1 Friday, 25 April 2008.
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Good morning. Mr. Registrar, would you like to
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning Your Honours. Good morning everyone
9 in the court room. This is case number IT-06-90-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Ante Gotovina et al.
11 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 The Chamber would like to inform the parties that pursuant to
13 Rule 15 bis (A) today's hearing will take place in the absence of
14 Judge Orie, who is unable to sit today. Judge Kinis and I have concluded
15 that it is in the interests of justice to continue the trial without
16 Judge Orie, who will be present with us on Monday.
17 WITNESS: MILE SOVILJ [Resumed]
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE GWAUNZA: May I remind the witness, Mr. Sovilj, that you
20 are still bound by the solemn declaration that you gave at the beginning
21 of your testimony yesterday. You will now be cross-examined by counsel
22 for Mr. Markac.
23 Yesterday we informed that you would be conducting today's
24 cross-examination. Please proceed.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I will. Thank you.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Sovilj.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. My name is Goran Mikulicic. I act in this case on behalf of
5 General Mladen Markac.
6 At the outset I would like to express my regret for the loss
7 suffered by your family, the loss of your father specifically, the loss
8 which came about as a result of these unfortunate events. Speaking of
9 which, may I ask you this: Do you know anything about any investigation
10 being conducted in the Republic of Croatia into the circumstances
11 surrounding the death of your family members?
12 A. No, I don't.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please go
14 into private session briefly?
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Mr. Registrar.
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 2234-2235 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can this document please be
5 marked for identification. Thank you.
6 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. You are tendering the document.
7 Mr. Registrar.
8 Okay. This document is not translated into English. Perhaps we
9 should wait until that is done.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. My
11 understanding is we can get this document marked for identification, and
12 then once a full translation is received it can be admitted as a
13 full-fledged exhibit. Marked for identification.
14 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay. I guess we can proceed that way.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D133 marked
16 for identification.
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: That is Exhibit D133. It's marked for
18 identification. Admitted.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Sovilj, you are a Croat national, are you not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You received a Croatian passport in 2002 in the Subotica
23 Consulate of the Republic of Croatia, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You are currently residing in Novi Sad, are you not?
1 A. Yes, I am.
2 Q. You said yesterday in answer to a question by the Prosecutor that
3 it was not your intention to return to the Republic of Croatia, did you
5 A. I am not quite yet determined on that. This is just for this
6 time being.
7 Q. Mr. Sovilj, can you tell us more about your contacts with the
8 Veritas association in Belgrade?
9 A. The nature of those contacts was official, and that was following
10 the identification of my father's body.
11 Q. Do you know that the person in charge of the entire association
12 is Mr. Savo Strbac? He's the editor-in-chief.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know him personally?
15 A. Yes -- no. We go back to my time in Knin.
16 Q. Do you know what Mr. Strbac's official position was in the
17 government of the Republic of Serbian Krajina?
18 A. As far as I know, as far as I heard, he was working on exchanges
19 of bodies and POWs.
20 Q. Would you agree if I told you that he was the government
22 A. That might as well have been the case, yes, at one point or
23 another. I'm not entirely certain.
24 Q. You are a journalist by profession, are you not?
25 A. Indeed.
1 Q. Can you tell us about your background, your education?
2 A. Secondary school in Kraljevica. After that I got some experience
3 as a working journalist, and then I went to the school of journalism at
4 Belgrade University.
5 Q. Sir, did you ever personally or officially work with an
6 association known as the Return of the Expelled Krajina People? This is
7 a Novi Sad based organisation?
8 A. No, I did not.
9 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Can I remind the parties to pause between
10 question and answer to allow for the interpretation. You may proceed.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Sovilj, you told us yesterday that back in 1990 you started
13 working for a Belgrade-based newspaper. Which one?
14 A. Vecernje Novosti, the evening news.
15 Q. Following this in 1991 you started working as a journalist, a
16 reporter and investigative journalist for RTV Knin; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you describe briefly what your job actually was? Which areas
19 did you cover in your work as a journalist?
20 A. By this time there were tensions already that were rising, and
21 those tensions were later to lead to a full-blown war. So it wasn't as
22 if I had a lot to choose from at the time in terms of areas that I
23 covered. Everything that I covered had to do with whatever was going on
24 at the time, the attention that was felt throughout the area on the eve
25 of the war and such like.
1 Q. Did you cover events on the ground throughout the area?
2 A. Yes, I did go out a number of times.
3 Q. Did you cover any sessions of the government of the Serbian
4 Krajina or the work of any of that state institutions?
5 A. There was just this once. I think it was the Assembly of the
6 Republic of Serbian Krajina in Beli Manastir that was meeting, and I
7 believe the year was 1992.
8 Q. Mr. Sovilj, in addition to all these jobs were you in charge of
9 anything to do with mobilisation in Knin?
10 A. No. I had nothing to do with the army apart from reporting.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now move on to the subject of
12 shelling, specifically the shelling of Gracac.
13 Yesterday in chief you said that shells were occasionally falling
14 on Gracac, and based on your memory up until the time you left town --
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Madam Prosecutor.
16 MS. FROLICH: Thank you. Could we just have an exact reference
17 to the transcript yesterday when you discuss the witness testimony from
18 yesterday? If we could have the exact line -- page and line in the
19 transcript, if it would not and problem. Thank you.
20 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Can you do that, Mr. Mikulicic?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I have a transcript reference.
22 Page 85, line 14. I do not think this will be a problem. However, I'm
23 sure the witness can confirm this for us, but there has obviously been a
24 change in relation to the draft transcript that we looked at yesterday.
25 Q. Mr. Sovilj, is it true that up until the moment you left Gracac,
1 based on your memory, you had counted a total of about 15 explosions?
2 A. I can't be that specific, unfortunately. All I said was based on
3 my memory. It was roughly that figure, but I can't be more specific than
4 that. I can't be more specific as to the exact figure.
5 Q. Mr. Sovilj, I will now be asking the registrar to pull up the
6 following document on our screens: This is supplemental information
7 sheet, dated the 18th of April, 2008.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: This is Mr. Sovilj's statement dated the 18th of
9 April, 2008.
10 Q. You do remember giving a statement to the OTP, don't you?
11 A. In 2008?
12 Q. In the --
13 A. On the 18th of April?
14 Q. Indeed. This is a statement that we obtained from the OTP, and
15 it was attached to the other documents.
16 A. I think we actually spoke on the phone on this specific occasion.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] 3D --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters can't hear Mr. Mikulicic.
19 He's speaking too far away from the microphone. Thank you.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] 3D000426.
21 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes?
22 MS. FROLICH: Your Honour, if I could just clarify that this is
23 merely a supplemental information sheet. It hasn't been signed by the
24 witness. It was -- it was put together as a result of a telephone
25 conversation with Mr. Sovilj. I just wanted to put that on the record.
1 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay.
2 MS. FROLICH: Thank you.
3 JUDGE GWAUNZA: You have noted that.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can we please zoom in on item 6.
5 Q. Mr. Sovilj, what you see in front of you is this same document in
6 English. Item 6 or paragraph 6 says you heard about 15 shells falling on
7 Gracac, a couple every couple of hours. Can you confirm this?
8 A. Yes. This was happening at certain intervals. A total of 15, I
9 think, or at least that's the way I remember it, but I was in no position
10 to keep count at the time. We were more mindful of our own physical
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have this document
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: There is no objection from the Prosecution side?
16 MS. FROLICH: No objection, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well.
18 Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D134.
20 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Exhibit D134 is admitted into evidence.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Sovilj, in 1995 Gracac numbered about 5.000 inhabitants,
25 A. Yes, that's what I remember too.
1 Q. It covered an area of about four kilometres, four kilometre long,
3 A. Yes, more or less.
4 Q. Would you agree with my submission that Gracac is an important
5 traffic junction in that particular region?
6 A. Yes, I would.
7 Q. Can you tell the Court what the roads are that cross or meet in
8 or around Gracac?
9 A. At the time the Lika main road was the main road linking Zagreb
10 to the sea coast. That was the one main road, and the other was that
11 connecting Gospic to Knin.
12 Q. Would you agree that Gracac's position, geographic position, was
13 of an exceptional strategic importance?
14 A. If you look at it that way, if you look at the infrastructure,
15 then yes, you could put it that way.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have 3D0386 pulled
17 up in e-court.
18 JUDGE GWAUNZA: May I remind you to slow down, again? May I
19 remind you to do that? Thank you.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I will do my best.
21 Q. [Interpretation] What we see on our screens is a map showing
22 Gracac and its surroundings. The scale is 1:25.000.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I will be asking the witness to
24 describe these roads to us based on the map that he can see on the screen
25 in front of him.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't really see the map
2 properly. The image is not clear.
3 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes, that is certainly true.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] We do have a better map, Your
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even the roads are a bit -- I
7 really can't tell the main road, the Zagreb-Zadar road, on this map.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] We'll try using a different one
9 then. This is 3D0387.
10 Q. Mr. Sovilj, do you see the map?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. Can you please mark for us on this map the position of Mlin as
13 one entered Gracac from the west near Jaksic Vrelo? It is a warehouse.
14 It's the western entry point to Gracac near a place called Jaksic Vrh [as
15 interpreted]. Please circle that location in blue.
16 A. I think it's somewhere here.
17 Q. Fine. Could you now point in the same manner where the
18 interception of the road is, Knin-Gracac-Zagreb.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. Thank you?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this map
22 as an exhibit.
23 Q. Mr. Sovilj, I would like to ask you to mark the warehouse at
25 JUDGE GWAUNZA: You want to tender this, this map?
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, once the
2 witness has marked the locations with appropriate letters.
3 Q. Mr. Sovilj, I would like you to mark the first location, the Mlin
4 warehouse, in blue with a letter A.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. As for the second site, the intersection, could you please mark
7 it in blue with the letter B.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sovilj, do you know that the location that you
10 marked with an A, that's the Mlin warehouse, was where a large quantity
11 of ammunition and weapons was stored in the silos there for the purposes
12 of the RSK army?
13 A. No, I don't know that.
14 Q. Did you personally ever have an opportunity to ever inspect the
16 A. No, I did not, but I know that throughout the war Mlin, the mill,
17 operated normally, but I would like to add that based on my recollection
18 and my knowledge there was a hall next to the mill, Mlin. I think it was
19 some kind of a metalworking plant. I said yesterday that there was an
20 ammunition and weapons depot in the early stages of the war there. For a
21 while some smaller military units were deployed there, but when the front
22 line moved towards Gospic in later stages, I don't know what happened
23 with it.
24 Q. Thank you very much for your answer.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like this map to be
1 tendered into -- tendered as an exhibit. I would like it to be given a
3 JUDGE GWAUNZA: There's no objection?
4 MS. FROLICH: No objection, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D135, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Exhibit D135 is therefore admitted.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Sovilj, you did your national service in the former JNA; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You said that you didn't have -- didn't undergo any special
14 military training.
15 A. Yes, I did not.
16 Q. You said that you participated in some military exercises on
17 several occasions; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was it in the Gracac area, the Gracac municipality area?
20 A. It was in Lika.
21 Q. Mr. Sovilj, where was the office for All People's Defence and
22 Social Self-protection as it was called or, rather, the Territorial
23 Defence office in Gracac?
24 A. It was in the Municipal Assembly building.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like Exhibit P88 to
1 be shown on our screens, please.
2 Q. While we're waiting for the map to load, on the map that you were
3 shown by the Prosecutor you marked some locations with letters, including
4 the Municipal Assembly building; is that right? Do you remember?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The Municipal Assembly building is marked with a D on this map.
7 Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Fine. We can leave the map on the screen for the time being,
11 Mr. Sovilj, the town of Gracac set up its Gracac Brigade.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Most of the personnel in this brigade were men of military age
14 from Gracac and its surrounding area; is that right?
15 A. Yes. For the most part.
16 Q. This brigade was headquartered in one of the municipal buildings
17 in the town; is that correct?
18 A. Well, I can't confirm that since I don't recall that situation.
19 As far as I can remember -- well, perhaps right at the beginning of the
20 war something was going on there, but once the Lovinac and Sveti Rok
21 areas were captured the headquarters of the brigade was moved to that
22 area and later on to Medak.
23 Q. However, the Territorial Defence office, you said, was located at
24 the Municipal Assembly building?
25 A. Yes. That's where the offices were.
1 Q. Mr. Sovilj, you marked the police building in Gracac with the
2 letter E.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Would you agree if I were to put it to you that in the former
5 Yugoslavia the police, or as it was called, had certain military tasks,
6 or it had assignments in case of war on a -- or an imminent threat of
8 A. Well, I assume that was case, but I don't know enough about that.
9 Q. The police was in fact part of the All People's Defence system.
10 Do you agree with me on that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Sovilj, in your statement -- just a moment. I apologise.
13 [Defence counsel confer]
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my colleagues have
15 warned me that the letter that the witness used to mark the Mlin
16 warehouse was mis-recorded in the transcript. It says that it was letter
17 I. In fact, it was letter A. So could that please be corrected.
18 JUDGE GWAUNZA: I assume that they heard.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Sovilj, let us go back to your description of the events, the
21 first shell that landed on Gracac on the morning of the 4th of August.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In your statement dated the 22nd of February, 2007, that's P86,
24 in paragraph 5 you say that the shell hit the centre of Gracac about 50
25 metres from your house. Then in your statement that was admitted into
1 evidence as D134, in a telephone conversation on the 18th of April, 2004,
2 you say in paragraph 5 that this shell landed about 150 metres away from
3 your apartment. And finally in the statement that you gave to the
4 Prosecutor on the 23rd of April, admitted into evidence as P87, you say
5 that it landed about a hundred to a 120 metres away from your apartment.
6 Mr. Sovilj, how do you explain this discrepancy in your estimates
7 of the distance at which the shell landed from your apartment?
8 A. Well, in the first statement that I gave, the one where I said it
9 was 50 metres, I don't know why this figure was recorded. It must have
10 been a misunderstanding. But later on when I had this telephone
11 conversation and when I went through all this in order to make it as
12 accurate as possible, I estimated on the basis of my recollection that it
13 must have been more than a hundred metres, a hundred to a 120 metres, and
14 I thought that this was the closest estimate of the distance between my
15 apartment and the location where the first shell landed.
16 Q. So we can agree that you're not certain about that?
17 A. Well, I am certain, but in the statement that I gave for the
18 first time in Belgrade there are other inaccuracies including this one.
19 But I am certain that it was around a hundred to a hundred and 20 metres.
20 I cannot claim that with absolute accuracy.
21 Q. Thank you for your answer. Mr. Sovilj, on this map that is shown
22 on our screens, that's Exhibit P88, you marked the railway station in
23 Gracac with the letter F; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The area around the railway station included some depots of
1 military equipment and ammunition; is that correct?
2 A. Well, I can't confirm that. What I do know is that for a while
3 in the restaurant next to the railway station, and I think it was after
4 UNPROFOR units arrived, that the headquarters of the brigade was located
5 there. I think that right at the beginning of the war in this area where
6 the metalworking plant was, the Mlin and the railway station was, there
7 were some locations used as temporary depots for ammunition and other
8 military equipment, but in later stages of the war I can't tell you. I
9 thought that all of that was redeployed closer to the front line.
10 It is true, however, that when the ammunition depot in Sveti Rok
11 was evacuated that some smaller depots were set up in the Gracac
12 municipality to store this ammunition, but I don't know where those
13 locations were.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sovilj, as a journalist you filed stories from
15 the field. You saw many things. You travelled around throughout this
16 territory. I will now be showing you a video --
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Madam Prosecutor.
18 MS. FROLICH: Thank you, Your Honour, if we could just clarify.
19 If we go back to line 18, 24. The witness says the beginning of the war
20 what -- what was -- what period of time exactly, what year was meant by
22 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay. Could you please clarify?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was 1991.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] May I continue?
25 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Yes, you may proceed.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. So I go back to my question. As a journalist, you travelled
3 throughout the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, and you were
4 present when certain events took place. Now I will play a video
5 recording, and after that we will discuss this footage. That's Exhibit
6 D103. It's video recording without any audio. We're only interested in
7 the images.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] We pause the recording here.
10 Q. Mr. Sovilj, did you ever see this armoured train?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you tell us something more about this train, who this train
13 belonged to, what was its purpose, and where you saw it?
14 A. Well, I saw it on the Gracac-Gospic railway track near Medak. I
15 think that this train was to be used for combat purposes.
16 Q. To be quite precise, Mr. Sovilj, what army used this train?
17 A. I cannot say now. Well, we know that there were also the regular
18 military units there, and during some periods of the war there were the
19 paramilitaries there too. So I can't tell you who this train belonged
20 to. I just know that I knew about this train, its existence, and that I
21 saw it near Medak.
22 Q. Let us be quite precise. It is true that this was not the train
23 used by the Croatian army?
24 A. It was not.
25 Q. Did you see this train at the railway station in Gracac?
1 A. I think I only saw it as it passed through on one occasion.
2 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to a different topic, Mr. Sovilj, and
3 that's the evacuation.
4 JUDGE GWAUNZA: This video, that's all you want to do with it?
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this video has
6 already been admitted as an exhibit. I merely wanted to show it to the
7 witness and elicit some comments from him.
8 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Fine. You may proceed.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MS. FROLICH: If I could just interrupt my learned colleague.
11 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes.
12 MS. FROLICH: If we could just establish the time frame for this
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Sovilj, do you remember when it was that you saw this train?
16 A. As far as I can recall, it was immediately before or right at the
17 beginning of the Medak Pocket operation.
18 Q. Could you please tell for the benefit of the Chamber what year
19 are we talking about?
20 A. 1993.
21 Q. Did you see this train later on, in 1995?
22 A. I cannot recall that.
23 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sovilj, in paragraph 9 of your statement dated
24 the 23rd of April of this year where you describe your arrival in Kijini,
25 you say that the people got organised quite spontaneously and they
1 started leaving their homes; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you say that this was not an organised evacuation in the
4 village of Kijini; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's true.
6 Q. Mr. Sovilj, as a journalist you were in contact and you received
7 reports from the field. Do you know anything about any evacuation plans
8 for the evacuation of the population from the territory of the Republic
9 of Serbian Krajina?
10 A. I have never seen any written documents to that effect, and
11 indeed I was not informed about that, so I don't know anything about
12 that, although there were rumours that there was such a thing.
13 Q. Mr. Sovilj, let us now watch another video, and I would like to
14 ask you for your comments. That's 3D00100. This is a video recording of
15 an evacuation drill done for the purposes of the Radio Television
17 A. I don't see it yet.
18 Q. Could you please look at it.
19 [Videotape played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] Having heard the sound of sirens
21 we hurried towards Terzic."
22 Microphone, please.
23 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
24 Q. Mr. Sovilj, let me ask you, do you recognise the two persons that
25 you see on the screen in front of you?
1 A. No, I don't.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] We can move on.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] It is now five minutes to 6.00.
5 We located on a bridge crossing the river Mreznica between Trzic and
6 Primislje. We encountered the commander of the 13th Infantry Brigade,
7 Colonel Marko Reljic, here. As we speak, a column of civilians with
8 vehicles and livestock are arriving. Commander, what does this mean?
9 "Well, this is an exercise which we are conducting in accordance
10 with our assumptions and our information. The enemy aviation will be
11 active in this region using rockets and artillery and before this happens
12 we have to evacuate; that is, evacuate the civilian population from the
13 combat area and our units will complete the tasks they have been given.
14 That means it is of importance to us to train the population, the
15 civilian population, to evacuate so as to suffer as little casualties as
17 "Are you satisfied with the course of the drill? Are members of
18 the 13th infantry brigade engaged in this exercise or ar they manning
19 their positions?
20 "Members of the 13th infantry are manning their positions and
21 according to their tasks all soldiers are in their positions, and I'm
22 very pleased with the conduct of the civilian population. They
23 understand the situation and are aware of the fact that we need to
24 prepare and be trained if we truly find ourselves in a situation to have
25 to evacuate so that there are no unnecessary victims and so that what
1 happened in Western Slavonia does not happen to us.
3 "Thank you very much.
4 "You're welcome."
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Sovilj, this footage was produced by the TV station that you
7 worked for as a reporter. You've never seen it?
8 A. No. As far as I can see, this is the Trzic Primislje area. That
9 would be the Slunj municipality. I went there very seldom. I assume
10 that this was part of a military parade that was held in late June or
11 early July 1995 at the Slunj military training area.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this video
14 recording into evidence.
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Are there any objections?
16 MS. FROLICH: Your Honour, I would like to reserve for later if
17 possible. We just received this video a short while ago, and we would
18 like to consult with our colleagues about the time frame of this video,
19 which was -- it seems like it was superimposed later. So if we could
20 just reserve our objections for later if possible.
21 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay. Very well.
22 Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This becomes Exhibit
24 D136 marked for identification.
25 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well. Exhibit D136 is admitted into
1 evidence. So it's not admitted. You have reserved your --
2 MS. FROLICH: Yeah. So -- okay. If it's not admitted. Yes, I
3 wanted to make that clear.
4 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well.
5 MS. FROLICH: Thank you. Proceed.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just to clarify
7 things, this video recording has already been shown in court. That was
8 during the opening statement of General Gotovina's Defence, but it was
9 not -- it did not receive an exhibit number. We can play this video
10 until the end.
11 [Videotape played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: There is no audio the interpreters note.
13 MR. MIKULICIC: We have some technical problems referring the
14 sound of the movie.
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Is someone doing something about that?
16 [Videotape played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] And be trained if we truly find
18 ourselves in the situation to avoid any unnecessary casualties. And so
19 that what happened in Western Slavonia does not happen to us again.
21 "Thank you very much.
22 "You're welcome.
23 "Because Trzic is our first position which will be targeted so I
24 wanted to test this, and by means of this exercise we have to review
25 whether we are well prepared, whether we are well organised, and what
1 would be the best way to do this so to avoid civilian victims should
2 there be military activity. We need to evacuate the civilian population
3 in due time. After having learned a lesson in Western Slavonia and
4 throughout history and wars, the population needs to be evacuated or
5 removed in due time. Units and the army are to remain in their positions
6 executing their tasks. It is extremely important that you understand and
7 that you know that within your homes and families you need to prepare
8 yourselves, organise yourselves, and upon receipt of the signal you need
9 to withdraw to the designated region because the enemy wants to
10 slaughter, to murder, to burn, to slaughter these children. So that is
11 why every citizen must be prepared for the evacuation.
12 "This evacuation won't be signalled in advance. There won't be
13 enough time to prepare. We might have to. They will have to save their
14 skin. We must be prepared for this."
15 Interpreters's note we did not receive the transcript.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like us to look at 65
17 ter document, 65 ter 004532.
18 Q. Mr. Sovilj, this is a document dated the 5th of August, 1995.
19 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Sir, would you like to hold on, please?
20 MR. MIKULICIC: No. No. I think it's the wrong document. It is
21 a -- I will need the document 65 ter 00452.
22 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Would you like to hold on, Mr. Mikulicic.
23 There's a note from the interpreter that they did not receive the
24 transcript of the -- of the video that you just showed. Just to remind
25 you that perhaps in future you should make sure that the transcript is
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will be guided
3 accordingly, but this video was subtitled and that's why we thought that
4 there will be no need for the transcript, but at any rate, in the future
5 we will have the transcripts prepared.
6 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Thank you. You may proceed.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] This is the right document.
8 Q. Mr. Sovilj, this document is dated the 4th of August. The time
9 is 4.45 p.m. The president of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, Milan
10 Martic, decides to begin the planned evacuation of all inhabitants unfit
11 for combat from the municipalities of Knin, Benkovac, Obrovac, Drnis, and
13 In paragraph 2 of this document it is stated that the evacuation
14 shall be carried out in a planned manner according to the existing plans
15 and axes leading towards Knin and further on through Otric towards Srb
16 and Lapac.
17 Mr. Sovilj, have you ever seen this document?
18 A. No. And if I may make just a brief comment.
19 Q. Please do. Go ahead.
20 A. Well, it is quite obvious that this document was issued on the
21 4th of August, 1995, and in the morning of that day combat already was
22 under way. So I think that the civilian population was not in a position
23 to be informed about those plans of the government of the Republic of
24 Serbian Krajina.
25 Q. Mr. Sovilj, with all due respect let me draw your attention to
1 paragraph 2 of this document where it is stated that the evacuation shall
2 be carried out in accordance to the existing plans. Do you agree with me
3 that this means that before this decision was issued that plans existed?
4 A. Well, based on this they did exist.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could I please be given a number
7 for this document. I would like to tender it into evidence.
8 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Any objections?
9 MS. FROLICH: In principle no objections, but I would just like
10 to say that when Mr. Mikulicic says, "Evacuations should be carried out
11 in accordance to the existing plans," I don't believe that that's what
12 the document actually -- actually states. So if we can just be very
13 accurate in paragraph 2.
14 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Paragraph 2, if I may read from here: "The
15 evacuation shall be carried out in a planned manner according to the
16 existing planned directions towards Knin and then through Otric towards
17 Srb and Lapac."
18 Okay. So there's no objection to -- to this.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may explain. I
20 think the translation of this document is not entirely accurate,
21 especially as concerns this word, because the original document states:
22 "According to plans that have been prepared," or "based on plans that
23 have been prepared," whereas the translation reads "existing plans."
24 Now, these are two entirely different notions. Even existing plans must
25 be prepared at some point. They are as a rule not ad hoc, five-minute
1 plans. I do believe, however, this is something for the Chamber to judge
2 within the framework of this document's credibility.
3 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Thank you. I understand it's a question of
4 translation, and --
5 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
6 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay. Would it be possible for the parties to
7 get together and perhaps agree on -- on a correct translation of this
8 document or this particular paragraph?
9 MS. FROLICH: I believe we can do so. I believe maybe the
10 prudent course of action would be to ask perhaps for a revised
11 translation of the document if -- if the service that is in charge can
12 take care of that.
13 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Very well.
14 MS. FROLICH: Yeah.
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: So in the meantime?
16 MS. FROLICH: No objections to the document.
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: No objections.
18 MS. FROLICH: In the original.
19 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well.
20 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
21 JUDGE GWAUNZA: So when the translation is agreed then the
22 document can properly be admitted into evidence.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D137 marked
24 for identification.
25 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. The exhibit is marked for identification.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Can we
3 now please have 1D0160.
4 Q. Mr. Sovilj, do you have this document in front of you?
5 A. Yes, but there are some blots and spots. It's not perfectly
7 Q. I apologise for the copy. It's a 65 ter document.
8 A. I can more or less see what it's all about. All the same.
9 Q. Fine. Thank you. This is a document issued by the defence
10 ministry of Serbian Krajina, Drnis municipality. It was addressed to the
11 defence ministry, north Dalmatia administration in Knin. It's report on
12 the measures taken in the newly arisen situation. May I just be allowed
13 to read the first portion of this document to you. It reads:
14 "In the light of the newly arisen situation, the municipal
15 civilian protection staff has taken the following measures: Permanent
16 duty watch by the staff members and the defence ministry employees has
17 been introduced."
18 Could we please scroll down a little. Thank you.
19 I will skip the portion that is not perfectly legible.
20 "When we spoke when the commissioners we familiarised them with
21 the present situation and the measures and actions they are obliged to
22 take in this regard. Special emphasis was put on sheltering and
23 preparatory actions for an evacuation.
24 "The commissioners completed their tasks, and reports from all
25 local communes were submitted to the Municipal Civilian Protection Staff
2 I am now reading the last paragraph of that document: "Aside
3 from problems in the town of Drnis where two vehicles, a tractor and a
4 truck, were found to be faulty, there were no problems of any sort with
5 either vehicles or fuel in the entire municipality."
6 The document was signed by chief of the Municipal Civilian
7 Protection Staff, a man named Mirkovic.
8 Sir, have you ever seen a document like this?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Do you agree with me that this document seems to suggest that
11 care was taken of preparations in the Republic of Serbian Krajina,
12 preparations to do with an impending evacuation.
13 A. It is quite obvious that certain steps were taken in terms of
14 preparing for an evacuation. Generally speaking, this is the situation
15 that prevailed throughout the area at the time.
16 Drnis, I would say, was an area that -- how shall I put it? Was
17 in a section of the front that was quite far from the evacuation roads
18 that were mentioned earlier on through the Knin and so on. It is quite
19 obvious that more comprehensive steps were being taken there because of
20 the fact that this area was some distance away.
21 As for Gracac, however, I know nothing about that. All I can say
22 is given everything that was happening at the time, I hope that
23 casualties might have been avoided had all these plans reached those
24 people there at the time. It is quite obvious, however, that in the
25 leadership itself they had a fairly clear idea of what might happen.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I move that this document be
3 exhibited and assigned a number.
4 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Any objection?
5 MS. FROLICH: No objections, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit D138.
8 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well. Exhibit D138 is admitted into
9 evidence. You may proceed.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can we now please have document
11 ID06070836. 06070836. Right.
12 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Is there a problem?
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. The registry is unable to
14 locate the document with the number given by counsel.
15 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Would you like to verify the number again?
16 MR. MIKULICIC: It's a 65 ter number 01487. Yes.
17 [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in on the original, the
18 right-hand half of the screen. Thank you. Perhaps if we could move it
19 to the left slightly. A little more, please. That's fine.
20 Q. Mr. Sovilj, this document is entitled "The first stage," and then
21 we see the Roman numeral II crossed out, of the evacuation. Looking at
22 this document. We see the names of all the places where an evacuation
23 was being planned. We see the breakdown of the persons who were
24 envisaged to be involved in that evacuation, pregnant women, women with
25 children up to ten years of age, children aged between 10 and 14, and
1 what we see next is a number of villages from which people were to be
3 We see Knin at number 2. We see Djeverske, Varivode, Ervenik,
4 Kistanje, Oton and so on and so forth. Did you ever have an opportunity
5 to see a document such as this one or perhaps this very document?
6 A. No. But again I have to say this: It would have been much
7 better for all the people involved if those documents had actually been
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can I have a number assigned to
11 this document, please?
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. I take it you want this to be admitted?
14 Is there any --
15 MS. FROLICH: No objections, Your Honour. ^ SPELL CHECKED UP TO
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: -- objection?
18 Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This becomes Exhibit
21 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Exhibit D139 is therefore admitted into evidence.
22 We are experiencing a technical problem up here, and I would like
23 to suggest that we take an early break, about ten minutes early, so that
24 it can be attended to. So if we could break now and come back at 20 to
1 --- Recess taken at 10.20 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
3 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Before you start, Counsel, yesterday you
4 indicated that you would require something like one hour, one and a half
5 hours. Is that what you said?
6 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes. In fact, I was estimating that I would need
7 an hour and a half to two hours. I believe -- I believe I could finish
8 within 20 minutes.
9 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay. Very well then.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: Or something like this.
11 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Or something like that.
12 MR. MIKULICIC: Don't --
13 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Because you have already done one hour and 15
14 minutes. Very well. You may proceed.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Just to inform Your Honour, as it regards to the
16 dispute of translation in a previous document, the OTP and the Defence
17 agreed that it has to be some changes made in documents, so technically
18 it has to be a request from the OTP office to translation services. But
19 there is no dispute in the matter, just technically.
20 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Okay. So the Prosecution will ask for this
21 formally, the translation?
22 MS. FROLICH: Yes. We will ask CLSS to revise. Thank you.
23 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. You may continue cross-examination.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sovilj, we're still talking about
1 evacuation. I would now like to show you another document. It's a
2 document that we only received quite recently. Therefore, we have been
3 unable to make sure that a translation was done.
4 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can I please have the usher's
5 assistance. I would like to have a copy of the document placed on the
6 ELMO. Another copy goes to the witness so the witness can better follow.
7 Before we turn to the document, I would like to check one thing.
8 Did we actually get a number for the previous document? I think it was
9 D139. Yes, we did. Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Sovilj, what you see before you is a document issued by the
11 Republic of Serbian Krajina, defence ministry, Lika administration. It
12 was sent to the municipal staffs -- civilian protection municipal staffs
13 of Gracac, Donji Lapac, Vhrovine and Plaski. The document was issued on
14 the 15th of July, 1995. Chief Mirko Poznanovic orders as follows,
15 paragraph 1: Activate regional and municipal civilian protection staffs
16 and set up permanent duty turns.
17 Paragraph 2: Through civilian protection commissioners take
18 measures to stimulate the population and, if needed, give warning signs
19 in a timely fashion so that shelters and other such facilities might be
20 occupied in good time.
21 Paragraph 3 of this document says that: Appropriate preparations
22 must be carried out by those in charge of this activity in terms of
23 implementing the evacuation and in terms of getting the population to
24 move on."
25 Mr. Sovilj, this order was sent to the civilian protection staff
1 of Gracac municipality as well which was your municipality. Were you
2 familiar with these preparations that were in progress?
3 A. I'm really entirely unfamiliar with any preparations of the kind,
4 nor did I ever attend a meeting at which anything like this was
5 addressed. It is quite apparent to me, and I must point this out again,
6 that these services were only taking steps for their own benefit and
7 keeping this to themselves.
8 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Sovilj.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Can this document pleased be
10 marked for identification until such time as we have secured a
12 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. I take it there's no objection to that.
13 MS. FROLICH: No objection, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Can the -- Mr. Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. This becomes Exhibit D140
16 marked for identification.
17 JUDGE GWAUNZA: That exhibit is marked for identification.
18 Please continue.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
20 Q. Mr. Sovilj, we've been going through a number of documents. They
21 all show that throughout the Republic of Serbian Krajina, at least
22 several months ahead of Operation Storm, there was a plan already in
23 place for evacuating the population from the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
24 Would you agree with that proposition?
25 A. Based on all the documents I have been shown it certainly appears
1 to have been that way.
2 Q. Thank you very much for your answer. Let us now move on to a
3 different subject.
4 Mr. Sovilj, you've been working as a journalist for years.
5 You've been following the society in the former Yugoslavia for years.
6 You know what the customs are and what the social conventions are
7 throughout that region. Is that not a fact?
8 A. Yes. That is definitely a fact.
9 Q. I would now like to ask you to look at a document that Mr. Usher
10 will be handing you a copy of. It will also be shown on our screens in
11 e-court. This is 3D000388.
12 Can you please have a look and then I'll be asking you a number
13 of questions about this document.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please accept my
15 apology. Yet again we have no translation for this document. One has
16 been requested and we have received assurances that is we would be
17 receiving a translation as soon as possible. It seems that the
18 translation service is a bit of a bottleneck, and this is something that
19 we'll need to get used to. I hope this will not prove to stand in the
20 way of our work though.
21 Can we please have page 1 of 3D000388.
22 Q. While we're waiting for this, Mr. Sovilj, do you recognise this
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. This is a war bulletin containing information. It was issued in
1 Gracac, Krajina, the 1st of November, 1991. It was issued by the
2 Executive Council and the Territorial Defence Staff.
3 Mr. Sovilj, in a nutshell what is this document about, and what
4 was your role in putting this document together and getting it issued?
5 This is an information war bulletin.
6 A. I was the coordinator. I also contributed, the objective being
7 to have this war bulletin offer information to people. It was never
8 distributed. It was never sold or distributed to people in the area. It
9 was more used for the purposes of the Executive Council and the
10 Territorial Defence Staff. It was strictly for their information.
11 Q. How many copies were printed?
12 A. This was simply Xeroxed, as you can tell. I think a total of
13 maybe between 20 and 30 copies, but I can't be more specific than that.
14 Q. Sir, who received this war bulletin, which specific persons?
15 A. The Executive Council, the Territorial Defence Staff, probably
16 the recruitment office, probably the civilian protection people, and so
17 on and so forth.
18 Q. Thank you. We can move on to page 2. The next page, please.
19 Mr. Sovilj, can you please look at the document. Look at news
20 items, the news items signed by initials MS. Can you confirm that this
21 is something that you drafted?
22 A. Yes, indeed. I confirm that.
23 Q. The first section that talks about the taking of Lovinac, this is
24 something that you wrote; right? The upper half of the page.
25 A. I do believe so.
1 Q. Lower towards the bottom of the page, "the first TO Krajina
2 Brigade established." Again the initials appear to be MS. This is you
3 again, right, sir?
4 A. Yes. That's what I expect.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Next page, please. Can we please have the
6 following page.
7 The item that we see is entitled "Gracac Territorial Defence
8 Staff Open Armed Conflict," signed by Captain First Class Milan Kekic.
9 Who is this person?
10 A. I think up until the beginning of the war he had been working
11 with the military recruitment office in Gospic. I'm sure he was working
12 in Gospic. I'm not sure about the recruitment office, but I think it was
13 somewhere along these lines.
14 Q. What about the rank, captain first class, this is a JNA rank,
15 isn't it?
16 A. I don't know. I think he was actually an active duty officer.
17 Q. Can we please move on to page 5 of this document. E-court
18 reference is page 6. This is page 4. Next page, please. Yes, that's
19 the one.
20 This is entitled "Djodan Muddies the Waters," and this is
21 something that you wrote." Or "Djodan Disrupts Relationships."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Likewise at page 8. If we could now move to page 8, please.
24 In the lower part of the page there is a text entitled -- with
25 the title "Giska." You also drafted this text, didn't you?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Let's move on to page 9. That's the next page. If I could ask
3 the usher to move to page 9. There is a text and the title is
4 "Teslingrad. All the Attacks Have Been Repelled." You also drafted this
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. Could you tell us the name of this place, Teslingrad? What is
9 A. That's Licki Osik.
10 Q. In the former Yugoslavia the name of this place was Licki Osik?
11 A. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. And when was the name of this town changed?
13 A. Well, sometime at the beginning of the war.
14 Q. Could you please tell us who changed the name of this place so
15 that it was no longer called Licki Osik but Teslingrad?
16 A. Well, I can't tell you exactly but authorities in the town -- or
17 I don't know.
18 Q. Mr. Sovilj, let us move on to the next page. That's page 10.
19 These are brief news from the front line, and we see the initials MS.
20 Would that mean that you wrote those texts?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Could we please move on to the next page, page 11.
23 This text -- or, rather, the three texts that are written here are all
24 authored by you.
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Thank you for this information. Now I would like us to look at
2 document 3D000415. But before that, I would like the previous document
3 to be marked for identification.
4 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Is there any objection to that, Madam
6 MS. FROLICH: We just -- if we could get some indication on the
7 relevance of this document.
8 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, as my
11 cross-examination continues, I will show the relevance of this document.
12 If you allow me five or ten minutes then everything will be clear. May I
14 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes, you may proceed. Just hold on.
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE GWAUNZA: In the meantime the document is marked for
18 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This becomes Exhibit
19 D141 marked for identification.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. Mr. Sovilj, what we see on our screens is an excerpt from the
22 internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, and it deals with the term "Ustasha."
23 First of all let me ask you, are you familiar with this web site, the
24 internet encyclopedia?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Now I would like you to read -- to listen to what I am about to
2 read from this text. It says in the text: "[In English] After German
3 forces withdrew from Yugoslavia in 1945, the Ustasha --"
4 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Sir, which paragraph are you -- Counsel, which
5 paragraph are you --
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] That's the first paragraph, last
7 sentence. It begins the word "After."
8 Q. Let me repeat. "[In English] After German forces withdrew from
9 Yugoslavia in 1945, the Ustasha were defeated and expelled by the
10 Communist Yugoslav partisans."
11 [Interpretation] Now I'm reading the last sentence in the second
12 paragraph. "[In English] Croatian law forbids Ustasha symbols and
13 associated references."
14 [Interpretation] Mr. Sovilj, for the benefit of the Trial
15 Chamber, could you please tell us in just a couple of sentences who
16 Ustashas were and what is this term all about?
17 A. Well, to my mind Ustashas were the counterparts of Chetniks on
18 the other side. So nothing less and nothing more.
19 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could this document please be
20 admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE GWAUNZA: No objection? Madam Prosecutor, do you mind.
22 MS. FROLICH: I apologise, Your Honour. There is no objection.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you. Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This becomes Exhibit
2 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well. Exhibit D142 is marked for -- sorry,
3 is admitted into evidence.
4 You may proceed.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like us to look at
6 document 3D000404. In the course of this trial the Chamber will often
7 come across the terms "Ustashas" and "Chetniks," and that is why I wanted
8 the Trial Chamber to get a broader insight into those terms, and that is
9 why I again accessed the internet encyclopedia Wikipedia, and I looked
10 for the definition of the term "Chetniks," and let me read the first
11 paragraph which reads as follows:
12 [In English] "Serbian Cetnici were a royalist paramilitary
13 formations operating in the Balkans before and during world wars. During
14 World War II, the Chetniks were known officially as 'Yugoslav army in the
15 Fatherland,' and consisted mostly of Serbs loyal to the Kingdom of
16 Yugoslavia's government in exile."
17 [Interpretation] Let me now read the last paragraph on this page
18 beginning with the words "In modern times." "In modern times, especially
19 during and after Yugoslav Wars, 'Chetnik' come to be used as an ethnic
20 slur against Serbs."
21 [Interpretation] Mr. Sovilj, you've already told us about the
22 connotation of these two terms, "Ustasha" and "Chetniks." As far as
23 you're concerned can we agree that these are pejorative terms, derogatory
24 terms, that that's their meaning.
25 A. Yes. And that they are the result of a war where common sense
1 wanes and hatred prevails. Of course both parties, both sides in the war
2 used those terms including the media. I myself come from a partisan
3 family. My grandfather was a partisan. I'm an anti-fascist, but let me
4 tell you once again it was a war.
5 Q. Thank you very much for your answer.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
7 document into evidence.
8 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Is there no objection?
9 MS. FROLICH: Your Honour, there is no objection. I would just
10 like to put on the record that for both this particular document and the
11 one that was I believe marked as D142, the previous article from
12 Wikipedia, we would just like to put on the record that the
13 Prosecution -- I don't think there is an agreement on -- there is no --
14 no dispute about these articles, but we Wikipedia is the free
15 encyclopedia from which sources can be uploaded from anywhere. We do not
16 consider it in general to be a reliable source of information. So I
17 would just like to state that. Thank you.
18 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. Thank you.
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours. This becomes Exhibit
22 JUDGE GWAUNZA: D143 is admitted into evidence. I hope you have
23 noted the comments from Madam Prosecutor, Counsel.
24 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I fully accept the
25 comments by my learned colleague, and that is why I asked the witness
1 whether he personally agreed with what has been read out, whether he
2 agreed with the argument that the words "Ustasha" and "Chetniks" were in
3 fact derogatory terms. I didn't want to go into any deeper historical
4 analysis of these terms.
5 Q. Mr. Sovilj, after we've agreed about the fact that those terms
6 were derogatory and after you'd looked at D141, that is the war bulletin
7 that you yourself prepared and where you wrote articles, I want to tell
8 you the following: In this bulletin you describe either the Croatian
9 state or the Croatian army by using the adjective "Ustasha." Does that
10 mean that you, Mr. Sovilj, and this is what I put to you, placed this
11 kind of editorial policy at the service of creating hatred towards the
12 Croatian state and the Croatian army?
13 A. No, that's not true. This is the result of this wartime
14 atmosphere that prevailed at that time, and the other side, the Croatian
15 side, used their media in a similar or the same manner.
16 Q. Thank you very much for your answer.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
19 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you.
20 Is there any re-examination there the Prosecution? Sorry, just
21 hold on.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Does other Defence counsel have anything to say?
24 MR. KAY: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
25 MR. MISETIC: No questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well. The Prosecution?
2 MS. FROLICH: No questions from this side either.
3 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well. That brings to a close these
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Mr. Sovilj, I would like to thank you very much
7 for having taken the time to come to the Tribunal and give your evidence.
8 The Chamber will now release you, and we hope you will have a nice
9 journey back home.
10 Could you please escort the --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to say something?
12 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Very well.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Defence asked me about my
14 return to Croatia, I would just like to say the following: I would have
15 gone back if I had a place to go back to. The apartment where I lived
16 was a socially owned apartment, and it is no longer accessible to me.
17 The house in the village where my parents lived was burnt down, and my
18 parents, my father, would still be alive today, and would I still have
19 that place, because they have worked -- they had worked all their lives.
20 They never wanted to have a free ride. I would have been going there
21 much more often than I do.
22 I want to say why were the innocent civilians killed and why did
23 they decide to stay there although they received warning that this happen
24 to them, people that never carried arms, older people. I just wanted to
25 explain that.
1 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Sovilj. You will now
2 be escorted out of the chamber.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Yes. The Chamber will now adjourn. There being
5 no other business, we will now adjourn.
6 Mr. Registrar, can I know on Monday where we are sitting?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. We'll reconvene Monday, 28th
8 of April, Courtroom I at 9.00.
9 JUDGE GWAUNZA: Courtroom I on Monday.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.19 a.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Monday, the 28th day
12 of April, 2008, at 9.00 a.m.