1 Wednesday, 2 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, as a result of some significant
7 development, it's necessary that I apply for a change of witness order,
8 and I would seek your leave to address you further on the matter in the
9 first place in private session.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 [Private session]
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
16 JUDGE MAY: These are the four witnesses who we'll deal with by
17 way of Rule 92 bis applications now. They are C-1050, 1129, 1194, and
19 Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff, in relation to them we have, I should say, the
20 amici observations on them. The first of them, 1050 or, rather -- yes,
21 1050, this was a witness who heard about the disappearance of several
22 victims. He is related to some of the victims who are referred to in the
23 indictment, and he gives evidence about their disappearance, but I think
24 he can give no more evidence than to say that he saw them one day and then
25 they disappeared. Is that about right?
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. And he's actually someone
2 who simply states that they were taken away by Arkan or Arkan's men, and
3 he does not make reference to other perpetrator groups. And having the
4 previous decisions of the Trial Chamber, I think this is the one candidate
5 where we could say it could be a 92 bis without cross-examination.
6 JUDGE MAY: The other three, 1129, 1194, and 1065 deal with
7 Erdut. In the case of 1129, she saw the arrest of people, identifies the
8 sorts of uniforms, and tried to -- tried to find them. It involves also a
9 count in the indictment, so it is submitted, paragraph 53.
10 1194 was involved in the siege of Vukovar. He gives direct
11 evidence about the involvement of the JNA in the siege.
12 And 1065, he was arrested by Martic's Police and beaten and later
13 held in the prison.
14 The amici suggest that the evidence isn't cumulative, and what
15 your answer to that would be, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff?
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I have quite a different answer
17 for this person because we do not want to call him any more. We have seen
18 this person --
19 JUDGE MAY: You don't want to call him.
20 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No. We have seen this person and he is of
21 very fragile health and hardly able to come here, so we decided to drop
22 this person altogether.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you. So that is 1065.
24 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes. Yes. And for the -- in relation to
25 1194, there is a lot of references and involvement of the JNA and its
1 structures, and we think, therefore, this witness should be
2 cross-examined; equally the other one.
3 JUDGE MAY: 1094 should be cross-examined.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And 1129. There's also the involvement of
5 the JNA in these arrests.
6 JUDGE MAY: And 1129.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: However, Your Honours, you may consider
8 whether in relation to 1129 the cross-examination should be shorter than
9 the usual hour because it's very, very little reference to the JNA.
10 Otherwise, it's just a relative of victims who saw them being arrested and
11 taken away and, later, the bodies.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
13 Mr. Kay, is there anything you want to add to what's in your
15 MR. KAY: No. We've put in detailed submissions which I know the
16 Trial Chamber has and has already referred to, so there's no need for
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, anything you want to add to the
19 argument about these - now it's three - witnesses under Rule 92 bis?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We'll consider these applications.
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, there is another matter in
24 relation to the switch of witnesses. We actually consider the witness --
25 one witness for whom we just filed a protective measures motion yesterday
1 of -- which you should have a courtesy copy, and if this witness would be
2 called today, the decision on these protective measures should be made
4 JUDGE MAY: Which -- which number is that, so we have it, please.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: 1230, C-1230, and requested protective
6 measures --
7 JUDGE KWON: We have it.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We've had that motion. We will grant protective
10 measures in the terms asked.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before we come to the first of the 92 bis
13 witnesses to be dealt with this week, may I make a general observation
14 about them and preface it in this way: Having no participating lawyers
15 for the accused, the accused indeed taking almost no part in procedural
16 debate, it's sometimes quite difficult for us to express our opinions as
17 strongly as we can when we have vigorous opponents in court and Judges
18 simply deciding between arguments, though if we express ourselves too
19 fiercely or sometimes strongly it looks as though we're seeking conflict
20 with another part of the court, which we're not.
21 With that observation and with the usual moderation and, I hope,
22 decorum that I hope characterises all our procedural observations, we
23 would press the Chamber in respect of 92 bis witnesses here for
24 cross-examination to consider carefully the amount of time that the
25 accused has for cross-examination. And I'd like to remind the Chamber, if
1 I may, of what appears on page 17 of the long witness list. I've got the
2 relevant part recopied and Ms. Dicklich can distribute it or put it on the
3 overhead projector. I've already lost my -- This chart, if it can be
4 made available to you again or possibly thrown on the overhead projector,
5 it's non-contentious.
6 For those familiar with the way computers work, it can come as no
7 surprise to know that this is a chart that arithmetically corrects itself
8 as matters are brought up-to-date, and the Chamber may recall looking at
9 it at the middle or foot of page 17, and the Chamber will understand that
10 what it seeks to do is to show that as of the date of the chart - it's
11 probably changed a bit since then - the total number of days required for
12 our witnesses on the list, 92 bis apart, would be some 83. And then the
13 total number of days required for 92 bis for Croatia and for Bosnia would
14 be respectively 12.5 and 25, leading to the total number of days of 120 so
15 that we've got to find somewhere cuts of 37.5 days. That's the way the
16 chart works.
17 JUDGE MAY: May I interrupt you with something.
18 MR. NICE: Yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: I think your mathematics may be out when you claim to
20 have 83 days left from the 24th of June. I may be wrong about that.
21 MR. NICE: If it's less, then our dilemma -- not our dilemma, our
22 problem is greater, and we must obviously correct that, and we would be
23 grateful for any information that can be provided.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, I make it that you will have 80 days left then.
25 MR. NICE: From that date?
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. We'll investigate that.
3 But, Your Honour, the position is this, and this is why I show the
4 chart: The 92 bis requirements or needs that we perceive are premised on
5 each 92 bis witness taking an hour in toto. That we hope not optimistic
6 calculation was built on the 45-minute cross-examination allowed in the
7 latter part of the Kosovo trial and reflecting that counsel who will be
8 taking these witnesses, Mr. McKeon, later Mr. Whiting and Mr. Saxon, will
9 deal with the presentation of the witness in just a couple of minutes, I
10 hope never more than five save in absolutely exceptional circumstances.
11 Now, once the accused is allowed and if he takes an hour and if
12 there's material from the amici, the time taken is dramatically more than
13 that hour or significantly more, it comes up to an hour and a quarter and
14 all too easily an hour and a half, and this chart will reveal that if the
15 figures of 12 and 25 have to be increased via the 25 per cent or 50 per
16 cent, the reality is we're going to be losing several - somewhere between
17 seven and 15 - witnesses who provide evidence of the other and perhaps
18 more valuable kind to the Chamber, and therefore the chart shows in a
19 dramatic way the impact on the case we can present of the time taken by
20 the accused in cross-examination.
21 And I observe that the first 92 bis witness dealt with in this way
22 last week was dealt with by the accused, in our respectful submission, by
23 the last five minutes being absolutely relevant to the issue in hand,
24 where he accused the witness of making up the entire story and had some
25 kind of positive case to put to him. The first 55 minutes or 50 minutes
1 having been taken up by material to which the witness was in large part
2 quite unable to give responsive answers, and the Chamber may remember at
3 some stage that he pleaded that the accused should ask him questions about
4 what he was there to help with and not about matters that he couldn't help
6 And we would invite the Chamber simply to be as alert as it always
7 is and as mindful of the consequences of the accused simply wasting time
8 with these witnesses when it considers whether the amount of time
9 available for cross-examination of a particular witness or in general
10 should be as much as an hour or less.
11 As I say, without an articulating lawyer representing an accused,
12 it's sometimes difficult for us to put our arguments with the manifest
13 strength that we would wish, but we do urge this on the Chamber as a
14 matter of great importance, and the chart shows why.
15 JUDGE MAY: This is a matter very much for the Trial Chamber and
16 our discretion. To shut the accused up would be wrong, in my view, to
17 prevent him cross-examining properly. Of course we have in mind, more, if
18 I may say, than the problems the Prosecution may have in getting their
19 evidence in, the necessity that time is not wasted. That is a real
20 consideration. But we must allow the accused the opportunity to
21 cross-examine and put his case. He is entitled to that, but we'll have in
22 mind what you say, of course.
23 MR. NICE: Thank you.
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I'm very glad that the Presiding Judge
1 spoke because I'm very offended by your submissions. Try as you might, I
2 think it's an oblique criticism of the manner in which the Trial Chamber
3 has been conducting the case. We have established guidelines and we
4 follow the guidelines. What we are dealing with here is essentially a
5 question of fairness, which cannot be reduced, in my view, to mathematical
6 and statistical calculations. We have in mind all that you have said, and
7 I consider this submission to have been entirely unnecessary.
8 MR. NICE: I'm very sorry that Your Honour takes that view, and if
9 I may say so, I entirely and respectfully disagree with Your Honour's
10 position. I go back to what I said at the beginning: It is actually very
11 difficult with an accused who is not represented to press our points with
12 the vigour that we think they merit, and I have been at all times been
13 extremely cautious in my approach to the Chamber in expressing views which
14 may run counter to the perceived view, as we perceive it, of the Chamber.
15 I've done it cautiously, respectfully, and well understanding, if I may
16 say so, the absolute need of the Chamber to be seen to be conducting a
17 trial that is fair the accused.
18 On the other hand, if we reach the position of holding the view
19 that the Chamber should be respectfully reminded of its ability to limit
20 cross-examination that is to no useful effect, it is our duty to the
21 Prosecution to make that position clear.
22 If there was a lawyer representing the accused, as I said at the
23 beginning, and it's why I said it, we can explain our position in an
24 adversarial setting that allows us to express our opinions strongly with
25 there being no suggestion of criticism of the Judges, because there is no
1 suggestion of criticism of the Judges in what I said. Not at all.
2 Nevertheless, if we want to draw to your attention the consequence of the
3 accused wasting time, if that is what he does, then we must do that.
4 Where Your Honour says to me it's not a matter of arithmetic, I
5 again respectfully differ. You didn't put it in those terms, but I
6 rephrase it. There are two ways in which it is a matter of calculation.
7 The Chamber has said that there is a rule of thumb to be applied in the
8 amount of cross-examination to be allowed. We have from the beginning
9 respectfully said we understand that but that we would urge
10 cross-examination to be allowed on a merit basis. That remains our
12 And the second point is this chart does show that if more than an
13 hour -- if an hour is taken as opposed to, say, half an hour or 45
14 minutes, for cross-examination of 92 bis witnesses who may have limited
15 value to the evidence pointing directly to this accused, then the Chamber
16 will inevitably have less witnesses of the kind who can point directly to
17 the accused. That is something we have to present to the Chamber. But
18 it's not done with any intent to be offensive to the Chamber. Far from
19 it. And the suggestion that I would ever take such a course is one that I
20 absolutely reject. I have addressed this Chamber on every occasion with
21 the decorum and respect that is appropriate, and I'm not going to change.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The next witness.
23 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour. Our next witness would be
24 Witness C-006. This is a protected witness.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honours, while the witness is being
1 brought, I would like to tender an exhibit, and that's the 92 bis -- Rule
2 92 bis statement of Witness Yvonne Milewski. Her statement was allowed
3 without cross-examination. I would like to -- tender this document.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the registry could deal with it conveniently.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, Prosecution Exhibit 477.
6 JUDGE MAY: And are copies available for us?
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: It would be helpful if we could have all these 92 bis
9 witnesses and the transcript witnesses as early as possible. I don't know
10 what proceedings are going on to get the declarations taken, but the
11 sooner we have them, the better.
12 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour. And it's all under way.
13 It will come in very soon.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, the witness please.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the witness would take the declaration.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this witness C-006?
18 JUDGE MAY: This is the witness. We've seen already he's taken
19 the declaration. We need --
20 MR. NICE: We've got the wrong witness, yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry. You've been brought in by mistake. Would
22 you mind waiting outside. We're going to call another witness first.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
2 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If you'd like to take a seat.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
5 WITNESS: WITNESS C-006
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. McKeon.
7 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Examined by Mr. McKeon:
9 Q. Good morning, sir. You've been granted certain protective
10 measures by the Trial Chamber, and this morning we'll refer to you by your
11 pseudonym C-006 during the course of these proceedings.
12 I'd like to ask that the pseudonym sheet be placed in front of
13 you, and I'd like you to take a look at that and answer by yes or no
14 whether that is your name on the first line of the document.
15 A. That is correct, yes.
16 Q. Sir, now, to further protect your identity, we've listed in the
17 third line the surname by which you used to be known at the time of the
18 events you will be testifying about.
19 MR. McKEON: And for the Court, the circumstances for the changing
20 of his surname are described in the written statement in paragraph 3.
21 Q. At any time during your testimony if you need to refer to your
22 former surname, with leave of Court, could you just say, "My former
23 surname," and the Chamber will know what name you're referring to.
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. McKEON: Also, Your Honour will see that on the pseudonym
1 sheet there's a list of four names, and next to the name, it says person
2 A, B, C, and then it says "my father."
3 Q. With the Court's permission, I would ask, if you need to refer to
4 any of these names, that you refer to them as Person A, Person B, Person
5 C, and again the Court will know who you're speaking about.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, C-006, in recent days did you have an opportunity to go over
8 your witness statement in the presence of an officer of the court and
9 attest to its accuracy, subject to any corrections that you noted, and did
10 you sign that documentation showing that you had attested your statement?
11 A. That's correct.
12 MR. McKEON: I'd like to offer the statement of C-006 into
13 evidence under Rule 92 bis under seal as a protected witness, Your Honour.
14 We also have prepared a redacted copy of the statement which can be made
15 publicly available that takes out his identifying information.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I'd like to summarise what the --
18 JUDGE MAY: Let's get an exhibit number first.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 478.
20 MR. McKEON: Your Honour, I'd like to summarise this witness's
22 In October of 1991, as a young man of mixed Serb-Croat background,
23 he was forcibly taken to Vukovar from Sid, Serbia, where he was questioned
24 about his loyalties. During this questioning he was hit.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, slow down, please.
1 MR. McKEON: The witness was eventually released after being held
2 prisoner for two nights. After his release, he was given a uniform of the
3 Serb Territorial Defence in Vukovar.
4 After the fall of Vukovar on 18 November 1991, the witness went to
5 the Velepromet in Vukovar to try to find a relative. While there, he
6 heard people being threatened with being slaughtered because they were all
7 Ustasha, and he saw prisoners being hit.
8 The next day, in the late morning or early afternoon, the witness
9 went to the Vukovar Hospital. He saw the hospital surrounded by JNA
10 military police who were controlling access, and he also saw Major
11 Sljivancanin standing in the yard of the Vukovar Hospital.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel slow down for the interpreters,
14 MR. McKEON: Major Sljivancanin was pointed out as the one who was
15 in command of the JNA in Vukovar.
16 From the hospital, the witness went to the Velepromet on the 19th.
17 He saw there buses and trucks arriving filled with people. Some people
18 were dragged off the buses and identified as Ustasha simply because they
19 were wearing yellow Borovo boots which for some reason had been associated
20 with Croatian fighters.
21 On the morning of 20 November 1991, the witness was at the house
22 of a friend, and while there a woman started yelling that they were taking
23 the Croats out of Vukovar and that no one was going to prosecute them.
24 The witness got into a car and drove to the Velepromet with a friend who
25 wanted to check to see what was happening. He was told the Croats were
1 taken to the JNA barracks, so he went there and saw nothing. He left and
2 returned about 30 minutes later, and the scene had changed dramatically.
3 Five to six buses had arrived, and Major Sljivancanin was there. Civilian
4 cars started arriving with Territorial Defence soldiers and reservists.
5 Among these men were Stanko Vujanovic and Miroljub Vujovic. As soon as
6 they arrived, they got into what appeared to be a heated argument with JNA
7 officers, including Major Sljivancanin.
8 The witness saw brothers, the Dosen brothers, found on the buses
9 and taken off and beaten so badly that it appeared they were on the verge
10 of death. The brothers were placed in a white van with others and driven
12 The witness saw there were a large number of JNA soldiers at the
13 barracks, most of them military police. The JNA also had several tanks
14 and APCs parked nearby, and these appeared to be manned by their crews.
15 In contrast, there were few Territorial Defence soldiers there, and they
16 were clearly outnumbered by the JNA soldiers.
17 The buses eventually left, escorted by two to three military
18 vehicles like jeeps. Military police remained on the buses when they
20 The witness made inquiry and found out the buses were going to
21 Ovcara, so he went there. When he got to Ovcara, he saw men being taken
22 from the buses one by one and made to run through a gauntlet of soldiers
23 who beat them as they passed toward a hangar. The witness was told by
24 someone to watch a rear door of the hangar to make sure no one escaped,
25 which he did for a short period of time. He then walked back to the front
1 of the hangar where he saw several JNA officers, including Major
2 Sljivancanin, and he saw a pile of suitcases and another pile that had
3 personal items in it, including identification documents.
4 The witness went into the hangar where several prisoners were
5 being held. Behind a rope at one end of the hanger were approximately 20
6 men identified to him as specially trained criminals, and among them was
7 one woman that he saw. In the rest of the hangar, men were seated along
8 the walls and on the floor.
9 Also there, he saw Miroljub Vujovic and Stanko Vujanovic, who
10 appeared to be in charge. The witness saw that some of the prisoners were
11 released from the barracks when people signed for them. The witness
12 stayed at Ovcara for only a short period of time after that, and then he
13 left when it was dark outside.
14 Within three days of these events, within three days of 20
15 November 1991, the people in Vukovar were already speaking openly about
16 what had happened at Ovcara and the fact that all the prisoners that he
17 saw there had been killed.
18 Thank you, Your Honour. We turn the prisoner -- the witness over
19 for cross-examination.
20 JUDGE MAY: There is attached to the statement, Mr. McKeon, is
21 that right, three hand-drawn maps of the various locations.
22 MR. McKEON: That's correct, Your Honour. Those maps were drawn
23 by the witness at the time that he signed his original statement and they
24 are part of his statement.
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. This is a case where
1 the evidence is such that it seems to me that an hour is an appropriate
2 time rather than less as the Prosecution were asking earlier. Yes.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness C-006, you come from a mixed marriage,
5 your father being a Croat and your mother being a Serb. That's right,
6 isn't it?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. The name and surname of your father is as written in tab 1, at the
9 end of that tab, in the list; is that right? Is that your father's full
11 A. Yes, that's true.
12 Q. Is your father alive?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. When the events took place that you're testifying about, that is
15 to say in 1991, did he live in Vukovar or somewhere else?
16 A. I don't know. My parents divorced when I was about a year old. I
17 never saw him in my life.
18 Q. So he has nothing to do with the events in fact and is no part of
19 your testimony actually?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. Your mother, after she divorced, married a man for whom you say in
22 your statement, in paragraph 3 -- actually, you give his nickname in
23 paragraph 3; right?
24 A. Sorry, would you mind repeating the question? I didn't quite
25 understand the translation. Sorry.
1 Q. Tell me, please, as in paragraph 3 of your statement, I understood
2 this to be the nickname of the man your mother married later on, but I see
3 in tab 1, on the other hand, that that is your nickname. So whose
4 nickname is it listed in tab 1?
5 JUDGE MAY: Before you -- before you answer, you should have a
6 copy of these various documents.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you. You're talking about article 3?
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Yes, paragraph 3. From that I understood that it said your mother
10 had married a man whose nickname was the one listed in tab 1 as being your
11 nickname. So whose nickname is it in tab 1; yours?
12 A. It is my nickname and his last name.
13 Q. I see. It's a surname. It's the last name of the man your mother
14 married, your stepfather's, in fact, right?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. All right. Is your stepfather a Croat by ethnicity?
17 A. He's Hungarian.
18 Q. In paragraph 3 of your statement, you say that after 1991, you
19 legally adopted your mother's maiden name. I'm not going to mention your
20 father's surname for your protection. And you say that because it was a
21 distinctly Croatian name and often caused you problems; is that right?
22 THE WITNESS: Excuse me. Can I request anything? Sorry. Is it
23 possible for me not to listen to English translation? I understand
24 perfectly what he's saying. This is just getting me confused.
25 JUDGE MAY: The usher will be able to arrange things there.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE MAY: Now, let's see how we get on.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 JUDGE MAY: Would you repeat the question, Mr. Milosevic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In paragraph 3 of your statement, you say that after 1991, in a
7 legal manner, you say you legally adopted your mother's maiden name in
8 view of the fact that your father's surname - and I'm not going to read it
9 out for your protection although it's written here - was a distinctly
10 Croatian surname, and as you say, it often caused you problems; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What problems did you have because of your father's surname? You
14 said that you had many problems, or often problems.
15 A. [Interpretation] Yes, that's true.
16 Q. So what problems were they?
17 A. [In English] As a Croat, I've been -- people would approach me and
18 just give me those looks. What am I -- in the sense of what am I doing
19 here. And stuff like that basically.
20 Q. Yes. But did anybody mistreat you because of it?
21 A. No, because basically I had a protection of a friend of mine that
22 I was living at the moment.
23 Q. All right. And your name is as it says here now, and that was the
24 name you took, your mother's maiden name.
25 A. [Previous translation continues]...
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between question
2 and answer, thank you.
3 JUDGE MAY: You're being asked by the interpreters to pause.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you happen to remember what date it was when you changed your
7 A. [Previous translation continues]...
8 Q. Was it after the fall of Vukovar, before the fall of Vukovar? Do
9 you have any idea?
10 A. After Vukovar fell, yeah.
11 Q. Do you have a document proving you had the surname you changed
12 later on?
13 A. [Previous translation continues]... with me, but do I have it.
14 Q. So you do have the birth certificate and all the other necessary
16 A. [Previous translation continues]...
17 Q. And all that is recorded in the registrars in Vukovar, right?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: There is another complaint. Could you remember,
20 Witness C-006, it's difficult to bear it in mind, but there is a problem
21 of interpretation. So allow the accused to finish and pause so the
22 interpreter can interpret the question, and then answer. I know it's
23 difficult, but could you try and remember.
24 THE WITNESS: I will, sir. Thank you. Sorry.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. As you've been living abroad for some time now -- I assume,
2 Mr. May, that I'm not supposed to mention the country; right? -- and that
3 can be seen from the English version of your statement, tell me, please,
4 do you have the passport of the country you're living in today or do you
5 hold a different passport or, rather, my question to you is whose national
6 are you? You are a citizen of which country?
7 JUDGE MAY: No. We'll go into private session to deal with these
9 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. C-006, in paragraph 5 of your statement, you say that in
13 January, 1991, when you went on leave after you'd been doing your military
14 service, that you and your friends who were soldiers, that you had some
15 problems with the -- with Croatian -- some Croatian policemen but that
16 there was no violence --
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. -- is that right?
19 JUDGE MAY: Can you wait, Witness C-006. Yes.
20 THE WITNESS: That's correct.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. And how many friends of yours went on leave with you? I don't
23 want to ask you their names, not to have to go back into private session,
24 but how many of you were there who had gone on leave?
25 A. There was three of us.
1 Q. And what were you by ethnicity?
2 A. I didn't understand the question.
3 Q. The other two, what was their ethnicity?
4 A. I'm not sure.
5 Q. As you're not sure, then I'm sure the question of their ethnicity
6 was not the subject of your problems with the Croatian police --
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. -- it wasn't why you had those problems. You just had problems
9 because you were soldiers; is that it?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Just tell me now, please, as briefly as possible, what were these
12 unpleasantnesses and problems you had with the Croatian police?
13 A. First they stopped us, they asked for identification, which wasn't
14 the usual process, that civilian police ask military to show IDs. Then
15 we'd been called names. We were told that we don't exist as the army,
16 what are we doing here, where do we live? They've taken our
17 identification cards. They wrote something in their books. They kept us
18 over there, I would guess, about half an hour, still calling us names and
20 Q. So the only reason for that was because you were in JNA uniforms;
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. In that same paragraph, you go on to say that when you arrived
24 home that same evening and when you went to bed, that you had a far
25 greater problem from the policemen, caused by the policemen, right?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Than the one you had with the policemen. At about 1.00 a.m., as
3 you yourself say, in your family home, four men stormed the place. They
4 pulled you, dragged you out of bed, and took you to a place called Sotin
5 where they proceeded to abuse you practically the whole night. Is that
6 what you said?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Is it true that they kept calling you a Chetnik throughout that
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And I assume they only called you that because you were a soldier.
12 A. I don't know how to answer that question. Probably.
13 Q. Could you describe to us briefly, please, how they mistreated you
14 and how long it went on for.
15 A. Basically, they drove me over there. Even in the car they were
16 beating us -- me. Sorry. And they took me out of the car, kicking me and
17 yelling at me, showing me the paper that says over there that my signed
18 statement, that my death sentence. They were kicking me still. They made
19 me sign the paper where all has been said, and then made me eat it.
20 Q. Despite the fact that, as you say, they were masked, did you
21 manage to recognise any of these people?
22 A. No. They were all in civilian clothes and wearing masks on.
23 Q. Were you able to make any conclusions as to the fact that they
24 belonged to any organisation in view of the fact that they had dragged you
25 out of bed, called you a Chetnik, beat you, mistreated you, made you sign
1 a statement, a document, and then made you eat it?
2 A. No, I guess not.
3 Q. These masked attackers, was it obvious that they were some kind of
4 Croatian extremists?
5 A. I cannot answer that question. I don't really know. I'm not
7 Q. From the injuries they inflicted on you that night, you spent
8 almost a month in hospital, is that right?
9 A. [Previous translation continues]... around 20 days, that's true.
10 Q. And after that, you --
11 A. And I returned --
12 Q. -- didn't have to do your military service any more?
13 A. -- I returned to Ljubljana and after a couple days spent in
14 hospital over there, I was released from duty, yes.
15 Q. Yes. That's what I wanted to establish. Now tell me this,
16 please: Do you have any consequences of the injuries and beatings that
17 you were exposed to, today?
18 A. No, no. Bruises all over my body. Mostly my upper body.
19 Q. So as far as I understand it, that has nothing to do with the
20 decision taken to release you from continuing your military service;
22 A. No. I was changed that I suffered so many stressful -- I was
23 suffering so much stress and I was practically begging to get out of the
24 army, yes.
25 Q. Up until then, as far as I am able to gather, since they called
1 you Chetnik, you had had problems because they considered you to be a
2 Serb; is that right?
3 A. I would say yes.
4 Q. But until then, you had no problems because you wore a Croatian
5 surname before you changed it --
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. -- is that right? But then, nevertheless, you changed your
8 surname even though you didn't have problems because you had a Croatian
10 A. [Previous translation continues]... sorry.
11 Q. I don't know whether I was clear enough. You had problems because
12 you were considered a Serb, and you were mistreated on those grounds and
13 called a Chetnik, but you changed your surname, though it was a Croatian
14 surname and it hadn't caused you any problems; is that right?
15 A. [Previous translation continues]... understand.
16 Q. Anyone. Did you have problems with anyone?
17 A. Before the war or after the war?
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. C-006, the interpreters and court reporters have
19 difficulty in understanding you, so could you please put a pause between
20 the question and answer. Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will. Thank you.
22 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Let us not waste any more time on this. Is this true that your
24 family, in the course of 1991, received anonymous and threatening
25 telephone calls harassing your stepfather because he, as stated here in
1 paragraph 6 of your statement, had married a Chetnik?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Only because your mother was a Serb; right?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Your mother, as far as I understand it, had absolutely nothing to
6 do with any activities, if I can call them that, that could have been
7 considered offensive or insulting towards Croats. She had married a
8 Croat, and in every respect she was a normal citizen.
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Her only fault was her nationality, the fact that she was a Serb;
11 is that right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Of course a fault, when I say a fault, I use it in quotation marks
14 in the context --
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. -- of these events. Tell me, please, did you ever establish who
17 was behind these calls, these threatening calls?
18 A. No. There were so many calls coming almost every day. Not only
19 to us. We heard a lot of other people -- people have been called and
20 threatened and stuff, yes.
21 Q. That brings me to my next question, actually. So there was such
22 threatening calls to inhabitants who had any kinship relationships with
23 the Serbs to bring pressure on them, is that right, who were related in
24 any way to Serbs?
25 A. I would say that's correct.
1 Q. And was that pressure designed to force you to leave, to move out?
2 A. I don't know, but I guess they just wanted to scare us. Yes, I
3 guess. I'm not really sure.
4 Q. So because of everything that happened to you, as you have
5 described these threatening calls because of the ethnicity of your mother,
6 in July 1991 were forced to leave Vukovar --
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. -- is that right? Tell me, where did you move to? Where did you
9 find shelter?
10 A. We went to Belgrade as refugees.
11 Q. So you fled under pressure because of the Serbian origins of your
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. You fled to Belgrade. You were shortly followed by your
15 stepfather who was a Croat; is that right?
16 A. He's Hungarian, but yes. Yes, he came after us.
17 Q. Yes, yes. He came after you. Yes. You said he was Hungarian.
18 Did he have any problems in Belgrade because he wasn't a Serb?
19 A. No, never.
20 Q. So not only you, but your whole family, in 1991, had problems
21 exclusively because of the Serbian origins --
22 A. I would say so, yes.
23 Q. -- of your mother? Do you know anything about the problems
24 encountered by Serb families in the region of Vukovar?
25 A. I can only say that I -- I did heard -- I did hear a lot of
1 rumours going around, but nothing that I can confirm.
2 Q. Did you ever learn or do you know today the full name of a certain
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know whether this should be
5 asked in private session, because it is linked to the witness.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. On the 4th of November --
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let us go into private session to be on the safe
10 [Private session]
12 Page 23592 – redacted – private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In the truck they transported you in there were some other men,
13 judging by paragraph 8 of your statement; is that right?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Did you know them? Were they people of your age, from the same
16 place as you?
17 A. As far as I understood from the conversation that I -- the short,
18 brief conversation that I had with them, they were from Vukovar. No, I
19 didn't know them, and they were not my age. They were much, much older
20 than me. I would say around 40s.
21 Q. But they were given the same treatment as you?
22 A. No. They were not taken -- they were not put in a truck with me
23 together. They were already in the truck when they put me in there.
24 Q. But they treated you the same as they did them, I assume?
25 A. Yes, that's true.
1 Q. I understand from your statement that they wouldn't let you talk
2 and that there were two soldiers, reservists, guarding the truck, who were
3 wearing beards; is that right?
4 A. Yes, there were a lot of people wearing beard at the time, but
5 yes, those two were wearing a beard, yes.
6 Q. However, though you were not supposed to speak in the presence of
7 those two bearded reservists, you somehow managed to learn that the others
8 had been in prison in Sremska Mitrovica. Is that what you said? Or does
9 this apply to only one of them? I wasn't quite able to understand what
10 exactly you meant.
11 A. [Previous translation continues]... all around us, basically, and
12 a truck stopped. Those two guards came off the truck. That's when I had
13 a brief chance to talk to them. One of the guys addressed me, actually,
14 and he said what am I in for, and I said I don't know. And he said he's
15 coming from Mitrovica, he's basically -- he was a prisoner over there for
16 a while, charged by -- for rape in Vukovar.
17 Q. For rape in Vukovar?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Do you know the name or at least the nickname of any of the people
20 who were with you on the truck on that occasion?
21 A. [Previous translation continues]... sorry.
22 Q. I understand that they drove you someplace and, as it was dark,
23 you couldn't tell where you were, but you realised soon that you were
24 within the compound of the Velepromet company in Vukovar; is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. I assume you established that as you were from Vukovar and you
2 were familiar with the surroundings when you got off the truck.
3 A. You could hear people saying, but, yes, I did recognise the
4 building, yes.
5 Q. And before that, had you been within that company's compound?
6 A. Yes, many -- many times before the war, yes.
7 Q. It's a commercial company, I assume, since its name is Velepromet.
8 A. It's actually a big warehouse, yes.
9 Q. Of a commercial company; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you were only 19 at the time?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. That evening, you were interrogated by a person that you
14 established was the father of this person that is the second name in tab
15 number 1; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. And that person on that day had brought you there; right? That
18 same man. Not the one who was interrogating you but this person named
19 here, is that right, under number 2?
20 A. No. He didn't come with us, no. No.
21 Q. That evening -- let me just check something, please. You say here
22 in paragraph 10 - that is why I wanted to clear this up and that is why
23 I'm asking you this - "Then that same man took me to an office where an
24 older man was seated, also in uniform. This man's name was --" and I
25 won't mention the name -- "but it was only later that I found out that he
1 was the father of the man who had abducted me in Sid. He began asking me
2 how I had got there, and I explained what had happened in Sid."
3 So the father of the person that had abducted you that same day.
4 You just said it wasn't correct. Maybe something's wrong in this
5 statement, or is what I just read out right?
6 A. The man who was in Sid, he stayed in Sid, but yes, this is the
7 father of the man who, yes, took me out of Sid. Yes, that's true.
8 Q. And then this man who stayed in Sid, he's the man who abducted
9 you; right?
10 A. Yeah. He brought me to the house, yes.
11 Q. He just brought you to the house.
12 A. That's what's said -- that's what's said in my statement. Yes,
13 that's true.
14 Q. Yes. But you explained that he didn't kidnap you, he invited you
15 to go there. He suggested you go to a coffee bar; is that right?
16 A. [Previous translation continues]...
17 Q. Then you go on to say that that evening a man beat you, and you
18 learnt that he was the bodyguard of a certain Miroljub Vujovic; is that
20 A. That's true.
21 Q. Did you learn the name of that man?
22 A. No, but I saw him a couple of times with him, yes.
23 Q. Who is this Miroljub Vujovic?
24 A. I later learned that he was a commander of the TO in Vukovar.
25 Q. Two days later, a man saved you who you say was a friend of your
1 parents. We don't have his name on the list here, but I assume I
2 shouldn't read out his name either. Is that right?
3 A. If you want to, yes.
4 Q. He took you to his home where, in addition to the members of his
5 family, there were some other people.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I assume the names of those people
7 are not confidential, Mr. May, because they're not on this list.
8 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session and we'll consider the
9 matter there.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. We don't need a private
11 session. I won't go into that.
12 JUDGE MAY: We'll go on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll move on.
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It takes too much time.
16 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. So there were some people there and you mention them in paragraph
18 14. One of them was from Kosovo and you say he came to fight in Vukovar,
19 but you don't know his name; is that right?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Where did this man who saved you, your parents' friend, where did
22 he live?
23 A. Petrova Gora. That's a part of Vukovar. Yeah. That's part of
24 Vukovar, yeah. Name -- place -- place called Petrova Gora, yeah.
25 Q. And these other two men that I asked you a moment ago with
1 reference to paragraph 14, and without reading out their names, were they
2 also locals from Vukovar?
3 A. Those two names -- except that Kosovar guy, yes, they were
4 Vukovar. They were both from Vukovar.
5 Q. In paragraph 16 you explain that after about a week you decided to
6 write a letter to your mother and that you mailed it or, rather, you sent
7 it via one of these two men who were in the house who were citizens of
8 Vukovar who was able to travel normally to Belgrade; is that right?
9 A. That's correct, yes.
10 Q. Tell me, why didn't you do so through the man who saved you, who
11 was friendly towards you? And it seemed to me logical that a man who
12 saves you should be the one to take your message to your family?
13 A. He [Previous translation continues]... he wouldn't go to
14 Belgrade. That was my chance because this certain person was travelling
15 that day to Belgrade, yeah.
16 Q. Very well. In paragraph 18, you explain that on the 18th of
17 November, with that same man that you mention as your saviour, you went to
18 Velepromet to try and find your grandmother; is that right?
19 A. Both of them, grandmother and grandfather, yes.
20 Q. So this man who saved you was also a Serb, wasn't he?
21 A. That's true.
22 Q. Tell me, why were you looking for them in Velepromet? Why did it
23 occur to you to look for them there, to look for your grandparents there?
24 A. Whoever came out of -- out of the basement during the war or after
25 Vukovar fell, they were all gathered over there, questioned, and then sent
1 wherever they -- wherever they felt like, basically. So that was the
2 first logical place to look for them, yes.
3 Q. So the people who came out of basements were interrogated over
4 there and then released; is that right? To go where they wanted to go; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes, that's true.
7 Q. And those were your father's parents, weren't they?
8 A. No, my mother's side.
9 Q. I see. Your mother's parents.
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. I assume they were Serb since your mother was Serb.
12 A. My grandfather is a -- well, he's a stepfather of my mom's. Yeah,
13 he's a Croat and my grandmother is Serb, yes.
14 Q. In paragraph 21 you describe that in the night between the 18th
15 and the 19th of November, in the house of this man who saved you and that
16 you name in paragraph 13, the man whose name you didn't know, the man from
17 Kosovo, arrived. And on that day, he boasted of having mistreated Croats,
18 and he spoke about some sort of Chetnik Serbia. Is that how you explain
20 A. Yes, that's correct. Yes.
21 Q. And after a violent argument with this man, he took out a hand
22 grenade, pulled out the pin, intending to blow you all up, as you say,
23 because you disagreed with his behaviour and with what he was saying; is
24 that right?
25 A. Yes. They disagreed with the whole thing, yes. That's correct,
2 Q. I got the interpretation that they agreed but you said disagreed,
4 A. They disagreed in their conversation.
5 Q. You and the other people who were present were against that,
6 weren't you?
7 A. That's true.
8 Q. Did that man seem to be in his right mind or not?
9 A. [Previous translation continues]... I don't know. I can't make a
10 judgement on that. He was -- he was full of stories that he was doing all
11 kinds of stuff, and I'm -- I can't judge that. Sorry.
12 Q. Tell me, since you speak about these two men who were with you
13 there, these two Serbs who argued and struggled with this man to prevent
14 the hand grenade from blowing up, there was a kind of fight?
15 A. [Previous translation continues]... they managed to get him on the
16 ground and take it from him, yes.
17 Q. Tell me, why was that man in that house at all? How come he was
18 there at all?
19 A. Well, there were a lot of people coming in and getting out of the
20 house. And any day -- day or night. It doesn't matter what time it was,
21 people would just come by and maybe have a drink or go out, and stuff like
22 that, yeah, so he just sort of dropped by.
23 Q. It was a private home, a private house, as far as I understand.
24 It wasn't a coffee bar or anything like that. People just dropped in.
25 Were they neighbours or what?
1 A. Yes, it was a private house, but the real owner wasn't over there.
2 Q. And these people had been living there for some time, right?
3 A. Well, they were over there when I was brought in, so I guess. I
4 can't say for sure. I'm not sure. I'm not sure about the time line.
5 Q. The next day, on the 19th of November, 1991, as you state in
6 paragraph 22 of your statement, while you were alone, you were
7 unexpectedly interviewed by a Serb --
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. -- TV journalist; is that right? You say that she was
10 dissatisfied when she heard your surname. Did she ask you that at the
11 beginning or at the end of the interview?
12 A. At the end of the interview.
13 Q. Can you remember which TV station she was from? Do you know her
14 name, at least?
15 A. No, I don't recall, sorry.
16 Q. Can you remember what she asked you during the interview?
17 A. I remember exactly what she said, because she asked me my opinion,
18 what happened over there, and at the end of the interview she asked me if
19 I can say my name, and that was it. That's all I remember from that,
21 JUDGE MAY: That's a convenient moment to adjourn. Witness C-006,
22 we're going to adjourn now for 20 minutes. Could you remember not to
23 speak to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and that does
24 include the members of the Prosecution team. Twenty minutes.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] How much more time do I have,
5 Mr. May?
6 JUDGE MAY: Let me tell you. You've got 15 minutes.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I'll try and get through
8 this as quickly as possible. I'm going to skip the interview, the
9 interrogation -- the interview.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And you said that you assumed it wasn't broadcast because of your
12 surname; is that right?
13 A. [Previous translation continues]... pardon me.
14 Q. Is that why you changed your surname?
15 A. No, for some other reasons.
16 Q. All right. And you claim that on that morning, in the yard of a
17 house, that you noticed some bodies lying down on the ground.
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. And you considered that these were people who had died in hospital
20 but weren't able to be buried because of the shelling, right?
21 A. We were told that -- by the guards at the hospital that all those
22 people are from the hospital, but we don't know -- I didn't know at that
23 time who are -- why are they in the yard of that building.
24 Q. And were they the bodies of Serbs or Croats? Did you manage to
25 establish that?
1 A. I guess later on the identification was done by authorities, but
2 not at that time, I didn't know who they were.
3 Q. That same morning, you say that you saw in the hospital a man who
4 they pointed to as being the commander of the JNA forces in Vukovar and
5 that you later learnt that he was Major Sljivancanin; is that right?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. All right. And on the basis of everything you said, following
8 from your statement, everything you saw during the few days that you spent
9 in Vukovar, I gain the impression that you moved around Vukovar quite a
10 bit. Is that right? Did you go together with this man Zoric?
11 A. Yes. I was walking with him, yes. That's true.
12 Q. Do you know where he is now?
13 A. He's dead. He died in a car crash after the war.
14 Q. He was a Serb, wasn't he?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Did he have a functional position of some kind in Vukovar?
17 Because I gain the impression that in the general chaos that reigned
18 there, he was some sort of influential person. Is that right?
19 A. No. He was a -- he was just a regular TO soldier.
20 Q. So he was a soldier of the Territorial Defence, is that it? And
21 you went with him as a civilian; right?
22 A. Yes. He was in TO; and no, I wasn't a civilian, I was in uniform.
23 Q. And tell me this: Why did he as a soldier of the Territorial
24 Defence, why was he looking for his father and mother in the Velepromet
25 hangar, which is in paragraph 24 of your statement?
1 A. When they left Vukovar, I guess when the war started, they were
2 left behind and they stayed in the basement. And as far as he understood,
3 they were either killed - that's what he believed - or they were taken to
4 Velepromet among the other people that were coming out of the cellars.
5 Q. And as far as your grandmother and grandfather are concerned, they
6 left, as far as I understand it, through Serbia, Bosnia, and went to
7 Croatia; right?
8 A. Yes. They were brought to Velepromet. They were both questioned.
9 They were searched. Everything was taken from them. They were taken to
10 Sremska Mitrovica to gaol where my mother took them out. Actually, she
11 took my -- my grandmother. My grandfather stayed in gaol for another
12 certain time, amount of time, and he was exchanged as a war prisoner for
13 -- I don't know exactly when, but, yes, they left for Zagreb after that.
14 Q. Then on the 19th of November, while you were waiting for Zoric at
15 Velepromet who was looking for his parents, you saw the buses bringing in
16 people into the area, into the compound; right?
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. And you say that on that occasion the local Serbs accused
19 individual people of being Ustashas and set them apart as such. Is that
20 what you say?
21 A. People were brought in buses and trucks onto Velepromet. They
22 were taken out, they were separated. Women and children were taken on one
23 side, the men were taken on the other side, and yes, there were a lot of
24 pointing of fingers on people and people called Ustashas and separated
25 from women and children, yes.
1 Q. Yes, all right. But in that second sentence of that same
2 paragraph, in paragraph 25, you state and I quote: "All the men were made
3 to stand in a column while the soldiers were trying to establish who was a
4 Croat and who was a Serb." So I'm asking, did the local Serbs know who
5 was a Croat and who was a Serb, who was who?
6 A. When people are coming from -- from basements, they're all
7 yellowish, no colour in their faces. People are coming in all -- they
8 were dressed in really badly manner. Yes, they were lined up, they were
9 asked their names. And no, I guess not everybody knew names of all the
10 people that were coming out of the basements. So I guess you cannot know
11 everybody, I guess.
12 Q. All right. And Zoric on that particular day, as you say in
13 paragraph 27, managed to set five Croats free; right?
14 A. That's true. As far as I know, yes.
15 Q. How was he able to have them released? Can you explain that? And
16 do you know the names of any of those people who were released on that
18 A. I don't recall any names. They were all his friends. Basically
19 he was a passionate hunter, and he knew a lot of people. He was at the
20 middle age at that time, like I would say 45, and they were all his
21 friends. So the way he did it is I guess he just spoke to whoever was in
22 charge over there to let them go. Because for a lot of people it was just
23 a matter of seeing somebody -- sorry. It was just a matter of knowing
24 somebody to basically take them out from there if you're sort of --
25 Q. All right. You say that on the 20th of November, as you say in
1 paragraph 28, Zoric took you to the JNA barracks because he was afraid
2 that in the group of people who was there he would find some of his
3 friends; is that right?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Why did he stop looking for his parents, then?
6 A. He finally heard that they're alive and well in Borovo Selo.
7 Q. All right. Now, when you went back to the barracks with Zoric,
8 you mentioned that you saw some jeeps coming with Stanko Vujanovic and
9 Miro Vujic in them. You say that in paragraph 31, right?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. What did Stanko Vujanovic look like? You describe him for us,
13 A. He had a beard. He's a tall person, taller than me. I would say
14 -- I'm not really good at describing people. If I would see the picture,
15 I would definitely say who it is, and I can't describe much.
16 Q. And can you describe Miro Vujovic for us, his height and the rest
17 of it?
18 A. He's a petit person. About my size, I would say.
19 Q. And you noticed that the two of them were having a row with Mr. --
20 with Major Sljivancanin by the barracks.
21 A. That was inside the barracks, yes. They had an argument over
22 there as well as there were another couple of JNA officers present.
23 Q. What were they arguing about?
24 A. I'm not very sure. I wasn't really close to hear what they were
25 arguing about.
1 Q. And all this was happening at the barracks, and you describe the
2 relationship of forces between then members of the TO, and you note that
3 there were far more JNA soldiers; right?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. That means that quite simply they could have sent the TO members
7 A. I would say so, yes.
8 Q. But as you say, they did not do that but they allowed the buses
9 with the people in them to move off. As your friend got to know later on,
10 they were being transported somewhere else; right?
11 A. Nobody stopped the buses, no. No. They left in -- accompanied by
12 military vehicles, yes.
13 Q. All right. Now, you say that you went to Ovcara, you and Zoric,
14 and that you saw the buses parked there and that you once again saw Major
15 Sljivancanin there, and Vujanovic and Vujovic. Is that what you said?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Are you sure you saw Sljivancanin up there again?
18 A. I'm hundred per cent sure. I even greeted him. He wouldn't
20 Q. And Zoric and these other people, how many of them were you able
21 to take out of the hangar?
22 A. Zoric tried about 15 people. I don't know how many he managed to
23 take because he was coming and going. I managed to take two of them.
24 Q. And then you stopped doing that and Zoric told you to go to
25 Petrova Gora - I assume that's a street or district in Vukovar - for him
1 to be able to tell his wife to get dinner ready for all the people that he
2 was going to save; is that right?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And then you went back to Ovcara and it was dark by that time;
6 A. It wasn't really dark over there yet, no.
7 Q. But you saw Vujovic and Vujanovic issuing orders, and in your
8 opinion, it was quite obvious that the two of them, as you said, were the
9 main two people there in that locality of Ovcara; right? Was that how you
10 saw it?
11 A. They are the only two people that, well, basically in higher ranks
12 that I saw inside the hangar. I didn't see any more -- anybody from the
13 JNA anywhere outside or inside the hangar. And I didn't see them actually
14 giving any kind of orders to anybody at that time.
15 Q. And Major Sljivancanin wasn't up there at the time; right?
16 A. No, no. At that time, no.
17 JUDGE MAY: Let me just clarify that. Did you see Sljivancanin at
18 Ovcara or not?
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did, sir.
20 JUDGE MAY: And whereabouts did you see him at Ovcara?
21 THE WITNESS: Outside the hanger.
22 JUDGE MAY: Outside the hanger.
23 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
24 JUDGE MAY: But you didn't see anyone from the JNA inside the
25 hangar; is that the point?
1 THE WITNESS: That's correct, sir.
2 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. And what happened afterwards happened quite a long time after you
4 had seen Sljivancanin; is that right?
5 A. Would you mind clarifying the question? Like, in what sense?
6 Q. You had seen Sljivancanin earlier on, and later on when you went
7 back when it was dark, he wasn't there any more nor were there any members
8 of the JNA in that hangar; right?
9 A. That's correct, he wasn't there, but there were JNA soldiers still
10 outside, yes.
11 Q. Are you sure they were JNA soldiers or might they have been the
12 territorials of Vukovar?
13 A. I would saw JNA soldiers because they were regular soldiers. They
14 were based over there.
15 Q. How many of those soldiers were there?
16 A. I don't recall the exact number, how many, no.
17 Q. You said that in Ovcara you saw some soldiers who were not members
18 of the JNA, and you even saw a woman among them; right? She couldn't have
19 been a member of the JNA either.
20 A. I don't recall saying that, no. No. She was a prisoner inside
21 the hangar. I didn't say that, no.
22 Q. Yes, but you said that there were no JNA members in the hangar
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Now, as you saw all this, you asked permission to leave Vukovar in
1 order to visit your parents in Bijeljina. That's what you say in
2 paragraph 46.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. And you tabled a request to that effect, and without any
5 problems --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- you were given these documents; right? Now, in view of the
8 fact that you were brought to Vukovar against your own free will, as you
9 said, why didn't you ask previously that they allow you to leave Vukovar?
10 A. No one was allowed to leave Vukovar during the war. Only some
11 exceptions were people that I guess were in power, but during the war, no
12 one was allowed, and I was afraid to ask for any kind of stuff like that.
13 But after the war, they were issuing a lot of -- a lot of papers,
14 basically, to let you go. You could go for a couple of days and come
15 back, yes.
16 Q. All right. In the meantime, you learned that the people who were
17 at Ovcara had been killed; right?
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Who did you hear that from?
20 A. People were saying in the streets. It was a rumour going on
22 Q. And since you heard people talking about that in the streets, did
23 you happen to hear who had been responsible for doing the act?
24 A. No, sir. No.
25 Q. As I can see, you stayed on in Vukovar for a full six years
1 afterwards, and as you yourself said, you kept hiding from people because
2 you had saved these unfortunate people from Ovcara.
3 A. Yes. That's correct, yes.
4 Q. Can you perhaps remember the names of the people you saved at
5 Velepromet --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- and at Ovcara? How many people were there?
8 A. There was one in Velepromet, and there were two at Ovcara, yeah.
9 Q. Did you hear anything at all about the fact that the JNA did not
10 participate in what happened at Ovcara?
11 A. I could not -- I -- I don't know. I -- I don't have an answer for
12 that. I'm sorry.
13 Q. That's fine. If you can't answer, you can't. But apart from the
14 fact that Major Sljivancanin was in command of the JNA in Vukovar at the
15 time of the attack on Vukovar, apart from that fact, is there any other
16 fact that could link him up to the events at Ovcara?
17 JUDGE MAY: That's really not for the witness to say. I mean, he
18 can say what he saw and heard.
19 You saw Sljivancanin beside the bus or beside the buses, you said.
20 You saw him outside the hanger, but you didn't see him inside.
21 THE WITNESS: No.
22 JUDGE MAY: And you saw him earlier at Velepromet. Was there any
23 other sightings during the day or --
24 THE WITNESS: Not Velepromet, the barracks.
25 JUDGE MAY: The barracks, yes.
1 Your last question, Mr. Milosevic, because your time is up.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if it's the last question,
3 then here it is.
4 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you have a document showing the reasons for which you were
6 released from the JNA when you were released from the JNA?
7 A. I was -- it was on my request because of a lot of stress that I
8 went through. No, I don't have a document. No, I'm sorry. No, I don't.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one question.
11 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, in your statement you said the
13 following: That at one point in time you heard a heated discussion
14 between Stanko Vujanovic and Miro Vujovic with officers of the JNA,
15 including Sljivancanin; is that right?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Now, in this heated discussion, did you hear what Sljivancanin
18 actually said or not? Did you hear a single word uttered by Sljivancanin
19 in that heated argument?
20 A. No, sir.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. McKEON: Thank you, Your Honour. I have just a few
25 Re-examined by Mr. McKeon:
1 Q. Sir, if you could turn to the end of your statement, there are
2 three hand-drawn maps and I would like you to take a look at number 3,
3 which is marked Ovcara. Just a quick question. You mentioned that you
4 saw Major Sljivancanin outside the hangar. Have you -- first of all, did
5 you draw this map?
6 A. Yes, that's me.
7 Q. And have you marked on this map exactly where it was that you saw
8 Major Sljivancanin standing?
9 A. Yes, sir.
10 Q. And where is that?
11 A. Just before the entrance of -- into hangar.
12 Q. There's -- at the bottom of the page before the road, it says
13 Sljivancanin with a few more military, and there's a circle just above
14 that. Is that circle where you saw Major Sljivancanin standing?
15 A. That's true, sir.
16 Q. Turning back to your statement, in paragraph 9 you were -- and 10
17 -- well, actually before that. You were asked, first of all, about when
18 you were beaten by some people because you were wearing a JNA uniform.
19 You said they were wearing civilian clothes. Do you know whether or not
20 those people were actually civilians or whether they were members of some
21 Croatian army or officials of the Croatian government in some fashion?
22 A. I -- I don't really know. I don't have any connections to that,
24 Q. You were also asked some questions about harassing telephone calls
25 that you received before you left Vukovar, and that's in paragraph 6 of
1 your statement. Do you know whether the people that were making those
2 telephone calls were officials making them in some official capacity as
3 officials of the government or members of the army or whether these were
4 just individual citizens or don't you know who was making them?
5 A. I didn't know who was making those calls.
6 Q. Now, when you -- you left Belgrade -- or you left Vukovar to go to
7 Belgrade, you said, because you were afraid of what was happening. Do you
8 know whether or not Croatians were also leaving Vukovar at the time
9 because they were afraid also -- or I'm sorry, Serbians were leaving
10 because they were afraid of what was happening?
11 A. We heard a couple of cases that people were leaving, yes.
12 Q. And were Croats leaving as well?
13 A. I heard that too, yes.
14 Q. Now, you were asked whether or not you had any harassment or
15 anyone mistreated you because of your former surname, and you said -- you
16 answered no, they didn't because you had someone protecting you. Is that
17 person who was protecting you the person that you've referred to in your
18 statement who rescued you from the Velepromet?
19 A. That's true, sir.
20 Q. When you were being questioned at the Velepromet after you were
21 kidnapped and taken there from Sid, were you harassed there because of
22 your surname?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. The people that were questioning you there and holding you there
25 for two days, were they individual citizens unaffiliated with the military
1 or were these official members of the military forces such as the JNA or
2 the Territorial Defence?
3 A. I believe they were the Territorial Defence.
4 Q. Were they wearing uniforms?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Do you know what the Velepromet was used for during this part of
7 the conflict?
8 A. I believe there was some kind of military warehouse, yes.
9 Q. You were asked whether or not your stepfather who went with you to
10 Belgrade was harassed because he was a non-Serb and you answered that he
11 wasn't. How about when you were questioned by -- by the members of the
12 Territorial Defence in the Velepromet? Did they ask you any questions
13 about your stepfather?
14 A. No. No, I don't recall. Maybe they did. I'm not really sure.
15 Q. You said at the Velepromet, turning now ahead in time to the 19th
16 and 20th, you were asked by the accused whether the people there were
17 interrogated and released and you answered yes. Was everyone who was
18 interrogated immediately released?
19 A. No, sir.
20 Q. What about your grandfather and grandmother?
21 A. No. They spent a couple days over there.
22 Q. And where were they sent from the Velepromet?
23 A. To gaol in Sremska Mitrovica.
24 Q. Okay. At some point before they were released from Sremska
25 Mitrovica, were they sent somewhere else and made to engage in forced
2 A. Not that I recall of, no.
3 Q. You were -- finally, you were asked about why it was that your
4 protector was looking for his parents who were hiding in a basement in
5 Vukovar. During the conflict, was it possible to go from the
6 neighbourhood that you were staying in, Petrova Gora, back and forth to
7 the main area in Vukovar where people were hiding in cellars?
8 A. No, it was not possible.
9 Q. How far is it from Petrova Gora to the centre of Vukovar?
10 A. I would say around four kilometres.
11 Q. And when you came into Vukovar on the 20th of November, could you
12 just, in a sentence, describe what the condition was of the city.
13 A. It was terrible. It was -- you couldn't recognise the city.
14 Q. Now, the area of Petrova Gora, is that an area that's
15 predominantly Croatian or Serbian residents?
16 A. I would say Serbian.
17 Q. And what was the condition of Petrova Gora on the 20th of
19 A. It was pretty much intact.
20 MR. McKEON: That's all I have, thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Witness C-006, that concludes your evidence. Thank
22 you for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
3 MR. NICE: We're very grateful. May that witness be taken now
4 rather than a 92 bis witness? (redacted)
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, provided there's time to get through his
8 MR. NICE: Mr. Groome is going to take him briefly. He confirms.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 [Closed session]
12 Pages 23619 to 23684 – redacted – closed session.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.06 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of July,
7 2003, at 9.00 a.m.