Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6202

 1                           Tuesday, 25 June 2013

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Good morning to everyone in and around the

 6     courtroom.

 7             Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.

 8             THE REGISTRAR:  Good morning, Your Honours.

 9             This is the case IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

11             May we have the appearances, please, starting with the

12     Prosecution.

13             MR. STRINGER:  Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.

14             For the Prosecution, Douglas Stringer, Muireann Dennehy, Case

15     Manager Thomas Laugel, and legal intern Ze-emanuel Hailu.

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.  For the Defence, Mr. Zivanovic.

17             MR. ZIVANOVIC:  Good morning, Your Honours.  For the Defence of

18     Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell.  Thank you.

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

20             Anything before we bring in the witness?

21             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, Mr. President.  We have a minor procedural

22     issue that we'd like to address.

23             I do apologise, I believe my microphone is working but it doesn't

24     seem to ...

25             JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]

Page 6203

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  We indicated last night that the Prosecution would

 2     like to request an additional 30 minutes of time in order to present this

 3     witness's evidence in-chief.  The Defence has raised no objection in

 4     relation to the additional time.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

 6             MR. GOSNELL:  Unless there's something further from the

 7     Prosecution, I do have a comment to make on this.

 8             Mr. President, there's no objection to the additional time, as

 9     such.  However, we did receive a proofing note last evening.  I don't

10     recall the exact time but it was after 6.00.  And most of the material in

11     the proofing note is -- falls within the scope of what has been indicated

12     in the witness statement and the witness summary.  But there are some

13     items that go beyond the witness summary and the witness statement which

14     was the only indication that we had of the content of the witness's

15     expected testimony until last night at 6.30.

16             One of the items of new information is innocuous but -- or

17     relatively innocuous, but we're still going to make an objection on

18     principle when the issue comes up, and some of the other items are not so

19     innocuous.  I understand from my learned friend that they will not be

20     leading that new information.  But nonetheless, I just thought I should

21     say for the record that although there is no objection to the additional

22     time, there may be an objection to the manner in which that additional

23     time is being used.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, do you need that additional time for

25     the new information or is there no connection between the two?

Page 6204

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, the additional time relates

 2     primarily to the number of documents that we're seeking to tender through

 3     this witness.  It does not relate to the additional information that was

 4     given to the Defence last night in the proofing note.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.

 6             MS. DENNEHY:  If I may, we indicated this morning early that the

 7     additional information to which the Defence objects will only be referred

 8     to by way of background.  We won't lead testimony in relation to that.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The request is granted.

10             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The witness may be brought in.

12                           [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]

13                           [The witness entered court]

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Good morning -- good morning, Mr. Witness.  Good

15     morning, Mr. Witness.  Thank you for coming to assist us.

16             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Do you hear me in a language you understand?

18             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you very well.

19             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.  Could you please tell us your name

20     and date of birth?

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Pero Coric.  I was born

22     on 28th of April, 1962.

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you very much.

24             You are about to make the solemn declaration, by which witnesses

25     commit themselves to tell the truth.  I must point out to you that by


Page 6205

 1     doing so, you expose yourself to the penalties of perjury should you give

 2     false or untruthful information to the Tribunal.

 3             Can I now ask you to read the solemn declaration.

 4             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

 5     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

 6                           WITNESS:  PERO CORIC

 7                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you very much.  You may be seated.

 9             Ms. Dennehy, your witness.

10             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

11             If I may ask for the assistance of the court usher, please.  This

12     is a numbered hard copy of the witness's statement.  Thank you.

13                           Examination by Ms. Dennehy:

14        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Coric.  Can you hear me in a language that you

15     understand?

16        A.   Good morning.  I can hear you.

17        Q.   Mr. Coric, do you recall giving a statement to the

18     representatives of the Tribunal in December 1995?

19        A.   Yes, I do.

20             MS. DENNEHY:  Turning to tab 5 of the Court's bundle, can I

21     please ask the English version of 65 ter 2221.1 be shown to the witness.

22        Q.   Mr. Coric, do you recognise the document in front of you to be

23     the statement that you gave?

24        A.   From what I see on the cover page, I suppose that this is the

25     same document that I have recently seen.  The only thing is I can't see

Page 6206

 1     my signature.  This is a copy, I suppose.  And I suppose that this is the

 2     document in question.

 3        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  If you look at the screen in front of you,

 4     on the left-hand screen you will see the English version of your

 5     statement.

 6             Can you please tell me whether you now recognise any of the

 7     signatures on the bottom right-hand corner of that English version of

 8     your statement?

 9        A.   I apologise.  Yes, I can see my signature in the right-hand side

10     bottom corner.

11        Q.   And before coming here today, did you have a opportunity to

12     review your statement in your own language?

13        A.   Yes, I did.

14        Q.   And during that review, you identified a number of minor errors

15     in your statement which I would now like you to correct.

16             Looking at the front page of your statement, can you please tell

17     the Court your current occupation?

18        A.   Currently, I'm a politician.

19        Q.   And now, looking at paragraph 3 of your statement at line 3,

20     where it notes that the council consisted of 24 representatives.  What

21     correction would you like to make to that number?

22        A.   My correction would be this:  In 1995, when I provided this

23     statement, I was speaking from memory, and I said that there were

24     24 representatives.

25             However, when I returned to Vukovar, I perused some documents,

Page 6207

 1     and I was able to establish that there were actually 25 representatives.

 2        Q.   And now looking at line 6 of that paragraph where it states:

 3     "However, the council met only once ..." what correction would you like

 4     to make to the term "council"?

 5        A.   At that time I didn't say, or perhaps I did by mistake, it was

 6     not the council but the joint municipality of Vukovar, which had three

 7     councils, one was the social and political council that I was a member

 8     of.  There was a -- the council of local communes that Goran Hadzic was a

 9     member of.  And the last council was the council of associated labour.

10             So when I said "the council" here, I didn't actually mean the

11     council but the Municipal Assembly of Vukovar as whole.

12        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  And, finally, looking at paragraph 4 of

13     your statement where you referred to the man known as Bratus, can you

14     please tell me what amendment you would like to make to that line?

15        A.   In Sarengrad, which is a place where I come from, people are

16     known by their nicknames.  One of them was a person known as Bratus.

17     Later on, I inquired about his name and I learned that his name was

18     Milivoj Radojcin.

19        Q.   And now, Mr. Coric, that you have made these corrections, if I

20     were to ask you the same questions that you were asked in 1995 when you

21     met the representative of the Tribunal, would you give the same answers?

22        A.   Yes, fully.

23        Q.   And now that you've taken the solemn declaration, do you affirm

24     the truthfulness and the accuracy of your statement?

25        A.   Yes, I do.

Page 6208

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, at this time, the Prosecution tenders

 2     65 ter 2221.1.  That is, the numbered reference of the witness's

 3     statement into evidence.

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 5             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit P2275, Your Honours.

 6             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

 7             MS. DENNEHY:

 8        Q.   Mr. Coric, you just told the Court that you were a professional

 9     politician.  What political party did you establish?

10        A.   In 1989, I was the founder of the HDZ or the Croatian Democratic

11     Union.  And now, for four and a half years I have been active in another

12     party that I founded four years ago.  We are a party in the parliament.

13     We have a representative in Brussels who is a member of the European

14     Parliament, the name of my party is the HSP Dr. Ante Starcevic.

15        Q.   And in paragraph 3 of your statement you say that you were chosen

16     as a representative of Sarengrad and Mohovo to the Social Political

17     Council in the democratic elections in 1990.  When did you first

18     encounter Goran Hadzic in this role?

19             MR. GOSNELL:  Objection, Mr. President.  There is no mention of

20     Goran Hadzic in the witness's statement and there's no mention of

21     Goran Hadzic in the summary provided for this witness.  And the only

22     mention we have is in the proofing note that arrived last night at

23     6.32 p.m.  And once this question is asked, then other questions are

24     going to be asked that will lead to more substantive issues of which we

25     have no notice.

Page 6209

 1             So that's our objection.

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy.

 3             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, as I indicated in an e-mail to the

 4     Defence this morning, this information will be only be used by way of

 5     background.  The primary focus of the witness's evidence will be that

 6     that is related in the witness summary relating to the events in

 7     Sarengrad.  The Defence is correct insofar as this information was

 8     provided in the proofing note circulated late last night, but that is the

 9     first indication that the Prosecution received of this information.

10                           [Trial Chamber confers]

11             JUDGE HALL:  Ms. Dennehy, when you say "by way of background,"

12     having regard to the substance of the objection which the Defence has

13     made, I confess I'm somewhat confused as to what you propose to do with

14     this new information of which the Defence has not had notice.

15             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honour, I intend to lead evidence in relation

16     to this to outline the witness's political background and his political

17     experience in Vukovar around the time of the democratic elections in

18     1990.  As I indicated earlier, there were only be a few handful of

19     questions in relation to the accused and his activities.  The primary

20     focus of this witness's evidence will be the events in Sarengrad.

21             JUDGE HALL:  But doesn't this go to the heart of the Defence

22     objection to this evidence being there at all?

23             MS. DENNEHY:  It does, Your Honour.  As I noted earlier the -- we

24     did provide this information as soon as the Prosecution was made aware of

25     it and that was then circulated in the proofing note late last night.

Page 6210

 1                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell, having heard Ms. Dennehy's

 3     explanation, do you maintain your objection?

 4             MR. GOSNELL:  I certainly do, Mr. President.  The -- the excuse

 5     for the -- or the explanation given for the late notice is unconvincing.

 6     The Prosecution has had 18 years to take a subsequent statement from this

 7     witness.  An investigator could have interviewed the witness six months

 8     or a year ago.  That would have provided us with an opportunity to

 9     discuss the matters that are addressed in the proofing note with our

10     client.  We don't have a translation of the proofing note.  That means

11     that there's been no consultation with the client based upon a careful

12     review of what's actually in there.  The Prosecution doesn't need this

13     information to come from this witness because Your Honours already have

14     plenty of background information, if that's the purpose for the

15     information coming in.  And if you look at the statement, Mr. President,

16     there's absolutely nothing incompatible in having the witness describe

17     what he knows as expressed in the statement without any reference to

18     Mr. Hadzic.  That's what's in the statement already.

19             So the Prosecution doesn't even need this information for the

20     witness's testimony to be a coherent whole.

21             So, on those grounds, Mr. President, yes, we do maintain the

22     objection.

23             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Objection sustained.

24             Please proceed, Ms. Dennehy.

25             MS. DENNEHY:

Page 6211

 1        Q.   Mr. Coric, at paragraph 3 of your statement, you said and you

 2     clarified earlier that the Vukovar Assembly met only once after the

 3     Borovo Selo incident in -- on the 2nd of May, 1991.

 4             Can you tell me why the Vukovar Assembly met only once?

 5        A.   Barricades had been erected.  The Bloody Easter happened on the

 6     31st of March, 1991.  The person present here, Goran Hadzic, was arrested

 7     in Plitvice as well at the other persons --

 8             THE INTERPRETER:  The name escaped the interpreter.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then we started an initiative

10     to hold a joint Assembly, speak to the media, condemn violence, and to

11     establish what was going on and whether people were really carrying arms

12     and so on and so forth.  Obviously the Serbian side that had a majority

13     in -- at the Assembly in Vukovar and Goran Hadzic was one of the loudest

14     among them, the Assembly broke up and never -- was never reconvened after

15     that.

16        Q.   Mr. Coric, you've just told the Court that there was an

17     initiative to condemn the violence.  Can you tell me more about that

18     initiative in relation to the Vukovar Assembly.

19        A.   I've just said that, unfortunately, Mr. Goran Hadzic and

20     like-minded persons to him --

21             MR. GOSNELL:  Objection.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Just one moment, Mr. Witness.

23             MR. GOSNELL:  Objection.  We're now getting into a situation

24     where the witness has heard the objection and obviously is determined to

25     provide the information he wishes, notwithstanding the ruling.

Page 6212

 1             So given that, I would respectfully an instruction from the

 2     Chamber to the witness not to embark on a discussion of those issues.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Coric, you heard the first objection made by

 4     the Defence.  You heard the Trial Chamber's ruling and the second

 5     objection by the Defence.

 6             Could you please try to respect what we decided until now and

 7     stay within the limits of your statement and answer the questions the

 8     Defence is putting to you -- sorry, the OTP is putting to you.

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.  I'm not a lawyer, so

10     I do not understand when I overstep the boundaries.

11             In paragraph 3, I provided a very succinct statement and I

12     believe that the Trial Chamber should be provided with additional

13     information from me as an active protagonist of the events.  I have to

14     say that those events were the starting point of everything that

15     subsequently happened in Eastern Slavonia.  That's why I said in my

16     statement, i.e., in the annex to that statement, that the SDS party that

17     Goran Hadzic headed did not participate in the first

18     democratic petition -- elections.

19             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please be instructed to slow

20     down.  It is impossible to follow.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Witness, Mr. Witness, there's another slight

22     problem.  The interpreters don't follow you.  You're speaking too fast.

23     Could you please slow down a little bit.

24             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.

25             As I've already said, the party that was headed by Goran Hadzic,

Page 6213

 1     the SDS, did not participate in the first democratic elections in East

 2     Slavonia or in Vukovar.  They appeared at the elections as the Communist

 3     party.  They turned coat the following day and they became the SDS.

 4     That's how they gained an apparent majority in that body, and that body

 5     later on made subsequent decisions that resulted in war and aggression

 6     against that part of Croatia.  This is what I stated in paragraph 3.

 7             At that joint Assembly we tried to achieve peace, to condemn

 8     every form of violence and to appear as such before the people who had

 9     elected us.  We wanted to tell them that we would do our utmost to stop

10     any further aggression and erecting of barricades.  We wanted all of us

11     to get an insight into the arms depot that was under the control of the

12     TO Vukovar.  Unfortunately, it was then under the control of the SDS,

13     Goran Hadzic, and the others who were in the Assembly.  We were never

14     given an opportunity to see what was going on with the military

15     equipment.  Once we reached those depots, which were finally emptied, we

16     are convinced that --

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

18             MR. GOSNELL:  Now the prejudice, Mr. President, the prejudice has

19     just been caused because that was precisely the allegation, which is

20     contained nowhere in the witness's statement, that was of concern to the

21     Defence.  The allegation is untrue.  And yet we're in a position where

22     we're learning about it the night before the witness's testimony, at

23     6.30 p.m.  And Your Honours have heard it.  Your Honours are professional

24     Judges, and I have complete confidence in your ability to reject that

25     from your consideration.  But it does put the Defence in a dilemma.

Page 6214

 1             I'm not sure what would the best -- what the best manner of

 2     proceeding is, but at the very least, I think we now should move on to

 3     the next part of the statement, which is paragraph 4, and not dwell on

 4     the subjects that are currently being testified to by the witness.

 5                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 6             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, we would instruct you to move on and

 7     to control the witness with regard to our ruling.

 8             Please proceed.

 9             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, Mr. President.  Thank you.

10        Q.   Mr. Witness, Mr. Coric, we will now move on to the defence

11     activities that you were involved with in Sarengrad.

12             At paragraph 4 of your statement, you described that a civilian

13     defence force was established in Sarengrad and that you were the one

14     appointed in charge of that force.

15             Can you please tell the Court what duties did you have as head of

16     the civilian defence force in Sarengrad?

17        A.   It was called civil protection in those days.  There have been no

18     roadblocks in Sarengrad ever.  There was no need for them.  Neither the

19     Serbian minority nor the Croatian majority erected any.  We were all

20     oriented toward co-existence, but because we were uninformed, we didn't

21     know what was going to happen.  We expected to be attacked by infantry,

22     by sabotage detachments who would come at night to kill people and burn

23     down houses.  That's why the civil protection was organised.  There was a

24     round-the-clock duty -- there were round-the-clock duty shifts, and two

25     to three people should be awake at any time and monitor what was going on

Page 6215

 1     in the village so as to be able to alarm all of us in case of need so

 2     that we may protect the people and their property.

 3             That civil protection was an organisation based on volunteering.

 4     We were around 100 volunteers who didn't have any military training or

 5     military equipment.  We mostly had hunting rifles.  Everything we had was

 6     kept at the local commune facilities.  Nobody carried it home or gave --

 7     gave the weapons to any patrols.

 8        Q.   Thank you --

 9        A.   I have also mentioned --

10        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  I'd like to ask you a number of questions

11     about what you've just told the Court.

12             You said that you had mostly hunting rifles.  Did you have any --

13     sorry.  You had mostly hunting rifles.  Were these weapons sufficient to

14     defend Sarengrad against a potential JNA attack?

15        A.   Of course, not.  As a military layman, I had no idea what kind of

16     weapons we would be faced with and what kind of power -- what kind of

17     forces would be used against bare-handed people.  It wasn't anywhere

18     present in our minds that -- that the so-called JNA would side with the

19     aggressor.

20        Q.   And in paragraph 7 of your statement, you say that on the

21     5th of September, 1991, the JNA surrounded the village of Sarengrad.  How

22     did the people in the village react to the JNA surrounding it?

23        A.   Which paragraph did you say?

24        Q.   Paragraph -- paragraph 7.  You say:

25             "On the 5th of September, 1991, the JNA surrounded our village."

Page 6216

 1             My question is:  How did the people in the village react to this

 2     surrounding by the JNA?

 3        A.   It was somewhere in the month of July.  It became obvious that

 4     the JNA was an aggressor army.  On the 16th of July, a Croatian police

 5     officer was killed on duty on the bridge.  He was in a police car near

 6     Ilok.  His name was Goran Stipak.  The JNA had already attacked some

 7     nearby places and we understood that they were our enemies.

 8             On the 5th of September, the last road was cut.  I think that

 9     somebody from Sarengrad was in Vukovar on that day for the last time.

10     Until that time, communication was possible.

11        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Witness.

12             Can you please tell us how the people in Sarengrad reacted to the

13     JNA?  And just focus on that question in particular, please.

14        A.   I said that for us the JNA was beyond doubt an aggressor army who

15     cut us off from any medical assistance or other logistics such as food

16     supply or supply of medication.

17             What the people in the village, including me, heard and saw

18     having been able from -- to escape from them were horrible things.  They

19     used heavy weapons to target some places and they were coming from the

20     direction of Celije where some villages had been burnt down.

21        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  Now, in your statement you describe --

22             JUDGE HALL:  Sorry, unless I missed it, I didn't hear an answer

23     to your question about how the people reacted.

24             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, Your Honour, I can put that question again if

25     it would help.

Page 6217

 1        Q.   Mr. Coric, as you have heard Your Honour say, you haven't

 2     provided specific information as to how the people in Sarengrad reacted

 3     to the JNA.  You described that you were cut off from medical assistance

 4     and other logistics, such as food supply.  But how did the people react?

 5        A.   There were no JNA members at Sarengrad or near the village.  But

 6     they were a few kilometres away.  They were surrounding us, attacking us

 7     from time to time so that our attitude toward the JNA was very clear:  It

 8     was an enemy army and there was no doubt about it.

 9             I can say that the prevailing emotion toward the JNA was fear.

10     Those days, they were already targeting our church and everything else.

11        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  Now you describe on the 4th and 5th of

12     October, 1991, how shells -- how the JNA attacked Sarengrad.  How many

13     shells fell on Sarengrad during the first day of the attack?

14        A.   As I mentioned in my statement, the attack started soon after

15     12.00 on the 4th of October, 1991.  Before that, there had been attacks

16     against Ilaca, Tovarnik and other nearby places, and thousands of people

17     were fleeing towards Ilok.  They were all passing through Sarengrad.

18     There, there had an attack by tanks because it's a plain, and we didn't

19     expect an infantry and tank attack but the opposite happened.

20             On that day, mortar shelling began from the direction of

21     Backa Palanka, so they were shooting over the Danube, from Bent, from

22     smaller calibre mortars.  The tanks were positioned at Pajzos, between

23     Sarengrad and Bapska, and they were targeting visible targets.

24        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Witness.  Due to the very limited time that we

25     have in court this morning, I would like you to focus on my specific

Page 6218

 1     question.  And that question was:  How many shells fell on the first day?

 2        A.   According to our estimate, on the first day, as many as 1500

 3     shells of various calibres fell on our village on that first day.

 4        Q.   And how many days did the shelling last for?

 5        A.   The most intensive shelling was on the 4th of October, until

 6     evening hours.  After that, it continued for five or six days where there

 7     was sporadic shelling.

 8             So if anybody was moving along the Danube, whenever they saw a

 9     car moving, mortars fire began or fire from anti-aircraft guns and all

10     possible weapons until the end, at least 500 shells of various calibres

11     had hit the village.

12        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  I'd like to now show you a document.

13             MS. DENNEHY:  Can I please ask that 65 ter 365, that's at tab 15

14     of the Court bundle, be shown to the witness.

15        Q.   You'll see this document appear in front of you, Mr. Coric.

16             Mr. Coric, this is a JNA military document.  At page 1 it states:

17             "On 4 October 1991, division units shall be engaged in carrying

18     out the following tasks ..."

19             And now looking at page 2, under paragraph 4, the different types

20     of units involved in the proposed attacks are described.

21             Those are a Howitzer battalion, an anti-aircraft battalion, and

22     an artillery rocket battalion.

23             My question is:  In your experience of the attack on Sarengrad,

24     were these the types of weapons used to attack the village?

25        A.   Yes.  These very Howitzers were shooting at us and the

Page 6219

 1     anti-aircraft guns were at Bent near the Danube.  They were used to shoot

 2     at the houses near the Danube and all other visible targets.

 3        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  And now scrolling back up to page 1 of

 4     that document, the date of that document is the 4th of October, 1991.

 5             Can you please tell me, was this the first day of the attack on

 6     Sarengrad?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.

 9             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, the Prosecution would like to tender

10     65 ter 365 into evidence.

11                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  It's already an exhibit, Ms. Dennehy.

13             MS. DENNEHY:  I apologise, Mr. President.  I wasn't aware of the

14     fact that it was an exhibit.

15        Q.   Now, Mr. Coric, I would now like to show you a video-clip and

16     you'll see that appear on the screen in front of you.

17             MS. DENNEHY:  Can I please ask that 65 ter 5033.2 be shown and,

18     for the record, this is a video-clip with time stamp 11:35 to 13:36.  And

19     I would please ask my Case Manager to pause the video at 13:36.

20             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

21             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, could I just inquire whether I have

22     received -- whether the Defence has received the video by way of DVD or

23     CD?

24                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

25             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, my Case Manager informs me that this

Page 6220

 1     video was disclosed but a copy is on its way to the Defence for their

 2     records.  This was also on the exhibit list, circulated over two weeks

 3     ago and has been on each draft exhibit list since.

 4             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, I'm not perhaps exactly sure what is a

 5     practice and what is a rule.  Normally in practice we do receive the

 6     videos by way of CD.  I don't dispute that it's been disclosed.

 7             So I'm in Your Honours' hands as to whether you would wish to

 8     proceed, even though we haven't received the version on a CD directly.

 9                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell, can you tell me what this means to

11     you in fact?  So you -- it is disclosed.  It is on the exhibit list.  But

12     you don't have a CD.  Are you able to see it in preparation or not?

13             MR. GOSNELL:  As I sit here in court, I can't see it.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  You cannot.

15             MR. GOSNELL:  I cannot as I sit here in court in advance.  Of

16     course, it will be shown on the screens and we'll all be able to look at

17     it together.  I -- in all honesty, Your Honours, I can't tell you whether

18     or not -- I'm not sure whether we could have pulled it out of our

19     disclosure and looked at it separately.

20             JUDGE DELVOIE:  That's amazing.

21             MR. GOSNELL:  It may be amazing, Mr. President, but often these

22     things are just handed to you.  You don't the procedures or the

23     mechanics, and so that's why I can't answer your question.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  Then we will proceed.

25                           [Video-clip played]

Page 6221

 1             "Ilok is rare, a small pleasant town in Eastern Croatia untouched

 2     by bullet, bomb or shell.  But the war has emptied its streets.  Over

 3     half the predominantly Croat population fleeing after the federal army

 4     and the Serbs took control, leaving behind shattered homes and streets,

 5     where only the occasional chimney betrays a sign of life.

 6             "Traffic is monopolised by the military ferrying supplies to the

 7     front lines, first at Vukovar, now around Osijek.  Amongst those who

 8     stayed, there is much talk about the Blue Helmets, UN soldiers who

 9     Mr. Vance wants to deploy to end the war - a hope they share.  But there

10     is also as clear a disagreement amongst the civilians and soldiers as

11     amongst the politicians as to precisely where they should be sent.

12             "I think it would help.  If the Blue Helmets came here, many of

13     the Croats who fled would be able to come back.

14             "I think the Blue Helmets shouldn't come here at all.  If they

15     did, it would only lead to a return of the Croat extremists.

16             "The Blue Helmets could stop this war but only if they deploy in

17     what we see as the true border of Serbia, and that's beyond the current

18     front lines.

19             "A standard view amongst the soldiers and Serb militiamen that

20     the war has not yet been fought to its true conclusion and that even a UN

21     deployment would not bring it to an end.

22             "The farmers of the neighbouring village of Sarengrad are still

23     harvesting their corn.  They are late - a consequence of too little

24     manpower, a consequence of war.  The village has survived.  It was less

25     fortunate than Ilok, and Croats like Tomislav Sabo who've remained are

Page 6222

 1     bitter, speaking of property and livestock being confiscated.

 2             "They've got to go to the Croatian borders as they were when this

 3     war began."

 4             MS. DENNEHY:

 5        Q.   Mr. Coric, on the video in front you, did you recognise the towns

 6     depicted in that video?

 7        A.   No, I wasn't able to recognise the tanks.  But I recognised the

 8     places and the people in the video-clip.

 9        Q.   And what were those places in the video-clip?

10        A.   If I may say, the one that you can see now, if we're looking at

11     the same image, the church behind this man is the Orthodox church at

12     Sarengrad, which was targeted from the other side of the Danube, and it

13     was destroyed.  So they destroyed their own church.

14             And the other places that we saw were the school and the

15     fire-fighters' building.  And the man driving the tractor whose name is

16     Tomislav Sabo, I know him.  He stayed behind in Sarengrad by chance but

17     he was tortured badly, beaten up.  He had to go to work camps.  Today he

18     is almost deaf, blind, and unable to work.  That's a consequence of the

19     beatings he suffered.

20        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.

21             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, I believe that this clip is already

22     in evidence.  I've just been provided with that information now.

23                           [Prosecution counsel confer]

24             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, I do apologise.  I've just been

25     informed that in relation to the Defence's previous objection, I have

Page 6223

 1     been told that this clip was provided to them in respect of a previous

 2     witness so they did have a copy in their possession quite recently.

 3             I was very much mistaken when I said this evidence -- this clip

 4     is in evidence already.  I need to tender this clip, at this time.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 6             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit P2276, Your Honours.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

 8             MS. DENNEHY:  Can I now ask that 65 ter 414 be shown to the

 9     witness.  That's at tab 2 of the Court's bundle.

10        Q.   This is a collection of documents, Mr. Coric, relating to

11     October 1991.

12             Looking at page 1 of this document, and page 1 is in English

13     version of this document, this is a letter written by Marin Vidic to the

14     ECMM, the European Community Monitoring Mission.  Do you know

15     Marin Vidic?

16        A.   Yes, I know him, both privately from the war, and we're friends

17     today.

18        Q.   In -- on page 1 of this document, it says:

19             "The eastern part -- the JNA increased its activities in the

20     eastern part and with no direct reason destroyed Bapska, Sarengrad and

21     Lovas."

22             In your experience, is that what happened to those towns?

23        A.   I had the opportunity to see this document.  I think that it's

24     accurate, fully accurate.  Without any reason these places were attacked,

25     and some 15.000 civilians were already crammed in the city of -- in the

Page 6224

 1     town of Ilok.  And I believe that the final number was a bit higher

 2     still.

 3        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  Now looking at page 3 of this document,

 4     again, this is a letter to the ECMM dated October 15, 1991.  I don't

 5     believe you have a B/C/S version in front of you.  However, I will read

 6     parts of that document to you and it will be translated.

 7             On page 3 it says:

 8             "In the agreement it is listed that on the basis of a so-called

 9     local population referendum, those citizens from the area who so desire

10     to emigrate will be allowed to do so."

11             And at paragraph 1, that document mentions Ilok, Bapska, and

12     Sarengrad.

13             Can you tell me, did a referendum take place in Ilok; and can you

14     describe what that referendum related to?

15        A.   The referendum took place on the 13th of October, 1991.  I had

16     the opportunity to see this document.  The word "negotiate" is not an

17     appropriate term.  Because you can't really speak of negotiations.  That

18     was a package of ultimatums issued by the JNA and the paramilitaries who

19     ordered us the following:  You will either leave Ilok, Bapska or

20     Sarengrad or be killed.  Of course, the outcome of the referendum was

21     clear.  The people who were in Ilok all could vote.  It didn't matter

22     whether they were residents of Ilok or not.  95 per cent voted in favour

23     of leaving Ilok and they wanted members of the Croatian police to

24     accompany them at least with side weapons.

25             In that ultimatum, safety was promised to all who decided to

Page 6225

 1     leave, but, of course, they didn't have the right to take valuable

 2     property with them.  Whoever did was left without it.  Many people were

 3     beaten up on the spot and a large number ended up in camps.  The

 4     ultimatum was issued by the JNA, and the citizens of Ilok voted at the

 5     referendum in favour of leaving to save their lives.

 6        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.

 7             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, we would tender this document at

 8     this time.  That's 65 ter 414.

 9             MR. GOSNELL:  We object to that, Mr. President.

10             The document appears to be -- I'm -- I would say of 25 pages

11     long.  There are a range of different documents that appear to be

12     attached together under the same 65 ter number.  Some of them are

13     dot-matrix printouts of possibly news reports.  It's not clear where they

14     came from or how they are related to the first two documents that have

15     just been shown to the witness.

16             So we would suggest that the appropriate -- and if we just look

17     at the front page of this 65 ter document, you can see that there is a --

18     a paper clip photocopied on the front page and it says faintly at the top

19     "annex A" and the second document may say "annex B" at the very top,

20     which suggests that these are two annexes that were attached to a cover

21     page that is not part of the document.

22             So what I would say is that these two documents that have been

23     shown to the witness should be split up into two separate 65 ter numbers

24     and then can be admitted on that basis separately without the other

25     documents attached.

Page 6226

 1             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Seems reasonable, Ms. Dennehy.

 2             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, the purpose of my questions to the

 3     witness were to provide sufficient foundation for this entire document.

 4     It is, in fact, a series of documents received from the ECMM and that was

 5     indicated on the draft exhibit list circulated two weeks ago and again

 6     last Thursday and again last night.  So the nature of the document is

 7     clear insofar as it is a compilation of documents but it was received,

 8     and it relates to the ECMM mission in October 1991 in Sarengrad.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Received by whom?

10             MS. DENNEHY:  Received by the OTP.

11             If it would assist the Court, I can go to a number of documents

12     subsequent to the one that I addressed with the witness.  However, he has

13     provided information that would assist the Court and find it -- in

14     providing a foundation for those subsequent documents in his response.

15             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

16             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, if that is the case, if that's the reason for

17     tendering these documents together as a bundle, all the more reason why

18     they shouldn't be admitted.

19             Your Honours don't have the cover page.  We don't have an ECMM

20     witness in front of us, even though they have been called and presumably

21     there will be more to come.  And this witness is certainly not in any

22     position to explain how these documents are interconnected in relation to

23     whatever the cover page may have been.

24             And I would suggest in respect of some of the other attachments

25     that again this witness is not in the position to explain how they are

Page 6227

 1     interrelated, and that now seems to be what the Prosecution is trying to

 2     establish.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, either you split the document and

 4     tender the two documents separately, or you try to establish a nexus

 5     between the other documents and the witness.

 6             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I think at this time the

 7     best solution would be to split the documents as the Defence has

 8     suggested and tender each of them separately.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  Admitted and marked as such.

10             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit P2277, Your Honours.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

12             MR. GOSNELL:  Sorry, I'm not quite sure of the mechanics and I've

13     displayed my utter ignorance of mechanics, so if I could just inquire, I

14     don't know what's just been admitted specifically.

15                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  So just -- just to make things clear,

17     Ms. Dennehy, we're talking about the two documents you showed the

18     witness; right?  Now we would need two -- two separate 65 ter numbers for

19     them, and then we'll give, Madam Registrar, I suppose, two separate

20     exhibit numbers.  Or ...

21                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  We will give them two separate numbers then.

23             THE REGISTRAR:  The second number therefore is P2278.  Thank you.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Thank you.

25             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

Page 6228

 1        Q.   Mr. Coric, you describe the referendum that took place in Ilok

 2     and the subsequent convoy that left Ilok.  Turning to tab 1, that's

 3     exhibit 371.

 4             MS. DENNEHY:  And can I ask that 65 ter 371 please be shown to

 5     the witness.

 6        Q.   You will see an agreement.  And in the first paragraph of that

 7     exhibit, it was states the -- it was agreement between the authorised

 8     representatives of the people of Ilok, Sarengrad, and Bapska.

 9             Do you recognise the agreement in front of you?

10        A.   I don't have it on the screen yet.  Now I have it, yes.

11        Q.   Do you recognise this document?

12        A.   I recognise it.  When it was drafted, I knew about it.  All the

13     proposals that we tabled were turned down.  And I know all the people who

14     participated.  I believe that there is a mistake here.  The name is not

15     Mate Bristic but Mate Brletic.

16        Q.   And in your experience, was this agreement drafted on

17     14th of October, 1991, as indicated in paragraph 1?

18        A.   Yes.

19             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, at this time we would like to tender

20     exhibit 65 ter 371 into evidence.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

22             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit P2279, Your Honours.

23             MS. DENNEHY:  Can I now ask that 65 ter 2241 please be shown.

24     That's at tab 4 of the Court's bundle.

25        Q.   Mr. Coric, you'll soon see a document on the screen in front of

Page 6229

 1     you.  And these are excerpts from the minutes of the Ilok Urban Community

 2     Assembly Session held on the 6th of October, 1991.

 3             MS. DENNEHY:  The 65 ter is 2241.  I apologise, 2214.  And that's

 4     at tab 4 of the Court's bundle.  It's also Exhibit P321.

 5        Q.   Mr. Coric, on page 2 of this document, you see the name

 6     M. Bosnjak.  Do you know this person?

 7        A.   Yes.  Marinko Bosnjak.

 8        Q.   And when he says, "They intend to enter Ilok and they'll do it.

 9     If a decision on handing over the weapons is made, they will come and

10     carry out a massacre."

11             Who is the "they" that Marinko is referring to?

12             MR. GOSNELL:  Objection.  That calls for speculation.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Could you rephrase, Ms. Dennehy.

14             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, Mr. President.

15        Q.   Mr. Coric, who were the residents of Ilok expected to hand over

16     weapons to?

17        A.   There was a team of people who went to negotiate with the

18     so-called JNA.  They came to pick them up in Ilok and sometimes they took

19     them to Backa Palanka and other times they took them to Sid.  My deputy,

20     the late Ivan Groznica Ivsa, participated instead of me, and they took

21     them on purpose through various units.  Before the negotiations they had

22     an opportunity to see thousands upon thousands of the JNA soldiers, of

23     the so-called JNA, and thousands upon thousands of volunteers.  They had

24     an opportunity to see hundreds of tanks, cannons and Howitzers.  This

25     obviously instilled fear in them, and people who came back spoke about

Page 6230

 1     crimes that happened in Lovas and further afield that compounded the

 2     situation.

 3        Q.   Thank you Mr. Coric.  You mentioned that you knew Marinko

 4     Bosnjak.  Who was this man?

 5             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, I'm going to object now on basis of

 6     lack of notice.  I don't see any indication in the witness's statement or

 7     the summary of the subject matter of this testimony.  Maybe I can be

 8     directed by my learned friend.

 9             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, this refers to the evacuation of

10     Ilok and the convoy that left Ilok and it's referred to at paragraph 11

11     of the witness's statement in relation to the refugees that left

12     Sarengrad for Ilok.

13             And I also intend to refer to a further subject that is mentioned

14     in this document, namely, the visit of the ECMM to Sarengrad, and that is

15     referred to at paragraph 13 of the witness's statement.

16             MR. GOSNELL:  I may be confused but when I look at the minutes,

17     this seems to be a discussion of the evacuation of Ilok, not the

18     evacuation of Sarengrad.

19             So -- and -- and this witness was not a participant.  He was not

20     a member of the convoy evacuated from Ilok.  In fact, it's not clear from

21     the statement what his knowledge of that might be.  Or -- or of these

22     minutes, so ... at least based on the information I have, it does appear

23     to be outside the scope of his statement.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  First question, Ms. Dennehy, is this about Ilok

25     or about Sarengrad?

Page 6231

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, the part of the document to which

 2     I've referred, refers to Ilok.  But in the witness's evidence, he speaks

 3     to the evacuation of Sarengrad which, in turn, leads into the evacuation

 4     of Ilok.

 5             If it would assist the Court, I can show a map that shows the

 6     proximity of those two villages.  It is witness's general evidence there

 7     was an evacuation of the area of Eastern Slavonia rather than specific

 8     villages within it.

 9                           [Trial Chamber confers]

10             JUDGE DELVOIE:  You wanted to say something, Mr. Gosnell.

11             MR. GOSNELL:  Very briefly, Mr. President.

12             The issue is not physical proximity.  The issue is two different

13     events.  And the issue that the minutes are speaking to is the lead-up to

14     and the circumstances of the evacuation of Ilok town.  And I presume that

15     that's what these minutes are about.  And curiously, there's no mention

16     in the witness's statement of the circumstances or the details of the

17     evacuation of Ilok town, because he left by a different means.  And he

18     certainly doesn't mention any meetings of the town of Ilok council to

19     discuss how, when, why, that should occur.

20             So, for those reasons, it falls outside of the statement.

21                           [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The objection is overruled.

23             You may proceed, Ms. Dennehy.

24             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.

25        Q.   Mr. Coric, if you could answer the question again.  The Marinko

Page 6232

 1     Bosnjak who you speak of, can you please tell me who this person is?

 2        A.   Can I say just one sentence?

 3             Ilok is divided into four places.  Sarengrad is one part of Ilok.

 4     It was then in 1991 and still is.  In regional terms those four parts are

 5     connected.

 6             Marinko Bosnjak was an elderly person, a private shop owner from

 7     Ilok.  He was one of the commanders in the civilian protection.  I

 8     believe that his opinion was based on the experiences that he had heard

 9     from the tens of thousands of people who had fled into Ilok.

10        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  Now moving down on that page, you see

11     that, further down this next paragraph, the European Economic Community's

12     Monitoring Mission is mentioned and a Mr. P Cobankovic says that:

13             "The ECMM does not guarantee us security but that they could help

14     with the eventual evacuation of women and children.  They went to

15     Sarengrad ..."

16             In your statement, you say that you went to Ilok to get the ECMM

17     monitors.  Is the same visit of which Mr. Cobankovic speaks of the one

18     that you arranged?

19        A.   Yes.  May I explain?

20             I actively participated in the drafting of all the documents and

21     passing of all of the decisions in Ilok.  I did that through my deputies.

22     I was in Sarengrad all the time because people were vulnerable there,

23     some were wounded.  There was a lot of cattle killed, a lot of houses

24     burning.  I couldn't be in Ilok all the time.  On that day, on the 10th,

25     was the first time after the attack that I arrived in Ilok because my

Page 6233

 1     deputies had informed me that they saw an ECMM vehicle and several people

 2     in white uniforms.  They asked -- we asked them whether -- we asked them

 3     whether they would arrive in Sarengrad and places that were directly

 4     attacked and where there were casualties, dead, and wounded, and

 5     destruction.  And they said that they did not feel safe and that they

 6     didn't want to come.  I personally went to Ilok, and upon my persistent

 7     instance, the three-member commission came in Sarengrad, and you can see

 8     here that they saw some civilians with hunting rifles, that they saw a

 9     lot of destruction there.  They took photos.  I don't know whether that

10     remains anywhere.  I asked them to go to Bapska with me.  They said that

11     they didn't feel safe.  They returned to Ilok with the promise that they

12     would do their utmost to stop further aggression.  Unfortunately, I don't

13     think that they succeed.

14        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.

15             MS. DENNEHY:  Your Honours, can I please tender 65 ter 2241 into

16     evidence.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

18             MR. GOSNELL:  Sorry, Mr. President.  I think it should be 2214,

19     and that's already been admitted, as I understand it, as P321.

20             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes, indeed, Ms. Dennehy, you said so.

21             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, I apologise, Mr. President.  I do get my

22     numbers mixed up.

23             Can I please ask that 65 ter 5016.2 be shown.  This is a video,

24     and the time stamp, for the record, is 30:10 to 32:10.  And there won't

25     be any audio for the purposes of this video.  It is only the scenes on

Page 6234

 1     which I will rely.

 2             I'm just being told that the exhibit number is 2024.

 3             It's Exhibit 2024.

 4                           [Video-clip played]

 5             MS. DENNEHY:  As I said, there is no audio for this clip

 6     required.  It is only the images on which I will rely.

 7                           [Video-clip played]

 8             MS. DENNEHY:

 9        Q.   Mr. Coric, did you recognise the scenes of the video that were

10     shown to you?

11        A.   I was not in the convoy but did I recognise some persons, two

12     people from Sarengrad.  Nikola Lukic and Emil Rimar.  I know them

13     personally.

14        Q.   [Microphone not activated] -- Lukic, the man who was situated

15     next to the baby in the video --

16        A.   Yes, yes.

17        Q.   -- that is at paragraph -- at time stamp 31.42 for the record.

18     Can you repeat in this name again, please.

19        A.   Yes.  Nikola Lukic.

20        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  And the convoy that you saw at time stamp

21     31.17 of vehicles, what was that convoy of?

22        A.   That was a convoy which was based on the ultimatum.  People were

23     saving their own lives.  The citizens of Ilok, Sarengrad and Bapska and

24     all those places that had previously fled to Ilok were given the right to

25     carry only the bare necessities.  They were not allowed to take any

Page 6235

 1     valuables with them.

 2        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric, now moving onto paragraph 18 of your

 3     statement, you say that:

 4             "My parents stayed in Sarengrad.  They experienced a lot of bad

 5     things."

 6             When did your parents leave Sarengrad?

 7        A.   Most of those who remained in Sarengrad, and we're talking about

 8     elderly people who were not afraid as the rest of them, they basically

 9     lived in delusion because they knew some people from the JNA.  They

10     expected help from them, but just the opposite happened.  My parents

11     remained there.  They didn't know whether I was alive or dead.  They

12     stayed on for another five months in Sarengrad.  They experienced a lot

13     of problems.  And then when the citizens of Sarengrad and the surrounding

14     places in March 1991 had to sign statements that they were leaving all of

15     their property to the authorities in Eastern Slavonia and all the

16     valuables, money and the rest they had to surrender, they signed that

17     statement in March 1991.

18        Q.   Mr. Witness, you've just told us that it was March 1991.  That

19     is, before the attack on Sarengrad.  Would you like to look at that date

20     again and see whether you'd like to change it?

21        A.   It was in 1992.  Not before the attack, no.

22        Q.   So you mean March 1992.

23        A.   1992, yes.

24        Q.   Mr. Coric, when did you return to Sarengrad?

25        A.   On the 13th of May, 1997.

Page 6236

 1        Q.   And what did you observe in the schools in Sarengrad at the time?

 2        A.   On that day, when I returned, I was the deputy mayor of Ilok.  I

 3     took over 200-plus elderly and frail Serbs in the Franciscan monastery.

 4     I found 232 children of whom 225 were Serb children, and most of those

 5     children were settled there.

 6        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  And what happened to the two houses that

 7     you had in Sarengrad while you were away from the village?

 8        A.   The house where I and my wife resided with my children was in the

 9     same street as my parents' house.  When my parents were chased from that

10     house, it was razed to the ground, and when I returned in 1997, I found

11     an elderly family from Vocin living in that second house.  The courtyard

12     was very neglected and overgrown.  The entire surroundings of the house

13     were rather overgrown and neglected.

14        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  You said that you found an elderly family

15     from Vocin living in your second house.  Where is Vocin?

16        A.   Vocin is in Western Slavonia in the county of Virovitica and

17     Zupanija.

18             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  The county of

19     Virovitica and Podravina.

20             MS. DENNEHY:

21        Q.   Mr. Coric, the family from Vocin, do you know what ethnicity that

22     family was?

23        A.   They were Serbs.

24             MS. DENNEHY:  Can I now ask that 65 ter 6133 be shown.

25        Q.   Mr. Coric, you will see a final document on the screen in front

Page 6237

 1     of you.

 2             Looking at page 2 of this document, and this is a report from

 3     Tomislav Papic to the regional council of the SAO SBWS regarding the

 4     handing out of vacant houses in Ilok to refugees.

 5             Mr. Coric, at page 2 it says:

 6             "Ilok Croats left Ilok in large numbers on the 17th of October."

 7             And further down it says:

 8             "Refugees from Western Slavonia and other war-affected

 9     areas arrived successively and move into the unoccupied houses and

10     flats."

11             THE INTERPRETER:  May it be noted that the interpreters do not

12     have the document on the screen.

13             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I wonder whether we have the right document on

15     the screen, Ms. Dennehy.

16             MS. DENNEHY:  Yes, this is the correct document, I believe.

17        Q.   So at --

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  And where -- where do we read --

19             MS. DENNEHY:  I apologise.  Let me rephrase the question.

20        Q.   On page 2 of this document, you see question 7 says:

21             "Return of local Croats to Sarengrad, how is this [sic] to be

22     handled?"

23             Mr. Coric, do you see this question in front of you?

24        A.   Yes, I do.

25        Q.   Given your parents' experience, was it realistic that Croats

Page 6238

 1     returned to Ilok in March 1992?

 2        A.   It was not realistic.  This document precedes the day when the

 3     largest group were forcibly moved out of Sarengrad and the surrounding

 4     places.

 5             In this document, you can see that a bus arrives daily bringing

 6     Serbs from Western Slavonia, so try and imagine what those people could

 7     bring with them.  They could only bring their bare necessities.

 8             As for the rest, they plundered the houses of those who had left

 9     them.  The trend of the arrival of people from Western Slavonia was

10     something that -- that dictated a number of those who had to leave their

11     houses.  On several occasions, people came to my late parents' house to

12     see the condition that the house was in, and then eventually somebody

13     pointed a finger and said, I want to move in.

14             My father had to yield several hundred marks.  He also had a

15     silver stopwatch that me and my sister had bought him as a present.

16     However, he had to give that to somebody to be allowed to leave the place

17     where he lived.

18        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  And now looking at the first page of this

19     document, it's dated 14 March 1992.  Does that date coincide with the

20     time that your parents were forced to leave Sarengrad?

21        A.   Yes, it coincides, and a few days later they left Sarengrad, that

22     is, Ilok, and through Sid they were taken to Bosnia, and by way of

23     Slavonski Samac they entered Slavonski Brod.  I was a member of the

24     Croatian Army at the time and I personally came to meet them when they

25     arrived Zagreb on a bus.

Page 6239

 1        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.

 2             MS. DENNEHY:  The Prosecution would ask that this 65 ter 6133 now

 3     be admitted into evidence.

 4             And that concludes my questions for now.

 5             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

 6             THE REGISTRAR:  Exhibit P2280, Your Honours.

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  And that was, indeed -- I heard you say that this

 8     was your final document, so that was why we are a little bit over time.

 9     But basically that's good timing.

10             Mr. Witness, Mr. Coric, this is the time for our first break.

11     30 minutes.  We come back at 11.00.  And, at that moment, Mr. Gosnell

12     will start his cross-examination.

13             The court usher will escort you out of the courtroom.  Thank you.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15                           [The witness stands down]

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  We'll be back at 11.05.  Court adjourned.

17                           --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.

18                           --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.

19                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

20                           [The witness takes the stand]

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

22             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.

23             Could we remove the statement from the -- in front of the

24     witness, please.

25                      Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:


Page 6240

 1        Q.   Good morning, Mr. Coric.

 2        A.   Good morning.

 3        Q.   My name is Christopher Gosnell, and I represent Mr. Hadzic in

 4     these proceedings.  I will ask you a few questions today.  If any of my

 5     questions come through to you as unclear, then please feel free to ask

 6     for clarification or a restatement of my question, and I'll -- I'll do my

 7     best.

 8             Do you understand that?

 9        A.   Yes, I do.

10        Q.   You told us earlier today that you were a founding member of the

11     a political party.  Can you tell us again the name of that political

12     party?

13        A.   I was a member of two political parties, but you are properly

14     more interested in the one from 1989.  I was a founder member of the

15     Croatian Democratic Union in the former municipality of Vukovar.

16        Q.   Have you been a member of any other party?

17        A.   Yes, later.  The HSP.  Not before that.

18        Q.   What does that stand for?

19        A.   The Croatian Party of Right.

20        Q.   And when did you join that party?

21        A.   I joined it in 2001.

22        Q.   Are you still a member of that party?

23        A.   There were two factions in that party.  Four and a half years

24     ago, I -- I separated my faction, and my party is today called the HSP,

25     Dr. Ante Starcevic, and I'm the general secretary.

Page 6241

 1             We also have a member of European Parliament from our party.

 2     That's Ms. Ruza Tomasic.

 3        Q.   Did Ms. Tomasic recently declare that Croatia is for Croats only.

 4     All the others are guests?

 5        A.   I think you're referring to an excerpt from a speech of hers.  I

 6     was present at that rally at Slatina.  The media took that out of

 7     context.  She never stated it that way.  She explained on a few occasions

 8     for the media, she meant to say that whoever lives in Croatia should

 9     respect it or leave.  But that didn't refer to any particular minority or

10     anybody else.

11        Q.   It referred to all the minorities, didn't it?

12        A.   No.  Not any minority and not all minorities.

13             She was speaking about Croatia.  Croatia is inhabited by Croats,

14     and they can be then divided into groups by religious affiliation and so

15     on and so forth.

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat the latter part

17     of his statement.

18             MR. GOSNELL:

19        Q.   Sir, the interpreters did not get the last part of your answer.

20     Could you repeat that, please.

21        A.   I'm not sure which part they are referring to, but I'll try.

22             In our programme, we do not divide the inhabitants of Croatia

23     into minorities.  We only see honest and dishonest people, but certainly,

24     no, we don't distinguish by ethnicity.  This interpretation of her

25     statement was taken out of context.  We don't stand behind any such ideas

Page 6242

 1     as a party, nor do we think that any minority should leave Croatia.

 2        Q.   Well, can you explain what context gives a different meaning to

 3     the words "Croatia is for Croats only"?

 4        A.   Ms. Tomasic lived in a developed democracy for 25 years.  She

 5     lived in Canada.  She graduated from a police academy and she respects

 6     the law and abides by it.  She knows how democracy works, whereas the

 7     rest of us only had a chance to experience it in the last 20 years.  So

 8     she actually said that in Canada, the people living there are Canadians.

 9     In Croatia, you will find Croatians and so on, and people should act that

10     accordingly.

11        Q.   Were you a founding member of the -- of this party, the HSP?

12        A.   I am the first founder.

13        Q.   And can you tell us - and you may have already implicitly already

14     answered this question but I would like to know - can you tell us

15     specifically when the party first came into existence, if you can, the

16     month and the year?

17        A.   If we're speaking about the HSP, Dr. Ante Starcevic, the party

18     was officially registered in October 2009.  The founding assembly was

19     held at Bapska, near my house, and I did so on purpose.  There were a few

20     hundred delegates.  All other parliamentary parties in Croatia were

21     founded in Zagreb but I wanted to show that our party cares about

22     everybody in Croatia, not only about the capital.  Officially our party

23     was founded on the 6th of October --

24             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat the year.

25             MR. GOSNELL:

Page 6243

 1        Q.   Sorry, Mr. Witness, the interpreters missed the year.

 2        A.   2009.

 3        Q.   And before founding and participating in the founding of this

 4     party, were you a member of the HSP?

 5        A.   Yes, yes.

 6        Q.   And when was that party founded; and when did you become a member

 7     of the HSP?

 8        A.   That party was founded over 160 years ago.  It was prohibited

 9     occasionally.  I believe that it was in 2001 that I was no longer

10     satisfied with the policy of the HDZ after the death of President Tudjman

11     and then I left that party.

12        Q.   What was it about the platform of the HDZ that did not satisfy

13     you?  In other words, what motivated you to participate in the founding

14     of a new party?

15        A.   The basic motivation was when the cat's away, the mice will play.

16             When the late president died, there -- there began an internal

17     struggle for power and the members started to care more about form than

18     about the content.

19        Q.   Is your current party and before that the HSP, are they closely

20     affiliated, in terms of outlook and ideology with another party called

21     Hrvatska Cista Stranka Prava, the Hrvatska Pure Party of Rights?

22        A.   The oldest political world view in Croatia is the so-called

23     Pravastvo and one of the parties advocating that is the HCSP.  We ran

24     together with the HCSP in the last electoral campaign.

25        Q.   So the answer to my question is yes?

Page 6244

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   And am I right that your current party, as well as the HSP and

 3     the HCSP, these parties together would be considered less moderate than

 4     the HDZ party; correct?

 5        A.   No.

 6        Q.   And how would you characterise this wing of the political

 7     spectrum?

 8        A.   Our political spectrum is conservative, Christian democrats.

 9             I personally as general secretary never allowed anybody to treat

10     us as the so-called political right.

11             MR. GOSNELL:  Could we have 1D486, please, which is tab --

12     Defence tab 4.  It's a document recently added to our list, and I

13     sincerely hope that it's been released in e-court.  Apparently it hasn't.

14     I'll have to come back to this document, thank you, Mr. Registrar [sic].

15             Could I kindly ask that hard copies of the witness's statement be

16     distributed to the legal officer and to the Judges if there's no

17     opposition from the Prosecution.

18             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Is that a document you just asked to remove from

19     the witness's desk in the beginning of your cross?

20             MR. GOSNELL:  Indeed, Mr. President.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.  And is it the one with the

22     paragraph numbers or without?

23             MR. GOSNELL:  Yes, with paragraph numbers.

24             JUDGE DELVOIE:  With.  Okay.  Thank you.

25             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, we would ask that the witness then

Page 6245

 1     be provided with a copy if everyone else has a copy of the same document.

 2             MR. GOSNELL:  No, Mr. President.  That's precisely the purpose of

 3     exercise we're about to undertake.

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Please proceed, Mr. Gosnell.

 5             MR. GOSNELL:

 6        Q.   Mr. Coric, you gave the statement that you looked at earlier

 7     today to an investigator of the Office of the Prosecutor 18 years ago; is

 8     that right?

 9        A.   That's right.

10        Q.   And I don't mean any criticism of you in saying this, but is it

11     possible that as you sit here today, you have forgotten some of the

12     things that you wrote down with that investigator 18 years ago?

13        A.   I don't think I've forgot anything.

14        Q.   When did you leave Sarengrad following the JNA attack?

15        A.   I left Sarengrad on the 14th of October in the evening hours.

16        Q.   And when did the women and children leave?

17        A.   My wife gave birth to a daughter on the -- on Saint Ann's day on

18     the 26th of July, 1995, at Vinkovci hospital which was practically being

19     shelled and they left Eastern Slavonia.  My late brother came to fetch

20     them in August --

21             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat the date.

22        A.   My wife and three children, among them a newborn, only five days

23     old.

24             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, I see that we -- the LiveNote

25     appears to have been interrupted.  I will proceed because I have the

Page 6246

 1     screen in front of me, but it would be helpful if that could be fixed.

 2             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Yes, indeed.  We call the technician,

 3     Madam Registrar.

 4             MR. GOSNELL:

 5        Q.   Mr. Coric, I'm not sure that you answered my question.  My

 6     question was:  When did the women and children -- I'm not talking just

 7     about your wife when she went to give birth.  I'm talking about the

 8     balance of the population of women and children in Sarengrad, when did

 9     they leave?

10        A.   Yes, yes.  If I understood well, the organised -- there was no

11     organised transportation of women and children from Sarengrad.  They were

12     taken from the monastery and other cellars during the night on the 4th of

13     October, before the main attack.  So we transported women, children, and

14     the elderly to Ilok.  There must have been 500 to 700 persons in all.

15     There was shooting by the main road, and that's why we went through the

16     woods from the monastery.  We took them to the hill above Sarengrad, and

17     there were two buses from Ilok public transportation.  I remember

18     Vinko Raguz with a private truck, too.  And that's how we took them to

19     Ilok.  Among them, there were nuns, 21 Carmelites, and the parish priest

20     was also there.  Overnight, they were put up at the monastery at Ilok.

21     And a smaller number of civilians went to their homes occasionally

22     because they still had livestock there.

23        Q.   Thank you, Mr. Coric.  So was it the night of the 4th or the

24     night of the 5th that this evacuation of women and children took place?

25        A.   As far as I remember, it was on the night of the 4th.

Page 6247

 1             MR. GOSNELL:  And for Your Honours, that's paragraph 11 of the

 2     statement.

 3        Q.   Some days later, was someone killed in a town called Sotin?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   Who, and when did that occur?

 6        A.   It's hard for me to give you a date because I would have to take

 7     a look at the document.

 8             It's my deputy Kresimir Djakovic.  He was charged with supplying

 9     the population who was -- that was at Sarengrad with bread from Ilok.

10     Somebody told him that the JNA and the paramilitaries had left Sotin and

11     with a woman from Sotin who was dis -- displaced at Sarengrad and he took

12     her to Sotin in his car.  But that was a mistake because between Opatovac

13     and Sotin the so-called JNA shot at them, killing him and wounding her.

14             That's all I know about that because at the time we didn't have

15     reliable information.  He simply went missing.  Only when we came to the

16     free territory we found -- we got all the information about the way he

17     lost his life.

18        Q.   And at some point, you --

19             MR. GOSNELL:  And for Your Honours, that's paragraph 12 of the

20     statement.

21        Q.   And at some point, Mr. Coric, you managed to pass into Serbia.

22     Could you please tell us where you went, once you had crossed the border

23     and passed into Serbia?

24        A.   In rough lines, I described that path of mine.  I don't want to

25     mention some people because they still live in Serbia today.

Page 6248

 1             After the referendum and after the signing of the agreement at

 2     Sid, it was clear that Ilok would be surrendered and that the civilian

 3     population would be deported in a convoy --

 4        Q.   Sorry, Mr. Coric, perhaps we could cut this short because we do

 5     have your statement.  All the details are in there.  I wouldn't wish to

 6     have you repeat all of that.

 7             The specific detail that I am interested in is where did you go

 8     once you crossed the border when you were in Serbia.

 9        A.   It -- what I said matters to me for the reason that if I had been

10     on the convoy, I would be taken out and probably killed, not even taken

11     to a camp.

12             My deputies and the others were taken out of the convoy and taken

13     to a camp and being mistreated --

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Witness.  Mr. Witness, could you please

15     answer the specific question Mr. Gosnell put to you or say that you

16     don't -- you don't remember if that's the case.

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do remember.  I'm merely

18     explaining my reasons.

19             I arrived at Sid.  There is a restaurant by the name of Cubura,

20     and the son of Petar Vidakovic took me to Belgrade.  He was in civilian

21     clothes.  And I got on a train in Belgrade, rode to Subotica and met some

22     friends there.  They took me to the Hungarian border in a car, and by way

23     of Hungary, I went -- travelled on to Munich, then to Vienna, and

24     returned to Zagreb.

25             MR. GOSNELL:

Page 6249

 1        Q.   And when did you arrive back in Zagreb after this itinerary?

 2        A.   On the 19th of October, 1991.

 3        Q.   While you were in Sarengrad -- well, let me just ask again.  When

 4     did you say that you left -- strike that.

 5             While you were in Sarengrad, was there a Croatian soldier who

 6     swam the Danube River to reach Sarengrad?  And can you please describe

 7     that event.

 8        A.   The members of the civilian protection that were standing guard

 9     along the Danube, sometime around the 10th or -- or rather, four, five

10     days before the fall of Ilok and Sarengrad, saw somebody that had swam

11     across the Danube.  They found a frozen JNA soldier who was a Croatian

12     from Australia.  He confirmed the story for us.  They were told to shoot

13     at us.  He was the victim of the propaganda war, according to which there

14     were thousands upon thousands of Ustasha who were slaughtering children,

15     ill-treating Serbian population, and all of them were across the Danube.

16     As a Croatian, he decided to leave the army and then he saw some dozen of

17     us poorly dressed without any weapons.  He cried.  He was in no position

18     to hold any duties.  On that day we gave him civilian clothes.  We

19     transferred him to the monastery in Ilok.  There he was with our nuns.

20     Since there was a police station in Ilok, they made him fake ID papers

21     and he used those papers to join the convoy as a civilian.  Later on I

22     heard that, in 1993, that soldier was killed as a Croatian soldier.

23             During all the negotiations that our commission participated in,

24     there were two ultimatums that we were given.  One of them was to

25     surrender the tank, and from Ilaca it ended up in a forest near Ilok.

Page 6250

 1     And all the time they kept on asking us where that soldier was, the one

 2     who had swam the river.  And obviously we did not want to surrender him

 3     to them.

 4             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, I'm sorry to have to mention this,

 5     but we've lost the transcript server again and access to e-court.  I'm

 6     not sure whether that can be fixed.  I can proceed but ...

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Could you do whatever it takes, Madam Registrar.

 8                           [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]

10             MR. GOSNELL:  I have it back now.  Thank you, Mr. President.

11             JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]

12             MR. GOSNELL:

13        Q.   Before the war broke out, how many Serbs were living in the town

14     of -- or the village of Sarengrad?

15        A.   According to the last census, which took place in 1991, Sarengrad

16     had 1150 inhabitants, and there were less than 10 per cent Serbs.  Not

17     more than 80 to 90 all in all.

18             MR. GOSNELL:  And this is paragraph 4 of the statement for

19     Your Honours.

20        Q.   And were there any members of the civilian defence force that was

21     set up in Sarengrad?

22             Excuse me, let me clarify my question.  Were there any Serb

23     members of the civilian defence force?

24        A.   As I've already told you, the civilian protection was not a

25     military formation.  We were not trained.  We didn't have any weapons.

Page 6251

 1     Everybody who joined, joined voluntarily.  Among them were

 2     Milivoj Radojcin, Bratus, and Jovan Kovacevic, who personally reported to

 3     me and said that they wanted to participate in all the activities

 4     pertaining to the protection of the village and we gladly took them on.

 5     The other Serbs did not want to join.

 6             On our part, we did not put any pressure on them to bear.

 7        Q.   Are you sure you didn't have any weapons that were used for the

 8     civilian defence force?

 9        A.   We did have weapons, but not enough, not enough for a hundred

10     people to be armed properly.  We had hunting rifles, which is confirmed

11     by the statement of the UN commission that was in Sarengrad and that was

12     able to establish the nature of the weapons.  Some of the -- the rifles

13     had been purchased.  Those were shotguns whose range was about 50 metres.

14     We had some automatic weapons, pistol and others that were purchased on

15     the black market from the smugglers who toured the area daily.  I think I

16     saw in some documents that one had to fork out 500 to 1200 German marks

17     to buy a rifle.  People did not have enough money.  Some sold their cows

18     in order to buy rifles which they considered their own personal weapons.

19     Those weapons had to be under control on the premises of the local

20     commune.  This means that those weapons were never taken to any lines or

21     they were all under my control.  Nobody among the Serbs in Sarengrad were

22     not as much as insulted as long as being physically ill treated [as

23     interpreted].  We were very rigorous there, and I personally take proud

24     of that part of -- of our life there.

25        Q.   So you did have weapons that were used for the civilian defence

Page 6252

 1     force.

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Than included automatic rifles; correct?

 4        A.   Very few, yes.  A fewer number.

 5        Q.   Were you provided with any money from the HDZ to purchase

 6     weapons?

 7        A.   No.  I was the HDZ, together with some other people, and we did

 8     not have any money for that.

 9        Q.   You didn't participate in a meeting in July or August 1990 at

10     which the HDZ, in particular Tomislav Mercep, discussed arming groups of

11     Croats in villages?

12        A.   I was at that meeting.  If you're referring to the meeting at

13     Bogdanovci.  There were several hundred citizens there.  There were all

14     civilians.  Nobody wore a uniform.  Nobody had a rifle or a pistol.  That

15     Tomislav Mercep gave a motivating speech.  He gave people -- that we

16     would survive, that we would defend ourselves, that we would receive

17     assistance from the west.  We always believed that the Americans would be

18     on our side.  We lived in an illusion and that's how it all ended.

19        Q.   At the meeting at Bogdanovci -- well, first of all, precisely

20     when was that meeting, to the best of your recollection?

21        A.   I really can't remember.  I know that before that we managed to

22     stop tanks in Bogdanovci with our bodies.  The tanks wanted to pass

23     through Bogdanovci in the direction of Vukovar.  We gathered and with

24     other our own bodies we prevented their passage, and that was our motive

25     to try and gather our forces and organise ourselves.

Page 6253

 1        Q.   Was that in 1990 or 1991, as best you can recall?

 2        A.   I believe that that was in 1991, but I'm really not sure about

 3     that.

 4        Q.   How long before the incident in Borovo Selo when Croatian

 5     policemen were killed did that occur, or was it after?

 6        A.   As I've already told you, I took the oath, so I don't want to say

 7     something wrong.  I was at the meeting.  There is a video-clip which can

 8     be easily obtained.  You can see who those people were, and you can see

 9     that none -- none of them were soldiers.  It was -- it was not a military

10     formation of any kind.

11        Q.   Was there any discussion of setting up HDZ armed formations in

12     towns at that meeting?

13        A.   When you are in power in a town like we were in Bogdanovci and

14     Ilok, you had obligations.  When -- one of those obligations is to

15     protect the population and their property, first and foremost, as I've

16     already tried to tell you, the equipment and the weapons were stored at

17     the Secretariat for National Defence in Vukovar and that was under the

18     control of the Serbian side and the SDS.  When we managed to reach those

19     premises we found empty depots where once thousands upon thousands of

20     rifles had been.  So that that was our obligation.  That was what we

21     wanted to do.  We wanted to contribute towards the defence and protection

22     of the population and its property.

23             The only thing that existed at the time was the HDZ.  And in

24     keeping with that, obviously the HDZ was the generating force behind all

25     of the events.  At that time we could not work on the development of the

Page 6254

 1     economy.  We had to deal with the aggression that had already started and

 2     that had already reached our door-step.

 3             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, I see once again that the witness

 4     has strayed into territory that was covered by Your Honours' ruling.  And

 5     nothing in the question that I posed leaned in that direction.  I was

 6     inclined before I started the cross-examination not to go back to this

 7     subject, but now I would seek your guidance --

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Why don't you stop the witness?

 9             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, I'm listening -- I'm listening on

10     translation, and it would have been impossible to cut him off before he

11     said what he said.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Witness, we would like you to give, as far as

13     possible, short answers and precise answers to the questions, to precise

14     questions.

15             Could you try to do that?

16                           [Defence counsel confer]

17             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, can I ask for your guidance.  I

18     would wish to put a simple proposition to the witness on this subject,

19     but I wouldn't wish to open the floor to an endless cross-examination on

20     the topics.  And since the witness has blurted it out twice, I would ask

21     for your latitude to put a proposition but not have that proposition open

22     the door to material that we say is just improper for having heard from

23     this witness.  But I'm in Your Honours' hands as to whether that is

24     permissible.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy.

Page 6255

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  The Prosecution would object to this.  It is, first

 2     of all, not clear what my learned friend would like to lead

 3     cross-examination on from his recent statement.  We were also precluded

 4     from and we did follow the Trial Chamber's guide-lines in respect of what

 5     was permissible in terms of our examination-in-chief, and we don't think

 6     that it's appropriate or proper at this time that the Defence would then

 7     be allowed to circumvent that ruling.

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Is that what you're trying to do, Mr. Gosnell?

 9             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, if Your Honours can give me an assurance that

10     the two statements that have been made about the SDS allegedly being --

11     what he has now said on cross is that the SDS was in charge of the

12     Committee for National Defence and what he said during his chief was that

13     the SDS was in charge of the TO depots.  Two different things.

14             If Your Honours can reassure me that those are not in evidence,

15     then I won't seek to embark on any questions on this subject.

16                           [Trial Chamber confers]

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  The Trial Chamber will not rely on the witness's

18     evidence on these points.

19             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.

20        Q.   Mr. Coric, what was Tomislav Mercep's position leading up to the

21     conflict in Croatia?

22        A.   I'm trying to be succinct.  In 1989 I met the first Croatian

23     president, Franjo Tudjman, in Stuttgart, in a Catholic mission.  I joined

24     the HDZ very soon thereafter.  And then I attended a meeting with

25     Branimir Glavas and Vladimir Seks at the Bendek restaurant in Osijek --

Page 6256

 1        Q.   Sorry.  Sorry, Mr. Coric.  I'm guided by the Chamber's

 2     instructions to me to do my best to ensure that you answer the question.

 3             So could I kindly ask you to just answer my question.

 4             JUDGE DELVOIE:  And to speak slowly, Mr. Coric.

 5             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise, I'm trying to say a

 6     lot as quickly as I can.

 7             I was appointed the co-ordinator of the HDZ for --

 8             JUDGE DELVOIE:  That's not helpful, Mr. Coric --

 9             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to tell you how

10     Tomislav Mercep got involved.  Without those two sentences I can't get to

11     the bottom of the whole matter.  Tomislav Mercep did not fall out of the

12     sky.  I have to tell you how we functioned.

13             JUDGE DELVOIE:  When I -- when I said that that was not helpful

14     Mr. Coric, I meant, in the first place, you're speaking as fast as you

15     can.  That's not helpful.  Now, the other -- the other issue is whether

16     you should expand or not.  Try to be as short as possible but, of course,

17     you need to answer the question eventually with a little bit of context.

18             But please speak slowly.

19             Perhaps you could repeat the question, Mr. Gosnell, so that we

20     are back on track.

21             MR. GOSNELL:

22        Q.   Yes, Mr. Coric, the question was:  What was Mr. Mercep's position

23     prior to the outbreak of hostilities in Croatia?

24        A.   As the HDZ co-ordinator for Vukovar, I was looking for people

25     whom I could include.  I tried to get hold of highly educated people.  I

Page 6257

 1     heard of Tomislav Mercep as an engineer who worked at the Borovo.  My

 2     best man worked there.  I asked for a meeting.  I came to [Mercep's

 3     house, I explained to him who we were, what our programme and plan were.

 4     That was in 1989.  He then introduced me to his best man, the late Blago

 5     Zadro.  I asked them to come to Sarengrad on the 30th of December, 1989,

 6     where the inception meeting of the HDZ for that part of Slavonia would

 7     take place.  That was on the 30th of December, 1989.  He -- I asked him

 8     to come to Sarengrad to hear what we had to say.  They did come.  And

 9     during the break and during the secret ballot at which I was elected as

10     the first president of the HDZ, they officially became members

11     themselves.

12        Q.   Sorry -- sorry, maybe we can just focus this.  Between

13     January 1st, 1990, and August 1991, can you just tell us the titles, if

14     you know, of the positions held by Mr. Mercep?

15        A.   When he became a member, he was the first branch president in

16     Bogdanovci.  That was on the 10 February 1990.  And very soon he imposed

17     himself as a -- as a leader and he became president for the municipality

18     of Vukovar, the president of the HDZ.

19             Before he left Vukovar in August 1991, he had been appointed the

20     secretary of the Secretariat for the National Defence of Vukovar.  When

21     he became secretary, we found empty depots and everything else that I've

22     already mentioned previously.

23        Q.   You're sure it was August 1991?  Or was it, in fact, earlier than

24     August 1991 that Mr. Mercep became the secretary of the committee for

25     national defence of Vukovar?

Page 6258

 1        A.   It was much earlier.  He had been the secretary for a few months

 2     before he left Vukovar in August 1991.

 3        Q.   In what month did he become secretary of the committee for

 4     national defence?

 5        A.   Hard to say.  Perhaps in May 1991.

 6        Q.   Possibly even before the incident in Borovo Selo?

 7        A.   Possibly.

 8        Q.   Was there any ZNG armed unit or presence in Sarengrad at any time

 9     up until the time of your departure on the 14th of October, 1991?

10        A.   There was a platoon of the ZNG, as you called them.  They were

11     members of the 1st Guards Brigade, the so-called Tigers.  They spent ten

12     or perhaps 15 days in Sarengrad in the month of June.  Then they went to

13     Ilok.  And they were billeted in Principovac.  In all the subsequent

14     events, neither that unit nor any other unit participated in anything in

15     Sarengrad.  They did not take part in anything surrounding the aggression

16     or any such thing.

17        Q.   Do you say that there was no ZNG armed presence in Sarengrad on

18     the 4th of October, 1991?

19             MR. GOSNELL:  And for Your Honours, this is paragraph 8 of the

20     statement.

21             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

22             MR. GOSNELL:

23        Q.   When you gave your interview in 1995, were you asked whether

24     there was any ZNG presence in Sarengrad at any time, whether it be June,

25     July, August, September, or October 1991?

Page 6259

 1        A.   I don't need to say anything that's not true.  I believe that I

 2     said the same thing then that I'm saying today.

 3        Q.   Do you recall that you mentioned that there was a ZNG armed

 4     presence at some point in time during that period?

 5        A.   Yes.  And I have repeated that today.

 6        Q.   And yet that doesn't appear in your statement.  That's my

 7     proposition to you.

 8        A.   Maybe they did not deem that to be necessary or of essence.  It

 9     is a well-known fact that two members of the 1st Guards Brigade of the

10     so-called ZNG, or at least that's what you call them, were killed in

11     Sarengrad, but they were killed by a shell while they were in their car.

12     They were driving from Bapska.  They were in -- to Ilok.  They were in

13     the car of the late Ilok veterinarian.  The shell hit them in the centre

14     of Sarengrad.  The two of them were killed.  Another one was seriously

15     wounded.  He lost his arm and a leg.  We handed him over on the bridge to

16     the so-called JNA.  Later on, I heard that he was transported to Novi Sad

17     and that he has survived.  That was our only contact with them.

18        Q.   What date did that occur, that they were injured?  Sorry, that

19     one was injured and one was killed.

20        A.   Actually, two were killed.  Lovric and Gudelj.  Two were killed;

21     one was wounded on the 4th of October, 1991.

22        Q.   Were they armed at the time?

23        A.   I believe that they had side-arms or something of the kind in the

24     car.  But that was the last of our worries at the time.  At the scene

25     that I saw there was really ugly, because they suffered a direct hit.

Page 6260

 1     The shell hit the car directly.

 2        Q.   Why were they there on their own?  Or were they on their own?

 3        A.   There were three of them in the car.  I didn't know that there

 4     would -- they would be there.  Many others tried to zoom through the

 5     village during the shelling from one side to the other.  Some got lucky.

 6     The three of them didn't.  As far as I know, they were not on any special

 7     mission in Sarengrad or anywhere near.

 8             One of the big misconceptions about the ZNG was that they were

 9     trained militarily.  It's simply not true.  The two that were killed were

10     just two young lads who did not have anything whatsoever to do, either

11     with war or the military or any such thing.

12        Q.   Well, then, how did you know them to be members of the ZNG?

13        A.   I know their names, and I was the one who erected a monument at

14     the place where they were killed.  They were in uniforms.  Therefore,

15     unfortunately, we had to load them onto a small tractor.  We took them to

16     the far end of the village.  We loaded them into an ambulance.  They were

17     transferred to Ilok.  I don't know what happened next.  And we went back

18     to our own business, which was saving the houses that were on fire and

19     people who had been wounded.  It was only much later that I learnt the

20     names of the people who had been killed.  I learned their names only when

21     I returned to Sarengrad.

22        Q.   Did you speak to them prior to the event of them being injured?

23        A.   No.  They were killed about an hour after the most fierce

24     shelling had started.  We did not have Motorolas or any means of

25     communication.  We did not have telephone lines.  We did not have

Page 6261

 1     electricity.  Everything was down.  So there was no way for us to

 2     communicate with anybody.

 3        Q.   Weren't they there assisting in the defence of Sarengrad at that

 4     time, militarily?

 5        A.   [No interpretation].

 6        Q.   Isn't the reason that you evacuated the women and children on the

 7     4th of October was precisely so that you could defend that town

 8     militarily with minimum civilian casualties?  Isn't that precisely why

 9     they were evacuated and you didn't leave at the same time?

10        A.   It was my duty as commander of the civil protection to help the

11     civilians, which I did.  Whoever wanted to leave, I made it possible for

12     them.  But I left and if there had been an infantry attack on Sarengrad,

13     we would have put up resistance with the few weapons that we had.

14     There's no doubt about that.

15             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreter's correction:  "I stayed," not "I

16     left."

17             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My parents stayed in Sarengrad all

18     the time.  Nobody -- or, rather, we wouldn't have allowed any criminals

19     to come in without my trying to protect them.

20             MR. GOSNELL:

21        Q.   So you were bracing for an infantry attack against Sarengrad, and

22     you organised, in accordance with your responsibilities in the civilian

23     protection, you organised the defence of the town accordingly; is that

24     correct?

25        A.   In keeping with our delusions and given the poor equipment that

Page 6262

 1     we had, once we set up -- when we're setting up the civil protection we

 2     didn't know that the JNA had sided with the aggressor and the

 3     paramilitaries.  Instead, we expected an infantry attack, that there

 4     would be infiltrated groups attempting to commit crimes and burn down

 5     houses.  And so we were willing to protect ourselves to the extent we

 6     could with the few weapons that we had.

 7             I believe these are rights guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions,

 8     among others.  I am afraid that our resistance would have been weak and

 9     short, though.

10        Q.   And how many weapons did you have?  How many of you were armed in

11     preparing this defence?

12        A.   I said that during those months until the fall, we had a total of

13     100 men -- people taking part in various ways.

14        Q.   Let me just clarify and narrow my question.

15             After the 4th of October - let's specifically restrict ourselves

16     to that - how many of you were armed in defence of Sarengrad?

17        A.   Not more than 20.

18        Q.   And no one from the ZNG assisted you?

19        A.   No one.  No one wanted to come to Sarengrad.  Neither the police,

20     nor the ZNG, nor the international community, or anybody else.

21        Q.   Did you request the assistance of the ZNG or the Croatian police?

22        A.   I couldn't.  There was no way.  Those first few days, I told you,

23     whoever was wounded had to die or was surrendered to the enemy.

24     Everything else was boiled down to a struggle for survival.  Because we

25     soon realised that there would be no infantry attack, that we would be

Page 6263

 1     shelled day and night from heavy weapons, and morale soon sank.  We were

 2     soon left without electricity.  We were the ones supplying the population

 3     with bread.  We were releasing the livestock for it not to starve to

 4     death --

 5             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat his last

 6     sentence.

 7             MR. GOSNELL:  That's all right.  I'm just going to move to the

 8     next question if that's all right with everyone in the courtroom.

 9        Q.   Sir, what is your current position in the HSP, Dr. Ante Starcevic

10     Party.  What position do you hold?

11        A.   General secretary.

12        Q.   Is that an elected office?

13        A.   Yes.  Everybody is elected in our party.

14        Q.   I mean to say are you elected by the population?

15        A.   One of the political duties that I hold is the -- is president of

16     the local committee of Sarengrad.  I got --

17             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please repeat the percentage

18     of votes he got.

19             MR. GOSNELL:

20        Q.   Could you repeat how many -- what percentage of votes you

21     received.

22        A.   69 per cent.

23        Q.   And in the -- amongst those who you represent, do you represent

24     individuals of Serb ethnicity?

25        A.   Yes, yes.

Page 6264

 1             MR. GOSNELL:  Could we have 1D486, please, which now should be

 2     uploaded and ready for release on e-court.  And if we could please zoom

 3     in on the section entitled:  "Thieves and Chetniks."

 4        Q.   Is that Ms. Tomasic, the one who we identified -- or that you

 5     identified earlier as the leader of your party, the party of which you

 6     are a member?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   Here's what she is reported to have said.  Well, perhaps I could

 9     ask you to read it because my translation, the one that I provided may

10     not be perfect.  Could you please read the sentences, two sentences, the

11     first one beginning:  "It's time to loudly tell the truth ..."

12        A.   It's very small.  Could it be enlarged?

13             MR. GOSNELL:  Let's try, if we can, to switch only to the B/C/S

14     version and zoom in on the part below:  "Lopovi i Cetnici."

15        A.   Excellent.

16        Q.   And if we can start with:  "It's time to loudly tell the

17     truth ..."

18        A.   "'It is time to tell the truth aloud that a Croat today, in spite

19     of everything, may say in Croatia that a thief is a thief and a Chetnik

20     is a Chetnik,' Tomasic said."

21             Need I continue?

22        Q.   Please do.

23        A.   "Tomasic said and promised that this co-operation with the HDZ

24     party would be to everybody's benefit, mostly to the benefit of the

25     citizens.  Tomasic announced a return of the system that was abolished

Page 6265

 1     long ago in order to hide the truth and pointed out that Croatia is for

 2     Croats and everybody else are guests."

 3        Q.   Were you present at this meeting?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   How was that comment received amongst the audience?

 6        A.   First of all, I must express my reservations towards this

 7     shortened statement of hers because it does not reflect the truth of what

 8     she said.

 9             It was recorded on video, by the way.

10             Ms. Tomasic certainly did not refer to any minority.  In Vukovar

11     we have -- also have ethnic Serbs who run on our list.  My party, for

12     example, won in Miklusevci, Tompojevci, and Petrusevci [phoen], with

13     members of Ruthenian and Ukrainian -- who are members of those

14     minorities.  This is a falsified statement, but having said all that, I

15     must say that I agree with what she said.  A thief is a thief; and a

16     Chetnik is a Chetnik.  Both Ms. Tomasic and I are known for speaking out

17     the truth without mincing our words.

18        Q.   And leaving aside whatever additional words she may have uttered

19     during this meeting, did she utter the words that are reported in this

20     article?

21        A.   I believe that this is the journalist's free interpretation.  I

22     don't know which media this was published in.  That's the journalist's

23     conclusion.

24             We explained these statements on a number of occasions.  They

25     were taken out of the context of her entire speech and now this sounds

Page 6266

 1     very different.

 2        Q.   Are you denying that she said, "A thief is a thief; a Chetnik is

 3     a Chetnik"?  And are you denying that she said -- well, let's start

 4     there.

 5             Do you deny that?  Did she say that?

 6        A.   Yes -- no --

 7             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy, I see you're on your feet.

 8             MS. DENNEHY:  Thank you, Mr. President.  I do apologise for

 9     interrupting.  However, the witness has already responded to that

10     particular question.  He has said, actually, at line 18 of page 62, that

11     he agreed with that.  And so this is repetition of the same question.

12             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Gosnell.

13             MR. GOSNELL:  I believe my learned friend may have given an

14     erroneous line reference or page reference?

15             MS. DENNEHY:  The LiveNote in front of me at page 61, line 18,

16     says:

17             "This is a falsified statement, but having said that, I must say

18     that I agree with what she said.  A thief is a thief; and a Chetnik is a

19     Chetnik."

20             That was the witness's words.

21             MR. GOSNELL:  Well, that's certainly ambiguous, Mr. President.

22             JUDGE DELVOIE:  What is there ambiguous about it?

23             MR. GOSNELL:  I'm not quite sure whether in indicating that it's

24     a falsified statement, this is in line with his claim that the journalist

25     has taken it out of context or whether the witness is saying that she

Page 6267

 1     didn't say those things.  In fact, I understood earlier that he indicated

 2     earlier that she did say these things.

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  You may ask the question to clarify.

 4             MR. GOSNELL:

 5        Q.   Did she say those words:  "A thief is a thief; and a Chetnik is a

 6     Chetnik"?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   Did she say Croatia ...

 9             MR. GOSNELL:  Something appears to be missing from the LiveNote,

10     Mr. President.  It was the translation of the other portion.  May I put

11     that to him?

12             JUDGE DELVOIE: [Microphone not activated]

13             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  I have it here on the screen.  "Croatia for the

15     Croats," and then the only -- but there we have to go over the page.

16             MR. GOSNELL:  Perhaps I can just put it like this.

17        Q.   Did she say that Croatia is for Croats and all the others are

18     guests?

19        A.   Not in this way.

20             MR. GOSNELL:  I could conclude in two questions, depending on the

21     answers, Mr. President.

22        Q.   Did -- have you spoken to anyone about your impending testimony

23     here before the ICTY, before you travelled here?

24        A.   No.

25        Q.   You told no one in your party that you were coming here to

Page 6268

 1     testify?

 2        A.   No.  They know I was going to The Hague, but I never speak about

 3     my statement, with anyone.

 4        Q.   Did any of them suggest that you should testify in a particular

 5     way, even in a joking manner?

 6        A.   No.

 7        Q.   Have you spoken to any public officials about your upcoming

 8     testimony?

 9        A.   No.

10        Q.   Do you feel any motivation to testify in a particular way,

11     because if you were to say anything favourable to Mr. Hadzic, you would

12     be blamed for that in your party?

13        A.   Not like that.  I only feel the need to tell the truth so that it

14     may become known.  That is my motivation:  To tell the truth.

15             MR. GOSNELL:  This document is tendered, Mr. President.

16             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Admitted and marked.

17             THE REGISTRAR:  As Exhibit D74, Your Honours.

18             MR. GOSNELL:  And, of course, we'll seek a proper translation of

19     the document for uploading to e-court.

20             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Then I would perhaps admit it -- MFI it, pending

21     translation, right, or pending correction.

22             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

23        Q.   Mr. Coric, thank you very much for your answers.

24             MR. GOSNELL:  Mr. President, that concludes my cross-examination.

25             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Ms. Dennehy.


Page 6269

 1             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, I did get to my feet or attempted to

 2     get to my feet.  But I presumed that given the time, you wouldn't have

 3     decided or that the Trial Chamber wouldn't have decided on whether the --

 4     the admissibility of this document.  The Prosecution objects to the

 5     admission of this document on the basis that the witness has not provided

 6     proper -- a proper foundation for it, and has actually said that he

 7     disagrees with the foundation and the opinion stated in this document and

 8     he believes that it's untrue.

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  You should be less hesitant with getting on your

10     feet, Ms. Dennehy.  Because I saw indeed a slight movement and then you

11     sat down again.

12             MS. DENNEHY:  Given the proximity to the break, I thought that

13     Your Honours were going to break at this time.

14             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Okay.

15             Mr. Gosnell.

16             MR. GOSNELL:  Thank you, Mr. President.

17             The witness was present during the meeting reported in the

18     article.  The witness confirmed at least two passages that are cited in

19     the article, even though he may disagree with the overall presentation,

20     and that's enough for admission and foundation.

21             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Objection overruled.

22             Is there anything in re-direct, Ms. Dennehy?  If there is, I

23     think we better take the break, but -- unless you say I have only one or

24     two questions.

25             MS. DENNEHY:  No, I have nothing in re-direct at this time.

Page 6270

 1             JUDGE DELVOIE:  You have nothing in re-direct.

 2                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 3             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Mr. Coric, this is the end of your testimony.  We

 4     thank you for coming to The Hague to assist the Tribunal.  You're now

 5     released as a witness, and we wish you a safe journey home.

 6             The court usher will escort you out of court.  Thank you.

 7             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.

 8                           [The witness withdrew]

 9             JUDGE DELVOIE:  There's nothing else for today?

10             MS. DENNEHY:  Mr. President, I have a procedural issue that I

11     would like to address in relation to the exhibits that were tendered

12     earlier.  This is just for the record.

13             That is, that Exhibit P2277 should be assigned -- or excuse me.

14     Exhibit 65 ter 414.3 should be assigned to Exhibit P2277.  And exhibit

15     65 ter 414.4 is assigned P2978.  And those just the break -- the 2278.  I

16     apologise.  Those are the -- the exhibits tendered earlier.

17             JUDGE DELVOIE:  Noted.  Thank you.

18             If nothing else, court adjourned for the day.

19                            --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.22 p.m.,

20                           to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 26th day of

21                           June, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.