1 Thursday, 26 September 2002
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's for the Prosecution to open this part of
7 the case.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, today we're represented, as you see, by
9 the Prosecutor herself, by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, and by Mr. Groome, and of
10 course by myself. The Prosecutor will make some opening remarks and then
11 I'll make a rather short opening statement.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Madam Prosecutor.
13 MS. DEL PONTE: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, Your
14 Honours. I will not take up much of your time this morning. Neither will
15 Mr. Nice. I shall limit myself in a matter of minutes to a few procedural
16 and logistical issues that have been and will continue to be of special
17 relevance to this case.
18 Last February, I pointed out that this trial was going to put
19 international humanitarian law and its practice to the test. The test has
20 obviously been conclusive in many respects. The procedural feasibility of
21 such a trial has been established. The Prosecution presented its case for
22 Kosovo in 110 hours, or the equivalent of five normal trial weeks. This
23 achievement testifies to the Prosecution's commitment to an efficient
24 administration of justice manifested in its active contribution to the
25 search for creative solutions in trial management.
1 However, a trial before an international forum is inconceivable
2 without the cooperation of states. It is in this field that the fate of
3 the trial will ultimately be played out. And unlike domestic
4 jurisdictions, international justice has no means of enforcement. Yet
5 state cooperation, in particular cooperation from the Federal Republic of
6 Yugoslavia, is far from being exhaustive. Admittedly, during the initial
7 stage of these proceedings Yugoslavia made it possible to hear several
8 deposition witnesses and facilitated access to some sources of evidence
9 material. Cooperation remains, however, fractious, difficult,
10 unpredictable. More importantly and much to my regret, it does not appear
11 to be guided by the will or the interest to actively participate in
12 establishing the truth.
13 With regard to the segment of the trial opening today, Yugoslavia
14 continues to hold the key to irreplaceable evidence, such as potential
15 witnesses who will need state authorisation to travel and testify, or
16 civilian and military archives, access to which is still denied to date.
17 I have given up the hope of seeing Belgrade encourage potential
18 witnesses to come and testify. The only thing I ask is that they allow
19 them to come while lifting the threat of criminal prosecution for
20 violation of state or military secrets. As you can see, a great deal will
21 depend on the extent to which third parties, including but not limited to
22 Yugoslavia, will comply with their legal obligations before the Tribunal.
23 Allow me to underscore that cooperation should not be limited to
24 strict compliance with our requests. States and international
25 organisations should, in my view, contribute actively to ascertaining the
1 facts by submitting to the Trial Chamber all the evidence they know to be
2 relevant to the case.
3 Furthermore, administration of justice must be transparent.
4 Public hearings must remain the rule, closed sessions the exception,
5 justified only by the prevailing need to protect the identity of witnesses
6 in danger. This very much coincides with the views of the Trial Chamber.
7 A transparent administration of justice is a fundamental component
8 of the rule of law. We therefore call upon all countries in a position to
9 make witnesses available to us, to acknowledge and apply to international
10 justice the principles they hold dear in their own country. In this
11 respect, we should recall that the Trial Chamber expressed time and time
12 again its willingness to take into consideration legitimate state
13 interests by approving closed sessions as required to protect confidential
14 and classified evidence.
15 The efficiency with which the Kosovo case was led is due to a
16 large extent to the cooperation and support of the Victims and Witnesses
17 Section and, above all, to the witnesses' courage, willingness, and
18 self-effacement. Given the magnitude of the trial, the fact that the
19 Trial Chamber heard witnesses without interruption, with the exception of
20 one 20-minute delay, is remarkable enough in view of the many
21 imponderables and factors beyond our control. I want to pay tribute to
22 the witnesses for their flexibility and their goodwill. Some had to
23 extend their stay in The Hague by several days when hearings were
24 adjourned for unexpected reasons.
25 We do not know whether we can maintain this level of procedural
1 efficiency in the case starting today. The cases are different. There
2 will be fewer factual witnesses as opposed to witnesses testifying to the
3 responsibility of the accused, who will be less flexible in terms of
4 availability. This may well render our job a little more difficult. The
5 Trial Chamber may, however, rest assured of our continued efforts to
6 ensure that evidence is led without interruption.
7 I now give the floor, with your leave, to Mr. Nice. Thank you.
8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, it was the accused who wanted there to be
9 opening speeches. We drew to your attention that, of course, there have
10 been detailed indictments, an earlier detailed opening, and a very
11 detailed pre-trial brief to which the accused is in a position to respond.
12 And accordingly, with an eye to who is our proper audience, this opening
13 can be brief. Our proper audience is, of course, Your Honours, not the
14 wider public. These proceedings are in public in order that the public
15 can see our work is done properly, as the Prosecutor has so rightly
16 reminded us. They're not here to provide copy, or particularly good copy
17 for newspapers or matters of that sort.
18 Accordingly, in this opening, I shall simply remind the Chamber of
19 the events of these two indictments and of how we put our case, show you a
20 few maps which I hope will be helpful in filling out the picture. At the
21 end, I will return to say one or two things about the trial process.
22 We already have quite a lot of evidence about events generally
23 from evidence given in the Kosovo-only part of the trial. The break-up of
24 the former Yugoslavia with the development of nationalism in various forms
25 is well known to the Chamber. In the early stages, Serbs for the most
1 part taking or expressing the position that the former Yugoslavia should
2 dissolve, if at all, into component ethnic groups; that is, Serbs, Croats,
3 and other groups officially recognised, not, of course, Kosovars.
4 I trust the Chamber has been given folders of maps, and if the
5 usher would be so good as to place the first map on the overhead
6 projector. I, of course, don't ask for these to be produced at the moment
7 - they will be produced in due course - these are documents simply for
9 The first map which is from, indeed, the Times map of the Balkans,
10 and a map with a rather complicated legend we can see on the left-hand
11 side, breaking the inhabitants into nations and national minorities, the
12 various colours for Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, striped according
13 to the percentage by which particular areas they occupied territory, shows
14 just how varied a place it was in population terms.
15 We needn't look at it in detail. It tells a story visually. The
16 idea of reformulating this pattern of occupation into one where ethnic
17 groups could be all together is an idea that was always going to be
18 extremely hard to achieve in any peaceful way. Hard; impossible.
19 We turn from that map. We can leave it there for the time being
20 until the next one is placed on the overhead projector.
21 The Prosecution case is that the Serbs plan conceived, as plans
22 can be without people sitting round a table with a leader telling them
23 when their plan should be, reduced to a Serb claim to a huge expanse of
24 the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Their plan was packaged,
25 initially in any event, in terms of wanting people to remain in
1 Yugoslavia, although that phrase, the Prosecution say, was or became a
2 cover for the desire to create a Serb state.
3 Before we move on through the events of these two indictments, the
4 Croatian and the Bosnian indictment we are about to try, a word of
5 resistance to temptation: There may be a temptation to characterise this
6 accused simply as the sole architect, and that temptation may have to be
7 resisted until the precise outlines of his role are etched by evidence,
8 because plans can emerge without a single originator. Such plans can be
9 joined, and there can be those who choose to lead such plans, once they
10 join them, being criminally opportunistic and coming to be seen as and
11 indeed to be central to the plan itself. And this may be a reality of
12 this accused's personal history, he being a man to whom others committed
13 to the plan looked for leadership that he was able to provide.
14 Let's turn to Croatia in more detail. It left the communist fold
15 in May of 1990. It suffered some rebellion in the area known as the Croat
16 Krajina in August of 1990. We will hear evidence of how about this time
17 Jovica Stanisic and Frenki Simatovic, names familiar to Your Honours, and
18 others, spent time in the area arming, training, and organising the local
19 Serb police and armed groups in cooperation with a man called Milan Martic
20 of whom you will be familiar, and of others.
21 We come to early 1991, and in March, as will be dealt with by
22 Mr. Mesic, the present President of Croatia next week, in Karadjordjevo
23 there was, there may be no doubt, an agreement between this accused and
24 President Tudjman of Croatia to carve up Bosnia, a plan that was afoot
25 quite without prejudice to the Croatian war into which those two men were
1 to engage.
2 At the same sort of time, there was Karadzic, leader of the
3 Bosnian SDS party who shared Milosevic's goal, being recorded as saying
4 such things as, "It is as natural as rain falls that the Serbs should live
5 in the same state."
6 On the 15th of March, of 1991, this accused announced that the
7 Presidency of Yugoslavia no longer existed, and indeed in a meeting then
8 secret of local government leaders, revealed what was in his mind when he
9 said, "It is always the powerful and never the weak who dictate frontiers.
10 He also said that Serbia would no longer be bound by decisions of the
11 Federal Presidency, the rump of which he was soon himself to control.
12 The war covered by the Croatian indictment starts really in August
13 of 1991, the accused being President of Serbia, the federal institutions
14 being really only nominally intact. And we will discover that Kadijevic,
15 the Federal Secretary of Defence was a man already being seen to be
16 responsive to the accused, who as I say was but President of Serbia, and
17 although he may have had no formal authority over the army at that time,
18 he was able to exert some effective control. And these mechanisms of
19 control reveal the beginning of the new order.
20 First blood of this war really in the spring of 1991 between
21 Croatian police and rebel Serbs, with interventions by the JNA supporting
22 the Serbs and not the Yugoslav contention, the accused himself pressing
23 that the army should pursue the Serb cause whatever public stance he might
24 have taken. His public statements being already aimed at deflecting
25 international condemnation.
1 This deception was very important, as it was important that
2 Serbian participation in the war should be concealed, something we shall
3 discover acknowledged by some Serb leaders at that very time in unguarded
4 moments. And that may be why so much was done by this accused through
5 proxies, such as the Federal Presidency or Rump Presidency itself, or
6 through other leaders in Knin and elsewhere who could be directed,
7 encouraged, supplied, but then publicly disavowed.
8 Mr. Mesic, as I say now President Mesic, was due for appointment
9 or election to the rotating Presidency of the former Yugoslavia, and his
10 appointment was effectively blocked for several months, between May and
11 July, when he was only grudgingly allowed into office that he was only
12 able to exercise effectively for a few months, until September.
13 May we now then look at a map that shows the ethnic distribution
14 of Croatia; map 2. I'm not sure that the colours on the various maps that
15 I shall provide to you for your assistance are all consistent, but you
16 will see here red for dominance by Serbs, yellow for Croatians. And what
17 is, of course, remarkable or notable is that towards the west there are
18 areas -- I beg your pardon. To the west of the overall map but to the
19 east of the centre of Croatia there are areas strongly red. Further to
20 the east, although there is by the different strengths of shading some
21 Serb presence, you will see nothing of great strength at all; no clear
22 majorities, just some mixed communities and many communities with, as one
23 would expect, a Croatian majority.
24 Leaving that map on the overhead projector the account is as
25 follows as what happened: In early August, the JNA began to take over
1 Baranja in Eastern Slavonia - it's up in the northeastern corner of the
2 map - while stepping up attacks on Croat villages in that area. There was
3 a Croat plurality in those areas only. Not only; there was a Croat
4 plurality, more Croats than others. But the JNA handed over control to
5 local Serbs, ultimately led by the man Goran Hadzic, and a campaign of
6 terror began, reflected in the indictment, involving arbitrary arrests and
7 detentions, mass killings, expulsions, destruction of property carried out
8 by paramilitaries, by local Serb forces and, in some cases, by the JNA
9 itself. So we have the development of the picture of combined forces
10 operating together.
11 And those paramilitaries, part of that combined force, will be
12 shown to have had close ties to the MUP of Serbia, to close associates of
13 the accused whom he would continue to support for years, and indeed to the
14 accused himself.
15 Now, the Croats blockaded the JNA barracks in Croatia in
16 mid-September. This may be relied upon as some explanation for some of
17 what followed. What followed was that the JNA from elsewhere, together
18 with local Serbs, struck in five directions aimed at the dismemberment and
19 total defeat of Croatia, although that objective of the JNA's may not have
20 been at that time the particular objective of the accused whose different
21 interest I have already identified and summarised.
22 Can we now place map 3 on the overhead projector.
23 This reveals the SAOs, the Serb autonomous regions, that were
24 declared. But I use the map at this stage for a different purpose.
25 Although it doesn't have the characteristic arrows on it, the Court will
1 hear in due course how at this time attacks from Serbia were mounted into
2 East Slavonia. That is the etched area on the right-hand side which of
3 course includes Vukovar. Attacks were mounted south from Bosnia moving
4 north into West Slavonia, the middle of the etched areas. There was an
5 intention, it would appear, to cut the access roads into West Slavonia.
6 There were attacks mounted west out of Bosnia towards the Slovenian
7 border, and those were aimed at separating Zagreb from the coast. Then to
8 the south and west on this map, there were attacks from Knin to Zadar and
9 Sibenik nearer to the coast aimed at the coast and to split Dalmatia. And
10 Your Honours will see Skabrnje marked along with Nadin, to which I'll
11 refer in a second.
12 Finally, and not marked but Your Honours will know the geography,
13 from Montenegro and Eastern Herzegovina, there were the attacks on
15 Skabrnje near Zadar, we can see. Just an incident of
17 Ratko Mladic, Chief of Staff of the 9th corps of the JNA, carried
18 out a threat he made on his own terms to destroy those two villages there,
19 without justification murdering 45 elderly Croats and some other 26 to die
20 in the following months.
21 He was then, of course, commander of the supposedly neutral JNA,
22 but he and Milan Martic, commander of the rebel Serb militia who was also
23 involved in these crimes, spoke publicly of their full cooperation and
24 integration, one with another. Those two men, Mladic and Martic, later to
25 benefit from decisions made by this accused and others. He was involved
1 in the decisions. Mladic to become the Bosnian Serb commander, Martic to
2 become the Croatian Serb political chief. Approval of men whose acts must
3 already have been known.
4 Dubrovnik, a town with few if any legal targets, shelled about
5 1.000 times for no discernible reason save intimidation or reprisal.
6 There and in the area, over 40 civilians killed. And the Chamber will
7 have to decide in due course whether these attacks could conceivably be
8 justified or whether they were, through disproportionality, recklessness
9 or simple intent, as alleged, criminal acts for which this accused bears
11 Vukovar in Eastern Slavonia, at the top of your plans and maps,
12 destroyed with massive loss of life, followed by the awful event where the
13 hospital was emptied and between 200 and 300 men from that hospital
14 executed. Vukovar perhaps an example of how, over time, the JNA made the
15 fateful decision to collaborate with or to incorporate what were called
16 volunteers, often men with no business serving in the army at all, or
17 paramilitaries such as Arkan.
18 Now, the limitations of time quite appropriate and proper for a
19 case like this lead to a selection of charges that we must be careful do
20 not give any incorrect impression.
21 Vukovar and Dubrovnik are towns - cities - identified as under
22 attack, but there were others, and that should be remembered; Zadar,
23 Osijek, Vinkovci in East Slavonia, and other smaller towns similarly. The
24 major and the notorious events - for example, Vukovar - should not obscure
25 the fact that villages in these areas and the area of Dubrovnik even, were
1 plundered and destroyed with the populations fleeing. And their stories,
2 although they may not be before you in great detail, their accounts should
3 not be overlooked.
4 There was, of course, no conceivable reason for gangs, criminal
5 gangs like Arkan's, to be involved in the way they were in this war.
6 Groups that had, as the evidence will reveal, continuing support from the
7 accused, indicative, indeed, of criminal intent. And there can be no
8 doubt, as a witness at a meeting with Cyrus Vance will reveal, there can
9 be no doubt that this accused was confronted in the strongest terms with
10 the detail of what Arkan did.
11 In September, while this assault was being perpetrated, the
12 Bosnian Serbs were themselves establishing autonomous districts covering
13 most of Bosnia, similar to what the Serbs had done. At this stage, you
14 will hear of the degree of contact between this accused and those Bosnian
16 As we move in this summary from or to the time when I shall leave
17 Croatia, it may be worth having in mind this: that many of the worst
18 crimes in Croatia happened either sometimes near the end of combat but
19 certainly quite unrelated to military roles and were pure crime. The
20 Vukovar Hospital, the Vocin massacre on the day of the Serb withdrawal,
21 the killings of the elderly in Skabrnje after a ceasefire, and the very
22 worst of the shelling in Dubrovnik which happened on the day before the
24 We reach October 1991, a bad and significant month where patterns
25 may be discerned, patterns that inevitably speak of a plan. The JNA had
1 started to incorporate volunteers of the type I've already described,
2 began cooperating closely with Arkan, and around Dubrovnik we will find
3 officers of the JNA not only tolerating but leading the plunder and
4 destruction of village after village while indiscriminate shelling was
5 claiming lives.
6 At the same sort of time, in Bosnia, any appearance of real peace
7 may have been deceptive, for intercepted telephone calls will show the
8 full involvement of the Bosnian Serb leadership in the Croatian war:
9 sending volunteers and recruits, touring the front lines, the Bosnian SDS
10 party finalising its plans for seizing power and imposing ethnic
11 separation, Karadzic warning that Muslims would disappear.
12 And we will hear of documentary evidence, or see documentary
13 evidence, showing that the Serb preparation for taking power was at the
14 same time a preparation for ethnic separation, something, as we perhaps
15 can imagine and will see most clearly from a map, inconceivable without
16 large movements of population.
17 In Belgrade, the Serbian bloc abandoned legality and seized
18 control of effective power under, effectively, this accused as, for
19 example, Mr. Mesic will say. And a pattern will develop of activities on
20 the ground, both in Croatia and then Bosnia, with which the Chamber will
21 already be familiar from what happened in Kosovo years later. A pattern
22 of Serb forces surrounding and shelling villages, often that being the
23 JNA; entry of the villages often by Territorial Defence, police, or
24 paramilitaries, killing sometimes a few, sometimes many; terror tactics to
25 drive out the unwanted population, expelling survivors, looting homes, and
1 destroying what was left with explosives and fire; an overall process
2 operated as if a single weapon achieving a single objective greater and
3 worse than the individual and component killings or other acts. And the
4 issue, of course, for this Trial Chamber is who was able to operate this
5 weapon? Who influenced its operation, both for this indictment and of
6 course at the other material times?
7 The Prosecution say that the systematic and organised way in which
8 attacks against non-Serb civilian populations in Croatia were carried out
9 revealed a carefully designed scheme and strategy within an overall plan
10 that may be laid at the door of this accused.
11 May we look at map 4, please. The ambitions of the Serbs in
12 Croatia were not entirely realised. This map shows in blue the declared
13 independent areas but in red the areas that they in fact were successful
14 in occupying.
15 In Bosnia, we will see we have census material that goes to show
16 the degree of success of the Bosnian Serbs' operations. We have no such
17 census material for the post-war effects in Croatia because by the time
18 any other census was held, people had moved back. But this map gives an
19 idea of the degree to which they were successful in changing the ethnic
21 Can we turn now to map 5 and to Bosnia.
22 A similar system of legend with colours showing ethnic
23 majorities: Red for Serbs, green for Muslims, and blue for Croats, with
24 intermediate colours representing areas where there were no clear
25 majorities. A very varied map.
1 The top map, if we can just focus on that, shows the position in
2 1991. And if the usher would be good enough to lay the transparency on
3 top of it, please, which you don't have in your papers I'm afraid, I have
4 it here. This is a transparency which repeats what we were able to see on
5 map 2. And the transparency can be available to the Court at any time it
6 wants to see it.
7 We can see the overall composition of ethnic groups at the
8 beginning of 1991. And what's clear, apart from the absolute variety of
9 composition, is that although there is a large Serb area west or centre of
10 the plan, there's no connection of Serb majority areas between that area
11 and Serbia itself. Indeed, there's the gap at the top, when you put both
12 maps together, still a gap in which, of course, features Brcko.
13 Further, if you look at the eastern border of this combined map of
14 Croatia and Bosnia, the eastern border, you can see an area of green;
15 clear Muslim majority. No suggestion, none could ever be made, that the
16 residents of those eastern areas, any more perhaps than those of the area
17 that lay between the western and eastern parts coloured in red at the top,
18 had any desire to leave their territory.
19 So that's the picture of Bosnia with Croatia. We can take the
20 overhead -- the transparency off now. Thank you.
21 That's the overall picture. This, then, the picture of Bosnia
23 The crimes under the Statute charged in respect of the accused's
24 involvement in Bosnia of course include genocide, contrary to Article 4.
25 A crime that needs careful handling, for it creates strong emotions, is
1 regarded as possessed in the language of sufferers of grave crimes,
2 whether those crimes are genocide or not, and a crime that it has to be
3 borne in mind may sometimes be less serious in terms of human suffering
4 than crimes that cannot be categorised as genocide, and thus it's our duty
5 as Prosecutors to keep the most careful and watchful eye on the evidence
6 available to prove genocide, to have an eye to the law related to it. And
7 it will be for the Chamber to decide in due course whether the offences
8 charged here were, as the Prosecution asserts, crimes of genocide insofar
9 as that is charged or whether this is persecution by destruction of
10 individuals. But I repeat, in fact in terms of comparative human gravity,
11 there is no guarantee that one crime or the other will always and
12 necessarily be the worst. But we will submit at the conclusion of the
13 evidence that the accused intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslim community
14 in part in order to fulfil the aims of the objective of the criminal
15 enterprise where prosecutions would be insufficient to achieve the desired
16 result, or alternatively, that genocide was the natural and foreseeable
17 consequence of the joint criminal enterprise, forcibly and permanently to
18 remove non-Serbs from territory, or that the accused was an accomplice in
19 that he knew that some of the principal perpetrators were committing
20 genocide and he took or undertook acts to assist in their commission.
21 And of course, as the Chamber will recognise, an alternative
22 approach under 7(3) of the Statute is that, as a superior, he knew or had
23 reason to know that genocide was about to be committed or had been
24 committed and he took no steps to prevent or punish the perpetrators.
25 In all cases, this accused had an influential role over other
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 members of the joint criminal enterprise identified, of course, in the
2 indictment. And he used his control and influence over elements of the
3 JNA, or the VJ as it was to become, and the MUP, over individual
4 politicians and over the political and military leadership of the
5 Republika Srpska as that was, in due course, to be declared.
6 In all cases he utilised the many resources at his disposal to
7 ensure efficient execution of the schemes designed to achieve the overall
8 plan. He had a fundamental role in the planning, the organisation, the
9 financing, the direction of the plan. He was thus an essential
10 participant in the criminal enterprise to the extent that, without him, it
11 is hard to conceive of the enterprise or enterprises happening.
12 Briefly the facts and the crimes charged. The autonomous areas
13 here, which we'll see on a map in a few minutes, were declared in
14 September 1991 but are probably less significant or certainly less
15 significant here than the particular municipalities of which you will hear
16 detailed evidence.
17 The pattern of events in all municipalities was similar. In some,
18 the non-Serbs were so cowed that they offered no resistance and the Serbs
19 were simply able to seize control. In others, there was resistance, often
20 quite weak, where Serb forces, the JNA and paramilitary forces with
21 special units of the Serb MUP and units of Bosnian Serbs working as one
22 could attack with criminal disregard for civilian life. And in all these
23 varieties, with or without resistance, the population was faced with
24 expulsion, imprisonment in inhumane conditions, frequently of those
25 holding key positions in local communities, torture, sexual assaults,
1 killings in small or large numbers and with collateral effects, finding
2 themselves sometimes compelled to wear armbands for not being Serbs,
3 facing other persecutions, facing loss of jobs, seeing their mosques and
4 their churches destroyed.
5 Factors significant for the accused's involvement include that in
6 some areas the participation of forces and individuals were closely
7 associated with or subordinated to the accused or to his inner circle. In
8 other areas, the Prosecution will argue that the accused incurred
9 liability through his participation in the joint criminal enterprise of
10 which these acts were a consequence.
11 While we have the map in front of us, can I turn to two particular
12 groups of municipalities that comprise perhaps the bulk of those the
13 Prosecution intends to deal with in detail. It may actually be helpful if
14 I invite you to look, at this stage, at the next map. It may be out of
15 order, but can we look at map 6, please.
16 While that's going on the overhead projector, the Chamber will
17 recall that originally some 47 municipalities were charged. And again,
18 for reasons of absolutely proper judicial economy, decisions have been
19 made only to deal in detail with certain municipalities, to deal in much
20 less detail with another number of municipalities, and finally, for there
21 to be a third category where only demographic evidence will be presented.
22 The map now on the overhead projector shows that plan of ours.
23 The strong blue colour is in respect of the municipalities, primary
24 municipalities as we've described them, where full evidence will be given.
25 The lighter blue but solid colour represents those for which evidence will
1 be presented on selected egregious crimes and in respect of matters that
2 link to the accused. The municipalities with vertical stripes are those
3 where only demographic evidence will be presented.
4 So the Chamber will see that the selection provides a spread - we
5 hope a fair spread - but covers, and I now turn to these two particular
6 groups of municipalities, the Drina Valley in the east.
7 I spoke of the SAOs and said that they were of less importance.
8 It may be valuable for the Chamber for reference purposes to have a
9 knowledge of what were the declared SAOs, and you can see them here; the
10 Krajina, Northern Bosnia, Semberija, Romania, Birac, and Herzegovina. And
11 for what it's worth, the Chamber will observe that in the west, Bihac was
12 not even within a declared area. And as we come to it, those
13 municipalities in the Drina Valley or some of them - Zvornik, Bratunac,
14 Srebrenica and Visegrad - scenes of some of the worst crimes, were also
15 not in any declared municipality, but then the Chamber will recall from
16 map 5 that they were, of course, areas without any Serb majority.
17 In the Drina Valley, starting at Bijeljina, Zvornik, Bratunac,
18 Srebrenica and Visegrad, we discover municipalities that had this in
19 common: Serb minority except possibly in Bijeljina where it was known -
20 and there was a map produced by the accused's own party in January 1992
21 that shows this - it's clear that these areas had no interest in joining a
22 Serb state, whether called Yugoslavia or under any other name. They were
23 all taken early in the war, and they were all taken with the participation
24 of many forces from Serbia with close links to the accused and his inner
25 circle, such as Arkan.
1 They were taken by elements of the JNA commanded by individuals
2 such as Ojdanic or by agents of the Serbian police DB, and special forces
3 of the Serbian MUP and other paramilitary forces from Serbia.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, what's the total number of
5 municipalities on which evidence other than demographic evidence will be
7 MR. NICE: The current, as our list reveals, the current total is
8 of 14 municipalities strong blue, 24 municipalities paler blue.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: That's 38.
10 MR. NICE: Yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Out of?
12 MR. NICE: Forty-seven.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Forty-seven.
14 MR. NICE: But, of course, in the paler blue colours, it's only
15 individual pieces of material evidence that we will lay before you. And
16 incidentally, although we have had - for which we are grateful - a month's
17 pause before the time when we must make further and give further
18 consideration to and make further adjustment to the indictments, there may
19 be further reductions.
20 Returning to the Drina Valley municipalities, most or all were the
21 scenes of mass executions or mass expulsions. They were places where
22 authority was handed to the SDS party. They were places where crimes were
23 heavily reported by international officials and the international press so
24 thus brought to the attention of the accused.
25 Visegrad itself saw paramilitaries from Serbia, mass killings,
1 people being burned alive, and indeed saw, at one stage, Colonel Jovanovic
2 addressing a group of several thousand Muslims gathered in the football
3 stadium, informing them that the widely feared White Eagles were there
4 under his command. The forces had entered the town in the face of rising
5 tension, it has to be accepted, between the Serbs and Muslims because of
6 something that the Muslims had done. But the Prosecution say the gravest
7 crimes were committed.
8 Bosanski Samac, elsewhere on this map, on the left, taken over by
9 special forces of the Serbian MUP on the 17th of April under the overall
10 command of Simatovic with local Serb police and the JNA involved, saw the
11 local SDS installed as the authority, imposing a regime of egregious
12 persecutions and armbands to be worn by non-Serbs, with mass detentions
13 and killings. That's over in the Krajina.
14 Brcko, the area to which I referred earlier as being between any
15 Serb-dominated areas, indeed an area of Muslim plurality, was attacked by
16 mixed Serb forces including paramilitaries, with local Serb units and JNA
17 members, suffered ethnic cleansing and summary executions in the presence
18 of special forces of the Serbian MUP.
19 Western Bosnia, sometimes known as the Krajina, three adjacent
20 municipalities targeted in what was a campaign of persecution or cleansing
21 in the early summer of 1992. Bosanska Krupa attacked by the JNA and other
22 Serb forces - you can see it there - with mass detentions, executions, and
23 cleansing. Prijedor suffering mass cleansing through the summer, with men
24 sent to the famous infamous camps of Omarska, Keraterm, Manjaca and
25 Trnopolje, with severe abuse and mass executions. And Sanski Most, you
1 also see a plurality of Muslims here, the JNA involved with the defence,
2 Territorial Defence, and local police in repeated mass killings and
3 detentions in camps, just as in Prijedor. Mass expulsion of the remaining
4 non-Serbs with executions by Arkan and his men, Arkan now perhaps being
5 countable as effectively part of the Serbian DB, or at least later so to
6 be counted.
7 Sarajevo. The accused has told the Chamber that he opposed the
8 lengthy bombardment of Sarajevo which happened between 1992 and 1995. At
9 the same time as he may have been publicly opposing the attack on the
10 civilian population of Sarajevo, the VJ was paying the very officers who
11 were in command of the forces responsible for the attack. And the
12 Prosecution will present evidence of that financial support given to
13 offices including, in particular, General Galic, commander of the
14 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps from September 1992 until August 1994.
15 These campaigns, it has to be borne in mind, and their consequences
16 continued, the suffering continued through this armed conflict
17 notwithstanding the presence of UNPROFOR on the territory from 1992 and
18 until the Dayton Agreements of 1995.
19 But of course, one cannot turn from a summary of Bosnia without
20 some words about the safe havens or enclaves. The military campaigns by
21 the JNA and the army of Republika Srpska in 1992 had the effect of forcing
22 fleeing Muslim civilians into particular pockets which came to be known as
23 safe areas; Bihac, Gorazde, Srebrenica and Zepa. Access roads being
24 controlled by that same Bosnian Serb army. The Bosnian Serb political and
25 military authorities adopted a policy of obstructing medical and food
1 supplies into the enclaves, of subjecting the besieged civilians inside to
2 indiscriminate shelling and sniping. All of which were persecutory
3 activities designed, in the words of a VRS directive we will look at in
4 the course of the trial -- I have available if the Chamber wants to see it
5 now, but I'll take it shortly. In the words of a directive from Karadzic
6 creating or to create "an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no
7 hope for further survival or life of the inhabitants."
8 Your Honours, just give me one minute, please.
9 Humanitarian and other aid agencies are in a position to describe
10 the intense negotiations that were conducted with the Bosnian Serb leaders
11 and with the leaders in Serbia, including this accused, for access to the
12 enclaves. But often even after access was granted, there would be
13 restrictions on humanitarian aid, there would be harassment of the
14 residents and continuing unreasonable behaviour, adding to the misery of
15 those living there. So that the enclaves took on increasingly camp-like
16 characteristics with large numbers of Muslims trapped in small,
17 well-defined areas, suffering shortage of housing, living in unsanitary
18 conditions, without food, being unable to move without indiscriminate
19 shelling, finding their hospitals overcrowded, people suffering
20 amputations without anaesthesia, death from infection all being
22 The civilian population knew that they could not escape, and as
23 one witness observed, the impression created in the civilian population of
24 this particular enclave was of a relentless and unstoppable momentum that
25 could only lead to the eventual death of everyone inside.
1 Srebrenica and Zepa were eventually taken by the VRS in the summer
2 of 1995, the other enclaves remaining within the control of the Bosnian
3 government throughout the war.
4 So far as Srebrenica itself is concerned: The enclave established
5 in 1993, attacks on Srebrenica, from time to time the VJ intervening, and
6 it has to be accepted, there being operations from Srebrenica by the army
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, all led in July 1995 to Karadzic and Mladic
8 deciding to wipe it out by force, killing all the men they found. No
9 doubt, of course, the Dutch report will be considered for admission into
10 evidence on this topic in due course.
11 The accused was linked to Srebrenica in two primary ways. The VJ
12 continued its support for the VRS. We will have, for example, Krstic's,
13 the commander's, VJ ID card found on him when he was arrested, as an
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Nice please slow down. Thank you.
16 MR. NICE: He's also linked by the presence and involvement of
17 Serb MUP forces in the events of and surrounding Srebrenica.
18 And so throughout, the VJ, a successor to the JNA, was seen to be
19 contributing to crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina through its
20 relationship with the VRS. Throughout the war, it would continue to
21 support that army without real interruption. Without the support of
22 Bosnian Serb forces, it would not have been possible for -- without this
23 support, the Bosnian Serb forces would not have been able to continue
24 their bombardment of Sarajevo, their dreadful assault on the enclaves
25 would not have been able to perpetrate the genocide in Srebrenica.
1 There's one exhibit that it might be helpful to look at. It's
2 available in full, but we can just look at an extract. It's a November
3 order of Ratko Mladic. If we can just lay it on the overhead projector,
5 It comes in several pages, Your Honour, but we'll just look at the
6 extract, if we may, to save time. You can see it's a document dated the
7 19th of November. Subparagraph d) on the appropriate page reads as
8 follows as an instruction to the Drina corps: "From its present
9 positions, its main forces shall persistently defend Visegrad ... Zvornik
10 and the corridor, while the rest of its forces in the wider Podrinje
11 region shall exhaust the enemy, inflict the heaviest possible losses on
12 him and force him to leave the Birac, Zepa, and Gorazde areas together
13 with the Muslim population." Words could hardly be clearer in their
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly request that Mr. Nice
16 please slow down. Thank you.
17 MR. NICE: I will indeed slow down, and I apologise.
18 In summary and in addition to show the involvement of this accused
19 via bodies over which he had influence over or control, the Chamber will
20 learn of personnel support provided to the Bosnian Serbs. From the moment
21 of its creation, the Bosnian Serb army was administered as to many
22 significant personnel functions in Belgrade; salaries of all officers paid
23 from Belgrade - there were 12.000 such officers in July 1992 - a programme
24 of financial and other incentives to encourage VJ officers to serve in the
25 VRS; a system whereby even disputes in the calculation of retirement
1 benefits of these very VRS officers resolved in accordance with
2 Yugoslavian law.
3 Training was provided; the VJ retaining a significant role in who
4 would fight in the VRS in that way. We have one case of an officer of the
5 VRS transferred to Serbia for training for a period of two years, it being
6 the VJ, not the VRS, just simply as an example, issuing the order
7 directing his change of assignment. And even during the period of the
8 border closing which we'll hear about in evidence, in August 1994, we will
9 also hear of military installations in the FRY, the republic, being made
10 available for training of VRS personnel. And of course, there was direct
11 military activity, even after the technical withdrawal of the JNA, the
12 army returning on specific occasions to fight in campaigns.
13 In addition, there was supply and support. And it's interesting
14 to note that the accused, in his complaint to the Belgrade court on his
15 arrest there in April 2001, openly admitted the significant level of
16 support he procured for the VRS, support he is alleged in his own country
17 to have illegally diverted from resources of the republic.
18 So far as supply and support are concerned, General Mladic told
19 the Republika Srpska Assembly that 90 per cent of the infantry ammunition
20 consumed had been supplied by the JNA and the VJ and that after that
21 technical withdrawal, or that withdrawal, over 11.000 tonnes of military
22 supplies were provided by the VJ, an amount that would have required
23 hundreds of trucks to cross backwards and forwards from Serbia. And
24 indeed, this Tribunal's Appeals Chamber, in the case of Tadic, recognised
25 the importance of the relationship between the two bodies when it stated:
1 "The armed forces of the Republika Srpska were to be regarded as acting
2 under the overall control of and on behalf of the FRY." That to be found
3 at paragraph 162 of the appeals judgement.
4 Maps 8 and 9, please. Your Honours will find in your papers maps
5 that extract material from what we've seen on map 5, to which I will
6 return in a minute, and pick out those primary municipalities, as we've
7 called them. When the title reads "Primary Municipalities of the
8 Milosevic-Related Area" it should be "Milosevic Trial-Related Area," and
9 these are 14. One can see, looking at the two parts of map 8, the first
10 part on then the bottom part, the distribution of ethnic majorities as it
11 was in 1991; green, mixed colour, red, green, and so on.
12 If we then look at the bottom map, we can see what was achieved in
13 turning areas that had no interest in being Serb states into maps that
14 could be coloured red, as at 1997.
15 Incidentally, the other line on this map is the Dayton line and
16 deals with the current distribution of authority between Republika Srpska
17 and the federation, to which I may say something else -- on respect of
18 which I may say something else in a minute.
19 So thus, therefore, what was achieved by this campaign? Ethnic
20 cleansing; what we can see pictorially and of which we will learn about
21 from witnesses.
22 Your Honours, this Tribunal is, of course, not political. It
23 doesn't need to concern itself with or to explain how it was that the
24 accused was left to recover after Dayton, where this border was
25 identified, as an apparently respectable member of the community. In any
1 event, participators well knew -- participators and observers well knew
2 what he was and what he'd been doing. And the Chamber will remember from
3 my earlier opening what Mr. Eagleburger had said so much earlier in
4 events: The short fact is that the crimes of this accused long revealed
5 -- long suspected have now been revealed by evidence.
6 And a word or so about evidence, categories of evidence, and about
7 the trial process, and I will be done.
8 Evidence in relation to this accused comes from various sources.
9 And it has to be borne in mind that criminals, or politicians who do acts
10 that are or are subsequently revealed as being criminal, don't leave
11 traces behind them. They don't leave paper trails. That's why, of
12 course, this accused operated in that curiously empty office, dealing with
13 people on a one-to-one basis so that individuals could not know what was
14 being said to the others. Maybe.
15 For such individuals, it may be -- as this accused, it may be
16 helpful to think of the available witnesses as coming in circles that
17 surround him. First, there will be the close circle of people, some of
18 whom, for example President Lilic - or ex-President Lilic, sometime
19 President Lilic - who we will be calling, we hope, quite soon. Or Mr.
20 Mesic. People who can be advanced to the Chamber as witnesses whose
21 evidence will be capable of being accepted in full.
22 But others of this close circle may be people who will have their
23 own interests, personal or other, to serve, and who may not be inclined to
24 tell the whole truth. And those close witnesses, particularly the ones
25 who may have their own interests to serve, are really rather like standing
1 stones surrounding the accused.
2 Next out from them in the circles of witnesses, there are others;
3 military commanders at various levels, political people at various levels,
4 associates of one kind or another, who may be able to tell the whole truth
5 as they saw it but whose vision of the accused will necessarily be
6 limited, not least because it may be obscured by some of those closer to
7 him who will want to obscure the full detail. But that next circle of
8 witnesses will be able to provide some light on the accused. They will
9 also be able to look out to the crimes that were committed.
10 And then there is the outer circle of witnesses, witnesses who
11 must be available to the Chamber, although we hope that they will be able
12 to be taken for the most part shortly, perhaps in writing, witnesses who
13 will deal with the crimes that were committed but who may be able to say
14 little or nothing about the accused beyond what they say about identifying
15 units committing crimes that may be traceable by one route or another to
17 And so all those witnesses provide differing shafts of light in
18 circumstances where it is, whatever a different audience might hope or
19 think, unlikely that there will be an individual witness who will be able
20 to tell the whole truth about this man. And I make that point because it
21 is important for those watching this trial to recognise that the hard and
22 detailed work that this Chamber has to do is the work of putting together
23 pieces of evidence that will come from different sources. There are the
24 internationals, there are the experts, each of whom will be able to
25 provide but a small vision or view of the accused. It is, of course, the
1 composition of those views that, in due course, will establish the guilt
2 of this man.
3 And I return to one particular point about one particular category
4 of witnesses, those of the inner circle who may not tell the truth.
5 Should they simply, because they may not tell the whole truth, not be
6 called? One can imagine perhaps in any real or hypothetical case of a top
7 leader being tried on his own, the Chamber asking itself the question:
8 Would we rather proceed with or without hearing from witnesses so close
9 that they might have their own, in the vernacular, fish to fry, or would
10 we rather simply proceed without exercising our own judgement on those
12 We would invite the Chamber to say that it is obviously
13 preferable, wherever possible, to do as we have already done with one or
14 two witnesses and to call witnesses from that inner circle. We can't know
15 if this accused, who doesn't respect the Court, will call any evidence at
16 all. We judge that it is wise and sensible to call as many of the inner
17 circle as we can, confident that the Chamber will be in a position to
18 assess, and we may be able to assist in that assessment, where the truth
19 lies; confident that if inner circle witnesses turn up, as one may have
20 done or be thought to have done, parrot agreement in cross-examination to
21 propositions that were untrue, confident that those untruths can be
23 There should be no hiding place for witnesses who may prefer not
24 to give evidence but who can, and of course morally should, provide a
25 fuller truth for this Tribunal.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Can we return, please, to map 5. We've only really looked at the
2 top part of map 5, but now we can look at the top and the bottom part of
3 it together, bearing in mind that the extracted form is also available for
4 you in map 8.
5 We're going to hear, in due course, of the statistics of deaths
6 and transfers connected with Croatia and with Bosnia. They're not
7 depicted on these maps which show things in a more graphic way.
8 The top map shows the -- I should say again we can't do the same
9 exercise for Croatia because the census figures aren't available for the
10 post-war position. But the top map shows the varied, the untidy, the
11 human face of Bosnia as it was before this conflict.
12 The bottom map -- we may now look at that, please -- shows the
13 much tidier map with clear Serb majorities, clear Muslim majorities, clear
14 Croat majorities, the Croat and Muslim majorities being composed within
15 the federation, split as to its governance, as the Chamber knows.
16 That tidy map was sought by various individuals, the Chamber may
17 be quite satisfied, including this accused, but it was a tidy map bought
18 by thousands of killings, innumerable acts of inhumanity, and countless
19 acts of ethnic cleansing. Were the map for Croatia available in similar
20 form, it would show a similar change from comparative untidiness to
22 It is the inhumanity that led to those changes into which we must
23 now inquire.
24 JUDGE MAY: We will adjourn now. 20 minutes.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.19 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.43 a.m.
2 [Defence Opening Statement]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all a technical question.
5 Can we clarify that, Mr. May? As for my statement, you have restricted my
6 time to three hours. It is exactly quarter of eleven right now. I would
7 like to state that, already speaking in net terms of time, as for today,
8 20 minutes are missing. Please bear that in mind so that I would get
9 those remaining 20 minutes at the beginning of tomorrow's session.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You will have the time which you've been
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Before I start to speak,
13 I would like to have a cassette played first. Could you please start
14 playing the tape now.
15 [Videotape played]
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic -- just let the tape stop for a moment.
17 Mr. Milosevic, there's no point playing this to us unless we have a
18 translation. We've got no translation of it into one of the languages.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I assume that you can get an
20 interpretation from Serbian, because this statement of Simon Wiesenthal
21 has subtitles in the Serbian language and it won't be a problem for the
22 interpreters to read that. It's very brief. The rest of the text is
23 either in English or with a translation into English if the original is in
25 JUDGE MAY: We will make an inquiry of the interpreters as to
1 whether that's possible or not.
2 Could the interpreters let us know whether we can follow the
3 course which the accused is suggesting, translating from the subtitles?
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters will do their best.
5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Very well. Replay the tape again, please.
6 [Videotape played]
7 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
8 "SPEAKER: I know. I know. This was written by Hermann Neuburg
9 [phoen] the East/West task. And Hitler sent him to Croatia. After the
10 war, he was sentenced in Yugoslavia to 20 years in prison, and then he
11 returned. Then he wrote a book about his conversations with Ante Markovic
12 and the rest. They said to him that we have a problem with the Serbs:
13 One-third of them have to die, one-third have to become Catholics, and
14 one-third can remain alive. That was their programme.
15 "SPEAKER: The programme objectives of the HDZ are nothing else
16 but a renewal for the Ustasha Independent State of Croatia. However, they
17 forget that this was not only a quisling state but it was also an
18 expression of the wishes of the Croat people to have their own state as
19 well as of various other factors, in this case, Hitler's Germany that
20 wanted to introduce a new order in Europe and to change borders.
21 Therefore, the independent state of Croatia was not a mere caprice of the
22 axis powers but it was also due to various historical factors.
23 "SPEAKER: I saw them all over; Munich, Paris. For them, the war
24 was not over. They never felt defeated.
25 "SPEAKER: Our friends the Serbs, who are persuading and they had
1 bitten too. They never left their Belgrade pasaluk. They never crossed
2 the Sava or the Danube. They had bitten Vojvodina after the year 1918.
3 They are biting Macedonia. They are biting Montenegro. They are well
4 into biting at Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now they have started biting
5 Croatia. Are we going to permit that? Are we Croats not capable of
6 taking to arms and, therefore, pro patrium?
7 "SPEAKER: And some people, some individuals in Croatia and
8 especially abroad who were not friends of Croatia, were saying that there
9 shouldn't have been a war, that we were also guilty of war. I was saying
10 and I say, yes, there would be no war if we had given up our aim, creating
11 a self-reliant and independent state of Croatia.
12 "SPEAKER: I think that I have fulfilled my task. There is no
13 more Yugoslavia. Thank you.
14 "SPEAKER: Regardless of where they are, to all of them, male and
15 female, young and old, jihad, on the path of God for the liberation of our
16 Muslim people here in Bosnia and wherever they may be. It is God's order
17 to us and human obligation.
18 "SPEAKER: Which held the country together now became a target for
19 those who wanted to break it apart. At a Croatian separatist rally in
20 Split in May of 1991 demonstrators strangled a young soldier of the
21 federal army and then tossed his dead body onto the street. This and
22 similar events seemed to bear out predictions by the US Central
23 Intelligence Agency.
24 "SPEAKER: The CIA said in 1990 October, that Yugoslavia faced
25 break-up, probably violent, as early as six months from the time of the
1 report, and nobody paid any attention to it in the higher echelons of
3 "SPEAKER: By June of 1991, however, US Secretary of State James
4 Baker decided to make one attempt to prevent a disaster. He flew to
5 Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia, to confront leaders of the six
7 "SPEAKER: He said, Don't any of you take steps that are not
8 agreed on by the others.
9 "SPEAKER: However, Milan Kucan and Franjo Tudjman, leaders of the
10 Slovenia and Croatian republics, were confident that they could ignore the
11 US Secretary of State. They declared their independence just days later,
12 on June 25th. Because they could count on the support of German Foreign
13 Minister Genscher and Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mak. The cycle of
14 violence which would destroy Yugoslavia began when Slovene President Milan
15 Kucan ordered his troops to seize customs posts on the Yugoslav borders
16 with Austria and Italy and the Slovene capital of Ljubljana. Yugoslav
17 flags were taken down and replaced with Slovenian flags.
18 "SPEAKER: The Slovenians thought they had a right to take down
19 those flags, the end of an internationally-recognised friendship. I don't
20 think that for a moment Belgrade expected there would be violent
22 "SPEAKER: German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher flew to
23 the Austrian border with Yugoslavia to join President Kucan and warned the
24 federal army against efforts to maintain control of federal borders.
25 Kucan ordered his forces to fire on Yugoslav army troops, including those
1 who carried no live ammunition. Faced with international opposition led
2 by Germany, Yugoslav President Markovic ordered the federal army to
3 withdraw from Slovenia without a serious attempt to counter separatist
4 forces. Slovene leaders conducted a masterful public relations effort.
5 Foreign reporters were kept occupied in an underground press centre, with
6 briefings that suggested that Slovene forces had defeated the fourth
7 largest army in Europe. Journalists in the press centre routinely
8 reported as news fanciful briefings from Slovene officials on various
9 battles, including some that had never happened.
10 "SPEAKER: What was going on in Slovenia, where the Slovenians
11 declared independence and set up customs posts on the road, tended to be
12 seen and portrayed on television as the Yugoslav army acting aggressively
13 against Slovenia as opposed to the Slovenians declaring independence.
14 "SPEAKER: The manipulation of the foreign press corps set the
15 tone for new wars of secession in Croatia and Bosnia. Repeatedly, the JNA
16 was described as an occupying force dominated by Serbs. The reality was
17 different, however. The army's Chief of Staff, Veljko Kadijevic, was half
18 Croatian, half Serb; air force chief Zvonko Jurijevic was Croatian, and
19 the commander of the navy, Stane Brovec, was Slovenia. If German and
20 Austrian leaders still believed that Slovenia and Croatia could be
21 separated from Yugoslavia without a wider war, the Americans strongly
22 believed otherwise.
23 "SPEAKER: Because we said if Yugoslavia does not break up
24 peacefully, there's going to be one hell of a civil war. It nevertheless
25 broke up non-peacefully. It broke up through the unilateral declaration
1 of independence by Slovenia and Croatia and the seizing by these two
2 countries, republics, of their border posts, which was an act of force and
3 which was an act that was in violation of the Helsinki principles. But
4 the European powers and the United States ultimately recognised Slovenia
5 and then Croatia and then Bosnia as independent countries and admitted
6 them to the United Nations. The real problem was that there was a
7 unilateral declaration of independence and a use of force to gain that
8 independence rather than a peaceful negotiation of independence, which is
9 the way it should have happened.
10 "SPEAKER: While most of Europe, including England, France and
11 Russia, opposed the break-up of Yugoslavia, only the Americans were strong
12 enough to oppose Germany.
13 "SPEAKER: The United States saw that Germany would have to be
14 largely responsible for the incorporation of Eastern Europe and Central
15 Europe into the West, because Germany was -- had a national interest; it
16 was its neighbour, its periphery, and it was financially the most powerful
17 country in Europe and had the resources to do it.
18 "SPEAKER: In the post-Cold War period, Germany wanted once again,
19 the evidence is very clear, to re-colonise Yugoslavia, to re-colonise the
20 Balkans. And the United States tied itself to German policy through its
21 need of German power and influence in stabilising Eastern Europe, Western
22 Europe through the exercise of dominion by the European Community, now the
23 European Union, and potentially eventually in the lands of the former
24 Soviet Union. The problem was that there was one very important country
25 standing in the way of this, and that was Yugoslavia.
1 "SPEAKER: While citizens of Croatia were initially divided over
2 whether to remain in Yugoslavia, the separatists were led by the most
3 extreme elements, remnants of the pro-Nazi Ustasha. As The New York Times
4 colonist A. N. Rosenthal would write, in World War II, Hitler had no
5 executioners more willing, no ally more passionate than the fascists of
6 Croatia. They are returning from 50 years ago from what should have been
7 their eternal grave, the defeat of Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler considered
8 Yugoslavia to be an artificial creation of the hated Versailles treaty
9 which ended World War I. To break it up, he set up a puppet state and
10 enlarged Croatia, which also included Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was the task
11 of top Muslim leaders who, with few exceptions, collaborated with Hitler
12 and the Croatians.
13 "SPEAKER: There was in occupied Bosnia, also under German
14 patronage, a strong Muslim wing which was very anti-Western. It was
15 represented internationally by the mufti of Jerusalem. You heard of his
16 viciously anti-Western views, and he was brought to Sarajevo and mobbed by
17 enthusiastic crowds.
18 "SPEAKER: After the war ended, Croatia and Bosnia were never
19 de-Nazified. Not only were there no apologies to the Serbs, Jews, and
20 Gypsies, but attitudes remained frozen under the surface of Tito's
21 official policy of socialist fraternity amongst peoples. Following the
22 death of Yugoslavia's long-time leader Tito in 1980, right-wing emigre
23 organisations took out an advertisement on the opinion page of the New
24 York Times, stating that Yugoslavia would not survive and offering a map
25 which included all of Bosnia as part of Croatia. It was a map nearly
1 identical to the Nazi-created Independent State of Croatia. By 1990, as
2 communism was collapsing in Eastern Europe, Croatian separatists pinned
3 their hopes on a former communist general named Franjo Tudjman who had
4 been gaoled for excessive nationalism by Tito in the 1970s.
5 "SPEAKER: You know, I met him very soon after he came out of
6 communist gaol, while Tito was still alive. He had then championed the
7 racialist form of nationalism, and when he came out of prison, instead of
8 doing what you would think a dissident would do and say to hell with the
9 conformists, he said, Oh, what are we going to do with the regime? It is
10 those horrible Serbs who are repressing us and the Serbs are responsible
11 for everything and the Serbs are guilty and the Serbs began it all.
12 "SPEAKER: Tudjman received important help from outside Croatia in
13 his rise to power.
14 "SPEAKER: The German secret service was enormously active in
15 Croatia and in all of Yugoslavia, trying in the '80s to build bridges
16 between what were called the national communists, Stipe Mesic, Franjo
17 Tudjman, in Yugoslavia and the Ustasha revanchist organisations which
18 lived in the diaspora of Croatia, that is to say all of the people of
19 weight and influence who had fled the former Nazi puppet state in 1945.
20 "SPEAKER: Tudjman found it useful to make -- come to terms with
21 them and because he was running on this xenophobic platform, there was
22 really no difficulty about it. What was difficult was when he was trying
23 to sell his cause in the West. And he managed to, partly because he had a
24 very good lobby, a very effective and much more effective than the Serbian
25 lobby, and partly because he covered up his intentions.
1 "SPEAKER: Tudjman often embarrassed his most important
2 supporters, such as German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. For instance, Tudjman
3 had written a book minimising the crimes of the Ustasha and claiming that
4 the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated. 'Thank God my wife is neither a
5 Serb nor Jew,' he told one interviewer. For the national flag, Tudjman
6 chose a replica of the chequerboard emblem that flew over the Croatian
7 death camps of World War II where Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies were
9 "Tudjman's anti-Semitic views were covered beneath rhetoric
10 acceptable to the West. With the help of Ruder and Finn, a high-powered
11 American public relations firm, The New York Times found space for General
12 Tudjman's new and misleading image on its opinion page. In the article,
13 Tudjman promised that there would be no purges against the Serbian
14 population in Croatia if it separated from Yugoslavia.
15 "SPEAKER: Tudjman's racist slogan. Croatia was for the Croats,
16 that was his slogan, a racist slogan, Croatia for the Croats, with the
17 implication people who weren't Croats, and there was a very substantial
18 Serb and Yugoslav mixed variety, didn't feel that they had any
19 -- they were in fact second-class citizens, and he recognised them as
21 "SPEAKER: A full six months before fighting broke out, Serbs were
22 purged from positions in government, news organisations and the police.
23 Their homes were dynamited in cities such as Zagreb, Zadar and Dubrovnik.
24 For the first time since World War II, Serbs in Eastern Croatia began to
25 flee across the Danube River.
1 "SPEAKER: Serbs working in Croatian cities were required to sign
2 loyalty oaths. Those who did not sign were fired; those who did sign,
3 were fired later. Serb homes, apartments, and businesses were attacked.
4 "SPEAKER: President of the Republic of Croatia, Mr. Franjo
5 Tudjman, allowed us for the first time to set up unarmed detachments under
6 the auspices of the HDZ.
7 "SPEAKER: Expulsion of Serbs in Croatia was removed by Tomislav
8 Mercep, a senior member of Tudjman's ruling party, the HDZ. Mercep would
9 later be identified by Croatian police reports as one of two Croatian
10 leaders who directed death squads that murdered hundreds of Serbian
11 civilians in Eastern Slavonia around Vukovar and Osijek in the fall of
12 1991. He received little press coverage in the West but Mercep was in
13 many ways the spark that set the fire of war in Slavonia, the disputed
14 region of Croatia where the Yugoslav war began. Mercep's co-leader of the
15 Croatian death squads was Vladimir Glavac, of Osijek. Unlike more
16 discreet members of the HDZ party Glavac made no secret of his
17 identification with the World War II Croatia Ustasha as he welcomed
18 returning Croatian prisoners of war.
19 "Feel free to say that you are Ustasha. You are and you have
20 come here.
21 "SPEAKER: Intellectuals were hailing Croatia as part of the New
22 Europe. Old and familiar forces were at work. Osijek became a magnet for
23 neo-fascist groups fighting with Glavac. They included British skinheads,
24 German and Austrian neo-fascists, and followers of the French extremist
25 Jean Marie Le Pen.
1 "SPEAKER: We'll leave for Zagreb to get orders from headquarters
2 but not from the regular Croatian army. We're going with the right wing
3 Croatian defence force. We'll leave for the front somewhere in Slavonia.
4 "SPEAKER: The United States, which soon adopted Germany's
5 approach to the Balkans, ignored recent history and offered a simple
6 explanation for the fighting which broke out in the predominantly Serbian
7 region of Croatia which was known as the Krajina. Assistant Secretary of
8 State Richard Holbrooke, who spent the early years of the Yugoslav war as
9 the American Ambassador to Germany, represented what became the official
10 American view.
11 "SPEAKER: The Serbs started this war. The Serbs are the original
12 cause of the war.
13 "SPEAKER: Those who tried to prevent the war saw it differently.
14 "SPEAKER: The Serbs in Croatia, and indeed outside Croatia, had a
15 very vivid memory of what happened in 1941 and 1942 when Hitler declared
16 Croatia a sort of independent puppet state, if you like, and the horrors
17 that went on there, and the murders of the Serbs were still -- I mean, a
18 very large number of Serbs were murdered at that time. I mean, hundreds
19 of thousands. And I think it was very understandable that when Croatia
20 declared its independence and promulgated a new constitution without any
21 safeguard for the 600.000 Serbs who still lived in Croatia, that the Serbs
22 were very perturbed about this.
23 "SPEAKER: From the beginning, the Serbs were blamed, and they
24 were partly blamed out of ignorance because nobody bothered to look back
25 at the history to put it within its historical context and to see why the
1 Serbs who lived in Krajina and the Serbs who lived in the area that is
2 called Bosnia-Herzegovina, why because of their historical experiences,
3 were so hostile to being under Zagreb or under Muslim Sarajevo rule.
4 "SPEAKER: In hope of heading off disaster, the European Community
5 organised a constitutional conference in 1991, led by respected British
6 diplomat Lord Peter Carrington, to find a compromise between those who
7 wanted to separate from Yugoslavia and those who wished to keep it
8 together. The problem was that administrative borders or internal
9 frontiers devised by Tito in 1943 left one-third of the Serbian population
10 out of Serbia, mostly in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. As Yugoslavia
11 slid towards civil war in 1991, two referendums were held on the same day
12 in Croatia. Croatians voted overwhelmingly to separate from Yugoslavia
13 while ethnic Serbs, particularly those from the Krajina region, voted by a
14 similar margin to remain within Yugoslavia. A compromise favoured by
15 European Community negotiators would have permitted Croatia to leave the
16 Yugoslav federation but would have permitted the regions where Serbs
17 formed a majority to remain in Yugoslavia or to gain substantial autonomy.
18 Serbs who lived in an independent Croatia would be guaranteed full
19 citizenship and human rights protections. In the capital city of Zagreb,
20 Croatian President Tudjman seemed reluctantly prepared to accept this
21 compromise which would have prevented a major military conflict. Germany,
22 however, announced they would recognise both Slovenia and Croatia within
23 Tito's administrative borders before the end of 1991. There would be no
25 "The Serbs were bitter that the first act of a newly-united
1 Germany would be to divide the Serbs of Yugoslavia into at least three
2 separate countries. A crucial opportunity to divide Yugoslavia by
3 peaceful means was now threatened by Germany's action.
4 "SPEAKER: It broke up the constitutional conference because once
5 you go throughout the six republics' independence, those two had no
6 further influence to the constitutional conference. You will have to ask
7 the other republics whether they wanted their independence, which meant
8 that you had to ask Bosnia. And it was perfectly plain that Bosnia --
9 there was going to be a civil war in Bosnia if you did do that.
10 "SPEAKER: UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar sent a strong
11 letter to German leaders warning that recognition would be a disaster.
12 Germany and Austria's own ambassadors in Belgrade privately warned against
13 recognition of Croatia.
14 "SPEAKER: The Germans risked being isolated, but the pressure
15 from the -- from the Kohl party and from the huge lobby of -- Croat lobby
16 in the southern parts of Germany, and Bavaria particularly, were such that
17 it was difficult for Genscher to go on postponing the support.
18 "SPEAKER: By the time the war started, the German public had
19 already been prepared by repeated attacks on the Serbs in an influential
20 German newspaper in Frankfurt. The strident commentary of Johan Georg
21 Greismuller which favoured Croatia and reviled the Serbs - any Serbs, all
22 Serbs - reminded Peter Hanke of the way Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph
23 Goebbels once characterised the Jewish race.
24 "SPEAKER: It was the German press in the form par excellence of
25 the right-wing Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and its journalist that
1 fundamentally influenced German policy.
2 "SPEAKER: I remember talking to the Germans in the Foreign
3 Ministry and they said they didn't call it the Frankfurter Allgemeine
4 Zeitung anymore, they called it the Zagreb Allgemeine Zeitung. And it had
5 that reputation and it was a tremendous pressure group, and I think this
6 was a factor.
7 "SPEAKER: German support for Croatian separatists received an
8 unusual tribute: A musical thank you on Croatian state television.
9 "SPEAKER: Thank you, Germany.
10 "SPEAKER: ... public relations firm Ruder and Finn, Croatia
11 successfully used the media to manipulate a larger audience, particularly
12 Germany and the US, to gain support for its separatist agenda. This was
13 particularly evident in the reporting of the war around the resort town of
14 Dubrovnik, a favourite vacation for German tourists. Working through its
15 Washington PR firm, the Croatian government managed to convince much of
16 the world that Dubrovnik was being destroyed by the Serbs in unprovoked
17 attacks which lasted for months during the fall of 1991.
18 "SPEAKER: The public has been led to believe that the federal
19 army attack on Dubrovnik was not precipitated by anything but sheer
20 malice. However, on August 25th of 1991, Croatian forces attacked a base
21 in the Bay of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor, and they were repulsed with
22 heavy losses.
23 "SPEAKER: Yugoslav troops based in Montenegro then fought their
24 way up the coast, confronting Croatian forces near Dubrovnik.
25 "SPEAKER: Targets outside the Old City were hit, consisting
1 mostly of hotels which had been taken over as barracks and spotter points
2 by Croatian forces.
3 "SPEAKER: Contrary to news reports, there was little damage to
4 the historic Old City.
5 "SPEAKER: Yes. It has been reported some 15.000 shells rained on
6 the Old City of Dubrovnik. I counted 15 mortar hits on the main street.
7 The Yugoslav federal army could have destroyed the Old City of Dubrovnik
8 in two hours. It is not destroyed.
9 "SPEAKER: Washington Post reporter Peter Maas, who visited the
10 Old City several months after the fighting stopped, found Dubrovnik in
11 what he described as 'nearly pristine' condition.
12 "SPEAKER: There are many people who go to these scenes of mayhem
13 and adventure who don't know where they are, who don't know the languages,
14 cannot really communicate with the people, and who take press handouts
15 from the local authorities. So there is certainly an orchestrated effort
16 on the part of the Croatian and Slovenia, Austrian and German media to
17 portray the Serbs as a bunch of howling, Byzantine uncivilised
19 "SPEAKER: These impressions helped strengthen Germany's resolve
20 to lead a reluctant European Community to recognise the separatist
21 republics and thereby dismantle Yugoslavia. To overcome British
22 opposition to recognising Croatia, German Prime Minister Helmut Kohl
23 offered British leader John Major a deal which left Britain free to
24 disregard or opt out of the social provisions of the 1991 treaty creating
25 a unified Europe which was being hotly debated in the British parliament.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 This helped John Major politically at home but Bosnia would pay a high
3 "The French, who needed German help to stabilise France's
4 currency, also dropped their opposition to recognising the separatist
5 republics. The United States, the only power strong enough to oppose
6 Germany, began to waiver. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger,
7 who had once served as US Ambassador to Yugoslavia and spoke Serbo-Croat,
8 knew well the dangers of a wider war if recognition were extended before a
9 settlement had been reached between the different ethnic groups.
10 "SPEAKER: I think the major lesson here is that when you get
11 involved in something like this with a thousand years of history
12 underlying it all, you need to understand that once the dam breaks, the
13 viciousness can be pretty awful, on all sides.
14 "SPEAKER: In the end, here also peace would be sacrificed for
15 domestic politics. There was an American election coming up.
16 "SPEAKER: When we finally went ahead and recognised, one of the
17 reasons we did so is because it had become a major domestic political
18 issue for us here. We have particularly a large Croatian-American
19 community. And Mr. Bush lost most of them in the election that he lost
20 because they were unhappy in our having delayed as long as we did in
21 recognising Croatia.
22 "SPEAKER: While German actions encouraged the armed secession of
23 Slovenia and Croatia, it was US diplomacy, particularly through Ambassador
24 Warren Zimmermann, which helped light the spark for a war in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina by supporting Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic in his
1 bid for a separate state.
2 "SPEAKER: And then we were the ones that went to the Europeans
3 and insisted that they recognise Bosnia and then that we would recognise
4 all three of the new states, and that was a deal that was made, and of
5 course, it was precisely that that led to the current war.
6 "SPEAKER: This was a war that European leaders believe could have
7 been avoided.
8 "SPEAKER: The Bosnian Serbs, until comparatively recently, have
9 been in the majority in Bosnia, and then the Muslims, who had a very much
10 higher birth rate than the Serbs, became the predominant -- the majority
11 population. And this, of course, was something very hard for the Serbs to
12 swallow. And they made it abundantly plain very early on that they were
13 not prepared to accept a situation in which there was an independent
14 Bosnia under the constitution which then prevailed. And indeed under the
15 constitution which then prevailed, it was not -- it was illegal for
16 Izetbegovic to declare independence because any constitutional change of
17 that magnitude had to be agreed by all three parties.
18 "SPEAKER: Privately, European leaders worried about Izetbegovic's
19 close ties to Iran and the possibility of a Muslim fundamentalist state in
20 the heart of a newly-unified Europe.
21 "SPEAKER: Izetbegovic himself had ties to the Iranians going back
22 long before they came to power in Bosnia, really beginning not too long
23 after the Iranian revolution, came to power in 1979.
24 "SPEAKER: In his book, 'The Politics of Diplomacy' then Secretary
25 of State James Baker wrote that Ambassador Zimmermann strongly advised him
1 to recognise Bosnia. Recognition of Bosnia, however, violated the most
2 basic diplomatic norms. For a government to be recognised, it must be in
3 full control of its territory, it must have clearly established borders,
4 it must also have a stable population. Not a single one of these
5 essential conditions existed in Bosnia in February of 1992 when Zimmermann
6 made his recommendation. US intelligence analysts predicted that
7 recognition would lead to war. Even the Germans thought that recognition
8 of Bosnia would be a serious mistake.
9 "SPEAKER: We did have some different opinions in early 1992 as
10 the Americans supported the recognition of Bosnia whereas we, the
11 Europeans, believed that we should first establish a framework for the
12 whole region.
13 "SPEAKER: Lord Carrington tried to avert disaster by appointing
14 Portuguese President Jose Cutilheiro to find common ground among the
15 Serbs, Muslims and Croats before an independent Bosnia was recognised.
16 "SPEAKER: I asked him to go to Sarajevo and to Lisbon and to have
17 talks with the three parties in Bosnia to see whether or not some
18 agreement could be reached with an unitary state, I mean a state, an
19 independent Bosnian state but in some sort of federal idea in which you've
20 got the three communities to agree.
21 "SPEAKER: This set up a central government of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 and three ethnic cantons, on the model of Switzerland.
23 "SPEAKER: It was the last chance, I think, of trying to preserve
24 Bosnia before the war broke out in earnest.
25 "SPEAKER: If the Lisbon plan had been adopted, British author and
1 BBC journalist Misha Glenny wrote later, 'The war in Bosnia probably would
2 not have happened.' But two days after signing it, following a meeting
3 with American Ambassador Warren Zimmermann, Izetbegovic changed his mind
4 and disavowed his signature.
5 "SPEAKER: Izetbegovic turned around and reneged, as he's reneged
6 on other things.
7 "SPEAKER: Zimmermann later acknowledged to David Binder of the
8 New York Times that Izetbegovic had reluctantly signed the agreement to
9 gain European recognition. More than a year after the bloodshed began in
10 Bosnia, Zimmermann also admitted that the Lisbon plan was not bad at all
11 but recalls telling Izetbegovic, 'If you don't like it, why sign it?'
12 "SPEAKER: Zimmermann told Izetbegovic, Look, why don't you wait
13 and see what the US can do for you, meaning we'll recognise you and then
14 help you out. So don't go ahead with the Lisbon Agreement, don't accept
15 the Cutilheiro plan, and just hold out for some kind of unitary Bosnian
16 state. So this is a major turning point in our diplomatic efforts.
17 "SPEAKER: The American administration made it quite clear that
18 they thought that the proposals, Cutilheiro and my proposals were
20 "SPEAKER: With no agreement amongst the Muslims, Serbs, and
21 Croats with all sides mobilised for war, the European Community voted, as
22 the US insisted, to recognise Bosnia on April 6, along with Slovenia and
23 Croatia. This act, Roger Cohen of the New York Times later wrote, was 'as
24 close to criminal negligence as a diplomatic act can be.' Indeed,
25 international recognition and the outbreak of the Bosnian war were
1 simultaneous. The world put light to the fuse.
2 "SPEAKER: God is great. Allah Akhbar. Call for the holy war.
3 Holy warrior. Allah-u-ekber. God is great. Holy warrior.
4 Allah-u-ekber. God is great.
5 "SPEAKER: ... determined that we should not take sides in this
6 war by becoming a combatant, and we have held firmly to that position and
7 we plan to continue to hold firmly to that position.
8 SPEAKER: By the time US Secretary of Defence William Perry
9 testified before Congress in June of 1995 that the US was not taking sides
10 in the Yugoslav conflict, a full range of secret military assistance
11 operations to the Croatian government and Bosnian Muslim forces were
12 already underway. At a remote air field high in the mountains of the
13 Croatian island of Brac, American intelligence operatives assembled the
14 unmanned aviation vehicles, known as UAVs, for reconnaissance while
15 Croatian soldiers guarded the airport grates. Only one month before
16 Defence Secretary William Perry testified that the US was not taking
17 sides, a predominantly Serbian civilian area, supposedly under UN
18 protection, was suddenly attacked by Croatian forces. Several UN
19 soldiers were killed in what turned out to be a massacre of the Serbian
20 civilian population of Sector West. Thousands of Serbian refugees fled
21 across the Sava River from Croatia into Northern Bosnia. Croatian sources
22 put the number of Serbs killed in the attack at 1.000. Serbian Orthodox
23 Church officials stated that 5.000 civilians were killed. But there is no
24 criticism of this atrocity by American officials, including the killing of
25 UN soldiers, because the US was deeply involved in assisting the Croatian
1 military. Efforts by British and French representatives on the UN
2 Security Council to place sanctions against Croatia were repeatedly
3 blocked by America's UN representative Madeleine Albright. Six months
4 earlier, in November of 1994, the US Departments of State and Defence had
5 approved a contract between a group of retired four star generals and the
6 Croatian government.
7 "SPEAKER: The Croats paid for it but they were authorised by the
9 "SPEAKER: I had constant reports of American officers who were,
10 quote, retired, no longer on active duty, acting as advisors to the
11 Bosnian government's military, acting as advisors to the Croatian
12 military. And they were very active on the ground.
13 "SPEAKER: The retired generals, described as high level
14 mercenaries, belonged to a private company known as Military Professional
15 Resources Incorporated, or MPRI. MPRI included such luminaries as
16 Lieutenant General Ed Soister [phoen], former head of the Defence
17 Intelligence Agency, Major General Richard Griffiths, Deputy Chief of
18 Operations in Central Europe, and most importantly Karl Vuono. General
19 Vuono and his colleagues at MPRI would be a major asset to the Croatian
20 army in its efforts to forcibly expel the ethnic Serbian population from
21 the Krajina, which was technically under UN protection in sectors north
22 and south. But the destruction of Sector West, a UN protected area for
23 ethnic Serbs, would have consequences in nearby Bosnia. Lord Owen wrote
24 that by acquiescing in the Croatian government's seizure of Sector West,
25 the US had, quote, in effect given the green light to the Bosnian Serbs to
1 attack Srebrenica and Zepa. When Muslim paramilitary leader Naser Oric
2 launched an attack from Srebrenica against the Serbian village of
3 Visnjica, this time the surrounding Serbian forces counterattacked
4 Srebrenica, entering the city.
5 "SPEAKER: It is well known to anybody who has followed this that
6 Oric was launching repeated attacks out of a supposedly demilitarised zone
7 against surrounding Serbian areas around the Srebrenica enclave, to the
8 point where, after repeated warnings, the Serbs simply could not allow him
9 to continue to do that and decided to take the town.
10 "SPEAKER: Oric and several thousand of his soldiers fled across
11 Serbian held territory to the town of Tuzla several days before Serb
12 forces entered Srebrenica and Zepa. Muslim women and children in
13 Srebrenica were placed on buses by Serbian forces and sent to safety in
14 Tuzla. But between 1 and 2.000 Muslim men were captured by the Serbs who
15 blamed them for participating in a string of massacres led by Naser Oric.
16 A Croatian soldier who claims to have fought with the Bosnian Serbs
17 testified at The Hague that he took part in the execution of 1.200
18 Muslims, although the number of bodies recovered from the site was 200.
19 UN [sic] Ambassador Madeleine Albright, however, used greatly inflated
20 numbers to describe Serbian reprisals at Srebrenica. According to the
21 International Committee of the Red Cross, thousands of Muslim men,
22 allegedly missing, were found serving in Muslim army units near Tuzla.
23 Washington Post reporter John Pomfritt [phoen] reported that 4.000 armed
24 Muslim soldiers had escaped to a town near Tuzla, yet these same soldiers
25 were still be included in official reports years later as missing Muslims
1 from Srebrenica.
2 "SPEAKER: Secretary Albright in particular was very insistent on
3 using such numbers like 8.000, 10.000 Muslim men and boys who were
4 executed in Srebrenica by the Serbs. There's simply nothing to document
5 those numbers.
6 "SPEAKER: ... that year whose records of fighters had killed many
7 Serb civilians. Other sources claim Oric knew about that proposal. The
8 subject of Oric wasn't discussed for very long. Mehovic claimed that
9 Izetbegovic referred to his meeting with Clinton.
10 "SPEAKER: Alija told us about Clinton's offer to have the
11 Chetniks enter Srebrenica and that a military intervention would follow.
12 He asked what we thought about that. We rejected this proposal because we
13 thought that this was outrageous, to murder 5.000 persons.
14 "SPEAKER: However, the idea of Clinton proposing that Serb troops
15 attack Srebrenica and carry out a massacre to justify military
16 intervention seemed utterly ludicrous, but the UN investigation shows
17 Hakija's words are not unfounded.
18 "SPEAKER: UN report delegation have stated that President
19 Izetbegovic also told them that he had learned that a NATO intervention in
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina was possible but could only occur if the Serbs were
21 to break into Srebrenica.
22 "SPEAKER: President Izetbegovic denied having made any such
23 remark. He did admit he asked for an opinion on the land exchange.
24 "SPEAKER: We then talked about an exchange. He offered to
25 replace Srebrenica by Vogosca, and we rejected that too.
1 "SPEAKER: Negotiations will include the demand, first of all,
2 that the maps be altered so that the Bosnian republic acquires Muslim
3 areas along the Drina.
4 "SPEAKER: ... episode, the Croatian army attack on the
5 predominantly Serbian Krajina region was yet to come. On August 1st,
6 1995, Croatian troops launched a massive assault on the Serbian population
7 of the Krajina, sectors north and south.
8 "SPEAKER: It was an operation of about a hundred thousand
9 Croatian military, yes. Tanks, planes, artillery; the works.
10 "SPEAKER: While officially denying any involvement in what the
11 Croatians called Operation Storm, American forces were actively supporting
12 this bloody operation of ethnic cleansing.
13 "SPEAKER: American equipment was used to jam Serbian
14 communications at a critical moment so that command and control, at least
15 in the communications sector, was blocked and then there was a documented
16 pair of raids on Serbian Krajina military facilities by US navy planes
17 flying out of Aviano which knocked out radar and other facilities.
18 "SPEAKER: The shelling of Knin was a deliberate terror
19 bombardment meant to hasten the departure of the remaining Serbs and was,
20 you know, committed against an unarmed populace. They had street cleaners
21 coming in and removing any evidence of the murders or the vandalism before
22 they brought the cameras in to show the triumphant return of the Croats
23 into Knin. So it was all very carefully planned.
24 "SPEAKER: Having denounced ethnic cleansing, American military
25 planners helped Croatia carry out the largest ethnic cleansing of the war
1 up to that point.
2 "SPEAKER: It would appear to be the largest single incident if
3 you count people affected in the first few days. It was 170.000 people.
4 "SPEAKER: That number quickly grew to 200.000 as a river of
5 humanity clogged the roads. Recently retired US General Charles Boyd
6 Deputy Commander of NATO, confirmed that the US helped plan and implement
7 the attack.
8 "SPEAKER: Croatia would not have taken its military offensives
9 that it has taken, either in Sector West or throughout the north and
10 south, throughout the Krajina, without explicit approval of the US
12 "SPEAKER: Roger Cohen of the New York Times quoted a Croatian
13 military journalist who confirmed that General Vuono, of MPRI, met with
14 his Croatian counterpart repeatedly in the days preceding Operation Storm.
15 "SPEAKER: The tactics that they employed when they attack into
16 the Krajina was exactly the same tactics that were used during Desert
17 Storm. They were from American doctrine, attacking on many fronts with
18 lightning-type attacks, and interestingly enough, the Croatian attack was
19 called not Desert Storm but was called Storm.
20 "SPEAKER: The way they deploy and employ their forces is a direct
21 reflection of that training. So it's been very effective and it's been
22 very much a part of the official US policy.
23 "SPEAKER: Canadian UN officers identified an ethnic Albanian
24 commander, Agim Ceku, as responsible for the massacre of Serbian
1 "SPEAKER: Our officers, Colonel Lesley, General Foran [phoen],
2 that were there on the ground, wanted indictments against the artillery
3 commander in particular, the commander of the operation, and even wanted
4 Tudjman, the Croatian President, indicted for his role.
5 "SPEAKER: Emma Bonino [phoen], Refugee Commissioner for the
6 European Union, noted that as many as 10.000 Serbian civilians were
7 missing from the stream of refugees who fled the Croatian attack on the
8 Krajina. Many of these ended up in mass graves.
9 "SPEAKER: When you go to the villages, you will see the
10 cemeteries, the graves without any names. Mostly it's 90 per cent.
11 "SPEAKER: Sometimes when I'm thinking about what happened there,
12 I think also about the role of the Americans in preparing our army. So I
13 really don't know how they educate our soldiers, but if it is the
14 education for democracy, they look very bad.
15 "SPEAKER: I don't think the American people have drawn that
16 correlation of those incredible war crimes that happened recently in the
17 Krajina and the fact that the Croatian army was trained and advised by and
18 virtually almost led by former American military leadership.
19 "SPEAKER: They have in fact been accomplice to a massive ethnic
20 cleansing of Serbs from Croatia who had lived there for many, many
21 centuries. It was their home. I think we need to step back and be
22 representative of the principle because we only -- not only deny our own
23 principles that way but we create more problems than we solve.
24 "SPEAKER: Three State Department sources told former New York
25 Times reporter David Binder that the green light to undertake Operation
1 Storm came from US envoy Richard Holbrooke, who flew to Zagreb to meet
2 with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman two days before the attack. At
3 first, Holbrooke insisted that he try to prevent Operation Storm, but in
4 his memoir of the Dayton negotiations, Holbrooke acknowledged that he
5 encouraged Operation Storm which drove ethnic Serbs from their homes in
6 the Krajina.
7 "SPEAKER: If you read Holbrooke's memoirs, he writes he was
8 encouraging the Croatian government in every way he could to move fast and
9 hard to get them out.
10 "SPEAKER: Having blocked UN and European peace agreements to end
11 the fighting in Bosnia, the Clinton administration encouraged a joint
12 military offensive by Muslim and Croat forces in Western Bosnia. Like
13 Operation Storm, the offensive was designed to force Serbian civilians
14 from their homes, the very ethnic cleansing the administration had once
15 denounced. In his book 'To End a War', Richard Holbrooke writes that he
16 even advised Croatian forces which Bosnian Serb cities to attack. Those
17 attacks produced nearly as many refugees as Operation Storm and an unknown
18 number of mass graves in Western Bosnia. The following year, after the
19 Dayton Accords were signed, a mass grave of Serbian civilians at Mrkonjic
20 Grad was unearthed. At the time of its discovery in 1996, it was the
21 largest mass grave the war had produced in Bosnia.
22 "With Muslims and Croats on the offensive in Bosnia during the
23 summer and fall of 1995, the US military began to intervene openly against
24 the Serbs. All that was needed was an incident in one of the safe zones.
25 On August 28th, 1995, yet another explosion occurred in the Markale
1 marketplace in Sarajevo, killing scores of innocents and providing a
2 pretext for NATO bombing.
3 "According to the London Times, French and British investigators
4 determined the shell came from Muslim-held positions in Sarajevo, but this
5 time an American officer overruled their finding.
6 "SPEAKER: Now what's significant at this time is exactly within
7 hours after this, NATO, this incredible air armada that was pulled back,
8 cocked, locked, ready to go, the minute this was -- like it was
9 orchestrated in part of a play, this mighty arm of NATO air launched
10 forward and started attacking Serbian positions. They were waiting for
11 that very excuse.
12 "SPEAKER: I have studied Markale I and Markale II for a long time
13 and at the scene and I've talked to a number of people who were involved
14 in the investigations of both, and I am completely persuaded that those
15 two explosions were caused by Muslim forces.
16 "SPEAKER: Bypassing the UN Security Council, which had the legal
17 authority to act in Bosnia, the US had already picked out Bosnian Serb
18 targets, some of them supplied by Muslim commanders.
19 "SPEAKER: We entered the war, took the side of the Muslims and
20 became their air force, bombing the Serbs on this supposed atrocity
21 created by the Serbs where everyone that was on the ground said it was
22 created by the Muslims, which, by the way, is the oldest trick of war.
23 And we fell for it.
24 "SPEAKER: Selective media coverage of the war had created
25 tolerance, if not enthusiasm, for a US military intervention from the
1 American public.
2 "SPEAKER: What amazed me was that American doves, liberals, my
3 allies from the anti-Vietnam days, the sort of people I thought I could
4 count on to oppose reckless American military intervention, were all
5 screaming for military intervention. They were the biggest hawks of all.
6 "SPEAKER: For the Clinton administration, intervention in Bosnia
7 represented a chance to justify the continuation of NATO, an American
8 dominance in Europe.
9 "SPEAKER: NATO's very problem in the early 1990s was simply that
10 the mission for which it was designed had come to an end. It was designed
11 to protect Western Europe from an aggressively expansionist Soviet Yukon.
12 "SPEAKER: The logic would go: You've got to expand NATO, and the
13 only reason to keep and expand NATO is to have a mission. Where is the
14 mission? Bosnia, Balkans. The Balkans had become hostage to an American
15 power concept which is to keep Europe down and America up.
16 "SPEAKER: Senior military officers were amongst those most wary
17 of administration policy.
18 "SPEAKER: I think the mess we have today is a result of political
19 errors. I think we were all too quick to recognise these individual
20 republics as they declared their independence and asked for recognition.
21 We failed to think through the history of this region. And so it's a
22 little -- a little strained to have that political context and then ask
23 the military to go solve the problem."
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, before you move on, could you tell us
25 the source of this tape, also as to it is originally one tape or, rather,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 a compiled one?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, as you can see, these are all
3 statements exclusively taken from Western sources, and once again
4 exclusively from very prominent personalities which they undoubtedly gave
5 and made, and this is a compilation which just briefly illustrates the
6 whole picture in view of the very limited time that I have at my disposal.
7 JUDGE KWON: If could you later submit to us the programme --
8 names of the programme later, in due course, together with the tape.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a lot of original tapes, and
10 it won't present a problem for me to look through them and do that.
11 Now, with respect to international law, in the crisis in
12 Yugoslavia, the sole international legally protected subject was
13 Yugoslavia itself, as a member of the United Nations and the sole bearer
14 of the international legal subjectivity, as a legal subject. So that in
15 that territory, there were no wars. There was just one single war, and
16 that was the war against Yugoslavia. And that war, the fans of that war
17 were flamed [as interpreted] and directed by the greatest power in the
18 modern day world, with reliance on its internal allies, the nationalist,
19 separatist nuclei along with the dominant presence of those forces who
20 were vanquished during World War II.
21 That war used all possible means at its disposal; media,
22 political, military, et cetera. That war, first and foremost, was led by
23 a media campaign that went on for decades. It abused the monopoly over
24 the world information media. Then with a foreign policy intervention
25 which was directed towards the creation of independent states from the
1 Yugoslav -- former Yugoslav republics and the terrible economic campaign
2 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that can only be qualified as
3 genocide, which went on for many years. And finally, we see the military
4 aggression that took place in 1995 against the Republika Srpska and in the
5 Storm onslaught which we saw a moment ago, along with the participation of
6 NATO forces in the largest possible ethnic cleansing ever recorded, and in
7 1999 against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia itself.
8 This large-scale media campaign, political, economic, and military
9 campaign to break up Yugoslavia and to restructure the Balkans into new
10 spheres of interest were -- they used manipulations on genocide of Serbs
11 that crowned this false indictment and have great pretentions for it to
12 perform a historical task, and that task being that the basic aim is the
13 last intervention in history. That is to say, through a sort of legal
14 procedure and by legal means to transfer falsehoods and manipulation into
15 the truth.
16 It is necessary for the protagonists of the crimes and those
17 responsible for breaking up Yugoslavia over the decades and who were
18 responsible for the crimes should free them, rid them of their
19 responsibilities and then use this judgement as a historical truth in
20 itself. And that is why I should like to say that this illegal Tribunal,
21 Court, does not exist in a legal framework but exclusively in the media
22 framework, because it in itself represents a means of war and part of the
23 crime that is being perpetuated against the Serbian people.
24 However, this war is being waged with greater or lesser intensity
25 against other peoples as well throughout the world. The victors in the
1 Cold War had said that they are entitled to establish world hegemonism and
2 they've coined that concept; they don't want to make the world a better
3 place to live in, more humane, more legal, but the first post-war decade
4 clearly showed that this was a concept and means to rule over other
5 countries and their natural resources and human resources and that in fact
6 it was a form of new colonialism.
7 And this process that started with the breakdown of the Berlin
8 wall is not a finished process. It is ongoing and is attended by enormous
9 confusion, this sphere of law and legality, history and philosophy, and a
10 new world order is being seen more and more as world chaos, whereas the
11 first post-war Cold War phase has been aborted. These are even
12 assessments by Western experts and the destruction of Yugoslavia ranks
13 among those as well.
14 The messages, such as Clinton's message to the effect that the
15 Serbs were responsible for causing two world wars - that means that the
16 Germans were not responsible for any world war - have the ability to
17 pacify reality and threaten to become a model for shaping the future.
18 This message, launched by the President of America as a world leader - and
19 when I say a world leader, I mean America, not Clinton himself - can be
20 used as a metaphor for a whole decade of a campaign of lies. And I think
21 the only competition to that is what we have been hearing from the
22 opposite party this morning and from the material they have tendered. And
23 that message, the message that I'm talking about, is particularly absurd
24 and unhonourable if we know that it was precisely in those two wars for
25 which, according to Clinton, it was the Serbs who were responsible, it was
1 precisely the Serbs with enormous victims, went hand-in-hand with that
2 same America which was 50 years later to assess that Yugoslavia, and
3 especially Serbia, was standing in its way to realising its new interests
4 and that a free and independent Yugoslavia could not be incorporated into
5 those interests and that with its successful development and
6 freedom-loving spirit, it set a bad example to others and that is why it
7 had to be broken up and turned into a Third World country and, even worse,
8 to send it right back to the Stone Age. And that is why there is nothing
9 more pertinent to the Serbs and Serbia and everybody else, all other
10 freedom-loving people.
11 The great task is to combat lies. And I think that this illegal
12 Tribunal of yours here is quite contrary to the ideas of the people who
13 created it, and despite the restrictions in broadcasting the court process
14 and distorting information, it is part of the decade-long demonisation of
15 the Serbs and a mirror for the perpetrators of crimes against Yugoslavia.
16 This might seem to be paradoxical, but in the historical sense, we have
17 two contradictions here contrary to the ideas of the people that set this
18 Tribunal up. They -- but I would like to have the truth returned to my
19 people and the whole freedom-loving people.
20 This indictment is completely false because in Croatia and in
21 Bosnia it was not a case of aggression but it was a civil war. That is
22 the first point.
23 The second is that in both cases, for the Serb people in Croatia
24 and for the Serb people in Bosnia, it was a defensive war, a war of
1 And a third point according to which the indictment is false both
2 formally and materially is because it accuses Serbs, and I as its
3 president, for the civil war in Croatia and the civil war in Bosnia,
4 whereas Serbia was not at war nor was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
5 at war, either with Croatia or with Bosnia-Herzegovina. And it is
6 precisely the Presidents of Croatia and Bosnia, Tudjman and Izetbegovic,
7 the President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia at the time, Stjepan Mesic,
8 it was they who started this war against Yugoslavia and thereby a war
9 against the Serbs, the citizens of Croatia and the citizens of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina first of all by violent means that were contrary to the
11 constitution by an act of secession and then an armed attack against the
12 Serb population. And the violence in Croatia, in fact, began far before
13 independence was ever proclaimed.
14 In this regard, let me say at the outset that I'm not challenging
15 that Serbs helped the Serbs in Bosnia and in Croatia to survive at all.
16 It would -- what is absurd is something that to you seems be logical:
17 That the Americans, the Germans, the Vatican, Iranians, Austria, Turkey,
18 the Afghanistans, et cetera, were helping the Muslims and Croats, but it
19 was not logical to your mind for the Serbs to help Serbs survive on their
20 own threshold, in front of their own front door.
21 We heard here that we financed and helped the Serbs. The Serbs
22 helping the Serbs. And that seems to be a crime. Why, then, is it not a
23 crime that, for example, the Vatican provided money through the Vatican
24 bank for the purchase of weapons for Croatia, by the same token? And
25 then, as Serbia helped the Serbs, I am a criminal, and as the Vatican
1 helped the Croats to perform secession by violent means, the Pope remains
2 the Holy Father.
3 And we helped them to prevent a repeat of the genocide that was
4 conducted over the Serbs in that same region during World War II by those
5 same forces but under the auspices of Hitler and Mussolini during that
6 time, when we saw three Ustashas, for example, taking thousands of Serbs
7 to be slaughtered without anybody standing up to them. And in this
8 regard, both Serbia and I personally invested all my powers and strength
9 in achieving peace, and that is why I said that this particular indictment
10 -- I said this several months ago when you opened the trial, that it was
11 absurd, because Serbia and I myself deserve recognition for working for
12 peace in the area and not as a protagonist of war.
13 Therefore, in view of the fact that Serbia and the Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia was not a party in the civil war, not even
15 conceptually or legally or de facto can it be accused of something that
16 went on there. The Security Council ultimately was the sole organ to
17 secure peace and security in the world and assessments about this were not
18 voiced in any of its resolutions or any decisions or public stance with
19 regard to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina nor did it name the Federal
20 Republic of Yugoslavia as the aggressor. It did not point to Yugoslavia
21 as the aggressor.
22 On the other hand, for example, on the 4th of February, 1994, the
23 Security Council adopted a precedential statement cautioning Croatia that
24 it will have to take the consequences unless it withdraws its military
25 units from Bosnia-Herzegovina within the space of two weeks, and then
1 condemnation of Chancellor Kohl who says Croatia promised not to intervene
2 militarily but it did not keep its promise and that is a scandal that we
3 must condemn. So those were the condemnations. They were verbal in
4 character whereas Yugoslavia, although without any foundations whatsoever,
5 was exposed to sanctions, and of course military intervention in the long
6 run and ultimately, whereas the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina started at
7 the time when a majorisation was conducted and a rump referendum accepted.
8 You heard what Lord Carrington had to say about independence. It was
9 held without the Serbian people, despite the fact that the constitution in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not stand, and that that republic was formed for
11 three constituent peoples.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we have a message from the interpreters
13 that they're finding it difficult to keep up. Could you bear them in mind
14 when you're speaking, please.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. The quotation I made was
16 brief, so I hope they didn't have too much of a problem. But as I was
17 saying, there was a temporary recognition of a state established on the
18 basis of a decision which had no legitimacy whatsoever because it was not
19 supported by all three peoples, and the decision represented a great
20 threat to the fact that the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina should
21 become peoples of the second order within a Muslim fundamental state. You
22 saw a moment ago what the Mujahedin looked like, how many thousands had
23 gathered there in that place, in that new battlefield which was open for
24 the first time in Europe. And you were also -- you have also seen many
25 other things that have been accessible to you, but I'll return to that in
1 due course.
2 During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Serbia and Montenegro but
3 predominantly, of course, in Serbia, from the wartime clashes several
4 thousand citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina took refuge amongst whom there
5 were several tens of thousands who were Muslims. Now, if it were true
6 that Serbia were the aggressor, then so many thousands of Bosnian Muslims
7 would never have got the idea of taking refuge in Serbia proper. Even
8 some Muslim military units, when they were facing the Serbian army,
9 crossed the Drina River to find salvation in Serbia itself. And Serbia
10 did not send them back but it behaved in a very humane manner towards
11 them; it fed them, it clothed them, it looked after them and then enabled
12 them, via the International Red Cross, to go to other third countries.
13 On one such occasion when I approved a whole Muslim brigade,
14 numbering 850 people, to go across the Drina River and find salvation in
15 Serbia, I wrote a letter to Izetbegovic. I'm not going to read out the
16 whole of that letter but just a small passage from it in which I said:
17 "Your soldiers were not greeted here as enemies, as foes, but as human
18 beings, as neighbours who, through force of circumstance, had entered the
19 flames of war against their will. You know full well that we offered them
20 hospitality in Yugoslavia, to hundreds of thousands of refugees and tens
21 of thousands are your own compatriots. And all of them have the same
22 treatment and our care is afforded to them. More courage is necessary to
23 conclude peace than to start a war. I entreat you to make such a decision
24 in the interests of your own peoples and the people living on the
25 territory of the former Yugoslavia. Just as I would like to ask General
1 Ratko Mladic and the leadership of Republika Srpska to cease the war and
2 to cease hostilities with the representatives of your army."
3 That's the kind of letter that I sent to General Mladic as well.
4 The Serbs in Croatia - let us go back to that broader area; the
5 Serbs in Bosnia, in Republika Srpska, in Krajina, Serbs in Serbia and
6 Serbs in Yugoslavia - not in a single phase of the Yugoslav crisis brought
7 into question or challenged the right of the Croatian people or the Muslim
8 people or any other people, constituent people of Yugoslavia, to their
9 right to self-determination. And this undoubtedly includes the right to
11 The war in Croatia and Bosnia, therefore, had no sense nor did it
12 have any reason in furthering this right to self-determination and the
13 secession of the Croatian people because nobody challenged that right at
14 all. Its sense and meaning was in the crimes perpetrated over the Serbs,
15 in expelling 600.000 Serbs -- Carrington mentions that figure himself so I
16 don't want to change it. So at least 600.000 Serbs from their territories
17 in the then-administrative, non-state borders of the Republic of Croatia.
18 And in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the meaning and sense of the war was in
19 expelling the Serb people and making them second-rate citizens within
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was conceived as a future Islamic republic.
21 In addition to the quotation that, as far as I was able to see
22 wasn't properly interpreted, it was too fast and I don't mind that, on
23 Banja Latic Terriga [phoen] in 1992 what was said was, and I quote:
24 "There would have been no war had Croatia not wished for war." But we
25 assess that it was only through war that we could achieve the independence
1 of Croatia. That is why we waived a policy of negotiation, and behind
2 those negotiations, we set up our armed units. Had we not done so, we
3 would not have reached our goal.
4 And Stjepan Mesic, whom you saw on your screens on television a
5 moment ago for a very brief period, says in the Croatian Sabor, or
6 parliament, and he was the then-president of the Presidency of Yugoslavia,
7 on the 5th of December, 1991, stated the following, his famous line: "I
8 think I have fulfilled my task; Yugoslavia exists no more."
9 Now, if to that you add the well-known fact of the Islamic
10 declaration by Alija Izetbegovic in which he says that among -- between
11 the Muslim religion and non-Muslim states and institutions there can never
12 be peace between the two nor can there be co-existence, and you were able
13 to see them calling for a holy war, the jihad and all the rest of it, then
14 I think that everybody -- you -- who needn't even be well-intentioned but
15 if they are honest must be quite clear on what it was all about. So it
16 was not the Serb who brought into question the right of any constituent
17 peoples to their self-determination. All we considered then and we
18 consider today is that the right of self-determination also belongs to the
19 Serbian people and that everything that was taken away from them by force,
20 by violation of that right does not hold water in terms of international
21 law and legality and cannot be recognised under any pressure whatsoever.
22 As for this false indictment, it deprives the Serbs of all human
23 rights, including the right to life, the right to self-defence, because in
24 Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbs defended the areas where they
25 had been living for centuries.
1 Charles Boyd, who we saw in another statement awhile ago, the
2 Deputy Head of the US forces in Europe, he wrote in Foreign Affairs
3 September/October 1995, I'm quoting: [In English] "The popular image of
4 this war is one of unrelenting Serb expansion. Much of what the Croatians
5 called the 'occupied territories' is land that has been held by Serbs for
6 more than three centuries. The same is true of most Serb land in Bosnia
7 where the Western media frequently refer to as the 70 per cent of Bosnia
8 size by rebel Serbs. In short, the Serbs were not trying to conquer new
9 territory but merely to hold onto what was already theirs."
10 [Interpretation] Now the 23rd of July, 1993, the co-chairman of
11 the International Conference on the former Yugoslavia, Lord Owen, when
12 rejecting the possibility of a military intervention in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is what Clinton's hawks and paid lobbies
14 insisted upon all the time, that rejection of military intervention is
15 something that he explained in the following words, I quote: "It is very
16 difficult to intervene in a situation which is not aggression." And he
17 adds: "That was always a conflict between the Serbs in Bosnia, the
18 Muslims in Bosnia, and the Croats in Bosnia." And the former US Secretary
19 of State Henry Kissinger, in his article in the Washington Post on the
20 17th of May, 1993, says, inter alia, again I'm quoting, that: "In
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there is a civil war going on, that there is not a
22 Bosnian ethnic group, and that the international community made a big
23 mistake by recognising that republic." He says that this is a three-fold
24 civil war, not an invasion of a neighbouring state against a sovereign
25 state. Croatia and Serbia support their compatriots in Bosnia. The most
1 irresponsible mistake in the current Bosnian tragedy was the international
2 recognition of the Bosnian state under the authority of the Muslims.
3 There is the precedent of the premature recognition of Slovenia and
4 Croatia by Germany and in this way the international community created all
5 the new-founded states in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and so
7 So I quoted two Americans and one Brit, and not to say an
8 Englishman because David Owen is Welsh, but there are many others, other
9 Americans, Britons, Russians, Frenchmen, Russians, Indians, Germans,
10 Italians who publicly stated what the true state of affairs was. Many
11 will have the opportunity of personally testifying here, as opposed to the
12 practice of false witnesses and secret witnesses that the other side has.
13 I quoted only these three persons in order to make my assertion
14 undisputed; that the truth about the civil war had to be well known to
15 those who were the actual decision-makers. However, the resounding
16 cannonades of the media war made it impossible for the truth to come
17 through. You saw on these films part of it, and I would like to show that
18 this was a very well-organised and very well-paid, well-financed
20 Since I do not have time, I'm going to illustrate this by one
21 example, linking it precisely to what you saw in the film concerning the
22 engagement of Rudder and Finn. A special role in demonising the Serbs was
23 played precisely by that company in different periods. A paid -- there
24 was a paid representative of Muslims and Croats in Bosnia.
25 James Hart, the director of Rudder Finn boasted by these
1 sensational reports that led to a dramatic increase in the support of US
2 intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as he said to a French journalist
3 Jacques Merlinot in April 1993, he was proud of how his firm manipulated
4 the Jewish public opinion. This was a major success because the Croatian
5 President Tudjman was, as he said, very careless in his book 'The Horrors
6 of War', and he could have been accused of anti-Semitism for that.
7 And the Bosnian President Izetbegovic also had serious problems
8 with his image because his book 'The Islamic Declaration' shows that there
9 is far too great support to an Islamist fundamentalist state. Even more
10 so as the past of Croatia and Bosnia is indeed marked by cruel
11 anti-Semitism and that is what Hart admits and speaks of the tens of
12 thousands of Jews who went missing in Nazi camps. And that was a reason
13 why Jewish organisations and individuals should not have much patience for
14 the Croats and Muslims in Bosnia. And he said: "For us it was a
15 challenge to totally reverse such a position, and we did this
16 masterfully." How masterfully they succeeded.
17 You see, if-- Roy Gutman wrote stories in Newsday about the
18 alleged Serb death camps - he indeed won a Pulitzer Prize for this - but
19 it was eventually established that all of this was a lie. And then Hart's
20 people were in a position to mobilise some of the main Jewish
21 organisations, the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith, the Anti-Libel
22 League, and the US Congress. And he says that this was an incredible
23 success when the Jewish organisations came into the game on the side of
24 the Bosnians. Then we could immediately, he says, turn the Serbs into
25 villains in the entire game. And when Merlinot asked him, "Well, you did
1 this but you didn't have any proof for it, didn't you? You did not know
2 whether this was true." And he answered him -- because he said,
3 "Actually, everything you had was just this Newsday article." And his
4 answer was, "Our job is not to check out information. We had a job to do
5 and we did it. We are not paid to moralise."
6 However, it is quite clear that Rudder Finn was not that
7 successful because, as they had put it, masterfully carried through all
8 these promotion tricks. What made the efforts of this firm effective is
9 the receptiveness of the Western media. They were going along with the
10 suggestions of those who were making political moves in Washington, Bonn,
11 the Vatican, and they themselves were creating an anti-Serb atmosphere
12 many months before the Rudder Finn campaign. However, Jewish
13 organisations did not accept this story because they were simply gullible
14 and only because of this masterfully executed job by Rudder Finn; this was
15 also due to the interest they had. They wanted to repel the fury of the
16 Arab states, the Muslim states to anyone, and in this case it was
17 deflected to the Serbs. And that is how they repaid the Serbs for the
18 protection of Jews in the Second World War, in which in the occupied
19 territories of the Balkans it was only Serbs in Serbia who, at the cost of
20 their own lives, managed to protect them from pogroms. And they
21 themselves know that. They are ashamed of that, at least those who talked
22 to me. And I hope that some of them are going to testify about this here.
23 Precisely because of this enormous help given to the Jews and also this
24 brotherhood between peoples, not states. That was between the Serb people
25 and the Jewish people.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the time has come to adjourn. We will
2 break now for 20 minutes.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So this practically monopolistic
7 communications stream was assisted by some well-paid humanitarian groups,
8 such as Doctors Without Borders; peaceful groups, Women Wearing Black,
9 Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Committee, along with other
11 You saw in this film George Kenney, who was in charge of the
12 Yugoslav desk at the State Department. He says the genocide indictment
13 was repeated so many times in relation to Bosnia that proof became
14 irrelevant. The American administration, he says, has no proof of any
15 genocide, and anybody who reads the newspapers can see that there is a
16 lack of evidence regardless of endless speculations. That is blood
18 Another person who writes about this very extensively in his book
19 To Kill the Nation, is Michael Parenth [phoen], and I gave you this book a
20 couple of months ago. I don't know if you paid any attention to it, but
21 it does contain a great deal of information.
22 However, in order to illustrate how history is falsified and how
23 lies are promoted, I'm going to show you yet another tape, a very short
24 one, only a few minutes, so that you can see how this was done and what
25 the effects were.
1 Could you please have the tape played. In the meantime, I'm going
2 to explain to you -- you're going to see at the very beginning that on the
3 compact disk, 'The Chronology of the Twentieth Century', when you open the
4 year 1992, then on it, at the very beginning, the symbol for the year 1992
5 is this forged story about the so-called death camps in
7 Please play the tape now.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's the CD I mentioned, 'The
10 Chronicle of the 20th Century'.
11 Now, when you look at the various years, 1992, you click 1992 and
12 here's the image. It is this fabrication that entered history. You open
13 it and this is what you see; about concentration camps.
14 [Videotape played]
15 "SPEAKER: Here is Thomas Deichmann [phoen]. He was the German
16 journalist who first raised suspicions about these famous ITN pictures.
17 He is saying, Look at some newspapers. Most of the Western media. Not
18 only is there no real difference in opinion on foreign policy matters, but
19 even the same phrases are repeated. You see the same pictures with the
20 same captions again and again. The ITN pictures bothered Deichmann.
21 Looking at them one night, his wife noticed something: ITN claimed the
22 Bosnian Muslims were imprisoned behind barbed wire. Why, she wondered,
23 was the wire attached on their side of the fence? They could pull out the
24 nails. Deichmann smelled a rat. He suspected the photos had been
25 fabricated. He suspected special camera angles, tricky editing. He
1 wanted to go to Trnopolje to see for himself, and there he saw the
2 concentration camp that never existed.
3 "Examining things on location, Deichmann saw what had been done.
4 The reporters, Penny Marshall and the others in her crew, were in a
5 barbed-wire enclosed space near a transformer station and barn. From
6 there, they took pictures of refugees who were walking around quite freely
7 outside the fence. During this visit, Deichmann made a drawing of the
8 buildings and people as they appeared on the day the ITN crew filmed at
9 Trnopolje. There was a barn and a transformer station, a refugee centre
10 building, an open-air reception area, a recreation area near the refugee
11 centre, the fenced-in area from inside which the ITN crew did their
12 filming, and the barbed wire and chicken wire which was portrayed as
13 evidence of a death camp at Trnopolje.
14 "After the conversation with the Red Cross representative, we
15 passed a group of new refugees. They were being registered by the civil
16 authorities. Ms. Marshall chose not to set up her cameras and film in
17 this open area. Instead, she and her crew manoeuvred into a
18 partly-enclosed space used as a storage area for wheelbarrows and the
19 like. The dilapidated fence had chicken wire on the bottom and a few
20 strands of barbed wire on top to discourage theft. Our crew filmed the
21 ITN people as they manoeuvred into this area through a hole in the broken
22 down fence, then we followed and both crews set up within the enclosure,
23 filming the refugees wandering around outside. There were heaps of
24 material in barrels and we kept stumbling over them while trying to set
25 up. Ms. Penny Marshall tried to talk to the nearest refugees but in vain
1 since she didn't speak Serbo-Croatian. People searched for someone who
2 could speak English. Someone in front of the crowd of refugees said,
3 Here, this one speaks English, pointing to go Mr. Mehmed in the overalls.
4 Mr. Bozanic, from the Yugoslav crew, filmed Penny Marshall's conversation
5 with Mehmed. Later, the following was shown on Yugoslav TV, with
6 Mr. Bozanic supplying an informal translation of the English conversation.
7 "'No, no. They're very nice,' says Mehmed. Mehmed adds --
8 "SPEAKER: Do you feel safe here?
9 "SPEAKER: He feels very safe here and, except for the heat,
10 everything was fine.
11 "SPEAKER: This man is very thin, insisted the reporter, and
12 Mehmed said.
13 "SPEAKER: The people are not the same.
14 "SPEAKER: ... cameras behind barbed wire. She was in position.
15 Now she searched the crowd for that perfect look. She wanted a star for
16 her story, the story she would sell the world. You will see her
17 conversation with Mehmed from our camera's angle once again. To make it
18 clearer this time, here is a little diagram showing the position of the
19 two crews. The ITN people are the blue circle on the left. We are the
20 red circle on the right. Because the film crews were a yard apart, we
21 filmed the same shots from a slightly different angle. Sometimes we
22 filmed the ITN people as well. Ms. Marshall is interviewing Mehmed.
23 "SPEAKER: Hello.
24 "SPEAKER: My name Mehmed.
25 "SPEAKER: Now did you come to be here?
1 "SPEAKER: I think it's very fine [inaudible]. It's very hot.
2 "SPEAKER: Outside.
3 "SPEAKER: No, no. Inside.
4 "SPEAKER: [inaudible].
5 "SPEAKER: No, no, no. Inside.
6 "SPEAKER: Why did you come here? Are you a fighter? Are you a
8 "SPEAKER: No. No.
9 "SPEAKER: They came to your house and took you.
10 "SPEAKER: Yes, yes.
11 "SPEAKER: Do you feel safe here?
12 "SPEAKER: I think it is very safe but it's very hot. Other
13 things, it's very --
14 "SPEAKER: This man is very thin.
15 "SPEAKER: He is very thin, but I think that is -- [inaudible].
16 All the people is not the same. [inaudible] I think it's refugee camp
18 "SPEAKER: Where are the women and the children?
19 "SPEAKER: The women and children [inaudible]
20 "SPEAKER: Every day during school holidays.
21 "SPEAKER: It's not a prison. It's refugee camp.
22 "SPEAKER: Where do you want to go?
23 "SPEAKER: Home.
24 "SPEAKER: Do you still have a home?
25 "SPEAKER: [inaudible] [indiscernible]
1 "SPEAKER: Very thin one to the right.
2 "SPEAKER: The raw material was all there. Back in her editing
3 room, Marshall and her associates saw just how beautiful this raw material
4 could be. Perfect for fabricating a death camp. Give me the lower mask,
5 upper, right, left. So just as the terrible fighting in Bosnia had
6 deprived these unhappy men of their homes, now Ms. Marshall's pictures,
7 which circled the world, cost them their legs as well.
8 "Allow us to demonstrate how Marshall doctored the pictures to
9 make them suitable for use by newspapers and magazines. We'll illustrate
10 by repeating the process. Stop on those two. Now, give me a still shot.
11 Now give me the Nouvel Observateur underneath. Notice the difference in
12 the camera angles. Remember, their crew was shooting more to the left,
13 which is why our camera picked up three men, where their camera picked up
15 "Let's go back to the live picture, do the doctoring the way they
16 have done it. Go to the guy in the blue shirt. Stop. Give me the right
17 mask, please. Blow it up. Now add the fellow on the right, the one in
18 black and white. Now kill the colour on the blonde one. Now fade out.
19 That's it. Fade out with the short zoom lens. Move our picture back and
20 below give me the Nouvel Observateur picture. Blow up Nouvel Observateur.
21 "Scan. Compare. Bingo. One Nazi nightmare.
22 "Give me the live picture shot again, the shot where they push
23 Fikret towards Penny. The right and left mask. Upper and lower. Blow it
24 up. Now give us Humanitage image. Give me the live picture again. Upper
25 and lower. The left and right mask. Blow it up. Give me the magazine
1 Novo with Welt's picture.
2 "The spin-doctors of this world still didn't trust their readers
3 to get the message, so they made it perfectly clear. They added World War
4 II Nazi concentration camp snapshots, complete with real barbed wire.
5 "SPEAKER: In the US, Bill Clinton and George Bush competed over
6 who was the most horrified by the revelations of Serbian so-called
7 atrocities proven by the pictures taken at Trnopolje. Referring to these
8 clips during the pre-election campaign in 1992, Bill Clinton demanded that
9 George Bush immediately bomb the Serbs. Not to be outdone, during a TV
10 speech, George Bush compared the refugee camps with Nazi death camps."
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Milosevic, again could you give us the source of
12 this film?
13 JUDGE MAY: Was that -- was that a Yugoslav film that we saw
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These are witnesses. Some of them
16 are Yugoslavs, others are not. This man Deichmann, as you know, is the
17 editor-in-chief of the magazine Novo, which was the first to doubt this
18 and go there. You know that Paddy Ashdown spoke of those camps, but when
19 he was invited by the authorities of Republika Srpska to visit the spot,
20 he was unable to find any camps there.
21 JUDGE MAY: Do we take it that the compilation was made by you and
22 your team?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. You may take it that this was
24 prepared for me by my assistants, but these are facts, because there are
25 innumerable witnesses who can prove that this was an open refugee centre
1 where one could come and go freely. You also heard this man Mehmed saying
2 that he felt very safe there and that the only thing that was bothering
3 him was the August heat.
4 I would like to remind you, however, that when I quoted those
5 people - I'm referring to Kissinger, Owen - I did this in order to show
6 that those who were pulling the strings knew very well what this was
7 about. It was not about the truth but about interests. The civil war in
8 Yugoslavia was started when the survival of Yugoslavia was evidently
9 contrary to the strategic interests of the USA, the Catholic church,
10 Germany, and others. That Vatican knew what consequences could be
11 expected can be seen from the Papal letter of 1 May 1991 where he speaks
12 of the collapse of communism and says that this could give rise to
13 grievous conflicts and much sorrow. And he asks for international
14 structures to consolidate in order to intervene and arbitrate in the
15 conflicts arising among nations. After the breakout of the war in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992, the Vatican asked for military arbitration by
17 the West, and it is evidently what they meant.
18 This is the Encyclo Sentissimo Anno [phoen], published in Milan in
20 There is no dispute that Germany and the Vatican were the first to
21 recognise Croatia as an independent state. All this, however, especially
22 the military intervention against the Serbian people in Republika Srpska,
23 could not have taken place without the leading role of America in the form
24 of Clinton's administration which will go down in history because of the
25 crimes that took place on the European continent after World War II
1 against German -- against the allies they had had in both wars, for
2 American policy, Islamic extremism was given precedence, especially
3 because of their role in destabilising the former Soviet Central Asia
4 where there are large reserves of oil. And also because Islamic
5 extremism, unconventional weapons for destroying the future of Russia and
6 partly China, and it is well known that Chinese leaders spoke of the green
7 transversal from China to the Adriatic Sea, and that is because the
8 easiest and cheapest way to break down the anti-Islamic American extremism
9 is because Serbian interests could be neglected. They didn't count.
10 After the 11th of September, I am no longer sure that even American lives
11 were taken seriously by Clinton.
12 I cannot say precisely how many of those thousands of Mujahedins
13 reviewed by Izetbegovic, as we saw on the tape, took part later in the
14 terrorist activities against America, but I can say that under Clinton,
15 America allowed Iran and Saudi Arabia to arm these murderers. Clinton's
16 policy opened up a new European war theatre for Islamic fundamentalism.
17 It was the forerunner of the next step, which was the 11th of September.
18 I have here - I do not want to waste time by giving it to you now
19 but I will tender it - a source which is not Serbian but Croatian; from
20 the gaol in Busovaca, a list of Mujahedin who are in prison, taken
21 prisoner by the Croatian army, coming from Algiers, Tunisia, Pakistan,
22 Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and so on and so forth. Military ID
23 cards, photo copies of these. One of these was a general. His name was
24 Ganed Gamal, from Egypt. From a Special Purpose Unit of the Supreme
25 Command, the Special Purpose Units were the ones who mainly perpetrated
1 the crimes for which the Serbs were blamed later.
2 However, I have no illusions that the Prosecutor will accuse
3 Holbrooke and Clinton for the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Serbs from
4 Croatia and mass murders or 550.000 Serbs from the Muslim Croatian
5 federation, part of which is in Republika Srpska and part of whom are in
6 Serbia, but I believe that the judiciary of the USA and its citizens
7 cannot easily overlook the facts that show that they are the ones who
8 opened up the door -- opened up the way to September 11th. And they will
9 be called here to answer my questions and explain some facts.
10 When speaking of this, I wish to point out that I'm speaking of
11 Clinton's Administration because I believe that the previous
12 Administration would not have perpetrated such a crime against the Serbs
13 regardless of the strategic interest they had. They would not have gone
14 so far, and they would have stuck to political means. I base this on the
15 statement made by Secretary of State Baker before the American Congress in
16 1995, who said: "It is a fact that Slovenia and Croatia unilaterally
17 declared independence in spite of our warnings. They used force to take
18 the border crossings, and this led to civil war." He says that the
19 position of the USA, the standpoint of the USA, that the territorial
20 integrity of the -- of Yugoslavia should be preserved was supported by 32
21 states of the OSCE, and it is unfortunate that we did not adhere to that
22 policy longer than we did. It was the Clinton administration that changed
23 that policy. And we also heard Powell at the end of the film. But we
24 also heard Holbrooke, who obviously tried to keep up with his boss and his
25 statement about the Serbs being to blame for two world wars. There is no
1 doubt that Holbrooke, as the American ambassador in Germany, played a key
2 role in incorporating German standpoints into American policy.
3 And as we heard on the film, there were eminent Americans and
4 those who implemented Clinton's policy and the genocide over the Serbs.
5 We saw his role in the attack on the Krajina and on the western part of
6 Republika Srpska.
7 For almost an entire decade, those who developed the strategy, the
8 strategy called Belgrade Cradle of Evil, in Europe, not taking into
9 account what was really happening in the Balkans but how it should be
10 presented to public opinion. However, not everyone was obedient, and I
11 think that history will not be altered here. They will not be successful
12 in that, just as the NATO crimes on Kosovo were not successfully denied by
13 Madam Del Ponte when she said that there was no basis for an investigation
14 against NATO, because the key issue, the issue of human conscience and
15 accepting falsehood as truth will always be present.
16 The role of Germany in the collapse of Yugoslavia is well known,
17 and that is why I will not go into detailed explanations. However, I
18 would like to point out the special role of their interests as well as the
19 role of the Catholic church and the role of Genscher's and Kinkel's party
20 which was founded by Frederich Naumann who published a book in 1915 called
21 'Central Europe' as a project for organising a large part of the European
22 continent around Germany as the centre. Later on, he published a book
23 about Bulgaria and Central Europe in which he envisages a territorial
24 contact after the victory in World War II. It was Naumann who said that
25 the Serbs were a factor that was constantly upsetting the balance there.
1 What they were really upsetting was the achievement of Imperialist goals
2 at the expense of their own freedom. And the situation is the same today.
3 Attempts are being made to falsify history, and this is what Holbrooke
5 When we bear all this in mind, the expansion of Islamic
6 fundamentalism, and I quote: "The bloody borders are to extend from
7 Indonesia and Somalia to Bosnia." This is what Huntington wrote in his
8 book 'The Clash of Civilisations and The Remaking of the World Order',
9 published in New York in 1996. And when we look at this and compare it to
10 Vatican and the Pope's project, the interests of Germany and, above all,
11 America as the only superpower, it is evident that in the whole world
12 there is no other example of a small nation being drawn into the interests
13 of all the great powers.
14 In spite of that, it was hard to destroy a big and respectable
15 European country, one of the co-founders of the UN, as Yugoslavia was, and
16 it proved to be impossible without the use of force and without a major
17 crime. That is how the war was produced, the war of which all the
18 Yugoslav peoples were the victims. And the Serbian people were victims on
19 a global scale because they were declared to be guilty.
20 That war had the same genocidal character just like the wars waged
21 against Serbia during the Second World War by Ustashas and the rest, and
22 Carrington knew this full well. In his interview to the Vienna journal
23 Profile on the 1st of December, 1993, he said that he was being accused of
24 being pro-Serbian, and he says that is simply nonsensical. It was not
25 easy to say who was the good one and who was the bad one. When the Croats
1 proclaimed their independence, they did not give the Serbs in their own
2 country - and there are 600.000 of them - any guarantees whatsoever.
3 It was therefore understandable that for this reason the Serbs
4 were very worried. First of all, if we bear in mind the villainy of the
5 Ustashas during World War II. And then he says again: "We almost had a
6 solution to the Krajina and Slavonia problem. But at that particular
7 point, the European Community at the end of 1991 decided to recognise
8 Slovenia and Croatia. Croatia received what it wanted, Slovenia did too,
9 and they no longer had the desire for the peace conference to be
10 continued. And what is more important is that, for that same matter, we
11 should enable the same for others. Bosnia-Herzegovina in the first place.
12 But Izetbegovic opted for independence, although it was quite clear to him
13 too that an option of that kind meant war. Hans Dietrich Genscher wanted
14 international recognition for Slovenia and Croatia. Practically all the
15 others were opposed to this."
16 And the New York Times on the 14th of April, 1993, had this
17 following brief news item: Interviewed in the United Nations building,
18 Cyrus Vance said that what he called premature recognition of Slovenia and
19 Herzegovina by the USA had led to the war, the war that was an ongoing
21 Editor-in-chief of the New York Times, Rosenthal, in his
22 leading article in December 1994 said that during the winter of 1991 and
23 1992, the Western countries, by their acts, brought woe to the Balkans.
24 And this led to the fact that a civil war was imminent in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina where the Muslims were never a nation but just an
1 administrative unit in Yugoslavia. And he goes on to say that the
2 conflict in Yugoslavia was caused precisely by the premature recognition
3 of Yugoslavia under the pressure of Croatia and that the independent
4 Bosnian state was set up as a result.
5 Lord Owen, on the 12th of November, 1995, in an interview to the
6 Spanish daily El Paz, said, "I have great respect for the United States,
7 but in recent years, the diplomacy of that particular country is
8 responsible for the prolonged war in Bosnia. Had Washington supported the
9 peace plan in 1993, a great number of dead would have been avoided. So
10 this is not one opinion but it is the facts that I wish to point to," and
11 that is the end of the quotation.
12 I'm going to skip Cyrus Vance on other occasions, but I will just
13 mention an explanation given by the one-time Greek Foreign Minister
14 Saminos who was present at the meeting of the European Community on the
15 16th of December, 1991, and who on the 20th of November, 1992, at
16 Elostiroskipous, [phoen] explained what was going on. The German Foreign
17 Minister Genscher said, Saminos said on the 16th of December in the
18 evening, that what was unavoidable was that if 11 of us vote for a united
19 Yugoslavia that on the 15th of January, Germany in 1992 will certainly
20 recognise Slovenia and Croatia as independent states. And that is in fact
21 what came to pass. That's what happened. All the other international
22 communities, the Americans later on accepted German policy, says Saminos.
23 And the story goes on, as we know it. Maastricht and a unified
24 European foreign policy, the great powers, the French and the English, had
25 as Saminos said who took part in the meeting, representing Greece, had to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 accept the German blackmail. And Bulan Erdjevic [phoen], the former
2 Turkish Premier said that Yugoslavia should have been preserved and that
3 Turkey had to try to stop the disintegration of that particular federation
4 in the Balkans. Erdjevic blamed Germany and Austria in part for the
5 disintegration of Yugoslavia.
6 "Yugoslavia was our exit to Europe, a region in which we had very
7 good relations in the Balkans. It was our way out towards our possible
8 expansion in the Third World," said Bulan Erdjevic. And Muntas Ozal,
9 another case in point, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, said, "We believe
10 that the Germans made a mistake because the former Yugoslavia was a model
11 for co-existence among different nations. Europe made a mistake, having
12 destroyed that model, and now we can see what the result of that was."
13 Elizabeth Copp, the former Minister in the Swiss government, and
14 an expert in the field of federalism, says the following: "I never
15 understood this. It was a mistake and it was the mistake of one man and
16 one foreign policy, a foreign policy, a man which I respected, Hans
17 Dietrich Genscher. The international community is responsible for having
18 recognised those states without solving the minority question beforehand
19 and without going about it in a coordinated way. This had to have had a
20 tragic end, and this was a big mistake made by Germany and the rest."
21 Kissinger says, in the Welt an Zontag on the 8th of September,
22 1996, a German paper: "The recognition of an independent Bosnian state in
23 1992 did not cause the birth of the country but led to a civil war." And
24 we have heard here that it is I who caused that civil war.
25 The Bosnian Muslims, in fact, that their extremist part and their
1 leadership worked against the Muslims in fact, in view of the number of
2 Muslim countries. It was their detriment because it was the purposes of
3 the big powers, and especially America, and this was a screen for their
4 different behaviour towards Muslims and Muslim countries generally with
5 respect to the way in which the big powers conducted themselves. The
6 leaders of the Bosnian Muslims objectively played out their interests
7 because the Bosnian Muslims lived in peace with the Serbs. They lived a
8 normal life. And with the kind of policy they were waging, they did en
9 masse and deliberately proclaim them to be casualties. They betrayed
10 them. And so -- and there were a large number of Muslims in the Serbian
11 army. They didn't join the army to kill the Muslims, I'm quite sure, but
12 to defend themselves from a common evil, which was Islamic extremism which
13 was seen to be a powerful weapon to destabilise the region and, in future,
14 more and more the European continent as a whole.
15 I have a very good illustration here, a document, which in very
16 concrete, specific terms, and clearly, testifies to how this Islamic
17 fundamentalist policy on the part of Izetbegovic and his party was opposed
18 to any kind of peace at all which would have emerged in the tripartite
19 peace negotiations at the Conference on Yugoslavia under the leadership of
20 Vance and Owen and then Owen-Stoltenberg later on. This is a letter from
21 the head office of Izetbegovic's party. It is signed by the secretary,
22 Hasan Cengic, on their memorandum and paper with a stamp and seal. The
23 20th of the January, 1993 is the date. And it was addressed to the Party
24 of Democratic Action, that is to say their leadership, in Trebinje in the
25 territory of Republika Srpska.
1 And the subject, it says: "Instruction about the moving out of
2 Trebinje." And then it says: "As the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is
3 becoming from one moment to the next with regard to security and safety
4 more complicated, especially after the acceptance of the Geneva documents
5 by Karadzic and his clique in Pale, it is necessary in order to have the
6 aspirations of all Muslims fulfilled, that our country,
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, be strengthened and the following measures are to be
8 undertaken in the terrain of the Trebinje municipality. First, via our
9 activists who animate all Muslims, especially the prominent ones and the
10 wealthier ones, to leave Trebinje as soon as possible and to move to
11 Montenegro. Secondly, their property, mobile and immobile, partially to
12 sell, et cetera, et cetera. And third, to exercise pressure and force
13 against Muslims who do not act in conformity with this order and
15 There is more but I have to save time. It says, with respect -
16 "Selim Alikum" - the Secretary of the SDA, Hasan Cengic. I will tender
17 this document so you can see it. And it is on the basis of this that this
18 Municipal Board of the SDA, working in Republika Srpska in Trebinje,
19 freely issues its own invitation in which it states the following: "The
20 Serbo-Chetnik armada, together with his leader Karadzic, is trying to
21 prevent us in our holy intentions and then our tricking the public at
22 large in Geneva and shows falsely the loyalty of the Trebinje Muslims to
23 the Serbo-Chetnik dictatorship and their loyalty to Republika Srpska and
24 their military clique."
25 And then he goes on to ask everybody to move out of the area. And
1 as a minimum, the minimum we're asked for is that all Muslims should leave
2 the so-called army of Republika Srpska forthwith and that it is our duty
3 in sharing the fate of our entire people, a nation together with their
4 families and our families and the rest of the citizens, that we should
5 leave for Montenegro, et cetera.
6 It goes on along those lines. Does this remind you of the same
7 practice in Kosovo? Whether it does or not, all I can say is that I
8 believe that the general public must associate this with what happened
9 there straight away.
10 So how can somebody serve in an army which is engaged in genocide
11 against his own people? I don't say that this doesn't -- that this means
12 that there were no war crimes. There were, of course. War crimes existed
13 on all three sides. But this does mean that it was not the policy nor was
14 an atmosphere of that kind created, nor did that kind of atmosphere exist
15 in a broad sense.
16 The victims and casualties of war against Yugoslavia were the
17 innocent people from all three nations, all three ethnic groups. They
18 were pushed into these conflicts and clashes because of foreign interests,
19 other people's interests, but along with the full cooperation of their
20 mindless leaders who led them to their death.
21 In Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the war was imposed. In
22 Croatia, it was with confidence that they placed themselves under the
23 protection of the United Nations and a political solution, because what
24 they were promised was that they would be protected and that the problem
25 would be resolved through political means. Up until the arrival of the
1 United Nations, they were defending themselves. This was necessary
2 defence. But from that time on, no military activities were undertaken on
3 their part.
4 I have here the notes from the 31st of December, that is to say
5 the New Year between 1991 and 1992. Cyrus Vance came to see me, and he
6 got my full support to send the blue helmets into Croatia and along the
7 borders between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. And that in fact at the
8 same time represented an indirect recognition by the international
9 community of the direct involvement of Croatia in the events and
10 occurrences in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And we gave not only verbal support
11 when he came to visit me but also did so officially by an official stand
12 on the part of the government.
13 And when in Geneva from the 10th to the 13th of January, 1992, it
14 was already quite clear that the plan would be adopted, the Muslim forces,
15 on the 16th of January, no less, attacked the Serb municipality of
16 Bratunac and launched a general offensive and perpetrated the massacre
17 over the Serb population there. Otherwise, in the environs of Bratunac,
18 70 Serb villages were set fire to and the population slaughtered.
19 Perhaps this map is a best illustration of how the problem is
20 approached. It is Mr. Nice's map, and it shows Croatia and where the
21 territories were, the territories which the Serbs had allegedly lived on
22 and had allegedly seized. But what this map does not show, he didn't
23 think of showing that it is precisely those territories which were the UN
24 protected zones, and that I assume that the United Nations Security
25 Council, at the proposal of the Special Envoy Cyrus Vance, did not make a
1 decision to establish these protected zones until a political solution had
2 been arrived because the Serbs had seized some sort of territory from the
3 Croatian state but because a political solution had to be found. That's
4 why it was done. And they all expected a political solution. Carrington
5 spoke of this, and I quoted him a moment ago. He said that it was
7 Now, as far as the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina are concerned, they
8 accepted the plan to hold a peace conference in Yugoslavia according to
9 the Cutilheiro plan, as it was called. That happened before the clashes
10 and conflict broke out. It was my stand and the official position of
11 Serbia itself that any agreement which is reached by the three constituent
12 peoples we would be happy to accept. And in visiting Turkey, I spoke
13 about this. I had separate visits with the president of the republic,
14 Mr. Ozal and the Prime Minister, Mr. Demirel, because I considered that it
15 was not up to us to meddle in those affairs. They undertook the
16 negotiations, they found their own solutions. The only thing we did
17 consider was, and this proved to be correct, that the essence was in a
18 solution which would guarantee the interests equally of each of the three
19 constituent ethnic groups.
20 And in my talks with Vance on the 4th of March -- this was
21 publicised in the press and was clearly -- I clearly said to him that a
22 political solution based on a consensus of three equal constituent nations
23 can only represent a basis for defining the status of that republic. And
24 I came out in favour of, on that occasion and that's what they wrote
25 about, for a conference on Bosnia-Herzegovina to discuss the issue.
1 And finally, this was the fifth round, the plan was signed. It
2 was popularly known as Cutilheiro's plan. I'm not going to dwell on that
3 particular plan now because my time is limited. But I do wish to stress
4 that the vital element in that particular plan was the transformation of
5 Bosnia from an unitary into a complex state form made up of three
6 constituent entities which would prevent any majorisation or domination by
7 any individual national group or ethnic group or two groups over a third
8 group, et cetera. So the Serbs did accept this plan. They did accept an
9 independent, autonomous Bosnia precisely with this element of equality;
10 that all three ethnic groups should be equal within the state.
11 There's a statement of Radovan Karadzic. It was carried after the
12 signing of that agreement, and he says: "Every one of us lost any
13 possibility of domination and got the possibility of not becoming a
14 national minority." So what kind of Greater Serbian ambitions can anybody
15 speak of here?
16 It is interesting, actually. At that very same point in time, the
17 spokesperson of Izetbegovic's SDA party, because Izetbegovic is one of the
18 signatories of the Cutilheiro plan, confirmed -- and the spokesperson's
19 name is Irfan Ajanovic, and I quote: "Confirmed that the SDA is pleased
20 with this last agreement concerning Bosnia." And as for the possibility
21 of the Serb Assembly to reject the Cutilheiro agreement, Ajanovic stated
22 that that would have been an insane thing that would come from the Serb
23 laboratory. And I quote him. "In that case, it's going to be quite clear
24 as to who is deceiving the international community and the chairman of the
25 Conference of Bosnia." End of quotation.
1 Of course, at that time, little did he know that this insane thing
2 would come out of the Muslim laboratory and that the Serb party -- that
3 the Serb side would show maturity, political maturity, and wisdom.
4 Very soon after the signing, Izetbegovic faithlessly withdrew his
5 signature, and we saw that in the testimony on the tape. He did that
6 after talking to Warren Zimmermann, the US Ambassador in Belgrade, and he
7 was talked into it by Zimmermann. So this plan of salvation went down the
8 drain before there was any conflict between them and a civil war began.
9 Cutilheiro himself, surprised by Izetbegovic's decision, said on
10 that occasion, "They obviously decided on a war option, and therefore,
11 they have a great responsibility to assume." Regrettably, the warlords,
12 and we see this here today, ascribe responsibility to the Serbs and to me
13 personally, of course. So the absurdity is complete.
14 After the renewed attempt made towards the end of 1992, I have a
15 note on a meeting with Vance on Owen on the 6th of January, 1993, in
16 Belgrade. My statement is there. I'm convinced that there is no way out
17 of the crisis without respecting the equality of rights of all three
18 peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina and therefore I believe that the only way
19 out is an immediate cessation of hostilities. And after that,
20 negotiations about the principles that are a basis for respecting the
21 rights of all three peoples. That is the only which in which long-lasting
22 peace can be established. It is our duty to support all peaceful
23 solutions that can lead to peace in this area.
24 That support was confirmed in Geneva as well. And we saw from
25 many elements, and also from the statement made by Owen, and I quoted it,
1 that Izetbegovic rejected the Vance-Owen Plan because of the American
2 position with regard to the plan, and that is why Owen asked the Americans
3 and Clinton to exercise pressure on Izetbegovic. And even Kinkel on the
4 4th of February, asked the President of the United States to render his
5 support in this peace plan, cautioning against the negative effects if
6 this peace plan were not to be adopted. However, this support did not
7 come, and it can be seen from the document I quoted a few minutes ago that
8 it never crossed their minds to do anything else but to have a unitary
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina conceived as a fundamentalist state. And it is not
10 only that the Islamic declaration says what it's supposed to be.
11 So in the war against Yugoslavia, the ethnic heterogeneity of
12 Yugoslavia was abused. And in Bosnia, which everybody called a
13 small-scale Yugoslavia, it could always have been abused.
14 I can say that from the Berlin Congress in 1878 until the bombing
15 of the Serb positions by NATO in 1995, foreign interference in Bosnian
16 religious and ethnic conflicts always assumed the proportions of a
17 humanitarian intervention. Foreign troops always came to Bosnia under the
18 guise of doing good to the indigenous population. And it was always
19 imperialist objectives and global strategies that were in the play,
21 So if what was really wished for was to prevent ethnic and
22 religious conflicts in Bosnia, what had to be upheld all the time was this
23 sensitive ethnic balance and the equality of rights of all three peoples.
24 Equality of rights means that all of the three Bosnian Herzegovinian
25 nations' peoples should have the status of a constituent people that can
1 exercise their sovereign rights and their own interests within the state
2 entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Even according to Izetbegovic's words in Brussels and later
4 according to Cutilheiro's plan, this plan did include certain political
5 autonomies of every one of the political entities within
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And conversely, statehood and full autonomy do not
7 allow for any people in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be reduced to the status of
8 a national minority. The best proof of this is the Dayton Accords
9 themselves. There could have been no peace when this balance was
10 disturbed. And when outvoting was encouraged. However, peace was
11 achieved in Dayton through the recognition anew of the right of each and
12 every three peoples to form this joint state and entities within
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the necessary prerequisite and yet
14 sufficient prerequisite without which this agreement could not have been
15 brought to a successful end.
16 However, it's not only Izetbegovic who was fickle. Obviously, it
17 was the European Community too. Because precisely here in The Hague, at
18 the Peace Palace on the 7th of September, 1991, there was a ceremonial
19 inauguration of the Conference on the former Yugoslavia, and this was
20 pursued by the European Community, and there was a declaration that
21 includes the categorical statement that the community, I quote, "Will
22 never recognise changes of borders that were not established by way of
23 peaceful solutions."
24 I don't have time to quote the positions we held then because time
25 does fly. However, all of them say, and I said personally, many things.
1 And there is the position of Serbia, there is the position of Yugoslavia,
2 and all of this speaks in favour of advocating the equal treatment of all
3 three peoples. I have here all these statements. There will be time for
4 us to bring them to the fore.
5 We supported five plans. And the European Ministerial Conference,
6 at that conference, the last sentence I said: "Gentlemen, the very moment
7 you take an equal attitude [in English] to all actors in the Yugoslav
8 drama, you will take the decision on peace."
9 [Interpretation] That was the position of Serbia. That was my
10 position. That was the position that, in my opinion - and that is what I
11 think today as well - was the only one that was principled in this entire
13 So it was not disintegration that was going on in Yugoslavia.
14 This was unlawful secession, violent secession that gave rise to the first
15 crimes that were committed in spite of the inviolability of borders and
16 other principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the final act of
17 Helsinki. So in fact, the alliance of external and internal protagonists
18 actually opted for secession as the form of liquidating Yugoslavia.
19 Actually, in this alliance, the right of peoples to
20 self-determination, it was said, it did not pertain to peoples but to
21 territories, as if the administrative borders, contrary to international
22 and domestic law, were borders of sovereign states. And then they linked
23 the right to self-determination to people after all, then yet again this
24 did not apply to the Serb people. Yugoslavia as a state came into being
25 through the union and free will of its own constituent peoples. Even the
1 coat of arms of Yugoslavia, until the late 1960s, consisted of five flames
2 that symbolised the five peoples; the Serbs, Croats, Slovenians,
3 Macedonians and Montenegrins. And then, when the Muslims got the status
4 of a constituent people, then in the late 1960s, a sixth flame was
5 included in the coat of arms of Yugoslavia. So that became part of the
6 coat of arms 20 years after the new Yugoslavia was established, in order
7 to symbolise the sixth constituent people that were proclaimed then. This
8 was actually the Muslim ethnic community.
9 This German success in the campaign of recognition for the
10 independence of Slovenia and Croatia, not to refer to newspaper articles
11 now, however, Lord Carrington, in his letter to van den Brug, who was
12 chairman at that time because the Netherlands was then presiding the
13 European Community, they called it the bell that tolled for the country,
14 and also he said that this was a spark that could set Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina on fire.
16 External political intervention selectively favoured the right to
17 self-determination. In the case of Yugoslavia, the states of the European
18 Community stimulated an anti-European concept of the establishment and
19 creation of states, and they stimulated trampling upon norms of
20 international and domestic law.
21 The French President, Francois Mitterrand, in his statement on
22 television on the 3rd of September in 1992, said that the international
23 community bears part of the responsibility for the conflicts in
24 Yugoslavia. He expressed his regrets that Europe, in the case of
25 Yugoslavia, did not want to defend existing legal norms, and so on and so
1 forth. It was clear to him that force was used, not the law, and that is
2 why he expressed that regret. Unfortunately, too late.
3 In the meantime, the world public opinion already at the very
4 outset of the Yugoslavia crisis had certain prejudices imposed upon them.
5 Geopolitical ones, cultural ones, civilisational differences between the
6 East and West, and that this border was somewhere between Serbia and
7 Croatia. Nobody abided by the norms of international law. Just like
8 Hitler. In the 1930s, his platform was, Who pays any attention to the
9 treaty of Versailles now? This is just a piece of paper from some French
11 We saw, 50 years later, precisely by a move made from that very
12 same centre, the spectre of fascism and of the Ustasha idea emerged again.
13 And also, half a century later, the independent State of Croatia as a
14 fascist creation and the free and independent Republic of Croatia was
15 created with the assistance of the Vatican factor, the German factor, and
16 with the maximum assistance of emigres, Croatian emigres. Nobody
17 concealed this; you saw it in that film, Croatia paid them back. That
18 song, "Danke Deutschland," and in the island of Brac, they erected a
19 monument to Hans Dietrich Genscher, still alive, and he was then Foreign
20 Minister of Germany. The Vatican themselves made their role quite clear.
21 Therefore, this so-called indictment for the war in Croatia and
22 Bosnia is just as bad as the one for Kosovo, the previous one. The reason
23 is quite simple: You do not have the truth in your hands, and you have
24 to invent things, manipulate things, present half-truths, bring forth
25 false witnesses. However, at this point in time, one thing does not seem
1 clear, and that is that the actual truth is being unravelled and that the
2 truth is coming to the fore regardless of historical forgeries - and I
3 have given examples of that - and regardless of claims that are based
4 precisely on these interests rather than on the actual state of affairs.
5 In spite of unequivocal arguments that I have presented and that
6 you should be aware of too if you believe that you are discharging your
7 duties conscientiously, you accepted such accusations as it says here. It
8 says: "Slobodan Milosevic took part in the joint criminal enterprise as
9 mentioned in paragraphs," et cetera, et cetera. "The aim was to forcibly
10 expel the Croat and other non-Serb population from one-third of the
11 territory of the Republic of Croatia, a territory for which he planned to
12 become part of a new state under Serb domination," and so on and so forth.
13 In spite of all these facts and during those years, as a matter of
14 fact before these crimes were committed, in the presence of the United
15 Nations, we encouraged the normalisation of relations between Knin and
16 Zagreb, and we thought that through this normalisation the way would be
17 paved for a political solution. For example, on the 30th of November,
18 1994, the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, at its meeting in
19 Knin, adopted the package of agreements with the Republic of Croatia, and
20 according to the Prime Minister, once again unequivocally showed that they
21 were in favour of a policy of peace and cooperation with the international
23 And then again, on the 11th of January, 1995, at the UNPROFOR base
24 at the Zagreb airport, Pleso [phoen], again a new round started, a round
25 of talks between the delegations of the Republic of Croatia and the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Republic of Serbia Krajina concerning various measures. Talks are being
2 held behind closed doors and Lord Owen and Thorwald Stoltenberg are
3 present as well. Borislav Mikolic [phoen] heads the Krajina negotiating
4 team and the head of the Croatian delegation is Hrvoj Saranic [phoen].
5 The same month, on the 24th in 1995, Stoltenberg comes to see me,
6 and together we state that, through the efforts of the Contact Group, the
7 peace process will be accelerated, and we supported this normalisation of
8 relations between Knin and Zagreb, and so on.
9 It is not possible to refer to all these elements, but there is no
10 doubt that what was stated here is untrue and a total forgery.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the time has come to adjourn.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one thing. I am really sorry
13 that in the conditions that I am in and, therefore, I have to make
14 handwritten notes for what I am going to say here, I cannot assess how
15 much time I need for presenting - how should I put this? - in the roughest
16 possible terms just to touch upon certain issues. So I'm looking at my
17 remaining notes, and I really don't think that the remaining 20 minutes
18 will suffice, the ones that you allocated to me originally.
19 JUDGE MAY: What we'll do is give you half an hour tomorrow
20 morning. That should be sufficient.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, wouldn't it be possible for
22 you to give me the first morning session, the one hour and a half from
23 9.00 until 10.30 so that I try to compress it all into that hour and a
24 half? A lot of time was spent here on many very insignificant matters,
25 and I believe that this is significant.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE MAY: We'll give you three-quarters of an hour. That should
3 be sufficient time to make your points. You will have had rather longer
4 than the three hours which we allocated; much longer, it may be noted,
5 than the Prosecution.
6 If the registry could come up, please.
7 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
8 JUDGE MAY: We'll rise now.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Friday, the 27th day of
11 September, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.