1 Friday, 2 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning. Could I ask you, please, to read the
7 affirmation on the card in front of you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: MARA BUCKO
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Please sit down.
13 Mrs. Tuma.
14 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour. And good morning to everyone,
15 both Your Honours and the Defence team and also to the witness.
16 Examined by Ms. Tuma:
17 Q. Can the witness please state your name.
18 A. Mara Bucko.
19 Q. May I ask you what year you were born?
20 A. 1943.
21 Q. Thank you. I would like you to describe your professional
22 background. Thank you.
23 A. I completed my elementary school in Djakovo. Then secondary
24 medical school in Osijek. I started working in 1962 in Vukovar as a
25 nurse. I continued working there until the 20th of November, 1991.
1 Q. Thank you. And when you were working in Vukovar, were you as well
2 living in the Vukovar -- the city of Vukovar?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you please describe us just briefly about your family, if you
5 were married at the time and had children, et cetera?
6 A. I am married. I have two children, a son and a daughter.
7 Q. Thank you. And were they as well living with you in Vukovar, let
8 us say, in the summer 1991 and during the autumn 1991? Your children and
9 your husband.
10 A. My daughter, my husband, and I were living together. My son had
11 gotten married, and once he did that, he found an apartment for himself
12 and lived there.
13 Q. And your husband, was he living with you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And where in Vukovar exactly were you living? Where did you have
16 your home in Vukovar?
17 A. My house was located in Sajmiste. It was located on a street
18 called Slavonski Brigada 28.
19 Q. Thank you. And you said here that you were working as a nurse at
20 the Vukovar Hospital. Did you have any kind of specialty? And in that
21 case, what kind of specialty?
22 A. Yes. Initially I worked at the surgical ward. I worked there for
23 years. Later on, when the new building was built, I was transferred to
24 the surgical clinic and to the emergency ward. And following that, I went
25 to the central sterilisation department. This department prepares
1 equipment and other supplies, sterile equipment for the wounded, for the
2 surgeries, and other supplies needed for dressing wounds.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you remember from about what time you were working
4 with this sterilisation or material in your career as a nurse at the
5 Vukovar Hospital?
6 A. I can't remember the year, no.
7 Q. Were you working in this capacity during the summer 1991?
8 A. Yes. I also assisted whenever needed elsewhere, with the wounded,
9 patients, whenever there was a need.
10 Q. When you were working in this capacity during the sterilisation of
11 material, were there any specific parts of the hospital that you were
12 attached to in order to perform your duties as a nurse?
13 A. Yes. It is located at the bottom of the corridor. It's a
14 corridor leading to the atomic shelter.
15 Q. In what part of the hospital was this? We all know that there are
16 different parts in the hospital, comprised of different buildings, so to
18 A. In the new part of the hospital, in the new building.
19 Q. Throughout the summer and autumn 1991, were you able to
20 continually working at the same spot the whole time?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Why then not?
23 A. Because there was bombing, destruction, and we couldn't continue
24 working with our regular equipment. We were forced to move sterilising
25 machines to a small room in the atomic shelter. Initially we were also
1 able to use a part of the laboratory.
2 Q. This bombardment of the hospital, can you just briefly, because we
3 heard this before from other witnesses, but can you just briefly inform us
4 when it started and what kind of intensity it was? Thank you.
5 A. At first I was at home. It was around noon time. It was a
6 Sunday, the 25th of August. I saw the planes flying above. I was cooking
7 lunch but did not complete it because I was informed on the phone that
8 once the bombing subsided, they would send a car to come and fetch me and
9 go to work because I would need to be there if they needed extra
10 sterilised supplies and also if they needed any extra help with the
12 Q. Did you then go to the hospital?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what happened afterwards? You were describing the 25th of
15 August, that air planes were over the Vukovar city. What was afterwards
16 the 25th of August? How was it then when it comes to the bombardment and
17 just briefly about -- concerning the hospital itself.
18 A. On that day, we did what we could. We helped. We took the
19 patients from the surgical ward, which was at the second floor of the new
20 building, downstairs. We pushed the beds into the corridor. When the
21 bombing and shelling stopped, we would take them back to their rooms. It
22 took -- I couldn't tell you exactly how long it took, how many days,
23 weeks. We did it whenever needed.
24 Q. Did you need to do this exercise another time?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And how often was that?
2 A. I wouldn't be able to say how many times we had to do that.
3 Sometimes during a day we would have to do it more than twice. We would
4 take them in their beds to the shelter and then back in an elevator to
5 their rooms, but how long this lasted, I wouldn't be able to say.
6 Q. Was there any point in time that you needed to have the
7 patients -- they were not able to be removed back to their rooms or the
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. When was this?
11 A. I can't specify the time, whether this was in late September or
12 early October. As the shelling progressed, so did the destruction. There
13 was more and more damage to the walls, and the windows, and we kept going
14 lower and lower. One by one floor lower. Now, when exactly this
15 happened, I really wouldn't be able to tell you.
16 Q. Was it during a specific period of time that the shelling was more
17 intensive than at other times in the hospital?
18 A. Yes. On the 5th of October, a bomb shell -- a bomb -- a plane
19 bomb landed on a hospital in the vicinity where I was. Fortunately this
20 bomb did not explode and this is why I'm sitting here in front of you.
21 Throughout that month, October, and until the very end, the shelling was
22 very intense. Our patients were in corridors and in the shelter. The
23 entire corridor of the gynaecology ward, the corridor connecting our
24 surgical clinic with other parts, also the corridor leading to the old
25 building and connecting it to the new building, all the way down to the
1 atomic shelter, it was all full.
2 Q. Thank you. Were you able -- were you at this time still staying
3 at your private home, during the nights after your working hours?
4 A. Initially, in August, when the bombing started on the 25th of
5 August, I went to work every day. I would spend one day at work and then
6 one day at home. This continued until perhaps late September,
7 mid-September or late September. Until that time, I went home when I
8 wasn't working. After that time, I was at the hospital continuously.
9 Q. And why then? Why couldn't you stay in your private home?
10 A. My husband was at home in our neighbourhood. Once he came to the
11 hospital and told me that the building -- the houses had been shelled,
12 that our house had been damaged and torched, so this is when I decided not
13 to go back home but rather remain at the hospital.
14 Q. Were your services needed as well continuously at the hospital at
15 that time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you went back -- you stayed at the hospital from mid-September
18 or late September continuously until the 20th November 1991; is that
19 correct understood from me?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And your husband, where was he at that time? You left your home
22 and -- for the hospital, and your husband and your rest of the family,
23 where were they then?
24 A. Before he came to see me at the hospital to tell me about the
25 houses, my husband was in our neighbourhood, in our house. When he came
1 to see me at the hospital he remained there. Prior to that, my
2 daughter-in-law was pregnant, and she went to an island called Krk to
3 deliver there. She delivered a baby on the 18th of August in Rijeka. My
4 son went - I'm not sure when - in the late August, to see his wife and he
5 didn't come back to Vukovar.
6 I sent my daughter to Miklosevci to a village where my husband was
7 born. Once we were reunited, she told me that they had transferred her
8 from that village to Ilok, and that in early October, the army took them
9 from Ilok elsewhere. She went to Djakovo to stay with my family.
10 Q. Thank you. And how about your husband? You said that he stayed
11 in the neighbourhood of your house. What does that mean?
12 A. He remained in the house. I wouldn't be able to describe to you
13 what he did because I was at work for 24 hours and then at home for 24
14 hours. What my husband did in the meantime I wouldn't be able to describe
15 you in any detail.
16 Q. Was your husband a member of any kind of unit, military unit?
17 A. At the time, when they started organising groups in
18 neighbourhoods, our neighbourhood was called Sajmiste, and then there was
19 also the neighbourhood called Mitnica. They started organising defence
20 groups and he joined one of such groups.
21 Q. Do you happen to know the name of that group?
22 A. I learned that in Zagreb, once we came to Zagreb, I learned that
23 it was called the National Guards Corps. Later on, they formed the
24 204th Brigade.
25 Q. Do you know when this was, when it was formed to the
1 204th Brigade?
2 A. I can tell you that now, because I have seen it and heard on
3 television. Allegedly it was established in September but I wouldn't be
4 able to confirm that with certainty.
5 Q. Did you meet your husband -- you left for the hospital and he
6 stayed in the house. Did you meet your husband at any time? Did he come
7 to visit you at the hospital, for instance, and did he then -- in what way
8 was he dressed then?
9 A. As I've told you, I worked for 24 hours and then was at home for
10 24 hours. My husband used to take me to work in the car in the morning
11 and then pick me up the following morning to take me home. And then we
12 would be at home. Whenever he came to the hospital, he wore civilian
13 clothes, and whenever we were at home together he was also in civilian
15 Q. Did you see him at any time wear a uniform?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you see him at any time wearing -- having a
19 A. When they got organised, street by street, they had duty shifts
20 during which time they had a weapon that they would turn over to the next
21 person. What kind of a weapon, I don't know.
22 Q. Did he tell you about his actions or non-actions or behaviour so
23 to stay? Did he have any contact in telling you what was going on, so to
25 A. He said they were guarding houses, to ensure that they were not
1 looted, so that people wouldn't go to houses that were empty and steal
2 from them. This is what he told me. There were cases in our
3 neighbourhoods and streets of people leaving Vukovar and leaving houses
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us when the city of Vukovar fell?
6 A. All I can tell you is that I heard on the 18th of August [as
7 interpreted] that there was an agreement reached between Dr. Bosanac and
8 Mr. Hebrang on organising an evacuation of the wounded and staff, to send
9 them to Zagreb, to Croatia.
10 Q. Did I hear you right here, Mrs. Bucko, that you mentioned the
11 18th August? Is that correct?
12 A. No, no, no. On the 18th of November. I apologise if I made a
13 mistake. No, no. On the 18th of November. In the afternoon hours,
14 towards the evening, a colleague of mine told me that she had heard there
15 would be an evacuation. This is when I learned about it. As for the fall
16 of Vukovar, I learned about it in the morning when my husband arrived in
17 the hospital. Then he told me that Vukovar had fallen.
18 Q. On the 18th November, were you at that time working in the
19 hospital on that day?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you describe for us here in the courtroom what happened during
22 that day in the hospital, just briefly? You were doing your tasking?
23 A. Yes. Whatever was needed, to help with the wounded, bandaging,
24 whenever any help was needed, we assisted each other always.
25 Q. You said here that you learned about an evacuation. Can you
1 explain more in detail who told you that and what was the content of the
3 A. I was in the corridor where the sterilising equipment was. A
4 colleague of mine came by, I think her name was Mrgan or Mrdan, something
5 like that. She told me that she had heard some talk that there would be
6 an evacuation. This is what she conveyed to all of us who were down there
7 in the basement.
8 Q. And who would be evacuated according to what you heard from your
10 A. Patients, wounded and staff.
11 Q. Did you at this time get any -- on that day, on the 18th of
12 November, get any knowledge about who would organise the evacuation? Was
13 there any talk about that or were you informed about that?
14 A. Later on, I heard that it was to be our staff members, our
15 workers, who would be carrying the wounded, also the husbands of our
16 personnel was also supposed to help in that process.
17 Q. Were there any mention of other operators, so to say, to
18 facilitate the evacuation?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Okay. During that day, on the 18th November, you were working in
21 the hospital and taking care of the patients. Did you see any people
22 arriving to the hospital on that day?
23 A. I can't remember that.
24 Q. Okay. What happened? Was there anything specific during that
25 day, additional to what you have told us, that you remember now?
1 A. I can remember anything.
2 Q. Okay. Then we'll move on to the next day, and that is on
3 the 19th. Were you sleeping in the hospital during the night from
4 the 18th to the 19th?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Can you then tell us what happened in the morning of the 19th?
7 You wake up and -- you woke up and can you please tell us what happened on
8 the morning of the 19th?
9 A. We continued caring for the patients, doing our work, whatever was
10 needed. In the meantime, I'm not sure where exactly in the building, I
11 met a husband of a colleague of mine, who told me, "Your husband had
12 arrived. He is up there in the corridor of the internal diseases ward."
13 I went upstairs to find him. In the hall, there were many people. I
14 found him. I took him downstairs. I went to see nurse Binazija Kolesar,
15 and I told her that, if possible, my husband could also carry the wounded,
16 as had been discussed previously, that husbands would be assisting with
17 carrying the wounded. She agreed. She gave him a coat. He took his coat
18 off and he left it in the room where we were, and he put on the coat that
19 she had given him.
20 Q. What kind of coat was that?
21 A. You mean the white one? Or you mean his coat?
22 Q. The coat he was given by Kolesar to put on.
23 A. It was short, it was white, it was a coat-type coat. It wasn't a
24 long one but, rather, a short one.
25 Q. And why couldn't he use his civilian clothing when helping out
1 with the wounded patients?
2 A. Because it was very dirty, and he was too, but then he changed and
3 he had a wash, in order to be cleaner.
4 Q. When you met him here in the morning, what -- for what purpose did
5 he come to see you in the hospital? What did he say to you?
6 A. He was at the Eltz castle. Because when he came to see me at the
7 hospital, he stayed there for a while. He helped with different types of
8 work, closing windows so that it's not too cold. Perhaps that was the end
9 of September, beginning of October. I don't know exactly. One evening,
10 some people came, some people I don't know. They got a few of them and
11 took them away. They said that they had to be at their positions, and the
12 position he got was the Eltz castle. And he was there until the fall. On
13 the morning of the 19th, and that's what he told me later, their commander
14 came and said, "What are you still doing there? The army is at the
15 bridge. It would be best for you to go to the hospital." And my husband
16 set out and that's how he reached me at the hospital.
17 Q. What did he want to do in the hospital? What did he tell you in
18 the morning?
19 A. He told me that Sremac told him that Vukovar had fallen and then I
20 told you we went to see nurse Biba. He intended to help with carrying the
21 wounded patients when they were evacuated.
22 Q. Did he have the capacity to help out with the patients while he
23 did not have any kind of training to do that, I suppose?
24 A. Well, I cannot say, but one is capable of carrying stretchers and
25 pushing gurneys, and we would transfer patients from beds to stretchers.
1 And if beds were supposed to be pushed with patients on them, then again
2 you could help there.
3 Q. Okay. Thank you. So he received the white coat and he put it on.
4 And this was in the morning on the 19th.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What happened next?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- during that day?
9 A. Well, you see, I was with my colleagues, and he was walking around
10 the hospital, the corridors of the hospital. People were talking, feeling
11 this uncertainty. We were all looking at each other. Some with greater
12 fear, some with lesser fear. I cannot really tell you that I was thinking
13 of anything in particular.
14 Q. What happened during that day? Were there any evacuation?
15 A. No.
16 Q. What did you experience during -- otherwise during that day in the
18 A. Well, things were normal, like until then.
19 Q. Did you see any soldiers in the hospital?
20 A. Well, it was around noon or perhaps a bit after midday. I wasn't
21 looking at my watch, and I cannot tell you exactly but that's when the
22 army arrived, and I saw Arivani [phoen] at the entrance into the emergency
23 ward. Didn't see him in the building, though. A man who I knew, he was
24 sitting on a stretcher at the entrance into the hospital, and two or three
25 other persons, I cannot give you an exact number. He wore civilian
1 trousers, a green jacket, and he had a fur hat on his head, Maksimovic.
2 Q. You said here that the army arrived at the hospital. What army
3 arrived? Can you --
4 A. Yes. The Yugoslav People's Army.
5 Q. Did you see that?
6 A. Yes. I saw young boys, young men.
7 Q. And how did you recognise it was the JNA, the people's Yugoslav
8 army that arrived at the hospital?
9 A. They wore olive green uniforms.
10 Q. Can you say approximately how many you saw arriving, the JNA
11 soldiers, arriving to the hospital on that day, the 19th November?
12 A. I cannot give you any numbers. I saw a few of them, and I didn't
13 see them a lot during the course of the day. In the afternoon, when we
14 were asked to come to the plaster room, the staff were asked to come
15 there, Mr. Veselin Sljivancanin made a speech to us and said that on that
16 day, there could be no evacuation, that it was already late, that it would
17 take place on the following day. He said that we could go on working in
18 hospital because staff would be needed. He also told me, since I worked
19 on the equipment for central sterilisation to stay there, and Biba
20 Kolesar, nurse Biba Kolesar, the head nurse, should stay and that a few of
21 us should stay working at the hospital.
22 Q. When was this happened? When did you meet the Major Sljivancanin
23 at the hospital? It was on the 19th but can you remember what -- during
24 what day -- what part of the day you saw him, or you met him?
25 A. I think that was in the afternoon, early evening. I cannot give
1 you the exact time. I wasn't really paying any attention to the time. I
2 didn't even know what day it was.
3 Q. And where did you meet him? Can you describe us more in detail
4 what happened? Were you told to see him or to see someone else? Can you
5 more in detail describe for us this event?
6 A. We came to the plaster room. The staff were told to come to the
7 plaster room. That's when Mr. Sljivancanin made a speech to us. He came
8 to the plaster room. Now, had he already been at the plaster room or did
9 he arrive subsequently, I really don't know. I can't remember. And he
10 made that speech to us, as I already told you. And also, he said that
11 Dr. Bosanac was no longer director of the hospital, that a major would
12 take her place. I can't remember the name of the major, that he would be
13 in charge of the hospital now, and then he told us that we should stay
14 there and go on working.
15 Q. How do you know that it was Major Sljivancanin?
16 A. In the plaster room, he introduced himself. Now, did he say that
17 he was a major or did he hold some other rank, I cannot say, but he did
18 say that he was Veselin Sljivancanin.
19 Q. During that speech, did he say anything about the medical staff?
20 A. Yes. If we want to, that we can stay and go on working. Nothing
21 else. And he said that on that day there could be no evacuation, that it
22 would take place on the following day.
23 Q. Did he mention any other categories of people in that sense?
24 A. I do not recall.
25 Q. And how about the family members of the medical staff?
1 A. Yes. Yes. That our families could come with us when the
2 evacuation takes place. That our husbands could accompany us, the staff
3 members, once we were evacuated.
4 JUDGE PARKER: If you could watch leading, Mrs. Tuma.
5 MS. TUMA: I know, thank you.
6 Q. Was there anything else happened during that meeting that you can
7 tell us?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And who were there? You mentioned that "we" were in that room.
10 Who were "we"?
11 A. Nurses of the medical centre, of the general hospital in Vukovar.
12 Not all of them but a few.
13 Q. How many about?
14 A. Well, I cannot give you an exact number but perhaps 40, 30, I
15 don't know, 50.
16 Q. Where were you between the night between the 19th and the
17 following day, the 20th November?
18 A. In a small room near the central sterilisation. A few of my
19 colleagues were there and my husband was there and we were sitting and
20 talking, awaiting the next day, to see what would happen.
21 Q. And what happened next day in the morning?
22 A. In the morning, somebody knocked at the door, that the nurses were
23 supposed to go to the plaster room for a talk. We told my husband to stay
24 there and he said that he didn't want to. He went out so I locked the
25 little room and I went to the plaster room.
1 Q. Thank you. You said that somebody knocked at the door. Did you
2 see that person?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you see that person?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Can you describe that person, please?
7 A. A youngish man in uniform. He just told us to go to the plaster
8 room, and then we slowly got ready and went there. He went further on
9 down the corridor towards the central shelter, to call others as well.
10 Q. Did he say for what reason he knocked on the door?
11 A. No.
12 Q. What did you -- what did he tell you?
13 A. He told us to come to the plaster room for a talk.
14 Q. Did he say who would talk to you?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And what did you do after that man, that person, talked to you?
17 A. From that corridor, we slowly went down to the plaster room, those
18 of us who were there.
19 Q. Who are "we"?
20 A. Well, nurses. The nurses who were there with me on that night in
21 that little room.
22 Q. And where did you go?
23 A. To the plaster room, down the corridor. We took the route that
24 leads to the plaster room.
25 Q. And who were in the plaster room?
1 A. Our staff was already there, and then Mr. Veselin Sljivancanin
2 came. He started talking to us, telling us that that gentleman, the
3 major, who was to be the director of the hospital, or rather, he
4 introduced him and he was also there and talked about the work of the
5 hospital, saying that we should stay on, work there, that if a few of us
6 stayed there, we could stay with our family, relatives, get a few days of
7 rest, and then return to work at the hospital.
8 Q. Were there -- did they say anything about the evacuation?
9 A. I didn't hear anything.
10 Q. Did they say anything -- well, who were addressing you? Was it
11 more than one person or was this only one person addressing you in that
12 plaster room?
13 A. In the plaster room, it was Mr. Sljivancanin who spoke to us. And
14 now was it in the afternoon of the 19th or the morning of the 20th, when
15 this new director of the hospital spoke to us, that is something I cannot
16 tell you with any degree of certainty, what the day was, what the date
17 was. But at any rate, both of them addressed us and said that he was now
18 the new director, that Mrs. Bosanac, Dr. Bosanac, was no longer the
19 director, that we now had to follow his orders, and that they would be in
20 charge, issuing orders from now on.
21 Q. How many people were in that plaster room?
22 A. Well, I think 30, 40, 50, something like that. The rest were in
23 the corridor leading from the plaster room to the other waiting room.
24 Q. When Sljivancanin addressed you, in what way did he address you at
25 this meeting?
1 A. Well, he was a tall man, a proud man. How should I put this?
2 Stable. He spoke clearly, he was issuing orders.
3 Q. To whom did he issue orders and what kind of orders was issued?
4 A. Well, he was telling us that we had to listen to them now, that
5 the new director of the hospital was there, and that we should stay there,
6 go on working, that nothing would happen to us, that we should feel free
7 to stay at the hospital and work there. That was what was said.
8 Q. Thank you. How long were you -- how long did this meeting take,
9 about? I do understand it's difficult ten years after, but can you have
10 any kind of feeling how long time this meeting took?
11 A. I really cannot say.
12 Q. Okay. Did you observe anything when you were in the plaster room?
13 A. While we were in the plaster room, Mrs. Selebaj came, a nurse, and
14 she said, "Your husband is looking for you." She said that to me. For a
15 moment I went out to the door. He said to me, "You are there shut up in
16 the plaster room, while they are taking us away. I will have to leave
17 too. Give me the key so that I can take my jacket." And then he took off
18 that jacket from the hospital.
19 Q. What did he exactly say; do you remember that? And how did he
20 look like when he said it?
21 A. He was frightened. I'm not sure but I think that this is what he
22 said: "We are being taken away while you were shut up into the plaster
23 room. And I will have to go, to go," most probably.
24 Q. What did he mean by "we"? Do you know that? Did he say that to
1 A. No. We didn't talk for very long either.
2 Q. What happened next? Did you stay in the room with your husband,
3 et cetera?
4 A. No. I went back to the plaster room. It was probably already the
5 end of the talk by then, and then Mr. Sljivancanin asked if there was
6 anybody who had any questions. And I said, "I do." I raised my hand and
7 I said, "I do. You promised us yesterday that our husbands could come
8 with us. And now you took them away." Mr. Sljivancanin answered that
9 that was not true, that they were there. Then I replied that what he said
10 was not true. They were taken away. But where, I don't know.
11 Q. Are you okay, Mrs. Bucko? We can take a pause here. I do
12 understand it's difficult for you. But it's okay and we can take a pause
13 now, if Their Honours -- or can you handle this?
14 A. It's all right, it's all right. I can handle it.
15 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
16 A. Since I handled all of that, I guess I can handle this too.
17 Q. Yeah.
18 A. Thank you.
19 Q. Thank you. Just take your time and take it easy. It's fine.
20 A. Then I said to this gentleman that they had taken away our
21 husbands. He said to me, then, "Take a piece of paper and a pencil.
22 Write down your husbands' names and we will bring them there. But only if
23 they have no blood on their hands."
24 I went to another room, which is the surgery, I took a piece of
25 paper from a drawer, I had a pen in my pocket, and I started writing down
1 names. I wanted to give this same piece of paper to other people in the
2 hallway so that there would be as many names as possible on this piece of
3 paper. Mr. Sljivancanin wouldn't let me do that. So then this piece of
4 paper was returned to the plaster room, and we had to hand it over to him.
5 When we gave him this piece of paper, there were 15, 16, 17 names on
6 that list. I cannot give you an exact number. He took this piece of
7 paper and said that he would send someone to pick them up. I don't know
8 who Mr. Sljivancanin sent. Nor did I see.
9 We left the plaster room. I saw that my husband was not there.
10 After that, I ran around the hospital compound looking for them. However,
11 I saw many people on the right-hand side of the emergency entrance and on
12 the left-hand side too. And they said that these masses of people
13 standing on the right side were going to Novi Sad, and on the left side,
14 they would be going to Zagreb.
15 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko. You said that you took a piece of paper
16 and you had the pen in your pocket and you put names on that piece of
17 paper, and you also said it was about 15 to 16 names. Who were they?
18 What kind of names and people did you put on that list?
19 A. As far as I remember, Kolesar, Stanek, Sic, Selebaj, both he and
20 his father, that is. Then this man who our Rada lived with. I don't know
21 his name. Rada, she's a nurse, and she lived with this man.
22 Q. Those names that you have mentioned now, who were they? Were they
23 attached to anyone else?
24 A. Husbands. Husbands of our staff members. I haven't mentioned my
25 husband yet. I wanted to mention his name last. I thought I'd remember
1 some other names before that but I really cannot recall all the names.
2 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko. You said also here that you handed that
3 piece of paper over to Sljivancanin. Why did you do that?
4 A. Well, he asked us. He wanted us to give him back the paper with
5 the names.
6 Q. Did you try not to?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What did you want to do with that list?
9 A. It actually went through my mind that if he sent them back,
10 perhaps we would be able to save them. We didn't know what was going to
11 happen to us but I thought if he was with me, he and I would share the
12 same fate.
13 Q. Mrs. Bucko, when you're saying that, you thought that you can save
14 them, what do you mean by "save"?
15 A. Since he promised us that nothing would happen to us, to the
16 medical staff, and to our husbands, I believed that we would be saved.
17 Q. Saved from what?
18 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you precisely, saved from what. He
19 just said that -- I thought we would be saved. I don't know from what. I
20 didn't know where they were going, where people were being taken, or why.
21 Q. Were you afraid?
22 A. Very much so.
23 Q. And for what?
24 A. Listen, I was afraid of everything. I didn't know where we would
25 be going, how. Our house was destroyed. I didn't know what would happen
1 to us.
2 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko.
3 You said that you left the plaster room.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Are you okay, Mrs. Bucko? Okay. You said you left the plaster
6 room. Where did you go?
7 A. I went outside to look for my husband because I didn't see him in
8 the corridor, which is where we spoke the last time, in the corridor right
9 next to the plaster room. I went around the compound looking for him. I
10 didn't find him. I begged, I ran around looking for him, and then nurse
11 Biba joined me also looking for her husband as did our other colleagues.
12 They all went whenever they could all over the compound looking. Then I
13 turned to Dr. Ivankovic, asking him to help us with the new director of
14 the hospital, to see if he was able to help us to ensure that our husbands
15 would come with us. Dr. Ivankovic went to a small room, which was our
16 small surgery that we used to treat patients who needed suturing.
17 Dr. Ivankovic explained what our request was. The new director got up and
18 said he would help us.
19 Q. And what happened next? You were on that surgery room --
20 A. As I was running around the compound, on the opposite entrance, on
21 the other side of the compound, across from the hospital, I saw a bus. I
22 ran up to that bus. I wanted to talk to my husband, whom I saw there. A
23 soldier, youngish one, in a uniform, I assume it was a military uniform,
24 prevented me from doing that. I came up to the window, towards the end of
25 the bus. I knocked on the window but was unable to establish
2 Once again, I ran back to the hospital. Nurse Biba was with me,
3 Dr. Ivankovic and the new director. We talked, and then we came outside.
4 We saw Mr. Sljivancanin standing outside with our Bogdan. Our husbands
5 had already been taken off the bus, lined up next to the sidewalk.
6 Q. And what happened next? They were lined -- your husbands were
7 lined up by the sidewalk. And where were you then when you saw that?
8 A. At the back gate, on the left side, this is where they were lined
9 up, we went outside to ask Mr. Sljivancanin to let them go. The new
10 director said that the names of my husband and Biba's husband should be
11 called out. He called out their names. We were slowly approaching him.
12 He asked Bogdan -- I think that Mr. Sljivancanin asked Bogdan whether
13 Bogdan knew my husband. He said no. Then my husband supposedly was asked
14 whether he knew Bogdan, and my husband said no. Mr. Sljivancanin
15 said, "Go. Get lost." And I thought at that moment, you can tell us to
16 get lost all you want. Just let us live on, get on with our lives.
17 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko. You said that you asked Sljivancanin, or
18 you and the others, asked Sljivancanin to let them go. Why did you
19 approach Sljivancanin to ask that?
20 A. Well, because I had contact with him in the plaster room, because
21 I gave him the list with the names. That's why I thought that he was in
22 charge of that.
23 Q. And what did he reply?
24 A. I don't understand what you are saying. When?
25 Q. When Sljivancanin was asked to let them go, what did he -- did he
1 say anything then? Or did he do anything?
2 A. No. He just asked Bogdan this, and then said to my husband, "Get
3 lost." Afterwards I didn't hear anything else. Other people remained
4 there. My husband and I left that place, went to another side of the
5 compound, and stood there. On the other side, there were buses waiting to
6 take us elsewhere.
7 Q. In your description here, you said that you were running around
8 the compound and you saw a bus. Where were that bus located?
9 A. I don't know what bus you have in mind. The one that had brought
10 them in in Gunduliceva Street?
11 Q. You mentioned here during the description that you saw a bus when
12 you were running around the compound, that bus that you later on
13 approached. Where was that bus located?
14 A. That street was in Gunduliceva Street. When I went out, I saw him
15 in Gunduliceva Street, the bus. I approached the bus, I saw there were
16 people there. I came to the door and the gentleman, the youngish one in a
17 uniform, didn't let me go in. Then I went all the way back to the back of
18 the bus. I knocked on the window and was unable to establish
19 communication with my husband.
20 Q. Did you see your husband in the bus?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were there other people in the bus at the same time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you recognise any of them?
25 A. Kolja Selebaj. Sic. I can't remember now the names.
1 Q. Okay. Then you said that the husbands were outside on the
2 pavement. Did you see that?
3 A. Yes. They were lined up, one next to each other. They stood in
4 one line.
5 Q. Were there any soldiers around?
6 A. I didn't see that.
7 Q. You said earlier on there was a young man on the bus and he was
8 not able to establish contact. What kind of man was that?
9 A. The soldier stood at the door of the bus, and the men were inside
10 the bus. I wanted to get on the bus or have my husband come out of the
11 bus, but we weren't able to do either of the two. This is why I went and
12 knocked on the window, trying to get my husband's attention, to tell him,
13 I don't know what I was going to tell him, but something to the effect
14 that he should get off the bus. I just wanted us to stay together and
15 then go elsewhere together.
16 Q. That soldier that you just mentioned, what kind of soldier was it?
17 Do you remember that?
18 A. A youngish man, but I wouldn't be able to describe to you his
20 Q. Can you describe what kind of army he belonged to?
21 A. Yes. He had an olive-green uniform. Whether this was a JNA
22 uniform I wouldn't be able to tell you with certainty.
23 Q. What happened next? Did you meet your husband?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what happened after that?
1 A. We went back towards the main gate, which is where the buses were
2 lined up. Dr. Ivankovic wished us a safe trip. We stood there, and then
3 as we were approaching that place, we boarded the buses.
4 Q. Who are "we"?
5 A. My husband and I.
6 Q. And the other people boarded the buses? What kind of -- what
7 categories were they?
8 A. Yes. People from the hospital, who happened to be at the hospital
9 on that day. They got on to several buses. I wouldn't be able to tell
10 you exactly how many buses there were. We boarded the buses and sat there
11 waiting for them to depart.
12 Q. You said it was people from the hospital. Can you more describe
13 what that contained of, people from the hospital?
14 A. The staff who worked there, cleaning ladies and nurses, medical
15 technicians, all of us who were in the hospital got on the buses, except
16 for those who remained there. The rest of us got on the buses. But
17 before my husband and I got there, there were already people inside the
18 buses, but I wouldn't be able to tell you how many.
19 Q. Patients, where were they?
20 A. Well, I wouldn't know that. I didn't see them.
21 Q. And what happened next? You boarded the bus together with your
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what happened after that?
25 A. We went through the centre of the town, through Radiceva Street,
1 Senoa Street, Sajmiste. We passed the area where my house is. We
2 travelled in the direction of Velepromet, turned right on to Petrovacka
3 road. At the end of that area, there is a building of the textile
4 industry facility. There were a lot of women inside. They waved to us
5 and knocked on the windows. We remained sitting in the bus. We stopped
6 there for a while. They didn't take us through Petrovac to Croatia but
7 rather the buses turned back, via Negoslavci, Oriolik, Tovarnik, Sid, and
8 went to Sremska Mitrovica.
9 Q. And what happened there?
10 A. In Sremska Mitrovica, once we arrived there, we heard that this
11 facility was some kind of an athletic centre. It was dark, so I didn't
12 see the building clearly. I wouldn't be able to describe it to you. We
13 couldn't get inside the building because there had already been a lot of
14 people there. We got off the bus, thinking that we would get inside the
15 building. There was no room for us there so we went back on the bus and
16 then they drove us to another holding centre. I don't know what it was
17 called. I wasn't interested in learning either. There, we spent the
18 entire night in the bus, in that compound. The following day, in the
19 morning, we were taken further on. I think we came to Bosnia, and there
20 they exchanged us. People got from one bus on to another bus, and we were
21 then taken to Croatia.
22 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko.
23 I will now -- you gave us the whole -- your whole story here, what
24 you saw and experienced in the hospital during those days and before that.
25 I would like to ask you, because you did approach Mr. Sljivancanin a
1 couple of times, as we have heard here, in the hospital, what kind of
2 approach did he gave you? What kind of manner, what kind of approach did
3 he gave you? What did you see him as? Please describe that for us.
4 A. My impression, a tall man, a well-built one, with a moustache.
5 How should I describe it to you? He had an articulate way of speaking.
6 He was proud. And my personal impression was that he was very important
7 and that was his own attitude about it. He was in charge there. He was
8 the commander. And we had to listen to him.
9 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko. You said that he was a commander. Can you
10 describe that in more detail why you had that impression?
11 A. In the plaster room, I talked to him twice. Afterwards, I didn't,
12 based on his attitude.
13 Q. What kind of attitude was that?
14 A. As I've already described it to you, he was somebody who spoke
15 sternly. I don't know how else to describe it to you.
16 Q. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko.
17 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Vasic?
19 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] I have a correction for the
20 transcript, page 28, line 21 and 22. When asked by my learned friend
21 about the events in Bosnia, I think that the witness said that they
22 changed the buses, went from one bus to another, whereas in the
23 transcript, it appears as though they were exchanged. I think that they
24 just changed the buses but were not exchanged.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Perhaps you could check on that,
1 Mrs. Tuma.
2 MS. TUMA: Yes, thank you.
3 Q. Mrs. Bucko, did you hear the comment from Mr. Vasic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please clarify that for us.
6 A. Yes, I can. The buses stopped. We got off the bus. We came
7 outside. We left the buses in which we had arrived, and then a little bit
8 further away, there stood other buses that we boarded.
9 In our bus, here before this Trial Chamber, I want to express the
10 gratitude to the driver who drove us. He was very kind and he apologised
11 to us, telling us that he didn't do this of his own free will. This is
12 what he told us as he drove us.
13 Q. Were you supposed to be exchanged or were there change between
14 buses? Did you change from one bus to another, if I understood Mr. Vasic
16 A. Yes. We got off one set of buses and went into another set of
18 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko.
19 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm done with the
20 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mrs. Tuma. That's obviously a
22 convenient time now for a break.
23 We will resume sitting at five minutes to 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.24 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet:
3 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Good morning to everyone in the courtroom. Good morning,
5 Mrs. Bucko.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Let me introduce myself. I'm Vladomir Domazet, Defence counsel
8 for Mr. Mrksic, and I'm going to put a few questions to you.
9 Today when answering the questions of my learned friend, you said
10 that the first bombing of Vukovar took place exactly on Sunday, the
11 25th of October -- August, 1991.
12 A. The 25th of August, yes.
13 Q. Do you remember, did you personally see or hear, or did you
14 perhaps hear later, that a day before these events about which you
15 testified, an aircraft of the JNA air force was downed near Vukovar?
16 A. No.
17 Q. When you say, "no" are you saying that you've never heard of any
18 such thing or only at that time?
19 A. At that time, I did not hear that a plane had been downed.
20 Q. What about later?
21 A. In conversations while we were in hospital, at work, people talked
22 about this downing and this was already the beginning of November. I
23 cannot tell you exactly.
24 Q. You cannot say when it was downed. I understand that fully.
25 Thank you.
1 On that day, the 25th of August, the day that you're talking about
2 as the day of the first bombing, was the hospital hit or was it hit
3 somewhat later in the way that you described?
4 A. I cannot tell you exactly about that day, whether it was hit, but
5 on that afternoon, we were taking our patients down to the basement, to
6 the corridors that were lower down. I was home and I was asked to come in
7 to work. On a corner in Vukovar, I saw a car that had burned down, and
8 they told me that it was due to the bombing.
9 Q. Thank you. Today you said that because of such situations, for a
10 while you were compelled to take your patients down to the ground floor or
11 to the shelter and then to return them by elevator, that this situation
12 prevailed for a while. If I understood you correctly, you cannot say
13 exactly how long this lasted, but it was until the end of September,
14 beginning of October. Is that what you said today?
15 A. I think it could have been that way until September. I don't know
16 exactly. I cannot give you an exact date.
17 Q. Thank you. But for a while, that's the way it was?
18 A. For a while, that's the way it was. That is how patients were
19 taken care of.
20 Q. Mrs. Bucko, while you were still at home and while you went to
21 work, you said that your husband would take you by car in the morning and
22 that he would meet you the next morning, and it was my understanding that
23 you worked the way people employed in the health service usually did work.
24 For 24 hours. Did I understand you correctly that you had a 24-hour shift
25 and then you had a break that was as long or a bit shorter?
1 A. As long.
2 Q. Thank you. So this is the period while you were at home. When
3 you started spending nights at the hospital, to when you were in hospital
4 all the time, did you have the same kind of breaks or did you already
5 start working in different ways?
6 A. Sometimes it would be that same kind of break and sometimes, when
7 necessary, we worked again.
8 Q. When you talked about this period, that is to say the time when
9 you stayed in the hospital at night as well, you said that that was after
10 your husband said that your house was damaged and that's when you decided
11 to stay on in the hospital; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. At that time, was your husband already mobilised for the military
14 or did he volunteer? I don't know how he joined the ZNG. You already
15 mentioned that.
16 A. I said that in different neighbourhoods that is how they were
17 organised, and that's when he joined.
18 Q. Thank you. If I understood you correctly, he and others, for the
19 most part from the neighbourhood, were on guard duty with weapons and then
20 they would return the weapons at the end of their guard shift; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. However, you mentioned in your answers today to my learned friend
24 that for a while your husband was at the Eltz castle. I think that's the
25 name of the castle.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was that after this first task that we had -- that he had, that he
3 was reassigned to Eltz later?
4 A. Yes. When he came to stay with me at the hospital, they came and
5 they took a few civilians away from the hospital, and he said that he was
6 at the Eltz castle.
7 Q. I understand. So that's what you know from what he told you?
8 A. What he told me.
9 Q. You never went there yourself at the time?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And when you tell me now that he came and took away a few
12 civilians, what was this all about? Were they patients, some wounded
13 persons, that he took from hospital? Can you explain that?
14 A. Well, either two or three men came. They picked up a few of our
15 husbands and they took them away.
16 Q. Took them away? You mean there, to the positions at this castle?
17 A. Yes, there. When this man came, I don't know what his name is, I
18 don't know who he is, I don't know what position he held, I asked him
19 where he was, just like I asked Mr. Sljivancanin about my husband. Then I
20 also spoke to this man about my husband and he told me that they were
21 taken to these positions at this hospital -- at this castle.
22 Q. Thank you. Do you recall perhaps from that moment onwards, when
23 your husband was somewhere at the Eltz castle, these positions there,
24 until November when he came to the hospital, that is to say the 19th of
25 November, did you see him in the meantime or not?
1 A. I did.
2 Q. And how did this happen? Did he come? Because you said you
3 didn't go there.
4 A. He came to the hospital to see me, and then he would return.
5 Q. I assume that you had no other way of communicating. Or perhaps
6 you did. Could you communicate by telephone or something?
7 A. No.
8 Q. You said that around the 18th of November, sometime in the
9 afternoon, you heard from your colleague that an evacuation was being
10 prepared. If I understand you correctly, you could not inform your
11 husband about that in any way?
12 A. No.
13 Q. However, you did say that on the following morning, the morning of
14 the 19th, he came and he himself told you that Vukovar had fallen and that
15 his commander said that he should come to the hospital; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Did he tell you that he came on his own or with some other
18 colleagues of his?
19 A. Stanek came, Vasos [phoen], I think, and I don't know whether
20 there was yet another man there or not. I cannot tell you for sure.
21 Q. Thank you. I see that you know the names or surnames of these
22 people. You can identify them. You probably know them. Who were they?
23 A. Stanek was the husband of one of our nurses, Marica Stanek. As
24 for Vasos, my husband knew him, and I had met him earlier too. I don't
25 know him in any other way.
1 Q. So he had nothing to do with the hospital. I mean, his wife was
2 not employed at the hospital?
3 A. I don't know about Vasos. As for Stanek, his wife worked at the
4 hospital, just like I did.
5 Q. You said something else after saying that on that same morning
6 their commander said what he said to him. And then you said, Sremac said
7 to them. Is Sremac a surname or is that perhaps the surname of this
9 A. Stanko Sremac or Stanislav Sremac, I don't know exactly. That's
10 the name and surname of their commander. That is what my husband told me.
11 And I made my conclusions on the basis of that, because he said that
12 that was their commander. I never saw him.
13 Q. Thank you. You said that you heard about the preparation of the
14 evacuation for the first time on the afternoon of the 18th or in the early
15 evening from your colleague, Mrgan, or that was a name that you mentioned,
16 I think.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did she mention any details to you or was this sort of in general
19 terms, that it was announced that there would be some kind of evacuation?
20 A. That it was just announced that there would be an evacuation. No
21 other details. She did not tell me about any other details.
22 Q. A bit later, you said that you had asked nurse Kolesar, who was
23 the head nurse at surgery?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That you asked her if your husband could stay and help during the
1 planned evacuation so that in a way he could assist with the evacuation.
2 A. Yes. When he came back from the castle, that morning, but that is
3 the 19th.
4 Q. Of course. That was after he came, because you yourself said that
5 you didn't know that he would come and he did not know about this either.
6 So I'm talking about the 19th, after he came back.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Was that his wish, or did you yourself think of that and do it?
9 A. Well, that is what both of us agreed upon, and we thought, well,
10 we should go together and whatever happens to us happens to us while we
11 are together. Our children were already not with us.
12 Q. Do you know whether your colleague did the same thing, the lady
13 whose husband came together with your husband?
14 A. I don't know about that because we didn't talk about it.
15 Q. I'm sorry but I'd like to go back to the previous day, the 18th.
16 My learned friend asked you whether you noticed some people coming to the
17 hospital then. I think that you answered that you could not remember. I
18 would like to try to ask you whether you specifically saw many more people
19 coming to the hospital than was customary, primarily civilians, men and
20 women, more civilians than usual coming in on that afternoon. Did you
21 perhaps notice that?
22 A. On the 18th, I did not see that. But on the 19th, when I went up
23 to the hall to pick up my husband, there were many civilians in the hall.
24 I don't know when they came.
25 Q. So you can confirm that for the 19th. As for the 18th, you stand
1 by what you said, that you cannot remember specifically any people coming?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Do you know who Marin Vidic, nicknamed Bili, was?
4 A. I heard the name but I didn't know him. I heard that he was
5 either the president of our municipality or whatever. I cannot tell you
6 exactly. I heard of him, but I didn't know him personally, nor did I see
7 him before I came to Zagreb.
8 Q. Since you told me that you had not seen him yourself until you
9 came to Zagreb, did you hear from someone that on the 18th and the 19th
10 and 20th of November, Mr. Vidic was in hospital?
11 A. I did not see him. Perhaps he passed by. I did not know the man,
12 so I cannot confirm that.
13 Q. Thank you. So at that time, you didn't know what he looked like
14 physically, if I understand you correctly?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. When you talked about the 19th, and when you were informed by your
17 colleague that your husband was in the hall, you said that you saw many
18 people there and that in a way you had trouble finding him because there
19 were so many people there; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. Tell me, first and foremost, when you're talking about the hall,
22 let's check this. You're probably talking about the ground floor of the
24 A. That's right. The ground floor of the hospital by the entrance
25 into the hospital, and from there, you went upstairs or, rather, you took
1 elevators upstairs while the hospital worked normally. But the hall is
2 the ground floor or, rather, on the first floor. And as for the ground
3 floor, it was even lower. It was where we were.
4 Q. A few moments ago, you told me, once again, that there were many
5 people there. Did you have time to notice who these people were or were
6 you focused on finding your husband? Did you recognise anyone? Could you
7 tell us who these people were who were in the hall?
8 A. I cannot say who these people were because I was looking for my
9 husband. I did not pay attention to other people.
10 Q. Thank you. That's quite logical. Now I would like to ask you
11 something about these white coats that were mentioned. What was the usual
12 dressing code for you who worked at the hospital? What about the doctors?
13 Did the doctors wear white coats or some other kind of coats? What did
14 they wear?
15 A. There were white coats and there were also green ones for the
16 operating room. However, people wore them also in corridors. I don't
17 know whether there was a sufficient number of them. People also had green
18 trousers and coats. There were that types of uniforms as well.
19 Q. So this is what you're saying to us, those who were worked in
20 operating rooms, they wore green uniforms, green trousers and shirts or
21 coats, tops?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What about the nurses? How were they dressed?
24 A. I had a uniform. I had a skirt and a blouse. It was white and
1 Q. When did people wear blue uniforms and white uniforms? Was
2 there -- how were they distinguished?
3 A. No. There was nothing to distinguish the time for wearing one or
4 the other. We wore them whenever necessary. We wore what we had.
5 Q. All right. Tell us, please, did the doctors and other staff wear
6 also short coats or jackets, white jackets, which were short? Is that
7 what the doctors wore?
8 A. We had them at the hospital, but I wouldn't be able to tell you
9 now who wear precisely what kind of a uniform, and when.
10 Q. Naturally.
11 A. Yes. People had longer coats and shorter coats. Yes. There
12 were different kinds of tops.
13 Q. All right. You told us about the doctors, nurses, and then you
14 also had auxiliary personnel who were not medical staff but were there to
15 assist you. What about them? What did they wear?
16 A. They wore grey and pink uniforms.
17 Q. And this is how one could tell them apart?
18 A. That was before this evil erupted. Afterwards, we wore what we
19 had. We wore what we could get our hands on. Paediatric nurses wore pink
20 clothes. Our cleaning ladies wore grey clothes, and nurses wore blue
21 uniforms, whereas the doctors wore white ones. Later on, it was all
22 mixed. Nurses would wear white uniforms. They would wear what they had.
23 Q. All right. But I'm now referring to auxiliary personnel, cleaning
24 people, orderlies and so on, people who were there to assist you, who were
25 not medically trained.
1 A. I think that our workers had some kind of blue coats.
2 Q. Thank you. All right. Let us go back to the 19th. You went to
3 Mrs. Kolesar to ask her if your husband could stay with you and help carry
4 the wounded and also do some other tasks related to evacuation. She
5 agreed, and you said she gave him a white coat. Was there something on
6 the coat indicating that he was part of medical personnel? Do you know
7 why she gave him that coat? Were there many such cases?
8 A. There was nothing on that coat, no -- nothing to tell that he was
9 part of medical personnel. We asked for him to change his clothes because
10 his jacket was quite dirty.
11 Q. But you understood what I was driving at. He could have been
12 given a blue uniform because he was just there to assist. What -- what
13 was the decisive factor in him being give and white coat?
14 A. I don't know. Nurse Biba gave him the coat and I don't know why
15 she gave him precisely that one.
16 Q. Mrs. Bucko, today in examination-in-chief, you said something that
17 you also said when giving your statement. You described a man
18 wearing a fur coat and some other type of clothing together with other
19 men. I would like to ask you something related to that. Were these
20 people in any way prevented from entering the hospital, and if so, by
22 A. There was a younger man there wearing a uniform. He didn't let
23 them enter through the emergency entrance, and they were left standing
25 Q. Yes. Thank you. This is what you said in your statement, and I
1 just wanted to confirm that.
2 Based on what you said today, I could tell that you were able to
3 clearly distinguish between the regular JNA soldiers at the time and
4 others based on their appearance and their uniforms.
5 A. Listen, based on what I know, the JNA soldiers wore olive-green
7 Q. Thank you. You said that somebody was introduced to you but you
8 couldn't remember whether it was on the 18th in the afternoon or on
9 the 19th but there was a major who was introduced to you as the future
10 hospital director. Did he say or perhaps did somebody else say that this
11 man was from the military medical academy and that this hospital from now
12 on would be under the auspices of that institution?
13 A. I wouldn't be able to confirm that. I don't remember. I think
14 that this was mentioned, but I cannot confirm that.
15 Q. All right. Then you spoke about the 19th, the evening of
16 the 19th. You said that your husband was with you, that all of you were
17 together, you and some other colleagues of yours were in a room where you
18 normally spent the night whenever at the hospital.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where is this room located? Can you describe that?
21 A. Right by the central sterilisation department, where we kept the
22 supplies that had been prepared for sterilisation, gloves, coats,
23 trousers, whatever we had to sterilise for surgeries.
24 Q. Yes. So there is -- there was a room next to the room where you
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In addition to these rooms, including the corridor, were there
3 patients and the wounded staying there already?
4 A. Yes. There was a corridor where there were already patients, and
5 then lower, there was a slope leading to another corridor, and on the
6 right there was a corridor leading to the atomic shelter, and the other
7 part of the corridor led to the old hospital building.
8 Q. Thank you. So if I understood you well, once you left the room
9 where you spent your nights, the areas were full of patients, beds and so
11 A. Yes. Our patients were all over the hospital, in the corridors,
12 shelter, everywhere.
13 Q. Thank you. You said that you spent many nights with these
14 persons. Who were the nurses that were there with you, that night and
16 A. Perovic, Magda, who also worked in the sterilisation department,
17 Jelka Novak, Vera Graf. I think Jelka Selebaj was there as well. My
18 husband and I. We were there that night. I'm not fully certain about
19 Jelka Selebaj.
20 Q. Mrs. Jelka Selebaj, did she also have a husband who was at the
22 A. Her husband was also at the hospital, as was her father-in-law,
23 her husband's father.
24 Q. Thank you. Let us clarify a name. I think there is a mistake in
25 the transcript. Would you please repeat the name. Mrs. Novak, what's her
1 first name?
2 A. Ilonka.
3 Q. Ilonka, all right. I just wanted to clarify that.
4 You told us today that on that night you stayed up quite late
5 talking. My impression was that you either didn't sleep that night or
6 slept very little. Am I right in concluding this? Did you stay up quite
7 long talking with your colleagues and your husband?
8 A. We stayed up for a long time talking in the room.
9 Q. Thank you. Do you remember whether that night there was anything
10 else remarkable? First of all, tell us, was it peaceful at the hospital
11 when you were there in that room?
12 A. I personally didn't see or hear anything. I was in the room. As
13 for the other parts of the hospital, I can't tell you anything about that.
14 Q. Thank you. You say yourself that you didn't hear anything that
15 night. Did you hear on the following morning whether anything had
16 happened that previous night?
17 A. I didn't hear.
18 Q. Now that we are discussing this topic, let me ask you: Do you
19 know the name of the husband of Ilonka Novak?
20 A. I believe it's Veljko Novak.
21 Q. Thank you. You said today that sometime in the morning, I'm not
22 going to ask you about the time because I see that you had difficulties
23 there, but at any rate you said that in the morning, a soldier knocked on
24 your door and told you that all medical personnel should assemble in the
25 plaster room; is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You said that there was a certain number of people there, based on
3 your recollection. My question is: Did you see Dr. Bosanac in the
4 plaster room?
5 A. No, I didn't see her.
6 Q. Did you see Dr. Njavro?
7 A. I don't think so. I don't remember.
8 Q. Did you see Dr. Ivankovic?
9 A. In the plaster room? I can't confirm that I saw him.
10 Q. You spoke about him, about seeing him somewhat later but you don't
11 remember seeing him in the plaster room. What about Dr. Njavro? Do you
12 remember seeing him later, just like you saw Dr. Ivankovic?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You described to us how your husband came. You said that you left
15 the room and then your husband said to you, "Well, you are shut in there.
16 They are taking us away." He also asked for the key of the room so that
17 he could go and get his jacket. Based on what you said, it seems to me
18 that you were not really shut in that room. You were able to leave it
19 because you left it yourself when Mrs. Selebaj told you to come out. You
20 were not locked in that room, were you?
21 A. No. We were not locked in.
22 Q. And you were able to come out whenever you wanted?
23 A. Yes. I came to the door, and while standing in the door, I talked
24 to my husband and then went back. I was able to come in and get out.
25 Q. You said that your husband asked for the key of the room so he
1 could go and get his jacket and also -- did you say that he also returned
2 the white coat? I didn't quite understand that part.
3 A. He said he wanted to get his jacket. I don't know whether he took
4 off the coat and left it or not because I didn't see later.
5 Q. Next time you saw your husband, was he wearing his jacket or the
6 white coat?
7 A. Jacket.
8 Q. He didn't have the white coat either on him or wasn't holding it
9 in his hands?
10 A. No, I didn't see it.
11 Q. It seemed to me that you said that he had told you he was
12 returning the white coat but you don't remember that?
13 A. No, no. We didn't spend a lot of time talking there. He just
14 asked for the key. I gave him the key. And he said that he would change
15 his clothes, take his coat. He said, "You are shut in the plaster room
16 and they are taking us away." We didn't discuss anything else.
17 Q. Thank you. You had some trouble speaking about the fear you were
18 experiencing at the time. Can you please tell us, can you explain that
19 fear of yours? I assume that you and your husband had no reason to fear
20 the JNA, which at the time was the army, armed force, of Yugoslavia. Is
21 that right?
22 A. I was concerned about what was going to happen to us, where we
23 would go. I can't tell you how these sentiments originated. I simply
24 thought the two of us are here, our children are not with us any longer.
25 I don't know where they are, what's going on with them. It wasn't easy
1 for me to leave my children and to go on working. But I kept thinking I'm
2 already of a certain age, I don't know whether I will be able to find
3 another job elsewhere. I have to continue working here throughout the
4 war, because I have to find a living for myself. I have to earn my
5 retirement, and these are the motives that prompted me to remain working
6 at the hospital.
7 Q. Thank you, Madam. Thank you. Will you please calm down? I
8 didn't intend for my question to cause these difficulties. I simply
9 wanted to get an explanation.
10 A. Yes. Our family was separated.
11 Q. I want to ask you just one more thing. Were there any stories
12 circulating or any propaganda, something that you heard from something
13 else, that could cause this fear to arise?
14 A. No. I didn't hear anything from anybody. This is something that
15 originated in me personally.
16 Q. Thank you. Did you perhaps hear at the time on that day that only
17 a day before that a big group at Mitnica, almost 200 people, had
18 surrendered without any problems?
19 A. I heard about that later when I was in Zagreb, when we were
20 talking about our experiences from Vukovar.
21 Q. Thank you. When you talked about the bus, where you saw your
22 husband, was this after the bus had been returned or do you think that it
23 was there all along, that it never went anywhere, or do you think that it
24 was returned after the intervention you talked about?
25 A. I think that it was returned after the intervention that I told
1 you about.
2 Q. When you refer to a certain Bogdan, is that the Bogdan who worked
3 in your hospital before the war?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. When you said that you went to the buses that were
6 waiting, when you were there with your husband and that there were some
7 people there already, these were staff members and family members. So
8 were other staff members taking their family members on these buses that
9 you took when leaving the hospital?
10 A. I cannot confirm how many family members there were in there. I
11 could recognise the staff members because they were already on the buses.
12 With my husband, I came to one of the last buses because I was waiting for
13 him, I was trying to save him, I wanted us to be together no matter what
14 happened. Time was passing. People had already boarded the buses without
15 me seeing them.
16 Q. Thank you. And when these buses left, you told us today and in
17 your statement you even described the streets that the bus took, and I
18 assume that you followed this very well even the direction that you were
19 moving in. If I understood you correctly, the direction is the usual one
20 whether going to Croatia. Is that right?
21 A. The bus returned from the hospital towards the eastern part of
22 Croatia, and we could go to Zagreb to the west. That was the village of
23 Nustar, nearby, perhaps only about 20 kilometres away. That's how we
24 could get to Croatia. No, we were not driven around on the buses. We
25 were not driven around streets.
1 Q. I understand. But I thought that you said that the buses first
2 went in that direction. Did I understand you correctly?
3 A. From Velepromet, the bus turned right to the road leading to
4 Petrovci, and at this big curve, the road is very wide, and that is where
5 the bus made a U-turn, saying that we had to go to Serbia because Tudjman
6 wouldn't take us.
7 Q. Thank you. My question was where the U-turn was made and in which
8 way. Did the buses stop? Did somebody intervene? Did somebody say
9 something? You said -- what you said just now, that allegedly, Croatia,
10 Tudjman, did not want you.
11 A. These buses stood by the textile industry factory where we saw
12 detained women. Now, who was saying that Croatia would not have us, I
13 cannot tell you. I cannot describe that person for you. But we were
14 saying that to each other, and the buses went back to Negoslavci and from
15 Negoslavci, Oriolik, from Oriolik to -- I already told you to Tovarnik,
16 Sid, Sremska Mitrovica.
17 Q. Thank you. I just want the transcript to finish.
18 So before you went in the direction that you just described, you
19 mentioned Petrovci, in that direction. I'm asking you, was that the road
20 to Vinkovci until then?
21 A. How we got to Petrovci, we could have reached Vinkovci, yes. It
22 would have been closer than going to Sremska Mitrovica.
23 Q. Thank you. If I understood you correctly, you said that in
24 Sremska Mitrovica you first stopped in front of a sports centre but it was
25 packed and that you couldn't stay there.
1 A. That's right. We left the bus, we got to the sports hall, it was
2 full, they took us back. I can't say who it was. They just told us, "Go
3 back to the buses," and that's what we did. And I heard that this was
4 some kind of a holding centre. I don't know what kind. It was
5 night-time. I didn't really pay any attention to this. We sat on the bus
6 all night.
7 Q. If I understand you correctly, there wasn't enough room for you to
8 stay there and you spent the night on the buses and then in the morning
9 you went further on.
10 A. The following morning, when we went further on, we went to the
11 toilet in that building, and there were people down there but who these
12 people were, I really don't know. There weren't that many.
13 Q. You didn't recognise these people?
14 A. No. But that's where the mother of our nurse Biba died.
15 Q. I think that the transcript does not reflect one of your
16 sentences. You said that you saw people there who were lying on
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. You also said that these buses first entered Bosnia
20 and that that's where the buses were changed; is that right?
21 A. It is my opinion, and that's what they were saying, that we were
22 going via Bosnia. Now, whether that is the territory of Bosnia or Serbia
23 still or some other territory, I cannot say. We were told that it was
24 Bosnia. That's where we got off the bus that we came on and then we
25 entered, boarded, other buses.
1 Q. Thank you. You explained that, and you said that there was no
2 exchange there. But nevertheless, I'm going to ask you: There weren't
3 any other people getting off those buses and entering the buses that you
4 had taken until then. It was my understanding that from these first buses
5 you boarded other buses that were waiting for you and that were empty?
6 A. Empty buses. And what happened to the buses that stayed behind,
7 whether they were taken back or wherever, that is something I cannot say.
8 Q. Thank you very much. So we've completed that subject.
9 Mrs. Bucko, I'd like to ask you something now that has to do with
10 life at the hospital and life in Vukovar before all of these things
11 happened. You said that you lived in an area that was called Sajmiste; is
12 that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was this a part of town with a population that had quite a few
15 Serb and Croat families?
16 A. In my neighbourhood, in my street, I can say that there were quite
17 a few Serbs, if not half/half, then perhaps in some parts they were even a
19 Q. Yes. That's the kind of figures I saw too about that.
20 A. I can even list them all for you, if you wish.
21 Q. Thank you. Since you say that you know them personally, I assume
22 that you had some kind of relationships there. What was your relationship
23 with your Serb neighbours until the '90s, until 1991 to be precise?
24 A. Until things started happening in Borovo Selo, we had excellent
25 relations. We talked, we visited each other. When Borovo Selo started,
1 then they started avoiding us and they stopped talking to us. So these
2 contacts weakened. And they started leaving their houses, going away.
3 Q. What was it that suddenly caused this change? Because if you are
4 talking about the incident in Borovo Selo that I have in mind, namely what
5 happened on the 2nd of May 1991, this was an armed conflict but it was
6 Croat policemen that got killed. Right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So from that incident onwards, you say that these Serb families
9 were afraid and that many of them started leaving, if I understood you
11 A. I don't know whether they were afraid or not. But as soon as the
12 school year was over, a teacher or, rather, two teachers who lived in our
13 street took their children and went to Serbia.
14 Q. Did these people ever come back? Can you remember any such thing?
15 A. I never saw them.
16 Q. If people went away for such a long time, what about people who
17 were employed? Did they simply leave their jobs? Can you remember any
18 such cases from the hospital, for instance, where you worked?
19 A. The Borovo Kombinat was working still but was beginning to stop
20 working. I cannot tell you the exact day in September but a colleague who
21 worked with me in sterilisation left but she went to Croatia. The reason
22 for her departure is something that I don't know about and therefore I
23 cannot tell you.
24 Q. My question was a general one. Was that a trend? Did you notice
25 that? Did you notice that many people no longer came to work? Were there
1 any problems in this respect in hospital? Did the then-director of the
2 hospital have some problems on account of that?
3 A. I just told you that a colleague who worked with me left, one of
4 them left earlier, one of them left later, and I cannot confirm anything
5 about others. I can only tell you about the colleagues who worked with me
6 in the sterilisation department and who were in charge of central
7 sterilisation. Instead of them we then had Magda Cerevic and Ilonka
8 Novak. They came.
9 Q. Do you recall from that time, that is to say who was the director
10 of your hospital before Dr. Bosanac?
11 A. I think it was Dr. Rade Popovic who was the director, but I'm not
12 100 per cent sure. I think it was him.
13 Q. I think you're right. But do you remember that he or the person
14 who was the director before Mrs. Vesna Bosanac, do you remember that he
15 was replaced and that he had problems officially, precisely because he
16 granted leave of absence to many of his employees who did not show up for
17 work? Did you hear about that?
18 A. I did not hear about that. I only heard about Dr. Stanimirovic
19 who was there before Mrs. Bosanac, and I heard that Dr. Rade Popovic went
20 to Montenegro. That's what I heard. I don't know where he went, though.
21 Q. Who was your own boss at the time?
22 A. You mean of surgery? The surgical department?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Dr. Ivankovic. And afterwards, when the war broke out, Dr. Njavro
25 was in charge of everything and he made a great effort, conducted surgery,
1 et cetera.
2 Q. All right. So first it was Dr. Ivankovic and then it was
3 Dr. Njavro; is that right?
4 A. That's what I heard. Dr. Ivankovic was the head of our
5 department. When Dr. Sokacic retired, then he became head of the
7 Q. Did Dr. Ivankovic stay there throughout the war? Did he carry out
8 operations like all other doctors?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Does that pertain to other doctors or, rather, surgeons?
11 A. Yes. Dr. Manojlovic was there, Dr. Stanojevic, Dr. Njavro,
12 Dr. Ivankovic.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me how records of patients were kept at
14 the time, books, notebooks? Could you please be so kind as to tell me?
15 A. We had a clerk, Vera Graf, who was in charge of these records,
16 with nurse Biba. Now, how they kept these records, how they wrote things
17 down, I was not there, and I cannot tell you about this. But I know that
18 they were the ones who kept records. For how long, until when, that is
19 again something I cannot tell you about.
20 Q. All right. Can you tell me whether you saw what these books or
21 ledgers looked like. How were these books kept? You probably gave
22 information and you probably participated in that.
23 A. These books were kept where the clinic was, the -- of the surgery
24 and that's where the administration offices were. For the most part, I
25 was downstairs where the sterilisation rooms are and where the corridors
1 are and the atomic shelter. Sometimes I would go to the clinic to help
2 out but I was not involved in any other details.
3 Q. During the conflict, I assume that there was an increasingly
4 higher number of the wounded brought to the hospital?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I'm sure there were wounded civilians, but I'm interested in the
7 wounded soldiers. Were any wounded members of the ZNG brought in or
8 Croatian police, JNA or any other formation?
9 A. Our hospital admitted all wounded persons regardless of their
10 ethnicity or affiliation. We admitted them and treated them. Later on,
11 when there was no longer room at the hospital, those who were slightly
12 wounded were transferred to Borovo Komerc.
13 Q. Were you personally in contact or were you able to be in contact
14 with those wounded persons, or because of the nature of your work, you
15 were unable to have contact with them?
16 A. Given the nature of my work, I had fewer contacts with these
17 wounded persons than my colleagues.
18 Q. Were you able to see if there were any such cases, that there were
19 some armed men guarding certain patients or rather wounded persons? I'm
20 specifically referring to the wounded JNA members.
21 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you that because I didn't see that.
22 Q. When you say, "I didn't see that," is that because you had very
23 few contacts with them, in view of your work in the sterilisation
25 A. I told you how it was.
1 Q. Do you remember whether the hospital had any security personnel?
2 Were there any security personnel outside or inside?
3 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you that. I wasn't involved in that.
4 I wasn't even interested in that. I worked inside the building and I
5 wouldn't be able to tell you what was happening outside of it. I didn't
6 move out frequently.
7 Q. Do you know whether the hospital had telephone lines with the
8 outside world, and if these lines were disconnected, do you know when?
9 A. I know that the telephone lines were operational, but until what
10 time I wouldn't be able to tell you, because that wasn't part of my work.
11 Q. Did you have occasion to enter and spend some time in the room
12 which was the office of your hospital director, Dr. Vesna Bosanac?
13 A. Yes. But there was no need and I wasn't interested. There was no
14 reason for me to enter that room and spend time there. I did my work to
15 the best of my abilities. I did not concern myself with other people's
17 Q. I asked you whether you entered that room and if you did, whether
18 you remember what items there were in that room.
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. When we spoke just now about relations, you said that relations
21 deteriorated after the Borovo Selo incident. Immediately prior to that,
22 did they start erecting barricades in certain villages around Vukovar?
23 A. I couldn't say anything about that.
24 Q. When you say that you can't say anything about that, is it because
25 you don't remember it? Do you remember people discussing that there were
1 barricades which prevented them from travelling from one place to another?
2 A. I remember that people discussed that. Now, as to who manned
3 these barricades and where they were erected, I don't know about that.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. You described to us how little you moved
5 about. You said that you didn't leave Vukovar at all, that you just moved
6 between your house and the hospital and later on you stayed at the
7 hospital constantly.
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. Is it true that the area where you lived, which was called
10 Sajmiste, was quite close or relatively close to the barracks of the JNA
11 in Vukovar?
12 A. Yes. That's right. I don't know the distance, but my street is
13 close to the barracks.
14 Q. Do you know that sometime during that period, before the event on
15 the 25th of August, there were any problems with the barracks, that the
16 barracks was besieged, that water and electricity supply were cut off?
17 Did you hear this discussed at work?
18 A. No, I didn't hear.
19 Q. Did you hear that during that time, and by this I'm also referring
20 to the time before the Borovo Selo incident and after that, there were
21 cases when the houses were blown up, when houses were torched, and that
22 the Borba newsstand was blown up?
23 A. That was discussed. People said that the Borba newsstand and
24 Vjesnik newsstand were blown up, and that all kinds of newsstands were
25 being blown up. I don't know who did it, though.
1 Q. When you say that both types of newsstands were blown up, what do
2 you have in mind? You mean that it wasn't just the Borba newsstand but
3 also others?
4 A. Vjesnik newsstand. You yourself said Borba newsstand. This is
5 why I said both newsstands, Vjesnik was the Croatian evening newspaper.
6 And then we also had Vecernje Novosti and Borba from Serbia.
7 Q. Yes, thank you. That's precisely why I asked you this because the
8 Trial Chamber may not know it.
9 What about the cases when houses were blown up? It was quite easy
10 to establish who the owner was; isn't that right?
11 A. As I went home from work, I could see that there were already some
12 houses that were destroyed, both in my street and in some other streets.
13 But regardless of whose house it was, whether it was owned by a Serb or by
14 a Croat, when a shell landed or another type of an explosive, houses were
15 destroyed regardless of whom they belonged to.
16 Q. Yes. I understand that when it comes to the shelling, but that
17 wasn't what I was driving at. My question pertained to the period long
18 before the shelling of Vukovar started. It pertained to the period prior
19 to that, while all of you still lived there together in, let us say,
20 normal circumstances. That was the time when these newsstands were
21 destroyed and the houses and so on. I'm now referring to the houses which
22 were intentionally blown up.
23 A. I just told you about newsstands and houses and there is nothing
24 else I can tell you about. I don't know about somebody coming in and
25 destroying houses.
1 Q. All right. Madam, do you know who Tomislav Mercep was?
2 A. I've heard of him. I didn't know him. I saw him only upon
3 reaching Zagreb.
4 Q. Do you know what post he held in Vukovar?
5 A. Based on the stories, he supposedly took over the Territorial
6 Defence, and organised it. I don't know whether this is true.
7 Q. Did you hear that during that period of time, when he organised
8 the Territorial Defence, it was rumoured that certain people went missing,
9 that they were either killed or simply disappeared? Do you remember this
10 being discussed?
11 A. I can't confirm that.
12 Q. When you say that you can't confirm that, does this mean that you
13 don't remember it, you don't remember hearing something of this nature?
14 A. I don't remember hearing anything similar nor did I ever discuss
15 this with anybody at great length. I told you earlier that I was focused
16 on my house, my family, and my work, which was supposed to provide my
17 living in old age.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. Now that you have mentioned your house and
19 you told us who lived in that area, please tell us: Did you get along
20 well with your neighbours, especially Serb neighbours? Did you ever have
21 any problems prior to the conflict?
22 A. No, I didn't have any problems.
23 Q. In your statement given to the investigators, you said that in
24 addition to what your husband did and that you told us about, he was also
25 a member of the military police. You never mentioned this today. So
1 please tell us when was this?
2 A. When they took him away from the hospital and then when he came
3 back he said that he was going to the military police. Now, as to whether
4 he actually went there or not, I don't know. That he belonged to the
5 military police. I don't know who organised the military police.
6 Q. But you are definitely referring to the military police which
7 existed within the National Guards Corps, the ZNG?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. All right. Let's clarify this further. You are now referring to
10 the period of time when he went to the Eltz castle?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Thank you, Mrs. Bucko. Thank you for your answers. I
13 have no further questions for you, thank you.
14 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honours. I've finished my cross
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much, Mr. Domazet.
17 I think I might do the usual thing, Mr. Borovic, and have the
18 break now so that you could start afterwards.
19 We will adjourn now and resume at 20 minutes to 1.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.14 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.44 p.m.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Borovic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, my name is Borivoj Borovic. I'm
1 Defence counsel for Miroslav Radic.
2 Madam, my first question for you: In the neighbourhood where you
3 lived, throughout that period of time, you said that at least half of the
4 houses were owned by the Serbs; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did the majority of people move out of their houses in that period
7 of time?
8 A. The teacher did, Milicevic, and then Radicic, Vracaric left.
9 Mrs. Guzic went to her daughter in Belgrade. Her daughter was called
11 Q. Madam, I wasn't going to ask you to give me all of the names. I
12 just wanted to know whether the majority of them left their houses in that
13 period leading up to November. Do you know that?
14 A. I think so. I think they did.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you talk to any of them before they left their
17 A. No.
18 Q. Thank you. You said that your husband was a member of the ZNG,
19 the National Guards Corps, and a member of the 204th Brigade; is that
21 A. Yes. They said that that's what it was called.
22 Q. Thank you. You say that in almost every street, people were
23 organised and took turns keeping guard. What period of time was it?
24 A. It was in July, but I wouldn't be able to give you the date.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. Do you know who procured weapons for them,
1 the weapons that they had had while they stood guard?
2 A. I don't know that.
3 Q. Thank you. You said that in almost every street, in various
4 neighbourhoods, there were people standing guard. Is that right?
5 A. Yes. In various neighbourhoods, yes. Sajmiste had their people,
6 Mitnica had their people. The people were organised in various
8 Q. All right. Thank you. And when did you learn that, that in
9 various neighbourhoods this was organised?
10 A. In our street, when they started organising this, when they asked
11 people to join, this is when I learned it. It was either mid- or late
12 July but I'm not sure.
13 Q. All right. You say that they started gathering people, these
14 members of civilian protection. Who did that?
15 A. People from the street went house by house asking for volunteers
16 in order to organise them.
17 Q. All right. Do you know any of the names of the organisers and was
18 your husband among them?
19 A. No. My husband was not one of the organisers. He was invited to
20 join, and agreed.
21 Q. Thank you. Since you were living together, do you know who
22 invited him and when?
23 A. I wouldn't be able to say who was the first one who started
24 organising this in our local community. Therefore, I wouldn't want to
25 give any names because I'm not sure.
1 Q. All right. Thank you, Madam. When your husband joined this
2 group? Did he join the 204th Brigade or was that only later?
3 A. Listen, I wouldn't be able to confirm to you when the National
4 Guards Corps was founded or the 204th Brigade. It was only in Zagreb that
5 I heard that the brigade was called 204th. But I can't tell you the date
6 or the month when it was established.
7 Q. All right. You said that when your husband came to visit you in
8 the hospital, they took him away from there and it was then that you
9 learned from him that he was going to be a member of military police; is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The people who took him away, were they uniformed?
13 A. No. They wore civilian clothes. This is how they came to the
14 hospital and they took several of our husbands away.
15 Q. Thank you. Do you remember did they have any weapons?
16 A. I don't know. We were in that corridor down there where I've been
17 telling you all the time that the central sterilisation was.
18 Q. Thank you. Did you see the moment when they were taken away or
20 A. I did. Because I was having a very hard time because my husband
21 was being taken away but nevertheless he had to leave.
22 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that he did not leave of his own free
23 will or is it the way you said, that they forced him to go?
24 A. When they came to get him and when they picked up a few of them,
25 they left. Nobody asked, do you agree or do you disagree. At least I
1 never heard any such thing.
2 Q. Was he opposed to leaving? Did he want to stay?
3 A. I was opposed to it.
4 Q. What about your husband? I hope that he has a say, too.
5 A. Well, he does, but I really cannot tell you how it was then.
6 Q. Thank you. What are the other husbands who were taken away? Do
7 you remember some of the names?
8 A. Stanek, Behlic, my husband, I cannot remember any others.
9 Q. Thank you. How many of them were there approximately, in terms of
10 numbers, not names?
11 A. I don't think that there were that many that time when they were
12 there. I don't think that too many of them were taken away.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. When they took them away, what were your
14 husbands wearing at the time?
15 A. My husband had normal clothes on. I don't know whether he was
16 wearing jeans or regular trousers. I can't say now. And also, he had a
17 vest, a shirt, a jacket like any person.
18 Q. What about the other husbands who happened to be at the hospital?
19 Did they perhaps have some kind of hospital clothing on?
20 A. I didn't see any hospital clothing on them.
21 Q. The previous question was: How come they happened to be there
22 precisely on that day when your husband came to visit you? How come these
23 other husbands were in hospital too?
24 A. Well, wives probably brought their husbands to hospital there
25 because they worked there and then they brought their families along with
2 Q. Thank you. You'll have to try to help us a bit now. Were they
3 employed? How could they simply be brought to a hospital and do nothing?
4 I asked you intentionally so that I would not confuse you. I asked you
5 whether they had any hospital clothing. What were they doing there?
6 A. When my husband came to see me, he was working but wearing
7 civilian clothes. He was closing windows with wooden boards so that we
8 would not feel cold. Our driver, Sime, and he were doing that. I don't
9 know whether there was anybody else because I didn't really follow them
10 trying to see what they were doing.
11 Q. These husbands, did they do anything else or did they just hide
12 there in the hospital, if you don't mind my asking?
13 A. I don't mind you asking anything. I don't know the answer and I
14 cannot give you an answer. I won't give you an answer.
15 Q. Thank you. When he was taken away and when he became a military
16 policeman, according to what you heard, in the meantime, did your husband
17 come to visit you in the hospital?
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you now describe that uniform of his that he wore
20 when he came to see you?
21 A. No. Because he wore civilian clothing and he did not wear a
22 uniform then.
23 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us the reason why he came in civilian
24 clothing if he was a military policeman? What was the reason? Safety,
25 security, some other reason?
1 A. I don't know. But I think that he did not even have a uniform. I
2 never saw a uniform on him.
3 Q. Thank you. And in November when he came to see you, you said that
4 he was wearing a uniform?
5 A. Not true, not true. I never saw my husband in a uniform and he
6 did not come in uniform.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. He came in a dirty jacket and trousers and in an awful looking
9 pair of shoes. And he looked unkempt, generally speaking.
10 Q. Thank you. Since we will have occasion to hear your husband very
11 soon, I think that his information speaks to the contrary, but we'll ask
12 him about it.
13 A. Just go ahead.
14 Q. In the month of November, when he came for one day, did he know
15 that evacuation would follow or not?
16 A. He said to me that the town had fallen, and that Stanek told them
17 in the morning to go to the hospital, that that was the best, and that
18 that is where he should seek shelter.
19 Q. Thank you. Why would it be best for him there? Why should he
20 seek shelter at the hospital? Can you explain this to us??
21 A. I cannot say.
22 Q. That's what your husband said to you?
23 A. That's what my husband said to me. But why Mr. Sremac said that
24 to him, probably on account of the fact that I worked there and probably
25 because he was taken from the hospital.
1 Q. Thank you. And if I tell you that he had reason as a member of
2 the ZNG, which is undisputable now even according to what you said, to
3 hide in the hospital so that the JNA would not arrest him, can you confirm
4 that? Is that a valid possibility, yes or no?
5 A. I cannot answer that.
6 Q. Thank you. At any point in time, except for that list of 15 or
7 16 husbands that you spoke about, did you ever ask nurse Kolesar to write
8 your husband's name down on the evacuation list?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Why did you do that, if you knew that he had just come
11 from the ZNG and that there was no place for him on that list?
12 A. I don't see how you can keep saying that, that he was with the
13 ZNG, if he did not wear a uniform. And if he was in our neighbourhood, in
14 our house for as long as he could, and in the streets. And then he came
15 to see me at the hospital.
16 Q. Thank you. I'm claiming that for the simple reason that you
17 yourself said that he was a member of the ZNG. Please let me finish. You
18 yourself said that he became a member of the military police, and when
19 asked by my colleague, Mr. Domazet, you said that it was the military
20 police or the ZNG, and later on in Zagreb you found out that the brigade
21 he belonged to was the 204th Brigade. This is the information that you
22 have provided to us, and that's why I'm asking you whether as a member of
23 the ZNG, he did what he did. That is why I claim that he was a member of
24 the ZNG, on the basis of your very own statements. But let us go on.
25 So it is an assertion based on what you've been saying.
1 But let us proceed. You said that his military position was in
2 the Eltz castle.
3 A. Well, that's what was being said.
4 Q. What did he say to you? What was he doing there? I hope you
5 talked about it.
6 A. Yes. He said that there were some works of art there, that they
7 needed to be put away in order to be preserved, and I don't know anything
9 Q. Thank you. Did he tell you later on whether they managed to put
10 them away, to preserve them? What has he been doing or, rather, what did
11 he do then? It's been 15 years. Do you know?
12 A. As far as I know, all of it stayed in the basement, because no one
13 could take anything out. So they didn't really manage to do that.
14 Q. Thank you. If I tell you that the mayor, as you said, of the town
15 of Vukovar at that time, had previously passed a decision to move all
16 these works of art out of Eltz castle before it was taken by the ZNG, can
17 you support this assertion of mine, or do you know about this?
18 A. I don't know about that. I just know about the things that I
19 discussed with my husband.
20 Q. Thank you. So your husband comes on the 19th, and you mentioned a
21 few persons who came along with him. Is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What about these people? Did they belong to the ZNG, to the best
24 of your knowledge, on that day, or later on?
25 A. I don't know about that.
1 Q. Thank you. And did you ask your husband how come that he came in
2 with these people? Did they come together?
3 A. Well, he came together with them because he was taken from the
4 hospital together with them.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know who Mr. Kolak is? Have you heard of him?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who was this man?
8 A. Young men from the neighbouring street which used to be called
9 Patkovica. I know them.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether they were in the ZNG, the sons of
11 this Mr. Kolak?
12 A. Well, look, I cannot say that the -- what it exactly was, the ZNG,
13 they used to call it the National Guards Corps, and then later on the
14 204th Brigade. I really can't say.
15 Q. Madam, I'm asking you very carefully. I'm not asking you what the
16 ZNG means, what it stands for, when the 204th Brigade was established.
17 Were the Kolaks the members of a military or paramilitary formation?
18 A. How can I tell you about them?
19 Q. Thank you. On that day, when your husband changed your clothes
20 [as interpreted] on the 19th because he was dirty, and you also said that
21 he washed his face. What about his other -- what about these other men
22 who came from Eltz with him? Did they also bathe and change?
23 A. Well, they didn't really bathe and change. I know about him. He
24 took off his jacket and washed up. I really can't say about the others.
25 Q. Thank you. On that occasion, when your husband was changing, were
1 these other husbands who had been taken away from hospital present as
3 A. We were not together because they were all at different places
4 where their wives worked.
5 Q. Thank you. Can we conclude, then, that everybody had a workplace
6 by their wives?
7 A. Well, not by their wives. I cannot say that he was with me all
8 the time when he was in the hospital. I've already told you that he
9 helped our driver, Sime.
10 Q. I'm sorry, I have to interrupt you, but that was earlier on.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now I'm asking you about the 19th, when they came to hospital.
13 And you say that they were employed with their wives?
14 A. No, I did not say employed. That is what you are saying.
15 Q. Thank you. Now you tell us, then, what were they doing?
16 A. What were they doing?
17 Q. On the 19th.
18 A. On the 19th, my husband came and he was down there, but he was not
19 with me all the time.
20 Q. Thank you. Do you know how many of these husbands of yours were
21 there at the Eltz castle? Did your husband ever tell you about that?
22 A. I don't know the exact numbers. I know a few names, and I can
23 give them to you any time of day and night, whenever you want.
24 Q. Since I don't want -- can you tell me how many members of the ZNG
25 were there?
1 A. I cannot.
2 Q. So, see, you cannot. Thank you.
3 Can you explain why you locked up your husband at a given point in
5 A. I didn't lock him up. I wanted to lock him up, though, so that he
6 would stay so that I would go to the plaster room together with my
7 colleagues. But he didn't want to. He left.
8 Q. Thank you. Why did you want to lock him up?
9 A. I cannot say now. I don't know the reason. That's what came to
10 my mind that very moment. And why? I don't know.
11 Q. Thank you. You said that you don't know what happened around the
12 hospital. My question is the following: While you were employed there,
13 did the hospital have its own internal security? Did you have any
14 security, any guards?
15 A. I did not participate in that, and I don't know whether there was
16 any such thing.
17 Q. Thank you. And in this period, did you leave the hospital
18 building during those two or three months?
19 A. I came from home and I worked in the hospital, and I didn't leave
20 the hospital after that.
21 Q. Thank you. And at any point in time, did you go upstairs from the
22 basement during those two or three months? Did you go to the entrance, to
23 the door?
24 A. I only went to the hall of the internal medicine department and,
25 when necessary, I took the container with the sterile material so that the
1 wounded could have their wounds dressed.
2 Q. Thank you. And in that hall and by that door, did you see armed
3 policemen guarding you?
4 A. I did not see.
5 Q. There was no one there?
6 A. I am telling you that I did not see them, because I walked
7 upstairs and I went straight to the hall.
8 Q. All right. All right. Thank you.
9 In this period of time, did you notice what Vesna Bosanac was
10 doing and what Dr. Njavro was doing?
11 A. As for Dr. Vesna Bosanac, I cannot say anything because she's on
12 one side of the building and I'm at the other side of the building. As
13 for Dr. Njavro, I can confirm that day and night he went down to see the
14 wounded in the shelter and the halls.
15 Q. And did Vesna Bosanac come to see the wounded where you were?
16 A. I saw her a few times when she came but I cannot give you the
17 exact number.
18 Q. Thank you. Before these armed conflicts took place, you know the
19 layout of the hospital very well, don't you?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The main entrance to the hospital, are there any steps before you
22 enter the hospital through the main entrance? Are there any steps there?
23 A. Yes. Steps that take you to the ground floor as we call it.
24 Q. Is that the main entrance?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. And on the other side, or just a moment, please. On
2 the other side of the hospital, are there any steps there too or do you
3 just walk straight to the door?
4 A. There are no steps, and there is a slight slope leading to the
5 emergency entrance for the surgery and all other emergencies.
6 Q. Thank you. Before you came in and stopped going out, did you see
7 a red cross flag in the hospital compound or not?
8 A. On the roof there was a marking.
9 Q. What marking, where?
10 A. Well, there was this red cross.
11 Q. Could you be more specific? What was marked by a red cross?
12 A. Well, up on the roof, the hospital was marked by a red cross.
13 Q. I've heard you. But could you please explain more specifically,
14 what kind of a sign was this, a marking? Was it drawn or what was it?
15 A. How it got up there, I really don't know. I saw something white
16 and red, but whether this was drawn or how it was placed up there, that I
17 don't know, and I don't know who placed it.
18 Q. Thank you. Was it placed up there so that it could be seen from
19 an airplane too?
20 A. Well, it was on the roof.
21 Q. But how could you see it if you were not viewing it from way up?
22 A. It's a slanted roof and on that side I saw it. Whether there were
23 any other things elsewhere, I really don't know.
24 Q. Thank you. When did you see it? What period of time was it?
25 A. In the beginning, I really wouldn't be able to tell you more
1 specifically. I don't remember what month it was.
2 Q. Do you know who placed it?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Thank you. I don't want to put to you what other witnesses stated
5 here; no reason for that. Did you ever hear of a JNA soldier called Sasa
7 A. The one that was wounded?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Yes. I think there was a Zoran and then a Sasa, I think.
10 Q. All right. Since you heard about them, what did you hear about
11 Sasa, when did you hear it, when was he brought to the hospital?
12 A. I heard from my colleagues that he had been wounded. Where and
13 how, I don't know. I heard that he was at the hospital. I personally
14 didn't see him. I didn't take care of him. And I know nothing about him.
15 Q. Thank you. Why did your colleague then tell you and how come you
16 remembered this so that you could reply right away when I mentioned his
17 name, Sasa Jovic?
18 A. I suppose that he was Sasa Jovic, but since my son is called
19 Zoran, I remember that another one, another wounded person, was also
20 called Zoran.
21 Q. Well, how come do you then remember Sasa Jovic? Was it by his
22 first name or his last name?
23 A. I didn't remember either his first or his last name. It's just
24 that you mentioned him, so I thought you were right.
25 Q. Thank you. Does it mean that they were the exceptions, these two
1 JNA soldiers, who were there in the hospital wounded and that this is how
2 you remembered them, because all the rest were members of the Croatian
4 A. No.
5 Q. Well, how did you then remember them?
6 A. I didn't pay any attention to the people's origin.
7 Q. All right. Did you have any members of the ZNG hospitalised in
8 your hospital?
9 A. Everybody who was wounded was brought to the hospital.
10 Q. My question was about the ZNG members.
11 A. I can't answer that because I didn't keep the records. I don't
12 know who was what.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you know somebody from your street, do you know
14 their first names and surnames, people who belonged to the civilian
15 protection? And did any of them come to the hospital seeking help?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. All right. We concluded based on your testimony that your husband
18 was active in the military sense.
19 Do you know whether Dr. Vesna Bosanac's husband was also active in
20 the military?
21 A. I don't know that.
22 Q. What about the husband of Dr. Striber?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Do you know who nurse Marica is? She used to work in the Vukovar
1 A. Listen, it's a quite common first name. I don't know who you are
2 referring to.
3 Q. Do you know a person with the first name of Marica? Do you know
4 any last names? Was there any such nurse?
5 A. We had several women with that first name.
6 Q. Give us an example.
7 A. Well, we had Marica Stanek. People also referred to me as Marica,
8 even though my name is Mara.
9 Q. Is that the same Stanek who came with your husband?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know the nurse whose surname is Bradaric?
12 A. There was that last name, a person with that last name, but I
13 can't remember what she looked like.
14 Q. Do you know that her husband was a member of police force?
15 A. I don't know that.
16 Q. Can you tell us in that three-month period of time, how many
17 doctors there were at the Vukovar Hospital, approximately?
18 A. I can't say that. I would now have to enumerate them, all of
19 those whom I can remember, in order to be able to give you a number.
20 Q. If I told you that there were 36 of them, 36 physicians at the
21 Vukovar Hospital, can you confirm or deny that?
22 A. I cannot confirm that.
23 Q. Do you deny that there were that many?
24 A. I can't deny that either. I don't know the number.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. If I tell you that there was 107 medical
1 technicians, nurses and others at the Vukovar Hospital, would you be able
2 to confirm that number? These are your colleagues.
3 A. I can give you the same reply. I didn't keep the records, I
4 didn't show any interest in that, and I don't know the figures.
5 Q. All right. We mentioned some of your colleagues and their
6 husbands. If you're interested in the information I was able to acquire
7 so far in this trial, you will see that I learned that the husbands of
8 almost all of the nurses were militarily engaged. What would you say to
10 A. I cannot comment what you're saying.
11 Q. Do you understand -- do you speak English?
12 A. No.
13 Q. When you gave your statement to the investigators in 1995, did
14 they read the statement out to you before you signed it or, rather, did
15 you sign it?
16 A. I think I did.
17 Q. Before you signed it, was this statement read out to you?
18 A. Quickly, speedily, yes. It was read out to me. I perhaps didn't
19 even think it through.
20 Q. But nevertheless you signed it?
21 A. Well, I was beside myself, just like I am today.
22 Q. All right. I'm trying to be as fair as possible. I don't think I
23 have been unfair so far.
24 A. Based on you, I would have to confirm all kinds of things, even
25 the ones I know nothing about.
1 Q. All right. All right. When you gave your statement, did you draw
2 a sketch of the hospital or parts of the hospital?
3 A. No.
4 Q. No?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could I have the
8 assistance of the usher, please? I want this sketch to be placed on the
9 ELMO. The Prosecution already has this sketch, so I didn't provide them
10 with a copy.
11 Q. Do you have it on the screen?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. We'll wait just a little bit. Would you be so kind
14 and lift up the sketch? I'm talking now to the technicians. Just a
15 little bit more. Do you see the signature?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Please don't interrupt. Is that your signature?
18 A. I was just about to tell you that.
19 Q. Just tell me. Is that your signature?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right.
22 Can we now lower it a little bit, the sketch? Can you -- yes.
23 Thank you.
24 Did you draw the sketch?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Who drew it for you?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. You don't know? You never saw it? You just signed it.
4 A. I didn't see the sketch then. And you, if you want, you can pass
5 it on to somebody who will analyse the handwriting and see whether it's
6 mine or not.
7 Q. All right. When you gave the statement you gave it voluntarily?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the sketch, if I'm not mistaken, was not something that you
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And you never saw it until today?
13 A. I saw it --
14 Q. When?
15 A. When I arrived in The Hague.
16 Q. You told us that this was not your sketch, that you didn't draw
18 A. I said that and I stand by that.
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order to be as
21 efficient as possible, to contribute to the economy of the proceedings, I
22 will now conclude with my cross-examination.
23 No, just a second. I apologise.
24 Before I conclude completely, I would like to tender this sketch
25 into evidence because, after all, there is a signature and the witness
1 just confirmed that it was hers. Thank you.
2 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit 128.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] As I have already thanked you, Your
5 Honour, I will now formally conclude my cross-examination.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
7 Mr. Bulatovic.
8 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. Good
9 afternoon to everybody.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Bulatovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mrs. Bucko, I am attorney Bulatovic. I am one of
12 the lawyers for Sljivancanin. I will now be putting questions to you.
13 Please give us your answers slowly. Since my colleagues and the
14 Prosecutor spent quite a long time examining you, I will try to conclude
15 before the end of business today.
16 My first question to you: In addition to the statement that you
17 gave to the OTP investigators, did you ever, between 1991 and today give
18 any other statement to anybody else, any written or any other kind of
19 statement about these events?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. All right. So your husband came on the 19th in the
22 morning, if I'm not mistaken.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Prior to his arrival to the hospital, were there any other
25 husbands of your colleagues there, and if so, do you know when they
2 A. There were husbands there, and as to when they arrived, I don't
4 Q. Do you know what they did, these husbands of your colleagues?
5 What they did during their stay in the hospital? What kinds of jobs? I
6 know that you discussed this somewhat but it remained --
7 A. Unclear. And I'm unable to clear this entirely for you because I
8 told you I did not concern myself with that. I don't know what they did.
9 Q. You said that you sent your daughter to Miklosevci. You said that
10 your daughter-in-law went to Krk and that after sometime your son joined
11 her. Can you tell me when this was, approximately? Do you know at least
12 the month?
13 A. Approximately my daughter left in late August or perhaps early
14 September. I don't know for sure. My father-in-law lived in that village
15 and she went there. I thought that perhaps I would be able to visit her
16 when I was free. However, I wasn't able to do that. When she left the
17 village, based on what she told us they went to Ilok, and then from Ilok
18 the army took her away and somehow she arrived in Djakovo to stay with my
19 family there.
20 Q. I'm sorry, I was just interested in the time frame, not in the
22 A. My son left as did my daughter-in-law. My granddaughter was born
23 on the 18th of August. My son left in late August, or perhaps early
24 September, to join his wife and daughter. And he didn't come back.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether any other neighbours of yours,
1 colleagues, friends, acquaintances, sent members of their families outside
2 of Vukovar during this period of time? Just tell me yes or no.
3 A. I know about some.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell me, do you know whether sometime during August
5 1991, the media, and by this I mean television or radio, did they
6 broadcast the information that there was -- that there was going to be an
8 A. I didn't hear that.
9 Q. All right. On the 19th, you said that you went to the hall
10 looking for your husband and that there were a lot of people there. Is
11 this the hall that one enters after going through the main entrance?
12 A. This is the hall right next to the main entrance of the hospital,
13 taking the steps up.
14 Q. Do you know how many steps?
15 A. I don't know. I went there numerous times but I never counted.
16 Q. More than five or less?
17 A. More than five.
18 Q. All right. Thank you. When you enter the hall, are there
19 corridors going to the left or the right or straight?
20 A. This is the hall that takes you either to the right or to the
21 left. It takes you to the internal diseases ward and then there are steps
22 leading to the ground floor and then stairs leading upstairs. There was
23 also an elevator there, freight elevator, and the one for us personnel.
24 Q. Thank you. In your view, how many civilians there were in that
25 area in the hall and corridors?
1 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you that. I was just looking for my
2 husband. If somebody asked me for my name, perhaps I would not have been
3 able to answer. I was that excited.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, let us turn to the meeting that you described on
5 the 19th of November 1991. You said that you weren't sure what time it
6 was. When you gave your statement to the Prosecutor, you said that a JNA
7 officer approached you. This is what is stated in your statement. And
8 then he said that all nurses had to come to the plaster room?
9 A. Yes. We were told to come to the meeting in the plaster room on
10 the 19th. As to the time of the day, whether it was -- it was in the
11 afternoon, but I don't know what time.
12 Q. All I'm interested in is whether you were told this by a JNA
13 officer, as your statement reads.
14 A. I can't tell ranks. I don't know. The man wore a uniform.
15 Q. You say that once you got there, there was another officer
16 standing there whom you identified as my client, Mr. Sljivancanin.
17 A. I didn't know that he was Veselin Sljivancanin. He introduced
18 himself to us.
19 Q. All right. Can you tell the Court and tell us in greater detail
20 what you remember about that conversation conducted on the 19th in the
21 afternoon with the medical staff?
22 A. As far as I remember, that's as far as I can tell you. In the
23 plaster room, the gentleman introduced himself to us. I can't tell you
24 whether he said he was a captain or a major. He said to us, "I am Veselin
25 Sljivancanin. Dr. Bosanac is no longer anything. You will have a new
1 director. I don't know his rank. I don't know his name. You medical
2 staff may remain working here. There is no need for you to be afraid.
3 The hospital will continue operating. You will work here." And I don't
4 know what else to tell you. I have already described this.
5 Q. Yes. That's right. Thank you.
6 In that meeting, do you remember whether there were any doctors?
7 A. I'm not 100 per cent sure that Dr. Matos was inside. As for the
8 others, I didn't see them.
9 Q. Thank you. Do you remember how long this meeting went on?
10 A. I don't know. I really can't remember.
11 Q. Do you remember whether at that meeting Mr. Sljivancanin made a
12 proposal? Maybe you already said this but never mind -- that you take a
13 few days of leave and then return to work?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. On the evening of the 19th, you're there in that room
16 with your husband and some other colleagues. Since you were talking about
17 everything, were you commenting upon what happened in the plaster room and
18 also these changes, changing the director of the hospital, the offer to
19 take a few days of leave and work again? Did you talk about it?
20 A. We talked about it a little bit, because I personally felt that
21 some fear was instilled in me, but how, I really cannot say.
22 Q. On the 20th, in the morning, there was a meeting in the plaster
23 room again?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you remember who called you and informed you about the meeting
1 in the plaster room on the 20th in the morning?
2 A. A younger man in uniform knocked at the door in the morning and
3 told us to go to the plaster room. Then I told my other colleagues, let's
4 go. And he went further on asking other people to come, walking down the
5 corridor, down to the atomic shelter.
6 Q. Does that mean that at the moment when you arrived in the plaster
7 room there were already medical staff members in the plaster room and
8 after you arrived there others came after you did?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you see any doctors in the plaster room then?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Not a single one?
13 A. I cannot confirm that. I do not recall seeing any one of them.
14 Q. This meeting on the 20th, in the morning, in the plaster room, do
15 you remember how long it went on?
16 A. I cannot confirm that either because I do not remember how long it
18 Q. Do you remember the content of the meeting, the things people
20 A. Like on the previous day, that day we were also told that we
21 should stay on working, that we should take a few days of leave and stay
22 with our families for a few days and that the hospital would go on working
23 and that we would have this new director.
24 Q. Thank you. You said that during the course of the meeting itself,
25 a colleague informed you that your husband had arrived and you talked
1 about this. So you left?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. How long did you talk to your husband?
4 A. Very briefly.
5 Q. Was the meeting still on in the plaster room during that time?
6 A. Yes, yes. Because I came back to the plaster room.
7 Q. Do you remember how long you stayed after having returned from
8 seeing your husband? So how long did this last?
9 A. I cannot tell you exactly. Well, you can reach your own
10 conclusion. While I was talking to Mr. Sljivancanin, I was making this
11 list, he was in the plaster all the time -- room all the time. He said
12 that he would bring our husbands. Now, how long this went on, I don't
13 know. Who sent -- who he sent to bring these husbands, I don't know. I
14 don't know who went to fetch our husbands.
15 Q. Thank you. All these conversations that you're referring to now
16 and these meetings with Mr. Sljivancanin that have to do with lists and
17 handing over lists, are all of them taking place within the hospital?
18 A. Part of them took place within the hospital and then I wanted to
19 open the door and to give this further on in the corridor but I was not
20 given that opportunity. There were other staff members of ours in the
21 corridor and there were their husbands. I wanted them to be included in
22 the list too.
23 Q. All right. Tell me, on the basis of what did you write down 17
24 names? Is that your own recollection, that these people were there, or
25 did you have any other information as to who you should put on that list?
1 You said 15 or 16 names.
2 A. I had no other information. We knew who the husbands there were.
3 We were there, the plaster room, and we were writing their names down.
4 Perhaps there were more too. I don't know, or perhaps even less. I
5 cannot tell you exactly.
6 Q. If I understood you correctly, you said that you did not make this
7 list in the plaster room but in another room.
8 A. That's not true. I just went to get a piece of paper at the
9 surgery, and I took it out of a drawer and I brought it back to the
10 plaster room, and that's where the list was made.
11 Q. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you. I allow for this possibility,
12 of course. But as you were making the list, in the plaster room, was
13 Mr. Sljivancanin there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was there any other officer of the JNA present there?
16 A. This new director introduced himself to us. Now, did he make that
17 speech to us on that day or the previous day, I cannot tell you exactly.
18 I don't remember.
19 Q. From the moment when you handed over the list to Mr. Sljivancanin,
20 to the moment when you left the hospital and when you started walking
21 around the compound, do you remember how much time went by?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Your husband was not there then?
24 A. No. That's why I was running around seeking help.
25 Q. Do you remember how much time went by?
1 A. No, I can't remember.
2 Q. Please, just don't say anything in advance. I'm just about to put
3 the question to you.
4 I'm asking you all these things in terms of whether you can
5 remember because I'm perfectly aware of the time distance and everything
6 that you went through.
7 So, from the moment when you left the hospital and when you saw
8 that your husband was not there, up until the moment when you saw him on
9 the bus, can you tell me how much time went by approximately? Half an
10 hour, an hour, two hours?
11 A. I cannot say. I can just say that in the morning, we were asked
12 to come to the plaster room at 7.30 or 8.00. I don't know exactly. When
13 he was taken away, I don't know. And they were returned around noon,
14 roughly, in daylight. But when I left the plaster room, what time that
15 was, I really cannot say.
16 Q. You say that you went to the bus, and then went back, and then the
17 soldier didn't let you in, and then you asked to see Dr. Ivankovic and
18 Veselin Sljivancanin, and you talked to Sljivancanin. Is that right?
19 A. I was looking for Dr. Ivankovic, and -- that is to say, both nurse
20 Biba and I. So that Dr. Ivankovic would make it possible for us to get
21 our husbands to go with us, and that Mr. Ivankovic should intercede on our
22 behalf with the new director, and he said that he would help us. He went
23 out of the building with us. We were walking and then I saw that they -
24 the husbands - already got out. And Mr. Sljivancanin was there and Bogdan
25 was there.
1 Q. After this conversation with Dr. Ivankovic, before you saw the
2 husbands taken out of the bus, did you talk to Mr. Sljivancanin?
3 A. I think that in the yard, when we were running around, I asked him
4 to let him have the men brought in.
5 Q. Let me just ask you one more thing. Major Sljivancanin, as he
6 introduced himself in the hospital, did he make an offer to the effect
7 that the people who agreed to stay there would be transported to the
8 places where their relatives lived?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, when your husband came back, when
11 Sljivancanin came, this identification was carried out and all of that,
12 and you left together with your husband --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- from that place.
15 So immediately after this dialogue that you described, did you go
16 immediately to the bus with your husband, and the bus was near the main
17 entrance, if I understood you correctly?
18 A. Again, I cannot tell you anything specific in terms of time. But
19 we went to the opposite side, to the main entrance, the main entrance
20 leading to the entire hospital. That is where they had been placed. And
21 then we slowly went there, got there, boarded the buses, and waited for us
22 to be taken elsewhere.
23 Q. You say that you took the road to Petrovci and that then in at
24 some curve, the bus made a U-turn, and that you did not go to Croatia. Do
25 you remember that somebody explained what happened on the bus? There was
1 this driver who you say was a very fair person. Did he tell you anything?
2 A. That driver did not tell us anything. But the driver who took us
3 from Sremska Mitrovica to Croatia was a very fair person. But who drove
4 the bus from Vukovar to Sremska Mitrovica, I really don't know.
5 Q. I'm just going to ask you whether you recall whether there was one
6 bus or several buses?
7 A. I don't know the exact number, but there were several buses.
8 Q. Do you remember whether you were at the beginning or towards the
9 end of the column?
10 A. More towards the end of the column.
11 Q. Was Barak mentioned as a place that you were offered to be taken
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was there an offer made by Major Sljivancanin?
15 A. He said that if I wanted to, I could go -- I could get off in
16 Barak and go to the village of Miklosevci to get some rest and then go
17 back to work.
18 MR. BULATOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
19 just concluded my cross-examination, and I have no further questions for
20 the witness.
21 Q. I thank you, too, Mrs. Bucko.
22 A. You're welcome.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bulatovic.
24 Mrs. Tuma.
25 MS. TUMA: Thank you, Your Honour, just one clarification
1 question, please.
2 Re-examined by Ms. Tuma:
3 Q. Mrs. Bucko, you have a couple of times mentioned the name Bogdan
4 in the hospital. Who was he?
5 A. That is the doorman.
6 Q. And when you mentioned him in your description that we heard
7 today, he was walking together with Mr. Sljivancanin in the compound of
8 the hospital. Do you remember his last name, Bogdan's last name?
9 A. I'm not sure. But I think that it was Kuzmic or something like
11 Q. At this time, when you saw him, Bogdan Kuzmic or something, in the
12 hospital compound, in what way was he dressed? Do you remember that?
13 A. I do not remember.
14 Q. Did he make any impression of what he was -- in what capacity he
15 was there?
16 A. I don't know in which capacity he was there.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you.
18 MS. TUMA: No further questions, please. Thank you for that.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mrs. Tuma.
20 Mr. Borovic.
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Your Honour, I should just like to ask the Prosecution, through
23 you, because we have established some good customs, to have witnesses
24 announced at least for the week that follows. We don't understand who the
25 witness is going to be on Monday. We accept some of the changes that have
1 taken place in the meantime, but it would be a good thing for us to have a
2 witness list so that we would be on a footing of equality, legally
3 speaking with the Prosecution. Thank you.
4 JUDGE PARKER: I agree very much, Mr. Borovic. It would be
5 important to know who is to come on Monday, and I think answers are being
7 MS. TUMA: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I was in conversation with my
8 co-counsel. Sorry, Your Honour. That is for the next witness, as I have
9 been informed at least, it will be the husband of Mrs. Bucko, and we are
10 planning to, from the Prosecution side, to have him on Monday.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Very well. And do you happen to know who follows
13 MS. TUMA: Yes. We have a protective measures witnesses on
14 Tuesday, as we have in our plan at least.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Is that Witness P029?
16 MS. TUMA: No, that is P032.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And is there any other witness
19 MS. TUMA: And, Your Honour, due to the planning from the
20 Prosecution side, there could be additional information later on this
21 afternoon that I have not been informed of actually.
22 JUDGE PARKER: About witnesses. Very well. Well, at least that
23 gives you Monday and Tuesday to work on Mr. Borovic.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That will
25 do. Thank you.
1 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Bucko, you'll be pleased to know that that
2 concludes your evidence and the questions asked of you. So you're now
3 free to leave, if you wish to. I gather your husband will be giving
4 evidence on Monday. It will be a matter for you whether you stay here or
5 go home. But the Chamber would like to thank you for the trouble you've
6 gone to to come here and for the assistance that you have given.
7 We will now adjourn until the afternoon of Monday at 2.15.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Monday, the 5th day of December,
10 2005, at 2.15 p.m.