Thursday, 13 July 2006
[The accused entered court]
[The witness entered court]
--- Upon commencing at 9.23 a.m.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Jarcevic, I remind you that you are still bound by the declaration you made yesterday to tell the truth, the whole truth and, nothing else but the truth. Is that okay?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's quite all right. Place your trust in me to abide by that.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
WITNESS: SLOBODAN JARCEVIC [Resumed]
[Witness answered through interpreter]
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Examination by Mr. Milovancevic: [Continued]
Q. Good morning to you, Mr. Jarcevic.
A. Good morning.
Q. We are going to continue the examination-in-chief. I'll remind you before we start once again that we have to take care to make pauses between my questions and your answers for the benefit of the interpreters. I know it's not always easy, but it would be courteous of us to enable the interpretation service to be able to do its job.
A. Yes, I'll do that.
Q. Yesterday, Mr. Jarcevic, we stopped off discussing a topic 6190 regarding the presence of the regular Croatian troops in Posavina, in the north of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Sava River valley. You explained that there were a lot of problems because the only communication line had been cut off, cutting off the supply route from Serbia and Yugoslavia to Krajina. Is that right? Is that what you told us yesterday?
A. Yes. And I should like to add this fact. The people in Krajina had no electricity.
Q. Yesterday you described to us two characteristic cases. You gave us two examples, that 12 babies in Banja Luka and it was the road leading through the corridor, that 12 babies died because supplies didn't come in from Belgrade, equipment for the incubators, oxygen and so on, and the United Nations failed to react and then you described another case to us whereby a man who was in Knin, because the supply route was cut off could not reach Belgrade to be given medical aid. Now, in that connection I should like to ask you the following. Did you contact UNPROFOR? You said you contacted the Security Council but that they didn't react. Now, as the government of Srpska Krajina, did you contact UNPROFOR with your problem?
A. Let me tell you, Mr. Milovancevic, perhaps it is in order that I give the name and surname of the man who lost his kidney. He was a famous journalist in Belgrade. He used to live in Knin and his name is Rade Matias. He worked for the very popular Novosti daily of Serbia. Now, when we intervened with the Security Council, this was done both by the government of Yugoslavia and the government of Serbia, and we, from the association of Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as many humanitarian 6191 organisations, tried to intervene but they were having none of it. The Security Council didn't allow any flights to take place, planes or helicopters and let me remind you that that was because the Serbs were really placed outside the law, outside international law, and within the public -- republics that had separated.
JUDGE MOLOTO: May I just ask you, Mr. Jarcevic, to please listen to the questions that are put to you and try to answer them as succinctly and with as few words as you possibly can. You've given us a whole paragraph of an answer and you didn't answer the question put to you. The question put to you very simply, and you can answer it by either saying yes or no: Did you as the government of Srpska Krajina, contact UNPROFOR about your problem, yes or no?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, when the corridor was closed, I was still not in the government of the Republic of Srpska Serbian Krajina at that time, not yet. That is why I explained the other interventions from other circles. Certainly, the government that I hadn't joined yet also intervened via the UNPROFOR officers in Knin.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Then your simple answer is, I was no the government of Srpska Krajina at the time. That's the answer to the question.
THE WITNESS: Thank you very much. [Interpretation] Thank you very much, you're quite right.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
Q. Now, in connection with the combat operations themselves, in the area of Posavina along the border of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, and those activities usually referred to as Operation Corridor, you said that 6192 Mr. Martic was there. Do you happen to know how it came about that the units of the Republic of Srpska Krajina went to the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina to take part in those combat operations?
A. That was the normal and natural consequence of what befell the people in the Republic of Srpska Krajina who were under greatest threat at that time.
Q. According to your information, the information the government had, when you joined it, which was at the end of October 1992, and this operation took place in June and July of 1992, can you tell us what the object of the operation was? Were you able to deduce that? Do you have knowledge about that?
A. The object of the operation was to link up the Republic of Srpska Krajina as a state and the population there, and everybody else, to establish a link with the outside world through Yugoslavia, via Yugoslavia, and that connection could not be established from other sides because you had the Republic of Croatia bordering on that area which had already expelled 400.000 Serbs and many of them had taken refuge in the Republic of Srpska Krajina without the means of livelihood, without any electricity, without the possibility of receiving medical treatment. It was a horrific situation.
May I add, Mr. Milovancevic, the following?
Q. Yes, go ahead.
A. As I said, there was no help, not from the international community or from anybody else.
Q. Thank you. I think we've completed that topic and we are going to 6193 move on to another area.
You explained that the situation in the Republic of Srpska Krajina or rather areas under UN protection, that it was very difficult, that there was no electricity, that it was completely isolated, it was under siege and encirclement, do you know whether the Republic of Srpska Krajina received any aid and assistance from Serbia and Yugoslavia?
A. Well, let me tell you, it was like this. A lot of humanitarian aid arrived from European countries and other countries as well, through Serbian organisations in those countries and also from humanitarian organisations in those countries. They were organised not to help the Serbs but in by their very nature they were humanitarian organisations and therefore gave assistance. However an impediment or an obstacle to that aid coming in was at the Hungarian border, and as the minister I informed the United Nations of that problem.
There were two methods that were applied by the Hungarian customs authorities. They would keep the trucks at the border for a long time which led to two negative repercussions. First of all the food went bad and the medicines went bad and they made it impossible for the people transporting the humanitarian aid to go back to their jobs on time, in Germany, France, or wherever they were living, Holland, or whatever. So this reduced the amount of aid coming in over the ensuing period and then we in Knin lodged a sharp protest against the Republic of -- against Hungary to the European Union the OSCE and so on.
And let me just give you another example the Slovenians also prevented aid from coming in to the Serbs and you will become convinced 6194 again that the Serbs were really placed outside the law. Two people who were transporting two trucks of -- truck loads of food to Krajina from Switzerland were stopped at the Slovenian/Hungarian border and the officials there tore up their work permits from Switzerland so that these people, the drivers, could no longer return to Switzerland. Now thanks top the fact that the Swiss embassy understood what had happened when we wrote to it from Knin they issued -- these people were issued new pass ports by Yugoslavia and the Swiss embassy gave them new entry visas to be able to enter Switzerland because their families were in Switzerland. So you can imagine the perfidity of those countries and what lengths they went to inflict evil upon the Serbs.
Q. In addition to the humanitarian aid coming in from the world were there any exchanges of humanitarian aid from Serbia, Yugoslavia, between Krajina and Serbia and vice versa?
A. Many companies in Serbia helped the Republic of Srpska Krajina and sent in food for people and for cattle, they sent in medicines as well, and I have to say that the government of Serbia as indeed the government of Yugoslavia, they also sent in aid and assistance but most of the assistance that came in to Srpska Krajina came in from Yugoslavia because state relations had been established, trade was functioning, as was economic cooperation, so it was the kind of cooperation that enabled us to survive although we never looked at these figures but the balance of trade was positive, the two-way trade between Yugoslavia and Krajina, Krajina did not have many inhabitants and it wasn't an interesting market for any economy, not even for the Yugoslav economy. But Yugoslavia was a more 6195 populated country so everything we produced and manufactured we exported to Yugoslavia. First and foremost, a million tonnes of oil that we had around Mirkovac [phoen], whereas Serbia could not import petrol from other countries because it was under sanction.
Q. Do you mean to say by that that the economy of the Republic of Srpska Krajina, the branches of the economy that were still functioning exported its products to Serbia and that it was the classical type of trade going on between the two countries?
A. Yes, that's quite right and very often when Mr. Martic or the government asked for financial assistance from Yugoslavia, in their letters they didn't say that Yugoslavia owed Krajina everything or had outstanding debts but probably the money that came in as assistance to Krajina was less than the amount owed through exports from Krajina to Yugoslavia. Let me quote an example. We in the government decided to sell oil at 0.80 pfennigs, at what time the German currency at the time whereas that was the world level whereas Yugoslavia received semi-legal shipments from western Europe a neighbouring countries it received oil and had to pay between two and three marks for it, German marks.
Q. Did the possibility exist, Mr. Jarcevic, for the economy and companies generally that existed in Krajina cooperate with anybody else apart from Serbia and Yugoslavia because of the sanctions that were put in place? That's why I'm asking you?
A. While I was the minister, we would have visits by Italian businessmen frequently, sometimes from Germany, so these people wanted to do business but after having collected information from their state and 6196 police organs they always gave up the idea because they were advised that it was a high risk area, that we were under sanctions just as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was, and I think after resolution 815 it was and then 871 dating to 1993, unfortunately, and to the shame of the United Nations, if you like, they placed under sanctions the territory which they had previously placed under their own protection that is I'm sure something that will be discussed by politicians and lawyers in the world and who knows which other scholarly institutions.
Q. Thank you. We are now going to move on to another area, the Vance Plan and how it was applied. According to the Vance Plan, troops were deployed, UN troops were deployed on the territory of Yugoslavia, on the territory of Krajina, they were divided into what was known as UNPA zones. UNPAs. Can you tell us what the attitude of the authorities of Srpska Krajina was towards the Vance Plan and towards the implementation of the Vance Plan more particularly?
A. You know under what conditions the Vance Plan was accepted but it was ultimately accepted, agreed upon, yes. Our politician Dr. Milan Babic was opposed to having the Vance Plan adopted and he was against having UN forces deployed in the Republic of Srpska Krajina because he did not expect them to act in a proper fashion, towards both sides, towards the Serb side and the Croat side, but parliament intervened, the president of parliament, Mile Paspalj, was one of the signatories of the Vance Plan, together with Yugoslavia and Croatia, and then the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina which was quite natural asked that the army be deployed along the border between Krajina and Croatia, because there were 6197 intimations in the United Nations that Croatia would violate the agreement and cross over but in New York, the plan was not accepted, they said that the United Nations would be deployed in a very strange fashion according to a strange schematic, as ink spots on paper. Now these ink spots on paper were territories within Srpska Krajina, they were a long way away and set up in those towns.
Q. For clarity in the transcript, Mr. Jarcevic, you said that the government asked that the army be deployed along the border. Which army did you mean?
A. The United Nations army, because they were called the protection force. That is, they were supposed to protect the people from Croatia because that's the only axis that the threat wan danger was coming from, because they were to expel 400.000 Serbs from the towns ultimately and let me just add something with your permission. This expulsion and persecution of Serbs from the border was not limited to Srpska Krajina. It was to have been applied to the whole of Croatia but in Krajina, the Serbs were the majority and they organised themselves and were able to prevent in 1991 their expulsion from Croatia.
Q. Very well, Mr. Jarcevic. You have explained that to us. According to the Security Council resolution, were in fact UNPROFOR troops deployed in the form of these ink spots throughout the territory under UN protection; is that correct?
A. Yes and perhaps for this Trial Chamber it is important to know that it was envisaged that with the arrival of the United Nations, the Yugoslav People's Army was supposed to be withdrawn from Krajina. That 6198 army was not Serb at the time, as it is presented in the OTP document; rather it consisted of soldiers who were members of all ethnicities and ethnic minorities in Yugoslavia. The commanding staff of the army was -- often times consisted of people who were not Serbs. During the -- for instance, siege of Vukovar, the commander of the army attacking Vukovar was not a Serb, was a Croat.
Q. Thank you. Under the Vance Plan --
JUDGE MOLOTO: Slow down.
THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I was asking Mr. Milovancevic to please slow down and to wait for the interpretation before he asks the next question. Remember what you warned the witness about. Warn yourself about it too, Mr. Milovancevic, to wait. Thank you. You may proceed.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This was to protect me.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I appeal to you, Your Honour, to really caution me about speeding because we get carried away sometimes.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation].
Q. According to the provisions of the Vance Plan the heavy weaponry of the Territorial Defence name little tanks, artillery and armoured vehicles were supposed to be placed into depots. Did this really come about? Did the Serb side meet this?
A. The government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina adopted this and implemented it without any reservations. 6199
Q. Did the police of the RSK or rather the local police envisaged under the Vance Plan, was it in fact organised in accordance with the plan?
A. Yes. But I said yesterday that Mr. Vance objected with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Martic, for the fact that many of the police officers were carrying automatic weapons. As I said yesterday, Mr. Martic informed him that this was in accordance with the international standard. Seven per cent of police officers were carried long-barrelled weapons and the needs for that were even higher because Croatia was deploying army on a daily basis and killing Serb civilians in Krajina. He said, I repeat, "Mr. Vance, if the UN army will indeed save our population from further suffering, then we shall give up even carrying pistols."
Q. In view of this answer of yours, I will put the following question to you: The fact that the RSK police had automatic weapons, was it the result of the intention of Mr. Martic and the RSK government to in fact circumvent the Vance Plan?
A. No. Regardless of what someone might think about that, they were responsible for protecting the lives of the population, as far as they were able to.
Q. Do you know what fell within the competence of the police or specifically was it among the duties of the RSK police to maintain law and order and was this subject discussed by the RSK government?
A. Mr. Milovancevic, the duties of the police do not vary from country to country. However, we have to bear in mind the fact that there was a war on and that the situation was unusual due to the sanctions 6200 imposed by the international community. And the lack of willingness on the part of the UN commanders to safeguard our population, as they were in fact obliged to do given that they were called the UN protection forces.
Q. Do you know based on your participation in the RSK government whether the situation on the ground, and you spoke of these circumstances now, such that it made the job of the police force more difficult, that's to say to maintain law and order?
A. Yes. I will tell you this. I remember that at the time I was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that was for about a year and seven months, Croatia had made around 700 police and army incursions into the territory of the RSK. Not a single one of these incursions failed to result in the killing of either police officers, members of the army or civilians, and I'm really amazed at the fact that not a single indictment was issued against a civilian official or a member of the army of Croatia for these crimes.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, so far, five large offensives by Croatia against the protected area were mentioned. What in fact are you referring to?
A. Well, I'm speaking of all of these incursions; five of them are just a small sample of these 700.
Q. Let's clarify this. In addition to these five offensives which took place on specific dates, or rather first of all can you tell us which these were?
A. Mr. Milovancevic, I cannot list them all; even those responsible for keeping a record of them wouldn't be able to do that. But let me give you an example. 6201
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, please, stop there. You didn't understand my question. I asked you to list those five large offensives.
A. Oh, yes.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Before he does so, Mr. Milovancevic, unless I'm missing something, Mr. Jarcevic said there were around 700 police and army incursions into the territory of the RSK. You talk of five. Where did he mention five? You're talking of, your question was, so far, five large offensives by Croatia against the protected area were mentioned. Mentioned by whom?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission, I will clear this matter up through my questions. As far as I was able to understand what Mr. Jarcevic said, he did not say that there were 700 police officers but that there were 700 attacks on the territory of the RSK during his term of office as minister, with the participation of the police and army, and then my question to him was whether these 700 attacks were in excess to those five large offensives.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, that's precisely what I said. He has testified to 700 attacks. That's what I said. I used the word incursions. Now, you are saying there were large -- five incursions and I'm asking you who has testified about the five incursions? Who has mentioned the five incursions? Because he's talking about 700 incursions and you're talking about five, and you say those five have been mentioned and I'm asking you, before you ask the question to clarify, I'm asking you, mentioned by who?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yesterday the 6202 witness spoke of large offensives. Therefore, I'm distinguishing between individual attacks by police and army forces of a smaller scale and those five large offensives which were large military operations covering vast territories and with the participation of tanks and artillery. I was trying to draw his attention to that distinction.
JUDGE MOLOTO: That's all I wanted, just to say you mentioned five large offensives yesterday. Can we talk about those? Then you've got all of us with you. Okay. Thank you very much. You may proceed.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, yesterday you mentioned five large offensives against the territory under the protection of the UN. Can you please list these five offensives or aggressions?
A. Yes. The first one took place on the 21st of June 1992. That's to say several months before I assumed my duty as a member of the cabinet of the Krajina. I had in my hands a report, and it was deplorable to read there that 40 Serb soldiers were massacred and most of them were thrown into a ravine. On the previous day, UNPROFOR officers had asked the officers in the General Staff of Krajina not to open fire on the border because in the neighbouring town of Sibenik, the international children's day or something of the sort was being celebrated. Of course, our officers did not want to make any incidents. They were a bit relaxed that day, and the Croats actually caught them asleep and massacred them. On the 21st of June, there was this horrific massacre that was committed on the UN protected area but the resolution 762, which was to envisage future steps, contained the following text, that both sides were asked to 6203 refrain from further actions and attacks. Something along those lines. Such resolutions always treated equally both the executioner and the victim at the time of such offensives.
Q. Sorry to interrupt you but do you know whether this offensive was styled in a way, based on the territory where it was carried out?
A. It was carried out on the Miljevac plateau which is the southern part of Serbian Krajina, several kilometres away from the sea side, and from the town where the international children's festival was held.
Q. Thank you. Could you briefly list the other large aggressions according to the date?
A. The next large aggression took place on the 22nd of January 1993 at the time when I was a member of the RSK government. Let me just tell you something I omitted to say yesterday. Based on the suggestion from UNPROFOR, the Croatian and the Krajina commissions were supposed to meet at Obrovac in order to discuss the operation of the power plant but on that day, Croats carried out this attack and luckily, our delegation was not on their way through the area where the Croats attacked. They attacked Ravni Kotari which is the granary and the most crop yielding territory. They also attacked the Perica dam and the area of the Maslenica bridge. According to the information obtained, Croats killed some 700 to 800 civilians, soldiers and police officers. Of course, most of them were civilians. They torched many houses and even damaged a historical monument from the 17th century, that of Stojan Jankovic. At the time, UNPROFOR or UN representatives energetically pleaded with the RSK authorities not to fight back or to respond in equal measure, and that 6204 was when the RSK government decided to act as asked and that was when the RSK forces decided not to react.
Q. In order not to go back to this topic again, at the time the Croat-run Maslenica operation was launched, was it not at that time that the Serb weaponry was under double key system, locked up in warehouses?
A. Yes. That was when the Serb forces pleaded with the UN to allow them to take their tanks and artillery out of these warehouses, otherwise they were afraid that the Croat forces would reach Knin and God knows what would happen then but even the UN forces themselves insisted that we take the weapons.
Q. Did the Security Council condemn this aggression and demand that the Croat forces withdraw?
A. Yes. The Security Council did condemn the action but again, included that statement whereby both sides were to refrain from any armed operations. Since we already had the experience of the Miljevac plateau where the Croat forces were asked to withdraw, but in that case the Croat forces withdrew leaving police forces behind. That was why at this particular point we asked the UN to insist that all the forces be withdrawn, including the members of the army who would be dressed in police uniforms. This however was not heeded. That was something that we constantly insisted on that both the army and the police forces should withdraw from the area.
Q. Thank you. Do you remember which was the next large offensive by Croat forces against the RSK?
A. Well, that one we mentioned yesterday, which took place on the 8th 6205 of September when Mr. Knut Vollebaek, the deputy of the president of the negotiating conference asked for negotiations over a peace plan. At the time when the peace plan was being discussed, an officer came in to inform them that the Croatian forces had attacked Krajina near Medak pocket which is in the area of Lika.
Q. Am I right in saying that the two large offensives that were to follow were operations flash and storm? Are these the large offensives that we have been discussing?
Q. Your answer was yes. We overlapped a bit.
Q. My next question has to do with the figure you mentioned, namely 700 incursions by Croatian police and army forces. At the time you were minister. That is to say between October 1992 and April 1994. So these 700 attacks were smaller-scale attacks than these but were nevertheless following a certain rhythm; isn't that right?
A. Yes. Those attacks bore a very specific characteristic. They were part of the information war.
Q. Can you explain to us what you mean by that information war?
A. Well, it was quite simple. The Croats for their part brought in journalists, television crews, and diplomats. And then, from a vantage point, or rather from a point, they attacked our positions and then our forces would respond, would fire back, and all the people that were brought in could hear were shots from our side. And then news was disseminated in the world that it was the Serbs who had violated the 6206 cease-fire attacking Croatian territory in such and such a place and on one occasion the Security Council was informed of that by the Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin and we signed an agreement on the 29th of March 1994 in his office and he was exceptionally prone to implement Croatian policy.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, the attacks of the Croatian armed forces on territories under UN protection, did the government of Srpska Krajina inform UNPROFOR about that? Did UNPROFOR know about them, about what was happening?
A. Yes, we did inform UNPROFOR, the Security Council and even the embassies in Belgrade, and there were two attacks that stand out because the Serb army took prisoner a British citizen and a Dutch citizen as well, in the Croatian army.
Q. Do you wish to say that they were mercenaries over there?
A. Well, either that or something else. I can't answer that question.
Q. All right. Thank you. Can you tell us, in addition to everything that was going on, in principle, what was the attitude of the authorities in Srpska Krajina towards UNPROFOR? Was it well intentioned or was it one of hostility, disrespect and belittling them?
A. The attitude was excellent, perhaps not proper and correct on UNPROFOR's side and this is an interesting point because at one point in time, and if you want to hear me out on this point, about my meeting with an expert for international law brought in from Canada, any way the UNPROFOR men very often didn't want to pay their electricity bills or 6207 their rent or their food for that matter because hundreds of soldiers had their meals in our hotels and can you imagine the explanation they gave? They said this is Croatian territory and we shall be responsible for the costs incurred to the Croatian government. We kept writing letters to tell them that that was not the case and that they had to pay us for their expenses and then they said on one occasion that a well known legal expert, MacDonald from Canada, would be arriving to talk to me. A lady called MacDonald. She opened the files and said, "Yes, you cannot demand that UN representatives pay for this because you are not recognised by UN member states." I interrupted her and said, "Madam, China for a time was not a member of the United Nations. Would you be able to run up a debt with China? Or Taiwan, for example? That is an unrecognised state. Could you take your meals in your -- in their hotels without paying them? She was astounded when she heard this, quite taken aback, and then I said that according to the UN charter there are states that are not members, that are states that are not recognised, and those who are recognised. She closed her file, left the premises without saying another word, she didn't apologise, and she just left. However, UNPROFOR continued to disregard the bills it had run up. It still didn't pay and in Topusko when UNPROFOR soldiers sat down to have lunch as they did every day the director of the hotel came out and said there is no food today until you pay your bills. And the money arrived one hour later from Zagreb by helicopter and they paid what they owed and the debts they had run up over several months. So we were very proper towards UNPROFOR. And let me tell you of an incident that took place, when they 6208 talked to our people, soldiers from Kenya often told this story later on, these young men were very intelligent young men and I have every respect for them because they concluded something that not even people older people with better education were able to do. They learned a little Serbian and when they were slaves in the 18th and 19th century as the whole of Africa was enslaved by the Europeans, he said, "I'm black. I black, you Serb, it means the same."
Q. Do you mean to say by that that neither the population or the authorities in the Republic of Srpska Krajina ever had anything against UNPROFOR but quite the contrary that it was in their interest to have UNPROFOR there and to cooperate with them?
A. That's right. There were no outstanding issues except for these debts and things like that, but that was ironed out too and they began paying for their expenses because they realised that there was no point in them depriving the government of Srpska Krajina with that money because the money could be used to feed the population, care for the ill and sickly and so on.
Q. That was wartime, was it not, Mr. Jarcevic? You're talking about wartime conditions. You're talking about 700 armed attacks, larger or smaller ones, apart from the five major aggressions and offences in the area of Srpska Krajina. Now, during that period of time did the government of Serbian Krajina ever discuss the fact that non-Serbs -- that any kind of discriminatory measures should be applied to non-Serbs in any way whatsoever?
A. Well, it was like this. The government was strictly bent on 6209 protecting those Croats who remained on the territory of Srpska Krajina. There were some enclaves in Lika, a number of villages in Knin, and they were protected and defended but it was a very difficult situation because the people who lived next to them and knew them and had lost some of their family members, some might have been killed in Zadar, Split, Zagreb, so it was difficult to keep people back from the desire to retaliate and take revenge.
So I don't want to say that there were not certain crimes that were perpetrated vis-a-vis these remaining Croats or that they were abused but it was never in any organised form conducted by the police, the government, as the opposite side did, the Croatian government organising a pogrom of Serbs in the towns and in the Republic of Srpska Krajina. So that is the difference in attitude and conduct between the government of Krajina and the Croatian government and let me just tell you of one example which you'll find I'm sure unbelievable. You won't believe me. Bull we will have the document I'm sure come up before the Trial Chamber. It is a document of the constitutional court of Croatia dated last year where in a portion of the document, or in one document, a Serbian family from Dalmatia is complaining and the minutes of the government of Croatia is quoted and under one point it states the following and relates to 1990 and 1991, the Serbs are being killed by soldiers, policemen and citizens. Now, something like that never ever happened in the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, did you yourself hear about any crimes that are mentioned for instance in the -- this indictment and other indictments, 6210 Skabrnja, Nadin, Saborsko, and those place, Kostajnica, Dubica and so on, do you know anything about that? Was there any mention of that at government meetings? Did you receive any reports about any of that?
A. Yes. We did discuss it. And I sent a letter to the UN Security Council whereby I wanted to explain the situation attending those crimes. For example, in 1991, for the most part, the clash was between the Croatian separatists, that is to say, the Croatian army, and the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, which at the time was not a Serb army, right up until the withdrawal from Krajina it was an all people's Yugoslav army, and Yugoslavia was led by mostly people from Croatia. The Prime Minister was Ante Markovic, a Croat, the foreign minister was Loncar, he was a Croat. The chief of the General Staff was a man who deemed himself a Yugoslav although his mother was a Croat and father a Serb, Veljko Kadijevic. The air force commander was a Croat, General Jurjevic. The army that attacked or rather in the struggle for Vukovar, the commander was a Macedonian.
So that army at that time should not be linked to Serb states and Serb leaderships. It was a Yugoslav People's Army at the time and the Yugoslav government was in charge of the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia regardless of whether Slovenia at that time was already considered independent and Croatia considered independent. But as you're asking me about Skabrnja, that was the Yugoslav People's Army over there and in my opinion, those crimes should not be linked to responsibility and accountability of people from the Republic of Srpska Krajina although Yugoslav officers are not to blame as much for those crimes as are the 6211 Croatian officers and soldiers.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Could I intervene at this stage where you're at this point and he's finished giving an answer? You have said before that the government was bent, strictly bent on protecting those Croats who remained in the Krajina. You recall giving that evidence? Not so long ago.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand you. I apologise for not knowing your surname. Nobody told me your surname, Judge, but I didn't understand your question.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: My apologies are in order. You had said earlier on that the government of the RSK had very, very strict measures in respect of the protection of those Croats who remained in the Krajina. That is what I understood your evidence to be saying a little earlier on, about two questions ago from your counsel, Mr. Milovancevic. Do you recall that?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Having recalled that, what were some of the measures that were put in place during the relevant time for protection of Croats within the Krajina, specifically by your government, policy and the measures that you put in place?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, for heaven's sake, all -- we considered all the inhabitants of the Republic of Srpska Krajina to be equal. Let me just say --
JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt you? Can we try to use language that is acceptable in court? I don't think it is necessary to say, "For 6212 heaven's sake." It is not an insult but it is just inappropriate.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: You should bear in mind that you did speak of the government being strictly bent on protecting those Croats who remained. That is your evidence so far. I want to thank my learned brother, Judge Moloto, for his observation.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. When I used the expression, "For heaven's sake" it might be milder in the Serbian language than it is in English but I won't repeat it again, no, Your Honour.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now to answer your question. What I said, Madam, is this: That the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina did not take any steps against the members of any other nation or ethnic group. I don't wish to say that the population did not have some animosity, displayed some animosity towards the Croats living in their midst. I can give the example of Mr. Martic when he was president, that he asked the Court strictly to conduct investigations or rather an investigation over the killing of some Croats and two Hungarians in Baranja, for example. He called for an investigation into those incidents. I don't know the details but the perpetrator was sentenced to a 20 term -- a 20-year term imprisonment, which is a good example of the government taking care that things like that didn't happen. In Sisak, for example, 600 Serbs were killed in 1991. Up until the present day, neither the Croatian government nor international institutions held -- have held anybody accountable, or --
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm going to have to stop you there. You still 6213 have not really got to the meat of what I asked you but our Presiding Judge has reminded me that we need to take our break now. And I'm going to return to that area together with another material area when we resume.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge. I suppose that would be a convenient time to take the break. We will come back at quarter to 11.00. Court adjourned.
--- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
--- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Judge.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much. Now, the first thing I'm going to request of you is to advise me how to pronounce your name properly.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jarcevic. Well, you could say that in English it comes from a ram. It means ram.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: [Previous translation continues] ... what I wish to get from you or rather by virtue of your answer, you have said that, in fact, there were no specific measures in place by the government of RSK other than the fact that there was no discrimination against Croats. That is what I understood. Is that so?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't really explain everything, the entire security situation. Given the situation in which the population in Krajina were, had this happened in a different country and to a different people, it would probably have been much worse, both for the majority people and the minority people.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Very well. We will leave that there. 6214 Now, there is another area that has been on my mind. Everything in the case is on my mind but this has from time to time come to the forefront and certainly during your evidence.
Now, you refer to the Yugoslavian army, the army of Yugoslavia. Was there an army of the RSK?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you have 1991 in mind, at that time the RSK was only in the making.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Whilst the RSK was in existence, up to 1995, for example, did you have an army of the RSK at any time from the inception of RSK? And I take it you know what I mean by RSK.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 19th of November 1991, the Republic of the Serbian Krajina was declared and it had its army throughout its existence.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Now, you are speaking of the Yugoslav army during the course of your evidence. To which territories does that Yugoslav army relate? And is it distinguishable from the RSK army?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was deployed throughout the territory of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Please stop. Which territories comprise the Yugoslavian army and the Yugoslavia that you are referring to? That's what I wanted to get from you, as distinct from the Serbian -- sorry, as distinct from the RSK army.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on Security Council resolutions, or, rather, based on a Security Council resolution pursuant 6215 to which Yugoslav laws were applied on the UN protected areas the resolution also envisaged the time at which the JNA was to withdraw from the area. There is exhaustive documentation to that effect and correspondence between the -- the JNA General Staff and UNPROFOR. I believe that the last JNA units withdrew from the eastern part of the Republic of Serbian Krajina and if I'm not mistaken it was in September of 1992 and this was something that UNPROFOR officers agreed with and were kept abreast of.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Jarcevic, I'm going to try to express myself with a little bit more clarity because I'm clearly not communicating the evidence, the nature of the evidence that is needed from you which I greatly regret. Now, do you accept that there was a Croatian army? Can we have that question on the record from you? Yes or no? Within the relevant time frame that I have given you. From the inception of the RSK and I have taken it to 1995. During that time frame, was there a Croatian army?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. JUDGE NOSWORTHY [Realtime transcript read in error "MOLOTO"]: Let me take you to the next question. During that time frame, you accept that there was an army of the RSK?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I'm referred by my learned Presiding Judge that I have been set down on the record as Judge Moloto. I'm very, very flattered but I go on to the next question.
Now, when you speak of the Yugoslav army, to which territories or 6216 which territories would that army have been acting on behalf of? Bearing in mind that there is a Croatian army and an army of the RSK.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam, I do wish to answer your question. The army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was present on the territory of the RSK in agreement with UNPROFOR. UNPROFOR and the Yugoslav army had agreed on the dynamics of its withdrawal from the RSK and this was something the RSK government at Knin could have no influence over.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Very well. Mr. Jarcevic, I do not want history. What I need from you simply is the components of the army in terms of the countries or the republics it represented, bearing in mind that your evidence is on more than one occasion that there was a Croatian army and that there was an army of the RSK. So I'm asking you to state precisely which territories that Yugoslav army represented or would have consisted of. I did not believe that I had such a disability in communication.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam, I don't understand you at all.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Was the Yugoslavian army representing Croatia at the time?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I'm at a loss. The Croatian army was an army that was formed in an anti-constitutional way because Croatia had seceded from Yugoslavia in an anti-constitutional way. It had formed its army, which it had been arming even before Croatia proclaimed its independence and the army supplies came from European countries. Croatia failed to place this issue for discussion before either the UN 6217 Security Council or any other international organisations, and in fact you have this on record. The international community did nothing about the fact that Croatia had been arming itself with the help of Hungary and forming its paramilitary formations.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: I don't think I can try any harder. And for the time being, I'm going to leave it there. I do not know if my president, my Presiding Judge, or my learned brother Judge Hoepfel, or learned counsel sell Mr. Milovancevic can take the witness where I need to go, to get an understanding as I would wish it. Thank you very much, sir.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I guess my sister wants me to try and follow up what she's been trying to get out of you.
Now, Mr. Jarcevic, please don't refer to UNPROFOR, don't refer to a United Nations resolution, just answer my question. And I think this is what my learned sister wants to find out from you. When you talk of the JNA, that is the Yugoslav army, that is an army, according to you, representing which republics and provinces of the Yugoslav -- of Yugoslavia?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you didn't specify the time frame you're referring to.
JUDGE MOLOTO: The same time frame that Judge Nosworthy referred to.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If we are discussing the years 1990 and 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army was in their barracks in all the Yugoslav republics. It was there that the JNA was attacked, which according to UN documentation amounted to an aggression. It was attacked 6218 by paramilitary formations of both Slovenia and Croatia. Later on, also by the paramilitary formations of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Jarcevic, I asked you to please not refer to the United Nations or to resolutions. I'm asking you from the point of view of the Yugoslav federal state, not from the point of view of the United Nations, from the point of view of the view of the Yugoslav federal state and from your point of view as a minister in the RSK, what territories did the Yugoslav army represent or have jurisdiction over?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Yugoslav army, as I put it, and I stand by that, was present in all the republics. It withdrew from different republics at different times. From the territory of Slovenia, from the territory of Croatia, from the territory of the RSK and at a given point from the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was withdrawing to those areas which were later become the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Or that's to say Serbia and Montenegro.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Milovancevic?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. In order to clarify matters fully, Mr. Jarcevic, the JNA was the army of the federal state of Yugoslavia in 1990 and in 1991, which was called the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. We will call it Yugoslavia for short. In 1990 and 1991, in Yugoslavia, did any republics have their own --
MR. WHITING: It seemed to me that counsel was starting to give the answer to the question rather than asking another question of the witness. That's why I've risen to object. 6219
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting. You hear that, Mr. Milovancevic?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will rephrase the question. So as not to e pose myself to the risk of having my question misunderstood. By your leave.
JUDGE MOLOTO: It's not a question of being misunderstood. The objection is that you are asking a leading question. Don't put words into the mouth of -- into the mouth of the witness. Let me speak and finish. Ask a question so that we get the answer from the witness, not you suggesting the answer to the witness. This is your witness. You may not do that with him. You can do that in cross-examination.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, was the Yugoslav People's Army a federal armed force?
A. Yes, under the constitution it was.
Q. In addition to the JNA, were the republics able to have or allowed to have their own armies?
A. No, they were not allowed to have that but they were able to have the Territorial Defence which had also been envisaged under the constitution but it was merely an auxiliary force in addition to the JNA.
Q. Under the Yugoslav constitution, were the federal armed forces in fact a single force consisting of, on the one hand, the JNA, and, on the other, the Territorial Defence?
A. Yes, that's precisely what I wanted to explain.
Q. Thank you. Let us go back to the issue of the Vance Plan and its 6220 implementation. It envisaged the return of displaced persons. You mentioned this yesterday, Mr. Jarcevic. Did the RSK, the RSK government, and specifically Mr. Martic, as the Minister of the Interior, and later on as the president of the RSK, prevent the Croat population from returning there because of hatred or any other reason?
A. We never acted that way, either the RSK government or Mr. Martic. At the same time, we were insisting on the fact that expelled Serbs had to be allowed to return.
Q. Does this mean that you merely sought reciprocity, that's to say that the Croat and Serb populations, which were displaced, had to be treated equally?
A. Yes. But one has to say that there were more displaced Serbs than Croats.
Q. Thank you. You spoke of five major offensives. You also said that the Security Council issued resolutions condemning these offensives. The Republic of Croatia, as a state which became a member of the United Nations, did it ever incur any consequences or repercussions for the crimes that were committed?
A. No, never. It was the only country ever to attack an area that was under UN protection.
Q. Yesterday you said that the inhabitants of the Republic of Srpska Krajina after those operations were forced to leave Croatia and that this amounted to hundreds of thousands of people leaving. Did that population, 11 years on, after being expulsed, can it return to the territory of Croatia? 6221
A. It does not have any normal conditions for returning, and I would like now to repeat that Croatia is the only country after World War II to place a whole nation outside the law, to outlaw a whole nation, because all the immovables and property of Serb families were confiscated.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, three days ago, the 150th anniversary was celebrated of the birth of Nikola Tesla, world renowned scientist, he's a Serb from the village of Smiljane near Gospic. In Gospic three days ago the president of the Republic of Serbia went there to celebrate this event and met with Croatian president Stipe Mesic, and the president of Serbia was astounded, and this was carried by the media, that thousands of Serbian villages in Croatia still do not have any electricity 11 years after the war. Is that true? Do you know anything about that?
MR. WHITING: I'm going to object on two grounds: One, it's a patently leading question and secondly I don't see the relevance of it.
JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the relevance of the statement, Mr. Milovancevic, and why do you put a leading question to your witness?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] It was not my intention to ask a leading question, Your Honour. As to relevance, relevance is linked to the allegations in the indictment raised by this Prosecution because of Operation Storm, against three accused, in which it speaks of systematic efforts on the part of the Croatian state to expel and prevent the return of the population. Now, I am interested in knowing whether Mr. Jarcevic, as somebody who is always kept abreast of the situation, whether he knows that today, 11 years after the war has been over that electricity or rather the Croatian authorities have not turned on electricity to the 6222 Serbian villages makes normal life impossible. So in the 21st century people are living in the dark without electricity because the Croatian authorities haven't seen fit to switch it on.
JUDGE MOLOTO: The evidence so far is that the Serbian people have been refused to return. So why would we turn on the electricity in houses which are empty? The ruling is that the question is irrelevant and it's disallowed.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The Defence has no more questions for this witness. Thank you.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Mr. Whiting? Cross-examination by Mr. Whiting:
Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Alex Whiting and, as you've probably guessed, I'm one of the prosecutors in this case.
A. Good morning. I did not know that you were the prosecutor. I'm happy to meet you and I hope we'll get on.
Q. Me too. One way that we will certainly -- that will certainly assist in us getting on is if you focus carefully on the questions that I put to you and answer them as specifically and briefly as possible. Do you understand?
Q. Sir, yesterday you testified, it's at page 64 of the transcript, that Mr. Martic, "never expression the hatred towards any ethnic or religious group and those were my own personal standpoints as well. So we got on really well." Do you remember that testimony yesterday?
A. Yes. Completely, Mr. Whiting. 6223
Q. So you -- you and Mr. Martic had similar views at the time; is that right? At the time that you were the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the RSK?
A. Yes. And we hold similar views today, too.
Q. But in fact, while you were foreign Minister of the RSK, you on several occasions used very extreme language when talking about Croats and Muslims, isn't that right?
A. Only when that referred to the states of the Muslims and the Croats and they were brutal towards the Serbian population and I state that today as well.
Q. Well, let's look at some of those statements, if we could.
MR. WHITING: And I'd ask that the -- we look at 02150847, please.
Q. Sir, while this is coming up, I'll tell you that what you're going to see here is a letter that was written by you and read out to the assembly session of the Republika Srpska on the 11th of September 1993. You wrote it to Aleksa. Buha you're shaking --
A. Yes, I know about that document.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Excuse me. Our screens are frozen. So you're calling something on the screen?
MR. WHITING: Yes.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. My screen has frozen as well. Yes. My computer is frozen. I don't have an image on it either.
MR. WHITING: For some reason there is a B/C/S on both, of the English and the B/C/S.
Your Honour, may I proceed? 6224
JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed, Mr. Whiting.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, do you see this letter and do you recognise it?
A. Of course. It's mine. No problem there.
Q. You wrote these words?
A. I wrote each and every single word.
Q. Let's look at the -- I'd like to look at the bottom of page 1 in the English, and please go to page 2 in the B/C/S. I'm not going to read the whole letter but I'll read one particular passage and it's about halfway down on the B/C/S, if we could scroll down, keep going, keep going, it's about there. And the English it starts at the bottom and it says, "Croatia it" and you wrote this letter while you were foreign minister; is that right? Foreign Minister of the RSK?
Q. And you wrote the letter to be read out at the assembly of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
Q. And in fact it was read out at that assembly, wasn't it, to your knowledge?
Q. And now let's look at what you say here in your letter. "Croatia is waiting for the Serbs in Republika Srpska to either kill each other off or that they become preoccupied with themselves so it, Croatia, could fill the pits with Serbian women, children, and the elderly. We must not make the same mistake today as we did so many times before. Serbian knights 6225 must be on Serbian borders. The villain who," it says "thought," but I believe it's supposed to be "taught," "from his childhood to exterminate Serbian people must not step on Serbian land. Too much of our land was taken away from us during this century for us to be able to give up even one inch of it now." In that little passage that I've read, the villain that you're talking about, taught from childhood to exterminate the Serbian people, that's the Croatian people - isn't it? - that you're talking about?
A. All I'm saying is that through the textbooks at school, a lot was put out which caused hatred towards the Serbs, led to hatred towards the Serbs and that is true and I have written two or three books in the past few years about that and I have no need to retract a single sentence from the text you just read out. And I can explain the situation to you what it was like at that point in time and I'm sure the Trial Chamber does not know about it, and with the Court's permission, I should like to explain.
Q. Sir, I'd like you to just please to focus us on answering my questions. And I don't think that you have answered my question. The villain that you're speaking about here is the Croatian people, because they are the ones you say have been taught from childhood through the textbooks that you talk about to exterminate Serbs, so the villain is the Croatian people, isn't that right?
A. Croatian state, sir. That's what I said a moment ago when you asked me. The Croatian state committed evil deeds against the Serbs.
Q. I'm not asking you who --
A. [No interpretation] 6226
Q. Sir, please listen to my question. Are you telling us that the Croatian state and the Croatian people had different textbooks?
A. There would not have been the evil that there was.
Q. You haven't answered my question. My question is: Did the Croatian state and the Croatian people have the same textbooks?
A. The Croatian state put out these textbooks to its inhabitants. Ante Starcevic, a racist, is called in these textbooks the father of the Croatian state and he said that the Serbs should be exterminated, the Serb cattle should be exterminated.
Q. And what you're saying here so we are very clear is that the Croatian people have been taught through these textbooks from their childhood to exterminate Serbs. Isn't that what you're saying in this passage?
A. Sir, I was quite clear. The father of the Croatian state, in the Croatian textbooks, used in primary and elementary schools, says what he said and that is that the Serbs should be exterminated. And if you read what the father of the Croatian state said, he said that the breed should be exterminated.
Q. Sir are you -- aren't you trying -- in this passage, sir, aren't you -- aren't you trying to make the Serb people afraid of the Croatian people? Isn't that what you're trying to do in this passage?
A. They are afraid of the Croatian state. I didn't say that they were afraid of the Croatian people. But I said that the state prepared the population for evil, and it perpetrated that evil several times during the 20th century. 6227
Q. And if you're saying that the state prepared the population for evil, then isn't that the same as saying that the Serb people should be afraid of the Croatian people? Isn't that really what you're saying, sir?
A. Sir, the Croatian people were not afraid. They believed that the events would not be repeated of World War II. Unfortunately they did repeat themselves and textbooks wield great influence both on the individual and the collective. You can't say they don't. And take up one of the Croatian textbooks and you will see that it says there that the Serb breed should be exterminated, and I'm very happy that --
Q. I'm going to have to interrupt you because I'm afraid you haven't answered my question. I'm going to put the question to you again: If you're saying that the state prepared the population for evil, then isn't that the same as saying that the Serb people should be afraid of the Croatian people? Yes or no.
A. I repeat, the Croatian state, and I'm not going to answer your question in a different way. I know that there are among the Croatian people good individuals as there are among the Serbian people. There are good people and bad people on both sides. But then when the state and the church leads the population in a certain direction, then that's what you get.
Q. And, sir, isn't it -- every time you mention what happened in World War II, both at the time and in court here today, aren't you trying to do the same thing, make the Serb people afraid of the Croat people? Aren't you trying to spread fear? Isn't that what you're trying to do, sir? 6228
A. My dear sir, would your people not be afraid of concentration camps, death camps in Croatia apart from Germany was the only country to have concentration death camps against Serbs, Romany and gypsies and Jews. And you can't challenge that.
Q. I'm going to take your answer that -- take it that you're told us in fact that you were in fact trying to make them afraid. You were trying to make the Serb people afraid and you're continuing that today. Isn't that right?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor is presenting his views and positions as being the alleged statement of the witness. The witness answered. Now, whether the Prosecution is satisfied with that answer or not is up to the Prosecutor. But he cannot comment on the answer and then deduce a meaning that the witness did not state. He can carry on with his cross-examination, of course.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I don't think that the witness did answer the question and if he did, he did it in that rhetorical fashion. So I was simply trying to restate it. And I did at the end ask, isn't that right? So I'm giving the witness an opportunity to agree or disagree with the way I've restated the answer.
JUDGE MOLOTO: You hear that, Mr. Milovancevic? The witness is being asked to comment on the answer as it's understood because he had given no answer to the question put to him. 6229
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the Prosecutor expects a comment from the witness, he must ask him but he must not make the comment himself as being a comment made by the witness.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. I understand that this is a cross-examination. This is not a leading. I'm not quite sure what you're saying. And under cross-examination, I can -- it's perfectly legitimate for the cross-examiner to put propositions to the witness and ask for the witness to comment. This is what I've been encouraging you to do when you're cross-examining witnesses so I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, I agree with what you've just said. I'm thinking along the same lines, but I objected because after hearing the witness's answer, he took the sense and meaning of that answer and rephrased it and said, "So I conclude that you said such and such."
JUDGE MOLOTO: Because the witness instead of answering the question asked a question. Now, it is not for the witness to ask questions in this Court or in any court. It's for the witness to answer questions so if he asks a rhetorical question, the examiner is trying to put meaning to the question that the rhetorical question and invite the witness to say, is it how I understand you correctly? Is the way I understand you the correct way? Is that what you wanted to say? It's up to the witness to say, No, you misunderstand me, and then explain what he meant. You understand?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what I am talking 6230 about as well, Your Honour, Judge Moloto, but the Prosecutor didn't ask whether the witness agreed with what his conclusions were. That's why I objected.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Of course he asked. He actually said to you in answer to your objection, I actually said at the end; is that right? And it was for the witness to say, Yes, that's right or No, that's wrong. And it's there on the record. If you want to see it, let me go back to it.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
MR. WHITING: May I proceed, Your Honour?
JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed. .
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Objection overruled
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, I'm going to put it to you one last time. In fact, when you invoke World War II and what happened in World War II, when you did so at the time and when you do so in court here today, you're trying to make the Serb people afraid of the Croatian people. Isn't that right, sir? And if you could give me a direct answer to my question, I would be most grateful.
A. I don't want to accuse the whole of the Croatian people. By your question you're asking me to do that. I wasn't do that but I am accusing the Croatian state and blaming it because it has the textbooks which can lead to evil. That is what I say in my text.
Q. And the language that is in this letter was quite common in the official Serb media at the time, that is in 1991, 1992, 1993; isn't that right? These kind of words could be found in the official Serb media at 6231 that time?
A. Sir, you can find language like that in scientific works, in historical works, that throw light on the period of Serbian persecution and the killing of Serbs.
Q. I didn't ask you about scientific works or historical works, sir. I asked you about the official Serb media so if you could please focus on my question and answer my question. This kind of language was quite common in the official Serb media in the years that I mentioned, 1991, 1992, 1993; isn't that correct?
A. Yes, but if I may be allowed to add something, it wasn't even as remotely poisonous a language as it was to be found on the Croat and Muslim sides, and I can give you several examples.
Q. Maybe Mr. Milovancevic will ask you for that but at the moment I'm going to ask you some other questions. You told us that you were the foreign minister when you made this statement. So you made this statement at a time when you say that you were trying to negotiate peace with the -- with Croatia; is that right?
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into evidence, please and given a number?
JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit number 861, Your Honour.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. 6232
Q. Sir, I want to talk to you, ask some questions about your approach to the negotiations that you testified about on direct examination. In your testimony, you went through a series of negotiations that occurred with the Croats. Now, from -- let me ask you this question from the start. Isn't it a fact that a major impediment in all of the negotiations that occurred before you became foreign minister and after you were foreign minister, was that you and the other Serb leaders would not accept a solution that gave the Serbs autonomy in the RSK because you insisted, again and again, on having your own state in the RSK, that the RSK be a separate nation. Wasn't that a major impediment throughout for a peace settlement?
Q. No because it wasn't an impediment or no, because that was not the aim of the Serb leaders in the RSK?
A. The aim of the leaders of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was to achieve autonomy in Croatia but the Croatian side never agreed to that. Had it agreed to that there would not have been a war F you remember, the Serbs were asking for full autonomy, cultural autonomy, interpreter's correction, but they weren't able to obtain that either.
Q. Are you telling us that when you were foreign minister, after 1992, that you and the other leaders of the RSK would have settled for autonomy and not a separate state? Do you understand the distinction that I'm making?
A. Autonomy represents the statehood of the people who are autonomous. This was taken away from us in 1990 with the amendment to the 6233 constitution and the Croats never agreed to give us back our sovereignty the way we had it in Yugoslavia. That was the major impediment.
Q. Let me interrupt you because I want to try to see if we can make a -- be cheer about our terms. When I say --
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Whiting, before you proceed, at line -- page 44, line 19, there is -- I am understanding that the Serbs were asking for cultural autonomy, because after full autonomy it says interpreter's correction. Could we get an understanding there? I'm a little bit uncertain. My understanding of interpreter's correction is that he really said cultural autonomy.
THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes that the witness said "cultural autonomy."
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, I want to make a distinction between autonomy and separate statehood. Autonomy being rights for the Serbs in the territory of the RSK but the territory of the RSK remaining within the state of Croatia and separate statehood meaning that the RSK would become a separate state from Croatia. Now that I've explained that distinction, isn't it correct that a major impediment to any peace with Croatia was that the -- you and the other Serb leaders of the RSK always insisted on separate statehood and would not accept any form of autonomy? Isn't that correct?
A. Mr. Whiting, our point of departure was always to put forth the -- what were our maximum demands because that was the way each of the sides 6234 approached negotiations. The Croats would not agree to that. I explained this when I talked about the negotiations that took place at Knin, at Oslo, and London.
Q. And your side, the Serb side, would never accept autonomy, would never accept anything short of statehood; isn't that correct?
A. You're not right, sir. This is why. I told you that Redman and Churkin insisted that we sign the Erdut agreement whereupon the Croatian state would become an integral state, but there would be two parts of the state along the ethnic lines but the president of Croatia refused that. Of course, do you know what clout Russia and America had in those international terms? They were the ones offering guarantees for that.
Q. We'll look at the Erdut agreement a little later and I think we'll see it doesn't say anything like what you've just described. But let's move on. I want to look at document 02108173. And on the B/C/S -- yes, thank you, perfect. That's exactly the article that I wanted to blow up on, that one right there.
Mr. Jarcevic, do you see this article? It's from the 14th and 15th of January 1993, and it's head lined reaction of Slobodan Jarcevic, Minister of foreign affairs. I just want to look at a few passages from this article. First of all at the beginning it says, "I hope the world will realise that all the evil that has come upon the former Yugoslavia comes from Croatia and the artificial Muslim creation, which both initiated the war in an attempt to destroy the Serbian people." Did you say those words, sir?
A. Yes. And I stand by them today. You see the extent to which I 6235 was proved right.
Q. Really? Well, what do you mean by --
Q. What do you mean by "the artificial Muslim creation"? What does that mean?
A. Mr. Whiting, thank you for asking me this. The Muslim population is Serb population converted to Islam under the coercion of the large Turkish empire. The Austro-Hungarian empire, Austria and later on Germany, exerted their influence through school textbooks although you seem to claim that they do not have any impact on the young generations. And that was how they became a separate entity to that of the Serb people and that's why I call them an artificial state because they created their state on what was Serb land for centuries. You say that I should not go back to history but history explains everything because the large powers wielded their influence in different ways on the Balkans than they did in their colonial -- in their colonies in Africa. So the colonial powers approached this particular area in a different way. Well, if I may go on, you can see what I'm saying.
Q. I'd like to go on, on the article. A little further down, and I hope you can see it on the B/C/S version, I can't say exactly where it is, but you say, it says, Jarcevic reiterated the view that a monster state, which once already existed, was again being created in the territory of the former Bosnia-Herzegovina.
"Monster state"? What is that a reference to, please?
A. Mr. Whiting, thank you for asking me that. I will repeat that as 6236 I stand by that today. Bosnia-Herzegovina, as it is envisaged, cannot operate, and that's why it is a monster state. Let me tell you why. This is the kind of country that cannot have common school textbooks, one flag, one anthem. It has to use different terms to those in the Serbian language, and they use Serbian language. You can see that Croats in Bosnia erected a monument for which the Muslims said that it was a monument erected for criminals. So what is going to be the case with their school textbooks? In Muslim textbooks, Serbs are going to be called criminals and in Serb textbooks, Muslims are going to be called criminals. That's why I stand by what I said. I'm Bosnia-born and therefore I'm more than familiar with the circumstances in that country.
Q. I'm going to keep asking you questions but we'll save a little bit of time I think if you don't thank me for every question I ask you. It will just save a little bit of time.
A little further down, it says, and I think it's quoting you here, "Judging by all, a form of federation or confederation with Croatia is being envisaged for RSK, which is unacceptable for us." And then you say, it says, "He" referring to you, I believe, "insists that RS, Republika Srpska, and the RSK, must have their statehood. It is impossible not to give the Serbian people the right to self-determination, Jarcevic stressed." So this is an example is it not, of you insisting at the time as foreign Minister of the RSK that the RSK must be a separate state, that a federation or confederation or any other arrangement with Croatia would be unacceptable. Wasn't that your position at the time?
A. Sir, I still hold that opinion today. I was unable to get around 6237 what was decided upon when I was three years old, under 29th and the 30th of September 1941 at the congress in Zagreb --
Q. Sir you've answered the question. Why is the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the RSK, why, sir, are you talking about insisting on statehood for the RS, the Republika Srpska, in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Why was that an interest of yours?
A. This was the state we had the most close -- the closest relations with. I said yesterday 64 per cent of the land belonged to the Serbs, based on what could be found in land registry offices, and the -- this had had to be taken into account by the other two ethnic groups, especially by private owners, because as you know private property is sacrosanct in the world.
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into evidence and given a number, please is it?
JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit number 862, Your Honour.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, you testified yesterday, it's at page 41 of the transcript, that the government, referring to the government of the RSK, "did not reject a single proposal made by international mediators. We accepted all their proposals and negotiated with Croats." You remember that testimony from yesterday?
A. Yes. 6238
Q. That testimony is not true, is it, sir? In fact, you did not accept proposals that would have given the Serbs autonomy in the RSK because you were insisting all along on statehood, isn't that right?
A. Those were the maximum demands on our part. I said that a moment ago and I stand by that still. Even if we were to sit at a table to negotiate with the Croats today, this would be our starting point because we had our statehood before that.
Q. Sir, it would be your starting point and your end point, isn't that right? You never retreated from that position, isn't that right?
A. Sir, how could we have retreated from that position when 400.000 people had been expelled from Croatian towns? How can one place trust in such a country? Would you yourself agree to that?
Q. So the truth is you never did retreat from that position. You insisted always on statehood and that was the impediment to a peace, isn't that right?
A. I repeat: In 1945, we had our statehood, and that's no news, sir.
Q. If we could look, please, at document 02107500. And on the B/C/S if we could zoom in on that top half there, that's that top article. This is an article sir from the newspaper Glas Srpski from the 15th of February 1993. And you testified yesterday about going to New York in January -- January or February of 1993. And this article is about statements that were made by your delegation before departing for those talks. It says in the first paragraph that a delegation of the Republic of Serbian Krajina is as -- known due to depart on Tuesday and then the members of the delegation are listed, as you testified yesterday, and it included you. 6239 And I'd like to look at the second page of the English, please. And it's the last -- it's to the right on the B/C/S. There. And it says, "Furthermore, as you are aware, we have recently refuted Mr. Owen's statement that we are going to those talks for reasons of the establishment of some sort of coexistence and autonomy in the Republic of Croatia. That is not why we are going there and precisely those two words, coexistence and autonomy, will be permanently banned during the negotiations."
Was that statement made by your delegation and did you endorse it?
A. I didn't make this statement. It was made by Boro Martinovic, as it reads here. He was the adviser to the RSK government or rather the adviser to Prime Minister Rajko Zecevic. I repeat, I'm not shrinking from your question: We had to have our maximum demands put on the table at these negotiations and that's what the papers state, and I have nothing more to add.
Q. So this statement represented the views of the delegation which included you; is that correct? Is that what you're saying?
A. Yes. I've given you my answer a moment ago. We had to put forth our maximum demands also to the press and those were the demands that we advocated and promoted when we sat down at the table in New York.
Q. So when you testified yesterday that the government did not reject a single proposal made by international mediators, that was not true, was it? Right here we see a document where your delegation is rejecting a proposal made by the international mediators.
A. You've completely misunderstood me and I'll explain why. We 6240 accepted all proposals for negotiations but not the nuances and different opinions put forth by UNPROFOR representatives.
Q. What about proposals put forward by Mr. Owen? You rejected those, didn't you? As it says right here in the article.
A. Well, Mr. Whiting, I said that we didn't agree with the positions of UNPROFOR representatives or any other UN representatives. We, however, agreed to all proposals for negotiations, as I said yesterday. Probably we did not always endorse Mr. Owen's view points.
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into evidence and given a number, please?
JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit number 863, Your Honour.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
Q. Sir, I want to -- we'll come back later the subject of negotiations and the various negotiations you participated in but I want to turn now to the situation that you found when you arrived to the RSK as foreign minister in October of 1992. You testified that in one of your first meetings with Mr. Martic, he told Cyrus Vance that the reason that the police kept long barrelled weapons in the RSK was because of attacks by the Croats. Do you remember that testimony yesterday? It's at pages 35 to 36 of the transcript.
A. Yes. 6241
Q. Did Mr. Martic tell you that he had already made this argument to force UNPROFOR force commander General Satish Nambiar back in July of 1992 and that General Nambiar had emphatically rejected Mr. Martic's argument? Did he tell you that?
A. I don't know anything about that. I wasn't informed about the talks between the general and Mr. Martic.
Q. Well, let's look at a document and see if it refreshes your recollection. If we could see Exhibit 574 in evidence, please. I think we have to reverse the -- you have the B/C/S on the English channel and you have to reverse it for the witness. Sir, this is a memorandum, it's in evidence in our case, from General Nambiar and it's recounting a meeting held with Milan Martic on the 29th of July 1992 and if we could just scroll down to paragraph 2, I'm not going to read through the whole paragraph but essentially, in paragraph 2, in sections A and B, if we could just sort of scroll down so that the witness can see A and B, General Nambiar recounts that Mr. Martic justifies maintaining a militia of some numbers, and in section B, of maintaining long weapons for the militia for the reason that you gave, to protect themselves from Croats. And in paragraph 3, if we could look at paragraph 3, we see the response of General Nambiar. He says, "In response, I explained that we were insisting on implementing aspects pertaining to demilitarisation and carrying of side arms by police forces only with the aim of maintaining the peace and restoring normalcy to the areas as soon as possible. I reiterated that I did not see any possibility of the Security Council approving any changes to the 6242 provisions of the Vance Plan. With regard to the points raised by him, insisted he must review his stance and must provide assistance to UNPROFOR operations by issuing orders for immediate disarming and disbanding of the border militia, Milicija, and special purpose Milicija and by ensuring that all arms other than side arms worn by the regular Milicija be handed over to UNPROFOR control."
Now that you've seen this document, does that -- do you recall now whether you heard, when you arrived at foreign minister in October of 1992, Mr. Martic tell you that he had already given this argument to UNPROFOR and that it had been rejected?
A. Sir, is this functioning? Mr. Whiting, the contents of this meeting are identical to the meeting with Mr. Vance. You can see the extent to which there was no understanding and consideration for the situation which the Serb population found themselves in, in the RSK. Had the UN forces done something at least to protect the Serb population from the Croatian forces, I believe most of these weapons would have been handed over. The Vance Plan in its form was -- could not be implemented simply because of the actions by the Croatian forces and the automatic weapons were only a fraction of the problem and only one more thing.
Q. I'm no I'm just going to ask you one more question before woe take a break, if I may. Would you accept that Mr. Martic had been told in July that his position was incorrect and would not be accepted and that in November of 1992, he was -- he had not done anything to abide by the Vance Plan and that he was maintaining his position that had been rejected? Would you accept that? 6243
A. I accept that. He was right because nobody protected the Serb population, the one provision which had been guaranteed under the Vance Plan.
Q. Sir, you've answered the question. Thank you and I'm going to ask that we take a break now?
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Whiting I would like to hear your original question whether on his arrival in the cabinet, Mr. Martic had told him whether it had been said before and rejected. He has not answered.
MR. WHITING: I'll ask him again.
JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
JUDGE MOLOTO: We will take a break now and resume at 12.30.
--- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
--- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Mr. Jarcevic, when you arrived and became foreign Minister of the RSK in October of 1992, do you recall if Mr. Martic told you that he had already made the argument to the commander of UNPROFOR about the keeping of the long-barrel weapons and that this argument had been rejected?
A. Mr. Whiting, I knew about the problem. It was a provision of the Vance Owen plan. That is true. And because of the Croatian aggression, unluckily it could not have been put through.
Q. Sir, you have not answered my question. My question is when you arrived and became the foreign minister of the RSK in 1992 you told us that you had this meeting with Mr. Martic and he made this argument to 6244 Cyrus Vance about why the Serb forces in the RSK had to keep the long barrel weapons in contravention of the Vance Plan and please listen to the question and answer the question and my question is at that time did Mr. Martic tell you that he had already made this argument to the force commander of UNPROFOR in July of 1992 and that the argument had been rejected?
A. Well, I said that Mr. Martic did not inform me about his talk with Satish Nambiar. I said that before the break.
Q. So in fact you were not fully informed about events that had occurred before your arrival. Is that now clear to you? Would you accept that?
A. Mr. Whiting, of course I didn't know each and every detail about the events up until my arrival, and I probably didn't know about all events that took place while I was minister either. That's quite normal. It's human nature.
Q. Now, going back to the topic of the Vance Plan and demilitarisation, isn't it true that from the very start of the implementation of the Vance Plan in 1992, the Serb forces in the RSK refused to comply with the requirement of demilitarisation? Isn't that true?
A. The Serb forces accepted demilitarisation, and we said that they placed their heavy weaponry under two keys. That was the most important point of the demilitarisation.
Q. It's true, however, that they did not completely comply with the requirement of demilitarisation, isn't that true? They didn't from the 6245 very start and they never did; isn't that correct?
A. I don't know what you want to hear from me. Demilitarisation in the sense of placing heavy weaponry in that state was complied with. The Vance Plan did not provide for the army of Republic of Srpska Krajina, nor did it provide for the Croatian aggression in United Nations protected areas so both events were conditioned.
Q. Sir --
A. The Serb people had to defend themselves because they had no other protector and defender. What else do you want me to say? And even today, people don't have an understanding for the suffering of the Serb people.
Q. Sir, again, please focus on my question and just answer my question. The -- would you agree that demilitarisation required the surrendering of all weapons except for side arms?
Q. And that was never complied with in the RSK; isn't that correct?
A. That's right because peace was never established.
Q. And it's also the case, sir, isn't it that the demilitarisation contemplated all forces being removed except for police and that was never really complied with either, isn't that true?
A. What I can say is the following. The units of the army of Republika Srpska Krajina existed but they did not have heavy weaponry at their disposal. And I don't know how the people would have defended themselves against the Croatian aggression had it not had the army. The United Nations offered no other solution although they promised to do so by the Vance Plan. 6246
Q. Sir, let's --
A. Do you not feel that --
Q. Let's look at, if we may, let's look together at a document. It's 00242533. What this is, is -- it's a report of the Secretary-General dated the 28th of September 1992, concerning the events in Croatia that -- what was happening at the time in Croatia. And since this report was issued just a month before you started, I assume that it's something that you're familiar with. It's actually Exhibit 75 in evidence. I'm sorry I didn't tell you that before. I think -- again, I think we may have to reverse the pages, reverse the -- there is -- there -- it appears that we don't have a translation of this document. So I'll just have to read you -- sir, are you all right?
A. Do I look that ill? Yes. I feel fine.
Q. I'm sorry, it was just that you were breathing heavily and I thought --
JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may come in, yes, you did sound and looked unwell and --
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But thank you for your concern.
JUDGE MOLOTO: You did look and sound unwell, and if you are not well, we must take that into account and give you time to recuperate. So you may have taken it lightly but it is asked in seriousness. Are you okay?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I feel all right. I am a little upset but only because it is difficult for me to know that the world still does not understand the seriousness of the situation that 6247 happened. But never mind, I'll survive. I'll live through it.
JUDGE MOLOTO: But are you in a position to carry on with this examination or would you rather take a short break?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't need a break. Thank you. I can continue.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Whiting.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Just to follow on, if at any time you do feel any difficulty continuing, please let us know. Do you understand?
A. Thank you very much. Yes I will do that.
Q. Now, if we could look at the second page of this document, again it's Exhibit 75 in evidence and I'm interested in paragraph 4, and, sir, I'll just read -- first of all, do you recall -- I mean I know we don't have a version in your language but do you recall seeing this report when you arrived as a foreign Minister of the RSK, that this report that had been issued one month before by the United Nations? Do you recall this report?
A. Mr. Whiting, please believe me, I have to give you an explanation with your indulgence.
Q. If you could just, please, answer the question, do you --
A. And it is linked to --
Q. No, please if you could just answer the question and just tell me do you recall whether or not you saw -- this report was made available to you when you became the foreign minister of the RSK? It's a yes-or-no 6248 question.
A. I don't remember.
Q. Okay. Let's look at paragraph 4. And in paragraph 4, it reads, it talks about the first two phases of demilitarisation proceeding well but then it says, "However, the complete demilitarisation of the United Nations protected areas has been delayed by a violation of the United Nations plan which was referred to in my report of 27 July. This is the creation of new Serb militia forces designated variously as special police, border police, or multi-police brigades made up of former members of the JNA the Territorial Defence forces and irregular elements which may total as many as 16.000 armed men equipped with armoured personnel carriers, mortars and machine-guns."
Now, first of all, that's true, isn't it, Mr. Jarcevic, those?
A. Yes, that's all. All the armies were created in all the former republics of Yugoslavia including Bosnia-Herzegovina. All of them had previously been soldiers and officers of the JNA, mostly.
Q. And maintaining this force with those weapons in the RSK was a violation from the very start of the Vance Plan, isn't that true?
A. Yes. Vance's plan was violated from all sides.
Q. Let's look, please, at paragraph 34. It's on page 11 of this document. I'll just read the beginning of this paragraph and I'll ask you the same question, if this is true or not. Paragraph 34 says, "The root cause of the deterioration in the United Nations protected areas since late July has been the Knin authority's decision to create new paramilitary forces. This action is inconsistent with the 6249 demilitarisation of the United Nations protected areas and is thus a blatant violation of the United Nations plan. The damage causes all the greater because of the lawless and cruel behaviour of these so-called police units. In spite of UNPROFOR's vigilance, they have revived some of the worst features of Serb behaviour during the war in Croatia, including 'ethnic cleansing' and have created conditions of near anarchy, especially in Sector East."
That's true, isn't it, sir? That's the situation that existed when you became foreign Minister of the RSK in October of 1992?
A. Mr. Whiting, it is true that that is what it says in the document. However, the situation in Krajina was not portrayed as it actually was.
Q. Well, it's true, wasn't it, that the paramilitary forces that are described here was in blatant violation of the UN plan? I think you've already accepted that. Isn't that true?
A. Well, it isn't true that they were paramilitary formations. If the same document does not say that as referring to the Croatian forces. They were paramilitary forces as well.
Q. Well, let's not get stuck on the word paramilitary forces. It's true, isn't it, that the forces that were created by the Knin authorities were in violation of the United Nations plan? I think you've already accepted that, isn't that true?
A. Let me put it this way. I can't agree with that, that that was how the Vance Plan was violated because the Vance Plan did not regulate how the army would be deployed in Croatia and in the Republic of Srpska Krajina, how it would be used. The only thing that was said was that the 6250 forces must be de-armed in Republika Srpska Krajina which the government did, and it placed heavy weaponry under the double lock system.
Q. I'm not going to go back over that, the disarming but let's move on because I think you've already given answers to those questions. Let's go on to the second part of this paragraph. It's true, isn't it, that the police units in the RSK acted in a lawless and cruel manner, as is stated in this report? Isn't that true, sir?
A. It is not true that they behaved in a cruel manner. And that they conducted ethnic cleansing. I can't agree with that because the government of the RSK did not have any such plan.
Q. We'll come back to that point. In paragraph 35 it states, "It is particularly distressing that the deteriorating security situation that is made it impossible nor UNPROFOR and UNHCR to start major programmes for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes." Now, it's true, isn't it, sir, that the refusal of the RSK authorities to comply with the demilitarisation made it impossible for refugees to be brought back into the RSK? Isn't that correct?
A. No, it isn't correct because the main problem isn't mentioned, the return of the Serbs that had been expelled in far greater numbers. So that is where this document is lacking and it shows quite clearly their attitude towards the Serbs and how -- what their attitude was to the Croats, I mean the UN organs. Why was Serb expulsion not registered?
Q. Would you agree, sir, that the Knin authorities never created the conditions in the RSK for allowing refugees to return to the RSK? Would you agree with that? 6251
A. Yes, because of the sanctions and because of a lack of reciprocity.
Q. I want to look at another report, please, and this is one that came out while you were the foreign Minister of the RSK. It's 00241473. It's dated the 24th of November 1992.
I'd like to look, please, at paragraph 11. It's on page 3 of the English. I'm not sure of the B/C/S which page it's on.
A. I'm just looking at this portion here.
Q. I'm going to ask -- I'm going to ask you to focus on paragraph 11. This -- if we could on the English turn to page 3, please, thank you. In paragraph 11, it states, and this is -- follows on from the previous report which we were looking at, "complete demilitarisation of the UNPAs in accordance with the plan has been obstructed by the so-called government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina." And then it goes on to explain how these authorities have replaced the JNA and the TDF with Serb militia forces under various guises. That's true, isn't it, according to your information, what happened, JNA forces and Territorial Defence forces simply became Serb Milicija forces?
A. I said three questions previously, in answer to them, that that's how the Croatian and the Slovenian and all the armies were created that way, from the officers and soldiers of the JNA but if you will allow me, it says here the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina in Knin authorities in inverted commas, which means that the Security Council does not recognise us as the government. All it did was to recognise it when the Vance-Owen plan had to be signed. So you see this dual behaviour, 6252 hypocritical behaviour.
Q. Well, sir, sir, sir?
A. We were worth something for one stage and not for the other.
Q. Sir, it's no -- you're not just learning for the first time today, are you, that the Republic of Serbian Krajina was never recognised as a separate country by any -- by any country in the world or by the United Nations? You have known that.
A. According to the UN Charter, there are states which are not recognised. You know that as well as I do.
Q. Now, you didn't answer my question. You started talking about Croatia and Slovenia. My question -- my question was about the RSK. Isn't it true that JNA and Territorial Defence forces were simply renamed, and in some cases given new uniforms, as Milicija forces and retained within the RSK? Isn't that in fact what happened, as is stated here in the document?
A. Well, that is quite natural because the people were born in those regions and they stayed at home on their thresholds.
Q. Now, if we could look at paragraph 12, and it's evident on the screen -- maybe we could blow it up a little bit on the English. It's at the end of paragraph 12 so I think it's probably on the next page of the B/C/S. And if maybe if we could just blow up a little bit on the paragraph 12 on the English version also just make it a little easier to read. Oh, you can't. Oh, okay. We'll just have to strain our eyes. In paragraph 12 it states, it says, "For their part my representatives have insisted that the Security Council continue to hold 6253 the Belgrade authorities responsible for the implementation of the peacekeeping plan to which they had earlier agreed. It seems evident that the Belgrade authorities could, if they so chose, take measures which would have a strongly persuasive effect upon the Serb local authorities, especially in view of the considerable economic dependence of much of the UNPAs upon the FRY."
That's true, isn't it, that Belgrade could have influenced the RSK on these issues at that time? You would agree with that, wouldn't you?
A. Not entirely. I want to say that they were relations between two states. The closest that could be imagined.
Q. Well --
JUDGE MOLOTO: Which two states, sorry?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Republic of Srpska Krajina was a state and its statehood dates from 1630. And you're not allowing me to say that. Those state functions are far older than in Serbia.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you now answer my question? Which two states?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Republic of Srpska Krajina.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
Q. Well, sir, let's take your own -- your own situation as an example. You were made foreign Minister of the RSK but you had no ties, previous ties to the RSK, you had been recommended for the position by Serbs in Bosnia, you were paid by Belgrade, and you had your office in 6254 Belgrade. That's a little --
Q. -- different from two separate states, isn't it?
A. Correct. And I explained all that yesterday. Now you want to divide up the Serb people according to provinces or whatever you like to call them. Serb lands for me are in the Republic of Serb Krajina, in Serbia and in Bosnia. They are all Serb lands. And in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and in the old Yugoslavia, that was an area inhabited by the Serb people.
Q. Okay. But you don't disagree with what I stated earlier, that in fact, because of these close ties, whatever the nature was, Belgrade could have exerted considerable influence on the Serb local authorities at this time, in 1992; isn't that correct?
A. We listened to their opinion, to the opinions of our ally and they were normal relations between two states.
Q. I think you've told us that, haven't you, that it's even closer than two states, it's more like one state?
A. You know, the measures taken by the United Nations against both drew us closer together than ever before, than was natural.
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into evidence, please?
JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the document will become Exhibit 864. 6255
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. I'd like now to look at a report again from the United Nations, and this one is more about human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. It's 02191193. And it's dated the 17th of November 1992. Now, in your testimony earlier today, it's, I believe, at page 21 of today's transcript, you claimed that the -- any criminal activity or any discrimination against Croats within the RSK was not organised by the government. You remember that testimony?
A. Yes. That was how it was.
Q. But that's not true, is it? Let's look at paragraph 78 of this document. It's at page 25.
It states, in paragraph 78, in Sector South, which is part of the RSK, part of the so-called Republic of Krajina, local authorities practised discrimination. Courts are still not functioning properly and the investigative processes of the local police have, in the opinion of UNPROFOR officials, almost ceased to exist.
This is of course -- this is of great concern to United Nations staff who collect evidence of murders, robberies, looting and other forms of criminal violence often related to ethnic cleansing. Where in accordance with their mandate such evidence is transferred to the local authorities, the latter are reluctant to take action, if not overtly uncooperative. Then in paragraph 79 it states that many people are desperate to flee the area yet before being granted permission from local authorities, these persons are often forced to sign a statement that their 6256 departure is voluntary, thus confusing the legal status of their property as well as erasing evidence of ethnic cleansing. That's true, isn't it? That's the situation in the RSK in November of 1992, when you were the foreign Minister of the RSK?
A. Mr. Whiting, I will take the liberty of saying that I do not trust every one of the reports submitted to the Security Council in the form of these documents. I will give you an example in 1992 when I became minister, Nambiar spoke at the press conference in Belgrade about some chickens that were stolen in one part of Krajina without mentioning the killing of Serbs by Croats. They were killed in the fields where they were doing farm work. Now, why are no such cases recorded in any of these documents? And some of these cases were worse than the ones mentioned here. As far as the south is concerned, there is evidence to that effect and in time it will be shown to you, that those who took certain measures against Croats were arrested and punished. It says here, well, they were slow to act, but in under such circumstances where this was shortage of all the supplies, no electricity, how were these agencies supposed to operate properly?
Q. Well, at the end of your answer it sounded like you were agreeing that in fact the authorities were not act -- operating properly and they were not responding to these problems so you agree that this was occurring, as it says in the document; is that right?
A. I said that they were arrested, sir. That was my answer.
Q. No but after that you say, it says they were they were slow to act but in such circumstances, where there was a shortage of all the supplies, 6257 no electricity, how were these agencies supposed to operate properly, that sounds like your trying to justify the failure of the RSK authorities to respond to and deal with what was happening in the RSK, in terms of ethnic cleansing. Is that right?
A. I said that arrests were made. What more do you want of me? Now, there was this sentence here that reads, "they were slow to act." Well do you know what the Croatian authorities did not lodge a single report or no charges were brought against those who were responsible for the killings in see shack and can you imagine any slower administration of justice than that? 600 persons killed in Sisak.
Q. Sir, when I ask questions about what was happening in the RSK, I'm looking for answers about what was happening in the RSK. So please do not continually try to tell me what was happening in Croatia. Do you understand? We are focusing on the RSK. Now, would you agree that -- would you agree with what is stated in this document about the local authorities not dealing with the problems that were occurring in the RSK, in Sector South? Because you seem to justify it.
A. I only remarked that documents such as this one ought to also contain evidence of ethnic cleansing against Serbs and there is only one such UN document. I was commenting on the document itself.
Q. That one document, UN document, is one that you cited yesterday. It's from 1993 and we'll be looking at it later. And that document makes a reference to Serbs that are pushed out of Croatia and made refugees. And you referred to that yesterday and relied upon it. Is it the case, sir, that you credit UN documents when they support the Serbs but you 6258 dismiss it when they criticise the Serbs? Is that your stance?
A. That is not my stance. Not when you formulate it that way. But when you have 100 documents shedding negative light on the Serbs and only one shedding positive light on them, well, that is the balance that cannot be accepted because it does not correspond to the events.
Q. Now, let's focus a little more carefully on paragraph 79 because this cannot be explained by shortages or lack of electricity. It says that the local authorities forced people who were leaving to sign a statement saying that it was voluntary. Thus erasing evidence of ethnic cleansing, that's true, isn't it? That occurred in Sector South at this time?
A. Believe me, this is the first time I hear of this case. If you want I will explain. The United Nations did not deliver their documents to the RSK government. It was by pure chance that we obtained them. If someone from UNPROFOR decided to give them these documents or if someone from the Foreign Ministry of Serbia decided to give them or Yugoslavia decided to give them to us but that was rarely or sometimes we would have some of our colleagues in New York who would ship these documents to us. That's why we who were members of the government did not have a full picture of how our government was reflected in the eyes of the other side. That was why we were immediately written off as soon as we had signed the Vance Plan.
Q. But sir, I'm sorry because yesterday, you told us you explained to us why you had your office in Belgrade and the reason, as I understood it, was that you could have contact with all the foreign governments in 6259 Belgrade and so forth. So are you now telling us that you were cut off and you did not have access to such things?
A. Mr. Whiting, we would have been even more cut off had we been in Knin. I will tell you that for a period of time, the American embassy returned sealed documents to us, telling us and informing us that they had not even opened the documents to begin with. Now, that's not the proper way of proceeding in diplomatic circles.
Q. Now, Mr. Jarcevic, speaking about the expulsion of Croats from the RSK, you actually believe, don't you, that the expulsion of Croat civilians from the territory of the RSK was something that was engineered by the Croats so that they could blame the Serbs? Isn't that something that you believe?
A. I do believe that most of the Croats left the RSK pursuant to a scenario by the Croatian government.
Q. Do you want to explain that a little bit for us, please? What do you mean by that?
A. Well, it's quite simple. This was an information war that the RSK was unable to launch on an equal footing with Croatia because Croatia had financial means to do that, they were able to pay even the international news agencies to launch the information about the mistreatment of the Croatian population although I do not wish to deny that locally speaking there were conflicts between members of Croat and Serb peoples, but always they started always by Croats killing Serbs.
Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you because you're talking about something else, I think. You're talking about the information war and 6260 about propaganda and media. My question is -- you said that I do believe that most of the Croats left the RSK pursuant to a scenario by the Croatian government. And you have said elsewhere, haven't you, that in other testimony, that you believe that the expulsion of the Croat civilians from the territory of the RSK was engineered by the Croats, that they caused it, that they did it, they engineered it, and then so that they could blame the Serbs. You believe that, don't you?
A. Of course, because the Croatian government planned to expel Croats from the entire territory of Croatia. There are documents to that effect, even the United Nations document of the 15th of May 1993, now --
Q. I'm sorry, sir?
A. Why would Croatian government treat Serbs in Dubrovnik in a different way?
Q. Okay. So you believe that because -- you believe, number 1, that the Croatian government was expelling Croats from Croatia and secondly, that this is -- this causes you to believe that it was the Croatian government that caused the expulsion of Croats from the RSK? Is that -- is that what you believe, sir?
A. I do believe that a large number of Croats left Krajina pursuant to a scenario authored by Croatia. I believe I said that a couple of times and I've made myself quite clear.
JUDGE MOLOTO: What is the scenario? When you say pursuant to a scenario we are sitting here not knowing what you are talking about. Can you please let us into the secret of this scenario? Can you explain this scenario? 6261
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course, Mr. President, and I'm thankful for the fact that you are prepared to listen to my explanation. You see, in 1990 and 1991 --
JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm listening to everything that is being said here.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1990 and 1991, the Croatian parliament amended the constitution whereby practically placing Serbs outside law, not only those outside of the Republic of Krajina but -- or rather, in Krajina but all of them. They amended the part of the constitution which stated that strategic decisions could not be taken without full consent of members of both ethnic groups. Only Croat MPs voted in -- for that amendment. Is that not -- does that not constitute placing Serbs outside law? What followed was the fleeing of Serbs from Croatia. You can find that in the bulletin issued by the Croatian government this year, where it is clearly shown that at one of its meetings, the government decision says that Serbs are being killed by members of the army, police and civilians. This particular scenario was workable in the large towns but not in the Krajina where there was the majority Serb population, who got organised and tried to thwart this -- these intentions by the Croatian government. Now, you have 400.000 people who were expelled from the area. What could the people who hid themselves and tried to get organised, what could they expect to become of them? They had enjoyed their statehood ever since 1630. That was the full picture. Now, of course, the only solution Croatia was left with at that point was to place the blame on the other side as well but this was 6262 already at the time when Croatia had expelled 400.000 Serbs. They organised the departure of Croats.
Of course, I do not wish to deny that in these interethnic conflicts some of the Croats were forced to flee because they were outnumbered by Serbs. These were armed Croats who were defeated and had to withdraw with their families. This was a terrible scene but nevertheless it was organised by the Croatian government and it was to cover up for the expulsion of Serbs from Dubrovnik, Split and Zadar. Let me tell you, in Zadar, this small sea side town there were 26.000 Serbs there and 25.000 Croats. All of the 26.000 Serbs were expelled from there and arrived in the territory of the RSK. Do you think you were able to persuade anyone of them not to take up arms and defend themselves? Thank you.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I hear what you say. You're talking mainly about the expulsion of Serbs by Croats. I'm not quite clear how all this fits into a creation by the government of Croatia which engineers the expulsion of Croats.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The government organised the evacuation of Croats from the territory of the RSK in order to accuse the authorities of the RSK and the JNA of having expelled these people. Many of them left the area in an organised fashion just as the terrorist organisation in Kosovo-Metohija was to do later on with the evacuation of the Albanian population from the area in 1999.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just ask you, when you say the government organised the evacuation of Croats from the territory of the RSK, in order 6263 to accuse the authorities of the RSK, what specific actions did the government take in the organisation of that evacuation?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Croatian parliament amended the constitution, the Croatian government started setting up Croatian police station in Serb-inhabited areas, dismissing Serb members of the police and hiring Croat ones. The same scenario was applied in 1941, when Croat police officers were calling out 100 or 200 people, Serb people, and killing them. Serbs were afraid of the fact that this might all happen again. Locally the government was able to organise the evacuation of Croats and to make it seem an expulsion.
JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you mean locally?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The local authorities, Your Honour, because if you dismiss a Serb police officer and you hire a Croat police officer instead, of course this person will be receiving instructions from his minister and his government. And he would be receiving instructions the same way the police officer in Dubrovnik received them when he expelled 2.200 Serbs from the area. Why should a Croat police officer in Krajina behave any differently?
JUDGE MOLOTO: My question to you is: How does the firing of a Serb policeman and replacing him with a Croat cause the movement of Croats out of a particular area? I would imagine it would actually attract the Croats to the area.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, those police stations were the ones who started perpetrating crimes against Serbs. Serbs in turn organised themselves and put up resistance. If a Croat police 6264 officer was killed anywhere, it was only the result of him having killed or of the fact that the Serb civilians had previously been killed. This was something that the Croatian government made use of for its own purposes to evacuate the Croat population from Krajina.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I think I understand you, just to make clear that I understand you correctly I'm going to tell you my understanding and I want you to tell me if I'm right. What you are saying is that because of all these things that you say the Croat government did, dismissing Serb police and employing Croat police, the Serbs had to defend themselves, and in defending themselves drove the Croats out and the Croatian government blamed the Serbs for driving the Croatians out. Is that what you're saying?
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you have to understand the extent of the confusion that prevailed there but I'll give you an example. Ten Serbs were dismissed from a company.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm asking you a simple question. Am I understanding you correctly when I say what I've just said? You can just say no, you don't understand me correctly.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you've understood that the Croatian government by applying its measures brought about interethnic conflicts and organised the departure of Croats from the Republic of Serbian Krajina, then your understanding is correct.
JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not what you said. You said the Serbs took arms in defence of themselves and that's why the Croats left. Now you saying the Croat government organised the departure of Croats from RSK. 6265 I'm not quite sure. Those are two different statements now, different positions. Unless by organise, you mean the whole action of dismissing --
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Killing of Serbs.
JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... and playing Croat so as to provoke a revenge or a self defence.
THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the Croatian government organised the dismissal of Serbs, that it set up police stations in Serb settlements, that it was the Croat police officers who perpetrated the first killings of Serbs, and that then, in turn, Serbs organised themselves to defends themselves from actions of the Croat police, that then an interethnic conflict broke out, the JNA got involved, and the Croatian government used the entire situation to its own benefit to have the Croatian population evacuated from the Republic of the Serbian Krajina.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I think I can't take it much further than that. It's fine. Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting.
Q. I'm going to try to take it a bit fur. As I understand what you're saying is that -- tell me if I'm correct, that the Croatian government actually intentionally organised the evacuation or the expulsion of the Croat population from the RSK so that they could blame the Serbs. Isn't that really what you're saying? That's what you believe?
A. That's what I said and if I said so, that means that I believe what I'm saying. 6266
Q. Now, we talked earlier a little bit about media and about propaganda and I want to look, please, at paragraph 95 of this document. It's on page 28. And in this paragraph of this UN document, it states that the information blockade which has existed since the beginning of hostilities in the former Yugoslavia has far-reaching consequences. The government controlled electronic media and press have engaged in a one-sided and nationalistic propaganda campaign. The official media have done nothing to distance themselves from the politics of intolerance and as a result have fed the fires of hatred.
That's true, isn't it, Mr. Jarcevic, about what was happening in 1992?
A. Just tell me, Mr. Prosecutor, whether article 95 has to do with the mass media in the Republic of Serbian Krajina because that's not what it says here. Further down in the text, there is mention of JuTel and that was not a Krajina broadcasting company but that of Yugoslavia, and it was run by people who were of Yugoslav orientation, not of pro-Serbian orientation. That's why it's called Yugoslav television, JuTel.
Q. To answer your question, it's -- this section in the report is about Serbia, and the media that's being referenced here is the Serbian media. Now, if you could answer my question, is this an accurate description of the official media that was coming out of Serbia at the time?
A. Mr. Prosecutor, the sentence reads further on that this concerns both the Croat and Serbian media. Therefore it relates to both.
Q. It does, you're right. My question is about the Serbian media. 6267 Do you want -- can you answer my question about the Serbian media? Is it accurate in what it says about the Serbian media?
A. It's not accurate if they are equalised with the Croatian ones. They were just a pale image of the hatred displayed in Croatia.
Q. Forget about Croatia for a moment, sir. Just answer my question about the Serbian media. Is it true that the government-controlled electronic media and press have engaged in a one-sided and nationalistic propaganda campaign and have fed the fires of hatred? Is that true about the media that was coming out of Serbia, yes or no?
A. That's not true.
Q. Let's look at the conclusions and recommendations of this report. It's at paragraph 134.
JUDGE MOLOTO: What page?
MR. WHITING: It's on page 38, Your Honour.
Q. In paragraphs 134 and 135, talk about how ethnic cleansing has continued and intensified in both Bosnia and Herzegovina and also in Croatia. In paragraph 135 it states, the continuation of ethnic cleansing is a deliberate effort to create a fait accompli in flagrant disregard of international commitments entered into by those who carry out and benefit from ethnic cleansing.
In paragraph 136, it states, "The Serbian authorities in de facto control of certain territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the United Nations protected --
JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes, Mr. Milovancevic?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that Mr. 6268 Jarcevic testified to the situation in Yugoslavia in the examination-in-chief, the Defence did not want to raise an objection about the fact that the Prosecutor keeps examining the witness on a topic that was not the subject of the examination-in-chief. Therefore, he did not testify to the situation in Yugoslavia. The Prosecutor keeps insisting on the topic of the media war in a way which goes far beyond the scope of the examination-in-chief.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I just want to read what you said because I didn't understand you. I don't understand what you're saying, Mr. Milovancevic. You seem to contradict yourself. In the first sentence you say in view of the fact that Mr. Jarcevic testified to the situation in Yugoslavia in the examination-in-chief. Testified. And then you say, therefore he did not testify to the situation in Yugoslavia later. Those two sentences are contradictory. So now, I do not understand what you mean because -- let me just finish -- let me just finish. There is a whole -- according to the counts, the charges against the accused, there is also the whole question of the JCE. And the JCE would mean, as I understand it, collaboration between the people in the rest of Yugoslavia and the people in the RSK, unless I misunderstand that. So I'm not quite sure what you mean, this is not relevant to the case.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. That's not what I said at all. I said something quite different and it is this: That the cross-examination by the Prosecutor must be linked to the examination-in-chief conducted by the Defence. The Prosecutor could have brought in its own witness to testify about the media war. But Mr. 6269 Jarcevic wasn't examined on that topic at all. And now the Prosecutor has raised the issue -- an issue that this witness isn't a witness -- hasn't testified about.
JUDGE MOLOTO: I think -- let Mr. Whiting respond rather than me answer.
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, first of all I think it would be artificial to separate out the media war as a separate topic. It's really of a piece, as is clear in this document, and should be clear in the questions and answers, it is part of the campaign of ethnic cleansing that this witness has testified about in direct examination and it's fair to ask these questions in cross-examination.
Secondly, the rules of the Tribunal require the parties to put their case to the witness and if the witness has -- is in a position to provide information that would advance the case of either party, we are required under the rules to put those questions to the witness so I think these questions are within bounds and certainly fair.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, do you have any reply to that?
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the answer is short. I did not say that the questions weren't relevant. They are linked to the indictment and a series of counts in the indictment but all I'm trying to do is to say that the cross-examination must follow the examination-in-chief and the topic that the witness testified about.
JUDGE MOLOTO: But you're not replying to the response by the Prosecution by what you're saying.
MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That is our response, 6270 Your Honour. Thank you.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Objection overruled.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Sir, when we were interrupted I was reading some paragraphs, some parts of paragraphs 134, 135 and I had just gotten to 136, and I don't recall if I had read it or not, but it states that "the Serbian authorities in de facto control of certain territories in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the United Nations protected areas bear primary responsibility for the policy of ethnic cleansing carried out there. The command of the Yugoslav National Army and the political leadership of the Republic of Serbia also share responsibility for this policy which could not have been continued until the present time without their active support.
This contradicts what you testified to in direct examination, sir, doesn't it, that the authorities of -- in the RSK were not involved in -- or did not bear any -- did not bear any responsibility for the ethnic cleansing that occurred in the RSK?
A. Mr. Whiting, I still state that the government of the Republic of Srpska Krajina and assembly never organised any ethnic cleansing, ethnic cleansing of Croats in the Republic of RSK. And if I might be allowed to say we discussed this with the co-presidents as well during these -- the drafting of these and similar documents and I asked Mr. Owen why there was no control over the Croatian authorities because it conducted the greatest ethnic cleansing and his answer was, and Vance's before that, we have no resolution which would make it incumbent upon us to do so. And so 6271 with that example you can see how faulty these documents are of the UN Security Council, because there are no obligations to control the Croatian authorities I which means you can put the Serbs outside the law, you can expel the Serbs and nobody will ever be held responsible for that.
Q. But let me put the question to you again. Are you saying that what's contained in these paragraphs 134, 135 and 136, that I read to you, are you saying that that's not true? But aside whether it should have also said something about Croatia. Put that aside. Put that objection aside. Focus please on these paragraphs. These paragraphs are true, aren't they?
A. They are not true because the government did not organise ethnic cleansing, nor did it incite it in any way.
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into evidence, please, and given a number.
JUDGE MOLOTO: The document is admitted into evidence. May it please be given an exhibit number.
THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this document will become Exhibit 865.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. The document is admitted.
MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.
Q. Earlier today, sir, you were asked some questions about Skabrnja. It's at page 22 of the transcript. And you said as you're asking me about Skabrnja, that was the Yugoslav People's Army over there and in my opinion those crimes should not be linked to responsibility and accountability of people from the Republic of Srpska Krajina, although Yugoslav officers are 6272 not to blame as much for those crimes as are the Croatian officers and soldiers.
So you agree, don't you, then, that there were crimes committed by Serb forces in Skabrnja in the conflict in 1991, in November of 1991? You agree with that, don't you?
A. I can't give you a direct answer to your question, sir. I just said that at the time the Yugoslav People's Army had officers and soldiers belonging to all the nations and nationalities of Yugoslavia, percentage wise there were as many Serbs as there were in terms of the population.
Q. In your answer, in your answer, you referred to crimes -- the crimes in Skabrnja and who should be held responsible for them. Aren't you accepting then that there were crimes in Skabrnja? That's the first question. Yes or no. Do you accept that there were crimes in Skabrnja?
A. That is so well known, there were crimes on both sides, at the same period.
Q. Now, my next question is are you aware, did you learn, that in the attack on Skabrnja, it was not just the forces of the Yugoslav People's Army that participated but also the forces of the police and the Territorial Defence? Are you aware of that, sir?
A. I'm aware of the following: The Croats perpetrated some crime over there and then there was reaction on the part of the Yugoslav People's Army and the Serbs from the area. I don't know the details of the case and please believe me when I say that because I was outside the RSK at the time and did not study these documents in detail, the documents linked to Skabrnja, I mean. 6273
Q. And sir, you accept that in the action taken by the JNA and the police and the Territorial Defence, in November of 1991 in Skabrnja, that crimes were committed by those Serb forces? You accept that, don't you, sir?
A. Once again I say that I can't accept the fact that the JNA was a Serb army during that period of time. Don't force me to say that. It was a Yugoslav army composed of all the nations and nationalities, all ethnic groups, and even one Albanian died wearing the uniform of the JNA. He was killed by Croatian soldiers. That is what I know. So we cannot say it was a Serb army.
Q. You're avoiding answering my question, sir. The question is in the attack on Skabrnja by the JNA, the Territorial Defence from the area of the SAO Krajina and the police of the area of the SAO Krajina in the attack by those forces on Skabrnja in November of 1991, crimes were committed. Is that correct, sir? You know that.
A. Yes. I did hear of crimes being committed by the Serbs were just in the Territorial Defence and in other units of a local nature. Once again, I state that the JNA was not a Serb army.
MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think this would be a convenient time.
JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Whiting. We will stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00. Court adjourned.
--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of July,
2006, at 9.00 a.m.