Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 2721

1 Tuesday, 28 March 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

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

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I be reminded -- it's now your turn for

7 re-examination, Ms. Richterova. Is that correct?

8 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, but there will be no re-examination. Thank

9 you.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Say that again?

11 MS. RICHTEROVA: There will be no re-examination.

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Richterova.

13 Any questions by you, Judge?


15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 Questioned by the Court:

17 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Witness, I would like to ask one thing for

18 clarification.

19 In the cross-examination you answered the question, but only in a

20 very brief way, if these armed vehicles would have come through the

21 village after the attack and you said this didn't happen anymore, but in

22 the examination-in-chief you mentioned something about the first day after

23 the attack that these vehicles or such vehicles in fact came through and

24 there was some expression of irony or something similar you said. You

25 remember that? Can you maybe explain once more if they came back at least

Page 2722

1 one time and what happened there.

2 A. Yes, Your Honour. On the 5th of August, 1991, after the first

3 attack with 82-millimetre mortar shells at 0600 hours, when the attack

4 stopped at 10.00, those two JNA armoured vehicles started driving through

5 the town again but they were stopped by a crowd of people because the

6 people were up in arms. They were against it; the residents of Saborsko I

7 mean. And from that time on they didn't drive through anymore.

8 JUDGE HOEPFEL: Thank you.

9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: On the same point, was it the people, the crowd,

10 who laughed at them that prevented them from coming through again?

11 A. No, Your Honour. It was they, the crew of the vehicles, who were

12 leering at us, the crowd, the crew of those two JNA transporters.

13 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. And you spoke earlier in your

14 evidence about an armed clash in Plitvice. Who was this armed clash

15 between? Who was engaged in this armed clash?

16 A. On the 1st of August, 1991, it -- the first armed clash took place

17 in Croatia between the Ministry of the Interior, the Republic of Croatia,

18 and the so-called armed groups, renegade groups, in Plitvice.

19 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: This was in Plitvice?

20 A. Yes, Plitvice.

21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: The groups that you spoke about that cut off the

22 Plaski and Licka Jesenica road, what ethnic groups were these persons?

23 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms and JNA uniforms. They were

24 putting up barricades, engaging in the so-called log revolution, and

25 cutting off roads.

Page 2723

1 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: You spoke of a group of 100 men of the

2 independent company of Saborsko and you said they came to defend, not to

3 attack. Why do you say that they came to defend and not attack, and what

4 form did this defence take?

5 A. They were not able to attack because they were coming to Saborsko,

6 an occupied place, an encircled place. They were not attacking, they were

7 defending, because Saborsko at the time was encircled. It was their homes

8 we are talking about, their families. And that's why they came on

9 the 5th.

10 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: This is for my own education. You have spoken

11 variously of Plaski and Plasko. Is it the same place? If not, please

12 explain.

13 A. No, no. That group of 100 or 110 men - we've discussed this

14 before - they were natives of Saborsko who were working in Rijeka or

15 Zagreb and their families, wives and children were still in Saborsko.

16 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Yes. Please go on to explain to me how that is

17 related to Plaski and Plasko. I'd still like to hear if it's a different

18 place or the same place or -- I am not understanding.

19 A. No. The name of the place is Plaski. There is only one place

20 called Plaski.

21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: And where is it?

22 A. It is located between Ogulin and Saborsko -- or rather, between

23 Josipdol, which is closer, and Saborsko.

24 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. You said that 80 shells fell

25 before 10.00, and it appears as if they didn't shoot right. And in the

Page 2724

1 evening shells came to the centre of town. What sort of buildings and

2 places were in the centre of the town?

3 A. Right. The shelling started on the 5th of August, 1991 at

4 6.00 a.m., and Saborsko is at a higher altitude than Licka Jesenica.

5 Maybe they didn't have the right coordinates so they didn't manage to hit

6 Saborsko that morning. Their shells fell to the right of the church and

7 the cemetery, that's if they were shooting at Saborsko at all. And

8 towards the evening, they started hitting Saborsko --

9 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: [Previous translation continues] ... what sort

10 of buildings were there -- or what was in the centre of the town?

11 A. It's not actually a town; it's a village. In the centre there

12 were schools, churches, family houses right along the road. The whole

13 place is seven kilometres long all in all, and the houses line the road,

14 the high street.

15 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you. Now, you said in Korenica you were

16 beaten badly and cut in the face. Was anything said whilst you were being

17 beaten or before you were being beaten?

18 A. Not much talking was done while the beating was going on. Yes,

19 there were obscenities uttered. There was no personal talk.

20 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: This is by the person or persons who beat you?

21 A. That evening when they slashed my face with a knife and they

22 knocked my teeth out, only one person was beating me while the others were

23 standing around laughing.

24 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: And this is a last question. You said you were

25 told that it was your colleagues who were beating you. Who told you that

Page 2725

1 it was your colleagues who were beating you, other detainees, the militia,

2 or who told you such?

3 A. Right. That was the military airfield Bihac on the border between

4 Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The JNA military policemen said to

5 take a group of five. We had been detained in the warehouse, and he told

6 us: You are being beaten by your colleagues from Zagreb, renegades from

7 the MUP of Croatia.

8 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you very much. No further questions.

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Judge.

10 If I may just pick up from one of the questions that the Judge on

11 my right asked.

12 Would you like to show us the injuries that you sustained when

13 they cut your face and broke your teeth?

14 A. I can do that, Your Honour. Right here and they also slashed my

15 face. My skin was black and the scars still remain, but since they

16 slashed me on the head, I was already black and blue by that time so the

17 scars are smaller. If they had slashed me now when my face is without any

18 bruises, it would show differently. I don't know if you can see the

19 scars, and the bridge of my nose was broken as well. It doesn't function

20 really well.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Thank you very much. You mentioned in your

22 testimony that around the 6th/7th of August, 1995, you returned to

23 Saborsko and that when you got to Saborsko you found it overgrown and it

24 was a ghost town. Do you remember that evidence?

25 A. Right. That was the first time, Your Honour, that I came back to

Page 2726

1 Saborsko after 1991. There was nothing to be seen in Saborsko except

2 shrubbery and brush, burnt-down houses, and two heaps of rubble standing

3 in the places where the church and the school building used to be. The

4 houses were mainly wooden and burned down completely, and the rubble left

5 over from the church was clearly visible. It is documented. There are

6 photographs.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know what became of the population that used

8 to occupy Saborsko?

9 A. Yes, I know. We started looking for mass graves at that time

10 because during the four years while Saborsko was occupied we were

11 gathering information as to possible locations of those mass graves. And

12 in 80 per cent of the cases, our operative information proved to be

13 correct, the operative information we collected during the occupation.

14 And we gathered it while we were in Ogulin.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: What happened to that population?

16 A. In 1991, after Saborsko fell on the 12th of November, 1991, they

17 were killed and thrown into mass graves, into pits, or they were burned

18 down together with their homes. There was several locations.

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Right at the beginning of your testimony you

20 estimated the population at about 800 to 850 people. Am I to understand

21 that you're saying the entire population was wiped out?

22 A. Yes. Some of the populace fled. Those who were unable to flee,

23 elderly men and women who remained, were killed, while those who fled ran

24 through the wooded area called Kapela or in the other direction via Bosnia

25 and Herzegovina, in the direction of Rakovica.

Page 2727

1 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I've understood you well, on the -- there was an

2 attack around the 5th of August, 1991, and some people fled in buses. Is

3 that correct?

4 A. Yes. That was on the 5th of August, while Saborsko fell on the

5 12th of November, in the autumn. But the first attack was on the 5th of

6 August, and some people fled even then. The roads were still open for

7 traffic at Slunj.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now I understand. But you also testified that some

9 of the people who fled on the 5th of August, 1991 returned?

10 A. Yes. Those people came back. They had only fled to the

11 neighbouring village of Rakovica, about 15 kilometres away along the

12 forest-path, and they came back immediately. They ran away in the night

13 of the 5th and came back on the 6th, because the place had not yet fallen,

14 had not yet been occupied by that time.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: And do I understand you to be saying when Saborsko

16 fell on the 12th of November, some people fled, some were killed?

17 A. That's correct.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Do you know what happened to those that fled?

19 Where are they?

20 A. Some ran to Karlovac, some to Zagreb, some to Ogulin. They went

21 to live there because Saborsko was occupied for four years. It was under

22 the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina all the way until the military

23 police Operation Storm. So they were absent from Saborsko from November

24 1991 until 1995. In that period, they stayed in the free territory of the

25 Republic of Croatia, Zagreb, Rijeka, Karlovac, and then some went to third

Page 2728

1 countries of course.

2 JUDGE MOLOTO: After 1995, where did they stay?

3 A. In 1995, exhumations started and the restoration of the village --

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I interrupt --

5 A. -- some people returned.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Some of those people who fled returned. Okay.

7 Now, you also talked of an attack on Rakovica. Do you know -- did you

8 know the population of Rakovica before it was attacked?

9 A. The population of Rakovica was mostly Croat. There was some

10 Serbs, too, but the majority were Croat.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yes. All I'm -- do you know the numbers? Are you

12 able to estimate the population in Rakovica before the attack?

13 A. I don't know. That's a neighbouring place; it's larger than

14 Saborsko. I don't know what its population was.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you said it was partially destroyed. Do you

16 remember that evidence?

17 A. Correct. It's not 100 per cent destroyed, like Saborsko; it was

18 destroyed 60 to 70 per cent maybe.

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. Do you have any knowledge as to -- or an

20 estimation of the number of people killed in Rakovica?

21 A. No. I have no knowledge about the number of killed in Rakovica

22 and neighbouring villages.

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: You talk of neighbouring villages. Were there any

24 other neighbouring villages which were destroyed?

25 A. The neighbouring villages were not destroyed at the time because

Page 2729

1 in that area there are some villages and hamlets populated by Serbs, at

2 least they were populated by Serbs in 1991, so they were not destroyed at

3 the time. The only thing that was destroyed were Serb houses in Saborsko.

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Serb houses in Saborsko. Okay. We have discussed

5 Saborsko. What I do want to find out from you is: Are you aware of any

6 other surrounding villages around Saborsko, Rakovica, which were also

7 destroyed, and if so, what are they?

8 A. I don't know anything about that because I didn't live in those

9 places, no.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. In that event, thank you so much.

11 Any re-examination -- questions arising out of the questions from

12 the --

13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, I have a couple of clarifications.

14 Further examination by Ms. Richterova:

15 Q. Mr. Vukovic, to the question of Judge Nosworthy you were talking

16 about clashes in Plitvice and you stated: This first clash occurred on

17 1st of August. Previous in your testimony you mentioned 1st of April.

18 When these clashes -- first clashes in Plitvice took place?

19 A. Perhaps it was a slip of the tongue. The 1st of April, 1991.

20 Q. The other question was about your beating in Bihac, and that you

21 were told that your colleagues from Zagreb did the beating. What did you

22 understand when told your colleagues were those who beat you? Who were

23 these colleagues? Were they Serbs or Croats?

24 A. These were colleagues, Croatian policemen of Serb ethnicity, who

25 had left, who, rather, became renegades vis-a-vis Zagreb. So they went to

Page 2730

1 the Bihac airport Zeljava, so these are these four or five former

2 colleagues.

3 Q. And the last question you answered to Judge Moloto that Serb

4 houses in Saborsko were destroyed. How many Serb houses were there in

5 Saborsko?

6 A. In Saborsko there were four Serb houses, four family houses.

7 Q. And were all these four houses destroyed?

8 A. Those that were down by the road itself were destroyed. Those are

9 the houses that were destroyed. I don't know about one particular house

10 which is further up, whether it was destroyed or not. But the ones down

11 there were destroyed, torched and burned down. So I know this particular

12 one where the family got killed, and they actually went to stay with my

13 aunt and uncle and that's how I know.

14 Q. When was it?

15 A. That happened on the 12th of November, 1991, in the morning hours

16 when the fall actually took place. I was not there, but then later on I

17 learned from people that on the morning of the 12th of November, 1991 the

18 attack started at 0900 hours.

19 Q. Thank you.

20 MS. RICHTEROVA: I have no further questions.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Ms. Richterova.

22 Mr. Milovancevic.

23 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence has

24 just a few short questions.

25 Further cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:

Page 2731

1 Q. When you were answering the questions of the Prosecutor during

2 this additional examination about your colleagues from Zagreb who beat

3 you, that was the explanation that you were given. You said that these

4 were people who were renegades from the MUP of Croatia. Can you say

5 whether at that moment when you were at the airport belonged to the

6 civilian or military police?

7 A. According to the statement made by the military policeman who was

8 on duty at Zeljava airport, the military airport of Zeljava that is, he's

9 the one who told us that they were our colleagues, these five who were

10 walking around the airport and the barracks, and they beat not only me but

11 other prisoners as well.

12 Q. I understand that, but I'm asking you the following: At that

13 moment, did they belong to the army or the police? They were at a

14 military facility. An airport, an airfield is a very well-guarded area.

15 Is it a military area? Were they civilians or military people?

16 A. The airport was not a well-guarded military zone. There were

17 groups of Martic's men there. There was the JNA there. There were all

18 sorts of things there. It wasn't only military policemen there. I don't

19 know what. So there was a mix, and that's where they beat us. And we

20 sang songs there in the warehouse, you know which ones, so it was not

21 well-guarded at the time.

22 Q. You just didn't answer the question. Do you know? If you do, you

23 can tell us. If you don't, you can tell us that. At that moment these

24 people left the MUP of Croatia, so were they in the police or in the

25 military at that moment? If you know. If you don't, just say you don't

Page 2732

1 know.

2 A. I don't -- well, they weren't in the police. They were in the

3 military, in the army. The airport, Zeljava, is a JNA airport.

4 Q. Thank you, thank you. When answering the questions of the Court

5 as to what was in the centre of the village, you said the church and the

6 school. Did you state yesterday that members of the special police of

7 Duga Resa, who on the 5th of August, 1991, that is to say, the evening

8 after this first attack, left Saborsko? Did you not say that they were

9 staying at that school?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. When responding to the additional question put by the Prosecutor a

12 few moments ago, you said that these Serb houses in Saborsko were the

13 first ones to be hit during the military operations. Did I understand you

14 well?

15 MS. RICHTEROVA: I'm sorry, he didn't say they were the first one

16 to be hit.

17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to change my question

18 or withdraw this question, if I misunderstood what the witness was saying.

19 Q. So I'm going to ask you the following: Well, those were the first

20 houses roughly that were burned. What did you mean? You said that there

21 were a few houses by the road. Perhaps one was further up and you didn't

22 know what happened to that, but your uncle and aunt came there and you

23 gave some explanation what happened to these houses. Could you please

24 tell us what that was?

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: The witness never said they were the first houses

Page 2733

1 roughly that were burned. The word "first" was never used. I think

2 rephrase the question, Mr. Milovancevic.

3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

4 Q. You said that these Serb houses were destroyed. When and where

5 and with what? Do you know?

6 A. They were destroyed in 1991, during the attack on Saborsko. So on

7 the 12th of November, 1991.

8 Q. Where are these houses, in which part of Saborsko? What's the

9 name of that neighbourhood?

10 A. At the very beginning of Saborsko, that's where they are, and

11 Borik is the name of that particular location, the hamlet of Borik.

12 Together with Croat houses, too, not all of them were Serb houses.

13 Q. Do you know how they came to be damaged? I am not asking only

14 about those Serb houses. It doesn't matter that they were Serb houses,

15 but the houses where your uncle and aunt came, they are at the beginning

16 of the village. Did I understand you properly?

17 A. That's right. They're neighbours, my aunt's and uncle's houses at

18 the beginning of the village, and then this other house that belonged to

19 Selaja, also at the beginning of the village. So these are two

20 neighbours.

21 Q. Were all of the houses destroyed that morning?

22 A. Yes. All the houses were destroyed that morning during that

23 attack.

24 Q. Did I understand you correctly when you said that your aunt and

25 uncle came to those Serb houses that morning, to their neighbour's to seek

Page 2734

1 protection, but nevertheless they fell victim?

2 A. Yes, they came to their neighbour’s. Now, did they go to seek

3 protection or not? Well, neighbours are neighbours, but at any rate that

4 is where they fell victim.

5 Q. Thank you.

6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No further questions.

7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Milovancevic.

8 Thank you very much, Mr. Vukovic. Thanks for coming to testify.

9 You are free to go. Now you are excused. You may stand down.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.

12 [The witness withdrew]

13 MR. WHITING: May I proceed?

14 JUDGE MOLOTO: You may proceed.

15 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I have an oral application with respect

16 to the next witness, but it requires us to go into private session,

17 please.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please go into private session.

19 MS. RICHTEROVA: May I be excused for five minutes?

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are excused, Ms. Richterova.

21 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you.

22 [Private session]

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 2735











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Page 2736











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Page 2737

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 [Open session]

5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: And before we swear in the witness, can we just

7 deal with how we are going to sit for the rest of the day now that we have

8 had an unexpected break. It is the suggestion of the Chamber that we sit

9 now and break at 11.00 for 20 minutes; resume at 11.20 and break at 12.20

10 for another 20 minutes; resume at 12.40 and break at 1345. Is that okay?

11 MR. WHITING: That's fine with the Prosecution.

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

13 May the witness please take the declaration.

14 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry. The -- I just need

15 to -- I'm sorry to interrupt.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: No problem.

17 MR. WHITING: But one aspect of the voice distortion is that when

18 the witness is speaking, all other microphones need to be turned off in

19 the courtroom otherwise it can pick up. So I just wanted to alert the

20 Chamber to that. I've already told Defence counsel.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: We've all heard that. And may we please be

22 vigilant to make sure that we turn off our microphones if we are not

23 speaking and the witness is speaking. Let us deal when we are not

24 speaking, turn it off.

25 You may proceed, Mr. Whiting -- well, may the witness proceed with

Page 2738

1 the declaration.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

5 You may proceed, Mr. Whiting.

6 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Examination by Mr. Whiting:

10 Q. Good morning, Witness. Can you hear and understand me in a

11 language that you understand?

12 A. I can hear you and understand.

13 Q. Witness, before I begin asking you questions, I want to explain to

14 you the protective measures that have been granted to you for purposes of

15 this proceeding.

16 The following measures have been granted: You will be referred to

17 by a pseudonym during these proceedings and all other proceedings; your --

18 there will be face distortion of any broadcast of this proceeding; in

19 addition, voice distortion has been granted so your voice will be

20 distorted in any broadcast of this proceeding; and finally, if there is

21 any discussion of details which might tend to identify you, that will be

22 done in private session so that there will be no broadcast of that part of

23 the testimony.

24 Do you understand those protections?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2739

1 Q. With the assistance of the usher, I'd like to show you what we

2 refer to as a pseudonym sheet, it's a -- and ask you to look at it. And

3 can you tell us if that is your name, your date of birth, and place of

4 birth on the sheet?

5 A. Yes.

6 MR. WHITING: Could the usher please show that to the Defence

7 counsel and then to the Chamber. Could that be --

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

9 MR. WHITING: Could that be admitted into evidence under seal,

10 please.

11 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document please be admitted into evidence

12 under seal and may it be given an exhibit number.

13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 267, Your Honours,

14 under seal.


16 Q. Witness, for purposes of these proceedings, you will be referred

17 to either as "Witness" or "MM-037." That's a number that we have given

18 you as a pseudonym. Do you understand that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Now, Witness, you have some water there in front of you. Feel

21 free to drink some water, and if you don't understand any question or you

22 can't hear it, please let us know. Do you understand?

23 A. Very well.

24 Q. Now, your -- because you have testified in a prior proceeding,

25 your evidence has been admitted by this Trial Chamber in its written form

Page 2740

1 from the prior proceeding.

2 MR. WHITING: And, Your Honour, with the assistance of the usher

3 I'd like to provide the Chamber - and Defence counsel already has it but I

4 can provide an additional copy - of the witness's testimony from the prior

5 proceeding. And could that be admitted into evidence, please, under seal?

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness's prior evidence please be admitted

7 into evidence under seal and be given an exhibit number?

8 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 268, Your Honours.

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.


11 Q. So, Witness, the result of this is that it will not be necessary

12 to go through all of your evidence again because it has been admitted in

13 written form. The purpose of you coming here today is -- I will ask you

14 just a few -- very few questions to just clarify a few points from your

15 testimony, and then the Defence counsel will have an opportunity to ask

16 you questions as well as the Trial Chamber. Do you understand that?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Now, just so that everybody's able to follow clearly your

19 evidence, what I'm going to do is read out a summary of your prior

20 testimony. Now, obviously it is the prior testimony which is in evidence

21 which governs, and the summary is simply for purposes of the Trial Chamber

22 and the parties to be able to follow the questions further.

23 So for this time while I'm reading the summary, all you need to do

24 is just listen to the summary. And when the summary is finished, I will

25 ask you just a few questions about your testimony before the Defence

Page 2741

1 counsel asks questions. Do you understand?

2 A. Yes.

3 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, for the purposes of the very beginning

4 of the summary I would ask that we go into private session, please.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.

6 [Private session]

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

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24 (redacted)

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Page 2742

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 [Open session]

12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

14 MR. WHITING: Thank you, Your Honour. I will continue with the

15 summary.

16 The Witness is an ethnic Serb. His evidence concerns the area

17 around Saborsko, Licka Jesenica, and Plaski. I would again refer Your

18 Honours to page 19 of the atlas, Exhibit 23.

19 At some point after early 1991, the witness joined the SDS.

20 Before 1991, relations between Serbs and Croats were good, but as time

21 went on there was more fear and more tension. Serbs became afraid because

22 of messages from the HDZ. At some point, the SDS in Knin organised a

23 referendum about establishing the SAO Krajina. The witness testified

24 that "ordinary people thought it was some kind of protection and that --

25 and that something would be established that would protect us. Well, to

Page 2743

1 put it simply, that the Croatian authorities would not come to that area,

2 that would be it."

3 After the events in Plitvice in Easter of 1991, there was a

4 breakdown in communication between the Serb villages and the Croat

5 villages in the area. In the village of Plaski, there was a police

6 station which was mixed, but most of the employees were Serbs. At some

7 point in time, the Croat members of the police left and some went to

8 Saborsko. The ones that were left -- the ones that left, I'm sorry, were

9 replaced by Serbs. The chief of the police at that time was Dusan Latas.

10 Some other men went to Knin for training, and when they returned they were

11 called Martic's police. These Martic's police wore some camouflage

12 uniforms and some blue uniforms, but they had badges of the police of the

13 SAO Krajina and they had automatic rifles that were obtained from Knin.

14 The commander of Martic's police was a man by the name of Medakovic.

15 Another man with Martic's police in Plaski was Djuro Ogrizovic who engaged

16 in acts of looting.

17 The commander of the TO of Plaski was a man by the name of Nikola

18 Dokmanovic, who had formerly been in the JNA. The weapons for the TO were

19 supplied by the JNA. They were brought in by night in crates. The JNA

20 ordered the TO members to burn the crates after the weapons were

21 distributed. This occurred in September or October of 1991. After the

22 weapons were distributed, uniforms were provided to the TO soldiers by the

23 JNA.

24 In October or November of 1991, the JNA sent 18 officers who took

25 over command of the TO, organised it, and structured it into a brigade

Page 2744

1 with battalions. The commander of the TO brigade was Petar Trbovic. When

2 these officers arrived, the TO also received mortars and anti-aircraft

3 guns, and the TO soldiers were trained in their use. The TO brigade had a

4 warehouse with supplies that Martic's police would also obtain supplies

5 from.

6 Around the time period of November 1991, the witness was told that

7 there were Croatian soldiers in Saborsko and that it was a major

8 stronghold of Croat forces, but he did not know this for himself. The

9 witness heard but, again, does not know for himself that the authorities

10 in Plaski asked the Croat forces in Saborsko to have free passage along

11 the road and that nobody would be attacked. There was only one road that

12 went through Saborsko. He also heard that in the days before the attack

13 on Saborsko there were attacks by Croat paramilitary forces on the

14 military barracks above Licka Jesenica, where there was also a JNA fuel

15 depot and that sometime before the attack on Saborsko, three Serbs were

16 killed above Licka Jesenica.

17 The witness participated in the attack on Saborsko on the 12th of

18 November, 1991. The operation was commanded by Cedomir Bulat from the

19 JNA. The TO was attached to the JNA for purposes of the attack, and

20 Martic's police also participated in the attack. Soldiers gathered in

21 Licka Jesenica for the attack, and although the witness did not see

22 Martic's police there because they were attacking from the other side, he

23 later saw them in Saborsko.

24 The soldiers were told that the attack itself was delayed because

25 of what -- bad weather which prevented the planes from flying. The

Page 2745

1 witness testified that he heard various reasons for the attack on

2 Saborsko. The witness heard that the leadership wanted to have the roads

3 opened and communication lines opened, and Cedomir Bulat explained that

4 Saborsko had to fall in order to be able to link up the Serb lands. There

5 were shortages of salt and fuel in Plaski which was cut off from other

6 Serb areas in the SAO Krajina.

7 Saborsko was first attacked by planes and by artillery fire,

8 followed by an infantry attack. The witness does not believe that there

9 was any resistance from Saborsko, and no Serb soldiers were killed during

10 the operation to the witness's knowledge.

11 When the witness reached the hamlets of Tuk, Dumencici, and

12 Solaje, which are all hamlets of Saborsko, he saw that the houses were set

13 on fire by Serb forces. He saw people setting the houses on fire, but he

14 could not recognise who they were because of the distance. Later the

15 witness entered Saborsko itself and saw that everything was on fire, but

16 he did not see how they were set on fire. The church in Saborsko was

17 still standing, though it may have been hit by a projectile. Two weeks to

18 one month later, the church was mined and destroyed.

19 The witness saw both soldiers and police in Saborsko when he

20 entered on the 12th of November, 1991, and he saw two or three of Martic's

21 police engaging in looting of a shop. Before entering Saborsko, the

22 witness learned that Pero Krtan, a merchant, and two men who had been with

23 him had been killed, and he heard that they were killed by Martic's

24 police. He thinks - the witness, that is - that Krtan was killed because

25 he had money and not because he was a Croat.

Page 2746

1 Later, after the attack on Saborsko, both dead people and dead

2 animals were buried using an excavator. The witness heard that there were

3 approximately 20 people killed, but he does not know how they were killed

4 and he did not see anybody killed or any of the bodies.

5 Approximately -- after the attack, approximately 50 to 60 elderly

6 Croat civilians from Saborsko were taken to a neighbouring Serb village

7 where they were given tea and sandwiches. The next day they were put on

8 buses and driven to the Croat-controlled area towards Ogulin. Other

9 bigger Croat villages in the area, Rakovica and Slunj, later fell after

10 the 12th of November, 1991.

11 That is the end of the summary of the witness's testimony. I just

12 would like to ask a few questions of the witness.

13 Q. Witness, first I want to ask you something about Plaski. Did

14 there come a time when Plaski, the village or town of Plaski, separated

15 itself from the municipality of Ogulin?

16 A. That area fell within the municipality of Ogulin. With the

17 political events that were going on then, a rift started, and the decision

18 was made for Plaski to separate from Ogulin municipality. And this

19 imaginary separation line was drawn near Vojnovac village. Vojnovac

20 village is approximately halfway between Plaski and Josipdol. It's a bit

21 closer to Josipdol. The railway goes through there and it was some kind

22 of natural separation line against Ogulin. And Josipdol is 30 per cent

23 Serbian and 70 per cent Croat in terms of population.

24 Q. Now, when Plaski separated itself from the municipality of Ogulin,

25 did it form its own municipality?

Page 2747

1 A. At the outset, there were indications that Plaski was going to

2 join Titova Korenica municipality, but that was physically impossible

3 because they were separated by Saborsko and Poljanak and Plitvice as well,

4 so it was physically impossible. The only real connection between them

5 went through Saborski. So Plaski set up itself as a municipality.

6 Q. And what was it called?

7 A. I didn't understand. Who?

8 Q. I'm sorry, my question was unclear. When Plaski set itself up

9 as a municipality, what was the name of the municipality that it created?

10 A. Plaski municipality. And I think it was then that the Autonomous

11 District of Krajina was proclaimed and Plaski municipality became one of

12 its parts.

13 Q. Aside from the village of Plaski itself, were there other villages

14 that became part of this new Plaski municipality?

15 A. This entire area, Vojnovac, Plaski, Blata, and Licka Jesenica,

16 that entire area populated by Serbs, except for perhaps 2 per cent Croats,

17 became part of that Autonomous Region of Krajina. There was maybe just

18 one village that was purely Croat, and in Plaski there were plenty mixed

19 marriages.

20 Q. Just to be clear: This -- these villages that you mentioned,

21 Vojnovac, Plaski, Blata, Licka Jesenica, did these villages all become

22 part of the Plaski municipality which -- which was a part of the

23 SAO Krajina?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And was this Plaski municipality isolated in any way from the rest

Page 2748

1 of the SAO Krajina, geographically speaking?

2 A. I think all that you read in the summary is quite accurate. Maybe

3 Plaski is a bit out of that context and it's not quite clear -- sorry,

4 what did you ask me?

5 Q. I'll repeat my question. I'll repeat my question. Just listen

6 carefully to the question.

7 A. Yes, I remember now. That new Plaski municipality was completely

8 isolated because it was completely surrounded by Croat villages, and you

9 couldn't leave Plaski, you couldn't go anywhere, without going through a

10 Croat village.

11 Q. Who was the first president of the Plaski municipality?

12 A. The first president was Nikola Medakovic nicknamed Medo.

13 Q. Was this the same Medakovic who was the head of Martic's police in

14 that area?

15 A. Right.

16 Q. Did he hold both positions at the same time; that is, president of

17 the municipality of Plaski and head of Martic's police?

18 A. Well, at that time, at the beginning, it was a very small group.

19 So he was simultaneously president of the municipality and headed that

20 group of mainly very young men.

21 Q. These very young men, were those the Martic's police?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, could you describe for us please in October and November --

24 and this is to your knowledge. In October and November of 1991, what

25 kinds of police existed in Plaski?

Page 2749

1 A. You see, I just want to say that throughout that time, from the

2 beginning of the conflict almost until the end, until the Operation Storm,

3 there were three kinds. The real police in 1990 and 1991. Plaski was the

4 administrative centre of that area. However, after that time it became

5 part of Ogulin district, and the police station of Plaski merged with the

6 police in Ogulin. However, after these changes, the police station in

7 Plaski, as an autonomous police station, was re-established and it had 10

8 to 12 policemen employed.

9 In the very beginning of these events, several young men went to

10 Knin, to Golubic more precisely, to get training. And when they came

11 back, they started calling themselves the Martic police.

12 When the peacekeeping forces came to the contact line, to the

13 speculation line, the demobilisation of the Territorial Defence started.

14 The police took up those positions, and they were paid policemen as well.

15 When the peacekeeping forces came, all the battalions were disbanded and

16 there remained only one police company that consisted of people who wanted

17 to be policemen, although they received salaries.

18 When Maslenica was attacked and when it fell, there was a new

19 mobilisation of all military conscripts, and that's how it continued until

20 the end. Those are the three police forces.

21 Q. Thank you for that very complete answer --

22 JUDGE MOLOTO: When what was attacked?

23 MR. WHITING: I believe the witness said "Maslenica."



Page 2750

1 Q. Witness, you made a reference to -- in explaining the third

2 category, the third group, you made a reference to when the peacekeeping

3 forces came. Was that in 1992?

4 A. I think so. I can't remember exactly.

5 But what I was trying to say is this: The mobilised members of

6 the Territorial Defence were released to go home. They were no longer

7 part of the army. From the attack on Maslenica until the arrival of the

8 peacekeeping forces, there was a police force who held the positions, and

9 they were neither the Martic's police nor the regular police that we had

10 at the beginning commanded by Latas. It was neither of these. The

11 regular police did not return to Plaski, the regular police, you know the

12 kind you go to when you need something. But when the peacekeeping forces,

13 when they came, they demobilised us, the Territorial Defence, and we

14 stayed at home until Maslenica fell. We were not militarily engaged. I

15 don't know if I've managed to put it clearly enough.

16 Q. Well, I think so, but I just want to ask you a couple of questions

17 to try to clarify it further. I want to focus on 1991. In 1991 - and

18 more specifically in, let's say, September and October of 1991 - did there

19 exist what you refer to as the regular police in Plaski, those you would

20 go to if you needed something?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Did there exist also what you've described as Martic's police?

23 A. Yes, but not the third one. That third one did not become active

24 until the arrival of the peacekeeping forces.

25 Q. And that, to your best recollection, was sometime in 1992?

Page 2751

1 A. Yes, sometime around that time.

2 Q. Okay. I think you've made it clear. So I'm going to focus my

3 remaining questions on 1991, on just those first two groups, the regular

4 police and Martic's police. You've already testified that Nikola

5 Medakovic was the head of Martic's police. Who was the head of the

6 regular police?

7 A. Latas, Dusan Latas.

8 Q. Okay. Now, you've -- did both types of police, that is, the

9 regular police and Martic's police, participate in the attack on Saborsko

10 on the 12th of November, 1991?

11 A. I think so.

12 Q. Well, you've already testified that you saw Martic's police in

13 Saborsko. Do you recall if you also saw the regular police in Saborsko?

14 A. Well, they acted together from the same axis. They were given the

15 assignment to act from the same axis.

16 Q. And when you say "they were given the assignment," do you mean by

17 that that both the regular police and Martic's police were given the

18 assignment?

19 A. I think they were acting together in the attack on Saborsko

20 because the main operation was led by the JNA. We were just attached to

21 the battalions, resubordinated. The 25 or 30 of us were just attached to

22 those battalions, whereas the main ground of the 5th Military District was

23 precisely in our vicinity near Plasko. That was the headquarters of the

24 entire 5th Military District.

25 Q. I have a question about Licka Jesenica. Was there a JNA barracks

Page 2752

1 there?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Was there also a fuel depot there?

4 A. It was actually a large fuel depot, a military one, and it was

5 guarded by the army. The barracks provided security for that fuel depot

6 because it contained large quantities of fuel.

7 Q. In October and November of 1991, was this barracks, this JNA

8 barracks and the fuel depot, were they blockaded in any way by Croat

9 forces?

10 A. It was not a blockade in the traditional sense. Rather, Croat

11 forces tried to take-over that depot because of course they wanted the

12 fuel and they did not succeed. But there was no blockade in the

13 traditional sense barring entry and exit; it was just an attack that was

14 repelled. The purpose of the attack was to take over the depot.

15 Q. You testified that before the attack on Saborsko you were told

16 that Saborsko was a Croatian stronghold. First of all, who told you that?

17 A. We spent an entire day and an entire night in Licka Jesenica

18 before Saborsko was attacked, and by that time people were already nervous

19 and -- about a mutiny. And Cedo Bulat then said that we were waiting for

20 good weather for aircraft to be able to fly, because Saborsko was a very

21 strong Croat stronghold, and that's why they didn't want to take any

22 risks. They wanted aircraft support and they were waiting for good

23 weather.

24 It's difficult for me to explain this because I'm not a military

25 expert, but they wanted, I think, the aircraft to go first and to use the

Page 2753

1 heavy weapons first and then the infantry. However, the weather was

2 tricky and he didn't want to try and attack Saborski without air support.

3 Q. Witness, from what you were able to see and learn during the

4 attack, was that true? Was it a Croatian stronghold?

5 A. I have a feeling that in view of the role of my group there was no

6 strong resistance offered from Saborsko, not as far as I could see.

7 Q. You said in your testimony that the church was damaged or may have

8 been hit by a projectile at the time of the attack on Saborsko on the 12th

9 of November, 1991, but that it was only destroyed some two weeks or one

10 month later. How did you learn that it had been destroyed?

11 A. That became common knowledge immediately. It was just hit with a

12 tank shell, but the tower remained standing. Within 15 or a -- days or a

13 month, the church in Saborsko was bombed and destroyed, but it didn't

14 happen during the attack.

15 Q. Did you see it after it was bombed and destroyed some 15 days or a

16 month later?

17 A. I passed through that area much later and I saw that all that

18 remained of the church was a heap of rubble.

19 Q. Thank you. I just have one last topic, and that is I'd like to

20 show you a document which is 65 ter Exhibit 1258.

21 MR. WHITING: And if that could be put up on the e-court.

22 Q. Witness, this is a letter, and if we could -- it's addressed to a

23 Rudolf Spehar, and if you look at the bottom, if we can go down to the

24 bottom, you see it's from Nikola Medakovic and it's dated the 13th of

25 November, 1991. Now, you've already provided evidence about the --

Page 2754

1 who -- you've already told us who Nikola Medakovic was at that time. Do

2 you know who Rudolf Spehar was at that time?

3 A. Yes, I do.

4 Q. Could you tell us who he was?

5 A. After the victory of the HDZ at the elections, the Croat

6 Democratic Union, Spehar was a great activist in the area, and on that

7 basis he became president of Ogulin municipality. I know the man

8 personally because he was two years above me in the Ogulin high school.

9 Q. Witness, in the letter -- if we could scroll up on the B/C/S

10 and -- there. Right there. Perfect. Do you see a sentence it says --

11 and on the English it's -- let me see if it's visible on the English one.

12 Yeah.

13 There's a sentence which says -- the letter is about the attack on

14 the Saborsko. And it says -- there's a sentence which says: "The

15 immediate cause for the attack were your soldiers' gruesome actions

16 towards the civilians during the attack on Licka Jesenica."

17 And then there's another sentence about that. Do you know what

18 that is a reference to?

19 A. Yes, I know. I think those were the first casualties, victims in

20 that area, three Serbs who went from Plaski to the neighbouring village to

21 buy horses. So they took their tractor with a trailer and drove there,

22 and as far as I know only one of them had a rifle. It is a 16-kilometre

23 forest road from Licka Jesenica to Dabar. There is only one house on the

24 way, and where the road forks towards Glibodol village they were ambushed

25 and killed in a really atrocious way.

Page 2755

1 Q. Those Serb men, were they members of the TO in Plaski?

2 A. Yes, because they were rather young people. Everybody up to

3 60 years of age had the obligation towards Territorial Defence. They

4 could be mobilised.

5 Q. Now, if we can just scroll down on the -- to the bottom of the

6 document. You see that stamp there. Can you read what that stamp says?

7 A. "SAO Krajina Municipal Assembly of Plaski."

8 Q. Did you see that stamp on other documents at that time?

9 A. Yes. Yes, yes, I did see it.

10 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, could this document be admitted into

11 evidence, please?

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document please be admitted into evidence

13 and be given an exhibit number.

14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be exhibit number 269, Your Honours.

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.


17 Q. Witness, I want to thank you. Those are all my questions, and now

18 it will be time for the Defence to ask you some questions.

19 MR. WHITING: But, Your Honour, I think it's time for the break.

20 JUDGE MOLOTO: I suppose it will be a convenient time to take the

21 break. We will come back at 20 past 11.00.

22 Court adjourned.

23 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.

24 --- On resuming at 11.22 a.m.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Witness, before we proceed, may I ask you to please

Page 2756

1 slow down when you answer questions so that we can follow you. I think

2 you speak a little too fast for us. Thank you very much.

3 Mr. Whiting.

4 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I finished my questions.

5 Thank you.

6 JUDGE MOLOTO: You finished your questions. Thank you very much,

7 Mr. Whiting.

8 Mr. Milovancevic.

9 It is even more important that you slow down because

10 Mr. Milovancevic is probably going to be speaking the same language as you

11 do.

12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13 Cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:

14 Q. Witness, I am Defence counsel for Milan Martic. Now we are come

15 to the stage of your examination that is called the cross-examination.

16 You should know about this. I am going to repeat this request. When a

17 question is put, could you please pause before answering, and I will do

18 the same thing, so the interpreters can interpret what is being said. So

19 please speak slower.

20 Another matter: Please do not mention job titles and things like

21 that precisely because of these protective measures. When we get to

22 things like that, we're going to ask for private session.

23 You said in your statement that you worked in Plasko for many

24 years and that you stayed at work until August 1991. Is that right?

25 A. Yes.

Page 2757

1 MR. WHITING: Your Honour -- I'm sorry. There are two matters.

2 First, I would just remind Defence counsel that he has to turn off his

3 microphone after he asks the question. The second matter is: I think

4 questions about the witness's job should be in private session.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Would you like to go into private session,

6 Mr. Milovancevic?

7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree, Your Honour. I think

8 that would be useful if we moved into private session.

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.

10 May the Chamber please move into private session.

11 [Private session]

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 2758











11 Pages 2758-2761 redacted. Private session.















Page 2762

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 [Open session]

11 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.

13 Mr. Milovancevic, you may proceed --

14 [Trial Chamber confers]

15 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Mr. Milovancevic, before you proceed, there is a

16 reference to Plasko. I would like to know: Is there a difference between

17 Plaski and Plasko, because the -- the names seem to be used

18 interchangeably, I want to know, or if it's two different places, Plaski,

19 Plasko. Thank you.

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's one and the same place.

21 JUDGE NOSWORTHY: Thank you.

22 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

23 Q. When you said in your statement to the Prosecution and during your

24 testimony when you talked about the fear of the Serbs in 1990, you

25 mentioned and you stated that this fear was based on recollections as to

Page 2763

1 what happened to the Serbs during the Second World War and also that the

2 Serbs were afraid of the Croatian government because of some of the

3 statements that their politicians had made about Serbs in Croatia. Is

4 that what you stated?

5 A. Yes. I said the following, quite literally: That when the HDZ

6 won the democratic party elections in Croatia, that they -- had they had a

7 different attitude towards the Serb ethnic being the situation would have

8 probably been quite different from today. However, when the constitution

9 of the Republic of Croatia was changed, the Serbs were not even mentioned

10 in the constitutional preamble. It was said that the Croatian state was

11 the state of Croat people and indivisible, and so on.

12 And secondly, Croat officials were trying to outdo each other in

13 terms of bad words about the Serbs. I think that it was Sime Djodan who

14 said in 1941, and this was all over the media, and he said quite literally

15 that Serbs in Croatia were a disruptive factor. For as long as they were

16 there, Croatia would not be -- well, that they should be expelled,

17 baptised, killed. So that led to this fear. Well, it wasn't easy for

18 anyone to take up arms and nobody wanted to.

19 Q. You said that Sime Djodan made a statement that Serbs were a

20 disruptive factor and that they should be eliminated from Croatia. During

21 the Easter --

22 A. Message. I think it was --

23 JUDGE MOLOTO: If you can remember to pause after each question,

24 you will automatically cover the switching off of the microphone. Please

25 just pause. Don't rush to answer as soon as Mr. Milovancevic finishes

Page 2764

1 asking the question.

2 You may proceed, Mr. Milovancevic.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is ...

4 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Witness, sir, the Trial Chamber told you that they had time to

6 hear you. You don't have to hurry. We are not being asked to hurry, so

7 please let me put my question.

8 You said that Sime Djodan made a statement that Serbs in Croatia

9 were a disruptive factor, that they should be converted, expelled or

10 killed. You did not tell us who Sime Djodan was at the time. What was

11 he?

12 A. He was a member of parliament.

13 Q. Does that mean that he was a member of the Croatian parliament?

14 A. Yes, but, but when I said that -- I mean, I said that for the

15 following reason. I thought that such statements may -- did a great deal

16 of harm to the Serb people and to the Croatian people. It led to a lot of

17 fear. Things would have been different. The situation would have evolved

18 differently had there not be such statements and such fear.

19 Q. You talked about the fear of this population in the region of

20 Plasko and you said that in 1941 they suffered badly. You talked about a

21 pogrom, so was this a mass suffering and loss of life?

22 A. Well, that is evident. This entire area, Kordun, Banja, Lika was

23 afflicted very badly.

24 Q. When you say that during the war in 1941 the entire area of Banja,

25 Kordun, and Lika was afflicted badly, what population was afflicted badly

Page 2765

1 and by whose authorities, in order to make it clear?

2 A. The HDZ authorities.

3 Q. And what population -- what population was this?

4 A. Serb.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, NDH, not HDZ.

6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Have you heard of a statement made by the then-president of the

8 HDZ and the future president of Croatia, Mr. Franjo Tudjman, in February

9 1990 in the Vatroslav Lisinski hall in Zagreb when the HDZ was being

10 established, that the independent state of Croatia is not only a fascist

11 crime and a fascist creation but also an expression of the historic

12 aspirations of the Croatian people. Have you heard of that statement?

13 A. Well, I cannot say that I particularly listened to that, but

14 similar statements could often be read in the newspapers, too. But I

15 could not remember that particular detail right now.

16 Q. Just one more question in relation to this question. This

17 statement made by Sime Djodan, then-high ranking politician in Croatia,

18 was it the only statement of this kind or were there many such statements

19 or were there a lot of such statements?

20 A. I mentioned this one because I personally read this one and

21 remembered that statement.

22 Q. In that kind of situation, elections were held, the first

23 multi-party elections in Croatia in April 1990. And in your statement to

24 the OTP you said that Serbs in Plasko voted for SDP. Can you give us the

25 full name of that party and who headed it?

Page 2766

1 A. SDP. Its full name is the Party of Democratic Changes headed by

2 Ivica Racan. We saw it as the successor of the communist party, and we in

3 our region had no one else to vote for and we thought they were the best

4 option, so almost everybody voted SDP.

5 Q. Would I be right in saying that the full name of that party was

6 SDP, an acronym for Party of Democratic Changes - League of Communists of

7 Croatia, and would I be right in saying that Ivica Racan was a politician

8 of Croat ethnicity?

9 A. Well, I cannot confirm the communist party bit. It's just that we

10 trusted Ivica Racan as a politician because he had been a politician for

11 many years. He had been in the political arena of Croatia for a long

12 time.

13 Q. You explained the reasons for the fear of Serbs and the events of

14 April. The first multi-party elections in Croatia were won by the

15 Croatian Democratic Union headed by Mr. Tudjman, and after that some

16 constitutional amendments were proposed. Is it the case that those

17 constitutional amendments proposed that Serbs be deleted as a constituent

18 nation from the constitution of Croatia and be renamed a national

19 minority, that the Serb language be banned, and that Croat emblems and

20 iconography be introduced? Was that the essence of the proposed

21 constitutional amendments, and what was the reaction of the Serbs?

22 A. I don't know exactly what you're driving at, but it is my opinion

23 that if there had been any political wisdom and if they had put it

24 differently, namely, that the state of Croatia belonged to all peoples who

25 inhabited it, things would have been much different.

Page 2767

1 Q. Thank you. Did you just say that the Serbs reacted to the new

2 formulation, stating that Croatia was a state only of its citizens of

3 Croat ethnicity?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You explained that in 1990 at the elections in Plaski you voted

6 SDP, the Party of Democratic Changes, headed by Mr. Ivica Racan. You said

7 that at that time SDS did not have a presence in Plaski. In your

8 statement to the OTP, this acronym "SDP" is explained as Serbian

9 Democratic Party. Is that right? Is it the case, rather that its name

10 was Party of Democratic Changes?

11 A. Party of Democratic Changes is correct.

12 Q. Do you know in how many municipalities in the then-Republic of

13 Croatia did that party called SDS, the Serbian Democratic Party, headed by

14 Jovan Raskovic, win in 1990?

15 A. I think that that party arrived into our area rather late, too

16 late for the elections; however, they did win in Knin and the surrounding

17 area. In our area, we joined that party en masse but only after the

18 elections.

19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Many Milovancevic, your question said "party called

20 SDS." Did you mean to say "SDP"? That last question.

21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] No. No, Your Honour. The

22 witness was saying that the residents of Plasko voted SDP. And I then

23 asked him what happened with the SDS party at the elections, how many

24 votes they won in Croatia, in how many municipalities they won. So we

25 were talking about an entirely different party, not the one the witness

Page 2768

1 voted for.

2 Q. Witness, would I be right in saying that SDS won in only four

3 municipalities at those elections, Knin, Benkovac, Gracac, and

4 Donji Lapac?

5 A. Possibly. Because those places were closer to Knin where that

6 party had a presence, so it's possible. I can't say one way or the other.

7 Q. You said that you had voted for the Party of Democratic Changes,

8 with the acronym SDP, headed by Ivica Racan at those elections in 1990,

9 and only later did you move to SDS and Serbs en masse joined the SDS. Can

10 you tell us why that happened?

11 A. I think it was the personality of Jovan Raskovic that was the main

12 reason, and if Jovan Raskovic had stayed in that party -- I had the

13 opportunity of hearing his speeches many times. That man did not want

14 war, and if he had stayed in that position, we would have avoided

15 bloodshed maybe. And that's why many Serbs joined the SDS.

16 Q. Was Jovan Raskovic the president and the founder of the Serbian

17 Democratic Party, SDS?

18 A. Yes, yes.

19 Q. Let me just remind you, allow me to finish my question before you

20 start answering.

21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, can I just -- may I also just

22 remind you that you are actually -- this is a 92 bis witness and your

23 cross-examination is supposed to be dealing with the questions relating to

24 the Martic's police. I know that a few questions were asked this morning

25 by the Prosecution, but I'm not getting the impression that you are

Page 2769

1 dealing with those questions also -- either.

2 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I was just about

3 to move to that topic. I just wanted to provide a general picture of 1990

4 so that further comments would be clearer.

5 Q. My next question to you, Witness, is: You voted en masse for SDS

6 in 1990 and then many Serbs joined SDS instead, mainly attracted by the

7 personality of Jovan Raskovic. Was he a man who, as a founder of the SDS,

8 hated Croats or said anything against the Croats? Did anyone ever hear

9 him talk about a plan to expel or kill Croats, to start a war or anything

10 like that?

11 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I'm going to object to the formulation

12 of the question. It's impossible for the witness to answer. Did anyone

13 ever hear him talk about these things? The witness is not capable of

14 answering that question. All he can answer is what he heard about what

15 Jovan Raskovic said or didn't say.

16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic.

17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] That's the answer I expected to

18 hear from the witness.

19 Q. You joined Jovan Raskovic's party, attracted by his personality

20 and his ideas. Did you ever hear him say anything of the kind I just

21 mentioned?

22 A. I had a feeling that Jovan Raskovic wanted to avoid war at all

23 costs. That's my conviction, my impression.

24 Q. You mentioned a skirmish, an armed clash, in Plitvice in April

25 1991. What exactly happened at Plitvice; do you know?

Page 2770

1 A. From what I know, the area of Plitvice was already an imaginary

2 border. It contained Licka Korenica, populated by Serbs and it was under

3 Serb control. And the Croatian police then were sent there and a conflict

4 occurred, including casualties, two casualties as far as I know.

5 Q. Let me ask you: Did the Croatian police attack Serbs or the other

6 way around?

7 A. Well, I wouldn't know. I know that the area was controlled by

8 Serbs, and as for who attacked --

9 Q. Do you know if the JNA intervened to separate the conflicting

10 parties?

11 A. I don't know if the JNA was stationed there. I think they were.

12 They probably stopped this clash. I'm not sure.

13 Q. You explained that Plaski was surrounded by Croat villages

14 completely?

15 A. What I meant to say is that Plaski is geographically situated in

16 a -- in an area filled mostly with Croat villages.

17 Q. That's what I wanted to ask. The neighbouring villages around

18 Plaski were populated mainly by Croats.

19 A. Correct.

20 Q. You said that after this, developments in Croatia in August 1991,

21 Serbs organised themselves and attempted to create Plaski as a

22 municipality. Is that what you said?

23 A. Yes, Plaski separated. I said that from the Second World War

24 until 1964 Plaski was the administrative centre of that district. From

25 1964 onwards, it was merged with Ogulin municipality and it fell under

Page 2771

1 Ogulin municipality. And then on the eve of these conflicts, it separated

2 again.

3 Q. Until 1964, was Plaski as a separate municipality mostly populated

4 by Serbs or not?

5 A. It had a majority Serb population, but it also included Saborsko

6 village.

7 Q. So from World War II until 1964, Saborsko was a municipality with

8 a majority Serb population. Are you now saying that -- sorry. I meant to

9 say "Plaski." This was a slip of the tongue. Plaski was a municipality

10 with a majority Serb population. And after 1964 it was re-organised to

11 merge with Ogulin municipality. Was Ogulin a municipality with a majority

12 Croat population?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. At the time when these events were going on, the events we just

15 discussed, is it the case that the Serb population of Plasko again tried

16 to set their own municipality up, the municipality of Plaski --

17 MR. WHITING: Excuse me. Could there just be clarification about

18 what time period we're talking about? Because it -- I'm not clear if

19 we're talking about -- what events we're talking about. Are we talking

20 about Plitvice in April?

21 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] I'll ask a very specific

22 question.

23 Q. We are now talking, and even my last question referred to year

24 1991. You said you participated in the elections, you voted for SDP, that

25 that was not a good idea, and the political developments made us turn

Page 2772

1 towards the SDS, and Plasko separated itself from Ogulin and was set up as

2 a municipality again?

3 A. Yes, that's what I said, although there's a bit of confusion.

4 Parliamentary elections in Croatia were I believe in 1990. At that time

5 there was not a single Serb political party in Plasko area yet, and we

6 thought that SDP was somehow the most acceptable to Serbs. And that's why

7 we voted for SDP.

8 However, as things continued to develop, Serbs and Croats were

9 increasingly being confronted and tensions rose. And you are confusing me

10 with your questions about various periods. These developments led to an

11 aggravation, an escalation of tensions, and the communication between

12 Serbs and Croats was diminished out of fear. Croats were afraid to go to

13 Serb places and vice versa. Only later when it became obvious that things

14 were taking a very bad turn, Jovan Raskovic and his party appeared on the

15 scene, and he held a rally in Plaski in 1990 perhaps, at the end of that

16 year, and was met with great enthusiasm. We thought that thanks to the

17 wisdom of Jovan Raskovic and his party, things would finally start to

18 improve and we would be able to avoid all the things that eventually we

19 were not able to avoid.

20 Q. Thank you, Witness. You stated that sometime in end August or

21 early September you were mobilised in the TO unit in Plasko, the

22 Territorial Defence?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did you receive a call-up paper? Who mobilised you?

25 A. At the beginning it was self-organisation of the people. People

Page 2773

1 were afraid that Croatian authorities would send somebody to their area

2 to -- those were all assumptions. Maybe that wouldn't have happened

3 anyway. But the fear was there and people were organising themselves in

4 order to defend themselves just in case. We didn't have any other weapons

5 but hunting rifles, and we thought if the Republic of Croatia decided to

6 use force to enter our area, there might be arrests. And that was our

7 reasoning at the time.

8 Q. Does that mean that this mobilisation of the Territorial Defence

9 was an attempt to self-organise for defence out of fear, that fear that

10 pervaded the Serb population?

11 A. I'm going to try to explain this better. Those were first forms

12 of self-defence inspired by that fear. We had among us Nikola Dokmanovic,

13 a former JNA officer, an honourable man, who knew about these things and

14 he became the leader of that Territorial Defence. Let me just explain

15 this till the end so you don't need to ask me additional questions.

16 At a later stage, the army began arming us. They would bring in

17 weapons that would be distributed during the night, whole cases with

18 weapons would be opened and distributed, and those were the first initial

19 forms of self-organisation for defence.

20 Q. I'm going to interrupt you with a brief question. Do you know

21 when it was that Croatia proclaimed secession from Yugoslavia? Was it on

22 the 25th of June, 1991? Do you remember that?

23 A. Well, I don't know. I cannot say. Well, I know that they

24 proclaimed it -- well, I don't remember exactly when. I don't remember

25 this detail.

Page 2774

1 Q. I did not expect you to confirm the exact date, but I'm duty-bound

2 to give you the exact date. So was this in June 1991, can you put it that

3 way?

4 A. Yes, perhaps.

5 MR. WHITING: Your Honours, something I would note. This question

6 has been put to witnesses again and again. This specific question -- and

7 this is also true of other questions. This is an agreed fact in the case.

8 We've agreed on that fact, and so I'm not sure why it has to be put to

9 witnesses for them to confirm it.

10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic. Is that an agreed fact,

11 Mr. Milovancevic?

12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is an agreed

13 fact but that doesn't mean that it is an unimportant fact. That is the

14 most important fact for the Defence in relation to the Martic case. I put

15 the question only to be able to get to the next question in relation to

16 the events that the witness is talking about. So in this one sentence I

17 wanted to make an introduction into what came next.

18 JUDGE MOLOTO: I suppose an easier way to introduce a topic that

19 relates to an agreed fact is to put the agreed fact to the witness and

20 tell him that that's an agreed fact and he can comment whichever way he

21 wants to comment, rather than ask him, when he says he doesn't know, then

22 you tell him later again that you're telling him that it is so. In one

23 swoop you can just say: This happened on such and such a date, that's an

24 agreed fact, what's your comment? Thank you.

25 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not know

Page 2775

1 what the witness knew, what he did not know. This statement does not

2 refer to this date, so I'm not going to go on. I will just move on to

3 another topic.

4 Q. Do you know that in the summer of 1991, in the beginning of the

5 autumn of 1991, throughout Croatia there were blockades of and then

6 attacks at JNA barracks. Did you hear anything about that?

7 A. That could be seen on television too. It is a well-known thing

8 that is.

9 Q. What television and what was it that you saw, very briefly?

10 A. We were watching Croatian television then, our television,

11 Croatian television.

12 Q. What was it that you saw on television? What was this about?

13 What kind of blockades or barracks and whose barracks?

14 A. Well, blockades of the JNA army, the barracks of the JNA army.

15 That was the only army then.

16 Q. Was this a blockade of JNA barracks that were deployed in the

17 Republic of Croatia until then?

18 A. Well, you know, I would like you to ask me about the area that I

19 know about -- I mean Plasko. If you mean these barracks that I'm talking

20 about in Plasko, in Licka Jesenica. I already made my statement how this

21 went.

22 Q. I will have to caution you that it is the Defence that decides

23 what questions it's going to put to you, not the questions that you like

24 or dislike. You are duty-bound to answer the questions put by the

25 Defence, just like those put by the Prosecution.

Page 2776

1 Did you hear that in --

2 MR. WHITING: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I don't think the witness

3 said he didn't want what questions he disliked; I understood what he said

4 that he would like questions about things he knows about. I don't think

5 it's fair for counsel to suggest that he likes questions and he doesn't

6 want certain questions because he dislikes them. I think that's

7 misstating what he said.

8 JUDGE MOLOTO: I think that's -- I think that's a fair reflection

9 of what the witness said, Mr. Milovancevic. And while I'm on the floor,

10 may I just, once again, remind you that you are still -- although you said

11 you were making preparations to go into the Martic police issue, you've

12 still not got into it. You're still sort of cross-examining all over the

13 show. May you please get to that point which you're allowed to

14 cross-examine on.

15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned friend

16 the Prosecutor asked the witness during his examination-in-chief about the

17 attack on the barracks in Licka Jesenica. This is a barracks and a fuel

18 depot of the JNA. I'm trying to talk about that subject, too, but the

19 Defence does not believe that that is an isolated incident. Through the

20 witness it is trying to get to the following information, whether this was

21 part of attacks throughout Croatia and whether the witness knew about

22 that. And then we will move on to Licka Jesenica. Was that the reason

23 why an attack was launched against Saborsko. So I will try to be as

24 accurate as possible.

25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please do.

Page 2777

1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. You said that you were mobilised into the Territorial Defence in

3 Plasko in August or September. You say you were mobilised, and you said

4 that this was self-organisation. Was there a Territorial Defence unit in

5 Plasko until that moment, until the moment when you were mobilised in

6 accordance with previous plans of the Secretariat for National Defence?

7 A. Yes, but all of that was within the municipality of Ogulin, the

8 level of the municipality of Ogulin. We then belonged to the Territorial

9 Defence of the municipality of Ogulin, but in Plasko, no, because we

10 didn't have a municipality, either.

11 Q. How far away is Ogulin from Plasko?

12 A. 28 kilometres.

13 Q. Was there a Territorial Defence in Ogulin as there was in

14 Yugoslavia before, or was there the ZNG and the police of the MUP of

15 Croatia?

16 A. Until this began, this unbearable situation began, it was like it

17 was anywhere else in Yugoslavia. The Territorial Defence was organised in

18 the municipality of Ogulin as it was elsewhere.

19 Q. Did I understand what you said correctly. If I say -- if I

20 interpret this in the following way: That you said just now that until

21 this crisis broke out in the 1990s in the municipality of Ogulin there was

22 a normal Territorial Defence just like in all the other municipalities in

23 Yugoslavia. Is that correct?

24 A. Yes, that's correct.

25 Q. Do you know whether in the municipality of Ogulin there was an

Page 2778

1 organisation of the ZNG, the National Guards Corps?

2 A. I could not say anything with certainty about that. A lot of

3 things were being said, but how much truth was involved is very hard to

4 say now.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Milovancevic please slow down and

6 pause.

7 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Was it only said --

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: You are being asked to slow down.

10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

11 Q. Were people talking about -- well, we are now talking about what

12 people were talking about. What were people saying, that the ZNG did

13 exist and that they were there or not?

14 A. Well, you know all of that very well. At the Maksimir stadium

15 there was a promotion of the ZNG.

16 Q. At that time in Ogulin, in August/September 1991, were there any

17 Croat police forces there?

18 A. Well, yes. I explained earlier on that precisely in 1990 or the

19 end of 1990 or beginning of 1991 a group of police came back and was

20 formed in Plasko, but the MUP was in Ogulin. But it was just this one

21 department that was open in Plasko before all of these events.

22 Q. This police of the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia in Ogulin,

23 what was their name and what kind of insignia did they have on their

24 sleeves in 1991?

25 A. Like now, "MUP of Croatia, MUP Hrvatski."

Page 2779

1 Q. Is part of their insignia the Croatian chequer-board flag, the

2 chequer-board emblem, traditional chequer-board emblem?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. At that time what about the policemen of Serb ethnicity who worked

5 in the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia? Were they laid off,

6 dismissed?

7 A. As for Plasko, what I can say with certainty, allegedly they were

8 trying to have proportionate representation of the Croatian population and

9 the Serb population, and that was at the Plaski police station, too, among

10 the policemen. Now, I don't know exactly but there were about nine Serbs

11 and three Croats.

12 Q. Can you tell us when was it that the police station of Plaski or

13 police outpost of Plaski was established where there were no more Croatian

14 policemen, policemen of Croat ethnicity, that is?

15 A. I already said that I do not know exactly when the police was

16 established exactly, but it certainly operated with a mixed composition

17 all the way up to what happened in Plitvice. And after these events the

18 ethnic Croat policemen could no longer come, and they didn't come to work,

19 to work at the police station in Plaski.

20 Q. Does that mean that after the events in Plitvice on the 1st of

21 April, 1991, in Plasko there were no more Croatian policemen. And do you

22 know whether in Saborsko a police outpost was being established of the

23 Ministry of the Interior of Croatia then?

24 A. Yes, yes.

25 Q. Do you know how big that police outpost in -- was, how many

Page 2780

1 policemen were employed there?

2 A. No, I wouldn't know that.

3 Q. You said that at one point in time the barracks in Licka Jesenica

4 were attacked, and you also said when answering the Prosecutor's questions

5 that this was during the summer, if I understood you correctly, of 1991

6 and that the attack was repelled. You did not tell us who it was that

7 launched this attack and where the attack came from and what kind of

8 equipment was used.

9 A. It was said then that these were forces of the Croatian MUP,

10 that's what people were saying, but I don't know. So the Croatian MUP.

11 Q. Did you hear what kind of equipment were -- was used to launch the

12 attack and from where, from what direction it was launched?

13 A. It was mortar fire before that, but the location of this barracks

14 itself -- or, rather, the depot, it is right in the middle of the forest

15 and there are high fir trees there. So it's from all directions -- I

16 mean, nobody ever controlled this area in absolute terms. You cannot say:

17 Right, this is it. This is where you can get through. So it could have

18 been anybody, and it could have come from all directions.

19 Q. Just one more question; if you can, answer it. Was the attack

20 launched by Serb forces or Croat forces or something like that?

21 A. Well, I don't know. Maybe there were Serbs among them, too, who

22 were mobilised in the Croatian -- well, I don't know. I cannot say.

23 Q. Does this answer of yours mean that these were Croatian units or

24 Serb units? That's what I meant "units."

25 A. Well, if I said that it was the MUP of Croatia, then I guess it

Page 2781

1 can be understood.

2 Q. Thank you for your answer.

3 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that it

4 would be a good moment to take a break.

5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.

6 Court adjourned. Come back at 20 to 1.00.

7 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.

8 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, I remind you once again that you

10 have still not started cross-examining on the Martic police, and we are --

11 we are concerned because time is running out.

12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13 Q. Witness, we have just discussed the attack on the barracks in

14 Licka Jesenica mounted by the Croatian police. Do you know when that

15 happened? Could you give us a time-frame?

16 A. I think it was just before the attack on Saborsko.

17 Q. When you were responding to questions from the Prosecution,

18 mention was made of an event at Kriz. It had to do with the letter

19 addressed to Spehar.

20 A. Rudolf Spehar.

21 Q. That's right. Do you know who was killed at this place, Kriz --

22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear which Kriz.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know.

24 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]

25 Q. At Glibodol Kriz, was it Serbs, Bogdan Petrovic, Milan Susnjar,

Page 2782

1 and Bogdan Susnjar [as interpreted] who got killed? Are those the names?

2 A. Yes. There's an error. It's not Bogdan Susnjar, it's Milan and

3 Stevan Susnjar and Bogdan Petrovic.

4 Q. Thank you. You said they were from Plasko. Were they ethnic

5 Serbs?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You said on that day they took the forest road to buy horses.

8 Were they wearing uniforms or civilian clothes; do you know?

9 A. I think only Bogdan Petrovic was wearing a uniform.

10 Q. Do you know that they were ambushed and butchered, killed, in an

11 atrocious manner and many injuries were found on the mutilated bodies of

12 these men. For instance, Bogdan's ears were cut off. He had several

13 stabbing wounds to the stomach. And the doctor later -- the coroner later

14 established that he took five or six hours to die. Milan had his one arm

15 cut off and a finger of another hand.

16 A. I didn't see the bodies but those were the rumours that I heard.

17 Q. Do you know that they were buried in a pit and the bodies, the

18 corpses of two horses who were also killed were thrown over their bodies?

19 A. Yes, I know. People in Plasko were saying that.

20 Q. Do you know that there were over 150 bullet holes on the tractor

21 and ten bullet holes on the small Fiat 750 car?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You said in your statement to the OTP that sometime in October or

24 November active-duty JNA officers came and established the TO in Plasko as

25 a separate brigade called the Plasko brigade. Was it a JNA brigade?

Page 2783

1 A. That Territorial Defence that was organised by the

2 then-municipality of Plaski was very briefly under the command of that

3 Nikola Dokmanovic. Very soon afterwards - but please don't take my word

4 for it - a group of about 18 JNA officers arrived headed by this man,

5 Trbojevic, and they set up a brigade and they called it 124th Light

6 Infantry Brigade.

7 Q. You did your military service and you were a member of the

8 Territorial Defence. Do you know if the JNA and the Ministry of Defence

9 had the sole power and authority to create such units according to the

10 law?

11 A. I think so.

12 Q. Speaking of this operation near Saborsko on the 12th of November,

13 1991, you explained that just before that operation the commander of this

14 newly established Plaski Brigade was visited by the commander of the

15 Tactical Group 2, Cedomir Bulat, and that you found out from that visit

16 that there would be an attack mounted on Saborsko.

17 A. I'll try to explain. In the immediate vicinity of Plasko, there

18 was a big military training ground on the road from Plaski to Slunj. It's

19 a large area formerly called Tobolic Zbijeg [phoen] and most of JNA troops

20 were stationed there. In peacetime, while Yugoslavia still existed, it

21 used to be a training ground and shooting range, and all this installation

22 remained standing. And whenever troops of the JNA came to our area they

23 would be stationed there.

24 One of the officers on that training ground was Cedomir Bulat, and

25 he often came to see Trbojevic. On the occasion of one of these visits,

Page 2784

1 the rumour was started that there would be an attack on Saborsko. But I

2 cannot tell you anything more precisely because I wasn't there. I wasn't

3 privy to their talk.

4 Q. So can I conclude that you were aware that Cedomir Bulat as a JNA

5 officer came to see Petar Trbojevic, who was commander of this Plaski

6 Brigade just before this operation, the attack?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Thank you. When you were describing the creation of this Plaski

9 Brigade, you explained that until November 1991 the infantry of the

10 Territorial Defence that would later become the Plaski Brigade had

11 semi-automatic rifles and machine-guns in their arsenal and that every

12 battalion had two or three mortars. Is that what you said, approximately?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. You also explained that once this Plaski Brigade was established

15 the JNA brought tanks, armoured personnel carriers, and cannons, and you

16 explained the Plaski Brigade had six to eight tanks, five to six APCs,

17 three Howitzers, 130-millimetres, three mortars, and ten anti-aircraft

18 guns. Is that so?

19 A. Yes.

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, I think we need that -- a redaction of

25 that last answer. It was very specific.

Page 2785

1 Also -- also, it seems to me that the questions continue to be

2 beyond what cross-examination is supposed to be about. These questions

3 pertain neither to Martic's police nor, as far as I can tell, to any of

4 the questions that I put to the witness, which I concede are fair game for

5 cross-examination. Of course he can ask -- cross-examine on the questions

6 that I put to the witness, but these questions that we're having now are

7 still not about Martic's police and not about the questions that I put to

8 the witness. And I'm just concerned about that.

9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Whiting.

10 May that question at page 64, starting at line 6 to 8, please be

11 redacted.

12 Mr. Milovancevic, I think I've asked you several times to please

13 get to the questions that you're allowed to ask the witness about. I'm

14 now telling you, if you ask one more question that has nothing to do with

15 what you're supposed to ask, I'm going to rule you out of order.

16 You may proceed.

17 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I take your point,

18 but just to avoid misunderstanding, lest I be misunderstood, I'm now

19 putting questions that have to do with the very attack on Saborsko, with

20 that operation. It's the JNA and members of the police who took part in

21 that operation, and I'm only trying, through the answers of the witness to

22 these questions, to establish which unit attacked Saborsko on that day so

23 as to get to the answer who was in command, who was subordinated, if there

24 was any concerted action and cooperation, et (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 2786

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, you're once again causing a

4 redaction.

5 Can that statement please be redacted, that sentence starting from

6 line 11 to line 13 of page 65.

7 And, Mr. Milovancevic, can you please get to where you say you are

8 getting and ask the questions that are relevant. If the Bench thinks

9 you're asking questions that are not relevant, the Bench will rule you out

10 of order. I don't think the Bench still wants to hear your explanations

11 as to where you're going; just get there.

12 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

13 May I ask that we move to private session now because of the

14 nature of -- the identifying nature of my following questions?

15 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.

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23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,

24 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of

25 March, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.