1 Wednesday, 31 March 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. I must apologise that I caused a
6 delay this morning in the start.
7 Could we have the witness in, please.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Fietelaars. If you'd be seated,
10 please. If I could remind you of the affirmation that you took at the
11 commencement which still applies.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
15 WITNESS: JOHANNES FIETELAARS [Resumed]
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrovic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Fietelaars. We're going to
18 resume with the cross-examination and the questions I had for you.
19 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] May the witness be shown Document
20 P138, please.
21 Q. Mr. Fietelaars, would you please take a look at page 1 of the
22 Dutch version, which is the second paragraph, and it begins with the words
23 "Admiral Brovet."
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Could you tell us, please, whether -- or rather what the position
1 was of Admiral Brovet with respect to what was going on around the town of
2 Dubrovnik at the material time described in this report; that is to say,
3 the 23rd of October 1991.
4 A. In the text as given in the second page, it is quite correctly
5 expressing my recollection of what took place. And I will read it for
6 you: "Admiral Brovet's answers were in the same line as the ones he gave
7 earlier that day to my second in command, it should be. The Croats are
8 the ones who provoked the fighting, and the JNA only now and then fires
9 back. It is the lack of goodwill of the Croats to cooperate, to reach a
10 lasting agreement."
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
13 "Already ten times, a cease-fire was agreed, and six times the
14 blockades should have been given up. But Tudjman does not do what he has
15 signed. There are no barracks which have been liberated, and the result
16 of 34 Croat attacks are 12 dead and 34 wounded on the JNA side."
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did you gain the impression that Admiral Brovet was informed of
19 the situation around the town of Dubrovnik at the time we're discussing?
20 A. Yes, sir, I did.
21 Q. Did you hear from him several times of the JNA position voice that
22 most units of the Croatian army were located within the walls of the Old
23 Town of Dubrovnik, within the ramparts?
24 A. I do not think it was specifically formulated like that. We
25 talked about Dubrovnik, and we did not make all that large a difference
1 between parts of the city of Dubrovnik.
2 Q. But would you be so kind as to take a look at paragraph two -- the
3 next paragraph of your report, where it says "Croatian units now have
4 placed mortar units within the Dubrovnik walls."
5 A. Yes, sir. That was what was stated by Admiral Brovet.
6 Q. Tell me, please, what comparison did Admiral Brovet make with the
7 burning of the Reichstag in that respect?
8 A. I cannot put myself in Admiral Brovet's mind, but I think that
9 what he wanted to express was that it was a plot by the other side to put
10 the efforts towards peace of Admiral Brovet's side in a bad light.
11 Q. Did you yourself gain the impression that by explaining the events
12 in this way, the events that were taking place in the Old Town of
13 Dubrovnik and around it, Admiral Brovet, in fact, wished to tell you as
14 the representative of the international community what his position was;
15 that is to say, that the Old Town of Dubrovnik was a legitimate military
16 target if, in fact, there were military forces located within it. Did you
17 gain that impression?
18 A. No, sir, I did not. Because Admiral Brovet expressly said that
19 his forces were not part of an uncivilised country and that they were not
20 in the business of destroying the cultural heritage of the nation. They
21 had never fired on the old city, and they never would. That is what
22 Admiral Brovet stated at different occasions. And I think he meant it.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
25 another document, please, P139.
1 Q. Could you please take a look at the document and the portion which
2 is marked "A". I think in the Dutch version, you will find that on page
3 1, the A section, because I would like to ask you a few questions about
5 A. Yes. I have it in front of me, sir.
6 Q. Is it true and correct that in this particular conversation,
7 Admiral Brovet clearly stated or indicated that everything that was
8 happening around Dubrovnik was taking place pursuant to orders from the
9 supreme command, or rather the presidency of the SFRY?
10 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
11 Q. On that occasion, did Admiral Brovet personally indicate who
12 represented the supreme command in this case?
13 A. Yes, sir, he did.
14 Q. Could you tell me what he said, who Admiral Brovet mentioned as
15 being the supreme commander in that situation?
16 A. It was remaining body of the federal presidency which was presided
17 by President Kostic.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 May we now go on to Document P140, please. What position did
20 Admiral Brovet express during this conversation with respect to the
21 situation that the JNA found itself at the material time?
22 A. May I first make a side comment. This is a visit of my first
23 collaborator, Mr. Hasselman, to Admiral Brovet, because I was otherwise
24 employed. I signed off his draft, but I was not present at that
25 conversation with Admiral Brovet. So whatever I say, I say on the
1 authority of the report that Mr. Hasselman made to me.
2 Would you please repeat the question, sir, because I've lost
4 Q. Yes. Would you please tell us what Admiral Brovet said to your
5 associate with respect to the situation in which the JNA found itself on
6 the territory of Croatia and generally in Yugoslavia at the time this
7 conversation took place.
8 A. Well, the admiral asked for understanding for the difficult
9 position of the JNA which was a victim of false propaganda and information
10 by the Croatian side. And Mr. Hasselman then brought forward that the
11 source of the information that we received was Mr. Bondioli, the head of
12 the EC monitor team present in Dubrovnik itself who were a witness of the
13 activities in quotes -- that are quoted here in the second paragraph,
14 "artillery fire on the edges of the city and shells dropping in the old
15 harbour. And more recently tank fire from Obod to Zupa Bay area and heavy
16 shelling of the outskirts of Dubrovnik city."
17 Q. Yes, we'll come to that. We'll read through that. All I'm asking
18 you now is to tell me succinctly what his position was, and you have in
19 fact answered that, and I thank you for your answer.
20 Now, do you remember an example of exaggeration where propaganda
21 came into play, where there was misrepresentation and information about
22 the events around Vukovar, for example, Dubrovnik, and other military
23 targets in Croatia at the time we're discussing, at the
24 material time; that is to say, the last three months of 1991?
25 A. Not really, sir. I did not look back at my notes on the situation
1 in southern Slavonia, and Vukovar, and Osijek, and places like that
2 because I assumed that that would not be material to this discussion --
3 these discussions. I can only say that I cannot judge the percentage of
4 propaganda that was in the information of either side because (a), I went
5 present there, and (b), I never made an effort to verify on the spot what
6 conclusions could be drawn from visual evidence either in Vukovar or in
7 Osijek. So I have no position on the thing -- the things that you are
8 asking me now in this question.
9 Q. Do you know of numerous cases in which the barracks were blocked,
10 the JNA barracks in Croatia at that time where the water and electricity
11 were switched off, cases where officers and soldiers were killed and
12 kidnapped? I'm sure you'll remember that. I don't mean any specific
13 case, but do you remember that things like that happened frequently during
14 that time?
15 A. According to my conversations with Admiral Brovet, yes, you are
16 right. He stated that this happened frequently.
17 Q. Is it true and correct that your first immediate associate was
18 told by Admiral Brovet, and you can find this on page 2 of the Dutch
19 version of this report, that he actually enumerated all the cases of
20 Croatian provocation in and around the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
21 A. I wouldn't use the word "enumerate." He just mentioned a number
22 of incidents, but he didn't describe the individual incidents. There's a
23 statement about the quantity of incidents, rather than the incidents
24 themselves. Thank you.
25 Q. If you look at the Dutch version, this will be the last line on
1 page 1 and the beginning of page 2, does that list four cases on the 19th
2 of October, on the 21st of October, once again on the 21st of October, and
3 another incident. So four concrete, specific instances which your counsel
4 was made aware of as examples, I assume, among all the other events and
5 similar incidents that took place.
6 A. Yes, sir. We noted that as a statement of Admiral Brovet, and we
7 reported it as such. If you look at the grammar of the linea that we
8 used, we said -- we used the verb declamation that in Dutch replaces the
9 word "allegedly." In Dutch, the words are "zouden" and "zoud", which is
10 "would have been" and "would." We took no position to the veracity of
11 these statements.
12 Q. Well, yes, I didn't actually ask you that. But what I was asking
13 you was whether the admiral did give and quote specific examples. Of
14 course, you can't go into the veracity of them. You weren't able to do
15 that, of course.
16 A. But neither did he describe the way in which fire was opened,
17 whether it was heavy fire, whether it was fire by sidearms, whether it was
18 fire by mortars, or whatever. That is what I meant when I said he
19 mentioned the incidents, but he didn't describe the actual incidents as
20 they happened.
21 Q. Now, if you take a look at the previous paragraph, you will see
22 that Admiral Brovet says that "the JNA did not attack the town itself,
23 despite Croatian provocations with that target in mind." And then he goes
24 on to say, "the UNESCO team arriving in Dubrovnik will be able to
25 establish that." And then Admiral Brovet goes on to say, "however, the
1 Croats are trying to attract the fighting into town, and they have set
2 mines in several locations, including the cultural monuments."
3 A. Yes, sir, you read exactly what I assumed to be the statement of
4 Admiral Brovet, which I reported faithfully to The Hague.
5 Q. Is that the substance of the position taken by the supreme command
6 of the JNA during the material time?
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] May the witness now, please, be
9 shown another document. It is Exhibit 141.
10 Q. But before we take a look at that exhibit, I should like to ask
11 you to tell us how your visit came about, or rather how the idea for your
12 visit first came about. And I'm talking about your visit of the 29th of
13 October 1991 that you took part in, the visit to Dubrovnik.
14 A. Sir, if you look at the third lines under the heading message, you
15 will see that the visit took place on the basis of an original contact of
16 the second part of the week before the 29th between the Italian Ambassador
17 and the vice minister for national defence in regards to Admiral Brovet in
18 which the JNA offered to take the ambassadors of those countries that had
19 been vocally critical of the behaviour of the JNA to the city of
21 Q. Would you please tell us when Colonel Stojic briefed you with
22 respect to the visit that was to take place.
23 A. That was in the early morning of the 29th, before the flight to
24 Tivat took off.
25 Q. Could you tell us when you arrived in Tivat, where did
1 Admiral Jokic receive you, if you remember. What kind of building was it,
2 where was it? I mean, what type of building was it? A military barracks?
3 Was it a headquarters? Was it a civilian building of some kind, that kind
4 of thing?
5 A. It looked like a military administrative building.
6 Q. Tell us, please, what did Admiral Jokic tell you about the nature
7 of the conflict that was evolving at that time on the territory of
9 A. Well, he repeated the allegations of Admiral Brovet that the whole
10 conflict was caused and manipulated by Croatian extremists, and the other
11 prong of his statement was that this series of incidents around Dubrovnik
12 presented a real threat to the integrity of Montenegro for which -- and
13 the military facilities in Montenegro which had to be protected by the JNA
14 for strategic reasons.
15 Q. Do you remember whether he perhaps mentioned some particular
16 facilities that the JNA had to protect and that were in Montenegro?
17 A. Yes, sir. The Bay of Kotor and the facility at the exit of
18 Prevlaka from the Bay of Kotor into the Adriatic.
19 Q. What did Admiral Jokic say who caused the conflict? Who provoked
20 it, the one that is being talked about?
21 A. He maintained that the whole conflict was caused by the Croatian
23 Q. Did he say then -- or rather, did he talk about a cowardly attack
24 against a JNA facility at Prevlaka, about the occupation of strategic
1 A. Not in detail, sir. He stated towards the end of his intervention
2 that all the goals that the JNA had at the time of their preoccupation had
3 now been reached, and there was no further need for military activities by
4 the JNA unless Croatian provocations would resume.
5 Q. Did he say that all the strategic intersections towards Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina and Montenegro were occupied and, as your report says, that
7 all these provocations did make it incumbent upon the army, that is to
8 say, the JNA, to react? Is that correct?
9 A. Well, not if you use the present tense. I think he described that
10 the strategic crossroads in that area had been occupied, and that the JNA
11 had taken possession of those positions again, and that the action was
12 satisfactory and objectives had been achieved.
13 Q. What did he say about taking JNA military facilities at the
14 islands of Sipan and Mljet? What did he say about Kupari?
15 A. Now that, again, is literally stated in these documents. This
16 became really unavoidable, these JNA actions. When JNA officers were
17 mistreated, families threatened and water, electricity, and supplies were
18 cut off from the JNA facilities at Sipan, Mljet, and Kupari.
19 Q. So all of that, all these events were mentioned by Admiral Brovet
20 as the reason for the Dubrovnik operation?
21 A. No, sir, they were not mentioned by Admiral Brovet. They were
22 mentioned by Admiral Jokic.
23 Q. Then I misspoke. I wanted to ask whether those were the reasons
24 that Admiral Jokic had mentioned as the reasons for the Dubrovnik
25 operation. So your answer is yes, I gather?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Is it correct that Admiral Jokic said that there were other tasks
3 that had to be completed? Did he say that the region should be cleansed
4 and disarmed from Croatian paramilitaries? That's what he mentioned as
5 the next task of the JNA. Isn't that correct? That is two paragraphs
7 A. Yes, that is correct. That is what was mentioned by Admiral Jokic
8 as well.
9 Q. Is it correct that Admiral Jokic said that the tens of persons
10 killed and the hundreds of persons wounded that the JNA had had in the
11 Dubrovnik operation until then make it incumbent upon the military to act
12 in that way? It's the same paragraph that you already dealt with a minute
14 A. Yes, I see the text. That is what the Admiral said, yes, that
15 the JNA has no further objectives in the JNA area. There was no threat
16 any more to the JNA. The only thing that still had to be done was to
17 clear the region of all weapons and to make certain that the tens of dead
18 and hundreds of wounded had not been sacrificed without cause.
19 Q. Did Admiral Jokic say how it was he intended to clean the region
20 from these armed members of the Croatian forces, or did he only say what
21 is mentioned in your report?
22 A. Well, we talked on about the way in which the JNA had executed the
23 functions that it thought necessary in order to eliminate the sniper fire
24 and find the caches of arms and to destroy them. And as far as possible,
25 Admiral Jokic went on: "We preserved objects as well as we could."
1 Q. My question was different. I'll try to rephrase it. Did it seem
2 to you that Admiral Jokic's wish to clean the terrain of armed Croats
3 could constitute an introduction to new conflicts that you, as the
4 international community, were desperately trying to prevent?
5 A. Yes, sir. I think that that is a correct assumption.
6 Q. Could you please be so kind as to look at the following paragraph,
7 below the one below the one we have just discussed. Did Admiral Jokic say
8 there that not a single rifle was ever pointed at the Old Town? Did he
9 tell you on the 29th of October that a single stone in Dubrovnik had never
10 been touched?
11 A. He did tell us that, sir, except when in the action for Kupari we
12 were obliged to fire back at less important historic sites when they fired
13 at us from the Hotel Belvedere.
14 Q. Later on, during the course of that day, did you see for yourself
15 that Admiral Jokic had deceived you, or rather that he tried to deceive
17 A. I cannot put myself in the mind of Admiral Jokic about deception
18 or not deception. One thing is certain, that we saw at least three pieces
19 of damage which indicated that light mortar or artillery fire -- I'm no
20 expert, so I cannot really judge that 100 per cent. Three instances of
21 that kind of fire hit the Old Town. It was pointed out to us by the
22 people who showed us around in the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
23 Q. At any rate, what Admiral Jokic said was not correct and was not
24 truthful since you had seen with your very own eyes something that was not
25 in line with what he had said. Can we agree on that?
1 A. Well, if you want to do it with 100 per cent precision, you're
2 certainly right.
3 Q. Is it correct that Admiral Jokic used the conditional here. He
4 said "not a single rifle is pointed at the Old Town, nothing has been
5 touched except when we had to return fire to historical sites of lesser
6 importance." In this way, does Admiral Jokic allow for the possibility
7 that under certain circumstances he could open fire at historical sites as
9 A. Well, sir, I don't know. We were talking about the old city of
10 Dubrovnik. And then Admiral Jokic referred to less important historic
11 sites. So I assume that he was not talking about the old city when he
12 stated that he might be obliged to fire at it. Thank you.
13 Q. Can it be concluded on that basis that under certain
14 circumstances, Admiral Jokic was ready to open fire at historic sites,
15 too, historic sites of lesser or greater importance?
16 MS. SOMERS: Objection. Speculation. Cannot answer for what
17 Admiral Jokic would answer.
18 JUDGE PARKER: I think that's a fair observation, Mr. Petrovic.
19 You've, I think, got the ambassador as far as you might get him on this
21 THE WITNESS: I think so, too.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Sir, could you please look at the next paragraph. Again, what
24 Jokic was telling you, "there is no destruction of Dubrovnik. There will
25 be none, depending on how soon we can find a final solution." Again,
1 Admiral Jokic uses the conditional, if this is a proper translation, of
2 course. Am I right?
3 A. Yes, he's referring to the destruction of Dubrovnik, not the
4 destruction of the Old Town I assumed at the time. So -- and Dubrovnik
5 was certainly damaged in the exercise of -- the activities of the JNA.
6 Q. Is it correct that he is putting conditions on the destruction of
7 Dubrovnik in terms of the pace at which a final solution will be found?
8 A. Well, if you're still talking within the context of that 100 per
9 cent precision, he starts off with something that is not conditional. He
10 says "there is no destruction of Dubrovnik. And there will be none."
11 That's not a conditional. "There will be none" is an announcement of the
12 future. "Depending on how fast we can find a solution," that is the time
14 Q. Then please explain the following to me: If a solution cannot be
15 found soon, then what is the substance of Jokic's answer?
16 A. You should ask Admiral Jokic that. But I do not read in this
17 sentence that if the final solution is delayed, that will cause a good
18 argument to start damaging the Old Town of Dubrovnik.
19 Q. Could you please be so kind as to explain the second half of your
20 sentence to me. "Depending on how fast we can find a final solution,"
21 what was your understanding of that, of what Admiral Jokic had said?
22 A. Sir, a couple of sentences before the sentence we're talking about
23 now, Admiral Jokic had stated that the objectives of the JNA had been
24 achieved and that the Croats presented no danger any more to the JNA. So
25 on that basis, there being no destruction of Dubrovnik, there being no
1 threat from the Croats, and yet the objectives of the JNA having been
2 achieved, those three things being true, I do not see any reason why the
3 admiral would resume artillery activities.
4 Q. Why did you write this, then? "Depending on how fast we can find
5 a final solution," I still do not understand what that means. What does
6 that mean, "depending on how soon we can find a final solution"?
7 A. I do not know, sir. You will see that there are quotation marks
8 around most of these phrases. I just faithfully represent what
9 Admiral Jokic has said. And if you want to know what went on in his mind
10 when he said it, you should not address yourself to me.
11 Q. So you don't know why you wrote the second half of this sentence?
12 A. Yes, sir, I know why I wrote the second sentence. I wrote the
13 second sentence because that was how Admiral Jokic expressed himself.
14 Q. All right. Then, please, look at the following sentence, Jokic's
15 sentence. "We cannot keep our combat units for a long time on these
16 hills." What does that mean?
17 A. I assume that Admiral Jokic was referring to supply problems for
18 the people who were in military positions on the rim of the hills at the
19 land side of Dubrovnik. But that's just an assumption.
20 Q. In your report, you say further on, again, you quote what Jokic
21 said to you, "we cannot allow the members of the Croatian national guards
22 corps to avoid surrender and the handover of weapons."
23 A. Yes, that was the position that Admiral Jokic took. You skip one
24 sentence, but I assume you did it on purpose.
25 Q. Yes, I did, on purpose.
1 Look at the next sentence. Is that also in the conditional?
2 "After that, that is to say, after the surrender, Dubrovnik will get
3 electricity through Komolac and Plat." Is Admiral Jokic putting
4 conditions here again, that Dubrovnik will get water and electricity if
5 there is a surrender?
6 A. Yes -- yes, sir. That's a condition.
7 Q. Are these the conditions? Is this the conditional that we see in
8 the first sentence of this paragraph, the one that we tried to discuss a
9 minute ago?
10 A. I think the conditional means that the JNA will stop making the
11 situation in Dubrovnik unlivable for the civilian population if the
12 military and irregular Croat national guards surrender.
13 Q. Your conclusion from all of this, if I may say so, could have only
14 been the following: Regardless of what Admiral Jokic says, he intends to
15 continue military operations until there is a full surrender of the
16 members of the National Guards Corps. How else can he achieve what it
17 says here that he said to you?
18 A. I really don't know what goes on in the mind of leading people in
19 those situations. And if you look a bit further down, after the
20 ambassadors came back, you will see that we refer to exactly the same
21 situation where we feel that notwithstanding the positions expressed in
22 these linea, to us it's incomprehensible and unthinkable that a civilian
23 population is held hostage by refusing them water and food and holding
24 them hostage in a situation that is very dangerous unless the military
25 people in that same area surrender and give up their weapons. The
1 civilian population should be protected under those circumstances,
2 according to all precepts of international law.
3 Q. Of course. Were you concerned over what you had heard from
4 Admiral Jokic?
5 A. I was concerned about the situation, not only about what I heard
6 from Admiral Jokic. I was concerned about what I heard from any sources.
7 Q. Can you tell me who was General Bondioli? Was General Bondioli
8 the head of the monitoring mission of the European community for the
9 entire region?
10 MS. SOMERS: Objection, there is no evidence that there is a
11 General Bondioli. That term has never been used.
12 THE WITNESS: It's Mr. Bondioli.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
14 Ambassador Bondioli.
15 THE WITNESS: It's not the same thing.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Of course it's not. I'm sorry. Mr. Bondioli.
18 Is it correct that Mr. Bondioli was head of the regional centre of
19 the monitoring mission for the entire region of Dalmatia, including
20 southern Dalmatia, or rather, the Dubrovnik area?
21 A. Yes, sir, he was. And he was resident in Dubrovnik.
22 Q. Did you have an opportunity to talk to Mr. Bondioli about the
23 situation in Dubrovnik?
24 A. Yes, sir, I did.
25 Q. By the very nature of his mission, was Mr. Bondioli the person who
1 was the best versed in developments concerning Dubrovnik from among the
2 members of the international community?
3 A. Well, I don't see it as a competition between better versed and
4 lesser versed. But Mr. Bondioli was a good source of information to the
5 embassy in its -- in its persona as representing the presidency of the
6 European Union for which Mr. Bondioli and the European monitoring mission
7 worked. So it was a logical chain of reporting for Mr. Bondioli, and it
8 was a logical source of information for me. But there were others.
9 Q. Is it correct that Mr. Bondioli said to you that he had concluded
10 that all substantive decisions that are made concerning Dubrovnik are
11 taken by General Kadijevic?
12 A. No, sir. Such remark as far as I'm concerned was never made.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask
14 for us to take the first morning break now, if possible, if you agree. I
15 would have to ask you this for the reasons that I explained to your legal
16 officer. If you allow this, I would like to express my great thanks and
17 also my apology to any inconvenience this may cause to you, Your Honours,
18 to the Prosecution, and to the witness.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I understand, Mr. Petrovic, you may need half an
20 hour or 40 minutes.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: You're appearing before another Chamber or in a
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE PARKER: We will adjourn now and take a longer break. And
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we'll await your return.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do apologise once
3 again for this major inconvenience that I've caused in this way to you and
4 to everyone in the courtroom. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 9.57 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
7 JUDGE PARKER: That delay was much longer than we anticipated, but
8 we seem to be all together again. Sorry to have kept you waiting,
9 Mr. Fietelaars.
10 THE WITNESS: Never mind, sir.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic.
12 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. And once
13 again, thank you very much for your understanding.
14 I should like to have the witness shown the document that we
15 mentioned before the break; that is to say, P141.
16 Q. Mr. Fietelaars.
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. Is it true and correct that Mr. Bondioli conveyed his feelings,
19 that is to say, that he thought that Admiral Jokic was a stronghand man,
20 hardliner, and full sympathiser of the policy wage?
21 A. Well, at the discussions and then the exchange of information with
22 Mr. Bondioli didn't specifically touch upon that point. I'm sure that
23 both Mr. Bondioli and I agreed that the high JNA officers weren't loyal to
24 the policies that the JNA wanted to be executed.
25 MS. SOMERS: Objection, Your Honour. I just want to point out
1 that the passage that is in -- at least my document says that on page --
2 it would be the third page of the exhibit, he had the feeling that Jokic
3 was the "real hardliner" and that Strugar was "just a military man". It
4 doesn't say anything about the full support of the policy waged.
5 JUDGE PARKER: That certainly accords with the document in the
6 English language, Ms. Somers. But I think the transcript having reflected
7 that, we've moved on from there.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I should like the witness to tell
9 me whether it is right that Mr. Bondioli told him that it was his
10 impression that Admiral Jokic was a hardliner.
11 A. No, sir. It was my impression.
12 Q. Your impression was that Admiral Jokic was a hardliner. Is that
14 A. My impression was that Admiral Jokic was representing a point of
15 view in which he believed.
16 Q. What does the word "hardliner" mean? How do you understand the
17 word that "Jokic was the real hardliner"? What does real hardliner
18 actually mean in your view?
19 A. In my vocabulary, hardliner means that somebody is 100 per cent
20 behind the point of view that he represents, without exception and without
22 Q. Tell me, please, is it right that about Strugar, it was said "just
23 a military man"?
24 A. It was my impression that the gentleman who was standing next to
25 Admiral Jokic did listen in very carefully, but did not participate in the
1 discussion, and that therefore I understood that the policy there was
2 represented by Admiral Jokic and by Admiral Jokic only, given the fact
3 that the other gentleman didn't speak.
4 Q. The conclusions about that, that is to say, that Jokic was a real
5 hardliner and that Strugar was "just a military man," are they your
7 A. Yes, sir.
8 Q. Tell me, please, take a look in Document P141, page 3 of that
9 document, last paragraph there, 141 is the document in front of you, sir.
10 It is P141. So page 3 of that document that is before you, the last
11 paragraph on page 3.
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And it begins with "Mr. Bondioli said..."
14 A. Yes, sir. You're right. And it came up in the discussion. And
15 I'm really not quite certain whether I reached the conclusions and
16 Mr. Bondioli confirmed them, or that Mr. Bondioli used that kind of
17 wording and then I confirmed it. But given the fact that -- what it says
18 here, I certainly want to change my statement in saying that it probably
19 was -- the wording probably was introduced by Mr. Bondioli in a discussion
20 with me. And I apologise for not remembering this correctly.
21 Q. Therefore, we can agree that both your impressions and those of
22 Mr. Bondioli were, as far as Mr. Jokic was concerned, was that he was
23 indeed a real hardliner. We can deduce that, can we not, from what you've
24 just told us?
25 A. In the context of the definition that I just gave to you on your
1 request, yes, you can.
2 Q. Before the break, you told us, if I remember correctly, that
3 Mr. Bondioli had not arrived at the conclusion that the real decisions
4 with respect to Dubrovnik were taken by General Kadijevic. Now, when you
5 look at this paragraph again, do you stand by that assertion? Or do you
6 think that in actual fact, your position at the time and your report were
8 A. No, sir. The first line in that linea represents the point of
9 view of Mr. Bondioli.
10 Q. Allow me to read. "Mr. Bondioli said that from his negotiations,
11 Admiral Jokic and General Pavle Strugar, he concluded" --
12 A. Yes, Mr. Bondioli.
13 Q. -- "that the real decisions affecting Dubrovnik were being made by
14 General Kadijevic."
15 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
16 Q. Well, I must tell you that I'm a little confused now as to what is
17 correct. Is it true and correct that Mr. Bondioli told you that it was
18 his conclusion that all the decisions affecting Dubrovnik were made by
19 Kadijevic? Would that be correct? Is that it?
20 A. Not all the decisions, the real decisions in the sense of the
21 major decisions. I don't think that tactical decisions on small-scale
22 events would have -- could have come from Belgrade. And you are correct,
23 sir; this is the conclusion that Mr. Bondioli said he reached.
24 Q. Could you please tell us on what grounds you yourself were able to
25 conclude that Jokic was a hardliner and whether certain details to that
1 effect were conveyed to you by Mr. Bondioli at all?
2 A. I think that Mr. Bondioli spoke on the basis of his own
3 negotiations in the previous days and weeks with the gentlemen concerned.
4 And my confirmation in this report of that kind of opinion is based rather
5 on the discussion that we had in the evening after our visit to Dubrovnik
6 itself when we went back to Tivat and had our talk with the gentlemen who
7 received us upon us coming back. And as I said, one was silent most of
8 the time, but listened in. And the other one was Admiral Jokic. And that
9 confirmed very much that there was no light between the formal decisions
10 of the JNA and his own convictions.
11 Q. Could you please tell us whether it is correct that on that day,
12 when you were in Tivat, nobody introduced General Strugar to you?
13 A. When we came back from -- excuse me. When we came back from
14 Dubrovnik, we were received in the same place as where we arrived that
15 morning. There were two -- there were two high-ranking gentlemen that we
16 spoke to through interpreters. And the names were never mentioned. As I
17 said before yesterday, Admiral Jokic I recognised, and the other gentleman
18 I hadn't seen before and I hadn't seen since.
19 Q. Do you see him here today in the courtroom?
20 A. The man that I hadn't seen before and I hadn't seen since, it
21 means that I only saw him one time. After 14 -- almost 14 years, no, I
22 would not confirm that the face that you refer to is the face of the same
23 gentleman that was at that party. I simply can't.
24 Q. So your opinion that it might perhaps have been General Strugar is
25 nothing other than your assumption on the basis of what you expected to
1 see and what you were told that morning in Belgrade. Would that be
3 A. Yes. Not on the basis of what I expected to see, but what we were
4 told by Colonel Stojic, that in the course of the day we would see
5 Admiral Jokic and General Strugar.
6 Q. And nothing other than that indicated to you that perhaps it
7 really was General Strugar?
8 A. No, sir. That's correct.
9 Q. So it was nothing more than an assumption on your part which was
10 deduced from what you had heard that morning from Colonel Stojic?
11 A. That's what I said.
12 Q. Is it correct that it could have been any other officer of the JNA
13 at the reception, the person who you thought might have been
14 General Strugar? Could it have been any other officer?
15 A. Theoretically speaking, yes. But in practice, I would have
16 expected somebody to point out to us that General Strugar, although
17 announced, was at that moment not available. That didn't happen. So my
18 assumption, as you call it, remained what it was.
19 Q. In the official report to your government, you don't mention by a
20 single word the fact that you had a meeting with General Strugar. Is that
22 A. That is correct, sir. And that was because the same
23 considerations that I have just put forward also occurred to me while I
24 was writing -- while I was reading the first draft of this report, which
25 is the reason why I wrote that line at the bottom which says "I think
1 General Strugar was present also." Because by that time, but it was after
2 we returned to Belgrade, I started to doubt whether I should use that
3 name, yes or no. So as you see in my report, I changed it upon the phrase
4 "Admiral Jokic and his staff..." And in there assuming that the admiral,
5 because of the fact that he was the only one who spoke, was the number one
6 of the company that we met.
7 Q. You weren't sure then or now that the man you saw standing beside
8 General Jokic was in fact General Strugar. Would that be correct?
9 A. The pencilled-in note that appears at the bottom of the page was
10 pencilled in on the 30th of October when I went through my draft, as it
11 lies here. And in the draft that went to the communications room in the
12 embassy, the original text had been changed by me before reaching. I
13 think. But that, again, it's also 13, 14 years ago. I probably had said
14 something upon the gentlemen concerned or upon the officers concerned, and
15 then realising that if I was asked for absolutely authentic identification
16 of one of the two, that I would not have been able to describe that. So
17 that is the reason for the pencilled-in note, I think. And that is why I
18 changed this -- in the original draft, I changed "the officers concerned,"
19 or phrases to that effect, and I put in "Admiral Jokic and his staff."
20 Q. We'll come to that a little later in due course.
21 But let me go back now to your visit to the Old Town itself. How
22 frequently did you have contacts with the mayor of Dubrovnik, for example?
23 A. Whenever he telephoned me with information that he thought would
24 be useful to the Netherlands Embassy or to the presidency of the European
25 Union Embassies.
1 Q. Do you remember what he told you? What did his -- the gist of his
2 conversation sound to you like?
3 A. That there was a besieged city in which a number of people were so
4 afraid that they wanted to flee, and a number of people that hardened
5 their positions because they wanted to protect the place where they had
6 lived for generations. And moreover, the fact whether the shelling or the
7 activity from the outside waxed or waned. We also heard in the context of
8 cease-fires whether or not they were in his point of view respected by the
9 JNA. And all the time he confirmed that from the Croatian side, no
10 activity was deployed.
11 Q. Did he tell you about the hundreds of shells that were falling on
12 the Old Town at the time? Perhaps he exaggerated to you, too, like he did
13 to the media and others, saying that 15.000 shells fell on Dubrovnik and
14 its Old Town.
15 A. It may well be true that 15.000 shells fell on Dubrovnik and its
16 Old Town, but they certainly didn't fall on the Old Town. Because by the
17 time of 29th of October, well in the afternoon, we only could confirm
18 three strikes within the Old Town of what we assumed was mortar fire. And
19 that was all. But that is only referring to the Old Town, not to the
20 suburbs and the surroundings.
21 Q. What I'm asking you is this: Did that man already at that time,
22 that is to say in October, prior to your visit claim that hundreds, if not
23 thousands, of shells fell on -- had fallen on the Old Town?
24 A. No, sir, he certainly didn't. He talked about increased pressure.
25 And as I said, waning pressure. And it may well be that in discussions
1 with my military attache, this kind of military information came up, but
2 not in conversations with me.
3 Q. Were there any rumours going round or reports or propaganda on the
4 part of the Croatian side and Croatian government with respect to this
5 issue, saying that there were thousands or tens of thousands of shells
6 raining into the Old Town of Dubrovnik? Did you hear about that?
7 A. The embassies of the European Union all had their contacts with
8 Dubrovnik, and they were certainly not under the impression that that
9 which you just described took place. It may well be that the population
10 of Belgrade under the influence of Belgrade television believed that. But
11 the embassies certainly didn't.
12 Q. Tell us, please, when you arrived, when you came to Dubrovnik, you
13 noticed damages on several buildings. Is that right?
14 A. Yes, we noticed damages to three buildings.
15 Q. Tell me, please, which those three buildings were that were
16 damaged and that you saw.
17 A. They were identified to us by the people who received us upon
18 arrival on Venetian quay on the Old Town of Dubrovnik. The one was the
19 bell tower. The other one was a library. And the third one was a
20 pharmacy. The bell tower had been sit on the side. I myself saw one hole,
21 and some black streaks around the hole indicating that the hole was the
22 consequence of an explosion. And we saw two roofs which had lost a number
23 of their roofing tiles and through which we could see damaged beams that
24 had supported the roof.
25 Q. You mentioned three damages.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Now, the pharmacy and the library, were they within the complex of
3 the Franciscan monastery, within that compound?
4 A. I don't really know, sir. We walked by. We saw two roofs and
5 they were pointed out to us. But we never looked at the map for the
6 location, let alone the ownership of the two buildings concerned.
7 Q. Perhaps I can jog your memory in this way, refresh it: Those two
8 buildings, the library and the pharmacy, are they at the bottom of the
9 main street looking at it from the port where you disembarked, going that
10 way? Would they be at the end of that main street? Does that refresh
11 your memory at all?
12 A. I cannot confirm that 100 per cent. But it appears to me that
13 coming from the bell tower into the street, that they were at the
14 right-hand side.
15 Q. A little further off, quite a way from the bell tower, for
16 example, 100 to 150 metres on your right from the bell tower?
17 A. I wouldn't know that, whether it was a hundred or 200 or 250
18 metres. We walked talking in that direction, and I didn't pace my steps.
19 Q. Very well. But it is several hundred metres roughly.
20 A. The length of that street is several hundred metres, yes, sir.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Document
22 P31, now, please.
23 [In English] Yes, you can put it on the ELMO, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Just briefly, please, take a look at the
25 document, Mr. Fietelaars, and tell me whether that is indeed the bell
1 tower, the picture. Is it indeed the bell tower and the damage that you
2 have described?
3 A. No, sir, it is not, as far as my recollection is concerned. If I
4 could see a picture of the whole length of the tower, then maybe you would
5 make it easier to me to recognise it. The damage I saw at least was not
6 at a -- on a dome on top of the thing.
7 Q. Yes. Thank you.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] We won't be needing the photograph
9 any longer.
10 Q. Tell me, please, why did Jokic tell you to return from Dubrovnik
11 before 1630 hours that day?
12 A. Admiral Jokic told us that it was for our own protection because
13 of sniper fire from the shore that was not yet under control of the JNA
15 Q. Did he tell you about any sniper fire that could be targeting a
16 plane, for example?
17 A. No, sir. He said that the plane should take off before dark
18 because otherwise it would be too dangerous to fly. I don't know on what
19 part of the flight the danger that he saw would appear or not appear,
20 whether it would be sniper fire or gunfire of another nature. It didn't
21 come up. It only was mentioned that it was too dangerous to go -- to go
22 back in the dark, and it was too dangerous to fly in the dark.
23 Q. Mr. Fietelaars, did you give a statement to the officer of the OTP
24 on the 21st of January of this year?
25 A. I don't recall, sir. On the 21st of January?
1 Q. Yes, the 21st of January this year; that is to say, 2004.
2 A. I visited the Office of the Prosecution before. But I don't -- I
3 know that I made a statement, but I don't know that it was on the 21st of
5 Q. Did you give a written statement at any stage of your contacts
6 with the Prosecution? Did you make any statements to the gentlemen of the
8 A. I had a conversation with two gentlemen of the Prosecution. And
9 they noted down what I -- they had questions. They noted down what I
10 said. And I put my signature below it because my answers to their
11 questions were approximately what they had put on paper.
12 Q. Did you read what they wrote?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Did they correctly record what you had said?
15 A. As I said, if I would have written it, it would have been
16 different. But this statement was not taken while in the offices of the
17 Prosecution. It was taken at my home in the Netherlands by two visiting
18 officers of the Court.
19 Q. Do you have any objections regarding the accuracy of some of the
20 things that are referred to in this statement?
21 A. I have talked to the Prosecutors since in the preparation for this
22 meeting. And I think that a document now exists which supersedes the
23 document at that time because improvements in the rendering of my
24 recollection have been made in that document. Therefore, the first
25 document is of no consequence any more as far as I'm concerned.
1 Q. Please help me understand this: When did you sign a statement to
2 the gentlemen of the Prosecution?
3 A. At the end of their visit to my home in 'S-Hertogenbosch.
4 Q. When was this, Mr. Fietelaars?
5 A. As I said, I don't remember the date, but it was somewhere the end
6 of January or the beginning of February.
7 Q. So you did give a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor in
8 which you described everything to the best of your recollection. Is that
10 A. I gave a statement to two gentlemen of the Offices of the
11 Prosecutor. And they recorded what they thought I intended to say.
12 Q. Let us go back to the question regarding Jokic and the trip. You
13 said something to us a few moments ago that is decidedly different to what
14 you said in the statement. In paragraph 16, it says: "He instructed us
15 to return before 4.30 because after it -- after dark, he could not
16 guarantee aircraft safety. It would be prone, as he claimed, to sniper
18 A. Yeah. But that's exactly what I said. It would be prone to
19 sniper fire, not necessarily sniper fire at the takeoff. There was a
20 whole flight to Belgrade, and he did not say what kind of sniper fire
21 there could or would be.
22 Q. What kind of aircraft was it that you flew on that could be
23 subject to sniper fire during its flight, Mr. Fietelaars?
24 A. I don't know. I knew what type of aircraft it was, but I didn't
25 know whether it could be subject to sniper fire. That was up to
1 Admiral Jokic. It was a 50-seater passenger plane of Russian
2 fabrication -- manufacture.
3 Q. Was there any fighting in the area where your plane was supposed
4 to take off from?
5 A. We're talking about the area around Dubrovnik, so it was full of
6 JNA troops. Tivat itself, I think, is a base with -- where a lot of
7 military activity takes place. The Bay of Kotor is near, Prevlaka is
8 near. So there may very well are military activity. But I don't know
9 whether at that time that military activity at that moment was movement or
10 fighting or anything. We didn't see it. We were not allowed to travel
11 along land because that was too dangerous according to Admiral Jokic. We
12 did go by launch to Dubrovnik. We were not allowed to go by buses to
13 Dubrovnik. And we were picked up again by launch at Dubrovnik. We
14 transferred to a much faster boat --
15 Q. Can I ask you something, Mr. Ambassador. If you can, could you
16 please keep your answers shorter. Could you only answer the questions
17 that I have. Otherwise, we will all stay here for a very long time. My
18 question was simply: Was there any fighting in the area that your
19 aircraft was supposed to take off from? Yes or no. Or can this not be
20 explained at all?
21 A. I do not know, sir.
22 Q. Did you notice anything? Did you hear gunfire in Tivat?
23 A. No, sir.
24 Q. Thank you. How far away is Tivat from Dubrovnik?
25 A. Two-and-a-half hours by slow launch.
1 Q. So it's far away, very far away?
2 A. Depends on your judgement for what far away is. It took
3 two-and-a-half hours to get there by slow launch, and it took one hour to
4 come back by fast launch.
5 Q. 60 or 70 kilometres away? That's far away, as far as I'm
7 A. I don't know, sir.
8 Q. While you were in Dubrovnik, who pointed out the JNA positions to
9 you, the JNA positions around the town of Dubrovnik?
10 A. In the first place, there was a lot of activity visible from the
11 ramparts of the Old Town in the hills. Now, on the rim of the hills. And
12 furthermore Mr. Bondioli, the mayor of Dubrovnik, and the representative
13 of the Croatian government in Zagreb, they pointed out the disposition of
14 the different gun placements and troop concentrations.
15 Q. You said to us yesterday that outside the Old Town, you saw some
16 houses that were destroyed. So you came to the conclusion that in those
17 houses, there certainly could not have been any military activity, or any
18 reason why they would have been destroyed or damaged or set on fire. How
19 could you conclude that? You saw what you saw, but what happened before
20 or after is something that you had no way of knowing.
21 A. No, but we were assured of the gentlemen who accompanied us that
22 there was no military activity in that area, nor did we see any, nor did
23 we see anybody with arms that could not for the same money be a policeman.
24 So hundreds of troops or thousands of troops were certainly not seen by
25 any of us. It is maybe half a dozen of people, but not more.
1 Q. And where was it that you saw these people?
2 A. On the road, in the suburbs, helping out with clearing damage.
3 Q. Did you see any members of the Croatian forces at all in
5 A. I don't know what the differences in uniform were, but as I said I
6 saw maybe half a dozen.
7 Q. Did you see whether they were armed?
8 A. Some had sidearms, some had not.
9 Q. Did you see anything else regarding Croatian military presence in
10 the Old Town of Dubrovnik and in the town of Dubrovnik itself during your
12 A. No, sir.
13 Q. Did they point out the Croatian positions to you as well?
14 A. No, sir.
15 Q. Did you ask where the positions of the other side in this conflict
17 A. We walked around in the Old Town and in the damaged part of the
18 new town, and we saw no military activity. That's the limit of my
20 Q. My question was whether you asked where the positions of the
21 Croatian side were, or were you not interested in that?
22 A. Those are two questions. Which one do you want me to answer?
23 Q. Did you ask where the positions of the Croatian side were first of
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. Why were you not interested in that, since that was indispensable
2 for you in order to have a complete picture of what was going on in the
3 area that you had come to visit?
4 A. I do not acknowledge that that question is a viable one because
5 the Dubrovnik authorities showed us around in the Old Town and in the new
6 town. We saw nothing, so we had no reason to ask any further.
7 Q. You are in an armed conflict zone. Did you wonder who was
8 clashing with who there? Isn't that the first thing that you should have
9 been interested in?
10 A. Well, you define it as an armed conflict zone. We defined it as a
11 zone where a city with a civilian population was besieged by an army.
12 Q. Was this town defended?
13 A. Not so far as we could see.
14 Q. As an ambassador during those three months of 1991, did you hear
15 that the town was being defended?
16 A. In the beginning, there was -- as far as our information that came
17 out of the city was concerned, there was a low level of defence. But very
18 soon, the pressure on the civilian population was so big that they started
19 to leave, and a number of people who you define as troops or irregulars or
20 maybe even Croatian JNA people who were still in the city and did want to
21 escape from the fighting, that they left with the civilian population.
22 But I saw nothing that indicated that there was a garrison or a military
23 force in the Old Town, nor in the direct surrounds of the Old Town outside
24 the ramparts.
25 Q. Sir, my question was whether during the last three months of 1991
1 you heard that Dubrovnik was defended by Croatian forces. Yes or no? Or
2 was it an undefended town under siege? How would you define the
4 A. As I defined it in my previous answer. A low level of defence by
5 very few people. That was the information that reached us. And also,
6 that people started to leave, mainly civilian population, but they may
7 have been interspersed by young people who wanted to escape capture. That
8 was the information we received, and that is what I indicated in my
9 previous reply.
10 Q. This low level of defence, how did you find out about it, about
11 that particular level of defence? Where did you get that information
13 A. Mainly from Mr. Bondioli and a number of Dutch journalists who
14 resided or stayed in Dubrovnik at that time.
15 Q. What was the situation like later, in November and December that
17 A. Insofar as I can recollect, the pressure on the civilian
18 population increased. And a number of people, and in some of the
19 documents, I think I even related numbers that I heard from Bondioli,
20 numbers of people who actually left by ferry to Split.
21 Q. Perhaps you do not understand me well. I have been asking you the
22 following: If that was the situation with the Croatian military forces in
23 October, the way you described it, what was the Croatian military presence
24 in Dubrovnik in November and December then?
25 A. As I said, I have not visited Dubrovnik in that period. I had to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 depend on telephone information and general information received by
2 sources that are accessible to all and the things that were stated by the
3 representatives of the JNA in Belgrade. That packet of information led me
4 to the conclusion that more and more people, including military -- young
5 men with military activities, were leaving and had left Dubrovnik.
6 Q. So according to the information you had, the defence of Dubrovnik
7 was becoming weaker and weaker. What existed in October was no longer
8 there in December, because people were leaving.
9 A. Yes, what was there in October was already practically invisible
10 to a visitor to Dubrovnik who had all freedom to walk the streets, both of
11 the Old Town and the new town.
12 Q. The level of Dubrovnik that -- the level of defence in Dubrovnik
13 that existed in October, according to the information you had, was it
14 getting lower and lower? Was there less and less of it in December 1991?
15 A. More and more people had left, including young people. So I
16 assume, and as I said, it's a conclusion that I reached, that it was
17 getting lower and lower.
18 Q. So this is the information that you had at the time, so this is
19 the information that you conveyed to the government of the Kingdom of the
21 A. That was the information I had at the time augmented with the
22 conclusions that I drew out of that information.
23 Q. And that is the information that you conveyed to the government of
24 your country, or rather, the countries of the European Union?
25 A. I reported to the Presidency of the European Union, which in that
1 period was the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and all my correspondence went
2 to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
3 Q. At that time, on the basis of such reports of yours, was the
4 official policy of the government of your country and other countries of
5 the European Union built on that?
6 A. No, sir, it was not built on that because it only had the pretense
7 to reflect the actual situation in the country, and not political
8 developments going on in our own countries. That is the political
9 responsibility of the minister, and not of his servants abroad.
10 Q. If the entire policy was not built on that basis, then the
11 position in terms of what was going on in and around Dubrovnik, what was
12 going on, in fact - I'm not referring to major policy - was that based
13 inter alia on what you reported to your government and to the European
15 A. I'm sure it was one of the building stones that they used, just as
16 there are others, like the reports of the monitoring mission,
17 Ambassador van Houten, Ambassador Wijnaendts, and many others.
18 Q. I assume that their reports contained the same type and quality of
19 information like the reports you sent to your government and to the
20 European Commission in good faith?
21 A. They certainly were done by a similar type of professional
22 diplomat as I am. I don't want to judge the quality of my own work, nor
23 do I want to judge the quality of the work of my colleagues. But every
24 ambassador in Belgrade made his reports also to his own government in the
25 meetings between foreign ministers of the European Union, those snippets
1 of information emanating from all the embassies were brought into the
2 discussion. So it was a whole kaleidoscopic group of information in fact
3 that formed the basis of the considerations and the decisions of the
4 foreign ministers in Brussels.
5 Q. But your building block of information was a shade more important
6 because at that time your country was presiding over the European Union.
7 Wouldn't you agree with me on that?
8 A. It's obvious, sir, that you don't know how that functions.
9 Everybody considers his own information the most important. The British
10 government considers the information that they have received the most
11 important. All these things were put together, and a formal conclusion
12 was reached. But it is not that a report of the presidency carries far
13 greater weight in discussions in Brussels. The presidency report only
14 makes certain that all capitals know the opinion of the presidency. At
15 the same time and as quickly after the date that it happened as possible.
16 Q. Were you ever informed by your ministry that your information was
17 not in accordance with the information provided by the other member
18 countries of the European Union?
19 A. My minister is not in use - in the habit of writing that kind of
20 notes. Every time you travel to your bases, you have a conversation with
21 him. And then those things may come up. I had never had occasion to be
22 ashamed of what I wrote, and he has, in my recollection at least, never
23 found occasion to chide me because of the low quality of my reports.
24 Q. There were never any objections as regards the accuracy of your
25 reports in the period that we are discussing now. Of course, I'm not
1 asking about your entire career; I'm asking about the period that is
2 relevant to us here.
3 A. There is a relationship of trust between Dutch ministers of their
4 ambassadors. If that relationship of trust is broken, the ambassador is
5 removed. I've never been removed from a posting.
6 Q. Did you have any contact with the ambassadors of other western
7 countries accredited in Belgrade over these three months that we are
8 discussing now?
9 A. Yes, sir, on a daily basis.
10 Q. Did any of them have different information regarding what was
11 going on in Dubrovnik in relation to the information that you had and that
12 you had sent to your foreign ministry?
13 A. No, sir. But most embassies had additional information rather
14 than different informations.
15 Q. The fundamental tone of the information was the same, wasn't it?
16 A. I cannot be the judge of that. I know the tone of the things that
17 I wrote. But I never saw copies of the reports that the individual
18 ambassadors made to their capitals unless they came by my office and
19 wanted to discuss it. So on the whole, no, I do not know that -- whether
20 their tone was fundamentally the same as mine.
21 Q. Let us go back to Dubrovnik yet again now. Is it correct that
22 Admiral Jokic restricted the duration of your visit?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Is it correct that they returned you from Dubrovnik to Tivat on a
25 fast boat, and this was something that bordered on lack of respect for
1 ambassadors from different countries accredited to Belgrade?
2 A. No, sir. You assume incorrectly, that that would be insulting.
3 It wouldn't. It was an exciting thing to travel by fast boat, so we would
4 have enjoyed it if we could have boarded from the quay on to that boat.
5 However, we were taken out by the launch to mid sea. And while both boats
6 were travelling, we were transferred from one to the other. We had some
7 elderly gentlemen with us who had great difficulty getting from one boat
8 to the other and who hit their shins against the sides of the boat. And
9 it was all a very ungraceful exercise. That was a source of irritation,
10 but not the fact that we used a fast boat.
11 Q. In your statement, in paragraph 17, you say --
12 A. Could I have the document in front of me?
13 Q. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy here. But I'm going to read it
14 out to you, and my colleague will intervene if I read something out that
15 differs from what it says in the document. I do not intend to tender the
16 document into evidence, but this is what it says in paragraph 17: "The
17 crew of the motorboat told us that they would take us to Tivat at
18 high-speed. When the vessel arrived at sea, we were transferred roughly
19 and dangerously. We felt intimidated by this because it introduced an
20 unnecessary sense of urgency." That is what you said on the 21st of
21 January this year.
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Is that correct, what I read out to you just now?
24 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
25 Q. Is it correct, then, that they were rough; that they transferred
1 you dangerously and that you were intimidated?
2 A. I certainly felt intimidated because at my age I do not like to
3 step from one boat in another going even at a slow speed and the waves
4 crashing and hitting my shins from one boat to the other, with the danger
5 of getting between the two. We are not sailors, and we are not people who
6 are on a pleasure cruise or on that kind of activity. I felt it was
7 dangerous. I felt it was rough. And I felt personally intimidated
8 because I feared falling in between.
9 Q. Tell me, was this attitude taken towards you because you violated
10 what Jokic said to you, because you stayed in Dubrovnik longer than he had
11 told you to stay?
12 A. I can't answer this question. I don't have that information. If
13 it is because of that that they took this action, then you should find out
14 by the people who made the decisions.
15 Q. Sir, I'm asking you about your impression. Was it your
16 impression --
17 A. You said "tell me was this attitude taken towards you because..."
18 Q. I'll rephrase my question. Was it your impression that they were
19 rough to you --
20 MS. SOMERS: Objection. Speculation, Your Honour.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
22 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
23 MS. SOMERS: I believe it is speculative, Your Honour, to phrase
24 it from that perspective.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. By your leave.
1 By your leave, I am interested in what the witness thought, what his
2 impression was, not what somebody else thought and what somebody else
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Petrovic, speaking for myself, I really don't
5 know how this Chamber will be at all helped by knowing the witness's
6 impression of this incident which seems a very long way from anything that
7 is relevant to our material. Ask the question about the impression, get
8 the answer, so that your mind is at peace, and then may I urge you to move
9 on to something far more relevant to what we're dealing with. Thank you.
10 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will give up on that
11 question. I won't ask it. But why I was asking questions like this was
12 to clarify for the Trial Chamber something that had to do with another
13 witness that will be appearing before you shortly. But never mind, I
14 shall move on.
15 THE WITNESS: Excuse me, sir. The sound fell away.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English now? Can you hear the
17 English? Can you hear the English interpretation?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes. I'm receiving English interpretation now.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Why didn't Jokic let you return from Dubrovnik over land? Why did
22 he insist upon you taking a vessel?
23 A. Mr. Jokic stated that this was for our own protection because of
24 possible sniper activity along the road.
25 Q. Did Jokic wish to hide anything perhaps that you could have seen
1 along your way, if you went by land?
2 MS. SOMERS: Speculative, Your Honour. Objection.
3 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] I'll withdraw that question,
4 Your Honour, and I'll move on.
5 Q. What was Jokic's reaction to what you told him, that you had been
6 to the Old Town and that you had seen three buildings hit in the Old Town?
7 What did Jokic say to that?
8 A. I need my documents to be accurate. So if you could allow the
9 document in which I reported these happenings before me, then I could
10 point out the relevant linea.
11 Q. Of course. But I'm interested whether you could remember any of
12 this without your documents.
13 A. No, sir, I can't.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Then may the witness be shown
15 Document P141, please.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. I have the document in front of me, and
17 the linea.
18 Q. My question was, let me remind you, what did Admiral Jokic tell
19 you when you told him that you had been to the Old Town and that you had
20 seen that three buildings in the Old Town had been damaged? What did
21 Jokic say to that?
22 A. The mood and the atmosphere when we came back was kind of a
23 congratulatory happening that we were back and that we had seen everything
24 that we wanted to see and now we were going to clear up the
25 misunderstandings between us and himself regarding the statements that he
1 made that morning. Unfortunately, it didn't quite happen that way. We
2 stated what we saw. We stated our preoccupation and our indignation about
3 what we had seen. And Admiral Jokic just shrugged his shoulders and went
4 on to introduce us to journalists and colleagues and interviews with
5 Montenegrin television, which I refused to have. And then we had dinner,
6 and then we had a kind of after-dinner happening. The early flight became
7 a late-night flight because we arrived at Belgrade about 11.00.
8 Q. So when you told Admiral Jokic what you had seen in the Old Town,
9 he just shrugged his shoulders. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes, sir, he did not reply to our preoccupations. And he ceased
11 to be translated, so only the one or two ambassadors who were there who
12 spoke Serbo-Croatian could follow his interventions, and we were led to
13 the journalists and a number of military colleagues and refreshments.
14 Q. That means -- or rather, in your statement of the 21st of January
15 2004, paragraph 19, says the following. You are explaining what you saw,
16 et cetera. And when you had told them about the damage done in the
17 Old Town, the reactions were described in this way: "They seem to be
18 holding out to us that they had respected the integrity of the Old Town."
19 Would that be what Admiral Jokic's reaction was? Is that the substance of
20 what his reactions were when you told him that you had seen the damages in
21 the Old Town?
22 A. The reactions were in the first place shrugs of shoulders, et
23 cetera. And there was no substantial reply to the detailed interventions
24 that I and a number of the ambassadors who had joined in with me in that
25 trip made. So substantially, there was no answer. There were words, but
1 there was no answer.
2 Q. And the substance of the words that you heard could be summarised
3 in the following sentence: "They seemed to be holding out to us that they
4 had respected the integrity of the Old Town." Would that be right?
5 A. They shrugged their shoulders, and you could say that the attitude
6 and the way in which they reacted seemed to state that they had done what
7 they had to do, and that they were satisfied that they did the right
8 thing. The interpreters didn't function any more at that stage. The
9 thing was changing into a social gathering with drinks in hand. And so
10 they used words, as I said, but words that I can't follow, so I can't draw
11 any conclusions from that.
12 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, Your Honour. I have to object in that the
13 entire context has not been presented to the Chamber. If I may, just so
14 that it's clear, that having done what they had to do follows a comment
15 from the witness -- I'm sorry. It says that "they seem to be holding out
16 to us that they had respected the integrity of the Old Town. They stated
17 that although we had not witnessed substantial damage to the Old Town and
18 the damage seen could be repaired, we were horrified by the damage to the
19 suburbs. We told them that what we had seen without the Old Town was
20 unacceptable and should stop immediately. One of them stated that there
21 was no need for future concern because all the JNA objectives around
22 Dubrovnik had been achieved and there would be no further conflict in the
23 area unless the Croatians started again." I think that that qualified
24 half answer does not give the context of the witness's full response --
25 I'm sorry, the half question.
1 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness precisely
2 said that there was no further discussion of that, but I thank my learned
3 colleague for clarifying the point. I don't mind. I don't have any
4 problem with that. I don't know what we gain. And of course, if the
5 witness would like to add anything, I would be very happy to hear what he
6 has to say.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, upon reading the penultimate paragraph of this
8 report, which is here rendered by the number P -- Exhibit P141, I stated
9 that the admiral is now certainly aware of the opinions of the members of
10 the visiting party. On that -- that is the conclusion of the fact that he
11 did not reply in substance to anything that we said. And that is what I
12 have tried to convey.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, please, what dinner did Jokic organise? Was there any
15 music? Fish? Wine? What kind of dinner was it?
16 A. It was a dinner that was obviously a gesture of pleasant
17 entertainment. There was music. And there were films of activities of
18 the JNA on a side screen. And we were standing around having drinks until
19 the dinner was served. There was -- there were all kind of things,
20 salads, fish, and further food. I don't remember the menu.
21 Q. Do you know where Jokic organised the dinner? If not, we can move
23 A. In one of the halls in Tivat.
24 Q. What kinds of films did Jokic show you?
25 A. I would call them propaganda films of the JNA.
1 Q. Could you tell us a little about the contents of those films.
2 A. The soundtrack mainly existed of celebratory music. And the rest
3 we saw was ordnance, happy soldiers around them, tanks on the road, views
4 of ports, and of manoeuvres somewhere in the land area of Yugoslavia. I
5 must admit that most of us, after having seen the first images, did not go
6 on looking but resumed our conversations either with each other or with
7 people who could understand us.
8 Q. In the last paragraph, or rather the penultimate paragraph of your
9 report, that is Document P141, you further state: "The dinner" -- "we took
10 advantage of the dinner to present to General Jokic and the staff and to
11 indicate to them the certainty of further attempts to subjugate southern
12 Dalmatia by the JNA which everybody condemned and nobody understood."
13 THE INTERPRETER: Or words to that effect.
14 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Is that right?
16 A. That is substantially right, yes.
17 Q. So even after this introductory contact, the initial contacts, you
18 spent the whole evening trying to bring home your position to
19 General Jokic regardless of the question of interpreters and all the other
20 circumstances that you have pointed to?
21 A. Yes, sir, that's substantially right.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Is that a convenient time, Mr. Petrovic?
23 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, indeed. Thank
25 JUDGE PARKER: We will have the second break now.
1 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I'm not very good at the procedures
2 here. But could I make one remark and pose one question to Mr. Petrovic
3 in order to clarify what's going on?
4 JUDGE PARKER: I think, yes, you might as well, if it can help.
5 THE WITNESS: Well, Mr. Petrovic introduced a document yesterday
6 which he said he was going to introduce as evidence. That document is
7 from my files, and I had given nobody any permission to take it out of my
8 files and use it. So I would like to have a copy of it back to complete
9 my files again.
10 And second is that I promised him as soon as the name of the
11 deputy foreign minister of Yugoslavia came up in my mind I would give it
12 to him. The name was Mr. Maksic.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much for that. And I'm sure
14 Mr. Petrovic will arrange for a copy of that document to be returned to
15 you by the Court staff during this break.
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm afraid I don't
18 have any document of Mr. Fietelaars. Mr. Fietelaars didn't give me
19 anything in actual fact.
20 JUDGE PARKER: I think it may have got its way into evidence
21 yesterday. It's an exhibit, if I'm not mistaken.
22 THE WITNESS: It was promised twice that it would be introduced
23 into evidence. It's a document if I remember well that had as a subject
24 "political developments in Yugoslavia" and the date of the 15th of
25 October, which according to me should never have left my files which were
1 stored within the offices of the --
2 JUDGE PARKER: I think we may have been looking to the wrong side
3 of the room.
4 WITNESS: I see.
5 MR. WEINER: It was provided through discovery. We have the
6 original. His original documents are safe and sound in his own right --
7 in his records. Not to worry.
8 WITNESS: I see.
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think Mr. Fietelaars will be easier in his own
10 mind if he could have at least a copy of it back for his file. Perhaps
11 you could attend to it.
12 MR. WEINER: We'll take care of it.
13 JUDGE PARKER: You can relax, Mr. Petrovic. We were -- sorry, we
14 were attentive to your interests today. We overlooked the Prosecution as
15 the culprits.
16 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Petrovic.
20 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 May the witness please be shown this document, the one I have
23 Q. Mr. Fietelaars, does this report represent one of the reports from
24 your mission in the month of October? Is it one of them, October 1991?
25 A. Yes, sir, it is.
1 Q. Tell me, please, was there any initiative that existed of
2 important European countries to attempt the demilitarisation of Dubrovnik?
3 A. If you allow me, sir, could I refresh my memory for a moment.
4 Yes, sir. The reply is yes, there was such an initiative. Or
5 attempts at such an initiative.
6 Q. Can you tell us, please, who the protagonists of that initiative
8 A. Well, most European countries looked at the initiative, and a
9 number of international organisations. But I do not think that it came to
10 anything. We only received information from our capitals that this was
11 the case, but those negotiations did not take place within the territory
12 of Yugoslavia.
13 Q. Why did the initiative on the part of the European countries for
14 demilitarisation in Dubrovnik not succeed?
15 A. I do not know, sir. After consultation with each other,
16 apparently they came to the conclusion that this was not something to be
17 pursued. Or decisions to that effect.
18 Q. Take a look at the last paragraph of that document, please.
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. Can you tell us what you wished to express in that last paragraph.
21 What does the last paragraph of your report of the 25th actually mean?
22 A. It means that in discussions with colleagues and in our weekly
23 meetings, weekly formal meetings as embassies of the European Union are
24 concerned, that frequent comment was that it -- it had something -- a
25 harrowing aspect that so many human lives were in danger in the
1 ever-increasing conflict at the time that the whole world was preoccupied
2 by material damage of a work of art and a city of culture than the
3 thousands of human lives that were more and more coming into danger. And
4 I agreed with that sentiment.
5 Q. Why, in the diplomatic corps, was the prevailing opinion the fact
6 that the deaths of people had less effect on European public opinion than
7 material damage done to a town of stone, and why was that so appalling?
8 A. I would phrase it differently, that in the conflict and in the
9 people watching the conflict, the discussion of Dubrovnik got much more
10 attention than the discussions about the dangers that thousands of humans
11 within the borders of Yugoslavia were more and more in, because of the
12 increasing conflict. And I think the same is true of people within
13 Yugoslavia and within Croatia and maybe also within the organs of the
15 Q. And your conclusion was that the difference between these two
16 values or sets of values was harrowing.
17 A. Yes, it was a deception of the human condition, that we put more
18 effort in the protection of material things than of human beings at that
19 time. But that is a philosophical consideration that had no consequences
20 in reality.
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'd like to tender
22 this document into evidence, please.
23 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This document number will be D38.
25 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
1 Document P142, please.
2 Q. Mr. Fietelaars, would you please take a look at the summary,
3 first, of your report of the 30th of October 1991 and tell us why on that
4 day you wrote to your government giving them your conclusion that the
5 positions of the army became even more hardliner in style and that as far
6 as the JNA was concerned --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat that last sentence.
8 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Was that your impression after your conversation in Tivat and
10 after the conversation you had that day in Belgrade? Is that what led you
11 to make that conclusion?
12 A. Sir, I was looking at the things that you referred to, and I lost
13 track of the final part of your intervention. Sorry.
14 Q. Let me repeat. If you look at the summary of your report dated
15 the 30th of October, can you tell us, please, why you wrote to your
16 government that day that the position of the JNA had become even harder
17 and represented it through that conclusion of yours and said that it was
18 the result of what you had heard the previous day in Tivat and that day in
20 A. I think it had to do with a -- a longer period of my contact,
21 especially with Admiral Brovet which were especially friendly. I liked
22 the gentleman, and the gentleman apparently had nothing against me because
23 we had real contact. That from this date onward has changed, it became
24 distant, unpersonal, and uncommunicative. That attitude I translated into
25 the word "hardened." And the gist of the things that he conveyed to me
1 showed that a change in policy from the side of the JNA was not envisaged.
2 That is why this summary reads as it reads.
3 Q. Would you please tell us whether on that occasion Brovet mentioned
4 the fact that Dubrovnik was a militarily fortified town with cannons and
5 mortars and thousands of Croatian soldiers, and also that the Dubrovnik
6 authorities refused to negotiate with the local JNA with respect to a
7 return to the normal functioning of the town.
8 A. In the third linea of the second page, I give a summary of the
9 points of view expressed by Admiral Brovet which for shortage sake I will
10 not read out extensively. But he stated there that they wanted to
11 separate the parties in the armed conflict, prevent the Croatian mass
12 murder of Serbian minorities, and protect their own troops. That is what
13 he said.
14 Q. Just take a look, please, at the final portion. That would be --
15 I'll try and find it in the Dutch version, although my knowledge of Dutch
16 is less than admirable. In Dutch, it is page 2, I believe. Second
17 paragraph from the top, the last two sentences of that paragraph, of that
18 second paragraph from the top.
19 A. In my document, there's only one sentence in paragraph 2. So --
20 Q. From the bottom.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
22 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Second paragraph from the bottom, last two sentences.
24 A. Last two sentences. "I told him, very strongly and in hard terms
25 by the American number two who was also present that the taking hostage of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 a civilian population as a reprisal for the bad treatment of JNA military
2 people is totally unacceptable. Dubrovnik had no military function. This
3 was contradicted by the admiral. Dubrovnik was a militarily" --
4 Q. Mr. Fietelaars, we can read that. All I'm asking you now is for
5 you to confirm that Admiral Brovet on that day upon your return from
6 Dubrovnik confirmed or once again said that Dubrovnik was a militarily
7 fortified town with cannons, mortars and thousands of Croatian soldiers
8 present in it. That's what it says, I believe, in your report.
9 A. That is what he said, contrary to the assurances we received from
10 Admiral Jokic on the 29th where he stated that, as in the top of the linea
11 there, Admiral Jokic assured us that all military objectives in the
12 southern Dalmatian region have been realised, and Dubrovnik is no threat
13 for the --
14 Q. Sir, I do apologise for having to interrupt you, but for us to get
15 through this as quickly as possible, could you just confirm if I'm right
16 in what I'm asking you, of course, and all the rest is before
17 Their Honours and they will be able to draw their own conclusions. So I
18 just wanted to receive confirmation once again from you that
19 Admiral Brovet had indeed told you that on that particular day. Thank
20 you. Nothing more than that.
21 A. Admiral Brovet told me that.
22 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, did you convey to Admiral Brovet what
23 you seen in the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
24 A. Yes, sir, we did, but I think we already did that on the 30th of
25 October, not during this meeting.
1 Q. Well, was there a meeting in between?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Between this one and the other? All right, fine. But anyway, you
4 said you conveyed that to Admiral Brovet. Is that right?
5 A. The day before, yes.
6 Q. Take a look at the last paragraph of this document now, please.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. "Admiral Brovet in no way reacted to the concern expressed and
9 the desires professed." And that is your conclusion, I believe, from this
10 meeting of the 1st of November 1991.
11 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
14 Document P143, please.
15 Q. Before you look at the document itself, I have a few questions for
16 you not related to the document. When you on the 6th of December 1991 --
17 when did you go to see Admiral Kadijevic?
18 A. I was not present at this meeting with Admiral Kadijevic. My
19 number two went to that meeting, me being out of town.
20 Q. Do you know when that was? What time of day?
21 A. What time of... Most of the meetings took place in the early
22 afternoon, so I assume that there's a great chance that this was in the
23 early afternoon.
24 Q. Tell me, why in this report in paragraph 2 in the statement
25 "before he commented anything, the general asked whether the message was
1 sent out exclusively to the JNA or also to the other side, other party,
3 A. I wasn't present at the meeting. But on the basis of what
4 Mr. Hasselman, my number two, reported to me, that is, as I understand the
5 first question, that the general posed to the diplomats present.
6 Q. But here, in response to his question, Ambassador Zimmerman says,
7 and Ambassador Zimmerman led this group, that the same type of
8 conversation would take place as soon as possible with the other side as
10 A. Yes, sir, that's my understanding.
11 Q. Is my understanding correct of what the American ambassador said;
12 namely, that as far as the violation of the cease-fire is concerned, he
13 thought that both sides in the conflict should be blamed for it?
14 A. I don't know if the both -- that was not a choice of opinion that
15 the embassy has. We were instructed to transmit the attached annex and
16 give oral explanation to the people to whom this annex was presented, all
17 on the basis of instruction from capitals received. So I don't think it
18 had to do with the choice of Ambassador Zimmerman or with any other of the
19 people present.
20 Q. Could you please give us your interpretation of the sentence that
21 "the representatives of these same countries will as soon as possible
22 discuss the same problem with the representatives of the Croat
23 authorities." What is your understanding of that sentence?
24 A. That a number of the people who were present there would make
25 certain that the same intervention, the same demarche that was made at the
1 Ministry of Defence would be made at the authorities in Zagreb who were
2 held to be responsible for the activities of the Croatians in and around
4 Q. Please take a look at this part of your report dated the 6th of
5 December that has to do with alleged violations of the cease-fire carried
6 out by the JNA and Kadijevic's claim that special teams were established
7 that were supposed to investigate any cease-fire violation that could have
8 taken place.
9 A. Yes, sir, I see that passage.
10 Q. Is that what was said to your number two man?
11 A. What was said to my number two -- to the whole company, this is in
12 the report that my number two made to me and which I -- on which --
13 because I was not present, Mr. Hasselman had already sent a copy to
14 The Hague. As you can see, it's signed not with my name, but with the
15 name of Mr. Hasselman. I was not in town, as I stated before.
16 Q. On that occasion, did Kadijevic say that the perpetrators would be
17 arrested and punished? That's the next sentence.
18 A. According to Mr. Hasselman, that's exactly what he said.
19 Q. In that context, is it correct that your colleagues conveyed to
20 him what was going on according to their information in Dubrovnik on that
21 day, and that Kadijevic said that he would order an investigation straight
23 A. Well, I think it is clear what has been stated here.
24 General Kadijevic gave a short expose, and in reply to a question by the
25 French ambassador said that the JNA had blocked - all ports - for the
1 benefit of humanitarian actions. And as far as alleged cease-fire
2 violations, that had been remarked upon also during the visit the day
3 before by me and on a number of occasions --
4 Q. Again, I'm asking you not to read out to us what we have in front
5 of us. Otherwise, we're not going to finish during the course of the day,
6 and that is everybody's objective, isn't it? I would just like to ask you
7 to confirm that on that day, Kadijevic was informed about what was going
8 on in Dubrovnik, and that immediately on that day he promised that he
9 would order an investigation?
10 A. The instruction was to register their preoccupation. That is what
11 they did. I don't know exactly in what words, but I assume that the
12 reaction of Mr. Kadijevic was to the words used by the ambassadors and the
13 charge d'affair of the Netherlands present.
14 Q. Was your charge d'affair in a position to convey faithfully and
15 clearly what he heard on that day, the 6th of December 1991, from the
16 federal secretary for defence?
17 A. You mean before he sent it or after he sent it or...? He sent
18 this on his own authority as charge d' affair because at the moment I was
19 not there.
20 Q. Maybe you didn't understand me, Mr. Fietelaars. Your charge
21 d'affair, was he in a position as a professional and as a human being to
22 convey professionally and faithfully what he heard from the Minister of
23 Defence Kadijevic on that day? And it had to do with his momentary order
24 to carry out an investigation?
25 A. He was a professional diplomat with the rank of counsellor in the
1 Royal Netherlands Embassy with years of experience.
2 Q. Did your counsellor mention anywhere in this document that federal
3 minister Kadijevic could perhaps try to hush things up?
4 A. No, sir. I don't see that.
5 Q. On top of all of that, after this discussion, did
6 General Kadijevic say that the JNA fully supports and respects the Geneva
7 agreement? Pertaining to the cease-fire, that is.
8 A. Yes, sir, he stated that.
9 Q. Can you tell us, since we, or at least I am a layman as far as the
10 field of diplomacy is concerned, what does that mean in a -- in diplomatic
11 terms, what does a demarche mean. How serious is that when big and
12 important western countries give one to the minister of defence? Does he
13 need a stronger warning or a more telling demonstration of the position of
14 your governments?
15 A. To your question, sir, a demarche is a formal intervention with
16 the government where one is accredited on specific instructions received
17 from your capital where you give an oral intervention supported by a
18 written annex. And you will see this annex attached to this document with
19 the signatures of the people present.
20 Q. In diplomatic correspondence, a demarche from one government to
21 another government, is that a serious warning and a serious expression of
22 the views of the government that is extending it?
23 A. Not necessarily. It can be congratulatory. It can be
24 informative. It can be anything. If the government considers it
25 important, they can say Will you please make a formal demarche and leave a
1 written statement behind summarising the demarche. It has nothing to do
2 with this trying to warn or anything. It is just in order to make certain
3 that the other side understands that this is the opinion of the highest
4 authority in the country from which that ambassador originates.
5 Q. So on that day, the ambassadors conveyed this kind of view to the
6 federal minister of national defence, the ambassadors of four -- of five
7 western countries headed by the US Ambassador.
8 A. Well, I don't know if when five ambassadors of countries who are
9 members of the Security Council, that they are automatically led by the
10 American ambassador. I think it is more of a collegial exercise where one
11 spokesman can be chosen by the members or where one spokesman can occur
12 because of the authority he has with his colleagues.
13 Q. Can you tell us what it was in this particular situation.
14 A. No. These things happened organically without formal
15 consultations or formal decisions. We, as ambassadors in Belgrade, we
16 were friends as well as colleagues. And all things occurred as agreements
17 among friends more than as formal arrangements that had to be retained on
18 paper or anything.
19 Q. But if five ambassadors went to draw the attention of
20 General Kadijevic inter alia to the events at that took place in Dubrovnik
21 on that day, General Kadijevic had to understand that that matter and the
22 consequences of this particular matter were very serious for this state or
23 could be very serious.
24 A. I don't know about the consequences, but the document and the
25 intervention itself were considered to be serious and most appropriate
1 form of communication of the moment.
2 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Could the witness please be shown Document P144.
4 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Fietelaars, was this document made by you
5 yourself or your deputy chief of mission?
6 A. It was my deputy chief of mission, but he was at the time the
7 charge d'affair because I was absent from the post.
8 Q. This is -- this has to do with a meeting with Admiral Brovet, if
9 I'm not mistaken.
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Is that the meeting that took place on the 13th of December 1991?
12 A. No. I think that this took place on the 12th of December. The
13 report was made on the 13th of December.
14 Q. Yes, you're right. Yes.
15 Is it correct that on that occasion Admiral Brovet, and it seems
16 that this was a joint demarche by the USSR, as it says here, the United
17 States, and the presiding country, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, if I
18 understand things correctly, that -- he said that all commanders that do
19 not take the measures required will be removed?
20 If I can help you with this, he said it -- so it's on the second
21 page in the second paragraph.
22 A. Yes, sir, my understanding is that it formed part of the
23 interventions of Admiral Brovet at the time.
24 Q. He also said that those who are responsible for the recent
25 shelling of Dubrovnik's old city are now under criminal investigation and
1 have been relieved of their command.
2 A. Yes, sir. So there was shelling of Dubrovnik's old city.
3 Q. That's not what I'm asking you, sir. That is something that is a
4 completely different type of question, profile of question. I'm asking
5 you whether Admiral Brovet said on that day, the 12th of December 1991, to
6 your number two man, that those who are responsible for the shelling of
7 the old city were under criminal investigation and relieved of their
9 A. I trust that my number two reported faithfully as he always did
10 the remarks made by the people to whom he talked. And I'm sure that that
11 was true in this case.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in relation to the
14 document that I owe from yesterday, I would like to ask to have this
15 document provided to you. And could it please be tendered into evidence.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received in both senses.
17 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Thank you, Your Honour. I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Petrovic. And thank you for your
20 concern about time as the cross-examination has progressed.
21 THE REGISTRAR: This document is labelled D39.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Do you re-examine, Ms. Somers?
23 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour, please.
24 Re-examined by Ms. Somers:
25 Q. First of all, just to clear up a point, Mr. Fietelaars, that was
1 asked yesterday -- sorry. I'll start again. I'm going to ask you a few
2 questions from matters that have arisen during the course of
4 Yesterday, there was a question asked by the Chamber about a
5 document which appeared to have borne the same text as your 29 October
6 report. And I just wanted to ask, please, if I could show you -- perhaps
7 you can put it on the ELMO, Madam Usher.
8 If you see in front of you, the question that was raised is where
9 did this possibly come from. And I'm indicating to you a document that
10 was deny ECMM packet that contains -- that emanates from the United
11 Kingdom mission. And it contains parts of the -- or actually the text of
12 the meeting on 29 October that is recorded by you as exhibit -- as
13 Document A, which is P14 -- I guess 141.
14 The mission to Dubrovnik, was that a -- strictly a Dutch mission?
15 A. No, ma'am. The ECMM is -- was the monitor mission by the European
16 Union, or European community as it still was at the time, before 1992 and
17 was representing the member countries and the European Commission, and was
18 put together and sent with the mission of the JNA -- of the Yugoslav
19 authorities, I should say, to the place to observe what was going on in
20 order to put our minds to rest that there was at least somebody that we
21 could trust to report faithfully on the activities of both sides in the
22 conflict. So it was not something that -- of the presidency.
23 Q. Were the findings of this mission of interest to the parties in
24 the EU and of particular interest to those participating parties?
25 A. Yes, ma'am. But the normal standard reporting of the ECMM was to
1 their own authorities in Brussels, and only if there was a specific
2 interest served by giving a copy to the embassies in Belgrade. That was
3 done. Same is true of documents we made and that were of specific
4 interest to the leaders of the ECMM.
5 Q. With respect to this particular mission, given its
6 multiparticipatory nature, would it be normal that the British delegation
7 or the British would have the findings that may have been sent from your
8 home country or emanating from any reports that may have been generated?
9 A. No, ma'am. Ambassador Hall got the report on the day that it was
10 made. I gave a copy to all ambassadors of EC countries on the day it was
11 made and sent to The Hague.
12 Q. And so it is a normal practice that --
13 A. It's authentic, but I do not see why they are referred to as ECMM
14 documents because mine obviously are not.
15 Q. I understand that. But it was with reference to an internal
16 request by the Office of the Prosecutor.
17 MS. SOMERS: If that helps, Your Honours, I would -- I'm happy to
18 pass the document around. But it is from a range of documents that --
19 from which was taken that particular part.
20 Q. Now, would it have the same endorsements, in other words, if you
21 sent an internal document with -- to the ministry of foreign affairs of
22 your country, that would necessarily be part of the report here?
23 A. I would assume that if you want a report out of Belgrade on what
24 was going on in Dubrovnik, you would have addressed the Dutch Embassy as
25 the office in Brussels that looked after the interests of this specific
1 body. And if you wanted to know what was actually going on in the field,
2 you would address your letters to Mr. Bondioli with the request for
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. But the informality of the whole arrangement should be stressed.
6 We used communications as they occurred and as they seemed useful to us,
7 rather than that they were formally arranged beforehand.
8 Q. If you take a look at P141, please, I just want to ask you,
9 particularly in the Dutch version --
10 A. There is no Dutch version.
11 Q. I'm sorry. But there is some Dutch writing on the face of it?
12 A. Oh, yes.
13 Q. That's what I meant. Great. Are -- what are -- what does the --
14 what do the abbreviations starting at the top reflect?
15 A. At the top of the document itself?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Those are indications for the transmission of the documents. It
18 would make certain that they arrive at The Hague, but also at European
19 Commission in Brussels.
20 Q. The indication -- the other indications are more -- would they be
21 categorised --
22 A. The one that says "bz-vertrouwelijk" means confidential. And the
23 two letter groups in the third line from there, "m" and "dgpz", "m" is the
24 minister personally, and "dgpz" is the director for political affairs.
25 Q. Would that be necessary to transmit that particular -- those
1 particular comments -- would those be simply for internal Dutch use?
2 A. Yes, ma'am. This would make certain that as soon as the report
3 arrived it would be put in the hands of the people concerned.
4 Q. And that -- that the text alone, where it starts from "subject:
5 visit to Dubrovnik" is what concerns other participants or other countries
6 that have an interest in the findings?
7 A. Yes, and the reports were given -- copies of the reports were
8 given to my colleagues in Belgrade, and I'm certain that the ministry of
9 foreign affairs in The Hague sent copies to the foreign ministries.
10 Q. Thank you very much.
11 I'd like to ask you a couple of questions about some of the
12 matters that were discussed as to water, electricity, restoration of
13 various aspects of the infrastructure, and the conditioning of -- said to
14 a solution, as it were. I believe it was referred to ultimately -- in
15 Document P144, where you were speaking with -- I'm sorry, 141. I beg your
16 pardon, Mr. Fietelaars. And if I could recall for a moment a document, I
17 believe it is P22. I could put it on the ELMO if it would be quicker
19 Mr. Fietelaars, were you made aware of any, as it were, proposals
20 or ultimata put out by --
21 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. There was
22 absolutely no mention of this either in the examination-in-chief or the
23 cross-examination, so I really don't see why my learned colleague is now
24 introducing new pieces of evidence and new stories. I don't see that that
25 emanates from my cross-examination. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
2 MS. SOMERS: The disarming -- yes. The disarming of form -- pair
3 of -- what were referred to as paramilitaries was mentioned by --
4 according to Mr. Fietelaars in his report as well as power, electricity,
5 which would have to do with the same subject matter. We would like to
6 just inquire as to whether or not there was any indication that this was
7 on the table or had been on the table. But the subject of disarming was a
8 concern raised by, according to Mr. Fietelaars, Admiral Jokic.
9 JUDGE PARKER: But that was part of the evidence in chief, and you
10 chose not to deal with this document at that time.
11 MS. SOMERS: It is really to see whether or not a complete picture
12 that was raised during the cross-examination was presented to the witness.
13 Or was it in isolation? Was there any discussion about a matter that had
14 been on the table? The tying of -- seeming tying of --
15 JUDGE PARKER: I think not, Ms. Somers.
16 MS. SOMERS: We'll move on, Your Honour.
17 Q. Admiral -- sorry, Mr. Fietelaars. In your comment about values of
18 human lives as opposed to, as it were, buildings or stone, was it made
19 against the backdrop of the October damage that you had witnessed, or is
20 it --
21 A. I think that the date of that report was much later, Madam.
22 Somewhere in the course of end of November, beginning of December. The
23 date --
24 Q. I believe it was -- I think it was 25 October actually, if I'm
25 correct. Can we just take a look quick -- I think the reference I have is
1 to D38. And it dates 25 October --
2 A. No, it was a sentiment that occupied us already for quite some
3 time. But the more the attention was turned on Dubrovnik, including
4 initiatives of international organisations, the EU, the remnants of FTA
5 [phoen] and all these things it, became a matter of disappointment and of
6 cynical remarks that -- how sad it was that there was not as much
7 attention for the preservation of human life as the preservation of mortar
8 and stone.
9 Q. And understandably, the issue would certainly be looked at perhaps
10 in that light. But was there also a concern about the preservation of not
11 just lives, of course, but also what is -- has been deemed cultural
12 heritage of the world? In other words, was it just Croatia's problem
13 because it was physically in Dubrovnik --
14 A. No, no, madam, it's not Croatia's problem. It's a problem of --
15 of -- as far as I'm concerned, it's a problem of the whole world. It's
16 not only that within UNESCO the status of Dubrovnik has particularly been
17 pointed out as a city of major importance of the human cultural heritage,
18 but also that something that has played such a central role in European
19 history for almost a thousand years should not be touched like that and it
20 should not be destroyed.
21 Q. And your concerns raised about the fact of its damage, was there
22 an expectation that there would be measures taken so that it would not
24 A. We hoped that they would be retaken, and we didn't really mind in
25 what context these measures were going to be drafted, as long as they were
1 efficient and effective.
2 Q. And by your observations from the 6th of December, was it evident
3 that they did recur, the incidents?
4 A. They did recur, yes, and also on Belgrade television.
5 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, objection once again.
6 This witness's testimony is being treated in the wrong way. The witness
7 doesn't know what happened on the 16th of December, nor was he in the
8 country at all on the 6th of December. Nor did he testify about those
9 matters at all. So it is quite improper, that question, to this witness
10 is quite improper.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Ms. Somers.
12 MS. SOMERS: There's a document in for the 6th of December
13 emanating from the office. So I'd have to take issue that counsel perhaps
14 hasn't --
15 JUDGE PARKER: You may deal with that document.
16 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Fietelaars -- excuse me, can I just get the date.
18 The reaction, as it were, of the 6th of December by, I believe,
19 your second in command --
20 A. Yes, Mr. Hasselman, yes.
21 Q. Right. Is that a reflection -- it is C -- I'm sorry, P143.
22 A. I haven't got the document.
23 Q. It's dated 6th of December. It is --
24 A. Yes, ma'am, I have it in front of me.
25 Q. Is that a reflection of the concern for the damage that was
1 inflicted on the Old Town of Dubrovnik?
2 A. I've got a document, 143A.
3 Q. No, it's P143. It's your document dated 6th December. It is a
4 demarche to General Kadijevic.
5 A. Yes, that's right. I've got it now.
6 Q. Just succinctly, is that a continued reflection of the concern
7 among -- at least your government -- or with, at least your government,
8 and perhaps as presidency representatives of the European community toward
9 the continuing damage to the Old Town of Dubrovnik as an UNESCO site?
10 A. Yes, ma'am.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. I don't know how many cease-fires there had been, but until now
13 they had not been very successful. So the urgency became greater and
15 Q. And this was despite representations by a number of persons from
16 the JNA that the Old Town would be respected?
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 Q. Your communication with Admiral Brovet about proposed measures to
19 be taken against perpetrators or however the phrasing specifically was,
20 now, was Admiral Brovet also the individual -- one of the individuals who
21 promised that there would be no damage to the Old Town?
22 A. Yes, ma'am.
23 Q. And there was damage to the Old Town?
24 A. There was the damage to the Old Town that I described, and what I
25 saw on television later seemed to be much more extensive.
1 Q. If the subject matter of measures of discipline or punishment or
2 criminal investigation were sufficiently important to be raised between
3 yourself or your office and Admiral Brovet, would you have had an
4 expectation of follow up?
5 A. Well, we certainly asked for a follow up, and we asked to be
6 informed about the follow up, what shape that follow up would have.
7 Q. Were you so informed?
8 A. No, ma'am, never.
9 MS. SOMERS: Excuse me, just a minute. I'll try to wind it up, if
10 I can. Or would you prefer, Your Honour, I have about six questions more.
11 Would it be better just to take a few minutes tomorrow morning?
12 JUDGE PARKER: I think out of concern for Mr. Fietelaars, we might
13 finish today, if I correctly anticipate your position.
14 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
15 MS. SOMERS: Thank you. Okay.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MS. SOMERS: Let me just find the most important of them and I
18 will -- hold on.
19 Q. Did General Kadijevic, when he discussed with you investigations,
20 indicate on what information he would be relying or had relied or would
21 rely, I think is future, to base any decisions about discipline or
22 punishment? Did he tell you --
23 A. He mentioned an internal investigation by the --
24 MR. PETROVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour, please.
25 This witness did not talk to General Kadijevic that day at all. He was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 not able to testify about what he saw himself without the help of his
2 notes, let alone what number two man did in talking to Kadijevic.
3 MS. SOMERS: If I should have said Admiral Brovet, then my
4 apologies. I -- I will check it, but I thought it was Kadijevic.
5 Q. On the 13th of December, I believe it was the demarche that was
6 raised. And let me just confirm...
7 If you would assist us, please, the demarche of 13 December, and I
8 apologise, it should have been Admiral Brovet that was referred. I thank
9 counsel for correcting that.
10 Was there any indication from what sources the information would
11 come that would allow them to take measures if they deemed them necessary
12 to be taken?
13 A. Admiral Brovet said that he would start and supervise, I assume,
14 the investigations within his own forces, and that officials -- officers
15 would be identified and investigated and punished.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. If that would be appropriate.
18 MS. SOMERS: I'll cut it short, Your Honours, in deference to the
19 time. Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Ms. Somers, for that. And I'm
21 sure, Mr. Fietelaars, you will appreciate the gratitude the Chamber feels
22 for your evidence, and we thank you for your attendance and patience and
23 assistance. And you're, of course, now free to go about your ordinary
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Happy as the state of retirement might normally be.
2 THE WITNESS: It was a privilege to appear in this Court and to
3 work with you on trying to bring out what I know, at least. Thank you
4 very much.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for that.
6 The Chamber had anticipated dealing with some of the matters that
7 are outstanding for decision this afternoon. But in view of the time, we
8 will deal with them in the morning.
9 We resume the evidence of Mr. Jokic in the morning. Is that
11 We will adjourn now until tomorrow morning.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 1st day of April,
15 2003, at 9.00 a.m.