1 Wednesday, 8 September 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you are to continue your
7 WITNESS: SMILJA AVRAMOV [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, Mr. Nice, I owe you
10 an explanation from yesterday. I've read this article that you gave me
11 that you said was my article. I stand by the content of it, but this is
12 not an article, Mr. Nice. It's a speech which I gave quite a long time
13 ago on the occasion of the publication of the book that is being mentioned
15 I repeat, I stand by what is written there. These are my
16 thoughts. But probably when this was recorded and edited, I didn't quite
17 -- and the title actually was probably given by the person who recorded
18 it. So there's no doubt.
19 If you allow me a question. It is not clear. I've written
20 several articles about the Tribunal, so it is not clear to me what that
21 has to do with testifying in the case against Mr. Milosevic.
22 Well, may I give this back to you? I didn't see it from the time
23 that I actually gave this speech, so it was ten or 15 days ago. Please
24 could you take this.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice: [Continued]
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I just correct a couple of matters
2 from yesterday, one indeed to deal with the points of authorship of this
3 witness. She didn't single-handedly write a book called Genocide Against
4 the Serbs but she did contribute an essay to a book of that name, and my
5 understanding is that she wrote a forward to An Atlas of the Ustasi
6 Genocide of the Serbs, 1941 to 1945.
7 Q. Is that correct, Professor?
8 A. I don't know which one you are thinking of. I have a lot of
9 forwards that I wrote for at least ten books.
10 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
11 A. The --
12 Q. You must understand, Professor, we are limited as to time and the
13 longer your answers, either the longer I will detain you or the less will
14 I be able to explore your evidence to the assistance of the Chamber.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, one correction: The mine I was referring
16 to yesterday when I was dealing with the Kosovo miners' strike was Stari
17 Trg in Trepca. And two other questions of this witness on very general
19 Q. It's right, isn't it, Professor Avramov, that you were an advisor
20 both to the RSK and to the Republika Srpska and that you subsequently
21 indeed became a senator in Republika Srpska in February of 1997, having
22 earlier held the position of a member on the Education Council of the
23 Republika Srpska Krajina in March 1995?
24 A. No, that is wrong. You have the incorrect information. I was
25 never anyone's advisor. I was a member of the Educational Advisory
1 Council in Republika Srpska because there was a university there where we
2 taught, professors from the Faculty of Law, the faculty of philosophy, and
3 some other faculties from the University of Belgrade.
4 I was not an advisor. I was a member of the Educational Advisory
5 Council. And I did go to Knin to give lectures at the university there.
6 I also gave lectures in Pristina.
7 Q. I have a number of short points to cover from the evidence you
8 gave yesterday.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I have a transcript that has page numbers
10 1 to whatever it is. I don't -- if the Chamber has a transcript, I don't
11 know if it's similarly paginated.
12 Q. You made a reference --
13 JUDGE BONOMY: Before you go on, Mr. Nice, can we clarify the
14 answer to the question whether the witness was a senator in Republika
15 Srpska, which was part of the question.
16 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly.
17 Q. Can you answer His Honour that question, please.
18 A. No, I wasn't a delegate or a member. I was a member of the Senate
19 of Republika Srpska for a short period if that Senate was actually
20 operating at all.
21 JUDGE BONOMY: Thank you.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. A few points arising from yesterday. In my transcript page 11,
24 speaking of the period after 1945, you spoke of the Croats organising
25 illegal groups which turned into terrorist organisations. Professor
1 Avramov, I just alert you to the fact that as far as I know, this may be
2 the first time --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- you've heard of this. A very simple question. Please answer
5 it, if you can, shortly. The terrorist groups to which you are referring,
6 did they in any way relate to or turn into the bodies with which we're
7 concerned now as we explore the falling apart of the former Yugoslavia or
8 are they entirely independent of that?
9 A. There were links. I wrote about that. I will give you my book.
10 I wrote in detail about it in my book Genocide In Yugoslavia in the Light
11 of International Law. These groups were organised, the illegal groups,
12 and later they linked up with groups in the country.
13 I don't know if you recall or if you have information about this
14 attempt at an uprising in Bosnia when these groups infiltrated the
15 country. I cannot remember exactly when this was. I think it was in 1969
16 or 1970. I don't remember the exact date.
17 Q. Very well.
18 A. They infiltrated Bosnia in order to organise an uprising and to
19 link up with the groups that were in the country.
20 Q. By what names or initials, if any, were these groups known?
21 A. These groups joined together and a united movement was created
22 called the Croatian Liberation Movement or HOP. The illegal organisation,
23 and I provided proof about that, was formed in Zagreb in 1965, and then
24 all of these groups joined together.
25 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... of the transcript, you told
1 us that the suggestion that at the Karadjordjevo meeting Milosevic and
2 Tudjman had drawn borders. You said that was a lie, a notorious lie. You
3 then explained that your working group actually dealt with borders.
4 You've written about various things, but you've never covered, I
5 think, the Karadjordjevo meeting in -- you may never have covered it in
6 your books.
7 You, in your account to this Court, don't know what passed between
8 the two presidents at that meeting, do you?
9 A. Two things. You misunderstood me. And secondly, it's not true
10 that I did not write about it in my book. The Post Heroic War of the West
11 Against Yugoslavia, which was published, I think, in 1997 or 1998, I dealt
12 with that problem on two pages. I think that is one problem. I stressed
13 that I did not attend the Karadjordjevo meeting and that I don't know the
14 content of the talks between them, but the group that I talked about and
15 which I was a part of, I assume was formed based on the agreement from
16 Karadjordjevo. I was a member of that group. And I said I wasn't talking
17 about borders at Karadjordjevo, but I talked about how we discussed
18 borders in principle, whether they can be drawn based on the revolutionary
19 division of Yugoslavia or based on international treaties. I was in
20 favour of the concept that only international treaties can be the basis
21 for future borders.
22 Q. Very well. Then we'll move on to the next point. At page 23, you
23 suggested that the order to send reinforcements to Slovenia was issued by
24 Mr. Markovic as Prime Minister. Now, you know that is simply not true.
25 Constitutionally as Prime Minister, he had no power to do so.
1 A. Sir, Markovic and Mesic were the top leadership at that time in
2 Yugoslavia. According to our press, it says that this decision was made
3 by Markovic. I don't know whether our press conveyed this correctly.
4 Perhaps it wasn't Mr. Markovic, but who else could it have been other than
5 Mr. Markovic and Mr. Mesic? They were the federal bodies, the highest
6 ranking federal officials.
7 There is another thing. Please. The country was under threat.
8 Does that country have the right to defend itself? Of course it does.
9 That is the natural basic right of every country. This wasn't you know --
10 Q. The Commander-in-Chief was the Supreme Command or Supreme Defence
11 Council, as it was later known, but -- and of that body at the time Mesic
12 was to be the president. Jovic was also a member of it; correct?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. And if the evidence shows that Jovic exercised power to send the
15 army to Slovenia in the absence of Mesic to stop him doing so, you can't
16 say that that's wrong, can you?
17 A. I don't have any information about that. I wasn't nearby, and I
18 had nothing to do with these top leadership organs in our country. I
19 didn't have any political functions, sir, so I cannot really answer that
21 JUDGE KWON: Before moving on, Mr. Nice, I don't think the witness
22 answered your previous question properly.
23 Professor, the previous question was whether Mr. Markovic, Prime
24 Minister, had power to do so, to make a decision to send the troops. As a
25 legal expert, can you answer this question.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite certainly he did not, but our
2 press published this information, and it was the general conviction that
3 this was so. This was never denied. So -- under the constitution, there
4 were many deviations from it. The constitution was pushed aside as such
5 and anti-constitutional, unconstitutional decisions or things were carried
6 out, scores of such things at the time. We would need to go through each
7 one individually. But he was not authorised to do that; it's clear that
8 he was not.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. You've been prepared to give this evidence effectively about him.
12 Just help us -- against him. You've told us what you learnt at the time
13 from reading newspapers. Did you also learn of the same Mr. Markovic
14 voluntarily going to Ljubljana when the JNA was about to send airstrike in
15 order that he could be there to be a victim along with others should that
16 airstrike happen? Do you remember reading about that?
17 A. No, I don't remember that at all.
18 Q. Very well.
19 A. I don't remember that detail.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice is confusing the witness,
23 because Mr. Nice knows very well that I presented here the stenogram from
24 an extended Presidency meeting and the presidents of the republics where
25 you can see what the president of Slovenia at the time, Milan Kucan, said,
1 who confirmed that Markovic created that whole incident in Slovenia which
2 they described as war but which was actually a crime against the soldiers
3 and where all of this is stated. Therefore, what he's claiming is
4 actually an attempt to confuse the witness so that the witness would
5 justify something that is broadly known.
6 At this meeting, which was attended by President Mesic, president
7 of Yugoslavia at the time, Ante Markovic, Mr. Kucan who was the president
8 of Slovenia at the time. So this is not quite correct.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, I hear the comments that you have
10 made. No doubt Mr. Nice has also heard them.
11 What I'd like to say is that you have an opportunity, by virtue of
12 the order which we made, to ask questions, and it would have been
13 perfectly proper for you to put that by way of re-examination of this
15 Mr. Nice.
16 MR. NICE: Thank you.
17 Q. Page 27 of the transcript of yesterday deals with the passage I've
18 already spoken of whereby the witness described the accused not being the
19 only person to make decisions, in case that helps you.
20 But if we go to page 30 in the transcript, we are reminded, madam,
21 that you told the Judges yesterday, when speaking of the meeting at
22 Brioni, that everyone was invited from the republics with the exception of
23 Serbia, and you said that Serbia wasn't represented. Now, that wasn't
24 true, was it? Serbia was invited.
25 A. No. Serbia was not represented at that meeting. And at the last
1 moment, according to the minutes from the Brioni meeting, at the last
2 minute they noted, well, we don't have a representative from Serbia, and
3 then Mr. Jovic, who represented the federation and was there on behalf of
4 the federation, was asked to be a representative of Serbia at the same
5 time. Now, that is correct.
6 Q. And --
7 A. I cited sources about that in my book.
8 Q. -- not only was Jovic there, well able to represent Serbia, given
9 his position and his relationship with this accused, but Kadijevic was
10 there as well, wasn't he?
11 A. Kadijevic was representing the army and not the Republic of
13 Q. If we go on, please, to page 34. You made an observation
14 yesterday, as translated, that I'd like your help with, when you were
15 talking about the rights to self-determination and secession, and you
16 spoke about what you described as not a territorial principle, a
17 subjective principle of a people, going on to say, "So the Serbs as a
18 core, c-o-r-e as it's been translated, as a core, as a constituent nation,
19 had the right to self -- it's not clear what the next word is. Did you in
20 some way regard the Serbs as being a core of Yugoslavia?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note it was corps, c-o-r-p-s.
22 MR. NICE: In which case, what did you -- I'm very grateful,
23 interpreters. I should have checked with you earlier this morning but I
24 didn't find the time.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Or corpus, c-o-r-p-u-s, in the original.
1 MR. NICE: In which case, I think that probably means --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, there is a difference between a
3 corps and between a constitutive people. These are two different terms.
4 I was speaking about constitutive peoples. One of the constitutive
5 peoples is, of course, the Serb -- are, of course, the Serb people. Not
6 only constitutive but also they were the foundation of Yugoslavia because
7 only the Kingdom of Serbia which participated in World War I had the legal
8 right to discuss the problem of a future state during the Versailles
9 negotiations. The other parts were under the Austro-Hungarian Empire. So
10 this is what I had said, a constitutive people, yes.
11 Q. And does that -- just so we can understand it, although I expect
12 we all generally follow it, this puts, for example, in your mind the Serbs
13 above people such as who; Kosovo Albanians, Croats, Muslim?
14 A. Nobody ever said that, least of all myself, sir. What I said, I
15 said -- well, maybe I didn't tell you before, but I'm saying it now.
16 Perhaps I expressed it in a different way perhaps.
17 Q. I'm asking you -- I'm asking you -- is your --
18 A. Please go ahead.
19 Q. Is your judgement that the Serbs as a corpus of people, and you've
20 given the historical context by which you view them, rank above Kosovo
21 Albanians, Bosnians, or even Croats in their rights, or are they equal?
22 A. I never said that, and I always believed that the peoples were
23 equal, but I would also like to remind you, sir, that under the Resolution
24 of the General Assembly, and I will tell you exactly which number
25 Resolution it is, it is 1514 from 1960, it is clearly stated that
1 secession or the desire to secede cannot be done based on
2 self-determination, that self-determination cannot be the reason to
3 destroy a state.
4 This is stated in 1514/60, that Resolution. Also, it states that
5 self-determination cannot be carried out by force, and in particular it is
6 stressed that minorities in a country cannot use self-determination in
7 order to achieve or carry out a secession.
8 Q. I'm just going to ask you part of my last question again. I'm not
9 going to try and trap you or trick you because I'm going to come back to
10 this at a later stage when we look at the treatment of different parts of
11 the Yugoslavia in the plans that were laid.
12 Do you regard the Serbs as equal to the Kosovo Albanians?
13 A. Today in Kosovo they are subjugated, oppressed, expelled, and
14 there has been an attempt to effect a genocide over part of the Serb
15 people living in Kosovo. I should also like to remind you --
16 Q. I'm sorry, madam --
17 A. No, they are not equal in Kosovo.
18 Q. So in some way, and we'll look at this perhaps later, the thinking
19 of the intellectuals, including yourself, was that the Kosovo Albanians
20 were lesser in their status and lesser in their rights than the Serbs;
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
23 JUDGE BONOMY: That -- sorry.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: I just wonder whether that's fair to the witness.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: The witness is addressing the factual situation
3 MR. NICE: She was now but my question is directed -- I'm so sorry
4 if I misled her, of course.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. My concern, Professor Avramov, is this; to know whether in your
8 judgement --
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: As a matter of principle.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. -- as a matter of principle and at the material time, they were
12 equal to the Serbs or they had for some reason less status and less rights
13 than the Serbs. What was your judgement at the time?
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: You mean as a matter of law.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, sir, you did attempt
16 to trap me, because you don't differentiate the status of an individual
17 and the status of a minority from the concept of autonomy. If we view the
18 concept of autonomy in relation to the state, then autonomy has less
19 rights than does the state, according to international law.
20 Now, as far as human rights are concerned and the position of
21 minorities, they were not only equal with the Serbs but they had the
22 highest status that a minority enjoyed in Europe. You couldn't conceive
23 of any greater status. They received their own Albanian university. They
24 had their schools in their own language. They had absolutely all rights
25 accorded them and were absolutely equal to the Serbs. And in relationship
1 to the constitution of 1974, the Serbs had a lower status than did the
2 Albanians in Kosovo because the Albanians could voice their veto to any
3 amendments to the Serbian constitution whereas Belgrade couldn't do the
4 same vis-a-vis Pristina.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. Thank you. I'll come back to that a little later.
7 On page 57 of the transcript, you told us this yesterday when
8 asked by His Honour pressing on an earlier question that had been asked by
9 Mr. Kay, and you said of the Croats that not a -- not a single Croat was
10 harmed. This was in Serbia. "Not a hair on their head was harmed in
11 Serbia. They're still living there today."
12 A. Yes, yes. That is what I said, and that is what I claim. Now,
13 it's another matter if laws are violated or if people are brought before a
14 court of law for any illegal acts that they might have committed. I don't
15 exclude that. But in principle, that is it, and I have Croats living in
16 my own neighbourhood.
17 Q. Professor Avramov, we've heard evidence from witnesses, C-47,
18 C-48, about Subotica, about Hrtkovci, in which there were not just forced
19 movements but also killings, about the involvement of Seselj in that
20 Vojvodina region forcing people to move.
21 A. Sir, you're asking me questions about things that I did not take
22 part in, where I was not present. So I can only tell you indirectly what
23 I heard, what I read, and on the basis of what the press wrote, what I'm
24 able to conclude.
25 Yes, I do know about these Hrtkovci. I do know that there were
1 collective exchanges of houses in villages for certain villages in
2 Krajina, that these exchanges were made, and they live there to the
3 present day. They exchanged their houses. Now, some people wished to go
4 back to their own homes because some of their houses that they gave in
5 Dalmatia in some villages are much larger and better than the ones that
6 they exchanged their houses for. But as I say, I only know that from the
7 press so don't involve me in questions where I did not take part myself.
8 I am a witness here, I'm testifying here with respect to the acts of
9 Mr. Milosevic, and in Hrtkovci that has nothing to do with Mr. Milosevic.
10 Q. Professor Avramov, it was you who volunteered the answer that not
11 a single hair had been injured. I must suggest to you that Hrtkovci was
12 extremely well known --
13 A. Yes, and I claim that today, too.
14 Q. And indeed although I'm anxious not to trouble the Tribunal with
15 too much paper, but indeed there have been reports from the autonomous
16 province of Vojvodina in 2003 setting out ethnic cleansing that happened
17 there in that period. Do you accept that?
18 A. No, I do not accept that, certainly not. You have one opinion; I
19 have another opinion. You have your own documents; I have my own
20 documents because I have delved in research work and I have written three
21 books on the subject. And of course, certainly you can bring in different
22 witnesses from the same place, they were in a different position, and so
23 on and so forth and had different feelings and sentiments towards one
24 issue or another, so they would express that.
25 Q. Coming to my second-to-last topic arising from yesterday's
1 evidence, you dealt at pages 75, then later at 87, with something about
2 the autonomy of Vojvodina, which you explained had an absolute majority,
3 explaining at 88 that the point of the proposed amendments to the
4 constitution of Serbia was to deprive the provinces of the right to veto
5 through which they were influencing the policy of Serb
6 -- Serbia.
7 That was the reason why Vojvodina's autonomy was reduced or
8 eliminated along with Kosovo's, wasn't it; in order that Serbia would not
9 having to be seeking consensus or agreement in relation to things like
10 constitutional change.
11 A. Consensus is one matter, sir; veto is another.
12 Q. Vojvodina had a majority of Serbs. It wasn't vulnerable?
13 A. Yes, and it still does and they always were in the majority.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... centralisation, which I will
15 suggest it was, of Serbia, by the reduction or elimination of the two
16 autonomies or near autonomies was going to serve the purpose of this
17 accused and his extension of control, wasn't it? That's why it was done.
18 A. No, sir. You can't personalise an extremely difficult situation
19 the state was facing in which that same state had the right to
20 self-defence and defence and to preserve itself and boil it all down and
21 bring it all down into one personality. The state was faced with an
22 existential difficulty. All pacts on human rights, all international
23 covenants and conventions speak about the exceptional rights enjoyed by
24 the state when it is faced with external attack, internal unrest, and so
25 on. So why should Serbia not have the right to resort to extraordinary
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 measures under given circumstances and in certain conditions? Now,
2 whether this was done by Mr. Milosevic alone or with the agreement of the
3 government, as far as I know and as far as I was included into this
4 process, he did always ask for support from parliament. I did not attend
5 government meetings myself so I can't speak about that, but I assume he
6 did ask for support from the government.
7 And now another question I'd like to emphasise is this --
8 Q. I'm not sure --
9 A. -- Mr. Milosevic --
10 Q. -- it's appropriate for you to launch into topics of your own.
11 You have, I fear, to be responsive to questions.
12 MR. NICE: Your Honours, at page 91 --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I answered your question.
14 MR. NICE: At page 91 of the transcript, I see I misspoke when
15 identifying the number of identifiable groups living in 200 identifiable
16 countries or thereabouts, and I think the number of identifiable groups is
17 2.000 rather than the 5.000 which I misspoke yesterday.
18 Q. Let's go back to a few matters of chronology, Professor.
19 You as an intellectual and closely -- having closely researched
20 this particular conflict, as you would say, know that paramilitaries have
21 a particular effect on society, don't they? They are destabilising
22 because they interfere with the proper monopoly of violence exercised
23 through the army and the police.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you explain, because -- I'm going to stay with 1991 and the
1 beginning of 1992, the period of which you've spoken of having intimate
2 knowledge. Can you explain, then, how it came about that the man called
3 Dragan was first involved in preparing for paramilitary operations in
4 April of 1991? Do you anything about Dragan?
5 A. No. I've never met the man myself. I know from the press that
6 there was a man called Dragan. I don't know him personally, I never had
7 any contact with him.
8 Q. Then let's move on just one month, because you were intimate or
9 became intimate, to a degree, with the accused. What conceivable purpose
10 was there in the accused's establishing the Red Berets in May of 1991, a
11 paramilitary force which would have the effect of destabilisation?
12 A. I'm not certain --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] He is deluding the witness once
16 again. The special units or, rather, the special unit called the Red
17 Berets was established in the Ministry of Interior of Serbia, the security
18 service, in 1996, and I think we had a tape here from 1997 and their
19 establishment. So it's 1996, not 1991. He is leading the witness into a
20 total -- into total confusion, and he hasn't got the right to state facts
21 that are incorrect in his question to the witness. So the witness is
22 unable to understand the question, like the one about the constituent
23 nation, because everyone will tell you that the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes,
24 Macedonians, and so on and so forth are constituent peoples. So this term
25 "the constituent peoples of Yugoslavia" applies to all the peoples and
1 nations. And the Muslims in 1970 also gained the status of a constituent
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... with our
4 leave, you will be able to put to the witness through re-examination.
5 Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Yes.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, just as a matter of fact, the Red
10 Berets was established when?
11 MR. NICE: This comes when the film comes -- according to Frenki
12 Simatovic, not a witness, of course, but we've heard him speak on the
13 topic, 4th of May, 1991 the unit was established.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Any questions that relate to that issue may be
15 raised by the Court-assigned counsel.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. Following the accused's interjection, the Judges - I'm sure you
18 will understand this, Professor - will have to decide in due course the
19 nature of the unit, if any, Mr. Simatovic says was created in the 4th of
20 May of 1991.
21 You as an intellectual, help us, please: Was there any
22 conceivable legitimate ground for this accused to take such destabilising
23 action, if he took it, at that stage of this conflict?
24 A. I cannot give you a precise answer because I was not involved in
25 that segment of internal policy. My knowledge, my expertise, the area I
1 am versed in was international law and foreign political relations. I
2 can, as a human being, as an individual and as a legal person who knows
3 about this - of course I delved in quite different areas, not internal
4 affairs fares, other witnesses will be better placed to tell you about
5 that - but all I can tell you is this: That according to international
6 law, a state does enjoy the right to take maximum steps in order to
7 protect its integrity in case of being jeopardised, and that right
8 emanates from the right to self-defence. That is one point.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor. Professor, I'm addressing you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I see. Go ahead.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you therefore identifying that right as -- as
12 a basis for the establishment of the Red Berets?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could be the case under certain
14 circumstances. For example, the Americans have their marines in the form
15 of special units which they attach to embassies, for example, which is a
16 little absurd, but they consider that under situations where terrorism has
17 become a global danger, that that is a part and parcel component part of
18 their right to self-defence. But according to classical international
19 law, that actually, strictly speaking, is not acceptable.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. Sorry. Two points just to follow up on this before we move on:
23 But at the time that we are dealing with, was Serbia an international
24 subject or was Yugoslavia an international subject?
25 A. Yugoslavia at all events.
1 Q. And within Yugoslavia, was Serbia being threatened by its
2 neighbours? Was Croatia threatening to invade Serbia? Was Slovenia
3 threatening to invade Serbia? Was it?
4 A. No. The only internationally recognised and protected subject was
5 Yugoslavia, and that's what I mean. First of all, there was a rebellion,
6 and then that rebellion grew to be a civil war and then an international
7 war against the sole recognised international subject, which was
9 Q. So Serbia, as a constituent part of the legally recognised
10 Yugoslavia, had no grounds for acting in purported self-defence at that
11 time, did it?
12 A. Yes, it did have the right, because a part of Yugoslavia had
13 seceded contrary to the law, contrary to international law. Secession is
14 not something that is recognised. The United Nations didn't recognise it
15 with respect to Cyprus or 22 secessionist movements. They are registered
16 with the United Nations. The United Nations took a negative stance
17 towards them, and this is best borne out, I don't want to remind you of
18 Biafra, for example, where the international forces arrived in order to
19 prevent secession, not to mention Cyprus, which was only recognised by
20 Turkey and not a single other country. They all refused.
21 The only case in which secession was recognised is the case of
22 Yugoslavia. It was contrary to the law, it was illegal, and it will be
23 the subject of a long-term examination and is indeed being examined now by
24 the international legal public.
25 Q. I'm not sure that answer is responsive, but I'm going to move on.
1 JUDGE BONOMY: I can tell that you it doesn't answer the question
2 as far as I can tell.
3 MR. NICE: But I have only so much time, Your Honour.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please go ahead. Let me answer
5 your question this way. Perhaps you didn't understand my answer: In a
6 situation in which part of that sovereign state of Yugoslavia seceded
7 contrary to the law and took armed action against that state, the state of
8 Yugoslavia, then Serbia as a part, as a constituent part of Yugoslavia, as
9 a reduced part of that country, did have the right to defend itself.
10 Certainly it did.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. The trouble with that is that May 1991 precedes secession,
13 Professor Avramov.
14 Can we move on to September 1991. You know of Vocin, which is on
15 the borders of Western Slovenia, and I'm asking you these factual
16 questions because you have volunteered to the Judges things like, for
17 example, not a hair on the head of a non-Serb was injured in Serbia. You
18 volunteered factual knowledge.
19 Vocin in Western Slavonia was attacked by a paramilitary group led
20 by a man called Bokan. Are you aware of that man and his paramilitary
21 activities; and if so, how could they be justified?
22 A. I don't know the man. I never had any contacts with him. I don't
23 know him at all, so I can't tell you about the man.
24 Now, as far as the volunteers are concerned, yes, when the army
25 was withdrawn to barracks, went back to barracks and when the Serb people
1 were left to fend for themselves, deserted by its former -- how --
2 brethren, if I can put it that way, which the Serbs and Croats used to
3 refer themselves to as, they were open to attack and then there was a
4 revolt in Serbia and there were a lot of people who volunteered. I know
5 that many people volunteered, came forward as volunteers. Some volunteers
6 reported to the army and placed themselves under the protection and
7 disposal of the army although the army did not send its men, its
8 volunteers, but I also know that certain units were established outside
9 Serbia as assistance to the Serb people in those parts. So I know about
10 those units in principle, but I don't know the personages that you're
11 asking me about.
12 Q. Before we move to the Carrington Plan, which is what I'm going to
13 take you to, a similar question about Arkan's Tigers or the Seseljevci and
14 their activities about which this Court has heard in Knin, Borovo Selo,
15 places like that in the early part of this conflict, did you know about
16 those things, madam?
17 A. I can only give you an indirect answer, but asking me those
18 questions is quite unsuitable because I'm not somebody who took part in
19 any of that so that I can give you an eyewitness account.
20 Q. Very well. When we come to the Carrington Plan, however, certain
21 events have become quite notorious in the press and on television and so
22 on, and you must have been aware, by the time you were assisting in the
23 negotiations here in The Hague, of what had started in Dubrovnik, indeed
24 what had started in Vukovar. Dubrovnik, an entirely Croatian city,
25 majority --
1 A. No. No, not entirely. Mostly.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... and Vukovar a place in which
3 the Serbs had not only no majority but there was a majority, as it were,
4 against them. Can you help us, please, from your perspective in 1991 of
5 what --
6 A. You're not correct on that score.
7 Q. Very well. Correct me. What about Vukovar? They had a majority
8 in Vukovar, did they?
9 A. At one point in time, the balance was 50/50 in Vukovar.
10 Q. What point in time?
11 A. During the old Yugoslavia.
12 Q. Yes. What about -- what about the 1990s, madam? Who had the
13 majority then?
14 A. I think there was a slight majority on the Croatian side. It
15 tipped the balance slightly.
16 Q. You've told us about, yesterday, the interests of those places
17 where Serbs were in a majority, and you've told us about how things that
18 were done were done in fear of a repetition of the Second World War
19 genocide against the Serbs.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you offer any explanation, any justification for the attacks,
22 well known and started before the Carrington Plan, at either Dubrovnik or
24 A. At that time, we offered Carrington, and of course the European
25 Community, a vast number of material, of documents, about armed conflicts
1 on the soil of Yugoslavia. And in those documents we provided instances
2 of attacks by both sides. I'm sure that Dubrovnik was a case in point,
3 was mentioned, and I know that at that time, according to the reports that
4 were coming in to us, they said that the centre of Dubrovnik had not been
5 attacked and that the old city centre had not been destroyed but that
6 there was fighting in the environs of Dubrovnik.
7 Q. Just help me, please, because you know the territory. You will no
8 doubt have been to Dubrovnik probably many times. Is it --
9 A. Yes, of course I have.
10 Q. It may be that the Judges will know it and everybody knows its
11 topography. Are you really suggesting that you would take seriously the
12 proposition that people were fighting out of Dubrovnik on its little coast
13 land - I don't know how we call it - plateau there against the surrounding
14 forces? Is that really your suggestion? Or do you accept that Dubrovnik
15 was attacked, pure and simple?
16 A. Perhaps. Or, rather, according to the information that we
17 received at the time, according to which there was fighting around
18 Dubrovnik but not in the city centre itself. And the second point that we
19 provided documents about was that although Dubrovnik was a demilitarised
20 town, Croatian forces did enter Dubrovnik. We offered material to that
21 effect, which of course did not exclude the possibility and --
22 Q. Why -- it may be a demilitarised town, but you -- the Serbs had
23 absolutely no entitlement to Dubrovnik. What on earth matter was it for
24 them? We still want to know, you see, in this Court, maybe, if there's
25 any justification for the attack on Dubrovnik, and I just wondered if you
1 could help us because you were there negotiating for the accused and --
2 helping the accused in his negotiations at the same time.
3 A. Sir, we're not talking about Dubrovnik; we're talking about
4 Yugoslavia, the state of Yugoslavia. As to Dubrovnik, that is a component
5 part, or was a component part of Yugoslavia, not of Serbia.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, now we can move to the Carrington plan.
7 We do have a number of documents which, I think, may be helpful, coming
8 from The Hague conference, recently relieved of the restriction that had
9 been on them. The witness is a witness who can deal with them, and I
10 propose to put them through her as exhibits, taking the documents
11 individually quite quickly. They're authoritative documents, I think, and
12 they will then be part of the record. I hope that's not going to be too
13 consuming of time.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice. Bear in mind the witness's travel
16 MR. NICE: I certainly do, and I also bear in mind that I think,
17 if I'm right, the Badinter Commission documents, which, of course, arise
18 out of all of this, are already before the Chamber because the Chamber
19 sought them and they were provided.
20 Can we have first, please -- I'll deal with them in chronological
21 order, and I'll leave my file out so you can see where we go next.
22 Q. First --
23 A. You see, I can't read all of that now. This is a vast amount of
24 material that you've given me, so --
25 Q. I'm not asking you -- I'm not asking you to read it. These all
1 come from the authorities so as to make provenance indisputable.
2 If you look just at this document, which we see is dated the 5th
3 of September, and if you go to the end of it, madam, you'll see it's the
4 representations from Milan Babic.
5 A. The 9th of September? The 9th of September?
6 Q. It comes from -- it comes from --
7 A. Oh, yes, I'm sorry. Yes, yes, I can see it now. Yes, the
8 reception was on the 9th. What page are you referring to now?
9 Q. Just the first page and the first paragraph, please. It comes
10 from Milan Babic, you will see, and it says that on the session of the 5th
11 of September the government of Krajina considered the declaration on
12 Yugoslavia brought at the ministerial meeting of European political
13 corporation in Brussels, the cease-fire treaty and the memorandum on
14 monitoring mission, and in that respect the government of the SAP Krajina
15 is presenting its standpoints.
16 And if you'd then be good enough to go over two pages, please, to
17 the third page - could you turn to the third page, please - where we see
18 paragraph number 3, which reads: "Problems discussed in the declaration
19 as expected for Serbian people in future constitution of Yugoslavia have
20 ceased being problems for Serbian people, namely Serbian people of Krajina
21 has decided through its referendum to live together with the rest of Serbs
22 on the territory of Yugoslavia. It is another problem that such decisions
23 are denied through armed aggression of Croatian neo-fascist authorities."
24 And then if you'll turn over one, two, three, four, five pages, we
25 come to the conclusion, where Milan Babic signs, enclosing some items, and
1 at number 3, he says -- he encloses the platform -- sorry, number 2: The
2 report on the referendum on Krajina's joining Serbia and its staying in
3 Yugoslavia; and 3, the platform of the government of Serbian autonomous
4 province of Krajina about possible solutions.
5 Now, just in short, this shows, this -- this document submitted by
6 Krajina and by Milan Babic shows a line of thinking entirely in accordance
7 with that of the accused in this case, doesn't it?
8 A. Your question became a leading one at the very end. What I would
9 say is that this simply corroborates what I had said. The people of
10 Krajina were resolute in their wish to remain within Yugoslavia, that
11 areas populated by the Serb people for centuries never came under the
12 sovereignty of Croatia because in Yugoslavia there was this
13 decentralisation status, as you know, and secondly, on the basis of the
14 decision, the referendum that they carried out, they stated that they
15 wished to remain within Yugoslavia.
16 As I said to you yesterday -- please allow me to finish.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, I think you have answered that
19 MR. NICE: May that become exhibit --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: What number would that be?
21 THE REGISTRAR: The number will be 774.
22 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
23 Q. The next exhibit is a speech made at the conference by Franjo
24 Tudjman, and I'm only providing it as the counterbalance to what follows,
25 which is a speech by the accused, but just very briefly to remind you:
1 This is the speech of Franjo Tudjman at the conference. And if we just
2 look at the first paragraphs to remind you of how things developed, you'll
3 see that he spoke of a dirty, undeclared war, set out the number of
4 Croatian victims, set out the number of refugees, and asserted that
5 cultural monuments and edifices were being bombed, and so on.
6 So he set out, and I don't desire to go into it and I'm not
7 relying on it for the truth of its content or anything like that, but he
8 set out the Croatian side; correct?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 A. [In English] Undeclared war against the Republic of Croatia.
11 [Interpretation] It was not an undeclared war against Croatia. It was a
12 rebellion. It was a war against Yugoslavia, the only internationally
13 recognised legal subject. So there is a difference in qualification.
14 MR. NICE: Exhibit number, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number is 775.
16 MR. NICE:
17 Q. Then there's the statement that --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice, please.
19 MR. NICE: Statement that was made by the accused here on the 7th
20 of September. If that can be distributed, please. And there are just two
21 or three short passages to look at here.
22 Q. He gives a contrary diagnosis. If we look at the first page in
23 the first paragraph, we see --
24 A. Yes, I remember that.
25 Q. -- he speaks of the crisis being the result of unilateral
1 secessionist policy. At the end of that first paragraph speaks of
2 bloodshed. If we go to the second page --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- the second paragraph, it makes it clear that the Serbs in the
5 Serbian autonomous province of Krajina and the Serbian autonomous province
6 of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem deemed -- it's deemed the accused
7 should be present in the procedure initiated. It says that they're
8 actually indispensable. So he wanted them there at the -- here at the
10 Then if you go on two further pages to what is at page 5 at the
11 top, we can see his platform. The first new paragraph. He says:
12 "Boundaries are to be altered --"
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. "-- only in the case of secession from Yugoslavia. This does not
15 apply to the nations and republics which remain in Yugoslavia."
16 And then at the bottom of the page we see him saying this: "I
17 take this opportunity to inform you that at a recent meeting in Belgrade
18 of top level representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and
19 Montenegro, the initiative has been launched on the grounds of the above
20 principle for a peaceful and democratic solution of the Yugoslavia crisis
21 and the adoption of a new constitution of Yugoslavia as a common state of
22 equal republics, nations, and citizens."
23 So that what it comes to is this: He wants to apply -- well, he
24 says in this last page that the boundaries are to be altered in the case
25 of secession from Yugoslavia, but this doesn't apply to nations and
1 republics which remain in Yugoslavia. Is that an understandable single
2 standard to you?
3 A. Quite understandably so. As I said to you, there are
4 international treaties that define borders. Those who secede yet have to
5 have their borders established at an international conference, not through
6 unilateral enactments.
7 However, this is a question of principle, why there are
8 differences and why there is a lack of understanding between you and me.
9 You treat the territory of Yugoslavia, of the state of Yugoslavia as terra
10 nullius. Whoever first comes and lays a stake, that's his land. No, sir.
11 It is not the way it was. It was a sovereign state with internationally
12 recognised borders guaranteed by the great powers, by the Paris
13 declaration, et cetera. So when we give a legal qualification, we have to
14 proceed from the state of Yugoslavia, not from what Tudjman thinks or
15 about his independent state.
16 Q. We understand your position. And we see at the foot of the page
17 the passage I mentioned that the concept of the -- or, rather, the
18 Belgrade initiative, which was to keep everything within the state of
19 Yugoslavia that could be kept within, has already taken root, hasn't it?
20 He was referring here to the Belgrade initiative.
21 A. Of course.
22 Q. The next --
23 A. No, not root. What we were told was that this was the wish of the
24 people. And why do those people have less rights than those who wish to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 MR. NICE: Exhibit number, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: The next exhibit number is 776.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. The next exhibit is simply, for completeness, a report on what had
5 happened so far that the Chamber may find helpful. We'll just look at one
6 passage of it. It's this one. It's an official report. You may not have
7 seen this but it's an official report from those organising the
9 If you go to the second page at paragraph 2, you'll see the
10 position of the various delegates set out. At paragraph 2, Serbia and
11 Montenegro, both republics stress that the current situation was due to
12 unilateral acts by seceding republics. From their point of view, the
13 conference should decide on the right of self-determination and the right
14 of secession of all peoples. They want a new Yugoslavia of equal nations
15 and republics in which the federation would have control over economy,
16 standard of living, foreign policy, and national defence. Both republics
17 oppose union a la carte. They believe there has to be an equality in
18 sacrifices and that one or the other republic cannot just pick up those
19 areas of cooperation which are advantageous.
20 So that -- have those running the conference fairly reported the
21 views being expressed by Serbia and Montenegro? Yes? Have they fairly
22 reported the views being expressed by Serbia and Montenegro?
23 A. I don't think they did. That's my impression. As far as I can
24 remember, we intervened a great deal during the proceedings themselves.
25 There is one thing that is inconceivable when I see this report of theirs,
1 that there weren't any minutes taken at the conference at all, which is an
2 unprecedented case. Such an important conference where there are no
3 minutes and the minutes are not verified. I raised that issue.
4 Mr. Milosevic will remember that. Quite simply, I did this
5 professionally. What kind of a conference is this if no minutes are
6 taken? Then everybody can have his own report and his own opinion and
7 present them any way they wish, but they did not have minutes that were
9 MR. NICE: The proposal is dealt with on the 18th of October and
10 we can go to that -- sorry, the last exhibit, I imagine, will become
11 Exhibit 777?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Exhibit 777.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. We go to the next document, which is a further report, now dated
15 the 18th of October which brings us to the heart of the issue.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Nice, could you please give the number of
17 documents for the sake of interpreters.
18 MR. NICE: Sorry. By number, and we'll improve the exhibit
19 presentation system when I've worked out how best to do it for the Defence
20 case, but it's R0414605 at the top right-hand corner, and I'm sorry not to
21 have done that before.
22 Q. On the second page of this report of the 18th of October, and
23 under the plenary session in the middle of the page, Lord Carrington
24 invited the parties to give their agreement on chapter 1 of the agreements
25 for a general settlement previously circulated and elaboration on the
1 results of the meetings between ministers on the 4th of October, ministers
2 and Milosevic and Tudjman.
3 President Milosevic made a formal reserve on the first chapter of
4 the proposed text of the chair since the paper started from the premise
5 that an internationally recognised state should be abolished. Such a
6 change could only come about by a just and legal procedure. The
7 arbitration commission, Badinter, set up by the conference, should be
8 asked to pronounce on issues like the right of self-determination of
9 peoples as opposed to the right of self-determination of federal units.
10 He indicated that a final decision on future arrangements between the
11 Yugoslav components could only be taken by the peoples on the basis of a
13 Then if we go over the page -- I should just observe that
14 Lord Carrington's position is expressed just at the foot of that same
15 paragraph, where he says that Mr. Milosevic's views were principally in
16 the approach taken, the paper starting from the concept that joint
17 interest should be built up from the bottom rather than imposed at a
18 federal level which is no longer credible.
19 Over the page. Again the summary is that in his second
20 intervention Mr. Milosevic modified his presentation, saying that the
21 Serbs of Croatia had been the subject of violent attacks and therefore
22 their rights had to be internationally guaranteed.
23 Paragraph 2.5 contains good points and then there is a valid basis
24 for a solution but the Serb areas of Croatia would have to be
25 demilitarised and the people of the regions have to decide their own
2 Does that seem to you reasonably to record events that happened at
3 about that time, Professor Avramov?
4 A. No. You see, the problem is in the following: Lord Carrington
5 and the entire team that chaired the conference made a proposal that was
6 unprecedented in the history of international law, and that is the
7 self-destruction of a state by way of consensus of its top leaders. That
8 is unheard-of that a state be destroyed in such a way. President
9 Milosevic proposed that a referendum be carried out in order to see what
10 the feelings of the people were and what the wishes of the people were.
11 So that was the basic divergence between the two positions.
12 The self-destruction of a state occurred -- well, yes, in the
13 Soviet Union when three statesmen proclaimed that that state no longer
14 existed. We thought - we the delegation and I also supported that
15 position of Mr. Milosevic - that the problems of Yugoslavia state that was
16 a protected state, a state that was one of the victors from the Second
17 World War, because do not forget the border treaties are multi-lateral
18 treaties that do not regulate only the question of borders. The status of
19 the victorious powers is regulated too. So a far broader basis was laid.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this may be an elaboration of
21 your position, but I'm simply asking you --
22 A. That was our position.
23 Q. And the impasse that developed because of the position advanced by
24 the accused was why the Carrington Plan never took effect, wasn't it?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Yes. And confederacy was on offer, which would have kept all of
2 Yugoslavia together had Serbia and Montenegro agreed.
3 A. It was not a confederacy. Read Carrington's original paper.
4 Carrington's paper said the following: Independent states within the
5 borders of the existing federal units that may submit a request to the
6 European Community to be recognised, and once they are recognised, they
7 will start negotiations in order to see what kind of relations will be
9 We could not accept that. But you are personalising matters. You
10 are reducing it all to Milosevic. Milosevic had the support of the
11 parliament in this respect.
12 Q. We'll come to all this, if we have time, in a few minutes, but the
13 position is that the other constituent parts of the former Yugoslavia were
14 prepared to embrace a form of confederacy. The Badinter Commission had
15 recommended, and I think Carrington was prepared to allow, extraordinary
16 autonomy and rights to areas where Serbs were in a majority in Croatia,
17 and it was only Serbia and Montenegro that stood in the way of this being
18 the result, this being the settlement.
19 A. No. Please. The point is that individuals cannot decide, those
20 who were in The Hague at that moment. This decision had to be verified
21 through an internationally verified process, and that is a referendum, on
22 the ground, that is.
23 Q. Now, my colleagues are reminding me that Serbia only stood in the
24 way, but I said what I said quite deliberately because I want us to just
25 now follow through the course of events.
1 What was on offer was initially accepted by everyone except
2 Serbia; correct? Because Mr. Bulatovic from Montenegro said yes, didn't
4 A. Well, you see, all of a sudden we were confronted with something.
5 We were shocked by the Carrington paper. We were unprepared, because it
6 did not go through a procedure and --
7 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm stopping you because that question is
8 amenable to a very simple answer; yes or no. Did Mr. Bulatovic from
9 Montenegro say yes to the plan?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did, in a very confused
11 situation that he did not understand at that moment.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Proceed, Mr. Nice.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. He didn't say yes in a particularly confused situation, did he?
15 He said yes having had agreements with De Michelis from Italy that
16 Montenegro would receive substantial benefits; he said yes, well
17 understanding the nature of the proposals that were going to be made; and
18 he said yes on behalf of Montenegro. He then flew back to Podgorica,
19 didn't he?
20 A. Sir, that is your interpretation. My position is exactly the
21 opposite, and it is Mr. Bulatovic who can most probably give the most
22 authentic position that he took himself.
23 Q. He's a listed witness. He's written about it. Do you agree with
24 his view that he still holds that this was the solution, the time for a
25 solution, the best solution for the problems of the former Yugoslavia? Do
1 you agree with him on that?
2 A. It was that moment, yes, but not in the way in which it was
3 proposed. Absolutely that was the right moment, and we insisted on it
5 Q. And let's just be clear about this Ms. Avramov -- Professor
6 Avramov: Had Serbia, the sole party not to agree, had Serbia agreed, then
7 on the 18th of October and had the parties moved to some form of
8 confederacy with special rights for Serbs in Croatia, had they moved
9 forward, all these people who died since the 18th of October, 1991,
10 thousands of them, and all those who were forced from their homes in the
11 same period of time would not have suffered, would they?
12 A. Sir, I repeat: The Carrington paper was one thing, and relations
13 were supposed to be regulated only pro futuro. This was composed to be
14 resolved in a comprehensive manner, bearing in mind the wishes of the
16 Q. And just staying close in time to this conference, although the
17 attack on Vukovar had started, the massacre hadn't taken place, those
18 people would have survived, and of course, years later, so would the
19 people of Srebrenica, Bijeljina, Brcko. They would all have survived,
20 wouldn't they, Professor Avramov, if the decision had been taken then to
21 move forward with the confederal approach to which every other part of the
22 former Yugoslavia, except Serbia, initially agreed.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those are your --
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't answer the question yet. Mr. Nice, the
1 fairness of that question is in question. It involves making some very
2 big leaps on the basis of certain hypotheses.
3 MR. NICE: It makes the leap -- it only makes this leap; that if
4 peace had been established by that confederacy at that time and there
5 hadn't been a further break-out of violence for other reasons, then these
6 people would have been saved, that's all.
7 JUDGE BONOMY: But it really doesn't help us, Mr. Nice, on the
8 question of criminal responsibility, does it, and that's really the issue
9 that we're addressing.
10 MR. NICE: It will do, but I accept entirely that at the moment
11 we're looking at a different type of responsibility and I have that in
12 mind and I'm going to come to the question of criminal responsibility in
13 later questions.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that you would have to
16 intervene when there is such abuse like the one just carried out by
17 Mr. Nice, and this is not the first time he does it. His hypothesis from
18 which he proceeds into this question, I am guilty because I did not agree
19 to have Yugoslavia abolished as an internationally recognised state by the
20 stroke of a pen rather than those who caused violent secession and who
21 walked over the corpses of their hitherto countrymen in order to establish
22 some ethnically pure states. If absurdity has any meaning at all, it is
23 clearly reflected now. He takes this as a point departure as if the
24 witness were a half-wit.
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ... proceed with
1 the next question, Mr. Nice.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. You see, Mrs. Avramov -- Professor Avramov, this, picking up on
4 what the learned Judges have just raised, all of you at the conference
5 with your general intellectual experience and your more particular
6 knowledge of the Balkans and the Balkan personalities knew that there was
7 a potential for criminal violence of the worst kind if this matter wasn't
8 settled, didn't you?
9 A. Yes, quite. That is why I personally was against it, against the
10 withdrawal of the army into the barracks, because that automatically meant
11 legalisation of the paramilitary forces of the secessionist republics.
12 Q. And as you explained yesterday, the only grounds - and we'll see
13 whether these are justified or not later - for the use of force by Serbia
14 was its fear of a repetition of World War II genocide, the only ground you
15 gave --
16 A. Not Serbia but the Serb people self-organised in the areas where
17 they lived.
18 Q. And despite that knowledge, the Serb side through the accused - I
19 must ask you about this - put pressure on Mr. Bulatovic so that he changed
20 his mind and joined in the rejection of the Carrington proposal and that
21 by his joining in the matter was dead because it was now Serbia and
22 Montenegro against the rest. He was pressured to change his mind, wasn't
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Are you putting that question to
25 me --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Professor, I've stopped you. If do you not have
2 the information to provide an answer to the question, then just say no and
3 we move to the next question.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Bulatovic will give you an
5 answer on that, not me.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Nice, it's time for the break.
7 We'll break for 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Kay.
11 MR. KAY: Before we restart, Your Honour, I want to, if possible,
12 have in mind a timetable in relation to this witness. We know she's got a
13 plane to catch, and it's important that there be a margin of time for
14 re-examination, and I would be seeking the leave of the Court for
15 Mr. Milosevic to be able to re-examine this witness and in preference to
16 my own time. Whether he exercises that right or not is another matter; I
17 can then re-examine. But I would like that built into the timetable so
18 that there is a sufficiency.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let me ask a question of the Professor.
20 Professor, yesterday you told us you had a plane to catch at, I
21 think, somewhere in the region of 2.00 p.m., and you could sit here until
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I was told later, I can stay
24 until 12.00, perhaps even until 12.15 on condition that the traffic is not
25 too heavy on the road to Amsterdam.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: 12.15. Mr. Nice, how much longer do you have?
2 MR. NICE: I have -- well, I certainly have half an hour.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Half an hour.
4 MR. NICE: I have longer than that, but I'll --
5 JUDGE KWON: You're going to spend more time than the Defence had.
6 MR. NICE: There is a problem. We had no knowledge of the details
7 this witness was able to give and on this particular witness, not knowing
8 what other witnesses are going to come, I want a fair opportunity -- I
9 wanted to, if I can, put points to this witness. Two more documents on
10 The Hague Conference, four maps, some cuttings from The Death of
11 Yugoslavia, and a couple of general questions.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, how long do you plan for your
14 MR. KAY: I could certainly take 15 minutes, but I'm more
15 concerned about Mr. Milosevic's position than my own.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, if you are to seek our leave to
17 re-examine, we are inclined to grant it. How long would you take?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, I said yesterday that
19 in what you consider as my Defence, and which it obviously is not, I have
20 no intention of participating with --
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Milosevic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- re-examination. I'm asking that
23 you restore my --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. Mr. Kay, you will then re-examine for
25 about 15, 20 minutes, where we will be within the time frame.
1 MR. KAY: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: Thank you. May the next document come to the witness,
4 please. It's the second-to-last Hague document.
5 JUDGE ROBINSON: We didn't give a number to the last document.
6 MR. NICE: My oversight, I apologise. May it be given a number
8 THE REGISTRAR: The next exhibit number will be 778.
9 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
10 Q. On this document, Professor Avramov, dated the 25th of October, so
11 after the rejection, we see in the first page Lord Carrington in his
12 opening remarks condemns the attacks of the JNA on Vukovar and Dubrovnik,
13 expressing regret that General Kadijevic didn't attend.
14 We turn to the second page, the only long passage I'm going to be
15 looking at starts off at the top of the page, "... impossible to circulate
16 the so-called Kostic proposals." Next paragraph but one, "As the general
17 remark introducing his intervention on Chapter II of the Chairman's draft,
18 President Milosevic stated the new paper differed little..." Next
19 sentence, "... continued to make an unfair discrimination concerning the
20 right of self-determination of peoples. Any solution should be based on
21 the continuity of the Yugoslav state for those who wish and on the
22 principle of legality and legitimacy. President Milosevic questioned the
23 general approach of the Conference on the question of special status. A
24 special status should only be given to the two Krajinas in Croatia. There
25 was no point in extending this status to other regions. Furthermore --"
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. "-- relating to the return to the 1974 constitution ... was
3 unacceptable --" referring to Vojvodina -- "was unacceptable as an
4 intervention in internal affairs." And now, "President Milosevic
5 concluded that the Chair's document paved the way for new instability."
6 Then the next paragraph, "President Bulatovic of Montenegro said
7 that although the text had certain improvements, including the
8 demilitarisation of special status areas, these are what he termed
9 disturbing novelties," and so on.
10 Two points: The accused was determined that the only group, the
11 only ethnic national group that should enjoy special status was the Serbs
12 out of Serbia, wasn't he? It says it here in black and white.
13 A. If that is what it says, then that is the position of those who
14 wrote it, but it is their mistake that they did not take minutes which we
15 also would sign as one of the participating parties. So these texts are
16 not authorised. I had my own notes.
17 Q. Professor Avramov, you were there. The conference failed --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- very special opportunities were made for the minority Serbs in
20 the Krajinas. The accused is recorded as saying that there should be no
21 extension of that principle to other groups. Was that, please, his
22 position? You were there.
23 A. It's a little unclear to me. I don't remember. I cannot place it
24 in the proper context, this second part of the sentence, not to allow it
25 or permit it other groups. The question was on the status of Serbs in
1 Croatia, as far as I recall, and this is what we insisted on. I cannot
2 simply remember whether we talked about other groups. What other groups?
3 Q. Let me then make my point and explain what I was referring to
4 earlier when I asked you about the equality of states -- of peoples and
5 groups in your minds at the time. Is this the truth, Professor Avramov,
6 that for the accused to have accepted the Lord Carrington proposals,
7 generous though they were to Serbs in Croatia, would have meant his having
8 to extend similar rights, or might have had to involve his extending
9 similar rights to, for example, the Kosovo Albanians in Kosovo, and that
10 he could not afford?
11 A. The Albanians in Kosovo had the maximum status which Europe
12 recognised to minorities. Therefore, this equality, sir, the equality of
13 minorities was never questioned in all of our positions and proposals. We
14 as the delegation, and Mr. Milosevic as the head of the delegation, never
15 questioned this equality.
16 The second thing is the institutional solutions, autonomy and so
17 on. What Mr. Milosevic did not want to accept and the reason -- for which
18 he had complete support in the parliament, was the break-up of Yugoslavia
19 based on consensus.
20 Q. I put my case on that and I'm going to move on to the last
21 document for The Hague Conference. I've excised or cut out most of the
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Number for that.
24 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number will be 779.
25 MR. NICE: And my apologies again to the interpreters, the one
1 coming up is R0414911.
2 Q. And this document is dated the 4th of November, which thus comes
3 after the rejection that's been recorded by the accused but is in fact an
4 amended version, a corrected version, and sets out the general principles
5 of what was on offer, and I only desire you to look at, please, two pages.
6 On the first page, the Treaty Provisions for the Convention,
7 paragraph 1, based on the following, "sovereign and independent republics
8 with an international personality for those which wish it; a free
9 association of the Republics with an international personality as
10 envisaged in this Convention; common state of equal Republics which wish
11 to remain a common state; comprehensive arrangements, including
12 supervisory mechanisms for protection of human rights; European
13 involvement, where appropriate; and in the framework of a general
14 settlement, recognition of independence within the existing borders unless
15 otherwise agreed..."
16 And then if you turn over, please, one page -- no, beg your
17 pardon. Two -- three pages to the page at the foot is numbered 4.
18 Special status, subparagraph C. Do you have that? Page 4, special
19 status, subparagraph C.
20 "In addition, areas to which persons belonging to a national or
21 ethnic group form a majority shall enjoy a special status of autonomy.
22 Such a status will provide for: The right to have and show the national
23 emblems of that area; an educational system which respects the values and
24 needs of the group; a legislative body, an administrative structure
25 including a regional police force and a judiciary responsible for matters
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 concerning the area ... with provisions for international monitoring."
2 Now, this is the level of generous, you may think -- you may
3 agree, provision made for the Serbs in the Krajina where they were in a
4 majority in Croatia and in Bosnia, but I must suggest to you that this
5 treaty was rejected because the accused, and you must have known this,
6 could not have accepted this for Kosovo.
7 A. I'm very familiar with this document. We worked through this
8 document after we received it, and we made a series of remarks. The first
9 one was of a principle nature. What does that mean, "Treaty Provisions
10 for the Convention" from the standpoint of the international law? This is
11 a contradiction in the title. That's one thing.
12 Secondly, before you move to the [In English] Independent
13 republics [Interpretation] Please, before you move to establish
14 sovereignty and independence, you have to establish their legal basis.
15 Based on what did they become independent? What was their legal status
16 based on violent secession? We also must note the cause and the effects
17 and not move immediately to the derived questions of what will happen
18 inside. So that was our principled position; first of all to establish
19 the legal title, the legitimacy. Lord Carrington or the mediators could
20 not be the creators of new states, and we wanted to have that on the basis
21 of a referendum.
22 Q. Respecting your timetable, I must move on. I've made my case on
23 -- I have put my case on that. Let me move on to an associated point.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the magazines I referred to yesterday I
25 hoped were arriving by DHL this morning. They haven't. I have copies.
1 The originals will be with us, I hope today, probably may be in the
2 building somewhere.
3 Q. Professor Avramov, I've suggested to you the reason why Carrington
4 Plan was rejected, and I'm going to suggest to you that the underlying
5 desire to having put the interests of having all Serbs in one state ahead
6 of any other interest also lay at the root of the problem. And to make
7 that -- or to help make that point good, I'd like you, please, to look at
8 a copy of Epoka, the SPS magazine, for the 22nd of October.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Last document, 780.
10 MR. NICE: So sorry. I keep forgetting that.
11 Q. All right. Now, this -- we have a translation for this part of
12 the magazine and its article, but to save time I'm just going to look at
13 the map that's displayed via the other screens for those viewing, and the
14 caption that goes with it that the Court has for this map on page 2 reads
15 as follows: "Desirable possibility of territorial demarcation between the
16 third Yugoslavia and Croatia." And then it sets out by reference to the
17 shaded areas the Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina, number 1, Western
18 Slavonia, number 2; 3, Serbian region of Slovenia, a little above it and
19 to the right; 4, Western Herzegovina, which we can see not shaded but to
20 the left of the strong black line; 5, Samac, Posavina, the small black
21 line from the middle of the map; 6, the Dubrovnik Republic; and 7, the
22 line to the left of all the lines marked as this "optimal western border
23 of Serbian counties."
24 This map, did this reflect the underlying aim of the SPS at that
25 time and at the time that Carrington's plan for retaining all the parts of
1 Yugoslavia was rejected?
2 A. Sir, many scientific magazines were published in Belgrade, and you
3 cannot dispute the right of specialised sciences to express their
4 positions, and they could be different from their prevailing or official
5 position. So this cannot be taken, these positions cannot be taken or
6 imputed to somebody as evidence or to accuse them.
7 I must admit that I didn't really see this at the time. I didn't
8 have enough time to look through all the different magazines. Just
9 glancing at this quickly, it does not seem to be correct. More or less
10 this was the projection of the offer to Serbia in 1915 to give up
11 Yugoslavia and to stay as the Kingdom of Serbia. This was in London
12 during -- in the London treaty which the allies offered to Serbia. So
13 this was the basis for this particular map. I know the exact lines, if
14 you're interested, but if not, I won't go into that, but I will not take
15 this magazine at all as something that was legally relevant.
16 Q. I'm glad that you -- grateful to you for referring back to the
17 1915 agreement. You mentioned it yesterday, the London agreement of 1915,
18 in the middle of the war, because -- and I just have to tell you this for
19 want of time but the Chambers can find this, we have an intercept of the
20 29th of October of 1991. So at the same time as all this negotiation
21 between the accused and Karadzic where they discuss the possibility of
22 reviving the Yugoslav state according to the London agreement, which as
23 you say exactly matches this line.
24 Can we look at another map, please. You'll know, of course, of
25 the man Moljevic?
1 JUDGE KWON: Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Nice. If I can give the
2 exhibit number.
3 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry.
4 MR. KAY: Should this really be an exhibit? It wasn't adopted or
5 accepted by the witness and its relevance is marginal to her testimony.
6 MR. NICE: I respectfully suggest not marginal. First of all,
7 once we have the original or even copy of it if we're pressed for time,
8 its connection to the SPS will be manifest from the document itself and in
9 any event the witness effectively acknowledged it yesterday. She also
10 acknowledges that the map is a map that matched a much earlier map, which
11 is one of the things I was hoping to point to, and that continuity of
12 planning is extremely significant in the mindset of the accused.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: There is a basis for admitting it.
14 MR. KAY: If I could just reply on that issue, because if there
15 are other means of proving it, use other means, but this is an article
16 written by someone else that the witness said quite clearly she had never
17 seen and never had time to consider. There's no evidence that she ever
18 directed her mind even to the production of this document. If there is a
19 proper way of dealing with it that is relevant to this witness or other
20 aspects of the case, perhaps that would be better than introducing
21 something in this form.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me, sir, to say --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber is -- the Chamber is consulting.
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry. Sorry.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, the Chamber has consulted. We have
3 decided not to admit this as an exhibit.
4 MR. NICE: As Your Honour pleases. I will obviously attempt to
5 deal with these maps with another witness at a later time. I might have
6 been able to explore more with this witness, but nevertheless ...
7 Q. You explained how there was this plan in the London conference in
8 1915 for a much larger Serbia. Moljevic was a Chetnik who wrote a very
9 famous article in about 1941; correct? And if you'd like to look at this
10 map --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- which has been taken from -- there's a map --
13 A. I did not know Mr. Moljevic. I know of Mr. Moljevic only from
14 reading, from literature. So I cannot really speak about Mr. Moljevic.
15 But I would like to ask you, did you admit into evidence the map presented
16 by Mr. Tudjman at the annual conference of the HDZ where Croatia should
17 reach all the way to Zemun?
18 Q. I would just like to look at this map. Do you recognise this as a
19 map that was the Moljevic proposal in 1941, and do you accept that this
20 map has its similarities with the map of the London agreement of 1915?
21 A. I would like to compare this, please. Do not pressure me at this
22 point in time to do this comparison. I would have to think about it, to
23 see it. I would have to have my own maps, the ones that I have, you know,
24 original ones from London from 1971. I have all the maps of Croatia from
25 1941 and the proposals all the way up to 1999. I have all of these maps
1 in Belgrade but --
2 Q. Look at this map, then, and just yes or no. You're aware of
3 Moljevic having published his proposals in 1941, even though you didn't
4 know the man?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Have you seen his map before?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Very well. Then without the map, just confirm this to me, because
9 you looked at an earlier map, you confirmed it reflected a 1915 plan. My
10 -- my suggestion is as follows: Quite regardless of the genocide in the
11 Second World War, which wasn't concluded, I must suggest, at the time that
12 Moljevic was writing with the genocide against the Serbs, there was a
13 long-standing concept of all Serbs living within a single state, having
14 the sort of borders that we've been addressing in looking at these maps
15 although they're not exhibits. Do you accept that there was a
16 long-standing understanding of the possibility of an enlarged Serbian
18 A. Sir, in my scientific work, I base all of my positions on official
19 documents. I can talk about the London conference, I can talk about the
20 London proposals, but I cannot talk about inter-party proposals and the
21 inter-party struggles in the period between the two world wars and later.
22 This is a question for sociologists and those who study the relationships
23 amongst parties. I'm interested in official documents and official
24 positions of states.
25 Q. And finally, because of the time, you carried on negotiating for
1 this accused and for Serbia into -- into 1992, dealing directly with the
2 accused and Karadzic, didn't you, for negotiation purposes?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. And I must suggest to you this: It was the notion of all Serbs
5 living in one state, regardless of the interests of others, that drove the
6 rejection of the Carrington Plan and that kept alive the conflict. Do you
7 accept that the notion of all Serbs living in one state had that effect at
8 that time?
9 A. No, absolutely not.
10 Q. Let's move on.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Milosevic, yes.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, Mr. Nice is absolutely
13 distorting in the question that he's putting what the whole thing is
14 about. This is the aspiration or support for Yugoslavia and that it is
15 good for all Southern Slavs, that it's a good solution in particular for
16 the Serbs, because living in Yugoslavia, all the Serbs are living in one
17 state, all those living in Serbia and in the other republics. But this
18 also applies to all the Muslims living in a Southern Slav state. It
19 applies to all the Croats, that they would all be living in one single
20 state. Yugoslavia was the right solution. We're talking about Yugoslavia
21 here and not about some concept of Greater Serbia which is like some
22 phantom floating over this courtroom.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: The Chamber is considering the question of your
24 interventions. Properly speaking, these interventions ought to be made
25 through the Court-assigned counsel. We have been fairly flexible so far.
1 You have the opportunity to request us --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sir --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Don't interrupt. You have the opportunity to ask
4 us whether you can ask questions of the witness. I said earlier that we
5 were disposed to consider favourably a request for you to re-examine.
6 That would be the appropriate time for you to put -- put questions.
7 Otherwise, such questions and comments ought to come through the
8 Court-assigned counsel.
9 Mr. Nice, continue.
10 MR. NICE: I have four or five --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: I'm not hearing you further on that.
13 Mr. Nice.
14 MR. NICE: I have five short clips from a television series called
15 Death of Yugoslavia. I'm not going to -- I have transcripts now if you
16 want them at any time. The transcripts are from time to time not accurate
17 translations, I am advised. Each of these clips is very short. If we can
18 just play the clips, it may be better to listen to the interpretation
19 rather than to follow on a transcript that may be inaccurate, and with
20 your leave I'll play the first one to the witness.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, we are checking the records because we
22 are of the view that the Chamber had refused to admit this in evidence.
23 MR. NICE: Refused to admit the totality of The Death of
24 Yugoslavia. You've had clips of The Death of Yugoslavia before in
25 evidence, passages of people speaking and parts showing this accused. I
1 think the first four of these all relate to the accused himself and
2 they're simply films of him.
3 I think there's also been a passage of the -- the passage played
4 of the meeting of the generals -- I beg your pardon, a meeting of the
5 Supreme Command in the basement room where it was very cold and they were
6 all in overcoats and where they tried to agree on the granting of special
7 powers and where the vote went against the proposal for special powers.
8 You may remember that.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, yes.
10 MR. KAY: That's right. The totality of the films was objected to
11 and leave refused, but there have been other clips which have been
12 specific to questioning. It might be an idea to put the question first
13 and then show the clips and then we can see exactly what is happening.
14 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, put the questions first.
17 MR. NICE: Well, what I want to suggest to the witness is that
18 this accused and those who were working with him was indeed concerned, if
19 necessary, to fight to have the Serbia that had -- to have an enlarged
20 Serbia that had all Serbs living within it. That's my suggestion, and the
21 next two clips will help me with that, but I suspect it might be more
22 economic in time to play the clip first, but it's a matter for the Court.
23 Q. What do you say to that suggestion, Professor Avramov, that the
24 accused wanted an enlarged Serbia and was prepared to fight to get it?
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let her answer the question first.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, but could you please
2 repeat the question.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. Of course. The accused was prepared to fight to have an enlarged
5 Serbia with all Serbs living in it.
6 A. No; quite the opposite. Not an enlarged Serbia but the survival
7 of Yugoslavia. A maximum Yugoslavia, not an enlarged Serbia. That was
8 the position taken.
9 MR. NICE: Can we look at the first two clips then, please?
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. They are relevant to this issue.
11 [Videotape played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Regardless of the fact that today as
13 one time that the enemies of Serbia are pulling up against her with those
14 outside the country and those inside the country, we have a message for
15 them and that is not that we are not afraid. We will enter every fight."
16 MR. NICE: The second one, please.
17 [Videotape played]
18 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "We are going to stop the counter
19 revolution in Kosovo and we'll reform the political system in such a way
20 that it will enable Serbia to regain, implement --"
21 MR. NICE: The text --
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "-- authority over its entirety
24 MR. NICE: Thank you. As the Court will have observed, the
25 translation -- the translation on the screen read slightly differently.
1 It read, "regain its rightful territories." The interpreters expressed a
2 similar sentiment differently.
3 Q. These are two examples of speeches by this accused, and we know of
4 another famous one at Gazimestan. He was prepared to make battle and
5 fight --
6 A. I attended, yes.
7 Q. Yes. And this sort of sentiment, that Serbia would regain its
8 rightful territories or gain authority over its appropriate territories is
9 the sort of thing he expressed loudly and in a way that excited the
10 public, didn't he?
11 A. Sir, there was fighting on a psychological level, on an
12 information level, on a political level. That was the battle fought, not
13 only on the military plane. The military plane is the last instance. So
14 these were the battles going on. And I was -- I happened to be at
15 Gazimestan during the celebrations of the 600th anniversary of the battle
16 of Kosovo Polje, and he is speaking about Serbia, not about an enlarged
17 Serbia. He is speaking about the need to establish power and authority
18 throughout the territory, because in Kosovo, from time to time, there was
19 a rebellion against that authority. And it wasn't the Serbs who were a
20 minority in Kosovo as you're trying to represent it. They are part of the
21 majority population. The minority were the Albanians.
22 Q. You've moved from the topic. My next question arising from the
23 same clips, the speech at Gazimestan, with which the Chamber is almost
24 certainly familiar, is this: Although this accused didn't, so far as we
25 discovered, let the words "Greater Serbia" fall from his mouth, by what he
1 did and what he said, he adopted some nationalist sentiments in order to
2 generate enthusiasm for him, didn't he?
3 A. No, I don't see it that way, and I was there, I attended. I could
4 feel the prevailing mood. Of course, you had the representatives of all
5 possible political orientation represented there, not only socialists and
6 so on. And you know Kosovo, for the Serb people, is a specific moment in
7 history. That's what it represents. And it has its emotional
8 connotations and so on.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the second suggestion --
10 A. No.
11 Q. The second suggestion is this, that he was able to use propaganda
12 in the form of mass meetings and to excite people by such suggestions as
13 the people would have to be followed and obeyed. Do you accept that he
14 used the crowd in order to generate excitement and to have his own way?
15 A. Well, using the crowd. Using crowds is always an element in
16 politics and the policies of all parties and states, and I see no
17 exception there in the case of Mr. Milosevic.
18 Q. Just look at clips 3 and 4 and have your comments in light of that
19 last answer on these. Clip 3, please.
20 [Videotape played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "That means that all those should be
22 replaced from their functions, the members of the Regional Committees, of
23 the Presidency, according to which it is justifiably, and I say
24 justifiably, who have received a vote of no confidence from the public
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. This was an example. Do you remember that incident, Mrs. Avramov?
3 A. Yes, I do remember but this is what I would like to say in that
4 regard: Mr. Milosevic made a mistake because he didn't implement it. The
5 Albanian generals who were generals in the JNA, they wouldn't have turned
6 their backs on Yugoslavia and found themselves in terrorist organisations,
7 the Siptars in Kosovo.
8 Q. He used the crowd to have his way with the Central Committee,
9 didn't he?
10 A. I didn't attend the Central Committee meeting. I wasn't a party
11 member, so I really can't say whether it was up before the Central
13 Q. And finally, the last clip, fourth clip which we'll play.
14 [Videotape played].
15 THE NARRATOR: "The crowd had waited all day for Milosevic to tell
16 them that Kosovo would be theirs again."
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "There is no price or force on earth
18 that can stop the leadership of Serbia and the people of Serbia in their
19 fight for their cause."
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. Sir, in the period between the 19 -- between 1970 and 1980, about
23 200.000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo, and I happen to remember that
24 exact figure because the Albanian population increased by 34 per cent
25 between 1970 and 1980. So those are statistical data, federal statistical
2 Q. I have two more questions, in light of the time. The first is
3 this: As a matter of fact, although you dealt with the character of
4 advice that you've told us about and the involvement in the political
5 process at the international level, you were never privy to what happened
6 in the meetings of the Council for Harmonisation, the meetings of the
7 Supreme Defence Council, or bodies like that, were you?
8 A. No, never.
9 Q. So when you've told us, as you have, about the limited control the
10 accused had over people like Babic or over the JNA, you're not speaking
11 from having sat in with him and JNA generals at critical meetings or
12 anything of that sort; you don't have that experience.
13 A. No. I'm only speaking on the basis of official documents that I
14 had in my possession.
15 Q. And then that was what -- the first question. The second question
16 is this: This accused emerged as a leader in circumstances that we have
17 been exploring or will learn more about, in the late 1980s. Is the
18 position that from that moment on - this is my suggestion to you - he used
19 or instrumentalised, in the modern language, the opinions of others and
20 the emotions of others simply to retain control of as much territory as he
21 could regardless of the legitimate interests of others living on it? Is
22 that the reality, madam?
23 A. That is your understanding, whereas the emotions and feelings are
24 something that you cannot interpret. You cannot interpret the emotions
25 and feelings of the Serbian people and under what conditions this was
1 done. All I can do is speak about my own emotions and feelings and
2 sentiments. I never had the need, nor did I -- it ever enter my head that
3 I was a Serb. It was completely irrelevant as far as I was concerned.
4 But at the point at which the Serbs were slaughtered en masse, in their
5 masses, when they were expelled in their masses, when they launched an
6 appeal Help us, we've been left alone to fend for ourselves, then I said
7 to myself I am a part of that people and I'm duty-bound to help that
8 people. So those are my emotions and sentiments. But you cannot
9 understand them, and that is understandable too.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Mr. Kay.
11 JUDGE KWON: Before that, Mr. Nice, the speech, the accused's
12 speech at Gazimestan, do we have the full text of it?
13 MR. NICE: I think we do have a text of that. I'll look into it.
14 That's not one of the clips being played now, the clips being --
15 JUDGE KWON: In terms of an exhibit.
16 MR. NICE: -- Gazimestan's in separately, yes.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you.
18 Re-examined by Mr. Kay:
19 Q. Professor Avramov, you were asked questions about the
20 pre-secession period of the 25th of June, 1991, and what was happening in
21 the territory of Yugoslavia then. You mentioned the man called Dragan,
22 paramilitaries, and forces. And you responded by saying that the state
23 was faced with an existential difficulty. So pre-secession of the 25th of
24 June, 1991, what was the state's difficulty? The state of Yugoslavia,
25 what was the difficulty it was facing?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. That observation and the statement I made just now was stated in
2 much sharper terms, but of course I wasn't present, sir. Let me say that
3 once again. It was an official statement that was given to the press.
4 And let me see, I'll tell you exactly when that was. I think it was the
5 21st of March, 1991, or roughly thereabouts, during those days when the
6 General Staff took note of the fact that the country was facing a state of
7 civil war and that the individual terror that was being implemented,
8 illegal bringing in of weapons from Hungary, Austria, and through various
9 other channels was a forerunner of the need to proclaim a state of
10 emergency in the country because the country was on the verge of war, on
11 the verge of a civil war. So that was the observation made by the Supreme
12 Command. And I myself, like all the other citizens, knew full well
13 through the press about the individual terrorist acts against the Serb
14 population that became more intensified since 1990. At the beginning of
15 1990, in fact.
16 Q. You also used the phrase that the state was faced with a rebellion
17 and that was as a result of a speech by --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- President Tudjman. Perhaps if you can just put that into
20 context. What did you mean by "rebellion"?
21 A. It's like this: Mr. Tudjman held a speech -- delivered a speech
22 in Trogir -- and I can provide you with the entire text of that particular
23 speech. I haven't got it here with me because I assumed you would have
24 that speech. And he appealed to the Croatian people, called them to
25 rebellion. So what you can talk about their right to self-determination
1 today, it is no right to self-determination, it was a rebellion against
2 the state. And Tudjman, in that speech of his, and he was delivering it
3 to an enormous mass of the population, even more people than at
4 Gazimestan, just speaks about that, but you have made no mention of that
5 here. He was appealing to the Croatian people and the friends of the
6 Croatian people and the Muslims who had historic ties, or such some phrase
7 that he used, and he incited them to a rebellion.
8 Q. Now, within the context that you speak of, again before the
9 secession in June 1991, you mentioned the right of Serbia to defend itself
10 and the threats to Serbia which was one of the republics of the Socialist
11 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. What did you mean by that? What was
12 Serbia defending itself from?
13 A. From the rebellion. The combat areas or armed actions, armed
14 operations moved from Slovenia through Croatia towards Bosnia and Kosovo,
15 and at the time throughout that territory you already saw the preparations
16 and organisation going on, the kind that the General Staff referred to and
17 the armed groups. And Alija Izetbegovic spoke about this in his articles.
18 And the assumption was, and this is something that Tudjman referred to,
19 that the rebellion should have started in Kosovo and then spread towards
20 the north. But what actually happened due to force of circumstance, who
21 changed that strategy I really can't say - you'll know that or be able to
22 assess that better than myself - the strategy was changed and what
23 happened was it began in the north and spread to the south. That's what
25 So this linkage, this link-up made the war a unified war, an
1 organically united war, an undertaking against the state of Yugoslavia.
2 Q. I want to turn now to one of the exhibits that was produced to
3 you, number 776. Exhibit 776, please. And I want to turn to page 5.
4 This is the statement made by President Milosevic to the Conference on
6 A. Could you just give me a moment to look at the date. Yes, that's
7 right. I am well acquainted with the entire text. What page did you
8 say? 7? No, 5.
9 Q. Page 5.
10 A. [In English] Five, okay.
11 Q. I'll put it into context for you, Professor: At The Hague,
12 September the 7th, 1991, start of the Carrington peaks talks. And the
13 phrase in the second paragraph, "Boundaries to be altered only in case of
14 secession from Yugoslavia. This does not apply to the nations and
15 republics which remain in Yugoslavia."
16 It has been put to you that President Milosevic's strategy was for
17 a Serbia rather than Yugoslavia. Was that the case?
18 A. [Interpretation] No. That is completely incorrect. Mr. Milosevic
19 -- I can't find a better phrase and term, but to say that he was too
20 occupied -- he was preoccupied about how to save Yugoslavia, how to ensure
21 the existence and survival of a state against we see suddenly Slovenia and
22 Croatia rising up against, and the resistance was spreading. So that was
23 the crux of the matter and you can see that from later speeches delivered
24 by him.
25 Q. So the strategy was very much based on the lines of the notion of
1 Yugoslavia. Was that as a Serbian state of Yugoslavia or as a state of
2 all the Slavic peoples?
3 A. Well, Yugoslavia was the state of the South Slav peoples,
4 according to the concept at the Versailles conference, peace conference.
5 So this concept and notion of the South Slavs implied at the time the
6 Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes.
7 Later on, during Tito's Yugoslavia, we had the production of new
8 nations, and there was a protest against that officially from the United
9 States of America, and I mention in my book the document in which this is
10 expressed, the USA document mentioning this. But anyway, 1946 they
11 already lodged a protest to the effect that the Macedonians were not in
12 fact a nation, that it was artificial, an artificial creation. Later on,
13 when the Muslims were upgraded to a nation, America protested again.
14 So therefore, in socialist Yugoslavia, we saw an increase in the
15 number of nations or constituent peoples, as they qualified in the
16 constitution. And now you have the following situation: If you take into
17 account the fact that the Muslims in fact were Islamised Slavs, then the
18 notion of the South Slavs or the South Slav people can cover Yugoslavia in
19 its totality. If you take the other view and take the view that the
20 Muslims are not originally Slavs, which it is difficult to prove
21 historically, then one could say that the title of the South Slav peoples
22 does not fully cover the entire territory of Yugoslavia as it stood.
23 Q. I want to look now at the second sentence in that paragraph.
24 "This does not apply to the nations and republics which remain in
25 Yugoslavia." So the concept is that the boundaries of those states that
1 secede from Yugoslavia should be altered.
2 A. The borders remain open, that was our position. And they have to
3 be established at an international conference, not through one-sided acts.
4 That was the point. Please take a look at the position of the Supreme
5 Court of Canada in respect of Quebec, or I can quote individual authors to
6 you who are the same opinion.
7 Q. Was it also a factor which you mentioned in your testimony
8 yesterday about the ethnicity of states? Was Croatia seen by those
9 remaining in Yugoslavia as creating an ethnic Croatian state?
10 A. Well, you have this constant feature. Please, at the meeting of
11 the Supreme Defence Council, which was attended by Franjo Tudjman and the
12 generals, that was held on the 12th and 19th of September, 1993, a
13 decision was reached to ethnically cleanse Croatia. You have an official
14 document about that, and you have that document.
15 In addition to that, take a look at this. This is a newspaper
16 that is still published in Croatia until the present day, and look at the
17 title or look at this sentence which is there throughout. This is
18 Hrvatski Vjesnik: "Be damned, Serbs, wherever you may be." That's what
19 it says. This is a newspaper they publish, a daily newspaper.
20 Q. If you could give the date of that again, of the newspaper.
21 A. Oh, this one, yes, I will. The 10th of April, 1994. I can leave
22 you a copy if you wish.
23 Q. Thank you. I want to move now, because time is limited, to
24 looking at Exhibit 779. It is the notes of the 25th of October, 1991, at
25 the Carrington conference. I'd like you to turn to paragraph 2.3, which
1 is on page 4 of the document.
2 A. Which page?
3 Q. Page 4 at the top. It's 643 that's stamped on it. Paragraph 2.3.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Have you got that? It says: "President Milosevic, Serbia."
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. You were asked questions about the shelling of Dubrovnik, about
8 the territorial ambitions of -- of the accused and Dubrovnik. In this
9 document here, it's stated: "President Milosevic indicated that he had
10 asked General Kadijevic and Vice-President Kostic if it was true that JNA
11 were shelling the city of Dubrovnik. They said that this was untrue.
12 Whatever the situation was, he, Milosevic, could not accept the shelling
13 of Dubrovnik, which could not be justified."
14 From your dealings with the accused, was it ever part of his
15 strategy, so far as you knew, that he was using force to achieve
16 territorial aims against the other parties negotiating over the future of
18 A. No. No. I categorically state that President Milosevic never
19 wanted any such thing. He insisted on a peaceful settlement, because
20 often, I have to admit that, armed actions got out of control. They got
21 out of control -- not only out of the control of the superiors involved,
22 even under local control. They got out of local control. Very often they
23 -- their nature was one of anarchy. You did not know who was shooting
24 from which side. This was a moment when discipline went down and when
25 control over the armed forces simply disappeared. In certain moments it
1 simply disappeared and there was this atmosphere of panic, and there was a
2 wish to place it under control somehow. But it was very difficult because
3 there were individual acts of revenge. Groups here and there, groups of
4 mercenaries who came.
5 You see, I remember these statements of some of these mercenaries
6 who came from Great Britain. They were brought to Belgrade, and they were
7 handed over to the British embassy in order to prove what mercenaries were
8 doing in the country.
9 President Milosevic never had any such intentions to take anything
10 by force. What does taking in the sense of conquest mean? This was a
11 question of defending Yugoslavia. We had a territory that was under
12 somebody's sovereignty. It was not terra nullius so they were violently
13 dismembering parts of Yugoslavia. That's what the secessionists were
14 doing, they were dismembering a member country of the UN.
15 Q. It was put to you that the fault for the failure of the Carrington
16 Plan was Serbia and President Milosevic. I want to go through this in two
18 First of all, was there an acceptance of a confederacy by all the
19 states or were there still disagreements about trade, currency, defence?
20 Was the Carrington Plan an overall plan that had been accepted by all the
22 A. No. First of all, you mention a confederacy. Don't. Go back to
23 the first sentence. Independent sovereign states are being established,
24 and what will happen later in terms of whether it's going to be a
25 confederacy or a union or whatever, that is something that may be
1 negotiated. Quite simply, it is one of the assumptions in terms of what
2 may possibly happen. However, at the conference, Mr. Tudjman and
3 Mr. Kucan said quite literally it's out of the question, we are not going
4 to negotiate about anything except independent states. That is why the
5 Carrington paper suited them at first, because after that they could say,
6 "Sorry, we don't want to negotiate with you at all." Not even to
7 negotiate. That's the point.
8 The Carrington paper was an absolutely anti-legal act from the
9 point of view of international law. And from the point of view of the
10 Brioni declaration, it was deceit.
11 Q. Now, it was put to you about the rejection of the terms and that
12 Serbia was on its own. You are experienced in many conferences,
13 negotiations and we've seen how you've spent, on this issue, over two
14 years. As a negotiating --
15 A. Not two; 40 years.
16 Q. Even more. As a negotiating strategy, are you aware of that
17 technique where when multi-parties are negotiating, you're in fact waiting
18 for one party to be left alone with the blame for rejection even though
19 the others may not want it? Did that ever form an issue in strategy?
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to take too many technical
21 points but I think there are limits to leading questions in re-examination
22 and perhaps that passes beyond it.
23 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, let the witness answer if she can.
24 MR. KAY:
25 Q. It's a rejection of terms and who gets left with the blame by the
1 international community because of rejection of terms. Is that something
2 that enters into the thinking and strategy of those like you who have
3 experience of this?
4 A. My answer to you is going to be a description of the very
5 unpleasant situation that I found myself in and that I still am in today.
6 As a professor, I taught my students about negotiations. The process of
7 negotiations, the techniques of negotiations and its elements from the
8 point of view of law, morality, ethics, et cetera. I spoke to them on the
9 basis of history and the standards of international law. Everything that
10 happened in the post-Cold War period refuted everything that I taught my
11 students. Something pathological happened. Elementary rules were
12 deviated from. And that is what I noticed at conferences that were held
13 in the post-Cold War period. There are no standards there any more, there
14 are no ethics any more, people work against each other's backs. Then
15 decisions are passed I don't know where and people are confronted with a
16 fait accompli. That is something that in my professorship, in my career
17 spanning 40 years is something that was inconceivable.
18 MR. KAY: I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Kay.
20 Mr. Milosevic, I take this opportunity to reiterate that the
21 Chamber is disposed to exercise its discretion under its order to allow
22 you, even though you have not examined, to re-examine on certain specific
23 issues. Without making a speech, do you wish to take this opportunity?
24 Do you wish to avail yourself of the opportunity to ask certain specific
25 questions? And I want to make it clear that the Chamber encourages you to
1 do so.
2 Without making a speech, what is your position?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, had I conducted the
4 examination-in-chief, very many questions would have been raised that your
5 appointed lawyer, of course, was not able to raise. That is why I'm
6 saying that this examination-in-chief has nothing to do with my defence.
7 It never crossed my mind --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: [Previous translation continues] ...
9 Mr. Milosevic. Then that is exactly why the Chamber designed its order in
10 the way that it did. At the end of the examination-in-chief, the Chamber
11 would have allowed you and did offer you the opportunity to raise specific
12 questions, and that was the precise purpose of it. If you felt that a
13 particular aspect of the examination-in-chief had not covered a particular
14 area or that it covered it but did not cover it sufficiently, it would
15 then have been open to you to do so by way of asking certain questions,
16 and the Chamber was disposed to allow you.
17 So I want to make it clear that at all stages the Chamber is
18 offering you an opportunity to participate in the case. It is a matter
19 for you to decide whether you wish to do so, but make it -- I want it to
20 be clear that the Chamber encourages you to participate.
21 What is your position? Do you wish to ask questions now? I don't
22 want to hear another speech.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Robinson, please. In order to
24 make things clear to you, I demand that you return my right to
25 self-defence. You took it away from me, and it violates all conceivable
1 international norms, even your own position.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: We have already gone over that ground. We will
3 not rehearse it.
4 It remains for me to thank you, Professor, for coming to The Hague
5 to give the evidence that you have given. Your evidence is concluded, and
6 you may now leave.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 MR. NICE: Responsive to His Honour Judge Kwon's question, the
9 text of the Gazimestan speech from a newspaper article is to be found at
10 Exhibit 446, tab 30.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. Nice.
12 The documents which were not admitted will be returned.
13 We'll take the adjournment now for 20 minutes.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.06 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.29 p.m.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice.
17 MR. NICE: I've asked for the witness to stay out for a couple of
18 minutes. This witness, whose name is George Jatras, is one of two in
19 respect to whom -- I think two or three in respect of whom we have filed
20 preliminary motions. We've made it very clear in, I think, the last of
21 our motions that we want to move cautiously in this area, bearing in mind
22 certainly at the time that the motions were prepared the accused was
23 representing himself and therefore there might be some appropriate leeway
24 allowed in his conduct of the case, and it may be if there is leeway
25 allowed, that generosity will have to be extended even more so with the
1 person in the position of assigned counsel.
2 However, with those preparatory remarks, it remains our duty that
3 if we suspect that witnesses may not be able to help the Court at all, to
4 raise it with the Court rather than to waste time, mindful of the fact
5 that we have probably more abilities to research names of potential
6 witnesses or intended witnesses than the Court has or in any event would
7 want to exercise. And from the 65 ter summary of this witness and from
8 the researches we've been able to make, for the reasons set out a little
9 more fully in our motion of the 31st of August, we cannot see at the
10 moment that there's any evidence upon which this witness could -- there's
11 any evidence this witness could give which would assist you.
12 Our motion, of course, sought further particulars with the second
13 step of stopping his being called, principally sought further
14 particulars. In the circumstances, we quite understand that Mr. Kay's
15 been in no position to deal with something as low down on any agenda of
16 priority as this one would be, but we would ask that we're informed in
17 advance what material he can tell us about that seems to be relevant.
18 Otherwise, the Chamber might decide that he shouldn't be allowed to give
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
21 MR. KAY: Yes, Your Honours. This witness, James Jatras, was the
22 second on the list filed on behalf of the accused for hearing this week,
23 being that on schedule number 5. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Jatras
24 last night, spend some time with him and discuss his evidence and exhibits
25 with him.
1 I looked at the Rule 65 ter summary that had been filed on behalf
2 of the accused. I don't know who prepared it, it's not my work, in
3 relation to this particular witness, which gave very brief details about
4 who he was and how he fitted into the context of the case, saying
5 vice-president of a foreign policy institute abroad, international
6 framework and aspect of events in Bosnia, political background to events
7 in Bosnia, personal knowledge of facts relating to the parties to the
9 His evidence is of a far broader scope than that and also takes
10 into account events in Kosovo. That would have been apparent to the
11 Prosecution from the exhibits that have been supplied in advance which
12 came from the accused's associates.
13 The witness is in fact currently an attorney, and he has been a
14 foreign policy advisor in the US Senate and is familiar with -- through
15 his research with the US reaction in relation to events involving the
16 dissolution of Yugoslavia starting from March of 1991, and he was required
17 to do research upon that issue, gave advice, and then became more involved
18 in September of 1992, and was asked to research again into the issues
19 concerning events after the recognition of Bosnia in April 1992, and
20 through his researches discovered Iranian involvement in the forces
21 fighting in the conflict in Bosnia as well as Mujahedin.
22 These are allegations that have been made frequently by
23 Mr. Milosevic in the course of this trial and are in complete accordance
24 with the presentation of his case by him.
25 As a result of what was discovered there, this became a serious
1 issue when he and others were asked to take part in a select subcommittee
2 - and I'm reading from a title "to investigate the United States' role in
3 Iranian arms transfers to Croatia and Bosnia. The Iranian Green Light
4 Subcommittee." This report was made in 1996 and was a review on what had
5 become an embarrassing issue within American political circles that
6 revealed that the Clinton administration at the time had permitted through
7 what was called a nod and a wink and giving of a green light Iran in
8 particular to establish an arms base within Bosnia.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who commissioned the report?
10 MR. KAY: The US -- the Committee on International Relations of
11 the US House of Representatives. So this is an official public document.
12 It is a document that arrives completely independently of the accused. It
13 is within that status of filing of documents of Human Rights Watch, other
14 public bodies' whose work independent of the parties has been accepted as
15 having probative value by the Trial Chamber.
16 But the issue in relation to the accused on the indictment goes to
17 the conflict within Bosnia, the right of the Serbian state to self-defend
18 itself, the right of the state to deal with a humanitarian disaster that
19 it was facing, which was the expulsion of Serbian residents from Bosnia in
20 particular, Croatia as well, although this particular
21 witness was principally focused upon Bosnia.
22 So allegations that he has been making in his cross-examination
23 were proved, to the extent that the report proves it, as having been
24 correct concerning foreign involvements in the conflict in Bosnia and
25 where those involvements came from.
1 Now, the issue of the United States' involvement in this is
2 extremely important because of its attitude to President Milosevic and
3 Serbia, and in many respects that is where this witness takes up his
4 evidence and is able to say about the attitudes of the senators and
5 others, how they viewed the players within the events taking place in
6 Yugoslavia that was causing its dissolution and where their sympathies lie
7 and their prejudice, if you like, against President Milosevic and Serbia.
8 Moving on from that background, the second stage of his evidence
9 moves to Kosovo where again he was still performing his role, and his
10 evidence is that in fact a decision had been made to invade or bomb
11 Serbia, to bomb Serbia, attack Serbia, if you like, and use aggression
12 against the state of Serbia before the date that is alleged in the
13 indictment of the coming into being of the joint criminal enterprise as
14 having been put as starting in October of 1998.
15 Amongst the exhibits of the witness, which is the first document
16 I've produced before the Court being the final report of the Select
17 Subcommittee of which this witness was a participant and author, are
18 various documents that come about from the United States Senate Republican
19 Policy Committee, again dealing with the Clinton administration of the
20 United States' policy towards Kosovo and the KLA and the issue concerning
21 the strength of the KLA, its background, its support, and the support --
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, I think we have heard enough to be
23 satisfied that the witness has evidence that's relevant to the issues in
24 the case.
25 MR. KAY: Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of course, questions of relevance will be
2 addressed in the normal exercise of the Chamber's functions when they
4 MR. KAY: As they arise is perfectly as I understood the matter to
5 be. And the witness is aware of that, and indeed I discussed with him the
6 need of the Court to have relevant evidence and he is willing to
7 cooperate, and he is --
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: As far as the question of more detailed
9 information in the 65 ter filing is concerned, the Chamber sees no need at
10 this stage to depart from the ruling that it made in relation to that
11 conference, which is that it does not require the accused to produce more
12 detailed summaries than those provided in his 65 ter filing, but the
13 Chamber nonetheless reserves the power to make further orders to regulate
14 procedure at any stage.
15 MR. KAY: Yes.
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: So you may call the witness.
17 MR. KAY: Thank you. I'll call James Jatras, please.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let the witness make the declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
21 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: You may sit.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
24 WITNESS: JAMES JATRAS
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Kay.
1 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Examined by Mr. Kay:
3 Q. Your name is James George Jatras; is that correct?
4 A. Jatras, that's correct.
5 Q. And you are a US national, Mr. Jatras?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the language we will be using will be English, obviously.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you are an attorney; is that correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between question
12 and answer. Thank you.
13 MR. KAY:
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... returned to private practice.
15 A. Not exactly returned to private practice. This is really the
16 first time I've been in private practice.
17 Q. I've been asked to take things slower.
18 A. Oh.
19 Q. I'd like to deal with your career which took place in public
20 administration. If you could start, first of all, with your involvement
21 with the US Senate.
22 A. Yes. I worked as a senior foreign policy analyst at the Senate
23 Republican Policy Committee from 1985 till 2002, a period of somewhat over
24 17 years. Prior to that, I was a foreign service officer of the United
25 States from 1979 until 1985.
1 Q. Your -- your area of specialisation, was that in Eastern Europe?
2 A. Not specifically, no. My duties at the policy committee involved
3 preparing analyses and reports and forecasts for the senators and staff of
4 my party, the Republican party, as part of the Senate leadership. The
5 Senate leadership is organised in a partisan fashion. There's a
6 comparable structure on the Democratic side.
7 Most of the areas in which I worked were in foreign policy, but it
8 would -- the emphasis would change according to the -- the priority of
9 issues that were facing the Senate. For example, when I first got to the
10 policy committee in 1985, most of my work was in the area of Central
11 America. Later on, I did a great deal of work in the area of what was
12 happening in South Africa, sanctions, bills, things of that sort; and
13 later on, with the collapse of communism, the Warsaw Pact, eventually the
14 Soviet Union. My focus then shifted to that region of the world. And
15 since it was becoming apparent that Yugoslavia was the place where the
16 relatively peaceful de-communisation of Central and Eastern Europe was not
17 going to be quite so peaceful, I thought it necessary to provide some
18 information on that issue.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jatras.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes.
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: You volunteered information that the Republican
22 party is your party.
23 THE WITNESS: Correct.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Does that mean you are a Republican?
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
2 MR. KAY:
3 Q. And as an analyst, what exactly would you be doing? How would you
4 perform your tasks for your advisory work?
5 A. Specifically, although I was given access to classified
6 information, as a normal procedure I would try not to rely on classified
7 sources primarily because they were of limited utility in what the
8 Senate's needs were. You can't refer to classified information, or at
9 least you cannot divulge it, in the debate on the Senate floor. You're
10 not going to see text from classified reports incorporated into
12 Given the nature of debate in a legislative process, it was far
13 more useful to me to rely on publicly available information that would be
14 useful in that context.
15 For that reason, in Yugoslavia, as in other issues, I would
16 collect whatever information might be available primarily from news, media
17 sources, academic sources and so forth, to prepare either descriptions of
18 likely legislation, amendments that might be offered, things of that sort,
19 or sometimes if an issue was reasonably foreseeable as one that would end
20 up as a legislative issue, I would do something of a more analytical or
21 predictive nature to give a heads-up, so to speak, to the offices in the
23 Q. To make it clear, in fact, the testimony that you give today does
24 not concern classified information.
25 A. Oh, absolutely not. No, no.
1 Q. In your role, you would advise senators or a senator; is that
3 A. I worked primarily -- in fact, I worked solely under the direction
4 of the chairman of the policy committee, who was Senator Bill Armstrong of
5 Colorado when I first came to work in the Senate; later Don Nickles of
6 Oklahoma; and then Larry Craig of Idaho. Even though I worked for the
7 chairman, you might say my consuming audience was all of the Republican
8 senators and their staffs. Although the reports were also publicly
9 available and also were read on the Democratic side.
10 Q. Again, in the performance of your roles, would you be aware of
11 what the policy was of the current US administration?
12 A. Certainly. And I would say that that is where the evidentiary
13 value of what I have to say is, because specifically on the five reports I
14 did on Yugoslavia that I think are relevant to what I will be saying
15 today, we can take these as a snapshot in time, as something that was
16 documentation of what was known or knowable to someone in the legislative
17 context where I was and reporting on them in an official document because,
18 of course, the Congress is one of the organs of the US government. So
19 these are government reports, not from the executive branch agencies but
20 from an office within the legislative branch.
21 Q. We're going to get to a stage in your evidence when we deal with
22 what we'll put forward as an exhibit which is the final report of the
23 Select Subcommittee to investigate the United States' role in Iranian arms
24 transfers to Croatia and Bosnia, unofficially known as the Iranian Green
25 Light Subcommittee.
1 A. Yes. Excuse me. I believe you have a copy of the House report
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. I also have a copy of the Senate report. I don't know if you have
5 that at your disposal.
6 Q. This was enough for me to read.
7 A. The Senate report is much shorter.
8 Q. Right. If you need to refer to it, refer to it.
9 A. Uh-huh.
10 Q. And if it needs to come more formally into evidence, it can do so.
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. I suspect it's the overall substance of what you say that's going
13 to be the importance of your evidence.
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. Yes. The report such as this, which you were involved in
16 producing; is that right?
17 A. No, not that report.
18 Q. Right.
19 A. That was prepared by the House committee that is identified. It
20 was a select committee on the House side. On the Senate side, as I say, I
21 can look at the report here, it was the standing committee of the Senate
22 that prepared the Senate report. I did not prepare either of those
23 reports although I did communicate on occasion with the staff people that
24 were working on those reports.
25 Q. Right. The Court will have heard what I had represented
1 originally but I'm sure they will understand how it's quite difficult for
2 me to absorb all the information on these subjects when I've just come
3 into dealing with the witness.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Quite so, Mr. Kay.
5 MR. KAY:
6 Q. In your involvement with the production --
7 A. Uh-huh.
8 Q. -- of a Senate report --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- how would you come into it? What would be your role? You've
11 told us about being able to advise Republican senators, consider foreign
12 policy, but your more official involvement in the production of Senate
13 reports, how would that come about?
14 A. The reports from the policy committee are official Senate reports.
15 They're not the usual kind of committee report that we think of when we
16 think of Senate reports. These are analyses from an office in the Senate
17 leadership. So they're a different kind of Senate reports. And
18 generally, I was to do these on a proactive nature. Again, I had to use
19 my judgement as a legislative professional of what was likely to be facing
20 the Senate and work accordingly.
21 Specifically, on my January 1997 report on the -- the so-called
22 Clinton green light on Iranian arms transfers, it was based largely on
23 those two other reports that had been issued by the House and the Senate
24 in 1996, plus other sources of information I thought would be useful to
25 Republican offices.
1 Q. Again, we're dealing here with all information that's in the
2 public domain; is that right?
3 A. Absolutely correct, yes.
4 Q. And that is in fact part of the purpose of your role and the
5 production of these reports?
6 A. Yes. And I think it's also relevant to the discussion here
7 because it shows what was known or knowable universally to anyone in
8 Washington who wanted to know.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please slow down. Thank you.
11 MR. KAY:
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... 1991, and would it be right
13 to say that at that stage, the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the Balkans
14 was a subject that arrived on your desk?
15 A. Yes, that would be correct to say. I'm sorry, I had a note from
16 the translator just then. Are you referring to June of 1991?
17 Q. March 1991.
18 A. Well, I would say -- again trying to slow down here. It's not my
19 nature to speak slowly.
20 In the period leading up to June 1991, and I can't say precisely
21 whether we're talking about beginning in March or April, but somewhere in
22 that time period it was becoming evident that something unfortunate would
23 be occurring in Yugoslavia that was likely to lead to violence of some
24 sort and that some primer on what this country was and what was likely to
25 happen would be useful to senators and their staffs who would end up
1 debating issues related to this.
2 You have to understand that most staff and even most senators were
3 not familiar with the details of Yugoslavia as a multi-ethnic state, as a
4 state composed of several republics, speaking several languages and so
5 forth. If they hear that warfare has broken out between Serbs and Croats
6 or Serbs and Albanians and so forth, they'd be starting from a very low
7 base of information as to who these people are and what are they doing.
8 So I felt it best to, as I say, write a primer about here is where
9 Yugoslavia is, here's its population, here are the languages people speak,
10 here is how it is -- I'm sorry, did I do something wrong here? --
11 organised politically, and -- I turned my -- I accidently turned my screen
12 off here -- how it is organised politically. At that time we were facing
13 the constitutional crisis of the rotation of the Presidency, again
14 something that would be a complete mystery to almost everybody in the
15 Congress at the time.
16 So I wrote a report, which I do not have a copy of -- I've looked
17 through my files to see if I could find one. This was before the age of
18 the Internet so it's not as easily relocatable. And my -- my goal was to
19 be as fair and as neutral as possible regarding the various peoples of
20 Yugoslavia and what their historic claims and grievances might be, to tell
21 in each case the Serbs' understanding from quoting Serbian sources and the
22 same thing with Croatian sources and Albanian sources. I was told by
23 other leadership that this was not a permissible way to issue a report,
24 that it had to be issued in the form of democracy versus communism, that
25 Slovenia and Croatia were democratic, Serbia was communist, and that was
1 what the struggle was about, it was not an ethnic struggle. And I believe
2 that that coloured the perceptions of Yugoslavia and at least any claims
3 that the Serbs might have had as a constituent nationality throughout the
4 unfolding crisis over the next several years, that they were perceived as
5 not having any legitimate interest in how Yugoslavia dissolved or what
6 rights they would have within that process.
7 In fact, the -- at that point, I even asked, having rewritten the
8 report in the form demanded, that my name be taken off of the report. In
9 fact, I had even asked that the report not be issued since I did not feel
10 it was representative of -- of the accurate circumstances of what was
11 happening. I was not successful in that regard, at least had my name
12 taken off the report.
13 Q. Now, you're there at the time. The US, as we know throughout the
14 evidence of this case, has had a -- a role to play and there's been much
15 discussion. You said that it was viewed as being a struggle between
16 democracy and communism.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We know from the evidence President Milosevic had won an election
19 and was an elected leader of his republic.
20 A. I believe the prevailing view, at least among those who were
21 active on the issue in the Senate at that time in particular, was that the
22 elections in Croatia and Slovenia were fair and free elections with a
23 democratic -- that adequately reflected in a democratic manner the publics
24 of those republics but that was not the case in Serbia. So the Serbian
25 election was not valid but the Slovenian and Croatian elections were
1 valid, hence the latter were democratic but the former were not.
2 Q. So the basis for that attitude came from where? If you're not
3 able to say, say so, but --
4 A. I would say it comes from -- from two sources. One would have
5 been, and again I cannot recall the details to this -- again I'm trying to
6 slow down here. Let me pause.
7 I think it would have come from two sources as I recall the time,
8 not having the documentation available to me any more. One would have
9 been what election observers might have said about those elections at the
10 time. The other one was, without going into too many details, there was a
11 very strong pro-Croatian lobby in Washington at that time that had its
12 effect on how issues were to be discussed and framed for public debate.
13 Q. Did Serbia have a visible lobby at all so far as you could
15 A. Not as far as I can see, and to a great extent they still don't.
16 Q. Any other attitudes against Serbia, how it -- how it was viewed,
17 why it was being viewed in this more negative form?
18 A. One of the things I had placed in my initial report on the
19 impending Yugoslav crisis was a fairly detailed discussion in a Washington
20 Post article, again quoting both Serbs and Croats, about how each side
21 viewed the other, and one of the themes in that article on the Croatian
22 side was, "We're Westerners, we're Catholic, we write in the Latin
23 alphabet, we belong to baroque, Central European civilisation, not like
24 those Eastern people over there."
25 I can recall in discussions with other staff in the Senate at the
1 time that there was a fairly clear perception between there are people
2 like us in some parts of Central Europe and people over there who are not
3 really like us. I can remember at the time being told by a staff person
4 in one of -- in a Democratic senator's office that, for example, on the
5 question of expanding NATO - this was later in the 1990s, so this attitude
6 persisted for some time - that including countries like Poland and Hungary
7 and the Czech Republic would be reuniting all of Europe, and I expressed
8 the thought, Well, what about other countries further east? And he said,
9 What do you mean? I said, Well, I don't know, Romania, Bulgaria; and he
10 seemed shocked at the idea at that time, and he said to me, Why not
11 Tunisia? There seemed to be a sense that once you cross a
12 cultural/religious/alphabetic divide, we're not talking about the same
13 kind of affinity for people like us in the United States.
14 It was -- I would say it was not a well-thought-out or articulate
15 or precise definition but more of a visceral sense of they're more like us
16 as opposed to more different from us. I think that had an effect on
17 perceptions as well.
18 Q. This, of course, in 1991, is at the time of George Bush Senior's
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You've told us about your first report, which seems to have been
22 advisory, setting out issues, and you were unhappy as to how it was
24 A. Yes. And it wasn't -- yes. And it wasn't so much advisory than
25 explanatory and perhaps anticipatory, a description of what likely is to
1 happen and again some of the underlying causes.
2 Because of the circumstances I described, I really did not feel I
3 could issue another substantive report on the -- on Yugoslav occurrences
4 for some period thereafter and pretty much confined myself to only very
5 technical references in specific legislation on the floor at that time and
6 did not delve further into broader explanatory or analytical reports.
7 Q. In January 1992 --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- we have a change of administration, President Clinton's
11 A. January of 1993. He won the November of 1992 election.
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Recognition of Bosnia in April 1992.
15 A. Uh-huh.
16 Q. Events changing in the territories of the former Yugoslavia. When
17 did this issue next, so to speak, come to be considered by you in an
18 advisory capacity? When were you next more substantively involved?
19 A. The -- the next substantive report, and it sounds a little odd
20 because we're talking about a five-year hiatus here, was in January of
21 1997. The reason I was able to issue that report at that time was --
22 there were a couple of reasons. One was my own green light, so to speak,
23 was the issuance of the House and Senate reports on the Iranian green
24 light in 1996. That I took as an indication that it was now possible for
25 me to address some of the issues of what many people knew to be going on
1 in Bosnia or -- excuse me, had been reported from reliable sources was
2 going on in Bosnia and the Clinton administration's cooperation with or at
3 least turning a blind eye to radical Islamic activities in the Balkans.
4 Information of this sort had been available, again from public
5 sources, at the very least since September of 1992. As referenced in my
6 January 1997 report, the Iranian springboard report from the House
7 subcommittee on terrorism written by Joseph Bodansky was probably the
8 first document of that sort that I saw, but as I'm sure is well known,
9 there were many, many other articles and reports over the ensuing years,
10 1992, 1993, 1994, and so on, discussing various influences of this sort in
11 Bosnia in support of the Sarajevo -- the Izetbegovic government.
12 Q. If I can just stop you there.
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. So I can get a fix on this, if you can give the title of that
15 report that you authored.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And give its correct and full details for the record.
18 A. Yeah. The title is Clinton Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Helped
19 Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, and that was issued on the 16th of
20 January of 1997.
21 Q. I do have that and now I know what you're referring to.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At some stage we'll produce this as an exhibit before the Court.
24 A. All right.
25 Q. I want to go into now that period from, say, September 1992 --
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. -- which was the earliest date you mentioned, taking us up to this
3 report, and what you were doing and what your involvement was so that we
4 can see how this -- we can look, so to speak, at the sources of your
5 knowledge and then people can determine for themselves.
6 A. Certainly. I would say that my activity during that period was
7 quite minimal. It was essentially gathering information and collecting
8 documents. These are what ultimately are reflected in the January 1997
9 report. And I would simply say the report stands on its own. I defend
10 what is written in that report and the sources are given in the report,
11 and on the substance there's very little I would add to what the report
13 I would note that I have no firsthand knowledge that the
14 influences and the activities described in the report actually took place
15 because I wasn't there. I wasn't involved in -- in inspecting the Iranian
16 weapons as they passed through Croatia into Bosnia. I was not involved in
17 administering the Third World relief agency or any of the supposedly
18 humanitarian or charitable organisations that were described as a front
19 for bringing weapons and fighters into Bosnia. However, I can say
20 firsthand that these allegations were coming from serious sources and
21 deserved serious attention during those years and were -- did not appear
22 to be receiving them, receiving that attention, which is why I felt it
23 would be useful to issue that report collecting and documenting this
25 I would note too that, as I mentioned, the green light reports
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 issued by the House and the Senate deal almost exclusively with the
2 Iranian pipeline, so to speak, the Iranian weapons going into Bosnia and
3 the US -- the Clinton administration's role in giving some sort of signal
4 to the Croatian government to allow that pipeline to proceed. Those
5 reports did not deal with what seemed to me the other half, at least as
6 significant, in the reports that are cited in my analysis having to do
7 with a parallel network of largely Saudi funded or Saudi connected fund
8 raising and recruiting for jihad activities, what we now refer to as al
9 Qaeda although it wasn't specifically called that in those days.
10 The reason I think this is certainly very significant in
11 retrospect is that the 9/11 Commission, official commission in my country,
12 recently issued its final report and they noted in there that it -- and
13 there are many references to Bosnia and Kosovo in there, that Bosnia and
14 Kosovo was where the "groundwork for a true global terrorist network was
15 being laid." That is to say that the radical Islamic network that centred
16 around Osama bin Laden that got its start in Afghanistan with, of course,
17 American support, bipartisan support, which one might say was justified by
18 the vicissitudes of the Cold War, that Bosnia and Kosovo were the
19 locations where this various let's say small footprint movement was able
20 to then become an international presence on a much wider scale. And if
21 I --
22 Q. Can I just stop you there?
23 A. Yes, uh-huh.
24 Q. I must also deal with an issue so that it comes into context, of
25 the significance being that there were sanctions against Iran by the US.
1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. And there was a policy, a US policy that was in effect meant to
3 limit the influence of Iran. Would that be a correct way of saying it?
4 A. That is correct, and I would say there are two aspects to that.
5 One is that is the factor, I think, that generated the House and the
6 Senate reports because of the special American sensitivities about Iran.
7 You'll see that the House committee in particular killed an awful lot of
8 trees producing that report and devoted much ink to it. Specifically
9 because of our concerns about Iran and also some domestic American legal
10 concerns about was this a covert operation, how should it have been
11 consulted or reported with with Congress and things of that sort.
12 What they do not address is the other issue, which is that it is
13 clear from the reports cited in my analysis, my January 1997 analysis,
14 that the Clinton administration actually preferred the other network that
15 was at work in Bosnia, that -- for example, there was the one Post article
16 that I cited from February 2nd, 1996. The title is Saudi Funded Weapons
17 for Bosnia. Official says $300 million programme had US stealth
18 cooperation. So an unnamed Saudi official is saying that the
19 administration was stealthily cooperating with them, partly because it was
20 believed at that time, at least according to these reports, that this was
21 you might say a healthier influence on the Sarajevo government than the
22 Iranian connection which we may have grudgingly facilitated in the April
23 1994 green light but was not our preferable route. We would prefer that
24 our good friends the Saudis and elements connected to them would be a
25 primary influence in Bosnia. Again, the consequences of that were not
1 fully thought out at the time.
2 Q. Yes.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, if you are able to, I think you must
4 begin now to bring the witness closer to events, specific events.
5 MR. KAY: That was my intention, Your Honour, having put this into
6 context so we know the background of what we're dealing with.
7 Q. September 1992. You said that you started collecting more
8 information; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The information collecting process continued until it culminated
11 in your production of that report on January the 16th, 1997?
12 A. On that specific topic, yes.
13 MR. KAY: If we could produce copies of that now to the Court.
14 I'm looking at a document which is DPBU -- or K26, I think it is.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before the document's produced --
16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. Nice.
17 MR. NICE: -- I fear, following though I have the evidence, that
18 at the moment I can't see its evidential -- or the basis for its being
19 admitted before this Tribunal. One possibility is that the witness is an
20 expert in some way and preparing an expert report, but he seems not to be
21 claiming that.
22 The second is that he is in some way, and I'm still not entirely
23 clear quite to what degree, involved in the preparation of a report that
24 is based on public sources of information.
25 Now, I'm quite content to be corrected if I am wrong because we
1 had all sorts of types of information and evidence in this case, but I
2 don't think we've ever permitted that sort of a report. On the contrary,
3 the Court has regularly rejected material that is the compilation by one
4 person of other people's work. That's, for example, in this particular
5 case with the rejection of the evidence of the summarising witness in the
6 Racak affair.
7 It's rejected in an earlier case, and in of course a different
8 composition, reports indeed by experts where the expert was dealing with
9 essentially publicly available material. That was --
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: This witness is hardly a summarising witness.
11 MR. NICE: Well, in which case it's hard to see what evidence he's
12 giving at all, if I may respectfully say so, because he's spoken about
13 what he says were tendencies or approaches given in the committee for
14 which he worked, and I'm not sure how they're relevant, and is now seeking
15 to prepare a report built on publicly available information.
16 I obviously have no desire to keep evidence out that's of value
17 and interest, but I fear that if this document is substantial and then
18 needs to be dealt with it will take some time, and I've had no advance
19 notice of it at all.
20 Incidentally, and I'm grateful, one of my colleagues draws to my
21 attention that indeed the witness has himself said that he has no
22 firsthand knowledge of the matters he's speaking about. Now, if the
23 report goes in and if the witness speaks to it, I may have to take time -
24 and that will be the Court's time as well as my own - in dealing with it,
25 and I simply don't understand -- it may be my mistake, but I don't
1 understand its evidential basis.
2 While I'm on my feet, just two other small points. I noticed at
3 an earlier -- three points. I noticed at an earlier stage that the
4 witness said that he by and large if not almost wholly relied on public
5 source material for the reasons he'd given, and I have addressed this
6 short argument on that basis. Of course if there is any information he's
7 relied upon that is protected in any way, issues may arise - don't trouble
8 me, it's up to the witness - but issues may arise between him and the
9 government or a government may wish to be involved but I have no further
10 views on that.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: He has already said that the information is not
13 MR. NICE: Effectively but not quite. The second point that he
14 made was that he was given an instruction by an individual to prepare the
15 first report he spoke of in a slanted way, and it would obviously help, if
16 the witness is to continue giving evidence, if we can have at some stage
17 the name of that witness.
18 The third point I'll deal with later, but in my respectful
19 submission, there is no revealed evidential value in this material at the
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
22 MR. KAY: This is public material. It forms exactly the same kind
23 of basis by which the Prosecution has much evidence admitted in this
24 trial, from reports of groups like Human Rights Watch, UN agencies, all
25 manner of public bodies, and the Court has always made a distinction
1 between that which is more publicly done as a public body independent of
2 the party producing the material which is in public domain and part of the
3 general background, as long as it's relevant, that it can be admitted to
4 show and understand why people made the decisions they did and perhaps why
5 or what was causing the particular consequences that they faced. And this
6 evidence which concerns the supply of arms from Iran, other Islamic
7 countries, is precisely relevant to the issues in this case that the
8 accused has been dealing with.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: It is a public document.
10 MR. KAY: Yes.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Publicly available. Available to any member of
12 the public.
13 MR. KAY: Yes.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. The document may be shown to the witness.
16 MR. KAY: Thank you. Your Honour, we've got exhibit packs here
17 for the Bench to deal with the documents. I'm grateful for the support
18 of the Registry in the production of this material. The first document
19 we'll be looking at will be number 2 on the index because number 1 is the
20 larger tome and by necessity will have to be given out separately. So if
21 that can be handed out as well and put in Their Honours' hand.
22 As I said, we'll be looking at document 2, first of all, which is
23 in the plain pack rather than the official House of Representatives
25 Q. To put this into context, this is a paper written by you dated
1 January 16, 1997. It's available on a website, isn't it?
2 A. That's correct, on several web sites.
3 JUDGE KWON: Before that, why the cover page says it's
5 MR. KAY: I can't see the word "Confidential," Your Honour, which
6 is --
7 THE WITNESS: On the cover sheet.
8 MR. KAY: No. That's to do with the dissemination of exhibits in
10 JUDGE KWON: Okay.
11 MR. KAY: This is part of the internal workings of the Registry
12 and not relevant to these documents.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Proceed, please.
14 MR. KAY: Thank you. If documents are supplied in advance,
15 they're not to be distributed around generally to the public as they may
16 not form part of the trial process and they belong to others.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Are you seeking to have this admitted into
19 MR. KAY: Yes. I was going to go through it in a moment and then
20 do it at the end, Your Honour, and then if there are any objections in any
21 way we can deal with it in a totality.
22 Q. First document we're looking at is headed Clinton Approved Iranian
23 Arms Transfers Help Turns Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base. Did this
24 issue arise as a result, in fact, of public articles in newspapers
25 concerning the Clinton administration's so-called green light policy for
1 the supply of arms into Bosnia from Iran during the time of the Bosnian
3 A. In part and to some extent indirectly. As I said earlier, the
4 proximate cause or the signal to me that I could or should issue an
5 analysis on this area -- in this area were the House and Senate reports
6 that we mentioned. Those, in turn, were prompted by the press reports.
7 If the matter had not become one of public debate and reporting, I don't
8 think the House and Senate would have felt the need to inquire into it.
9 Q. The reason for it becoming a further subject of public
10 investigation was also because at this time there were American troops in
11 Bosnia --
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. -- as part of the Stabilisation Force, and they were protecting
14 themselves from armed groups from either side.
15 A. There was some concern about what kind of terrorist assets may be
16 present in Bosnia as the result of this strategy and the effect it might
17 have on the safety of American forces there.
18 Q. The document in its introduction and summary there refers to
19 20.000 US troops going to Bosnia as part of IFOR and also their
20 involvement in the Stabilisation Force and deals with the post-Dayton
21 political and economic situation in Bosnia; is that right?
22 A. Yes. And the deployment of American forces there which President
23 Clinton assured Congress would be for only one year.
24 Q. There is then a heading called The Iranian Connection, and I have
25 dealt with why that is important to America politically at this time. It
1 then deals with key issues for examination, being the policy which was
2 called the Clinton Green Light to Iranian Arms Shipments, if we turn to
3 page 3. And the first passage states: "In April 1994, President Clinton
4 gave the government of Croatia what has been described as a green light
5 for shipments of weapons from Iran and other Muslim countries to
6 Muslim-led government of Bosnia. The policy was approved at the urging of
7 national security chief Anthony Lake, and US ambassador to Croatia, Peter
8 Galbraith. The CIA and departments of state and defence were kept in the
9 dark until after the decision was made."
10 The supply of arms, then, was it able to be analysed or seen as to
11 what period this had been going on for?
12 A. Again, not to cross over the concern that was raised earlier from
13 the Prosecution side, because -- because I don't have direct knowledge of
14 that. I only know what was reported and which then I compiled as part of
15 a larger report for the people I had the duty of informing, that is the
16 case, yes, according to those reports which I think can be taken as
17 officially confirmed in the House and Senate reports which are cited in
18 this analysis.
19 Q. Right. The scale of Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia, was that
21 A. I don't know the extent to which it was known. I think what is of
22 particular interest would be what the American involvement was in, so to
23 speak, turning on the spigot for such shipments and the degree of
24 involvement, what we might call hands-on involvement in that process. One
25 of the Senate -- it's either the House or Senate report, refers to
1 officials being present in Croatia to examine the Iranian weapons as they
2 were being sent in, which is a remarkable degree of contact, given the
3 relationship between Washington and Tehran.
4 Q. Tell us how it happened and how it developed.
5 A. Again, Mr. Kay, I don't want to go beyond -- for fear, first off,
6 of making a mistake and secondly to go beyond what it is I have personal
7 knowledge of. I don't know all of the details of how the operation
8 worked, what kind of weapons, what number they were, you know, any of
9 those sorts of details. What I do have direct knowledge of is that this
10 is something that would have been concern to people some years before this
11 report and was of concern at the time that the House and Senate issued
12 their reports on the -- on the matter. And what I was seeking to do was,
13 since the House and the Senate had paid attention to only one part of the
14 issue, namely the Iranian connection, and had not addressed the larger
15 question which was the other largely Saudi supported network through such
16 agencies as a Third World relief agency, to address the second two points
17 that you see there on page 3.
18 Again, something I do have personal knowledge of is that because I
19 was able to document it in this report from open sources, there's no
20 reason anybody else in Washington focused on the Balkans would not also
21 have been aware of the presence of such assets in Bosnia or, more
22 precisely, credible reports of the presence of such assets in Bosnia
23 leading to at least the conclusion that the makers of the policy were
24 aware of such assets being there and didn't -- were not particularly
25 concerned about it or, as some of the reports indicate, were in some way
1 cooperating with the introduction of such assets into Bosnia.
2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, just to let you know that today we are
3 stopping at the normal time for the end of the hearing. That's 1.45.
4 MR. KAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. The second point you made was concerning the other interests
6 outside Iran that you were aware of and that is the militant Islamic
7 network, which was an overall title, an umbrella title; is that right?
8 A. Yes. That's -- that's how I would describe it. And I would
9 describe the attitude at the time as being, I think, a reckless disregard
10 for the consequences of introducing such assets into Bosnia. At least,
11 that's the way it seemed to me and why I felt it was worthy of note in the
12 report to the Senate.
13 Q. What is said here is: "Along with the weapons, Iranian
14 revolutionary guards and Vivac intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in
15 large numbers along with thousands of Mujahedin from across the Muslim
16 world." And then you state, "The efforts of other Muslim countries and
17 organisations and refer to humanitarian organisations -- organisation who
18 come within this militant Islamic network." So what else was out there in
19 Bosnia that did not derive from Iran and what was happening? What were
20 they doing?
21 A. I'm not sure of the thrust of the question.
22 Q. Who else was involved in supporting the conflict of the Muslims in
24 A. Well, I mean --
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour.
1 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
2 MR. NICE: I'm loath to object, and I know Mr. Kay has got a very
3 difficult job, but -- and the witness, to be fair to him, because he was
4 no doubt brought here under the earlier regime of the accused acting for
5 himself is being cautious, but can it conceivably be right for a question
6 about who was supporting the conflict to be asked of a witness who on his
7 own account is speaking from open sources from which he's able, he says,
8 to say on one occasion leads to certain conclusions. It simply hasn't
9 happened in this case before, anything remotely like this. Human Rights
10 Watch is cited as a parallel example. It was a world away. Human Rights
11 Watch was the case of reports prepared on the basis of particular
12 exercises of evidence gathering for which the authors of the report took
13 either direct or overall responsibility and the methodology of which they
14 were able to set out in detail. But this is no different from really
15 reading a newspaper article or reading a serious of newspaper articles
16 which may or may not suggest that the Iranians were involved in this or
17 the Clinton administration involved in that, but I don't see how it can
18 possibly help us or be admissible.
19 So I apologise for objecting but it seemed to me that last -- not
20 -- not that I apologise, I regret having to object, but it seems to me
21 that last question goes far too far.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay.
23 MR. KAY: Maybe it's a fault of mine in the way that it was
25 Q. If I ask the question in this form: What other evidence did you
1 see of there being other sources of support?
2 A. Again, the evidence I have --
3 Q. Yes?
4 A. -- and again this addresses the objection, I believe: I am not
5 testifying as to the details of the global jihad network, if we can call
6 it that, and its involvement in Bosnia. I'm not attesting as to the
7 specifics of the Iranian arms transfers. I'm attesting to what was known
8 at that time in Washington, or what was knowable at that time in
9 Washington and how that impacted the policy of the United States towards
11 The reason I think it is relevant here is that the accused is,
12 among other things, has suggested -- in the indictment it is said that he
13 was engaged in a joint criminal enterprise, and it seems to me that if it
14 can be shown that other powers were aware of and reportedly cooperating
15 with an offensive activity against the government of that country, and
16 that can be shown firsthand from what I do have direct evidence of, what
17 was the attitude in Washington at that time about these allegations, that
18 would have a bearing on the defendant's case.
19 So I'm not attesting to were Iranian weapons shipped in after the
20 green light of April 1994, although as I say that is officially confirmed
21 in those reports. What is not officially confirmed but is found in the
22 very same reports and was knowable at that time was that there was a
23 larger network also involved in Bosnia.
24 Now, is that a complete fabrication? Are those reports utterly
25 inaccurate? I'm not in a position to say. I would say circumstantially,
1 based on the confirmation officially of the Iranian side of those same
2 reports, they should at least be given some credence and should not be
3 dismissed out of hand, and certainly if they were known or knowable at the
4 time of the events surrounding the charges against Mr. Milosevic, they're
5 relevant to that discussion.
6 So again, not to dispute the Prosecution's point, I utterly agree;
7 I do not have direct knowledge about the goings-on in Bosnia with regard
8 to this network. I do have direct knowledge of how reports of those
9 goings-on were treated in Washington.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, in the light of that, you might want to
11 rephrase your question.
12 MR. KAY: I think the witness has really dealt with what I was
13 looking at, put it into context and expressed it clearly, and for that I'm
14 grateful, and I'm sure the Trial Chamber will consider it -- consider this
15 evidence from the position that the witness is able to give it.
16 Q. What was knowable in Washington at that time, the phrase that you
17 just used, do you know when or at what stage Washington was aware of
18 reports, if you like, of an arms pipeline from Iran to Bosnia?
19 A. As I said earlier, my first awareness of it was the September 1992
20 report from the House Subcommittee on Terrorism, authored by Joseph
21 Bodansky. Thereafter, other reports, including news reports, became
22 available, and so I think at least since the fall of 1992, they must have
23 been aware that there were serious allegations about such activities. And
24 again, if one reason they were aware is because they were engaged in what
25 one report calls a stealth cooperation with such activities, then they
1 certainly would have been aware of them then, wouldn't they? And there is
2 nothing in anything I documented that is inconsistent with such
4 JUDGE BONOMY: Could I be clear about just one thing, please,
5 Mr. Jatras. That means that this situation existed during a Republican
7 THE WITNESS: It began under a Republican administration and then
8 continued and I would say intensified under a Democratic administration,
9 again if one assumes that the reports are accurate.
10 MR. KAY:
11 Q. I'm going to try and deal with this section of your evidence
12 before we break at 1.45 and turn to the first of the documents which is
13 the large tome which you've dealt with in part, which was the final report
14 on Iranian arms transfers. As you've told us, your document expanded the
15 issue from just being specific to Iran and the issues of concern for the
16 US House of Representatives.
17 A. That's correct, to the other point about the other global network,
18 and also, you might note, on page 3 the third point about the radical
19 Islamic character of the Sarajevo regime.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. There were again, as part of the same reports, reason to be
22 concerned that the Izetbegovic regime had had such influences going back
23 some years, back to the time he was imprisoned for his Islamic
24 declaration. And again this was completely contrary to the prevailing
25 insistence in Washington at that time which was that we were supporting a
1 tolerant, secular multi-ethnic government.
2 Q. We can go to page 200, which has section 4 conclusions --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kay, I think we will have to adjourn now and
4 you can return to that tomorrow morning at 9.00.
5 MR. KAY: Very well, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Jatras, we're going to take the adjournment
7 for the day. You will return tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. Thank you.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
11 September, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.