Serbs in
1 RSK an important and patriotic responsibility, and you gave credit to
2 Milosevic for the things he did do for the RS and the RSK prior to the
3 time of, for example, the blockade, stating again in this interview that
4 Milosevic provided a great deal of help. And, in fact, one can only
5 wonder where RS and RSK would have been without the help that he
7 A. Yes. Milosevic really provided a great deal of help without the
8 help of Serbia, neither the RS nor the RSK would have been able to
9 survive probably, but one thing is giving help, another thing is
10 assisting crimes. We see that the ICTY acquitted General Perisic through
11 whom all the military help was provided as well as Mr. Stanisic and
12 Mr. Simatovic, who also provided help. Whoever was in power in Belgrade
13 had to or would have had to assist the western Serbs like their leaders
14 or not. We know that Milosevic established the socialist party of the RS
15 to oppose the SDS of Mr. Karadzic. In 1993 there was an attempt of a
16 coup d'etat at Banja Luka. I --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Seselj, the interpreters were not able to catch
19 up with your speed, so could you repeat from 1993, attempt of a coup
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was an attempt of a putsch, not
22 a coup d'etat, in Banja Luka in September 1993. When that happened, I
23 went to the speaker's desk of the National Assembly and openly attacked
24 the military security service, then the League of Communists, the
25 movement for Yugoslavia, and one of Milosevic's ministers as the
1 organisers. The League of Communists, the movement for Yugoslavia was a
2 party which had some relations with Milosevic because Milosevic's wife
3 was among the leaders of that party. They didn't really like Milosevic
4 much because they were extreme communists. It was the so-called
5 generals' party. You heard of its establishment in 1990. The military
6 security service which was also involved and whose target Mr. Karadzic
7 always was and how did the SPS, Milosevic's party, react? They issued a
8 press release in which they called me a criminal, an alcoholic, and a
9 leftist. Okay. Call me a criminal, a war criminal, I can take that.
10 But how can I be an alcoholic, given that I hardly ever drink alcohol.
11 Nobody can really call me an alcoholic.
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. Okay. I think you've answered that aspect of the question. Can
14 I turn then to, since you've mentioned various organs of -- connected to
15 Mr. Milosevic to some of the concrete examples of support that were
16 discussed in the Death of Yugoslavia interview and let me see if I can
17 put those together and ask you about those. So the first one is found at
18 page 10 of the English and it's at 00:37:40 to 39:56. I'm sorry, for the
19 benefit of the record the clip ended the 01:38:41.4, that's the previous
20 clip we saw.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "When you received those weapons,
23 did that -- you said that in the regime that the regime gave weapons to
24 your party, I mean the volunteers. Was that in -- with the political
25 leaderships with Milosevic's knowledge or through the police and through
1 Vojislav Seselj?
2 "This was this was all done with Milosevic's knowledge, there is
3 no doubt about that. And the key people in the police with whom we
4 co-operated at the time were Radmilo Bogdanovic, Mihalj Kertes, and
5 others; Franko Simatovic, aka Frenki, who later commanded the Red Berets;
6 from the General Staff, we mostly co-operated with General Domazetovic,
7 who was the deputy chief of the General Staff and also at that time the
8 head of the personnel administration, if I remember correctly. There
9 were also contacts with lower-ranking officers and so on depending on the
10 need and the situation. Our volunteers came to Belgrade, the barracks in
11 Bubanj Potok. That is where we put on uniforms and where they were given
12 weapons and buses to take them where they wanted. They were under the
13 command of the Yugoslav People's Army as soon as the Yugoslav People's
14 Army became involved in the fighting. Until the battle in Borovo Selo,
15 the Yugoslav People's Army actually only protected the Croats when it was
16 apparent that they would lose a battle because they still thought that
17 Yugoslavia could be preserved. Until then, our weapons had come only
18 from the police; however, when Tudjman began to blockade the barracks,
19 attack the Yugoslav People's Army, kill officers and soldiers, and so on,
20 that is when the Yugoslav People's Army became involved in the clashes.
21 That is when we had a lot more weapons at our disposal and all our
22 volunteers fell under the command of the Yugoslav People's Army, always
23 where the situation was the most difficult because they were the most
24 disciplined and the bravest. They were -- they went where army units
25 were badly organised, untrained, and ineffective. This was especially
1 obvious during the battle for Vukovar because the army started out with
2 great power, with heavy weapons, and destroyed Vukovar, but it didn't
3 manage to achieve anything. Then they remembered that the town could not
4 be liberated or conquered in this manner so they engaged our volunteer
5 units to literally go street by street and liberate them.
6 MR. TIEGER: Another related clip found at page 16, 17 of the
7 English and 00 -- this ends -- sorry, and this clip ended at 00:39:57.1.
8 Now if we could go to 00:58:09 for a short clip.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Yes. Our volunteers were in
11 Zvornik, Arkan's volunteers were also involved, and there was another
12 formation there belonging to Zuco who was under the command of the police
13 and is now being tried for war crimes.
14 "How did this -- all this unfold? How did you decide to go?
15 Where -- were you were given an order from Belgrade? Were you asked by
16 the Serbian? How did it all happen?
17 "Vojislav Seselj: Yes, we were never given orders. We were
18 always asked, Milosevic asked us, Radmilo Bogdanovic asked us, some
19 general, Domazetovic, for example, or someone else said we need this many
20 volunteers for such and such a place and we gathered the volunteers
21 needed. When they said that they needed the most experienced men, we
22 took the most experienced. When they said those who are inexperienced
23 are acceptable because it is not very dangerous, then we sent the others.
24 This is the way it always happened.
25 "The reporter: Who was it at that time who asked you to send
1 units, was it?
2 "Vojislav Seselj: It was in May 1992. That's when I began to
3 meet with Milosevic frequently and each time Milosevic himself asked for
4 volunteers to be sent. It's not like we needed a lot of convincing. We
5 saw it as our duty, our obligation. It was only with regard to the
6 deployment where they were needed the most because they had the
7 reputation of being the bravest, the most capable, and the most
9 MR. TIEGER: And one more related clip at 1:05:25. And that's
10 found at page 18 of the English.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The reporter: The same way you
13 described why this is important for the Serbs, and if you describe could
14 you tell us what happened when you headed to Zvornik, who told you to go,
15 how did this happen?
16 "Vojislav Seselj: Well, in May 1992 Milosevic finally took
17 absolute control over the Yugoslav People's Army. This is when a new
18 constitution of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was declared and when
19 he formally actually and inherently became the main person in the state,
20 the man who decides everything. This Zvornik operation too was planned
21 in Belgrade and the Bosnian Serb forces took part in it as they had more
22 manpower. However, the special units and the most militant units came
23 from this side. These were police units, the so-called Red Berets.
24 These were special units of the Serbian State Security Service. They
25 were volunteers from the Serbian Radical Party, Arkan's volunteers, and
1 another smaller group of volunteers also under the control of the police.
2 The army was not very involved in this operation. For the most part it
3 provided artillery support where needed. The operation had been planned
4 for a long time. There had been lengthy preparations for it so there
5 were no anxious calls of: Hurry-up, we need this or that urgently.
6 Everything was well organised and carried out until the hostilities
7 ended. Later when looting began, no one was able to control it.
8 "The reporter: Whose idea was it and how well was it prepared?
9 "Vojislav Seselj: This was thought up by key persons from the
10 State Security Service including Franko Simatovic, aka Frenki. And he
11 was one of the persons who carried it out."
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. So, Dr. Seselj -- this ends at 01:07:09.4, the previous clip
14 ended at 00:59:37. So is it correct, Dr. Seselj, that these are examples
15 of some of the aspects of support provided by Mr. Milosevic and his
16 services both in Croatia and Zvornik on behalf of the Serbian efforts
18 A. In order for you to understand properly what I am talking about
19 here, you would need to read the entire interview and I'm surprised you
20 haven't already. I published the entire interview in one of my books and
21 I forwarded it to The Hague Prosecution in 2003. I forwarded the set of
22 all 80 of my books published by that time. You provided a number of
23 clips here and I'm not sure I remember everything. Firstly, as regards
24 the participation of the Serb Radical Party volunteers in fighting, there
25 were two stages. There was the stage which from the point of view of the
1 then-political and legal system could have been considered illegal. That
2 was the stage up until the Yugoslav People's Army took part in
3 operations. We covertly sent volunteers across the Danube and
4 transported weapons to them. Only during my case when General Pekic died
5 did I reveal that most of the weapons were procured by him in 1991 and
6 that it contained old M48 rifles, the Thompson automatic rifles, and some
7 Russian rifles. The weapons procured were actually to be decommissioned,
8 but he was an influential person, General Dusan Pekic, so he managed to
9 take it over from military warehouses without -- without any problem.
10 Why would I not say that to Laura Silber? At the time we talked
11 my main problem was Milosevic, the main threat was coming from him, and I
12 had a very critical position vis-a-vis his politics. I did not want to
13 refer to Dusan Pekic so that he wouldn't have to bear any consequences in
14 that regard. I protected his name until his death. Now that he is not
15 with us anymore, by mentioning his name I praised his historical role
16 without causing damage. As regards the Serb Radical Party volunteers,
17 all those who were part of the then-authorities in Serbia were full of
18 praise for our volunteers as the most disciplined and bravest. In terms
19 of our volunteers, no one could attach any criminal conduct to their
20 activities and no war crimes. I have been here for 11 years and yet
21 did -- they did not manage to dig up any connection between me and the
22 Serb Radical Party volunteers and specific crimes. That link is not
24 Milosevic, of course, had a positive position, he approved the
25 sending of our volunteers. Whether it was precisely the way I explained
1 in the footage or whether I stressed it to a larger measure to annoy him,
2 well I knew what kind of effect it would cause because at that time
3 Milosevic began approaching Western powers and he exercised pressure on
4 the RS government to accept the Contact Group plan. We parted ways with
5 Milosevic as early as 1993 because he accepted the Vance-Owen Plan.
6 That's when we definitely split up. As of 1993 until 1997 we were in
7 fierce conflict, such conflict in which at any point in time I had to
8 think whether I would live through it. I received direct caution from
9 top state security people who told me that my head, my skin, was at risk.
10 I had my own man in the state security. Since he died a few years ago I
11 can say his name, Misan Miletic, he was chief of one of the
12 administrations, and on several occasions he literally saved my life. He
13 told me do not go to this or that place, something was being set out. I
14 was quite well informed and I replied in equal measure or sometime even
15 double that. When I am under attack by the regime, I do not justify
16 myself saying that's not true.
17 I'll give you an example so that you can understand. The current
18 republican president Tomislav Nikolic twice said publicly that from The
19 Hague dungeon I ordered him to be killed which is not true. Had I been
20 in Belgrade I would not have -- I wouldn't have said that's a lie. I
21 would have said: Yes, I did commission his murder and he butchered
22 Croatian grannies in Slavonia. If you justify your position, you lose
23 your argument, but if you retaliate doubly so that steam is coming from
24 the ears of the person who falsely attacked you, then you win in the
1 Q. Thank you, although I think you could sense yourself that we were
2 beyond the precise focus of the question.
3 MR. TIEGER: I tender those excerpts, Mr. President.
4 MR. ROBINSON: No objection, Mr. President. But I note that we
5 don't have access to any transcript that Mr. Tieger was referring to so
6 perhaps he could sort that out in e-court.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I hope it to be released.
8 MR. TIEGER: Okay. Thank you and I'm sorry for that.
9 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it only those shown.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6388, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER:
12 Q. Dr. Seselj, I wanted to follow-up on something you said on
13 Friday, and that was found at transcript I think 39548 and you referred
14 to the fact that you set out an appeal, an open letter to the Muslims,
15 warning them of threats and appealing to them to avoid the events of
16 World War II when they were instrumentalised by the Croats. So I wanted
17 to turn your attention to a few documents that appear to be related to
18 that. And if we could turn to 25198, please. And let me just show you
19 two documents first and then ask you about those. This first one is an
20 interview on the 31st of May, 1991, first published in Pogledi and then
21 also included in your book Volume 23: "Politics as a Conscientious
22 Challenge." And there at page 2 of the English and 67 of your book, you
23 state --
24 A. "Politics as a Conscientious Challenge" or "... Challenge to
25 One's Conscience" is not necessarily the best translation.
1 Q. Okay. So there's a reference to:
2 "We have sent word to Izetbegovic and Cengic to stop playing with
3 their lives and not allow themselves to become a weapon of the Croatian
4 Ustashas again. We told them they should draw some conclusions from the
5 previous wars, because if they let history repeat itself, they should
6 know that, this time, it will be fatal to the Muslims, because us Serbs
7 shall no longer forget or forgive. Our revenge is going to be terrible
8 if the Muslims let themselves become a tool of the Croats."
9 And that was, as I indicated, in May of 1991, the end of May.
10 And if we could also turn to 65 ter 25199 --
11 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. If you don't mind, I
12 think it's important that he -- his questions be shorter and that he be
13 answering smaller bits because we heard a lot of clips including
14 interesting information about Zvornik, and then by the time the question
15 came around he never really got to answer anything about what had been
16 said in Zvornik because it was so comprehensive what he had seen before
17 he was even asked a question, so I think it's better to break it up so
18 that his answers can be complete and there's no misunderstanding that
19 he's accepted something without having explained it.
20 MR. TIEGER: Well, with --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to respond to that part of
22 the question that had to do with Zvornik because it seems to me now that
23 you devoted the greatest attention to that but then you stopped me and
24 did not allow me to give a direct answer to that. Do you remember that
25 question about Zvornik?
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. Yeah, I -- okay, Dr. Seselj, first of all, I have no intention,
3 believe me, of stopping any direct answers to the questions I pose. In
4 fact, I think the struggle has been the opposite. I've actually been
5 endeavouring to encourage you to focus on the questions. So by all
6 means, if you have something more to say about Zvornik, please do so.
7 Similarly, the only reason I'm putting two different passages to you here
8 is because they appear to be quite related and I thought that your
9 response to both would be the same and be assisted by seeing them both.
10 So first Zvornik if you have more to add to that.
11 A. Well, I didn't say anything to you about Zvornik so I have to
12 give a basic answer. There's nothing to add. It is correct that the
13 Zvornik operation was planned in Belgrade and the Serb Radical Party sent
14 about 100 volunteers to participate in that operation. The operation was
15 led by the JNA. This was operations group - now was it the 4th one? -
16 Operations Group Drina and its headquarters was in Gucevo, it's on the
17 right bank of the Drina.
18 Zvornik is a strategically important town. We had information
19 that Muslims there were armed to the teeth, that they had set up
20 paramilitary formations consisting of local criminals, and at one point
21 in time all Serbs had to escape from Zvornik. That's when the JNA
22 decided to intervene and they intervened with the following forces:
23 First, the reserve force of the police in Zvornik itself was mobilised,
24 then they also involved a tank battalion of a brigade that had arrived
25 from Jastrebarsko in Croatia whose commander was Colonel Tacic. Then a
1 special unit of the JNA from Pancevo was involved and its members were
2 Red Berets. You know that at one point in time there whenever people
3 said Red Berets everybody thought Frenki. It was only later that I came
4 to realise that these Red Berets were a military unit from Pancevo.
5 Afterwards, Captain Dragan showed up there in Divic once the fighting was
6 over with some soldiers in uniform who also had red berets.
7 Now, it was convenient for me to attack Frenki at one point given
8 this kind of awareness. However, later on I found out how things exactly
9 evolved. First of all, Arkan came in a police vehicle belonging to the
10 federal MUP and they even had those rotating lights. Also, Arkan was
11 paid to take part in the operation by the Crisis Staff of Zvornik. He's
12 the only one who was paid and he's the only one who entered the operation
13 independently. He was smacked right in the face, sustained certain
14 casualties. I think that happened on the 8th of April, if I remember
15 correctly, and on the afternoon of the very same day the JNA set out with
16 our volunteers and the rest and liberated Zvornik.
17 So I saw things clearly only after a while. This unit, the
18 Yellow Wasps, I said then that it was under the control of the police,
19 but actually later on I saw from documents that it was under the control
20 of the military security services at the outset because Zuca,
21 Vojin Vuckovic, Zuca; his brother Dusan, nicknamed Repic; Milorad
22 Vukovic, Legija; and Miroslav Bogdanovic arrived a day earlier in Zvornik
23 on a mission that General Nedjo Boskovic sent them on to arrest Pusula
24 who was a self-styled Vojvoda who sold weapons to the Muslims. The
25 Muslims captured them, then beat them up, and then they were freed
1 because the Serbs made it possible for a local police official from the
2 Muslim side to escape through Serbia and go to Hungary. That was the
3 precondition. And Zuca's unit was established only after Kula Grad fell.
4 Now, was that on the 23rd of April when the JNA withdrew, when our
5 volunteers had already withdrawn too, Zuca on the spot established that
6 unit and included it in the Territorial Defence and commanded it. This
7 unit was beyond anyone's control and at one point in time they even
8 arrested Brano Grujic, the president of the municipality of Zvornik, and
9 this was totally unlawful. They tied him and carried him through town.
10 Perhaps I've clarified things a bit more for you now.
11 Q. Well, I wanted to give you that opportunity.
12 Now I wanted to turn back to the document that I had just showed
13 you and, if I may, a document that appears to be related which was
14 65 ter 25199. Okay. And this was an interview that was with you
15 published in "Der Spiegel" and subsequently published in Tanjug press,
16 and it was dated August 8th, 1991, so it's somewhat after the one we
17 looked at previously. And there we see the following. You were asked --
18 and this is at page 2 of the English and page 12 of the Serbian. The
19 question was:
20 "Q. You threatened Muslims with revenge if they enter a coalition
21 with Croats. Don't you think that the resistance to Serbian occupation
22 would be expected?
23 "A. Muslims in Bosnia are Islamised Serbs and a part of so-called
24 Croats are Serbs of Catholic religion. Tito forced a million Serbs of
25 Catholic religion and the whole of Yugoslavia to pronounce themselves as
1 Croats after the war.
2 "And if Muslims opposed the attempt to be deprived of a nation
3 status" --
4 A. This is bad. Bad translation here. Tito forced a million Serb
5 Catholics to declare themselves as Croats, not as Serbs as is written
6 here --
7 THE ACCUSED: Could we have page in Serbian, please.
8 JUDGE KWON: I don't --
9 MR. TIEGER: I think --
10 JUDGE KWON: I didn't follow because of the overlapping.
11 Mr. Karadzic, what did you say?
12 THE ACCUSED: The interpreters are objecting. They don't see the
13 Serbian page and they can't translate.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, could we see the B/C/S page, Mr. Tieger? We
15 are not -- I don't think we are on the correct page in terms of B/C/S.
16 MR. TIEGER: I have it as page 12 and I don't see that as -- and
17 that's what I tried to indicate when I identified the location of that
19 MR. ROBINSON: There's only five pages in e-court in the Serbian.
20 MR. TIEGER: Okay, sorry, it's also page 2 of the Serbian. So
21 page 2 of the English, page 2 of the Serbian.
22 Q. And I think you can see it at the upper left-hand portion of the
23 page if that can be enlarged a bit. And I'll just -- and I think what
24 you heard, Dr. Seselj, was because of the problem the interpreters just
25 noted a mistranslation of what I said which basically conformed to what
1 you said; that is, Tito forced a million Serbs of Catholic religion to
2 pronounce themselves as Croats after the war. Then the question was
4 "Q. And if Muslims opposed the attempt to be deprived of a nation
6 "A. In that case they will be expelled from Bosnia.
7 "Q. To where."
8 "A. To Anatolia."
9 So these two interviews appear to be your positions at the time
10 regarding the -- something you told us about on Friday, that is, you're
11 threatening the Muslims about what would happen if they sided with the
12 Croats in the dispute with the Serbs; is that correct? Are those, in
13 fact, related to what you told us about on Friday?
14 A. First of all, bear in mind that this last interview is not quite
15 authentic. This is an interview I gave to Renata Flottau in the Serbian
16 language. She knew Serbian quite well but not perfectly, so then that
17 was translated into German. Then the Tanjug news agency translated that
18 from German into Serbian. And then now you had this translated from
19 Serbian into English. So this did change the meaning in certain parts.
20 However, what matters and what can be seen from my other speeches
21 and so on directly given in the Serbian language - and that is authentic
22 and you had one such text from Pogledi - that I threatened that terrible
23 things would happen in Bosnia if a war were to break out. Actually, this
24 was a cry on my part. In 1991 I had a big rally in Banja Luka where I
25 also called upon the Muslims not to go to war against the Serbs, that
1 they would suffer the most of all in such a war, and they did suffer the
2 most of all. Out of 100.000 victims, between 60- and 70.000 are Muslims.
3 And these Croats who used them at first for their own interests attacked
4 them from the back in 1993, and I was quite right. This is a year before
5 the war in Bosnia, so what is my objective there? My objective there is
6 to talk Muslims out of a war at all costs, and that meant by saying to
7 them that they should not secede from Yugoslavia because any secession
8 from Yugoslavia would invariably lead to a war. Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 could not secede from Yugoslavia without the Serb people wanting that
10 because the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina were a constituent people
11 on the basis of the constitution; that is to say, that without their
12 consent status could not be changed as such.
13 If agreement is reached between Orthodox Catholic and Muslim
14 Serbs that Bosnia-Herzegovina be constituted as a federal unit and that
15 it have three constituent peoples, now all of a sudden two could not join
16 against the third one and say none of that works any longer and off we
17 go. You cannot do it that way. So this was a year before the war.
18 There are some threats in these speeches, but they are calculated threats
19 so that war would be averted. You will not find anywhere that I was the
20 one who wished for a war. I really wished for us to avoid a war in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina quite sincerely. You can see that from that letter,
22 this appeal to Serbs of the Islamic faith in the beginning of March 1991.
23 You could have found that, it's in the first issue of Velika Srbija and
24 it is part of my case file.
25 MR. TIEGER: Let me tender those, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE KWON: Two interviews?
2 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Any objections?
4 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive them separately.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibits P6389 and P6390 respectively,
7 Your Honours.
8 MR. TIEGER:
9 Q. And, Dr. Seselj, you refer to a possible issue surrounding the
10 "Der Spiegel" article but refer to speeches you'd given. Perhaps then
11 it's useful to turn to 25197 which is a speech of June 4th, I believe, an
12 election campaign speech in Rakovica on June 4th, 1991. And at page 3 of
13 the English and page 64 of the Serbian, again this is another speech
14 that's found in your book, you say the following:
15 "Could the Bosnian pan-Islamists fight a war against us Serbs?
16 Recently we told them: Do not let the Muslim majority become a tool of
17 Croatia like it did in World War I and World War II. Take care, and do
18 not interfere in the Serbo-Croatian conflict. If the Croats use you
19 again, Serbian revenge will be terrible, and you will end up farther than
20 Anatolia, Turkey."
21 And at page 15 of the English and page 74 of the B/C/S we find
22 the following passage:
23 "Us Serbs have forgotten and forgiven too much in history. We
24 have told the Croats should they ever again resort to genocidal
25 activities against the Serbian people, not only shall we take revenge for
1 every victim but we shall also settle scores for the victims from
2 World War I and World War II. However, we have not threatened them yet.
3 We have not attacked a single Croatian village. We have only defended
4 the Serbian villages. If we are not present in some villages or we are
5 unable to defend them, we shall take revenge wherever the Croats are the
7 And then you conclude:
8 "We speak the language of force, the language of power, because
9 the Serbian people are strong and powerful only when Serbia is united,
10 when the Serbs are united."
11 So it's correct then, if I'm reading this correctly, that the
12 positions that were outlined in the interviews we saw before and which
13 were just admitted were also reflected essentially in contemporaneous
14 speeches you were giving at the time; is that right? Those appear to be
15 essentially the same positions?
16 A. No. That is not fully correct. That's why I drew your attention
17 to the interview that was published in German. If you look at a number
18 of other interviews of mine, it is my claim that the Bosnian
19 pan-Islamists will not stop until Anatolia and not all Muslims, but it
20 was probably easier for the journalist to write Muslims in the context of
21 pan-Islamism. My threat was directed to the pan-Islamists who had
22 assumed the leading role in the Muslim population of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 and as regards the Croats I also threaten to make them desist. It is not
24 our goal to kill all Croats, but it's a warning. Do not play with fire
25 because this might happen. This was what I had been warning of all the
1 time in order to prevent war and not wishing for war. That was the
2 situation when we talk about Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 MR. TIEGER: I tender that document.
4 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
5 MR. TIEGER: And, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Are you suggesting that you admit it in its
7 entirety, Mr. Tieger?
8 MR. TIEGER: I'm -- I know the practice has been to admit the
9 relevant pages which -- to which the witness's attention are drawn. I'm
10 certainly content to follow that practice. I'm content either way.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, unless there's any specific necessity, we'll
12 admit only those pages shown to the witness. Yes, we'll admit it.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6391, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue.
15 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. We looked at an excerpt earlier that described the Serbian lands
17 and what encompassed Serbian lands, and that was during that discussion
18 where we started to talk about Macedonia and then we focused on Bosnia.
19 I wanted to ask you a few more questions about the -- both the scope of
20 what constituted Serbian land in Bosnia and what the basis was. And in
21 that connection I wanted to turn you to a couple of documents that appear
22 to refer to a -- an explanation for identifying what portions of Bosnia
23 might constitute Serbian land. And the first one is 65 ter 25200. This
24 was a television interview conducted on the 6th of December, 1990, for TV
25 Belgrade and it is contained in volume 18 of your book: "The Scythian
2 And if we turn to page 8 of the English and page 10 of the B/C/S,
3 and let me clarify immediately so there's no confusion that we'll see
4 that this excerpt refers to Croatia and not Bosnia. I'll ask you if the
5 underlying rationale is any different for Bosnia. And here you say the
6 following -- and after indicating that the Serbian Chetniks are
7 constantly telling Tudjman and the authorities in Croatia not to play
8 games with the Serbian people, and then you say:
9 "That is the Serbian territory, populated by the Serbian people,
10 and we shall never allow it to be separated from its mother country. The
11 Croats may separate themselves from Yugoslavia, in other words they may
12 have an independent state, may merge with someone else; however, they
13 must know at all times that at all costs, at the price of new rivers of
14 blood, we shall not let them separate any territory that contains Serbian
15 villages, Serbian mass graves, Serbian slaughter-houses, Serbian pits,
16 Serbian camps, Serbian Jasenovacs, destroyed Serbian churches, we shall
17 never allow that."
18 Now, Dr. Seselj, is it correct that the reference to mass graves,
19 slaughter-houses, camps, Jasenovacs, is a reference to the genocide of
20 World War II and an assertion that in areas where those events took
21 place, those were Serbian areas and could not be under the authority of
22 in this case the Croatian authorities?
23 A. Yes. These are Serbian territories. Unfortunately, currently
24 they are occupied by Croatia. Croatia was able to occupy them in 1995
25 with immediate American help. American generals commanded the Storm
1 operation and the Belgrade regime did not move a finger to help the local
2 Serbs and to stop that aggression because the Belgrade regime first and
3 foremost was looking for ways to liberate the Federal Republic of
4 Yugoslavia of sanctions. Of course, in 1990 this was my presentation on
5 Serbian Radio Television during the electoral campaign. I ran for the
6 position of president of the republic, and that's when I stated that. In
7 another interview, I spoke about the ways of punishing the Croats for the
8 crimes committed in the Second World War in the way that peoples and
9 states are punished. In other words, not for us to commit a genocide but
10 to punish them by taking territory. I suppose that you found that but
11 it's probably not convenient for you to ask questions about that,
12 Mr. Tieger.
13 And here too I threaten them: Don't do that. But when the war
14 began you won't find me saying anywhere: Go ahead and kill now, go ahead
15 and kill the same way they were killing us. You won't find that in any
16 speech of mine.
17 Q. I'm focusing for a moment on the scope of the territorial claims
18 and what constitutes the -- what constitutes Serbian territory and why.
19 So let me ask you it -- was the rationale vis-a-vis Bosnia the same; that
20 is, where crimes of genocide had been committed against Serbs in Bosnia,
21 that that also constituted Serbian land?
22 A. First of all, you didn't understand my previous answer. The
23 essence is that Serbian lands are in the areas where there is a Serbian
24 majority, and then the accent was put on burnt Serbian villages, expelled
25 Serbian population, Serbian churches, Serbian cemeteries, and so on. All
1 that was on Serbian territory. Jasenovac is Serbian territory because
2 all around it there was Serbian villages. Only in 1995 the area was
3 vacated when the Croats expelled the entire Serbian population of the
4 western parts of Serbian Krajina. It was Serbian, all that, and it will
5 become again one day because this Croatian team cannot last forever. It
6 will be our sons or our grandsons who will achieve that, but we'll never
7 give up on that goal, even if we have to wait for a hundred years. We
8 will reclaim what was Serbian and we will reclaim the Serbian Krajina.
9 In Bosnia-Herzegovina I didn't put forward such positions because
10 the situation was different. In Croatia, apart from Orthodox Serbs and
11 Catholic Serbs, there are also Croats and Slovenians, that is Kajkavians,
12 upon whom Croatian national consciousness was imposed. The original
13 Croats, the Chakavians and Kajkavian Croats, were the ones toward who we
14 had no pretensions. If -- we just wanted for the Serbian lands to remain
15 part of truncated Yugoslavia if they decide to leave. That was part of
16 the programme of the Serbian Radical Party. Not one radical spoke about
17 Greater Serbia at the time. In Bosnia-Herzegovina it's inhabited
18 exclusively by Serbs, over 90 per cent of the population is Serbian as I
19 told you. There may be some Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, Ukrainians, they
20 were mostly made to declare themselves Croatian, but there are also Roma,
21 5 to 6 per cent. But over 90 per cent are Serbs.
22 Q. I think you're repeating yourself now. I think you explained
23 that on Friday.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Yes?
1 JUDGE KWON: I am seeing the clock. We are going to take a break
2 until 11.00. How much longer would you need?
3 MR. TIEGER: Very, very little, Mr. President. I hope -- I mean,
4 I'm loathe to make an estimate, but I can't imagine more than 15 minutes
5 at this point, and I would hope I could conclude sooner.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll have a break for half an hour and resume
7 at two past 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Tieger.
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. And if I could tender the
12 relevant page of 65 ter 25200. I believe that's page 8 of the English
13 and page 10 of the B/C/S.
14 JUDGE KWON: We'll also admit the first page as well. Shall we
15 assign the number.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6392, Your Honours.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you.
18 Q. And, Dr. Seselj, one more question about the issue of what
19 standards or underlying principles determined the identification of
20 Serbian territory. And in that regard I'd like to look at a video-clip,
21 and that's found at 65 ter 40628A. The entire speech is at 19:07:00
22 through 20:36 and this is a clip from that exhibit.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "There are no frontiers between
25 Serbs. The speech of Dr. Vojislav Seselj, president of the Serbian
1 radicals, drew special attention of the visitors. In his speech, Seselj
2 reminded the visitors that Republika Srpska and the republic of Serbian
3 Krajina are the pride of all Serbiandom. The Serbian people west of
4 Drina is a victor on the battle-field but cannot lose the battle at the
5 green negotiating table as their enemies and foreign agents will desire.
6 The people in the Republika Srpska should not be afraid of any threats
7 and the Drina shall never be the border since the Drina is a river
8 running through the centre of Serbia, said Vojislav Seselj. The Drina
9 will never be the border. The Drina is a river running through the
10 centre of Serbia. Muslims and Croats do not represent a threat for us
11 for a long time -- have not represented a threat for us. Only brothers
12 and sister Serbs there shouldn't -- should be no hesitation, no waiting
13 or truce. The next time they strike, we should finish them off so they
14 never strike back."
15 THE ACCUSED: I have an objection about translation. I'd rather
16 speak in Serbian.
17 [Interpretation] The last sentence has not been well translated.
18 Dr. Seselj did not say so they never strike back. He said so that they
19 can never strike, whereas strike back is to return a blow.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
21 Shall we continue.
22 MR. TIEGER: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Dr. Seselj, I take it since we have the benefit of actually
24 seeing you on screen that that reflected your position about the
25 territory that properly belonged to the Serbs at least with respect to
1 either side of the Drina; correct?
2 A. Yes. I still think and I will continue to think that way as long
3 as I'm alive that the Drina is a river flowing through the heart of
4 Serbia, through the centre of Serbia. It's a central Serbian river.
5 There can be no doubt about that. The existence of an artificial border
6 means nothing. That border cannot be permanent. It's here today and
7 will be gone tomorrow. Nobody can permanently fragment the Serbian
8 people and divide it between countries.
9 Secondly, I here take into account how many truces had been
10 signed with the Croatian federal unit. As long as the Croats are
11 advancing, all doors are open to them. Once they are beaten they
12 suddenly insist on a cease-fire. But there have been no such situations
13 anymore. About Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslims strike at the area around
14 Sarajevo, the Serbs launch a counter-offensive and take Igman and
15 Bjelasnica, and Bjelasnica is the dominating mountain in that area.
16 When the Muslims strike from Bihac, they attacked the RS from
17 behind its back which was in 1994. As long as they were advancing,
18 nobody in the west had a headache. When the Serbs in their
19 counter-attack drove back the Muslims to their original positions and
20 when there was a danger of them being totally eliminated as a military
21 factor, then there were threats of bombing, then the ex-US
22 President Carter came to Pale to persuade Dr. Karadzic to stop the
23 offensive and so on. I was always against such tactics.
24 If the war was imposed on us, then we should defeat the enemy in
25 that war. What was bad and the JNA strategy at the beginning of the war
1 was the stop and go, stop and go tactics. That was fatal for the
2 interests of the Serbian people. If war is imposed on us we must defeat
3 the enemy so he can never attack us again, and that obviously means that
4 he must be finished off militarily, but not destroyed as an ethnic or
5 religious or any other group. Here I spoke about militarily defeating
6 the enemy, and if there had been no meddling of Western countries and
7 constant pressures and bombings, then the Muslim army would have been
8 defeated and the Croatian army too and then peace would have been built
9 that would have guaranteed the rights of Orthodox Christians, Catholics,
10 and Muslims equally because we are a historically oriented people. As
11 for the Muslims, they were a privileged class for centuries and they
12 would like to have the same kind of position in an independent Bosnian
13 state because they are a relative majority there. And the Croats have
14 always been the allies of Napoleon, they waged war with him in Russia.
15 Then they were the allies of Hitler, and in the first world war they were
16 the worst criminals in the ranks of the Austro-Hungarian army. They
17 always sided with the most negative forces of the-then world and served
18 their interests. There is no example of the Croats fighting for
19 democracy in all of history. Look at the news of this morning.
20 Magdeburg, the capital of Saxonia, is in danger of being flooded now.
21 You must hear this, Mr. Tieger, it's very important.
22 During the wars in Silesia - you may have heard of them, it's one
23 of the last religious wars in Europe. It was a war between Catholic
24 Austria and Protestant Prussia aided by Sweden. In that war the Croats
25 as a special detachment of Austrian soldiers massacred all of Magdeburg,
1 women, children, every living soul. And there are testimonies of that
2 and you can find that in literature. You can see more about that in my
3 book the "Ideology of Serbian Nationalism." You can see it on my web
4 site and it was published in English too.
5 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I would tender that clip.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
7 MR. TIEGER:
8 Q. Dr. Seselj, that exhausts my --
9 A. It would be important to give a date.
10 Q. Please --
11 JUDGE KWON: No, just a second.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The date of this speech should be
13 important. I don't know, I mean -- but you should know.
14 JUDGE KWON: Please do not overlap when the others are speaking,
15 Mr. Seselj. Just a second, just a second --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand why --
17 JUDGE KWON: We'll assign a number for this.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6393.
19 JUDGE KWON: And you may proceed about the date, Mr. Seselj.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. Yeah, I'm only in a position to date it contextually, Dr. Seselj.
22 So by all means if you know a more precise date --
23 THE ACCUSED: Transcript.
24 MR. TIEGER:
25 Q. -- please feel free to provide it.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about a date. I'm
3 interested in you saying it. I think it's important because then we can
4 bear in mind the circumstances under which this speech occurred. Second
5 of all, Mr. Kwon, I understand when you caution me not to overlap with
6 other speakers, but when you at that point in time are being interpreted
7 by the interpreter by raising their voice at me, I don't think it makes
8 any sense. I think interpreters should be emotionless and interpret very
9 flatly. But if you raise the tone, the interpreter raises the tone. I
10 don't see any sense in that.
11 JUDGE KWON: The interpreters are trying very hard to convey in
12 the words spoken by the interlocutors.
13 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 40, line 21, we can't see who
15 comprised these special detachments of Austrian soldiers. What is
16 missing is that the Croats were in those special detachments.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
18 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER: That, as I was -- I had begun to indicate, that
20 exhausts my time for cross-examination and that concludes the
21 cross-examination, Mr. President, Dr. Seselj.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a few, Your Excellency.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Dr. Seselj, today at page 15 of today's
2 transcript you were asked something about Milosevic's assistance. Can
3 you tell us whether the federal state was under an obligation to protect
4 us, the citizens, of the SFRY and to assist us?
5 A. Yes. It was under an obligation but it acted too late. It was
6 too late to react in the territory of the former Croatian federal unit.
7 Had they reacted in time, they could have completely disarmed the units
8 illegally established by Tudjman or, perhaps, to withdraw their forces
9 from Zagreb, Varazdin, and other towns which are objectively speaking
10 Croatian. But on the other side we had a traitor, General Kuzmanovic who
11 handed over an entire garrison in Varazdin with over 150 tanks. In
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the JNA also hesitated. The war with Croats in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina began as early as 1991. They occupied the area of the
14 so-called western Herzegovina. The line at which they confronted the JNA
15 was the river Neretva, Mostar on one side of the Neretva saw JNA units
16 and on the other side there were paramilitary Croatian formations. It
17 was the basic duty of the JNA to preserve the constitutional order and
18 territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Yugoslav state was much too
19 late in reacting. That is why it was not successful.
20 Q. Thank you. At page 21 you were asked about Zvornik. Can you
21 tell us the date when the SFRY ceased to exist and the FRY was
23 A. The FRY was established on the 27th of April, 1992, after the
24 second part of the battle which occurred on the 6th or 7th of April and
25 the second part of the battle for Kula Grad on the 23rd of April. That's
1 when things were concluded. However, the JNA had an international
2 obligation to withdraw from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina until the
3 19th of May I think. When the fighting stopped in Zvornik, the JNA
4 withdrew immediately.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you know then or do you know now what was my
6 role, my participation in the activities in Zvornik in early April?
7 A. You had no role to play there at all. You did not have any power
8 to exert any influence. Your party did -- was in power there in
9 coalition with the Muslim parties, the coalition broke up, and your power
10 in the context of JNA activity - I hope you won't hold it against
11 me - but was close to zero. There was a moment I need to mention.
12 Biljana Plavsic who at the time was a member of the Presidency of the RS,
13 I think, came to Zvornik trying to talk the local Crisis Staff into
14 paying Arkan to come to Zvornik from Bijeljina where he had already gone
15 to and with her blessing. You know, Mr. Karadzic, that throughout the
16 war Biljana Plavsic was not being able to be tamed, she led her own
17 isolated policy, and I frequently said that she was not a sane woman and
18 that she should be prevented from appearing in public. I hope you recall
20 Q. Thank you. That was one of the reasons of our disagreements.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you are not giving evidence. Is that
22 a question?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Was that one of the reasons for our disagreements and did we
1 always agree on everything or only on the most fundamental issues?
2 A. No, Mr. Karadzic, we did not agree on everything during the war.
3 For example, when you reached an agreement with Mato Boban, president of
4 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, when you entered an alliance
5 against the Muslims with him. I came to Pale trying to convince you that
6 we should ask for an alliance with the Muslims against Croats, and I
7 appeared on Radio Pale the same day or the day after and openly in that
8 broadcast I was in favour of an alliance with the Muslims because I
9 believed that in this war too they were manipulated and that it was the
10 issue of survival for both Serbs and Muslims to find a common language.
11 I also knew that at the moment the Croats could not be trusted and that
12 they were only waiting for an opportunity to endanger the Serb Orthodox
13 and Muslim interests. And from today's point of view, I still believe I
14 was not wrong in believing so.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me whether we agreed or disagreed with
16 regard to preserving Yugoslavia, with regard to nominating
17 Biljana Plavsic, and several similar issues in which you criticised me,
18 although you did support me in the most fundamental of issues?
19 A. There were no disagreements on the issue of preserving
20 Yugoslavia. I was always more radical and more nationalist in terms of
21 Serbhood than you have ever been. I guess you will acknowledge that.
22 However, we both wanted to preserve Yugoslavia if possible, at least a
23 Rump Yugoslavia, and to avoid war. Our meetings before the war were
24 largely dedicated to that issue. We both wanted to avoid a war in
1 As regards Biljana Plavsic, I guess you will remember,
2 Mr. Karadzic, a day in 1996, an entire day, at Koran [phoen] in your
3 residency or office -- it was a large room in any case. I was trying to
4 persuade you. I was there with Tomislav Nikolic, Nikola Poplasen, Mirko
5 Blagojevic, and my close associates trying to persuade you not to
6 nominate Biljana Plavsic on behalf of your party, to run for the
7 president of the republic since you were prevented from running. And I
8 used the same words: She is mad. She will ruin everything and cause
9 much trouble. And yet you wanted her nominated, having in mind that
10 there was a deep rift between her and Milosevic and that Milosevic could
11 not use her against RS, but a mad woman is a mad woman. Not only did she
12 find a common language with Milosevic, but she actually went completely
13 the other way. She became an enemy of Republika Srpska, she ruined it.
14 And then she came to The Hague where she was indicted for war crimes and
15 then she begged, she made agreements, plea agreements with the
16 Prosecution, she was difficult in -- she had difficulty in jail. She had
17 problems with being in -- imprisoned with prostitutes in Sweden. I
18 always thought she was dishonourable and abnormal and amoral and that's
19 why I tried to persuade you unsuccessfully, unfortunately.
20 Since the SDS remained -- stood fast with its decision to have
21 Biljana Plavsic run, we did not propose our candidate in order not to
22 split up the vote of the Serbian people. That year I held over 40
23 pre-electoral rallies in Republika Srpska and at several such rallies
24 there were always two US security officers from the Sarajevo embassy.
25 They asked for a meeting with me after one of the rallies, perhaps in
1 Teslic. Nikola Poplasen was there as well and someone from the
2 Main Staff of the VRS. Those American officers kept telling me that it
3 would be a good thing for me to run for the RS president since I was born
4 in Sarajevo and they said it would be possible and that I would stand a
5 better chance of winning than Biljana Plavsic. I saw through their ploy,
6 and you can find evidence of it all over, although I had no time to tell
7 you of it. I was talking to them and later at the meeting I said what I
8 had in mind about the -- about Americans, they got their own share right
9 after the meeting with them, until they realised that nothing would come
10 of it. We never wanted to split up the Serbian vote, and that is the
11 only reason why we then supported your candidates.
12 Also, there was something that I held against you very much.
13 During the 40 rallies, we never received any publicity on Serb
14 television, so you, your party too, wanted us to have as little influence
15 over RS citizens in order to get as few votes as we can, as possible, and
16 still we received many. So you had the interests of the SDS in mind,
17 whereas I had the interests of the Serb Radical Party in mind, and that
18 was the cause of some friction. However, during the war none of us had
19 any moral right to engage in inter-party conflict.
20 Q. Thank you. Despite our mutual respect, when did we run together
21 at some elections in Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina?
22 A. It was late, only in 1998, by which time you were already under
23 the radar, and we had an agreement with the leadership of your party,
24 Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Kalinic, as well as some of my associates, we had a
25 meeting in Loznica where we agreed that our two parties would nominate
1 joint candidates at the forthcoming presidential elections. The deal was
2 that the candidate for the president of Bosnia-Herzegovina would come
3 from your party, Momcilo Krajisnik; the candidate for the president of
4 Republika Srpska, the joint candidate, would be Nikola Poplasen from our
5 party; and the candidate for deputy president or vice-president of
6 Republika Srpska would come from your party, the Serb Democratic Party,
7 Mr. Sarovic. Our coalition received many votes but -- and it was our
8 candidate for the RS president who was elected. Unfortunately, your
9 candidate for a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
10 Mr. Krajisnik, was not elected.
11 There was another interesting thing that took place then. A key
12 role in your position was held by Aleksa Buha at the time, former teacher
13 at the school of humanities in Sarajevo who was the minister of foreign
14 affairs, and he tried to convince me that all three candidates should be
15 from your party, yet he was unsuccessful. He became quite upset with
16 your party then and resigned, I believe. From that moment on he was no
17 longer politically active as part of the SDS. So even in your party it
18 didn't go down all too well.
19 Q. Thank you. Now that we're on the topic of elections, tell us
20 briefly, how did it happen that Krajisnik lost? Who did he lose to and
21 who did President Milosevic support?
22 A. President Milosevic supported Zivko Radisic, the leader of the
23 Socialist Party of Republika Srpska. He enjoyed great support of the
24 Serbian media and probably received financial assistance as well. I have
25 no doubt to question that although I do not have specific evidence. That
1 party had better resources, financial resources, than two of our parties
2 together and he won against Krajisnik. Biljana Plavsic was over the top
3 and the Serb people were really fed up with her and they could hardly
4 wait for the next round of elections to be rid of her.
5 Q. Thank you. Your then-deputy who is the current Serbian
6 president, Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, together with you, did he have any
7 insight into the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, did he have any direct
9 A. Yes, we did it all together. If I was involved in war crimes,
10 then my direct co-perpetrator or accomplice was Mr. Nikolic, there's no
11 doubt, Mr. Nikolic. But, Mr. Karadzic, I proclaimed him a Chetnik duke
12 in May 1993 and he is preparing to visit Josipovic, the Croatian
13 president, in June in Croatia, and it will be very interesting to see on
14 TV how a Chetnik duke, Mr. Nikolic, is lining up the Croatian Ustasha
15 guards, very interesting. The entire leadership of the Serb Radical
16 Party did its utmost to assist the Serbian people in Republika Srpska and
17 the RSK. Tomislav Nikolic for a month or two was a volunteer in
18 Slavonia. Our general secretary, Aleksandar Vukic, before entering the
19 party was Slavko Aleksic's volunteer at the Jewish cemetery, and then he
20 was withdrawn to work on TV Pale, the Serb TV, because it turned out he
21 was quite skilled in it. And when he returned to Belgrade to try and
22 take whatever exams he had left at the school of law, then he enrolled
23 into our party. So there was no doubt that all members of the Serb
24 Radical Party leadership were very patriotic in their beliefs and that
25 they did their utmost to help the RSK and the RS; that is to say, the
1 Serbs who lived there who fought for their bare survival.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: I think that we are going a bit too far. I was
4 wondering how this line of questioning arises out of the
5 cross-examination of Mr. Tieger. I just note that. Please proceed.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. I'm
7 going to drop that subject. But Mr. Tieger referred to this support and
8 these relations between Dr. Seselj and myself, so I wanted to shed full
9 light on all of that because our mutual respect may portray an image of
10 some alliance which came into being only in 1998.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In relation to that, Dr. Seselj, between the two of us, was there
13 ever a joint criminal enterprise with the objective of removing Muslims
14 on a lasting basis from our ethnic areas?
15 A. There was no joint criminal enterprise and none of us wanted to
16 remove Muslims on a lasting basis from the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
17 truly suffered and I'm sorry to this day because Muslims were brought
18 into this situation of being manipulated and because there was a war
19 between the Orthodox and the Muslims and the Catholics in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. War could have been avoided had Izetbegovic wanted
21 that. Even Milosevic had reached an agreement with Izetbegovic, namely,
22 that Bosnia and Herzegovina remain within a Rump Yugoslavia, that the
23 Muslims have the status of a constituent people in this Rump Yugoslavia,
24 and that Izetbegovic should be the first president of such a Yugoslavia.
25 However, then the Americans persuaded Izetbegovic not to accept that, so
1 it was subsequently that he gave up on this agreement and went into war.
2 There was this Muslim political party called the Muslim Bosniak
3 organisation, I believe, that was headed by Muhamed Filipovic, a member
4 of the academy, and I'm not sure I'm going to remember the name right
5 now, a prominent Muslim emigrant from the communist times who lived in
6 Switzerland, but right now his name escapes me. It doesn't really
7 matter. They understood that it was best for the Muslims to remain in
8 Yugoslavia together with the Serbs because what we Serbs wanted, that is
9 to say for all Serbs to remain within the boundaries of a single state,
10 meant at the same time that all the Muslims would remain within the
11 boundaries of one state. Because if we Serbs are divided up now, so are
12 the Muslims. Because about 100.000 or 200.000 of them live in the area
13 of Raska, the so-called Sandzak; about 100 to 150.000 of them live in
14 Kosovo and Metohija; and 100- or 200.000 in the area of Macedonia, I
15 cannot remember exactly right now; then there quite a few of them left in
16 Montenegro; in Belgrade there are almost 100.000 Muslims, and so on and
17 so forth.
18 So had we remained in a common state we could have agreed on
19 everything together and we could have lived together as equal citizens.
20 There are no language differences among us. We also have a single
21 history irrespective of the different roles we played in that history,
22 and I think that that would have been the best solution. However,
23 unfortunately that solution did not happen. From the west they wanted to
24 have a war, they succeeded in doing that, and that is why everybody fell
25 victim, Serbs and Croats and Muslims. Muslims were the greatest victims,
1 that's for sure, that's a fact. They had to fight against the Orthodox
2 Serbs and those Catholics who called themselves Croats.
3 Q. Was there a war of Muslims against Muslims?
4 A. Yes, in the area of the so-called Cazinska Krajina. There was a
5 war between Fikret Abdic who wanted to preserve Yugoslavia and the
6 followers of Alija Izetbegovic. I think that was called the 5th Corps of
7 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that's what the Muslims called their
8 army. And at one point in time this war led to the expulsion of part of
9 the Muslim people through the republic of the Serb Krajina all the way up
10 to Croatia because the 5th Corps managed to take all of the
11 Cazin Krajina.
12 This 5th Corps was receiving supplies from the West and also from
13 the Croats, ammunition, weapons, food, et cetera. Also I have to say
14 that we Serbs assisted Fikret Abdic. Our objective was to have this
15 reasonable option among the Muslims prevail. You know that at the first
16 elections after the fall of communism it was Fikret Abdic who won the
17 majority of the Muslim votes, a lot more than Alija Izetbegovic. And
18 then as a true gentleman he let Alija Izetbegovic become the first
19 president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina because Alija
20 suffered under communism for no reason whatsoever, of course,
21 irrespective of his ideology; and secondly, Alija had a strong political
22 party, the SDA. Abdic as a name was very popular, but he did not have a
23 strong political party that would have followed him.
24 Q. Thank you. If there was no joint criminal enterprise for the
25 Muslims to be removed on a lasting basis from our parts, did you have any
1 knowledge or did you have any views on what the reason was for the major
2 movement of the population during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina from one
3 area to another?
4 A. Well, first of all - how do I put this? - there was this, I
5 should say, natural division of the population. Not a single Orthodox
6 Serb wished to remain in territory that was under Muslim or Croat
7 control. Also, there were quite a few Muslims who wished to remain under
8 Serb control and indeed did so. Serbs, on the other hand, allowed
9 inhabitants of Republika Srpska to live wherever they wished, whereas
10 Muslims forced Serbs to stay on as hostages and would not allow them to
11 leave the territory that was under Muslim control. As a matter of fact,
12 they even forcibly mobilised them into their army and some were also
13 mobilised into these so-called work detachments and sent them to the
14 front line to dig trenches because that is -- it was -- that is where it
15 was easiest to get killed.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. I'll tell you one more thing, in the Serb army there were quite a
18 few Muslims. For example, in Bijeljina I think there were even two
19 brigades consisting of Muslims that took part in the war. They were
20 members of the Army of Republika Srpska if memory serves me well.
21 Q. Thank you. These Muslims and Catholics in a Great Serbia, as
22 conceived by you, would they be national minorities?
23 A. No, no. According to our programme, the programme of the Serb
24 Chetnik Movement, the Serb freedom-loving movement which is our name from
25 the 23rd of January, 1990, as far back, then the Serb Radical Party that
1 we established on the 23rd of February, 1991, we have been advocating
2 national unity and brotherly concord between Serb Orthodox, Serb Muslims,
3 Serb Catholics, Serb Protestants, and Serb atheists. So from a religious
4 point of view we have always been very tolerant. The Hague OTP has an
5 enormous number of our documents available and that can be seen on the
6 basis of these documents. No one had the intention of denying anyone any
7 kind of religious freedom. As a matter of fact, I personally was a
8 friend for many years with the Belgrade mufti, Mr. Hamdija Jusufspahic
9 and also we had Sulejman Spaho amongst our ranks for a long time, and he
10 was a member of one of the most famous, glorious Muslim families. And
11 between the two world wars, one of his ancestors established a political
12 party of the Muslims who spoke the Serbian language. Also, another
13 important thing, when King Aleksandar abolished national political
14 parties, when he established the so-called dictatorship of the 6th of
15 January, and then when political parties were renewed, then it was Mehmed
16 Spaho who, together with his Yugoslav Muslim organisation, acceded to the
17 Serb radical community of Milan Stojadinovic; that is to say, there was
18 this Serb Peoples Radical Party, the Yugoslav Muslim organisation, and
19 the Slovene organisation, and they all together comprised the radical
20 alliance. So this is part of the tradition of the Serb radicals, this
21 kind of attitude toward the Muslims.
22 Q. Thank you. However, in this kind of Greater Serbia -- in this
23 kind of Greater Serbia, there would certainly be some minorities. What
24 would their position be? Could they live as equal citizens in this kind
25 of Serbia?
1 A. Our programme documents guarantee full rights and freedoms to the
2 members of national minorities, and within our own political party we had
3 quite a few members of national minorities. We had members of parliament
4 who were ethnic Slovaks, ethnic Hungarians, ethnic Bulgarians, and so on
5 and so forth. I declared an Albanian a Chetnik Vojvoda, Mujo Bunjaku was
6 his name. He took part in the fighting in Mostar in 1992, and he went
7 there under the name of Oliver Denis Baret, but he was an Albanian and a
8 Chetnik Vojvoda later.
9 Q. And my last question, Dr. Seselj, you spoke about language. Do
10 you remember who admitted the Croats into a linguistic union with the
12 A. Your relative, Vuk Karadzic. You hail from the same region, if I
13 remember that correctly. You share the same surname. In 1850 in Vienna
14 a meeting was held between prominent Serb and Croat intellectuals. On
15 the Serb side it was Vuk Karadzic and Djuro Danicic and on the Croat side
16 it was Ivan Mazuranic and a few other prominent intellectuals. Croats at
17 the time did not have a literary language at all. It was agreed then
18 that the Croats would accept the Serbian literary language as their own
19 and that everyone was supposed to work for national unification which
20 actually meant unification of Serb Catholics and Serb Orthodox. However,
21 as soon as they took over the Serb language as their own, the Croats
22 started changing it artificially and this led to an artificial language
23 being spoken in Zagreb today on the basis of the Serbian language.
24 Q. Thank you for your testimony, Dr. Seselj.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions,
1 Your Excellencies.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 Well, then that concludes your evidence, Mr. Seselj. On behalf
4 of the Chamber, I thank you for your testimony.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE KWON: I take it the next witness is ready, Mr. Robinson?
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, he is, Mr. President.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you hear me?
12 JUDGE KWON: Oui.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Do you speak French? I shall
14 read it out in French since I am French. I solemnly declare that I shall
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: YVES BATAILLE
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Bataille. Please be seated and make
19 yourself comfortable.
20 Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please proceed.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Bataille.
24 A. Hello. Yes, good morning to you, Mr. Karadzic.
25 Q. Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
1 A. Yes, I did. I provided a statement indeed.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D95272 in
5 MR. ROBINSON: It's 25272.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Dr. Bataille, do you see before you the statement that you have
8 given? Do you see it on the screen?
9 A. Yes, I can see it.
10 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
11 A. It is indeed a statement which I have read and which I have
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
15 the last page so that he can identify his signature.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's my signature.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said
19 to the Defence team?
20 A. This statement overall coincides with what I have said. Overall,
21 that's right with a few details which might be different, perhaps.
22 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today,
23 would your answers basically be the same?
24 A. Yes, yes, without any doubt whatsoever. When I'm being asked
25 questions on important subjects, I answer and I don't change my mind.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this statement and these
3 documents be admitted into evidence according to 92 ter?
4 JUDGE KWON: Any objection?
5 MS. IODICE: No, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE KWON: I take it you're tendering one associated exhibit?
7 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive them both.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours the statement 1D25272 will be
10 Exhibit D3669 and 1D25007 will be Exhibit D3670.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
13 Now I'm going to read out a brief summary in the English
14 language. It's a summary of Mr. Yves Bataille's statement.
15 [In English] Yves Bataille is a French academic and author. His
16 wife is Serb -- a Serb and born in Serbia. In 1991, when he owned a book
17 store in Paris, he met Serbs in the diaspora and got interested in the
18 former Yugoslavia as the area became embroiled in the conflict. In about
19 1992, Mr. Bataille founded the Serbian French association. Mr. Bataille
20 was the president of this association.
21 On 17th and 18th of July, 1995, he met President Karadzic in
22 Pale. They spoke about the position of the French government in
23 particular and the international community in general on Bosnia. During
24 the meeting, Dr. Karadzic received a fax from the United Nations. It
25 indicated that the United Nations had been satisfied with the evacuation
1 of civilians from Srebrenica. Mr. Bataille published this fax in an
2 article he wrote in the "National HEBDO" weekly newspaper at the end of
3 July and the beginning of August 1995.
4 During his meetings with President Karadzic, there was no
5 discussion about prisoners from Srebrenica being been executed.
6 President Karadzic was relaxed during the meetings and gave no indication
7 that there had been any crimes committed in Srebrenica.
8 [Interpretation] That would be the summary. At this point in
9 time, I do not have any questions for Mr. Bataille.
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
11 Mr. Bataille, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
12 case has been admitted in writing, that is, your witness statement. Now
13 you will be cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the
15 Yes, Ms. Iodice.
16 Cross-examination by Ms. Iodice:
17 Q. Good morning, sir.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. I see that you have some papers in front of you. Is that your
20 statement or is there something else?
21 A. It's my statement.
22 Q. Are you --
23 A. Well, and a few notes. Why? What's wrong?
24 Q. There is nothing wrong, I just would like to know whether you
25 need to consult with your notes during your testimony or --
1 A. The way you put the question might have implied that there was
2 something wrong. I close the brackets.
3 Q. No, but if you need to consult your notes, please inform the
4 Chamber and the parties before doing so.
5 A. I don't need to look at my notes, so it's a problem for you and
6 if it is a problem I can set them aside.
7 Q. No problem.
8 A. Fine.
9 Q. Sir, you consider yourself a nationalist; right?
10 A. I'm a Frenchman.
11 Q. You have defined yourself as a nationalist to interviews to
12 newspapers; right?
13 A. Well, we should define the term. A nationalist is someone who
14 not only defends his nation but also its sovereignty and independence.
15 And therefore I can define myself as a nationalist according to this
17 Q. And you also consider Dr. Karadzic a Serb hero; right?
18 A. I do think that Radovan Karadzic is a "srpski junak."
19 Q. And that means hero?
20 A. It means what you have just said, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. And the same goes for Vojislav Seselj; right?
22 A. Yes, the same goes for Vojislav Seselj, absolutely. And I would
23 like to add something. My testimony will be a testimony regarding facts,
24 regarding things that I have seen, that I have heard, and I have
25 absolutely no hatred or no animosity towards the different parties which
1 were present during the Yugoslav war. I must way that this war was
2 imposed and supplied in a way from abroad.
3 Q. Thank you. And I would like now to call up your interview which
4 is 65 ter 25120, and in this interview which is dated 15th of November,
5 2008, you stated - and I'll wait until it comes up, if we could go to
6 page 2 in French and the end of page 3 and beginning of page 4 in
7 English --
8 A. What did I say?
9 Q. In the interview you stated that this Tribunal is a new
10 inquisition charged with continuing the war through other means. Is
11 that -- do you stand by that?
12 A. Yes, that's correct. My father was a French magistrate, and he
13 was an advisor at -- for the appeals court of the French republic. And
14 when I showed him a few things about this Tribunal - and let's not forget
15 that this Tribunal was set up by the United Nations, and when I talk
16 about the United Nations, I mean the United Nations and the influence of
17 a small group, and we'll come back to this later on. But coming back to
18 my father, my father told me: This is a legal nonsense. It is a
19 Tribunal that changes its rules, a Tribunal which is supposed to judge
20 conflicts in a country and the Tribunal doesn't know that country, it
21 doesn't know the culture, it doesn't know the mentality apart from a few
22 exceptions. It is very difficult to judge a conflict from a national
23 point of view. So can you imagine at an international level we are
24 talking about an ideology. This Tribunal is put under the influence of
25 an ideology, and this ideology is globalisation.
1 Q. Thank you. I believe you have answered my question. And I would
2 like also to ask you whether you stand by what you said in the same just
3 a little below this first sentence. You say that:
4 "The ICTY is not an independent jurisdiction as it wanted us to
5 believe. This is a Tribunal of convenience financed at the beginning by
6 George Soros and commercial interests, a quasi Tribunal that has
7 conducted and continues to conduct the Anglo-Saxon ritual of politics
8 trials of Serbs whose only crimes was to resist Moloch."
9 Do you stand by that?
10 A. Well, I absolutely stand to what I've said and to what is
11 written, and you have just quoted something that might suit you, but it
12 doesn't bother me at all.
13 Q. And in this interview you also praised the association 1389. Did
14 you know that the Serbian prosecutor's office has requested that this
15 association be banned because it spreads national, racial, and religious
16 hatred, bigotry, and active intolerance against minorities, and this is
17 from 65 ter 25115. Did you know that this is a racist association?
18 A. I totally disagree with the way you have defined the association
19 1389, and let me tell you --
20 Q. That is not -- that is not my definition. I'm sorry if I
21 interrupt -- that's the definition of --
22 A. Well, it's the definition you've just given. But the problem is
23 that you might not know that there is not one association but this is the
24 association 1389 which is the date of the Kosovo battle which was held in
25 1389, but there are three 1389 associations and not just one. The
1 Serbian government is being pressurised by the "international community,"
2 in bracket for international community, because the people who claim to
3 represent the international community do not really represent the
4 international community, but they claim that they do, and the Serb
5 government has threatened. But has it dismantled this association? Do
6 you know this for a fact?
7 Q. Sir, I believe you have -- I believe that your answer is that you
8 do not deem that this association is racist; right?
9 A. We're talking about a Serb nationalist association. If you
10 introduce some adjectives, you're trying to ruin an association, a group
11 of people. I've asked you a question, Madam, and you never answered my
12 question. I've asked you something. You're talking about this
13 association 1389. I've asked you if it was dismantled.
14 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, but you are here to answer the question,
15 not to ask the question.
16 Please proceed, Ms. Iodice.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, but I've
18 just been given one of my interviews, it's an interview that I gave some
19 time ago. I'm being told incorrect things. And I think that I'm
20 perfectly entitled to correct what is being said. She's talking about an
21 association. I'm asking her whether the association has been disbanded
22 or not and this is my right.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, absolutely you can clarify whatever you like,
24 but you're not supposed to ask questions to the Prosecutor.
25 Please, let's carry on.
1 MS. IODICE: Thank you. I'll move on.
2 Q. And apart from meeting with Dr. Karadzic, you also were in touch
3 with Dr. Vojislav Seselj; right? And you helped him get in touch with
4 the leader of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen is that right?
5 A. When I heard that they wanted to meet each other, of course I
6 played the go-between. But this is not an innocent question that you're
7 asking me.
8 Q. So I take you did -- your answer is yes, your answer to my
9 question is yes?
10 A. I also played the go-between between Brigitte Bardot and an
11 association for the defence of animals in Belgrade. So why aren't you
12 talking to me about Brigitte Bardot. This is not a question on my -- for
13 my part. It's just a comment that I would like to make.
14 Q. Sir, I'll ask you questions relevant to this case. That's why
15 I'm not asking you Brigitte Bardot.
16 So you met with Dr. Karadzic for the first time in Pale on the
17 17th of July, 1995; is that right?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. And he gave you medal; is that right?
20 A. He gave me a medal, absolutely, and I would like to show you this
21 medal. Here it is --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
23 Ms. Iodice, we didn't hear you because of your overlap with the
24 translation. What -- could you repeat your question.
25 MS. IODICE: My apologies, Your Honour. I asked whether he met
1 with Dr. Karadzic and then I asked whether Dr. Karadzic gave him a medal.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue.
3 MS. IODICE: Thank you.
4 Q. And then in paragraph 11 of your statement --
5 A. May I say something about this medal? It is not an award medal.
6 Radovan Karadzic was in his office. He opened up a drawer and here --
7 there there was this medal which is the angel of Malisevo on one side and
8 on the other side you have the symbol for Republika Srpska.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The witness is kindly
10 asked not to overlap. Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: So because -- for the benefit of the interpretation,
12 could you put a pause between the question and answer. Very well. Thank
14 Yes, Ms. Iodice.
15 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. So in paragraph 11 of your statement you say that during those
17 two brief meetings that you had with Dr. Karadzic, he did not discuss the
18 executions in Srebrenica with you. In your experience, do people who are
19 involved in mass crimes confess their crimes at first meetings with
20 strangers? Is that your experience?
21 A. Could you please rephrase your question because I did not
22 understand your question or it might be a question of translation.
23 Q. Did you meet many people who were later accused of committing
24 crimes against humanity or war crimes and mass atrocities?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So you cannot really say whether someone who's accused of such
2 crimes would discuss the commission of these crimes with the -- a
3 stranger, during a first meeting with a stranger; right?
4 A. I must say that this is a very biased question and this is a
5 difficult or unfair question. I see that I cannot talk about my meetings
6 with Radovan Karadzic in his office. We left on the 17th with the driver
7 of Radovan Karadzic. We left the Bosna Vila in Belgrade during the
8 afternoon and we arrived in Pale in the Famos factory which was the
9 building of -- for the government of Republika Srpska. And let me remind
10 you that Radovan Karadzic was the founding father of this republic. I
11 was asked to wait in a room, and after a short while I was taken to his
12 office and I was there in order to assess the situation or to become
13 acquainted with the situation.
14 Q. That was not my question so I'll move on, but if you would please
15 focus on my question.
16 My next question -- I'm sorry --
17 A. No, no, no, no. I'm sorry. Please. Then put me or ask me clear
19 Q. Sir --
20 A. You've asked me if I had previously met war criminals. This is
21 what you've asked me. You asked me if I had met war criminals, so I
22 would like to put the terms "war criminals" in brackets because the whole
23 Serb people has been turned into an evil and is now deemed as a
24 collective war criminal. Of course I've met many war corrals. The man
25 of the street, political people, academic people, journalists, and I
1 might be also a war criminal.
2 Q. Sir --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could Ms. Iodice tell us whether on
6 the 17th of July I was already indicted for the Srebrenica events, as is
7 implied in her question. Her question implies that by that time I had
8 already been indicted for that crime.
9 MS. IODICE: That's not correct I said --
10 JUDGE KWON: We'll move on.
11 MS. IODICE: I'd like to point out I said later accused exactly
12 for that reason. So I'll move on.
13 Q. And during the meeting with Dr. Karadzic you received a
14 fax - that's what you say in your statement - you say he received a fax
15 from the United Nations. Was it Dr. Karadzic who told you that that
16 document which is P3997 represented the position of the United Nations on
17 the events in Srebrenica?
18 A. I must say that it might be a funny question that you've asked
19 me, it might be funny if we were not in such a context because at the
20 bottom of the document there was the signature of the United Nations --
21 or you might be talking about another document. I'm talking about a fax
22 that was received and given to me. I must say that I didn't really give
23 it a lot of attention at the time, but when these propaganda or
24 anti-Radovan Karadzic campaign started, anti-Serb campaign started,
25 anti-Serb from Bosnia started, this is when I started paying more
1 attention to the document. This document had been signed by the
2 representative of the United Nations in Srebrenica. It was also signed
3 by the civilian -- the leader of the civilian authorities for the Bosnian
4 people, and it was also signed by a representative of the Serb people.
5 So I guess that this can be seen on the said document.
6 Q. Yes.
7 MS. IODICE: And I would like to call up P3997.
8 Q. Sir, do I interpret your answer correctly that you assumed that
9 that was -- that what you saw on that document was the position of the
10 United Nations?
11 A. Could I see the document? Could I see the whole document? Can
12 you scroll down or do I do it myself?
13 Q. No, no --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see where does it say that
15 it was the position of the United Nations?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness be asked
17 not to overlap. Thank you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
19 I see the stamp of the United Nations which is on the left-hand side of
20 the document.
21 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat what you said just now.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see on the left side a
23 United Nations stamp if I'm not mistaken.
24 MS. IODICE:
25 Q. Correct. So what I -- my question for you is: Did you assume
1 that that was the position of the United Nations on the events in
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
4 JUDGE KWON: What is your objection?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The sense is not presented
6 correctly. That's not what the witness said. He said exactly what we
7 can read in paragraph 10. It has to do with the evacuation of civilians,
8 not -- he does not address anyone's position on the Srebrenica events.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At least that's what I understood.
10 The evacuation of the civilians which unfolded properly.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please not overlap.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Bataille.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The position --
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Because of your overlap, the
15 interpreters are having a difficult time to hear to interpret your words.
16 I don't think there's much difference, but yes. You can
17 reformulate your question, Ms. Iodice.
18 MS. IODICE:
19 Q. Sir, when you saw that fax, did you believe that the
20 United Nations was informing Dr. Karadzic that the evacuation of the
21 civilian population had been carried out correctly?
22 A. My presence in Pale and Republika Srpska was not due to this
23 document. This document was provided to me by chance when it arrived.
24 It is dated 17th of July, the day I was actually there. Now, whether --
25 well, I did read it afterwards in the evening, and when I returned to
1 France I realised that this document does have the UN stamp on it but
2 also a signature which is that of -- which international organisations
3 are able to recognise. I've got nothing special to say about this
4 document. I came to Pale to see what the situation was like, what the
5 climate was like, and how people were reacting at the time.
6 Q. Sorry, if I --
7 A. This document I --
8 Q. If I may interrupt you. Again, we're straying away from the
9 focus of my question. And -- so I would like to ask you now, when you
10 went back to France you saw what Le Monde and Liberation was publishing
11 at the time, correct, about Srebrenica; correct?
12 A. Well, Le Monde and Liberation, you have some interesting
13 references. Le Monde and Liberation and even Le Figaro had been carrying
14 the events in Bosnia for a while already and in an oblique manner. I
15 wasn't born yesterday and I know what propaganda methods are all about,
16 in particular American propaganda methods and public relations
17 organisations that follow the Americans. And it was natural that these
18 media carry "information" which was provided to them, very often wrong
20 Since we are on the topic of these newspapers, these same
21 newspapers published the so-called satellite pictures of mass graves in
22 football-pitches. I'll get back to this question later if I have the
23 opportunity to do so. So you are quoting well-known international or
24 French papers, well-known on the international stage, but that changes
25 nothing. You haven't mentioned La Croix. When I returned to France I
1 read an article on Srebrenica based on the -- an ICRC document based in
2 Geneva entitled: "Were there 8.000 dead in Srebrenica?" It so happens
3 that in the days that follow, the figure remained but the question mark
4 disappeared. And what was a question became a statement and a media
5 bombing. Sorry, I graduated from a school of journalism and I know how
6 the media works and I know how the media has evolved over the last few
8 Q. Thank you. And after you saw those articles you wrote your
9 article that is now Exhibit -- that is number 1D25007 and that's been
10 exhibited with a different number at this stage and -- if you could wait
11 for my question.
12 A. [Overlapping speakers]... you're referring to?
13 Q. In this article you referred to the articles you saw in
14 Liberation and Monde, and I would like to show you 65 ter 25228. This is
15 an article from Liberation dated 24th of July, 1995, and recounts the
16 testimony of one of those who escaped from the mass killings in
17 Srebrenica, one of the survivors. Is that one of the articles that you
18 refer to in your article as false?
19 A. I probably read this article quickly. Once again, what is
20 written is not written in stone and what I'm concerned about is about
21 deciphering what is written every time there is an important conflict. I
22 would like to say that the Yugoslav war was a laboratory for the wars
23 that followed. In Libya, in Syria at the moment, because the same modus
24 operandi was used and the press --
25 Q. Sir, if I could stop you there.
1 A. -- spreads false news.
2 Q. That goes beyond my question. So I would like to go back to
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
5 JUDGE KWON: Please concentrate on answering the question,
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, if I'm to be
8 concentrated, the questions must be clear and accurate, which is not the
10 JUDGE KWON: If you can't answer the question, just say so. Then
11 Ms. Iodice will ask you again or with some explanation.
12 Let's continue.
13 MS. IODICE:
14 Q. Sir, this is your article --
15 A. That's what I asked a while ago. That's what I asked a while
17 Q. This is your article and in this article you can see that you
18 refer to articles from Liberation and Le Monde, and you say:
19 "If we are to believe Liberation and Le Monde, there were
20 veritable chainsaw massacres in Srebrenica at the beginning of the
22 A. Yes, so.
23 Q. The article that I have shown you from the 24th of July from
24 Liberation is the article that you refer to in your own article, saying
25 that what is stated in that one is false --
1 A. Seemingly, yes. This dates back 18 years. I'm sorry, I don't
2 remember some of the details which seem minor to me. What do you want me
3 to do?
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. Do you want me to talk about Marc Semo's article. If you'd like
6 me to, I can. It's interesting.
7 Q. Then let's look at the following paragraph where you mention a
8 sea of bodies the article in Le Monde on the 25th of July. So you
9 specifically refer to this article entitled: "Sea of Bodies," from
10 Le Monde, 25th of July.
11 MS. IODICE: And now if we could have in e-court 65 ter 25229,
13 Q. Sir, this is the article that you specifically mentioned in
14 your --
15 A. Yes, so.
16 Q. -- article. Is it your evidence that what's stated in this
17 article which is the testimony of a survivor of a massacre is false?
18 A. I believe that the content of this article is false. It's not
19 the first time that Le Monde, Liberation, and Le Figaro publish articles
20 written on the spot that attempt to move public opinion and shock public
21 opinion. This is part and parcel of the globalist instruments. You
22 would like me to accept everything that's written here? No. If
23 Bataille, that's me, I don't always accept what's written in the
24 newspapers, that are the newspapers of the aggressors anyway.
25 Q. And in your article you say that you had the proof that these --
1 that these events were not happening and the proof was that
2 United Nations fax; is that right?
3 A. Are you going to spend your time going over what Le Monde said,
4 Marc Semo, and what I wrote myself? I said that there is one document,
5 so why do you want to develop this? I said it was one part of it.
6 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, I would like to ask -- I would like to
7 tender the Le Monde article and it might be a good time to take a break.
8 JUDGE KWON: Does it mean that you have more questions?
9 MS. IODICE: Yes, Your Honour. Unfortunately, if I could be
10 given another 15 minutes, I would be able to conclude within that.
11 JUDGE KWON: Do we have translation for Le Monde?
12 MS. IODICE: No. We'll provide one as soon as possible.
13 JUDGE KWON: In particular, in B/C/S.
14 MS. IODICE: Okay, Your Honour. Thanks.
15 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, just with regard to the time, we
16 don't object to her having additional time, but I think the Prosecution
17 has fallen into a habit of not requesting additional time but taking it
18 for granted, and I think we once again ask them to request additional
19 time before simply assuming it. She's already used more time than she
20 was allowed.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, would you like to add anything, Mr. Tieger?
22 MR. TIEGER: Just to clarify this. Mr. Robinson spoke to me
23 about what he considered to be my failure to do so earlier. I told him
24 that I had been about to do so, but the Trial Chamber at that point had
25 urged me to continue. I understood the Trial Chamber to be monitoring
1 the time, so I understood that to be a reference to the fact that I
2 should. And in this case, Ms. Iodice just reached her time. So I mean,
3 I understand Mr. Robinson's point, but I think he's being a bit
4 hyper-technical at this point, and I just wanted to make the broad point
5 the Prosecution is aware of that, and as I told Mr. Robinson, as a normal
6 manner we do monitor it carefully, alert the Court when we've used the
7 allotted time, and request additional time.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I will leave it at that.
9 We'll admit this Le Monde article.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6394, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification pending
13 We'll take a break for 45 minutes and resume at 20 past 1.00.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.24 p.m.
16 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Ms. Iodice.
17 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Sir, I have very limited time right now, so I would kindly ask
19 you to try and limit your answers to yes and no when possible.
20 MS. IODICE: If we could have back 1D25007 in e-court, please.
21 Q. Sir -- and maybe if we could -- thank you.
22 Sir, the fourth paragraph of your article quotes directly from an
23 article from Liberation dated 24th of July. And the article is entitled:
24 "I hid underneath the people who were shot." Do you see that part on
25 your article? It's the fourth paragraph and in French it says [French
1 spoken]. Do you see that?
2 A. Yes. So what's your question?
3 Q. If we could go back to 65 ter -- maybe we could keep the
4 French -- this French translation on one side and on the other side we
5 could go to 65 ter 25228 again.
6 A. Do you mean the fourth paragraph?
7 Q. Yes, sir. If you could just hold on for a second while I show
8 you another article. Sir, this is the article from Liberation dated 24th
9 of July, 1995, that you directly quote in your article, isn't it?
10 A. I refer to it, yes.
11 Q. You stand by what you said before about the other article, that
12 you believe that the events narrated in this article from Liberation are
13 false; right?
14 A. Mr. Marc Semo was a journalist working for Liberation and in
15 various conflicts he always writes about the same thing. And here if I
16 understand correctly the person wished to remain anonymous.
17 Q. So your answer to my question is yes; right?
18 A. Answer to what? In brief --
19 Q. My question to you --
20 A. -- what's your question?
21 Q. -- was: You believe that what is narrated in this article is
22 false; correct?
23 A. Now, to form an opinion I don't only base this on one single
24 article. You are drawing my attention on one article to avoid focusing
25 on the United Nations article. What is of interest here is the
1 United Nations article.
2 Q. We'll get to that. I'm just asking you -- if you let me
3 continue --
4 A. Let me continue --
5 JUDGE KWON: When did the witness said the content of this
6 article was false?
7 MS. IODICE: Of the other article --
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, the other. Not this one.
9 MS. IODICE: That was I understood --
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, he talked about the Le Monde.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes.
12 MS. IODICE: At page 72, line 20, he says:
13 "I believe that the content of this article is false."
14 JUDGE KWON: He was referring to Le Monde.
15 MS. IODICE: Le Monde, yes, and that's why I'm asking him whether
16 he believes that also the content of this article is false.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I misunderstood your question because you asked
18 whether he stood by his statement.
19 Yes, let's continue.
20 MS. IODICE:
21 Q. Sir, could you answer my question. Do you also believe that the
22 content of this article is false?
23 A. You mean Marc Semo's article? Yes, I believe that this is war
24 propaganda, and I told you a while ago that Marc Semo was used to always
25 writing the same kind of article. He also covered the war of aggression
1 against Libya.
2 Q. Thank you. And now if we could go back also to the English
3 translation of 1D25007, your article. In your article at the end you
4 state that the United Nations document that you saw signed by the Muslim
5 representative and bearing the UNPROFOR seal completely invalidates the
6 possibility of there having been massacres, rapes, and disappearances.
7 Do you stand by that?
8 A. The UN document clearly states that the evacuation of the
9 civilian population went off properly.
10 Q. And you didn't know, I take, that the United Nations
11 representative who signed that document came here to testify - and I
12 refer Your Honours to Robert Franken's statement at P4175 at paragraph
13 105 - and he said that the part of the document stating the population
14 can remain in the enclave or evacuate is nonsense. You didn't know that,
15 did you?
16 A. No, I didn't know that. Do you have his statement? Can we see
17 his statement? And in any case, let me tell you: Have you ever heard of
18 Helen Ranta, a forensic Norwegian expert who was an expert and
19 investigated into the Racak operation in Kosovo?
20 Q. Sir --
21 A. This person was so pressured so much so -- well, this is the same
22 thing. We are talking about the same thing. We're talking about the
23 Yugoslav war.
24 Q. I understand that there are many things that we could talk about,
25 but, please, you've answered my question, so I would like to move on.
1 A. I will not answer just in one sentence, that is meaningless. I
2 will only answer if I give you the whole context because everything is
3 connected. The same war propaganda methods were used in Bosnia and in
4 Kosovo and I was there. I was in France and I was there on the spot, so
5 I am entitled to talk about it.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Bataille, you are entitled to say that it's part
7 of war propaganda, but the Chamber has the obligation to focus on
8 relevant things. Dr. Ranta or Racak has nothing to do with this trial.
9 Let's continue.
10 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Q. Sir, I also would like to show you now a document that the UN
12 actually sent to Dr. Karadzic, and I would like to call in e-court 65 ter
13 13645. Sir, this is a letter from the UN centre for human rights to
14 Dr. Karadzic and it's dated 24th of July, 1995. And if we could move to
15 page 2 in English. This is what the UN sent to Karadzic and told him:
16 "I would like to express my deepest concern regarding the recent
17 events in the Srebrenica area which resulted in the forced displacement
18 of some 40.000 individuals. It has been reported that as a result of
19 these events several thousand individuals are unaccounted for and there
20 is fear that many of these have either been killed or detained."
21 You didn't know about this either, did you?
22 A. When?
23 Q. Have you ever heard of this?
24 A. Of course I have. Of course I've heard about this, almost every
25 day, and so what? You know, if people repeat a lie, it doesn't make it
1 true. The missing people in Srebrenica - and we do have documents in
2 order to get the cross-references - the people, the missing people in
3 Srebrenica are, as far as I'm concerned, in the mixed column of the
4 28th Division of the Army of -- of the armija of the Army of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, the Muslim army, and they were therefore a military target,
6 and this column where there were supposed to be between 15- or 16.000
7 men, in this column there were about half of the people who were soldiers
8 bearing weapons and they were going -- they were progressing towards the
9 Muslim lines --
10 Q. Sir, [Overlapping speakers]
11 A. -- and of course, of course there were losses among these men.
12 So you ask me questions, but I have the feeling that you think that I've
13 only read one article, but please do believe me I have read many, many
14 articles about this event.
15 Q. Sir, I have one last question for you. So is it your evidence
16 today that the first fax from the UN that Dr. Karadzic gave you when you
17 met is true, while this other fax from the United Nations is false? Is
18 that your evidence today?
19 A. No, no, no. Wait a minute. I am here and now you are focusing
20 on a fax. I didn't come here in order to talk about this because this is
21 not the most important thing. It just happens that the second fax that
22 you're talking about arrived after. We know very well what pressures are
23 exerted, what pressures are exerted on the United Nations. We know who
24 is leading the United Nations. We know which is the group who wants to
25 protect the famous right of interference of Mr. Kouchner. We know that
1 the responsibility to protect is not a real responsibility in order to
2 protect. There is a permanent war of the same group against independent
3 nations and states. The no-fly zone, for instance, or the no-fly area,
4 when words have a contrary meaning to what they are supposed to mean,
5 then you're totally lost. In Libya there was a no-fly area --
6 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
7 A. -- and people were allowed to shell it. So now you're talking to
8 me about a United Nations document. There are more than 30.000 documents
9 of the United Nations. You are just showing me the documents that suit
10 your case. The only valid question -- you just want to know whether the
11 first document is false or not?
12 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, I have no further questions but I
13 would like to ask that both 65 ter 25228 which is the article and this
14 document be admitted into evidence.
15 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, we don't have any objection to
16 the article, but this document cannot be admitted through this witness.
17 He hasn't commented. He didn't know anything about it. It doesn't
18 contradict his evidence. And if the Prosecution wanted to use it for
19 what appears to be its true purpose, which is to show notice to
20 Dr. Karadzic, it should have called Mr. Mazowiecki or some other witness
21 in its case not to try to use it in an oblique way like this.
22 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, if I may respond?
23 JUDGE KWON: Do not overlap. Please wait.
24 Is it not contradictory to his evidence?
25 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President, because this is a letter being
1 sent saying that people are unaccounted for and they fear that many of
2 them have been killed or detained and he's given evidence that, yes, they
3 could have well been unaccounted for but because they were part of a
4 column, so I don't think it's contradictory to his evidence at all.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Iodice.
6 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, this document talks about forced
7 displacement and that directly contradicts the evidence of this witness.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These -- one UN document
10 contradicts another UN document. I am not the representative of the
11 United Nations.
12 JUDGE KWON: It's not for you to decide whether it's
13 contradictory or not.
14 Yes, we'll mark for identification the document from Liberation.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI P6395, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: And we'll admit the document -- the UN document.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6396.
18 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
19 THE ACCUSED: No, Excellency. Just to thank to Mr. Bataille for
20 his effort and willingness to come to testify.
21 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
22 That concludes your evidence, Mr. Bataille. On behalf of the
23 Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your coming to The Hague to give it.
24 Now you are free to go.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, would the witness make the solemn declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: DUSAN KOVACEVIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kovacevic. Please be seated and make
8 yourself comfortable.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Kovacevic, I
11 must draw your attention to a certain rule of procedure and evidence that
12 we have here at the International Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under
13 this rule you may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the
14 Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer
15 might incriminate you in a criminal context -- in a criminal offence. In
16 this context, "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to
17 an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that
18 might provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
19 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a
20 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
21 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question. But in
22 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
23 in such circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid
24 against you for any offence save and except the offence of giving false
1 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Kovacevic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do understand.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Kovacevic.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
5 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. Could you please pause between my questions and your answers,
9 just as you did when His Excellency, Mr. Kwon spoke, so that all of this
10 would be interpreted. We speak the same language, though, so if we do
11 not pause, not everything will be interpreted. Also, could you please
12 enunciate your sentences slowly.
13 General, sir, did you give my Defence team a statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have in e-court
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. On the screen before you, do you see that statement?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
22 A. Yes.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see the last page, please,
24 so that the witness could identify his signature.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Is that your signature?
2 A. Yes, that's my signature.
3 Q. Thank you, General. Did this statement faithfully reflect what
4 you said to the Defence team?
5 A. Yes, for the most part, yes.
6 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today,
7 would your answers basically be the same as those contained in this
9 A. Yes, they would be the same.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
12 statement and the accompanying documents according to Rule 92 ter.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, we're tendering eight associated
14 exhibits, four of which we're asking to be added to our 65 ter list as we
15 hadn't had them at the time the list was filed.
16 Also, I want to apologise to the Chamber because apparently our
17 case manager neglected to put the 65 ter numbers for all of them and
18 substituting the ERN numbers that were in the original statement. He did
19 that in the Serbian version but not in the English version, and I
20 apologise for any inconvenience that may have caused to you or your
22 JUDGE KWON: With respect to the associated exhibits I have a
23 couple of matters to deal with. First, the document referred to in para
24 45, I don't think the witness makes any substantive comment, and as such
25 I do not think that it forms an indispensable and inseparable part of the
1 statement. Likewise, document referred to in para 49, 1D9551, does not
2 form an inseparable part of the statement in the sense that it -- the
3 statement can be fairly understood without the document. So if you -- if
4 the Defence wants to tender those two documents, it should lead live
5 those documents. Otherwise, I ask Ms. Edgerton whether she has any
6 further objections.
7 MS. EDGERTON: No, nothing further.
8 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive the statement as well as the six
9 remaining associated exhibits.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the statement will be Exhibit D3671
11 and the six associated exhibits will be Exhibits D3672 through to
12 Exhibit D3677 as listed in the 92 ter notification.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 I'd like to read out a summary of General Kovacevic's statement
17 in English.
18 [In English] General Dusan Kovacevic joined the JNA in 1965 and
19 from 3rd of January, 1992, he was posted to the command of the
20 2nd Military District in the Sarajevo garrison. On 19th of January,
21 1993, he was elected as minister of defence of the Republika Srpska.
22 General Dusan Kovacevic was aware that the leadership of BH, the SDA, and
23 Alija Izetbegovic conducted an intense media campaign aiming to persuade
24 the Muslim people that BH had to be an independent and unitary state.
25 Alija Izetbegovic stated that he was ready to sacrifice peace for the
1 realisation of an independent B&H and, if necessary, he would start war
2 against those who were opposed. Meanwhile, top Muslim and Croatian
3 politicians in BH were instructing their fellow countrymen in their own
4 paramilitary units to attack the JNA barracks and buildings and to use
5 weapons to evict brutally the JNA from BH.
6 In 1992, the Bosnian government used its legal institutions for
7 activities that were illegal at the time, such as the formation of
8 paramilitary units and the systemic attack of Serbs in places where they
9 were in minority population, as was the case in Bosanski Brod, the
10 village of Sijekovac, Kupres, and many other places. Such grave cases
11 gave cause to the Serbian population to respond and self-organise for
12 self-defence, so they set up sentries made up of the local residents to
13 guard their towns and villages. Eventually these evolved into larger
14 units with the establishment size of detachments and brigades.
15 In order to properly equip the army, the HVO and the Army of BH
16 proved to be ready for anything, theft included. In February 1992, Dusan
17 Kovacevic was asked to retrieve some weapons stolen from the arms factory
18 called Bratstvo by the HVO, under the direct command of Zagreb, while
19 only one year earlier Jovan Divjak, a JNA colonel, was arrested for
20 covertly arming an HVO company in the village of Doglodi, near Sarajevo.
21 At the same time, also the BH army started receiving more and more
22 weapons and, in addition, fighters from Arab countries and members of the
23 al-Qaeda were joining the BH army and posing a serious threat to the
24 Serbs and VRS.
25 General Dusan Kovacevic experienced on his own skin the explosion
1 of these feelings of rage. He was in the command of the 2nd Military
2 District in Sarajevo when between March and June 1992, the government of
3 BH together with paramilitaries forced blockaded the building and carried
4 out an armed attack, provoking many casualties among members of the JNA.
5 When Alija Izetbegovic agreed to allow the JNA members to leave the
6 building, the JNA column was attacked by a paramilitary formation of
7 Muslims. Unarmed members of the JNA were beaten and killed. A total of
8 42 members of the JNA were brutally murdered on 2nd and 3rd of May, 1992,
9 in Sarajevo. Between 160 and 190 members of the JNA were captured.
10 Among the killed, there were people of different ethnicities.
11 Together with other survivors, Dusan Kovacevic found refuge in
12 the military hospital in Sarajevo. As a consequence, a false propaganda
13 on Radio Sarajevo instructed civilians and their paramilitary to use all
14 means and weapons in order to target the hospital. Before the attack,
15 the hospital was under the control of the JNA and all the people,
16 regardless of their ethnic background, were given medical treatment.
17 Dusan Kovacevic was fully aware that both the HVO and the Muslims
18 were well armed, since the former received weapons from the Government of
19 Croatia and later from abroad. At the same time, he was also fully aware
20 of the financial problems suffered by the army of the Republika Srpska.
21 In addition to the poor equipment of troops, the VRS needed to be
22 reorganised since local authorities and municipalities were the real
23 decision-makers, while the Supreme Command was kept in the dark of
24 ongoing operations.
25 In order to create a respected legal and effective system,
1 General Dusan Kovacevic as a minister presented his proposal to renew the
2 army at a meeting of the Supreme Command in May 1993. The proposal was
3 formulated in accordance with the advices offered by foreign experts,
4 including people of the UNPROFOR. Nevertheless, all the members of the
5 VRS Main Staff rejected it except for President Karadzic, whose decision
6 to implement his proposal met the firm refusal of the VRS Main Staff.
7 The reorganisation of the army was also a reason to -- of rivalry
8 between Karadzic and Mladic, since Karadzic believed that the army was
9 asking too much and that the budget was unable to support the requests.
10 This was only one of the frequent nasty spats between Karadzic and
11 Mladic, whose main reason for conflict was Mladic's will to take
12 Karadzic's place and become president of the VRS. Despite of the
13 internal rivalries, the objective of the VRS was not to commit any
14 crimes. When crimes have been committed, these were the results of odd
15 individuals' behaviour and were disregarding the official policy of the
17 Muslims left Pale voluntarily and on their own initiative. No
18 one was forced to leave and no one pressured or harassed them. When they
19 asked for transport, this was also organised for them. The minister of
20 the interior was instructed by the president of the VRS and the prime
21 minister to protect all citizens regardless of their ethnicity or any
22 other affiliation. Karadzic did everything to find a way out of the
23 crisis, a peaceful solution to the conflict that would satisfy all three
24 ethnic groups. President Karadzic always sought to find a peaceful
25 solution in Bosnia and he did everything for the war to end as soon as
2 [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I will not rely on the two
3 documents which were not made part of the associated exhibits. At this
4 point in time, I have no further questions of General Kovacevic.
5 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
6 Mr. Kovacevic, as you have just noted, your evidence in chief in
7 this case has been admitted in its entirety in writing, that is, your
8 written witness statement. And you will be now cross-examined by the
9 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
10 Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
11 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
12 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
13 Q. Good afternoon, General.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. General, before you came here to testify today, you've given
16 testimony in 2010 as a Defence witness in the Perisic case; right?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. And you gave audio-recorded statements to the Office of the
19 Prosecutor on two separate occasions in 2001 and 2007; right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Now, over the course of our time together, I'm probably going to
22 ask you to confirm some of the things that you said on those previous
23 occasions, but what I'd like to ask you right now is with regard to the
24 statement that you signed on Saturday night with Dr. Karadzic's Defence
25 team, you never actually saw that statement before you came to The Hague,
1 did you?
2 A. Yes, I did not see the statement before my arrival in The Hague.
3 Q. And did Dr. Karadzic's Defence tell you that the statement was
4 put together from things you had said during these two interviews and
5 your testimony?
6 A. Yes. Additions were made to this statement on the basis of my
7 previous ones.
8 Q. Right. Then I want to begin by asking you a quick question about
9 Dobrovoljacka Street and the events there, because in your Perisic
10 testimony you spoke about Dobrovoljacka Street and you said at transcript
11 page 12573:
12 "We were off heading towards the convoy. I saw General MacKenzie
13 standing next to the second APC just standing there and there was this
14 APC in which there were Izetbegovic and General Kukanjac. I saw
15 Colonel Divjak right there who was giving orders to the effect, 'Stop
16 shooting, stop shooting.'"
17 So in the Perisic case you told the court under oath that
18 General Divjak during those events was giving orders for the shooting to
19 stop, but that's not in your statement that you signed for Dr. Karadzic's
20 Defence, is it?
21 A. What I said to the Prosecution is correct. Also what I testified
22 to in the Perisic case is true with regard to Dobrovoljacka Street. In
23 the statement I signed, the last which was drafted by Radovan Karadzic's
24 Defence team, my previous statements were not reflected in totality
25 having to do with Dobrovoljacka Street. Colonel Divjak issued orders to
1 cease fire, but only after having been ordered to do so by
2 Alija Izetbegovic --
3 Q. Let me just stop you right there, General, before you go further.
4 That's not something you know from your own personal observations at that
5 time, is it, because you were racing to a hospital at that moment,
6 weren't you?
7 A. Yes, I saw and heard that in passing.
8 Q. And what you heard was General Divjak screaming out, "Don't
9 shoot, don't shoot"; right?
10 A. I saw Colonel Divjak approaching the APC where Izetbegovic was
11 with General Kukanjac. I saw him climb into the APC. I could see that
12 because I was moving towards the APC. I also saw General MacKenzie
13 standing next to the APC. I heard Izetbegovic mentioning the world and
14 what the world would say, and then I watched them and listened to them
15 passing by. I heard Colonel Divjak ordering to cease fire. I moved on
16 towards the military hospital to help the wounded and rescue the dead --
17 pull out the dead.
18 Q. Right. Thank you. We might come back to that in a minute. Some
19 things that I noticed you didn't say in your statement for Dr. Karadzic's
20 Defence, you didn't say that before the war you were the commander of the
21 JNA's 744th logistics base which was in Sarajevo and your area of
22 responsibility at that time covered most of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
23 right? That was in your Perisic testimony at transcript page 12533.
24 A. That is correct. However, no one asked me anything about it
25 later. I mentioned just now that in this statement there are some
1 elements missing from the statements I had previously provided to the
3 Q. Okay. Perhaps then you could confirm this for me. When the JNA
4 was reorganised in January 1992, the 744th logistics base then came under
5 the command of General Kukanjac and the 2nd Military District; right?
6 A. Yes. It was part of the 2nd Military District and under direct
7 command of the 2nd Military District Commander, Lieutenant-General
8 Miladin Kukanjac.
9 Q. And your title in that reorganisation became chief of logistics
10 and technical services for the 2nd Military District; right?
11 A. It is true that I was assistant commander for logistics, the
12 rear, to the 2nd Army District Commander, General Kukanjac.
13 Q. And can you also confirm that as part of your job you were
14 integrally involved in the transport of weapons, military equipment, and
15 ammunition from JNA depots in Slovenia and Croatia to JNA depots in
16 Bosnia and also to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
17 A. I know that during 1991 an agreement was reached between the JNA
18 General Staff in Belgrade and the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
19 have parts of the manpower, weapons, and military equipment that were
20 being dislocated from Slovenia and Croatia to be deployed in the
21 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with a number of other
22 people from the then-government in Sarajevo, I took part in determining
23 the deployment locations for those units. Decisions were made by
24 General Kukanjac and the president of the Presidency of BiH,
25 Alija Izetbegovic. Some units were deployed to Grahovo, Drvar, and --
1 Q. General --
2 A. -- General Perisic's unit from Zadar was deployed to the centre
3 of military schools, Josip Broz Tito in Sarajevo.
4 Q. Thank you. So when JNA mortars and artillery were deployed to
5 areas ringing Sarajevo, in late 1991 and the beginning of 1992 that
6 happened under your control; right?
7 A. What I said is that the units were deployed only to the former
8 JNA barracks. As regards Sarajevo, it regards the barracks at Lukavica
9 and the school centre Josip Broz Tito in Sarajevo. As for other units,
10 they were also deployed to different JNA barracks in the territory of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the exception of Drvar, Bosanski Petrovac,
12 where there were no JNA barracks. There the units were temporarily
13 accommodated in the production facilities of a number of factories and
15 Q. General, in no later than April 1992 the JNA 4th Corps artillery
16 regiment and the 4th Corps anti-artillery regiment had units whose
17 weapons were deployed -- has units who were deployed to areas in the
18 elevations around the city of Sarajevo. That happened under your
19 command; right?
20 A. I had no influence whatsoever on the deployment of units or
21 artillery. That decision was made solely by the commanding staff; in
22 other words, General Kukanjac approved and the corps commander,
23 General Djurdjevac, decided on where to deploy the units of his own corps
24 that he was in command of. No other personnel under the existing
25 regulations could have any bearing on where the units would be deployed,
1 especially when it comes to artillery.
2 Q. You also told the Judges in the Perisic case that you believed
3 that the Territorial Defence units under the command of the Serb
4 authorities were armed by local Serb authorities and not by the JNA, and
5 that's in the Perisic case transcript pages 12549 to -51. So I want to
6 just ask you about that. Is it your evidence that the JNA was not
7 involved in the arming of Serb volunteers?
8 A. What I know and what I had documents about is that there were
9 orders coming from the SSNO and the JNA General Staff to carry out
10 mobilisation and additional mobilisation of the war time units of the JNA
11 in the area of responsibility of the 2nd Military District. The basic
12 goal of the exercise was to protect JNA property, its weapons and
13 military equipment, and to have the resources exclusively under control
14 of the commanding staff of the JNA. As of 1 March and until the 3rd of
15 May, 1992, I was detained because I had been taken prisoner in the
16 command building of the 2nd Military District together with other JNA
17 members. Our telephone lines were cut off --
18 Q. General --
19 A. -- as well as electricity --
20 Q. -- you spoke about parts of this in your written evidence. My
21 question to you was whether it was your evidence that the JNA was not
22 involved in the arming of Serb volunteers. I take it from your answer
23 that it was?
24 A. Let me continue. Given the fact that I was detained for two
25 months, I had no insight or influence over things happening in the field.
1 I was physically unable to leave the building or communicate by phone. I
2 do know that the JNA was responsible for carrying out mobilisations and
3 to man the units; however, I do not know of, although I cannot exclude
4 the possibility, that some Serb units as part of the Territorial Defence
5 of Republika Srpska received weapons and, as such, were made part and
6 placed under the command of the JNA. That is well possible.
7 Q. Now, I'm a bit surprised to hear you say that and I'll show you
8 something to -- and you'll see why.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look, please, at P1477.
10 Q. It's a copy of the notebook of General Mladic covering the period
11 from February to May 1992. And I'd like to look at e-court page 296 in
12 English and page 303 in the B/C/S transcribed page. And in the original
13 handwritten version it's page 305. I think we need to go over to the
14 next page in B/C/S, please. There we go. Now, General, you've just told
15 me you had no knowledge of the arming of Serbs by the JNA, but on 11 May
16 1992, after his meeting in Nevesinje that morning, General Mladic met
17 with you, where you told him that you had been the assistant commander
18 for logistics at the command of the 2nd Military District. And you said
19 to him:
20 "I have been the brains of the weapons distribution for 10 months
21 and so far 69.000 Serbs have been armed.
22 "I know the area, could I please stay on duty."
23 General, by your own words as noted by your commander, not only
24 did you know about the arming of Serbs by the JNA, but you ensured and
25 you co-ordinated it in municipalities across Bosnia and Herzegovina?
1 A. I never met General Kukanjac or Mladic or anybody else in
2 Nevesinje. I claim with full responsibility that I had never been at
3 Nevesinje at the time. It wasn't possible either because I was being
4 treated after my injury which I sustained on Dobrovoljacka Street.
5 Q. You may have misunderstood me. My reference to Nevesinje was to
6 a meeting that General Mladic had. This is a meeting with you as noted
7 up in his notebook on 11 May 1992?
8 A. I repeat that I've never been in Nevesinje with General Mladic.
9 That is absolutely false. I never confirmed that nor could Mladic have
10 noted that in his notebook. There is a Colonel Kovacevic in Nevesinje
11 who was a commander of a unit there --
12 Q. General, I never said you were in Nevesinje. I said
13 General Mladic was. All right? Have a look at what's on the page in
14 front of you in your language --
15 JUDGE KWON: Shall we show him the handwriting version? Would it
16 be more convenient for the witness?
17 MS. EDGERTON: It may be. It's --
18 JUDGE KWON: Or can we see the -- where does the date appear?
19 MS. EDGERTON: A few pages previously.
20 JUDGE KWON: So why don't we show the cover page and show him
21 this is the diary which General Mladic kept at the time.
22 MS. EDGERTON: And this is the handwritten version of that
23 specific page that we see in English.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, yes. So let's find out this.
25 Colonel Kovacevic was the witness.
1 MS. EDGERTON:
2 Q. And this is the cover page of General Mladic's notebook that you
3 see, General. And you were a colonel at this time. You didn't get to be
4 general until January 1993?
5 A. That is correct. But there was also Colonel Kovacevic in
7 JUDGE KWON: But --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The commander of the Nevesinje
10 JUDGE KWON: But the first paragraph of this diary says -- is
11 referring to a colonel who is assistant commander for logistics at the
12 2nd Military District. So it must have been you, Mr. Kovacevic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was. I don't deny and I
14 accept, or rather, it is correct that I met General Mladic at Lukavica.
15 I don't know the exact date, but it was around the 15th of May. I don't
16 know the exact date. What he may have written isn't anything I could
17 influence. It is true that I followed the orders of General Kukanjac,
18 the commander of the 2nd Military District, and the orders of the
19 General Staff in Belgrade to arm the units mobilised in accordance with
20 the establishment. Those were volunteer units, and the volunteers were
21 mostly Serbs. But there were also members of other ethnicities,
22 including Croats and Muslims. Major Anton Sinkovic was a Croat, and this
23 can pertain to the establishing of JNA units in implementation of the
24 order of mobilisation. But nobody ever directly issued weapons to groups
25 of civilians or the Serbs in general. But since 99 per cent of the
1 volunteers were Serbs, that was an imposed fact to keep the armaments and
2 means of communication of the JNA because the goal was not to allow that
3 weapons and military equipment be stolen and used without control in
4 show-downs between members of the three ethnic communities, as had been
5 the case in some barracks where people had been imprisoned, weapons, and
6 military equipment stolen, and military units controlled by the Sarajevo
7 government armed, mostly Muslim units but also Croatian HVO units.
8 Q. So when you told us a few moments ago that you had no insight or
9 influence into what was going on in terms of arming of the Serbs, that
10 was actually incorrect. Just like you told General Mladic, you were the
11 brains of the weapons distribution for ten months and so far 69.000 Serbs
12 had been armed; right?
13 A. That can be interpreted in various ways. I can tell you that
14 this is completely unsuitable. Mladic could write down his opinion of
15 me, but my role cannot have been any different than envisaged by the
16 system of command and control in the JNA units --
17 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
18 A. -- and I strictly adhered to that.
19 Q. General --
20 A. -- Mladic's handwriting --
21 Q. Let's -- on that note, let's look at another document and it's
22 P5583. It's a speech delivered by Dr. Karadzic to the Herzegovina Corps
23 command on 13 May 1995. Now, I would like us to go over to page 6 of
24 the -- I think in both languages. In the second paragraph on page 6.
25 And I just need to have a moment to see if I've got the right page in
1 B/C/S. If not, I will read slowly in English. And my apologies to you,
2 General. I haven't written down the right page in your language for your
3 benefit. But Dr. Karadzic in his speech in May 1995 talked about the
4 situation and looked back. He said:
5 "It is a fact of the matter that we inherited a lot of things in
6 the JNA storehouses and we managed to disperse a lot of things thanks to
7 General Kovacevic who was a colonel at the time, and with the agreement
8 between Krajisnik and myself and General Mladic, we managed to disperse a
9 lot of things from the territories under the control of Croats and
10 Muslims. That is how we inherited these things."
11 So, General, by Dr. Karadzic's words, you weren't working
12 according to the establishment, but you were working in the interests of
13 Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, and General Mladic and according to their
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Could you please show
16 me where I said that he was not working in accordance to establishment
17 structures? Did he violate any rule of the federal ministry?
18 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honours, what was my question. I read
19 Dr. Karadzic's quotation onto the record.
20 JUDGE KWON: But you were not working according to the
21 establishment. It's not a quotation from this document?
22 MS. EDGERTON: No.
23 JUDGE KWON: Then please proceed.
24 MS. EDGERTON: And I apologise for any misunderstanding I might
25 have caused of course.
1 Q. General, you said you were working according to the
2 establishment. Dr. Karadzic in his speech says that you were working
3 according to an agreement between he, Mr. Krajisnik, and General Mladic?
4 A. What is written here was allegedly said by Mr. Karadzic, but I
5 have never heard or seen that so far nor has anybody showed me. I say
6 with full responsibility that I received an order from the General Staff
7 of the JNA, that is, General Kukanjac did. He was the commander. He
8 acquainted me with that order and the order says that weapons and
9 military equipment were to be removed from all military warehouses and
10 facilities considered to be at risk because they could be attacked.
11 Thus, uncontrolled paramilitaries could avail themselves of military
12 equipment and weapons. That document was shown to me by the Defence
13 these days and it is referenced in my statement. I can continue to say
14 how that came about.
15 Q. No. General, I think what I'd like to do is continue to ask you
16 questions. We'll go on to another area and it's something, as before,
17 you didn't deal with in your statement but you did deal with it in your
18 testimony during the Perisic case. And it's about your position in the
19 Main Staff. Can you confirm that from September 1992 until January 1993
20 you were a member of the VRS Main Staff? That should be an easy yes or
21 no question.
22 A. I kindly ask you to return to the previous question because we
23 haven't finished with it. You could allow me to enable the Trial Chamber
24 to see that order from the General Staff in Belgrade which says that
25 these assets should be removed, and I was in charge of that process --
1 Q. General --
2 A. -- to remove military equipment to safe areas --
3 Q. Thank you. Because my time with you has been very limited, I
4 would not like to run afoul of any time-limits I have, and I'd like you
5 to focus on my questions so that we can keep within the time-limits. And
6 if there's anything that hasn't been covered, Dr. Karadzic should be able
7 to raise this in his re-direct examination.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, that's correct. But in some
9 instances the witness should be allowed to complete his answer and this
10 is one of them because he obviously has something he wants to say. It's
11 related to the topic and it's, I think, wrong for him to be cut off in
12 this instance. And she can have an extension of the time if he needs it,
13 but it's not a licence to make a witness not be able to give a complete
14 answer that's relevant.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I tend to agree.
16 Mr. Kovacevic, did you finish your answer?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If at all possible, I would kindly
18 ask for the document at hand to be presented to the Trial Chamber so you
19 see that it really exists. I asked the Defence to insist on my claim
20 that I worked pursuant to that order, whereas there is no evidence that I
21 worked pursuant to the demands of the Dr. Karadzic or Mr. Krajisnik. So
22 the Trial Chamber should be shown the document.
23 JUDGE KWON: If necessary, the Defence will take up that issue in
24 its re-examination. In the meantime, please proceed, Ms. Edgerton.
25 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
1 Q. So you were a member of the VRS Main Staff from September 1992
2 until January 1993; right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. And you worked as an administrator for General Djukic who was the
5 Main Staff assistant commander for logistics; right?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. But you weren't one of the core members of the Main Staff?
8 A. I wasn't a man who decided about anything.
9 Q. And following your appointment as defence minister and for the
10 remainder of the war, you didn't take part in any Main Staff discussions
11 or meetings or briefings whatsoever; right?
12 A. I was present at a number of meetings of the Main Staff. I was
13 invited there as minister of defence, mostly to discussions about the
14 combat-readiness of the units of the VRS, especially when the supply
15 situation of the VRS was discussed. I was also present at
16 Supreme Command meetings. As a member of the Supreme Command in my
17 capacity as minister of defence. There are two --
18 Q. Can I just ask you first off --
19 A. -- mostly logistic matters were discussed.
20 Q. Let me just ask you about that, and we'll come back to your
21 presence at Main Staff meetings because that's something that wasn't in
22 your statement. When you took part in Supreme Command meetings, that was
23 between January 1993 and August 1994 and no later; right?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. And when you testified in the Perisic case, you told the Judges
1 there that Supreme Command meetings didn't happen according to set dates.
2 They took place just whenever the circumstances dictated; right?
3 A. Mostly when some circumstance required an urgent meeting, then a
4 meeting of the Supreme Command was called.
5 Q. And we'll get into the Supreme Command a little bit more
6 tomorrow, but I also just before we close today, I want to ask you one
7 quick question, and it's on the subject of your appointment to the
8 position of defence minister. You talked about it in your statement at
9 paragraph 18 and you said that Vladimir Lukic summoned you to Pale and he
10 told you there that he was going to put you forward as minister of
11 defence. But, in fact, Dr. Karadzic was there as well during that
12 meeting, wasn't he?
13 A. Mr. Vladimir Lukic invited me to Pale and I went there to meet
14 him. He was the first to inform me that he would nominate me for the
15 position of minister of defence. We went to see Mr. Karadzic together,
16 and I put forward my position. First of all, I asked whether the
17 Main Staff of the VRS was backing up that nomination, and
18 President Karadzic was present on that occasion. He said that the
19 Main Staff was not opposed to my appointment.
20 Q. And the evidence that Dr. Karadzic was there or you took part in
21 a meeting with Dr. Karadzic at that moment, that's not in your statement
22 either, is it?
23 A. I no longer remember what I said in these statements. Much time
24 has passed, but surely Lukic must have asked that we meet President
25 Karadzic so that I might accept or refuse that.
1 Q. All right. Tomorrow morning I'll bring you a copy of the
2 statement you signed for Dr. Karadzic's Defence in case you find it
3 easier to have it with you while we continue.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 We'll adjourn for today, Mr. Kovacevic, and continue tomorrow
6 morning at 9.00. I'd like to advise you not to discuss with anybody else
7 about your testimony. Do you understand that, sir?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 The hearing is adjourned.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 11th day of
13 June, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.