1 Wednesday, 19 November 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.33 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
9 Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to everyone in and
10 around the courtroom.
11 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
12 Vojislav Seselj.
13 Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 This is Wednesday, November 19th, 2008, and I welcome our
16 witness. I also welcome the many representatives from the OTP, as well
17 as their assistant. I welcome Mr. Seselj, and I also welcome
18 Mr. Registrar, ushers, our court reporter and the interpreters in the
19 booths helping us.
20 We'll now continue with the cross-examination. Could the
21 Registrar please tell me how much time is left. I believe it must be --
22 Mr. Seselj still has 30 minutes, unless I'm wrong.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, so far Mr. Seselj has used 49
24 minutes, which leaves him another 40 minutes. Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
2 WITNESS: VISNJA BILIC [Resumed]
3 [The witness answered through interpreter]
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj: [Continued]
5 Q. Mrs. Bilic, did you live in Zagreb
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. If not as a civil servant, as a native of Zagreb, perhaps, did
8 you hear that in the area of the fairgrounds in Velesajam in Zagreb
9 there was a camp for detained civilians?
10 A. No, I don't know that.
11 Q. Do you know that the existence of that camp was notified for the
12 first time to the public by Dr. Zarko Puhovski, the professor of
13 university and president of the Helsinki Council?
14 A. No, I don't know about that, but from a few articles and press
15 releases. I'm not familiar with any other information about it.
16 Q. Well, if you are a ranking civil servant and have no information
17 about the existence of a camp for detained Serb civilians, through which
18 several thousand Serbs who lived in Zagreb had passed, then it doesn't
19 surprise me that you're not aware of the other 220 camps for Serbs in
21 Here again, Mr. Dutertre is jumping to his feet.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
23 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I would ask Mr. Seselj to please
24 give us documents when he is quoting figures. Otherwise, you know, he's
25 speaking without any references, and we have absolutely no way to know
1 whether what he's saying is true or not.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Seselj. Yesterday, I
3 told you, after the objection raised by the Prosecutor, that when you are
4 submitting that you have such-and-such information, please also give us
5 the source of this information. Tell us this is a report from
6 such-and-such professor, published on such-and-such date at such-and-such
7 place, country, and so on, just so we have an idea and so we know that
8 what you are saying might be backed by at least some kind of document,
9 because if need be, the Trial Chamber could refer to this document; and
10 the Prosecutor could also refer to it if he has additional questions to
11 ask. We're inviting you to do this.
12 Of course, you're not legally bound to disclose all these
13 documents to us.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the existence of
15 camps for Serb civilians from Zagreb
16 fairgrounds is a notorious fact, has been notorious for more than a
17 decade. The witness says she's not aware of it. She may have read
18 something in the newspapers, but she doesn't know anything about it. Her
19 answer is perfectly satisfactory to me. It would be a problem for me if
20 she said, "Yes, I know that camp existed. It was within the jurisdiction
21 of the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Justice. Our ministry
22 was not involved, but that thing existed," because all Zagreb
23 locals know that it existed.
24 And now, Mr. President, to answer definitively to the objection
25 of Mr. Dutertre: If I were Prosecutor in this trial, I would have called
1 Savo Strbac, the president of the NGO Veritas, yesterday. I have never
2 met Savo Strbac in my life, but the Prosecution has been cooperating for
3 years with Savo Strbac and his NGO, Veritas, and have received enormous
4 quantities of material from them.
5 If I were Prosecutor and if I had listened to the
6 cross-examination yesterday, where the witness refers to information from
7 NGO Veritas, I would have immediately contacted Veritas yesterday and
8 asked, "Is this correct, is this true, is this accurate, can you give us
9 the material?" Why can't Mr. Dutertre address Mr. Milorad Buha,
10 president of the government of the Serbian Krajina in exile, because
11 Milorad Buha is a member of the Serb Radical Party and he would have
12 radically refused all contact with the OTP. So it doesn't surprise me
13 that the Prosecution doesn't contact him.
14 But you tied my ears, you blindfold me, you shut my mouth, you
15 block visits from my advisers, communications with my associates, you
16 block all dispatches by fax; and now you want me to provide documents.
17 Why would I have to? I have reliable information.
18 The Zagreb Velesajam fairgrounds was a camp through which several
19 thousand Serbs civilians from Zagreb
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] As to the latest allegations of
22 Mr. Seselj on his communications, I would like to refer to what
23 Mr. Mundis said yesterday extremely clearly regarding this issue. As to
24 the rest, Mr. Seselj is mentioning Veritas; so if he wants to, it's up to
25 him to bring documents and present documents in order to help the Trial
1 Chamber decide in an informed fashion. If he wants to call this person
2 for his Defence, he can do that. You know, it's not up to the
3 Prosecution to do this in his place.
4 That's just a few observations I wanted to make.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Seselj, while you
6 were talking, I was wondering maybe, you know, when you are asking for
7 your -- were you're calling your witnesses, you might call this
8 Savo Strbac, the director of this Veritas NGO. It doesn't necessarily
9 have to be an exculpatory witness, it can also be a context witness, you
10 know, somebody that is useful to help establish the truth. You can
11 always call this witness if the Prosecutor decides it's not useful to
12 call him on his side.
13 But through your questions, you seem to indicate that there was a
14 detainee camp for Serbs in Zagreb
15 of this, so please continue.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And then later she said she may
17 have read something in the newspapers, but nothing much. That was
18 approximately her answer.
19 Mr. President, it is not up to me to prove anything here. It is
20 my job to ask questions. I have certain information, and I don't even
21 have to tell you what my sources are. All I do is ask questions. My
22 questions may be the most stupid questions in the world, but I have the
23 right to them. I have that right, and I don't want to prove anything.
24 Let the Prosecution prove whatever they want.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you are entitled to
1 put questions, that's true. That's a right that you have by the Statute.
2 But I don't agree with you when you say that you're allowed to ask stupid
3 questions or silly questions. That's not true, because then, you know,
4 the issue is to provide you with counsel, because a counsel will not ask
5 silly questions. If a counsel is asking stupid questions or silly
6 questions, he's going to go against his code of ethics, and he might be
7 penalized for that. You don't -- you cannot be penalized, but you must
8 ask questions for your Defence. You're not here to waste our time.
9 As such, I don't believe that your question was stupid, to know
10 whether Serbs were detained in Zagreb
11 regarding this expert's competence and expertise, but it might provide us
12 with a general picture. However, she gave you her answer. Her answer is
13 what it was. Now, you take note of the answer, and either you pursue the
14 topic or you move on to something else.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With your leave, just one sentence,
16 Mr. President.
17 If lawyers were really barred from asking stupid or idiotic
18 questions, I assure you 80 per cent of advocates would have to leave the
19 ICTY. I don't want to name names, but I will -- in fact, I could give
20 you information about each one of them, and I could give you examples,
21 specific examples from transcript.
22 This threat that you will impose counsel on me doesn't bother me
23 anymore. I'm completely indifferent to that. You can't impose counsel
24 on me. You can try me in absentia, and that's it.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I did not say that
1 I was going to impose counsel on you. All I said was that when an
2 accused is actually asking only silly questions, then the issue is that
3 the solution might be to impose counsel on the accused. But here, we're
4 in a different situation. I never said that when you were asking this
5 question about Serbs being detained in Zagreb, that this question was
6 stupid. I never said that.
7 Please continue.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. You have
9 now assured me that I have not yet reached that degree.
10 Q. Ms. Bilic, is it true a that your ministry, when it keeps records
11 of missing persons, keeps a unified record of all missing persons who are
12 citizens of Croatia
13 A. That is correct. My ministry keeps a unified record of all
14 missing citizens, that is, nationals of the Republic of Croatia
15 missing in relation to the war and whose families submitted a request for
17 Q. So what matters is for their families to submit a request?
18 A. This submission of a request for tracing by family is one of the
19 basic criteria enabling a person to enter the category of missing
21 Q. All right. So this list of yours, this list of missing persons,
22 includes all Croat soldiers, regular Croatian soldiers, who as part of
23 regular units of the Croatian Army were involved in the war in 1993
24 against Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and who were involved in 1995
25 in the war against Serbs especially in the Serbian Krajina, if they had
1 gone missing in those war activities?
2 A. It is the obligation, and that's in the decree of the government
3 of the Republic of Croatia
4 Detainees and Missing Persons to search for all missing persons who went
5 missing and who are citizens of Croatia
6 their disappearance and the circumstances. According to that single
7 criterion and that principle, the Commission for Missing Persons in
9 the JNA who went missing in Croatia
10 other place. It is the obligation of the state to solve a case of its
11 missing citizen.
12 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have no objection
13 regarding what is being said. However, I heard something in French that
14 is not in the transcript, the fact that the research was done
15 independently of the ethnic background. I heard that in French, and it
16 didn't come in the English translation. Could we clarify this?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please specify this,
18 repeat exactly what you said regarding the ethnical background of the
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So the Administration for Detainees
21 and Missing Persons searches for all missing citizens, regardless of
22 their origin, their nationality, their faith, and regardless of the side
23 they were on at the time of their disappearance.
24 Equally, the Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons
25 searches for missing citizens, nationals of the Republic of Croatia
1 went missing in the war, regardless of whether they disappeared in the
2 Republic of Croatia
3 who went missing in the territory of Serbia
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Ms. Bilic, when Tudjman's regime was established, and that was
6 sometime in May 1990, if my memory serves me well, shortly afterwards
7 that regime enabled all Croats, regardless of where they were living, be
8 it in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the US, or Canada
9 citizenship if they wished?
10 A. I really don't know.
11 Q. Well, you have to know about this. Please don't tell me that you
12 don't know even this. All Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 participated in the elections of Croatia, both presidential and
14 parliamentary elections, and they have a special electoral unit in
16 A. Yes, I know there is an electoral unit for the diaspora, but I'm
17 not aware that all Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina have the possibility
18 to participate in parliamentary elections in the Republic of Croatia
19 But I know there is a special electoral unit for the diaspora.
20 Q. How come I know about these things better than you do? And all
21 these Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina who are citizens of the Republic
22 of Croatia
23 after the establishment of the Tudjman regime, if their family reports
24 their disappearance, they automatically come onto your list?
25 A. I can tell you that with the Administration for Detainees and
1 Missing Persons, we have records, and I may not be completely precise, of
2 requests for tracing of about 60 persons who went missing in the
3 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 Q. Do you have a paper saying that?
5 A. Not with me, unfortunately.
6 Q. You don't have it even in this paper, do you? And it's a very
7 important piece of information, because I believe the number is higher
8 than 60.
9 A. If you give me a little time to try to find an overview of
10 missing persons broken down by counties, which is part of the material I
11 provided, I am sure that in that overview there is an indication of the
12 number of persons who went missing outside the territory of Croatia
13 we can establish the exact number. Therefore, this figure does exist in
14 my -- in the additions to my report.
15 Q. Unfortunately, I don't have time to give you that time.
16 Tell me this: According to your official data, searches are
17 still going on for about a thousand or 1.100 people?
18 A. At the time I made my report, 1.076 persons were still being
19 searched for. Those were persons about whom information was collected in
20 the drive of 1994. 874 of them went missing in the Operation Storm,
21 which makes --
22 Q. Let us look at it separately, because it's separate in your
23 report. 874 -- how many Serbs did you say went missing in Operations
24 Storm and Flash?
25 A. In the military police Operations Flash and Storm, according to
1 tracing requests submitted by the families of missing persons, thus
2 according to the same criteria used by the ICRC, and the same criteria on
3 the basis of which the lists of missing persons were compiled in 1991 and
4 1992, at this time we have outstanding requests for tracing of 874
6 Q. Well, I asked you about the 874, and you gave me a whole lecture
7 to confirm that number. And how many did you say there were missing
8 persons in total until 1994 or as of 1994?
9 A. 1.076 at the time I made my report.
10 Q. How many of these are Serbs?
11 A. Sixty-four, if I remember correctly.
12 Q. Well, let it stand. Let's assume it's correct. So if you take
13 64 Serbs, it's 1.012 Croats and a few others, a few Czechs, Ukrainians
14 perhaps. It doesn't matter. But when you add this number of 64 to 874,
15 it's 938 missing Serbs, according to your official records.
16 Now, you are aware that according to official statistics, such as
17 the census of 1991, let's put aside the fact that I have grave doubts
18 about the validity of that 1991 census, there were about four and a half
19 million Croats living in Croatia
20 A. In 1991, as far as I know, according to the census, I think there
21 were less than four million people of Croatian nationality, but I really
22 have reservations about this. This is not my area of expertise.
23 Q. Never mind. Even I don't know everything by heart. Around four
24 million. And how many Serbs, according to official statistics, in 1991?
25 A. Again, take it with a grain of salt, but I suppose that it's
1 500.000 to 600.000.
2 Q. According to official statistics, it's 580.000. I usually round
3 it off. So there were seven to eight times more Croats than Serbs in the
4 area of Croatia
5 form of Serb mimicry or a way to express mixed marriages.
6 But isn't it striking that if there were seven to eight times
7 more Croats in Croatia
8 deduct the Croats who went missing in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 and we deduct the members of these ethnic minorities, according to your
10 official records an equal number of Croats as Serbs are still missing.
11 Isn't that striking? Shouldn't that be proportionate to the population
12 numbers? Try to answer it with a "yes" or "no" so we can move on.
13 A. Well, this is such a complex question that I can't answer it with
14 a "yes" or "no." It's impossible.
15 I'd like to emphasise two things here. First, the data we are
16 talking about reflect the current situation, and the number of missing
17 persons of Serb and Croat ethnicity is much higher than the figures we
18 presented. In fact, it was much higher than the figures we presented,
19 because such a large number of cases have been solved.
20 Just let me finish. I find it very important to say the next
21 thing concerning the comparison and the proportions between various
22 categories of population, compared to the 1991 census.
23 Statistically, such a comparison would not be justified. It
24 would not be justified. But what would be justified would be to take
25 into account the number and ethnic composition in areas that were
1 affected by the war, not the territory of the Republic of Croatia
3 Q. Well, that's something else. I fully understand you. However,
4 if the number of missing Croats was far higher than you managed to solve
5 those cases, the number of missing Croats then corresponded to the number
6 of Serbs reported, and many Serbian families didn't want to report that
7 their family members were missing, well, could that mean that you were
8 far more expeditious and diligent when it came to locating missing Croats
9 than when it came to locating missing Serbs, or is something else at
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sorry. Let's -- before you answer the
12 question just put by Mr. Seselj, I'd like to clear up one thing with you,
13 because I think you started out by saying that the Administration for
14 Detainees and Missing Persons only registered Croatian nationals that had
15 gone missing; and now it seems that apparently Serbian missing persons
16 were also registered. So I just want to be sure whether the authorities
17 of Croatia
18 also registering persons of other ethnicities, like Hungarians, or Serbs,
19 or Bosnians.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Administration for Detainees
21 and Missing Persons kept records of all citizens of the Republic of
23 Hungarians, all the citizens of the Republic of Croatia
24 missing in the course of the war. Records were kept regardless of their
25 nationality. Records were kept on the basis of the same criteria.
1 If I can now answer Mr. Seselj's question --
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, when you refer to the
3 Republic of Croatia
4 the federal Yugoslav state or are you referring about the current
5 republic and its current borders?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Or is it the same? It doesn't
7 matter what she has in mind, since the borders are identical.
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, things are quite clear
10 for me, but I believe that there may remain some level of doubt.
11 You talked about the way that people were registered as missing
12 persons, and you said that all Croatian nationals were registered,
13 without any distinction being made in terms of their ethnicity. In other
14 words, the thousand Serbs mentioned by Mr. Seselj who went missing, these
15 Serbs were Croatian nationals, they were Serbs living in Croatia
16 nationals of Croatia
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Yes, that's what I
20 In order to try and save time, it appears, out of all the
21 questions put to you by the Defence, that as of today we have roughly the
22 same number of Croats missing as Serbs, so we would roughly be talking
23 about the same figure, 1.000 Serbs, 1.000 Croats; would you agree with
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's quite possible at this point
1 in time -- or, rather, it's quite possible right now that there are more
2 missing Croats, that the difference in the numbers of Serbs and Croats
3 missing is not that great right now.
4 However, for the sake of being objective and to give you a full
5 picture of the situation, I would like to point out that the number of
6 individuals who were registered as missing in the Republic of Croatia
7 well, there were far more of them who were Croatian nationality than
8 there were of Serbian nationality. But at this point in time, as you
9 said, these figures are very similar.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you now answer the
11 question Mr. Seselj put to you initially?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj said that the families
13 of missing Serbs didn't want to report the fact that family members of
14 theirs had gone missing to the Croatian authorities. They didn't have to
15 do so. They didn't have to report the fact to the Croatian authorities,
16 if they didn't want to. But in such cases, the families would submit
17 requests to locate missing individuals to the International Red Cross.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's not my question.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And all these requests to locate
20 them were entered into our records. So even those families that did not
21 contact the Croatian authorities, if the missing family members were the
22 responsibility of the Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons,
23 well, this administration would have them on their records. It's
24 important. One has to understand that these records were complete, they
25 were full.
1 In addition to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the
2 families --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
4 Q. That has nothing to do with my question. You're wasting my time.
5 I wouldn't mind if you were wasting the Judges' time or the Prosecution's
6 time, but you're wasting my time.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll move on to the second part of
8 your question, because it was a conclusion.
9 As far as your question is concerned, well, I can tell you that
10 last year and the year before that year, the Administration for Detainees
11 and Missing Persons has completed the process of locating an identical
12 number of individuals of Croatian nationality and individuals of Serbian
14 However, until the time that we had information on missing
15 individuals of Serbian nationality, until that time, until we had good
16 information that would help us to find them, we couldn't solve the cases.
17 Since information has been obtained, since exhumations have been carried
18 out and body remains have been identified, well, since that time the
19 number of solved cases with regard to missing Croats is about identical
20 to the number of solved cases for missing Serbs.
21 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Ms. Bilic, in the course of the proofing, you said that your
23 access to the archives within your ministry wasn't complete, wasn't full,
24 it wasn't unlimited. There's a part of the archives that contains some
25 very sensitive information that you don't have access to; is that
2 A. I said that I had almost unlimited access to the archives.
3 Q. But not unlimited access?
4 A. I don't even have to have totally unlimited access to the
5 archives. I have access to the part of the archives that's important for
6 me, as the head of the Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons.
7 Q. Tell me, what is it that is so sensitive, so confidential, that
8 prevents you, as a high-ranking civil servant, from having access to such
9 information, and Ivan Grujic, the Colonel Ivan Grujic, has access to
10 that? He's now been promoted to the rank of brigadier general; is that
12 A. Well, as I have said, my access to the archives is mostly
14 Q. Please answer my question. What kind of material is so sensitive
15 that you don't have access to it?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
17 Witness, do not beat about the bush, please. Apparently, during
18 the proofing session with the Prosecutor, you told him that you were not
19 able to have access to some sensitive archives. Mr. Seselj took note of
20 that. He's putting a question to you about this, and it's very
21 straightforward. Were you allowed to have access to all of the archives,
22 or is it the case that you were not able to have access to some archives
23 that may have been off limits because they were classified and secret
24 archives? Could you please very candidly about this?
25 You took the oath. You said that you were going to tell the
1 truth and nothing but the truth. It's very important for us to know
2 whether you had access to everything or only to part of the archives.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have access to the majority of
4 documents contained in the archives. I don't have access to some
5 documents. But it's not necessary for me to have access to such
6 documents, given the work I do. But since I don't have access to those
7 documents, I don't know really know what the contents of those documents
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me take a very simple case.
10 As part of your work, let's assume you want to have access to
11 documents related to the army. Are you entitled to go to the Croatian
12 Ministry of Defence and have a look into their archives? This is a very
13 specific question I'm asking you. What do you have to answer?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would not go to the Ministry of
15 Defence to familiarise myself with my -- with their archives, but there
16 can be an official request that can have a certain level of
17 confidentiality, in which I can explain the reasons for which I need
18 access to some parts of the archives. And in such request, I can ask
19 them to provide me with the relevant documents.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me take a very specific
21 example. Let's assume that a Serb family in Belgrade gets in touch with
22 the relevant administration, telling them, "We have a relative who
23 disappeared in Croatia
24 You said that this would go through the ICRC and that you would then be
25 notified. So you are notified of this particular case. You are notified
1 of the fact that this individual was detained in a military camp. What
2 do you do in such a case?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I submit a request to the relevant
4 ministry for access with regard to the case in question.
5 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Since you say that you don't know anything about the contents of
7 the sensitive part of the archives that you don't have access to, well,
8 since that's what you say, I will now provide you with information; and
9 then tell me what you think about it.
10 The sensitive and confidential part of the archives, to which
11 only Colonel Ivan Grujic has access, contains information on the
12 exhumation of Serbs who were killed and who were located in 135 graves;
13 and it also contains information on how one artificially reduced the
14 number of victims in Pakracka Poljana and Malino Selo, for example.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
16 Mr. Dutertre.
17 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Objection, for the following
18 reason. The witness stated that since she did not have access to these
19 documents, obviously she has no idea what they are; so I do not quite see
20 how she could answer such a speculative question.
21 And, furthermore, we do not know how Mr. Seselj would be,
22 himself, aware of the nature of these documents. This is a very
23 speculative question, and we have nothing telling us that these documents
24 are the ones described by Mr. Seselj.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've interrupted the accused
1 as he was putting his question to the witness. Let's wait for him to
2 finish his question to decide whether it's a speculative question or not.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this isn't an ordinary
4 witness who knows or doesn't know certain things. This is an expert who
5 has to know everything. Not only does she have to know things that
6 Mr. Dutertre doesn't know, but also things that I don't know. One can
7 ask this expert for her expert opinion. This isn't a witness that
8 speculates. It's a witness that can reflect and think, and she thinks in
9 a far better manner than Mr. Dutertre. I'm quite happy about the way she
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please refrain from making
12 personal attacks against this or that person, but put your question to
13 the witness. Your question may be relevant, but we need to know what it
15 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I'm just providing you with a few examples out of the 135 graves
17 in Pakracka Poljana and Malino Selo, which is in Western Slavonia, from
18 October 1991 up until March 1992. Over 300 Serb civilians were killed,
19 and your ministry has reduced this number 15-fold, and secret information
20 on how many bodies were actually found is in the hands of Ivan Grujic and
21 no one else. So the traces are lost of these others.
22 And for another example, when it comes to the exhumation of
23 Serbs, Serbian civilians who were shot in the Medak Pocket in 1986, and
24 then we have Gospic, where over 200 Serbs -- almost 200 Serbs were
25 killed. The figure is slightly lower. And you officially say that only
1 11 Serbian bodies were exhumed there. We're talking about Gospic now.
2 That was in October 1991, roughly speaking. That's when they were
4 And then we have cases in many other places. One striking
5 example is that many Serbian civilians were killed in Osijek, and
6 Ivan Grujic was the local head of the State Security Service. That's
7 what it was called at the time. First it was State Security and then the
8 name was changed. The bodies of Serbs, in September and December 1991,
9 of Serbs who were killed in Sarvas and Paulin Dvor, near Osijek. Osijek
10 Your Honours, is on the eastern edges, the estuary of the Drava
12 on Velebit in a place called Rizvanusa. Are you familiar with this, with
13 the fact that the bodies of Serbs killed in Osijek were found on Velebit?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dutertre.
15 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] No, I thought that Mr. Seselj was
16 testifying. I was expecting a question, but he has finally put a
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Mr. Seselj has put a
19 question to you. Please provide an answer, because we're dealing here
20 with the very heart of the matter.
21 The case of Mr. Seselj is that in your report, you give a number
22 of Serbs that were killed, and he's given us a series of examples to
23 illustrate the fact that according to him, many more Serbs were killed.
24 What do you have to answer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my report, there is information
1 on all individuals who were exhumed and identified, individuals who were
2 also of Serbian origin. I'm familiar with the exhumation on Rizvanusa.
3 It's in my report as well. And victims from Paulin Dvor were found
4 there, 17 of them. The institution I work in carried out the exhumation
5 of the remains in Rizvanusa and identified the remains using the DNA
6 method of analysis, and this institution organised the funeral of all
7 those remains in accordance with their families' wishes.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Very well. I appreciate what you did, but Osijek is at the
10 estuary of the river of Drava
11 A. More or less.
12 Q. And Rizvanusa is on Velebit, to the west of Lika, in the western
13 part of Lika; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. And the distance, as the crow flies, is -- well, what would it
16 be, about 400 kilometres, perhaps more?
17 A. Well, about 400 kilometres.
18 Q. About 400 kilometres. So someone from Osijek or Paulin Dvor and
19 Sarvas near Osijek
20 Velebit, which is very difficult to have access to; and the bodies were
21 found. But the bodies of about 200 Serbs killed near Gospic still
22 haven't been found; is that correct? The bodies of the Serbs killed in
24 because they wanted to deal with Branimir Glavas, who they didn't favour
25 for political reasons, although he was one of the main persons
1 responsible for those eliminations. But the bodies of the victims of
2 military personnel who were in support of the regime haven't been found.
3 So that's why some victims have been found and in other cases the bones
4 found were destroyed. Am I right in saying this?
5 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] This is a compound question.
6 Could it be divided up into a number of other questions?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it's a very long question,
8 it's a very complex question, but let me summarise it.
9 According to Mr. Seselj, the bodies of those were not following
10 the political line of the regime are found, but the bodies of the others
11 are not to be found. What do you have to answer?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, first of all, in the question
13 put to me by Mr. Seselj, information on victims was mentioned,
14 information on victims of Serbian ethnicity, and this isn't supported by
15 the documents.
16 I'm not denying that people of Serbian ethnicity were killed,
17 but, however, in Gospic a grave was exhumed, a grave in which the remains
18 of 18 bodies were found. In the Medak Pocket, another grave was exhumed
19 and the remains of 11 individuals were found there. In Pakracka Poljana,
20 Mr. Seselj, in 1995 a grave was exhumed in which the remains of
21 19 individuals were found. And this shows that the Croatian authorities,
22 the Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons, carried out
23 exhumations wherever they established that there might be graves, and
24 this was regardless of the ethnic origins of the bodies of the people in
25 those graves.
1 There was nothing done for political reasons when it comes to
2 exhuming remains, body remains. These remains were exhumed as soon as
3 information was obtained about the possibility that there might be mass
4 or individual graves at certain sites, and this was the case in all
6 Q. But you don't know what the secret part of the archives in your
7 ministry contains, the part of the archives you don't have access to.
8 That's why your answer can't be complete.
9 Please, could you tell me how much more time I have at my
10 disposal so that I can plan for my cross-examination?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will tell you shortly. 17
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. Your ministry also became involved in the ideological process of
15 rehabilitating the Ustasha movement, and they became involved with
16 identifying it with a movement in the course -- the parties and movement
17 in the course of the Second World War. You did this by exhuming the
18 remains of Ustashas who were killed in the Second World War, and you
19 buried them -- or they were buried again with certain honours; is that
21 A. My ministry wasn't responsible for exhumations that date back to
22 the Second World War, exhumation of bodies killed in the Second World
23 War. However, given a particular decision of the government of Croatia
24 we were made responsible for exhuming certain remains, in technical
25 terms, in order to take permanent care of certain remains. The
1 administration did this whenever the government of Croatia issued such
2 decisions. And I'll repeat, this was done regardless of the ethnic
3 origins of the victims concerned.
4 Q. Listen to me carefully now, please. The independent state of
6 Hitler's satellite, sent 10.000 Ustasha volunteers to the Eastern Front
7 as part of the so-called Croatian Legion. The Croatian Legion was routed
8 at Stalingrad
9 Ustasha from that Croatian Legion died or were killed with a group of
10 Italian soldiers.
11 One division, more or less, was at the Eastern Front, and as the
12 Italian military authorities collected their victims or exchanged -- or
13 did an exchange for them and transported their remains to Rome, as they
14 did this, they also took with them the remains of 16 Ustasha and buried
15 them at the Roman cemetery, Cimitero Del Verano.
16 And you, Ms. Bilic, together with Ivan Grujic, in 2007, on the
17 20th of December, 2007, went to Rome
18 these 16 Croatian soldiers, the remains that were in small boxes, and you
19 transported them to Croatia
20 occasion; is that correct? I have a document to this effect. I'm
21 constantly being asked for documents, and I got this from the internet;
22 and I even have a photograph.
23 Mr. Dutertre has been provided with a copy. Why doesn't he look
24 for it on the internet himself?
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Your Honour, what is the relevance
1 of this question with respect to the case, as submitted to the Trial
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could I explain what
4 the relevance is?
5 In Belgrade
6 there's a special French military grave where several hundred French
7 soldiers, who were killed in the First World War, were buried. There is
8 also a Soviet military grave there, and Russian soldiers who were killed
9 in the Second World War, Russian soldiers fighting for the liberation of
11 can describe a cemetery in this way. No one ever had the idea of moving
12 these French or Russian soldiers back to their homelands, because they
13 were buried in Belgrade
15 Cimitero Del Verano is a cemetery which has a nice military grave. 16
16 Croatian soldiers, Ustashas, were also buried there. They were killed at
17 the Eastern Front. They happened to be with the Italian soldiers who
18 were killed, and they were transported there together.
19 And after so much time has passed, a government, which is very
20 similar to the Ustasha government from the Second World War, in terms of
21 its programme and ideology, has the idea of requesting that the remains
22 of 16 Ustasha be moved back from Rome
23 about the character of the government, about the ideology of the ministry
24 that Ms. Bilic currently works for.
25 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I don't see the relevance of this
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Bilic, he says you went
3 to Rome
4 the credibility of the witness, so what do you say to this?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you can see from my CV, in 2002
6 I was appointed member of the Joint Commission for the Implementation of
7 the Contract between the Republic of Croatia
8 related to the casualties of World War II; and it is precisely on that
9 basis, as a member of the Joint Commission, that I, together with other
10 members of that commission, was notified about the mortal remains of 16
11 citizens of the Republic of Croatia
13 mortal remains because they were the remains of people originating from
15 by an agreement between two states, two governments, those of Croatia
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. All right. If you had already started to implement these
20 conclusions, did you exhume Italian citizens who were killed in the area
21 of Dalmatia
22 killed or executed?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Madam Bilic, I
24 have a follow-up question.
25 It seems that contrary to what Mr. Seselj is stating, it is not
2 by Italy
3 transfer. Obviously, this is what you're saying on page 27, line 4. And
4 you can this within the framework of an agreement between Italy
6 bodies. Please come and get them." Is that the way it occurred, or is
7 it Croatia
9 initiated the whole proceeding?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The notification on the mortal
11 remains of these 16 persons was received from the Italian side, and it
12 was their proposal that the Republic of Croatia
13 remains, which was done.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Seselj, contrary to what you are stating, obviously the
16 witness is saying the opposite of what you're stating.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it's her job to say the
18 opposite of what I'm saying, Mr. President. And when she's not able to,
19 she will go on spinning her yarn.
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, we're not here to
21 try Croatia
22 not see the relevance of this line of questioning.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Sometimes, to be quite frank,
24 Madam Lattanzi, I forget who is on trial here, because looking at all the
25 witnesses who have been here, and the evidence led, it always seems to me
1 that I'm the Prosecutor here and the representatives of the OTP are
2 actually defending the interests of my Serbian opponents in the past
3 civil wars.
4 But let me use the few remaining minutes.
5 Q. Do you know, Ms. Bilic, that between 1991 and 1995 --
6 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] This is totally unacceptable.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me tell you that
8 personally, I really hate the Prosecution attacking Defence or Defence
9 attacking the Prosecution. We're here to try and find out what happened.
10 We have a report which was drafted by an expert witness. This
11 report is challenged by -- at least some of the aspects of this report
12 are challenged by the Defence, and credibility of the author of the
13 report is also challenged. And the Judges need to know whether the data
14 included in the report is reliable. We need to know that in order to
15 draw our conclusions.
16 So I'm asking Mr. Seselj and the Prosecution to focus on what is
17 in the indictment, and only on what is in the indictment.
18 Continue, Mr. Seselj.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Ms. Bilic, here come a few easier questions, so relax.
21 Do you know that between 1991 and 1995, on several occasions
22 there were negotiations between the representatives of the government of
23 the Serbian Krajina and the government of the Republic of Croatia
24 mutual exchanges of the dead; do you know that?
25 A. I know that in that period between 1991 and 1995, there were
1 negotiations that discussed, among other things, deliveries and
2 hand-overs of mortal remains.
3 Q. Do you know that only in one case, in 1994, the Croatian
4 authorities turned over to the authorities of Serbian Krajina 70 Serbian
5 civilians, that is, bodies of Serbian civilians who had been exhumed in
6 the territory of Zagreb
7 A. No, I was not.
8 Q. And do you know that at these meetings, they also agreed about
9 exchanging living civilians? For instance, the government of the Serbian
10 Krajina would look through the lists and search for detainees in Croatian
11 camps, and Croatian authorities would look for their own nationals
12 detained by Serbian authorities? Do you know there have been such
13 exchanges of civilians?
14 A. I know there had been negotiations on exchanges, and there were
15 exchanges of persons held by one or the other side.
16 Q. Thank you for this brief answer. Do you know that the competent
17 commission of the Republic of Croatia
18 also in exchanges between the warring sides in Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 Those were exchanges of prisoners, exchanges of bodies, and exchanges of
20 detained civilians.
21 A. I know about that, and the then Commission for Detainees and
22 Missing Persons was involved in the exchanges of prisoners and takeovers
23 of mortal remains when the persons involved were from the Republic of
25 Q. But there have also been detained civilians who were actually
1 treated as hostages. One side would detain a certain number of civilians
2 from the other side, and the other side would detain the same number, and
3 then they bargain about an exchange?
4 A. In exchanges of civilians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I actually
5 can't think of a single case.
6 Q. But you do have information about exchanges of civilians between
7 the Serbian Krajina and Croatia
8 A. Well, I know, for instance, in the prison in Knin, there were
9 villages of Marinovici, there were indisputably civilians. I know of
10 several such cases where civilians were held in prison and were
11 exchanged, because they had been in prisons in Beli Manastir, Knin,
12 Glina, a whole series of locations.
13 Q. But civilians on the opposite side, that is, your side, had also
14 been held in prisons or improvised prisons, camps. You did not open --
15 make an announcement in the newspapers for Serbian civilians to come up
16 and then be exchanged for Croats held in Serbian Krajina?
17 A. This is a very leading question, and I cannot answer it this way.
18 Q. But I'm entitled to leading questions, aren't I? You know that,
19 do you?
20 Why am I asking that? Because Berislav Pusic, for instance, is
21 on trial here, who as representative of Herceg-Bosna participated in
22 exchanges of prisoners, civilians, and detainees; whereas Colonel
23 Ivan Grujic is not on trial anywhere for exchanges of civilians. That is
24 against the law, because civilians cannot be taken as hostages, according
25 to international law, and even Ivan Grujic was involved in taking
1 civilians hostages and even exchanging them for the other side.
2 A. As I said in my earlier answers, people were exchanged when they
3 had been held by one or the other side. Concerning the Republic of
5 exchanges of civilians with Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the then
6 Commission and now Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons was
7 involved. So these claims that Colonel Grujic had been involved in the
8 taking of hostages and exchanging of civilians are not correct, are not
10 Q. Colonel Grujic confirmed in the Milosevic trial, the Mrksic
11 trial, and other trials, I believe, Martic included, that he had been
12 involved in negotiating such exchanges; and I have information, for
13 instance, that he had personally been in Livno for one round of such
14 negotiations, and you don't know that?
15 A. If you tell me approximately at what time this happened --
16 Q. The transcript only mentions negotiations in Livno, but
17 unfortunately even I don't know the date, because the Prosecution had to
18 give me the transcript of the examination of Ivan Grujic. He had been
19 planned as an expert witness here, but he was so badly compromised that
20 they had to switch. That's why you were so hastily taken as his
21 replacement. You know that, don't you? Do you know that?
22 A. As for Colonel Grujic having been supposed to testify, I think
23 that's the question you should ask the Prosecution.
24 Q. All right. But you were produced here with such haste, as
25 Grujic's replacement, that you had to write your expert report in great
1 haste, and from the last expert report of Ivan Grujic, you copied the
2 entire passages. I took the trouble of actually reading them and
3 comparing them both, and underlining the passages that were copied.
4 A. I did not prepare my report in haste. I had ample time. It is a
5 fact that the text of Deputy Minister Grujic is largely identical to the
6 text of the report that I sent to the OTP, which is both justified and
7 expected, because the report describes the methodology of our work, the
8 results, and the status of our records. If you take that into account,
9 it would be very odd if the reports were different.
10 Q. Reports cannot differ significantly in figures and data. But if
11 you take whole sentences and paragraphs, then that would be plagiarizing,
12 because Grujic's report is his author work and yours is yours. But I
13 found whole passages pasted from Grujic's report in your report. That's
14 plagiarism. Is that punishable in Croatia? In Serbia
15 sentenced to prison. If you copied somebody's intellectual product and
16 published it, that is approximately the legal provision, you would be
17 sentenced to up to one year imprisonment.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Bilic, I'm not talking
19 about plagiarism here, but when the OTP commissioned you to draft this
20 expert report, I guess that you had asked for Mr. Grujic's report, and
21 you drafted your own report using Mr. Grujic's report as a base. Is this
22 what you did? Did you read Mr. Grujic's report beforehand?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. I compiled my
24 report based on the report of the deputy minister, Colonel Grujic, and
25 all the passages that remain unchanged, that is, those that relate to
1 organisational aspects, the collection of information on missing persons,
2 exhumations and identification, all those passages that are identical
3 have been mostly taken over, as such, and put in my report. There was no
4 need to change them because, as I said, they describe our methodology of
5 work. All the new questions that the Prosecution included and asked me
6 to cover in my report are there. All the data has been updated and
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, you have two
9 minutes left.
10 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
11 Q. But in that case, Ivan Grujic is your co-author, at least, which
12 gives me the right to cross-examine him as well as you.
13 Here, I found one page of the transcript in the Mrksic trial
14 where Colonel Grujic confirms. That's page 10312, where Colonel Grujic
15 confirms he had participated in exchanges of civilians between Croatia
16 and Serbian Krajina and between the warring sides in Bosnia.
17 That is information that I wanted to put to you, but I have no
18 further questions, Ms. Bilic?
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
20 Mr. Dutertre, any redirect?
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] I'll try to be as short as
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, because we have a break at
24 10.00. It would be good to finish by 10.00, because we have another
25 witness waiting.
1 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Dutertre:
3 Q. [Interpretation] To come back to this report, Ms. Bilic, you were
4 based yourself on an internal document drafted by Mr. Grujic in order to
5 write your report; is that correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And you base yourself on the same statistical data; right?
8 A. Correct, the same records, the same statistics, the same forms,
9 because it's all about the methodology of work.
10 Q. You told us that you updated the data, and as far as the rest is
11 concerned, some information was not updated, but it was information that
12 didn't have to change, but you checked the veracity of this --
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. This information was actually exact and true?
15 A. That information was correct, was accurate, and they reflect the
16 state of records in the Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons
17 and the work processes that the administration is engaged in.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us the distance between Velebit
19 Mountains and Vukovar?
20 A. 450, perhaps 500 kilometres. I'm not sure.
21 Q. Very well. Regarding the seven non-identified persons among the
22 Ovcara victims, page 11832-11834 of today's transcript, you were asked
23 some very speculative questions, so I'll do the same.
24 So is it possible that the relatives of these people could live
25 in Croatia
1 collection campaign, or could it be that these people come from Croatia
2 but actually had no relatives, and that's why no one actually identified
3 these seven bodies, because actually no one claimed them?
4 A. It's also possible that they did not have any family members who
5 would look for them, that entire families were dead, or perhaps they did
6 not have enough relevant family members or next of kin that DNA analysis
7 would be possible.
8 Q. Very well. Next item, and it was at page 11, line 14 and 15, in
9 today's transcript. This proportion of ethnicity, proportion of
10 ethnicity. Could you confirm that among the exhumed people for which the
11 identity was established that 87 per cent of them were Croats? This was
12 in document 7362 of the 65 ter list that we saw yesterday. 87 per cent.
13 A. Correct. 87 percent of identified persons are of Croat
15 Q. Now let's talk about the people who were still gone missing. I'm
16 having a hard time tracking all this, but I'm sure Mr. Seselj won't blame
17 me for this.
18 We have document 761 in the first binder, the blue binder. Could
19 you please take a look at this document. In this document, there is
20 mention of the 1.076 people who are still gone missing.
21 I repeat the number of the document, 7361 [Realtime transcript
22 read in error, "761"] in the first binder, the blue binder. The "3" is
23 still missing, 7361.
24 So in this document, on the sixth page in the English version, we
25 have the nationality of the people gone missing of these 1.076 people
1 that have gone missing, and we can note that 87 are Croats. Do you
2 confirm this figure, that there are only 64 Serbs among these people gone
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. The English transcript does not reflect what I heard in my
6 headset in French. Could you please repeat your answer, Ms. Bilic?
7 A. I said that was correct. 87 per cent of missing persons are of
8 Croat ethnicity, and among the missing persons there are 64 Serbs.
9 Q. Now, quickly and in order to supplement the questions that we
10 mentioned this morning on page 7 and 8, and yesterday, page 11834 of the
11 transcript, so if a French family, a Serb family, an Italian family,
12 inquires with the Administration of Missing Persons, saying, "This
13 persons disappeared on the territory of Croatia
14 could you tell us exactly what you would do after having obtained this
15 inquiry from this family?
16 A. We will receive a tracing request if it's within the jurisdiction
17 of the Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons. And if it is
18 not, in that case we would tell the family to approach the ICRC.
19 Q. One last question. Yesterday, page 11842 to 11845 in the
20 transcript, you were asked a question on the Serb detainees in Croatia
21 and we mentioned this again today. Your report has little information on
22 the detainees held by Croat authorities during the conflict, but is it
23 because this is -- this comes under the aegis of another ministry, for
24 example the Ministry of Defence, and has its own information; and you're
25 not in charge of collecting this information? Or is it a deliberate
1 choice to have decided not to address this question in your report?
2 A. As we can see from the decrees of the Republic of Croatia
3 government, governing issues of detainees and missing persons, the
4 Administration for Detainees and Missing Persons is not in charge of
5 keeping records of persons who were in the hands of the Republic of
7 Defence, not our ministry, that are in charge.
8 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 No further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, we have just completed
11 your testimony. On my behalf and on behalf of my colleagues, I would
12 like to thank you for having come to testify for the Prosecution in this
13 case in relation to missing persons who are victims of the conflict of
14 the former Yugoslavia
15 The usher will now escort you out of the courtroom, and thus
16 you'll be able to take your plane home.
17 We're going to have a 20-minute break now. After that break,
18 we'll have the following witness.
19 With respect to the documents, Mr. Dutertre, the documents you
20 offered into evidence, you've already listed them yesterday?
21 MR. DUTERTRE: [Interpretation] Yes, but we have to add 65 ter
22 document 7361.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will rule in
24 writing about these documents.
25 We'll have a 20-minute break, and we'll resume then with the
1 following witness. The Prosecution will have one hour to examine the
2 witness, and Mr. Seselj one hour to cross-examine him.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Recess taken at 10.02 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.22 a.m.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
8 Please state your first name, last name, and date of birth.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Katica Paulic, the 1st of April,
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you have a profession, an
12 occupation? If so, which one is it?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am now an employee in the company
14 called Elektrocontact.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you ever testified before
16 a court about the events that took place in the former Yugoslavia, or is
17 it the first time you're going to testify about this?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's the first time today.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please read the
20 solemn declaration the usher is going to show to you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: KATICA PAULIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
1 be seated.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me give you some
5 You will answer questions put to you by Mr. Ferrara, whom you've
6 probably met as part of preparation of your testimony. Mr. Ferrara will
7 ask you questions and show you a number of documents. If necessary, the
8 Judges will also put questions to you. Mr. Seselj, who is the accused in
9 this case, will also put questions to you as part of the
10 cross-examination. That's the way we are going to proceed.
11 I'm not sure whether we'll be able to complete your testimony
12 today. Barring any incidents, this should be possible, but we also may
13 have to continue with your testimony tomorrow morning. I can't tell you
14 anything at this stage.
15 I'm trying not to waste any time at all, and I'm immediately
16 going to give the floor to Mr. Ferrara. He has one hour to examine you.
17 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honours.
18 I want to point out that the witness has some health problems, so
19 maybe it's possible that she will ask to break or something if she feels
20 not well.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I was not aware that
22 you had health problems. If you feel unwell at any time, raise your hand
23 and ask for the hearing to be adjourned. But it's up to you, of course.
24 MR. FERRARA: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Examination by Mr. Ferrara:
1 Q. Ms. Paulic, when were you born, and how long did you live there?
2 A. I was born on the 1st of April, 1956, and I lived there
3 permanently up until 1992.
4 Q. Where?
5 A. In Hrtkovci.
6 Q. What's your ethnicity?
7 A. I am a Croat.
8 Q. Where do you currently live?
9 A. I live in Zagreb
10 exchanged a house.
11 Q. What was your occupation and employment in Hrtkovci?
12 A. I was involved in agricultural labour for a while, until we built
13 a house, and then I opened up my own shop in my very own house. So I ran
14 a shop.
15 Q. What was the ethnic makeup of Hrtkovci in 19 -- until 1992?
16 A. Up until 1992, well, briefly, I would put it like this: It was
17 super. There was no stress. We got on well. We had lunch at each
18 other's places. We celebrated Easter and Christmas, et cetera, together.
19 Everything was excellent.
20 Q. So can you give us an estimate of the different ethnic group in
21 Hrtkovci at that time?
22 A. At the time, there were a lot of Croats, Hungarians. They had
23 been there for a long time because the village is an old one. There were
24 Hungarians and Germans. The Germans were expelled, the Hungarians stayed
25 on. Serbs from Slavonia
1 People from Lika moved in. They were all in the minority. Croats were
2 the majority, and there were somewhat fewer Hungarians than there were
4 Q. You say that everything was excellent. When -- this relationship
5 changed, and when?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. When did this change?
8 A. Well, the relationship started changing when the war broke out in
10 arriving, various strangers started arriving in the village. They acted
11 in a disruptive manner in the village. They made everyone nervous.
12 That's when things started.
13 Q. When did you start hearing people talking about ethnic cleansing?
14 A. Well, since I ran a shop, my neighbour who lived across the road,
15 Slavko Mirazic, who was a calm boy, to tell you the truth; but he started
16 spreading rumours according to which the Croats didn't know what was
17 waiting for them, that there would be ethnic cleansing, and then he had a
18 list of those who would be leaving. Those were the words used, and
19 that's the first I heard about it.
20 Q. What was the ethnicity of this Slavko Mirazic?
21 A. A Serb, a Serb. Both his father and mother were Serbs.
22 Q. Did he belong to any political party?
23 A. Yes. He would always boast that he belonged to Seselj parties,
24 that he knew him.
25 Q. How do you know he belonged to this party? He told you?
1 A. That's what he said, yes. He said that. He would come to my
2 shop, and he used those very words.
3 Q. You say that as the war was spreading in Croatia, there was
4 this -- the refugees start -- people from East Slavonia start to arrive
5 in your village. How many refugees would you estimate arrived in
6 Hrtkovci in 1992?
7 A. Well, look, it's very difficult to give you a number, because
8 this occurred on a daily basis. They would move around in groups. There
9 would be four or five of them together, sometimes ten of them together,
10 sometimes four of them in a group. It depended on the kind of groups
11 they formed, but this was a daily and continual occurrence.
12 Q. Were they organised in some way or they arrived on initiative --
13 their initiative?
14 A. I believe that they were organised, because initially they moved
15 around. Well, they were most interested in large houses, to start with.
16 They weren't really interested in small houses. They were interested in
17 large houses, and that's where they would go. That's what they would
18 attack. I can provide you with a few examples.
19 They'd come to me, and I also know the lady across the road, not
20 exactly across the road; but to my right there was an old granny who
21 lived there. Her son was in Germany
22 built. It was a new house full of everything, lots of tools. There was
23 lots of furniture and other things in the house. The old lady died and
24 the son remained in Germany
25 house to a man and woman who also lived abroad, and they would come,
1 well, occasionally. They'd spend a few days in the house. They returned
2 to Hungary
3 arrived, they moved into the house. They did that overnight. They
4 opened the house up and they moved in.
5 Someone reported this to the couple. They told them that people
6 had moved into the house. They returned then. The lady reported the
7 fact to the police there, and she wasn't able to achieve anything through
8 this means. She came to my shop and she told me that she was looking for
9 a few dresses.
10 Q. When did it happen, this event?
11 A. Before Seselj arrived.
12 Q. When did Seselj arrive in Hrtkovci, just to have a clear idea?
13 A. That was when these people were involved in the attacks. That's
14 what I'm talking about. She literally asked me to let her go to the
15 toilet, to let her use my toilet, because she couldn't enter her own
16 house, and she didn't gain access to her house.
17 Q. Were these Serb refugees viewing only houses or other people in
18 Hrtkovci or businesses as well, like shops or factories?
19 A. That's correct. I had my shop, my own shop. Naturally,
20 Zdenko Barisic also had his own shop. He also worked in the local
21 commune as a secretary in the local commune. The case was the same for
22 him. The people who were called out, well, they were all in power.
23 But people were interested in large houses. My uncle has a
24 small, miniature house, so he wasn't affected. But we were, because we
25 had big houses. When I say "a big house," I don't know what you consider
1 to be a big house, but they were big houses.
2 Q. Did you receive any visit from any of the refugees in your shop?
3 A. Oh, yes, many.
4 Q. When, and what they told you?
5 A. It was like this: When you enter the shop, there was a sort of
6 storage space to the left. They would sometimes open it up and say,
7 "Well, it's good, that could be ours." They said it's better to go there
8 with a bag. They used a local word for "bag." They said, "It's better
9 for you to go out like this than leave with a bag in your hand." Well,
10 that, in effect, meant you should leave, you should go.
11 I could go on about these people for an entire day, but I'll
12 select a number of examples.
13 There was someone called Jovo. He was tall, wore a beard, and he
14 would bring these people in. And on one occasion, he appeared on his
15 own. I remember that well. It's as if it happened yesterday. It was on
16 a Sunday. I was working on my own. My employee had the day off. I was
17 working there alone. There was a long queue. When I saw him, I was
18 afraid, naturally. I served the customers, I don't know how. It doesn't
19 even matter. When it was his turn, I mustered all my courage and briefly
20 asked him, "How can I help you?" He was a customer, but I knew why he
21 was there. He said he wasn't going to buy anything. He said the
22 following: He said, "Madam, I admit that I'm bringing other people in
23 here to exchange houses. You should leave your house. Well, I have a
24 house in Zagreb
25 is the capital," and so on and so forth. He said I should go to Zagreb
1 I then mustered all my courage, or the courage just appeared of its own
2 accord, and then I told him quite clearly and loudly, "What kind of a man
3 are you? Look at yourself. You have come here to expel me and to talk
4 to me. Go and see my husband." My husband was in the center. "Go and
5 see him," I told him, "and speak to him about this." And he really did
6 go away, and he found my husband, and he told my husband, "Your wife is
7 someone to be reckoned with. She expelled me."
8 There were other incidents. On one occasion, my employee was
9 working there. I'd gone to town to pay something in the bank, to pay
10 some bills. My husband went away to collect some goods, because he was
11 working with me at the time. The shop was doing well. The employee was
12 also working. Then a group attacked the shop, another group attacked the
13 door, the door that I used to enter my house. They wanted to come in.
14 They swore a bit. We're talking about a married woman, and when I say
15 they swore a bit, they cursed. This married woman, she wanted to defend
16 herself. They told her, "What do you know?" Her younger son is in the
17 ZNG. The ZNG didn't even exist there, how can a child who goes to the
18 seventh class and is 14 years old be a member of the ZNG? She didn't
19 allow this to happen. She quickly contacted her husband and told him to
20 come. She said that there was some strangers there. That's what we
21 called them. He appeared. They left, and they said they would be back,
22 but they probably saw him and didn't return.
23 Q. Did you -- did you receive any phone calls concerning the threats
24 that --
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Can you describe? Can you describe?
2 A. I can, I can. Since I use the phone a lot because of the shop,
3 well, it was early evening I left the receiver -- well, it might be
4 difficult to describe this for you because you are not familiar with the
6 quote this person. He said, "Look after your child, take care of your
7 child. We'll come now." But in Serbia, they say, "Look after your
8 child." "Dete" is the word used, not "dijete," "because we'll come now."
9 Again, I mustered my courage and I said, "Come, come, just you come and
10 we'll see." What else could I have said?
11 But he threatened me -- this is an assumption of mine, not a
12 conclusion; but I think he threatened to do something to my younger
13 child, because he was in the seventh grade, and the older child was not
14 staying at home. I told my husband about what had occurred. He reported
15 it to the police, and the police said, "What can we do? You should
16 disconnect the phone." He said, "I can't disconnect the phone. We need
17 the phone." My husband said then, "I'll deal with this person." And the
18 police said, "Well, in that case, we'll organise a patrol." That's what
19 they did when they were concerned, but when we were concerned, it didn't
21 That's how things happened.
22 Q. Did you hear about people receiving similar threats over the
23 telephone or otherwise?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Who were these people? What ethnicity were these people?
1 A. All the Croats and the Hungarians, all the Croats. There were
2 some good Serbs, too, some very good ones. I'd single out some of the
3 good ones, the best ones. A lot of time has passed, but there was the
4 head of the school, Trifunovic, and there was Dobroslav Markovic. He is
5 married to a Croat, but this didn't mean anything to him. He was an
6 exceptionally good man. And there were others.
7 I'll repeat what I have said. You just can't imagine how
8 beautiful the relationship was between members of all ethnic groups.
9 This isn't something one taught our children. We didn't teach our
10 children that someone was a Hungarian, while others were Serbs and so on.
11 I'm partly a Hungarian, my mother is a Hungarian. But as far as
12 the Serbs are concerned, my -- all the same, are also baptized a Serbian
13 child. We had lunch in each other's houses. We would celebrate
14 festivities. They would come and celebrate Easter and Christmas with us,
15 and so on and so forth.
16 Q. Were some people targeted more than others, and for which reason
17 if "yes"?
18 A. What do you mean?
19 Q. You say that they were looking for big houses, not for small
20 houses. Were the most healthy people, people in the village, targeted
21 with these threats more than other people?
22 A. Correct, that's certain.
23 Q. Did you speak with the Serb refugees? How did they describe the
24 reason for arriving in Hrtkovci?
25 A. I'll just give you an example. Someone came to the shop.
1 Sometimes my husband would replace me. As I'm a woman, I would have to
2 do my duties as a woman. He replaced me, and he asked the gentleman why
3 he had come there, what the reason was. And he said "Well, because they
4 have promised us that this will be Serbia
5 And my son doesn't want to learn Cyrillic -- rather, I apologise, doesn't
6 want to learn the Latin script. My son wants to learn to write by using
7 the Cyrillic script, not the Latin script.
8 Q. You say that some of these events happened before the arrival of
9 Vojislav Seselj in Hrtkovci. Did you attend the rally on the 6th of May,
11 A. Yes, I did. I'm a curious being. I did.
12 Q. Why did you go there?
13 A. Well, look, I was curious. I wanted to see what this man wanted.
14 I don't know whether you can understand this. Everything was wonderful
15 and peaceful, and now someone wants to destroy this. Why? Well, let's
16 see why, let's hear what the reason is for this.
17 In the morning, I opened up my shop. Since I was to work the
18 first shift, I opened the shop. Well, it's difficult for me to be
19 precise. I'm a woman, so I can't be very precise, you know. But about
20 300 metres from my house, there's a road, and they had constructed a kind
21 of stage by using tractor-trailers. I don't know whether you can imagine
22 this, but that was the stage. They started singing Serbian songs, which
23 I hadn't heard before. So these songs were being sung. I was somewhat
24 surprised. Why were they suddenly singing these songs? We couldn't
25 understand this. Very briefly, we didn't understand that such things
1 would happen. They started singing Serbian songs.
2 Initially, I didn't want to go there. What does he want, what's
3 he playing at now, what's he up to, et cetera; so that's how I reacted.
4 And then in the end, out of curiosity, I said, "To hell with it, I'm
5 going to go and see what he has to say."
6 Q. Was anyone escorting or accompanying Mr. Seselj?
7 A. Well, when I came close to the stage, I heard huge applause, and
8 I told myself, ah, there he is, he's arrived. He was already on the
9 stage. Around him, to his left, to his right, there were people. He was
10 not alone on the stage. And as I was coming closer and closer to him, I
11 was horrified, because I was seeing in the flesh what I had never seen
12 before. And I must say it was horrible.
13 Q. What did you see?
14 A. I saw his army. Those were people, his troops, all in black,
15 black like this frame of this monitor, dressed in black from head to toe.
16 They had ammunition belts across their chests, hanging from one shoulder
17 and another. They had rifles. Of course, I can't tell you the type of
18 rifle, because I don't know anything about that. They had Serbian-style
19 traditional peasant hats, and they had something I saw for the first time
20 in my life; and it was horrific to me, those cockades on their caps. And
21 from those hats and cockades, I knew it was the Serbian Army. I knew it
22 was not the regular army, because I recognised the regular army. And to
23 me, those people were frightening, horrible.
24 Q. You say that Seselj was not alone on the stage. Did you
25 recognise anybody who was on the stage with Mr. Seselj?
1 A. Yes, I knew that person who said his son shall not learn the
2 Latinic script. His name was Zelic. I knew him, and this Zelic was
3 standing to the left of Seselj.
4 Q. He's the same man that came to your shop; am I right?
5 A. Yes, yes, because he was close to the house. His parents had
6 taken over one house that was close to mine, and he came there often.
7 Q. So when you arrived, Mr. Seselj had already begun his speech,
8 because you say that you heard an applause?
9 A. There was a speech, and then he began.
10 Q. Can you describe, to the best of your recollection, exactly what
11 Mr. Seselj said in his speech?
12 A. Well, the first thing he said, and it was strange to me that he
13 was addressing only to brother Serbs and sister Serbs - that was not the
14 usual way people addressed the locals. We use the old-fashioned way,
15 "Hello, comrades." And as long as he was saying "brother and sister
16 Serbs," there must have been an intention behind it.
17 As to what he said, he issued threats that we had to leave. Then
18 he was talking about politics again, that we had to leave, we had to free
19 up the jobs.
20 Q. When you say "we," what do you mean?
21 A. We, we who have jobs, we Croats. We Croats, at the end of the
22 day, Croats and some Hungarians.
23 Q. Please continue with a description of the speech.
24 A. That we had to go, that we had to vacate our jobs, that these
25 people who had newly arrived needed houses. The houses had to
1 accommodate these new people, and that we should not reckon on coming
2 back, that we had to go, that buses would be organised; and we would go
3 on these buses up to the border, we Croats and Hungarians, but mostly
4 Croats. And from the border, we would have to walk. And I'm quoting his
5 words. We would go on buses. We, the Croats and Hungarians, would go on
6 buses, and the new authority "will be us." And then he pounded his
8 I saw many surprised faces in the public, including some Serbs.
9 I stress "some." And among the decorative trees, children were hiding,
10 clapping, and shouting, "Ustashas will drive you out, Ustashas will drive
11 you out." Those were the words of the audience who attended that rally.
12 Q. Do you remember if, during this speech, was anybody named?
13 A. Yes, yes. The people named were those holding some sort of
14 prominent position; one doctor, then Mato Sama, who was a manager;
15 Mr. Grizelj, director of the cooperative; Franjo Maricic, who worked in
16 the local commune; and other people who had good jobs and high positions
17 were named. They were named as people who had to leave their jobs,
18 that's what Seselj said, because the people who had newly arrived from
20 Q. Was any of your relatives named?
21 A. Franja Baricevic was one of those named, and he's my brother.
22 And the Barisic who worked in the local commune was also named.
23 Q. What was his position [French interpretation on English channel
24 A. Franjo was in charge of the hydrants and the water supply in the
25 village. He worked in the local commune. He was an employee of the
1 local commune.
2 Q. Did he give -- Mr. Seselj give a reason for why those people had
3 to leave Hrtkovci, or the Croats had to leave Hrtkovci?
4 A. He said those people had to leave so that he could place his own
5 people, so that they would have jobs. Of course, these people needed the
6 jobs of those who were already in those positions.
7 Q. These people who were mentioned, were they only Croats or
9 A. They were Croats, down to the last one, Croats and Hungarians.
10 Franjo was half Hungarian. Another person was Hungarian. Yes, mainly
12 Q. Those people mentioned during the speech, did they later,
13 subsequently, experience any hostility or maltreatment?
14 A. Well, depends on what you mean by "hostility." If there had been
15 no pressure, of course these people wouldn't have left their homes.
16 Q. So you already described the audience response to Seselj's
17 speech. Can you tell us which word or phrases generated this kind of
18 response, an enthusiastic response by the crowd?
19 A. Well, the audience responded most enthusiastically when he said
20 the Croats would be boarded on buses, and he, Seselj, he said that
21 pounding his chest, would be the government. He didn't say that he,
22 himself, would be the new authority, but he said "we." And he knows best
23 whom he meant. That's when he got the greatest applause from the
24 audience. That's when the greatest commotion occurred, and the shouts,
25 "Ustashas, Ustashas." I don't know why, but that's how they called us.
1 What can we do about it now?
2 Q. Did you recognise anyone in the audience, and did you discuss the
3 speech with this person?
4 A. Yes, I did. That's why I didn't hear all of what he said. I
5 could have listened more carefully. But from his party, there was
6 Milena Rajakovic. Her parents lived close to my house. She stood next
7 to me to hear what I was going to say. My employee was also standing
8 next to me because my husband had let her attend the rally instead of
9 working, and there were also some of my other neighbours who were Croats,
10 whereas she was Serb. So I talked to her. I talked perhaps too much,
11 and she remembered.
12 Q. What did she say?
13 A. Well, she was in favour of her own party, and I was against it.
14 I was saying:
15 "Why would Seselj be allowed to come here now? Why would he
16 drive me out? I didn't do anything wrong. He had no reason to drive me
17 out." And then I said at the end -- perhaps it's a bit ridiculous, but I
18 said, "It's my house, I've just built it. For someone to just take it
19 away from me, I wouldn't allow. I'll take a bottle of gas and blow up
20 somebody else's house."
21 What I said might be ridiculous, but I was so distraught and
22 disappointed, I hope you can understand that.
23 Q. How do you know that this Milena Rajakovic was a member of the
24 Seselj party?
25 A. Because she -- because I knew her well, and she was constantly in
1 contact with Ostoja Sibincic, and Ostoja Sibincic was the main man in
2 Hrtkovci, who organised it all and who made a list of all the names of
3 owners of the best houses. He knew that, because he had been brought to
4 our village from Slavonia
5 belonged to some Germans, so it was practically through colonization that
6 his family got the house they lived in.
7 Q. You say there was a list of all the names of the owners of the
8 best houses. Did you see this list?
9 A. I didn't see it, myself, but you don't have to see a list for
10 yourself if people are being chased out one by one, this house, that
11 house, and then the next one. People who had nothing, no house, no land,
12 were not persecuted; but if it went the way it did, it meant the
13 persecution targeted those who were wealthy and had large houses. If
14 somebody is going after you, you'll easily understand that it's you
15 because you have a large house, whereas I won't be affected because I
16 have nothing.
17 Q. How long did the speech last?
18 A. You mean Seselj's speech or all the speeches? There had been
19 speeches before Seselj that I did not attend.
20 Q. Seselj's.
21 A. Seselj's speech went on easily for an hour, at least.
22 Q. At the end of the day, what message did you get from this speech?
23 A. What do you mean, "message"? The message was, "You can't survive
24 here. Get out here -- get out of here, save your skin and that of your
25 family, any way you know how." The message was that we Croats and
1 Hungarians had to get out of that village.
2 Q. Was there a change in Hrtkovci, after this speech, in the
3 relationship among the different groups?
4 A. After that, people were very intimidated, frightened, didn't feel
5 like working anymore. We didn't have our hearts in it. Our houses were
6 taken over, and a kind of unrest overwhelmed the village. The
7 hardworking people didn't -- couldn't work anymore. Everyone only
8 thought of surviving from one day to the next, and waiting for what would
9 come next.
10 Q. Can you tell us what happened to you?
11 A. I can, of course I can.
12 After this speech he made and that rally, a lady came to visit us
13 with her son aged 16. She spent ten days in our house. Until then, the
14 police had no need to call on us. I had to give her my new bedroom with
15 the new furniture that my father had bought us as a house-warming
16 present. She slept in my room, together with her son. She cooked on my
17 stove, helped herself to the meat from my fridge. When I had come back
18 from the church, I found her eating lunch with her son. She was beside
19 herself with happiness. She couldn't believe her good luck in getting
20 our house. She didn't think twice about saying to her son, "God, can it
21 really be true that we got a house like this?" She already thought of it
22 as her house, and she thought that we had to leave. She had a house in
24 house was hers now.
25 My house was new, built in 1980 or 1981. I had my own shop, well
1 stocked with the goods that I had bought, unencumbered by a single dinar
2 of loan. It was all mine.
3 We had a piece of land that we bought for our eldest son, so that
4 we could build a house for him, because our shop was a great success.
5 She said that she had a house in Zagreb and a piece of land, and that we
6 should go there; and whatever we had, and everything in our house was
7 brand new, was going to become her property now. And in exchange, she
8 lifted all the things that she had in Zagreb.
9 Q. Was she Serb, Serbian?
10 A. She was a Serb from Zagreb
11 house, whereas her elder son was in the Serbian Army. She had two sons.
12 The elder one was in the Serbian Army, the younger one was with her. And
13 she had left her husband behind in Zagreb
14 Q. Excuse me. Did you try to call the police when this woman moved
15 into your house?
16 A. Yes, yes, but they did not react in any way. On the contrary,
17 they helped her. They were helping her, because since communications had
18 broken down at the time, they were cut off, and they enabled her to talk
19 to her husband in Zagreb
20 came, saw a police car outside the house. My aunt came in all
21 frightened, and she said, "What happened in your house? Why is the
22 police here?" I just shrugged my shoulders. I told her, "Well, you can
23 see for yourself. One doesn't dare say anything." And since we had no
24 choice, we packed our things. And how did we pack? We packed like
1 Q. When?
2 A. When she said that she had all that we needed in Zagreb, that we
3 should exchange houses. That's when we packed.
4 I'm telling you, she had been in our house for ten days up to
5 that moment, and we realised we had no choice, because when a Serb comes
6 into your house, you can say goodbye to it. You are left without
7 anything in the world.
8 There was only one man who managed to expel the new occupants,
9 there was one single case, so we thought we'd better leave. And as I
10 said, we packed. They gave us a few bags. We had an Opel Ascona, and we
11 loaded it with all the things that would fit into the car and onto the
12 roof. All the clothing and necessities we managed to put in the boot of
13 the car, including some of my valuable zepter crockery and pots.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, you have eight
15 minutes left.
16 MR. FERRARA:
17 Q. What happened when you were in Zagreb?
18 A. When we arrived in Zagreb
19 been left behind, had transferred the title to the house to his brother,
20 so legally we had no house. That lady had taken over our house, and we
21 were in the street.
22 Then Mr. Spiric came. I was in tears now. Spiric asked me what
23 had happened. I explained. And then that husband left. We were in the
24 street. Our house was gone. One child was with us, one child was in a
25 boarding school. And then Spiric suggested that he could go to Hrtkovci
1 and find another alternative house for us. My husband gave him a lift.
2 And when he saw our house, he asked Mile to swap houses with us, himself;
3 and we agreed to that swap, although we were getting less. He only had
4 the house, no land, nothing, but still we agreed.
5 Q. Did you sign any contract for this exchange?
6 A. Yes. This was all done legally. Our house has all the relevant
7 documents; water certificates, urban certificates, everything. He didn't
8 have anything.
9 MR. FERRARA: Mr. Registrar, can we have on the screen the
10 document with the 65 ter number 1398, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that has to do with the house
13 MR. FERRARA:
14 Q. Is this the contract you signed by Mr. Bilic -- with Mr. Spiric,
16 A. That's right.
17 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to admit into evidence the
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's give it a
20 number. Let's give this official contract a number.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
22 Exhibit number P631. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 MR. FERRARA:
24 Q. Can you briefly describe the condition of this house that you got
25 in Zagreb
1 A. In Hrtkovci, well, I have a photograph which you can have a look
2 at to see what the house looked like. If you're interested in it, I can
3 show it to you.
4 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, can we put it on the ELMO, this
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd just like to draw your
7 attention to the fact that in similar cases, when the Defence wants to
8 show something, the Prosecution is on its feet, but I have no objections.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's take a look
10 at this picture.
11 MR. FERRARA:
12 Q. What's this?
13 A. The photograph shows my house, which I built in 1980 and 1981.
14 There is a real cellar, and it's a real house with foundations.
15 MR. FERRARA: Your Honours, I'd like to add this document to our
16 exhibit list, and --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have an objection.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This photograph cannot be admitted
20 into evidence until the Prosecution obtains a photograph of the house
21 that Ms. Paulic is living in Zitnjak, in Zagreb right now.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But that was the exact question
23 I was going to ask the witness. Do you have a picture of your house
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's like this: I have half a
1 photograph, because it was an old house and the roof had to be replaced
2 this year. I can switch my mobile phone on and show you part of the
3 house that has been renovated. You can see the part that I renovated,
4 you can see that it's new. This was done this year.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, you represent the
6 OTP. You knew very well that when you were asking to see this picture,
7 inevitably we would want to see the picture of the house where the
8 witness lives in now. But it seems that this photograph of her house,
9 where she lives now, is on her mobile phone, so you should have done what
10 was needed in order to have a hard copy of this picture, and you didn't
11 do this. You just told us that she only had the photograph on her mobile
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what I, myself, said.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The picture of the house you
15 live in in Zagreb
17 MR. FERRARA:
18 Q. Can we see this photo?
19 A. Yes, yes. But I didn't tell that to Prosecution. I have this
20 for my own sake.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me consult with my fellow
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will not
25 admit this picture, neither picture, neither one of them. Take your
1 picture, please.
2 MR. FERRARA:
3 Q. Can you describe the condition of the house in Zagreb?
4 A. The house was smaller. It was all covered in wallpaper on the
5 inside. You know what wallpaper is. It doesn't have any foundations,
6 windows -- when that wallpaper came unstuck, when we removed the
7 wallpaper, tears started flowing. We were horrified. We renovated
8 everything, literally everything.
9 His son, Spiric's son, was there last year, his son who was in
10 the Serbian army. He came to attend a neighbour's wedding. He wanted to
11 take photographs of the inside. I said, "Feel free to do so." I said,
12 "You can take photographs, but there's nothing for you to photograph.
13 Everything has been renovated."
14 Naturally, if you take the ugliest girl and dress her up as a
15 bride, she'll be beautiful. Well, that's what that house looks like.
16 But now that the roof caved in, well, I can describe the house for you.
17 We buttressed the house up. Well, it's a bit like putting a lid on a
18 pot. That's how the top caved in. So, very briefly, that's how I would
19 describe it, yes.
20 Q. My last question: Did you exchange with Mr. Spiric only your
21 house in Hrtkovci or also a piece of land, a piece of land as well? What
22 did you give to Mr. Spiric?
23 A. The house, the land. We had to give him everything in exchange
24 for his house. And in addition, he asked for us to give him 800 German
25 marks. At the time, one used marks, not Euros. We had to give him that
1 money so that he could pay for a lorry to collect the things that he
2 wanted, all the -- he said he wouldn't do this. He took his things, he
3 packed them. We gave him 800 kuna, and he left without a word.
4 Q. Did you hear of other non-Serbs who exchanged their house with
5 Serbs that lived outside Hrtkovci?
6 A. You mean Hungarians, people who weren't Serbs?
7 Q. Correct.
8 A. Well, yes, I heard about that, yes.
9 Q. Any of your relatives?
10 A. Well, it's difficult for me to talk about that. My brother had a
11 house, a house that was newer than mine. It was built of facade bricks.
12 He had a small, orderly house. While Spiric was moving out, I went to
13 Franjo's out of curiosity to see how he was, because I'm his sister and I
14 feel for him.
15 In the front rooms, they had left some earth. Why, I don't know.
16 The house was in a terrible state, but at the time it was terrible. My
17 sister-in-law was crying. I tried to console her. I'm quite courageous,
18 as you can see. I'm courageous. I consoled her. I said, "Well, what's
19 important is that you're alive and that your children are healthy.
20 That's also the case with my children. You'll always have a house,
21 you'll have everything." She couldn't reconcile herself to that for a
22 certain period of time. Eventually she became reconciled to that. But
23 the house and the yard and everything else was in a very bad state.
24 MR. FERRARA: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Let me turn to my fellow Judges to see if they have any
3 Witness, I have just one question for you.
4 In your testimony, there's just one thing I find relevant, and
5 that is the speech given by Mr. Seselj. You said that he gave names.
6 Apparently, Mr. Seselj did not know the names of the people whose name
7 was mentioned.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He didn't know them, but he had
9 been provided with a list of those people. But it's true, he couldn't
10 have known those people. He knew none of us, none of us. He didn't come
11 to Hrtkovci to get to know the locals. He was a stranger for us. He
12 wasn't a local inhabitant. He arrived in the village and created a
13 disturbance, but he was given that list.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are saying that he was
15 given a list. How do you know this? How do you come to that conclusion?
16 Did someone tell you about this?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Everyone said that -- what's his
18 name -- Ostoja Sibincic had compiled the list and recorded the houses, so
19 the numbers of the houses and the names of the streets.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Ostoja Sibincic is the one
21 who compiled the list and gave it to Mr. Seselj; and Mr. Seselj, when he
22 delivered his speech, read out the list and the names. And you mentioned
23 the name of your brother?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was Mr. Sibincic on bad terms
1 with your brother?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he acted as if he wasn't in a
3 conflict with anyone.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Earlier on, we saw the picture
5 of your house. It's a nice house.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For me, a beautiful house.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At the time, Mr. Sibincic could
8 have put your name on the list. Why is it that he didn't do so?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I don't know why he
10 didn't do that. Perhaps he was afraid of my husband. My husband is
11 quite a strict man, and they'd been down there together because he worked
12 for the local commune. As for his reasons, well, I don't know. I,
13 myself, am surprised by this.
14 I apologise. It's probably because he no longer worked in the
15 local commune, but worked for me. So he wasn't making a post vacant.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In any case, you are saying
17 that you are certain that it's Mr. Seselj who gave these names; you're
18 100 per cent sure about this?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those names were quite clearly
20 pronounced. I know that because I know all those people, and I was
21 horrified by what I heard.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And those names were pronounced
23 by Mr. Seselj or by someone else?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He uttered the names.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So you are quite
1 sure about this.
2 Mr. Seselj, please proceed with your cross-examination. You have
3 one hour.
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
5 Q. Ms. Paulic, before your testimony today, had you prepared your
6 testimony with the Prosecution?
7 A. A little bit.
8 Q. In the course of that proofing, did you go through the statement
9 that you signed a long time ago?
10 A. Well, I'm familiar with it. I'll never forget it.
11 Q. I'm not asking you whether you are familiar with it, but whether
12 you and a representative of the OTP went through the text.
13 A. Well, yes, I did.
14 Q. In that case, why didn't you tell the Prosecution many of the
15 things that you have first stated today?
16 A. Well, I could go into that, but you'd need a 500- or 600-page
18 Q. Well, why didn't you write that book, then?
19 A. Well, I'm not that sort.
20 Q. You're not the sort that the Prosecution wants to obtain
21 information from in advance. You want to surprise the Prosecution in the
22 courtroom as well?
23 A. Well, I was asked a few questions and I answered them.
24 Q. And now you've felt free to talk about things you weren't asked
1 A. Well, yes.
2 Q. Very well. Let's go and deal with these things in order.
3 Before coming to The Hague
5 A. No.
6 Q. Can you look at me when I ask you questions?
7 A. Why not?
8 Q. Be courteous, then. I'm looking at you. I'd like you to look at
10 A. I can look at you, but I don't see why.
11 Q. If I'm putting a question to you and if you're answering my
12 question, well, then it would be decent for us to look at each other.
13 A. The Judges are here to be looked at.
14 Q. Yes, that's correct. But when the accused puts questions to you,
15 then you are engaging in a dialogue with the accused.
16 A. I can hear the accused.
17 Q. You can hear me sufficiently well, so you don't need to look at
18 me. Don't you feel uneasy? Is your conscience ill at ease, and as a
19 result you can't look me in the eyes?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Well, then you don't want to look me in the eyes out of spite,
22 not because you can't?
23 A. Why should I want to look at you. You are such an evil man.
24 Q. But you've never seen a more handsome man, never in your life.
25 A. Well, whatever you say. That's a well-known fact.
1 Q. Very well. You don't want to look me in the eyes. What can I do
2 about it? I'm looking in your eyes.
3 Why did you invent the story about Slavko Mirazic, saying that he
4 was a member of the Serbian Radical Party, where that was never the case?
5 He is not a member of that party today, either.
6 A. No, I didn't invent that. That's what he said.
7 Q. He was a member of the Serbian Renewal Movement, and everyone in
8 Hrtkovci knew that and that's probably the case today because no one is
9 aware of him having left that body.
10 A. That's his problem.
11 Q. Very well. If that's his problem, if it's his problem that you
12 accuse him of being a member of the Serbian Radical Party. You said that
13 the refugees in Hrtkovci started arriving from various parts of Croatia
14 as early as 1991; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Most of them came after the fall of many places in Western
18 A. They were continually arriving.
19 Q. But most of them came from Grubisno Polje, Slatina, and some
20 other places. Can you remember the names of those places?
21 A. Grubisno Polje, I remember that place; and I also remember Kule.
22 Q. You mentioned the case or a case that isn't referred to in your
23 statement. You said that there was an old lady living alone in your
24 neighbourhood, in a good house, in a nice house. Her son was abroad.
25 The lady died. The son sold the house, and then some refugees illegally
1 moved into the house. The new owner arrived, and he couldn't get them to
2 leave. Is that correct?
3 A. The new owner bought the house, and then they arrived.
4 Q. I interpreted what you said. Refugees moved in. When he heard
5 about that, he came from abroad, he tried to expel them; and he was
6 unsuccessful. I'm interested in the name of the old lady who died. You
7 didn't mention it.
8 A. The old lady, Kata Francuz.
9 Q. What was her surname?
10 A. Francuz, Kata Francuz.
12 A. Well, how do I know?
13 Q. How don't you know the name of neighbour's son? You would see
14 the old lady, Kata, every day; and she would continually speak to you
15 about her son, if what you're saying is the truth, because you needed
16 some time to remember the name of the old lady. I haven't heard about
17 that surname, Francuz, in Hrtkovci, but I'll check on this when you
19 What was the name of the new owner when he bought the house from
20 the old lady Kata's son?
21 A. I wasn't interested in his name.
22 Q. Do you know him?
23 A. Partially, to an extent.
24 Q. Why didn't you mention this fact to the Prosecution when you
25 spoke to the Prosecution the first time? It's a very interesting case.
1 The old lady, Kata, died. The son sold the house. Refugees moved in.
2 Why didn't you tell the Prosecution about this? Didn't they ask you
3 about it?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Well, what then?
6 A. No, they didn't ask me about this. I said there were so many
7 cases -- there was so many cases, I could write a book about it. You
8 can't remember everything, but I just remembered that.
9 Q. And you also needed a little time to remember the name of old
10 lady Kata?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Very well. You said that the refugees arrived and that they
13 moved around town in groups of four, five, or six individuals; is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who did these refugees attack?
17 A. They attacked good houses. They wouldn't attack poor people.
18 Q. How did they attack? Did they form groups, then have artillery
19 fire, then mortars? Did they then fire shots? What did the attack look
20 like, or did they just appear, knock on doors, say, "We're from
21 such-and-such a place, we have a good house. Would you like us to do an
22 exchange"? What did this attack resemble?
23 A. There was no knocking. They would enter the yards.
24 Q. Well, when you enter a yard, do you have to knock?
25 A. It depends.
1 Q. Well, what do you knock on when you enter a yard?
2 A. Sir, you knock on the door, but let me repeat this. It depended.
3 They entered the yards. They made threats, used bad language, disturbed
4 us and so on.
5 Q. Perhaps that happened on occasion. I believe that is the case.
6 But you don't have any specific information, you're inventing things, and
7 you're talking in general terms.
8 A. Well, dear Seselj, I know about this.
9 Q. But you're afraid to look me in the eyes, and I can see that
10 you're not telling the truth. That's quite sufficient for me.
11 A. Well, look --
12 Q. Shall we use the "T" form of addressing each other, the impolite
13 form of addressing each other?
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. We have a
16 technical problem here.
17 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please, do not ask
18 that question again to the witness about why the witness is not looking
19 at you. When the witness was answering the questions of Mr. Ferrara, she
20 was looking at the Judges. Everybody's free to look at the Judges.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Ms. Lattanzi, according to
22 procedural law, in direct testimony is one of the main principles, that
23 the testimony has to appear in person and address the court, and this is
24 one of the basic factors for checking the witness' credibility. And then
25 there is the witness' body language. A truthful witness looks the person
1 putting questions to the witness in the eyes. As a student at the
2 faculty of law, this is something that I was taught. It's part of
3 criminal law.
4 I won't go on about this, but on two occasions I informed you of
5 how I interpret this, and you can draw the conclusions you like.
6 Q. Very well. How did they threaten you? Apart from the phone
7 calls, which we can't check up on - who knows whether there were any such
8 phone calls or not - but did anyone curse you, for example, in the
10 A. Well, if they were my friends, well, was it only a matter of
11 cursing --
12 Q. Just a minute, please. There wasn't any swearing.
13 A. Well, there were all sorts of things, Mr. Seselj.
14 Q. I want to clarify this. Were there any swear words used, and
15 which ones?
16 A. Well, we're not going to start cursing, using swear words in the
18 Q. No, we won't, but we'll tell the Chamber what sort of swear words
19 were used.
20 A. Is it that important? It's so ugly, should I have to tell you
21 that they cursed my mother, that they cursed my child or, rather, they
22 said that my child was a member of the ZNG, the Home Guards Corps. All
23 sorts of words were used. It's not important.
24 Q. I'm drawing a conclusion from the fact that you don't want to say
25 which swear words were used. Well, finally you said that they cursed
1 your mother, so the conclusion I draw is that no one used any swear
2 words; and when you imagine such things, when you invent such things,
3 you're not finding your bearing in this cross-examination.
4 A. Sir, I don't use swear words. I don't want to do so. I'm a
6 Q. I'm not interested in the fact that you're a Catholic, and I
7 didn't say that you used swear words. What I want to say is that in
8 Hrtkovci, you're well known as a person who can be quite brazen and
9 people don't really want to have a verbal conflict with you; is that
11 A. Well, that's not true.
12 Q. Very well. Let's move on. You said a certain Jovo brought in
13 some people who wanted to enter your house; is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. You don't know what this Jovo's surname is?
16 A. [No verbal response]
17 Q. Is he a refugee or a local inhabitant?
18 A. Jovo is a refugee. He has a house, together with his brother, in
20 Q. Did this Jovo incite you to go there to Zitnjak and to do some
21 sightseeing and find someone to possibly swap houses with?
22 You are hesitating for a long time. What's the reason?
23 A. And you are nervous, aren't you? Jovo finally admitted to me
24 this: "I am bringing to you other people all the time, but I have a
25 house myself in Zagreb
1 your house."
2 Q. Did Jovo introduce you to Dragutin Spiric, with whom you swapped
4 A. No, he did not.
5 Q. That's what I wanted to know. Now, let's come to the rally.
6 Why were you astounded by the broadcasting of Serb songs before
7 the rally? You don't like Serbian songs?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And you were taken aback?
10 A. I was taken aback because I had never heard any of them before
11 that moment, and it sounded horrible to me. Why would Seselj's arrival
12 necessarily mean that these songs would be booming around town?
13 Q. What else would you play before a rally?
14 A. Well, I listened to other songs. They were very nice songs.
15 Q. You mean songs about Ban Jelacic, young Ustashas charging into
16 battle. But, anyway, every bird flies to his own nest. Some are even
17 willing to sacrifice themselves for their own flock.
18 A. Let it be.
19 Q. You saw, at my rally, you say, men dressed in black from head to
20 toe, with ammunition belts on their chests and terrible cockades on their
21 hats. What's so terrible about those cockades?
22 A. What was terrible? Well, it was terrifying to me, because I had
23 never seen them before. How wouldn't it be? What were suddenly Serbian
24 soldiers doing in our beautiful, peaceful village?
25 Q. You say in your statement there was very few police at the rally;
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And we have information from a man who worked in the State
4 Security Service, Slavko Kolundzic, who attended the rally as part of his
5 job; and he said there was a lot of police security and you didn't see
7 A. No.
8 Q. It seemed to you that those policemen were Seselj's soldiers,
9 with ammunition belts and Serbian-style hats?
10 A. I don't know what you mean.
11 Q. You say that these cockades were as big as plates?
12 A. That there are all sorts of sizes.
13 Q. It says here that "they were as big as plates."
14 A. That's how things looked like when you are frightened.
15 Q. And these hats, were they as big as army caldrons? If the
16 cockades were as big as plates, then the hats had to be as big as army
17 caldrons; right?
18 A. I don't know the size of an army caldron. I've never been in the
19 army. But they were black and pointed, ugly. Again, I'm saying I've
20 never seen them before.
21 Q. So even the hats were ugly to you?
22 A. Yes. They were pointed and ugly.
23 Q. Well, these Serbian-style hats were produced as Serbian military
24 uniform in the 19th century, emulating French hats, and the Serbian
25 military uniform in the First World War was among the most beautiful army
1 uniforms. Do you know that?
2 A. We didn't want to know about that. We liked our traditional
3 national costumes of the Sokac people.
4 Q. You mean Sokac, Serbs who converted to Catholicism?
5 A. Well, they used to be Orthodox and then they converted.
6 Q. How do you know that?
7 A. Well, I learned about it.
8 Q. You mean from your own books? Why do you keep saying that
9 Hungarians were mentioned at the rally, when nobody ever mentioned
11 A. Sir, I am not making anything up. I did not come here to make
12 things up. I came here to tell the truth and only the truth. And you,
13 if you were proud enough to pound your chest there, be brave here.
14 Q. I am, I am brave. There's nobody braver in the whole Hague
16 A. I can see that.
17 Q. Fine. During that speech, did I say that all children from mixed
18 marriages should be killed?
19 A. I've been warned by interpreters to make a pause.
20 Q. What are you looking at? Is somebody sending you any messages?
21 A. Come and see, come and have a look.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you can look at the
23 screen, but at the screen what you see is the English translation of your
24 answers or of Mr. Seselj's questions, or the Judges' questions. If you
25 like to learn English, you can do so, but maybe at another time.
1 Now, could you please answer Mr. Seselj's questions?
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Will you answer my question? Please try. Did I say at that
4 meeting that all children from mixed marriages should be killed off?
5 A. I heard with my own ears that you said mixed marriages should be
7 Q. And children killed?
8 A. I didn't hear anything about children, because as you said, I am
9 very talkative myself and Milena was standing next to me, a child of a
10 mixed marriage; and it didn't hurt me so much because of Milena but
11 because of my own sister who is in a mixed marriage and has two children,
12 so I started talking to her immediately. I didn't hear about children,
13 but you did say that mixed marriages between Croats and Serbs should be
14 broken up.
15 Q. And who was at that rally from your own family?
16 A. Well, I don't have to tell you that.
17 Q. You do have to tell me.
18 A. My niece. There were others, but she is the most important.
19 Q. Was your brother there?
20 A. My brother lives on one end, I live on another. I repeat to you
21 that I was on the street where my house is.
22 Q. And how many people attended that rally?
23 A. About a thousand, give or take.
24 Q. So was your brother at the rally or not? Did you see him?
25 A. Can you really see every face in such a big crowd? I believe he
1 was there.
2 Q. Was he or wasn't he?
3 A. I believe he was.
4 Q. Did you talk to your brother at any time after the rally about
5 the things you heard?
6 A. The whole village talked, not just my brother and I. Everybody
7 talked about it.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 12.00, and I believe we
9 should break for 20 minutes.
10 We'll resume at 12.20. We'll finish at 1.15.
11 I think you have used up 25 minutes already, you'll have 35
12 minutes left, so normally we shall be able to finish on time.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.01 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.24 p.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
16 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Ms. Paulic, you said at one point that in my speech at that
19 rally, I read a list of names. How come that I, as the president of a
20 political party coming to a rally, read a list of names of inhabitants of
21 Hrtkovci who should be expelled? Doesn't that sound tragic comic to you,
22 ridiculous? It's my electoral campaign. I'm making a political speech,
23 making promises as to what the Serbian Radical Party would do when they
24 come into power; and I also advocate the principle of retorsion, that is,
25 an exchange of population of Croatia
1 many Serbs, we would do the same to Croats, briefly we would do to Croats
2 whatever the Tudjman regime did to Serbs. And then I take out a list of
3 inhabitants of Hrtkovci and read it out? Isn't that a bit ridiculous?
4 Shall I have to wait much longer? The interpretation has
5 finished long ago.
6 A. It was funny to us at the time, but obviously, looking at you, it
7 wasn't funny. You did it all in a politically-organised way.
8 Q. First, we expelled hundreds of thousands of Serbs from Croatia
9 and then we expelled a couple of thousand Croats from Serbia. It was all
10 conceived and designed by us.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, would it be possible
12 to turn off the screen in front of Ms. Paulic, where she's following the
13 transcript, so that she can think about answers, because the transcript
14 lags behind the interpretation.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Witness, don't waste your
16 time looking at the screen. I don't know what you're looking at. Maybe
17 you see myself on the screen, and then there's another screen with text
18 in English that is scrolling. But it's useless for you, unless you need
19 time to think about your answer.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not impossible that somebody
21 is sending her answers to my questions. This waiting is very suspicious.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nobody needs to send me answers.
23 I can easily answer to them.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So when I get your goat a little, then you're very ready to
1 answer. So let me go on.
2 How do you know -- where did you get this idea that
3 Ostoja Sibincic gave me that list to read?
4 A. Well, who else would it be? He was the main organiser in
6 Q. And to what party did Ostoja Sibincic belong to at the time?
7 A. You know that well. Why would you ask me if you know it?
8 Q. I know very well. I'm asking you, as a witness.
9 A. Just like you.
10 Q. You mean he was a member of the Serbian Radical Party?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Are you sure.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Well, if you're sure, why would we go on. You said that you were
15 in Hrtkovci when the wife of Dragutin Spiric came and came into your
16 house with her child?
17 A. Not Spiric's wife, another woman with whom we were supposed to
18 swap houses.
19 Q. And you didn't, eventually?
20 A. Not with that woman.
21 Q. Because her house was not good enough for you?
22 A. No. The thing is that her husband, while she was staying in my
23 house, signed over the title to the house to his brother.
24 Q. So you went to Zitnjak in Zagreb?
25 A. The surname is Milutinovic.
1 Q. Wait a little. So you personally went to Zitnjak, near Zagreb
2 A. She invited us with the intention to swap house for house, Mico
3 Milutinovic's house.
4 Q. And since your agreement with the Milutinovic's fell through?
5 A. That's not how it happened. We went to the registrar, to the
6 public notary, and the public notary found that there were no papers, no
8 Q. And then you went around and made inquiries around Zitnjak?
9 A. No. I was sitting down and crying when Dragutin Spiric came in
10 and asked me why I was crying. And I answered, to which he said, "Dear
11 lady, come and have a look at my house." So I did go because it was
13 My husband went back to Hrtkovci because we realised we had lost
14 our house, there was no title to the other house. We had a shop and a
15 house, and Spiric told my husband to find another house in Hrtkovci.
16 Q. You've told us all that. Zitnjak is a neighbourhood in Zagreb
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Four kilometres from the center?
19 A. That's not true. It's seven or eight kilometres.
20 Q. I have a statement here --
21 A. Well, that's your problem.
22 Q. You are quite quarrelsome now. That's better. The wife of
23 Dragutin Spiric says it's four kilometres from the center of Zagreb
24 A. Let it be.
25 Q. It was populated by 70 per cent Serbs before the war?
1 A. How would I know?
2 Q. Were there many Serbs? You live there now.
3 A. I know about now, but I don't know about before.
4 Q. That's right. You did not count them as they were leaving, did
6 The wife of Dragutin Spiric says that you came and went around
7 the neighbourhood, looking for a house that would be suitable, and you
8 viewed a lot of Serbian houses. And that was not unusual in any way,
9 because many Croats had come before and after you to look at Serb houses
10 and inquire about possible swapping.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
12 MR. FERRARA: Yes, I did not understand. Mr. Seselj is reading a
13 statement of the wife of Dragutin Spiric? It was never disclosed to
14 the --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's what I understood, too.
16 But you know that --
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the Prosecutor has no idea
18 what has or hasn't been disclosed to him. This -- in fact, to me. This
19 is in my book, "The Hrtkovci Scandal," and if I give you some headlines,
20 you are again going to redact it from the transcript and turn it into a
21 private session. So there's "The Hrtkovci Affair," in the headline and a
22 few more words. I disclosed it to the Prosecution in good time, at least
23 a month before the first Hrtkovci witness appeared, and the Prosecutor
24 should do his homework.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara, this statement
1 made by this woman is in the book that you received.
2 MR. FERRARA: Maybe Mr. Seselj should point out before reading
3 and say, "I'm reading a statement in the book," and so on. Of course, we
4 have thousands of documents. We cannot know everything in the documents.
5 He should be more precise.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this book, (redacted)
8 (redacted) and so on, consists of studies on the Hrtkovci case,
9 written by my associates, that I had turned over to you in October of
10 last year with my objection to the indictment. You decided at the time
11 that it shouldn't be translated into English. You only translated the
12 objection and ruled on the objection.
13 If you had translated it all into English, I believe that the
14 evidence on Hrtkovci would have been so convincing that you would have,
15 without any hesitation, decided to remove all references to Hrtkovci in
16 the indictment.
17 So this is the study in my book, first, and then goes all the
18 rest; the judgements, the --
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Please continue the interpretation.
20 THE INTERPRETER: It's mostly finished.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
22 If I'm not mistaken, Mr. Seselj, the Chamber ruled that you could
23 have a great number of pages translated into English. So far, we haven't
24 seen one single page. Because you have not ordered it or why?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I told you last
1 time that this is probably a very interesting book, as far as what
2 happened in this municipality is concerned, so you should have thought
3 about the fact that the Judges needed to know about this book.
4 When this book was mentioned ages ago, we had no idea what was in
5 the book, and now I'm discovering that in this book we could find the
6 statement made by this woman, this woman who was part of the exchange of
7 houses. It's quite interesting. So out of the 10.000 pages in the book,
8 you should have told the translation department, "Translate this page and
9 that page so that the Judges know about these elements." But this is
10 something you did not do.
11 I note that this book might be of interest, but unfortunately we
12 don't have it, it's not available to us.
13 Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Two points, very quickly.
15 As we've indicated in the past, the book primarily consists of
16 material that is -- that relates to protected witnesses or material that
17 the Trial Chamber has ordered to be placed under seal.
18 Second of all, the book is more than a thousand pages' long, and
19 we would ask the Trial Chamber to order the accused that when he is going
20 to be using parts of that book, or any of his other books, in terms of
21 cross-examination, that he needs to notify us so that we can have those
22 parts of the book ready and available to us.
23 Simply saying he's disclosed a 1.000-page book to us, and,
24 therefore, anything and everything in it is fair game for each and every
25 witnesses in cross-examination, is not fair; and we need notification,
1 just as the Trial Chamber does, so that Your Honours can have those pages
2 before you when he cross-examines a witness.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis. You know that
4 the events linked to this municipality are very important, of paramount
5 importance to this document, notably because of the speech that was made
6 there and everything that occurred around the speech. And because of
7 this, the OTP must know of all of the book, the entire book. If I were
8 you, I would know the book from page 1 to the last page. If the accused
9 is talking about this book, then the OTP would have the answer, if the
10 OTP knew the book.
11 I know that you came in, in midstream, you know, and you were not
12 able to know of all the exhibits, but when you're a prosecutor, and it's
13 a job I had at one point, it's to know everything, to know all the
14 evidence, to be aware of the existence of the entire body of evidence so
15 that you're never taken by surprise by the Defence.
16 If he is mentioning part of a book, normally you should be able
17 to answer quickly without having to be told about the page where the
18 passage can be found. If I had read this book, I could tell you by
19 route, you know, the page and the paragraph. Unfortunately, we're not
20 given this book.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with all due respect, the fact that
22 the witness -- or the fact that the accused wants to cross-examine from
23 certain pages of the book is certainly something that he can notify us
24 about in advance.
25 The fact is, as we've said before, this book contains largely
1 information that shouldn't have been published and put into the public
2 domain in the first place. The remainder of that book, if the accused
3 knows he's going to cross-examine on certain parts of the book, he has an
4 obligation, just as any other accused or any other Defence team do, to
5 provide adequate notice to us so that we can be thoroughly prepared.
6 This is what is known as trial by ambush, and it is no more fair to the
7 Prosecution to allow this to proceed than it would be if we were to try
8 the same thing against the accused. It's a fundamental issue of equality
9 of arms.
10 And I note for the record, once again, Dr. Seselj is laughing.
11 This is inappropriate behaviour in the courtroom, and we would ask again,
12 these are exactly the kinds of things that demand imposition of counsel
13 immediately. We are not getting a fair trial, we're not being put on
14 fair notice as to what he's cross-examining on, and when I raise issues,
15 he mocks us.
16 This is not the way to proceed, with all due respect.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I was not looking
18 at you. You are not supposed to smirk or smile when the Prosecutor is
19 talking. And Mr. Mundis is right in one part. If, in this book, there
20 are passages on protected witnesses, you must be very careful and never
21 mention this in open session. However, this was not the case, because
22 our witness here is not protected, and the wife -- everything that deals
23 with the wife of the person who swapped -- they swapped apartments with
24 is not protected either.
25 But we now have some minutes left, and you have the floor.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, first of all,
2 laughter is something that one can often not control. It's a spontaneous
3 reaction of an individual to certain events. It can be controlled
4 sometimes, but not always, and it cannot be forbidden. First of all, I
5 did not laugh out loud, and thus it was not insulting, it was not
7 I have disclosed this book to the Prosecution, and I meant to
8 submit one copy for translation. But when I saw that you forbade the
9 title to be mentioned in the courtroom, I gave up on that idea.
10 Third, I wasn't quoting from the book. I am interpreting part of
11 the statement of Dragutin Spiric's wife. I didn't even have time to
12 write down her name, so I keep referring to her as Dragutin Spiric's
13 wife. And it is only after the intervention of the Prosecutor that I
14 said that it was published -- that statement was published in the book.
15 I have the right to use it in my cross-examination.
16 Fourth, Mr. President, I am, in principle, opposing that any
17 statement taken by the Defence or the Prosecution be admitted into
18 evidence without prior cross-examination, just as I oppose the proffering
19 by the Prosecutor of 92 ter statements that the Prosecutor, himself, has
20 written, and that's why I did not offer into evidence -- I did not tender
21 the statements -- witness statements taken by my own associates. When I
22 call Defence statements, I will bring many of those who have already
23 given written statements. But that's something we can leave for later.
24 I have the right to interpret various statements, and if the
25 Prosecutor asks me, I'll tell him it comes from a book. They can find
2 It says, in Dragutin Spiric's wife's statement, that Ms. Paulic
3 came to Zitnjak, looked around for a suitable house for purposes of an
4 exchange, and now I'm putting it to her that Dragutin Spiric's wife
5 claims that the Spiric family had swapped their house in a blind exchange
6 for the Paulics' house.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not true.
8 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
9 Q. However, the contract on the exchange was drafted by
10 Igor Kanajet, attorney-at-law; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. From another village, and it was verified in Zagreb
13 attorney is from Dugo Selo. That's just outside Zagreb; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So, you see, I know a few things myself, and Dugo Selo is not in
16 Ruma municipality where the Hrtkovci is.
17 And now I'm asking the witness: You and your husband intended to
18 cheat Dragutin Spiric and his wife, and in concluding that contract, they
19 did not provide all the necessary documentation. So when Dragutin Spiric
20 came to Hrtkovci, he could not book the house in Hrtkovci in his own
21 name; whereas the Paulics signed in the register, in the land register,
22 immediately. Isn't that correct?
23 A. No, no, we couldn't transfer the title. We couldn't have
24 transferred the title unless it was all legal. Everything was legal. We
25 had all the permits, all the papers. There was no encumbering mortgages
1 or anything, loans.
2 Q. Ms. Paulic, you didn't give Dragutin Spiric all the necessary
3 documents. Your house was legal.
4 A. How could we have transferred it, then?
5 Q. With the help of the documents in Zagreb.
6 A. Of course.
7 Q. And Dragutin Spiric didn't have all the necessary documents to
8 register it in Ruma?
9 A. How could he have sold it?
10 Q. First he filed charges against you?
11 A. No.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The interpreters are
13 complaining. Witness, you must wait for Mr. Seselj to be finished with
14 his question before answering, as it takes some time, but don't take too
15 long. And try not to answer too fast. Otherwise, the interpreters
16 cannot keep track of what you are saying.
17 Continue, Mr. Seselj.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, can we see a document from
19 the Prosecution binder, one that the Prosecution didn't want to use for
20 some reason. The Prosecution provided me the document evidence according
21 to which Dragutin Spiric filed charges against you.
22 Q. Ms. Paulic, did you cheat him?
23 A. No.
24 Q. He didn't file charges against you?
25 A. No.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the document on the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the documents weren't in order,
4 we wouldn't have been able to sell the house immediately and we wouldn't
5 have been able to open an establishment, a catering establishment.
6 Q. He didn't do anything, but he prosecuted you.
7 A. How could I have sold the house if the documents weren't in
9 Q. When you did the exchange in Zagreb, you did not give
10 Dragutin Spiric all the necessary documents.
11 A. It wasn't necessary.
12 Q. It wasn't necessary because you wanted to cheat him?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And then Dragutin Spiric arrived in Hrtkovci. He was first
15 astounded because he had been given a house that wasn't as good as the
16 one he had, according to his wife. He also suffered a stroke shortly
17 after that. The house was empty, it wasn't furnished, there was nothing
18 in it, whereas he had left you all his property in the house in Zitnjak?
19 A. Were you listening to this?
20 Q. Well, no.
21 A. Did you listen to what I said in my statement? I said Spiric
22 went to have a look at a different house in Hrtkovci with my husband.
23 Q. That has nothing to do with what I'm asking you about.
24 A. Yes, it does. Listen to me. He saw my house. He brought a
25 photograph of my house with him and showed it to the lady. You said that
1 she was shedding tears, apparently, and complaining. Well, she said the
2 following, "Is it possible for us to actually get that house?" And they
3 told us that they had to go so that the children could be together,
4 because their son was in the Serbian army, in your army. He left the
5 army to go to the Serbian army and his daughter stayed in Zagreb
6 Q. Did he wear a cockade hat?
7 A. I don't know. I didn't see him.
8 Q. Have a look at this document. It's a judgement from the Ruma
9 Municipal Court, issued because you and your husband didn't respond to
10 the charges.
11 A. We didn't receive it.
12 Q. It came into force on the 5th of October, 1993, and it states the
14 "In the name of the people, the Municipal Court in Ruma, the
15 court of first instance in this litigation with Judge Dragan Mandic as
16 president of the Chamber, and illegal matter of Dragutin Spiric from
17 Hrtkovci, represented by Mladen Grbic, a lawyer from Ruma, against
18 Defendants Mile Paulic and Katica Paulic from Zagreb.
19 "With the purpose of establishment of facts, during the
20 preliminary hearing, the first hearing before the main hearing on the
21 16th of July, 1993, in the presence of the proxor [phoen] of the
22 plaintiff, in absence of the defence, who have been summoned, delivered
23 the following."
24 So the verdict for the failure to appear is as follows:
25 "It has been established that the plaintiff, Dragutin Spiric from
1 Hrtkovci, is the owner of property registered in Land Registry Hrtkovci
2 under number 1972; namely, the parcel number 15281, which is land
3 consisting of four areas," and so forth.
4 "The defendants are obliged to admit to the said and to issue a
5 tabulation fit to re-register the said property from the names."
6 You didn't want to issue him with that document so that he could
7 register the property. That's how you cheated him?
8 A. No, we didn't.
9 Q. He had to consult the courts, refer the matter to the courts?
10 A. He wanted to sell the property. He did so. That was his
11 intention, and that's it. Had we cheated him? Well, no, we didn't cheat
12 him. We didn't receive this document, however.
13 Q. Just pause there, please. It says you should have given him the
14 document so that he could register the property in the name of the person
15 filing the charges. It says:
16 "This verdict shall substitute for any opposite conduct on this
17 issue within 15 days, with the possibility of enforcement."
18 So Mr. Spiric had to go to court to prove that he had exchanged
19 houses with you. And on the basis of the court judgement, he had to
20 register his house in his name, because you didn't give him the documents
21 he needed to register the house. He provided you, however, with all the
22 documents you needed, and you had no problems to register the house in
24 Is that what this judgement, in fact, shows?
25 A. Well, I'll repeat what I said. We didn't receive this judgement,
1 and I'll repeat what I said. There was no reason for him to file such
2 charges, because all our documents were in order.
3 Q. In that case, why would he file such charges, if there was no
5 A. You have to ask him that question. I don't know.
6 Q. Why would the Court issue a judgement if all the documents were
7 available? Are you a little surprised by this judgement?
8 A. Yes, naturally.
9 Q. When did you have the proofing session with the Prosecution?
10 A. What proofing?
11 Q. Did you speak to the Prosecution yesterday or the day before?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When? How long did the conversation last?
14 A. It was very brief.
15 Q. Were you shown the contents of the conversation or were you shown
16 this list that you can see, this document, in the course of the proofing?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did he ask you what it meant?
19 A. I said I had nothing to do with it. I said I knew nothing about
21 Q. You said that Dragutin Spiric didn't file charges against you a
22 minute ago?
23 A. I have never received this.
24 Q. But the Prosecution showed this to you.
25 A. Do you understand me?
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask the speakers to
2 slow down and to pause between question and answers. It's impossible to
3 follow like this.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't receive that document. I
5 can't say I received the document, because I didn't.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Did the Prosecution show you the document yesterday?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you have a look at it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you read through it all?
12 A. Yes, I read through it, and I was surprised.
13 Q. In that case, when I asked you whether Dragutin Spiric filed
14 charges against you, why did you say "no"?
15 A. Well, he didn't file charges against me. I didn't receive the
17 Q. The Prosecution informed you of the fact that Dragutin Spiric did
18 file charges against you.
19 A. Very well. So he filed charges? So what? What he wanted to do,
20 he managed to.
21 Q. What did he want to do?
22 A. Well, I have no idea. You should ask him.
23 Q. He wanted to register the house in his name, the one that he
24 exchanged for his own house.
25 A. Well, then he was successful.
1 Q. But that was only one year later.
2 A. And he sold it four months after the exchange.
3 Q. How could he have done it without having registered it?
4 A. Well, I don't know.
5 Q. Are you sure he sold it after four months?
6 A. He boasted about it.
7 Q. But he couldn't register the house, and he couldn't transfer the
8 house to some other owner.
9 A. Very well.
10 Q. But his house or the house was so bad that he sold it for
11 nothing, and what he got for your house -- well, for what he got for your
12 house, he could have bought a flat of 60 square metres.
13 A. He boasted he could buy two.
14 Q. No, he didn't. You've amended that.
15 A. No.
16 Q. But you wanted to cheat him?
17 A. He built everything.
18 Q. You wanted to cheat him, didn't you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. You didn't?
21 A. No.
22 Q. So why didn't you give him this tabulation document so that he
23 could register the house?
24 A. Everything was in order.
25 Q. What do you mean? He didn't receive it?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. This judgement was one that he used instead of the tabulation
3 document so that he could register the house in his name.
4 A. I don't know. They're always murky affairs.
5 Q. Is this a murky affair?
6 A. Probably.
7 Q. In what sense?
8 A. He knows about that.
9 Q. I wouldn't be aware of this document if the Prosecution hadn't
10 provided me with it. Did the Prosecution create this?
11 A. I don't know, I have no idea.
12 Q. Ms. Paulic, you didn't manage to cheat Dragutin Spiric, at least
13 not completely; is that correct?
14 A. That's your conclusion.
15 Q. And when you exchanged houses and went to live in Zagreb
16 husband --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ferrara.
18 MR. FERRARA: [Interpretation] I'd like a clarification.
19 Mr. Seselj said that he is not aware of this document, because I
20 found this document in his book, in his "Hrtkovci Affair" book here,
21 immediately after the declaration of the wife of Mr. Dragutin Spiric.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You see,
23 Mr. Seselj, that the Prosecutor read your book, because he found this
24 document in your book.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. We're advancing.
1 MR. FERRARA: This he should answer, instead of laughing.
2 There's nothing to laugh, I think.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I said that I
4 wouldn't even be aware of the document if the Prosecution hadn't provided
5 me with it. So we have some stylistic nuances here now. But I showed
6 you the original of the document that the Prosecution gave me, not my
7 book. As if I can remember what my 1.200-page book contains? So
8 everything is contained in it, Mr. President, especially since on the
9 basis of my instructions, others drafted the book. But it was on the
10 basis of my very strict instructions, so I am the author of the book.
11 They were just doing what I wanted. It's a book compiled of documents.
12 It contains documents alone, nothing else.
13 And Mr. Ferrara
14 point is to establish why the witness wanted to cheat Dragutin Spiric
15 when exchanging property. The point isn't whether this document that I
16 got from the Prosecution is in my book or not. Naturally, my associates
17 looked into everything in detail and obtained far more documents than the
18 Prosecution could even dream of.
19 MR. FERRARA: Well, Your Honour, maybe the Prosecution can inform
20 Mr. Seselj that the document is in his book, allegedly his book at the
21 time, page 386, 387, 388, immediately after the declaration, the
22 statement of the wife of Dragutin Spiric.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we're just wasting
24 time for no reason. Why should I refer to my book and then have
25 Mr. Ferrara up on his feet because the book hasn't been translated? I
1 can refer to the document that he provided me with. It's easier. He
2 can't say it hasn't been translated, because you have received this
3 document in the English language. So why all this muddle now?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. This is a minor matter.
5 We have 15 minutes before we adjourn. Please try to conclude.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will conclude by then -- I
7 wouldn't say it's a subsidiary matter, because this undermines the
8 credibility of this witness, given the attempt to cheat someone when
9 exchanging property. I don't think you could have been provided with
10 anything more convincing.
11 Q. Where did your brother, Franja Baricevic, go to, Ms. Paulic?
12 A. To Jaksic.
13 Q. That's near Slavonska Pozega; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then your son went to Franja Baricevic on a number of
17 A. No.
18 Q. Never? What's the distance between Zagreb and Pozega?
19 A. What is it? 150 kilometres at the most?
20 Q. No, 350 from Zagreb
21 A. There was a war, so the motorway was closed, so you had to go
22 around, yes.
23 Q. Very well. When you exchanged this house with Dragan Spiric, you
24 went to Zagreb
1 A. Not for a certain while, but to save the house. They returned to
2 save the house because Mico didn't have any papers.
3 Q. You waited for your son to complete the secondary school for
4 internal affairs in Sremska Kamenica, and then with a diploma from the
5 police school, he could go to Zagreb
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So you didn't just move around because you are under threat; you
9 were able to move out comfortably. You could choose a house that you
10 wanted, that you liked?
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. No, it wasn't like that.
14 Q. So why did you make up the story that I mentioned
15 Dragutin Vuksanic in my speech, a doctor from Hrtkovci? He was a
16 well-liked person in Hrtkovci; isn't that correct?
17 A. Well, I don't know whether he was well liked. He was a doctor.
18 It was Branko Vuksanic, that was his name.
19 Q. Branimir, is that his name?
20 A. Branko.
21 Q. Did the Serbs trust him, and the Croats as well?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was he well known in the broader area as someone whose diagnoses
24 were exceptional? He could have a look at you and diagnose your illness;
25 isn't that correct? So why would anyone disturb that man?
1 A. Well, why did he move out?
2 Q. Well, he moved out because he was cheated, deception was
4 A. That's what you say.
5 Q. Because of deception, because people from Belgrade came to
6 convince him that he should move out, and they said that if he didn't do
7 so, a lot of Croats would follow him?
8 A. Since he was such a good doctor, I don't believe that he would
9 have fallen for such words.
10 Q. Yes, but the offer was attractive.
11 A. That's what others say.
12 Q. But you heard others saying that?
13 A. No, I assume that was the case.
14 Q. You assume. So you're testifying about something that you
16 A. No. You're making this up.
17 Q. We're still using the "T" form, the familiar form of address.
18 A. Well, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
19 Q. Very well. Do you know Niko Kraljevic, the local priest?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you know him well?
22 A. Well, do I know him well? I don't know my husband very well, let
23 alone him.
24 Q. You don't even know your own husband?
25 A. I don't know him well.
1 Q. How should I understand that?
2 A. Well, think about it.
3 Q. I can't think about that. I'm sorry, I have to disappoint you.
4 How about Niko Kraljevic; was he known for a drinking problem?
5 A. To some extent, yes.
6 Q. Was he prone to causing trouble when drunk?
7 A. No.
8 Q. He never attacked anyone?
9 A. No. He was known for merry-making and singing.
10 Q. Do you know he attacked Djordje Obric from Sabac when inebriated?
11 A. I don't know that man Djordje and I never heard of this case.
12 Q. So you don't know. Very well. Have you heard of Mijat Stefanac?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Was he suffering from a drinking problem?
15 A. No. He lives at one end of the village, and I at another.
16 Q. Do you know he was killed in Hrtkovci?
17 A. I heard about that when I was already in Zagreb.
18 Q. He was killed somewhere between Hrtkovci and Batkovici?
19 A. I heard he was tortured. It was awful.
20 Q. Do you know the motives for murder?
21 A. He let strangers into his own house.
22 Q. But it's not those strangers that killed him. His wife had left
23 him, and his sons had left. He allowed refugees into his house.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. But it's not the refugees who killed him, or did you hear
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. I'm interested in this story, because it had spread among people
4 in Hrtkovci, especially the Croats who'd left.
5 A. I was in Zagreb
6 Q. But you heard the story, that he was killed by Serbian refugees
7 that he allowed into his house; is that what you heard? Say it loud and
8 clear, because we can't record your head nodding.
9 Do you know it was established before the Court that he was
10 killed by completely other people?
11 A. I am only telling you what I heard. I'm not claiming anything.
12 Q. And all the rest that's said is also what you heard; you're not
13 claiming anything?
14 A. I can say what I know, and I can tell you honestly when I'm
15 saying something I only heard.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I've completed my
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Mr. Ferrara, any re-examination?
20 MR. FERRARA: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, on behalf of my fellow
22 Judges, I would like to thank you for having come and testify here. The
23 cross-examination may have come as a surprise for you, but pursuant to
24 the Rules of this Tribunal, both the Prosecution and the Defence are
25 allowed to cross-examine witnesses. That's the way it's organised here.
1 I wish you a safe trip home, and I'm going to ask the usher to
2 escort you out of the courtroom.
3 Now, as for tomorrow, we have an expert witness scheduled to
4 testify in the same conditions as the previous expert witness. The Trial
5 Chamber has decided that the Prosecution would have 45 minutes to conduct
6 its examination-in-chief, and Mr. Seselj will have an hour and a half to
7 conduct his cross-examination.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's all.
10 It's almost time to adjourn. I wish you a pleasant afternoon,
11 and I will see you all here tomorrow morning at 8.30.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.09 p.m.
13 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 20th day of
14 November, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.