1 Thursday, 16 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
6 JUDGE PARKER: Good morning.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
8 JUDGE PARKER: I would remind you that the affirmation that you
9 made at the beginning of your evidence still applies.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith.
12 MR. SMITH: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS P-009 [Resumed]
14 Examination by Mr. Smith: [Continued]
15 Q. Witness, yesterday we were discussing what had happened to you
16 before the fall of Vukovar, and then you gave evidence as to what happened
17 on the 18th, and then you gave evidence as to what you began to do on
18 the 19th of November, and you said that you went to the Vukovar Hospital.
19 If I can remind you today, if we can just speak at a slow pace so that
20 everything can be recorded on the transcript. And if I can also remind
21 you that if you're going to refer to any of the four people that appear on
22 that sheet in front of you, if you can try and remember to use their
23 letters. But before we talk about the Vukovar Hospital, I would just like
24 to go back a little bit to the 18th of November when you went to
25 Velepromet for the first time when it was full of people, as you
2 And I would ask that Exhibit 262 be placed on the screen, please.
3 And if we can enlarge it one more level, please.
4 Witness, do you see the picture of Velepromet in front of you?
5 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
6 Q. Yesterday you said that there were military police guarding the
7 entrance of Velepromet. With the pen, can you mark an arrow as to where
8 that entrance was?
9 A. Sure. If you will just move the picture just a little bit to the
10 left side so that I -- yes. Thank you. That's good. This would be the
11 entrance right here.
12 Q. And can you mark that with an A, please.
13 A. [Marks].
14 Q. And when you say the military police were guarding the entrance,
15 what do you mean by guarding?
16 A. They were standing at the gate. There was a gate that would be
17 opened and closed as the buses or the trucks would arrive.
18 Q. And how did you know that these were military police?
19 A. I would describe as military police as far as I remember during my
20 service in the army. They usually had white belts that would kind of
21 distinguish them from regular soldiers who had brown belts. They could
22 not necessarily have a different uniform but, you know, it would be
23 different belts, definitely.
24 Q. And you mentioned that people were being unloaded from buses, and
25 when you arrived there was at least one bus in the Velepromet compound.
1 Could you put a line where you saw that bus, please.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And if you can mark that with a B.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. And you also said that there was a large number of people in the
6 courtyard of Velepromet. Can you perhaps with a large circle of sorts,
7 could you put the area where you saw these people, please?
8 A. There were women separated right here against this wall. There
9 were men lined up in lines like this, here and here. And then this whole
10 part right here was full of people. I'm sorry, and behind. Behind this
12 Q. If you can mark with a C the -- the rectangle that you drew to
13 depict where the women were lined up.
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. And if you can mark with a D the locations where you placed the
16 lines for where the men were lined up.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And if you can mark with an E the two locations where you saw the
19 other people that weren't placed in those groups?
20 A. What letter, sorry?
21 Q. The letter E.
22 A. E. Okay. I'm sorry.
23 Q. You also mentioned that men were placed in the hangars in
24 Velepromet when you were there on the 18th.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And you said that there were two guards at the entrance to each of
2 the hangars.
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Can you mark with, say, the letter F each of the hangars that you
5 saw men placed in on the 18th?
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 Q. And to the right-hand side of that picture do you see another
8 hangar at the end, or is that difficult to --
9 A. It's very difficult to say is it or not.
10 Q. You said that you spoke to your grandmother at Velepromet. Do you
11 remember where you spoke to her?
12 A. Yeah. She was held in this building here.
13 Q. Can you mark that build with a G, please?
14 A. With?
15 Q. With the letter G.
16 A. Okay.
17 Q. Did you speak to your grandmother inside that building or outside?
18 A. Outside, sir.
19 Q. Were you able to see how many other people were in that building?
20 A. Well, this -- building has two levels. There is a basement level
21 that you can see right in front over there. There was a huge entrance
22 right about here, if I remember correctly. And there's a top level or the
23 first floor where you could see a lot of people in -- well, there's no --
24 there's no walls or anything so you can see people in there, yes.
25 Q. And the basement level, with those two lines does that mark the
1 entrance to the basement or just where the basement --
2 A. I believe that would be the approximate location to the entrance
3 of the basement, yes.
4 Q. And if you can mark that with an H, please.
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. You said -- firstly you testified that men were lined up. Do you
7 know whether men were questioned on that day?
8 A. I believe so, sir, yes. I heard a lot of people were questioned.
9 Or I think -- my general understanding is that everybody got questioned,
10 not -- nobody was released without questioning.
11 Q. Do you know who they were questioned by?
12 A. My understanding was Mr. Zigic.
13 Q. Are you able to say where the men were questioned?
14 A. Yes, sir. Can we move the picture a little bit to the side?
15 Q. Perhaps if we not move the picture because we'll lose these
17 A. Oh, I see, okay. It's visible a little bit over here, right at
18 this building.
19 Q. And if you can mark that with an I, please.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And how do you know men were questioned in that -- in that
23 A. That's what I heard.
24 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender that exhibit.
25 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this will be exhibit number 277.
2 MR. SMITH:
3 Q. Witness, you testified yesterday -- yesterday that you went to the
4 Vukovar Hospital on the 19th of November, and you said that you went there
5 to search for person B's parents; is that correct?
6 A. That is correct, sir.
7 Q. What did you do when you first got to the Vukovar Hospital?
8 A. Well, we were really amazed that -- how many people we had seen on
9 the streets that only by walking towards the hospital. It was all in
10 ruins. It was really hard to recognise the city at all. But when we got
11 in front of the hospital, there were already some people over there. I
12 would say Territorial Defence people. And person B asks, you know, is it
13 possible, did they see any people coming out of the hospital, and -- since
14 he was looking for his parents, and they said well, he wasn't really sure
15 were they dead or alive, so he didn't leave any possibilities. Everything
16 was -- all options were open. So somebody said, "Well, there's some dead
17 bodies across the street if you want to go and take a look at it in those
18 two" -- there were two houses full of dead bodies. So that's what we did
19 first. We went over there will and looked at each one of those dead
20 bodies. But we didn't find anybody that was any resemblance to his
22 Q. And when you say that there were some dead bodies across the
23 street, was that the street in front of the hospital or behind the
25 A. It's -- that's the street right in front of the main entrance of
1 the hospital.
2 Q. And when you say two houses were full of dead bodies, where were
3 these dead bodies in relation to the houses?
4 A. In the first house, which is right across the street from the main
5 entrance to the hospital, there's just a wall and the yard inside, and
6 that yard was full of dead bodies covered with the white sheets. And the
7 second house is right beside, and my understanding was that there was a
8 part of the Croatian police building, and inside the yard or courtyard was
9 all packed with the -- with the dead bodies.
10 Q. In relation to the first building where the bodies had white
11 sheets over them, about how many bodies did you see?
12 A. I would say approximately, let's say, 20 to 30 people. Mostly
13 men, I believe.
14 Q. And in relation to the second house, about how many bodies were in
15 that yard?
16 A. Even more, but those bodies were not covered by anything. They
17 were just -- I guess they just placed them over there. Nobody was
18 covered. They were just lying down on the ground.
19 Q. Were they men or women or mixed?
20 A. They were mixed, I would say, yes.
21 Q. After you looked through -- or looked at the dead bodies and
22 realised that person B's parents weren't there, what did you do after
24 A. We went straight to the hospital. We -- actually, we went to the
25 main entrance of the hospital, to the main gate, which at that point
1 person B was trying to get into the hospital and see, because we knew that
2 there were people inside. So he was wondering if he can get in -- into
3 the hospital at that point. He would --
4 Q. When you say --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. When you say that he was trying to get inside, how was he doing
8 A. There was -- there were military police at the gate or at the main
9 entrance of the hospital. He asked to get in. He was told he has to
10 leave the weapons if he wants to get in, which he did. He left the
11 weapons, but then just a couple of seconds later said -- they changed
12 their mine. They said nobody gets in the hospital. Nobody's
13 getting inside the hospital compound.
14 Q. Do you remember what uniforms these military police were wearing?
15 A. Some of them had camouflage uniforms and some of them had regular
16 JNA uniforms, but they had white -- white belts on them.
17 Q. About how many military police were at the front of the hospital?
18 A. I would say --
19 Q. At the gate.
20 A. I can't -- I can't say exactly the number, but let's say between
21 five to 10 at least at the gate.
22 Q. You said when you first arrived at the hospital you saw some
23 people you believed were from the Territorial Defence.
24 A. That's correct, sir.
25 Q. About how many people from the Territorial Defence did you believe
1 were at the hospital?
2 A. Well, outside the gate the people were walking all over the
3 streets, but I would say -- let's say at least -- at least about 20
4 people. At least 20 people.
5 Q. And you said they were walking all over the streets. Where were
6 they in -- particularly in relation to the main entrance of the hospital?
7 A. Some of them were exactly at the -- at the main entrance of the
8 hospital, and some people were just arriving or somebody was coming
9 from -- there were -- people were coming from all over the sites.
10 Q. Were the military police letting anyone into the hospital that you
12 A. Not at that point, sir, no.
13 Q. And inside the yard of the hospital, did you see anything or
15 A. I've seen some vehicles inside destroyed. I've seen some
16 stretchers inside, and I've seen some soldiers inside. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And what type of soldiers were these people? What group did they
18 appear to belong to?
19 A. Well, some of them had camouflage uniforms inside. Some had
20 regular JNA uniforms, but I would say the JNA. I would believe that they
21 were JNA.
22 Q. And where were they in relation to the yard and the hospital and
23 the hospital building it self?
24 A. They were right on the main door -- main road as you entered
25 through the main gates of the hospital.
1 Q. Was there anyone there that appeared to be in charge inside the
3 A. I have noticed a very distinctive gentleman. He was a real -- to
4 me at that time seemed like a real, real officer, officer in charge.
5 Q. When you say you saw a real officer in charge, what do you mean by
6 that, "real officer"?
7 A. I mean that he was distinctively different than any other person
8 that was around him. He was -- he had that kind of real look as -- as a
9 military officer, a JNA military officer, somebody that you would admire
10 as a military. And me having a background of serving the army, I know how
11 the real officers look like.
12 Q. And what did he look like?
13 A. He had a real, real tough standing. He was a very tall person in
14 camouflage uniform with a Tito hat on his head. He had a military --
15 well, officer brief -- brief-case or the bag that usually the officers
16 would wear only, not the regular soldiers.
17 Q. And when you say he had a -- a brief-case or bag that usually
18 officers would wear only, where was that on him?
19 A. He was wearing it I guess across his chest, on the side.
20 Q. And what would that bag be used for?
21 A. I believe, as far as I can remember from serving the army, I
22 believe that that would be for maps or any other documents that -- that an
23 officer would carry only.
24 Q. Were you able to say what colour his hair was?
25 A. I believe it was dark hair at that time.
1 Q. And what about his height?
2 A. He was a very tall person.
3 Q. And was there anything distinctive about his face at all?
4 A. I noticed a moustache.
5 Q. And you say that he was a JNA officer. How did you -- how did you
6 determine that?
7 A. That was my understanding at that point, because none of the TOs
8 was allowed in the hospital, so I make an assumption and believing that
9 that would be a JNA officer, and from just watching, you know, the way he
10 behaved, you know, and his standing over there as a real gentleman and
11 officer, you know. I would say that would be a JNA officer.
12 Q. And what was he doing when you saw him? You said he was inside
13 the yard?
14 A. He was talking to some -- some soldiers over there. I'm not able
15 to say what they were talking or anything, but I saw him just talking to
16 some soldiers.
17 Q. How long were you at the front of the hospital by the entrance
18 near the military police?
19 A. I would say maybe the tops about half an hour, maybe -- maybe not
20 longer than that before we went back.
21 Q. And how long did you see this JNA officer for?
22 A. I would say that was just kind of brief, maybe a couple of
23 minutes. Just a brief look of a couple of minutes.
24 Q. And why did you leave the hospital?
25 A. We were not able to get in to see if his parents were over there,
1 so he decided to go back. We decided, actually, to go back home.
2 Q. And why was it that person B didn't want to leave his gun at the
3 entrance to go into the hospital?
4 A. He did in the first place, and then he was not able to get in, so,
5 there was to point of arguing. They wouldn't let anybody go inside the
6 hospital at that time.
7 MR. SMITH: If the Exhibit 170, photograph number 3, could be
8 placed on the screen, please. Thank you.
9 Q. Witness, do you see the photograph in front of you and do you
10 recognise it?
11 A. Yes, sir. That's the general Vukovar Hospital.
12 Q. And from that photograph are you able to mark where the entrance
13 to the hospital where you stood at was and where the military police were
14 guarding the entrance?
15 A. Yes, sir, I'm able to do that.
16 Q. If you can mark that with the letter A, please.
17 A. Oh, it's not working. Sorry. It's not working, the pen.
18 Q. If it's got a couple of complications, I can come back to it
19 later. I think I'll do that. Thank you.
20 Witness, after you left the Vukovar Hospital, where did you go
21 from there?
22 A. We walked back towards the centre of Vukovar. We crossed the
23 bridge, and then we saw the bus, which was empty, and the driver offered
24 us to take us a part of the way back home, which we did. We jumped on the
25 bus and took away -- a part of the way going back. And then we decided to
1 go to Velepromet again to look for his parents, to see what's going on,
2 because people are brought from all over the sites at that point still.
3 So that was the major understanding between us, to go there and see what's
4 going on.
5 Q. And when you got to Velepromet, what was -- what was happening
6 there? And perhaps you can explain it in relation to what had happened
7 the day before, whether there was any different activity and if the scene
8 was any different to the day before when you first went there, when it was
9 full of people.
10 A. The difference -- the main difference that I would notice at that
11 point was that the first day when we -- when we were over there people
12 were not allowed to get in, inside, or Territorials were not allowed to
13 get inside with the weapons. They should leave the weapons at the door,
14 at the main door entrance or the gate, and this day was something
15 different. People were getting in and out without some kind of general
16 control. They would just barge in and go out. Still a lot of people
17 coming, coming in and out with the buses and trucks. Some of them were
18 brought by foot. But the situation was not changed very dramatically as
19 far as people coming out and being brought to Velepromet at that time.
20 Q. And you mentioned the day before that the military police were
21 controlling who went in and who left. What were they doing -- well,
22 firstly, were they there --
23 A. Yes, they were --
24 Q. -- the second time?
25 A. They were standing at the main gate as well, but at this time I
1 think there was no more control at that point. People were just coming in
2 and out with weapons or no weapons. There was no more -- there was no
3 more questions, you know, if you want to go in or go out.
4 Q. Yesterday -- sorry, on the first day that you went to Velepromet,
5 you said there was a separation of people, separation of men and women.
6 Can you say whether that was happening on the second day?
7 A. Yes, it was the same -- same scenery from the day before. The
8 same -- the same stuff was happening.
9 Q. When you got there, what did you do?
10 A. I stayed at the main entrance. (redacted) got in and went looking for
11 his parents at that point. I stayed over there, and I was approached by
12 one of the soldiers. He left the weapons -- weaponry with me. He told me
13 to go and stand by the -- there was a room just beside the main entrance
14 where some people were held as well. That main entrance was open.
15 I was brought over there, stood in front of the door. There was
16 another guard at that point over there as well. The door was open at all
17 times, and then I looked inside hoping to see maybe my grandparents -- my
18 grandfather maybe was inside. I didn't see anybody that I knew. And then
19 he said to close the door quickly because the press is coming. So --
20 which I did at that point.
21 Q. Thank you.
25 Q. Witness, when you refer to the person that took you out of
1 Velepromet, if we can try and remember to use "person B."
2 A. I'm sorry.
3 Q. No problem.
4 A. Sorry.
5 Q. You were approached to stand guard, and you said that you looked
6 inside to see if you could find your grandparents. When you looked
7 inside, what did you see inside that -- that room or building?
8 A. There were about 15 to 20 people, and they were all men, all ages.
9 It wasn't some specific group of -- of elderly people or younger people.
10 They were young or -- and old inside the same room, yeah.
11 Q. And how long did you stand guard for?
12 A. It was about, I would say, maybe more -- not more than five to ten
14 Q. And what was person B doing whilst you were at Velepromet?
15 A. He -- I believe he spoke to his wife or they were looking together
16 because she was working over there as a nurse so she had more access to
17 everybody that were brought to Velepromet. So I guess he just, you know,
18 went to check did they find out anything about his parents.
19 Q. And did he find his parents at Velepromet?
20 A. No, sir.
21 Q. And about how long did you stay at Velepromet for after you left
22 the hospital?
23 A. Would I say maybe for hour, maybe longer than that. Then we went
24 back. We went back home, all together.
25 Q. And in terms of military groups that were possibly in Velepromet,
1 can you explain if there was any other military group other than you
2 believe to be the Territorial Defence or members of the Territorial
4 A. At that point in -- inside Velepromet, there were people coming in
5 and out in all -- all kinds of different uniforms. People were wearing
6 even parts of the Croatian military uniforms with no insignia on it, but
7 people were dressed in all kinds of uniforms. I -- I could not say
8 exactly which -- which military they belonged to at that point, but people
9 were just coming and going with all kinds of pieces and parts wearing. I
10 would say mostly TO at that point.
11 Q. And then when you left, where did you go?
12 A. We went back to the house, sir.
13 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I believe the screen is now working and
14 the magic pen, so perhaps if we can look at the screen. This is
15 Exhibit 170, photograph 3.
16 Q. Do you see the picture of the hospital on the screen?
17 A. Yes, sir, I do.
18 Q. The pen now works, so if you could mark the entrance where you saw
19 the military police guarding on the 19th. Thank you.
20 A. Yes, sir. Right here. That's the main entrance of the hospital.
21 Main gate. I'm sorry, main gate.
22 Q. And you mentioned that there was a JNA officer in camouflage
23 uniform that seemed to be in charge. Where was he when you saw him?
24 A. Right at this point.
25 Q. Can you mark that point with a B, please.
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. And the area where you saw the military police, can you place an A
3 there, please.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. You said inside the yard of the hospital you also saw some
6 soldiers, some JNA soldiers. Approximately where were they inside the
7 hospital yard, and if you could mark that, please.
8 A. There was some people at this point here, and some people right
9 here. Yeah. As far as I could see from where I was.
10 Q. You also said that the Territorial Defence outside of the
11 hospital. Are you able to mark on that picture the approximate location
12 where some of them were?
13 A. Yes, sir. Some of them were standing at this point. People were
14 looking inside. We were located at this point here. So mostly people
15 were gathered right in front of the main gate.
16 Q. And you've marked the photograph with -- with dots.
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 Q. And can you mark perhaps those two areas with the letter C,
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And if you can also mark the areas that you saw the soldiers
22 inside the hospital with the letter D, please.
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. And whilst you were there, what were the -- the men that you
25 believed to be from the Territorial Defence, what were they doing?
1 A. Some people tried to get in as well as person B. Some of them,
2 they were very rude. They really wanted to barge in -- inside the
3 hospital. They were talking about, you know, they know that Croats were
4 held inside the hospital. They wanted to get in. But, you know, nobody
5 was allowed at that point to go anywhere. So, you know, most of them were
6 mad they can't get in -- inside. But they were standing outside. They
7 were talking about everything, and they were pointing, you know, at the
8 hospital. They wanted to get in and -- yes.
9 Q. And when you say they were very rude, can you be a little bit more
10 perhaps descriptive than that? And the Court is quite used to explicit
11 language. If that in fact occurred.
12 A. Yes. Pardon my language, but they were saying they want to go in
13 and they want to kill fucking Ustashas, and they know the worst kind are
14 held inside the hospital and they should let them go and get in and do
15 whatever they want to do at that point.
16 Q. Did the military police do anything in relation to these -- this
17 language used by the Territorial Defence?
18 A. I don't think they can do much about the language that was used,
19 but they wouldn't let them in. Nobody was allowed to get inside the
20 hospital, no. As far as I've been able to see.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. SMITH: If we could move to Exhibit 262, please.
23 Oh, sorry, I seek to tender that exhibit, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: With the exhibit number -- this will be exhibit
1 number 278, Your Honours.
2 MR. SMITH: Thank you.
3 Q. Witness, do you see the photograph on the screen in front of you?
4 A. Yes, sir. That's Velepromet.
5 Q. You testified that after the hospital you went to Velepromet, and
6 then you were asked to guard a room or a part of the building inside
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Can you mark -- say, perhaps could you circle the premises that
10 you were actually asked to guard?
11 A. Yes, sir. That would be in this proximity here, right close to
12 the exit -- to the entrance of the Velepromet.
13 Q. And can you mark that with an A, please.
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this will be Exhibit 279.
18 MR. SMITH:
19 Q. Witness, you said that after going to Velepromet on the 19th you
20 went back to the house. And before we start to talk about what happened
21 on the 20th of November, I would like to ask you who was staying at the
22 house on the night of the 19th, before the 20th.
23 MR. SMITH: And, Your Honour, I'd ask that we go into private
25 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
1 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
22 MR. SMITH:
23 Q. Why did person B, why did he go back to Velepromet that night, the
24 night of the 19th?
25 A. He believed in different things than -- than other people, I
1 think. He was kind of an eccentric as far as some things. He didn't
2 believe in injustice. He -- if he saw some of his friends, he would
3 just -- he would do anything to get them out and save them. I saw him so
4 many times, you know, giving out his cigarettes even to people that he
5 didn't know who they were, or whatever he had in the pockets while we
6 were, let's say, walking to the Velepromet. He just couldn't stand
7 injustice. He couldn't bear that people got beaten or anything like that.
8 He just -- he was just a different person, a person with his own beliefs,
9 and he wanted to do what he believed that was right at that point and
10 that's what he did. He saved me and brought these people as well.
11 Q. And person B, he was a Serb; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. And those five Croat men, they stayed the night at the house?
14 A. They stayed two nights with us, yes.
15 Q. Now, I would like to talk about the 20th of November.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Obviously that night there was quite a number of people staying in
18 the house?
19 A. It was a crowded house, yes, I can tell that. We were sleeping
20 all on the floor with a blanket on.
21 Q. On the -- on the morning of the 20th, can you tell the Court what
22 you did?
23 A. Well, we usually, during the days that I stayed over there, usual
24 exercise for everyday would be like waking up at around 6.00 in the
25 morning. I would stay in the house and usually we would go about our
1 military duties as well as that day we woke up at 6.00 in the morning.
2 That became some kind of a routine.
3 Person B left. I don't know where or what he was doing at that
4 point, but he came back later on that morning. I would not be able to say
5 exactly the time, but I would say, let's say, around 9.00, 9.30. That's
6 as far as I remember is the beginning of that day. And then he said if I
7 want to go with him to the friend's house so we can have a coffee or
8 something, which we did.
9 At that point, we sat -- we sat in the car. We drove to this --
10 his friend's house, which is not far from Velepromet at that point, and we
11 sat there for I can't say exactly the time, but we sat over there. We had
12 coffee, and then we heard some woman screaming outside the house.
13 Apparently what I understood from the story that the -- of his friend that
14 we were sitting in his house, she lost her husband during the war. He got
15 killed. So she was screaming like that she heard that Croats are taken
16 out of the Vukovar and they are not going to be prosecuted. They're just
17 going to let them go all, and she was just -- I don't know what she's
18 in -- whether she is in pain or she's really -- I don't know what was
19 going on. She was just out of control.
20 Q. Did she tell you how she knew that Croats were going to be taken
21 out of Vukovar?
22 A. No, sir. She didn't say anything like -- as far as that goes, but
23 words -- this is a very small town, especially the parts where we were.
24 Like the rest of the town was not inhibited [sic] at all, so, you know,
25 word was spread very fast if anything happens or anything significant is
1 going on. So I guess that's how she found out.
2 Q. I think the transcript is a little bit incorrect. I think you
3 said the rest of the town was not -- was inhibited or inhabited?
4 A. There were not people living just in this part where we used to --
5 where we were living. The other part of the town was pretty much empty.
6 There was no people living inside the town because it was destroyed.
7 Q. So in the part of the town that you were living in,
8 Petrova Gora --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- were there people living there or not?
11 A. Yes, sir. Yes, yeah. But for the rest of the town, I mean
12 towards the centre of Vukovar, that was all empty.
13 Q. And is that the part that you're saying was destroyed?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. So once this woman had told you and person B that Croats were to
16 be taken out of the town, what did -- what did you do? What did you and
17 person B do?
18 A. Well, we -- we got in the car where he said, you know, let's go
19 and see what's going on. We sat in the car. We went -- we drove straight
20 to Velepromet, because there was -- at that -- at this point that was the
21 only point of -- where people were brought, brought in, and so if you want
22 to see somebody or someone, that would be the place to look for them at
23 that point. So as far as we understood, they were bringing more people,
24 and as we knew the hospital wasn't evacuated at that time, so we thought
25 these people were coming from hospital to the Velepromet.
1 Q. And what were -- what was person B planning to do by going to
2 Velepromet, and what were you planning to do?
3 A. Well, he wanted to see if among those people, because we didn't
4 know who was in the hospital, maybe his parents or somebody that he was
5 looking for. He wanted to see if they're among those people that they're
6 bringing out. So we went to Velepromet to see if there is anybody. But
7 when we got over there, there was nobody. We stayed for maybe short
8 period of time, and in the -- in that time, he heard rumours that people
9 are getting brought to -- to the military barracks, which -- sorry.
10 Q. Did you -- did you go inside the gates of Velepromet?
11 A. Not that day. Not that -- at that time, no.
12 Q. Were you able to see how many people -- I think you said there was
13 nobody in Velepromet. Were you able to see that or were you told that?
14 A. There was nobody brought at that -- at that time, but there were
15 people inside the compound, yes. Because you can see through the gate.
16 The gate is -- it's not kind of closed type of gate. You can see through.
17 So, yeah, there were still people inside. But nobody was brought at that
18 point of time.
19 Q. And in terms of the large numbers of people that you saw at
20 Velepromet on the day before and the day before that, what was the size --
21 or what was the size of the people, the group of people that was inside
22 Velepromet at that time?
23 A. The number decreased. I didn't see that many people inside, but
24 there were people. There were some soldiers. I would believe that would
25 be TOs. And there were people still inside but not as large numbers as
1 the day -- the day before.
2 Q. And what about at the entrance to Velepromet? Was that guarded?
3 A. It was still the same picture with the military police at the
4 gate, yes.
5 Q. And so where did you go from Velepromet?
6 A. He found out that apparently they're being brought to a military
7 barracks. We got in the car again, and we drove to -- to the military
8 barracks. We didn't go in because from the road you could see there was
9 nobody there. Pretty much was abandoned place, as far as we could see
10 from the road, from the main road.
11 Q. And which military barracks were these, and about how far away
12 from Velepromet were they?
13 A. I would say if you would walk, they would be about maybe five
14 minutes' walk, not even that. So it took about a couple of minutes to get
15 there with the car. And it's on the main road where -- where the
16 Velepromet is as well.
17 Q. And which military barracks were they?
18 A. JNA military barracks.
19 Q. And you said that when you got there nobody was there; is that
21 A. That's correct, sir.
22 Q. Did you look inside the barracks?
23 A. No. We looked from the road. We didn't see anything. Usually if
24 they were bringing anybody or if anybody was brought usually you would see
25 some kind of trucks or the buses but we didn't see anything at that point.
1 Q. Had you seen anyone brought to the military barracks before in
2 trucks or buses?
3 A. No, sir, no.
4 Q. So how long did you stay at the barracks for, and then what did
5 you do?
6 A. Oh, we just stopped on the main road. We looked at it and then we
7 went back home.
8 Q. And how long did you stay at home before you did something else?
9 A. Not very long. We went back very shortly after that. We returned
10 back to the barracks. We returned back to that main road that leads to
11 Velepromet and then which leads to barracks as well. So we went to the
12 barracks first.
13 Q. And why did you go back to the barracks shortly after?
14 A. Well, as far as he understood that they're bringing people to the
15 barracks, so he stopped there first, and then the next -- the second time
16 when we arrived over there we seen totally different scene at that point.
17 Q. And perhaps if you can tell us what you saw when you went back to
18 the barracks for the second time.
19 A. At that point we wanted to get in with the car. There was some
20 kind of a barricade in front of the main entrance or that main road that
21 leads inside. There were people stationed over there. They wouldn't
22 allow us to get in with the car, so they made us to park outside on the
23 main road. We stepped out of the car and we walked inside the barracks,
24 and we were allowed to get in with no problems.
25 When we got into the barracks, we've seen the buses parked in a
1 semicircle inside the barracks. There were a couple of military vehicles,
2 and I noticed one tank and a lot of JNA soldiers. Mostly military police
3 at that point. There were some Territorials as well.
4 Q. When you say "mostly military police," what type of uniforms were
5 they wearing?
6 A. Some of them had the camouflage uniforms; some of them had regular
7 JNA or green -- olive-green uniforms but with the white belts on.
8 Q. And what were the military police doing when you got there?
9 A. As far as I -- I remember and looking at the buses, two military
10 police officers -- well, two military police soldiers, pardon me, were
11 inside the bus, and two of them were standing outside the bus at each
12 entrance of the bus, guarding. So for each bus over there.
13 Q. And about how many buses were inside the barracks?
14 A. I believe, if I can remember correctly, five to six buses.
15 Q. Do you remember where these buses were parked or how they were
17 A. They formed kind of a semicircle around inside -- inside the
18 compound, one after the other, so kind of -- they formed kind of a
19 semicircle, yeah.
20 Q. You also said that there were two military vehicles there when you
21 got there. What type of military vehicles were they?
22 A. One -- one of them parked was -- was a tank, as far as I can
23 remember, and I think one light armoured vehicle, if I would remember
25 Q. And what did you do when you got there?
1 A. First we -- we didn't know what we were allowed to do, but then we
2 started -- we noticed that a lot of Territorials were just walking around
3 the buses, so we started walking around the buses as well. We were
4 looking if we know anybody. Person B was looking for his parents,
5 thinking that they might be on the bus.
6 We didn't see anybody recognisable, or at least I didn't know
7 anybody, but most of these people were in bandages. Some of them were
8 very badly wounded. It was really very hard to recognise anybody through
9 the window of the bus, plus most of them were holding their heads down
10 like towards the seats. So you couldn't even see anybody's face pretty
12 Q. And what were you planning on doing by walking around the buses?
13 A. We just wanted to see who -- who it was, I guess, or just if we
14 can recognise anybody or -- you know, as I said, you know, he was looking
15 for his parents. He was wondering if he can find them over there.
16 Q. You said there were Territorial Defence members at the -- at the
17 barracks. You also said that there were military police at the barracks.
18 Did there appear to be anyone in charge of the situation at the barracks
19 or not?
20 A. I wasn't really -- I'm not really clear about that, who was -- who
21 was in charge, but I would say military police were definitely in charge
22 of -- of keeping the control of the buses and people that were on the
24 Q. Earlier you said that you saw some soldiers there. Were any
25 officers in the barracks?
1 A. Yes. I -- I noticed at least more than one.
2 Q. And can you -- can you describe that officer?
3 A. One of those -- one of the officers that I specifically recall was
4 the same officer that I noticed at the hospital. The other ones I'm not
5 really sure. I didn't have a very good look.
6 Q. And when you say the same officer that you saw at the hospital,
7 just so that it's absolutely clear, can you give that brief description
9 A. He was very tall, in the camouflage uniform, wearing a Tito hat,
10 camouflage Tito hat, very distinctive person. To me he had a lot of -- a
11 huge impression on me as an officer and a gentleman. He looked a real,
12 real officer.
13 Q. Just going back to the hospital for the moment. You mentioned
14 that you saw this officer there at the hospital. Was there any other
15 officer inside the yard of the hospital?
16 A. I would not -- I would not be able to recall that, sir, no.
17 Q. And what was this officer doing?
18 A. When we arrived, they were talking. They were inside the
19 compound. There's kind of a little circle, and as far as I noticed they
20 were just talking among themselves. Not very -- I mean, we didn't really
21 pay attention that much, you know, on what they were doing.
22 Q. And when you say there was at least one officer, and you've
23 described the officer, who were the other people that he was talking to or
24 that were talking?
25 A. I believe they were JNA officers. I believe. The reason I say
1 that, because I noticed -- I noticed they had some kind of ranks, but I'm
2 not really sure what it was or who they were. As I said, I wasn't really
3 paying attention. He was the only one who left a huge impression on me.
4 As I said, I admired that person, the way that he behaved himself.
5 Q. When you say you admired him for the way he behaved himself, what
6 do you mean by that? How was he behaving?
7 A. Well, his stand and being -- looking as a real, real officer, like
8 a real, real JNA officer, somebody that you would just -- when you look
9 you would have a respect towards.
10 Q. And how many were in that group with this -- with this officer?
11 A. You mean how many officers were -- were there or --
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I would say, if I can remember correctly, at least three.
14 Q. And how far away from the buses were they?
15 A. Not that far away. That would be -- buses were parked in a
16 semicircle, and as I said there's kind of a little -- a little kind of a
17 grounding circle inside over there where they were standing. So not far.
18 I would say if you want in metres that would be kind of, I don't know,
19 maybe 15 metres. 15 metres from the buses.
20 Q. And on that day whilst you were at the barracks, did you notice
21 anyone else of authority come into the barracks?
22 A. Very, very shortly after we arrived I noticed Miroljub Vujanovic
23 arriving in his vehicle together with Stanko. Miroljub Vujovic, sorry,
24 with Stanko Vujanovic. I'm sorry. They jumped out of the car, and they
25 went straight on to these officers. That was really noticeable, because
1 they looked really, really mad for some reason. And what I noticed, some
2 kind of a huge argument started as soon as they arrived. They were going
3 back and forth as far as arguing with the JNA officers.
4 Q. And who was Miroljub and who was Stanko?
5 A. My understanding at that point that Miroljub was in charge of the
6 T -- of the Territorial Defence in Vukovar, and Stanko, that he is the
7 leader of a Chetnik group in Vukovar.
8 Q. Were you able to hear why they were mad or what the argument was
10 A. No, sir. But you could see it was really visible that some kind
11 of very huge argument is going on between them. It was back and forth.
12 We were not really paying attention what was going on, but I noticed as
13 far as, you know, that argument going on back and forth. I couldn't hear
14 the words they were saying, no.
15 Q. And about how long did that argument going on for?
16 A. I would say for a while, you know. They really seemed upset, I
17 believe both -- both parties. They were waving the -- Miroljub, as far as
18 I remember, he was waving the weapons, and he was in those -- having
19 those, you know, hand gestures and, you know, being really upset talking
20 to these JNA officers. What the argument was all about I'm not really --
21 I'm not really sure, no.
22 Q. Mm-hmm. And you said that you were looking at the buses to see if
23 there was anyone that you knew was in them. What about person B? What
24 was he doing?
25 A. He was what me. We were going slowly together. We would go from
1 one side of the bus to the other side. So he would kind of -- you know,
2 we had a glance on the both sides of the buses. That's how I noticed the
3 guards on the other side by the -- every entrance of the bus, those
4 military police guards.
5 Q. And did you -- did you see anyone that you knew on the buses?
6 A. Yes. There was my professor was on the bus, and -- yeah.
7 Q. If I can stop you there.
8 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, if we could go to private session for one
9 moment, please.
10 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
11 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 MR. SMITH:
24 Q. When you saw your professor on the bus, without using his name,
25 can you explain what happened?
1 A. Yes. I tried to speak to him through the window. He seemed very
2 scared to talk to me at all. So I said, "I'll go and talk -- I'll ask one
3 of the officers over there if they'll let me come on the bus to talk to
4 you." And -- which -- which I did. I went to the officers. In this
5 case, I didn't ask any -- Miroljub or Stanko or -- I asked the JNA
6 officers in general over there. So nobody specific. Is it possible for
7 me to get on the bus and talk to my professor. And I guess because of the
8 argument or whatever they just said, you know, we'll see and, you know,
9 just -- they just waved a hand at me and -- so I walked from them.
10 I went straight to the bus. I went to the entrance of the bus.
11 There was a guard at the bus entrance. So I said, "You know, can I get
12 on," and he was -- he said, "No, you can't get in. Nobody gets in on the
13 buses." So I said, "Well, the officers gave me permission to get on." So
14 he said, okay, that's fine. You know, I'll let you on. I had to -- so he
15 opened the door, and there was another one -- I don't know was it a
16 Territorial Defence or some reservists or somebody came on. He said,
17 where -- "Where do you think you're going?" And I said, "Well, I'm going
18 to talk to my professor on the bus." So he said, "Oh, so did he ever give
19 you any bad marks while you were in the school? Because if he did, you
20 know, I'll just slaughter him right in front of you." And I -- at that
21 point, I really got scared because I thought I put him in more danger than
22 he was at that -- at that point, you know, just being on the bus at that
24 I managed to -- this guard that was at the door, he managed to
25 chase him away. Or he wouldn't let him get on the bus with me. I managed
1 to get in, and I was talking to him for a while and realised that his wife
2 was with him as well, sitting in the same bus -- well, just beside him.
3 And I said that I'll try to do as much as I can to help him to get off the
5 When we finished the conversation, I got off the bus. I went back
6 to these officers, and I said is it possible for this person to be
7 released from the bus? And they were not really interested in whatever --
8 whatever I was saying. So I asked the person B if he can talk to some of
9 the Territorial Defence people, if they can help. He did, but there
10 was -- there was to response. Nobody was willing to do anything at that
11 point. Nobody -- as far as I got the reply, it was nobody gets off the
12 buses at this point.
13 Q. How many times did you approach the JNA officers to get the
14 professor off the bus?
15 A. I approached them twice: Once to ask for permission to get on the
16 bus; and the second time when I asked if it's possible to -- for something
17 to be done to get him released, him and his wife, and get them off the
19 Q. And you described the tall JNA officer that you saw at the Vukovar
20 Hospital and then at the barracks. Where he was in relation to the JNA
21 officers that you approached to get the professor off the bus?
22 A. Yeah. He was with them as well.
23 Q. How far away were you from this tall JNA officer when you were
24 speaking to him on both of those occasions?
25 A. I was pretty much face-to-face with him.
1 Q. Did -- did you see any people at all be taken off the buses?
2 A. Yes, sir, I did. When -- when this argument was finished or at
3 least we thought the argument was finished between the TOs and the
4 officers, they all went inside the barracks or inside the buildings
5 behind -- well, from the buses. So they basically left the scene at that
7 Then what I noticed there was a minivan that barged in into the
8 compound with a couple of soldiers. I would not be able to recall how
9 many -- how many soldiers were over there, but they all jumped out of the
10 minivan, and I heard from the TOs that were standing over there that they
11 are looking for the Dosen brothers. And they came from Negoslavci, which
12 is a village just beside -- just close to Vukovar.
13 Q. And when you say "they came from Negoslavci," are you referring to
14 the soldiers or the Dosen brothers?
15 A. People from -- that came in with the minivan.
16 Q. These soldiers, could you describe what they were wearing?
17 A. They were wearing bits and pieces of all kinds of uniforms.
18 That's as far as I can remember.
19 Q. Did you know the Dosen brothers before you heard their names
21 A. I knew one -- one of them, yes. He used to be -- he lived in
22 proximity to where I used to live.
23 Q. And what was his name?
24 A. Tadija.
25 Q. Were the Dosen brothers on the buses?
1 A. At that point I didn't know, but, yes, they were.
2 Q. When did you discover that they were on the buses?
3 A. When they started unloading them from the buses, sir.
4 Q. And can you explain how that was done?
5 A. Yes, sir. About five or six soldiers got on the bus. It was the
6 first bus in line. They got through the first entrance door of the bus.
7 It doesn't matter -- well, at that point the military police and guards
8 were on the bus but nobody did anything about it. They were taken off the
9 bus one by one, and as -- they would be thrown from the bus. They were
10 not walking from the bus. They were just thrown through the door. As
11 they would fell on the floor by the front rear right tire, they were
12 beaten to death, I think at that point. It was just horribly -- a
13 horrible scene, how they were beating -- beated at that point. I thought
14 they were dead at that -- when they got out.
15 Q. How many people -- how many of the Dosen brothers were taken off
16 the first bus?
17 A. There were two of them.
18 Q. And when you say it was a horrible scene, if you can briefly
19 describe how many people were involved in the beating and who they were
20 and how they were doing it.
21 A. There were some soldiers, they came in on that -- in that minivan,
22 and as well some Territorials were there, but I would describe about at
23 least 10 to 15 people beating them at the same time.
24 Q. And how -- how were they beating those two?
25 A. With anything they had. With their -- with their guns, with metal
1 pipes, with -- with their feet, with their hands. It -- it was just -- it
2 was just horrible. It was -- the scene was just undescribable as far as
3 horror that I've seen there.
4 Q. And about how long did this beating of these two go on for?
5 A. I would say for several minutes for sure, because when I looked at
6 them I thought that they were dead. I thought they're both dead.
7 Q. When -- when these two Dosen brothers were being beaten, where
8 were the JNA officers you referred to and Miroljub and Stanko? You said
9 they left at one point?
10 A. Yes. I believe they were inside the building. I don't know what
11 they were doing over there, but they were not present at that point.
12 Q. And when these soldiers from the minivan came to look for the
13 Dosen brothers, did they speak to anyone to try and find them, or did they
14 appear to know where to go?
15 A. They didn't speak to anybody as far as I've seen from where I was
16 standing, and that was not very far from that bus. And, no, they just
17 barged into the bus and took them away.
18 Q. You said there were three Dosen brothers.
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. The other Dosen brother --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- where was he?
23 A. He was -- as far as I could see where they went for him, he was
24 badly wounded on a stretcher inside a military vehicle or truck, I would
25 say, truck.
1 Q. And where was that truck parked in relation to that first bus?
2 A. Underneath -- how I would describe that? It's underneath kind of
3 parking garage, kind of open parking garage, but underneath the roof of
4 that parking garage.
5 Q. Was there anybody else in that truck apart from this third Dosen
7 A. There were more wounded people as far as I could see. They were
8 all wearing bandages, or at least they appeared to be all the wounded
9 people, yes.
10 Q. Can you say about how many wounded people were in the truck?
11 A. That would be hard to say. From where I was standing, I could see
12 at least, I didn't know, like maybe six -- six, seven people.
13 Q. And briefly what type of truck was it?
14 A. It was a military truck.
15 Q. And did they subsequently take this third Dosen out of the truck?
16 A. Yes. He was thrown off the truck and taken away. He was not
17 beaten at that point. I haven't seen anybody beating him over there.
18 Q. Were any of the Dosen brothers incapacitated at all or -- I mean,
19 prior to being beaten?
20 A. You mean like having handcuffs or anything or --
21 Q. Appeared to be sick or wounded.
22 A. Not as far as I can remember on the -- I'm not sure on the buses.
23 I've seen the one that was on the stretcher. He only one appeared to me
24 being wounded, as far as I can remember.
25 Q. And the one that was on the stretcher, was he on the bus or on the
2 A. He was in the truck.
3 Q. And where was he taken, the one that was on the stretcher?
4 A. All three of them were taken into that minivan and they
5 disappeared from the scene.
6 Q. And what type of minivan was it?
7 A. It was a civilian minivan. I can't remember the colour, but I
8 know it was civilian.
9 Q. And were you -- were you able to find out where this minivan went?
10 A. As far as we could hear the stories after, they were -- they took
11 them to Negoslavci. Is that true or not, I'm not really sure.
12 Q. And these soldiers that came out of the minivan initially, you
13 said that they said they were from Negoslavci. Do you know whether they
14 were regular JNA, Territorial Defence, Chetniks as you referred to, or any
15 other group?
16 A. Well, I don't know where to place them, but, you know, if they
17 were from Negoslavci, as far as to my understanding usually local people
18 were called the Territorial Defence. So I would -- I would probably say
19 the Territorial Defence, but that's -- I'm not hundred per cent sure on
21 Q. You said that you saw the three Dosens being taken off -- or two
22 off the bus and one off the truck. Did you see anyone else get taken off
23 a bus?
24 A. Yes, sir. There was one more person taken off the bus in the
1 Q. And can you state who that was and how he was taken off the bus?
2 A. His name is -- I know his nickname only. He was called Faca,
3 F-a-c-a, and his brother Iko, or I-k-o. He was apparently a part of
4 the -- a Chetnik organisation over there, and he came in and took him --
5 took him off the bus. And he was not beaten or anything. He was just
6 taken off the bus and left over there in the barracks.
7 Q. You mentioned that the JNA officers, including the tall one that
8 was at the Vukovar Hospital, and Stanko and Miroljub, they left and went
9 into some building inside the JNA barracks. Did you see any of those
10 people again before you left JNA barracks?
11 A. I noticed -- I noticed Miroljub and Stanko coming out from the
12 building -- or coming towards the buses. That's when the engines started
13 on all the buses. And -- but I haven't seen any JNA officers at that
14 point coming towards the buses, no.
15 Q. Where did they go, Miroljub and Stanko, when the buses were being
16 started up?
17 A. They jumped into their car, the one that they came on.
18 Q. Do you know what type of car they had, whether it was of a
19 civilian or military nature.?
20 A. I would believe a civilian nature.
21 Q. You stayed the buses started up. Did they go anywhere?
22 A. Not right away, but the bus -- when the engines started they
23 didn't leave right away. First -- it took a couple minutes, maybe, for
24 two -- two kind of military jeeps to arrive which -- which led the convoy
25 outside -- out of -- from the barracks. So they parked first in front of
1 the convoy, in front of the buses, and then the convoy started leaving the
3 Q. When go these military jeeps arrive?
4 A. Shortly after I've seen Miroljub and Stanko coming towards the
6 Q. Can you describe with a little more detail what type of military
7 jeeps they were?
8 A. If I believe -- if I remember correctly, they would be the ones
9 that are called Campagnola, but we usually call them jeeps. It's just a
10 military vehicle.
11 Q. Were they hard tops or soft tops or can you be more specific?
12 A. I can't exactly recall, but some of them -- I mean, there were --
13 there were couple types that -- some of them had hard tops. Some of them
14 had soft tops. I'm not really sure. I can't exactly ...
15 Q. Do you know who was in these Campagnolas?
16 A. There were soldiers, but I'm not really sure who they belonged to
17 at that point.
18 Q. And then did the buses leave?
19 A. Yes, sir. The whole convoy left the compound.
20 Q. You said that the Campagnolas were in the convoy, the buses. Was
21 there any other vehicle in the convoy?
22 A. There was the truck as well, the truck with the wounded people
23 that I described already. So the whole convoy left and turned left
24 towards the Velepromet.
25 Q. The military police that were guarding the buses that you first
1 referred to, what happened to them?
2 A. They were still on the buses. There was nobody else on the bus
3 except them. They were guarding the buses at that point.
4 Q. And what about the Territorial Defence people that arrived at JNA
5 barracks, what did they do?
6 A. A lot of people started running to their cars -- cars and going
7 after -- after the convoy or in the direction where the convoy was leading
9 Q. And which direction was the convoy going, towards town or away
10 from it?
11 A. He was going away from it, towards the Velepromet, which means
12 leading outside the town.
13 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I think this is a good moment to break.
14 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. Because of the redaction, we will need
15 to have a half-hour break and resume at 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
18 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Smith.
19 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. Witness, I just want to clear up just a little confusion that
21 appears on the transcript and the way that it's been recorded, and I'm
22 referring to page 42, lines 5 to 8.
23 Once -- you said that when the buses started up the military
24 police stayed on the buses; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And then you testified earlier that there were also Territorial
2 Defence members at the JNA barracks; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. What did they do once the buses had started up and the convoy
5 started to leave?
6 A. Most of them -- most of the people that I can -- that I could
7 observe at that point started going into their own cars or whatever
8 transportation they had and started going in the direction where the
9 convoy was leaving.
10 Q. Thank you. And the pace that you're going at the moment is a
11 good pace, everything is being recorded, so if we can keep speaking at
12 this speed it would be great.
13 A. I'll do my best, sir. Thank you.
14 Q. And what did you do? What did you and person B do?
15 A. We waited until the convoy left the compound. Apparently the
16 person B found out where the convoy is going -- is being taken, or where
17 the final destination is going to be. We walked to our car, and we
18 started going towards the Velepromet. We stopped at the Velepromet very
19 briefly and then continued in the direction that we understood that the
20 convoy is going to.
21 Q. And where did you believe the convoy was going?
22 A. As far as we understood, as I understood at that point, it was
23 going to Ovcara.
24 Q. And when did you find that out?
25 A. We found that out at the barracks.
1 Q. And who did you find that out from?
2 A. Territorials, what people were saying where the convoy is going.
3 Q. And why did you and person B go to Ovcara?
4 A. Well, the person that I recognised on the bus was still there, and
5 he recognised a couple of people, he wanted to take them off. As far as
6 we understood, there would be another gathering place for people there
7 because people are still coming out from the basements, and they were
8 being brought. So for us that was just another gathering place like at
10 Q. Why did you and person B feel the need to take off people from the
12 A. I don't know. I just -- I guess I felt right at the time to help.
13 I don't know how to say, how to describe that. I just -- I just felt
14 right to do it. That's all I can say.
15 Q. Did you have any concerns about what might happen to these people
16 on the buses?
17 A. No. We didn't know anything at that point what's -- what's going
18 to happen or anything. It just -- to us it was just another convoy of
19 people that came out at this point, like at Velepromet, people who were
20 brought to Velepromet as well. So just another group of people that were
21 brought out from the basements, sir, and being taken out of Vukovar.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. SMITH: I would ask that Exhibit 256 be placed on the screen,
24 please, and photo 13. Thank you. I don't appear to have it on the
1 I have "Private or closed session" on my screen. I'm not sure
2 what ...
3 Yes. We see it now. Thank you.
4 Q. Witness, do you see the photograph on the screen?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Where were the buses parked?
7 A. In a semicircle by those buildings over there.
8 Q. Could you mark, using the red pen, the line where the buses were
9 parked, please.
10 A. Okay. There was one bus right here. There was another one right
11 there. Maybe not that big, but like this.
12 Q. And can you mark with an A that general area --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- in those rectangles.
15 You said the Dosens were taken off -- or two of the Dosens were
16 taken off the first bus. Can you place a number 1 to indicate that bus?
17 A. [Marks].
18 Q. You say that the third Dosen brother was taken off a truck that
19 was parked under some sort of covering?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Can you indicate with a 2 where that truck was parked?
22 A. Right in here.
23 Q. You say when you arrived you saw the tall JNA officer that was at
24 the Vukovar Hospital speaking with other officers and then eventually
25 speaking to Miroljub and Stanko. Where was that group?
1 A. Right here.
2 Q. And you've placed a dot. Can you mark that with a C, please.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you also referred to the JNA officers and Stanko and Miroljub
5 leaving and going to some other premises within the JNA barracks. Can you
6 show the direction in which they left the area where they were initially
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 280.
13 MR. SMITH:
14 Q. Witness, you said after leaving the JNA barracks you stopped at
15 Velepromet. What was the reason for that briefly?
16 A. Person B, as he said, he just wanted to talk to his wife for --
17 very briefly or whatever the reason was, but we stopped over there very
18 briefly. That was my understanding.
19 Q. Did you get out of the car?
20 A. No, sir, I did not.
21 Q. Was the car parked in Velepromet or on the road in front?
22 A. No, on the road in front.
23 Q. Had you ever been to Ovcara before?
24 A. Not -- well, maybe I passed by before but not exactly inside any
25 of the buildings that were there.
1 Q. And when you heard that the people on the buses were being taken
2 to Ovcara, what did you believe Ovcara to be, the location?
3 A. Well, I knew that there was -- some kind of an economy. As far as
4 I understood, it was an economy. That's all pretty much I knew. I know
5 they raised cattle over there.
6 Q. And when you got to Ovcara, where did you park --
7 A. We --
8 Q. -- and what did you see?
9 A. We parked on the main road, and we arrived just shortly after, I
10 guess, and we parked on the main road. We got out of the car, and we
11 noticed that people one by one were taken off the bus. I noticed at least
12 two buses that were there at the time. There was kind of a form of --
13 kind of two lines and these people were walking in between those two lines
14 of soldiers or, well, people that were standing over there.
15 They were taken out one by one slowly with their luggage. As soon
16 as they would step out of the bus, their luggage was thrown away from
17 them, and then beating would start. And they went let them run through
18 the whole thing. They had to walk slowly, and -- as they were beaten.
19 That was my main observation at that point.
20 Q. And where were the buses parked near, what type of premises?
21 A. It was some kind of a hangar, like similar to the one that you
22 showed on the picture in the barracks. Like some kind of hangar.
23 Q. And you said that there were two lines formed, those two lines of
24 soldiers. Do you know what type of soldiers they were?
25 A. According to my observation from where I was standing, I would say
1 that there was a Territorial Defence. That's my observation.
2 Q. And what types of uniform were they wearing?
3 A. They had all kinds of bits and pieces of uniform, some JNA, some
4 overcoats. All kinds of -- all kinds of uniforms you could see there.
5 Q. And in relation to the hangar, where were -- where were the two
7 A. Well, the two lines were between the bus. So exit of the bus and
8 the entrance of that hangar. So basically this whole kind of short
9 distance between the bus and hangar, that was all blocked from both sides
10 with the soldiers.
11 Q. And about how many soldiers were in these two lines?
12 A. This would be just a guesstimate. I would say 20, 15, 20 people,
13 maybe more. I'm not sure. There were people standing on the side as
14 well, so I'm not -- I can't say exactly the number.
15 Q. You said that there were at least two buses there. Were the buses
16 being unloaded at the same time or separately?
17 A. They were unloaded separately and, as I said, people were taken
18 off one by one. So there was not a -- I didn't observe being a group of
19 people taken out at same time, just one by one.
20 Q. And about how many people were in these two buses, say in each of
21 the buses?
22 A. Well, each bus was pretty full, as far as I could see from the
23 outside, and the one that I entered in barracks, when I spoke to the
24 person that I'd recognised, as far as I could see all the seats were
25 taken, so I can't exactly saw how many seats was inside, but approximately
1 40 to 50 people.
2 Q. You said as these people were taken off the buses they were beaten
3 slowly. Was everyone beaten? Was a few beaten? Can you give us an idea
4 of how many people?
5 A. Every one of them. Everyone that I observed that came out of the
6 bus was beaten. And as I said, they were not beaten slowly. They were --
7 they were told -- I could hear that they said they can't run. They have
8 to walk slowly as they beat them.
9 Q. And what type of beatings were there? Were they using any
10 implements or were they beating with their -- their arms and legs?
11 A. Everything. Everything that I could remember. Some -- some
12 people used guns, some people used I guess some kind of pipes or some kind
13 of sticks. Some people that came -- emerged from the bus with their
14 crutches that were taken from them and they beat them with the same ones.
15 Some people would just fall -- just fell on the floor, well, right on the
16 ground, and they would try to crawl inside and they were beaten on -- from
17 all sides with the feet, with the boots, with anything that can hit them
19 Q. And about how long was each person beaten for? Just an average,
20 if you can say.
21 A. It's not a big distance from the bus to the entrance, so I would
22 not -- I don't know. I can't -- I can't say that. I'm not sure.
23 Q. You said when the buses left the JNA barracks the military police
24 were still on each bus.
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Did you see them at Ovcara or not?
2 A. They were still on the buses. They were still guarding inside the
4 Q. What were they doing whilst each of these people were being
6 A. They were just inside the bus. I'm not sure what -- whether they
7 were hitting the people or not, but I could see only the bus -- the one
8 closer to me that the person was still standing by the -- by the
9 entrance -- or exit. So I don't know. I can't say for sure what they
10 were doing.
11 Q. Can you say about how long it took for the men on the buses to be
12 placed in the hangars -- placed in the hangar, sorry.
13 A. I would say maybe, I don't know, 15, 20 minutes. Something like
14 that, yeah. Maybe more. I'm not sure exactly about the time-frames, but
15 it took a time for -- for all of them to get out.
16 Q. And where was your car parked in relation to the hangar? About
17 how far away from the hangar was it parked?
18 A. Not far. About -- let's say approximately about 20, 25 metres
19 from the -- from the entrance, on the main road.
20 Q. And where were you and person B doing whilst these beatings were
21 being carried out?
22 A. Person B was with me by the car for -- for a while, and then he
23 went -- went towards -- towards the entrance of the -- of the -- of that
24 hangar. I stayed by the car, and I was approached by a military police
25 soldier after, I would say, I don't know, 10, 15 minutes, and was told to
1 come with him because they need one more person to stand behind -- behind
2 the hangar so nobody gets out or run away through the windows.
3 Q. Do you remember if person B had gone towards the hangar, gone
4 towards the entrance whilst the beatings was being carried out or
6 A. I would say he entered once during that, but I -- I can't exactly
7 recall. I think he entered inside.
8 Q. And what was the purpose, do you know, of him going inside the
10 A. I'm not sure. At that point I'm not really sure, no.
11 Q. And you said you were approached by a military police soldier to
12 help stand behind the hangar so nobody got out or ran away; is that
14 A. That's correct, sir.
15 Q. This military police soldier, do you remember what he was wearing?
16 A. He was in a JNA -- in a JNA uniform, olive type of uniform, yeah.
17 Q. And did you go with him?
18 A. Yes. He took me to the back. There were other three people
19 standing over there already.
20 Q. And how long did you stay at the back of the hangar?
21 A. Not very long. I got -- I got replaced by somebody very, very
22 shortly, so I would say maybe 15 minutes. 15, 20 minutes, tops.
23 Q. And did anyone try and escape --
24 A. No, sir.
25 Q. -- from the back of the hangar?
1 A. No, sir. I haven't see anybody.
2 Q. And after the 15 minutes, 15 to 20 minutes, what did you do?
3 A. Well, we just -- well, we were just standing over there and when
4 this person showed up, you know, that told me I can go back wherever I
5 came from, wherever it is. So I started slowly walking back around the
6 hangar and going back -- going towards the entrance of the hangar.
7 Q. And why did you say yes to going to the back of the hangar and
8 guarding it at that time?
9 A. I don't know. I was -- I was just told to go there. I don't
10 know. I didn't -- I didn't object. I'm sorry. I -- I don't know.
11 Q. Did you feel you had any choice?
12 A. I don't think you had much of a choice for anything. Like, I
13 mean, you didn't know who -- who was who at that point. It was a chaotic
14 situation, you know. There were just -- some people would just tell you
15 do this, and, you know, I don't know if I have to do it or not. You know,
16 you kind of feel pressure to do it, so, yes, I did.
17 Q. And you said you started walking slowly back around the hangar
18 towards the entrance. On your way back, did you see anyone?
19 A. Yes. I seen the same JNA officer that I've seen at the -- at the
20 hospital and at the barracks.
21 Q. What was he doing when you saw him?
22 A. He was -- he looked very angry, and he seemed standing -- he was
23 standing alone. There was nobody with him, just alone on the road
24 towards -- towards the entrance of -- of the hangar.
25 Q. Did you say anything to him?
1 A. Yes, I did. I -- I -- as I said, I had a full respect for that
2 person. I said hi to him, which he didn't reply at all. He didn't even
3 look at me. He was just standing there. I don't know.
4 Q. When you got to the front of the hangar, what did you do?
5 A. I entered inside, inside the hangar.
6 Actually, before that I noticed a lot of bags of people thrown on
7 the floor. I noticed some names on the bags. So I looked at the bags
8 first, and then I entered -- entered the -- entered the hangar inside to
9 the main entrance. Actually that was the own entrance to get in.
10 Q. Just before we go -- we talk about what you saw inside, why did
11 this JNA officer appear to be angry?
12 A. I don't know, sir. He was alone over there. He was standing
13 alone. Why he was angry, that's the impression that I've got, just to --
14 you know, just looking at him. I don't know. I can't say that.
15 Q. And what was the closest distance you got to him when you walked
17 A. I was very close, sir. I came very close and said hi, yes.
18 Q. And when you got inside the hangar, what did you see?
19 A. I've seen a lot of people. I've seen a lot of people all over the
20 place. On my left side, on the floor, I've seen people, those kind of
21 badly wounded that I've described, that I've seen, pretty similar to ones
22 that I've seen at the barracks in the truck. They were all lined up and
23 sitting on the floor on the left side right at the entrance.
24 On the right side I've seen the rope placed from one side to the
25 other side of the hangar where I've seen approximately 20 to 30 people
1 behind the rope. As I heard later from people, they said that those are
2 specially trained criminals.
3 Right in front of me there was -- there was kind of a back -- back
4 exit door, and beside that door I've seen about seven -- seven or eight
5 people standing. Those were -- I don't know why, but those were placed
6 separately from everybody else.
7 And then on the left side I noticed people sitting kind of in a
8 ways -- like, in lines but they were all sitting on the floor. That's the
9 first -- that's the first picture that I've got from the inside.
10 Q. Apart from people in the hangar, was there anything else in the
11 hangar in terms of equipment?
12 A. I haven't noticed any equipment at all. There was hay on the
13 floor, but that's all I pretty much remember.
14 Q. And as far as soldiers are concerned of any sort, did you see any
15 in the hangar?
16 A. Yes, sir. There were a lot of -- there were a lot of people
17 inside the hangar, yes. People in uniforms.
18 Q. And are you able to say what you thought these people in -- who
19 you thought these people belonged to in terms of a general military
20 grouping like we've discussed earlier?
21 A. Yes, sir. I believe that majority of them were Territorial
23 Q. And when you say the majority, do you have any conclusion about
24 who the minority would be, the remainder?
25 A. Well, I've seen some people that were dressed up in the black --
1 with the black overcoats, giving me the impression that they belonged to
2 the Chetnik group, but I'm -- I'm not really sure whether they were just
3 wearing -- because at that point there were a lot of people that were just
4 putting all kinds of symbols on themselves. So I can't say exactly they
5 were Chetniks or not, but they were dressed -- some of them were dressed
6 like that, yes.
7 Q. Do you know what happened to the military police that were on the
8 buses --
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. -- that you saw?
11 A. No, sir. I don't know what happened to them.
12 Q. When you came back from behind the hangar to go into it, were the
13 buses still there?
14 A. No, sir. No.
15 Q. How long after the buses were emptied did they leave?
16 A. I'm not really sure. I haven't seen them from before -- from
17 behind, no. I don't know. I guess right away. I'm not sure.
18 Q. And whilst -- whilst you were in the hangar, what were you doing?
19 A. Just walking over there or talking to the person B.
20 Q. Do you know what person B was doing in the hangar, what he was
21 attempting to do?
22 A. Yes. He picked about 15 people to take them out. He was
23 already -- he already spoke to them, I guess, before -- before I came in,
24 and he had them -- he wanted to take them out, all of them, like all
25 of 15. I believe about 15 people. He had them lined up very close to the
1 left side of the entrance.
2 Q. And those 15 people, do you know whether he knew them and why he
3 selected those particular ones?
4 A. Apparent -- as far as I understood, he knew them very well.
5 Q. And are you able to say what their ethnicity was?
6 A. I know some of them were Croats, that's for sure, but I can't say
7 for all of them. I can't exactly pinpoint everybody, no. I don't know.
8 Q. You said that he picked 15 people to take them out. Was he able
9 to do that?
10 A. No, sir. He was approached by one or two soldiers who started
11 arguing with him, and they wouldn't let him take anybody outside. That's
12 where the argument started and, you know, it was swearing and, you know,
13 this and that, and they were just, you know, going on and on in this
14 argument. And then one of them took the gun out and he said, "I'm going
15 to shoot you, and you're not going" -- you know, "you're not going to do
16 this kind of stuff. This is not a Velepromet," in that kind of sense.
17 And this argument was going on, and then Vujovic got -- Miroljub
18 Vujovic got involved in this whole thing, and when this person took the
19 gun out and wanted to shoot this person B, he said, "No, no." I mean, he
20 kind of interrupted the whole argument and then -- that's when it stopped.
21 That was what was happening at that point that I could -- that I could
22 observe. I was very -- pretty close to that.
23 Q. Do you know why the one or two soldiers were objecting to these 15
24 being taken out by person B? Did they state the reason why?
25 A. They didn't say the reason why, but they just wouldn't let anybody
1 go outside. They wouldn't let go anybody. What -- what the reason was at
2 that point, I'm not sure.
3 Q. Was person B able to take out any of those 15 people?
4 A. Later on he tried to go one by one with them, and, yes, he managed
5 to take three of them outside.
6 Q. When you were in the hangar --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- did you see anyone that you knew?
9 A. Yes, sir. I recognised at that person D.
10 Q. It's not so clear on the transcript. The person that you
11 recognised - oh, it's now clear - was person D; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, sir.
13 Q. And how did you know him, just briefly?
14 A. We know each other from school, from before the war. We hang
15 around together for a while, but we go -- as kids we would go outside and
16 have fun.
17 Q. And when you recognised him, did you go and speak to him?
18 A. Yes, I did, sir. I managed to speak to him, yes.
19 Q. And what was he doing, and what were you saying? Can you explain?
20 A. Yes. He was sitting on the floor. I hardly recognised him
21 because he used to wear glasses, and at that point he didn't have any
22 glasses on. I asked him what happened to him and what is he doing over
23 there. And he said, "I don't know. I got separated from my mom." So at
24 that point I said, "Well, you know, if I can help, I'll -- I'll try to do
25 that." And so I did.
1 I went to -- I went to person B. I asked him if it's possible to
2 help this person and get him out of the hangar, and -- which we were able
3 to do it. And he was placed outside the hangar on the left side of the
5 And then there was another person sitting beside him. He said --
6 it was very -- he was kind of very young person. He said he's from
7 Zagreb, and he -- that he was forcefully brought to the Croatian forces
8 just a couple of days before fall of Vukovar, and he said he just got a
9 first kid. He recently got married. He started crying, talking to me
10 while I was talking to the person D. He asked me if I can help, and --
11 which I said, "I don't know if I can, you know. I don't know if I can do
12 anything at all."
13 And in the meantime, a couple soldiers noticed that what we are
14 trying to do, that we are trying to get out these people, so they spoke to
15 the person B, and they said that nobody gets out from there. And then
16 they made some kind of a paper making us sign for each person that we take
17 out from the hangar with our own lives, so that we are going to guarantee
18 for these people that they were not involved in any atrocities or anything
19 during the war. And if -- if that's getting -- if they find out that
20 something -- they did something during the war, that we're going to pay by
21 our lives for that. And we did sign for -- we did sign for all five of
23 Q. Now, this person D and this other person from Zagreb, do you know
24 what ethnicity they are?
25 A. Not at that point. I don't think I -- I knew exactly at that
1 point, but he was my friend. But what I said, you know, I just -- I
2 wasn't really sure at that point. I'm not ...
3 Q. And the two soldiers that noticed that you were trying to take
4 these two out and asked you to sign for them, do you remember what they
5 were wearing?
6 A. By my general understanding from them, they were reservists. They
7 were wearing JNA uniforms.
8 Q. And how did you get that understanding from them, that they were
10 A. They said that they were reservists. They came here to fight for
11 Serbia, and, you know, we're not going to take anybody out just like that
12 from the hangar. So that was my understanding. They said it, that they
13 were reservists.
14 Q. Did they say where they were based?
15 A. No. Not those people, no.
16 Q. Were you able to take those two people that you signed for and the
17 other two or three that person B took out of the hangar, were you able to
18 take them with you when you left Ovcara?
19 A. No, sir. They were not allowed to leave Ovcara at that point.
20 No. What the reason was for that I don't know, but they wouldn't let us
21 take them -- take them out with us.
22 Q. So when you left Ovcara, where were they left --
23 A. They were left --
24 Q. -- in relation to the hangar?
25 A. They were left standing beside the hangar on the left side -- on
1 the left side of the entrance.
2 Q. And where did you go when you left Ovcara?
3 A. We went straight home. Person B went -- went to talk to his wife
4 about whatever there was, and he said that he's going to bring some
5 people, some more people to the house that night. So, you know, we should
6 prepare more space for them to sleep.
7 Q. And I assume back then there was no access to telephones and that
8 type of thing; is that right?
9 A. No, sir, no.
10 Q. Did you go back to Ovcara after you went to person B's house?
11 A. Yes, sir, we came back. We returned right away. So it was just a
12 brief -- brief stop at the house and we went back to make sure that these
13 people get back. They were -- they're not -- they could come back with
15 Q. And why did you think that you'd be more successful on this
16 occasion than you were when you first left, when they weren't allowed to
17 go with you?
18 A. I'm not sure, but he wanted to go back and make sure that they'd
19 come back with us.
20 Q. When you got back to Ovcara, what did you do?
21 A. We saw them standing outside, and very shortly after that, I would
22 say a couple of minutes later, there was a minivan that came in and took
23 them all. My understanding was that they were taken to Velepromet for
25 Q. Was there any discussion as to whether yourself and person B
1 should take them or whether or not the people that were driving the
2 minivan should take them?
3 A. No. There was no discussion about that. They were just taken to
4 this minivan, and my understanding was that they were taken to Velepromet.
5 Q. At that stage, when you were at Ovcara, were you aware of what was
6 going to happen to the people inside the hangar?
7 A. No, sir. I don't think any of us were aware of what was going on.
8 At least for two of us. I'm not sure for people inside. We glanced one
9 more time -- maybe once inside, but the picture didn't change much. They
10 were pretty much all TOs inside. But, no, I wasn't aware what's going to
12 Q. And the minivan, can you describe that, whether it was more of a
13 military nature or civilian nature?
14 A. It was a civilian, civilian minivan.
15 Q. And the people that took the five men, were they civilians or more
17 A. I think it was more TOs.
18 Q. Once the minivan had left, did you see anything else occurring at
19 the hangar, either inside or out?
20 A. We stayed there for maybe a very -- very brief short period of
21 time. I noticed a tractor was brought with a trailer and parked in front
22 of the main -- main entrance to the -- to the hangar.
23 Q. And if you can just describe the trailer briefly, what it looked
25 A. It was a tall trailer with some kind of ladder, I guess, to climb
1 on. I can't remember the colour, but I remember that it was a tall one,
2 covered with some kind of plastic cover on top.
3 Q. Did you go inside the hangar when you went back to Ovcara the
4 second time?
5 A. Just once, yes.
6 Q. And -- and what did you see inside in terms of -- compared to what
7 you saw when you were there sometime earlier?
8 A. It was pretty much the same picture. I haven't seen anything
9 changed at that point. There were a lot of TOs over there at that point,
10 but I haven't seen anything that's been changed as far as the picture
12 Q. How long did you stay at the hangar on the second occasion?
13 A. Very briefly. After this tractor was brought over there, we left
14 pretty much couple minutes later.
15 Q. And the tractor and trailer that was brought in front of the
16 hangar, do you know who was driving it?
17 A. No, sir. I can't recall that, no.
18 Q. Did you see anything happen to the tractor and trailer whilst you
19 were there?
20 A. No, sir, no.
21 Q. When you left Ovcara, can you tell the Court whether it was light
22 or dark?
23 A. I think it was getting dark already. I think it was -- it was
24 getting dark or darker. I'm not -- I'm not really clear about that.
25 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I'd ask that Exhibit 256, photograph 20,
1 be placed on the screen.
2 Q. Witness, just to clear the transcript a little, when you left
3 Ovcara, can you explain what the light was like at that time?
4 A. On the first time.
5 Q. No. On the second occasion. You talked about it getting dark.
6 Can you describe it a little bit more?
7 A. I think it was kind of -- well, it was getting dark, yes, or it
8 was already dark. I can't really exactly remember. I think it was dark.
9 I think it was getting dark or dark.
10 Q. Thank you. If we -- if we could enlarge the left-hand corner of
11 the photograph with all of the premises showing -- if we can continue
12 across. Sorry. That was my mistake. Go back. And just have the hangar
13 and all of the building premises highlighted. Sorry. If we can have the
14 hangar and the premises on the left, if all of that can be enlarged,
15 please. So all the buildings on the photo are enlarged. Thank you.
16 Q. Witness, looking at this photograph, do you recognise it?
17 A. I think I do, yes.
18 Q. What do you recognise it as?
19 A. I believe that's the Ovcara economy.
20 Q. Do you remember the road that you took to get to Ovcara?
21 A. I think that's the main road that leads from -- how do I -- I
22 think I do, yes.
23 Q. Can you -- with the pen, can you place a red line as to the
24 direction that you took to get to the Ovcara hangar.
25 A. It was this way.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 281.
5 MR. SMITH: And if I can ask for the same exhibit, 256, but
6 photograph 22, please.
7 Q. Witness, looking at this photograph, could you with the red pen
8 draw the locations of the two buses, at least two buses that you saw there
9 when you first arrived?
10 A. Yes. One was right there, located, and the other one right
12 Q. And that's represented by those two rectangles; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Could you draw, say, two double lines showing where the people
15 were beaten as they went into the hangar.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. And if you can mark that with a B, please.
18 With a C, can you mark the place where you were asked to guard the
19 back of the hangar.
20 A. Yes, sir. Right behind here.
21 Q. And with an arrow, can you show the direction that you walked when
22 you went from the back of the hangar to the front?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. And with a D, can you show the location where you said hi, or you
25 said hello to the JNA officer that you saw at the Vukovar Hospital and
1 then the JNA barracks.
2 A. Yes, sir. It's right here.
3 Q. And can you mark that with a D, please.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. Thank you. And with an E, can you mark the place where you first
6 parked your car when you arrived at Ovcara.
7 A. It was somewhere here, very close. Almost right behind the buses,
8 like couple feet behind the buses.
9 Q. And if you can could just place the figure -- the letter E,
11 A. [Marks].
12 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender that photograph.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 282.
15 MR. SMITH:
16 Q. Witness, when you left Ovcara for the second time, did you go back
17 to person B's house?
18 A. Yes, we did, sir. We didn't stop anywhere on the way. We went
19 straight back to the house.
20 Q. And the five Croat men that person B took from Velepromet, were
21 they still staying at the house?
22 A. Yes. They were still with us in the house, yeah.
23 Q. How long did you stay at person B's house from the 20th?
24 A. Just maybe two or three days, not longer than that.
25 Q. And during that two or three days before you left, what were you
1 doing generally?
2 A. Pretty much nothing. We were just in the house or walking around.
3 I tried to salvage some pictures from a house where I used to live, if I
4 could find anything that was available to find and save some stuff that
5 was left over, because everything was destroyed.
6 Q. And what was your intention at that stage? Where were you going
7 to live?
8 A. I had no idea where to live.
9 Q. When you were there for that two or three days, was there any --
10 any conversations about what had happened at Ovcara?
11 A. Yes, sir. Not -- not exactly in our house, but there was a lot of
12 rumours going on on what had happened to the people that were at Ovcara.
13 Q. And what were the rumours?
14 A. My understanding was that everybody got killed.
15 Q. And who was -- who was spreading this information?
16 A. I would say Territorial Defence, or people just spread the rumour
17 all over the place.
18 Q. And about -- in that time that you were there, about that two or
19 three days, about how many people did you hear that from?
20 A. Oh, I would say a lot. It was kind of the main thing that was
21 happening over there. A lot of people knew about it.
22 Q. And after that two or three days, where did you go?
23 A. I applied for a pass and went back to visit my parents, to go. I
24 got scared of what happened in relation -- what happened at Ovcara. I
25 went -- I went back to see my parents.
1 Q. And why were you scared?
2 A. I guess because I was there. I guess because I was a different
3 nationality, and I guess because I managed -- well, I -- I tried to help
4 some people to -- well, I helped some people get taken from there.
5 Q. And why -- why was the fact that you were different nationality,
6 why was that making you scared?
7 A. At that time it was enough for somebody just to point the finger
8 at you and you would just disappear. I don't know. I guess because I was
9 somewhere that I was not supposed to be. That's just my -- that's my
11 Q. And you said that you were scared as well because you helped take
12 some people out from there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Why do you think that would have placed you in danger?
15 A. Because people that were over there, they saw us taking these
16 people outside, and they knew who I was, and -- in relation to my
17 ethnicity. So I was really scared for my life at that point.
18 Q. And you got a pass to leave Vukovar. Who did you apply to that
19 pass -- for that pass?
20 A. I applied at command in Velepromet to go. You had to -- if you
21 wanted to leave the region, you had to apply for the pass. You cannot
22 leave the region just like that. They always had a control who is coming
23 in and who is leaving.
24 Q. And you left. And where did you go?
25 A. I went to Bijeljina, to my parents, where they were staying as
2 Q. Whilst -- before you left, after Ovcara had occurred, were
3 televisions working in the town of Vukovar?
4 A. Not in Vukovar, no. We didn't have any electricity. No.
5 Q. And when you arrived in Bijeljina, how long did you stay there
7 A. I stayed maybe for three or four days, no longer than that.
8 Q. And were televisions working in Bijeljina?
9 A. Yes. There was no war there. That was a normal situation.
10 Q. And were you watching the television when you were in Bijeljina?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. On the TV were you watching any footage in relation to events that
13 occurred in Vukovar?
14 A. Yes, sir. There was a lot of footage all over the place,
15 especially in the news. And the news was, I best, the main -- main --
16 main thing that was happening on TV at that point.
17 Q. And can you explain what type of footage you saw on the TV?
18 A. It was mostly war pictures from people taken out of the basements,
19 people walking through the streets, people that were coming out of the
20 basements. A lot of war pictures and clips.
21 Q. You mentioned earlier that you saw this tall JNA officer at the
22 Vukovar Hospital, then the JNA barracks, then at Ovcara. Did you ever see
23 him again?
24 A. Not after that, sir. Not in person, no.
25 Q. Did you see him in any other way other than in person?
1 A. Yes. I did see him on TV, yes.
2 Q. And when was the first time that you saw him on TV?
3 A. When I got to Bijeljina, first TV news that was shown over there
4 he was -- he was on TV.
5 Q. And in what context was he on TV? What was the footage about?
6 A. It was some kind of footage on -- I mean, I know locations in
7 Vukovar, so one footage that I've seen specifically was with international
8 organisation on the bridge when he was talking to somebody. And the
9 second one inside the hospital, I think talking to reporters or something,
10 as far as I can recall.
11 Q. And when you say you saw him inside the hospital, are you
12 referring to the compound or the building itself?
13 A. On the compound.
14 Q. And can you explain a little bit more in detail the nature of the
15 footage that you saw when he was speaking -- when this officer was
16 speaking to someone on the bridge from an international organisation?
17 A. I think it was something about getting the clearance to go to the
18 hospital. If I recall correctly, it was about going through the town to
19 the hospital, about the clearance or getting the clearance to get to the
20 hospital grounds.
21 Q. And what about the footage where you saw this same person in the
22 compound area of the hospital? Can you give a bit more detail about the
23 nature of that footage?
24 A. I think it was just kind of -- some kind of interview with the
25 reporters about the conditions in the hospital, I guess, or what's
1 happening in and around the hospital at that -- at that time.
2 Q. And when you came to The Hague just recently and you were being
3 prepared for court, were you shown a series of clips in relation to
5 A. Yes, sir, I was.
6 Q. And from those clips did you see any of the clips that you saw
7 when you were in Bijeljina?
8 A. Yes, sir. I've -- I saw two clips that I could recognise.
9 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I ask that if the video clip from 65 ter
10 number 314, if that could be shown.
11 JUDGE PARKER: Yes.
12 MR. SMITH: It's in Sanction, Your Honour. And if we can show
13 clip 1, which would be from 17 minutes and 29 seconds to 19 minutes and
14 40 seconds.
15 [Videotape played]
16 "I was -- I got used to better collaborations [indiscernible].
17 [No translation]. The problem -- that is the problem.
18 "That is the problem, okay.
19 "The problem is I see soldiers walking on the street.
20 [Indiscernible]. My colleagues were there. [No translation].
21 [Inaudible]. And his soldiers were killed this night also. We are trying
22 to ensure you security. If you don't like it, you can go back. And
23 [indiscernible] -- because we gave you everything that you asked."
24 MR. SMITH:
25 Q. Witness, do you recognise that clip?
1 A. Yes, sir, I do.
2 Q. And that clip, when did you see that?
3 A. I saw it on television when I was over there, when I was in
5 Q. And if I can ask that we go back to that clip and just take one
6 still from it of the two men speaking. If we can stop there.
7 Witness, looking at this still from the clip, the person on the
8 left-hand side, do you recognise him?
9 A. Yes, sir, I do.
10 Q. And how do you recognise him?
11 A. That's the same person that I've seen in the hospital, at the
12 barracks, and at Ovcara.
13 Q. And with the red marking pen, can you place a ring around that
14 person? Oh, it doesn't work. Yes. I don't think it works on the video.
15 And the person you recognised, is he on the left or the right?
16 A. He's on the left side.
17 Q. Wearing the hat?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, I seek to tender that clip and that still
20 as two separate exhibits.
21 JUDGE PARKER: Are we able to identify the point on the time
22 recording of the clip?
23 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour. It's 5 minutes and 9 seconds.
24 JUDGE PARKER: I thought this was between 17 minutes and 29
25 seconds and 19 minutes and 40 seconds.
1 MR. SMITH: That's correct. And -- sorry, it's 5.9 seconds
2 after --
3 JUDGE PARKER: The commencement.
4 MR. SMITH: The commencement, yes.
5 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you. It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the video clip will be exhibit
7 number 283, while the still will be exhibit number 284.
8 MR. SMITH: And if I can ask that we show part of the same 65 ter
9 number 314 and the clip from 21 minutes and 9 seconds to 22 minutes and 34
11 Witness, we'll play this clip and I'll ask you a couple of
12 questions about it in a moment.
13 [Videotape played]
14 "And there was their duty and they should have done this job
15 properly. No one [indiscernible]. [No translation]. There was no --
16 there was -- there was no -- there was no misunderstanding. [No
18 MR. SMITH:
19 Q. Witness, do you recognise that film clip?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And where do you recognise that from?
22 A. That's the compound at the hospital.
23 Q. And have you ever seen that clip before?
24 A. I've seen it in Bijeljina, yes. I've seen it on TV.
25 Q. And the JNA officer that was in that clip talking --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- did you recognise him?
3 A. Yes, sir, I did.
4 Q. And who did you recognise him as being?
5 A. His full name or --
6 Q. Do you know his full name?
7 A. Yes. I found out. Yes, it's Major Sljivancanin.
8 Q. Did you know his full name before you got to the Vukovar Hospital?
9 A. No, sir.
10 Q. On the 19th of November?
11 A. I did not, no.
12 MR. SMITH: I seek to tender that film clip, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE PARKER: It will be received.
14 MR. SMITH: It is from 21.05 to 22.34.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this will be exhibit number 285.
16 MR. SMITH:
17 Q. Witness, between 1991 and 1992, from the time that you left
18 Vukovar and went to Bijeljina, for, say, that nine months, what were you
20 A. I was trying to say away as much as I can from Vukovar. I would
21 come in maybe two, three days and then I would leave for a month or two
22 and then come back.
23 Q. And why did you try to stay away as much as you could?
24 A. I was scared for my life. I was scared because of the things that
25 I heard that happened at the Ovcara. I was scared for myself as far as
1 being a different ethnicity and being -- witnessing something that -- that
2 I was there and that I could confirm.
3 Q. And during that time that you visited Vukovar in that -- in that
4 period, the 1991, 1992 period, were you ever directly threatened?
5 A. Couple of times by some people that they were present at Ovcara,
7 MR. SMITH: And, Your Honour, if we could go into private session,
9 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 6187-6190 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
8 JUDGE PARKER: Given the time, this would seem an ideal moment for
9 the break, and we will resume at a quarter to 1.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
12 JUDGE PARKER: Mr. Domazet.
13 MR. DOMAZET: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Domazet:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. My name is Vladimir
16 Domazet, on behalf of Mr. Mrksic.
17 A. Can I not get the English translation? I understand everything
18 the gentleman is saying, so if you can leave the Serbo-Croatian there,
20 JUDGE PARKER: Do you want to hear in Serbo-Croatian or in
22 THE WITNESS: Croatian-Serbian, yeah.
23 JUDGE PARKER: Okay.
24 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you hear me now?
1 At the outset, I have several questions about your personal
2 details, and in order to comply with your protective measures, I seek that
3 we go into private session.
4 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 6193-6196 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I will now ask you a couple of questions about your regular
11 military service with the JNA. You say that you joined the JNA sometime
12 in September 1990. The first place you went was Slavonska Pozega where
13 you spent about three months; right?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. That means that it was towards the ends of that year or the
16 beginning of the following year that you got a transfer to Kranj,
17 Slovenia; right?
18 A. That's correct, yes.
19 Q. As you said, as early as in January 1991, that you went on
20 furlough; you went on a leave and went home. This seems to be exactly the
21 same time you arrived to Kranj. Was this a regular leave of absence or
22 something exceptional?
23 A. I think it was -- it was just a regular leave or something.
24 I'm -- I can't remember exactly.
25 Q. You travelled with some other soldiers, specifically you probably
1 had to change trains in Vinkovci, and there were three of you. You were
2 with two other soldiers; right?
3 A. That's right. It was me and -- yep, it was. That's correct, sir.
4 Q. Were you all wearing your JNA uniforms as you were travelling, or
5 were you travelling in civilian clothes, which would also have been
6 possible according to the regulations that applied.
7 A. As far as I remember, in -- in the barracks where I served the
8 army, at that time it was not allowed to travel in civilian clothes, but I
9 was -- I was in uniform at the time for what you're asking for, yes.
10 Q. Do you know the ethnic background of the other two soldiers
11 travelling with you, the soldiers who were with you in Vinkovci when you
12 had that incident with the police there?
13 A. If I remember correctly, they were Serbian nationality, and they
14 were -- one from them -- one of them, if I can remember correctly, was
15 from Subotica.
16 Q. While testifying in chief, you said that those Croatian police
17 officers ID'd you and subsequently verbally abused you and threatened you.
18 Isn't that right?
19 A. That's exactly correct, yes.
20 Q. Did they ask you to show any personal documents? If so, which
21 ones did you show, your military booklet or your regular ID?
22 A. They asked for ID first, yeah, and then we -- we showed them -- I
23 had a military book with me, yes.
24 Q. It was probably based on that information that they drew
25 conclusions about your ethnicity, and that was when the abuse started, I
1 assume. That's what gave rise to the abuse. (redacted)
7 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you.
8 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. Can we
9 please briefly go into private session?
10 JUDGE PARKER: Private.
11 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE PARKER: I would just add that you will realise that name
6 will not go outside this room. It will be removed from the transcript and
7 from the tape.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
9 MR. DOMAZET: [Interpretation]
10 Q. My understanding is these police officers mistreated you because
11 you were JNA soldiers. That was the chief reason, or at least that's what
12 you believe to have been the case, not because you were an ethnic Serb;
14 A. I don't think that ethnicity had anything to do with that at that
15 point. It was -- I think that because we were just in uniforms and, yeah,
16 we were JNA soldiers at that time. Yeah.
17 Q. Can you please tell us in the briefest possible terms what the
18 abuse and the threats comprised? What did they tell you as soldiers?
19 A. Well, what they said first -- first they asked for our IDs, and
20 they wrote -- they wrote down all the details about all of us. And then
21 what happened after that, that -- while they were taking the details about
22 us, they would say all those bad words to us like, you assholes, you
23 should take your uniforms off. You know, you should run away from the
24 army. You know, you won't exist any -- any longer. What are you doing
25 here anyways? And that kind of verbally assaulting you. Nobody was
1 pushed or anything, but -- but it was -- it was really bad words that they
2 used at that point.
3 Q. But they still took your personal information for no special
4 reason. I don't think you provoked that measure in any way, and you did
5 not reply to their taunts, did you?
6 A. No, we didn't provoke them in any way. Yes, they did take all the
7 details. They took all the details from us, and they wrote down in their
8 books, and they -- they stopped us right away as soon as we stepped off
9 the train, which was very -- really strange to me at that point that
10 civilian police can even ask anything from -- from -- from the military.
11 Q. Were these regular Croatian police officers or paramilitaries,
12 perhaps, since this is something that was known to happen at the time?
13 A. Yes, sir. It was a different -- different police. It wasn't a
14 regular police in the blue uniforms. These ones had -- had a grey -- grey
15 uniforms with the Croatian symbols on.
16 Q. So when you say with Croatian symbols on them, which symbols do
17 you mean?
18 A. [Inaudible].
19 Q. As you already explained, that same night there was another
21 Before we go ahead with this question, your previous answer was
22 not recorded, when I asked you about the symbols or insignia that those
23 people were sporting. Can you please repeat what the insignia were?
24 A. They had the grey uniforms with the Croatian symbols, and that
25 symbol was a chess field, or "sahovnica" as it was called at the time.
1 Q. Thank you. I will now move on to the next incident which was more
2 important than the previous one. Four persons wearing masks broke into
3 your house that night and kidnapped you. My first question is: Did you
4 notice anyone following you when you were in Vukovar. Did you anyone know
5 you actually reached your house in Vukovar that night?
6 A. As far as I can remember, I didn't notice anyone following me.
7 But all I know that night is they took all the details where I lived, my
8 address and everything, but that's -- did I notice anybody following me,
9 no, I did not. No.
10 Q. That's precisely why I'm asking. Is it possible that this was a
11 result of the information obtained by those police officers? Is it
12 possible that that was the reason you were kidnapped that same night?
13 A. That's a big possibility for me to answer yes, because I didn't
14 have any contact with anybody else that night.
15 Q. Although these persons were wearing masks, was there any way for
16 you to tell based on their speech or on their accent who they could have
17 been, your kidnappers other attackers if you like?
18 A. It's hard to tell at that point because I was really scared, plus
19 I was beaten all the way in the car. They were screaming at me that I'm
20 Chetnik, and for whatever reason they would hit me all over the place,
21 wherever they can. If I -- I don't think I can recognise the voice or
22 anything that I would say that was that person or that person. I can't.
23 It's hard to say because I was so scared.
24 Q. You answered some questions about this, and you said that both the
25 police and the military police were informed about this. Do you know if
1 any steps were taken against these unarmed perpetrators as a result of
3 A. As far as I understood from my mother, I don't -- I don't think
4 anything was taken. I don't think anything was done after that, no.
5 Q. What is the distance between the place you were kidnapped and the
6 forest that you were eventually taken to and abandoned?
7 A. I would say about maybe five kilometres outside -- outside
9 Q. How did they leave you there? Did they run away for some reason
10 or did they just leave you there? Did they tie your hands so you couldn't
12 A. Sorry. No, sir. I was -- I was unconscious. I'm not sure why
13 did they leave or what the reason was.
14 Q. You spoke about this, but specifically how were you found? Who
15 found you and how?
16 A. [Previous translation continues] ... I believe it was civilian
17 police or military police, I'm not sure, but one of them.
18 Q. Was it morning already by the time this happened?
19 A. I -- I really can't remember anymore. I -- it was such a --
20 traumatic for me that I don't remember, no.
21 Q. Thank you. You do remember that you received hospital treatment
22 subsequently. My question is: At which hospital?
23 A. I was in Vukovar Hospital, and then after that I was released and
24 went to Ljubljana.
25 Q. Do you remember in which ward and who was your treating physician?
1 A. Oh, I don't remember, sir. I was -- I don't know. No.
2 Q. Yesterday, answering to the questions of my learned friend about
3 the length of your hospital treatment, I think you mentioned it was about
4 a week or two. However, in your statement it says a month. It's not
5 really very important, but I would like to know whether you can remember
6 what length of time you spent in Vukovar Hospital.
7 A. In Vukovar. I'm not really sure. It could be couple days, but
8 altogether, I think in a -- week and a half or two weeks altogether with
10 Q. When you say "altogether," you're referring to the other treatment
11 that you received in Ljubljana; correct?
12 A. Well, altogether. I would say -- yes, I would say altogether,
13 while I was going through check-ups and -- I've been in couple of --
14 couple of medical centres in Ljubljana, not only because of the
15 injuries -- well, injuries that I incurred in that -- in that incident,
16 but I went through psychological evaluations as well.
17 Q. Whereas this in a military hospital in Ljubljana? Were you seen
18 by military doctors when you speak of these tests and examinations?
19 A. For psychological, some of them were -- some of them were
20 military, some of them were civilian ones, if I remember correctly.
21 Q. And what was the final outcome of your medical treatment? What
22 was the conclusion of the medical commission or the doctor about your
23 fitness for further military service in the JNA?
24 A. I was asked after psychological evaluation what would I like to
25 do. It wasn't -- they had an opinion that I should -- I should leave, and
1 I had an opinion that I wanted to leave. Psychologically, I wasn't -- I
2 wasn't really able anymore to serve the army. Physically, yes, but not
3 psychologically. It was a huge trauma on me.
4 Q. When being interviewed by the psychologist, did you mention the
5 first incident where you were threatened by policemen as well as the
6 second incident?
7 A. During the psychological evaluations and all that stuff, I don't
8 know. They didn't ask me then that kind of questions. They would put all
9 this stuff on my head, whatever. I don't know. I can't remember. But I
10 don't think there were any questions regarding that at all.
11 Q. Thank you. I thought that maybe you had recounted all your
12 experiences before taking these tests. However, if you don't recall the
13 details, I won't insist.
14 My next question is: Did you go back to your unit at all, Kranj?
15 A. No. I was released from the hospital. I went home.
16 Q. Do you remember, because you must have got your military booklet
17 back, what did it say? Were you exempt from further military service?
18 Was it a temporary or a permanent exemption? There were various legal
19 possibilities at the time. Do you remember if you were permanently except
20 from military service?
21 A. I can't remember exactly what was written in the -- in the
22 military book, but it could be temporary -- I'm not really sure. I'm not
23 really sure, no.
24 Q. When you mentioned the date of your injuries, you mentioned the
25 end of January 1991. Do you know now the exact date of these events?
1 A. No. It was somewhere in January. January, maybe beginning of --
2 I'm not sure. I can't remember exactly, no. I know I was released in
4 Q. Thank you. In February 1991, you returned to Vukovar, and you had
5 no further obligations towards the army, and of course you went back to
6 the house of your parents and stayed there with them.
7 Yesterday, in answering my learned friend's questions, you
8 described the situation you found after an absence of four or five months
9 from Vukovar. Could you please clarify a bit further with respect to that
10 situation which you said you found very unpleasant? You mentioned police
11 and some kind of military being everywhere. Could you clarify further
12 what kind of police and what kind of military did you see in the streets
13 and the surrounding area?
14 A. Yes, I can clarify that. There were a lot of people in the same
15 uniforms, grey uniforms that I already described, that harassed us in
16 Vinkovci, with the same symbols. There were people -- there were soldiers
17 that were showing up in camouflage uniforms as well with the Croatian
18 symbols on. There were some regular police in the blue uniforms, but
19 what -- what changed at the time and very fast that they were not wearing
20 anymore a star on their uniforms. They all had an "sahovnica" at that
21 point. Yeah. There were people that we couldn't recognise, because
22 Vukovar is a small town, and you pretty much see all these people when
23 you -- if you don't know the name, but you would see -- see them somewhere
24 on the street. You would know who they were. But most of these people,
25 first of all, had a different accent. So I would say they were coming
1 from somewhere else, somewhere else in Croatia or -- or their behaviour
2 and, you know, the way they spoke to each other. It was just way, way
3 different than we used to speak in Vukovar.
4 You would see all these cars that were coming and going in. Some
5 of them were already repainted with a kind of a -- kind of camouflage
6 colours on it, no licence plates, even though the police was over there.
7 So that made no sense for a car to be with no plates and you have police
8 around them. But sometime nobody did anything.
9 You -- I've seen a lot of -- I've seen a lot of Kalashnikovs in
10 their hands. I've seen all kind of different weapons. They were pretty
11 close where -- where I used to live, around 50 metres where I used to
12 live, so it wasn't something that I couldn't notice at that point. And
13 they were gathering in a large numbers over there in front of -- if front
14 of that place. They used to be -- that building used to be called a
15 Territorial Defence building, and they would come over there and, you
16 know, they would sing these songs, and there were a couple of coffee bars
17 around, and they were sitting inside. Basically a lot of -- lot of -- a
18 lot of uniformed people.
19 Q. As far as I was able to understand you, sir, their headquarters
20 were close to your home. You're talking about the national defence
21 department. Was that the one that was in the centre of Vukovar even
22 before these events, where the headquarters were, or where they gathered
23 as you say?
24 A. That building, specific building that I'm describing right now, it
25 was exactly across the street from the old municipality building in
1 Vukovar. So it's centre, centre of the town, yeah.
2 Q. Yesterday you mentioned some songs. Could you please tell us more
3 about what kind of songs they were? Were they provocative? Do you
4 remember what these policemen or paramilitary soldiers were singing?
5 A. Well, as far as -- sorry. As far as I can remember, most of the
6 songs were kind of national songs, Croatian songs they would sing about
7 killing Serbs or doing -- well, basically some songs that were
8 old-fashioned songs but just words are changed to fit, I guess, a new
10 Q. You are certainly aware of the term "Ustasha" and what the Ustasha
11 were once in Croatia. Was Croatia from Ustasha times mentioned? Were
12 some of the songs songs that dated back to that period? Was there that
13 kind of provocation?
14 A. I can't exactly remember the songs. I know sometimes they were
15 mentioned, yes, but you know, they were openly talking on the streets when
16 they would talk -- when they would walk, they're Ustasha, and, you know,
17 they -- you know, there was no hiding of that kind of fact at that time,
19 Q. Thank you. When you say they were talking, I assume you mean that
20 the people who arrived in those uniforms, they did not conceal that they
21 were Ustasha or they actually paraded that fact. Is that how I can
22 understand your answer?
23 A. That's correct. They were not hiding. Some people were just
24 screaming and yelling or doing whatever they want, yeah. But, yes, you
25 could hear, because it was just right over there. I was living -- it was
1 close by. I could see them every day. So, yes, there was no hiding of
3 Q. Their total numbers, can we agree, were much bigger than in normal
4 times in Vukovar?
5 A. As far as I can -- I can elaborate on that. I haven't seen ever
6 before so much police in Vukovar. Sometimes before the war or before 1991
7 you would see maybe a car or two that would pass by sometimes, but you --
8 you would never see such large numbers of -- of soldiers or anybody
9 dressed in Croatian uniforms or anything like that at all.
10 Q. Thank you. The uniforms you mentioned were different. You said
11 that policemen wore grey uniforms rather than blue ones, grey uniforms
12 like the ones you saw in Vinkovci when you were stopped by policemen, and
13 also military camouflage uniforms with the chequer-board insignia and the
14 Croatian insignia; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct. There were even some police officers in -- still
16 in the blue uniforms but all what I noticed is all the symbols are changed
17 on their uniforms. Now they all had the "sahovnica" on instead of the
18 star that was on before.
19 Q. You mentioned Kalashnikovs and other weapons. I assume you
20 personally saw those Kalashnikovs. Does that mean that on those occasions
21 when they were in town they were carrying their weapons with them?
22 A. Yes. You would -- you would see people walking in the street
23 around that area with weapons. There was no hiding of weapons. And the
24 reason why I would say Kalashnikovs because they were talking about
25 Kalashnikovs. That's why they were -- that's the word that they used.
1 But as far as I remember for my military training, you know, I would -- we
2 had a little bit different guns at that point. Well -- so these ones are
3 kind of different. So I would say not JNA weapons, that's for sure.
4 Q. You are certainly aware of the location of hotel Dunav in Vukovar,
5 or Danube. Did you see these outsiders who were not from Vukovar staying
6 in that hotel, Hotel Danube?
7 A. Oh, yes. Yes, sir. That's totally correct. The hotel was full
8 of soldiers and police, yes. And as far as we understood -- as far as I
9 understood - I'm sorry - some things that were happening in Vukovar it
10 would be the night-time, and all these -- usually they would mention
11 people that come from hotel.
12 Q. What did you hear happened at night? Were there attacks, people
13 going missing, things like that?
14 A. Well, we heard -- I heard, actually, that -- and I've seen couple
15 of places that were blown up during the nights. I -- some restaurants
16 that -- that were really in the very close proximity where I used to live,
17 yes. I haven't heard any people taken at that point or anybody
18 disappeared, but I heard stories from -- from those people that were close
19 by. These -- the uniformed people that would go at nights and, you know,
20 take the cars from people's houses and stuff.
21 Q. Did you hear or know who the owners of the catering establishments
22 that were blown up were? Were they Serbs or Croats?
23 A. They were Serbs.
24 Q. These events we've just mentioned, when do you think they started
25 happening in view of the period when you arrived or came back in February
1 1991? Did this happen as soon as you came back or around that time? Can
2 you recall?
3 A. Sorry. It was a huge presence of them even at that time when I
4 came back. So February would be already a lot of them there. But the
5 numbers increased as the months went past five. I would say that
6 mostly -- the biggest number I noticed after that was after May 2nd, when
7 the attack on the Borovo Selo happened.
8 Q. One more question. How did this kind of behaviour affect you in
9 view of your particular circumstances?
10 A. Me and my family, we were really scared at that point, because all
11 this stuff was happening just around our house where we used to live, and
12 plus we were receiving a lot of threatening phone calls, even though
13 comparing to my ethnicity, my mom was Serb and they called so many times
14 and they would threaten and say, "Chetniks, you should leave from here.
15 You should not live here." Yeah. "This is not the place for you. This
16 is going to be big Croatia."
17 Q. Thank you, sir. Unfortunately, I think this is a convenient time
18 to finish for today. Thank you.
19 JUDGE PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Domazet. Could I just remind you
20 that we must allow reasonable time for other Defence counsel, and when we
21 resume tomorrow, I hope you can conclude well within the first period for
22 the benefit of others. Yes. Thank you.
23 We will adjourn now, and we resume tomorrow morning at 9.00.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day
1 of March, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.