1 Wednesday, 29th April 1998
2 (10 a.m.)
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I ask the
4 Registrar to call out the case number, please.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a-T,
6 Prosecutor versus Slavko Dokmanovic.
7 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, your Honours. My
8 name is Niemann. I appear with my colleagues,
9 Mr. Williamson, Mr. Waespi and Mr. Vos for the
11 MR. FILA: My name is Mr. Toma Fila, I appear
12 with Mr. Petrovic and Miss Lopicic for Mr. Dokmanovic.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Dokmanovic, can you hear
14 me well? Thank you.
15 Before we start, let me tell you that the
16 Registry has informed us that we can work in the week
17 of 18 May on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, so
18 we would sit on Monday and Tuesday from 9.30 to 12.30
19 and from 2.30 to 5.30, whereas on Wednesday, we have
20 only half a day from 9.30 to 12.30. I hope this is
21 convenient for you. We now move on to our next
23 May I ask you to please stand up and make the
24 solemn declaration?
25 MR. FILA: Your Honour, you asked two
1 questions yesterday -- you personally -- concerning the
2 composition of the Government and the appointment of
3 the Ministries. The Defence has brought two laws to
4 you -- they are not related to this particular
5 witness. I would like to tender them in evidence if
6 the Prosecution agrees?
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Both Serbian and English.
8 MR. FILA: Yes, both the Serbian and English
9 versions. It refers to the questions asked yesterday
10 by the judge. Could this be marked as the Defence
12 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Defence
13 Exhibit D59 and the translation D59A.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: I apologise. Could you
15 please read the solemn declaration?
16 MR. FILA: So two documents, two numbers.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, the other will be D60.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that
19 I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
20 the truth.
21 MR. PETROVIC: I should first of all like to
22 ask for the two documents that we tendered a moment ago
23 whether the Prosecution has any objection. If not, may
24 they be adopted as evidence.
25 MR. NIEMANN: I have not seen them, your
1 Honour -- I am waiting for them -- no objection, your
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
4 That will be D59 and D60.
5 Mr. Petrovic, you may proceed.
6 WITNESS DC
7 Examined by MR. PETROVIC
8 Q. I should like to ask you to show the witness
9 this piece of paper so that she can acknowledge whether
10 it is her name on the piece of paper (Handed).
11 I suppose the witness will be given the
12 pseudonym of DC.
13 I should like to ask the Witness DC to tell
14 us whether, on 18 September 1997, she talked to
15 interviewer Miroslav Vasic and did she, on that
16 occasion, make and sign the statement that I am going
17 to present her with now.
18 Will you show the witness? (Handed).
19 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D62
20 and the English translation D62A.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes.
22 MR. PETROVIC: If there are no objections,
23 then I move that this be accepted and admitted as D62.
24 I should like to ask Witness DC first of all
25 to tell us whether she has completed the Higher School
1 of Economics, where and when, and to introduce herself
2 in short?
3 A. I completed the Higher School of Economics in
4 Vukovar in 1976.
5 Q. Where were you employed?
6 A. In the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar.
7 Q. Since when?
8 A. Since 1980.
9 Q. What job did you perform?
10 A. In the Secretariat for Economic Affairs as a
11 senior planner.
12 Q. Since when have you known Slavko Dokmanovic?
13 A. I have known Slavko Dokmanovic since 1981.
14 Q. Can you tell us something about whether you
15 know when Slavko Dokmanovic was elected President of
16 the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar?
17 A. Yes, I do. He was elected at the first
18 multi-Party elections in 1990.
19 Q. Until when did he perform that function?
20 A. He performed that function until May 1991.
21 After that he was prevented from doing so.
22 Q. Can you tell us in greater detail how and who
23 prevented him?
24 A. As he was elected in 1990, he performed his
25 function until 1991, in May, and in 1991, in May, the
1 disturbances began, and he was no longer able to go to
3 Q. Do you know a concrete case of preventing him
4 to reach his work post?
5 A. Well, there were several threats -- a lot of
6 cases of this kind, and they were very frightening and
7 so he was prevented from coming to work.
8 Q. What happened at that time in Vukovar -- at
9 the time we are discussing?
10 A. We are speaking about the time after May,
11 that is to say, mid May, up until I was in Vukovar, let
12 us say that in the municipality they brought some
13 people wearing masks -- they were not the police -- and
14 these individuals searched everybody upon entrance,
15 even the deputies themselves.
16 Q. Who were these individuals, do you know?
17 A. Well, I learned of this later on, because
18 they had camouflage uniforms and I heard that they were
19 members of the national guard.
20 Q. What happened afterwards?
21 A. A series of events took place afterwards --
22 shops were blown up, houses were shot at, fired at,
23 people disappeared -- people were replaced at work.
24 Q. Do you know any particular cases in which
25 people were replaced at work?
1 A. Yes, I do. For example, the director -- the
2 then director of the radio station was replaced as well
3 as the Secretary for National Defence, the director of
5 Q. Do you know why and who replaced them -- who
6 removed them from office?
7 A. Mr. Dokmanovic had performed the duties of
8 President of the Assembly until that time. He was
9 replaced by Mr. Vidic and the Assembly of the time,
10 which met, made these changes -- their members, their
11 deputies and up until then it was the Serbs that held
12 these functions. Afterwards, their own people were
14 Q. Do you know something about the replacement
15 of the editor in chief of the Vukovar papers and Radio
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Will you tell us what you know?
19 A. I also know that this happened in May, in
20 view of the fact that it was my father in fact -- he
21 was suspended and then he received, in July, a decree
22 saying that he was relieved of his duties -- it was a
23 retroactive decree.
24 MR. PETROVIC: May we dwell or stop for a
25 moment. I would like to show you some documents and we
1 will go on to comment on them later on.
2 Will you show the document to the witness,
3 please. (Handed).
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D63 and
5 the English translation D63A.
6 THE WITNESS: This is a telegram.
7 MR. PETROVIC: Just one moment, please. This
8 other document as well, please. (Handed).
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D64,
10 English translation D64A.
11 MR. PETROVIC: Could you tell us what those
12 documents contain?
13 A. This is a telegram which states that the
14 Ministry of Information allows the broadcasting of the
15 present Radio Vukovar under the new name, the Croatian
16 Radio Vukovar, and appoints a new director -- there is
17 an error here -- he is not Mladen, he is Zdravko
18 Seremet, who will take over his duties within 24 hours,
19 immediately. Mr. Seremet has been appointed as the
20 editor in chief -- the acting editor in chief following
21 the suspension of Milan Covrko and Milan Stankovic and
22 it is an official document and it is signed by the
23 Minister, Hrvoje Hitrec.
24 Q. So the Ministry of Information of Croatia
25 recalls the director of the Serbian radio who was a
1 Serb national -- the second document, could you read
2 out the date please?
3 A. I said that it was dated 4 May 1991.
4 According to this document, once again from the
5 Ministry of Information of the Republic of Croatia,
6 there is information sent out which states the Ministry
7 of Information of Croatia approves the broadcasting of
8 Radio Vukovar under a new name, Croatian Radio Vukovar,
9 and appoints Zdravko Seremet as its director. This
10 decree comes into force immediately.
11 Q. Were there removals and replacement before
12 Croatia proclaimed its independence?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What happened with the former editor in chief
15 of the Vukovar papers?
16 A. After that decree relieving him of his duty
17 followed, which on 30 July was handed to him --
18 MR. PETROVIC: Would you take a look at this
19 document and tell us whether that is the document in
20 question? (Handed).
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D65 and
22 the English translation is D65A.
23 THE WITNESS: I do not want to read out
24 this decree.
25 MR. PETROVIC: No, just comment on it,
2 A. This is a decree which arrived on 30 July
3 1991, by which my father, as the editor in chief of
4 former Radio Vukovar, the Vukovar newspapers, was
5 relieved of his duties, as of 6 May 1991. The decree
6 is retroactive and, with that document, he was relieved
7 of his duties. The explanation is given that Zdravko
8 Seremet was appointed to replace him. I do not think
9 there is any special comment that I can make there.
10 MR. PETROVIC: For the purposes of
11 illustration of the atmosphere prevailing in Vukovar at
12 the time, would you look at an article -- a newspaper
13 article, which also relates to your father, and tell us
14 what the article is about? (Handed).
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D66 and
16 English translation D66A.
17 THE WITNESS: This is an article from the
18 "Slobodni Tjednik", published in Osijek on 28 June
19 1991. On the first page, it has the title, "Mirko
20 Stankovic sentenced to death". I shall read out just
21 one segment:
22 "The one-time head of the Vukovar radio, now
23 correspondent at Television Belgrade, has been
24 sentenced to death on the part of the armed Croatian
25 guerrilla. Five individuals have been assigned to carry
1 out this sentence. He is a disinformer and instigates
2 hatred. There are stories that he did not want to tell
3 us anything precisely. There are two groups of five
4 people that have been designated to liquidate Stankovic
5 -- his house would have been blown up long ago but the
6 house he is living in does not belong to him."
7 MR. PETROVIC: I should like to tender D66 as
8 evidence -- documents 63 to 66.
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: We would object to this. It
10 is a newspaper article reporting on something. We do
11 not know who this was written by or anything about the
12 truthfulness of this document.
13 MR. PETROVIC: The same --
14 JUDGE CASSESE: We have decided to admit it
15 into evidence, although of course it is a press article
16 with obvious limitations inherent in this fact.
17 MR. PETROVIC: When did you leave Vukovar?
18 A. I left Vukovar on 22 July 1991.
19 Q. Could you tell us the circumstances under
20 which you left Vukovar and why?
21 A. I was threatened by phone in my home, and at
22 my parents' house, the house was shot at three times
23 and this caused fear and unrest and, therefore, we were
24 forced to leave the town.
25 Q. I should now like to go back to 20 November
1 1991. Were you in Vukovar on that day?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. How do you know that you were in Vukovar on
4 that day?
5 A. On 19 November I was at VELEPROMET because my
6 mother and grandmother were in the cellar throughout
7 the duration of the war. I found my mother on the 19th
8 and took her out, but as my husband and I were looking
9 for my husband's aunt and uncle, we did not find them
10 on the 19th and we took my parents to Sid and, on the
11 20th, once again, returned to VELEPROMET to look for my
12 husband's aunt, because that is all the family that he
13 has left.
14 Q. On the 20th, who did you see in the courtyard
15 of VELEPROMET?
16 A. I saw many people -- the people from the same
17 town, people I knew. There were many people there at
18 the VELEPROMET compound, because they had left the
19 cellars after the war.
20 Q. Did you see Slavko Dokmanovic?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Where did you see Slavko Dokmanovic and when?
23 A. I saw Slavko in the courtyard of VELEPROMET.
24 Q. When?
25 A. It was somewhere around 2 o'clock -- 2 p.m.
1 MR. PETROVIC: Could we show the witness tape
2 D2 -- would the witness tell us whether she recognises
3 the events at VELEPROMET which can be seen on the
5 Is that the atmosphere that prevailed and are
6 those the people who were present on the occasion?
7 (Videotape played)
8 MR. PETROVIC: When you recognise somebody,
9 please tell us?
10 A. I have already recognised someone.
11 (Videotape continued)
12 MR. PETROVIC: Tell us who you recognise,
13 quite freely?
14 A. Goran Hadzic, Slavko from the back side,
15 Mr. Jaksic, my husband, Mr. Jaksic, that is my husband on
16 the left-hand side.
17 Q. That is sufficient, thank you. Was that the
18 particular day and the people you saw on that
19 particular day?
20 A. Yes, on both counts.
21 Q. How long did you stay at VELEPROMET?
22 A. I stayed until up around half past 3 --
23 3.30 p.m.
24 Q. Were you in the courtyard the whole time?
25 A. No, I was not in the courtyard the whole
1 time. I said hello to the people I knew -- the ones
2 that I mentioned -- and then I left them in the
3 courtyard and I went into a room to get warm, because
4 it was cold.
5 Q. When did you leave VELEPROMET and what
6 direction did you take?
7 A. I think that I left at around half past 3 in
8 the afternoon towards Negoslavci and Sid.
9 Q. Did you stop on the way?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where?
12 A. We stopped for a brief moment in the village
13 of Negoslavci and, after that, somewhere in front of
14 the village of Orolik.
15 Q. Why in front of Orolik?
16 A. There was a column of buses which moved in
17 front of us and it had stopped, because they had been
18 brought tea, some hot beverages and some food, and the
19 column was there for a little over half an hour.
20 Q. Who was in the buses?
21 A. I think they were all the people from
23 Q. Please continue?
24 A. Yes, we stayed there for some time, and my
25 husband went out of the car.
1 Q. When was this -- what time?
2 A. Well, dusk was falling -- about 5 o'clock
3 perhaps. My husband left the car to see whether we
4 would be moving on soon, because nobody liked driving
5 in the dark in those days, so he went out and he came
6 back fairly quickly. He told me that there seemed to
7 have been an incident of some kind, that Slavko had an
8 incident with a policeman, an encounter with a
9 policeman and that the whole thing ended peacefully and
10 that they would be letting us through, so that we
11 passed by the column of buses and moved in the
12 direction of Sid.
13 Q. Do you remember how Slavko Dokmanovic was
14 dressed on that particular day?
15 A. No, I do not. I did not pay attention to
16 what he was wearing, because I just said a brief hello
17 to him and we continued -- I cannot really say.
18 Q. Where do you live now today?
19 A. In Vukovar.
20 Q. Are you still employed?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What is the situation in that town today?
23 A. Well, if you ask me honestly and if you want
24 an honest answer, I think that it is even worse than it
25 was in 1991.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: I object. We are seven
2 years past the event and the status of what is going on
3 in Vukovar today is irrelevant to these proceedings.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, sustained.
5 MR. PETROVIC: The book that we have been
6 discussing for several days was also published a long
7 time after the events and we are spending at least one
8 hour talking about it every day so we just want to
9 illustrate the situation and the continuity of the
10 relationship towards the Serb population in the town.
11 I want to show two documents for illustration purposes,
12 as to the relationship towards the Serbs before, during
13 and after the events, but if the court considers this
14 to be irrelevant, we will withhold that.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, it is irrelevant. You
16 were mentioning that book -- of course we have only
17 seen some parts of the book -- those parts which have
18 been translated into English, they are relevant because
19 they relate to events back in 1991 and 1992, so
20 therefore the reference to that book is not immaterial
21 to our matter.
22 I do not think that there is any relevance to
23 the present issue we are discussing, so therefore can
24 you explain to us what sort of documents these are
25 before we decide whether or not to admit them into
2 MR. PETROVIC: The documents -- the first
3 document is the sentence of an organisation of an
4 Ustasha character, sentence passed over individuals,
5 including Jacques Klein, who was the UNTAES
6 administrator in the Srem Baranja region. The second
7 is a document which was handed into the houses and
8 letter boxes of the Serb nationals, with serious
9 threats which later on made them leave Vukovar.
10 Just for purposes of information -- just as
11 an illustration -- perhaps you could have a look at
12 them and then you will be able to decide whether you
13 admit them or not.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Time and again we have
15 insisted that we are really only concerned with the
16 facts and the legal issues surrounding the present
17 indictment. So we do not want to take into account
18 historical events which happened before or things which
19 happened after the event with which we are concerned.
20 Let me consult my colleagues.
21 We cannot admit them into evidence.
22 MR. PETROVIC: I have no further questions,
23 your Honour, thank you.
24 Cross-examined by MR. WILLIAMSON
25 Q. Witness DC, you indicated, or the documents
1 that have been introduced by the Defence indicate, that
2 your father was suspended from his position on 4 May
3 1991; that is correct?
4 A. No. That was the telegram -- that was before
5 the suspension which came in July, as I said, but it
6 was backdated to May -- I think it was 5 May, or 6 May
7 -- I am not sure now, because I do not have the paper
8 here with me.
9 Q. But, in any event, the decision was made on 5
10 or 6 May and that is when he was informed about it,
11 although it did not officially occur until June or
12 July; correct?
13 A. He was informed on 30 July and a telegram
14 itself was not given to him at all, because he had been
15 suspended before that time, so he was unable to go to
16 work, so it was only on 30 July that he learned that he
17 had been -- that his employment had been terminated and
18 that it was backdated.
19 Q. But it was on 4 May then that he was
20 suspended, is that correct, and it was only later that
21 he was actually informed of the circumstances under
22 which this had occurred?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So, this was two days after the incident in
25 Borovo Selo; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What were you doing during the course of the
3 battle -- were you working during that time?
4 A. I do not know -- what battle are you
5 referring to?
6 Q. In Vukovar -- in the autumn of 1991, the
7 events that we are talking about here, were you working
8 during the course of those two or three months when the
9 fighting was going on in Vukovar?
10 A. No, nobody worked in Vukovar during the war.
11 Q. Did you have any type of employment outside
12 of Vukovar during that time period?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did you have occasion to see Slavko
15 Dokmanovic during that time period prior to 19 or 20
17 A. No, only on that day.
18 Q. On 20 November, when you were at VELEPROMET,
19 were you wearing a uniform?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you ever wear a uniform at any time?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You have indicated that you were there
24 looking for your husband's aunt; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Approximately what time did you arrive at
2 VELEPROMET, you and your husband?
3 A. On that day, around 10 a.m.
4 Q. And what did you do in the period between 10
5 and 2 in the afternoon?
6 A. As I have already said, the courtyard of the
7 VELEPROMET was full of people we knew -- Vukovar is a
8 small town, we all know each other so I spent the
9 entire time with them.
10 Q. And you were just talking about things that
11 had happened and what was going on on that day?
12 A. Yes, absolutely.
13 Q. Did you find out any information about your
14 husband's aunt while you were there?
15 A. Yes. We received information that one part
16 of the town from the River Vuka towards Borovo left to
17 Dalj and the rest gathered in VELEPROMET and that is
18 the reason why around 3.30 p.m. we went back to Sid in
19 order to look for her on that side, so we had to go
20 around to reach Dalj and to find her there.
21 Q. So, it was around 3.30 in the afternoon that
22 you got this information that the people from north of
23 the Vuka had been taken to Dalj; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Prior to that time -- obviously all your
1 efforts to find her had been unsuccessful; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And were you and your husband anxious about
4 locating her and what had happened to her?
5 A. Yes, since these are the only relatives left
6 to my husband, because he does not have his parents any
7 more -- they are not alive.
8 Q. When you were unable to find your husband's
9 aunt at the JNA barracks -- sorry, at VELEPROMET, did
10 you go to the JNA barracks to look for her?
11 A. No, since we had learned that she had been
12 unable to leave towards that area.
13 Q. I am talking about prior to that time --
14 prior to 3.30, you were there for approximately five
15 and a half hours and had been looking for her; during
16 all of that period, when you were not able to locate
17 her, you never made an effort to go and try and find
18 her at the JNA barracks?
19 A. No, because I did not know that there were
20 any civilians in the barracks -- it never occurred to
22 Q. Did you go to the JNA barracks at all on 20
23 November for any reason?
24 A. No.
25 Q. So, it would be untrue that you and your
1 husband approached some buses -- they were lined up at
2 the JNA barracks and your husband said in your presence
3 to Emil Cakalic that he was on the wrong bus?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And it would also be your testimony that in
6 reply to a question from Mr. Cakalic as to what was the
7 right bus, your husband said, "It does not matter, they
8 are all the same"?
9 A. I do not know whether my husband said that
10 and my acquaintance with Mr. Cakalic is so frail, and we
11 never went to the barracks.
12 Q. Your husband knew Mr. Cakalic from having
13 worked with them at the municipality though, did he
15 A. I guess.
16 MR. WILLIAMSON: I would like to give you a
17 small piece of paper and ask you to write your maiden
18 name on this piece of paper, if you would, please.
19 I would enter this as the next Prosecutor's
20 exhibit, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 203.
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: If it can be shown to the
23 Defence as well.
24 So, as I understand it, Witness DC, it is
25 your testimony that you and your husband remained at
1 VELEPROMET the entire time between 10 in the morning
2 and approximately 3.30 in the afternoon -- correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you said that you were in the courtyard
5 for a while and then you went into this office. While
6 you were in the office, do you know what was going on
7 outside in the courtyard?
8 A. No, I could not really say -- I had gone into
9 the building because I was cold, I had a hot tea and
10 then my husband called me when we were about to leave.
11 Q. You said you saw Slavko Dokmanovic arrive
12 around 2 p.m. Was he alone or was he accompanied by
13 other persons?
14 A. He was accompanied by the persons I saw on
15 the screen here.
16 Q. Those people that you saw on the film were
17 ones that came in with him at 2 o'clock?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you say the names of the people that you
20 saw him come in with -- you have pointed them out on
21 the screen, but can you be more specific as exactly who
22 you saw him with, those whose names you knew?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Please?
25 A. Slavko Dokmanovic, Rade Leskovac, Goran
1 Hadzic, Duskojakic, Mr. Cvetkovic -- I met him that day,
2 as well as Mr. Lazarevic.
3 Q. Did you speak with Mr. Dokmanovic on that
5 A. Just a couple of words -- how his family was,
6 how was he and that is what he asked me and that was
7 all and then I left that area, because there was a
8 large number of men and they were all talking.
9 Q. Did you speak with Goran Hadzic?
10 A. No, I just said hello.
11 Q. Do you know Goran Hadzic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. In what way -- how do you know him, how long
14 have you known him and in what context?
15 A. I do not know him in the private capacity.
16 We would not be able to discuss anything, but to
17 exchange greetings -- that would be the extent of our
19 Q. Do you know why he was wearing a military
20 uniform on that day?
21 A. I did not notice that anyone was wearing a
22 uniform, because there was such a crush of people and
23 the commotion -- we were all so upset and excited,
24 because it was two days after the liberation, so many
25 people had passed there and I cannot really recall who
1 was wearing what.
2 Q. If I put it to you that on the video we just
3 viewed he was in some type of military uniform, would
4 you be able to say why this was? If you wish, we can
5 view the video, but I am just asking do you know one
6 way or the other why he might have been in an uniform?
7 A. As to why, I could not say -- I do not know.
8 Q. Were you aware of a meeting which took place
9 at VELEPROMET on 20 November?
10 A. No.
11 Q. You have indicated that you saw Mr. Dokmanovic
12 and that you spoke with him prior to going into the
13 office. Did you see him again after you came out of
14 the office, shortly before you left the VELEPROMET
16 A. I do not remember.
17 Q. When you left VELEPROMET, where did you go
19 A. We set off towards Negoslavci, we were behind
20 the column of buses.
21 Q. And how many cars were there in your group,
22 or how many vehicles of the people leaving from
24 A. I cannot give you the exact number, but the
25 column was quite long.
1 Q. And where were you located in this column --
2 near the front, near the middle, near the back?
3 A. Well, near the front.
4 Q. And who else was in your vehicle with you?
5 A. My husband was with me.
6 Q. It was just the two of you in the vehicle?
7 A. I cannot remember whether we had given anyone
8 a lift -- I really cannot.
9 Q. So, as I understand it, you departed
10 VELEPROMET and went straight from there to Negoslavci;
11 where you stopped briefly; correct?
12 A. Yes, that is right.
13 Q. Then from Negoslavci to Orolik; right?
14 A. Yes, in the direction of Orolik.
15 Q. Approximately what time did you arrive in
17 A. Well, it may have been around quarter past 4
18 -- 4.15. We stopped there and we stayed there for
19 maybe about half an hour, maybe even more -- since, as
20 I said, the people on the buses were given hot
22 Q. And in Orolik, you said that your husband
23 told you that there had been some type of incident in
24 which Mr. Dokmanovic was involved; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you personally see Mr. Dokmanovic or
2 witness this incident that occurred?
3 A. No, it was already dusk -- I did not leave
4 the car. He had left the car to see how long we would
5 be staying there, and, when he reached the barricade,
6 he saw silhouettes of some people -- among others there
7 was Mr. Dokmanovic, but at that time the incident had
8 already been solved and military police officers let us
9 through -- the whole column of cars -- we were allowed
10 to pass by the buses.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: I have no further questions,
12 your Honour.
13 Re-examined by MR. PETROVIC
14 Q. I would like to clarify one situation; did
15 you see Slavko Dokmanovic get to the VELEPROMET
16 compound or standing in the VELEPROMET compound?
17 A. I saw him stand there.
18 MR. PETROVIC: Thank you.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Williamson, I do not think
20 this is really a question for the witness, but while it
21 is in my mind, could you clarify it or help clarify
22 this? It is in relation to the position of VELEPROMET
23 in relation to the barracks.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON: VELEPROMET is located across
25 the street from the JNA barracks and approximately --
1 somewhere between 100 and 400 metres south of the
2 barracks in the direction of Negoslavci, so it is
3 directly across -- sorry, it is across the street and
4 then down somewhere between 100 and 400 metres.
5 JUDGE MAY: That was the evidence.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: I assume there is no
7 objection to the Witness DC being released?
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Witness DC, thank you so
10 much for coming here to give evidence. You may now be
12 (The witness withdrew)
13 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder, Mr. Fila or
14 Mr. Petrovic, are you suggesting that we are going to
15 see the videotape?
16 MR. FILA: Yes.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: You said yesterday that it
18 is about two hours to view the videotape.
19 MR. FILA: Yes, that is right. It is two
20 hours long, but only two or three minutes right at the
21 beginning are very important, because there we can see
22 who is what, but I repeat once again why it is
23 important -- it is dated 1991, and Mr. Dokmanovic
24 presents his views there. He did not know at that time
25 that he would be facing trial now here before you in
1 1998, so the things that he is saying at that time are
2 important for this court to see whether he is an
3 extremist or not, or whether he was a member of the
4 Serbian National Council or not, because it is evident
5 from the tape -- we are talking about 1991 -- and the
6 Prosecution witness Vidic Bili mentioned this tape and
7 that is why I took that tape, to show it to you.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Williamson?
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: We have no objection to the
10 tape, but the copy that we received yesterday was only
11 a 50-minute programme, so I am not sure if we have
12 actually viewed the tape that he plans on showing.
13 MR. FILA: Yes, my apologies, Mr. Williamson.
14 I do not want to appear to be lying, but I am just
15 repeating what my investigators told me -- if you saw
16 only 50 minutes, then it is just 50 minutes.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection then, your
19 JUDGE CASSESE: We will now take a 10-minute
20 recess and then we will come back and view the
22 (10.50 a.m.)
23 (A short break)
24 (11.03 a.m.)
25 JUDGE CASSESE: We can go ahead with the
2 MR. FILA: Your Honours, the man by the name
3 of Ilija Petrovic, he is the author of the book
4 proffered by Mr. Williamson. I do not mean Mr.
5 Williamson's book, but the book shown by Mr. Williamson.
6 (Videotape played)
7 THE INTERPRETER: Please note for the record
8 that the interpreters do not have the transcript.
9 THE INTERPRETER:
10 "Speaker: We have invited Ilija Petrovic,
11 member of the National Council; Ilija Kuncarevic,
12 Secretary-General of the Serbian National Council; Pero
13 Matic, a teacher from Beli Manastir; Slavko Dokmanovic,
14 the President of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar;
15 Goran Hadzic, the President of the municipal committee
16 of the Serbian Democratic Party for Vukovar, and a
17 member of the main committee of the Serbian Democratic
18 Party for Knin, and Caslav Ocic from Dalj.
19 The Serbian National Council for Slovonia,
20 Baranja and Western Srem was established this year in
21 -- "
22 MR. FILA: We did not see the beginning,
23 I apologise. Can we please rewind to the beginning, so
24 that we hear how the persons are introduced, because
25 this has not been on the tape?
1 (Videotape played)
2 THE INTERPRETER:
3 "Speaker: We have invited to the studio
4 Ilija Petrovic, member of the National Council; Ilija
5 Kuncarevic, Secretary-General of the Serbian National
6 Council; Pero Matic, teacher from Beli Manastir; Slavko
7 Dokmanovic, the President of the Municipal Assembly of
8 Vukovar; Goran Hadzic, the President of the municipal
9 committee of the Serbian Democratic Party for Vukovar,
10 and a member of the main committee of the Serbian
11 Democratic Party for Knin, and Caslav Ocic from Dalj.
12 The Serbian National Council for Slavonia,
13 Baranja and Western Srem was established this year in
14 Sidski Banovci at Christmas. Of course, the Orthodox
15 Christmas. So far, of the members of the Serbian
16 National Council we only knew the name of Ilija
17 Koncarevic, the Secretary-General, and today we
18 identify another member, Ilija Petrovic.
19 Mr. Petrovic, why the secrecy surrounding the
20 names of the Serbian National Council?
21 Mr. Petrovic: Well, the reason is quite
22 simple. In Croatia we have an Ustasha regime, and we
23 have seen what the scenario is according to which they
24 work. It is logical that if they knew the names, they
25 would also be on the list of people to be eliminated
1 and that is why we thought it quite normal that the
2 names of the remaining 19 members of the National
3 Council be kept secret for the time being. The fact
4 that the names have not been disclosed does not mean
5 that the National Council is not operating. This
6 Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem is fully
7 operational and in the meantime they issued two
8 proclamations and I hope that they will continue to do
10 I have to add here that the Serbian National
11 Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, as its
12 name says, operates in a narrower area of what is today
13 the Republic of Croatia and that it works in accordance
14 with the declaration on the establishment of the
15 Serbian National Council passed at the Convention,
16 passed in Srb in July and now, because some of us have
17 maybe forgotten something from geography we learned so
18 far in the past, and maybe we were not at school that
19 day, Western Srem, according to our views, extends from
20 its eastern line, Ilok, Lovas, Sid, Tovarnik and
21 Jamena, and to the west it is bordered by the line
22 extending from Cepin down 15 kilometres to Slavonski
24 Slavonia extends from that line, Cepin,
25 Slavonski Brod, and to the west it is from the estuary
1 of the river Ilova down to the Virovitica.
2 Baranja can be most easily defined. It is
3 the triangle edged by Drava and the Danube and by the
4 Hungarian border, the border between Hungary and
6 Question: Mr. Koncarevic, were you the most
7 brave person, since you gave your name to the public?
8 Mr. Koncarevic: Well, I was not the most
9 courageous one, it was simply necessary to do so.
10 I spent most of my time in Slavonia and Baranja and
11 also Krajina. The Council requested me to do so and
12 I performed that task. In the proclamation on the
13 establishment of the Serbian National Council it is
14 stated as follows: faced with the fact that Slovenes
15 and Croats have issued separate decisions on seceding
16 from the State of Yugoslavia, which they joined,
17 together with Serbs, in a joint decision, and the
18 rights of the third partner, the Serbs, have been
19 completely ignored, so that is the reason why Serbian
20 National Council was formed.
21 Question: Can you tell us something about
22 the reasons why it was established in Sidski Banovci
23 and why on Christmas?
24 Mr. Koncarevic: You have three questions,
25 I will try to answer them in turn. We are a part of
1 the Serbian National Council which was formed in Srb
2 and this area that we cover is a geographically
3 specific area -- the second question, why in Sidski
4 Banovci -- there is a reason why. We wanted to show
5 how absurd it is to draw some kind of (INAUDIBLE)
6 borders which are now used by the HDZ as their own
7 borders. So, Sid remains -- the western part of the
8 municipality of Sid remains outside that area and it
9 does not contain -- this area does not contain any of
10 the surrounding villages, although it is logical that
11 the Sidski Banovci village should be in Sid
12 municipality and not in Vinkovci municipality as it is
13 now, and that was the reason why we wanted to show just
14 how absurd this is, by our choice of the location.
15 Why on Christmas? Well, first of all we
16 Serbs live according to the principles of Saint Sava.
17 We are unable to wish ill on anyone and we cannot do
18 anything bad to any other people, least of all on
19 Christmas. In one of the paragraphs of our
20 proclamation we called on our Croatian brothers to stop
21 their Croatian "national fighters", in inverted commas,
22 and to make them recognise their rights and to tell
23 them that all the wars so far have ended in history and
24 that the irrational of the Croatian national fighters
25 against Serbia should stop.
1 We also told him that the Serbian nation has
2 its roots in this area and that the Serbian spirit
3 remains there and we wanted to tell them that they
4 should not do any harm to the Serbian people -- not do
5 anything to the Serbian people that they would not wish
6 the Serbian people to do to them.
7 Question: Mr. Matic, Croatia reacted to the
8 Serbian National Council by stating that Serbs wanted
9 to make this area more Serbian -- is that true
10 Mr. Matic?
11 Mr. Matic: Well, that is what they state,
12 that is their view, but if you look at the history and
13 if you know some facts, they have no reason to claim
14 this, because Serbs have been present here since time
15 immemorial -- many historical documents dating as far
16 back as the 10th century testify as to the presence of
17 Serbs in this area.
18 However, since we are here linked mostly to
19 Baranja and to Western Srem, I would like to stress
20 once again the problems linked historically with this
21 region. These are mostly Serbian areas. You will find
22 in history, for instance, from Duke Rakoci in the 18th
23 century, he calls the area from Balota to the place
24 where the Drava River joined the Danube, "the Serbian
25 land". Serbs never conquered this region, they
1 inhabited, settled this area when they fled from the
2 Turks and searched for new areas where they could
3 recognise and realise their political existence. They
4 found this area in Baranja and that is how they came to
5 live here.
6 The Serbian nation has full historical
7 legitimacy, but, in a series of tragedies that befell
8 the Serbian nation and many misfortunes, one of the
9 misfortunes happened to them in 1946. It is well-known
10 that, due to arbitrary political decisions, and this is
11 what people who lived to see this region -- that
12 Baranja and Western Srem came to be a part of Croatia,
13 although we know that historically, before the First
14 World War, this area belonged to the Danube Vojvodina,
15 Danube Banovina and before that to southern Hungary and
16 to Serbian Vojvodina. That is why this interpretation
17 that we are making this country a Serbian place is not
18 true, but Serbs have lived there for a long time --
19 they have their deeds to land to prove that, and
20 unfortunately, in the past, in the last war, this has
21 been stolen -- this property has been stolen from them.
22 Question: Mr. Matic, you are from Beli
23 Manastir and not Bijeli Manastir, so let us put right
24 an error that occurred on the screen in the caption?
25 Mr. Matic: Yes, officially the name is Beli
2 Question: Mr. Dokmanovic, you are President
3 of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar. Could you tell
4 us what it means to be the President of the
5 municipality of a town in HDZ rule?
6 Mr. Dokmanovic: Vukovar is an area where 23
7 nations and nationalities live. Until one year ago
8 they lived fairly peacefully and that is how they
9 should live. Vukovar is Yugoslavia in small and that
10 is how everybody behaved. Nobody ever stressed their
11 national and religious affiliation. This was never a
12 hindrance of life together. Before the first
13 multi-Party elections took place, the HDZ endeavoured,
14 by all means available, to homogenise the Croat people
15 and the people lived up to that and we had a division
16 and this national tension is fairly evident, there is a
17 lot of mistrust and the politics of the day -- the
18 militant policy contributes to this, of the insurgent
19 side and they are playing at the razor's edge and this
20 can lead to serious incidents with unforeseeable
22 In Vukovar at the elections these socialists
23 were victorious, they have a significant majority in
24 the Assembly. The work of the Assembly is evolving
25 under fairly difficult conditions and I can tell you
1 that it is a thankless task to be the President of the
2 Municipal Assembly at this particular point where the
3 leftist side has won.
4 Question: Can you tell us as a Serb in the
5 municipality whether you have -- there has been any
6 coercion and pressure exerted on you and there were
7 attempts to dismantle this. What is the situation like
9 Mr. Dokmanovic: The overall economic
10 situation has contributed to an even more difficult
11 situation, together with the national situation, so the
12 settling of accounts, which is taking place between the
13 Serb leaders, it is a settling of accounts with the
14 ancient regime, generally the Communists, and that is
15 where the Serbs are mostly the victims.
16 Question: Mr. Hadzic, you are President of
17 the municipal council of Serbian Democratic Party,
18 municipal committee of the SDS and it has been set up
19 and you have been able to organise yourselves. From
20 that aspect, tell us the position of the Serbs there?
21 Mr. Hadzic: As you said yourself, we
22 organised ourselves relatively late, but our Croatian
23 -- by virtue of the acts of our Croatian brethren we
24 had to organise ourselves. The position of the Serbian
25 people is a very difficult one. I cannot say that the
1 people are frightened -- after all, the events that
2 have occurred -- we know that there was 1941 and 1945
3 and we have nothing to fear any more. After the
4 constitution of Croatia, we have been wiped out as a
5 people in these areas -- nothing remains apart from our
6 head on our shoulders and life itself so we have
7 nothing to fear any more, but perhaps we as individuals
8 -- and we had a meeting last night and one of the
9 conclusions was that while we are frightened that a
10 part of the leadership and the presidency of the
11 republic could make moves which are errors, we are
12 afraid of something else, that is, the Croatian
13 silence, and I think that, after that, nobody has
14 distanced themselves from the events that have taken
15 place. That is more frightening, because -- anybody
16 can make a mistake, leaders can make a mistake but a
17 nation must not make a mistake and I do not think this
18 can be done by the Croatian people and they are our
19 friends, they are our neighbours and we know that they
20 arm themselves. We thought this was individual, but we
21 are very sorry to see that nobody distanced themselves
22 from these facts.
23 Question: How does the Serbian nation
24 explain recognition of the images that appeared? How
25 do you explain the situation?
1 Mr. Hadzic: Well, it is tragic. It would be
2 funny were it not tragic and that is why we find it
3 difficult, because people are trying to justify
4 themselves and that is absurd.
5 Question: Mr. Ocic, the programme of
6 Television Novi Sad is viewed in Slavonia and Baranja,
7 and viewers very often call us and not only Serbs; the
8 Croats too call us and tell us about the situation in
9 Slavonia and Baranja and say the Serbs are rich there.
10 You said something about the economic situation there.
11 Let me remind you that the Serbs in Slavonia, Baranja,
12 Croatia and Dalmatia were never serfs and they were a
13 free enterprising people and they were always ready to
14 undertake risks and that they were great entrepreneurs
15 in the initial days of capitalism.
16 In the 19th century, as I say, they were very
17 good entrepreneurs, enterprising people both
18 individually and collectively, and it is thanks to
19 their entrepreneurial spirit they became rich.
20 One of the largest banks in Croatia was the
21 Serbian bank at the time. The Serbian "Compos"
22 newspaper shows there were Serbian monetary funds and
23 institutions on the territory of what was the
24 Austro-Hungarian empire.
25 Not only individually were they rich but they
1 showed affiliation towards collective organisation.
2 For example, there were many businessmen and
3 entrepreneurs were trained systematically and there was
4 a very important man at the time, Vladimir Matejevic,
5 who was one of the individuals who systematically
6 organised foundations and legacies and training for
8 One of the reasons for this irrational hatred
9 of the Serbs was this spirit of entrepreneurship and
10 their riches and their shops were destroyed in Zagreb.
11 This can be compared to the pogroms against the Jews,
12 so Serbs were very successful businessmen and talented
13 and therefore fairly well-off. The attacks on Serbian
14 property in the first war and Second World War was
15 evident and destroyed much of the properties they had.
16 The situation after the war was such that, through a
17 regional policy, systematic -- organised colonisation
18 was resorted to and people left for economic reasons --
19 came to urban environments and economic prerequisites
20 for assimilation were set up in which they lost their
21 national identity, and there was less possibility for
22 Serbs, as opposed to the Austro-Hungarian empire where
23 there was the fair play and the rule of law. They lost
24 their economic status, the status that they had
25 previously, so by isolating them communicationwise from
1 other areas where Serbs lived and worked, gave rise to
2 the economic prerequisites for separating them
3 economically and nationally.
4 The classical thesis that was supported
5 before the war and is still supported is that we cannot
6 with the form of autonomy for Serbs become organised
7 because that is the HSS thesis -- as everything is
8 repeated today, and history repeats itself so it is an
9 association of the poor people.
10 But if we look at natural resources and the
11 human potential and everything else, then we can
12 conclude that there is a very healthy, good foundation,
13 economic foundation for all kinds of independent
14 decision-making and taking one's fate in one's own
15 hands. However, the situation of late is to undermine
16 the economic background of the collective of Serbs in
17 Croatia -- Serbs are being laid off and only those who
18 are of a proper ethnic background are being employed --
19 Serbian personnel in charge of certain companies are
20 being attacked, so this overall discrimination and the
21 bringing into jeopardy of basic human rights is being
23 These are not just situations on the verge of
24 the incident -- this is State terrorism and Serbs are
25 being deprived of their economic basis for their
2 Attempts to make something about that -- some
3 kind of unofficial organisation, association of people
4 -- for instance, in Dalj people tried to organise
5 themselves in economic terms, encountered such fierce
6 resistance and in all the media there were such fierce
7 attacks against those people who just tried to fight
8 for their own economic existence.
9 The situation is so horrible -- the
10 accusations are so horrible, so instead of enabling
11 everybody, regardless of their religious or ethnic
12 backgrounds, to live in economic terms, they attack the
13 very existence, at the roots of the very existence. In
14 Europe, virtually in the 21st century, we have this
15 Nazification, the revival of fascism, because Croatia
16 never went through the process of de-Nazification such
17 as happened in Germany and it never accepted its status
18 as a defeated power.
19 It is incredible that we are seeing now this
20 darkness again -- it is a systematic effort, striking
21 at the very roots of the Serbian national identity. We
22 promised that our viewers will also take part in our
23 programme, we have somebody on the line."
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise,
25 this is really inaudible.
1 "Speaker: You are on the air.
2 Caller: I wanted to ask a question of the
3 gentleman from Knin. Since in this situation today we
4 are discussing the future of Yugoslavia, I want to know
5 why, today, representatives of the Knin Krajina and the
6 Bosnian Krajina in the beginning said that they would
7 have a united front regardless of the fact of whether
8 Yugoslavia would be a federation or a confederation.
9 At any rate, whatever the agreement is, it would always
10 be to the detriment of Serbs in Croatia. Although in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina today Serbs are in a better
12 situation than in Croatia, but I feel that if they had
13 a united front in the negotiations today, if a Krajina
14 was to be formed, an autonomous republic, I do not
15 know, I think that they would have a much better
16 negotiating position, and they would be able to base
17 their future life on a much stronger foundation, so
18 that is what I would like to know, whether the
19 representatives of the Bosnian and Croatian Krajina
20 would reach a deal so that is the former military
21 Krajina -- that there should be a unified Serbian
22 Krajina in Yugoslavia which should be an entity there,
23 so I want to know why they have failed to reach an
24 agreement and why the representative from Bosnia are
25 silent now, when in Knin and in the other areas there
1 are fierce discussions about the survival of Serbs and
2 so on?
3 Speaker: Obviously this is a question for
4 Goran Hadzic, who is the President of the municipal
5 committee of the Serbian Democratic Party for Vukovar
6 and he is also a member of the Serbian Democratic
7 Party, the main committee from Knin. Can you give us
8 an answer to that?
9 Mr. Hadzic: I will try to answer. I would
10 like to thank the friendly advice. I do not know
11 whether the viewer is aware of the fact that the
12 province of Krajina has been proclaimed and we
13 recognised it -- multi-Party elections in Bosnia were
14 conducted and most of the Serbian people voted for SDS,
15 which means that the Serbs are political people in
16 Bosnia -- and recognised as such, as opposed to
17 Croatia, and that was the reason why Krajina was
19 Our positions are clear. Serbian people will
20 live in one State and that is Yugoslavia. For as long
21 as this Yugoslavia exists, it is not necessary. In
22 fact, Krajina was formed because Croatia erased the
23 Serbian people from the constitution.
24 Speaker: Mr. Koncarevic, you wanted to say
25 something about that?
1 Mr. Koncarevic: You have to know that the
2 Serbian people in Krajina, in Bosnia, is now in the
3 Parliament, in the Government, it is a constituent
4 people there, political people, and there is no reason
5 to change anything there. As for this part of the
6 nation which is in Croatia, they will have to
7 articulate themselves through their political claims,
8 through the Serbian National Council. A democratic
9 politician said at one stage that everybody is for
10 Yugoslavia if there is no other solution. It is
11 possible that we may face this problem, too, and that
12 one day we will face the question, what if Yugoslavia
13 cannot survive?
14 The Serbian people will probably have to take
15 a very firm stand and to start the unification into a
16 single Serbian State and for about six months I have
17 been calling this State the Serbian land in the
18 singular -- not the Serbian lands, because if we were
19 to use the term "Serbian lands", that would make it
20 possible for any of those areas or territories who were
21 to join this State, to secede at one point once the
22 passions have calmed down -- they would be able to say,
23 "I am just one of the territories belonging to those
24 lands", so from the very beginning we should clearly
25 define the Serbian -- the borders of the Serbian State.
1 At that point we will probably have to face
2 the problem of how to achieve that. Everybody thinks
3 there has to be a war. It does not have to be a war.
4 We have had a war and Serbian people have paid the
5 price. The people in power in Croatia today refer to
6 the thousand years dreams and aspirations, they claim
7 they are inheritors of the independent State of Croatia
8 and we have to let them know quite clearly that the
9 independent State of Croatia is the defeated side.
10 They have lost the war, they have to sign the
11 capitulation, they have to sign the armistice and the
12 conditions of the armistice are dictated by the winning
13 power and in this case the winning power, the victors
14 are the Serbian people and the Serbian State.
15 Speaker: Mr. Matic, whenever we start talking
16 about Serbs living in a single State, the reactions in
17 Croatia amount to -- they always say that Shiptars
18 should also live in Albania. It is clear they do not
19 admit there is a difference between ethnic minorities
20 and nations. It is obvious that according to that
21 theory Serbs are a national minority in Croatia?
22 Mr. Matic: Well, according to the latest
23 constitution they adopted, Serbs are treated by them as
24 a national minority. However, Serbs are a political
25 people -- a political nation in that area. They have
1 their territories -- of course, in the context of the
2 State of the Yugoslav peoples you cannot talk about the
3 Shiptar people. They cannot have the same rights as
4 the Yugoslav peoples and we all know that Serbs are a
5 Yugoslav people regardless of the areas where they
6 lived in this country of ours, because we treat it as
7 our country. But opinions differ and of course if any
8 borders are to be drawn, especially between Serbs and
9 Croats, because these are the areas that are most in
10 dispute, if there should be a confederation or a
11 break-up of Yugoslavia -- and Croatia has been really
12 working on this -- we should not despair, because
13 historical documents, if we use historical documents,
14 the principle of history is on our side, international
15 law is on the side of the State-forming people and that
16 is the Serbian people in this case, and of course any
17 ethnic interpretations that they can come up with when
18 they put together apples and oranges in their media,
19 that will not be of assistance to them, because the
20 data from the census clearly speak -- of course, the
21 census that we can rely on -- also indicate the ethnic
22 principle will be on the side of the Serbian people.
23 Speaker: Quite obviously there is a lot of
24 interest from our viewers for this programme. We have
25 someone on the line, good evening?
1 Caller: I should like to congratulate the
2 National Council for having given us their names,
3 disclosed their names for the first time and I should
4 like to ask a question related to borders, but before
5 I go on to ask my question concerning the borders,
6 I should like to ask comrade Dokmanovic to answer who
7 organised the care of the Baranja children when they
8 were sent to the Sombor municipality, that is to say,
9 to the village of Prigravica, because there was a voice
10 on Belgrade 202 television programme, radio programme.
11 I should also like to talk about the borders
12 of good old Serbia and I hope she will live on. I am
13 -- there is a ransom on my head as well, I feel. We
14 know the old borders of Serbia, Sombor towards Karlovac
15 and Virovitica, and that is the most difficult
16 situation today. Baranja never belonged to Croatia and
17 I do not know what right in 1946 gave people the right
18 to appropriate it. I consider Josip Broz to blame for
19 this, but I also feel that the Serbian traitors or
20 those who helped them were to blame.
21 I now have a concrete question anybody can
22 answer, and that is whether the borders of old Serbia
23 -- are they possible in the present day and I should
24 like to ask all of you individually a collective
25 question: when we come to vote for Yugoslavia, or for
1 another option, will you come out in favour of a united
2 Serbia, or for Yugoslavia.
3 I am in favour of a united Serbia and long
4 live Serbia. May I have your answers please.
5 Speaker: Mr. Matic, I feel that this is
6 taking part in our discussion here, but can you answer
7 the question -- can you answer our viewer? The
8 gentleman, who did not give us his name for
9 understandable reasons, brought up the question of the
10 Baranja children and I will try to answer him as far as
11 I am able, because I am not connected to any Party,
12 I am outside parties fighting for the Serbian people,
13 to the best of my ability, but this drive was organised
14 by all the parties from Baranja in which the Serbian
15 people are included, and for well-known reasons, if an
16 explosive situation takes place which can lead to a
17 civil war and which could have done so, at that
18 particular time, to see that the children were safe, so
19 this was an agreement and cooperation that existed
20 between people in Backa and people in Baranja.
21 As far as the second question is concerned
22 about the borders, these are all ideas that we have in
23 mind, and perhaps it is one of our tragedies that we
24 did not think earlier in the way that we are thinking
25 now, that our level of national awareness is now at its
1 peak and it is possible and not possible to think about
2 borders at the same time -- of the Serbia that we have
3 -- greater or not. It is a fact that Baranja never
4 belonged to Croatia, and neither did it belong to the
5 independent Croatia that the leaders refer to. It was
6 Hungary and finally Baranja was a component part of the
7 Serb State.
8 I have here the coat of arms -- for those who
9 do not know this, that the Serb Vojvodina existed and
10 what it united. Baranja, like Western Srem has its
11 historical identity within the province of Vojvodina.
12 On the right-hand side, you can -- the photograph is
13 very bad but you can see the pictorial representation
14 of Srem -- it is the deer symbolising Srem, on the
15 opposite side is the lion symbolising Banat and on the
16 right-hand side is a maiden representing Backa and the
17 lamb on the other side symbolising Baranja. There we
18 have the coat of arms of Serbian Vojvodina and it is
19 very relative to ask how long it lasted, but it did
20 exist, and it has its historical identity.
21 Speaker: Mr. Dokmanovic, part of the question
22 was addressed to you?
23 Mr. Dokmanovic: This question -- the answer
24 was supplied to the question by Mr. Matic about the
25 children from Beli Manastir. I am President of the
1 Municipal Assembly of Vukovar. I do not know the
2 situation there and if the information satisfies our
3 viewer, I am very happy. I am not in favour of those
4 who write off Yugoslavia so easily. I think that there
5 is a lot of chance of putting things right, after
6 clarifications have been made, and that a State could
7 be set up of equal nations and nationalities as far as
8 is possible, but I am not in favour of having somebody
9 forced to stay in Yugoslavia -- everybody has the right
10 to create a State as corresponds to his needs so nobody
11 must be prevented from doing so, because any prevention
12 will lead to problems, and conflict if you will.
13 At all events, all nations in Yugoslavia
14 should be allowed to create a State of their own as
15 they see fit, as would correspond to their needs and in
16 which they will be happy.
17 We mentioned the National Council here -- we
18 are not all members of the National Council in Sidski
19 Banovci, which does not mean that we are not working
20 for the interests of the Serbian people, and not only
21 the Serb people -- we are in favour of having every
22 nation who is jeopardised fought for -- that their
23 rights become the rights -- equal to the rights of
24 other nations.
25 Question: Does the Serbian people have any
1 reason to prevent Croats from having a State of their
3 Mr. Ocic: No people can prevent or deny the
4 legitimate right of every people to their own State.
5 This goes for the Serbian people as well. No other
6 people has the right to prevent the Serbs from creating
7 their own State and of developing their economic
8 resources. A large part of the Serbian people devoted
9 their energies and were sacrificed to recreate other
10 people's States. Whether we want to admit that or not
11 the Serbian people created the first and second
12 Yugoslavias. The Serbian people has morally more right
13 -- maybe not politically more right -- to decide on
14 the fate or break-up of Yugoslavia. If Yugoslavia was
15 just a station they passed through en route to their
16 own State which they were unable to create without the
17 assistance of Serbs in 1918 and 1945, Serbs should not
18 pay the price of creating other people's States, and
19 the illusions today, we have paid the price."
20 MR. FILA: I apologise, your Honour, in the
21 transcript, it is not clear that this gentleman is
22 answering this question. It appears that Mr. Dokmanovic
23 is the one providing the answer. The name has not been
24 changed -- the name of this gentleman is Ocic --
25 I think it is clear to distinguish, because the purpose
1 of this tape is to show what Mr. Dokmanovic had said,
2 because he is the one being tried here.
3 THE INTERPRETER:
4 "So they have paid the price to keep the
5 States of other peoples alive and the illusions have
6 been paid dearly today, and we should not be slaves to
7 those illusions. Everybody should be allowed to create
8 the State that they want, and the Serbian people has
9 that right. It cannot be denied to it. So I am in
10 favour of a civilised parting of ways, and nobody can
11 love each other by force.
12 The only thing we should pay attention to is
13 to minimise the costs, especially in terms of human
14 life, and the threats coming from the other side, what
15 Sime Djodan said, that one million Croats would die in
16 order to exterminate the one million Serbs who live in
17 Croatia, if that should come true. I think that no
18 Serbs -- no Croats should die in order to create those
19 States in the Serbian ethnic territory, and when they
20 issue such genocidal threats to Serbian people, they
21 forget that it is not only 1 million Serbs who live in
22 Croatia, Serbs live elsewhere. If we were to take that
23 to its logical limit, it would cause a spilling of
24 blood -- that would not have any good consequences for
25 anyone, so I am in favour of a Serbian State that would
1 make it possible for everybody to live normally.
2 People in Lika and Kordun, they have mental illness,
3 because they have not the basic pre-conditions for
4 their existence there.
5 Question: Mr. Hadzic, do you believe that
6 civilised parting ways that Mr. Ocic was telling us
7 about was possible?
8 Mr. Hadzic: I am an optimist by nature and
9 I thought it would be possible, as they said, to create
10 a peaceful co-existence, but after the recent events
11 I categorically state that any co-existence is
12 impossible, it does not exist any more here and that
13 the level of the presidency, they should have -- they
14 should discuss some kind of peaceful parting of ways.
15 I am not in favour of the break-up of
16 Yugoslavia but, as Mr. Ocic said, can you imagine how
17 the people in Croatia live after the events that we
18 have seen on TV -- people just left their homes, and
19 guarded their homes at night -- the police arrived --
20 those people did not have any weapons -- the police
21 officer arrived, he is a Serb although he does not feel
22 that he is a Serb, he made lists of all those people
23 who stood there peacefully. It was all very cold, the
24 night was very cold, but you can imagine how we lived
1 So yesterday, at the meeting of the municipal
2 committee, we decided to organise a meeting in the
3 centre of Vukovar -- a meeting, a rally, which would be
4 in support of the decisions of the presidency, and also
5 to protest the failure to comply with those decisions
6 of the presidency, because civilians are being armed
7 and they are not returning their weapons. If they
8 return their weapons, then they can get those weapons
9 back in no time.
10 Question: Now we will hear another viewer
11 -- this is the third channel of the Novi Sad TV. You
12 are on the air.
13 Caller: I have been very upset with the TV
14 programme I saw and some nights ago we saw the tapes
15 that were filmed by the army about what was being
16 prepared in Croatia and in Yugoslavia in general. From
17 1918 on Serbs have suffered the most, and then in 1948
18 there was this genocide against Serbs and gypsies and
19 Jews. Has this been a lesson enough, that we should
20 wait and have those things happen to us and that nobody
21 reacts except for some individuals being called in for
22 interrogation and the weapons, they are still in the
23 houses of HDZ members and police stations -- only it is
24 under some kind of supervision, so can we expect that
25 we will have a peaceful night tonight and during the
1 following nights, whether our wives and children are
2 safe or maybe we should think that the civil war is
3 about to break out any day now -- this army of ours,
4 can it control such incidents and if they control those
5 events, and if it issues an ultimatum for the weapons
6 to be returned, and then the leadership who caused all
7 this, can they be arrested and tried publicly instead
8 of having all this hushed up? The Croatian Democratic
9 Union never distanced itself. We are still in fear --
10 all of us who live here, and I am calling from Novi
11 Sad, all of us who live in this area, we saw that map
12 and we saw half of Vojvodina and Novi Sad was also
13 included in the map, do we have to fear the civil war
14 which is about to break out soon or does JNA have some
15 kind of power in Yugoslavia where we want to live, or
16 are we to be expecting the civil war to break out?
17 Question: Mr. Petrovic, the Serbian National
19 Mr. Petrovic: First of all, let me just make
20 an explanation -- whether the army has any power in the
21 country. It is not very good to say that the army has
22 some kind of power -- army has its task, its job, just
23 like everybody else -- every other profession. If
24 something were to happen as our viewer says, like the
25 civil war, I would say that that would not be a civil
1 war -- it would be a war of two polarised peoples --
2 Serbs --
3 Question: Well, let us not assume now, and
4 create hypothetical situations?
5 Answer: The Serbian people believe the JNA
6 will protect it. The Serbian National Council gave its
7 support in a proclamation a couple of days ago to the
8 presidency and we hope that things will go back to
9 normal. How the situation will evolve, of course -- it
10 is a hypothetical situation. We are trying for the
11 Serbian people to gather them together, we have called
12 on them to exercise caution, and to keep their cool.
13 It may seem easy to say so, but it is not easy. We all
14 have our personal impulses, which may be in
15 contradiction of that statement, but we believe that we
16 will have a peaceful solution.
17 I will now go back to 1943 and something that
18 Mr. Franklin Roosevelt said at our Anglo-American
19 convention having learned what was happening in the
20 independent state of Croatia and the pogroms against
21 the Serbian people at this time. He proposed the
22 Croatian people should be placed under tutelage. A
23 people that is unable to act rationally -- a people
24 that acts irrationally -- that should be a minimum, for
25 a people to be placed under tutelage. The American
1 politicians said that at the time -- President Tudjman
2 is probably aware of that and it is possible that he
3 would just continue with his story that he is prepared
4 to give up Spegelj and Bolkovac and all his leaders, so
5 that in the end he can claim to be a Democrat, so that
6 he retains his power, but I think that there should not
7 be a war.
8 Question: Mr. Matic, do you trust the
9 Yugoslav People's Army, that it is capable of
10 protecting Serbs in Slavonia, and Baranja and Knin and
11 other parts of the country?
12 Mr. Matic: Well, I profoundly believe that is
13 possible from the aspects of the present day, but it is
14 essential to know the situation on location. It is
15 tense and dynamic there, and it has reached boiling
16 point and I think that, unless these measures are
17 consistently implemented, there will be an explosive
18 incident, because there does not seem to be any
19 authority which can retain and keep the people under
21 Question: Mr. Ocic, I would like to hear you
22 on that subject -- the Serbs have so many times been
23 tricked throughout history that they have reason to
24 doubt. How do you assess the confidence of the Serbian
25 people in the Yugoslav People's Army?
1 Mr. Ocic: Nothing else remains for the Serbs
2 -- they must, and in view of their fighting traditions
3 and everything else, they believe and wish to believe
4 in the army and the army is their force, but it is not
5 the army that is the problem. It is the presidency
6 there to command the army and to bring decisions as to
7 the final denouement, disentanglement of the situation,
8 so it is the responsibility of the presidency and the
9 presidency must act responsibly and quickly, otherwise
10 the situation might escape our control and it will be
11 difficult to bring life back to normal, so confidence
12 in the army exists with the people, but the presidency
13 must play its role.
14 The vice-president of this presidency says
15 one thing and another thing; this testifies to his role
16 and responsibility -- he is playing his role very well
17 and in fact he is realising his goal of great division
18 of goals that other people are acting very successfully
19 Spegelj and Boljkovac, Bobetko and Rukavina will
20 probably come and I think that this type of Bolshevik
21 thinking on the problem with regard to cadre cleansing
22 does not solve the problem at all. The problem is more
23 acute, and it is a question of the destiny and fate of
24 the people. It is the problem of the State of the
25 Yugoslavia, other new States. Therefore, with this
1 sort of whitewashing operation or any other drive to
2 mask the essence of the problem, it is no good. We
3 must all confront the cruelty of reality and all the
4 complexities of the real situation. We are -- and of
5 the historical moment.
6 Any cadre whitewashing or cleansing is a
7 solution, only a superficial solution to the problem.
8 In today's situation everybody has his role. All the
9 Croatian politicians, whether they are in the
10 presidency of Yugoslavia or in the Federal Executive
11 Council or Government, or whether they have functions
12 within Croatia -- this is a very good distribution of
13 roles, they are highly, well synchronised and very
14 effective and efficient.
15 Question: Mr. Matic, I have one more
16 question for you. Tudjman went to Austria recently, he
17 asked that Austria recognise Croatia. The President of
18 Austria, Waldheim, is not received by anyone in the
19 world now -- does that testify to the international
20 position in any way of the new Croatian State?
21 Mr. Matic: Well, probably Tudjman is trying
22 to play a hand which was uncovered in Slovenia today to
23 contact with the remains of the Habsburgs. Perhaps
24 they wish to save their State and to create a State
25 which will be recognised by a sort of abridged version
1 of an Austro-Hungarian monarchy and that this is being
2 masked under a combination of an Alpe-Adria
3 organisation, but these are all suppositions and his
4 travels through Europe and his writings are attempts to
5 win over a vote for his independent State, because we
6 must realise, understand, that, for deep historical
7 complexes they do not know what they are about. It is
8 a nation that has got a lot of complexes, and therefore
9 belongs to the smallest of historical peoples.
10 They live upon the concept of war,
11 Catholicism against Orthodoxy -- this must not be
12 forgotten. What is being done now by Otto Habsburg in
13 the Parliament today might one day become the head of a
14 revived Austro-Hungary, to call it that, and everything
15 comes within the framework of an age-old plan to bring
16 the inheritors of the monarchy, the Habsburg dynasty
17 and the Carthesian war.
18 Question: And in that context, Mr. Ocic, how
19 do you view the smuggling of arms from Hungary?
20 Mr. Ocic: Well, you see, everything that is
21 unloyal should be brought before the law. If there are
22 no elementary prerequisites for the economic life of
23 people, if people have no ambition to undermine the
24 country, then they will stop from living a normal life,
25 whereas on the same count, smugglers are left to run
1 amok, and this discrepancy and these smugglers, this
2 smuggling testifies to the nature of Government and the
3 conception of the rule of law in the State -- something
4 that is proclaimed as a democracy but which is in fact
5 a privatisation and pilfering towards the State
7 I do not know how you can have a State for
8 example where there are only Croats, where this could
9 be tolerated. It is something that is absolutely
10 abnormal in any State.
11 Question: And to draw our programme to a
12 close for this evening, let us ask Mr. Koncarevic, the
13 Secretary-General of the Serbian National Council for
14 Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem, how he views the
15 situation -- what solution he sees to Serbs living in
17 Mr. Koncarevic: Well, this evening, we have
18 talked about the Serbian National Council. Today we
19 have adopted the view and we shall be presenting the
20 presidency with that view as to how to solve the
21 problem. In Croatia, there is a disputed and
22 undisputed territory -- undisputed territory is where
23 the Croats had their ethnic majority before the
24 beginning of the First World War. The disputed
25 territory is that territory in the region of Krajina
1 and Western Srem, Baranja, Slavonia and Moslavina.
2 We proposed to the President of Yugoslavia
3 that it suspend the competencies of the Croatian SABOR
4 and leadership in all the territories where the Serbian
5 people are living, because their elementary human
6 rights are being jeopardised of the Serbian people and
7 the basic right of man is the right to life and it is
8 that right that is being jeopardised. Furthermore --
9 Speaker: Unfortunately, our time has run
10 out, our programme is at the very end. These were
11 members of the Serbian National Council for Slavonia,
12 Baranja and Western Srem. They are prominent Serbs
13 from the region, and they presented their views on the
14 topical situation in Croatia. Thank you for your
15 attention, for viewing us, and good night."
16 MR. FILA: I apologise for you having to see
17 things you did not have to see, but in the supporting
18 material of the Prosecutor, the words said by Ilija
19 Petrovic -- I do not know whether the President of
20 America said those things or not -- that is not up to
21 me to decide, but in the supporting material presented
22 by the Prosecutor, these words were attributed to
23 Slavko Dokmanovic and that is why it was important for
24 you to see this as well as his statement as to whether
25 he was or was not a member of the Serbian National
1 Council. I tender this tape to be admitted into
2 evidence as a Defence exhibit.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honour, I do not
4 know what Mr. Fila is talking about and what we have
5 attributed to Mr. Dokmanovic and what we have not. We
6 have no objection to the tendering of the tape.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The tape is marked D67.
8 MR. FILA: Maybe Mr. Niemann did not
9 understand what I was saying. In a bag which
10 I received at the very beginning of the trial as
11 supporting material, there was an article from the
12 Croatian press where those things were stated -- the
13 ones that I just explained here. The reports were
15 I will have no more tapes for you. The only
16 thing that remains is this last issue -- the BBC tape
17 -- it is three hours long. I still think that we
18 should see it, but only if the Prosecutor agrees --
19 I would then be tendering that as evidence, as some
20 kind of a joint defence -- joint exhibit, if the
21 Prosecutor objects, then I will not be seeking to
22 tender it into evidence.
23 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, if Mr. Fila
24 wishes to tender the tape, he may do so, but we are not
25 doing it by way of a joint exercise. We do not have
1 any particular objection to the BBC programme, except
2 that it is a programme which has been made and edited
3 by producers in the BBC to present a particular point
4 of view. I am not suggesting it is wrong or there is
5 anything incorrect in that, but I cannot see how the
6 court can be much assisted by it. It is entertaining
7 and extremely interesting and basically is rather much
8 in line with the Prosecution view anyway, but I think
9 your Honours are better assisted by hearing evidence
10 from witnesses who can testify to these events, rather
11 than see something that has been produced by the BBC.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: We agree with the
13 Prosecutor. I think probably there is no point in
14 viewing this BBC programme. We do not want to be
15 influenced, it has been edited by people. And also
16 because we need time to hear the evidence to be
17 produced by the Defence counsel -- the witnesses you
18 are going to call in May. We may run out of time.
19 Therefore, for the sake also of saving time, let us do
20 without this tape.
21 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I withdraw my
22 proposal. When the Prosecutor tendered those two
23 photographs I said immediately that it may or may not
24 be interesting to you -- since you do not deem it to be
25 interesting, I withdraw my proposal and that would
1 conclude the proposals of the Defence.
2 MR. NIEMANN: There is one matter
3 that I thought I might raise at this stage, if
4 I could. It relates to our next session in either the
5 next session or the session in May. What we would like
6 to do is, rather than simply wait until the June
7 sittings to present the case in rebuttal, if Mr. Fila
8 reaches the end of his case earlier than he expects --
9 it may or may not happen -- there is some rebuttal
10 evidence that we could present in that time, so I would
11 just like at this early stage to indicate that, should
12 Mr. Fila run short of witnesses, that we would be happy
13 to step in at that stage and could step in at that
14 stage and fill the time.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila?
16 MR. FILA: Your Honours, I said right at the
17 very beginning that I, as the lead counsel, allow that
18 whatever the Prosecutor deems to be necessary to tender
19 into evidence, they can do so and I will not raise any
20 objections, if it is true that we are here to determine
21 the truth, and I think it is. So I raise no objections
22 now and I will raise no objections in the future. The
23 only thing is that I would like to be told in advance
24 what the evidence is. As I said yesterday, I have the
25 right to a rejoinder, since from the times of the
1 ancient Rome, the Defence has the right to speak the
2 last -- to be heard the last, but not twice, as it was
3 in your Senate, your Honour -- of course in the times
4 of Julius Caesar.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: The point however raised by
6 Mr. Niemann was whether you would accept that the
7 rebuttal evidence be heard in May without waiting until
8 June and I see that you do agree -- if you complete
9 your case, of course --
10 MR. FILA: Yes.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: I think Mr. Fila has a good
12 point, namely, that he would like to take a look at the
13 witness statements and I think of the rebuttal
15 MR. NIEMANN: By all means we will notify
16 Mr. Fila of the evidence we anticipate to call.
17 I should make sure I stated the matter precisely,
18 though, from our point of view. We would not be
19 expected to present all of it, it is just we have some
20 available now that we can present. Until we have heard
21 the full Defence case we are not in a position to say
22 the totality of it.
23 Just because Judge May raised it on the last
24 occasion, we are not expecting anything terribly
25 extensive in rebuttal evidence. If it happens we have
1 some time in May, that will significantly reduce any
2 amount of time we need in June -- that is the only
3 point we make.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
5 MR. FILA: Your Honours, I am sorry, my only
6 concern is that this should prejudice the Defence --
7 that the Prosecution would present its rebuttal case
8 and, as you know, I live in Belgrade and I have my
9 evidence stored there and not here. I need some time
10 to learn what the Prosecution is about to present so
11 I can make my own decisions so I am not caught by
12 surprised, to put it very simply, and that is all.
13 I think it is only fair.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, of course. I hope that
15 we all agree that our main goal should be to finish
16 this trial by 18 June, at the latest -- I think this is
17 important. If you need time for your rejoinder, of
18 course we will go on to July -- we will continue in
19 July. We would then have only one week probably
20 available in July, but if it is possible without in any
21 case restricting the rights of Defence to finish in
22 June, I think this would be in the best interests of
23 the accused as well.
24 MR. FILA: I will be concluding my case in
25 June -- I just wanted to see what the Prosecution will
1 present in May so that I can say what I want to say in
2 June. I do not need July at all. Thank you very much,
3 but I do not need it.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: It is agreed. I hope that
5 we will also take up a suggestion made by Mr. Fila about
6 the closing statements -- I wonder whether the
7 Prosecutor is prepared also, in the way of the positive
8 suggestion by Mr. Fila -- Mr. Fila suggested, if
9 possible, closing statements should be handed in, in
10 writing, and then of course you will make an oral
11 statement which could be much shorter than the written
12 one. Let us see whether it is possible for the
13 Prosecutor as well to do so, with a view to shortening
14 the length of the trial. We adjourn now and resume our
15 hearings on 18 May.
16 (At 12.10 p.m. the matter adjourned until 18 May 1998)