1 Tuesday, 6 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning, Mr. Bucko. May I remind you of the
7 affirmation that you made at the beginning of your evidence, which still
9 Now, I think Mr. Domazet has got a few more questions for you.
10 WITNESS: IRINEJ BUCKO [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Domazet: [Continued]
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet?
14 MR. DOMAZET: Thank you, Your Honours. Good morning,
15 Your Honours, good morning to all.
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Bucko.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. You must remember that you gave a statement to the investigators
19 of this Tribunal quite a number of years ago.
20 A. Yes, back in 1995.
21 Q. Can we agree --
22 A. I took an oath and that's that.
23 Q. Thank you very much. Can I take it that your statement was
24 truthful and that you only told the truth?
25 A. Yes, the truth only.
1 Q. Can we agree that back in 1995, ten years ago, your recollection
2 was much more vivid than it might be today?
3 A. I was younger back then. I'm older now. So my memory, too, is
4 slightly weaker.
5 Q. You also know, I'm sure, that your wife gave such a statement and
6 she testified before the Tribunal?
7 A. Of course she had to give a statement since we live in the same
9 Q. Very well. You've been married for a long time?
10 A. Indeed, indeed.
11 Q. I believe you know your wife very well. My question: Would she
12 have any reason at all not to tell the truth to this Tribunal?
13 A. We have been married for 43 years. I suppose we trust each other.
14 Q. Can I take your answer to mean that you believe there is no reason
15 for her not to be telling the truth to this Tribunal about anything and
16 especially about you?
17 A. She would have had no reason at all to tell anything else but the
19 Q. In your statement, you spoke about your area, the area in which
20 you lived, being a mixed area. More than half the families in your area
21 were Serb families?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You said then, and I'm asking you now, that you had had a peaceful
24 and good coexistence with all your neighbours?
25 A. I would like to ask the Court to provide a lengthier explanation.
1 Q. Please answer my questions only.
2 A. Yes, I'm trying to answer your question, precisely what you asked
3 me. I'm trying to tell you about how we lived. We lived side by side, as
4 brothers. We went our separate ways, that's true, but there are those who
5 saw me off when I had to go and took me back and there are those who left
6 and there are those who are still there and we still live together.
7 Q. Thank you very much. Let's go back to a time before the war. You
8 said most of your neighbours started leaving Vukovar, specifically because
9 they knew, you said, that something would happen. Can you explain that,
11 A. That's very simple. When they heard about Borovo Selo they knew
12 right away that they had certain suspicions and that's why they did what
13 they did. Nobody drove them out.
14 Q. You also said, and I hope you will now confirm, or deny, that they
15 were telling you that they felt they were in danger and were afraid to
16 remain in Vukovar with the Croats. That's from your statement.
17 A. Yes, one man said one thing and the next man said something
18 different altogether. One neighbour told me this, the other neighbour
19 told me that. One neighbour told me, "I sent my wife and both my children
20 to Belgrade and gave them each a thousand Deutschmark." That's what he
21 told me. I don't know what the case really was.
22 Q. There was a question about barricades yesterday. We are done with
23 that. But I want to know, did you hear at the time about explosions in
24 Vukovar, houses being set on fire, and newspaper kiosk being blown up?
25 Did you hear about any of that?
1 A. I didn't speak to anyone. I didn't see anything myself, but
2 people were saying all sorts of things, but I wasn't there. I didn't hear
3 anything, and I had no idea whose houses they set fire to.
4 Q. You said yesterday that for the most part you moved within your
5 family up and down your street except for those times when you drove your
6 wife to work and back?
7 A. Yes, and I went to visit every time I could. I went to the
8 hospital whenever I could.
9 Q. You spoke about the 25th of August, that day, the day you saw
10 planes flying over Vukovar. Can you please remember if the day before you
11 heard a single plane being shot down above Vukovar?
12 A. Sir, I was born on the 24th of August so I remember well. We were
13 in our house and we went out to watch the planes.
14 Q. I don't think I understand your answer. I don't think that
15 answers my question.
16 A. I'll repeat it for you. You're asking me about earlier on, the
17 24th, for example, which happens to be my birthday. We were in my house,
18 I watched the planes flying overhead, and I know where they were coming
19 from, from the Danube towards Bogdanovci, and they were flying fast above
21 Q. You're saying you saw planes on the 24th but it was on the 25th
22 that they actually bombed Vukovar?
23 A. Yes, but 24th -- the 24th was the date when the first plane came.
24 The 24th was the day when they started throwing grenades and bombs
25 dropping them on Vukovar, whatever, give or take a day or two. I don't
1 think that matters.
2 Q. Mr. Bucko, I am trying --
3 A. You're trying to cheat me, aren't you?
4 Q. I'm trying to --
5 A. Good.
6 Q. I'm trying to be specific. You said that Vukovar was bombed from
7 planes on the 25th and not the 24th, is that true?
8 A. Yes, that's true.
9 Q. Based on your answer I also hear that there were planes flying
10 over Vukovar on the 24th?
11 A. They were flying overhead all the time. I was -- I was not the
12 pilot of those planes. Whenever I saw -- I don't know when they were
13 flying. Whenever I saw one I tried to run as fast as I could.
14 Q. But my question is: Did you hear or not that on the 24th, a plane
15 was shot down over Vukovar, yes or no?
16 A. No, no. Who could I possibly have heard that from? I was at
18 Q. If you heard nothing on that day or the following day, did you
19 ever hear about something like that later on?
20 A. Those are just stories, planes being shot down and all that. Your
21 people were shouting one thing, the other people were shouting something
22 else, and people were saying different things. I knew nothing save for
23 what was happening in Sajmiste where I lived.
24 Q. So your answer is no, you never heard anything about that later
1 A. It's all just hearsay and stories. I didn't see this. I can't
2 confirm it. I can only say no in answer to your question.
3 Q. Thank you. You said that on the 25th of August, your wife was
4 called to the hospital for an emergency. If my understanding is correct,
5 from that day on, she no longer returned home, she stayed in the hospital
6 and worked there. Is my understanding correct?
7 A. Yes. That's true. She received a call, an ambulance came along
8 to fetch her, they took her to the hospital, and they had 24-hour shifts.
9 Whenever she was able to come home, she would call me. I would go and
10 pick her up and then I would drive her back to the hospital, and we kept
11 doing this for as long as we could. When I fled Sajmiste I stayed at the
12 hospital. This was sometime in September or early October. I'm not sure
13 about the dates. How could I be sure about the dates? This wasn't
14 exactly yesterday, was it?
15 Q. But that wasn't my question. You answered more than I asked.
16 A. That's just for you to understand better.
17 Q. But if I understand you correctly, you say that even after that
18 date, your wife worked 24-hour shifts but whenever she could, she would go
20 A. She never came home and stayed there. After she left, she stayed
21 at the hospital. Whatever free time she had we spent together and we
22 drove back as often as we could. But there was a time when we were no
23 longer to drive back home and then she remained at the hospital.
24 Q. You said that sometime in July you became a volunteer; is that
1 A. Yes, a volunteer.
2 Q. Can you please explain how you did that?
3 A. Just like that. We were called to the municipality, the old
4 Vukovar municipality in Radiceva street. That's your local commune.
5 There was shooting at the time so they organised for all the women and
6 children to be taken away from Vukovar. My son drove them in a PIK bus to
7 the island of Krk. Secondly, we were ordered to watch the houses of those
8 who had fled, to shut the gates, and to try to make sure the houses were
9 not looted because those people were our neighbours, after all. That was
10 our assignment. There you have it.
11 Q. So you much like all the others, guarded the streets and the
12 houses. Were you carrying weapons?
13 A. We only had domestic weapons, the sort of thing that citizens
14 wear. There were several hunting rifles and there was one Kalashnikov.
15 I'm not sure where they got that one. We had small-calibre ammunition
17 Q. The transcript doesn't reflect that -- the fact that a Kalashnikov
18 was there. Could you please tell us about that. Where did it come from?
19 A. That was ten years back. I gave a statement ten years ago. I can
20 no longer remember as well as I used to. It was maybe a pump-action rifle
21 or something like that. I'm not sure it was a Kalashnikov but it was no
22 major weapon. We didn't even have a proper automatic rifle.
23 Q. At that period, you went to the hospital to visit your wife?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Did you ever stay at the hospital with her during this time?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you remember the specific period of time and how long?
3 A. That was either in early October or mid--- I can't remember.
4 Perhaps it was late September. I can't remember, but I was there.
5 Q. What happened there? How did you leave the hospital in October?
6 A. What happened, everything was shattered, that's what happened.
7 The windows, the doors. Sime the driver who wasn't driving a car -- and
8 it was all shattered. And then we got some planks to board up the windows
9 so that there wasn't too much draft for the sick and the wounded and so
10 people could keep on working.
11 Q. Mr. Bucko, my question is, after that stay in the hospital you
12 left the hospital. When and why?
13 A. What do you mean when I left the hospital? I left the hospital
14 after I had stayed for two or three days. Three or four men came along
15 and told us that we had to leave, those of us who were selected, Selebaj,
16 Bilic, who else was there? I don't have a clue. Stanko, Sremac. Who
17 else was there? Beats me. There were five of us but I know exactly what
18 you're driving at. You mean about the palace? They took us to the palace
19 and they told us we had to stay there.
20 Q. And from that time on, until the fall of Vukovar, you stayed at
21 the palace?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was that your assignment and the only position that you manned?
24 A. Yes. And we left it only if we went to visit somebody, for
25 example, if I went to visit my wife and we could go back to our houses but
1 we were completely unarmed. We didn't even have a sling.
2 Q. At the time, were you a member of the military police?
3 A. What military police? All of this, the ZNG and the military
4 police, all that came about later, and I said this in 1995 when I gave my
5 statement. We were nothing. We were not soldiers, we were not officers.
6 We had no insignia nor ranks, we had no captains, majors, nothing. I
7 don't know what we were. Well, I didn't carry anything on me. I don't
8 know what other Croats did and now you're blaming me for something I don't
9 even know for what.
10 Q. Mr. Bucko, I'm asking you whether you were a member of the
11 military police, manning the palace, because this is what your wife stated
13 A. I don't know what they were called. I don't know how she learned
14 this, how she heard this. If she heard that this was military police,
15 then, yes, fine, you can write it down. I was a member of the military
16 police. Fine with me.
17 Q. At the palace or perhaps prior to you going there, were there any
18 major incidents, any instances of killing, either of the people who were
19 there or civilians?
20 A. I will tell you the truth now and I hope the Court will listen to
21 me. The greatest thing of importance there were the works of art, plus
22 the five of us, Stanek and so on. We were all of different ethnicities.
23 One was a Slovak, one was a Ruthenian, and so on. So we represented their
24 brotherhood and unity. That's what we were. And there was another guy
25 who was a Serb there, Stanko.
1 Q. All right. I will wait for the interpretation to finish.
2 At one point in time, while you were there at the palace, or
3 perhaps prior to that, did you hear that a large number of people were
4 killed, let's say 12?
5 A. More than that. Now you're talking. Now you're talking. I was
6 hoping that you would put this question to me. It will take some time for
7 me to answer. I apologise.
8 We were there guarding the castle. There were large wine cellars
9 below the castle belonging to Pik company, and then there was an opening
10 where people went to get air. Otherwise, they stayed underground. They
11 had candles, and we stood there guarding them. We knew if the candles
12 were blown out that they would suffocate. Those who didn't drink wine,
13 even those were drunk. And what happened then? There was shelling and
14 I'm not sure but I think it was the Yugoslav People's Army, large shells
15 were landing, eight bombs called Krmaca landed. One fell in front of the
16 church. One fell in front of the gate. And they were as large as gas
18 Q. Whether was that?
19 A. In late October, sir. They kept firing at the palace and they
20 kept yelling, "There are so many Ustashas, so many ZNG members. We will
21 get the whole municipality killed."
22 Q. How did you hear this?
23 A. They were broadcasting that via loudspeakers. They asked us to
24 come to the wood market and raise a white flag.
25 Q. All right. You're speaking about October. Do you know what
1 happened at the palace in August or were you not there at the time?
2 A. I told you, first I went to the hospital.
3 Q. Mr. Bucko, do you know what OSA 3 is?
4 A. This is the first time I hear that. OSA is a wasp; it's just a
5 little bit bigger than a bee. I don't know what it means where you come
7 Q. The same thing. Do you know if there was a checkpoint at
9 A. We didn't have a checkpoint. I told you what we had. We had a
10 local commune at Sajmiste. That's all we had.
11 Q. Do you remember a school called Stjepan Subanc [phoen]?
12 A. Yes, yes. It's right where I live, at the top of the hill. That
14 Q. Was there something there, a checkpoint perhaps?
15 A. No, nothing whatsoever. I was there, there were all these
16 streets, Dalmatinska, Istarska, Slavonskih Brigada, and I don't know their
17 names. These are narrow streets. As I told you yesterday, this is a
18 small area.
19 Q. All right. So you don't know that such a checkpoint existed?
20 A. I don't know that.
21 Q. Even though you passed there frequently, you don't know that such
22 a thing existed?
23 A. Well, there was no inscription, no sign saying so. Had I read a
24 sign, then I would have been able to tell you so. But I didn't see
25 anything and I'm telling you only about things that I saw and that I know.
1 Q. When you gave your particulars, you said that you had completed
2 your JNA service.
3 A. Yes, in Slovenia, in Tomlin.
4 Q. That at the time that lasted for 18 months; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Surely you remember that at the time when you were doing your
7 military service, you also took an oath?
8 A. Yes, just like the one I did hear except a bit different, in a
9 different place.
10 Q. Do you remember at least a portion of that oath?
11 A. No.
12 Q. If I were to refresh your memory --
13 A. No, because I'm not about to repeat it.
14 Q. Well, let me try. This oath stipulates that those who take the
15 oath would defend territorial integrity of the country.
16 A. No, that wasn't at the time when I took the oath.
17 Q. What country was it then when you took the oath?
18 A. Well, it was Yugoslavia, and nowadays, it's Croatia.
19 Q. When you say nowadays, you mean 1991, the events that we are
21 A. Croatia is a younger state, younger than Yugoslavia.
22 Q. At the time, do you remember, and I can refresh your memory, that
23 while Yugoslavia existed, the president of the Presidency was Mr. Stjepan
25 A. Yes, and you didn't want to let him in so he never was the
1 president of Yugoslavia. And now he's the president of Croatia.
2 Q. Yes. But Yugoslavia existed at the time, it was a recognised
3 country, and Croatia still wasn't, if we can agree on that?
4 A. Well, I don't know how long it existed. It was Yugoslavia and
5 then it split apart and then you started -- you started taking parts, and
6 then Tudjman had a row with somebody and I don't know how this came about.
7 Q. I will now turn to your arrival at the hospital on the 19th of
9 A. All right.
10 Q. I think that you stated yesterday that Vukovar fell on the 18th of
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How did you know this? Based on what? Given that you were still
14 at the Eltz palace on that day.
15 A. Yes. That's right. Stanko Sremac, on the 18th in the morning,
16 came and said, I'll go and visit my apartment. He lived in skyscrapers
17 near the Danube. He had an apartment there and went to see his apartment.
18 He went to see his apartment and didn't come back that night, the night
19 between the 18th and the 19th. Where he was and what he did, I don't
20 know. In the morning, he came, maybe it was 6 a.m. or I'm not sure; it
21 was dawn. And he said to us, "What are you waiting for here? The army is
22 at the Vuka River, the JNA soldiers and their weaponry, all of them are at
23 the Vuka. Don't stay here. You can go to the hospital and find salvation
24 there." And then he said to me, "Bule," that's what they used to call me,
25 he said, "Bule, if you want, Drago, you and I can go to the Danube. There
1 is a Hungarian boat there and we can take that boat." I didn't go with
2 him. Rather, Stanek Rasidemujl [phoen] and I went to the hospital and we
3 stayed at the hospital. That's what happened.
4 Q. So based on that, based on his words, you know that the day before
5 you went to the hospital, that is the 18th, Vukovar fell?
6 A. Yes, that's right. He was outside. I wasn't.
7 Q. Did he tell you or perhaps did somebody else tell you at the time
8 that on the 18th, the Mitnica defenders surrendered to the JNA?
9 A. Sir, don't ask me that. Sljivancanin was in the hospital on the
10 18th in the evening and people disappeared from up there, and there was a
11 major in the hospital who went around with a nurse looking at the wounded.
12 Q. You never mentioned the 18th.
13 A. Well, you got me all confused.
14 Q. All right. Let's try and answer this in an orderly fashion.
15 Please wait for my question to conclude before you give your answer. Can
16 we agree that based on what you learned on the 19th, upon arriving in the
17 hospital, nobody had come into the hospital prior to that?
18 A. No. The JNA troops and officers entered the hospital on the 18th
19 in the evening.
20 Q. Yesterday you said that that was on the 19th, in the evening. You
21 came on the 19th in the morning in the hospital and there was nobody
23 A. I was unable to see anybody because I went straight down there.
24 There was nobody I could see. I could barely see myself.
25 Q. You came to the hospital on the 19th in the morning?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So we agree on that?
3 A. Definitely.
4 Q. While en route to the hospital, did you come across any soldiers?
5 A. Yes. We were all moving at the same time. There were walking
6 around like hordes with sacks and looting and stealing everything.
7 Q. So you came to the hospital and you said you were unable to enter
8 through the back entrance?
9 A. Through the main entrance and through the emergency entrance, yes,
10 that's right. We couldn't go through those entrances.
11 Q. It was locked?
12 A. Locked or something else. I don't know. I couldn't open the door
13 and I wasn't about to break it.
14 Q. So you came to the main entrance and you couldn't go through that
15 entrance either but the glass on the door was broken so you were able to
16 enter that way?
17 A. Yes, that's right. This is a large door with two parts, with
18 glass, and it was broken so this is how we were able to come in, the three
19 of us.
20 Q. As you were waiting there to see your wife, were there a lot of
21 people there?
22 A. Don't mention this. There were wounded people lying on the floor,
23 on the stretchers, civilians, everybody was there. It's an unimaginable
24 sight. One cannot conceive this. There were so many people.
25 Q. You say there were a lot of people. In your statement, you
1 mentioned the sons of Mr. Kolak?
2 A. Yes, that's true. They were my neighbours. There were three
3 brothers, two were killed, the father was old, and I don't know whether he
4 is still alive. They lived on another street close to me called
5 Patkoviceva [phoen] street.
6 Q. In your statement you said that you saw them changed into medical
7 uniform, that that surprised you.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You said that they were defenders of Vukovar.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Yesterday you explained how you acquired a white coat. You said
12 that your wife gave you one.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Please wait for me to finish my question and then confirm it or
15 deny it. So based on the request of your wife, Mrs. Kolesar gave you a
16 white coat?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Does this mean that you became a part of the medical staff?
19 A. No, it didn't. I didn't have an ID saying that I was a doctor or
20 something else.
21 Q. The staff, the people who worked as auxiliary personnel, who did
22 physical labour at the hospital, did they wear white coats, blue coats, or
23 green coats?
24 A. I don't know what kind of coats they wore. I saw that people with
25 white coats had IDs. As for the labourers, how would I know? I came to
1 the hospital, I greeted my wife, there were people in white coats around
2 me. How would I know? What was I able to do that? You can laugh all you
4 Q. They are not laughing, Mr. Bucko. Far from it. I'm asking you
5 what labourers wore, the auxiliary personnel. Did they wear blue coats
6 unlike medical personnel who wore white coats?
7 A. Listen, you know very well, one knows well who is a doctor, who is
8 a nurse, and who is a labourer. I don't know what labourers were dressed
9 in. If nurses were unavailable then drivers would help carry the wounded
10 person inside or outside. And how were they supposed to be dressed? They
11 had to have some kind of a uniform. They couldn't go in their outdoor
12 clothing, all dirty and then help with the wounded or the patients. Don't
13 ask me this.
14 Q. Mr. Bucko, I'm trying to ask you about what you know. What I know
15 is irrelevant to the Trial Chamber. It's not me testifying here. I'm
16 asking you about all these things, no matter how clear you think they are.
17 A. Very well. Please go ahead.
18 Q. My question was: What was the blue overcoat about and why were
19 you given a blue one? Did that mean that you would be evacuated with that
20 blue overcoat on?
21 A. No way, no way. I was wearing the white overcoat because I was
22 dirty. Ever since the shelling began in July, I hardly washed and I had
23 nothing to wear. If somebody saw me I was quite a sight, without meaning
24 to offend anyone or myself. She was thinking about what to do with me,
25 Biba, I know her, I know her husband, she knows my wife. She was thinking
1 about how she could help me so she found a short, white coat. It wasn't
2 even big enough to fit me. It was big enough for a child perhaps but not
3 for me.
4 Q. You mentioned your friend Kolja, that's Mr. Kolesar,
5 Mrs. Kolesar's husband?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can we agree he was a member of the National Guards Corps?
8 A. I have no idea what he was. He never shared that with me.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] A correction for the transcript.
10 Mr. -- Mrs. Kolesar's husband, because originally it said something else.
11 Thank you.
12 Q. You said and your wife confirmed that you had spent that evening
13 in a room off a corridor where there were many wounded and sick lying all
14 over the place.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I believe you said you hardly slept a wink that night?
17 A. And who did? Who do you think could have slept?
18 Q. Please don't interrupt my question. Wait for me to finish my
19 question and then you can speak. Did anything happen during that night or
20 was that night quiet at least?
21 A. Well, there was all sorts of things going on outside.
22 Q. I'm asking about the hospital and the corridor?
23 A. There were the wounded. We were in this small room, the
24 sterilisation room. There were some shreds of cloth there and dirty
25 linen, that sort of thing. We were waiting for the end. We were waiting
1 for the observers to come. We were waiting for the evacuation to begin.
2 Who was there? My wife, Magda, Ilonka, and myself.
3 Q. That's precisely why I asked the question.
4 A. Yes, just you go ahead but please don't try to lead me astray.
5 Q. The following morning, the 20th, did anyone come to your room?
6 A. That was in the morning. I have no idea. It was still dark. So
7 I really didn't have a clue. I suppose it was still in the morning. A
8 man came over, he must have been a soldier, I guess. He banged on the
9 door and he said, "All of you to the plaster room, now." We were
10 surprised and I stayed there alone. He said, "You can't stay here. We'll
11 lock you up." I was just standing there looking at him and I said, "I
12 can't stay here. I want to go, too." And he said, "But you can stay
13 here." And then I came out of the room, and I walked a little. I have no
14 idea whether they locked the room up or not. I think that it was locked
15 because when I came back to get my coat it was locked. That's how it was.
16 And then everybody went to the plaster room. So there you have it.
17 That's how it happened. On the way there, or, rather, as I was walking
18 back, or when I left the hospital, well, all sorts of things were
20 Q. Your wife went to the plaster room and you went out -- you went
21 out. You put on your blouse after that and --
22 A. Yeah, yeah, no, no, no, no, no, ask away, ask away.
23 Q. Did you at any time ask someone to call your wife who was in the
24 plaster room to go back?
25 A. Yes, I was walking towards that room in my poor coat. I came to
1 the room, found that it was locked. I saw Stanko there and I asked him
2 what's happening. Because I saw that those two soldiers were driving
3 everybody away. Selebaj was there. That was his last name or first name,
4 I don't know, with his wife. He said, "Where is Mara?" He said, "I don't
5 know." I said, "Go look for the key," and then she went off and came back
6 with a key.
7 Q. I'm asking you about this because you didn't say this yesterday.
8 A. You just go ahead and tell me what I said and what I didn't say.
9 I can confirm or deny for you.
10 Q. You said that you talked to somebody else, not her.
11 A. Yes, that's true. But that was later on, when I left with the
12 coat on.
13 Q. But you did see your wife. She left that room, she gave you a
14 key. This is not something you said yesterday?
15 A. Nobody asked me. If you had asked me I would have told you.
16 Q. You say that back then, in those conversations that you had, you
17 always indicated that you were a civilian and you demanded to be or
18 expected to be evacuated alongside with everybody else.
19 A. No, no, no. It wasn't like that. You can say whatever you like.
20 We just took those coats in order to carry the wounded. That's why we
21 took the coats. We wanted to help the nurses carry the wounded. What
22 could I possibly have done there?
23 Q. That's not what I'm talking about. You indicated that, were you
24 in fact a civilian or did you consider yourself a member of the ZNG,
25 military police, or any other unit?
1 A. I was a civilian. I felt a civilian. People knew that I was not
2 a help worker for the hospital. Everybody knew that. It was clear
4 Q. I would like to briefly go back to Kolak's sons, the people you
5 mentioned. Your statement seems to suggest you were surprised to see them
6 and that it was wrong of them to act the way they did. Is my
7 understanding correct of that part of your statement?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you please explain why you thought there was no way to treat
10 people or was there a different reason?
11 A. The way they treated people was no good. If they had been heroes
12 up to that point, and they gave us the coats, everybody knew we didn't
13 have the ID. You weren't blind. Of course, you could tell. Some people
14 had long coats but you knew they weren't doctors. He just came there and
15 somebody gave him this coat so that he can help carry the wounded.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. Thank you, too.
18 Q. Just one final thing. You didn't speak about that yesterday and
19 you did say that in your statement, so I would like to remind you now.
20 Back at the hospital, did you see Marin Vidic, also known as Bili?
21 A. Yes. I did see him, and the other one that you didn't ask me
22 about, the main man at the hospital. The name escapes me. It's on the
23 tip of my tongue but I can't seem to remember it for the life of me.
25 Q. I understand that you knew Marin Vidic, Bili, you knew who he was?
1 A. Of course I knew him. He was the main man in the municipality at
2 the time, the president of municipality.
3 Q. But do you know who was president of the municipality before him?
4 A. Krpina, Dokmanovic.
5 Q. Do you know why and how Marin Vidic, Bili, was at the hospital
6 that day?
7 A. Well, he was the president of the municipality, probably he was
8 there to arrange things with the other people. He had a right to be there
9 but I'm not going any further into that. None of my business, is it?
10 Q. When on -- did you see him or on what occasion? Please tell us.
11 A. That was on the 18th in the evening, yeah.
12 Q. Are you sure about that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Bucko. I have no further questions for you.
15 A. Thank you for asking me all these questions. I'm truly, truly
16 glad that you did.
17 Q. I am glad that you are glad.
18 JUDGE PARKER: While everybody is glad, I think that Mr. Borovic
19 has a few more questions for you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He may as well go ahead, as far as
21 I'm concerned.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Borovic:
24 Q. Good morning. There will be a handful of questions, that much is
25 certain. I'm Borivoj Borovic, counsel for Mr. Radic, Mr. Bucko. I will
1 start with this last question. You said that on the 18th in the evening
2 you saw Marin Vidic, Bili, where was that?
3 A. At the hospital.
4 Q. What are you doing there on the 18th in the evening when you said
5 several times that you only arrived on the 19th in the morning?
6 A. The 18th, the 19th, well, I may have got it mixed up. One day was
7 supposed to be on the 18th but, no, no, no, it was on the 19th and the
8 20th. The whole thing was happening because you were trying to get me
9 confused on this one yesterday. So I'm getting the numbers mixed up.
10 Q. Well, I wasn't the one leading you astray yesterday.
11 A. Yes, but someone was and that's why it stayed with me.
12 Q. So what's your answer? When did you see Marin Vidic, Bili, the
13 last time?
14 A. The 19th in the evening.
15 Q. Thank you. What else were you doing at the hospital [as
17 A. How should I know? What are you asking me for? You should be
18 asking him this. I have no clue. We weren't mates or anything. How
19 should I know what he was doing at the hospital.
20 Q. What part of the hospital did you see him in?
21 A. The corridor. He was on his way out of the hospital.
22 Q. On his own?
23 A. Yes, he and Bosanka.
24 Q. Thank you. Do you know where they went to?
25 A. How should I know? I didn't ask them, did I?
1 Q. Let's go back to the very beginning.
2 A. Let's.
3 Q. When exactly was the defence of the town first organised? What do
4 you know about that? When were you first informed that a defence was
5 being organised?
6 A. Organised? Town? My street? July. It started in July. We were
7 called to the local commune because that's how it was. We had to do
8 something about the shooting that began. Serbs were fleeing Vukovar. We
9 had to watch their houses. We had to send our children and wives off on a
10 bus, that sort much thing.
11 Q. So those of you who weren't Serbs organised yourselves and sent
12 your children and wives out of Vukovar?
13 A. No. No. I wasn't even there when they saw them off. It's the
14 local commune. They were the ones who organised this. I wasn't there,
15 and I wasn't the one who drove them.
16 Q. Thank you. So Croatian children were being seen off --
17 A. No, don't talk like that. I'm not going to answer.
18 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think the witness
19 should show some respect and allow me to finish my question. Please hold
20 often a while.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Listen to me now --
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yes, but my question is --
24 JUDGE PARKER: The children who were moved off in the buses by the
25 commune, Mr. Bucko, can you tell us who those children were?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Who were they.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those were children, citizens of
4 Vukovar. Please, it has nothing to do with Croatian children, Serb
5 children. Nobody was thinking about that. Don't try to make it seem like
6 it was like that. We lived as brothers and sisters until the very end. I
7 spent ten years in exile. I've had enough. I'm sick of these questions.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. But we've only just begun.
10 A. But I can't go on like this.
11 Q. My next question: Where did these children go? Where were they
12 being sent when this was organised by the local commune?
13 A. I heard they were being sent to Krk and some of them returned. I
14 have no idea who came back and who didn't.
15 Q. Is my understanding correct that Serb children went to Krk and
16 that this had been organised?
17 A. Not Serb. Everybody who wished to go could go. Nobody was forced
18 to go. Whoever decided to send their children away did so. There is a
19 slant to your questions that I don't like and you're trying to make me
20 answer your questions in a specific way.
21 Q. But were those children Croat or Serbs?
22 A. I'm telling you it was all mixed. Nobody was separating Serbs
23 from Croats or Serb children from Croatian children.
24 Q. Did you leave my child alone?
25 A. Your child, whoever's child. Don't do it like this. You're very
2 Q. My next question: Did the local commune have a plan that they
3 shared with the men from Sajmiste, a plan for men, for adults?
4 A. What plan are you talking about? There was no plan. There was an
5 arrangement, there was shelling, bombs were falling more or less.
6 Q. There was an arrangement, who made this arrangement?
7 A. There was Menges Zlatko, one; his son, two; Kelava Mirko, three.
8 They were all there.
9 Q. So they organised this meeting and they ran the meeting?
10 A. They weren't the organisers. They were members of the local
11 commune. They had to be someone in the local commune who was a member to
12 send out invitations to people, that sort of thing. What else they were,
13 what their positions were, I have no idea. They were my neighbours. They
14 happened to be there. I have no idea what else they were.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Before the armed clashes, in your best
16 estimate, how many Serb houses were there in Sajmiste and how many Croat
18 A. More Serb than Croat but not the whole of Sajmiste, just my area
19 of Sajmiste. There is no need to hurry like this. How do I know how many
20 people there were? There was Petrova Gora, too. That is also part of
21 Sajmiste but it's called Petrova Gora what do you say about that?
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. You're welcome, very welcome.
24 Q. In your area how many Croat houses were there?
25 A. I have no idea. I didn't make lists of people. I know that the
1 judge was there, the teachers were there. The municipal workers were
2 there. They were all Serbs, holding positions. Nobody talked to them.
3 Nobody said you are Serbs so that's why you have all the positions. I
4 came there in 1970. I was the youngest member.
5 Q. You said in your statement to the investigators here in The Hague
6 and you confirmed this yesterday, as well as today, in answer to a
7 question by my learned friend, Mr. Domazet. You said people started
8 leaving the Serb houses and you remained there to watch the houses so they
9 weren't looted.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did all the Serbs leave their houses or what?
12 A. No. I'll tell you. It was like this. Some of them left their
13 houses, left altogether and never came back. There are those who left
14 their houses at the time and came back later on, and there are those who
15 left when we left. They saw us off. They greeted us upon our return and
16 they are still together with us.
17 Q. But did they too participate in your defence units in Vukovar or
19 A. Who, those who stayed? Well, I'll tell you. It was like this,
20 Rajic, Pero, son, he's in Novi Sad. He's my neighbour.
21 Q. They didn't return after the war?
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the answer.
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't understand did they return or not?
25 A. The sons didn't return and their father and mother stayed there.
1 They saw me off when I left and I found them when I got back.
2 Q. Thank you. Did Croats leave your street at there period in time
3 too or not?
4 A. How do I know?
5 Q. Just a joke. So you don't know.
6 A. I'm a simple man. How should I know? Most Croats were expelled
7 from Vukovar. I can list all of them for you, those who live on my street
8 and around my street.
9 Q. I didn't ask about later. I was asking about this period of time
10 when you were still in Sajmiste and when Serbs started leaving their
11 houses. My question was: Were Croats leaving their houses too?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. You said that organised defence began. Organised by
15 A. By no one.
16 Q. All right. Thank you?
17 A. You are just trying to trick me. I know what you're trying to do.
18 Q. Units in which you were, did any in them wear uniforms?
19 A. No, nothing.
20 Q. Nothing?
21 A. Nothing they were all civilians.
22 Q. All right. Thank you. Would you please describe to us how Sremac
23 was dressed?
24 A. Same as you and I, or rather not you but same as me and everybody
25 else who was there. I apologise. You are really asking for details.
1 Perhaps he wore a bear's fur but I don't know. I mean, don't you a laugh
2 at me. I don't know what you're doing. You're trying to make a fool of
4 Q. I'm not doing that. You're doing it yourself.
5 MR. MOORE: I understand my learned friend has to cross-examine.
6 I understand the difficulties, perhaps more than most, but it's getting to
7 the stage now where the witness is just being upset, in my submission,
8 perhaps unintentionally, and it doesn't do the whole Tribunal any good at
9 all vis-a-vis the evidence. I wonder if my learned friend would no longer
10 laugh at him. I understand it is difficult sometimes. But it does show
11 an element of disrespect and, if he wants respect back, it has to apply
12 both ways.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore. I would say to all counsel
14 that this is a time for quiet calm and patience. If we are going to get
15 answers and we saw that both Mr. Moore and Mr. Domazet were able to and
16 you already have made some progress, Mr. Borovic. It's a matter of quiet,
17 steady patience and you may hear a lot more than you had intended to hear
18 when you ask a question, but somewhere in there, there will be the answer
19 to your question. And I know that this is difficult for Mr. Bucko. It's
20 not something he wants to go through in detail. And he's having
21 difficulty with the process of being asked again and again about things
22 that he doesn't see to be of much use to anybody. We might see it a
23 little differently and he will, I'm sure, try to understand that. But if
24 we can just quietly plod away, I think you might get what you need and
25 eventually we will be able to reach the end of the evidence.
1 Could I ask counsel, though, particularly as three Defence counsel
2 are cross-examining, to really think about the matters they are
3 questioning about. Are they important or not? Have they been dealt with
4 enough already? Because I think unnecessary repetition, and unnecessary
5 probing into small side details, will only delay the whole process
6 unnecessarily and not get any of us very far.
7 Thank you.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'm not
9 going to argue with you, but the Prosecution should be careful about what
10 witnesses they bring here. Perhaps they should have been prepared to
11 withdraw this witness.
12 JUDGE PARKER: No, Mr. Borovic. The Prosecution have obligations
13 to bring witnesses, whether they like them or not, whether they are going
14 to further their case. If they further your case, they should bring them
15 as well. So the Prosecution don't have a freedom of choice about
16 witnesses in our system. Understand that. Yes.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] All right, Your Honour. Thank you.
18 We will carry on.
19 Q. When you were taken to the palace of Count Eltz, who did you find
21 A. You made a mistake. I wasn't taken there. I went there myself.
22 I went myself to the hospital and also to the Count Eltz palace. What do
23 you mean was I taken there? You speak my language but you're twisting me
24 and then I will tell you in Croatian that I'm unable to answer such
1 Q. Thank you. Based on what your wife said and what you said to the
2 investigators, they came to fetch you, to take you?
3 A. From the hospital.
4 Q. From the hospital.
5 A. From the hospital, yes. I thought you meant from the palace. You
6 should turn to me, act like a man, not laugh at me, and look me in the eye
7 when you're talking to me. You're smarter than I am.
8 Q. So what is your answer to my question? When you were taken to the
9 palace of Count Eltz, who was there?
10 A. Who was there? The palace was empty.
11 Q. Was it locked?
12 A. No. It had been broken into.
13 Q. Was there something in the palace?
14 A. Yes, some works of art. There were some valuables, and I don't
15 know what else. I wouldn't be able to estimate there. Whenever I went
16 there I visited that place as a museum. That's my answer.
17 Q. You said certain things were broken. What was broken?
18 A. Well, there was shelling, you know that there was a war going on,
19 so what do you think one could find there?
20 Q. Well, were there things broken in the palace or around the palace?
21 A. I already told you how many Krmaca bombs landed there, before and
22 after. They kept shelling the palace because they said that Ustashas were
23 there and the ZNG members so they were just shelling away.
24 Q. You didn't answer my question.
25 A. You will never get an answer because you are not treating me
1 properly. I will not answer your questions any longer. Nobody will force
2 me to.
3 Q. All right. So what pieces of art did you find there?
4 A. What do you mean, valuables, pieces of art? Well, what we found
5 there, statues, paintings, you know what one can find in a museum. Don't
6 ask me what was there. How would I know? I wasn't an expert on museums
7 or anything like that. You know everything but all you're doing is
8 shaking your head.
9 Q. My next question is where were the valuables located in the
11 A. It was in the building, it wasn't on the lawn. Please don't ask
12 me such questions.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, is there area of questioning of any
14 real relevance in this case? The witness says it was a museum. He was
15 asked to guard it.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, but there are
17 facts indicating that at the time it wasn't a museum but, rather, a
18 military facility. This is why I'm putting these questions. I want to
19 verify. We know what with we have in our evidence and I want now to hear
20 the witness. We want to know whether he was there as a soldier or as
21 somebody guarding pieces of art.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Well, Mr. Borovic, why don't you put to him your
23 understanding of what was there, if it's different from his statement that
24 it was a museum? I don't think you're going to get very far asking this
25 witness about works of art and collections of valuables. You see?
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I see everything, Your Honour, but
2 I'm trying to ask questions in such a way as to prove that this witness
3 did not guard any works of art but was there as a soldier. And in order
4 not to put leading questions, I'm going -- I'm trying to go step by step.
5 I can put an end to such a procedure but yes, I understand what you're
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I say something?
8 JUDGE PARKER: Certainly.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What he's saying, we were there
10 guarding museum, but there weren't great valuables there. There were
11 people there under the museum, in the cellars.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you. When you left the palace, what happened there?
14 A. No, no, no. What do you mean we left it? We haven't left it yet
15 at that point. Sir, these bombs were not landing only while we were
16 there. They were landing at other time as well.
17 Q. Please answer my questions.
18 A. There was a mother there with two children, wounded, and a
19 grandmother was killed. A lot of dead people that we pulled out of the
21 Q. Can you please answer my question?
22 A. I'm not going to answer anything and you cannot force me to.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will not answer his
24 questions any longer. He is attacking me.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bucko, I think the problem is that you are
1 seeing a lot of things in wrong way. You are -- Mr. Borovic is trying to
2 learn from you some things that only you know, and you very quickly --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know these things.
4 JUDGE PARKER: You very quickly lose patience with him. Now, I
5 can understand that you find all this process very difficult, but you, as
6 I told you earlier, you will help us, the judges, a great deal if you try
7 to listen to what Mr. Borovic asks and try to give an answer where you
8 can. Now, you may not be able to tell him anything about works of art or
9 valuables in the museum. And you have told us that there was shelling in
10 the area, and you've told us that people who were in the cellars or the
11 cellar were injured, but Mr. Borovic now is wondering, when you left the
12 palace, did anything that you see happen to the palace when you left? Can
13 you remember anything about the palace when you left, anything particular?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before I left the place, there
15 was -- there were many people slaughtered there in the basement. I don't
16 know how many were wounded. Children. There was a massacre there.
17 Mother, children were wounded. Two daughters. And grandmother was killed
18 and then the wounded people were taken tout. I don't know how many. They
19 put them on a trailer and took them to the hospital. Their last name is
20 Vidic. That's what happened. I don't know if the gentleman heard this.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Well, I didn't hear it so I doubt that Mr. Borovic
22 did. Is this from shelling or some other cause, that all these people
23 were injured?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Krmaca bombs that landed on the
25 palace and around it.
1 JUDGE PARKER: This was before you left the palace, was it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before, certainly. All he's trying
3 to show here are the valuables and me there.
4 JUDGE PARKER: When you left the palace, what was the position
5 about the people who were down in the cellar? Were they still there?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what happened once I
7 left the palace. I don't know what happened there. Once I left the
8 palace and after that was gone, I know that there are some witnesses in
9 Vukovar who are alive, eyewitnesses, and perhaps the gentleman could go
10 and take a gift to them. These were the JNA shells.
11 JUDGE PARKER: The people who had been in the cellar sheltering,
12 were they still there when you left the palace? Or had they gone already?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. This was a team
14 collecting the wounded. I wasn't involved in this. We -- if you went to
15 the basement, then you could hear. You could hear people crying, and then
16 you would know that something had happened and this is what we were
17 actually guarding. We were guarding the hospital, and we were there to
18 ensure that these people were all right and if somebody was wounded we had
19 to send a word, you know, because we couldn't just leave the people there
20 in the basement.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Did you mean to say a moment ago that you were
22 guarding the hospital or were you guarding the palace?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were guarding the palace. And
24 the people in the basement, those who were in the basement, those poor
25 people who were killed and who have been scarred for life.
1 JUDGE PARKER: When you yourself went to the hospital on the
2 morning of the 19th of November, were there still people in the cellar, do
3 you know?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. Once I left, I don't
5 know. I came to the hospital on the 19th in the morning. I don't know.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Now, you mentioned you were there to guard the
7 palace. Were there others helping you guard the palace?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were only five of us.
9 JUDGE PARKER: Were any of these members of the ZNG?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] None, none. We were just ordinary
11 civilians. We had a hunting rifle and something like a pumping shotgun.
12 I don't know. And then when we stood guard, we would swap weapons. So
13 the only time we left the place was when we went to visit somebody. I
14 went to the hospital, Sremac went to his house, and that's it.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Were there any members of the MUP there?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
17 JUDGE PARKER: Now, Mr. Borovic, I've asked a few questions round
18 the area that might help you to see where it is you need to ask anything
19 further on that subject.
20 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance,
21 Your Honour. Based on all previous statements and testimony, I learned
22 that the task of this witness was to guard works of art in the hospital
23 [as interpreted]. My question was whether they took the works of art that
24 they were tasked with protecting from the palace when they left it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall I answer?
1 JUDGE PARKER: If you could, yes. Mr. Borovic and I would be very
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We took no valuables with us. I
4 don't know if there was anything that was of value there. I saw no
5 Picassos. I really wanted to see a Picasso painting. And then my wife
6 asked me after the war, where is your Picasso now? I don't know that
7 there were any valuables there.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you. That's a good answer.
10 My next question: When you came to the hospital [as interpreted]
11 you said there was no one there?
12 A. Yes, no one. It was the -- the war was broken down.
13 Q. All right. So there was no one there. What month was it?
14 A. That was October, early October, or a bit later. That's when I
15 went there.
16 Q. Thank you. So nobody there. The door was broken down, the palace
17 was empty?
18 A. Yes, everybody fled because of the bombing.
19 Q. All right. So when did this people arrive, the ones that were in
20 the basement?
21 A. I don't know. When I got there, I don't know who looked after
22 them. There were civilians there. I don't know who was looking after
23 them. We were just told that we should help each other. I don't know who
24 they were.
25 Q. All right. Following the directions of the Court, let me try and
1 put it this way: You said that you went there in October and there was
2 nobody there. And now you are saying that there were some people there
3 that you were looking after. When did they come and when did you start
4 looking after them?
5 A. I don't know. I don't know when they arrived there.
6 MR. MOORE: If one looks at the transcript, and I'm looking at
7 line 16, page 37, 16, there is reference to when you came to the
8 hospital. You said there was no one there. And then there is reference
9 to October. It may well be that there is a misunderstanding in relation
10 to whether one is talking about the hospital or whether one is talking
11 about the castle.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Q. Just -- my apology. I think it's a misinterpretation. The
14 question was about the palace, not about the hospital. You're entirely
15 right. Can this be corrected, please, the line in the transcript? We
16 weren't talking about the hospital. We were talking about the palace.
17 JUDGE PARKER: [Previous translation continues] ... I thought that
18 it was just a mistake when it appeared on the screen.
19 Mr. Bucko, you might be able to help me with that. When you first
20 got to the palace to start guarding it, were there people already
21 sheltering in the basement, in the cellar of the palace? Or did they come
22 later? Can you remember?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't. I can't remember when they
24 arrived. Once we had arrived, we heard children call or cry, I'm not sure
25 how I should put it. Then we realised somebody was there and then
1 somebody came up and said, "There are wounded people here, there are men
2 and women lying on benches." Who was responsible for that, I don't know.
3 And then he comes up and tell us, let's take care of this and that. He
4 was our boss. We had agreed. That's what we did. He was going around
5 checking what should be done and what have you. Once or twice we changed
6 the candles because the gas could explode.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you. You left the castle on the 19th, not taking with you
10 any valuable works of art. The five of you leaving the hospital, do you
11 physically see these people you are talking about?
12 A. Well, it's just off the road. You don't seem to understand. The
13 distance is the same as between me and the judges. That's the road and
14 there is the Danube. There is a tunnel there, a cellar, wine cellar, God
15 knows what, God knows who built it.
16 Q. Yes. But did you ask any questions about what happened to those
17 people that you had left behind? Did you just leave them like that?
18 A. Leave them like that? What do you mean? What became of them?
19 What are you trying to say? We are -- when Sremac came up and told me to
20 go, I went. There was nothing else I could do. He was outside.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't think it was
23 recorded in the transcript that Sremac was the commander.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, very well.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please speak one at a time.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] The transcript should reflect the
2 fact that Sremac was their commander. I don't want to make it seem like
3 I'm trying to manipulate the witness.
4 Q. Was Sremac your commander or not?
5 A. Commander, commander, he was an educated man and we were trying to
6 agree who would write things down. Of course it was him. He was one of
7 us. He lived with us. We shared the same pension, we worked in the same
8 company. I'm telling you so you know what this was about because you're
9 saying he was with us.
10 Q. Mr. Bucko, was Sremac your commander?
11 A. What commander? What are you talking about? He was an ordinary
12 person just like me. We were just trying to agree on what would do what.
13 What commander are you talking about? There was no captain, no major. He
14 was just an ordinary guy.
15 Q. When they took you to the Eltz palace, who gave you the weapons
16 and when?
17 A. What weapons are you talking about?
18 Q. The weapons that you had.
19 A. Well the man who came with us brought the weapons. I don't know.
20 There was a hunting rifle and that other thing, what's it called? You use
21 the same sort of ammunition as you do for a hunting rifle. I only saw
22 those weapons for the first time there and then. I had never used
23 weapons, not even in the army.
24 Q. Thank you. Those people who came to the hospital to take you to
25 the Eltz palace, they had weapons on them, didn't they?
1 A. They didn't have weapons on them. What are you saying? They
2 brought along from somewhere and then God knows what. Don't tell me they
3 had weapons when they were in the hospital. That's the -- that's the
4 mistake about you. You're talking about weapons all the time and you just
5 wouldn't listen to me. How can a civilian just be there? I told you
6 those people were all civilians, how could they just walk into a hospital
7 carrying a weapon? Who would have allowed that?
8 Q. Again, my next question because again you failed to answer my
9 questions. When did they bring those weapons?
10 A. That was 15 years ago, my friend. 15 years ago. How am I
11 supposed to know who had brought the weapons and who hadn't? When we came
12 there we knew what was in store for us. Please don't try to make me look
13 stupid. I'm sorry, I have to put it like this.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bucko, I think you are not listening very
15 carefully to what Mr. Borovic says. You are --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't. I need a break. I can't
17 keep listening to him any more.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Well, probably that's not a bad idea for all of us.
19 We'll have a break and you can just calm down. But when you come back, if
20 you could try and listen to Mr. Borovic's question. You seem to jump from
21 his question to something a little different and imagine he's putting
22 something to you that -- he really often isn't doing that. So once you've
23 calmed down, you may be able to hear him more clearly.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Fine, Your Honour. Fine.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you for trying.
1 We will adjourn now and resume at 10 minutes to 11.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore?
6 MR. MOORE: Your Honour, thank you very much. Your Honour, there
7 is one matter. I've asked the witness to remain outside in case he
8 understood what was about to be said. I hope you don't mind. It's quite
9 simply this. I've spoken to one or two of my learned friends at the
10 break. They have indicated concerns about the translation this morning.
11 And I think it's right to say that there has been an indication certainly
12 by Mrs. Tapuskovic that they well ask for an audio tape and perhaps a
13 retranslation of the video. Now, that is entirely their right and their
14 prerogative. The only matter that I would be concerned about is quite
15 simply this: If there is a problem with translation, and I've already
16 spoken to the interpreters upstairs in OTP, we have a view, and I say it
17 straight out now, that there are some errors but not significant errors.
18 But if there is going to be an issue in relation to translation, in my
19 submission, it should be dealt with now. If there are any ways that the
20 matter can be resolved, and I would have perhaps thought the way the
21 witness behaves, he explodes, I have savoured that delight in proofing,
22 then it may well be that he can be asked to slow down or the interpreters
23 ask him to repeat the -- whatever he is saying. I'm open to any
24 suggestions or any directions from the Court. But I do feel with the
25 utmost respect it should be dealt with now.
1 It's not a case, so there is no misunderstanding on this from
2 Mr. Borovic's point. This is not a case here of a witness where we say
3 that he is incredible or not believable. We say he is credible and
4 believable, if a little rustic in the way he approaches things but it's
5 not a case here of feeling obligated to call a witness that we are
6 suggesting or submitting is unreliable.
7 So I just raise the point in my submission it should be dealt with
9 JUDGE PARKER: Mrs. Tapuskovic?
10 MS. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
11 would like to clarify the exact nature of the exchange between Mr. Moore
12 and myself during the break. Mr. Moore approached me and asked me about a
13 comment that Mr. Borovic made on page 26, line 1, when he told the
14 witness, please leave my children or my child alone, after a witness made
15 a comment about children in general. So he understood that it was
16 Mr. Borovic's children that he was talking about. Mr. Moore asked me if
17 Mr. Borovic has any grown-up children or child and if maybe this child was
18 involved in the war. My answer was if there are any doubts about the
19 interpretation, we also have the audio tape, the audio recording of
20 today's session.
21 There was no implication whatsoever that the Defence would be
22 asking to have the tape reviewed or to manipulate this against today's
23 witness. After all, our cross-examination has not even been completed
24 yet. That's the extent of this story. My friend Mr. Moore said he didn't
25 understand the answer that Mr. Borovic gave but in our language, and in
1 our understanding, the comment made was about the witness not being
2 supposed to involve Mr. Borovic's children in this whole thing. So that
3 is all that Mr. Moore and I spoke about. Thank you.
4 MR. MOORE: My learned friend is absolutely correct about the
5 reference about "did you leave my child alone," I think is the phrase that
6 was in English. Clearly, if there is a personal element one is concerned
7 about it and I certainly did ask for clarification in relation to that. I
8 consider that to be a perfectly proper approach. I in no way am
9 suggesting that Mrs. Tapuskovic is trying to maneuver or manipulate in any
10 way at all. That is not my concern. If my learned friends, and I use the
11 collective, are concerned about the translation, I would submit it should
12 be mentioned now rather than later on. It is not just a case of one
13 phrase, and I repeat, I'm not suggesting in any way at all that Defence
14 are trying to manipulate. I just want to make sure that there are no
15 mistakes in relation to this issue.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic?
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I think we
18 are wasting time. I think we are on the right track to complete our
19 cross-examination, thanks above all to the patience of the Trial Chamber.
20 There are no objections. There are similar -- there are a number of
21 details that require further clarification. We can go back to the
22 transcript later on. If the witness is ready, as far as I'm concerned, we
23 can just go on. If the witness is not prepared to go on, then I have
24 precious little else to say.
25 Every witness has an obligation to respect the Court, just as we
1 do, the parties. If the witness is prepared to reappear in the courtroom
2 now, I suggest that that should be done as soon as possible. Thank you.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
4 Can I make a couple of things clear? First, that comment, which
5 has concerned Mr. Moore, was one which, as far as the Chamber is
6 concerned, is merely one of a number of curious expressions in the course
7 of various flows of language from the witness and from -- between the
8 witness and counsel, which we take at the moment as of no particular
9 relevance or significance at all. And it will remain that way unless
10 there is in truth some more fundamental issue behind it which needs to be
12 It is clear that in the case of this and for that matter any
13 witness, that it is quite easy for there to be some error in the
14 transcript. It occurs because largely of the speed with which both the
15 interpretation and the typing has to occur, and it's no particular fault
16 of anybody, but if there is some matter which is of importance that
17 appears to have gone wrong, we have already, I think, got into the routine
18 of raising it at some convenient moment so that the strange or unusual
19 answer can be checked with the witness and the matter clarified. That way
20 we can avoid any ongoing problem and get the situation sorted out while
21 the witness is here.
22 I've got to express my admiration for the way in which the
23 interpretation service has coped with this witness. It is very difficult
24 when the witness reaches the point where he feels he must intervene and
25 talk over counsel so that two people are speaking at once, and when he
1 speaks at the speed which his emotion drives him to speak with, how
2 anybody has been able to keep up with that is something that is almost
3 beyond my appreciation, and I'm very grateful for the efforts that have
4 been made.
5 Can I suggest for all counsel, as it seems likely that this will
6 be the pattern of evidence from this witness, that the moment he bursts
7 in, there is little point in trying to stop him until he has poured out
8 whatever it is. If counsel just stops speaking until the witness
9 finishes, I know it's a reversal of order but I think it's the most
10 practical way of us eventually getting through the questions that counsel
11 want to put and hopefully getting an answer from the witness. And it will
12 give the interpretation and the transcript-typing people some hope of
13 recording the essence of what is being said.
14 I don't think I can usefully add anything more at the present
15 time. We all appreciate that there are difficulties in handling this
16 witness. At times when an impasse appears to have arisen I've tried to
17 step in and get the witness receptive to more questions again, one way or
18 another, and then allow counsel to carry on. I hope that by one means or
19 another, we can reach the end of the witness's evidence with counsel
20 having achieved what they need to achieve with the witness.
21 If the witness could be brought back into court.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 Witness: Irinej Bucko [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Borovic: [Continued]
1 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Bucko, for waiting. There are a few
2 more questions from Mr. Borovic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He can go ahead.
4 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you. We heard that there was an underground passage going
6 to the Pik basement. My question is: Is that the same basement as the
7 basement of the Vupik company?
8 A. Yes, that's right, Vupik.
9 Q. Did you yourself go to that underground tunnel?
10 A. I did not go further than the place where the wounded people were.
11 Q. Did I understand you correctly, namely that the shelter which was
12 below, which was the basement of the Vupik company, was linked underground
13 with the place where you were?
14 A. It was made back in the times when the Turks were here. I don't
15 know what was there.
16 Q. All right. You said that this was an underground tunnel?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How long is it?
19 A. I don't know. I didn't see it -- all of it.
20 Q. And how far in the tunnel did you go when you saw these people?
21 A. Hundred metres.
22 Q. All right. Can you then describe this underground tunnel to us?
23 A. Well, there was no light there.
24 Q. Would you please explain it to us?
25 A. How can I describe that? There were wine barrels and there was a
1 small passage. I don't know. I didn't work in the wine company. People
2 lay there on the floor. There were just these huge wine barrels and
3 civilians there were drunk from the odour of wine and whenever they got
4 out they were killed. So people there were killed and there were wounded.
5 There was a storage and -- outside and whenever they got out they were
6 killed because when you got out you got hit by a shell.
7 Q. What did you quite say?
8 A. I said that the shells didn't pierce the tunnel. Don't interrupt
9 me. They didn't pierce the tunnel. It was when these people went outside
10 to get some air that they were killed. When they went outside they stayed
11 in a shed and this is where they got killed. The shells didn't pierce the
12 tunnel. There was a Krmaca bomb that fell right in front of the entrance
13 to the palace and then one landed in front of the church and these bombs
14 were as big as gas bottles or gas cylinders. That's how big they are.
15 Q. May we continue?
16 A. Certainly. Please go ahead.
17 Q. Were any of these people inside the palace or did they just stay
18 in that passage 100 metres away from the palace?
19 A. Sir, there was nobody in the palace but the five of us. Don't
20 thank me. Wait for me to complete my answer because otherwise you'll
21 complain that I didn't answer you correctly. Don't treat me that way.
22 Please take your share of responsibility. I took an oath and everything
23 I've said so far was true. You are guilty, all of you killed so many
24 people there. Now, after 15 years, I have to go back to those events and
25 what do you think how I felt while you were shelling me, and now you're
1 doing this to me again. Please don't do that. You have no character.
2 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is this a good time to
3 warn the witness? Perhaps this would be a good time.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, I don't regard the matter in the light
5 that you do.
6 But, Mr. Bucko, what is very clear to the Chamber is that you are
7 wanting to view these proceedings as involving some personal attack on you
8 and the memories which you hold dear to you of people who may have been
9 killed or injured. There is no intention on the part of this Court, and
10 as far as this Court has seen, no intention on the part of anybody taking
11 part in it to personally attack those memories which are very dear to you.
12 It is necessary, however, for counsel to ask you some detailed questions
13 about some matters that may involve some unpleasant memories for you.
14 Now, they are not doing that just to provoke or upset you. They are doing
15 that because it is of importance to this case, and, as I put to you in the
16 beginning, we have to learn about this case from you. And we therefore
17 have to ask you to be understanding when questions are put to you and to
18 try and be patient and deal with those questions even though they may
19 offend you or hurt you. They are not being done to offend or hurt you.
20 They are being done to try and help the judges here. And we would be
21 grateful if you could try and understand that, and try for the moment and
22 just listen to the question and answer it, and not think about so many of
23 the things that are upsetting you.
24 Now, the quicker we can deal that way, the quicker the questioning
25 can finish and you will not have to put up with it any more. So if you
1 could try to see it in that light and just get on with answering the
2 questions, the quicker you'll be able to get away and get back to your
3 ordinary life. It's not giving Mr. Borovic any pleasure to be having to
4 ask you all these questions. He's got a job to do.
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. In the Eltz palace, was there a warehouse of military medical
8 A. Military medical material? I didn't see it. I didn't hear
9 anything. To tell you the truth, I don't know what there was there. I
10 only went to one room but I didn't see any traces of that, and I myself
11 didn't take any of the stuff that was there and that's in line with my
12 upbringing. That's the kind of man I am.
13 Q. Which of the five of you had a weapon issued to him?
14 A. None of us. We didn't sign a receipt for any weapons. I don't
15 know when these weapons arrived. All I knew was that I guarded one door
16 and the other person guarded the other door, and then we put our weapons,
17 the hunting rifle and the ammunition, on the table. That's where we would
18 find it. There was nothing of the sort that you are implying, no army,
19 nothing of the sort. I don't know why you're bringing this up. They
20 never set foot there, your army or ours.
21 Q. After the war, in view of the fact that you were a member of this
22 formation, and I'm not going to specify which formation, did you receive
23 any benefits, any retirement benefits, or any veterans' benefits?
24 A. I have 35 years of service and I never got anything else. Why are
25 you saying this? I don't like what you're saying. All you're trying to
1 do is shift the blame on somebody else and disregard your share in it.
2 Q. Thank you. Would you please give us the names of these five
4 A. Sremac, Stanko, Irinej, Bucko, Selebaj -- no, not Selebaj, Stanek.
5 Just a minute -- oh, darn it. There were five of us, just a minute,
6 please. Mandic. There was Mandic. And another one, Vasas, yes, the five
7 of us.
8 Q. Thank you. What about the two Kolaks were they there?
9 A. No, no, no. They were in the hospital. Don't mix them up with
10 this. There were just the five of us in the palace. Sremac came later.
11 The four of us came from the hospital and I don't know where Sremac had
12 come from.
13 Q. And it would are the Kolak brothers?
14 A. My neighbours. There were three of them. Their father, Kolak,
15 worked with me in the same company, if you really want to know.
16 Q. Did they take off their uniforms and put on -- hospital clothes
18 A. No, there was nothing of the sort.
19 Q. If -- and if I tell you that on page 3, line 5, you yourself
20 mentioned the Kolak people and if you want I can give you this to read it,
21 and you said, "I remember seeing the two Kolak sons wearing these
22 uniforms. I didn't think it would help anybody."
23 A. But I didn't see them in military uniforms.
24 Q. Just a minute. And prior to that, you said that you were
25 disappointed because they had changed their uniforms took them off, and
1 pretended to be hospital personnel. Did you say that?
2 A. Yes. I did so, dear sir, and I stand by it. As for the uniforms,
3 if they had uniforms, then, yes, I can confirm that. Let it be the way
4 you say.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we put Exhibit P59 on the ELMO,
8 Thank you.
9 Could we zoom in, please, the downtown area. A bit more, please.
10 Thank you.
11 Q. Question for the witness: This is a map of Vukovar?
12 A. I know it by heart.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you please show on the map the area where you were
14 at the time, the palace of Count Eltz?
15 A. It's got to be here because the Danube is right behind it. Here
16 is the Danube.
17 Q. Would you please put a cross on that spot?
18 A. It should be around here.
19 Q. Would you please put a cross on the spot where the palace is?
20 A. Well, the colours are a bit difficult for me. Let me tell you.
21 The Danube runs right next to it and then there is the Vuka River. It's
22 by the church. Around here. Around here. Because -- around here. The
23 church and the cross, right here.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, can you please draw an arrow towards Danube and
25 write in number 1?
1 A. Number 1?
2 Q. Yes. So that we don't get confused on this map. So from this
3 spot would you please draw an arrow towards the Danube and then write
4 number 1?
5 A. That's not how it was. That's not how it runs. The Danube is
6 here and the Vuka is here.
7 Q. No, no. Not the hotel. I mean the river.
8 A. Yes, yes, the river, but there is a hotel there now as well.
9 Q. All right. Let's take it slowly, just write number 1 here.
10 A. All right. Here is 1. And here is number 2.
11 Q. Please erase number 2, we don't need it.
12 A. I don't know how to erase it. I've never done this before. I've
13 never even seen something like this before. You people are asking too
14 much of me. Why don't you come to Vukovar and I'll show you where the
15 Danube is?
16 Q. Will you please now circle number 1?
17 A. Circle the Danube?
18 Q. No. Circle number 1.
19 A. You mean on the map? Well, here is the number 1. Here is where
20 the church was and this is where it was.
21 Q. Would you please circle the number that you wrote, not the church,
22 the number?
23 A. I can't do that because it's front of the building. The Danube
24 cannot be on a road. How can it be on a road? The river always runs
25 behind a building, the building.
1 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can this please be erased, because
2 this is quite messy on the map and it will be of no assistance further.
3 Q. Would you please put a dot and then circle number 1? Otherwise
4 it's not clear.
5 A. Well, you're trying to convince me, I don't know where the river
6 is. I don't see all these dots of yours. I'm 63 years old and now you're
7 asking me to do this. Don't be too smart. How do you expect me to do
8 this? I don't know. All right. Well, let's erase this. All right. So
9 this is the Vuka River and then the Danube. And here is the cross, the
10 church and this is where the palace is. I don't know how else to explain
11 it to you. And now I'm expected to put a number 1. You know all these
12 things. The army was in Vukovar. Of course, you know this. You know
13 that the Danube is behind it. The Vuka River used to join the Danube. It
14 doesn't do so any more because it's been cut off, and it flows in this
15 direction. And this is where it flows into the Danube, right here. And I
16 can put number 1 there. This is where it flows into the Danube.
17 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't ask you this and I think the Chamber expects
18 us to give up.
19 A. No, no, no. You are doing all this to make it look that I need to
20 give up but you don't know where the Danube is. You can't even show where
21 it's on the map.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Bucko, unfortunately, the Chamber has not been
23 to Vukovar. Now, I think what we might do is just wipe clean everything
24 that's there, if the Court officer could do that. Thank you. Now, would
25 you be able just to put one red dot where the Vuka --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There it is.
2 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
3 Now, would you be able to put next to that a number 1.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. And could you draw a small circle
6 around the number 1?
7 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
8 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you very much. And --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
10 JUDGE PARKER: And we understand from you that the Vuka has now
11 been closed off from the Danube. Is that so?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Closed off, because it was dug
13 over towards the end, there is a circle there now, but still, there is a
14 very small stretch where it flows into the Danube. It has the same thing
15 as before but it's very short. It comes out right here and then it goes
16 right underneath and then it comes out here. But this is the main thing,
17 this is the main island, just across the way, and it should be around
18 about here. This is the rowing club. The rowing club should be about
19 here. And then there is the hotel now. What did it used to be? I think
20 a fishmonger's shop or something like that. That's the stretch of the
21 river. This is the Vuka and this is the road leading just past it.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Now, was the Vuka cut off before 1991
23 or has that happened recently?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was cut off -- I was still
25 working. They dug it over. I was still working. When was it? I don't
1 know. I was working at the Vuka on the river-banks of the Vuka and the
2 Danube. I can't remember the year but I was there and I was working too.
3 That was my company. Nobody can tell me now where the Danube is. I know
4 it by heart. I can just draw a line here and that's that.
5 JUDGE PARKER: So that was well before 1991, was it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Dug over, Danube. Nothing was
7 done, nothing. That was before. Not now.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Borovic, was there any other point you wanted
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That was my
11 intention and I never asked anything about the Vuka, to begin with. He
12 spoke about it of his own accord.
13 Q. Can the witness now, please, mark the location of the Vupik
15 A. Right here the palace is, the castle. That's where the Vupik
16 company is. And then across the road from there, you have the Vupik.
17 Q. Can you mark that, please? Put a dot there to mark the exact
18 location of the company.
19 A. I can't see it now. There is a road leading here. This is the
20 main road, right, okay, so these are the buildings, not facing the Danube
21 because the Danube is the other way. This is in reverse. All in all,
22 it's in front of the palace across the way from the palace, not the hotel,
23 I'm sorry.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is off mic. The interpreters can't
25 hear him.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The building is right there. So
3 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. Can you please be so kind as to put a number 2 next to
5 that dot and circle it, please?
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Thank you. Can you please indicate location of your house?
8 A. No. It's impossible. It's off the map.
9 Q. If we zoom out, can you please show us the general area of
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we zoom out, please?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let's try. This is the road to
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] I have been informed, Your Honours,
15 right now that we can't zoom out right now. We'll have to make a new
16 exhibit then, I suppose. But while we are at it with this map on our
17 screens, can the witness please show you us which road to the hospital he
18 took on the 19th, if we can draw that on the map.
19 A. It's right here. This is the road I took, right here. The
20 hospital is right here.
21 Q. Would you please be so kind and draw a line from this number 1
22 here to mark the route?
23 A. If I'm not mistaken, but I think this is right, this is the number
24 1, I went here and passed here but it's difficult there and then I went
25 here and here and here, following this line, the Danube is at the back of
1 the hotel and here I am right in front. So it's about here.
2 Q. Can you please draw the line as far as the hospital, please?
3 A. I can't distinguish these. This can't be. This is too small for
4 me. I can't see properly. I just can't. I'm sorry.
5 MR. MOORE: Could I respectfully make a suggestion? Firstly, the
6 witness perhaps to wear his glasses, and secondly, there is no dispute as
7 far as the fact --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I might as well put them on, yes.
9 No problem at all.
10 MR. MOORE: Mr. Bucko, can you just keep quiet for one moment,
12 There is no dispute where the hospital is. Should the witness not
13 be told where the hospital is located?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know where it is. I'm
15 telling you, I don't know where the hospital is. When I take the road
16 when I'm there, I do know.
17 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Just a minute, please. I asked you if you could find your way
19 around this map. You said you could.
20 A. Yes, but a proper map, the sort I keep in my car. Not this one.
21 Q. Can you see this thing here that says hospital on the map?
22 A. What do I know what hospital is? You should show me a photograph
23 or something. I have no clue. I recognise the letter H. When I'm in a
24 car, when I drive, I use a map. I can find my way, but this is too small.
25 Q. I'm trying to help you, Mr. Bucko.
1 A. There is no way you could possibly help me.
2 Q. I'll try to be patient. Where it says hospital, that's the
4 JUDGE PARKER: Can I suggest, Mr. Borovic, that we receive as an
5 exhibit the present markings and then we may be able to change the zoom
6 and that may help the witness to see a little more clearly. So we'll now
7 receive the map.
8 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE PARKER: With the numbers 1 and 2.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit 129, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
13 Now, would you like us to get to a bigger display?
14 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Your Honour.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can I just have an ordinary map, the
16 sort that civilians use? I really don't understand this map. Can I just
17 have an ordinary map, the map that I can use, the map that I keep in my
18 car to drive around? I have no idea about this map.
19 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please zoom in a little now?
20 JUDGE PARKER: That's it.
21 Now --
22 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Now, you need to zoom in further so that he can see
24 more clearly.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There is the hospital to the right.
1 But the Danube is not between the hospital and the Pik company. Oh,
2 Christ, yes, it was the Pik after all, and the palace was there. That's
3 what is leading me astray, the hospital and the palace and the Pik.
4 You're trying to lead me down the garden path. You know, when I left
5 Vukovar, ten years ago, how can I be expected to draw all the details for
6 you and meanwhile you're laughing. I am no longer prepared to allow you
7 to go on laughing.
8 Q. I'm not laughing at all.
9 A. Sure you're laughing. I went to school in Vukovar. You're
10 telling me about Vukovar, right.
11 JUDGE PARKER: I think we've had about enough of that. If you see
12 the photograph that shows you the hospital, there is an arrow pointing
13 from that photograph to a red dot.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the road. The main road.
15 JUDGE PARKER: Can you see the red dot at the end of the arrow
16 from the picture of the hospital?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, right here.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Now, that's where the hospital actually is, where
19 the red dot is. Okay? And can you see the main road? It's in a sort of
20 orange-brown colour.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can't be. The hospital can't be on
22 the same river-bank as the Danube. The hospital is to the left and the
23 palace is to the right. If you're taking the road to Borovo.
24 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, maybe that's the
25 witness's answer. I'm trying to establish his credibility, and this, too,
1 goes to the witness's credibility.
2 JUDGE PARKER: I really question that we are going to gain a great
3 deal pursuing locations on this map with the witness, Mr. Borovic. He
4 clearly --
5 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
6 JUDGE PARKER: He's clearly not oriented to this type of map.
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I do
8 believe, however, that based on the answers provided by the witness, above
9 all to my learned friend, we might acquire an impression. I asked him
10 about the location of his house, to please indicate that for me. If he
11 can find his feet or not, I don't know. I'm prepared to help him along.
12 It is not my intention to confuse the witness. But first of all I have to
13 check whether he was at the Eltz palace at all.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course I was. That's what I'm
15 telling you.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can Mr. Bucko please draw the location of his home on this map?
18 A. No. I can't, using this map. I'm not very good with this map. I
19 don't know this map.
20 Q. If that is the case, I believe that maybe he could.
21 A. Yes, I can but not with there sort of map. I've never seen a map
22 like that before. This is the very first time I'm looking at a map of
23 this kind. You know the sort of map that you keep in your car. If I can
24 be given an opportunity to use that, I could show you the hospital, my
25 house, the road, but I've never seen this one before. I've never seen
1 this map before. I wasn't trained to use this sort of map.
2 Q. Thank you. You completed secondary education?
3 A. What do you mean, gymnasium? Secondary education? Yes.
4 Agriculture. I'm not as clever as you.
5 Q. The briefing notes say secondary school.
6 A. No. It's a vocational school, three years -- for three years you
7 are trained to do a certain type of job.
8 Q. So that was an error, we should correct that?
9 A. Yes, it was certainly not a gymnasium.
10 Q. So that's an error on the part of the OTP?
11 A. Must be.
12 Q. I appreciate your patience.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, finally the witness
14 lass told us that he's not able to use this map. Therefore I'm
15 withdrawing the remaining questions concerning the map. We now no longer
16 require the map for our purposes. We can remove it from the ELMO and just
17 move on.
18 Q. You say that you were friends with Sremac?
19 A. Friends? What friends? We weren't friends.
20 Q. Thank you. But did you know him from before?
21 A. Of course I knew him. He worked for the pension fund and his wife
22 worked for -- at the hospital. She was an employee there.
23 Q. But did he live in your neighbourhood?
24 A. No. He lived at least two kilometres away from my place, up on
25 the hill. I just don't know the name of that neighbourhood.
1 Q. Thank you. What about the three other people that you mentioned
2 in answer to my question, were they from your street, from your
4 A. Not one of them, not one of them.
5 Q. How, then, do you explain the fact that during all this time, you
6 just guarded your street, you organised yourselves?
7 A. Well, you're trying to confuse me. You know when I came to the
8 palace. I don't need to explain this. I stand by my testimony.
9 Q. Just a minute, please. If you'd be so kind we'll try to move on.
10 A. You and I, we can't move on. This trial may as well go on for
11 another 15 years. You and I will never be getting on well. I'm trying to
12 give you my answer and you're trying to confuse me.
13 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't hear. None of these five people were from the
14 same street. Can you then explain to the Trial Chamber the fact that you,
15 of all people, were chosen at the hospital and you agreed to go, the five
16 of you. Who could have forced you to go there and watch the castle?
17 A. It might have been an old lady with a sling for all I cared. No
18 one forced me. They said, "You've got to go there. You've got to guard
19 the palace." And that's what I did. I went there and that's what I did.
20 What could I possibly have done? I spent all that time all over the place
21 so I thought I might as well go and guard the castle. What was in that
22 castle or palace? Nothing, after all. It was open, like I told you.
23 Q. That's my question. Did the five of you go of your own free will?
24 A. Not the five of us. It was myself, Stanek, and Vasas, and Sremac
25 came later.
1 Q. What about the fifth person?
2 A. Same thing. I'm not sure when, give or take a day or two. It
3 might have been one day earlier or one day later. His name is Mandic.
4 You want to know who he is? After so many years you're asking me. You
5 know there is no way for me to know. But you're shoving me along any way.
6 What I said the first time around I'm still saying the same thing and what
7 I'm saying is the truth and nothing but the truth.
8 Q. You told the investigators here in The Hague, and you repeated
9 that today, that for you, who came from the Eltz palace, the hospital was
10 the place that offered you the boast chance of survival. My question is:
11 Why did the hospital offer you and your pals from the palace the best
12 chance of survival? That's what you said.
13 A. You're not listening to me. I said Sremac came along and said to
14 us, on the street, that the army was at the Vuka. What are you waiting
15 for, he said, I said that in my statement, I stand by my statement. I
16 don't wish to repeat myself any more. Whatever I said in my statement is
18 Q. My question was: Why did you believe that the hospital offered
19 you the best chance of survival?
20 A. Well, ask Sremac. Track him down, ask him, "Why did you tell
21 Bucko and the other people, 'I'm going to my place, I'm taking a boat into
22 Hungary.'" You should ask Mr. Sremac what he said. He's a much cleverer
23 man than I am. He probably knew why he was saying that but I have no
24 idea. You should go and ask him.
25 Q. Did you perhaps ask him why you would be going to the hospital and
1 why that was the best place to be?
2 A. We parted ways at a street corner. We didn't really exchange too
3 many words. We weren't chatting like old ladies, like, how are you, how
4 have you been? Did you have a good night's sleep, that sort of thing.
5 Q. My next question: So what became much your weapons when you ran
6 away from the palace?
7 A. That's what I've been waiting for. There you have it. It wasn't
8 too long coming. The weapons, we put it next to -- we put it next to the
9 cash register there so that it may be found.
10 Q. What cash register are you talking about?
11 A. Well, you know the ancient kind, made of iron, the huge cash
12 register, the sort they used in banks or a safe.
13 Q. Did you leave the ammunition there too?
14 A. Yes, we just dropped it right there on the floor, just so it
15 wasn't on the table where it was visible.
16 Q. My learned friend asked you what happened to the Mitnica group.
17 I'm asking you a different question. Have you ever heard of the Mitnica
19 A. No, no groups. I don't know anything about any groups. From the
20 7th on until the -- from July on until the fall of Vukovar I just watched
21 my house. I guarded my house. Please don't keep attacking me like this.
22 Q. But after the war, did you hear anything about the Mitnica group?
23 A. What do you mean? I didn't see anyone so that I could talk to
24 them about it. I've been in exile for nine years, how could I have heard
25 about this Mitnica group? I have no idea who those people were.
1 Q. Your wife said that she wanted to lock you in the hospital.
2 A. Out of a habit. That's what she used to do at home. I never take
3 any keys with me so she always used to lock.
4 Q. No, my question was why did she want to lock you in?
5 A. So that I wouldn't go out because they were telling her to go to
6 the plaster room and she wanted me to stay there. She wanted to lock me
7 in but she didn't lock me in. I got out. And then she took the key. I
8 don't know where the key was. Selebaj lady knows where the key was and
9 then my wife came and gave me the key and she said the soldiers are
10 outside, and I told her you are shut in in the plaster room and then I
11 will have to go. That's what I told her.
12 Q. When you entered the hospital, you said that you tried entering
13 through the emergency entrance. That's how you described it. When you
14 came to that entrance was there anybody standing in front or inside?
15 A. The personnel was there, patients. How would I know after 15
16 years who stood there? I entered like everybody else. There were no
17 soldiers, nobody else, just soldiers and patients.
18 Q. All right. So on the 19th, there were no soldiers?
19 A. I came on the 19th in the morning. That was one thing. And when
20 the army came, that's another thing. The army came on the 18th and then
21 on the 19th your army came, because evacuation was supposed to take place
22 on the 19th and 20th. But nobody came. You're not trying to say that,
23 are you? You're just trying to pinpoint the 19th, the 20th, trying to
24 trick me. I've had enough of it.
25 Q. I apologise but I really did not quite catch your answer to my
1 very clear question.
2 A. All right. It's very clear, certainly.
3 Q. Did I understand you right that you said that when you came to the
4 hospital on the 19th in the morning, there were no soldiers there?
5 A. No soldiers in the morning.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. Wait. Wait. But on the 19th, they came in the afternoon. In the
8 afternoon, the 19th. That's what happened, sir. Your Chetniks came. And
9 then on the 20th there was an evacuation. You are trying not to mention
10 your Chetniks. And I will put an end to that. From now on, I will only
11 give you yes or no answers. That's enough. I've had enough.
12 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Shall I continue, Your Honour?
13 Thank you.
14 Q. How many of you entered the hospital on the 19th in the morning?
15 A. I've already told you how many. Stanek, Vasik [phoen], I and then
16 the two others. I've said this 15 times already.
17 Q. Do you know where Mandic went?
18 A. I've already told you. He and Stanek went to his apartment, the
19 skyscrapers near Pik, there.
20 Q. Did you hear that there were any members of the ZNG in Vukovar at
21 the time?
22 A. No way. I heard that in Zagreb because they started gathering
23 there in a place where we were, the people were there without documents.
24 We had nothing. And we started gathering there. The first time we got
25 together was when we gave the statement, when people were supposed to give
1 statements for this Court. This is when people got together.
2 Q. Can you just stop for a minute? You said that you gathered in
3 Zagreb for testimony. What testimony are you mentioning?
4 A. A testimony about what happened in Vukovar, sir. To say why we
5 had come to Zagreb, to say that we had been expelled, driven from our
7 Q. Where did you give your statement?
8 A. In Zagreb. It says so, in 1995.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. It wasn't in 1991.
11 Q. Is this when your wife gave her statement?
12 A. Yes. We gave it together. I don't know whether she went first or
13 I did. I don't know.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you give a statement here in The Hague after that?
15 A. To whom? No. This statement that you have is your statement. I
16 didn't give no other statements. I just came there, and I was questioned
17 before it began, the testimony, just to check whether everything was true
18 so that I wouldn't look silly in the courtroom. Nothing else. I don't
19 know how else to describe.
20 Q. I truly do not understand you.
21 A. Because you don't want to. I don't know how to explain the
22 process to you. What do you mean? You know, do you think that I can just
23 come in and testify before being prepared for that? That's how it was.
24 Q. Did they suggest to you what kind of answers to give?
25 A. Oh, come on. I don't understand you, even throw we speak the same
1 language, and it's easier for me to understand the people who speak a
2 different language.
3 Q. All right. So you gave a statement in Zagreb and then you gave
4 another statement here in The Hague. Did you sign the one in The Hague
5 and did you sign the one in Zagreb?
6 A. I signed the one in Zagreb, but I didn't sign anything in The
7 Hague, and they had to put our names down that we were the citizens of
8 Vukovar. Here I didn't sign anything. They treated me nicely, like a
9 guest. That's how it was.
10 Q. What year was it when you were here in The Hague, when you came to
11 confirm your Zagreb statement?
12 A. What year it was in The Hague? Well it says there. In Zagreb, it
13 was in 1995, and in The Hague is right now, when I'm standing, sitting in
14 front of you.
15 Q. You probably made a mistake. You meant 1995.
16 A. Yes, 1995. Yes. You drove me mad. So no wonder I made a
17 mistake. I have to answer your questions but everything I've stated is
18 the truth, and I stand firmly behind it.
19 Q. All right. Let us conclude with this: You gave a statement in
20 Zagreb. Did you give any statements here in The Hague to The Hague
22 A. No. I just talked to them like human beings. They asked no
24 MR. MOORE: My learned friend has asked questions and he's been
25 working on a premise that is completely wrong and not on the evidence
1 given. This witness was said -- or was asked, "Did you give a statement
2 in The Hague?" I think it's at page 68, and he said he did not give a
3 statement in The Hague. My learned friend then went on and then said, "so
4 you gave a statement in Zagreb and then you gave another statement here in
5 The Hague." He did not say that. So the question is based on a false
6 premise. It's an error.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore. I think we've reached the
8 point in the last answer, the witness has made clear that he made a
9 statement in 1995 and that he came to The Hague this year now to give his
10 evidence, that he was not asked to make another statement, and he didn't
11 make a statement in The Hague. And I think that's where Mr. Borovic's
12 questions have got us. Yes.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] All right. All right. Thank you.
14 If that's the answer that he came to The Hague only once and that this is
15 the occasion.
16 Q. In Zagreb you gave a statement with your wife?
17 A. Not with my wife. We did it individually. Not together.
18 Q. All right. Individually but on the same day?
19 A. No. I don't know. But we didn't receive the invitation to go on
20 the same day. Not on the same day. I don't know if it was on the same
21 day. But I didn't sit together with her. The kinds of things you ask! I
22 can't tell you whether it was together or separate. I don't know. But
23 let's be the way you want it to be, together. We are husband and wife,
24 after all.
25 Q. Yesterday you said that on the 2nd of May you were in the hospital
1 when the wounded from Borovo Selo were brought in.
2 A. I was not at the hospital. I was in front of the hospital, going
3 to meet my wife, because I'd been called in to bring her some food, and I
4 was informed that the wounded were brought in.
5 Q. So you were --
6 A. I was in front of the hospital, not inside, because I was just
7 arriving there when I saw the wounded. I was not inside, not indoors. I
8 was standing outside.
9 Q. Did you enter the hospital on that day?
10 A. I don't remember. I hardly did. I don't know what happened. You
11 want me to describe the events of that day, and how would you feel if --
12 if you lost so many people?
13 Q. Who told you to come to the hospital on that day, and why you?
14 A. I know as much as you do. That's how much I know.
15 Q. Do you allow for the -- that it was -- is it possible that you
16 were called from the National Guards Corps to come in?
17 A. I don't know. I don't know. Don't try to get me to say something
18 I don't know.
19 Q. So what did they tell you?
20 A. They said that I should come in and bring food to the hospital
21 because the war was expected in Vukovar. Why are you fooling around with
22 me? Are you trying to tell me that we were making love at the hospital as
23 they were bringing in the wounded?
24 Q. Were there any Serbs among the wounded or, rather, do you know who
25 the wounded persons were? Do you know?
1 A. How would I know? They were being brought in, the regular people.
2 They were regular uniforms.
3 Q. What kind of uniforms they wore?
4 A. You know what regular police uniforms look like. They are blue.
5 Q. Did you see any insignia on the uniforms?
6 A. What are you asking? Do you think I was looking for the insignia?
7 Q. How long did you stay on the 2nd of May?
8 A. You probably know it better than I do. I don't know anything any
9 longer, how long I stayed there, but I'm sure you do.
10 Q. Thank you. You said that starting from July you were engaged,
11 involved in what was going on in your streets, in your area. Were you
12 doing your duty with weapons or not?
13 A. What weapons are you talking about? In July, the kids had their
14 school break. The schools were out. We had to look out for children to
15 make sure that they didn't get killed. Stop asking me about this war.
16 You are guilty and just stop asking me about this. Your army is guilty.
17 Q. Thank you. In your area, how many members there were of this
18 civilian protection, as you call it?
19 A. Man, you're trying to tell me how many people?
20 Q. Well, how many people?
21 A. Five, six, ten, it was a small street. Not longer than 500 metres
22 and other streets were as long. There were three streets and then we
23 didn't know what was happening elsewhere. As for the whole city, I don't
24 know that.
25 Q. All right. In all of these streets that you mentioned, were there
1 members of civilian protection in all of the streets?
2 A. I called them civilian protection, and I stand behind -- by it.
3 They were ordinary civilians, ordinary people. That's what they were.
4 And this is why you sent them to Ovcara.
5 Q. In addition to guarding the empty Serb houses, what other tasks
6 did you have?
7 A. Just to help, to help, and what weapons? What weapons are you
8 talking about? We had no weapons in our local commune.
9 Q. If I tell you that a witness who was located in another
10 headquarters, in Mitnica told us that everybody from civilian protection
11 was armed, what would you say to that?
12 A. They were what?
13 Q. Armed, all of them?
14 A. What witness said that.
15 Q. What would you say to that, is it true or not?
16 A. The people I saw had no weapons, and I have no idea about the
17 people she saw.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. You're welcome, you're quite welcome.
20 Q. Did you hear of the 204th Brigade?
21 A. In Zagreb. All of us got together and this is where we heard
22 about all of these stories of yours, the ZNG, Chetniks and so on. They
23 wrote about us as though we were a regular army, and there was no regular
24 army but for your army. There was your army there. And our people had
25 not even taken an oath or anything of the sort.
1 Q. Does this mean that you did not have regular Croatian army in
3 A. No. No regular army. We had no such army. No army that was
4 organised so that we had a Lieutenant, a sergeant, a major or so on. We
5 had ranks, no ranks. People had to earn -- to earn these decorations.
6 Q. Does that mean that what you had was actually a paramilitary
8 A. What paramilitary? I don't even know how to answer your
9 questions. I don't know what you are asking me.
10 Q. All right. If I tell you that your wife, who testified here
11 before you, told us that you had weapons, what would you say to that?
12 A. Weapons? Do you know when we had weapons? Let me ask you, what
13 weapons? My wife doesn't know what a weapon is. She never saw any
14 weapons or anything. A weapons, if we had a rifle, then it would only be
15 a hunting rifle that we wouldn't be able to take outside before 10 in the
16 evening. The only thing one could see in the streets were civilian
17 weapons but no automatic weapons. How was my wife able to see a single
18 piece of weapon? People were not -- did not dare go out during the day
19 with any weapons, only after 10 in the evening. It was not that type of
21 Q. When you were in the palace of Count Eltz, did you go and visit
22 your wife at the hospital?
23 A. Yes. Whenever I could, I would go behind houses and get to the
25 Q. Did she ever go to visit you at the palace?
1 A. No, no way, never. Nobody came to the palace. We were the only
2 ones who went outside.
3 Q. All right. Then how was she able to say that you had weapons?
4 A. Well, the guards -- don't interrupt me. I told you. Don't
5 interrupt me. You're trying to take me astray. You know what we did in
6 town? We guarded your houses and your houses are still standing there to
7 this day. And regardless of that, we treat you with respect. And you're
8 not treating me with respect.
9 Q. May I continue?
10 A. Sure. As long as you want.
11 Q. Do you know a nurse called Binazija Kolesar?
12 A. Certainly, the head nurse at the hospital. No, surgical ward or
13 the hospital, I don't know. She is an older woman.
14 Q. Thank you. My next question, direct one: Did you ask her,
15 through your wife, to put you on the evacuation list?
16 A. I didn't ask that. My wife did. My wife asked her. I didn't ask
17 for anything. How was I able to ask her for anything when it was my wife
18 who was a colleague of hers and a friend, so how would I come up to her
19 and ask her for a coat? Don't say such things. I didn't ask that and I
20 stand firmly by it.
21 Q. Were you put on that list, the evacuation list?
22 A. If you saw it, I saw it. They said the evacuation people would be
23 there, the Red Cross, that they would be evacuating people, the wounded,
24 nothing else. There was nothing else that I could do but bring the beds
25 outside or the stretchers and that was all we did.
1 Q. Do you know if your wife made a list at the hospital?
2 A. I don't know. I didn't see that. I wasn't at the hospital. How
3 should I know? They were in the plaster room.
4 Q. You were there on the 19th, 20th and 21st?
5 A. Yes. But not in the plaster room when this gentleman introduced
7 Q. That's not what I'm talking about.
8 A. Yes, but you're beating about the bush. Why don't you ask me a
9 direct question? I was helping the wounded, there would be an evacuation,
10 we going or not? What's with the barracks? Off we go, and that's it.
11 You're just trying to fool all these people who don't really know what
12 happened. That's all you're trying to do.
13 Q. Did you ever hear that your wife had made a list containing the
14 names of 60 [as interpreted] ZNG members, including you? Did you hear
15 about this later on?
16 A. You were the first to tell me.
17 Q. There is a mistake in the transcript. I said 16 and not 60.
18 A. 16. I'm not sure if that's what it said. You're saying this.
19 But I didn't see that.
20 Q. Do you know if there was a joint command for all these local
21 communes that were organised to offer protection across Vukovar's
23 A. Dear sir, I never went to any other local commune but to mine. It
24 was right there in front of my house. That was in our neighbourhood.
25 That was our block. Those were the people I knew. I walked all over the
1 place. I passed all the streets but I didn't see a thing. This is all I
3 Q. Have you ever heard of Tomislav Mercep?
4 A. Yes. Later on, in Zagreb.
5 Q. Thank you. What precisely did you hear about this man?
6 A. He was a hero of some sort or something. What do I know? A
7 civilian. They kept saying, "Mercep, Mercep," but I'd never laid eyes on
8 the man. Perhaps somebody could tell me. Was he in Vukovar? Where was
9 he in Vukovar? What did he do? These are questions for him, not for me.
10 Q. Thank you. Who asked you about the 204th ZNG Brigade in Zagreb?
11 A. What 204th are you talking about? What Brigade? Nobody asked
12 knee about the brigade. They asked me about what had been going on in
13 Vukovar. Please try to remember this. There was no ZNG, no Ustasha. The
14 question was: What happened in Vukovar, where were you, what did you do,
15 how did you manage to survive?
16 Q. Sir, I asked you a while ago about the 204th and you said you were
17 asked questions in Zagreb about that.
18 A. Not asked questions. They were talking about it. That's what I
20 Q. Who was talking about the ZNG and the 204th, what you're
22 A. Everybody from Vukovar. People were talking about it. I'm not
23 sure who came up with it first. Please, don't press this because I have
24 no idea how this came about.
25 Q. In September and October, did you at any point in time hear about
1 the fact that there were passes being issued to people in Vukovar limiting
2 their movement and that these were designed by Mercep?
3 A. I'm hearing it from you first thing. I know nothing about any
4 passes or permits or anything.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you hear about HOS members in Vukovar?
6 A. No, not really. Now, when they're showing movies on TV, what
7 you're talking about, the HOS, they are showing it on TV now but I have no
8 idea who those people were. I'm watching it on TV now but I didn't see it
9 at the time. They are playing movies all over Croatia. We know all about
10 you, just so that you know, sir. Not only Mr. Sljivancanin, but there is
11 a photograph of his. He is putting a shell into a barrel.
12 Q. About I didn't ask you about that.
13 A. But you're beating about the bush. I'm telling you so that you
14 know. You're firing questions at me and I'm about to start firing
15 questions at you, sir.
16 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I hope it's verbal
17 firing we are talking about.
18 A. Yes, words, words, not verbally, words, that's what I mean.
19 JUDGE PARKER: I think you're both very practised at it. Is that
20 the end, Mr. Borovic?
21 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately not so, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE PARKER: Do you have very long to go?
23 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] About 15 questions to go.
24 JUDGE PARKER: We'll have a break now, then, I think.
25 We'll have another break now and resume at 20 minutes to 1.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore?
4 MR. MOORE: May it please Your Honour, I'm sorry to have to deal
5 with one matter again. My learned friend has put a question to the
6 witness which we have now located. It's at 76, 13, the question is, "Did
7 you ever hear that your wife had made a list containing the names of 16
8 ZNG members, including you?" That is wrong. The wife's evidence has been
9 checked over the break and in our submission that was not said in any way
10 at all. It's on the transcripts page 2729, there was some
11 cross-examination on behalf of Mrksic, and the question that was asked
12 after some evidence had been given and it reads as follows: "Thank you,
13 Mrs. Bucko. You said that you took a piece of paper and you had the pen
14 why your pocket and you put names on that piece of paper and you also said
15 it was about 15 to 16 names."
16 My learned friend, Mr. Borovic, then in his cross-examination,
17 took the evidence -- I'm sure unintentionally shaped the evidence in a way
18 as follows: "Thank you and if I tell you that he had reason as a member
19 of the ZNG, which is indisputable now, even according to what you said to
20 hide in the hospital, so that the JNA would not arrest him, can you
21 confirm that?" So there is various references to the list, but the
22 evidence that was given was that Mrs. Bucko in her evidence said she did
23 make a list, it was because of the concerns about their husbands and there
24 was no reference to the ZNG whatsoever. Now, it may well be my learned
25 friend will submit that that was a ZNG list; he's perfectly entitled to do
1 that. But in my submission, it's another example of him inadvertently
2 putting to a witness evidence in a way that is incorrect and it is unfair,
3 putting it neutrally. In our submission, if he's going to put questions
4 like that, he should put it accurately and properly.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Moore.
6 Mr. Borovic?
7 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm not sure about the
8 general meaning of my question. I know the lady spoke about the 16-people
9 list. I know that it was in the context of hospital employees. I'm not
10 sure if any other witnesses perhaps provided this information, that they
11 were ZNG members. If the Prosecutor likes to have it this way, we may as
12 well call them 16 husbands. We shall use other evidence to prove that
13 they were ZNG members, all of them. We do have some evidence about that
14 coming. The question was perhaps slightly inaccurate. But if that is all
15 right, I could repeat the question. There were no particular intentions
16 that I had at the time. I asked a simple question about the list with 16
17 names and I was expecting perfectly straightforward answer, Your Honours.
18 My apologies. I believe I even said something like, Did you ever hear
19 that she had made a list with 16 names on it? I left an opportunity to
20 the witness to comment on my question with no strings attached. At any
21 rate, I can repeat my question.
22 JUDGE PARKER: No, Mr. Borovic, I don't think there is any need
23 to. The answer that's come has been very clear. This witness had not
24 heard of that list or any such list so there is no need to go back over
25 that. It is a matter that all counsel ought to take notice of, though.
1 If there is to be put to a witness evidence from another witness that has
2 been given, it needs to be put correctly. There, as has been pointed out,
3 are significant differences between what was put here and what was
4 actually said by the witness. That is not going to advance anybody very
5 far in this case, and I would ask counsel in future to be careful that
6 they -- if they are quoting the evidence of a witness, to get it right.
7 And then we won't have any misunderstandings or other difficulties.
8 So I think we can put that matter behind us now, and move on to
9 your remaining 15 questions, Mr. Borovic.
10 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Q. Can the witness then please explain to a certain extent I've
12 already introduced him to this subject, what exactly he told the
13 investigators? He said that afternoon I saw some of Vukovar's defenders
14 wearing medical uniforms. "I was very disappointed that they had had a
15 change of clothes and pretended that they were medical staff." My
16 question is - I am here quoting the witness - why was the witness so
17 disappointed just because Vukovar's defenders had had a change of clothes
18 and had put on medical uniforms?
19 A. I'll try to answer this. I had this shitty rag on me and they had
20 the same sort of thing, poor things. I said, "What use is this to you?
21 You don't even have any insignia or anything." Of course, they understood
22 they had nothing because all the hospital staff, the medical staff, had a
23 badge or an ID. That's why I told them that.
24 Q. I really apologise but there is another question. You seem quite
25 clear about this. "I was very disappointed that Vukovar's defenders had
1 had a change of clothes."
2 A. No, no, no, no, no. Not the defenders, I never said the
3 defenders, please don't insinuate, no, no, no, no, no. It wasn't about
4 defenders that I was talking.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, can I have the usher's
7 assistance, please to show the witness this B/C/S version? In the
8 English, this is page 3, fifth paragraph.
9 Q. Page 3, fifth paragraph. In the English it's page 4, second
10 paragraph. What it says about Kolak. You see the name there?
11 A. Okay. I found it.
12 Q. Would you please be so kind to answer --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you please read out loud?
15 A. Sure, I will. "I saw some of Vukovar's defenders." You see what
16 I mean here, I didn't mean soldiers, I just said defenders.
17 Q. Please can you be so kind and obliged, do what I've asked to you
19 A. Now you've got me side tracked again. It's difficult "When I came
20 to the hospital ..." I skipped over this part. "After the fall, I saw
21 some --"
22 Q. But that's not what I'm saying. In the afternoon, that's what I
23 mean, the bit that says in the afternoon. Can you please read this out in
24 your own language?
25 A. "In the afternoon, I saw some of Vukovar's defenders wearing
1 medical uniforms. I was disappointed, very disappointed, that they had
2 changed their uniforms and were now pretending to be hospital staff."
3 Q. I don't want to press this point now but does it not indeed say
4 "Vukovar's defenders," like I said?
5 A. Yes, "defenders." People who were defending their town, not
6 soldiers. Do you see my point? Defenders, yes, but not the army.
7 Q. Thank you. Let's move on, please. This is quite sufficient for
8 my purposes. My next question: Who is Josip Lovrinic? Do you know that?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Who is he?
11 A. His wife used to work in the hospital.
12 Q. And who is he? It's not only his wife that distinguishes him, is
14 A. I only know that. I never sat at the same table with him.
15 Q. Do you know his occupation?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Can you then explain how, in your statement, you state that he
18 worked in the hospital's kitchen? How do you know that? You say you
19 never saw him or knew his occupation.
20 A. I found out on the bus, in the barracks, when your people herded
21 us on to the bus and when your police officers were beating us, saying,
22 what did you do at the hospital? We had the white overcoats on. And they
23 were beating the life out of him and he said, "Well, I only cooked meat at
24 the hospital."
25 Q. How do you know if you'd never been introduced? How did you know
2 A. Well, he said it. The policeman had asked him and he said it
3 himself. Of course I knew.
4 Q. What about Stanko Sremac? He was not from your area or your
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. But he was your commander?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you have a headquarters or something like that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. What about Sajmiste? Did you have some sort of a ZNG headquarters
12 there and did you know about that?
13 A. No, no headquarters whatsoever, just the local commune.
14 Q. Do you know who Zlatko Menges is?
15 A. He's a neighbour of mine.
16 Q. Was the headquarters located at his home?
17 A. No. There was no headquarters there. It's the house just across
18 the way from mine.
19 Q. Do you know that the ZNG headquarters was in the school building
20 in your neighbourhood?
21 A. No. I didn't see that.
22 Q. Do you know who Josip Tomasevic, a.k.a Joso is?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Can you tell the distance between the MUP building and the
1 A. The MUP building is just behind the hospital.
2 Q. What about the distance between the PTT building, the post office
3 building and the hospital?
4 A. The PTT building is near the Vuka.
5 Q. How far?
6 A. I didn't measure it, I don't know.
7 Q. How far was the Vupik from the MUP?
8 A. How far? Same distance as that between the palace and the
9 hospital. It's just one road less to cross.
10 Q. Did you know where the Court building was?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How far was it?
13 A. It was just near the hospital.
14 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard of the term Ustasha?
15 A. I heard this in movies. I was born during the war so you know I
16 wasn't old enough to know.
17 Q. So who were they?
18 A. All I know is what I saw in the movies. That's all I know and
19 that's the image I have.
20 Q. What is the impression you have of them?
21 A. A very bad one.
22 Q. Would you elaborate on that, give us a few sentences?
23 A. No, I can't. I stand by what I have stated previously. I have
24 nothing to add to that.
25 Q. All right. Thank you. What about a person called -- nicknamed
2 A. I heard about him in Zagreb.
3 Q. Did you hear of a person nicknamed Kondor?
4 A. Nothing of the sort.
5 Q. The barracks, you explained in detail what happened to you there.
6 You did that yesterday, and then you mentioned somebody. You said he was
7 tall, blond, was a captain, had problem reading. He was stuttering, had a
8 problem pronouncing your name; is that right?
9 A. You mean in the barracks?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. This blond person who was stuttering, was he stuttering because of
13 fear or was that -- was that natural problem that he had, disorder?
14 A. It was a natural, regular disorder that he had.
15 Q. So was he stuttering?
16 A. Well, I can't say whether he was stuttering really badly but he
17 had a problem pronouncing. He wasn't a mute person. I don't know if this
18 is what your implying. I stand by what I said. I can't say anything
19 beyond that.
20 Q. This blond officer, can you describe him in greater detail?
21 A. No. I can't do that. I didn't work with him. I didn't spend
22 time with him.
23 Q. Thank you. You stated on page 8, line 22 of yesterday's
24 transcript that everybody took coats, and then you said, "I know what we
25 were ordered." My question is who ordered you to put on white coats?
1 A. You're twisting things. You're distorting things. Don't put such
2 questions to me because I'm not going to answer them.
3 Q. Can I get my answer or not? Without looking at the Prosecutor,
4 would you please answer my question?
5 A. I'm not even looking at the Prosecutor. You're laughing at me the
6 whole time, and I'm not even allowed to look around. What do you want me,
7 to look at you? You are so fine? And that's why I should look at you?
8 When I see you I start seeing red.
9 Q. I'm not provoking you, I'm not even trying to do that.
10 A. Don't say so. You're very fine, you're very sweet, like a lamb.
11 Q. Is that your answer?
12 A. Yes, that you are very nice, like a lamb.
13 Q. Did you carry the wounded in the hospital?
14 A. No, I never got a chance.
15 Q. Thank you. Why didn't you try? After all, you said that you went
16 there to help with the wounded?
17 A. Yes. And then be told, "Get lost"? How was I able to help? I
18 got there the army came, the trucks, the buses, the nurses and doctors
19 were shut in the plaster room, and we were there unable to move.
20 Q. This is the international court. I think we have to be careful
21 with our language.
22 A. Well, your people didn't choose their words, didn't pick their
23 words. They used all kinds of curses and so on.
24 Q. All right. Thank you. Did somebody beat you, yes or no?
25 A. No. I personally was not beaten.
1 Q. All right. When you came to Zagreb, and when you were giving a
2 statement, did you draw a sketch of the hospital? Did you show something
3 like that to the Prosecutor?
4 A. I don't remember. I don't remember what I did at all. I came to
5 Zagreb bare-handed, almost naked, just the shirt on my back. I had
6 nothing else. I don't remember drawing anything.
7 Q. Thank you. All right. Let us conclude. I promised the Trial
8 Chamber that I wouldn't put more than 15 questions. What did you hear
9 about the 204th Brigade in Zagreb? What did you hear?
10 A. What I heard, we were laughing when we heard that. We don't even
11 know it would organised that. I've never heard of that brigade. Never
12 saw them. Never heard of them. Didn't even come close to them.
13 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you. Your
14 Honours, I promised I would finish on time. This is the end of my
15 cross-examination. Thank you.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Borovic.
17 Now, there is only one more to go.
18 Mr. Lukic.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Lukic:
20 Q. Mr. Bucko, good afternoon. Let me introduce myself. I'm Novak
22 A. Thank you, I can introduce myself to you too.
23 Q. I understand that you must be tired and I wish to cover my
24 questions with you very quickly so I will suggest two things to you in
25 order to ensure that we can conclude your testimony today.
1 First of all, can you please make a break -- a small pause, before
2 answering my questions. There, you're not listening to what I'm telling
3 you. Please wait for my question to finish, wait a few seconds, and then
4 give us your answers. And I will try to make sure that my questions are
5 formulated in such a way as to allow you to give us brief answers, yes or
7 A. All right.
8 Q. I will be asking you about things that you testified about
9 yesterday. That's all I'm interested in. Let us examine your
10 recollections, which have to do with the 20th of November. What I am
11 about to ask you will be exclusively focused on the events of that day.
12 Can we now try and see if we can clarify the time-line, and the
13 exact time reference of the events which took place on the 20th in the
14 morning? Just a moment, please. Wait for my question.
15 First of all, your wife was asked to come to the meeting; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And then you left the room where you had stayed together
19 previously the night before together with your wife; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And then in the corridor of the hospital, as you described
22 yesterday to the Prosecutor, you saw Sljivancanin and Dr. Ivankovic?
23 A. Right.
24 Q. And then you said that in your view, and I'm not asking you to be
25 absolutely accurate, that was between eight and nine in the morning; is
1 that right?
2 A. No, no. That was later on. It wasn't at nine in the morning, no,
3 no. They came in the morning. And what time it was, I don't know, sir.
4 Q. All right. Let's take it slowly. After you left that room, you
5 went to the plaster room to ask your wife to unlock the room so you could
6 get your jacket. My question is this: How much time had elapsed from the
7 minute you left the room where you had slept until you went to the plaster
8 room? Can you tell us how much time went by?
9 A. You mean when I got up? I got up, I don't know what time it was,
10 and then I walked around the hospital until we saw that it wasn't the
11 people we were expecting who had come but, rather, the soldiers came.
12 Q. What time was it?
13 A. I didn't have a watch. I don't know what time it was. I'm sure
14 they came at eight or around that time. I don't know. It was morning. I
15 don't know.
16 Q. All right. Easy, Mr. Bucko. I'm not asking you what time it was.
17 I'm just asking you from the moment when you left the room where you had
18 spent the night until you went to the plaster room to get the key, how
19 much time elapsed? Was it 15 minutes, 30 minutes?
20 A. I never said that I went to the plaster room. That's a mistake.
21 Q. All right. You sent a colleague to call your wife. How much time
22 elapsed between that?
23 A. I can't say how much time. I'm 63 years old and you're asking me
24 to remember how many minutes elapsed?
25 Q. All right. You said that you were pushed by a soldier, pushed
2 A. But that's not how it was.
3 Q. All right. Just a minute, please. I'm trying to speed it up.
4 A. You don't have to speed it up. I have plenty of time. I am
5 available to you to resolve any issues that you might have. I am here to
6 tell the truth, nothing but the truth.
7 Q. All right. So you got on a bus, which, as I understood it, was
8 almost full and you took a seat in the third row?
9 A. I was the last one to get on the bus and I don't know which seat I
11 Q. So can you please confirm, you were the last one to enter?
12 A. Yes. I was the last one to be pushed out and I was in Vukovar
13 from day one and I lived to see them expel me from there.
14 Q. All right. So you got on the bus and there were other buses
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And these buses were all full of people?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember, when you saw Sljivancanin and Ivankovic in the
20 hospital prior to that, before you got on the bus, did you have the white
21 coat on you, the one that you took -- put on on the 19th?
22 A. When I met them, yes. I did have the coat on me. I was going to
23 get my jacket.
24 Q. All right. You said yesterday, and you also stated in your 1995
25 statement, that you saw Sljivancanin at eight or nine in the morning,
1 before --
2 A. Yes, before, before there were any buses there.
3 Q. Just a minute, please.
4 A. You can't convince me -- you can't force me to do it.
5 Q. I haven't completed my question.
6 A. All right, then, go ahead. Let's move.
7 Q. Yes, that's a good suggestion. All right. Please just listen to
8 my question.
9 You saw Sljivancanin on the morning, in the hospital, when he was
10 with Dr. Ivankovic, before you went to the bus; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You saw Sljivancanin for the second time upon your return from the
13 barracks, when you were all lined up and when Bogdan was there; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Then upon concluding that conversation when
17 Sljivancanin asked you and Bogdan and you described that yesterday, after
18 that, you saw your wife and then you went with her to the main entrance of
19 the hospital in order to await evacuation there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember that in your statement to the OTP in 1995, you
22 didn't see -- you didn't say this to the Prosecutor yesterday, but in your
23 statement you said that when you were about to be evacuated with your
24 wife, you saw Sljivancanin once again, and then he proposed to your wife
25 to remain working in the hospital?
1 A. Yes, that's right. He was walking in the yard of the hospital, in
2 the compound.
3 Q. All right. So he suggested to your wife to go and stay with her
4 family and then to come back and continue working in the hospital?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Do you remember that in 1995, you said to the OTP that
7 Mr. Sljivancanin then suggested to you to provide a vehicle to take you to
9 A. Yes, that's right. He was walking around talking to people, I
10 don't know about what. That wasn't in 1995.
11 Q. No, no, no. I said that in 1995 is when you gave your statement
12 to the OTP.
13 A. Yes, yes, yes.
14 Q. I told you at the very outset that all of my questions will
15 pertain to the 19th of November 199' -- 20th of November 1991.
16 A. All right.
17 Q. All right. Let's clarify a few more things relating to the events
18 in the barracks that you described yesterday.
19 First you mentioned the two brothers, one was on the bus, the
20 other one was outside, and you said that you remember that his father was
21 Husnik, who used to work with you?
22 A. Yes, that their father was Husnik.
23 Q. When you gave your statement to the OTP in 1995, you provided
24 their nicknames. Do you remember that their nicknames were Ica and Faca?
25 A. Yes. I remember that but I don't know which one was which. There
1 was a blond one and the dark one.
2 Q. Does the name Ivica Husnik ring a bell? Could that be Ivica?
3 Could that be Ica?
4 A. Well, the father's name was Milan. I don't know. I don't know.
5 I don't know for sure.
6 Q. Thank you. When you gave evidence yesterday in
7 examination-in-chief, when you described the barracks events, you didn't
8 mention a detail that is contained in your 1995 statement. So let us see
9 if you can remember it now.
10 You said that while you were on the buses in the barracks, another
11 bus arrived carrying reserve policemen. Do you remember stating that?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Was it these reserve policemen who beat us [as interpreted]?
14 A. Not beat us, thrashed us.
15 Q. And what do you understand by the term "reserve policemen"?
16 A. They wore regular police uniforms. I was a soldier.
17 Q. Yes. All of us know what military policemen are. Were they
18 reservists perhaps?
19 A. What reservists? Don't fool with me. I'm not correcting you.
20 All I'm saying is that they wore uniforms and had batons. Some of them
21 hit and some of them kicked.
22 Q. What did you say, that they wore white uniforms?
23 A. Well, regular uniforms. You know the ones that policemen wear.
24 We say uniforms. You know, the regular ones. Well, hundred per cent
25 military uniforms.
1 Q. You said today several times that everything you had stated in
2 1995 was true. Do you remember saying that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Today, you also said to us that your memory was better back in
5 1995, your recollections were better?
6 A. Yes. That's right. I was younger then.
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can the usher please put in front of
9 the witness the 1995 statement? Page 4 -- page 4 for my friends from the
10 Prosecution, and the B/C/S version -- page 5, middle of the page.
11 Q. No, no. For you, it's page 4.
12 Would you please read out the text under lined in yellow? Where
13 you see number 1.
14 A. "Another bus arrived later on." I can't even read this. I don't
15 even have to read this. This bus came in later. It wasn't the bus that
16 brought in the wounded.
17 Q. Just read out the sentence.
18 A. "Another bus arrived later carrying Serb reservists".
19 Q. Thank you.
20 A. Listen, it was an old bus, an old type of bus. You probably
21 remember them. I couldn't really discern anything, distinguish anything.
22 It was an empty bus that arrived. And then the policemen came.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. Let's keep the statement there.
24 A. All right.
25 Q. You said that three officers stood there.
1 A. Yes, and all kinds of people.
2 Q. Just a second. In your statement that you said that among the
3 locals, you recognised a man whose surname is Zoric, do you remember that?
4 A. Yes. They were in the street called Dr. Mladen Stojanovic. There
5 were a lot of Serbs living there.
6 Q. And you saw him in that group of people standing?
7 A. Yes, there are a lot of people in that family, with that last
8 name, Zoric.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we go into private
10 session briefly, please.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
12 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honour.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Yesterday, you described the beating on the way from one bus to
24 another and the beating that you suffered on the bus. I'm going to ask
25 you the following question now.
1 I assume you knew Mr. Mihalj Kolesar?
2 A. Yes, Biba's husband.
3 Q. Was he in that same group --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. -- that went from one bus to the other?
6 A. There were three of us on my bus.
7 Q. I know that.
8 A. Just so you're not insinuating again.
9 Q. Did he get on that bus that returned to the hospital?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Wilhelm Rudolf?
12 A. Yeah, sure.
13 Q. I didn't understand that, I'm sorry?
14 A. No, no, I'm telling you I don't.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go again briefly into
16 private session?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, sure.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever you like.
20 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Please don't mention these names again. I will ask you something
10 but don't mention the names. That's why we had to go into private
11 session. These two people you know, do you believe them to be honourable
13 A. The ones that you've just mentioned?
14 Q. Yes.
17 (redacted) I thought you had something else in mind.
18 I'm getting a bit fed up with everything so that's perhaps why.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we go back into private session?
20 A. Yes, yes, sure, I think that's a good idea. I've got to do my
22 [Private session]
11 Page 2939 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 2940 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Just another clarification with regard to this subject, and then
5 we shall move on.
6 A. I'm glad we are moving on.
7 Q. I may have a total of three questions left and then I will finish
8 my cross-examination.
9 A. That's fine.
10 Q. Tell me one thing: This group that you were in, the group that
11 was returned, how many people in that group were wearing white coats?
12 A. I don't know how many. I didn't count those. Everybody just
13 discarded them. I don't know who had them, but they dropped them,
14 discarded them. And they said, "Look at these doctors. This one was
15 carving meat. This one was watering the flowers, and what did you do?
16 You slit the throats of children, didn't you?" And then the white coats
17 and then the beatings, and then I don't know what else to tell you.
18 Q. Several questions about when you got back to the hospital. You
19 were lined up there, you described that yesterday. I'm not going into
20 that now.
21 Mr. Sljivancanin was there with a major, Bogdan was there too.
22 You described the dialogue that took place.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Please bear with me until I finish my question. If my
25 understanding is correct, you were among the first or the first to be
1 approached by Major Sljivancanin?
2 A. No, no, no. This hat was [as interpreted]. The bus pulled over,
3 the door opened, the soldiers rose to their feet and they started
4 embracing. Two soldiers started embracing. I don't know who they were.
5 One soldier embraced the other soldier, and he said a Serb who killed
6 another Serb, one got off and there was Adzaga inside who was covered in
7 blood and they took him straight to the hospital. It was then that Mr.
8 Sljivancanin came and he said, what sort of soldiers are you? Have you
9 ever done your military service? You don't even seem able to line up
11 Q. But you were the first person that Sljivancanin talked to, weren't
13 A. No. He first asked Bogdan whether he knew me and then he asked me
14 whether I knew Bogdan. We said we didn't know each other and he said,
15 "Get out of here, get lost," and then he went back to the barracks -- the
17 Q. How much time do you think elapsed? Please think hard, to see if
18 you can remember. Don't tell me straight off that you can't remember
19 because I do see that you seem to have a very, very clear memory of a
20 great number of details. How much time elapsed between the time
21 Sljivancanin told you to bugger off, to get lost, and between the time
22 that you saw him again and he offered to drive you to Berak?
23 A. That was in the afternoon, 2.00 or 3.00. By the time we reached
24 Mitrovica it was dark. I can't say, but it was in the afternoon hours. I
25 can't say what time it was exactly, 2.00, 3.00, 4.00.
1 Q. What about this moment when Sljivancanin told you to get lost to
2 bugger off, what time could that have been? Was that in the afternoon as
4 A. Well, afternoon, 1.00, thereabouts. It's very difficult to say.
5 I can't be absolutely positive about this. I wasn't looking at my watch.
6 Q. My last question: Please tell me if I'm wrong. Some time
7 elapsed, one hour, two hours, three hours, between the moment Sljivancanin
8 told you to bugger off and the time he offers to drive you to Berak.
9 A. Yes the buses were there and all.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that completes my
11 cross-examination of the witness.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore?
13 Re-examined by Mr. Moore:
14 Q. You've been asked about the sons of Kolak. Do you remember those
16 A. Yes, yes. Didn't realise you were asking me. Yes, I do remember
18 Q. Have you ever seen them again from that time?
19 A. Never again. Never again.
20 Q. Do you know what happened to them?
21 A. I don't know if they were buried or are still missing. Their
22 father is now in Osijek and their youngest brother is there. He still
23 lives in the same house that they used to live in.
24 Q. Thank you. Finally this: You've found it difficult sometimes to
25 remain patient but how important is it to you to tell the truth to this
2 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour, objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: Yes, Mr. Lukic?
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This question could perhaps have been
5 asked at the end of the examination-in-chief, but I don't think this
6 follows from our cross-examination. I believe at this point in time it's
7 an irrelevant thing to say.
8 MR. MOORE: The witness repeatedly --
9 JUDGE PARKER: I think, Mr. Moore, it arises sufficiently from the
10 trend of several questions for you to put it.
11 MR. MOORE:
12 Q. So can you tell the Court, please, how important it is to you to
13 tell the truth? Or if it is important to tell the truth?
14 A. Let's not beat about the bush. I'm telling the truth and nothing
15 but the truth, for the sake of my town, for all those who died. They
16 didn't have many weapons. It wasn't because of them that the town fell.
17 It was because of the JNA, the people sitting here. That's the last thing
18 I have to say.
19 MR. MOORE: I have no further questions. Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE PARKER: You'll be pleased to know that that's the end of
21 the questions. So you don't have to try and answer anything more. The
22 Chamber thanks you for the assistance you've given and for coming here to
23 The Hague. You can now go with the Court officer and you're free to go
24 with your wife back home. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 Thank you very much for hearing me out.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 MR. MOORE: The Prosecution are in a position to call the next
4 witness. It is a protected witness, P-032. I'm in the Court's hands.
5 JUDGE PARKER: If it's a protected witness, it would require
6 virtually all the time we have left for the witness to be brought in in
7 the required way. So I think that there is little point in calling that
8 witness now.
9 Can the Chamber take the opportunity -- Mr. Borovic, did you have
10 a question?
11 MR. BOROVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, yes. But I'm
12 afraid I have just interrupted you. We had this witness's testimony, I
13 asked him about that sketch, and this may be a good moment to ask the
14 question to the OTP in relation to P128, Exhibit P128. This is a sketch
15 signed by the wife of today's witness, who has also told us that he had
16 nothing to do with the sketch. This is a document that the OTP has
17 disclosed to the Defence. In case they have the original in their
18 possession, could that please be forwarded to the Defence team because we
19 shall be using it. Therefore, the first thing I would like is for the OTP
20 to comment on this. Thank you.
21 JUDGE PARKER: You know that off the top of your head, Mr. Moore?
22 MR. MOORE: I regret to say I don't.
23 JUDGE PARKER: You will make inquiries, I trust.
24 MR. MOORE: Yes, of course I will.
25 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. We'll see what can be found of it,
1 Mr. Borovic.
2 But that leads us into the matter the Chamber was wanting to
3 raise, as we are getting near the end of the session before -- this week,
4 before we have the long break. At the commencement of the trial, there
5 was still a good deal of uncertainty about the completion of disclosure by
6 the Prosecution.
7 Mr. Moore, may the Chamber inquire whether that is now entirely
8 dealt with?
9 MR. MOORE: It is being dealt with as extensively as we believe we
10 can do. I say perfectly straightforwardly my learned friends have asked
11 us, I think it was yesterday or perhaps the day before, to make inquiries
12 about four names and we are doing that. We don't know the relevance of
13 it. We take it on trust.
14 In relation to the Croatian indictment, we have had discussions
15 yesterday about -- perhaps I should explain. There are local proceedings
16 in Croatia, in Vukovar, in the court. There is an indictment that was
17 generated from those inquiries. My learned friends asked questions in
18 relation to that fairly recently. We have disclosed the indictment for
19 that and also the indictment for the Belgrade matter and we are now
20 looking through again to see if we have any -- either witness statements
21 or we know the witnesses who would be involved in those proceedings,
22 subject to the concerns that I would have in disclosing names that may be
23 confidential under a different jurisdiction. But we are -- it's an
24 ongoing operation, and we are pursuing that fairly vigorously now.
25 The only other matter that was discussed, as far as I can
1 recollect, relates to witnesses who have given evidence in the Milosevic
2 case. We have attempted to glean what the relevant issues are for this
3 trial. We have disclosed all the documentation from our witnesses who
4 gave evidence in the Milosevic trial, and we deem, as I say, to be
5 relevant. We have asked my learned friends, because it is a transcript in
6 the public domain, if there are any other documents that they would wish,
7 can they please notify, and we will obtain them for them so that they can
8 be disclosed.
9 Apart from that, I cannot think of any other matters, but it's --
10 I know there are one or two matters that need clarifying but overall, I
11 think that most people are relatively satisfied.
12 JUDGE PARKER: So there is some work which you are now pursuing at
13 the request of the Defence.
14 MR. MOORE: Yes.
15 JUDGE PARKER: And will make the results of that known as soon as
16 you can.
17 MR. MOORE: Yes. And we continue to search, as is our obligation.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Ah, yes, yes.
19 One further question while you're on your feet and amenable,
20 Mr. Moore. I wonder how your crystal ball is. Have you any idea how you
21 would see the length now of the Prosecution case from this point?
22 MR. MOORE: I regret to say my crystal ball was obviously a little
23 cloudy in October. It may be a little clearer now. I've spoken to my
24 learned friends. We are trying to compartmentalise the Prosecution case
25 to deal with specific areas and drop witnesses that perhaps are not
1 necessary or duplicate the evidence.
2 I think in conjunction with my learned friends, the anticipated
3 conclusion of the Prosecution case will be April. But my learned friends
4 are more than able to speak for themselves on this.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Is that early or late April?
6 MR. MOORE: I don't know. We are saying April. I don't even --
7 can't remember whether Easter is in April or not which creates a problem
9 JUDGE PARKER: We are looking now stretched out at least two
10 months from where we were earlier.
11 MR. MOORE: Yes but in fairness to myself I didn't realise that
12 there was going to be an extra two weeks over the Christmas period so I
13 would have taken it into March if I had known that. So it's only a month
14 or so -- a week -- a month out.
15 The other thing is this: I believe it's right to say that the
16 witnesses that we have called, we have called them a shorter time than we
17 estimated. So we have somewhat obviously been more but generally the
18 speaking the witnesses have been dealt with fairly briefly.
19 JUDGE PARKER: So all the witnesses you intend to call have been
20 disclosed now to the Defence? And it is possible that some on that list
21 you will decide not to call; is that correct?
22 MR. MOORE: It's almost correct.
23 There has been a witness that -- there may be witnesses, not a
24 large number of witnesses, at all, that as a result of cross-examination
25 and further discoveries that we may make application to call.
1 Inquiries are pending in relation to them. It is not a large
2 number. And the case remains ostensibly the way it was in the 65 ter
3 pre-trial brief. As I say, there are not a large number of witnesses but
4 there may be one or two witnesses that we would apply to add to the list,
5 but equally we are looking to drop witnesses and we have certainly dropped
6 two or three already.
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 Thank you, Mr. Moore. The issue of the capacity of the Defence to
9 get their statements on to the -- their exhibits on to the E-Court system,
10 I wonder, Mr. Vasic, whether you're able to indicate whether that is
11 proceeding satisfactorily or whether that is a task it to be yet
12 successfully dealt with?
13 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The work has
14 made progress. We promised we would do everything in our power to make up
15 for the lack of time, and also to make up for the information that this
16 would be an E-Court trial.
17 However, the job is not completed yet, and we will try to ensure
18 that it is completed after the break, the recess, as you have told us.
19 I think that Defence teams have made an effort to get used to this
20 system, and I don't think that we are experienced -- experiencing any
21 further problems right now.
22 Thank you. That's all I had.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. The Chamber is encouraged by what has
24 been said, both by Mr. Moore and by Mr. Vasic, although a little concerned
25 to hear now at the estimate of the length of the Prosecution case.
1 Nevertheless, what the Chamber is concerned about is that the preparation,
2 both for the Prosecution and each defence team, is in complete shape so
3 that when we get under way in the new year, we will not encounter any
4 significant delays or problems in the presentation, both of the
5 Prosecution case and cross-examination, and then when we come to the
6 presentation of the Defence case. We are not contemplating any long break
7 between the close of the Prosecution case and the commencement of the
8 Defence cases. In some trials, there is a long break. There will have to
9 be at least a week, perhaps two weeks, but the Chamber does not plan for
10 there to be any more than that. And for that reason, it is important that
11 not only the Defence gets ready for cross-examination of the coming
12 Prosecution witnesses, but that the Defence also looks closely at the
13 presentation of its own case or cases, and that you have statements and
14 witnesses settled in your mind.
15 For that reason, and to ensure that all that work can be
16 accomplished and the additional information that the Prosecution is now
17 obtaining can be got to you, especially having in mind the shortage of
18 courtrooms in January and February because of the courtroom
19 reconstruction, the Chamber is persuaded that the most useful way forward
20 to ensure that we can get through the trial in the end more quickly, would
21 be to resume hearings in January on Monday, the 23rd of January. We had
22 thought to start a week earlier than that when we commenced the trial, but
23 I think, in view of what has happened, the difficulties we have had
24 getting used to E-Court, and the way things are going, that that extra
25 week will be of great value to everybody. Rather than a week lost to
1 ensure that we will gain some lengths -- maybe two, three weeks, or even
2 more -- over the total length of the trial. Because what we are really
3 concerned about is concluding this trial properly and as quickly as
4 possible. That is the thing which is in the ultimate best interests of
5 the three Accused and of everybody connected with the trial and the
7 So that you can now plan on the basis that the Chamber will resume
8 this trial on Monday, the 23rd of January, and we hope by then that you --
9 the Defence cases are well under control, that they have got the materials
10 into E-Court, and that by then, the Prosecution will have been able to
11 provide to you the various matters that are now at your request being
13 It seemed useful to make that clear to you at this stage.
14 Now, is there a turn? Mr. Vasic, I saw you first. You have it.
15 MR. VASIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. It seems that I was
17 Just two minutes, please. First of all I'd like to say something
18 regarding what my learned friend Mr. Moore said about the case at trial
19 currently in Vukovar. I hope that the colleagues from the Prosecution
20 would be able to verify in a timely fashion whether the witnesses they
21 intend to call here were already interviewed in the investigative
22 proceedings in Vukovar, because, according to the rules, we should receive
23 their statements before they come here to testify. That was the first
25 The second thing has to do with the instructions you gave us
1 concerning the continuation of the trial after the recess. As we stated
2 during the Pre-Trial Conference, we will do our utmost to ensure that
3 these plans are implemented. At the Pre-Trial Conference, we promised to
4 you that we wouldn't take a winter vacation but would rather use this
5 period of time to prepare Defence cases in the best possible way.
6 However, I have to inform you that even though all of us agree on
7 the way to proceed and to work during the recess and after the recess, it
8 seems that the Registry has a different view and that they believe that we
9 should go on vacation, or, rather, take an unpaid leave. This stems from
10 their decision in which they say that this period of time is not going to
11 be paid for us, this period of time that we intended to use for work. I
12 just wanted to inform you of this problem that we ran into.
13 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Vasic. I can only suggest that you
14 draw the attention of the Registry to this Chamber's indications of its
15 plans. But the extra week will help you one way or another in dealing
16 with that.
17 Mr. Moore?
18 MR. MOORE: Might I respectfully make two submissions or
19 suggestions? The first relates to the hearing in Croatia. I know that
20 there is a view that the OTP can get everything at any one time. It -- I
21 know my learned friends were considering perhaps asking the Court whether
22 the Court would either give, by way of direction or suggestion, to the
23 current hearings in Vukovar or Croatia, that they disclose all the
24 relevant material. If such an observation was made from the Bench, it may
25 well be that matters would be expedited and it will not hold back any
1 cross-examination of witnesses who have given evidence on or at that
2 particular hearing. That was the first thing my learned friend certainly
3 did mention and we are not against that particular submission.
4 The second matter, and perhaps it can be dealt with either
5 tomorrow or Thursday, relates to more an administrative matter, and it is
6 this: We are coming to the stage of the trial where documents will become
7 more prevalent. In our submission, if we do not have some form of notice
8 about the type of document that is being presented in cross-examination,
9 often we have to ask for them to be marked for identification or to check
10 their authenticity and it will mean we will ask for an adjournment. It's
11 not something I wish to do but it may well be that that will occur. I
12 wonder if the court might consider adhering to or implementing a course of
13 conduct used in other Trial Chambers of at least giving us 24 hours'
14 notice of the documents to be disclosed by the Defence and ourselves, and
15 I would merely make that submission as well.
16 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Moore, as to the second matter, we would plan
17 from the resumption of the hearing in January to have such a procedure,
18 and we might as well indicate that now. We've not implemented it to now
19 because of the difficulties with E-Court. But we think from the 23rd of
20 January on, applying equally to both sides, documents ought to be subject
21 to 24 hours' notice.
22 As to the other matter, this Tribunal is not in a position, and
23 would not presume to give any directions to a court sitting in another
24 country. We will say on the record now, in case it will assist, that we
25 would appreciate any cooperation that that court is able to offer to
1 counsel for the Defence or counsel for the Prosecution in respect of
2 proceedings that are related to those we are conducting.
3 We cannot presume to go further than that. We would observe,, of
4 course, that the obligation of the Prosecution to make disclosure are on
5 those documents that are within its power and capacity. If it cannot and
6 does not obtain documents from another court, it can't disclose them to
7 the Defence.
8 Thank you for that. It's been useful. We've gone a little over
9 time. I'll have to go out and apologise to the Chamber that's following.
10 But we will now adjourn and resume tomorrow at nine in the morning.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.56 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
13 December, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.