1 Tuesday, 26 January 2010
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
8 is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus Vojislav Seselj.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 This is Tuesday, January 26th, 2010, and I greet, first and
11 foremost, Ms. Biersay and Mr. Marcussen, and all the people helping them,
12 Mr. Seselj, and I also greet everyone helping us in this courtroom.
13 Let's first move into closed session. Could the usher please
14 drop the blinds, and we will bring the witness into the courtroom.
15 [Closed session]
11 Pages 15093-15101 redacted. Closed session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, please stand up, because
15 I'm going to ask you to provide us with your first name, last name, and
16 date of birth. Please state your name, first name, and date of birth.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Vojislav, my surname is
18 Dabic. I was born on the 28th of July, 1966, in Mostar.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your occupation, sir?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At present, I am working as a
21 driver, but my actual profession is electrician.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you had an opportunity to
23 testify in this Tribunal or not?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Never in my life.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you testify in a domestic
1 court in Serbia
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read out the solemn
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This way, no.
6 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
7 and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: VOJISLAV DABIC
9 [The witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
11 I asked you whether you had testified in this Tribunal before,
12 you said you hadn't. So you never came to testify?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time for me to
14 come to this country, never mind this Tribunal.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's how I had understood
17 Let me tell you how things are going to be. You're a Chamber
18 witness. You were called to testify by the Trial Chamber. The three
19 Judges have divided the work between them.
20 For 30 minutes, I'm going to have questions for you on the way
21 you had contacts with the OTP and with Mr. Seselj's counsel or associates
22 in order to find out how all that happened, so these are the questions
23 I'm going to put to you. Then Judge Lattanzi and Judge Harhoff will ask
24 questions of you in relation to the events that took place in the former
1 colleagues will each take 30 minutes, so in all in all we'll have one
2 hour and a half.
3 Thereafter, the Prosecutor, I believe Ms. Biersay, will have one
4 hour and a half for her question. She can submit to you all sorts of
5 documents, any documents she wishes to show you. Then Mr. Seselj will
6 have the same amount of time for his questions, whatever they may be.
7 Let's not waste any time, because altogether, you see, three
8 times 90 minutes, that's close to five hours, and we only have two days
9 for your testimony.
10 You've already made the solemn oath, so you are a witness of the
11 Chamber. You're not supposed to have any contact whatsoever. So when
12 you go back to your hotel, you can't make a phone call, you can't say
13 anything about the questions put to you. Once it's over, you do whatever
14 pleases you.
15 So did you understand me?
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First question: Can you tell
18 me the circumstances in which the OTP Prosecutors got in touch with you?
19 When did they start, in which year?
20 A. The first meeting was in the year 2000. I did not contact them
21 myself directly. This went through a certain individual who contacted a
22 lady, Jasmina Ploskic from Mostar, who is working in Sarajevo or, rather,
23 in Mostar. She has an office for missing persons. Five or six times,
24 she called me and asked for me, and in the end I agreed. And we met
25 between the town of Brcko
1 market-place called Arizona
2 assume her husband, Senad Sejno Hadziomerovic, and Mr. Luka Radovic. I
3 arrived. We met there, we had lunch there, and we spent some three hours
4 together. And while we were having lunch, we discussed the fact that she
5 had contacts with certain people from the United Nations who were looking
6 for a potential witness, a person who had spent the entire duration of
7 the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not just in one place but at several
8 locations there. And that is how they found me. I agreed.
9 In the meantime, as after the war I went to Novi Sad, where I did
10 various jobs, my family from Mostar called me on several occasions to
11 inform me that certain persons were coming to their home, threatening
12 them, that once they threw two hand-grenades, that at the entrance of my
13 house they hung up a deceased notice with my picture on it, so that after
14 certainly five persistent calls by Ms. Jasmina Ploskic, that I finally
15 one day agreed to meet with her. We met at this market in the Partner
16 Restaurant which no longer exists there, if you need the information, and
17 I agreed to meet with her -- I'm sorry, with Ms. Brigitte in Sarajevo
18 what used to be the students hostel, now the headquarters of the United
19 Nations, in the Nedzarici district. This was in the year 2000.
20 I spent four days there. On the first day, they put me up in a
21 district called Osijek
22 motel called Delminium. I went down for dinner, I had dinner, and 10 men
23 in uniform came in with the insignia of the Croatian Army. I was not
24 indifferent to this fact. And the next day, when Ms. Brigitte, with the
25 interpreter Majda from Tuzla
1 out of this motel, and that is what they did.
2 Then the interviews lasted from 9.00 in the morning. We had
3 lunch in the big canteen at the UN headquarters in Nedzarici, at the
4 hostel, and this would go on usually until 3.00 or half past 3.00. It
5 depended. So we started with the basic things, who I am, what I'm doing,
6 what I used to do, until we reached for what was for her the most
7 important area; that is, my participation in the war, where, what, how,
8 who I saw, who was there, where they were, what they were doing.
9 I apologise, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me stop you.
11 So you met with Ms. St. Germain on the 13th of November, and you
12 had a talk with her - I'm not going to go into the details of it - this
13 in 2001 [as interpreted]. I guess that they drew up a report stating
14 everything you said then. And you were shown the document, which you
15 signed. You signed the document. Did you sign the document on the
16 document written in English or on the document written in B/C/S?
17 A. Your Honour, that document was written in English, in the English
18 language, just as I see now on the monitor, words in English, and you're
19 addressing me in French.
20 MS. BIERSAY: Excuse me, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Biersay.
22 MS. BIERSAY: I rise to direct your attention to page 15, line
23 13. It says in the year of 2001, and I think it was 2000.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Indeed, in November 2000.
25 Thank you.
1 When you signed the documents, there was an interpreter next to
2 you. Did the interpreter read back the entire text to you in your own
3 language or just ask you to sign the document?
4 A. Your Honour, the interpreter -- or let me repeat. The document
5 was certainly in English. It was typed out on a laptop. And I noticed,
6 while making statements -- I understand English at least to some extent,
7 and even some French, and I think that the statement was changed. I
8 signed only the English text. I did not receive anything in
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have here another
11 statement, dated 10th of June, 2004. Did the OTP contact you again in
12 order to obtain another statement from you?
13 A. Though this was a long time ago, I think that I was contacted by
14 Mr. Rovija, something like that. I can't remember the surname exactly.
15 It was a long time ago. And he read my statements that I had made to
16 Ms. Brigitte, and he told me that most probably I would not be needed by
17 the Tribunal or the United Nations. I answered, I don't believe so. You
18 will look me up again. And that is exactly what happened.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you signed the second
21 Were you at any time told that you were going to be called to
22 testify in the Seselj case or in another case? Were you told in which
23 proceedings you might testify or weren't you told anything at all?
24 A. As far as I am able to recollect, they didn't say anything.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They didn't tell you anything.
1 Were you promised money, resettlement, relocation, or a job? Were you
2 made any promises or threats, or was this just, let's say, a technical
3 interview in which nothing particular happened?
4 A. At the first meeting with Ms. Brigitte, she said to me and
5 suggested that I could, for example, go to America, to work on a farm
6 there, that I would have a good salary, that I would receive money. And
7 the money that I did receive from Ms. Brigitte was simply my daily
8 allowances, that is, for the days I was absent from work, and my ticket;
9 in other words, travelling expenses that they covered.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I wish to know about
11 contacts you had with Mr. Seselj's Defence. The Prosecutor has received
12 statements -- or received statements then. You were not called to
13 testify. What happened? Did you call them, were you called? Tell us
14 exactly how it all happened.
15 A. Your Honour, I sent, by mail to the headquarters of the Serbian
16 Radical Party in Zemun, a note saying that I would like to get in touch
17 with the Defence team for Dr. Vojislav Seselj. So this was sent by mail.
18 And I know for certain that it was received at the porters of the Serbian
19 Radical Party in Zemun.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why did you feel the need to
21 tell the Serbian Radical Party that you wanted to testify? Why did you
22 do so?
23 A. To be quite frank, regardless of the fact that
24 Dr. Vojislav Seselj is here present, I think, in my view, this was unjust
25 towards him, and I decided on my own -- for days I couldn't sleep, or,
1 rather, nights, and I decided to make this move to change my statement
2 and not to be a witness for the Prosecution in the proceedings against
3 Dr. Vojislav Seselj.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who did you meet among
5 Mr. Seselj's associates? Who were your contacts?
6 A. I met with Mr. - if he's a gentleman, and I think he is -
7 Jadranko Vukovic.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How many times did you meet
9 with him; twice, five times? How many times?
10 A. Whenever I received a call from the Prosecution, I would inform
11 him, or, rather, we informed you, too, through the Tribunal that I do not
12 wish to be a Prosecution witness in the case against Dr. Vojislav Seselj.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You made statements to
14 Dr. Seselj's associates. Did they receive them in person, based on what
15 you said to them? Did they then ask you to sign the documents? How did
16 it all happen?
17 A. Your Honour, I personally, myself, wrote those statements, which
18 we carried to the Court in Novi Sad
20 Municipality of Zemun
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have a
23 For certification of your signature; is that right?
24 A. In connection with these statements?
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, it was about the signature.
1 You did not give a statement before any official Serbian authority; is
2 that so?
3 A. No, no. All the statements I signed, myself, by hand, and with
4 my ID documents, both in the Court in Novi Sad and in the Court in
6 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] To authenticate your signature;
7 was that the purpose?
8 A. Yes. Yes, yes, and the Court gave a stamp -- put a stamp on the
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So your signature? The seal of
11 the Tribunal was put on the signature, on your signature, to confirm that
12 the signature at the end of the document is, indeed, the signature of
13 Mr. Vojislav Dabic?
14 A. Quite so, exactly so, because no document can --
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sir, Mr. Dabic, when you said you wrote,
16 yourself, the declaration that you gave to the Defence, did you write it
17 in your handwriting and it was then later typed out, or did you type it,
18 yourself, on a typewriter?
19 A. Your Honour Judge Harhoff, I personally wrote this statement on a
20 piece of paper from a notebook, and I really cannot type. I don't know
21 how to type. So I wrote it out in a notebook with lines, a notebook with
22 lines, and not with squares. So I, personally, wrote out the statement
23 maybe while you were sleeping. At night, that's what I mean.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: And who typed it out; do you know?
25 A. As I was sending this to Belgrade
1 Defence team for Dr. Vojislav Seselj, they typed it out. So exactly the
2 way I had written it, that was typed out. And I checked this, I verified
3 it, both my statement and their typed version.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One last question, and then I
6 will let my fellow Judge Ms. Lattanzi ask questions and I'll be done.
7 When you met Mr. Jadranko Vukovic, can you tell us whether he
8 threatened you, whether he offered money, whether he told you about a
9 possible job that you may have, or did he just tell you, You contacted
10 us; give us your statement?
11 A. Mr. Jadranko Vukovic did not offer me any kind of job, he did not
12 give me any money, because I worked in Novi Sad, where I live. I worked
13 in a small cafe, so I didn't really need money. I mean, it wasn't only
14 him. Other people from the Defence team didn't offer me anything either.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Last question. Could you tell
16 us whether you're a member of the Serbian Radical Party today; yes or no?
17 A. Your Honour Judge Antonetti, I am not a member of any party,
18 including the Radical Party, for the following reason: I'm not
19 interested in politics at all.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And finally my last question.
21 You mentioned my fellow Judge by name earlier, and you also called me by
22 name. I didn't know I was that famous. Why is it that you know my name?
23 A. I see your name right now on the monitor in front of me. Also,
24 on the summons that I received from the Court to testify, it also says
25 very nicely what your name is, as far as I know. I have the summons here
1 with me.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're right, absolutely, my
3 name is on the monitor.
4 Ms. Biersay, Ms. Lattanzi will ask questions now first.
5 MS. BIERSAY: I just had a question with respect to -- we've
6 discussed many statements, and I thought perhaps for the record it might
7 be helpful to refer to the 65 ter numbers that they have been assigned,
8 just to keep track of them for the Court's assistance.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Once you have the floor, you
10 can provide us with all the numbers. I had questions -- general
11 questions to ask. I didn't want to go into details. But maybe my fellow
12 Judge will. I don't know. But later on, when it's your turn, you can
13 say that the November statement has this 65 ter number. I only had 30
14 minutes, and I didn't want to waste my time.
15 I give the floor to Ms. Lattanzi.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, there's one thing I
17 would like to ask you first, something that has to do with the questions
18 put to you by Judge Antonetti. I would like to know whether, while you
19 were making these statements to Ms. Brigitte -- Ms. Brigitte, I can't
20 remember her last name, I'd like to know whether an interpreter was
21 there. Yes or no?
22 A. The interpreter was a lady, a young lady, either Ms. or Mrs. - I
23 didn't ask her exactly, Majda from Tuzla, that's for sure, and I was
24 sitting the way I'm sitting now and talking to them.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] What did this interpreter do,
1 exactly? She didn't do anything? She did not read back the statement in
2 Serbian, this statement that had been written in English?
3 A. Well, to tell you quite frankly, as I've sworn at the very
4 outset, for instance, I would say to the lady interpreter -- I would say
5 something, and then I think that she would somehow explain this in a
6 different way to Ms. Brigitte. So the statement that was written in
7 English on a laptop is what she read out to me in Serbian, I mean
8 Serbo-Croat, whatever you wish, so I concluded on that basis that there
9 were some changes, some minor changes, in the interpretation or
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] So the interpreter had changed
12 some things, they did not really translate what you had said. Obviously,
13 that's what you said.
14 I have a few questions, very few of them, regarding our case.
15 At one point in time in the November 2000 statement, you
16 mentioned some rallies where pacifist messages were given, but there were
17 extremists who were present with cockades, singing nationalist hymns. So
18 could you identify these people, that they belonged to a specific group?
19 A. Madame, when I was speaking to Ms. Majda, I said that these were
20 gatherings, but she translated it as "rallies." Among these people, I
21 did not know anyone because, well, during the war I, myself, wore a
22 sajkaca cap and a cockade. Perhaps there were five or six of them
23 dressed that way. Well, when a person comes to a gathering, for example,
24 to a football game, you have to come under the influence in order to be
25 able to root, or to use something else that's intoxicating, drugs and the
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Let's follow the same line. In
3 the November 2000 statement, you mention armed Chetnik volunteers, armed
4 with light automatic weapons or with grenades. Now, I would like to know
5 whether you can identify more specifically these volunteers which you
6 called Chetniks.
7 A. Madame, again I'm going back in time. I also wore a sajkaca cap
8 and a cockade, and they called me a Chetnik. Now, where these volunteers
9 had come from, I cannot establish.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Excuse me, but let's go back a
11 few minutes.
12 In one of your statements, I read that at one point in time you
13 said that your family was against your recruitment during the war, and
14 you were sent to Moscow
15 A. Correct, correct, that is quite right. As war was looming in the
16 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a war was already underway in
18 Serb - I liked Orthodoxy - my parents were afraid that I might join the
19 ranks of the Serbian Army or the Yugoslav People's Army, the Territorial
20 Defence, so they sent me to Russia
21 stay with a lady who was my father's relative, and I worked as a driver.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I apologise, I'm a bit sick.
23 But I would like to know how you decided to return to Serbia and to join
24 the war.
25 A. When the war started in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I lost all contact
1 with my family, which worried me very seriously. Then on one day my
2 relative, and she always travelled on official business - if you wish,
3 I can give you her full name - she travelled to Italy; Milan
4 precise. I took the train, the regular train, from Moscow to Belgrade
5 I arrived in Belgrade
6 nowadays. And then from Podgorica, I went to Nevesinje. I spent a day
7 there and went down to Mostar. I entered the city, which had been
8 destroyed. I entered my home. I found my mother, my sister, my nephew,
9 and my Muslim neighbours. They were near my home because they felt safe
10 there. That is to say that I was wandering about town as a civilian. A
11 lot of people didn't like that.
12 Before the war and -- before the war and now, and to the end of
13 my days, I was fond of Orthodoxy, and I joined the Territorial Defence of
14 the town of Mostar
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] What convinced you to join the
16 TO, the Territorial Defence?
17 A. Well, I, as a civilian, 25 years old, could not just walk around
18 town just like that, while other people had joined in. I went to the
19 nearby neighbourhood of Zelik, where the TO headquarters was. That's
20 where I was issued with a uniform and rifle, a PAP rifle. I was on night
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sir, in this same statement,
23 November 2000, you also mention about the Chetnik members of the
24 Karadjordje unit, and you mention a man called Arsen Grahovac. I would
25 like to know a little bit more about this group, and I would like to know
1 whether they had any connection with Seselj and Seselj's volunteers.
2 A. Madame Judge, it is correct that in Nevesinje there was a
3 detachment called Karadjordje. However -- well, they did call them
4 Chetniks, but because they wore -- they wore Chetnik insignia, cockades.
5 The late Arsen Grahovac was their leader. That was shown on television
6 as well. However, the members of the Karadjordje Detachment were
7 exclusively members of the Serbian Renewal Movement, the SPO, because at
8 that time in Nevesinje and in the surrounding area, and throughout
9 Eastern Herzegovina
10 know full well, has as its president Mr. Vuk Draskovic.
11 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes, you are right. At that
12 moment, there weren't any.
13 Now, you say that the Serbs were in Nevesinje and Mostar, and
14 there were 70 Serbs fighting there, and you say that they were helped by
15 the JNA. However, you don't say who paid the members of this Karadjordje
17 A. Well, it is correct that we received money from the JNA. There
18 were Serbs in Mostar and Nevesinje, the Neretva River Valley
19 Neretva River Valley
20 May, the JNA withdrew from Mostar and from all of Eastern Herzegovina.
21 As for money for the Karadjordje Detachment, in my view, I can
22 just say that it is probable that they received the money from the SPO,
23 the Serbian Renewal Movement.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 In the June 2004 statement, you mention 20 or 30 of Seselj's men
1 who would have come from Serbia
2 the JNA. Their local commander was a man called Boban. Did you know
3 about this directly or did you hear this through hearsay?
4 A. Madame Judge, while I was in Mostar, before I was wounded, I
5 heard that there was a small group of some 30 men who had come from
7 part; we, the Territorial Defence. Allegedly, they were the garrison
8 command. Allegedly, they did not go into town at all. I think that they
9 were led by a man whose name started with a B. As I did not really walk
10 around town very much, it was one of these walks that I hardly took that
11 cost me a sniper bullet in my left arm. So I don't really remember that
12 much. However, I did not see them in town.
13 As for the garrison command, it had been relocated outside town,
14 above town.
15 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Were you also told how they were
17 A. As far as I can remember, no one had said anything to me about
18 how they were dressed. We, at any rate, were all dressed in
19 olive-green-grey uniforms that had remained in the warehouses after the
20 JNA had left, so it would be a uniform with this and that kind of
21 insignia. I repeat to you, once again, that I wore a sajkaca cap and a
22 cockade, I had a beard.
23 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Could you tell us whether this
24 group, which was wearing these emblems and the cockade which were not the
25 official insignia of the JNA nor the TO, I guess, could you tell us
1 whether this was a group which met at the Azaro Cafe?
2 A. The Azaro Cafe was in the western part of the town of Mostar
3 that is to say, on Croat territory. These groups that you are referring
4 to, they were probably reservists who had arrived just before the war
5 broke out. They arrived in Mostar, and the owner was a Serb, and of
6 course they went to drink there. However, I don't think that they were
7 from Serbia
8 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] In the 2000 statement, you
9 mention a check-point held by Seselj's men. Could you give us more
10 information on this, tell us, for example, how you found this out?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] You also say that it was a man
13 named Kinez who was commanding this check-point?
14 A. When I arrived from Russia
15 between Nevesinje and Mostar, there was a sort of check-point. There
16 were five or six men in uniform. And I, indeed, had arrived with the
17 military police from Nevesinje. It was a Renault 5 vehicle, and I asked
18 the driver, Who are these men? And he said to me, Ah, it's some guy
19 called Kinez. That's what they call him. Possibly he's from Serbia
20 nothing happened. They stopped us, and since they saw that they were in
21 uniform, they said, Who's this man in civilian clothes? That was I.
22 They explained that I was a young man from Mostar and that I was going
24 It wasn't that he was called "Knez." He was called "Kinez."
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, but I'm going to
1 return to the relationship between Mr. Seselj and the man called
2 Grahovac, because you didn't really answer my question. So could you --
3 when you said that he was in charge of security with the help of Chetnik
4 volunteers, and you're also saying in your 2004 statement that he created
5 the Chetnik Serbian Movement and that he would have -- allegedly would
6 have met Seselj in Belgrade
7 like some details on all this, all this information that you have in your
9 A. Near my home in Mostar, I had a friend who had originally hailed
10 from Nevesinje, or, rather, a village nearby. He knew the late
11 Arsen Grahovac very well. When he would come to see me, he would tell me
12 that Arsen Grahovac allegedly went to Belgrade to see
13 Dr. Vojislav Seselj, which I really do not believe. It is quite possible
14 that he did meet up with Mr. Bozidar Vucurevic, the mayor of Trebinje.
15 Trebinje is about 100 kilometres away from Nevesinje.
16 Again, I repeat to you that the late Arsen Grahovac was a member
17 of the SPO
18 were with him, or soldiers, of course, they were Chetniks for some
20 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] In this 2004 statement, you talk
21 about Grahovac. You talk of him as if he was responsible for a lot of
22 massacres and looting in the Nevesinje region, and you connect him with
23 Seselj's volunteers?
24 A. Madame Judge, I'm saying to you yet again that all the soldiers
25 down there at the front-line who wore these nationalist insignia or
1 cockades were called "Seselj's men." As for the massacre that you refer
2 to, for which perhaps the late Arsen Grahovac is responsible, I really do
3 not remember that.
4 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I was not the one who said that.
5 You did in your 2004 statement.
6 A. Probably because at that time the Muslim inhabitants started to
7 be expelled, and they were active in the territory of Nevesinje
8 municipality, because there were quite a number of Muslim villages there,
9 and there still are. But that I had heard that some people had been
10 slaughtered or killed, probably because the Muslims were armed too, they
11 were not naive, so someone had to be responsible, and it is always the
12 commander who is responsible.
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Somebody is bound to be
14 responsible. But in your statement, you mentioned Grahovac expressly,
15 and you put him together with Seselj's volunteers. Therefore, now you
16 deny what you said then? Well, even if we haven't had a whole 30
17 minutes, but, I mean, Judge Harhoff has some questions for you, but this
18 is -- or this was my last question for you.
19 A. Your Honour, I'm not denying that, but it is not clear to me why
20 you persistently say and keep repeating the expression "Seselj's
21 volunteers." That is not clear to me at all.
22 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are the one using
23 those terms in your statements, not me. Please, don't make -- or don't
24 claim that I am saying something whilst this is taken from your own
25 statement, Witness.
1 A. I just told you that I am not denying that.
2 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Judge Lattanzi has had her
4 30 minutes.
5 We're going to have a break now. After the break, Judge Harhoff
6 will ask some questions of you.
7 We're going to stop for 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
12 Mr. Dabic, I have a few questions to you relating to the
13 statement that you have given to the Defence, and also a few questions
14 relating to the information that you provided in the statements to the
15 Defence and to the Prosecution.
16 Now, first of all, Mr. Dabic, you told me, when I asked you
17 during the first session, that you had written your statements to the
18 Defence of Mr. Seselj in your handwriting because you do not know how to
19 handle a typewriter. And if I understand your statement correctly, it
20 was you who contacted the Defence organisation in Belgrade, and you did
21 so from Novi Sad
22 Novi Sad
23 did you write your statement? Did you write your statement with your
24 handwriting at home in Novi Sad
25 was that done?
1 A. What you just said at the beginning is quite right. I wrote my
2 statement in my apartment in Novi Sad, Gradinarova Street, number 24, on
3 an ordinary piece of paper with a Biro, and I mailed it to the
4 headquarters of the Serbian Radical Party in Zemun.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: And you said also that you had checked the
6 typewritten version and compared it to your handwritten version, and do
7 you testify that there was full equality between the two, is that
8 correct, that when you saw finally the typewritten version of your
9 statement you compared it to the handwritten statement and you were
10 satisfied that it was exactly the same? Is that correct?
11 A. Correct, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: So are we to understand that the version of the
13 statement that you provided to the Defence -- we only have it in the
14 typewritten version, but that is exactly similar to the written version
15 that we have in front of us -- sorry, to the handwritten version that you
16 sent? Do you understand my question?
17 A. Fully, yes.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Now, did you receive any guide-lines
19 as to how such a statement should be worded, should be formulated?
20 A. Well, you see, I wrote the statement to the best of my knowledge
21 or, rather, as requested by the Defence team, and I put down what I could
22 remember because, after all, it was a long time before that that the war
23 was. So believe me, I can't remember what I ate three days ago.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Nor can I, so that shouldn't worry you. No, but
25 I'm interested in how you arrived at putting this statement together, and
1 my question was to you if you were given any instructions as to how to
2 put together the statement that you provided to the Defence. Any
3 guide-lines or instructions, or did you simply just sit down by yourself
4 and then wrote the statement?
5 A. I wrote the statement in the way that the Defence team asked me
6 to, as soon as I contacted them. They didn't say that I should say
7 anything in favour of Dr. Vojislav Seselj. I just wrote down what I
8 could remember, what had happened on those days. And if I had known,
9 perhaps we could have brought the statement that I wrote myself, and then
10 you would see that that is true and that it was certified in court and
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: All right. We're speaking about two statements,
13 are we not, in May and June 2007? One in May and one in June 2007; is
14 that correct?
15 A. As far as I can remember, I wrote five statements, and those are
16 the first two.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, that's correct. When you first contacted
18 the Defence team in Belgrade
19 and see them, or how was the communication made?
20 A. After I had written the first statement, at the end of the
21 statement I signed my name, I put down my home address in Novi Sad, I
22 provided a contact telephone number both at home and at work; that is,
23 the cafe where I worked. And then they called me up. I got on a bus and
24 I went there.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: So was it after that you had met them in Belgrade
1 that you wrote the statement or was it before?
2 A. No. I'm sorry, I apologise, Your Honour. I met them after
3 sending the statement. So I first sent the statement with my address and
4 the telephone number, and after that we met and spoke.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Dabic, your statements, the first two of
6 them, at least, they both have a short preamble in which you introduce
7 yourself. If I quote from the preamble of your statement, it says:
8 "I, Vojislav, son of," so-and-so, "born," this and that date, and
9 then you quote your personal identity number, "hereby state:" And then
10 your statement follows. Was that also your own formulation that you put
11 in your handwritten statement?
12 A. 100 per cent. Yes, I can give you the arguments to prove it.
13 The number of my ID card, my personal identification number, and
14 everything else.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm sure that all the details that you have
16 provided are correct. I was merely interested in the form, that it was
17 your own idea to begin your statement by adding or by putting this short
18 preamble in which you introduced yourself with all the details, and then
19 you go on to say that you hereby state, and then follows the statement.
20 If I can show you physically, then I'll show what I mean. Can
21 you see this paper? This is your statement. And the first little
22 paragraph here, was that also your own formulation?
23 A. Yes, my own.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Meaning it was not added by someone else? This
25 was also -- also would appear in your first original handwritten
2 A. Yes, I wrote all that down myself because -- well, this is not
3 connected to this, but I was living alone.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much. Now, this was just to
5 clarify the process of putting together your statements to the Defence,
6 and I have exhausted that first question.
7 My second question relates to your own indication of your not
8 being interested in politics at all. That's what you told us in the
9 beginning of your testimony today, that you had no interest in politics,
10 yet you also testified that you attended the meetings wearing a sajkaca
11 cap, and a cockade, and otherwise wearing a long beard and, you know, you
12 made yourself look like a Chetnik, and that seems to me to be quite a
13 strong political standpoint that you not only had but also displayed in
14 the public. So do you consider your physical appearance to be completely
15 non-political or apolitical, as you claimed you were?
16 A. Well, you see, sir, as I was living and working in Mostar, I
17 mostly worked as a taxi-driver, so I would transport people to these
18 gatherings for money, and I accompanied them there. So if you drive
19 someone there, then you have to -- you don't have to, but you're there,
20 present, and then they see you there, and then they say, He came to the
21 meeting, if that's what you're referring to.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: Well, I understand that you were seen at the
23 meetings and that you looked like a Chetnik, but my question was really
24 different. My question was that if you were serious about not
25 entertaining any political preference and not being interested at all in
1 political matters, then it was a surprise to me that you also said that
2 you were wearing a sajkaca cap, and cockades, and all the -- not all, but
3 at least some of the other physical symbols that pertain to Chetniks,
4 such as the long beard and so on, because that's not -- to me, at least,
5 is not non-political. That is, on the contrary, very political, that you
6 have taken a standpoint. And I'm uninterested in which standpoint you
7 have taken, but, on the one happened, you cannot maintain, at least in my
8 view, that you have no interest in politics and yet, at the same time,
9 dress up as someone belonging to a clearly politicised view. Do you see
10 my problem?
11 Mr. Dabic, I mean, come on. If you were honest about not having
12 any political interest, then dressing up as a Chetnik would only make
13 sense if you would say that, well, you know, you did only this -- you
14 only dressed up like a Chetnik for some reason of, I don't know,
15 acceptance or something, but that you really didn't mean to entertain the
16 views that were held -- the political views that were held by many
17 Chetniks. So either your statement about being unpolitical is wrong or
18 your reasons for dressing up like a Chetnik were false. Which is it?
19 A. Sir, Your Honour Judge Harhoff, if I had continued -- in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in those days, there were, indeed, many such meetings.
21 If I had continued to attend those meetings, then I probably wouldn't be
22 an ordinary individual. I would have probably got more deeply involved
23 in politics. It is well known who are the real politicians, what they're
24 doing and how they're doing it. The fact that I went there with friends,
25 I can't say that it is absolutely disconnected to politics or propaganda.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Let's drop the subject and move on to something
3 I have a few questions relating to the information that you
4 provided in your statements to the Prosecution, and these pieces of
5 information that you gave here in your statements to the Prosecution
6 would seem to indicate that you knew somehow that Mr. Arsen Grahovac was
7 somehow involved in several killings of non-Serb civilians. And my
8 question to you is: How did you know that? Did he tell you so, that he
9 had been involved in those killings?
10 A. Your Honour Judge Harhoff, first of all, Nevesinje is 45
11 kilometres from Mostar, and I lived in Mostar, whereas the late
12 Arsen Grahovac was living in Nevesinje and he had his detachment
13 Karadjordje. So these are all things that I heard. I didn't see it.
14 Had I seen it, I would have been in his unit. But I was living in
15 Mostar, and they were in the area of Nevesinje Municipality
16 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand, but my question goes to the
17 reliability of the information that you provided. You said at several
18 occasions that you had heard that he had been involved in crimes, and my
19 interest is to know just how did you learn this. Did he, himself, tell
20 you so? You came to know him later on, and so did he at any occasion
21 tell you directly that he was a member of the SRS and that he had been
22 involved in those killings, and other crimes, perhaps?
23 A. First of all, the late Grahovac was not a member of the Serbian
24 Radical Party at all. He was a member of the Serbian Renewal Movement,
25 and these are two different concepts. The Serbian Renewal Movement is
1 the party of Mr. Vuk Draskovic. And I met the late Grahovac once in
2 Nevesinje. He had his own cafe there called Ravno Gora, and his soldiers
3 would come there in a drunken condition, and they would say all kinds of
4 things. And these were not large premises, so you could hear them talk.
5 Here we're back from, for instance, a village, Kljuna, in Nevesinje
6 Municipality, inhabited by Muslims. We've expelled them, this and that.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Do you recall approximately when you heard these
8 things in his cafe, just roughly?
9 A. This was roughly in the summer. I'll tell you in a minute. I
10 was wounded in June, so about October, when the non-Serb population
11 started to be expelled, because after I was wounded on the 13th of June,
12 I wasn't there for two months. I was in a military hospital in Meljine
13 near Herceg Novi, I think I told you that, and that's where the wounded
14 would go to be treated.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. So I'm just trying to get an idea of when
16 you heard that the late Mr. Grahovac had been involved in some killings.
17 Was that in the spring or was it in the fall of 1992?
18 A. As far as I can remember, it was in the spring, to the best of my
19 knowledge, if I remember well, because had it been in the autumn of 1992,
20 I came there in June and the autumn comes after that.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: It certainly does. But you heard it before you
22 were wounded; is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. So at some point before the 13th of June,
25 1992, you heard in his cafe that the late Mr. Grahovac had been involved
1 in some sort of killings; is that correct?
2 A. Let me tell you. Yes, that is so, but I can't tell you now that
3 I saw him kill 10 or 15 men. You understand that?
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, I understand you perfectly well. And we're
5 not talking about you having seen or witnessed any such crime. We are
6 exclusively dealing with the information that you provided to the
7 Prosecution, in which you say that you heard that the late Mr. Grahovac
8 had been involved in some killings. And you heard this, we now
9 understand, at some point before the 13th of June, 1992. Very well.
10 A. That is so, yes.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: And let me try and get a little closer to that
12 information. Did you hear him, Mr. Grahovac, himself, or the late
13 Mr. Grahovac, I should say? Did you hear himself say these words or was
14 it just something that was said in the cafe when you heard it?
15 A. I heard this in the cafe. And had I been a member of his unit,
16 then I would be able to confirm 100 per cent that that is so. You
17 understand? I just heard this information.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: But who did you hear it from? Who said it?
19 A. I heard it from his soldiers in the cafe, the soldiers who were
20 there in a half-drunken state. They were talking, and I didn't stay
21 there long because most of them were all drunk and armed, because during
22 the war these killings would happen in the cafes when the soldiers would
23 come back from the front drunk and then a rifle or a pistol would just go
24 off on its own accord.
25 And I apologise. Let me just add, you know that a cafe is a good
1 source of information. You can hear everything in a cafe. That's why
2 they should be avoided.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Maybe. Was Mr. Grahovac, himself, present when
4 you heard it in the cafe, that day when you heard this talk about the
6 A. Yes, he was.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: So he was there physically present, himself. Did
8 he confirm? Did he say, Yes, yes, we did that?
9 A. As far as I can remember, yes.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: So the information that you provided to the
11 Prosecution was that you heard from Mr. Grahovac, himself, that he and/or
12 his soldiers had been involved in several incidents of killings, and you
13 heard so before the 13th of June, 1992? Is this correctly understood?
14 A. I just told you a moment ago that his bar or cafe, it wasn't very
15 big, so the conversation could be heard loud and clear. And when a man
16 is drunk, believe me, he always tells the truth. And, furthermore, it
17 wasn't just he who was saying this. It was his fighters as well.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: There is a saying that you shall always be able
19 to hear the truth from children and drunken men, so maybe this was --
20 Mr. Dabic, let me just go back to what we discussed a little while ago
21 about the political party membership of Mr. Grahovac, or the late
22 Mr. Grahovac, because you told us that he had been a member of
23 Mr. Draskovic's party. But in your statements of May 2007, I think it
24 was -- sorry, in your statement to the Prosecution from June 2004, you
25 seem to be saying that Mr. Grahovac was actually a member of the SRS in
1 Nevesinje, so my question is: Did Mr. Grahovac at any later point become
2 a member of the SRS
3 misunderstood here?
4 A. I told you nicely. I could say a billion per cent that the late
5 Grahovac was a member of the Serbian Renewal Movement. Now, I don't know
6 how this was interpreted, because that is correct. 99 per cent of the
8 certainly, neither before nor during the war, was there a Serbian Radical
9 Party in Nevesinje, nor was there any initiative to form such a party,
10 and regardless of the fact that Mr. Vojislav Seselj is present here.
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: I understand, but I just wanted to clarify the
12 information here. So I understand that this is a possible mistake that
13 sneaked itself into the statements taken by the Prosecution.
14 Let me move on to a related issue in that same statement from
15 June 2004, because on the next page of that statement you seem to be
16 saying the following, and I'm now quoting from your statement. This is
17 what you have said to the Prosecution. You were referring to
18 Mr. Grahovac, and you say the following:
19 "His group was responsible for killings and cleansing of places
20 like the 1st Ladjice Kula close to Gacko, Buna, Mostar, Bijelo Polje, and
21 also in Pijesci, which was on the way to Stolac from Mostar. They
22 committed the worst crimes in Nevesinje in the village of Sopilja
23 they killed more than 100 people."
24 This, I understand, relates to what you may have heard or what
25 you heard in the cafe. And then you go on to say:
1 "In Mostar, there was another Chetnik unit. There were about 50
2 of them in that unit. They were wearing Chetnik insignias, the cocarde
3 and the two-headed eagles, and we all knew they were Seselj's volunteers
4 from Serbia
5 Now, my Dabic, I'm interested in knowing how you learned that
6 this other group of volunteers, about 50 of them, were Seselj's
7 volunteers. Please.
8 A. I do apologise. I keep parroting the same thing time and again.
9 The group was at the command of the garrison in town. They did not enter
10 town at all, but I did hear -- I didn't see anyone, though, and I didn't
11 dare go up there because of sniper activity throughout town, so I could
12 not establish exactly that it was Seselj's men, Chetniks, as it were.
13 However, I heard from other people that they were certainly from Serbia
14 that they spoke like Serbians from Serbia.
15 Now, how they came, in which way, who had sent them, well, most
16 of them came as volunteers, voluntarily. Do you understand what I'm
17 saying? I mean that, say, wherever there's shooting, We go there. Most
18 of them must have come without anyone's knowledge, just as what you said
19 a few moments ago about Arsen's group. This was practically a wandering
20 unit. They board a bus and they go.
21 Just before the war, on the Mostar-Nevesinje road, they put up
22 barricades just on their own. They stopped cars. The police didn't dare
23 do anything about it, so they did whatever they wanted to do and they
24 went wherever they wanted to go. But it is certainly proven with good
25 arguments that this group of Seselj's volunteers or Seselj's men -- I
1 don't know how they got down there, but they certainly did not walk
2 around the town of Mostar
3 Many of the things that happened was ascribed to them. They were
4 not there on their own, though. The Territorial Defence was there, too.
5 I was a member of the Territorial Defence; right?
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, and let's just clarify this. You were a
7 member of the TO because you joined the TO. And you say that various
8 groups of Chetniks were there as well, but that they acted very
9 independently. You just told us that they did whatever they wanted to do
10 and they went wherever they wanted to go. So how was the co-ordination
11 taken care of between the TO and these groups?
12 A. As far as I know and as far as I can remember, there was
13 practically no co-ordination. As a matter of fact, they tried to kill a
14 man, our Territorial Defence commander. Quite simply, they went to
15 headquarters there and -- well, there's this other example. This group
16 of mine of Territorials, we guarded a bridge in Mostar. It was called
17 Zrinski Most, and it was close to my home. And these other paramilitary
18 formations, as they're called -- well, the Neretva Valley
19 and you'd have these unruly armed mobs, if I can call them that, that
20 were introducing themselves as Seselj's men, as Black Wolves, White
21 Swans, whatever. But the most important thing for them was to say that
22 they were Seselj's men, apparently.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: And were they not under any superior control,
24 like control of by the JNA or by the municipal authorities? Did no one
25 control them? Were they under the command of any superior authority?
1 A. Sir, as far as I know, no. And I waged war for four years. That
2 is to say, I went through all of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in a million
3 small places I came across these paramilitary formations. Actually, no
4 one dared put up any resistance. Quite simply, they would take up a
5 position, a location, and they would be there. In Mostar, for instance,
6 there were some clashes between us and them; that is to say, the TO and
7 paramilitary formations. That I know for sure.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: I now understand. But if you are in a combat
9 operation, the crucial thing is to have full command over all the
10 soldiers that participate in that operation, and so it would seem to be
11 disturbing to have semi-autonomous or independent groups roaming around,
12 doing their own thing, in the middle of a military operation. So I'm
13 just curious to know how this actually played out in practice.
14 You seem to be saying that, yes, there was from time to time
15 military operations conducted. I suppose -- you have not testified, but
16 I suppose that this would be done under the leadership of the JNA or some
17 superior military authority. And then you would also have various
18 paramilitary groups who were taking part, perhaps, in that operation, but
19 not being under the command of the superior military authority. Is that
20 your testimony?
21 A. The Yugoslav People's Army could not have done anything about
22 them, I believe. Do you understand what I'm saying? An attack against a
23 village would start, or a cleansing operation of town, say I took part in
24 the cleansing operation of Mostar, and it was known full well who went
25 first, these paramilitary formations. Of course, that involved looting
1 and all the rest. The military command was really powerless. Military
2 commanders of the JNA -- certain military commanders of the JNA were
3 truly incapable of controlling their own army, the regular army, the JNA,
4 let alone -- well, things were different as far as we were concerned. We
5 had a commander, and, okay, there were quite a few bridges in Mostar.
6 There was a group that guarded a bridge, another group that guarded the
7 railway station, and even the gasoline stations so that people would not
8 steal gasoline, and also the airport was guarded, the post office, other
9 important facilities.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: These groups that you mentioned, the group
11 guarding the bridge, the group guarding the gasoline station, were they
12 paramilitary groups or were they your groups, so to say, TOs?
13 A. Sir, I told you very nicely that I was a TO. That is short for
14 "Territorial Defence." So that is what we were guarding. As we were
15 guarding that, I don't know, nothing dangerous, if I dare put it that
16 way, or unusual happened. For example, until the withdrawal of -- the
17 withdrawal from the town of Mostar
18 not go out at all, if that's what you're interested. And you told me a
19 few moments ago that you were interested.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Dabic, I have exceeded my 30 minutes, so I'm
21 going to stop now. But my interest was merely to get an idea from you,
22 because, remember, we were not present in Bosnia and Herzegovina
23 time, so all the information comes from you. And I was interested if you
24 could tell us who were controlling the paramilitary groups, and your
25 answer, if I understood it correctly, was that no one could or would
1 control them, not even during combat operations. If this is a correct
2 version of your testimony, then that would be my last question. But can
3 you confirm or deny?
4 A. I'll confirm that for you. According to my assessment, it was
5 actually an armed mob. Do you understand what I'm saying? And if there
6 was some kind of movement, they would be the ones who went first for
7 looting and stealing property and -- I mean, I really doubt that we had
8 any co-ordination with them. I mean, even military commanders, one of
9 the Yugoslav People's Army, was still down there. They were not --
10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear what.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] However, in the Neretva River
12 Valley and the Serb villages where the local population lived, those who
13 had been armed, they did co-ordinate with our commanders, that is to say,
14 the Territorial Defence, when the JNA left the Neretva Valley
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have a procedural
18 Ms. Biersay, in a very recent written motion, dated January 25th,
19 2010, you asked the Trial Chamber to grant you leave to add a video-clip
20 dealing with the Nevesinje events which occurred in 1991. In this video,
21 there is mention of Arsen Grahovac. Could you tell me how long you've
22 had this video?
23 MS. BIERSAY: Certainly, Your Honour. We did a search for the
24 video in 2007, towards the end, or the beginning of 2008, and we couldn't
25 find the video. The video, I believe, was located at the end of 2009, I
1 believe. I'd have to check the records to be sure. Having checked our
2 missing information, it didn't have a specific date, but as -- I can tell
3 the Court that we made a request and a search in 2007, at the end, at the
4 beginning of 2008, when the trial first commenced.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
6 Mr. Seselj, are you in favour or against adding this video?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] First of all, I have to say
8 something to you.
9 I think that yesterday, or was it the day before yesterday -- or
10 yesterday I received that video with the latest piece of information
11 stating that the Prosecutor might use that during their examination. I
12 have no place to view that video. I don't have any technical equipment
13 in my cell to view that kind of video material. However, to tell you
14 quite frankly, I would be interested in seeing that video, and that's why
15 I'm not opposed to it. But bear in mind the fact that the OTP did not
16 meet their obligation vis-à-vis disclosure in a timely fashion, and
17 I think that, therefore, they should be -- measures should be taken
18 vis-à-vis them. But out of curiosity, I'd really like to see this,
19 because I've never seen that man in all my life.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Seselj. The
21 Trial Chamber deliberated on this and decided to add on the 65 ter list
22 this video, to add this video, noting that according to the statement
23 made by Ms. Biersay, the OTP just recently unearthed this video, which
24 might explain the late disclosure. Thank you.
25 This being said, the list has been amended, the video has been
1 added to it, and you may use it.
2 Ms. Biersay, well, first we're going to ask our Registrar to
3 provide us with a number for this video, an IC number, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Does that mean that you denied my
5 request, in view of the fact that this was not disclosed to me on time?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. Ms. Biersay's request is
7 accepted. She may use the video, but we need an IC number for it.
8 Mr. Registrar, please, could I have a number for the video.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The video will be
10 Exhibit P879.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, let me remind you
12 that you have at that hour and 30 minutes. You probably won't finish
13 tonight. We will continue tomorrow with Mr. Seselj's questions. But be
14 very careful and look very closely -- check the time very closely.
15 Judges abided by the time that was allotted to them -- that they had
16 allotted, themselves, actually. So, please, we would like everyone to be
17 just as vigilant.
18 You have one hour and 30 minutes, Ms. Biersay.
19 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour. And before I start my time
20 running, I'd like to tend to some administrative issues in giving the
21 65 ter numbers for the statements just so that we can have a clear
22 record, because I will be asking that some of these statements be shown
23 to the witness.
24 The ICTY statement that's dated 13th November, 2000, is 65 ter
25 7517. The ICTY statement from Mr. Dabic dated June 10, 2004, is 65 ter
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Perhaps it's a question
3 of poor interpretation. However, the interpretation I heard was that the
4 statement was given to this Tribunal. As far as I know, this Tribunal
5 did not take any statements. When one says "Tribunal," it means the
6 three of you Judges. I assume that this is a statement taken by the OTP.
7 I had other objections to the poor-quality interpretation, but this is
8 something I simply could not remain silent about.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, the statements of
10 November 13, 2000
11 to the OTP, aren't they?
12 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Dabic was, indeed, interviewed by OTP
13 investigators, yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. These two
15 statements were used by the Judges in their questions. You want to show
16 them to the witness?
17 MS. BIERSAY: I will be showing them -- I will seek to show them,
18 Your Honour, that's correct.
19 The May 11, 2007
20 I'll call it "the Defence statement," and that was referred to by the
21 Judges, that is 65 ter 7519. The one from June 7th, 2007, a second
22 Defence statement -- I'm sorry, the transcript reads "65 ter 7518." The
23 2007 statement, the first one, is 7519.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: And the second?
25 MS. BIERSAY: And the second one is 65 ter 7520. And I believe
1 that the Trial Chamber has another statement -- Defence statement dated
2 August 14th, 2008
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, very well.
4 In order for things to be very clear, please tell us -- please
5 talk about Prosecution statements, with their dates, and Defence
6 statements --
7 MS. BIERSAY: In summary.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In summary, yes, because we're
9 a bit confused now.
10 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour. I appreciate that. 65 ter
11 number 7517 is dated November 13th, 2000. It is a statement, in common
12 parlance, given to the OTP. 65 ter number 7518 is dated June 10th, 2004.
13 That, too, is this witness's statement to the OTP. 65 ter number 7519 is
14 a May 11th, 2007
15 number 7520 is dated June 7th, 2007
16 witness. 65 ter number 7523 is dated August 14th, 2008, and that, too,
17 is a Defence statement.
18 And for the record, in the August 14th statement Mr. Dabic lists
19 six statements, the August 14th one being the seventh. I recognise that
20 the Court had asked him about that.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you want to have a
22 provisional number for all this? We'll decide on the admission later on.
23 Could we have an MFI
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. 65 ter number 7517 will be
1 Exhibit P880, marked for identification. 65 ter number 7518 will be
2 Exhibit P881, marked for identification. 65 ter number 7519 will be
3 Exhibit P882, marked for identification. 65 ter number 7520 will be
4 P883, marked for identification. And 65 ter number 7523 will be
5 P784 [sic], marked for identification.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There must be a mistake on line
7 25. 65 ter 7523 should be MFI
8 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct, Your Honour, P884, marked for
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Biersay:
11 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Dabic.
12 A. Good afternoon.
13 Q. We haven't met, so I'd like to introduce myself. My name is
14 Lisa Biersay, and I'm a trial attorney, as you may have guessed, with the
15 Office of the Prosecutor. Is it correct that we haven't met before
17 A. As far as I can -- well, actually, first of all, when I talk to
18 you, should I look at you or can I look at --
19 Q. You're here for the Trial Chamber. If it makes you comfortable
20 to make eye contact, I understand, that's fine, but your evidence is for
21 the Trial Chamber.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. You are talking to the
23 Bench, but you can also watch Ms. Biersay, just like you can watch
24 Mr. Seselj also when he will be putting questions to you, because
25 courtesy requires for people to look at the people talking to them. And
1 I'm sure that you're a very courteous man, so you can look at
2 Ms. Biersay. You should look at Ms. Biersay.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right, all right. I mean, it
4 is proper to ask, isn't it? I mean, yes, this is the first time I see
5 you, really, and, I mean, that's for sure. It's the first time I see
7 MS. BIERSAY:
8 Q. I would like to go specifically to the year 1994. I will go back
9 to events that happened before 1994, but that's where I'd like to start
10 is 1994.
11 Now, in 1994, you participated in the relocation of some bodies;
12 is that correct?
13 A. I don't understand what "relocation" means. Does that mean
14 digging up or something?
15 Q. Fair enough. Do you know of a place called the Breza Pit?
16 A. Yes.
17 MS. BIERSAY: And perhaps at this point it would be helpful if we
18 could see on the screen MFI
19 page 37 in the English version, and I believe it would be pages 34 to 35
20 in the B/C/S.
21 Q. So in 1994, did you participate in activities at that pit I just
22 named, the Breza Pit, in -- near -- in Herzegovina?
23 A. Well, I don't understand what activities you mean.
24 Q. Were you there --
25 A. I mean, you mean digging up --
1 Q. Excuse me, were you there?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. What did you do there?
4 A. Well, I mean, I was there with a group of three more fellow
5 combatants who took part in digging up these corpses.
6 Q. And how is it that you knew to go there to dig up these corpses?
7 A. Well, an order had come from the command of the brigade that we
8 were supposed to go there and have these bodies removed. I was at the
9 command post of my battalion, and on that day there weren't enough men
10 there. Four of us took a truck and went there. It was summertime. The
11 pit was 30 metres deep, and it was 30-by-30 metres, roughly. We went
12 down using, well, not only ropes but, I mean, whatever you call that mix
13 of ropes and ladders. And then we started digging out rocks, because
14 there were lots of them there, and then -- I mean, there were two of us
15 down there in the pit and two were up there, and we were getting these
16 bodies out. I mean, I don't know. As far as I know, we cleared
17 everything. In our estimate, there were 42 men there. The stench was
18 unbearable, begging your pardon.
19 Q. I understand. Now, could you describe, before we -- I want you
20 to describe that experience to the Trial Chamber, but first could you --
21 you know, you talked about getting this order. Could you describe
22 exactly what military component you were part of and to whom you reported
23 when you received those orders?
24 A. I was in the 5th Battalion of the so-called Nevesinje Brigade, or
25 the 8th Motorised Brigade, and that day the deputy commander of the
1 brigade came and said that since these bodies were known about -- and I
2 learnt about those bodies only when I arrived in the summer of 1992,
3 maybe the 15th or 16th of June, so I learnt about the bodies. When I
4 came back from treatment, I didn't know about the pit, nor where it was,
5 until that day when we went there. So the commander -- the deputy
6 commander came with a driver, and in my battalion I was an officer, an
7 operative, so I had to attend any such events. And after talking to the
8 deputy commander, myself and three other soldiers and with a truck, we
9 went there with the necessary equipment.
10 Q. Excuse me for interrupting. But before you get to the point
11 where after you get in the truck, what is the name of the commander who
12 gave you the information about where you were supposed to go and what you
13 were supposed to do?
14 A. Yes, just a moment, please.
15 Q. Take your time.
16 In the meantime, if the Registry could go to page 32 in the
17 English, and I believe it will be page 30 in the B/C/S.
18 Mr. Dabic, do you recall the name of the commander?
19 A. I think it was Novica Gusic.
20 Q. And was -- excuse me. And who -- it was Nikola Guzina?
21 A. Nikola Guzina was my commander, the commander of the 5th
23 Q. So when you say "Novica Gusic," where does he fit in the
25 A. He was the commander of the 8th Motorised Brigade. He was a
1 commander to my commander.
2 Q. Now, you said you and - correct me if I'm wrong - three of your
3 fellow -- your colleagues went in a truck to this pit. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes, absolutely so.
5 Q. And before you left in the truck, were you told that there would
6 be bodies in this pit?
7 A. If we were going there, we had to know why we were going there,
8 and I told you that it was only two months later, maybe in September or
9 August, I learnt about this particular pit.
10 Q. And what did you learn about this particular pit?
11 A. I learned that a group of men had been executed there of non-Serb
12 ethnicity who had been arrested in a mountain pass on Mount Velez
13 as Teleca Lastva, and that they were brought there to the village school,
14 that they were held there, and then they were driven over there and
15 executed. I'm really sorry that I don't have the documents for you to
16 see how much time I had spent in hospital so that I wasn't present there,
17 I only heard about this.
18 Q. What did you do once you -- you cleared the rocks. You described
19 that for the Trial Chamber. What did you do after that with the bodies?
20 A. [In English] I'm sorry.
21 Q. That's okay.
22 A. [Interpretation] After clearing the pit and pulling out the
23 bodies, we pulled them out one by one and loaded them onto the truck, and
24 then we drove them to the foot of Mount Velez
25 myself and two soldiers. The fourth one wasn't with us. And deep within
1 the mountain it was very difficult to find this spot. There was just the
2 three of us who knew where this was. As there was timber-cutting nearby
3 and there was a big log, you know, the trunk of a tree that was there, so
4 we dug it up, and this left a big hole. We enlarged it, and so we dug
5 the bodies into that hole and covered them with earth and stones.
6 I think we put a dry pine tree there, too. And after that, we returned
7 to the command post. But who didn't know where this was? It was very
8 difficult to find this spot.
9 Q. Let me ask you, if I may, what kind of personal items did you see
10 in the pit while you were removing these 42 bodies?
11 A. Regarding personal items that I saw, there was a watch, there was
12 a wooden prosthesis of a leg, and I remember well that I found among
13 those things the bodies were already decomposing and there was something
14 like a receipt -- like an ID card of a man who used to work in Nevesinje
15 in a company in charge of the cleaning of the town. And I think the name
16 and surname was Mujo Alibegovic. I'm not quite certain, but I think that
17 was it. I also saw some running shoes, a large size, and so on. So I
18 beg your pardon for saying it, but the stench was unbearable, but we were
19 wearing masks. Ordinary face masks, not gas masks.
20 Q. Where did you take -- you and the colleagues you mentioned, where
21 did you take these 42 bodies?
22 A. I think I just told you clearly. We drove them deep within the
23 foot of a mountain. We went by truck as far as we could to the foot of
24 Mount Velez
25 Q. Why did you take them there?
1 A. We took them there because in the brigade command they had
2 received information that there were UN members who were already present
3 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that they were due to
4 come, and that they had heard from non-Serb inhabitants of Mostar that in
5 this pit there were non-Serbs killed. So we had to remove them so that
6 when they came, they would see that there was nothing in the pit.
7 Q. Is it fair to say that it took you some years to pass that
8 information along to someone else?
9 A. I apologise. Could you repeat that question, please? Did I have
10 the strength to say?
11 Q. No. Did you, some years later, tell someone about the relocation
12 of these bodies?
13 A. Yes, that is quite true.
14 Q. And based on the information you provided, were these bodies
15 exhumed in 1999?
16 A. I don't know how to put it. In 1999, I am certain 99 per cent
17 that they were exhumed.
18 Q. And is it after this exhumation that you gave your first
19 statement to the OTP in 2000?
20 A. When I met with Ms. Brigitte, I think so, yes. I am certain that
21 I gave that information to her. I think it was that year, but I'm quite
22 sure that I did pass on the information, 100 per cent.
23 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, may I inquiry as to how much time I
24 have, just so I can know whether I should stop now or go to another
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You want to have a break now?
2 MS. BIERSAY: I'm just not sure how much time we have to the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In principle, you have another
5 15 minutes before the break. We'll break at a quarter to 6.00.
6 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to ask you a follow-up
9 As we understand, the 42 bodies -- well, the 42 people had been
10 executed. Were they civilians or military people?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as what I heard, I think
12 that there were even armed members of the Muslim army. There were
13 soldiers, too, because weapons were found on them, apart from civilians.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Who executed them? Were they
15 executed by your battalion or your brigade?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, I can't claim and
17 say that -- who did it. I really don't know. But this was probably
18 during the withdrawal, when they were withdrawing from the Neretva River
19 Valley. Now, who actually did it, I really don't know, and I don't
20 believe -- though I said I didn't know, I don't believe that any of the
21 paramilitary formations had done it.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When your unit commander told
23 you to go and relocate the bodies, when he told you to do that, was he
24 doing so in order to hide the existence of the pit from the international
25 representatives who were present there?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What did they mean to conceal?
3 Did they want to conceal their own responsibility or did they want to
4 hide the fact that this sort of abuse had taken place?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time that this happened,
6 when Ms. Bier [as interpreted] mentioned this, the battalion commander
7 was not Nikola Gusic. I really don't know when this was done. But when
8 we went to dig them up and remove them, he was the commander. But when
9 this was done, he was certainly not the battalion commander. Now, who
10 was, I really don't know.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a technical detail. You
12 were a member of a battalion. Was it a JNA battalion or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, because the Yugoslav People's
14 Army had left the Neretva Valley
15 was an area of some 50 kilometres in length. And what remained was the
16 Territorial Defence. So the JNA was not present there at all, because
17 this happened after their departure. It has been proven that they
18 withdrew from the former Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 25th of May, and
19 this happened later. So 100 per cent they weren't there, that's for
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the JNA wasn't present
22 there. And this happened after the 25th of May of what year?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] 1992. Wasn't it the VRS that
25 was present then as an army?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Army of Republika Srpska, as
2 far as I can remember, it was formed after that, I think. There was just
3 the Territorial Defence there, to the best of my knowledge, as far as
4 I can recollect, because when I arrived, after spending two months in
5 hospital, then it was formed as the Army of Republika Srpska, the VRS.
6 But the JNA certainly wasn't there.
7 Now, don't think that I'm trying to defend them. I've come here
8 to tell the truth, and to the best of my knowledge I am saying what I
9 know, and I have sworn to do that.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. Very well. So as I
11 understand it, it is thanks to you that the bodies were recovered,
12 because you provided the information to the OTP investigator. And later,
13 in 1999, the bodies were found, thanks to you, and you gave a statement
14 one year later. Is that the chronology? You don't seem to be in
15 agreement with this, so tell me about it.
16 Ms. Biersay.
17 MS. BIERSAY: If I could -- I'm sorry, the translation said,
18 "Tell me about it, Ms. Biersay."
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. "Ms. Biersay" was
20 added by the interpreter, sorry.
21 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please, Witness, was it
23 through you that the bodies were discovered in 1999 because you were the
24 one who told about them to the OTP investigator, because if you'd never
25 said anything, the bodies would never have been recovered?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me tell you now. It is quite
2 certain that I told the investigator, Ms. Brigitte. However, the exact
3 position where the bodies were, I didn't take them there, someone else
4 took them there, because before that I had taken this man there and shown
5 him the spot.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did you say that to relieve
7 your conscience or to ease your conscience or for the truth to be
8 established, or was it in order to serve international justice?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, to demonstrate the truth,
10 because the relatives of those people were normally keen to find those
11 bodies. And at the time the corpses were discovered and dug up from this
12 second secret location, I was already in Novi Sad. So I told you a
13 moment ago, and you probably haven't forgotten, that another man took
14 them to this spot. This is known, even in the police archives, the
15 Serbian police archives, and in the United Nations, that I wasn't the one
16 who was present there.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Ms. Biersay, please
19 MS. BIERSAY: And for the Court, if I may direct your attention
20 to page 34, the second paragraph from the bottom addresses the Court's
21 question as well.
22 Q. If I could pick up on the issue of the military structure at the
23 beginning -- at the end of 1991 to, let's say, May of 1992, what -- could
24 you describe that for the Trial Chamber? Are you familiar with the
25 4th Military District?
1 A. Believe me, I hear of this for the first time. The 4th Military
3 Q. How about the 13th Corps, JNA 13th Corps?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Have you ever heard of the 10th Military -- excuse me, Motorised
7 A. 10th Motorised? I cannot say with certainty, but I think that
8 this was a light brigade that was in the northern part of the
9 municipality of Nevesinje. I think that's the one.
10 Q. And what about the 13th Motorised Brigade?
11 A. The 13th Motorised? I think -- when I say "I think," I don't
12 want to engage in any guess-work. I think it was from Gacko.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. I draw
14 your attention, Your Honour, that this is like a quiz. We have no basis
15 in the documents for the names of these units, so Ms. Biersay should
16 provide some foundation. I am surprised, and not just the witness.
17 These are names of units that I never heard of them. If she could give
18 us any documents, any reference, because it's not in the documents for
19 this witness.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay.
21 MS. BIERSAY: If the Court would like me to provide something, I
22 would be happy to after the next break.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, let's have the
24 break, anyway, because it's now 20 to 6.00.
25 We're going to break for 20 minutes.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.43 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
4 Ms. Biersay, where do you find all these figures about these
6 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, we can hand it to you now, what is
7 marked -- the English is marked ET04105818-04185818, and we'd ask that it
8 be admitted or somehow kept track of. The document, as the Court will
9 see, is entitled "Herzegovina Corps Command," strictly confidential
10 number 147-236, and it's dated June 20th, 1992. On the back, it's signed
11 by Commander Colonel Radovan Gurbac, I believe is how it's pronounced.
12 That's G-u-r-b-a-c, for the Court's information.
13 And if I could direct the Court --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Was this exhibit on the 65 ter
16 MS. BIERSAY: No, it was not, Your Honour. We moved for the
17 admission of it based on the Court's question. My concern was that,
18 if -- we do not see Mr. Dabic as a military expert, of course, and we
19 wouldn't expect him to know these things, but it's to know the limits of
20 his information, and that was the purpose for the question. He said he
21 didn't know, and for us that's the end of it.
22 What we would move for the admission of -- of this -- and you'll
23 see in paragraph 2 --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I add something?
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay mentioned the
2 4th Military District. There's no mention of that 4th Military District
3 in this document. There's mention of the 13th and 10th Motorised
4 Brigade, and where is the 4th Military District?
5 MS. BIERSAY: I would direct the Court to the extensive testimony
6 and report by Reynaud Theunens, who testified at the very beginning of
7 this trial, and I believe that's discussed within his report.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have an MFI number, and
9 we'll see later.
10 Registrar, could we please have an MFI number for this document
11 dated June 20th, 1992
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. That will be --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Madam Biersay may
14 say that Mr. Theunens spoke about the Napoleonic Wars. She's referring
15 us to a report of 600 or 700 pages, and when this is linked up with
16 fragments from other cases, it could exceed 1.000 pages. I don't think
17 this is serious.
18 Now, why am I saying this? I will reveal a small secret, and
19 then I'll stop.
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina was the area of the 6th Military District
21 of the former JNA. It included the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 almost the whole of Slavonia
23 misread the Roman numeral VI to Roman numeral IV. So I think this is not
24 proper preparation for a cross-examination.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have an MFI number for
1 this document, Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be P885, marked for
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Ms. Biersay, as far as military districts are concerned,
6 according to Mr. Seselj, Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of the
7 6th Military District and not the 4th Military District.
8 MS. BIERSAY: Again, I would refer the Court to the portion of
9 Mr. Theunens report that discusses the --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What page, what page?
11 MS. BIERSAY: If I may get back to the Court. Specifically, I'm
12 thinking about in his report he refers to 65 ter number 1296. And if the
13 Court will give me a moment, I can find for you the specific references
14 in his report.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Please continue, then,
16 and we'll see that later.
17 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you.
18 If I could now please see -- again in MFI 880, if we could go to
19 page 27, please. And again for the record, I'm asking for the 2000
20 statement that was given to the OTP.
21 Q. Mr. Dabic, I'd like to ask you about some names that you may
22 know. Have you heard of an individual by the name of Zdravko Kandic?
23 And forgive my pronunciation if that's incorrect, but do you know
24 Zdravko Kandic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what position did he hold back in 1992, specifically around
2 June 1992?
3 A. In 1992, he was an operative in the brigade command, but he spent
4 very little time in the 5th Battalion because he had a high rank. And he
5 had had this rank before the war as an officer in reserve of the JNA.
6 Q. Now, do you know someone by the name of Dragan Djurdjic?
7 A. Yes, of course.
8 Q. And how do you know that person?
9 A. He was the deputy of my commander; that is, Nikola Guzina's
11 Q. And did there come a time that he told about the massacre at
12 Teleca Lastva?
13 A. Well, you see, I have already stated that I learned about those
14 events in connection with Teleca Lastva and the Breza Pit when I came to
15 the 5th Battalion, which is 35 kilometres to the north of Nevesinje in
16 the direction of Sarajevo
17 were discussed, who was where, who had been where until then, at which
18 front-line, and what everyone had been doing. It wasn't just he who was
19 talking. Some other people who were there present were talking. The
20 massacre wasn't at Teleca Lastva. That is just where the arrest took
22 Q. And based on your information, where did that massacre happen?
23 A. As far as I heard and learnt, the massacre occurred just above
24 the Breza Pit.
25 Q. When you received this information, did you also receive
1 information about some members of the police who were involved in that
3 A. From what I heard, not just from him but from other stories --
4 when I came back from hospital, I went to the 5th Battalion, or, rather,
5 I was sent to the 5th Battalion, and I heard that certain members of the
6 reserve police force, not active duty but reserve police force.
7 Q. And did you know -- do you know whether or not the reserve police
8 force reported to someone above them?
9 A. This reserve police force, maybe some 20 or so men who were up
10 there in the 5th Battalion and who were billeted in the elementary
11 school, they would report to the commander of the 5th Battalion, and then
12 after a certain period of time they left the 5th Battalion and they went
13 to those schools -- area schools, I don't know, schools that trained real
15 Q. And when you say "5th Battalion," what do you mean?
16 5th Battalion of what?
17 A. The 5th Battalion, which is part of the 8th Motorised Brigade,
18 which had five battalions, and we were the fifth, which was the most
19 northernmost, and it was part of the 8th Motorised Brigade. It had about
20 one and a half thousand soldiers, which is a small number for a
22 Q. Now, what -- could you describe to the Trial Chamber what you
23 learned about the group of people who had been, as you described,
24 arrested and then you heard that they were later killed? Who were in --
25 who was in this group?
1 A. You mean who was captured?
2 Q. Yes, and killed, based on the information that you received.
3 A. There may have been about 10 or so armed Muslim soldiers, and the
4 rest were civilians. And after they were arrested, they were taken to a
5 nearby location called Zijemlja, where there was an elementary school,
6 and they were put in the classrooms there. And that is where they were
7 guarded as captives. Of course, they were disarmed.
8 Q. Now, in your statement, you described it as a group of about 70
9 people. Is it true that based on the information you received, that
10 there were women in that group?
11 A. The information is correct that there were 70 people. There were
12 women, yes. And if they were taken from the school, I don't know, nor
13 did I hear whether another 30 were taken to Nevesinje or somewhere else.
14 Q. Were there children in that group, based on what you heard?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were there elderly in that group?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, you just described that there were, I think you said --
19 forgive me if I'm misstating it, seven armed Muslims in that group. In
20 your statement, you said that they were searched and that Serbs found two
21 personal pistols. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber the basis for
22 you saying that there were seven armed people in that group, based on
23 what you heard, of course?
24 A. As far as I can remember, you asked me a moment ago how I found
25 out about the Teleca Lastva, and I told you that I heard it from stories
1 recounted in the 5th Battalion. There was Djurdjic and some other people
2 there talking, soldiers.
3 Q. Did you hear about who interrogated the men in the group that you
4 just described?
5 A. Believe me, I don't remember.
6 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could see page 25 in the B/C/S of the
7 exhibit that we're looking at. And it is the sentence that starts: "The
8 men were separated ..." If we could highlight that for the witness. It
9 should be about the fourth paragraph down, I believe. I think it's the
10 next page -- yes, the next page in the B/C/S.
11 Q. I think it begins "Zene i --" I believe it's there. Does that
12 read that the men were separated from the women?
13 If you could highlight it, please.
14 A. I beg your pardon.
15 Q. Excuse me.
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. "The men were separated from the women. The men were
18 interrogated by Kandic and Djurdjic and were only slightly beaten at this
19 stage ..."
20 Does that refresh your recollection about what you heard about
21 who interrogated the men?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 MS. BIERSAY: Now, if we could go to MFI P881. If we could go to
24 paragraph 22 of that statement in the B/C/S and in the English.
25 Q. Now, in describing the group of 70 civilian men in this
1 statement, you named some people who were responsible for the killings;
2 is that correct?
3 A. About the Breza Pit?
4 Q. At the very end of that paragraph, you describe the paragraph
5 that we just read, you say:
6 "A group of about 70 civilian men, women, elderly, children were
7 captured. I want to add," and you add, "the same people are responsible
8 for these killings." And in parentheses, it's "Red Berets" and
9 "Seseljevci." Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, yes. Well, you see, the Red Berets were located at
11 Lake Borac
12 what I heard. And I tell you again, and I repeat, that there were quite
13 a number of people down there wearing sajkacas and cockades, and they
14 were referred to as Seseljevci, but I don't really believe that they were
15 real Seseljevci or Seselj's men.
16 Q. Now, directing your attention to paragraph 24, you describe a
17 massacre happening in the upper field of Nevesinje; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And what massacre is that that you're talking about where 200
20 people were killed?
21 A. This was also at the foot of Mount Velez
22 "Sopilska Jama [phoen]." These were men who had come from those upper
23 Muslim villages who were withdrawing across Mount Velez
24 They didn't succeed. They were surrounded there, and I heard that they
25 were killed near that pit, the Sopilska Pit.
1 Q. And you describe the people who you heard were responsible for
2 this massacre. Did that include Colonel Novica Gusic?
3 A. Well, they were surrounded from three sides. It says here who
4 was in command and which commanders were there.
5 Q. And is what it says correct in your statement of 2004?
6 A. Fully correct.
7 Q. And so you also named in the statement Commander Boro Antelj,
8 correct, as participating in the massacre?
9 A. Well, he was the commander. He had to lead someone. You can't
10 go into battle without a commander.
11 Q. You listed Captain Zdravko Kandic; is that correct?
12 A. That's what I heard, that he was there as well. That is to say
13 that I mentioned the names about all of those about whom I had heard.
14 Q. I understand. Baca Milosevic, you also heard his name connected
15 with that massacre; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, yes. He was commander of those Red Berets, but it wasn't
17 the classical Red Berets. They just called themselves that.
18 Q. Who were they? You say they weren't classical Red Berets. Well,
19 which Red Berets do you mean?
20 A. Well, as far as I heard and as far as I know, the real Red Berets
21 were members of the police in Belgrade
22 military police wore red berets. Now, everyone wanted --
23 Q. I'm sorry. If I could just ask you, Arsen Grahovac, you also
24 listed him being involved in that massacre as well; is that correct?
25 A. Well, he led his own group. That is to say that he was there.
1 That is to say that this was a well-prepared action, organised.
2 Q. And so you describe this as a joint military operation by these
3 five different groups led by these five different men; is that correct?
4 A. That is correct.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you say that there was
6 a joint military operation. When did that happen? Could you give us a
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I really do not remember the
9 date, but it's possible that it was in the month of June, because again
10 I'm telling you -- I mean, I keep saying this. I heard about all of
11 that. I did not see that. I was not present, because at that time --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] June of what year?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, 1992.
14 MS. BIERSAY: If I could now ask the Registrar's help in going to
16 the B/C/S is 22.
17 Q. You just described, I believe, the five battalions -- that you
18 were part of the 5th Battalion; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, yes. Well, not five battalions, but the 5th Battalion. The
20 brigade did have five battalions. You're right about that.
21 Q. Now --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. I'm
23 looking at what you're saying about the five battalions, and then because
24 this was mentioned before, there was a small group of paramilitaries,
25 some 150 men strong, led by Vuk Draskovic. Now, as to this
1 Vuk Draskovic, was it the one who was the foreign affairs minister in
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, nothing to do with it.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see, nothing to do with him.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would suggest to
6 you not to give up on that so easily. It is impossible that there
7 were --
8 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, Mr. Seselj is more than able to bring
9 this up in his cross-examination.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please.
11 Witness, it's just that I was asking about Vuk Draskovic. I have
12 some questions about it, because I know that there was a Vuk Draskovic
13 who was the foreign affairs minister of his country, and there is another
14 one bearing the same name who went to France, through Madame Mitterrand,
15 so I'm asking myself is it one and the same person.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really don't know, because --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't know; fine.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problem is that obviously the
19 witness does not know who all the people who were foreign minister were,
20 because these posts went by unnoticed very often. However, a position
21 here is the one as party leader, so it's quite obvious who it is.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We may have an opportunity to
23 revisit the issue later on.
24 Please continue, Ms. Biersay.
25 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you.
1 Q. You describe in your statement the Nevesinje Brigade, and you say
2 that it wasn't fair for it to be called the Nevesinje Brigade because
3 there were only around 1500 Serbs from Nevesinje; is that correct? Is
4 that a true statement?
5 A. Well, you know what, the Nevesinje Brigade --
6 Q. Is it a true statement or -- before I ask the follow-up question,
7 is that true or not true?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. So it is true? Is that a yes or a no?
10 A. Yes, yes, yes, but may I --
11 Q. Just one minute. Now, you describe how some people -- some men
12 stayed on in Nevesinje and then others went into other areas, like
13 Trebinje and Boracko Lake
14 A. Well, can I go back a bit now? Would you allow me to do that?
15 So --
16 Q. I'll have you follow up. I just want you to address that point
17 before we go back to that.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And you also mention that around this time, there are about 150
20 men in the paramilitary group formed by the SPO, the Vuk Draskovic that
21 we were just talking about; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct. Actually, they came on two buses from Serbia
23 Vuk Draskovic sent them personally. I know I heard about that, and they
24 went to the 2nd Light Brigade. That was at Lake Borac
25 Q. And now you also describe, separately from this SPO party
1 paramilitary group of 150, that there were about 100 of Seselj's men?
2 A. Madam, I told you very nicely that if you think that these were
3 real Seseljevci, as it were, these were actually people from the local
4 villages who were dressed like that, of course, and --
5 Q. One moment. I'm not asking -- I understand your position. What
6 I'm asking is: Here in your statement, you describe in one paragraph the
7 paramilitary group belonging to the SPO
8 describe 100 of Seselj's men; is that correct?
9 A. That is certainly correct, in terms of the SPO. I'm saying that.
10 I mean, I heard that as well.
11 Q. Okay. And in the same paragraph that you discuss the 100
12 Seselj's men, you also describe "50 armed volunteers"; is that correct?
13 A. Well, these volunteers were -- I mean, how shall I put this?
14 They were people who were neither here nor there. I mean volunteers,
15 volunteers, but no one knew who they were and what they were, because
16 really --
17 Q. For the 50 we were talking about?
18 A. Fifty, yes.
19 Q. You also say that they were never issued any military cards and
20 they were never registered. What does that mean?
21 A. Well, I'm trying to say -- well, we're talking about these 50.
22 These are volunteers who quite simply came from other fronts to this
24 not get any, because all of us had old military IDs from the JNA. I
25 mean, I served --
1 Q. How do you know they were never issued these military cards or
2 registered? How do you know that?
3 A. Well, I heard about that. You hear about everything. Don't you
4 understand that? It's not really a big place out there. For example,
5 when you come from the front-line to barracks to take a bath, you hear
6 people talking. You hear about everything.
7 MS. BIERSAY: May I inquire how much time I have left, Your
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe, well, some five
10 minutes ago the Registrar told me that you'd used 45 minutes. And you
11 had an hour and a half, so you have some 40 minutes left, I would say.
12 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could you please
14 suggest to Ms. Biersay, because I did not have occasion to see this
15 footage, could she use that here tonight so that I can prepare, if
16 necessary, for tomorrow? If she shows it tomorrow, then it's no use to
17 me. If she shows it today, then I can prepare.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What about the video footage;
19 would you like us to see this now?
20 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, I will see how things progress. I
21 would like to get to the two clips, certainly not all 40 minutes of it,
22 but the two clips that we selected and are in your binder as 65 ter
23 numbers 7514A and B. What we could do is to make the tape available. We
24 could burn it onto a DVD
25 than welcome to use the evening to view it.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but you see the problem,
2 Ms. Biersay, is that -- one moment, Mr. Seselj. I'm trying to find a
3 solution, a practical solution to a substantial problem.
4 Ms. Biersay, the accused has just discovered that there's this
5 video footage. He hasn't seen the video, and he would like to think
6 about it until tomorrow. And if he could see it now, he would have some
7 time to have a bit of a think about it and he would be better positioned
8 to cross-examine the witness tomorrow. This is your evidence. You
9 decide as to how you want to use it. If you decide not to use it, you
10 would have taken the Trial Chamber's time about it, because I've been
11 looking at it since this morning and I've been working non-stop since
12 9.00 this morning in this very courtroom. So I took time to look at the
13 video, and now you may not want to use it. That would be an utter waste,
15 So do you want to use it or not?
16 MS. BIERSAY: No, I didn't suggest that we wouldn't use it. I am
17 looking at the time, and I will use it -- I'm trying to use it in the
18 most efficient way. If I have time left over and I haven't gotten to it
19 today, I'd like to do it tomorrow.
20 And for the record, if the Court remembers that -- the vast
21 disclosure we made of all the videos to Mr. Seselj, and this is one of
22 the videos. Mr. Seselj actually already has it in DVD form. So we're
23 certainly not going to play all 40 minutes this evening.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I informed you that
25 I received that yesterday and that I had no place to watch it. I was
1 fair enough to agree to use 65 ter for that. I did not bring it into
2 question. But it would only be fair if I saw it today so if I have
3 anything to object to, I can prepare for tomorrow, not for me to see it
4 only tomorrow and then immediately get into a discussion of footage that
5 I hadn't seen before that. And I have no place to see it. I do not have
6 the right kind of thing to watch it on.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Previous translation
8 continues] ... this matter, because we could decide that it should be
9 viewed straightaway. So I'm going to ask my fellow Judges.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, after deliberation
12 the Trial Chamber has decided to view the video footage now.
13 MS. BIERSAY: Am I to understand that this will not count in the
14 Prosecution's time?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you wish.
16 MS. BIERSAY: And while we're queuing the two videos, and I
17 believe that we have offered to give the 65 ter number: Mr. Seselj has
18 the transcripts of these video-clips, and we transmitted all the
19 materials to him on Friday.
20 While we're waiting for it, this is -- again, the clips are
21 65 ter number 7514, and the description of it is: Yutel coverage of the
22 situation in Nevesinje, including the men at check-points around
23 Nevesinje. And it has been dated as being sometime in July 1991.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, I said that I would go
25 when I have seen the footage, even if I should stay until midnight
1 stay until midnight
2 MS. BIERSAY: Our case manager is working on resolving the
3 problem, so if the Court would prefer that we take a five-minute break so
4 that we can try to perhaps reload it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall be waiting.
6 MS. BIERSAY: We'll try to play it from another media.
7 While that's being done, Your Honours, I believe that a request
8 was made with respect to Mr. Theunens' report, and I can -- I now advise
9 the Court that his report, which is Exhibit P258, in part 2, pages 141 to
10 149, it shows that it's the -- on page 147, that the 4th Military
11 District covered Eastern Bosnia.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, this has to do with
14 Military districts existed just before the war -- or, rather, before the
15 war, whereas just before the war the entire territory of Yugoslavia
16 subdivided into three military districts. Before that, there were army
17 districts. The 6th Army District was in Sarajevo. Herzegovina
18 nothing to do with what Ms. Biersay has been saying now.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll have a look at page 147
20 of the Theunens report.
21 MS. BIERSAY: So 147 as well as 141 to 149 covers the issue of
22 the 2nd Military District that was in Bosnia as well.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll see.
24 MS. BIERSAY: Okay, I think we'll try.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 MS. BIERSAY: That was clip A. And now clip B, hopefully.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have now seen
4 these two clips. This time will not be counted against you, Ms. Biersay.
5 You'll have 40 minutes tomorrow, and after that Mr. Seselj will have an
6 hour and a half. I hope we'll be able to finish without any further
8 Witness, I remind you that you're not supposed to speak or have
9 contact with anybody at all. Please be here tomorrow in the afternoon.
10 We shall begin at 2.15, and I'm sure that Ms. Biersay will have questions
11 for you based on the two video-clips we've just viewed.
12 I wish you all a good evening.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.03 p.m.
15 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of
16 January, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.