1 Wednesday, 1 October 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
9 everyone in the courtroom. This is case number IT-06-90-T, The
10 Prosecutor versus Ante Gotovina, et al.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Whom should I address? Good morning.
13 MR. DU-TOIT: Good morning, Your Honours. I will be responsible
14 for leading the next witness, Mr. Rajko Gusa. No protective measures and
15 the witness is available.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Madam Usher, could you please escort the
17 witness into the courtroom.
18 Since we have time available, what is the best way to pronounce
19 your name? Is it the English or the French way?
20 MR. DU-TOIT: It is Du-Toit, Your Honour, and it is in French, it
21 is Du-Toit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Du-Toit.
23 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps we can already proceed. I see no objections
25 against admission of the 92 ter statement; is that true? Of course, if
1 the attestations are received and we have no attachments to them, there's
2 just a map which --
3 MR. DU-TOIT: There's just a map that I would like to add --
4 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... would like to introduce,
6 MR. DU-TOIT: -- to the 65 ter list, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You would like to have it added to the 65 ter list.
8 MR. DU-TOIT: [Overlapping speakers] ... because I disclosed it
9 to the Defence, and it's 65 ter 5490. So I would request to add it to
10 the 65 ter list, and ... [Overlapping Speakers].
11 JUDGE ORIE: There is no objection against adding it to the
12 65 ter list. That is already on the record.
13 Do you want to make it an attachment or would you like to
14 introduce it separately.
15 MR. DU-TOIT: I would like to introduce it maybe at the end of
16 the testimony.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning.
21 Mr. Gusa, good morning. Can you hear me in a language you
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please stand. Yes.
25 Before you give evidence, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
1 require you to make a solemn declaration. The text of that solemn
2 declaration is now handed out to you by Madam Usher. May I invite you to
3 make that solemn declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please read the words aloud.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Gusa.
9 Please be seated. Mr. Gusa, you'll first be examined by
10 Mr. Du-Toit, who is counsel for the Prosecution.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 WITNESS: RAJKO GUSA
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Examination by Mr. Du-Toit:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gusa. Can you please state your full names for
17 the record.
18 A. Rajko Gusa.
19 Q. Is it correct that you made two statements to the Office of the
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. DU-TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can I please call up 65 ter 5431.
23 Q. Mr. Gusa, right in front of you is the first statement that you
24 made to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 27th of May and 28th of May,
25 1997. It's in front of you with your signature. Can you just confirm
1 that is your statement, please?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR. DU-TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can we just move to page 2 of this
4 statement, please.
5 Mr. President, I just want to place on the record, as you can see
6 on page two of the statement, there is paragraph numbers inserted in hand
7 to the left-hand side of the statement. That was not part of the
8 original statement, but when the witness was seen again in 2008, that was
9 added just to make it easier to refer back to specific paragraphs of the
10 statements. So that's why you see that these paragraph numbers are
11 inserted in hand. I just want it place that on the record. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. They are added afterwards. Yes, please
14 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you.
15 Mr. Registrar, can I then -- can you please call up 65 ter 5432,
17 Q. Mr. Gusa, is it correct that this is the second statement that
18 was taken by members of this office on the 19th of February, 2008. Is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 MR. DU-TOIT: Mr. Registrar, can I just move also to page 2 of
22 that statement, please.
23 Q. If you look at paragraph 3 of the statement, Mr. Gusa, sort of
24 round about in the middle, just one point of clarification there, and I
25 quote: "There were about ten houses in my neighbourhood that I could
1 see, and they were all hit by the shells. All of the houses were
2 subsequently burnt and looted."
3 Now, this incident, this that you saw, did you see that on the
4 4th of August or was it later?
5 A. This was later.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Gusa, is it correct that when you arrived in
7 The Hague
8 versions of both of these statements?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And do these statements accurately reflect the information that
11 you provided to the Office of the Prosecutor on two occasions?
12 A. Yes, they do.
13 Q. And is the information contained in these two statements true and
14 correct, to the best of your knowledge?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. And if you were asked in court today the same questions, would
17 your answers be the same as you have given twice to members of our
19 A. I think I would.
20 MR. DU-TOIT: Mr. President, I would like to move the two
21 statements into evidence, please.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could you please assign numbers.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, 65 ter 05431 becomes Exhibit
24 number P959; and 65 ter 05432 becomes Exhibit number P960.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P959, being the 1997 statement, and P960, the
1 February 2008 statement, are admitted into evidence.
2 Mr. Du-Toit, one question about the paragraph 3 you just
3 mentioned. You were talking about an incident and you started reading:
4 "There were about ten houses in my neighbourhood that I could see, and
5 they were hit by shells."
6 Witness, did you observe yourself that they were hit by shell the
7 or did you afterwards later see the houses damaged by shells that had hit
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I only saw the first one, mine.
10 The other ones I saw later on. In October, I was taken to the village.
11 One of their inspectors took me two days in a row, and then I saw that
12 everything had been burnt down and destroyed. There were some ten or so
13 houses that were left standing. Everything else had been looted and
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You confused me a bit when you asked about
16 observing the incident, rather than observing the consequences of
17 apparent shelling.
18 Please proceed.
19 MR. DU-TOIT: [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I am supposed to say.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du-Toit, will now read a summary of your
23 statement, so that the public knows what your testimony is about.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Du-Toit.
25 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 The witness was living in the village of Zemunik Gornji
2 municipality of Zadar, at the time of Operation Storm. From 10.00 in the
3 morning on the 4th of August, 1995, his village was heavily shelled by
4 the Croatian army, and his house was hit by a number of shells. After
5 the shelling stopped at around 2200 hours, the witness fled to the
6 village of Bukovic. Around 300 Croatian soldiers entered Bukovic and
7 immediately five or six houses were set ablaze.
8 The witness fled Bukovic and hid in the forest on the mountain of
9 Zmistak. From his vantage point, the witness was able to view the
10 villages of Kistanje and Ervenik. He saw the whole village of Kistanje
11 on fire at a time when there was heavy military traffic moving through
12 the village. The smaller villages of Biovicino Selo and Kolasac were
13 also burnt.
14 He also witnessed burning of houses in the village of Ervenik
15 looting by Croatian soldiers from the homes and farms in the area.
16 Trucks loaded with looted property and stolen livestock were driven away
17 by soldiers on the main road with the loads only displayed.
18 In early 1995, the witness surrendered to a Croatian policeman
19 who was a friend of a Serb family in Ervenik. He was taken to Knin and
20 then further to Zadar. In the detention facility in Zadar, he was
21 beaten. He was held in Zadar for three to four months, and then taken to
22 Split prison when he was detained until October 1996.
23 That is the end of the summary, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
25 MR. DU-TOIT: Mr. Registrar, if I can just call up 65 ter 5490.
1 That is the orientation map of this witness.
2 Mr. President, as you can see, this was just prepared by members
3 of our office to just orient the different places referred to by the
4 witness in -- especially in his first statement that is already admitted.
5 And as you can see, the numbers from 1 to 9 depicts certain key places
6 that the witness mentioned in his evidence. And as you can see, to the
7 left hand of the map, there is also a legend, indicating the different
8 place names and also references to some aspects of the paragraphs of the
9 28th of May 1997 statement.
10 And I would also like to move this map into evidence, please.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently, no objections.
12 Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P961, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P961 is admitted into evidence.
15 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you, Your Honour. This is all that I have
16 for the witness at the moment. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Who will be the first to cross-examine the witness,
18 Mr. Misetic?
19 MR. MISETIC: Yes, I will, Your Honour. One moment please.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, in a second, Mr. Misetic, who is counsel
21 for Mr. Gotovina, will cross-examine you, and he is seated to your
22 left -- or he is standing to your left.
23 MR. MISETIC: It will just take one minute, Your Honour, to
24 release the documents to the Prosecution.
25 Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gusa.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. The first point I'd like to take you to is your military service
5 in the army of the Republika Srpska Krajina. You, in fact, were a
6 soldier from 1991 up until Operation Storm. Isn't that correct?
7 A. No, it isn't.
8 Q. Well, can you describe for the Court what, if any, role you had
9 in the defence of the so-called Republika Srpska --
10 A. In the beginning, I was --
11 Q. ... [Overlapping speakers]
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- but I didn't want to go, and
14 then I was imprisoned in Knin; and then later I was released and I was in
15 the Territorial Defence in my village throughout this period up until
16 Operation Storm. I was never on the lines, and also the lines between
17 our army and the Croatian army was about 100 metres away --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 800 metres away.
19 MR. MISETIC:
20 Q. Well, your village is on the front line, isn't it, sir? Sorry.
21 It was on the front line?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So, if you were standing guard in your village and your village
24 is on the front line, then you were a guard on the front lines. Correct?
25 A. No. I was not on the front line, I was in the background. It is
1 a different thing to on the front line, and it is quite different to be
2 in the rear. I was in the village, where the houses were.
3 Q. Well, the command -- there was command post in your village,
4 correct? Isn't that what you were guarding?
5 A. Yes, there was a command post.
6 Q. And what was the command post of?
7 A. It was the command post --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat what you just said.
10 MR. MISETIC: Let me ask him again, Your Honour.
11 Q. What was the command post of? The interpreters didn't hear you,
12 if you could repeat that again, please.
13 A. Oh, it was a military command post, the Serbian army command
15 Q. Now, you seem to be making a distinction in your statement
16 between you being a member of the Territorial Defence and not being a
17 member of the army. Can you explain what you believe to be the
18 difference between the two?
19 A. The difference is in this. The real soldiers were on the front
20 line and the Territorial Defence were for the people who weren't really
21 capable to participate in real war, in warfare; for instance, one-on-one,
22 so on the front lines.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could have 1D47-0030, please.
25 Q. Mr. Gusa, I'd ask you to take a look at this document. It is
1 from the 180th Motor Brigade. It is dated 13 March 1992. It's from the
2 military police to the 180th Motor Brigade, and it discusses security
3 duty was conducted in the barracks and that there were searches
4 conducted. And if you look under part 2, your name appears, Gusa, P.
5 Rajko, with a VP number.
6 Were you, in fact, a member of the 180th Motor Brigade in 1992?
7 A. No, I wasn't.
8 MR. MISETIC: I ask that this exhibit be admitted into evidence,
10 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D823, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: D823 is admitted into evidence.
14 MR. MISETIC: Can we go to the next page of this document,
15 Mr. Registrar.
16 Q. If you look at number 9 there, Mr. Gusa, is that you, date of
17 birth 25 August, 1956
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Were you, in fact, conscripted into the 180 Motor Brigade
20 on the 3rd of March, 1992
21 A. No, I was not.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Nor do I know what brigade this was.
24 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if we could now have 1D47-0034,
1 Q. This is again --
2 MR. MISETIC: Sorry. We'll wait for the English to come up.
3 Q. This is again a military police document. And at number 2, it
4 reports a reassignment of the following conscripts on the 1st of March,
5 1992; and at number 2, it says, "Gusa, Petar Rajko."
6 Do you recall being reassigned from one --
7 A. Yes. I was reassigned, and I was then reassigned to the village
8 of Kosare.
9 Q. Well, if you look at the bottom of the document, it says:
10 "Military conscripts to be issued weapons, ammunition, and mine explosive
11 devices, and sent to barracks NHS Macura, Benkovac."
12 Do you recall been send to a barracks in Benkovac, on or around
13 the 1st of March, 1992?
14 A. Yes. They took me to detention.
15 Q. Do you recall on or about the 1st of March being taken over by
16 senior officer from the 1st Motor Brigade and transported to the unit by
18 A. I don't remember that.
19 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask that the exhibit be marked,
20 and I tender it into evidence.
21 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D824.
24 JUDGE ORIE: D824 is admitted into evidence.
25 Mr. Misetic, on the 1st of March, apparently, the witness is
1 reassigned from 4810-84 to 4810-7. On the 13th of March, however, such
2 request in relation to apparently the witness locates him at 4810-10. Is
3 that mystery or that puzzle further to be explored?
4 MR. MISETIC: Partly a mystery, but I will get into some more
5 details of his background in a few minutes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
7 MR. MISETIC: Thank you.
8 If I may have 1D47-0037 on the screen, please.
9 Your Honour, we were not able to upload this into e-court in time
10 last night, so we have a hard copy for the witness and we will show it
11 via Sanction.
12 Q. Mr. Gusa, this is a document dated 1 June 1992, and it reports to
13 with a disciplinary measure taken against you by Captain First Class
14 Branko Vuruna. It indicates in the second paragraph: "Sergeant Gusa
15 Rajko, son of Petar, born 25 August 1956
16 third paragraph, it talks about you being intoxicated by alcohol on the
17 night of 31 May 1992
18 extent that he had no control over his actions or behaviour," and it goes
19 on it on.
20 Now, you've already mentioned that you had been arrested at one
21 point and detained. Was it, in fact, the case that you had been arrested
22 because you had been intoxicated on -- on duty and, in fact, had received
23 a disciplinary measure as a result? Do you recall that?
24 A. No. No.
25 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I ask that this exhibit be marked, and
1 I tender it into evidence, 1D47-0037.
2 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D825, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D825 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Now, Mr. Gusa, you indicated that you surrendered to the
8 Croatian --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask that documents to remain on the screen
10 if not replaced by another one because that gives us an opportunity to
11 listen and read at the same time. Thank you.
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
13 Q. Mr. Gusa --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, no, it's in Sanction so we can't. I'm sorry.
15 MR. MISETIC:
16 Q. Mr. Gusa --
17 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I have a hard copy if you wish for
19 JUDGE ORIE: No. As long as it is on the screen, I'm fine with
21 MR. MISETIC:
22 Q. Mr. Gusa, you indicate in your statement that you were -- you, in
23 fact, surrendered to Croatian authorities in October 1995. It's correct,
24 is it not, that you were first taken to the --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were first taken to the police station in Kistanje. Is that
3 A. In Knin.
4 Q. Okay. Do you recall when -- while you were in Knin, that you
5 gave or you were interviewed by police officers in the Knin police
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D47-0001, please.
10 Just for the Registrar, the Official Note of this witness's
11 interview begins on the next half of this page, in the Croatian version.
12 Thank you.
13 Q. Mr. Gusa, this is the Official Note of that interview at the Knin
14 police station when you appeared there.
15 If you look at the third paragraph, it says: "He further states
16 that he was mobilised into the army of the SAO Krajina on 28
17 October 1991, and that he was issued a military ... uniform and a rifle
18 with 150 bullets at the military barracks in Benkovac, where he stayed
19 until 4 November 1991
20 The persons concerned states that he was an infantry soldier."
21 Now, do you recall telling that to the police officers in Knin
22 where you were taken --
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. -- and --
25 A. Can I have a glass of water?
1 Q. Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher will assist with the water.
3 MR. MISETIC:
4 Q. And is it what you told the Croatian officers there about the
5 fact that you were mobilised into the army of the SAO Krajina on
6 28 October 1991
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. If we go on, it says that: "Upon their arrival in Tinj, they
9 were assigned into the guard service. The commander of the infantry unit
10 was the Reserve Captain Lalic from Polace, and the unit was composed of
11 40 soldiers."
12 Do you recall being under the command of Captain Lalic?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Later on down, it says: "The person concerned states that he was
15 at the guard post in Tinj until 22 March 1992, then they were relieved.
16 So he went to Sem Gornji where he remained until 13 April 1992. Then he
17 was transferred to Crno where he occupied a guard post at Musaptan until
18 17 June 1992
19 officer, major by rank ..."
20 Do you recall telling that to the Croatian police?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And is all of the information that I just read out true?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. The next sentence says: "The person concerned states that Zadar
25 was fired at from tanks, 54, guns. When asked from which direction Zadar
1 was fired at, the person concerned states that tanks, 54, guns, and
2 60-millimetre mortars were deployed at Musaptan near the water supply
3 system, and the bunker and the Howitzers and 120-millimetre mortar were
4 deployed in Jagodnja from where they fired at Biograd and its general
6 Is that information that you provided to the Croatian police
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. You then go on in this statement to say that you were then
10 demobilised on 17 June 1992
11 business, but that you were remobilised in December 1992 "and went to the
12 field in Vocnjak Zemunik Gornji where he occupied a guard post i.e.,
13 secured the road through Vocnjak, PK Zadar, Vlacine PK Zadar, leading to
15 Is that information true?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 MR. MISETIC: If we could turn the page in the English, please.
18 Q. It then says: "The bus line Smokovic-Benkovac went over this
19 route. He remained there until 22 January 1993, from where he went to
20 Bare, in Zemunik Gornji, where he provided guard service all until
21 Operation Storm."
22 Is that information true?
23 A. I was in Vocnjak securing the road, and when I returned to Bare,
24 my house was 300 metres away. I was in the village and the position was
25 8000 metres away where the army was. And I was in the village, I was not
1 on the front line, and everything what was said before this was correct.
2 I was posted at the village, and Vocnjak is about 500 metres away
3 from the positions in Bare. I was in the village in the rear, some 500
4 metres, and the front line was below me in Goles, that's the name of the
5 village, facing the positions of the Croatian army whose positions were
6 800 metres from the Serbian army.
7 Q. But it's true that you were in Bare in Zemunik Gornji and
8 providing guard service all until Operation Storm, correct?
9 A. I was there, but I wasn't there in Bare. I was in the village,
10 exactly in the village where my house was, 500 metres behind. I was
11 around my house, of course. We were keeping guard throughout the night,
12 and I was there and in some elderly people. Everybody was there, it was
13 all normal, we were guarding ourselves and others as well.
14 Q. If we go to the next paragraph, it says that: Retired JNA major,
15 Djuro Maricic, from Zemunik Gornji provided and distributed weapons to
16 the local population of Zemunik Gornji."
17 Now, that is true, is it not?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Can you describe for us in a little more detail how and when
20 Djuro Maricic distributed weapons to the local population of
21 Zemunik Gornji?
22 A. I think it was sometime in early October when he distributed it.
23 That's what I think. I don't know the exact date. I think it was on the
24 1st or the 2nd, before the real fierce war started. But not everyone
25 received weapons. He gave weapons only to certain individuals. Only
1 later we had so many weapons we could spare them.
2 Q. Were these weapons given to just the villagers?
3 A. Well, yes. Yes, in every, hamlet, but not to everyone because
4 there wasn't enough weapons, initially.
5 Q. Now it says -- it goes on to state: "He further states that the
6 firmest fortifications were set up near the houses of Zupanovi, Milkovic
7 and at Viduka where guns were deployed. Machine-guns, M-84, were
8 deployed in the fortification at Bare. The main machine-gunner was Gusa,
9 Gajo, son of late Nikola, born in 1965."
10 Now, is all that information true.
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. And when you say that these fortifications were set up near the
13 houses of Zupanovi and Milkovic, what type of houses are we talking
15 A. Those were houses which were, for most part, demolished or burnt.
16 That's what the Serbian army did. As soon as the Croats had left, they
17 demolished and burnt all their houses, including the church. That's what
18 the Serbian army did.
19 Q. Now, were there fortification, in fact, set up in and around
20 private houses in the villages?
21 A. Well, that was around the houses in the village, yes, because the
22 houses were somewhat within the forests. That's where they were located,
23 and that's where the fortifications were.
24 Q. It goes on to say that: "He further states that the tanks, M-54,
25 were positioned around the houses Milkovic and by the school building in
1 Zemunik Gornji."
2 Is that statement true?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Tell us a little bit more about these tanks, M-54, being
5 positioned around the houses Milkovic. Where are those houses Milkovic?
6 A. When you walk to Skabrnja, this is where the border-line is, and
7 up to that line, there were Serbian houses. As was -- in Milkovici and
8 Brkovici is where the Croatian houses were. Of course, the tanks were
9 positioned near Milkovici and near the school. This is where the tanks
10 were. They sometimes travelled through the village. One could see them.
11 The Croats could see them.
12 MR. MISETIC: If I can just clarify, I'm advised that there is
13 one issue I need to clarify in the transcript.
14 Q. And there were tanks around the school. Is that correct?
15 A. Yeah, that's what I said, around the school.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. The houses in Milkovici and the school are about one kilometre
18 apart along the road.
19 Q. If we go to the last paragraph, please, on this page, it says:
20 "The person concerned states that he discarded his automatic rifle at the
21 position, as well as the uniform; and that in a tandem, he arrived in
22 Benkovac where he couldn't find his family, then he spent the night in
24 Is that information correct?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. Were you looking for your family in Benkovac?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. It then goes on to say: "When he woke up, the HV had already
4 entered Benkovac. He escaped with Slavko Rnjak into the forest, where he
5 has been hiding until this day."
6 How did you find out that the HV had entered Benkovac?
7 A. Am I supposed to tell you that? I found out that by seeing them.
8 Now when I turned around, there were around 300 metres away. Luckily,
9 they didn't see us and we managed to escape. We hid in a vineyard, but
10 we were not able to cross the road because there were tanks and their
11 troops on the road. We couldn't pass there. We were waiting for
12 night-fall. And when the moon was hidden by clouds, we slowly crossed
13 the road, through their troops, and we went to Karine. This is where we
14 spent the night.
15 We walked through the woods after midnight. In the morning, we
16 came to Bukora. We found some water there because we were thirsty, then
17 a man arrived and we were scared of him as he was as scared of us. He
18 was a Serb and he told us, "Don't be afraid. I'm a Serb as well." He
19 gave us some food. There was roast lamb and ham and wine. We spent the
20 day there; and from there on, we went --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the name of the
22 place that they want to.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I take it that you'll further verify
24 that. Also I'm missing part of page 19, line 23. It is my recollection
25 that the witness said something about distances. But could you please
1 seek clarification of that answer.
2 I leave it in your hands.
3 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
4 Q. How far was the school from -- actually, can you tell us where
5 the school was located in Gornji Zemunik which had the tanks next to it.
6 A. The school was in the centre of the village between my house,
7 called Guse, a hamlet; there was Draca as well; and further on Javori;
8 then Markici, then Banci, Misele, Olowici [phoen], Banici, Trove. And
9 down there were Racovici, Kovacevici, and there was another Gusa, which
10 is actually my family nam. And the Croats were on side in the village of
11 Drazici, Rogici, and Bulac. These is where they were, but these were
12 Croatian hamlets. But at the very beginning of the war, they left.
13 MR. MISETIC: Do you need for clarification, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well --
15 MR. MISETIC: I don't recall --
16 JUDGE ORIE: -- I think, as a matter of fact, I think you told us
17 about the houses in Milkovici.
18 Could you tell us, the houses in Milkovici, yes, if you would
19 walk from there to the school where the tanks were, could you tell us how
20 much time it would take you to walk from these houses in Milkovici to the
21 school where the tanks were.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 15 minute, if you walk slowly
23 on foot. It's about a kilometre-long road. That was the distance.
24 MR. MISETIC:
25 Q. And just to clarify one point there, there were tanks both around
1 the houses in Milkovici and around the school. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now I want to go back to the last paragraph here on the screen
4 because my question to you is: If, in fact, you were in Bukovic when you
5 learned that the HV had arrived in Benkovac, you weren't 300 metres,
6 then, from the Croatian army. Bukovic is not 300 metres from Benkovac.
8 A. Yeah. There's about two kilometres between Bukovic and Benkovac.
9 But when I got up in the morning, in Bukovic they were 300 metres away.
10 There was another man there, and we said, "Is this the Croatian army?"
11 But he told us, "You needn't run away." His son-in-law was from
12 Pakostan, he had and told him not to leave his house. He was a Croat.
13 That if there were other people there, that he would come back and
14 prepare lunch for his group. He said that nobody would touch anyone, and
15 he told some younger people who happened to remain behind, if they had
16 any weapons or uniforms, to change into civilian clothes and to throw
17 away their weapons and to wait for them in the civilian clothes. That
18 was how it was. This man didn't want to go; and we, Slavko and I, were
19 waiting and we hid.
20 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I ask that this document be marked,
21 and tender into evidence.
22 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D826, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: D826 is admitted into evidence.
1 MR. MISETIC:
2 Q. Now, Mr. Gusa, after you were questioned in the Knin police
3 station, you were then taken to the Zadar police administration.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you were never taken to any detention centre for prisoners of
7 war, correct, you were just taken to the police building?
8 A. Yes. And we remained there three to four days. From there, we
9 were taken to Split
10 knocked my teeth out and they beat me on the head a bit. I know who did
11 this, everything.
12 Q. We'll get to that in a few minutes.
13 MR. MISETIC: But if we can first bring up 1D47-0006, please, via
14 Sanction again, and we have a hard copy for the witness.
15 Q. This is the Official Note -- sorry. You recall, then, in Zadar,
16 you were also questioned by Croatian police investigators. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This is the Official Note of those interviews. It is, in the
19 English 12, pages long. I'm not going to take you through all of it,
20 obviously, but ...
21 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 2, please, in the English.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Would you have hard copies for the Judges as well,
23 because usually I can store it and browse through it, which I'm not able
24 to do if it is in Sanction.
25 MR. MISETIC: We don't at the moment, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. MISETIC: I apologise.
3 If it is not in the e-court by the break, Your Honour, I think
4 will make copies during the break and then give it to you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it would be appreciated.
6 MR. DU-TOIT: Can the Prosecution also be provided with a copy,
8 MR. MISETIC: I am told that the Prosecution has the electronic
9 version of it.
10 Q. Page 2, here, again repeats some of what you said in the Knin
11 police administration -- I mean the Knin police station. Then in the
12 second-to-last paragraph at the bottom -- let me check. This is it on
13 page 2 in your version, Mr. Gusa, at the part that says: "Sometime at
14 the beginning of December 1992 ..."
15 In that paragraph, it says: "He was personally located at the
16 position in Vlacine where they were actively on duty during the day while
17 they were free during the night. Alongside him, the following
18 inhabitants of Zemunik Gornji were in the group at this position," and
19 then you have several names starting with Erceg Rajko.
20 Do you see that, sir?
21 A. Yes, I see it.
22 Q. Look at the names there. Are those, in fact, the people that you
23 were on duty with?
24 MR. MISETIC: If we can go to the next page in the English
1 Q. Did you understand the question, sir? Let me ask it a different
2 way. Did you serve on duty with Erceg Rajko, Maricic Mirko, Maricic
3 Mile, Banic Mirko, Olujic Milan, Kosovic Radoje, and Vukcevic Petar?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, if we go further down past that, there is a paragraph that
6 says: "They stayed at this position all until 22 January 1993 when the
7 guard services was recalled. Rajko was then assigned to the 2nd Platoon
8 of the 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion. When he was assigned to this
9 battalion, it was under the command of Captain First Class Vuruna Branko
10 who was, shortly after that, relieved by Captain Maricic Janko, who
11 remained on that post all until the beginning of Operation Storm."
12 Mr. Gusa, you were, in fact, a member of the 2nd Platoon of the
13 3rd Company, 2nd Battalion all until Operation Storm. Correct?
14 A. I was. But as I said, I was in the village. However, this list
15 that is here -- that I can see here it is true. There is no falsehood
16 here. All these people were here. It is all true. What place they were
17 from, their birth dates, it is all true. I was questioned about this
18 about four to five hours, and all this information here is correct. And
19 that's about it.
20 Q. Let me confirm then. On -- when Operation Storm began, your
21 commander was Maricic Janko. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Okay. And beneath that paragraph, it says: "Alongside the two
24 previously named, the following persons were also members of the
25 battalion command," and then it lists three names: Subotic Marko ...
1 MR. MISETIC: If we go to the next page, please.
2 Q. ... Erceg Zoran and Mizdalo Miroslav.
3 Is that information correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mizdalo Miroslav, there you say that: "He worked as a policeman
6 in Sibenik. For some time, he had been in the command in
7 Zemunik Gornji."
8 Does that indicate -- you say that these persons were also in the
9 battalion command. Does that mean that the command of the battalion was
10 located in Zemunik Gornji?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. MISETIC: Now if we go to the bottom of page 4, please.
13 Q. And in your version, Mr. Gusa - let me find it - it's at page 4,
14 and it says: "At this position, they were split into two groups."
15 MR. MISETIC: Madam Registrar, it is the paragraph that begins
16 right under the name Pucar Milorad.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it.
18 MR. MISETIC:
19 Q. It says: "At this position, they were split into two groups.
20 Four days they were on duty, and then had four days off. They remained
21 in this position all until the beginning of Operation Storm, when they
22 were visited by the battalion commander, Maricic Janko, who told them to
23 withdraw as they could. Already, on 3 August 1995, one part of the
24 population was transported in the direction of Benkovac. These were
25 mostly senior persons. The remaining part was transported on
1 4 August 1995
2 January 1993, and accommodated in the surrounding settlements in the
3 depth of the territory of the former Benkovac municipality."
4 Now, first of all, it's true, is it not, that at the beginning of
5 Operation Storm, you were told by the battalion commander, Maricic Janko,
6 to withdraw. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you recall what time of day you were told by the battalion
9 commander to withdraw?
10 A. I couldn't tell you exactly, but it was in the afternoon
11 sometime, maybe around 4.00 or 5.00 in the afternoon, because already
12 around 6.00, they entered our positions. They entered our village,
13 Zemunik. At the very outset, while it was still daylight, they began to
14 torch our houses. We could see this with our own eyes. We weren't too
15 far from there. They called out to us. They didn't shoot, to be honest.
16 They could have shot us all dead, but they didn't want to shoot. The
17 were just yelling whoever had weapons should discard them, and we should
18 all come to one point, and no one would touch us.
19 That is what they were saying, but there was no shooting. They
20 didn't shoot at us, but there were a lot of shells falling around us.
21 But the infantry did not shoot. They didn't open fire. The only thing
22 they did was they set the houses alight. We could see this. As soon as
23 they entered the first houses, they started doing that.
24 That's it.
25 Q. Now, can you tell the us a little bit more. Here in the
1 statement, you say: "Already, on 3 August 1995, one part of the
2 population was transferred in the direction of Benkovac. These were
3 mostly senior persons."
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about this. How did these
6 people leave?
7 A. Well, they were driven away: Some people on tractors, some on
8 horse carts, on buses, on trucks. And from there, they were taken to
9 Knin. So they were out of danger basically. But later on, most people
10 left on foot and many were killed in the convoys, in these columns,
11 because they shelled this Serbian convoy of refugees.
12 Q. Now, in here, you say that the transportation of one part of the
13 population began on the 3rd of August. Do you recall the transfer
14 starting before the actual attack by the Croatians began?
15 A. Well, I really don't know. In around my village, no, because we
16 began leaving on the 4th. I mean leaving for good, leaving our native
17 towns. And these people who were in Benkovac and Knin - we here in the
18 villages. We didn't even know what was going on - but they, they were
19 already leaving, especially from Knin. They started leaving on the 2nd
21 I think they had been told to leave; whereas, we had no idea what
22 was going on. We could have all been killed for no reason, for nothing.
23 We could have been killed all, if only they wanted to. That's it.
24 Q. Okay. I want to clarify one point here. I'm not asking you when
25 was the decision made to leave permanently. What I'm saying is, on the
1 3rd of August, was there a transfer of the senior population to an area
2 behind the front line?
3 A. Well, around Bale, those who were left there, they were taken
4 away. Well, there were few older people. Most of them during the war
5 were around Benkovac and in the vicinity of Knin. They had all left
6 their homes and were refugees. These were older men and women and small
7 children. I had three small children. They were about 30 kilometres
8 away from me, and I had to go on foot to see them because there was no
9 other way of doing it. I took food for them and I carried all this on
11 This place was called Bukovici near Benkovac.
12 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm -- I tender 1D47-0006 and ask that
13 it be admitted into evidence.
14 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D827.
17 JUDGE ORIE: D827 is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. MISETIC: I will be going back to this document, Your Honour,
19 but I'm going switch to another one and then come back to this in a few
21 Mr. Registrar, if I could have 65 ter 4607, please.
22 Q. Mr. Gusa, are you aware that the commander at the brigade level
23 of the unit in which you belonged was named Mirko Uzelac?
24 A. I heard of him, but, to be honest, I didn't really see this man
25 in that area. I had heard of him, and I know he must be from Benkovac or
1 from that area because I used to go to that area.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the last
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Can you repeat your answer, sir, after you said you knew him from
6 Benkovac and that area. The interpreter didn't hear you, so if you can
7 repeat what you said, after you had said that you know he must be from
8 Benkovac or from that area.
9 A. I didn't see him often. I think he was a native of Benkovac or
10 that area. But he wasn't an active officer. He was an officer in
11 reserve. While he was serving in the army, he had been assigned a rank.
12 This was in peacetime, but he was not a military man. He did not go to
13 the Military Academy
14 completed the service, he was assigned a rank.
15 Some people would be assigned a rank of corporal or captain, some
16 were reserve officers, some served in the police. That was my case. So,
17 while we were still one country, Yugoslavia, my military duty was in the
18 event of war. It was to be with the police. This would have been so had
19 we remained as one country. So, once you have completed your military
20 service, you're assigned a military -- military duty or military
21 assignment in the event of war.
22 Q. Okay. Well, I will put it to you, sir, that Mr. Maricic, who you
23 have said was your commander at your level, his commander at the level of
24 the brigade was Mirko Uzelac, and what I'm showing you now is the report
25 that Uzelac, Lieutenant-Colonel Uzelac, filed with the RSK Main Staff on
1 the 25th of August, 1995, reporting on everything that happened during
2 Operation Storm.
3 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to page 3 in the English version
4 of this document, please.
5 Q. Towards the middle of the page, for the 4th of August, it says:
6 "At 1830, I received an order from the superordinate command to come to
7 the KM," which I believe is "komando mesto" or command post, "of the GS,"
8 which I believe is Main Staff, "for a meeting at 2000 hours on 4
9 August 1995."
10 Then a few entries below -- two entries beneath that, it says:
11 "At 1900, we receive an instruction from the authorities, that it is
12 necessary to do an evacuation of the civilian population. We transfer
13 the order to the persons in charge of evacuation."
14 Now, is it possible, sir, that when you were talking about
15 Commander Maricic passing down information that you should withdraw, that
16 the time was somewhere around 1900 hours on the 4th?
17 Mr. Gusa, I don't think it's in the document in front of you.
18 It's on the screen in front of you.
19 My question is, sir: Is it possible that your commander,
20 Maricic, passed the order to withdraw sometime around 1900 hours on the
21 4th of August?
22 A. I would say that it was around 6.30 to 7.00. He was, indeed, in
23 the village at that time, and he remained there until everyone withdrew.
24 He said that there was no reason to remain there, that we should leave,
25 and that's it.
1 Q. Now, the next entry talks about the meeting at 2000 with
2 General Mrksic in the Main Staff in Knin, and there's a sentence that
3 begins: "He," meaning Mrksic, "orders that the area of responsibility of
4 the Corps ..."
5 MR. MISETIC: If we can go to the next page in English.
6 Q. "... is reduced and the areas of responsibility of brigades are
7 reduced, and that the general situation is borne in mind. I reacted and
8 warned the commander that the 92nd Motorised Brigade was holding its
9 positions firmly. There has been fighting, but there have not been any
10 successes by the Ustashas in my area."
11 My question is: Up in the area of Gornji Zemunik and the area of
12 the 92nd Motorised Brigade of Benkovac, was Lieutenant-Colonel Uzelac
13 correct when he wrote that "as of 2000 hours on the 4th of August, that
14 the Croatian army had not had any successes in that area," as far as you
16 A. Well, this is something that was known around 5.00 or so, as I
17 said. When it got dark, they had already entered our village, the
18 Croatian army. So I can repeat that as soon as they entered, they
19 started setting houses on fire, and that's true until this day. That is
20 the image. That's what they did. There were -- they destroyed
21 everything, and it remains as it is today. So I think this will serve
22 them well for tourist purposes, so tourists can see what they've done.
23 Q. Let's go down towards the bottom of that page in English, at the
24 entry for 2300 hours: "By 2300 on 4 August, according to the reports of
25 the subordinates, we had one person killed and four wounded. All lines
1 are stable."
2 Then at 2400: "Commander of the 3rd PBR, Djurica, called me to
3 tell me that he was withdrawing to a reserve line just outside Benkovac.
4 "I did not authorise any withdrawal until the last of the
5 civilians was pulled out."
6 Now, were you allowed to withdraw from Zemunik Gornji before all
7 the civilians had been withdrawn?
8 A. I could have left earlier had I wanted to. No one was stopping
9 me, but I went to gather some -- collect some food. I thought maybe we
10 would remain in Benkovac, that it wouldn't -- that we wouldn't just be
11 expelled. That's it.
12 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to the next page, please.
13 Q. "At 2.15, I ordered the units to prepare for withdrawal to the
14 reserve line, ordered for all the materials to be collected, for the
15 technical equipment to be checked, and for the personnel to be held under
16 strict command."
17 If we go down to the entry at T-600: "T-600 Ustashas fire at
18 Benkovac and the area of responsibility of the brigade. Since all the
19 units of the 3rd PBR
20 withdrawal of the units on direction of Debelo Brdo-Bukovici Gaj, village
21 of Bruska."
22 Then if you go underneath the round stamp, Military Archives,
24 in Bukovic, Bruska, Medvedje direction.
25 Now, in your statement, sir, you mention that you arrived -- let
1 me get it. In your 1997 statement at paragraph 9, you say you travelled
2 to Bukovic: "When I arrived there at 0300 hours on 5 August, I found
3 that my family was not there."
4 Commander Uzelac here says that, at 2.15, he ordered the
5 withdrawal, and beneath that he says, the withdrawal of the units was
6 ordered on the direction Debelo Brdo-Bukovic Gaj, village of Bruska
7 Did you, in fact, go to Bukovic because you were told by your
8 commanding officer to go to the withdrawal line which had been moved to
10 A. I really can't recall that.
11 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Perhaps could I again put this question to you. Did you go to
14 Bukovic just on your own initiative, in order to find your family there;
15 or were you ordered to withdraw by your superior in the direction of
16 Bukovic? Which of the two, if any?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was of my own will. I decided
18 to that on my own. I didn't even see anyone, nor did anyone tell me
19 anything. I just decided this on my own. I went there, I couldn't find
20 them. They had already been left, they had been taken to the right
22 JUDGE ORIE: And you went there not in the company of other
23 members of your unit, or were they with you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I was on my own. I was
25 independent. I went there, I met this man, Urnjak, and that's all. We
1 spent the night there. As I repeat, as soon as we got up, we saw the
2 Ustashas. What else were we to do? We just fled.
3 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, if I could just tender that into
4 evidence before the break and also to advise the Court that all documents
5 are now in e-court so you can view them.
6 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D828.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I will ask already Madam Usher to escort the witness
10 out of the courtroom.
11 Mr. Gusa, we'll have a break, and we'd like to see you back in
12 approximately half an hour. Would you please follow Madam Usher?
13 THE WITNESS: Okay. Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could I get an indication from the parties on the
16 time they would need for further cross-examination.
17 MR. MISETIC: I have about no more than an hour and a half, Your
18 Honour, probably less.
19 JUDGE ORIE: No more than an hour and a half.
20 MR. MISETIC: I would say less, maybe an hour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: That will take us to 12.00.
22 Yes, Mr. Kay.
23 MR. KAY: I have no questions, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic.
25 MR. MIKULICIC: It depends, of course, on the progress of
1 Mr. Misetic's examination, but I would have no more than 30 minutes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. That gives us an indication. So
3 altogether, two hours to go.
4 We will have a break and we will resume at 11.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, please proceed.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour. Just to advise the Court,
10 we just received a video that I'd like to play. We've disclosed it to
11 the Prosecution. It is a video from the village of Zemunik Gornji
12 prior to Operation Storm. It is undated at this point, but I will
13 further to see if I can get a firm date on it. I would like to put it to
14 the witness on some matters therein.
15 JUDGE ORIE: This came in, I do understand, Mr. Du-Toit, that
16 there is no objection against it.
17 MR. DU-TOIT: We haven't seen it yet, but I take his word, Your
19 MR. MISETIC: No sound is required by this video, Your Honour, by
20 us, but we're disclosing it with sound to the Prosecution.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And we put the sound low so that the
22 interpreters will not be in any problem.
23 MR. MISETIC: Yes, that's fine.
24 Q. Mr. Gusa, I'd like to now is show you a video from a show a show
25 emitted on RSK television before Operation Storm. It is from a video
1 about the village of Zemunik Gornji. And I'd like to show you a clip,
2 see if you recognise the village, and then ask you a few questions after
3 we've watched about a minute of this video.
4 The clip will start at approximately the six-minute mark and will
5 go to approximately the seven-minute mark in the video.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. MISETIC:
8 Q. Mr. Gusa, do you recognise that -- these locations?
9 A. Yes, more or less.
10 Q. Now, did you see the -- where the person launched what appeared
11 to be a rocket from a hand-held rocket launcher?
12 A. Yes, I did, but I'm not quite sure where this could be. I think
13 it was in Goles.
14 Q. Goles is a hamlet of Zemunik Gornji?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. That location where you saw the explosion at the end, was that
17 the -- where the Croatian positions were?
18 A. No.
19 Q. What was on the other side there?
20 A. I think the houses of Razici [phoen], the Croatian village, and I
21 recognised only one soldier from Donji Zemunik. His name was Lavonja
22 [phoen]. We used to call him Gare. I don't know his real name. We used
23 to call him Gare. Now I can see him. He is from Donji Zemunik.
24 Q. This is the location I'm interested in. Do you know what that is
25 right there?
1 A. Honestly, I don't know, I couldn't tell you.
2 MR. MISETIC: The location I am referring to, just for the
3 record, is at the 6 minute 20 second mark on the video.
4 Your Honour, I'm going to tender video 1D47-0094, just the clip;
5 however, I think it is probably best if we MFI for now because the
6 Prosecution may wish to show more portions of the video.
7 MR. HEDARALY: That is correct, Your Honour. As to the date, I
8 don't know whether there any information about the date and when it was
10 MR. MISETIC: I will certainly look into that, Your Honour. If
11 we have a date, I will provide it.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The clip has been uploaded under this number?
13 MR. MISETIC: It will be, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: It will be uploaded and then the entirety of the
15 video, you said, I think, it is probably best if we -- oh, you say the
16 clip to be MFI
17 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D829,
20 marked for identification.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And it keeps that status for the time being.
22 Could I ask one additional question to the witness in relation to
23 this video.
24 Witness, you said that apparently the hand-held rocket was fired
25 in the direction of Razici. Is that he houses of Razici, is that well
1 understood, and that Razici was a Croatian village?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not Razici, rather Drazici. I'm
3 sorry. This is -- this was a Croatian hamlet. Actually, it was a mixed
4 place. There were people also with surname Gusa, and there were actually
5 three or four Serbian households and they were surrounded by the Croat
6 villages, Drazici, Rogici, Buljuci. Those were Croatian villages, and
7 the place is called Goles.
8 JUDGE ORIE: That was the place from where it was fired. Is that
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And could I ask you, the villages that you just
12 mentioned, the Croatian villages and the mixed villages, were they in the
13 territory controlled by the Republic of Serbian Krajina, or were they on
14 the territory controlled by the Croatian forces at that time?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These villages were under the
16 control of the Serbian army, of Republika Srpska.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Which then means that the rocket was fired within
18 the territory controlled by the with RSK. Is that correctly understood?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 If we could go back to D827, please. Now, if we can go to
23 page 5, page 5 in the English.
24 Q. And, sir, this is page 4 in the version that you have.
25 Now, this is, again, the Official Note of the interview that you
1 gave to the Croatian police in Zadar. Here, at the top of the page, it
2 says: "Rajko discarded his automatic rifle by the house where they had
3 their position. He changed into other clothes and took some food, and,
4 on a tandem, set out to Bukovic, where he expected to find his wife and
6 Do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Where it says that you set out on a tandem for Bukovic,
9 who were you with?
10 A. I was by myself and my dog.
11 Q. Okay. Now, why did you change out of your uniform?
12 A. Huh?
13 Q. Why did you take your uniform off.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't understand the answer.
15 MR. MISETIC:
16 Q. The interpreters didn't understand your answer. Could you
17 repeat, why did you take your uniform off?
18 A. In order not to be caught. That would have made things even
19 worse. But it depended into whom I would run. There were good people
20 and there were evil people on both sides, and it depended on who I would
21 be caught by.
22 Q. Okay. Now, in the middle of this paragraph, you see where the
23 name "Subotic Jovo" is in all capital letters?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. It says you were taking a rest: "Subotic Jovo from Ervenik came
1 across them, and he explained to them who was in the village, that the
2 village was surrounded, and that they could not go any where. After this
3 conversation, they decided to stay at his place, and Jovo approved it."
4 It says: "In the day-time, they hid in the forest; and at night,
5 they came to eat something. Jovo's father, Todor; his mother, Marta; and
6 minor son, Damir, lived with Jovo in that house. They remained living
7 there all until 4 October 1995
8 Sibenik, reported them to the police."
9 Now, your statement says that a friend in the police assisted you
10 or advised you to turn yourself in. Here, in your statement to the
11 Croatian police, you say that Jovo -- I'm sorry, that Todor and Marta's
12 other son, Bozo, reported you to the police. That's correct, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Now, you also know that Bozo was, at that time, a member of the
15 113th Brigade of the Croatian army. Correct?
16 A. I'm not sure whether he was that. He was the whole war on their
17 side in Sibenik. Actually, he was an active duty policeman before, and
18 this Jovo -- no, Bozo and this Ivica were good friends. I think he was
19 from the surrounding of Drnis, but he was extremely fair, and he acted
21 They gave us food and drink and cigarettes. They gave us
22 clothes, everything. When they took us to Knin, they gave us the full
23 bag of clothes; they gave us some kuna, their currency; and the
24 cigarettes, but we were advised not to tell who had given this to us.
25 That was it.
1 Q. So, while you were staying at the home of Marta and Todor, my
2 question is: Were you aware that they had a son who was a member of the
3 Croatian army?
4 A. They said that their son, Bozo, was in Sibenik and that another
5 one was in Male Losin [phoen]. They were on the Croatian side. I don't
6 know what the other brother's name was. He somehow learned, I guess
7 through Belgrade
8 including his brother Jovo and the little Damir, a 12-year-old boy. He
9 cam after two months to visit them.
10 When they came, I was watching all this from the forest. Maybe I
11 was 20 metres away when they entered the house. I was hiding behind a
12 bush. His mother was crying and they were trying to console her, and I
13 heard their conversation. He asked about his brother Bozo, and they said
14 he is somewhere in the forest, as well as Damir. Then he asked, "Is
15 there anyone else with him," and he answered there were two strange men.
16 Then the policeman wanted to know how we had come there, whether
17 we were in uniform, or if we had weapons. She told him that we came just
18 in shorts and T-shirts without any clothes, that they we had just a
19 little food with us, and that we didn't have any uniforms or weapons.
20 Then Ivica told her -- actually asked her, if she knew where we were in
21 the forest, if she could go and find us. He told her to go and look for
22 us and to tell us that we shouldn't be scared.
23 This elderly woman, who was half paralysed and was walking with a
24 stick, came to us and told us Jovica and three and four men in uniform,
25 carrying large guns, had come to the house, but they said you are free to
2 What else could I do? It was freezing cold and I said that would
3 be the best way to do and let's see what happens. They would catch us
4 any way sometime, and it was better if we gave ourselves up. If the
5 forest keepers stumbled upon us, they might rob us.
6 Jovo was afraid, Slavko actually was afraid, but I said, "I'm
7 going. I'm brave enough." Little Damir went with me. We stood for a
8 while in the courtyard. They were sitting under a walnut tree. I saw
9 that these uniformed men with guns, but they told me, "There's nothing
10 for you to be afraid of. We are not wolfs."
11 Jovica got angry --
12 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He through his gun away --
14 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
15 Is this how you surrendered?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They were really fair and
17 correct. They said, "Don't be afraid. We are not animals. We are not
18 killing people as you think." They brought them roast meet and beer and
19 wine and cigarettes and gave us everything. Only after an hour, Jovo and
20 Slavko joined us, and we sat there talking. They asked us where we came
21 from. They wanted to know the exact details.
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Slavko had documents with him. I
24 didn't have any.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, if Mr. Misetic needs further details on
1 how exactly the surrender took place, he will ask you. Please listen to
2 his next question.
3 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D47-0052, please.
4 Q. This is a note, Mr. Gusa, internal, in the 113th Brigade,
5 Sibenik. The first two pages are a cover letter from the commander of
6 that brigade, reporting on, first, to the department for legal affairs of
7 the Split
8 Bozo [Realtime transcript read in error "Jovo"] Subotic.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to page 3, please.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Just to avoid that we had a problem, I heard you
11 saying "Bozo" Subotic.
12 MR. MISETIC: Bozo.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, in the transcript, it appears as "Jovo." That
14 might create quite a bit of confusion.
15 So it was "Bozo" that you were referring to.
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes. And it's one more page in, in the Croatian
17 version. Okay.
18 Q. This is now the disciplinary measure, it's the 26th of August,
19 1995. It says: "30-day military detention to reserve soldier Bozo
20 Subotic, son of Todor, born 15 January, 1953
21 component of the Logistics Platoon of the 1st Infantry Battalion of the
22 113th Infantry Brigade of the HV, due to having breached military
24 Statement of reasons: "On 19 August 1995, the said serviceman,
25 during the execution of tasks in a warehouse, took a pistol from the
1 technical clerk and refused to admit to the said crime. After having
2 processed the said serviceman, he admitted to taking the pistol," and
3 then discipline is imposed.
4 Then in some of the other exhibits in this document is referred
5 to the military police.
6 Now, this Bozo Subotic, son of Todor, is, in fact, the Bozo
7 Subotic that you encountered in October of that same year who turned you
8 into the police. Isn't that correct?
9 A. I don't know if he was in detention, but I did see him. He came
10 there, he knew that Slavko and I were there, and they sent this old woman
11 if we wanted to give up. That's how it was. We would be safe as long as
12 we were under his control.
13 Q. Okay.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. President, I tender that exhibit into evidence,
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Du-Toit.
17 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No objection.
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D830.
21 JUDGE ORIE: D830 is admitted into evidence.
22 Could I ask you one additional question. This Bozo Subotic, what
23 age he ap.
24 Proximately was? Same as your age, older, younger? Could you.
25 .tell me? This Bozo, was he --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was my age.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Mr. Gusa, now, you talk in your statement about livestock that
6 was being taken away from the Subotic house. My first question is: Do
7 you have any idea how that livestock got to the Subotic house in the
8 first place?
9 A. It was their livestock, and this must have been in the afternoon.
10 They were grazing in Gare in Avli in the garden, and two or three men
11 came and asked, and I was nearby. I was in the woods. I could just hear
12 a noise. I heard these people coming. They were bringing coffee to the
13 old woman. These were actually the looters.
14 So they asked the old man, "Could you give us five or six of the
15 livestock." And he said, "Sure go ahead." Then the other guy said, "No,
16 no, no. Get them all." So they took them all away. They took the sheep
17 away and some goats, about 140 goats, about 40 sheep, and a cow and a
18 calf, and there was a sow. I guess they didn't want to take the sow with
19 them, a pig.
20 And when they started taking away the calf and the cow, the woman
21 started yelling at them, and this other man -- there was a third man who
22 was by the truck. He took a gun and he shot from about three metres away
23 from this woman. He shot his pistol, and this other guy said why he was
24 doing that. Fortunately, he didn't hit the woman, but the women -- but
25 the bullet ricochetted and it hit the women -- a chip off the door hit
1 the woman in the hand.
2 Then when they left, I came closer and I saw that the woman was
3 blooding. This old woman was bleeding and then I took this chip out of
4 their wound, and then we left for the woods. There were these people who
5 were looting, looting livestock and appliances, whatever they could find,
6 also firewood, hay, manure and so on. So that's it.
7 Q. Mr. Gusa, I'm asking you: Do you know if Bozo Subotic brought
8 that livestock to his parents' house, and do you know if Bozo Subotic was
9 one of the persons who then took the livestock away?
10 A. No, it wasn't him. It was a different group. He wasn't even at
11 home on that day, nor was his group there. This group of his, on the day
12 when they came to get us, Bozo wasn't there, only on the third day when
13 we said that we would surrender. He said, "No, you'd better hide, and we
14 will come and get you, and we'll ask our command and see whether it made
15 any point. Then we would take you to Sibenik or to Knin."
16 And, really, as they promised, they returned on the second or
17 third day. I think it was on a Saturday. They came and brought food and
18 drink and cigarettes, and they talked with us and then they told us that
19 they couldn't take us from there to Sibenik. They said that they had
20 been told that they should report us to Knin, but because it was
21 Saturday, they said they should put it off till Monday because there were
22 all sorts of people. They said, "there weren't any officers there or
23 people in authority, commanders. So maybe some of the men would beat
24 you. So it probably better that we come pick up on Monday and take you
25 there on Monday." Then they said, "Be ready around 6.00, but make sure
1 to hide until we come back and until the woman tells you that it is us."
2 That's how it transpired. It was really them. They came around
3 9.00. They cam in a truck, and on the truck, they had some 30 or 35
4 pigs, about 120 to 140 kilograms heavy each. So they loaded these pigs
5 on the trucks. They asked us to help them. We helped them do that.
6 Once they did that -- this took about two or three hours. We sat
7 under the walnut net tree, we ate and drank and smoked cigarettes. Then
8 they called Knin, and then some men came in two cars from Knin. Their
9 police came to get us. They came in two vehicles, one driver in each
11 I was in one vehicle and Slavko was in the other, and Bozo was --
12 no, no, I'm sorry. Bozo was left behind, but we were taken to Knin. And
13 on the way, the man who was the driver of my car, he told me -- he said,
14 "You want a cigarette? Here, you can light a cigarette."
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusa.
16 MR. MISETIC: Can I go back, Mr. Registrar, to D827, please.
17 Now, if we can go to page 6 of the English version of this. This
18 is page -- that's it.
19 Q. Now, at the paragraph there, it says: "He did not provide many
20 details in regard of the crimes against humanity and international
21 law ..." --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Which paragraph is that?
23 MR. MISETIC: It is the top in the English --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. MISETIC: -- and it is the three -- third paragraph in the
1 Croatian version.
2 Q. But you do -- you are reported as having said that: "He heard
3 that the attack had been executed by the former JNA and reservists from
4 the surrounding villages, and that among them were also several
5 inhabitants of Zemunik Gornji."
6 Then you also say: "What he knows and can state with certainty
7 is that Stevo Maricic killed Stura Bozo and Draginja and three females
8 with the family name Brkic, and that he later confessed to having killed
9 four other persons unknown to Rajko, who were probably from Skabrnja."
10 Now, Stevo Maricic, was he from Zemunik Gornji?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you are aware that a lot of the villagers in Zemunik Gornji
13 were involved in the killings and burnings and looting that took place
14 between 1991 and 1995. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In fact, in the next paragraph, it says: "He knows the names of
17 the persons who were, to the most extent, involved in the looting and
18 burning of the houses of Croat expellees, and he particularly highlighted
19 the following persons ..."
20 Now, if you look at, for example, the names here that you listed
21 is Erceg Slavko. It says: "This man is the living evil. He was burning
22 and looting in Zemunik Gornji."
23 He was burning and looting Croat houses in Zemunik Gornji.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Erceg Ljuban, you say: "According to Rajko's knowledge, he was
2 not mobilised, and throughout the time, he was engaged in selling stolen
4 Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Javor Drago: "Immediately before the beginning of the war, he
7 hauled up a truck-type Mercedes owned by the company PK Zadar, which he
8 later used to transport stolen items."
9 Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. MISETIC: If we turn the next page in English.
12 Q. At the entry for Erceg Slobodan, it says: "Hauled up tractors,
13 rotary cultivators, cars, and cattle, and sold it at very low prices.
14 "Concerning the plundering of property of the expelled Croats,
15 he said that a lot of property was transported to Bosnia and Serbia
16 even to Montenegro
17 probably used it to provide for themselves property somewhere in Serbia
18 in the case they had to flee Croatia
19 Do you recall telling that to the police in Zadar, sir?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You seem to have a lot of knowledge who of was doing the
22 plundering in the area. Is it fair to say that, by 1995, the homes of
23 Croats in the area that you had lived in were completely plundered?
24 A. Completely plundered, destroyed, and burnt down. Not one was
25 left standing, and I'm telling the truth.
1 Q. You understand that when some of these people who were expelled
2 came back and couldn't find their belongings, they then turned to your
3 neighbours, who were Serbs, and took things out of their homes. Is that
5 A. Well, they didn't do it in our place. But what could they take
6 when they had already -- they had burnt it -- the houses down
7 immediately. While they -- until they came back, they were in -- they
8 were refugees, they were my neighbours, they were good people.
9 And I'm sure that if they had come there, they wouldn't have
10 torched our houses. It was some other people, and I'm one million
11 per cent sure that these people, my neighbours, did not torch Serbian
12 homes; although, the entire village was turned to ashes. The neighbours,
13 they were very good people.
14 Q. Okay. Turning to another topic for a moment, Mr. Gusa, do you
15 know if Captain Dragan had a training camp in the Bukovic area?
16 A. I think this was not in Bukovic, as far as I know, but in Bruska.
17 Q. Is Bruska in the Bukovic area?
18 A. Well, I think they're in the same municipality, but it was
19 some -- it was not very close to Bukovic. There were both Serbs and
20 Croats in that village, but predominantly Croatian. But I never went to
21 that place, not during the war or before the war. I just have a general
22 idea where it was, because there were also people working with me who
23 were from Bruska, Croats.
24 Q. Okay.
25 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if could I have 1D47-0047, please,
1 page 1 in the Croatian -- sorry, page 2. I apologise.
2 Q. This is an intelligence analysis by the Croatian intelligence
3 services from the 9th of February, 1995.
4 If we scroll down in the Croatian to the second paragraph, it
5 says: "The 92nd Motorised Brigade is conducting the defence along the
6 line Novigradsko More-Pridraga-Paljuv-Drace-Zemunik Gornji.
7 MR. MISETIC: And if we go to page 4 in the Croatian version,
8 which --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, I think we still missed the second page
10 in English.
11 MR. MISETIC: No, I'm sorry, Your Honour. It is all one page.
12 We did just a very brief translation because we don't need the whole
13 document. It is the second paragraph --
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... yes, I see it.
15 MR. MISETIC: -- and then the fourth page will be to the fourth
16 page, which was relevant in this analysis.
17 Q. There, it says: "Redeployment of one armoured mechanized
18 company, ten T-55 tanks, and four BOV has been recorded from the Benkovac
19 barracks to the area of Bukovic Gaj, and one armed mechanized platoon,"
20 et cetera, et cetera.
21 Now, were there, in fact, armoured mechanized companies in
22 Bukovic on the eve of Operation Storm?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, could you please answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which question? Could you please
1 repeat it.
2 MR. MISETIC:
3 Q. Yes. Were there armoured mechanized units in Bukovic on the eve
4 of Operation Storm?
5 A. I don't know anything about that.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. I don't understand this, nor do I know anything about this.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, I asked that the exhibit be marked,
9 and I tender it into evidence.
10 MR. DU-TOIT: Your Honour, can we perhaps just scroll to the
11 B/C/S version. I didn't see any sort of signing of the document and
12 maybe if I can just have a look; otherwise, I have no objection.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, although you can do that in e-court,
14 Mr. Du-Toit.
15 The original document comes a bit as a surprise, Mr. Misetic.
16 It's indicated as being a four-page document and last page being page
17 number 4 -- or it goes until, on the bottom, we find last page 5.
18 It goes from 1 to 4 and then 5, which is --
19 MR. MISETIC: I'll check on that, Your Honour, during the next
20 break, and we'll see what the situation is. I'm not sure why that is
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The first page seems to be a cover page, then
23 we have page 1, then page 4, and then page 5.
24 MR. MISETIC: I'll take a look at that time.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then may I take it that, for the time being,
1 we marked for identification until we have heard from you.
2 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D831,
5 marked for identification.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And that is the status it keeps for the time being.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Mr. Registrar, may I have 1D47-0088, please.
10 Q. Mr. Gusa, this is now the approximate routes that you travelled,
11 according to your witness statement. That yellow line --
12 A. Yes, I can see.
13 Q. That yellow line, does that accurately depict where you travelled
14 and how you travelled?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. The -- if you look at Benkovac there, you see the white line that
17 goes down on the map and then goes to Kistanje, and then from Kistanje
18 continues on to Knin. That's the main --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... main road between -- from
21 Benkovac to Kistanje and on to Knin. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And I don't know if you'll know this, but the red line, is
24 approximately where the area of the main -- sorry, the main battle
25 position of the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina was on the 3rd of
1 August, 1995?
2 A. I don't know that these were the positions along this red line.
3 I don't know much about this.
4 Q. Well, in the upper left-hand corner, do you see Zemunik Gornji?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Does that accurately depict that the line went basically right
7 through Zemunik Gornji?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. MISETIC: Can we go to the next page on this --
10 JUDGE ORIE: If I zoom in, what does that mean, "going directly
12 MR. MISETIC: I'm not being --
13 JUDGE ORIE: No. But it looks as if some of the houses and
14 buildings are just a bit to the north. It's a bit unclear, but at least
15 it's close and that is in accordance with the testimony of the witness.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Now, this, on this one, we've put the approximate distances from
19 where you were. Zmistak is the location you said you were located, on to
20 Biovicino Selo, and then on to Kistanje. I think that is consistent with
21 what you say in your statement.
22 So from Zmistak, where you were, to Kistanje is about 13
23 kilometres as the crow flies. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, your testimony about what you saw in Kistanje, that was from
1 a distance of 13 kilometres, correct?
2 A. Well, I don't know if it was just 13 kilometres, but, yes, it was
3 rather far. Although, you could see things burning, especially at night.
4 When it was dark, you could see the glow of the fires. Because we were
5 on an elevate the position, we were watching this from a hill.
6 Q. And you also talk about having seen military -- soldiers and
7 trucks on the road from Benkovac to Kistanje.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So what you were able to see is cars on that road at a distance
10 of 13 kilometres and maybe more.
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask that this exhibit be marked,
13 and I tender it into evidence.
14 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D832, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: D832 is admitted into evidence.
18 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Mr. Registrar, if could I now have 1D47-0092, please.
20 Q. Now, this is Ervenik where you were located with all of its
21 hamlets. Do you recognise the hamlets -- the names of the hamlets of
23 A. Yes. Kistanje, Kolasac, Mudrino Selo, Biovicino Selo, Djevrska.
24 These are familiar to me. I know this area. Closer here, there's
25 Medvedje, Bruska, and so forth. It's all within this one general circle.
1 Q. Well, I am ask ing you about the -- you talk about houses burnt
2 in Ervenik. I'm asking whether you can identify in all of these hamlets
3 any -- any hamlets where houses were burnt?
4 A. In Ervenik, the hamlet of Subotici; and then Brekici, that's
5 another last name of a family; and in the centre of that hamlet was a
6 school building. All this had been burned and looted.
7 And also in Kistanje and in that area, it was totally torched,
8 and I think to this day nothing has been done to rebuild it. Some Croats
9 from Kosova, I think, or someplace like that, moved there and they live
10 in this neighbourhood of Kistanje and Djevrska, whatever hadn't been
11 burned down.
12 As for Knin, Knin wasn't destroyed or burned. That's where
13 Croats live now.
14 Q. Okay. Well, you've identified -- now we're talking about
15 Ervenik, sir. You have identified Subotici, and what was the other name
16 of the hamlet?
17 A. There was also the hamlet of Travica. There were some Croats
18 living there. As for Subotici and Brekici, these were villages in
19 Ervenik. They were neighbouring hamlets that had suffered the greatest
20 damage from burning, and I was in this area almost two months. That's
21 how long I spent in that area.
22 MR. MISETIC: Well, let's go to P66, Mr. Registrar -- well,
23 first, could I have this marked, and I tender it into evidence.
24 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D833.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. D833 is admitted into evidence.
3 Mr. Misetic, earlier, you said the witness had identified
4 Subotici. I see that there are some hamlets appearing twice.
5 MR. MISETIC: This is because the boxes are the grids, and so
6 Subotici actually extends out into both of those places.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Not to say that they are separate.
8 MR. MISETIC: No --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then maybe one like Vujanici is linked. So that is
10 a bit confusing here. But you say the area of Subotici would cover both
11 of these.
12 MR. MISETIC: Correct. And Vujanici, yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 MR. MISETIC: If we could go to P66, Mr. Registrar, and it is
15 page 9 of P66.
16 Q. Mr. Gusa, we -- this is a chart prepared by the United Nations
17 Military Observers in October 1995. We've looked through this chart, and
18 for Ervenik and all of its hamlets, the only hamlet that mentions any
19 damage -- that is mentioned as having any damage is one that you have now
20 mentioned, Subotici.
21 MR. MISETIC: And if we could go to the English version of this,
22 please, on page 9. There it is.
23 Q. Subotici is eight entries down. And in October 1995, the UN
24 Military Observers recorded - and you can't see the top grid - but the
25 last two numbers. In Subotici, there was one house that was totally
1 destroyed and four that were partially destroyed.
2 Is that consistent with your recollection of how much damage
3 there was in Subotici?
4 A. When I came, it was a little bit more than that. There was a
5 school, there were a few shops, and these were also burned.
6 Q. Well, do you know if those were shops that were burned before
7 Operation Storm or after Operation Storm?
8 A. After the Operation Storm of course, not before. This was on the
9 Serbian side before that. But when everything fell and when we were
10 cleansed, then they set fire to those shops.
11 Q. You earlier mentioned about how the homes of Croats in the
12 Gornji Zemunik area were totally destroyed. How many Croats lived in
13 Ervenik prior to -- or in 1991?
14 A. In Ervenik? There were not too many Croats in Ervenik, but in
15 the hamlet of Travica. And it is perhaps, I don't know, I would say
16 three to four
17 this is where Croats lived. But in Subotici, there were Gornji Subotici
18 and -- Gornji were called Tavani towards Mistanja [phoen]. And there
19 were no Croats there, as far as I know. Well, definitely there were no
20 Croats. But there were Croats in another hamlet, but fewer than the
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, may I ask you, the grid reference which
23 is given here, is that in any way corresponding with the squares, because
24 I find one grid reference here for Subotici; whereas, I found two squares
25 on your map.
1 MR. MISETIC: Correct. That is, as I -- I'll check it to make
2 sure, but it is my understanding that that is one of the grid squares,
3 and there's another grid because it bigger than the one kilometre by one
5 JUDGE ORIE: And does that other grid reference appear in this
6 list somewhere?
7 MR. MISETIC: No, no.
8 JUDGE ORIE: So it could be that the reporting was on one of the
9 squares; whereas, the village or the hamlet might have been --
10 MR. MISETIC: Bigger.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- wider.
12 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, may I now have 1D47-0071, please.
15 Q. This is now from the police administration Zadar. It talks about
16 the fact that you have been received on -- and this report is dated
17 10 October 1995
18 police arrest warrant issued for the same by the Zadar-Knin police
19 administration, dated 27 October 1993
20 on Punishable Acts of subversive and terrorist activity against the state
21 sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Croatia
22 Now, when you were brought in, were you advised that there had
23 been a warrant out for your arrest since 1993?
24 A. There was no warrant issued in my name in 1993. It can be
25 checked, if necessary. They had no reason to do that.
1 Q. Well, do you understand that by acting as a guard for the
2 authorities of the Republic of Serbian Krajina, you were committing a
3 crime against the Croatian state?
4 A. Well, it wasn't -- well, we had to guard ourselves, protect
6 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I ask that this exhibit be marked, and
7 I tender it into evidence.
8 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit number D834, Your Honours.
11 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I may have 1D47 -- yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could I? I'm just trying to fully under the
14 Witness, do you know, in the Subotici you are talking about, how
15 many Serb families were living in that village?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a big village, but I cannot
17 tell exactly how many households there were.
18 JUDGE ORIE: But do you know whether there was more than one
19 Serbian household?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yeah, of course, there was. There
21 were several of them.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Misetic, it may be clear why I'm asking this
23 question because I'm trying to read the data on the population on the
24 left: "Destroyed houses, 1, 2, 4."
25 I'm just trying to fully understand whether we are talking about
1 exactly the same as the witness is talking about Subotici and what we
2 find under Subotici on this list. Then I see that, of course, it's the
3 population left.
4 Could I ask you, the houses you saw being destroyed, were these,
5 to your knowledge, Serb houses, Croatian houses?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Serbian houses.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And how many did you see being destroyed?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, nearly all of them.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And how many were all of them?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At least 80 percent, 80 percent.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But 80 per cent, would that be five houses,
12 ten houses, 40 houses, 100 houses? How many approximately I have to
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, many houses were destroyed.
15 I saw myself at least 100 houses. I had time enough and I was wandering
16 around and I was also trying to save myself, and that's why I was hiding
17 in the wood.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If you are talking about 100 houses, is that
19 Subotici or a wider area.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The wider area --
21 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- including the mixed ones like
23 the village of Travici
24 bit further away, but I saw them setting it on fire, and this was where
25 the Croats and Serbs.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If we were to limit ourselves to Subotici, what
2 would be the number of house you say you saw being destroyed?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, where I was, there was not a
4 single habitable house, and there were quite a few of them, 20, 30, in
5 the centre itself.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
8 MR. MISETIC: Mr. Registrar, if I could have 1D47-0079, please.
9 Your Honour, I'm reading the transcript. I'm not sure whether
10 the reference was to 147 -- you had mentioned Subotici and a reference to
11 147 houses destroyed?
12 JUDGE ORIE: No, I think, as a matter of fact, I was reading
13 column 1, column 2, column 4. I think that is where I may have said, "1,
14 2, 4."
15 MR. MISETIC: I see.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I was just -- you see it goes so quickly. We read
17 the lines and then you refer to something, so then I have to go to the
18 first page to find out exactly what the columns are. I think, as a
19 matter of fact, I would not have given any number here.
20 But it could also be that I referred to where you said "one" and
21 "four" because you said there was one house destroyed and you said four
22 were damaged. I was just, as I said before, I'm trying to read the data
23 on the population on the left, destroyed houses. So whether I then
24 referred to 1 in the third column and 4 in the fourth column, or whether
25 I said I'm trying to read 1, 2, 4, I'm not certain about that.
1 MR. MISETIC: I understand now. That's where the confusion came
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I apologise.
4 MR. MISETIC:
5 Q. Now, Mr. Gusa, this is taken from a newspaper article. I'm not
6 so much interested in the newspaper article as I am in the attachment,
7 which purports to be a list of persons discharged from criminal
8 authorities due to the implementation of the general amnesty act.
9 MR. MISETIC: If we could scroll down and go to next page at --
10 at number 55, next page, please.
11 Q. At number 55, it appears to be you as one of the people who
12 benefitted from the passage of the general amnesty act by the Republic of
14 Were you aware, at the time of your release in October of 1996,
15 that you were being released pursuant to the amnesty law that had been
16 recently passed by the Croatian parliament?
17 A. I didn't know anything until the day that I was released. I had
18 known -- had not known anything. I was only expected to be released and
19 not to be executed because we were registered with the United Nations.
20 And unless you are registered by the United Nations, they can kill you at
21 will, like an animal. Pardon my language. All things were happen.
22 Q. After you were released, did you come to learn that you were
23 released because of an amnesty law that had been passed?
24 A. Naturally.
25 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'd ask that this exhibit be marked,
1 and I tender it into evidence.
2 MR. DU-TOIT: No objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this becomes Exhibit number D835.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D835 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. MISETIC:
7 Q. Mr. Gusa, in your 1997 statement, you say you will -- you can be
8 contacted through the organisation Veritas.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What is your contact with the organisation Veritas? Can you
11 describe it for us?
12 A. Yes, I can. Savo Strbac, a lawyer, worked for Veritas. He has
13 been to Australia
14 lawyer, and he works for Veritas. That's how I was brought to The Hague
15 Tribunal office in Belgrade
16 there for two days. I was questioned for two days, all day long.
17 Q. How did Mr. Strbac know what you could testify about?
18 A. Well, he is conducting this whole proceedings relating to the
19 missing people. That's his job. And when we came from Croatia when we
20 were freed, he met us in Belgrade
21 think it is on 24 Francisko Street, the fifth floor. That's in Belgrade
22 It's very close to the Australian embassy.
23 Q. And when you had this meeting upon your release from prison, what
24 did you talk about with Mr. Strbac?
25 A. We talked about all sorts of things, but mostly how I was treated
1 in prison. That was the main topic. He asked me if I was willing to
2 make a statement and that the UN -- actually, The Hague wanted to talk to
3 me in Belgrade
4 At that time, I was with my children in Prizren in Kosova. He
5 called me by phone at 9.00 in the evening one day, and I said, "I cannot
6 make it tomorrow. There is no bus service." Then I said, "I can come
7 the day after tomorrow."
8 I got up in the morning, I went to Belgrade, and when I arrived
9 there, I went to my sister's place 50 kilometres from Belgrade. I called
10 Mr. Strbac to tell him that I had arrived, and he asked me if I could
11 come on a certain date to his office. I said "yes" and I went there. I
12 met there with him and another co-worker of his.
13 He said, "You wait here and a driver will come shortly to take to
14 you New Belgrade where judges from The Hague will meet you, and there
15 will be two interpreters as well."
16 They kept me there for two days, and they questioned me. I had a
17 driver at my disposal, and I was booked in a hotel. We sent the whole
18 day together. We had lunches together. The judges and the interpreters,
19 we all had lunches together.
20 That would be all.
21 Q. And before coming --
22 MR. DU-TOIT: I'm sorry to interrupt at this stage. Maybe just
23 with regard to the address that was here given by the witness, at page
24 63, line 24, can I maybe just have -- get some time instructions on that?
25 Maybe we may need to redact that, but I just need to get in contact with
1 the relevant person. I cannot make the decision on the spot now, please.
2 I'm sorry for that.
3 JUDGE ORIE: That apparently is -- let me just have a look.
4 The address you mentioned in Belgrade, is that an office address
5 or is it the place where someone lives?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's Veritas address. Their
7 office is in Belgrade
8 the fifth floor. I think this is some kind of government institution.
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
10 MR. DU-TOIT: That solves the problem.
11 JUDGE ORIE: If this is the Veritas premises, then I think there
12 is no need to follow your suggestion.
13 MR. DU-TOIT: I agree. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
15 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. And you met with Mr. Strbac before coming here to testify?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Did you speak to him?
19 A. No.
20 Q. When was the last time you spoke to Mr. Strbac?
21 A. About a year ago when he came to Australia. We were in what they
22 called the Serbian club because every nation there have their own club,
23 and that's where we met. I think he stayed for about a month.
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
25 A. We had contacts, and we got together.
1 Q. And in these contacts in Australia a year ago, what would you
2 talk about?
3 A. Well, nothing political and these things. Just ask me how I was
4 and stuff. We didn't talk about this particularly.
5 Q. Well, you must have talked about the fact that you might be
6 testifying in this case. Correct?
7 A. He did ask me, for example, "Would you like to testify if you are
8 asked to go to The Hague
9 Q. And in the course after that conversation, he talked about how
10 the Prosecution needed some witnesses to testify about shelling.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And Mr. Strbac said he need some witnesses to talk about shelling
14 of civilian areas. Correct?
15 A. Well, Strbac wanted to have as many witnesses as possible; and
16 just like the people from The Hague
17 That's what he wanted, especially as to who had been in prison. He
18 telephoned anyone he knew. We talked together, we spoke on the phone --
19 Q. My question is specifically: You had a conversation with him
20 where he told you that it was important to testify about shelling of
21 civilian areas, so that he could prove that the Serbs had been ethnically
22 cleansed, correct?
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's five things in one, Mr. Misetic. I am aware
24 of the usual practice in cross-examination. I'd like to check.
25 When you talked to Mr. Strbac, did he say, "I want you to testify
1 about shelling, or about being ill-treated in prison, or whether you had
2 been a soldier"? Did he identify what he thought you could testify about
3 in The Hague
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he wanted me to tell the
5 truth about the shelling and my experience from the prison, and to tell
6 how things really happened. That applied to both sides, the Serbian and
7 the Croatian side: "You should say what you know about; and what you
8 don't know about, you should keep quiet about."
9 JUDGE ORIE: Did he say that he also wanted you to testify about
10 you having been in the armed forces?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He never said that, not that.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Did he specifically mention shelling as one of the
13 subjects on which you could testify?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, he did.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did he say just shelling or did he say more shelling
16 of --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, he said the shelling, the
18 burning, things like that, and the people who died. Unfortunately, many
19 were killed. Thirty-two of my neighbours were killed, and as many were
20 wounded and are disabled now, and 32 of them dead, all of them young
22 JUDGE ORIE: So when he talked to you about shelling, did he
23 specifically talk about shelling of houses where people would live?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Was there any subject on which he said you should
1 not testify about this or that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, nothing of the sort.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Misetic --
4 Yes, is there anything further?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The only thing he said to me, "Tell
6 the truth what of saw happened; and what you know nothing about, don't
7 mention it." That's what he told me.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Misetic.
9 MR. MISETIC:
10 Q. Did he also tell you that you shouldn't talk about your military
12 A. No, he didn't mention that at all.
13 Q. Some of the things you mentioned today, such as what happened in
14 Kistanje afterwards, that it hadn't been rebuilt, et cetera, is that
15 information that you got from Mr. Strbac?
16 A. No. This is information I heard from people who went to visit
17 the place where they were born, and these are the people who live in
19 The Croats are now living in the houses that were liveable, and the rest
20 were demolished and burned.
21 Q. My last question is: Was Mr. Strbac in Australia in order to
22 assist in fund-raising for Captain Dragan's defence?
23 A. Well, I wouldn't know about that. All I know is that money had
24 been raised for defence by Captain Dragan. I was also asked to
25 contribute, especially we, the Serbs, were asked to make a donation for
1 Captain Dragan's defences. It is true that money was raised there, but I
2 myself didn't give a single cent because I couldn't afford that. First,
3 my wife died, then I spent 25.000 dollars for the funeral.
4 And even if I had, I wouldn't give money. Anyone who is guilty
5 should be held responsible. This is what I think.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gusa.
7 MR. MISETIC: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that, Mr. Misetic.
9 We will first take a break. May I take it that we can conclude
10 with the witness today, Mr. Mikulicic?
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour, I probably will have not more
12 than 15 minutes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then we will conclude today.
14 We will have a break and we will resume a bit later than usual.
15 We will resume at 1.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, are you ready?
19 MR. MIKULICIC: I am, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, you will now be cross-examined by
21 Mr. Mikulicic, and Mr. Mikulicic is counsel for Mr. Markac.
22 Please proceed.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Mikulicic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Gusa.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. You were born and you spent, in fact, your entire life, until you
2 emigrated to Australia
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Tell us, please, what major military installation was in the
5 vicinity of your village? I mean the airstrip Zemunik.
6 A. There wasn't a lot of army, a lot of military there.
7 Q. And the military and the air base Zemunik, how far was it?
8 A. Well, the airport was about six kilometres away.
9 Q. Tell us, please, before the events of 1995, this airstrip was
10 held by the army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Correct?
11 A. They held it until 1992, the Serbian army, until January 22nd,
12 1993; and then it was taken over by the -- by the Croatian army.
13 Q. And in its vicinity was the separation line, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Gusa, you mentioned, during your testimony, that the family
16 name "Gusa" was rather common in this area. Could you tell us what
17 hamlet was -- what was the name of the hamlet where the Gusa family
19 A. Well, we were the Gusa hamlet, and then about 100 metres away was
20 Goles hamlet. Then next to them were Croats. Now the Croats were named
21 Dragic, Rogic, and Buljot. They were good people.
22 Q. You know most of the extended Gusa family, right?
23 A. Yes. We met every day. We used the same bus to get to work.
24 Q. All right. Now, do you know Radojka Gusa who was born in 1952?
25 A. Yes. She is from Tinj, from Tinski Lisani [phoen]. She ws
1 married to a cousin of mine, also a Gusa. This was a couple of hundred
2 metres from my home. That's where their house was.
3 Q. Is it correct that she was an active member of the army of the
4 Republic of Serbian
5 A. Well, I can lay down my life, I can bet on it that it's not true.
6 She had three children. Her husband died, not during the war but before
7 the war, in a car accident. She was in the car with him, but she did --
8 she was not killed. She did not have a uniform, and she had nothing to
9 do with the army.
10 Q. And her son, Sinisa Gusa?
11 A. He is mentally ill.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, once a question has been put to you, could
13 you just make a little pause before answering it.
14 And, Mr. Mikulicic, if the witness would forget, you might
15 compensate for that.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I will do so.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gusa, tell us, please, did you socialise,
18 did you meet Radojka Gusa occasionally?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Before 1991, how many Croatian families lived in your village,
22 A. You mean in my village?
23 Q. Well, in your village and in the general area.
24 A. In Gornji Zemunik, there -- about 30 per cent of the inhabitants
25 were Croat and 70 per cent were Serbs. As for the area on the border
1 with Skabrnja, those hamlets were mostly inhabited by Croats. They were
2 all Croats. Skabrnja was in the Zadar municipality, and the majority of
3 the population there was Croat.
4 Q. Did you know Jela Prendza, a Croat woman from your village?
5 A. Jela Prendza, yes.
6 Q. Is it true that in March, approximately in March of 1993 --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 1992.
8 Q. -- you went to her house, together with Radojka Gusa and Mile
9 Graca, and told her to move out?
10 A. No, not me, nor Radojka. That is not true. And if they can
11 prove it, let them prove it; but I bet on my life, I vouch with my life,
12 that that's not true.
13 Q. All right. You had another neighbour by the name of Ante Stura.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This was a man who hit you with a can, a jerrycan, and knocked
17 out your teeth while you were in Zadar in the prison?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Why did he do that?
20 A. Because I was a Serb. Simply put, that's what it was.
21 Q. Did he move out of Zemunik together with -- as well as Ms. Preca
22 [as interpreted]?
23 A. He was from Zemunik, from the same place where I was from. We
24 grew up together, and we used the same bus to go to work in Zadar.
25 Q. Do you know who forced him out of Zemunik?
1 A. I don't know that. When they captured -- this was during
2 the JNA. They were the ones who captured this village. They called them
3 Istok. They took up -- they captured the Prenca, Vlastovici, Zemunik,
4 Stura, Sestani, Viskovici, Bakarici, Zupane, and Skabrnja.
5 All these were inhabited by Croats. They were neighbouring
6 villages, neighbouring to Gornji Zemunik. In Gornji Zemunik, there were
7 both Serbs and Croats. It was a rather large village, a big village,
8 about nine kilometres long.
9 Q. And all these Croats had to leave their homes?
10 A. Yes, that's true, and all their houses were destroyed,
11 practically all.
12 Q. Let us now go back to the time that you are in hiding in the
13 woods, those two months.
14 Tell us, while you were hiding in the woods, did you meet any
15 other people who were also hiding in the woods?
16 A. Well, I was with this man Slavko Rnjak. Unfortunately, he died
17 in Belgrade
18 well; as his grandparents, an old man and woman. They were 74 and 71
19 years old, and they lived there. They were there.
20 Also those Croats who looted that cattle and stuff, well, we
21 would come and eat at their house, and then we would go back to the woods
22 so sleep there. We didn't sleep in the house because we would be
23 discovered and then they would kill us.
24 That's basically it.
25 Q. Tell us, please, who did you get clothes from?
1 A. Well, when we needed clothes, we would go to the houses, our
2 houses that had been deserted, and then I would take whatever I could
3 find and put it on. That's how we lived then. There was a lot of
4 clothes left behind.
5 Q. And then?
6 A. Well, then I would change in those other clothes because there
7 was an abundance of clothes.
8 Q. After you surrendered, you were in the Split prison, and then you
9 were pardoned and released and you left for Belgrade where you were met
10 by Savo Strbac. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. From Belgrade
13 A. True. That's correct.
14 Q. Who sent you to Prizren in Kosova?
15 A. Well, the people from Belgrade
16 there, three little children, and my late wife. Unfortunately, she died
17 last January. These people from Belgrade
18 we lived there until we left for Australia
19 whereabouts for eight months because they had been told that I been
20 killed at the very outset in the village. Only eight months later they
21 learned from the UN -- or through the UN that I was still alive.
22 Q. You and your family, you stayed in Kosova, but this was organised
23 by someone, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know who organised this?
1 A. I wouldn't know that, but we stayed in a large home where it was
2 a dormitory for students before the war. And when all this happened, in
3 half of the building, they still housed students in the dormitories,
4 where the other half of the building was inhabited by us, refugees.
5 Q. Were there any other people from Krajina, from your area, who
6 were brought to Kosova through this organisation?
7 A. Well, there were a lot of us in several different areas in
8 Kosova. I reckoned there were about 1.500 of us in Kosova.
9 Q. After a while, you moved out to Australia. Correct?
10 A. Yes. And now I go back to Belgrade
11 Australian embassy, because I need to get medical checkups and so on.
12 Fortunately, I went to Australia
13 But seven days after I had been released from hospital, I could have gone
14 to the United States, but I refused that.
15 So then I was taken in by Australia
16 and three children. But in Australia
17 and a little baby now. He is barely four. So now we have six -- I have
18 six children.
19 Q. Tell us, did Savo Strbac help you move to Australia?
20 A. No, he didn't, to be quite honest. About 70 per cent of people
21 from my village were given refuge in Australia. There are also some
22 people here in Netherlands
24 village remained in Serbia
25 As for the village itself, there were seven or eight people who
1 are still there. They're all old people. My mother, too, returned to
2 the village. Until then, she had lived in Novi Sad in Serbia
3 had a sister there.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, the question simply was whether Savo
5 Strbac helped you. You've answered that question. Could you focus your
6 answers on what is precisely asked.
7 Mr. Mikulicic, could you put your next question to the witness.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My last question: Mr. Gusa, did anyone else help you move out to
11 A. No, he didn't help me at all.
12 Q. I mean someone else other than Savo Strbac?
13 A. Well, I had a lot of relatives in Australia. They had gone there
14 30 or 40 years ago. So they were the ones who sponsored me so that I
15 could get to Australia
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mikulicic, I take it that you said that this
18 concluded your cross-examination. I was listening to the English channel
19 and I also see in the transcript that you spoke your words when the
20 translation was still ongoing.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But from your body language, you sat down, it's
23 clear that were, indeed --
24 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. What I said is: "I have no
25 further questions." Thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Du-Toit.
2 MR. DU-TOIT: Just a couple of things.
3 Mr. Registrar, can we just pull up D833 please.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Du-Toit:
5 Q. Mr. Gusa, you testified as a result of questions put by my
6 learned friend about the villages in the area of Ervenik. Can you
7 remember that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, you also testified that you stayed in that area for about
10 two months. Now, during that period --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you maybe help us out, the area you talked about, it was in a
13 mountain, and how accessible is that area, say, to the normal person?
14 Can you drive there by a car, or must you use a wagon or some horses?
15 How accessible is that area to the normal person, if I can put it that
17 A. Well, there was good access. There were asphalt roads.
18 Everything was fine. There was excellent access as far as roads were
19 concerned. Buses and cars travelled through because there was asphalt
20 road everywhere.
21 Q. And in what one last aspect, my learned friend also showed you
22 two statements that you made, D826 and D827.
23 Now, especially D827, it's a long statement that you made to the
24 Zadar-Knin police administration on 11 October 1995.
25 Do you remember that?
1 A. Well, it's difficult. To tell you the truth, I don't remember
3 Q. Mr. Misetic, read to you some parts of statement that you made to
4 the -- to the police on the 11th of October, 1995. Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, in that statement, you gave a lot of information about
7 yourself and also other sort of Serbia
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 Q. -- just listen to the question, please. And also other Serbs and
10 also the whereabouts of other people within your community and within
11 your Serbian community. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Now, at any stage, were you at any stage questioned about what
14 you saw that was allegedly committed by any member of the Croatian army
15 or police or anybody, as to what you made have through in this incident
16 regarding August and later?
17 A. They didn't ask me that.
18 MR. DU-TOIT: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, I have a question for you.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE ORIE: You told us that your neighbours were very good
23 people and that, therefore, they could not have looted or --
24 A. Yes. They were very honest people, and I guarantee that they did
25 not burn anything. All of their houses had been looted and demolished,
1 but they didn't do that to us; other Croats did that to us.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You told that they couldn't do that upon
3 return. Do you know whether they did return; and, if so, how would they
4 manage --
5 A. [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
7 How could they manage --
8 A. [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE ORIE: If you would please let me finish my question.
10 How would they manage to return where you said all their houses
11 were destroyed?
12 A. Well, they came back and some of it was mended. They came back
13 to their homes, and this is where I live. My mother lives there now.
14 And when I speak to her on the phone, she's an old woman, she says that
15 they are very helpful. They bring anything that she might need. My
16 mother is 86 years old.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 And when you say they came back, you meant that they came back
19 after Operation Storm.
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers. I have no further
22 questions for you.
23 Any need for further cross-examination?
24 MR. MISETIC: Yes, just one question.
25 Further cross-examination by Mr. Misetic:
1 Q. If you can help us, Mr. Gusa, you say that your neighbours
2 weren't the type of people that would do that, but you also now testified
3 for Mr. Mikulicic that one of your neighbours is, in fact, the one who
4 knocked your two front teeth out, right?
5 Was, in fact, there a feeling of revenge by your neighbours when
6 they returned?
7 A. This neighbour that you mentioned came from the other side. He
8 wasn't the one that I was talking about. He is to the east, towards
9 Skabrnja. But I'm talking about my close neighbour, 800 metres, and
10 these Croats were very good people.
11 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gusa, there are no further questions for you;
13 therefore, this concludes your examination in this courtroom.
14 I would like to thank you very much for coming a very, very long
15 way, and for having answered all the questions that were put to you by
16 the parties and by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, could you escort the witness out of the
20 [The witness stands down]
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I think we have dealt with all the exhibits apart
23 from the one which --
24 Yes, Mr. Misetic.
25 MR. MISETIC: Just to advise the Court, we have sent over to the
1 Prosecution the full 11-page document which does have a name at the end
2 of it. We can -- however the Court wishes to proceed, I can upload all
3 11 pages in the B/C/S, or we were thinking just keep it to the relevant
4 pages that were translated into English. But it is --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it depends whether the Prosecution finds
6 anything in it which the Prosecution considers to be relevant in this
8 MR. MISETIC: Okay.
9 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that you'll take your time. You don't
10 have to answer immediately. I mean, when could we hear from you,
11 Mr. Du-Toit.
12 MR. DU-TOIT: Can we by Friday, Your Honour? Will that suit?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, if by Friday, you also could have a
14 further look at the full video footage, so that we know whether there is
15 any other relevant portion which should be in evidence. We'll then hear
16 from you.
17 The date of the video is still unclear. I take it that you'll
18 further explore.
19 MR. MISETIC: I will further explore, Your Honour. We haven't
20 been able to find it during the last break.
21 JUDGE ORIE: No, I do understand. Could you report by Friday --
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- even if you do not --
24 MR. MISETIC: Or earlier.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes.
1 Then we will adjourn, and from what I understand, there are no
2 witnesses queueing, Mr. Du-Toit.
3 MR. DU-TOIT: That is it, indeed, so, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So, I take it, we'll then adjourn until Monday.
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll then adjourn and resume on Monday, the
7 13th of October, at 9.00 in the morning, Courtroom I.
8 MR. KUZMANOVIC: Your Honour, I don't believe that was the 13th
9 of October on Monday. That would be wonderful. I take that for --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Registrar never makes a mistake, so I must
11 have misread.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, it is the 6th.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, it is the 6th of October.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.28 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Monday, the 6th day of October,
16 2008, at 2.15 p.m.