1 Wednesday, 21st January 1998
2 (8:30 am)
3 (In open session)
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. I ask for the
5 Registrar to call out the case number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-13a-T,
7 Prosecutor versus Dokmanovic.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. May I have the
9 appearances, please?
10 MR. NIEMANN: If your Honours please, my name
11 is Niemann and I appear with my colleagues
12 Mr. Williamson, Ms. Sutherland, Mr. Waespi and Mr. Vos
13 for the Prosecution.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
15 MR. FILA: Your Honours, good morning, my
16 name is Toma Fila and I am here this morning with my
17 colleagues, Miss Lopicic and Mr. Petrovic.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: So we will now continue with
19 the expert witness. I wonder whether the Registrar
20 could call the witness -- sorry, the usher.
21 Mr. Fila, I wonder, how much time do you need
22 now to continue your cross-examination of Dr. Wheeler?
23 MR. FILA: Not more than one hour, I think.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: One hour?
25 MR. FILA: Yes.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: I was hoping that you would
2 need only half an hour, because there are also some
3 questions from the bench and we have two more
4 witnesses. I wonder whether you could try, as much as
5 possible, to reduce the time you need. I mean, of
6 course, it is for you to decide.
7 MR. FILA: Your Honour, I said one hour so
8 that you would not tell me that I have extended the
9 time. I am sure that it will be shorter than that.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
11 (Witness entered court)
12 Cross-examined by MR. FILA (continued)
13 MR. FILA: I am not going to bother you for
14 a very long time, Dr. Wheeler.
15 Mr. Wheeler, before we start with questions,
16 yesterday you said that all of the Eagles were an
17 organisation that belonged to Seselj. Could it be
18 Bokan, maybe? Seselj's men were Chetniks. I am not
19 trying to impose my opinion, but..
20 A. I have to admit that I have read both, that
21 (transcript unavailable) Chetnik. One has to admit that
22 in this matter of paramilitaries the --
23 Q. Not that it is terribly important, but --
24 yes, they were all paramilitary units.
25 A. The so-called authorities tend to differ in
1 the accounts they give, and I have not actually myself
2 ever had the dubious privilege of meeting any of these
3 people, other than in Bosnia.
4 Q. Yes, Bokan was in prison and Seselj, no.
5 Yesterday you said that the first conflict in
6 the territory of Vukovar began with the incident in
7 Borovo Selo. Do you know anything about who killed --
8 who murdered Reichl Kir, police chief for the territory
9 of Eastern Slavonia?
10 A. Yes, one of his own younger officers shot him
11 as he sat in his car.
12 Q. A Croat or a Serb?
13 A. A Croat. A young Croat who apparently had
14 just lost his family.
15 Q. Did that cause tensions in the area?
16 A. Certainly an awful lot of outsiders who have
17 written about it agree that it did.
18 Q. And those people, did they try to accuse
19 Serbs for that crime?
20 A. Certainly in the western press at the time it
21 took place, local accusations against the Serbs
22 existed. Subsequently, of course, everybody knows the
24 Q. You saw probably on TV, "Death of
25 Yugoslavia", a BBC programme, and the interview that
1 took place with his wife. Do you remember that Kir's
2 wife said that before the attack on the Serbian
3 policemen on Borovo Selo there had been a provocation.
4 Certain people, shot on the village. That was shown on
5 your television, on the British television. Is that
7 A. It is indeed.
8 Q. Yes, so does that mean that there were
9 provocations on the part of Croats before Serbs
10 actually killed those policemen?
11 A. There were provocations on both sides.
12 Certainly --
13 Q. No, I did not ask about both sides, I just
14 ask you whether Croats did any provocations. Mr. Niemann
15 will probably ask you about Serbs.
16 MR. NIEMANN: Well, perhaps the witness might
17 be permitted to answer fully to the question, your
18 Honour, when asked.
19 MR. FILA: I apologise. Nothing against him
20 answering the question, I just wanted to know whether
21 Croats did any provocations in Borovo Selo before the
22 incident took place, and I wanted a yes or no answer,
23 and if I am not mistaken, the answer was, "yes".
24 A. You are right. The answer is "yes", and
25 I said as much, of course, in the written statement
1 I submitted.
2 Q. That is okay.
3 Did an expulsion of Serbs take place from the
4 territory of Vukovar before August 1991 and do you know
5 how many left?
6 A. I do not know how many left. I have seen
7 various figures. I do not know anything about their
8 accuracy, but before August of 1991 most of these
9 departures on the part of Serbs I do not think can
10 actually be described as, "expulsions". The level of
11 tension was very great, and people were fleeing. Serbs
12 were fleeing, as were Croats. They felt in many cases
13 that the situation was such that they were leaving
14 under pressure, but I do not think you could describe
15 it as "ethnic cleansing" in the way that term later
16 became understood.
17 Q. No, of course not. I did not mean to say
18 that. The question followed the issue of mistrust,
19 mutual mistrust. I did not mean it as ethnic cleansing.
20 In Vukovar, was there a JNA barracks?
21 A. Yes, indeed.
22 Q. Were there -- throughout Croatia, military
23 installations were under blockade, the electricity was
24 cut off, water supply as well, before August 1991.
25 A. Certainly President Tudjman's decision to
1 embrace the blockade of JNA barracks as a military
2 tactic came that summer. I do not actually know whether
3 before August of 1991 any barracks were under blockade.
4 Q. You do not know at all whether there were any
5 blockades -- you know, for example, about Split.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. On 6th May 1991.
8 A. Yes. The blockade of barracks had been used
9 by as a general Croatian strategy. I believe it
10 actually started in August, where it became widespread.
11 Virtually all barracks being blockaded.
12 Q. Whether there were any soldiers, young
13 soldiers, conscripts doing their military service in
14 those barracks at that time, soldiers coming from all
15 parts of Yugoslavia?
16 A. Yes, indeed. I mean, the effectiveness of
17 that as a strategy on the part of the Croats depended
18 upon -- that is a strategy dependent upon, of course,
19 their having hostages.
20 Q. So, not only Serbs were in those barracks.
21 That is the essence of my questions.
22 A. That is right.
23 Q. The one who was strangled in Split near the
24 tank, was he a Serb or a Macedonian? You know the
25 incident I am referring to?
1 A. He was a Macedonian.
2 Q. Yes. A Macedonian.
3 Was there a decision of the presidency of the
4 SFRY headed by Stipe Mesic, therefore a presidency in
5 full composition, about the --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not
7 understand the question.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, could you repeat
9 the question?
10 MR. FILA: Was there a decision, decisions of
11 the presidency of Yugoslav that were reached by all
12 members of the presidency on the disarmament and
13 dissolution of paramilitary formations? Those decisions
14 were brought in the first half of 1991 and were signed
15 by Stipe Mesic.
16 A. Yes, of course, the presidency agreed that
17 paramilitary formations should be abolished, but of
18 course, this did not include Serb paramilitary
19 formations in Croatia at the time, and of course, as
20 you well know, the decision was not carried out.
21 Tudjman managed to avoid it.
22 Q. I just wanted to know whether there was
23 a decision signed by a Croat. That was my question.
24 Do you know that there was a decision issued
25 by the Croatian Parliament of 5th December 1991 on the
1 withdrawal of all Croatian representatives from the
2 federal administration?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I apologise. I just want to mention that that
5 decision has been handed over to you, and the
6 Prosecution has disputed its authenticity.
7 You have shown, and that is a Prosecution
8 exhibit number 1, an ethnic map of Yugoslavia from
9 1991. You remember exhibit number 1. Do you remember
10 it? This is the map I am referring to.
11 Would you kindly show the court how many
12 Serbs lived there and how many remain -- how many Serbs
13 remain today in Croatia on this map?
14 A. Well, the map --
15 Q. Are there any Serbs in Lika, Kordun, Banija,
16 northern Dalmatia? Is there any Serb living there,
17 except for elderly people?
18 A. There are very few Serbs living there now,
19 after Oluja and Bljesak.
20 Q. Is there a single military-aged man living
22 A. There are, some have returned, especially
23 from Eastern Slavonia, in the past year or so, but
24 immediately after Oluja, the Serb population of then UN
25 sectors north and south or the former sectors north and
1 south was reduced to below 10,000 persons. Between 8
2 and 10,000.
3 Q. Thank you. Which political group was
4 supported by the extremist Ustasha immigration, HDZ or
5 STP, whose member Dokmanovic was at the time?
6 A. I think it qualifies as a leading question.
7 Obviously, insofar as there were extreme
8 nationalist Croats abroad who owed some sort of family
9 or ideological legacy to the Ustasha immigration of the
10 immediate post-Second World War period, they would have
11 tended to favour the HDZ.
12 Q. Thank you. Is there today in the Croatian
13 Parliament, are there any descendants from that Ustasha
14 organisation? Where is Gojka Susak from, the Minister
15 of Defence of Croatia? Does he come from the
16 immigration circles? From Canada? Yes or no?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Who is the author of the book, the
19 original title is "Bespvce Povijesne Zbilje"?
20 A. Tudjman.
21 Q. Thank you. Was the condition for recognition
22 of Croatia by Israel a public apology from Mr. Tudjman,
23 from President Tudjman for his anti-semitic allegations
24 in that book? Yes or no?
25 A. I do not know, but would I not be surprised
1 if the answer is, "yes".
2 Q. Did Croatia have some kind of Willy Brandt in
3 its history after the Second World War, to apologise,
4 the way Willy Brandt did, to all of the victims that
5 were killed in the Jasenovac camp?
6 A. Certainly there was no charismatic political
7 leader who took upon himself that role, although
8 I think in practical terms one might actually have
9 thought that Vladimir Bakaric had some sort of --
10 MR. FILA: Yes, that is the Communist era.
11 That would conclude my questions concerning JNA and the
12 political situation.
13 With your permission, your Honours, I would
14 ask just a couple of questions regarding the local
16 Let us finish with these bloody issues. Let
17 us talk about something else. You said yesterday that
18 you are familiar with the constitutional order of
19 Yugoslavia. Which unit of the local government is the
20 principal unit in Yugoslavia? Is that the municipality?
21 A. Yes, the municipality, the "opstina", made
22 up of "mesadijnes", or local communes.
23 Q. Yes, and so on. What is the role of any
24 parliamentary body, parliamentary authority?
25 A. Well, the role of any assembly, any
1 representative assembly, of course, is the legislative
3 Q. That is right. The municipality upwards, the
4 republic, the state, et cetera. Is that correct?
5 A. That is right.
6 Q. Right. President of the municipal assembly --
7 I am sorry, let me rephrase it. Within the municipal
8 assembly -- I am trying to speed up the proceedings --
9 is there an executive council?
10 A. Yes, there would be --
11 Q. Does it constitute the executive authority on
12 the territory of that municipality? Does it have its
13 own president?
14 A. It would have a chairman, yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Does the president of the
16 municipal assembly reach independent decisions, any
17 decision apart from a convening session of the assembly
18 itself? Represent the assembly to sign decisions that
19 were passed by the assembly?
20 A. Well, the system of municipal government was
21 that of a hybrid one. The president of the local
22 assembly would have executive powers and certainly
23 would have authority because of the position --
24 Q. The president of the executive council, you
1 A. No, the president of the assembly also would
2 have certain executive authority, in practice if not in
4 Q. In theory, I am asking, because in practise,
5 yes, it may be that the person who enjoys the highest
6 reputation in the area. Now, please let us clarify
7 something because of various rumours.
8 Does the municipal assembly or its president
9 appoint judges, prosecutors, does he conduct trials in
10 any way? Or is this the judiciary that has nothing to
11 do with him?
12 A. I believe that you are correct in suggesting
13 it has nothing to do with him. It is a matter for the
14 judicial --
15 Q. Does he appear as commander of military
16 barracks? Does he have some kind of authority over
17 military units stationed on the territory of his
19 A. Under the Territorial Defence system, in
20 certain circumstances the local authorities
21 collectively would have influence over that system.
22 Q. I am asking about the JNA. The JNA.
23 A. Over the JNA, over the People's Army? No. But
24 over Territorial Defence, yes.
25 Q. I am asking about the JNA. That is what I am
1 interested in.
2 Does the witness know that on the territory
3 of the SFRY there were also military courts. Does the
4 president to the municipal assembly have certain
5 competencies, jurisdiction as regards military courts?
6 Because he did not have any other civilian courts, you
8 A. Certainly in theory he ought not to have any
9 such competence.
10 Q. Does the president of the municipal assembly
11 appoint the Chief of Police or is this done by the
12 Ministry of the Interior of the Republic concerned?
13 A. Again, in theory, no. In practice, certainly
14 this would be something in which the influence, the,
15 "fazir", of the President of the Assembly or any other
16 high ranking local person often would be brought to
17 bear. In other words, the local assembly chief could
18 easily pick up the telephone and talk to the Minister
19 of the Interior in the republican capital and get his
20 man --
21 Q. That is okay. My direct question was in
22 respect of theory and competencies, whether this person
23 could appoint such people or not. I think that we were
24 all agreed that the president of the municipal assembly
25 is the first person in town, the topmost important in
1 the town. In a situation of war or of immediate threat
2 of war, does his position change in respect of the
3 JNA? For example, if war breaks out, can this person
4 command over the JNA? Does this person have command
5 over the JNA if there is an internal or international
6 conflict or whatever?
7 A. No, but if there were an international
8 conflict --
9 Q. I am asking about the JNA.
10 A. He would not have authority over the JNA but
11 over the committee established in which such a person
12 would participate.
13 Q. Professor, local crisis staff certainly could
14 not command the JNA, I am just asking about the JNA
15 directly because in this conflict it was the JNA that
16 bombed Vukovar, that shelled Vukovar, not the municipal
17 crisis staff or assembly. Right?
18 A. That is correct, but there would be liaison
19 between the local authorities and the JNA. That
20 certainly would have been provided for. Official
22 Q. And to conclude, how does someone become
23 president of the municipal assembly, and how is someone
24 relieved of that duty? Can someone be president of the
25 municipal assembly if the assembly itself has been
2 A. If the assembly has been dissolved, then no.
3 Any such person could resign or be sacked by his
4 colleagues or in times of extreme danger, of course,
5 the republican authorities in the capital could sack
7 Q. I agree with you on that, but we have agreed
8 that if there is not a municipal assembly there is no
9 president of the municipal assembly. Right? Yes or no?
10 A. Unless, of course, a large part of that
11 municipal assembly split off and operated in completely
12 new circumstances outside the prevailing system.
13 I think what you are getting at, of course, is the fact
14 that it could be argued that the Serbian component of
15 the municipal assembly in Vukovar, in particular, at
16 some point in the spring of 1991, ceased to recognise
17 the authority of the Croatian Republic, whereas, of
18 course, the Croatian Republic from Zagreb, of course,
19 was seeking to disband the municipal assembly in
20 Vukovar, so there was a mutual disrecognition that took
21 place in those circumstances.
22 Q. Did they make an attempt to do it or should
23 I show you a document proving that they actually did
24 it, and that they appointed a different person to that
25 same office and this person is going to be a witness
1 here, Belije, and I can show you a document proving
2 that. Is that correct?
3 A. You are correct, indeed. Zagreb did do that.
4 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you so much, Mr. Fila.
6 I wonder whether the Prosecutor wants to re-examine the
7 expert witness.
8 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN
9 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, your Honour.
10 Mr. Wheeler, yesterday you were asked some
11 questions about the role of the JNA, especially in
12 Vukovar, but in other places. After the JNA withdrew
13 from Slovenia in July 1991, could it be said that
14 thereafter it was still fighting to maintain the SFRY?
15 A. I think in general terms, no. The certainly
16 commanding heights of the JNA had, after the
17 humiliation of the adventure in Slovenia, no place to
18 go other than total allegiance to the lesser aims and
19 objectives of Slobodan Milosevic, but that does not
20 mean that there were still elements in the JNA who
21 continued to believe that they were fighting for
22 Yugoslavia or something, as much of a Yugoslavia as
23 they could have, but they were being increasingly
24 marginalised in terms of influence within the military
25 command structure.
1 Q. So to some extent are you saying that after
2 that time it then began, by a gradual process, to begin
3 fighting for the Serb state?
4 A. Yes, indeed. This process had been a long
5 time in developing, but certainly, I think, the
6 defining moment when the JNA ceases to be an army which
7 represents a vanished state can be dated to the
8 27th June 1991, when they moved into Slovenia.
9 Q. You also were asked some questions about the
10 SANU Memorandum and the fact that it was not officially
11 published. At the time that it was produced, would it
12 have been in accord with the Communist ideal of Tito's
14 A. No. The significance of the SANU Memorandum
15 is that the reaction to it, the popular reaction to
16 it. The mere fact that so many established
17 intellectuals were reacting so negatively towards the
18 Titoist legacy was to show the Communist authorities
19 that they needed a new source of legitimacy. In other
20 words, the SANU Memorandum paved the way for the new
21 ideology of populist nationalism which would allow
22 Slobodan Milosevic in particular to maintain power in
23 Serbia, even though he had jettisoned the old Marxist
24 Leninism. It was a transitional document showing that
25 there was a new source of legitimacy out there to be
1 grabbed and Milosevic eventually grabbed it.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes?
3 MR. FILA: I have an objection, your Honour.
4 The Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann, is speculating. No one ever
5 said, "the memorandum of the Serbian Academy of
6 Sciences and Arts", but only, "the draft memorandum",
7 because a memorandum would be an official document
8 whereas a draft memorandum which was stolen may be
9 a document for someone else but it is certainly not
10 a document for me and that is where the difference is,
11 and the Prosecutor, Mr. Niemann, is asking about the
12 SANU Memorandum is something which does not exist. That
13 was said yesterday, so this is speculation.
14 MR. NIEMANN: If we are to be politically
15 correct in terms of Serbian politics, your Honour, I am
16 happy for it to be called, "draft".
17 Dr. Wheeler, in your opinion, did the SFRY
18 cease to exist when Stipe Mesic did not rotate as the
19 SFRY president on 15th May 1991, or do you think that
20 it may have happened earlier?
21 A. I think that one could, in retrospect,
22 identify any number of dates between 1989 and June of
23 1991, when the SFRY ceased to exist. The 15th May when
24 Mesic was prevented from fulfilling the chair of the
25 presidency is one possible date. I do not think myself
1 that all bets were off and all hope extinguished that
2 some new form of Yugoslavia might have emerged until
3 shots were exchanged between the JNA and the Slovene
4 forces in June. I think that was the point of absolute
5 no return, but a constitutionally-minded scholar might
6 well conclude that the 15th May was significant,
7 equally significant.
8 Q. During your cross-examination, you were asked
9 questions about fears that Serbs had in 1990 related to
10 what happened at Jasenovac during World War II. Were
11 these fears in any way promoted from Belgrade, Belgrade
12 media or political pronouncements from Belgrade?
13 A. Oh, they certainly were. The promotion of
14 fear had been one of the principal planks of
15 Milosevic's policy, since coming to power in Serbia in
16 1987. The initial objects of Serb terror were meant to
17 be, of course, rampaging Albanian sodomites in Kosovo,
18 who were meant to be going around looking for every
19 Serb nun that they could injure. Later on, the targets
20 expanded into Islamic fundamentalists in Bosnia and the
21 descendants of the Ustashe, or literal Ustashe
22 knife-wielding terrorists in Croatia. This was all part
23 and parcel of Serbian policy at the time, Milosevic's
25 Q. You were also asked how many Serbs lived --
1 now live in the Krajina region and you indicated that
2 there are very few there. When did this occur, when did
3 the rapid decline in numbers occur? What year? As
4 a consequence of what?
5 A. Oh, well, the near total extinction of
6 centuries of Serbian habitation in Croatia came in 1995
7 with the Croatian military actions, Oluja in August and
8 Bljesak in May. A point that I think is important that
9 should be made, however, was that the -- even in the
10 days of its supposed strength, the so-called Republika
11 Srpska Krajina was haemorrhaging people. The
12 population, for economic reasons, because of lack of
13 security, because of the fact it was effectively
14 a gangster state, the population was flowing out from
15 1991 onwards, but certainly the great mass expulsion,
16 or the great mass flight which could be viewed as an
17 expulsion on the part of the Croatian authorities, took
18 place in the spring and summer of 1995.
19 Q. Just between the period I think you have just
20 touched on, I think between 1991 and 1995, were there
21 many Croats living in this region?
22 A. No, they had long since been cleansed, in the
23 same way that Mr. Fila pointed out, the bulk of the
24 remaining Serbian population in these former Serb-ruled
25 areas is elderly, so too, before 1995, the remaining
1 Croats in Serb-controlled areas were also simply the
2 elderly, the people who had no option but to stay put.
3 Q. And this cleansing of the Croats, that
4 occurred in 1991?
5 A. Yes. Well, it began in 1990 and continued
6 through 1991, yes.
7 Q. Thank you. No further questions.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
9 MR. FILA: I am sorry, your Honour. I thought
10 that Mr. Niemann had completed his examination. We know
11 that we all have the same rights, so if he put further
12 questions, then I am entitled to do the same thing.
13 Yesterday, the expert said that it was
14 a draft memorandum, and that it was stolen from the
15 Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Is that true or
16 not? Because someone has misspoken, either I or
17 Mr. Niemann. Is it an official document of the SANU
18 order, or is it a draft that was stolen from the SANU,
19 so it is a very clear question, we should clarify this
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Fila, just one question
22 because under our Rules of Procedure, Rule 85(B), only
23 examination-in-chief, cross-examination and
24 re-examination shall be allowed in each case, so for
25 the sake of clarifying this matter I will allow you to
1 ask just one question and then we will move on to the
2 questions from the bench.
3 MR. FILA: Thank you.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: May I ask the expert witness
5 to reply, to answer this question? Did you ask
6 a question?
7 MR. FILA: Yes, that is all.
8 A. Mr. Fila is correct, it was a draft
9 memorandum, which was purloined, but I think that in
10 retrospect it would be fair to say that it was floated
11 as a trial balloon. In other words, at the time it was
12 far too subversive a document for the official SANU
13 members to be associated with, but they were interested
14 certainly in gauging popular reaction to it. But it was
15 indeed a draft.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I will now ask,
17 if --
18 MR. FILA: I am sorry, your Honour, that is
19 the first part of the question that was answered. The
20 second part is, "was this an official SANU document? An
21 official document of the Serbian Academy of Science and
22 Arts?", so it is one question; was it an official
23 document or a draft that was purloined?
24 A. Again, Mr. Fila is technically correct. It was
25 a draft, it was stolen, and it was not official.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Thank you. We
2 will now move to questions from the bench. Judge May?
3 JUDGE MAY: Dr. Wheeler, you have just been
4 asked about the municipal assembly, and I think that
5 certainly from my point of view it would be helpful to
6 know what the structure of local government was, where
7 the municipal assembly fitted in in Yugoslavia or
8 where, whatever, in 1991 in the early part that we are
9 dealing with.
10 A. Well, you will have heard me make
11 distinctions between theory and practice in attempting
12 to answer Mr. Fila's questions. The problem was that the
13 structure of local government, like the structure of
14 everything in Yugoslavia after 1974, and the apotheosis
15 of self-management in the constitution of that year, is
16 extremely complex. Everybody was supposed to be meeting
17 all the time with everybody else to establish
18 everything. It was meant to be the world's most
19 thoroughly democratised system, in which everybody,
20 wearing one sort of hat or another, a hat as
21 a producer, a hat as a consumer, a hat as a member of
22 a political -- socio-political organisation, was
23 constantly meeting in assemblies to decide their own
24 affairs. A latter-day cynic would say that this was
25 simply a means of atomising society in order better to
1 guarantee the rule of the party, and it might have
2 worked out that way had the party itself maintained any
3 kind of cohesion or unity, but since the party did not,
4 after Tito's death, since the party was fracturing, so
5 too did the system of -- remember, the system of local
6 government is mirrored in the economy, it is mirrored
7 in the way in which the forces of law and order are
8 supposedly managed, everybody is involved in this
9 self-management system of endless assemblies and
10 endless meetings.
11 In point of fact, therefore, when the
12 cohesion is gone, after Tito, the system really rather
13 breaks down and we have to start talking about practice
14 rather than theory.
15 So, if you would like to try to pose
16 a specific question to me about how it may have
17 worked --
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, what I want to know is what
19 is the municipal assembly, then, as a specific
21 A. The municipal assembly would be the
22 equivalent to a city council.
23 JUDGE MAY: What was the role of the
24 president in this?
25 A. As I tried to say to Mr. Fila.
1 JUDGE MAY: Slow down, I think, slow down.
2 A. Are you to slow down, or am I?
3 JUDGE MAY: You.
4 A. The role of the assembly, the role of the
5 president to the assembly, would depend very much on
6 the authority of the individual, I think. Some
7 individuals would have had a commanding presence and
8 could have run their local districts, their cities, as
9 sort of old-fashioned party bosses. Others would have
10 been creatures of various interest groups and factions,
11 so I do not think it is possible to generalise across
12 any one republic, or certainly across the country as
13 a whole about how powerful a person a president of
14 a local assembly would be. It would depend on that
15 person, and their own power base.
16 JUDGE MAY: And who, then, appointed the
17 municipal assembly, who appointed the president?
18 A. Oh, they were elected in elections.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
20 A. One party elections.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Dr. Wheeler,
22 I have two questions.
23 Question number 1: in the period between June
24 and September 1991, did the central authorities of
25 Croatia exercise effective control over what has now
1 become the Croatian territory? Were there areas of
2 Croatia that were not under the effective control of
3 the central authorities?
4 A. There were large areas of Croatia which were
5 outside the control of the capital, outside of Zagreb's
6 control, yes.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Which ones? Could you point
8 to particular areas where there was no effective
10 A. Certainly, Zagreb's writ did not run in
11 northern Dalmatia, an area around Knin, Zagreb's
12 authority did not prevail in the area to the north of
13 that, Lika and Kordun, and then spreading across the
14 bottom of Croatia, south of Zagreb, in Banija. In the
15 course of that summer further areas exempt themselves
16 from Zagreb's control; latterly, of course, the area
17 that this court is most concerned with, Eastern
19 JUDGE CASSESE: In those areas where the
20 central Croatian authorities did exercise effective
21 control, what sort of control did they exercise?
22 I mean, in other words, this control, what sort of
23 manifestations took up? I mean, say, military control?
24 Administrative control? Economic control?
25 A. In all of those ways. The Tudjman government,
1 when it was elected in April and May of 1990, had very
2 grand ambitions for restoring what they saw as Croatian
3 authority in Croatia itself. There was a feeling on the
4 part of many Croatian nationalists that their country,
5 their Republic had, for too long, been ruled by alien
6 elements, whether those were Communists or Serbs or the
7 products of mixed marriages or all sorts of dubious
8 elements, in any case, and there was a determination on
9 the part of Tudjman to get rid of the Communists, and
10 to get rid of the Serbs. That meant imposing his own
11 people in the judiciary, in the press, in the media, in
12 the police, all of those areas which were vital for the
13 assurgence of the new party's control.
14 This, of course, would be an aim of any
15 incoming government where one party replaces another,
16 but after 40-some years of Communist rule, and given
17 the nationalistic tenor of the times, the purge, if one
18 could call it that, was destined to be more extreme in
19 Croatia, than it would, for example, be in the United
20 States when a Republican administration replaces
21 a Democratic administration. There is of course a purge
22 in both cases, but the extent of that purge was, of
23 course, in the Croatian circumstance, all the greater.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I move on to my
25 second. Question: in the armed conflict that broke out
1 in Eastern Slavonia in 1991, were the local Serbian
2 civilians fighting against the Croatian authorities
3 integrated into the JNA, or did they make up a separate
4 body of combatants independent of the JNA? When I speak
5 of Serbian civilians I intend to refer to persons not
6 belonging to the paramilitary units, such as those led
7 by Arkan and Seselj.
8 A. Well, many local civilians would have joined
9 or formed their own paramilitary units which would have
10 worked hand in glove with the JNA.
11 The extent to which residual Serbian civilian
12 authorities worked with the JNA, if that is what you
13 are asking, would have, I suppose, varied according to
14 the effectiveness of the local liaison which was
15 established by both sides.
16 We know, for example, in the case of the Knin
17 area, where much more has been written about this, that
18 the intensity or intimacy of the co-operation between
19 local Serbian authorities and the military varied
20 tremendously depending on the personalities involved.
21 I would imagine that in Western or Eastern
22 Slavonia, that this would have been the same, that in
23 some places, again, the local authorities that remained
24 or were acting in defiance of Zagreb were totally
25 integrated with, and collaborating with the JNA. In
1 other areas, perhaps this could have been from village
2 to village, almost. They could have been rather more
4 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I wonder whether
5 there is any objection to Dr. Wheeler being released.
6 Any objection from the Prosecutor or from the Defence?
8 All right, so you may be released,
9 Dr. Wheeler, thank you so much for coming.
10 A. Thank you.
11 (The witness withdrew)
12 MR. NIEMANN: I call Borislav Magovac.
13 (Witness entered court)
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Magovac.
15 Could you please make the solemn declaration?
16 BORISLAV MAGOVAC (sworn)
17 JUDGE CASSESE: You may be seated.
18 Examined by MR. NIEMANN
19 Q. Mr. Magovac, would you state your full name
20 for me, please?
21 A. My name is Borislav Magovac.
22 Q. When and where were you born?
23 A. I was born on 23rd August 1950 in Brodski
25 Q. And what is your ethnic origin?
1 A. Croat.
2 Q. And what is your educational background?
3 A. I graduated from the Faculty of Political
4 Science in Zagreb.
5 Q. And did you later become a professor?
6 A. After I completed my university studies in
7 the former Yugoslavia I had to pass an examination to
8 become a professor at secondary school and that is what
9 I did, and I became a professor of Marxism.
10 Q. And where did you live for the most part of
11 your life?
12 A. I permanently lived in Ilok.
13 Q. Can you very briefly just outline your
14 professional career?
15 A. After finishing my university studies
16 I started teaching in a secondary school in Backa
17 Palanka as a professor. After that, after seven years
18 in Backa Palanka I became director of the kindergarten
19 in Ilok, and I spent about four years there and after
20 that I was appointed director of the catering company
21 in Vukovar until the beginning of the war.
22 Q. When did you stop working in Vukovar and why
23 did you stop working in Vukovar, the city of Vukovar?
24 A. I stopped working in Vukovar on 23rd August
25 1991. I know the exact date because it was my birthday.
1 I was unable to continue working in Vukovar due to the
2 very difficult and complex situation. War operations
3 had started against the town of Vukovar.
4 Q. Now, after you stopped working in Vukovar,
5 what did you then do?
6 A. I went on with my life in Ilok. With a group
7 of citizens of Ilok we established a body which started
8 working on the overall organisation of life and
9 activities in Ilok.
10 Q. And what was the main function of this
11 organisation? What was its primary objective?
12 A. This party was established by the municipal
13 assembly of Ilok because of the exceptionally difficult
14 and complex situation. In terms of the overall
15 organisation of life in the area, an executive body was
16 necessary in order to coordinate various agreements
17 between us and the neighbouring town of Backa Palanka
18 and Sid, and having a good relationship, or rather some
19 kind of working relationship with both, was essential
20 to our survival at that time.
21 Q. And Backa Palanka and Sid, are those towns
22 both in Serbia?
23 A. Say in Serbia, yes, but at that time it was
24 the autonomous province of Vojvodina.
25 Q. And why was it necessary to try and establish
1 good relations with both those towns?
2 A. Perhaps you are familiar with the
3 geo-strategic position of the town of Ilok. Then you can
4 see that it deeply penetrates the territory of the
5 Republic of Serbia and the only possible contact with
6 Croatia is via Vukovar, or rather Tovarnik. Once this
7 was cut off the only way to survive was to have some
8 kind of communication between these towns, between
9 which the town of Ilok is located anyway.
10 THE REGISTRAR: We have lost the transcript.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Because of technical problems
12 I propose we have a recess of 15 minutes.
13 (9:45 am)
14 (A short break)
15 (9:50 am)
16 MR. NIEMANN: Mr. Magovac, could you please
17 briefly describe for their Honours the build-up of
18 tension in the Ilok area in particular, but in the
19 region around Ilok in 1991, in a brief sort of
20 description of the build-up of tensions in that area?
21 A. More significant disturbances or tensions
22 took place after the conflict in Borovo Selo and after
23 the death of a certain number of members of MUP in the
24 summer of 1991. The situation was getting more complex
25 every day, in all aspects of everyday life, but the
1 climax was the situation got really unbearable after
2 the direct attacks and after the start of military
3 operations in the area of Vukovar.
4 Ilok is situated 35 kilometres east of
5 Vukovar, and by way of comparison, let me say that it
6 is a kind of dead-end of the territory of the Republic
7 of Croatia, and all routes, all communication lines
8 were cut off from the direction of Vukovar. Therefore,
9 this kind of situation affected the organisation of
10 everyday life. Let me mention, perhaps, a banal detail.
11 A simple aspirin was almost impossible to obtain, let
12 alone problems with electricity, water supply, and so
13 on. The supply of the city itself, and its citizens,
14 became a very big problem.
15 Q. Now, who was responsible for cutting Vukovar
16 off from its lines of supply? Who did that?
17 A. Ilok, you mean?
18 Q. Yes, from Vukovar. I think you said it had
19 lines of supply from Vukovar, but perhaps generally.
20 Its lines of supply.
21 A. I can say that the supply, lines of supply
22 were interrupted, were cut off by the JNA that took, at
23 the end of the month of August, all key positions
24 around the town of Ilok. For example, the road towards
25 Sid, Backa Palanka, the road leading to the bridge, and
1 so on. Also, due to the military operations in the area
2 of Vukovar at that time, it was impossible to travel in
3 that direction. It was impossible to have any kind of
4 contact with the rest of Croatia.
5 At that time at the end of August, the JNA
6 occupied all key positions, strategic positions,
7 strategic points in the area of Ilok.
8 Q. In Ilok itself, who was opposing the JNA, if
10 A. I think that the opposition opposing the JNA
11 in Ilok was none. There had been some kind of attempt
12 to negotiate in Ilok. We tried to negotiate with the
13 representatives of the JNA, and we also attempted to
14 prevent the JNA from entering Ilok and occupying the
15 town itself.
16 Q. What about in other parts of the municipality
17 of Vukovar? Do you know who it was that was opposing
18 the JNA in those other parts of Vukovar?
19 A. As the manager of a catering company I had
20 entered into some contracts -- I signed a contract with
21 the Ministry of the Interior. The contract related to
22 the accommodation and provisions, supplies for the
23 Ministry of the Interior. I also signed a contract with
24 the Croatian guards, Croatian National Guards, an
25 agreement about the same type of services that
1 I provided to the Ministry of the Interior. Therefore,
2 officially those who did resist the JNA at that time --
3 I am referring to the period at the end of August --
4 where members of the Ministry of the Interior of the
5 Republic of Croatia and members of the Croatian
6 National Guards.
7 Q. And by, "members of the Ministry of the
8 Interior", that is the police is it,?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. And the National Guard of Croatia was
11 referred to as the ZNG. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you just -- now, you mentioned earlier
14 that you were on this executive body of Ilok that was
15 appointed by the Ilok assembly. Can you describe for me
16 the structure of local government in that part of
17 Yugoslavia at the time, as it applied to the town of
18 Ilok? Can you tell me how the structure worked in Ilok
19 town itself?
20 A. As far as structure and organisation is
21 concerned, Ilok had a kind of local government. The
22 local government in Ilok was structured in the
23 following way; there were four local communes and
24 because of the town itself and the way it was
25 organised, those four local communes entered a kind of
1 assembly or a community, and the principal body of that
2 community was the assembly of the town. The assembly
3 elected its own executive council, town council, as an
4 executive body. Among other executive bodies, the
5 assembly was able to establish various commissions or
6 committees, and let me just mention, for example, that
7 when certain works had to be carried out, like harvest,
8 for example, at the level of the town municipal
9 assembly, we would usually establish a commission that
10 took care of all problems concerning the harvest,
11 protection against fire and so on.
12 Also, whenever circumstances were very
13 difficult, and especially in view of the very difficult
14 situation at the end of the month of August, the
15 assembly decided --
16 MR. NIEMANN: I am sorry, I interrupted you.
17 We had some trouble with the screen. Please continue.
18 A. At the end of August, due to a very complex
19 situation which had befallen the town of Ilok, the town
20 assembly established one more body, namely a commission
21 which was tasked with establishing contacts, conducting
22 negotiations with the neighbouring town of Backa
23 Palanka, members or representatives of the JNA and
24 representatives of the town of Sid.
25 Q. So you were appointed to this commission,
1 were you?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. And the purpose of it was to meet with Serb
4 representatives, was it not, including the JNA, and
5 civil people in civil authority in order to try and
6 resolve the conflict?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I was asking you some questions about the
9 town assembly. The town assembly, you said, appointed
10 an executive council. Was a president also appointed to
11 the town assembly?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And what of the executive council? Was there
14 an executive council of Ilok? -- sorry, I withdraw
16 With respect to the executive council, did it
17 also appoint a president, or was that president the
18 same one as the town assembly president?
19 A. President of the executive council was
20 a special office, special importance. It is an
21 executive body of the town assembly, and of course, it
22 demanded a special function. The president of the
23 executive council was Mr. Crvenkovic.
24 Q. Now, Ilok is in the municipality of Vukovar,
25 is it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And there is an assembly for the municipality
3 as well, is there?
4 A. Yes, there is.
5 Q. And is the assembly for the municipality in
6 a higher position than the assembly for the town, say,
7 for example, of Ilok?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is the -- did the town of Vukovar itself also
10 have a town assembly?
11 A. The town of Vukovar had several local
12 communes, but there was no assembly of local communes.
13 Each local commune was represented at territorial hall,
14 and this was something specific for that area.
15 Local communes had the statutes of small
17 Q. Thank you. Did the -- can you tell us what,
18 if any, was the relationship between the local
19 administration at Ilok and the municipal administration
20 of Vukovar?
21 A. The everyday life of the citizens of the
22 former Yugoslavia and the fulfilment of their everyday
23 needs was carried out, realised, and implemented at the
24 level of municipality. In the political system of the
25 SFRY, municipality represented a kind of base for the
1 fulfilment of everyday needs of the citizens of
3 As far as more specific, immediate needs of
4 the citizens were concerned, there was lower level as
5 well, namely local communes. Local communes were lower
6 bodies, lower types of organisations which were meant
7 to provide for the needs of the local population. The
8 idea was to have this process of making decisions
9 concerning everyday life of citizens as close as
10 possible to the local population. Therefore, we had
11 a number of local communes in our territory, almost
12 every single village was a local commune within the
13 municipality of Vukovar.
14 Q. Now, what was the highest position, the
15 highest position one could reach in the whole of the
16 municipality? What position was the highest position in
17 the municipality in local government?
18 A. The highest body, authority, the highest
19 authority was the municipal assembly. At that time,
20 municipal assemblies had their own executive bodies
21 that were tasked with carrying out its main functions.
22 The principal organ, therefore, was the municipal
23 assembly which was formed, appointed through elections.
24 The population would choose their deputies, their
25 representatives to the municipal assembly and in that
1 way the municipal assembly would represent all the
2 citizens of the territory concerned, and here we are
3 speaking about the municipality.
4 Q. And what about the president of the municipal
6 A. The president of the assembly, municipal
7 assembly, was first of all a delegate of the assembly
8 who was then elected by other members of the assembly,
9 other delegates, and he was responsible for conducting
10 the affairs and the work of the municipality, and to
11 act through various municipal executive bodies.
12 Q. Do you know the accused in these proceedings,
13 Slavko Dokmanovic?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. And for how long have you known him?
16 A. We knew each other since my arrival in
17 Vukovar, when I was appointed director of the catering
18 company. We had contact very often, but I could not
19 tell you exactly the day we were introduced, we met.
20 Q. And in the early part of 1991 do you know
21 what position the accused had in local government, in
23 A. After the elections that took place in 1991,
24 Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic became a member of the assembly
25 and as a delegate of the assembly he was elected
1 president of the municipal assembly, president of the
3 Q. And just to make it clear, I think you have
4 probably done so, but just to make it clear, the
5 president of the municipality is a higher position in
6 the hierarchy of local government than a president of
7 the town assembly; is that right?
8 A. Yes. That is correct. But let me just
9 clarify, if I may, once again. I would like to explain
10 the way the local government was structured in Vukovar.
11 Vukovar comprised several local communes, as I have
12 already pointed out, but these local communes did not
13 form a so-called community of local communes, and they
14 did not have -- they did not form a kind of city
15 council. Therefore, the town of Vukovar only had
16 a municipal assembly. There were several assemblies of
17 local communes, and there was no town assembly. The
18 town of Vukovar did not have a town assembly. It only
19 had a municipal assembly for the whole territory of the
21 Q. Thank you. Is the person that you know as
22 Slavko Dokmanovic in court today? Can you see him in
23 court today?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And could you please point to him and
1 describe where he is sitting the court?
2 A. Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic is sitting left, on my
3 left side. I do not know how else I can describe him.
4 He is sitting next to the wall. Is this enough, as
5 identification? He has a moustache. His hair is a bit
6 more white than it used to be.
7 Q. Thank you. That is enough. What is the
8 relationship, if any, the official relationship, if
9 any, between the president of a municipality and the
11 A. The president of the municipality is the
12 representative of all citizens of the municipality. He
13 is a civilian, and the relationship between the
14 president of the municipality and the JNA can be
15 described, can be only through one body of the
16 municipality, and at that time, that was the
17 secretariat for the national defence. It was some kind
18 of link between the civilian side, between civilian
19 authorities and the JNA. Otherwise, a direct
20 relationship, a direct link in terms of political
21 bodies and functions, I can only mention maybe certain
22 bodies that existed within the Communist party. For
23 example, the president of the municipality was
24 a civilian representative of the citizens and he did
25 not belong to the military.
1 Q. Could the president, for example -- could the
2 president of the municipality actually give any orders
3 to the JNA?
4 A. No. The JNA had its own law on the national
5 defence, and the structure of the government simply did
6 not allow for the president of the municipality to
7 issue any kind of orders to the JNA.
8 Q. What about the president of the municipality
9 and Territorial Defence? Was there any official
10 relationship between those two positions or bodies?
11 A. Since according to the law on the national
12 defence in the former Yugoslavia, a concept of an armed
13 population, armed people was established. One of the
14 components of that idea of that concept was that
15 organisation of the Territorial Defence. Territorial
16 Defence was responsible to the secretariat of the
17 national -- for the national defence, and the civilian
18 side, civilian authorities had more influence on the
19 Territorial Defence in terms of its structure,
20 organisation, financial support, as well as training,
21 and so on. Training of the Territorial Defence in case
22 of war emergencies, and so on, and other potential
23 problems, problems that could arise on the territory of
24 the local commune.
25 Q. And did the president of the municipality in
1 certain circumstances have the authority to mobilise
2 local defence? The Territorial Defence?
3 A. Yes. He could, in case of major disasters, in
4 case of immediate threat of various kinds of dangers,
5 I cannot right now be more specific. I do not remember
6 what else was provided for by the law, but yes, he
7 could mobilise the Territorial Defence for the purpose
8 of alleviating the situation in all kinds of
10 Q. And those are more in the nature of civil
11 defence such as earthquakes, floods, civil disobedience
12 and things of that nature. Is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And insofar as he was able to mobilise them
15 for those purposes, did he have authority over them?
16 A. Yes. At any rate, he was president of the
17 municipality, and he had legal powers to conduct
18 affairs concerning the Territorial Defence and one of
19 the key functions of the president of the municipality
20 was related to the Territorial Defence as far as the
21 former Yugoslavia was concerned.
22 Q. Now, if I could take you back to the events
23 in Ilok that you started to describe for us earlier in
24 your evidence, by the time that the JNA began
25 surrounding Ilok, displaced persons began to congregate
1 in this town?
2 A. First, let me say, let me remind you that
3 Ilok is the easternmost point of the Republic of
4 Croatia. You should not forget that there was a very
5 important route, a very important communication line,
6 Vukovar, Sotin, Sid, which historically was known as
7 the front of "Srem". It is a very important area in
8 geo-strategical sense, it was a very important road
9 which was important not only in these recent events,
10 but throughout history.
11 The villages alongside this line, this
12 particular road, were Croatian villages. I can quickly
13 enumerate them. Let me start with Opatovac, Mohovo,
14 Sarengrad, Lovas, Bapska. When the line was disrupted,
15 and when the only way for them to function, because the
16 line was disrupted by the JNA, the JNA did not want to
17 have any problems alongside that line, so the majority
18 of residents, the majority of citizens of that area,
19 especially after the fall of Tovarnik -- I want to say
20 that the only place where they could come to, where
21 they could go, was the town of Ilok, so under the
22 pressure of the JNA they were withdrawing in the
23 direction of Ilok, and let me say that at that time it
24 was the only free enclave which provided a minimal
25 safety for those people. So, the town of Ilok was their
1 last resort.
2 Q. Now, was it when these refugees came to Ilok
3 that your negotiations as part of the commission for
4 negotiations, is that when it began?
5 A. We started negotiating earlier, but after the
6 arrival of the displaced persons from the surrounding
7 villages, there were circumstances which were already
8 very difficult in town, became even worse. Here I am
9 referring to the problems of accommodation, food, and
10 the most basic life necessities, because at that time
11 the town of Ilok, within the period of several days,
12 the population of the town of Ilok doubled.
13 Q. Now, when you had your negotiations, who did
14 you negotiate with on the Serbian side?
15 A. The negotiations were conducted with two
16 sides. We negotiated with military authorities, but we
17 also had talks and negotiations with civilian
18 representatives from the neighbouring town of Backa
19 Palanka, as well as Sid.
20 Q. And what positions did these civilian persons
21 hold, that you negotiated with?
22 A. Are you referring to the representatives of
23 Backa Palanka and Sid, or to our specific position in
25 Q. Backa Palanka and Sid. I am asking who was
1 representing those two areas.
2 A. You should know that my involvement, my
3 participation in the commission of the town of Ilok was
4 motivated by my friendship with a number of people from
5 Ilok and elsewhere. I was a professor in the town of
6 Ilok, and, thanks to my long-term experience, I had
7 a very wide circle of acquaintances and friends and
8 through the contacts with the representatives of Backa
9 Palanka, therefore, thanks, as I say, to our previous
10 work and contacts, I was able to have contacts with
11 people who were very respected persons in Backa
12 Palanka. Here I am referring to the president of the
13 SPS, who was my school colleague, and who was also
14 a professor of Marxism, and we used to work together.
15 The role and the importance of the president of the SPS
16 was very great at that moment. It still is, even to the
17 present day. And then through him and because I knew
18 some other people personally, for example, the
19 president of the executive council of Backa Palanka and
20 other people as well, we were able to establish
21 contacts with the highest level representatives of the
22 town of Backa Palanka, in a very direct way.
23 However, bearing in mind that it was in the
24 SFRY, lots of talks were carried out at the level of
25 local communes. Let me mention the name of one of that
1 local commune, Petar Drapsin, which was situated near
2 the bridge in the area called Kalos. That particular
3 local area was linked in a very immediate way with the
4 town of Ilok.
5 So we conducted talks at the level of the
6 local commune and the representatives of the local
7 commune, but we also conducted negotiations at the
8 highest level of the municipality. We had contacts with
9 the president of the municipality, president of the
10 executive council, and the president of the SPS of
11 Backa Palanka, which at that time was the strongest
12 political party.
13 Q. Now, during the course of these negotiations
14 that you had, did the Serbian side ever request the
15 presence of a civil authority from Vukovar? Did at any
16 time this happen?
17 A. Mr. Ljubo Novakovic, during the contacts we
18 had with him, he requested that our interests be
19 represented by Mr. Dokmanovic.
20 Q. That is the accused?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the man, the gentleman that you have
23 mentioned, was he president -- the person that
24 requested the presence of Mr. Dokmanovic, what position
25 did he hold in Backa Palanka?
1 A. He was president of the municipality of Backa
3 Q. Now, did Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic take part in
4 these meetings, in the beginning?
5 A. He did not.
6 Q. And why did he not?
7 A. You must be aware of the fact that at that
8 time it was our assessment from Ilok that any
9 interference of Vukovar in the case and position, so to
10 speak, of Ilok would impede negotiations and make our
11 position more difficult. Therefore, from the very
12 outset we built a concept and strategy of defending the
13 fate of the citizens of Ilok and the town of Ilok by
14 ourselves, that we are wise enough, capable enough, of
15 handling the situation in all its complexity, in
16 contacts with the representatives of Backa Palanka in
17 Sid, and I must say that ultimately this proved to be
18 the right thing to do.
19 And I should say that regardless of the way
20 in which all of this happened, we nevertheless played
21 the game to the very end, relying upon our own
22 resources without anybody's help.
23 Q. Do you recall a particular meeting at Sid
24 when the meeting was interrupted and you were taken to
25 a headquarters of a military organisation?
1 A. I must say that there were several meetings
2 in Sid. One of the meetings that you are reminding me
3 of was held at highest possible level, speaking in
4 local terms. This meeting started at the assembly of
5 the town of Sid under the chairmanship of the president
6 of the assembly of the town of Sid. This meeting was
7 also attended by the president of the assembly of Backa
8 Palanka, and, because it was held at our request, four
9 representatives of the town of Ilok were there, and
10 among the four, I was one of the representatives, too.
11 After a one-hour discussion in the town
12 assembly somebody walked into the office of the
13 president of the assembly of the town of Sid. This
14 person was wearing a uniform, and this person asked for
15 this meeting with us, the representatives of Ilok, to
16 be interrupted, that we should cross the street from
17 the assembly, because that is where "Radio Sid" was,
18 and probably is until the present day, and on the third
19 or fourth floor of the building at that time, that is
20 to say September 1991, that is where the headquarters
21 of the units we called, "Chetnik units", were. They had
22 their insignia up there, and we who are a bit familiar
23 with this history recognised them to be the White
24 Eagles, "berlij orlovi".
25 Q. And can you describe the uniform of the White
1 Eagles that the people were wearing?
2 A. Their uniform, if that is what one calls
3 a uniform, was black attire, and the patches were this
4 big (indicating), metal patches with two eagles, one
5 next to the other, and we called them the "White
7 Q. Now, do you know who the overall leader of
8 the White Eagles in Serbia was at that particular point
9 in time?
10 A. I do not know who commanded them from
11 a military point of view, but the political advocate of
12 this movement, until the present day, is Mr. Seselj,
13 I think.
14 Q. What happened to you when you went to the
15 headquarters of the White Eagles?
16 A. Frankly speaking, I do not know why the
17 presidents allowed this meeting at the assembly to be
19 Secondly, I must say quite frankly that
20 without any false accusations by these military
21 units -- actually, I do not understand what the purpose
22 of their interruption of this attempt to have the
23 civilian authorities meet was meant to be directed at.
24 They tried to intimidate us. They tried to cause
25 a psychosis with unreasonable accusations, and I say
1 this quite responsibly, as far as the citizens of Ilok
2 are concerned, because this certainly could not pertain
3 to them.
4 So, they tried to demonstrate their
5 supremacy, their power. They tried to intimidate us,
6 and finally the meeting ended at their headquarters
7 without any conclusions. Just as they had abruptly
8 interrupted our meeting, after a long exposé, and
9 pretended concern about the situation in Ilok, they
10 consulted between themselves briefly and they abruptly
11 ended the whole meeting in the same way.
12 The point of the meeting was not there. That
13 is not why we had met. I believed then, and I believe
14 today, that the only purpose of this was to intimidate
15 us and to try to extort some kind of confession from
16 the citizens of Ilok, that they had done something
17 which they certainly had not done.
18 Q. Now, after this particular meeting did you
19 have another meeting with the civil representatives of
20 Sid and Backa Palanka, and at that meeting were
21 representatives of the JNA present?
22 A. Meetings were held practically every day. It
23 is not only one meeting that was held. Several meetings
24 were held, both in Backa Palanka as well as in Sid.
25 According to our needs, and depending on the questions
1 that we were supposed to resolve, the representatives
2 of the JNA were included in these meetings, both in
3 Backa Palanka and in Sid, if necessary.
4 Q. Who represented the JNA?
5 A. I think that officially, as far as Ilok is
6 concerned, the JNA was represented by Colonel Grahovac,
7 and I think that he was responsible to General
8 Arandelovic, and the General had his headquarters in
9 Sid, and his command post was in the Red Cross building
10 in Sid, and that is where we had several meetings,
11 rather negotiations on all problems related to our life
12 and the problems we had in Ilok.
13 Q. Now, towards the end of the negotiations that
14 you had, did you obtain, or did you ascertain what the
15 representatives of -- the civilian representatives and
16 what the JNA wanted from the people of Ilok?
17 A. First of all, I think that the
18 representatives of the civilian authorities and the
19 representatives of the JNA were harbouring a major
20 delusion as far as Ilok is concerned, especially its
21 degree of organisation, its military power, and various
22 potentials, and they had feared this to a certain
23 extent. Probably because of certain failures they had
24 at Vukovar and also the major losses they had at
25 Vukovar, I think that it was their assessment, and it
1 was certainly wrong that we in Ilok had, I do not know
2 what kind of weapons, so I must say that at all
3 meetings, they insinuated, they made insinuations and
4 they asked us about things that we simply did not have,
5 and on the other hand, they asked for a direct
6 surrender of the citizens of Ilok, namely that they
7 would take over the government in Ilok, and that they
8 would leave us all our rights, namely that nothing
9 would happen to us.
10 So, every meeting was a kind of accusation.
11 Namely, that we had major arms, and also that we should
12 simply surrender and that we should surrender all the
13 arms we had to them. In order to understand this
14 better I am saying clearly and with full
15 responsibility, that to the best of my knowledge, and
16 I think that I was quite involved, and that I think
17 I am quite familiar with the military arsenal that the
18 citizens of Ilok had, I am saying that they only had
19 personal weapons, so to speak and when I say, "personal
20 weapons", I mean pistols, rifles, and some kind of
21 mines. We tried to make them by hand so that we could
22 defend ourselves, protect ourselves, but I think that
23 they were so destructive, even for ourselves, that you
24 cannot really speak of serious mines in this respect.
25 Q. Now, you have talked about surrendering to
1 the JNA. Was there -- what was to be the fate of the
2 Croatian people in Ilok, after the surrender? Was there
3 any discussion about that?
4 A. You see, as a direct participant in many of
5 these negotiations and in all details, I must tell you
6 that this was not a discussion between equals. On the
7 one hand you have power, a force, an authority, which
8 was arrogant. They simply do not want to respect you as
9 people, as their fellow citizens, until only recently.
10 This was simply a discussion between people who simply
11 did not understand each other. They simply functioned
12 from different positions of power, and, of course, then
13 the negotiations were very difficult, overbearing.
14 Q. Just interrupting you for a moment, I take it
15 Ilok was predominantly a Croatian town. That is right,
16 is it not?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when the peoples from the other villages
19 came as refugees to the town, most of them were
20 Croatian as well, were they not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. During the course of your discussions, and
23 I am talking about the period of 14th/15th October
24 1991, did discussions relate to the signing of some
25 sort of an agreement between the representatives of
1 your committee, or commission, and the JNA?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What were the terms of that agreement in
4 a general sense? I know you cannot probably remember
5 all of it, but what was generally the gist of the
6 agreement that you entered into?
7 A. To the best of my recollection it consists of
8 ten or so articles. There were various groups of
9 subjects involved, and it was agreed that we would be
10 expelled. I must say that under considerable influence
11 of the European Monitors and with their wholehearted
12 support, this agreement was signed on our expulsion
13 from the city of Ilok.
14 Q. Now, with respect to the expulsion, where was
15 it intended that you would go when you were expelled?
16 A. We were supposed to go to the then free part
17 of Croatia. There was nowhere else to go.
18 Q. And this was to be under the supervision of
19 the JNA and European Monitors, was it?
20 A. Yes. And that is the way it was carried out,
21 under the supervision of the JNA and European Monitors.
22 Q. Now, the day before you left Ilok, did you
23 have one final meeting?
24 A. If you talk to someone intensively, and if
25 you are in touch for about two months -- this was
1 a devastating agreement that we signed, but it was the
2 only way our lives could go on, regardless of how
3 tragic all of this was. You did what you had to do
4 with these people you were negotiating with, and let us
5 say that it was a good deal, and usually, when one
6 concludes a good deal, and when numerous details of
7 this last day were completed and when we all met our
8 obligations, then in the late afternoon hours we wanted
9 to say good bye to people because the next day,
10 according to the agreement, at 7 am the evacuation of
11 the citizens of Ilok began, and we came to a brief
12 farewell meeting with these people with whom we had
13 reached this agreement and with whom we had had these
15 Q. Who was at this meeting?
16 A. I must say that this meeting was attended by
17 some people I knew from Backa Palanka. Of course, among
18 them was Mr. Dokmanovic too.
19 Q. And did the accused -- did Mr. Dokmanovic say
20 to you who he represented?
21 A. My acquaintances from Backa Palanka told me
22 that my president of the municipality was there too,
23 Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic and after that, we exchanged a few
25 Q. Did you have a conversation with
1 Mr. Dokmanovic on that occasion?
2 A. Sorry, I did not quite understand what you
3 were saying.
4 Q. Sorry. When you say Mr. Dokmanovic was at this
5 meeting, on this particular day, this last meeting, did
6 you have a conversation with him, with Mr. Dokmanovic?
7 Did you go up to him and speak to him, or did he
8 approach you and speak to you?
9 A. I talked to him. I approached him.
10 Q. And could you tell us, as best you can
11 recall, what you said to him and what he replied to you
12 in the course of this conversation?
13 A. I must say that during all these
14 negotiations, and even today, I believed that I did not
15 do a thing, and I can say the same of the citizens of
16 Ilok. I mean, in terms of what had happened to them,
17 and that was the subject that I had discussed at the
18 very end when I was tired and exhausted, I asked
19 Slavko, I said, "Slavko, what am I guilty of?", and,
20 "why is it that everything that is happening to me, is
21 happening to me?". That was the question I put then to
22 Slavko and he replied to me that he did not know, that
23 he did not know that, and that he, as the president of
24 the municipality, would establish a people's court and
25 that everyone will be held accountable for the things
1 they are guilty of.
2 After all of that, I had no wish to go into
3 a polemic with Mr. Dokmanovic. I left him with his
4 illusions and his convictions, that some kind of
5 people's courts would be established, and I can just
6 say for sure that then and now I do not know what
7 I have done in order to be in a position to be held
8 accountable by any court, a people's court included.
9 Q. Now, at this meeting, were representatives of
10 the JNA present? At this last meeting?
11 A. This was their command post, and they were
12 always present there. And one could not even come to
13 the other side of the Danube where they were without
14 having them present.
15 Q. Now, on the next day, did you and the
16 Croatian people of Ilok leave Ilok and go to Croatian
17 free territory?
18 A. Yes. That was one of the greatest convoys of
19 expellees in Croatia during this conflict. According to
20 the signed agreement it started at 7 am and the last
21 citizens of Ilok left some time late in the evening,
22 5 or 6 pm. They left Ilok then, and our estimate has
23 been that this convoy of expellees that included
24 everyone and everything that could move, comprised some
25 7-10,000 people altogether, this convoy, I mean.
1 Q. And just finally, Mr. Magovac, when you had
2 the meeting, and you met Mr. Dokmanovic where you had
3 the very short conversation with him, are you able to
4 remember what he was wearing at the time? What clothes
5 he had on?
6 A. I was never a military person, but in those
7 days people wore some kind of camouflage uniforms in
8 contact with military people. For the first time in my
9 life, then, I saw Mr. Dokmanovic wearing such clothes.
10 This kind of camouflage uniform. I never saw him
11 wearing something like that again -- before that,
12 sorry. He was wearing that kind of attire then.
13 MR. NIEMANN: No further questions, your
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Defence counsel,
16 you can start your cross-examination.
17 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
18 MR. FILA: Thank you, your Honour.
19 First of all, in order to correct something
20 we, from Yugoslavia are aware of, are there two
21 separate personalities, two separate persons, the
22 president of the municipality of Vukovar and president
23 of the municipal assembly of Vukovar. Are we talking
24 about one and the same person?
25 A. Sir, I do not wish to teach anyone here, and
1 I do not wish to clarify things, but once again,
2 I would like to draw your attention to the fact that
3 I was a professor who was teaching these matters and
4 once again, I have to say that within the local
5 government the lowest level was municipality.
6 Second, a forum for a more immediate
7 expression of people's interest was a local commune.
8 According to the law, local communes could form
9 a so-called community of local communes, and then
10 I draw the attention of the court to the fact that
11 Vukovar did not have that kind of organisation. It did
12 not have a community of local communes. Therefore, at
13 no point did I claim -- it may have been the
14 impression, but I think that I was perfectly clear,
15 there was a municipal assembly, but there was no town
16 assembly of the town of Vukovar. There were assemblies
17 of local communes, and I think you could see it from
18 the transcript, that was the way I explained this
19 particular matter.
20 Q. Therefore, there is only president of the
21 municipal assembly of Vukovar and not president of the
22 town of Vukovar?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. You should have said that right away.
1 Q. I do not intend to correct you, but do you
2 know whether the secretariat for the national defence
3 of the municipal was under the jurisdiction of the JNA
4 or did it belong to the municipal assembly?
5 A. If you have a closer look at the law on the
6 national defence, you will see that the concept of
7 national defence -- therefore, the law of the national
8 defence as well -- was based on the idea of armed
9 people. That concept was comprised the elite part, the
10 JNA, and the rest of the population which was armed,
11 which was organised, structured, to the Territorial
13 The common points they had, and here I am
14 referring to the civilian component to the Territorial
15 Defence, it is very difficult to draw a very precise
16 line, and to say, "the civilian component ends here",
17 and, "the military component starts here", because you
18 know very well that the idea was to have an armed
19 population, armed people.
20 Q. Yes, but I am not asking you that. Tell me
21 whether the secretariat of the national defence was
22 under the jurisdiction of the JNA or not? Do you know
24 A. No, it was not under the JNA.
25 Q. Are you sure?
1 A. Yes, I am sure, it was the body --
2 Q. Was Territorial Defence part of the JNA, or
3 there was a mixture of concepts here as well?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay, we have a law and we will check that
7 The elections that took place in 1990, when
8 the municipal assembly of Vukovar was elected and when
9 the accused Dokmanovic was elected president, were
10 those elections multiparty?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know by any chance on which list was
13 Mr. Dokmanovic? I think he was on the list of the SDP,
14 former Communists. Right.
15 A. Right. Well, you know that there were former
16 Communists among the HDZ as members, as well.
17 Q. Okay. I will not insist on this particular
19 Who was the commander of the MUP Ministry of
20 the Interior in Vukovar in that period? I am referring
21 to the relevant period, 1991, or chief of the Ministry
22 of the Interior for the town of MUP.
23 A. Chief of MUP, until the incident that took
24 place in Borovo Selo, it was Mr. Zaja and after the
25 Borovo Selo incident and the events that took place
1 there, Mr. Pola became chief of MUP.
2 Q. What kind of function did Mercep have?
3 A. Mr. Mercep was the secretary of the
4 secretariat for the national defence.
5 Q. Thank you. You said that in May, if I have
6 properly understood you --
7 A. Did I confuse the month?
8 Q. No, you did not confuse the month, you
9 confused the accommodation that was provided to the
10 MUP, and the accommodation and food that was provided
11 to the Croatian National Guards. Therefore,
12 accommodation was provided for the MUP and food for the
13 Croatian National Guards. Are you referring to May
15 A. Police forces -- actually one part of police
16 forces due to the existing situation in the town and
17 the municipality, police forces did not have enough
18 local resources, and therefore, in order to maintain
19 law and order of the town, in the town itself, they
20 activated certain units which were outside the town of
21 Vukovar itself. Therefore, these units needed to be
22 provided with proper accommodation.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Were any Serbs in Ilok?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What happened to them? Did they remain in
1 Ilok or did they move out during 1991?
2 A. There were various approaches by the Serbian
3 population of the town of Ilok. A major part, the
4 majority of Serbs from Ilok have stayed in Ilok, stayed
5 in Ilok until we moved out, and only a small proportion
6 of the local Serbian population left Ilok, and took
7 temporary residence in Backa Palanka and surrounding
9 However, I have to stress that it was a small
10 portion of the Serbian population, but I also have to
11 say that with that small portion of Serbs who had left
12 Ilok, we continued to have contacts in Backa Palanka.
13 We wanted them to come back. We wanted them to share
14 together with us the fate of the town of Ilok and its
16 Q. Thank you. Did any Croats remain in Ilok when
17 their fellow citizens left, whether there were any
18 citizens that came back, eventually, for example,
19 Vlatko Maric and so on still question, there.
20 A. Some elderly citizens and some other citizens
21 of Ilok, a small part of them, did not wish to leave
22 Ilok at the times we were leaving so they stayed. They
23 remained in the town of Ilok and continued living
24 there, and they lived there throughout all these times.
25 Q. Was that the case with the Slovak population
1 as well? Were there any Slovaks that remained in Ilok?
2 A. Speaking of Slovaks, the majority of the
3 Slovak population stayed in Ilok, and I can only think
4 of some isolated cases left.
5 Q. Did anything happen to those who stayed
6 behind, Slovaks or Croats, or shall I put it more
7 simply, was anyone killed?
8 A. You should know that after the 17th October
9 1991 I was absent from Ilok. I can only tell you what
10 other people told me.
11 Q. Okay. Thank you.
12 Do you know whether anyone has come back, has
13 returned to Ilok while Serbs were still there? Do you
14 know, for example, Vlatko Maric? Did he go back?
15 A. Vlatko Maric did not leave Ilok with the rest
16 of us. He left with his family from Belgrade where his
17 wife, together with her two daughters was staying.
18 I know personally Mr. Maric, and I am very well aware of
19 all the dilemmas he was faced with, and I know that
20 together with his wife, he went back to Ilok from
22 Q. Do you know whether the municipal assembly of
23 Vukovar was dissolved at that time and was there
24 a commissioner that was appointed?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Does that mean that when there is no
2 municipal assembly there is no president of the
3 municipal assembly?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. I will try to be as brief as possible.
6 Throughout these negotiations you mentioned,
7 negotiations that ended with the signing of the
8 agreement, did you ever see Mr. Slavko Dokmanovic
9 present at those negotiations?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Therefore, you first saw Mr. Dokmanovic after
12 the signing of the agreement?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did that departure, when you went to say
15 good-bye, was that departure kind of a meeting or was
16 it just an occasion to say good-bye?
17 A. No, we just said, "good-bye".
18 Q. Did that influence in any way your departure?
19 It had already been agreed upon. Did your saying
20 good-bye to him have anything to do with that?
21 A. No. Everything by that time, everything had
22 already been completed.
23 Q. Yes. Without the presence of Mr. Slavko
24 Dokmanovic, if I am correct?
25 A. Yes, you are correct.
1 Q. Were those national people's courts ever
3 A. No, I cannot tell you that because I was no
4 longer there in that territory.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you.
6 Let me ask you something in case you
7 remember: the very, "moving-out", that was organised by
8 the JNA in the presence of the international community.
9 There were JNA trucks there, at least that is what
10 I saw on TV in Belgrade. I mean, I was not there, and
11 I trust you, I believe everything you said.
12 A. Of course, I am always in favour of a good
13 dialogue, but I have to say that under the pressure of
14 the representatives whose role has not been emphasised
15 enough, representatives of the international community,
16 I can say that there were real professionals, and good
17 people, and they forced the JNA to behave in a proper
18 way and to respect what had been agreed upon in the
19 agreement. They fulfilled their obligation from the
21 Q. When the JNA was involved in that, when
22 everything -- when that was actually taking place, was
23 there anyone from Serbia there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know who was in charge of the control
1 of the town of Ilok? Was that the JNA or civilian
2 authorities? Who, for example, controlled people who
3 were leaving Ilok? Police or the military?
4 A. It was the military, but it was in the
5 presence of, as a kind of moral support, in the
6 presence of citizens of Serbian nationality. And this
7 is where our human dignity was offended at that moment,
8 by their very presence there.
9 Q. I fully understand you, if it means anything
10 to you.
11 Do you know who was in charge of appointing
12 directors of various companies in the town of Ilok
13 later on? Was that the military or civilian
14 authorities? Who was in charge of resettlement?
15 A. As far as I know, and because I was not
16 present there at that period, I can only speak about
17 what I have learned. I am not speaking through my
18 direct knowledge, so according to the information
19 I have, at that time, in Ilok, first of all there were
20 some two days, 48 hours of total chaos. There was no
21 proper authority. After that period of time, after
22 those 48 hours, some kind of civilian authority was
23 established in Ilok, but those were not residents of
24 the town of Ilok, but some -- but people who had come
25 from elsewhere.
1 As for the political structure, and the
2 organisation of the authority, speaking of all other
3 bodies and factions, I think that the situation was
4 completely unclear, and that it was not possible to
5 define it in any way.
6 Q. You said in your testimony that Ljubo
7 Novakovic suggested to you that the two of you should
8 negotiate with the JNA?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: No further questions?
11 MR. FILA: I am sorry, just one more question
12 in order to clarify things.
13 Did the JNA attack or carry out any kind of
14 military operation on the town of Ilok, and here I am
15 referring to possible attempts of disarming
16 paramilitary units, and so on, the way it happened in
18 A. You cannot compare the situation with what
19 happened in Vukovar. You know, what happened in Vukovar
20 is something completely different and it is completely
21 beyond comparison, so that is the first question.
22 I cannot compare Vukovar and Ilok, because it did not
23 happen the same way.
24 However, I have to state here clearly and
25 with full responsibility that first of all, whether
1 there was an attack or not, it is difficult for me to
2 say, because I am by no means a military expert and
3 I was never involved in military matters. I do not know
4 whether shooting incidents -- restriction of free
5 movement, for example; I myself could not go to my
6 vineyards because the JNA was on the road, and so on.
7 I am here mentioning many details, but if -- I have to
8 give you a clear answer as to the attack, then I have
9 to say that no such attack took place, I mean no
10 destruction took place. However, there were numerous
11 shooting incidents, there was a lot of provocation, the
12 citizens were exposed to psychological pressure and so
13 on. It is very easy to speak about that situation here
14 from this perspective, from the courtroom where both
15 Mr. Dokmanovic and I are sitting today. It was
16 completely different thing, the situation that took
17 place on the 15th October 1991 was completely
18 different, and if you ask me to draw a parallel to
19 compare Ilok and Vukovar, then I can say that there was
20 no attack in that sense.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: May I turn to the
22 Prosecutor, and ask him how much time he needs for
24 MR. NIEMANN: I need no time, your Honour.
25 I am not going to ask any questions.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So therefore,
2 we -- is there any objection to the witness being
3 released? (Pause).
4 No? Right. So you may be released, and thank
5 you for coming.
6 (The witness withdrew)
7 Before we stand in recess, may I ask both
8 parties whether they could be so kind as to provide to
9 the court 1) the relevant legislation regulating the
10 functioning of the various bodies in the municipalities
11 in the former Yugoslavia. We would like to get this
12 and to go through the relevant legislation; 2) the
13 relevant legislation on national defence system; and 3)
14 if possible, I do not know whether there is any written
15 text of the agreement which has been referred to, the
16 agreement about the evacuation of people from Ilok. Is
17 there a written text of this agreement? If so, could we
18 get a copy of this written document? Mr. Fila?
19 MR. FILA: Your Honour, with all due respect
20 to the country that I am going back to, I hope that
21 neither you nor Mr. Niemann do not have such a difficult
22 army in any one of your countries, getting something
23 from them is awful. But I am giving you my word,
24 I will do my best. I will try.
25 MR. NIEMANN: I would think that we have very
1 little chance of getting that information, your Honour.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Anyway, let us try. Thank
3 you. So we now stand in recess for -- Mr. Fila?
4 MR. FILA: Sorry, I will provide the laws for
5 you, that is no problem whatsoever, as far as the laws
6 are concerned, perhaps it is a bit of misunderstanding.
7 Yes, I am going to get you the laws, I think you even
8 have them, but the agreement is a problem. You see, in
9 the evidence, material, provided by the Prosecutor, it
10 was said that the military made lists. I did not manage
11 to get these lists. It was mentioned that they made
12 videotapes. They will not let us get copies of them.
13 That is the problem.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Now, we stand in
15 recess for fifteen minutes. Not more than fifteen
17 (11.20 am)
18 (A short break)
19 (11.40 am)
20 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, just before the
21 witness comes in I regret I misspoke just prior to the
22 adjournment. We do, in fact, have the agreement, but it
23 has not been translated, so we will have to go through
24 the process of having it translated.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Wonderful. Thank you. That
1 is very good news.
2 MR. NIEMANN: I might indicate, your Honour,
3 we will be calling a witness later on who actually
4 signed the agreement, so we can show you that.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. While we are
6 waiting for the witness, may I, to avoid wasting time,
7 tell you -- say a few words about the hearings which we
8 are resuming on 2nd February ? To my regret, we will
9 only have eight working days available because the
10 12th -- on 12th February our courtroom is needed for
11 two different cases, Kovacevic and Furundzija and for
12 the 15th for the Celebici case.
13 Now, to make up for this, the shortening of
14 our period, I suggested to our Registry that we should
15 start every day at 9 o'clock. You know that we will
16 have full days, but I am afraid this is impossible, so
17 therefore, now, the Registry told me this morning that
18 we may start at 9.15, and stop at 1 o'clock, resume at
19 2.30 until 5.30 in the afternoon. This is the maximum
20 which is possible, because of logistics and financial
21 implications, and so on. So this will apply, therefore,
22 this timetable will apply to the first five working
23 days from 2nd-6th February, and then to the 9th -- from
24 the 9th to the 11th. So I hope that in the light of
25 that the Prosecutor may make the necessary preparation
1 for the witnesses.
2 I wonder whether we could receive from the
3 Prosecutor maybe a few days before -- you said on the
4 Thursday prior to 2nd February, a list of the witnesses
5 you intend to call for the following week.
6 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honours.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: And, of course, the Defence
8 as well. Thank you.
9 (Witness entered court)
10 MR. NIEMANN: My colleague, Mr. Waespi will
11 take the next witness, your Honours.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. The witness will make
13 the formal declaration.
14 MARINKO VLADIC (sworn)
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
17 Examined by MR. WAESPI
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Vladic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. You feel comfortable? Can we start?
21 A. Yes, we can.
22 Q. Will you please state to the court your full
23 name, please.
24 A. Marinko Vladic.
25 Q. And the place and date of your birth.
1 A. I was born in Ilok on 2nd December 1960.
2 Q. Thank you. Could you please state your
3 nationality and your ethnic background?
4 A. I am a Croatian national of Croatian ethnic
6 Q. Thank you. Will you please outline shortly
7 your educational background, which schools did you
8 attend from high school on?
9 A. I graduated from the agricultural faculty in
10 Zagreb. I completed my secondary education in Ilok and
11 I studied and graduated in Sarajevo, at the University
12 of Sarajevo.
13 Q. When did you finish, and with what degree did
14 you finish, in Sarajevo?
15 A. I obtained my degree in 1984, and I am an
16 ergonomics engineer.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you serve in the JNA, and for
18 how long was that?
19 A. I served in the JNA for ten months and twenty
20 six days exactly in 1984 and 1985 and I was based in
21 Stip in Macedonia.
22 Q. Thank you. Did you have any experience in
23 your profession, in your civil profession after that?
24 A. I do not fully understand your question. What
25 exactly do you mean?
1 Q. After you completed your studies in Sarajevo
2 you started your work, did you not?
3 A. Yes, I did, yes.
4 Q. What kind of employment was that?
5 A. After I came back from the army I was
6 unemployed for about a year, and then in 1986 I was
7 employed by the Zupic company. I was an intern for one
8 year. I had to do my internship in Ilok and Vukovar and
9 after the internship I stayed for two years in Vukovar
10 Wine Cellars Company, so after two years spent in
11 Vukovar Wine Cellars Company I returned to Ilok and
12 I worked in Ilok until 17th October 1991, and I still
13 occupy the same post as I had before the war.
14 Q. Therefore, since 1989 your workplace has
15 always been Ilok. Is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Is it also correct to say that you always
18 lived in Ilok, the same place?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. Even when I worked in
20 Vukovar I used to commute from Ilok every day.
21 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that Ilok, the town
22 you were living in, and you also worked in, was part of
23 the municipality of Vukovar?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Before the war, what was the approximate
1 population and the ethnic composition of the town of
3 A. Well, approximately, there were about 7,000
4 inhabitants in Ilok. There were about 500 Serbs, 2,500
5 Slovaks, and about 4,000 Croats. That is just ballpark
6 figure, roughly.
7 Q. Thank you. In the surroundings of Ilok there
8 were some neighbouring villages. Can you name us some
9 of them?
10 A. In the area between Vukovar and Ilok there
11 were several villages, Sotin, Opatovac, Mohovo,
12 Sarengrad. They were situated alongside the main road
13 to Vukovar. They were also villages of Bapska, and
14 Tovarnik. The majority of the population was of Croat
15 origin in those villages. Therefore, the area between
16 Vukovar and Ilok had the majority of Croatian
18 Q. Thank you very much.
19 Turning now to the events in summer 1991, you
20 just said a moment ago that you, at that time, were
21 living and working in Ilok. How was the company called
22 you were employed with? I think you might have
23 mentioned the name.
24 A. Vupik. The name of the company was Vupik.
25 Q. In what position were you employed?
1 A. At that time, I was chief of the financial
2 section of the Ilok Wine Cellars Company.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, Mr. Vladic, can you describe
4 to the court the situation in late summer of 1991?
5 First of all, is it correct to say that you
6 were a member of the local crisis staff?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what was your role in this body?
9 A. At that time I was the president of the
10 civilian protection department, and in that sense I was
11 charged with taking care of civilians, providing
12 accommodation, water supplies, food and so on. In case
13 of shelling, I was also in charge of transferring these
14 people to shelters and so on.
15 We had civil engineers as well in case of
16 major destruction. These people were supposed to
17 evacuate the wounded, and I also had a role to play in
18 a potential evacuation of the population. Therefore,
19 because I knew some people who had trucks and so on, in
20 case of evacuation we were supposed to be prepared for
22 At that time the town was surrounded,
23 encircled, and we are speaking about the end of October
24 1991, so between the 10th and the 17th of October the
25 town was already under a blockade, and the residents of
1 the surrounding villages were fleeing, and arriving in
2 great numbers in Ilok. The population, therefore,
3 almost doubled. The roads were blocked, and in view of
4 the situation we had nothing else but to try and
5 attempt a breakthrough. On 17th October we all left the
6 town of Ilok in a convoy.
7 Q. What do you mean by, "we all left"? How many
8 people are you talking about?
9 A. Well, not all of us left, it is true. Some
10 people remained, but it is my estimate that between 12
11 and 13,000 people left the town. Elderly people mostly
12 stayed. My parents also stayed in Ilok.
13 Q. You said a moment ago that the population was
14 about 7,000 and you said that it almost doubled because
15 of people who were fleeing into -- and of those you are
16 just saying that maybe 12 and 13,000 people left the
17 town on 17th October.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So on that day it was a huge convoy getting
20 out of the town, on October 17th.
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Was there any ultimatum from the part of the
23 JNA issued at the people of Ilok? You were part of it
24 a short time before you left on October 17th. Can you
25 tell us more about that?
1 A. There was no ultimatum for us to leave the
2 town, but the town was encircled. Nobody actually told
3 us to leave the town, but since it was surrounded, it
4 was the military who had the control over the
5 electricity supply and the water supply. The
6 population, as I said, doubled, and we could hear
7 explosions coming from afar, coming from the area of
8 Vukovar, and some people already knew that there had
9 been a number of murders, killings and so on. So these
10 people kept coming to the town, and in that situation,
11 the only way out was the way out of town. But since it
12 was under a blockade we could not leave the town
13 without the permission of the JNA.
14 Q. Did the people of Ilok convene into
15 a meeting, an assembly, at a certain point prior to
16 leaving in order to discuss these kinds of -- urge of
17 the JNA to leave the town?
18 A. The residents of the town were in their
19 houses at their homes and on 17th, when the convoy was
20 organised, people simply started leaving the town.
21 A lot of people had -- were hesitating, but once it
22 started, everybody left. I was also surprised when
23 I realised how many people had gathered, in the
24 meantime, in Ilok. There was a great number of
25 vehicles, tractors, and so on.
1 Q. Turning back, now, to this very event on
2 17th October, did you have any guarantees from the army
3 which, as you have said before, completely blocked the
4 town that you could leave, that nothing would happen to
6 A. We did have that, yes. They did guarantee
7 that nothing would happen to us, but there were also
8 European Monitors there, people dressed in white
9 uniforms, and they were also some kind of guarantee
10 that nothing would happen to us, although personally
11 I was not quite sure, and the situation for us was very
12 unsafe and insecure, in spite of the fact that we were
13 told that nothing would happen, that we were allowed to
14 leave. We lived in fear, because we did not know what
15 could happen, whether we could actually leave the town
16 or not. People were faced with a major dilemma. Some
17 people did not want to join the convoy but attempted to
18 break through on their own, but that was a minority.
19 Q. Were you part of any team of negotiations
20 within the town of Ilok?
21 A. No, I was not.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 Turning, now, to your personal role, which
24 route did you take to get out of the town? Can you
25 describe that in a little bit more detail?
1 A. The route was agreed upon in advance. We
2 could not choose. We left Ilok in the direction of the
3 bridge connecting banks of the Danube. Backa Palanka
4 was on the other side and there was a checkpoint on
5 this side where papers and vehicles were controlled,
6 and from that point on we continued in the direction of
8 Do you want me to continue with the details?
9 Q. Yes. Were you stopped at one moment around
10 this bridge?
11 A. Yes. Somewhere near the bridge. There was
12 a checkpoint, and I was behind the wheel of a Golf, and
13 was stopped by a man in uniform. I thought he was an
14 officer. I do not think he was just a simple soldier,
15 so I showed him my documents and documents of the
16 vehicle, and he told me that I was allowed to go, but
17 that I could not take the car, and he also found my
18 name on the list of members of the crisis committee and
19 I told him that indeed I was a member of the crisis
20 committee, and president of -- and he told me that
21 I could go, but that I had to leave the car. That was
22 a very difficult situation for me. Vehicles were all
23 loaded and packed and I was afraid that I would not
24 have any means of transport to cross over, and at that
25 point, standing some 50 metres away, I saw Slavko
1 Dokmanovic and president of the Backa Palanka
2 municipality, Ljubo Novakovic, and I asked them for
3 help. I approached them and I wanted to introduce
4 myself because I was not sure whether they knew me or
5 not. So as I was about to introduce myself, Slavko
6 said, "yes, I know you. Just tell me what you want",
7 and I told him that I was driving our vehicle, because
8 Slavko also worked in the Vupik company but he said
9 that I could leave but I could not take the car because
10 the car was company property. And then I said that he
11 should send a soldier with me to the border and that
12 then the soldier could take back the car, but he still
13 refused, and at that moment Ljubo Novakovic told me
14 that I could, that I was allowed to stay in Ilok if
15 I did not have blood on my hands. At that moment
16 I really felt sick. I thought I was going to faint, and
17 I said that.
18 At that moment Slavko brought some fruit
19 juice to me, and after I drank that I was feeling a bit
20 better, so I went to the vehicle and I started
21 unloading it, and at that moment, chief of the Ilok
22 police arrived and I told him that they wanted to take
23 the vehicle, and then he talked to a JNA officer, and
24 the officer asked me whose vehicle it was, and I said
25 that it was a company car, and he asked me, "why are
1 you driving it?". I told him that I was the manager of
2 a department of the company and I showed him my card,
3 so he took the card, he read it and gave it back to me
4 and he said that I could take the car. So I went back
5 to the car and that is how I crossed over to the other
7 But I must say that after we passed the
8 checkpoint I was still afraid that I would be stopped
9 again, that they would tell me that I was not allowed
10 to drive that vehicle. That lasted for about half an
11 hour until I reached the territory which was under the
12 control of the Croatian government.
13 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Vladic. You just
14 described having seen Mr. Dokmanovic in Ilok on October
15 17th 1991. Can you tell us, what clothes did he wear at
16 that time?
17 A. Slavko Dokmanovic was wearing a camouflage
18 uniform. A military uniform that was usually worn by
19 the JNA soldiers.
20 Q. Having described Mr. Dokmanovic, how many
21 times did you see him before that event, before the
23 A. Before the war I saw him several times, not
24 many times, but just a couple of times. I think I met
25 him in the Vukovar Wine Cellars Company. At that time
1 he was the president of the workers' council, and I was
2 at that time also a member of the workers' council and
3 I was present at the meeting that he chaired at that
4 time. So that was, for example, one of the occasions.
5 We were not real acquaintances but I knew him and
6 I assumed that he knew me, as well.
7 Q. And besides being the president of that same
8 company you worked with, or the president of the
9 workers' council, I have to specify, what official role
10 did Mr. Dokmanovic have in the municipality of Vukovar?
11 A. He was the president of the municipality,
12 president of the municipal assembly.
13 Q. Can you see Mr. Dokmanovic today in this
15 A. Yes, I can. I recognised him right away.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 You also mentioned that you saw, besides
18 Mr. Dokmanovic, Mr. Novakovic, and you described him as
19 being the president of the municipal assembly of Backa
20 Palanka. Can you describe to the court today the way
21 Mr. Novakovic was dressed?
22 A. Mr. Novakovic was wearing civilian clothes. He
23 had a blazer on. That is all, more or less, I can
24 remember. I just know that he was wearing civilian
25 clothes. I cannot remember the details, but I know that
1 he was dressed in civilian clothes.
2 Q. Coming back to Mr. Dokmanovic and you on that
3 day, can you tell us the way you perceived his
4 presence, his appearance? What did he look to you at
5 that point?
6 A. It was at the moment when the officer who was
7 standing in the checkpoint told me that I was not
8 allowed to drive the car. It was at that moment that
9 I requested that I wanted to ask him for some help.
10 I saw Slavko and I could see on his face that he was
11 worried, although he refused when I asked for help, he
12 said that, "you could not drive the car. You can leave
13 but you cannot take the car", but as I say, I could see
14 that he was worried, but when I explained to him what
15 the problem was, he did not want to help me.
16 I even said that when I felt that I was going
17 to faint, as I told you, he even brought me some juice,
18 but as far as help is concerned, he refused. He said,
19 "no". He was wearing a military uniform, a camouflage
20 military uniform. That is what I remember.
21 Q. Yes. Thank you. You said to us that he was
22 worried. In your opinion, what was he worried about, in
23 this situation?
24 A. Well, probably because of this huge number of
25 people. It was a horrible picture. It was a very long
1 convoy, lots of people, elderly, young, vehicles, cars,
2 tractors, everything was moving in the direction of Sid
3 and Croatia. I think it was a horrible image, and no
4 man could stand there and simply observe it.
5 Q. Thank you. Based on your personal experience
6 on that very day, did it appear to you that
7 Mr. Dokmanovic was part of the Serbian authorities?
8 A. Well, he was the president of the
9 municipality. Well, I must say that at that moment
10 I did not think about that, in these terms. I simply
11 saw him standing there and I wanted to ask him for
12 help. For me he was an acquaintance from my company. He
13 was the president of the municipality and I thought
14 that he might be able to help me because I saw some
15 other people standing there in uniforms, people from
16 Ilok, but it did not occur to me to ask them for help
17 because I knew that they could not help me. That is why
18 I approached Slavko.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 Just for the record, at least a visual one in
21 the courtroom, can you point out the accused,
22 Mr. Dokmanovic? Just with your arm?
23 A. Well, he is sitting over there (indicating).
24 Q. Yes. Thank you very much. Your Honours, no
25 further questions.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Fila?
2 Cross-examined by MR. FILA
3 Q. Yes, your Honour.
4 Do you know that Mr. Dokmanovic, who was
5 president of the municipal assembly of Vukovar, do you
6 know that this assembly was dissolved by a decision of
7 the Croat authorities?
8 A. I think that -- well, it was a long time ago.
9 Q. If you do not remember then do you not have
10 to say anything. It is not that important.
11 A. Well, I know that Marin Vidic-Bili was
12 involved, but literally that someone had dissolved
13 something or fired someone, I do not know, and I did
14 not have enough time to think about it at that point.
15 I found out about that later.
16 Q. That the assembly was dissolved?
17 A. Yes, that the assembly was dissolved.
18 Q. So, at the point when you met Slavko
19 Dokmanovic, was he president of the Vukovar municipal
20 assembly or not?
21 A. At that point I did not have time to think
22 about that at all. I saw a man, and I thought that he
23 could help me and that is why I addressed him. Whether
24 someone was president of the municipality or whatever,
25 that point I did not give it any thought.
1 Q. I know you did not give it any thought and no
2 normal person would. I mean, your family in the car and
3 everything, of course, I fully understand that.
4 Later on, did you find out that the municipal
5 assembly of Vukovar was dissolved and that he was no
6 longer president?
7 A. Yes, I found that out later.
8 Q. So at that point you did not know that he was
9 president of the municipal assembly of Vukovar?
10 A. Yes, I learned that later, yes.
11 Q. Did the city, the town of Ilok have its own
12 municipal assembly and its president?
13 A. Ilok was not a municipality.
14 Q. But did it have a president?
15 A. No, it was not a municipality. It was within
16 the municipality of Vukovar.
17 Q. And what were Ivan Mr.sic and Crvenkovic?
18 A. They -- well, he was the mayor of Ilok at
19 that time.
20 Q. So Ilok was a town, right, so it had a mayor?
21 A. Yes, but --
22 Q. And Crvenkovic. But Ilok was still within
23 the municipality of Vukovar, right, and Crvenkovic,
24 was he president of the executive board, Crvenkovic?
25 A. I do not know that. I know that he was in the
1 local government, but I do not know whether he was
2 president of the executive council or whatever.
3 I really do not know that.
4 Q. All right. In 1991, before you got out of
5 Ilok, did the entire Serb population leave or part of
6 the Serb population?
7 A. Part of the Serb population left.
8 Q. Did some of the people who left with you,
9 part of the Croat population, did they come back after
10 some time?
11 A. Very rarely.
12 Q. But there were such cases?
13 A. Only some people, maybe three, four, five
14 people at a maximum. That is to the best of my
16 Q. When you left Ilok, did you go through Serb
17 territory and then go to Croat territory again and were
18 you attacked by someone then, the JNA? Were you beaten
19 up by someone?
20 A. No, no, no.
21 Q. Did you pass safely?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So could one draw the conclusion that the JNA
24 had kept its promise?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I mean in relation to security and safety?
2 A. May I speak now? I did leave safely and no
3 one attacked me, but some 30 people were taken out of
4 the convoy and to camps in Serbia, but I left safely.
5 Q. Believe me, I do not know about this, but if
6 you say so, I imagine it is true. And, because you said
7 some time ago that the JNA did not present you with an
8 ultimatum, was there a referendum, conditionally
9 speaking, that was carried out among the population of
10 Ilok, whether Ilok should be abandoned or whether
11 people should leave?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So what was the result of this referendum?
14 A. Well, it is very difficult for me to say that
15 it was a referendum. It was a way in which people
16 declared themselves when the town was surrounded by
17 tanks, armour and armed soldiers. In that situation, in
18 order to get out of town we would have signed anything,
19 just to get out.
20 Q. I appreciate that, but did someone come and
21 force you to leave? Did you have to come out?
22 A. Well, let me tell you, this question is quite
23 unclear to me --
24 Q. For example, did the accused Dokmanovic --
25 A. You see, the city was surrounded. There was
1 shooting from Vukovar and from the surrounding
2 villages. You could hear explosions all the time. There
3 was a war going on, you know, and in that situation you
4 ask me whether someone had forced me to leave?
5 Q. So you want me to clarify the question?
6 Personally, for example, Slavko Dokmanovic who you see
7 here, did he force you?
8 A. No, he personally did not force me to leave.
9 Q. During your stay in Ilok, until you left
10 Ilok, did you see Slavko Dokmanovic getting in?
11 A. No, no.
12 Q. On what side did you talk to him? On the
13 Serbian side or the Croatian side?
14 A. On the Croatian side.
15 Q. By the checkpoint, right?
16 A. By the JNA checkpoint, yes.
17 Q. You said that you felt ill?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you feel ill because of what Dokmanovic
20 said or what Ljubo Novakovic said?
21 A. It is hard to distinguish between the two.
22 Yes. It is hard to distinguish between the two. This
23 was a very short conversation. I came there, and
24 I wanted to take the car and he told me that I could
25 not take the car and Ljubo said, "you can stay here if
1 you have no blood on your hands", and at that point in
2 time I felt faint and I imagine that Slavko saw it on
3 my face that I would pass out and he brought me a juice
4 and then I felt better.
5 Q. And when Slavko Dokmanovic brought you this
6 juice did you take this as aggression or did you take
7 this as help by a person?
8 A. I think such a question is pointless.
9 Q. Yes, I guess it is not --
10 A. At any rate, he helped me at that point. No
11 doubt about that.
12 Q. And a lot of people ask you, "how did you
13 experience this?", and, "how did you experience that?",
14 so how did you experience the fact that he brought you
15 a glass of juice?
16 A. I said that and I want to highlight that.
17 Q. In your statement, you said that he did not
18 have any insignia of rank?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that he did not have weapons?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you still abide by that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What happened to the car that you had set out
1 A. I took the car to Zagreb and I handed it over
2 to the company where I was employed. We had
3 a representative office of Vupik in Zagreb so I handed
4 it over there.
5 Q. So the car remained in Zagreb?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So now this car is in Ilok?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Where it is supposed to be, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Well, thank you very much. No further
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Re-examination? (Pause).
14 I have two questions. Now, you said that
15 there was no ultimatum issued by JNA to the population
16 in Ilok. That means -- and you also, I understand, you
17 added that the population there was not physically or
18 militarily forced to leave the town; my question is
19 whether there was any psychological pressure by the
20 JNA. What is your view? Do you think that there was
21 any, say, formal threat implicit in various actions, or
22 in the conduct of the JNA, any form of constraint, or
23 did the population leave simply out of fear that, say,
24 the fighting might also erupt in the town so that
25 people would be wounded, killed, and so on. Could you
1 answer this question, please?
2 A. The town was encircled, as I said. It was
3 under blockade. I am an ergonomist. I also worked as an
4 anologist. We could not have people out in the
5 vineyards. We could not even pick the grapes, because
6 we were afraid that there would be fighting within the
7 town itself and we were afraid that if we would not
8 leave, the people would lose their lives, there would
9 be a lot of destruction, so we did our very best to get
10 out of the area.
11 Q. All right, but so there was no formal threat
12 or any form of threat by the JNA? No sort of incentive
13 or inducement to the population to go out of the town,
14 to leave the town?
15 A. There were not special incentives, and no one
16 made us leave. We ordinary citizens did not have any
17 special contacts with the army. They had deployed tanks
18 and cannons at certain points. For example, from my
19 bathroom window I could see all this artillery facing
20 the town. At night there was shooting. They shot at the
21 town, and you could hear explosions from Vukovar, and
22 no one could get out of town or get into town. No one
23 would come and tell us something or threaten us, saying
24 that they would do this and that if we would not leave,
25 but the atmosphere was such that every person wanted to
1 get out of such a place. Under such circumstances we
2 had this referendum carried out and we said that we
3 wanted to get out.
4 Q. Then, I mean, how do you explain that, if
5 I understood you correctly, actually most Croats left
6 the town, and whereas most Serbs remained in the town,
7 only a few of them left the town. How do you explain
8 this difference in behaviour? Normally in a town,
9 surrounded by military -- by an army, and by tanks and
10 so on, normally the whole population, except probably
11 for the wounded, the elderly, would leave the town. How
12 do you explain this difference in -- based on the
13 ethnic origin of the various segments of the
15 A. Well, you see, we all knew that the JNA,
16 although it was called, "The Yugoslavia People's Army",
17 we knew that the people who were in uniform and under
18 whose control these tanks and cannons and whatever
19 were, were of Serb ethnic origin and I imagine that we
20 were more fearful than the Serbs, although quite a few
21 Serbs had left with us too.
22 However, part of the Serbs had left before
23 this date of October 17th, because they were going
24 towards Backa Palanka and Sid. They were allowed to
25 pass, and four, five or six days before 17th the town
1 was completely sealed off so no one could get in or
2 out. Serbs or Croats.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: So therefore, on
4 17th October, you said that, roughly speaking, between
5 12 and 13,000 people left Ilok. Roughly speaking,
6 again, now, how many of those 12 or 13,000 people were
7 Serbs? It is very difficult to say, I know, but I mean,
8 have you got an idea or are you in a position to answer
9 this question?
10 A. Perhaps about 100, about 100, not very many
11 of them, I think, because in the convoy there were
12 people from the surrounding villages, not only from
13 Ilok. I mean, the villages between Ilok and Vukovar.
14 These people had come to Ilok before, and then they
15 were leaving Ilok together with us.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Now, my second
17 question is about the --
18 MR. WAESPI: Just after you have finished, may
19 I ask for an additional question?
20 JUDGE CASSESE: On this very point?
21 MR. WAESPI: Yes.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Probably it is better for
23 you to step in now.
24 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much. You said,
25 just answering that, "no incentives", you are not aware
1 of any incentives that was given by the JNA to people
2 from Ilok. You were not part of those negotiations, you
3 said, in testimony with the JNA. Is that correct?
4 A. That is correct. I did not take part in the
5 negotiations at all.
6 Q. So there might be incentives but not issued
7 to, or communicated to you personally? You just do not
9 A. Yes, yes. You see, there was a commission,
10 a certain group of people who went to these
11 negotiations, and what they talked about with the army
12 I do not know, and I do not want to go into that, and
13 I do not want to give any kind of assessment as to what
14 they were saying there. After the several meetings they
15 had we were told that we were supposed to have
16 a referendum carried out where we would decide whether
17 we would get out of town or not and we decided to get
18 out of town.
19 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much for your
20 kindness. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Fila, could you help me with
22 something? I just want to be plain; there is no dispute
23 that Mr. Dokmanovic was on the bridge. Is that right?
24 That is not disputed?
25 MR. FILA: No.
1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Now, if I may
3 move on to my second question, you said, Mr. Vladic, you
4 said that you saw the accused wearing a camouflage --
5 I am reading what you said -- camouflage uniform,
6 usually worn by JNA soldiers.
7 Was it common for civilians to wear -- in
8 Ilok -- camouflage uniforms? Because at some point you
9 also said, "other people from Ilok were wearing
10 uniforms", so how many of those people you were
11 referring to in the sentence I have just quoted, how
12 many of them were civilians? Was it a normal daily
13 occurrence that some civilians would wear military
15 A. Well, you know, there was a war going on, so
16 there were some people in Ilok who had camouflaged
17 uniforms but not the kind that Slavko had. It was
18 a shade different from the uniforms that Croats wore in
19 Ilok too. There were also some armed people in Ilok who
20 walked around in uniform. So it is very difficult for
21 me to answer this question. There was a war going on.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but what is the
23 difference between these two types of uniforms? You
24 said other people were wearing a different sort of
25 uniform from the one worn by Mr. Dokmanovic.
1 A. They differ. These are camouflage uniforms
2 but they are different from one another. For example,
3 the colours are not exactly the same shade.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: But then at one point you
5 said that the uniform Mr. Dokmanovic was wearing is the
6 one usually worn by JNA soldiers.
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: And whereas the other
9 uniforms you saw, the other people in uniform you saw
10 in Ilok, may be some of them being civilians, did not
11 wear that particular type of uniform. This is what you
13 A. Yes, yes, yes. Croats in Ilok, some Croats,
14 also wore camouflaged uniformed but not the kind that
15 Slavko had. Also camouflage uniforms, but quite
16 different, of a different colour.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Fila?
18 MR. FILA: In connection to the witness, I do
19 not have any further questions, but I may perhaps
20 assist the court. In response to Judge May's question,
21 I said that Slavko was at the bridge. Kindly see
22 a videotape of the conversation between Mr. Milner and
23 Mr. Druzo with Mr. Dokmanovic here in the prison, and then
24 you will see why he was there at the bridge with Ljubo
25 Novakovic. If you are interested in that, the tapes are
1 held by the gentleman from the Prosecution.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I wonder whether
3 the Prosecution has any more questions. (Pause).
4 MR. WAESPI: No, your Honours.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: So therefore there is no
6 objection to Mr. Vladic being released, no objection.
7 So, Mr. Vladic, you may be released. Thank you
8 so much for coming.
9 (The witness withdrew)
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we adjourn is there
11 any question to be raised? Any comment about our
12 hearings on the 2nd? We will resume our hearings, as
13 I said before, on 2nd February.
14 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, your Honours. That is all
15 the witnesses we have brought today, so that is the
16 last witness for the first session.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: By the way, I asked you
18 whether you could be so kind, and you accepted my
19 suggestion, so kind as to provide us with a list of
20 witnesses. I wonder whether you could also specify for
21 each witness the estimated length of
22 examination-in-chief? I know that it is a very rough
23 estimate, of course. I know, I agree with you that it
24 is very difficult, but still, if we could have a rough
1 MR. NIEMANN: We will see what we can do, your
2 Honours. We will have a better idea after we speak to
3 them and they probably will not be here the Thursday
4 before. They generally do not arrive until the
5 Saturday, so we do not see them, so it may be a bit
6 inaccurate, but we can try.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: On Monday, could you give it
8 to us on Monday, so we could get from you on maybe,
9 Thursday, the list of witnesses and on Monday the list
10 of --
11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, of course.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: So the hearing -- yes,
13 Mr. Fila?
14 MR. FILA: I am sorry, your Honour. I did not
15 understand you personally, what you were saying. Am
16 I supposed to give a list of witnesses too?
17 JUDGE CASSESE: No.
18 MR. FILA: Then I misunderstood what you were
19 saying. I am sorry.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: No, it was only for the
22 Then, the hearing stands adjourned.
23 (12.30 pm)
24 (Hearing adjourned)