1 Wednesday, 5 March 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.49 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court].
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Today, on this
10 Wednesday, I greet the Prosecution, Mr. Seselj, as well as all the people
11 assisting us.
12 Today, we'll proceed with the examination-in-chief of the witness.
13 I believe that the Prosecution has 35 minutes left to complete its
15 Let me also greet the witness who is appearing before us.
16 Let me give the floor to the Prosecutor now.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, as far as I remember, I have 37
18 minutes left, but this is not that important.
19 WITNESS: MLADEN KULIC [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examination by Mr. Mussemeyer: [Continued]
22 Q. Mr. Kulic, before I start questioning, I would like to ask you
23 kindly to be focused as possible. As you know, we have only 37 minutes
24 left, and I have to go with you some important issues still.
25 A. Certainly.
1 Q. We spoke yesterday about the disappearance of four young Croats
2 and you described us how you experienced this. Could you please tell me
3 to whom these young Croats who were working in a working brigade were
5 A. They were subordinated to the local command which was a civilian
6 service working in logistics in the locality of Vocin itself, and it
7 provided for the kitchens, the first aid, the police, things like that.
8 So it was work in a warehouse, actually, with supplies, and these civilian
9 authorities had these four young men working for them.
10 Q. Do you remember where these four young Croats ended up?
11 A. Your Honours, I said yesterday -- or rather, I said how I
12 encountered the problem when my departure from Vocin to Banja Luka and
13 Serbia, on the 8th. In the evening, 8th of December, 1991, when the
14 evening was being organised, I came across a group of women who were
15 crying, and they told me when I asked them why they were crying that their
16 children weren't at home. Then they went on to tell me that it was a case
17 of four young men who worked in the warehouse, that they didn't come back
18 home on time as they usually did. It was still dark.
19 So I took them to the headquarters to see the commander of the
20 army of the Territorial Defence, Mr. Bojicic, and I asked him in front of
21 them to see what he could do to find out where those young men were, or
22 children, because they were 17 or 18 years old, these young men, young
24 I left Vocin myself, and I didn't know what happened afterwards.
25 Subsequently, I learnt from people who left the area later on that these
1 people were found killed and buried at the entrance to Vocin, if you look
2 at the Slatine-Vocin road. So right before you come to Vocin itself, they
3 were there in an open space.
4 Q. Do you know who killed them?
5 A. From the information that I received from the population there, or
6 rather from people who worked in the warehouse itself, a man called
7 Todorovic, quite by chance by talking to these people, I learnt that at
8 the time they were deployed in a rather unusual way; that is to say, they
9 were told to go to the village of Balinci to transport ammunition. That
10 was my information told me.
11 That wasn't their task or assignment. They weren't trained to do
12 anything like that, nor should they have been anywhere near the army, let
13 alone to be placed at the disposal of military units in the village of
14 Balinci, which is where there were some volunteers.
15 According to the information that I received and according to what
16 I now know, when these young men were going back, some of those volunteers
17 killed them and buried them on the spot there.
18 Q. Which volunteers? Can you be a bit more specific?
19 A. I mean the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party who were
20 engaged in Vocin at that time. I can't say which group it was, nor can I
21 name the commander, because I received all this information later on from
22 the inhabitants of the village of Vocin who had left.
23 Q. Yesterday, you told us that you worked -- you said to Rajko
24 Bojicic that you would hold him responsible and report if the young Croats
25 could not be found. Did you report this, and to whom?
1 A. Yes, I did, Your Honours. The next day I reported it to the
2 command of the Banja Luka Corps, the headquarters there, and Colonel
3 Rankovic, who was the assistant commander at that time for political
4 affairs. He sent me - and this is something I did later on once I
5 received information - anyway, he sent me to Major Djordjevic, who was the
6 military prosecutor at the time in Banja Luka.
7 Q. Did this report have any consequences to Rajko Bojicic?
8 A. No, not as far as I know, because the following year, that is to
9 say, 1992, I met Rajko Bojicic in the Pakrac area, and he was a member of
10 the Territorial Defence within the composition of the Yugoslav People's
11 Army there.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm interrupting you
13 because you've said something that I find quite significant in relation to
14 the death of these four young men. You said that you met Djordjevic, the
15 military prosecutor, in Banja Luka, and you told him about these events.
16 What did the prosecutor, the military prosecutor, tell you?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the military
18 prosecutor, in an informal talk - because I was told to go look for him
19 when he wasn't in his office - and when I did manage to find him since I
20 was an officer myself, he told me that he must have the necessary data, as
21 far as that was concerned, and that I was to hand over the report
22 officially. I'm talking about 1992 now, so it was two months after the
23 event, the event that took place.
24 I looked for Major Djordjevic so that I could officially make this
25 request; however, I didn't find him there personally. He wasn't working
1 at the job when I arrived ten days later. So, officially, I didn't sign a
2 report, but I did inform the official organs, the prosecutor, and the
3 assistant commander for political affairs in the Banja Luka Corps of the
4 event that had taken place.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But since you were a
6 reserve officer, you know full well that the military prosecutor is
7 competent for crimes committed by military personnel against civilians;
8 therefore, the military prosecutor could have been competent. You went to
9 see him; he was not there. But he must have had an assistant, or was he
10 the only military prosecutor in Banja Luka? Wasn't there anyone else, a
11 colleague of his there?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, from the 22nd of
13 December till sometime towards the end of February 1992, I worked with the
14 assistant commander of the Banja Luka Corps, General Vukovic, who was the
15 security officer. He was the late Colonel Stevilovic. Now, he was the
16 responsible individual, the individual responsible for all matters of
17 security in the area of the corps when it came to military personnel.
18 Now, since Mr. Stevilovic, together with me, pursuant to an order
19 from Colonel Vukovic, well, I was told to organise some civilian organs.
20 I was in contact with Colonel Stevilovic very frequently, and I told him
21 about the situation, the event. I said that I had to take Major
22 Djordjevic a report, to table a report, because he called me and he said,
23 "All right, we'll see to that."
24 Now, when I attempted to do this on several occasions, I didn't
25 manage to. Perhaps I wasn't responsible enough and I didn't insist
1 enough, but I was dislocated. I was away from Banja Luka, some 60 to 70
2 kilometres away. I was in Okucani in actual fact, and Banja Luka was in
3 quite a different area. So if you look at the time distance and the
4 actual distance in space, that prevented me from carrying out my moral and
5 civic duty.
6 But I did inform the competent organs, and I was a little
7 surprised to see that there was no formal official request made for an
8 investigation to be undertaken. And when we're referring to Captain
9 Bojicic, he continued within the corps to perform his duties. He wasn't
10 close to me, but I did meet him now and again. I wasn't a policeman for
11 me to be able to investigate anything like that.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You went to see Colonel
13 Stevilovic. You told him that you had gone to see the military
14 prosecutor. Then he must have thought that the military prosecutor was
15 competent and he was not supposed to conduct an investigation. He was to
16 wait for the decision by the military prosecutor. Under normal
17 circumstances, the military prosecutor should have reported the matter to
18 the investigative magistrate. Therefore, the colonel you went to see
19 could have thought that he was not to do anything since you had notified
20 the military prosecutor.
21 But if you, yourself, stopped doing anything, then obviously
22 nothing could move in any way. Did you think about that?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the events that came to
24 pass after the disappearance of those four young men were even more
25 terrible and worse in every respect. First of all, there were crimes;
1 then there was the exodus of the people. Those few of us who had been
2 mobilised again and went to work in the area, were sent to work in the
3 area, faced with a situation of this kind with a humanitarian catastrophe,
4 I didn't have time to think about it. Although, later on, after all these
5 events had passed, I tried to see what had been done, whether anything had
6 been undertaken; and if so, what. But I did not receive an answer.
7 But I have to tell you that the political and security situation
8 in the field was such that it wasn't opportune to discuss it -- the matter
9 either. That wasn't a good idea.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
12 Q. When you left Banja Luka, where did you go?
13 A. Your Honours, I said, yesterday, that after the exodus of my
14 people from the area of that part of Western Slavonia, I was mobilised
15 again and then deployed to the Banja Luka Corps, so that on the 22nd of
16 December I was to take over the responsibilities and post in the command
17 post of Okucani, which I did. So I left on the 22nd of December and went
18 to Okucani.
19 Q. I wanted to know, when you were in Banja Luka, you complained or
20 reported to the prosecutor; and, yesterday, you told us it was your
21 intention to go to Belgrade afterwards. Did you go there?
22 A. Yes, I did go, Your Honour. On the 9th, that is to say, the next
23 day, I went to my family in Belgrade; and while I was there, that's when
24 the exodus took place, when all the people and the army withdrew.
25 Q. Did you on that occasion also go to the SRS headquarters; and if
1 so, whom did you meet there?
2 A. No. I never went to the SRS headquarters. I went to the bureau
3 of the SAO Western Slavonia, and I spoke about that yesterday, Your
4 Honours. And, at the bureau, I was told that the entire people and the
5 soldiers had withdrawn from the area of the municipality of Podravska
6 Slatina; and, previously, I was present when they left Grubisno Polje and
8 Q. Sorry. Did you go to the SRS war staff, not to the headquarters,
9 to the SRS war staff?
10 A. No, not to the SRS war staff. I happened to go there just by
11 chance in 1992, but already as an officer, as a member of the Okucani
12 local command, because a colleague of mine was going there. He was a
13 captain, an active-duty officer, who was going there for his own personal
14 business -- on his own personal business. So I just went there by chance,
15 not with any intention or purpose or task.
16 I just had the opportunity of --
17 Q. Could you tell us --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, please do not allow
19 the Prosecutor to interrupt the witness while he's answering the question
20 his was asked. If the Prosecutor doesn't like the answer, that's no
21 reason for him to interrupt the witness.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness was interrupted.
23 Mr. Mussemeyer, was the answer not quite in line with your question or did
24 you want to move to another topic?
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER: No. I wanted to remain on this topic. It seems
1 that the witness does not remember or does not understand the question I
2 am putting to him. I wanted to ask him if he ever met Ljubisa Petkovic,
3 the head of the war staff of the Serbian Radical Party.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He's going to answer now.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's the only individual
6 whom I met officially. I remember the name of that individual because of
7 the document that Mr. Novacic had with him in the team, the first group of
8 volunteers to Western Slavonia, or more specifically to the village of
9 Ceralije, which is where I was.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
11 Q. Where did you meet him, and what was the reason for this?
12 A. Let me repeat, Your Honours. I said a moment ago, and that was
13 how it was. Anyway, it was the end of January or beginning of February
14 1992, when, together with an officer from my command, Mr. Zarko, I went to
15 Belgrade, I went to visit my family and he was going efficiently to the
16 general staff. Then, together with him, I went to see Mr. Petkovic. I
17 wouldn't know that it was Petkovic had he not introduced himself. Then I
18 asked him, "Are you the same person who sent that first group of
19 volunteers?" He said, "Yes." Then I made some observations with respect
20 to aid and assistance and behaviour and conduct, and he had his own
21 position on the matter.
22 Q. What did you tell him? Did you complain or did you praise the
24 A. No, Your Honours. I said how things were, how things stood. I
25 said that the volunteers that they had sent, that first group, certainly
1 acted as I read out in the instructions. But as to the other groups, I
2 can't say in general, but many of the members of the volunteers, many of
3 the volunteers, behaved irresponsibly. They weren't under the command and
4 control of the Territorial Defence, and there were grounds to suspect that
5 they had carried out a series of crimes in the area in which they were
7 Q. Do you have any information if criminals have been among these
9 A. No, Your Honours. I did not have an opportunity to talk to the
10 volunteers, and that wasn't my job either so I didn't interview them. But
11 from the information that I received from my colleagues and friends who
12 did have contact with them, specifically some policemen who had worked in
13 Vocin, there were volunteers who, because they voluntarily went up to
14 report to the unit, they no longer had to serve their prison sentence in
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, I would like to show the witness
17 65 ter number 782. This is a document which has already been admitted as
18 P225, but it fits into the context now.
19 Q. Before the document shows up on the monitor, Mr. Witness, please,
20 what was Mr. Petkovic's reaction?
21 A. Your Honours, Mr. Petkovic did not accept my descriptions and
22 complaints. What I told him was that these people didn't help us out.
23 They did a disservice to us because the local population were afraid of
24 them. And according to certain witnesses, they had perpetrated certain
25 acts and crimes in Vocin, and those crimes will ultimately be ascribed to
1 the people there. So I was speaking from the aspects of protecting my
2 people over there, my nation. Mr. Petkovic questioned and challenged the
3 fact that anything like that could have been perpetrated by his
5 Q. Did he tell you that he already has taken some measures to prevent
6 that -- the acting against the law?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is a highly
8 leading question. If the answer was that Ljubisa Petkovic denied the fact
9 that the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party perpetrated crimes, then
10 this next question is impossible: Did he tell you that he took certain
11 steps to provide the violation of the law?
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mussemeyer. If the
13 witness complains about the behaviour of the volunteers, and if
14 Mr. Petkovic tells him that he has no information about this, it's quite
15 difficult to imagine that the witness asked him if he had taken any
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Correction: To prevent the
18 violation of the law.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed with your
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It was not the witness who asked for this; it was
22 the answer of Mr. Petkovic, as far as I know. But before we discuss about
23 it, I would like to have the witness to look at the document which is now
24 shown on the monitor.
25 Q. This is an authorisation signed by Ljubisa Petkovic, the 10th of
1 December, 1991, and it says in the first sentence:
2 "For the purpose of establishing law and order and control in
3 Western Slavonia, Milan Dobrilovic ... is entitled, is authorised, to
4 supervise all volunteers."
5 This document wouldn't make any sense. So, Mr. Witness, could you
6 please comment on this document.
7 A. The information about the relationship between the volunteers and
8 the Territorial Defence, and cooperation among them, I'm certain that my
9 Territorial Defence staff harmonised with the staff that sent those people
10 to Western Slavonia in the first place.
11 However, when we look at this document and when I look at the
12 date - it was in Belgrade on the 10th of December - what I can say is that
13 that was too late, because on the 13th of December all the people moved
14 out. Of course, there was the other part of Western Slavonia towards
15 Okucani, Pakrac.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when you went to the
17 war staff - and we have the address of the war staff here in this
18 document; it's Obridska Street 1; we even have the phone number,
19 011/456-745 - is that where you met Mr. Petkovic?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, Your Honour, in
21 that office.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you entered the building,
23 was there a flag there, were there guards, or was it a civilian-looking
24 building or a military-type building? In your recollection, what did it
25 look like?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I remember, Your Honour, is
2 that it was a civilian building. I'm sure there was some writing there,
3 but it was such a long time ago and there was no need for me to pay
4 attention to things like that.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you saw Dobrilovic, was he
6 wearing civilian clothes or a military uniform?
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's Correction: Petkovic.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Where did you see him? Did you
10 see him on a corridor, on a staircase, in a lift? Where did you actually
11 see him.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In his office, Your Honour, that's
13 where I saw him.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So were there any maps in his
15 office, were there any computers, any maps with any arrows like in any
16 standard war staff? Was it just an ordinary office as you can see in
17 civilian life, or was it an office of a military nature?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't -- it was a civilian
19 office, but with all the characteristic features of the party belonging to
20 the state. Perhaps there were some posters and pictures. I can't
21 remember what they were, but I'm certain that there were the emblems of
22 the Serbian Radical Party and things like that. But I was interested more
23 in Mr. Petkovic because he was somebody I had already met. I mean I met
24 him -- his name in the documents, I came across his name.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, if Mr. Petkovic was in a
1 position of a military nature, according to this document, we can see that
2 there is a war staff. So one can reasonably expect to see maps and a
3 whole series of telephones where he would be in contact permanently with
4 the volunteers on the ground. If he is a chief of staff, there would be a
5 lot of movement in the office, a lot of information coming in at all
6 times; or if we imagine a different scenario, a standard civilian office
7 which is not military in any way. This is what I'm interested in, and I'm
8 waiting for your answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm sure there were
10 maps there; but what kind of maps and anything else, it's difficult for me
11 to remember because I was in many other offices later on. But I'm sure
12 that there was a lot of coming and going. People were rushing through,
13 but I didn't know the people so I didn't pay much attention to any of
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question: You are the
16 first witness who has been there. So my question can be put to other
17 witnesses, but it so happens that you were there.
18 Now, when you walk into this building, did you have the feeling
19 you were walking into a military building or a civilian building which was
20 the headquarters of a political party?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was certainly a civilian
22 building, and I'm sure I would have recognised it if it were a military
23 building. Now, after visiting the headquarters of the Serbian Radical
24 Party, I later went to the military building, or a military building. So
25 that was quite different and the behaviour of the people in that building
1 was quite different. So I have to assert that this was, indeed, a
2 civilian building.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you went to see
4 Mr. Petkovic to complain about the behaviour of the volunteers, given
5 Mr. Petkovic's answer, why didn't you then ask to see Mr. Seselj in
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had no official
8 function, no official duty. I would have had to ask for my superior, the
9 late General Vukovic, to do this. But I did not consider that the
10 president of a political party should participate in discussions of
11 military issues. I didn't think so then and I don't think so now.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 Mr. Prosecutor.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. Mr. Witness, you already told us that the exodus which started the
16 13th of December, 1991, as you said. What was the reason for this exodus?
17 A. Well, the reason was primarily the civil war that happened there
18 and then the isolation of the area, the disorganisation of the government,
19 the civilian structures. All this time the media, both on the Serbian and
20 also on the Croatian side, constantly frightened people by saying what
21 might happen to those people, and there was constant pressure being
22 exerted. I have to admit that the soldiers who were there, the
23 Territorial Defence, the formal and informal groups that were there, were
24 constantly frightening people.
25 If a house burnt down in a street and everybody knew that the
1 house had been torched, I'm sure everybody would be afraid. I'm now
2 speaking of the general psychological situation, and especially when some
3 people had already been evacuated. I have to say that some of the
4 youngest and oldest inhabitants had already been evacuated from the area.
5 On the 8th of December, two municipalities were already vacated.
6 All the people had moved out. The municipalities of Grubisno Polje and
7 Daruvar. The people in the Podravska Slatina municipality were there
8 still, but on a temporary basis.
9 Q. Do you know if crimes had been committed during this exodus; and
10 if so, against whom?
11 A. Yes, Your Honour. From my conversations with those people, when I
12 came across the people who were fleeing or who had fled - as I said on the
13 9th I left Vocin early in the morning - and up until the 15th of December,
14 I didn't know that the people had left because I was in Serbia. But when
15 I heard about this, in Banja Luka I went and met quite a few of those
16 people when I was mobilised again, and I learnt from them that several
17 civilians had been killed there, or several dozen civilians, that is.
18 Then, later on, I received information that the number was about
19 40 civilians, most of them elderly. If I were to explain this in detail,
20 it happened on a location near the road along which the people and the
21 soldiers were withdrawing. In that street, 42 or 43 people were killed,
22 both men and women.
23 Q. What was the ethnicity of these victims?
24 A. Well, most often, people say they were all Croats, but I think
25 there were also Hungarians and others among them; but, conditionally
1 speaking, they were non-Serbs. They were Croats, let's say.
2 Q. Do you have any information who committed these crimes?
3 A. I don't know except for two names. I don't know the names of the
4 others, but I happen to know that some persons were from my neighbourhood
5 whom I knew, whom I had spoken to. There were four women. They saw a
6 group that did that -- the group that did that. And in that group
7 consisting of six or seven persons who wore masks, they recognised two
8 persons from Vocin, two young men from Vocin, by their voices, and they
9 told me their names. They were convinced that the others were members of
10 the volunteer units.
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, I know that it takes a lot of time
12 to have the map on the monitor. Could you please already put again the
13 map 65 ter number 2868 on the monitor.
14 Q. I will come back to the reason of the exodus. So it was not
15 that -- sorry, it would be leading.
16 It was not that the Croats forced the Serbs out of this region?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This kind of question cannot be put.
18 You can't say it was not that the Croats forced the Serbs out of this
19 region. This is unprecedented during examination-in-chief in adversarial
20 proceedings. This is really impermissible, what the Prosecutor is doing.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It would be better to ask the
22 witness why there was such an exodus and who left, and then you can put
23 your other questions.
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
25 Q. Have the Serbs of this region been forced to leave the region or
2 A. Yes. They were forced to leave.
3 Q. Do you have any information who forced them?
4 A. Well, first of all, the attitude of my country, of their country
5 towards them, those were the conditions that were created and they took
6 those weapons. Then propaganda, there was a lot of propaganda and it
7 frightened people. People were afraid they would be killed. They were
8 afraid they would suffer the same fate that their parents had suffered 40
9 or 50 years before, and so they left.
10 Q. Do you have any information --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have another objection. I think
12 the witness should clarify what he means by "their country." I think he
13 should state precisely what country he's referring to.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is a question you could put
15 during cross-examination.
16 You're referring to the state. Which state do you mean, the
17 former Yugoslavia? Who are you referring to?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the former Yugoslavia
19 had six states within it. Each of the republics was a state under the
20 constitution of 1974. So the Republic of Croatia was also a state. I was
21 referring to the Republic of Croatia, to its official government at the
22 time. We would need more time to explain what they did. There's not
23 enough time here to explain all that.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that the Serbs who had
25 left and had left forcibly, if I understand you correctly, had to leave
1 because the Croats - we are talking about the Republic of Croatia - did
2 nothing about it. Is that right?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it did everything to
4 get them to leave. That's the conclusion I might draw.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, you are saying that they
6 did everything they could to make sure they left.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite so, Your Honour. That was the
8 atmosphere that prevailed there at the time.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, you have the
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
12 Q. Mr. Kulic, you told us that people told you that two locals were
13 among the persons who committed these crimes and the other ones were
14 allegedly volunteers. What was the role of the locals?
15 A. The locals had the role of showing which houses were Croatian
16 houses and who were the Serbs, who were the Croats, because otherwise you
17 couldn't tell them apart.
18 Q. Do you know who of them committed the crimes? Were the locals
19 involved in the commitment of the crimes?
20 A. According to the information I have, which I believe - I heard
21 this from eye-witnesses and also I attended various trials where this was
22 proved also against me - two local people from Vocin and a group of
23 volunteers participated in this, Serbian volunteers. It was a group
24 consisting of six or seven persons, and it's possible there was another
25 group also because this was a large area.
1 But according to the information I had, the persons who told me
2 this had protected a group of Croats, people called Doric from the end of
3 the village. They protected them, and they said there were no more
4 Croatian houses there. So, evidently, this was an attack on the other
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting.
7 You are giving us some information. You said that there were proceedings
8 before a court, so I conclude, therefore, that these 40 to 42 people that
9 had been killed, both men and women, these people had been killed by
10 volunteers and two locals from Vocin. It seems that there was a trial as
11 a result of this. So these two locals from Vocin, were they prosecuted?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. An indictment was
13 raised against them. I don't know whether they were convicted, but a
14 trial was held; and from these events - and I was accused of having
15 committed those in 1995 in Bjelovar - there was a trial.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there was a trial in 1995.
17 Where do you say that was?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the district court, now it's the
19 county court, in Bjelovar.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And were you being charged
21 during this trial?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was charged for being responsible
23 for those crimes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What happened after
25 that? Were you acquitted? What was the verdict of the tribunal?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The verdict was -- well, there was a
2 law on abolition under which I was acquitted. The court established that,
3 in view of my formal duties and obligations, I could not be held
4 responsible, especially as I wasn't in Vocin at the time.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, what about the
6 other people? Were they convicted? Those people who committed the
7 crimes, what happened to them?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the group that was tried when I
9 was tried, there were five of us. One among them, a Bosnian, was
10 convicted of crimes committed a little before that and in connection with
11 that crime, but the crime was not proved against him in court. However, I
12 had the opportunity of seeing the indictment - and now it's available to
13 the public - and I think that the names on that indictment include the
14 names of those two men.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said this is a public
16 indictment; it can be read by anybody in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and
17 Serbia. This is not a document that the Judges of this Tribunal can see,
18 I don't know why, but I would like this to be recorded on the transcript.
19 It's through my questions that I discovered that there was a trial on
20 facts which the Prosecutor is questioning you about. Now, were there any
21 lawyers? Did you have a lawyer at the time?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. There were counsel.
23 First I had an ex officio counsel, and then the United Nations recruited a
24 lawyer to defend me because I was working for the UN at the time of my
25 arrest as a volunteer.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the United
2 Nations paid for a lawyer. The volunteers of the SRS who were convicted
3 at the same time you were, if I understood you correctly, you were five --
4 there were five of you, and there were five people and all the other
5 people were volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. All those five accused, along
7 with me, were from Podravska Slatina.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the volunteers
9 who were there, they escaped from any prosecution?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether there are any
11 proceedings ongoing in Croatia against the volunteers. I never had any
12 opportunity of seeing something like that.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I feel one cannot so
15 lightly overlook the fact that the OTP has not disclosed to me the
16 information on the trial against Mr. Kulic in Croatia when crimes in Vocin
17 were ascribed to him. The OTP knew that there had been proceedings
18 against Mr. Kulic in Croatia, and this is mentioned in one sentence of the
19 statement signed by this witness. So it was their duty to obtain the
20 entire record from the court in Bjelovar and to disclose it to me and to
21 Your Honours when the trial began.
22 I think it's very important to use those documents in examining
23 this witness, especially from the point of view where we see that the
24 Croatian authorities never indicted a single volunteer of the Serbian
25 Radical Party for any crime committed in Croatia. I think this is very
1 important, this material, and I think you should sanction the OTP for not
2 having done its work properly.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, it seems very surprising to
4 discover that a witness who is coming here to testify - he is a
5 Prosecution witness - when this witness was mentioned in an indictment
6 pertaining to crimes that were committed in Vocin. Fortunately, the
7 witness was acquitted, but we see that there were no volunteers at all
8 mentioned in this indictment. Perhaps the Prosecutor felt that he had
9 nothing to do with these crimes, which is an important piece of
10 information. This could, in fact, benefit the accused or mention of these
11 volunteers in the indictment, that these volunteers had disappeared and
12 that is why they were not prosecuted.
13 Nonetheless, this document, i.e., this indictment, should have
14 been disclosed to the accused, who quite clearly has not received it.
15 This is something which we discover through the questions and answers.
16 Now, is the Prosecution able to tell us today whether, A, it has
17 had this document? If it hasn't, why the Prosecution wasn't concerned
18 about getting a copy? Then, C, why not tell the accused about all of
19 this? Some of this might be exculpatory or not. I am unable to assess
20 this because none of us have actually seen this document.
21 So can you tell us anything about this; or tell us that, like what
22 we are able to see today, we are just discovering that there was such a
24 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I am not in a position to tell you if the OTP is
25 in the possession of this document. I will find that out and let the
1 Trial Chamber know about it. That the witness has been accused is not a
2 secret. It appears in the statement, as far as I remember, of the
3 witness. And as the witness has been acquitted and he wasn't there at the
4 time the crimes were committed, he was not in Vocin, it may be - this is
5 what I think - that the Prosecution never asked for this document. But
6 exact information I will give you when I have the chance to check this.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this witness stated
8 himself that he was acquitted outside the legal proceedings. He said by
9 abolition. As far as I can recall, there was an amnesty in 1975 [as
10 interpreted] in Croatia. It may have been an abolition. I'm not sure
11 whether it was abolition or amnesty; but, in any case, it is an
12 out-of-court form of acquittal. It's done by the executive branch of
13 government. I don't know whether it's the president of the state or
14 someone else. Usually, it's the chief of the executive branch of
15 government who proclaims an abolition and the parliament that proclaims an
16 amnesty. But neither the one nor the either is within the competence of
17 the judicial branch of government.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What you have said does have
19 legal consequences when you said you'd been acquitted because the tribunal
20 drew its own legal conclusions. Now, in light of what you've said, I
21 understood that a law had been adopted in parliament, a law that amnestied
22 those events that were tied to what had happened. And as you were
23 prosecuted in relation to these events, the tribunal then applied the law
24 and stated that there was no case to answer given the adoption of the new
25 law. That is why you were not convicted and you were not found guilty,
1 either guilty or innocent.
2 You are a very educated man. You know a lot of things. Is this
3 the reason? Is it because this new law was adopted that you were neither
4 convicted nor formally acquitted?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I expressed my
6 reservations in advance. I'm not very familiar with the terminology and
7 the legal proceedings. I may have expressed myself erroneously.
8 In Croatia, there is a special term that they use for the law on
9 amnesty. They call it the law on forgiveness. That's the literal term
10 and that's what I should have said instead of using foreign words.
11 But under pressure, the government of the Republic of Croatia and
12 the parliament enacted a law whereby all members of armed units, who did
13 not commit any crimes, were relieved - I'm speaking this now and I'm
14 saying this in my own words - and they were exempt from any further
16 And based on that law, I was released because they could not find
17 anything else in the legal proceedings that they could hold me responsible
18 for. They couldn't hold me responsible for the events in the indictment.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, now the witness has
20 explained it's probably not abolition, because abolition is an expression
21 of presidential mercy. It's an individual act for a suspect, an accused,
22 or a convict. But if it's a law, the Prosecutor should have disclosed to
23 us that law because this amnesty applies to certain crimes and not to
24 other crimes.
25 So we have to see that law of 1995 in Croatia to see precisely
1 what crimes, because I'm using the word "crime" now in the broad sense,
2 even armed rebellion. We have to see which ones the amnesty applies to
3 and which ones it doesn't. We need that law.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apparently, there was a law on
5 amnesty and the witness took advantage of that. It would probably be
6 useful to get to know this document, but you probably do not have it, or
7 do not have it here now.
8 Everybody is aware of this problem.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Mussemeyer.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, how much time do I have? Can you
11 tell me, please?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Mussemeyer, you have 13 minutes left.
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
14 Q. Mr. Kulic, you see on the monitor the map you have already
15 commented on at the beginning of your examination-in-chief. Could you
16 please show us the way where the exodus took place and where the crimes
17 against the 40 Croats you mentioned happened, on this map.
18 A. In the village of Vocin itself, in the street, or rather, on the
19 road which goes from the direction of Vocinski Hum, where you see it's
20 been circled to the north of Vocin, so in that direction; and then it goes
21 to the centre of Vocin.
22 In that street on that road, which is approximately 700 metres to
23 one kilometre long, I don't recall right now the number of households or
24 family houses, but I know for certain that at the entrance to Vocin, on
25 this road I'm indicating, there's a house belonging to a family. I think
1 their last name is Stimac. They live near some acquaintances of mine, and
2 15 persons were killed in or near that house.
3 But in the proceedings I mentioned, in the trial against me and in
4 some other trials where I was a witness, a lot was said about that, and I
5 knew that there were documents to show that this had actually happened.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding these 40 people who
7 were killed, can you tell me whether there were, for most of them, killed
8 in the street? Because you said 15 of them were found in a house. Were
9 they killed in the street?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those 15 were killed inside that
11 house. All the others were killed in yards or in front of yards or on the
12 road, either near their houses or in their own courtyards.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To your knowledge, were they
14 killed because they had been detained and then executed, or did some
15 people arrive there and start shooting at everyone?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were killed because they were
17 Croats and because, in my opinion, when people were leaving, they were
18 angry, frustrated, and a group was out of control and did that.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I've understood you
20 correctly, these crimes were committed at the very moment when the Serb
21 population was withdrawing from Vocin. Everybody was leaving. It was
22 probably chaos there. Then at this particular point, some individuals,
23 the two from Vocin plus, according to you, some volunteers, then these
24 people killed the Croats who lived in these houses.
25 Is that the way things happened according to you?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It was total chaos. From
2 everything that I heard and saw in that chaos and in the withdrawal and
3 along that road, the people that happened to be there who didn't take
4 shelter and were members of the -- and were ethnic Croats, quite simply
5 that group was out of control and committed the crime.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness is now
7 testifying about things that took place 400 kilometres away from him. I'd
8 just like to draw your attention to that.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. It did not
10 escape me because you, Witness, were not there. What you're telling us is
11 based on what other people told you. You may have been able to read about
12 it in the press. You're telling us maybe what you heard during the trial
13 because you attended the trial and these events were probably mentioned
14 during the trial.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I still live there
16 today and I know all those people, all the people who were there on that
17 day, not directly present in the courtyard, but who met that group of
18 individuals and recognised them. So they're people who are alive today.
19 I'm in contact with them, I know them because I lived there, and I'm close
20 to them for that simple reason. I was interested to know whether they
21 knew who committed it, and they said, yes, but they couldn't say what
22 their names were. They were all wearing masks, but they said that they
23 recognised a young man at the time.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we come to the basic
25 question of why the Prosecution hasn't called in as witnesses some of the
1 people who had recognised the perpetrators of the crime, not somebody who
2 heard from others what they might have seen.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well --
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I have a question. You say that
5 they were wearing masks and that some of them were recognised because of
6 their voice. What about the others? How were they identified? How is it
7 possible to say that they were volunteers?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't want to speculate and guess.
9 What I heard from these people was this: They heard -- well, they were in
10 fear because they heard shooting and saw dead bodies, and then they came
11 across a group of people; and amongst those people amongst that group,
12 well, they were afraid of people in the group because they were on the
13 road moving in all that chaos. They had organised themselves for a
14 journey, and they were running across the road to put in there things to
15 join the column to flee from there.
16 So they weren't looking for this group. It's that this group of
17 people was looking to them to ask whether there were other Croatian houses
18 there, because -- and from the testimony of the people that I'm referring
19 to, I am recounting what happened and I am convinced of that myself.
20 Now, you can ask yourselves why I wasn't there, but I lived with
21 those people before and I still live with those people today. I know the
22 people and their mentality very well, and I know what I can be sure of.
23 That's why I'm testifying in this way and saying what I'm saying without
24 violating anybody's rights or placing anybody in an unfavourable or
25 unpleasant situation, because I've had occasion to go through situations
1 like that myself.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I've understood you
3 correctly, the two individuals from Vocin who executed these people, they
4 still live in Vocin?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. No, far from it.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They left, did they?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they left.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer.
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
10 Q. Mr. Witness, you already -- you told us where the crimes happened
11 in Vocin. Can you tell us where the exodus initially started? It was not
12 in Vocin, as far as I am informed.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, again, Mr. President.
14 Again, a leading question, and I consider this to be impertinent on the
15 part of the Prosecutor.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is, indeed, a very leading
17 question. Can you please rephrase it to obtain the same result
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, he's already gained the result
20 with his leading question. Now the witness has a chance to adapt himself
21 to the question, and it doesn't matter what version of the question he
22 comes up with now.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. The answer may be
24 different if the question is rephrased. You never know.
25 Mr. Mussemeyer, can you please start from the very beginning
1 without asking any type of leading question.
2 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honour, with all due respect, for me this
3 question is not leading. I asked if there existed another village where
4 the exodus took place, and I did not mention the name of this place. I
5 only said that, obviously, it didn't start in Vocin in. For me, this is
6 not leading. The aim of my question is another village, and I did not
7 take or put the name of this village into the mouth of the witness. I
8 want to hear it from him. So with all due respect, this is not leading
9 from me.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President --
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] No. Mr. Mussemeyer, you are
12 telling us that according to your information, and so on and so forth.
13 The problem is that we need to know whether this particular witness told
14 you that the exodus did not start in Vocin. If it's not this particular
15 witness who told you that, you can't say, "I was informed," and put your
16 question that way.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It was exactly this witness who told me that it
18 started in another village.
19 Q. Mr. Witness, could you please answer?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Then you're right. Then you're
22 right. Your question was not leading.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not recall the witness saying
25 that here in court, in the courtroom, that the exodus started in another
1 place, and you can put me right if you have evidence that he did. Perhaps
2 the witness told him that during the proofing session outside the
3 courtroom, which means that he doesn't have the right to use it in court
4 in this way.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I surmise that he told you
6 about it during the proofing session and you're now bringing that up here.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes. That's exactly the reason I am asking this,
8 and I did on purpose not mention the name of another village. I want to
9 hear it from the witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, fine. But you could have
11 dealt with it the following way and you could have said: "There was an
12 exodus in Vocin. To your knowledge, this particular or specific exodus,
13 did it take place somewhere else in the region?" Then he could have said
14 that, no, it was not specific to Vocin; it started in another village.
15 But your purpose was to find out in this chaos whether the exodus was also
16 happening in other villages.
17 Witness, now you understand the question. What is your answer?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, during my testimony, I
19 mentioned, once or twice I think, that before the event of the 13th of
20 December, the people from the area of Grubisno Polje municipality,
21 specifically on the 30th of October or rather the 1st of November, passed
22 across Vocin in its exodus towards Bosnia.
23 Now, on the 7th, 8th, and 9th of December, this was done from the
24 villages in the Daruvar municipality. About the 13th, or rather the 12th,
25 I happened to learn this by chance from the inhabitants of Lisicine
1 village, which is north of Vocin on this map. You can see it, Lisicine,
2 it is about # kilometres away. Colonel Jovan Trbojevic was born there,
3 and that's his native village. They started out on the evening before the
4 13th, which means the 12th in the evening.
5 I heard that from my friends in that village, and I didn't know
6 that for a long time. I learned this perhaps a year ago. So this whole
7 wave of exodus started in Lisicine, and the entire process was prepared
8 because two municipalities under that pressure had already left in the
9 previous month. If that suffices as an explanation, that's what I would
10 like to tell you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that there was in
12 flow of people, this wave of people. We can very well picture the
13 situation, especially in Vocin, and we can very well imagine what was the
14 state of mind of somebody living in Vocin. But did the authority, the
15 military authority, the TO or the civilian authority, take any type of
16 measure in order to preserve public law and order? Were measures taken or
17 was it the general debacle? Was everybody running for it, and was there a
18 total lack of authority?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think the latter
20 would be closest to the truth. Nobody had any control over anything.
21 There was a total lack of authority. I'm saying that for the simple
22 reason that this region, 25 settlements, including parts of Orahovica and
23 Podravska Slatina municipalities, they did not have a structure of
24 civilian authority. They didn't come across that kind of structure. They
25 had to establish their own power and authority. They tried to do so but
1 were unsuccessful.
2 So the only institutions and authority that existed were in the
3 form of military institutions and the Territorial Defence and Territorial
4 Defence staffs; although, I have to admit that at the end of October
5 already the assembly was set up and civilian structures were to follow,
6 but this was just an early attempt.
7 So when the exodus took place, it was an ongoing process, it
8 didn't take place only on the 13th; but on the 13th, it comprised 25
9 villages and hamlets. But, in fact, it took place over a month and a
10 half, from the 30th of October right up to the 13th of December, because
11 if I mentioned municipality of Grubisno Polje, which is at a distance
12 of --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand. But what was the
14 JNA doing at the time? Why weren't they on the spot, or were they running
15 away as well?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The units and services of the
17 Yugoslav People's Army were not on the spot, not in the area of Podravska
18 Slatina and Grubisno Polje and Daruvar, and their active components were
19 not there. They were somewhere at the line of Pakrac-Bucje; that is to
20 say, the JNA units were at a distance of about 30 kilometres away.
21 However, the Yugoslav People's Army, or rather the Banja Luka Corps,
22 covered logistics, organisation, assistance in various forms. I wasn't in
23 the staff, so I can't speak specifically about that, in the staff of
24 Western Slavonia.
25 But based on the information that I had, Colonel Trbojevic arrived
1 as the commander, as a trained and educated commander, and was probably
2 very well capable of conducting that -- those affairs.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The JNA was 30 kilometres away
4 from there, but there were roads in the region. It would have taken them
5 30 minutes to arrive. In the JNA you had a military police as well, and
6 it is the duty of the military police to preserve law and order and
7 control traffic on the roads.
8 From what you say, I understand that there was none of this
9 happening and that the JNA was actually relying on the TO.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right, Your Honour. The JNA,
11 well, in talking to members of the Yugoslav People's Army in the Banja
12 Luka Corps, that's what they said, that their units, their brigade, from
13 the line of Pakrac and Pozega, that they would not go anywhere else;
14 whereas, the Territorial Defence would help in the organisation. That was
15 my information both from officials in the corps and others.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
18 Q. Mr. Kulic, can you tell us where this village of Lisicine is
19 situated on the map?
20 A. I tried to explain this to you, to describe it, but I'll show you
21 on the map with my pen. Here it is, where it says "Lisicine." So I would
22 say it's some five kilometres north of Vocin.
23 Q. And is the road we can see between Vocin and Lisicine the way the
24 exodus took place?
25 A. Yes, that's right. That's the line of the exodus, or one of the
1 directions that the exodus took place.
2 Q. Do you have an explanation why the exodus on that day started in
4 A. According to information that I received, and I said I was very
5 much surprised from the locals of Lisicine going back to Croatia
6 frequently to their houses that had been restored in Croatia, they told me
7 that on the evening of the 12th, Colonel Trbojevic, passing by or visiting
8 the village, told the people to come to Vocin if they were afraid and
9 spend the night there. By saying that, he influenced the exodus of
10 everyone. It wasn't only individuals from Lisicine that came, it was the
11 whole village that was on the move and left.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I please move the map with the annotations of
13 the witness into evidence.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, a number,
16 THE REGISTRAR: That's Exhibit P266.
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
18 Q. Mr. Kulic, another issue. You told us, in the beginning, that you
19 have been forced from -- you had been forced into the TO. Has there been
20 a second event when you had been forced into the TO or not?
21 A. With my departure on the 9th of December from Vocin and the
22 withdrawal of people from Vocin, their exodus, the exodus of that nation,
23 my role ceased. There was no more Territorial Defence, no more staff; and
24 I went to Serbia, found myself in Serbia. I tried to find a job of some
25 kind because my family was there.
1 Anyway, I was arrested, or rather I considered it being that I was
2 arrested; but I was taken into custody, detained on the street, because I
3 had Podravska Slatina licence plates on my car. They asked me whether I
4 was such and such. I gave them my name, surname. They asked to see my ID
5 and they escorted me, and they told me to sign the mobilisation call-up.
6 I think it was on the 16th or 17th; I can't be quite sure.
7 Anyway, I once again -- well, I no longer got into the car. I was
8 escorted to Mitrovica and taken from Bijeljina to Banja Luka; and in Banja
9 Luka, I received my deployment orders in the Banja Luka Corps command.
10 The local commander is a reserve officer in Okucani.
11 Q. Can you please tell us where you have been arrested; and if you
12 know, by whom?
13 A. Well, as I say, I considered that I had been arrested; although,
14 the men told us that they weren't actually arresting me. But there was a
15 policeman in uniform. It was in the place called Sid. I wanted to work
16 there. There was the meat-processing industry, and they told me that they
17 needed officers there.
18 Anyway, a civilian -- well, we found ourselves in front of the
19 Secretariat for National Defence, which is the institution that mobilises
20 people, and they said that under the circumstances they had every right to
21 mobilise me. Now, I asked them what the alternative was, what choice did
22 I have, and they said that if I refused I would be arrested.
23 Now, later on I saw other people. I met other people. I'd like
24 to take this opportunity to say that many people from my region who were
25 refugees in Serbia were mobilised, so that I wasn't an exception. But,
1 anyway, it hit me hard because not then and not afterwards did I want to
2 be a volunteer. I would have liked to have been a volunteer for something
3 that I chose to be, not something I was forced to be.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have five minutes,
5 Mr. Mussemeyer, to complete your examination-in-chief.
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Mr. Kulic, does the word "Daruvar Agreement" say anything to you;
8 and if so, what?
9 A. The Daruvar Agreement was the first peace agreement between the
10 Serbs and the Croatian state, and I was one of the participants or
11 signatories of the agreement. It is, if I can put it this way, a
12 forerunner to the Erdut Agreement, or, which should have been more
13 favourable, an agreement that was just drafted, the Z4 Agreement.
14 Yes, I do know what the Daruvar Agreement was.
15 Q. Have there been opponents of this agreement amongst the Serbs or
16 amongst the Serb leadership?
17 A. A group of people in Western Slavonia to which I belonged
18 considered that we should use some of the advantages and establish, with
19 the help of the international community, a peace -- or set up peace
20 negotiations. This is something that the international community offered
21 us, that we should negotiate with the Croatian state, because we were in
22 an area which was a junction for various international roads.
23 So I was an advocate of that; and with the Daruvar Agreement, I
24 thought we could help people to have a different life.
25 Q. My question was: Have there been opponents against this
1 agreement; and if so, who were they?
2 A. Yes, there were opponents. They were first of all the government
3 or most of the government of the Republika Srpska Krajina led by Hadzic
4 and Martic, because after that, sometime later, I and the group were
6 Q. Can you tell us who arrested you and what happened to you later
8 A. I was arrested by the assistant -- by Martic's assistant, Zrkovic,
9 Krsto Zrkovic, or his group in Okucani, and I was detained in Knin; and
10 with the other people in the group, they kept me in detention in Glina.
11 Q. How long have you been in detention?
12 A. For about four months, I was in detention for about four months.
13 Then with pressure from the international community, because I was a UN
14 employee and some other people, well, there were not sufficient grounds in
15 the indictment for accusing us. So they let us go, but they still
16 persecuted us. Matters didn't end there.
17 Q. Have you been arrested a second time?
18 A. No, I wasn't arrested a second time. I was arrested again but in
19 1995 by the Croatian state. However, somebody else was arrested for a
20 second time, and he was my friend Dzakula in Belgrade, when we're talking
21 about persecution by the Krajina authorities.
22 Q. Have you ever been interviewed by Milan Martic about the Daruvar
24 A. When I was arrested on the 21st of September, 1993, in Knin, Milan
25 Martic personally talked to me. He said, "Well, Kulic, why did you need
1 that? What did you need that for? You were a respected officer," and
2 things along that line. "Why did you betray us Croats," and things like
3 that. So he tried to persuade me that what I was doing was not correct,
4 but I told Martic privately that that was the only solution, that
5 negotiations were the only way out. I didn't see how things could be
6 settled in any other way.
7 Q. Do you know if others have been beaten up during their detention?
8 By "others" I mean the other persons who participated in the negotiations
9 of the Daruvar Agreement.
10 A. Yes, three of us, Your Honour. Three participants in the signing
11 of the Daruvar Agreement were detained, were held in detention.
12 Mr. Dzakula and I were received from -- well, were beaten from Mr. Martic;
13 not from him actually but his men, his people, beat us.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I have no further questions, but I have some --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you --
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: -- there's one observation.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please do.
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Seselj said in this transcript, at line 24:7,
20 there is mentioned the year "1975." I think this is an error or it might
21 a mistake during translation. It should be "1995," if I am right. Could
22 we check this?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you. This has been
24 recorded now.
25 Now, the best would be to have the break now. We'll have a
1 20-minute break and resume with Mr. Seselj's cross-examination after the
3 --- Recess taken at 4.17 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.41 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing and
6 we shall start with the cross-examination. Mr. Seselj has two hours for
7 his cross-examination.
8 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kulic, at the beginning of the
11 examination-in-chief, when asked by Judge Antonetti why you changed your
12 mind and did not insist on protective measures, you said that
13 circumstances have changed. What I would like to know is what
14 circumstances induced you earlier on when you testified in the Slobodan
15 Milosevic trial to ask for protective measures and how these circumstances
16 have changed so that you don't need protective measures anymore?
17 A. Your Honours, part of my family lives in the Republic of Serbia
18 and the other part in the Republic of Croatia. As of 2002 until today,
19 both in the Republic of Serbia and in the Republic of Croatia, as regards
20 the security of citizens, communications, and so on, the situation has
21 changed considerably. I think people are much freer. In any case, my
22 direct answer is: The members of my family have agreed for me to testify
23 in open session. This had been my wish before.
24 Q. You're aware that The Hague OTP, for a full five years, perhaps
25 more since your first statement, has considered you a witness in this case
1 against me. Have you ever felt that you needed protective measures
2 because you were in danger from me personally, you or your family?
3 A. Your Honours, I have known for a year, since I was contacted by
4 this Court, that the Court is interested in my testimony in this case.
5 Previously, it had to do with another case. As regards Dr. Seselj, I see
6 no reason or need as regards him personally. I'm not saying that there
7 may not be a threat from members of his party but not from him personally.
8 Q. Are you trying to say that the members of the Serbian Radical
9 Party are dangerous, that they might pose a threat to somebody's life or
11 A. Your Honour, the members of the Radical Party, well, I have
12 relatives and acquaintances who are members of that party and some of them
13 were or still are refugees from Croatia, and I'm sure that they do not
14 approve of my testimony before this Tribunal today.
15 Q. So it was the reaction you expected from your relatives who are
16 members of the Serbian Radical Party. There was no other reason. Am I
17 right in saying that?
18 A. Your Honour, this was just the assumption that led me with respect
19 to the security of my family and myself in the past period. I'm not
20 saying it's not possible today, but I think that the possibility has been
21 much reduced. I just mentioned this as an example when Dr. Seselj asked
22 me that question. In the area I hail from, it's still not completely safe
23 and secure.
24 Q. And now you live in Podravska Slatina, as I understand you.
25 A. Yes. I live in the place called Slatina, which used to be called
1 Podravska Slatina.
2 Q. And how do you earn your living there now?
3 A. Your Honours, as regards my personal CV and biography, I would
4 rather not answer these questions if they are not linked to this question.
5 Q. Well, you have to answer every question I put, because I'm
6 challenging your credibility as a Prosecution witness. So it is your duty
7 to answer every question.
8 What do you live on?
9 A. Your Honours, please, would you respond? Do I have to answer
10 questions that are not directly linked to the case?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These are proceedings which may
12 seem different to the ones than you are familiar with in your country.
13 The accused is entitled to put questions to you in order to check
14 the credibility of the witness; and, therefore, he is entitled to ask you
15 what you live off and what you are currently doing.
16 I, by the way, did put the question to you and I asked you just
17 before you took the solemn declaration: Do you have an occupation? You
18 responded by saying that you are retired. I concluded thereafter that you
19 weren't working and that you have a pension perhaps, but I did not look
20 into the matter any further. But Mr. Seselj is entitled to ask you
21 what --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I am not
23 retired. I just told you I was not employed. My status now is that I am
24 not employed but I have not reported to the job centre because I am
25 working under contract for various NGOs. Right now, I am working on
1 issues of the return of refugees from Croatia, as regards finding
2 accommodation for them, welfare, the return of their houses, and so on.
3 These cases can last, well, a year or six months, and I'm working -- the
4 one I'm working on here is for a year.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. What organisations are you working for?
7 A. I've worked for the Serbian Democratic Forum --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpreter did not
9 catch the name. THE WITNESS: [Interpretation]-- An organisation from
10 Rome. Now on the Pakrac region, I --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down and pause
12 between question and answer, and could the witness repeat his answer,
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please go slowly. The
16 interpreters have difficulty keeping up with you. You're speaking, both
17 of you, the same language and the interpreters are finding it hard. So
18 please wait for the person who has asked a question to finish his question
19 before you answer. But if you answer instantly, then we will face a
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Kulic, how many trials in Croatia did you testify in, trials
23 of Serbs accused of war crimes, up till now?
24 A. Your Honours, in one trial.
25 Q. Who was that trial against?
1 A. Your Honours, it was against Branko Oliver from Vocin.
2 Q. You've already said that when doing your regular military service,
3 you completed the school for reserve officers, that you became -- you
4 acquired rank as second lieutenant, and then you got employment in the All
5 People's Defence staff.
6 A. That's not right. I was the first employee in a staff that was
7 being established, and my status was that of an employee in the
8 secretariat of All People's Defence. Later on, I was an operative in that
9 same staff. That was the precise name of the job, "operative."
10 Q. And who was the chief of that staff while you were an operative
12 A. The late Matija Perkovac.
13 Q. And how long did you work in that staff, until when?
11 Pages 4507-4513 redacted.
20 other issues, so I shall give you the floor.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
22 Q. You told us, according to your own statement, on the 28th of
23 August, 1991, you left Podravska Slatina and came to Vocin; is that right?
24 A. No, that is not right, Your Honour.
25 Q. Well, how was it then?
1 A. On the 29th, the second day of the Ascension, I arrived in Lukavac
3 Q. When did you get to Vocin?
4 A. On the second day, i think it was the 30th, but I'm not quite
5 sure. I didn't measure time.
6 Q. And who put you up in Vocin?
7 A. I was accommodated in the house of the late Nikola Radosevic.
8 Q. Has he got anything to do with Savo Radosevic? Is he a relative?
9 A. Yes. He was Savo Radosevic's brother.
10 Q. Savo Radosevic was your closest friend, as far as I know; isn't
11 that right?
12 A. No, it's not.
13 Q. Was he a friend of yours?
14 A. Yes, he was.
15 Q. A really close friend?
16 A. Well, not really, no.
17 Q. How close?
18 A. Well, as a neighbour.
19 Q. And then, in Vocin, you became involved in the Territorial Defence
20 staff. You said here that you were forcibly taken there; whereas, in
21 fact, you joined the staff on a voluntary basis; is that right?
22 A. No, it's not.
23 Q. You were forced to?
24 A. I was mobilised.
25 Q. Do you have a piece of paper to prove that you were mobilised?
1 A. From 1991, all my private affairs were at least five times taken
2 away by different forces in the region, so I couldn't have kept them.
3 Q. In September 1991, a unit of the Territorial Defence from Vocin
4 killed more than 20 Croatian civilians in the village of Cetekovci; is
5 that right?
6 A. No, that's not right.
7 Q. What is right, then?
8 A. In the village of Balinci and Cojluk.
9 Q. What happened in Cetekovci?
10 A. Well, it's a central locality which in public and otherwise,
11 especially with the Croatian side, was used as a place and address to
12 which this massacre was sent. Well, there were killings without doubt,
13 but it didn't happen that way.
14 Q. And those Balinci and Cojluk, can they be called hamlets close to
16 A. They come in front and afterwards.
17 Q. So it's the general Cetekovci area.
18 A. Right.
19 Q. How many civilians were killed over there?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. More than 20?
22 A. That's what the press wrote, and in some trials that figure came
24 Q. Was that at your trial?
25 A. Proceedings against me, yes.
1 Q. Some of those Croatian civilians were -- had their throats slit
2 with a knife.
3 A. No, I don't know. I refused to accept that form. Your Honours,
4 what that was about was that photographs of massacred people in Bjelovar
5 at the trial were brought into me. They were shown to me, I don't know
6 for what reasons. I have the feeling that this was pressure at the time
7 against me; but, in any case, I felt unprotected and abused because I
8 didn't know the people. I was never over there, so it had nothing to do
9 with me at all, except that I was very sorry that anybody had lost their
11 Q. On the basis of those photographs, it could be seen that not all
12 the people were killed by firearms but some of them were killed by sharp
14 A. I refused to look at the photographs and didn't look at them; but
15 that's what I heard, yes.
16 Q. You refused to look at the photographs?
17 A. Yes, I did. I refused.
18 Q. You took part in that attack itself at Balinci and Cojluk, did you
19 not, the Cetekovci hamlets?
20 A. Your honours, that's not true. What Mr. Seselj is saying is not
22 Q. Yes, it's true. It's true, and the Croatian authorities know that
23 very well and that's why they raised an indictment against you. They did
24 not accuse you for the crime in Vocin when you weren't in Western
25 Slavonia, but for the crimes dated to September when you were in Vocin;
1 isn't that right? You kept quiet about that a moment ago before this
2 Trial Chamber, when you said why the Croatian authorities persecuted you.
3 You said that they persecuted for things that happened at the time when
4 you weren't in Western Slavonia at all. You said that in this courtroom a
5 moment ago in this courtroom; isn't that right?
6 A. No, it's not.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I think that, Judges, you
8 remember Mr. Kulic saying that, that he said that they released him from
9 prison and amnestied him because he wasn't at the scene of the crime at
10 the time. Now we have a fresh piece of information that he was at the
11 scene of this crime and that he took part in this crime, and then we'll
12 see why he was released from prison in due course. We'll come to that.
13 Anyway --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Mr. Seselj.
15 Apparently, Witness, according to Mr. Seselj - as far as I'm
16 concerned, I don't have a single document about this - but, apparently,
17 you took part in the perpetration of a crime against 20 Croats who,
18 allegedly, were killed with knives. Were you there? Were you not there?
19 What do you have to say about this?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've already answered
21 that question. I said when I was mobilised and what duties I had; and in
22 that connection, I would like to ask the Trial Chamber to look at the
23 evidence that was presented in the district court of Bjelovar in the
24 proceedings there in 1995.
25 Now, the various constructs that Mr. Seselj is now making are
1 calculated. Well, he's not interested in what I know about the facts of
2 this case. He is insinuating various other things. Now, I reject all
3 that and I have taken the solemn declaration before you here to tell the
4 truth. Everything I have told you is the truth and I can prove it.
5 I consider this to be a personal attack which can jeopardise my
6 security, Your Honours, and that is Mr. Seselj's aim. He has no other
7 objective but to achieve that.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, had the Prosecution supplied
9 us with the data from the court in Podravska Slatina, you would have been
10 able to see that this is what it said in the indictment against Mr. Kulic,
11 and that the event was described in precise terms. The Prosecutor quite
12 intentionally kept that information back from us; and, quite obviously,
13 we're dealing with a very dangerous criminal. I'll come to why he was
14 released from prison in due course.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, in your country and in
16 the proceedings in your country, they are probably not very different from
17 what happens in civil law countries. First of all, the prosecutor draws
18 up an indictment. Before that, the investigating magistrate has conducted
19 an investigation, questioned the suspect with his counsel being present,
20 and so on and so forth. Later on, an indictment is raised against the
21 accused, and the matter is referred to a court on the basis of material,
22 because, otherwise, anybody could be prosecuted before any court without
23 any type of evidence.
24 So I suppose that, if you were prosecuted, there must have been
25 some material at the basis of all this. I would like to know if you were
1 interviewed by an investigative magistrate. I suppose you told him that
2 you had nothing to do with all of this.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. That's the truth of it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And despite all of this, the
5 prosecutor decided to have you tried for these crimes; is that it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Against us 136. The legal
7 proceedings were taken against us and a separate group of five of us.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
9 Yes, Mr. Mussemeyer.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: One short observation. The accused is
11 insinuating that the Prosecution on purpose did not disclose this sentence
12 or this decision from the Court. I'm sure that we don't have it in our
13 possession because before a witness is coming, we're looking through all
14 our documents, and the documents relevant we disclose to the accused. We
15 cannot disclose something which is not in our possession.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we're not talking
17 about a judgement. If the law on amnesty is in force there is no
18 judgement. It is a decision to apply the law on amnesty that is passed
19 and this frees the accused of any further accountability. So these are
20 two different things, two different legal acts.
21 We need the entire documents, the criminal file, the criminal
22 report, the judgement, the hearing, and the proceedings at trial. We need
23 all this for this witness, and that is something we did not receive. The
24 Prosecution knew about it. If it does not have these documents in its
25 possession, it made no effort to come by them.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, might I be allowed to
2 say something, please?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please do.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, legal proceedings were
5 taken against me, and I sat in a court like this for 24 days before 86
6 witnesses. There is a judgement; Mr. Seselj is not right on that score.
7 Perhaps he is interpreting another piece of law. But in Croatia, in
8 Bjelovar, I was acquitted. A judgement of acquittal was passed because
9 there was not enough evidence. And because of the armed uprising that I
10 took part in, the law on amnesty was applied.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine.
12 Mr. Seselj, the witness has given us an additional piece of
13 information. According to him, he was acquitted for these crimes and the
14 law on amnesty applied to the armed uprising. That's what the witness is
15 telling us, but you may have the judgement in your possession.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, well, from a hostile
17 state like Croatia, it is the Prosecution that should supply me with the
18 documents, I assume, because neither me nor my associates can travel over
19 there. We can't go there because it's an enemy state, as far as we're
20 concerned, after all.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, nobody's asking you
22 to, and you probably would not have been able to go to Croatia, but
23 nothing prevents you from sending a letter to --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] They wouldn't have given it to me
25 had I asked for it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't need any authorisation
2 from the Chamber to write a letter to Croatia to ask for disclosure of a
3 judgement related to this witness, this Prosecution witness. I am
4 convinced that Croatia would have handed over this document to you. The
5 Prosecution could also have done so, but they decided not to do it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is like a
7 fairytale for me to ask for something for the Croatian authorities and for
8 them to respond and give me what I asked for. That's a fairytale, but it
9 doesn't matter.
10 You, the members of the Trial Chamber, are eye-witnesses to the
11 fact that this witness, during the examination-in-chief, stated here that
12 he was tried in Croatia for the crime in Vocin which took place at a time
13 when he happened to be in Belgrade, and that he was acquitted because he
14 was not on the crime scene.
15 I'm putting a new fact before you now, and the witness has
16 confirmed that he was actually tried for this. Now, for the first time,
17 he's saying that he was acquitted for lack of evidence. I don't know
18 whether we can believe him or not. But if it's truly that way, that he
19 was acquitted because there was not enough evidence, that doesn't mean he
20 did not commit the crime. It only means that the court did not manage to
21 prove it on that occasion. Some other court may be able to prove it
22 sometime. That's the gist of it.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you were acquitted for
24 lack of evidence; is that what you've said?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In the indictment against me,
1 Your Honours, not in a single segment of that indictment, or at least
2 that's what my lawyer told me, what my counsel said, was there any element
3 indicating a specific criminal offence. It was a blanket indictment.
4 There was not a specific crime I was accused of.
5 I was only charged with armed rebellion which I did not deny, or
6 rather, I did not deny that I was a member of the Territorial Defence in
7 the manner I have described. Mr. Seselj's constructions have already been
8 seen in this courtroom.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm amazed that you permit the
10 witness to make such comments, what has already been seen on my part in
11 this courtroom. There's really no point.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this is the first time
13 you've testified before us. The accused alleges that there was an
14 indictment against you. You agree. You tell us that you were acquitted
15 because there was not enough evidence against you. All very well, and I'm
16 glad for you. That's all. That's the only conclusion we can draw from
17 all of this.
18 Mr. Seselj, you may proceed.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Kulic, the strategy of your defence before the court in
21 Croatia was to pass on the responsibility to other people. So with the
22 help of your counsel you tried to blame the chief of the police station in
23 Vocin, Mile Crnobrnja, and Boro Lukic, who was already dead because he was
24 killed later in the war in Bosnia. Is that correct?
25 A. No, it's not.
1 Q. Well, what's correct then?
2 A. Boro Lukic was not killed. He was not dead at the time. I never
3 tried to pass on responsibility onto him or Mile or anybody else. I
4 simply stated, before the court, the facts I had seen and what I had
6 Q. What did you say in the court about Mile Crnobrnja, in the
7 Croatian court?
8 A. Your Honours, I really don't see why I should answer questions as
9 to what I said in my testimony and how you defended myself in the court in
10 1995 in Bjelovar in connection with these proceedings.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm waiting for a response, Judges.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Vocin is a locality
13 mentioned in the indictment. Crimes were allegedly committed in that
14 locality or around that locality. The accused is charged for crimes
15 committed in this locality by volunteers who were affiliated to the SRS,
16 and at that time the accused was the president of that party.
17 So, apparently, crimes were committed in Vocin. The accused seems
18 to be implying that he has nothing to do with these crimes and even less
19 to do with these volunteers. He's saying that these crimes may have been
20 committed by local people.
21 We find out that there was a trial regarding 20 Croats who
22 allegedly were killed, and it appears that you were prosecuted. You were
23 amongst those prosecuted for these crimes, and that's it. The accused is
24 trying to establish that a number of events took place in Vocin that might
25 be related to other people than the volunteers, but that might be
1 connected to local people and you are one of these locals. That's why
2 he's asking these questions to you.
3 But I'd like to stress that the accused probably has some
4 information. He says that during the trial you, Witness, blamed two
5 persons and he gave us their names. I conclude that the accused probably
6 has some information, maybe because he conducted an investigation or maybe
7 because his associates, his lawyers, gleaned information in the press, in
8 press reports, et cetera. So he's trying to find out who might be
9 responsible for these crimes he's charged with.
10 According to the Prosecution, crimes were committed in Vocin by
11 volunteers of the SRS, and the accused is now trying to establish that
12 others may have committed these crimes.
13 So, please, answer the questions put to you by the accused.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I accept what you said
15 without doubt, but Mr. Seselj did not ask me about the role of particular
16 persons. He asked me what I -- what my testimony was in Bjelovar in 1995.
17 Thirteen years have elapsed since then. How can I remember what I said in
18 my testimony then?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, the witness remembers what
20 happened 17 years ago, and he can't remember what happened 13 years ago.
21 His testimony in the trial against me is not just second-hand but
22 third-hand and forty-third-hand evidence, and yet he directly testified
23 about Mile Crnobrnja and his role. Mile Crnobrnja was the chief of the
24 police station in Vocin.
25 So please make the witness tell us what he said in his testimony
1 concerning Mile Crnobrnja in the court in Bjelovar.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you appeared before
3 that court. You must remember what happened when you blamed other people,
4 especially since it was about establishing that you were innocent and you
5 were acquitted. So do you remember? So please try to answer the
7 Mr. Seselj, please put your question again.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My question, Mr. Kulic, is in the court in Bjelovar, what did you
10 state about the role of Mile Crnobrnja in the slaughter of Croatian
11 civilians in Cetekovci, or rather, about the hamlets of Balinci and
13 What did you say there about the role of Mile Crnobrnja, and what
14 entered the record?
15 A. I don't know what entered the record of those proceedings, Your
16 Honours, but all I could have said was that Mile Crnobrnja, as the
17 commander of the police station in Vocin, the chief of the police station
18 with part of his men participated in the action, and I heard this from
19 other people and men of that unit. There was nothing else I could have
20 said in that connection.
21 If I said anything, I doubt I could have said anything because I
22 didn't know, because I wasn't there at the time. So I knew the people, I
23 knew the structure; that's what I could have said. I could have assumed
24 who was responsible for such an action.
25 Q. You knew very well who was involved in the slaughter of those
1 Croatian civilians.
2 A. No, I didn't know and I don't know now.
3 Q. And what did you say about the role of Boro Lukic in that
4 slaughter, in that massacre?
5 A. As for Boro Lukic, I could have only said what I said about Mile
6 Crnobrnja, that he was the most responsible person in the staff at the
7 time. If anyone new about the action, if any planned it, then it would
8 have him, and he would have been responsible on that basis. But that was
9 certainly for the court to establish, and not me, and some other people
10 who were with him in the staff and whom I knew.
11 Q. In that staff, you were the senior person by rank, captain first
12 class. Was there any other captain first class there?
13 A. Your Honours, there was a major and another captain first class in
14 that staff.
15 Q. Who was the major?
16 A. The late Boro Lukic.
17 Q. Boro Lukic. Was there any other major?
18 A. I don't know. Maybe someone I didn't know, but I don't know of
19 anybody else.
20 Q. And who else was captain first class?
21 A. Well, there were quite a few of them.
22 Q. What do you mean by "quite a few of them"?
23 A. Well, five or six, let's say.
24 Q. Give us their names.
25 A. Well, for example, Rajko Bojicic, Keleuva, Jorgic. I can't
1 remember them all but I'm sure that there were more than five.
2 Q. Were they all captains first class or just captains?
3 A. They were captains first class.
4 Q. You've promoted them in the meantime, haven't you?
5 A. No. There were people like me from the reserves and they had that
7 Q. And what happened to Boro Lukic?
8 A. Your Honours, Boro Lukic, to the best of my knowledge, and I
9 learned this from his family, has died.
10 Q. Where did he die?
11 A. He died in the Republika Srpska.
12 Q. When?
13 A. I think he died -- I can't be precise, but I'll try to remember.
14 I think he died at the end of 1994.
15 Q. So before your arrest and trial in Bjelovar, right? Boro Lukic
16 died, Mile Crnobrnja fled to Serbia, so you could easily pass the
17 responsibility on to them.
18 A. Your Honours, this is an insinuation and it's not correct.
19 Q. Mr. Kulic, at the time this crime happened, in the immediate
20 vicinity of Vocin, was there any volunteer from Serbia in Western
21 Slavonia? Was there a single volunteer there?
22 A. Your Honours, not a single one.
23 Q. So without volunteers from Serbia, some of you in Western
24 Slavonia - not everybody, of course - demonstrated that there were
25 dangerous criminals and cut-throats among you, and that you didn't need
1 volunteers from Serbia to do that because you knew how to cut throats
2 yourself. Isn't that so?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Well, how come these Croats were killed, then, if that's not so?
5 A. Well, in certain circumstances, Your Honours, and there is
6 evidently no interest or need to explain them here because Mr. Seselj
7 isn't interested in that.
8 Q. I'm interested in that very much, and you'll have to answer that
9 question. In what circumstances were these Croatian civilians killed?
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, a number of civilian
11 Croats were killed. That's not the matter that's been referred to us. On
12 the other hand, we have been seized about what took place in Vocin
13 regarding what volunteers from the SRS may have done. Apparently, a crime
14 was committed, and you say that there weren't any SRS volunteers there.
15 Those who committed this crime in this locality were local people. They
16 were not volunteers from the SRS coming from Serbia. Can you confirm
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct, Your Honour.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there was not a
20 single volunteer from Serbia, not just a volunteer from the Serbian
21 Radical Party. There were no volunteers from Serbia at all, only local
22 people. That's the gist of it, if you let me continue.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So, Mr. Kulic, evidently this mass crime - and there is no doubt
1 it was committed - can in no way be linked to volunteers from Serbia; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. And all these people who perpetrated that crime in Cetekovci or in
5 the hamlets of Cetekovci so that you don't correct me, they all continued
6 living and working in Western Slavonia within the Territorial Defence.
7 They were all part of the Territorial Defence. Is that correct?
8 A. Your Honours, I don't understand the question.
9 Q. All the people from Vocin who committed a crime against more than
10 20 Croatian civilians in Cetekovci in September 1991, after the crime,
11 continued living in Vocin and the surrounding area as if nothing had
12 happened; is that right?
13 A. Your Honours, I must say here that it's not quite correct for the
14 following reason: This was the time when I came to Vocin, and I know that
15 no one talked about that event, at least not in front of me, so that I
16 learned information about that crime only subsequently, a year later even,
17 more from the press than from other people. People didn't talk about it.
18 The answer to the question you put is, yes, most probably those
19 people continued living there because I don't know by name who the
20 perpetrators were and who participated. If I knew, I would say so.
21 Q. So, evidently, there was more than one perpetrator because there
22 was an attack on the village of Cetekovci and 20 Croatian civilians were
23 killed in different ways; some from firearms, some with knives, some with
24 other objects, in various ways. One can see that from the photographs
25 shown to you by the Croatian authorities. All these criminals who
1 remained unpunished could perpetrate more crimes, they could perpetrate
2 more crimes without punishment; isn't that right?
3 A. I assume so.
4 Q. And then in the second half of October, volunteers turn up from
5 Serbia and it's very convenient to pass every subsequent crime that
6 happened on to these volunteers and blame them.
7 A. No, Your Honours. I never heard anyone blame volunteers from
8 Serbia for the crime we have just mentioned.
9 Q. Well, not this crime but for other future crimes, other crimes
10 that happened, because it's justifiable to assume that these people who
11 committed a mass crime on one occasion were ready and willing to commit
12 crimes elsewhere. They did so in October, November, and December. They
13 found it most convenient as of the second half of October to blame
14 nameless volunteers from Serbia for all subsequent crimes, and that was
15 the standard practice of that group of criminals from Western Slavonia.
16 Isn't that correct, Mr. Kulic?
17 A. No, that's not correct, Mr. Seselj.
18 Q. Well, what is correct, then? Those who committed the crime in
19 Cetekovci never committed any other crimes? They repented? They showed
20 remorse? They became good, humane people, and committed no further
21 crimes? Is that correct?
22 A. No, Your Honours, that's not correct.
23 Q. Well, what's not correct? Did they commit more crimes or didn't
25 A. No one blamed or accused anyone without grounds, especially not
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Crimes were committed in
3 September by members of the TO. We agree on that. Everybody agrees on
4 that. Later on, in October, November, in the following weeks, other
5 crimes were committed. Someone could think that those who committed the
6 first crimes may have committed the others. But in order not to face any
7 responsibility for their crimes, they blame the crimes that took place in
8 October, November, December, they blame these crimes on those volunteers
9 coming from Serbia who may not be very disciplined; and, in doing so, they
10 avoid any type of responsibility.
11 This is just an assumption, an hypothesis. I'm not saying it's
12 the truth but it's something we should take into account. What do you
13 have to say about this? That's the question put to you by Mr. Seselj.
14 What do you have to say about this?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me repeat, Your Honour. As to
16 the events in Cetekovci, I learnt about them subsequently, much later; and
17 there's absolutely no question Mr. Seselj has no evidence or proof. He's
18 just trying to blacken me in order to further his defence case in the
19 trial. Now, I wish him every success but not by throwing mud on me.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, we base this on the
21 assumption that you've got nothing to do with it, because you say that you
22 were not there when the crimes were committed. But we're faced with the
23 following situation: There are members of the Territorial Defence who
24 were involved in the commission of crimes and these same people are still
25 part of the Territorial Defence. You don't know this, but these
1 individuals are part of the Territorial Defence. You don't know that in
2 September they have already committed crimes.
3 What would prevent them from continuing and from setting light to
4 houses and killing the Matanci family, for instance? What would prevent
5 them from doing that, and then to lay the blame on the Serb volunteers?
6 We don't know where they come from. All we know is that they come from
7 Serbia and that they belong to the Serbian Radical Party.
8 So is this something which one could imagine, or would it be
9 totally out of bounds?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's possible. It's a logical
11 assumption. But what I'm telling you is what happened over there, not
12 what the possibilities are, what is possible and what is not possible.
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. But everything you are saying as having happened over there, it's
15 secondhand. You weren't an eye-witness yourself. Somebody somewhere told
16 you about the fact that the volunteers had carried out this crime and that
17 crime and so forth, but none of those crimes were crimes that you saw with
18 your very own eyes. Isn't that right?
19 A. No. I did not see them with my own eyes, any of the crimes.
20 That's right.
21 Q. So all your knowledge as to the alleged crimes committed by the
22 volunteers are second-hand knowledge or third-hand, fifth-hand. It's the
23 story that was going around, the rumours being told.
24 A. No, that's not correct.
25 Q. What is correct, then?
1 A. Well, I mentioned, Your Honours, that I was there at the time and
2 that I still live there today. I live there again now. So I meet people
3 who were confronted with these crimes, directly confronted, and I have no
4 reason not to believe these people. They did not speak to me within the
5 frameworks of a trial or under pressure or anything like that.
6 They told me about these events because they needed to say what
7 had happened. They needed to recount it. They sympathise with the
8 victims or they were frightened at a certain point in time and weren't
9 able to talk about it earlier on, but now they're free to talk about it.
10 Q. How come, Mr. Kulic, that they are ready to talk to you about all
11 the crimes except the first mass crime, the one from Cetekovci? They're
12 perfectly prepared to give you their views and tell you everything they
13 know about the other crimes; whereas, nobody has said a word about this
14 particular crime. How is that possible?
15 A. Your Honours, those people -- it's not that those people couldn't
16 wait to unburden themselves to me. It is that working to help these
17 people return to their homes and living with them today, in many cases and
18 in many instances, we were -- I was in a position to evoke the various
19 stories. There were a lot of people who were tried against whom criminal
20 reports were made, so repeated things of this kind.
21 I didn't know many of the things they told me, but it's not
22 difficult to draw a conclusion and an assumption. If you know the facts
23 and circumstances well and the participants, then you can draw your own
25 Q. So you testified on the basis of your assumptions; isn't that
1 right, Mr. Kulic?
2 A. Your Honours, I don't understand the question. It's such a wide
3 question that I don't understand it.
5 Now, Mr. Kulic, after the crime in Cetekovci, you commanded the
6 reconnaissance unit of the Territorial Defence in Vocin.
7 A. That's not true.
8 Q. Well, who did command the reconnaissance detachment?
9 A. Your Honours, there was no reconnaissance detachment.
10 Q. You formed a reconnaissance detachment yourself.
11 A. Well, at the request of the command, I certainly did take part in
12 the training and organisation of individual sections or individuals and
13 groups in reconnoitring and reconnaissance work, scouting, but I didn't
14 organise that. That wasn't my task.
15 Q. You patrolled along the Slatinic-Galina-Lipovac road, didn't you,
16 Mr. Kulic?
17 A. Your Honours, I was never in a patrol. I never patrolled an area,
18 but I did tour certain areas and the names of the villages mentioned are
19 not correct.
20 Q. Well, maybe the names of the villages are not correct, I can't see
21 them well to read them; but, on one occasion, you set up an ambush and
22 killed Zvonko Cubeljic and wounded a certain Sikic who was a Croat, and
23 they were unarmed. Isn't that right?
24 A. That is not right, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just one minute.
1 Mr. Mussemeyer.
4 Please proceed, Mr. Seselj, and we will have to have a short break
5 before resuming again.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. We came to the point where you killed and ambushed Zvonko Cubeljic
8 and wounded Sikic. They were Croats, unarmed.
9 Isn't that right, Mr. Kulic?
10 A. No, it's not right, Mr. Seselj.
11 Your Honours, I never took part in an armed action anywhere.
12 Q. Who killed Zvonko Cubeljic, then?
13 A. I don't know that.
14 Q. And who does? Do you know that Zvonko Cubeljic was killed?
15 A. I know that Zvonko Cubeljic was killed, Your Honours, because he
16 worked as a caretaker in the building is that I worked in.
17 Q. That's why you killed him?
18 A. That is an insinuation.
19 Q. Mr. Kulic, you killed --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This person, Zvonko Cubeljic,
21 according to you --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I heard from members
23 of his family that he had been killed. That is true, that he was killed.
24 But that has nothing to do with me, and the insinuation made by Mr. Seselj
25 that I killed anybody anywhere is following the same logic that he's been
1 following up to now.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Well, in an ambush you, did kill a Croat and the surname of that
4 man was Minauf. He was in a kombi van. He was a civilian driving in a
5 van. You organised an ambush and killed him. Isn't that right?
6 A. That's not right.
7 Q. Who killed him, then?
8 A. I don't know who killed him. I do know that he was killed, but
9 let me repeat, Your Honours, I never took part in the area of Vocin in any
10 armed action in which there were wounded or killed.
11 Q. What was Minauf's name?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. So you do know about the killing?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: I urge you not to put criminal incriminations to a
16 witness without your being able to prove it. If you can prove it, let's
17 see it; otherwise, stay away from incriminating a witness.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judge, sir, I am presenting the
19 facts that are general knowledge to everyone from Western Slavonia, and I
20 am going to provide you with many statements, authenticated in court,
21 which confirm that by people who know, and we'll start with those
22 statements in a few minutes' time. Perhaps, after the break, we'll be
23 looking at some of those statements.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The best will be to have the
25 break now. We shall have a 10-minute break because we have a limited
1 amount of time. We shall have a 10-minute break and resume in 10 minutes'
3 --- Recess taken at 5.53 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 6.10 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have resumed our hearing.
6 Now, as far as our timing is concerned, Mr. Seselj, you've had 28
7 minutes so far. So you have one hour and 32 minutes left.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. [No interpretation]
11 A. [No interpretation]
12 Q. [No interpretation]
13 In paragraph 32 --
14 May I begin?
15 In the statement that you gave in 2007, let me see, on the 14th of
16 November, 2007, to be exact, in paragraph 32, you stated that in December
17 1991, when you were in the office of Western Slavonia in Belgrade, you met
18 a man who introduced himself as being somebody who was sending volunteers
19 to Western Slavonia on behalf of the Radical Party.
20 Is that really what you said?
21 A. Well, if that's what it says in the paragraph, then I probably
22 said it.
23 Q. So it wasn't at the headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party and
24 its war staff but in the offices of Western Slavonia in Belgrade, the
25 Western Slavonian office in Belgrade?
1 A. I think that's how it was, just the way you put it now.
2 Q. So you weren't in the offices of the Serbian Radical Party at all,
3 were you?
4 A. I was there on one occasion in Ohridska Street.
5 Q. Where is that street?
6 A. It's above Zeleni Venac, the marketplace. What's it called? When
7 you go down Balkanska Street, well, I'm not very familiar with Belgrade,
8 but you can go to Ohridska Street if you take that Balkanska Street.
9 There's a number of non-governmental offices there, so I know where the
10 area is.
11 Q. From Balkanska Street, Mr. Kulic, you emerge on top of Zeleni
12 Venac market.
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. But it's a long way off from Ohridska Street, and there's no
15 non-governmental organisation in the building where the Serbian Radical
16 Party had its headquarters, not a single one. Ohridska Street was near
17 the Svetosavska church. Do you know how far that is from Balkanska
19 A. A long way off.
20 Q. So you don't know where the Serbian Radical Party has its
21 headquarters at all?
22 A. I do know because I went past that way. It's visible.
23 Q. Which headquarters?
24 A. The present headquarters.
25 Q. I'm asking you about the 1991 headquarters, where the head offices
1 were then.
2 A. No, I don't know that.
3 Q. Well, how do you say that you were in the seat of the Serbian
4 Radical Party if you don't know where it is?
5 A. Your Honours, I repeat: I was going there with a man who was on
6 his way there. I just happened to be there by chance because I met this
7 person that I knew from before and I went with him. So I didn't claim
8 that I knew where the headquarters were or the headquarters of the war
9 staff, and I was taken there by that man. I am convinced that I was in
10 the war staff office because I had met Mr. Petkovic whom I met before
12 Q. What does Ljubisa Petkovic look like?
13 A. What he looked like, Your Honours? Well, I could perhaps describe
14 that. What he looks like now, that would be more difficult.
15 Q. All right. What did he look like then?
16 A. Well, he was a rather tall person of a pleasant disposition, brown
17 hair. He's taller than me. I don't know how to describe him. No
18 specific characteristic features.
19 Q. You say he's taller than you. How much taller?
20 A. Well, I don't know.
21 Q. You say brown hair.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The Prosecutor has a photograph of Mr. Ljubisa Petkovic. But how
24 tall are you?
25 A. 173 centimetres.
1 Q. Well, Ljubisa Petkovic is at least a head shorter than you. He is
2 very short, very thin, has dark black hair and a black moustache.
3 A. Well, then, Your Honours, it seems I mixed these people up.
4 Q. So you never talked to Ljubisa Petkovic because you don't even
5 know what he looks like. Now we're going to see what Ljubisa Petkovic
6 says about all this.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could this be placed on the overhead
8 projector because it arrived by fax yesterday.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj and Mr. Kulic, please do not forget to
10 observe a small pause between your questions and answers because it puts
11 the interpreters in great difficulty because they can't follow you,
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
14 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Have you got that in front of you, Mr. Kulic, on your screen?
16 A. Yes, I do have it before me, Your Honours.
17 Q. Well, I haven't got it on my screen yet. I have it now.
18 Now, would you read out this statement by Ljubisa Petkovic. You
19 don't have to read the top part, but where it says "I hereby declare or
20 state ..." and then after that. Read it out loud, please, for the benefit
21 of the Trial Chamber.
22 A. "I state that I don't know a single person named Mladen Kulic,
23 absolutely nobody with that first and last name. When the name Mladen
24 Kulic is mentioned or I hear the name, the first and last name, I have no
25 recollections of that, nor does it give rise to any associations with
1 respect to an individual or any territory. That first and last name means
2 absolutely nothing to me."
3 Q. Please continue.
4 A. "The person who says his name is Mladen Kulic, I never talked to
5 that person, nor did I ever see that person with my own eyes. If somebody
6 introduces himself or deemed Mladen Kulic and says that he talked to me,
7 Ljubisa Petkovic, then all he is saying is a blatant lie.
8 "If somebody named Mladen Kulic claims that he held a meeting with
9 me, Ljubisa Petkovic, in Belgrade or any other place, then he is stating a
10 lie, because quite simply I, Ljubisa Petkovic, never had a meeting with a
11 person named Mladen Kulic, nor did I talk to him.
12 "I'm giving this statement of my own free will and I'm fully
13 conscious of my responsibilities, and I allow Professor Dr. Vojislav
14 Seselj to use this before the MKSJ and any other proceedings and organs.
15 As I am a witness of the Defence, Mr. Vojislav Seselj considers that I'm
16 best placed to tell the truth."
17 Q. You see that this was given in the Belgrade court. So do you
18 still claim that you ever met Ljubisa Petkovic?
19 A. Yes, I do claim, Your Honours, that I met Ljubisa Petkovic, if it
20 is the same person who signed the document on sending the first group of
21 volunteers to Ceralije.
22 Q. But, you see, you've described him quite wrongly. You say that he
23 was taller than you and had brown hair. The Prosecution knows that
24 Ljubisa Petkovic is much shorter than you. He is perhaps 20 -- well, he
25 is so thin he might be 20 kilogrammes. He is exceptionally dark and has a
1 dark moustache. The Prosecution knows that full well. They have a
2 photograph of him; and by pressing the button, they can show you that
4 So you can't describe him. You don't know where Ohridska Street
5 was, which was the headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party. You've
6 located it wrongly near Balkanska Street and Zeleni Venac market. Ljubisa
7 Petkovic, himself, claims that he's never heard you, never in his life,
8 and that he never met you either.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have a serious problem. In
10 the course of the afternoon, I asked you to describe Mr. Petkovic's
11 office, which you did. Now either you're lying, or Mr. Petkovic is lying
12 with this statement, or, third alternative, you went to the headquarters
13 of the SRS and somebody went there pretending to be Petkovic.
14 How do things stand, as far as you're concerned?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, everything I said is
16 true. The truth dates from 1991 or early 1992. That truth is burdened
17 with the passage of 17 years. I won't try to persuade anyone in something
18 I'm not sure of. But with respect to the headquarters of the Radical
19 Party, or rather, the war staff - that's what they called it - I didn't
20 equate it with a party headquarters; that's one thing.
21 And, secondly, as for my familiarity with Belgrade, well, I'm
22 really very poor in that. If you were to ask me where the bureau of
23 Western Slavonia is, where I visited more than once - I knew the people -
24 it's a moot point whether I would be able to explain it clearly after all
25 this time, even though I was there.
1 So it's quite clear that when it comes to familiarity with
2 Belgrade and this office, I may be wrong, but I was there only in passing,
3 simply in passing. Mr. Petkovic was introduced to me by people from the
5 And with respect to this case of the volunteers, I spoke about it
6 to a person who introduced himself to me as such. I can't say that I know
7 some people from my immediate environment as well. And if this is a
8 faithful description, as Mr. Seselj says, then evidently I may have
9 mistook the person, but it was not my intention to invent anything or to
10 tell lies. Quite simply, I cannot with precision --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In paragraph 40 of your written
12 statement, you say that you went to see Petkovic because you were
13 concerned about the security of the local population. You mentioned that
14 four young Croatians had disappeared, and so on and so forth, and that
15 these incidents were connected to the volunteers who were out of control,
16 violent, and committed crimes at the time.
17 Is this what the investigator wants you to say or is this what you
18 told the investigator?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. There is no doubt that I said
20 this to the investigator of the Prosecution. But when you mention these
21 events, they differ in time. My information about the circumstances
22 regarding these four lads came from after the events in Western Slavonia.
23 When it comes to the encounter with Mr. Petkovic in the bureau of Western
24 Slavonia, this happened immediately after the exodus; and, quite simply,
25 it was a conversation in which I did not look for Mr. Petkovic. He was
1 there with those people, but I'm not claiming --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many times did you see
3 Mr. Petkovic, once or twice?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the office of Western Slavonia, I
5 met him. He was introduced to me as that person. And later on, with
6 Captain Zarko and someone else, I went there once again. I think I was in
7 the war staff, that is, but it was certainly not the same place. I know
8 that the bureau was in the former general staff, but --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You saw him twice, then.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, twice.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you saw him at the war
12 staff office, that's when you told him about these four young men who had
13 been killed, or was it at the office of Western Slavonia?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the bureau of Western Slavonia,
15 I only pointed out that when I left I said to him and to the three or four
16 people who were there, Mr. Simpraga and this other gentleman who I always
17 thought up to now was Mr. Petkovic.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you went to the war staff
19 in Belgrade, what did you want to talk to him about when you went there?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did not go there
21 intentionally or look for him. I went with Mr. Zarko Loncarevic. He was
22 an officer, and I went with him in passing. It was not my intention to
23 go. But I encountered the person and I thought up to this point that he
24 was Mr. Petkovic.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Be careful because you
1 have professional Judges sitting before you, professional Judges with
2 years of experience. Now I'm going to confront you with your
3 contradictions. You state that you met Mr. Petkovic on two occasions.
4 Apparently, when you went to see him in Belgrade at the war staff,
5 you met with someone and you were supposed to meet that person again at
6 the bureau for Western Slavonia. It had to be the same person. But the
7 description you give of this individual does not seem to correspond to
8 what Petkovic looks like.
9 Does it mean that you met on two occasions a Petkovic who was not
10 the right Petkovic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I may have mistaken the
12 person, but up till now I was convinced that was the person. I link that
13 person with the document on which I had occasion to see the name of the
14 person. That's why I link it up and for no other reason.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the bureau for Western
16 Slavonia, when exactly, at what time, did you meet Mr. Petkovic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in mid-December 1991.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Mid-December 1991. When
19 you saw Mr. Petkovic at the Main Staff in Belgrade, when was that?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the staff in Belgrade, I'm
21 convinced I saw him in the course of February 1992, and that's what I said
22 in my testimony. I think it was February.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. February 1992. Two
24 months later, did you meet this same and exact person?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Yes. It was the
1 same person, but I cannot assert now that that person had that name
2 because it's been brought into doubt.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ah, so now you have a doubt. Is
4 that it?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] By the way of comparison, the shape
6 and the link-up with the name, it's evident that the person I met was not
7 a person called Petkovic. But I thought I had met Petkovic; I was
8 convinced I had met Petkovic.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But the one you saw in
10 December and February is the same person. Let's assume we meet again in
11 two months' time; and if suddenly you have dark hair and you are two
12 metres tall, then I could not mix you up with that person. But you tell
13 me that the person you met in December and the person you met in February
14 was the same person; yes or no?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And if the one you met in
17 December and February is not Petkovic, because apparently it does not
18 correspond to him, apparently somebody passed himself off as Petkovic on
19 two occasions.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I allow that someone
21 introduced the person to me, not that the person introduced himself to me,
22 because the forms of introduction are not so strict among people who are
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right.
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER: As court participants, we are in a position to
1 show a photograph of Ljubisa Petkovic if it's allowed. Should we do this?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please show it. We'll see what
3 he looks like, then.
4 Witness, is this the man you saw in December and February?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's hard to assert this
6 because there were very many people there and also a lot of time has
7 elapsed. Really, there are lots of people who look a bit like this, who
8 have similar faces. So I do not want to make a mistake again. I can
9 neither say that I saw him, nor that I didn't see him.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we keep the picture on the
11 screen for a while.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you see that this person has brown hair, Mr. Kulic? Is it
14 evident that he has brown hair?
15 A. Your Honour, it's evident.
16 Q. That his hair is brown?
17 A. Well, in the picture, yes.
18 Q. Well, what colour hair is it, then?
19 A. Well, it's dark. It may be black.
20 Q. Can it be darker than this? Do you see that he is a man of slight
21 build? And this man here whose shoulder you can just glimpse, do you see
22 how much bigger he is? Why are you quiet, Mr. Kulic?
23 A. In 1991, in December when I was in Belgrade, although you're a big
24 man, Dr. Seselj, even if he were bigger than you, I wouldn't remember,
25 because the circumstances I was in personally and everybody else, I may
1 have made a mistake here. But if the person in the picture I see was
2 working on those issues, then I'm sure I met him, too.
3 But I can't explain this, Your Honour. It's a question of whether
4 I could describe anyone I had seen in that period of time precisely.
5 Q. Well, Mr. Kulic, that's precisely what I am trying to show, that
6 you are unable to describe anything from that period of time.
7 In paragraph 40 you, said that in mid-December 1991, while you
8 were in Belgrade, you went to see Petkovic because you were concerned over
9 the safety of the local population; so not in February, in December. It's
10 in paragraph 40.
11 A. Your Honour, the question of December, well, that's either when
12 the exodus had already taken place or was about to take place. But in any
13 case at that time, at a later date than the exodus, I can't know with
14 precision whether it had taken place or not because communication was
15 poor, but I know that I was in the government bureau around -- because of
16 that issue to see how to protect those people and concerning the general
17 situation. In the bureau, they told me that the person who was there-- it
18 wasn't someone who had been sought, but someone in the bureau said there's
19 a person here whom you can tell this to.
20 In February I was -- I went to Belgrade with a senior officer on
21 official business, and he took me there. I didn't go looking for the war
23 Q. You were given a photograph of Ljubisa Petkovic by the OTP. Did
24 you see that person in the government bureau of Western Slavonia, in the
25 headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party, whether you visited that
1 headquarters in December or February? Did you meet that man as Ljubisa
3 A. Your Honours, right now I cannot say what I met and what that
4 person looked like whom I met under that name, and I cannot bring into
5 question this picture because my memory, after 17 years, with all the
6 people who have passed through my life in the meantime and everything I've
7 been through, this now makes me wonder whether I can remember with such
8 precision, especially when this man says I never saw him. He can say that
9 but I could not mistake the first and last name.
10 Q. Mr. Kulic, let's say I believe you, that you arrived in Ohridska
11 Street, in the headquarters of the war staff. Did you see an inscription
12 over the doorway, the entrance to the building? What did it say? There
13 weren't any NGOs there except for that one. What did it say?
14 A. Your Honours, when it comes to mentioning Ohridska Street as the
15 premises of the war staff, quite evidently, after mentioning my testimony
16 here, obviously I was mistaken. I was convinced that that was the street
17 called -- well, the one going from Balkanska Street up the green-belt.
18 But I may have become confused because I don't know Belgrade well to
19 pinpoint with precision the headquarters of the party and the premises of
20 the war staff. As has been mentioned here, I passed by there. I know
21 that part about above Slavija but not so well. I don't know the names and
23 So, Your Honour, I can't recall what Dr. Seselj is asking about;
24 that is, I can't remember the shape of the inscription above the entrance
25 to the building in question.
1 Q. Very well. Was there a flag flying from that building?
2 A. Your Honours, I cannot allow myself now to speculate. I cannot
3 recall with precision.
4 Q. All right. But there's one thing you should be able to remember.
5 If you entered the building where the headquarters of the Serbian Radical
6 Party was and its war staff, on what floor was it?
7 A. I know, Your Honours, that my colleague Zarko contacted someone
8 who led us into the building, and we were in two rooms, I think, until he
9 found someone he was looking for. And from the ground floor, I think we
10 climbed up the stairs to the first floor, but I can't even be sure about
11 that, on what floor those premises were, because quite simply immediately
12 after that we went to the Federal Secretariat of National Defence, and
13 after that we went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
14 So I visited several buildings at that time. So if you were to
15 ask me precisely about a place I visited more than once, for example, the
16 bureau of the Government of Serbia, I think it was on the ground floor,
17 but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it was on the mezzanine, although
18 I visited it more than once.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's cut this short, Mr. President.
20 Let's move on.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you meet Colonel Jovan Trbojevic in Western Slavonia? He was
23 the commander of the Territorial Defence there?
24 A. Your honours, Could Mr. Seselj be more specific when he said
25 "meet," where, when?
1 Q. Well, in any way. Did you see him? Did you meet him anywhere??
2 A. Your Honours, in that way, I did meet Colonel Trbojevic.
3 Q. Did you talk to him?
4 A. I think I talked to him twice.
5 Q. Did he ever speak to you about his opinions with respect to the
6 arrival of the Serbian Radical Party to Western Slavonia? Did he ever
7 speak about that to you?
8 A. Your Honours, I was not in a position to have Colonel Trbojevic
9 explain to me that, but I did it in two meetings with officers which was
10 presided over by Colonel Trbojevic. So except for the question of
11 subordination, I don't remember that he mentioned any other issue.
12 Q. Did any of the officers ever complain about the volunteers of the
13 Serbian Radical Party?
14 A. Yes, Your Honours.
15 Q. Who?
16 A. The company commander from Ceralije, he complained. And I was
17 with a group of people in the staff at Vocin, and there was a threat from
18 a group of Radical Party volunteers.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would you now place this statement
20 by Colonel Jovan Trbojevic on the overhead, please. It was certified in
21 the Municipal Court in Belgrade. It is a three-page document but we're
22 just going to look at three short paragraphs and read them out.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honour, this is the first time we see these
24 documents. It would be very useful to get these documents in advance.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It reached me by fax today, and you
1 can see the date when it was faxed on the document itself.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it's not really a problem
3 because the Judges are seeing this document for the first time; and as
4 true professionals, we'll be able to review the document immediately.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it can be copied.
6 I'll leave it for you to see. But I'm interested in three key sentences
7 in this document, and the Prosecution will be provided with the document
8 in its entirety.
9 I haven't got it on my screen yet. Have you got it on yours?
10 Here it is.
11 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Now, Mr. Kulic, on page 1, I have marked an excerpt with my pen,
13 so read that portion out, just the organisation underlined.
14 A. "About the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party, Radovan Novacic
15 and Vojislav Seselj, I can state with full responsibility on this occasion
16 that the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party remain in my memory as
17 disciplined fighters, that they acted exclusively under the command of the
18 TO, and that throughout their time on the battlefield of Western Slavonia,
19 they displayed exceptional bravery and helped the Serbian population in
20 the area that were under threat. I can thank the Radicals for responding
21 to the request of the TO from that area and for the fact that they came to
22 my native region."
23 Q. Now turn to the next page, and this excerpt here pencilled in,
24 read that out, please.
25 A. "When I arrived in Western Slavonia, that was during the time of
1 the arrival of the volunteers. Some 500 of them arrived. Of that number,
2 250 remained in Okucani. They were sent to units which were subordinated
3 to the corps and the other half was sent to me under my command; that is
4 to say, the territory of Papuk.
5 "A busload was in the region of Daruvar and another group was in
6 the region of the staff of TO Slatina. Volunteers arrived in groups, and
7 I know that they did not belong to Vojislav Seselj and the Serbian Radical
8 Party. Based on my knowledge, they were volunteers who belonged to Niko
9 Jovic and Vuk Draskovic, and their commander was a retired officer whom
10 they did not respect and it was an impediment.
11 "This was a problematic group and they were put up in Vocin. To
12 the best of my knowledge, they took part in the torching of houses of
13 Matanci family. Those who were under the supervision of Radovan Novacic
14 were accommodated in Lager Sekulinci, 11 kilometres from Vocin, and in the
15 village of Koricani, which is some 30 kilometres from Vocin in Daruvar
17 "That Novacic group deserved every praise, and I told that to the
18 Hague Tribunal which they held against me. I said that Radovan Novacic
19 was excellent and that he always had permission from me when he told the
20 volunteers to do anything."
21 Q. And another sentence on the next page, the one pencilled in again.
22 A. "The volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party left Vocin five days
23 before the liquidation of 32 persons, 29 Croats and 3 Serbs. The
24 liquidation took place on the 13th of December, 1991, and the volunteers
25 of the Serbian Radical Party left that territory on the 8th of December,
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kulic.
3 A. You're welcome.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, Colonel Jovan Trbojevic is
5 going to be a Defence witness at this trial, so you'll have an opportunity
6 to question him in depth.
7 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Now, Mr. Kulic, what do you think about these excerpts from
9 Colonel Jovan Trbojevic's statement? Is he telling the truth or not?
10 A. Your Honours, it's difficult to assume that a commander of the
11 staff of Western Slavonia does not know what paramilitary formations he
12 has, but I'm quite sure that Colonel Trbojevic, because of his honour,
13 well, I would say that he spoke the truth.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kulic. Now, several times, in your statement, you
15 said that you're not able to differentiate between the volunteers of the
16 Serbian Radical Party from the White Eagles, Draskovic's volunteers, and
17 so on and so forth, and that you're not able to distinguish from these
18 groups. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So, as far as you're concerned, all the volunteers looked the same
21 and you considered them to be a compact mass. Isn't that right?
22 A. I was convinced, Your Honours, that the volunteers were one
23 formation which came under one form of command and that they were people
24 from the same group affiliated to the same entity. I was convinced of
1 Q. Do you know that between the political parties that sent the
2 volunteers to the territory, the Serbian Radical Party, the Serbian
3 Renewal Movement, and so on, and that there was political hostility
4 throughout, between all these parties?
5 A. I don't know about that, but I do know that certain differences
6 existed. But I don't know anything more specific on that matter.
7 Q. Mr. Kulic, we're now going to go back to part of your statement
8 which relates to the formation of the Serbian Democratic Party. We don't
9 have much time but we can get through that segment.
10 Now, during the examination-in-chief, you stressed the difficult
11 position that the Serbian people found themselves in, in Croatia, after
12 Tudjman's victory in the elections, and you also said what those first
13 parliamentary elections looked like and who the Serbs voted for. You came
14 to the formation of the Serbian Democratic Party.
15 Then, in your statement, you said, and that is the statement of
16 9th of October, and to the 11th of May, 2002, on page 3 of that statement,
17 you said that you did not attend the convention of the Serbian Democratic
18 Party in the autumn of 1990 in Podravska Slatina because you didn't like
19 the people who were there and their ideas. Is that right?
20 A. I wasn't a member of the party because of that -- those kinds of
22 Q. And you said here that the first reason why you didn't like their
23 ideas was the fact that it was their national idea which was negligible
24 compared to the idea that you supported up until then, the concept of
25 brotherhood and unity; is that right?
1 A. Yes, that is right, Your Honour.
2 Q. Then you said you didn't like their nationalistic spirit, nor the
3 fact that they caused incidents, nor the fact that they were able to
4 manipulate people easily. In other words, they grouped themselves in some
5 sort of gang or band. Is that what you said?
6 A. I never used the word "gang" or "band," least of all for my own
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's place document 0306-5128 on
9 the ELMO now, please, or have it up on e-court. Do you have the document?
10 I have the number and the Prosecutor provided me with the number. It is a
11 document dated 1992.
12 And if you remember, Judges, it was the document I asked the
13 Prosecution to provide me for and they didn't want to do that on time. So
14 let's put this on the overhead projector, paragraph 3 from the bottom.
15 Whenever I look for something and ask for something, I always have
16 good reason for doing that. I hope I have shown you that, and the
17 Prosecution always have a reason for not providing me with a particular
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Read that paragraph out. It's your statement. You signed it.
21 Would you read it outloud, please?
22 A. "The main reason why I didn't like their ideas is that their
23 national idea was trivial compared to the idea or ideal that I had
24 supported until then, which was the idea of brotherhood and unity which
25 was much broader and indicated multi-culturalism and unity between people
1 of different nationality. I didn't like their nationalistic spirit
2 either, nor the fact that they caused incidents, nor people who were
3 easily manipulated. In other words, they associated themselves into some
4 sort of gang or band."
5 I distanced myself from this. Even if I signed that, I would
6 never sign that now. Now, how this was translated or where this
7 formulation comes from, I don't know. I certainly wouldn't have described
8 it in that way because that wasn't the case.
9 Q. When you signed the statement in 1992, did you sign it in English
10 or in Serbian?
11 A. Your Honours, I can't remember. I cannot remember the text. I
12 think there was both the English version and the Serbian version, or
13 perhaps just the English version. But I can't be sure now. I can't say
14 for certain.
15 Q. But this doesn't correspond to what you told the investigators
16 before they wrote your statement; is that right?
17 A. This text and this particular description certainly is not the
18 right one. I would never use that word. I would never say it that way.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You see, Judges, why I don't allow
20 any statement to be introduced under 92 ter because I come across this
21 same situation with every witness. Every witness denies having said
22 certain things, and I think that was useful to be pointed out to you.
23 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
24 Q. Now, in your statement, in several places --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we'll stop for now
1 because it's just about time. We'll stop with this witness, and I need to
2 talk about tomorrow's witness.
3 So you will be coming back tomorrow for the rest of the
4 cross-examination. The hearing will start at a quarter to 3.00 tomorrow,
5 and you will finish tomorrow, because I believe, Mr. Seselj, you have
6 approximately one hour left. I don't have the exact countdown.
7 Madam Usher, could you escort the witness out of the courtroom,
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have had 57 minutes. You
11 will have one hour and three minutes left. There was only a three-minute
13 So just, in a few minutes, to say that tomorrow we plan to hear a
14 witness whose name I will not give because he will benefit from voice
15 distortion and face distortion. His pseudonym will be 21. This is a
16 92 ter procedure, 92 ter witness, so we have a written statement which
17 everybody has. This has been authenticated by the witness. The written
18 statement contains 67 paragraphs. The Prosecution intends to adduce a
19 number of documents, not very many of them. We have some photographs and
20 two documents. There will be five documents all in all.
21 So the Prosecution will have 30 minutes. That will be ample to
22 give us a brief summary of the written statement, put questions to the
23 witness, and show the exhibits to the witness. After that, the Defence of
24 Mr. Seselj will have an hour and a half to cross-examine the witness.
25 If, Mr. Seselj, you do not wish to cross-examine this witness, you
1 are perfectly entitled to do so. You cannot cross-examine him if you so
2 wish. But you must let us know. Maybe you will tell us that you do not
3 wish to cross-examine him. If you do not wish to cross-examine him at
4 all, the Bench can then put a few questions to the witness based on the
5 written statement which pertains for the main part to what happened in the
6 hospital of Vukovar before, during, and after. So this for the main part
7 will relate to the Vukovar Hospital.
8 So once we have finished with this witness, we will have a 92 ter
9 procedure. If you wish to put your questions, you may; if you don't wish
10 to put your questions, you won't.
11 This is what I wanted to tell you, Mr. Seselj. You can think
12 about it until tomorrow. So far you have demonstrated your ability at
13 putting relevant and interesting questions, so I don't see why you should
14 not put any questions during the cross-examination or based on the written
15 statement which is very simple; and, to my mind, this is not an issue at
16 all. Your cross-examination could highlight a number of facts. If you
17 don't wish to do it, so be it.
18 But the Bench believes - I am speaking on behalf of all the Judges
19 of this Bench - the Witness VS-21, well, what is interested as far as
20 we're concerned is what happened in Vukovar, who committed the crimes, and
21 who these crimes can be blamed on, if there is any connection with the
22 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party. So this is why this witness may
23 be an interesting witness for all of us.
24 Now, if you would like to say something, please do so now because
25 we need to finish very soon.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just briefly. First, never in my
2 life am I going to question a witness under 92 ter, 92 bis, or 92 quater.
3 You might bring someone in under that rule. So there's no reason to
4 discuss that further.
5 But another point is this: I want you to explain to me the
6 following: How is it possible that this particular witness, Mladen Kulic,
7 is testifying viva voce about the crime base in Western Slavonia; whereas,
8 you made rulings several times that evidence, crime base evidence, in
9 Western Slavonia is not going to be presented? Now, everything that this
10 witness testified about was second-hand testimony.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This has been taken off the
12 indictment, but the deliberate conduct has remained, and this was to
13 establish that what happened in Vocin illustrates what happened in other
14 areas. So this decision was handed down not by this Chamber but by a
15 previous Chamber. So what we're interested in is a deliberate line of
16 conduct and this pattern of conduct is what we want to establish.
17 This is why this witness came to testify in this case; to
18 establish that volunteers may have committed some crimes. You have
19 highlighted a number of facts during your cross-examination and these
20 facts are relevant and interesting. If you do not cross-examine the
21 witness, you will not be able to highlight a number of things.
22 Vukovar is not part of the pattern of conduct; and as far as
23 Vukovar is concerned, we need to understand when hearing Prosecution
24 witnesses and Defence witnesses and hearing what you have to say, because
25 you have said that you wish to testify, we want to understand what
1 actually happened in Vukovar because the Trial Chamber needs to draw its
3 I'm a little bit surprised by the fact that you are depriving
4 yourself of the possibility of cross-examining the witness which could
5 highlight a number of things which would be in favour of your defence, to
6 rebut the Prosecution's position. This is your own personal choice, but I
7 would like to tell you that this could be risky for you. The Prosecution
8 will put questions tomorrow, the Bench will put questions tomorrow; and,
9 perhaps, in the end, you will say that you do not wish to put any
10 questions to the witness.
11 So we shall stop for today and resume tomorrow again at a quarter
12 to three. Thank you.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.01 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day of
15 March, 2008, at 2.45 p.m.