1 Monday, 25th May, 1998
2 (In open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could I call
6 upon the registrar to call the case. I wonder whether
7 we could start with the video conference. I assume the
8 first witness will be Zivko Licina.
9 Mr. Bos, can you hear me?
10 MR. BOS: Yes, I can hear you. Very soft.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Should I speak louder?
12 MR. BOS: Now it's fine. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: So we can start. Could you
14 ask the witness to stand and make the solemn
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
20 seated. Mr. Fila?
21 ZIVKO LICINA, Sworn:
22 EXAMINATION BY MR. FILA:
23 Q. Mr. Licina, did you make a statement to
24 Investigator Vojislav Ore and could you please take a
25 look at it and say whether this is your statement?
1 A. Yes, this is my statement.
2 Q. Mr. Licina, what are you by profession and
3 where were you employed?
4 A. I am a professor of mathematics. I worked in
5 the Vukovar High School before the war, and I still
6 work there.
7 Q. Do you know Slavko Dokmanovic?
8 A. Yes, I know Slavko Dokmanovic.
9 Q. Do you know Emil Cakalic or Dragutin
11 A. No, I never met them personally.
12 Q. Please, could you remember the following
13 date, the 20th of November, 1991 now?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And could you tell us what was happening to
16 you on that day, how come you were at the hospital,
17 et cetera?
18 A. I came to the hospital on the 2nd of
19 November, 1991, together with my wife who fell ill in
20 the cellar where we were staying in Mitnica. Due to my
21 wife's illness, I stayed on at the hospital too until
22 the war operations had ceased on the 20th of November.
23 On that day, we left the hospital, my wife and I, in a
24 bus around 11.00.
25 We arrived in Ovcara sometime between 1.00
1 and 1.30 p.m. We spent some time there and, at one
2 point in time, a soldier came by (redacted) who
3 recognised me and my wife on the bus, and who asked us
4 to leave the bus immediately, which is exactly what we
5 did. (redacted) recognised --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter can't hear
7 the name
8 A. -- recognised someone, and they -- so it's a
9 few people, left the bus too.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Again, there is no tone.
11 A. -- in front of the bus, we went to the
12 command of the military unit which was near the
13 buses -- near the place where the buses were. We
14 stayed there all afternoon and sometime around dusk we
15 were taken to VELEPROMET. We were driven off to
16 VELEPROMET. We spent the night at VELEPROMET and the
17 next day, on the 21st of November, we left for Serbia.
18 Q. Mr. Licina, do you remember in which bus you
20 A. In the second bus.
21 Q. How many buses were there, approximately?
22 A. I beg your pardon?
23 Q. How many buses were there, approximately?
24 A. The bus was full, but we were all sitting.
25 We all had seats.
1 Q. When you left the bus, did you leave this
2 place immediately or did you spend some time in front
3 of the hanger?
4 A. We spent a few minutes there.
5 Q. Did you see Slavko Dokmanovic there?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Could you see him, had he been there?
8 A. Oh, I certainly would have seen him had he
9 been there.
10 Q. As you were leaving Ovcara, what time was it,
12 A. It was dusk. Perhaps around 5.00, 4.30 or
14 Q. Did you see Slavko Dokmanovic then?
15 A. No, no. Slavko Dokmanovic certainly was not
16 at the place where I was.
17 Q. Who drove you away from there then and who
18 were you with in this vehicle?
19 A. It was a military vehicle. I didn't see the
20 driver. I think it was a Jeep. The four of us sat
21 there (redacted), we sat in this vehicle, and
22 then we went to -- back to VELEPROMET.
23 Q. Did you talk about something en route, how
24 you left Ovcara? Was there any discussion about that?
25 A. Not in the car, really. There wasn't any
1 special conversation because all afternoon the four of
2 us were together in the command of this military unit.
3 Q. Mr. Licina, finally, am I saying the truth
4 when I say that you arrived in front of the hangar
5 between 1.30 and 2.00, and you left the area sometime
6 before 5.00?
7 A. Yes, yes, that would be it. That would be
9 MR. FILA: Thank you for coming. No further
10 questions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Williamson?
12 CROSS-EXAMINED BY MR. WILLIAMSON:
13 Q. Good morning, Professor Licina. Do you
14 remember meeting with an investigator from the Office
15 of the Prosecutor, Mr. Vladimir Dzuro, on the 16th and
16 17th of November, 1997 in Vukovar?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. At that time did you give him a statement
19 that was taken down in the English language but was
20 read back to you in Serbian?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And after having the statement read back to
23 you by the interpreter, did you, in fact, sign it as
24 being truthful and correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time I would ask
2 that the witness be shown a copy of the statement which
3 we will mark as the next Prosecutor's exhibit number,
4 if the registrar could help me there.
5 THE REGISTRAR: This is number D101.
6 MR. WILLIAMSON: No, I'm sorry, this is a
7 Prosecution exhibit.
8 MR. FILA: I'm sorry, Mr. Williamson. I
9 forgot to ask for our statement to be admitted into
10 evidence, if you don't object to that. I'm sorry. And
11 I haven't even seen your statement, so could I please
12 have a copy of it?
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: We have no objection to the
14 Defence Exhibit being entered, and at this time that's
15 what I was preparing to do, was to hand over our copy.
16 I was just trying to mark it for identification
17 purposes before doing so.
18 MR. FILA: The name, perhaps, the name should
19 be deleted. Your Honour, the witness, Licina,
20 mentioned a name.(redacted)
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You're right.
23 MR. WILLIAMSON: So if I could have the
24 Prosecutor's exhibit number, please, the next one in
1 THE REGISTRAR: This is number 204.
2 MR. WILLIAMSON: Thank you. At this time I
3 would ask if a copy of this could be shown to the
4 witness, and I will provide now copies both in English
5 and Serbian to the Defence and to the Court.
6 MR. BOS: The witness has a copy in front of
8 MR. WILLIAMSON:
9 Q. Professor Licina, is this your signature that
10 appears on this document?
11 A. There's no signature here. Yes. Yes.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time I would tender
13 this as Prosecutor's Exhibit 204 under seal.
14 Q. Professor Licina, you are a Serb, are you
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you are originally from Vukovar; correct?
18 A. I was born near Prodavska Slatina.
19 Q. And how long had you lived in Vukovar?
20 A. Since 1967.
21 Q. And where was your home located in Vukovar in
22 1991, in what part of the city?
23 A. If you are familiar with Vukovar, it was
25 Q. This is the area that is located near the
1 water tower, is it not, in Vukovar?
2 A. Relatively.
3 Q. And what were conditions like in Mitnica
4 during the course of the battle?
5 A. I don't know what conditions you are
6 referring to.
7 Q. What were your living conditions like during
8 this time period, for you and your family?
9 A. You mean during the fighting? You mean
10 during the fighting?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Well, my wife and I lived in the basement
13 until we went to the hospital.
14 Q. Were you forced to stay at your home during
15 the battle?
16 A. It's not that I was forced by someone, but
17 it's a pity I hadn't left before the fighting began.
18 Q. Are you aware of other Serbs that also chose
19 to stay in Vukovar during the battle?
20 A. Some of them remained. I can't say how many,
22 Q. Now, at any time during the battle, while you
23 were staying at your home in Mitnica, were you
24 mistreated by the Croats because you were a Serb?
25 A. Not especially because of that. There wasn't
1 any mistreatment because of that.
2 Q. What happened to Mitnica during the course
3 of the battle? Did the area sustain much damage?
4 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
5 Q. And did this damage come from artillery or
6 air attacks or a combination of the two?
7 A. It was difficult for me to see what was going
8 on up there from my basement and to see where the
9 shelling was coming from.
10 Q. Now, you indicated earlier that, on the 2nd
11 of November, you moved to Vukovar Hospital because your
12 wife fell ill; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And how did you get from your home to the
15 hospital on the 2nd of November?
16 A. Well, a neighbour drove me in his car, me and
17 my wife I mean.
18 Q. And was this neighbour a Croatian soldier?
19 A. I can't remember right now whether he was a
20 soldier or not.
21 Q. In your statement that you gave to Mr. Ore,
22 you said on the 2nd of November, "One of my neighbours
23 found a Croatian soldier who agreed to drive us to the
24 hospital. I do not know his name."
25 Is that correct?
1 A. It is possible that he was a soldier, and it
2 is for certain that my neighbour found this man.
3 Q. And while you were at the hospital, were you
4 ever mistreated in any way because you were a Serb?
5 A. I can't say that I was mistreated, no, in the
7 Q. There were a lot of allegations made to the
8 effect that the medical staff at Vukovar Hospital was
9 mistreating Serbs. Did you ever see any evidence of
10 this in the 18 days that you were there?
11 A. I didn't see any evidence of that kind where
12 I was.
13 MR. FILA: Objection, Your Honour. I'm
14 sorry, Mr. Williamson, but I never claimed, nor did
15 anyone here, that Serbs were mistreated at the Vukovar
16 Hospital. I don't know who said that, really.
17 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, there have been
18 allegations to that effect. I think the transcript is
19 very clear on that during the course of the trial, that
20 this has come out.
21 MR. FILA: Serb doctors were there. Serb
22 doctors were there. How come? Which one of the
23 witnesses for the Defence said that he or she was
24 mistreated there? Show me the transcript. Not a
25 single Defence witness has been speaking of the
1 hospital, by the way. I mean, I don't mind if somebody
2 had testified to that, but as far as I know, no one had
3 testified to that effect. It would have been terrible
4 had it been so.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: This was the last question I
6 had on this topic, but Witness Q testified to this
7 effect, that Dr. Bosanac was looked at as a
8 Dr. Mengele by the Serbs taken to the hospital. She
9 was also taken and imprisoned after the hospital was
10 taken over, as were other members of the hospital staff
11 by the Serb authorities. They were imprisoned in
12 Serbia on allegations for war crimes, that they had
13 taken blood from the prisoners. This has come out due
14 to testimony of Dr. Bosanac, from Dr. Striber and from
15 Witness Q, and I'm addressing this to a Serb who was
16 present in the hospital and asking him: Did he see any
17 evidence of this? But as I said, this was my last
18 question on this topic.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. You may proceed.
20 MR. WILLIAMSON:
21 Q. During the night between the 19th and the
22 20th of November, where were you located in the
24 A. In the same part where I had spent the
25 previous 17 or 18 days; namely, in the basement of the
1 neuropsychiatry ward.
2 Q. And approximately what time on the morning of
3 the 20th were you directed outside of the hospital and
4 told to get on buses?
5 A. I think it was around 9.00 when we were told
6 to leave, and then it took time. I mean, when we left
7 and while the buses got there, et cetera, so it did
8 take quite a bit of time.
9 Q. And the buses -- were you able to tell what
10 kind of licence plates were on the buses?
11 A. Yes. But I can't remember the numbers,
13 Q. But were these licence plates of the JNA?
14 A. I think -- I think they were JNA. I can't
15 say that for sure right now, but I think they were JNA.
16 Q. Now, when you got on the bus, was there any
17 type of military personnel on the bus with you and your
19 A. There was a soldier there.
20 Q. And when you got on the bus, where did you
21 think you were going?
22 A. I wanted to get to Novi Sad as soon as
23 possible, and that is what I thought, that I was going
24 to Novi Sad. I was naive, that's for sure.
25 Q. Now, after the buses left the hospital, they
1 did not go directly to Ovcara; is that correct?
2 A. That's right. They didn't go immediately.
3 As I said a few minutes ago, we arrived at Ovcara
4 around 1.30 p.m.
5 Q. So where did you stop in between?
6 A. Well, we stopped -- I can't say this for sure
7 now -- but I think it was the economic yard of Vupik.
8 Q. And that is located adjacent to the JNA
9 barracks, is it not?
10 A. Well, nearby, yes, near the barracks.
11 Q. And how long did you remain at this location?
12 A. If we left around 11.00 and if we arrived
13 around 1.30, then it is possible that we stayed there
14 for about two hours.
15 Q. And while you were there at this place where
16 the buses were parked, at some point in time did a
17 former student of yours, who was a soldier, spot you on
18 the bus?
19 A. Yes, he did. Yes.
20 Q. And did the soldier seem upset that you were
21 on the bus?
22 A. Yes. He was surprised to see me there, yes.
23 Q. Did he make any attempts to get you off of
24 the bus?
25 A. Yes, he did try. I think he tried.
1 Q. Did he, in fact, get on the bus?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did another soldier get on the bus and speak
4 to you?
5 A. Yes, but I don't know who it was.
6 Q. In the end, you were not taken off the bus at
7 this location, though, were you?
8 A. No, I wasn't.
9 Q. When the buses left from there, did they go
10 directly to Ovcara?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, when you arrived at Ovcara, what did you
13 observe occurring there?
14 A. Well, I don't know. We didn't pay
15 attention. Quite simply, I didn't pay attention
16 because I was waiting for the buses to go on. I didn't
17 know where we were located. I think, as I said a
18 moment ago, that we were going towards Novi Sad. Until
19 the soldier turned up, who recognised us, asked us to
20 leave the bus, and, as I said a moment ago, took us to
21 the command of that military unit.
22 Q. How many people did this soldier take off the
23 bus there?
24 A. I said a moment ago, my wife, myself, and two
25 others, two other men.
1 Q. Now, your wife is of Czech ethnicity; is she
3 A. Yes, she is.
4 Q. Did the soldier seem concerned about the
5 reaction of the other Serb soldiers if he took more
6 people off of the bus?
7 A. I can't say. I don't know how far he was
8 concerned. That's his own personal affair.
9 Q. Well, do you recall telling Mr. Dzuro in the
10 statement, "He said that if he made any mistakes, they
11 would kill him"?
12 A. I can't quite remember that now. I can't
14 Q. Well, would you like to read the part of the
15 statement where that is indicated? It's on page 5 of
16 the English version. I'm not sure exactly where the
17 Serb version, where that would be, but it begins the
18 paragraph with: "As soldier B took the other two men
19 from the bus, I saw other people trying to attract his
20 attention. Obviously desperate to get out as well."
21 This would be probably the next-to-the-last
22 page, or perhaps the third-from-the-last.
23 A. Yes, yes, yes.
24 Q. And you said "Soldier B was in a very bad
25 state because he could not afford to make mistakes. He
1 said that he was sure that the four of us did nothing
2 wrong, but that even as he knew those others, he could
3 not guarantee for them. He said that if he made any
4 mistakes, they would kill him. He did not specify who
5 those "they" were, but I assumed he meant his fellow
7 Is that correct?
8 A. Yes, he said something along those lines. He
9 said that he couldn't be certain of all of them to take
10 them out from the bus, and I don't know upon whose
11 suggestion he did take us off the bus.
12 Q. Now, you've indicated that when you got off
13 the bus, you were able to see a little more clearly
14 about what was happening there; is that correct?
15 A. Well, let me say again that I did not pay
16 attention to what was happening around the bus, towards
17 that particular part, but what I did say I have already
18 stated -- see, I have already stated.
19 Q. Now, you were able to see what was going on
20 in front of the hangar, were you not, that people were
21 being taken off the bus and going through a line of
23 A. Once again, I say that I did not pay
24 attention to this.
25 Q. So were you able to see the people that were
1 standing in front of the hangar?
2 A. Once again, let me say that I did not
3 recognise anybody, and I was not paying a great deal of
4 attention to what was happening, as you say, with that
5 line, line of soldiers.
6 Q. Now, in the paragraph just above the one that
7 I asked you to look at, the last couple of sentences,
8 you indicate that, "The first bus and our bus were a
9 few metres apart, so I would say that I must have been
10 at least 40 metres away from the soldiers. Since I
11 wear glasses, it was impossible for me to recognise
12 anyone in that group, either the soldiers or the people
13 climbing down from the first bus."
14 Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, more or less.
16 Q. What do you mean when you say "more or
17 less"? Was it possible for you to recognise anyone in
18 front of the building, anyone at all?
19 A. It was possible, but I just looked for a
20 second. I glanced there for a second and saw that I
21 didn't recognise anybody and continued to talk to the
22 people that were with me.
23 Q. Approximately how many people were in front
24 of the building?
25 A. I can't tell you the number. I really can't
1 tell you how many. After seven years, it's difficult
2 to say.
3 Q. How were they dressed?
4 A. Differently.
5 Q. In uniforms and civilian clothes?
6 A. It's difficult under those conditions to say
7 what a uniform was and what civilian clothing was.
8 Q. But I assume that it would be fair to say
9 that you looked for just a second, from approximately
10 40 metres away, did not recognise anyone there, and
11 turned the other direction; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Now, after this, this soldier that had taken
14 you off the bus, did he take you to another location?
15 A. Yes. He took us to the command of a military
16 unit close by.
17 Q. And in your statement you indicated that this
18 was a yellow building about 150 to 200 metres back from
19 where the buses were parked; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is. That's roughly right, yes.
21 Q. Now, when you went into this yellow building,
22 did you have the opportunity to speak to a JNA officer
23 who was there?
24 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And what did you talk about with this JNA
1 officer? I believe in your statement you said that he
2 was a Captain; is that correct?
3 A. I can't say exactly. I think he was, but the
4 military ranks in war, I'm not sure that I recognise
6 Q. And did you have discussions with this
7 officer in regard to the shelling of Vukovar?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. And do you recall what was said during this
11 A. Well, I remember that he asked -- we said we
12 were going from the hospital, and he said, "How come
13 the hospital was shelled all the time?" "No", he said,
14 "we are aiming at military objects."
15 Q. Based on your conversation with him, did you
16 ascertain that he was affiliated with some type of
17 artillery unit?
18 A. I think that he was, yes.
19 Q. Now, after all of this happened, you
20 indicated that you went to Serbia. At some point in
21 time, did you return back to Vukovar?
22 A. After three days, I went back after three or
23 four days.
24 Q. And you have remained in Vukovar since that
25 time; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What about the Croats who had lived in
3 Vukovar prior to the battle? Were they still in
4 Vukovar when you went back?
5 A. No, they weren't.
6 Q. Thank you, Professor.
7 THE INTERPRETER: I didn't hear what the
8 witness said.
9 A. Most of them were not there. Most of them
10 were not there.
11 MR. WILLIAMSON: Thank you, Professor. I
12 have no further questions.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
14 MR. FILA: I have just now seen the statement
15 that he made, but I have no objections, but I'd like to
16 ask a question. It's an unfavourable position that I
17 am in. But never mind, this is not the first time.
18 Re-examined by Mr. Fila.
19 Q. Mr. Licina, in the statement you made to
20 Investigator ^ Zira, you talked about shelling from the
21 hospital, that there was firing from the hospital, but
22 you don't know whether it was from the hospital or from
23 the environs of the hospital. What do you mean by the
25 A. The courtyard. Well, it's difficult for me
1 to say because I was in the basement of the hospital,
2 so whether -- how far away this was, from whence the
3 firing came, I don't know.
4 Q. And now a final question for you,
5 Mr. Licina. You wear glasses?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You said that you were 40 metres away?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that for a short time you remained in
10 front of the hospital -- in front of the hangar, I'm
11 sorry. Did you find these glasses an impediment to
12 seeing Mr. Dokmanovic, if he was there?
13 A. No, they were not an impediment because I
14 looked, I did not recognise anybody, and I turned in
15 the other direction and continued my conversation.
16 Q. And let us repeat: When you went back, how
17 far away from the hangar were you then before leaving?
18 A. Well, we went to this building --
19 Q. Yes. And you came back from the building,
20 and how far away from the hangar were you then? Never
22 A. We started right out in front of the
24 Q. So you say that Slavko Dokmanovic, when you
25 were in front of Ovcara and looked that way, that he
1 was not there?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 A. Where I was, he was certainly not there.
5 MR. FILA: Thank you.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Professor Licina,
7 I have just one question for you. You mentioned that a
8 soldier -- you said at some point a soldier at Ovcara,
9 a soldier recognised yourself and your wife and asked
10 you to leave the bus. May I ask you whether the
11 soldier, this soldier, was wearing a JNA uniform?
12 A. As far as I remember, it was a camouflage
13 uniform, and I don't think he had a cap on his head, so
14 that I can't say whether it was the JNA or not.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Was he wearing any insignia?
16 A. I don't recall.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. No objection to
18 the witness being released?
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you so
21 much, Professor Licina, for giving evidence. You may
22 now be released.
23 (The witness withdrew)
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we move on to our next
25 witness, we want to express some sort of misgivings
1 about the Prosecutor handing a document, a witness
2 statement in court, without previously informing the
3 Defence. And since this is a crucial point, it is not
4 actually regulated in our rules of procedure and
5 evidence, we were wondering whether we could hear
6 argument at some stage, maybe this week, on this
7 particular point, whether or not it is appropriate for
8 a party to produce in court a witness statement before
9 prior information or notification to the other party.
10 So I wonder whether we could now move on. However, as
11 I say, I think we could spend some time arguing this
12 point so that we may eventually make a ruling on this
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if you wish, we
15 can address it right now, if this is an issue that the
16 Court wants to take up.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Well, it depends on -- I
18 don't want to hold up the witnesses --
19 MR. FILA: Mr. Williamson, all your arguments
20 are quite all right, but let us not waste time because
21 we have a lot of witnesses to get through.
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well.
23 MR. FILA: And I can hear your arguments on
24 Wednesday when we don't have the video link, if that's
25 all right.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: I think it's a good
2 suggestion. Thank you. It's better to put it off.
3 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: And we will go on with the
5 witnesses, so may we -- we are now going to call
6 witness Bakic.
7 MR. FILA: Yes, Bakic. We have nine
8 witnesses, you know.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: By the way, Mr. Fila, we
10 forgot to give a number to your -- the witness
11 statements of Professor Licina. D101?
12 MR. FILA: 101, yes. I apologise. I
13 forgot. Yes.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, in that same
15 regard, we would mark the Serbian version of Professor
16 Licina's statement as Prosecutor's Exhibit 204A. I
17 believe I only introduced did as 204.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr. Bakic, good
19 morning. Could you please make the solemn
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
1 WITNESS: MILE BAKIC
2 Examined by Mr. Fila
3 Q. Mr. Bakic, what are you by profession and
4 where were you employed in 1991?
5 A. I am a worker by profession and I worked in
6 the Vupik factory of Vukovar.
7 Q. Did you know Emil Cakalic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know Slavko Dokmanovic?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Did you, on the 20th of November, 1991, in
12 the afternoon hours, were you at the Ovcara farm?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Why were you there? When did you come? What
15 did you come with, and at what time did you get there?
16 A. Well, I drove a combi. I went there with a
17 combi at about half past 4.00, twenty to five p.m.
18 Q. Why did you go there?
19 A. I was told that I had to take some people
20 from Ovcara to the VELEPROMET.
21 Q. Where did you see Emil Cakalic, if you did
22 see him there?
23 A. I saw him in front of the hangar.
24 Q. There is an objection to the transcript. It
25 says 4.00 or 5.00. No? It was half past four, twenty
1 to five. Is that correct? Is that what you said,
2 Mr. Bakic?
3 A. Yes, more or less, half past four, twenty to
5 Q. What was the visibility in Ovcara at the time
7 A. Well, it was dusk, half dark.
8 Q. Where did you see Emil Cakalic and what did
9 you do when you saw him?
10 A. I saw him and several others.
11 Q. Where were they standing?
12 A. In front of the door as you get out of the
14 Q. What were you doing at that time?
15 A. I drove the combi, and then they told me to
16 take the five of them and to take them to VELEPROMET.
17 Q. Did you leave your combi?
18 A. Yes, I stepped out of the combi.
19 Q. Did you stay for some time in front of the
21 A. Yes, about 15 to 20 minutes.
22 Q. Did you at any point around Emil Cakalic or
23 anywhere there, as far as you could see, did you see
24 Slavko Dokmanovic?
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. And when did you leave Ovcara and who with?
2 A. Well, five of them and myself left at around
3 5.00 p.m. I don't know exactly.
4 Q. Who was in the car with you that you recall?
5 A. Well, I only know Cakalic was there and Kojic
6 and a boy.
7 Q. Was it Zoric perhaps?
8 A. Kojic.
9 Q. All right, Kojic. During the drive, did
10 these people tell you how they were released from
12 A. Well, during our talk they said that it was
13 difficult but that they recognised Zoric and Stero
14 and that he took them out.
15 Q. Did they say that they recognised anybody
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did they mention in their conversation Slavko
19 Dokmanovic, that they had recognised Slavko Dokmanovic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you discuss Slavko Dokmanovic at all in
22 the course of your journey?
23 A. No.
24 MR. FILA: Thank you, Mr. Bakic. I have no
25 further questions. Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Niemann?
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Niemann.
3 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I forgot
4 again. Sorry. This is only because I'm in a hurry. I
5 tried to finish this as soon as possible. Excuse me,
6 Mr. Niemann, may I just show him the statement?
7 Q. Did you sign a statement to Miroslav Vasic,
8 an investigator?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Show it to me. It's from my office. Is that
11 your statement? Is your signature on it?
12 A. I don't remember.
13 Q. Take a look at it, see if you signed it.
14 This is Miroslav Vasic, a lawyer from my office?
15 A. Oh, yes. Oh, yes, yes. That's it.
16 MR. FILA: If there are no objections, please
17 admit this into evidence as D102 and the English
18 version would be 102B. And sorry, Mr. Niemann, sorry
19 once again, but we just want to have as many people as
20 possible, right?
21 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection, Mr. Niemann?
22 MR. NIEMANN: No, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Bakic, I just have a few questions for
24 you, if I may?
25 Did you have a military position during the
1 war on Vukovar, that is leading up to the 20th of
2 November, 1991, or was it a civilian job that you had?
3 A. Civilian.
4 Q. Now, on the day of the 20th of November, who
5 was it that told you that you should go out to Ovcara?
6 A. I can't remember who told me to do that, but
7 I was so told at VELEPROMET.
8 Q. And are you able to say whether the person
9 that told you to do it was wearing a military uniform
10 or was he wearing civilian clothes?
11 A. A military uniform.
12 Q. And approximately when were you given the
13 order or request or whatever it might be to go out to
15 A. I can't tell really what time it was. I
16 didn't even look at my watch.
17 Q. Well, you say that you -- I think it's your
18 evidence that you arrived there at about 4.30. It
19 would have taken you how long to get there from
21 A. Fifteen minutes, half an hour, it depends.
22 Q. And let's assume it's, say, half an hour.
23 Did you receive the message some considerable time
24 before you left or did it seem to you, from thinking
25 back now, that it may have been just that you received
1 the request and then you immediately left? Are you
2 able to help me that way?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Now, what were you told? What was the
5 directions that you were given other than to go to --
6 go from VELEPROMET to Ovcara? Were you given any other
8 A. No.
9 Q. And they didn't say what they wanted you to
10 do in any way?
11 A. No.
12 Q. In the statement that has now been shown to
13 you, the statement that you gave to the investigator
14 for Mr. Fila, you say that -- in the third paragraph of
15 that statement that the Territorial Defence ordered you
16 to go to Ovcara on the 20th of November.
17 Does that refresh your memory as to who it
18 may have been that gave you the order?
19 A. I can't remember.
20 Q. Now, when you got to Ovcara, did you speak to
21 anyone in particular who was in authority that you can
23 A. I didn't speak to anyone.
24 Q. Did anyone speak to you? Did anyone give you
25 any directions or tell you where to park or did it
1 appear that they were expecting you when you arrived?
2 A. I was only told to take those five men to
4 Q. Who told you to do that; do you remember?
5 A. A man in uniform, but I don't know him.
6 Q. Fair enough. Did he have -- what sort of a
7 uniform did he have on, the man who told you; can you
9 A. A military uniform.
10 Q. Was that a JNA uniform?
11 A. JNA.
12 Q. And did he appear to be a person with any
13 rank, like an officer's status, or was he just an
14 ordinary soldier, or perhaps you can't remember?
15 A. I don't know. I think he was -- I don't
17 Q. Now, were you dressed in military uniform on
18 that day yourself?
19 A. No.
20 Q. When you parked your vehicle, you said you
21 got out of the vehicle, did you? It's not what you
22 said in your statement. I think that's something you
23 said just a moment ago, that you got out of your
24 vehicle when you arrived there.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How far away from the front of the hangar
2 were you when you got out of your vehicle?
3 A. I was in front of the door.
4 Q. How far away from the door were you?
5 A. It was at the very door itself. That is
6 where they stood too, the five of them.
7 Q. So that's where you collected the five?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, on the way back from Ovcara, you said
10 that they didn't discuss Mr. Dokmanovic. Did they
11 discuss anybody else that was there at Ovcara that day,
12 that is the people you picked up?
13 A. They were just saying that it was very
14 difficult, and they were saying whom they had
15 recognised, and they just mentioned that they
16 recognised Zoric who got them out.
17 Q. I see. So that's the only person they
18 discussed that you can remember?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, when you were at Ovcara, did you see any
21 vehicles about, and if so, can you describe what you
23 A. Buses.
24 Q. Where were the buses parked?
25 A. On the road.
1 Q. And were the buses between your vehicle and
2 the entrance to the Ovcara hangar?
3 A. The buses were parked on the road in front of
4 the hangar.
5 Q. Did you see any agricultural equipment, such
6 as bulldozers or earth-moving equipment there at the
8 A. No, no.
9 Q. Did you recognise any of the soldiers that
10 were there?
11 A. It was getting dark. I didn't.
12 Q. Now, how long did you stay at Ovcara in all;
13 can you remember?
14 A. I don't know. Around 15 minutes, perhaps.
15 Q. Now, is the situation this: That you merely
16 parked your vehicle, walked over and collected the five
17 people that were waiting in front of the hangar, and
18 went back to your vehicle and then drove off to
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. NIEMANN: No further questions, Your
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila? No
25 I assume there is no objection to the witness
1 Bakic being released?
2 Mr. Bakic, thank you for giving evidence.
3 You may be released.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 MR. FILA: Your Honour, now we're going to
7 see who the next witness is. I have no idea, really.
8 Are we going to take a break at 11.00?
9 Stanimirovic. Mr. Bos, could you please call
10 Mr. Stanimirovic? He is short. So I can finish with
11 Mr. Stanimirovic without interfering with the cross.
12 Vodicka, if he is there.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Bos, could you please
14 tell us the name of the witness?
15 MR. BOS: Witness Stanimirovic.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Stanimirovic,
17 could you please stand up and read the formal
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
23 WITNESS: VOJLSLAV STANIMIROVIC
24 Examined by Mr. Fila
25 Q. Mr. Stanimirovic, did you talk to an
1 investigator from my office, Miroslav Vasic, and did
2 you give him the statement that will be shown to you
3 right now, and do you recognise your signature?
4 A. Yes, I gave a statement. Let me just take a
5 look. This is my signature.
6 MR. FILA: If there are no objections, I
7 suggest that this statement be admitted into evidence
8 as D103, and the English version is 103A or B,
10 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
11 MR. FILA:
12 Q. Mr. Stanimirovic, you completed medical
13 school when and where?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. When and where?
16 A. I graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in
17 Belgrade in 1978.
18 Q. Where were you employed in 1991?
19 A. I worked throughout my career in Vukovar and,
20 in 1991, I was employed at the Vukovar Hospital as head
21 of ward of psychiatry. I was a psychiatrist.
22 Q. What was the situation like in Vukovar after
23 the SDP of (translation unclear) won the elections?
24 We're talking about the period of 1991 when the first
25 multi-party elections were held. What was the
1 situation like?
2 A. The SDP won and the situation was terrible
3 because the HDZ took every kind of initiative and Serbs
4 who were directors of various enterprises were replaced
5 en masse.
6 Q. Was there a replacement also at the Vukovar
8 A. Yes, there was a replacement at the Vukovar
9 Hospital too. This happened on the 25th of July,
10 1991. I personally know of this case because I was
11 President of the Workers' Council then of the medical
12 centre in Vukovar.
13 Q. Why was the director replaced? Because of
14 his ethnic background or for some other reason?
15 A. I think he was replaced only because of his
16 ethnic background. This man was director for 16
17 years. He's a Serb -- a Montenegrin to be very
18 precise. He was replaced by a decree issued by the
19 Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia, by
20 Minister Hebrang, and Dr. Vesna Bosanac was
21 appointed acting director.
22 Q. This Minister Hebrang, who is now the
23 Minister of Military Affairs?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. You left Vukovar sometime in July 1991.
1 Could you tell us why you did this?
2 A. You see, I first left Vukovar on the 28th of
3 June because I was constantly under pressure. I was
4 receiving telephone calls, my car was stopped two or
5 three times at a time when I was driving through town,
6 so I wanted to take a vacation and I was hoping that
7 the situation would get more peaceful, but this was not
8 the case. The director, until then, Rade
9 Popovic, who was director of the hospital, he called me
10 to Belgrade to come there because I was President of
11 the Workers' Council, and he told me that he was
12 replaced by a decree and that we should have a
13 meeting. He said that Mercep, and the people who were
14 running the city at that point, were not touching
15 doctors and that they wouldn't do anything, so I
16 believed his words and I returned on the 24th of July,
17 in the evening, I came back to Vukovar.
18 The next day, the 25th, we held this meeting
19 of the Workers' Council, we read this decree, and that
20 Workers' Council appointed Dr. Vesna Bosanac
21 acting director of the hospital. And on that day, as I
22 returned home, a synchronised action continued. I was
23 arrested in Vukovar in my apartment and in my family
24 home 25 kilometres away from Vukovar. This happened on
25 the 25th, approximately around 2.30 p.m.
1 Q. What was the reason for your arrest?
2 A. The reason mentioned for my arrest was that I
3 was in Yugoslavia and that I took part in organising
4 the uprising, that they knew that I had weapons,
5 et cetera. However, both searches of my mother's house
6 and of the apartment showed that all of that was
7 untrue. They did not find weapons anywhere except for
8 my pistol, and I had a proper licence for that, and I
9 showed it to them and they took it away from me.
10 After that, they took me to the police
11 station, nevertheless, in Vukovar, where again they
12 interrogated me, what I was doing in Yugoslavia and why
13 did I leave in June, did I know anything about the
14 armament of the Serbs, et cetera.
15 On that evening I was released at the
16 intervention of my wife, and some Croats. I imagine
17 who they were, but I don't know for sure until this
18 very day, but they intervened to have me released from
19 custody, and that is what happened. That evening I
20 spent the night at my neighbour's home, I didn't dare
21 spend the night at my own home, in my own apartment,
22 but there's another thing I didn't mention. When my
23 apartment was being searched, the ZNG practically
24 devastated my mother's house in the village. They
25 broke all the window glasses. They shot at barrels in
1 the basement, in the cellar, where wine and brandy was,
2 so all of it flew out of the barrels. I forgot to
3 mention that.
4 At the police station, after two
5 interrogations, I was advised to leave Vukovar. And
6 that evening, as I said, I spent the night at my
7 neighbour's, and the next day I tried to leave Vukovar,
8 my wife and I tried, without any luggage. We only had
9 our personal documents. However, we did not succeed in
10 doing so because there were barricades at the exit out
11 of Vukovar, so we were taken back to the defence
12 building where practically Mr. Mercep and his deputy,
13 Josip Gazo, were issuing certain certificates or
14 ausweiss. My wife and I were waiting in a
15 queue to get these papers with which we could get out
16 of town.
17 I didn't dare go towards my village. I went
18 to Ilok and I crossed the bridge and went to
20 Q. Let me ask you something else. What was
21 Mercep, who was this person, Tomislav Mercep?
22 A. You see, for me he was anonymous person. I
23 had never heard of this man until then, but afterwards
24 he was the head commander of the city. His role was
25 far more important than that of the police itself,
1 which did exist there. Perhaps it was fortunate for
2 me, when I was arrested, that the police took me in
3 rather than the ZNG, the National Guards Corps, of
4 Mr. Mercep. These were newly established units, units
5 from the Territorial Defence, probably, they were armed
6 and they were the real power in town. Very often they
7 would take cars without any justification, they would
8 change licence plates, and no one was held accountable
9 to anyone.
10 Q. In addition to yourself, were other Serbs
11 also exposed to that kind of mistreatment like you
13 A. Yes. This happened to all eminent Serbs.
14 That day when I was arrested, my head technician from
15 my ward, his name is Salvo Domanovic (phoen), he was
16 working the third night shift in the hospital, the
17 psychiatry ward, and practically at midnight, at 12.30
18 a.m. on the 26th, he was taken away from his job at the
19 hospital where he left some 30 patients unprotected.
20 He was taken to his apartment, we think, and his
21 apartment was searched, and all trace was lost of him
22 that day. He was never found until the present day,
23 not even his corpse. And his wife and two children are
24 still in Vukovar.
25 Q. Were there any cases that Serb shops were
1 looted, burned, that Serbs were beaten up?
2 A. There were cases of this kind until the 2nd
3 of May. We must point out that until the 2nd of May,
4 until Borovo Selo had happened, not a single Croat had
5 been harmed in Vukovar, but Serb houses, Serb shops,
6 Serb stores, were mined, torched, and I think on the
7 2nd of May that there were a few murders too. Some
8 other people too, I don't know -- I don't know the
9 names of these people.
10 Q. Can we say that in addition to you, other
11 eminent Serbs were also leaving Vukovar?
12 A. Yes, most of the eminent Serbs were leaving
14 Q. What percentage could we say? What
15 percentage of the Serb population was leaving Vukovar?
16 A. A large percentage of the Serb population was
17 leaving Vukovar because in Vukovar, it was mostly the
18 elderly people that remained, that is those who were
19 destitute and unprotected. There are very few
20 intellectuals in Vukovar. I can say that in our
21 hospital, out of 30 doctors only four Serb doctors
23 Q. It is being said here that there was no
24 reason for you to leave, that Serbs were having a
25 wonderful time, a fantastic time there. We have heard
1 from various doctors that they didn't understand why
2 the director of the Vukovar Hospital was replaced. It
3 is being claimed that you did not have a single reason
4 to leave Vukovar. It is even being claimed that you
5 did not leave Vukovar, that the majority stayed, and
6 that they were saying that you were going to football
7 games in Belgrade and that that was later portrayed as
8 a departure, to a departure. Is that true?
9 A. No, that is not true. I already said that
10 out of the 30 doctors that were employed that only four
11 Serb doctors remained, so we are not talking about
12 soccer games. The very fact that I was brought into
13 custody, arrested, that I was interrogated and that I
14 was advised in the police station itself that the
15 wisest thing for me to be -- to do would be to leave
16 Vukovar. What they did at my mother's house speaks for
18 Q. Is that what they did to the Croats? Was it
19 the Croat police who told you that?
20 A. The Croat police brought me in for
21 questioning, but the ZNG did this to my mother's house.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters can't hear
23 what is being said.
24 A. Croatian units.
25 Q. When did you come back to Vukovar?
1 A. Before that.
2 Q. Did you know Slavko Dokmanovic in the period
3 before you left?
4 A. Yes, I knew him superficially, not too well,
5 because I was not really involved in politics before
6 the war, but I knew him.
7 Q. Do you know, perhaps, whether he left Vukovar
8 before you did or not? If you don't know, never mind.
9 A. Yes. Slavko Dokmanovic, because of various
10 pressures and closing the entrance into Vukovar at the
11 Trpinja road, I think he left Vukovar already in May
12 and June, but I'm not familiar with the details.
13 Q. All right. When did you go back to Vukovar?
14 A. You see, I was coming to Vukovar because I
15 was in charge of the medical corps, but I came back on
16 the 20th of November in the afternoon.
17 Q. Did somebody appoint you civilian director
18 for the renewal of the hospital, and who was that?
19 A. Yes. There was a military director and then
20 they appointed me the director for renewal of the
21 hospital. I only dealt in the restoration of the
22 hospital exclusively. I wasn't involved in medical
23 affairs or personnel or anything like that. I didn't
24 have any jurisdiction in that field.
25 Q. In this period, until the 20th of November,
1 1991, a few days before that and after that, is it true
2 to say that there was military administration in
4 A. Oh, yes, yes. There was certainly military
5 administration in our hospital. In our hospital that
6 was the case until the 20th of May, 1992.
7 Q. And in the town of Vukovar itself there were
8 military administration?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How many approximately in the town of Vukovar
12 A. It was certainly until the end of the year or
13 the end of December, the beginning of January. I don't
14 know exactly.
15 Q. Can you recall when the first civilian
16 authority was established on the territory of the
17 Municipality of Vukovar?
18 A. Well, I think -- I think this was also at the
19 end of December, the end of the month of December. I
20 can't tell exactly.
21 Q. In this period, after the December 1992, did
22 you have certain authority? Were you president of the
23 Municipality of Vukovar or something like that?
24 A. I personally?
25 Q. Yes, you personally.
1 A. I was President of the Municipality.
2 Q. From when until when?
3 A. For a short period of time until the
4 elections that were held, the multi-party elections, in
5 the former Republic of Srpska Krajina. I think this
6 was the end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994.
7 Q. And who was elected as President of the
8 Municipality at those elections in 1994?
9 A. At that time the Radicals won the elections,
10 and I think that the Radical Party appointed
11 Mr. Ljubomir Vukicevic, I think that was his name, from
13 Q. And when he was replaced, who came then?
14 A. After he was replaced, Slavko Dokmanovic was
15 appointed. This was actually a coalition of the
16 Serbian Democratic Party, the Socialist Party, and they
17 actually replaced Mr. Vukicevic, and Slavko Dokmanovic
18 was appointed.
19 Q. What political post do you hold now in
20 Vukovar and in the Croatian parliament, et cetera?
21 A. Well, let me tell you about this. During the
22 elections and during the time of Mr. Klein I was the
23 founder of the Independent Serb Party in Croatia and I
24 was President of that party and this party was
25 registered in Croatia. And this party took part in the
1 elections, in the UNTAES period, that is to say during
2 Mr. Klein's time, the time of reintegration. And after
3 that, as party leader, I was proposed by the President
4 of the Republic to be a member of parliament in the
5 Zupanijski Dom, the lower house, as it is called.
6 Q. And practically now you are a member of the
7 Croatian parliament and you are president of this party
8 that you mention and you live in Vukovar?
9 A. Yes, I live in Vukovar with my family and a
10 son of mine is studying in Belgrade now.
11 Q. Can you tell us approximately in Vukovar, in
12 1990-91, how many Serbs were there in Vukovar and how
13 many Serbs are there now?
14 A. I am not very -- are you interested only in
16 Q. Vukovar and Croatia as a whole, the
17 Municipality of Vukovar and Croatia as a whole?
18 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I would object
19 to what the current population is. If he wants to talk
20 about the population in 1990 and 1991, which is
21 relevant to the case, that's fine, but to get into the
22 population and statistics in 1998 I think has no
23 relevance to our proceedings.
24 MR. FILA: Your Honour, the expert witness of
25 the Prosecution, Mr. Wheeler, I think spoke about the
1 population migration from medieval times onwards and he
2 answered questions as to the Serb population now. It
3 is relevant to determine how many there were in 1990
4 and then the movements up to the present day. This is
5 highly relevant so that we can see the situation as it
6 stands. I have no idea of accusing anybody for this,
7 but just to see the figures, what the figures were and
8 what they are today.
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if I might just
10 respond very briefly to that? Mr. Wheeler did answer
11 questions on those issues, but those were put to him by
12 Mr. Fila. We did not ask any questions about the
13 period starting from 1945 onward, and all of the
14 questions pertaining to population from medieval
15 periods and in the current times came from Mr. Fila, so
16 he is the one that introduced the issue at that time.
17 MR. FILA: On the basis of the written report
18 by Mr. Wheeler. I said something about that in my
19 introduction, and that is why I wanted these additional
20 explanations. So how many Serbs in 1990 on Croatian
21 territory existed and in Vukovar.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: The court feels that the
23 question is not relevant, the question about the
24 population, breakdown of the population --
25 MR. FILA: The composition of the population
1 in 1990 and 1991, that was an important question, and
2 Mr. Williamson asked one of the directors, Witness D,
3 who is not an expert in that matter at all, but he is a
4 politician and can therefore answer the question.
5 Q. What was the relationship of the population
6 structure in 1990 and 1991, until the end of the UNTAES
7 period? You don't have to speak about the present
9 A. May I answer that now then?
10 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, again, the
11 objection, he is -- we have no objection to questions
12 about 1990 and 1991, but then he adds this on about the
13 end of the UNTAES period, which is January of 1997, so
14 again -- I mean, we feel that there's no relevance
15 whatsoever in these issues. If he limits it to 1990,
16 1991, we have no objection.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes --
18 MR. FILA: Very well then. 1990 to the end
19 of 1991.
20 A. Yes. Can I answer?
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
22 Q. Yes, 1990 to the end of 1991?
23 A. 1990 to 1991.
24 THE INTERPRETER: No tone.
25 A. The town of Vukovar had about 35.000 --
1 Vukovar had 42.000 inhabitants and there were about 17
2 and a half thousand Serbs and a large number of
3 Yugoslavs, people who had declared themselves as
4 Yugoslavs. If you look at this percentage-wise, this
5 is 37 percent Serbs and about 17 percent were the
6 Yugoslavs. As far as the town of Vukovar proper is
7 concerned, but according to my information in the
8 Municipality of Vukovar itself, there are about 45
9 percent of the Serb population and about 15 percent of
10 individuals who had declared themselves as Yugoslavs
11 and many of them too were ethnic Serbs.
12 Q. In the course -- since you left Vukovar, has
13 that number been reduced in Vukovar and how many? That
14 is since 1992, November, the end of November.
15 A. Yes, the number dropped drastically. I think
16 that in Vukovar, of that 17 and a half thousand Serbs
17 who lived there, I don't think that there were more
18 than five or six thousand.
19 Q. Why did they leave? May we repeat this once
21 A. They left because of continuous incidents and
22 pressure exerted on them. They were in great fear
23 because before their eyes they saw how Serbian cafes
24 and houses were shelled and blown up and they felt that
25 they were not protected and decided to leave the town.
1 Q. At the end of 1991, after November 1991, did
2 they all return or did a part of them return?
3 A. A portion returned. The other part never
4 returned. It is difficult to say.
5 Q. Can you tell us something about Slavko
6 Dokmanovic and himself as a man, as a personality, as a
7 character? You got to know him, you worked with him,
8 probably fairly superficially, but can you tell us
9 something of his character? Can he be considered an
10 extreme Serb nationalist?
11 A. As far as I knew him, he was a very tolerant
12 man, a very moderate man, and I think they cooperated a
13 fair amount with the Serbs and Croats in Vukovar. And
14 he was elected at the time as president of the
15 municipality, not because he was an extremist Serb
16 nationalist but because he was a moderate man who was
17 able to communicate with people. And as he belonged to
18 the moderate stream, I'm sure that a portion of the
19 Croats voted for him as well.
20 Q. Can we say that he was a quiet, calm man, you
21 know, the respect he wielded in the environment in
22 which he lived?
23 A. He was a family man, he was a prominent man,
24 he was president of the municipality before these
25 events and during the events, so he was a
1 well-respected man with the population, both the Serb
2 and the Croat population.
3 Q. Was he respected by the extremist Serbs or
4 the moderate Serbs?
5 A. Well, I don't think we can say -- talk about
6 this. We can't say that everybody, all the Serbs,
7 extremists, otherwise there would be no point in
8 talking about this. There were a small number of Serbs
9 that were extremists as there were a small number of
10 Croats that were.
11 Q. Was he respected by them or was he respected
12 by the majority of moderate Serbs?
13 A. No, the moderate Serbs, the majority.
14 Q. And with the Croats?
15 A. Yes, I think he was respected by the moderate
16 Croats as well, as far as I knew him, because he was a
17 politician and he did cooperate with people well and
18 with the Croats as well.
19 Q. If I were to tell you that he was accused of
20 killing some 200 peoples in Ovcara, would you believe
22 A. No, I would not believe that.
23 MR. FILA: Thank you. I have no further
25 Your Honours, I apologise for taking up five
1 more minutes of your time than I had stipulated.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Does the Prosecutor intend to
3 ask many questions? You would prefer now to have a
4 break now?
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I think that
6 would be probably better, yes.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: We will take a 20-minute
9 --- Recess taken at 11.07 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
11 (The accused entered court)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila?
13 MR. FILA: Your Honour, the witness that
14 we're going to hear after Mr. Stanimirovic, when the
15 Prosecution completes its cross-examination, the
16 witness has asked for image distortion. We can't do it
17 here, so I should like to ask you for a closed session
18 and then that will be equivalent to the image
19 distortion. Thank you.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. If there's no
21 objection, there will be a closed session.
22 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, we probably
23 would not have any objection, but we're not aware of
24 who this witness is. Is it the next witness that is
25 listed? Is it the witness listed as No. 3? Is that
1 correct or ... For the video link conference?
2 MR. FILA: It is an additional witness for
3 which we sought the court's agreement. It is a witness
4 for Mr. Dokmanovic's character, a character witness.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right.
6 MR. FILA: We have the witness statement.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes.
8 Mr. Williamson?
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if we may have
10 just one moment?
11 Your Honour, I apologise for the brief
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Williamson
14 Q. Dr. Stanimirovic, now, the party that you
15 were affiliated with in 1991 was the Serb Democratic
16 Party; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. So this was not the party of democratic
19 change with which Mr. Dokmanovic was associated.
20 A. No.
21 Q. And was the Serb Democratic Party advocating
22 autonomy and separatism for Serbs in Croatia at that
24 A. The Serbian Democratic Party did not have the
25 possibility of becoming registered in Vukovar due to
1 certain obstructions, and the Serbs, via that party,
2 did not take part in Vukovar and the environs at the
3 elections. The protagonist and leader of the SDP,
4 Professor Raskovic, advocated a cultural autonomy of
5 the Serbs, and in the programme itself and the statute
6 of the Serbian Democratic Party, no separation is
8 Q. Would it be fair to say that the Serb
9 Democratic Party was viewed by Croats as being very
10 radical, much in the same light that Serbs viewed the
11 Croatian Democratic Union?
12 A. I think the answer to that is yes, we could
13 say that in that direction because the party later on,
14 when the incidents began to break out, it perhaps
15 deviated from its programme. There was a little more
16 radicalism than was inherent in the programme and as
17 was Professor Raskovic's intention in the beginning.
18 Q. And, in fact, after Professor Raskovic died,
19 the party changed altogether, wouldn't you say?
20 A. Professor Raskovic died later on, in 1993,
21 and everything had happened until that time. All the
22 events linked to Vukovar and the other parts of the
24 Q. And in the meantime, the leadership of the
25 party had been taken over by other persons; is that
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. Now, in your statement that you provided to
4 the Defence, you indicated that approximately 30.000
5 persons left Vukovar in 1991 and that most of these
6 were Serbs; is that your recollection?
7 A. Of the total number.
8 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid we can't hear
9 this part. The speech is interrupted.
10 A. Yes, I think about 30.000 people left Vukovar
11 before the fighting, the battles that took place before
12 Vukovar, mostly Serbs.
13 THE INTERPRETER: We heard the last part.
14 Mostly Serbs.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, perhaps we can
16 just test it out and see if they're receiving and we
17 are, and if so, then I'll proceed, but if not, then
18 perhaps we need some technical help.
19 Q. Is it possible for you to hear everything
20 that I'm saying there, in Belgrade?
21 THE INTERPRETER: We can't hear the witness,
22 his speech is interrupted.
23 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I'm aware that
24 a lot of times when we are going through these V-SAT
25 communications to Belgrade and Zagreb, there are
1 temporary interruptions, so this may be a momentary
2 thing when the satellite is out of place.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: It will take two minutes, I
4 understand, so let us wait here.
5 MR. WILLIAMSON:
6 Q. Dr. Stanimirovic, I believe when we left off,
7 I'm not sure you were able to hear everything I said
8 and we were unable to get all of your responses, so
9 perhaps I will repeat a little bit of it.
10 Now, you had indicated that approximately
11 30.000 people left Vukovar prior to the fighting
12 starting, and that the majority of those people were
13 Serbs; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that is correct. I said that in my
15 statement and I now confirm that.
16 Q. Now, according to the 1991 census, the
17 population of Vukovar was 44.639 persons. Is that
19 A. Possibly. I think that there were 42 and a
20 half thousand, but probably the 44.000 figure you
21 mentioned is correct.
22 Q. And under that same census, it indicated that
23 there were 14.425 Serbs and 4.355 Yugoslavs, so
24 approximately 18 to 19.000 Serbs and Yugoslavs put
1 A. I don't think I can agree with that. I have
2 quite different data than the figure you quoted, 37
3 percent were Serbs and 17 percent were Yugoslavs.
4 Those are the figures, official figures, that we have.
5 Q. I don't have these figures in front of me so
6 it's somewhat difficult for me to check that. But
7 you're indicating that 37 percent were Serbs, 17
8 percent were Yugoslavs, and as I understand your
9 contention --
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. -- that almost all of the Yugoslavs were
12 Serbs; correct?
13 A. No, I did not say this. I said that the
14 majority of the Yugoslavs were Serbs because people
15 under certain pressure linked to what was going on, to
16 cover up their nationality, declared themselves Serbs.
17 I did not say everybody but I said the majority and
18 that's the difference.
19 Q. Now, your figure, though, that you say that
20 the majority of people that left were Serbs, even
21 assuming that your figures are correct, which, as I
22 say, don't necessarily agree with the figures that I
23 have given you, but that would be a total of 54 percent
24 of the population, so around 21.000 people. Now, you
25 said that about 30.000 people left, so wouldn't that
1 seem to indicate that a significant number of Croats
2 also left Vukovar during this period?
3 A. Yes, that is also correct. A portion of the
4 Croats left Vukovar in that period. I did not say that
5 that was not correct, I said the majority. But 30.000
6 were Serbs.
7 Q. Thirty thousand were Serbs?
8 MR. FILA: Objection. You have asked him
9 this for the fifth time, the same thing. The witness
10 never said that 30.000 Serbs left, there were 30.000
11 people who had left. Of that number, the majority were
12 Serbs. That's what the witness said on several
13 occasions. I don't know why this is relevant, but that
14 is that.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if I might?
16 The reason that I have repeated the question, as I
17 said, because we were interrupted with the break, and I
18 wanted to make sure that all of the witness's
19 statements were put on the record. I'm reading the
20 transcript right here, this was going to be my last
21 question, and then he said, "But 30.000 were Serbs."
22 I'm just trying to clarify that.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. You may proceed, yes.
24 MR. WILLIAMSON:
25 Q. Dr. Stanimirovic, are you saying that 30.000
1 were Serbs, or that 30.000 people left and that the
2 majority were Serbs?
3 A. In the statement and the minutes, it says
4 that in '91, about 30.000 inhabitants left Vukovar. Of
5 that number, the majority were Serbs. That is clearly
6 stated and in the statement today. I did not say that
7 30.000 were Serbs on any occasion, at any point.
8 Q. Perhaps that was a mistranslation, but I'm
9 glad that we've cleared that up now.
10 At this time I would like for you to look at
11 Prosecutor's Exhibit 188, if you would, please?
12 MR. BOS: The witness has Exhibit 188 in
13 front of him.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON:
15 Q. Mr. Stanimirovic, do you recognise this as
16 being the population statistics for the entire
17 Municipality of Vukovar?
18 A. Yes. 84.189 of the population census in 1991
19 existed in Vukovar, yes, that is probably the correct
21 Q. Now, all the way over to the right it
22 indicates a figure of about 6.124 Yugoslavs; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, that would be for the entire
25 Municipality of Vukovar. But looking at the figure of
1 6.000, that would already be less than 17 percent of
2 the entire population of Vukovar city, would it not?
3 A. It's difficult to say in percentages. I know
4 the facts and figures that we have even now and that we
5 put forward to the international community regardless
6 of the facts and figures that were written down in 1991
7 because we had earlier population censuses as well. If
8 you look at the year 1981, you will see that there were
9 17.000 Yugoslavs at the time, so how come in 1991 that
10 there were 6.000? Were are the other 11.000
12 Q. Well, I think, Doctor, if you look at that,
13 there were also 4.699 in 1971, so might that increase
14 of approximately 12.000 be attributed to this Yugoslav
15 enthusiasm and nostalgia, after the death of Tito?
16 A. I don't know that we can say that.
17 Q. Well, let's look at it, if you go all the way
18 over to the left on that and you will see that between
19 1971 and 1981, there is an increase in the total
20 population of Vukovar municipality, correct, of about
21 5.000 people, from 76.000 to 81.000?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, at the same time, the number of Croats
24 decreases by about 4.000 people, does it not, from
25 34.000 to 30.000.
1 A. Yes, that's exact. That's right.
2 Q. And the number of Serbs decreases from
3 28.000 to 25.000. So a decrease of about 3.000.
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. And in the same period, the number of
6 Yugoslavs increases by about 12.000. So wouldn't it
7 seem to indicate that both Croats and Serbs declared
8 themselves Yugoslavs during this period since the
9 entire population increased, and that, in fact, perhaps
10 more Croats declared themselves as Yugoslavs than did
12 A. I can't say because, if you look at these
13 figures, you will see that the number of Croats drops
14 by about four and a half thousand, the number of Serbs
15 drops by about three and a half thousand. That is
16 8.000 in all. And you can see that the difference
17 between 4.000 and 17.000, 11.000, so we still have
18 3.000 people lost somewhere in these figures. We can't
19 say that more Croats declared themselves as Yugoslavs,
20 but quite the contrary.
21 Q. Well, I mean, we can go through the figures
22 for all of the different ethnic groups. I didn't want
23 to actually do that. But I think you will see drops in
24 the numbers of Ruthenes, the numbers of Hungarians, all
25 of the groups reduce in population, and the only one
1 that increases is Yugoslavs, and the total number of
2 people in the municipality increases, so wouldn't this
3 seem to indicate that people from all ethnic groups
4 declared themselves as Yugoslavs in 1981, and then in
5 1991, as the population of the municipality again
6 continues to grow, the number of Yugoslavs drops but
7 the numbers of all the ethnic groups again go up?
8 A. Yes. There was a national division in 1991,
9 so that most probably some of the Croats who previously
10 declared themselves as Yugoslavs in 1981, in 1991
11 declared themselves as Croats. The question is how
12 much in this Serb euphoria who declared themselves as
13 Yugoslavs were able to say that they were Serbs. This
14 is a dilemma before which we stand.
15 Q. Well, the number of Serbs also increased by
16 6.000 at that time, did it not? So that would again
17 seem to indicate that the Yugoslavs had declared
18 themselves as Serbs again as well, not just Croats?
19 That's my last question on that --
20 MR. FILA: Your Honour, why does the
21 Prosecution not bring a democratic (sic)
22 representative? There is a statistics office in Zagreb
23 and in Serbia and they will be able to explain this to
24 us, a demographic representative. I don't where this
25 is leading us. I am raising a question of relevance.
1 MR. WILLIAMSON: If I might reply to that?
2 Again, Mr. Fila asked this man the question and said,
3 our last person was not qualified to do it but this man
4 is qualified to do it, he's a politician, he knows the
5 statistics. Mr. Fila himself has stood up from the bar
6 table on several occasions and has declared that all
7 Yugoslavs were Serbs. Now, unfortunately we can't
8 cross-examine Mr. Fila --
9 MR. FILA: I never said that.
10 MR. WILLIAMSON: We should be able to
11 cross-examine him when he is putting forward the
12 statistics and the beliefs.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: On the other hand, you have
14 put quite a few questions on statistical --
15 MR. FILA: Your Honour, Mr. Fila never said
16 that all Yugoslavs were Serbs. For example, I declared
17 myself as a Yugoslav and you know full well that I am
18 of Greek origin, so it is not true that all Slavs were
19 Yugoslavs nor that all Yugoslavs declared themselves as
20 Serbs. I never said that. Don't quote me incorrectly,
22 JUDGE CASSESE: I should say that by and
23 large we regard all these questions as of very little
24 material, almost no material at all to our questions.
25 I mean, we are dealing with some specific facts and the
1 applicable law, not with the statistics, the population
2 increases and decreases and so on. Please, let us move
3 on to other questions that are more relevant.
4 MR. WILLIAMSON:
5 Q. Mr. Stanimirovic, you indicated that you
6 became mayor of Vukovar after the events of November of
7 1991, at some point in '92 you became President of the
8 Municipality; is that correct?
9 A. No, that is not correct. This was at the end
10 of 1993, before the multi-party elections that were
11 held in the republic of Srpska Krajina, after the
12 victory at these multi-party elections where the
13 Radical Party won, then their representatives appointed
14 their President of the Municipality.
15 Q. I'm not clear. When did you serve as
16 President of the Municipality?
17 A. Before the multi-party elections that were
18 held at the end of 1993, I was president practically
19 until the beginning of January 1994, a total of three
20 or four months altogether. After the multi-party
21 elections, the Radical Party won a majority in Vukovar,
22 and they appointed their President, Ljubomir Vukicevic.
23 Q. So it was only in the interim period at the
24 end of 1993 and the beginning of 1994; is that correct?
25 A. That's right, that's right, exactly, that is
2 Q. Do you know a man named Caslav Niksic?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Now, he is the individual that was sent by
5 your administration to be the official Serb observer at
6 the Ovcara exhumation in 1996, was he not?
7 A. Yes, that is correct. But the Croatian
8 commission did not accept him.
9 Q. I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about
10 during the --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters can't hear the
12 witness, I'm sorry.
13 MR. WILLIAMSON: I don't know if we've lost
14 the connection or perhaps I spoke over him. I'm not
15 sure. I'll try again.
16 Q. Now, I'm not talking about in the period near
17 the end of UNTAES, I'm talking about during the Ovcara
18 exhumation, he was there and he was present at Ovcara
19 for some period of time, wasn't he?
20 A. Yes, that is correct, yes.
21 Q. Are you aware of an incident on the 11th of
22 September of 1996 in which Mr. Niksic tried to bribe
23 the Jordanian security patrol to gain access to the
24 Ovcara site after the tribunal investigators and
25 forensic experts had left for the day?
1 A. Mr. Klein told me that because I cooperated
2 with him, but afterwards, when I talked to Mr. Niksic,
3 he denied this completely and that there was no reason
4 for him to go on his own to Ovcara. He said that he
5 went to get the hub cap of his car or something.
6 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I have an objection
7 once again. It is irrelevant, or should I now ask
8 Mr. Stanimirovic how many Serbs there were at that time
9 when Caslav Niksic was bribing Jordanian soldiers or
11 JUDGE CASSESE: The objection is sustained.
12 After consulting my colleagues, I was going to ask the
13 Prosecutor to refrain from asking these questions which
14 are not material to our issues.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON: Very well, Your Honours. I
16 have no further questions.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
18 MR. FILA: I have no questions. Please,
19 could we just have a closed hearing now so that the
20 next witness could be heard behind closed doors and
21 could this witness be marked as DD and I am going to
22 tell you which witness this is or rather show you which
23 witness this is.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry to interrupt you, but I
25 should like to thank the witness for testifying. You
1 may now be released. Thank you.
2 So we will move on to our next witness, it
3 will be in closed session.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
5 (The Witness withdrew)
6 JUDGE CASSESE: I understand we may now
7 proceed in closed session.
8 (In closed session)
13 Pages 3035 to 3044 redacted - in closed session
15 (The Witness withdrew)
16 THE WITNESS: Thank you too.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether we may now
18 move to the open session?
19 MR. FILA: Yes.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: With the next witness.
21 MR. FILA: The only problem, Your Honour, is
22 that I don't know who the next witness is. We'll see
23 who turns up.
24 I would like to ask for a witness to be
25 brought tomorrow in the video link, his name is Milos
1 Vojnovic. He's the former President of the Court in
2 Vukovar and we came by him this morning. He would
3 testify instead of Mr. Gradina, who doesn't seem to be
4 there. So if you would allow this witness to take part
5 in the video link tomorrow. He has not been put
6 forward. So far we haven't got the statement. If
7 Mr. Gradina turns up, well and good. If not, we would
8 like to have this other witness who was the President
9 of the Court in Vukovar in 1991.
10 We have some problems in bringing these
11 people, and the witnesses on the video link had some
12 problems, and he told this story to the others and now
13 everybody seems to be afraid to come forward.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, if I might?
15 Could Mr. Fila repeat the name of the witness again,
16 and also we would like to have some notice as to the
17 nature of his testimony. If a statement is not
18 available, at least a summary of what he will testify
19 as to.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
21 MR. FILA: Yes, I'll be happy to do so.
22 Vojnovic, Milos, he is the former President of the
23 Court in Vukovar, and he will be testifying as to the
24 circumstances in Vukovar until he was expelled from the
25 court. He will be speaking about his friendship with
1 Mr. Berghofer and the character of Mr. Berghofer, and
2 in that sense, the witness, Mr. Gradina, was proposed,
3 but it seems that he has not turned up.
4 The witness that you now see is Koncarevic,
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Mr. Koncarevic,
7 could you please stand and make the solemn
9 THE WITNESS: Just a minute. Let me prepare
10 what I need.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you please read the
12 solemn declaration?
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
18 ILIJA KONCAREVIC, Sworn:
19 Examined by Mr. Fila:
20 Q. Mr. Koncarevic, did you make a statement
21 which you signed in your own hand to lawyer
22 Mr. Petrovic from my office?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Will you take a look at that statement and
25 confirm its authenticity, please, the one that you are
1 being shown, the one that is being shown you. You have
2 it in English and in Serbian.
3 A. Yes, I have it in Serbian as well.
4 Q. Is that your statement?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 MR. FILA: If there are no objections, then I
7 tender this in evidence as 106 and 106A. Exhibit 106,
9 Q. Mr. Koncarevic, did you graduate from the
10 Faculty of Economics, and if so, when?
11 A. In 1973.
12 Q. Where?
13 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid we didn't hear
14 the answer.
15 Q. Can you hear me, Mr. Koncarevic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where did you graduate?
18 A. In Belgrade.
19 Q. Where were you employed?
20 A. I was employed in the Yugoslav People's Army.
21 Q. In 1990, 1991, that is the period for which
22 we are interested in.
23 A. I was already retired at the time. I was
24 retired on the 1st of January, 1988.
25 Q. And then you lived as a pensioner?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Are you one of the founders of the Serbian
3 National Council of the Baranja region?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Were you its Secretary-General?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. When did this happen? When was this fact?
8 A. On the 7th of January, 1991, in Sidski
10 Q. What was that organisation? Was it a secret
12 A. Yes, it was a secret organisation. In order
13 to contact with the public.
14 Q. Can you read out the founding act?
15 A. Yes, I can.
16 Q. What are you reading from now?
17 A. It is a book published by Ilija Petrovic
18 because I have no other document available at the
20 Q. What is the book's name, title?
21 A. The Serbian National Council of Slavonia,
22 Baranja and Western Srem.
23 MR. FILA: That is evidence, Prosecution's
24 evidence --
25 Q. Could you read it out to us, please, the
1 founding Act, not the declaration, but the statement?
2 A. The founding Act, first of all -- can I begin
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. "Bearing in mind that the unification of the
6 Slovenes, with the Kingdom of Serbian Montenegro into a
7 uniform state" -- "into a united state."
8 THE INTERPRETER: A little slower, please.
9 A. "Into a united state of the Slovenes, the
10 Croats, and Serbs, was brought by the National Council
11 of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes on the 24th of
12 November, 1918, and in view of the fact that when
13 the" --"that the rules of procedure for the National
14 Council of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, all questions
15 related to unification of the Slovenes, Croats, and
16 Serbs into a national, free and independent state are
17 considered unconditionally a question of the National
18 Council of the three nations whose interests that
19 council will support, confronted by the fact that the
20 Slovenes and Croats have brought separate decisions on
21 seceding from the State of Yugoslavia in which they
22 entered jointly with the Serbs by a decision recognised
23 on the 3rd" --
24 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we're losing the
1 A. "Was completely ignored. The Serbian National
2 Council for Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem does not
3 accept the solutions by which the present Republics of
4 Croatia and Slovenia, without agreement on the part of
5 the Serbian people as Serbia and Western Srem, separate
6 these territories from the territory of the State of
7 Yugoslavia. Second, as the sole legitimate organ of
8 the Serbian, Baranja, Western Srem people in" --
9 MR. FILA: Just one moment, please.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: We already have this
11 document. It's Prosecutor 197, Exhibit 197. Is there
12 any point? It's in English. We've got it in English.
13 Is there any point in reading the whole document?
14 MR. FILA: Well, never mind, Mr. Koncarevic.
15 We have that evidence.
16 Q. Could you please tell us whether you
17 mentioned the 6th of April, 1941, in the declaration?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And why do you mention that particular date?
20 A. We mentioned the date because up until the
21 6th of April, 1941, when Yugoslavia was attacked, and
22 after that an independent State of Croatia was set up,
23 there was great suffering for the Serbian people and
24 many parts of Croatia changed their ethnic makeup.
25 Many villages and municipalities and whole regions were
1 changed. The structure was changed to the debit of the
2 Serbian people, to the advantage of the Croatian
4 Q. Very well. Could you tell us how many
5 Serbian National Councils existed?
6 A. There were -- first of all, the Serb
7 National Council was set up in July in Silibit (phoen).
8 Q. What year?
9 A. It was the National Council, all-embracing
10 National Council in -- by proclamation, all the
11 Presidents of the Municipalities with a Serb majority
12 became members of the Serbian Democratic Party.
13 Q. What was the second Serbian National Council?
14 A. We set up the second council role because of
15 the specific features of both regions and that it had
16 no territorial links with Knin.
17 Q. Did Slavko Dokmanovic, was he a member of the
18 these two Serbian National Councils, first of all of
19 one and then the other?
20 A. I can say quite responsible that Slavko
21 Dokmanovic was never a member of the Serbian National
22 Council of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem.
23 MR. FILA: Just a minute, please. There
24 seems to be a problem in the translation. A little
25 slower, please.
1 Q. Who entered the Serb National Council and
2 how in Srb in 1990? How were the members elected,
4 A. In Serbia in 1990 -- the Serbian people in
5 its history always took important decisions for its
6 fate on the religious and national gatherings.
7 Q. And that is what happened in Srb?
8 A. Under the leadership of Professor Raskovic.
9 It was proclaimed that the Serbian National Council
10 that was formed at the time was composed of the
11 Presidents of the Municipalities where there was a
12 Serbian majority in Croatian territory, and the
13 Presidents of the Municipality Boards of the Serbian
14 Democratic Party.
15 Q. Thank you. Were you president of the Great
16 National Council and when was it held? Great National
18 A. Yes, I was President of the Great National
19 Assembly. It was constituted on the 25th of June,
20 1991, and the first official meeting where the
21 government was proclaimed was also held on the 25th or
22 26th of September, 1991.
23 Q. Let us go back to once again. How were the
24 members of the Serbian National Council elected in
1 A. I did not attend a meeting, but I was told
2 from the press that the Serbian National Council was
3 proclaimed and that within its composition the
4 Presidents of the Municipalities and whether Serbs had
5 a majority.
6 Q. Were they elected by acclamation?
7 A. Yes, acclamation. I wasn't there myself, but
8 it was by acclamation.
9 Q. May we go back to the Great National
10 Assembly. You were president of the Great National
11 Assembly; it took place on the 25th of June, 1991.
12 When was the government elected?
13 A. The government was elected on the 25th or the
14 26th of September, I don't recall exactly, of 1991.
15 Q. Were there any problems in Beli Manastir?
16 Were there any problems in electing Slavko Dokmanovic?
17 A. As far as I recall, Slavko Dokmanovic was at
18 the time the most tragic figure in Croatia. The Serbs
19 did not accept him because of his tolerance towards the
20 Croats when he was the former Mayor -- formerly the
21 Mayor of Vukovar, and the Croats did not want him
22 because he was a Serb, so that he had a great deal of
23 problems. And I know that Goran Hadzic had to
24 intervene on two occasions, and me too once, because we
25 did not have experts for agriculture at the time.
1 Q. Can he then be considered an extremist Serb
2 or a moderate Serb? How did you see him?
3 A. We considered him to be a moderate, temperate
4 man, and many Serbs considered him to be a traitor of
5 the Serbian people.
6 Q. Do you recall a programme shown on Novi Sad
8 A. Yes, I took part in that particular
9 programme, that's right.
10 Q. Do you recall whether the attitude adopted by
11 Slavko Dokmanovic was the stand of the Serbian National
12 Council or was it a moderate stand?
13 A. He said on the occasion that he was not a
14 member of the Serbian National Council, that he never
15 was a member of the council. And the second thing he
16 said was that he was speaking as the Mayor of Vukovar
17 and the President of both the Serbs and the Croats, and
18 his presentation was completely moderate. It was never
19 coloured in any national colours.
20 Q. Do you know the conditions under which this
21 government worked? Well, it was the classical
22 government. You had salaries and so on and so forth?
23 A. Well, no, we did not have salaries. That
24 government had no means at its disposal. There were
25 marketing moves, looking for people on the other side
1 to recognise us.
2 Q. Did you have an army, a policy, a solid
4 A. No. This was not under our competencies. We
5 just had people organised in villages, within the
6 villages, and these commanders were proclaimed
7 commanders for the defence of the villages, but we did
8 not have any power or authority over them because the
9 territory was all broken up.
10 Q. Thank you. On the 20th of November, 1991,
11 were you in Vukovar and when did you come to Vukovar,
12 when did you reach Vukovar?
13 A. I came from Sid, from the direction of Sid,
14 and I was invited by Hadzic to come to that meeting. I
15 think that I left sometime between 12.00 and 1.00 p.m.
16 and around 1.00, whether a little before or a little
17 afterwards, I found myself in Vukovar.
18 Q. Did you come to the VELEPROMET compound?
19 A. Yes, that is where I went.
20 Q. Did you see Slavko Dokmanovic there and when?
21 A. Yes, yes, I did.
22 Q. About what time was that?
23 A. When he entered, at the beginning of the
24 meeting, which began at about 2.00 p.m., he entered the
25 hall at that time.
1 Q. How many entrances and exits to the hall are
3 A. Just one.
4 Q. When did this meeting end, the one at the
5 VELEPROMET building?
6 A. Around 3.00 p.m.
7 Q. Throughout that time, was Slavko Dokmanovic
9 A. Yes, yes, he was there inside. He talked
10 about agriculture and also about tilling the land for
11 the winter, about feeding the population, and also the
12 great suffering that would follow, et cetera.
13 Q. When did you last see him that day?
14 A. Well, at the end of the meeting, we stood out
15 there and we shook hands and I didn't see him after
17 Q. That was around 3.00 p.m.; right?
18 A. Yes, around 3.00 p.m.
19 Q. Do you remember what kind of clothes he wore
20 that day?
21 A. He always wore some kind of hunting uniform
22 of his own, I don't know, a huntsman's uniform. I
23 think it was a huntsman's uniform. It wasn't a JNA
24 uniform, no, no, no, no.
25 Q. And one more thing, please. On the 20th of
1 November, were there any civilian authorities on the
2 territory of the City of Vukovar?
3 A. Our authority or that of the government does
4 not exist in the area, and in the local communities --
5 I mean, that is the first time we saw Vukovar. Whether
6 in the local communities they had some kind of
7 authority, I don't really know about that, but I don't
8 think they had it, because then we said that we should
9 establish some kind of authority together with them in
10 order to feed the population, to take care of health,
11 and to take care of children, et cetera.
12 Q. Can one say that there was military rule at
13 that time in Vukovar?
14 A. Yes, roughly, yes.
15 Q. Did you also get certain permits? Was there
16 freedom of movement or did you have to have a permit?
17 A. No, no, no, no. There were checkpoints.
18 Q. By the JNA?
19 A. Yes, by the JNA.
20 Q. Approximately when was civilian rule first
21 established in Vukovar?
22 A. I think that our government, at the beginning
23 of December, passed a decision to establish the
24 Executive Council of Vukovar, and I think that was done
25 sometime by mid-December.
1 Q. So can I conclude that before December this
2 was not possible, and before December in Vukovar there
3 was only military administration?
4 A. I am stating that with full responsibility,
5 because I was President of the Assembly, after all, and
6 I knew that.
7 Q. Do you know Slavko Dokmanovic as a person?
8 Did you talk to someone about him?
9 A. Well, yes, I would meet Slavko Dokmanovic.
10 And he looks like a humanist to me, rather than a
11 hard-core nationalist or radical or something like
12 that. He was a reasonable man who mainly dealt in
13 agriculture and was preoccupied with agriculture.
14 Q. If I could say that he is being accused of
15 having participated in the killing of at least 200
16 people in October, would you believe that?
17 A. Slavko Dokmanovic?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. I don't think that he would be capable of
20 spanking his own child, let alone bring arms against a
22 MR. FILA: Thank you.
23 A. You're welcome.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Niemann?
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Niemann
1 Q. I think it is your evidence, is it not, that
2 you didn't attend the Serb National Council meeting
3 which took place at Srb near Knin on the 25th of July,
4 1990; is that your evidence?
5 A. Yes, I was not there.
6 Q. Are you aware of the fact that Slavko
7 Dokmanovic attended this meeting?
8 A. No, I didn't know about it. I read about it
9 in the newspapers.
10 Q. And therefore you wouldn't have known whether
11 or not he was in fact made a member of the council on
12 that day or at that meeting?
13 A. No, I don't know that. Only that much which
14 was said, that the Presidents of Serb Municipalities
15 and Presidents of the Local Committees of the Serbian
16 Democratic Party would become members of this council.
17 This was carried by the press, and I thought therefore
18 that Dokmanovic was included because he was President
19 of a municipality, and that was Vukovar. This was in
21 Q. Why did you attend the government meeting at
22 VELEPROMET on the 20th of November, 1991?
23 A. There was supposed to be an agreement as to
24 how civilian rule would be established on the territory
25 of Vukovar, and this is within the domain of the
2 Q. What capacity did you perform at that
4 A. President of the Assembly. To be informed.
5 Q. Did you preside over the meeting then as
7 A. No.
8 Q. Well, who did preside over the meeting?
9 A. It was supposed to be chaired by Hadzic, but
10 the main speaker was a Colonel, some Colonel whom we
11 found there. I think his surname was Vojnovic. I
12 can't remember his first name.
13 Q. This is a colonel in the JNA?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If he was the main speaker, what did he have
16 to say?
17 A. He said that we have nothing to do there for
18 the time being, that we could not establish any kind of
19 government, that there is military rule, military
20 administration there then, and that perhaps it would
21 become possible within a few days.
22 Q. And what did the meeting say in response to
24 A. Attempts were made that we establish this
25 immediately, to set a date for this or something, but
1 it was impossible because the situation was as it was
3 Q. Now, who informed you that the meeting would
4 take place?
5 A. Hadzic, by telephone.
6 Q. And what did he say to you when he informed
7 you that this meeting would occur?
8 A. My first name is Ilija, so he said, "Ilija,
9 come to this meeting. We're going to have a meeting on
10 the 20th of in Vukovar, so come and attend it if you
11 can." That was all.
12 Q. Did you attend previous meetings of the
13 government, in particular on the day before this
14 meeting, that's on the 19th?
15 A. No, no. No, no, no, no. I attended
16 government meetings perhaps only twice. This was not a
17 real session. There was only -- it was just a
18 meeting. And I also attended another government
19 session after that.
20 Q. Now, how did you get to VELEPROMET?
21 A. I came with some kind of Combi from Sid.
22 Q. Did you drive yourself or did you have
23 someone drive you?
24 A. No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no.
25 Somebody drove the Combi, and who that was and whose
1 Combi that was, I have no idea.
2 Q. Were you on your own or were you with a group
3 of people?
4 A. There were three or four or five of us there,
5 possibly. I just remember that Josip Pajakovic (phoen)
6 was with me, and the rest -- I think Beretuk (phoen), I
7 think. I don't know his first name. He was doing
8 something in the government. I don't know what post he
9 exactly held. I think he was in the vehicle too. And
10 I can't remember the other ones.
11 Q. Now, when you arrived at VELEPROMET, did you
12 immediately proceed inside the building?
13 A. I stayed for a while in front of the
14 building, because there were some of my acquaintances
15 there, and there were also some people whom I had seen
16 for the first time. So we had brief exchanges of
17 views, we would say "Hello" to each other, and then
18 sometime before 2.00 I walked into the room.
19 Q. And are you able to recall now some of the
20 people there that you spoke to?
21 A. They knew me rather than -- I didn't know
22 them. I knew their faces, but I didn't know their
23 names. I'm very bad at remembering people's names
25 Q. Were you in any sort of military-style
1 uniform on the day?
2 A. No, not me. No. I never wore a uniform
3 throughout the events that are being discussed.
4 Q. Was there any other people there who belonged
5 to the government who were in uniform? I don't
6 necessarily mean JNA uniform but I mean military-style
8 A. Well, you know, we had different uniforms
9 because our hygienic conditions, you know, and
10 everything were such -- the easiest thing was to wear
11 an olive green-grey uniform and camouflage and to wear
12 that, so, yes, yes, some people did wear that.
13 Q. Now, this Colonel, I think you said he was a
14 JNA Colonel, was he?
15 A. Yes, yes, he was inside.
16 Q. Was there any other military people present
17 apart from the Colonel?
18 A. Apart from the Colonel, when I walked into
19 the room, there was not a single other military man in
21 Q. Do you know Arkan?
22 A. I saw him on television.
23 Q. Did you see him there that day?
24 A. I don't know him personally. No, I walked in
25 before Arkan arrived, but I only heard that he had
1 arrived but I didn't see him.
2 Q. Did anyone -- I withdraw that.
3 Did people come and leave the meeting from
4 time to time during the course of the meeting?
5 A. Only Hadzic went out of the meeting because
6 there was an enormous number of journalists from all
7 over the world outside, so he was asked to come out but
8 no one else came out.
9 Q. Now, when Hadzic went out, he gave a press
10 conference, did he?
11 A. I didn't know that. I was inside.
12 Q. Was there any discussion about what to do
13 with Croatian prisoners at this meeting?
14 A. No, no, no. No, this was not within our
15 competence. That was the first time I saw Vukovar.
16 Q. Was this something that you're saying
17 absolutely didn't happen or is it just something that
18 you say you can't remember?
19 A. Well, that was not the previous question --
20 could you repeat your previous question.
21 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Can you hear me now clearly?
22 A. Yes, I can hear you. I can hear you.
23 Q. Now, when you said -- you said that there was
24 no discussion about what to do with Croatian
25 prisoners. My next question was --
1 A. No, because it was not within our competence.
2 Q. What I'm asking you is --
3 A. Colonel Vojnovic told us loud and clear that
4 those people and that all other authorities and powers
5 were under the military in Vukovar, so it would have
6 been pointless to discuss that. Perhaps someone tried
7 to but it didn't mean a thing.
8 Q. What I'm asking you is, is this something
9 that you know categorically and absolutely did not
10 occur, or are you simply saying that you didn't know of
12 A. I don't understand what happened. I don't
13 understand the question, whether this had happened or
14 had not happened. What event are we talking about?
15 What is this "happening"?
16 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I think the answer
17 has been provided by the witness. Look at the
18 transcript, please.
19 MR. NIEMANN: I don't think so, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: No, I'm sorry. I don't agree
21 with you, Mr. Fila. Could you --
22 MR. FILA: Sorry, I heard him answer in
24 MR. NIEMANN:
25 Q. My question is this: When you say that there
1 was no discussion about what to do with Croatian
2 prisoners at that meeting, my question is: Is that
3 something that you say absolutely did not happen or is
4 it something that you yourself didn't hear or didn't
5 know about?
6 A. Please. This was a meeting without any
7 minutes and without a set agenda. If someone mentioned
8 something like that in front of this Colonel, I allow
9 that that is possible, but I didn't take part in that
10 and this was not an item on the agenda. And it was not
11 within the domain of our competencies at all.
12 Q. Now, are you saying that you had an agenda
13 for this meeting?
14 A. No, we did not have an agenda for that
16 Q. Well, what did you mean when you said "This
17 was not an item for the agenda"? What did you mean by
19 A. I mean there was no agenda. That is what I
21 Q. Now, how well do you know Mr. Dokmanovic?
22 A. Not that well except that I met him during
23 the mentioned events.
24 Q. How many times would you have met him in
1 A. At the meeting of the assembly and preparing
2 the work of the assembly, this Ministry that he was in
3 charge of, where he really had a tough time, he came
4 and he asked me to help him with my influence or to see
5 whether I had some connections, whether I could do
6 something to help, et cetera, so there were quite a few
7 contacts. But they certainly were not that frequent.
8 Q. How frequently had you met him, known him,
9 and spoken to him prior to the government being elected
10 in, I think September of 1991?
11 A. Well, perhaps five or six times.
12 Q. And you hadn't known him before that time; is
13 that correct? You hadn't known him personally. You
14 may have known of him --
15 A. No, no. Before those events, I did not know
16 Slavko Dokmanovic, I only read about him in the press
17 as the Mayor of Vukovar when he was elected, et cetera.
18 Q. I take it you didn't know anything about his
20 A. Once I met his family as I went through his
21 village. I met his wife, but I didn't meet his
23 Q. Was that before or after this meeting on the
24 20th of November of 1991?
25 A. That was way back in the spring of 1991.
1 Q. What time did you leave VELEPROMET on that
2 day of the meeting of the 20th of November?
3 A. Around 3.00, sometime after 3.00.
4 Q. And what route did you follow in order --
5 when you left?
6 A. I went on the same road that I came in on,
7 via Negoslavci to Sid.
8 Q. And can you tell us about the trip going
9 home, the return journey? What were the traffic
10 conditions like?
11 A. Well, I didn't notice anything special except
12 that it was different than the conditions on which I
14 Q. In what sense was it different?
15 A. I took the same Combi back to Sid, the same
16 one that I took from Sid to there. I didn't know this
17 man and I don't know who drove it and I don't know
18 whose Combi it is, and then I went back to Sid and I
19 took my own car back to Novi Sad.
20 Q. On your way back to Sid, did you see
21 Mr. Dokmanovic at all?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you see any particular types of vehicles
24 on the roads that you can recall?
25 A. No, I didn't. I sat in the vehicle and I was
1 talking en route, perhaps there was something on the
2 road, but I didn't see anything. I can't really say.
3 Q. And did you stop at any stage on the way
4 between VELEPROMET and Sid?
5 A. No, no.
6 MR. NIEMANN: No further questions.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila? No
9 Mr. Koncarevic, I have a couple of questions
10 for you. You may be of some assistance to us by
11 clarifying one or two points.
12 First of all, at that particular meeting of
13 the government on the 20th of November, were problems,
14 the various problems arising out of the destruction of
15 Vukovar discussed?
16 A. You know, seven years have gone by, and to
17 remember everything correctly and to say with full
18 responsibility who said what, that would really be
19 pretentious for my age, you know, I really couldn't --
20 we were shocked, you know, with the situation and
21 everything we found there, and we talked about that and
22 we looked at one another. We didn't even have any
23 minutes. So it was a meeting that referred to the
24 future more than saying what should be done when.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Would you say
1 that this particular meeting was a sort of emergency
2 meeting since the government had already met the
3 previous day, on the 19th of November, in Erdut, and if
4 so, how would you explain --
5 A. I think that the point of the meeting was --
6 oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Did I interrupt?
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Please go on.
8 A. I think that Hadzic convened the meeting so
9 that the government could impose itself as some kind of
10 an authority for the town in the future. I don't think
11 he had anything specific in mind, what he could do
12 right now, but I think that Mr. Hadzic could say more
13 about that than I could.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: I think, if I'm not wrong, on
15 the previous day the government had decided -- actually
16 had issued a sort of decree, a decision, whereby the
17 JNA should be under the control of the government.
18 Now, in light of that, how was the suggestion
19 by the Colonel of the JNA -- how did people react to
20 the suggestion by the Colonel -- could you wait one
21 moment, please? -- how did people at that meeting react
22 to the suggestion by the Colonel of the JNA that the
23 military rule should prevail?
24 A. They reconciled themselves to it. That's the
25 way it was. We didn't have anything and they had
2 JUDGE CASSESE: A final question: We were
3 given by the Defence the agenda and a summary of the
4 minutes, I think -- again, if I'm not wrong -- of the
5 government's meeting on the 19th of November. How
6 would you explain that there was no agenda -- there
7 were no minutes for the meeting of the 20th of
8 November? As I say, the day before minutes and an
9 agenda and minutes of the meeting were carefully drawn
11 A. Well, you know what? If that was the case on
12 the 19th -- I'm not a member of the government and I
13 cannot answer why things were the way they were and how
14 things were, et cetera, and as far as the 20th is
15 concerned, perhaps that is something to do with the
16 message that Hadzic sent me. He said, "Come if you
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I see there is no
19 objection to the witness being released. Thank you,
20 Mr. Koncarevic, for testifying. You may now be
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you too.
23 (The witness withdrew)
24 MR. FILA: Perhaps I should explain
25 something, Your Honour? Half of the witnesses are
1 coming from Vukovar and half from Novi Sad, not a
2 single witness is from Belgrade, so I really have no
3 idea when who arrives. I am a bit embarrassed by all
4 this but ...
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Of course, Mr. Fila, it is
6 not your fault. You should not be embarrassed. But I
7 hope the registrar is going to have the next witness as
8 soon as possible.
9 I may probably turn to the Prosecutor and ask
10 whether they have been able to prepare the famous
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, this is an
13 ongoing saga. We have tried, at the end of last week,
14 on several occasions to get the photos done. The paper
15 that was necessary for this had not been received, and
16 I understood that it was held up in procurement. We
17 were told that they would have these in the video unit
18 today and Mr. Dzuro from our office went down to make
19 it and was advised they still had not received the
20 paper for printing the photographs. I spoke with
21 Ms. Featherstone at the lunch break and made her aware
22 of this and she said she would follow up with
23 Mr. Falces and try to get this sorted out.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, thank you.
25 MR. FILA: The next witness is Goran Hadzic,
1 Your Honour.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Hadzic, could
3 you please kindly stand and make the solemn
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
9 seated. Mr. Fila
10 THE WITNESS: GORAN HADZIC
11 Examined by Mr. Fila
12 Q. Mr. Hadzic, did you make a statement to the
13 investigator in my office that we're going to show you
14 and is that your signature on the statement?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 MR. FILA: Thank you. I tender this in
17 evidence. It will be number D107 and D107A.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: No objection?
19 MR. WILLIAMSON: No objection.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
21 MR. FILA:
22 Q. Mr. Hadzic, where did you go to school, what
23 university did you graduate from, what schools have
24 you, and when?
25 A. I completed elementary school in Borovo
1 Naselje Vukovar gymnasium, that is secondary school in
2 Vinkovci, and I studied economics in Osijek, but I
3 never graduated. After the second year, I left
4 university and went to work.
5 Q. At the first multi-party elections, were you
6 elected as a member of the municipal assembly of
8 A. Yes, I was elected on behalf of the SDP, as
9 it was called, the Party of Democratic Change.
10 Q. Do you know Slavko Dokmanovic?
11 A. Yes, I do. He comes from a neighbouring
13 Q. Was he elected at that same list for a member
14 of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar?
15 A. Yes, he was.
16 Q. Why were you on the SDP list, the Party of
17 Democratic Change?
18 A. After the system that reigned in Yugoslavia,
19 we set up a party of a Yugoslav orientation with Serbs
20 and Croats both taking part and we wanted Yugoslavia to
21 remain. We did not want to form nationalist parties,
22 and that is why I was in the SDP party.
23 Q. There was a Serb party registered and put
24 up for elections in Vukovar that year, was there?
25 A. Not in Vukovar. There was the Serb
1 Democratic Party in Knin, but we Serbs did not want to
2 have a nationalist party to come forward with a
3 nationalist party.
4 Q. Why did you choose the SDP then?
5 A. Because the belief that prevailed with the
6 Serb people, that the Croats were in favour of the
7 Yugoslavia and that they wanted to see it survive.
8 Especially the people such as my father and people
9 like -- like-minded people. We were not able, nor did
10 we want to, make parties with -- of Serb orientation
11 before the elections. Had we done so before the
12 elections, I could never have explained to my father or
13 like-minded people that we were not to blame for the
14 victory of the HDZ in Croatia. This way we accepted
15 the Croatian party but, in addition to this, Croatia
16 opted for the nationalist option and seceding from
18 Q. How was Slavko Dokmanovic elected as
19 President of the Municipal Assembly?
20 A. Slavko was elected as member in the Municipal
21 Assembly at a meeting, democratically by secret ballot,
22 there were two candidates as far as I recall.
23 Q. Did the Croats vote for him as well?
24 A. A considerable portion of Croats voted for
25 him. They were not nationalists.
1 Q. Was he a moderate or an extremist Serb at the
3 A. Well, he was taken to be a very moderate
4 Serb, and some extremist Serbs hated him for that.
5 Q. Later on, were you President of the Prime
6 Minister of the government in the region? How was the
7 government set up? How were you elected?
8 A. The government was set up after Croatia
9 seceded from Yugoslavia, that is to say, after the
10 unilateral decision on the part of Croatia to secede
11 because it was not recognised by the world at the
12 time. We set up a government, we convened a meeting of
13 all the deputies of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar
14 and all the other Municipal Assemblies from the area of
15 Slavonia and Baranja and all the other deputies from
16 Slavonia and Baranja, as I say, and they were Serbs for
17 the most part but there were other nationalities as
18 well, Hungarians, I'm not sure whether there were any
19 Croats but I think there were. And they gave me a
21 Q. And then you set up a government, you
22 proposed the government at this Great National
24 How did Slavko Dokmanovic come to be Minister
25 of Agriculture?
1 A. Slavko Dokmanovic was a very honourable man,
2 and as you know, he was and is -- he had graduated from
3 the faculty of farming and he was nearby and I was able
4 to appoint him. I appointed him as such and
5 politically, this also corresponded to us because he
6 was very hard-working.
7 Q. Was he easily elected or were there those
8 Serbs who did not want to elect him?
9 A. With all the reasonable Serbs, this was okay,
10 but there were not a lot of them. Most extremists
11 attacked him, and I had a lot of problems and had to
12 use all my authority to have Slavko appointed
13 Minister. I thought that he was very valuable to me
14 and I see that I had not made a mistake because he was
15 the only man that was able to undertake this matter and
16 all the peace agreements that we adopted.
17 Q. What did the extremist Serbs criticise him
19 A. He was criticised because -- and I don't
20 think Slavko was to blame there -- but they said that
21 he had given over Vukovar to the Croats. These are
22 criticisms that are untenable. He was for the Yugoslav
23 option. And while we were forming the SDS, Slavko was
24 in contact with Zagreb and he brought executive
25 secretaries of the SDP to Trpinja. Those were the
1 basic accusations made against Slavko.
2 Q. The role of your government, what conditions
3 did you have for functioning? Did you have a salary,
4 police, and so on?
5 A. We had nothing of a normal government. We
6 had no salaries, we couldn't have an army or a police
7 force for practical reasons because we were a Serb
8 region within Yugoslavia, and all this existed on the
9 territory of former Yugoslavia. We formed a government
10 under very difficult conditions. The territory was
11 divided up in half, and for the most part, we did not
12 have any contacts with the other part of the territory
13 for a considerable time.
14 We had to go -- pass a lot of kilometres to
15 set up links, telephones did not work, there was no
16 electricity, no water. It was very difficult to work
17 under such conditions. But we tried to perform a
18 political function, we tried to work with the people,
19 to have the people stay on the territory, and for life
20 to carry on as normally as possible.
21 Q. Did you undertake anything to change this
22 marginal role on the part of the government?
23 A. Well, yes, we did. We adopted several
24 decisions, we wrote letters, but this did not have much
25 effect, I'm afraid.
1 Q. Did you hold a meeting of your government on
2 the 19th of November, 1991?
3 A. Let me recall the date. In Erdut, yes, it
4 was the meeting on the 19th of November in Erdut, as
5 far as I recall.
6 Q. I would like to show you the minutes from
7 that meeting. It is Defence Exhibit D53. Would you
8 take a look at it, please?
9 A. Yes, that is the minutes from the meeting and
10 my signature.
11 Q. Would you take a look at the conclusion under
12 point 5. Could you read it and tell us what it is
14 A. The government of the Serbian (translation
15 unclear) should have units on its territory.
16 Q. What did that mean? Could you explain that
17 to us?
18 A. We had practical problems with the
19 functioning of the government because there was still
20 the conditions of war. The territory, as I said a
21 moment ago, was cut into half, was divided, and each
22 village had its points, army points, and you had to
23 have a permit to move through these check points so
24 that a Minister, for example, was not able to perform
25 his functions. He had to have five permits issued in
1 order to pass through the region, and we wanted this to
2 be recognised and we wanted to do something with regard
3 to this civilian section, and we tried to bring in a
4 decision which nobody accepted. We just brought in
5 that particular decision.
6 Q. Could you read once again what item 5 states?
7 A. "The government of the Serb region should
8 be above the units of the JNA on its territory."
9 Q. Is that the future tense?
10 A. Yes. As a function -- it is the day before
11 we went to Vukovar, so we were planning to ask them to
12 grant this.
13 Q. Does that mean that at that particular moment
14 you had no competences (sic) over the JNA?
15 A. Yes, I thought that was quite clear but I
16 don't seem to have explained it sufficiently.
17 Q. Would you explain it to us?
18 A. From the fact that we were seeking this,
19 asking for this, it is quite evident that this was not
20 the situation. Had we had that, we would not have had
21 to ask for it, and if we had had good will to realise
22 this, this could not have been done in one day, so we
23 needed at least ten to 15 days to implement this, and
24 we needed, in fact, 15 days to one month.
25 Q. What was convened for the following day, for
1 the 20th of November, according to those minutes?
2 A. We had a lot of problems with Vukovar,
3 problems not only with the Croats but also with the
4 Serbs who were on the other side and who did not
5 respect and recognise the government, and we knew that
6 Vukovar was liberated and that we would have to go
8 As President, I did not have not the courage
9 but the political wisdom to convene a government
10 meeting there because the question was that we did
11 not -- and Ministers who were intellectuals, part of
12 them were afraid to go.
13 Q. Who were they afraid of? Who were they
14 afraid of; could you tell us that?
15 A. Well, they were afraid of threats from the
16 Serbs who said that they did not recognise our
17 government, and there were individual threats as well,
18 not towards myself but threats were made against
19 Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic, and he was very brave to go
21 I convened a meeting and I said, anybody who
22 can come, please, to come. If not, then that was
23 another matter. Some of the Ministers could not reach
24 the meeting place.
25 Q. Was there minutes taken, records? Did you
1 have an agenda?
2 A. No. I tried to see the Ministers who had
3 arrived, but there were no conditions for the regular
4 work and functioning of the government.
5 Q. Can you tell us where that meeting was held
6 and how long it lasted?
7 A. The meeting, I can tell you this precisely,
8 was held in the VELEPROMET premises in Vukovar. As far
9 as the time is concerned, as far as I recall, I arrived
10 there somewhere before 2.00 p.m., perhaps 1.30 p.m.,
11 and the government meeting began somewhere around 2.00
13 THE INTERPRETER: We've lost the time it
15 A. The meeting lasted one hour.
16 Q. Did you leave the hall during that time?
17 A. I left the hall once or twice. I gave a
18 statement to some foreign television network. I did
19 not preside over the meeting, chair the meeting,
20 although I had intended to chair it, but I had to leave
21 the rostrum, leave the table, and sit down as an
22 ordinary member with the other members in the audience.
23 MR. FILA: May we now see a tape, the D2
24 tape, from the VELEPROMET meeting?
25 Q. This was around 1.50, 52 or 53 minutes, 1.52,
2 MR. FILA: Two or three minutes.
3 We can start the tape rolling.
4 Q. Can you see the tape, Mr. Hadzic?
5 A. Yes, I can.
6 MR. FILA: Well, we can't at the moment.
7 Your Honour -- here we are. May we take it back to --
8 let's start it again, please. Rewind it to 13.55, for
9 example. May we rewind it?
10 Q. Mr. Hadzic, when you see yourself there,
11 please tell us to stop the tape.
12 A. Stop. Yes. I can see myself now.
13 MR. FILA: Would the usher show the
14 photographs, please?
15 Q. Mr. Hadzic, do you recognise yourself on that
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. I don't think we need see the tape any
19 further now. Thank you -- well, let's see it for
20 another few seconds.
21 (Videotape played)
22 Q. What is more important is how long did the
23 meeting last and can you tell us at the government
24 meeting what was discussed?
25 A. The meeting, as far as I recall, lasted for
1 about one hour, about until 3.00 p.m. We discussed --
2 it was not -- it was a meeting, an informal talk,
3 discussion, about the future of the civilian population
4 that had remained in Vukovar. About food supplies,
5 bread supplies, more or less social matters. It was
6 not easy to bring in a conclusion because the meeting
7 was chaired by a Lieutenant Colonel, he did not have
8 any special competences, although he was introduced as
9 the commander of the town.
10 Q. He was the -- was the town administered by
11 military rule or civilian rule?
12 A. No, military rule.
13 Q. When did you introduce civilian rule,
14 civilian administration?
15 A. We tried seven days later to do this, but I
16 think that after the new year, this happened after the
17 new year, perhaps even a little later.
18 Q. When did you leave VELEPROMET on that
19 particular day?
20 A. I think I left after the meeting, somewhere
21 around 3.00 p.m.
22 Q. And was that the last time you saw Slavko
23 Dokmanovic on that day?
24 A. On that day, yes.
25 Q. Since when have you known Slavko Dokmanovic?
1 A. I have known Slavko since before the war,
2 almost 25 years, all in all. I've known him for almost
3 25 years.
4 Q. What kind of man is he? What is the general
5 opinion of him as a man?
6 A. Well, the general opinion is that Slavko as a
7 man is an intelligent man, that he is a professional in
8 his job, that above all, that he is tolerant and
9 reasonable and that he had a lot of sympathies with the
10 local inhabitants, and it is not immodest to say that
11 both the Serbs, the Croats, and other nationalities
12 always had sympathies for him. He was always a
13 reasonable option and never an extreme nationalist
15 Q. Was he a member of the Serb National
16 Council for (translation unclear)?
17 A. Slavko Dokmanovic, as is common knowledge,
18 was elected to the -- in Srb in July, somewhere in July
19 1990, and after the decision of the Municipal Assembly
20 of Vukovar, the first meeting that was held afterwards,
21 he left the council and, although he was co-opted into
22 the council because he was put forward by the Knin
23 leadership, the leadership in Knin, and as the
24 representatives of the Serbs, Slavko went there. But
25 as I talked to him about that problem, he told me that
1 at similar meetings he would also be a representative
2 of the Croats in the Vukovar municipality.
3 Q. So you say that he left the Serb National
5 A. Yes, he left the Serb National Council at
6 the -- of the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar before my
7 very eyes. I was present on that particular occasion.
8 Q. Thank you. Was he in the second Serb
9 National Council?
10 A. No, he was not, and he did not even know of
11 its existence.
12 Q. Did you read the book -- have you read the
13 book by Ilija Petrovic about the Serb National
15 A. I have got the book, and when I saw the way
16 in which Ilija Petrovic wrote the book, I just looked
17 through it and threw it away.
18 Q. Do you know why he called him an incapable
19 President of the Municipal Assembly?
20 A. Well, according to Ilija Petrovic and some
21 other Serb nationalists --
22 Q. And you thought that they thought he was
23 incapable because he was not a nationalist?
24 A. Yes, according to Ilija Petrovic, but I don't
25 agree with that.
1 Q. What don't you agree with?
2 A. That Slavko was incapable. He was a very
3 capable man, but he was not a nationalist, and I do not
4 agree that he was incapable.
5 Q. While in VELEPROMET, on the photograph, there
6 was somebody standing next to you in the photograph.
7 Who was that individual?
8 A. You can see Zeljko Raznjatovic.
9 Q. Are you wearing the same uniforms?
10 A. Well, the uniforms are similar but not the
11 same, not identical. I bought mine in Novi Sad. I
12 don't know where he came by his uniform.
13 Q. Were those uniforms uniforms of your
15 A. No. I just wore the uniform for practical
16 reasons because there was no electricity and no water,
17 and I had to wear something. I should have worn a
18 suit, which was not physically possible in the war
19 conditions that prevailed. So to blend in with the
20 environment and the atmosphere, everybody wore some
21 kind of uniform, and that's why I wore that particular
22 uniform. It was a nice one. There were not many of
23 them. There were in 1992, later on.
24 Q. Are they uniforms of the regular JNA army?
25 A. No, no. I just bought the uniform, I think
1 in an American shop in Novi Sad, or a private firm, a
2 private shop.
3 Q. Mr. Hadzic, was Slavko Dokmanovic wearing a
4 uniform like that at the meeting?
5 A. No, he did not have a uniform like me. He
6 had a mixed-coloured one.
7 Q. When leaving VELEPROMET at the end of the
8 meeting of the government, did you give any interviews?
9 A. Yes, I gave an interview in the VELEPROMET
10 compound and I gave an interview later on, perhaps
11 somewhere around 4.00 or 5.00 or 6.00 p.m., I don't
12 recall whether it was dark or -- it was at the end of
13 the day, at dusk.
14 Q. Where?
15 A. In Sid.
16 Q. What did you say? Where did you come from?
17 What was happening?
18 A. Well, Belgrade television asked me what had
19 happened, what I was doing. I said that I had come
20 from Vukovar, and that as the government had a very
21 poor influence at that time, I said that we had held a
22 government meeting of sorts for the people to see that
23 the government was not afraid to go to Vukovar, and I
24 had to say this because many people didn't believe that
25 we would be going there, and that's what I said, that
1 we bore in mind the fact that attention was paid to the
3 Q. Did you mention any war prisoners, courts,
4 and so on?
5 A. As we were part of Yugoslavia and regardless
6 of the fact that we were not recognised, we did have
7 courts of the first and second degree -- you probably
8 know that -- and I said that we strove to see that
9 justice was done and that no mistakes were made, that
10 the people were justly tried and either sentenced or
12 Q. And you said that it was better to have 100
13 people than have somebody who was innocent -- guilty?
14 A. I said that it would be better to leave 100
15 criminals go rather than have one person innocent
16 condemned. And I think that today. That is what I
17 strove for throughout my work in politics and I'm sure
18 that the Croatian side is well aware of that as well.
19 Q. When you spoke of courts, did you have in
20 mind the regular courts that existed at that time or
21 some sort of popular national courts?
22 A. No, I had in mind the courts already in
23 existence, the municipal and community courts, county
25 Q. Before you left Vukovar with regard to the
1 negotiations in Erdut and the Erdut agreement, did
2 Slavko Dokmanovic play a role?
3 A. Slavko Dokmanovic, as I said in my
4 introductory part, helped me in -- with Vance's plan.
5 He played one of the key roles together with me and
6 some other people in seeing that the Dayton agreement
7 was a success and that an agreement was signed. Had
8 Erdut not have been signed, Dayton would not have been
10 Q. So he played a key role --
11 Would you please repeat the role over the
12 Erdut agreement.
13 THE INTERPRETER: We lost the tone again. We
14 did last time.
15 A. As far as Slavko himself took part, there
16 were three key individuals, three or four key
17 individuals, and Slavko was one of them. He took part,
18 and half his authority was used there.
19 Q. Was he replaced in his duties as President?
20 A. Yes, he had problems because of this.
21 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, we're talking
22 about 1995, the Erdut agreement, and I'm not sure how
23 that is relevant to this issue.
24 MR. FILA: It is highly relevant. Let me
25 explain. Not for your Prosecution but it is highly
1 relevant for the character of the individual that you
2 are trying here. That is what I had in mind. So only
3 in that sense, Mr. Williamson, is it relevant, nothing
4 else. He was a man of peace.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: You may proceed.
6 MR. FILA: Therefore, the signing of this
7 agreement, did he perform the role of a man of peace in
8 favour of the peaceful reintegration of the area into
10 A. At that time, there was a great deal of
11 impact and Slavko played a great role as a man of
12 peace, and somebody wanted -- people wanted to
13 liquidate him and even at that price he played the role
14 of a man of peace.
15 Q. If I have summarised correctly, when you gave
16 your interview in Sid and the other interviews, you
17 tried to assert the government which, in fact, was not
18 of any great importance.
19 A. Yes, you've understood correctly. The
20 government of Slavonia and Baranja did not have any
21 great importance later on either because the Srpska
22 Krajina region was set up and the government was
23 marginal. Slavko Dokmanovic was not elected to the
24 government of Srpska Krajina. No, he was not.
25 Q. Some mention was made of the fact that you
1 gave up on your candidacy to run as the President for
2 the next term. Did you give up on it yourself or did
3 you lose elections?
4 A. I lost the election. I was the candidate of
5 the Serb Democratic Party in 1993.
6 Q. So you didn't give up?
7 A. No, I didn't give up and I had never thought
8 of that.
9 Q. Finally, one further question: You knew
10 Slavko Dokmanovic, you said. Do you know that
11 something happened in Ovcara?
12 A. At the time of these events that we're
13 speaking of, we didn't know anything about it.
14 Q. And later?
15 A. And later we heard from Croatian television
16 and press that something very terrible had happened at
17 Ovcara, according to --
18 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear part of the
19 statement made by the witness.
20 A. Also some of the people we knew -- we asked
21 them whether they knew something about this and no one
22 said that they knew anything about it.
23 Q. If I were to tell you now that Slavko
24 Dokmanovic is being accused of having been at Ovcara
25 during that period of time while you had this
1 government meeting and that he took part in the killing
2 of all these people, having known Slavko Dokmanovic,
3 would you believe all of this?
4 A. I am 100 percent sure that that is not
5 correct, and no one who knows Slavko Dokmanovic could
6 believe a thing like that. I can even mention to the
7 court that I heard rumours that some idiots and fools,
8 I don't know how to call these people, who did this,
9 said that they would -- now Slavko is being accused of
10 Ovcara, and had they been there, they would have killed
11 him too.
12 MR. FILA: Thank you. No further questions,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We are now going
15 to take a 20-minute break, and after that, there will
16 be cross-examination.
17 --- Recess taken at 3.29 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 3.56 p.m.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Williamson?
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Williamson.
21 Q. Mr. Hadzic, on the 20th of November of 1991,
22 what time did you arrive at VELEPROMET?
23 A. I said that I arrived sometime after 1.00
24 p.m., probably around 1.30 p.m.
25 Q. And where were you before that time on the
1 20th of November?
2 A. In Erdut.
3 Q. And what was the route that you took from
4 Erdut to VELEPROMET?
5 A. I didn't really think about it, but I think I
6 came via Borovo Naselje to Vukovar.
7 Q. Did you go through Dalj and Borovo Selo?
8 A. It is only logical, Erdut, Dalj, Borovo Selo,
9 Borovo Naselje, Vukovar.
10 Q. Did you have any difficulty making it through
11 that route on that day?
12 A. There were some problems. You couldn't
13 really get by. It was quite a terrible site. But
14 there weren't any obstacles on the road, as far as I
15 can remember.
16 Q. And you didn't encounter any fighting on the
17 way between Erdut and VELEPROMET, I take it?
18 A. No, no. I didn't see any direct fighting,
19 although in Vukovar I heard sporadic gunfire.
20 Q. Now, when you arrived in Vukovar, did you go
21 directly to VELEPROMET or did you drive around the city
22 at all?
23 A. First we came to VELEPROMET.
24 Q. And how had you informed the people that they
25 were to be at this meeting? Was it at the meeting the
1 prior day in Erdut?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what about people like Ilija Koncarevic
4 who were not present at the meeting in Erdut; how did
5 you make him aware of this meeting?
6 A. I only called Ilija on the phone.
7 Q. And where did you call him from?
8 A. I don't know if I called him from Novi Sad or
9 Erdut because there was only one telephone in Erdut.
10 Q. And what did you tell the ministers the
11 purpose of this meeting was to be?
12 A. The main purpose was to show up in Vukovar
13 and to see that they were not -- that we were not
14 afraid, so that they would see that we were not afraid.
15 Q. And as I understand it, this was the first
16 meeting that your government had held in Vukovar;
18 A. That's right. It was not a session of the
19 government, it was just a meeting. It was the first
20 time that the government people came to Vukovar.
21 Q. And if you can, just once again tell us what
22 was discussed at this meeting?
23 A. There were discussions without an agenda on a
24 wider subject matter about supplies for the city and
25 all these problems that the civilian rule authorities
1 should deal with. This Lieutenant Colonel from the
2 army also spoke about prisoners of war who were there,
3 but we did not have any jurisdiction over them. I
4 personally was afraid and I advocated a fair trial for
5 the prisoners so that nothing bad would happen to them,
7 Q. So there was then some discussion at this
8 meeting about what was going to happen to prisoners; is
9 that what you're saying?
10 A. No, that is not what I'm saying. This was
11 just mentioned. But we were not competent to discuss
13 Q. Now, after the meeting concluded, how long
14 did you remain at VELEPROMET?
15 A. I remained at VELEPROMET very briefly, to the
16 best of my recollection.
17 Q. And where did you go from there?
18 A. After that, after this interview I gave in
19 Sid, I probably went to Novi Sad to see my family
20 because that's where my wife and my children were.
21 Q. So it's my understanding that you went
22 directly from VELEPROMET to Sid; is that correct?
23 A. Not 100 percent correct because I took a
24 drive in the car through the centre of Vukovar. I
25 didn't manage to go out anywhere because everything had
1 been mined. We only stopped in the centre and then we
2 went back and headed towards Sid.
3 Q. Now, when the fighting was going on in
4 Eastern Slavonia in the autumn of 1991, did you have
5 any type of military role?
6 A. No military role. Neither I personally nor
7 my government.
8 Q. Can you explain again why you would wear a
9 uniform then during this period? What was the
10 reasoning for that?
11 A. I can repeat what I said, and that is that
12 the first reason was that practically all people wore
13 uniforms, so people who wore civilian clothes were
14 actually different. And since I was Prime Minister of
15 this government, it would not have been decent for me
16 to be in a dirty shirt and in a crumpled suit, and
17 there were no possibilities of getting a clean shirt
18 every day and having your suit ironed, so that was the
19 main reason.
20 Q. So this was just done because you couldn't
21 wash clothes?
22 A. And also, the other reason, because other
23 people wore uniforms and had we worn civilian clothes,
24 we would have been different from the other inhabitants
25 in the area, so we would have caused additional revolt
1 because there was already some revolt toward certain
2 presidents, ministers, et cetera, as we can assume.
3 Q. Now, you say that although your uniform was
4 similar to the one that Arkan was wearing, but it was
5 not identical; that's correct?
6 A. On this recording, I cannot see whether it
7 was identical, and I don't think it's really
8 important. I bought myself this uniform, and whether
9 someone else bought the same uniform before or after
10 that, I don't know, but now I can't even remember what
11 it was like.
12 Q. Well, in addition to the uniform, you and
13 Arkan also seemed to be wearing very similar berets
14 with Serb flags on them. Is there any connection
15 there, or was this once again just another coincidence?
16 A. Well, I don't know. We couldn't --
17 THE INTERPRETER: We couldn't hear the rest
18 of the answer. I'm sorry.
19 A. The sign was the same. This was a Serb
20 tri-coloured flag, that is the Serb sign, as far as
21 I can see in this picture.
22 Q. What was your affiliation with Arkan?
23 A. Nothing special. No special affiliation. He
24 came to fight and, well, it was said of him that he was
25 brave, and I don't know anything else.
1 Q. Now, isn't it a fact that he had accompanied
2 you from Erdut on that day, driving to VELEPROMET,
3 because you expected some difficulties in getting
4 through to Vukovar?
5 A. We needed that. It's not that we had to
6 penetrate through the area, but we didn't want any
7 incidents to occur in Vukovar because Arkan had
8 sufficient authority in order to prevent this kind of
10 Q. So did he also travel with you when you left
11 VELEPROMET after the meeting to Sid?
12 A. I don't remember that.
13 Q. You don't recall who went with you from
14 VELEPROMET to Sid?
15 A. In the car, it was only the driver and
16 myself, and I don't know who else was there.
17 Q. So did you see Arkan again later that day?
18 A. I don't know. I think that he was in Sid
19 too, but I'm not sure about that.
20 Q. Were you in any way associated with his
21 paramilitary unit?
22 A. No, not in any way was I associated with his
23 unit. I didn't know that he had a paramilitary unit.
24 In Serbia they could have been paramilitaries, but here
25 he was a volunteer, and I don't know what kind of units
1 he had, military or paramilitary.
2 Q. Well, was he part of the JNA?
3 A. Everyone there who was fighting against
4 Croatia which tried to secede from Yugoslavia and which
5 attacked the JNA was, in a way, part of the JNA.
6 Everyone who was fighting was part of the JNA, in a
8 Q. And that would include Seselj's forces and
9 Bokan's and all of these other paramilitary groups?
10 A. During my time there, I didn't meet any of
11 them out there, Seselj, Bokan, et cetera.
12 Q. As president of Serb district, did you
13 have control over elements of the Serb forces that were
14 fighting in Eastern Slavonia?
15 A. No, not over anyone. Only the military
17 Q. Now, did you have any influence over the
18 Territorial Defence forces?
19 A. We did not have direct influence over the
20 Territorial Defence, although we tried to organise
21 these village units which were on our territory. I say
22 "our territory," if you understand what I mean, that
23 the district was divided into two parts, so these were
24 these Serb villages, Trpinja, Borovo Selo, Dalj,
25 et cetera. They had some village guards at the
1 beginning of the conflict, but later, when the JNA
2 came, all of this was within the Yugoslav People's
4 Q. You know Stanko Vojonovic (phoen) and
5 Miroljub Vujovic, do you not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And these men were Territorial Defence unit
8 commanders, weren't they?
9 A. I heard that only after the war. I did not
10 know them in 1991.
11 Q. So you had no contact with them when the
12 fighting was going on?
13 A. None whatsoever. I met Stanko only in 1992
14 or 1993 in a cafe and Miroljub in 1992 when he was some
15 kind of an official in the National Defence in the
16 Vukovar Municipality.
17 Q. So you're saying you met Miroljub Vujovic
18 only in 1992?
19 A. Yes, I knew his name and surname in 1992.
20 Q. Well, isn't it a fact that just a week after
21 the events at Ovcara, on the 28th of November, your
22 government appointed Miroljub Vujovic to the Executive
23 Council responsible for running the City of Vukovar and
24 that this was an order signed by you?
25 A. Possibly. It may be so, but I didn't know
1 him then. This proposal was made to me by the
2 President of the Municipality of Vukovar, and I
3 accepted that because I didn't know everyone else
4 personally either.
5 Q. And who was it that had made this proposal?
6 A. If that's what you say so, but I don't
7 remember now that Miroljub was there, but I believe
8 you, that he was there, Srbobran Bibic, who was
9 President of the Executive Council of the Municipality
10 of Vukovar.
11 Q. Now, in the days after the 20th of November,
12 there was a lot of talk in Vukovar about what had
13 happened at Ovcara, wasn't there?
14 A. I was not in Vukovar, and I didn't hear such
15 stories in Vukovar. I heard stories about Ovcara, as I
16 told the Defence attorney, my previous conversation
17 through the Croatian media, but nobody corroborated it
18 to me then. I even went to Sremska Mitrovica, to the
19 prison there, to see the prisoners, and I was pleased
20 to have seen people who were alive there. So I thought
21 that the stories about Ovcara were lies because the
22 Croatian media spoke of several thousand victims at
24 Q. I mean certainly in your position as
25 President of the Serb District, you would have heard
1 something about the mass execution of 200 or more men
2 on territory under your control? No?
3 A. In your opinion, probably I should have heard
4 about it, but, regrettably, I did not hear about it.
5 It would have been a good thing had I heard about it
6 beforehand because I could have prevented it from
7 happening, and had I heard about it afterwards, I would
8 have made an effort to have these people arrested and
9 held accountable.
10 Q. Mr. Hadzic, I'm going to put it to you that
11 you did know in advance what was going to happen to
12 these people, and that, in fact, their fate was decided
13 at this government meeting at VELEPROMET on the 20th of
15 A. Sir, you are alleging something that is quite
16 wrong. I am here under oath, and I swear that we
17 didn't know what would happen at Ovcara and what did
18 happen at Ovcara, and I swear not only to you, but I
19 swear before God.
20 Q. So these men were not held at the JNA
21 barracks for a couple of hours while your government
22 deliberated their fate at VELEPROMET? That is your
24 A. I am telling you that. I did not know that
25 they were at the barracks. I heard that there were
1 prisoners in VELEPROMET who were later taken to
2 Mitrovica, and all of these events that you are talking
3 about, the hospital, Vukovar, I heard about that now,
4 after all of these events, only a few years ago.
5 Q. Now, you've indicated that you gave an
6 interview in Sid on the evening of the 20th of
7 November; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. At this time --
10 A. That is true, yes, I gave an interview, and
11 you can see that.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: At this time I would ask
13 that that be shown, and I have transcripts, please,
14 which I can provide to the court and to the Defence.
15 And if this can be shown, please? I would
16 ask that the clip of the video be shown at this time,
18 Your Honour, I understand it will be just a
20 (Videotape played)
21 (Interpreter's translation of interview between Nino
22 Brajovic and Goran Hadzic)
23 NB: Here we are in Sid, on the road to
24 Vukovar. The Prime Minister of Slavonia, Baranja and
25 Western Srem, Goran Hadzic, has just arrived from
1 Vukovar. We have been informed that you held a meeting
2 of the government in Vukovar. What were the main
4 GH: This was the first meeting of the
5 government in the future capital of our Serb
6 District of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem. In
7 addition, to the resolutions and the normalisation of
8 life and the restoration to some kind of normalcy, our
9 main resolution was that the disdained Ustashas, whom
10 we have captured, would not leave the territory of the
11 Serb District of Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srem,
12 that they cannot be transported to Serbia, because
13 Serbia is not at war and that the army which helped
14 us capture them ... they are not soldiers. They are
15 paramilitary formations and they can be tried only by
16 these people here, that is, the people of our Serb
17 District which has been recognised, and which has its
18 own judiciary. We have also a second instance court,
19 and we could possibly have a third instance court at
20 the federation level of the second Yugoslavia. We also
21 have our district and municipal courts. We have agreed
22 with the military authorities to have these Ustashas
23 detained in our detention camps, here in the
24 surroundings of Vukovar. Since one group of Ustashas
25 has already been taken to Sremska Mitrovica, I have
1 personally taken the responsibility to bring these
2 people - if that is the right term to use for them at
3 all, "people" - to bring them back and put those who
4 are guilty on trial. Those who are not guilty will, of
5 course, be released and we will let them rebuild our
6 town with us.
7 NB: According to your estimate, how many
8 members of the Croatian paramilitary formations are
9 there? Our data vary. Two hundred people surrendered
10 two days ago. Today, about one thousand surrendered at
11 the Borovo agricultural farm. What is the exact
13 GH: I think the figure is somewhere around
14 three thousand Ustashas in uniforms, although there is
15 a large number of them hiding among the civilians.
16 There are also a lot of good people. Our main task is
17 to investigate this and prevent the innocent from being
18 punished or persecuted. It is better to have a guilty
19 person get away with it than to punish an innocent
20 person. This is our task and now that we have the law,
21 the police, and other organisations, we will do our
22 utmost to prevent the persecution of ...
23 NB: Could you tell us in brief something
24 about the implementation of the civilian authorities in
1 GH: We have made our first step today. We
2 prepared for this event. Unfortunately, I was too big
3 an optimist. I did not think Vukovar was so badly
4 destroyed. When I saw it today ... this is, really, it
5 cannot be described with words, but there is literally
6 no house that is left undamaged. There are even
7 corpses lying on the streets. We should first have the
8 Ministry of Health, that is Agriculture, that is
9 veterinarians and doctors do something to prevent the
10 infection from spreading. They should do something to
11 remove the bodies from the streets. Then the
12 normalisation should follow, as we planned. Today I
13 have spoken to the people who have borne the brunt of
14 the war. They are the inhabitants of Petrova Gora
15 settlement, without whom our battle for Vukovar would
16 be lost. I would like to take this opportunity to
17 thank them for everything they did and to
18 establish organs that will agree with representatives
19 of these people to set up civilian authorities in the
20 town ... It has been agreed that there will be no
21 military authorities in Vukovar, maybe only for a few
22 days, but the plan is to introduce civilian
23 authorities maybe only for a few days.
24 NB: Does that mean that you will soon take
25 off your uniform?
1 GH: Well, I am a man, a representative of
2 the Serb people, and if the Serb people who have
3 chosen me think that we should not further expand the
4 borders we have established, I will take my uniform
5 off. I personally think I should remain in uniform for
6 some time because the Serb borders are much farther
7 away than where they are at the moment.
8 NB: Thank you.
9 MR. WILLIAMSON: We can stop the tape at this
11 Q. Mr. Hadzic, what do you mean when you say
12 "our main resolution was that the detained Ustashas
13 would not leave the territory of the Serb district
14 of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem?
15 A. I said this only for the purposes of
16 political marketing and in order to promote the
17 government which did not have support among the people,
18 and, if you noticed, my conclusion in the latter part
19 was to ease tensions and to have some kind of
20 normalisation and to let people go, and I tried to
21 prevent a possible euphoria among the people and I
22 called upon all to act with reserve.
23 Q. So it's easing tensions by saying that you
24 felt like you should expand your borders further?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, as far as the borders of the
1 Serb lands are concerned and my opinion how far the
2 Serb state should go, I don't think that this is the
3 right place to discuss that. If you think it is, we
4 can discuss it.
5 Q. Well, I'm just asking you a question. You
6 have indicated that you were trying to ease tensions.
7 Do you think that it in any way eased tensions by
8 having a pronouncement from the president of the
9 Serb district that you felt like the Serb border
10 should be expanded further, obviously at the expense of
11 the Croats? How did this ease tensions?
12 A. I don't know. To whose detriment it would be
13 if somebody took your house? Would it be to your
14 detriment or to the detriment of the person who took
15 your house away from you? I was talking about the
16 territory that belonged to the Serb people and then
17 this went to the detriment of the Serb people. You
18 don't really need a lot of -- you don't really need to
19 look into the future very much; you can see now what
20 the situation is like in the Serb district.
21 And as I was speaking about this, as I spoke
22 about tension, I was speaking about prisoners, I wasn't
23 talking about borders. Borders have nothing to do with
24 these tensions. The Americans killed about ten people
25 in Texas when they wanted to change borders. And this
1 is Serb land; it was never Croatia. However,
2 unfortunately, the world decided differently, and I
3 don't want to go into that now.
4 Q. Well, if this was just an effort on your part
5 to enhance the position of your government, why was it
6 necessary to go into all this detail about prisoners?
7 Wouldn't it have been enough just to say, "We had a
8 meeting, we have made resolutions to establish normal
9 life in Vukovar," and then to go on to say that, "We've
10 established ourselves as the government"? Why go into
11 all this detail about prisoners? What was the
12 reasoning for that?
13 A. What is normal now and what seems normal to
14 people now was not normal then, and I had to say
15 something so that, as the saying in our country goes,
16 "The wolf would not be hungry and that all the sheep
17 would remain intact too."
18 Q. What about your statement that you said you
19 had taken personal responsibility to bring people back
20 from Sremska Mitrovica? This was also for public
22 A. Let me say this. We never asked for this and
23 we never could have gotten it. They had adequate
24 accommodation there, as adequate as can be in prison,
25 and most of them or, rather, all of them were released,
1 according to the decision made by then Prime Minister
2 Milan Panic (phoen).
3 Q. Now, we know that, in fact, that some of the
4 "detained Ustashas," as you refer to them, did not
5 leave the territory, the Serb district; isn't that
7 A. We know that now, but then as far as the
8 Ustashe are concerned, I have to explain something to
9 you. Perhaps you are not familiar with this. The
10 Serb and the Croatian sides -- rather -- used very
11 offensive vocabulary about one another. The Croats
12 called us Chetniks, slaughterers, and we call them
13 Ustashas and fascists. And at a round of negotiations
14 with the Croatian delegation, when I was president of
15 the Republic of Srpska Krajina, I agreed I think with
16 Mr. Hoda Sardonic (phoen), I think it was him, that we
17 get rid of that kind of vocabulary and that we talk
18 normally. But this was at the end of 1991, and there
19 was a lot of tension on both sides, among the people,
20 and it was normal vocabulary then, although I can see
21 now that it was not normal vocabulary.
22 Q. And the fact that these decisions and these
23 meetings and these interviews are now being brought out
24 into public and into the light of day has nothing to do
25 with you saying that this was just for public
1 consumption at that time?
2 A. I don't quite understand your question, but
3 if I have understood you correctly, what I said,
4 regardless of the government decision, I was only able
5 on the -- answer to the government why I said something
6 that was not agreed upon. I thought this to be a
7 political move, and I made my own decisions and did not
8 suffer any consequences afterwards.
9 Q. Now, you had said that you needed to do this
10 to satisfy the people. Was there pressure on your
11 government from the people to do something about
12 Croatian criminals, Croatian war criminals?
13 A. If you followed my statement, and I'm sure
14 you did, then you were able to see that I was very
15 sceptical with regard to the number of Croatian
16 criminals and that I said finally that the criminals
17 should be punished, but the vast majority of the people
18 were not criminals. It was difficult to say to the
19 Serbs that it was not the -- not all the Croats were to
20 blame, although a significant portion were, because in
21 that case, I could have been killed by a bullet fired
22 from the Serb side.
23 So something had to be said to pacify the
24 people, pacify the people and prevent evil.
25 Q. Now, when you say that those who were guilty
1 would be put on trial, guilty of what?
2 A. For the killing of the Serbs. I don't know
3 whether you know that a lot of Serbs died at the very
4 beginning when Croatia attacked the Serbs, when it
5 attacked the military barracks, army barracks, and when
6 it set fire to Serb enterprises, newspapers, and so
7 on and so forth. Serb houses were fired at,
8 prominent Serbs were killed and thrown into the river.
9 So I advocated what you advocate today, and I hope that
10 you will be just in your advocation (sic) of that, that
11 is, to bring criminals to trial, and you can only
12 determine who is guilty at a court, as I said.
13 Q. Well, let me ask you this: There were a lot
14 of Croats killed as well in Vukovar during the course
15 of this battle, and certainly on the 20th of November.
16 What efforts did you make, or your government make, to
17 put anyone on trial for those crimes?
18 A. First of all, we did not know about these
19 crimes at a time when something could be done about
20 it. As the President of the Serb Krajina -- Srpska
21 Krajina region, I wanted to determine the truth, and I
22 signed a decision, apart from the decision of the Knin
23 government, which prohibited exhumation. I allowed
24 this to take place, as President for, exhumation to
25 start. I don't know why it was not started. And when
1 I was President of the Serb district of Slavonia,
2 Baranja and Western Srem in 1996, and I shall do
3 everything in my power to bring the culprits to
5 MR. FILA: Your Honours, we spoke about the
6 President. Could he please say when he is thinking
7 about the function of President, because there was the
8 government where Slavko Dokmanovic was a Minister and
9 then you have the other government where Mr. Dokmanovic
10 was not president. So when you ask about the function
11 of President, would you make it clear what you are
12 thinking of? This is no objection; it's just in the
13 interests of detail and precision.
14 MR. WILLIAMSON: I'm not sure that I follow
15 exactly what Mr. Fila is saying. I just asked: At the
16 point that -- did his government at any point take any
17 steps to prosecute people? I'm not sure what
18 Mr. Fila's point is.
19 MR. FILA: I understood you. But you have
20 the government holding a meeting, you have the
21 government which met on the 20th of November, 1991, in
22 VELEPROMET. In that government, Slavko Dokmanovic was
23 Minister of Agriculture. Then you have the other
24 government, and Goran Hadzic was President -- Prime
25 Minister. Then you have the government of the Srpska
1 Krajina where Slavko Dokmanovic was not a Minister but
2 Goran Hadzic was Prime Minister of that government
3 too. And then you have a third government which
4 allowed the exhumation at Ovcara, and Goran was the
5 Prime Minister once again of that third government and
6 Dokmanovic was not Minister.
7 Does that make -- have I made myself clear?
8 So when you ask what the government of Goran Hadzic
9 took -- what steps it took, I'm interested in knowing
10 which one of the three governments you have in mind:
11 The first, where Mr. Dokmanovic was a Minister, or some
12 other government, subsequent government?
13 Does that make it clear?
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
15 MR. WILLIAMSON:
16 Q. Very well, Mr. Hadzic. Let me ask you, first
17 of all: At any point in time, in any of these
18 governments that you were associated with, were any
19 steps taken to prosecute people for war crimes against
20 Croats in Vukovar in 1991?
21 A. Of all the people that committed crimes in
22 the territory under our competency, we always initiated
23 procedure, both in Baranja and Slavonia. And while
24 Slavko Dokmanovic was Minister in that first
25 government, I, as the Prime Minister -- and nobody from
1 the government knew about this, and I don't even now
2 know who was responsible for the Ovcara affair, but I
3 know who was not guilty, who was not guilty, and that
4 is the man sitting here amongst us today. He is quite
5 definitely not guilty.
6 Q. Well, how can you make that statement if you
7 say you don't know who was guilty? How can you say
8 that he was not guilty?
9 A. I know 100 percent that he was not guilty
10 because when -- at the time that he is being accused of
11 this, he was physically not there. He could not have
12 been there physically.
13 Q. Were you with him physically at that time?
14 A. I was with him until 3.00 p.m.
15 Q. But you don't know where he was after 3.00
16 p.m.; is that correct?
17 A. I did not know that until this particular
18 trial and proceedings, but in contacts with witnesses,
19 I learned that he was constantly with somebody.
20 Q. So you have been talking to other witnesses
21 in this case?
22 A. In the case I talked informally, not here but
23 there, because after Dokmanovic's imprisonment, we
24 discussed the matter, and everybody was quite clear on
25 the fact that Slavko could not have been there.
1 Q. Now, on the evening of the 27th of June of
2 1997, after you found out about Mr. Dokmanovic's
3 arrest, you fled from Eastern Slavonia in a boat across
4 the Danube into Serbia, didn't you?
5 A. No.
6 Q. You did not --
7 A. That is a lie. I heard that announced on
8 Croatian semi-official news. With my son in my car, I
9 crossed Erdut and I went to Novi Sad. I did not flee
10 and I'm not afraid of the Croats. I hope that they
11 will bring to trial those who are guilty as I am more
12 afraid of those who -- grudges of other kinds.
13 Q. But it is a fact that you left on the same
14 day of Mr. Dokmanovic's arrest; correct?
15 A. That is a fact which has nothing to do with
16 it. It can have something to do with it and need not
17 have. It's got nothing to do with it. It does not say
18 anything of itself, if my son, who is a minor and lives
19 in Novi Sad, and I myself left for Novi Sad. That is a
20 fact in itself.
21 Q. So the fact that another member of your
22 November 1991 government had been arrested had nothing
23 to do with your decision to leave your lifetime home?
24 A. I always lived in Pacetin, but because of
25 integration of this region into Croatia, I do not wish
1 to live in Croatia, and I left Croatia for that reason.
2 Q. And it was just a coincidence that it
3 happened on the same evening after Mr. Dokmanovic was
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, if I were to follow your
6 logic and to think about matters according to your
7 logic, then the indictment against Dokmanovic, he came
8 back voluntarily to Croatia, which means that he is not
9 guilty; and according to your logic, if I fled, that
10 would mean that I was guilty. I am speaking -- I am
11 saying this following on from your logic.
12 Q. I'm asking you: It's just a coincidence
14 A. It could have been a coincidence and it need
15 not have been a coincidence. I don't know how somebody
16 else's mind works, particularly those who do not know
17 the problems inherent in the situation.
18 Q. Well, I'm not asking about someone else's
19 mind, I'm asking you about your own mind.
20 Now, I suppose that it was also a
21 coincidence --
22 A. That is why I said it. I don't know how your
23 mind works, and I don't know why -- I did not know why
24 Slavko was arrested and what the charges brought
25 against him were at the time.
1 Q. And so it was also just a coincidence that
2 these 200 men were held at the JNA barracks while your
3 government deliberated; when your government meeting
4 finishes, they are then taken to Ovcara and killed?
5 That was pure coincidence and had nothing to do with
6 what went on at your meeting at VELEPROMET?
7 A. Those are tendentious conclusions. I am
8 sorry about those men that died. I tell you that one
9 day previously, we decided to come to Vukovar, and the
10 fact that something happened apart from this is not our
11 fault. We did not know about it.
12 MR. WILLIAMSON: No further questions.
13 A. And you can call that a coincidence, if you
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
16 MR. FILA: Your Honours, I don't know in what
17 way the Prosecution is deducing the conclusion that at
18 the same time that the government meeting was held and
19 that people were held in the barracks, whereas
20 witnesses say that that was not the case. The
21 witnesses brought forward by Mr. Williamson. So this
22 is an erroneous conclusion, according to all the
23 systems of the world.
24 I did not raise any objections when he asked
25 his questions -- he's free to ask anything he wants --
1 but let him ask the truth, if you say that it is the
2 object of us to ascertain the truth.
3 Before 2.00 p.m., the buses were at Ovcara.
4 Both witnesses have testified to that --
5 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, I must object.
6 If Mr. Fila has questions, he should ask them, but if
7 this is his closing argument then ...
8 MR. FILA: The argument is that --
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, I think
10 Mr. Williamson is right. These are your views, your
11 arguments. Have you got any questions to ask the
13 MR. FILA: I have a question for the
15 Re-examined by Mr. Fila
16 Q. Did he leave the same day when Dokmanovic was
17 arrested? Did he leave his place of residence on the
18 same day?
19 A. Could you repeat the question?
20 Q. Did you leave, move out of Pacetin, your
21 native town? Not just left for Novi Sad, but did you
22 move out, everybody leave, your children, your wife --
23 A. Half the population moved out, and 30.000
24 Serbs left the district, and that is something we
25 should know here.
1 Q. Yes, they do. The question is: Did you move
2 out because of Slavko Dokmanovic's arrest, the same
3 day, or did you go to Novi Sad with your son as you
4 would have anyway?
5 A. As I did on previous occasions, but I moved
6 out definitely because of the policy waged against the
7 Serb people.
8 Q. But not on that particular day. You did not
9 pick up your things and leave and move out on that
10 particular day.
11 Do you know whether some buses were in front
12 of the JNA barracks while you were holding your
13 government meeting?
14 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid I didn't hear
15 that. Interruptions there.
16 Q. So you heard -- can you hear me? Will you
17 answer the question once again? You first heard of
18 this for the first time at this trial?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. At this trial held here today.
21 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid we can't hear.
22 I'm sorry, it's interrupted speech.
23 MR. FILA:
24 Q. Let us repeat once again slowly: You
25 maintain that you heard of this for the first time,
1 that is, that the buses left the barracks for Ovcara,
2 you have heard that for the first time here today at
3 this trial?
4 A. Yes, but that's not essential. The essential
5 point is that people were killed.
6 Q. Up to now --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Would Mr. Fila repeat?
8 MR. FILA:
9 Q. Do you know whether the buses were in front
10 of the army barracks on that particular day?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 MR. FILA: Thank you, Mr. Hadzic.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Hadzic, would you help us
14 with this, please? The meeting on the 20th of November
15 you said was attended by the Lieutenant Colonel, and
16 you said that the Lieutenant Colonel spoke about the
17 prisoners of war. Can you help us as to what he said
18 about the prisoners of war at that meeting?
19 A. Your Honour, I'll do everything to try and
20 help you.
21 The Lieutenant Colonel said that the
22 prisoners of war were a problem of the Yugoslav
23 People's Army and that he does not recognise any of our
24 courts and that we have no competences there, which
25 was, in actual fact, the case, and that was everything
1 that was said about the prisoners of war. What we
2 discussed were the bread supplies and the civilian
4 JUDGE MAY: You told us that you advocated a
5 fair trial for them, to say that nothing bad would
6 happen to them. Was that at the meeting or was it
7 later that you advocated that?
8 A. For this -- I advocate this attitude right
9 from the very day that I was born. And during the
10 events that we're talking about, about the 20th, I did
11 not know that something bad was being -- got ready for
12 some individuals, but we just discussed the possible
13 problems that could arise.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Hadzic, you may assist us
16 in clarifying a few points which you touched upon in
17 your testimony.
18 I understand from what you said before that
19 you, as the Prime Minister or President of the
20 government, convened the meeting of the government for
21 the 20th of November at Vukovar. So how did you get in
22 touch or who told the Lieutenant Colonel of the JNA who
23 attended the meeting? How was he, in a way, asked to
24 participate in this meeting? By whom?
25 A. They did not know that this meeting would be
1 held because it was not officially convened. It was
2 a -- and the Lieutenant Colonel happened to be there,
3 and we heard that the commander of the town of Vukovar
4 was there, and then we had the meeting in that way
5 because we thought that it was somebody with the
6 necessary competences. But as I said, he was head of
7 the background formations. That is all that we saw in
8 Vukovar of the military authorities.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Did I understand
10 you correctly when you said that the meeting which
11 lasted for about one hour was chaired by the Lieutenant
13 A. Yes. At the beginning, the Lieutenant
14 Colonel and myself sat up at the rostrum, but as I
15 saw --
16 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, this is
17 intermittent speech.
18 A. But later on, I stepped down to sit with the
19 Ministers. So the meeting did not have an official
20 character. I did not chair it.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Didn't you find it odd that
22 the meeting was being chaired not by you, the Prime
23 Minister or President of the government -- after all,
24 it was a meeting of the government -- but by somebody
25 who did not belong to the government, namely a
1 Lieutenant Colonel of the JNA? Did you complain about
2 that or did you say anything?
3 A. Your Honour, we didn't -- no meeting of the
4 government was held. We just gathered together --
5 THE INTERPRETER: This is very difficult to
6 follow. It's intermittent speech.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes.
8 A. We found ourselves -- we met to talk. It was
9 not a government meeting. It was not an official
10 formal government meeting. We just met to discuss
11 matters. Do you understand me?
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you. And you
13 said in response to the question put by Judge May that
14 the Lieutenant Colonel spoke of the POWs, the prisoners
15 of war, and their sort. Did he also address the issue
16 of what to do with the civilians who had been taken
17 prisoner, civilians, not armed people, not combatants,
18 those civilians who had been taken prisoner by the
19 occupying army, by the JNA or other people?
20 A. The JNA at the time could not have been an
21 occupying army because it was still Yugoslav territory,
22 and when we discussed the prisoners of war, we did not
23 divide them into military or civilian. They were
24 civilians but --
25 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid I can't follow.
1 A. They offered resistance. We did not have any
2 competency to decide upon their fate. But we saw them,
3 part of them were in the VELEPROMET warehouse. I heard
4 that they were there.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Do I --
6 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid we didn't hear
7 who was there.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Could you please
9 specify who was there because we didn't hear part of
10 your reply. You were talking of people who were at
11 VELEPROMET. Who was at VELEPROMET?
12 A. Some civilians, Serbs and Croats, a large
13 group of people. I don't know everybody who was
14 there. I recognised a young boy who was from my
15 village, and I said hello to him, but I didn't know the
17 JUDGE CASSESE: I see. So to go back again
18 to what the Lieutenant Colonel said. You pointed out
19 that he did not refer to combatants or non-combatants
20 taken prisoner, but generally speaking, to all those
21 who had been detained by the JNA, whether they were
22 civilians or people fighting, armed and fighting as
23 combatants; did he refer to both categories? I'm
24 speaking of people detained by the JNA.
25 A. Not very much was mentioned. It was a sort
1 of collective group because we were not able to
2 determine who the actual people were. Some sort of
3 procedure would have been necessary to determine this.
4 And it is the court, up to the court, to determine
5 matters of this kind, as you are doing here today, here
6 and now.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you.
8 Mr. Hadzic, at one point you said before that, and I
9 quote your words: "Anybody fighting against the Croats
10 was part of the JNA," when a question was put to you
11 about the role of the paramilitary. So do you say that
12 anybody fighting against the Croats was part of the
13 JNA? Do you mean to say by that that all those people,
14 including paramilitary units fighting against the
15 Croats, were under the control of the JNA?
16 A. I can't say that I answered a concrete
17 question posed to me by the Prosecutor, and I talked
18 about the people that I knew were under the command of
19 the JNA. But under the command and under the control,
20 is that the same thing? I don't think it is the same
21 thing, to be under the command or under the control.
22 But they had nothing to do with the government; that is
23 one thing that I can maintain.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You also said,
25 when a question was put to you about why you were
1 wearing a military uniform, you said, and I quote your
2 words: You were wearing a military uniform "to be
3 different from the other people in the area."
4 Could you please elaborate on this particular
5 point? Why did you feel that it was necessary for you
6 to be different from the other people in the area?
7 Just a point of clarification.
8 A. I'm sorry. It seems to me that there was a
9 mistranslation. I wore the uniform not to be different
10 from the people in the area, because everybody wore
11 uniforms and that's why I wore a uniform too. So that
12 was one of the reasons. And I mentioned the other
13 ones, so that I could change my clothes, et cetera.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: I see. You are right.
15 Probably I got it wrong. Yes, yes. You probably said
16 not to be different from the other people in the area.
17 Why were you keen not to be different from the other
18 people in the area? Because I understand that quite a
19 few people were wearing civilian clothes, including a
20 witness who testified before you this afternoon and who
21 also attended the meeting of the government in Vukovar,
22 at VELEPROMET.
23 A. It depends on the possibilities. I bought
24 that uniform, and it is the question of my political
25 assessment at that time, whether it was better for me
1 to appear in front of the people in a uniform and to
2 have positive reactions towards the government in that
3 way because I think that at that time, had I worn a tie
4 and a suit, as I am wearing now, I couldn't have done
5 the little I managed to do.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Do you mean to say that -- I
7 mean, the fact of wearing a uniform gave you authority
8 and conveyed to other people the idea that you were a
9 person who was wielding power and the authority of a
10 Prime Minister.
11 A. No, on the contrary. That is not what I am
12 trying to say. It is the opposite, as a matter of
13 fact. On the uniform, I didn't have any insignia, and
14 I wanted to show the people that I was the same as them
15 but that I did hold the post of Prime Minister, but
16 that they could not see on the basis of the uniform.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. One final
18 question which is a minor question. We saw on a
19 videotape that during the meeting you went out a couple
20 of times, or at least once, to give an interview to a
21 foreign reporter. Do you remember who this foreign
22 reporter was to whom you gave an interview?
23 A. I can't remember. Although I saw the
24 picture, I can't remember. I can't remember. As if I
25 had never seen him in my life.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: I understand there is no
4 objection to the witness being released.
5 Mr. Goran Hadzic, thank you for testifying.
6 You may now be released.
7 (Witness withdrew)
8 MR. WILLIAMSON: Your Honour, before we
9 recess, just very briefly, I failed to enter those
10 exhibits that we misplaced, so I would like at this
11 time to tender the video as Prosecutor's Exhibit 205,
12 the transcript in Serb as 205A, and the transcript
13 in English as 205B.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I see there is no
15 objection from Mr. Fila. They are admitted in
17 I think we should now take our recess, and we
18 will start again tomorrow at 9.30. I understand we
19 have to stop at 11.00 sharp, or even five to 11.00, so
20 that Mr. Fila may meet the members of the ACBQ. I saw
21 on a programme that tomorrow you have a meeting with
22 people from New York, from 11.00 to 11.20.
23 MR. FILA: That was the day after tomorrow.
24 It's on Wednesday, to the best of my knowledge. The
25 day after tomorrow.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: You're right.
2 MR. FILA: But we don't have to interrupt the
3 proceedings because my colleague will stay on.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Wonderful. All
5 right. So we will resume tomorrow at 9.30 sharp.
6 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
7 5.02 p.m. to be reconvened Tuesday,
8 26th May, 1998, at 9.30 a.m.