1 Tuesday, 13 May 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.43 p.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, kindly call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Today we are Tuesday, the 13th of May, 2008. I would like to
11 greet the representatives of the Prosecution, Mr. Seselj, as well as all
12 the people assisting us in the courtroom.
13 We have started half an hour late because of a misunderstanding
14 about the time at which this hearing was due to start. The Registry
15 thought we were starting at a quarter to 3.00. So to avoid this
16 happening again, tomorrow I would like to specify here and now that the
17 hearing will start at quarter past 2.00 p.m. On Thursday, we shall also
18 start at a quarter past 2.00.
19 I would like to let Mr. Seselj know that the internet broadcasts
20 do not work properly at the moment. There seems to be a technical hitch,
21 something which I've been informed about this morning, and I think that
22 it is still the case.
23 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Registrar has just told me
25 that what was not working this morning is now working, the websites are
1 working again properly, which is a good piece of news.
2 Let me now ask the Registry to move for a few moments into
3 private session, please.
4 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In open session: Mr. Seselj,
1 is your screen working properly, because I was informed about a number of
2 technical problems you had. Can you read the transcript on your screen?
3 Do you have it displayed on your screen in English?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm not following
5 the transcript in English at all on the screen. What I follow is the
6 videotape from the courtroom, because when somebody else is speaking, I
7 get a little help from that.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your screen is
10 Mr. Seselj, do you have a housekeeping matter you would like to
11 address before we start or not?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have two matters to raise.
13 You've already mentioned that first document that I did not wish to
14 receive because it was in English. The Prosecutor, as for Witness 011,
15 sent me a complete set of documents, a binder with all the documents, and
16 all the listings were in English, and I returned that.
17 Now, it escaped my attention that along with this witness that is
18 supposed to appear today, the list is in English once again. But since
19 there are not a large number of documents, I didn't -- I decided not to
20 make any problems about that. This is happening ever more frequently.
21 Could you put a stop to it, please.
22 And, secondly, for the following week, for next week, we have an
23 expert witness, [indiscernible]. I'm not quite sure whether the
24 Prosecution provided me with the transcripts of all his testimony in
25 other trials, so I demand that you issue instructions to the OTP to
1 prepare, by the break, a list and to prepare a report, and to tell me
2 which documents I have received for what testimony by that expert
4 And the third matter is this: You made it incumbent upon the
5 Prosecution almost a month ago, before the break that we had, that before
6 the beginning, that is to say, this should have taken place last week,
7 that I should be provided with a revised list of the remaining witnesses.
8 We still do not have that, and there is a great deal of misunderstanding,
9 I assure you. Some witnesses were struck off the list. Now, if all the
10 witnesses that were mentioned in this trial were to be added up, it would
11 make over 150 witnesses, but the misunderstanding is great, there's a lot
12 of muddle, and I don't know which witnesses remain. And you instructed
13 the Prosecution to do that. However, they have not done that thus far.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Briefly, I shall
15 address the three points mentioned by Mr. Seselj.
16 As far as the Witness VS-011 is concerned, of course the binders
17 which have been disclosed to Mr. Seselj need to contain,(a), the
18 documents in English and,(b), in B/C/S. From what I understood,
19 Mr. Seselj has sent the binders back because there was nothing in his
20 language. So I must say I'm somewhat surprised about this. But since
21 Witness VS-11 is not coming today, this is not a matter of some urgency.
22 But why is this the case? Those binders which were disclosed to
23 Mr. Seselj, why were they not in English and in B/C/S, according to what
24 Mr. Seselj has told us?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let me just put you right,
1 Mr. President, on one point. The documents were in Serbian and in
2 English, but the introductory part, a review of the documents and a
3 description of the documents was exclusively in English, and that was
4 over several pages.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The table of contents was in
6 English, I believe, is that right, and so have it translated in his
7 language, please. I don't think that should be too much of an issue for
9 The second point. As far as the expert witness is concerned, the
10 Trial Chamber has handed down a decision concerning this expert witness,
11 who is due to come and testify. It would be best if the Prosecution
12 could get hold of the statements and witness transcripts of this witness
13 in other case. Is it possible to disclose this in a very short period of
15 MS. BIERSAY: I think so, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The third point, the revised
17 list of witnesses. This had not escaped my attention. I shall run
18 through this quickly, because the Trial Chamber started scrutinising all
19 of this. So please note what I am about to say.
20 First of all, the Trial Chamber has set up a list of the
21 remaining witnesses, for the insider witnesses. I shall give you the
22 names of 48, 34, 32, 27, 26, 17, 14, 12, 11 and number 9 are the
23 remaining witnesses. There is one witness whose name I shall not give,
24 who will be a witness of the Court, if his health is good enough.
25 Now, as far as the expert witnesses concerned, Grujic, Whitmeier
1 [phoen], Stankovic, Strinovic, Osman, Tabeau and VS-1112: As far as
2 Vucin and other witnesses are concerned, 018, 031, 030, somebody called
3 Maritic and Matovina, whom we'll hear today, and VS-050 [Realtime
4 transcript read in error 030] -- it's not 030, but 050. There's a
5 mistake in the transcript. 008, 016, 022, 045, 051, a witness called
6 Kovic, a witness called Dozan [phoen], a witness called Panic, a witness
7 called Vojnovic and Vukasinovic is the last one.
8 Now, I must add that from 008 to Vukasinovic, these witnesses are
9 related to Vukovar. All the others -- all the others relate to all the
10 other municipalities.
11 As far as Vuskovici [phoen] is concerned, 35, 53, 54, plus
12 Barisevic [phoen], Kalic, Klasic, Pulic, plus 1141.
13 Now, for Zvornik, we have 37, 38, plus somebody called Buskovic
14 plus 1012, plus Bazanovic [phoen], Fadil, 1063, 1064, 1066, 1087, 1093,
15 plus Seferovic, plus 1105, plus Alic, Asim, and Music, Fadil.
16 For Bijeljina and Berko, there are four witnesses: VS-1028,
17 Dusalic [phoen], Gazi, and 1035.
18 For Bosanski Samac, there is Dagovic, Bisic, Lukac, Tahic, and
19 1010 and 1058.
20 For Novasin [phoen] Mostar, we have (redacted), 1022, 1024, 1025,
21 1026, 1051, plus Katic, Dzemal, 1067, 1068, 1069.
22 For the Sarajevo area, we have Kublar [phoen], Masnopita [phoen],
23 Safik [phoen], plus VS-1057, VS-1060, VS-1111, and after the 20th of
24 March we added another witness, who (redacted), and VS-1050.
25 Interpreter's note, all the others relate to the other municipality in
1 the singular.
2 Now, if I totalled all these hours, you would need 135 hours, but
3 according to our calculations, you only have 77 hours left. So we have a
4 real problem here, and I would like to ask the Prosecution to look into
5 this very closely, because you don't have 135 hours left. You have been
6 allotted a certain amount of time, and it is not as much as that, so you
7 need to provide a revised list. You need to give this to the Trial
8 Chamber and to the accused. We need to know where we stand and where
9 we're going.
10 So we have drawn up this list to try to understand clearly where
11 we're going, and for the time being things are not clear to us at all,
12 because if I total the number of hours you have planned to hear these 83
13 witnesses, whose names or numbers that I have just read out, you would
14 need 135 hours and 30 minutes, and you would go well beyond the time that
15 has been allotted to you. So please look into this and let us know.
16 So I have responded to Mr. Seselj's question, who addressed the
17 issue of the revised list.
18 Mr. Seselj, you would like to have the floor?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I wasn't able to follow the
20 whole list of witnesses carefully, but two problems spring to mind
22 You mentioned Miodrag Panic for instance as a witness, for
23 instance, but the Prosecutor a while ago tabled a request to have him
24 struck from the witness list. And I informed you a long time ago that
25 Miodrag Panic signed a statement saying that he wanted to be a Defence
1 witness. He is the chief of staff of the 1st Guards Brigade.
2 Then (redacted). Two years ago, the Prosecution gave up on
3 him as a witness and informed me about that in writing, both me and the
4 Trial Chamber, then some time ago it tabled a request that he be put back
5 on the witness list. As far as I remember, I still have not received any
6 Court ruling pursuant to that request and I tabled a motion opposing the
7 Prosecution request.
8 So there are a number of amendments. Some witnesses have died in
9 the meantime. So the Prosecution ought to provide us with a reliable and
10 complete list.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. All the more reason
12 to have this list, so I would like the Prosecution to prepare this
13 promptly, please, that we have a revised list.
14 If we have no more housekeeping matters, we shall bring in the
15 witness that has been scheduled for today. So I shall ask the usher to
16 go and fetch the witness.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir.
19 Can you give your first name, last name, and date of birth,
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Djuro Matovina. I was
22 born on the 22nd of March, 1949.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, are you currently
24 employed, and if so, what is your job?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not now. I'm retired.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Sir, have you ever testified before a court of law on those
3 events which unfolded in the former Yugoslavia or is it the first time
4 you come to testify today?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I testified in 2002, in October, in
6 the Milosevic trial.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 I would like you to take the solemn declaration, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: DJURO MATOVINA
12 [The witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. You may sit
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, since you have already
17 testified before this Tribunal, you know how this hearing is going to
18 unfold today.
19 To begin with, you will answer the questions that will be put to
20 you by the Prosecutor. I don't know which one of the two people on the
21 Prosecution team will be leading their evidence today, but you will be
22 shown documents, and they would certainly like to hear your comments.
23 After this, Mr. Seselj, who is sitting on your left-hand side, will put
24 questions to you. This is part of what we call the cross-examination.
25 He has the same time as the Prosecution will have to put questions to
1 you. The three Judges that former the Bench can also put questions to
2 you to shed some light on some of your answers.
3 If you have any kind of problem which would warrant an
4 interruption of the hearing, that is fine. Normally speaking, we have a
5 break every hour and a half.
6 Please try and be as concise as you possibly can when you answer
7 a question. If you do not understand the meaning of a question, please
8 do not hesitate to turn to the person who has put to you this question
9 and ask the person to rephrase it.
10 This is what I wish to share with you by way of introduction. I
11 shall now give the floor to the Prosecution, who is going to start its
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, I will lead this witness in the
15 Examination by Mr. Mussemeyer:
16 Q. Mr. Matovina, can you tell us what is your nationality and your
18 A. I am a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, and my ethnicity is
20 Q. Are you married and do you have children?
21 A. I am married, and I have two children.
22 Q. I will now come to your professional background. Could you
23 please describe to us what was your profession when you were not
25 A. My profession is criminologist. I worked in the Ministry of the
1 Interior, and for almost 30 years I worked as a policeman and a crime
3 Q. Can you tell us where you worked in 1989, 1990, and what your
4 position was?
5 A. In 1989 and 1988, I was the acting chief of the police station in
6 Slatina. And in 1990, I was the assistant chief, who was appointed that
7 year, and his name was Stjepan Gojmerac.
8 Q. Can you let us know what is the name of the area in which you
9 were working?
10 A. The town was called Podravska Slatina. Otherwise, it's the area
11 within the composition of the former Podravska Slatina Municipality,
12 which is today six municipalities, and it is the Virovitica-Podravina
14 Q. What were your tasks and your competences as acting chief of
16 A. I was in charge of public law and order, crime prevention,
17 traffic safety, administrative affairs that were done at the police
18 station; everything linked to citizens and their affairs within the realm
19 of the police force.
20 Q. What was the ethnic composition in this area?
21 A. In the area of the former Podravska Slatina Municipality,
22 36 per cent of the population was Serbs, the majority population was
23 Croatian, and the other ethnicities, 2 or 3 per cent of them were others,
25 Q. Do you know --
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please.
2 Witness, please, could you clarify something for us, please. In
3 1990, you said you were a criminologist. What was your status? You said
4 you worked for the police. State who you were working for.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1990, when the chief of the
6 police station became Stjepan Gojmerac, I was assistant chief of the
7 police station; that is to say, the coordinator for the affairs that I
8 set out a moment ago.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, but which state were you
10 in? The state you worked for in 1990, what was the name of the state you
11 worked for.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Socialist Federal Republic of
13 Yugoslavia is what the state was called, and the republic was the
14 Republic of Croatia.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
17 Q. You've told us the percentage of the Serbs, but could you please
18 also let us know what was the percentage of the Croats in that area?
19 A. In the town of Slatina itself, the percentage of Croats was
20 49 per cent, that of Serbs 47 per cent, and as I have already said,
21 36 per cent were Serbs, but in the Municipality of Slatina, the Croats
22 accounted for over 60 per cent.
23 Q. You said on the record -- I read it from the record that the
24 Serbs were 47 per cent and the Croats 49. This is not clear to me. You
25 mentioned in the beginning 36 per cent were Serbs and 46 -- and
1 49 per cent Croats. Could you clarifies this?
2 A. No problem. Actually, this refers just to the city of Slatina,
3 which was the cultural, political and administrative seat of the former
4 Municipality of Slatina. So the city, which had -- the town which had
5 10.000 inhabitants had this concentration and national mix. The first
6 figures referred to the Slatina -- to the town, and the others to the
7 entire municipality, which is a broader concept. And the police station
8 in Slatina was in charge of this entire area.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to come
10 back to a question asked to you by my colleague. You answered the
11 question, but I can see from the transcript that there's a mistake.
12 The question was the following:
13 At the time, what state were you working for in 1990?
14 What state were you working for?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the Republic of Croatia,
16 which was still part of the former Yugoslavia.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've studied criminology.
18 You were chief police inspector. So you have some legal knowledge. Back
19 in 1990, what was the state recognised by the International Community?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1990, the first multi-party
21 elections were conducted, and the process of the independence of the
22 republic started. And in 1990, the Republic of Yugoslavia, the Federal
23 Republic -- the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia was still in operation.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we're talking about the
25 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, and within that state the
3 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Was the Republic of Croatia.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- was the Republic of Croatia.
6 Okay, good, let's move on.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
8 Q. Mr. Witness, what was the ethnic composition of the area before
9 the outbreak of the conflict?
10 A. In the area of the former Municipality of Podravska Slatina,
11 until that time, until 1989 and 1990, relations were tolerable, one could
12 say, but they were encumbered by the supremacy and hegemony of the
13 Serbian minority in all important positions, in the economic sphere, in
14 the political life, in defence, in the police, in the army, in the
15 administration, there were Serbs, and this created a feeling of
16 inferiority among the Croats.
17 Q. Could you please describe us the situation and the events which
18 led to the conflict?
19 A. In this atmosphere which obtained when relations were already
20 tense, on the 31st of May -- between the 31st of May and the 1st of June,
21 1990, on a number of buildings, on the facades, that is, in Slatina, in
22 the villages of Sladojevci, Bakric, Bistrica, and Spanat, the nearby
23 villages around Slatina, there were graffiti and slogans written: "This
24 is Greater Serbia, all is Serbia. We shall kill Tudjman." Then there
25 was this iconography with the four letters "S" and other provocative
1 symbols, which provoke the Croatian population and burdened even more
2 inter-ethnic relations, creating a feeling of insecurity with all these
3 slogans and provocations that were -- we could really say were the
4 introduction to the events that followed.
5 Q. Does the name "Dr. Rajskovic" say anything to you?
6 A. Yes, I am aware of that name. He was the leader of the Serbian
7 Democratic Party, its founder and the main speaker at the founding of the
8 Serbian Democratic Party in the town of Slatina, which was on the 9th of
9 June, 1990, in the afternoon.
10 Q. Do you remember what Dr. Rajskovic said according to the mention
11 of the former independent -- future independent Croatian state, how it
12 should be?
13 A. Well, at this gathering, I was guarding the gathering, securing
14 the gathering with some 15 policemen, and I listened to the speech by
15 Dr. Rajskovic and the other leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party who
16 attended the gathering. There were some 5.000 people attending the
17 meeting who had been invited from the nearby villages and surroundings,
18 and the main speaker was Dr. Rajskovic. He spoke in a quite
19 emotionally-charged tone to the masses that had assembled about the need
20 to organise within the Serbian Democratic Party, and he told them,
21 "Brothers, Serbs, if you mean to create a Krajina, do, because in the
22 Ustasha Croatia, there is no room for you, there are no prospects for
23 you," and Slatina was supposed to come the center of an uprising in
24 Slavonia, the Slavonia Knin.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. My specific question was: Do you
1 remember what dimension according to Dr. Rajskovic the Croatian state
2 should have?
3 A. Yes, I do. Among the members of the Serbian Democratic Party and
4 in the public, the messages of Dr. Rajskovic were being spread to the
5 effect that Croatia -- that one would be able to see Croatia from the top
6 of the cathedral in Zagreb and that one will be able to tour it in a
7 single day on a bicycle.
8 Q. How were the municipal governments working at that time? Did
9 they function?
10 A. Well, immediately after this rally which was held in Slatina, the
11 operation of the executive council was blocked, as was that of the
12 Assembly, which was a multi-party assembly; namely, the Serbian
13 representatives to that assembly no longer wished to attend sessions.
14 And the executive council, which had six Serbs and seven Croats, was a
15 rump council, because the six Serbs, who were representatives to the
16 executive council, did not come to its sessions.
17 Q. Can you describe to us how the Serb population behaved in respect
18 to the Croat population after this event?
19 A. Well, after this event, branches of the Serbian Democratic Party
20 were set up in the field. This fueled tensions, and mistrust was further
21 spread among the multi-ethnic community. The Serbian population looked
22 with mistrust upon the institutions of the Croatian state, those of the
23 Republic of Croatia.
24 Q. And how did the Croat population behave or react?
25 A. They were in fear, in view of the provocations that I've already
1 referred to, in view of the messages that were being sent, and in view of
2 the overall experiences. Tensions escalated from day to day, I should
3 say, and the atmosphere was quite tense towards the end of 1990.
4 Q. You already mentioned it, but can you please describe us again
5 what happened on the 9th of June, 1990?
6 A. On the 9th of June, 1990, the Serbian Democratic Party was
7 founded in Slatina, and after that, in September, October and November,
8 organised by the Serbian Democratic Party, there were held the so-called
9 statements of opinions or referenda, which were actually in contravention
10 of the Croatian laws, the laws of the Croatian state and its
11 constitution. The Serbian Democratic Party actually conducted a poll and
12 a referendum. The first referendum asked the question whether the Serbs
13 in Croatia wanted autonomy, and the second was more radical, in terms of
14 its question and demand. The question was whether they wanted an
15 autonomous -- an independent autonomy, their Krajina. And the third
16 referendum, which was conducted with activists of the Serbian Democratic
17 Party going to the houses of the local Serbs, actually sought to achieve
18 the secession of the Republic of Krajina from the Republic of Croatia and
19 its annexation to Serbia and Montenegro, namely, the creation of a
20 greater Serbia.
21 Q. Did Dr. Rajskovic in his speech mention something about the
22 future of the Serb people in Croatia?
23 A. Well, he did say -- he actually ended his speech with this,
24 "Brother Serbs, there can be no happiness and prospects for you here in
25 the Ustasha Croatia. If you want to create a Krajina and a Greater
1 Serbia, do."
2 Q. You already mentioned the three referenda. Can you tell us if
3 the Croats participated in these referenda?
4 A. The Croats did not participate in these referenda, but the
5 referenda were illegal. They had no foundation in the law or
6 regulations. But, nonetheless, the Croatian authorities did not prevent
7 them, precisely with a view not to have the relations between the local
8 population complicated and tensions escalating.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] One question.
10 Had there already been a constitutional amendment at the level of
11 the Croatian Republic, a change in the constitution?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Assembly of the Republic of
13 Croatia had already launched a number of initiatives, and some
14 regulations had been adopted for the achieving of the independence of the
15 Republic of Croatia, but this was being done gradually and in accordance
16 with the requirements of the International Community, which meant a
17 postponement of the disassociation of the former Yugoslavia.
18 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you. What I would like to
19 know is the dates. Please recall to us the dates. The 9th of June, the
20 events that you're referring to, on the 9th of June had there already
21 been a change in the Croatian constitution regarding the status of the
22 Serbian ethnic group?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they had the same status as the
24 Croatian people, no special status. Everybody was equal under the
25 constitution and law.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] According to the Yugoslav
2 constitution, based on the socialist -- the Federative Socialist Party of
3 Yugoslavia, that I think that is the name, according to that constitution
4 what was the status of the Serbian people?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had the same status as the
6 Croatian people, without anything specific. They were a constituent
7 people, yes. The Croatian people were in the majority. The Serbs and
8 everybody else, the non-Serbs, had equal constitutional and legal rights.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry, I want to come back to
10 the historical background here.
11 When did this change in the status of the Serbian people as a
12 minority take place in the constitution of Croatia?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The constitution of the Republic of
14 Croatia, while Croatia was part of the former Yugoslavia, regulated this
15 issue the way it did. Once Croatia became an independent state, the
16 constitution and the legal legislation adopted by the Assembly regulated
17 the rights of the Croatian people and of all the other minority peoples
18 who lived in the Republic of Croatia.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answers.
20 I apologise. I need some dates, not in reference to the issue of
21 independence, because as you're well aware of, there were problems
22 because the parliamentary assembly proclaimed independence, and as you
23 said yourself, there were issues which arose at the level of the
24 International Community. Therefore, there were delays in the effective
1 So, please, I beg you, give us a date, a single date on which a
2 change was operated on the status of Serbian people in Croatia and their
3 status was changed into a minority people or something to that effect, if
4 I'm not mistaken. You're bound to remember the date.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot give you the exact date
6 now, because there were a number of decisions and a number of dates; I
7 mean, decisions of the Assembly, the constitutional amendments, the
8 disassociation from the rest of the state. I didn't -- cannot give you
9 the exact dates of all the constitutional changes that took place then.
10 I can give you the details from my concrete line of duty.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, in the police
12 station where you were working, did you have Serbian colleagues or
13 friends with you?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In the police station where I
15 was working, there was a mixed ethnic composition. 85 per cent of them
16 were Serbs and 15 per cent of them Croats; until 1990, that is.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good. So you're saying at the
18 police station, 85 per cent were Serbs and 15 per cent Croats. When your
19 Serbian colleagues found out that constitutionally they were a people --
20 a minority people, what was their reaction?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they reacted by starting
22 to -- by disobedience to this Croatian state. They returned their
23 weaponry that they had been issued with and their badges, and this is a
24 decision which they brought at the beginning of the changes that I'm
25 talking about. But those who left later, they left with their equipment
1 and with their armaments. Some of them took sick leaves, and they sought
2 in other ways as well not to be in the service of the actual police
3 station that they were working for, the service that they were working
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Okay. So you've described the
6 atmosphere which existed at the police station. Some of your colleagues
7 decided to leave, to disobey, to no longer wear their uniforms,
8 et cetera. But if that constitutional change had not occurred, do you
9 think they would have behaved in the same way, your Serbian colleagues?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what their position
11 would have been, whether it would have been like that. But as I've
12 already said, they dominated in the police, in the state administration,
13 in the army and in the economy, and that created a feeling of insecurity
14 among the Croatian people. And probably one of the reasons or the
15 principal reason was the fact that they saw that Croatia was well on the
16 path to independence, and at the invitation, as I've already said, of the
17 leadership of the Serbian Democratic Party, and given the developments
18 which occurred thereafter, they took decisions of this kind. They no
19 longer would be obedient to the Croatian state and their services.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're referring to the example
21 of the police station that the Serbian dominated, they were 85 per cent,
22 they were a majority. But before 1990, 1989 and 1988, when people went
23 to work for the police, were they entering the police force because they
24 were either Croatian or Serbian or were they entering the police force
25 because they were qualified to become police officers?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The employment policy in the police
2 was conducted at the level of the Ministry of the Interior, which at that
3 time was called "The Republican Secretariat for the Interior" or "for
4 Internal Affairs." The policy at the level of that Republican
5 Secretariat -- or, rather, the party that gave the say so and the
6 blessing for that was such, and it was not only that the Serbs were
7 dominant in the police station in Slatina, even though the population was
8 a majority -- the population -- the Croats were the majority of the
9 population, but this was the situation in all other police stations in
10 this area.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say "the party," is it
12 the Communist Party?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you were Croatian. Nobody
15 prevented you from becoming a police officer in Slatina?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, nobody prevented me. There
17 were Croats there, too, but their percentage was the one that I already
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And was Tito Croatian or Serb?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was a Croat.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understand you
22 correctly, in the former Yugoslavia, with the domineering political
23 party, which is the Communist Party, Croatians also had executive
25 Let me repeat my question. In the former Yugoslavia, were
1 Croatians able to reach duties where they had responsibilities or was
2 that limited to Serbian?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These duties were also performed by
4 Croats, but their representation was unequal compared to that of Serbs,
5 given the overall ethnic mix of the community and of the area from where
6 I also hail and given the overall ethnic composition of the Republic of
7 Croatia. I was talking about an inequality policy of employment when it
8 came to key positions having to do with the functioning of the state, the
9 state apparatus, state services; decision-making positions, in a
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you entered the police
12 force, you must have filled in a form or a file. I assume you probably
13 had to tick either "Croatian" or "Serb" or "Muslim." Was it necessary to
14 indicate your ethnic group?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In this application for
16 employment with the police, inter alia, with the particulars, one had to
17 state one's ethnicity, and I normally would put that I was a Croat.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good.
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
20 Q. Mr. Matovina, could you let us know when it happened, this exodus
21 of Serb police officers from the police service? Is it possible to give
22 a date?
23 A. I believe that the key development was the 2nd of October, 1990,
24 when there was an attack on the police station in Slatina. On that day,
25 I worked until 6.00 p.m. Then I went home, and a citizen informed me
1 that in the city, in Slatina, there was a concentration of a large group
2 of people that he didn't know, and he assumed there would follow an
3 attack on the police station.
4 I immediately returned to the police station. I informed 15 of
5 my fellow policemen, colleagues, to come to the police station and
6 organise a defence. En route, I could see that crowds were building up
7 and that there was a large group of them heading towards the police
9 Q. Who were these attackers?
10 A. The attackers, around 1.000 of them, were Serbs from the general
11 area of Slatina and from the villages in the vicinity who had assembled
12 and come up outside the police station, which is just by the Podravina
13 main highway, which is a very busy route, and so they blocked traffic
14 there. A large number of them were under the influence of alcohol. They
15 were creating a very painful atmosphere, shouting out slogans, "We will
16 not give up our police. This is our police. Let us go to the police.
17 We won't give up or give Yugoslavia." All this actually threatened with
18 the masses breaking into the police station, and their aim was actually
19 to break into the police station and seize some 150 weapons which had
20 been there for the reserve police force, which was there according to
21 establishment. Actually, those weapons belonged to them.
22 Q. Do you know if these attackers have been armed?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, you took an oath
25 to say the truth, so when I listen to you, I hear that a thousand people
1 came about and there was quite a heavy atmosphere, a lot of tension, and
2 these people were frantic or excited, you're saying that they were
3 shouting, "This is our police," and when I was listening to you I
4 wondered whether you or your friends, your Croatian friends, had put a
5 Croatian flag on the police station, which would have triggered that
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, we didn't hang a flag. The
8 mass of people came organised by the Serbian Democratic Party, led by
9 Milun Karadzic, the president. He was -- then there was Ilija Sasic,
10 Momcilo Subotic, and the leaders of the Serbian Democratic Party, who
11 came to the police station, in front of it, and I provided security for
12 the entrance, the side entrances. And they wanted to speak to
13 Kresimir Libl, the chief of police. I allowed them to do that, and
14 already around 1930 hours or one or two minutes later, at around
15 8.00 p.m., they were in the police station, discussing matters, and the
16 first events happened at 7.00 p.m.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
18 Mr. President, the interpreter said that this mass of Serbs who
19 had collected in front of the police station, they referred to the word
20 "Rulja," they used the word "rulja," and I see in the English that you
21 did not use that word, "mob." Now, I demand that the term you used --
22 that the interpreter using the term "rulja" here to be sent away. He
23 said that a thousand people collected in front of the police station, and
24 he spoke about the atmosphere. The witness did not use the word "rulja,"
25 you did not use the word "rulja," in English "mob," so please would you
1 have this interpreter removed from the booth immediately.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
3 Witness, what does the word "rulja" mean in your language,
4 because I didn't talk about any bandits? What does this word "rulja"
5 mean in your language?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Croatian, the word "rulja" means
7 a mob toppling -- or, rather, unruly mass, an unruly mob, causing a lot
8 of disturbance and so on.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, "rulja" is the worst
10 group of football hooligans that you find at football matches. That
11 would be an adequate -- that would be the kind of translation. Now,
12 there is no more derogatory term for a mass of people in Serbian in the
13 Serbian language than the word "rulja," and it is the same -- Croats use
14 this same word, "rulja," to denote such a mass of hooligans, mob, or so
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
17 continues] ... people who came, they were shouting slogans like, "Our
18 police," and things like that. As far as you could see, were these
19 people behaving like hooligans, like an excited bunch of people, or did
20 you say that they were not wearing any weapons, and apart from doing
21 that, they were just shouting slogans? But did they throw stones against
22 the windows of the police station, did they spit? Did it get out of hand
23 in any way? How did they behave?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now, you see, we're getting to the
25 situation precisely, the situation that was very tense and in which
1 Mato Mesaros, assistant, turned up with another crowd of people on this
2 main road, and he was driving his wife, who was very ill, to the local
3 health centre for medical assistance. Now, on the road -- the people on
4 the road who was present there didn't allow him to go through. They
5 prevented him, they banged on the car, and he found it very difficult to
6 break through this mass of people who had gathered there, and he went to
7 the health centre. Now, after a short space of time where he left his
8 wife, he was coming back with another citizen the same way, he took the
9 same route, and then his car was overturned, completely demolished, and
10 Mato Mesaros was stabbed with knives and screwdrivers and other
11 implements. He was stomach was cut open. He fell on the road -- onto
12 the road, and I and two other policemen -- I was there personally. I
13 intervened, and I took him to a nearby cafe. However, the most extreme
14 person from that mass of people gathered there started to follow us.
15 They demolished the catering establishment, this cafe, smashed the
16 windows and doors. They did not allow the emergency services, first aid,
17 to come to this catering establishment to provide medical assistance.
18 But I had to exit through the garden and the back door and organise the
19 injured person to be taken to hospital in Virovitica, and the car was
20 completely destroyed. Later on, the majority of those who had gathered
21 there, who had weapons, and they attended this meeting which went on
22 until 2200 hours, and they shot hundreds of bullets, they fired hundreds
23 of bullets. And when the mass of people dispersed, you could see all
24 this disarray on the streets.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Please proceed, Mr. Mussemeyer.
2 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
3 Q. How did the police officers try to protect their police station?
4 A. We were very resolute in providing security for the police
5 station and to prevent the people who had gathered to enter into the
6 premises, because there'd already been an attack on the police station in
7 Pakrac, Obravac, Bankovac, in the Banovina area, and wherever those
8 attacks took place the rules of the Croatian state were no longer able to
9 be enforced. Anarchy reigned, and we succeeded in providing protection
10 and security and repelling this attack. And truth to tell, we did not
11 use any firearms in doing so or resort to physical force or any other
12 means of coercion and force, except the fact did we took care of the
13 person who was injured and prevented any further massacres that
14 threatened to develop. And so we managed to defend the police station
16 Q. Have also the Serb police officers participated in this defence?
17 A. Yes, a number of Serbs who happened to be policemen and happened
18 to be there, and two others came to help out. They showed their loyalty,
19 displayed loyalty, together with the Croats, and took part in the defence
20 of the police station.
21 Q. Some minutes ago, you told us that this event was the reason for
22 many Serb police officers to leave the police forces. Did they take
23 their weapons with them?
24 A. Most of the Serbs who were in the police force, after this event,
25 when they left, did take their weapons with them. And I've already said
1 that a portion of them did very properly hand over their weapons and all
2 their other equipment when they declared their disobedience, but many
3 others took them with them, and so the ranks of the Croatian police force
4 were very reduced in numbers and equipment. They no longer had the
5 necessary manpower to perform all the police duties that the station
6 ought to perform.
7 Q. Do you know where these police officers went to? Did they follow
8 certain units?
9 A. Well, that was the end of 1990 and the beginning of 1991, when
10 they left, and most of them later on joined the rebels, the rebel Serb
11 units in the area of Papuk and further afield as well, where they took
12 part in the different units, special platoons, companies, and units that
13 were set up there.
14 Q. Do you know how was the reaction of the JNA at that time? Was
15 the JNA neutral?
16 A. The JNA was not neutral. From the beginning, it took the side of
17 the Serb population, and the leadership, the leaders and people who were
18 over there, were not very well disposed to the Croatian state and the
19 independence of Croatia, so that the JNA, first of all in April 1991,
20 called upon members of Serb ethnicity, the reservists who in the former
21 Yugoslav People's Army attended reserve officers' schools and training
22 courses, and others who had been capacitated in military fields, were
23 called up to the barracks in Virovitica and Slatina for training, and
24 Nasice too, and after these training courses and training exercises, they
25 were provided with weapons and, as such, were sent to the area of Vocin,
1 Papuk, and other areas which were later under the control and occupation
2 where the rebel units were located. So that was the first role. First
3 of all, they called up the reservists and trained them, and after that
4 they were issued with weapons. All the members of the rebel forces were
5 armed after that.
6 Q. Did all the Serbs receive weapons in that area or not?
7 A. Well, most of the military-able and those who had been called up
8 for training in the barracks that I mentioned were, and those who were
9 later on -- occupied territory, most of them -- practically all of them
10 were armed.
11 Q. Have there been Serbs who refused to get arms?
12 A. There were Serbs who refused and those who remained in the area
13 that was not occupied, and towards the end of May 1991, there was a
14 convoy of weapons, some 40 trucks, which at the time the police had to
15 escort. This convoy came from the Nasice barracks to the broader area of
16 Vocin, Nasice at a distance of 40 kilometres, and the police escorted
17 this convoy full of weapons until the village of Mikleus on the main
18 road, and then the convoy set off to this mountainous area where units
19 had already been established. And we knew there was this transport of
20 weapons, that weapons were being transported, but we couldn't react much.
21 So that was what happening during those areas, in the beginning
22 of June and until the beginning of June it was distributed to the Serbs
23 and members of the rebel units. And a case was recorded of a Serb,
24 surname Kokic, from Jurici, who on that day when the weapons were
25 distributed refused to take a weapon, but overnight they shot at his
1 house. The second day, he set off to the police station in Slatina to
2 report the crime, to report this incident, and he was killed at Ceralije
3 because he refused to accept the arms that were being distributed. That
4 was one case, and later on there were other cases that were recorded in
5 that same area, based on testimony of witnesses who testified.
6 Q. Were there JNA barracks also in Slatina?
7 A. Yes, opposite the police station, and we saw that it was a
8 permanent -- presented a permanent danger to the police, because from the
9 yard of the barracks, there were barrels pointed at the police station.
10 There were two armoured cars, armoured vehicles, as well, and they had
11 their barrels trained on the police station. And the incident we
12 expected to happen did happen on the 4th of August, 1991, when the JNA
13 first of all was motivated by the rebels and provoked a mortar attack on
14 the police station and the location -- locality around the police
15 station. Without any reason, they opened fire on the police station from
16 the armoured vehicles and other weapons, and they targeted the premises
17 next to the barracks, where the hand-over of duty was taking place, and
18 50 policemen were involved in this takeover or hand-over of duty.
19 However, this hand-over of duty ceremony took place earlier on, so it's
20 very lucky no policemen were killed, although two policemen were
21 seriously wounded. And that part of the police station was quite damaged
22 and was no longer -- could no longer function properly. It was no longer
24 Q. According to your investigations, was this attack intentionally
25 or randomly?
1 A. The attack was prepared in advance. I've already said that for a
2 number of weeks, heavy weapons were trained on the police station. The
3 army did not communicate with the police station, and that we expected
4 something like that to happen. All that they were looking for was a
5 pretext. And so when several 60-millimetre-calibre shells were fired,
6 and we established this later on on the basis of -- well, the six rebels
7 from above a hill above Slatina, they fired upon the police station and
8 around the police station. This was just taken as a reason for
9 justifying the attack, but we did not provoke it on our side at all,
10 because there were just three or four policemen in the police station at
11 that time, so they were not provoked. All the others were out in the
12 field somewhere.
13 Q. Has there been later on an explanation from the JNA, why they
14 attacked the police station?
15 A. Three days later, officers -- JNA officers arrived at the police
16 station to see what had happened and to find an alibi for the event,
17 which was in no way provoked by our side. Actually, they came in to see
18 the extent of the attack, and since the aim was -- since they aimed at
19 this office where a hand-over of duty had taken place and where there was
20 the highest concentration of manpower, that it was precisely this office
21 that was targeted and shot at. They wanted to shoot at it when this
22 hand-over of duty was being conducted.
23 Q. What influence did this event have on the atmosphere of the
24 different ethnicities in the area?
25 A. Well, the event had a strong impact and reverberated amongst the
1 public, and it was yet another message that war was being prepared and
2 the JNA was on the side of the Serb population and that it was just a
3 question -- a matter of days when other armed conflicts would be
4 unleashed. And the aim was to take control of the police station before
5 now by opening fire to incapacitate it to function further, and of course
6 the overall aim was to destroy manpower at a time when they thought that
7 people would be in the police station.
8 Q. Do you know if so-called paramilitary units have been in the
9 area, and if so, since when?
10 A. The paramilitary units that I spoke about, at that time in the
11 area of Vocin and Papuk, had already been established. There was the
12 so-called 12th Slovenian Assault Brigade, similar to the one in World War
13 II, and then there were companies performed. All that had already been
14 established in the woody area, in the forests, where the majority Serb
15 population lived, and then four months later it was occupied and was no
16 longer within the composition and under the power of the Croatian
17 authorities. So for four months, Croatian institutions did not function
18 over there. But at that time already, those paramilitary units had
19 already been formed over there.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The Prosecutor not only
21 asked a leading question there, but he openly takes the side of the
22 witness, he is on the witness's side. The witness is -- the witness was
23 a member of one side in the civil war, and he speaks about it very
24 openly. And the witness has his own opinion as to what a -- what
25 paramilitary units were or were not. The Prosecutor does not have the
1 right to take the side of the witness. Paramilitary units existed only
2 on the Croatian side. On the Serb side, there was the Territorial
3 Defence and the JNA, and everything was within their composition. There
4 were no paramilitaries, paramilitary units.
5 The Prosecutor must not be allowed to be biased and take the side
6 of anybody in the civil war or in the case of a witness. He must be
7 unbiased in questioning and examining the witness.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, now, the problem
9 related to the paramilitary units. We see what happened. These hundred
10 people come and demonstrate in front of the police station, the Serbian
11 police officers take up arms. And then from a hill, someone shoots at
12 the police station. The three JNA officers then come to conduct an
13 inquiry, quote/unquote. And the Prosecutor is asking you whether this
14 has had an impact on the atmosphere there, and you said, yes, it did.
15 From then on, the Prosecution addresses the issue of paramilitary
16 units. The position of the accused is to say that there are no Serbian
17 paramilitary units, but that there were paramilitary units on the
18 Croatian side.
19 So when these events occurred, as far as you know, were there any
20 paramilitary units, any Serbian paramilitary units, and if so, which
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, at that time the
23 Croatian police force was the sole armed force which the Croatian state
24 had. In Slatina, there was not a single member of the Croatian Army or
25 Croatian Guards.
1 Now, on the 4th of August, when this event took place, in 1991,
2 the attack on the police station launched by the JNA, it still existed in
3 Slatina right up until the 16th of September, when the Croatian Army took
4 control of the barracks and when all the members of the JNA were
5 released, those who were in the barracks.
6 Now, these paramilitary units, which had been formed and which
7 were referred to by the Prosecutor, really did exist. They were not
8 within any Territorial Defence organisation. They were exclusively made
9 up of ethnic Serbs, and they were formed by people who were preparing an
10 armed uprising. The JNA armed them.
11 And I think that the answer to the question is that it was indeed
12 paramilitaries, paramilitary units, that we were talking about, because
13 the JNA denied having anything to do with them, although in fact it had
14 armed them, and it claimed that they weren't under their command.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This makes everything more
16 confusing, because on the one hand you say that these paramilitary units
17 were formed by the police, trained by the policemen, and then you add
18 that it was the JNA who provided the weapons.
19 Assuming that what you're saying is true, yes, please clarify
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, let me just clarify
23 I didn't cause a misunderstanding -- or I might have done. I
24 spoke about earlier on, when members of the police left the police
25 station. They joined up with the paramilitaries later on. So this act
1 of them leaving took place two or three months before. The policemen
2 left the ranks of the police station, and then when these units began to
3 be established, beginning in April of 1991, the paramilitaries, whereas
4 the policemen started leaving in the autumn of 1990. So those policemen
5 who left, they did not form them, but they were members of those units.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that the
7 Serbian policemen who left the police force joined these paramilitary
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. That's where they
10 finished up, in those paramilitary units.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. So where were these
12 paramilitary units located, and who were they headed by?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The paramilitary units were located
14 in the area of Vocin, for example, and Lager Sekulinci, Zvecevo,
15 stretching towards Pakrac, which is no longer our area but Western
16 Slavonia, and the area that which was not under the control of the
17 Croatian authorities stretched from the Orahovica Municipality, part of
18 the Casinci Municipality, Slatina, right up until Levanoci [phoen] and
19 parts of the Suho Polje Municipality bordering on the area of Western
20 Slavonia in the direction of Pakrac. So those units were in a broader
21 area surrounding Vocin, in the woody areas, and at Lager Sekulinci, which
22 was a military training post when the army was there, training grounds
23 when the army was part of Yugoslav, it was a training grounds previously,
24 but it was given over to the paramilitaries, the paramilitary units.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they were in Sekulinci,
1 where they regrouped. So I put the question to you: Who was their
2 leader? Do you know who their leaders were or didn't you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do know. Boro Lukic was
4 their leader. He was a captain. He had previously been educated as a
5 member of the reserve force of the former JNA. And there were others,
6 too, others who had completed reserve officers' school, such as Borivoje
7 Radosaljevic [phoen], I said Lukic, Borivoje as well. Then later on from
8 Novi Sad, Colonel Trbojevic arrived the end of October, and there were
9 also members of the JNA, both reserve officers and active duty officers,
10 who assisted in the establishment of these units and who headed those
11 units as well.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, Your Honour,
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I need you to shed some light on
16 something, please.
17 You were saying that the JNA was half Serb, so those Serbians
18 that left the police force, why did they join the paramilitaries rather
19 than the JNA? Do you know why the Serbs formed paramilitary groups
20 instead of enrolling in the JNA?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in Slatina there was a
22 smaller JNA barracks, and they, as policemen, could not have end up in
23 JNA ranks. Rather, they waited up for the setting up of these
24 paramilitary units which started to be formed in the beginning of April
25 1991, and most of them ended up there, as evidenced by records. The
1 complete organisation, their numbers, the number of issued weapons, all
2 this is reflected in the documentation left by the paramilitary units
3 when they withdrew from the area. So these lists contain every single
4 man who was a part of these units, and it is on the basis of such data
5 that we actually saw where they ended up.
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] And could they join on a
7 volunteer basis in the JNA or not?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to my information, none
9 of them, on leaving the Croatian police, ended up as a volunteer within
10 the JNA, and almost all of them ended up as members of these insurgent
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that there was a log,
13 and by looking at the log it was possible to determine where they joined.
14 What's the log you're talking about, where is it coming from?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this was a list of the units,
16 the platoons, the companies, the battalions, indicating the names,
17 surname, year of birth, the number of the issued weapons, the date of
18 arrival to the unit, so it was a complete documentation, and this is in
19 the possession of the Croatian prosecutor's office and it certainly does
20 show who played what role during those developments which took place in
21 the area of our municipality.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How do you know that the
23 Croatian prosecutor has a list of all the people who were members of
24 paramilitary units? How do you know about that?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that because I was the one
1 who coordinated the activities of some 20 crime inspectors who were
2 gathering data on all the developments during and after the war. After
3 the area had been abandoned by paramilitary formations. The
4 documentation which was found in the command of the insurgent units at
5 Zvecevo remained there and all of it was handed over to the Croatian
6 police, actually to the Croatian police station in which I worked, and I
7 personally saw and actually compiled and completed all these lists.
8 Having completed the files, we submitted all the files to the prosecution
9 organs, and I believe that the originals are still in the police
10 stations. So they were found in-situ in the command, and they were
11 submitted to the prosecution and to judicial bodies as well.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understand correctly,
13 after the war you coordinated activities overseeing a team of inspectors
14 in charge of investigating the crimes that had occurred, and within the
15 framework of your investigation you came up with a list of all the people
16 enrolled or enlisted in the paramilitary units, and this list was handed
17 over to the Croatian prosecutor in charge of the investigation; is that
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct. That was an
20 integral part of the crime investigation and of all the files, normally
21 with witness statements, statements by victims, so this is just a part of
22 the mosaic which was composed in order to shed light on all the events
23 that transpired while this area was under occupation and on the
24 individual roles of the individual persons during the war events.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, this document,
1 this list the witness is talking about, have you had it and have you
2 communicated it to Mr. Seselj?
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: They are on the exhibit list, and as far as I
4 know they have been disclosed to Mr. Seselj. I will use parts of it in
5 the -- when I continue with the witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now a quarter past 4.00.
7 We're going to take a break for 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 4.15 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.40 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We now resume the hearing.
11 The floor is to the Prosecution.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
13 Q. Mr. Matovina, before we finished we spoke about paramilitary
14 units. Do you know if they erected barricades in your region, and if so,
15 since when?
16 A. They erected barricades whereby they blocked the area which was
17 later occupied, the area where the Croatian state did not function. The
18 barricades were set up sometime around mid-August, from the 14th of
19 August, 1991. On the 18th of August, namely, four days after the
20 takeover of the police station in Vocin. And in that same year, on the
21 14th of August, the waiter Ilic was taken away from a hotel in Vocin by
22 paramilitary units. So these events in mid-August coincided, and from
23 that time on the Croatian state was no longer functional in the area.
24 There was no communication along the roads because barricades of felled
25 trees had been set up and also manned by guards along the roads.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Matovina. Before we come to the events in Vocin,
2 I first wanted to come to the events in Cetekovac. Can you describe us
3 what happened there on the beginning of September 1991?
4 A. More precisely, on the 4th of September, 1991, around 9.00,
5 paramilitary units from the Vocin area, or more precisely from the
6 Lager Sekulinci locality, in an organised and coordinated attack,
7 attacked the village of Cetekovac, Cojlug and Balinci, that is to say,
8 three villages predominantly populated by Croats. This special platoon,
9 some 60 men strong, this paramilitary formation headed by Boro Lukic,
10 raided the village and killed 22 civilians and two policemen, who
11 happened to be in the village because they are from that village and have
12 houses in the village.
13 Simultaneously as the attack was taking place on these villages,
14 Boro Lukic's unit, with about 130 men, actually posted flank guards --
15 flank guards on the villages so that Croatian forces were unable to
16 assist the villagers, and some people who actually were returning to the
17 village were ambushed and killed. As I said, 22 civilians and 2
18 policemen were killed in the village. Two bodies were burned. The
19 village was looted. Almost half of the houses in the village of
20 Cetekovac were torched, were burnt down.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, since you're a
22 witness of fact, could you please tell us whether you are telling about
23 events you were a witness to directly or are you telling us about things
24 you've heard of by hearsay?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm describing this event on the
1 basis of the crime investigation that I conducted, also on the basis of
2 the documents that were obtained, and on the basis of witness statements,
3 as well as on the basis of an on-site investigation which was done on the
4 second or third day, as soon as it was possible, given the fire that was
5 constantly opened at that position. So after the complete -- the
6 investigation was complete and the coordination effort which I was in
7 charge of, as well as after the complaint, the criminal complaint against
8 the perpetrators had been written and filed.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for shedding that
11 A small detail. You drafted the criminal report, so the
12 complaint given to the prosecution was drafted by you, wasn't it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I personally wrote the
14 criminal report, criminal complaint.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your report, who is
16 responsible for the events?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Heading that unit was Reserve
18 Captain Borivoje Lukic, and the other members were identified in talks,
19 most of them, that is, and they were people from the nearby villages,
20 from the neighbouring villages. The surviving witnesses were astonished.
21 They couldn't believe that the massacre had been perpetrated by their
22 acquaintances, by their neighbours, who had put on JNA uniforms that the
23 JNA had distributed to them, along with the weapons, and that they had
24 committed that massacre. So most of them were from the nearby adjacent
25 neighbouring villages; acquaintances and friends, in fact.
1 Q. Do you know the reasons why they attacked this village?
2 A. Well, first of all, they erected the barricades and prevented
3 traffic from moving along the road between the attacked villages and this
4 part that was later occupied. There was practically no reason whatsoever
5 for that. I believe that the sole reason was hate, because these
6 people -- some of these people who actually did not expect that attack
7 were either in the catering establishment, in the street, in their yards.
8 It was a sudden and wholly unexpected attack.
9 Q. Do you know if Boro Lukic had a nickname?
10 A. What we learned later is that his nickname was "Munja."
11 Q. Do you know if he was an SDS member?
12 A. Well, he probably was. He was an electrician by trade. He
13 worked in an enterprise called "Gaj." He had completed a school for
14 reserve officers and had a reserve rank of -- the rank of reserve captain
15 prior to these conflict erupting, and he was the first to go to
16 Lager Sekulinci, where members of the paramilitary unit were being
18 Q. Do you know what his approach towards Croats was?
19 A. He was -- he held extremist and radical views, obviously, given
20 that all this that I have described -- that he was an actor in all these
21 that I have described.
22 Q. Where did you know this from? Did you know him from before?
23 A. I did know him personally, because I, too, used to work in Gaj
24 Enterprise. All the time up to the beginning of these events, he was
25 there, in that enterprise, working there. But as I said, he was among
1 the first to organise this military formation.
2 Q. Do you know if the attackers on this village have been assisted
3 by someone?
4 A. Well, according to the documentation that we found at the seat --
5 at the command of the insurgent units, the attack on the village of
6 Cetekovac had been militarily planned, so we found a map with specific
7 activities of the units indicated, the directions of activities, the
8 raiding of the village much Cetekovac, Cojlug and Balinci, the flank
9 guards to be posted. And according to what we saw, it is obvious that
10 militarily-capable men, persons, had drawn up that plan. The plan was
11 made by a person who was acquainted with military tactics and strategy,
12 and it was actually according to that plan that the attack was indeed
13 carried out on these villages. This could have only been drawn up by a
14 person who had completed JNA schools or a person who was a reserve
15 officer of the JNA.
16 Q. You already told us about Lager Sekulinci. Can you tell us what
17 this Lager was about again?
18 A. This is a military training ground amid a forest which has the
19 necessary logistics for the training of military units, the necessary
20 buildings, proofing ground, training ground, otherwise used by the JNA.
21 And then later it was as given by the JNA to the Territorial Defence,
22 which then ceded that ground to the insurgent units, where they also had
23 a part of their command.
24 Q. Do you know what happened at Lager Sekulinci?
25 A. Well, at Lager Sekulinci, apart from that being the locality
1 where the command and a part of the units were located, people who were
2 abducted would also be taken there and maltreated and beaten up. A
3 number were also killed. For instance, Franjo Banovac, who was taken
4 away from Hum, he was tortured and killed at Lager Sekulinci and his body
5 was found in the woods two months after the units had left. Also, the
6 waiter Ilic had been taken to Lager Sekulinci and executed there. Later,
7 parts of his body were found. And all those who had been apprehended or
8 taken there were maltreated and tortured, so that was a place where those
9 Croats who were -- Croats who had been either liquidated or released were
10 held in captivity there.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, regarding what
12 happened in Lager Sekulinci, did you carry out an investigation so as to
13 be able to understand what happened? What sources is your evidence based
15 Prosecution, could you, at the beginning of a new area, try to
16 clarify these matters, basically on the basis of what is the evidence
17 relying on.
18 So for Sekulinci, did you carry out an investigation?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This was a component part of
20 the investigation that we undertook throughout the area. We found the
21 bodies of Sid -- of Franjo Banovac, and we had an on-site investigation
22 also conducted, and parts of the body of the waiter Ilic also.
23 There was another policeman, Velickovic, and then there was
24 Kreso Doric who was tortured. His body exists, as does documentation to
25 that effect. There are also the statements of a number of witnesses who
1 were up there, as well as written documentation, which is an integral
2 part of this entire investigation that I have described.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: At this moment --
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sorry. The conclusions of the
5 investigation, were they confirmed by any order, decision?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that was submitted to the state
7 prosecutor's office, and it is -- the processing of all these case files
8 is still underway.
9 I left the police some eight years ago, so these investigations
10 are still ongoing. Other people are conducting them. It is still in the
11 ongoing stage. Some investigations are still going on, whereas some
12 cases have been completed.
13 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Madam Registrar, at this moment I would like to
14 have 65 ter number -- the document of 65 ter number 451 on the monitor,
15 if it's possible.
16 Q. Mr. Witness, could you look at this document and let us know what
17 it is about?
18 A. This is from the health centre. This is a medical document for
19 Darko Bozickovic, who was abducted by Zoran Miscevic and other
20 paramilitary unit members and taken to Lager Sekulinci, where he
21 sustained bodily injury, after which he asked for medical assistance.
22 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I have this document moved into evidence?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P429.
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
1 Q. Mr. Matovina, could you please let us know what happened at the
2 police station in Vocin in August of 1991?
3 A. More precisely, on the 18th of August, 1991, Borivoje Lukic, with
4 his special unit, platoon of specials, took the military -- the police
5 station in Vocin, took off the flag of the Republic of Croatia off it,
6 and burnt it there. They hoisted the flag of the Republic of Serbia in
7 its place, and at that point officially all the policemen actually
8 aligned themselves and started to be in the service of the insurgency
9 authorities that had been established. Up until that time, they had not
10 been in the service -- they had not been loyal to the state of Croatia
11 either, but at that point they did this officially.
12 On that occasion, all the weapons that happened to be there was
13 seized, as were all the automobiles and all the equipment.
14 Two policemen who sometimes declared themselves as Yugoslavs and
15 at other times as Croats were designated as disloyal, and they were
16 proclaimed unnecessary, redundant, and could no longer serve in the
17 police station that had been taken.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please, what you're
19 just saying actually is along the lines of what I was saying at the
20 beginning of the afternoon. You're saying that on the 18th of August,
21 1991, Lukic had taken the flag of the Croatian Republic and burnt it. In
22 August 1991, the Republic of Croatia had not been yet recognised as a
23 state. Do you agree with that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It had its flags and symbols and
25 constitution. Well, on the building, it was the flag of the Republic of
1 Croatia that was hoisted up.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's backtrack a bit.
3 Before Tito's disappearance, in the Federative Republic of
4 Yugoslavia, in Croatia, was there a Croatian flag being waved or posted
5 on the walls of a police station or was there one single flag, the
6 Yugoslavian flag, or were there two flags?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was like this: Before, the flag
8 that was hoisted was both that of the Republic of Croatia and Yugoslavia.
9 But on the flag of the Republic of Croatia, you had the socialist
10 symbols, such as -- or, rather, like in the Republic of Yugoslavia,
11 whereas on this other flag that was raised at the police station, you had
12 the symbols and the flag of the Republic of Croatia; that is to say, the
13 new flag was raised there.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understand correctly,
15 this flag that had been put on the police station was put there in
16 anticipation, because Croatia at the time was not really a state, so the
17 flag that was there was the future flag of Croatia, wasn't it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was already a state, but the
19 procedure of settling everything was still in process. Croatia already
20 had its constitution and its flag, and that flag, which was in conformity
21 with the constitution, was the one that was put up on the police station.
22 That was the flag that was taken down and set fire to and replaced by the
23 flag of the Republic of Serbia.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The flag which was burnt, is it
25 similar to the one which is in the --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same flag, yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is the same.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Madam Registrar, I would like to have the
4 document 65 ter number 129B on the monitor.
5 For you Judges, this is part of a huge document which the
6 Prosecution received from the Croatian MUP. It's about 450 pages long.
7 I'm referred, with this document 129B, only to attachment 62 of this
9 Q. Mr. Matovina, could you please have a look on this document and
10 tell us what it is about?
11 A. Yes. This document is an order by the staff commander, the
12 commander of the Territorial Defence Staff, and I think that it is signed
13 by Borivoje Radosaljevic where he orders that regional departments of the
14 militia or police forces be set up at Slatinska Drenovac and at Zvecevo,
15 numbering five members in each of those stations.
16 Q. Who was Borivoje Radosaljevic?
17 A. He was the commander of the Territorial Defence Staff up there in
18 the area, self-proclaimed, because establishment-wise there was no
19 Territorial Defence Staff up there, but it was established within the
20 frameworks of which these units were established.
21 Q. Do you know if the members of the police force which are named
22 here on the list, if they were original policemen or not?
23 A. All of them were, except for this man Goran Miscevic, I don't
24 think he was at the police academy or school and joined later. But they
25 were all previously in the Croatian police force, and when they left,
1 they placed themselves in the service of the rebels, and then police
2 stations were formed in the area, as it says here in the document, police
3 departments, regional departments of the police station.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I have this document be moved into evidence.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A number, Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P430.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
8 Q. Mr. Matovina, you already talked about it, but could you please
9 let us know when the first incidents like kidnapping, killing, et cetera,
10 occurred? Do you remember the time?
11 A. I said that on the 14th of August, 1991, from the hotel in Vocin,
12 Miscevic, Zoran, and some other armed individuals in camouflage uniforms,
13 seized a waiter. All trace is lost of him. He was taken to
14 Lager Sekulinci, and later on, according to the testimony of a witness,
15 Miscevic returned without Ilic, who was taken into the forest. And after
16 that, five other individuals were taken away and never to return. All
17 trace of them was lost. Some bodies were found two or three years later,
18 but others are still listed as missing, those people who were taken out.
19 Q. Was Vocin a Croatian or a mixed village?
20 A. It was a mixed village. The population was mixed.
21 Q. After the Serb forces have taken over Vocin, did the Croatian
22 inhabitants leave the village or not?
23 A. A portion of the Croats, seeing what was being prepared, had left
24 Vocin previously, whereas others were held by the military authorities
25 and civilian authorities that had been formed by the rebels, and they
1 were in work platoons, doing labour and all the logistical assignments
2 necessary for the establishment of those units.
3 Q. Do you know what the members of the Serb forces tell the Croat
4 population after the takeover, what will happen to them or what the
5 village will be about?
6 A. They -- well, all of them were collected in one place the day
7 after the police station in Vocin was taken control of, on the 19th of
8 August, up on a hill, Vrebinda [phoen], which is mostly populated by the
9 Croats. Boro Lukic and members of his unit first of all searched the
10 Croatian houses, seized the weapons that they had and were able to have
11 on the basis of permits, and some hunting weapons that they had, with all
12 the necessary papers and permits. They told them that they had to be
13 loyal to those authorities, that is to say, the authorities in the rebel
14 area, and that the regulations of the Croatian state were no longer in
15 force there, they no longer applied, and if they wished to continue to
16 live there -- or, rather, they had nothing to do anymore in Croatia
17 because no laws or rules were applicable anymore, were in force anymore
18 in the territory.
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Madam Registry, could we please have the
20 document of Exhibit number 65 ter 506 on the monitor.
21 And, Mr. Matovina, when the document appears, could you read it
22 and tell us what it is about?
23 A. This is also from the medical centre in Slatina, a medical
24 document relating to Kresimir Doric who was beaten up in 1991 and
25 admitted on the 23rd of September by members of the paramilitaries, led
1 by Zoran Miscevic. Kresimir Doric was injured on the occasion, and he
2 named Zoran Miscevic, and a number of other persons were mentioned
3 wearing camouflage uniforms.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can I have this document be moved into evidence?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can we have a
6 number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P431.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
9 Q. Mr. Matovina, do you know if volunteers arrived in the area?
10 A. According to what the witnesses said and on the basis of the
11 documents that were found later on, when a crime investigation was
12 underway, the volunteers arrived at the end of October. They arrived in
13 Vocin and were put up in the school building, the primary school building
14 in Vocin.
15 At Lager Sekulinci, which is a location where they were trained,
16 and there was -- in a place called Kraskovic in Casinci Municipality at
17 Zvecevo, where the headquarters were, and at a location called Djulovac
18 or Mijokovicevo. So in Vocin and the surrounding area.
19 Q. Do you know how they called their units?
20 A. Those units were called the White Eagles, "Beli Orlovi,"
21 volunteers from Serbia, Seselj's men, and it depended in the perception
22 of the victims and the population, depending on what they said, but
23 mostly they were under the same command and in the same locations, all
24 those who were there.
25 Q. Were the White Eagles also Dr. Seselj's men?
1 A. Well, the public and the victims, and according to what we know,
2 they were all in the same locations, so they were perceived as being the
3 same, according to their actions over there. People thought of them as
4 all being the same.
5 Q. Where do you know this from?
6 A. That's what people said. That's what the witnesses said when we
7 talked to them, and the victims who survived these events said the same.
8 Q. Do you know of any documents which can prove this?
9 A. Well, when we processed all this, documents were found at
10 Zvecevo, at the headquarters, including a list of the members of the
11 Serbian Radical Party who would come and go, who would arrive and go to
12 Serbia on furlough, and then there were documents from companies in
13 Serbia where some of these people had been employed, and asked for their
14 expenses to be refunded on the basis of volunteers in Vocin, that the
15 Territorial Defence Staff should reimburse these companies for expenses
16 incurred. So there were another of -- a number of lists that we found
17 when we investigated which showed that they spent time there, with the
18 names and surnames of the individuals and places where they had come
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Madam Registrar, could I please have Exhibit --
21 not exhibit, 65 ter number 129C on the monitor.
22 I have to apologise. This is a document -- originally I had 129A
23 at this place, but I realised there was a mistake, and it was attachment
24 59, but I think the witness can tell us about attachment 57. Therefore,
25 we created the new exhibit -- the 65 ter number 129C.
1 Q. Mr. Matovina, could you please --
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, is that on the list that you have
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: No, sorry, it's not.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: And while I'm asking to this, the previous
6 exhibit number that you have just sought admitted into evidence appears
7 in your list to have the number 65 ter 506, whereas I'm almost sure that
8 you said, when you asked the Registrar could call it up, you said "605."
9 So which is it?
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It is 506.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
13 Q. Mr. Matovina, could you please have a look on this -- the cover
14 page, and let us know if you know this list.
15 A. That is also one of the documents that were found on location at
16 the headquarters, signed by the commander, and a component part of the
17 other documents that follow on from it.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Madam Registrar, could we please go to page 12
19 of the English document and then find the corresponding of the B/C/S
20 version, which is not that difficult to find. Please go first to the end
21 of page 12.
22 This is page 11.
23 Q. Mr. Matovina, do you recognise the signature? I think it's not
24 to be seen on the B/C/S version.
25 A. Yes. It's a list of volunteers from Serbia, with the names and
1 surnames, and their date of birth, and what they were specialists for.
2 It said "Scouts" for some and things like that, and it is signed by the
3 commander, Munja, or "Lightning" in translation. Anyway, he was the
4 commander of the Borivoje Lukic unit.
5 Q. Is this the one you see now on the B/C/S version, on the monitor?
6 It's on page 13.
7 A. Yes, you can see the signature. It's in Cyrillic and hasn't gone
8 the full name and surname, but the names of these people are also written
9 in the Cyrillic script.
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, can I have -- move this exhibit
11 into evidence?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. No, you can't. We
13 haven't seen the first page of the document to see what this is all
14 about. This is an outrage. We've seen page 13, and then the Prosecutor
15 wants to tender the document. I think that that's quite unbelievable.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Just for the record, we have seen in the
18 beginning the first page, and then we went to page 13.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 1 was never shown. It never
21 came up on our screens.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I understand correctly, the
23 first page of this document can be seen, so we have the list of names; is
24 that it? It goes from number 1 down to --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please, there's another list, which
1 is separate to this one. This is also a list of units written in
2 Cyrillic, and it refers to a unit which was established wherein the
3 members were from the Vocin area. Then there was another list. Another
4 list was in existence of members of the Serbian Radical Party who were
5 within the composition of these units as volunteers.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I insist that there should be no
7 misunderstanding, because at the top of the list it says "Zvecevo
8 Detachment," which numbered 400-odd members, and there was no
9 specification as to who were locals and who were volunteers from Serbia.
10 This is a list of the Zvecevo Detachment. That's what this is.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a list of Zvecevo
12 Detachment, with the units led by Borivoje Lukic, and signed as "Munja"
13 at the bottom, and it lists all the units and their specialties, and
14 which unit had what role.
15 Now, on this list, you will find a number of volunteers, but
16 there's another list of volunteers from Serbia which will be shown later
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. For the time being,
19 we have the list of the Zvecevo Detachment, and on this list --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zvecevo Detachment, yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- we see the name of the
22 commander, which is Lukic, captain, specialty artillery, date of birth,
23 1947. And he seems to have an automatic rifle. He has a deputy, who is
24 lieutenant, who is called Vuzicika [phoen], and then assistant for morale
25 and education and political affairs is a first-class captain, and so on
1 and so forth.
2 This entire list covers the Zvecevo Detachment; is that right?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is the Zvecevo Detachment,
4 and it was established according to military rules and regulations, with
5 all the specialties that you mentioned; the command of the deputy, the
6 political commissar, and everything that an army has within its units.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Mussemeyer, are
8 you asking this document to be tendered into evidence; is that right? Do
9 we agree on this?
10 MR. MUSSEMEYER: We agree.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can we have an
12 exhibit number, please, for this document.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P432.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. Mr. Matovina --
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I apologise, but this is
17 something which escaped me, perhaps. I haven't quite understood which
18 army, which military unit, this Zvecevo Detachment belonged to. Could
19 you tell us more about this? Thank you. And if you've said it already,
20 please repeat it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was precisely that
22 paramilitary unit that we've been talking about all the time. We've now
23 come to this list of all the members -- well, just a part of the members
24 are on this list. There are other lists with larger numbers, so that
25 this number on the list of the total number of engaged do not correspond
1 to this, because there are other records as well which we might not have
2 accessed yet.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Since we are very
4 accurate, as far as this list is concerned, we have a date of entry,
5 people who joined the unit. For instance, Lukic seems to have joined on
6 the 10th of July, 1991. His deputy joined on the 13th of August, 1991.
7 The lieutenant, the third, joined on the 21st of September, 1991. So on
8 this list, we have those people who joined the unit at different times.
9 At first sight, we see August, September, October and November.
10 Do you agree with me that the list we have before us is a list which
11 mentions the dates at which these people joined the unit at different
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that these -- this
14 information might not all be correct, in view of the fact that some is
15 units at the beginning had already been established in June and July,
16 depending on when the people arrived. So the list was probably compiled
17 later on, and then the information -- the entries were made as they
18 stand. But otherwise, from June -- the units were in place in June, and
19 the training went on from April, so some arrived earlier on, others
20 arrived later on, and the list was probably compiled when all this
21 establishment had been completed.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, it would
23 be a good idea if you and your colleagues were to take a look at this
24 file containing exhibits, which the Prosecution disclosed to go with this
25 witness's testimony. I personally can't find that document. Perhaps
1 they provided it to you, but I don't seem to have it here. I can't find
2 it in this folder. So it would be a good idea if you were to ask the
3 Prosecution why I don't have that. That's my first remark and objection,
4 but the second one is a little less serious.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, the document we
6 have before us, well, Mr. Seselj and I have had a look at the binder, and
7 this document is not on the list. So why did you not put it on the list
8 from the outset?
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I already tried to explain, I realised that this
10 is the wrong one, and this list has already been admitted by the
11 Milosevic Trial Chamber. I checked this this morning, and I found a
12 mistake. Instead of attachment 57, in the court binder you have in front
13 of you and Mr. Seselj have in front of you is attachment 59, so this is
14 the reason why he doesn't have this in his binder, and you also. But I
15 wanted to work with the correct list and not with the wrong one.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this document was
17 tendered in the Milosevic case.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes, under the Exhibit number 327, tab 13.
19 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Through this witness, was it?
20 Was it tendered in the Milosevic trial through this particular witness or
22 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Through this particular witness.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, to make things clear, the
24 witness mentioned a list of volunteers. What is this list of volunteers?
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, the whole document has 450 pages,
1 and at the moment I cannot tell you what the witness is talking about.
2 It's -- I guess it's within this document, within this 450 pages, I have
3 to search it. But for the moment, I can't tell you. I have to leave it
4 to the witness to identify.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Witness, as part of your
6 investigation, you drew up lists. We have one of these lists in front of
7 us, and this list mentions who were the people who were part of this
8 Zvecevo Detachment. But you told us that there is another list, and you
9 had on this list mentioned the names of all the volunteers; is that
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is true. This list that we
12 are looking at right now, the Zvecevo Detachment list, was not compiled
13 by us. We found it at the location, together with other documents. And
14 the case file -- the Milosevic case file does contain a list of
15 volunteers from Serbia who came there and who were members of the
16 White Eagles and Seselj's men units, as they called them. So there is a
17 part of this list. Whether it is full and whether it corresponds to the
18 actual number of people who were there, I'm not sure.
19 There also exists a list which shows that they went to take their
20 leaves on furloughs and then came back. The Prosecutor has it.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you have given us an
22 important detail. The list we have before us is a document which you
23 found during your investigation, so this is an original document. This
24 is not a list which you or one of your colleagues drew up. This is a
25 list which is a part of this detachment, and you discovered it on the
1 premises. Is that right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. It was written in
3 the Cyrillic script. It was typewritten on a typewriter with the
4 Cyrillic script, which we do not have, and could not have written it,
5 therefore. And it is signed by its command. It is the original document
6 which was actually drawn up in the command, and it was found on the spot.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's clear now.
8 Mr. Mussemeyer, you have the floor.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is my second
10 objection. It is not as serious as the first one, but it is quite
11 serious, though.
12 It is not mentioned in any place here who is the volunteer from
13 Serbia in the detachment of Zvecevo. We have just two people on the
14 first page. Two people joined the detachment on the first of October --
15 November, sorry, 1991, and one is in the medical corps, and the second
16 one -- I can't see properly, Vilenica Mihajlo. I believe that he's also
17 from Western Slavonia, that is why his surname -- what I gather from his
18 surname. So we don't have a single volunteer from Serbian on this list.
19 And the witness talked about the volunteers who came to join the
20 Zvecevo Detachment. If this list is to make sense, it should identify
21 the volunteers who came to join the Zvecevo detachment from Serbia,
22 otherwise it makes no sense at all. We all know the Zvecevo Detachment
23 existed, and I suppose that this is an authentic document, but what is
24 the meaning of it all if there are no volunteers to be identified as
25 volunteers coming from Serbia? Why is the Prosecution doing this at all?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what Mr. Seselj has imparted
2 to us is something which I reflected upon also. We don't know on the
3 this list who are the volunteers who came from Serbia. Just by looking
4 at the list, it's impossible to know who were the volunteers from Serbia,
5 on the basis of the document.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is impossible, but there is
7 another document which explicitly lists members, from which one can
8 establish that.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the Zvecevo Detachment, and
11 someone who is familiar with the names, and I'm not familiar with them
12 because there are 400 of them, could perhaps find people from that list
13 on this list, but it is a fact that they were a part of the Zvecevo
14 Detachment, a part of all these units.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, this list, with
16 the names of the volunteers from Serbia, where is this list?
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It should be in the document 129, the whole
18 document. My proposal at this stage would be to show the witness the
19 document 121A. Maybe this is the list that he is talking about. I'm not
20 sure about that.
21 Madam Registrar, could we please have the document 129A on the
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, could you explain
24 something to me, please.
25 What you call the volunteers, the White Eagles, or Seselj's men,
1 were these volunteers who only came from Serbia or who had been recruited
2 on the spot?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The people that you are asking
4 about were exclusively volunteers from Serbia. Here we have in front of
5 us document entitled "Volunteers from Serbia Special Unit," also written
6 in the Cyrillic script, and there, in it, you have a list of names and
7 surnames, the years of birth, the military specialty, and this is in fact
8 the document that we were talking about in connection with the Zvecevo
9 Detachment, because this also pertains to it.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. You see all the -- you
11 see the document in front of you. All the names are written in Cyrillic,
12 but in the heading there is a different handwriting saying: "Volunteers
13 from Serbia, Special Unit." Where is the proof of authenticity here?
14 What does this list mean? Perhaps these are indeed volunteers, but where
15 is the proof of it. Someone has appended in the Latinic script. Perhaps
16 a Croatian policeman, when he found the document, he appended:
17 "Volunteers of Serbia, Special Unit." Who wrote that in the Latinic
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Witness, can you answer
20 that question?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This document is also an original
22 document, it is a constituent part of the file. I don't know who wrote:
23 "Volunteers from Serbia, Special Unit" on the top of the list, but it is
24 a fact that it is a list of names and surnames of people. In the
25 Cyrillic script. It is an original document which was found at the
1 location which I referred to earlier, but this could have been added by
2 one of the officers or the workers who were in charge of the crime
3 processing. It is a fact that it is added in Latin script, but the
4 document is authentic, it is an original.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, take number 1, please,
6 Boban Tojakovic? Could you read us one column after another what this
7 is, because in English we don't have anything? Could you tell us in your
8 language what is written here?
9 So we have number 1, we have the name of the person, and the
10 first name, last name, date. Tell us, in your language, what's written
11 here in the next column.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Date and place of birth, place of
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. This one seemingly is
15 born on the 4th of July, 1969. And what's written underneath that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not very legible and it's
17 written in the Cyrillic script, but --
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it must be the name of a
19 village. It's a location. Is that in Serbia?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So you can see the volunteers came
21 from Smederevo, Zemun, Pancevo, Ruma, Nis --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
23 continues] ... ask the question, wasn't I, so let's continue. What's in
24 the next column?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The place of residence, Zemun and
1 Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Belgrade.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That is a town where they
3 resided before coming; is that right? And the first one is Zemun?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. Are you
5 referring to number 1?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, number 1, where did he
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's either Smederevo or Brodarevo,
9 in fact Brodarevo, and the other column is "BGD," it's an abbreviation.
10 It's actually Brodarevo in the Cyrillic script. Then Pancevo -- the
11 place of residence is indicated by abbreviations, and this, the other
12 column is the place of birth. Then it goes on to say: "Pancevo, Ruma,
13 Mladenovac" and then again: "Belgrade, Nis."
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Seemingly, these people came
15 from Serbia.
16 Now, in the next column, what is written in your own language in
17 the next column, please?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The place of residence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And then?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says: "Occupation." Whether
21 this is -- in what capacity that person figures occupationally, whether
22 privately employed or a worker, private entrepreneur, and then the
23 educational qualification.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The next column?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The next one is actually
1 "Educational background." The next column is "Joined combat," and in the
2 first column it is indicated "The 26th of October, 1991."
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what's the next column?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The next one is "Rank." It just
5 says "Combatant."
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And then we see "M70 to 52."
7 What's that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the number of the weapon. So
9 that is information about the type of weapon, the number of the weapon,
10 and then the next column is, in fact, rank. So these refer to the type
11 of weapons he had, the number on that piece of weaponry, and in what
12 capacity he was engaged.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have another
14 objection. Obviously, these are people from Serbia, according to their
15 addresses, but the volunteers from Serbia Special unit's title is
16 problematic. There are no serial numbers at all in this list, so we
17 don't know with certainty that this is the first page of the list.
18 That's one thing.
19 Secondly, when you look at the first name, the rank indicated as
20 "combatant," and the everything else is all blank, meaning the rest are
21 all privates, ordinary soldiers. There is not a single officer, there is
22 not a single commanding officer. So this cannot be a unit, obviously.
23 This is more like a list of people who came on one or two buses on that
24 day. You can see they all arrived on that same day. If this is a
25 special unit, they wouldn't have been people who arrived on the same day.
1 They would have been chosen from different groups into the special unit.
2 At the end, you have the column "Members of the unit," and no one
3 is written in that column. So they have arrived, but they have not been
4 assigned to units. That's why I insisted on the title, "Volunteers from
5 Serbia Special Unit." Obviously, these are volunteers, but this
6 resembles rather a list of volunteers, of people who came aboard one or
7 two buses on the same day, rather than a list of a unit. You don't have
8 a unit structure, a unit commander, nothing of the kind.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this list is quite
10 full, because it even includes the number of weapons they have. There's
11 a column for the rank, which is empty, and there is a column which says:
12 "Member of the unit," and nothing is indicated there. Can you explain
13 why those two columns are totally blank?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know this document was
15 found along with all the other documents that referred to the
16 establishment, the organisation of the insurgent units, and it is such
17 as -- it is as it stands. Why the columns pertaining to rank or some
18 other fact were not filled in, I don't know, because this is an original
19 document and the one who drew it up probably made a submission or didn't
20 consider it important.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, what about the stamp?
22 Can you read us what's written on the stamp? "Republika Hrvatska," and
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Republic of Croatia police
25 station, Podravska Slatina, Ministry of Interior." This stamp was
1 affixed because this document is a copy, and the original of the document
2 was submitted along with the other documents that I referred to earlier.
3 When the copy was made, it was authenticated by this stamp to the effect
4 that it corresponds to the original.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's now time for a break.
6 We're going to have a 20-minute break, and we'll resume at five past
8 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, the Trial Chamber has
11 a technical question to ask you, to get more certainty on the document.
12 The document that is put to us, was it found by you or the other
13 investigators during your investigation, and was it found at the staff of
14 the unit?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was found by other investigators
16 during the investigation. It was found at the command locality, together
17 with the other documents that I referred to earlier.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're saying "by other
19 investigators." Were they investigators under your supervision?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 15 investigators, the team of
21 investigators that participated in this very big job. Later, in fact,
22 there were 20 of them. Different specialties were included, starting
23 from experts on the on-site investigation up to those who were to
24 complete the file, the case file.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you're a criminologist
1 and you had responsibilities in the investigation, on the document we see
2 handwritten: "Special unit of Volunteers." Why didn't you at the time
3 wonder whether it was one of your investigators who added that in
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, there were so many
6 documents, there were heaps of materials and of different documentation,
7 also from witnesses, so it is quite possible that someone just appended
8 this: "Volunteers from Serbia Special Unit" on the top of the document.
9 But the rest of the document, its substance is authentic. Or perhaps
10 this was added when the document was copied. Maybe it is not written on
11 the original, it was just written later when the documents were
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying on the
14 original document this was not mentioned and was added at a time when you
15 classified all the documents you had found?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Possibly the original does not
17 state this and the original, when found, did not have this. But whoever
18 found the document and classified it and copied it, because it was copied
19 in several tens of copies, it was reproduced in several tens of copies,
20 just added this: "Volunteers from Serbia Special Unit" for the purpose
21 of classification of documents.
22 There were a number of people participating in this exercise, and
23 there as you can see, there were so many documents, one could not read
24 them all.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Assuming somebody added that
1 mention, that person would have added: "Volunteers from Serbia," based
2 on their place of residence and birthplace; I mean, they would have used
3 those elements to assume those were volunteers from Serbia?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of these particulars,
5 name, surname, year of birth, date of birth, place of birth, and other
6 documents that one reads from the -- other particulars one reads.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Something indicates to me that
8 it was added afterwards. We get the feeling that the original document
9 was read by somebody who uses the Cyrillic alphabet, but the person who
10 added the handwritten "mention" did not use the Cyrillic alphabet, so
11 there's that indication of the fact that the "mention" was added later
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. He who made the
14 classification of these documents, as he was classifying the documents,
15 just added this as his own personal aid. I am not sure which one of the
16 inspectors actually added this, but it is a fact that one did.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, could you ask
18 for a number for this document?
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes, Your Honours.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber conferred and
22 decided that the document is marked for identification.
23 Madam Registrar, could you mark the document for identification.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P433, marked
25 for identification.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have just one thing
2 to tell you.
3 I was informed that the publicity of the trial is threatened
4 because there is no transmission at all via the internet. This is what I
5 was informed during the break.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I said that at the
7 beginning of our hearing today. I explained that there was a problem
8 with the connection. The Registrar said to us that the problem had been
9 solved, but you're just confirming now that there still is a problem. It
10 seems to happen just like that, that each time you come to the hearing,
11 there's a problem. That's quite a coincidence, isn't it? I hope that
12 the Registrar -- the Registry will make sure that the problem is solved
13 by tomorrow.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. My next question: Mr. Matovina, do you know how many volunteers
16 were in the area and how many volunteers left later on?
17 A. According to witness statements, the statements of witnesses
18 which are in the case file, there were about 600 volunteers in Vocin, in
19 Zvecevo, Lager Sekulinci, Vocin, Kraskovic, in the direction of
20 Mijokovicevo, and it was in this number that they later left. And the
21 last 80 or so remained in Vocin, and together with the most extreme
22 members of the rebel units, they massacred civilians in Vocin and
23 destroyed property there.
24 Q. Mr. Matovina, we will come back to this a bit later. Could you
25 please let us know, what was the reputation of the volunteers by the
1 local population?
2 A. They were not exactly accepted by the locals, because when they
3 arrived, things were further radicalised. In fact, some people had
4 problems with them, because property was seized, things of value were
5 seized. There were physical brawls, there was fighting, there was
6 conduct under the influence of alcohol, so that a part of the local
7 population actually did not accept gladly the arrival of volunteers.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Not even the Serbs?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm speaking about the Serbs, in
10 fact, yeah.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
13 Q. Do you know how they left the area?
14 A. They left on buses.
15 Q. May I come back to what you already mentioned. What happened in
16 the night from the 12th to the 13th of December, 1991?
17 A. That night, a horrendous massacre was committed of civilians in
18 Vocin. On that occasion, 43 civilians were massacred and killed in
19 Vocin, and a family -- a husband and his wife at Zvecevo. That is a
20 total of 45 victims. Houses were torched, houses were looted. The
21 church was blown up, the Church of Our Lady of Vocin, which is a monument
22 which is on the world heritage list, was blown up, 43 Croatians -- after
23 the explosions the houses of 43 Croat families and of a couple of Serbian
24 families were damaged or totally demolished. The roof of the church,
25 just by way of illustration, which is a metal structure and is very
1 heavy, was thrown some 800 metres away from the church. The explosion
2 could be heard in Slatina, which is 22 kilometres away from Vocin. And
3 in a broader circle of about two kilometres around the area, there was
4 not a single tile that remained on the roofs of the houses in that area.
5 The bodies were massacred. Some were burnt. Some were found in the
6 houses, others in the street. These were people aged between 18 and 90
7 years of age, and all of them civilians.
8 Q. Did you have a specific task to go to Vocin?
9 A. After this explosion on the 13th, in other words, when we already
10 knew that all the units and the people who had been ordered to withdraw
11 had left the terrain, this team that I referred to of about 20 crime
12 inspectors inspected the site, carried out an on-site investigation in
13 Vocin. They extracted the bodies and transported them to Slatina,
14 performed the autopsies of the bodies, and collected all the information
15 that was obtainable at that time. And as witnesses arrived from among
16 the people who had fled and reported to the team, they were subsequently
17 interviewed, so that information is still being collected. Even today,
18 people with some information report to us, people who return to the area
19 and are now witnessing what they know of that event.
20 Q. When did you arrive in Vocin?
21 A. I arrived on the second day, while the on-site investigation was
22 still underway, and then also on the third day. The crime inspectors all
23 played their respective roles or, rather, did their respective jobs.
24 Q. What did you observe or see that day when you arrived?
25 A. Well, the picture was a terrible one to behold, and I've already
1 stated that. Vocin resembled Hiroshima. You could see the terrible
2 effects of it all. First of all, the massacre and killing of the
3 civilians was terrible to behold, and then the effects of the explosion
4 as well, the epicenter of which was in Our Lady of Vocin, the church
5 there. The church had been turned into a munitions depot and weapons
6 depot, and so when this whole arsenal was activated, the effect of it was
7 terrible. It destroyed almost the whole of Vocin and most of the
8 surrounding parts as well.
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, for your information, I prepared
10 two little video clips of about one minute and one and a half minutes.
11 It is without any text, and I would like to show this now.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we watch the video, I
13 have a question to ask, because you're saying that Vocin looked like
14 Hiroshima. You also said that, from what I understood, the church had
15 been turned into a weapons depot, and I'm a bit confused here. It's
16 either/or, or somebody placed some explosives which blew up the church,
17 or there were already explosives and weapons in the church and for some
18 unknown reason everything blew up.
19 So according to the investigation, if there were explosives in
20 the church, were the investigators able to determine whether the
21 explosion was actually commissioned from outside the church and then
22 somebody triggered the explosives within the church and everything blew
23 up? What can you say?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This church served as a depot for
25 explosives of the rebel units, and when this whole arsenal parallelly
1 [sic] to or, rather, after the killings and burning of the houses in
2 Vocin, the bus station was set fire to, the medical centre, the hotel,
3 the cinema, the petrol pump, the bank building, the fire brigade,
4 residential buildings. All important buildings, either for the economy
5 or residential buildings, and the slaughter of -- the slaughter that I
6 mentioned, and then finally what was activated was an explosive in the
7 church, because the people who activated it probably took into account
8 and took care of the fact that this should be the finish -- the sort of
9 finishing touch after all the rest had been done. And all this was done
10 within the frameworks of this onslaught on Vocin or, rather, the
11 destruction of Vocin itself.
12 And if I might be allowed to add, when we investigated the crime
13 scene, many unexploded tank mines and mortars that were in the church
14 were found; that is to say, the explosion dispersed them, but did not
15 activate some of them.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you know, an investigator
17 should look at all aspects of a situation. From what you're describing,
18 a lot of buildings were destroyed, banks, hotels, cinemas. And then
19 you're saying that the church served as a weapons depot. So the rebel
20 units brought weaponry, ammunition, the arsenal, anti-tank weaponry.
21 Everything was stored inside the church. Okay. There might have been an
22 intended explosion, but there might also have been an accident, an
23 involuntary explosion. Weaponry -- weapons were stored there. Somebody
24 smoked a cigarette and it set fire to the arsenal, and everything blew
1 Have you looked at all the possibilities, possible scenarios?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the findings of the
3 investigators and according to the entire chronology of events in Vocin,
4 and according to everything that happened and that went before that,
5 happened before that, when you put all the pieces of the puzzle together,
6 the mosaic together, then it turns out -- you have the conclusion that
7 the investigators found, that the explosive that was in the church was
8 activated and it blew up the church, and this other arsenal that wasn't
9 activated was dispersed over a broad area.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The corpses which were found,
11 were some of these corpses related to the explosion?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They were in their houses,
13 pulled out into the street, and not a single person, citizen, died as a
14 result of the explosion.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Just for your information, that is from a video
16 clip which has the 65 ter number 468. It's more than two hours' long,
17 and I selected specific scenes from this tape.
18 [Videotape played]
19 [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreters might have
21 translated the words that are uttered on the videotape. For instance, I
22 heard the term "Chetnik" at some point. It could have been translated.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I had no time to prepare translations for this,
24 and I think the pictures speak for themselves.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, could you repeat again? Where
1 are we, exactly, and what are we seeing on these videos? It's not quite
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: We are in Vocin. The date is the 13th of
4 December, 1991, when the Serb forces have already left, and this is what
5 was found the next day after leaving of the Serb forces, by the Croatian
6 investigators and the Croatian population. This is what we call the
7 massacre at Hum, close to Vocin.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: The gentlemen we see on the video are Croatian
10 investigators; is that correct?
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: They are investigators and soldiers, as far as I
12 could see, or policemen. Maybe that the witness can explain this better
13 to us. I'm not sure.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: That would be good. Thanks.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Excuse me for interrupting. I have a second
16 video which is similar. It was on a different location, but always in
17 Vocin and Hum, and it's about one minute long. And then I would like to
18 ask the witness if he can comment on this.
19 [Videotape played]
20 [No interpretation]
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
22 Q. Mr. Witness, could you please comment on these videos? Was this
23 the situation you found when you arrived in Vocin?
24 A. Yes. This is footage of the massacre in Vocin, and the footage
25 was compiled by the investigators. And what you could see was the --
1 when you saw the members of the Croatian Army, they were there on the
2 next day and for some time held the area under their control. So
3 everything that you could see, the corpses, the massacre, the destroyed
4 buildings, whether administrative or residential, everything has been
5 recorded on tape, and you can see the scale of the massacre and the
6 explosion and all the rest of it.
7 Q. Can you tell us who committed these crimes?
8 A. According to the information gathered, that is to say, witness
9 testimony, the testimony of survivors, and the victims, and everything
10 that we have, they were the most extremist members of the special platoon
11 of the rebel army that stayed on together with some 80 members of the
12 White Eagles, volunteers, and Seselj's men from Serbia, who did all this
13 when the population from Vocin and the surrounding parts withdrew, and
14 when part of the Croatian population, under cover of night, when the
15 massacre had already started, took to the forests and escaped towards
16 Slatina and broke through in the early morning hours. Some of those
17 citizens had already arrived in Slatina, then, in the early morning.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when I listened to the
19 first video, I had the feeling at some point that the investigators who
20 were there, that some of them are speaking French. It seems that I heard
21 something to the effect, "Michel, come here." Among the investigators,
22 were there any French people or were there Croatians who spoke French?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most probably, these were
24 observers, UN observers who arrived on the second or third day. They
25 were there throughout, so quite possibly they were there on the second
1 day as well, when you hear French spoken.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there were ECMM monitors --
3 EU monitors who had come along to work with the investigators?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They weren't among the
5 investigators. They came into the area when this occurred.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So let me turn to the
8 The investigators conducted an investigation. Why is it that
9 since the international observers were there, why was no report filed by
10 these people?
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I cannot answer your question. I'm not aware of
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
14 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
15 Q. Mr. Matovina, could you tell us if also locals have been involved
16 in the commitment of these crimes?
17 A. I've already said, the most extremist members of the special
18 platoon, special unit from Vocin and the surrounding villages, the people
19 who were -- who had either come to live in the area or who lived there
20 anyway, also took part in this crime. They even pointed to the houses
21 that should be attacked, and houses belonging to ethnic Croats which were
22 to be liquidated, and there is witness testimony about that and official
23 reports compiled on the subject.
24 Q. Can you tell us, what was the ethnicity of the victims?
25 A. The victims were exclusively ethnic Croats.
1 Q. You already told us about the Catholic Church. I have prepared
2 another very short video of about seven seconds. I would like to have
3 this now on the monitor, if it's possible.
4 [Videotape played]
5 [No interpretation]
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
7 Q. Mr. Witness, were these the ruins of the Catholic Church in
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. I demand that the
10 Prosecutor play this tape again so that he can hear what was heard at the
11 end of the footage, and showing such a brief excerpt of seven seconds is
12 also unacceptable. I don't challenge the fact that the church was blown
13 up. You can see that. We can see that in front of us. But something
14 strange happened here, and we can see the last word -- we can hear the
15 last word that was heard on the tape, and I insist that we hear it, that
16 it be played again.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We can start again.
18 [Videotape played]
19 [No interpretation]
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's why I wanted to have this
21 played again, because the last two words were "Beli Orlovi,"
22 "White Eagles." You can hear that on the tape. You can play it again,
23 if you like.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's start again.
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, I have no problem that that is
2 mentioned. We heard --
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreters are saying
4 that one can hear the White Eagles mentioned.
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I'm not contesting this, and I have nothing to
6 say against this. We heard what the witness already said about the
7 White Eagles and its members, and so for me it's not a problem.
8 Can I have --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The soldiers we see here,
10 seemingly these people are the White Eagles, according to you. Who are
11 these men? Are these the White Eagles? Who are the soldiers we see by
12 the church?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On this footing, you can see the
14 church after the explosion, after the Croatian -- after the White Eagles
15 had left, and you can see Croatians on the footage. So after the
16 explosion and the explosive was activated and the church destroyed and
17 the massacre, the White Eagles had left, those who had blown up the
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I intervened because it was obvious
20 that the Croatian soldiers had some information about what had happened
21 there and that they were commenting on it. And just as the comment was
22 starting, seven seconds -- the seven seconds were up and the tape was cut
23 off. So when it became most interesting, we were deprived of hearing
24 what was said, because quite obviously the Croatian soldiers, at the very
25 least, knew something about what had happened.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, the Croatian
2 soldiers that are commenting obviously had information, because one is
3 talking about the White Eagles. Why did you cut the footage at this
4 moment? Why did you do this, why did you cut it after seven seconds?
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, originally I intended to show a
6 still from this video. Then I realised we have a still, but it's not on
7 the exhibit list. To be confirmed with the exhibit list, I decided to
8 show a very short video. I didn't listen to the comments of the soldiers
9 because I don't speak B/C/S. If the accused insists, I have no problem
10 to show the rest of this, but it shouldn't be very long. I'm not sure if
11 [indiscernible] is on.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We might as well look at the
13 entire footage, if it's only a matter of a few minutes. We are not that
14 pressed for time.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: It's not prepared. I don't know how it works,
16 technically, if we can do this.
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, we need a few seconds to prepare
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have to explain
21 this objection of mine while the Prosecution is preparing the videotape,
22 and it's a very important objection and remark.
23 This witness provided the Prosecution with a statement on the
24 11th of March, 2002, and this is the only statement that he gave to the
25 Prosecutor, as far as I know. You didn't give any other statement, did
1 you, Witness?
2 Next, this witness testified in the Milosevic trial, and I have
3 here a report by the "Zagreb Vjesnik" newspaper about his testimony. If
4 you look at this part of the statement, although we haven't got the
5 paragraphs numbered, but, anyway, if you look at the penultimate page of
6 his statement, the title there is: "The 12th and 13th of December, the
7 Vocin Incident." This witness clearly identifies who perpetrated the
8 massacre, and he says the paramilitary formation from Serbia named the
9 White Eagles. That's what the witness says in his statement.
10 Now, suddenly, for the purposes of this trial, he says a group of
11 members of the White Eagles, and "Seselj's men" appears, Seseljevci
12 [phoen], and so this word, Seseljevci or "Seselj's men," was introduced
13 for the purposes of this particular trial. And I don't believe the
14 Prosecutor when he says he doesn't know where this tape is cut off,
15 because the Croatian soldiers are talking about it, and it is on the
16 basis of something that they identify that it was a question of the
17 White Eagles.
18 So in his statement, the witness doesn't say that it was Seselj's
19 men anywhere, he just says exclusively "the White Eagles." Now suddenly
20 Seselj's men or Seseljevci are thrown into these proceedings.
21 Now, if you're going to tolerate this kind of manipulation,
22 that's your affair, but it's my job to draw your attention to it.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: First of all, this has to do with
24 cross-examination and has nothing to do with examination-in-chief. He
25 can raise the issue in cross-examination.
1 We are in the position to show the video. It's about 18 seconds'
3 [Videotape played]
4 [No interpretation]
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This is all what was on the tape.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor told us that the
7 footage lasted two hours. I wonder how these two hours pass so quickly.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: We don't have a video about two hours of a
9 destructed [sic] church. These two hours are about the events which
10 happened in Vocin and which are filmed.
11 You can see on this tape, this is from my recollection, a lot of
12 destructed [sic] houses. You can see other killed people. If you're
13 interested, I can show this, but to look at all this two and a half
14 hours, I think this is beyond the purpose.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Prosecutor, I think the point made by the
16 accused was that in direct extension of the discussion between the
17 investigators in the video about the White Eagles, some interesting
18 information might have been added. So the issue is now: Are we able to
19 discern what was further said about the White Eagles after the video was
20 cut in the first place?
21 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I don't understand B/C/S, so I don't know what
22 was said in the further presentation of this video.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please find in my words a kind invitation to find
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes, but at this place I cannot do this. I have
1 to turn to my office, and I need a language assistant to do this.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Are the interpreters able to help us, perhaps?
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did indeed hear the word
4 "White Eagles," but what else was said is indiscernible on the tape
5 without having a transcript and careful listening by someone else. Thank
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much to the interpretation booth.
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Shall I proceed?
9 Q. Mr. Matovina, do you know if also houses have been destroyed by
10 the departing paramilitaries?
11 A. Yes. I've already said houses were burnt, blown up, looted, and
12 the remaining destruction was associated with the strong explosion, its
13 epicenter and beyond. But these houses which can be seen on the VHS
14 footage, these are houses of Croats and bodies of Croats, which can be
15 seen clearly. Some of them were burnt, too. So, clearly, the intention
16 was to destroy houses as well as everything -- all other property in
17 Vocin. Afterwards, Vocin was unrecognisable.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Madam Registrar, I would like to have the
19 document under 65 ter number 4011 on the monitor. And when it appears, I
20 would like to ask the witness if he can comment on this.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is a document of the
22 Ministry of Information, which describes what happened in the night
23 between the 13th and 14th of December, 1991, during the withdrawal from
24 Vocin and its surroundings, all the things that were perpetrated by the
25 volunteers from Serbia and members of paramilitary units. Here, they
1 refer to reservists of the Yugoslav People's Army. This is information
2 about the bodies found, 43 victims, the demolition of the church, the
3 destruction of economic and industrial facilities, and everything else
4 that I've already talked about.
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Can we please move this document into evidence,
6 together with the three video clips?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can we have
8 numbers for the video clips and for this document.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, Mr. President, let us
10 identify when this document was generated. I don't see the document --
11 the date when this document was created. Perhaps you do.
12 We cannot have a document admitted to the file which does not
13 bear a date. This is a document that is also unsigned. So it doesn't
14 have any of these necessary factors.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this release from the
16 Ministry of Information of the Croatian Republic, relating to the events
17 which took place on the night between the 13th and the 14th of December,
18 to your knowledge this was drafted a year after the events, ten years
19 later? What can you say about the date?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that it was created a few
21 days afterwards. It refers to the date of the 13th and 14th, and it says
22 that the US Congressman Frank McCloskey personally witnessed the
23 aftermath of the tragedy. So the Ministry informed him of it immediately
24 after the event, so not much time should have transpired between the
25 actual event and the time it was written. So I'm not quite sure why it
1 doesn't have a date.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the fourth paragraph, there
3 is a significant mention here. One of the participants to the Vocin
4 massacre reported that orders for the massacre came directly from the
5 parliamentarian, Dr. Seselj, in Belgrade. Where does that come from?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who wrote the
7 document. It was obviously written by someone from the Ministry, and
8 here it mentions -- which paragraph did you say?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the English version, it's
10 the fourth paragraph. In your version, it might be the last paragraph on
11 the page. It starts with: "Agresorski ... "
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's right, yes, reported
13 and orders for massacres came directly from this office of the Belgrade
14 Parliamentarian leader, Dr. Vojislav, and I cannot see the rest of the
15 paragraph. I don't know who wrote this document.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can you
17 display the full document for the witness, page 2.
18 When you investigated the events, did you know that the orders
19 came from the office of Mr. Seselj in Belgrade or did they add the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a document of the Ministry,
22 and we are part -- we conducted, as part of the crime investigator, we
23 conducted talks exclusively with victims and with witnesses and those
24 people who later returned, Serbs, too, who later returned to this area,
25 who were forced to leave. So it is on all such information that our
1 investigation was based, and the document was written by the Ministry of
2 Information on the basis of their own information.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Excuse me. What is the Ministry
4 of Information? What is the responsibility of that ministry?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In wartime, during the war, their
6 activity was that of information, to follow the events that were
7 happening in the broader area of the Republic of Croatia and to know
8 everything that was going on on the ground, also on the basis of all
9 information that was flowing into the --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Seselj.
11 Another small detail. In the text, we see that there was a US
12 citizen among the victims, a woman 72 years of age. When you
13 investigated, did you discover that a lady, 72 years of age, was a US
14 citizen? How could they know about that?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She probably had dual citizenship.
16 I really don't know about this fact that she was also a US citizen. It
17 was probably something that one of the investigators on the team learnt.
18 They were, to me, all Croat citizens.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a minute. You were there
20 during the investigation, weren't you? If you were told a US citizen was
21 killed, you would have found out about it, it would have elicited
22 comments from you, so how come you were not told of that fact, whereas
23 you were on the ground and the Ministry of Information was told about
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know who sent this
1 information to the Ministry. According to their names and surnames, I
2 saw that the citizens were Croats by nationality. That was what I could
3 gather on the basis of their first and last names. To me, they were
4 obviously Croats. So when this document was issued immediately after the
5 event, there were a number of sources of information that was submitted
6 to the Ministry.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I absolutely contend
8 that this document has no association whatsoever with this trial, nor can
9 it be of any relevance.
10 First of all, this witness does not have a clue about this
11 document. The Ministry of Information in Croatia is the same thing as
12 the Ministry of Information in Serbia. It is the Ministry of Propaganda.
13 And this was drawn up for political reasons.
14 Of course, the crime was committed in Vocin. No one can dispute
15 that. No one can dispute the victims. There is proof of that. There
16 was the investigation which was also conducted by this witness, who did
17 not come by these data in his investigation. This was done by someone in
18 the Ministry of Propaganda. It is not signed, it does not bear a date,
19 there's nothing in it. This is something that only the Tribunal -- the
20 OTP can offer as evidence. Nobody in the world would do that.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're wording an objection
22 to the document.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber decides not to
25 admit the document, so we have to confer for a few minutes because the
1 Prosecution has pointed to something.
2 Madam Registrar, closed session.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 6826-6827 redacted. Private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can you just tell me
10 what the rest of the Prosecution's available time is?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Prosecution used up one
12 hour and 45 minutes. You have 15 minutes left, because you only had two
13 hours. But, Madam Registrar, you're going to indicate it to us.
14 Mr. Mussemeyer, how much time do you need to finish this
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Between five and ten minutes.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Between five and ten minutes,
18 that is what I had figured out.
19 So, Mr. Seselj, tomorrow, when we resume the hearing, the
20 Prosecution will have five to ten minutes, and you can start your
21 cross-examination. You will have two hours for that.
22 So in public hearing, the hearing is adjourned, and -- in open
23 session, sorry, the hearing is now adjourned and will resume tomorrow at
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 14th day of
2 May, 2008, at 2.15 p.m.