1 Wednesday, 2 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Momcilo Krajisnik.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Good morning to
9 everyone. If there's nothing else to be discussed at this moment, we
10 could ask Madam Usher to accompany Mr. Kirudja into the courtroom.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 WITNESS: CHARLES KIRUDJA [Resumed]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Kirudja.
14 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
15 JUDGE ORIE: May I remind you that you're still bound by the
16 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony.
17 Mr. Harmon.
18 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours; good
19 morning, counsel; good morning, Mr. Kirudja.
20 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Counsel.
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have no questions of Mr. Kirudja.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kirudja. I
25 would like to ask you some further questions. First of all, you told us
1 that your mandate, i.e., the UN mandate, was split between four sectors
2 and that you were in charge of Sector North. Did you hold meetings
3 between various sector representatives?
4 A. Thank you. Yes, we did. My counterpart -- there were CACs, civil
5 affairs coordinators, for each sector. Once every so on, it wasn't as
6 regular as it might look, but we were invited by the director,
7 Mr. Thornberry, back to Zagreb as heads of those sectors, and we would
8 discuss matters that were common to all sectors. More often, however - I
9 forget the frequency but it was much more frequent - the force commander
10 held meetings in Zagreb where more than civil affairs coordinators would
11 meet, where all the heads, the military, the civilian, and police, will
12 meet in a much bigger conference chaired by the force commander.
13 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [No interpretation]
14 [Interpretation] The departure of the non-Serbs from neighbouring
15 areas and the areas bordering Sector North had been planned, so to speak.
16 Did the sector representatives of the other sectors share your point of
17 view, because you exchanged your views, didn't you, with others?
18 A. Yes, we did exchange our experience, our analysis, and our
19 comments with the other representatives from other sectors. Your question
20 also contained the question that did the other sectors share similar
21 points of view or analysis.
22 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
23 A. The other sectors had quite different experiences, mainly because
24 of their locations, especially Sector East. If you remember the first map
25 that we presented, its location had different dynamics.
1 Sector West had even more special issues. Sector South again had
2 a different issue. So when you look at it overall, we ended up being
3 unique in regard to the issues we discussed the last few days over the
4 forced evacuation of massive numbers of refugees.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but may I just intervene for a very technical
6 reason. I see on my screen that from 9:14, that means that a few words of
7 your last question were not translated on the screen. Since I was
8 listening to the live channel rather than to the English translation, I do
9 not know whether it was actually translated and just not on our screen or
10 that it has not been translated. That was --
11 THE WITNESS: Your Honour?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: The first part wasn't but I understood it in French,
14 the part that wasn't translated.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I saw from your statement, Mr. Kirudja, the
16 language is not a problem for you, but we need a full transcript. I
17 wonder whether this will be recovered from the tapes. Yes, Mr. Stewart.
18 MR. STEWART: May I suggest, Your Honour, that it may be, with
19 respect, that His Honour Judge El Mahdi could repeat his question.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I had in mind. If there are no
21 other ways --
22 MR. STEWART: It seems the more sensible thing. I believe he
23 knows his question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Judge El Mahdi, just once again.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President. [Interpretation] I
1 shall repeat my question. It concerned those meetings which you held with
2 those people mandated by the UN and in charge of the other sectors
3 the eastern sector, the western sector, and the southern sector. And in
4 the course of these meetings, did you have the opportunity to discuss
5 these matters and to exchange your views and to hear assessments of the
6 situation from other people, and did their assessment of the situation,
7 was it in line with yours? In other words, was there any kind of system
8 or plan that aimed at deporting or at inciting non-Serb people to leave
9 part of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kirudja, may I ask you whether this would, with
11 the question being repeated, whether your response -- whether your --
12 whether you would have testified anything different or you just keep to
13 what you said just.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I will keep to what I said. I trust
15 Judge El Mahdi had already understood my answer, but I would defer to him
16 if he would like me to repeat.
17 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] No, not at all. I'd just like
18 one further clarification, please. If I look at the map that is in front
19 of me, Sector West is very close to your sector, Sector North, and it
20 seems to me that you said that Sector West was facing other difficulties,
21 not the ones you mentioned. Now, as concerns Sector West, was a similar
22 question ever raised concerning Sector West? In other words, any form of
23 deportation or expulsion of a segment of the population?
24 A. I was often in contact with my counterpart in Sector West,
25 Mr. Gerard Fischer. As a matter of fact, on my way to assignment on
1 Sector North, I did spend time in Sector West, in Daruvar, and then down
2 to the other areas that were troublesome in that sector.
3 There were, if my memory is correct, similar attempt for movement
4 of refugees, not as massively as we discussed and not for similar reasons
5 that we discussed, but the details there I don't have as I would have had
6 for Sector North.
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In that case, can one not assume
8 that this method was being applied in those municipalities which were
9 adjacent to yours, to your sector? In other words, it wasn't a very
10 widespread system.
11 A. Judge El Mahdi, recall part of the testimony that was heard here
12 was the what I call collusion or working in partnership between the mayor
13 in Sector North and Sector South, particularly the mayor in Dvor. The
14 local Serbs, meaning the Serbs, Croatian Serbs located in Sector West, had
15 a totally different dynamic --
16 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Please allow me to interrupt you.
17 Yes, I remember this very well. I remember the conversation you had with
18 the mayor of Dvor and that he wanted you to contact the mayor in Bosnia
19 over the phone, but this was not my question. Was this something which
20 prevailed in some municipalities? In other words, was it a matter of --
21 of asking the non-Serbs to leave, or was this a more widespread system,
22 something which was being applied to a larger part of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina? I don't know if my question is clear enough and if you
24 understand my subject of concern.
25 A. I understand your question to mean was this phenomenon widespread
1 and especially in Sector West.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 A. What I was beginning to respond to you was that the Sector West
4 had local leadership engaged in a different manner than the local
5 leadership in Sector North. Specifically, the Serb leadership in Sector
6 West had approached their own issues very differently, and I didn't
7 understand them, from talking to my counterpart, wanting to facilitate
8 control of the area of Sector West. In other words, they had earlier than
9 us in Sector North even come to a better understanding with the Croatian
10 authorities about autonomy in the area. So their perspective in what
11 would be happening in the sector was, at least in the early part of the
12 month, very different from the perspective in Sector North. And by that I
13 mean that towards the end of my testimony I did refer to the Republic of
14 Serbian Krajina now becoming a very well recognised reality. That
15 recognition was much more strong in Sector North and Sector South than it
16 was in Sector West. Therefore, the ability to -- to organise massive
17 movement from inside Sector North and across the border in Sector West, I
18 never understood that to be as strong as it was in Sector North.
19 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Fine. So in the course of your
20 meetings, the assessment of the situation and the conclusions you drew,
21 had these been vetted and well understood by your colleagues and -- in
22 other words, did their points of view and your point of view tally? Did
23 you assess the situation in the same way?
24 A. Certainly in those meetings in Zagreb when we met collectively I
25 did explain to them in full about as much as I did explain to this Court
1 about what we were experiencing, and I recall the -- both the force
2 commander and my colleagues in other areas listening attentively but not
3 offering any different views from what they were hearing from me.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I should now like to
5 move on to another topic briefly. In your written statement, and I shall
6 quote you in English: [In English] "The fact that we had no mandate in
7 Bosnia increasingly became a flashpoint and a point of friction both on
8 the front lines where we operated and at the UN headquarters to whom we
10 [Interpretation] My question concerns what do you understand, what
11 do you mean when you talk about friction at the UN headquarters?
12 A. It was a sad thing for me in the sense that while I knew they
13 understood my report, meaning those -- some of which you have seen here,
14 including the ones with the titles like "Humanitarian Disasters in the
15 Making," including the outlining of those places we called concentration
16 camps and what was going on there, I knew they understood that this was
17 going on, but because there was that obvious lack of mandate, the UN not
18 at a certain point mandated to operate across the border, rather than
19 respond in the manner I hoped they would, meaning go up the chain from
20 Zagreb and go to where the mandate are created, meaning back at the
21 headquarters, and bring these matters there, I got warnings that you're
22 spending too much time dealing with these issues. In other words, don't
23 look, don't see.
24 The human situation being what it was, I never had that
25 alternative not to see or not to hear what was being brought at the front
1 door of where we were located. Indeed, when they said to me don't get too
2 involved in matters across Bosnia, part of my response was, "We don't even
3 have to go to Bosnia. They come to us inside the sector." That's the
4 friction I'm referring to.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Did you feel the
6 weight of the SDS party in the course of those meetings which you held
7 with various members and when you tried to assess the situation?
8 A. Beg your pardon, Judge, weight, or pressure, or what exactly?
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Did you feel in any way that the
10 SDS was playing a part in the events that were unfolding? And if you felt
11 and came to realise that the SDS was playing a part, what kind of part was
12 it actually playing?
13 A. Yes. In the testimony I gave, you will recall mentioning that I
14 would ask the people coming to see me to tell me who they were, and
15 therefore I noticed that -- I mean, I did indicate so-and-so presented
16 themselves as representative of the SDS or representative of the SDA, or
17 the mayor would represent himself as the president of the Crisis
18 Committee. The police who came along, of course they were in uniform and
19 they just said they were the chiefs of police.
20 As those conversations went on and after they were repeated a
21 number of times, it became clear that these people were not acting as
22 individuals in their individual capacity to dream up these plans to
23 evacuate massive people. And as you recall the testimony, at certain
24 point we did make them admit this thing was not a voluntary thing. And
25 you will also recall towards the end we had given them no doubt that
1 something you are doing, that the international community will view it in
2 strict displeasure and indeed it could be considered a crime. Even with
3 that warning, they seemed not to be able or willing to stop the process.
4 In other words, they did appear to have all the signs of being driven to
5 undertake this. And the only way, to my mind, they could be driven is
6 they were acting on instructions under a policy drawn by somebody. And
7 since they identified themselves as SDS or members of the militia or what
8 they called, for better terminology, new reality going on and that reality
9 called Republic of Serbia, it was, towards the end, inescapable for me to
10 conclude they were acting under policy or instruction.
11 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. My last question relates to
12 paragraph 38 of your declaration. Let me quote you. You said it was
13 evident, and you were talking about a particular family which spent the
14 night in a hotel under the protection of the UN police officers. And you
15 said: [In English] "It was evident that the Serb authorities not only did
16 not tolerate their presence, but they also would not guarantee the
17 security of the family..."
18 [Interpretation] Where did you reach this conclusion? When did
19 you reach this conclusion? You said it was evident. How did you reach
20 this conclusion?
21 A. Yeah. The evident was almost natural. They were only attempting
22 to cross over by a road through Sector North in the direction of Karlovac.
23 The fact -- the simple fact that they were stopped and couldn't proceed on
24 the road is itself the evidence that they were in jeopardy of being hurt,
25 and they drove off the main road into Tapusko, seeking assistance and
1 saying, "We feel -- we've been stopped too many -- the militia is chasing
2 us, we need protection, and we also need to be escorted out of the
3 sector." That was the evidence.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In other words, that is what they
5 told you. In -- according to you, if the authorities wanted to detain
6 them, don't you think they could have done so if they had wanted to?
7 A. Indeed. As a matter of fact, they could even have forcefully
8 removed our own police and taken them, because our police were not armed.
9 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] In other words, perhaps it was
10 the mob or paramilitary groups that did not report to the authorities that
11 were involved.
12 A. Inside the sector, that would not have been possible because the
13 authorities that were from the militia and the others had total control of
14 the area, as I recall I mentioned to you. This was the situation after
15 the war: They had taken control; there were checkpoints almost every few
16 kilometres around, both for ordinary people as well as -- I mean ordinary
17 local people as well as checking any kind of crime. So movement in the
18 sector was quite controlled by the -- by the forces. So the question of
19 irregular -- the crowd doesn't arise inside the sector.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kirudja, I have a few -- a few questions as well.
22 The first one about the same family, the Cakar family that you just
23 mentioned -- well, you didn't mention but you spoke about in your response
24 to one of the questions of Judge El Mahdi. You testified that they were
25 under duress. I'd like to have a clarification on the following question:
1 Is my understanding correct that they were confronted with a situation
2 they experienced as duress once they had decided to leave, that is to say
3 on their way out, or were they also under duress when they decided that
4 they wanted to leave? So was it at the basis of their departure or was it
5 that they faced it during their -- during their trip?
6 A. Yes. A very precise question, Your Honour. At the very beginning
7 of their trip, I wouldn't have the details because the trip originated
8 from across the border.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 A. So that part of your question I'm not privy to what might have
11 happened. But --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Unless they said something.
13 A. Unless they said something. But it's also important, Your Honour,
14 you bear in mind the timing of this incident. This is very early. It is
15 almost the first two weeks, and it took us by surprise. We didn't expect
16 a woman and a child and a man just merely trying to pass through the road
17 to be in such kind of despondency when they arrived literally outside our
18 office first. It drew our attention not merely to the issues you're
19 asking, how they felt in distress, it drew our attention as to who are
20 they and why. And as soon as we established the fact that they are not
21 from here, they are -- and if you use the word "alien" to this group of
22 people here, then the next question was, why not let them out? And then
23 when we started talking to them when they had calmed down, I remember they
24 were in panic, they began to hint that they had been stopped so many times
25 once inside, even between the border to the headquarters - and the only
1 one who could have stopped them were the authorities manning those
2 checkpoints - so we then asked them -- I just went to the authorities and
3 said, "What's the matter with this woman? Why couldn't she continue, or
4 this family, and go where they wanted to go?" And that's when I began to
5 get the idea, and they told us, "These are foreigners. These are
6 non-Serbs, and they shouldn't be here." And that's when then the matter
7 began focusing on their car. The first hint was they can leave but the
8 car cannot leave. And I say, "How can they leave without their own
9 assets?" They would say, "Why don't you put in your UN car and take her
11 "Yes, but these are our properties." And then the issue began to develop
12 around that point.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yesterday a question was put to you - this is a
14 different subject - on who you would accept as the responsible parties to
15 receive responses to. Especially you talked about the people at the
16 opstina level and the RSK level, and I did understand from your answer
17 that there was some hesitations to receive the point of view of the RSK
18 level where you rather oriented yourself to the people at the opstina
19 level. This was, as far as I understand, mainly about, well, obstruction
20 of or at least non-compliance with what you deemed necessary to perform
21 your duties.
22 If at the RSK level you would have got a unison response to the
23 extent that everyone below that level would meet your requests, would you
24 have had similar hesitations? I mean, was it that you were hesitant
25 because you'd rather have the point of view of each opstina before you
1 would accept that one would not meet your request or your requirements, or
2 would the same have been true if they would have -- at the RSK level they
3 would have said, "We fully agree with you, everything's fine, we'll do
4 whatever you ask." Would you have had similar hesitations?
5 A. Interesting question, since I never had that last option.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 A. It didn't all happen very naturally that the RSK had whipped all
8 these other units into their line and policy. This is something they did
9 over time, including changes, very rapid changes for mayors and chiefs of
10 police who were not in compliance to whatever they issued from their RSK
11 headquarters in Knin, which was in Sector South. Indeed, part of the
12 testimony you have in front of you talks of the killing of one of the very
13 independent mayor of Vrgin Most, who had exhibited what I call a sort of
14 independence in dealing with the -- with us, dealing with the issues that
15 were in the Vance Plan and understood that the Vance Plan gave him, the
16 mayor, and the police the only recognition of authority. In an attempt to
17 act that way, we read it that he was eliminated. And soon thereafter, we
18 got into that position that your last question implied, that the RSK did
19 gain total authority over the opstina leadership. And having recognised
20 that de facto they had gained such authority in all opstinas, if I wanted
21 something done, therefore it was impractical for me to insist to deal with
22 the opstinas where I know they will not cross the line coming from Knin,
23 and consequently, I was often in Knin myself talking directly to where I
24 thought the responsible individuals were.
25 JUDGE ORIE: So if I do understand your answer correctly, you tell
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13 English transcripts.
1 us that it was of no use any more to stick to who you consider to be the
2 proper counterparts because the -- you were, as the French say, before a
3 fait accompli that the RSK had taken over the authority.
4 A. Exactly, it's fait accompli.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have a very small question. Let's not spend
6 too much time on it. You said yesterday that from Petrova Gora you could
7 see the city of Zagreb. On the map you provided it seems to be a distance
8 of some 60 kilometres with quite a lot of elevations, even close to the
9 city of Zagreb, I would say a distance of ten to 15 kilometres, and there
10 is an indication on this map that one of the elevation points in Petrova
11 Gora was 572 metres. And if you find close to the city of Zagreb
12 elevations to -- up to 265 metres, I wondered just how this, at this
13 distance and with this terrain, whether you really could see it.
14 A. Good reading. I take it you look like a military person reading a
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not.
17 A. No. Petrova Gora was both a location, but there is a tall
18 building. In Serbian I believe "Gora" also means mountain or something
19 like that.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 A. There's a building, a tall building like a tower. It's up, up the
22 building. When you climb the building, which I did, where the radio
23 station was located, you can see Zagreb from there.
24 JUDGE ORIE: You would say from the radio tower which adds to the
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: You couldn't see it from the ground.
3 A. Yes, I was there, I saw it.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you couldn't see it if you were not in the
6 A. No, not on the ground.
7 JUDGE ORIE: It's clarified, why I didn't understand it.
8 Well, these are my questions. Unless the questions of the Chamber
9 would have raised any issue that the parties would like to further
10 question the witness on, which is not the case.
11 Mr. Kirudja, I'd like to thank you very much for testifying for a
12 relatively long time answering questions of both parties and the Bench. I
13 thank you very much for coming, and I wish you a safe trip -- I usually
14 say a safe trip home, but I don't know where your next assignment will be,
15 so a safe trip wherever you go.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you please accompany Mr. Kirudja
18 out of the courtroom.
19 [The witness withdrew]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, we would move for admission into
22 evidence Prosecution exhibits 120 through 151.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Usually, Mr. Harmon, the registrar reads the, I
24 would say, summaries, and that would take a considerable time with 31
25 exhibits. I therefore ask the registrar to give you an outprint of what
1 she wrote down as the summarius description of the documents and rather
2 than go through numbers than by reading all these descriptions. If that
3 would be agreeable to the parties, I suggest the following: That the
4 Chamber gives a decision on the admission of these documents, and if there
5 would be anything in respect of the description of the document that in
6 your view would need correction, we always could change the description,
7 the exhibit still being admitted into evidence.
8 That then would be the documents 120 up 'til 151. I make the
9 following notes: Apart from Exhibits 121, 122, 123, and 124, which are
10 all maps, whether or not annotated maps, all the other exhibits are
11 accompanied by a translation into the non-original language, which always
12 bears the same number but added to that .1. And I specify that in respect
13 of P141, the original is already accompanied by a, as it was often said,
14 poor translation into English, so 141 is the memorandum of Radomir Pasic
15 in English and B/C/S of the 6th of July, 1992, whereas P141.1 is the -- I
16 think, Madam Registrar, perhaps you'd look at it, is the translation to
17 English where it reads "B/C/S translation." But that is the official
18 translation, and that will be then corrected. It is the official
19 translation of the original B/C/S document which was accompanied by an
20 unofficial and poor translation.
21 If there are no objections. Yes, Mr. Harmon.
22 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry to interrupt you, Your Honour. I wish you
23 to continue and then I will raise a point.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I wondered whether there were any objections
25 against the P exhibits. There are no. If there are not, they are all
1 admitted into evidence as I just explained.
2 Then we have one Defence Exhibit, which is D15. It will be marked
3 for identification at this very moment until we receive a final and
4 official translation so that we have -- and we know that it's almost --
5 the translation is almost perfect. But for the time being, it will be
6 marked for identification, Madam Registrar, under number?
7 THE REGISTRAR: D15 ID.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have one question, and that is of
10 course the exhibits that were tendered by the Prosecution often are
11 multiple, separate documents. One is a cover sheet, one is a memorandum,
12 and one is an attached document. I note, for example, in the description
13 that is provided in 147, that exhibit contained a memorandum, a cover
14 sheet -- I'm sorry, a cover sheet dated the 21st of July, it contained a
15 separate memorandum, and it contained a separate letter from the Prime
16 Minister of Croatia, Franjo Gregurevic. In the description of the list
17 that I have been provided there is no such distinction made. I don't know
18 to what extent the Court wants me to make suggestions to correct the list
19 and be more precise. I'm satisfied, frankly, to have the exhibits as they
20 were tendered be admitted. The list itself, I should not have to make
21 suggestions and take the time to complete.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Of course if -- if you would not be satisfied with
23 the description, of course you may make any suggestions for amending the
24 description on the list. On the other hand, of course, finally, the
25 documents, as they are in the hands of the registrar, are admitted into
1 evidence, and I think on the basis of the transcript we always could look
2 at what we actually looked at, because you usually introduced the document
3 by saying we look at the front page and then attach this and this and
4 this. But if not necessary, I would avoid to ask the registrar to give a
5 more precise, more detailed description as given on the list at this
7 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I just comment, Your Honour, that
9 I'll just say at this moment that we don't feel completely comfortable
10 with that but we will follow Your Honour's direction and go away and
11 consider the question of what's an adequate description and then
12 communicate --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you are afraid of any confusion to arise,
14 you always can make suggestion and Madam Registrar will certainly gladly
15 amend on the basis your suggestion, but rather to go through everything
16 and say there's a cover page attached, I think that's not even a level of
17 detail we usually have if the descriptions are read out.
18 MR. STEWART: Yes, I just -- I just wanted to -- to indicate that
19 we're not necessarily immediately a hundred per cent happy, but we won't
20 be unnecessarily difficult about it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Any suggestion will be taken into consideration. But
22 let's move on, because otherwise this new procedure takes more time than
23 the efficient reading out by the registrar.
24 Before we give an opportunity to the Prosecution to call its next
25 witness, perhaps we should first go into private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 3285-3290 redacted. Private session.
3 [Closed session]
4 [Part of Closed Session made public by order of Trial Chamber]
11 Pages 3292-3304 redacted. Closed session.
21 MR. STEWART: May I raise one other matter, Your Honour, which is
22 this --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: -- we have, of course -- of course we discussed with
25 Mr. Krajisnik -- of course we meet Mr. Krajisnik regularly, and we
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13 English transcripts.
1 naturally discuss with him what happens in court and occasionally
2 naturally have to explain to our client certain aspects of what happens in
3 court. We also have to report, naturally, it's part of our duty, report
4 and explain to Mr. Krajisnik anything which happens in -- at the meetings
5 or sessions at which he's not present.
6 We have had some difficulty and therefore would very much
7 appreciate some clarification from the Tribunal. We have had difficulty
8 in slightly in understanding ourselves but therefore difficulty in
9 explaining to Mr. Krajisnik how it was that the -- this case, Krajisnik,
10 appeared on the schedule which was published by the Tribunal on the 24th
11 of May, which was last Monday, as listed for hearing on Monday morning,
12 the 7th of June. I first saw that schedule later in the week, actually, I
13 can't remember exactly when, but I think it was Thursday or Friday, and it
14 was in general circulation, as that schedule is, of the various
15 courtrooms. I now realise that on the 26th, so between the publication of
16 that schedule and in fact, as it happens, when it came into my hands, the
17 official spokesman for the Tribunal, and I think the Trial Chambers, I
18 think that's the way he's described, had issued a press statement
19 announcing - and it's on the website for the Tribunal - that the
20 sentencing hearing for Mr. Babic would be at 10.00 a.m. on Monday the 7th,
21 and this was alluded to by Your Honour, and you were able to give us a
22 certain amount of information, but I think it's -- it was acknowledged not
23 complete information in relation to this matter last Friday. But I would
24 appreciate clarification, because as a matter of something affecting
25 Mr. Krajisnik, and as it's slightly puzzling, I confess it is slightly
1 puzzling to us what happened here, and I would appreciate any
2 clarification. I have only realised over the weekend - I didn't know
3 before because some things just pass me by - I had not realised that the
4 identity of the Trial Chamber and in fact the three Judges dealing with
5 Mr. Babic's sentencing hearing, when we had the meeting on Friday I'm
6 afraid I didn't appreciate that Your Honours were the same Judges in
7 relation to Mr. Babic as well, but I hope Your Honour sees that it would
8 be helpful and set minds at rest if we were to understand how all that
9 came about and what the -- what the arrangements have been, because I
10 appreciate Your Honours are in that slightly difficult position of being,
11 if you like, the Babic Trial Chamber with one hat on, as we say in
12 English, but the Krajisnik Trial Chamber with another hat on, but, Your
13 Honours are human beings, so --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. STEWART: -- with one brain each.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you very much for establishing the fact
17 rather than what I did.
18 MR. STEWART: It's just my evidence, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I'd rather discuss that during -- we'll call the
20 Babic Defence counsel, who has asked to be present, first because we call
21 Mr. Babic in, and then I'd rather deal with that matter in his presence
22 because --
23 MR. STEWART: That would seem to absolutely make sense that
24 Mr. Mueller should be present in relation to this sort of matter, Your
25 Honour. We agree with that, with respect.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
2 Before we ask Mr. Mueller to come in, we have two issues. First
3 of all, 89(F), the evidence which will be submitted under -- the written
4 statement which will be submitted under Rule 89(F) can be expected to find
5 no opposition from the Chamber.
6 At the same time, the motion in respect of 92 bis, which I think
7 the same matters 89(F) and 92 bis are dealt with in the same motion, we
8 will not decide at this moment on the admission of the 92 bis evidence.
9 We'll delay our decision until we have heard the viva voce testimony,
10 especially since the Chamber gave some guidance as to how to -- to use
11 statements or transcripts in relation to the viva voce evidence. So we'll
12 not decide on that issue.
13 Then I'd like Mr. Mueller to be accompanied into the courtroom.
14 Mr. Mueller, welcome. Our apologies for the delay. Mr. Mueller,
15 you have asked to be present during the testimony to be given by your
16 client, Mr. Babic, in the Krajisnik case. You may be seated, it will take
17 a couple of minutes.
18 MR. MUELLER: You want me to be seated?
19 JUDGE ORIE: At this moment. I'm not saying -- at this moment,
21 MR. MUELLER: Okay. You want me to maybe -- the microphone. You
22 want me to use the microphone.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't invite you yet to speak.
24 MR. MUELLER: I'm sorry.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We have dealt with the situation before when another
1 witness testified in this case, and we then spent a lot of attention to
2 what would be the role of Defence counsel in respect of the witness. I've
3 asked the Prosecution before whether there was any intention to prosecute
4 Mr. Babic on new elements that would come up, and there's a commitment
5 from the Prosecution that there is no intention whatsoever to come up with
6 new indictments against Mr. Babic even if he would say a few matters which
7 might be incriminating in respect of him. So therefore, that could hardly
8 be a reason to -- to intervene.
9 I also have to emphasise that of course a charge under a joint
10 criminal enterprise covers a lot, so to start new proceedings on the basis
11 that there's another -- that other charges should be brought against
12 Mr. Babic is very unlikely to happen.
13 Then in the -- it was about Mr. Deronjic. In the -- with
14 Mr. Deronjic we also discussed whether he had to fear any prosecution by a
15 domestic authority. At that time, there was a commitment by the
16 Prosecution that they would prevent, to the extent possible, to support
17 whatever domestic prosecution against the then-witness but then potential
18 accused in the domestic system. The primary jurisdiction the Tribunal has
19 certainly gives powers to prevent domestic jurisdictions to proceed
20 against someone, of course as long as it concerns facts which are within
21 the jurisdiction of this Tribunal. So therefore, if Mr. Babic, during his
22 testimony, which I do not expect on the basis of his statement, suddenly
23 confessed a horrible crime in 1988 in a third country, then of course the
24 primary jurisdiction of the Tribunal could not protect him. But that's
25 also an event which is very unlikely to happen.
1 Finally, in -- prior to the testimony of Mr. Deronjic, we
2 discussed whether -- whether his testimony could be unfavourable for the
3 ongoing sentencing proceedings against at that time Mr. Deronjic, but the
4 same might be true in respect of Mr. Babic. There was some discussion
5 then as to whether Rule 90(E), which allows a witness to indicate that
6 answering a question would incriminate himself would -- whether that would
7 also be applicable if the answer would worsen his situation in view of
8 sentencing. We then decided that we would cross that bridge as we came to
9 it, and we didn't come to it at that time. So that's just for your
10 information what the position is.
11 We allowed at that time Defence counsel for Mr. Deronjic to be
12 present but under the strict condition that he should clearly keep in mind
13 the very, very limited -- the very, very limited circumstances under which
14 the Chamber would -- oh, yes. You could have used -- I'm sorry, yes.
15 MR. MUELLER: Much easier with the headphones on. Thank you.
16 Much better.
17 JUDGE ORIE: To clearly keep in mind the very limited
18 circumstances under which the Chamber would consider any intervention
19 appropriate. That's point one.
20 And the second is that there would be no direct contact between
21 the witness and counsel. That's the reason why I said for the time being
22 I'll ask you to sit there, but as a matter of fact, I just -- there's a
23 microphone also at the bench and this courtroom layout is a bit
24 unfavourable, there are nicer solutions in other courtrooms, but I would
25 invite you then to sit there, just next to the door, and to use that
1 microphone if necessary.
2 That's as far as the Rules are concerned in respect of your
4 Then we have another issue. That is -- I have two more issues.
5 The first one is the Defence of Mr. Krajisnik has inquired into the court
6 schedule since the published court schedule indicates that next Monday we
7 would pronounce sentence against Mr. Babic and at the same time would hear
8 the Krajisnik case. First of all, court scheduling is an administrative
9 matter, but the Chamber has issued a Scheduling Order to pronounce the
10 sentencing judgement against Mr. Babic next Monday, but that's not going
11 any more. The parties -- you will be informed about it, it will be later.
12 And just to -- to inform you that the reasons are mainly logistical ones.
13 The Chamber is, of course, as you might not be surprised of, preparing the
14 sentencing judgement, and as every experienced lawyer knows, that there
15 are two issues: One is to make up your mind on the basis of all the
16 arguments exchanged, and the second one is to get it on paper in such a
17 way that it can be pronounced. I can assure you that the second issue is
18 mainly on our minds at this moment, and together with logistical problems,
19 the delivery of the sentencing judgement will be considerably delayed, as
20 I said, both for logistical reasons and for finally finalising the
22 This answers to some -- so therefore it's not made public yet, but
23 it will be made public either today or tomorrow that there will be no
24 sentencing judgement delivered in the case of Mr. Babic next Monday.
25 Mr. Stewart, this also, I would say, clarifies to some extent what
1 you asked for.
2 MR. STEWART: Yes, it does indeed. Thank you to -- with one or
3 two caveats which are expressed in what Your Honour has said. This is a
4 fast-moving situation as far as the Defence are concern. We've gathered
5 all sorts of bits of information over the last two or three days in
6 relation to the position of Mr. Babic.
7 Talking about and putting it all together, two points do occur to
8 us now. One is that in all the open sessions over the last week or so,
9 there has been constant reference to Mr. Babic being the next witness.
10 That has been said many, many times, and we have discussed --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I checked it, yes.
12 MR. STEWART: -- in quite some detail. Coupled with that, which
13 seems to be the situation anyway, if Mr. Babic -- if the Krajisnik case is
14 -- no disrespect to Mr. Krajisnik, I always refer to him
15 as Mr. Krajisnik --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. STEWART: -- but if the Krajisnik case is seen to be listed and
18 heard on Monday in closed session, after two or three days of evidence
19 with a witness in closed session, and Mr. Babic's sentencing hearing
20 publicly announced by a press spokesman for the Tribunal last week as
21 scheduled for Monday the 7th of June does not take place on that day, we
22 simply ask, isn't it becoming blindingly obvious to anybody in the world
23 outside with half a brain that it's Mr. Babic giving evidence?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well --
25 MR. STEWART: So what is this all about?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Everyone who looks at the transcript of last Friday
2 would know exactly when he was about to start, et cetera, but that
3 decision has been taken, and we were aware of the whole of the public
4 knowing -- that's also the reason why I asked Mr. Tieger just in the
5 beginning whether it was just the fact that Mr. Babic would testify or
6 not, but that's a matter which has been decided, and we will not reopen
7 the debate on that.
8 MR. STEWART: Is the position this, Your Honour -- may I just ask
9 this -- Mr. Mueller is in court, so perhaps it's appropriate to say it now
10 -- clearly the Prosecution are -- I'm not resiling from the degree of
11 non-opposition which I indicated to Mr. Tieger yesterday, it's just that
12 we do see these other aspects of the matter coming along. Not all of
13 them. The Trial Chamber no doubt was more fully aware of all these
14 different elements than the Defence team has been because we've had to
15 gather information as we go along. So that's why we make in effect these
16 supplementary submissions. We understand entirely, of course, the
17 Prosecution in their own interests and as their duty make these
18 submissions and make these applications in relation to witnesses such as
19 Mr. Babic, but we assume that, after all, it all stems from a request by
20 Mr. Babic.
21 We therefore suppose that in the end, now Mr. Babic is represented
22 in court, that the continuation of this protection of Mr. Babic by closed
23 session would only be thought to be necessary to continue so long as
24 Mr. Babic, through his counsel, wished it to, and we understand that at
25 the moment they do wish it to, but that, we understand, must be the
1 position, that if at any point Mr. Babic through his counsel, who is now
2 in court, were to say, "Well, it's pointless because it's going to be
3 obvious," to Mr. Babic, then he would make that submission.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mueller, I'm addressing you now as -- I would say
5 as counsel for a witness and not counsel of someone who still has to be
6 sentenced in this Tribunal. The Defence is not informed about the facts
7 underlying the motion of the Prosecution that ask for protective measures
8 to the effect that Mr. Babic would testify in closed session. I just
9 inform you about this before what we discussed during the long time would
10 be, just become ineffective because of any of your remarks, but the
11 question of the Defence of Mr. Krajisnik is whether you'd say, since
12 everyone knows anyhow, at least could know on the basis of transcripts of
13 public hearings, that Mr. Babic is testifying now, whether it still makes
14 any sense or not to ask for the protective measures. If you would say,
15 "We don't need them," fine, we'll hear it. If not, please tell us.
16 MR. MUELLER: Your Honour, the answer shall not be done within one
17 phrase. We have learned about circumstances a couple of days ago which
18 make it very reasonable that protective measures are taken -- are being
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but the explanation is clearly --
21 MR. MUELLER: Explanation --
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- is clearly in --
23 MR. MUELLER: Mr. Babic -- I'm sorry. I'm sorry. May I continue?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. MUELLER: Thank you. Mr. Babic is still insisting on
1 protective measures.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
3 MR. MUELLER: And I do not see any reason why I could circumvent
4 his intention.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
6 MR. MUELLER: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear then, at least --
8 MR. STEWART: Indeed, Your Honour. That's unequivocally clear.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then finally I have another issue, and I waited with
10 this until Mr. Mueller had arrived because it concerns him as well. Our
11 court schedule for this week --
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Trial Chamber has been exploring
14 possibilities, also for logistical reasons, to sit longer during Thursday
15 and Friday. As a matter of fact we would have preferred to sit an extra
16 three hours on Thursday but I have just been informed this is not
17 possible, but we could gain another one hour and a half tomorrow. Similar
18 possibilities for Friday still have to be investigated first, whether
19 there are teams of translators available. Therefore, if the parties would
20 be unable to continue tomorrow in the afternoon for one and a half
21 additional hours, I would like to be informed. That's point one.
22 The second issue is that, when talking about Friday, Mr. Mueller,
23 I am informed that you will not be available on Friday, but although the
24 Chamber allows you to be present or to send someone to substitute you, the
25 Chamber is not willing to adapt the court schedule where we have major
1 problems in trying to finalise the testimony of the -- of Mr. Babic by
2 next Monday, the Chamber is not willing to postpone the Friday hearing to
3 any other moment. This doesn't affect the acceptance of the presence of a
4 counsel for Mr. Babic, but your unavailability, however regrettable it may
5 be, is not a reason for us to postpone the Friday session.
6 Then having said all this, I think, Mr. Mueller, it would be the
7 proper time to take your strategic position.
8 MR. MUELLER: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And to ask Madam Usher to escort Mr. Babic into the
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes, the -- yes.
13 MR. STEWART: You invited you said -- you asked whether the
14 parties would be unable to continue tomorrow in the afternoon for one and
15 a half additional hours, you'd like to be informed.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm not beginning by saying that there
18 is some physical unavailability of our team. There isn't. That's not a
19 problem. We're here in The Hague. We seem to be here quite a lot. The
20 -- but we do just wonder what the -- in the light particularly of the
21 observations and discussions that took place last week about the form in
22 which Mr. Babic's evidence would be presented --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: -- I know that this is also a fast-moving situation
25 for Mr. Tieger. I wonder if Mr. Tieger is able just to give us a brief
1 indication of where we think we might be going in terms of timetable on
2 Mr. Babic, how long he's going to take in chief and so on.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, without inviting you to speculate, if you
4 could give information, please do so.
5 MR. TIEGER: I'll try to dampen my impulse to speculate and -- I
6 -- I'm hoping that we can conclude the examination-in-chief within six
7 hours. It's a bit difficult for me to assess the pace at which we'll
8 move, but if that's -- I think it is at least a realistic prospect that we
9 could conclude on Thursday so that Friday would be cross-examination.
10 Now, my estimate may be more than partially off, but that's --
11 that's the fairest estimate I can make at this point.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: The reason, Your Honour, is this -- that's very
14 helpful. We have been trying to do our scheduling, subject, of course,
15 always to the Trial Chamber's directions and decisions. Up to a few
16 minutes ago, I had been under the clear impression, as a result of
17 discussions between the Prosecution and including Mr. Harmon and myself,
18 and also knowing the position of Mr. Mueller, that we would -- excuse me
19 -- that Mr. Biskovic would be the witness giving evidence on Friday.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that has been suggested, and when I saw that for
21 the first time, and it was I think yesterday because we first had
22 Mr. Babic on our list and there was no ruling yet on whether we would
23 postpone or adopt to the schedule of Mr. Mueller, it may have been quite
24 clear that -- well, even if it's not clear, the Chamber has given
25 preference to first finish the testimony of Mr. Babic.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I finish?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. STEWART: I understand, of course, that -- we know the Trial
4 Chamber's position on that, and I suppose that everybody in principle
5 likes to start from the position that it's better if a witness goes
6 straight through from start to finish uninterrupted. That's normal court
7 practice in the whole world, I think. But that was our understanding. We
8 didn't understand from all the various discussions there'd been that there
9 was any special difficulty then about Mr. Babic's evidence continuing on
10 Monday. Your Honour's indicated something a moment ago which suggests
11 that that's difficult. We did know that difficulties emerged then in the
12 course of next week, and we understand those, but --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but there's always a risk. If I look at the --
14 if I look at the experience we have gained in respect of the examination
15 of witnesses, there would be a risk that we might not conclude by Monday,
16 and that's a risk I would at all costs want to avoid.
17 MR. STEWART: When Your Honour says "at all cost" --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, of course not at all cost.
19 MR. STEWART: I'm not meaning to --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I think during one of the meetings I
21 hinted to -- I would say to the private agendas of Judges. I think I said
22 something I might have to see my psychiatrist in Moscow, as you may have
23 noticed. This was, of course, just an allusion to matters not to be
24 discussed anywhere --
25 MR. STEWART: Of course. We understand that entirely.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- and the Chamber wants, to the extent possible,
2 hear the evidence of Mr. Babic by all three Judges. That's it.
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we would certainly wish that to be the
4 position, naturally.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you know there are rules sometimes that
6 allow for specific reasons one of the Judges not to be present but we want
7 to avoid at all -- not at all cost but we certainly have a strong
8 preference to hear the testimony of Mr. Babic with all three Judges, and I
9 wouldn't know that if we wouldn't finish by Monday whether that would be
10 possible. Let's leave it to that.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we could cross the bridge whether it
12 might be appropriate --
13 JUDGE ORIE: The earlier we start with the testimony of Mr. Babic,
14 the better the chance.
15 MR. STEWART: I understand that, Your Honour, but there are many,
16 many difficulties in changing situations and bits of information that the
17 Defence has had to cope with in relation to this, and the point I'm
18 getting at is this: Your Honour, I do not know whether we will be ready
19 to cross-examine Mr. Babic within this time scale, so when Your Honour
20 says "at all costs," one of the costs which we always understand the Court
21 would not regard as an acceptable cost is a cross-examination where the
22 party was genuinely, for good reason, not ready.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me be quite clear: Last Friday we discussed when
24 to start with the testimony of Mr. Babic; in the middle of this week. We
25 also discussed whether we would be able to finish him next Friday or
1 whether we would need Monday, and I think I clearly expressed I didn't
2 hear anything at that moment as far as another witness is concerned. I
3 was confronted with that, a change in order, a suggestion, only yesterday
4 for the first time, so not only for the Defence matters are changing but
5 sometimes for the Chamber as well. We want to start the testimony of
6 Mr. Babic at this moment and we'll see where it ends, and it's for the
7 first time that I'm confronted with this situation, but let's start and
8 see where it ends.
9 Madam Usher, could you please -- no, no. I think it's security
10 who should escort Mr. Babic into the courtroom.
11 MR. STEWART: Sorry. May I make one further observation which --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: -- because -- which is this: It is so far as
14 tomorrow afternoon is concerned. Part of the exercise of preparing for
15 any witness, of course, and this applies to Mr. Babic, involves
16 Mr. Krajisnik. When we add time to a hearing such as tomorrow, we also
17 take away time from any spare capacity, of which there is virtually nil
18 anyway in the Defence team, to consult Mr. Krajisnik. So, Your Honour, I
19 must say I think I'm expressing this --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. STEWART: -- we are very unhappy about an extended day at this
23 JUDGE ORIE: If we would sit tomorrow in the afternoon there might
24 be a suggestion to have an opportunity, and I'm just informed that the
25 same would be possible on Friday, so I take it that during the lunch break
1 Mr. Krajisnik would stay in this building if we would sit in the afternoon
2 as well, which might give more opportunity to speak with Mr. Krajisnik.
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, this is becoming oppressive. This is
4 becoming distinctly oppressive. Mr. Krajisnik sits in court here as the
5 defendant on trial for several hours a day, and to suggest that in
6 relation to the voluminous material in relation to Mr. Babic, an important
7 matter, that we then, in addition to everything else we have had to do and
8 everything else Mr. Krajisnik has to do, that we are then to take that
9 break, which for Mr. Krajisnik, apart from us, because we are deemed to be
10 superhuman often for these purposes, though there are limits as far as
11 counsel are concerned, but, Your Honour, we -- I think that's -- I've
12 probably said enough now. I've registered the various points --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, you do not find my suggestion a good
14 one. I do understand you.
15 MR. STEWART: I think that's got across, thank you, Your Honour,
17 JUDGE ORIE: All right, then Mr. Babic, who might be waiting,
18 ready behind the door, can now enter the courtroom.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Babic, before giving evidence in this court, the
21 Rules of Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration
22 that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 May I invite you to make that declaration. The text will be handed now to
24 you by Madam Usher.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Babic.
3 WITNESS: MILAN BABIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Babic, we allowed to -- we allowed Mr. Mueller,
6 your counsel, to be present in this courtroom. If you just look over all
7 this paperwork there, you'll see he's sitting there. May I instruct you
8 that that is also the last time you look at him, because you're supposed
9 not to seek any contact, any direct contact, not even eye contact with
10 Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller has been instructed on what his role could be.
11 You could entirely leave it to Mr. Mueller.
12 If there's at any moment a situation where you would like to seek
13 the advice Mr. Mueller, although as the Chamber has explained to
14 Mr. Mueller, there are hardly any situations imaginable where there would
15 arise something that would ask anything else from you than just to give
16 answer to the questions, but if such a moment would, nevertheless, in view
17 of you arise, you may address me. You may not address Mr. Mueller
18 directly. Is that clear?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Tieger.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Examined by Mr. Tieger:
23 Q. Good morning, Mr. Babic.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Let me quickly address a few background facts with you. You were
1 born in 1956; is that right?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. You obtained a medical education, studying dentistry in Belgrade,
4 and you were appointed director of the health centre in Knin in Croatia;
5 is that right?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. During the period from 1990 through 1995, you occupied certain
8 positions, political positions, in Croatia, and I'd like to enumerate
9 those now and ask you at the end of that enumeration whether those are
11 First you became a member of the regional committee of the Serbian
12 Democratic Party, the SDS, for Krajina in February of 1990.
13 A. For Knin.
14 Q. You later became -- you later became the president of the Main
15 Committee in Knin, also in 1990. You became the president of the regional
16 committee for Krajina. You occupied the position of the president of the
17 Knin municipality for four years, beginning in 1990. You became president
18 of the Association of Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika. You
19 became president of the Serbian National Council, president of the
20 Executive Council for SAO Krajina, the Serbian Autonomous District of
21 Krajina. You became president of SAO Krajina in 1991, President of the
22 Republic of Serbian Krajina, the RSK, in 1991 until February of 1992. You
23 were president of the SDS party Croatia after the death of Jovan Raskovic.
24 You were the minister of foreign affairs of the RSK in 1994 and were
25 briefly the Prime Minister of RSK in 1995. Is that correct, sir?
1 A. It is correct, except that I wasn't the president of the SDS for
2 Croatia but, rather, for Krajina. That's what it was called, the SDS for
3 Krajina, not for the entire territory of Croatia. The rest is correct.
4 Q. In 2001, is it correct that you contacted the Office of the
5 Prosecutor of the ICTY after learning that you had been named in the
6 indictment of Slobodan Milosevic and made that contact in order to explain
7 your role in the events and to clear up the truth about that role and the
8 events surrounding the war in Croatia?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. And you participated in interviews with the Office of the
11 Prosecutor at length without promises or immunity after you made contact
12 with the OTP. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Is it also correct that on the 27th of January, 2004, you entered
15 a plea of guilty to a crime against humanity, persecutions, for your
16 participation in a joint criminal enterprise which had as its purpose the
17 permanent forcible removal of the majority of the Croat and other non-Serb
18 populations from approximately one-third of the territory of the Republic
19 of Croatia in order to make it part of a new Serb-dominated state?
20 A. Yes, as described in the indictment.
21 Q. And that plea was accepted by the court the following day, on the
22 28th of January; is that right?
23 A. That's right.
24 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, at this time may I ask that the plea
25 agreement and factual basis be marked Prosecution's next in order.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P152.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, just to inform you, since we have a bit
3 of a different schedule today, I'd like to have a break at approximately
4 quarter past twelve.
5 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour. And may the exhibit be
6 presented to the witness. I see it is being.
7 Q. Mr. Babic, do you recognise that document as the plea agreement
8 and the factual basis in your case?
9 A. Yes, I do. I do recognise it.
10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I understand it is the Court's practice
11 to defer tendering of the exhibits until the conclusion of the
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, tendering, we usually give a decision at the
14 end, but numbers are always attributed to the documents.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 A. Mr. Babic, next I'd like to place before you a document that was
17 introduced in a case you testified in, the case involving Mr. Milosevic,
18 and I'd like that marked next in order, which I believe would be P153.
19 First of all, Mr. Babic, did you have an opportunity before your
20 testimony in the Milosevic case to listen to a series of intercepted
21 telephone conversations in order to determine whether you could identify
22 the participants?
23 A. Yes, I did, quite a lot of them.
24 Q. And does the document before you reflect your declaration that you
25 had listened to the attached intercepted telephone conversations and
1 identified the voices of the participants as indicated?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And was that a true and accurate declaration?
4 A. Yes, it was. I apologise, but in the Serbian text it says that I
5 was eavesdropping. I wasn't doing that. I was simply listening to them.
6 The inference is a bit different in the Serbian version.
7 Q. Well, the English translation which you -- well, the English
8 version which you signed states as you have indicated, that you listened
9 to the following intercepted telephone conversations, and I advise you,
10 therefore, that the clarification you offered is reflected in the English
11 version which you did sign.
12 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, next I'd like to have the witness
13 presented with a copy of the statement which was submitted pursuant to
14 89(F). Your Honour, I ask that be marked. I believe it would be P154.
15 Q. Mr. Babic, is the document before you, Prosecution's number 154, a
16 statement provided by you to the Office of the Prosecutor on the dates
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. And do you confirm that it is true and accurate?
20 A. I do.
21 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, prior to -- prior to moving the
22 statement into evidence, we'll provide the Court with binders of the
23 attached intercepts.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, we're going to ask you momentarily to set that document
25 aside. You have had an opportunity to review the positions that you held
1 in Knin and in Krajina during 1990 to 1995. Let me turn you for a moment
2 to 1990 and ask if you attended the founding rally of the SDS party
3 Croatia in February 1990?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And is it also correct that you joined the SDS believing that a
6 new party was needed to represent the special interests of the region
7 which was overwhelmingly Serb?
8 A. Yes, that's right, in the Knin region.
9 Q. In the ensuing election, is it correct that the SDS party won a
10 majority in four municipalities in Croatia, including your whole
11 municipality of Knin, and after a second election, won a majority in
12 another municipality?
13 A. Yes, that's right. The second round of elections, yes.
14 Q. Is it correct that in July of 1990 the SDS party in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina was founded?
16 A. Yes, that's right, on St. Peter's Day, which is celebrated in the
17 Orthodox church.
18 Q. And did the head of the Croatian SDS party, Dr. Jovan Raskovic,
19 support the Bosnian SDS party during its electoral campaign?
20 A. Yes. The election of the president of the SDS in Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, Dr. Karadzic, as well.
22 Q. Now, was there an initial conflict or dispute about the membership
23 of the parties in different municipalities in Bosnian Krajina, or Bosanska
24 Krajina, which was resolved with the decision that those committees would
25 belong to SDS Bosnia-Herzegovina rather than SDS Croatia?
1 A. Yes, there was.
2 Q. And later in 1993, was there an effort to unite the SDS parties of
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro under the
4 leadership of Dr. Karadzic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what was the outcome of that effort?
7 A. Well, most of the SDS branches united into one SDS of all Serb
8 lands under the leadership of Dr. Karadzic except for the one whose
9 president I was. Our party did not join this united SDS.
10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I believe we've reached the moment for
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we did, Mr. Tieger. We will adjourn until
13 twenty-five minutes to one.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we continue, we will sit tomorrow in the
17 afternoon for one and a half hour, and whatever assistance the Defence
18 would need in order to find ways to facilitate the communication with
19 Mr. Krajisnik, not only during the lunch break but in whatever way, the
20 Chamber is -- will only be too glad to assist to the extent possible.
21 That's point one.
22 Friday would be the same. And tomorrow, but we will still have to
23 look at this, there would even be an opportunity to sit three -- perhaps
24 would be an opportunity to sit during three hours in the afternoon. That
25 would be depend on the canceling of another case tomorrow in the
1 afternoon. That's highly uncertain, so therefore for the moment it's one
2 and a half hours extra, from 2.30 to 4.00 on Thursday and the same on
4 At this point, there is another issue, and, Mr. Mueller, I would
5 like you to clearly listen to this. If for any reason it would be
6 preferable to have - and the same is, of course, true for the parties -
7 if there would be any reason to make not public any part of the statement
8 -- of the testimony of Mr. Babic for other reasons than the one why we are
9 sitting in closed session, for example, personal matters or whatever
10 reason there would be to keep certain aspects of his testimony
11 confidential, the Chamber would like to be informed about it prior to
12 giving a decision that the protective measures are lifted, because now
13 nothing will be public but once the protective measure of closed session
14 will be lifted, then everything would automatically be public, and if
15 there are specific portions which for whatever reason should remain
16 confidential, then of course we should not only lift the protective
17 measure but also put in place for smaller portions protective measures.
18 That's whether asked by the Defence or the Prosecution. There is a risk
19 that we might overlook, since everything is confidential now, that we
20 might overlook that perhaps smaller portions should remain.
21 This is sort of a suggestion just to avoid whatever mistake at a
22 later stage. Then Mr. Babic may -- yes.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I just say something? On the first
24 point Your Honour made, yes, there would be -- I don't know whether it is
25 something that the Trial Chamber can help on, but we are having difficulty
1 finding time to see Mr. Krajisnik.
2 JUDGE ORIE: In the -- in the Detention Unit.
3 MR. STEWART: At the Detention Unit tomorrow.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll see whether we can solve that problem. If
5 after this court hearing we could be informed, then we'll try to do
6 whatever we can. So write down what the problem is, perhaps in one or two
7 lines, and write down what your wishes would be and we'll see whether we
8 could solve this problem.
9 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. And the only other point I
10 will make, and I'll keep it very, very short, particularly in light of the
11 fact the witness is already in court, the potential difficulty which I
12 mentioned about 45 minutes ago, to put it as a piece of English
13 understatement is certainly not made any less difficult by the proposals
14 that the Trial Chamber has just put forward for the next two days.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is aware of that.
16 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.
17 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Mr. Babic, before we adjourned, you had referred to the
19 establishment of the SDS Croatia and the subsequent formation of the SDS
20 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, both in 1990. Did these events occur at a time
21 when there was increasing concern about the potential disintegration of
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Were you familiar or did you become familiar - excuse me - with
25 the position of Slobodan Milosevic regarding the status of Serbs and the
1 position to be taken by Serbs in the event of the dissolution of
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. And can you tell us what that was, please.
5 A. The position was that all Serbs -- that Serbs have the right to
6 remain within Yugoslavia, in one state.
7 Q. Mr. Babic, I'd like you next to look at a map that I would ask to
8 have marked as Prosecution's next in order, including an accompanying
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P155.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I be excused [Realtime transcript
12 read in error "executed"] from court?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The record says that you will be executed from Court.
16 MR. STEWART: I thought it would come to that as well, frankly,
17 but --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, we'll see you back later.
19 MR. TIEGER:
20 Q. Mr. Babic, before I ask you specific questions about the map, it
21 may be helpful simply to indicate what it depicts in a more general
22 manner. First of all, is it correct that the upper portion of the map,
23 including the block that extends down to the bottom of the page at the
24 left, depicts the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And the block we see in the middle of the map at the lower
2 portion, does that indicate the territorial situation of Serbs in Croatia
3 according to suburbs, done with regard to the census carried out on March
4 31, 1981?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Turning next to the block next to it, which is depicted in yellow
7 at the lower -- at the lower portion of the map to the right side but
8 excluding the legend at the bottom, is that indicated as a map of the
9 Ustasha genocide upon the people of Serbia on the territory of the
10 Independent State of Croatia between the years of 1941 and 1945?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the points depicted on the map are various points of genocide
13 committed by Ustashas, concentration camps, and so on?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And turning finally to the block at the lower right-hand portion
16 of the map, which is presently shown on screen, does that indicate the
17 population of Krajina in numbers?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And as of 1993, as indicated by the italicised portion at the
20 bottom of the second column?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let me focus your attention on that particular block for just a
23 moment. Looking first at the first indicated area in the upper left-hand
24 portion of that small block, Eastern Slavonia, Western Srem, and Baranja,
25 does it indicate the democratic composition of that area in 1993?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that would be 95 per cent Serbs, 4 per cent Croats, and 1 per
3 cent others?
4 A. That's what it says.
5 Q. Turning quickly to some of the others. Banija, which is listed
6 below, is that 97 per cent Serb, 2 per cent Croat, and 1 per cent others?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Kordun, 98 per cent Serb, 2 per cent Croat?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And quickly, Lika an Northern Dalmatia have, respectively, 93 per
11 cent Serb, 5 per cent Croat, 2 per cent others; and Northern Dalmatia 90
12 per cent Serb and 10 per cent others.
13 A. Yes.
14 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to this map and the
15 evidence that's being adduced, it's not immediately apparent if Mr. Babic
16 is in a position -- from what position he comments in relation to the
17 demography. I don't believe a foundation has been laid for any expertise
18 in relation to population numbers in the area.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Let me ask a couple of questions in relation to that.
21 Q. First of all, Mr. Babic, do you know who produced this map?
22 A. The map was made by the military institute in Belgrade. I don't
23 know if that's the exact name of the institution. Perhaps it's stated
24 somewhere. I had the original of the map. It's the military publishing
25 institute or something like that. Generally -- well, it's the military
1 publishing institute in Belgrade. The information is as stated in the map
2 from the military headquarters of Krajina from June 1993.
3 Q. And is the demographic breakdown of the areas just discussed as
4 indicated in the map consistent with your understanding of the demographic
5 breakdown in 1993?
6 A. Yes, more or less. I didn't know the exact data, but I assume
7 that based on what I saw, that could be so or approximately so.
8 Q. Now let me turn your attention back to 1990 and again to those
9 specific areas. Can you tell the Court what the approximate demographic
10 breakdown was in Eastern Slavonia in 1990?
11 A. According to my estimate, half of the population were Serbs and
12 Yugoslavs, and the rest, or the other half, were Croats and others.
13 Q. And according to your best estimate, what was the demographic
14 breakdown of Banija?
15 A. Banija had about 75 per cent of Croats and 30 per cent of others.
16 More or less.
17 Q. And Kordun, what was the demographic breakdown of Kordun in 1990?
18 A. It was probably about 80 per cent of Serbs and the rest were
20 Q. Let me refer you back quickly to your previous answer. According
21 to the transcript it indicated that Banija had about 75 per cent of Croats
22 and 30 per cent of others, more or less. First of all, I wanted to know
23 if that's -- the demography is correct, and second if you could reconcile
24 the addition.
25 A. No. No. I think the interpretation was not good. I said 75 per
1 cent Serbs, 30 per cent others. Perhaps I made a mistake previously.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that still leaves the 105 per cent as a result,
3 but it was "about", Mr. Tieger.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 MR. TIEGER:
6 Q. And --
7 A. 25 per cent. I apologise. More or less. I just went by the
8 percentage of the Serbs and then I assumed about the -- how many we would
9 have of the rest.
10 Q. Can you also indicate to us the approximate demographic breakdown
11 of Lika in 1990?
12 A. I think there were about 80 per cent Serbs in Lika and 20 per cent
13 were others, and the same goes for Northern Dalmatia. Approximately.
14 Q. Mr. Babic, what --
15 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas.
17 MS. LOUKAS: If there are to be any more questions of this nature
18 in relation to demographics, my objection would be that I don't think it's
19 particularly probative coming from somebody who is not a demographer, and
20 I would -- I would object on that basis.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let me ask a question to Mr. Tieger.
22 Mr. Tieger, is the establishment of demographic figures or are you
23 establishing what the understanding of the witness was in view of
24 political positions he might have taken? What is it about?
25 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, the rough or relative accuracy of the
1 demographic description provided by the witness is a matter of -- is part
2 of the Prosecution's evidence, and clearly it's not intended with -- to
3 have the same precision as a demographic expert might be, but we're
4 talking about --
5 JUDGE ORIE: It's the perception of the witness of what the ethnic
6 or demographic figures were, what he understood them to be. Do I
7 understand to get later a more detailed report -- because this is mainly
8 about the situation in Croatia rather than in Bosnia and Herzegovina, do
9 we get further -- further evidence on demographic issues?
10 MR. TIEGER: It was not my intention to do so, Your Honour. My --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Not with this witness, but later on, wasn't there a
12 report of Ms. Tabeau to be --
13 MR. TIEGER: I can't say at this moment the extent to which it
14 addresses population changes in Croatia. However, the point of addressing
15 this issue at this time --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. TIEGER: -- is again not about the specific numbers or the
18 precise breakdown but about a population change of such significance that
19 a witness in this -- or a person in this witness's position would be able
20 to recognise that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Loukas, if you would ask in general a
22 Dutchman whether it's in the north or in the south that most of the
23 Catholics are living, you'll get a 99.9 per cent answer that's in the
24 south. I would give that example. I would even, without ever having done
25 any demographic studies, I would fully guarantee that the answer is right.
1 It's not only on the basis of demographic studies that you could
2 tell something about demographic issues.
3 MS. LOUKAS: I appreciate that entirely, Your Honour, but it was
4 not apparent from Mr. Tieger's questioning what the point was of this
5 evidence, and it didn't appear immediately apparently probative on any
6 particular issue that's before the Tribunal at this point, and I wanted to
7 make that point so we knew where this evidence was aimed.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you assist a bit more, Mr. Tieger, apart from
9 giving a global idea on then of course the relevance of that global idea
10 on how the demographic issues in Croatia were.
11 MR. TIEGER: It may be of assistance for the Court to know that
12 I'm about to ask the witness what exactly accounted for that demographic
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
15 MR. TIEGER:
16 Q. Mr. Babic, can you tell us, please, and tell the Court, please,
17 what accounted for the change in the demographic character of these areas?
18 A. In the course of 1991, there was an armed conflict in Croatia
19 during which a large number of the population from this area, Croats, were
21 Q. Can you tell -- can you tell us, please, what forces were involved
22 in this effort to expel Croats from the area?
23 A. During the military operations, the JNA, the Territorial Defence,
24 and units under the control of the police, including also the Krajina
25 police forces, took part in the armed conflict, and they are responsible
1 for the expulsion.
2 Q. Now, during the course of your testimony in the Milosevic case and
3 also in your factual basis, you were -- used a term "a parallel
4 structure." Can you tell us, please, what the parallel structure was?
5 A. A parallel structure is a parallel structure of power and
6 authority in the territory of the SAO Krajina, which was formed by the
7 service, the State Security Service of Serbia. If was a parallel
8 structure in relation to the Krajina authorities and included members of
9 the Serbian state security, members of the Krajina police, members of the
10 Serbian Democratic Party. At the top of the structure, of course, was
11 Slobodan Milosevic as head of the state security, as a controller,
12 according to what I know.
13 Q. Can you tell us, please, who were some of the principal figures in
14 the parallel structure?
15 A. These were the officials of the state security in Serbia; Jovica
16 Stanisic, Frenki Simatovic, Captain Dragan, and so on. They were the key
17 figures in -- at the time, as well as Milan Martic.
18 Q. You mentioned that at the top of the parallel structure was
19 Slobodan Milosevic. What was Jovica Stanisic's relationship to
20 Mr. Milosevic?
21 A. He was his subordinate.
22 Q. And you also mentioned Franko Simatovic. What was his
23 relationship to either Mr. Milosevic or Mr. Stanisic?
24 A. Subordinated.
25 Q. And the relationship of Simatovic to Stanisic?
1 A. According to what I know, subordinated. When I said that Stanisic
2 was subordinated to Milosevic, I don't know how it came out in the
3 interpretation, but that is what I meant.
4 Q. And apart from Mr. Milosevic, what was Mr. Stanisic's position
5 within the authority figures of the parallel structure in Croatia?
6 A. He was the head.
7 Q. Now, you mentioned Milan Martic. Did he occupy -- as a member of
8 the parallel structure, did he also occupy formal positions of authority
9 within the governmental structures of the Serbian authorities in Croatia?
10 A. He did have functions, posts. Formally he was part of the
11 authority of the Krajina, but actually he was part of the parallel
13 Q. When did you first become aware of figures involved in the
14 parallel structure beginning to play a role in events in Croatia?
15 A. In August 1990.
16 Q. And what happened at that time to make you aware of that?
17 A. The so-called log revolution took place. So it was a conflict
18 between the local Serbs around Knin and the Knin police with the Croatian
19 authorities. That was called the log revolution by the Croatian press,
20 media. At the time when those events were taking place, I met Jovica
21 Stanisic, who was maintaining contacts with Martic. That was when I began
22 to find out about the parallel structure.
23 Q. Can you describe briefly the events surrounding the so-called log
24 revolution and the role of Mr. Martic or Mr. Stanisic in that.
25 A. The events were a consequence of the political conflict in Croatia
1 between the Croatian authorities, the Croatian government, which was
2 changing the constitution of the Republic of Croatia, and between the
3 Serbs, the political representatives of the Serbs, SDS in particular, who
4 opposed those constitutional changes, believing they were to the detriment
5 of the Serbian people.
6 The political conflict culminated in the decision of the Serbian
7 National Council to hold a referendum on Serb autonomy in Croatia and also
8 in the decision of the Croatian government to prevent the holding of this
9 referendum. All the other incidents took place after this, and especially
10 the incident related to the participation of local police in Knin and
11 Milan Martic in these events, which was actually the distribution of
12 weapons to the reserve police and the erecting of the barricades as well
13 as armed opposition. That, again, was a beginning of all those events.
14 Q. You indicated -- you indicated earlier that the JNA and the TO
15 were also involved in the effort to expel the population from portions of
16 Croatia. Who was in command or in control of the JNA?
17 A. In the operational sense, it was the General Staff of the Yugoslav
18 People's Army in Belgrade and the headquarters of the Supreme Command in
19 conditions of imminent threat of war and state of war, and the Presidency
20 of Yugoslavia as the collective Supreme Commander. According to my
21 information, in such circumstances, Slobodan Milosevic as well as the most
22 influential political figure in Serbia who did have control and influence
23 over the JNA in the events of autumn 1991.
24 Q. And during the course of your dealings with Mr. Milosevic during
25 the period 1990 through 1991, did you have occasion to see him indicate
1 his control over the JNA?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. First of all, on approximately how many occasions did you meet
4 with Mr. Milosevic from -- or during the period 1990 through 1995?
5 A. Several times. In 1990.
6 Q. Let me ask you this question: On how many occasions overall had
7 you met with Mr. Milosevic?
8 A. Approximately 20 times.
9 Q. When did you first make contact with Mr. Milosevic?
10 A. I made a contact in August of 1990.
11 Q. Did you initiate that contact on your own or were you encouraged
12 to do so by others?
13 A. Others urged me to seek contact with Milosevic.
14 Q. Who was it that encouraged you to do so?
15 A. Milan Martic, Bogoljub Popovic from the Serbian Democratic Party,
16 and some other people from Krajina. They urged me to go and meet with
17 Milosevic and asked for protection from him, especially at the time of the
18 events that I just described, which were in fact political conflicts
19 with the Croatian government and the announced referendum on Serbian
20 autonomy, and counter-announcements by Croatian government that it would
21 use force, if necessary, to prevent that referendum. That was under those
23 Q. And were you able to make contact with Mr. Milosevic at that time?
24 A. I did establish contact in Kupari, near Dubrovnik, which was where
25 Mr. Milosevic was at the time.
1 Q. And did Mr. Milosevic indicate to you whether he would support
2 Serbs in Croatia; and if so, in what manner?
3 A. He did send me that message indirectly through Borisav Jovic. He
4 sent Borisav Jovic, who was then the president of the Presidency of the
5 SFRY, to go and meet with us and tell us what kinds of measures would be
7 Q. And can you tell us what Mr. Jovic indicated to you?
8 A. Jovic said that with the assistance of the JNA, he would support
9 any political action on our part in Croatia, that he would support any
10 political effort of ours in Croatia.
11 Q. Now, before moving on to other matters, I want to quickly identify
12 some of the political steps taken from the time of the election to the
13 declaration of the Republic of Serbian Krajina in December of 1991. Was
14 the first step, Mr. Babic, that an association of municipalities of
15 Northern Dalmatia and Lika was formed which expressed the wish of the
16 Serbian population in the area to introduce Serbian autonomy in Croatia?
17 A. That was one of the first political events.
18 Q. Which municipalities were included in the association of
20 A. That was the Association of Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia,
21 in Lika, and later on municipalities from Banija and Kordun also joined
23 Q. And did the association initially include the municipalities of
24 Knin, Benkovac, Gracac, Donji Lapac, Obrovac, and Titova Korenica?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. On July 25, 1990, did the SDS Croatia proclaim the autonomy or
2 declare the autonomy of the Serbian people in Croatia?
3 A. That wasn't declared by the SDS but, rather, by the Serbian
4 Assembly held in Srb, which was held at the initiative of the SDS.
5 Q. And was the -- was a Serbian National Council also established at
6 that time?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And on the same day, were members of the Serbian National Council
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And as I believe you indicated earlier, you became president of
12 the Serbian National Council.
13 A. Yes, at the next following session.
14 Q. At the first meeting of the Serbian National Council, did it vote
15 to hold a referendum to determine the vote in favour or against a
16 declaration on autonomy?
17 A. Yes. The decision was adopted to hold a referendum on Serbian
18 autonomy or, rather, to implement it.
19 Q. Was that referendum ultimately held?
20 A. It was.
21 Q. And is it correct that the vote taken was overwhelmingly in favour
22 of autonomy?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Subsequently on September 30, 1990, did the Serbian National
25 Council declare the autonomy of the Serbian people on ethnic and historic
1 territories on which they live and which are within the boundaries of the
2 Republic of Croatia as a federal unit of the SFRY?
3 A. Yes, based on the results of the referendum.
4 Q. A few months later, in late December 1990, did the Association of
5 Municipalities of Northern Dalmatia and Lika transform itself into another
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And was that entity into which it transformed the Serbian
9 Autonomous District of Krajina, SAO Krajina?
10 A. Yes. That was the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina.
11 Q. And is it correct that the statute of SAO Krajina, among other
12 things, called for territorial autonomy within Croatia?
13 A. Well, we couldn't say that it called for, but that it rather
14 established it.
15 Q. And then, as indicated earlier, it was in December of 1991 that
16 the Republic of Serbian Krajina was declared; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Babic, I'd like to turn now away from the political steps
19 that were taken during that period to some of the factual backdrop to the
20 conflict that emerged in August of 1991, or the more intensified conflict
21 that emerged in August of 1991. Paragraph 16 of your factual basis you
22 indicate, as you have here, that a parallel structure began to emerge from
23 August 1990, comprised of members of the Ministry of the Interior of
24 Serbia, the State Security Service of Serbia, the SDS of Croatia, and
25 policemen in the Serbian municipalities in Croatia, which ultimately
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 answered directly and exclusively to Slobodan Milosevic. You've indicated
2 some of the central figures in the parallel structure, as you have here.
3 A. I'm not receiving interpretation.
4 Q. Mr. Babic, can you hear the interpretation now?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I don't know when the interpretation stopped, but I had directed
7 your attention and the Court's attention to paragraph 16 of your factual
8 basis in which you describe the emergence of the parallel structure in
9 August of 1990, indicate its membership, and the fact that it ultimately
10 answered directly and exclusively to Mr. Milosevic, and in which you
11 describe some of the central figures of the parallel structure.
12 Now, paragraph 16 goes on to indicate that through the parallel
13 structure Milosevic manufactured incidents which provoked reaction and
14 fear among the Serbs and intensified intervention by the Croatian police.
15 This spiraled up into intolerance, violence, and eventually war.
16 Let me ask you first about the nature of some of the incidents
17 which were conducted by members of the parallel structure. Did those
18 include the blowing up of shops and kiosks owned by Albanians and Croats?
19 A. Among others, yes.
20 Q. And can you provide the Court with some general indication of the
21 nature of the incidents that were conducted by members of the parallel
22 structure and that provoked reaction and fear among the Serbs?
23 A. Well, I can say that that was a reaction to attempts by myself and
24 some other presidents of municipalities from the area to reach an
25 agreement with the representatives of Croatian government on peaceful
1 resolution to the problems and on -- on finding -- on finding mutual
2 ground, and as a result of that Council of People's Resistance was set up.
3 It was opposed to peaceful solutions, and the parallel structure was
4 responsible for various incidents on the ground; mining of -- blowing up
5 of railways, destroying various stands, kiosks, abuse of citizens, and so
6 on, attempts to knock down power lines. They even managed to disrupt the
7 power supply in order to create greater disturbance. The aim of all this
8 was to provoke the intervention of the JNA into introduce a state of
9 emergency in Croatia.
10 Q. During the period of -- from 1990 through 1991, were Croatian
11 Serbs provided with arms by members of the parallel structure or others
12 from outside Croatia?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did Mr. Milosevic himself provide arms to the Croatian Serbs?
15 A. To the Serbs in Croatia, yes.
16 Q. How did you learn that?
17 A. From him personally and also from his minister of police.
18 Q. Can you describe for the Court the meeting or meetings during
19 which you learned from Mr. Milosevic personally that arms -- that he was
20 providing arms to the Serbs in Croatia?
21 A. That was in a meeting in March of 1991. The situation was quite
22 tense. I can't remember who exactly proposed that we should go and see
23 Milosevic to ask him what his plan was to protect the Serbs in Croatia.
24 That was what prompted us to ask for the meeting.
25 I went there together with some other people from Krajina.
1 Milosevic told us that he had already purchased 20.000 weapons in Hungary
2 for us. We were surprised. We looked at each other. It was unusual for
3 us to know that Milosevic was buying weapons for us in Hungary when the
4 media reported that it was Croatia that was doing that. Then he invited
5 Radmilo Bogdanovic and Jovica Stanisic -- Radmilo Bogdanovic was a former
6 minister of police, and Radmilo Bogdanovic said that they had already sent
7 500 weapons to Banija.
8 Later on, sometimes in May, I saw -- I was shown the weapons in a
9 warehouse and was told that the weapons had arrived from the TO warehouse
10 in Serbia and that it had been organised by Mihalj Kertes, a man who was
11 very close to Milosevic and Jovica Stanisic.
12 Q. Mr. Babic, who showed you the warehouse with the weapons in May of
14 A. Milenko Zelenbaba, chief of police in Knin, an assistant of
16 Q. What kind of weapons were you shown?
17 A. Long-barrelled weapons; rifles and mortars.
18 Q. You mentioned Mr. Kertes. Did he have a nickname?
19 A. Braco.
20 Q. If I understood you correctly, you learned during the course of
21 that conversation with Mr. Zelenbaba that the source of the weapons was TO
22 warehouses or TO defence -- or TO warehouses in Serbia.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Mr. Babic, you've already indicated that during the course of your
25 testimony in the Milosevic case you provided a -- you -- or during your
1 preparation for that you were able to listen to a series of intercepts
2 which are reflected in the declaration that you looked at earlier today.
3 I'd like to turn your attention to one of those.
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this -- the transcript of this
5 particular intercept will be found or can be found at page 5 of the
6 attached list of the intercepts. It is a conversation that took place on
7 June 24, 1991, between Radovan Karadzic and Braco.
8 Q. First of all, Mr. Babic, let me ask you if you're familiar with
9 that intercept, if you recall it.
10 A. Yes. I remember listening to it. It was also presented in the
12 Q. Let me ask you a question, then, about a portion of the contents
13 of that. There are references in the intercept to food and supermarket,
14 and if I recall correctly, salt.
15 A. Yes. Batteries and so on.
16 Q. Flour, I also see on page 3 of the English translation. Were
17 those the commodities with which Mr. Kertes, to your knowledge -- with
18 which Braco, to your knowledge, was concerned?
19 A. I didn't know at the time that he was involved in this. I know
20 that he was exclusively involved in delivering weapons from Serbia and
22 Q. And can you help us then understand the references to flour and
23 salt and supermarkets and so on? Are those references to those items or
24 do they have another meaning in the context of this conversation?
25 A. I think that this is a superficially coded conversation. It has
1 to do with the delivery of weapons.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to the questioning on
3 the -- the intercepts generally, I would be objecting, and I do object
4 generally to questions which call for speculation on the part of the
5 witness in relation to what other people might be talking about. I would
6 submit it is of fairly limited value to the Trial Chamber. Generally
7 intercepts are there for the Trial Chamber to determine what weight they
8 might be given and what approach might be adopted in relation to their
9 meaning, and asking someone else to comment on other people's
10 conversations when it hasn't actually been established on what precise
11 basis he can determine the meaning on a particular conversation, I think
12 there has to be some caution in that regard, Your Honour, because it can
13 lead to speculation, and I just sound that warning out.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, is this a warning that tells you
15 something or --
16 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour, I fully accept that as a general
17 matter it's the Court's prerogative and responsibility to draw conclusions
18 from the evidence presented to it. On the other hand, I think it's a very
19 common area of inquiry to someone from a certain milieu to identify
20 aspects of conversations which may be better illuminated by someone who
21 operated within that particular context, particularly if it involves some
22 form of coded conversation.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Tieger, you may proceed. It's not
25 inappropriate to ask from a witness if two political leaders are -- or at
1 least, political figures are discussing flour, salt, or perhaps
2 cauliflower or whatever vegetables to try to find out what that might
3 stand for if not for salt, flour, or cauliflower.
4 Ms. Loukas, just for your information, if a witness would say this
5 is about drugs instead of weapons, the Chamber might not follow that
6 witness in establishing that it was about drugs. So the -- it's not pure
7 speculation, but on the other hand, it is some interpretation which will
8 be looked at very cautiously by the Chamber.
9 MS. LOUKAS: [Microphone not activated]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, I just wanted to sound that warning at
13 this point because there can be a tendency for there to be tendentious
14 explanations of intercepts, particularly a person who has pleaded guilty
15 and is awaiting sentencing.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is aware of the risks, and the Chamber is
17 aware of the very specific situation in respect to this witness.
18 Mr. Tieger, I don't know what questions you would have liked to
19 have put to the witness during the last two minutes, but they have gone.
20 Therefore, unless there would be one or two questions that you would
21 consider to be necessary at this very moment and they couldn't wait until
22 tomorrow, then we will adjourn until morning, 9.00, in this same
24 I've forgotten one thing: Mr. Babic, I should instruct you not to
25 speak with anyone about the testimony you have given or you're still about
1 to give. That also includes members of the Office of the Prosecution,
2 Defence team, friends, visitors, whoever; not to talk about it with
3 anyone. Yes.
4 Then we will adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of June,
7 2004, at 9.00 a.m.