1 Thursday, 5 September 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-04-75-T, the Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
11 May we have the appearances, please, starting with the
13 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted and
14 Alex Demirdjian for the Prosecution, with case manager Thomas Laugel and
15 our intern Simona Onicel.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
19 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
21 Could the witness be brought in, please.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, General. May I remind you that
24 you're still under oath.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, please proceed.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR VASILJEVIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
6 Q. General, could you please take a look at your statement,
7 paragraph 160 -- actually, I think that we can have it on the screen for
8 you too.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In that paragraph you said, among other things, that you heard
11 from Borisavljevic that Goran Hadzic and Zeljko Raznatovic came to
12 Velepromet on the 19th and 20th of November, 1991. First of all, I'd
13 like to clarify this 19th of November. It says further on in that
14 statement that at the time there were 186 Croat prisoners in Velepromet
15 under the guard of Captain Bajic, that Arkan wanted to take immediate
16 charge of them, but that they were transferred to Ovcara and then taken
17 to Sremska Mitrovica.
18 So now I'd like to ask you, do you know which group of prisoners
19 this referred to because we do know, indeed, that perhaps 186 or 187
20 prisoners from Ovcara were transferred to Mitrovica and that those were
21 the prisoners who had surrendered at Mitnica?
22 A. First of all, about the date, the 19th. I think that during the
23 previous testimony we did clarify that these dates were unreliable, I
24 mean the people who conveyed this to me. It is the 20th rather than the
25 19th. That is the first thing that I wish to say.
1 Secondly, I don't know where these people were taken prisoner,
2 the persons referred to here, but I know about that from the 19th, when I
3 was in Vukovar. I was told that they were transferred from Mitnica to
4 Sremska Mitrovica. Possibly selection had been carried out, or rather, a
5 triage. A number of people from Mitnica who were at Velepromet at the
6 time, but I do not know that for sure.
7 Q. Thank you. That's what I wanted to ask you.
8 Further on it says in the same statement that on the next day,
9 the day after this event, at least that's what it says in this statement,
10 the government of the SBWS held a meeting at Velepromet, and at that
11 meeting it was decided to transfer these prisoners to the jurisdiction of
12 the Vukovar TO under the command of Stanko Vujanovic. Is that what
13 Borisavljevic said to you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please, according to Borisavljevic's words, as for these 186
16 prisoners that were being asked about, they were transferred to Ovcara
17 and from there to Mitrovica, that is Borisavljevic's version; right?
18 A. Yes, but if you allow me, I would like to clarify this thing
19 about the session since he moved the date. He did not remember it. I
20 talked to him in 1995. He said a day later and a day after the 19th is
21 the 20th. So since this is not the 19th, but rather the 20th, then
22 probably that day's moved too. That is my assumption. I noted that the
23 date is not certain because there were different versions. People did
24 not mention these -- did not, rather, remember these dates and there may
25 have been a mistake there.
1 Q. At any rate, he said to you that these were two different days,
2 when he transferred the prisoners from Velepromet to Ovcara?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. When Arkan asked for them and when the government meeting was
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You see, we have some information - this is transcript page
8 5089 - that these prisoners, indeed 187 presumably - prisoners were
9 transferred to Sremska Mitrovica from Ovcara. But we also have
10 information that these prisoners were brought to Ovcara directly after
11 having surrendered at Mitnica. Their names were written down very
12 properly and they were handed over; that is to say, they were not taken
13 to Velepromet at all. Well, all right. If that's what Borisavljevic
14 said to you, that's what he said. But did you hear of this information?
15 A. Which information?
16 Q. That 187 prisoners or 186 prisoners from Mitnica, that is to say
17 those who surrendered at Mitnica, were transferred to Ovcara directly
18 without being taken to Velepromet or anywhere else, and from there to
19 Sremska Mitrovica?
20 A. I just have the information that later -- I mean, I know the
21 period --
22 Q. In other words, you just have this information from
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Thank you. I asked you about this decision, to hand the
1 prisoners over to the Vukovar TO under the command of Stanko Vujanovic
2 because I see that in paragraph 159 of your statement you mentioned that
3 the commander of the Vukovar TO was Miroljub Vujovic. So I don't know
4 whether Borisavljevic told you about Vujanovic precisely or is this a
5 slip of the tongue, perhaps, with regard to the name?
6 A. You see, I did not know personally who the commander of the
7 Territorial Defence was in which period. I do have some information from
8 talking to Jovan Vulovic [phoen], a journalist from Vreme because he read
9 things out of his notebook from Vukovar. What he said is one source as
10 to what happened there, and the other source was what Borisavljevic said.
11 Q. Yes, you say that in your statement.
12 A. Yes. Now I cannot say exactly which one of the two was the
13 commander of the Territorial Defence and which one held a different
15 Q. I would now like to ask you to look at 1D568, that is number 46
16 on our list. We have here in evidence a text from the newspapers from
17 that period. The title is: "No Threat of Massacre in Vukovar." This is
18 actually a statement by a representative of the SSNO, Miodrag Starcevic.
19 Do you perhaps remember what position he held at the time, at the
21 A. I do remember. He was in the legal sector, in the legal
23 Q. Thank you. You see, if we can just enlarge the B/C/S a bit, the
24 first part, just the first paragraph. He said that the most recent
25 requests of the Croatian government were unfounded because there are no
1 real grounds for fear that anyone in Vukovar will allegedly massacre
2 civilians, the elderly, and children.
3 First of all I want to ask you whether you remember what these
4 most recent requests of the Croatian government were? What was it that
5 they were asking?
6 A. I don't even know the date. The date does matter to me.
7 Q. Just a moment. It's the 19th of November. This was published on
8 the 19th of November, 1991.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So the statement was made a day before that, on the 18th of
12 A. Yes. I did not have any information of this nature.
13 Q. You see, there's something else that I find striking here in a
14 way. There's a reference to old men and women and children here. Is
15 that a mistake? There is a reference to prisoners of war, imprisoned
16 members of the armed forces. So I wanted to ask you whether you believe
17 that this was omitted by mistake, either by the newspapers or ...
18 A. You see, on this 19th of November, I was in the village of
19 Milici, as I said. I could have been in Belgrade too without seeing this
20 text. Since operations were over on the 18th in Vukovar - that's what
21 they say - then the population was taken out of houses, basements,
22 et cetera, and they were evacuated from town.
23 Now, most probably there were some allusions here in terms of
24 their fear, what would happen to these old men. Indeed, elderly people
25 and children, all of those people who had been in the houses until then
1 were getting out. There was this pressure concerning Vukovar all the
2 time; however, it is a fact that the first group that got out expressed
3 their desire to go to Croatia. There was this column - I don't know if I
4 remember correctly - consisting of about 1.000 persons. And then they
5 were returned from the border. The Croats did not want to admit them.
6 Then they were returned to Mitrovica again and then again the Red Cross
7 tried to take care of them. You know what, in that period there was a
8 lot of propaganda going on. There was information then that in some
9 kindergarten some children had been killed. There were all sorts of
10 things that were being bandied about, and I think that this is part of
11 the overall campaign concerning Vukovar.
12 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 158 you describe, inter alia --
13 actually, you said one of the officers took care of the bodies, that a
14 bulldozer was used, and so on. I just wanted to clarify something. When
15 you say -- when there's this reference to this burial here, what is
16 meant, the digging of this grave, and then covering it? Or is this a
17 reference to something else?
18 A. I understood that that was that, the mass grave where the victims
19 were buried.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 We have another piece of information, that at that time, on the
22 19th of November, to be precise, among other people General Jerko Crmaric
23 was in Vukovar too. And our information says that at that time he was
24 assistant commander for logistics in the 1st Military District, I think.
25 Have you heard about this? I assume that you did not see him because you
1 said that you did not see anybody else except for the security organs
2 that you mentioned.
3 A. I know General Crmaric and it is correct that he held the
4 position of assistant commander for logistics in the
5 1st Military District, but I am not aware of his being in Vukovar. I did
6 not see him and I did not receive any information to that effect.
7 Q. We have here in evidence a document, 1D584, again on our list
8 this is number 51. It is a document -- it is actually a set of
9 instructions regarding persons who are held by the JNA during internal
10 conflicts, and I see that he is precisely the person who gave these
11 instructions and it says there what is done with such persons. Tell us,
12 was General Crmaric in the security organs before he held this position?
13 A. I don't know whether he came to that position after being a
14 security organ, but he was in that service for a while during some
15 previous years.
16 Q. Are you familiar with this instruction?
17 A. Yes. When I was preparing to testify in the proceedings in
18 Croatia, I had an opportunity to see it. And I can say that this
19 instruction followed from another instruction that was drafted at SSNO
20 level following the orders of the Chief of General Staff, Blagoje Adzic.
21 And then it was sent down to the commands of army districts and then they
22 elaborated some details.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I tender this document and previous document. I
25 forgot to ask it immediately. It is 1D568 and 1D584.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibits D100 and D101.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I wanted to ask you one more thing. You saw in documents and
6 probably also learned later that the 20th of November was the most
7 critical day, and this is basically why we are here involved in these
8 proceedings, at least as far as Vukovar is concerned. And according to
9 our information, at that time during those critical 72 hours, starting
10 from the evening of the 19th of November until the late evening hours of
11 the 20th of November, there were a total of ten officers from the
12 security organs in Vukovar. You said that they were from the
13 1st Army District, whereas our information was somewhat different. We
14 were told that some were from the security administration, others from
15 the 1st Army District, but you said something else. There was also
16 Marko Crmaric. Did you ever hear why it was necessary to have such a
17 large number of people with much experience in this line of work during
18 those 24 or 36 hours?
19 A. No. I still stand by what I said in relation to the security
20 organs. There weren't ten of them. I think that there were five,
21 including the warrant officer who was there. Now since you're alleging
22 that there were ten security organs there, which I denied and I asked you
23 for their names - but please don't interrupt me now - and you're asking
24 about General Crmaric, whether he was in security, that has nothing to do
25 with the matter. He was the assistant commander for logistics in the
1 1st Army District. This instruction about treating persons who -- and so
2 on was drafted by the assistant for logistics of the federal secretary of
3 national defence, General Sivic. And this instruction at the level of
4 the 1st Army District was drafted by the assistant for logistics,
5 General Crmaric, and at the time he was not in the security organs. And
6 you are saying: There were ten of them and how come there was such a
7 large number? There were people from the 1st Army District because we
8 are talking about a complex activity which consisted in the evacuation of
9 persons from the town, and then of course senior officers had to be sent
10 there. And he did have some experience and had some duties under this
11 instruction. There was even a commission, I think, which was appointed
12 in the 1st Army District did which did not include security organs. If
13 the commission with Crmaric was there, then I can understand that, but
14 they are not part of the security organs.
15 Q. Thank you. You clarified this sufficiently.
16 Among other things, General, in the examination-in-chief on page
17 7952 and the following of the transcript, you explained why the JNA could
18 not occupy Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem because these areas were
19 part of Yugoslavia. Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Exhibit -- an exhibit from the 65 ter list, number 644 was shown
22 to you. That's a statement - you may remember - made after the
23 liberation of Vukovar when Goran Hadzic spoke and said that the worst
24 ones were to be tried at Vukovar and we already have it on our screens.
25 And among other things, he said that they were to be tried in Vukovar and
1 in the second or third instance possibly in Serbia -- or actually
2 Yugoslav courts were to decide about that. And you stated your opinion
3 that it wasn't possible because they were not a constituent part of
4 Yugoslavia. If I remember well, that was your explanation.
5 Here's what I want to ask you: Do you know that even before the
6 war in that territory there was a court in Vukovar and one in
7 Beli Manastir and so on, do you know that?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do tell me now, if the state that existed then and the government
10 of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem, as well as the JNA considered
11 this territory part of Yugoslavia, why do you think that there was an
12 obstacle for the courts in Belgrade or -- and Yugoslavia to reconsider
13 the decisions of courts in Vukovar or Beli Manastir? Of course this is a
14 legal matter and you're not a lawyer, but perhaps you can explain
16 A. I will speak about the practical aspect. You say that there were
17 courts in Vukovar, Beli Manastir, Osijek, and so on, but there was also a
18 Territorial Defence with its staffs in Vukovar, Beli Manastir, and so on,
19 but it was no longer the case. And so that was a new situation. I don't
20 know whether the courts you are talking about were operational at the
21 time at all; for example, the court in Vukovar. I would like to know
22 what kind of cases they tried, given the crimes that had been committed.
23 I don't know if the courts were even in existence at the time. And even
24 if they were, whether they were operational.
25 Q. I apologise for interrupting you, but were you obliged to know
1 these things as the security organ, or rather, the chief of the security
2 administration of the SSNO, whether the Vukovar court was trying cases
3 and passing judgements?
4 A. No, of course I'm not a jack-of-all-trades. But in principle, as
5 for the demand that the TO of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem to be
6 recognised as part of the armed forces of the SFRY, the decision was
7 negative, they were not recognised as such. And that decision was sent
8 not only to the -- or rather, that demand was sent not only to the SSNO
9 but also to the Presidency. And as far as I know, it was ignored.
10 Q. Maybe we can clarify one more thing. You're speaking about the
11 decision about the Territorial Defence of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western
12 Srem to become part of the armed forces of the SFRY. That's the decision
13 you're talking about. Under the criterion that were applied then, the
14 members of the TO were under Yugoslavia, but that Territorial Defence was
15 undermanned and there was a lot of desertion and evasion of conscription.
16 Why was there opposition to make this TO part of the armed forces of
17 Yugoslavia? Even in such a situation when there are people -- when there
18 were people who were willing to take part in combat, and according to
19 what you know such a decision was not taken?
20 A. Because they were -- they had been members of the TO of Croatia
21 previously, and now there were autonomous provinces that had been
22 established and they were not legally defined as territorial units that
23 were part of Yugoslavia. There had to be a staff at some level that had
24 to be equal to the provincial staffs of Territorial Defence. Such a
25 staff existed in Kosovo. You as a lawyer certainly understand that
1 situation much better because there was this province that seceded from
2 Croatia, it proclaimed its existence, but organisationally speaking it
3 wasn't officially part of Yugoslavia, the SFRY. And what we were
4 discussing here, that in the first phase they were arming themselves
5 individual to protect themselves, and later they were provided weapons in
6 a more organised fashion. And they had some internal material
7 organisation of their own in place, such as staffs and so on. That was
8 not an obstacle. Whoever was willing to defend Yugoslavia together with
9 the armed forces and the TO from Vojvodina and the JNA, to do so, to take
10 part. And that's why there were those instructions about the acceptance
11 of volunteers.
12 Q. All right. We saw documents about some TO detachments from
13 Borovo Selo, Trpinja, or whatever were involved in some combat activity
14 under the command of JNA units, but I don't want to dwell on this because
15 this is another matter after all. Instead, I'll return to the text on
16 the screen. Have you noticed that this deals with trials, that we see
17 the headline: "The Worst Will be Tried in Vukovar," the most hardened as
18 we see here. It's not only about taking people to court and trying them,
19 but those who have committed serious crimes and there is enough evidence
20 to prove that, that they should be tried there. I think that you were --
21 that you said that they were saying that they wanted try all prisoners?
22 A. I didn't say that they wanted to try all prisoners but that they
23 wanted to take over all of them, because they had their judiciary system
24 that will launch and follow up proceedings.
25 Q. Did you find that in this text?
1 A. No, no, no. This is what I stated here. Another matter is
2 interesting now and to my mind it is still interesting today. Were there
3 judicial proceedings that were conducted against those 100 or 200 at
4 Vukovar -- at Ovcara and were they sentenced to death? Was anything like
5 that done? And how were they judged?
6 Q. What do you mean by that?
7 A. Well, as of the 20th when they took them over, was it a
8 court-martial or something?
9 Q. But whoever mentioned a court-martial? Where did you find that?
10 A. No, no, no I'm interested if that was the case. They are saying
11 they had their own judiciary. When they took over those prisoners, they
12 probably had to be tried somehow and be sentenced to death.
13 Q. But when do you think that they should have been tried and
14 convicted, during what time? A week? A month? Three months?
15 A. Well, that is not a valid reply to my question. I'm commenting
16 on this from the aspect of this statement, sir. Mr. Hadzic said we have
17 our own judiciary and we will try them. But did they? Were these people
18 tried? They got these prisoners, they were in charge of them --
19 Q. Who?
20 A. The SAO government at its session at the 20th of November.
21 Q. Where did you learn that?
22 A. [No interpretation]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Colonel Panic was sent by the
25 brigade command to that session --
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Excuse me --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Gentlemen, gentlemen, gentlemen, you are
4 overlapping all the time. Even if you need to interrupt the other party,
5 if I may say so, you interrupt and then wait for the interpreters to
6 finish the interpretation and then you say what you have to say. So
7 please be careful, pauses between questions and answers, and no
8 interruption, no overlapping, and interruption only with also a pause.
9 Thank you.
10 Mr. Olmsted.
11 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Mr. President. It's my understanding that we
12 did not get his full response to the last question. He was
13 interrupted --
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: I --
15 MR. OLMSTED: -- we just have "General Panic." If he could
16 repeat his last answer.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: I do agree. Let's repeat the last question and
18 the last answer, and slowly, please. Have a little bit of compassion
19 with the interpreters, who have a very hard job with you -- with both of
21 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes. My question was when you learned that the government had
23 taken over the prisoners. And your answer was: The government took over
24 the prisoners -- just a minute. I apologise. That the government was in
25 charge of the prisoners, the SAO government, at its session of the 20th
1 of November. And I asked from whom you heard that and you said some
2 names now I think that it was not recorded.
3 A. Yes, but I asked you whether there were -- there was a proceeding
4 instigated against them, whether they were prosecuted, and what the
5 outcome was, and I didn't get an answer.
6 Q. Well, let me just tell you -- say one thing to you: Do you know
7 when the Ovcara grave-site was discovered? If you don't know, I'm not
8 insisting on this question.
9 A. I don't know the answer.
10 Q. According to our information, this only happened in late 1993 and
11 there was a lot of work that needed to be done, the exhumation, the
12 establishment of the identities, and so on, and I'm sure that you know
13 that it's impossible to prosecute anyone or to instigate proceedings
14 without that information. However, I'd like to say something else,
15 General. You were a witness in this case that was prosecuted in
16 Belgrade, the Ovcara case. Do you recall how long the trial went on for?
17 And this is in peace time, not war time.
18 A. I was a witness in two cases and the case before a military court
19 in Belgrade against unidentified perpetrators of crimes, and I believe
20 this trial was relatively short, perhaps a month or two long, but this is
21 just my conjecture. I -- and then it was concluded that the military --
22 the military personnel were not responsible for that, but the
23 perpetrators were never uncovered. That is the first trial that I was a
24 witness at.
25 Q. Could you tell us what year this was in? Was this in 1999, for
2 A. I believe so. I think in early 1999, before I was re-activated,
3 and I appeared as a witness before a war crimes court in a case which
4 took a bit longer.
5 Q. And in 1999 the military court did not identify the perpetrators,
6 if I understood you correctly?
7 A. Well, they were in -- they were responsible -- they tried
8 military personnel, first of all, if such were perpetrators, but
9 according to the procedure, as far as I know, because the perpetrators
10 were never identified then they transferred the case to civilian
12 Q. Well, I believe the reason was that the military courts were
13 abolished, but let's not dwell too much on that. I believe you appeared
14 as a witness again in 2005 in the case where there were some 15 accused
15 or so and they were all convicted later on. Can you confirm that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And this trial went on from, what, 1999 to, what, 2007 or so?
18 Can you agree with that?
19 A. No, I don't. The proceedings began, the trial began, in 2005 and
20 it went on until 2007. But there were two different proceedings.
21 Q. In other words, you're not taking into account the investigative
22 phase of the proceedings that -- the investigation that was conducted by
23 the court?
24 A. Well, we are now going into legal issues and I'm not really an
1 Q. Well, let's go back to the text we have before us. Could we take
2 a look at the last portion of this text. It says that at this government
3 session Arkan -- Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, was present. This is in the
4 second column on the right in the B/C/S version. And I believe in the
5 English version, that's at the -- it starts at the bottom of the page and
6 then goes on to the next page. It says there that his unit -- that one
7 of -- he says:
8 "'My unit is one of the proofs that the force, the strength of
9 Serbia, is endless and all of us who fought at Vukovar, we were under the
10 unique command of the JNA which had wonderful officers of all
11 ethnicities...,'" and so on and so forth.
12 So he publicly states here that he was under the unified command
13 of the JNA. Do you know whether anyone ever -- any officers, JNA
14 officers, ever refuted this? Was this correct?
15 A. I don't know that it was ever denied by anyone. I believe that
16 for the most part his words or he was ignored and they didn't feel that
17 it was necessary to comment on it at all. But I would also like to go
18 back to a portion of the text, if you allow me, but maybe it doesn't
19 really matter.
20 Q. Well, you can quote any part of the text, the entire text that
21 you see before you. If you find that there is something more relevant,
22 please tell us so.
23 A. Well, on this date and in relation to the document that you
24 showed of the -- of 10th December 1991, the document from the Novi Sad
25 Corps, the manpower, and the Arkan's men, that document --
1 Q. I believe that document is dated somewhat later. It's a December
2 document, isn't it?
3 A. Well, yes, that's what I said, a document of 10 December. So
4 what would he be doing there at this session of government as a member of
5 the Novi Sad Corps together with Goran Hadzic? I mean, if anyone from
6 the JNA should have been there, it would have been Biorcevic, not him.
7 So I'm just trying to point out who he was and what he was. He never
8 wore the JNA uniform and that he should comment on the JNA and say that
9 he was a member of the JNA, whereas he slapped those JNA soldiers on two
10 occasions and -- that's one of the reasons why the proceedings were
11 instigated against him.
12 Q. Well, very well you just reminded me of something. When speaking
13 about the government session, and I'm referring to the time when I --
14 where we overlapped and the interpreters were unable to interpret the
15 whole thing, you mentioned two names, in fact, two names of people from
16 whom you heard what had happened at the government session. And I'll
17 remind you. You mentioned Bogdan Vujic and Lieutenant-Colonel Panic who
18 at the time was the deputy to the then-Colonel Mrksic. Can you confirm
19 that you mentioned these two names?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell me this: Did you trust Bogdan Vujic or did you
22 believe him?
23 A. In what sense?
24 Q. General, generally speaking.
25 A. Generally speaking, yes, I did.
1 Q. When you asked what about, was there something that you wouldn't
2 believe him about or wouldn't trust him with?
3 A. Well, I believed him in relation to the time when he was in
4 active service and when I had official business with him and when I took
5 part in some missions together with him. Now, as to whether I would
6 believe or trust him after that when I had no contact with him, all I
7 could do was assess what was correct and true of what he was saying, if I
8 could compare that to information from other sources.
9 Let me be more specific. He claimed that he had been sent both
10 to the collection centres, including Ovcara I suppose, by the security
11 administration, and that is how he introduced himself when he came to
12 Velepromet, that he came from the security administration. But he was
13 not from the security administration, he was a retired officer, and we
14 did not have any officers in the security administration who had any war
15 duty. And he was sent there by the chief of security of the 1st Corps,
16 and I -- that's the 1st Military District, and in that sense I cannot
17 believe that portion of his statement. But as for the rest, I did trust
18 him at the time when we had -- we were assigned -- we participated in
19 joint assignments and when I really had no objections to his work.
20 Q. In other words, according to some information he represented
21 himself as being from the security administration and you believed this
22 not to be true because he was not really recruited by the security
23 administration. And I'm talking about the period when he had already
24 retired, the period of war from 1991 onwards?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Let us move on to Sremska Mitrovica now. According to your
2 information, the Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem government and
3 Goran Hadzic went to Sremska Mitrovica on two occasions, including
4 Goran Hadzic [as interpreted], asking to be involved in the
5 investigation, to be shown the list of prisoners. And on both those
6 occasions, they were denied access. The first time this was denied by
7 Maksimovic, and the second time you were the one who told them that this
8 could not be done. Were these the only two contacts that you know about
9 where they came to Sremska Mitrovica with such requests? I'm talking
10 about the period after Vukovar in 1991?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. There was also mention of weapons and under threat of weapons,
13 that they would take over these prisoners and so on. Could you tell me,
14 on those occasions when they came there, were they armed? When they
15 talked to you, for instance, were they armed or did they come there
17 A. Well, they didn't have long barrels. Whether they had some
18 personal weapons, I don't know, sidearms, I don't know. That was
19 something that was to be taken care of by the duty officers who allowed
20 them to come in. But as far as I know, the standing order was that no
21 one could come in armed.
22 Q. In other words, that was not visible? In other words, you
23 couldn't see that any of them had any weapons, at least on those
24 occasions when you were in contact with them?
25 A. That's exactly right.
1 Q. Let me ask you one more thing. Did you find it at all strange
2 that they should come there, to the prison, and demand to be handed over
3 prisoners from the person who was in charge of those prisoners and that
4 they never addressed them -- their request to superior authorities,
5 higher authorities, maybe the JNA or the Government of the Republic of
6 Serbia or some authorities in Serbia?
7 A. Well, they did submit requests earlier; specifically, on the 27th
8 of November Mr. Susa as the minister of justice sent a letter to the
9 commander of the 1st Military District, Colonel Panic, with the same
10 request that I mentioned earlier were addressed to me.
11 Q. In other words, there was no positive response to that in any
12 sense nor did they invoke this when they talked about you. They never
13 mentioned that there was a positive response to a request of theirs, that
14 they should take over these prisoners?
15 A. Exactly right.
16 Q. Well, you see, this is a bit confusing to me. Now, if they could
17 come to the prison warden, Maksimovic, that they should go there and ask
18 to take over the prisoners, although their requests had not been approved
19 earlier. That would be strange. In other words, addressing a
20 lower-level official in the chain of command when superior officers or
21 higher officers, they did not get anywhere with that request, with the
22 higher officers?
23 A. Well, first of all, Maksimovic was not the prison warden.
24 Q. I apologise for using that term. That's correct, he wasn't the
25 prison warden, but he was a lower-level officer with lower-level duties
1 vis-a-vis the prisoners and vis-a-vis the 1st Military District.
2 A. Well, I agree with you but I don't understand what the question
3 was, why they would address lower-level organs.
4 Q. So you don't know the answer?
5 A. Well, other than that they had tried at a higher level and they
6 didn't get anywhere. Now they were trying to do it at a lower level.
7 Q. Well, I'd like to clarify a few more things from your statement.
8 At paragraph 102, for instance. You were shown an exhibit in this
9 paragraph -- I apologise. It seems I got the wrong number -- the wrong
10 paragraph number. No, that's the wrong paragraph. My apologies.
11 Paragraph 99, please. In this paragraph you said, among other
12 things, that Hadzic resisted taking on active-duty JNA officers as
13 commanders of the SBWS TO. According to the information that I have, he
14 was never asked anything like that, whether he would accept or not
15 someone as the commander, especially not where military officers were
16 concerned. So I wanted to ask you: Where did you get the information
18 A. Well, it wasn't up to the JNA to appoint those officers. They
19 can send or appoint officers at a request, pursuant to a request;
20 however, these officers, there was never a request from Goran Hadzic for
21 these officers. That's one thing. And secondly, he was always negative
22 about JNA members and personnel. If I can remind you of his words of
23 gratitude after the Vukovar operation and who the persons that he thanked
24 for the operation were, he never mentioned the JNA. He thanked the
25 Serbia organs, I suppose he meant the Serbia MUP, but not the JNA. He
1 never thanked the JNA. He frequently spoke about treason within the JNA,
2 his distrust of the JNA.
3 Q. I wouldn't want to go into that, first of all, because I don't
4 have enough time. And as for criticism of the JNA, that did happen and
5 you know that it came not only from Goran Hadzic but many others too, but
6 I really wouldn't want to discuss all of that now.
7 So, in other words, you are saying that he never asked that
8 active-duty officers of the JNA be appointed commanders in the TO of
9 these units of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem; that's your answer?
10 A. Yes. And he was the one in charge to do that.
11 Q. What do you mean?
12 A. Well, being president of a district, he can appoint military
14 Q. That's exactly what I wanted to ask you. Do you make a
15 distinction between a president and a prime minister? You do understand
16 that difference, do you? You know that, say, the prime minister of
17 Serbia or Yugoslavia had no jurisdiction over the Territorial Defence.
18 Say the president of the Republic of Serbia specifically, you even spoke
19 about that, he had jurisdiction over the TO of Serbia but it was the
20 president who did, not the prime minister?
21 A. It says there organs of the social political community propose
22 persons for command positions in the Territorial Defence, and the
23 Presidency of the SFRY verifies that. So it doesn't say whether it's the
24 prime minister. Again, we are going into legal squabbles. He admitted
25 Arkan, he probably didn't ask for him either, but he tried to impose
1 himself through Badza and we discussed this many times --
2 Q. There is no need --
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, you're doing it again.
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Another thing, this is paragraph 107 of your statement. You
6 said -- you spoke about a meeting, actually. You spoke about a meeting
7 that was held on the 25th of February, 1992, that was attended by Panic,
8 Mandaric, Stanisic, Stojicic, and you also mentioned Goran Hadzic.
9 According to my information, Goran Hadzic did not attend such a meeting.
10 So can you tell us where you got this information that he personally
11 attended that meeting? I mean, I'm not saying whether the meeting was
12 held or anything like that. It's his presence that I'm interested in.
13 A. The security organs at the forward command post of the
14 1st Military District, I heard it from them.
15 Q. Can you give the name of this person now or should we move into
16 private session?
17 A. I think it was Petkovic then, Colonel Petkovic.
18 Q. He is no longer alive to the best of my knowledge?
19 A. He's not.
20 Q. Now I just wanted us to take a look at these questions related to
21 town commands. You said that that was not your line of work but you did
22 provide certain answers in relation to town commands. You also said that
23 they had some kind of a consultative role, advisory role. In a way they
24 only assisted the civilian authorities in carrying out their duties.
25 Could we please take a look at that instruction that exhibit shown to
1 you, that is, Exhibit 708.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: 65 ter, sorry.
3 Q. [Interpretation] This is an instruction. This is actually a
4 letter through which this was communicated; however, it does say that
5 separate tasks would be sent in as well and that was sent on the 6th of
6 December, 1991.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move on to the
8 next page.
9 Q. You see here in paragraph 1, tasks from the area of state
10 administration, legislative, judicial, and executive authority. And it
11 says there what it is that organs -- security organs do -- sorry, it
12 wasn't security organs. It is actually town commands.
13 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please move on to the
14 next page now.
15 Q. Please take a look at what paragraph 9 says.
16 "Direct co-operation with organs of the judiciary and proposing
17 measures with a view to the efficient functioning of the judiciary,
18 judicial administration, and other judicial institutions."
19 Do you think that this was a reason why the then-minister of
20 justice of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem sent some requests, or
21 rather, why a delegation of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem wanted to
22 participate in these investigations that were carried out and to play a
23 more active role in all of that?
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, that calls for speculation as to what
25 the minister of justice was thinking.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you rephrase.
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'll rephrase my question.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Do you think that these were legal grounds on
4 the basis of which the organs of Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem
5 could have asked for participation in investigations that were underway
6 in Sremska Mitrovica?
7 A. No. When he asked for that, these instructions hadn't even
8 reached him, hadn't even arrived in the area, because it was on the
9 27th of November that he addressed the 1st Military District, not the
10 judicial organs, military judicial organs in terms of co-operation.
11 Q. My understanding is that this is co-operation that is supposed to
12 take place between the civilian organs and the town commands with the
13 judicial organs from the territory -- well, all right. After all, I just
14 wanted to ask you, you've given your answer.
15 Can we now move on to the second chapter. Things are a bit more
16 specific there. Paragraph 6, please. You see, until then there were
17 references to direct co-operation and participation in that and so on.
18 However, in paragraph 6 it says what the task is in the field of security
19 of the organs of -- for civilian affairs:
20 "Undertaking carrying out certain investigative actions and
21 pressing criminal charges against the perpetrators of criminal acts."
22 I have the impression from this particular wording that town
23 commands or organs for civilian affairs were supposed to do that without
24 co-operation or consultations with local organs of government. Would you
25 agree with that?
1 A. No, because in paragraph 5 it says:
2 "Co-ordination of activities and establishing direct co-operation
3 with the organs of government in preventing and uncovering criminal acts
4 and discovering and capturing perpetrators and take it before the
5 authorised judicial organs."
6 So they're not the only ones for that.
7 Q. Now we're talking about 6.
8 A. And I'm talking about -- sorry that I interrupted you. I'm
9 talking about paragraph 5.
10 Q. General, paragraph 5 speaks about certain activities and
11 paragraph 6 speaks of other activities. I'm asking you about paragraph
12 6, if your understanding is that it's one and the same thing, I have
13 nothing against that.
14 A. I can explain that they cannot take these measures regarding
15 crimes that they are not in charge of and military organs are in charge
16 of crimes referred to in chapter 25, and that has to do with military
18 Q. That is your interpretation?
19 A. That's the way it is according to the law.
20 Q. This has to do with a specific territory where there is still a
21 military administration. At any rate, I'm not going to insist on your
22 answer to that question. Let us look at paragraph 11 now. Again, this
23 is a task that is supposed to be carried out by the town command --
24 rather, the organ for civilian affairs. It says:
25 "Administrative duties with regard to procurement, holding and
1 carrying weapons and ammunition and issuing approvals in that regard."
2 And that also shows that it was only the town commands that were
3 in charge of that; that is to say, organ for civilian affairs. Can you
5 A. I cannot agree. This entire instruction does not refer to the
6 tasks of these organs, the ones that they carry anyway; rather, they are
7 instructing civilian organs how to take over this work and then they're
8 saying what the activities are that they should co-ordinate together and
9 to help them become more independent. Sorry, the Presiding Judge is
10 going to blame me again if I cannot say all of this in a flowing manner.
11 It's not that they are the mainstays of this activity.
12 Q. Thank you. What do you think, why doesn't it say: Advising
13 civilian authorities in carrying out administrative work and so on? Why
14 would that have been omitted precisely in this paragraph?
15 A. Because in the general remarks in this document it says what the
16 tasks are, that is, first and foremost making the civilian organs capable
17 of taking over these functions and doing their own work. It always says
18 "render assistance to" and so on. It's not for them to carry out the
19 tasks that are referred to here.
20 Q. Can we now move on to chapter 5 and that is on page 6. Two pages
21 ahead, please, page 6. Yes, that would be it. We're just waiting for
22 the English text to appear as well.
23 Sanctions are established here.
24 "Sanctions to be taken in case of failure to comply with order,
25 instruction, and suggestion ... by the organ for civilian affairs. With
1 regard to the establishment and the functioning of the authority, system,
2 economic and social activities."
3 And you see that sanctions are listed there, the ones that are
4 practically under the jurisdiction of the courts. That is to say that
5 the law states what kind of measures can be taken; that is to say,
6 imprisonment, fines, et cetera. So this shows that these sanctions are
7 prescribed herein and it says that it is the civilian -- the organs for
8 civilian affairs, or rather, town commands that are in charge of this.
9 Would you agree with that?
10 A. I will agree if you read the rest of this sentence; however,
11 these provisions are applied if they are not in contravention of the
12 provisions of the Criminal Code of the SFRY. And that would be the case
13 if military organs were to take measures against persons who had not
14 committed crimes or had been suspected of committing crimes that fall
15 under the jurisdiction of military courts.
16 Q. All right. Let us look at --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the end of the
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Let us look at what, Mr. Zivanovic?
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Sorry? Paragraph 8.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go to the
23 previous page. I apologise.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear
25 Mr. Zivanovic.
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Actually, could we please move on
2 to the next page. I do apologise. I think that I did not mark these
3 paragraphs properly. Yes, this is at paragraph 8.
4 Q. We should read it in its entirety.
5 "Besides the above, in the work of the organs of civilian
6 affairs, certain situations will dictate the use of procedures and
7 measures as per the regulations of the combat use of the JNA units and
8 the procedures which regulate the use of military police."
9 Now the following sentence is very important.
10 "The order of the commanding officers should ... the execution of
11 the said not constitute a criminal act, is legally binding."
12 Do you agree that the commander, or rather, that the senior
13 officers of town commands or the ones in civilian affairs could issue
14 orders that were legally binding, of course if the execution of that
15 order is not a criminal act?
16 A. But that pertains only to certain situation which will dictate
17 such measures. So this is an exception, rather than acting in accordance
18 with rules and regulations. I suppose that this is about an
19 extraordinary situation when, say, on the ground a terrorist group
20 appears. And then you act in line with the rules and regulations about
21 the combat use of units and you engage a military police unit. Because
22 in normal situations, it would be the organs of the MUP who are in charge
23 of such matters rather than the army, but only if they can't cope then
24 the military police takes action. So this would only apply in
25 extraordinary situations, in exceptional situations. This is not a rule.
1 This is an exception.
2 Q. General, let us agree first. This does not say in extraordinary
3 or exceptional situations. It says "certain situations," that is, some
4 situations. Do you agree?
5 A. Yes. Yes, I agree.
6 Q. I'll ask you a couple of questions more because time is running
7 out. Among other things, you spoke about the Krajina. A Prosecution
8 exhibit was shown to you, number 1058, which is from the OTP list under
9 number 133.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, could you finish your
11 cross-examination before the break?
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'll do my best.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. You say this is a report, to call it that, which, let's take a
16 look at the last page, which Milan Martic who at the time, I believe, was
17 minister of the interior or minister of defence - I don't remember all
18 that precisely - in which he reports about some talks that Goran Hadzic
19 and some other members of the then-government of the RSK had with some
20 internationals. The content itself is not essential. I'm interested in
21 the first page, if we could see it. Here we see who this was sent to, or
22 rather, who he was writing to, and we see it says to B. Jovic personally,
23 I take this to be Borisav Jovic. And then J. Stanisic and then A.
24 Vasiljevic, the security administration of the SSNO.
25 Now, tell me, please, did you receive such reports from the
1 organs of the RSK in 1992, practically until you withdrew from your
2 position on the 8th of May?
3 A. I received reports along professional security organ lines.
4 These persons are mentioned here, including me, probably because we had
5 had a meeting at Plitvice where there were talks with the Krajina organs
6 about the demilitarisation of that zone and the establishment of TO
7 units. I don't remember getting this, but if I did get it I don't see a
8 problem with that.
9 Q. Thank you. Let me show you one more document. It's from the OTP
10 65 ter list -- actually, it's an exhibit, P2915. It's number 214 on the
11 OTP list. This is a report of the committee for monitoring cease-fire.
12 It says that two ministers of -- two government ministers of Slavonia,
13 Baranja, and Western Srem attended a meeting with Croatian
14 representatives and people from the JNA. Now, tell me do you know, based
15 on this report or independently of it, that government ministers attended
16 this meeting? I'm asking because according to our information the people
17 who attended that meeting were not government ministers. I'm referring
18 to Slavonia, Baranja, and Western Srem.
19 A. I don't know of such a meeting and, much less, who attended it.
20 This was at local level.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Your Honour, I -- maybe I would have five minutes
23 after the break, maybe, if you could -- with your permission.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, Mr. Zivanovic --
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Okay. Thank you.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: No, Mr. Zivanovic, you will have five minutes
2 before the break. Okay. So --
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I wanted to consult my client.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Then you'll have five minutes after the
5 break. No problem.
6 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: General, we will take our break now. We come
8 back at 11.00. As usual, the court usher will help you to go out of the
9 courtroom. Thank you.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: To inform the parties, the afternoon session is
15 organised, so that's okay. We will sit from 3.00 to 4.30.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please, Mr. Zivanovic.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. [Interpretation] General, please take a look at paragraph 155 of
20 your statement. You speak here about some dead bodies that were found by
21 military police patrol and that further investigation into the case was
22 left to the SBWS MUP. The military police took video footage and took
23 down the necessary details, and please tell me what this means precisely,
24 "informed the MUP ." Did they just tell them: We found this or that?
25 Or did they also give them the footage and so on?
1 A. I'm not acquainted with these details. Under the law it was
2 sufficient to secure the site and to inform the MUP over the radio or by
3 phone, and then they would be obliged to go to the site. But what they
4 in fact did, I don't know in any detail.
5 Q. Who informed you of this in the first place?
6 A. I suppose it may have been the security organ of the
7 1st Military District. It was long ago, so I don't remember that detail.
8 But it would be natural to assume that they first informed the security
9 organ of the 1st Military District.
10 Q. That would mean Milic Jovanovic, who was a head of the security
11 organ of the 1st Military District at the time -- oh, I apologise. I
12 made a mistake. It would have been General Babic then?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. One more question, General, my last. During this
15 cross-examination that went on for three days, I showed you a number of
16 documents and you offered us your conclusions, your opinions, your
17 interpretation. And I asked you at the beginning, if you remember,
18 whether you had a biased attitude toward the JNA. Let me now ask you if
19 in your answers during this cross-examination when you were interpreting
20 documents you were biased with respect to the JNA?
21 A. I answered in the affirmative to your question if I am proud to
22 have been a JNA officer. I have nothing to add to that. I suppose that
23 you're also proud of your profession. That does not mean, though, that
24 due to the fact that I am proud to have been a member of such an army I'm
25 biased in giving evidence. I have tried to speak the truth as far as my
1 memory allows me. Not going into the question who was to blame. In my
2 statement there's something that you did not use. When I said that
3 Mrksic was responsible to introduce law and order in Vukovar in line with
4 his powers rather than his Chief of Staff being attacked there and him
5 failing to do anything about it. I really tried to speak the truth
6 because I'm testifying in court and I'm willing to be held accountable
7 for that.
8 Q. I don't doubt that, but I asked you really a simple yes/no
9 question. Do you think that since you were a member of the JNA for a
10 long time may have influenced some of your conclusions while you were
11 interpreting some documents? That's all. I don't doubt that you spoke
12 the truth about facts.
13 A. No. My having been a JNA member did not influence my evidence.
14 Q. Thank you, General. I have no more questions for you.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 Mr. Olmsted, re-direct?
17 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Re-examination by Mr. Olmsted:
19 Q. Good morning, General.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. I want to, as briefly as possible, clarify some of the matters
22 that were raised during your cross-examination over the last couple days.
23 Firstly, yesterday Defence counsel showed you an SSNO order to
24 Zeljko Raznatovic, sending him to Bijeljina, which you testified was a
25 forgery. This is at transcript page 8104. And you also testified
1 yesterday that Arkan was in Bijeljina sometime around March 1992. While
2 in Bijeljina, how did Arkan and his units behave towards the non-Serb
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would object because Bijeljina is in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina and it is not a part of this indictment; it is irrelevant for
7 this case.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Well, it -- I think, Your Honours, if you give me a
10 little leeway you'll see where I'm going with this issue -- or at least
11 where I anticipate seeing where it goes. But the topic of Bijeljina did
12 come up. It's even mentioned in this -- that's what this order is with
13 regard, and so I just want to ask some contextual questions before I get
14 to the point I'm trying to make.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: This order was not admitted into evidence and
17 also is irrelevant for this case.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Let me get to the point, Your Honours. My point is
19 with regard to Arkan in particular and his behaviour and his chain of
20 command, which is relevant to this case, regardless where he is.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. General, could you answer the question with regard to Arkan and
24 his unit's behaviour in Bijeljina towards the non-Serb population?
25 A. I can. On the 1st of April, 1992, there was unrest in Bijeljina.
1 Serbs and Muslims clashed, if I can put it that way. And then Arkan's
2 unit barged in from Badovinci. They acted very cruelly. As far as I can
3 remember, there were about 50 civilian casualties. Arkan's unit
4 blockaded the barracks and prevented the units of the military police
5 from coming out into the area. Their members killed a JNA captain who
6 was allowed to leave the barracks in order to see his family. He was an
7 ethnic Croat. He was killed in front of the barracks. So he acted very
8 harshly and a large number of persons were killed by his members.
9 Q. And just to clarify, what was the ethnicity of the 50 civilian
11 A. I cannot confirm that now, but it is with a great deal of
12 certainty that one could assume that these were Croats rather than Serbs
13 because formally it was at the invitation of Serbs from Bijeljina that he
14 came to Bijeljina.
15 Q. And after the Bijeljina operation in which Arkan and his men
16 engaged in, do you recall whether any political figures came to
18 A. Yes, I recall that the corps commander came to Bijeljina. He
19 came from Tuzla. And that unit in Bijeljina is from that zone. Biljana
20 Plavsic was there, Fikret Abdic was there, and possibly another person,
21 but it is these three persons that were the key persons there. They were
22 stopped at the entrance into Bijeljina and searched. As a matter of
23 fact, one of these ministers from the Serb government was forced to lie
24 on the ground because he had opposed orders.
25 Q. Let me see if I can refresh your recollection with regard to the
1 person you cannot recall.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Let's take a look at 65 ter 1023, this is tab 121.
3 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I believe it's leading.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, it's -- I'm attempting to refresh his
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed. Overruled.
7 MR. OLMSTED:
8 Q. Now, this is an article from "Duga" entitled "Situation in
9 Bijeljina" from around the 12th to the 25th of April, 1992. Can you
10 identify who's depicted in the photograph?
11 A. It is Mr. Goran Hadzic, Biljana Plavsic in this photograph,
12 between them is Arkan and I cannot recognise the fourth individual there.
13 Q. Does this refresh your recollection as to who was in Bijeljina
14 from the political side after the operation?
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Again, it's leading. It is article from 20 April
16 and the events was on 1st of April. I don't believe that it is
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think the witness can answer the question
19 whether his recollection is refreshed or not. If he does not remember,
20 he just says so.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not remember in terms of the
23 information provided by the security organs in Bijeljina that on that day
24 and during that visit of that delegation that came to the barracks that
25 Mr. Hadzic was there. He was not mentioned in that information at all
1 and I don't have any knowledge about him being in Bijeljina on that day.
2 MR. OLMSTED:
3 Q. General, the Defence counsel asked you a number of questions
4 about the order issued by Colonel Biorcevic in December 1991 which
5 appeared to place Arkan's unit within the 12th Corps command. Could you
6 tell us, was Colonel Biorcevic ever reprimanded for his attempts to
7 legitimatise Arkan's unit and his activities?
8 A. I don't know about that. It was the commander of the
9 1st Military District who was in charge, and we sent the information we
10 had to the SSNO; however, there wasn't any particular reaction.
11 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen P1720. This is
12 tab 96.
13 Q. And during cross-examination on Tuesday, this is at transcript
14 page 8018, you were shown this exhibit, and this is the
15 1st Military District command order dated 18 November, 1991.
16 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could turn to page 3 of the original,
17 page 4 of the English.
18 Q. Defence counsel drew your attention to item 8 of this order --
19 this is not -- this is not the order.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. OLMSTED:
22 Q. While my colleague looks that up, I want to move on to a
23 different topic.
24 MR. OLMSTED: If we could go to private session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Private session, please.
1 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED:
4 Q. We see under number 14 Ljuban Devetak is listed and he's listed
5 as village commander. Based on the information that you had, did the JNA
6 put him in that position of village commander?
7 A. No, that was not the case.
8 Q. And if we could turn to page 2 -- oh, before we do, I just want
9 to note for you on items 17 and 18 we have a JNA lieutenant and a JNA
10 captain present at this meeting. But if we could turn to page 2, we see
11 from the heading and the list of persons present at this meeting that
12 this is a meeting of commanders of the Territorial Defence and
13 representatives of the villages of Lovas, Opatovac, Sotin, Tovarnik, and
14 Mohovo, with the deputy minister of the Serbian district and members of
15 the Main Staff of the Serbian district. And if we could turn to page 3
16 we see that the item on the agenda is the current problems of the
17 Territorial Defence staffs in the liberated places, and under item 1 we
18 se that the meeting was opened by Ljuban Devetak who proposed that the
19 meeting be presided over by this Slobodan Grahovac.
20 First let me ask you, if the JNA was in command of these various
21 TO staffs, who would normally preside over a meeting of those staffs?
22 A. I am not aware of this information from earlier on, so I can only
23 give my interpretation now. If the Territorial Defence is under the
24 command of the JNA, then these two military persons who were attending
25 would be chairing that meeting. Here it seems that they had been invited
1 by this staff of the Territorial Defence, if that's what it is, that they
2 were invited to this meeting. Probably it had to do with some
3 co-ordination of activity or some other problem in which the army could
4 take part too.
5 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I would like if the witness could read whole text
6 to avoid speculation about the content of the meeting.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Well, I will, Your Honours, go over some of the
8 provisions or some of the minutes in this meeting. Given the time, I
9 would prefer not to have the witness take the time to read the entire
10 document. That's -- I don't think it's relevant for the purposes of my
12 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I'd just like to say that the purpose of meeting
13 is misstated because the purpose of meeting was another and topic was
14 another, and it is sending of members of TO from these villages to
15 Vukovar operation.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
17 MR. OLMSTED: I'm not sure what Defence counsel's objection is.
18 I read from the document the agenda, item 1. Did -- is that -- need
19 re-translating or did I read that accurately? I'm not sure what the
20 issue is.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zivanovic, what's, in your opinion, the
22 misreading? Mr. Olmsted's misreading?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: I said that the purpose of meeting is misstated.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: By who? By Mr. Olmsted?
25 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Yes, yes. Because the purpose of meeting is
1 different, as far as I know this document.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: And where did Mr. Olmsted exactly stated the
3 purpose of the meeting? Could you refer me to the transcript?
4 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Microphone not activated]
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Microphone, please.
7 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It's the page 42. Just a moment.
8 Sorry, I cannot find it. I withdraw my objection.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you. And just for the record, I was simply
11 reading what the document states and under agenda it gives one agenda
12 item and that's what I read, which was: "Current problems of the
13 Territorial Defence staffs in the Liberated Places." I did not summarise
14 this document in any way.
15 Q. But anyway, let's move on. If we could turn to page 4 of these
16 minutes. If we can look at -- I think it's about two-thirds down the
17 page we see that Jovan Medic from Tovarnik states:
18 "Co-operation with the JNA is good."
19 And if we look a little bit further down we see that
20 Milan Radojcic from Lovas likewise states that:
21 "Co-operation with the JNA is good."
22 If we turn to page 7 at the top we see the JNA Captain Sabo
24 "There has to be co-operation ..."
25 And if we look at Lieutenant Marin, he states:
1 "The most significant segment of co-operation with the JNA is in
2 the security goals ..."
3 General, now, in each of these instances the term - and if I
4 mispronounce it - "saradnja" is used for co-operation. How this term
5 used in a military sense, "saradnja"?
6 A. These are activities of two sides that have an approximately
7 equal status. So this is not a relationship between a subordinate and a
8 superior. So that is co-operation in something that is in the common
9 interest, two structures that co-ordinate their activities. It is hard
10 for me to read this handwriting, but I did see from some of the points
11 made in this discussion that there is a reference to the number of
12 volunteers that responded to JNA call-up, 90, 100, perhaps that is a
13 reflection of that co-operation, that they call upon the population in
14 these local communes, that they respond to JNA call-up. That is why they
15 are praising this co-operation. As far as I can interpret it, that would
16 be it.
17 Q. And if we could turn to page 9. We see -- I'm not sure we're on
18 the correct page here or -- yes, we are on the correct page.
19 At the bottom we see that Djuro Prodanovic from Lovas makes a
20 number of conclusions, and just very quickly, 1 is to:
21 "Establish units and TO staffs in the liberated places of this
22 area in accordance with the instructions and tables" with "the competent
23 organs of the Government worked out and sent out."
24 And the second conclusion:
25 "Based on the organisation worked out per the tables from the
1 previous item, it is necessary to step-up co-operation and co-ordination
2 with the JNA billeted in these places."
3 And the third conclusion:
4 "The existing and obvious problems have to be continuously
5 resolved in co-operation with the Government and the relevant military
6 command, such as mopping up the villages, et cetera."
7 General, what do these conclusions indicate to you, regarding the
8 relationship between the JNA and the village TOs in this area?
9 A. First of all, I see that there is a reference to the
10 participation of the government in these activities because they received
11 some schematics. To use military jargon, they got organisational
12 according to which territorial units were supposed to be set up. And
13 secondly, there should be participation, co-operation, assistance from
14 the JNA in that. However, this is a structure that is still not
15 subordinated to the JNA, that is what it looks like from here. These
16 Territorial Defence units are yet to be established. I know from the
17 Lovas case that some parties sent their volunteers and they were
18 practically under the local government of Ljuban Devetak.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we would tender this document into
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2979, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. General, just two more brief issues and then we are done. On
1 Tuesday at transcript page 8023, Defence counsel questioned you about
2 Article 91 of the SFRY Law on All People's Defence, which states:
3 "Any citizen who with weapons or in any other fashion
4 participates in resistance against the enemy is also considered a member
5 of the armed forces."
6 And when you -- these questions were posed to you, at one point
7 you responded:
8 "This law pertains to a much earlier period which only envisioned
9 a situation where the enemy would actually be on the territory of
11 First of all, what kind of enemy were you referring to? Was it a
12 domestic enemy? A foreign enemy? Or what -- any kind of enemy?
13 A. No. An enemy is an aggressor who would be in the territory of
14 Yugoslavia. Secondly, in relation to that question, who could be
15 considered to be a member of the armed forces, I also spoke about those
16 orders that were issued from the SSNO about the admission of volunteers
17 into the JNA. And this probably pertained to members of the
18 Territorial Defence too. The requirements to be met by these persons
19 were specified there and that would not only be to have weapons and to be
20 willing to fight.
21 Q. Was it ever envisioned that the -- an armed citizenry would
22 actually become part of the armed forces on its own accord?
23 A. As regards this law and the time when it was created, there was a
24 system of All People's Defence in the Socialist Federal Republic of
25 Yugoslavia in which all citizens were involved, in different ways, in
1 resisting the aggressor; that is to say, no armed person could have
2 remained outside the system, either of social self-protection, those
3 units, or Territorial Defence units or the JNA. So this had to do with
4 the inclusion of these persons in organised structures.
5 I would just like to indicate how numerous these units were
6 outside the Territorial Defence and the JNA. Within social
7 self-protection in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were 115.000 persons who
8 were deployed in units of social self protection. And every local common
9 had a unit of its own. So these were not individuals who were armed and
10 who took part in that fighting. They had to be part of a unit, and
11 thereby they became members of the armed forces.
12 Q. And was this provision aimed at an internal enemy or an external
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: It is leading.
15 MR. OLMSTED: I'm certainly not suggesting an answer,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: I do agree. Please proceed.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The law did not regulate that and
19 did not envision the kind of situation that occurred in 1990 and later.
20 MR. OLMSTED:
21 Q. When you said that the law did not regulate "that," what did you
22 mean by it did not regulate "that"?
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Maybe the answer of witness is not translated. I
24 could not see it right now. He didn't say that he -- it is not
25 regulated, but that it was not foreseen.
1 MR. OLMSTED:
2 Q. Either way, what was not foreseen or what was not regulated?
3 A. I can say what was provided for by the law? If there was
4 internal strife in the country, internal unrest, the immediate
5 jurisdiction over such problems was with the public security, that is,
6 the Ministry of the Interior. It was possible to proclaim the state of
7 emergency in a territory, which did indeed happen in Kosovo in 1981 and
8 1989, and the first units to be sent there were the units of the MUP
9 because they had jurisdiction over internal conflicts. When those
10 problems grew to proportions that only the army could handle them, then
11 units of the armed forces assisted the MUP. However, a conflict such as
12 this, that one republic becomes a renegade and breaks loose from the
13 whole system, that wasn't provided for by the law. That's why there was
14 self-organisation and areas that didn't want to leave Yugoslavia
15 proclaimed their own autonomy.
16 Q. Finally, yesterday at transcript page 8121 you testified that you
17 learned from the documentation that persons from Vukovar had been beaten
18 before they are brought to the collection centres by the police. First
19 of all, where did those beatings take place by the police?
20 A. You probably don't mean which part of the body, but which place
21 geographically. I got information that when the Stajicevo collection
22 centre was opened - and it was done very fast because the citizens of
23 Vukovar were already transferred out of town - the reception of these
24 persons and the first security provided at Stajicevo was provided by MUP
25 organs from Zrenjanin. Only then did JNA officers arrive with the
1 commander of the collection centre with officers from the operative team
2 of the security organs, and after that the ordeal you had to go through
3 when entering the collection centre came to an end because the army had
4 taken over. Then there was a place where MUP organs took persons and
5 that was at Sremska Mitrovica. A note was made of them being mistreated,
6 that they had visible injuries, and there was a reaction to that that was
7 sent to the organs of the interior from where they had come from. These
8 are the essences of the use of force that I remember, force against the
9 persons taken to collection centres.
10 Q. And could you tell us, were these police officers involving --
11 involved in the beatings, were they from the Serbian MUP or were they
12 from some other MUP?
13 A. As far as I know, they were from the Serbian MUP and me thinks
14 that we're talking about personnel securing the KP Dom at Mitrovica.
15 MR. OLMSTED: No further questions, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
17 General, this is the end of your testimony. We thank you very
18 much for coming to The Hague to assist the Tribunal and for your patience
19 in doing so. You are now released as a witness and we wish you a safe
20 journey home. The court usher will escort you. Thank you very much.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honours, I will take leave, if I may, at
24 this point to turn over the intern to Muireann Dennehy who will lead the
25 next witness. And let me thank the Trial Chamber again for allowing us
1 to sit an extra session today to complete this witness.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: We are waiting for the next witness -- for the
3 usher, sorry, to be back and bring in the next witness. Yeah, thank you.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Witness. First of all, can
6 you hear me in a language you understand?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your question. Yes,
8 I can.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you please tell us your name and date of
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Mladen Loncar, born on
12 the 4th of May, 1961.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. Mr. Loncar, you are about to make the
14 solemn declaration, by which witness commit themselves to tell the truth.
15 I have to point out to you that by doing so you expose yourself to the
16 penalties of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to
17 the Tribunal. Can I now ask you to may recollect the solemn declaration
18 the court usher gave to you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: MLADEN LONCAR
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You may be seated.
24 Ms. Dennehy, your witness.
25 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President and thank you,
1 Your Honours. Before I begin my examination-in-chief, there is a minor
2 procedural point that I would like to raise at this time. It pertains to
3 65 or proposed 65 ter 6490 and the addition of that document to the
4 Prosecution's exhibit list. This is a document that was disclosed to the
5 Defence on Monday evening and it is a drawing of the Begejci Camp in
6 which the witness was detained, and we would like to add that document to
7 our 65 ter list if possible. We've asked for the Defence's position on
8 that but haven't yet received a response.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Drawn by whom?
10 MS. DENNEHY: By the witness.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Is there a position from the Defence?
13 MR. GOSNELL: No objection, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 Request granted.
16 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Examination by Ms. Dennehy:
18 Q. Dr. Loncar, can you hear me in a language you understand?
19 A. Yes, I can.
20 Q. Dr. Loncar, what is your current profession?
21 A. Currently I work as a psychiatrist at the psychiatric clinic of
22 the clinical hospital centre in Zagreb. I am a specialist in social
23 psychiatry and within that I focus on a discipline called
24 psychotraumatology. Apart from that, I head the national programme for
25 psychosocial help to the victims of the homeland war. I'm the author of
1 the first programme for victims which has two levels. One is our
2 interdisciplinary county centres for social help. There are medical
3 doctors and social workers there. And then the second level is -- can be
4 found at hospitals where psychiatrists who specialise in trauma work. I
5 have worked on this for a number of years and I published some articles
6 especially about the consequences of trauma and traumatic experience --
7 Q. Thank you, Doctor --
8 A. -- mostly post-traumatic stress disorder --
9 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt, Dr. Loncar. If I may, you've just
10 provided the Court with quite a wide range of details about your current
11 profession, if I could just break it down. Since when have you worked in
12 the field of psychotraumatology?
13 A. I really began in late 1991 when I was exchanged or in early
14 1992. I was being trained for a psychiatrist then and then I continued
15 and it's been ongoing until this day. Before the war I worked mostly in
16 the field of neurobiological psychiatry. I began in 1992 at the faculty
17 of medicine, at the department for medical research --
18 Q. Dr. Loncar --
19 A. -- it was with the Ministry of Health --
20 Q. I apologise. I do apologise for interrupting you. But I would
21 ask you, given the time restraints that we have today, that you please
22 focus specifically on the question that I'm asking you.
23 Can you please tell the Court how many times have you testified
24 before this Tribunal?
25 A. This is my third time.
1 Q. And in what cases have you previously testified?
2 A. I testified in the Babic case, then the Martic case, and this is
3 the third case.
4 Q. And in what capacity have you previously testified before the
6 A. As an expert witness.
7 Q. And what was the subject matter of that expert testimony?
8 A. That is my area of expertise, namely, the consequences that came
9 about in victims, the consequences of post-traumatic experience. From
10 PTSD to traumatic experience, not only mental and physical but also
11 sexual. I'm referring to women who were victims of rape as well as men
12 who survived a sexual maltreatment.
13 Q. Now turning briefly to your personal background, can you please
14 tell the Court where you grew up.
15 A. Well, I was born at Donji Gradac in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but
16 when I was 6 months old my parents moved to Ilok and Slavonia. I don't
17 remember the place where I was born because I was a baby. I grew up and
18 went to school at Ilok. This is where I lived and grew.
19 Q. And where did you receive your medical training?
20 A. The nearest university for us from Ilok was Novi Sad and that's
21 where I studied medicine. It's about 40 kilometres from Ilok.
22 Q. And when did -- and when did you graduate from medical school?
23 A. I graduated in Novi Sad in 1987/1988.
24 Q. And following your graduation from medical school in 1987/1988,
25 when did you begin your specialisation in psychiatry?
1 A. For a short while I lived in Ilok after graduation. I wanted to
2 work as an intern at Vukovar Hospital but there were no vacancies.
3 That's why I returned to Novi Sad and did my internship there, and I
4 started working on my masters thesis at the psychiatric clinic. And
5 after some time I was employed there, standing in for somebody
6 temporarily. And then I got a permanent position.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat his last
9 MS. DENNEHY:
10 Q. Dr. Loncar, the interpreters didn't quite understand your last
11 sentence. Can you please repeat it.
12 A. My specialisation began as a specialisation in neurology and
13 psychiatry. It was -- before the war they were taken as one, but I chose
14 the psychiatric branch.
15 Q. And you just mentioned the war. How did the outbreak of
16 hostilities in the former Yugoslavia affect your studies?
17 A. Well, I can say what I saw and went through personally. In that
18 area until 1988 when Slobodan Milosevic rose to power, we lived normally
19 and didn't mind who was who. In other words, ethnicity or religion
20 didn't matter to us. Only at about -- or in about 1988 the inter-ethnic
21 tensions started making themselves felt. Then it got worse and the
22 culmination was in 1990 or 1991.
23 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar. And how specifically did the rise in
24 ethnic tensions affect your studies in Novi Sad at the time?
25 A. I worked normally until 1988. My colleagues were normal,
1 educated people and I had no problems of that kind. But when Slobodan
2 Milosevic rose to power and relations in Yugoslavia deteriorated, what's
3 more, Milosevic introduced an embargo on Slovenian goods. And since Ilok
4 was on the border, my colleagues would give me money so I could buy some
5 Slovenian goods there for them. But with time tensions rose, ethnicity
6 began to matter, and we continued to live multi-culturally but you could
7 feel tension.
8 Q. And, Dr. Loncar, you just testified in relation to the activities
9 of Milosevic. Were you politically active at the time before or during
10 the war?
11 A. Before the war I ventured into politics for a short spell when
12 the free and open elections took place in 1990. The democratic alliance
13 of Croats in Vojvodina was founded. I remember that we invited all the
14 parties that were present in Novi Sad, including the ruling party, the
15 Socialist Party of Serbia. It went on for a short while, a couple of
16 months, but then fear started spreading and the initiative faded away
18 Q. Now, you've just told us that the democratic alliance of Croats
19 in Vojvodina was founded. What was the aim of that branch of the
20 Democratic Alliance of Croats?
21 A. The ethnic Hungarians had already founded a party of their own.
22 It was a party of ethnic minorities and it advocated the preservation of
23 cultural traditions in that area. We thought that we could contribute to
24 that cultural diversity. In Vojvodina members of over 20 ethnicities
1 Q. Now I'd like to move on to the summer of 1991. Where did you
2 spend your annual leave at the end of that summer?
3 A. At the time I was specialising in Novi Sad, specialising in
4 psychiatry. I was a novice and, therefore, all the colleagues had
5 priority when it comes to annual leave. And I would also like to add
6 that we had an additional 15 days as psychiatrists. So my annual leave
7 started in early September. I went to my parents' home at Ilok and spent
8 my leave there.
9 Q. And how had the conflict affected the medical services available
10 in Ilok at that time?
11 A. Ilok, even before the war, didn't have much in terms of medical
12 infrastructure. There was only an infirmary that was organisationally
13 under Vukovar. There were only a couple of general practitioners active
14 at Ilok and two dentists I think. In late August and early September --
15 but let me also add that these medical professionals were both Croats and
16 Serbs. But eventually the Serb colleagues stopped coming to work. Most
17 of them lived at Backa Palanka. Two permanently employed doctors,
18 Dr. Grgic and Dr. Holoker remained, they were Croats. They were general
19 practitioners. And during my annual leave I helped them unofficially.
20 We improvised because we had at least two childbirths and I as a
21 psychiatrist didn't have previous experience --
22 Q. Dr. Loncar, I again have to interrupt you. I do apologise. I
23 think I'd like again ask you to focus specifically on the questions that
24 I'm putting to you. Maybe I'll rephrase. Can you please tell the Court
25 how the medical supplies available to Ilok were affected by the war?
1 A. Yes. At one point in time Ilok was cut off from the rest of
2 Croatia and there was a shortage of medicine of all kinds, which did
3 affect the local population, especially chronic patients and children.
4 There was a shortage of antibiotics and other medicine, shortage of
5 medicine for heart patients, for epilepsy, for treating epilepsy and so
7 Q. And what did you do in order to help the chronic patients and
8 children in Ilok at the end of summer 1991?
9 A. Well, I talked to my colleagues because I was rather mobile, I
10 had a car too, and I was not afraid, and I didn't think that there was
11 anything bad going on. I went to buy medicine for certain patients in
12 Ilok. I remember, among others, medicine that was needed for a child
13 that was treated for epilepsy, and the parents asked me in particular to
14 look for that in Novi Sad. So I went to Novi Sad to buy a certain amount
15 of medicine for the population.
16 Q. And when did you travel to Novi Sad to buy that medicine?
17 A. To the best of my recollection it was on the 1st of October,
19 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, I see the time. I think now might
20 be an appropriate time to break.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Ms. Dennehy.
22 Mr. Loncar, we take a break now, a break of 30 minutes, and come
23 back at 12.45. The court usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
24 Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy, just for planning purposes, now
3 you've felt the witness, what is your estimation about the timing of your
5 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, I do think I'll take most of the
6 three hours that I have been allocated in relation to this witness. I
7 will attempt and try and control the witness to the extent I can and
8 focus him; however, I do think, given the number of documents and the
9 information that I need to get from this witness, I will take close to
10 three hours.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: And the Defence, any idea? Will it be three
13 hours or will it be less? I mean three hours is what you theoretically
14 are entitled to.
15 MR. GOSNELL: Far less than three hours, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. But then reasonably, we will not finish
17 the witness today; right? We have one hour and a half when we come
18 back -- one hour and a quarter, and we have one hour and a half
19 tomorrow -- sorry, this afternoon. Right? So that -- you will take all
20 that time?
21 MS. DENNEHY: I don't expect to take all of that time. I will
22 use --
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's two hours, 45.
24 MS. DENNEHY: That's correct. I will do my best to limit my
25 examination-in-chief to the extent I can.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. But obviously or at least reasonably that
2 means that we will, if we want to finish this witness this week and not
3 let him stay over the weekend and with regard to the next week's
4 planning, we should sit tomorrow morning as well for one session?
5 MS. DENNEHY: If I --
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Correct?
7 MS. DENNEHY: If I may, Mr. President, I think it would be best
8 to allocate time in the morning; however, I would hope that we wouldn't
9 have to use it.
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So we know where we are, and by all means
11 you are entitled to a maximum of the hearing this afternoon and that will
12 be it.
13 MS. DENNEHY: Yes, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 Court adjourned.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.17 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 3.04 p.m.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: I suppose you would all think that I would come
19 back to the planning, but I must say I'm speechless. So let's just
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please be seated, Mr. Loncar.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Dennehy.
25 MS. DENNEHY: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Dr. Loncar, before we resume, can I please ask whether you feel
2 okay following the alarm earlier and that you are okay to continue?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, before the break you told us that on the 1st of October,
5 1991, you travelled to Novi Sad in order to obtain medical supplies for
6 the people of Ilok. Can you please tell the Court what happened to you
7 as you drove from Novi Sad back to Ilok.
8 A. Your Honours, if I just may, a sentence or two why I left Ilok.
9 Already on the 1st of October, when I went to Novi Sad, before that in
10 Ilok there was a humanitarian crisis. In Ilok there were a lot of people
11 who actually came from the neighbouring villages. There were major
12 shortages of everything, food, medicine, and the local population and
13 refugees came to seek help. Also, there was a great deal of fighting
14 around Vukovar, even in Ilok, that's 35 kilometres away from Vukovar.
15 One could feel the vibrations of these cannons or whatever they were. A
16 day before I left, I had the opportunity of helping at the infirmary when
17 a refugee came from Tovarnik who had a gun-shot wound in his arm and he
18 told us about all sorts of terrible things that were happening.
19 Dr. Grgic and Dr. Holoker asked me after that, since I worked in
20 Novi Sad, asked me if I could go and buy some medicine and help prevent a
21 very bad thing from happening in Ilok. So there weren't any checks on
22 the bridge. The army, the JNA, held the bridge --
23 Q. Dr. Loncar --
24 A. -- towards Backa Palanka --
25 Q. -- I'm afraid that we have very, very limited time today and
1 therefore I must ask you again to focus specifically on the questions
2 that I'm putting to you. This information is, of course, helpful, but it
3 is more helpful to answer the questions that I am putting.
4 So if I can ask my question again: What happened to you as you
5 left Novi Sad and drove back to Ilok?
6 A. At that moment I was driving a friend of mine, Ivan Suvak, and I
7 stopped in front of his house, a parking-lot there, and some policemen
8 jumped out of this Kombi van, some were in uniform, some were in plain
9 clothes. They asked me for the key and they put me into this police car
10 and they took me to the provincial SUP, the SUP of the province. They
11 were saying along the way, "Here he is." They took this appeal that I
12 wrote in Novi Sad, because before that I saw a friend, a priest in
13 Petrova Radan, Marko Kljajic, who gave me money for medicine and that's
14 where I wrote this appeal asking for international observers and possibly
15 Doctors Without Borders to come help us, that the proportions of the
16 humanitarian crisis were growing.
17 Q. Now, you said some policemen jumped out of a car. How many
18 policemen were there that arrested you?
19 A. Well, as far as I can remember, as far as I could see then - I
20 was taken by surprise - I think there were six or seven of them, some of
21 them in uniform and other in civilian clothing.
22 Q. And you said that they brought you to the office of the
23 provincial SUP. Where was that office?
24 A. It's in Novi Sad. That was the centre of the then-milicija,
25 police. It was a building.
1 Q. And can you please tell the Court what happened to you at the SUP
2 building in Novi Sad.
3 A. As far as I can remember, they brought me into some space. They
4 came in by car and then they took me to the third floor. They took me to
5 a room and then a uniformed policeman walked in. He talked to me for
6 about five minutes. He took my details. And then policemen started
7 coming in, policemen in civilian clothing. And they started putting
8 questions, tortures started, beatings, et cetera. They kept me that way
9 for about 30 hours, without a break, without giving me any time to sleep.
10 I could just go to the toilet once. They were putting two sets of
11 questions to me. One set had to do with Ilok and the other had to do
12 with this brief activity of mine within the Democratic Alliance of Croats
13 in Vojvodina. They beat me mercilessly.
14 I was wearing a jeans jacket and I just had a T-shirt underneath,
15 a white T-shirt, and they pulled that up and -- in fact, they tied my
16 hands with my jacket and they beat me on the head and torso with a bat
17 that was about 90 centimetres long. It wasn't a classical baton. They
18 were hitting me on the back, on the head, and they kept asking me who my
19 connection was, who I was in contact with. They started asking me about
20 some alleged connections of mine, and I never knew this man, Laszlo Tot
21 who was the editor of the Hungarian programme on Novi Sad TV. They asked
22 who I socialised with from the Hungarian community in Novi Sad, then also
23 in Ilok, what units were there, what was there. That would be it,
25 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar. You've just provided us with quite a bit
1 of information. I'd like to go back over that so we can clarify some of
2 this. You said:
3 "They beat me mercilessly.
4 "... they beat me with a bat that was about 90 centimetres long."
5 When you say "they," who are you talking about?
6 A. What I came to realise then was that they were policemen in plain
7 clothes, but I don't think it was the crime prevention police, I think it
8 was the secret police judging by the questions that they put. I came to
9 believe, especially later on, that this was no crime prevention police
10 but rather the secret police that was questioning me.
11 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar. And how many policemen or members of the
12 secret police questioned you there in the SUP headquarter building in
13 Novi Sad?
14 A. There were two that were there all the time, but then five or six
15 kept changing during those 30 hours.
16 Q. And you told us earlier that they beat you with a bat that was
17 approximately 90 centimetres long. It wasn't a classical baton. Can you
18 please describe what weapon they used to beat you with.
19 A. I don't know. There was leather on the outside. It wasn't that
20 classical police baton, truncheon, that you'd see in the street.
21 Q. You said that they beat you on the head and torso. What injuries
22 did you sustain as a result of these beatings?
23 A. Yes, I have to say that they didn't only use the batons. One of
24 the two policemen who were there all the time, let's say that they were
25 the chief interrogators, one of them -- well, he was the one who hit me
1 in the nose here, on the face. Thankfully he was wearing tennis shoes
2 only, so my nose started to bleed and they even gave me a cloth at one
3 moment so that I'd stop the blood because it started flowing down my body
4 and I had hematoma on my back, on my chest.
5 Q. You told us earlier that you were interrogated for approximately
6 30 hours. What did you do after you were released from your
8 A. After that interrogation they released me. I was dizzy.
9 Although I knew Novi Sad well at the time, I couldn't orientate myself,
10 so they showed me the way. I came to my rented room and I asked the
11 landlady for painkillers and on the following day I went to a clinic. I
12 complained to my bosses and my colleagues at the clinic, telling them
13 what had happened to me.
14 Q. You've just told us the following day you went to a clinic. Is
15 that your place of work that you returned to?
16 A. Yes, my place of work, yes.
17 Q. And were you ever arrested again by the secret police in Novi
19 A. Yes. In the meantime -- I mean, from this first arrest which I
20 will never forget with that beating, it went on for some 30 hours. In
21 the period after that, four or five or six times I was taken away from
22 work. My vacation was over and I started working and usually they would
23 come in the afternoon, they would come to my work, and they'd pick me up
24 and they'd take me to the same place, at the provincial SUP. Every time
25 I was brought in there were interrogations followed with beatings. They
1 slapped my face. Every time I had to write statements as I was
2 handcuffed to a table. Then they'd give me a piece of paper and I'd have
3 to write with my other hand. Among other things, they were forcing me to
4 write that I was the founder of the war hospital in Ilok, which I had to
5 do under duress. And when that was over, I'd have to write the same
6 content and then I'd have to write that Dr. Tomo Grgic wrote --
7 established this hospital, although there was no such hospital, there was
8 no possibility, there were no conditions for that kind of thing.
9 Q. Dr. Loncar, you've just told us you were taken some four or five
10 or six times from the hospital where you worked. How often were you
11 taken to be interrogated at the SUP building?
12 A. Well, approximately every two or three days they would take me
14 Q. And can you please tell us when the last time -- your last
15 interrogation took place at the SUP?
16 A. Well, as far as I can remember, it was around the 4th or the 5th
17 or the 6th of November, 1991. I don't know the exact date, as I don't
18 remember it any longer, the last time when I was called for questioning.
19 Q. And after this interrogation took place on the 5th of November,
20 1991, where were you brought to?
21 A. The two who were there and who I believed were the main
22 interrogators handcuffed me, they put my hands behind my back. In the
23 evening they put me into the official car and they started across the
24 Danube from Novi Sad. So we left the city. We came to the Srem side of
25 the Danube, and they continued towards Beocin and Ilok. At one moment
1 before Beocin, because I could see the sign, they turned into
2 Fruska Gora; that is to say, into the mountain, into the woods. I didn't
3 know where or why they were taking me, and I think that they even lost
4 their way at one moment so that they turned back on the road. And I was
5 thinking about the worst at the time. I believed that we were going
6 somewhere where I would meet my end, but they continued to drive along
7 the country road and we came at one point in front of a building where
8 there were soldiers. So judging by that, I realised that they had
9 brought me to some kind of barracks.
10 Q. And what armed forces were in charge of the barracks, to the
11 place where you were brought?
12 A. What I saw was that this was the military police. There were
13 three majors present as well as one lieutenant. Judging by what
14 followed, I came to realise that these were, as I had served the former
15 JNA and I know a few things, these were the security organs, the military
16 security organs.
17 Q. And do you now know the name of the place to -- the place that
18 you were brought?
19 A. This place is called Paragovo. It's in Fruska Gora.
20 Q. And where were you detained in Paragovo?
21 A. They took me into the main building and then there was a
22 staircase down which the guards took me into the basement which was -- it
23 had an oval shape and there were steel bars and there were already some
24 people inside, people wearing civilian clothes who were detained. There
25 were the planks as well and they threw me in and I stayed there until the
1 morning, or rather, I stayed there for the next three days.
2 Q. Now, you've just said there were people already there wearing
3 civilian clothing who were being -- who were detained. How many people
4 were already in detention when you arrived at Paragovo?
5 A. According to my estimate, there were more than ten people. I
6 know that it was quite crowded and we had to lay there all squeezed
7 together on these planks.
8 Q. How did the guards treat you and the other prisoners while you
9 were detained at Paragovo?
10 A. All three days, on a daily basis, approximately every hour they
11 would come and force us to get up. We would have to thrust our hands and
12 arms through the bars and they would beat us on our hands, and then
13 during the night every hour or two they would wake us up and force us to
14 get up. They wouldn't let us sleep. Possibly they would take someone
15 out from the bars because there was a small space that was meant for them
16 as the guards, and then they would beat this person there in that
18 Q. Were you interrogated while you were detained at Paragovo?
19 A. Yes. Two majors interrogated me. I am aware of their ranks
20 because they were uniformed and, as I said I know these ranks from the
21 time when I had served the JNA. So I know that they were majors by
22 ranks. Again, there were two sets of questions, one of which referred to
23 Ilok and the other one about my supposed acquaintances and connections in
24 Novi Sad; inter alia, I was interrogated also by a lieutenant. As he was
25 the only one who did not beat me, I asked him at one point, "Why don't
1 you take me to court if I'm guilty of anything?" And he said, "We have
2 no elements to bring charges against you, but you can choose to which
3 camp you would be sent, whether you want to be sent to a camp in Serbia
4 or in the SAO Krajina." To which I said, "I live and work in Novi Sad,
5 so if it comes to this then let me be sent somewhere in Serbia."
6 On the third day of my stay in Paragovo, a third major arrived.
7 He said that he had searched my family house. He shouted, he insulted,
8 he was very rude, but he didn't give me any information nor was he able
9 to find anything that would compromise me in any way whatsoever.
10 Q. Dr. Loncar, you've just told us that there were three majors
11 present at Paragovo who all interrogated you. To what unit or specific
12 unit did those majors belong, if you know?
13 A. Judging by what they asked me and how, I concluded that they
14 belonged to the JNA service which is called the counter-intelligence
15 service or the abbreviation is K-O-S, KOS.
16 Q. And, Dr. Loncar, you've just told us that you were interrogated
17 also by a lieutenant and he was the only one who did not beat you. Are
18 you therefore saying that you were beaten by the other -- by the majors
19 at Paragovo?
20 A. Yes, they slapped me.
21 Q. Now, you've said as well earlier that you spent three days at
22 Paragovo. Where were you transferred to from Paragovo when you left
24 A. One day, that was the third day I think, it was in the afternoon,
25 that together with one or two other men they put me in a military police
1 vehicle which had the insignia VP, standing for Vojna Policija, military
2 police. We were able to sit inside, but we could not see anything on the
3 outside. There was a dim light inside the vehicle and they drove us
4 between one and two hours according to my estimate. Occasionally a
5 soldier would just open the small window that was there and look at us
6 through the glass to check us out and that was all. After between one
7 and two hours, I could feel that we were now on an unpaved road, judging
8 by the movements of the vehicle. So after the said time had elapsed, we
9 had reached our destination and the car stopped.
10 Q. You said:
11 "We reached our destination and the car stopped."
12 Where had you reached at that point?
13 A. I didn't know at the moment where we were, but when the vehicle
14 stopped I could hear people speaking outside and there was someone who
15 asked, "Are they tied?" At that moment the doors of the van were opened.
16 We got out and at that moment I witnessed a scene which was astonishing.
17 It was like something I had seen in the movies or had read about.
18 Flash-lights were on because it was night-time. There were dogs barking
19 but they were behind some wiring so they couldn't get out. There was a
20 stable in front of us and on the side were standing people, that is to
21 say soldiers. And we got out and were between the soldiers who were
22 lined in two ranks. And at that moment they tried beating us savagely,
23 so we then realised that we had to get up at any cost, as much as our
24 strength would hold out, because if we fell to the ground we could be
25 kicked in to the head which could be fatal. So that even though I
1 stumbled due to the blows, I would manage to get up every time. And by
2 passing through this gauntlet that we had to run, there were five or six
3 soldiers on each side. We eventually entered the stable through the
5 Q. And what is the name of the stable that you reached and you've
6 just described?
7 A. These were Begejci. That was the camp in Begejci.
8 Q. You've just said that you were forced to run a gauntlet with
9 soldiers on either side. How many soldiers were in that gauntlet?
10 A. According to my estimate, as far as something like that is
11 possible to estimate at such a moment, there were in total about ten or
12 so of them. It's difficult to say exactly. There could have been one or
13 two less.
14 Q. You said that:
15 "They tried beating us savagely."
16 What did they beat you with?
17 A. They beat us with their hands, with their feet, and with
18 truncheons or whatever they could get hold of.
19 Fortunately they did not have long-barrelled arms but just
20 pistols. They did not take them out. They only beat us with truncheons
21 and with the boots that were on their feet and also with their hands.
22 Q. How did you feel after arriving at Begejci and being beaten?
23 A. Well, it was a sort of astonishment. It was something I had
24 never had a chance to see in real life up until that point. It's
25 something that I still remember as some kind of film. It seemed unreal
1 at the moment, that there was such a stable in which they eventually took
2 us that was fenced off with double wiring 2 metres high with the guard
3 posts with flash-lights and with German shepherd dogs who made a horrible
4 noise while barking because they were excited and they were behind the
5 wire. And what I thought for myself was: My God, they have brought me
6 to a concentration camp.
7 Q. Dr. Loncar, I'd like to now show you a document.
8 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that tab 18 of the Court's bundle
9 be shown to the witness, that is 65 ter 6490, and it's page 1 that I
10 would like the witness to look at.
11 Q. Dr. Loncar, do you recognise the document in front of you?
12 A. Yes, this is the diagram which I drew to the best of my
13 recollection and which depicts the Begejci camp.
14 Q. And do you recognise the signature on that document?
15 A. Yes, that's my signature.
16 Q. Now, you've described some of the camp just now to the Court.
17 You said that it was fenced off with double wiring, there were dogs. Can
18 you please describe to the Court the layout of the camp by reference to
19 the document in front of you, so using the letters A, B, C, and so on.
20 A. I will use those letters. Under A is the building of the
21 command. I realised that during my detention, that that was the command
22 of the camp. Under B was the main entrance to the camp because the
23 entire camp was surrounded by barbed wire and there were guards all
24 around but there were special guards at the entrance. Under C is a small
25 building. I never had a chance to see what that really was. D is the
1 fence around the camp, the outside camp. F is the entrance to the stable
2 where the inmates were accommodated. E stands for the double line of
3 barbed wire where the main facility, that is to say the stable, was
4 because it was fenced off. Under E are the spotlight --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- under G are the spotlight
7 reflectors that I saw as soon as I got there because they were used to
8 light the whole complex for the camp. Under H are the guards' houses,
9 something like machine-gun nests. I on the side stands for "improvised
10 toilets" because there were holes that were dug out in the ground and
11 fenced off with nylon. Under J that was a bucket with water where from a
12 glass all the inmates would be served water. Under L within the camp
13 complex were the eves.
14 MS. DENNEHY:
15 Q. Now, Dr. Loncar, again having the document in front of you that
16 you've just described, what did the guards at the camp tell you about the
17 fence that you have marked as D?
18 A. Well, they threatened us. They said that we should never think
19 of trying to flee because there was an electrical current running along
20 the fence, so we never dared even to come close to this fence.
21 Q. And where were the prisoners held, again, referring to the
22 document in front of you?
23 A. The inmates were under the building depicted with the letter K.
24 That was the building, the stable which dated from the times of the
25 Austro-Hungarian Empire. I think it was an abandoned farm and it was
1 around 50 metres long and around 10 metres wide with a door that was
2 never closed. There was a concrete floor and on the sides I know that it
3 used to be a stable because there were these places that used to contain
4 food for the cattle.
5 Q. Now, you said earlier that there were German shepherd dogs who
6 made a horrible noise. Where did the dogs patrol, by reference to the
7 document in front of you?
8 A. They patrolled in this section between the two rows of wiring.
9 That was where the dogs were held. The double wiring was only around the
10 main camp building, that is to say the stable in which we were
12 Q. And you told us that H noted the machine-gun nests. How high
13 were those towers or the machine-gun nests?
14 A. Around 3 metres high, 2 and a half to 3 metres as far as I could
16 Q. How many prisoners were detained at the stamp at the letter K, so
17 within the main stable?
18 A. Between 500 and 600 at the end. I know that it was approximately
19 that number because in the evening they used to call out our names and
20 then we had to respond by saying what our numbers were, first, second,
21 third, et cetera. And I know that they counted 500 something. And then
22 my answer would be between 500 and 600 prisoners in the stables there.
23 Q. And were there any female prisoners in the stable?
24 A. Yes, there were. My estimate is between 25 and 30 women.
25 Q. And do you know who the camp commander was?
1 A. The letter A here, this area where the command of the prison was,
2 in that facility there.
3 Q. And do you know the name of the camp commander?
4 A. Yes, he introduced himself, Lieutenant-Colonel
5 Miroslav Zivanovic.
6 Q. Now, earlier you described a gauntlet that consisted of
7 approximately ten soldiers. How many guards or soldiers were present in
8 total at the camp?
9 A. Well, since our movement was restricted and we had to keep our
10 hands at our backs and our heads down, if I were to give an estimate I
11 would say that approximately within that compound there were between 30
12 to 50 guards and officers.
13 Q. And to what unit did these guards or officers belong?
14 A. During detention they would take us to -- out for interrogation,
15 so I came to the conclusion that they were members of the
16 counter-intelligence service, they were security organs judging by the
17 questions that were put to us. As for the guards, some of them had
18 insignia, others were without insignia. They were members of the
19 military police of the JNA.
20 MS. DENNEHY: Now can we scroll to page 2 of the document, of
21 65 ter 6490, please.
22 Q. Dr. Loncar, you'll shortly see another document in front of you.
23 Can you tell the Court what is depicted in this document?
24 A. I drew a sketch here of the compound of the camp itself where the
25 inmates were. So this is double wire, then also the spotlights, the
1 guards' hut, and then the stable here, that was the central facility
2 where we were with this door that was never closed, then here, I'm
3 showing it to you right now, there was a small table with a chair where
4 the officer would write down our names when the guards would bring us in.
5 Then they would force us to line up. When I was brought to Begejci camp,
6 I was here roughly. I came to here. All of this was full here, so
7 almost half of the camp was full at the time when I arrived. So these
8 little lines show how we were lined up in the camp, how we were lying
9 there. So basically we were like sardines in a tin, just a bit of straw
10 on concrete.
11 MS. DENNEHY: Can I please ask that the 65 ter 6490 be admitted
12 into evidence?
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2918, Your Honours.
15 MS. DENNEHY:
16 Q. Dr. Loncar, you've just told the Court that you were lying like
17 sardines in the stable. How were the prisoners forced to position
18 themselves in the stable, can you describe how you were forced to lie?
19 A. When the camp was full, that is to say when I arrived the camp
20 was full and they -- the guards said that they were waiting for the rest,
21 for the Ustashas after the fall of Vukovar. That's what they said.
22 Indeed, people from Vukovar were being brought in and then this line was
23 full and then this other line opposite the other wall. So then there was
24 very little space left. If one could sleep at night at all, one would
25 have to lie on the side. When the guards would walk in, then we would
1 all have to lie on our stomachs with our heads down so that we would not
2 see who they were calling out and taking out.
3 Q. Now, Dr. Loncar, I'd like to show you another document, and
4 you'll see shortly on the screen in front of you.
5 MS. DENNEHY: May I ask that tab 12, that is 65 ter 6462, be
7 Q. Dr. Loncar, do you recognise the document in front of you?
8 A. Yes. When arriving in camp, we would have all our belongings
9 taken away from us, whatever we had on us at that point in time. And
10 then they would list all the things that they found on me. So there was
11 some money, my ID, my driver's licence, traffic licence, car
12 registration, watch, coupons showing the value of the individual coupons,
13 and this down here is the signature of the officer who took all of this.
14 I was no exception there. Everyone who entered the stable or the camp
15 had all their belongings taken away from them. Among others, there were
16 quite a few elderly persons there with chronic illnesses from
17 neighbouring villages, between Ilok and Vukovar, that is, who came with
18 small bags of medicine, and so on. All of that was taken away from them
19 and we could do nothing in camp.
20 Q. Dr. Loncar, just to clarify, the items that you just named,
21 specifically money, my ID, driver's licence, those are noted on the
22 document in front of you; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, can I please ask that the
25 65 ter 6462 be admitted into evidence.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2981, Your Honours.
3 MS. DENNEHY:
4 Q. Dr. Loncar, I'd now like to turn to the conditions at the camp.
5 You've described part of those conditions, but I'd like to develop that
6 further. When you arrived in Begejci in November of 1991, how cold was
7 it outside?
8 A. Well, I mean, it is well-known that in Vojvodina at that time of
9 year it is rather cold and a wind called Kosava usually blows at the
10 time. The temperature was below 0, I believe. It would even be minus 10
11 outside. That was just an estimate. We had no way of checking. It was
12 terribly cold, especially because this door was never closed. The only
13 way we could get warmer was because there were so many of us there, 500,
14 600. We were so crowded in there, one next to the other, lying next to
15 each other. During the day we were not allowed to move about. We had to
16 sit there except for when they'd allow us for about half an hour to walk
17 within the confines of that barbed wire and that was it. So in addition
18 to those conditions, that temperature, until the Red Cross arrived we
19 just had straw when the Red Cross came. Then before the other time when
20 they came they would give us a blanket each, although that was not
21 sufficient because there was concrete down there. There were concrete
22 floors and sub-0 temperatures outdoors and the door was always open. On
23 the other hand, hygienic conditions were terrible. We had to ask for
24 permission to go to these improvised toilets behind the stable. We would
25 be beaten every time we went out so that some people would try not to go
1 to the toilet for a few days, since they were afraid that they would be
2 beaten yet again.
3 Q. Thank you, Dr. Loncar. I'm just going to go back over some of
4 what you told us. You said it was approximately minus 10 outside. Was
5 the stable building heated for the prisoners?
6 A. No. The building did not have any kind of heating. What made it
7 even more difficult was the fact that there were some small windows there
8 and then there was no glass on some of them and the wind would blow day
9 and night so it would be even colder in that stable, and those who were
10 next to the door they, in fact, slept as if they were sleeping outdoors
11 as far as the temperature is concerned.
12 Q. You mentioned earlier that the hygienic conditions were terrible.
13 What sanitary facilities were there at the camp?
14 A. The sanitary conditions were as follows. The inmates who arrived
15 before I came dug a few pits and then there was plastic between them, and
16 these were our toilets. That's when we went out to the toilet. There
17 was no hand washing, there was no water except for limited quantities of
18 drinking water that we were given. So we were quite unkempt. They took
19 away all our personal belongings, including anything that resembled
20 shavers. That's the way it was until we -- the Red Cross came to see us.
21 Then they found one of the inmates who had allegedly been a barber before
22 the war, and then he used the same shaver to shave all of us and to give
23 us haircuts. Among us there was already lice. Some of us already had
24 lice because of the hygienic conditions that existed there. Other people
25 had intestinal trouble because after leaving the toilet there was no
1 possibility of washing one's hands or something like that.
2 Q. Dr. Loncar, you've just said:
3 "There was no water except for limited quantities of drinking
4 water ..."
5 And earlier on the document that I showed you, you indicated that
6 that water was at position J. Can you describe how much water was
7 available to the 500-odd prisoners at the camp?
8 A. Well, it was a bucket full of water. It's hard for me to
9 describe it, pretty big. Perhaps its capacity was, say, between 10 or 20
10 litres of water, and then there was a glass that we all used to drink
12 Q. How many glasses were there for the 500-odd prisoners?
13 A. To the best of my recollection, I only know of one, it was by the
14 bucket. We would be given -- or rather, we would be given that glass to
15 have a drink of water when we approached the bucket.
16 Q. You told us earlier that several of the prisoners developed lice
17 because of the hygienic conditions that existed at the camp. What other
18 diseases was common amongst the prisoners in the camp?
19 A. Apart from lice, people often complained of intestinal problems,
20 especially diarrhea. I suppose that it was caused by poor hygiene.
21 Q. Were any of the camp detainees ordered to carry out forced
23 A. Yes. They singled out a group of inmates who went outside the
24 camp to clear a wood, an overgrown area; that happened daily. We were
25 not allowed to talk among ourselves, but we did hear some information.
1 Before leaving the camp, they first had to cut a stick which the guards
2 then used to drive them during the forced labour. And if I may continue?
3 Furthermore, they were saying that civilians were also being
4 brought, probably from the surrounding villages or passers-by, and they
5 would point out the inmates and say, "These are -- these people are
6 Ustashas." And some of those civilians would beat them.
7 Q. Now, moving on to the interrogations that took place at the camp,
8 were you ever interrogated?
9 A. Yes. During my stay I was interrogated five to six times by some
10 officers, and I must add that civilian police was there at least once
11 from the provincial SUP. I was taken to be interrogated some five or six
13 Q. And where were you interrogated? What building?
14 A. The interrogations took place at the command building of the
15 camp. There were some rooms in which there was usually an officer with a
16 guard, a soldier, and we had to answer their questions. That was one
17 thing. And additionally we had to write down statements. Those
18 statements were mostly coerced. People would write anything in those
19 statements because they had been tortured and beaten.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
21 MS. DENNEHY:
22 Q. Dr. Loncar, I'm afraid the interpreters have asked if you can
23 repeat the sentences that followed:
24 "People would write anything in those statements ..."
25 The interpreters didn't quite catch what you said.
1 A. Yes. In fact, those officers ordered them what to write. I had
2 to write, for example, that I had been head of the -- of a war time
3 hospital which never existed.
4 Q. You --
5 A. Otherwise they wouldn't stop beating the person in question until
6 he wrote something.
7 Q. You said that there was usually an officer and a soldier present.
8 To what units did those officers belong?
9 A. I was able to conclude on the basis of their questions that the
10 interrogators belonged not to the military police but they were KOS
11 officers. They interrogated us, in fact, and ordered us what to write.
12 Q. You just told us that:
13 "Otherwise they wouldn't stop beating the person in question
14 until he wrote something."
15 Were you beaten during the interrogations?
16 A. Yes. The system of interrogation was the following. In that
17 room we would be beaten. It was mostly the guard who mostly was already
18 inside and when signalled by the officer he would start beating us. If
19 not there, then upon returning to the barn the guards would continue to
20 beat certain persons. They would always target someone. And we found
21 out that either they would be sent to be interrogated tomorrow and
22 therefore beaten today or he was interrogated yesterday and beaten after
23 the interrogation. That was a way of breaking people.
24 Q. What injuries did you personally sustain as a result of the
25 beatings during the interrogations?
1 A. I had regular hematomas and for a couple of days I was hardly
2 able to move when the military policeman or guard hit me so forcefully
3 with his elbow in the lower part of the cervical spine that I had
4 terrible pain and for days I had great difficulty moving. My movements
5 were very limited.
6 Q. You told us that the interrogations did take place in the command
7 building which is separate from the stable. Before being taken for
8 interrogation, can you describe the atmosphere in the stable amongst the
9 prisoners as the guards came to select prisoner for interrogation.
10 A. The rule was such that we had all to lie flat on our bellies with
11 our hands under our heads or eyes, actually. And since we knew that
12 somebody would be taken away, you couldn't hear a sound. And I had the
13 feeling that I heard my heart beating. And the other, or rather, the
14 only sound that you could hear was soldiers' boots walking on concrete
15 and you could tell if someone was approaching you or walking away, and of
16 course as a result you were more or less scared. Sometimes, or rather,
17 when they kicked you in the -- in the feet, that was a sign that you were
18 supposed to get up. Sometimes they would beat people in the stable but
19 we were not allowed to watch. From there, the people would be taken to
20 the command building.
21 Q. You said that sometimes they would beat people in the stable but
22 we were not allowed to watch. How did you know that they were being
24 A. Because, as I said, it was totally quiet. All 500 of us were so
25 scared that nobody dared move. It was -- there was dead silence and the
1 only thing you could hear were blows. So it was easy to tell that
2 somebody was being beaten, and of course you could hear the whimpering of
3 that person being beaten.
4 Q. Dr. Loncar, I'd now like to show you another document and you'll
5 see that appear on the screen in front of you.
6 MS. DENNEHY: Can I ask that tab 4, that's 65 ter 2916.3, be
8 Q. Dr. Loncar, do you recognise the document in front of you?
9 A. Yes. It's a list of the prisoners at the Begejci camp.
10 Q. And do you recognise the signature on the first page of that
12 A. Yes, it is my signature. I'd signed this list when I reviewed
14 MS. DENNEHY: If we could now scroll to page 2 of this document.
15 Q. Dr. Loncar, there are circles around two of the names on this
16 list. Can you please explain what the circles mean.
17 A. It means that I met those people at the camp. They are people
18 from Ilok and I had known them from before. They were elderly people.
19 MS. DENNEHY: If we can move to page 5 of this document, and I
20 would please ask that it not be broadcast at this time.
21 Q. Dr. Loncar, there's a circle around Krunoslav Farkas on this
22 document. What happened to Mr. Farkas?
23 A. Let me first say that I knew Mr. Farkas from Ilok. During our
24 detention he was beaten so badly that he lapsed into a post traumatic
25 delirium as we call it. He totally lost orientation toward himself and
1 his surroundings. On one occasion he -- he was tied with wire and said,
2 "I'm going home now." He had no sense of reality. I cannot say exactly
3 how much later, but a couple of years after being exchanged he died. I
4 believe that this was a consequence of the torture he was subjected to at
5 the camp. (redacted)
8 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MS. DENNEHY:
1 Q. Dr. Loncar, the name Zlatko Brajer is marked on this document in
2 front of you and circled. Is that the correct name, do you know?
3 A. Yes, though I must note that as so much time has elapsed, more
4 than 20 years, he's stuck in my memory because I participated in his
5 reanimation. Zlatko is certainly his first name. I'm not sure whether
6 it was Brajer or Brajovic that was his last name, but that was him, from
7 Vukovar. I know that he was a retired teacher because after the exchange
8 his wife reached me in Zagreb and I then wrote a medical certificate
9 confirming that he had been killed in the Begejci camp by being beaten
11 Why did I have to do that? Because one day the commander of the
12 camp, Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic, ordered me to come to the command
13 building, and there outside next to the door Zlatko was lying on the
14 floor. At the moment when I got there, he was not showing any signs of
15 life, and I then attempted to revive him. I lifted up the clothes he had
16 on the upper part of his body. He was all covered in hematoma. And when
17 I tried to massage his heart, I realised at that moment that all his ribs
18 had been broken because there was no resistance by the ribs. My hand
19 would just sink in, and I tried for a while, for about a minute, to do
20 this, but I could just note that he had died.
21 Q. Dr. Loncar, you'd said that the commander of the camp,
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic, ordered you to come to the command
23 building. Was that the first time you had been ordered to go to the
24 command building by the camp commander?
25 A. There was another occasion on which he ordered me to do so in
1 another case, the case of Zoran Sipos, as far as I remember. He was
2 brought there in the afternoon and I was then called by
3 Lieutenant-Colonel Zivanovic, the commander of the camp, to try and calm
4 him down because he had been beaten up and he was telling that in front
5 of the camp commander, that he had been beaten savagely at the Stajicevo
6 camp and he was then brought there. I was also told to see what he could
7 be given and I told him that he should be given medication that would
8 calm him down and also some painkillers. I don't know what happened
9 later on, but he had visible injuries on his face in the form of hematoma
10 and he was complaining himself. He had been beaten so badly that it
11 seemed to me that it was all the same to him what the commander would
12 hear or not, that he was in such an agitated state and that he just
13 wanted to tell about his experience.
14 Q. I'd like to now return to Zlatko Brajovic who you spoke of. When
15 you tried to resuscitate him, where was the camp commander at that time?
16 A. At that moment he was entering the room, and when the guard
17 brought me he was already behind me in this room with the open door where
18 Zlatko lay down on the floor.
19 Q. And can you describe how Zlatko appeared when you first saw him?
20 A. As someone who had lost his consciousness, there was no activity.
21 He wasn't moving at all. So I approached him and what I tried to see or
22 feel was to feel his pulse but I couldn't find it, which meant that his
23 heart had stopped. I then put my ear close to his face to hear whether
24 he was breathing and I couldn't hear that, and therefore I started to
25 resuscitate him. And then I realised that his ribs had been broken
1 because we had learned that in the practice that as students at the
2 faculty of medicine. So I know what it looks like when you try to
3 resuscitate a man when his ribs are complete, and when your hands sinks
4 in because there's no resistance whatsoever.
5 Q. Now, Dr. Loncar, my final question in relation to the document in
6 front of you is: You marked some of the names on this list with an X.
7 What does that X depict without naming any of the people in question?
8 A. These are the persons who were with us in the camp and who I
9 suspected at the time were victims of sexual abuse. Later on, as I will
10 explain, my then suspicions turned out to be true and that that was
11 precisely the case, rape.
12 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, if I may tender this 65 ter 6490
13 into evidence under seal -- sorry, I do apologise. I got the number
14 wrong. It's 65 ter 2916.3 into evidence under seal, and there is a
15 publicly redacted version of that document at 65 ter 2916.4, and that is
16 loaded to e-court and released.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: First one admitted and marked under seal.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2982, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Second one admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2983.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MS. DENNEHY: Mr. President, I do note the time. And before I
23 move on to my next topic, I think now might be an appropriate time to
24 finish for the day.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: And how long would you need tomorrow morning?
1 MS. DENNEHY: I believe 45 minutes or so should be sufficient.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Would the remaining time be sufficient for you,
3 Mr. Gosnell?
4 MR. GOSNELL: My estimate at the moment is about 15 to 20
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Loncar, we finish for the day. You have not finished your
8 testimony, which means that you're not released as a witness; the
9 consequence of that is that you cannot discuss your testimony with
10 anybody in the meantime and you cannot talk to any of the parties. And
11 we expect you back in court tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you very
12 much. The court usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.28 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 6th day of
17 September, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.