1 Tuesday, 28 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic.
7 WITNESS: PETAR KRISTE [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you.
10 Questioned by Mr. Tapuskovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kriste, I listened to your testimony
12 carefully yesterday during the examination-in-chief, and I should like to
13 ask you several things. I'd like your explanations to the Trial Chamber
14 about something you might still not have said about the negotiations you
15 had in Split and everything else that you did in and around Dubrovnik.
16 You were given assignments from the government as to what your
17 duties were in Split and Dubrovnik, what you had to accomplish there;
18 isn't that right?
19 A. Yes. We were given tasks for Dubrovnik. As for Split, we stayed
20 there for just one day, waiting to receive permission to enter Dubrovnik.
21 And at the request of the president of the Crisis Staff and the Executive
22 Council of the Municipal Assembly, we took part with them in the talks and
23 negotiations with General Mladenic.
24 Q. Yes. And as you said yesterday, you were working on an agreement
25 that you had concluded, and I'm interested in one aspect of that and that
1 is the deblocking of the barracks in Split. You took part in those
2 negotiations, did you not?
3 So under what conditions was the barracks in Split deblocked? You
4 said that that was the substance of your negotiations.
5 A. Well, the negotiations were to discuss the departure of the
6 Yugoslav navy from the Lora port on the one hand and also, on the other,
7 the return of the weapons of the Territorial Defence to the town of Split.
8 Q. All right. Let me ask you more directly: You know that on the
9 21st of August, 1991, Vladimir Seks informed the public that the barracks'
10 electricity, water, and food supplies would be cut off. Do you know about
12 A. I don't remember that exactly.
13 Q. All right. And at the end of August, did this actually begin in
15 A. In some cases the barracks were blocked, yes.
16 Q. Did you hear that on the 25th of August the barracks were blocked
17 in Split? Are you aware of that? Do you know about that?
18 A. I don't know about that particular piece of information.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Tapuskovic.
21 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. In response to a question from the Prosecution yesterday, you
23 answered that a certain agreement had been reached and what your demands
24 were of the JNA. And an agreement was reached; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, correct.
1 Q. And was the response, as you said previously in your statement to
2 the investigators, that in return for that, Croatia should cease its
3 blockade of the barracks in Split? Was that one of the points of the
5 A. As far as I can remember, that was not how it was formulated.
6 Q. That is what it says in your statement to the investigators, and
7 I'm quoting it verbatim: "In return, Croatia was to put a cessation to
8 the blockade of the JNA barracks in Split."
9 A. Well, yes, we did discuss the blockade of the Lora port.
10 Q. Which is where the JNA soldiers were; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So that means that the blockade lasted --
13 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] The microphone seems to be
14 switching off of its own accord.
15 Q. If the blockade was set up at the end of August, that means that
16 it lasted for almost three months.
17 A. I do not know when the blockade started, but even if it did go on
18 until or, rather, from the end of August to the 20th of September, that
19 would not make it three months; end of August, end of September. The fact
20 is that towards the end of August, before we arrived in Split, what
21 happened was that there was an offensive on the part of the Yugoslav navy
22 from the Brac channel targeting Split, and probably a blockade of the port
23 by the Yugoslav Navy was probably linked to the attack launched on Split.
24 Q. Let's just clear one more point up. You said the 29th of
25 September, but in your statement it says that the agreement was concluded
1 on the 2nd of December.
2 A. No. That's a mistake. That's a mistake -- or, rather, yes,
3 you're quite right, the 2nd of December. I'm awfully sorry. Yes, it was
4 on the 2nd of December.
5 Q. Thank you. That's what I was interested in. Now, something I'm
6 much more interested in and a point that I'd like to assist the Trial
7 Chamber on is the following, for them to be able to understand the
8 situation around Dubrovnik: Was your task when you went off together with
9 two other ministers, and those ministers were Cifric and Rudolf - both of
10 them were ministers in the government of Croatia, just like yourself - was
11 your task and assignment, among other things, this: To do all you could
12 to ensure a cease-fire in Dubrovnik?
13 A. It was our task in the Dubrovnik region to conclude a cease-fire,
14 a truce, yes, in addition to other things.
15 Q. And of course, stopping the shooting.
16 A. Well, yes. A truce includes a cease-fire.
17 Q. I'm asking you about that because it says in your statement
18 "cease-fire," but I suppose "truce" is the same thing.
19 So when you arrived there, you said you talked to Nojko Marinovic,
20 who was a general. Was he the commander of the defence of the town of
22 A. Yes he was.
23 Q. Did you talk to him before the negotiations that took place on the
24 5th of September and afterwards as well, and did he attend the
25 negotiations with you?
1 A. We talked to him before and after the negotiations but he did not
2 attend the negotiations with us. He wasn't there with us.
3 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like now
4 to indicate to you something that I consider should be done today. A rare
5 witness which we have according to Article 66 of the Statute because the
6 Prosecutor has put him forward as a witness but he has not been questioned
7 yet, but he has been proposed also under Article -- Rule 68, and that man
8 is Nojko Marinovic. I have a copy of his statement, several copies to go
9 around, and Mr. Kriste talked to the commander. I should like to tell him
10 some things from the statement and everything that happened in those few
11 days in Dubrovnik.
12 JUDGE MAY: You can put the statement to the witness. It's not
13 appropriate at this stage to have it admitted. Maybe in due course we'll
14 consider it. But if there's something you want to put from that statement
15 to the witness, you can do so.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
17 Q. In the talks, either before or after, did Mr. Nojko say that as
18 you were going to attend the negotiations, did he give you this piece of
19 information to inform you by way of information, and I'm going to tell you
20 exactly what he said. He says in his statement the following: "Our
21 strategy was essentially to gain time. Because of that, we always wanted
22 to reach an agreement on a cease-fire, and this was for two reasons:
23 First, to gain time; and second, not to waste our valuable resources. But
24 most essential point was also that during the cease-fire and truce, we had
25 a much better chance of bringing in, smuggling in through the maritime
1 route both equipment and personnel."
2 Is that what Nojko Marinovic told you when you met him?
3 A. No, he did not.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I think it would be proper to
5 put to the witness the reference, the context in which Mr. Marinovic
6 mentioned these kind of considerations, because there was a long time of
7 negotiations ongoing in which the witness was not included, and it should
8 be made clear whether these references were related to these earlier
9 negotiations in October and in November.
10 JUDGE MAY: We need to be careful about this. We are going some
11 way from the point of what the witness has said.
12 Mr. Kriste, if you can help with this, what counsel is reading out
13 to you, if you can help, say so, but if you know nothing about it and it
14 is something which the general is dealing with himself, then simply say so
15 and we'll get on more quickly.
16 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic, let's go on.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving the
18 interpretation, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MAY: Let's try again. Is it right? Now, try again. Can
20 you hear me?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you now. Yes, I
23 JUDGE MAY: What I'm saying is this: We may be going some way
24 from evidence on which you can help us anyway, because these may be
25 matters that you know nothing about, but if there is something you can
1 help us about, tell us. If not, and it was something which the general
2 was dealing with and you know nothing about, then simply say that you know
3 nothing about it and we can get on more quickly.
4 Yes, Mr. Tapuskovic. Let's deal, if we can, with matters the
5 witness might know about. Yes.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we are not
7 challenging the fact that Nojko Marinovic was the commander of the defence
8 of Dubrovnik. Mr. Kriste came to negotiate a cease-fire, a truce.
9 JUDGE MAY: We know that. Now, let's move on, please.
10 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Does Mr. Kriste know that a strategy of that kind existed, namely
12 to gain time, and in the meantime they were doing their best to arm the
14 A. That was not our strategy. Our strategy was to achieve a lasting
15 truce and peace ultimately, a truce and cease-fire of the hostilities and
16 the establishment of a truce.
17 Q. For a time you were the war minister. Do you know what
18 Mr. Tudjman said on the 24th of May, 1992, at a large rally that took
19 place on Ban Jelacic square? Did he say precisely what Nojko said,
20 because he said that is why we waged a policy of negotiation, and behind
21 these negotiations, we established armed units. Is that what he said?
22 A. I don't remember what Mr. Tudjman said exactly in 1992.
23 Q. Thank you. As you attended the negotiations, this is what I'd
24 like to say to you, and I'm reading from Nojko's statement. He said how
25 many people there were as defenders of the town, and on page -- I'll give
1 you the page straight away of Nojko's statement and read it out to you.
2 Did Nojko, before you went to attend the negotiations or afterwards,
3 perhaps, say on the first day of the attack, 1st of October, 1991, "the
4 Croatian forces under my command numbered the following," and then he
5 said, "670 soldiers." Is that what he said?
6 A. On the 1st of October, when we were in Dubrovnik, he set out the
7 whole situation, the military situation in Dubrovnik. He told us what the
8 enemy forces were, what their strength was and deployment. And he also
9 told us that our forces were completely unready both numerically, that
10 they were in an inferior position for them to be able to put up an
11 effective resistance to the JNA forces. And he mentioned some facts and
12 figures; the number of policemen and also the number of members of the
13 Croatian National Guard Corps, which was somewhere around 100 or 200 men.
14 And he also told us that there were a large number of citizens, citizens
15 of Dubrovnik who had responded as volunteers to take up the defence but
16 that there was not enough weapons to go around.
17 Q. Mr. Kriste, I'm just asking you - and give me a yes or no answer -
18 did he say that there were 670 soldiers under his command? Did he tell
19 you that or not?
20 A. He did not mention that particular figure, no.
21 Q. And did he say that they had been deployed from Slano on the west
22 to Ban, which is one kilometre from the Montenegrin border towards the
23 east, and that they covered a distance around the road of about 75
24 kilometres? Yes or no.
25 A. No, he did not give us the specifics and go into details as to the
1 deployment of our forces.
2 Q. And did he say that four guns, cannons, 85-millimetre guns that
3 they had seized from Korcula, that they were deployed two above Cavtat and
4 two at Rasnica near Molunat? Did he tell you that?
5 A. No, he didn't say where they had been deployed, where the guns had
6 been deployed.
7 Q. Did he say you that two zis anti-tank guns were set up in Babin
8 Kuk in Dubrovnik and the other near the Neptun Hotel, once again in
9 Dubrovnik? Did he tell you that?
10 A. I've already said that he did not give us the specifics of the
11 deployment of men and forces on our side.
12 Q. And did he say ten anti-aircraft guns?
13 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered this. He said he was not
14 given the specifics. So, Mr. Tapuskovic, there is no point putting any
15 more detail to him.
16 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, Your Honour, Judge May, I
17 really think -- I don't know whether Mr. Nojko Marinovic will come to
18 court, but Nojko Marinovic did state that they had cars and trucks with
19 anti-aircraft guns positioned on them.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's -- you've put all that, and the witness
21 has told you what his answer was. Now, let's move on.
22 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] That he doesn't know. Now, Your
23 Honours, please. I think that you should be interested in all of this
25 JUDGE MAY: Well --
1 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] This, for example --
2 JUDGE MAY: -- there is a limit of time, as you know, which we can
3 put up -- which we can allow for any examination. Now, the accused has
4 had over two hours with this witness, and we must ask you now - you've had
5 nearly 20 minutes - to come to an end.
6 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I shall do my best and get
7 through the essential points. As the witness said that on the day he
8 arrived in Dubrovnik, before the 1st of October, that he had brought in a
9 truck of mines and explosive devices with his colleagues.
10 Q. Is that correct, Witness?
11 A. Yes. Mines and explosive devices, yes.
12 Q. Now, do you know that Nojko Marinovic stated that all that --
13 those explosive devices deployed from Montenegro to Dubrovnik along the
14 road, that holes had been dug and mines placed in them, that this existed
15 at intervals of 100 metres, one hole with a mine and then the next one
16 without a mine and so on?
17 A. He didn't tell me that, but with a truckload of this kind, you
18 won't have enough mines to mine such a large number of kilometres along a
19 road. Apart from that -- with a truck trailer load. But if Mr. Marinovic
20 did carry out this mining of the area, this was on the territory of
21 Croatia and on the territory of the Dubrovnik municipality, and nobody
22 could have fallen casualty to that unless he had launched a war operation
23 against Dubrovnik.
24 Q. Well, as I really don't have any more time, I'm going to conclude
25 with this question: You said that the positions of the JNA army was not
1 targeted at all from Dubrovnik, from Dubrovnik proper, from the town
2 itself. That's right, isn't it? That's what you said?
3 A. Yes, not from Dubrovnik. We could not open fire from Dubrovnik
4 and target the JNA units until the JNA army had not closed off the
5 encirclement around Dubrovnik and came right close up to Dubrovnik. I
6 said yesterday that the free territory of Dubrovnik stretched for about
7 ten or 12 kilometres, and at that point in time, the weapons that we
8 received were placed in this free stretch of land. But I underlined in
9 particular that this was not in the old town itself nor near the old town.
10 That's what I emphasised.
11 Q. You know that Mount Srdj is an area which is above the ramparts,
12 above the city walls, above the town.
13 A. Yes, I know that very well.
14 Q. And the fighting was predominantly around Mount Srdj?
15 A. Around Mount Srdj, and the town was shot at too.
16 Q. Now, let me say -- tell you what Nojko said about the 6th of
17 December attack. "All the guns -- practically all the guns that we had,
18 and did you see that on that day, all the cannons that I had in Dubrovnik
19 were directed towards Mount Srdj. In fact, the first 48 shells with which
20 we opened fire were very valuable, so we had to use them well. The
21 artillery did not have any scope. If we were allowed -- if I had allowed
22 the shelling, we would shell three grenades and then the artillery would
23 have to receive further permission to continue fire." Now, this kind of
24 firing and shooting --
25 JUDGE MAY: Let us stick with what this witness can answer. He
1 was merely a spectator, his evidence has been, of the attack, the shelling
2 of the town. Now, are you disputing, Mr. Tapuskovic, that the town was
4 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm not disputing that the town
5 was shelled, Your Honour Judge May. All I'm asking is did he see that
6 shooting was coming from the town, as Nojko Marinovic describes it? Did
7 he see shells being fired from Dubrovnik at Mount Srdj? I've been to
8 Dubrovnik many times and stood on the terrace of Hotel Argentina and you
9 can see the old part of town.
10 A. I was on the terrace of the Argentina Hotel and I did not see any
11 targeting and shooting towards Srdj because, from the Argentina Hotel, you
12 can see the area of the old town and its surrounding ramparts and parts.
13 The area of Lapad, for example, the other side, and other areas that were
14 still under our control but further away from the old city walls, you
15 could not see and control from that area.
16 Q. Could you just answer me this, please: Where is the Lero Hotel
17 situated in Dubrovnik?
18 A. Hotel Lero is Gospin Polje, which is about three kilometres away
19 from the town walls.
20 Q. And you can't see it from --
21 A. No, you can't.
22 Q. You can't see even if there's shooting coming from the hotel?
23 A. No, you can't.
24 MR. TAPUSKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Re-examined by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
1 Q. Mr. Kriste, just to start with the last question that you were
2 just asked, Mount Srdj, how many -- how much above is it of the old town?
3 What is the distance between the old town and Mount Srdj, the fort on
4 Mount Srdj?
5 A. Srdj is just above the old town. I wouldn't be able to tell you
6 exactly what the altitude is, but the old town is at the foot of Mount
8 Q. Mr. Kriste, Mr. Milosevic, in his cross-examination, put to you
9 that you were a close associate of Mr. Tudjman, and my question is: In
10 the period relevant here - that is 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 - were you a
11 close associate of Tudjman? Were you close to him?
12 A. In that period, I was not a close associate of Mr. Tudjman.
13 Q. Mr. Milosevic put to you that Mr. Tudjman's aspiration in -- were
14 actually Croatia up to the Drina River. When did he have these ideas, and
15 did he give this up at some point in time?
16 A. This idea that according to historical logic and in view of the
17 composition of the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it would be
18 logical for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be part of Croatia, this is a
19 thought he uttered at the beginning of December 1989 in a conversation I
20 had with him. He gave up that idea and never for a moment was anything
21 specific done on the part of Croatia to implement that idea.
22 Q. Mr. Milosevic cited in his cross-examination from the newspaper
23 interview, and he referred to your talks with Susak, and I would like to
24 clarify something. Did you have two conversations with Susak at different
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The first conversation with Mr. Susak, when did it take place and
3 what did he actually tell you?
4 A. The first conversation took place late in March or the beginning
5 of April 1991. That was just after our media had published the report
6 that in a border location Mr. Milosevic had met with Mr. Tudjman. In that
7 conversation, all he said to me was that he was coming from the old man,
8 meaning the leader. In answer to my question why he seemed so happy, he
9 said he was coming from the old man and that the decision had been taken
10 or agreement had been reached that Herzegovina should be annexed to
11 Croatia. I -- that was when the conversation ended. We just met and
13 Q. When you met him and he made this remark, did he in any way refer
14 to taking this territory by force?
15 A. No. No.
16 Q. Did you relate this remark to the negotiations that you had read
17 about and heard about, the negotiations between Milosevic and Tudjman?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Did the Croatian government in 1991 make any moves towards
20 annexing this part of Bosnia?
21 A. No, it didn't.
22 Q. This other conversation with Mr. Susak, when did it take place and
23 what was the context?
24 A. This was in October 1992. We met at the Split airport. In those
25 days, according to media reports, it was possible to conclude that there
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 would be an aggravation of Croato-Muslim relations. And I asked him
2 whether it was possible to do anything to ease those tensions. His
3 response was what I have already stated, that is, that --
4 Q. Yes?
5 A. -- that a unit was on the move from Prozor and that there would be
6 no prisoners taken. And I understood this to mean a true escalation of
7 poor, bad relations between the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. I
8 mean the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Bosnian Muslims.
9 Q. Mr. Milosevic referred in his cross-examination to actions of
10 General Bobetko. Those actions, were they related in any way to the
11 attack on Dubrovnik in 1991 or what was going on in Dubrovnik in 1991?
12 A. No. The two had nothing to do with one another. It was not
13 connected to what was happening in 1991 because Bobetko went to the
14 southern front in the 5th -- in May or June 1992.
15 Q. And when you say "southern front," what do you mean?
16 A. I mean the Dubrovnik area.
17 Q. Mr. Milosevic put to you that the JNA in Croatia had actually two
18 goals. The first was to protect those endangered, regardless of their
19 ethnicity; and secondly, to protect its own units that were blockaded all
20 over Croatia. Would you agree that this is -- these were the goals?
21 A. No. I do not agree that those were the goals of the JNA. The JNA
22 was actually acting as the military force of the Republic of Serbia, and
23 it was operating in Croatia with the aim of achieving the goals of that
24 policy. In fact, the Yugoslav People's Army, and especially after the war
25 in Slovenia, ceased to be that in the real sense of the word. True, it
1 retained the name of the Yugoslav People's Army, but it was already
2 becoming a Serbian army because it had been deserted by young conscripts
3 of all ethnicities, with the exception of Serbs, but also some young men
4 from Serbia. At least, in Croatia there were some Serb conscripts who
5 were deserting the army and demanding to be allowed to go home in Serbia.
6 Similarly, the command staff, that is the officers of the Yugoslav
7 People's Army who were not of Serbian ethnicity, after that war and
8 partially also before that, either left the army of their own free will or
9 were removed from responsible positions, so that the period we're talking
10 about, that is the autumn of 1991, the Yugoslav People's Army, which was
11 still called that, was in fact operating as a Serbian military force.
12 Anyway, the army ended up by being transformed into three armies,
13 and that is --
14 Q. If I can interrupt you. You have already described this. What I
15 wanted to know: Did the army protect the people regardless of their
16 ethnicity, the JNA?
17 A. The army did not protect the people regardless of their ethnicity.
18 The army was always on the side of the Serbs, and columns consisting of
19 all non-Serbs fled before the onslaught of the army as it gained control
20 over various areas.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, these are my questions.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Kriste, that concludes your evidence.
23 Thank you for coming to the International Tribunal to give it. You are
24 free to go.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I would like to raise one issue
2 in closed session in relation to the witness that will follow the next
3 one. Not Mr. Simunovic but C-013.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go into closed session.
5 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
12 MR. NICE: I trust the Chamber has --
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would just like to say for the
15 record that while I was sick in bed, I received another 40.000 pages from
16 the opposing side. I would just like this to be recorded, that I pointed
17 out at the end of the summer and before the beginning of this second part
18 that I had 115.000 pages received during the Kosovo trial for Bosnia and
19 Croatia, that I asked for time, and that you gave me, for 115.000 pages
20 and the opening statement, two weeks, considering this to be sufficient.
21 Now the figure has gone up to over 300.000 pages.
22 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to argue about this now. You had, as
23 you knew, a considerably longer period between the two parts. But we're
24 not going to discuss it now. Let's hear the witness's evidence, and then
25 if you've got any applications about new material, we'll certainly hear
1 them in due course. We will allow time for it. But let's hear the
2 witness now.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
5 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic. We're going to get on with the
7 evidence and then we'll come back to these procedural matters.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But you haven't answered my
9 objection having to do with receiving the documents in my own language. I
10 am given statements by Serbs, Muslims in English.
11 JUDGE MAY: We'll come to this. We'll come to this, but now we've
12 got a witness. Let's hear his evidence. He's waiting. Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Milosevic. Unless you've got an application
15 about this particular witness, we're going to hear his evidence.
16 Let the witness take the declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
20 WITNESS: IVO SIMUNOVIC
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we'll hear your application later in
23 the morning.
24 Yes, Mr. Nice.
25 Examined by Mr. Nice:
1 Q. Is your full name Ivo Simunovic; were you born in April 1950; you
2 are a Croat; you went through school and college in Dubrovnik; you did
3 national service between 1974 and 1975, continuing thereafter as a reserve
4 officer, completing reserve service in 1982?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You were a businessman in Dubrovnik for some 16 years, between
7 1975 and the outbreak of war in 1991. And in August of 1991, you joined
8 the local Croatian Territorial Defence, being one of a limited number of
9 reserve officers available for service with the Croatian defence forces in
11 A. Yes. Could I please receive the Croatian interpretation.
12 MR. NICE: Mr. Simunovic does in fact speak good English, but
13 obviously his evidence must be given in --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It's fine now.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Picking up on the last point, the Croatian Territorial Defence you
17 joined in August 1991, to what extent did it have weapons? What type of
18 weapons, if any?
19 A. The Croatian defence had little weapons in 1991. It is well known
20 that the weapons of the Territorial Defence of Dubrovnik were stored in
21 Duzi, a village in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so that we
22 couldn't get hold of those weapons.
23 Q. Did you have any heavy weapons? Did you have sidearms?
24 A. In those days, no.
25 Q. Dealing with the social situation in Dubrovnik generally and very
1 briefly, did the Serb population of Dubrovnik constitute about 6 per cent
2 of the total?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was there any history of ethnic tension in the Dubrovnik area? If
5 not, what was the relations like between Croats and Serbs generally?
6 A. There were no ethnic tensions whatsoever. Relations were good.
7 Q. As things deteriorated in Croatia, so far as you could judge, was
8 there an expectation that Dubrovnik would be involved or an expectation
9 that it would be an exception and not be involved?
10 A. At first we thought that it would bypass us and that we wouldn't
11 be involved. However, as things developed in the republics of the former
12 state, we soon realised that we -- our turn would come very soon too.
13 Q. What, if any, was the defining event or the turning point in the
14 expectation of people in Dubrovnik as to what would happen to them?
15 A. Primarily the events around Vukovar.
16 Q. As a result of those events, did people in Dubrovnik take steps to
17 defend themselves?
18 A. The population of Dubrovnik at the time didn't do anything.
19 However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs did take certain steps at the
21 Q. Were you one of those who got involved?
22 A. I joined on the 22nd of August, through the Territorial Defence.
23 Q. A few words about military background and the general military
24 position in 1991. You've told us that Territorial Defence weapons were
25 stored elsewhere. Did that follow demilitarisation of the town or the old
1 town in 1969 when the old town became a UNESCO protected site?
2 A. The protected -- the old town was proclaimed a monument of culture
3 as opposed to the rest of Dubrovnik, which was not part of this heritage
4 and protection area, protected area.
5 Q. Was it at this time that the weapons you've spoken about went to
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were there any JNA facilities in the old town of Dubrovnik?
9 A. Before the aggression, no. And during the aggression, there
10 weren't any either, if you mean units of the Croatian army. There were no
11 units of the Croatian army in the protected part of the old town of
13 Q. Were there any such units in the wider area of Dubrovnik before
14 the aggression started?
15 A. There were only on the part of the so-called Yugoslav People's
17 Q. As of late August or September 1991, were there different groups
18 involved with defence of the region, including the Croatian National
19 Guard, the Territorial Defence, and the police?
20 A. Yes. The National Guards were part of the Ministry of the
21 Interior, units of the special police and the Territorial Defence which
22 later joined to come under a single command and became the so-called armed
23 forces of the Republic of Croatia.
24 Q. Continuing with the position before they combined, at that early
25 stage, what sort of number of men were involved in the various groups and
1 what sort of weapons were available to them?
2 A. At the beginning, there were about 200 soldiers, and all they had
3 were so-called long-barrel personal weapons.
4 Q. In your judgement, how efficient and organised was the National
5 Guard at this early stage?
6 A. If you're referring to the National Guards Corps, they were a
7 small unit in the process of formation. They didn't have any experience,
8 not even military experience.
9 Q. And your judgement on the Territorial Defence, of which you were a
10 part, as to its preparedness to fight and so on.
11 A. The Territorial Defence was better prepared due to the very fact
12 that officers joined who had all been reserve officers in the former army,
13 so we had some knowledge which we were able to put to use for the defence.
14 Q. Had there been, again in August, early September of 1991, had
15 anything been done to establish defensive positions to take care for any
16 JNA offensive?
17 A. In those days, since it was within the competence of the police
18 administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva region, they built some obstacles
19 along certain routes.
20 Q. Anything beyond that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. At roughly the same time but probably a bit earlier, had a Crisis
23 Staff been formed in Dubrovnik to deal with civilian issues?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So far as you're aware, did that have any military component to it
1 or not?
2 A. No, it didn't.
3 Q. Let's turn, please, to General Marinovic. Who was he? What role
4 did he take? What did he do, in summary?
5 A. General Marinovic joined the Croatian army, or the armed forces of
6 the Republic of Croatia, on the 17th of September, 1991. He came from
7 Trebinje, and in Trebinje, he had been commander of the JNA garrison; a
8 Croat by ethnicity.
9 Q. What did he do? What did he achieve in Dubrovnik?
10 A. His first assignment upon coming to Dubrovnik was to unite all
11 these small forces to form a single unit under his own command.
12 Q. Was he successful in doing that?
13 A. Very successful.
14 Q. What was the overall strategy that he and those of you working
15 with him formed?
16 A. The strategy in those days consisted exclusively of how to defend
17 ourselves, how to defend Dubrovnik, that is the territory of the former
18 municipality of Dubrovnik, which stretched from Montenegro to Ston.
19 Q. And what was judged to be the best method of defending yourselves
20 against attack?
21 A. We had good assessments, but we didn't have the necessary
22 resources to be able to act according to our assessments. And I primarily
23 mean that we lacked weapons.
24 Q. To what extent did delay play any part in the strategy that you
1 A. It had a major impact, because we had tried to prepare ourselves
2 for what we knew would happen already in mid-September. That is, an
3 attack on our municipality. And our strategy was to try and prepare
4 ourselves as well as possible for that and to arm ourselves as well as
6 Q. Between September 1991 and December 1991, can you approximate the
7 number of men involved in defending Dubrovnik and its region.
8 A. Roughly 300, not counting the regular police.
9 Q. Was that a figure that fluctuated or was it stable?
10 A. The number fluctuated downwards and upwards with time.
11 Q. Did that number of men constitute an equal match for what the JNA
12 had available or not?
13 A. It wasn't an equal match.
14 Q. What degree was there inequality?
15 A. In the types of weapons and in the numerical strength.
16 Q. Was there any intention - paragraph 14 - to defensively against
17 the JNA at any time?
18 A. There were no such intentions.
19 Q. Dealing with the old town, what, if any, was the policy as to the
20 storage or use of weapons on or from the old town?
21 A. If you are referring to the protected part of the town of
22 Dubrovnik, there were absolutely no possibilities. And also, the order
23 was that soldiers or units could not be present in the protected old town
24 of Dubrovnik, as opposed to other parts of Dubrovnik where we functioned
1 Q. Before the first attack on Dubrovnik, can you give us, please, an
2 estimate of what weaponry was available to you, what weaponry you'd been
3 able to obtain, if any, from elsewhere. Did you have any heavy weaponry
4 before these attacks?
5 A. In the second half of September, we managed to procure from the
6 island of Korcula three guns, 96-millimetre calibre, which had been left
7 behind by the Yugoslav People's Army when they withdrew from that island.
8 However, those guns had no sights and covers which meant that they were
9 almost useless. And these were the only heavy weapons that we had in
10 Dubrovnik prior to the 1st of October.
11 Q. Light weaponry, what was available?
12 A. In limited quantities.
13 Q. Let's turn to the night of the 30th of September, 1991.
14 MR. NICE: May I produce through the witness another map, part of
15 your Exhibit 326. May it become tab 14. The Chamber will have seen this
16 area before, but for convenience we can look at it on this particular map.
17 It shows an area south of Dubrovnik including the Bay of Kotor and the
18 Prevlaka peninsula.
19 Q. On the 30th of September, where were you by reference to this map?
20 What did you see, please?
21 A. On the 30th of September and earlier too --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the microphone be switched on, please, the
23 other microphone.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 30th of the September and
25 prior to that date, I was in the area of Vitaljina, that is the Prevlaka
1 peninsula between Molunat and the Ostropina at Prevlaka.
2 A couple of days earlier, I had also toured our positions in
3 Vitaljina, and I went to look and see what was going on there. And I
4 noticed -- but I must point out that all the days prior to the 30th, fire
5 was opened on us from these heights on the side of the Republic of
6 Montenegro. That is where the Yugoslav army was positioned. But luckily,
7 we were not hit. But I must say that on the 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th,
8 battleships were shelling this area of Vitaljina. But what I do wish to
9 underline was that the 30th, the Yugoslav Army, from these heights on the
10 Montenegrin side of the border, used light bullets to shell the area of
11 the Prevlaka that were being captured by the JNA. Of course, they were
12 not hitting them, but looking at the map, it is to the left.
13 How can I judge? Because they were using these light bullets, and
14 it was easy to see.
15 Q. I realise there's a problem with the microphone, but if you could
16 please use the pointer and just without commentary because of the
17 microphone problem point out on the map where you were, roughly.
18 A. [Indicates]
19 Q. Where the JNA was firing from.
20 A. [Indicates]
21 Q. And where it was firing to. What was it hitting?
22 A. [Indicates]
23 Q. So that's the area just off the peninsula to the north. Thank you
24 very much.
25 But before that, there had also been shelling from the sea and
1 onto Croatian territory from --
2 A. There were, from patrol boats. Molunat, starting from the 26th
3 and on the 27th and on the 29th.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Tracer bullets, not
5 light bullets.
6 MR. NICE: Can we look at the next exhibit, which will become 336,
7 15. Sorry. 336 IS. Beg your pardon. This is a copy from our atlas
8 which the witness has marked in preparation to save time.
9 Q. In summary, please, Mr. Simunovic, using this map -- if we can get
10 a microphone that works so he can use the overhead projector, so much the
11 better but if it doesn't, it doesn't. In a good loud voice - perhaps the
12 microphone will pick you up - could you explain, please, what happened on
13 the 1st of October.
14 A. I'll begin regardless of the fact that I'm not receiving any
16 On the 1st of October, from several directions, there was an
17 attack on the former municipality of Dubrovnik from the access of the
18 Prevlaka area at the Talina [phoen] and from the direction of Sutorina,
19 towards Debeli Brijeg, and from the direction of the town to the village
20 of Dubravci. From the direction of the town, as I said, towards the
21 village of Dubravci, and from the Trebinje direction towards the hills of
22 Konavle, and from the Trebinje area towards Brgat, as well as from Hum,
23 which is the Trebinjsko Polje area, towards Osojnik. And then we have
24 another axis, the direction towards Ston and Slano, from Orahovo down
25 there towards Slano. And that was also the axis towards Cepikuce that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 happened the next day, because on the first day of the attack, the 1st of
2 October --
3 Q. [Previous translation continues]... to some degree you've used
4 terms that are slightly different from those on the legend of the map.
5 The seven lines shown on the map, 1 to 7, do those indicate the lines of
6 attack that you've been telling us about?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Please carry on.
9 A. We also have another line of attack from the sea and a line of
10 attack from the air.
11 Q. They haven't been translated; those are numbers 8 and 9 on the
13 A. Nine, that's right.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simunovic. So involved in this attack was the
15 army, navy, and the air force. Before we move on, one matter that I ought
16 to have dealt with about the night of the 30th of September: The firing
17 of the JNA, was it all onto Croatian territory or was there any firing of
18 the JNA onto what was itself a JNA position?
19 A. The JNA, at the time, was located on Croatian territory, and the
20 Prevlaka peninsula is part of Croatian territory. However, that's where
21 there was a unit of the Yugoslav People's Army, a JNA position.
22 Q. Was that fired on by the JNA from elsewhere?
23 A. No. It did not respond to that.
24 Q. Was there firing onto that JNA unit on Croatian territory?
25 A. If you mean from the positions in Vitaljina which were held by the
1 Croatian policemen, no, it was not fired at.
2 Q. Let's move back to the 1st of October and to the attack you
3 summarised on the map. What were the Croatian defence forces able to do
4 in response to this attack?
5 A. As what was happening was happening, the Croatian forces did try
6 to prevent it, to prevent the breakthrough and advance of the Yugoslav
7 People's Army along these lines, these axes. The composition of the
8 Yugoslav army, which was advancing along these nine lines of attack
9 towards the former Dubrovnik municipality, was as follows: We had
10 fighting against us, the Hercegovina Corps. Then there was the Podgorina
11 Battalion, Podgora Battalion, the Valjevo Battalion, the battalion from
12 Radovici, the guns from Danilovgrad, the tank battalion, the air force -
13 and the planes were coming from Podgorica and Mostar - the navy from the
14 navy military district, and then there was a helicopter unit from
16 And when you see this whole composition, it numbered between 6.000
17 and 8.000 men, soldiers. When you look at the strength of it all, the
18 strength that they used to deploy in the area and attack the area, it is
19 frightening. However, at that time, we weren't that frightened. We
20 didn't allow ourselves to be frightened. So they advanced very slowly,
21 disproportionately to the amount of strength and manpower that they had at
22 their disposal, in fact.
23 Q. And could you, by reference to the map, show to what degree you
24 were forced back from the areas you previously held or areas you
25 previously occupied.
1 A. From the direction of the Vitaljina Prevlaka, the forces of the
2 Yugoslav People's Army, in the space of three days, arrived to join up
3 with the forces of Sutorina Gruda, those that moved from Sutorina towards
4 and advanced on Gruda. The village of Ban in this eastern area of Konavle
5 fell or, rather, was burnt down and looted on the 3rd. That means three
6 days, it took three days for that army to take control of these 20-odd
7 kilometres. And they drew three front lines moving towards the Dubrovnik
8 airport, which was rocketed first on the 6th and only on the 10th were the
9 military forces able to enter. Cilipi, the airport, and Cilipi were also
10 burnt down, and reached Dubrovnik. On the 15th, the forces of the
11 Yugoslav People's Army reached Cavtat, so it took them a full 15 days to
12 unite, to conjoin with the other axes from Herzegovina in order to reach
13 Cavtat on the 15th.
14 Q. Pausing there. In the course of that, was one enemy tank
15 destroyed in Konavle? If so, how?
16 A. Yes, it was, by a hand -- by a mortar.
17 Q. Thank you. So far as the attack from the north was concerned,
18 what success did that have? What success did you have in slowing it down?
19 A. Twenty-four days the forces needed from Trebinje to take control
20 of the village of Brgat above Dubrovnik. They needed a full 24 days. And
21 they took control of it when they descended upon Kupari and when the units
22 of the Trebinje Corps joined up with the Hercegovina Corps and the units
23 that were moving from the sea. Only at that point did Brgat fall.
24 Q. In the course of this attack or these attacks, did the JNA limit
25 its attack to military targets or were civilians, in your experience and
1 judgement, ever involved?
2 A. In that part, the fewest soldiers were killed. We were in charge
3 of protecting that company of ours, but outside all military regulations,
4 the civilians were killed, their houses were looted and burnt.
5 Let me also mention that along this line of attack, the Yugoslav
6 air force took part in it as well as the navy.
7 Q. As a result of the attack, did civilians seek refuge in the old
8 town of Dubrovnik?
9 A. The civilians or part of the civilians from Konavle were put up in
10 the Croatcia Hotel, and part of them fled and took refuge in the town of
11 Dubrovnik proper.
12 MR. NICE: May we now have another map, Exhibit 326, to become tab
13 13? It's slightly -- it's already in evidence. Thank you very much. It
14 may not be the strongest picture, but if the Chamber would like to have an
15 A3-size map, I think they've got that. It shows a number of features that
16 are perhaps important to know just a little about.
17 Q. Can you point out, please, to us so we all know where it is, the
18 old town just so that we're sure what we're looking at.
19 A. It is a protected area. The old town of Dubrovnik is located
20 here. That's the circle. And Dubrovnik starts with Belvedere and ends
21 right over here. So this whole area is considered to be the area of the
22 town of Dubrovnik.
23 Q. We can see Rijeka Dubrovacka running in from the sea. That
24 becomes significant later north of Dubrovnik. Immediately north of
25 Dubrovnik we can see a little oblong box marked "Srdj." Can you just tell
1 us about that, please. S-r-d [sic] on the map.
2 A. This is a fortification.
3 Q. And we're going to see a --
4 A. This is the fortress, the fortification in which the television
5 communications and links were --
6 Q. Very well --
7 A. -- set up.
8 Q. We'll see a fleeting picture of this in a video a little later,
9 but as the map shows, it's high above the town, and I think it's an
10 ancient fortification.
11 Over to the north or north -- north-west of that, there's a place
12 called Strincera. Tell us about that, please.
13 A. Strincera. That is the next fortification up on the Srdj plateau.
14 Q. Thank you very much. There's one other site that we may want but
15 it's off the map, so we'll come to that in the course of the narrative.
16 Tell us, please, in summary, about the attack and events on the
17 23rd of October.
18 A. On the 23rd of October, the units of the Yugoslav army joined up
19 from the Trebinje direction and Konavle, and looking at that date, that
20 was the first open attack on the town of Dubrovnik. But we forgot to say
21 that when the attack on Dubrovnik was launched on the 1st of October, that
22 the planes targeting the Srdj -- Mount Srdj and destroyed the transformer
23 station and TV lines so that Dubrovnik had neither electricity or water as
24 of the 3rd of October.
25 By linking up -- to go back to what we were saying, by linking up
1 the troops, the attack was launched on Mount Srdj. That is to say an
2 attack on civilian targets in the town of Dubrovnik itself.
3 Q. Were you expecting an attack on the old town or were you surprised
4 by it?
5 A. We were not expecting it. May I have the interpretation, please?
6 We were not expecting an attack on this protected area as a cultural
7 monument in the old part of town.
8 Q. And on the 23rd and through to the 24th, what sort of targets were
9 focused on by the JNA? Did they include civilian targets? If so, which?
10 A. In most cases, they were exclusively civilian targets. And in
11 what I said earlier on, I said that we didn't have many military units, so
12 that they were deployed over a broad area. We had to space them out. And
13 they were targeted, they were shot -- civilian facilities, houses,
14 settlements were shot at and targeted.
15 Q. What about the harbour and its boats? What about the hospital?
16 A. The hospital was also targeted, regardless of the fact that it was
17 displaying the International Red Cross emblem. This happened, and
18 unfortunately, there was a direct television broadcast over
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina television showing the army from Osojnik targeting
20 civilian facilities in Dubrovnik.
21 Q. Boats; and if they were in a harbour, where was the harbour?
22 Point it out for us, please.
23 A. Throughout the duration of the aggression against Dubrovnik, the
24 ships of the Yugoslav People's Army were attacking the town itself, Lapad
25 and this area here, the Lapad peninsula. And they launched their attack
1 with the ammunition, fragmentation bullets, and guns were also used and
3 Q. By the 1st of November, where had the JNA reached in its attack?
4 A. By the 1st of November, it had reached the positions here. That
5 is to say, the villages behind Dubrovnik were emptied of the inhabitants,
6 and they reached Petrovo Selo and Osojnik. It is even more northerly than
7 you can see on the map. That was on the 1st of November.
8 Q. Is there an area called Zarkovica?
9 A. Unfortunately, it's not on this map, but it should be to the right
10 of the village of Bosanska, another two kilometres from there. And they
11 took control of that.
12 Q. And does Zarkovica have high ground? If so, how high, with what
13 view over the old town?
14 A. Zarkovica, in fact, dominates part of the town of Dubrovnik. And
15 from Zarkovica, you can't see just a portion of the Gruz harbour. And it
16 is at an altitude of about 300 metres.
17 Q. When you say you can't see a portion of the Gruz harbour, do you
18 mean you can see everything else except a portion of the Gruz harbour?
19 A. That's right, yes.
20 MR. NICE: And the Chamber will see that Gruz harbour is the limb
21 of the water immediately north-west of the town, coming off the Rijeka
22 Dubrovacka. You can see Luka Gruz mentioned.
23 Q. On the highway, did they reach a place called Dubac?
24 A. Yes. And that's where they stopped.
25 Q. I think we may have mentioned already Mokosica on the Rijeka
1 Dubrovacka. Just point that out for us again.
2 A. It is a housing settlement in the Dubrovacka Rijeka; Stara and
3 Nova Mokosica.
4 Q. And from this point on, was Dubrovnik, as you've shown us really
5 by what you've pointed out, effectively surrounded?
6 A. Well, from that point onwards, Dubrovnik was surrounded as far as
7 the town of Dubrovnik itself is concerned. However, Dubrovnik was cut
8 across when the place called Slano was taken control of. Our
9 communications were cut off. And with the advent of November, Dubrovnik
10 was actually under siege, surrounded.
11 Q. Did the JNA have all the high ground except the one point that
12 you've already told us about, Mount Srdj?
13 A. Yes. The Yugoslav army held under its control everything but
14 Srdj; Sinjova [phoen] and Zarkovica and the village of Osojnik to the
15 north-west of Gruz harbour.
16 Q. We'll see Mount Srdj remained untaken for a combination of reasons
17 and a bit of good luck. Tell us what happened between the 10th and 13th
18 of November, please, in a couple of sentences.
19 A. On the 10th and 13th of November, there was an attack on
20 Dubrovnik, of Mount Srdj and the entire Dubrovnik area, and the Yugoslav
21 army, this was one ever its attempt to enter Dubrovnik. They were
22 prevented from doing so and we know the outcome of the previous one. They
23 did not succeed in their intention to take control of Srdj hill, Mount
24 Srdj and the fortress at Srdj, but we had serious civilian casualties
25 during that attack.
1 Q. Very well. We've moved to November and detailed some particular
2 attacks, but had negotiations for the cease-fire, or a cease-fire, started
3 as early as the 18th of October, and were you a member of the negotiating
4 team acting in that capacity on the orders of General Marinovic?
5 A. I joined on the 18th of October, joined in the negotiations as a
6 representative of the Croatian army on the negotiating team composed of
7 Mr. Nikola Obuljen and Mr. Djuro Kolic. We discussed -- we tried in a
8 certain way to gain time and to show the international community what was
9 going on, because the international community was always present at the
10 meetings. We tried to show them what the situation was like around
11 Dubrovnik, and we tried to explain to the other side, that is to say the
12 Yugoslav army, what they were doing there, and who were they defending us
13 from, defending us from themselves and that they had no place there.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there were many meetings. In order to
16 save time but to enable the witness to be asked questions on detail, if
17 it's appropriate and anybody wants to, we have reduced the summary of
18 negotiations into a chart. May I produce that, please. One for the
19 witness, please.
20 May it be given an exhibit number? Mr. Simunovic -- may this have
21 an exhibit number, please.
22 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Prosecutor's Exhibit number 371, Your
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. Mr. Simunovic, does this chart which you have had prepared or has
1 been prepared from information you've provided reflect in summary form the
2 dates, locations, and composition of cease-fire meetings?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You can see that they were on an almost daily basis, to begin with
5 all in Cavtat, later in other locations including Cavtat.
6 In the course of these meetings - and I want to deal with most of
7 this in very general terms - did you make complaints about the shelling of
8 the old town?
9 A. The first point on the agenda of our negotiations and at every
10 meeting was military matters, and in it we presented everything that had
11 to do with the actions taken by the Yugoslav army against civilian targets
12 in the Dubrovnik town area.
13 Q. What, if there was a general response, was the general response of
14 the JNA to that?
15 A. The meetings would usually evolve in the same way; they would
16 refute it, and they would also threaten us at those same meetings. And at
17 one particular meeting, they said that if we shot one single shell, they
18 would retaliate with tens of shells against the town of Dubrovnik.
19 Q. What, if any, excuse did they give for shelling the old town?
20 A. Well, quite simply, at that time they gave us no excuse or
21 explanation. They explained this away by saying that there were a large
22 number of military facilities deployed in our town, so that after this
23 same meeting, both we and them would have a good laugh.
24 Q. Is there any truth in their suggestion that there were such units
25 deployed in the old town?
1 A. Well, the Croatian units were, of course, in the Croatian town of
2 Dubrovnik. However, nobody gives anybody the right to target civilian
3 targets and facilities. The military facilities that were targeted, we
4 didn't discuss those. All we wanted to discuss and stop was the killing
5 of civilians and targeting of civilians in the Dubrovnik area and further
6 afield in the surrounding parts too.
7 MR. NICE: Your Honours, one more question out of paragraph 26,
8 seeing the time.
9 Q. Apart from these meetings, did you have the ability to contact the
10 JNA directly during attacks? Did you contact them? If so, with what
11 request and what was their response?
12 A. Yes, we were able to contact them directly. We had a direct line,
13 direct communications through the maritime radio and also through the
14 phone, telephone connections. And we would contact them, and I talked to
15 quite a number of senior officials and officers when the attacks took
16 place, but the attack would not cease until, I assumed, the target they
17 had in mind was hit.
18 Q. And what -- we're talking about your making these contacts and
19 making complaints. Of what were you complaining in particular?
20 A. We were complaining about the artillery fire targeting civilian
22 JUDGE MAY: This is a convenient time. We will adjourn now.
23 Mr. Simunovic, we're going to adjourn for 20 minutes. In this
24 adjournment and any others there may be during your evidence, would you
25 remember not to speak to anybody about it until it's over, and that does
1 include members of the prosecuting team.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE MAY: Twenty minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we must take some time this morning to deal
7 with the application made by the accused about some extra material being
8 served on him.
9 MR. NICE: I'm getting the detail of that provided, and I'll be in
10 a position to deal with it sometime in the next session.
11 JUDGE MAY: If you would, please. Yes.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Mr. Simunovic --
14 MR. NICE: Paragraph 27, Your Honour.
15 Q. Mr. Simunovic, in your face-to-face or telephone contacts with the
16 JNA negotiators or other officers, did they ever complain about inability
17 to communicate with those in the field or up their chain of command?
18 A. The Yugoslav army had a chain of command which meant that nothing
19 could happen by chance or outside that chain of command.
20 Q. Did these particular officers ever allege to you that they were
21 having any difficulties with the standard methods of communication with
22 which you were familiar?
23 A. In the official part of our meetings, no. But after the meetings
24 or before the meetings, the atmosphere was quite different.
25 Q. What did they say then?
1 A. That we had to understand them.
2 Q. Did your radio intercepts, or did the intercepts you made of their
3 radio transmissions, reveal whether they had any difficulties with their
4 normal chains of command or not?
5 A. No, they didn't.
6 Q. So generally would it appear -- did it appear to you that those
7 with whom you were negotiating would have been able to contact those who
8 were at the front line?
9 A. Certainly they would.
10 Q. And how far up the chain of command -- in your experience as a
11 reserve officer, how far up the chain of command would communications
12 about an attack of this kind have gone?
13 A. Certainly the top leadership made the decisions, and they were
14 just those who carried them out.
15 Q. When you say the top leadership, whereabouts would the top
16 leadership be located?
17 A. From the General Staff towards the units on the ground.
18 Q. The General Staff being located in which town?
19 A. In Belgrade.
20 Q. Do you have any doubts about whether communications that you
21 intercepted or that you heard about with your negotiators would have
22 reached Belgrade?
23 A. We listened in in the zone of responsibility within Dubrovnik
24 municipality, so we didn't have access to communications beyond the Boka
25 area and the Hercegovina Corps.
1 Q. I understand that, but from your general knowledge of how
2 communications worked and what you've told us, do you have any reason to
3 doubt that in fact the communications went, as appropriate, to and from
5 A. No. There was no reason.
6 Q. I'm going to deal with the next paragraph as swiftly as I can.
7 A few individuals: Svicevic, was one of the JNA negotiators, a
8 psychiatrist by background. You've told us already of a ten-to-one
9 threat. Was he the man who made that observation?
10 A. Colonel Svicevic, who in those days conducted the negotiations in
11 the Supetar Hotel in Cavtat, at negotiations attended by representatives
12 of the European Community, said the following: "In response to each of
13 your shells, we will fire ten of ours." So in those days, the shells were
14 flying over our heads, and the representative of the European Community
15 counted them, but he couldn't bring any influence to bear over those
17 Q. And this ten-to-one threat, what type of shells were you firing
18 and what type of shells were the JNA responding with?
19 A. We first defended ourselves, and in our defence we did use
20 82-millimetre mortars, and they responded with howitzer guns of 155 and
21 130-millimetre calibre, exclusively shooting at civilian targets in the
22 town of Dubrovnik.
23 Q. Was the same Colonel Svicevic the negotiator on the 19th of
24 November where a cease-fire was being pressed for, including by the
25 international representatives?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, he was.
2 Q. There had been fire coming from land-based positions in Konavle
3 and from Trebinje as well as from the sea. And did Svicevic eventually
4 concede to the cease-fire that was being pressed on him?
5 A. Yes. He agreed. He signed it. The author of the document was
6 the then minister in the French government, Bernard Kouchner, but he
7 signed it without having been authorised to do so, and he didn't appear
8 again at the negotiations.
9 Q. As you understood it, the reason he was removed from the
10 negotiations was what?
11 A. Due to the very fact that he didn't have the authority, the
12 authorisation, to sign that document.
13 Q. Was he then replaced as lead negotiator by a retired Belgrade
14 colonel, part of whose name is Radojevic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How serious was he in attempting to achieve negotiation, as you
17 judged it?
18 A. He was appointed merely as a figurehead. An elderly gentleman who
19 couldn't find his bearings in time or space, he had been called back from
20 retirement. He had probably been reactivated. However, other men really
21 conducted the negotiations.
22 Q. Was one of those men called Sofronije Jeremic, a Frigate Captain?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Though a mere captain, your impression was that he was in fact
25 acting in what capacity?
1 A. Frigate Captain Sofronije Jeremic was a top-level intelligence
2 officer in the Yugoslav army.
3 Q. Finally, on the topic of negotiations, after the next attack on
4 Dubrovnik to which we'll turn, were you aware on the 5th of December of
5 negotiations between Croatian ministers and Admiral Jokic about which you
6 can answer questions, if asked?
7 A. Yes, I was aware of it.
8 Q. Before the next attack, on the 6th of December, had you
9 intercepted JNA radio communication relating to a forthcoming attack?
10 A. On the 3rd of December, at the command post in Kupari, a decision
11 was taken on another attack on Dubrovnik, and we intercepted their radio
12 communications in which they were informing their units that the army had
13 received approval for attack, an attack on Dubrovnik. So before the
14 Croatian negotiators arrived in Cavtat. And at that same time, Admiral
15 Brovet had negotiated -- arranged the meeting. When I say "at the
16 same time," I mean that same day.
17 Q. Very well. Shall we turn next to the attack on the 6th of
18 December. I've been using the world "old town" but I think you prefer to
19 describe the old town as "the monument" or "protected monument"; is that
21 A. Yes. We were there to protect human lives, human lives in Lapad,
22 Gruz, Ploce, and in the old town in Mokosica was of equal value.
23 Q. Very well. The attack on the 6th of December, can you remember
24 what hour it started, how long it lasted?
25 A. The attack started at 5.55 or 57 minutes, and it lasted until the
2 Q. Was this an attack on the old town or the protected monument, as
3 you call it, or was it more widely focused?
4 A. It was first focused on the Srdj fortress. However, at 0700
5 hours, a part of the attack turned towards the town of Dubrovnik itself,
6 including the historical monument of Dubrovnik.
7 Q. Well, to what extent were civilians subject of attack or subject
8 to targeting?
9 A. The very fact that about 30 civilians were killed on that day and
10 not a single soldier speak for themselves.
11 Q. The positions from which the attack came gave what sort of view of
12 the old town with what sort of opportunity to see whether it was civilians
13 who were suffering or not?
14 A. They could indeed see. They set out from a couple of positions.
15 First, they had artillery preparation that was coming from Konavle and
16 Carina, which is on the border of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with howitzer guns
17 of 150 centimetres, and then with 130 millimetre shells - this was
18 artillery attacks - and then infantry attacks started towards the Srdj
20 The forward command post, as it was called, was at the plateau of
21 Zarkovica, and the person who coordinated the attack was a battleship
22 captain Milan Zec who was at the forward command post, according to the
23 terms they used.
24 Q. Did you complain about this attack and what was --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Mike, please.
1 MR. NICE: I'm sorry.
2 Q. Did you complain about this attack? Did Jokic have something to
3 say about it?
4 A. We established contact for Minister Jurak with Admiral Jokic on
5 two occasions, who first denied the events around Dubrovnik, saying that
6 he knew nothing about them, and then in the third conversation with Mr.
7 Rudolf, he said he would do everything for the attack to stop, but this
8 was four hours into the attack.
9 JUDGE MAY: Help us with this, would you, Mr. Simunovic: What
10 was your position? We know that you were a member of the Territorial
11 Defence. Can you tell us what your position was and what you were doing
12 on the 6th of December.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was a member of the command for
14 the defence of Dubrovnik. In those days, we didn't just perform our own
15 tasks but everything else as well. In fact, I was even one of the
16 assistant commanders, that is, of General Marinovic. I had a colonel --
17 the rank of colonel in the Croatian army, head of the information service,
18 and in those days, I also formed the military police in Dubrovnik.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. It says -- the transcript obviously needs correcting. Four hours
22 into the attack that Jokic said the attack would stop. Did it stop
23 immediately after he said it would stop, or did it carry on after that?
24 A. It didn't stop immediately but about an hour later. But there was
25 sporadic shelling of Dubrovnik even after the official cease-fire.
1 Q. The following day, did the JNA admit or deny that damage was done?
2 A. The next day, at negotiations which I did not attend, they did not
3 deny those events in Dubrovnik. And at that joint meeting at which, in
4 quotation marks, the agreement on a cease-fire was signed, they requested
5 that permission be given, following orders from General Kadijevic, for two
6 officers of the Yugoslav People's Army to visit Dubrovnik and a cameraman
7 from Belgrade, for them to see for themselves the truth of the
8 allegations, that is, whether Dubrovnik had been shelled or not.
9 Q. And I think we needn't take this in any detail. You were the
10 officer who went and, in circumstances that may have been rather alarming,
11 met the JNA officers on the Rijeka Dubrovacka, took them back, I think, to
12 the old town where they, in plain clothes, videoed the damage that could
13 be seen, and a cameraman working for your units took a video of the same
14 objects they were seeing, so that we're in a position to play, in a couple
15 of minutes, the video that was taken on your behalf, the video from time
16 to time showing the JNA video operators filming the same things that you
17 were also filming; is that correct?
18 A. Regarding this video recording that we made, I can say that that
19 is so. But the other one I haven't seen. It was made by the JNA.
20 Q. Before we come to that, there's Exhibit 370, tab 3, excerpt 15, I
21 think queued up in the video booth. And if it is, it's a very short clip
22 from the video seen yesterday. The Chamber, I hope, has the transcript
23 before it. If we could just see that minute or so of video played, this
24 witness can identify the person speaking. So Exhibit 370, tab 3, excerpt
25 15, please.
1 [Videotape played]
2 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This is part of the scenario that
3 was prepared from the beginning and is now being implemented.
4 Endeavouring to accuse the Yugoslav People's Army of failing to respect
5 monuments of culture and the world cultural heritage such as the old town
6 of Dubrovnik was, they prepared and are preparing in the town itself mine
7 pits which they are activating, upon which they are issuing reports that
8 the Yugoslav People's Army is shelling the old town."
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Two points: Do you recognise the person speaking?
11 That's all we need from that. Thank you very much.
12 A. No, I didn't recognise him.
13 Q. Any truth in what he was saying?
14 A. No.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, just give me a minute.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Did you see a longer excerpt yesterday?
19 MR. NICE: It appears, Your Honour, we've actually got the wrong
21 Q. Were you shown a longer film yesterday of various people speaking
22 about events in Dubrovnik, various JNA people? Was there one of those
23 soldiers who you did identify or were able to identify?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Who was it?
1 A. General Damjanovic.
2 Q. And what position did he hold? In what circumstances did you meet
4 A. He was a deputy commander of the Hercegovina Corps with the rank
5 of colonel, and the commander of the Hercegovina Corps had the rank of
7 Q. Did you see anything of or have anything to do with Damjanovic in
8 the course of negotiations or in the course of these attacks on Dubrovnik,
9 or did you know him from before?
10 A. I didn't know General Damjanovic from before. We met in November
11 in Mokosica in Dubrovnik. He headed the negotiating team in Mokosica.
12 Q. In the video that you saw of him yesterday, if you can remember,
13 what was it that he was saying? If not, we'll try and find it before the
14 end of your testimony in order that you can deal with it. Can you
15 remember what he was saying on the video?
16 A. I don't remember?
17 MR. NICE: Let's move, then, to the longer video. It's, I think,
18 ten or 15 minutes, but it shows the damage to Dubrovnik, and it, I think,
19 is probably worth expending that much time on it.
20 May it be given an exhibit number, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: It's Prosecutor's Exhibit 372.
22 MR. NICE: When the video booth is ready, can they start playing
23 it. And I'd ask that the witness give some commentary as we're going
24 along, but I'll try and trigger by the odd question the commentary he
25 should make.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Tell us as we're going along, please, Mr. Simunovic, what we're
5 A. The church of St. Vlaho in the old part of town.
6 Q. You see damage there to the balustrade?
7 A. Yes. The entrance to the church of St. Vlaho. The damaged
8 plaster and the fence destroyed. A shell that fell on Stradun.
9 Q. This is all in the old town or monument?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Here?
12 A. A street. And this gentleman to the right was the cameraman from
13 Belgrade who was sent upon instructions from General Kadijevic.
14 A shell hit. This is one of the officers of the Yugoslav army.
15 This is a second officer. We identified one of him. His name is Dragisa
16 Perisic, a lawyer, a colonel by rank, coming from Kumbor, and this other
17 one probably came from Belgrade. Again, this is Stradun and the shell
18 that fell there. Roofs. There were few that remained intact.
19 Q. The Red Cross on that building?
20 A. This is the belfry of the Franciscan monastery. This is the
21 cameraman from Belgrade.
22 It was natural that no one in Dubrovnik knew who these gentlemen
23 were. We had to provide for their security. That was the promise that we
24 had given.
25 Q. This was the day after the attack in which how many people had
1 been killed?
2 A. I'm sorry. This is the second day of the attack, because there
3 was an attack on the 6th. On the 7th, there were negotiations, and this
4 was on the 8th. About 30 civilians were killed.
5 You can see from the facades that phosphorous shells were used
6 which caused fires, as you can see now.
7 The building of the Dubrovnik festival that burnt. This is the
8 Stradun again. A second burnt-down building next to the festival
10 A water tap, fountain. The entrance to the Franciscan monastery.
11 The cloister of this monastery.
12 Q. Where are we here?
13 A. The stone fence of the Franciscan monastery, the plasterwork
14 destroyed completely.
15 Q. And now we're inside?
16 A. The inside of the monastery. One officer, the second officer.
17 Q. I think we just saw a picture of you, but we missed it. My
19 A. Yes. I was the one in uniform between the two of them.
20 Q. Shell damage grooves, we can see?
21 A. The stone balustrades.
22 The oldest pharmacy in Europe. In the cloister of the Dominican
23 -- I'm sorry, of the Franciscan monastery. Direct hits.
24 Q. Pause there just for a minute, if you could, please.
25 Now, we've spoken of Srdj, a fortress above the town. What are we
1 looking at here?
2 A. Just above the minaret tower, to the left you can see the Srdj
3 fortress. Above the minaret tower, to the left. It's a bad shot but you
4 can discern it.
5 Q. We can see how high it is above Dubrovnik. I never got you to
6 deal with this in detail, but in fact you never lost it to the JNA because
7 although you thought they'd taken it, you came to realise at one stage
8 that they had not in fact taken it, so an evacuation that your troops had
9 made off Srdj was then followed by a retaking of it; would that be
10 correct? Just say yes if I've got it roughly right and you can give
11 detail, if asked, later.
12 A. If we're talking about the 6th, we're now looking at the photos on
13 the 8th, they did try to capture Srdj fortress, but they failed to do so.
14 Q. Let's press on with the video, please.
15 A. This is inside the Franciscan monastery. This is a window through
16 which the shell flew in, and I passed by six seconds before. There was
17 another that fell through, and another that didn't explode.
18 This is a 120-millimetre shell. This is what I personally
19 collected; 190 pieces, smaller and larger ones. This is from November.
20 Q. There you are in uniform?
21 A. Yes, I am.
22 The cameraman from Belgrade.
23 This is Brother Jozo Softar, the Friar.
24 This is the library.
25 Q. By good fortune it didn't burn, I think you'll see.
1 A. Yes. Could this be translated?
2 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This is one of the most important
3 libraries in the former Yugoslavia, in the whole of Europe, keeping
4 documents of all the peoples and cultures. They're not important only for
5 Dubrovnik and Croatia, but even for Serbia and Montenegro and Macedonia.
6 These are documents that are being treasured here for ages. And you see
7 what happened. For a moment, we thought it was on fire, because people
8 saw smoke. There was terrible smoke coming out of here. However,
9 fortunately, it didn't burn. Seventy thousand books are kept here."
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Jozo Softar recognised these two
11 officers. He was the only one who recognised them. The other people that
12 you see are the security for these officers.
13 The Jadran restaurant, or St. Klara.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Do you remember where we are here?
16 A. We see a house that has been burnt. You will recognise the
17 effects of phosphorous. The yellow traces are the result of phosphorous.
18 The Siroka Street or Broad Street. A house burnt down in that
19 street. The next house that was burnt.
20 For the sake of explanation, 2.000 shells fell on the protected
21 monument of the old town in the period from the 1st of October up to this
22 day and inclusive of this day.
23 This is a house burnt across the street from the Orthodox church
24 in Dubrovnik.
25 We're now on the ramparts that encircle the town of Dubrovnik, and
1 from them you have the best view of Dubrovnik's roofs, few of which were
2 left intact.
3 Q. The ramparts themselves, I think, were damaged, as we'll see in
4 the next minutes.
5 A. Yes, they were. This is the Imperial hotel that was burnt in the
6 month of November.
7 This is the -- on the 11th of December, there was an attack and
8 this hotel was burnt down.
9 This is the university centre that we still see smoke coming out
10 of, and that was hit and was set on fire.
11 A shell that hit this area.
12 The shells themselves.
13 This is the European Commission. The European Community and the
15 Q. That's another view of Srdj, is it?
16 A. Yes, that's right. This is Srdj fortress.
17 Q. This is part of the ramparts?
18 A. Yes. Yes, that's right. Just by way of explanation, Dubrovnik
19 was targeted from three directions with the 130-millimetre guns from the
20 Dubrovnik airport area, from Zarkovica and Bosanki Sticeva [phoen]. And
21 from Careva with the 155-millimetre howitzer-type weapon.
22 Q. The airport is on the road down to Montenegro. Zarkovica is the
24 A. Yes, that's right. Zarkovica is east. And from Zarkovica you
25 have a view over the entire town centre, and that was where the forward
1 command post was located.
2 This is the parking lot underneath the ramparts, the walls.
3 Q. Just pause -- perhaps pause the video there for a second and go
4 back to look at those cars again, if we could.
5 And what happened in the area where those cars were parked?
6 Thank you very much.
7 A. The owners of these cars thought that they would be best protected
8 in the car parks right by the town wall. But as you can see from this
9 image, that's precisely where the shells fell, and all the cars were
10 burnt. There and in other places too, and you'll be able to see that on
11 the footage as well.
12 Q. Continue on, please. Continue the video.
13 A. I must emphasise that we're looking at the protective monument of
14 Dubrovnik, the old town. However, the whole of the town of Dubrovnik was
15 shelled equally intensively. The Lapad area, the Gruz area, Ploce; they
16 suffered the same fate.
17 Q. I think we're coming towards the end, but we should just play it
18 for completeness since it's a single exhibit.
19 A. This is the Dominican monastery. Zarkovica's up there. You can
20 see Zarkovica on the screen.
21 Q. [Previous translation continues]... view it afforded of the town,
23 A. These are the boats that were destroyed in the old harbour.
24 Q. Which is on the east of the old town, isn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right. This is a bit of tape that had been used before, and
2 we come back to the...
3 A. These are the vessels that were destroyed at the Podporella
4 [phoen], as we call it, in the old town.
5 A phosphorous shell.
6 The ramparts and walls.
7 The old town harbour.
8 The cars in the harbour and the remains of a shell.
9 A shell that hit the belfry.
10 Ships burnt to a singe.
11 We used this boat to take us to the negotiations in Cavtat
13 Q. Even when on the boat, were you occasionally shelled, fired at?
14 A. On three occasions. They fired at us three times and in fact hit
15 us once. We were not alone. With us were representatives of the
16 international community and the United Nations representatives as well.
17 This is the Dubrovnik cathedral.
18 Q. Another short extract from the film that is being played over, and
19 then we come towards the end. Just carry on, please.
20 Very well. That's the end. Thank you very much.
21 A few concluding questions, please, Mr. Simunovic. From the first
22 to last, had the forces defending Croatia initiated any offensive action
23 against the JNA?
24 A. No, they had not. Since -- they did not launch any offensive
25 action against the JNA.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Who had been the first victims of the conflict that was played out
2 in the Dubrovnik area; Croats or Serbs or who?
3 A. The Croats.
4 Q. By this time, by the attack on the 6th of December, what was the
5 roughly maximum number of men defending Dubrovnik?
6 A. The number was about 300 men.
7 Q. Were any of those deployed in the old town, in the monument, as
8 you call it, on any of the occasions when that part of Dubrovnik was
10 A. The military positions were outside the old town.
11 Q. You told us about the weaponry you had obtained from the island of
12 Korcula with the missing bits. Did you manage to get that weaponry into
13 working order by December?
14 A. We did manage, but what we produced, unfortunately, wasn't of any
15 long duration. It was just for one-time use.
16 Q. Had you managed to obtain any other heavy weaponry between the
17 time when you got that equipment from Korcula in December and the end of
18 this part of the conflict?
19 A. When we look at December, and by December we had not managed to
20 get any heavy weaponry into Dubrovnik.
21 Q. Very well. After allowing the JNA to film in the way that we've
22 now seen, was Dubrovnik attacked again or not?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And what period?
25 A. Throughout the whole of -- if we're talking up to 1992, then there
1 were sporadic attacks throughout the conflict until the Yugoslav army left
2 Croatia, in fact.
3 Q. Thank you very much. If you wait there, you'll be asked --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, the tape that you just played prompts
5 me to raise a particular question. Dubrovnik is a city that is, of
6 course, well known for its beauty and general historical interest. Is
7 there any evidence as to whether certain sites in Dubrovnik had been
8 recognised by UNESCO as sites that were to be preserved for historical
9 purposes? I don't know whether you have any evidence as to that, but I
10 think it would be --
11 MR. NICE: I think this witness could probably help us with that.
12 Q. Mr. Simunovic?
13 A. The old town, all of the old town, makes up the cultural heritage
14 and monuments and are protected as such. It has been recorded as such, I
15 think, where records of that kind are kept, that is to say, the United
17 MR. NICE: Summarised in paragraph 6. If the Chamber wants
18 further documentation in support of the proposition that it's a completely
19 protected site, we may be able to find it, but that's certainly my
20 understanding. The witness confirms it.
21 JUDGE MAY: It might be as well if you produce the documentation.
22 MR. NICE: Fine, very well.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Milosevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simunovic, you began your testimony by
1 describing the conflicts and clashes that took place in the Prevlaka
2 region. Could you tell us when that was exactly?
3 A. The conflict began as of the 26th of September and went up to the
4 1st of October, but if you mean the clashes and if you mean to say that we
5 targeted Yugoslav army positions, then my answer is that we did not
6 because we neither had the power and force or manpower.
7 Q. Well, that's what I'm thinking of, and I assume you know as you're
8 an officer yourself that at the Prevlaka area, there was the JNA base
9 there. That's where it was located, and the JNA installations as well,
10 radar installations and other facilities.
11 A. Yes, I do know about that.
12 Q. So the conflict actually began in the following way: Your forces
13 attacked the JNA installations there, did they not?
14 A. No, they did not. Mr. Milosevic, I assume you were not there
15 then, in the area then, and had you been there, you wouldn't have made
16 that assumption and brought it up now.
17 Q. All right. Let's just clarify that point, because according to
18 the information that I have, that's how it was. That's what my
19 information tells me. You said that Dubrovnik was attacked by a corps,
20 and then you went on to enumerate several battalions, and then you
21 mentioned tank units, the navy, the air force. Now, explain this to me:
22 As a professional yourself, as an officer yourself, how is it possible
23 that if the JNA had such vast potential and strength as you said and
24 wanted to take control of Dubrovnik, how come it didn't?
25 A. Well, it wasn't any special army. They just had the strength to
1 do so and power but they didn't have the courage and bravery.
2 Q. So you were successful in defending it from all that. Now, did it
3 ever occur to you that they never actually wanted to take control of
5 A. That didn't occur to us, either to myself or my colleagues,
6 because had they not wanted to, they wouldn't have looted, burnt houses
7 and killed civilians.
8 Q. All right. And do you know that there was an order of the 4th of
9 October of the General Staff - I quoted its numbers here - in which it is
10 strictly stated that Dubrovnik should not be taken control of nor should
11 it be shelled from the ground, from the air, or from the sea.
12 A. Well, I'm sure you ought to know the outcome of the other side. I
13 don't know about that order, but I do know what happened; I experienced it
15 Q. And for you, the very fact perhaps that General Kadijevic, at that
16 time the Defence Minister and the number one man leading the army, sent an
17 inspection team to Belgrade to take footage of the consequences of those
18 operations and actions. Is that a -- is it logical for you to assume that
19 the reports that he was given stated that Dubrovnik should not be shelled
20 and the order should be respected for the non-attack of Dubrovnik?
21 A. No, it's not logical, and I'll explain why. Because General
22 Kadijevic, as the Supreme Commander of that particular army, should have
23 known what was going on, what had been going on the previous two months in
24 Dubrovnik. So that wasn't the first time that Dubrovnik was shelled.
25 Dubrovnik was shelled equally intensively in October and November, but as
1 we have just -- as we're mentioning General Kadijevic, I must also say
2 that he was informed. He knew very well of a meeting that took place in
3 Kupari at the command post on the 3rd of December and that a decision was
4 made once again to attack Dubrovnik.
5 Q. That's what you claim. I have no information about that. Now,
6 before I move on to another area, tell me, what does Serbia have to do at
7 all with that conflict of yours around Dubrovnik, your conflict with the
9 A. Well, I should probably be asking you that question because are
10 better versed in matters of that kind than I am.
11 Q. Well, precisely because I am better versed, I can tell you that
12 Serbia has nothing to do with the events around Dubrovnik.
13 A. According to what I know on my information and my facts and
14 figures that we analysed when we looked at the situation, we did link you
15 up with everything that was going on in and around Dubrovnik.
16 Q. How were you able to link anybody from Serbia with what was going
17 on in Dubrovnik?
18 A. I'm not talking about Serbs and Serbia, I'm talking about you
20 Q. Well, how are you able to link me up to anything that was going on
21 in Dubrovnik?
22 A. Well, you will recall, I'm sure, that you holidayed in Kupari, you
23 took your summer holidays there.
24 Q. Yes, I did, of course I did, and for ten years in Kupari in the
25 President Hotel and in some other hotels in the Dubrovnik area and I liked
1 spending my holidays there very much. And had it been up to me, not a
2 single stone would have fallen from Dubrovnik.
3 A. Well, I'm happy to hear that, but something else went on again,
4 when we looked at the security situation, and we were a young army, we
5 were a fledgling army being formed, but from -- we did know a little about
6 life generally and what was going on and we tried to see who the people
7 were because they were war times, times of war, and we had to see who it
8 was who came in the two or three years prior to the outbreak of the
9 conflict to do business around Dubrovnik.
10 Let me link this up, link you up and the Yugoslav army up. Not
11 Serbia and the Serbs but you and the Yugoslav army, let's link it up to
12 the whole situation. And I'm sure you will recall that in 1989 -- let's
13 take the year 1989, for example. I have no personal knowledge of this, I
14 wasn't there, but that was the information I received, and it's
15 interesting information, that you yourself in one of your sojourns and
16 visits to the old town or the restaurant, a restaurant called the Sarajevo
17 restaurant, Sarajevo --
18 Q. You're talking about a restaurant?
19 A. Yes. You went to that restaurant with your friends. And on that
20 occasion in 1989, your security detail were military personnel from
21 Kupari. The SUP or Ministry of the Interior or the police force at the
22 time, you didn't allow them to provide your safety and security as was
23 customary when people came to Dubrovnik, but you -- your security detail
24 was from the army. They were army personnel.
25 Q. Oh, come on, Mr. Simunovic. Nobody provided security for me in
1 Dubrovnik whenever I visited. I would go with my young son, with my
2 daughter, with my wife, and my friends, friends, local Dubrovnik people,
3 and I would visit the patisserie in the Siroka Street and stroll around
4 the Stradun, the main street, and I had no security details from Serbia or
5 anywhere else.
6 A. Well, I'm talking about 1989, and that's how it was in 1989. You
7 did have your security force.
8 Q. Unfortunately, you have the wrong information, but I don't want to
9 waste time on that.
10 What I want to ask you is this, and I have a large number of
11 questions to ask you, in fact. You say on page 2, paragraph 2 of your
12 statement that at the end of 1990 and 1991, that violence came to a head
13 and that it became clear that the JNA would help the rebellion of the
14 Serbs in Croatia. That's what you write in your statement. Why did the
15 Serbs rebel at all in Croatia in that year of 1990?
16 A. I can only speak about the Dubrovnik region.
17 Q. Yes. But you're making a general statement, a sweeping
19 A. When I said that, I meant Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik area itself.
20 And as you know, at the first democratic elections that were held -- or I
21 don't know if you know about this at all but I assume you do because you
22 knew quite a lot of things, in Dubrovnik two Serbian parties were formed,
23 the so-called Yugoslav Democratic Party and the Serbian Democratic Party.
24 Q. I really don't know about that.
25 A. Well, let me explain it to you because this is an answer to your
1 question, part of my answer to your question.
2 Those gentlemen, with every right, organised themselves, went out
3 to the elections, and they fared as they fared. However, afterwards when
4 the results were what they were, they began to deal in -- to think about
5 intensively of contacts, and they attempted in Dubrovnik on two occasions
6 -- they went to Podgorica, actually, to see Mr. Kostic who was I think
7 the vice premier of that state at the time, or vice-president, and they
8 wanted to intervene. They said they were in jeopardy and that they wanted
9 to dislocate from Dubrovnik. So these were sort of indicators at that
10 time in the town of Dubrovnik what was going on.
11 Q. All right. Now, do you have any information as to them going to
12 Belgrade and seeking contacts in Belgrade with anybody?
13 A. They went to Trebinje and they went to Podgorica, as far as I
15 Q. So they went to the neighbouring areas, the neighbouring
16 republics, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro, I assume.
17 A. Well, yes, I suppose to people who thought the same way as they
19 Q. Well, quite probably. They felt they could get assistance because
20 they felt themselves to be in jeopardy.
21 Now, in view of the general situation, tell me this, please: You
22 say that in Croatia the Serbs rebelled. Tell me why they rebelled. We
23 mentioned the numerous constitutional changes that took place, the
24 dismissals from work, liquidations and so on, all this that went on.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, the witness has already answered that
1 he's dealing with the people in Dubrovnik. If you want to ask him about
2 that, you can.
3 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you remember this general atmosphere that prevailed, and on the
5 13th of March, 1990, it was the former government of that former Socialist
6 Republic of Croatia that sent a letter to the federal government and the
7 governments of the other republics in which it condemned the events, both
8 those at the general Sabor Assembly of the HDZ party as well as the
9 Petrova Gora meeting, and they appealed to the population for cooperation
10 and joint undertakings to prevent the further disintegration of good
11 neighbourly relations. That was the government of the day in Croatia. Do
12 you know about that?
13 A. Well, I can't link it up to Dubrovnik, and that's why I'm here.
14 Q. All right. And do you know that at these free elections that you
15 mention in 1990, for the most part the Serbs in Croatia voted for Racan's
16 party, the party of Racan, the League of Communists, et cetera.
17 MR. NICE: The last couple of minutes of time have been occupied
18 with questions that the Court has indicated and that the witness has now
19 indicated are outside the scope of his testimony.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. NICE: And it's just wasting time.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Move on to something he can deal
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. I can move on quite
1 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, in view of all the events, tell me who provoked the violence.
3 Because you know full well that at the time these newly established
4 paramilitary formations in Croatia took over the JNA barracks and killed
5 the soldiers and officers in them. Is that --
6 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Milosevic, we're going to come to
7 Dubrovnik or we're simply not going to get on with this. Now, if you've
8 got questions about Dubrovnik, you can ask them. You can ask other
9 witnesses about other parts of Croatia.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Of course I do, yes.
11 JUDGE MAY: Let us concentrate on Dubrovnik.
12 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Simunovic, you say on page 2, paragraph 3 of your statement
14 that the Serbs were over-represented in the key organs and institutions of
15 the municipalities, including Dubrovnik. That's what you say. And this
16 seems to be a free assessment on your part, because you enumerate the
17 posts, for example, the notary, the president of the courts, the head of
18 the customs office. What other important posts were held by Serbs in
19 Dubrovnik and did they, holding those functions, jeopardise the positions
20 of anybody or, rather, the position of the Croats in Dubrovnik?
21 A. No. I just tried to explain to the investigators the situation as
22 it stood in Dubrovnik and which we found ourselves in in 1990 and 1991,
23 regardless of the fact that these gentlemen happened to be of a different
24 religion, because they were Croats of a different religion. I would say
25 they were Croats but of a different religion.
1 Q. They held all the key posts in Dubrovnik and you know that full
2 well yourself because you had a lot of friends there, you walked around
4 A. Not among any high-ranking officials, no.
5 MR. NICE: The statement is available if the Court wants it.
6 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we need it at the moment. If we need
7 it, we'll ask for it. Yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. On page 2, paragraph 3, you say that you do not recall that a
10 single Serb was attacked or bothered in any way. However, that's not
11 true. Look at the tasks of the police station of Cavtat in the first half
12 of 1991, for example, where, among other things, the task was realised to
13 topple -- to destroy Serb houses or, as it says, the houses that were
14 unlawfully built, especially Serb houses. This is a police report from
15 Cavtat where a citizen informs the police station that as a sniper he
16 would shoot so that they would know who was shooting. Or, for example, a
17 15th of August report of 1991 in which one woman is complaining that the
18 guards are disturbing her throughout the night and that there was shooting
19 during the night every night.
20 Do you know anything about information of this kind, reports of
21 this kind?
22 A. No, I do not, and they're not truthful.
23 Q. Well, because you say they're not truthful, I am going to give you
24 this or show you this, the tasks performed in the course of 1991, the
25 destruction of unlawfully built houses, especially Serb houses - I
1 underlined this - and the monitoring and quest for individuals,
2 particularly those linked to the JNA, taking away the Adriatic vessel and
3 children's holiday homes owned by Belgrade, and action against the JNA.
4 So this is an original document that I have here. It is from Cavtat, and
5 it is dated 1991. One of your own documents.
6 I would like to tender it into evidence and show you the
8 A. If Their Honours permit --
9 JUDGE MAY: Can we just do one thing at a time. Where does the
10 document come from, Mr. Milosevic? Is it said to be a police document or
11 what is it?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a police document, yes. I was
13 quoting from it. And this is the photocopy of the original, and it comes
14 from Croatia, Mr. May. It was not fabricated in Serbia. You can check it
15 out on the document itself.
16 JUDGE MAY: Let us -- let the witness see the document. Then he
17 can comment on it.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For example, the second point, it is
19 the report by the duty officer of the police station of Cavtat on --
20 JUDGE MAY: We will deal with one thing at a time. Now, the
21 witness has the document, this police report, and he can comment on it.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document as a document is -- has
23 no value or worth. It hasn't got a title. It hasn't got an ending. So
24 regardless of the sources that Mr. Milosevic might have, I have my doubts
25 as to the authenticity of this document. But if -- with the Court's
1 indulgence, I can comment on part of what it says in the document.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What it says here and is linked to
4 the destruction of Serb houses, I can say the following: After the advent
5 of democratic power in Dubrovnik, both Croatian and Serbian houses were
6 destroyed which had not been constructed on the basis of the necessary
7 construction permits. They were illegally -- had been illegally erected
8 in the first place. But decisions for their destruction were written out,
9 and this was done on the basis of a document. Nobody did it because they
10 felt like it.
11 Now, what I can see from this particular piece of paper, one would
12 not be able to conclude that it was an authentic document at all.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Well, you're denying it, but we'll prove that it is authentic. I
15 mentioned another report, and it is a telex, a police telex --
16 JUDGE MAY: We'll come to that one. We'll deal with this one
17 first. Let the Court just have a look at it, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to draw your attention
19 to the fact that there is the word "particularly". Pulling down houses
20 but especially Serbian houses.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So what you're saying is being proven false by this expression
23 that we find in the report.
24 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal with this first. Just a moment,
25 Mr. Milosevic. Stop interrupting while we deal with this.
1 Yes. What we'll do with this first document, since there is a
2 dispute about its authenticity, is we'll mark it for identification. The
3 Prosecution can have a look, and if they have objections, they can raise
4 it in due course. We'll get a number for it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Defence Exhibit 79
6 marked for identification.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Here is a report of the officer on duty in the Cavtat police
10 station on the 16th of August, 1991, in the period from 0600 to 1400
11 hours. That is his shift. And among other things, it says: "Mijo
12 Kurajica came to report that today around 1600 hours at Brdo in Brotnice,
13 he would fire his sniper rifle so that it would be known who was firing.
14 He said he would also inform our reservists at Brdo. There were no other
15 developments. Signed Ivica Handzek." So the officer on duty in Cavtat.
16 I will give you that document too because I've grouped several questions
18 On the 15th of August, 1991, there was an orgy with Russian
19 ladies, shooting by reserve guardsmen from Cilipi who spend every night
20 there. So I asked you about the shooting of a sniper and the wild parties
21 by guardsmen at Cilipi. And you also have the reports of your policemen
22 on duty from Cavtat signed - this one is signed by Niksa Bender, the
23 previous one by Ivica Handzek - and they can also be verified whether they
24 were the people who were the officers on duty at that time. Obviously by
25 their names and surnames, they are Croats, so please look at these two
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 documents too and then we can move on.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I proceed, Mr. May?
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness see the document, just see the
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Yes. Please look at them.
7 A. First in connection with the document signed by Mr. Ivica Handzek.
8 If this is authentic, Mr. Kurajica Mijo acted in accordance with the law.
9 You probably know that in Konavle there are many huntsmen, and I think
10 that the fact that he came to the police station to report the use of a
11 sniper cannot be used for any kind of construed allegations.
12 As for the second report signed by Mr. Niksa Bender, you didn't
13 mention the sequence but that there was shooting by reservists in Cilipi
14 who spend every night there. The two cannot be linked together, you see.
15 Q. No. I'm giving you different examples.
16 A. Well, of course it's up to you to do that and it's up to me to
17 comment. So I've commented on this first document signed by Mr. Kurajica.
18 As for the authenticity of this document, especially the parts highlighted
19 by you, I could not agree at all.
20 Q. But the document is authentic, sir.
21 A. As far as I, know and probably you too, every document needs to
22 have some kind of a header. Anyone could have written this and signed it.
23 Regardless of what we were like, we were, after all, an organised
25 JUDGE MAY: We will do the same with those three documents. They
1 will be exhibited together and given the next -- just a moment. They will
2 be given the next exhibit number and marked for identification.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the report of the officer signed by
4 Mr. Handzek, dated 16 August 1991 will be Defence Exhibit 80 marked for
6 And then the report, or the letter signed by Mr. Bender dated 15th
7 August, 1991 will be Defence Exhibit 81 marked for identification.
8 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Very well. I'm afraid our time will be limited, so I have to
10 hurry up. Do you know the names of Judges Dragan Gajic and Bruno
11 Karnincic from Dubrovnik?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you know that they carried out most of the on-site inspections
14 in the Dubrovnik region regarding the destruction of the property of the
15 local Serbs?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. And do you know that according to the reports they made on the
18 spot, more than 50 houses, mostly located in Zupa, Cavtat, and the
19 surroundings, and in other places of the same region, which belonged to
20 local Serbs, inhabitants, citizens of Croatia, were destroyed in various
21 bomb attacks when various explosive devices were used. There are
22 statements -- the official statement of the Judge given to the
24 JUDGE MAY: The witness doesn't know anything about the reports
25 but he can be asked whether he knows anything about the bombing or the use
1 of explosives against the houses of local Serbs.
2 Now, Mr. Simunovic, do you know anything about that allegation?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything, but I do know
4 Mr. Gajic, and I know Mr. Karnincic.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you assume that their reports, submitted officially, were
8 A. Of course I didn't work in the judiciary, so I didn't have insight
9 into those things, but knowing the first gentleman, I don't think that
10 would be possible under any circumstances.
11 Q. And had you ever heard of explosives being thrown into the houses
12 of local Serbs through the window, mostly when their occupants were not
13 there, and that in three cases during such attacks, the tenants were
14 seriously wounded? This is also contained in a report of the Judge.
15 A. Excuse me, which Judge?
16 Q. Dragan Gajic. Do you know Mr. Gajic?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. But I'm showing you documents that I received from the opposite
19 side, not from any Belgrade office but from the opposing side which
20 examined you a moment ago. Do you know that Mr. Gajic needed to report --
21 make such a report where he was working? And I assume he did, as there
22 are 50 such reports, according to this information.
23 A. Believe me, in those days we took special care not to hurt any
24 single loyal citizen of Croatia of a different faith. Similarly, we
25 believe that we succeeded in that.
1 Q. As far as I know, only in Serbia was care taken not to offend
2 citizens of any nationality throughout those ten years. I don't know that
3 that was the case elsewhere.
4 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now. We've come to a suitable
6 Mr. Milosevic, in relation to your last questions, the witness
7 statement for Mr. Gajic, of course, has already been exhibited. So it
8 would seem pointless to go over what he has said with this witness who
9 doesn't know anything about it. You may want to use your time more
11 We will adjourn now. Twenty minutes.
12 --- Recess taken at 12.16 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.37 p.m.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Milosevic, we've considered the time available,
15 and in this case you have up to one and a half hours left if you need it,
16 or if you want it, of cross-examination with this witness, which means we
17 won't finish him today. We will have to ask him to come back tomorrow.
18 We will go on until quarter to two on the examination, and then
19 we'll come back to deal with the point about the documents which have been
20 served on you, the matter you raised earlier.
21 Now, if you'd like to go on with your examination.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. -- by instructions of the local authorities and the president of
25 the local court, Marinko Peric, they were released from prison and the
1 joint paramilitary formations in Dubrovnik.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. We did not hear the
3 beginning of the sentence. Witness, microphone, please. Microphone for
4 the witness, please.
5 We apologise, we didn't hear that.
6 JUDGE MAY: Could you repeat that, Mr. Simunovic. It wasn't
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As one of the organisers of the
9 defence of Dubrovnik, I am not aware of those data.
10 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Since we have -- I have here a list of civilians killed from the
12 area of Dubrovnik, do you know and is my information correct that there
13 were about 150 post-mortems of persons who were mostly wearing Croatian
14 military uniforms, and the pathologist was Dr. Ciganovic?
15 A. That is not true. The exact number of killed Croatian soldiers is
17 Q. Very well. You say that Risto Vrica, a senior official of the DB
18 in Dubrovnik, organised the Serb nationalist activities in town. What
19 kind of activities did he organise?
20 A. That is not what I said.
21 Q. You didn't mention him.
22 A. I did mention him, but what you just said I didn't say.
23 Q. What did you say?
24 A. I don't know what the question was, and I don't know the context,
25 but probably it's a problem of translation or the interpretation of the
2 Q. Then it probably is a problem due to translation and
3 interpretation of the text.
4 You say that in the summer of 1991, the HDZ in Dubrovnik formed a
5 Crisis Staff. Why was a Crisis Staff formed in Dubrovnik in the summer of
7 A. An error again. The Crisis Staff of Dubrovnik municipality was
8 formed by the elected authorities, which means that it was not a party
9 Crisis Staff. Now, why it was formed, you probably are aware of the
10 events within the territory of the former Yugoslavia in the summer of
11 1991; it was formed to take care of the civilian population of Dubrovnik
13 Q. And detachment of the National Guards Corps was formed at the same
14 time, and since you're saying that no one ever thought it would be
15 possible for a conflict to break out, why were they being armed and why
16 were they formed, this detachment?
17 A. As you know, the National Guard Corps was a part of the Ministry
18 of the Interior, and the Ministry of the Interior formed the National
19 Guards Corps. Now, why? For the defence, of course.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I have here quite a number
21 of exhibits, and if it will take too much time, I don't know whether I can
22 give each of them to you individually or all of them together, but for
23 instance, look at, please, Dubrovnik, the 15th of February, 1991.
24 February 1991. To the president of the Municipal Assembly, the president
25 for -- of the commission for appointments of the Municipal Assembly.
1 Reference is made to the appointment of the Chief of Staff for the
2 Territorial Defence, and it says: "This year, the Territorial Defence is
3 gradually becoming operational." This was dated in February 1991.
4 Nothing was happening. There were no attacks.
5 Isn't this an obvious example of the militarisation of Dubrovnik
6 in those days, as early as February 1991? Is that right?
7 A. No, it is not right. The Territorial Defence started to be
8 organised in August 1991.
9 Q. But please look at this document. I hope it is an original
10 document. Zeljko Pavlovic, the TO commander, signed it. It has a number
11 on top, 44/1, 15th of February, 1991.
12 Is this an authentic document? Please tell me.
13 A. Probably it is authentic, but it doesn't say that the Territorial
14 Defence was formed as of this date. I told you in August 1991. This is a
15 request, probably a request. I don't have time nor does the Court have
16 time to read through this document.
17 Q. But I am asking you isn't this evidence of the militarisation of
18 Dubrovnik as early as February 1991?
19 A. No, that is not evidence that Dubrovnik was being militarised in
20 February 1991.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Simunovic, perhaps since the matter is being
22 raised, you better just read that to yourself, if you would, and tell us
23 what it's about.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Now that I have read it, I am able to see that this was a normal
1 procedure undertaken in peacetime, because there was a Chief of Staff, and
2 the Chief of Staff probably took up some other duty, and now there's a
3 normal procedure to appoint a new one. He existed before, and the request
4 was made for a new one because the previous one had left his post. And I
5 think this is fully in compliance with the legal procedure of the Republic
6 of Croatia.
7 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And is it true that at the very beginning of 1991, you were
9 calling up the reserve force?
10 A. That is not true.
11 Q. But I have here an original form of a statement of one of the
12 reservists, and as an attachment you have the document on an issuance of
13 his rifle, automatic rifle and pistol, and it is dated the 14th of
14 January, 1991.
15 Is this an authentic document? Please look at it and tell me. So
16 the 14th of January, 1991. The form of the statement and then a receipt
17 for the weapons and ammunition and equipment that he had received, and
18 everything else. Is this an original document?
19 A. This document does not relate to the Territorial Defence. This
20 document refers to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which means that it
21 was within its jurisdiction. And most probably, though I cannot claim it,
22 it may have been a member of the National Guards Corps which at that time
23 was under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. So the Territorial Defence
24 and this document that you are tendering are not compatible. The two
25 don't go together.
1 Q. So the National Guard Corps was not an armed force that was being
2 formed in Dubrovnik.
3 A. The National Guards Corps was a part of the Ministry of the
4 Interior, that is, a part of the police and not of the Territorial
6 Q. And what is the difference if we're talking about armed
8 A. The difference is considerable. Armed formations and the
9 Territorial Defence is the military component and the National Guards
10 Corps is a civilian or police component.
11 Q. But it cannot really be said that everything started with the
12 alleged conflict with the army, because all these things were happening in
13 January 1991, because the same people acquired more important weapons
14 later on. Look at the receipt.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If that document could be handed in. Is there a
16 second document there?
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. For instance, Antun Kovacevic, issued with an automatic rifle,
19 number so-and-so, and a bag with four clips of ammunition, and the fifth
20 is fitted onto the rifle. And 190 bullets. This is dated the 7th of May,
21 1991. Would you like to look at that?
22 A. If it is an identical document, there's no need, simply no need,
23 because this is not linked to the Territorial Defence.
24 Q. But is it linked to the fact that weapons and ammunition was being
25 distributed from the beginning of 1991 in the territory of Dubrovnik?
1 A. Mr. Accused, I would like to ask you here before Their Honours not
2 to produce evidence that is not evidence at all.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, now, Mr. Simunovic, it's a matter for us to say
4 what's evidence.
5 We'll have these documents exhibited now, the three that have been
6 put in.
7 Before we do, is there anything you want to say about that final
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I would. I do apologise, Your
11 There's a photocopy of the official ID of a member of the reserve
12 police force. So this refutes everything that the accused has said.
13 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. This is just due to circumstances that it happens to be on the
15 same piece of paper. But the name on the receipt for the rifle is Antun
16 and not this other one that is mentioned on the same piece of paper.
17 Very well. Tell me please --
18 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with these documents first. It's been
19 suggested that it's a receipt for a rifle on that document, Mr. Simunovic.
20 Can you help us as to what these documents are? Do you want to say
21 anything more about them?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I shall try. Simply, in those days,
23 I was not a member of the Territorial Defence or of the armed forces. But
24 reading through this document and these dates, it is visible that all
25 these members who were issued rifles were members of the reserve police of
1 the Ministry of the Interior and that there is nothing strange that they
2 should be issued short- and long-barreled weapons.
3 JUDGE MAY: Were they issued such weapons in times of peace, as a
4 matter of course?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly, yes.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. So in peacetime, they were issued an automatic rifle and 200
8 bullets of ammunition?
9 A. Probably units of the National Guards Corps had this envisaged by
10 their regulations and rules.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Will you please admit this into
13 JUDGE MAY: We're going to do that now.
14 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Simunovic, is it true --
16 JUDGE MAY: Wait a moment while we deal with this. I think we'll
17 admit them. If there is any objection in the future, we'll deal with it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the letter or the document for Zeljko
19 Pavlovic dated 15 February, 1991 will be marked Defence Exhibit 82.
20 The statement of the reservist dated 14 of January, 1991 and the
21 receipt Defence Exhibit 83.
22 And the receipt issuing the rifle to Antun Kovacevic dated 7 May,
23 1991, is Defence Exhibit 84.
24 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Tell me, Mr. Simunovic, is it true that you carried out wartime
1 deployment on the 14th of January, 1991?
2 A. It is not true.
3 Q. And is it true that on the 24th of January, at the Dubrovnik
4 airport, weapons were procured?
5 A. That is not true either.
6 Q. Apart from obtaining large quantities of weapons via the airport,
7 would you be kind enough to look at this request of Dubrovnik airport
8 dated the 24th of January, and the official report of the police station.
9 Work organisation Dubrovnik airport. This is an original document
10 addressed to the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, the
11 secretariat of Dubrovnik municipality, request for weapons. "Allow us to
12 obtain bullets for physical, technical protection through the Ribo
13 Materijal company in Zagreb."
14 And then there's a list of 25 men with automatic and
15 semi-automatic rifles, and telephone numbers of the same, and then an
16 Official Note from the frontier crossing at Dubrovnik, signed by Kemo
17 Trsunovic, inspector, saying that on the 27th of June, 1991, Lujo Lasic
18 came and asked for our assistance regarding the delivery of weapons at the
19 Pleso airport in Zagreb. He was expecting a delivery of 40 pistols
20 through Ribo Materijal. There is no other accompanying documents. All
21 this is written in this report of the frontier crossing. This is the
22 frontier service for affairs on the border at land and at sea. Will you
23 please look at these documents and tell us whether they are authentic.
24 A. Regarding the first document, I can say, though I wasn't there at
25 the time, that it is nothing unusual. As you know well, all airports in
1 the world, including our own at Dubrovnik, had and will have a security
2 service, and probably that is the source. Whether this was regular
3 reinforcements of ammunition or not, one should ask the person who signed
4 the document. I don't see anything strange. The security of all
5 airports, including Dubrovnik airport, needed to exist.
6 As for the official report, I see it for the first time, and I'm
7 simply unable to comment on it.
8 Q. And could you then please comment on the report on state and
9 problems of defence and proposals for strengthening it, signed by -- these
10 are all documents from Croatia, signed by Marin Vukorep? Does the name
11 ring a bell, Marin Vukorep?
12 A. Yes, I know the name. But I also know, you have already repeated
13 several times, this is intended exclusively for defence.
14 Q. But see what he says under point 5: "Purchase and distribution of
15 weapons and lethal means can be done by whoever wants to, without any
16 records being kept or any information so that many criminal acts have
17 already taken place." This is written in his report. And under paragraph
18 3: "No instructions for work, order and discipline exist so people are
19 doing what they will."
20 So look at this document too, please. It is also authentic. I
21 hope you will not deny it. It is dated the 30th of August, 1991.
22 A. A document without a header and without a signature, and who it is
23 addressed to I cannot see, so simply, I am not able to comment on it. I
24 cannot say anything.
25 Q. As far as I can see, there is a signature.
1 A. I'm sorry. An information on the situation. To whom is this
2 information addressed? And I don't see Mr. Vukarep's signature. So this
3 could have been written at any time. I'm sorry, I can't comment. Please
4 put it under a question mark. Take it and put it under a question mark.
5 JUDGE MAY: Assist us, Mr. Simunovic, so that we can follow. What
6 is it supposed to be? What does it say it is, that document?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I haven't read it. It consists of
8 three pages, but I feel it necessary for me to say that if this is an
9 official document, Mr. Vukorep was the chief of the Territorial Defence
10 Staff, he was an official person, and such an official document he could
11 only have sent to a superior body.
12 However, from this document, without entering into the substance,
13 I see that the document doesn't have a header nor a conclusion. So from
14 this document, we cannot see who the document was addressed to and whether
15 it was sent anywhere, without entering into the substance of the document.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That document can be marked for
17 identification. The others should be admitted.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the request of the Dubrovnik airport
19 dated 24 January 1991, and the official report of the police station is
20 Defence Exhibit 85.
21 And the document signed by Mr. Vukorep dated 30 August 1991 is
22 Defence Exhibit 86 marked for identification.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Very well. And now tell me this please, do you happen to know
25 when the information was given that the national protection units had been
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 set up on the 1st of August, 30th of July, that the military facilities
2 were switched off the urban network for electricity, water, et cetera?
3 Are you aware of these orders? All this was happening on the 30th of July
4 and up to the 8th of August.
5 Take a look at this.
6 A. No, I don't know about that.
7 Q. This is the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of Defence, the 30th
8 of July, in the Ministry of Defence a National Protection Board was set up
9 pursuant to an order by the Defence Minister. The telephones are
10 mentioned, that the commander Antun Avramovic is designated, and then you
11 have on the 30th of July the same thing, the Republic of Croatia, Defence
12 Ministry, Zagreb, Opaticka 1 is the address, on the 30th of July;
13 instructions for the work of the public protection organs for Croatia,
14 establishing obstacles to military combat equipment, the setting up of
15 teams to switch off the facilities of the Yugoslav People's Army from the
16 utilities network, that is to say electricity, water, the PTT network, and
17 to cut off all supplies to them and to organise the following companies,
18 platoons, battalions numbering 30 -- 300 persons, brigades 3.000, et
19 cetera, followed by an order for the staffs of the national protection
20 organisation, and the date is the 30th of July for all of them. They have
21 their numbers and everything else that they need to have.
22 A. I apologise, but does all that refer to Dubrovnik?
23 Q. Of course it does, yes.
24 A. As you probably know, in the Dubrovnik area, in the Dubrovnik
25 municipality, there were three positions held by the Yugoslav People's
1 Army at that time. The Prevlaka, was anything cut off, the utilities?
2 The island of Mljet, was anything cut off there? And on Sipan
3 temporarily. So none the utility networks were cut off.
4 This is probably a document of the Ministry of Defence. There's
5 no reason that I should doubt that this is an authentic document, but I
6 don't see anything negative, any negative points in this document.
7 Q. Well, does the document show that before any conflict took place
8 you are militarising, arming, and positioning barricades, mines,
9 explosives devices, et cetera, in this area and engaging in other
10 activities related to combat operations?
11 A. Do you mean for attack or defence?
12 Q. Who were you preparing to defend yourselves against when nobody
13 attacked you? Did anybody attack you on the 1st of January, 1991 or the
14 30th of June, 1991 perhaps?
15 A. Not us in Dubrovnik, no, they did not.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, do you happen to know of the following document,
17 the Crisis Staff of the Dubrovnik municipality -- that is the title and
18 header --
19 JUDGE MAY: Do you want these documents exhibited?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. Yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: Hand them in, please. We'll exhibit them. Exhibit
22 them together.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That document will be Defence Exhibit 87, Your
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Once again, a document. It says the Republic of Croatia,
2 Dubrovnik municipality, Crisis Staff, the 6th of September of 1991, which
3 was the time when you yourself say that nobody was attacking you.
4 Mr. Zeljko Pavlovic, the commander of the TO headquarters of
5 Dubrovnik. The subject is placing at the disposal of men and resources to
6 the National Guards Corps of Dubrovnik. Then it goes on to say, sir, the
7 Crisis Staff of the Dubrovnik municipality, at a meeting held on the 6th
8 of December, decided - of course in 1991 - that manpower and technical and
9 military materiel be placed at the disposal of the ZNG brigades, 116th
10 Brigade, in the extent to which the commander sees necessary, finds
12 Yes I've been asked to slow down. I shall do so.
13 So the ZNG 116th Brigade, as required. And this is sent to the
14 commander of the 116th ZNG Brigade. Milenko Bratus is the signatory with
15 his signature. Take a look at this document and tell me if it is an
16 authentic one, please.
17 And to save the usher from going up and down twice, you set up a
18 mines and explosive devices network on the same day. This is what it
19 looked like in Vitaljina. And they are your own sketches and diagrams, in
20 fact, with -- showing the network. It has been sketched in hand, showing
21 a road where what has been planted and set up. So there's that too.
22 Is that an authentic document?
23 A. The first document is authentic, yes.
24 Q. Yes, just like the previous ones. And what about the second one?
25 JUDGE MAY: Before we go on to these, just dealing with the first
1 document from the Crisis Staff, placing, it said, men and resources at the
2 disposal of the ZNG, is there any comment you wish to make about that?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I most certainly do. In order
4 to be able to understand the purpose of all this, I have to spend a little
5 time explaining it. A brigade. The 116th in this case. That is the
6 156th, actually, of the ZNG, that is to say the armed force of the
7 Republic of Croatia, that is to say the Croatian army. I know, Your
8 Honour, that this is a little complex because it came from the
9 headquarters of the Territorial Defence.
10 In this paper, we see what is being placed at the disposal are all
11 these things as needed in the extent to which they are necessary. Believe
12 me when I say we had -- we lacked everything, especially large territorial
13 weapons which were in another republic belonging to the TO.
14 What we were able to place at their disposal are long-barreled
15 rifles, the ones that we had in the different work organisations, because
16 the law applied of the former Yugoslavia where these work organisations
17 needed to have protection platoons and certain weapons to man them, just
18 like the people at the airport did.
19 So this document is not disputed, and I see nothing in it that
20 would be terrible in any way or negative in any way.
21 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Except for the fact that all this was going on at the end of June
23 1991, which is the time when you say you were not threatened by anyone.
24 A. Mr. Accused, do you really think that we didn't have the right to
25 defend ourselves?
1 Q. But you're militarising the Dubrovnik area for which you claim had
2 been demilitarised. So who is militarising it; you or the JNA?
3 A. I do beg your pardon, but what are we militarising it with?
4 Q. Well, you spoke of guns, mortars, anti-aircraft guns and all the
5 rest of it, all the other weapons yourself and the manpower and everything
6 else, and here we have the issuance papers to the young men.
7 JUDGE MAY: You can't mislead the witness in that way or try to
8 mislead the Tribunal. He didn't speak of anti-aircraft guns.
9 When you say that the document isn't disputed, what was the
10 purpose of placing men and resources at the disposal of the ZNG? The
11 accused says it was to militarise the area. Is that right or not?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it is not militarisation. If it
13 is militarisation, 30 to 50 men, if you call that militarisation per
14 125.000 or the number of inhabitants the Dubrovnik municipality had, or
15 6.000 or 7.000, can you speak of it as being militarisation at all? At
16 the time, it was sort of a platoon, a protection company that the Ministry
17 of the Interior tried to establish in Dubrovnik. After that, this grew to
18 become a brigade of the Croatian army.
19 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right, Mr. Simunovic. But on that same day, take a look at
21 the sketch there that I gave you. You drew a network for mines and
22 explosive devices in Vitaljina and all the rest of it. They're your own
23 documents. Is that how it was or not?
24 A. I see this document for the first time here and now but I wish to
25 comment on the document and say the following: As we made our assessments
1 and evaluations, if not I myself personally then somebody else, but this
2 is a document dating 2 September, we did know the forces that were
3 amassing along the borders towards Croatia, and quite normally, we found
4 it necessary to protect both Croatia and the Croatian population in the
6 And not only did we mine this area, we also placed mines on all
7 access roads, on all the approaches, and we did so, we placed the mines to
8 prevent the army to advance into our own territory.
9 Q. At that time, the army, as far as I remember, was deployed
10 throughout the territory of Yugoslavia, and it was the Yugoslav People's
11 Army all over the country. So it wasn't any advance any more, coming in
12 from anywhere, it was on its own territory, the territory of Yugoslavia,
13 and that was the middle of 1991. And the SFRY, the Socialist Federal
14 Republic of Yugoslavia, was in existence at that time. Is that not so?
15 A. Well, I really don't want to enter into polemics with you about
16 that because it is not the topic of my testimony.
17 Q. Fine. I'm just drawing your attention to those dates. Now, tell
18 me this, please: Is it correct that your forces from the Vitaljina
19 region, which you have there in front of you --
20 JUDGE MAY: I must just interrupt you for one moment. Have we
21 finished with this document or do you want to ask some more questions
22 about it?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I'd like to tender both those
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's just deal with the second one.
2 Mr. Simunovic, it's alleged that you drew that document. Is that
3 right? Is that your writing?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, this isn't my writing, my
6 JUDGE MAY: The other suggestion is that it is a network of mines
7 and explosives. Is that right?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is right that they were
9 positioned, yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. May, I didn't say it was the
11 witness's handwriting. When I said "yours," I meant theirs, not his
12 personally. Their document.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let the --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may be allowed to give an
15 explanation of this document, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I know the terrain very
18 well, and I know what happened there. In Vitaljina, for example, we had a
19 police patrol there, and we didn't go further than Vitaljina with our
20 police forces. We restricted them to that area.
21 From Vitaljina, one kilometre in front of Vitaljina, we placed the
22 mines and explosive devices which were never activated. We never
23 activated them, even when, as you say, the Yugoslav or People's Army, as
24 you call it, attacked that area of Konavle.
25 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. I'm asking you whether that diagram is correct.
2 A. I'm not an engineer. I cannot say. I'm not a professional so I
3 can't answer that question
4 Q. Can you tell me in principle?
5 A. Well, I said yes, we did put up that network to protect our
7 JUDGE MAY: And finally, help us: What area is that covering,
8 that drawing?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This covered the area of Prevlaka
10 towards Vitaljina, the zone 1 or area number 1 on the map.
11 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Is that the border with Montenegro?
13 A. No. This is the area in Croatia. Prevlaka is indeed in Croatia.
14 So we've been speaking throughout --
15 Q. But it is on the border with Montenegro. That's right, isn't it?
16 A. No, it is not right. Vitaljina is an area in Croatia --
17 Q. Tell me please, Mr. Simunovic, how far is it from Vitaljina to the
18 Montenegrin border? How many metres? And you tell me which border
20 Q. I'm not talking about a border crossing. I'm talking about the
21 frontier line, the borderline with Montenegro. From Vitaljina, how far is
22 it to the border with Montenegro?
23 A. Well, it's five or six kilometres.
24 Q. Five or six kilometres you say. But the entire breadth of the
25 Prevlaka isn't five or six kilometres.
1 A. Well, I'm sure you're not well acquainted with the distribution of
2 villages in the Konavle region so you can't actually speak about that.
3 Q. Well, that's true too.
4 JUDGE MAY: We can all see a map. Now, let's get these matters
5 exhibited now.
6 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Well, tell me this: Is it true that your forces from Vitaljina
8 shot at the JNA?
9 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Just a moment. Let the registrar
10 announce the numbers.
11 THE REGISTRAR: The document of the Republic of Croatia on the
12 Crisis Staff, dated September 6, 1991 is Defence Exhibit 88.
13 And the sketch and the diagram is Defence Exhibit 89.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Milosevic.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is it true that on the 23rd of September, 1991, your forces shot
17 at the JNA in the region of the Vitaljina village and the village of
18 Ivanica as well?
19 A. No, that is not correct. It's not true.
20 Q. Right. Fine. There is evidence and proof that it did take place.
21 So either you don't know but are you categorically saying that is not
23 A. I think I know a lot about that period of time.
24 Q. All right. Fine. All right. Tell me this: Is it true that the
25 basic objectives of the JNA at that time were to evacuate the people and
1 combat equipment from the area where your forces were active and that it
2 was for these reasons that it isolated the paramilitary units and
3 formations and insisted that they be disarmed?
4 A. No. That thesis of yours is not correct either.
5 Q. All right. What about this one then: Is it true that on the 19th
6 of September, 1991, you carried out additional arming of your forces, as
7 you did on the 29th of September, 1991? Is that correct?
8 A. I cannot remember the date, but we were trying to arm ourselves.
9 What dates they were, I don't know exactly, but that we did try to arm
10 ourselves, we did.
11 Q. Very well. And is it true that already on the 30th of September
12 you established the combat line 700 metres long from Brgat to St. Barbara
13 hill, and that from those positions, you opened fire on JNA members, that
14 is both the ZNG and the police and even a certain number of armed
15 civilians organised into platoons? Is that right or not?
16 A. None of it is right.
17 Q. But isn't it true that from those positions you opened fire on JNA
18 positions even from bunkers from the Second World War and machine-gun
19 nests? One, among others, was on the belfry of the St Ann church at
21 A. That thesis of yours is not correct. What is correct is the
22 following: As in those days I was touring all those positions, there was
23 no opening of fire from our side to the other side. But what did happen,
24 you - but I don't mean you - you said at the beginning that Serbia had
25 nothing to do with it, but we are now entering a situation when I have to
1 explain things to you, as you are asking me questions, so allow me to
2 explain to you what happened at Brgat.
3 On the 26th, the first maljutka from the side of the so-called
4 Yugoslav Army was fired, not at the police but at a civilian target, a
5 civilian house. Provocations came exclusively from your side,
6 exclusively. We, in those days, even if we had wanted to, had nothing to
7 respond with. We only had short barrels. We had a rifle and you had
8 rockets. You were targeting us with rockets.
9 Q. I wasn't targeting you with anything. Who was hitting you you can
10 establish yourself. And as to what you used to fire at the army, you know
12 There is a statement here of a witness, and I received this
13 statement from the opposing side that examined you, and this has already
14 been tendered here, that your armed formations had positions at the
15 secondary school of Nikica Franic halfway between Gruz and the old town,
16 also at Lovrenac, the Saint Lawrence fortress, at Gospino Polje, at the
17 Metrosvana Poljana [phoen] within the old town itself. Is this true or
18 not, Mr. Simunovic?
19 A. That is not true.
20 Q. But this is contained in a statement of Slobodan Simonovic.
21 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said that it's not true, Mr.
22 Milosevic. He can't take it any further than that.
23 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. And is it true then that JNA members were fired on not only from
25 positions outside the old town but also within its ramparts as well as
1 from a number of trucks on which your forces had mounted anti-aircraft
2 guns and from which the positions at Zarkovica and other places in the
3 surroundings of Dubrovnik were fired at?
4 A. That is not true. The facts are different. We did have a
5 20-millimetre gun mounted on a truck. And this was our most powerful and
6 largest artillery weapon up to December if we don't count what we received
7 from Korcula which could not be used.
8 From the area of the old town, never was a single bullet fired,
9 nor can the old town stand any kind of weapons. People who understand
10 these things, and I'm sure that you and I know well that a mortar cannot
11 be positioned on the Stradun.
12 Q. Very well. I showed here a video showing some people taking the
13 Ustasha oath of allegiance, and today you showed a video of the damage in
14 old town -- in the old town. What do the sandbags in the old town mean if
15 there were no firing positions of your forces there?
16 A. This was the protection of the so-called stone workmanship,
17 monuments of culture.
18 Q. So you have the sandbags only in a couple places. On the pavement
19 there are sandbags protecting the statuary?
20 A. You saw sandbags in front of the St. Blaze or Sveti Vlaho church,
21 and these sandbags were used to protect the statuary being fired at from
22 your side. If only we had had more sandbags, then we would have protected
23 ourselves better and we wouldn't have experienced what we did.
24 Q. Tell me, who were the people who were armed with modern German
25 automatic rifles and dressed in German camouflage uniforms and that were
1 active from the town of Dubrovnik itself?
2 A. We didn't have any such people.
3 Q. But this is contained in one of the witness statements that I
4 received from the opposing side. So you know nothing about it.
5 A. In German uniforms, no.
6 Q. Very well. And with these weapons, also no?
7 Tell me, please. I'll be very careful in this question. Do you
8 remember that from the town of Dubrovnik itself, JNA members were fired at
9 from positions at the Neptun Hotel where members of the ZNG were stationed
10 from Medarevo, where one of these anti-aircraft guns was positioned, the
11 Lapacka Glavica, also an anti-aircraft gun, and Gorica, again an
12 anti-aircraft gun, Gradacac, at the beach at Ploce, again the same guns.
13 The Belvedere and Libertas hotels where armed and uniformed members of the
14 Croatian paramilitary forces, as they were then, were stationed. Is that
15 right or not?
16 A. It is not right. Allow me to explain. We did have units in the
17 town of Dubrovnik, but I'm talking about Dubrovnik as a whole. And we did
18 open fire at JNA targets but exclusively for the purposes of defence. We
19 did not shoot at civilian targets, unlike that army.
20 Also, a couple of positions, yes, but the Ploce beach, no. The
21 Libertas Hotel, no, and the Belvedere Hotel, no. From those other
22 positions, we did put up resistance faced with your fire.
23 Q. So from the Neptun Hotel, Medarevo, Lapacka Glavica, Gorica,
24 Gradacac, from those positions, you did fire at the army?
25 A. We were defending ourselves, and that was our legitimate right, to
1 defend ourselves and to defend the civilian population. That was the only
2 way to stop the fire from the other side.
3 Q. Did you hear messages over radio Herceg-Novi when the army called
4 on people not to open fire and that a single bullet would not be fired if
5 the army's not fired at?
6 A. No such messages were heard by me, but I witnessed something quite
7 different. Wherever that army passed, there were dead civilians left
8 behind, looted houses, and burnt houses.
9 Q. There was a great deal of vandalism in that war. That is one of
10 its characteristics. But it is applicable to all the parties to the
12 As you say that you visited the borderline, I see this in your
13 statement, there were no trenches or bunkers or observation posts.
14 Doesn't that indicate that the army was not preparing any attacks on that
15 -- from that side?
16 These are things that you yourself saw.
17 A. What I saw just before the beginning of the attack on the
18 territory of the Republic of Croatia was not sufficient nor organised nor
19 well done for the purposes of defence, which means there were no trenches,
20 there were no obstacles. If any obstacles existed, even then they were
21 questionable because they were obstacles using wooden pillars and poles,
22 which are no barrier to an armoured vehicle.
23 Q. Very well. Since you are an officer and since you actively played
24 that role during the events you're testifying about, and since there is no
25 doubt that this was a town which is part of the world's cultural heritage
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and which necessarily had to be protected, do you know that, according to
2 international law or according to the Rule 25 of The Hague Convention on
3 the Laws and Customs of War, for a place or town to have the status of an
4 undefended city, it has to fulfil certain conditions; that all fighters,
5 mobile equipment, mobile military equipment, has been evacuated; that
6 immobile military installations are not used for hostilities; that the
7 authorities and the population do not undertake hostile acts; and that
8 they do not take any steps to support military operations. Are you aware
9 of these preconditions in The Hague Conventions, Article 25? Do you
10 believe that you fulfilled any of those conditions?
11 A. We fulfilled all those conditions, because in what you said
12 previously, you were saying that it was a protected monument of culture.
13 Yes. The old town of Dubrovnik is a protected historical entity,
14 protected by UNESCO, and no military operations or installations existed
15 in the protected part. But in the rest of it, yes, because after all, we
16 were entitled to defence. We were defending ourselves.
17 Q. So you are claiming that already in the summer of 1991, in the
18 town of Dubrovnik, there were no numerous formations of the National
19 Guards Corps installed, nor any of the things that I have listed.
20 A. None of the things that you listed were there at the time.
21 Q. How is it possible that reporters of an ITN, a British independent
22 television, in their reports from Dubrovnik, report that the doctors of
23 Dubrovnik told them that you had wartime positions close to civilian
24 facilities? For example, close to the Belvedere Hotel and so on.
25 A. I don't understand the question. Will you please rephrase it.
1 They said -- or ask me and then I'll give you an answer.
2 Q. I'm asking whether that was a fault report, that they had received
3 such information from Dubrovnik doctors that you had wartime positions
4 close to civilian buildings like the Belvedere Hotel.
5 A. From which doctors?
6 Q. From the doctors of Dubrovnik.
7 A. That is very vague. A moment ago when you listed killed Croatian
8 soldiers, you mentioned a name of somebody who withdrew with the JNA and
9 reported that. That was not true and this is not true either.
10 Q. In the third paragraph, you say that the first serious shellings
11 of the surroundings of Dubrovnik started on the 23rd to the 24th of
12 October, 1991. Is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. And that was -- that's a difference of ten days in relation to the
15 day when Pero Poljanic, the town mayor of Dubrovnik, claimed that on the
16 12th of October - he claimed this before TV cameras - that on the 12th of
17 October, 15 shells had fallen on Dubrovnik.
18 A. I simply don't know what Mr. Poljanic claimed.
19 Q. But let us establish the facts. That cannot be true, can it, if
20 you're saying that the first attack occurred on the 23rd to the 24th of
21 October, regardless of whether he claimed it or not or what he claimed and
22 when he claimed it. It couldn't have happened before the 23rd of the
23 October; isn't that right?
24 A. Ask me a question. I'm telling you when it started.
25 Q. So you're claiming that it started on 23rd to the 24th of October.
1 A. Provocations on the part of the so-called JNA.
2 Q. And you do not know that Pero Poljanic claimed that as early as
3 the 12th of October --
4 JUDGE MAY: No.
5 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. You say that you had no armoured vehicles but only light weapons
7 and light mortars, and this commander of yours, Nojko Marinovic, claims
8 that you had two 85-millimetre guns, two anti-tank guns, ten 20/3
9 anti-aircraft guns three barreled or 20 millimetres, two 20/1 one of which
10 was mobile, a large number of 120-millimetre and 80-millimetre mortars,
11 two rocket launchers, and four 85-millimetre guns. This is claimed by
12 Nojko Marinovic, who was the commander. And you were his deputy for
13 security, you said.
14 A. Yes, but on what date was this?
15 Q. I'll read it out to you in a moment. I have here the statement of
16 Nojko Marinovic. If you don't have it, they can give you a copy. It is
17 on pages 14 and 15, and he says the following. At the bottom of page 14
18 I'm quoting from: "On the day the attack started on the 1st of October,
19 1991, the Croatian forces under my command consisted of the following:
20 670 soldiers, which included the National Guards Corps, the MUP, and the
21 just-mobilised personnel."
22 I will slow down.
23 "They were deployed from Slano in the west to Ban, which is about
24 one kilometre from the Montenegrin border in the east." And then he goes
25 on to mention certain people on Mljet, Sipan Kolocep.
1 Then in the next paragraph: "four 85-millimetre guns taken from
2 Korcula --"
3 JUDGE MAY: Before we get to the guns, let the witness deal with
4 what's said about the men. You've heard what the accused has read out
5 from another statement. Do you want to comment on that or not, Mr.
7 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE MAY: I'm afraid we're missing the translation of that.
9 Could you try again. We'll see if we can get it.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ... of the men under his command at
11 the time. Within this number of 670, there was the whole MUP. That is
12 the Ministry of the Interior. So we had the National Guards Corps unit, a
13 special police unit, the normal police, and we also had the Territorial
14 Defence formed. And he was in command of that number of men.
15 However, if you exclude the number of 300 regular policemen, then
16 you will come to the figure that I mentioned.
17 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Simunovic, a moment ago you asked me about the date, and I'm
19 telling you, as I quoted at the beginning, he says the day that the attack
20 started on the 1st of October. So all this that he mentions relates to
21 the period of the 1st of October, when he claims the attack started. Then
22 he goes on to say: "Four 85-millimetre guns taken from Korcula. I
23 deployed two above Cavtat and two in Resnica close to Molunat. Then he
24 goes on to say: "Two zis anti-tank guns, one at Babin Kuk and the other
25 one close to the Neptun Hotel. Then ten 20/3, which means three-barreled
1 guns of 20 millimetres, anti-aircraft guns, and two 20 single barreled
2 ones, so a total of 12 anti-aircraft guns. One of the three-barreled and
3 one of the single barreled guns were placed on trucks and thereby made
4 mobile, which means two were mobiles and ten were stationary. Guns.
5 Then two mortars of 120 millimetres --
6 JUDGE MAY: Pause there. Let's pause there and let the witness
7 deal with the allegations in relation to guns. Let him deal with it. You
8 see -- you hear what's been read out, Mr. Simunovic. Do you want to
9 comment on that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the statement that I made, I
11 mentioned the guns from Korcula. For me, they are guns. As an
12 artilleryman, you know what a zis is. I'm sure you know that. It is a
13 much smaller calibre than a gun, and it is not considered a -- it is an
14 anti-tank gun. Try and remember what you knew from the past.
15 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. I'm just listing what he enumerates. He mentioned 12
17 anti-aircraft 20 millimetre three-barreled guns, and two 85-millimetre
18 guns in Brgat.
19 A. If I may. An anti-aircraft gun or a machine-gun. Tell me, what
20 is the difference in the translation? We did have machine-guns. You're
21 smiling, but that --
22 Q. Mr. Simunovic, I happen to have completed the reserve officer
23 school, LPA, and I know very well what a three-barreled 20 millimetre gun.
24 It is not a machine-gun, it is a gun which fires 700 shells per barrel
25 per minute. It is an anti-aircraft gun or cannon. It means it has three
1 barrels, 700 shells per minute. And then there's a single-barreled same
2 calibre gun with the same velocity. It is of great destructive power. So
3 there were 12 guns or cannon.
4 A. I don't see anything debatable as to what we had for our defence.
5 Shall I now dictate what you had for the attack?
6 Q. I'm not talking about that. I'm just listing these numerous
7 artillery pieces. Just allow me to complete the list and then put a
8 question to you.
9 Then six 82-millimetre mortars in Cepikuce. Two 82-millimetre and
10 two 60-millimetre mortars in Vodovode [phoen]. Then three 82-millimetre
11 in Vovsic Park [phoen] and two 120-millimetres in the auto camp at Babin
12 Kuk. Two rocket launchers with a range of up to eight kilometres, et
13 cetera. Then he also mentions 50 mauser rifles, M-48 he got from Korcula
14 in addition to the semi-automatic and automatic ones for which we saw the
15 receipts. All the other weapons were light weapons, as he says, and so
17 Do you think, therefore, that this personnel, army, the artillery,
18 the weapons, the deployment of mortars and guns were not sufficient to
19 draw the conclusion that the whole zone of Dubrovnik had been seriously
21 A. I think not.
22 Q. Very well, let us move on and not waste time. You said that the
23 army had captured Zarkovica. Since you were an officer in reserve and an
24 active one during the war, is it true that for years there were military
25 facilities and weapons dumps at Zarkovica?
1 A. That is not true.
2 Q. And is it true that you fired at Zarkovica from the town of
3 Dubrovnik itself and you hit that facility at Zarkovica?
4 A. We didn't hit the facility. We hit a military truck full of
5 shells and ammunition.
6 Q. I don't know that, but the truck belonged to the Yugoslav People's
8 A. At the same time that Dubrovnik was being shelled, we shelled them
9 and we hit them very successfully.
10 Q. Let us see just for a few seconds a clip from an ITN film, showing
11 the firing from Dubrovnik to Zarkovica.
12 Please play the tape.
13 JUDGE MAY: This is the last matter we'll deal with before
14 adjourning. We'll play the tape.
15 [Videotape played]
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The shelling the Srdj by the
17 Yugoslav People's Army.
18 MR. MILOSEVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Have we seen it?
20 A. There you are, you hit it.
21 There's another shelling.
22 The planes took off from Podgorica and Mostar. Unfortunately, the
23 picture is very poor. I simply can't see it.
24 Q. It's sufficient because already this is the next clip. This was
25 shooting directly from Dubrovnik at Zarkovica.
1 A. If you consider -- if you mean the town of Dubrovnik as such, not
2 the old town, then, yes, because in those days, we were defending
3 ourselves. You saw this shot which showed that we were even shelled by
4 planes; by vessels, planes, and artillery. And what we had -- I know that
5 you're an artilleryman, that we used what artillery we had. We did, but
6 in -- for the purpose of defence. And we hit it very well on that
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand we can't move any
9 further today.
10 JUDGE MAY: We're going to adjourn now.
11 Mr. Simunovic, would you please be back tomorrow morning at 9.00
12 to conclude your evidence. The accused has another 25 minutes and there
13 may be other questions to be asked. Could you be back then, please. If
14 you'd like to go now.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Milosevic, you say some 40.000 documents were
17 served on you during the period when the Court wasn't sitting due to your
18 illness; is that right?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Forty thousand pages.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But I should like to remind you,
22 Mr. May, I should like to remind you that when the witnesses for Kosovo
23 were being heard, material kept arriving for Bosnia and Croatia. And as
24 you know, on the 13th of September, we finished off with the Kosovo
25 witnesses, hearing their testimony, and that on my table at that time I
1 had 115.000 pages already for Bosnia and Croatia. And while I was
2 examining the Kosovo witnesses, I wasn't able to study those documents.
3 Now the figure for the pages is 300.000 pages and over 1.000 videotapes,
4 and just as many audiotapes I'm quite sure.
5 So I received 40.000 pages alone while I was in my sickbed this
6 past week. And I'm going to quote some of the additional documents, one
7 of the 17th of January, 2002, where it says these materials are exhibits
8 retained by the Prosecution. [Previous translation continues] [In
9 English] ... used at trial and unfortunately were not available for
10 disclosure on 31st of May, 2002. Unfortunately. [Interpretation]
12 THE INTERPRETER: That is the 7th of January, 2003, interpreter's
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And then on the 15th of January, a
15 document which you can find here on this list. It is the 15th of January
16 document, 2003. Also unfortunately, as they say, were not able to be
17 disclosed. And then on the 21st of January, unfortunately, as they say,
18 they were not able to disclose them earlier on. And so on and so forth.
19 So I have no illusions whatsoever that you're going to take any
20 steps in this matter, but I should like it to be recorded to, to remain in
21 the record as an indicator of the way in which you adhere to the
22 principles and equality of arms for both sides that you insist upon, and I
23 have no other demands to make of you, just to show and record that.
24 I should also like to inform you that your former amicus of the
25 court, Mr. Wladimiroff, still abuses the time he spent sitting in the
1 amicus bench, and if you feel so inclined, you can see a new interview by
2 him to the Wall Street Journal, which according to professional ethics he
3 would have no right to give because he uses his attendance in this
4 courtroom here and the time he spent here to make his assessments and
5 evaluations and to abuse the fact that he was an amicus curiae appointed
6 by you to the post that he was appointed to. If you're interested in
7 this, you can take a look at it. If not, I don't mind either way. I just
8 wanted to draw your attention to it.
9 And one more point.
10 JUDGE MAY: Let me just deal with --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And just one more question.
12 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal with -- the matter which you raise about
13 Mr. Wladimiroff would seem to me not to be a matter within our control but
14 we'll look at it.
15 We are more concerned about the first point you make. Now, what's
16 your third point?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The third point is my objection to
18 the fact that the documents should be presented to me in my own language.
19 I have been disclosed them in English. All the documents and statements
20 given by Serbs, Muslims, and Croats, in which you can see that they were
21 given into my own language and not in English, I don't understand why I'm
22 being given these documents in the English language, in English, even when
23 the originals were and initially taken in the language that I myself
24 speak. So I consider this to be intentional. You can conclude what you
1 So that was deliberate. For example, the statement by - what's
2 this man's name? - Spegelj. I'm sure he gave it in Serbo-Croatian, but I
3 have been given it in English. Quite recently, actually.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Milosevic. Mr. Nice, would you
5 deal with those two matters.
6 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly. There was a substantial amount of
7 material that had to be disclosed in the form of exhibits that it had not
8 been possible to serve when the May deadline was imposed, and at the time
9 of the imposition of that deadline, every exhibit had to be listed and
10 they had to be served even if the probabilities are that a large number of
11 them won't now be produced, with a reduced witness list, but having been
12 served in a list, they had to be provided. That's by no means the
13 totality of the material or anything like, and I'm not sure that the
14 figure by the accused is right. It's a very large figure but it may not
15 be 40.000 pages.
16 A large amount of the material served, perhaps 10.000 pages, is
17 material that's being redisclosed because there were unsatisfactory copies
18 or something of that sort, or that these were translation of documents
19 that had previously gone in in another form.
20 There were then -- there was then a particular exhibit, which is a
21 diary of a witness who was going to come last week, I think, but we ran
22 out of time, and that has been disclosed. I think that's a thousand pages
23 in itself and goes, of course, for completeness.
24 There's about 500 pages which it wasn't possible to serve earlier
25 because they'd been subject to restriction under Rule 70. And once the
1 restriction was lifted they therefore were bound to be served and,
2 inevitably, a very large quantity, a couple of binders, I think, of Rule
3 68 material that is our duty to disclose as and when we turn it up. So
4 all of this service simply follows on from the Rules of the Tribunal and
5 our duties thereunder --
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: How many pages are constituted by the Rule 68?
7 MR. NICE: I haven't got a figure -- about a thousand. I think
8 it's about a thousand.
9 Now, as to the point about interpretation or statements in English
10 or B/C/S, there are really two answers to that, one which relates to the
11 proceedings as a whole. Although I know the matter has been discussed
12 earlier, it is, of course, clear that the accused speaks and understands
13 English and indeed there are many references in witness statements and
14 other material available to us revealing that, of course, he speaks and
15 understands English extremely well. But the substantive point is this:
16 Where we -- there's an assumption by the accused which is quite incorrect,
17 that ICTY statements from witnesses from the former Yugoslavia are taken
18 in B/C/S. They're not. As the Chamber knows, they are typically taken in
19 English. And so, for example, if they are served under Rule 68, they will
20 be served in English, being one of the languages of the institution.
21 Where there comes a time that a particular witness statement has to be
22 translated into B/C/S, we put it through the process as quickly as we can.
23 For example, Spegelj's statement will, I think, be translated by the end
24 of the week.
25 So there we are. There's a range of materials that had to be
1 disclosed, part of our continuing obligations. First, the material that
2 wasn't possible to serve in May. Second, the particular exhibit. Third,
3 material that was being redisclosed to assist him and to make sure the
4 material is clear. Fourth, Rule 70; fifth, Rule 68.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kay.
7 MR. NICE: Can I add one other thing, because I think it's
8 important. Two other things. The accused, of course, declines to make
9 any applications because he maintains his position that he doesn't
10 recognise the Tribunal and its procedures. So as it were, we have to
11 construe whatever application he's making for him. He may be in a
12 position where if he were minded to accept that he's participating in
13 these proceedings, he'd ask for more time. So I respond to that.
14 Ms. Dicklich, along with, I think, Ms. Graham before her on the
15 Kosovo part of the trial, along with Ms. Wee, who also is here from time
16 to time and who will more regularly be seen in the Bosnia section of the
17 trial, disclose exhibits of forthcoming witnesses a day or so in advance
18 in order to save the accused from having to search the materials himself
19 and to make his life easier.
20 Given the scale of the case facing him, the various duties on us -
21 we have no option but to disclose this material - we are doing everything
22 possible by service of orders of witnesses and by service of material to
23 assist him.
24 JUDGE MAY: I suppose the concern is that there is just this very
25 huge amount of material and how the accused is to deal with it and whether
1 we should -- if this arises, whether we should admit any more material if
2 there is some issue of material being disclosed with a view to admission
3 not having been disclosed at the proper time. I don't know whether that
4 arises or not.
5 MR. NICE: I don't think -- I don't think it does arise, and if it
6 does arise in any particular case, it can be dealt with. But we face the
7 general obligation to disclose material following on the Court's orders in
8 May of last year, and we are complying with those. They come along with
9 our Rule 68 obligations and, as the Court knows, we are pursuing a policy
10 of informing the Court, the accused, and the amici about the parameters we
11 are applying in order to make a sensible limit on our Rule 68 disclosure
12 and, as the Court knows, we bring that back once every six weeks for
13 reconsideration. So we can't do any more than that.
14 And it would, in our respectful submission, be quite wrong simply
15 to apply any limiting order on exhibits because, inevitably, one, exhibits
16 have to be considered shortly before the witness comes and we arrange for
17 that to happen with the accused wherever possible by actions of our case
18 managers; and two, inevitably from time to time witnesses do turn up with
19 additional documents and it would be simply not to seek to serve the
20 interests of justice to impose an arbitrary exclusion.
21 I --
22 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure how long we've got the courtroom for
23 because there is another matter coming up.
24 MR. NICE: And of course, and I'm reminded by my colleagues - I
25 think probably Mr. Groome but I'm not sure - I'm very grateful for this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 reminder: As the Court knows, we have been suffering from resistance to
2 the production of some of the most critical documents by government
3 agencies. The matter has yet to be litigated. There's a 54 bis
4 application in, and it might be possible to infer or to argue that
5 resistance to the service of those documents has at least apparently
6 served the interests of the accused rather more than anyone else.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kay.
8 MR. KAY: Your Honour, would you like me to turn to it tomorrow
9 when we've perhaps had an opportunity to look from the accused's
10 perspective as to the problem? There is no doubt that such a vast
11 quantity of material will cause him great problems in the preparation of
12 his position before the Court.
13 JUDGE MAY: What we are minded to do is in fact ask for a written
14 report from the Prosecution as to that disclosure. It indeed can be in
15 summary form.
16 MR. NICE: Very well. Yes, of course.
17 JUDGE MAY: But just -- in terms of categories and amount, just so
18 we have some idea of what's going on.
19 MR. NICE: Certainly. We'll do that.
20 Your Honour, in the remaining 30 seconds, can I remind you that,
21 and I won't mention any names or any numbers, but can I remind you that I
22 said yesterday I might have to make an oral application for protective
23 measures. I can't deal with it now, for obvious reasons. I have a draft
24 summary of that witness. If I can distribute that at this stage, then the
25 Court will be better informed as to the scope of evidence when I make the
1 application tomorrow.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will adjourn now. Nine o'clock
3 tomorrow morning.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.01 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 29th day of
6 January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.