1 Wednesday, 29 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 WITNESS: WITNESS MM-037 [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: May I remind the witness that he took an oath -- I
9 beg your pardon, made a declaration yesterday to tell the truth, the whole
10 truth and nothing else but the truth, and he's still bound by that
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
14 Mr. Milovancevic?
15 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. As far
16 as I can remember, Your Honours, yesterday we were in private session. I
17 believe it would be a good idea if we continued the same way because of
18 the nature of the questions I'm going to put to the witness.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please move into private session.
20 And Mr. Milovancevic, may I remind you once again you've got to stick to
21 questions related to the Martic police. We've got to finish with this
22 witness as soon as possible.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 2808-2819 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
14 Now, in Saborsko, you mentioned that when you -- you attacked that
15 place, there was -- there were some other soldiers on the other side.
16 Now, you testified -- you said there were soldiers from on the other side
17 and you were not able to see them. Which soldiers were these that you
18 said were on the other side of Saborsko when you attacked Saborsko?
19 A. That was the same army. It's just that these forces were taking a
20 different route that I couldn't see from my vantage point because of the
21 lay of the terrain. If you're referring to that attack from the direction
22 of Plaski. Is that what you had in mind?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Your testimony was that you and 20 or 30 soldiers
1 gathered in Licka Jesenica and that you could not see the police because
2 they were on the other side. You were talking about the police.
3 A. Yes. You see, all of us were gathered in Licka Jesenica. Now,
4 when we set off to mount this attack, then every group belonging to this
5 army took a different route as part of this attack. My group went along
6 the route that I described yesterday, and for this reason I was unable to
7 see that. I could see the military hardware and the army, but I told you
8 that from my vantage point we could see the hamlet of Tuk and we could see
9 the Serb army arriving and entering the hamlet of Tuk. As soon as they
10 entered this hamlet, it was set alight. And that happened with another
11 hamlet as well. That was what I was trying to describe. Of course, I
12 couldn't see who set the hamlet on fire. I couldn't see the person
13 setting it alight.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question simply is: Who are these police who
15 were on the other side?
16 A. The police that was commanded by Dusko Latas. If you remember, I
17 said that when the municipalities split up, or rather, when the elections
18 took place, the municipality of Ogulin set up another police department,
19 or rather, approximately 12 to 15 men who worked there. They had their
20 reserve force too there. And there was Martic's police that was commanded
21 by Medakovic. Those were the police forces. But they had the same task.
22 They were at the same position.
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Towards the end of questions by Defence counsel,
24 you made a statement that whenever there was looting, their names would be
25 mentioned concerning things like that. Now you were talking about these
1 men who were -- you said were always around Ogrizovic. Were there many
2 such lootings?
3 A. I could not speak about all of them. But when these villages
4 fell, Rakovica, Slunj, Saborsko, Poljanak, I mean, that's about it, that's
5 the area. Then -- well, you know, it's not only them. There were
6 ordinary other people too there who were in that area where the lootings
7 took place, you see, but these were the most important ones. Everything
8 hinged on them.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: What I do want to know is whether there were many
10 such lootings in which Martic's police were involved.
11 A. Well, there were quite a few. I think there were quite a few.
12 But I would like to say, I would like to note, that this group of people
13 -- well, it's not that only those people were Martic's police. It wasn't
14 only that group.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: I understand that it was not only that group. But
16 I want -- the other groups are not before us. I'm interested in Martic's
17 police. Martic's police were always involved; is that correct or not
19 A. Please understand what I'm saying. It wasn't only that group that
20 was Martic's police. There were other people in Martic 's police too for
21 whom I can guarantee that they were honourable men and who would not allow
22 themselves to do that, but out of this Martic's police, there was this
23 group that was inclined to do that kind of thing.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Now, can I just get clarity on this
25 Plascanska Brigade. Is that the same thing as the Plaski TO?
1 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand your question. Could you please
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. There has been reference to Plascanska
4 Brigade. What is this Plascanska Brigade?
5 A. Ah, that? Well I don't know exactly. I don't know exactly
6 whether that group came before the attack on Saborsko or immediately after
7 the attack on Saborsko. These were officers of the Yugoslav People's Army
8 who took over the command, the entire command over this Territorial
9 Defence. And that's when it was called the 124th Light Infantry Brigade,
10 and as for long as there was a TO, Territorial Defence, in these barracks,
11 there were only a few people, but when the brigade came, then there was
12 this administration and then technical equipment was brought in. Perhaps
13 seven or eight tanks, a few combat vehicles, and that's where the biggest
14 warehouse was, and food was there too. I wanted to say that it started
15 looking like a serious military formation then.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: It was not the same thing as the Plaski TO?
17 A. I think, but I cannot claim with certainty -- well, I cannot. I
18 cannot now, but I think that at that time that brigade had already been
19 established, that these officers from Belgrade came. Officers came from
20 Belgrade. 18 of them. I know that for sure. And they didn't have
21 equipment yet. Cedo Bulat was very close to Plaski and there was a very
22 big military formation there, so this formation of Plaski was under the
23 command, I think, of this military command at the training grounds. I
24 know very well that all the technical equipment came in from the training
25 grounds when the attack on Saborsko took place; tanks and things like
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. Any questions?
3 MR. WHITING: I'm thinking. Yes, Your Honour, just one or two,
4 and if we could go into private session.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the Chamber please go into private session.
6 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
17 Mr. Milovancevic.
18 Further cross-examination by Mr. Milovancevic:
19 Q. Witness, in relation to the question that was put to you by the
20 Honourable Judge Moloto in relation to what happened in Saborsko and the
21 death of Pero Krtan, you described the people who did that. You said that
22 they were in Ogrizovic's group, and in response to the question put by the
23 Court, who they were, you said, "I think they were in this group of
24 Martic's." Do you remember that?
25 A. I remember.
1 Q. Please, in the statement that you gave to the police station in
2 Karlovac, that is the 8th of November 1999, on page 1, you said, when
3 talking about Ogrizovic's group, and the men belonging to it: "I don't
4 know whether, with Martic or with Snjaka, this Pejic was there, and then
5 in that group around Snjaka there were some Cvekic men, I mean Mane Cvekic
6 and another called Trbojevic, also known as Ckalja."
7 Now, what is correct, do you know or do you think that they
8 belonged to Martic's police?
9 A. For the most part, Martic's police, as it was called, Martic's
10 police, this group, these men, I don't know how many there were but
11 certainly there weren't many of them. In that group, there was always
12 Snjaka and Cvekic and Pejic and Lecin. I mean, I'm talking about that
13 group that did the greatest harm in that area of Plaski, that's what I'm
14 saying. Now, I don't know, I do not know exactly who played which role
15 and whether they were all involved in training and whether they were all
16 with Martic, but I'm just saying that it was always that group and that is
17 why we kept saying it was Martic's group. Now whether they exactly
18 belonged to Martic's group, I don't know. I'm not claiming that. I never
19 claimed that.
20 Q. Thank you. While answering the questions of the Honourable Trial
21 Chamber about what happened in Josipdol and Ogulin, you said that from
22 time to time they shelled Plaski and that fire was returned then. Is that
24 A. Yes. But I never said that it was first Ogulin or Plaski. You
25 wouldn't know that. Sometimes Plaski would shell them and then they would
1 return fire, and then they would fire at Plaski and then Plaski would fire
2 back. And that's the way it went practically throughout the war, as far
3 as this side is concerned, but there were no attempts made vis-a-vis
4 Ogulin either from the Croat side or the Serb side.
5 Q. In response to the question put by the Trial Chamber as to who it
6 was that attacked Josipdol and Ogulin, you said the Serb forces. And in
7 response to the questions put by the Trial Chamber as to whether Martic's
8 police was involved in these Serb forces, your answer was yes. But you
9 also said that they were only attacked by artillery fire. Did the Martic
10 police have artillery?
11 A. When I said that -- well, I wanted to say explicitly several times
12 that there were never infantry attempts to attack Josipdol. Well, meaning
13 shelling. That form of attack. That was from the Serb side in Plaski and
14 in the Serb forces there was the Martic police too. They were part of the
15 general armed forces of Plaski.
16 Q. You did not answer my question. This group of policemen that was
17 training in Knin that was called the Martic police, did they have
18 artillery or not?
19 A. [Microphone not activated].
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Milovancevic, your microphone. You may
21 proceed, Witness.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That group, well, had mortars of 60
23 millimetres. They were a mobile unit that was mobile. I mean, they
24 didn't have tanks, they didn't have howitzers. They had only these
1 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Do you know whether this Martic's police, as you call it, took
3 part in the attack on Ogulin? Do you have direct knowledge of that?
4 A. I don't know that. I don't know that. I always say that as far
5 as Josipdol is concerned, it's never the infantry that moved against the
6 place. And now whether they were shooting from mortars and who was
7 shooting, howitzers were shooting too, and mortars of larger calibres.
8 Now, that's the way Josipdol was attacked, and Ogulin too, but Martic's
9 police could not attack Ogulin with small mortars if they used them.
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. No
11 further questions.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Milovancevic.
13 I thank you very much, Witness. That brings us to the end of your
14 testimony. You are excused from further attending court. You may stand
15 down. Thank you so much for coming.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Whiting?
19 MR. WHITING: Your Honour, Mr. Black will be handling the next
20 witness, and with permission of the Chamber, could I be excused, please?
21 But before I do that, I think with this next witness - and Mr. Black can
22 address this more specifically - we are a little pressed for time with
23 this next witness, and he's a 92 bis witness, cross only. It's our hope,
24 if possible, to finish him by today. This is his second trip here because
25 he was one of the witnesses who was here, ready to testify, when that week
1 was cancelled. So if there is any way that that can be accommodated, it
2 would be of great assistance to the witness.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
4 Mr. Black?
5 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour, if the next witness could be
6 brought in. His name is Neven Segaric. And I'll change positions here.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 WITNESS: NEVEN SEGARIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please take the declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, Neven Segaric, solemnly declare
12 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
13 So help me God.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. You may remain seated.
15 Yes, Mr. Black.
16 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Examination by Mr. Black:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Segaric. I'm sorry we kept you waiting a little
19 bit this morning. I know it's important for you to try to finish today,
20 and we will make every effort to try to make that happen.
21 Can you understand me clearly through the interpretation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If at any time you don't understand one of my questions, please
24 just tell me and I'll try to state it more clearly, okay? Do you
25 understand that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could you please state your full name for the Court.
3 A. My name is Neven Segaric. I come from Skabrnja.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Segaric, did you provide a witness statement to
5 the Office of the Prosecutor in September of 2000?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And on December 3rd of last year - that's 2005 - did you have an
8 occasion to review that witness statement in the presence of an officer of
9 the Court, and did you sign a declaration attesting to its accuracy?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, Mr. Segaric's witness statement was
12 admitted into evidence by the Trial Chamber's decision of 16 January 2006,
13 under 92 bis. It's been assigned exhibit number 251. With the assistance
14 of the usher, I brought hard copies of this statement, the exhibit and the
15 translation into English, for the Trial Chamber and Defence in case you
16 would like to follow it.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black.
18 MR. BLACK: And Your Honours, according to the usual procedure for
19 92 bis witnesses, I'll first read a summary of the witness's statement.
20 Afterwards, I'll have some follow-up questions before tendering the
21 witness for cross-examination.
22 And before I begin my summary I would also direct the Trial
23 Chamber's attention to page 30 of the atlas which is Exhibit 23. The
24 village of Skabrnja appears in grid A1, which is approximately 15
25 kilometres to the east of Zadar, just to help you locate the relevant
1 area. I'll now begin my summary.
2 The witness Neven Segaric is a Croat who at the time of these
3 events was 11 years old and living in the village of Skabrnja, Croatia.
4 About one month before Skabrnja was attacked in November 1991, the witness
5 and most of the other villagers left and went to Preko Island for about
6 one month. There the witness heard the cease-fire had been signed and
7 after that he and others returned to Skabrnja. In the days before the
8 attack on Skabrnja in November 1991, the witness could see the JNA around
9 the village and there were more airplanes and helicopters flying in the
10 area than usual. He also saw tanks pass by on the main road. For several
11 days before the attack, the witness was spending the nights in the cellar
12 of his uncle's house along with several relatives and neighbours,
13 including two children a few years older than he was.
14 At around 7.30 in the morning on the day of the attack, the
15 witness saw a tank and soldiers in the area. He immediately told his
16 father, who is a village guard. His father left for his guard post,
17 telling the witness to stay in the cellar where he had been spending the
18 nights. Some minutes later, a shell hit that house where the cellar was
19 located but no one was injured. Shortly thereafter, someone started
20 banging on the cellar door and asking who was inside, threatening to throw
21 in grenade if they did not come out. One of the men in the cellar, Josip
22 Miljanic, opened the door and about ten armed and uniformed JNA soldiers
23 entered the cellar. Josip Miljanic was taken out for about ten minutes
24 but then he was returned to the cellar. After that, Serb volunteers from
25 neighbouring villages arrived at the cellar. These Serbs cursed the
1 witness and the others saying, "Come out, you Ustasha. We are going to
2 slaughter you all."
3 Everyone was forced out of the cellar except for the witness's
4 62-year-old grandmother, Lucija Segaric. One of the Serbs fired his
5 weapon into the cellar and some minutes later, when the witness was sent
6 back into the cellar briefly, he saw that his grandmother was dead.
7 Again outside the cellar, the witness saw Josip Miljanic and
8 another neighbour named Stana Vickovic, 60 and 50 years old respectively,
9 being forced to kneel down. A soldier wearing a camouflage uniform with
10 SAO Krajina on the shoulder then shot them both in the head, killing them.
11 The witness then saw several Serbs beating his 60- or 61-year-old
12 grandfather Krsto Segaric. All of them were wearing green camouflage
13 uniforms with SAO Krajina written in Cyrillic on the shoulder of the
14 uniform. One of the men shot the witness's grandfather in the back of his
15 head, killing him. At some point the witness also saw that one of the
16 children, Ivo Bilaver, had been shot in the leg.
17 The Serb soldier who had killed the witness's grandfather then
18 asked the witness some questions about a number of people from the
19 village. Then the soldier who had killed Josip Miljanic and Stana
20 Vickovic grabbed the witness and his cousin Zeljko and pushed them against
21 the wall of the house. The witness thought that he would be killed but a
22 JNA officer intervened, saying, "There has been enough killing and we will
23 not kill children."
24 The JNA officer then took the witness and the two other children,
25 Zeljko and Ivica, to the entrance of the village where they were put into
1 a van and driven away. As they left the village, the witness saw a
2 military column of tanks, APCs, cars and soldiers which was at least one
3 kilometre long.
4 The witness was then taken to Gornje Biljane where he and his
5 cousin Zeljko were put into an elementary school while Ivo Bilaver was
6 taken to hospital. After about one hour a 14-year-old boy named Denis
7 Gurlica was also brought to the school and the witness saw other people
8 who had been beaten and who were loaded into a truck and taken away.
9 Around noon or 1 p.m., the witness, his cousin Zeljko, and Denis Gurlica
10 were taken to another place, put into the back of a refrigerated truck,
11 where their hands were tied and they were questioned.
12 Finally, at about 3 p.m., the witness and the two other boys were
13 taken to Benkovac where they joined others who had been captured in
15 Later that evening, the witness and the others were taken to a
16 kindergarten in Benkovac, where they spent the night. There a Serbian
17 television crew filmed the people who had been captured in Skabrnja. On
18 the next morning, of 19 November, the witness and others captured in
19 Skabrnja were exchanged into custody of the Croatian army and the witness
20 was reunited with his family.
21 The witness later learned that after the attack, his 94-year-old
22 great-grandmother, Maja Grgica Segaric, was found shot to death in the
23 witness's house in Skabrnja.
24 That completes the summary, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black.
1 MR. BLACK:
2 Q. Mr. Segaric, have you able to follow what I've been summarising
3 from your statement?
4 A. Yes, I have.
5 Q. When you came to The Hague the first time a couple of weeks ago,
6 did you have an opportunity to read your statement again, to review it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And did you point out to me one or two corrections that should be
9 made to the statement?
10 A. I did.
11 MR. BLACK: With the assistance of the usher, I'd like to hand the
12 witness a hard copy of the Exhibit 251, which I've opened to the first
13 page of his statement in B/C/S.
14 Q. Mr. Segaric, if you please look at page 4 of that statement,
15 you'll see a reference to a person called Stanko Miljanic. Do you find
16 that? Is that the correct -- is that name correct?
17 A. No. It's not correct. It should say Marko Miljanic.
18 Q. Thank you. On page 3 of your statement, it's written that Josip
19 Miljanic had a weapon in the cellar. Do you find where it says that?
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 Q. Is that accurate?
22 A. That's inaccurate. Josip Miljanic didn't have weapons. But my
23 late grandfather and my father did, but that was on the second storey of
24 the house. When the Chetniks went through the house, they were searching
25 for pistols and rifles. There were two rifles upstairs and there were no
1 rifles at all in the cellar.
2 Q. And what kind of rifles were they, do you remember, the ones that
3 were found upstairs?
4 A. Those were hunting rifles that my father and grandfather had
5 licences for. They were stashed away there and would be taken out only in
6 hunting season.
7 Q. Thank you. Were there any other corrections that needed to be
8 made to your statement?
9 A. There shouldn't be any other.
10 Q. You can put that to the side for the moment now, although you may
11 be asked about it later. Now I'm going to ask you a few additional
12 questions about the events of that day in November 1991.
13 First of all, are you able to tell us the date of the attack on
15 A. On the 18th of November 1991.
16 Q. Thank you. Before the attack, was there any kind of warning or
17 ultimatum given?
18 A. No. There was no ultimatum and there were no indications that
19 there was going to be an attack.
20 Q. In your statement you mentioned that your father and another man
21 had been guarding the village during the night. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes. Yes. They were. They were standing guard during that night
23 on the eve of the fall of Skabrnja. In the morning, they were supposed to
24 come back to their homes, but as the attack was launched, they returned to
25 their positions.
1 Q. Was there a village guard in Skabrnja at that time? Did other
2 people guard the village besides your father and this other person that
3 you mentioned?
4 A. Yes. There were others. They were villagers, neighbours,
5 relatives, people from the village. I don't know how many were standing
6 guard that day but, yes, they were there.
7 Q. Do you know anything about how this guard was organised?
8 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you that. I was a child back then, and
9 I wasn't interested in that at all.
10 Q. I understand. Do you know if any of the other people who were
11 with you in the cellar on the morning of the attack, were any of those
12 other people members of this village guard?
13 A. No, none of them. All of them were older people. I think Joso
14 Miljanic was the eldest. He was 65. And I was the youngest. And for the
15 most part these were women.
16 Q. Do you know the age -- do you know how old Ivica Bilaver was at
17 the time of these events?
18 A. I think he was 14 or 15. That goes for Zeljko Segaric too. They
19 were born in the same year.
20 Q. Mr. Segaric, with the assistance of the usher, I'm going to hand
21 you some colour photocopies of some photographs. And there are three
22 different bundles there.
23 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, the ERNs of these are 04687798 to 7815,
24 the next one 04687816 to 7828, and finally, 04687829 to 7854. Your
25 Honours, I'll also show these on e-court as we get to each booklet but I
1 wanted to the witness to have hard copies because I think it will be
2 easier to follow along.
3 Your Honour, as to the time of the break, given the desire to
4 finish this witness today, would it be possible to have 20-minute breaks
5 today instead of 30 minutes?
6 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe there is
7 no need to change the schedule. We are going to finish today for sure.
8 The Defence will finish its cross-examination on time.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: To allow the Bench to ask these questions and the
10 questions --
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] For sure, for sure.
12 MR. BLACK: I'm grateful for the indication from the Defence.
13 In that case, Your Honour, maybe it's an appropriate time for a
14 break right now.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much. We will take a break now and
16 come back at quarter to 11. Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.18 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black?
20 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Segaric, just before the break, I had handed you some colour
22 photocopies. I'd like you just to look through those three bundles
23 quickly and tell me if you recognise those images. Yes, those are the
25 A. These are two photographs. To the left is our church. The photo
1 was taken in the month of August, during a festivity we had. And the
2 church you see on the right-hand side is the one that was blown up,
4 Q. Actually, Mr. Segaric -- it's my fault. I'll ask you a few
5 questions before we actually get to each booklet, but generally do you
6 recognise those booklets? Have you seen those before?
7 A. Yes. I have.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black, do you have copies for us?
9 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I don't. They are going to be on the
10 e-court. I hope that's sufficient.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: That will be sufficient.
12 MR. BLACK: I'll get them up there in just a moment. I just
13 wanted to establish the authenticity before I did that.
14 Q. Mr. Segaric, did you in fact provide these three booklets of
15 photos to me a couple weeks ago when you came to The Hague for the first
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Okay. And how did you yourself obtain these booklets of
19 photographs? And just for clarity, you know, these are colour photocopies
20 of booklets that you gave me, but how did you obtain the ones that you
21 had, the originals?
22 A. A neighbour of mine, Zoran Bulica had them. He is also a resident
23 of Skabrnja. I don't know how he came by these pictures, but at any rate
24 he gave them to me.
25 Q. Okay. Well, I'm going to now ask you to look through each one of
1 them. And let's start with the one that has a typed page on the front
2 page. And that has the ERN number 04687829 on the front page. If we
3 could pull that up on e-court as well. It's the one that has -- no a
4 different one.
5 A. This is the one?
6 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... on the front. Mot the blue
7 one but the third one. Sorry, Mr. Segaric, it's in the other pile, on the
8 right-hand side. That's the one I mean. If you could just check to make
9 sure that at the top right, I think, it has a number 04687829 on the front
10 page. Do you see a number like that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you.
13 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, is it showing on your screen? It's not
14 showing on mine.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Microphone not activated].
16 MR. BLACK: Okay. That's correct, Your Honour. The first page is
17 the document.
18 Q. If we could go to the next page on the e-court, and Mr. Segaric,
19 it's the second page titled, I think, "Description of photographs." Now,
20 is the information on this page correct?
21 A. No. It's inaccurate. To a large extent, in fact. I believe
22 there is just two details that are correct and all the rest is incorrect.
23 Q. Okay. How specifically is it incorrect? Can you tell me what's
24 incorrect about it?
25 A. The numbers of the photographs don't tally. For instance, there
1 is mention of a person that's not shown on the photograph here at all.
2 Q. Okay. Are some of the names on this page correct? Even if they
3 don't match up with the correct photograph?
4 A. Yes. All of them are, except for F4, Kljako Segaric and Krsto
5 Segaric. The name is not Kljako, it's Kljajo. Therefore the name is
6 wrong. Or, for instance, the body of Grgica Segaric. We called her Maja.
7 She was my grandmother but there is no photograph of hers here. And
8 Branko Rogic, there is no photograph of him. And Lucija Segaric as well,
9 my grandmother.
10 Q. Okay. I know that this is difficult and unpleasant but I'm going
11 to ask you to look through these photographs, okay? We are going to go
12 page by page and I just want you to tell us whatever you can about the
13 photographs on each page. So let's turn the page now.
14 A. This documentation on the -- concerning the on-site investigation,
15 I have nothing to comment on in that regard.
16 Q. Okay. If we could just wait for one minute. Our computer system
17 is lagging a little bit behind us, I think. We should be seeing page
18 04687831 now. Can you see that on the screen as well as in the hard copy?
19 Is that the page you say you have no comment on?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Okay, let's pass to the next page
22 A. Yes, I have no comment to make.
23 Q. Thank you. Let's turn to the next page of this booklet.
24 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I would just mention that these first I
25 believe four pages of this booklet have been translated into English, and
1 that's also available on e-court.
2 Q. If we could just scroll down to the bottom of that, and
3 Mr. Segaric, look at the bottom of the two photos. Do you know what is
4 represented there, what that is?
5 A. This is the sign of their Ministry of the Interior. Most probably
6 of the police administration of Benkovac, public security station
7 Benkovac. This is their stamp, as far as I can read the Cyrillic. This
8 is their documentation, therefore.
9 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could we move to the next page, please, and
10 begin to see some of the photographs in this booklet.
11 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, I'll just say that these are graphic
12 images, just so you know what to expect.
13 Q. Mr. Segaric, what can you tell us about the three photographs on
14 this page, if anything? You can look on the hard copy in front of you if
15 it's easier.
16 A. For example, the man lying on his back is my neighbour, Ante
17 Razov, also known as Brico. He was the barber in our village, and he was
18 killed. Now this house is the house of my uncle, Slavko Segaric. And
19 these are the bodies of my grandfather and another person is Miljanic, and
20 that's the cellar of the house I was captured in.
21 The third image shows Soka Rogic, who was run over by a tank. And
22 she was in this other shelter.
23 These photographs must have been taken after we were captured,
24 perhaps a day later, because I can see that the body of my late
25 grandfather had been moved. He was lying on his side when I saw him last,
1 and here we can see that he's on his back. Stana Vickovic and Joso
2 Miljanic are the bodies of those killed here in front of this shelter.
3 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt, Mr. Segaric. On the computer screen,
4 could we move back up to the centre photograph, please, which I think is
5 the one. Is that the one you're referring to with your grandfather and
6 the neighbours that you just mentioned, Mr. Segaric?
7 A. Yes. That's the spot.
8 Q. The photograph that has F2 written next to it; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could we move to the next page in the booklet,
11 please. Are these the same photographs that were on the previous page,
12 Mr. Segaric? I'm at the page now on our computer screen with --
13 A. Yes, they are.
14 Q. Okay. With 04687834 on the top. Is that the right one that
15 you're looking at?
16 A. Yes. That's the page.
17 Q. Thank you. Let's move to the next page on the e-court, please.
18 Are those two more views of your uncle's house and your grandfather, Josip
19 Miljanic and Stana Vickovic that you've discussed before?
20 A. Yes. That's the house belonging to Slavko Segaric, my uncle.
21 Q. Thank you. Can we move to the next page, please. And again those
22 are close-up photos of the people that you discussed on the prior pages;
23 is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Thanks for your patience, Mr. Segaric. The next page,
1 please. This is more close-up photos of a person you mentioned. What was
2 this person's name again?
3 A. This person that was run over on the road is Soka Rogic. The
4 person next to her is Kljajo Segaric. And these two persons are Rade
5 Segaric and Joja Brkic. Josip Brkic, nicknamed Joja.
6 Q. Thank you. And for the record, that's the page with ERN stamp
7 04687837. Can we pass --
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you pass, I think the witness is
9 identifying four people on that picture. I can only see three unless --
10 MR. BLACK: I think the future pages may clarify, Your Honour.
11 Can we see the next page, please.
12 Q. Mr. Segaric, who are the people shown in that first photograph
13 with F4 next to it?
14 A. That is -- I mean the one lying down closer to us, that's Kljajo
15 Segaric, and the one above him is Rade Segaric.
16 Q. Thank you. If we could look at the next photograph down on the
17 page, please. Who is that, F5?
18 A. That is Rade Segaric.
19 Q. Okay. If we could just scroll down to the next photograph,
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Is it the same person as the other one on top?
22 MR. BLACK: That's correct, Your Honour. It's a different
23 photograph of the same person.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Same person.
25 MR. BLACK: Yes.
1 Q. And the person in photograph marked F6, Mr. Segaric, who is that,
2 if you know?
3 A. That's Joso -- I beg your pardon, Joso Brkic, nicknamed Joja.
4 Q. Thank you. If we could pass to the next page, please. Those are
5 more pictures of the same people you've just mentioned, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. Can we pass to the next page, please. This next page
8 will be 04687840, for the record.
9 Perhaps with e-court for these next couple of pages, rather than
10 zooming in on each photo, if we can just show the whole page I think it
11 might go a little faster, thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Segaric, are these more photos of two of the people you just
14 A. I'm sorry, the picture up here, that is Ilija Razov. I confused
15 him with Rade Segaric. The upper picture, the one that was in this group,
16 that is Ilija -- Ilija Razov, that's what we called him. And Josip Brkic
17 is the one down here.
18 Q. So the picture F5A you're making a correction. You misnamed that
19 person before; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And the correct name is Ilija Razov?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. Thank you for that correction. Let's pass to the next page,
24 please. Can you tell who that is, Mr. Segaric?
25 A. That's also Joso Brkic, nicknamed Joja, from the previous picture.
1 Q. Thank you. Can we pass to the next page now. For this, if we
2 could zoom in a little bit so that we can see all three photographs, it
3 would be helpful. And Mr. Segaric, if it helps you, you can look at the
4 hard copies in front of you. Do you recognise any of the people in
5 photographs F7, F8 and F9?
6 A. Yes. F8 is Rade Segaric. Rade Segaric.
7 Q. And can you tell if that's also the person in F7? Or if you can't
8 tell, that's fine.
9 A. I cannot -- I cannot tell myself. I know that F8 was Rade Segaric
10 but F7 I cannot recognise.
11 Q. Any comment on F9?
12 A. That is the shelter, the next basement, where they were taken
13 prisoner, in the house of Peso Pavicic and his son, Mile Pavicic.
14 Q. Who was taken prisoner there, do you know?
15 A. The mother and quite a few relatives and neighbours.
16 Q. I think we can pass to the next page, please. I think we can go
17 ahead and pass to the next, please. Pass to the next page, please.
18 Sorry, these are repeat photographs from before. This is a page marked
19 04687845. It says F9A next to the photograph. Mr. Segaric, do you know
20 anything about this photograph?
21 A. I just know that this is the yard of Peso Pavicic, where his house
22 was and where they were taken prisoner, civilians.
23 Q. Okay. Let's move to the next page, please.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we move, there is something that looks like
25 a person lying prostrate there. Is that a person or what is it? In blue
1 and black.
2 MR. BLACK:
3 Q. Mr. Segaric, are you able to answer His Honour's question? Is
4 that a person there; and if so, do you know who that person is?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The object in blue and black, next to something
6 white there, that look like stones.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot tell. I know that it is a
8 corpse but I cannot recognise the person.
9 MR. BLACK:
10 Q. Okay. Thank you, that's fine. Can we pass to the next
11 photograph, please. The next page. This is a page 04687846.
12 Mr. Segaric, can you tell us anything about these photographs and who
13 those people are, if you know?
14 A. F10 and F11 is one and the same picture. That is Mile Pavicic,
15 also taken prisoner and liquidated.
16 F12, I don't know.
17 Q. Thank you. Can we see the next page, please. Are those the same
18 pictures -- pictures of the same person we saw in the previous page?
19 A. Yes. The same person, Mile Pavicic.
20 Q. Thank you. Can we pass to the next page, please. And to the next
21 page as well. Mr. Segaric, do you know anything about these three photos
22 or who these people are?
23 A. I do not know these persons. So I have no comment.
24 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could we pass to the next page, please.
25 Actually, Mr. Segaric, could you look at the remaining couple of pages
1 there and see if there are any photographs that you do have comment on.
2 Otherwise, we can finish with this booklet. Just go ahead and look at the
3 hard copies.
4 A. [Microphone not activated].
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the witness.
6 MR. BLACK:
7 Q. Could you repeat that. The interpreters couldn't hear it because
8 I think the page hit the microphone. Just repeat what you just said.
9 A. I have no comment with regard to the rest of the pictures.
10 Q. Okay. Thanks for your patience in going through those.
11 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, could this booklet receive an exhibit
12 number and be admitted into evidence, please.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: The booklet is received into evidence. May it
14 please be given an exhibit number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 270, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
17 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. The next two booklets, I
18 think we can go through them much more quickly.
19 Q. Mr. Segaric, the booklet that's in front of you now that has a
20 photo of a church on the front page and the word "Skabrnja." If you could
21 just confirm for me that it has the number at the top 04687816. Do you
22 see that?
23 A. I see that, yes.
24 Q. And earlier when we first looked at the booklets, you started to
25 describe what was shown on the front page. Could you please tell us now
1 what's shown on that front page.
2 If we could also see this on the e-court, that would be helpful,
4 A. The left-hand picture, that's the church in Skabrnja. The picture
5 was taken August 1991. That is when we have our fete. And on the
6 right-hand side is the church as it was destroyed during the war, 1992.
7 Q. Did you ever see, yourself, the church in this destroyed state?
8 A. Yes. When I first returned to the village in October-November
9 1995. That's when I found the ruins of our church.
10 Q. Thank you. Now what I'd ask the usher to do, if this is possible,
11 it's just to go ahead and go through each page of this booklet, and we'll
12 just go through and I'd ask the witness to look at them and then at the
13 end I'll ask you about what's in there.
14 Next page, please. If I could stop you there. This is page
15 04687818. Mr. Segaric, what's shown on that page?
16 A. On the upper photograph, on the upper photograph, is the church of
17 the Assumption of the Virgin, and on the lower picture is the church as it
18 was destroyed, in Skabrnja.
19 Q. Is this the same church that's shown on the cover of this booklet?
20 A. Yes, yes. It's the same picture.
21 Q. Okay. Thank you. We can proceed now going through the booklet.
22 Please continue.
23 A. The two upper pictures is our elementary school, Vladimir Nazor,
24 in Skabrnja, that was blown up, torched but, thank God, it has been
25 renewed now. And the lower picture is their emblem, Serb emblem, and it
1 says, "God forgives, we do not. Welcome to a dead village." That is what
2 they wrote during the occupation of Skabrnja.
3 Q. Thank you. And we could go to the next page. Does the next page
4 show the school as it's been rebuilt?
5 A. Yes. This is the rebuilt school in Skabrnja; the upper photograph
6 and the lower photograph.
7 Q. Thank you. If you could just again now look through the rest of
8 the booklet and see if there is anything that you want to point out to us;
9 otherwise, we can move on to the next booklet.
10 A. Yes. St. Luke's church.
11 Q. Can you tell me what the number at the top of that page is?
12 A. 04687823.
13 Q. Thank you very much. If that page could be shown on e-court,
15 I'm sorry, I interrupted you, Mr. Segaric. What were you telling
16 us about the images on this page?
17 A. On the upper photograph is our church; and the lower photograph,
18 the second one, too; and the third one is St. Luke's church. That is
19 where our cemetery is that was devastated. And the church was damaged.
20 Q. Okay. So just to be clear, there are two different churches in
21 Skabrnja; the one that's shown on the front page and then this other one,
22 St. Luke's church, which is shown in the bottom photograph of this page;
23 is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Any other pages in the booklet that you want to
1 comment on?
2 A. On page 04687826.
3 Q. Thank you. And what would you like to say about that page?
4 A. On the upper photograph is a mass grave near the elementary
5 school. That is to say, in the centre of the village. That is where 30
6 to 40 villagers were buried. And on the lower picture you can see the
7 destroyed cemetery by St. Luke's church.
8 Q. Thank you. In the mass grave, where you said 30 to 40 villagers
9 were buried, if you know, when were those 30 to 40 villagers -- when were
10 they killed?
11 A. They were killed between the 18th and 19th of November, 1991.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Any other pages in that booklet you would like
13 to comment on?
14 A. 04687827.
15 Q. What's shown on that page?
16 A. On all three you see the destroyed, demolished cemetery by
17 St. Luke's church.
18 Q. Thank you. Could you just -- is there anything else you want to
19 discuss in that booklet?
20 A. Well, no. I've said whatever I was supposed to say.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. BLACK: Your Honours, could that receive a number and be
23 admitted into evidence, please?
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the document -- booklet be admitted into
25 evidence, and may it please be given an exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 271, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
3 MR. BLACK:
4 Q. Mr. Segaric, there is just one more booklet I'd like to ask you to
5 look at, and we are going to look at it very quickly. It's -- the front
6 page is blue and it says "Skabrnja 1991 to 1996." The ERN of this
7 document is 04687798 to 7815. And Mr. Segaric, if you could just look
8 through the pictures in that booklet, all of them, and tell me what's
9 depicted in those photographs.
10 A. Demolished houses in Skabrnja can be seen here. They were
11 destroyed during the war, and when we got back, that's the way we found
13 Q. Perhaps on e-court, as the witness is looking at these, we could
14 also flip through for the benefit of the Judges and the parties, please.
15 So Mr. Segaric, when you returned to Skabrnja in 1995, did
16 Skabrnja look the way it's represented in the photographs in this booklet?
17 A. Yes. When I came back, it was destroyed. All the houses.
18 Q. Can you identify your uncle's house on any of these photographs in
19 the booklet, where you were taken from the cellar?
20 A. Yes. 04687804.
21 Q. Thank you. If we could see that page on the e-court, please.
23 Where on this page does your uncle's house appear, Mr. Segaric?
24 A. The lower picture on the left-hand side is the house of Nedeljko
25 Segaric first, and then the one after it is Slavko Segaric's house, where
1 I was imprisoned.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MR. BLACK: Your Honour, could this booklet also receive a number
4 and be admitted into evidence, please?
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: The booklet is admitted into evidence. May it
6 please be given an exhibit number.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit number 272, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
9 MR. BLACK: Thank you very much, Mr. Segaric. And Your Honours,
10 that took a little longer than I intended.
11 Q. But I just have one more short topic, Mr. Segaric, and then the
12 Defence will have some questions for you.
13 After the attack on Skabrnja, do you know if the events, the
14 attack, were ever reported in the media in Croatia?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you remember anything specifically, where you know that it was
18 A. It was written about in the newspapers and it was on television
19 that there was a massacre in Skabrnja, that 40 to 80 people were killed,
20 and that 80 people were taken prisoner. That was on television.
21 Q. Do you remember where you saw that in television, where you were,
22 or what television station you saw it on?
23 A. I'm sorry, did you ask me about Croatian television or Serb
25 Q. Actually either one. Croatian television or Serb television. Any
1 place that you saw this reported.
2 A. On Croatian television, it said that a Croatian village had been
3 destroyed and that the villagers had been killed. And on Serb television
4 it said that the Ustashas had massacred their own people. And in the
5 evening, a TV crew came to a kindergarten - I think it was TV Knin - and
6 then they reported -- we saw that on the following day -- that in
7 Skabrnja, a crime had been committed by the Ustashas. That is to say that
8 the villagers had killed themselves, that they had killed their own
10 Q. This may seem like an obvious question, but was that true, that
11 the Ustashas had killed people in Skabrnja?
12 A. No. There were never any Ustashas in Skabrnja. Chetniks were in
13 Skabrnja, who killed the villagers of Skabrnja.
14 Q. One last question: Did you ever hear about any investigation or
15 prosecution by the Serb authorities for the crimes that happened in
16 Skabrnja which you told us about here today?
17 A. No. I never heard anything of the sort. I was in Benkovac and I
18 was interrogated at the police administration by the police officers
19 there. They questioned me but there was no sort of investigation about
20 the events in Skabrnja.
21 Q. What day was that that you were interrogated in Benkovac?
22 A. That was on the 18th of November, in the evening, when I arrived
23 in Benkovac.
24 Q. And did you -- did you tell them about the things that you've told
25 us here today? About what had happened to your family and your
2 A. No. They never asked me about that. They asked me about weapons
3 and such like, how many Ustashas there were in Skabrnja.
4 Q. But they didn't ask you any questions about what had happened to
5 your family and your neighbours?
6 A. No, nobody asked about that.
7 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Mr. Segaric. Your Honours, no further
8 questions at this time.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Black.
10 Mr. Milovancevic?
11 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the
12 cross-examination of the witness will be done by co-counsel, Nikola
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Mr. Perovic?
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Perovic:
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Segaric.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. You have heard I'm one of the counsel for Mr. Martic and I will
19 now start my cross-examination. Based on your personal details, I learned
20 that you were born on the 14th of June 1980.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Therefore, prior to the events you testified about, you were 11
23 years old in -- at the end of 1991.
24 A. Yes.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel for the Prosecution please
1 switch off the mike.
2 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You gave your statement to the Prosecution in 2000; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Therefore nine years after the events that transpired?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In this statement to the OTP, you yet give information in great
8 detail about the numbers of soldiers there, about the time line of the
9 events. You also provide them with the information about the numbers of
10 the tanks and other vehicles. In connection with this, I have a question.
11 How come you were able to remember all these details with such precision
12 after nine years?
13 A. You see, I never gave an exact number. I always gave rough
14 figures. And as I was appearing before a court every year and a half, I
15 was compelled to remember these matters.
16 Q. In your statement to the OTP, you state that the basement where
17 you were in, that first a group of ten or so members of the JNA, wearing
18 olive-drab uniforms, entered the basement. What did they tell you, to you
19 who were in the basement?
20 A. First of all, when they approached the house, we could hear noise,
21 the din of them trying to enter the room. Then they asked for the door to
22 be opened. Joso Miljanic then opened the door, but the first -- at first,
23 when the soldiers came, individual soldiers told us that they would not
24 harm us, that we would not get killed, and things along those lines.
25 Q. If I understand you well, they didn't threaten you.
1 A. Others threatened us.
2 Q. I'm referring to the soldiers only.
3 A. I said that some of them comforted us, others threatened us.
4 Q. They left after that, didn't they?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You next state that, after them, and now I'm quoting your words:
7 "Serbian volunteers, villagers of the neighbouring villages appeared, who
8 used disparaging remarks and cursed you. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you recall how long it was after the JNA soldiers left that
11 these people came?
12 A. It's hard to say. May have been half an hour or ten minutes. We
13 weren't thinking about the time.
14 Q. You stated that they were searching for weapons and that they were
15 asking after persons who they suspected had weapons; is that right?
16 A. Yes. If I may also add, they also asked, they asked not only
17 about weapons but about houses as well.
18 Q. In the annex to your statement, dated 13th of March 2006, you
19 stated that they found hunting weapons belonging to your father and
20 grandfather in the attic of your house; is that right?
21 A. Yes, but not in the attic. That's a room. Although that may seem
22 to be an attic, that's just upstairs from where we were.
23 Q. You went on to say that Stana Vickovic and Josip Miljanic were
24 killed by a man wearing a camouflage uniform who had a patch of the SAO
25 Krajina on his arm and that you saw that.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you recognise the man?
3 A. I recognised quite a few people because they -- it was a
4 neighbouring village, but I can't recall the name. I only remember their
5 faces and I remember that I found their faces familiar.
6 Q. You also stated that these soldiers wearing green camouflage
7 uniforms with the Cyrillic SAO Krajina on their arm also wore red
8 five-pointed stars; is that right?
9 A. Yes, that's right, but the signs were mixed. There were those
10 wearing Serb signs, there were those wearing red stars. They were all
11 mixed together, those wearing red stars and those wearing Serb signs.
12 Q. As far as you know, the red five-pointed star, did it symbolise
13 the Yugoslav People's Army?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Segaric, on the photographs shown to you by the Prosecutor,
16 rather, the F1, F1A, F1B, and F2, one can see that they are a result of an
17 on-site investigation of, as it is said, unidentified dead bodies in
18 Skabrnja that was conducted on the 21st of November 1991 by the police in
19 Benkovac. Do you know whether it was the SAO Krajina Police, in fact?
20 A. What do you mean? I don't understand.
21 Q. I'm referring to the police officers from Benkovac who conducted
22 the on-site investigation.
23 A. I can't tell you that. I didn't see anyone conducting any on-site
24 investigation that day, and I can't tell you whether one was conducted.
25 Q. You saw the photographs. That's why I'm asking you.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You see that they bear the sign of the Benkovac police station and
3 the sign of the SAO Krajina. If you cannot give any definite answer, I
4 will not insist.
5 A. I don't really understand your question. You want me to say that
6 this stamp is the stamp of SAO Krajina?
7 Q. My question is as follows: The people from Benkovac who conducted
8 the on-site investigation, were they members of the police of the SAO
10 A. I can't tell you that. I don't know.
11 Q. I have another question. Do you know that the TV Knin was
12 established in 1993?
13 A. I can't tell you that. I remember very well that they had their
14 report, that it was broadcast on TV Knin by the Serbian TV at the time.
15 Q. Mr. Segaric, I have no further questions for you.
16 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have finished my
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Mr. Perovic.
19 No questions from the Bench. I beg your pardon. Any
20 re-examination, Mr. Black?
21 MR. BLACK: None, Your Honour, thank you.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I'm sorry, thank you very much, Mr. Black.
23 Witness, thank you so much for coming. We appreciate your coming
24 and giving your evidence. We are finished with you. You are excused and
25 you may stand down.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Black?
3 MR. BLACK: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm informed that the next
4 witness won't be ready until 12.30. I didn't anticipate that this would
5 go near so quickly. I don't know -- he would be at the hotel currently.
6 I don't know if there is any chance of bringing him here -- I don't think
7 before 12.00 when we were scheduled for the next break. So I apologise,
8 Your Honour, I think we are going to lose the next 18 minutes of court
9 time. But he'll be ready to start the third session.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: In that event, can we take an adjournment and come
11 back at half past 12?
12 MR. BLACK: Certainly.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Court adjourned to come back at half past 12.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.43 a.m.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: May the witness please make the declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: MARKO MILJANIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Ms. Valabhji?
25 MS. VALABHJI: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Ms. Valabhji:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. Can you hear me clearly in a language that you understand?
5 A. I can hear you clearly and I understand what you're saying.
6 Q. Thank you. Witness, please state your name for the Court.
7 A. Marko Miljanic.
8 Q. Are you of Croatian nationality?
9 A. Croat, yes, by nationality.
10 Q. Were you born in 1951?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Are you presently retired?
13 A. Retired.
14 Q. Before retiring, what kind of work did you do?
15 A. I was a member of the Ministry of the Interior, and before that, a
16 member of the Yugoslav People's Army.
17 Q. What was your position in the Yugoslav People's Army?
18 A. In the JNA, I was a junior officer.
19 Q. Until when were you a junior officer?
20 A. Up until the 15th of May, 1991.
21 Q. Under what circumstances did you leave the JNA?
22 A. When the unrest started and after the murder of the police
23 officers at Borovo Selo and at Plitvice, I decided to leave the Yugoslav
24 People's Army.
25 Q. Could you tell us why, in a bit more detail.
1 A. Because I could see that this was no longer the Yugoslav People's
2 Army but that it has rather -- that it had rather sided with just one
3 party, and that's to say with the Serb side. I, as a member of the
4 Croatian people, could not take part in something that was leveled against
6 Q. Mr. Miljanic, where were you living in 1991?
7 A. I was living in Zadar.
8 Q. Did you have the occasion to visit the village of Skabrnja before
10 A. My parents, brothers and sisters, all lived in Skabrnja. I left
11 Skabrnja in 1966. Zadar is some 14 to 15 kilometres away from Skabrnja,
12 and I'd use any spare time I had and I would go to Skabrnja at the
13 weekends and so on.
14 Q. Okay. And by the way, do you know Mr. Ante Gotovina?
15 A. Yes, I do. Ever since 1993.
16 Q. How do you know him, in brief terms?
17 A. I know him superficially. I was a member of the MUP and he was a
18 member and commander of the Croatian army, but we would come across each
19 other in Zadar. Zadar is not that large a town, some 100.000 people, and
20 our paths would cross. That's all.
21 Q. And does this have any effect on your testimony here today,
22 Mr. Miljanic?
23 A. No, no effect at all. What I'm about to testify now happened in
24 1991, whereas, as I said, I met Mr. Gotovina for the first time in 1993.
25 Therefore, one has nothing to do with the other.
1 Q. Okay. Okay. Witness, I'd now like to ask you some questions
2 about the village of Skabrnja. What was the approximate population of
3 Skabrnja in 1991?
4 A. In 1991, there were about 2.000 inhabitants in the village of
6 Q. What was the ethnicity of the inhabitants of Skabrnja at that
8 A. Skabrnja was an exclusively Croat village. Catholic population,
9 and by ethnicity they were all Croats.
10 Q. Were there any military installations in the village of Skabrnja?
11 A. There had never been any military installations of any sort in
13 Q. What about the surrounding villages in the area? How would you
14 characterise them in terms of ethnicity?
15 A. The other villages were as follows: The southern villages, or to
16 the south of Skabrnja, had only Croat population. Some villages
17 surrounding Skabrnja had some Serb population, that's Zemunik, then Milane
18 -- Biljane and Nadin. Biljane was an exclusively Serb village whereas
19 Nadin had some Serb population but 90 per cent of them were Croats. As
20 for Donji Zemunik, there was mixed population there as well. That's about
21 10 kilometres away from Skabrnja.
22 Q. Okay. I'd now like to ask you about certain events in the fall of
23 1991. On the 5th of September 1991, what were you asked to do?
24 A. On the 5th of September 1991, I was called by the chief of the
25 then-Zadar police administration, Mr. Ivica Brzoja, and gave me the
1 following order -- actually, I received a written and verbal order to
2 secure, as a police officer, that peace be maintained throughout the area
3 and that there is operating communication in the area, although there was
4 communication at the time, there was even Lieutenant Mladic in the area,
5 and that I should make sure that the provisions of the cease-fire
6 agreement that had been reached in The Hague be strictly adhered to.
7 Those were the orders I was given.
8 Q. Okay. We'll come to that agreement later. Did you undertake at
9 this time to organise anything in the village? Of Skabrnja, that is.
10 A. Well, I did, but before that, I have to say that the entire
11 population of Skabrnja, on the 2nd of October 1991, after heavy bombing,
12 had been all moved out of the village. That's to say all the population
13 was moved out; the elderly people, women and children. The only persons
14 left in the village were men, men of younger age. Once the cease-fire was
15 agreed upon, the entire population of Skabrnja was taken back to their
16 village from Zadar. They were transported in five buses back to their
17 home village. The men resumed their work posts that they had in Zadar,
18 and there were no provocations.
19 Q. Okay. But I want to go back a bit. When you were called by the
20 chief of the then police administration and he gave you an order and you
21 were assigned a task. Was there anything specifically that you organised
22 in the village?
23 A. In the village itself, since we had already been exposed to
24 bombing and missiles by the army and the paramilitaries, whoever was
25 there, I make sure that we identified basements in the village where the
1 civilians could find shelter, if need be, and we identified eight such
2 basements in the village of Skabrnja which was supposed to be used as
3 shelters in the event of bombing or missiles being launched. And we
4 placed check-points near Biljane and Zemunik along the road there, and
5 that's what I organised.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I just interrupt a little bit? I'm not quite
7 sure, are we talking about Skabrnja or are we talking about Zadar?
8 MS. VALABHJI: We are talking about Skabrnja, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Maybe if you can clarify that.
10 MS. VALABHJI: Sure.
11 Q. Witness, I would just like to clarify something with you. You've
12 just told us about identifying basements to be used as shelters and
13 check-points being placed. Which village are you referring to in regard
14 to these activities?
15 A. Skabrnja. I'm referring to Skabrnja.
16 Q. Okay. Did you have certain equipment in Skabrnja; and if so, what
17 was it?
18 A. You're probably referring to weapons. Yes. We did. I have to
19 tell this Honourable Trial Chamber that we had six light machine-guns, two
20 hand-held launchers, some 50 rifles. Some of these were trophy weapons,
21 dating back from World War II, some of them were M-48 rifles. There were
22 some that were semi-automatic, some were automatic. We had some pistols,
23 and we had some ammunition too.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who are the "we"? We had -- we had six light --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We, the inhabitants of the village
1 of Skabrnja who were members of the reserve police force. So we are
2 talking about members of the reserve police force and volunteers.
3 MS. VALABHJI:
4 Q. And approximately how many such members and volunteers did you
5 have in Skabrnja?
6 A. 242 men.
7 Q. Okay. Earlier, Witness, you spoke about villagers being
8 evacuated. Can we go back to this? Can you tell us when that was again?
9 A. This happened on the 2nd of October 1991. Let me explain the
10 situation. On that day, three villagers of Skabrnja got killed. At that
11 point I decided, in agreement with the Crisis Staff of Zadar municipality,
12 to pull out all the civilians and evacuate them to the islands overlooking
13 Zadar, and it was then that all of them were evacuated.
14 Q. And tell us again who remained in the village.
15 A. The ones that I mentioned, 240 people stayed behind, including a
16 priest and a teacher, and, of course, myself. We stayed back in Skabrnja.
17 Q. And why did you remain? Of all the people who remained, that is,
18 why did you all remain?
19 A. We didn't want to abandon the place because, before that, we were
20 exposed to bombing every day and we had, of course, livestock, we had our
21 land. We were farmers, and we dared not leave our village because we did
22 not wish to lose the properties that we had and, of course, we wanted to
23 guard our own village.
24 Q. Of the men who remained, how old were they? Do you recall?
25 A. On average, the people were aged 30 to 35. There were some who
1 were older. I myself was 42 at the time, but I was the oldest. All the
2 other ones were younger than me. I was among the older ones.
3 Q. Now, Mr. Miljanic, were you at around this time aware of soldiers
4 leaving the JNA?
5 A. Yes, I was, because more than 80 JNA soldiers came to me
6 personally and told me that they had fled the JNA. They came to me in my
7 village and I sent them, all of them, to Zadar. Among them were soldiers
8 of all ethnicities, including Croats, Hungarians, Albanians, Slovenians
9 and Serbs; of all ethnicities. They came to me. They were on the run
10 from Benkovac, and they told me that there was real chaos up there.
11 That's what they told me.
12 Q. Have you heard the names Dean Brener and Captain Jovanovic?
13 A. Yes. They were also with me. But Mr. Sveljo, who was a police
14 officer at the time, was also with them, and this is something that was
15 not stated. They seemed suspicious and they were brought over to me from
16 the check-point. I interrogated them. I knew Petar Sveljo from before
17 the war. He told me that they had basically strayed. I escorted them
18 over to Zadar, and I know what happened with them next, roughly, but, of
19 course, I'm here to answer your questions.
20 Q. Thank you. Well, do you know who Mr. Brener was?
21 A. I do because I asked him. He introduced himself at first with a
22 false name. I remember still that he introduced himself as Esad Catic and
23 told me that he was a resident of Bihac and that he was the chef of the
24 restaurant in Benkovac. I knew who was working in the kitchen of that
25 restaurant in Benkovac and I simply caught him in this lie, and he then
1 admitted that he wasn't Esad Catic but Captain Dean Brener, commander of
2 the tank company stationed in Biljane and that -- Veljane, and that the
3 person with him was from Macedonia.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the person's name.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I found out.
6 MS. VALABHJI:
7 Q. Could you tell us the name of the person who was from Macedonia?
8 A. Captain Jovanovic. I don't recall his first name. I only know
9 that he was the commander of the infantry company also stationed in
10 Veljane. I don't know if that's the truth or not.
11 Q. Now, did you have a conversation with Mr. Brener?
12 A. Yes, I did. We talked for more than an hour and he told me -- and
13 I have to use this expression before this Honourable Trial Chamber -- that
14 we were going to lose it, that we're done for, and that Ratko Mladic was
15 going to defeat us. And he also told us that the Chetniks had arrived
16 from Serbia and that we had better run from Skabrnja to Zadar for our
17 lives. I told him to take care of his own business and not to meddle into
18 this, but in retrospect, I think I should have listened to what he was
20 Q. When he mentioned Ratko Mladic to you, did you know who that
21 person was at the time?
22 A. I did. I repeat, I was a member of the army. I worked in Zadar
23 but my base or HQ was in Knin. I often went to Knin and I got to know
24 Ratko Mladic, although this was only in passing. I was told that this
25 colonel - he was a colonel at the time - had arrived from Macedonia.
1 Q. I'd now like to ask you about certain other events. On the 5th of
2 November 1991, what happened?
3 A. On the 5th, The Hague truce was signed. That's to say on the 5th
4 of November, 1991. When I was invited to come to Mr. Ivan Brzoja, chief
5 of the police administration, who gave me a written and a verbal order, to
6 the effect that The Hague truce was signed and that we ought not to
7 provoke. I replied to this by telling him, "Chief, we have nothing to
8 provoke with. Can we really provoke the air force with the rifles we
9 have?" He told me, "I'm going to hold you responsible for this. You're a
10 member of the police administration." I went about my business and things
11 went back to normal, people resumed their jobs in the factory. However,
12 the following day, on the 6th -- or rather, on the following day, on the
13 6th, the people were taken back to Skabrnja on five buses, and life
14 resumed as per normal.
15 Q. The instruction that you were given not to provoke, to what extent
16 was it followed?
17 A. To the full extent. I repeat before this Honourable Trial
18 Chamber, to the full extent. Not a single bullet had ever been fired. We
19 didn't even have much ammunition. We each had maybe 15 bullets, and we
20 could not afford to provoke. At that time, Ratko Mladic was passing in a
21 vehicle to Zadar for negotiations and he was accompanied by Brener at the
22 time and nobody hindered his passage in any way. There was a truce on.
23 Q. Mr. Miljanic, I'd now like to turn to the events of the 18th of
24 November, 1991. Can you tell us what happened on the 18th of November,
25 1991, starting from the beginning.
1 A. Your Honours, I find it quite hard to talk about these events.
2 Very hard. I lost half my family on that day. I lost some of my best
3 friends. I saw my father's throat slit on that day. But I will recount
4 everything as it happened, only the truth, as I said at the outset.
5 On that morning, I was sleeping in a house in the centre of the
6 village by the radio set we had. It was this ordinary police radio set.
7 The lad who was seated by the radio set, I asked him whether there was
8 anything new to report about? He told me, No, Marko, there is nothing
9 new. At about 7.30, tanks could be heard from the direction of Benkovac.
10 At that point, since I had people at Razovljeva Glavica, which is an
11 elevation above Skabrnja, standing guard, one of the men there informed me
12 over a field telephone line that the tanks were arriving also from the
13 direction of Gornje Zemunik, the airport there. I had three couriers of
14 mine, and I sent them to inform the civilians to flee to their shelters,
15 and to inform the police officers who were there to take their positions
16 above the village.
17 At that point - that was about 7.30, I don't recall the exact time
18 - fierce artillery fire was opened upon the village from tanks and
19 artillery pieces. The entire village was ablaze. Some 15 minutes later,
20 from Veljane and Biljane, one could hear gun shots. One could hear them
21 all around Skabrnja. I used the radio set to report on the situation to
22 Zadar. I told them that we were under attack and we didn't know what was
23 going on. I received a piece of information from this information centre
24 in Zadar that we had, that people should run into shelters and that they
25 weren't aware of what was going on.
1 At that time, civilians were starting to get killed in the
2 shelling. The physician we had in the village had to intervene already
3 with two or three people. First of all, there was this lady, some 50
4 metres away from me, whose legs had been shattered by a shell. She was
5 dying in great pain. Another lady next to her, too. And there was
6 general chaos, nobody knew what was going on. I found out from the
7 couriers who came to report to me that there was general chaos, that the
8 tanks from Zemunik Gornje and Biljane were heading our way, and that's --
9 that was as far as I myself knew.
10 We could hear the wailing of animals, people, in the general smoke
11 and fire.
12 All of a sudden, we could hear aircraft. At one point, about a
13 kilometre away from where I was, in the direction of Donji Zemunik, I
14 could hear helicopters. Infantry forces dismounted these helicopters.
15 They were wearing dark uniforms. I didn't know who they were. I didn't
16 know what was going on. At the time - this was around 11.00 - I heard --
17 I overheard on the radio set, as I stated to the investigators, a
18 conversation between Colonel Cecovic, I knew from Benkovac, and Ratko
19 Mladic. This was an open-type conversation. They were saying that their
20 reserve ammunition supplies were destroyed. I don't know what was going
21 on. I only heard this terrible explosion up on the road. There was this
22 truck that was blown up, either by a shell or I don't know. At that point
23 the attack subsided and Cecovic placed a call to Ratko Mladic and told him
24 in these very words, "Comrade --" I'm not sure how he addressed him, I
25 think "Comrade." "My reserve ammunition supplies have been destroyed. He
1 told him in turn, "Go ahead. If you fail, I will execute you, Cecovic."
2 And these are the very words I heard. In this general chaos, a young man
3 came up to me, who later on got killed, that in my hamlet people were
4 being killed, one by one. I asked him, are they in the basements? He
5 answered, "Yes, they are in the basements but they are being taken out one
6 by one and killed." I told him to tell them to run for the centre of the
7 village if they can, and to abandon their shelters.
8 Another man came to me subsequently and I asked about the young
9 man who was previously reporting to me, and this man told me, well, he got
10 killed. This person I was talking to at the time also got killed. His
11 name was Ante Razov. In the presence of my mother, his ears were cut off
12 and he was killed on the road. The army had already went ahead. It was
13 those vultures that followed them, they did these things.
14 At that point I lost track of time and everything. At that point,
15 planes started firing cluster bombs. I have to tell you that even before,
16 in the month of October, Skabrnja was bombed by these prohibited cluster
17 bombs by the JNA. These were English cluster bombs that were fired upon
18 the village of Skabrnja, indiscriminately.
19 Q. I'm going to interrupt you for a second. Just to be clear, just
20 now you've explained to us what happened on the 18th and starting from
21 early in the morning. You mentioned fierce artillery fire. Who was doing
22 the firing? Do you know who was doing the firing?
23 A. Well, as a soldier, I know who did this. The JNA went ahead. The
24 JNA went ahead. And, gentlemen, whoever got into their hands that day is
25 alive to this day, but they were conquering territory. They were going in
1 tanks. So the JNA had tanks and cannons and aircraft and rocket launchers
2 and everything at that time. But everyone knows who this is.
3 Q. Sorry?
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: We don't. Can you please tell us.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've said, the JNA was taking
6 the terrain, the ground, and behind them went certain paramilitary or
7 whatever forces that killed everyone. I am not a witness to that because
8 I was out in that part of the village that had not been taken yet. But
9 according to the stories that other people told my mother, who watched all
10 of this, all these people who were there. I repeat, I did not witness
11 that. I did not see it myself. So I cannot say something that I don't
12 know. But I know what the JNA had.
13 MS. VALABHJI:
14 Q. Could you be a bit more precise about the equipment and the
15 manpower that the JNA was deploying that day.
16 A. The JNA on that day used all kinds of equipment. That is to say
17 from the tactical equipment to strategic equipment. In the JNA, at that
18 time, there was such a system of control and command at the time that it
19 was known who would approve the use of what kind of weaponry. So the air
20 force could only be used by the corps commander or someone of equal rank.
21 For example, a tank brigade could be used only by the commander of the
22 tank brigade. So we are not talking about marginal people. We are
23 talking about people who were in highest positions of responsibility and
24 who were in command at the time.
25 Q. And what did this indicate to you? Did it indicate anything?
1 A. This indicated everything to me. I'm telling you that. I was a
2 member of that army for 22 years, 22 years. It was all clear to me.
3 Quite simply, Skabrnja was not attacked from -- for any military reasons.
4 No military reasons. Skabrnja was attacked for political interests and in
5 order to intimidate, because on the same day, when Skabrnja was destroyed,
6 that's when Vukovar was destroyed, and it was necessary to prove to all
7 what would happen after the massacre in Skabrnja. Zadar had an
8 unprecedented exodus. Up to 30.000 inhabitants of Zadar fled in the
9 direction of Rijeka, Slovenia, and Italy, so Skabrnja was used as a
10 political objective, not a military target in any way. That is what I can
12 Q. And tell us again, what kind of manpower did you have that day?
13 A. On that day, I've already said, I had six submachine-guns. The
14 calibre was, if you follow my drift, 7, 9 millimetres. I had two
15 hand-held rocket launchers with four shells each. It is like a bazooka,
16 if you understand that. The rest was mixed weaponry. So, some M-48
17 rifles, some trophy carbines, Italian ones from the Second World War. We
18 also had some Kalashnikovs. I think -- well, they were few. And then we
19 had about ten automatic rifles and ten to 15 pistols and four or five
20 rifles that we had with small calibres that were at the school for
21 training purposes, and that is what we had in Skabrnja. We did not have
22 any heavy weaponry in Skabrnja, no heavy weaponry; no tanks, no cannons,
23 nothing. And quite simply, even if we wanted -- well, I mean, resistance
24 was put up. I have to say that. Well, people would not allow these
25 things to happen. They would see people getting killed and attack, and
1 any man was ready to defend his house, and that's what they did. But I
2 have to say that it was an unequal fight. One to 1.000, gentlemen. One
3 to 1.000. Not in terms of manpower, personnel, but in terms of material.
4 Somebody has cannons, rocket launchers, aircraft, tanks, and somebody has
5 rifles on the other hand. So that's what I have to say.
6 Q. Very well. You mentioned a conversation which you overheard
7 between a colonel -- Colonel Mladic and Colonel Cecovic. Now, how did you
8 know that the persons speaking were Colonel Mladic and Mr. Cecovic?
9 A. I knew. First of all, I knew Colonel Cecovic well because he was
10 brigade commander in Benkovac. And in the former army, I was commander of
11 the construction engineering company and I had Benkovac within my
12 maintenance. So I knew him personally.
13 As for Ratko Mladic, I knew him because he spoke on television.
14 Well, I knew him. Because they talked openly. It wasn't a scrambled
15 conversation or coded. So they used this vocabulary very openly. In this
16 basement where I sought shelter there were over 70 civilians. 60 to 70, I
17 don't know any more; maybe 50, maybe 80, I don't know. They hid there and
18 they were right next to me, and they all listened to what was being said
19 over the radio. Gentlemen, I tried to get these civilians out of the
20 basement so that they could flee towards Prkos. That was part of Skabrnja
21 that had not been taken yet. But they didn't want to. They were crying
22 and they were saying, "Why are you trying to get us out?" So I have
23 witnesses, over 70 witnesses. Quite simply, they could not leave these
24 basements because of the shelling, and many of them ended their lives, as
25 everyone knows: Killed.
1 Q. Mr. Miljanic, you also mentioned seeing helicopters that day. Do
2 you recall how many individuals emerged from each helicopter?
3 A. I cannot know, but I just know that three or four helicopters
4 would come on three or four occasions. I don't know. People just got
5 out. People that were closer to them, well, it's about a kilometre, even
6 less than a kilometre, from me, and those who were closer were only 150 to
7 200 metres away. At the western part of Skabrnja there is a meadow called
8 Jabuka. That is where the helicopters landed and soldiers disembarked
9 from them and then moved around. I cannot give you an exact number but I
10 can give you an estimate; about 30 people can fit into a helicopter, so
11 then look into that. 30 people per helicopter, because I know that from
12 the former Yugoslavia in the army. I remember I actually flew in a
13 helicopter myself. We had exercises, training, et cetera.
14 Q. Did you see any tanks that day?
15 A. Of course I did. Of course, I did. From Benkovac and from Gornje
16 Zemunik, and then those that were -- there were those from Donji Zemunik,
17 from the airport. I didn't see them but I heard over the radio people
18 telling me that they were coming too and that they were encircling the
19 village. They wanted to trap the village completely and not to let anyone
20 leave this place alive. That was the objective. We learned about this in
21 the army. It's called pliers. That's how you have a siege, and it's
23 Q. Did you at any point see anything happening near the tanks or
24 around them?
25 A. I just have to say one thing: I was not even 50 metres away from
1 the tanks. That was in the afternoon, around 1400 hours. I came and
2 Mr. Luka Skara did - he's still alive to this day - and two young men with
3 a hand-held rocket launcher and one shell, to try to destroy the tank that
4 entered the centre of the village. But regrettably, there were civilians
5 all around the tank, on the sides and in front, with their hands on their
6 necks and had we shot at this tank we would have killed those civilians
7 around the tank. That's why I didn't have the courage to reach that kind
8 of decision. So I did not shoot. But there were civilians all around the
9 tanks and between them. The tanks were moving ahead; in front of them,
10 women, children, old men, and between them. And we were standing by the
11 church, the then church, because they destroyed it, they razed it to the
12 ground afterwards. We stood by the church and we tried to hit this tank,
13 but as I said, we did not.
14 Q. Why do you think that there were civilians around the tank?
15 A. Well, because I saw it. I saw it with my very own eyes.
16 Everybody saw it. All of those who were taken prisoner in Skabrnja who
17 are alive to this day. They can all confirm this to you. They were all
18 there with their hands on their necks, up here, and as I said the army --
19 well, in my opinion, in my understanding, I don't know whether this is
20 correct, but the army saved those civilians, you see. Those who were
21 captured by the army were saved.
22 Q. Can you tell us more about that?
23 A. I don't know what else I could tell you. Quite simply, this was
24 hell. Unheard of. I cannot think of this, remember this. These were
25 such moments when animals in barns are burning; sheep, cows, horses,
1 people are moaning. You see dismembered human bodies around you. The
2 doctor, all bloodstained, ran up to me and said, What are we going to do?
3 And this same doctor had terrible moments. Then the priest hid 50 people
4 in a basement and they destroyed that house and they never found those
5 people. This same priest, Don Tomislav Sikiric, got them out three days
6 later. These were horrible moments. You could not see a thing. You
7 could not hear anything from the shooting, from the mayhem all around. I
8 could never have imagined something like that, that something like that
9 could happen. That's it.
10 Q. Do you know how many civilians were killed on the 18th of
11 November, 1991?
12 A. I don't know exactly, because I don't know who was killed then and
13 who was killed later, later. Because a group of civilians stayed behind
14 near the school, 27 to 30 of them, and then in February 1992, they were
15 all killed and put into a mass grave near the Skabrnja school. They were
16 all killed. All of them who were taken prisoner. But I don't know
17 exactly how many civilians were killed on that day. I just know what came
18 to the Zadar pathology department. My father, my brother, seven relatives
19 of mine, I met them on that day in black bags, and Your Honours, I just
20 have one thing to say: An officer from here, from the Netherlands, was
21 there in front of the Zadar pathology department. He started vomiting.
22 He said that he had been through many wars in Indochina, whatever, but he
23 had never experienced anything like this. So the man was vomiting five
24 metres away from me because he saw terrible things that came in these
25 black bags to the pathology department of the Zadar hospital, that came
1 from Skabrnja. That is what I wanted to say.
2 Q. Of the persons who were engaging in the defence of the village
3 that day, how many of them were killed, do you know, approximately?
4 A. 15 or 16. I don't know. About 14 were taken prisoner, 15 got
5 killed. I think 15 got killed. I didn't know. I didn't know about my
6 brother. I did not know about my brother. I learned only four days later
7 that he got killed. And to this day, I don't know exactly how many people
8 got killed, or rather --
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the witness any
11 MS. VALABHJI:
12 Q. Witness, the interpreter couldn't hear you.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor, please, as well.
14 MS. VALABHJI:
15 Q. Witness, the interpreter couldn't hear you just now, the last part
16 of what you said. Would you mind repeating that?
17 A. I'm saying that I did not know the exact number on that day and
18 the following three and four days. I did not know exactly how many people
19 got killed in Skabrnja, because quite simply, it was impossible to know.
20 Everybody was seeking their nearest and dearest. Some people were looking
21 for their mother, their father, their brother, their sister. Everybody
22 was looking in Zadar because people were scattered about, people had fled
23 from Zadar. So this was chaos. This chaos that was sown on that day,
24 this terror of war.
25 Q. Now, did you at some point that day, on the 18th, did you hear
1 someone named Petar Radmanovic speaking?
2 A. Yes. Petar Radmanovic worked with me in the former army. He was
3 a warrant officer at the artillery school centre in Zadar. We were good
4 friends. I heard him, but he was not issuing orders. He was just
5 provoking me over the radio in a very ugly way. Using words that are
6 quite inappropriate and that I would rather not repeat before this
7 Honourable Trial Chamber. Cuss words, things like that, but I heard him.
8 Terrible. All sorts of things. It amused him, I guess.
9 Q. Could you tell us how he was provoking you over the radio?
10 A. Well, I told you that before this Honourable Trial Chamber, I
11 simply cannot utter such words. The venue does not allow me to do so.
12 But swearing at my mother, what would happen to me, that I would be
13 hanged, and that they would take out my liver and grill it. Things like
14 that. Everybody, all the civilians who were in the basement that time,
15 heard that. These are horrible things, quite simply.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Witness's microphone is off again, notes the
17 interpreter. No microphone.
18 The witness's microphone is still off, notes the interpreter. It
19 just goes off.
20 MS. VALABHJI: I think the witness's mike is off.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is it all right now? May I?
22 Your Honour, these are horrible things, truly horrible things,
23 that a man that you worked with for years, that he sends you messages when
24 in your native village everybody is being killed, that he's provoking you,
25 that he swears at you, that he swears at my mother, that he calls me a
1 derogatory term; an Ustasha. I was never an Ustasha. And then he says
2 what he's going to do to me when he catches me alive and so on. But what
3 can I tell you? Other people knew other people who were speaking. I
4 didn't know anybody else. But they said that they recognised a former
5 policeman. Well, later, a policeman of the SAO Krajina, Mr. Opacic. I
6 don't know that. I didn't know him. I just knew him by sight, but I
7 didn't know Mr. Opacic. Others said that it was his voice. This
8 Mr. Opacic nicknamed Klempa. I don't know whether that's true.
9 MS. VALABHJI:
10 Q. Witness, can you tell us what happened after the attack?
11 A. Well, quite simply, I had this radio link, this police radio link.
12 Half of the village was taken by 1400 hours, and people were killed there,
13 and I was in the other half of the village, and those people who fled to
14 that side, towards the railway station. All of a sudden, two aircraft
15 appear and they fire rockets and this radio station had an antenna on the
16 oak tree. I didn't have any other equipment but this radio station on the
17 oak tree, and the aircraft simply fired a rocket, cut this oak tree. I
18 lost all channels of communications and I had no communications ever again
19 with Zadar.
20 So since they were listening to everything that was going on,
21 Zadar itself was shelled and bombed then. According to the information
22 that I received subsequently, they thought that I got killed at that
23 moment, and they said, "That's it. Marko is not reporting any more. He's
24 dead." But thank God, I stayed alive.
25 Q. Witness, I just have a few more questions for you. Did you ever
1 hear of any Serbian authorities in the SAO Krajina conducting an
2 investigation into the killings that happened on the 18th of November?
3 A. I didn't at the time, but later on, during Operation Storm, papers
4 were found where the former police members in Zadar had conducted on-site
5 investigations and five bodies were found in Petrovac. I had occasion to
6 see that, as a police officer, and I was able to see photographs that I
7 had never seen before; the body of my father, that of Mr. Segaric's, and
8 of other bodies lying by a fence. Mr. Miljus had conducted the on-site
9 investigation. This was Mr. -- this was signed by Mr. Miljus on behalf
10 of the police administration in Benkovac. Now, whether an investigation
11 was carried out or not, I don't know.
12 Q. And finally, Witness, do you recall giving a statement to a
13 Croatian investigative judge, a Mr. Mikolcevic, in October 1992?
14 A. I do. I remember that very well. But the statement was given
15 under very difficult circumstances. On that same day, Zadar was under
16 heavy shelling. On that day, right next to the police station where the
17 prison is located, several shells landed in the immediate vicinity.
18 Mr. Mikolcevic and the lady who was typing my statement out and I myself
19 who was there had to stop the procedure. I could -- we could not
20 continue. I signed the statement hastily and we agreed that we would meet
21 again to complete the statement but we never did. I remember that day
22 very well.
23 Q. And do you recall roughly over how long a period of time this
24 statement was given?
25 A. I can't tell you exactly. Perhaps for an hour. I don't remember.
1 Perhaps less, perhaps more. Well, it must have been more than an hour
2 that we were in his office. This was on the second floor of the Court
3 there, I remember. And then we had -- or rather, of the prison, where we
4 had to run into the shelter that was in the basement, where coal supplies
5 were usually stocked. But that's in the basement of the prison.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Miljanic.
7 MS. VALABHJI: I have nothing further, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you very much, Ms. Valabhji.
9 Mr. Milovancevic?
10 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the
11 cross-examination of this witness will be done by Mr. Nikola Perovic,
12 co-counsel in our team. Given the time, I'm not certain whether we should
13 start today. We will definitely have to continue our cross-examination
14 tomorrow, but it is in the Court's hands whether we should indeed perhaps
15 start tomorrow.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: We still have ten minutes, Mr. Milovancevic. I
17 would suggest that we start now. I think let's make good use of these ten
18 minutes that are remaining.
19 MR. MILOVANCEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you. Mr. Perovic?
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Perovic:
22 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Miljanic, I suppose you know what this is about. I am one of
24 the Defence counsel for the accused Martic and I will now start your
25 cross-examination as provided for in our rules.
1 I kindly ask you to make a short break before answering my
2 questions in order to facilitate the work of the interpreters.
3 You said that before you became employed with the Ministry of the
4 Interior, or rather, the Zadar police force, you had spent 22 years of
5 service within the JNA; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell us more -- in more detail what it was you did in the
8 JNA, what your specialty was.
9 A. Right after I completed the military school, I went to the navy
10 centre at Losinj, and I was the commander of the special purpose platoon,
11 which meant that I had to deal with explosives, mines and so on and so
12 forth, and I completed training for mining and dealing with minefields and
13 such like.
14 Q. You stated that you were appointed commander of the defence of
15 Skabrnja on the 26th of September, 1991; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, on the 26th, yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us who appointed you to that duty?
18 A. The chief of the police administration, Mr. Ivica Brzoja. He
19 didn't appoint me, really, I was simply sent up there. I didn't receive
20 an appointment or any written order, I was simply told to go up there and
21 to organise these things so that people wouldn't be creating any problems,
22 but I didn't receive any written order. I was sent over there for three
23 days only, but I had to stay for longer.
24 Q. Mr. Miljanic, if I remember, you left the JNA in the month of May
25 of that same year.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Why does one start organising the defence of the village of
3 Skabrnja in late September 1991? What were the reasons that led to this?
4 A. Sir, this was because on the 15th of August, 1990, as early as
5 then, there was arson committed in Skabrnja by the villagers of Biljane,
6 and they started opening fire. That was the main reason why the people in
7 Skabrnja started thinking about how to organise their defence.
8 Q. You said that this was in August 1990.
9 A. Yes, on the 15th of August, 1990.
10 Q. I have a question in connection with this. So a year later you
11 started organising defence?
12 A. Well, it was throughout that year that we were experiencing
13 atrocities. Five men had been killed in Skabrnja in the meantime. Two in
14 Nadin and three in Skabrnja.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Miljanic, can I remind you, please, when
16 counsel has asked a question, give a break before you answer, because you
17 don't give the interpreters an opportunity to interpret. Thank you very
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, you may proceed.
21 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] May I continue?
22 Q. Mr. Miljanic, you go on to state that Skabrnja, Zemunik Gornje,
23 and Nadin were attacked on the 2nd of October 1991 with artillery and
24 infantry of the enemy.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When you say "enemy," who are you referring to?
2 A. The JNA and the paramilitary forces.
3 Q. Therefore the JNA that you served in for 22 years and that you
4 left three months earlier, you consider it to be the enemy?
5 A. Yes. It proved to be that because it sided with the Serb people
6 against all the others, and automatically to me it was the enemy.
7 Q. Do you know, Mr. Miljanic -- or rather, do you remember who the
8 Commander-in-Chief of the army was at the time?
9 A. I don't remember any more. Probably I haven't been thinking about
10 it. I really don't know.
11 Q. What happened on the 10th of October, 1991, do you remember? To
12 what post were you appointed?
13 A. Which date again?
14 Q. The 10th of October, 1991.
15 A. I was appointed commander for the defence of all the seven
16 villages at Ravni Kotari, and I will enumerate them now: Skabrnja, Nadin,
17 Gornje Zemunik, Donji Zemunik, Prkos, Gorica, Karlovac and Glavica.
18 Galovac, that's to say instead of Karlovac. That's a third of the
19 municipality of Zadar.
20 Q. How many men did you have under your command in the area?
21 A. 700 something men. 730, 740, I'm not sure.
22 Q. There were no members of the National Guards Corps there, were
24 A. No. There were only the locals there. I have to tell you that
25 before that, in the village of Nadin, there was one platoon of the ZNG,
1 which pulled out of Nadin on the 2nd of October, 1991.
2 Q. In response to the question by the prosecutor, you explained,
3 Mr. Miljanic, how many weapons you had.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. You mentioned six submachine-guns, two hand-held rocket launchers,
6 and you talked about other weapons. Now, in connection with this, I have
7 the following question: Who armed the men who were under your command?
8 A. Who armed them? Part of the weaponry, as I said, were trophy
9 weapons and sports weapons. Some of the weapons were purchased by the
10 people themselves in Slovenia. From different sources. The soldiers who
11 fled the JNA, all 80 of them, gave their weapons to us up at Skabrnja.
12 All the soldiers fleeing the JNA.
13 Q. When I'm talking about weapons, I'm primarily referring to
14 hand-held rocket launchers and mortars, as heavy weapons.
15 A. When you head off from Gorski Kotar or Delnice -- or rather, the
16 weapons were obtained from that particular area, by someone, I don't know
17 who. I simply found the weapons there already.
18 Q. You said that these were pieces of weaponry from the barracks in
19 Gorski Kotar; is that right?
20 A. Yes. That's my assumption and it doesn't have to be necessarily
22 Q. Can I therefore conclude that the weapons were seized from these
24 A. I don't know whether they were surrendered, whether they were
25 captured. I know that in some of the barracks, the army surrendered their
1 weapons without any resistance. I can't tell you anything about that. I
2 didn't take part in any negotiations or conversations. I was an ordinary
3 police officer.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. PEROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think we should
6 finish for the day, if you agree.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I do agree, Mr. Perovic. The Court will adjourn
8 now and will reconvene tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the morning. Court
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 30th day of March,
12 2006, at 9.00 a.m.