1 Monday 18 February, 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Defence Opening Statement]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Before I continue where I left off,
8 I should like to give you a piece of news with respect to the business in
9 hand here. On Saturday evening, on the 16th of February, in Kosovska
10 Mitrovica, the Sveti Sava church was set on fire and the flames were only
11 put out the next morning. Albanian terrorists are in great competition
12 with the Prosecutor in the anti-Serb hysteria in Prizren. Zafir Berisha,
13 the president of the so-called veterans, that is to say terrorists, says
14 in his speech the following: "We are going to secure Kosovo for the
15 Albanians alone and nobody else." And everything is moving along in
16 conformity with the statement that I quoted, the one made by Albright and
17 the Prosecutor when they said they were engaged in the same task, doing
18 the same job.
19 Now, let me continue where I left off.
20 A strategic concept in realising global control, putting it into
21 effect and subjugating countries throughout the world, is the causing of
22 conflicts between the Slav and Muslim nations in the hope that they will
23 kill each other respectively or at least weaken each other so much that
24 control may be established over them in such a weakened state. Kosovo and
25 Chechnya in that respect are undoubtedly a link in the same chain, to
1 quote an example.
2 And with the Slav and Muslim nations, similarly, attempts are
3 being made to weaken them further by causing mutual wars or at least in
4 confrontations between the two sides. The Yugoslav peoples,
5 unfortunately, since the beginning of the last decade, that is to say of
6 the twentieth century, were a polygon for training, for trying out
7 different things and were the victims of that particular strategy.
8 In the process of realising and implementing domination -
9 economic, social, political, cultural, psychological domination - over the
10 areas of south-east Europe, the western governments, as the protagonists
11 of that process of domination, have opted for a method of national
12 conflict, to apply the method of national conflict, the goal being that
13 these conflicts should destroy the former Yugoslavia.
14 This method was applied in the case of the Soviet Union as well,
15 and in the case of Czechoslovakia it appeared to be fast and successful,
16 or rather, all the former socialist countries of a multi-ethnic
17 composition were to be destroyed by causing national tensions. That was
18 one form of a settling of accounts with the political systems that
19 prevailed at the time in those countries.
20 When it comes to the case of Yugoslavia, this method did not prove
21 to be a quick and efficacious method as it had proved to be in the Soviet
22 Union and Czechoslovakia. National tensions were not sufficiently
23 burgeoning. They had to become a national war for the country to
24 disintegrate. And the war in fact began by the fact that within the
25 frameworks of the former Yugoslavia, nationalism was incited along with
1 national hatred and national conflicts. The flames were fanned to turn
2 into a full-fledged war.
3 The civil war in Croatia between the Serbs and Croats, as well as
4 the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, are
5 the consequence of fanning the flames of national hatred outside the
6 borders of Yugoslavia. And it is in this national hatred that a great
7 deal was invested; material, financial, the media, personnel,
8 psychological, all these investments were made. And the Yugoslav citizens
9 took place in the war which was incited outside their country without ever
10 being conscious of it, without being aware of it. And when they realised
11 what was happening, the war waged in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. And
12 some people became aware of all these facts only when the war came to an
13 end. Of course, there are some people who haven't realised the truth
14 today; that war in the territory of the former Yugoslavia is the result of
15 the will and interest of others, the great western powers, in fact.
16 The truth is that those governments sent their emissaries to
17 attend negotiations in the republics of the one-time Yugoslavia before
18 they definitely destroyed and disrupted the country.
19 During the war, in the governments of the newly-established states
20 which used to be the Republics of the former Yugoslavia, and especially in
21 the newly-formed Yugoslavia composed of Serbia and Montenegro, most of
22 those emissaries did not have as their goal to put an end to the conflict
23 and to establish peace amongst the warring ethnic groups. What they in
24 fact did was to support, to all intents and purposes, the policy and the
25 protagonists of the policy which was in their interests, that is to say
1 which was in the interests of destroying the country which had as its goal
2 secessionism, separatism, violence, its subjugation and, in short, a
3 new colonialism.
4 There were, of course, well-intentioned and honest people amongst
5 those emissaries as well, but they were in the minority.
6 The former Yugoslavia, as it stated in its Constitution, came into
7 being through the free will of the Yugoslav peoples - Serbs, Croats,
8 Slovenes, Macedonians and Montenegrins - and their right to
9 self-determination which in itself included the right to secession.
10 Later on, the Muslims were defined as a separate nation themselves
11 and to the Yugoslav coat of arms a sixth torch was added. The
12 then-socialist Republic of Croatia, with its own Constitution was defined
13 as a state of the Croatian people, a state of the Serb people and other
14 peoples living within its territory. So within Croatia itself, the Serbs
15 had the status of a nation, and this implied the right to
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina was Yugoslavia in a small form in which
18 three nations lived, and all the functions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, both in
19 the government and in parliament and in the party, were distributed in
20 such a way that they were -- that all -- the representatives of all three
21 people had a part. Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia in small, functioned on
22 the basis and principle of the equality of peoples.
23 The borders between the Yugoslav republics were administrative
24 borders and not borders of nations, people, or state borders of any kind,
25 and no change in their status, which would be at the detriment of any one
1 of the Yugoslav nations, was not able to be implemented without those
2 peoples agreeing to it, in conformity with the Yugoslav Constitution.
3 However, with the advent of the nationalists, when they came to power in
4 Croatia, overnight the Constitution was changed against the will of the
5 equal Serb people, and overnight they came second-rate citizens.
6 The secession of Croatia became a public goal. Straight away for
7 the first time and once again after World War II, violence over Serbs
8 began who precisely in Croatia during the Second World War were the
9 victims of genocide and of the puppet nationalistic arranging of the
10 independent State of Croatia.
11 The territories in which they lived were their homeland throughout
12 the centuries, far before America was colonised, for example. The first
13 armed party formations from the days of Hitler appeared at that time in
14 Croatia. The Serbs rose up and demanded that they remain in Yugoslavia,
15 and they stopped, they barred access to their territory. These events are
16 known as the log revolution because they used logs to set up these
17 barriers. The logs were placed on the roads and in the forests and woods
18 to prevent access to their territory. And as everybody can assume, a log
19 cannot be a means -- considered to be a means of aggression against
20 anyone. A log can only be an obstacle.
21 Tensions grew, but at the same time, activities were unleashed to
22 seek a political solution to avoid a conflict. The European Community of
23 the day, later to become the European Union, sent Carrington to help. I
24 think that he did indeed wish to help. He wished to find a political
25 solution and to avoid the conflict. And these efforts would have been
1 successful had Germany not taken a radical step and prematurely recognised
2 Croatia within its administrative borders and cut across the efforts to
3 make a political solution. Croatia effected a forcible secession and the
4 conflict was unleashed.
5 In Bosnia, where tensions burgeoned, they did manage to find a
6 political solution. A plan was suggested, which Carrington's
7 representative, Portuguese diplomat Cutilliero designed and which was
8 signed by all three sides. And that was the Lisbon Agreement.
9 Unfortunately, overnight, at the suggestion of the American ambassador,
10 Warren Zimmerman, Alija Izetbegovic withdrew his signature and the
11 decision was taken on Bosnia's secession without the participation and
12 with opposition from the Serbs, that is to say, one of the three nations.
13 Therefore, this was unconstitutional and forcible.
14 The European Community, also ahead of time, prematurely recognised
15 the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ignoring the will of the Serb
16 people. And this recognition, to make cynicism even -- the cynicism even
17 greater, it took place on the 6th of April, which is the date when, in
18 World War II, Hitler attacked Yugoslavia.
19 Not even then did the Serbs start any form of violence. A
20 peaceful solution was still being sought. Unfortunately, the opposite
21 side did not refrain from violence. And that these were not just, if I
22 can put it this way, incidents or events, let me remind you, and I assume
23 that this is common knowledge to you all if you do your job properly and
24 professionally, that in the Islamic declaration, its author, Alija
25 Izetbegovic, wrote the following, and I quote: "There is no peace or
1 life in common between the Islamic religion and non-Islamic institutions."
2 Otherwise, this thing about the role of the American
3 representative was confirmed several years later. New York Times, on the
4 29th of August, 1993, and it wrote that Zimmermann had prevailed upon
5 Izetbegovic to go against the Lisbon Agreement. A civil war began between
6 the Muslims and the Serbs, and later on between the Muslims along with
7 support from the Croats and Serb -- between the Muslims and Serbs with
8 Croatian support. Later on, the civil war began between the Muslims
9 themselves and the Croats.
10 Serbia strived for a political solution to the conflict, both in
11 Bosnia and in Croatia. In the Croatia, between the leadership of the
12 Srpska Krajina, the government in Zagreb, and in Bosnia between the three
13 nations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and their representatives. And throughout
14 that time, all that time without interruption, without exception, it
15 helped and assisted the peace process.
16 We strove to establish peace straightaway. I, myself, at the
17 beginning of the conflict when the Muslims in the centre of Sarajevo
18 started killing the Serbs, when tensions had grown, the Islamic conference
19 took place in Istanbul at the time, wrote a letter to the Islamic
20 conference in which I said, among others, that the conflicts must cease
21 immediately and that the Serbs and Muslims were brethren, were brothers,
22 that their conflicts were to the advantage of the foes and enemies of
23 Serbs and Muslims, only to them. And there are other elements and details
24 as well in that regard. And they were complaining amongst themselves that
25 it would be the Muslims who would lose most because there was enormous
1 number of Macedonians living in -- of Muslims living in Serbia,
2 Montenegro, and Macedonia, and that it wasn't to their advantage to step
3 out of Yugoslavia but it could do nothing because it was big-power
5 On the other side, we strove to ensure that amongst the Serbian
6 leadership of Krajina in Croatia, that a political solution be sought.
7 Cyrus Vance, as a representative of the international community, was a
8 great help and finally did propose to the UN Secretary-General that
9 forces, UN forces, be sent. And that was when the UN Protection Zones
10 were set up, areas were set up in all territories and in Croatia with a
11 majority Serb population.
12 I supported that plan myself and, at the time, I was criticised.
13 And you can read that -- about that in the papers dating back to that day.
14 You can find various articles. For example, the then-Foreign Minister of
15 the Republika Srpska Krajina said that Cyrus Vance had bribed me, giving
16 me $120 million that I got in Cyprus for me to agree to -- and for Serbia
17 to agree to have United Nations troops come to those territories. And it
18 was logical that Vance didn't want to accept to propose to the United
19 Nations the arrival of its troops before the leadership of Croatia, the
20 leadership of Republika Srpska Krajina and the Republic of Serbia reached
21 an agreement. So that those troops were to be successful and to have
22 general support.
23 There was a lull after that. There were no major conflicts, and
24 the Contact Group that was set up worked to find a political solution.
25 However, the Croatian army, despite the presence of the United Nations,
1 launched attacks on the Medac pocket and the crimes that followed Western
2 Slavonia. Many people were killed and nobody was held responsible or
4 After that, the situation calmed down once again. They agreed to
5 open the motorway, the highway, and there were other plans. The Contact
6 Group was working, and neither Yugoslavia nor Serbia had any special role
7 to play there because they thought, they considered that is up to the
8 negotiations of the government in Zagreb and the Republika Srpska Krajina.
9 And then Croatia, with the support of America and of the West, as
10 Holbrooke incautiously wrote in his book, carried out an offensive against
11 the Republika of Srpska Krajina. They carried out a massacre right in
12 front of the eyes of the UN forces. Nobody reacted whatsoever.
13 Hundreds of thousands of Serbs were expelled from the territories where
14 they had lived for hundreds of years.
15 Just before this last war, there were over 600.000 of them in
16 Croatia. The Clinton Administration, of course, not only approved of the
17 Storm, as this attack was called, but they were directly involved. It was
18 no secret to anyone that the Clinton Administration was not only directly
19 involved but that it had, as a matter of fact, carried out this crime.
20 I mentioned to you already that while we were sitting here, I saw
21 in the Washington Times a statement made by David Keene, President of the
22 US Conservatives, that the US was involved in the Storm, because when
23 you're accusing the Serbs in Krajina here, you never say that from the
24 moment the UN arrived, the Krajina people did not attack Croatia. That is
25 to say that since the conflict was stopped and a political solution was
1 sought, and that was at the very outset, there were no attacks by the
2 Krajina people. They were only defending their houses and their villages
3 where they had lived for centuries.
4 The opposing side says that they are going to bring in a witness
5 who is going to confirm that I did not want to give orders for the JNA to
6 withdraw until the UN forces arrived. So what? That's not true, by the
7 way, because I could not issue orders to the UN -- to the JNA anyway. But
8 I'm certainly not trying to evade the fact that I was advocating the
9 withdrawal of the JNA only when the UN troops arrived, because otherwise,
10 there would have been a massacre of Serbs as had happened in the Second
11 World War in Croatia.
12 If I'm guilty for having prevented hundreds of thousands of Serbs
13 from being slaughtered in Bosnia and Croatia, then with the greatest
14 pride, I can take upon myself this guilt. That is to say, the prevention
15 of this kind of massacre. These are also historical facts, and I think it
16 was only natural and just for me to advocate that kind of thing. And it
17 was certainly not to the detriment of the other side.
18 In this tirade that we listened to about commanding and this
19 invention command responsibility, it is senseless because it doesn't exist
20 in any body of law. It's also a major lie, a big-time lie because either
21 de jure or de facto I had no command responsibility over the Yugoslav
22 People's Army let alone through that Rump Presidency that was mentioned
23 here because even this Rump Presidency did not have a command function at
24 all because General Kadijevic said himself that he would not accept any
25 decisions made by the Rump Presidency if they did not ensure a fifth vote
1 as well out of a total of eight members of the Presidency because, as he
2 said, that was the only thing that would be in accordance with the
3 Constitution. Apparently the only thing that did not seem to be in
4 accordance with the Constitution was to defend Yugoslavia. So this Rump
5 Presidency could not give orders to the military either. The truth is
6 that nobody defended Yugoslavia. And that is also proof prove that I was
7 not commanding the army. Was I commanding the army, Yugoslavia would have
8 survived, Yugoslavia would have been preserved.
9 The army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that managed to
10 defend itself and its country from NATO was a much smaller army. I
11 commanded it and they managed to do what they were supposed to do. They
12 defended the country and I commanded them. When the FRY was established
13 in April 1992, on the 28th of April, 1992, all members of the army who
14 were citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is to say Serbs
15 and Montenegrins, they withdrew to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
16 Those who were citizens of other republics only naturally and logically
17 remained in their republics.
18 Of course, there were exceptions on the basis of personal choices
19 that people made. There were volunteers as well, but this was a very
20 small number of people. Of course, there were some exceptions due to
21 family ties. That was only logical as well, because only until yesterday,
22 so to speak, we had been one state.
23 Afterwards, the army was commanded by the president of the FRY.
24 It was Dobrica Cosic at the time, and the Prime Minister was Jur Milan
25 Panic. They held the army in their hands, and everybody knows full well
1 that I certainly could not have influenced them because when they started
2 working together, their most important objective was how to replace me. I
3 did not have the kind of relationship that could have meant any kind of
4 influence over them.
5 As for carrying out my alleged orders to the leaderships of
6 Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina, only somebody who knew
7 nothing of the degree of vanity of Yugoslav politicians, notably Serb
8 politicians, and an intolerance towards any kind of interference by anyone
9 else can build this kind of construction concerning a plan or an
11 You fabricated thousands of pamphlets. Had you only looked into
12 the newspapers from those times, you would have seen what the relationship
13 between the leadership of Serbia headed by me and the leadership of
14 Republika Srpska was like and you would have read about the bad
15 accusations that were levelled against me. Not only accusations, insults
16 as well. This was a paradox that anybody could see. We were helping the
17 Serb people on the other side of the Drina River so that they could
18 survive, but we had poor relations with the leaderships. We were
19 leftists, they were rightists. The right opposition in Serbia gave them
20 support, and they used this for their own rhetoric against me.
21 It didn't really matter to me because the people knew very well
22 that I was working in their interest. At any rate, links between their
23 leadership and the Republika Srpska and that of Serbia, calling that an
24 organisation actually is one of the most nonsensical things that could
25 have been said here. And there is so much proof of the opposite. Just
1 look at Dayton and the bitter accusations levelled against me after the
2 Dayton Accords were reached.
3 As for Karadzic's statement that you keep quoting, that the Serbs
4 do not accept that they be represented by Alija Izetbegovic in front of
5 the international community, that was an act of despair and justified fear
6 that he would take upon obligations for them because the representatives
7 did not want to take this into account in negotiations. And I read a
8 sentence to you a few minutes ago from the Islamic declaration about the
9 impossibility of co-existence with non-Islamic institutions, about the
10 position of Alija Izetbegovic. And then ask yourselves whether it was
11 possible for the Serbs, the Serb people, the Serb representatives to
12 accept that Alija Izetbegovic should represent them, especially after the
13 withdrawal of his signature from the Lisbon Agreement at the suggestion of
14 Zimmermann. After all, Zimmermann himself said that he had made a mistake
15 in suggesting this to Izetbegovic because, in this way, the war would have
16 been avoided.
17 In Geneva, in the presence of Owen and Stoltenberg, under those
18 circumstances when they did not involve the representatives of the peoples
19 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they just kept Alija Izetbegovic as if he were
20 representing Serbs and Muslims and Croats. When they invited Tudjman and
21 me, later on Izetbegovic as well, to discuss a solution together, I had a
22 lot of trouble convincing Izetbegovic, and not only after first meeting,
23 not only after the first attempt, that they start negotiation amongst the
24 three parties, three sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely, he, Karadzic,
25 and Boban. Mate Boban at that time was the leader of Bosnian Croats, and
1 Karadzic the leader of the Bosnian Serbs, and Izetbegovic the leader of
2 the Bosnian Muslims. In no way was he the representative of all of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I thought that they had to resolve the problem of all
4 the constituent peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I thought that the only
5 solution that would be viable would be a formula that would defend, on a
6 footing of equality, the interests of all three peoples. After all,
7 Dayton succeeded on the basis of that formula.
8 That is also why this indictment is so malicious and anti-Serb
9 because peace was concluded on the basis of a formula of an equality of
10 rights and equal regard for the interests of all three peoples, not on the
11 basis of genocide. Had this been true, that would have meant that
12 Republika Srpska had been created on the basis of genocide. And the truth
13 is but one.
14 In the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there was cruelty and
15 there was suffering on all three sides. The guilt is primarily to be
16 borne by those who carried out forcible secession and who started the
17 violence. And also the guilt should be borne by the strategists of this
18 violence outside Yugoslavia. After all, Tudjman said in Geneva in front
19 of Owen and Stoltenberg that such atrocities had never been registered
20 like the atrocities committed by the Muslims against the Croats in Bosnia
21 during their mutual conflict.
22 Owen and Stoltenberg supported efforts made to bring all three
23 sides to the negotiating table - Izetbegovic, Karadzic, and Boban - and
24 this made it possible for the representatives of all three parties to
1 Tudjman personally never criticised me, saying that I was involved
2 in supporting the Serbs in Croatia. We were in Geneva in order to help
3 the three sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina reach peace. And he also respected
4 our efforts aimed at peace and also opening a dialogue between Krajina and
5 Zagreb, also the highway. And this had just begun.
6 Tudjman also knew of my position towards the offer made by the
7 Muslim side. On their behalf, Adil Zulfikarpasic came to Belgrade to
8 convey this to me. He was Izetbegovic's mentor and sponsor. He is a
9 businessman from Zurich. This was a proposal that the Serbs and Muslims
10 in Bosnia-Herzegovina join forces against the Croats, saying that there
11 weren't even 14 per cent of Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina and it was not
12 for them to make any decisions regarding Bosnia-Herzegovina. My answer
13 was that two peoples should certainly not unite against a third.
14 Relations between the Serbs and Croats are of great importance for
15 general relations in the Balkans and in the future I can see these
16 relations only as relations of cooperation and friendship.
17 Mate Granic, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, also knows this.
18 Not from me. He knew about that from Tudjman. And I'm sure that he would
19 have to be in a position to say this in public if his new President allows
20 him to do so. This well-known breaker-up of the former Yugoslavia, Stipe
22 Also what you said about Dubrovnik is sheer nonsense. In spite of
23 the pompous presentation here of various photographs and footage. As that
24 was going on, we were precisely in The Hague, Tudjman and I, with
25 Carrington. I said publicly that Dubrovnik is a Croatian town. The
1 bombing of Dubrovnik is an insane crime. Serbia did not have anything to
2 do with that, nor could it have had anything to do with it. Nothing
3 whatsoever with the shelling and bombing of Dubrovnik.
4 As for the Vance-Owen Plan, along with my efforts and the efforts
5 made by the Greek Prime Minister, Mitzotakis, Karadzic did sign this in
6 Athens at this conference on the 1st of May, 1993. The conference went on
7 for a few days. Then we went together to attend the meeting of the
8 Assembly of Republika Srpska in Pale. Mitzotakis, Cosic, the
9 then-President of FRY, and I. And I think that it is malicious and
10 unprofessional, I should say, to make quotations from my speeches. I held
11 two speeches, and I did my very best to have this plan accepted.
12 So then, just to take out one little excerpt that the Serbs
13 attained their objective and then you stop altogether. I said that the
14 objective in which we support them is the objective for them to be free
15 and equal where they live and that that is being accomplished by that
16 plan. This plan, since it makes it possible for them to live in freedom
17 and on a footing of equality within Bosnia-Herzegovina, should be signed.
18 And we brought up many other arguments in favour as well. That is to say,
19 that they should be free and equal where they live and that that is
20 accomplished by that plan. And that we do not support anybody's sick
22 When they rejected the plan, we brought pressure to bear. We
23 adopted a painful measure, painful for us and the people. As opposed to
24 their leadership, we supported the people and we carried out a blockade on
25 the Drina River. We heard stories here that this was not a blockade at
1 all. That is a sheer lie. We accepted the International Mission of
2 Monitors led by General Bo Pelnas of Sweden. There is not a single report
3 that he sent to the United Nations or with which he acquainted the
4 Yugoslav government or the Government of Serbia in which one can find
5 proof of this totally arbitrary statement here that this was not a
6 blockade, it was just some kind of form.
7 What more could you expect us to do? We even accepted the
8 presence of these monitors there. And then, of course, the opposition
9 from Serbia raced to Pale in order to give support to them, and they were
10 roasting meat together with the leadership of Republika Srpska, and they
11 were levelling the most terrible kind of criticism against me, and they
12 were supporting them in rejecting the Vance-Owen Plan.
13 And it is learning from this experience that with the enormous
14 efforts in Athens, an agreement was signed and then destroyed at Pale.
15 When a new chance prior to Dayton came up, I insisted on having a solution
16 which would eliminate the possibility of having a repeated breakdown of a
17 peace plan, and I demanded that a decision be signed that the delegation
18 was made up of three representatives of Yugoslavia and three
19 representatives of Republika Srpska. From Yugoslavia, there would be two
20 representatives of the republics - myself and the President of Montenegro,
21 Bulatovic, and Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia - and from Republika Srpska
22 also three representatives, but it also stated that if there was a
23 division of votes in that delegation, I would have the decisive vote or,
24 rather, the head of the delegation would have the decisive vote, and that
25 wasn't me. And that agreement was signed. It was signed by the patriarch
1 of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Mr. Pavle, as well. His worship Mr.
3 I took all criticisms upon myself. For all the weaknesses that
4 would -- that might exist and that the Dayton Agreement might be
5 criticised, because we saw that they did not have the strength to conclude
6 a peace because of the promises they had given through their own
7 ambitions. And I said that anything they did not like, I would accept to
8 take the blame for, but my only concern was that peace prevail. And even
9 today I think that the Dayton Agreement or the Dayton-Paris Agreement on
10 Peace was a good one and that it should be respected and not to exert
11 pressure over it as is done by the Austrian, the occupier, to the
12 detriment of all three nations, and especially and first and foremost to
13 the detriment of the Serbs and partially to the detriment of the Croats as
15 And it is within this context that I should like to say that it is
16 quite out of place to quote the ideas of Biljana Plavsic, for example,
17 especially in the context of what Serbia did and my own role, because not
18 to ascribe it to this side and party, because everything was the reverse,
19 and it is her ideas, precisely her ideas, the ones that you quoted, that
20 in Athens during the Vance-Owen Plan negotiations, in a television
21 interview which was broadcast publicly - of course, that was not the only
22 subject that was discussed - but the director of the television was asked
23 to comment the ideas that you here quoted against me because they are
24 truly unacceptable for any civilised human being.
25 Now, how I comment those ideas, I have already said the
1 protagonists of those ideas should be in a mental asylum. She did not
2 speak to me for many years after that and now you are ascribing her ideas
3 to me. That is nonsensical, it's nonsense and everybody in Serbia knows
4 it's nonsense.
5 And now I ask myself how any serious-minded person can take
6 accusations or indictments, serious ones of this kind, and base them on
7 anybody's statement where it was said that they were on good terms with me
8 and that I said such-and-such a thing. And that -- what we say is tongues
9 wagging. It's hearsay, just rumours, and it's not serious, you can't use
10 it in any official capacity. And on many occasions I said that nobody is
11 authorised to present his views through me. I am the only person to
12 present my own views, and I do so myself and publicly.
13 So there were a series of nonsensical things bandied about here,
14 and untruths, and everything about Bosnia-Herzegovina is a pure lie
15 because I was engaged in peace there, not war. Serbia, throughout that
16 time, waged a policy of peace. We wanted to save as many lives as
17 possible, both Serb lives and Croat lives and Muslim lives. And your own
18 lives, gentlemen from the international community. How many hostages did
19 I save for you from Bosnia? How many pilots did I save? How many times
20 did Chirac call me up and ask me to help him find those people and thanked
21 me again and again when we succeeded in finding their men and they were
22 alive and well. Not to mention many of the other efforts that were
23 successful, not only with respect to peace but in order -- also in terms
24 of saving human lives
25 Srebrenica. I heard about Srebrenica from Carl Bildt. And
1 Karadzic, whom I rang up on the phone immediately afterwards to asked what
2 had happened, he swore he knew nothing about it. On the contrary, he said
3 he had ordered that the western part be protected, which was under
4 jeopardy, and that he knew nothing about the whole thing. Now, whether he
5 did or didn't, I don't want to enter into that, but what I am saying, what
6 I am telling you now is a fact. And he and Krajisnik said to me quite
7 certainly that in the Republika Srpska there were no camps, there were
8 just centres for prisoners of war where they were kept for a short space
9 of time because they were being exchanged on the basis of one for all on
10 all sides when the numbers mounted up.
11 Immediately after Srebrenica, or following those days, I saved a
12 whole Muslim brigade; 840 people. I saved them from being destroyed
13 because I approved this. They sent an emissary, pleading for their lives,
14 and I let them swim across the Drina River and avoid this total
15 annihilation. I put them in a police camp on Mount Tara for them to
16 recuperate and they were visited by the entire Diplomatic Corps. After,
17 via the Red Cross, I sent them on to Hungary. I didn't accept giving them
18 up to any side in Bosnia. I didn't do that. I said they are under my
19 protection, they have come to my territory, we are not a warring party,
20 we're not a warring side, we're not going to hand them over to anyone.
21 We're not going to hand them over to you to exchange them or Izetbegovic
22 to send them back into the army because I had no proof that they were
23 volunteers in the army. They can go through the Red Cross to Hungary, a
24 neutral country, and then each individual will be able to decide whether
25 they're going to go and stay with their relatives in America, Australia,
1 or whether they'll go back to the army in Bosnia, and so on and so forth.
2 So Serbia was not a warring party, either in Bosnia or in Croatia.
3 And that in fact enabled us to help the peace process, to stop the
4 fratricidal war, the war between brothers, between brethren, although the
5 brothers and brethren had gone a little mad. So everything we have heard
6 here is topsy-turvy. It is absurd. The truth has been reversed and
7 semi-truths are worse than lies very often.
8 Let me tell you this: We did have our police in Eastern
9 Slavonia. Yes we did. But at the time, it was peace, it was peacetime
10 right up until the end because Eastern Slavonia, the situation there was
11 solved on the basis of agreement. The authorities in Eastern Slavonia and
12 the Croatian government. But policemen were across the borders
13 exclusively in order to assist in police affairs, in the policing of the
14 area because of all the conflicts and situations that existed there.
15 They had -- there was crime, crime was rampant, and they needed assistance
16 to suppress crime, and they were there to assist in that and to prevent
17 different trafficking and the quest for criminals from Serbia who found it
18 easiest to escape across the Danube. And it is a shame and a great pity
19 that things like that are being abused.
20 We also had a police unit, following my orders, on the territory
21 of Republika Srpska, too, in the Strpce railway station. And I sent them
22 there after the crime that took place where a criminal group stopped a
23 train on the Belgrade to Bar railway line, and it is only -- it enters
24 into Bosnian territory only for nine kilometres and it is a main railway
25 line in Yugoslavia. And at that Strpce station, the train doesn't stop at
1 all because it is just a small face, a by-station so the train usually
2 runs right through it. That was the project, the Belgrade-Bar railway.
3 But 17 Muslims were taken from Prijepolje, from that train, and
4 they were killed. And later on, that was established. At first, we
5 didn't know who they were or where they were; but that was done
6 intentionally. And that is why I asked an investigation to be launched in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, and when they came up with no
8 results, I sent our own policemen there to find the people who had thought
9 to be the perpetrators. Some were arrested and brought to the prison in
10 Belgrade but the courts released them later on because we were unable to
11 come up with proof of their guilt. So that was the response.
12 And to see that this was not repeated, I sent a unit there to
13 protect that particular railway station, although it was not on our own
14 territory, to avoid having another train stopped and other people
15 slaughtered. And I told Stoltenberg that I have, across that border, but
16 just across the border on the territory of Republika Srpska, this group of
17 policemen because I did not trust their own people that they would be able
18 to protect the station properly.
19 So what do you want to make of that? I know that this was a way
20 to transport the conflict to Serbia. And I went to Prijepolje on that
21 very day because the people, the victims were from Prijepolje. Prijepolje
22 is a small town in Serbia. 50 per cent are Serbs and 50 per cent are
23 Muslims of their population and they live in a sentiment of co-existence.
24 They live together. There was no persecutions for all those ten years.
25 During the war in Croatia, no Croat was expelled from Serbia, or Bosnian
1 during the Bosnian war. Fifty thousand registered Muslim refugees came to
2 take refuge in Serbia, and here you are speaking, turning the tables,
3 turning everything upside down, speaking untruths and lies
4 It is below my dignity to comment on the various insinuations that
5 have been made here. You are hitting below the belt. You started by
6 showing my speech, me making my speech in Kosovo Polje and saying that I
7 used the popularity - that's how you explained it - that I gained there
8 later to become the party leader myself, where it says on the footage
9 that it was in April 1987.
10 And I was the head of the party, I became the head of the party
11 one year earlier, before that, in May 1986. And the worst thing about all
12 this is that you have it all. You have all this data and information in
13 your documents. And where you write my biography, you ought to have these
14 facts and figures, but you omitted to read them carefully. And for the
15 event in Kosovo Polje, where I did have popular support, of course, you
16 say that I made use of that to become the party head whereas I had already
17 become party head one year prior to that. I was already head of the
19 And that's what your whole indictment is like. Everything points
20 to the fact that it is a false indictment, that the Prosecutors are
21 grasping at straws because they have nothing but some psychoanalytical,
22 layman's assertions, and they are attempting to depict me as somebody able
23 to hypnotise people into going to commit crimes. You are drawing up some
24 schematics and organisations that they have conjured up yourself and this
25 goes beyond the realm of shunned literature and trash, and you have this
1 false indictment and these absurd two indictments for Bosnia and Croatia,
2 which are unfounded, to cover up everything and to wrap it up in some kind
3 of new wrappings and lies and fabrications, whereas we, of course we
4 helped our nation, our peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we would be
5 amiss had we -- and remiss had we not done so when the people were
6 suffering. We helped them honourably to survive and to be free and equal
7 and not to seize anything from anybody.
8 And you seem to think it's fine for the Germans to help Croatia,
9 for the Americans to perform -- help in ethnic cleansing and the Storm and
10 the Mujahedins and those who cut heads off with sabres and held two Serbs
11 heads in their hands, be helped by the Muslims. So the Germans are
12 helping the Croats. And those from Saudi Arabia, hundreds of thousands
13 of kilometres away, helped the Muslims. The only things you don't find
14 logical is for the Serbs to help the Serbs, their fellow Serbs.
15 Now, is there any logic in any of this or any moral explanation
16 whatsoever? Neither in Croatia or in Bosnia did the Serbs begin war.
17 Violence was effected over them. And I'm now going to read out to you
18 just several quotations by prominent world intellectuals, and their names
19 are familiar to any educated person throughout the globe. They are
20 household names to educated people.
21 Edmond Paris of France, 1961: "Studying the balance sheet of
22 crimes, we have calculated that the Pavlovic government succeeded in
23 killing approximately 750.000 Orthodox Serbs and deport 300.000 of them.
24 Also killed were 60.000 Jews, and 26.000 Romanies. And about 240.000 Serb
25 Orthodox were converted to the Catholic faith and most of them were in the
1 Bishopcy of His Worship Stepinac. So that was Edmond Paris of France
3 Charles Krauthammer, of America, says the following, August 1995:
4 "This week in a blitzkrieg which lasted only four days, the Croatian army
5 ethnically cleansed Krajina of 150.000 Serbs and forced them to flee for
6 their lives towards Bosnia and Serbia."
7 I hope that the interpreters are keeping up.
8 "Why is there no certain over the fall of Krajina, a region which
9 the Serbs settled 500 years ago, settled in 500 years ago, far before we
10 settled in North America? It is true they created a rebellion state in
11 Croatia. It is true that when Croatia, in 1991, separated from
12 Yugoslavia, they speeded up the war for independence within Croatia. But
13 they had good reason to enter the war. They did not wish to live under
14 the authority of people who, not so long ago, massacred their parents.
15 The Croatian state against whom they rose up from its inception in 1991
16 took over almost the same symbols - the same coat of arms and money of the
17 first Nazi puppet Croatian state dating back to World War II - according
18 to the Nuremberg laws, of a genocidal state with concentration camps and a
19 monstrous number of ethnic persecutions and the killing of hundreds of
20 thousands of Serbs."
21 Let me interrupt that quotation there. That was Charles
22 Krauthammer. For the Orthodox Christmas of that war year, in the camp of
23 Jasenovac, the Ustasha Nazis competed to see who could kill more Serbs in
24 the space of one day and one was victorious who managed to slaughter 1.300
25 Serbs on one single day. That is a historical fact as well.
1 Let me continue with his quotation:
2 "Today's Bosnia was part of that Nazi state which explains why
3 the Bosnian Serbs also called for independence. The Serbs from Krajina
4 have every reason to be afraid of coming under Croatian power and
5 authority again. This week, their fears arose again. The Croats shelled
6 Serb villages before the army launched an attack, and in that way, they
7 forced the population to flee report the United Nations observers in
8 Croatia. They, too, were fired at."
9 Where are protests now?
10 Now, what does Karlo Falconi of Italy say?
11 "The Ustashas certainly exceeded the Germans in their religious
12 racism. When they hit against the Serbs, it was not only hitting against
13 the enemy but also at someone who had betrayed the truth faith. Only in
14 Croatia half a million people were exterminated primarily because of their
15 religion rather than their race. Only in Croatia were people forcibly
16 converted from the Orthodox to the Catholic faith. In history, there is
17 not a precedent for the degree of violence that was carried out in these
18 operations. All of this really does not work in favour of the silence
19 that was kept by Pope Pious the 12th."
20 Now, what does Rajko Dolecek say in Czechoslovakia in 1993?
21 "The concentration camps in Croatia were within Jasenovac.
22 During the war, about 700.000 people were killed there, mostly by having
23 their throats slit and by having their heads broken open by hammers and
24 sledgehammers. Officers described these atrocities, and they themselves
25 were shocked by it. However, their rulers made it possible for them to
1 carry out these insane atrocities and killings. Usually it is said that
2 the Holocaust in Croatia involved 800.000 Serb lives. In the period from
3 August 1941 until August 1942, 356.000 Serbs were killed in Croatia.
4 Jacques Merlinot of France:
5 "On the basis of the figures provided by Edmond Paris, almost
6 200.000 people were killed in Jasenovac in 1941 and 1942. Only in 1942,
7 in Jasenovac, there were 24.000 children, 12.000 of which were killed.
8 Masses of Jewish children were cremated in a furnace that was turned into
9 a crematorium. And everybody knows that the Catholic church was an
10 accomplice in this crime. The high clergy of the Catholic church in
11 Croatia closely collaborated with the Nazis, headed by Archbishop Stepinac
12 of Zagreb, who supported the establishment of this new state and blessed
13 Ante Pavelic. This exists in the collective memory of the Serbs." This
14 is Jacques Merlinot of France saying this.
15 What does Philip Jenkins say from America in 1995?
16 "During the next three years, the Croats massacred Serbs and Jews
17 in such a terrible way that this even made the German officers feel awful.
18 Serbs, just like Jews, lived to see the end of the war, promising
19 themselves that they would never allow the enemy to exterminate them.
20 This can interpret the fact why, over the past four years, the Serbs had
21 to face a situation when their worst expectations came true, when the
22 massacres from 40 years ago could have happened again. There should be no
23 surprise that the Serbs took up arms rather than wait for concentration
24 camps again.
25 "And what about Bosnia? There as also historical legacy there.
1 One of the strangest facts in the Second World War pertained to the fact
2 that many Bosnian Muslims were recruited for the special units of the
3 German SS forces. However, the present-day developments are far more
4 important for the Serbs as well"
5 I'm going to skip Anita Singh. It is important but it is long and
6 I'm looking at the clock. I'm just going to quote her:
7 "Again the Serbs were victims in Tudjman's Croatia, because there
8 is a conflict raging there so cruel and so bestial that this is not really
9 news in Europe but Europe thought that this kind of thing had been
10 overcome. Jasenovac seeks an answer. Is Fascism really dead?"
11 And what does Louis Delmas of France say in 1994?
12 "Actually, there was no Serb aggression either in Croatia or in
13 Bosnia. There was no attack from the outside. What happened is fully
14 within the feeling of affiliation. This was a rebellion of the domestic
15 population that, through games of diplomacy, came to be included in new
16 states where they did not recognise themselves. That is what happened in
17 Croatia and Bosnia. There were no attacks by external attackers. The
18 republics of Krajina and Pale were therefore established. Is it difficult
19 to understand that genocide cannot be forgotten from one generation to the
20 other? The victims bear this in their blood. Few European Jews can say
21 that they did not have any relatives died in the deportations. There are
22 very few Serbs likewise, from the western part of Yugoslavia, that can say
23 that they did not have any of their relatives slaughtered by the Ustashas.
24 And if we add to this the historical exploitation of four centuries of
25 Ottoman occupation, can one be surprised over the vehemence of their
1 response over the secession of a republic which takes as its coat of arms
2 Pavlovic's emblem, Pavlovic's currency.
3 Mile Budak, one of the greatest war criminals and exterminators of
4 Serbs had many streets named after him. Now they do not hide their
5 anti-Serb feelings, and by the way, they don't hide anti-semitic feelings
6 in their books either." This is what Peter Handke wrote in 1996.
7 How can I forget the sentence from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
8 full of hatred concerning what is going on in Eastern Slavonia, according
9 to which Serbs in Croatia, who are Yugoslav citizens until now equal to
10 their Croatian compatriots, now according to the constitution of the new
11 Republic of Croatia that was carved up against their will become
12 second-rate citizens. They are simply annexed to the Croatian state, not
13 only the Croatian administration.
14 These 600.000 Serbs now, according to the degree of the German
15 journalist, and now he is quoting the journalist, "They must most
16 obediently, most humbly feel as a national minority now. All right.
17 We're acting on orders. There today onwards, we agree that we are going
18 to feel like a minority in our own country, and therefore, we agree that
19 your Croatian Constitution is going to treat us that way."
20 So would that be a way out if they were to say that? Who was the
21 first aggressor? What did this mean setting up a state that gave
22 supremacy to one people over another in an area where since times
23 immemorial people lived together? And this kind of development really had
24 to hit them hard, and it had to bring back to mind the persecutions from
25 Hitler's times. So who was the aggressor?
1 What did Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn write?
2 "May heaven forbid us from having a Yugoslav option. However,
3 there is a reason for their misfortune. False borders were set up. Serbs
4 were expelled from the historical region of Kosovo and Albanians were
5 brought there. And within 24 hours, the new states were recognised by the
6 power-loving West, not paying any heed to the fact that the present
7 borders were untenable.
8 And finally Patrick Bariot, and Eva Crepin in 1995:
9 "As a French citizen, I would like to refresh your memories of
10 our French history, the times when the bells of Notre Dame proclaimed to
11 France and Christiandom the tragic defeat of the Serbian Prince Lazar."
12 This is actually a reference to Gazimestan.
13 The memory of Victor Hugo, who on the 29th of August, 1876, said
14 in horror, "They are killing a people. When is the martyrdom of this
15 small, heroic people going to end?" This is an end of Hugo's quotation.
16 Did he perhaps have a premonition that this martyrdom would not
17 end in 1995?
18 As a citizen of Europe I put forward the following question: Are
19 we going to allow a people to be destroyed, a people who have been
20 shedding their blood for 600 years for the freedom and well-being of
22 So on the 23rd of December, 1991, Germany formally recognised the
23 sovereignty and independence of Croatia, but the decision became effective
24 on the 15th of January, 1992. That is how the armed conflict, the civil
25 war, started in Croatia. This is unequivocally proven by the statements
1 made by Tudjman and Mesic, that they had opted for this option. Tudjman,
2 President of Croatia; Mesic, President of Yugoslavia. And when he broke
3 it up, then he was elected speaker of the Croatian parliament.
4 Tudjman speaking in public, on the square of Ban Jelacic, on the
5 24th of May, 1992, in his message to the nation said, and I quote: "There
6 would not have been a war had Croatia not wanted it, but it was our
7 assessment that only through war can we win Croatia's independence. That
8 is why we pursued a policy of negotiations. But behind these negotiations
9 we established our armed units."
10 Of course Tudjman the Croatian government could have won the
11 independence of Croatia without war, but without war they could not have
12 killed Serbs and expelled 600.000 Serbs from Croatia. That shows the
13 nature of this war, the war they are still trying to call the liberation
14 war and the homeland war there. That is the way the unfortunate people
15 who fought it feel, but this is certainly not corroborated by the
16 objectives that are shown through historical facts.
17 And on the 5th of December, 1991, Stjepan Mesic, having thanked
18 the Assembly of Croatia, the Parliament of Croatia for the confidence
19 vested in him, he says: "I think that I have carried out my task. There
20 is no more Yugoslavia." Everybody saw that. He was President of the
21 Presidency of Yugoslavia, who took a solemn oath that he would preserve
22 the integrity of Yugoslavia and its constitutional order. He comes to
23 Croatia to say that he had carried out his task, that Yugoslavia was no
25 Many world statesmen, scholars, and even international
1 institutions voiced their opinions in this regard. James Baker, the
2 Secretary of State on the 13th of January, 1995, said before the
3 Congress -- I'm quoting Baker now:
4 "It is a fact that Croatia and Slovenia unilaterally declared
5 their independence in spite of our warnings. They used force and this
6 caused a civil war." End of quotation.
7 He particularly highlighted that the position of the United
8 States was to preserve the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia and that
9 this was advocated by 32 members of the CSC, nowadays the OSCE.
10 I quote him again:
11 "Everybody supported this. This was the right kind of policy and
12 it is a very bad thing that we did not stick to that policy longer than we
13 did." End of quotation.
14 As far as back as 1989, he cautioned that if there were to be a
15 unilateral secession, this would lead to the use of force. Unfortunately,
16 at the time when Baker, in 1995, spoke about this, he was no longer
17 Secretary of State. The Democrats came to power, as well as lobbying, and
18 the money that accompanies lobbying.
19 Again claims are being made, and we heard about this here,
20 throughout these seven months that the Serbs and even Serbia started the
21 civil war. And facts, all of them, unequivocally speak to the contrary.
22 The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was brought to an end by the Dayton
23 Accords. The former Yugoslavia was represented through the
24 representatives of Croatia, Yugoslavia -- the Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the international community was
1 represented by the host country but also all the contact group members
2 were represented as well. With the highest degree of responsibility, I
3 say that, as far as the establishment of these two entities is concerned,
4 where a war had been raging until then, perhaps the most important role
5 that was played was the role of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and
6 that is what I had been striving for.
7 Other participants in the Dayton negotiations shared this feeling,
8 and they said this publicly as well. This was also the view of the host
9 country, the United States of America. Nowadays, it is not only that this
10 support is being forgotten, this support that I had enjoyed in pursuing
11 this policy that was aimed at peace, but all the efforts made by the
12 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Serbia and I personally are being
13 neglected, although this was crucial, I should say. Also the results of
14 these efforts are being overlooked.
15 Responsibility for the war is being sought on that side that had
16 advocated peace. Before the eyes of the entire world, there is an
17 inversion. The instigators of war are accusing the protagonists of peace
18 for war, and thanks to their powerful international positions, they are
19 playing the roles of both Prosecutor and Judge. As for me personally,
20 they are accusing me and condemning me in advance precisely of their own
21 warmongering policies and the consequences of these policies that they had
22 been pursuing themselves and that I had opposed to the best of my ability
23 by advocating peace.
24 This simple truth can be overlooked nowadays only by those who
25 have the interest not to see this. And of course, those who are bombed by
1 lies and who are exposed to such media manipulations that they have
2 accepted lies as the truth and the other way around. Of course, this is
3 not the first time in history that truth and justice are losers, but it is
4 the first time in history that the war against truth and justice is being
5 waged by a new weapon and that is the mass media. In the struggle against
6 truth and justice, this weapon is more lethal than all of those that were
7 used until now. And if this weapon is being used by the most powerful
8 country in the world and also the bloc of the most powerful countries in
9 the world, then of course their opponents are condemned to being on the
10 losing side. And journalists, if they do not support truth and justice,
11 are very often paid for what they do and in this way they also become
12 killers and mercenaries.
13 The decision to establish the International Tribunal for the
14 former Yugoslavia is illegal because the Security Council does not have
15 the right to do this. It is a very unusual Tribunal. It was established
16 for wars that were being waged on the territory of the former Yugoslavia ,
17 as if this were the only war waged at all, or at least in this point in
19 Only, in this point in time, in the second half of the twentieth
20 century, hundreds of smaller local wars were waged and international
21 tribunals were not established for them. And indeed why not? Why was the
22 first tribunal of this nature formed because of the conflicts on the
23 territory of the former Yugoslavia? Why? Was this resistance to those
24 who had instigated the war become so great and so visible? Was it because
25 external involvement in this Yugoslav war was so obvious? Or perhaps
1 because of those who were involved perhaps they thought the results
2 achieved were not sufficient. I think it is for all these reasons.
3 It was so obvious that there was opposition to those who
4 instigated and caused the war and also that there was such a great degree
5 of external involvement. But it is also because the results they achieved
6 were not successful. That is why the participants in the war in the
7 former Yugoslavia are being tried as if they were the only participants in
8 the only war in the world.
9 I'm not questioning the decision to bring to justice those who
10 killed, slaughtered children, old people, various other victims. However,
11 perpetrators are being sought even amongst those who had worked for peace,
12 as in this case. I claim that this is because the inspirers of war were
13 not happy with the outcome of the war and not happy with the resistance
14 that was put forth. They thought it would be negligible. And if it were
15 to be more than negligible, then its protagonists were to be killed and
17 The formation and survival of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
18 is part of that resistance to the -- those who inspired the disintegration
19 of the former Yugoslavia, war within it, the suffering of millions of
20 Yugoslav citizens. That is why, immediately after the conflict in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, when it came to a close, that tensions were raised in
22 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, following the same principles upon
23 which these tensions started in the former Yugoslavia and began to be
24 created and to function in this latest one.
25 We are talking about inciting national hatred and intolerance.
1 And I think that I have clearly stated and presented before you the
2 historical facts and the background upon which the crime against
3 Yugoslavia was committed. And when we're talking about Kosovo, when it
4 comes to the question of Kosovo, the state organs acted in similar fashion
5 to the conduct that was seen by the state organs in other European but all
6 other countries, not only in our times, in our day and age, but in our
7 civilisation in general. This reaction on the part of Yugoslav state
8 organs was in keeping with the Yugoslav Constitution and in keeping with
9 similar experience or identical experiences of other states. It was
10 treated by the Western governments as violence over the innocent Albanian
11 population in Kosovo, and, therefore, as a cause for the intervention of
12 the international community to protect that innocent Albanian population.
13 And that is what happened. This intervention over a criminal
14 state that allegedly jeopardised the Albanian population on part of this
15 territory came in the form of the NATO pact aggression in a way which
16 introduced into the life of our planet a new form of warfare based on the
17 use of the latest technological achievements of our civilisation, and this
18 aggression resulted in enormous human casualties.
19 I saw on television that the CNN said that they were not showing
20 Milosevic's photographs because they are too gruesome for the public.
21 That was their official explanation. They don't want their public to see
22 their crimes, and thereby they only confirm that they are in the service
23 of crimes and in leading their own public astray. They are afraid of
24 having their own public seeking for the responsibility of their own
25 culprits. They don't know how to explain to their own public that
1 allegedly they protected Albanians by bombing maternity wards in Belgrade
2 or that they were allegedly protecting the Albanians when they bombed a
3 convoy of Albanians in Kosovo and Kosovo towns and villages.
4 And the media that are not informing about this are finding it
5 difficult to take -- are finding greater links with bin Laden's terrorists
6 and the drug trafficking Mafia and links to their money. On the 16th of
7 February, therefore, that is to say a few days ago, the Daily Telegraph
8 writes: "Extremist Albanians who want to create new conflicts in the
9 south of the Balkans are spending millions of pounds that they earned
10 through the sale of Afghanistan heroin --" once again, Afghanistan is
11 mentioned -- "on the European market for the procurement of weapons."
12 The Daily Telegram, referring to reports of the Vienna UN
13 headquarters for drugs control, writes that in Austria, Germany and
14 Switzerland, there is more and more heroin coming in from the enormous
15 stockpiles that exist in Afghanistan and where amassed by Al Qaeda and the
16 Taliban. And where does the KLA get its heroin from? What do you think?
17 The Albanian drug traffickers are endeavouring to take control over the
18 European heroin market, which is worth several billion pounds per annum,
19 and I quote the Daily Telegraph.
20 Rebels of the KLA in Macedonia are part of a network controlled by
21 criminal organisations of these three countries but they also exist in
22 other countries as well claim the Western intelligence reports from
23 Kosovo. In Macedonia and Switzerland, they say that the Albanian bands
24 last year used part of that money that they earned through the sale of
25 Afghanistan heroin for the procurement of weapons for Albanian insurgents
1 in Macedonia who, last autumn, handed in their weapons to NATO. This is
2 becoming evermore evident but the CNN is escaping the truth. And it is
3 logically in line with the fact that three Albanians have been convicted
4 of terrorism and Sulejman Selimi, Kadar, and Usomi [phoen] Ustaku, they
5 are the names from the KLA. They were amnestied, pardoned and received
6 high ranks in the new SS Skanderbeg division which is now called the
7 Kosovo Protection Corps.
8 Now, why should CNN report on all this and disturb the citizens of
9 America because they are going to fare the same way they did on the 11th
10 of September. Just as nothing is said about how many Italian soldiers
11 fell sick and died because of the depleted uranium that was thrown on
12 Serbian Kosovo. And this was confirmed by an observer in Rome. It was
13 confirmed three years later because the army would not provide facts and
14 figures. The situation in other armies is even worse. But this is
15 something that is being kept from the citizens because it jeopardises the
16 interests and profits of those who are amassing riches on the basis of
17 that. They have to explain to their soldiers that there are patriotic
18 reasons for them to travel far from their country to kill other people's
19 children, and even go to other countries that have never done anything to
20 harm them and who were always -- who were even their allies in both the
21 World Wars and that they are doing this for patriotic reasons.
22 They do not want to inform on the fact that an Albanian held in
23 prison because on the 15th of February, 2001, along the Podujevo-Pristina
24 road by the Livadice village, he blew up a busload of Serbs, full of Serbs
25 that were escorting KFOR. Many people were killed and injured. But this
1 man has been released from prison.
2 I hope that world public opinion will be able to put the parts of
3 this jigsaw puzzle together, including the part of this Tribunal.
4 As for Yugoslavia, violence is still being waged against it and
5 all means are being resorted to.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's now 11.00. That would be a convenient
7 moment. We'll adjourn for half an hour. Half past eleven.
8 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As nobody is quoting the UN
12 Secretary-General reports dating back to 1992, for example, which confirm
13 what I've been saying, I'm going to just read out a brief quotation. I
14 have to make good use of my time, save my time. I have the original of
16 [In English] [Previous translation continues] ... "on the 28th/
17 29th of May, took place in direct contravention of instructions issued by
18 JNA leadership in Belgrade. Given the doubts that now exist about the
19 ability of the authorities in Belgrade to influence General Mladic, who
20 has left JNA, efforts have been made by UNPROFOR to appeal to him directly
21 as well as through the political leadership of the Serbian Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As the result of these efforts, General Mladic agreed
23 on 30th of May to stop the bombardment of Sarajevo. While it is my hope
24 that the shelling of the city will not be resumed, it is also clear that
25 the emergence of General Mladic and the forces under his command as
1 independent actor apparently beyond the control of JNA, complicates the
2 issue raised in paragraph 4 of Security Council Resolution 752. President
3 Izetbegovic has recently indicated to senior UNPROFOR officers at Sarajevo
4 his willingness to deal with General Mladic but not with the political
5 leadership of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
6 [Interpretation] If we were to read all these things, the
7 situation would be much clearer. The picture would be much clearer
8 because it has been made a caricature of, distorted in a caricature
9 fashion. And when it comes to Yugoslavia, that it was the resistance that
10 Yugoslavia set up is not only borne out by history and the events in
11 Kosovo but also the fact itself that the victims of that brutal aggression
12 were not only the citizens of Serb and Montenegrin nationality but
13 Albanian nationality as well, though the bombing was allegedly to punish
14 the policy of a country which jeopardised the Albanian majority. But
15 there are always victims in war. They are usually women, children, the
16 elderly and sick and the part of the population that has least to do with
17 the reasons of war and which are the tragic result, for the most part.
18 This is a general rule. It was true in Croatia and in Bosnia and in Iraq
19 and in New York and Washington and in Belgrade and everywhere else.
20 The informed part of the world knew that the bombing of Yugoslavia
21 was retaliation by the NATO pact for the independent policy Yugoslavia
22 waged; and the uninformed part of the world was informed that it was a
23 just punishment of what the Serbo fighters did over the innocent Albanian
24 majority seeking human rights, national rights, civic rights, although
25 they had all those rights over and above all world standards. And this is
1 something that we have proof and evidence of, of which I have set out a
3 The fact that they asked for Kosovo's secession from Serbia and
4 that they set up a terrorist organisation to implement that secession, the
5 KLA, the infamous KLA which slaughtered everything that was Serb,
6 Montenegrin, and Albanian as well, that is something that has been hidden
7 from the world public and every other public. The truth is quite
9 For example, the Marianne, the French daily, this month asks how
10 the West allowed bin Laden to set up his network in the Balkans and how
11 6.000 Islamic fanatics from Algeria, and you know what they're doing in
12 Algeria towards the Algerians themselves, from Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and
13 so on fought in Bosnia, that Izetbegovic wanted to effect a large
14 Muslimisation and that the KLA was the second stage of the same project.
15 It was the so-called Green Transversal. The line from Bosnia via Sandzak,
16 stretching to Kosovo and Metohija.
17 The American representative for the Balkans, Gelbard, at a press
18 conference held at the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade on the 20th of February,
19 1998 said, and I quote: "We are profoundly concerned and energetically
20 accuse terrorist actions -- condemn terrorist actions and groups in
21 Kosovo, particularly the KLA. It is without doubt a terrorist group that
22 we are dealing with here."
23 He added that this was something he knew enough about to be able
24 to assess. But at that time, obviously he wasn't made aware of the secret
25 plans of his bosses and the activities of the alliance for this Balkan
1 operation which advocated an all-out war against Yugoslavia, and as a
2 civil servant, he was sent to take up the post of ambassador in Indonesia,
3 right the other side of the world. The future will show that Yugoslavia
4 was a polygon, a model. Like the countries of the former USSR, where the
5 main point of confrontation was Russia and the Ukraine and that Ukraine be
6 included into the NATO pact by 2000.
7 That is why Albright herself said -- and this is in Michael
8 Mendelbaum's book, September 1999, that the most important thing that they
9 did was Kosovo. And Professor Michel Kosodoski, on the 10th of April,
10 2000, said that Kosovo bands were financing -- financed by organised
11 criminals and that at the time of Rambouillet, there was a report being
12 prepared on the links between the Afghanistan and Albanian drug
13 trafficking bands and groups. It is common knowledge that fighters from
14 Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, but also Germany, Afghanistan, and Turkey were
15 training the KLA.
16 Diana Johnson on the 23rd of January, 2000, in an article, says
17 that when the judgement decides on crimes, says that Abramovic looked at
18 Albright -- Holbrooke and others to develop Clinton's doctrine of a
19 so-called humanitarian war, and this was to cover up crimes with the aim
20 of effecting strategic interests and he included Thaci in Rambouillet as a
22 So that is the same Abramovic who in January, back in January 1986
23 went to China to prevail upon them to sell Islamic rebels in arms.
24 I should like to draw the attention of the world public to a
25 detail that is rather a good example. The Albania Abdiju Ekrem and Kopula
1 Shpend, who were tried in the year 2000 because, at the demand of Saudi
2 Arabia, a Saudi Arabian, Abdiju Laha Duja Hyem [phoen], the head of the
3 World Bureau for the Islamic Appeal, cooperative of bin Laden, organised a
4 Mujahedin brigade which was called the brigade of the 35 Saudi Arabians,
5 Ethiopians and 110, including Albanians as well, and we were able to
6 dismantle them.
7 After they were arrested and condemned in the year 200, in 2001,
8 the new authorities, and we know under whose orders I've already spoken
9 about that, they were pardoned, amnestied. After that, we see the advent
10 of the 11th of September, and this was directly connected to this Abdiju
11 Ekrem . He otherwise in Saudi Arabia itself, in 1996, was taken to trial
12 and spent one year in prison because, like his co-fighters from Kosovo and
13 Afghanistan, he had serious backers, powerful backers. And this man Ekrem
14 Abdiju in 1992 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, formed the same kind of Mujahedin
15 brigade in Tesajn, Abu Bekir Sadik was its name. I omitted to show
16 photographs that I mentioned of the heads that were severed and the man
17 holding up the severed heads.
18 So the informed part of the world knew that the bombing of
19 Yugoslavia was retaliation for the policy of independence that Yugoslavia
20 was waging, and the uninformed part of the world was informed that this
21 was just reprisal for the terror of the Yugoslav, allegedly, authorities
22 and the Serb authorities over the Albanian minority.
23 In order to hide the truth that it was retaliation for the Western
24 governments, for the fact that Yugoslavia was not listening to the Western
25 powers and that Serbia was not listening to them and not only was the
1 truth masked but a lie was almost perfectly launched, saying that the
2 aggression was a just thing and a necessary thing over the protagonists of
3 Serb violence towards the Albanians. So a large part of the uninformed
4 world, or I might even say the whole of the uninformed world believed
5 that, by bombing Yugoslavia, justice was being done and that the Yugoslav
6 and Serb authorities were led by the protagonists of crimes and that they
7 should be downtrodden.
8 But when it comes to me, to this should be added personal, the
9 element of personal hatred on the part of those politicians whom I stepped
10 forward and stopped them subjugating Yugoslavia and Serbia and stopped
11 them in the realisation of their plan, the plan that they implemented in
12 all other East European countries, including, of course, Albania, Bulgaria
13 and so on and so forth at the beginning of the last decade of the last
14 century. They did so ten years earlier. And of course to ascribe -- to
15 add to their frustrations, because of the task that was not achieved and
16 the ambitions that were not achieved on the part of those who were given
17 those assignments and failed to carry them out, because even at that
18 time everything that took place should have taken place in Serbia, too.
19 There is much proof and evidence of this of which I have submitted a few.
20 And so for ten years, they tried to overthrow me and finally they
21 succeeded in an unchivalrous and dirty manner by launching threats and by
22 bribery to subjugate Serbia. So this factor of personal hatred is also
23 something that must be added because where can you have greater
24 confirmation that, in addition to all these state reasons, historical,
25 political, strategical and other reasons, when it comes to me, there is
1 personal hatred, the element of personal hatred, and in a savage way, my
2 whole family is still under attack.
3 I have been speaking for three days about the political,
4 strategic, and historical reasons. Now I'll only spend three minutes to
5 speak about that personal hatred that is being manifest in this cowardly,
6 savage attack -- in these cowardly and savage attacks on my family; my
7 wife and my children.
8 My wife, who is a university professor and was a university
9 professor at a time when I didn't delve in politics at all, whose books
10 have been published and translated in Russia, China, the United States,
11 England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and so on and so forth, Spain,
12 translated into over 30 languages throughout the world, and they are
13 testimony of the superhuman efforts, public efforts of an intellectual
14 against war, against national conflicts, against violence and primitivism
15 and who served to her honour, especially because they were written during
16 the time of those events and not from the distance of time. And she is
17 the subject of the most savage media campaign, with the most grievous lies
18 and fabrications being bandied about; forgeries and slander.
19 My daughter, who never dealt with politics, was forced to stop
20 working, and she lives -- continues to live in an isolated fashion because
21 she cannot take the violence against her and all the rest of us.
22 And against my son, the media are exerting a horrific campaign,
23 although he has in -- at no time been in conflict with the law or morals.
24 And he is also always considered a good comrade, a person with a high
25 sensitivity for solidarity. He helped everyone, did everything he could.
1 He has this avalanche of media hatred come down on his head, and he has
2 left the country and, with him, his newly-established family, his young
3 wife and small son.
4 This lack of honour and cannibalism has not been noted in Europe
5 to date. CNN even published such lies that my son has golf terrains, that
6 he has a series of pizzerias and a drug trafficking group. This is
7 infamous. It was always a shame to raise your arm against women and
8 children, no matter how much you hate somebody; yet more proof that
9 this personal hatred is something that is generally known.
10 During the NATO aggression, they tried to kill both me and my
11 entire family. They bombed the residence with a few cruising missiles in
12 a wave of several seconds. And you know full well that, according to
13 international law, and according to US law, the murder of a foreign head
14 of state is a crime. And then on that day when they did the bombing, in
15 that house I received the President of the Parliament and the Foreign
16 Minister, and those who were following this could see their cars entering
17 the residence compound and leaving it.
18 I saw on CNN the other day General Clark, now resigned, retired,
19 that -- saying that my house was a legitimate military target because
20 allegedly underneath the residence there was a command centre, an
21 underground command centre, which is an infamous lie.
22 This house was used by the late President Tito as his residence
23 from the Second World War onwards, and there was never a command centre
24 there nor was there any kind of underground area there. In the middle of
25 the garden is the house itself and underneath is nothing. It did not even
1 have a single square centimetre of bulletproof glass. I did not have
2 bulletproof glass in my house, in my office when I was President of
3 Serbia or when I was President of Yugoslavia. I see that the new
4 authorities and my successor in Serbia placed bulletproof glass very fast
5 so that nobody would kill them.
6 This house did not have any kind of underground premises. Both
7 Clark and his co-workers at NATO had to know about this because they had
8 available to them all the information about Tito's former generals, from
9 the JNA, from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, those who worked with
10 him, those were on duty in that house, those who were closer to him than
11 Serb generals were.
12 So is more proof required or greater proof than these two sets of
13 proof; trying to kill me and my family? And I spoke of the strategic and
14 political reasons for three days, but in addition to this, there is this
15 cowardly, undignified personal hatred.
16 After these three minutes, perhaps it wasn't even three minutes,
17 perhaps it was only two minutes, let us go back to what I'm being charged
18 with here.
19 I've been charged with a crime here that was committed by others,
20 primarily those outside Yugoslavia, those who invented this Tribunal and
21 who invented this prison so that they would not be held responsible for
22 violence over people, for breaking up a country, for civil war amongst its
23 peoples. With the assistance of this Tribunal that they set up
24 themselves, they accused me of this because I opposed their violence and
25 advocated the preservation of the country. Their prestigious position in
1 international relations and their enormous power are being used not only
2 for supremacy in the world but also for cruel retaliation for everyone who
3 opposes their might. That is the core of this trial and that is the true
4 face of this justice. I am here before this false court so that they
5 would not be -- so that they would not be facing a true court.
6 I have nothing to defend myself from. I can only be proud and I
7 can only accuse my accusers and their bosses. They are free men, but they
8 are not truly free. I, arrested, imprisoned, am nevertheless the free.
9 My name is Slobodan, with a capital "S," which means "free" in my
11 Could you please have this tape played.
12 JUDGE MAY: How long is it likely to be Mr Milosevic?
13 THE ACCUSED: I beg your pardon?
14 JUDGE MAY: How long is it likely to be, this tape?
15 THE ACCUSED: Altogether, I will finish within the time you said
16 that is available for me. It means up to 1.00. So I had no the
17 opportunity to check everything with this. I have no facilities in the
18 prison for that. But within the time given to me, I have to finish. I
19 have understand what you decided.
20 [Interpretation] I have another video cassette to play after this
21 one, but that would also fit into the time allotted to me.
22 [Trial Chamber and Court Deputy confer]
23 JUDGE MAY: There's apparently some difficulty about playing this
24 tape immediately. We'll take ten minutes. Have you got another one? You
25 said you have another one to be played.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. I want this one to be played
3 JUDGE MAY: I don't know. Let's consider.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because this one is directly related
5 to what I have been saying this morning.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It had been rewound. I don't see
8 that there is any reason why it cannot be played immediately.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we don't want to waste any time. So
10 can you go on with your speech for ten minutes and we'll then -- or you
11 can play the other tape, whichever you choose.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Oh, no. I'm going to wait for the
13 cassette to be played. At any rate, we're going to fit into your time
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn for ten minutes, but you
16 understand that we'll finish by 1.00, whatever.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What does he need ten minutes for to
18 play a cassette? I really don't understand.
19 JUDGE MAY: There's a technical problem, he can't play it
21 --- Break taken at 11.55 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.12 p.m.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the tape be played now.
24 [Videotape played]
25 "Two years later, much of Yugoslavia was in flames. A small war
1 in Slovenia led to large and more bloody conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Moreover, European nations, the United States and Middle Eastern states
3 were backing different factions in these outbreaks of civil war.
4 Publicly, Western diplomats blamed irresponsible ethnic leaders of the
5 different Yugoslav republics for the bloodshed, including Milan Kucan of
6 Slovenia, Franjo Tudjman of Croatia, and Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia,
7 certainly no innocents among the warring parties. Privately, however,
8 European Community envoy Lord Carrington and UN mediator Cyrus Vance were
9 furious at Germany's Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher. France
10 would later call the conflict Mr. Genscher's war because of Germany's push
11 to recognise separatists in Slovenia and Croatia.
12 "'Vance argued that recognition would take away the diplomatic
13 leverage that he had to try to bring the conflict in Croatia to an end and
14 could possibly result in Bosnia blowing up.'
15 "The former German Foreign Minister claimed that his government
16 did not support the break-up of Yugoslavia until fighting began.
17 "'We held a strong position for the unity of Yugoslavia, as I
18 said, but we saw the will to keep it together vanished more and more under
19 the pressure of military events.'
20 "In fact, however, since the 1960s, Germany's intelligence arm,
21 the BND, was deeply involved in the training of Croatian separatists led
22 by the pro-Nazi Ustasha who fled to Germany after World War II and
23 participated in a number of terrorist actions against embassies and the
24 government of Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito.
25 "'In the early '60s, the BND decided to cooperate fully with the
1 Ustasha. This became plain to see after the so-called Croat Spring in the
2 beginning of the '70s. After Tito's death, they accelerated their
3 efforts, together with the Ustasha, in order to disintegrate Yugoslavia
4 into several smaller states.'
5 "Germany's crucial role in supporting Croatian separatists is
6 confirmed by Anton Duhacek, the former director of Yugoslav
7 counterintelligence, who was himself a Croat.
8 "'The Germans wanted an absolute and complete subordination of
9 Croatian intelligence that would carry out all that the Germans wanted.
10 And the Germans promised that this would be in the interests of the future
11 independent free Croatia.'
12 "On the surface, Yugoslavia seemed better off than its east
13 European neighbours in the 1970s and 1980s. The US considered its
14 independent communist leader, Josip Broz Tito, an asset in the Cold War
15 with Moscow. It Yugoslavia's economy was propped up with western loans
16 even after Tito's death in 1980. The carefully-staged 1984 Olympics in
17 Sarajevo offered the world the impression of a peaceful multi-ethnic
18 country working together. Veteran observers, however, could see trouble
19 below the surface.
20 "'I think the first hint I got of a violent break-up was when I
21 made a tour of all of the republics in 1983 and I heard a lot of sort of
22 separatist sentiments in several of the republics, especially Slovenia and
23 Croatia, but not only, and some very threatening remarks were made in the
24 course of my conversations about what "we" would do to "them" and so on.'
25 "By themselves, neither Slovenia nor Croatia had the diplomatic
1 or military power to actually separate, to challenge Yugoslavia's federal
2 army, which was the fourth largest in Europe. But Germany provided not
3 only diplomatic support but also weapons, even after an international arms
5 "'And I wrote a story about it, which was called The blockade's a
6 Joke, and so I went and started checking the ports like Split and the
7 ports along the Dalmatian coast, and as best I could, checking the stuff
8 that was coming across the borders, and there was no limitation.'
9 "'We saw a Croatian MG-21 shot down in the Krajina, which the
10 Croatians said came from the former Yugoslav air force stocks. In fact,
11 it was clearly from East German air force stocks - it had the East German
12 radar warning receivers on board - so we knew that, that these weapons
13 were coming from the former East German stocks. They were, if you like,
14 slightly disguised in the sense that they didn't look like West German
15 weapons but they are coming from West Germany, obviously with the West
16 German government's blessing. There can be no other way in which heavy
17 weapons can be supplied like this.'.
18 "While separatist forces were being armed, Germany was, at the
19 same time, warning the Yugoslav government of Ante Markovic not to use
20 force against separatists. Ante Markovic, who was himself a Croatian,
21 presided over a divided government which was unable to stand up to German
22 pressure or rally his government for the challenges ahead.
23 "'He never lined up, you know, coalition support; he always flew
24 solo. So, you know, he could be welcomed in the White House, and was, but
25 he didn't have any backing at home. So in that sense, he was a real
1 failure and a disastrous one in that he preserved the fiction that
2 Yugoslavia was holding together.'
3 "The Yugoslavia federal army, which held the country together,
4 now became a target for those who wanted to break it apart. At a Croatian
5 separatist rally in Split in May of 1991, demonstrators strangled a young
6 soldier of the federal army and then tossed his dead body onto the street.
7 This and similar events seemed to bear out predictions by the US Central
8 Intelligence Agency.
9 "'The CIA said in 1990, October, that Yugoslavia faced break-up,
10 probably violent, as early as six months from the time of the report. And
11 nobody paid any attention to it in the higher echelons of government.'
12 "By June of 1991, however, US Secretary of State James Baker
13 decided to make one attempt to prevent a disaster. He flew to Belgrade,
14 the capital of Yugoslavia, to confront leaders of the six republics.
15 "'He said, Don't any of you take steps that are not agreed on by
16 the others.'
17 "However, Milan Kucan and Franjo Tudjman, leaders of the Slovenia
18 and Croatian republics, were confident that they could ignore the US
19 Secretary of State. They declared their independence just days later, on
20 June 25th. Because they could count on the support of German Foreign
21 Minister Genscher and Austrian Foreign Minister Alojz Mock.
22 The cycle of violence which would destroy Yugoslavia began when
23 Slovene President Milan Kucan ordered his troops to seize customs posts on
24 the Yugoslav borders with Austria and Italy and the Slovene capital of
25 Ljubljana. Yugoslav flags were taken down and replaced with Slovenian
2 "'And the Slovenes thought they had a right to take down those
3 flags. The end of an internationally recognised friendship. And I don't
4 think that for a moment Belgrade expected there would be violent
6 "To avoid violence, Yugoslav army General Andreja Raseta had
7 phoned Milan Kucan privately to let him know that many Yugoslav army
8 troops, responding to this challenge of federal authority, were not even
9 carrying live ammunition.
10 "'But in fact, the Slovenes had prepared themselves. They were
11 getting a lot of encouragement from across the way, from Vienna and from
12 Germans too, and they foresaw that they could make a very big
13 international case by having what they called a war of independence. It
14 was nothing of the sort.'
15 "German Foreign Minister Hans Dietrich Genscher flew to the
16 Austrian border with Yugoslavia to join President Kucan and warned the
17 federal army against efforts to maintain control of federal borders.
18 Kucan ordered his forces to fire on Yugoslavia army troops, including
19 those who carried no live ammunition. Faced with international opposition
20 led by Germany, Yugoslav President Markovic ordered the federal army to
21 withdraw from Slovenia without a serious attempt to counter separatist
22 forces. Slovene leaders conducted a masterful public relations effort.
23 Foreign reporters with kept occupied in an underground press centre with
24 briefings that suggested that Slovene forces had defeated the fourth
25 largest army in Europe. Journalists in the press centre routinely
1 reported as news fanciful briefings from Slovene officials on various
2 battles, including some that had never happened.
3 "'What was going on in Slovenia, where the Slovenians declared
4 independence and set up customs posts on the road, tended to be seen and
5 portrayed on television as the Yugoslav army acting aggressively against
6 Slovenia as opposed to the Slovenians declaring independence.'
7 "The manipulation of the foreign press corps set the tone for new
8 wars of secession in Croatia and Bosnia. Repeatedly the JNA was described
9 as an occupying force dominated by Serbs. The reality was different,
10 however. The army's Chief of Staff, Veljko Kadijevic, was half Croatian,
11 half Serb. Air force chief Zvonko Jurjevic was Croatian, and the
12 commander of the navy, Stane Brovet, was Slovenian.
13 "'The federal army had held Yugoslavia together under Tito
14 without creating any protests about human rights. Tito insisted on an
15 ethnic balance and, in the localities, it was composed of the people of
16 that area. It was absurd to call it an army of occupation. And we should
17 have - we the West - should have recognised that until there was an agreed
18 arrangement for a dissolution of a state which had been Yugoslavia and
19 which might take years or decades or perhaps be impossible, until then it
20 had to be recognised that these were internationally recognised
22 "If German and Austrian leaders still believed that Slovenia and
23 Croatia could be separated from Yugoslavia without a wider war, the
24 Americans strongly believed otherwise.
25 "'Because we said if Yugoslavia does not break up peacefully,
1 there's going to be one hell of a civil war. It nevertheless broke up
2 non-peacefully. It broke up through the unilateral declaration of
3 independence by Slovenia and Croatia and the seizing of these two
4 countries, republics, of their border posts which was an act of force and
5 which was an act that was in violation of the Helsinki principles. But
6 the European powers, and the United States ultimately, recognised Slovenia
7 and then Croatia and then Bosnia as independent countries and admitted
8 them to the United Nations. The real problem was that there was a
9 unilateral declaration of independence and a use of force to gain that
10 independence rather than a peaceful negotiation of independence which is
11 the way it should have happened.'
12 "While most of Europe, including England, France, and Russia,
13 opposed the break-up of Yugoslavia, only the Americans were strong enough
14 to oppose Germany. In a decision that would have far-reaching
15 consequences, however, the Americans decided to back away from this
16 challenge. George Kenney, who would later resign in protest over policy,
17 was running the US State Department's Yugoslavia desk at the time.
18 "'Our marching orders were to keep the US out, to avoid taking
19 any responsibility for a solution to the conflict. The analysts could see
20 that the problem would get a lost worse. They also saw that the Europeans
21 weren't going to be able to handle it.'
22 "Historically, the United States had supported a multi-ethnic
23 Yugoslavia over a seventy-year period to stabilise the region and serve as
24 a barrier to German expansion. In reality, Yugoslavia, a union the south
25 Slavic peoples, would never have come together in 1918 without American
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 483 to 486.
1 support from US President Woodrow Wilson. For centuries, the region had
2 been colonised by Austro-Hungary in the Turkish Ottoman empire. The
3 Austrians, under the Habsburg Monarchy, used a policy of divide-and-rule
4 to maintain control, keeping the Slovenes, Croatians, Serbs and Muslims at
5 each other's throats instead of uniting them in their common interests.
6 "'The Habsburg empire kept going and held down a large of what we
7 came to call Yugoslavia and there was no possibility of a Slav
8 get-together until after the First World War when the Austro-Hungary
9 Empire collapsed and the peoples came together and decided to unite.'
10 "With American support, Yugoslavia was founded in 1918 and
11 survived German attempts to divide it up during World War II. When
12 Yugoslavia's communist leader Josip Broz Tito broke away from the Soviet
13 Union and the Eastern Bloc in 1948, the US stepped in with
14 military assistance as well as international until loans to prop up a
15 buffer state between the West and the communist-dominated Warsaw Pact. As
16 the Cold War came to an end, however, Washington declared a new world
17 order which emphasised economic competition rather than anti-communism.
18 "'So once that containment of the Soviet Union began to disappear
19 as a need with the decline in after mid-'80s, Gorbachev's reforms, the
20 NATO Warsaw Pact, talks about reducing arms and force build-up, all of
21 that led up to Yugoslavia being essentially irrelevant in its defence
22 posture. And by early 1989, the Americans were really quite explicit.
23 The ambassador, new ambassador to Yugoslavia from the United States,
24 informed the Yugoslav government that the US position was no longer
25 needed, that it was no longer did -- Yugoslavia was no longer
1 strategically important to the United States and Western defence.'
2 "Yugoslavia had become expendable. International loans were
3 called in, causing triple-digit inflation. The Federal Government was
4 forced to acquire austerity measures from the different republics.
5 "'Particularly those requirements that led Slovenia as a republic
6 and eventually and other republics to rebel against what was being called
7 economic reform in the constitutional level.'
8 "Any American efforts to preserve Yugoslavia would also put
9 Washington and on a collision course with Germany when German leaders
10 were enjoying their first taste of real political power since World War
11 II. Moreover, US President George Bush had declared a special
12 relationship with Germany, the kind America used to have with England.
13 "'The United States thought that Germany would have to be largely
14 responsible for the incorporation of Eastern Europe and Central Europe
15 into the West because Germany had a national interest. It was its
16 neighbour, its periphery, and it was financially the most powerful country
17 in Europe and had the resources to do it.'
18 "'In the post-Cold War period, Germany wanted once again, the
19 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 via the European community, now
23 the European Union, and potentially eventually in the former lands -- in
24 the lands of the former Soviet Union. The problem was that there was one
25 very important country standing in the way of this, and that was
2 "While citizens of Croatia were initially divided over whether
3 to remain in Yugoslavia, the separatists were led by the most extreme
4 elements, remnants of the pro-Nazi Ustasha.
5 As the New York Times columnist A.M. Rosenthal would write, 'In
6 World War II, Hitler had no executioners more willing, no ally more
7 passionate, than the fascists of Croatia. They are returning from 50
8 years ago from what should have been their eternal grave, the defeat of
9 Nazi Germany.'
10 "Adolf Hitler considered Yugoslavia to be an artificial creation
11 of the hated Versailles Treaty which ended World War I. To break it up,
12 he set up a puppet state and enlarged Croatia, which also included
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As its leader, he appointed the fanatical Croat
14 Ustasha Ante Pavlic. Pavlic had helped plot the assassination of King
15 Aleksandar, Yugoslavia's first constitutional monarch, in Marseille,
16 France, in 1934.
17 "And it was the Germans, the German Nazis who picked up this
18 dreadful Ustasha leader who had made quite clear that he favoured Hitler's
19 solution to be applied, which -- Hitler's final solution to the Jews to be
20 applied to the Serbs. He made no secret of it.
21 "Simon Wiesenthal, who tracked Ustasha fugitives for decades,
22 along with other Nazi war criminals, told an interviewer, 'I must admit I
23 am obsessed by the criminal character of the independent State of
24 Croatia. Even the Germans were appalled by the crimes committed in it'
25 "How many men, women and children died there? Hitler's special
1 envoy to the Balkans, Herman Neubaher, wrote: 'Leaders of the Ustasha
2 boast that they have slaughtered 1 million Orthodox Serbs. On the basis
3 of official German reports, I estimate the number to be three-quarters of
4 a million.'
5 "Most of these Serbian civilians perished in the notorious
6 Croatian camp Jasenovac, which straddled the Sava River between Croatia
7 and Bosnia. The extermination of Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies in Sarajevo
8 was the task of top Muslim leaders who, with few exceptions, collaborated
9 with Hitler and the Croatians.'
10 "There was in occupied Bosnia, also under German patronage, a
11 strong Muslim wing which was very anti-western. It was represented
12 internationally by the Mufti of Jerusalem, who heard of his viciously
13 anti-western views, and he was brought to Sarajevo and mobbed by
14 enthusiastic crowds.'
15 "After the war ended, Croatia and Bosnia were never de-Nazified.
16 Not only were there no apologies to the Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, but
17 attitudes remained were frozen under the surface of Tito's policy of
18 socialist fraternity amongst peoples. Following the death of Yugoslavia's
19 longtime leader Tito in 1980, right-wing emigre organisations took out an
20 advertisement on the opinion page of the New York Times stating that
21 Yugoslavia would not survive and offering a map which included all of
22 Bosnia as part of Croatia. It was a map nearly identical to the
23 Nazi-created independent State of Croatia.'
24 "By 1990, as communism was collapsing in Eastern Europe,
25 Croatian separatists pinned their hopes on a former communist General
1 named Franjo Tudjman who had been gaoled for excessive nationalism by Tito
2 in the 1970s.'
3 "'You know, I met him very soon after he came out of communist
4 gaol, while Tito was still alive. He had then championed the racialist
5 form of nationalism, and when he came out of prison, instead of doing what
6 you would think a dissident would do and say, 'To hell with the
7 communists,' he said, 'Oh, it had nothing to do with the regime, it's
8 those horrible Serbs who are oppressing us and the Serbs are responsible
9 for everything and the Serbs are guilty and the Serbs have done it all.'
10 "Tudjman received important help from outside of Croatia in his
11 rise to power.
12 "'The German secret service was enormously active in Croatia and
13 in all of Yugoslavia trying in the'80s to build bridges between what
14 were called the national communists, Stipe Mesic, Franjo Tudjman, in
15 Yugoslavia and the Ustasha revanches organisations which lived in the
16 diaspora of Croatia, that is to say, all of the people of weight and
17 influence who had fled the former Nazi puppet state in 1945.'
18 "'Tudjman found it useful to come to terms with them. And
19 because he was running on this xenophobic platform there was really no
20 difficulty about it. What was difficult when he was trying to sell his
21 cause in the West, and he managed to partly because he had a very good
22 lobby, very effective and much more effective than the Serbian lobby, and
23 partly because he covered up his intentions.'
24 "Tudjman often embarrassed his most important supporters such as
25 German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. For instance, Tudjman had written a book
1 minimising the crimes of the Ustasha and claiming that the Holocaust was
2 greatly exaggerated. 'Thank God my wife is neither a Serb nor a Jew,' he
3 told one interviewer. For the national flag, Tudjman chose a replica of
4 the checkerboard emblem that flew over the Croatian death camps of World
5 War II where Jews, Serbs, and Gypsies were exterminated.
6 "Tudjman's anti-semitic views were covered beneath rhetoric
7 acceptable to the West. With the help of Ruder and Finn, a high-powered
8 American public relations firm, the New York Times found space for General
9 Tudjman's new and misleading image on its opinion page. In the article,
10 Tudjman promised that there would be no purges against the Serbian
11 population in Croatia if it separated from Yugoslavia.
12 "'Tudjman declared that Croatia was for the Croats. That was his
13 slogan, a racialist slogan, "Croatia for Croats," with the implication
14 people who weren't Croats, and there was a very substantial Serb and
15 Yugoslav mixed variety, didn't feel that they had any -- they were, in
16 fact, second-class citizens and he recognised them as such.'
17 "A full section months before fighting broke out, Serbs were
18 purged from positions in government, news organisations and the police.
19 Their homes were dynamited in cities such as Zagreb, Zadar, and Borovnik.
20 For the first time since World War II, Serbs in Eastern Croatia began to
21 flee across the Danube River.
22 "'Serbs working in Croatian cities were required to sign loyalty
23 oaths. Those who did not sign were fired. Those who did sign were fired
24 -- fired later. Serb homes, apartments, and businesses were attacked.'
25 "'[Text subtitled]'
1 "Any doubt that Tudjman himself issued orders for the expulsion
2 of Serbs in Croatia was removed by Tomislav Mercep, a senior member of
3 Tudjman's ruling party the HDZ. Mercep would later be identified by
4 Croatian police reports as one of two Croatian leaders who directed death
5 squads that murdered hundreds of Serbian civilians in Eastern Slovenia
6 around Vukovar and Osijek in the fall of 1991.
7 "He received little press coverage in the West, but Mercep was in
8 many ways the spark that set the fire of war in Slavonia, a disputed
9 region in Croatia where the Yugoslav war began. Mercep's co-leader of the
10 Croatian death squads was Branimir Glavas of Osijek. Unlike more discrete
11 members of the ruling HDZ party, Glavas made no secret of his
12 identification with the World War II Croatia Ustasha as he welcomed
13 returning Croatian prisoners of war.
14 "While some French intellectuals were hailing Croatia as part
15 of the new Europe, old and familiar forces were at work. Osijek became
16 a magnet for neo-fascist groups fighting with Glavas. They included
17 British skinheads, German and Austrian neo-fascists and followers of the
18 French extremist Jean Marie Le Pen.
19 "'[Text subtitled]'
20 "The United States, which soon adopted Germany's approach to the
21 Balkans, ignored recent history and offered a simple explanation for the
22 fighting which broke out in the predominantly Serbian region of Croatia
23 which was known as the Krajina.
24 "Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, who spent the
25 early years of the Yugoslav war as the American ambassador to Germany,
1 represented what became the official American view.
2 "'The Serbs started this war. The Serbs are the original cause
3 of the war.'
4 "Those who tried to prevent the war saw it differently.
5 "'The Serbs in Croatia, and indeed outside Croatia, had a very
6 vivid memory of what happened in 1941, 1942 when Hitler declared Croatia
7 as an independent puppet state, if you like, and the horrors that went on
8 there and the murders of the Serbs were still -- I mean, a very large
9 number of Serbs were murdered at that time. I mean, hundreds of
10 thousands. And I think it was very understandable that when Croatia
11 declared its independence and promulgated a new Constitution without any
12 safeguard for the 600.000 Serbs who still lived in Croatia, that the
13 Croatian -- the Serbs were very perturbed about this.'
14 "From the beginning, the Serbs were blamed and they were partly
15 blamed out of ignorance because nobody bothered to look back at the
16 history to put it within its historical context and to see why the Serbs
17 who lived in Krajina and the Serbs who lived in the area that is called
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, why, because of their historical experiences, were so
19 hostile to being under Zagreb or under Muslim Sarajevo rule.'
20 "... deteriorated greatly by 1989, symbolised by the stormy
21 relationship between Slobodan Milosevic, the new leader of Serbia, and
22 Warren Zimmermann, the new US ambassador to Yugoslavia.
23 "'I think Warren came out of Vienna from his last post as an
24 ambassador dealing mainly with human rights, and his first action as
25 ambassador was to go to Kosovo and embrace the Kosovo separatist leaders
1 and this automatically offended the relatively new Serbian leadership
2 under Slobodan Milosevic.'
3 "By the late 1980s, ethnic unrest in Kosovo had already set the
4 stage for the break-up of Yugoslavia. For Serbs who first inhabited the
5 area in the seventh century, AD, Kosovo was the cradle of their
6 civilisation, their Jerusalem, and home to their most revered monasteries.
7 "'A bit of history unfortunately is required here. The Albanians
8 pushed Serbs out in the nineteenth century. The Serbs started pushing
9 Albanians out around 1904, the Albanians surged back, in World War II,
10 under Italian protection and pushed Serbs out.'
11 "When the war ended, however, Marshal Tito decided to keep the
12 Serbian refugees from returning to their homes in Kosovo. As a result,
13 Serbs lost their majority in the province.
14 "'Tito's very guilty of that particular drama of Kosovo. He made
15 it much harder to solve, in fact, almost impossible.'
16 "To keep the rest of Albanian population within the Yugoslav
17 federation, Tito's 1974 Constitution gave Kosovo autonomy as a province of
18 Serbia. However, the autonomy was badly abused by Tito's Albanian
19 communist cadres who permitted a campaign of violence to drive out the
20 remaining Serbian population.
21 "'Life was made extremely difficult for the Serb minority and it
22 was here that the Kosovars began to push to have a pure all-Albanian,
23 meaning racially pure, Kosovo in the areas where there were very few Serbs
24 anyhow. They were pushing them out, and the Serbs used the word that it
25 was ethnic cleansing and that's what it was.'
1 "Homes of Serbs were appropriated by Albanians. Orthodox
2 Christian cemeteries and monasteries were desecrated. By the late 1980s,
3 the Serbian population of Kosovo had gone from 50 per cent at the start of
4 World War II to just 10 per cent.
5 "Shunned meetings with the American ambassador, separatist
6 leaders were receiving a sympathetic ear from Warren Zimmermann. The
7 American ambassador and his boss, Assistant Secretary of State Lawrence
8 Eagleburger, largely ignored the provocations of separatists in Slovenia
9 and Croatia, who were backed by Germany and focused solely on the Serbs.
10 "'The two of them adopted a stance that was, from day one,
11 blaming the Serbs for just about everything. Serbs were the target of all
12 of the actions of the United States of America from the beginning.'
13 "So did American news organisations, whose foreign correspondents
14 relied heavily on the US embassy for their reporting. Slobodan Milosevic
15 served to divert attention from the role of Western powers in making an
16 avoidable war inevitable. While some Western leaders called Milosevic an
17 architect of the conflict, the first shots of the war had been fired by
18 armed separatists in Slovenia and Croatia, strongly supported by Germany.
19 "In hope of heading off disaster, the European Community
20 organised a constitutional conference in 1991, led by respected British
21 diplomat Lord Peter Carrington, to find a compromise between those who
22 wanted to separate from Yugoslavia and those who wished to keep it
23 together. The problem was that administrative borders, or internal
24 frontiers, devised by Tito in 1943, left one-third of the Serbian
25 population out of Serbia, mostly in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia.
1 "'These frontiers were drawn in a very secretive and very --
2 might be very irresponsible way by Tito's inner cabinet while the war was
3 still going on and they were never subject to a public debate or
4 discussion. They were never endorsed.'
5 "... to the war in 1991. Two referendums were held on the same
6 day in Croatia. Croatians voted overwhelmingly to separate from
7 Yugoslavia while ethnic Serbs, particularly those from the Krajina region,
8 voted by a similar margin to remain within Yugoslavia. A compromise
9 favoured by European Community negotiators would have permitted Croatia to
10 leave the Yugoslav federation but would have permitted the regions where
11 Serbs formed a majority to remain in Yugoslavia or to gain substantial
12 autonomy. Serbs who lived in an independent Croatia would be guaranteed
13 full citizenship and human rights protections.
14 "In the capital city of Zagreb, Croatian President Tudjman seemed
15 reluctantly prepared to accept this compromise, which would have prevented
16 a major military conflict. Germany, however, announced they would
17 recognise both Slovenia and Croatia within Tito's administrative borders
18 before the end of 1991. There would be no compromise.
19 "'The Serbs were bitter that the first act of a newly-united
20 Germany would be to divide the Serbs of Yugoslavia into at least three
21 separate countries. A crucial opportunity to divide Yugoslavia by
22 peaceful means was now threatened by Germany's action.
23 "'It broke up the constitutional conference because once you go
24 throughout the six republics for independence, those two had no further
25 influence on the constitutional conference, but you had to ask the other
1 republics whether they wanted their independence, which meant that you had
2 to ask Bosnia and it was perfectly plain that Bosnia -- that there was
3 going to be a civil war in Bosnia if you did do that.'
4 "UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar sent a strong letter to
5 German leaders, warning that recognition would be a disaster. Germany and
6 Austria's own ambassadors in Belgrade privately warned against recognition
7 of Croatia.
8 "'The Germans risked being isolated, under pressure from the
9 Kohl's party and from the huge lobby, Croat lobby in southern parts of
10 Germany and Bavaria, particularly, were such that it was difficult to go
11 on postponing the support.'
12 "By the time the war started, the German public had already been
13 prepared by the repeated attacks on the Serbs in an influential German
14 newspaper in Frankfurt. The strident commentary of Johann Georg
15 Reismuller, which favoured Croatia and reviled the Serbs, any Serbs, all
16 Serbs, reminded Peter Handke of the way Nazi propaganda minister Josef
17 Goebels once characterised the Jewish race.
18 "'It was the German press in the foreign Par Excellence of the
19 right wing Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and its journalist that
20 fundamentally influenced German policy.'
21 "'Well, I remember talking to the Germans in the Foreign Ministry
22 and they said they didn't call it the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung any
23 more they called it the Zagreb Allgemeine Zeitung. And it had that
24 reputation. And it was a tremendous pressure group, and I think this was
25 a factor.'
1 "German support for Croatian separatists received an unusual
2 tribute; a musical thank you on Croatian state television.
3 "Serbian television broadcast Croatia's musical thank you
4 interspersed with World War II footage of cheering Croatian crowds in
5 Zagreb, welcoming Hitler's troops. Croatia successfully used the media to
6 manipulate a larger audience, particularly Germany and the US, to gain
7 support for its separatist agenda. This was particularly evident in the
8 reporting of the war around the resort town of Dubrovnik, a favourite
9 vacation spot for German tourists. Working through its Washington PR
10 firm, the Croatian government managed to convince much of the world that
11 Dubrovnik was being destroyed by the Serbs in unprovoked attacks which
12 lasted for months during the fall of 1991.
13 "'The public has been led to believe that the federal army attack
14 on Dubrovnik has not precipitated by anything but sheer malice. However,
15 on August 25th of 1991, Croatian forces attacked a base in the Bay of
16 Kotor and -- the Bay of Kotor and they were repulsed, with heavy losses.'
17 "Yugoslav troops based in Montenegro, then fought their way up the
18 coast, confronting Croatian forces near Dubrovnik.
19 "'Targets outside the Old City were hit, consisting mostly of
20 hotels which had been taken over as barracks and spotter points by
21 Croatian forces who also put refugees in the lower stories of their own
22 barracks and spotter facilities.'
23 "'It was obvious that the Croats were using the Old Town as a
24 defensive wall. They were firing from behind hospitals. They had a
25 mortar position next to our hotel. The final straw for me was when there
1 was this incredible bombardment in our hotel basement: bang, bang, bang,
2 bang, bang. The worst we have ever heard. And I was furious and everyone
3 else was panicking. And I said to the manager who was down there with us,
4 I said, I wish you would tell that chap with the heavy machine-gun that
5 we're about to stop firing at the Serbs, because they're going to fire
7 "Contrary to news reports, there was little damage to the historic
8 Old City.
9 "'Yes, it has been reported some 15.000 shells rained on the Old
10 City of Dubrovnik. I counted 15 mortar hits on the main street. The
11 Yugoslav federal army could have destroyed the Old City of Dubrovnik in
12 two hours. It is not destroyed.'
13 "Washington Post reporter Peter Maas, who visited the Old City
14 several months after the fighting stopped, found Dubrovnik in what he
15 described as nearly pristine condition.
16 "'There are many people who go to these scenes of mayhem and
17 adventure who don't know where they are. Who don't know the languages,
18 cannot really communicate with the people, and who take press handouts
19 from the local authorities. So there is certainly an orchestrated effort
20 on the part of the Croatian and the Slovenian, Austrian and German media
21 to portray the Serbs as a bunch of howling, Byzantine, uncivilised
23 "The facts on the ground, however, mattered little after first
24 impressions had been made. Rather than admit that they had made a
25 mistake, influential columnists on both sides of the Atlantic continued to
1 write that Dubrovnik had been destroyed. Public opinion was tilted
2 against the Serbs and towards Croatia's political goal, recognition as an
3 independent state.
4 "These impressions helped strengthen Germany's resolve to lead a
5 reluctant European Community to recognise the separatist republics and
6 thereby dismantle Yugoslavia. To overcome British opposition to
7 recognising Croatia, German Prime Minister Helmut Kohl offered British
8 leader John Major a deal which left Britain free to disregard or opt out
9 of the social provisions of the 1991 treaty creating a unified Europe
10 which was being hotly debated in the British parliament. This helped John
11 Major politically at home but Bosnia would pay a high price.
12 "The French, who needed German help to stabilise France's
13 currency, also dropped their opposition to recognising the separatist
14 republics. The United States, the only power strong enough to oppose
15 Germany, began to waiver. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger,
16 who had once served as US ambassador to Yugoslavia and spoke Serbo-Croat,
17 knew well the dangers of a wider war if recognition were extended before a
18 settlement had been reached between the different ethnic groups.
19 "'I think the major lesson here is when you got involved in
20 something like this with a thousand years of history underlying it all,
21 you need to understand that once the dam breaks, the viciousness can be
22 pretty awful on all sides.'
23 "In the end, here also, peace would be sacrificed for domestic
24 politics. There was an American election coming up.
25 "'When we finally went ahead and recognised, one of the reasons
1 we did so is because it had become a major domestic political issue for us
2 here. We have particularly a large Croatian-American community and Mr.
3 Bush lost most of them in the 19 -- in the election that he lost because
4 they were unhappy with our having delayed as long as we did in recognising
6 "While German actions encouraged the armed secession of Slovenia
7 and Croatia, it was US diplomacy, particularly through Ambassador Warren
8 Zimmermann, which helped light the spark for a war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 by supporting Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic in his bid for a separate
11 "'And then we were the ones that went to the Europeans and
12 insisted that the -- that they recognise Bosnia and that we would
13 recognise all three of the new states and that was the deal that was made,
14 and of course it was precisely that that led to the current war.'
15 "This was a war that European leaders believe could have been
17 "'The Bosnian Serbs, until comparatively recently, have been in
18 the majority in Bosnia and then the Muslims, who had a very much higher
19 birth rate than the Serbs, became the predominant -- the majority
20 population. And this, of course, was something very hard for the Serbs to
21 swallow. And they made it abundantly plain very early on that they were
22 not prepared to accept a situation in which there was an independent
23 Bosnia under the Constitution which then prevailed. And indeed, under the
24 Constitution which then prevailed, it was not -- it was illegal for
25 Izetbegovic to declare independence because any constitutional change of
1 that magnitude had to be agreed by all three parties.'
2 "Privately, European leaders worried about Izetbegovic's close
3 ties to Iran and the possibility of a Muslim fundamentalist state in the
4 heart of a newly-unified Europe.
5 "'Izetbegovic himself had ties to the Iranians going back long
6 before they came to power in Bosnia; really beginning not too long after
7 the Iranian revolution came to power in 1979.'
8 "... the negotiations and an agreement was ready for signing that
9 specifically guaranteed that Bosnia would remain a unitary republic which
10 would be given equal status to Serbia within a revamped Yugoslavia.
11 Izetbegovic seemed to indicate his acceptance but then abruptly broke off
12 negotiations aimed at preventing a war.
13 "'Izetbegovic did what Zulfikarpasic calls a stab in the back
14 because he went on television without telling Zulfikarpasic he was going
15 to do this and accused Zulfikarpasic and the Serbs those who negotiated
16 this deal of selling out as traitors to Bosnia, and this, you know, was a
17 terribly dangerous thing to do in '91 and should have put everybody on
18 warning against the kind of peace-loving multi-ethnic et cetera, et cetera
19 that he and his followers were always giving toward Western journalists
20 and Western politicians.'
21 "In his book The Politics of Diplomacy, then Secretary of State
22 James Baker wrote that Ambassador Zimmermann strongly advised him to
23 recognise Bosnia. Recognition of Bosnia, however, violated the most basic
24 diplomatic norms. For a government to be recognised, it must be in full
25 control of its territory, it must have clearly-established borders. It
1 must also have a stable population. Not a single one of these essential
2 conditions existed in Bosnia in February of 1992 when Zimmermann made his
3 recommendation. US intelligence analysts predicted that recognition would
4 lead to war. Even the Germans thought that recognition of Bosnia would be
5 a serious mistake.
6 "'We did have some different opinions in early 1992. As the
7 Americans supported the recognition of Bosnia whereas we, the Europeans,
8 believed that we should first establish a framework for the whole region.'
9 "'Basically the policy-makers ignored the analysts and by -- by
10 late January, early February, US policy had come around to the view that
11 we would recognise Bosnia and we wanted the Europeans to recognise Bosnia
12 along with us. So from mid-February on we were pushing the Europeans hard
13 to recognise Bosnia and we were thinking about how we would do that and
14 have the US recognise Croatia and Slovenia at the same time.'
15 "With American support, recognition of a separate Bosnian state
16 was now inevitable. Lord Carrington tried to avert disaster by applying
17 Portuguese President Jose Cutilliero to find common ground among the
18 Serbs, Muslims and Croats before an independent Bosnia was recognised.
19 "'I asked him to go to Sarajevo and to Lisbon and to have talks
20 with the three parties in Bosnia to see whether or not some agreement
21 could come, could be reached with a unitary state. I mean, an independent
22 Bosnian state but in some sort of federal idea where you have got the
23 three communities to agree.'
24 "The Bosnian Serbs, Croats, and Muslims all signed the pact, known
25 as the Lisbon Agreement, on March 18, 1992. This set up a central
1 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina and three ethnic cantons on the model of
3 "'It was the last chance, I think, of trying to preserve Bosnia
4 before the war broke out in earnest.'
5 "If the Lisbon plan had been adopted British author and BBC
6 journalist Misha Glenny wrote later, the war in Bosnia probably would not
7 have happened. But two days after signing it, following a meeting with
8 American Ambassador Warren Zimmermann, Izetbegovic changed his mind and
9 disavowed his signature.
10 "'Izetbegovic turned around and reneged, as he's reneged on other
12 "Zimmermann later acknowledged to David Binder of the New York
13 Times that Izetbegovic had reluctantly signed the agreement to gain
14 European recognition. More than a year after the bloodshed began in
15 Bosnia, Zimmermann also admitted that the Lisbon plan was not bad at all
16 but recalls telling Izetbegovic, If you don't like it, why sign it?
17 "'Zimmermann told Izetbegovic, Look, why don't you wait and see
18 what the US can do for you, meaning we'll recognise you and then help you
19 out...'" --
20 JUDGE MAY: Right. It's 1.00. Let the tape stop.
21 Mr. Milosevic, you lost ten minutes during the adjournment. You
22 can have that ten minutes now. You can either address us if you wish or
23 you can go on playing the tape, whichever you wish.
24 THE ACCUSED: I would like to continue the tape which is -- which
25 is quite -- about to be ended. But it was not ten minutes, it was 20
1 minutes, Mr. May, 20 minutes.
2 JUDGE MAY: We won't argue about this. You've got ten minutes
3 now. Do you want to go on playing the tape or do you want to address us?
4 THE ACCUSED: I want to finish the tape and then I will tell
5 something and finish. There is a couple of seconds more.
6 JUDGE MAY: Do not misunderstand us. You have ten minutes.
7 Either you play the tape or you address us. You can try and do both for
8 five minutes, if you like. It's a matter for you what you do.
9 THE ACCUSED: The tape will be finished in couple minutes.
10 JUDGE MAY: Play the tape.
11 [Videotape played]
12 "'This is a major turning point in our diplomatic efforts.'
13 "'The American Administration made it quite clear that they
14 thought the proposal to Cutilliero, my proposals were unacceptable.'
15 "With no agreement amongst the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, and
16 with all sides mobilised for war, the European Community voted, as the US
17 insisted, to recognise Bosnia on April 6th, along with Slovenia and
18 Croatia. This act, Roger Cohen of the New York Times later wrote, was as
19 close to criminal negligence as a diplomatic act can be. Indeed,
20 international recognition and the outbreak of the Bosnian war were
21 simultaneous. The world put light to the fuse."
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As we watch all of this that I tried
23 to show over this brief period of time during these three days, and now as
24 we have been viewing this video which confirms practically literally
25 everything that I have been saying about the Yugoslav crisis, and there
1 are so many more of them, I don't know how those pathetic words uttered by
2 the Prosecutor in this courtroom sound now when he said, no doubt to
3 impress the audience, that what happened in Yugoslavia was not the will of
4 God, the will -- it was the will of this man, and he pointed to me.
5 And as you can see, it was all different and everything shows that
6 the indictment is a false one. If war crimes were carried out over
7 Yugoslavia, what you saw here and what the Yugoslav and world public saw,
8 then those who committed these crimes have to be held accountable. You do
9 not wish to hold them accountable and to call them because you represent
11 However, what came here before the public eye, thanks to this
12 sorrowful trial, put all of those people responsible before a grand jury
13 that consists of the entire public opinion, and they will not be able to
14 evade responsibility for what they did. I am convinced of that because I
15 am convinced that the majority of people are honest people. If I did not
16 believe in that, life would be pointless.
17 I am sure that over these past three days, under such restricted
18 circumstances, what people managed to see in the broadest possible public
19 is, inter alia, that this Tribunal is an instrument that is used for
20 continuing the commission of crimes against my country. I am sure that
21 it cannot remain that way.
22 I said to my son, "It is worth staying in this prison for I don't
23 know how long for only one day of an opportunity to say the truth." Once
24 this truth is heard worldwide, nobody will be able to simply turn it off
25 and nobody will be able to deny it altogether. And as you managed to see
1 over these past three days, the truth is on my side. That is why I feel
2 superior here and that is why I feel to be the moral victor, regardless of
3 their paragraphs, regardless of your intentions that have also become
4 quite clear to all.
5 At least you Englishmen can read The Spectator, the latest issue
6 of The Spectator, and you can see how your prominent people view this
7 trial, the indictments, their joining, and the reasons for which all of
8 those who participated in this did. After all, the public will speak up.
9 They are the jury, because this Tribunal does not have one.
10 I have thus concluded. This was my opening statement, as you said.
11 And when the Prosecutor completes everything that he intends to carry out
12 before this Court in accordance with your rules, I'm then going to present
13 my arguments.
14 I'm sorry that I am not in a position to show this video cassette,
15 too, because that is going to show how photographs were rigged, those that
16 went all around the world and those that caused enormous hatred and fury
17 against the Serbs. Such lies were concocted, and they come from the same
18 kitchen from which the so-called refugee camp on the Yugoslav border was
19 set up. Stankovci it was called. They got 30.000 Albanians from
20 Macedonia there so that they could show them to the media and diplomats on
21 one day. And the next day, when naive diplomats came to see the camp
22 once, it was no longer there because they allowed these people to go home.
23 So it is this kitchen that concocted Stankovci and barbed wires and Racak
24 and Markale in Bosnia and all sorts of deception and deceits that were
25 used in the media war in order to proclaim the Serbs the villains. After
1 all, we did not manage to see this tape, although you have the best
2 possible technical equipment here.
3 So this has been a pretext for lies that was used in order to
4 commit a crime over my country and criminals will be held responsible for
5 this crime. I am convinced of that.
6 I have thus concluded.
7 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for an hour and a half and sit
8 again at 2.40.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.10 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.40 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: The first witness is Mahmut Bakalli. He's, I think,
4 outside and is in a position to take the solemn declaration, which I think
5 he will do in the Albanian language.
6 JUDGE MAY: Before you begin, we've seen the summaries, for which
7 we're grateful. They have been given to us in good time.
8 Paragraphs 17 to 20 -- I understand both the accused and the
9 amici, I should say, have had the summaries. Paragraph 17 to 20 described
10 as a final statement seems to consist of entirely his political views
11 about the present situation and is, therefore, irrelevant. Subject to
12 that, we'll hear him give his evidence.
13 MR. NICE: May he be brought in, then, please.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the solemn declaration.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth.
18 JUDGE MAY: What does the solemn declaration say? That did not
19 sound right.
20 MR. NICE: I haven't got the English version with me at the
21 moment, but it may be --
22 JUDGE MAY: Could you read what's on the form, please. Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, if you would like to take a seat.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 WITNESS: MAHMUT BAKALLI
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 Examined by Mr. Nice:
5 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, your full name.
6 A. My name is Mahmut Bakalli.
7 Q. Mr. Bakalli, are you presently a member of the Kosovo parliament?
8 A. Yes, I am.
9 Q. A few years ago, just yes or no, did you have some meetings with
10 the accused?
11 A. Yes, in the spring of 1998, I met the accused twice.
12 Q. Now, I'm going to come back to that, and we're going to focus on
13 that in due course. Let's now go back to the beginning and have a little
15 By training what were you? What are you?
16 A. I am an independent intellectual in Kosovo presently, and I'm a
17 member of the parliament in Kosova.
18 Q. Let's go back. I want to go back 10, 20, 30 years. What did
19 you study, and what did you have as a basic occupation, before we come to
20 politics and your life in politics?
21 A. I studied political science in Belgrade. There, I finished my
22 magastudium and then worked as a professor at the University of Pristina
23 in the field of sociology. And then I was chosen in 1971 as chairman of
24 the provincial committee to represent Kosova and was a member of the
25 Presidency of the Communist League of Yugoslavia under the rule of Tito.
1 I had several functions up until -- up until 1981.
2 Q. What was the most senior position you held in the Communist
4 A. I was head of the provincial committee of the Communist Party of
5 Yugoslavia for 10 years, and then 11 years was on the board.
6 Q. You say this was up until 1981. What happened in 1981 so that
7 things changed?
8 A. Up until 1981, you mean?
9 Q. Yes. In 1981, what happened? What changes happened to your
11 A. Thereafter, I was politically persecuted by my party and by the
12 government, by the Serb government, in Yugoslavia because we were in
13 conflict amongst ourselves as to the -- an evaluation of several student
14 demonstrations which had taken place in 1981 in Pristina and in Kosova.
15 Q. Were you able to carry on working in and for the Communist party,
16 or did your work for the Communist party then come to an end?
17 A. From 1981 on, I was no longer a member of the Communist Party, a
18 member of the former Communist Party, and was no longer active in issues
19 related to the Communist Party, the Communist League.
20 Q. Were you a free man or were you subject to any restraint?
21 A. After 1981, when I was in a conflict with my own party, I was
22 persecuted and subject to various types of pressure. For two years, I was
23 forced to stay at home under house arrest. Later, they let me work in an
24 institution for scientific research for various projects, and there I
25 worked until -- well, until Milosevic and his policies began and threw all
1 of the Albanians out of their jobs, from their jobs.
2 Q. What year was it that these last events happened or started to
4 A. Could you repeat your question, please?
5 Q. In what year was it that these last events that you've described,
6 Milosevic and his politics, Albanians being thrown out of their jobs?
7 What year was that?
8 A. That was after 1991, after the changes of -- in the Constitution
9 of Kosova.
10 Q. I'm going to interrupt you and stop you there. Had you by this
11 time already started to get involved in politics again?
12 A. No. I began -- from 1981 to 1989, I was passive in politics in
13 order not to interfere with the leadership in Kosova so that it could
14 defend Kosova's constitutional position, and I was active in efforts
15 towards the -- I had been active in the Constitution of 1974 but after
16 Milosevic's speech in Gazimestan, on the occasion of the battle of Kosovo
17 Polje in 1989.
18 Q. In 1989, was it just this speech of the accused at Gazimestan that
19 was of significance, or were there other events in 1989 of significance?
20 A. My activities in politics were related to the position of the
21 accused in his speech in Gazimestan. I saw that there was a dangerous
22 project which would lead to war in Yugoslavia as a whole, and especially
23 in Kosova.
24 Q. I'm going to interrupt you again to try to get things in a
25 chronological order to assist the Chamber. Just yes or no to this: Do
1 you recall an incident at the Assembly in that year involving tanks?
2 Just yes or no.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Were you, yourself, present at that incident or not?
5 A. No, I wasn't, but I did -- I was aware of it.
6 Q. All right. Can you remember what month that incident happened
7 in? And if you can't, don't guess. Or if you can give us the season,
8 give us the season of the year.
9 A. It was in the spring of 1991, I think, when Milosevic started an
10 initiative to change the status, the constitutional status of Kosova and
11 wanted --
12 Q. Let's go back then. If you can't remember the date of the
13 incident I've referred to, let's go back to the Gazimestan speech. Were
14 you present at the speech, or did you hear about it or read about it?
15 A. I heard about it on the television, on Serbian television, and
16 watched it live, the speech. And then I analysed it, read analyses
17 in the newspaper, and read his whole speech in the newspaper. But I
18 wasn't present personally at Gazimestan, and there were no Albanians there
20 Q. You, a Kosovo Albanian with political background, what was the
21 element of that speech that troubled you?
22 A. If my memory is still fresh, I would say that the part of the
23 speech which -- in which Mr. Milosevic said that we tomorrow in
24 Yugoslavia will make war, political war, for the future of Yugoslavia
25 and the possibility of armed conflict cannot be excluded. The whole
1 text, if you analyse it, it seemed to me at the time that it constituted
2 a project for war rather than to solve the problems, rather than a
3 peaceful solution for Yugoslavia.
4 Q. Did you -- just yes or no to this first. Did you react in some
5 way to this speech? Did you do something as a result of this speech?
6 Just yes or no.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And before we come to what you did, were you alone in reacting to
9 this speech -- were you alone among Kosovo Albanians to react to this
10 speech, or did others also react?
11 A. I was not alone. Many other political and intellectual figures
12 in Kosovo reacted too, in Kosova.
13 Q. Let's now deal with your own reaction. What did you do first on
14 hearing this speech and forming the views about it that you did?
15 A. My first step was to write a letter, a public letter, a long
16 public letter to a friend of mine, to an earlier friend of mine, Larry
17 Eagleburger, who had been American ambassador in Belgrade. At that time,
18 he was Under-Secretary of State of the United States of America. I wrote
19 him and told him that it was very dangerous what was happening in
20 Yugoslavia and commented on it and commented on the -- Milosevic's speech
21 in Gazimestan and told him that I was worried that a war could take place.
22 I published the letter in Albanian, in the newspaper "Skandija" [phoen]
23 in Pristina, and at the same time in the Zagreb newspaper "Vjesnik".
24 Q. Were you the only person to publish an article of that sort or
25 did others publish such articles?.
1 A. As far as I remember, there were others in Kosova who reacted
2 publicly towards the -- Milosevic's speech in Gazimestan and to his --
3 towards the other measures he took after this speech.
4 Q. The two other measures he took after this speech, what are you
5 referring to?
6 A. Well, the first main step was his initiative to change the
7 constitutional status of Kosova as a constituent part of the federation
8 and -- so that Kosova would be ruled totally by Serbia. He took this
9 initiative in contradiction to the will of the Albanian -- the Kosovo
10 people and the Kosovo parliament and changed the Constitution in an
11 illegal manner and in an illegitimate fashion and, as such, totally
12 changed the position of Kosova and put it under Serbian rule.
13 After that, that -- I mean, after the change of the Constitution
14 in Kosova, for the Albanian people there was a situation of apartheid
15 which reigned. Or rather, in every walk of life there was apartheid.
16 People were thrown out of their jobs. They were thrown out of the
17 government offices. They were thrown out of cultural affairs, out of
18 education, and in general out of social life. It seems -- it seemed to be
19 an imposed apartheid which is a crime against humanity, it would seem to
21 Q. Just stop there. I just want you to help us with one detail.
22 You've spoken of the changes to the Constitution of Kosovo, and we know
23 that it had something called "semi-autonomous status". Can you explain to
24 the learned Judges, please, just how substantial was the autonomous status
25 of Kosovo, semi-autonomous status? What were the greatest powers that
1 Kosovo had in the earlier Federation of Yugoslavia?
2 A. To put it briefly, under the Constitution of 1974, Kosova had
3 economy of the -- constituted part of the federation and had the same
4 rights as the republics, who were also part of the federation, including
5 the right of veto. All social life, all political life, economic,
6 police, everything was based on the Constitution and the autonomy status.
7 Q. And the --
8 A. And all functions which the other republics had in Yugoslavia were
9 held also by Kosova. There was no -- nothing which was under Serbian
10 jurisdiction. In the preamble of the Constitution, it says that Kosova is
11 a constituent part of the federation and that it's a part of Serbia.
12 Q. And you speak of the veto. At what level, at what government was
13 this a veto that those representing Kosovo could exercise?
14 A. If Kosova was not in agreement with something, with something --
15 a solution at the federal level, then it had the right, like all the
16 other -- like all the republics, to impose its veto to oppose something.
17 And we used our right of veto twice in Kosova, and it was well used,
18 because otherwise it would have been to our detriment.
19 Q. All right. Moving on to the --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before you move on, I'd like to ask the witness
21 Mr. Bakalli a question. You said that the effect of the constitutional
22 change was to impose what you call apartheid on the people of Kosovo.
23 It's not clear what you mean by "apartheid." Are you speaking of
24 apartheid in relation to the rest of the Federation of Yugoslavia, or
25 within Kosova itself? And can you explain exactly how this amounted to
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, we asked them not to
3 bring in constitutional modifications because they would be very negative
4 for us. The Constitution was abrogated. A forced solution was imposed
5 upon us. There were very deep-going changes. I said that we were under
6 an apartheid. It was an apartheid towards the Serb population, the Serb
7 minority in Kosova, and towards the Serbian administration which used the
8 Serbian minority in Kosova and sent their people to administer in Kosova,
9 to rule over the Albanians. It was an apartheid within Serbia.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. I was going to ask you to deal with one particular aspect of what
13 you described as apartheid because it turns up later in your evidence;
14 education. Following these constitutional changes imposed on Kosovo, what
15 were the educational opportunities of Kosovo Albanians?
16 A. The only possibility there was to build up an educational system
17 was for the Albanians to organise a parallel education system, which was
18 not legal and was very poor because people were being educated in homes,
19 in private homes. Most of the teachers and the professors didn't receive
20 any salary at all for the work they did with the pupils and the students.
21 But we were actively involved so as not to let the education system
22 disintegrate totally. It was a parallel system of education in Kosova
23 which we built up.
24 Q. Was there a state system available in some form to Kosovo
25 Albanian children? If there was, why did the Kosovo Albanians choose to
1 establish the parallel system that was operated from private homes?
2 A. Serbia, after the constitutional changes, imposed this system,
3 imposed the Serbian education system. In Kosova, we had our own curricula
4 and programmes which had been approved by the parliament of Kosova, the
5 earlier parliament or, rather, the council of education, the Ministry of
6 Education of Kosova. Serbia refused to accept this. And to get an
7 education under our system, with our curricula, we weren't allowed to in
8 the official school buildings. And as such, we had to educate the
9 children in basements and in private homes.
10 Q. Yes. Would it have been possible for Kosovo Albanian children to
11 be educated in their own language under the state system, for example?
12 A. On -- in the state education system of Serbia, it would have been
13 theoretically possible for Albanian children to be educated, but the
14 Albanians refused to do this, to take part in it, because they had their
15 own system, their own teachers and professors, and they could not accept
16 the education system which was imposed upon them by the administration in
18 Q. Then one other aspect of the system you describe as apartheid
19 that I'd like you to deal with in just a couple more sentences of detail:
20 You spoke of -- you spoke of Kosovo Albanians losing their jobs in
21 various places, government offices and so on. Why were they losing their
22 jobs at this period of time??
23 A. Many Albanians, after the changes, the constitutional changes,
24 lost their jobs because they were forced to sign a declaration of loyalty
25 towards the new constitutional system and towards the Serbian
1 administration and government, and the Albanians refused to do this.
2 Secondly, there were radical changes in the leadership of enterprises and
3 business, according to which the Albanians were thrown out and Serbs
4 replaced them.
5 Q. Were they being thrown out, so far as you could judge, for any
6 good reason?
7 A. Well, the real reason was to bring the people of Kosovo down to
8 their knees. By forcing people to sign a declaration of loyalty to Serbia
9 was a type of moral pressure exerted against the people, and political
10 pressure against those employed. And the Albanians refused to do this
11 because they didn't want to be forced to their knees.
12 Q. You told us about your letter to Lawrence Eagleburger, which was
13 published. Did you carry on publishing expressions of your views?
14 A. Yes, on a regular basis in newspapers, magazines. Not only
15 Albanians -- Albanian newspapers in Kosova, but also in Europe and in some
16 American magazines and in Belgrade newspapers in Serbian, those which were
17 a bit more liberal or, you could say, oppositional. "Nasa Borba" among
18 them, "Vreme" also, "Revi" [phoen] "Nin" and other magazines, newspapers,
19 in Serbian.
20 Q. And in summary, what was the argument you were presenting in
21 these articles? What were the concerns you were expressing?
22 A. In all my publications, my main point of view was the declaration
23 of the Albanian people of Kosova saying that they did not want
24 jurisdiction and Serbian -- Serbian jurisdiction and rule. And the motion
25 of the Albanian part of the parliament of Kosova, which once parliament
1 was broken up, they met. These members assembled in Kacanik secretly and
2 approved a -- the Constitution of the Republic of Kosova. So later, we
3 had a declaration by the Albanian people of Kosova via a referendum in
4 which, to put it briefly, the Albanian people declared that they
5 wanted the independence of Kosova from Serbian jurisdiction. And they
6 wanted a Republic of Kosova which would later begin negotiations on the
7 future fate of Kosova in the framework of a confederation or federation
8 of Yugoslavia.
9 That was my stance in my writing. And as such, I was active
10 publicly in this direction.
11 Q. Let's move on now on the basis that if anybody in the court wants
12 to ask -- I'm going to move on to the time of your meetings with the
13 accused. But over what period of time altogether were you writing
15 A. The whole period from 1981 to up until today.
16 Q. Your meetings with the accused, how did this all first come
17 about? How did it first happen?
18 A. I think there was a bit of preparatory work involved in my first
19 meeting with him. First of all, in my home and at the -- on the 8th of
20 October 1987, three high officers of the state security apparatus of
21 Serbia arrived. We had a talk in my house.
22 Q. Can you give us the names of all three or any one of these
24 A. Present was -- there was one called Gajic, who was head of the
25 security apparatus for Kosova, Serbia state security in Kosova. And then
1 he was an assistant of the head of Serbian state security, Stanisic. And
2 another was a high functionary of the Serbian apparatus. I think he was
3 called Adzic Gagic. And there was another one, an officer, major, I
4 think. I don't remember his last name.
5 They came in order to prepare a meeting between me and their
6 boss, Stanisic, on Stanisic's request. But I used the occasion to tell
7 them what I thought about the repression and the crimes going on by the
8 police and military forces in Kosova. They told me that they had not come
9 to comment on this situation politically or make state comments. They
10 only wanted to arrange a contact with -- between me and Stanisic. I
11 agreed, said that I would be willing to meet Stanisic.
12 Later, two weeks later --
13 Q. We'll come to that second week. Although they weren't concerned
14 or prepared to discuss things in detail, was anything said to you at that
15 first meeting that caused you concern?
16 A. You mean the second meeting with Stanisic himself?
17 Q. No, the first meeting with the state security and the man Gajic.
18 A. Yes. Could you please repeat the question.
19 Q. Was anything said by those men or any one of them at that first
20 meeting that caused you concern, that caused you anxiety?
21 A. Yes, there was. They endeavoured all the time not to comment on
22 the situation, not to comment on the Republic of Kosova, on a peaceful
23 solution through negotiations for the withdrawal of troops and police.
24 But when I mentioned the crimes which had been committed by the police
25 force in Kosova and mentioned a couple of specific incidents, Gajic
1 told -- said to me that this is -- that that's nothing. We have a plan
2 or we've had a plan with a code name "scorched earth" - sprzena zemlja in
3 Serbian - "scorched earth" policy. But they said we suggested this plan
4 not be implemented in Kosova.
5 Gajic said the purpose of this policy would be to destroy
6 700 Albanian populated settlements and to destroy property and to destroy
7 people. I, to tell you the truth, tried to remain calm and simply to
8 reply that this would have been insanity on a large scale; and if such a
9 thing took place, the whole Albanian people would rise to their feet in
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Bakalli --
12 A. And --
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Stop for a minute. When you said that you were
14 told that "We have a plan, a scorched earth plan", who is "we"? Who had
15 the plan? What was your understanding?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood -- what I understood
17 is that it was the plan of Serbia, a plan of Serbia or a plan by
18 Milosevic. But Gajic, as the head of the state security of -- in Kosovo
19 was -- had his reserves about implementing this plan. That was my
20 impression at the time. But it seems that a plan, that such a Draconic
21 plan did exist.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
23 Go ahead, Mr. Nice.
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. I think you already told us that the next development was a
1 couple of weeks later. Tell us about that. Did you have another meeting
2 a couple of weeks later?
3 A. Yes. Two weeks later, an intermediary called me and told me that
4 in Brezovica, which was about 70 kilometres from Pristina, that I would
5 be expected that evening and would be received by Stanisic there, who was
6 Milosevic's state security head. I accepted to go. I was with a friend
7 of mine, and we set off. We were in private cars and were accompanied by
8 representatives of state security. It was in the winter, a very cold
9 icy winter day.
10 Q. The meeting with Stanisic, was he on his own or was he with
11 anybody else?
12 A. In the building which belonged to state security, Serbian state
13 security, there were people. Gajic was there and some of his colleagues,
14 but I was taken up to Mr. Stanisic on the upstairs into a room where we
15 were alone. We had something to eat, had something to drink, and had a
16 conversation which lasted for about two hours.
17 Q. Is Stanisic somebody you knew before, or was this the first time
18 you met him?
19 A. That the first time I had ever met Stanisic.
20 Q. Did he explain to you why he was there and on whose initiative
21 or whose instructions he was there?
22 A. At the very beginning he said, "I have been sent by President
23 Milosevic to talk about a meeting between me and Mr. Milosevic." But as I
24 said, that he would inform Milosevic the next morning in Belgrade about
25 the conversation, he said.
1 Q. How did your two hours of discussions with Stanisic end?
2 A. I don't want to repeat. It was more or less the same ending as
3 two weeks earlier. The problem of Kosova, we had to find a situation, a
4 political negotiations to get out of -- solve the crisis, find a
5 political solution.
6 I appealed to Stanisic that he stop violence and crimes which
7 were being committed, that he withdraw the concentrations of police and
8 army forces and insisted that we begin political negotiations. He said
9 that he would inform Milosevic about everything, but he added that he
10 was -- he asked me if I was willing to meet Milosevic myself, and I said
11 yes. The conversation was very measured, very, very tranquil,
13 After I went down back into the hall where my friend was
14 waiting and the colleagues of Stanisic, among which Gajic were waiting,
15 they asked, "Well, how did things go?" I said, "Yeah. We had a good
16 conversation, a tolerant conversation." And he said, "Well, you had a
17 good talk then, but Mr. Bakalli is a structural nationalist." I don't
18 really -- I didn't know what he meant by "structural nationalist." And I
19 still don't know. I know what a nationalist is, but I don't know what a
20 structural nationalist is.
21 So in front of this group of people that this term was used which
22 I found very strange. He then asked me, "Mr. Bakalli, would you be
23 willing to assume a post in the federation?" I laughed and said that
24 I've had a lot of posts in my life in the federation. That was probably
25 the most characteristic of the conversations with Stanisic. I don't
1 think that he wanted to buy me with this formula he used, "Do you want a
2 post?" I don't think he wanted to keep it for myself -- for himself. I
3 don't think that was his objective. Why say it in front of others? I
4 don't know.
5 Q. This was in the 1997, 1998. When was the next contact that you
6 had of a broadly similar kind?
7 When was the next contact?
8 A. The next contact was with Milosevic.
9 Q. Yes. When was that?
10 A. That was in April of 1998.
11 Q. How did it come about?
12 A. There was an invitation from Mr. Milosevic, and two of his people
13 invited me to come to Belgrade one day. I happened to be in Belgrade on
14 that occasion because there was a delegation from Kosova, which was
15 conducting negotiations with the Ministry of External Affairs of Sweden,
16 between Kosova and Sweden. That evening, I spent the night in Belgrade,
17 and two people took me to the hotel where I was staying, and then from
18 the hotel to the residence of the President, of the president called
19 Beli Dvor.
20 Q. Before we get there, had you notified anybody else of this
21 meeting, anybody in the international community?
22 A. On a mobile telephone when we were going to Belgrade to meet the
23 Swedish Foreign Minister, a friend of mine called me from Pristina and
24 said that two people -- two of Milosevic's people had called and were
25 looking for me and wanted me to meet Milosevic. So when -- so I talked to
1 the Kosovo people with me. Among them was Fehmi Agani, who was later
2 murdered barbarically by Serbian police forces as he was being expelled
3 from the country on train, and they executed him. I talked to him and to
4 a couple of others, and they said, "Why not meet him? It could be good
5 for peace, for solving the issue of Kosova." But did I contact anyone
6 outside? No. I'm quite sure I didn't. I wanted to inform the American
7 Ambassador Miles, but he wasn't at his residence. And I informed the
8 secretary of the ambassador, Nick Hills. He simply requested that after
9 the discussion, that he be informed about the results of the discussion,
10 about what we had talked about.
11 There was no instructive -- instructions from anyone or -- with
12 no one.
13 Q. Let's go to the meeting at Beli Dvor. Were you received by the
15 A. Yes. We were received in the hall. It was a tolerant
16 conversation, I could say. I was given an opportunity to express my
18 Q. And what did you say by way of giving your opinion?
19 A. I don't want to repeat myself, the whole -- but to put it in
20 brief terms, I suggested and insisted that the crimes be stopped which
21 the police and the army were committing in Kosova, that these
22 concentrated forces of the police and the army be withdrawn from Kosova,
23 and that account be taken of the will of the Albanian people for the
24 republic of Kosova with -- outside the jurisdiction of Serbia.
25 Q. When you're speaking of the police --
1 A. And I asked him to be the initiator of political negotiations on
2 these questions. Excuse me. Could I add a little bit? Just a second.
3 I told him, I said to him that the balance of forces at this
4 moment is in favour of Serbia but the balance of forces will not always
5 stay that way. If the Albanians get organised and rise to war, things
6 will change, and the international community will not remain indifferent
7 to the crimes that are being committed in Kosova. I used the -- on that
8 occasion, I used the term -- a term which I know in Serbian "i nad popom
9 ima popa," "Even above a priest, there is another priest." We live in an
10 interconnected world. You can't commit a crime without there being
11 borders, limits imposed on you.
12 It may be interesting to you the fact that we talked about a lot
13 of other things, but one thing is particularly interesting, about the
14 Jashari family in Prekaz. A little earlier, the police force committed a
15 great crime, the Serbian police force there, and killed the whole Jashari
16 family in Prekaz, in the Drenica region. And I said, "You are killing
17 civilians. You're killing women and children as in Prekaz." Milosevic
18 commented, saying, "We are fighting against terrorists." But, look, there
19 were women and children being killed. I was quite surprised when he used
20 the words -- more a police expression than a political expression. He
21 said, "We gave them two hours to get away, to get out of their building."
22 Q. Did he seem to be informed about this event or not, the Jashari --
23 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, definitely. He asked me, "Is it a big family"?
24 "Did I know them"? And actually, I did happen to know them -- I didn't
25 know them, but I knew about the affair. It's a crime against a whole
1 family. If people go to war, okay, you can kill them, but you can't
2 murder a whole family and burn down a whole house.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Bakalli, you have been speaking of the police having
4 committed offences. What police were you identifying to the accused?
5 What police force?
6 A. Actually, I don't really know much about the structure of the
7 police from Serbia which reigned at the time in Kosova, but I imagine that
8 they were special forces, special police forces.
9 It's interesting, if you would allow me.
10 Q. I'm not sure I'm going to allow you because you've only got so
11 much time, but can I ask you another question?
12 What was the accused's reaction to the complaints you were making
13 about the conduct of the police and the Jashari massacre and so on and so
14 forth? What was his reaction to all this?
15 A. Unfortunately, he reacted without showing any emotion or guilt.
16 But I told you the words, the term he used. He said, "But we gave them
17 two hours to get away." He said that.
18 Q. In general, what was the position he adopted in answer to the
19 complaints you were making?
20 A. I said at the start that the conversation had be correct,
21 tolerant. He allowed me to express my opinion. But from time to time in
22 the conversation, there were arrogant reactions on his part. I, for
23 instance, mentioned the crimes that the police had committed, and he
24 talked about terrorism then. I said that it was the state organs of
25 Serbia who were committing these crimes, state terrorism. He was quite
1 upset about that term. And I don't know if that's usual or not, but this
2 certain time he said "koci te malo" in Serbian, which means "Slow down,
3 Mr. Bakalli. Careful. Don't get so upset when you're -- in your
4 description of such crimes."
5 And I mentioned then the case of Ukshin Hoti.
6 Q. Yes. Tell us about Ukshin Hoti, please
7 A. I was very open. There are many prisoners who are being kept
8 illegally in Serbian prisons. There were two friends of mine. I
9 mentioned a case of a university intellectual who was friend of mine, a
10 friend of mine, who was being kept in prison for years, Ukshin Hoti. I
11 mentioned his name. I said, "Ukshin Hoti is in prison
12 for his political views." "But I have the very same political views," I
13 said. He went over that.
14 Ukshin Hoti was executed. But at the time, when he was let out of
15 Dubrava Prison on a Sunday one day, which is unusual because on Sunday
16 they don't do anything in the prisons, but they told him he could go
17 home one day.
18 Q. Have you ever seen him since?
19 A. No. I never saw him, but I know he was seen leaving the prison
20 door, the big door of the prison. And then he was never seen alive
21 again. And even today, they don't know where he landed.
22 Q. Now, one other --
23 A. Or where his body is.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: When did that take place, Mr. Nice? How long
25 after his conversation?
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. Yes. How long after your conversation with the accused did Ukshin
3 Hoti get released, as you understood it?
4 A. I would say a few months later.
5 Q. Now, in this conversation, was anything said about aspects of
6 the -- what you've described as apartheid regime but the problems
7 generally, was anything said about education?
8 A. At the meeting, I said that the education field was not in order,
9 for which Milosevic and Ibrahim Rugova had signed an agreement with the
10 mediation of the Sant'Egidio organisation from the Vatican. But we didn't
11 talk much about it. In my second talk with Milosevic, we talked about it
13 Q. Before we come to the second meeting, the agreement that had
14 been signed with the representative or with the assistance or involvement
15 of the organisation from the Vatican, was this agreement aimed at
16 restoring educational freedoms to Kosovar Albanians? Just yes or no in
18 A. Yes. I think the agreement which was arrived at with the
19 intermediary of Sant'Egidio, was positive to let our pupils and our
20 teachers back in the existing school buildings and to the faculty
21 buildings. And as such, they would have worked parallel with the others.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Bakalli, you've answered the question.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. And the question is: Had that agreement put into force or not?
25 A. No, it was not. It was signed by both sides, but it was never
2 Q. That's probably all we need to know for the time being. How did
3 this first meeting with the accused end in terms of how politely it was
4 conducted and ended and in terms of whether you arranged to have a further
6 A. I can't say that it ended in a particularly conflictual
7 atmosphere, no. We went out and separated quite normally.
8 Q. Was there an arrangement to meet again?
9 A. Yes, there was. Mr. Milosevic proposed that a meeting with
10 Ibrahim Rugova be made and with a delegation and that I should do my best
11 to arrange such a meeting, and I said that I would because my philosophy
12 was to --
13 Q. Well --
14 A. Was to begin negotiations, political negotiations. And so I
15 talked to Ibrahim Rugova later about it.
16 Q. When did the meeting occur, and just tell us, please, the names of
17 the Kosovo Albanian delegation.
18 A. On the 15th of April, in 1998 we met. There was a Kosovo
19 delegation, met with Milosevic in Beli Dvor. At the meeting present was,
20 aside from me, Ibrahim Rugova, Veton Surroi, Senor Agani [phoen], and
21 Pasic Nushi [phoen].
22 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let's try and get the date right.
23 You told us earlier, Mr. Bakalli, that the first meeting you had with the
24 accused was in April.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was May 15.
1 JUDGE MAY: So the second meeting was May the 15th; that's right,
2 is it?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. The -- I had the first
4 meeting in April, whereas on May 15 we had the collective meeting with
6 MR. NICE: Right.
7 Q. Now, at this meeting, was the accused on his own or did he have
8 anybody with him, or can't you remember?
9 A. Only his Chief of Cabinet was there, who took down notes. And at
10 the beginning, there was someone from the Serbian television who recorded,
11 who shot the first moments of the meeting.
12 Q. Now --
13 A. Which was that of a pleasant, tolerant atmosphere.
14 Q. As far as your delegation is concerned, did each member of the
15 delegation have a chance to speak? Just yes or no.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you summarise, please, first what Mr. Rugova said, just in a
19 A. He expressed his thanks and introduced our project, our
20 commitment about the political solution to the Kosovo question under the
21 will of the Albanian people.
22 Q. Then the man Nushi?
23 A. Mr. Nushi, who was the chairman of the Council for Human Rights in
24 Kosova, spoke more about issues relating to respect for fundamental rights
25 of the Albanians of Kosova.
1 Q. And Surroi?
2 A. Surroi, who is -- who was a publisher of a newspaper spoke about
3 the difficulties that the media outlets encountered under the Serbian
4 regime in Kosova. Mr. Milosevic told him, "Okay, you are publishing your
5 newspaper daily, 'Koha Ditore.'" Veton answered, "Yes, but I'm always
6 under police pressure, who often detains my -- invites my journalists, my
7 editors and asks them, interrogates them. One day they came and searched
8 our premises, the secret police, I mean.
9 Q. And finally, after Surroi --
10 A. Fehmi Agan.
11 Q. What did he speak of?
12 A. Agani tried to give arguments and speak openly to Milosevic,
13 telling him that the agreement signed between him and Rugova about the
14 education in Kosovo - and he was -- Agani was directly involved in that
15 issue - he said that this agreement is not being implemented at all
16 because the Serbian side is not honouring its obligations.
17 Q. Before we come to what you said, can you just give us, as it
18 were, a snapshot of -- a quick picture of what life in Kosovo was like at
19 that time? The education agreement was not being honoured, the education
20 agreement was not being honoured, the newspaper publisher said he was
21 under pressure of the type we're referred to, but what human rights were
22 being violated in the way that Nushi complained of?
23 A. He spoke briefly, but he had a lot to say because crimes were
24 being committed against humans. People were detained and imprisoned en
25 masse, and Mr. Nushi had collected some information and had information
1 about all these issues which he openly said to Mr. Milosevic, thinking
2 that he was the main person responsible for the violation of these
3 fundamental human rights of the citizens of Albanian origin in Kosovo.
4 Q. The people being detained and imprisoned, that can sometimes
5 happen quietly and privately or it can happen publicly. What was the
6 position like on the streets of, say, Pristina? Was it peaceful or was
7 it not peaceful at this time in May of 1998?
8 A. More or less calm, I would say, but you should know that at that
9 time, in response to Belgrade regime stand, demonstrations, calm,
10 peaceful demonstrations were staged by the students of Pristina
12 Q. And of course we'll come back to this a little later; the KLA
13 had by now come into existence, had it not?
14 A. Yes, in the form of various armed groups. But the demonstrations,
15 the student demonstrations were suppressed as a result of the great number
16 of police force who imprisoned many of the students.
17 Q. Q. And then finally, you spoke in respect of an earlier
18 people losing their jobs, Kosovo Albanians losing their jobs to Serbs,
19 had that position continued? Were there still Serbs getting jobs and
20 Kosovo Albanians losing jobs?
21 A. Yes, that's right. During all the time about which we are
22 speaking here, nothing changed. I regard this time a period of apartheid.
23 Nothing whatsoever happened in terms of improving the position of the
24 Albanians regarding employment, in education, in health sector, in culture
25 or elsewhere.
1 Q. We've run through the conversations of the other four members of
2 your five-man party. What did you say to the accused?
3 A. In fact, I was the one who spoke longer, probably, but most of it,
4 what I said, was the same that I said to him in the meeting we held one
5 month earlier. I repeated again the same phrase that it is his personal
6 responsibility as the head of state to make sure that crimes against
7 Albanians of Kosovo be stopped and for us to start negotiations to find a
8 solution to the status of Kosova. Also on the basis of the expression of
9 the will of the Albanian people of Kosova.
10 Q. Was anything said by anyone about the possibility of there being
11 a Republic of Kosovo?
12 A. Almost all the members of our delegation, the Albanian ones,
13 referred to the fact that our unchangeable objective and orientation was
14 to have a Republic of Kosovo, but we want this to be solved through
15 negotiations. But Milosevic did not mention -- did not say anything
16 against or in favour of the idea of republic for Kosovo, but he did say
17 that he's willing to -- to start negotiations between the Albanians and
18 the Serbs.
19 Q. How did this meeting end, please?
20 A. In my view, it was in a tolerant atmosphere. Mr. Milosevic was, I
21 would say, a good host of the meeting. He listened attentively. He
22 didn't show any sign of nervous -- nervousness during our meeting, and
23 when we expressed our demands. In fact, he -- I might tell you that at
24 the end of the meeting he took me by surprise when he made a statement
25 saying, "Gentlemen, you should understand that I'm surrounded by
2 Q. That's -- did that make much sense to you, this revelation?
3 A. As I said, I was taken by surprise really, because I think that
4 the chief nationalists and the head of all these acts perpetrated there
5 perpetrated is Milosevic himself. But the way he said it seemed
6 convincing when you listen to it. But afterwards, the deeds, the facts
7 prove the contrary of what he said. So in my view, this is a kind of
8 hypocrisy on his part as dictator, because --
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Now, following this meeting
10 was there another meeting with a delegation appointed by the accused?
11 A. Yes. Milosevic did organise a meeting to start negotiations. On
12 the other hand, Ibrahim Rugova, too, had put up a group of people,
13 moderate people.
14 Q. When did you first learn who was going to be -- who were going to
15 be the members of the delegation on the other side? Did Mr. Milosevic
16 mention this to you in the meeting, or did you only learn about who they
17 were to be afterwards?
18 A. No, no. In that meeting, we just agreed that Mr. Milosevic
19 nominate his own delegation and we our delegation, but we did not discuss
20 concrete names. I was very much surprised when I saw in Pristina the
21 delegation of the Serb side. Excuse me. Mr. Milosevic insisted, in our
22 eyes, for members of the Yugoslav and Serb government to be members of the
23 delegation, but we did not discuss the actual names. But in fact, he
24 appointed people who are -- who were neither willing nor had any wish to
25 start political negotiations. They are not moderate people.
1 Q. Can you tell us who they were, please?
2 A. Yes. Sainovic, who is prosecuted by this Tribunal, a man who was
3 an expert in the deeds that were committed in Kosovo. He was the Deputy
4 Chairman of the Yugoslav government.
5 JUDGE MAY: Just give us the names.
6 MR. NICE: And also the -- I'm so sorry, Your Honour. Also the --
7 A. Professor Markovic, Deputy Head of the Serbian government. And
8 Nikolic, Deputy of Seselj of the Radical Serb Party. Please. It is
9 nonsensical to have such persons be members of a delegation that would
10 conduct negotiations.
11 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just tell us what happened in the
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Was there one meeting or more than one meeting?
15 A. There was only one meeting between the two delegations, and it was
16 entirely unsuccessful because all the members because all the Serb
17 delegation spoke against terrorism and wanted that we issue a joint
18 statement, anti-terrorism, not discuss the political status of Kosova
19 about which we were supposed to discuss.
20 So it was a total failure, I would say. That's why we issued two
21 separate communiques, one as Albanian side and the other as the Serb
22 side. But you should not forget the fact that people who were really
23 moderate people were present in the Albanian delegation. If you allow
24 me --
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] .... we've got to put
1 everything on the record of this trial. We mustn't take things for
3 You've told us, of course, about Mr. Rugova. What had
4 Mr. Rugova's political platform been from first to last so far as Kosovo
5 is concerned?
6 A. Right from the start to the end, I think that Mr. Rugova's
7 platform was one in favour of republic for Kosova outside the
8 jurisdiction of Serbia.
9 Q. And what had his attitude been to achieving that goal, by
10 negotiation or by force?
11 A. Mr. Rugova was, from the beginning to today, a man who was in
12 favour of political negotiations and in favour of finding political
13 solutions to these issues.
14 Q. Did that apply to the other members of your team as well or not?
15 Were you looking for political solutions?
16 A. I think, yes, because we all had a G-15 group in which some
17 intellectuals, academicians, politicians had worked on a platform for
18 future possible negotiations and had come with unified views.
19 Can I say who was in that delegation, in our delegation?
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we need to finish this witness's evidence
21 in chief by the adjournment.
22 MR. NICE: I've got the last paragraph to deal with it.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, just let him say when did this meeting
25 take place. We have a second meeting in May.
1 MR. NICE: Yes.
2 Q. Can you tell us when this third meeting happened?
3 A. The first meeting was at the end of May or beginning of June - I
4 can't remember very well - of 1988. One months, three months -- three
5 weeks after the last talk we had with Mr. Milosevic.
6 Q. And was there any signs of willingness on the Serbian side to
7 negotiate with the Kosovo Albanians?
8 A. No. I think that the Serb side did not have any platform or any
9 willingness to start negotiations but only the platform of war and
11 Q. An entirely separate question now to complete this, that I want
12 you to deal with. The KLA had come into existence. I don't know if you
13 can give us the year for that. We'll find that out from somewhere else.
14 Did you have any involvement yourself, and if so, what in relation to the
16 A. Directly with KLA troops and commanders, I did not have any
17 contacts during the war, or links. I was asked by Mr. Demaci, Adem
18 Demaci, who was political representative of the KLA in Pristina. I was
19 his advisor to give him my ideas, political ideas and views, because he
20 used to keep daily contacts with foreign diplomats. But with KLA troops,
21 I did not have any links, any contacts whatsoever. I --
22 Q. Thank you very much. We can ask further questions about that, if
23 asked, in due course. Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE MAY: That's the evidence in chief?
25 MR. NICE: If I have missed a sentence out and I discover it
1 overnight, and I'll seek leave tomorrow morning, but as far as I can see,
2 I've finished.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Cross-examination in the morning.
4 Mr. Bakalli, we're going to adjourn now. Could you be back,
5 please, tomorrow morning at 9.0 for cross-examination. Could you remember
6 during this adjournment and any others there may be not to speak to
7 anybody about your evidence, and that does include the members of the
8 Prosecution team. 9.00, please, tomorrow morning.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.10 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 19th day
12 of February, 2000 at 9.00 a.m.