1 Wednesday, 25 June 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, am I going to be allowed a
8 little more time, as I requested?
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you can have another hour and three quarters.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I have a large number of
11 documents here, so I'll have to make a selection.
12 WITNESS: MICHAEL CHARLES WILLIAMS [Resumed]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Williams, you said that the situation on the
15 Sarajevo front became much worse in the second half of 1994, and I think
16 you said in that regard -- and you say this in your statement on page 7,
17 paragraph 6, in fact. I'd like to draw your attention to that for it to
18 be easier for you to follow my question. As I said, you say that it
19 worsened visibly, because as you said, the Bosnian Serbs closed the only
20 ground route across Mount Igman, allowing passage only to military
21 transports belonging to the UN. I think that's what you said, words to
22 that effect, Mr. Williams. Is that right?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. All right. Now, my question is this: Why in your statement did
25 you omit to explain why this road across Mount Igman was closed in the
1 first place?
2 A. Well, I think it was closed for a variety of reasons, but the
3 principal reason that I recall was that it -- the road had become
4 increasingly difficult and dangerous to traverse. I would draw your
5 attention, for example, to an incident on July the 27th, when a convoy
6 came under sustained gunfire from Bosnian Serb positions and a British
7 soldier tragically lost his life in that incident.
8 Q. Well, I'm just going to read out something and ask you whether you
9 know about this. It's something that this man wrote, Mr. David Fraser, in
10 fact, in his statement says the following: That in the morning on the 6th
11 of October, 1994 a team of the BH army launched an attack on the camp of
12 Bosnian Serbs on Mount Igman and they left 17 dead behind them. The
13 Muslims passed through the demilitarised zone in order to reach that area.
14 They passed the terrain which the Serbs handed over at a time when an
15 agreement had been reached in February 1994. Now, is that a truthful
16 explanation of what happened or not? And you have this in David Fraser's
18 A. David Fraser's statement is not familiar with -- to me, but I
19 would confirm the incident that you referred to in -- on the 6th of
20 October. In fact, I recall well being in Sarajevo that day with
21 Mr. Akashi, and he went to see President Izetbegovic to protest strongly
22 about the incident which you refer to. I mean, I think you're correct in
23 saying that there was fighting along this road involving the two warring
24 sides, but I have to say to you that fire and harassment of UN convoys
25 came only from one side.
1 Q. All right. So this is correct and not correct at the same time.
2 But let's not waste time on that. There are records about that and facts
4 Now, as you did have this piece of information from the
5 explanation you've just given - I gather you did have information to that
6 effect - did you intentionally fail to explain the entirety of the event,
7 or was that quite simply a bias form of presenting it?
8 JUDGE MAY: Let me just consider this question.
9 What is the bias you're suggesting?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it says that the Serbs cut off
11 the sole road across the ground and that they just let the UN through,
12 whereas no explanation is given why this land route was closed off and in
13 fact that it was closed off precisely because of the event that Mr. Fraser
14 describes, that is to say, a UN officer writing in his own statement about
16 JUDGE MAY: So the question is to the witness: Dr. Williams, you
17 didn't mention this in your statement. Was there any particular reason
18 for that?
19 THE WITNESS: There was no particular reason for it at all, and I
20 would repeat that I think the closure of the road arose from several
21 circumstances. Mr. Milosevic is correct to draw attention to this very
22 serious incident on the 6th of October, but I would repeat, the prime
23 reason for the closure of the road was repeated attacks on UN humanitarian
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I can't quite understand that, because the Serbs closed -- if the
2 Serbs closed off the road, now, why would they close off the road and as
3 you yourself say they let the UN convoys pass through. They were the only
4 ones that were allowed through. They didn't allow anybody else through;
5 that is to say, the Muslim transports at all. And you said that yourself,
6 I believe.
7 JUDGE MAY: Is there anything you think you can add.
8 THE WITNESS: I'm afraid I cannot add anything further to that
9 point, Judge May.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, you made your point. The witness has
11 agreed with what you said, that there was this incident. Now, spending
12 further time on it doesn't really assist.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Fine, Mr. May.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, do you happen to know, Mr. Williams, that the Muslims did not
16 withdraw from that part of the demilitarised zone, not even after protests
17 and meetings that were held with Delic and Divljak and General Michael
18 Rose and the French general, Gobillard, on the 8th of October, 1994. So
19 they held negotiations, these two negotiating sides, the two generals and
20 the others, and not even then did they withdraw. Do you know about that?
21 Just give me a yes or no answer and we can move on.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I hope it's not being challenged that the Muslim forces used
24 the peace agreement of 1994 in order to take up positions in the
25 demilitarised zone itself.
1 A. There were --
2 Q. Which according to agreement was under Serb control and in order
3 to sign the agreement they had passed it over to UN control. So the Serbs
4 handed over the control of this demilitarised zone to the -- to UNPROFOR,
5 and the Muslims used this, took advantage of that, to take control of it
6 and to make something -- score a point for themselves, give themselves the
7 military advantage. Do you know about that? Just say yes or no, please.
8 A. I would agree with you that there were many probing actions and
9 infiltrations of the demilitarised zone by Bosnian government forces.
10 Q. All right, then. Tell me, why are you distorting events and
11 showing them as aggressive acts on one side, on the part of one side,
12 namely the Bosnian Serbs, when your employees and staff deny this in
13 argumentative fashion, according to what I've just read out, and you
14 yourself say that it is indeed correct and true?
15 A. I think because you cannot separate the incidents which you have
16 been describing and the pattern of behaviour that you've alluded to from
17 the fact that this was a city under siege and there is no doubt what were
18 the forces that were besieging the city. You also fail to mention that
19 throughout this period, from October 1994 onwards, the UN was having
20 increasing difficulties in operating the air bridge into Sarajevo airport,
21 and that -- those difficulties arose because of obstacles placed by the
22 Bosnian Serbs and frequent threats to UN aircraft from Bosnian Serb
24 Q. Well, did they shoot down a plane at all, Mr. Williams? Did the
25 Serbs shoot down a plane during the war at all belonging to the UN or
1 anybody else, any other kind of organisation, international one or
2 whatever? Did they shoot down a plane?
3 A. Well, I can tell you of several instances. I can tell you not of
4 planes being shot down, thankfully. But on the 17th of April, 1994, for
5 example, the force commander's plane coming into Sarajevo was directly
6 shot at by Bosnian Serb forces. That was raised immediately with
7 Dr. Karadzic, he did not deny the incident. On the 12th of March, 1995,
8 an aircraft carrying Mr. Akashi into Sarajevo was directly shot at from
9 Bosnian Serb positions, causing one of his bodyguards to be seriously
10 injured. And my recollection is that that officer had to be medevaced to
11 the United States, in fact, such were the nature of his injuries.
12 More often than not the threat was made very, very clear by
13 General Mladic. We had withdrawn our guarantees for safety for UN
14 aircraft. And then Mr. Akashi and the force commander had to make the
15 judgement that it was too dangerous to fly into Sarajevo. I would also
16 point you to the fact that in the latter part of 1994 onwards, especially
17 from October, Serb air defences around Sarajevo were reinforced and
18 adopted a more threatening position to UN aircraft.
19 Q. Mr. Williams, what I asked you was whether they shot down any
20 planes, and you're now explaining all the things that took place and all
21 the incidents. Incidents are possible in war. But as far as I know, not
22 a single plane was shot down, according to my information. Is that right
23 or not?
24 A. I would confirm that not a single plane was shot down.
25 Q. And these Serbs that you call the aggressors and so forth, they
1 were also citizens of Sarajevo and citizens of the surrounding areas who
2 lived there in those areas and in Sarajevo on their own territory, at
3 home. So they weren't -- they weren't, in fact, waging siege against
4 their own city. It was the frontline that was located there, regardless
5 of the fact that of course any shelling was to be denounced. And we did
7 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let's come to a question. The point
8 which is apparently being made is that it wasn't a siege. I don't quite
9 understand it, but maybe you could throw some light on it, Dr. Williams, I
10 don't know. It wasn't a siege; it was local people, I suppose it's being
11 said, defending their own homes, and therefore it couldn't have been a
12 siege. I'm not sure it's a question you can answer. But if you can make
13 any useful comment, please do. If not, just say you can't possibly
15 THE WITNESS: Mr. Milosevic is absolutely correct in saying that
16 many, many Serbs lived on the Bosnian Serb side of the confrontation line.
17 It's also worth pointing out that there were Serbs who lived in Bosnian
18 government controlled parts of the city, and indeed that there was a
19 Bosnian Serb civic council within Sarajevo that frequently made comments
20 and statements, one of which is, I believe, in Exhibit 21 of my --
21 attached to my statements yesterday.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And just let me add, or, rather, ask you, Mr. Williams, were the
24 Serbs able to leave Sarajevo of their own free will, the ones living in
25 Sarajevo, the part of Sarajevo that was under the control of Muslim
1 forces; could they? Were they able to leave if they felt like it?
2 A. Well, I think that's rather -- rather an odd question because it
3 was -- it was very, very difficult for anyone to leave the city of
4 Sarajevo throughout most of the three years from 1992 to the autumn of
6 Q. I'm asking you whether they had the freedom to leave Sarajevo.
7 Were they at liberty to leave Sarajevo, in view of the positions held by
8 the authorities and the Muslim authorities, in fact? Were they free to
9 leave? It's another matter whether it was difficult to leave and whether
10 they could or couldn't, but were they free to leave if they so desired?
11 A. I believe that like most citizens of the city of Sarajevo
12 throughout this period, it was nigh on impossible for them to leave.
13 Q. Well, because the authorities wouldn't permit them to, the Muslim
14 authorities of Sarajevo; isn't that right, Mr. Williams?
15 A. My recollection is that there were restrictions on all citizens in
16 the city of Sarajevo. There were the difficulties that there was
17 virtually no access to and from the city for citizens. I do not recall
18 specific restrictions being imposed upon Serb inhabitants in the city.
19 Q. But you do know, I'm sure, that the Serb military commanders and
20 Serb civilian authorities kept repeating the fact that citizens who wished
21 to leave should be allowed to do so and that they guaranteed them free
22 passage and safety and security; isn't that right?
23 A. I believe there were some statements to that effect, yes.
24 Q. Very well. Now, do you know that General Michael Rose on the 5th
25 of February, 1994 - that is to say, when you were occupying your post, the
1 one you have explained to us - proposed a peace plan for Sarajevo, and as
2 far as my information tells me and as far as I've noted down here, it was
3 composed of four basic elements: A cease-fire; that was under number two,
4 the second point -- that was to come into force on the 10th of February.
5 B was within a radius of 20 kilometres; that is to say, that should be the
6 zone from which all heavy weapons would be withdrawn and placed under UN
7 control. Under C, point C, was that the UN troops should be deployed at
8 key points between the two warring sides; and D, to set up a joint
9 commission composed of the representatives of Serbs, Muslims, and led by
10 the command of the Bosnian sector in order to discuss the details of a
11 peace plan and compile them. Do you know that within the frameworks of
12 that plan collection centres were established for the collection of heavy
13 weaponry and equipment? Are you aware of all that? Do you know about all
15 A. Yes, I am, Mr. Milosevic.
16 Q. And is it also true and correct what Mr. Thomas Roy says in his
17 statement on several occasions, in several parts, because you took
18 constant shelling of Sarajevo in 1994 and 1995, that the peace plan dated
19 back to February 1994, and he emphasises that, that it wielded significant
20 influence on Sarajevo and that the Bosnian Serbs ceased to shell the town
21 and did not continue at the same level and to the same degree as was
22 previously the case. Do you know about that? Did information of that
23 kind reach you?
24 A. Well, I don't have a clue who Thomas Roy is. With regard to the
25 information you ascribe to him, I -- I think you're wrong in summarising
1 my view that there was constant shelling in 1994/1995. In fact, I hope I
2 was careful to say that there was a substantial reduction in shelling
3 following the February 1994 Sarajevo crisis, precisely because a lot of
4 the heavy weaponry was drawn back from the surroundings of the city. This
5 didn't mean to say that it didn't happen from time to time, but it was
6 greatly reduced from February 1994.
7 Q. So you in fact agree with the observation.
8 Now, I'm not clear in the differences in your statement between
9 what you say in your statement and what you're now saying. I don't quite
11 Now, Mr. Williams, on page 4 of your statement, you refer to the
12 April talks held in Belgrade which related to the Gorazde enclave. That's
13 right, isn't it?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Do you happen to remember that those negotiations which you point
16 to were -- that there were meetings before that in April on the
17 Sarajevo -- at Sarajevo airport between the generals, Delic on the Muslim
18 side, in fact, General Mladic, and General Rose, that those were the
19 preliminary meetings with a view to resolving the Gorazde situation? So
20 General Michael Rose at Sarajevo airport initiated agreements with both
21 commanders, Delic and Mladic, the three of them, in fact, from the 7th to
22 the 9th of April were at Sarajevo airport meeting and holding meetings in
23 order to solve the Gorazde problem.
24 A. That's also correct. And of course there were also meetings
25 between Mr. Akashi and Dr. Karadzic around this period in Pale.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And do you know why these talks and negotiations did not end in a
2 solution of any kind, that they didn't bear fruit and a solution wasn't
3 found? Why not?
4 A. My very clear recollection is that the primary reason why these
5 talks failed was that Bosnian Serb forces continually pressed their attack
6 on the safe area of Gorazde. I think the reports are very, very clear on
8 Q. All right. And do you know that a solution was not found for the
9 simple reason that the representatives of Republika Srpska or, rather,
10 General Mladic insisted on a cease-fire not only for Gorazde but also for
11 the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas the Muslim side did
12 not want to have a general cease-fire and truce? Wasn't that how it was
13 or not? Is what I'm saying correct or not, Mr. Williams?
14 A. You're correct in summarising the position of General Mladic and
15 the Bosnian Serbs. I have to say I find it an extraordinary tactic that
16 one side in a conflict continues with a most brutal attack on a declared
17 UN safe area deliberately targeting civilians and is unwilling to stop
18 those attacks except on the other side agreeing to a general cease-fire
19 throughout Bosnia.
20 Q. Your very own senior military observer says that the Muslims did
21 not want a general cease-fire until they reinforced their own combat
22 lines. This is an explanation that is quite different, and it was
23 proffered by a senior military observer; is that correct, Mr. Williams, or
24 not? Do you agree with this position or not?
25 A. I don't agree with that position at all, and I'm not even sure who
1 you're referring to.
2 Q. Isn't it correct, Mr. Williams, that in connection with an article
3 published in the Washington Post by John Parfot [phoen] from the foreign
4 policy service of Washington Post, didn't you investigate that? Because
5 it criticised the role of the USA and NATO in the war in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially in the vicinity of Sarajevo. Please just
7 give me a yes or a no answer.
8 A. I'm trying to follow your question for a moment.
9 JUDGE MAY: You'll have to clarify the question, Mr. Milosevic.
10 What is this about?
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I'm asking whether it's correct that you started an investigation
13 in relation to an article published by the Washington Post which had
14 criticised the --
15 JUDGE MAY: When, Mr. Milosevic? When was this article published,
16 so we can try and identify it.
17 MR. KAY: I think it's the --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have it here.
19 MR. KAY: I think it's John Pomfritt, Saturday, April the 30th of
21 JUDGE MAY: Have we got it in our papers?
22 MR. KAY: It's in a vast amount of Rule 68 material. I don't know
23 whether the Prosecution have it to hand.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have it right here. This UNPROFOR
25 confidential material addressed to Mr. Yasushi Akashi from Mr. Michael
1 Williams, director for information, and the subject is: Washington Post
2 Article Inquiry. That's the document that I received from Mr. Groome.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So is it correct that within that investigation -- so this is a
5 document of yours. You do remember that, don't you?
6 MR. GROOME: Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: It's not fair on the witness to --
8 MR. GROOME: We are looking for the document. And if
9 Mr. Milosevic would be kind enough to provide us the ERN number, we can do
10 it quicker. And I would ask that any questions regarding the document be
11 postponed until a copy can be put before the witness.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE MAY: You've got a copy.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I now do.
15 JUDGE MAY: The witness has got a copy; we haven't. But we'll see
16 how we get on.
17 What's the -- give us the ERN number, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] R0101447. That's the first page.
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I have it here, and I'll have copies
20 made for the Court immediately.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1994.
23 JUDGE MAY: The witness has got the copy.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have to save time. Please.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. So with that investigation, did you talk to Mr. -- to General
2 Michael Rose?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Please take a look at item 16.
5 A. You mean paragraph 16?
6 Q. Paragraph 16, yes. Paragraph 16 of your statement, of your
7 report, rather, the report that you submitted to Mr. Akashi. It says: [In
8 English] "General Rose expressed more generally his view on the conflicts
9 and mentioned that he was convinced that prior to events in Gorazde the
10 Serbs were ready for a general cease-fire agreement and that he was
11 confident that both sides would eventually return to the negotiating
12 table. This appears to be consistent with ideas appearing in the article
13 to the effect that Serb forces were ready for peace despite the recent
14 attack on Gorazde."
15 [Interpretation] So is that beyond dispute, Mr. Williams?
16 A. Yes. I mean, if you would allow me now, I will comment on the
17 document that you've brought before me.
18 This document relates to an off-the-record briefing that General
19 Rose gave to journalists in Sarajevo. As is often the case in these
20 off-the-record briefings that senior officials give, some of it becomes
21 public and perhaps General Rose on occasion was perhaps more indiscreet
22 than he could have been.
23 Now, to refer to the specific paragraph, paragraph 16, that
24 Mr. Milosevic draws my attention to, as Mr. Milosevic said, General Rose
25 said that prior to events in Gorazde Serbs were ready for a general
1 cease-fire agreement. I think that was his assessment. He was basing
2 that, I believe, on the conclusion of the Sarajevo crisis in February 1994
3 and also on the fact that in March 1994 a peace agreement had been
4 concluded between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats. His hope
5 was that that would lead similarly, in a short period of time, to a peace
6 agreement between Bosnian government forces and the Serbs. Alas, that
7 didn't take place. What was the fundamental reason why that didn't take
8 place? It was because of the attack on Gorazde.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's -- we'll have a copy of this.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you please have this
11 exhibited, Mr. May. I'm not asking for the entire report of Mr. Williams
12 to be exhibited, but at least paragraph 16.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. All right, Mr. Williams. What you said just now, isn't that a
15 confirmation, and also what General Rose says, and you quote in your
16 report not only General Rose but you also state yourself that the initial
17 talks about Gorazde were held at Butmir airport and failed not because of
18 the Serbs but because of the Muslim delegation that did not want to agree
19 to a general cease-fire for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 A. I've given my assessment of those talks at the airport in Sarajevo
21 and I don't think I have anything further to add on that.
22 Q. All right. In your opinion, was the reason why the Muslims did
23 not agree to a general cease-fire or even negotiations about a general
24 cease-fire for Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had originally been proposed by
25 the Serbs, was the reason for that that they were expecting NATO strikes
1 against Serb positions?
2 A. No. I -- I must say, as you're persisting in this line of
3 questioning, I've spent a lot of my professional life looking at wars and
4 conflicts in various parts of the world. I do find it quite extraordinary
5 that you're trying to put this suggestion that the only way that the
6 Bosnian Serbs would agree to stop attacking - I repeat - a UN safe area
7 and deliberately targeting civilian officials, both of which I regard, by
8 the way, as completely uncontested facts, you say that the only way to
9 avoid this is to agree a complete cease-fire and a settlement throughout
10 Bosnia. I find that an extraordinary supposition and one which, again in
11 my experience of conflict and so on, I couldn't see that working in any
12 part of the world in any conflict.
13 Q. Mr. Williams, that's not what I'm saying at all. You know that
14 the war was waged all over Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Serbs had proposed a
15 general cease-fire. Are you holding this against them, this kind of a
16 proposal for a general cease-fire, that is to say, not only in Gorazde but
17 in the entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina? So that would include
18 Gorazde too. Gorazde was not an exception of any kind. I'm not claiming
19 that that's the reason, as you had put it, for the attack on Gorazde, I
20 mean. Or do I know, for that matter. So you know --
21 JUDGE MAY: I don't understand this question. What is it you want
22 to ask the witness? Would you make it clear. What is it you want to ask?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, we are going to look at the
24 question of Gorazde, apart from everything else too. And by the way, it
25 was resolved with my assistance. But I'm asking Mr. Williams --
1 JUDGE MAY: Let's get to Gorazde, instead of going round and round
2 this point. Yes. What is your question?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So let's get to the question of
4 Gorazde. We are going to get to the question of Gorazde. But before that
5 I'm asking Mr. Williams whether he's aware of the fact that fighting took
6 place not only in Gorazde but throughout the territory of
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I don't think we need trouble with that. I
9 think that's accepted. Let's move on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Groome produced a document here dated the 17th of April. I
13 think that this was in tab 14. I'm not going to dwell on it. Akashi is
14 writing and sending a copy to Annan and all the rest and he's reporting
15 about a meeting with Karadzic and Izetbegovic. And since Akashi talked to
16 both political leaders, that is to say, both to Karadzic and to
17 Izetbegovic, you commented upon this report and you said that it gave a
18 very gloomy forecast, in terms of the entire situation. That's what I
19 wrote down here on the margins. You said that the situation was very
20 gloomy, very difficult; right?
21 A. Yes, I would confirm that.
22 Q. Now, do you remember, Mr. Williams, that Mr. Akashi actually
23 talked to me, asking me to help resolve that question? Or rather, do you
24 know that Mr. Akashi from time to time - I would even say frequently, in
25 view of the fact that he was in Zagreb - wished to consult me, to hear my
1 views and to ask for certain assistance and intervention that I could
2 possibly exercise vis-a-vis the leadership of Republika Srpska? Do you
3 remember that?
4 A. Yes, I do, very clearly.
5 Q. Now, take a look, then, at the report of the Secretary-General of
6 the UN related to Resolution 913 from 1994. It is also provided here. So
7 let's just go through this briefly. So in paragraph 3 he says that, "On
8 the 22nd and 23rd of April, my Special Representative" - "my" meaning the
9 Secretary-General's. It's the Secretary-General who is saying this, so it
10 is the special representative, "Yasushi Akashi, and the commander of
11 UNPROFOR, General Bertrand de Lapresle, met in Belgrade with civilian and
12 military authorities and the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs, at the
13 invitation of President Slobodan Milosevic, the president of the Republic
14 of Serbia." And then he moves on to say what was achieved. But before
15 that, I would like to draw your attention to page 10 of this same report.
16 JUDGE MAY: Which tab are we in?
17 THE WITNESS: It's tab 20, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Page 10, paragraph 19. Since the Secretary-General explains in
21 quite a bit of detail what the situation was like, actually, he says, 19,
22 "On May 14, 1994, my Special Representatives spoke with President
23 Milosevic, who had assisted" -- that's what he says: "who had
24 assisted" -- [In English] "On the Belgrade meeting on 22nd and 23rd April
1 [Interpretation] Then I repeat to him that I'm going to do my
2 utmost to have these done -- these things done urgently so. So in these
3 two paragraphs, it can clearly be seen that my role and my efforts to
4 assist both sides in order to reach an agreement or, rather, to have this
5 focal point of crisis resolved at that moment, resolved, this was a cause
6 of concern to everyone. And it was called Gorazde. Is that right,
7 Mr. Williams?
8 A. Yes. Well, you've drawn attention to paragraph 19 of this report
9 on page 10, and you refer to the section: "My Special Representative
10 spoke with President Milosevic." Now, the reason Mr. Akashi spoke with
11 you on that day, which was what, some two weeks, a full two weeks after
12 the meetings on April 22nd/23rd was because of Mr. Akashi's dismay and
13 unhappiness that the full provisions of the -- that agreement had not been
14 satisfactorily implemented by the Bosnian Serbs, and he raised with you
15 several specific points, namely the continuing deployment of heavy
16 weaponry within the 20-kilometre zone --
17 Q. I beg your pardon for interrupting, Mr. Williams. The point of
18 this, that the Secretary-General says when mentioning me in this
19 paragraph, is this phrase: "who had assisted in the convening of the
20 Belgrade meeting [In English] on the 22nd and the 23rd of April."
21 [Interpretation] That's the only reason why I read this paragraph,
22 because this is connected with the first one, in paragraph 3, where it
23 says that at my invitation they came, both, that is to say, Akashi and de
24 Lapresle, and with you and Karadzic and Mladic and their associates. And
25 then he underlines here that -- he says that I had assisted in the
1 convening of this meeting that led to a solution to Gorazde. When one
2 reads this document, this can be seen clearly. Right?
3 A. Yes. But I -- you've drawn to my attention and the Court's
4 attention paragraph 19, where you correctly say the Secretary-General says
5 you assisted with that meeting. But the paragraph also implicitly shows
6 that Mr. Akashi was at that point very unhappy with the lack of proper
7 implementation of that agreement by the Bosnian Serb side.
8 Q. We were all dissatisfied with the lack of implementation on both
9 sides, but the crisis at Gorazde ended through this agreement; isn't that
10 right or is that not right, Mr. Williams?
11 A. The attack on Gorazde by the Bosnian Serb side did cease, but
12 there was never - and I would repeat never - there was never a proper
13 implementation of the agreement that was reached in Belgrade on April 22
14 and April 23. And in his conversation, and I think also a letter of May
15 14, which is in this documentation, Mr. Akashi lists the continued
16 presence, for example, of Serb heavy weaponry in the exclusion zone, the
17 fact that a UN convoy had been held up for six days on the way to Gorazde,
18 as well as other violations of that agreement.
19 Q. Mr. Williams, please look at paragraph 6 of this same report of
20 the Secretary-General. And it says: [In English] "...violations of the
21 cease-fire attributable to both parties between the afternoon of 23rd of
22 April and the morning of 25th of April, 1994, the cease-fire has generally
23 been respected since the later date, with only isolated and sporadic small
24 arms fire.
25 "This first contingent included some 100 infantry" --
1 [Interpretation] It has to do with the UNPROFOR convoy -- [In English]
2 "civilian affairs and civilian police personnel and was led by the
3 UNPROFOR Head of Civil Affairs, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, and the
4 Commander of Sector Sarajevo UNPROFOR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brigadier
5 General Andre Soubirou. They were subsequently reinforced to a total
6 present strength of 432, all personnel included."
7 [Interpretation] So this agreement, according to this report, was
8 implemented. As for what happened later, that is not something I'm
9 talking about now. The war went on, but since you refer to my role here,
10 is it being denied that my role was to help find a way out of this crisis
11 And doesn't this clearly show that I could not give any kind of orders to
12 the leadership of Republika Srpska and General Mladic? I could just
13 present every conceivable argument in order to have an agreement reached
14 between them and UNPROFOR. Wasn't that the position, Mr. Williams?
15 Wasn't that clear?
16 JUDGE MAY: There are two or three questions here. First -- the
17 first question is: What was the role of the accused? And it is suggested
18 that he was helping to find a way out of the crisis.
19 Would you agree with that, Dr. Williams?
20 THE WITNESS: Yes. Mr. -- the meetings was clearly convened by
21 President Milosevic. It did lead to the agreement. And as the
22 Secretary-General's report in para 6 quite rightly points out, the
23 cease-fire following that agreement generally held. Equally, in para 17
24 of the Secretary-General's report, he again lists several incidents of
25 harassment of UN convoys by Bosnian Serb forces. But I accept the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 assertion that the attack stopped, and I believe that the meeting in
2 Belgrade and the agreement came from that played a huge role in stopping
3 that attack.
4 JUDGE MAY: And the next question is this - and whether you feel
5 you can answer it or not, Dr. Williams, is a matter for you. It may be
6 more a matter of what inferences one draws. But as it was put to you, you
7 should have the opportunity of answering it - did it not show, this
8 incident, that the accused could not give orders to the leadership of
9 Republika Srpska and General Mladic?
10 THE WITNESS: I don't quite accept that. I think President
11 Milosevic -- President Milosevic's influence at that meeting was very
12 strong, very strong indeed. He was the principal player at that meeting.
13 I recall one specific incident, which I believe I referred to in my
14 testimony yesterday, when President Milosevic scolded Dr. Karadzic for the
15 continuing blockage of a UN convoy on the way to Gorazde that was held up
16 in a village called Rogatica, and then told him, "Look, sort this out
17 now." And Karadzic, as I recall, left the room and made some phone calls.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Williams, this meeting lasted 18 hours, and it consisted of
20 persuading everyone to agree to the terms for a cease-fire. This was, if
21 I can put it that way, a mediation that was extremely difficult in efforts
22 aimed at having a result reached. And that fact shows that there was no
23 possibility of me being in a position to order someone to do anything.
24 That I criticised the stopping of convoys and things like that is not
25 being denied at all. After all, I did this in public as well. I spoke
1 for the media about this. I said that this was something that should be
2 criticised. I insisted that convoys and hostages should be freed. I
3 insisted that the pilots should be freed. I insisted the refugees should
4 be rescued and that humanitarian aid should be provided, and so on and so
5 forth. So do you understand when you look at this entire range of
6 activities that this has nothing to do whatsoever, with - how should I put
7 this? - chain of command or order issuing or whatever? Why do I need to
8 talk to someone for 18 hours if I can simply issue an order to them?
9 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer.
10 THE WITNESS: The length of the meeting is incontestable. I
11 recall it as being 18 hours myself. But I -- that was the pattern, I
12 think, of -- of the meetings that so often surrounded this conflict and
13 war, and the Bosnian Serbs were reluctant to come to an agreement except
14 upon the best possible terms for themselves.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Well, all right. But this agreement was accepted by both, so it
17 is not being contested, is it, that some kind of a solution was found? It
18 certainly was not imposed on the other side.
19 JUDGE MAY: No. I think the witness has taken this as far as he
20 can. He's described what happened. And it will be a matter for us -- it
21 will be a matter for us to determine what role the accused played in these
22 events and what the extent of his powers were. It may be a very crucial
23 issue, which we will have to determine.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Very well, Mr. May.
25 This is a very lengthy report. If only that report were to be read, one
1 could see what the situation was actually like, what the true situation
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Before that, there is yet another report sent from Akashi to
5 Annan, the 13th of April, 1994. Mr. Groome also produced it here. I'm
6 just going to read item 6 -- or rather, paragraph 6 of this report of his,
7 this note that he sent to Annan. [In English] " President Milosevic
8 encouraged me to normalise our relationship with the Bosnian Serbs as soon
9 as possible." [Interpretation] And so on. And then it goes on to say:
10 [In English] "The tenor of the communique of President Milosevic's office
11 on our meeting broadcast on the radio was positive... the serious
12 negotiations leading to global and durable cease-fire." [Interpretation]
13 Is it quite visible here that every effort is being made for an agreement
14 between the UN and the political and military leadership of Republika
15 Srpska to normalise their relations, which would enable further agreements
16 and then to move on towards the main goal, that being the war to end,
17 which was something that was repeated umpteen times.
18 I have quoted quite correctly, Mr. Williams, rest assured. So I
19 am talking about the preparations, the run-up, the efforts being made on
20 both sides for rapprochement views to be achieved so that the problem
21 could be overcome. Is that right, Mr. Williams?
22 A. Well, I would confirm your account of the 13th of April meeting
23 that you had with Mr. Akashi in -- in Belgrade. I'm not sure what the
24 question is here.
25 JUDGE MAY: The reference is to tab 4, paragraph 6.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I was saying -- it says: "President Milosevic encouraged me to
4 normalise our relationship with the Bosnian Serbs as soon as possible."
5 And then he says there was a communique of my office -- "The tenor of the
6 communique of President Milosevic's office on our meeting broadcast on the
7 radio was positive; the emphasis was on the need to cool down and to
8 engage in serious negotiations leading to global and durable cease-fire."
9 So this was a generalised effort and Akashi came to talk to me, to
10 consult with me, and to seek assistance from someone whom he believed
11 could act as an intermediary, and that is how this mediation took place,
12 in fact. Is that right, Mr. Williams?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Then you also have here a kind of note from a meeting. This was
15 held on the 23rd of April, 1994, a meeting in Belgrade with Bosnian Serb
16 civilian and military authorities. The very heading shows that it is a
17 meeting held in Belgrade with the civilian and military authorities of the
18 Bosnian Serbs. So it was a meeting between you, and Michael Rose also
19 reports about that meeting between you. I chaired it. "The meeting was
20 chaired by Mr. Milosevic and it was attended by --" and it lists all the
21 people present; Akashi, De Lapresle, and Sergio de Mello. And you quite
22 correctly quoted that I had proposed that a normalisation of relations be
23 discussed between UNPROFOR and the Bosnian Serbs, that a solution to the
24 Bosnian crisis -- to the Gorazde crisis, and once that crisis has been
25 settled, that the elements for an agreement be discussed for an overall, a
1 general cessation of hostilities. Is that right, Mr. Williams? That is
2 what is noted here.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Point 6. Since I have to save time, I can't read out everything,
5 though it would be very useful for us to analyse this document. Item 6:
6 Mr. Akashi speaks about his dissatisfaction in connection with the
7 approaches. And then it goes on to sentence 3 in point 6.
8 "Notwithstanding this complication, he was happy to note -- [in English]
9 "that there appeared to be a general agreement on the desirability of
10 sending troops to Gorazde and suggested that UNPROFOR's original proposal
11 to dispatch one battalion to Gorazde be revived."
12 [Interpretation] And then -- it is not so important. What he goes
13 on to say is not so important later on. The composition of the UNPROFOR
14 battalion, actually.
15 JUDGE MAY: Tab 16. You should tell us where we are. It's
16 impossible to follow, Mr. Milosevic, with this -- this way you go on.
17 Tab 16, paragraph 6.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is tab 16, yes, and paragraph 6,
20 yes. And I don't know which tab it is, but it refers to the meeting in
21 Belgrade. I took out the documents in the order in which they were
22 commented on by Mr. Williams.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. However, what we heard a moment ago from you, in connection with
25 Rogatica, is slightly different. Will you look at paragraph 9, please,
1 Mr. Williams. [In English] "At this point, President Milosevic sought
2 confirmation from the Force Commander" -- [Interpretation] Which means
3 General de Lapresle, right, the force commander? [In English] "The convoy
4 blocked at Rogatica had been 'deblocked.' The Force Commander indicated
5 that he had just been informed that the convoy was still unable to proceed
6 and desired to return to Sarajevo. Mr. Akashi said that if full
7 guarantees could be given that the convoy would not be subject to further
8 problems and full freedom of movement were granted to UNPROFOR and other
9 agencies, he would ensure that another large convoy would be sent to
10 Gorazde the following day. However, the BSA would have to honour a
11 cease-fire agreement in the enclave and this should, ideally, be in place
12 before the convoy was dispatched. In addition, the modalities of
13 deployment of UNPROFOR troops in the enclave must be left to UNPROFOR to
15 [Interpretation] So I am asking Mr. de Lapresle, because it was
16 hovering in the air, this report that the convoy had been blocked. I
17 asked him whether it had been deblocked. He said it hadn't, not yet. And
18 then Akashi says that only full guarantees are provided, then another
19 convoy would be sent the next day. And then Dr. Karadzic gave his
20 assurances that the convoy would not have any further problems. That is
21 in paragraph 10. But he also agreed on the need for a cease-fire. "He
22 insisted that it could only be established with a UN presence in the
23 enclave, [In English] firstly on the BSA side, in whose best interest it
24 was to establish a cease-fire, and then on the Bosnian side. He
25 recommended the details for the deployment force be worked out by UNPROFOR
1 and BSA military representatives." [Interpretation] That is the end.
2 Now, look at paragraph 11: "President Milosevic proposed that the
3 meeting be adjourned."
4 JUDGE MAY: No. No. You're not going to read out these enormous
5 parts of the statement or whatever, press statement, without asking the
6 witness a question about it.
7 Dr. Williams, you have seen that. Is that an accurate account of
8 what occurred?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, it is. It is a reasonably accurate account. I
10 would draw the attention of the Court to paragraph 10, which Mr. Milosevic
11 has just read, and Dr. Karadzic's statement, "while he agreed on the need
12 for a cease-fire, it could only be established with a UN presence in the
13 enclave." But of course, it was precisely the Bosnian Serb side which was
14 preventing a UN presence in the enclave and which was holding up this
15 convoy at Rogatica.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. That is why I wish to read to you paragraph 11, because it shows,
18 as the whole course of the conversation showed, that it was a difficult
19 and dynamic meeting designed to achieve a solution. And paragraph 11
20 reads: "President Milosevic proposed that the meeting be adjourned to
21 enable to Force Commander and General Mladic to work out the details of
22 the deployment of an UNPROFOR unit in Gorazde [In English] and that a
23 decision on the same be made 'today (rather than) wait for another meeting
24 while people are dying.'"
25 [Interpretation] You will remember that there were various
1 proposals to postpone the meeting, to think things over, to see how things
2 would develop. And I said, let us have a short break, let the commanders
3 come to an agreement, let us finish this today because people are dying.
4 And that is what it says in your notes. I didn't write it.
5 "He expressed disappointment at any decision to turn back the
6 convoy at Rogatica, stating that such a move would be interpreted as being
7 the result of BSA intransigence while, in actual fact, all obstacles to
8 the convoy's movement had been removed."
9 Didn't they inform us that all the obstacles had been removed?
10 They informed us at that meeting, both you and me, that all the obstacles
11 had been removed.
12 "He strongly recommended that the convoy not return to Sarajevo
13 but remain the night in Rogatica, to be joined the following morning by
14 additional troops. [In English] He further proposed that meeting between
15 de Mello and Mladic focus on agreement on the following: The
16 identification of 3 kilometre zone around Gorazde; withdrawal of heavy
17 weapons from the outer ring of the circle around the town";
18 [Interpretation] thirdly, "monitoring of the cease-fire and related
19 agreements by UNPROFOR."
20 Then the next paragraph says -- was that how it was,
21 Mr. Williams? Is this a correct reflection of the meeting?
22 Look at the following paragraph, 12: "Following the rejection of
23 the proposals put forward" --
24 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness deal first of all with paragraph 11.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes. I think paragraph 11 is a correct record of
1 the meeting.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. [In English] "Following the rejection of the proposal put forward
4 by General Mladic in the meeting with General de Lapresle, President
5 Milosevic requested the SRSG" - Akashi - "to put forward UNPROFOR
6 proposals for a resolution of the Gorazde crisis. These proposals, agreed
7 upon on 22nd April and further refined on 23rd, are attached."
8 [Interpretation] So I insisted that Akashi propose -- make his own
9 proposal, and I insisted that proposal be accepted. Is that clear, at
10 least? That is what it says in this report.
11 A. Yes, I would confirm that.
12 JUDGE MAY: Help us with the acronym, please, Dr. Williams. SRSG?
13 THE WITNESS: Indeed. It's Special Representative of the
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. SRSG is the abbreviation for Mr. Akashi, that is, the person
17 representing the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special
18 Representative of the Secretary-General.
19 Anyway, Mr. Williams, this is your own press statement made on the
20 23rd of April, and you announced that the special representative,
21 Mr. Akashi, and General Bertrand de Lapresle had talks in Belgrade with
22 the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs, including Karadzic and the commander
23 of the army, Ratko Mladic. And you say at the end of the paragraph: "The
24 talks, hosted by the Serbian President, Mr. Milosevic [In English] were
25 aimed at securing an immediate cease-fire in Gorazde and the urgent
1 deployment of UNPROFOR troops in the town."
2 [Interpretation] You're practically confirming what actually was
3 agreed there. You referred to the Nordic battalion, what they accepted,
4 that is, the representatives of Republika Srpska. And I believe that is
5 not in dispute. This is your own press release confirming all this. Is
6 that right, Mr. Williams -- press statement, rather?
7 A. That's right. I can't find the statement immediately to hand now,
8 but you're -- I think you're doing a very correct reading of it.
9 Q. I can let you have a copy, if you'd like to have it.
10 JUDGE KWON: [Previous translation continues]... of the document,
11 front page.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Yes, I have it now.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. And then again you have a report to Annan, sent by General de
15 Lapresle on the 25th of April, 1994, which actually confirms the success
16 of the agreement reached. In paragraph 1 it says: "The situation in
17 Gorazde has stabilised as the BSA forces have completed their withdrawal
18 to the 3-kilometre line agreed upon between Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Akashi in
19 Belgrade. This phase of the operation is now complete."
20 JUDGE MAY: Tab 17.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Of course, I don't have time now to cover all these documents, but
24 I would like nevertheless to draw your attention to the fact that even
25 when Mr. Akashi complains to me, and he sends me a letter -- a copy of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 letter that he sent to Karadzic, he says, addressing me: "As you may
2 know, the situation around Gorazde continues to be difficult. The
3 implementation of the agreement reached in Belgrade under your outstanding
4 leadership has encountered some insuperable difficulties. I have taken
5 the liberty of enclosing a letter sent to Karadzic," et cetera. I am
6 emphasising here the fact that Mr. Karadzic is paying tribute to the
7 efforts invested to achieve the agreement --
8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, Mr. Akashi; interpreter's correction.
9 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And this was a turning point, I would say, for the events in
12 Now, Mr. Williams, I have here with me -- we have now established
13 that when there were obstacles you informed Akashi, then Akashi writes to
14 Karadzic, Karadzic responds that this was caused by local inhabitants in
15 uniform but that no one was shooting. I won't delve into that. The
16 problem provoked by the forces of the Army of Republika Srpska are
17 immediately reported to the top - that is, Mr. Akashi - even when there
18 are no casualties, but simply men in uniform.
19 Now, look at this UNPROFOR report, Sector Sarajevo, sector
21 JUDGE MAY: Let's see if the witness agrees with what you're
22 putting. We are in fact in tab 18, for the record.
23 Dr. Williams, do you agree with what the accused is putting?
24 THE WITNESS: Sorry, no, I don't, Your Honour. In fact, it's not
25 just a question of men in uniform. If you look at Mr. Akashi's letter of
1 10 May, he lists a series of very serious violations of a cease-fire by
2 the Bosnian Serb forces, including the presence of heavy artillery and
3 convoys being held up for six days, and so on. So it's not a light matter
4 of simply some uniformed soldiers being in places they shouldn't be; these
5 are serious violations.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Williams, I have it here. I picked up the letter again,
8 though I had put it aside. Yes, they are serious violations, and I agree
9 with Mr. Akashi, but the violations regard mostly militiamen, as he puts
10 it, "but also, as late as Sunday, 8 May, infantrymen - remain present..."
11 So it says that they remain present within a radius of 3 kilometres around
12 Gorazde. So this is paragraph a). There's no fighting. There's no
13 combat. There's no shooting. It just says that they remain present. I
14 agree that it is serious, but there's no conflict there.
15 And then b), it says: "On 8 May, two 20-millimetre anti-aircraft
16 gun systems --" and the registration numbers are given -- "were found
17 within the 20-kilometre exclusion zone." So when they carried out
18 inspections, they found another two guns, they registered their numbers.
19 They were under a tarpaulin. They were covered. And they were towed from
20 Rogatica towards Gorazde. Now, there -- where they were being taken, it
21 doesn't matter; they shouldn't be there. And he says it's a violation of
22 paragraph 2 "of our Belgrade agreement." And he's writing this in his
23 letter to Karadzic. Et cetera, et cetera. So the letter refers to
24 certain details regarding the presence of troops and weapons that had
25 still not been withdrawn. But this is certainly important, and I am not
1 objecting in any way to what Mr. Akashi did.
2 But please look at this report sent by Colonel -- chief of staff,
3 Colonel Sonnic. This is 00552739 ERN number. I received this under Rule
4 68. I think it was not in any of the tabs. It may have been, but I'm not
5 sure. And it's addressed to General Karavelic, the 1st Corps of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it says: [In English] "Sir, on March 27, at about
7 4.00 a.m., the Bosnian patrol launched a deliberate attack at two Serb
8 observation posts deployed at grid 80378 --" [Interpretation] these are
9 the elevation points. [In English] "Three soldiers were killed and five
10 wounded on the BSA side. The Bosnian side had one man killed. Our
11 investigation has shown that this attack was deliberate and prepared in
12 advance. I strongly protest for this aggressive act against the Serbian
13 side and consider it as a direct violation of the cease-fire agreement
14 provocative as to both Serbian side and UNPROFOR."
15 [Interpretation] Mr. Williams, as I have already said, I have no
16 remarks to make regarding Mr. Akashi's complaints regarding the noted
17 presence --
18 JUDGE MAY: No, we're not going on like this. I don't know how
19 long you've been speaking for. Let the witness -- if you want the
20 document exhibited, let the witness see it.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes, please have a look at it.
23 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Williams, have a look at that. Have a look at
24 that and see if you agree that it's as the accused has put it.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I was just reading from the document.
2 A. This is -- it's not a very clear document, I'm afraid. I mean, it
3 -- it gives a grid reference, which -- you know, unless I have a map
4 before me, I -- but as far as I can see, this doesn't refer to Gorazde,
5 Mr. Milosevic. This refers to an incident in Sarajevo. Is that right?
6 JUDGE MAY: And what is the -- just a moment. Can we have a date,
7 please, Dr. Williams.
8 THE WITNESS: There is a date on the document. It's dated the
9 31st of March.
10 JUDGE MAY: Of 1994?
11 THE WITNESS: Of 1994.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. So it's about this time.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes. Yes.
14 JUDGE MAY: It's before any of these talks.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes. I --
16 JUDGE MAY: There's no indication of where the violation occurred.
17 THE WITNESS: The inference must be that this is in Sector
18 Sarajevo. Now, clearly, it is a serious incident, as Mr. Milosevic points
19 out. It is an attack initiated by Bosnian government forces. Three Serb
20 soldiers are killed, one Bosnian, and so on. I don't contest that at all.
21 I'm sure this is an accurate reflection of a serious incident. But it is
22 in no way comparable to the assault which was taking place at that time on
23 the UN safe area of Gorazde. I mean, this talks about four deaths. How
24 many people do you think were killed in Gorazde? I mean, this is one
25 single incident in Sector Sarajevo, which I don't deny for a moment.
1 JUDGE MAY: We will exhibit that document. We will give it the
2 second -- the first exhibit, Defence exhibit, will be the UNPROFOR
3 document referred to earlier, of the 11th of May, referring to the
4 Washington Post article inquiry. That will get the first number.
5 THE REGISTRAR: It's Defence Exhibit 148, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MAY: And the recently exhibited document?
7 THE REGISTRAR: It's Defence Exhibit 149.
8 JUDGE MAY: It's half past 10.00. We're going to adjourn now.
9 The accused has another 25 or so minutes left.
10 Dr. Williams, would you have a word with Mr. Groome just so you
11 can explain your position to him. There will need to be some further
12 examination, I anticipate.
13 Have the amici any questions?
14 MR. KAY: Yes. I could anticipate 15 minutes.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
16 Mr. Groome, would you please have a word with the witness. And we
17 need to work out a timetable. We have the note about his attending a
18 meeting. Perhaps you could see with him whether it's possible of him to
19 stay or whether he must go, in which case whether we could finish or not
20 in time, what time he needs to go --
21 MR. GROOME: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MAY: -- or whether he could stay in fact.
23 Dr. Williams, I'm -- if you have an important matter to deal with,
24 of course you must -- you must go. And you will have our permission. But
25 it may mean your having to come back. That's the problem.
1 THE WITNESS: Very good. I'll do my very best to see if I can
2 stay today.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE MAY: We're told there is a flight that's booked already,
5 but perhaps that can be looked at. Thank you very much.
6 Twenty minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Groome, you've -- you've resolved the
10 situation, I understand?
11 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, we have made a reservation on a 3.00
12 flight for Dr. Williams. I believe I only have five minutes of
13 re-examination. And I believe, from what I recall of what Dr. Williams
14 said about the meeting, it's a rather important meeting. So if it's
15 possible for him to make the 1.00 flight, I think that would be
17 JUDGE MAY: So what time does he have to leave?
18 MR. GROOME: They tell me he'd have to leave at quarter to 12.00
19 but I think perhaps even 12.00 we may be able to get him on the plane.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm very sorry, Mr. May, that
22 many questions will remain unanswered. But I'll try and put at least a
23 few of them.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Now, a moment ago I showed you the protest sent by a colonel of
1 UNPROFOR to the Muslim side. However, the point of my question is this:
2 In view of the fact that you personally, by virtue of the office you held,
3 that of a man who provided the whole world with information as to what was
4 going on, did you about those violations and generally about the conduct
5 of the Muslim side inform the world, as you did -- as you informed it
6 about the conduct of the Serb side? Can you say of yourself that you did
7 indeed do that, that you did it in an unbiased way and - how shall I say
8 this - on a footing of equality, that you did it equally for both sides?
9 A. Yes, I can. I think I can --
10 Q. Evenhandedly?
11 A. Yes, I can. I believe I can say that unequivocally the incident
12 that you referred to, for example, I am sure that my press spokesman in
13 Sarajevo would have spoken to and indeed possibly released that document
14 that you brought to my attention.
15 Q. Mr. Williams, I hope you know that General Michael Rose has
16 published a book and the title of the book is: "The Mission in Bosnia."
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I don't suppose you're questioning either his stature or the fact
19 that he, as an honourable man, endeavoured to show the situation
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And he says, for example, in that book of his, that is the Serbian
23 translation on page 297 of the book: "The air force offensive of NATO was
24 not a signal only to the Serbs that the peace mission had been rejected
25 and that the West was preparing to apply a higher degree of force than
1 before, it was also directed to winning over internal political forces in
2 America for a resolution to the conflict by war."
3 Now, was that, among other things, the result and consequence of a
4 distorted picture and unobjective information as to what was actually
5 going on? Just give me a yes or no answer, please.
6 A. I couldn't possibly give you a yes or no answer to -- to that
7 question. It's very unclear to me what the question is, to begin with.
8 I'm afraid I must ask for it to be formulated in a way that --
9 JUDGE MAY: Let's start with this: We've got the quotation from
10 the book. Do you think you can comment on the quotation as it is -- as it
11 is on the screen or not?
12 THE WITNESS: Well, the book, as Your Honour will know, is a
13 memoir written some years after the conflict. I mean, it is true that the
14 West, by which one means NATO, became more engaged from 1994 onwards. I
15 would remind the Court that it was a NATO ultimatum in February 1994 which
16 brought about a cease-fire in Sarajevo. And important though the talks
17 were that were held in Belgrade in April 1994, it was also the case that
18 there was again a NATO ultimatum. Without it, frankly, I don't believe
19 the Bosnian Serb forces would ever have agreed to a cease-fire. So in
20 that respect, there is some truth in what General Rose says in that
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, in view of your profession or the office you held at that
24 point in time, and with respect to information, that's what I'm referring
25 to. I'm going to quote from page 333 of the Serbian translation, where it
1 says: "The UN was not able to convince certain important names that too
2 much propaganda would only make the situation on the ground worse. The
3 permanent and uncontrolled publishing of images and pictures of war
4 devastation and unobjective criticism made the situation in Gorazde,
5 Bihac, and Sarajevo more exaggerated, which was designed to up the level
6 of force."
7 Is that what happened? Do you agree with General Rose and his
9 A. Actually, no, I don't agree with that comment at all. In fact, I
10 have --
11 Q. All right, fine. No is answer. Let's move on.
12 JUDGE MAY: The witness must be allowed to answer, you having put
13 that to him.
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. I have always regarded it
15 as absolutely imperative that where conflicts and wars take place it is of
16 great importance that those conflicts are brought to the wider attention
17 of the international community, and I believe the media and the press have
18 a very important role to play in that regard. So no, I don't agree with
19 that statement whatsoever.
20 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Very well. And do you agree with this, something else he says, on
22 page 304: He says: "I was particularly angry with the journalists
23 because of their biasness, lack of objectivity, and the way in which they
24 reported on the events in Bosnia. Most of the comments from journalists
25 from the east coast of the USA during the Gorazde fighting in 1994 did not
1 write about the suffering and difficult economic situations suffered by
2 the population but of the devastated and looted houses. The truth was
3 different, however. Those houses, which they took pictures of, that is to
4 say, the US reconnoitring airplanes during the air attacks on Serbia, were
5 destroyed and devastated mostly in 1992, when the Serbs and the Muslims
6 were struggling for supremacy in town and when the Muslims thwarted back
7 and refuted the Serbs. They were Serb houses, in fact, left without
8 roofs, without window frames and doors, which the Muslims had looted
9 completely and left empty. It was more than obvious that they had not
10 been destroyed that particular year either during the fighting that took
11 place in Gorazde."
12 Now, my question to you is this: Is it possible that during the
13 time of your mission you did not know about that, Mr. Williams?
14 A. Know about what? That there was destruction on the Serb side as
15 well? Of course I was aware of that. I find it difficult to make a
16 comment on the passage you've again quoted from General Rose. I don't
17 think I have anything further to add on that.
18 Q. Well, he says that he was particularly angry with the journalists
19 because of their bias and unobjective reporting, taking one side.
20 JUDGE MAY: In your view, Dr. Williams, when you were in Bosnia
21 undertaking the work, did you find the journalists' reporting on the whole
22 to be biased and one-sided, or can you not say?
23 THE WITNESS: I can pass a judgement on that, Your Honour, and I
24 think I'm qualified to do so. The press corps was very large, very
25 varied. I found on the whole that its assessments were objective. There
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 were quite a number of journalists whose reporting of the war was
2 absolutely outstanding. Yesterday, for example, we saw a document from
3 the Reuters correspondent Kurt Schork, a distinguished war correspondent
4 who tragically lost his life in the Sierra Leone conflict two or three
5 years ago. General Rose had a difficulty with journalists. He didn't get
6 on very easily with them. The quotation reveals a very subjective
7 assessment, I believe.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Very well. That is a subjective assessment on the part of General
10 Rose, and you don't agree with it. Fine.
11 Now, do you agree with this, something else he says: "During the
12 previous three years of a bloody civil war, all the protected areas,
13 including Sarajevo, survived and the Serbs did not win control of them,
14 although they could have done, they could have conquered them. Had the
15 Serbs wished to take them over, the state of Bosnia would have ceased to
16 exist. Neither NATO's -- NATO's air force would not have been able to
17 prevent it." Now, do you consider this assessment on the part of the
18 UNPROFOR forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina to be correct or not? And it does
19 go against the grain of what you're saying, in fact.
20 A. Well, I think the first part of the statement you read is correct.
21 I think the Bosnian Serb forces quite possibly could have overrun most of
22 the declared safe areas. Certainly I've referred earlier in my testimony
23 to the disproportional -- disproportionality between the two sides to the
24 conflict, the fact that the Bosnian Serbs had so much heavy weaponry.
25 With regard to the second part of General Rose's statement, I
1 don't agree at all. NATO forces, I believe, could have intervened
2 forcefully at any juncture and could have stopped that assault.
3 Q. Very well. I just indicated and pointed to the differences
4 between what you say and what the UNPROFOR commander of the day, Sir
5 Michael Rose, says.
6 Now, as you said that supplies were made impossible, that it was
7 impossible to bring in supplies, and this because of the conduct of the
8 Serb side, he says on that same page: "Nonetheless, the Serbs never
9 stopped convoys from coming in in order to merit a response from UNPROFOR
10 on a military level, even at the time when the Serbs were said to stifle
11 Sarajevo and strangle it, and the warehouses -- food warehouses in town
12 were not completely depleted. Gas and water was brought in in smaller
13 quantities, as was electricity. There was sufficient quantities of
14 electricity as well." Would that be correct or not, or is General Rose
15 speaking untruths?
16 A. It's very difficult for me again, taking a passage out of context,
17 not knowing what he's -- the time period he's referring to. But there was
18 sufficient documentation yesterday, and I refer in particular to the --
19 I'm afraid I can't recall the tab reference now -- the letter from
20 Mr. Eagleton, the senior UN civilian official in Sarajevo, of September
21 the 15th, where he complains about the fact that all gas supplies to the
22 city have been closed by the Bosnian Serbs. On a sort of anecdotal and
23 subjective level, I can tell the Court that on many visits to Sarajevo it
24 was abundantly clear there was no water, electricity, or gas. I mean,
25 that was simply a fact.
1 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the exhibit Dr. Williams has referred to
2 is tab 24.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Williams, you said you don't know -- didn't know to which
5 period that referred to. I quoted General Rose, who says, "Not even in
6 1994, when the Serbs were accused of strangling Sarajevo, the warehouses
7 in town had not been depleted." So it refers to this critical year of
9 And do you agree with the following assertion, which says: "In
10 1994, according to American sources, the number of persons killed, mostly
11 soldiers, did not exceed 3.000, which was far below the widespread rumours
12 that were going around as to a large-scale genocide which was rampant in
13 the country, which many propaganda people tend to stress"? Now, is
14 that --
15 JUDGE MAY: What are you -- "in 1994 the number of persons
16 killed" - wait a moment - "mostly soldiers did not exceed 3.000." What
17 area does that refer to?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am referring to Bosnia-Herzegovina
19 as a whole, and this is from Michael Rose's comments at the end of his
20 book, on page 309 in the epilogue where he says, "According to US sources,
21 the number of soldiers killed did not exceed 3.000, which was far below
22 the widespread rumours that were being propagated about a large-scale
24 So that's what I'm talking about. I'm saying what he claims for
1 THE WITNESS: It's difficult for me to comment on that figure. I
2 would point out that General Rose's statement refers only to the number of
3 soldiers killed. It does not say anything about the number of civilians
4 killed in 1994, which I think is -- is difficult to make an assessment of.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. On the contrary. What he says is that a total of 3.000, mostly
7 soldiers - 3.000 and mostly soldiers. So that refers to civilians as
8 well, Mr. Williams. I hope that's clear to you, and it's evident from the
10 Now, as you yourself dealt with information and propaganda - and
11 I'm going to finish quoting from General Rose's book with this next
12 question - he describes the visit by General John Galvin, the special
13 advisor to President Clinton who arrived in Sarajevo, and I'm going to
14 read out this passage, it's page 107 of his book. And I'm going to read
15 out in detail.
16 "It was early morning," he says, "when we found ourselves near
17 Tuzla. Our escort, a lady from the American Embassy, suddenly pointed to
18 the villages that had been burnt down and houses burnt down that could be
19 seen on Mount Zvijezda and she said to Galvin in a spiteful voice,
20 'Take a look at what those Serb criminals have done.' Every time Simeon
21 Shadbolt [phoen] had to explain to Galvin why a mosque had been --"
22 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop this. What is the connection with
23 the witness? This is a visit by an American general to Tuzla. And so far
24 there have been references to people from the American Embassy. There is
25 no connection that I can see to the witness. Now, what -- what is the
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm talking about propaganda. And
3 what I want to ask Mr. Williams is whether he agrees with what General
4 Rose writes. So this particular event, it's a very brief reference, and I
5 would have concluded it had you not interrupted me.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. "He had to explain to Galvin why a mosque had remained standing
8 whereas all the churches had been destroyed, because it was quite obvious
9 that the Muslim forces were responsible for ethnic cleansing in that area
10 of Bosnia. It was clear to Galvin too that this woman from the embassy,
11 an employee of the state department --"
12 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to stop this. It seems to be pointless.
13 The witness can comment on some of the things which General Rose
14 has said in his book, some of them, which he knows about. He can't
15 possibly comment on this visit.
16 But what you can answer was the point that the accused made at the
17 very beginning. You yourself dealt with information propaganda. Is that
18 a fair characterisation of your work, as you saw it?
19 THE WITNESS: I don't accept that characterisation, Your Honour.
20 I and officials who worked with me strived as best as we could to present
21 an objective assessment to the outside world of the conflict.
22 Mr. Milosevic referred earlier to the international press corps in
23 Sarajevo. You would find, if you look back on newspapers like the
24 Washington Post and the New York Times, for example, that they often
25 criticised the UN because they believed that it strove too far for
1 objectivity and it was accused of bias towards the Muslim side or towards
2 the Bosnian government side on many occasions.
3 We did have difficulties, and frankly one of those biggest
4 difficulties was the absence of information about the Bosnian Serb side,
5 about the Republika Srpska. And that was because of the prohibition by
6 the Bosnian Serb authorities on the UN and on the international press
7 corps working in their -- the areas in which they administered.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Well, I just quoted examples, but let's not waste time.
10 Mr. Groome provided us here with a document, and you spoke about
11 the -- where non-Serbs were expelled from the Bijeljina region, and the
12 6th of September, 1994, is the date, sent to Mr. Akashi and Kofi Annan --
13 from Akashi to Kofi Annan, in fact. And it says if following: "At the
14 time, Dr. Karadzic attributed the problem to the criminals and undertook
15 to replace the chief of police, [In English] due to what he acknowledged
16 was a very unsatisfactory situation in the area with respect to security
17 and crime."
18 [Interpretation] And then he goes on to say -- Akashi goes on to
19 say, "I have subsequently learned that the chief of police has indeed been
21 JUDGE MAY: What tab number are we on?
22 Mr. Milosevic, would you in future take a note of the tab numbers,
23 because it's impossible to have a cross-examination without it.
24 MR. GROOME: I believe it's tab 27, Your Honour.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. The last paragraph says, when it says that he learnt that the
2 chief of police really had been replaced. And then at the end he say,
3 "Today I telephoned Dr. Karadzic to ensure that he was aware of the events
4 around Bijeljina and to express our strong concern. [In English]
5 Dr. Karadzic has taken measures to identify, arrest, and prosecute those
7 [Interpretation] Therefore, does this document show that Mr. --
8 where Mr. Akashi says that the chief of police had indeed been replaced,
9 that it was such chaos and that it wasn't possible for the leadership of
10 Republika Srpska to keep everything under its control, that measures were
11 taken to protect the population, who were non-Serbs and who were exposed
12 to this kind of pressure, crimes, and so on, or whatever you like to say
13 or call all this, and that as you can see from this, Karadzic did
14 intervene in order to protect them? Is that clear and obvious or not, Mr.
15 Williams? From the document, from the document sent by Mr. Akashi.
16 A. No, I don't believe it's clear. Mr. Akashi hoped that
17 Dr. Karadzic might be taking some measures.
18 But I would refer the Court to another document in this same tab,
19 a letter of the 20th of September, two weeks later, when Mr. Akashi writes
20 again to Dr. Karadzic and says that the expulsions are continuing, that
21 there have been 700 on one single day alone, the date of 17th of
22 September; and Mr. Akashi felt the circumstances were now so serious that
23 he for the first time drew Dr. Karadzic's attention to the possibility
24 that these actions might be the subject of investigation by this very
1 Q. All I wanted was to have your comments on the document, and you
2 can see that Karadzic ascribes this to criminals because he didn't replace
3 the chief of police and takes energetic measures to take into custody and
4 send people to trial who were the perpetrators of acts of this kind.
5 Isn't that what this document by Mr. Akashi says?
6 A. I think Mr. Akashi hoped that Dr. Karadzic would take measures.
7 It is clear that a single police officer could not have been responsible
8 for the expulsion of 5.000 persons during the period we are talking about,
9 September 1994. Moreover, perhaps a police officer was removed or not.
10 What is clear is that no charges or misconduct or anything were ever
11 pressed against any officer.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, this must be your last question.
13 You've gone beyond your time. But you can ask one more.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I really don't know what to
15 say. I was going to comment the meeting in Karadjordjevo with Akashi, for
16 which he says we discussed in an informal setting three main items, and so
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. However, if I don't have the possibility of going into that, then,
20 Mr. Williams, I have a letter by Mr. Akashi sent to me on the 29th of
21 December, 1994, and I'm just going to ask you something with respect to
22 the first paragraph. It says: [In English] "Dear Mr. President, I've
23 come to the end of my first year as a Special Representative of the
24 Secretary-General for the former Yugoslavia. I would like to express my
25 warmest appreciation to you for your fine cooperation and your continued
1 efforts to resolve the terrible crisis in this beautiful land."
2 [Interpretation] I don't want to read any further, but this is a letter by
3 Mr. Akashi sent to me. You can take a look at it if you like, Mr. May, or
4 not, as you wish.
5 Now, Mr. Williams, does this confirm and completely coincide with
6 the context of the explanations given of the activities which, for
7 example, led to a solution to the problem of Gorazde or to solving the
8 other problems that existed? And I had in mind the question linked to
9 Krajina and other parts where what was the activity of Serbia and my own
10 personal actions and as they related to achieving peace first and
11 foremost. And I've read out just the first sentence of that passage.
12 A. Yes, I can see the letter now. Yes. I remind you and the Court
13 that the agreement reached in Belgrade in April 1994 had six points, only
14 one of which the -- namely, the cease-fire was -- was implemented. I
15 mean, Mr. Akashi's letter is a letter of greetings for the -- for the new
16 year, and I think, you know, it has to be seen in the context of diplomacy
17 and of his wish that this terrible conflict could be brought to an early
18 end, and clearly he saw you as playing a key role in that. I think that
19 is undeniable.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll give that the next exhibit number.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May by allowed to ask one more
22 question, please, Mr. May?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you can. But we'll give this an exhibit number
25 THE REGISTRAR: Defence Exhibit 150, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: You can ask one more question.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You're a professional, Mr. Williams, and you said during the
4 examination-in-chief that the Serbs did not make any difference, did not
5 differentiate or did not succeed in doing so - I don't know whether I've
6 noted it correctly - between civilian and military targets. Is that what
7 you said?
8 A. I believe I said words to that effect, yes.
9 Q. All right, then, please. When you bear in mind the experiences
10 gained with the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, when on several
11 occasions it was civilian targets that were targeted, did NATO distinguish
12 or make a difference between civilian and military targets?
13 JUDGE MAY: That's not a matter for the witness. That's just a
14 comment we'll have to consider in due course.
15 Yes, Mr. Kay.
16 Questioned by Mr. Kay:
17 Q. Dr. Williams, first of all, just an overview from the last-but-one
18 question that you were asked concerning the influence of Mr. Milosevic.
19 The picture you have given is of the parties on occasion - and by that I
20 mean the Bosnian Serb leadership - assembling in Belgrade periodically
21 before Mr. Milosevic as president of the Republic of Serbia as a bid for
22 him to use his best endeavours to exert political pressure on the Bosnian
23 Serb leadership. Is that right as a picture?
24 A. Yes, I think it is. One thing I would point out: I think during
25 the period when I was an official in the former Yugoslavia, I think the --
1 the meetings that we've been talking about in April 1994, I think that was
2 probably the only occasion when the entire Bosnian Serb leadership were
3 brought together with President Milosevic and the UN. I mean, normally
4 these meetings were handled on a bilateral level in Pale or, on one
5 occasion, in Geneva. But I think the gist of what you've said is correct.
6 Q. Not surprising in a way, as Serbia was a political power in the
7 region with which you were dealing.
8 A. Indeed.
9 Q. And just moving on from that, as we've seen through the obviously
10 limited documents that you've produced, that there was a great deal, and
11 in fact the majority of it, was bilateral negotiations direct with -- with
12 Pale. And by that we mean Dr. Karadzic and/or General Mladic.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And your assessment of General Mladic was that he had firm control
15 over his forces and was in possession of a disciplined military structure.
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Over which he exercised control in a firm and decisive manner.
18 A. That's fair.
19 Q. And in the documents that you have produced, either statements or
20 references and notes that you have made during your period of involvement,
21 you were able to see on many occasions intemperate, otherwise called
22 hot-headed, responses by him to situations of the slightest provocation by
23 the other side.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. There's a quote somewhere by you that he couldn't believe that the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Muslims would have the temerity to fire on Serb forces and was going to
2 provide a damaging response to any such provocation.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In your dealings with the other side, no doubt you were aware as
5 well that any provocation, however slight, was able to engender such a
6 disproportionate response by him.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. It was a feature of the conflict that was understood and it was a
9 feature that could be used for political advantage by the other side; and
10 by that, I mean the other side to the General Mladic.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. There is also a record by you of the meeting in Belgrade at which
13 he was present, at which the threat of NATO airstrikes was being used
14 against the Bosnian Serbs, and he spontaneously uttered, "You'd better
15 hold to your word. If there is NATO bombing, we will attack Muslims and
17 A. That's correct. That was on the Saturday morning of the 23rd of
18 April. I recall it very vividly. It was about 11.00 in the morning,
19 towards the end of the meeting.
20 Q. The majority of your dealings being with the Bosnian Serbs, you
21 were turning to President Milosevic in situations such as those for him to
22 try and bring his influence to bear upon at least that party to the
24 A. That's a correct assessment.
25 Q. It was a situation that you recognised he could bring influence
1 but not control.
2 A. He could certainly bring influence to bear. Yes, indeed.
3 Q. But not control. What was happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina was
4 under the control of Karadzic and Mladic.
5 A. They were the political leadership -- sorry, Dr. Karadzic was
6 the -- the chief political leader of the Bosnian Serbs; that is correct.
7 General Mladic was the commander of the VRS, the Bosnian Serb army, which
8 had, I believe, very close ties to the Yugoslav army.
9 Q. If we can look a little bit at one or two matters very, very
10 briefly. Tab 34, paragraph 11, the meeting by Mr. de Mello on the 11th of
11 August, 1994, with President Milosevic. This is the meeting in which the
12 statement was made about Brazil and the borders as it was part of the
13 process to try and secure the borders because of the imposition of
14 sanctions. Those sanctions were being viewed, certainly from your
15 position, as something that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was taking
16 seriously against the Bosnian Serbian leadership.
17 A. Yes. I mean, they were a welcome measure. They'd been imposed by
18 Mr. Milosevic, if I recall, on the 4th of August. So it was early days at
19 this stage, 11th of August, to make any assessment of how effective they
20 were, of course.
21 Q. A device whereby he was trying to influence the Bosnian Serb
22 leadership to take a more constructive role in the peace process.
23 A. Yes. It was an -- in particular, it was to try and bring them to
24 agree to the contact group peace plan for Bosnia.
25 Q. This was part of a series of engagements to try and restrain them
1 and bring them into line with his way of thinking in relation to the peace
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I'm just looking at paragraph 11 of this document, where President
5 Milosevic assured that he had exerted and would continue to exercise his
6 influence in support of the negotiating process.
7 A. Well, that's what he said, yes.
8 Q. Yes. And he also said, in conclusion, in paragraph 13, "We have
9 made the choice for peace."
10 A. That's his statement, yes.
11 Q. Yes. It's for others to judge whether that is right or wrong.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. But that is the context of those remarks.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I want to go back a bit to tab 4, a slightly earlier stage at this
16 stage, the 13th of April, 1994, the meeting with President Milosevic in
17 Belgrade. And it was in paragraph 2 that the Prosecution directed your
18 attention to a statement by President Milosevic concerning the Serb attack
19 on Gorazde.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And the remarks made by him. I think you will agree with this,
22 that he was not on the ground, so to speak, in Gorazde at that time in
23 April of 1994.
24 A. No. But I would expect President Milosevic to have been very,
25 very well informed of events. I remind the Court that Gorazde is about 30
1 minutes' drive from the Serbian border.
2 Q. And it's "information," which is the key word and the next
3 question I was going to ask you about. Information for his purposes could
4 just as much come from Radovan Karadzic and General Mladic as anybody
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And any statement made by him may not be his own assessment in the
8 sense of what he has seen and heard but may be on the basis of information
9 that was given to him.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And when you're going through these political negotiations and
12 processes that you have described, that is often something that you are up
14 A. Yes, of course. Yes.
15 Q. Ensuring that the party you're negotiating with has a brief, so to
16 speak, that comes from a disinterested perspective as you would see
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But what was ever -- whatever was said in paragraph 2 thereafter,
20 there is no doubt that President Milosevic was emphasising the need for
21 peace and for a solution of the conflict. We can see in paragraph 4:
22 "President Milosevic stressed that in his view the only reasonable
23 approach towards peace is to seek the general cessation of hostilities."
24 A. Yes, that was his view. Yes.
25 Q. And that was a series of manoeuvres that took place thereafter
1 involving your parties, so to speak, and him and others in a bid to get
2 the peace process on the road.
3 A. [No audible response]
4 Q. A number of initiatives were taken up. We've no need to go into
5 that detail. We don't have time. But this was a part of that process.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. We can see at paragraph 6, at this stage he was of the view, and
8 no doubt you were of the view, that there was a strained relationship
9 between the international community and the Bosnian Serb leadership.
10 A. Very much so. Very much so. And they were holding up our
11 convoys, preventing our deployment in Gorazde. The relationship was very
13 Q. And the bid was afoot thereafter to try and normalise that as much
14 as possible, to try and get them on side in relation to what they -- their
15 acts and conduct.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. If we move from this document, which is of the 13th of April, and
18 go to tab 16, which is the 23rd of April. I just want to look at the
19 first page, because it's a -- a point there, 23rd of April, 1994. This is
20 the page that comes after your press statement, from Mr. Akashi to Kofi
21 Annan. We see it seems to be typed in "as well as with President
22 Milosevic" in paragraph 1, concerning the meeting.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Whoever was typing this was -- was presenting it really as a copy
25 of the record of their meeting in Belgrade with Dr. Karadzic and General
1 Mladic initially, and then as an afterthought, well, President Milosevic
2 was there. But again, he was being used as a means of -- of influence, if
3 possible, upon these two gentlemen.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The meeting opens up with President Milosevic presenting a
6 proposed agenda focussing on the normalisation of relations between
7 UNPROFOR, the issue we've just referred to, the solution to the Gorazde
8 crisis, and the cessation of hostilities. It's Dr. Karadzic thereafter
9 who invents or produces a number of reasons in contradiction to those
10 proposals by President Milosevic --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- if we read the content of this. We don't have a great deal of
13 time, I make that as a general point, but it's quite clear that all sorts
14 of reasons come out presented by him as to why it can't work, what he
15 wants, and what his demands are.
16 A. Yes, I'd accept that. Yes.
17 Q. And eventually, after that meeting - if we go to tab 17 - that
18 date of the 25th of April, 1994, we see here the code cable which is part
19 thereafter of the initiation of a cease-fire arrangement around Gorazde
20 and an attempt to normalise relations. Is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. The breaches that occur thereafter -- and we look at tab 18.
23 After a few days there were breaches and the situation deteriorated. And
24 I won't say it was back to place 1, but it was well on the way of -- of
25 going backwards again.
1 Those points and objections were being made to Dr. Karadzic as for
2 what was going on and happening in relation to those failures.
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. We've principally dealt with the Bosnian Serbs. Concurrently
5 there was also the issue concerning Martic and Babic in the Krajina. And
6 I have a letter here that was sent to President Milosevic by Mr. Akashi,
7 dated the 7th of December, 1994.
8 And perhaps you could take a brief look at it, as it will be the
9 last point I make.
10 MR. KAY: One for Their Honours, the Prosecution, and the
11 Registry. It's a document from the Rule 68 material, Your Honour, dated
12 the 7th of December, 1994.
13 Q. Could you just identify it as being Mr. Akashi's signature and his
14 letter; you may even remember it.
15 A. Yes, I think I do remember this. Yes.
16 Q. I've marked the first two paragraphs --
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. -- because that's all we're going to deal with, so that our
19 attention is drawn to them.
20 Again, really a replicated role of President Milosevic being asked
21 to use his influence upon Martic, whereas -- is that right? If you could
22 just -- you were nodding your head.
23 A. Sorry. Yes. I think that Mr. Akashi believed that Mr. Milosevic
24 could exercise quite considerable influence over Mr. Martic. You will
25 recall in my testimony yesterday I think we referred to elections in the
1 Krajina Serb Republic in January 1994, where clearly Mr. Martic was seen
2 as Mr. Milosevic's preferred candidate in those elections. So our
3 assessment was that Mr. Milosevic could exercise considerable influence
4 with Mr. Martic.
5 Q. But this has to be put into the context of a political power
6 struggle between Babic, Dr. Babic, and Mr. Martic, and Dr. Babic in fact
7 wresting the political initiative away from Mr. Martic. Is that right?
8 A. Yes, he didn't wrest the initiative completely away but he
9 controlled the local parliamentary assembly and was a powerful figure.
10 Q. And he was regarded as the more extreme of the two.
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. And he was regarded as being out of President Milosevic's control.
13 A. I think that's a fair assessment, yes.
14 Q. And at that time, he had more influence than Mr. Martic.
15 A. Well, Martic was actually formerly president of the Serb Republic
16 in Croatia and the Krajina. I mean, there is a matter of sort of debate
17 as to their relative degrees of influence, but I agree with most of what
18 you're arguing, yes.
19 Q. He'd been undermined by Babic politically, Babic having proved
20 himself an adept and cunning political operator.
21 A. I think that's fair.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. KAY: I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Groome, given the constraints of time.
25 MR. GROOME: I'll be brief, Your Honour.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Groome:
2 Q. Dr. Williams, there's been some discussion about this general
3 cessation of hostilities that Mr. Milosevic was advocating in 1994. This
4 was, of course, after the major ethnic -- ethnic cleansing campaigns of
5 1992. My question to you is: Had there been a general cessation of
6 hostilities -- had that been adopted at this stage and the current
7 confrontation lines been frozen as territorial boundaries, would one side
8 or another have gained a significant advantage in having that happen?
9 A. Well, I think yes. I think the Bosnian Serb authorities would
10 have gained a very distinct advantage if a cease-fire was based on the
11 lines of confrontation. I mean, as the Court will be aware, three of the
12 enclaves were completely surrounded by the Bosnian Serb forces - Gorazde,
13 Zepa, and Srebrenica - and Sarajevo itself was besieged. So a cease-fire
14 on those lines would have been self-evidently disadvantageous to the
15 Bosnian government.
16 Q. The accused in his questions to you has characterised his role in
17 the negotiations surrounding Gorazde as simply that of an intermediary
18 between the Bosnian Serb leadership and the UN mission -- a disinterested
19 peacemaker, as it were. I want to draw your attention once again to tab 4
20 of Prosecution Exhibit 470. The portion I'm going to ask you to look at
21 is being displayed on the television monitors in the courtroom and is
22 paragraph 5. I'm going to read you the first sentence of that.
23 And it says: "President Milosevic emphasised that the current
24 economic sanctions on Serbia should be lifted within the context of a
25 cessation of hostilities." My question to you is: Did Mr. Milosevic
1 introduce the connection between the sanctions that were imposed on Serbia
2 and the cessation of hostilities in Bosnia?
3 A. Yes, he did. I think very, very clearly in that meeting on the
4 13th of April. So in that sense, I mean, clearly he was not a
5 disinterested intermediary.
6 Q. Was this the only occasion in which he linked the two, the
7 sanctions with cessation of hostilities in -- or peace in Bosnia?
8 A. I don't -- I don't believe it was the only occasion, but I can't
9 off the top of my head cite directly a date and place for another
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, the question is an unfair
13 one because in the documents one can see that I am talking about the
14 necessity of doing away with sanctions, in view of our constant policy of
15 peace. And that would be --
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Very well. It's not an improper
17 question. You can argue the point in due course.
18 Yes, Mr. Groome.
19 MR. GROOME:
20 Q. Now, during the time that Mr. Milosevic was participating in
21 negotiations - and I'm asking you to consider all negotiations, not simply
22 the ones related to Gorazde - were there still the continuing violations
23 of the closed border between Serbia and Bosnia, a border which as we saw
24 in Prosecution tab 34, Mr. Milosevic had given his personal assurance that
25 it had been hermetically sealed?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. There were documented violations of that border which are
2 clearly documented.
3 Q. And my last question to you is: Why was it Mr. Milosevic whose
4 assistance was sought and not the then-president, federal president,
5 Lilic, or the foreign minister, both Serbs and both perhaps more obvious
6 and logical choices, if what was sought was an intermediary or facilitator
7 in these negotiations?
8 A. Because it -- whilst Mr. Milosevic may well have been a
9 facilitator, he wasn't an intermediary. It was clearly -- clear that he
10 was a dominant political figure in Serbia and had profound influence on
11 the Bosnian Serb political authorities but also on their military
12 authorities. The other individuals you referred to, Foreign Minister
13 Jovanovic and President Lilic, had -- were thought and I believe assessed
14 correctly not to have any influence on events in Bosnia.
15 MR. GROOME: I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Williams, that concludes your evidence. Thank you
17 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: And we've got this -- we've got the document which was
20 put to the witness by the amici. That can have a exhibit number.
21 Do you want to have it exhibited, insofar as you can?
22 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MAY: It better have a C number.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Chamber Exhibit Number 7, Your Honour.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Nice, a problem arose about this last
2 witness, about his flight, which it may be that he'll miss. I don't have
3 to tell you. It's more satisfactory if we know from the beginning the
4 times, more satisfactory if witnesses are -- it's explained to them that
5 they may have to remain here longer. We cannot guarantee a precise time.
6 It will depend on how long the evidence takes.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honour, all those points will be taken into
8 consideration so far as we can. We do our best to accommodate all
9 interests. We can only forecast for witnesses the approximate time to be
10 allowed in cross-examination, and we are under some constraints, given
11 that there's not a limitless ability to keep people here and to move them
12 backwards and forwards.
13 Indeed, I was going to come to that, if I may, on an associated or
14 nearly associated administrative matter. Next week we are starting
15 with -- we're hoping to deal with several 92 bis witnesses who are
16 essentially only going to be cross-examined. Now, those -- they're here
17 for cross-examination, crime-base witnesses. Those who organise the
18 movements of witnesses and who have to cover the cost of bringing them
19 here and keeping them here are very concerned that we shouldn't have too
20 many with the risk of them having to be sent back. We are, of course,
21 very concerned that we shouldn't have too few, with the prospect of
22 available court time not being fully used.
23 In the Kosovo section of the trial, a pattern developed whereby a
24 particular amount of time was characteristically granted to the accused
25 should he want to cross-examine 92 bis witnesses. Generally he used all
1 the time available to him, although not always. And it was possible to
2 make a reasonable estimate of how many such witnesses we could fit in a
3 particular day.
4 Now, it may be, in light of his greater experience now in
5 cross-examining that he will be able to be more concise in his
6 cross-examining of these witnesses. It may be that other considerations
7 will lead to different times being allowed to him by the Chamber. But we
8 would be assisted if any indication could be given to this, perhaps if not
9 today, tomorrow, as to how much at the most cross-examination time is
10 likely to be afforded per witness in order that we can get the right
11 number of witnesses here but not waste money and resources.
12 Obviously were the accused in any position to indicate that there
13 are witnesses whom he will not wish to cross-examine at all or much, we
14 would be considerably assisted because that will enable us to bring more
15 witnesses in than otherwise.
16 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May.
18 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, what was said?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I wish to say that this
20 insistence of Mr. Nice's obviously has to do with shortening the time made
21 available to me. This is constant practice here, shortening the time
22 given to me.
23 For example, the witness who's just finished, although you measure
24 the time that Mr. Groome had with him and then you compare it to the time
25 given to me, he presented an entire pile of documents here, and I actually
1 could not even comment upon them or even put a question with regard to
2 these documents. So from the point of view of the principle of fairness
3 as such, my rights are being infringed upon all the time as far as
4 cross-examination is concerned.
5 And if Mr. Nice insists on having these rights curbed even
6 further, this brings us to an absurdity. Does any kind of
7 cross-examination then have any point whatsoever?
8 JUDGE MAY: You were allowed, with the last witness, longer than
9 the Prosecution, substantially longer. You had every opportunity to put
10 the documents to him. You chose not to take it. You chose, as always, to
11 argue with the witness about some fairly irrelevant matters.
12 Now, of course we have in mind your rights to cross-examine when
13 we consider these matters. It's not -- true, it's not open to the
14 Prosecution to limit your time. All they were referring to in this case
15 was the practice which had occurred with the Kosovo witnesses and asking
16 what our view was about the following 92 bis witnesses next week. We'll
17 consider that.
18 Yes, Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: A couple of other administrative matters before the
20 next witness comes in. Can I just deal with them in private session for a
22 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
23 JUDGE MAY: Can we have the witness, please.
24 MR. NICE: While the witness and the other gentleman are coming
25 in, can I say the witness list, I think, is coming your way today. I'm
1 very sorry about the delay. I'll explain it to you, if necessary,
2 although I hope that the end of the list itself will be self-explanatory
3 about the task that faces us. And in light of what the accused said very
4 long ago, we of course have absolutely no intention or expectation, let
5 alone desire, of asking for my more time. On the contrary, we very much
6 wish to finish the Prosecution's case as soon as we properly can. But of
7 course time is finite, and you'll see from the witness list that we have a
8 great amount of cutting to do.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Could the witness take the declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
12 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: PETER WOODARD GALBRAITH
14 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
15 Examined by Mr. Nice:
16 Q. Your full name, please. Full name, please.
17 A. Peter Woodard Galbraith.
18 Q. And Mr. Galbraith, you bear the rank of ambassador because, having
19 been educated in Harvard, Oxford, and at Georgetown University, and
20 following a career as advisor to the United States Senate Foreign
21 Relations Committee, you were the United States ambassador to Croatia from
22 June 1993 until January 1998.
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Towards the end of your period of work as advisor to the Senate
25 Foreign Relations Committee, did you pay visits, or a visit in any event,
1 to the former Yugoslavia?
2 A. I made four such visits, in 1991 and 1992.
3 Q. Did you, with a colleague, prepare by August 1992 a report to your
4 committee on ethnic cleansing in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. I did.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, this exhibit has not been formally served
7 on the accused. It's a public document. I'd wish to add it to the
8 material available by way of exhibits for the following reasons: It
9 contains an analysis of what the witness and his colleague found at their
10 visits to the former Yugoslavia in the time given. The document was
11 itself made available to the accused in 1992 and thus constitutes
12 notification to him of the views held of him by others, in this case the
13 authors of the report.
14 So may that document please be produced. It's tab 5 in the
16 JUDGE MAY: It was made available to the accused in 1992.
17 MR. NICE: Yes, it was. The witness will give an account of that
18 in a minute.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well.
20 MR. NICE: Tab 5. I gather there's a bundle of exhibits. Can
21 they be given a general exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 471.
23 MR. NICE: And if the witness could have a copy as well.
24 We can look at this document really quite swiftly. If there's a
25 spare copy that the usher could lay on the overhead projector as we're
1 dealing with it, so much the better, but I don't want to take much time
2 with it.
3 Q. If we go to the Roman page number V, the letter of transmittal of
4 August the 15th, 1992 and simply the middle of the page, Ambassador
5 Galbraith, as is said there, was this report prepared following your
6 speaking with scores of refugees from, eyewitnesses to, and survivors of
7 atrocities in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 Q. We then pass over two sheets to come to ordinary numbering, pages
10 2 and 3 at the top. You having already set out some of your key findings
11 as to facts in Bosnia-Herzegovina, make this point on page 2, the first
12 bullet numbered -- or the first bulleted point: "While neither the
13 republic governments of Serbia or Montenegro nor the federal government of
14 the so-called Yugoslavia directly controls the actions of Bosnian Serbs,
15 Serbia and Montenegro share responsibility for the killing now underway in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In May 1992, Serbia withdrew the JNA from Bosnia, but
17 left behind, under the control of the Bosnian Serbs, 85 per cent of its
18 men and most of its equipment." And then you go on to deal further with
19 that in that paragraph.
20 The next bullet point deals with: "Serbian paramilitary groups,
21 including those associated with prominent Serbian political figures,
22 operate with impunity in Bosnia-Herzegovina." And that's all I want from
24 Were those your opinions at the time, Ambassador?
25 A. Yes, they were.
1 Q. On page 3, the centre of the page: "Given the success that," you
2 say, "Serbia has had with its ethnic cleansing policy in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it may advance the same policy in other areas under
4 Serbian control, namely Kosovo and Vojvodina. There have been signs
5 already that Serbia is contemplating and may have initiated such a
7 Well, that may or may not have been prophetic. Can you now
8 identify the particular source or material that led to your then opinion?
9 A. Yes, I can. This was -- at the time, there was a process of
10 expelling ethnic Croats from the Vojvodina, and some of the other
11 minorities there, and there was acute repression of Albanians in Kosovo.
12 Q. If we go over two more sheets on the copies of the document to
13 page 6, we see ten lines down -- eight lines down from the top within that
14 paragraph, this comment: "The Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic has
15 been a proponent of ethnic cleansing but now, with sanctions and the
16 threatened use of military force, would like to disassociate himself from
17 the consequences." It's sometime ago since you wrote the report. Can you
18 in fact identify any particular statement, observation, or anything of the
19 accused that justifies your conclusion or opinion that he was a proponent
20 of ethnic cleansing?
21 A. Yes. We believed that Slobodan Milosevic was the architect of a
22 policy of creating Greater Serbia and that little happened without his
23 knowledge and involvement. In this case, we noted that the Bosnian Serb
24 army was created in May of 1992 when the Yugoslav army was dissolved,
25 that it was supported and supplied from Serbia, that Serbia paid the
1 salaries, that the Bosnian Serbs themselves were supplied and supported
2 economically from Serbia.
3 Q. But as to any particular observations or statements of his to this
4 effect, anything you can cite or not?
5 A. No. It was a -- this was really based on, at least as I recall,
6 it was based on behaviour.
7 Q. Over to page 8, on the left-hand side, four lines down: "The Serb
8 plan was to connect the Krajina regions of Croatia and Bosnia to Serbia
9 through an ethnically Serb corridor. Refugee interviews permit us to
10 reconstruct what happened in one town in this corridor." The view that
11 this was the plan formed from all the material available to you at the
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. So that the Court, and indeed the accused can be reminded of - the
15 Court can have the structure of - your report, your fairly short report,
16 on page 11, under subparagraph -- under paragraph E you make criticisms of
17 the slow international response.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Both of the United Nations and of the United States.
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. And that continues over to the top of page 12, if you wish to read
22 it in detail.
23 There's then a passage starting at page 15 of testimony, which we
24 won't touch at all, but did you speak to these various witnesses yourself?
25 A. We spoke to all the witnesses whose testimonies are cited in this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. Going on to page 26 and then to the right-hand side of that sheet,
3 under "Policy Issues, Serbia's Role," you set out in more detail the
4 passage I've already looked at at the beginning about the governments of
5 Serbia and Montenegro bearing responsibility, and so I needn't repeat
7 The second paragraph, you touch on the paramilitary groups, but at
8 the last sentence of that paragraph: "However, there is some evidence
9 that Bosnian Serbs are receiving some financial support directly from
10 Serbia." Can you remember how you sourced that or not?
11 A. Yes. This would have come from information available to the US
12 government. After all, we -- as we noted in the report, we spoke to the
13 embassy in Belgrade and the embassy in Zagreb. It also came from
14 observations made by United Nations officials with whom we spoke, from
15 Croatian government officials with whom we spoke, as well as journalists.
16 Q. And finally from this report, under "Sanctions," you set out the
17 reality of sanctions. One thing that may be interesting to observe, in
18 the middle you say that "the most culpable --" the middle of the first
19 paragraph: "... the most culpable party in the conflict has full legal
20 access to international markets and supplies, including oil," observing
21 parenthetically that the Security Council's sanctions resolution
22 explicitly permits goods to transit Serbia, including to
23 Serbian-controlled Bosnia-Herzegovina. Can you just explain what was the
24 reality and sometimes perhaps ironic reality of Serbia allowing -- being
25 allowed to be transited by goods that it wasn't allowed itself to receive
1 because of sanctions?
2 A. As you -- Serbia and Montenegro were, of course, subject to
3 sanctions, but the Serb-controlled parts of Bosnia and Croatia were part
4 of the -- legally speaking, part of the sovereign states of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia and therefore were not subject to
6 sanctions. And one of the ways in which sanctions were busted in 1992 was
7 that goods would be imported through Serbia, transit Serbia, with a
8 destination in Croatia or Bosnia, but an area under Serbia control, and
9 then re-imported into Serbia.
10 Q. Perhaps it's worth observing, finally, as a -- as a place of
11 reference, that on page 35 you list camps and prisons.
12 This report, Ambassador, help us, please, with how it was made
13 available to the accused. I think it was October 1992.
14 A. Well, first the report was released in August of 1992 by the
15 Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It received considerable attention in
16 the press. As was the nature of these reports, they would have been
17 picked up by the embassies and, you know, almost certainly copies went to
18 the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington.
19 Then in October of 1992, I travelled to the former Yugoslavia with
20 Michelle Maynard, my co-author of this report, and we went to Belgrade.
21 We had copies of the report with us, and I gave them to relevant
22 officials. I recall giving one to the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, Milan
23 Panic, at the time. I did see the defendant at that time, and I may have
24 given him a report, I don't recall.
25 Q. Turning to another topic.
1 JUDGE MAY: A convenient moment, then.
2 Ambassador Galbraith, we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes.
3 We -- I must warn you, as we do all witnesses, not to speak to anybody
4 about your evidence until it's over, and that does include the members of
5 the Prosecution team.
6 Twenty minutes, please.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Ambassador, as the ambassador in Zagreb, did you have contact with
12 President Tudjman?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Regularly and what sort of frequency?
15 A. Extremely frequently. Particularly during the war years I would
16 see him several times a week, sometimes several times a day, depending on
17 the -- what was going on, whether there was crisis, as there usually was.
18 Q. Contact with the Serbs in Croatia - Martic, Babic, and so on -
19 what sort of contact with them? What sort of frequency?
20 A. Once the -- I became involved in the Croatia peace process,
21 beginning in March of 1994, frequent -- the frequency would average about
22 once a month, maybe a little less, and then in -- beginning in September
23 of 1995, in the -- in the period when we were working the Eastern Slavonia
24 peace process, it was very, very frequent.
25 Q. From those contacts and from all other available sources, you were
1 able to form a view about the degree to which the accused influenced the
2 Krajina Serbs - this is paragraph 1 of the summary. Can you explain your
3 conclusion as to his influence and over what -- what issues he had
4 influence over?
5 A. Well, first, it was apparent to me that, as indeed it was to
6 virtually all the other international mediators, that the defendant was
7 the -- was the key to any peace settlement, that the Krajina Serb
8 leadership would not take any decision -- any substantive decision for a
9 peace agreement without his approval, that they consulted regularly with
10 him and indeed the leaders with whom I negotiated, at least several of
11 them, Milan Babic, Milan Milanovic, said that they regularly consulted
12 with the defendant.
13 The -- and further, the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina was
14 itself completely dependent on -- on Serbia. The government of Serbia or
15 Yugoslavia paid the salaries of the Krajina Serb military, I believe
16 probably other officials, including the police. This was a completely
17 impoverished region that could not exist even at the very low level that
18 it existed without financial support from Serbia. Supplies came from
19 Serbia. And indeed, when the RSK military suffered a -- a defeat in May
20 of 1995 and when Martic launched rockets on Zagreb, it was -- it was
21 Serbia that changed the head of the RSK army, supplying a new military
23 Q. We'll come to those in detail in just a second. But first, you
24 speak of supplies. Does that include fuel?
25 A. Yes, it does.
1 Q. How dependent were the Krajina Serbs on Serbia for fuel?
2 A. Well, if you speak of the -- the Western Krajina, or the western
3 part of the RSK, it was completely dependent on Serbia. There was, of
4 course, fuel -- there was, of course, oil produced in -- in Eastern
5 Slavonia, the Serb-held part of Eastern Slavonia.
6 Q. You speak of the change of the head of the RSK army. From whom to
7 whom and how do you assert that it was at the accused's control?
8 A. Yes. It was from General Slekotic [phoen] to General Mrksic, and
9 this took place in May of 1995, as I said. It -- it was my judgement that
10 there were a number of reasons. One was the fact that Slekotic had put up
11 no resistance when the Croatians had -- no effective resistance had
12 overrun sector west, and therefore a more effective commander was brought
13 in from the Yugoslav army, and that was where he came from. And also,
14 that -- my belief was that the defendant did not wish to have another
15 rocket attack on Zagreb and he wanted somebody who would not in fact
16 authorise such an attack or not carry out on order to launch such an
18 Q. Perhaps an associated topic is the election of Martic as president
19 of the RSK in 1994. Would you give your account of that election in a
20 couple of sentences and your conclusions derived from it.
21 A. It was a very peculiar election because in the first round, Milan
22 Babic had about 49 per cent of the vote and Martic had -- his percentage
23 was in the 20s, and yet in the second round Martic had won with 53 per
24 cent and -- to Babic's 47 per cent. That's without precedent in
25 democratic elections. We believed based on sources available to the US
1 government that the election had been rigged to ensure that Martic would
2 win, and Babic himself on the 23rd of January, 1995, told me he believed
3 the election had been rigged by -- and that the defendant had participated
4 in the rigging, that in particular the rigging had taken place with
5 ballots in Eastern Slavonia.
6 Q. I turn now to the Z-4 process, something of which the Chamber has
7 heard from a couple of witnesses, substantially from the witness Babic.
8 This was a process, "Z" for "Zagreb," and involving the United States,
9 Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. It lasted from when
10 and until when, Ambassador?
11 A. Well, from March 23rd, 1994, until Operation Storm, August 4th,
13 Q. The overall intended structure of the process?
14 A. It was a three-stage process that began with the negotiation of a
15 cease-fire in Croatia between the Serbs -- a Serb-held part of the country
16 and the government-held part of the country. That was followed by
17 economic and confidence -- negotiations to award an agreement on
18 economics -- economic and confidence-building measures. And then the
19 third stage was to be a -- a political settlement within Croatia.
20 Q. How far did the process get?
21 A. A -- we were able to negotiate a cease-fire agreement on the --
22 which was achieved in the early hours of the 30th of March. We were,
23 after much, much delay, able to achieve an economic and
24 confidence-building agreement on the 2nd of December, 1994, which however
25 was only partially implemented. And we were unable to present the
1 political plan and to initiate serious negotiations on a political
3 Q. I'll turn to your overall assessment of the participants in a few
4 minutes' time. But at this stage, what was Martic's revealed enthusiasm
5 for the process?
6 A. He was -- he was, I think, supportive of the -- of a cease-fire, I
7 think extremely reluctant about any kind of economic and
8 confidence-building measures, and opposed to any kind of political
10 Q. In your judgement, was his approach the result of his own
11 independent judgement or was he guided or driven from elsewhere?
12 A. I think he was heavily influenced by the defendant.
13 Q. The accused's attitude towards the Z-4 process and in particular
14 towards the economic and confidence-building measures, was that revealed
15 to you? If so, when and how?
16 A. The accused was actively involved in discussions on the economic
17 and confidence-building measures, not ones - I hasten to add - that I was
18 involved in but that Lord Owen and that Thorvald Stoltenberg was involved
19 in. He offered a -- sought a number of positions, notably trying to avoid
20 any kind of Croatian control of the borders between Serbia and the Eastern
21 Slavonia or between the Krajina and Bosnian Serb territory. That was one
22 of his primary concerns. And in the end, he went along with the
23 conclusion of this agreement, which is why it actually happened.
24 Q. Babic, did you meet Babic at all in 1994?
25 A. I did not.
1 Q. Did you learn of his attitude to or reaction towards the Z-4
2 process or not?
3 A. I did. On -- I first met him on the 23rd of January, 1995 --
4 Q. Forgive my interrupting you. Did you learn anything about his
5 reaction in the course of 1994?
6 A. Well, yes. He was a leader in the parliament of the -- of the RSK
7 parliament of the largest political party, and actually he played a -- he
8 was often opposed to the economic and confidence-building measures. I
9 think he saw it as a useful political club against Martic.
10 Q. You then met him on the 23rd of January of 1995, and that was your
11 first meeting, paragraph 4 I think it is of the perhaps oddly numbered
12 summary. Yes?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. What happened there?
15 A. I went down to Knin to brief him on the Z-4 political plan that we
16 were planning to present in the next week. We -- we had lunch, and we had
17 a very engaged discussion. He was intrigued by the plan. He said that
18 there were a number of features of the plan that he thought were very
19 interesting. He said that certainly there was room for improvement. But
20 his -- his general approach was -- was at least interested in it, and
21 seeming that this was something worth pursuing.
22 Q. Can we look briefly at tab 1 of the exhibit. Does this document,
23 Ambassador, set out the draft Z-4 agreement at that stage?
24 A. Yes, it does.
25 Q. I don't want to go through it in detail. You might, I think,
1 express the view that it was in some ways generous in its terms?
2 A. It -- it allowed the Krajina Serbs very, very substantial
3 self-government, indeed almost total self-government in the territory of
4 Croatia, wherein -- where according to the 1991 census Serbs were a
5 majority. So yes, it was extremely generous.
6 Q. For those particular areas.
7 A. For those areas.
8 Q. And we'll just take a couple of examples using the page numbers at
9 the top. On page number 6 we have flags and emblems, it's own flag.
11 A. That is correct. They could have their own flag and their own
13 Q. Page 10 at the top, currency and taxation covered specifically.
14 A. Yes. The issue of the currency was a very important one, because
15 they objected to using the Croatia kuna, because they said this was the
16 same currency that had been used by the fascist Croatian state in the
17 Second World War. And so this plan provided that they could have their
18 own bank notes. They would call -- they could call them the dinar or
19 whatever they wanted. They could have their own designs. Although, from
20 a monetary point of view, it would be the equivalent of the kuna and
21 controlled by the Croatian Central Bank.
22 Q. I see at page 12, its own president, and so on. Yes?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Well, thus you're meeting with Babic on the 23rd of January. Had
25 there been a plan that you should meet Martic after meeting Babic?
1 A. Yes, there was.
2 If I could just add one other thing to Babic's reaction. In fact,
3 at one stage in that meeting, on the 23rd of January, he was concerned
4 that the plan had actually offered too much autonomy, had been too
5 generous, because he was concerned that it -- it might make the Krajina
6 Serb autonomous entity responsible for pensions and other things, which he
7 had hoped would be picked up by the central government in -- in Zagreb. I
8 said of course that would not be a problem to have less autonomy.
9 We were due to meet Milan Martic in the -- I was due to meet Milan
10 Martic in the afternoon, and Martic cancelled that appointment. He said
11 it was inappropriate for the ambassador -- and a breach of protocol for
12 the ambassador to have met the foreign minister -- the so-called foreign
13 minister before meeting the president.
14 Q. We'll move on in the meetings before we come back to the general
15 character assessment.
16 On the 30th of January, did you and other sponsors of the plan
17 meet with Martic, Babic, and Nikolic?
18 A. We did.
19 Q. Tell us about that in a sentence or so.
20 A. We -- we had presented the plan as a basis for negotiation, not as
21 a final document -- as a take-it-or-leave-it document to President Tudjman
22 in the morning, and in the afternoon we flew to Knin, where we met in the
23 castle with the top Krajina Serb leadership, including Martic, Babic, and
24 Nikolic. We attempted to hand over the plan, and Martic would not take
25 it. He wouldn't touch it.
1 Q. How did the meeting end?
2 A. Well, of course we were somewhat shocked that he would actually
3 not even physically receive the plan, much less that he would -- that they
4 would refuse to negotiate on the basis of it. We attempted to persuade
5 them in every possible way that this was not in their interest, that if
6 they refused to negotiate it would increase greatly the likelihood of --
7 that the Croatians would take military action, that the international
8 community would be -- it would be much harder for the international
9 community to prevent a military outcome. But none of these arguments
11 At the end of the meeting, Nikolic, the so-called Prime Minister,
12 said to us, he said, "You should be -- you should be professional
13 diplomats. You're making a great mistake." And I replied, "A great
14 mistake has been made, but we will see by whom."
15 Q. And I think you made an observation that relates to Babic and his
17 A. Yes. As we were leaving, Babic came up to me and he said in
18 English, "I'm sorry."
19 Q. Well, now, you'd seen Tudjman in the morning. Was Tudjman ever
20 prevailed upon to accept the proposal?
21 A. He agreed to negotiate on it but very reluctantly. However, given
22 that the Serbian side refused even to receive the plan, Croatia's bona
23 fides were simply not put to test.
24 Q. What about the accused?
25 A. Well, part of the plan was that we would go to -- from -- we'd
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 present it first to Tudjman, then to the Krajina Serbs, and then we would
2 go to Belgrade. The accused refused to see us.
3 Q. On the 9th of March, did you meet Babic again?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. On this occasion, the purpose of the meeting?
6 A. It was to -- we had worked out an agreement in Copenhagen or with
7 Tudjman to extend the United Nations' mandate. It was going to be changed
8 from being an UNPROFOR mandate to being an UNCRO mandate with some
9 essentially cosmetic changes that would keep the UN there. And I went
10 down for the purpose of persuading Babic that they should be cooperative
11 with this, but it also provided an occasion to discussion the Z-4 plan.
12 Q. What, if anything, did he say about it?
13 A. Well, first he received a copy of the plan, and again he was very
14 interested in different aspects of it.
15 Q. We'll come a little later to something else he said about the plan
16 and the reactions to it, but let's move on chronologically to Operation
17 Storm. When did you learn that Croatia was planning military action?
18 A. On or about the 21st of July, 1995.
19 Q. The apparent reason for this?
20 A. It was because there -- there was a combined attack from -- by the
21 Krajina Serbs and the Bosnian Serbs on the Bihac enclave. This came
22 shortly after the successful attack on Srebrenica, which had cost 7.000
23 lives, a successful -- and there was an ongoing attack on the enclave of
24 Zepa. And the -- the Croatians were concerned that if Bihac fell, their
25 strategic position would become much worse because the -- they would
1 not -- the Serb side would not have any internal lines to defend, that is,
2 they wouldn't have to defend against the Bosnian 5th Corps that was in
3 Bihac. They were also -- and that this then could lead to the creation of
4 a western Serb state, a unified western Serb state with the Bosnian Serbs
5 and the Krajina Serbs.
6 Second, they were concerned that they would be the -- that the
7 survivors of Bihac would come to Croatia. And of course they'd already
8 been overwhelmed by several million refugees passing through Croatia
9 during these war years.
10 And finally, they saw little prospect that there would be a
11 peaceful solution to the Krajina problem. They believed that this was an
12 opportune time for them to retake the area because with the events that
13 had happened in Srebrenica, the international community would be
14 disinclined to take any action against the Croatian government for doing
15 something that essentially would save Bihac.
16 Q. Did the failure of the Z-4 process, which had lasted some eight
17 months or thereabouts and was already a year old overall, did that play a
18 part in all this?
19 A. It played a very significant part. The Croatian President Tudjman
20 and his colleagues in the government saw no prospect that there could be a
21 negotiated settlement that would bring about the return of this territory
22 to Croatia or the return of Croatians who had been driven out of the
23 territory. So they felt that the military option was the only one that
24 was available to them. I think that they were contemplating doing it
25 later in the year, in December of 1995, when the UNCRO mandate expired.
1 But what the events in Bihac -- in Srebrenica and the attack on Bihac
2 provided a window of opportunity that they decided to use.
3 Q. Was the accused's attitude to Z-4 process and settlement generally
4 understood, known, and discussed at this time?
5 A. It was discussed -- it was known at this time. It was
6 continuously discussed by those who were involved in the peace process. I
7 think certainly the Croatian government saw the accused as -- as critical
8 to any settlement. And when they -- when they saw no likelihood that he
9 would agree, this was an important factor in their decision to take
10 military action.
11 Q. Did you on the 25th of July send a cable to the United States
12 Secretary of State giving an account of a survivor from Srebrenica that
13 you'd been provided with?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. And although we haven't time for material of this kind,
16 interesting though it is, I think that the material had been provided to
17 you by your wife, is it, or friend at the time, now your wife?
18 A. Now my wife.
19 Q. And was an eyewitness account from a survivor.
20 A. That is correct; somebody who had been in a group of men who
21 were -- who were -- all the rest -- all but one of the other members of
22 the group were executed. So he was a survivor of a mass execution.
23 Q. And was the account that you were given and that you were able to
24 draw on for your cable to the United States, was the account detailed as
25 to those involved in the massacre?
1 A. Yes, it was. And among -- it specifically said that General
2 Mladic had spoken to the group, had told them that they could expect no
3 comfort or help from their Alija, from the president of Bosnia and
5 Q. And as to any unit or troops involved, was the eyewitness detailed
6 on that?
7 A. Well, certainly he described the troops as being -- as Bosnian --
8 members of the Bosnian Serb army. I don't think in the account that I had
9 that it was -- that he listed specific units, but I haven't gone back and
10 checked the cable.
11 Q. Now, you sent that cable to the United States. Did the
12 late-President Tudjman consult you about what the United States' position
13 on military attack would be?
14 A. Yes, he did.
15 Q. Did you respond to that? And if so, when?
16 A. I responded that -- we delivered several demarches to the Croatian
17 government in this period. The Croatians were concerned that there not be
18 -- that if they took military action, that they would not face sanctions
19 from the UN Security Council for having a wider war. We responded by
20 expressing understanding for the situation in which they found themselves
21 and understanding for the fact that -- that they were prepared to expend
22 blood and treasure to save Bihac. We were deeply concerned that Bihac
23 would fall, that it would become another Srebrenica. It was four times as
24 populous as Srebrenica, so we were concerned that we could see 30 to 40
25 thousand people being massacred if -- if Mladic and the Bosnian Serbs did
1 the same thing there. We did -- we did not approve any kind of military
2 action, and we pointed out that military action would have serious -- was
3 always a risky proposition, that if Croatia got into any difficulty, it
4 certainly couldn't expect any help from the United States. And I warned
5 Tudjman in the strongest possible terms that should there be any kind of
6 military action, that we would hold him accountable and Croatia
7 accountable for protecting the civilian population, Serb civilians, as
8 well as for making sure that UN peacekeepers in the area were not hurt.
9 Q. Though you didn't support, did you expressly oppose, or did you
10 leave that neutral?
11 A. We neither supported nor opposed.
12 Q. Despite what must have seemed -- was to turn out to be an
13 inevitable war, did you make one last effort yourself to avert that
15 A. Yes. Our position on this, the US government position, was as I
16 said - and I just want to emphasise it - very much affected by what was
17 happening in Bihac and by -- we recognised that a war was going to have
18 terrible humanitarian consequences but that the -- that it was a lesser
19 evil than the -- than what we thought was the likely massacre of 40.000
20 people in Bihac if the Serbs applied Srebrenica rules there.
21 Nonetheless, we wanted to do everything possible to try and find a
22 peaceful settlement, and so when I spoke to President Tudjman on the 1st
23 of August in Brioni, I -- on instructions from the State Department, I
24 raised with him the possibility of meeting Babic in Belgrade later that
25 week. I should preface this by saying the previous weekend I had been in
1 touch with Babic through the United Nations and had proposed a meeting to
2 try and see if we could head off the war. He had said, "You're not
3 welcome to come to Knin, but I'd be prepared to meet you in Belgrade."
4 Q. Who had made you -- who had made you unwelcome in Knin?
5 A. Martic.
6 Q. But Babic -- and we're going to come to the personality
7 assessments, as I say, later, but Babic was prepared to meet you in
9 A. Babic said -- right. He said I wouldn't be welcome in Knin, but
10 he wanted to meet me in Belgrade.
11 Tudjman initially said, well, this would be an interesting idea
12 but don't wait until the end of the week; do it right away. And so with
13 -- he, incidentally, a few hours later he had his press secretary call to
14 -- or deputy press secretary call to say maybe it wasn't such a good idea,
15 but the US government was determined to see if there was any hope for
16 peace, so they instructed know go to Belgrade. I went there on the
17 morning of the 2nd, and at 8.00 in the evening, I met with Babic.
18 Q. The 2nd of August, 1995 you met Babic. What did you tell him?
19 A. I told him that a catastrophe was about to overtake the Krajina
20 Serbs, that the Croatian government -- Croatian military was poised for
21 military action, that because of the attacks that the Krajina Serb army
22 had participated in into Bihac that there was virtually no sympathy for
23 them in the international community, and that -- that they would have to
24 agree with terms that President Tudjman had outlined to avoid military
25 action. Those terms included a withdrawal from -- of all RSK forces from
1 Bihac, they included reopening a pipeline through Sector North that had
2 been opened by the economic agreement but closed down by the Krajina
3 Serbs, included opening of road and rail links through Knin, and most
4 importantly, an agreement to begin immediate negotiations for political
5 settlement within Croatia.
6 Q. Do you remember roughly how many items there were in the
7 requirements? Don't mind if you can't.
8 A. I think there were seven.
9 Q. Very well. What was Babic's general reaction to your proposal?
10 A. Babic came alone to this meeting which was held at the American
11 Embassy in Belgrade. His demeanour was extremely serious. He listened
12 attentively to everything I said. And then he replied in the following
13 manner: He said -- he began by apologising by what had happened on the
14 30th of January. He said that he couldn't -- it was incomprehensible that
15 the Krajina Serb government should have received the representatives of
16 the most powerful countries in the world, that is, the United States,
17 Russia, the European Union, and then to have refused to receive the plan.
18 He had said that this was something that was decided by those higher than
19 him, specifically Martic and Milosevic.
20 He then went on to say that he could -- he could understand fully
21 why the Croatians were attacking at Glamoc and Grahovo, places in the
22 Livno Valley that they had been -- that they'd taken, and why they were
23 poised to attack the Krajina region, that he could not understand the
24 reasons that the -- that his government had launched an attack into Bihac.
25 He said that he would accept the conditions, at least all the
1 conditions but the last one, the political condition, where we had some
2 more discussion.
3 He said that -- he didn't feel that he could say that he would
4 accept a settlement based on reintegration into Croatia. I thought about
5 that. He said, "No political leader could say that." So I said, "Well,
6 as an alternative, why don't you say that you will agree to negotiate on
7 the basis of the Z-4 plan, which is in fact a -- an arrangement to
8 reintegrate the Krajina into Croatia." We had a back and forth about
9 Eastern Slavonia. I said that, you know, it would be impossible to go
10 beyond the provisions of the Z-4 plan on Eastern Slavonia which would not
11 have the special autonomy, because it was not a Serb-majority area.
12 Q. Let's pause there, because we're taking a lot of information.
13 A. Okay.
14 Q. And I may be allowing you to go just a little too fast. You'd
15 explained earlier that the Z-4 plan was going to provide autonomy for
16 those areas with Serb majority at the relevant census. Eastern Slavonia
17 didn't qualify?
18 A. It did not qualify.
19 Q. Other parts did, but not Eastern Slavonia?
20 A. Eastern Slavonia and Western Slavonia did not qualify, nor did all
21 of the sectors north and south.
22 Q. Did the -- did Babic say anything to you at that stage about why
23 it was that the accused was opposed to this plan? And if not, did you
24 discover from elsewhere why he was opposed to this plan?
25 A. What Babic -- let me, if I can, just explain, I hope very briefly,
1 the -- what came out of the meeting was in fact this agreement, that he
2 would -- he would publicly state his acceptance of all of -- all of these
3 points, but in lieu of saying he would -- he would negotiate on the basis
4 of a reintegration into Croatia he would negotiate on the basis of the Z-4
6 Further, I told him that the Z-4 plan was unachievable at this
7 point in time, that Tudjman had the upper hand, he would never accept
8 autonomy that extensive, and that the most that the Krajina Serbs could
9 hope for was something that was roughly based on Croatian constitutional
10 law. He understood that. He accepted that. I said, "I will convey this
11 as a private message from you to Tudjman that you understand this, that
12 you're not looking for -- you understand you'll never get the Z-4 plan."
13 He fully agreed.
14 Then came the issue of whether this could be sold to the
15 leadership in Knin, and he said, "Well, my party has a majority in the
16 assembly. I think I can get them to go along." The question was then:
17 Would Martic go along? He said, "One sentence from Milosevic and we can
18 get the agreement of Knin."
19 Q. And he was right about that. Things would not have unfolded in
20 the way they did.
21 A. That is right. In my view, the war could have been avoided and
22 180.000 Serbs would not have become refugees.
23 Q. Did Babic say anything about efforts he had made at the time to
24 see the accused?
25 A. He said that he had tried to see the accused and that the accused
1 would not see him.
2 Q. On the occasion of this -- this very visit to Belgrade or on some
3 other occasion?
4 A. On the occasion of this visit to Belgrade.
5 Q. And was that account of his consistent with what you learnt of an
6 effort made by the United States charge d'affaires?
7 A. Yes. After this agreement was concluded and given what Babic had
8 said about the decisive role of the defendant, and given what we
9 understood to be the decisive role of the defendant, the United States
10 sought to make a demarche to the defendant. The charge tried to see him
11 on the 3rd of August, the next day, to get -- to get him -- to get
12 Milosevic to make a statement of support for this deal, and he would not
13 see the American charge.
14 Q. And of course the charge d'affaires was the principal, the senior
15 diplomat at the time, there being no ambassador in that post.
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Very well. Babic made his public statement.
18 A. He did.
19 Q. Did that attract any -- or any significant support?
20 A. He -- he made a statement, and the -- there was a meeting in
21 Geneva on the 3rd of August between the Croatian government delegation and
22 a Krajina Serb delegation. The Krajina Serb -- the idea was that the
23 Krajina Serb delegation would be instructed to accept the full package
24 that Babic had accepted. They were certainly ambiguous in their
25 statement. It was not the clear-cut acceptance that was required, and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 again I think the reason they didn't make any clear-cut acceptance is that
2 Babic alone -- by this point, incidentally, he was the Prime Minister of
3 the RSK -- didn't have sufficient authority to command the delegation in
4 Geneva. Milosevic, of course, was silent. I flew back to Zagreb, where I
5 saw Tudjman.
6 At the meeting with Tudjman - this was at now 5.45 on the 3rd of
7 August - I urged him to hold off on military action. I said that we would
8 know within a matter of days whether the Krajina Serbs were serious,
9 because there were concrete steps that they had to take, very quickly, and
10 that -- it was important to give -- give a chance to see if they were
11 serious, that -- because the alternative, war, would be so disastrous,
12 particularly for the population of the Krajina region.
13 Tudjman didn't believe that Babic -- that Babic had the clout to
14 deliver the Krajina Serbs, and so he listened, but basically he went ahead
15 with his decision for war.
16 Q. Can you look briefly at an existing exhibit, 352, tab 104, a
17 British code cable of August 1995 dealing with these matters. You've seen
18 it before or had the opportunity to see it before.
19 MR. NICE: I hope the Chamber has got it before it.
20 Q. Have you reviewed this code cable from your British counterpart?
21 A. I have reviewed it.
22 Q. Is it accurate, subject to what must be said in paragraph 8?
23 A. It is accurate. He was a very skilled diplomat.
24 Q. And at paragraph 8 he says this: "Commenting on his discussions,
25 Galbraith recognised that Babic might not have authority to conclude a
1 deal on these lines. He might be disowned by his RSK colleagues in Knin
2 and by the Assembly, but it was a last chance for peace. He, Galbraith,
3 would be seeing Tudjman tonight at 5.45 local time to report the outcome
4 of his talks with Babic in Belgrade. Milosevic was being briefed by the
5 American Embassy in Belgrade."
7 A. At the time, of course I had hoped that our charge would be able
8 to see Milosevic. I expected, given the -- the imminence of war, given
9 that the scale of the military action which was going to be the largest
10 military action in -- in the -- in the conflict since 1992, that of course
11 Milosevic would see the American representative, and I didn't know at the
12 time I briefed my diplomatic colleagues that that was not going to
13 happen. So Ambassador Hewitt accurately conveyed what I said, but of
14 course what I had hoped and frankly expected to happen didn't happen.
15 Q. You see, the document ends before the addressees or so on are
16 listed, with a hope that Mr. Roberts can be instructed to take action with
17 Mr. Milosevic. That would be then the British charge d'affaires, Iva
18 Roberts. Did he have easy access to the accused, to your knowledge?
19 A. Yes, I think he had good relations with the authorities in
21 Q. So it should have been possible to communicate the state of play
22 to the accused had he been receptive at that time.
23 A. It certainly should have been.
24 Q. Very well. Well, following these efforts, the attack began.
25 A. It did.
1 Q. The consequences you've already summarised a little earlier.
2 Perhaps this would be a convenient moment for you to give your
3 assessment from all your experience of at least two, possibly three, of
4 the figures you've referred to, in terms of intelligence, ability,
5 leadership, from what you saw. First of all, Martic -- and also
6 influenced by others. Martic?
7 A. Martic was a -- a former policeman, I thought a man of very
8 limited intelligence. I didn't think that he had -- although he was the
9 president of the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina, I don't think that he
10 had any particular interest in the -- in the people of that territory, and
11 I thought he was way out of his depth.
12 Q. Influenced by ...?
13 A. And very much -- well, influenced by the defendant, by the
14 government of Serbia, the Serbian military, the Yugoslav military,
15 certainly would be unwilling to act on a key matter on his own without the
16 approval from Belgrade.
17 Q. Babic?
18 A. Babic was a -- was also a nationalist. And I don't want to convey
19 the idea that there are any saints in this process. He was a nationalist,
20 he was a participant in the creation of the RSK and in the expulsion of
21 the Croatian population. Nonetheless, I thought he was the most
22 charismatic of the -- of the politicians. I thought that he had the
23 interests of the Krajina Serb population much more at heart than any of
24 them. I think he was the only one, actually, who had any concern for the
25 local population. I thought he was easily intimidated, both by Martic and
1 by Milosevic.
2 Q. For these two, was cohabitation, living together, a possibility?
3 A. Well, cohabitation with each other was extremely difficult.
4 Q. Living together, as between the ethnic groups.
5 A. For Martic, it was absolutely out of the question. He said that
6 Serbs -- repeatedly told me that Serbs and Croats could never live
7 together and that if the area was reintegrated into Croatia, that he would
8 not stay. Babic I think was more open to the idea that Serbs and Croats
9 could live together.
10 Q. Was he popular amongst the people of the Krajina?
11 A. He was the most popular politician, particularly in the -- in
12 Sectors North and South. He had been the mayor of Knin. And in my
13 judgement, of course, he had -- he was the man who had actually won the
14 election in 1994.
15 Q. What, if any, control did he have of the army?
16 A. He had no control over the army. And of course that's why he was
17 easily -- he was capable of being intimidated.
18 Q. Moving forward. In the course of Operation Storm, did you take a
19 public position on human rights abuses committed by the Croatian army?
20 A. I was -- I and the United States government was repeatedly and
21 publicly critical of Croatian human rights violations, which were severe
22 and inexcusable.
23 Q. How regularly, if at all, did you take these matters to Tudjman?
24 A. Well, I mean, I saw him on a number of occasions in this period,
25 as well as his chief of staff, Hrvoje Sarinic, and other officials of the
1 Croatian government, and on every one of these occasions I raised the --
2 our concerns about what was happening to the population in the Krajina,
3 the human rights violations.
4 Q. Did you almost famously on one occasion find yourself on a
5 tractor, preventing violations? And if so, in a summary, tell us how that
6 came about.
7 A. Yes. What -- what happened was there was a group of about 40.000
8 Serb refugees who had -- who had not been able to escape to Bosnia and
9 they'd been surrounded by Croatian forces near Topusko in former Sector
10 North. A cease-fire was negotiated which permitted them to leave -- pass
11 through the town of Sisak and go onto the highway to Eastern Slavonia and
12 possibly then on to Serbia. When the first group of these refugees left
13 and passed through the town of Sisak, they were attacked by a Croatian
14 mob, and it happened that there was an AP - Associated Press - reporter
15 there. And that was late in the evening. I think it was the 9th of
16 August. The next morning, early, I read the story. And it described the
17 attack. It described a mother whose car window had been smashed with a
18 brick, pulling shards of glass out of her baby's blanket. And it
19 described the Croatian policemen standing around, laughing, and basically
20 saying, "These people got what they deserved." I thought that was an
21 outrage. I read the story to Hrvoje Sarinic over the phone, Tudjman's
22 chief of staff. I said if they didn't do anything about it, I would go
23 down and join the convoy myself. I made an appointment to see Tudjman at
24 12.30. I read him the story. I said that this -- this kind of thing was
25 -- would have a devastating impact on Croatia's relations with the United
1 States, that, you know, he absolutely had to stop it. I said that in a
2 normal democratic country, the Minister of the Interior would have been
3 sacked or resigned in light of this. Tudjman got quite angry, and so I
4 decided that I needed to follow through on my threat to join the convoy.
5 Q. And I think you went down in an armoured vehicle but --
6 A. I went down in an armoured vehicle to Petrinje, which was --
7 where, basically, there were no Croatian civilians, it was a military
8 zone. And the convoy was along the highway, and it was stopped, and I --
9 so I walked along the convoy. My plan was to put my armoured car into the
10 convoy and drive along with the American flag flying, but I ran into a
11 garbage collector from -- who was originally from Karlovac but had moved
12 across the line into the Serbian side. He was quite friendly, recognised
13 me from television, and he invited me to join him on his tractor with his
14 wife and two small children, and so I decided to do that. And I drove
15 with him on the tractor through Sisak. There was a -- a crowd along,
16 jeering, shouting insults, but the Croatian government had policemen every
17 10 metres and there were no incidents.
18 Q. One other detail from this period. You were, as you've indicated,
19 on television from time to time. You once gave an interview, I think
20 where you made a comment about ethnic cleansing which needs
22 A. Yes. This was for British television. I think it was the BBC. I
23 said that -- that the -- the Croatians had not engaged in ethnic cleansing
24 in the Krajina, although they had engaged in serious human rights abuses.
25 And my -- my point was that ethnic cleansing was where the forces had come
1 into a town, paramilitaries backed by the military, engaged -- terrorised
2 the population, engaged in killings, rapes, and forced the population to
3 leave. This -- in this case, the population had left before the Croatians
4 arrived, probably rightly fearing what the Croatians might do but
5 nonetheless they were not there when the Croatians actually arrived. And
6 so therefore it wasn't ethnic cleansing. The analogy that I would use is
7 that you might enter a room with intent to commit murder but if the
8 individual whom you intended to kill wasn't in the room and had departed
9 the scene, your bad intent probably isn't a crime.
10 Q. Before we move on to Dayton, your assessment of -- from the things
11 that you had to deal with him over, your assessment of Tudjman as a leader
12 or strategist or tactician at the time?
13 A. I thought Tudjman was an effective leader in the sense that he
14 knew where he wanted to take Croatia. He was able -- he surrounded
15 himself with some capable subordinates, such as the Foreign Minister
16 Granic and the Defence Minister Susak. He was able to delegate to them
17 and yet -- and they were able to negotiate on his behalf, and yet he
18 remained in command.
19 To say that he was an effective leader is not to say that his
20 motives were good. He was a nationalist, he had a vision of Croatia that
21 often struck me as being out of the nineteenth century, and he had very
22 little respect for fundamental human rights.
23 Q. Tabs 3, 4, and 5 are slightly out of order. Can we go to tab --
24 sorry, tabs 2, 3, and 4 are slightly out of order. Can we go to tab 3
25 first. We've moved on, then, now from August to October 1995. Here is a
1 joint statement issued by yourself and Stoltenberg, reflecting a meeting
2 on that day. Can you tell us about that, please.
3 A. Yes. Following Operation Storm, the United States took over the
4 peace process with President Clinton's initiative, and a part of that
5 initiative was a settlement in Eastern Slavonia, and I was tasked to
6 handle that part of it. And so I began a basically shuttle diplomacy
7 between Zagreb and Eastern Slavonia. At the end of the month, I joined up
8 with Thorvald Stoltenberg, who was the UN mediator, and so we became a
9 team. We decided that the best way to go after -- we'd had a number of
10 proposals, but by the end of September we decided that what we should do
11 is to get both sides to agree to certain basic principles for a
12 settlement, and we worked the principles with both the Croatian side and
13 the Serbian side, and on October 3rd they held their first joint meeting
14 in Erdut and they agreed to 11 principles that -- well, 10 principles we
15 had prepared in advance and one that was added by Hrvoje Sarinic, the
16 Croatian representative, and accepted by the Serbs.
17 Q. So tab 3 is the joint statement reflecting what you've just told
18 us; tab 4 sets out the 10 plus one, 11 principles. Correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. And again, they're there for reading, we needn't take time on
22 The next step, we see from tab 4, was to have been a meeting in
23 Zagreb on the 9th of October. But maybe we can move more swiftly than
24 that. If there's nothing significant there, when's the next significant
25 meeting? Is it the 1st of November?
1 A. Well, there -- there are a series of meetings that continue
2 through October, but this process is not brought to conclusion. And I
3 think at this stage it might be useful for me to explain -- give you my
4 view as to why.
5 The -- at Erdut, both the Croatian government and the local Serb
6 delegation accepted these 11 points. In our presence -- sorry, in their
7 presence, in the presence of the Serbian delegation and the Croatian
8 delegation, Stoltenberg and I held a press conference in which we
9 announced this agreement and everybody -- there was congratulations and so
10 on. That same day, the 3rd of October, Richard Holbrooke, who was engaged
11 in a broader shuttle, was in -- went to Belgrade. In fact, he was almost
12 literally overhead as this was happening, because we spoke briefly on the
13 phone. And he went and saw the defendant. The defendant said that he was
14 surprised by this agreement, he didn't know anything about it, and later
15 he told Holbrooke that no such agreement had been reached.
16 Q. The 1st of November?
17 A. The 1st of November, I was in Dayton, and we had -- this was the
18 morning that the Dayton Peace Conference opened. I had --
19 Q. You were tasked, I think, with dealing with Eastern Slavonia.
20 A. And I was tasked with dealing with Eastern Slavonia.
21 Q. Tell us, please, about how that developed on that day.
22 A. Holbrooke had decided that Eastern Slavonia should be the first
23 item on the agenda, partly because President Tudjman was there only for
24 the opening of the conference and he was going to go back to Croatia to
25 help form a new government. There had just been elections in Croatia.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And also because Holbrooke hoped that if some agreement could be reached
2 on Eastern Slavonia, it might develop some momentum.
3 He had asked me -- I had prepared a -- a statement that -- which
4 basically outlined the basis for normalisation of relations between
5 Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and which dealt with the --
6 said that the issue of Eastern Slavonia should be resolved peacefully and
7 in accordance with the agreed principles at Erdut. Secretary Christopher
8 took this paper. He had bilateral meetings in the morning with both
9 Tudjman and Milosevic. Tudjman agreed the letter -- the statement as I
10 drafted it. Milosevic struck out the provision relating to the Erdut
12 Then in the afternoon, at 5.00, in the Carriage House at Dayton
13 came the first joint meeting between the defendant and President Tudjman,
14 hosted by secretary -- Secretary of State Warren Christopher. President
15 Tudjman arrived promptly at 5.00 p.m. He was joined by Granic, Susak, and
16 Sarinic. On the American side, of course I was there, Holbrooke, and
17 Christopher Hill, among others. President Milosevic showed up about 35
18 minutes late. The secretary said that he wanted to address the issue of
19 Eastern Slavonia. He asked me to give a briefing on where the
20 negotiations stood. I did. Tudjman listened perhaps somewhat
21 impatiently. He then said, "Look, that's not the key issue here. The key
22 issue is whether Milosevic -- whether President Milosevic is prepared to
23 accept the reintegration of this territory into Croatia." Milosevic said,
24 "Well, there should be a referendum." Now, he didn't actually say what
25 the referendum should be about, simply that there should be a UN
1 administration and a referendum.
2 Tudjman reacted, of course, strongly against that idea. He
3 explained that -- basically said that if this isn't solved peacefully,
4 we'll solve it militarily. Milosevic said to him, "Well, you're a good
5 man, but I can see you're under the influence of your generals." The
6 conversation at this point was getting quite heated. Susak said, "That's
7 completely wrong." There was -- Milosevic turned to Susak and said, "So
8 Gojko, what are you, a general?" And then, just out of the blue,
9 Milosevic said, "Okay. I understand. There won't be any referendum."
10 Q. Pausing there in the narrative, the accused had complete authority
11 to negotiate these matters?
12 A. Well, that was --
13 Q. Apparently.
14 A. Yeah, apparently. And indeed he was actively negotiating these
16 Q. Did he ever point to there being anybody else who should be
17 dealing with these matters on behalf of the Krajina Serbs or not?
18 A. Well, he -- he constantly said that this was a matter for the
19 Krajina Serbs, for the Eastern Slavonian Serbs at this point, the local
20 Serbs, to settle. But at the same time, he in fact was the man who was
21 negotiating the agreement.
22 Q. And the business of the referendum just raised and dropped like
23 that, did that come with any prewarning at all?
24 A. Well, the referendum had been an issue that had been raised
25 earlier by the local Serbs at the beginning of the negotiation, and I had
1 said to them, "That's impossible." It had been raised by the defendant as
2 late as September 1995 in a meeting with Hrvoje Sarinic in Belgrade, in
3 which he had proposed a referendum, as well as a territorial land swap.
4 So this was a recurrent position from the Serbian side, but it -- it
5 certainly had been dropped by the time the October 3rd principles had been
6 agreed by the local -- certainly by the local Serbs.
7 Q. The formal part of this meeting, tell us how it ended. And then
8 if we have time, tell us, please, what happened in the 45 minutes that
10 A. Well, Secretary Christopher left, along with Holbrooke and the
11 other Americans. I stayed. President Tudjman and President Milosevic
12 signed this statement asking Stoltenberg and myself to return to the
13 region, and then Tudjman and his party left and I ended up talking to the
14 defendant for about 45 minutes. It was -- we talked substantively on the
15 issues of Eastern Slavonia. He insisted that Croatia wouldn't dare use
16 military force, that they wouldn't prevail; a judgement I thought was very
18 He then made -- told me that I wouldn't accomplish anything going
19 back to Eastern Slavonia on this mediation mission, even though he and
20 Tudjman had just signed a statement asking that Stoltenberg and I go back,
21 and that I would do just as well to spend my time on vacation in
23 Q. You interpreted that observation as revealing what and meaning
25 A. I interpreted it to mean that a settlement on Eastern Slavonia
1 would not be decided by the local Serbs in this shuttle diplomacy, that --
2 and certainly not decided by them in Erdut, but it would be decided in
3 Dayton at such time as Milosevic decided it was convenient and useful to
4 him and his broader purposes to settle the issue.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's time to adjourn.
6 Have you very much more?
7 MR. NICE: No. I think ten minutes tomorrow morning, I should
9 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now.
10 Ambassador, would you be back, please, tomorrow morning at 9.00.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
13 at 1.48 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
14 the 26th day of June, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.